Why Rafale Not Catching Eyeballs Like Bofors?

By Sunil Dang, Editor-in-Chief

In the coming UN General Assembly, I am expecting a different line of approach by both Pakistani and the Indian government as their respective external affairs ministers is going to meet on it the sidelines. To create a conducive milieu for this meeting, neither Pakistan nor India would chant the ‘K’ rants, which has been the cynosure of the various speeches of leaders of both the nations. But, what will they speak about minus Kashmir?

Few years ago, I had suggested that if the Congress Party wants to contain BJP, it needs to behave like ‘party with difference.’ Recent trip of Rahul Gandhi to UK and Germany, where he fired on multiple cylinders across a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from Islamic State to RSS, Doka La to demonetization, lynching to women’s rights and farms to factories, reflects this spirit. His scathing attack unsettled the BJP, which was reflected by the counter of its spokespersons and their tweets. But, the BJP is also ready with its poll recipe and I strongly believe that in coming days, BJP will be up its ante on Bofors, 1984 Sikh Riots, Hindutva, Mandir and Masjid etc. However, the ‘Grand Old Party’ is looking confident this time and their mood suggests that Rafale Defense Deal is going to become one of the major poll issues in 2019 General Elections. Going down the memory lane, when Bofors took place, it was talk of the town and the media professionals were quite enthusiastic in showcasing it in their reports. I don’t understand why Rafale is not gaining that kind of foothold among the media professionals?

In recent all party meeting, the Chief Election Commissioner has categorically rejected the ‘one nation one poll’ idea, opposing the notion floated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In spite of this there are sections in leading political parties that are forecasting that the upcoming four state elections may as well take place along with the 2019 General Elections. Further, four political parties, including Congress, have suggested that the Elections Commission of India to go back to ballot polls in 2019. In fact, some of the political parties have suggested that slips coming out of the VVPAT should also be counted and when both EVM electronic counting and VVPAT counting matches, then only the election results be declared. Hence, there is huge confusion prevailing over the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and upcoming assembly elections in coming one year. Whatever be the outcome of these confusing developments, my gut feeling is that the upcoming three state polls — MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — won’t be the normal one. This feeling got further reinforced when the Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje’s state visit got sabotaged with people started waving her black flags. The situation further worsened when her convoy was stone pelted as if it was not Rajasthan but J&K.

Non-performing assets (NPAs) has become a bad word in the world of finance especially for India where there are extreme sentiments on both sides. The lack of action ignites criticism of the highest order and the RBI is invariably the center of discussion. When there are stringent but practical measures taken to resolve the issue, there is the same level of umbrage as the one that spurred with the 12 February circular which spoke of resolution within 180 days. From the RBI perspective, there has to be stern action taken by banks in ensuring that borrowers repay the money. The sequence is that the moment there is one day of delayed payment, there has to be a conversation between the borrower and lender which should lead to a resolution within 180 days or else it goes to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the process is streamlined. Let’s see, if there is a way out or it remains a ‘Jumla’ of the Modi government?

Coming three months would be full of festivities from Dushehra to Christmas and both Amazon and Walmart have readied their freebees for their customers both online and off-line. So, in coming festive season, hike in our expenditure is already being planned by the market strategists of various companies. Is the government having any plan for us to raise our income too because in last few years income of Indian masses have nosedived like ratings of Narendra Modi.

Jai Ho!