“Those in the government are not ready to speak on inflation and do not want others to talk as well. The common man is bearing the brunt of fuel prices going through the roof.”
Some remarkable similarities exist between the current economic situation and the one that prevailed in the years when the first NDA government under Vajpayee was in power. What stand out more today, however, are the seeming paradoxes in market and investor behaviours, and in trends of slowing growth and the strengthening rupee. How are they to be explained?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake the third and probably last major recasting of his council of ministers before the next Lok Sabha polls in 2019 and the exercise is being seen as a balancing act between his thrust on merit and demands of realpolitik.
At an event last year, PM Modi expressed his respect for Pawar, who, he said, had helped him in his initial years in politics. There has been talk of an imminent cabinet expansion, especially in view of vacancies in defence and Urban Development.
The JDU on Saturday passed a resolution to join the NDA during the party’s national executive meeting chaired by leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The move comes weeks after Kumar broke ties with the Grand Alliance parties and re-formed the government with the support of the BJP.
“The state government is patronising Baba Ram Dev who is more inclined towards marketing of his products than yoga and giving him land, and also shielding Baba Ram Dass who allegedly attacked a woman,” CPI(M) state member Rakes hSingha said.
Amit Shah said he and Nitish Kumar held a meeting at his residence in New Delhi on Friday, during which he asked the JD(U) leader to join the ruling NDA government. The invitation comes weeks after Kumar broke ties with the Grand Alliance parties in Bihar and forged an alliance with the BJP.
Both the privacy case in the Supreme Court and the drama in Bihar will continue, with Lalu Prasad Yadav taking control of the discourse. The camera instinctively seeks colour, and Yadav is the most colourful personality in the state of Bihar.
By breaking with Lalu, and joining hands with BJP again, Nitish could be trying to break the stasis, regain room for manoeuvre in his government – Modi is the domineering presence in the BJP today but the state BJP continues to lack a leader of Lalu’s stature — while counting on Central assistance to help get things moving in Bihar again.
While one party leader said that Nitish “cannot be a natural ally of the BJP”, another said a section of leaders in Bihar cannot forget how Nitish Kumar had “humiliated BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, referring to his parting with BJP in the wake of Modi becoming the party’s Prime Minister candidate in 2013.
On Wednesday, that script appeared straight out of a Bollywood potboiler, playing out over a few hours beginning in the evening, and ending past midnight. Nitish is learnt to have said, “The past is past. Let us work together with renewed energy and commitment, with zero tolerance for corruption.”
The first gain for us is Bihar’s development. Second is the consolidation of the anti-corruption political space. Most players of Grand Alliance, either individually or as a party, are under cloud. In the India of 2017, you cannot have a political coalition only on the basis of the fear of Narendra Modi and BJP, said RS Prasad.
But the party leaders said JD(U) could be a part of the government if Nitish Kumar wanted so. “We have not discussed the matter yet, but if Nitish wants, his party MPs could be inducted into the government,” said a senior party leader.
Nitish Kumar joining hands with the BJP is very good as the party consolidates its position in a part of the country in which it hasn’t done well recently… this is a huge plus for the BJP in enlarging its reach in the East India circuit-board
The CM, sources indicated, could retain Home, General Administration and Vigilance portfolios, and the JD(U) is likely to keep Education and Water Resources. The NDA, sources said, can get Health, Road Construction, Finance and Tourism.