……Continued from Part 1
Aiyar’s Insight on challenges Modi could face
Mr Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar of The Economic Times wrote long back analyzing Mr Modi’s potential to impact India as a Prime Minister. This was in the early days of his/BJP’s Lok Sabha success. Modi had been fairly successful as Gujarat’s CM and there was wide-spread hope that he would replicate the outcomes as Prime Minister as well.
Mr Aiyar had then suggested with good insight that the Prime Minister was dependent on the support of the Chief Ministers (in our Federal structure). Hence, his argument was that his PMship of India would be far more difficult (in terms of getting things done at the state level) than the CMship of Gujarat had prepared him for. Time has shown this observation’s merit.
Assam, Uttarakhand and all the way, UP
Half way through this current tenure as PM (more relevantly in the afternath of Demonetization), Mr Modi has scored sterling victories for BJP and has risen in stature. Hence even non-BJP Chief Ministers may find it tough now to avoid toeing the line. The top ten Indian States by statewise nominal GDP contribute significantly to India’s GDP. More than 60% of India’s GDP of $ 2.6 Trillion USD comes from these states. With UP, BJP/allies is in power in six of these (AP’s TDP is a close ally). These six states alone contribute almost 40% of India’s GDP. (data from Wikipedia)
Congress Loses an Opportunity with Mr Singh
A decade ago, Congress had a great opportunity with Mr Manmohan Singh. Congress was still a force to reckon with. Even the number One state Maharashtra was governed by it.
Mr Singh’s CV boasted/s credentials which only a handful of leaders globally (across generations) would have felt qualified enough to envy. He shepherded India on the Nuclear deal with George Bush (US) and also laid the foundation for the UIDAI (Aadhar) program. However the Family Inc rendered him largely impotent. Scams and wide-spread dis-illusionment with Mr Singh’s inability to make India hear anything beyond HMV…..His Master’s (first family of INC) Voice proved too much for the country.
The ills that plagued India’s governance during Mr Singh’s tenure is not helping our Democracy any, even as we discuss this.