With the Lok Sabha election just round the corner the UPA government is leaving no stone unturned to woo voters. The government which has been criticised for its slow paced decision making has been in a hurry to pass several bills. Within a short span of time, the government has passed the Food Security Bill, Land Acquisition Bill, Companies Bill, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and The Wakf (Amendment) Bill, 2011.
The government which was initially reluctant to pass the Lok Pal bill has finally passed it. Ever since the Aam Aadmi Party entered in to politics the government has been feeling the heat to act against corruption which has become a major issue. In an attempt to show that it was keen to fight corruption the government passed the Lokpal bill.
Later, Rahul Gandhi mentioned about the need to pass many other bills like the public procurement bill, the prevention of corruption act (amendment) bill, the prevention of bribery of foreign public officials and officials of public international organisations bill, the judicial standards and accountability bill, the right of citizens to time-bound delivery of goods and services and redressal of their grievances bill and the whistleblowers protection bill to strengthen Lokpal bill. He had criticised the opposition party BJP for failing to cooperate with the ruling party to pass important legislations. The Congress party then took the credit of passing the bill. But according to political analysts it’s a question of too little too late. They said that the party was only trying to get into a damage control mode after the drubbing received by it in the assembly elections held in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
The government has received flak for its inability to curb inflation. Food inflation was becoming a major cause of concern. Later Rahul Gandhi had spoken about the need to provide vegetables to the common man at cheap rates. He emphasised on the need to eliminate the middlemen and allow farmers to directly sell the produce to customers. However, the state government was unable to implement this policy as it was opposed by the traders. This time women voters too distanced themselves from the Congress party as it had cut the subsidy on cylinders. Later, Rahul Gandhi in a public meeting appealed to the PM Manmohan Singh that he wants the cap of subsidised cylinders be raised from 9 to 12 per year. Later, petroleum minister Veerappa Moily made an announcement about the raise in subsidised cylinders.
The government also announced that Aadhar card won’t be mandatory for availing the subsidy and the scheme needs to be reviewed. This decision was taken by the government to woo the women voters who have distanced themselves from the party after a cap was imposed on subsidised cylinders in September 2012.
The inaction on the part of the government has resulted into a slump in the growth rate of the Indian economy. Even the rating agencies had downgraded the India’s growth prospects. A negative sentiment is prevailing in the market about how India will attain a respectable GDP growth rate for boosting the economy.
The Congress party has started airing advertisements in television and print media about the various schemes to be launched by it. Why the govt is wasting huge money of the tax payers by airing these advertisements? Why is the government in a hurry to announce several schemes when the Lok Sabha election is just round the corner? What was it doing all these years when the growth rate was declining due to policy paralysis?