On May 26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed 4 years of his regime, touching the fifth year of his tenure. Flying back from Odisha where BJP just won one seat out of 21 in by-polls, the PM immediately ranked up his ministers and MPs and started building strategies for the upcoming elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh, where BJP is ruling three out four states.
Those who know PM Modi well, and have worked closely with him, say four years in the Parliament have made him more impatient with the outcomes of his party. His sights are already fixed for 2024, when India would be completing more than 75 years of Independence. For the time being, the PM’s target is to get elected for the second term in 2019 in which he is ahead of the Opposition, who is still considering their pick for PM candidate.
Before PM Modi sets his pace for the second term, he must study how his predecessors had governed this vast territory of India, and it will be good to use the lesson he will learn from them. He (Modi) must understand that 4th year of Prime Ministership is very critical for every government. For example, the government under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi that won a massive mandate of 404 seats in the 1984 elections, went down to 197 in the 1989 Lok Sabha polls, because of Bofors Scam and sending Indian troops to a hostile situation in Sri Lanka.
It swayed the citizens, causing VP Singh-led Opposition coalition to come into power. Another example Narendra Modi can follow is from his own Party predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he came to power in 1998. Rising inflammation, and petrol price hike bought discord among the citizens, his famous friendship bus service from Lahore to Delhi also backfired in lieu of Kargil War in 1999. As a result, his government toppled, and Dr.Manmohan Singh took the reins as the PM. There’s lesson PM Modi can learn from all previous Prime Ministers, and how they had ended their terms.
Narendra Modi emerged victorious in his foreign policies by touching super powers like USA, Russia and European countries. He has baffled his Opposition in terms of pursuing foreign policy like no other Prime Ministers. Through his trips, it was quite clear he was ready to forget the baggage of the past and is on his way to win the race of a powerful global leader. (PM Modi lost by a few points to US President Trump in The Times poll). On International platforms, PM raised many issues which directly linked to India’s nonaligned policy, yet he was persistent in forging new trade alliances with the developing and developed countries, creating media sensations on the global platform.
Narendra Modi’s biggest strengths are also his biggest weaknesses. Till now, he remains one man army. There are two fronts in his regime that fall short: lack of restructuring in social sector and tensions among minorities. The Health and Human Resource Ministries have been enigmatically slow in bringing necessary changes or even creating a separate pool of funds. Only this year, the economically marginalized section saw some relief in the Budget provisioned for health insurance schemes that would ease the burden of rising health costs. Meanwhile the Indian education sector remains on the back foot because Modi’s Skill India program is yet to take off.
Yet the overall sense is that PM Modi is transparent and hard-working. But with crisis like minority maltreatment and the growing fundamentalism of various groups, the PM needs to come out and take strict action against issues that may harm India’s image of a secular country.