I got a call from an anonymous number a few weeks back. It said he was the secretary of Narendra Modi, CM of Gujarat. Mr Modi knew about the problems I was facing in Maharashtra and offered to help set up a factory in Gujarat. I was to think over it and he’d call me back after 3 days.
I was confused. I thought someone was playing a prank on me. I didn’t think over the matter. On Friday I got a call again. He told me if I wanted to work in Gujarat, Mr Modi would give me 15 minutes at 3:15 PM on Tuesday if I was up for it. I should not be late. I was to arrive at the CM’s office.
I was confused but that seemed to be the single ray of hope. I prepared my papers and flew to Gandhinagar and went straight to the CM’s office. I reached at 2:30 PM and had to wait for 45 mins. I was called exactly at the deputed time and in front of me was Narendra Modi, dressed in white looking in a no-nonsense mode. He introduced me to the other people in the chamber. There were 5 of them, all IAS officers from whom I needed permits to go ahead with my work.
Modi told them to assess my plans. He said there was no compulsion, if they found me not suitable then I should not be permitted to work in Gujarat. But the paperwork should end today. Three of them gave me the documents without any trouble, two had questions to ask, but eventually gave me the permits.
The whole procedure took 15 mins. I’d been struggling for the same thing in Maharashtra for over 6 months. At the end the secretary, who’d called me initially told me, Mr Modi treats his state like a company of which he’s the CEO. He’s just looking for the best business deals for his company. And if you’re not up to his standards, you’ll be sacked.
With these words in my head I came out of the CM’s office. I’m relocating there day after tomorrow.
1. This experience was narrated by a local businessman from Maharashtra who wanted to set up a crystal-glass making factory in Wadala, Mumbai but it was just too complicated for him. He had the money, but he didn’t have the connections. He’d brought the land, but wasn’t able to claim it. The local goons harassed him and he found no labor. In all, his investment was turning to be the biggest mistake in his life and the wind-up was inevitable.
2. The Identity of Businessman and timings of this event has been kept confidential for security reasons.