Monday, May 27, 2024
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Critical analysis of the BJP’s 9-year tenure

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By VK Lyngdoh

The editorial, “Need for solidarity (ST April 16, 2024) takes a wide angle of the scenario that would emerge post June 4, 2024 when the Lok Sabha results are announced.
It is not only that, “in all likelihood the BJP could return,” but it is certain that the BJP will return. The latest CSDS pre-poll survey indicates a possible vote share of the BJP at 40% plus its partners 6% equals 46% while the INC is estimated to have a vote share of 21% plus its partners 13% that makes 34% and others are estimated at 20%. The estimated seat share for the BJP is 315 seats and that of its NDA partners is 46 seats which makes up to 361 seats. The seat share of the Congress is estimated at 62 and that of its partner at 49 that makes a total of 111 seats for INDI Alliance and others at 71 seats.
The editorial is right in saying that the “main problem in India today is lack of Opposition unity”. I agree that “negative campaigning is not enough to win elections.” Why most of the leaders in the BJP are against the Congress is because they will never ever forget how their leaders were treated and endured pain during the Emergency. Similarly, there was much pain for the leaders of the Jana Sangh when they had only 3 Members of Parliament in the first general election to the Lok Sabha. The recent story related by Rajnath Singh, the Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) is a very painful one as to how during the emergency he was not given parole in order to perform the last rites of his mother. Suspending citizens rights was the biggest mistake that the Congress under the leadership of Indira Gandhi committed.
The editorial has also rightly stated that the, “regional parties don’t have much to show to their credit as having done much in the task of nation-building.” Since the editorial has briefly touched upon the 9 years of BJP rule, here is my assessment based on facts as to how the BJP performed in the last nine years.
Political landscape
transformation:
In the last nine years the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has achieved many feats. When the Modi government first came to power in 2014, the BJP had governments in 7 states. Today, the BJP is either in power on its own or part of the ruling alliance in 15 states/Union territories. The party has made significant inroads into the North Eastern Region of India, where it had zero presence prior to 2014.
Economic growth and inflation control:
India’s economy has witnessed remarkable growth during this period. From being the 10th largest economy in 2024, India is now the 5th largest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product. It has surpassed countries like the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada and Brazil. Inflation, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), stabilized and fell within the Reserve Bank of India’s comfort zone during Modi’s tenure. When the government came to power in 2014, India’s inflation rate was around 8.33 percent, significantly higher than the RBI’s tolerance band. Since then, inflation has remained relatively stable.
Infrastructure
development and
expenditure:
The Modi government has prioritized infrastructure development across various sectors. As far as Roads and Highways is concerned, the Bharatmala Pariyojana aims to construct and upgrade over 34,800 km of highways across India. This project is expected to enhance connectivity, boost trade, and facilitate economic growth. Railways, the Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) are being developed to improve freight movement. The Bullet Train Project (Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail) is also underway. Urban Infrastructure initiatives like the Smart Cities Mission focus on transforming urban centres by improving infrastructure, transportation, and public services. The Digital India campaign aims to enhance digital connectivity, promote e-governance, and provide broadband access to rural areas. The government has allocated substantial funds for infrastructure development. In the 2021- 22 Union Budget, Rs 5.54 lakh crore was allocated for capital expenditure, including infrastructure projects.
The National Infrastructure Pipeline envisions Rs 111 lakh crore worth of infrastructure investment over the next few years. Expenditure has been directed towards sectors like roads, railways, airports, ports and digital infrastructure. However, there are challenges and criticism. While progress has been made, challenges remain. Some projects face delays due to land acquisition issues, bureaucratic hurdles, and environmental concerns. Despite ambitious plans, funding constraints can impact the pace of execution. Ensuring high-quality infrastructure remains crucial. The BJP government has made significant strides in infrastructure development which is visible but there are ongoing challenges that need attention. Public scrutiny and continuous improvement are essential for sustainable progress.
Social Welfare Schemes:
The Modi government has sanctioned more than four crore houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Over 48.9 crore Jan Dhan accounts have been opened, promoting financial inclusion. About Rs 34 lakh crore has been directly transferred to beneficiaries’ bank accounts under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme.
Historical electoral wins:
Prime Minister Modi’s popularity has translated into major electoral gains for the BJP. The party has managed to win the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh twice, the state which sends 80 Members of Parliament to the Lok Sabha. From 2 seats in 1984 the BJP today has 303 seats in Lok Sabha. The entire North Eastern Region of India is now part of the BJP-led government, except for Mizoram and Meghalaya where the BJP is a partner of the MDA government.
From “fragile 5”
to “Top 5”
Prime Minister Modi has emphasized India’s economic progress, moving from being among the “fragile 5” economies to becoming the fifth largest economy globally.
Summing up, the BJP government’s tenure has seen significant strides in economic growth, political influence, and social welfare but much remains to be done on the employment front. However, opinions on these achievements may vary, and it is essential to consider multiple perspectives when evaluating any government’s performance.

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