Modi factor

Shri Narendra Modi is a very popular BJP leader A section of the business community likes him reportedly because of his quick decision making nature.

I  recall an important area in which he probably took very encouraging decisions. Gujarat now has as on March 31, 3013, over 852 MW solar voltaic plants(ranging from one MW to 25 MW) operated by 77 companies.

These companies expected windfall profits. Their original power purchase agreement entitled them Rs 12.54 per kwh. The business savvy Gujarat Government found that the capital cost incurred by the companies were significantly lower than what they used in their estimates. The government presented a case to lower the tariff to Rs 9 to the shock of the business community which invested in solar power. I believe that Shri Modi must have supported the decision. The State Electricity Regulatory Commission has rejected the proposal. There may be an appeal

The Economic Times wrote thus:

Industry leaders said the move was shocking as it raised issues about the consistency of the state’s policy, but the business-savvy Gujarat government is tossing back to corporate bigwigs a dose of their own logic: If companies can go to the regulator to raise tariffs for plants using imported coal on the ground that input costs rose unexpectedly, the state’s utility companies can also seek regulatory intervention to reduce tariffs from 12.54 per unit to 9 on the ground that the cost of building these plants was unexpectedly lower than what was envisaged when the tariff was fixed.”

It will be difficult to say what was the exact role played by Shri Modi. Some specialists think that the autocratic streak in him is essential for moving forward.

The opposition to him in BJP is also precisely because of that “quality”. It will be very difficult to predict the outcome of any Indian election. The aspirations of the newly asserting middle class looking for a change may come in favour of Shri Modi. The votes of the young generation remain unpredictable.

Every one exploits the caste divide. It is abundantly clear that Modi supporters are able to successfully create a Muslim phobia, a factor which may help them to corner upper class votes.

All parties use the minority card. Arrival of Mulayam Singh as the saviour of Muslims adversely affected the Muslim Vote bank of the Congress. To the dismay of Mulayam Singh, Mayavathi also took away minority votes. The impact of the Mandal Commission was unsettling/settling to some, depending on which side of the political divide you are in.

When Lalu entered Lok sabha he was 29. He was an ardent supporter of Jay Prakash Narayan who lead Sampoorna Kranti movement. Now Lalu is in jail.JP will turn in his grave if he comes to know of the actions of his protégé.

Indira Gandhi was punished for her dictatorial tendencies. Those who followed were a bunch of jokers. She returned. We witnessed political upheavals, assassinations. Every one of us became corrupt either by collecting money or by giving it to earn favours. Let me recall my tweet when Anna Hazare appeared on the scene. I wanted him to read a pledge that the participants of his programme will not receive bribe or give bribe. If he were successful, half the corruption would have vanished!

There are some very good young MPs in all parties. When they gain upper-hand (will they ever!) we may see multi-partisan decisions favouring development.

Let us not worry about a new leadership emerging. It will, in due course. The strong decision against the ordinance to enable convicted MPs an immediate reprieve invariably by all parties may be one of the harbingers of a new era.

Shri Modi is a rabble-rouser. I happened to read some of his speeches made during the Ratha Yatra He spat venom against the Muslim Community. Used highly reprehensible words. He wins the support of those in the BJP gallery. He has a lot of liability; his past during 2002 is a luggage too heavy on his shoulders. Reference to unspeakable atrocities against the Sikhs in 1984 are in no way going to help Modi.

I am seeing some similarities between Shri V K Krishna Menon and Modi. Both have dedicated followers. Many  hate both. VKK M was eloquent. So is Modi.I recall Shri Menon criticizing people for using the word “colony” for “townships”. It was 10:30 in the night. Election campaign in Chembur. I am not sure how many people followed the difference. Modi can use a phrase in Hindi to turn the crowd. He uses “Biriyani” and “Burqa” to convey certain ideas.

VKKM was a loner. Modi is! Both bachelors; individually VKKM exhibited and Modi exhibits sharp corners in personal behaviour! To VKKM, it was not certainly an asset. Modi may change! He is very good at criticizing leaders. Will he be able to cobble up a strong bureaucracy? I have strong doubts whether he can arrive at consensus on vital economic policies.

Let us see who wins?

I am now in the company of some senior citizens. belonging to the upper echelons of society. A few having 25/74 acres of farm land! Others who own 2 or three flats costing Rs 5 to 6 crores! One or two ex-bankers One an ex chief engineer of a State Electricity Board. I listen to them. It is very rewarding.

The weakest (weak because of age and exhaustion) of them wants Modi to win, get the know- how from Israel to knock out the terrorist havens in Pakistan, use nuclear bomb if necessary! He dreams that thanks to Modi a day will come when India will again become Bharat!

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About ksparthasarathy

I am a former Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. I am a former Raja Ramanna Fellow in the Department of Atomic Energy. Free lance journalism is my hobby
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