Originally Published 2014-05-19 05:45:48 Published on May 19, 2014
Indian industry stalwarts have welcomed the arrival of Narendra Modi. The first priority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be to ensure the revival of economic growth, which has gone below 5 per cent in the past two years and also tackle food inflation and price rise.
Modi's first priority should be reviving economy
"For the first time since 1984, when Rajiv Gandhi secured more than a 2/3rd majority in the Lok Sabha in the aftermath of a sympathy wave generated by the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the latest election has yielded a clear majority to the main opposition party, BJP, which will now come to power.

Modi’s achievements as a ’Man of Destiny’ are manifold. The BJP received almost 32 per cent of the votes polled which is the highest ever. It won all the seven parliamentary seats in Delhi. In Gujarat the party won all the 26 seats. It won an unprecedented 73 out of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, where the BSP, which came to power in 2007 by securing the support of Brahmins and Dalits, got no Lok Sabha seat this time.

Nationwide, the elections saw the defeat of several Central Cabinet ministers, including Sushilkumar Shinde, Kapil Sibal, Pawan Bansal, Sachin Pilot, Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ambika Soni, a remarkable array of casualties.

In winning the two Lok Sabha constituencies, Vadodara and Varanasi, Modi scored with an unbeatable margin of 5,70,000 votes in Vadodara and over 3,00,000 in Varanasi.

This election undoubtedly marks the eclipse of the Congress party. The last 10 years of Congress rule witnessed lack of requisite governance and a number of scams, which explain such a huge fall in the fortunes of the Congress and the defeat of several stalwarts. The president and the vice-president of the Congress graciously owned the responsibility for the setback.

In his victory speech at Vadodara on the May 16 evening, Modi made some important points. He said that he considered himself as "Mazdoor No. 1", that he would never betray the country’s mandate and that he would not discriminate against any community. Modi also said that he wanted 10 years to make India a powerful nation. There is little doubt that he will deliver on what he has promised. People look up to him as Vikas Purush and that he will be able to extend the Gujarat model to the whole country.

At the very minimum, the Gujarat model of development means the availability of water and power all the 24 hours on all the 365 days of the year. Most parts of the country are without both water and power; it is a common sight to see women with utensils waiting patiently on the roadside for water tanks to come and deliver water. On the power situation, the less said the better. Many industrial sectors in the south like Coimbatore are deprived of power, leading to frequent shutdowns and unemployment, apart from the loss of exports.

Narendra Modi has spoken in terms of implementing the linking of all the major rivers in the country, a great project, which has been in the planning books for over many years. Pioneers like technocrat K.L. Rao have spoken about the possibility of linking India’s great rivers over 50 years back. If only Modi could link up all the rivers — Yamuna and Ganga, Godavari, Narmada and Kaveri —India would be transformed into a country of abundant rural prosperity.

Jagdish Bhagwati, a distinguished Professor and economist at Columbia University, USA, has discovered his Gujarati roots and has warmly spoken of Modi promising a "Second Revolution" as the "people’s Prime Minister" and that Modi would follow Swami Vivekananda’s Karmayoga which means service to mankind.

Narendra Modi has spoken in terms of making India one of the most powerful nations in the world, which means next only to the USA, China and Japan. Even earlier, Modi had spoken in terms of India being completely self-sufficient in the production of defence material and that India should also be able to export defence products.

It is known that India is not self-sufficient in defence production. It took two decades to produce a standard tank, Arjun, which is not entirely satisfactory to the armoured corps. Everyone knows the recent setback and the series of accidents in the few submarines that India owns. The state of affairs in the defnece equipment is not at all satisfactory. It is high time now the situation was set right.

As for economic reforms, Indian industry stalwarts have welcomed the arrival of Narendra Modi. The first priority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be to ensure the revival of economic growth, which has gone below 5 per cent in the past two years and also tackle food inflation and price rise, which has deeply upset the common man. The industrial momentum also has to be revived and maintained at a higher average. The captains of industry have urged him to restore investors’ confidence, attract higher investments and generate jobs.

The heads of state around the world, including President Obama, have hailed the arrival of Narendra Modi and have invited him to visit their respective countries. Modi’s election has been hailed in the US as an epochal democratic experiment. The warm welcome from the US President is moreover an admission of its faulty attitude earlier in denying a visa to him. Invitations have also come from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Interestingly, strategic experts at the Institute of International Studies, which has close links with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, have commented that Mr. Modi could open the door to more Chinese investments as well as leave a lasting mark on the history of Sino-Indian relations.

As the news of the BJP’s landslide victory came, Modi tweeted, "India has won", which reverberated all over the country. With this Tweet eliciting as many as 50,000 tweets from all around the world, let us hope it is going to be truly prophetic.

(The writer is an Advisor with Observer Research Foundation, Delhi)

Courtesy: The Tribune

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