By Rajendra Dichpally National General Secretary – Indian Overseas Congress, USA.
On December 3rd, 2019 through passing the SPG amendment bill in Parliament, the Modi Government removed the SPG coverage of the entire Gandhi family. Recently on July 1st, they also ordered Priyanka Gandhi to vacate her government allotted bungalow in Lodhi Garden, New Delhi. This move may force her to move to Lucknow. This is a strategic action of the Modi government to eliminate the perennial political threat which Priyanka Gandhi has been giving to the BJP. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are transitory threats to the BJP as they have limited lives. Rahul Gandhi does not have descendants.
If Priyanka Gandhi moves to Lucknow, her status from the press coverage point will be lower than living in Delhi. Second, her security coverage will be effectively reduced as her house in Lucknow might not be so safe as her Delhi house has been. This will force her to remain at the mercy of Yogi Adityanath’s government and her voice of opposition may get significantly muted under fear. For fair comparison and finding the truth, we are doing unbiased analysis on different fronts if the BJP can compete positively with Congress and eventually be the winner in the eyes of the people if they are really scared of Priyanka Gandhi.
We start on the political front beginning with the unification of the country. The BJP government abrogated article 370 on 5th August 2019. On this achievement, they are doing chest-thumping by saying that they did something which the Congress under Nehru-Gandhi family could not do during the 70 years of their rule. However, this abrogation of article 370, is a very small achievement when we compare it with the unification of the entire country under the skillful direction of Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel when Jawaharlal was the Prime Minister. When the British had left India in 1947, there were more than 550 Princely states within the Indian territory. Sardar Patel under the supervision of then PM Jawaharlal Nehru incorporated all of them initially by paying them privy purse in 1947 and then merging them in 1949. With the merger of 1949, the Princely states lost all the rights to rule their territories. Eventually, Mrs. Indira Gandhi ended that privy purse by bringing the 26th Constitutional Amendment in 1971, and the integration of princely states in India was completed. On national unity in front of political achievement, the vision of Nehru built India into a modern, secular, stable, and democratic India. Right now, under the Modi government, the secular face of India is at stake. Press freedom and horse-trading of elected representatives has weakened democracy. Hiding of critical public information is tantamount to election manipulation.
On foreign policy front India under Congress governance maintained more or less independent foreign policy since India did not join the group of any of the two superpowers led by the USA on the one hand and the USSR on the other. India formed its third front of the non-aligned movement (NAM) in which there are at present 120 member countries. India had a cordial relationship with both the super-powers. The BJP government could not improve despite numerous foreign travels by PM Modi. It seems the Modi government did not even maintain the status quo. On February 12, 2020, the US removed India from the list of developing countries for trade benefits on account of it being a G-20 member and having a share of 0.5% or more of world trade. The move has cast a shadow on India being able to restore preferential benefits under the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) as part of its trade talks with the US, as only developing countries are eligible for it. This is a failure of foreign policy as some of the previously enjoyed trade benefits from the USA have been snatched. India should have argued that on a per capita basis, India was still eligible for US GSP. Modi government failed miserably in this field. Similarly, on the border issues with China, the Modi government seems to have done badly as after the 1962 war, after a hiatus of 45 years, only recently the Chinese military killed 20 Indian soldiers on the Ladakh border. Modi government has failed to stem the encroachment of Indian territory in Ladakh by Chinese soldiers who are building strategic relations with Pakistan.
On the economic front, the Modi government has failed almost everywhere when compared with Congress rule. Though the Congress government did not make India an economic powerhouse like Japan or China, but still they did far better than the Modi government. Along with many other things, we are especially indebted to the Congress governments for their two most significant contributions. The first has been achieving the food security for the country through the Green Revolution and Public Distribution System managed by Food Corporation of India (FCI). The second has been achieving economic security by building impressive public sector undertakings like BHEL, BEL, Nationalized banks, LIC, Steel, Mining, Telecommunications, VSNL, Petroleum giants, and Defense goods production industries to name some of them. In total there are about 270 public sector undertakings in India doing very important economic activities for the country. When food and economic security are achieved, there is hardly anything left because with these two securities we also get military security as a corollary.
Today, the Modi government is using the same FCI stored food to distribute free ration to the 80-crore people of India from April 2020 to November 2020. Had not the Congress governments built this impressive food security, the country would have faced starvation deaths in very large numbers during this Corona pandemic. When imports have been hard in Corona, the building of food storage had been a very wise strategic decision of the Congress rule. Additionally, the Modi government has spoiled its public finances so badly that it been selling the huge public sector undertakings to its cronies to meet its budget deficit. Tax collections of the Modi government have been only around 60% of the target. After selling its stakes of highly profitable public sector companies such as BPCL, SCI, CONCOR, the Modi government is planning to sell stakes of another 46 companies. To sum up, the Modi government is able to survive economically today only because of the impressive national wealth that the Congress rule had created over 70 years.
On other economic indicators, the unemployment level rose to 6.1 percent during 2017-18, the highest level in 45 years. Modi government had blocked this data from publication until May 31, 2019, by when the election results were announced, and the new government was sworn in. This is a clear cut ending of democracy as it is manipulating the election in its favor by hiding the critical bad information from the public. The number of farmers’ suicides has been the highest during the Modi government, one an average more than 10 farmers have been killing themselves every day since 2017. Demonetization and GST have been a disaster for industries and the nation. Demonetization is more corruption than reform by the Modi Government. We know the effects of demonetization only after about four years and the damage it has created in the country, especially the rural unorganized sectors. Paytm donated Rs 500 crores to the Modi government to fight Corona. This matched the amount of what Tata and Reliance donated for the same purpose. Economic analysis of this donation means that demonetization was done primarily to benefit Paytm at the cost of 130 crores of Indian people. This company has a big Chinese corporate world link. Alibaba and SAIF Partners own 60 percent of Paytm. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the CEO of Paytm, is effectively the broker (Dalal) of Chinese giants to give money to the Modi Government, rob all Indian people through Paytm, and sell economic sovereignty to China. This is perhaps the biggest betrayal to the country and the 130 crores of Indian people by our own Prime Minister.
If we look historically, the move to displace Priyanka Gandhi by the Modi government is completely unjust. She deserves far better treatment as her ancestors have contributed a lot to this country. Even before independence, Pandit Motilal Nehru donated his Anand Bhawan house shown below to the independence movement in the 1920s. Anand Bhawan served as headquarter of Indian National Congress for a long time.
Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru spent almost a decade in jail during the prime of his youth which was the longest prison serve amongst all the leaders of the country. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi won the 1971 war and weakened Pakistan so much by bifurcating it into two countries that Pakistan can never challenge India militarily or in any field. She learned from history and built a sound and stable foreign policy after the debacle of the 1962 war. Rajiv Gandhi gave the country vision of computers, Panchayati Raj, Telecommunications development through Sam Pitroda, and economic liberalization which was implemented by his successor Prime Minister Narsimha Rao. Rahul Gandhi is serving the country and fighting the communal forces.
Modi government has succeeded in winning elections by bringing negativity in the Nehru-Gandhi family, and patriotism (last election). This type of personal vindictive policy should stop. BJP should be accountable for promises made to the people. If we start counting the BJP failures on the economic front a whole book can be written. Priyanka Gandhi is their real perennial threat as she has heirs. Modi government wants to eliminate her by hook or by crook. They have reduced her security so that she is either killed or silenced.
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