Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It is wrong to say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not acted against corruption.

The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference.

Whilst the anger on the 2G verdict was understandable, it amazed me how soon we forgot that a court has convicted no less than a Secretary to the Govt. of India in the Coal Scam. We now live in times where the PM is expected to know what the branch manager of a bank is doing, it was astonishing that former PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh was not hauled over the coals regarding the conviction of a secretary directly reporting to him!
The space in both the mainstream and social media is occupied by actions/raids/statements against politicians. The “big fish”. The “small fish” doesn’t interest this space. The “small fish” is what I would like to share my thoughts today though!
Let’s leave aside the politicians for a moment. What does corruption then mean to us? Remember that demeaning term – “broker”? Remember the number of times we might have heard that the “middlemen” and “brokers” eat up everything, and the actual beneficiaries don’t get anything? The “small fish” that directly impact the common farmer, the common petitioner, the common man. Enter the robust Direct Benefit Transfer program. First, Jan Dhan accounts have been opened up for individuals. And then Aadhar has been linked. And through this, all subsidies and payments are directly passed on to the beneficiaries themselves! The concept of “middle man” and “broker” is dying a slow death. If this doesn’t amount to action on corruption, then what does?
What else does corruption mean to us? If you are from erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, remember all those stories about Shell companies that YSR’s family had? Or remember the web of companies that Satyam Computers created? And then those discussions on how these Industrialists create these shell companies to eat money? Well, enter Demonetization. In one stroke, Modi government has cancelled the license of 2 lakh shell companies. Yep, 2 lakh shell companies and 1 lakh Directors of defunct companies have been struck off in just one night. If this doesn’t amount to action on corruption, then what does?
Remember the earlier days when you had to wait for police to come verify your address for passport and you had to pay “fees”. Getting passport has become so much easier now, that the concept of payment to visiting police has now become a thing of past! A direct change in how the system works has resulted in the near elimination of corruption in the department. If this doesn’t amount to action on corruption, then what does?
Do you remember those long lines farmers used to form outside Fertilizer shops? Do you remember those news items showing agitated farmers protesting about the lack of Urea? Do you know why there was a Urea shortage? Because Urea was being pilfered. It was being illegally diverted to Industries so that they can contaminate products that even included milk powder given to babies! What was the solution? To neem coat this Urea after which it could be used as a fertilizer. UPA allowed for only 35% of Neem Coating. Where the remaining 65% went, you can take an educated guess. There has been no respite to the farmer, because he still had to queue up outside the shop. What did Modi do? He made it mandatory that 100% Urea should be neem coated! What is the result? Do you remotely recollect any news of Urea shortage? Modi himself has mentioned this so many times – CMs used to write to him regularly when he became the PM, regarding Urea shortage. Now, no one writes to him about it. If this doesn’t amount to action on corruption, then what does?

Remember those days when we heard about having to grease the hands of interviewers for government jobs? In one stroke, Prime Minister Modi has cancelled all interviews for selections to Class 3 officers and below. All selections will be through a merit based exam that will have no scope of corruption. Have you ever met people who yearn for such jobs but are forced to shell out money? And it is then these people that go on to become corrupt, justifying their action saying they have to “earn back” what they paid? If this doesn’t amount to action on corruption, then what does?
Am I done yet? No! There was a time when we used to question why politicians get allotted so many bungalows. Guess what Modi did – a whopping 1500 powerful occupants of Lutyens’ bungalows have been evicted, if they didn’t move out. 1500 of them! This includes many former ministers, MPs etc. No wonder they are all ganging up against him! If this doesn’t amount to action on corruption, then what does?
You may get back to me asking are these measures enough? Of course we would want a world where there is no corruption. I would definitely want our government offices to get to a place where a citizen can walk in with the supreme confidence that his/her work will get done without ever having to grease anyone’s hands. Modi is doing many right things in that direction. The “big fish” may be breathing a bit easy (this twitter thread says they are not, but just to give a benefit of doubt!), but the “small fish” are surely finding it difficult! Prime Minister Modi needs all the support he can, to curb this menace of corruption.

