By Deepak Venkateswaran:
With the battle for the LS 2014 already half the way, itÂ seems to be getting more interesting with each passing day. As we observe the updates from the 7th phase of polling happening in 89 constituencies, here is why I feel that Narendrabhai Modi is the best candidate who deserves a term at the south block. Observing on a macro-level, I have seen that our electorate has been broadly divided into three categories while each has its own micro-concerns that have been covered.
Those in favour of BJP/ Modi
This is the first section of our electorate, the ones who have already voted Modi for PM in their minds, having seen Gujarat make tremendous progress under his rule for the last 12 years with policies being implemented at optimum speed.
Modi is one of the few leaders who works with his bureaucracy to its optimum potential giving them a free hand so that they can work with efficiency. In fact, even though he has put four of his cabinet ministers as in-charges in Gujarat, for the time being, it is his core team of four IAS officers who do the real work, which explains why the implementation part is better in Gujarat. Sharing his vision with the bureaucrats is one of the most innovative thinking that Modi has utilized to the maximum.
Supporters have seen how Modi has been targeted by his opponents in the name of the unfortunate incident that occurred in 2002 ( in spite of the Supreme Court giving him a clean chit), and they have again seen how the man braved every allegation and kept fighting this battle to ultimately come out victorious. All through the journey, the people of Gujarat have stood by him. The grilling and test reflects in Modi’s personality, making him stronger than ever.
The recent interview with Rajat Sharma in Aap Ki Adalat or with ANI is proof enough where Modi clarified his stand on the different allegations on him, as well as his silence on 2002 (and why he let the legal system decide).
India has seen the best of governance under BJP and Vajpayee from 1998-2004, with a steady GDP growth rate of 8.4% in just 6 years with a number of landmark projects being setup and completed in record time, including the golden quadrilateral highway. Also, in the present day, BJP ruled states are faring better than most of the congress ruled states in terms of progress from their condition in earlier years. Here are a few references which show that NDA was better and left the office with the economy being in a better shape, which the UPA ruined badly:
BJP led NDA vs Congress led UPA: A reality check
How UPA turned NDA’s economic growth into shambles
Congress versus BJP: Who has fared better in the last five years
A small reference in the case of MP that can be used as an additional reading material
While coming to the current scenario, the BJP is the only party with a manifesto that has spoken or made a clear stance on how it plans to take forward it’s vision for Science and Technology in India, as reported by The Hindu on 30th April 2014. Adding to that, BJP is the only party which has advocated the cause of a uniform civil code, which is very necessary for the country to progress on the path of development.
Finally, I would like to add that it is for the people to note that none of the top BJP leaders have made it to their position because of their DNA and have worked their way up there, from Rajnath Singh to Modi ; from Advani to Jaitley; or from Dr. Harshvardhan to Raman Singh. It is a party where even a physics professor can become the party president or a chaiwallah the PM bid. Thus, any given day, these leaders would do a better job in interacting with the common people and in implementing projects in a better way for they know how long it took them to get there.
The ‘politically unaligned‘ type
The second set of our population, which constitutes a major chunk of it, is the one which is politically not inclined to any party but rather wants a strong, accountable, corruption-free and credible government at the centre that implements economic policies and can bring in a sustainable legal structure for the common man in the country. This is the set of population which would be happy by a good budget, controlled inflation and a life that promises security from terrorism and insurgency. These people want better roads in their cities and good public transport that helps them commute to work faster, better educational facilities and infrastructure for a decent living. The urban and middle class income population falls into this category.
For these voters, here is a report that draws a clear comparison between UPA (10 years in office) and NDA ( 6 years in office).
While numerous other evidences about how the BJP and Modi are eligible enough to form a government that can fulfil the aspirations of the country are given above, as a citizen, all I have to appeal to these voters is that it is time for a change from the 10 years of policy paralysis and stagnant economy. Owing to its stable track record from 1998-2004 and excellent top class leadership, the BJP led NDA seems fit enough to do the job.
Those opposed to Modi ( more than BJP)
The third subset are the extreme Modi haters who would do anything to oppose Modi and keep hurling baseless allegations on him with their assumptions of the country being destroyed and minorities being side-lined if Modi becomes the PM. These are pure assumptions that originate into the minds of the people who cannot look ahead and rather find their pleasure in lamenting over 2002 while the SC has made it clear that Modi has not done anything to provoke the riots.
Here are a few solid shreds of evidence that our respected baseless Modi detractors who doubt Modi’s secular credentials may take a look at:
They fail to respect the decision given by the Supreme Court on the 2002 case and also the fact that as a citizen they are bound to respect the legal system of the country on moral grounds (however, they may express their disagreement in a formal manner and not without any formidable base). They are the ones who still buy the pseudo-secular claims of the congress ( and it’s B team i.e. AAP) and feel that the minorities need to be given more freebies and numerous other doles as that is the symbol of being a truly secular democracy.
As the BJP and Modi have made it clear that their agenda is ‘ Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’ ( development for all ), it’s detractors have no grounds to allege that it is a party that represents the interests of only one community. It is rather a party which does not consider religion as a parameter at all in the process of development and views everyone with the same view.
AAP is another formidable opponent whose voice Arvind Kejriwal has been targeting Modi over his Gujarat Model of Development and he has eaten into formidable support base of the Modi opponents too in his bastion. For all those ‘AAPtards’ who criticize on grounds of baseless stuff without giving any proof, here are a few evidences they could refer.
A very common criticism on Gujarat is that its social indicators are not good, to which all I would say is that the funds on health, education and employment schemes are regulated by the central government to the states and the attitude of Congress-led UPA towards Modi is very well known which reflects in their allocation of funds. While another report suggests that the social indicators are very much at par with the national level.
Quoting from The Hindu issue on April 21st, as the writer David Cohen says “As I understand it, if you favour allowing citizens to be treated differently on the basis of their religious beliefs, then you are an open-minded “secularist.” If, on the other hand, you favour treating all citizens equally under the law, without regard to their religion, then you are a “religious extremist.” I believe it is high time to end this wrong notion of secularism and think in true terms as Indians and work together for the development for all.
Looking from all the above three perspectives, it is clear that the BJP led NDA government headed by Narendra Modi, if it comes to power in 2014, can provide a stable government which can reverse the hang-over of the last 10 years.