To dismiss the renewed vigour in the opposition ranks as hollow rhetoric can be dangerous .
Vital signs of the economy have slipped below the comfort zone . Government that boasted about healthy Growth numbers is now on the defensive with GDP slipping by a solid 2 percentage points indicating a marked slowdown in the economy .
The opposition that was bereft of ideas to stop the BJP’s steady march towards a second term suddenly seems to have found its mojo . It might be too little – too late/early for the General elections , but it’s bang on time as two crucial states go to polls soon , both ruled by BJP .
Demonetisation a perceived game-changing strategy has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Opposition . Perception battle on the success or failure of the scheme is on , but the Government’s defence is losing steam because it is unable to clearly articulate the benefic effects of Note-Ban . Further , with negative growth figures emerging , the Opposition has quickly grabbed the opportunity to blame demonetisation for the retrograde economy .
Not just that , the below par GST collections for the month is another fiscal negative that will be exploited to the hilt by the opposition . To add to the misery , implementation of GST is anything but a smooth affair giving ample fodder to critics to castigated the Government .
The Government is right when it shrugs off the Economic slowdown as a momentary blip because the fundamentals without doubt are robust , Foreign exchange reserves are healthy, the investor confidence remains encouraging and the slew of Government schemes having completed their gestation period are expected to start delivering soon .
But , the enemy within has smelt blood , the murmurs are getting louder. Disgruntled leaders within BJP like the former Finance Minister Yashwanth Sinha and a few others are out questioning the inept handling of the economy . Such voices have given a much needed impetus to the opposition campaign to malign the Government .
Optics matter a lot in politics. The BJP for the past few years aced the optics angle , exploiting the Scams and the Economic shambles of the UPA to decimate them . But the optics , right now , is severely loaded against the Government . It’s not just the growth numbers that that show the Government in poor light , it’s issues like Child deaths at Gorakhpur , rising fuel prices etc., that have the potential to turn public opinion in favour of the opposition .
For the common man , fuel price is a puzzle that remains unsolved .
Fuel prices impact every section of the society. Transportation becomes expensive thereby impacting commodity prices . Buses to commute, agricultural implements and a common man’s lowly bike require fuel , it’s a indigestible fact that LPG , Petrol & Diesel prices keep rising at a time when crude prices are at their lowest .
It’s high time the Government sets the record straight and tells the public why fuel costs more. Also , the Government is duty-bound to state the purpose for which the windfall gains have been utilised, and for how long it intends to do so ?
Exceedingly well performing ministries like MEA , Power , Surface Transport , Railways (despite the derailments) etc., are literally pushed into obscurity by issues like Fuel Price , Vigilantism , abject health care , Farmer suicides etc., because when the overall picture is gloomy , minor issues take centre stage relegating the major achievements to a state of irrelevance .
It’s vital for the BJP to retain both the states that go to polls because the states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are major stakeholders in BJP’s plans for 2019 . They have deligently worked to buck the anti-incumbency factor and cannot let their guard down any further . They might already have inadvertently resuscitated an almost dead opposition , they now have to urgently effect course correction to prevent the opposition from gaining strength .
Picture Credit: Wikipedia