[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first rally in Uttar Pradesh after the expiry of 50 days post demonetisation. He believes the issue had united even the firmest of political opponents. Referring to the SP and BSP, he said both were raising the same slogans, “’Modi ko badlo, Modi ko hatao” (Change Modi, remove Modi). He exactly spoke like former late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She had said “Woh bolte hain Indira hatao aur main bol rahin hoon garibi hatao” (they say remove Indira and I say remove poverty). Exactly same lines Modi said “They say Modi hatao (remove Modi), I say remove black money and corruption. The people of the country need to decide.” Anyway, the speech was as usual very much monotonous and hammering opposition but nothing much specific about some core issues of the state.
It is not surprising since all major regional political parties are run as family business. Either it is Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference (NC) or Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP), Lalu Yadav’s RJD or Sharad Pawar led NCP, NT Ramarao’s TDP which now led his son in law and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu or Karunanidhi’s DMK are all political business houses with heir as their son or any relatives. National parties like BJP and Communists are exception to some extent. Sonia Gandhi led Congress is the alone national party run by dynastic rule. Fortunately, it does not have quarrel among the siblings. Some experts call India’s political order as “Dynastic Democracy” or “Dictatorial Democracy” looking at the on-going political scenarios.
Modi trashed the competition, ticking off what he described as the most obvious flaw of each political party. The PM referring to his ‘chai-wallah’ days said that his decision is a little “karak” (strong) just like he used to make his tea). I would have really appreciated if he could spare half a line about BJP leaders’ corruption and Sahara that paid Rs. 40 crore to him before he became prime minister. When Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, he received multiple payments spread across 2013-14 from the company. When the Income-Tax department raided Sahara’s premises in 2014, they recovered documents showing that payments have been made to Modi between the months of October 2013 and February 2014. Modi spoke volumes about Congress, SP and BSP’s corruption ignoring the blot on himself.
He continuously endorsed his move on demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency said that it was targeted at those holding unaccounted cash. Modi said government officials would not question women till Rs. 2.5 lakh deposited in banks post the demonetisation move, but those who have Rs. 2.5 crore unaccounted wealth would not be spared. However, he did not tell people what action would be taken on BJP leaders who were found with huge new currency and benami property deals. He did not utter a word about people who died in bank queue; he did not mention anything about the agony that people have gone through. He was just boasting his claims, his government and he himself. Entire speech was dedicated to self-glorification and attacking opposition without any concrete grounds. This might even boomerang or look fake as now people are realising allegations made about Sonia Gandhi and Robert Vadra.
Modi asked for 100 days to bring back “Black Money”. Now, he has already taken more than 50 days to give back our own money. Poor people of India should teach lessons to BJP in the coming elections. We lack strong opposition party in India and that is the reason BJP and Modi’s arrogance is on rise, its people who can show them their place. It’s high time, they should realise that they cannot fool voters every time.
Common public was forced to stand in long queues at ATMs and banks since November 08, when Modi invalidated 86% of the country’s cash in circulation. The past two months have been nothing short of a nightmare for the country. He then sought a 50-day period until the end of December to fix all the troubles caused by demonetisation. Now, two months later, Modi believes his big gamble has paid off.
Meanwhile, it hasn’t been a smooth ride for Modi either. His government has faced serious embarrassment over the many policy flip-flops and lack of preparation vis-a-vis demonetisation. For instance, some reports said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did not even have a single new Rs. 500 note ready on the day the mammoth exercise was announced. Now, he is trying to cover up his loses, but still UP is not ready for BJP.
Moreover, entire 2014 election campaign, Modi alleged and attacked Congress and its leaders possessing black money and looting this country. It’s been three years since he is in power but failed to prove his claims by taking action against them.
Now, Dalit icon Mayawati, who has served four times as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has denied that about 100 crores deposited in two accounts was linked to her party (one belongs to her brother) after the notes ban was announced constitutes black or untaxed money. The Congress, depleted by losses in a long list of elections and is unable to strike an alliance so far in India’s most-populous state, appears to have virtually abandoned its campaign in Uttar Pradesh. And the Samajwadi Party has been ripped apart by the epic father-son battle of Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav, with the latter, who is the Chief Minister, wrestling control of the political outfit by having him named as party president, a move his father has rejected as “unconstitutional.” Anyway, the drama came to an end on predictable notes, but I don’t see any chances of BJP or other parties deriving benefit out of this.
AIMIM too has made its entry in UP to divide Muslim votes. Inspite of Prashant Kishor, the election strategist’s brains, Congress party’s chances look bleak in UP. Mayawati has gained strong support from Dalit and some sect of upper class votes too. Looking at UP election one can say no one will get clear mandate. There will be hung assembly or some coalition government, but still BJP is not yet in the race to make it to power. In such situations, when PM’s speech was full of sound and fury which signifies nothing but bluffing, how can this make difference or Parivartan to the state?
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