If your definition of an “intellectual” is equivalent to people like you and your friends Mr. Ram Guha, then I am really glad that this is an “anti-intellectual” government

The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference

Ramachandra Guha’s elitist disdain for the Prime Minister of the country has been well exposed before. But it looks like he is not happy with the hatred he spreads. He finds new depths to plumb regularly. Latest in his series of diatribes was his shocking tweet after Prime Minister Modi addressed students to take out the stress when it comes to exams.
Every CBSE school was compelled to hear the Prime Minister promote his new book. The Principal of a school in my neighborhood was asked by a student: ‘Sir, what exactly is the exam that the Prime Minister has passed?" Doubtless the same question was asked in other schools too.”
First, I found it very cowardly that Mr. Guha chose to shoot from the shoulders of both an unnamed student and unnamed principal of his “neighborhood school”. Second, the choice of his words in the entire tweet only goes on to show how blinded he has become by hatred.
“Every CBSE school was compelled”. Students were watching the Prime Minister of India addressing them, about a very important event in their life. It beats me why most students would not want to hear him. When I was a student in school, I would have been thrilled to have had the opportunity to listen to the Prime Minister (any PM!) if he is talking to us about exams. Guha makes this sound as if some punishment has been meted out to the students.
What is “compelling” though Mr. Guha is when students are made to celebrate Children’s Day on November 14th, with no clue as to why “Chacha” likes them and what he spoke to them about! In Mr. Modi, we have a leader who communicates with students regularly and directly. He did this once earlier (in 2015 I think) and many times as CM too. Oh, whom am I telling this to – you are after all an eminent historian!
The Prime Minister was not promoting his book. He is not capable of promoting his book like some members of your ilk do. But we need not focus on this aspect, because there is a bigger issue to look at here!
You don’t think the Prime Minister has passed any exam. I am simply astonished as to how myopic you are in your understanding. Another journalist Sadanand Dhume saw this as an opportunity to join the bandwagon and wrote thus:
Modi has many qualities (strong oratory, fine work ethic), but turning to him for advice on exams is a bit like asking me about ice skating.
Your lack of confidence in yourself is appalling Mr. Dhume! If you can write about economic policy, foreign policy, domestic politics, international politics etc., surely nothing’s stopping you from spreading gyan on ice skating too?! If you can go to UP during election campaigning, write a lot of articles and yet not predict the wave, surely you can do such a sterling job talking about ice skating too, no? From when has not having experience in something ever stopped your ilk from commenting on it?
Mr. Guha, coming back to you now.  While you may want to harp on whether he literally passed any exam, you conveniently forget that he holds a Master’s degree. The elitist in you, may prompt you to sneer at a mere distance learning course degree. Even today, there are lakhs of folks across the country who work hard, in their free time, to gain these degrees and proudly display them to their family and friends. I have seen from close quarters how much these degrees mean to them, Mr. Guha. So maybe you can keep your elitist sneer to yourself.
If we move away from the literal sense of writing an exam, the Prime Minister has faced multiple elections so far. The pressure of performing well in those elections is exactly like an exam for a student. Any Prime Minister of this country (And I mean any Prime Minister, and not just Dr. Manmohan Singh, as you imply here!) is eligible to speak of handling of pressure, and facing tests under stringent conditions.
No other Prime Minister in recent times has had such connect with the students of this country. No other Prime Minister has communicated with them so frequently and so earnestly, in recent times. Your continuous tirade and disdain against Mr. Modi, calling this as an “anti-intellectual” government is now getting boring. If your definition of “intellectual” is equivalent to people like you and your friends, then I am really glad that this is an “anti-intellectual” government!

Shekhar Gupta and Tunku Varadarajan are hilariously off the mark and tragically ill-informed

The following article was written for OpIndia. Pasting it here for reference:

Shekhar Gupta printed an extremely motivated and ill-argued article by Tunku Varadarajan. He then took to Twitter to summarize the article in one tweet :
The first thing one notices is the irony of Tunku Varadarajan talking about being “gracious” and a “team sport”. He had recently used abusive language against the World Cup-winning India cricket team of the blind. So there goes his own “graciousness” for a toss. He has blocked several people on social media, merely for disagreeing with him. There goes, yet again, his “gracious to rivals” advise for a toss.
Nevertheless, many points immediately came to my mind regarding these “5 things Modi must learn”. So let’s go over them one by one.


