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Vijaya Pushkarna
Vijaya Pushkarna


Behind the masked magic

modi-mask In 2014, Narendra Modi was everywhere and so were his masks | Agencies

One of the most unforgettable 'things' about Lok Sabha 2014 was the Modi mask. It was really big in the run up to Lok Sabha 2014, and remained on the face of people smitten by the Modi magic even during the subsequent assembly elections. Narendra Modi was everywhere, campaigning, and also as a mask his followers gleefully wore. But, reality cannot remain masked for long.

The BJP exposed the old cases of corruption by the Congress in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It was tit for tat, to counter the Congres, which continued to be unrelenting in obstructing parliament, demanding the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

Then came the suspension of 25 Congress MPs by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. This, if anything, made it even more difficult for the ruling party that missed the opportunity to show its Vajpayee gene, and reach out through some give and take. The disparate Opposition united to protest! The BJP continued with its brazenness.

As the second week of the monsoon session melted into the third, India Inc. was all but charging the government with inability to deliver on the promise of easy-to-acquire land, besides GST and other reforms. The government woke up to the need to get bills passed, by hook or crook .

The ruling party considered the idea of a joint session of Parliament to tide over the lack of numbers in the Rajya Sabha, and passing the Land Bill. Better sense prevailed, and the party decided to climb down and get back to the Land bill of 2013—the UPA version—by dropping the contentious clauses.

But that has not turned the aggressive Opposition into a herd of lambs. And the BJP was not willing to climb down further!

They are considering presenting crucial pending bills as money bills, considering most bills have a financial requirement built into them. Money bills need not be actually passed by the Rajya Sabha. If they do not return passed in two weeks, the bills will be deemed passed. In fact, the Black Money Bill, 2015, was introduced as a money bill during the budget session, for this very reason, and the Opposition had cried foul.

Where this cannot be done, the government will fall back on ordinances, like it has many times since it came to office. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley questioned the legitimacy of the upper house—the Rajya Sabha—holding up the business of the government, cleared by elected members in the Lok Sabha. Senior BJP leaders have made it clear that they will ensure they deliver on their promises, overcome all hurdles, within the ambit of the Constitution.

While the nation will be happy to see that work does not get stalled Prime Minister Modi has taken off his own mask of being a democrat, somebody who will work with sab ka saath (taking everyone along). For, the government will now take recourse to the executive route, bypassing Parliament and Opposition. That, it appears, will be the real face of the Modi government.

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