All Failures Back in Power: Modi3.0 Term of Government Under Scrutiny

The Reappointment of Controversial Ministers Raises Questions About NDA's Future.

Analyzing the Performances of Amit Shah, S. Jaishankar, and Nirmala Sitharaman Amidst Rising Communal Tensions, Diplomatic Missteps, and Economic Challenges

Yesterday, Narendra Modi took an oath as India’s Prime Minister for the third time under the banner of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Along with him, the same cabinet ministers who have faced criticism for their previous performances have also taken the oath. This raises the question: how long can this government last? Let’s analyze the performance of key ministers in the NDA government, starting with the Home Ministry.

Amit Shah and the Home Ministry: A Troubling Tenure

All Failures Back in Power The Third Term of Modi Government Under Scrutiny
Home Minister Amit Shah

Amit Shah has been serving as India’s Home Minister since May 30, 2019. His tenure has been marred by numerous incidents of Hindu-Muslim violence, raising concerns about communal harmony in the country.

  1. Delhi Riots (February 2020): One of the most significant incidents during Shah’s tenure was the Delhi riots, where clashes erupted in Northeast Delhi after protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) turned violent. The violence led to over 50 deaths and hundreds injured, with most victims being Muslims. There were allegations of police complicity in the attacks on Muslims.
  2. Communal Clashes During Festivals: Violence has often erupted during Hindu festivals when processions passed through Muslim neighborhoods. For instance, during the Ram Navami festival in April 2022, clashes in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat resulted in property damage and violence predominantly against Muslims. Authorities in these states faced criticism for demolishing Muslim properties in retaliation.
  3. Tripura Violence (October 2021): Anti-Muslim violence broke out in Tripura, targeting mosques and Muslim-owned properties, leading to fear among the Muslim community.
  4. Madhya Pradesh Clashes (April 2022): During a Hindu festival, clashes between Hindus and Muslims led to the demolition of Muslim homes by state authorities, who accused Muslims of inciting violence.
  5. Various Smaller Incidents: Numerous smaller incidents of communal violence have been reported across India, often tied to local disputes, religious processions, or political provocations, resulting in deaths, injuries, and significant property damage.

Amit Shah’s tenure has also seen the misuse of governmental agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and Income Tax Department, which have been accused of targeting political opponents and activists. The police have also faced criticism for their actions against peaceful protesters, particularly during the CAA protests.

Reappointing Amit Shah as Home Minister signals continuity in policies that have heightened communal tensions and raised concerns about civil liberties. If his approach remains unchanged, the citizens of India may find his leadership increasingly intolerable.

S. Jaishankar and Foreign Affairs: Diplomatic Missteps

All Failures Back in Power The Third Term of Modi Government Under Scrutiny
S Jaishankar (MEA)

S. Jaishankar, appointed as the Minister of External Affairs on May 30, 2019, has faced significant criticism for his handling of India’s foreign relations.

  1. United Nations General Assembly Speech (2022): Former Indian diplomat Vivek Katju criticized Jaishankar’s speech for deviating from traditional diplomatic norms and making inappropriate references to domestic political issues.
  2. Political Convenience Dig at the West (2023): Jaishankar’s criticism of the West’s selective responses to terrorism and extremism during the 78th UN General Assembly highlighted perceived hypocrisy but was seen as a veiled reference to India-Canada tensions.
  3. Response to Ukraine Crisis (2022): Jaishankar’s balanced stance on the Ukraine conflict, emphasizing dialogue, was criticized for not taking a definitive stand.
  4. China as a Bigger Economy: Jaishankar faced backlash for his remarks that India cannot fight China due to its larger economy, which was viewed as defeatist and sparked outrage among opposition leaders and military veterans.

Strained Relations with Neighboring Countries

  1. Nepal: Tensions have arisen over border disputes and the issuance of new political maps, leading to diplomatic strains and nationalistic fervor within Nepal.
  2. Bhutan: While relations have remained stable, concerns about China’s increasing influence could impact future relations.
  3. Pakistan: Ongoing issues related to terrorism, Kashmir, and cross-border skirmishes continue to strain relations, exacerbated by the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.
  4. Sri Lanka: India’s relationship with Sri Lanka has faced challenges, particularly regarding Chinese investments and influence, despite India’s financial assistance during Sri Lanka’s economic crisis.
  5. Bangladesh: Positive relations have been marred by issues like the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), causing friction.

Reappointing Jaishankar as Minister of External Affairs raises concerns about India’s diplomatic strategies and relationships with neighboring countries.

Nirmala Sitharaman and Economic Challenges

All Failures Back in Power The Third Term of Modi Government Under Scrutiny
Nirmala Staraman (Finance Minister)

Nirmala Sitharaman, appointed as Finance Minister on May 31, 2019, has faced criticism for her handling of the economy.

  1. Economic Slowdown: The GDP growth rate dropped from 8.3% in 2016-17 to 4% in 2019-20, and further contracted by 7.3% during the fiscal year 2020-21 due to nationwide lockdowns.
  2. Fiscal Deficit: The fiscal deficit reached a record level of 9.3% of GDP in 2020-21, raising concerns about the government’s borrowing and budget estimates.
  3. COVID-19 Pandemic Response: The recovery from the pandemic has been criticized as uneven, benefiting the wealthy more than the poor.
  4. GST Implementation Issues: Fluctuations in GST revenue, particularly during the second wave of COVID-19, raised concerns about the stability of tax collections.
  5. Corporate Tax Cuts: The reduction of corporate tax rates to 25.17% in September 2019 cost the exchequer ₹1.45 lakh crore annually, without the expected boost in investment and job creation.

Sitharaman’s tenure has been marked by public and political criticism regarding her handling of the economy. Despite some praise for her measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, her reappointment raises questions about the future economic policies of the Modi government.

Conclusion: A Question of Capability or Loyalty?

The reappointment of these ministers raises questions about their capability and the lack of close or reliable leaders within the BJP. Their previous performances have been fraught with controversies and failures, and their return to power suggests a potential continuation of the same policies. This could lead to further unrest and dissatisfaction among the public. The stability of the NDA government and its ability to address the challenges facing India remain uncertain, with everyday problems looming on the horizon.

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