Judging by the comments Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made about my friend, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, I am convinced that PM Modi has lost it.
I had the privilege of working together with Rajiv Gandhi when he was the General Secretary of the party, then when he became the Prime Minister and I want people to remember that the modern technology including cell phones and computers that we today use so extensively and enjoy, were all introduced during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as PM.
It was his political will that gave meaning to my life and the work I did in India.
I am convinced that Mr Modi is shaken following feedback from the first four phases. He will be more shaken after receiving feedback from the fifth phase of polling. At the end of the day, he really does not have much to talk about in terms of accomplishments.
Mr Modi, when he came to power promised 180 million jobs but jobs were lost and he failed to generate new jobs. He promised 100 smart cities – but not a single smart city has been created. He promised that farmers’ income would be doubled, but farmers’ income has gone down. He declared that black-money would return to the country, but nothing came back to the country. He said that following Demonetisation, black money would be extinguished. It didn’t.
The country’s exports have nosedived, public debt has increased, demonetisation was a disaster, GST forced many small companies to close down, exchange value of Rupee vis-à-vis the US Dollar declined. Public Sector Units - Air India, BSNL, MTNL and several others like Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. etc. are in distress. Many are in deep trouble and ready to go bankrupt. Some do not have sufficient money to pay their employees salary.
As many as 4,000 companies have filed for bankruptcy. Non- Performing Assets in public sector banks are at its highest. Foreign Direct Investment is low – in fact FDI went down from 4.1% to 2.1%. Education Budget has been cut down by the Government from 4.7% to 3.4%.
These things are very serious. There is the example of a project called GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tech-City) that Mr. Modi had sold as a flagship project of Gujarat. Some 12 years ago, Gujarat Govt took 300 acres of land from farmers for the project but today the project is basically bankrupt.
It was in partnership with IL&FS, which is also bankrupt. Only two buildings exist after 12 years. No big company from abroad has come to this place, but no one talks about it.
There are failures after failures after failure. So, the BJP and PM Modi refuse to talk about their own performance while they are going about attacking people like Rajiv Gandhi.
What a shame that the PM has to get to that level and when we talk about it, their army of social media trolls, attack us – it’s a shame that they employ such a large number of people to troll and fight truth with absolute lies and hundreds and hundreds of people line up to troll for Modi.
I am very upset that a Prime Minister from Mahatma Gandhi’s soil could stoop to this level.
(Sam Pitroda is chairman of Indian Overseas Congress)