In his four years as prime minister, Narendra Modi has taken many big-ticket decisions including demonetisation and surgical strikes against Pakistan.
Today, the Narendra Modi government will enter the election year. The prime minister and BJP president Amit Shah have said on several occasions that they will present the report card of their government during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and leave it to the people to judge its performance.
In preparing to face the challenges of the prime ministership, Modi laid out several promises during his campaign. Now that he has completed four years in 7, Lok Kalyan Marg (formerly known as 7, Race Course Road), we can evaluate: How did he perform on keeping his promises.
However, here are 10 major promises which the ruling BJP has failed to fulfil in four years.
This is the most debated issue in the last four years. There are conflicting reports and claims about the record of the Modi government on the job front.
The latest payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the National Pension System (NPS) show that around 22 lakh jobs have been created in the country in the last six months (up to February 2018). This gives the Modi government a major boost.
Amit Shah has maintained that all the 125 crore Indians cannot get jobs. He has said the answer to the issue of unemployment is self-employment. He claimed 9 crore people had got self-employment through the Mudra scheme and other government schemes such as Stand Up India and Startup India.
In a different interpretation of employment, both PM Modi and Amit Shah have reiterated that even selling ‘pakodas’ is also employment. It is better to sell ‘pakodas’ or be a labourer than to be unemployed, they maintain.
The ‘pakoda’ remarks were mocked by the Opposition. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been a vocal critic of the BJP government’s performance on the employment front.
He quoted PM Modi as saying that the BJP government would give employment to 2 crore youths every year. China gives employment to 50,000 youth in 24 hours whereas Modi government gives employment to 450 people in 24 hours, Rahul Gandhi said while campaigning in Karnataka recently.
2. PRICE RISE
The BJP manifesto said its government would take strict measures to check price rise and would set up special courts to stop hoarding and black marketing. However, no special courts have been set up so far.
The BJP-led NDA government has failed to control the prices of petroleum products as well. The country is reeling under highest ever petrol and diesel prices.
Besides the petroleum products, the prices of other commodities are also hovering on the higher side.
3. BASIC NECESSITIES
Under the sub-head ‘Building India’, the BJP manifesto mentioned that its government would ensure shelter equipped with electricity, water, toilets and access to everybody. However, this is far from the reality in most parts of the country.
4. BULLET TRAIN
The BJP had promised to launch ‘Diamond Quadrilateral’ bullet train network project. However, it has made only a marginal headway on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai stretch.
The ground-breaking ceremony was held for this stretch before the Gujarat Assembly election last year. Besides that, there has been no development for other stretches.
The BJP leaders had promised to bring back black money stashed in overseas banks. However, this remains a promise.
The Opposition, particularly Rahul Gandhi, has been taking a jibe at the BJP while asking people whether the Modi government has deposited Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts.
The manifesto said the government was committed to 33 per cent reservation in parliamentary and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment.
The Women’s Reservation Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in March 2010 when the Congress-led UPA government was in power. The Bill is pending in the Lok Sabha.
Despite enjoying a majority in the Lok Sabha, the Modi government has not brought the Bill for passage in the lower house. The government has only three more Parliament sessions left to ensure passage of the Bill before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are held.
Among other promises, the manifesto talked about ensuring a minimum of 50 per cent profits over the cost of production for the farmers, reforming Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act 2003, implementing farm insurance and adopting a ‘National Land Use Policy’.
The APMC Act reforms and 50 per cent profit over production costs have not yet been implemented. The Agriculture ministry has released a draft Model Contract Farming Act, 2018 to create a regulatory and policy framework for contract farming. But the Act still remains to be amended.
Farmers are distressed in most parts of the country. Suicides are still taking place. Though the BJP has won most of the Assembly elections held after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, farmers’ issue has been strongly raised in most of them.
Agriculture in the country has not grown up to the levels promised by the BJP. Farmer loans and lack of crop insurance still remain a major cause of concern.
The BJP had also promised Agri-rail network but there is hardly been any progress on this front.
Despite the passage of four years, the Modi government has not appointed a Lokpal. The issue seems to have been sidelined.
9. ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS
Discussing administration, the manifesto said the hallmarks of BJP’s governance model would be it being people-centric, policy-driven, time bound delivery and ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’.
However, the size of Modi’s council of ministers negates the hallmarks. At present, there are 73 ministers, excluding the prime minister. The PM can add only eight more ministers as the total number of the council of ministers, excluding him, cannot exceed 81, which is 15 per cent of the Lok Sabha’s strength of 543 MPs, as per the Constitution (Ninety-first Amendment) Act, 2004.
After the second reshuffle of the Modi Cabinet on July 5, 2016, the size of his council of ministers grew to 78. It touched the same number as Manmohan Singh’s council of ministers after his last reshuffle.
10. EMOTIVE ISSUES
The Modi government’s performance on fulfilling some issues related to the ideology of the BJP and its parent organisation – the RSS – may not be up to the mark.
The manifesto promised implementation of Uniform Civil Code to protect “culture and heritage… by drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with the modern times”. However, it is far from being implemented.
It had talked about “exploring all possibilities within the framework of the constitution to facilitate the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya”. However, the matter remains under the purview of the Supreme Court.
No progress has been made on the modernisation of madrasas as mentioned in the manifesto.
Discussing ‘Greater attention to border areas’, the manifesto promised to ensure “return of Kashmiri pandits to Jammu Kashmir, establishing good governance in Jammu and Kashmir while abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution”.
But neither the Kashmiri pandits have returned to the Valley nor Article 370 has been abrogated despite the BJP ruling the state for the first time in alliance with the PDP.