Sridhar Subramaniam believes the results of the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 are a foregone conclusion
The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are poised for an exciting finish. Taking the cue from which way the wind is blowing, the result is a foregone conclusion. BJP will win by a landslide and Narendra Modi will come back to power, riding the crest of the wave.
The Opposition is in disarray and can sense their defeat. The Mahagatbandhan is a coalition of disparate groups, which are desperate to unseat Modi. They do not have anything worthwhile to offer be it for the economy or defence of the nation. The opposition parties are not enjoying it out there sitting in the opposition, while Modi is efficiently and effectively check mating them on all the fronts. That, they are only hankering for power is as clear as daylight. We can deduce it from all their actions and shenanigans.
The regional parties are confined to specific states and its sphere of influence is thereby restricted. The only so called national party is the Congress but it is in shambles. Hence, the opposition is no match for the BJP and Modi juggernaut.
Congress is “one family” centric and its raison d’etre is the perpetuation of the Nehru dynasty. People are vexed with dynasties. India is conceived as a Republic where everyone gets to play on a level playing field. There is no concept of some people being more equal than others. We are not a monarchy, where succession happens by birth and the royalty invokes the divine right to rule. Dynasties make a mockery of democracy—a rule by the people, for the people and of the people.
Congress has been in power for almost 70 years. Most of these 70 years, barring a few exceptions, only one family has been at the helm of affairs. The family net worth has grown rapidly but they kept saying “garibi hatao” from generation to generation, till this day and sizeable sections of the populace are yet to get out of the morass of poverty. It is glaringly obvious that their policies have not worked. There are a few things that are positive that the Congress has bequeathed like the IITs for instance. But Congress hit its nadir during the decade of UPA 1 & 2. Not a day passed without a scam tumbling out of the closet. There was cynicism all around. A mood of doom and gloom pervaded. Congress came to symbolise the loot and scoot raj. Loot because of the scams. Scoot because some of the big businessmen like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya managed to get big loans without collaterals from public sector banks because of their proximity to the “powers that be” in the Congress dispensation. When the noose tightened they scooted leaving the banks with non- performing assets.
This paved the way for a historic mandate for the BJP and Modi got anointed as the PM. He was three-term CM of Gujarat, had rich administrative experience and an organisational man who rose through the ranks, a brilliant orator and a visionary. He had an unsullied record and was perceived as a man of integrity. He became a man of the moment and also of the movement! He promised to rid the body politic of the scourge of corruption. His promise was like a breath of fresh air and India gave him a massive mandate. His Gujarat Model was the template for growth (vikas).
Has his term been successful? I would say yes. Modi has tried earnestly to make the maximum impact. GST has been implemented to rationalise the tax structure and will facilitate free movement of goods and services across the country. Implementation could have been smoother but governments also learn from their experience. Demonetisation has been a bit painful but successful. It has been a surgical strike on black money. It dealt a body blow to people who hoarded ill-gotten wealth and it curbed some anti-national activities as well.
Modi is a decisive leader. He can precipitate action. The recent terrorist attack in Pulwama and the Indian Air Force air strike, in its aftermath, on terrorist strongholds deep inside enemy territory is an instance in point. People feel very secure under Modi’s leadership and his stock has risen, post Pulwama. His deft handling of the Wing Commander Abhinandan episode has shown his clout with the International community. His work ethic is admirable. He is tirelessly working to uplift his countrymen. He is a transformative leader and a statesman par excellence. He is also a shrewd politician who can win elections. His speeches are mesmerising and his social media skills are extraordinary. He connects with the masses. No other leader of India has been able to achieve this feat. He has cold-shouldered the biased media and has directly communicated with the people through the social media, especially twitter and through his popular radio broadcast Mann ki Baat.
In these five years, he has made a huge impact with his Swacch Bharat and Beti Padao, Beti Bachao campaigns. His Jan Dhan yojana is a master stroke. His Ayushman Bharat scheme is path breaking. His “Make in India” campaign is a game changer.
Namami Gange and the Kumbh Mela organising have become the talking points, of one and all.
Opposition is talking about rising unemployment and farmer distress. I am sure the crafty Modi will fix it in the second term.
His Cabinet is studded with performers like Nitin Gadkari who has done an outstanding job with roads and infrastructure, Piyush Goyal with Railways and others who have done great work in their respective fields.
When the country can give the Congress 70 years, I am sure they can give Narendra Modi a second term and bless themselves. It is rare for a leader, to have so many positive attributes and with so much zest and energy. He goes about nation building with gusto, we have never seen in erstwhile Prime Ministers. He is in the mould of a Raja Janaka when it comes to statecraft and also a latter day Lee Kuan Yew, when it concerns nation building.
Modi 2.0 is going to be even better. We can expect him to build on the good work done in the first term.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.