Another Parliament session has come to an end. When Congress was ruling it was the turn of BJP to disrupt the Parliament. This time it was the Congress Party that assumed the role. BJP had caused delay in implementation of GST by about five (?) years. Now the Congress Party has delayed it by another year. What next for the country?
The BJP had come to power with tall promises. There was the promise to bring back black money. There was the promise to end corruption. Many expected the economy to perform robustly under BJP. Instead of bringing back black money we saw the country’s foreign minister being accused of protecting an individual indulging in money laundering.
The state of Madhya Pradesh ruled by the BJP for many years witnessed what can be considered to be one of the greatest of all scams anywhere in the world. Here it was not just a case of financial impropriety but a series of murders linked to people who are associated with the scam. Many innocent young people are in prison.
The Indian economy has not witnessed anything like a strong performance during the period of BJP rule. Supporters of BJP who were expecting bold initiatives of economic reform from their government have nothing to cheer about. Instead of big bang reforms what we are witnessing is creeping reforms at a slow pace.
All this is happening under the supervision of a Prime Minister who has all but lost the courage to speak in public about issues that plague the country. This is none other than the Prime Minister whom his supporters endeavored to compare with the likes of Margaret Thatcher. Today there is very little steam left in the Prime Minister and he has no reply to accusations against his party about Vyapam scam, Lalit Gate and so on.
The Congress Party wants the BJP’s External Affairs Minister and Chief Ministers of two leading BJP ruled states to resign. The Prime Minister has no reply when it comes to the accusations against these ministers. This is indeed a deeply sorry state of affairs for a party that aroused great expectations. In a period of less than two years all the euphoria has evaporated.
There are serious accusations against the government that its actions are eroding the status of reputed institutions in the country. The appointment of the Director to the Film and Television Institute of India is a case in point. There has been accusations against the government that it is effectively eroding the autonomy of prestigious institutions like the IITs and IIMs.
It is the accusation of the Congress Party that most of the so called bold initiatives taken by the government are actually rehashed schemes introduced by the UPA government. According to the former ruling party initiatives like the Swatch Bharat Scheme, the Direct Cash Transfer Scheme and the Jan Dhan Yojana fall under this category.
On the economic front the government was lucky to reap the benefits of several happenings like the fall in international crude oil prices. This one factor has contributed to a decline in overall prices, reduction in the government’s subsidy bill and improvement in the health of central government finances. Whatever little improvement one can see on the economic front can be attributed to be the outcome of fall in world crude oil prices. But the government has not been able to build upon these wind fall gains and utilize it for strengthening the pace of economic reforms and accelerating economic growth.
Another Independence Day is coming and going. We have a new political party ruling the country. We have a new Prime Minister in place. But there is no new dynamism and no new vigor visible. The promise made about a better style of governance has not materialized. The River Ganga continues to flow but the water of this sacred river continues to be as dirty and polluted as ever before.