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Manmohan Singh slams economic policies of Modi government

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New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday slammed the policies of the Narendra Modi government, saying economy faces fragile recovery, there was inadequate job creation and uncertainty ahead for public enterprises.

Addressing the 31st plenary session of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) here, he said there was dissatisfaction among workers over “anti-labour and unimaginative economic policies of the NDA government”.

“The trade union movement has to be aware that at present Indian economy faces a fragile recovery and inadequate expansion of employment opportunities. Public enterprises face an uncertain future,” he said, adding employment-oriented programmes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act face reduced allocations.

“In the name of structural labour reforms, efforts are being made to reduce the scope for secure industrial jobs in favour of contract labour and hire and fire approach. It is generally agreed that we need at least 500 million skilled workers by 2022. The actual pace on the ground is only a fraction of this target,” he said.

Manmohan Singh said industrial strife, strikes and lockouts were not the best means to resolve unrest.

“We must enlarge the available space for resolving industrial problems through peaceful dialogue involving all the stakeholders of the tripartite process – namely workers, industry and government.”

He said Congress has always believed that trade union movement is an integral part of social democracy and every encouragement ought to be provided to promote collective bargaining to secure for labour a just and fair share of development’s benefits, but the movement has to take into account fast-changing social and economic conditions and make an objective assessment of the present regime’s economic and social policies and their implications for the working classes.

Noting that removing poverty was a major task before the country and requires a high rate of economic growth and a rapid increase in employment opportunities, Manmohan Singh said there was a broad consensus that India’s economy needs to grow at an annual rate of about eight percent and there should be productive new job opportunities for 10-12 million people every year.

He said the trade union movement can play a very important role in ensuring that the growth process is both inclusive as well as environmentally sustainable and INTUC’s agenda of job creation, respect for labour standards and rights at work responds well to these imperatives.

“This visionary agenda rightly focuses on providing productive job opportunities to young workers, ensure zero gender discrimination, and expanding the frontiers of social security focusing on health, education and housing and guarantee of freedom of association and collective bargaining,” he said.

He called on INTUC to expand its coverage to cover more workers in the unorganised sectors such as agriculture and construction and pay particular attention to needs of women workers. INTUC, which came into existence in 1947, must also play a more important role in programmes relating to workers education and skill development, he added.

(IANS)

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An insight into the biggest political parties of India

The next state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi to prove his mettle as a leader

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The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons
The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Indian being a political democratic country, houses a lot of political parties. Since independence, many new parties have emerged to take up the fight for various sections of the society. One of the examples of such a party is AAP (Aam Admi Party). AAP came up with strong political ethics to root out issues faced by a commons man but now the very existence of this party is in question due to poor performance and incompetence of some of its top leaders. But the most prominent of all of the political parties in India are BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) and the Indian National Congress.

BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons
BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

In 1980, BJP surfaced from a former party known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh which was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. BJP’s agenda during the 1980s focused on the ‘Ram Janambhoomi movement’. The party encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. This issue gave the Hindu colour denomination to BJP and in 1996; it emerged as the largest party in the parliament. After being kept away from the power for long, Narendra Modi led the BJP to unprecedented heights in the last elections and the competition was put up by him was unmatchable.

On the other hand, Congress is a more matured political party of India. It got established in the year 1885. After the independence, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Nehru was the front face of the political governance in India but after his assassination, his daughter Indira Gandhi took the charge and became the prime minister in 1966. Unfortunately, Indira Gandhi also got assassinated and her son, Rajiv Gandhi took up the reigns of the party. In the sequence of assassination, Rajiv Gandhi was the next target. Sonia Gandhi came to power in 1998 and she led the party from the front in 2004 elections. This resulted in the political rule of Congress under Manmohan Singh.

After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons
After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons

The recent Assembly election of Gujarat was a real eye-opener for many, as the people’s right to vote was seen quite considerably y exercised. The Congress resistance in the very own fortress of Narendra Modi was a heavy blow to the Modi wave that swept the country. Although, BJP had the last laugh in the election results but the close fight Syama Prasad Mookerjee from the Congress side was appreciable. The new trend seems to be rebalancing the political scenario in India. The tussle between the BJP and Congress will definitely go down in the history of Indian politics.

Nowadays, Twitter is another playground for political parties. The rule of social media platforms has pushed Indian leaders to communicate in the same manner. It’s vividly seen that people take up to twitter to express their views and differences. Rahul Gandhi vetted his displeasure over the performance of BJP in the latest series of attacks by Rahul against Prime Minister Modi.

Last month only, Rahul Gandhi was crowned as the party head. Therefore, the state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul to prove his mettle as a leader. It will be interesting to see the new strategies that will be deployed by Congress to take an edge over their arch rivals, BJP.