Saturday, 11 February 2017

Mr Vajpayee: A diamond lost in shine India campaign

In the early 2000s, India had witnessed steady economic growth under Vajpayee, and BJP in general had become synonymous with progress due to reforms, infrastructure including Golden Quadrilateral 

Development oriented Vajpayee took over PM Office in 1998, one of his first major announcements was the 6000km highway project called “Golden Quadrilateral” which intended to connect most of the major industrial, agricultural & cultural centres of India, including the 4 metro cities.
Over the next 5 years, Vajpayee’s govt added almost 25,000km of national highways which was the highest ever in a 5 year timeframe since independence which kickstarted economic prosperity.
The rate of economic growth in 2003, a few months before the UPA came to power, was at 7.9%. The rate of inflation was at 3.8%. In fact, the rate of inflation during the entire NDA term averaged at 4.8%,
The 2004 Lok Sabha results did surprise many people , journalists and even the Congress party considering the fact that almost all major exit polls  predicted a resounding victory for NDA 

When BJP passed the state assembly elections of 2003 with flying colours, Vajpayee thought it was the right time to call for early elections and recommended premature dissolution of Lok Sabha in early 2004 to utilize the mood which he thought was in his favor.

 General Elections were conducted in mid 2004 during which BJP left no stone unturned to glorify itself through the “India Shining” campaign, , but almost all the newspapers, analysts & opinion polls predicted a resounding victory for BJP.

However few facts which BJP should keep in mind going into 2019 elections

The number of people who voted for Congress & BJP had almost remained the same in 1999 & 2004.
10.3 crore people had voted for Congress in 1999 and even in 2004, around 10.3 crore people voted for Congress.
8.6 (crore people had voted for BJP in 1999 and even in 2004, around 8.6 crore people had voted for BJP.
But look at the number of seats won.

In 1999, through 10.3 crore votes, Congress had won 114 seats but in 2004, using almost the same number of voters, it won 145 seats!!

In the case of BJP, in 1999, it had won 182 seats through 8.6 crore votes but in 2004, inspite of having the same number of votes, could manage only 138 seats.

To summarize, with approximately the same sizes of their respective voter base , Congress managed to increase its seats by 31 while BJP’s seats decreased by 44, ultimately leading to it’s defeat.

However there are few other reasons where Mr Vajpayee failed to connect to voters inspite of best development projects and high GDP

1. Failure to use surplus food stocks
Perhaps the single biggest failure of the NDA government was its indifference to the millions of tonnes of foodgrain always lying (rotting?) in Food Corporation of India godowns even as thousands of farmers, reeling under drought in several parts of the country, were crying for food. The tragedy was that Indian exporters were merrily allowed to export wheat, sugar, and other food items in this scenario.

2. Wrong timing of the election
While Atal Bihari Vajpayee was initially reported to be keen to let the NDA complete its full term till October 2004, the Islamabad Declaration of January 6 with its fallout that serious discussions on Jammu and Kashmir would begin in June and be carried forward in August appear to have compelled him to agree to the party (L K Advani?) line of having the election earlier

As a result, the NDA government lost the golden opportunity to present its regular 2004 budget, which, finance minister Jaswant Singh later told us, was to usher in a second Green Revolution. That budget, with a strong bias towards agriculture -- largely neglected since 1999 -- would have been an excellent platform for the NDA to win over the farming community.

3. Skewed election campaigning
Almost all the campaigning was on the NDA government's overall development results, such as the government's Golden Quadrilateral scheme, political stability, peace in J&K, peace with Pakistan, high international status, credit cards for farmers, etc on the one side, and running down or making warnings about the Congress on the other. 
Towards the end of this campaign, the BJP even openly begged Muslims for votes, thereby upsetting lakhs of its conventional supporters.

