Positioning himself as the “Chowkidar” of the wealth of the nation, Narendra Modi had famously said “Na khaunga, na khane dunga” after becoming Prime Minister. But all his promises to curb corruption stand exposed, as a recently-conducted study proves. The study reveals that corruption has not only increased during Modi’s tenure, but most of the people in the country also believe that Modi is not serious about fighting corruption.
The study, which covered 13 states (including six which are ruled by the BJP) and 11 public services, concluded that 75% of Indian households think that that the level of the corruption in public service has either increased or remained the same during the last 12 months. The states covered in the study include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
“While 38% of households across India feel that the level of corruption has increased, another 37% of households feel that the level of corruption in public services has remained the same as before. At least 27% of the households had experienced corruption at least once while availing any one of the 11 public services covered by the report,” claimed the study.
Conducted by CMS, the CMS-India Corruption Study 2018 points out that the number of the people who doubt Narendra Modi’s commitment to fight corruption in public life has increased in 2018.
“Perception about Union Government’s commitment to reduce corruption in public services has seen a decline from 41% in 2017 to 31% in 2018,” says the study, emphasising that people in the BJP-ruled states such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh also doubt Modi government’s commitment to contain corruption.
With 52%, Maharashtra tops the list of states where people doubt the Modi government’s commitment to reduce corruption, Madhya Pradesh at 50% is second in the list. In Gujarat—where BJP has been ruling for more than two decades—46% of people feel that Modi government is not committed to curbing corruption
Among the non-BJP ruled states, 67% of people from Andhra Pradesh and 52% in Tamil Nadu feel that Modi government is not committed to ending or even reducing corruption.
Half the people of Bihar, where BJP formed the government with the help of Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), reposed their faith in Modi’s promise of erasing corruption from the system. According to the study, 50% people in Bihar believe that Modi government is seriously committed to fight the corruption.
Raising doubts about the success of the various “digital inclusion” schemes run by the central government, the study claimed that 7% of respondents had to pay a bribe in order to obtain an Aadhaar card, while 3% had to pay bribe to get their voter ID card.
Modi’s government’s inability to fill the vacant posts of Lokayukta (ombudsmen) and recent corruption in banking sector have been summarised as factors for the creation of “negative perception” in the study
The study found that transport, police, housing, land records, health and hospital services are considered to be most corrupt wings of public services. According to the findings of the study, states such as Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Bihar and Telangana have witnessed higher citizen activism, whereas Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have less activity of civil society fighting against corruption.
However, when compared with 2005—when UPA was in the power—the study reveals that the perception about the corruption in public services has seen a significant decline. Overall, the experience with corruption in availing public services has come down by 50 percentage points, claimed the study.