Arun Jaitley laments ideological flexibility of anti-BJP combination
26 May 2018
Union minister of finance and corporate affairs Arun Jaitley has lamented the ideological flexibility of anti-BJP parties that are teaming up against the Narendra Modi-led government, saying that the political agenda for the debate this year appropriately will be (prime minister) “Modi versus an anarchist combination.”
Jaitley, who is recovering from a kidney transplant surgery, expressed his views on the completion of four years of Modi government through his blog on Facebook.
On the convergence of diverse opposition parties in Bengaluru on the occasion of swearing-in ceremony of Congress-JD(S) government, he termed such a union as ‘fictional alternative.’ He said that a group of disparate political parties are promising to come together.
He said the NDA government at the centre at its fifth year in power will focus on consolidation of the policies and programmes which it has implemented, even an alliance of ideologically diverse parties threatened to reverse fortunes of the BJP-lead government in the elections due next year.
Leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechuri, a hard-core opponent of the Narendra Modi-led government, said while there will be no pan-India alliance against BJP, the opposition parties will adopt tactics suitable for each state.
“Some of their leaders are temperamental, the others occasionally change ideological positions. With many of them, such as TMC, DMK, TDP, BSP and the JD(S), the BJP has had an opportunity to share power. They frequently change political positions. They have supported the BJP claiming that it is in larger national interest and then turned turtle and oppose it in the name of secularism,” he wrote.
He termed these parties as ‘ideologically flexible political groups’. “Stable politics is far from their political track record. Some amongst this disparate group have an extremely dubious track record of governance. Some leaders are maverick and others include those who are either convicted or charged with serious allegations of corruption. There are many whose political support base is confined to either a few districts or to a particular caste,” he said.
Jaitley said a coalition government at the centre is possible but the nucleus of a coalition has to be stable. It must have a large size, an ideologically defined position and a vested interest in honest governance. “A federal front is a failed idea. It was experimented under Shri Charan Singh, Shri Chandrasekhar and by the United Front Government between 1996-98. Such a front with its contradictions, sooner or later, loses its balance and equilibrium. Remembering 1996-98 as perhaps one of the worst period of governance, the aspirational India which today occupies the high table in the world shall never accept an idea which has repeatedly failed. History teaches us this lesson. Aspirational societies with vibrant democracies do not invite anarchy,” he said.
He felt that a strong nation and the requirements of good governance abhor anarchy. “The political agenda for the debate this year appropriately will be Prime Minister “Modi versus an anarchist combination”. The 2014 election conclusively established that in the New India chemistry will score over arithmetic when it comes to deciding the country’s destiny,” he wrote.
Talking about changes on economic front, he claimed that the prime minister created transparent systems through legislative and institutional changes which have given this country a scam-free governance. Unlike the UPA, the prime minister is the natural leader of both his party and the nation. “We have witnessed a journey from indecisiveness to clarity and decisiveness. India has transformed from being a part of the “fragile five” to the “bright spot” on the global economic scene. A regime of policy paralysis has been transformed into one of decisions and actions,” he said.
He wrote further that India, which was on the verge of becoming a “basket case” has today been transformed into the fastest growing major economy in the world and is likely to hold that position in the years to come. The country’s mood from despair has transformed into hope and aspirations. Good governance and good economics have been blended with good politics.
The finance minister said that the Prime Minister has institutionalised a system where discretions have been eliminated. Discretions lead to abuse of power because they can be misused. “Allocations of contracts, natural resources, spectrum and other Government largesse which were being distributed through discretions, are now allocated through a market mechanism. Laws have been changed. Leaders of the industry are no longer seen repeatedly visiting the South Block, the North Block or the Udyog Bhawan. Environmental clearance files don’t pile up. FIPB has been abolished, “he said.