4. Failure to look 'different' to the public

His wielding of swords, shooting of an arrow at the Ramlila festival, wearing of various headgears -- Muslim, Assamese, Kolhapuri, etc, etc -- was a cheap gimmick carried forward from Nehru's times. His iftaar parties and attendance of such parties thrown by others was also a carry-forward of old hypocrisies.

So to summarise I shall say it was not connecting to rural India, Soft stance and peace making attitude towards Pakistan, Wooing minority voters which was not  appreciated by majority of Hindu, Poor food grain management , His following of Nehru policies and calling elections six months in advance were main reasons for loss of BJP inspite of the fact the economy did brilliant at that time

Also the money was rightly concentrated on much needed infrastructure products but the results started showing only one UPA took over. So the hard work done by Mr Vajpayee was credit taken by Mrs Sonia Gandhi

Although many other rumours doing the round about his personal life and non vegetarian food not taken well by Hindus. Also there were rumours that Mr LK Advani might take over leadership which did not go well with masses

To quote few where he showed being vulnerable to Pakistan and minority

“Get out of the fear that is dividing the nation and vote for a government that will not allow any community to live in fear,” Mr Vajpayee said, addressing the Minorities Conference organised by the BJP’s Minority Cell.

There is nothing that cannot be solved through dialogue,” he said, and referred to the conduct of elections in Jammu and Kashmir and the improvement in ties with Pakistan.

New Delhi, February 25
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today stressed the need to create a congenial atmosphere for resumption of sporting links with Pakistan and said Indian players were willing to play wherever they were asked to.

Now lets see how UPA 1 benefitted from great economy it got in hands and how it wasted a decade of our country.

2004 to 2014—India’s lost decade

Not only did UPA 2 not deliver on the potential, but it also let the economy slip—the UPA inherited an economy that was growing at 7% in 2004-05, and it will bequeath to the next government, a growth rate that is likely to drop below 5%.
But it is worth remembering here that the economy is not like a James Bond movie, where the storyline of one movie has very little connection with the storyline of the next. An economy is continuous in that sense.The period between 2004 and 2014 is truly India’s lost decade.
The fiscal deficit for the year 2003-2004 came in at 4.5% of the GDP. The fiscal deficit for the year 2012-2013 was at 4.9% of the GDP. 
The massive economic growth during 2009 and 2010, when India grew by 8.5% and 10.5% respectively ,was primarily on account of the government expanding its expenditure rapidly. As Sir Gurumurthy always stressed that the growth was asset inflated
As Ruchir Sharma put it in a December 2013  in the Financial Times
"With consumer prices rising at an average annual pace of 10 per cent during the past five years, India has never had inflation so high for so long nor at such an unlikely time... Historically, its inflation was lower than the emerging-market average, but it is now double the average. For decades India's ranking among emerging markets by inflation rate had hovered in the mid-60s, but lately it has plunged to 142nd out of 153."
Effectively, in eight out of its 10 years in power,  the UPA created 15 million jobs. Since the Prime Minister’s Office loves to compare its growth figures with those of the preceding regime headed by the BJP it would be worth pointing out that between 1999-2000 and 2004-05, 58 million jobs were created.
And of course the list of scam is long and will take the entire blog space.
What all this clearly tells us is that the economic growth during the UPA rule fed on the economic growth during the NDA rule. The UPA has left the economy in shambles, and the government that takes over, will have a tough time turning it around.

Now lets see How Mr Modi who was given zero economy with Bank NPA and lost credibility in foreign soil did well in first year of his legacy
  • The economy rebounded.
  • Exports and imports declined.
  • Foreign-exchange reserves grew.
  • Coal production, electricity generation and petroleum consumption rose.
  • Non-performing assets (NPAs) in banking soared.
  • India ease of business ranking rose
  • Almost 80% villages electrified and toilets made under Swatch Bharat............

