Former Gujarat CM Suresh Mehta launches platform to raise awareness on politics of inflation and hate

The initiative aims to empower voters in address pressing issues while also aiming to train future leaders in civic and constitutional matters.
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In an attempt to shed light on the rising concerns of inflation, unemployment, and hate-driven politics, former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Suresh Mehta, has introduced a new platform named “Jan Abhiyan – Badle Gujarat.” The initiative seeks to arm the electorate with awareness and understanding of the current socio-political landscape in the state. Mehta, who spearheaded the BJP government in the late 1990s only to resign from the BJP in 2007 when PM Modi was CM of Gujarat, unveiled the venture during a press conference held in Ahmedabad on 16th of August, 2023.

Ruminating on the motive for the initiative, according to Counterview, Mehta stated that it stems from “a deep conviction that the people of the state deserve to be informed about the prevailing state of affairs.” He also stressed on the importance of a healthy democracy, arguing that voters should exercise their rights freely without monetary influences. 

Mehta also alleged that the Gujarat government is “openly violating basic constitutional norms and refusing to be transparent on certain mysterious financial transactions.” He mentioned how the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report observes how huge funds from the state exchequer are being used with the state government refusing to detail where they are being used.

However, according to Mehta, the heart of the platform lies a desire to tackle pressing issues faced by the people of Gujarat. Mehta, now in his late 80s, also expressed deep concern over the malnutrition crisis plaguing the state’s children. Expressing concerns about malnutrition and access to education, the former chief minister noted that a significant number of children born in Gujarat are grappling with malnourishment, which later hampers their access to quality education. The education landscape, according to Mehta, is undergoing privatisation, creating barriers for students. This, in turn, leads to challenges in securing employment opportunities after college, driving many to seek opportunities abroad.

Joining Mehta at the press conference, Mallika Sarabhai discussed the importance lying behind the initiative’s intention to bolster voters and provide an alternative narrative. She questioned the apparent contradiction between Gujarat’s claim of an alleged robust economy and the exodus of people for seeking opportunities abroad. Sarabhai also stressed on the importance of awakening the public conscience and fostering informed decision-making.

The platform formation was touted by Suresh Mehta as a result of collaboration among like-minded individuals who share the common goal of raising awareness among voters in Gujarat and in this vein, to further their goals, the group further plans to establish the Balwantrai Mehta Research and Training Institute, which would take to the task of equipping future political leaders with knowledge of civic and constitutional matters.


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