Tuesday September 25, 2018
Home Politics No dent in Na...

No dent in Narendra Modi’s image: Rajnath Singh

0
//
87
Republish
Reprint

Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image has not dented, at least not in Bihar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, and added that the BJP is confident of forming the next government in the state.

Modi enjoys the same appeal as he did when he led the Bharatiya Janata Party to an emphatic victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Bihar included, the minister said in an interview here.

Narendra modi“I am campaigning in the whole of Bihar. I see no dent in the prime minister’s image. The people of Bihar still have confidence in him,” Singh said.

Rajnath Singh also said that it was due to the BJP’s “generosity” that Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar became the chief minister at the head of a BJP-JD-U government in 2005 although the BJP had won more seats than the JD-U in assembly elections.

The BJP accepted the leadership of Nitish Kumar only because it wanted Bihar to develop economically.

“The BJP sacrificed power for stability in Bihar by appointing Nitish Kumar as chief minister in 2005 despite winning more seats as compared to JD-U,” Singh said.

“Janata hamari is dariyadili ko janati hai (People know of this magnanimity on our part),” he added.

But the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister alleged that Nitish Kumar became arrogant after taking office.

Rajnath Singh, a former BJP president who played a key role in declaring Narendra Modi the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, said: “Since Modi started campaigning in Bihar, the scenario has changed. We are strong contenders for forming the government in the state.”

He criticised the JD-U and RJD leader Lalu Prasad for harping on caste issues.

Rajnath Singh

“Election is a festival of democracy. The prime issue must be development related. But ‘Mahagatbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) is raising issues of beef and caste. These are tactics aimed at diverting from real issues.”

“It is clear they have no major issue to get people’s support,” he added.

The former BJP president said people no more voted on caste lines. Now they needed governments that can provide good governance.

“BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are prime examples of this. While voting, people see performance of state governments. They even judge the performance of the central government.”

“No corruption issue has surfaced in the central government. Globally, our government is scaling new heights with every foreign visit of the prime minister. People are also judging these issues.”

Asked about the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Bihar, Rajnath Singh said: “We decided not to project any leader as chief ministerial candidate.”

“This does not mean we have dearth of leaders in the state. There are lots of capable leaders. When the time comes, our parliamentary board will take the right decision.”

(Brajendra Nath Singh, IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Fall Of The Currency And Increase In Oil Prices: India ‘s Turmoil

The falling rupee has given a boost to some of India’s most lucrative exports, such as software services and pharmaceuticals, which add up to billions of dollars.

0
India
Rajesh Kumar, left, shares a ride to work with another employee, Dilip Swain, right, as higher petrol prices in India begin to be felt in people's pocketbooks.VOA

The fall of the currency of India to record lows and rising global oil prices have raised worries that the world’s fastest growing economy faces headwinds that could hurt the fortunes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in next year’s general elections.

From people filling fuel at gas stations to thousands of students heading out to study overseas, the impact of the slumping rupee is sparking discontent.

Having plunged by about 12 percent against the dollar this year, the rupee is one of Asia’s worst faring currencies, and as in other countries, the slide has accelerated since the crash of the Turkish lira.

“The reasons are global. We must bear in mind that in last few months, dollar has strengthened against almost every currency,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently as he tried to send out reassuring signals that India’s economy is on track.

India
The rupee has plunged by about 12 percent this year raising fears of spiraling inflation. VOA

The rupee’s sharp depreciation comes at a time when the economy had recovered from a slowdown and surged to a two-year high in the quarter that ended in June. Forecasts put growth for this year at 7.5 percent.

Economy will slow

But economists warn this momentum will be difficult to sustain as the tumbling rupee, along with rising crude oil prices, takes a toll on growth. India, the world’s third largest oil importer, gets almost 80 percent of its fuel needs overseas.

“The government needs to mellow down on growth aspirations,” said N.R. Bhanumurthy, economist with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy. “The growth needs to come down to a little less than 7 percent.”

Even as the government faces the prospect of a slowing economy, it is under pressure to lower taxes on gas and diesel to bring down the sharp rise in prices. Fuel is one of the most heavily taxed items in India, with rates as high as nearly 50 percent. Prices vary from state to state, but they have gone up by about 14 percent this year.

Hoping to cash in on the growing disaffection over the surge in fuel prices and the sliding rupee, opposition parties led nationwide protests that shutdown offices and schools in several cities this week.

India
Discontent with spiraling fuel prices poses a challenge to Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of general elections next year. VOA

The government dismissed the protests, saying that although people faced momentary difficulties, they understood they were because of factors beyond its control.

Political analysts are not so sure, pointing out that fuel prices are a politically sensitive issue in India and usually result in a spike in inflation.

“Anger is rising, there is resentment,” said Satish Misra at the Observer Research Foundation, warning the ruling party will face a backlash “Obviously that is going to have a negative impact on the electoral fortunes of the Bharatiya Janata Party, there is no doubt about that.”

Warnings from economists

Among those who are upset with the high fuel prices is Rajesh Kumar, who commutes 30 kilometers to the advertising agency where he works. Hit by the higher prices that eat into his income, he has started sharing the ride with another employee.

India
Narendra Modi. Wikimedia Commons

“I have given up the idea of buying another car,” he said despondently. “I will not be able to afford the cost of running it.”

Economists however have warned the government against giving in to populist pressures ahead of a series of state polls later this year and general elections around April next year. They say lowering taxes on fuel or taking measures to prop up the currency will strain the country’s finances and hurt the economy in the long run.

Also Read: Diverse Gathering To Be Addressed This World BioFuel Day: PM Narendra Modi

“One needs to be more careful and vigilant,” Bhanumurthy said. “It is easy for India to stay with low growth than experiencing the high deficit.”

But there is also some good news for the Indian economy. The falling rupee has given a boost to some of India’s most lucrative exports, such as software services and pharmaceuticals, which add up to billions of dollars. (VOA)