‘Policy paralysis’, ‘suit-boot-ki-sarkar’, ‘hawalabaaz’: These terminologies have helped Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi politically at the cost of Indian economy and growth, which all three claim to be promoting
The ‘policy paralysis’ jibe of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the then UPA government destroyed any chances of improvement in the business sentiment during the period 2012-14 which no doubt had already reached a low ebb due to the scams, confusion over project clearances and retrospective taxation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi exploited the situation to the full and promised ‘achhe din’, and it worked well for him — Congress party got reduced to just 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, a historic low.
But then, even with this 44-seat strength in the lower house, PM Narendra Modi himself says that the Congress party is holding the government to ransom by not allowing any reform legislation including the Land Bill and GST to get through. So, it has come full-circle.
But, the ‘bayanbaazi’ is still continuing and it can only go worse from here after PM Modi calling the Congress dispensation ‘hawalabaaz’ with Bihar assembly polls slated in October-November. This will inflict further damage to the economy — there is an impression already that the government has not done enough to tackle the drought-like situation, second year in continuation, despite the meteorological department’s early warning of a below normal monsoon.
The Congress party has said that it will not allow the GST Bill to be passed even in the Winter session of Parliament and the NDA government should forget implementing it from April 1, 2016, as proposed. Clearly, the verbal duel is not helping the common man.
Rahul Gandhi calling the NDA government a ‘suit-boot-ki-sarkar’ has ensured that it is wary of taking any decision that will give an impression of being pro-industry or pro-business. Now, the ‘hawabaaz’ jibe of Congress President Sonia Gandhi in all probability, will impact the efforts to do something new, or remodel the existing schemes to get better results like what has been done in the case of the direct benefit transfer (DBT), or look at out-of-box solutions to improve ease of doing business.
In just 15 months, the economic scenario seems to be reverting to the pre-NDA times and if the lower crude oil prices had not come in the picture, the fiscal situation also would have been under tremendous pressure.
It is high time now for PM Modi to change the narrative and that will happen only if he stops responding to the political jibes and starts focussing on making friends across the political spectrum. India is, and will remain, a multi-party democracy, and for ruling the country effectively, he needs a basic-minimum support from all corners.
There is no point in waiting for the Congress to relent. Bringing it on the discussion table is the only solution even if it means some sacrifices for pushing reforms that PM Modi has promised. He will have to do it at some point of time. Why not do it today.