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Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu feels that with the BJP getting a clear majority, the Modi government has no excuses for not fulfilling its promises, but that it must be given “adequate time” before it is criticised. This Idea Exchange was moderated by Senior Assistant Editor Ravish Tiwari
M Venkaiah Naidu: The people have given a major verdict. Many people say it’s an anti-Congress verdict. I don’t agree with that. There’s certainly an anti-Congress mood among people. But if you analyse the results, it is a positive mandate for the BJP and Narendra Modi. If you analyse the results in Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar, Jammu and Kashmir, everywhere the mood was the same and it was converted into positive results. You may ask what happened in Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana? Yes, it needs analysis. Wherever there was an organisational base, the wave could be converted into votes; wherever there was a good alliance partner with a strong base in that particular state, we got good results. In Orissa and Bengal, our infrastructure was not adequate to convert support into votes. Our organisation was not strong in Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
The overall positive mandate has led to a greater responsibility. No excuses now because we have clear majority and a buffer by the way of supporting parties. The problems are many. Expectations are very high because people thought if Modi comes to power, everything will be okay. We don’t have an Aladdin’s djinn to solve problems immediately.
The changes in policy, direction, attitude have already happened. The confidence level has gone up. Now with the Railway Budget and General Budget, the proper climate has been created. The first and foremost thing is to bring the economy back on track; make people understand what we have inherited. This is a practical and pragmatic budget, which has sent a positive signal. There is no burden on the aam aadmi. Every sector has been taken care of. The general mood of the people is that there will be temporary hardships, but we have to accept it for long-term happiness.
We are not unduly disturbed by criticism. The Congress is making fun of achche din. I tell them good days have come, that is why your leader is sleeping tension-free. The mantra is development, speed and growth. If you want to take care of the social sector and vulnerable sections, you have to generate wealth. If you start distributing wealth without creating it, you will become bankrupt.
Coming to the Railways, the government in February decided to raise the fares and in May issued the order. The minister came to know that they were losing polls, and told officials to present it before the next continued…