Millennium Post

This chief minister speaks less and works more

During a school picnic in 1987, two girl students from her school accidentally tripped over and fell into the river Narmada. In the midst of such an emergency, she jumped into the raging river and single handedly saved the drowning girls. For her brave act, she was felicitated and awarded the President’s Bravery Award.

Impressed by this heroic act, BJP’s top cadre suggested Anandiben Patel to join the party. Initially, she declined the offer but later on while volunteering for the drought relief programme she realised that politics can serve as a means to service people and joined the BJP as became Gujarat Pradesh Mahila Morcha President in 1987. Since then, she has never looked back.

She was elected as a Rajya Sabha member in 1994 and fought elections under the leadership of Narendra Modi in 2002 and 2007 from Patan constituency. In the last assembly elections she fought from Ghatlodiya constituency of Ahmedabad.

Her first notable work was during the spread of bird flu in Viramgam district affecting children where she spent weeks helping local citizens and enforcing the government officials to take strong action. In 1992, she jointed as the only woman leader from Gujarat in Ekta Yatra (journey for unity) led by the BJP with veteran Murli Manohar Joshi.

Taking oath as the 15th chief minister of Gujarat on 22 May 2014, she has fixed up a 100 days agenda for a ‘Progressive Gujarat’ to focus on 11 major people-oriented issues which include women empowerment, nutritious Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi cleanliness campaign, recruitment calendar and so on. Recently, on the eve of Raksha Bandhan she appealed to the people living in rural areas to ensure proper sanitation for their sisters, daughters and daughters-in-laws. She said, ‘as a brother, I expect you to put your might behind restoring respect and safety to the women of the homes. I demand and request you to build a toilet in your village.’

In her 100 day tenure, Patel has never made any promises or shown big dreams to the people of Gujarat, but has worked silently to effectively implement people-oriented schemes in a timely and successful fashion. The BJP has majority in assembly and also won all 26 seats in the last Lok Sabha election. With a strong backing of the prime minister and no rivalry within the party or outside, she has the opportunity to do good work for Gujarat.

Her first big challenge is to organise the ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015’. Under her direct supervision, only time will tell how well she will perform. The pressure will be high as it is believed that seven prime ministers from different countries will be attending this mega event and Modi will inaugurate it. Let’s see how many MoUs and of what amount will be signed this year.

Her multi-talented personality and dynamic nature are her assets. In a male dominated society, she wants the woman of her state to be empowered. Kudos to her efforts.
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