In 1995, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the Gujarat Assembly elections under the leadership of Keshubhai Patel. Twenty seven years later, the party continues to be in power.
The BJP has been hailed for its 'Gujarat model' of development under Chief Minister Narendra Modi, before his elevation to national politics. As the state prepares to go to polls, the saffron party is competing against the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party to remain in power in their bastion.
But how has the party performed in the state in the last decade? We decided to look at some of the key indicators like economic growth, employment opportunities, crime statistics, health indicators and more to measure the party's performance.
How Has the Economy Fared?
The economy of the state under the current government has grown at a steady pace.
According to the data on the website of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at constant price in financial year 2012-2013 (FY13) was Rs 6,82,65,021 lakh. In FY20, the GSDP was at 12,68,95,663 lakh.
It should be noted that the data for FY21 is not available on the RBI's website.
The GSDP during FY13-FY17 grew at an average rate of 9.78 percent. And between FY18-FY20 (last available data), the growth rate was 8.9 percent.
Per Capita Income
The state's per capita income was Rs 87,481 in 2011-2012 and grew at an average rate of 8.2 percent between FY13-FY17. This was much higher than the national average of 5.5 percent during the same period.
The growth in per capita income was 5.5 percent during the party's current term, as of FY21, due to a 2.2 percent fall owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it is important to note that the per capita income fell for most states in FY21 due to the pandemic. To put it to context, the national per capita income fell by more than 9 percent in FY21.
If we look at the absolute numbers, the per capita income in the state increased from Rs 1,43,604 in FY18 to Rs 1,64,060 in FY20, and fell to Rs 1,60,321 in FY21.
The state's per capita income was almost twice that of the country's. While an average Indian earned Rs 94,270 in FY20, an average person in Gujarat got Rs 1,64,060 during the same period.
Has The Party Been Successful in Providing Jobs?
According to the Centre for Monitoring Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate (UER) in the state was at 2.9 percent in January 2018 – the elections were held in December 2017.
CMIE is an independent think tank that produces monthly data on the country's employment rate.
The unemployment rate changed at a non-uniform level. It rose to 9.5 percent in February 2018 and dropped to 3.7 percent by December 2018.
In April 2020, at the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's unemployment rate rose to a high of 18.7 percent. The UER increased for most states during this period. However, Gujarat government managed to bring it down to 1.8 percent in July 2020.
Between April to July 2020, the national UER came down from 23.5 percent to 7.4 percent.
During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in April-May 2021, most states saw a rise in unemployment rates. However, the unemployment rate was low in Gujarat – 1.8 percent and 2.3 percent in April and May respectively.
The data for the month of September puts the unemployment rate at 1.6 percent.
India's unemployment rose to a 45-year high of 6.1 percent in 2017-18, according to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
A CMIE report from 2017 also mentions that the UER for males was 2.6 percent and 5.0 percent for females during the first quarter of that year.
However, in the May-August quarter of this year, the UER for males and females was at 2.4 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.
Crime Against Women
During its previous term, the reported cases of crime against women stood at 12,283 in 2013, which reduced to 8,133 in 2017.
The number of reported cases of rape have, however, showed an increase in the current term of the BJP. The number of cases of rape reported in 2017 were 477, which has increased to 589 in 2021.
Several states in the country saw a drop in crime against women during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. However, while other states have reported an increase in 2021, Gujarat has seen a further decline of 8.4 percent.
Illicit Liquor: Hooch Tragedy & Deaths
Gujarat is among the few states in the country that prohibits the manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the state. However, there are reports of alcohol being sold by bootleggers. Another issue the state deals with is deaths due to consumption of poisonous alcohol.
According to NCRB, the number of deaths due to the consumption of poisonous alcohol in 2012 was 143.
Although the years after 2012 saw a decline in the number of deaths due to the consumption of poisonous alcohol, in July of this year, 42 people died after drinking hooch (a type of poisonous alcohol) in various villages of Gujarat.
HEALTH FACTORS: LIFE EXPECTANCY & MORTALITY
The Life Expectancy Rate (LER), which indicates the number of years a person is expected to live, has marginally increased from 69.5 in 2012-16 to 69.9 in 2014-18, according to the RBI website.
When compared with the national average, the LER has been higher in the state. The LER for the country was 68.7 years in 2012-2016, 69 years in 2013-17, and 69.4 years in 2014-18.
According to a report published by National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21), the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), which means the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births, has come down to 31.2 from 34 in the NFHS - 4 (2015-16) survey.
During the same time period, the national average IMR has decreased from 41 to 35.2.
The mortality rate or the number of deaths saw a negligible decline from 2012-16. The mortality rate in the state in 2018 was 5.9, and the national average for the same was 6.2.
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
The state's Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) ranking, which measures the business-friendly climate and attracts investments, fell from 1st position in 2015 to 3rd in 2016. In the subsequent years, it came down to 5th position 2017 and ranked 10th in 2019, according to RBI website.
Vijay Rupani, who was the CM at that time, claimed that the FDI inflows and labour reforms were not taken into consideration in the survey and requested Union Minister Piyush Goyal for a fresh survey.
Although the World Bank discontinued its report for the EoDB rankings for countries in 2021, the last available data showed India ranked at 63rd position among 190 countries in 2019.
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