I don’t need to delve into details yet again because this article in OpIndia summarizes well the 9 things that NDA did much better than the UPA. I’d doubt if either Shekhar Gupta or Tunku Varadarajan will even bother to do some serious research, so let’s leave it at that.


Prime Minister Modi, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, has acknowledged the work of all past Prime Ministers of the country. All of them. He has also acknowledged the work of all state governments. Needless to say, there are multiple political parties that have ruled in various states of India. Would that count as graciousness, Mr Shekhar Gupta?
Prime Minister Modi, has invited former Prime Ministers Deve Gowda and Dr Manmohan Singh, to join him on the dias when GST was being inaugurated. GST is the single biggest tax reform our country ever saw, and it involved the work of many political parties. When Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister, GST was not even under consideration. Yet, Prime Minister Modi invited him. Guess who chose to boycott the event? Your favourite poster boy, Dr Manmohan Singh. Who is being gracious and who is not being gracious, Mr Shekhar Gupta?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has ensured there is always a representation from the Central government for every single swearing-in ceremony of every new state government that took over. After acrimonious election campaigns, he ensured that the maryada of politics still remains. Senior central cabinet ministers were present in the searing in ceremonies of Arvind Kejriwal, Nitish Kumar, Mamta Banerjee etc. Would that count as graciousness, Mr Shekhar Gupta?
A graphic was doing the rounds in the year 2016. I did a version of it while writing for another website Myind makers. Am pasting it below for your reference, Mr Shekhar Gupta.
Am also posting here, what I wrote in that article – “Please notice the active presence of several high profile Union Ministers on the stage in 2016. Despite the Congress party ruling in Karnataka, the central government didn’t see that as an impediment to go and actively participate in the 2016 summit!” And note the absence of similar leaders in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit of 2013
Now, who is gracious and who is not Mr Shekhar Gupta?


Unless you don’t consider The Tribune, PTI, Network 18, Indian Express, India Today network, Zee News, Times Now, CNN, Hindustan Times, Dainik Jagran, Nai Duniya, Hindusthan Samachar, UNI, ANI, Time Magazine, CNN – as media, then I give it to you Mr Shekhar Gupta, the Prime Minister is indeed not talking to the media.
Perhaps you should come clean on who you think constitute ‘the media’, and who you think don’t. Because ordinary mortals like me still think the above-mentioned organizations are media. And ordinary mortals like me are keen to know why do you want to go about spreading this lie, Mr Shekhar Gupta, that the PM doesn’t talk to the media? Is it because he doesn’t talk to your friends and instead talks to some real journalists?


Oh, if you didn’t tell this to the PM, he would have never known! Remember the concept of Team India? Remember this picture, Mr Shekhar Gupta?
You are an experienced journalist, Mr Shekhar Gupta, so I don’t need to tell you the names and party affiliations of the various Chief Ministers in this picture. Do you know when this picture was taken, Mr Shekhar Gupta? Immediately after this meeting. In the year 2014 – much before you and your ilk’s imagination could conjure up a suggestion of a team sport!
Would you also want to know who played spoilsport to this idea of Team India? Your favourite party, the Congress party!

We are now eagerly awaiting an article from you on the graciousness and team spirit of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Hopefully, in this lifetime, we will get to see one article!


Guess what – he does. So perhaps time for you to stop writing and have only fun!

Image is a collage prepared for an article written for MyInd Makers here

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Andhra Pradesh gave NDA a chance in 2014, Has NDA lived up to it?

The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference.

