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BJP's Election eve bonanzas
1/21/2019 11:20:39 PM
Omkar Dattatray

Democracy is defi
nitely a better form of government and governance but still it is not free from limitations. People are supreme source of power in a democracy but at the same time elections which are the means of formation of people's government are a strange phenomenon, thanks to the maneuvering and machinations of the rulers given the fact that election eve promises are driven by political expediency and are made only with an eye on elections no matter what such populous measures and decisions will have on the economy and development of the country. The rulers are hardly bothered about it but only focus on their immediate gains and this regard the ultimate source of power-the plebian which is very disturbing phenomenon but there seems to be no way out from this gimmicks and jumla (deceit). However, the fact is that these election eve gifts are lost in election den and buzz of electioneering when elections take place and leave the gullible voters high and dry and left them to fend for themselves. Same is happening in the largest democracy of the world just before the Lok Sabha elections which are now few months away. Sensing that the people by and large are not happy with the BJP led government of NDA and its four and half years of rule, BJP is desperate and in this desperation is announcing popular gifts to resurrect its fading image and to lure voters as a last time effort. Thus, the party and its leader right from Prime Minister Narinder Modi down to its state apparatus is making efforts to entice voters and is busy in announcing one after other bonanza when the government is in its last leg and thus when the government is about to leave, its should not offer popular schemes and gifts which the government should have done in its four ½ years rule. Realizing that people are not happy with the performance of BJP because of non fulfillment of the promises made in 2014 general elections, Modi and his BJP is not leaving anything to chance but is making last ditch efforts to revive its fortunes in the upcoming elections. Announcement of ten percent reservation to economically backward or poor among the general category candidates is a decision of far reaching ramifications and it is a good step and decision but the timing of this decision is not right. Piloting of the bill in this regard and passing of this important piece of legislation when both houses of parliament were on the way to be adjourned and even extending their dates for passing the bill when the govt. itself is on the last longue is very disturbing. Otherwise the bill is the need of the hour because there are a large section of people among upper castes who are very poor and need reservations to uplift them so that they see and receive the fruits of development. Passing of the bill in Lok Sabha and then in Rajya Sabha is a matter of satisfaction as in Upper house BJP has no magic numbers to pass the bill but still it has been able to pass the bill without amendments is a historical development to put in the words of PM Modi. However, the criteria to determine who is poor as per the provisions of the bill is arbitrary and the criterion of eight lakh family income of the person to seek the reservation and even the criteria about land holding is also inconsistent and arbitrary. When citizens having annual income of 2.5 lakh are subject to income tax, the fixing of criteria of Rs. 8 lakh for a person to seek benefits of quota is the big lacuna of the bill and as said by opposition it is a bill in haste. Some opposition parties have accused that the bill is a mid night robbery and an election jumla which it rightly is. But the matter of satisfaction is that 10 percent quota for general category is above 50 percent reservation limit for SC/ST and OBCs and they will not be affected by this new reservation law. The bill is a constitutional amendment to article 14 and 15 of the constitution but the fact is that the apex court had earlier fixed a limit of 50 percent for all reservations but with this bill this quota has been exceeded and the constitution does not have any provision up to now to have any reservation for the people of Upper castes. The bill has been given accent by the President and has become a law, now the govt. is going to notify the legislation. As expected the bill was subjected to litigations as an NGO filed a case against the legislation in Supreme Court only one day after the bill was passed by Rajya Sabha. Opposition has been stumped out by the googly of ruling BJP by piloting and passing the Upper Caste 10 percent quota bill and it gives BJP a handle to pressurize opposition in run up to elections. Back to election bonanza, the bill seeking to provide Indian citizenship to non muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan was passed in Lok Sabha. The bill provides for a according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christains, Sikhs and Parsis from these countries after 6 years of residence in India instead of 12 years currently in vogue. Here also the bill was needed but the timings of the bill are doubtful as it is timed just before 2019 general elections to entice voters belonging to these faiths. The bill has irked PDP president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who criticized and questioned this bill. The announcement and inauguration of various development projects in different states of India is an election time trick to lure voters by hoodwinking them. To top it all the new and innovative scheme of universal basic income for the poor which seems to be in the pipeline is nothing but election eve gift to lure an entice voters just before elections and it does not surprise psychologists and political pundits anymore. Promising of free electricity connection to rural poor is big and popular measure which will do no good to the country's economy but may give some immediate relief and succor to the people living in poverty. Last but not the least is the bonanza of GST exemption limit doubled to Rs. 40 lakh as relief to small businessmen. Thus, in a bid to give relief, GST council doubled exemption relief to small businessmen and hiked it to Rs. 40 Lakh as against the existing limit of Rs. 20 lakh. Government also announced higher turnover cap of 1.5 crore for availing composition scheme of paying one percent tax and it will be effective from 1st April. Earlier, to this GST council had also given relief to businessmen and had slashed different slabs to give relief to them.
But one thing is clear that it is nothing but a political arithmetic and a gimmick to blackmail voters just before general elections. As announced by Finance Minister Arun Jateily more such decisions of populism are in the pipeline for the benefit of citizens but all this is done just before few months of elections and there are no takers of these election eve gifts which only amount to hoodwinking the innocent voters and making them to vote for BJP which is fearing repeat of the election results of assembly elections of M.P, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
In panic BJP is announcing one after another decision to salvage its sagging image among the electorate. Asking the apex court to fast track the case of Ram Janam boomi - Babri Masjid and to hear it on day to day basis is also aimed at winning the support of majority community. But here the Govt shys away from exacting a law to pave way for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhaya. People of the country read voters are showed enough to see the game plan of BJP and other parties and they will vote as per their conscience and free will in 2019 elections and the last moment efforts of the saffornites will not impress the votes. In budget session of Parliament BJP government is going to take big decision to entice voters. What a politics government is treading just before the general elections. It was the time for the government to close its innings and work so but its making and taking various decisions only with an eye on general elections. Populism and popular nationalism has become a mahamantra the World over and Indian political scene is no exception to it. Thus popular narrative has become a modern catch word of the politician and rulers and this has manifested in the popular themes and incentives given to various segments of society just before the general elections.
When the government is on its last leg of its tenure, it should be prepared to demit the office and should not take extra ordinary decisions which are aimed only to win the elections and has nothing to do with governance but are politically motivated and the voters are better judges to decide who are their real saviors and who are not . Last hour efforts and decisions to lure voters may prove counter- productive.
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