Modi’s unseemly inauguration rush

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of his cabinet are in a race against time to inaugurate projects, lay foundation stones and make announcements of plans and promises. Modi even used the last cabinet meeting to announce 30 decisions, including opening new schools, power projects and the like. The race is against the date of announcement of elections for the Lok Sabha by the Election Commission. The code of conduct comes into effect when the commission announces the dates, and government cannot make any announcements and its functionaries cannot attend any official functions after that. Every government has tried to beat the deadline and impress people, because in elections the latest impression is thought to work best to fetch votes. But Modi’s inauguration spree is unprecedented in its haste and hurry, numbers, geographical scope and diversity. Much planning has gone into it, too. About nine months ago, the Prime Minister’s Office had told all ministries to provide details of projects he could inaugurate or launch before the elections. So, the ribbons are being cut, projects are being switched-on, and the foundation stones are being laid now. 

In the last week, Modi has inaugurated projects worth over Rs 60,000 crore in four states. Friday saw the peak, with the foundation stone being laid for the Rs 30,000-crore Meerut rapid rail transit system and the Rs 11,000 crore Kanpur metro. The Rs 8,000 crore Nagpur metro was inaugurated through video conferencing from UP. To be physically present in UP is important, and so the extension of Delhi metro to Ghaziabad was also attended to. It is not just big projects in big states that call for Modi’s touch. Inauguration of a road bypass in Kerala, a ladies’ hostel in Bengaluru and a sewerage system in Sholapur were all worthy of the Prime Minister’s time and attention. Other ministers have also inaugurated projects worth thousands of crores in a few days.

While there is no legal bar on holding so many functions just before the election date announcement, it violates the spirit of the poll code of conduct. Moreover, they raise the question, what was the government doing over the last five years that it has to rush with these inaugurations just before elections. These are functions held with public money, but Modi is using them for his election campaign. The Election Commission should have taken note of this, but there is even the charge that the commission has delayed the announcement of poll dates to allow Modi to complete his inauguration spree. Former chief election commissioners have said the government is using inaugurations as a campaign method and Modi is misusing loopholes in the law to violate the election code. Whether the ribbons and switches will bring in votes remains to be seen. 

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 5

    Angry

Comments:

Modi’s unseemly inauguration rush

0 comments

Write the first review for this !