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    Showing posts with label chief minister Narendra Modi. Show all posts

    Has the Modi govt stumbled in Delhi's power corridors?

    As an election campaigner, Narendra Modi promised sweeping market reforms to revive India's economy and put the country to work. As prime minister, he has dismayed admirers, apparently reverting to the script of the hapless government he defeated.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to supporters during a public rally in Kargil. (AFP Photo)

    To some of the economists and business leaders who as his campaign cheerleaders dared to dream of a Thatcherite revolution, he seems not to be listening. Three months after his win, it is dawning on them that their views count for little.

    "As of now, the momentum is lost. They might still recover it, but we have lost the moment," said Bibek Debroy, a prominent economist who co-wrote a book laying out a reform agenda that the new prime minister himself launched in June.

    Debroy told Reuters that so far there had been no signs of the promised change at institutions sapped by graft and over-regulation that many Indians have grown to revile.

    Back in the heady days of the election campaign, Modi and his supporters seemed much more in tune, all lambasting the last centre-left government for years of waste and policy paralysis and building expectations of a regime of "minimum government and maximum governance" that would unshackle key sectors of the economy from the state.

    But now there is a sense that the 63-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongman, who made his reputation putting his home state Gujarat on a high growth path, has somehow stumbled in New Delhi.

    To be fair, the government has a five-year term to achieve Modi's goal of transforming India into an economic and military power able to withstand the rise of China on its doorstep.

    On Friday, Modi will make his first Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Old Delhi, and the expectation within his party is that he may use the occasion to announce bold changes that have so far been absent.

    According to economists at HSBC, the government has already moved with "unaccustomed alacrity" on a number of fronts, such as opening up the state railways to foreign investment and providing new guidelines for a more streamlined bureaucracy.

    Chief Minister Narendra Modi with Rajasthan BJP president Vasundhara Raje at an election rally in Udaipur on Saturday. PTI

    Three days after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi made stinging allegations against the BJP for fanning communal violence and called himself a "victim of terrorism", BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in a massive rally in Udaipur said the "Shehzada" was spinning out "family serials" to win popularity and dismissed his revelation of ISI getting in touch with the relatives of riot victims in Muzaffarnagar as a "story" heard in passing.

    In a rally organised by the tribal cell of the party, Modi raised a clarion call to uproot the "Delhi Sultanate" and announced that "only six months and less than 200 days were left" for change to be ushered in. Playing to a teeming crowd drawn from the tribal-dominated belts, Modi laid out a direct comparison of prices of essential commodities used commonly in the Mewar region. He alleged that these commodities have become unaffordable to the common man due to inflation, leaving the women in the audience nodding in agreement. "During Atalji's government, gur (jaggery) was sold at Rs 9, now it is not even available even at Rs 50. Similarly arhar dal used to be priced at Rs 26, now it has crossed Rs 70, chillies were Rs 50 a kg, now have crossed Rs 200," he said, quickly adding, "Kisne mirchi lagai?"

    The atmosphere was electric as Modi connected with the crowd and frequently left questions to the audience. "Aapka jeena haraam karne wale Congress ka aap jeena haraam karoge? (Will you give Congress a hard time for giving you a tough time)," he asked.

    Modi said that coal and 2G have caught the attention of the Congress-led government and not onions. "Now they are eyeing gold and they have got to know that every household in Rajasthan has at least 1 kg of gold. Dear friends they are out to get your gold, your mangalsutra," he cautioned.

    Narendra Modi features on Time's cover; Congress angry

    Gujarat Congress today termed as "biased, partial" the articles by Time magazine as well as the Brookings Institution's on chief minister Narendra Modi, which praised him for state's development, and claimed that they "highlight wrong facts" about Gujarat.

    Time magazine, in its March 26 issue, published an article on the Mr Modi, with the heading: "Modi means business", along with a strap: "But can he lead India?"

    "I am deeply distressed by two recent articles on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. One is by Time magazine and the other is by Brookings Institution. Journalism or reporting is supposed to be balanced and impartial. I am surprised why only those, who have praised Modi, have been quoted," state Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters here.

    Brookings Institution also recently published an interview of Modi, praising him for the work done by his government for the development of Gujarat.

    "These articles are an injustice to Gujarat and India, because they are biased, partial and highlight wrong facts about Gujarat," Mr Gohil said.

    "All those with values, all those, who respect Gujarat for it is this land that gave birth to Gandhi and Sardar Patel need to protest against it strongly," he said.

    "Modi thinks that by repeating a lie, it becomes the truth. Modi's Goebellian propaganda is once again reflected through these articles," Mr Gohil further alleged.

    In a personal attack of Mr Modi, Mr Gohil said, "The Time article, of course, has some correct facts and I have to acknowledge and congratulate the magazine for at least acknowledging that Narendra Modi is a married man, because, to begin with, his long strings of lies, masks and manipulation, Modi has never ever acknowledged his marriage."

    "Modi's career began with a lie. For as we are told, the RSS constitution clearly says that their full-time pracharaks have to be unmarried, bachelors, who can devote their life to RSS. Modi began as a RSS pracharak. And so far, has never acknowledged his marriage," Mr Gohil said.

    "I sincerely wish Time magazine would have checked the facts doled out by Modi and his government. There are several factual inaccuracies in the article of Time magazine," Mr Gohil said.

    "The article says: Gujarat has progressed like never before in Modi regime and is now most industrialised state of India. Right now, Gujarat's growth rate is about 12 per cent growth. Now, in 1992-93, please remember there was no liberalisation and economic reforms at that point of time, Gujarat's growth rate was 16.75 per cent," Mr Gohil said.

    "Modi alone has been taking credit for Gujarat and its growth when Gujarat has traditionally been the growth centre of the nation. Time or Brookings should have mentioned that," Mr Gohil said.

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