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INDIA 17 August , Wed 34o C

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RAWpapaya by Satya Pal Singh-Rowdy Session




RAWpapaya by Satya Pal Singh-fnbworld





Leaders of Mahagathbandhan must be aware that the voters of Bihar had given them a surprisingly high mandate for development and people-friendly, ameliorative activities marked to take the state forward, giving them respite from the difficulties they have been passing through several decades. While it would be irrelevant here to go into the factors that led to this massive mandate, it's enough to mention that the voters develop high expectations when they give larger space to the winners. The victors' conduct, therefore, is expected to take initiatives that, besides developing Bihar in gratefully meeting the voter aspirations, also meaningfully contribute towards solution of the nation’s pressing problems.

As the winter session of Parliament is to begin in a couple of days from now, both national and regional parties, beside smaller political outfits, are seen apparently busy formulating their strategies 'to settle scores’ with their targeted opponents. The combined Opposition is said to be preparing to push the BJP-led NDA govt to the wall in the Rajya Sabha, where it doesn't have numbers. Stalling all business to embarrass the government appears to be the sole Opposition strategy at the moment. A top Grand Alliance leader, who is very close to the Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prased duo, was heard teasing a senior BJP MP : "Aao Sansad, ab ham tumhari dadagiri khatm karenge.Tumhara koi Bill pass nahi hoga. MPs kahan se laaoge? Ham tumhen sadkon par ghumayenge. Bihar ne tumhen achha ragda hai..(Come to Parliament. We will now destroy your dominion. None of your Bills will be passed. How will you manage MPs ? We will force you on to the streets. Bihar has given you a nasty push.") What a shame it is to talk like that!

This may be a light banter of friendly or unfriendly ridicule, but all the same, has the load of a tough, provocative talk that sends fie on the status of a senior lawmaker. How many of our MPs, MLAs, Corporators or any elected representatives of other important bodies realize that people take the cudgel of electing them for the sake of the nation's well-being, prosperity and social good? They are not elected to play dirty games that involve settling scores and spreading the air of bitterness that ultimately destroys institutions. The Monsoon Session of Parliament was disrupted so badly by the Opposition that no significant measure could get through as the war of attrition on not-so-significant issues failed to see any let-up in the session's entire duration. Even GST and Land Bills, that sounded the bugle of much-needed reforms, emerging top on the govt's priority were not heeded despite amendments. It appeared the entire groups of Opposition stalwarts were callously hell-bent on discrediting the august Parliament, unconcerned about the terrible effect it would directly carry on our democratic polity.

It must be recognized that no growth is possible without taking up reform measures in a big way. No govt can build infrastructure for national reconstruction and development without large-scale foreign and domestic investment. If the Congress-led Opposition, mindlessly propped by the leftist parties, create hindrance in every progressive measure, either to embarrass the Narendra Modi govt or to win brownie points from certain sections of people, faking some pro-poor posture, how will the reforms go on track ? Plenty of ground-breaking reform packages are presently lying in the govt kitty. FDI policy liberalization and power reforms, among other major initiatives, are expected to come up to boost investment sentiment for pushing up the economy. Measures, such as single-window clearance for multi-storey buildings, business-friendly bankruptcy law, more transparent and productive monetary policy, besides subsidy reforms, are bound to jack up the sluggish growth. The bankruptcy code will not only provide protection to lenders and investors, but will also allow an easy exit route for businesses. Similarly, the modified monetary policy targets inflation, the monster that becomes difficult to handle especially in times of shortages. 

 If we want to get somewhere close to China, which stands far ahead of us among the emerging economies, the Opposition has to cooperate with the government and the latter, too, must accommodate the views of the former. For, every initiative of the govt may not be productive and inspiring. For instance, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley looks too enthusiastic about taxing the already heavily taxed people. One example is the imposition of 'Swachh Bharat' cess. Cleanliness drive is significant, no doubt, but an additional tax burden for it is a way off the mark. If we can promise a stable and rational tax regime to foreign investors, why not to the Indian masses ? 

Grand Alliance leaders, who are now planning the Bihar-type poll strategy also for UP, with the possible inclusion of Samajwadi Party and some other smaller groups, mainly to block the BJP from taking centre-stage in the state, must come true to the people's expectations and cooperate with the NDA govt in clearing the major reform Bills. While going to UP, they will look credible only if they create an environment of greater understanding, goodwill and cooperation in a major thrust to push up national growth. All regional players clearly would have a great role in backing this effort. Any significant development drive would need a great concerted effort. Admittedly, there are several areas indicative of a big political divide, largely based on differing ideologies. But these must be amicably settled through the mechanism of persistent dialogue. Both the Govt and the opposition must go to Parliament this time with the understanding that people's will is supreme, which must be respected by all stakeholders, despite sharp division in their ranks.

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