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Political Overdose

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India breathed a sigh of relief when the ‘announcement by the PM’ at 5:30 p.m. on Monday turned out to be just regarding the launch of the Agni-V missile. (News about notification of CAA rules followed). Everybody had their own version of something spectacular that the PM could come up with to further heat up the political scenario in an election-bound nation. It did take attention away from the Haryana meltdown that followed, where the ruling BJP and JJP parted ways. It has led to the resignation of Chief Minister ML Khattar. The BJP is expected to lay claim to form the government under another CM.

There has been more than one occasion when the BJP’s coalition governments with other parties have collapsed because of differences on conceding space to the junior partners. Even long- time allies like the SAD in Punjab, JD(U) in Bihar, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra have not been allowed to follow the natural curve of their political aspirations. It can be said that, most of the time, the BJP has come out stronger from the break-ups, but can it be described as ‘honourable’? True, the failure of coalitions has also been the fault of the allies. And, they are no less open to using similar tactics – Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is an example of this. Does the pursuit of power justify such politics?

What must be noted, however, is the fact that the BJP’s declarations in its election manifestos are being implemented. They are not just empty electoral rhetoric. So, it becomes imperative for the voters to ensure that these manifestos are carefully examined. Even the BJP government in Uttarakhand can claim that its amateurish formulation of the UCC had been part of its pre-poll promises.

On the other hand, it can only be hoped that the promises being made by the opposition parties, particularly the Congress, will remain, as they often have, on paper. The DMK’s vow to annihilate Hinduism is a case in point. The proposed caste census and the concept of ‘jiski jitni bhagidari, uski itni hissedari’ being so vociferously promoted by Rahul Gandhi do not augur well for the nation’s social or economic future. On the off chance that the Congress does get a foot in, the people would be happy if it has not picked up the BJP habit of ‘delivering’. To reiterate, dear voters, hear carefully what the leaders promise.