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BJP Vs. Congress - A Conundrum

The 2019 Election is turning out to be a close competition between two old rivals - the BJP and the Congress, with the former most probably having their Prime Ministerial candidate as Narendra Modi and the latter, Rahul Gandhi; one, a staunch Hindu nationalist who displays fascist like tendencies and the other who attempts to find a distinction between INR 6,000 a year and INR 500 a month.


Let's go back five years to 2014 when elections were looming around the corner. I was not as invested into politics as I am now but I remember every second person telling me that they would be voting for the BJP, purely for the charismatic leader, Narendra Modi, who had promised to revolutionalise India on modern grounds. I was not wrong. The BJP won 55% of the seats.

Fast forward to today and every other person is not praising Modi and talking about re-electing him, at least publicly. However, everyone is at a quandry whether or not to vote for someone who has done a certain amount of good for the nation but is a proud Hindutva supporter or someone else who is largely secular but not really intelligent and charismatic (a needed trait to establish relations with other countries, especially considering our current economic scenario).

Modi has at least created an image of openness in the business sphere in India and whether or not it is actually true is debatable but can be left aside for now. On one hand he has successfully wooed the international community in the field of business but on the other has scared not only Indians but also international agencies who have criticised the Government for silencing the opposition (in this case, the 'opposition' does not refer to the Congress).

Voting in the BJP obviously has its benefits. Financial markets will benefit. The perception of the 'ease of doing business' that has arguably resulted in an increase in investments into the country will continue. Corruption may be on the lower side, at least at the ministerial level. Government officers will ensure efficiency in performing their job. Roadways will probably improve. Air connectivity under UDAN is being expanded.

However, on the flip side, voting in NaMo will worsen the dirty communal politics such as the Ayodhya issue or the beef crisis. He will remain uncommunicative when innocent citizens are lynched when they were suspected of possessing beef. Politicians will be bought to win elections. His 'yes men' will be installed in key Government posts such as the Reserve Bank of India or State Governors. Members of key organisations such as the National Statistics Commission will continue to quit when they are coerced into playing dirty politics. It is evident that the master, Amit Shah as well as Modi will go to almost any length to achieve what they want and marginalise certain parts of the population to gain widespread support and be victorious in elections.


What do we get if we vote in the Congress? A secular Government who will not marginalise society. But to what extent is economic growth guaranteed? The markets will probably not react well to them forming the Government. Based on historic track record, corruption will be higher than it has been in the last five years and knowing the BJP, there will be uncalled for questions on the legitimacy of the Government and dirty politics being played. Every day that is spent in a squabble for power is a day that will cost the exchequer. If Rahul Gandhi is the Prime Ministerial candidate for the 'alternative option', do we really want to vote in someone who has not exactly earned this position deservingly and whose qualifications to run this country are questionable or do we want someone who has done certain goods things along with a wide range of repressive things?

The title of this article is 'BJP Vs. Congress - A Conundrum', a conundrum indeed! Where do we draw the line? Should businessmen and investors place their monied interests above everything else? To what extent can the BJP's repressive policies damage the country's democratic and secular principles in the long run? Should we not vote for the Congress because of the undeserved and under-qualified heir? Should we vote based on how a party treats each and every citizen fairly, irrespective of their religious beliefs? Should we vote for someone who is not as corrupt? Should we vote for a combination of both and if yes who is it? On what grounds should we differentiate between two political parties and candidates and identify the better of the two and vote for them when both have their negatives that will affect the country in two different ways - economically or democratically.





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