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course, attendance at the rallies need not always translate into votes. But the overwhelming victories in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh testify to a substantial Modi contribution even after we take into account the anti-Congress sentiment in Rajasthan and the good work of Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh.
For the Congress, whatever it has done—be it the MGNREGA or the Food Security Act or the Land Acquisition Act to catch voters’ attention—has not helped. Isn’t it?
Yes, that seems to be the message. Rajasthan had been seen as one of the most successful states in the implementation of the MGNREGA. So, if there was a favourable effect of it, we should have seen it in that state. The implementation of the Food Security Act also began early in Rajasthan, when it still had the status of an Ordinance. Again, it did not translate into seats for the Congress.
Coming back to the Centre, how do you see the GDP growth from here as this would be one of the important benchmarks to judge this government and also the next government thereafter?
I really didn’t expect the growth to decline as far down as 4.4% as it did in the first quarter of FY14. The second quarter has been slightly better with 4.8% growth. I think we should see continued upward movement going forward. The fundamentals of the economy are sound with the investment holding up at 30% of the GDP. The depreciation of the rupee should also help exports. So, for the entire year, the growth might come close to 5%.
And from there, the prospects look good…
From there, it would be the function of what the next government does. My sense is that if the new government comes and assures the bureaucracy in no uncertain terms that the government is going to take responsibility for all the decisions and not pass the buck to it and also puts in place an environment minister who works in the national interest, we could rapidly return to 7-8% growth. I surely don’t rule out the possibility of returning to 7% in FY15.
What do you expect from Modi