TALKING POINTS ON ONE YEAR OF MODI GOVERNMENT

Given the state of political affairs and style of politics in the country, it is to continue. The Modi government will says it has done everything right and is well on the day to make an India it promised and its opponents will deny every such claim – on every pointer – in every sector – on each promise. After all, we don’t talk of and expect ethics and substance in politics anymore.

Narendra Modi then and now, when he took over on May 26, 2014 and what the indices say now, when Modi is completing his maiden year in the office. The usual flavour of the season will be made of the following elements:

— Major schemes of the Modi government – well, by any count, they are around 20, and could be even more – the most important part of the pro-people and anti-people debate

— Land acquisition in the first year – an important aspect of the pro-farmer and anti-farmer debate – high on agenda after the land bill ordinance by the government

— WPI and CPI trends – the monthly trends and the yearly performance – in May 2014 and now – will include debates on inflation, price rise and the state of economy

— Riots in one year – yearly data of riots – accordingly, religious controversies during Modi’s first year in prime-ministerial office

— Avoidable statements in one year – many by the BJP and the NDA leaders in last one year – surely a point where the government needs to work – the critics are expected to exploit the mileage

— Black money measures – it was a big election promise and campaigning point for Narendra Modi and though the government has not been able to bring the stash back home so far, it does have cleared a law to regulate the menace

— Cabinet size trend – maximum governance minimum government – size of Manmohan’s cabinet – Modi’s promise – and his cabinet now

— Foreign policy – with a prime minister circling the world with 18 foreign tours in his first year – a way to look ahead based on the record so far – India’s image does have improved – and so are the attacks of Modi’s political opponents

— How he dealt with Pakistan – he first invited SAARC leaders including Nawaj Sharif for his inauguration – then he cancelled India-Pakistan talks – it’s an year of no ups and more downs in India-Pakistan ties

— GDP in 2013-14 and GDP in 2014-15 – with contribution of each sector

— Sensex and Nifty then and now – the wealth created – the confidence in Indian economy

— IIP trends – IIP of May 2014 Vs IIP now – recovery Vs status quo Vs fall

— Rupee then and now – maintaining a downward trend these days – though is not attracting the intense debate

— FDI-FII in the first year – what were the figures when Modi took over there level now

— Foreign Reserve then and now – how much has it grown in an year since May 2014

— Reforms in one year – reforms stuck in the last one year – Indian economy and therefore Indian society cannot advance unless its policymaking is reformed – an important facet is about the bills passed and stuck in the Parliament

— Disinvestment then and now – part of the reform process – but not much on the front in spite of claims

— What Varanasi got in Modi’s maiden year – it is not just people in Modi’s parliamentary constituency but even analysts and political opponents are keenly watching the concerned developments

So, in Modi’s first year in the PMO, that he is completing tomorrow, as expected, there is much to talk about. And all of it has begun. And we are expected to hear more of them in coming days.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AFTER ALL, FIRST NON-CONGRESS GOVERNMENT WITH MAJORITY IS COMPLETING ITS FIRST YEAR..

Tomorrow, the Narendra Modi government, the first non-Congress government with majority, is completing one year in office.

Given the momentous nature of the event, the Modi government, the Bhartiya Janata Party and other parties of the National Democratic Alliance are celebrating the feet with élan.

Narendra Modi is addressing rallies. Arun Jaitley is issuing statements. MPs are visiting and are to visit constituencies and cities to spread the word about achievements of the government. Rallies, exhibitions and pressers are being organized and several events are to be held. The official version of rallies are to be from May 26 to 31.

And as expected, the political opposition is going all out to oppose the government, showing it in a negative light of failures, empty promises and plain rhetoric.

Given the state of political affairs and style of politics in the country, it is to continue.

The Modi government will says it has done everything right and is well on the day to make an India it has promised and its opponents will deny every such claim.

