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Stunning Modi victory whets people for more

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/26/2019 11:43:20 AM IST

 The BJP, no Narendra Modi, has stunned the world. Resounding victory touching 352 plus is a rare feat. The spread is stunning as the fortress West Bengal collapses.

The surprise is not his victory. It is the poll management despite in real terms not so bright economy. Yes, Modi stressed on populist measures that touched the poor – Pradhan Matri housing, Ayushman health care, toilets in every house, job ruses of MUDRA or skill India and about 431 other programmes. The programmes in the post-election scenario look to have touched the hearts of millions. May be in their gratitude they voted Modi back to power.

That may possibly explain a uniform phenomenon of the rout of the caste-based parties like that of Mayawati’s  BSP, with support base among dalits; Ajit Singh’s RLD bases on Jat support; Mulayam-Akhilesh’s SP a hardcore Yadav-OBC party; Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, a party of OBC and fringe castes but with a slightly wider base; Sharad Pawar’s NCP, strong Maratha sugar-lobby party or Laloo Yadav’s RLD, a Yadav party.

The economic packages lured the voters of these combine to vote for a Modi, who sells dreams to the fringe classes. That is possibly Modi’s new political economy. It does not serve the elite voters, who certainly no political party can trust for loyalty. The best instance is Modi’s one time chief economic advisor Arvind Subramaniam. Modi could trust him but Subramaniam could not understand Modi and chose a different path.

Modi’s macro economy functioned different from his targeted-vote economy. Dole-based economy succeeded politically to break the caste arithmetic, a shrewd move.

But his macro economy so far has been a continuation of the hardcore Manmohan Singh’s principles called Manmohanomics. So Modi had to bear the brunt of criticism that had seen ouster of Manmohan Singh.

This had put the spanner in the progress of the nation led to joblessness, industrial slowdown, lack of demand, high bank NPAs, crisis in the public sector like giants BSNL/MTNL, ONGC, petro companies and Maha Navaratnas.

That was before polls. Would he now have a new policy? Modi did not promise much in concrete. But If Modi continues the same policy and the nation continues to go downhill, it would neither suit him nor the nation.

It is not the public sector alone the Hindustan Lever the largest consumer goods producer had the poorest show in 18 months in March 2019 of 7 percent. Unnerving was its CEO Sanjiv Mehta’s statement, “Consumer essentials are recession resistant but not recession-proof”.

From carmakers to toothpaste sellers every farm has lousy start this year. Every eye is now fixed on Modi’s new policies. Would he be breaking away from Manmohanomics to pave a super highway of growth or his team would continue to struggle for a policy.

India has to come out of this recession else the aspirational voters might behave in the most frustrated manner. During the last two years farmers’ distress has increased and several times they marched to Delhi or Mumbai. All peaceful, but with extreme angst.

Literally, the new government is walking on the razor’s edge. The BJP’s popular Hindutva promises wonderful life as did the Marxism in Soviet Union.

An aspirational voter believes in it because he feels he would have more than he can see.

The BJP now faces the toughest challenge. Mere booth management does not win polls, it realized in the three state polls in December 2018. A correction today has paid seat dividends but now the young voter wants better industrial show, action and result that would ameliorate their lot.

The 2019 is an aspirational vote, a process of social synthesis. The caste divide in Indian social system has been obliterated by a strong Modi.

Poorer people, having got the basics of food, cash support, house and toilet, would be more demanding.

India is entering the middle income category of countries around $ 2,000 per capita income. Newly emerging consuming classes are driven by aspiration rather than feudal style dole outs. Even less-demanding rural youth vie with the urban youth.

Economy needs a boost. The last five years have seen a benign environment where food prices recorded a modest increase. Now a global economic slowdown is visible. There are incipient signs of stress on the price front while global trade wars, may be even real wars, are breaking out. Brexit may change European economy and those dependent on it.

He has also to work in education, its funding and linking it to industry and manufacturing. He also has to work on a new short-duration syllabus that saves nation’s money and churns out skilled people faster. Public universities are in crisis and private in a morass. The youth is unhappy. The system needs cash and policy lubrication.

The tax system needs reform as the one nation GST has hit many sectors like education, NGOs, small traders and entrepreneurs. Income tax reduction is awaited. It is a tough task as people’s purchasing power has to be increased as also the government’s revenue.

The stock market is in a thaw. Occasional boom is stated to be self-managed.

The economic vision has to be redrafted. The NITI Aayog has to be invigorated. It has to find out solutions to inflation, slowdown and joblessness. The Aayog has to function as think tank but is unable to even suggest way to come out of flip-flop policies on taxing fuel or high tolls or cost on working out tax component. Over 5 percent of corporate expenses are on working out the taxes and satisfying tax raiders.

The country has reposed trust. It wants to be paid back. It cannot wait for another term to deliver. Indira Gandhi till today is ridiculed for failure of her garibi hatao. A lion of a Modi cannot repeat that. It would devastate the people. He has to function to invigorate the faith in leadership.

The aspirations today are more than it was in 2014. Indians believe Modi has the magic wand to solve the problems and make India the leading economy. It hopes next five years would be shining.

Shivaji Sarkar

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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