Mr Narendra Modi’s name has become synonymous with lies to the people. Almost every promise he made to the people of India turned out to be just a gimmick meant for the election purpose. He will be facing the next general election in less than a month. Let us take stock of some of his failed programmes and policies.
The last 58 months have been nothing short of a sordid saga of betrayals and backstabbing. The term ‘jumla’ has been firmly entrenched in the consciousness of people and it now represents the character of the BJP leadership, which has mastered the art of 4 Ds deception, deceit, doublespeak and duplicity. The scheming BJP is a master of one scheme -headlines management.
Modi government launched its flagship scheme ‘Make in India’ on Sept 25 2014, in an attempt to boost local manufacturing and created a new skills development ministry to provide vocational training to unskilled youth. There was still another much publicised programme ‘Startup India’ with the aim of making India the startup capital of the world like Israel.
Both these schemes failed to take off and proved duds like most of his other initiatives. The failure of these schemes is manifested in India’s performance in its waning exports and in its trade deficit with China. Our exports to China remains heavily skewed in the latter’s favour as our imports are four times larger than our total exports to that country. If we see the status report of Startup India on its website, we find that only 74 startups have been identified to receive tax benefits as of first week of January.
In a shocking decision, PM Modi on the evening of November 8 2016, addressed the nation banning the circulation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, thus sucking 86% of the currency in circulation. He cited the presence of huge black money in the system as the objective behind his sudden decision.
Modi government had then boasted about targeting as much as a third of India’s unaccounted wealth, but in the end, nearly all the currency found its way to the bank, riding along with hundreds of thousands of poor Indians whose Jan Dhan accounts were used for depositing these ill-gotten money.
This draconian measure brought the country’s informal economy to a standstill and had a debilitating effect on the country’s GDP.
One of PM Modi’s key promises in general election 2014 was to double the farmer’s income in the next 5 years. And for that to become a reality, our agriculture needed to grow at 12% for at least four years but it is presently growing at a modest 4-5 %.
Farm incomes have declined, primarily on account of food price deflation and the breakdown in the cash-based rural economy in the wake of the November 2016 demonetisation. If we compare India’s real GDP growth to expansion of its farm sector, the latter has consistently lagged the former since 2012.
The 2018 pre-budget Economic Survey notes that on account of climate change itself, farm incomes could see further 25% erosion in the long term. Not only has farm distress worsened, farmers were forced to come on the streets, as happened in Mumbai and Delhi.
Just before the Gujarat Assembly elections, Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Rs 144 crore Ro-Ro Ferry project, which after functioning for over a year is now defunct as the ferry’s engine has collapsed. There was so much of brouhaha in the media over the Statue of Unity and the accompanying world class facilities. The reality is just the opposite as the elevator at the newly-inaugurated Statue of Unity site broke down thrice in December.
Angry visitors even demanded a refund of their money. Bihar’s deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi along with another state Gujarat minister and officials got stuck in the Statue of Unity elevator twice on Nov 14. In June 2018 Prime Minister Modi inaugurated BJP’s Bastar development plan which proved a damp squib. Under UDAN, the regional connectivity scheme, Bastar, 20 kms from Jagdalpur was supposed to be linked with Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur by air. Besides a solitary flight with hours of delay, there are no flights from Jagdalpur Airport.
Talking of urban housing, Modi government has built just 3.93 lakh houses in urban areas in last four years. The same BJP is now promising five crore houses by 2022. By their current pace, it will take almost 125 years to build those five crore houses.
Mr Modi promised 100 smart cities but so far it has released only 1.8 % of the funds reserved for Smart Cities since 2015. In one of his election campaigns in Rajasthan on November 26, 2018, PM Modi asked the audience whether earlier there were roads, electricity and water in villages? The reality is that under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in just 4 years from 2008 to 2011, 158,000 kilometres of road were constructed while under PM Modi from 2014 to 2017, only 120,000 kilometres of roads have been constructed.
In the same rally, he went on to claim that our government has given approval to eight medical colleges in Rajasthan. But if we check the official data, we realise that only one medical college in Dholpur has received central government approval, as of August 2018.
On October 19, 2018, in another public meeting, PM Modi said we have constructed 1.25 crore houses in last 4 years, whereas Congress had constructed just 25 lakhs houses in four years. But, if we check the standing committee’s report on rural development, 162 lakh houses were built between 2007-2014 while Modi government has only managed to build 53 lakh houses, which is 52 % of BJP’s target of one crore.
A week after on November 26, 2018, during a rally in Rajasthan, he claimed his government has opened bank account for every Indian. If we check the facts, as of July 2017, 18 PSU and 16 rural branches have over one crore Jan Dhan accounts with a balance of just Rs 1. As of July 2018, there are more than 6 crore bank accounts which lie inoperative.
It’s obvious that last 5 years of Mr Modi as a Prime Minister of India has been high on rhetoric and less on delivery and execution of the projects. One thing is certain, the history won’t be very kind to Mr Narendra Damodardas Modi for failing the country and its 134 crore people.
Disclaimer: These views are solely of the author.