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Government’s Case

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The Modi Government’s last parliamentary session for the present term of the Lok Sabha began on Thursday. President Ram Nath Kovind addressed a joint sitting of the two Houses and presented a comprehensive report on the achievements of ‘his’ government. In that it was heard without the usual commotion raises the hope that the ensuing debate on the vote of thanks will be better informed. There are many points that the opposition needs to rebut with facts and figures, unless it prefers instead to continue with the propaganda warfare that is underway in the public realm these days. This is particularly so in the case of the Rahul Gandhi led Congress, which has obviously decided to raise so much dust that it becomes difficult to distinguish between truth and falsehood. A disillusioned voter is always good for the opposition.
The President mentioned the ‘good’ results obtained from demonetisation and GST implementation, as well as the expected boost to India’s defence preparedness with the planned induction of the Rafale fighter – issues that the opposition has raised for a considerable time now as contentious. He also listed the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Ujjwala Yojana, the Namami Gange Project, Ayushman Bharat initiative, the insurance schemes for the poor, the construction of 130 million houses in the past four and a half years, the provision of electricity connections to every household, the PM’s Mudra Yojana, digital connectivity in villages, Minimum Support Price for an increased number of crops, the adoption of the Direct Benefit Transfer concept, the focused development of Eastern India and the North East, the reservation for economically weaker sections, the Kartarpur Corridor initiative, the declaration of International Yoga Day and a plethora of other achievements.
Will the opposition have the firepower to demolish these claims? Particularly as, in every case, one or the other section of society has benefited at least to some extent, and will be reminded of it if these come up for discussion. It must also not be forgotten that there may be content in the coming Budget that could further energise the government’s campaign. Going by the record, thus far, of goings-on in particularly the Lok Sabha over the past couple of years, pandemonium and obfuscation will be the chosen strategy. With the political discourse having already descended to abysmal levels, and the narrative being furthered by the invocation of Hitler and Mussolini, the issue will ultimately be decided by the experience at the grassroots of how much development actually took place. And that is how it should be!