Back from Ahmedabad & Gandhinagar~ Congress not seen as a strong alternative to Narendra Modi and BJP who should win the Elections with continuing strong support of the masses ~despite a recent judgement that convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment two of his and his Party allies and others for their active and criminal role in the 2002 Gujarat Riots
Modi’s admirers are impressed with his fast track, aggressive and proactive initiatives for industrialisation of Gujarat and creation of better infrastructure and quick decision making to support this ~ His detractors however denounce his role in the Gujarat Riots of 2002 and his brazen attempt to manipulate court and investigation proceedings ~ USA continues to reject a visa for Modi to enter their country ~ but US’s Google allows him to Google Talk !
Gujarat is not exactly cheap ~ Property Prices have escalated and the Pricing at Restaurants compares with Mumbai ~ However am told that Salary Packages are yet on the Lower side and there is little scope for top white collared Professionals in the State
An oft repeated reality is how the farmers around Sanand , who earned a few thousand a month,suddenly saw their land values zooming into lakhs and crores ! when Tata Motors announced in 2008 that they were relocating the Nano Mother Plant from West Bengal to Sanand ~ General Motors and Tatas (2010) have commenced their auto operations while Ford will begin their unit in 2014 and Maruti too has just announced that their seventh production unit will be in Gujarat ~ Auto Ancilliaries like Sona Steering have announced Gujarat units to service Maruti ~ These Poor Farmers have seen their Golden Time come after a cycle of probably 100 years ! says my hosts ~ These Farmers have moved Straight from a Bullock Cart to a Four Wheeler and Apartments in Ahmedabad City and a retired life with plenty of money yet left over !
Eating Out too is not exactly cheap ~ my hosts took me for dinner to ‘Bawarchi’ a popular vegetarian chain of restaurants ~ was impressed by the decor and the huge variety of different cuisines available ~ Indian,Mexican,Italian,Chinese and even Lebanese but less impressed by the prices ! comparable with some good mid range restaurants in Mumbai ~ A Full Meal for Four,that is inclusive of Drinks,Soup,Starters,Main Course and Dessert would easily reach Rs 2000, that’s Rs 500 a person ~ we moved across to Havmor Ice Cream Parlour at the corner ~ was impressed with Havmor Chain of Ice Cream Parlors ~ Single scoops began at a low Rs 30 ,Ice Cream Sticks were also available as were some awesome Sundaes and Milkshakes ~ It had outdoor seating as well as inside seating ~ The heavy rains had cleansed the City and the Wind was lovely so we sat out to enjoy the weather ~ by 10 pm the parlour was packed on a weekday !