Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is a dictator, lying is his style and his development propaganda is completely fake. These are some of the claims made by Professor Hemant Shah, head of the department of economics at H K Arts College, Ahmedabad.
Shah, an author of several acclaimed books, specialises in political economics.
In an interview with rediff.com's Sonil Dedhia, Shah explains why the forthcoming state election may spring some nasty surprises for Modi and the BJP.
What is the significance of the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections? How is it different?
Narendra Modi has ruled Gujarat for 11 years. If he loses this election, then it proves that people are not convinced about Modi's style of leadership. If he wins, then it proves that the people of Gujarat are with him. Also, his claim to become the prime minister of India will get stronger.
The other important point is the Lok Sabha election in 2014. It is essential for the Congress to win the Gujarat elections to put a brake to Narendra Modi's run as a likely prime ministerial candidate. If the BJP loses, which means if Modi loses, it will be easier for the Congress to win the 2014 elections.
There are possibilities of a Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi race for the prime minister's position in 2014.
The election will also reveal whether Modi's so-called development model is accepted by the people. Modi has spoken about an increase in agricultural production. This increase is mainly concentrated in cash crops; not every farmer can afford to grow cash crops.
Modi's government also claims to have brought about an industrial revolution. This revolution has been achieved by snatching away the lands of farmers for free. Do the people support this model? If the BJP wins, this model will turn into a success story of development.