Thursday, December 7, 2023

Satya Column: Why is Congress against simultaneous polls?

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Forces against ushering changes in country always exist. During Congress regime that had ruled the nation for over five decades, especially in the family regime that used the Mahatma Gandhi’s name, such forces were plenty. As a result, the country did not experience any changes and continued as it was.

Rajiv Gandhi, who spoke about super computer, led the nation on the road to bankruptcy instead of introducing fiscal reforms. It became impossible for Congress leaders to introduce any reforms due to prevalence of instability, insecurity and restlessness everywhere.

When PV Narasimha Rao, who did not belong to the Gandhi-Nehru family, introduced reforms that turned a new leaf in the socio-economic system of the country, the members of the Gandhi-Nehru family would not tolerate it.

A Congress Party loyalist called Narasimha Rao as a BJP loyalist recently.

Congress could not own Baba Saheb Ambedkar who was the architect of the Constitution, Sardar Patel, who got 565 princely states merged with the Indian Union and the then Union Minister Shyama Prasad Mukherji who fell out with Nehru’s Kashmir policy.

Now the Congress removed PV Narasimha Rao, former PM, from the annals of Congress and branded him as a BJP leader. What more does the BJP need?

As soon as Modi came to power, his regime annulled over 2,000 time-barred British laws prevalent in the country for the past seven decades. India became one of the 50 countries with whom transacting business is easy (ease of doing business) stands as a testimony to the rapid implementation of reforms in the country.

His reforms include changing the policies pertaining to direct foreign investments and facilitated foreign investments in defence and railways sector.

His regime amended labour laws, land acquisition laws, encouraged domestic industry as part of the Atma Nirbharar policy, unified the banks and strengthened them, confiscated bank accounts of over 2-lakh shell companies, attached assets of bank loans defaulters fleeing the nation, introduced GST and so on.

It eliminated the middlemen by way of direct transfer of funds to beneficiaries of various government schemes, saving $ 27 billion to the government.

How can the Modi Government implement several reforms, including fiscal reforms? The government is able to introduce reforms in many sectors during the past nine years as the people gave their decisive verdict to it.

In an interview with PTI, PM Narendra Modi said, “We are able to introduce many reforms because of the stable government. Several reforms have been implemented in finance, banking, education, welfare sectors and through the digitalisation. As a result, strong foundation is laid for development naturally.”

Modi government proposed crucial reforms to the criminal justice system. Accordingly, the objective of the reforms is to completely change Indian Penal Code, CrPC, Evidence Act of the British period to strengthen the criminal justice system.

The Congress regime shelved the reforms suggested by the Law Commission and several legal experts.

It allowed the Sedition Law to continue in spite of knowing that the law was used to put the freedom fighters behind the bars.

But, Modi government proposed many reforms as it laid emphasis on delivering justice rather than awarding punishment. The standing committee of Parliament is studying the reforms. If the reforms become law, judicial system will undergo crucial changes and justice will be delivered to people on time.

Similarly, the Modi regime is of the view to introduce electoral reforms and as part of it the regime wants to implement simultaneous polls to the state legislative assemblies and Lok Sabha. In fact, it is not a new reform. It was found mentioned in BJP’s 2014 poll manifesto.

Modi, on becoming PM in 2019 for the second time, held an all-party meet in June 2019 on simultaneous polls. Out of the 40 parties invited to the meeting, only 24 parties attended it. Congress, Trinamool Congress and other parties did not attend the meeting. In spite of it, representatives of all parties, including that of Left parties, did not oppose the idea. In a latest development, Modi government appointed a committee, headed by former president Ramnath Kovind, to study the feasibility of holding simultaneous polls, the opposition parties have started questioning the intension of the Modi regime.

The Congress quit the committee attributing motives to Modi regime. Prior to discussing the issue of whether simultaneous elections are good or not good for the country, the party that had ruled the nation for over several decades quit the committee. Is there any greater irresponsible behaviour on the part of the Congress?

Moreover, Rahul Gandhi described holding of the simultaneous polls as an attack on the states. When the first four elections held under Congress regime simultaneously to Assemblies and Lok Sabha, should it be regarded as an attack on states or not?

There is no doubt that the Congress has joined the ranks of the forces that oppose changes in the country. That is why, the people are rejecting Congress time and again. The Congress is sure to face ignominy in the forthcoming elections too.

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