Failing to ask crucial questions that matter

Failing to ask crucial questions that matter
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Highlights

The Opposition keeps avoiding posing core questions to the government at Centre or in States, which the nation demands of them. Why arm-twist media, attempt to decimate opposition, throw leaders behind bars, destabilise governments? Will the prices come down? Will there be electoral reforms to reduce the money power in elections? Will corruption in various wings of administration see a downward trend? None of opposition parties asks what PM Modi�??s vision of Viksit Bharat 2047 is. They fail to pose substantial questions. Are they bankrupt of ideas?

Modi has no family, says Lalu Prasad Yadav�?� Congress government in Telangana will collapse in six months, says KTR�?�. If I had changed MLAs I would have been back in power. People are already feeling KCR was better CM, says KCR�?� Congress in Telangana cannot implement six guarantees, says Kishan Reddy. Lion fights alone, shouts Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

Who killed Baba (Uncle), Naidu asks Jagan. BRS MP and officials indulged in liquor scam in Telangana, alleges Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy. Kaleshwaram project was BRS ATM. Congress government sitting on files instead of ordering probe, says PM Narendra Modi.

Well, this is how the electoral narrative is on, in the two Telugu states. Let�??s peep into the neighbouring Tamil Nadu. There, MPs and Ministers have crossed all limits. One questions Sanatan dharma. Another leader says India was never one nation. But the owner of �??Mohabbat Ki Dukan�??, Rahul Gandhi, keeps himself playing with dogs or hitting at Adanis or Ambanis while the outdated top leadership of Congress who have crossed 80 keep clapping.

Every one claims they are the messiah of the poor but then where are the poor in the poll narrative that one has heard so far? The irony is that every party gives lectures on democracy and accuses the other of being autocratic.

In the last decade, we have seen how the political parties and their top leadership across all parties, including the BJP and the grand old party or the regional parties in all states, have adopted a new trend i.e., keep media at bay. Treat them as third-rate citizens and untouchables. Put restrictions on them. Indulge in arm-twisting tactics, create fear among top leaders and ministers and prevent even informal meetings with senior journos, divide and rule the media houses. If anyone raises any controversial issues, harass them and foist cases against them.

We have seen this trend in full operation across the country or much more in the two Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Though there has been a change of guard in Telangana, not much change is visible in the old systems.

Another trend is, to decimate the opposition. Encourage migrations, and impose restrictions on protests which is a fundamental right. The funda is the only government can hold massive public meetings but the opposition cannot. Arrest opposition leaders, foist cases whether or not they are genuine enough to stand in a court of law, put people in jails for as many days as possible.

At the national level, we have seen how duly elected governments are destabilized; how they are starved of funds if they do not toe the line of the Centre and turn a blind eye towards those governments that are �??Yes�?? governments even if they ruin the states. Andhra Pradesh is a case example.

Now that the general elections are around the corner and the notification is expected on March 13, the question is if there will be a change in this situation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of 370 seats, stating that this is a must to ensure that the Mission Viksit Bharat is put on fast track.

Fine, but the issue is can Bharat become Viksit without all the pillars enjoying necessary freedom? Will Modi 3.0 ensure that all the probes into the scams that have been pending �?? or shall I say unending �?? will be taken to their logical conclusion? Will the duly elected governments be allowed to remain in power for full five-year term unless there is a constitutional breakdown? Will the prices come down? Will there be electoral reforms to reduce the money power in elections? Will corruption in various wings of administration see a downward trend?

The BJP-led government in the past few months has laid a special focus on expanding the base of NDA and is re-inviting all those who left them over a period. A political situation was created so that all those who left the NDA in the past had no option but to get back into the NDA fold in the name of the interest of their respective states.

More than all this, the big question is why Modi has set a target of 370 plus. Is it just to pay tribute to party ideologue Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, as PM told Parliament? The reference to number 370 has multiple interpretations and connotations. The number has a certain resonance and ring with the BJP cadre.

Why 370? Well, no political party or media is asking this question. They are more concerned about non-issues like how Modi knows he will get 370 before the polls. What nonsense. How will Modi get it, we�??ll leave it to him. Focus on how to see that Modi does not get 370. That no one is doing. The Congress and the other opposition parties fired farmers�?? missiles again recently but it failed to hit the target.

The opposition has been shouting that BJP has failed to fulfill its promises and that democracy is not healthy. In 2014, you promised 2 crore jobs every year. After 10 years, the number reaches 20 crore. Have you ever given 20 lakh jobs? On one hand, you say you have helped crores of families to rise above BPL but on the other hand, you are providing them with free grains, Congress alleges.

Some say there is some secret hidden in EVMs. This is another fallacy. EVMs become the best option if a party wins. If they lose it is alleged that they are tampered with.

Why can�??t any of these parties at least talk of what is PM Modi�??s vision of Viksit Bharat 2047? PM in his speeches has outlined the action plan to transform India into a developed country by 2047 when India will be completing 100 years of Independence. The vision encompasses various aspects of development, including economic growth, social progress, environmental sustainability, and good governance, among others. PM Modi has previously told the nation to take a pledge, �??Whatever I do should be for a developed India�??.

Not just that, the Modi government has asked all cabinet colleagues and officers of every department to come out with actionable, measurable, and clearly defined plans for the new government. The PM said that political leaders are busy with elections, but officials must start preparing for the 100 days�?? programme of the new government and the general budget. Modi also mentioned that the general budget should no longer �??aim for incremental changes�?? every year but �??the budget has to be recast in the Viksit Bharat road map�?? to achieve long-term goals.

Why can�??t the Congress or the fractured group of bloc INDIA speak about it? Are they bankrupt of ideas? Do they lack information or refuse to come out of the old mould of politics which has now become redundant? Why is the opposition allowing itself to get decimated? It is not a good sign for a healthy democracy. A strong Centre with strong opposition can only usher in Viksit Bharat at a faster pace. But, there seem to be no hopes of a strong opposition for the next five years.

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