Gujarat elections 2017: Caste groups help Congress challenge Modi in backyardby Opinion Express December 1, 2017 0 comments
Gujrat assembly elections 2017 offers Rahul Gandhi led Congress a historic opportunity to script remarkable comeback. It is the local caste fringe groups namely Pattidars, OBC & SC that are giving BJP sleepless nights and Congress party has offered a platform to all the disgruntle groups to unite and resist Modi Shah jargon. It is extremely unfortunate that Gujrat elections have confined itself to religion and caste issues rather than development and vision of party. It can be easily predicted that BJP will easily win the elections mainly due to its well oiled party cadre backed up by disciplined RSS work force, recently acquired money powered and clean image of PM Narendra Modi. But to Rahul’s credit, he has fought the Gujrat elections with great passion. Unfortunately, Congress party has no party machine, disciple cadre, clear vision to govern the state. And the similar issues will haunt Rahul Gandhi after he will take over the Congress party formerly. The Congress urgently needs organizational changes: if there is anything it needs to learn from its series of defeats, it is that the days of relying on the Gandhi Nehru charisma to win elections have ended. The Congress needs a complete remake, and the has to start with its present leaders formally handling over power to meritorious central leaders who have long term vision, and he perseverance to rebuild the party democratically from the roots.
However Narendra Modi journey towards GE 2019 will be extremely challenging. The effect of demonetization and GST initial hicups will settle down by the time Modi government will present its fourth budget but the lack of private investment in the domestic market, slowdown of manufacturing sector, growing unemployment monster, rising global oil price, ever hanging NPA of Indian banks will test skills of team Modi to the limits. On foreign policy front: China Pak combo will remain hostile, SAARC country emotional integration with India is a tough task, Indo Pacific zone comprising of USA, India, Japan and Australia will offer new challenge in the new emerging foreign policy of India. On the internal security front, the Modi government has done fairly well by controlling naxal activities, fake note circulation and drug peddling. Brand MODI is solid though the key people surrounding the brand are under attack on corruption and promoting nepotism. There are serious allegation recently surfaced against top BJP leaders, the same may start depletion of brand MODI, if the corrective measure are not taken place.
On the international front, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has attracted global attention. The young crown prince Mohamad Bin Salman has waged war against corruption and terrorism with a resolve to address the two issues with iron fist. Top 200 Saudi royal members are held up with an intent to clear the corrupt monopolistic governance witnessed by Saudi Arabia in the recent past. The start of the said process was highlighted by social reforms with Saudi Arabia agreeing to allow women to drive, a long-standing issue of contention. It has also allowed women to attend sports events at stadium. These changes come on the back of waiting for the accession of a young King, who will preside over a very-young and globally well connected Saudi population on the cusp of a postoil economic and social order, and a corrupt royal system against which sentiments had been latently bubbling for a long time. Young Prince MBS has (finally) decided to move beyond its dependence on a singular mode of finance and approach models, such as those embraced by its neighbours, specifically Dubai.
– Prashant Tewari, Editor-in-Chief