Modi Govt: The Sheen is Wearing Off

The BJP led NDA Govt came to power with a thumping majority in the 2014 general elections held in India. It was the first time in 30 years in India’s parliamentary elections when a single party had won more than 50% seats. The last time it was the Rajiv Gandhi led Congress party that had won almost 80 % of the parliamentary seats in 1984. The election not only saw a resurgent BJP taking the thunder out of a timid Congress party but it also saw the meteoric rise of  Narendra Modi who was the Gujarat Chief Minister for 12 years. Modi led BJP to a strong performance decimating Congress on the way. Congress party had its worst electoral performance post independence when it managed to win barely 44 seats. BJPs and Modi’s performance focused on the weak governance, corruption and runaway inflation during Congress led UPA regime. Indian electorate, mostly urban middle class, aggressively supported Modi and were captivated by his powerful electoral campaign, which was in fact a strong marketing and media spectacle.

Coming to power on the back of huge expectations, Modi has become a victim of his own self aggrandisement. In the run up to the elections, he made too many promises which he is finding difficult to deliver. Though the BJP Govt has tried to take criticism and focus away from its performance by playing on national sentiments, religious divisions and even on cultural nationalism. But now the patience of the voter is almost over and as ense of desperation is again building up. The common man has not benefitted much in the last one year given that inflation, despite low crude oil prices has not been controlled. The prices of most essential items like vegetables, fruit, pulses etc have shot through the roof and the common man is feeling the pinch of these rising prices. Even the traders, who are the core constituency of BJP are not happy with the performance of the Modi led NDA Govt since their business has not picked up much. The business environment at the moment is dull and the traders and other small time businessmen are feeling cheated.

As if the non performance of the NDA Govt was not bad enough, it has been hit by many controversies in the recent past. First it was about the fake degree of HRD Minister Smriti Irani. Then it was the turn of the foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj who was in the line of fire for allegedly helping the former IPL Chief Lalit Modi get travel documents from the UK Govt to travel for his wife’s treatment. Lalit Modi has been in London for many years given he is facing many charges in India. Lait Modi was at the heart of another controversy involving the Chief Minister of BJP ruled Rajasthan state. This controversy is still unfolding and BJP has put on the defensive by the opposition, mainly Congress party.

The BJP had tried to sell to the Indian public, that it can deliver good governance and that it is a clean and accountable party. So far its performance on both these counts has been miserable.

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