Historic Return Mandate

Sunil Dang

Return of Modi has bamboozled his critics within the party &outside of it. This historic mandate has bestowed upon him unfettered authority & legitimacy to wield absolute power over the government as well as the party. He is under no obligation tobend his back while cleaning up any remnants of cobwebs within. He is the King of the times, so to say. What is heartening is his change of tack in the aftermath of massive win. His first few public appearances & victory speech amplify his desire & ambition to negotiate his way out of upcoming challenges using his powerful communication skills. The fact he means business & that he would not like any obstacles or unwanted dissent or opinion to come his way, he has picked up a cabinet that exemplifies continuity & pliability, with an element of unpredictability well intact. By inducting S. Jaishanker (He was foreign secretary in the previous government) at the cost of dropping few stalwarts, he has lived up to his image of a shock & awe style of functioning. Same is his idea behind elevation of few of his junior ministers in the previous cabinet to cabinet ranks. The lone semblance of dissent if we may call it so has come in the form of JD (U) refusing a ministerial berth.

On the other hand the opposition seems to have learnt nothing in the last 5 years. They continued to fight their own ego wars going into 2019 election on “Kaun Banega Prime minister”& there we see them being routed. If the talk of NCP & smaller parties merger with congress gains any momentum, that might alter the picture slightly. But what is unfathomable is the decision by Congress not to feature on TV channels for the time being. May be this too is a part of “Maun” (Silent period) “Manthan” (Introspection) & reconstruction before we see some fresh avatar of the grand old party.

Intriguingly, Congress has shot itself in the feet on more than one occasion by failing to quell the rebellion in the form of Mamta, Sharad Pawar & now Jagan Reddy. All these leaders have proved their mettle floating their own parties when they were getting relegated to being no one’s within the erstwhile Congress. There cannot be a greater irony than this. By sweeping to power in Andhra winning 85 % of the assembly seats & 22 of the 25 Parliamentary constituencies, Jagan has further rubbed it in for the Congress party. This perennial congress arrogance & ostrich like attitude must end forthwith.

On the international front, Israel is staring at another election in September. Netanyahu of the Likud party, also a close friend of India, who claimed victory in the recently held elections, has failed to galvanize the requisite support for government formation in the allotted 50 days. This is shocking given that Bibi (As he is fondly called) has been the longest serving premier of Israel, eclipsing even the founder leader’s (David Gurion) tenure. Constitutionally, he cannot resort to any other method but to seek a re-election to stay in the hunt & the going may not be as smooth as he thinks in the ultimate analysis.

Naveen Patnaik has broken all the myth of anti-incumbency in Odisha by getting re-elected the record 5th time. Remarkable feat this! considering BJP’s marauding intent to wrest the coastal state from the veteran leader. Incidentally his BJD is leading by example by having more women to represent the party & having sent 05 women parliamentarians to the 17th Lok Sabha.

While America continues to battle it out with China on the trade front, India can leverage its clout on the BIMSTEC to wrest some economic ground from the dragon. It is time that India put its hand up & showed enough vision to broaden its canvass in the immediate neighborhood & be seen as a willing ally for all seasons & all reasons. It is these smaller yet growing economies that can help India to tide over some of its export deficits in the long run.

Let us hope that the BimalJalan committee’s findings & recommendations are considered on merit by the new finance minister in an attempt to stem the NPA rot as well as ramp up the overalleconomic scenario.

While we would keenly be watching India’s preparation for the 2020 Olympics given that two of the ministers have made an exit, we also wish Kohli, Dhoni& others all the very best for their world cup campaign.

I wish all my readers a happy EID?

Jai Ho!