Recently, C-Voter in association with the Republic TV channel has published results of a survey. In this, they have predicted that if elections were to be held today, the NDA would return to power with 335 seats in the Lok Sabha!
What has caught my attention is the BJP’s loss/gain in the two southern states – Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. We will cover some details regarding Andhra Pradesh in this article, and Telangana in another.
C-Voter has predicted that of the 25 seats in Andhra Pradesh, the NDA will win 12 seats and the YSRCP will win 13 seats. This is a loss of 5 seats from 2014.
There have been many TV debates in the Telugu channels based on this survey, because this is the first time anyone has shown a lead to the opposition YSRCP. Almost every debate over the past 3.5 years have always focused on how close both YSRCP and TDP are always in terms of the vote share – and therefore very difficult to project the number of seats anyone would win. An assembly by-election recently and some local body elections have shown that TDP is still very much in control.
However, the survey results that indicate reduced numbers in the Lok Sabha seats is primarily because the people of Andhra Pradesh are angry with Modi’s government. But why are people so angry?
The hastened bifurcation process that the UPA Government completed in the fag-end of their tenure has left Andhra Pradesh in tatters. For any contentious thing, the only solution they gave was that it can be decided in the next 10 years (common capital, common entrance exams, common High Court etc).
Due to this hastened process, the people of Andhra Pradesh felt cheated, and to assuage their feelings, some key promises were made in the Act – studying the feasibility of establishing a new railway zone; Hyderabad as common capital for 10 years; establishing of national institutions(educational, health, industries); funding entirely the Polavaram irrigation project, etc. 
But the biggest of all the demands was granting of a special category status. And this was not included in the Bill that was passed in the Lok Sabha. And since the support of BJP was required to pass this in the Rajya Sabha, the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, made a statement on the floor of the house that the Central Government would grant this status.
Venkaiah Naidu had also vociferously argued that the status should be granted for 10 years and not five. Given the urgency with which the UPA was rushing through the Act, it didn’t want to go to the Lok Sabha again. The BJP also agreed to this compromise of not including this in the act, but taking the Prime Minister’s word at face value. 
However, after coming to power, the NDA Government has shown a lot of reluctance in granting this status to Andhra Pradesh, while it has shown due diligence on various aspects of the bifurcation Act. This has become a rallying point for the opposition parties in the State, especially the badly damaged Congress!
The Modi government, mainly through Venkaiah Naidu, has communicated time and again that with new taxation systems in place, and with existing procedures that need to be followed for granting of special status to a state – it is not possible to grant a special status to AP. Instead, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu, literally held a midnight press conference, to give the state almost all benefits that will accrue to it, in case a special status was granted.
This has cut very little ice with the people. All they want is – AP must be given special status because this was what was promised before the elections. Any package under the guise of nomenclature is not acceptable. Frequent statements by bureaucrats saying that AP doesn’t need special status further angers the people of the state here (a recent statement by the NITI Aayog vice chairman has kicked up another storm!)
A new Railway zone to Vizag is another prominent demand, and is yet to be fulfilled. Congress promised only a feasibility study for a new zone. The people have assumed this means the BJP government will give a railway zone to AP. No one knows what the status of this feasibility study is. A railway zone brings along with a plethora of opportunities, and the central government has been woeful in its communication strategy regarding the same.
The Polavaram irrigation project is a lifeline to the state of AP. And as with any big project, is taking a very long time to build. The Centre has agreed to fund the project in its entirety, and in a unique decision, has also given the responsibility of constructing this to the State government itself. The targeted date for completion was 2018. Recently, the state government received a notice seeking the stoppage of tenders’ process because of some anomalies detected! All hell broke loose yet again – the Center is against AP; the Center doesn’t want the project to finish etc – all kinds of arguments flew around. It took multiple meetings between Nitin Gadkari and the state ministers, one meeting between Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari; one meeting between Chandrababu Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, to remove this new hurdle!
The details of this or any such issue have become irrelevant. It really didn’t matter if the AP government was flouting any rule or not – all it mattered was that the Modi government stopped Polavaram project for nearly 50 days!
Venkaiah Naidu was seen as the only saving grace. He was seen as the man fighting for AP, and whatever is due to the state. His elevation to the Vice President of the country was also seen as a demotion through promotion by many in AP. People and media have criticized Modi for removing Venkaiah from a position of power! We have elaborated more on this argument, in an earlier article on MyInd Makers here.
The BJP is thus badly losing the perception battle in the state. In fact there is sympathy towards Chandrababu Naidu for waging a ‘losing battle’ with the Center. I believe the 12 seats projection by the C-Voter survey is primarily towards TDP. And I also believe that as of today, this will not translate into a defeat for the TDP in the assembly elections – because there BJP is a marginal player and only the TDP and YSRCP will fight it out (with film star Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena all set to play spoilsport in splitting up these votes).
Electorally, the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana hold out immense promise for BJP’s growth, provided they put in some dedicated efforts to remove these perceptions and revive their functioning. Amit Shah and Narendra Modi need no lessons on electoral management, but if they want their party to grow like it did in Karnataka, what is currently being done by their state units is certainly not enough.

