Needed: Far-sighted leaders to crank up growth

Needed: Far-sighted leaders to crank up growth
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 Far-sighted leaders to crank up growth

Highlights

A major churning seems to be on in Telangana BJP on whether to encourage large-scale migration from other parties or not. The saffron party after its victory in Dubbaka bypoll, good performance in GHMC elections and the latest victory in Huzurabad byelection has been on cloud nine and wants to leave no stone unturned to come to power or at least nearer to power.

A major churning seems to be on in Telangana BJP on whether to encourage large-scale migration from other parties or not. The saffron party after its victory in Dubbaka bypoll, good performance in GHMC elections and the latest victory in Huzurabad byelection has been on cloud nine and wants to leave no stone unturned to come to power or at least nearer to power.

Ever since Delhi appointed Bandi Sanjay as the State president, the BJP has been going aggressive in the State. The cadre which was not so active till then seems to have been put in top gear. All-out efforts are being made to ensure there is better coordination between the national and the state leadership so that the latter can infuse new momentum into the rank and file of the party at all levels. This exercise is part of the fine-tuning strategies to win a majority of seats so that it can come to power in Telangana during the 2023 assembly elections.

The vision is good. The ambition to come to power is understandable. But what is the need of the hour for the political parties not just in Telangana but across the country is to undergo a total makeover.

Unfortunately, the non-BJP parties at national level refuse to change, and they feel that if there is anti-incumbency feeling against the BJP, they can come to power – they just want to go on the beaten track of forging a loose alliance, which can never succeed given the dictatorial tendencies each regional party leader has. The alliance partners keep fighting for their pound of flesh rather than work for the overall development of the country or the State, win the confidence of the people and come back to poor. The Congress has slipped and is not able to lead the regional parties.

The regional parties are no better. Once they are in power with an absolute majority, they forget all the criticism they had made against the previous ruling party. The strategies they adopt are merely to decimate the opposition. What is important to them is to remain glued to the seat of power rather than put their respective States on the path of fast-track development. All parties perhaps don't want to allow new leadership to emerge.

It's high time the parties in power at the Centre as well as in the States stopped indulging in cheap politicking and patting their own back. Instead, they should study how governance should become tech-savvy and ensure that doing business is made easy by creating world-class infrastructure in all the States. Our politicians are known for big talk but what we need is big-ticket leaders who can speak their mind and work in the direction of making India the best destination for investments. Alas, what we are seeing today is many States are depending on heavy borrowings and not making any new revenue generation.

In this context, Dubai makes an interesting case study. The government there is ahead of the curve. It works as if it is a start-up, understands well the need of the tech industry. The quality of life is high there. It has world-class infrastructure and tax benefits are also high. If you have talent you can have a truly global tech hub.

According to reports, not very long ago, tech companies used to have only have their sales offices in Dubai, but now the situation is such that entrepreneurs and tech professionals are scrambling to build bases in Dubai and are setting up firms with cutting-edge technology, roping in tech professionals from India.

It does not take more than seven days to complete paperwork. The cost of setting up a firm is also low, and the laws are simple. What else does an entrepreneur require. Now, these companies are weaning away some of the top talent from India, according to reports. It is said that Dubai Internet city has over 1,600 companies. Of course, one needs to be careful with agents who may offer to get work done more easily but may do nothing.

It is not difficult for India to achieve all this, provided the parties here evolve a progressive outlook and put the country first instead of continuing to look at elections by dividing communities and castes and raking up regional feelings just before the elections.

But unfortunately, the parties continue to lay greater focus on poaching winning horses from other parties in the run-up to elections. This generally breeds discontent among the flag-bearers of the party and they try to sabotage the winning chances of the new entrants. Opposition leaders in India still believe in holding different types of yatras and promise to roll out freebies if voted to power, while the ruling parties also tread the same path. As the polling date approaches, political parties across the spectrum seek to buy votes by paying anything from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 per vote.

It is really an irony that all those who win by spending such huge amounts swear by the Constitution and take oath that they will protect it in letter and spirit. Is buying votes a constitutional right? Can such people really protect the Constitution? The people need to ponder over.

As if they are shorn of any new ideas or strategies, politicians are now-a-days taking a recourse to hire poll strategists by spending huge amounts. Those who want to retain power and those who want to come to power should show greater maturity and think in terms of being ahead of the curve in terms of pursuing development politics. All this calls for a big debate among the people who are getting used to accepting note for vote and losing the right to question their leaders. Leaders who bought their way to power naturally focus only on mobilising at least 50 per cent more than what he or she had spent during the last elections so that they can win the next polls. As of now, the Election Commission permits a Lok Sabha candidate to spend Rs 70 lakh during the elections. But it is said that many candidates spend anything up to Rs 10 crore. How are they able to do that? Does it not call for major political reforms? Will the BJP at Centre focus on this? One has to wait and watch.

This situation needs to change and for that the BJP, if it wants to go down in the history as a party which had made India as Atma Nirbhar Bharat in true sense, should initiate steps towards ushering in massive political and electoral reforms. With the general elections just two years away, it remains to be seen if it could really make a mark by doing so or would like to remain as yet another party that speaks high but blinks when it is time for action.

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