Ahmedabad: Narendra Modi today become the first Chief Minister of Gujarat to complete 12 years of continuous rule, during which he not only hard-sold ‘Gujarat model of development' but also got himself nominated as BJP's prime ministerial candidate for 2014 elections.
“This is a record...No Chief Minister has served continuously for 12 years,” according to a government release.
Modi, who started as a vendor serving tea to customers at a railway station in Gujarat, has come a long way in politics after he joined RSS as a pracharak]and later became associated with BJP.
Modi had taken over the reigns from his predecessor Keshubhai Patel in 2001 and since then has led his party, the BJP, to score three consecutive electoral victories, almost pushing the opposition to fringe.
The 63-year-old leader was last month anointed as the prime ministerial candidate of BJP for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“In the last 12 years, Gujarat has showcased and implemented the policy of development to all and appeasement to none,” a media statement issued by the state information department said.
“Gujarat has emerged as a growth engine of the country. The state has become a role model of development for other states as well as for developing countries,” the statement said.
It listed various schemes implemented by the Modi government in the last 12 years.
Though 2002 communal riots—wherein more than 1,000 members of a minority community died—are widely viewed as a blot on Modi regime for its alleged bias in reining in the violence, the Chief Minister got a clean chit from the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).
No major riots were reported after 2002 in Gujarat.
“Chief Minister Modi has demonstrated how to face challenges and come out of them successfully.
He has converted adversities into opportunities,” the statement said.