Asian age political debate! ‘Achche din’ in Upper House?

Published :  in Asian Age,  Mar 1, 2018

The NDA govt’s performance will improve if it gets a majority in the Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP President Amit Shah (Photo: PTI)

James Kottor(Note: Comparisons help highlight strengths and weaknesses of parties in discussion – in the present case BJP and opposition. Topic is gaining majority for BJP in the ‘Rajya Saba.

BJP’s argument is, majority in both houses helps speed up passing of progressive bills like the triple talaq bill, GST, Uniform Civil Code etc. Equally it will help passing of regressive bills like Hindutva, cow slaughter etc. Won’t it then be substituting quantity with quality without checks and balanaces?

What about the quality of Rajya Sabha members, all nominated and not elected? Which allows “know-nothings in Politics” like heroes in the film and sports field enter Rajya Sabha. Is it a tribute to Indian Democracy?

Pankaj Sharma critiquing the BJP highlights the roaring failures in BIP’s promises and performance — shifting goal posts constantly to justify failures — in job creation, curbing corruption, violence and flight of Indian capital to foreign lands instead of bringing back black money stocked abroad etc.

He highlights BJP’s failures in the past four years with UPA’s rule saying: ”four years Mr Modi had been hugely disruptive in economic, political and social areas.” It is for our readers to make their own conclusion on Modi’s performance. What do we need: ‘A Congres Mukth Bharath or a ‘Modi Mukth Bharath’? Neither, but one that combines the good qualities in both. What is needed is not ‘Achche din’ in Upper House’ alone but in the whole of Bharath.james kottoor, editor ccv.

Read below Views of BJP and opposition writers’ Views

It’ll help in the development of #NewIndia

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 10.51.53 AMShivam Chhabra

The Rajya Sabha, which is known as the Upper House of Parliament, goes by its name. The elections to the Upper House are just around the corner and the BJP-led NDA government is set to increase the numbers in the House. This is certainly going to be a great boon for the ruling party at the Centre. Such great numbers will expedite the lawmaking process and will certainly be an effective tool in the progressive development of #NewIndia. The BJP-NDA government’s performance will improve once it secures a majority in the Rajya Sabha.

The BJP has never had it so good when it comes to the numbers game in the Rajya Sabha. We traditionally have been a minority in the Rajya Sabha. But the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah has changed everything. Not just the situation in Parliament is to change, but the larger national politics scenario is also likely to undergo a considerable change with the rise of BJP seats in the Rajya Sabha.

The BJP outnumbering the Congress in the Rajya Sabha and emerging way ahead of all other parties in the House will ensure that progressive bills like the triple talaq bill, GST and other important legislation getting passed right on time to give right direction to the country’s development. The Opposition’s negative politics of stalling various development-oriented bills in the Rajya Sabha has been a major roadblock. Now the situation is expected to improve. The BJP in the Rajya Sabha will mean that the BJP-led NDA government will have much better political leverage in passing bills. Moreover, the government won’t have to pass bills important from its viewpoint under the aegis of economic bills.

Winning the numbers game in the Rajya Sabha will also benefit the BJP on issues, including Article 35A, which are part of the government agenda, but the party was unable to get the necessary legislation passed in Parliament because of its minority status in the Rajya Sabha. The higher numbers in the Rajya Sabha will have all benefits, but we will have to wait for many years for pushing our big agenda points.

The issues such as the Uniform Civil Code and holding “one time” polls for Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies together are still going to be a challenge. These goals can be achieved by amending the Constitution for which the government requires a two-thirds majority in both Houses and ratification by the Assemblies of at least 15 states of the Indian Union, but still a push in the Rajya Sabha is going to be a great support. Mr Modi has supported the idea for a “one time” election process in five years to ensure that the country at large and the states do not have to bear the mammoth cost of holding elections. Even more, the government and the decision-making process will be more stable and the development process will certainly be upstream.

It is unfortunate that some regional political parties in the country take undue advantage of their strength in state Assemblies. Also, the quality of Rajya Sabha members being nominated has been a concern over the years. It won’t be wise to name a few political parties, but the people at large know that parties from bigger states like Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, etc, compromise with the quality of men who enter the august House.

It’s a great opportunity for the BJP to increase its members in the Upper House. We are committed that a quicker lawmaking process will help in the progressive development of #NewIndia.(The writer is national media in-charge and BJP spokesperson (youth wing)

Data of last 4 yrs tells story of a crying India

Pankaj Sharma

The ruling BJP has been playing on the argument of not having a majority in the Rajya Sabha so that it can expedite several of its policy plans in past four years. Though the fact remains that the Opposition never tried to create any hurdle in clearing the pro-poor steps in both  Houses of Parliament, the BJP leaves no opportunity to create a perception that the welfare story would have been different had it been in a majority in the Upper House. After the polls for 58 Rajya Sabha seats on March 23, the BJP-led NDA may increase its strength but could still fall short of a majority and there are practically no chances of the BJP getting a majority in the Rajya Sabha before the general elections for Lok Sabha in May 2019.

The major failures in the last four years are in the economic area. The key economic data released by the Narendra Modi government tell us the story of a crying India. Even after “refining” the methodology for calculating GDP and Index of Industrial Production, Mr Modi ended up proving that last two years of Congress-led government were better and his three years have been much worse.

It was only three months after Mr Modi took over as Prime Minister that FM Arun Jaitley proclaimed that the economy had bottomed out and was on a rising trajectory. Three years later, GDP growth is even lower than the worst year of UPA in 2013-14.

Mr Modi left no stone unturned to heavily exploit this fact during his electioneering in 2014 and promised sunny days. Additional job creation in the organised sector under Mr Modi has been less than half of what was there in the last three years of the UPA government. BJP president Amit Shah had rudely snubbed the media when he was asked about the employment data released by the labour ministry, saying: “it is impossible to provide jobs for 125 crore people…”

After promising for two crore jobs every year, now Mr Modi wants that most of our youth in job market must fend for themselves by selling pakodas. The employment data of the past three-four years suggests that nearly 50 per cent of incremental jobs have come from the ranks of self-employed. The unorganised sector constitutes about 85 per cent of the total workforce of 48 crores and we can easily imagine the quality of self-employment. When did the Opposition block any move by the Modi government in any of the Houses to improve the employment scenario?

How can the Modi government put the blame of worsening situation in agriculture sector in past three years on the BJP not having a majority in the Rajya Sabha? In the last three years of the UPA, agricultural growth was 3.5 per cent. In past three years of Modi rule it is 1.5 per cent. We saw our PM making promise every morning of ensuring 50 per cent profits over costs to all farmers. When he failed to do it, he shifted his goalpost and began announcing that farmers’ income would be doubled by year 2022. But we need at least 12 per cent growth in their income every year. Now, Mr Modi’s own Niti Aayog is saying that even this will be difficult to achieve. When did Mr Modi make any efforts in the direction of achieving this goal and the Opposition stalled his plans?

Thank God, we have the Opposition in the Upper House, otherwise “transformative changes” would have ruined the Indian economy completely. In his four years Mr Modi had been hugely disruptive in economic, political and social areas. Those who feel that the performance of the BJP-led NDA government will improve if it has a majority in the Rajya Sabha must visualise what would have happened if Mr Modi had an absolute majority in both Houses during the days of demonetisation and GST?(The writer is editor and CEO of News Views India)

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