As Prime Minister Modi completes one year in office, the Congress has come forward with strong criticisms against the ruling BJP government compounding the tensed atmosphere.
The Opposition that has so far been flaccid woke up from its snooze lambasting the Modi government over its corporate affinity and anti-public moves. In response, the Prime Minister himself has countered the attacks from the Opposition. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi who returned after his 56 day sabbatical appears to have done sufficient homework before making public political appearances and his movements inside and outside the Parliament confirms it. During his visit to Kerala, his lashed out at the Modi government pointing at the threats in its basic approaches as well as stance. While addressing a public rally in the state, he accused the PM of betraying the interests of the farmers through his ‘anti-poor’ and ‘anti-farmer’ reforms to favour the big industrialists. He said that the government was not picking up a fight with the fishermen, farmers, tribals and small businessmen but with the soul of the country.
Rahul Gandhi repeated that the present ‘suit-boot’ government wouldn’t be able to complete its five years in office and that it would be thrown out from power by the people. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his anxiety over how the institutions of democracy were facing threats under the BJP government and also the public welfare schemes initiated by the UPA government that were being dismantled under the guise of promoting faster economic growth. Congress president Sonia Gandhi too slammed the PM for running a ‘one-man government’ saying that the present government was the most centralized one in the country’s recent history. She said that the NDA government was showing “obstinate arrogance" in Parliament and that all the power and resources were being utilized for promoting and projecting a single individual.
The sharp remarks by the Opposition leaders haven’t gone down well with Modi who widely engages in highlighting his persona. Modi hit back at Sonia saying that during the UPA rule, extra-constitutional authorities exercised power over the PMO. The BJP who was the Opposition party had then critisised Manmohan Singh for being a ‘puppet’ during the UPA rule. The relevant question in concern is whether the democracy of the Parliament has retained its basic concepts or not. It’s when those who are unanswerable to people assume power and pressurize the government, that problems of destabilizing the democracy surfaces. Even the Congress wouldn’t claim that the Nehru family was free from the pitfalls of democracy. Now the BJP too is tagging along the Congress. Modi follows a presidential system and according to the analysts, all the power is being centralized, a sign of rising autocracy. Above all, the modus operandi of the NDA government is devised in the RSS centre of operations.
The RSS headquarters in Hedgewar Bhavan, Nagpur is the authority that decides whom to appoint or remove from the Constitutional stature like that of the governor. Therefore the present government doesn’t have the right to critisise the unconstitutional authorities exercising control over the government. Modi has now taken the reigns of the market-oriented economy that was revamped through the policies put forward in the 1990s by the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh and launched by Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao as a response to economic crisis that gripped the country. Even though reforming the country was one of the main mottos and goals of the earlier UPA government, the Congress and now BJP, isn’t different from each other in implementing their promises. But if the circumstances compel them to change their minds and sincerely reach out to the people, it could be seen as a sign of positive hope.