It is TRS all the way in Telangana.

The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference.

Recently, C-Voter in association with the Republic TV channel published results of a survey. In this, they have predicted that if elections were to be held today, the NDA would return to power with 335 seats in the Lok Sabha!
What has caught my attention is the BJP’s loss/gain in the two southern states – Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. We will cover some details regarding Telangana in this article, and the details regarding Andhra Pradesh were covered here.
C-Voter has predicted that of the 17 seats in Telangana, the NDA will win 3 seats, the Congress will win 2 seats, and the TRS will win 12 seats. The local BJP unit has expressed joy that their seat tally will go up from 1 to 3. Actually, the NDA tally of 2 in 2014 is because TDP won 1 seat and BJP won 1. Today, the TDP has all but become extinct, which basically is indicating that the BJP will gain 2 more seats in Telangana!
This has also pleasantly surprised telugu media analysts and perhaps the party cadre too! Before getting into some arguments, it is important to recollect some numbers:
After the 2014 elections, MLAs from every single political party, barring the BJP and MIM have joined the TRS.
  • Congress won 21 seats, and is now left with 13 MLAs only.
  • TDP won 15 seats, and is now left with 3 MLAs only.
  • BSP won 2 seats, and immediately merged with TRS.
  • YSRCP won 3 and has merged with the TRS within a year.
  • MIM won 7 fighting against TRS, and immediately after election has befriended TRS.
  • BJP won 5 seats, and *is the only party* whose MLAs haven’t jumped the ship. And continues to be a major opposition party.

During the 2014 elections, there was a lot of heartburn amongst BJP supporters that the TDP got more seats in the alliance. Despite contesting ~45 seats, the BJP ended up winning only 5. Though the TDP won 15 seats, today it has only 3 MLAs left. And the handful of those leaders left in the TDP also fight amongst them regularly! 
Basically this means – the BJP has now become the senior partner of the BJP-TDP coalition in Telangana! This is in stark contrast to their marginal role in the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh. That is the major USP of the BJP - the lure of power hasn’t affected them and they are the senior partner of the coalition now. Their last electoral victory was when they won a MLC seat for graduates, back in 2015. The loss even jolted KCR back then. However, the coalition faced a major loss in the GHMC elections held in 2016. Out of the nearly 150 seats, the BJP won 4 and the TDP won just one seat!
This GHMC election result must have been a wakeup call to the BJP – for majority it’s MLAs are from the Hyderabad region. They have shown little or no interest in furthering Modi’s flagship programs like Swachh Bharat. There is a lot of activity when central leaders come visiting, but post those visits, the activity comes down drastically! The pace at which the state unit operates is in stark contrast to how the Central unit operates!
The projected gain in seats therefore has come as a surprise! The reasons might be varied – perhaps some ground work that is happening away from the glare of the media has resulted in this. Perhaps the voters have seen how Modi has helped the state government despite TRS being in opposition. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how the state unit of the BJP will take this forward.
The other key aspect of the survey is how TRS still has near absolute control in the state. KCR is seen as a man on mission – primarily focusing on water related projects. Mission Bhagiratha aims at supplying drinking water via taps to every home. There are multiple irrigation projects that are going on in the state. Many lakes and ponds have been revived in the state. The state now doesn’t face any power related problems. KCR announces sops to almost every community and religion in the state. Perhaps a continuity in 2019 is also necessary, so that these projects reach their logical conclusion.
The bonhomie that he enjoys with Modi has led some to speculate that the TRS and BJP might align in the assembly elections. However, if this were to happen, the BJP will be relegated to another minor partner. Especially in a state where they can have better foothold than Andhra Pradesh!
It is an uphill task to defeat TRS in 2019. In all probability, unless something drastically goes bad, the TRS will return to power in 2019. The Congress is making a lot of noise in the media, and is more visible than the BJP when to comes to critiquing the government. However illogical their claims are, they make a good pomp and show around it (with power point presentations etc!). If despite all this, the projected seat share is only 2 seats, it is perhaps time for Congress to reflect (oops, Did I just ask Congress to reflect?!) upon it’s strategies!
Electorally, the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana hold out immense promise for BJP’s growth, provided they put in some dedicated efforts to remove these perceptions and revive their functioning. Amit Shah and Narendra Modi need no lessons on electoral management, but if they want their party to grow like it did in Karnataka, what is currently being done by their state units is certainly not enough.

