Nagpur: So Modi goverment completes 4 years in office today. We, the nation are getting a big, but not surprise present for the occasion – a further rise of 14 paisa in the cost of petrol. In Nagpur one litre of petrol costs an unprecedented Rs. 85.71 today!!
Well, let us give the government credit for using the fuel price surplus for ‘development’ purposes, as we have been repeatedly told.
What have been the triumphs of this government in 4 years??
A report card is prepared for multiple reasons – to tell the ‘student’ how he has fared thus far; to encourage him to do better if his performance hasn’t been up to the mark, and to spur him on further if it has been good.
But when an entity, a person or a government prepares its own report card, and gives itself flying colours, the reason is just one, it wants to be re elected! So how is the Modi government evaluating its own performance; what ‘achievements’ are being showcased?
Ironically, some of the ‘achievements’ that figure in the numerous full page advertisements of newspapers today list just some of those things that many others would call ‘failures’ of this regime!
Some of them are:
Demonetization, or Note ‘bundi’/ badli that took a heavy toll on the unorganized sector, like agriculture, textile industry and other cottage industries. (Not to mention lives lost).
Implementation of hasty GST – that in many ways was the last nail in the coffin of many struggling ( after demonetization) industries.
‘Harnessing Yuva Shakti’ – How, where??
The most burning problem, according to many Economists, is the rising, rampant unemployment in India today.
2 crore jobs a year were promised during the pre poll campaigning; which calculated to 8 crore jobs in 4 years. Well, the news is that not even 80 lakh jobs were ‘created’ in 4 years… there is no record of how many were lost!
‘Eliminating corruption’ is another tall claim. Then how come so many Bank ghotalas are surfacing, that were allowed to go on despite whistle blowers warnings that were silenced ? (We mean the Nirav Modi case where so many banks, and even LIC, have lost mega millions).
Yet there is one claim that does not sound false… one sees proof of that promise fulfilled everywhere.
Which is the speedy development of infrastructure; and that is thanks to the efforts and leadership of one man, that too a Nagpurian! Yes, our own Nitin Gadkari, the Union Transport Minister.
Four years ago, when he was allotted this Ministry it seemed not worthy of his stature, in the party and within RSS. After all another former President of BJP, Rajnath Singh had been given Home. Arun Jaitley who has not even won Lok Sabha elections and is a lawyer, not an Economist, was given Finance. A first timer like Smriti Irani – who has also lost her seat – was given a significant Ministry like HR. And Gadkari was told to ‘go build roads, and ports and flyovers and bridges’. It seemed like a calculated insult, a snub!
But how this man turned the tables on everyone is well chronicled by almost every news media and paper now. (Read our 2016 article on him… Nagpur Man of the Year 2016 – Nitin Gadkari without doubt)
Where new highways were being constructed at the rate of 3 – 4 Kms per day, he has taken it to 27 Kms a day and plans for 40 soon.
Building 27 km of highways every day, as is said to have happened in 2017-2018, is equivalent to building the Bengaluru-Chennai highway in 10 days flat, or other equivalent stretches like and Kolkata-Jamshedpur or Delhi-Jaipur in similar time.
He has modernized our Sea ports and made them profitable again.
He is talking of deploying Sea planes in our rivers – he already gave us a trailer just before the Gujarat elections, a strategy that definitely helped in regaining power there! – and has been entrusted with the ambitious project of ‘Namami Gange’. The mandate of cleaning out the Ganga river.
There is only one request we would like to make of him when he goes on his flurry of projects, be kinder to trees please! Be more environment conscious…
We understand his focus, his zeal for ‘development’… but we are already seeing signs that his approach is getting holistic also. See how he is going after curbing highway accidents, specially the fatal ones?
No wonder then that Nitin Gadkari has been named the Number one performing Minister of the Modi govt. for the 3rd time consecutively. It should be 4th actually.
He is the ONLY Minister who has ‘passed’ in First class – being given a score of 72% by a survey – while all Ministers coming after him have managed only 50% plus!
So we have no hesitation in calling him the only cherry on Modi’s 4th anniversary cake.
Is that a promise we heard?
Naturally Gadkari has been giving a spate of interviews on different TV channels – Marathi, Hindi as well as English.
Listening to him on TV9 (Marathi) I found one reply very interesting.
Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer asked him ‘if he would like to return to Maharashtra again?’ (In the capacity of C.M. no doubt).
Nitin Gadkari replied most categorically ” No, I am happy in Delhi. I want to remain here.”
Then as an afterthought he continued ” if I have to ‘return’ I would like to go to my hometown Nagpur, I have no interest in Mumbai.”
Was that a veiled reference to demand for Vidarbha – of which he was an active proponent once – being re considered again?
There would be nothing that would propel Vidarbha ahead as having this Nagpurian as the C.M.!
It would be a fitting climax to his political career – to be in the Ruling Captain’s chair, either in Nagpur…or Delhi.
—Sunita Mudaliar (Executive Editor)