New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party has said that the discredited Congress-led UPA government was replaced by the BJP-led NDA government with a resounding mandate. However, if the first 100 days are any indication, its work has been anything but landmark and emphatic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's top priority was to bring back the black money stashed in foreign banks, which he reinforced in every speech during the election campaign. The current Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that he would bring back the black money from foreign countries within 100 days. BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy had claimed that only two months were needed to bring back the Rs. 120 lakh crore back to the country, and even advocated abolishing the income tax for 40 years, since we'd have enough revenue not to need this tax.
But the actions fall short and are insignificant compared to the promises. 100 days are up.
Another important electoral issue that the BJP and Narendra Modi raised was price rise and its effect on the Aam Aadmi. However, in the first 100 days of the BJP government, the prices of diesel, kerosene, milk, tomatoes, onions, potatoes and nearly every essential commodity went up by astronomical levels. And it's not as if farmers benefited from this price rise, as they received lower real minimum support prices, adjusted for inflation.
For those looking for patterns of similarity, the Union Budget was a clear example of how the Modi government represented cosmetic change and not something more fundamental. Spending on education and health remained exactly the same, and so did the expenditure on women, children and the socially disadvantaged. There were tax deduction announcements, disinvestment, FDI allottment increases, PPPs, calls for modernization, but somehow the Aam Aadmi remained under the radar for Shri Arun Jaitley.
For all the talk of removing MPs with a criminal record from Parliament, there has been little action to follow it up. Twelve out of the 44 Ministers in the Modi-goverment have serious criminal charges against them. Nihal Chand, a minister of the government is facing rape allegations against him in a 2011 case. Yet, their cases aren't even close to being solved and have not been fast-tracked.
The goverment has proposed to loosen the regulations and make as many as 19 amendments in the Land Acquisition Act in a bid to please industrialists without taking care of the environment, farmers and the rural poor.