100 days of Modi sarkar- Day 16
#AcheDinBijliBin. This was the most “trended” hashtag in the social media as outrage increased over long power cuts in Delhi amidst sweltering heat. It forced Power Minister Piyush Goel to call a press conference to emphasise that Modi sarkar is trying desperately to salvage the situation.
In Parliament today, debate commenced about thanksgiving motion to President’s speech. BJP’s Rajeev Pratap Rudy started the debate. He mocked Congress’s abysmal show in the general elections branding it as a regional party and said that Indians have punished them for misrule of 60 years. Young turk Rudy said that since there is no Leader of Opposition government doesn’t have anybody to consult about their policy decisions.
Rebutting Rudy’s jibes, Congress leader of the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge pulled out reference from Mahabhrata. He said their tally of 44 will not stop them from taking on the government in key issues just like 5 Pandavas were not afraid of 100 Kauravas!! This Mahabharata reference earned Kharge some brownie points from his party leader Sonia Gandhi. Gandhi was seen thumping the desk probably feeling vindicated about her decision to elect Kharge as the leader of the party in Lok Sabha amidst much dismay.
In Rajya Sabha leader of the house Arun Jaitley gave some word of caution to the winning MPs. He asked them not to get carried away with this vast mandate. Jaitley later lambasted UPA government’s handling of economy. Jaitley said that government has to undo many plans of the past to clear the financial mess currently plaguing India. Jaitley who holds the dual portfolio of Finance and Defence explained in great details some of the points made by President Mukherjee in his speech.
Leaders of other top political parties also expressed their views on the blueprint unveiled by Modi government for the next 60 months. There was huge uproar and protest in the Lok Sabha when Prataprao Ganpatrao Jadhav of Shiv Sena said that they will hoist saffron flag in the Red Fort!! Opposition parties protested vehemently. Later Union Minister Ananth Geete belonging to Sena clarified that they will always respect the national flag. The debate will continue tomorrow and finally Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak addressing the issues raised by the legislators.
LK Advani today got back his room in the Parliament. The nameplate has also been restored though his designation has been removed. Some consolation for the octogenarian!
Outside Parliament Modi continued to strive for his often repeated motto of “Maximum governance, Minimum Government”. Modi believes in having a single window clearance policy unlike UPA government. Thus he has decided to get rid of four cabinet committees. These standing committees of cabinet dealt with prices, natural calamities, World Trade Organisation and Aadhar (pet project of the last government).
Now Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs will oversee the work which was scrutinized by these abolished committees. Earlier Modi Sarkar had disbanded all the Group of Ministers (GoMs) and the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoMs).
Modi has also decided to completely restructure the workings of critical cabinet committees relating to Economic Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, Political Affairs and on Security.
Narendra Modi all through his election campaign had stressed on providing clean government. Manmohan Singh’s personal integrity was above doubt but activities of some of his cabinet colleague gave UPA government a bad name. Modi wants to avoid that. Thus all ministers have to submit details of their property and stake in business holdings within two months to him. This practice will not be a one off affair. Ministers have to give this declaration every year.
Modi also has strictly dissuaded his team from participating in any business activity. Ministers have been discouraged from employing family members, a decision emerging from the embarrassment former Rail Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal faced due to misdeed of his nephew.
Ministry of Home Affairs headed by Rajnath Singh has agreed to the demand for a CBI probe in the death of Union Minister Gopinath Munde. Munde passed away last week after facing a fatal car accident in Delhi on his way to the airport. Final decision will be taken by Modi.
PM’s pet project of cleaning Ganges is daily making headlines. Today news came that government is planning to pass a law so that spitting and dumping waste in the river is made a cognizable offence. If the law is passed then guilty may face penalty upto Rs 10,000 and 3 years imprisonment. However there are serious questions about monitoring mechanism and potential misuse of the law by corrupt policemen.
All these are long term structural changes which Modi sarkar wants to bring in matter of governance. But common people of Delhi are currently more concerned with long hours of power cuts. Aam Admi party has blamed BJP for failing to control power situation in Delhi. AAP leader Manish Sisodhia today led a demonstration in front of the house of BJP Delhi chief and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. He reminded the fact that there was no power cut during their 49 day government.
Facing flak from opposition and ridicule in social media concerned Minister Piyush Goel blamed the past government in Delhi for this problem. He said that power generation is sufficient but there is a problem in transmission due to snag in line. Goyel gave a deadline of 10 days to his staff to sort out this problem. Discontentment is likely to rise against Modi sarkar in coming days if the situation doesn’t improve.
News have emerged that India and USA will be involved in series of high level meetings leading up to the summit level talks in September. First of it will take place in June 22, 23 where Japan will also be a part of the discussion process. John Kerry and Sushma Swaraj are also slated to meet soon to identify key points of cooperation and confrontation. Both countries are eager to move beyond the bad blood generated during the Khobragade incident.
In a statement that is likely to cause embarrassment and heartburn in the Modi administration, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has defended issuing stapled visa to people from Arunachal Pradesh describing it as a ‘goodwill gesture”. According to Chinese minister it is a method which ensures that people of those “disputed” region can travel freely and also doesn’t dilute his country’s position in respect to the boundary argument. China today hailed Wang’s visit to India as ‘greatly significant’.
Today it was announced that Narendra Modi will go for a two day trip to Bhutan (his first foreign trip as PM) on 15th June.
Industry body CII has welcomed government’s intention to liberalise the defence sector for FDI. It hopes that it will create huge amount of job and bolster manufacturing.
Meanwhile defence ministry in an affidavit to Supreme Court has contradicted the stance taken by General VK Singh (now a Union Minister) as Army Chief to put a ban on promotion of General Dalbir Suhag. Suhag is designated to be the new Army Chief. In their affidavit Ministry has criticised the action of VK Singh as “premeditated, vague and illegal”. However VK Singh is still justifying his stand even though his own government has disowned it.
Congress has promptly demanded resignation of VK Singh. According to Abhisekh Manu Singhvi government has shown “no confidence” on Singh who is currently the MOS for North East and External Affairs.
Sensex again made new record today though ended with very marginal gains. Nifty also saw similar story. Tomorrow NSE will sell government bonds worth nearly 7,500 crores for the foreign investors.
Finally, a look at the key economic parameters as of today…