BJP Narendra Modi Amit Shah Lok Sabha Polls 2019 Budget 2018 Image Credit: FRONTLINE
BJP Narendra Modi Amit Shah Lok Sabha Polls 2019 Budget 2018 Image Credit: FRONTLINE

Election Oriented Budget!

Elections in recent times have shown that the BJP is losing ground steadily, and Sangh Parivar constituents believe that Budget 2018 will help advance the Narendra Modi government’s political cause.

Venkitesh Ramakrishnan

The talk of early general elections had come up from the beginning of 2018 among sections of the political class in New Delhi. This emanated from the echelons of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as its associates in the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)-led Sangh Parivar. Several nuanced arguments were put forth in these deliberations, but almost all of them centred around “clear indications of a decline in the popular appeal of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the past few months”. Developments towards the end of 2017, including the party’s “pyrrhic victory” in the Gujarat Assembly elections, were cited to argue that the best possible option for the BJP leadership would be to stem the rot by going for “before time” elections that would take the opposition by surprise. The manner in which the 2018 Budget session unfolded in early February added grist to these discussions. The presentation of the last “full Budget” of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was expectedly election-oriented. But that was not all. Modi’s vehement response to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address, which followed a few days after the Budget, was so overtly election driven that political observers and even politicians belonging to the BJP and the other NDA constituents wondered whether a blatantly partisan speech so full of aggression was appropriate for a platf

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