Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at critics today at a time when his government is fast attracting one controversy after another. Modi said his sarkar wasn’t allowed a honeymoon period and allegations started pouring in within the first 100 hours.
In the last one month, Modi sarkar has faced stinging criticism from detractors. Some have tried to put the onus of incidents like the communal tension in Pune or the horrific rape in Badaun on Modi sarkar, which were actually matters related to respective state governments. Even the rail fare hike was accounted by UPA in the interim budget, although they didn’t announce the decision at that juncture. Alluding to all such instances, Modi said that his government has been blamed for things which were not even related to them.
Obliquely referring to unpopular decisions like price rise, Modi assured that every step has been taken in national interest. He also remarked that some forces both within and outside the government setup are having difficulty to accept that it will no longer be business as usual. Modi candidly shared his earlier apprehension that he may take years to understand the way things work in New Delhi. But he reassured citizens that he has already cracked the code! The PM said that he and his team are trying their best to usher in the good days. He reiterated that he will need the help of the states to fulfill that goal.
Today a Mumbai-based organization filed a PIL against Modi sarkar for breaking the trust of common man. It argues that Modi has committed criminal breach of trust by hiking prices and taking other unpopular decisions. Modi, his cabinet members and BJP has been named in the PIL.
Prime Minister Modi today chaired the monsoon review meeting. Alarm bells have already started ringing with rainfall below average for third consecutive week. Poor rainfall will adversely affect agriculture, which constitutes backbone of India’s economy. It is likely to have negative impact on both inflation and growth. Modi today urged his men to be proactive and stressed on coordinated effort to help the farmers. He asked the states to set up fast-track courts for trial of black marketers who resort to hoarding of food grains.
The Met department though has some good news for India’s policymakers. According to them, the effect of El Nino hasn’t been felt so far and rainfall is likely to pick up in the months of July and August. Earlier, Met department had predicted that there will be around 7% shortage of rainfall this monsoon.
Sushma Swaraj today reached Bangladesh, her maiden visit to the country as External Affairs Minister. Swaraj held a detailed meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Sharing of Teesta river water and the Land Boundary Agreement were the two most intensely discussed issues today. In UPA2, Mamata Banerjee put the spanner on Manmohan Singh’s intention to sign the Teesta pact. Sushma today assured Hasina that they are trying their best to evolve a national consensus in this sensitive matter.
India today hailed the bilateral meeting as “constructive, productive and fruitful”. Modi during his election campaign had raised the pitch against Bangladesh particularly highlighting the influx of illegal Bangladeshis to India. Knowing fully well that Modi’s high decibel campaign had not gone down well in Dhaka, Sushma walked the extra mile today to break the ice.
Visa restrictions have been relaxed for Bangladeshi citizens under 13 and over 65 years old. India has also pledged to provide additional electricity in Bangladesh. Several other confidence building measures like increase of train and bus services between the two countries were also taken today. India informed that Narendra Modi has agreed to visit Bangladesh at a mutually convenient date.
Modi also received today a request to visit France.
Reserve Bank in its financial stability report has expressed hope that India is in the path of economic recovery. Raghuram Rajan in his report stated that stable government in the centre has definitely increased the chances of reforms taking place swiftly. However, the report expressed a note of caution about inflation owing to supply bottlenecks.
Rajan said that the financial markets are pinning their hopes on Modi to take swift decisions in crucial policy matters. The report suggests that India’s financial system has sound health but public sector banks may face some challenges in the near future.
Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said that government has decided to push back introduction of Food Security Act by 3 months. This is primarily because many states have not yet identified the population eligible to get highly subsidized food under this act. So far only 11 states have completed this process.
Sensex today fell by nearly 251 points with shares of Reliance Industry suffering huge losses. Investor confidence was shaken by government’s decision to impose massive penalty on Reliance for failing to produce sufficient natural gas in the KG-D6 basin.
The ongoing tussle between DU and UGC got a new twist today. DU has replied to UGC’s letters by proposing an alternative formula. The new proposal which DU refers to as “blended approach” is basically three years course with an optional fourth year for those interested in research. Many believe this is DU’s face saving tactics to slowly diffuse the tension and start the admission process.
DU however maintains that there is no time to scrap four-year programme and thus “blended approach” is the best way forward. It is left to be seen if UGC gives Delhi University the leeway to start this new system or it keeps up the pressure to revert fully back to the three-year undergraduate programme. Either way, the decision must be taken soon as students are increasingly getting restless and paranoid.
President supported government:
Government sources today indicated that President Pranab Mukherjee had approved the decision to remove Gopal Subramanium’s name from the panel of possible judges. Subramanium yesterday wrote to the Supreme Court to withdraw his candidature for becoming a judge in the apex court. He alleged that his stand in the Sohrabuddin fake incident case was the reason behind centre’s grouse against him. However, government sources have rubbished this allegation. They believe that the incriminating reports against Subramanium by both IB and CBI were enough to question his candidature.
Finally, a look at the key economic parameters as of today…
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