Mr Modi did not remain true to his word : P Chidambaram

Mr Modi did not remain true to his word : P Chidambaram
BENGALURU: Mr Narendra Modi has come a long way since 2013-14. Candidate Modi was all about Vikas (development) The bulk of the 31 percent of the electorate that

voted for the BJP in May 2014 was swayed by the slogan, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (Together with All, Development for All). There was another catchy slogan: Achhe Din Aane Wale Hain (Good Days Are

Coming). Then there were the promises: Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every citizen; 2 crore jobs a year; doubling the income of the farmer; minimum

government, maximum governance; the rupee trading at Rs 40 to a dollar; a fitting (and final) reply to Pakistan; and many others.

Prime Minister Modi kept up the rhetoric In his first Independence Day address on 15 August 2014, he proposed a moratorium of 10 years on all divisive issues. His exact

words were: 'We had had enough of fights, many had been killed. Friends, look back and you will find that nobody has benefited from it Except casting a slur on Mother India, we have done nothing

Therefore, I appeal to all those people that whether it is the poison of casteism, communalism, regionalism, discrimination on social and economic basis, all these are obstacles in our way forward. Let's resolve for once in our hearts, let's put a

moratorium on all such activities for 10 years, we'll be going to a society ahead of March, which is all such tensions from free. '

Great Start, Sharp Slide

That was a great start Many people Alas, he did not remain true to his word He did not put down a iron hand the depredations of gauric vigilantes. He did not stop the activities of anti-Romeo squads, house wapsi groups or Khap panchayats. The Prime Minister did not go on air and publicly condemn such impunity The result was growing mob violence, lynchings and so-called honour killings Average, decent people Although the Prime Minister refused to hold press conferences, and the BJP did successfully tamed the vast sections of the media, got editors and anchors sacked and ushered in the era of 'handout journalism', the questions were raised in media and critical editorials and op- eds continue to appear Moreover, nothing could stop the intrepid social media from holding the government.

Markets Are Merciless

The Prime Minister also underestimated the power of the market. It is the market that first called out the Prime Minister and his government. Markets do not like crude disruptions such as demonetization. Apart from the enormous pain and suffering that it imposed on millions of people and businesses, demonetisation caused grave uncertainty, and markets dislike uncertainty and unpredictability in government's policy actions

When demonetisation was followed by a poorly designed and inefficiently implemented GST, the markets punished the policy makers for their incompetence. What followed was inevitable: flight of capital, slowdown in investment, non-performing assets (NPAs), deceleration in credit growth, stagnation of exports, farm sector distress, and exploding unemployment

During this period, the BJP suffered a serious setback in Bihar. Though it scored a thumping victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it lost in Punjab, Goa and Manipur. The BJP got its worst drubbing in a string of by-elections, including the ruling party.

In my view, after being check-mated in Karnataka, Mr Modi has decided to shed the Prime Minister of Everybody. He did not even become once again, Candidate Modi, because the promises made by the BJP had become objects of ridicule and that option was ruled out. Mr Modi seems to have decided to go back in the time and don the mantle of Hindu Hridaya Samrat (Emperor of Hindu Hearts), which was his USP in Gujarat.

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