The Modi Interviews- After 3.5 years, the PM continues to be on track but the usual suspects continue to whine

The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, recently gave two interviews – one to Zee News and the other to Times Now. The usual suspects made the usual complaints, the best being that no “newsworthy points” have been made! The opening question by the Times Now team was:
Prime Minister ji how would you look back on the three and a half years of your term in office. So much has happened. What all have you achieved and how much is left.”
The usual suspects even had a problem with this!  They complain that this was a soft question. Perhaps the team should have started with “Mr. Modi, why haven’t you resigned yet?”. The cabal would have cheered the interviewer and made him the new hero on the block!
Since they think that no “newsworthy points” have been made, let’s first look at the all the areas that have been touched upon, in these two interviews.
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Agriculture
  • Growth Rates
  • Jobs
  • GST
  • Electoral reforms (Specifically, simultaneous elections)
  • Demonetization
  • Politics of Congress Mukt Bharat
  • Budget
  • Upcoming Davos trip
  • Welfare schemes
One of the most fervent criticisms of this government, by the opposition and the English media, have been that jobs are not being created. Rahul Gandhi is touring the world telling every possible person that there are no jobs being created in India. These assertions were based on just one data point. The Prime Minister was posed this question in both the interviews, and he gave a detailed answer in both.
He first touched upon the highly successful MUDRA yojana. He told us that nearly 9 crore loans have been disbursed in the past 2.5 years of this scheme. These loans are provided for small entrepreneurs, who in turn also provide employment to other folks. This scheme has opened up wide range of possibilities for those who wish to have their own small business units and further also provide employment. The 2016-2017 yearly report tells us that in two years, 7.46 crore loan accounts have been serviced and INR 3.18 lakh crores was disbursed. If this is not job creation, then what is? No wonder the doomsday scenario of no jobs is only felt amongst the 4 walls of the Congress party and sections of the English media!
Prime Minister also mentioned the recent IIM study that has projected very good job growth figures based on entries made into the EPF system, especially amongst those aged 18-25 years. Needless to say, there is high probability that this is the first job of this age group and therefore further cementing the belief that the doomsday scenario is felt only amongst those four walls!
The standard criticism of GST was also posed to the Prime Minister. He, yet again, has eloquently explained the thinking behind GST, giving credit to all the political parties and state governments, telling us how the GST council has adapted well to the feedback that kept coming in, informing us that nothing is set in stone and that any new big change will have to undergo these transformations! That such a big transformative step was billed cheaply as “Gabbar Singh Tax” by the hope of the English media, reflects more on his understanding than the GST Council! Every single of the 24 GST Council meetings have taken unanimous decision. Yep, unanimous decisions. In today’s divided polity, if we fail to see this stupendous achievement of our policy makers, we are doing to injustice to ourselves!
Oh wait, here’s a “newsworthy point. The Prime Minister has also given further clarity on what his clarion call – “Congress Mukt Bharat” meant. The typical bad things that we talk about our polity – casteism, communalism, nepotism, dynasty, corruption, treachery etc. – all these have percolated into our polity while Congress was overseeing. We need to get rid of these, in order to achieve a true Congress Mukt Bharat. The Prime Minister in fact exhorted the Congress itself to become Congress Mukt! That’s a good headline I suppose – “Congress itself should become Congress Mukt!”. I’d urge you to listen his response to this question (if that’s not possible, please do read that response).
The BJP has been on the forefront in trying to debate the topic of simultaneous elections. The PM has yet again elucidated in nice detail why he and his party thinks this is an idea whose time has come. He has spoken about the various logistics and financial burdens of having elections so frequently. This topic needs more debate, and fine tuning. It is infact high time we come out of these quarterly electoral cycles currently prevalent in the country!  
The Prime Minister, through his responses, has shown to us the focus of his government is solely on development and they will explore various options under different departments to make this possible. His detailed answers on problems faced in agriculture also tell us how seized he is about issues that matter. I still remember the interview in which a Union Minister was talking about how Neem coated Urea has stopped the pilferage of Urea, and Rajdeep Sardesai cut him short to ask – “Are you a suit-boot ki sarkar”! No wonder the usual suspects didn’t find these interviews “newsworthy”!
Even on the other topics, the Prime Minister spoke with clarity and passion, repeatedly reminding us that he and his government will do everything possible that will benefit India, at various forums. This government has been very open to feedback and has on multiple occasions incorporated these points too. Even in these interviews, the PM has touched upon how the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana hasn’t met the success he wanted it to. In Modi, we have a government that constantly listens to people and doesn’t hesitate to take decisions that will benefit the country. The usual suspects may continue to whine!  

