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Choice for Indian Voters: Government run from shadows or a truly democratic setup?

Monday, 14 April 2014 - 8:12pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad / New Delhi | Agency: DNA

While BJP surges ahead on back of its highly consistent performance of its state governments and na extraordinarily well organized campaign led by Narendra Modi, Congress struggles with allegations after allegations! With Sanjaya Baru’s book (Accidental Prime Minister - The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh) confirming the doubts about Remote Control government, run by Sonia with Manmohan Singh as a rubber stamp PM, the choice before Indian voter was never clearer!

With no Narendra Modi rally on that day it was supposed to be quiet Sunday afternoon. Instead, it turned out to be quite an afternoon! Suddenly at around 2PM news channels started beaming pictures from Bangalore of Pramod  Muthalik being  inducted into Karnataka BJP. In those fateful 4 hours after that, people cursed BJP, accused each other, left the party, and were back in the fold with renewed vengeance to defeat Congress in LS elections just round the corner.

The induction of Pramod Muthalik into BJP took even the most ardent supporters by surprise. The outrage followed that, must have made even the most ardent enemy of BJP numb! 

What Muthalik episode displayed was something which BJP always knew, but somehow kept on ignoring, that an average BJP voter is not really worried about its past, but what it will do in future!  A massive percentage of voters is not really worried, about whether Narendra Modi calls RSS chief every morning and reports back every evening! But what they certainly care about is what BJP will do if a so called cultural affiliate runs amok! What they care about is whether all citizens (notwithstanding religion, caste, language) will be treated equally by the law or not! The man on the street wants rule of the law to prevail in the Modi led regime!

As the country inches towards what is being billed as the most important general election since the post emergency 1977 election, voters are being persuaded by all parties with a variety of arguments. Whether it is the politics of aspiration from Modi & BJP or the empowerment mantra of Rahul Gandhi & Congress, offensive and defensive strategies are in full play.  

Modi especially has taken the heat of a focused long campaign ranging from highlighting issues around his role in riots, to developmental shortfalls on social indicators like child malnutrition in his state.

Fortunately, recent judgments and data has brought clarity to many issues and Modi’s acquittal in the 2002 riots case and best performance in reducing child malnutrition among all states (CAG’s Integrated Child Development Scheme Report 2013), have left opposing parties scurrying to find new ways to weave a negative narrative around Modi.

A key part of that narrative is the story being spun around Sangh Parivar with claims that Sangh members like RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal etc. will all cut loose the moment Modi takes over as PM of this country. 

It will be very interesting to look at Narendra Modi’s record as Chief Minister of Gujarat to allay some of these fears.  Modi has been CM for close to 15 years now and the best test of law abiding administrator and one who respects the Indian Constitution would be to look at his track record.

Let actions speak louder than rhetoric. If today Gujarat is looked upon as role model state it is because Modi has transformed the administration into a well oiled machinery by continuously stressing upon upholding rule of law and focus on development. So much so that in pursuit of this task, he has not even spared his so called friends.

Modi’s role in sparing no efforts to control the 2002 riots is well documented by Supreme Court’s SIT. Similarly, not many know that, Gujarat government demolished more than 80 illegal temples in Ahmadabad even in the face of VHP protests. Similarly, last year Gujarat government arrested many VHP activists for attacking an art gallery in Ahmadabad, which had displayed Pakistani paintings. By allowing the gallery to take down paintings, Modi could have scored some brownie points.

But he made sure rule of law prevailed. These instances leave us with no doubts that as declared by Narendra Modi himself, for him Indian Constitution remains supreme.  

Modi also seems to be unafraid to push the Sangh parivar’s traditional sensibilities to keep focus on his agenda of development. His famous pronouncement of “Toilets first, Temples later” brought back focus on the critical issue of sanitation which is the primary cause of child malnutrition.

Similarly, he is well known for his unconventional Khadi fashion show to strengthen the industry, even after knowing it will not be well received by the Sangh Parivar.

All the above examples highlight an independent mind focused on enforcing rule of the law and ensuring development for all. On the other hand, Sanjaya Baru’s book leaves us no doubts that   the Congress PMs who seem to govern with a heavy shadow of the Gandhi parivar behind them and their every decision is subject to intense scrutiny by Party President, with a possibility of being torn up and thrown away in a fit of rage.

Congress’ pusillanimous approach towards Law and order, to bypass the Indian Constitution and to hold the dynasty as parallel power centre has undermined Indian Polity for long. It has also ensured that the true potential of the country is never realized. 

A person with excellent governance record, who is also strong & decisive and above all holds the Indian Constitution as supreme is the need of the hour. While Congress tries to make trivial issues look important through its 24X7 propaganda machinery and build sectarian phobia around Narendra Modi, truth about the shackles put by dynasty on the country makes the truth clearer with every passing day. It’s time the Indian Voter goes out votes for his development rather than imaginary issues.

(Anuj Gupta is an IIT, IIM graduate and a volunteer with BJP and tweets at @anujg, Ajay Sudame is a senior insurance industry professional and tweets at @ajaxngp)

 


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