The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to get a simple majority on its own in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP-led NDA Government rode to power on a development plank, sidelining even the Ram Mandir as a main poll issue. After coming to power, the government started pushing its agenda under the garb of development making the layperson’s life miserable. Let’s examine a few of the Union Government’s moves that has impacted our lives badly over the last four and half years.
The first bombshell was of course the demonetisation. Apparently, the government claimed, the move will flush out all black money that is circulating in the country and abroad. The move did not make any substantial progress in bringing it back, but the disastrous move impacted public life big time.
The government even frittered away money from the exchequer for building a mammoth statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel spending crores of rupees. The cash-strapped government later started bullying the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) so that it could realise the promised developments. So far, the RBI head, Urjit Patel has not caved into the government pressure and somehow he is sticking to his limited powers to tame inflation. As he refused to dance to the tunes of the Union Government, efforts were even made to eject him out. Patel's predecessor Raghuram Rajan had defended the RBI's call for autonomy saying that its responsibility is to secure financial stability and it has the right to say ''No'' to government proposal that could lead to instability.
As we head to another election, the government is trying to gag all government machinery such as CBI, CVC, RBI and other institutions such as the media. It efforts in pushing its agenda has so far not succeeded against the Judiciary. Its next agenda could be taming the Election Commission into submission.
As the opposition parties rally to put up a joint electoral front against the NDA, the BJP is left with no option other than stir up the communal card. In a bid to polarise the society, the Sabarimala and Ayodhya issues are being propped up. The NDA government tried hard to get a favourable Ayodhya verdict before the Lok Sabha polls, but the Supreme Court refused early hearings on related pleas.
In Kerala, the BJP is trying hard to polarise the electorate by leading a campaign against the SC verdict allowing women aged between 10 and 50 to the hilltop shrine of Sabarimala. In this case too, the SC refused an urgent hearing on review petitions.
The BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh is meanwhile on a renaming spree, with attempts being made to change all Islamic-sounding place names to their Sanskritised names.
To make matters worse, corruption allegations, especially related to the Rafale deal, that is roiling the Modi government make public doubt its promise of a clean administration. Inflation and spike in fuel prices are also great concerns.
(The opinions expressed are personal)