By Ishan Kukreti
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed into the Parliament last year with many promises. He offered something for everyone, from improved job opportunities to the youth, better agricultural policies for farmers to a Ram Mandir for the devout and a home for Kashmiri Pandits.
His watchwords, development, and good governance gripped the populace of an economically crawling nation with running rampant corruption, almost in a frenzy.
It’s been more than a year since, and the search for Acche Din is still on. Here is a list of promises made in the BJP manifesto of 2014 elections and the presence or absence of their development.
The NDA victory raised the hopes of Mandir seekers to abnormal levels. However, Narendra Modi, after coming to power, has shown that steely, irritating silence on the topic which he has started employing for a range of other issues. No temple has been built so far, but a ‘Ram Museum’ might see the light of day, some time in the future.
P.S: The disputed site did have a temple before Babri Mosque. But is that land/temple really the birth place of Lord Ram? There is no way of knowing.
The kind of gusto shown by BJP during election rallies and the promise of Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s bank account within 100 days seem nothing more than gas, passed for vote bank rather than actual bank. Now the government is down to giving threats to defaulters which sound more childish and desperate than dead serious.
Both the issues are pregnant with passionate nationalistic sentiments. And both have been raised time and again with not much on to show for delivery. The words on BJP’s manifesto on the issues were –
On the issue of KP rehabilitation, talks between BJP and PDP in May this year could offer nothing substantial. And what was offered was opposed by the separatists. So, as of now, the better off KPs are in their ‘homes’ and the not so better off are languishing in camps.
On the other hand, or rather the same, question of abrogation Article 370 was done away in the Common Minimum Program signed between BJP and PDP after the J&K elections. The issue has not been raised by anyone who is someone in the present NDA government.
To improve the rot in FCI and improve its efficiency, the manifesto had promised the division of its operations into separate procurement, storage and distribution parts. However, the High-Level Committee (HLC) headed by BJP leader Shanta Kumar appointed to look into the matter recommended against it and the matter was conveniently dropped.
For infrastructure, this graph speaks louder than words:
For housing, NLUM Scam presents a grim picture, but the data is promising.
The to be government had taken a tough and uncompromising stand on corruption before the election. After the elections, well, its stance is not just lenient and compromising, but encouraging too. Here is a graph:
The words from the manifesto 2014 say “Appoint a Veterans Commission to address the grievances of veterans.” No such commission has been appointed so far. However, the ongoing hunger strike at Jantar Mantar for the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) by the same veterans, makes it clear that they have a major grievance. Whether the government is planning to set up the commission first and then address it or not address it at all, is something only time or maybe a war can tell.
Any government’s performance is judged by the various socio-economic indicators and they, under Modi government are not something to be very proud of right now.