Just a few months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, there is a “wave” of anti-Modi rallies in the national capital of the country.
After Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s day-long hunger strike in Delhi on Monday (demanding special status for his state and fulfilment of commitments made by the Centre under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014) now the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has organised an anti-government rally in the national capital.
Like the TDP president’s rally, this gathering too will witness a congregation of opposition leaders.
In case you forget, Chandrababu’s day-long hunger strike witnessed presence of leaders like Congress president Rahul Gandhi, National Conference's Farooq Abdullah, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, DMK's T Siva and TMC's Derek O' Brien among others.
During the hunger strike, Naidu came out all guns blazing at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said the state will have its due.
"If you won't fulfill our demands, we know how to get them fulfilled. This is about self-respect of people of AP. Whenever there is an attack on our self-respect, we won't tolerate it. I am warning this government and particularly the PM to stop attacking an individual," ANI quoted him as saying.
"Today we came here all the way to protest against central govt. Yesterday PM visited Andhra Pradesh, Guntur one day before the dharna. What is the need, I am asking," he said.
"PM did not follow 'raj dharma' in case of Andhra Pradesh as his govt denied state special status," Chandrababu said.
Now again, at a rally at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday, the opposition will seek to corner the Modi government on various issues.
AAP Delhi convenor Gopal Rai told news agency PTI that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar would attend the rally.
However, the million-dollar question is, do these rallies really hold any political significance or they are just another attempt to create propaganda against the government?
There may be some fronts where the Centre needs to improve but Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development mantra will help the BJP sweep the upcoming parliamentary polls.
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In the past four years, the government has done some commendable works like:
The Modi-government launched Jan Dhan Yojana and under it 34 crore people have opened bank accounts. The Centre started Ayushman Bharat Yojana and in the last 4 months, more than 10 Lakh poor people availed health benefits in hospitals under this scheme.
The government gave 2.47 crore new electricity connections. It opened four thousand generic medical stores. Under Ujjwala Yojana, govt has given six crore new gas connection.
Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, more than nine crore toilets have been constructed. Because of this mass movement, the rural sanitation that was less than 40 percent in 2014, increased to 98 percent now. According to an assessment, because of the toilets built, numerous poor persons have been spared of various kind of diseases and more than 3 lakh lives have been saved.
The government has launched the National Nutrition Mission for persons suffering from malnutrition and to eliminate the factors responsible for malnutrition. ‘Mission Indradhanush’ has been launched by the Centre to provide immunization facilities to children and pregnant women living in remote and tribal areas.
The Government is working at a fast pace to strengthen the healthcare related infrastructure. New medical colleges are being set up. From Madurai in Tamil Nadu to Pulwama in Jammu-Kashmir; and from Rajkot in Gujarat to Kamrup in Assam, new ‘AIIMS’ are being established. Government is setting up new Ayurveda Science Institutes and encouraging yoga for physical and mental wellbeing. In the last four years, to address the shortage of doctors in rural areas, 31 thousand new seats have been added in medical education.
Keeping these gigantic development works in mind by the saffron party, it appears unlikely that these opposition rallies will make a dent in the popularity of PM Narendra Modi.
About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at @AnuragSason
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