List is too long
In seven of 12 indicators evaluated by IndiaSpend, the data reveal a similar trend—a reasonable economic performance after an economic downturn, as the chart below reveals:

So how is Prime Minister Modi different from Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee

  1. Vajpayee Ji spoke to your heart whereas Modi speaks to your brain. Vajpayee could make you weep with his speeches, Modi would not. Modi’s would make you think.
His speech on MAKE IN INDIA Inspired many

  1. The biggest and crucial difference is that Vajpayee functioned through the BJP and the organisation, while Modi functions outside the BJP creating his own parallel structure of individuals 
Mr Modi functions on his mental strength not as a BJP PM but PM OF NATION

  1. Vajpayee’s PMO was like a happy family whereas people worked together in complete trust of the Prime Minister. Modi’s PMO is like Corporate Headquarters where the emphasis is on delivery, performance and deadlines.
All babus were initially very upset with him coz their routine of entering office at 11 and leaving at 4 was disturbed.

  1. Vajpayee was magnanimous in his dealings. He could be forgiving, benevolent and accommodative. Modi is a hard task master, he knows how to make use of the system and use it to his advantage.
Reminds you of Surgical Strikes and Demonetisation?

  1. Vajpayee could never connect to Rural and poor India although his intentions long term was india shining. However Mr Modi has connected to common man.
Remember Common Man not complaining against demonetisation queues.

Its still early to compare the two political heavyweights. Though they have less similarities and more differences but still both of them have the common agenda of development of people.
Now after going through various blogs and reading articles I have more and more admirer of our PM. Not only is he working 18 hours non stop 365 days for the nation in all directions ........But also making sure that he does not commit the same mistake which Mr Vajpayee commited.
So his stress on Rural, Housing,Agriculture, Cheap housing loans,Swatch Bharat, Vocational schools for youth........................unending
I Understand this blog is all about politics but spare few lines from my heart. Have never seen or heard a leader who is so aggressive yet diplomatic. A leader who resides in heart of common indian as well as heart of world leaders. A leader who promotes technology yet sleep with pain of farmer in his heart. A leader who has ambition to take India to heights yet risk his political carrier and life with demonetisation and surgical strikes  A leader who listens to all abuses yet only answers at the right time....................

Is this power of meditation? Is this power of his selfless love towards nation? Or is it power of million blessings he receives.
Shall end with this beautiful poem from Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee with all respect

भारत जमीन का टुकड़ा नहीं,
जीता जागता राष्ट्रपुरुष है।
हिमालय मस्तक है, कश्मीर किरीट है,
पंजाब और बंगाल दो विशाल कंधे हैं।
पूर्वी और पश्चिमी घाट दो विशाल जंघायें हैं।
कन्याकुमारी इसके चरण हैं, सागर इसके पग पखारता है।
यह चन्दन की भूमि है, अभिनन्दन की भूमि है,
यह तर्पण की भूमि है, यह अर्पण की भूमि है।
इसका कंकर-कंकर शंकर है,
इसका बिन्दु-बिन्दु गंगाजल है।
हम जियेंगे तो इसके लिये
मरेंगे तो इसके लिये।
My honest confession few facts in this blog are by google search as i was not so politically active then. Apologies and thanks to all blogs and news articles who help me in my research.


  1. Its a nice Efforts mam.👍👍👍

  2. Its a nice Efforts mam.👍👍👍

  3. An eye opener for many with facts presented. In my opinion both are great leaders and I feel proud of them.

  4. Nice analysis. Always like to read such substance in Hindi.

  5. Rarely people used to know facts that time. Congress used to fool people because of illiterate.. Now Its Different People are advanced in Internet ,They Think Of their own. They have Started to reject the things they studied in history book after knowing the facts. They knew how congress fooled everyone just like india is their home property. Those Era Are Gone .Now a Betel Shop Also use Google to Know these Looter congressi..

  6. Effort made in comparing the two stalwarts of our Bjp r appreciated. A worth reading read. Congratulations! Renuka ji

  7. Renukaji as usual excellent analysis & brief explanation on the area other then your exprtise