Post Bihar election results, forget GST, expect a Winter Session washout

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New Delhi | Updated: November 10, 2015 11:26:09 AM

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has made it amply clear that his priority will be Delhi after Mahagathbandhan’s resounding victory in the Bihar assembly election.

bihar election resultsBihar election results: Clearly, the chances of getting GST Bill, or any other reform Bill, passed in the upcoming winter session is remote now — and the situation is unlikely to change in the near future unless PM Narendra Modi understands and rectifies his initial mistake. (PTI)

bihar election results The move to turn Bihar Assembly elections into a ‘Delhi’ versus ‘Bihar’ of Nitish Kumar fight has boomeranged on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government will have to now face a united opposition led by Rahul Gandhi and Lalu Prasad Yadav, which will try to scuttle every reform legislation that the government will try to get passed in Parliament.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has made it amply clear that his priority will be Delhi after Mahagathbandhan’s resounding victory in the Bihar assembly election.

So, while Nitish Kumar will tackle Bihar, he will focus on dislodging the NDA government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

What does it mean for the reform measures like the goods and services tax (GST), labour law changes, and land acquisition law amendments, and also the functioning of the PM Modi government?

In simple terms, the move to turn Bihar Assembly elections into a ‘Delhi’ versus ‘Bihar’ of Nitish Kumar fight has boomeranged on the Bharatiya Janata Party. The NDA will have to now face a united opposition led by Rahul Gandhi and Lalu Prasad Yadav, which will try to scuttle every reform legislation that the government will try to get passed in Parliament.

Clearly, chances of getting GST Bill, or any other reform Bill, passed in the upcoming winter session is remote now — and the situation is unlikely to change in the near future unless PM Modi understands and rectifies his initial mistake of not bringing in parties like TMC, SP, BJD and AIADMK to his fold to marginalise Congress party in the Rajya Sabha, where NDA lacks a majority.

With development, politics is also about forging correct alliances. If the NDA experience of 2004 Lok Sabha election defeat has gone out of mind completely, it is time to draw lessons from the Bihar results.

The good part is, and this is where PM Modi needs to focus increasingly now, that most of the critical reforms like those in labour laws and land acquisition can now be guided by the states as they fall in either the concurrent or the state category also.

There is no point wasting time in Parliament to get the reform Bills in the areas where states can lead, cleared — the states wanting to improve their ease of doing business will move ahead and bring these changes in their respective laws with the help of the Centre — and Tamil Nadu example of the land law reform is a good template for this.

While this will take care of the reform gaps, PM Modi must also concentrate more on administrative measures and effective implementation of the grand schemes that he has announced.

Make-in-India, Digital India, Jan Dhan Yojana, a simple and transparent tax structure, Smart Cities, and others are not dependent in any manner on what happens in Parliament.

The prime minster’s primary job is to handle the central government effectively to fulfil the promises of growth at the national level in the remaining period that he has got in the current term, and not winning the state assembly elections on his own.

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