TODAY -

Skirting around core issues
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: April 27, 2024 -



AS the five-yearly democratic exercise of electing representatives to the lower house of Indian Parliament by nearly a billion eligible voters got underway, everyone has been given the impression that this election is going to be a different one with core issues that have direct bearing on the well-being of common men and women of the country taking the centre stage.

However, even after entering phase two of the 18th Lok Sabha that would span over six weeks, the issues of inflation and rising unemployment rate in the country, which every political party on the hustings is well aware of, are yet to be prioritised and given proper attention for necessary redressal.

Instead, the political parties are indulging in their usual bickering over trivial issues that are not just irrelevant but should not have'been given space in politics in the first place at all.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) taking cognisance for the first time of a model code violation complaint against a prime minister and issuing notices to the president of ruling Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) JP Nadda on the charges of main opposition party Indian National Congress (INC), other political parties and civil society groups that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a divisive and defamatory speech in Rajasthan's Banswar during an election rally recently, and also to the INC president Mallikarjun Kharge, asking him to respond to the complaints filed by the BJP against him and senior party leader Rahul Gandhi regarding their remarks in election rallies, have shown how the political parties and their leaders in India have been skirting round from addressing the burning issues of rising inflation and unemployment rate in the country that are going to have direct bearing not only on the well-being of its teeming poor population but also in the efforts of making India become the third largest economy in the world before 2029 as BJP pledged to do so if eledted to power for the third term or double the GDP growth of the country in the next 10 years as INC promises in its election manifesto.

Without bringing down the inflation rate and addressing the burgeoning problem of unemployment, how India is going to became the third largest economy in the world or double its GDP growth is anyone's guess.

While the election manifesto of INC has at least mentioned unemployment and inflation as twin challenges facing India, the word 'unemployment' did not even feature in the election manifesto of BJP as if the problem of unemployment does not exist in the country at all.

Even if the promise of BJP to make India the third largest economy in the world or the assurance of INC to double the GDP growth of the country is achievable, as some economic analysts who have political leanings on either side have betted their lives on; why these political parties and their leaders are not talking about these important issues during their election rallies?

Does this mean they themselves are not sure about living up to the promises made in their respective election manifestos? Rather than exposing their own standards by indulging in petty politics of name calling and hurling charges as well as countering charges, that too, over some unsavoury remarks made in blatant violation of the model code of conduct in place for the election, any political party or political leader who has some sense should utilise the platforms given to them to enlighten the people and address issues concerning well-being of the people if they want to win the election.

Otherwise, it's going to be a complete waste of time and tax payers' money.

As a report from Centre for Media Studies (CMS), a not-for-profit organisation which has been tracking election spending in India for the last 35 years, has pointed out, the 18th Lok Sabha election is going to be the costliest ever with estimated expenditure expected to reach a staggering Rs 1.35 lakh crore, more than double the Rs 60,000 crore spent in 2019.

Can a country which is the poorest among BRICS and G-20 and still pegged at 139th position in the league of nations in terms of per capital income afford such wastage?

Just think over it if you have time to spare.



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