If the ‘harsh language’ law is to be enforced, many ruling party leaders including Telangana CM will be the first in line!

The following article was written for OpIndia. Pasting it here for reference.

Recently, we came to know that the Telangana government led by Honorable Mr. K. Chandrashekhar Rao, is proposing to make usage of “harsh language” as a cognizable offence. The government can investigate you for using “harsh language” without permission from the courts, and this perhaps will also include you being in jail for using “harsh language”.
One might naturally be wondering what constitutes “harsh language”. Perhaps language like – “Even if blood flows on the streets of Hyderabad, we will never allow the construction of Hyderabad Metro”? This is a statement made by Mr. K. Chandrashekar Rao. It’s another matter that he along with PM Modi recently inaugurated a 32km stretch of the Metro Line.
Or perhaps language like – “If any media writes against Telangana and it’s culture, we will break their necks and bury them 10km deep”? This is a statement made by Mr. K. Chandrashekhar Rao, as Chief Minister of Telangana. Will this be considered as “harsh language” enough? Or will this be considered “harsh language” in response to “harsh language” used by sections of the media?
Or perhaps language like – “Which bastard policeman told you to get me here”? In the heat of the Telangana movement back in 2011, Mr. K. Taraka Rama Rao, son of KCR and then MLA, has posed this question twice. He is now a minister in Telangana cabinet, and has also apologized for his outburst that day. However, am a little curious – given today’s proposed law, will an apology be enough for the police not to go forward with arresting for “harsh language”?
Or perhaps language like – “Arey Stephen Ravindra, useless fellow”? This language was used by Mr. T. Harish Rao. He is KCR’s nephew, and now the irrigation minister in KCR’s cabinet. He is receiving fulsome praise for his work in Irrigation (much of it is well deserved, by the way!). However, if this same law existed back in 2013, would Harish Rao be able to become a minister today? Perhaps it is time for some reflection?
Actually, let’s go back even a bit. Mr. Harish Rao not only used “harsh language”, but even beat up an officer in the Andhra Bhavan in Delhi. Nothing happened to Mr. Harish Rao after that. In fact he is now a cabinet minister in Telangana. We don’t even how the psyche of the poor officer has been after that ugly violent incident. What an irony that today, the government Mr. Harish Rao is part of, is proposing prosecution merely for using “harsh language”.
However, what prompted this law now? I think, perhaps the recent war of words between a minister and a Congress MLA led to this situation. Mr. Revanth Reddy, who recently jumped from TDP to Congress, is known to use strong and at times abusive language. Last December, responding to a war of words, he went off script and started addressing the minister with an unparliamentary word. While these have become a huge debating point in regional media shows, one has to really wonder if calling someone a bad word really warrants a jail term?
Leave aside the politicians – how can this law be applied towards the common people? Tomorrow, if someone criticizes KCR and or any minister for say 30 minutes, can this law be applied on them? If someone compares any of the office bearers to exhibiting dictatorial behavior, would the “harsh language” law come into force? If someone criticizes the government body for lax responses (and this can be a pretty common scenario), and expresses frustration, will the “harsh language” law come into force?
It is really unfortunate that not enough debate has happened on the passage of this law. We often hear debates about free speech and intolerance. If this law is not about trampling one’s free speech, then what is? If this law is not about intolerant to criticism, then what is?
While writing this article, I have taken many precautions to avoid using any kind of “harsh language”, except for citing a few references of what can be construed as “harsh language”. Am hoping this article will not land me into trouble.