India can’t afford to have fractured mandate: Jaitley

The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said elections in the past converged around matters mostly political in character but indications are this time polls would be fought entirely or at least substantially on governance issues.

‘If one goes through the (campaign) speeches being delivered, or examines the sub-text, it’s predominantly issues of governance which seem to be dominating theme,’ he said.

Jaitley was speaking at an interaction hosted by ‘Mission at Grassroots’ (MAG), an NGO, on ‘BJP’s Vision for Nation Building with Focus on Economic Policies’, an event attended by members of various industry bodies here.

‘As we run-up close to the polls, I think the foremost issue in this election will be as to who can provide a stable government to India. We have gone through a lot of upheavals. And the kind of political forces which are emerging...the kind of taking place... almost makes the choice very clear,’ he said.

‘India cannot afford a fractured mandate. God forbid, if you got a fractured mandate. The general pessimism which has overtaken us in the last few years will not be tackled,’ the key BJP election strategist maintained.

When BJP-led NDA bowed out of power (in 2004), it had left with a 8.5 per cent growth rate. The next government would inherit a 4.5 per cent growth rate, he said.

Given the size of India, its economic activity, the kind of entrepreneurship and size of government it has, ‘this is not the generation which is going to accept a 4.5 per cent growth rate’, the former law minister stated.

‘If India didn’t have a government, we would have probably grown by 4.5 per cent. The general impression is that the governments can act as an impediment,’ Jaitley said, taking a dig at the Congress-led ruling coalition.

He expressed the view that had the economic reforms, started in 1991, been initiated in the 1970s, India would have probably competed with China (which started reforms in ‘70s).

‘We lost a great advantage. I think India today has to realise that mere governance of populism, governance through doles, political slogans that sound attractive is not at all adequate or provide a winning formula in politics,’ he said.
Next Story
Share it