It will be tough to find a viable alternative to the BJP at the time of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls because “there is no credible opposition in the country”, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told The Sunday Express. “The problem is that the BJP is playing politics of gimmicks and jumla… I don’t think, as of now, the nation’s important issues are being discussed. I’m worried about the overall situation in the country,” he said in an interview.
“There is no credible opposition in the country. The idea of a united opposition is a mathematical one and not a political one. But mathematics doesn’t work in politics. Five ideas working together cannot become the opposition. Five people, who have ambitions to become prime minister or chief minister, cannot be a united opposition. The idea of corruption-free India can be a united opposition, the idea of developing India through education can be one, but who is working towards that?” he said. Sisodia added that the BJP has derailed conversations and discussions about issues that matter.
“The Opposition should have been talking about education and health, but the BJP has very smartly driven the discourse to the cow, for example. The downside of this is that the Opposition is also talking about the same issues, even if they are opposing it. But a narrative has been set. They have forced people to move away from discussions on education, health and corruption,” he said.
Sisodia also spoke about the apprehension among traders regarding the GST (Goods and Services Tax), which was enforced two and a half months ago. “They are worried, more so about the impact of the GST on the Indian economy, because that’s what they depend on.
They feel that somewhere their business opportunities are being killed off because of the new tax regime… The GST is set at a maximum of 28 per cent and this high rate is causing tax evasion at some levels, I have heard. We are giving traders time to adjust to the new system.”
Expressing apprehensions over the GST figures released by the Centre, Sisodia said, “The data that just came in seems to be misrepresented by the government. They said that Rs 92,000 crore has been collected, but have not mentioned that around Rs 60,000 crore of this is input credit which has to flow back. You have got only about Rs 30,000 crore as revenue but you aren’t disclosing this. You have moved from VAT and central excise to the GST, but you are not saying how this data translates into revenue collection. There is a need to demystify that because tomorrow you have to invest the money as well and people will ask you where the Rs 92,000 crore went.”