After all, we don’t talk of and expect ethics and substance in the politics of the day anymore.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

RAHUL SPEAKS – #RAHULROAR VS #PAPPUMEOWS

I took three snapshots of Twitter today, for its India trends – at around 6 PM – at 7 PM – and at around 9 PM.

In the first two, though the hashtag #RahulRoar was number one, it was followed by #PappuMeows on number two.

But in the third, at 9 PM, while #RahulRoar was still at number one, I could not locate #PappuMeows. It was out from the trending list of Twitter for its India-wide trends.

While #RahulRoar is launched by Rahul Gandhi’s fans, #PappuMeows is launched by Rahul’s detractors.

Rahul Gandhi-6PM

Rahul Gandhi-7PM

Rahul Gandhi-9.30PM

While Rahul didn’t speak anything new in the highly publicised farmers’ rally yesterday, he looked and sounded more confident today, taking on Narendra Modi and his government – over the issues ranging from farmers’ suicides pushed up by unseasonal rains to the land acquisition act.

And his fans are buoyed by him today it looks – at least his fans who use Twitter.

But there are many beyond Twitter. And that includes his mother Sonia Gandhi and the political rivals of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance government. While Rahul was delivering his speech the Lok Sabha the Budget Session of which resumed today, the faces of MPs surrounding him were worth watching. They were all elated as if Rahul’s sabbatical had extended its benefits to them as well.

It is 9:30 PM now, the time for the last Twitter snapshot of the day and #RahulRoar is still trending at the top of India trends, followed by the known IPL trend of #DDvsKKR at number two.

Rahul Gandhi-9.30PM

Will it change anything on the ground?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

RAHUL SPEAKS – FROM THE OPPOSITION BENCHES IN LOK SABHA

So far, Rahul Gandhi had made only two speeches in the Parliament worth remembering. And going on his political career so far, he had failed to live up to.

He failed to speak in the Parliament, and among the public. He failed to own up when Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption agitation was at its peak. He failed to speak on time when the agitation against Delhi gang-rape of December 16, 2012 was on peak. He failed to own up Congress’ low while Congress’ decline touched a historic low.

Yesterday, he spoke, after a series of debacles and humiliating losses, but he could not offer anything new, even if he had taken some two months to think over the rout (as claimed). The projected mega rally of farmers at the Ramlila Ground turned out to be a routine affair.

And today, he spoke in the Lok Sabha. In all probability, it was his third speech in the lower House.

Budget Session of the Lok Sabha reconvened today again after a hiatus of 30 days and it was headed for a stormy session given the controversial statements of leaders and ministers (like we saw in case of Giriraj Singh today) and issues like ‘land acquisition ordinance’ and communal harmony among others.

Rahul Gandhi was better today. He looked confident and sounded more confident when he spoke. Though the Robert Vadra tag will not leave him anywhere, until he finds a honest remedy to it.

The farmer that is getting angrier or is in two minds and the common man – on Narendra Modi’s land acquisition ordinance and the anti-poor policies – will certainly react negatively when it will come to the issue of Robert Vadra’s status.

Yes, Robert Vadra as such is no issue. But his VVIP status, his riches and allegations of corruption are something that would make the common man an angry soul. This is something Rahul Gandhi needs to work on. And if his task is made difficult by the humiliating electoral losses of Congress, he has also a window of opportunity in portraying the government pro-rich, anti-farmer and anti-common man. But for that, he needs to do the cleansing of his house first.

Also, there were words about Sonia Gandhi fixing the time for Rahul’s speech. Reportedly, she had spoken with some opposition parties for Rahul’s speech and had issued a whip for Congress MPs. But only 28 of the 44 Congress MPs were present in the House when Rahul was speaking (from the opposition benches, for the first time).

For the moment, we are going to take everyone’s observation with a fistful of salt. It is difficult to believe on the verity of different data-sets.

Rahul came with his own. Government came with its own. States have differing versions. In centre were two issues – farmers’ suicide pushed by unseasonal rains and land acquisition.

The fact midst all this is – farmers are dying, pushed to the extremities by the rain gods and the policymakers at the centre and in the states.

And land is a sensitive issue for this country of some 1.25 billion, the world’s largest democracy. Most of its farmers are small land occupants and marginal labourers and the condition has worsened over the years.

The verity about data-sets will come only with time and proper implementation, something that we have missed so far, irrespective of the ‘policy in question’.

And the whole political lot is to share the blame for it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

TO HOLD ITS GROUND, NDA GOVT NEEDS THE LAND BILL ORDINANCE THROUGH

The hon. President has convened the Joint Sitting of both the Houses of Parliament under Article 108 of the Constitution in connection with discussing the configuration and implications of the Prevention of Terrorism Law and whether it should be passed or not? An anti-terrorism law already existed in America, yet they have brought a new law. The whole nation of United States was unanimous about it and when that law was brought before the Senate, only one vote was cast against it. After the attack on World Trade Centre which took a toll of about 3000 people, the President of America lost no time in declaring, `A war has been launched on the United States of America’. On the other hand, in our country this law was defeated in the Rajya Sabha and, paradoxically, the spokespersons of the parties went to extent of saying that they wanted to show to the world that this country was divided over this issue.

Arun Jaitley, the Minister of Law, Justice & Company Affairs, March 2002 (during a joint sitting of the Parliament to pass the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 – POTA – to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance – POTO)

We need to get ready to listen to something like this when the National Democratic Alliance government led by Narendra Modi goes ahead with the Land Bill ordinance to get it passed in the joint sitting of the Parliament.

Narendra Modi has no other option.

He has promised the sky and he needs to deliver if he has to leave his legacy behind. And to leave a legacy worth talking about, he needs to come back in power in 2019.

He needs time.

One year is almost gone and the policy apparatus is still not in place, a must before Modi embarks on the journey to realize his dreams, to deliver on his promises.

And if a five year term, i.e., the single term, is going to be the window available, Modi has started running out of time.

He has promised jobs. He has promised increased income. He promised better amenities to live with. He has promised smarter living with smart cities. He has promised faster living with increased connectivity and reduced run time.

To say in one sentence – he has promised good times for a good life.

And the government cannot do so on its own. It needs collaborators, primarily from the industry, from within, and from abroad.

It needs capital and ways to invest that capital – in industries, in infrastructure – generating revenue, creating employment.

And land is an imperative in achieving this.

Delay in land acquisition has stalled projects worth over Rs. 3.5 Lakh Crore. There are reports that take this cost to Rs. 20 Lakh Crore. A CMIE report puts the worth of the stalled projects to some 14 Trillion US$. The industrial corridors of Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Chennai and over 60 national highways are stalled due to delay in acquiring land.

Land is needed to create industrial corridors, new residential hubs and the associated infrastructure. Land is needed to connect India better to move faster.

Land is the key to unlock what Modi is aspiring for. And it is the key reason behind the Land Bill ordinance that diluted the provisions of the previous Bill passed by the Manmohan Singh led United Progressive Alliance government. Broadly, more categories have been exempted where owners’ consent is not necessary. Also, the provisions related to Social Impact Analysis have been diluted as well.

With mounting opposition and criticism, not just from the political opposition, but from his own allies, as well as civil society movements like the one launched by Anna Hazare, the ‘consensus’ that was always elusive, has gone beyond reach, with the present form of the Bill.

And to have his way ahead, Modi needs the Bill cleared in this form.

So, expect justifications, all of which are not invalid with some having mandatory relevance for spurring growth in India, during the joint session that is to be called to get the Land Bill ordinance cleared.

Would it be Arun Jaitley this time to initiate the debate of the joint sitting, the Minister of Finance and Information & Broadcasting now, one of the most eloquent NDA ministers? Last time, in 2002, it was the then Home Minister L K Advani.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/