Modi govt 8 years: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will complete eight years in power on May 30. During his tenure as PM, on several occasions, decisions made by him were both welcomed and criticized by people. However, many times, despite what they thought of the decision, people agree that Modi's moves took them by surprise. In the most recent times, the decision to repeal the three farm laws, that was opposed by some sections of farmers, was seen as a big step, just before assembly elections were due in five important states - Punjab, UP, Uttarakhand, Manipur, and Goa.
Here's looking at 5 decisions by the PM, that no one saw coming:
Abrogation of Article 370
On August 5, 2019, Articles 370 and 35(A) were nullified that gave Jammu and Kashmir its special status and the mandate to define its domicile rules. After its revocation, special status was no more attached to the state. This meant significant changes in the state, like people from outside J&K could buy land there, domicile certificates could be granted to the husbands of local women in the state, which meant they could buy property there, and could also apply to government jobs. The announcement was made by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha. Following the revocation of Article 370, internet was suspended in the state for more than an year.
Balakot airstrike or surgical strike
In a surprising move, the PM Modi-led government gave a free pass to the Indian Army to respond back to the Pulwama attack, that took place on February 14, 2019, and that killed 40 CRPF personnel, after their convoy was attacked. On February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force's Mirage-2000 fighter jets took off from various airfields in India, and launched smart bombs that targeted Jaish-e-Mohammad's largest terror facility, located in Balakot in Pakistan's Kyber Pakhtunwa. The BJP claims that at least 250 terrorists were killed in the airstrike, but the opposition still questioned why exact details of the casualties were not revealed.
GST, or Goods and Services Tax, was introduced in India on July 1, 2017. It came into effect after the Goods and Service Tax Act passed in Parliament. It is a tax on goods and services sold domestically for consumption. The tax is included in the final price and paid by consumers at point of sale and passed to the government by the seller. The GST is a common tax used by the majority of countries globally. Much like many introductions by the Centre, GST also faces criticism by the opposition. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi even termed it 'Gabbar Singh Tax'.
Notably, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday (May 19, 2022), that recommendations of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council only have persuasive value, and cannot be binding on the Centre and states.
Meeting former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif
Seven years back in 2015, PM Modi landed in Pakistan's Lahore city, to pay a surprise visit to the then Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. It was also PM Modi's first visit to the country in more than 10 years. Modi was received by Sharif with a warm hug at the tarmac of Allama Iqbal International Airport after his unexpected stopover here on his way back home after a day-long trip today to Afghanistan where he went after concluding a two-day visit to Russia.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ‘demonetization’ to weed out black money from the country. The decision was announced, and overnight currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations were banned. The currency with the public, which stood at Rs 17.97 trillion at the time, declined sharply to Rs 7.8 trillion in January 2017, soon after demonetisation. A few months later, of the Rs 15.41 trillion which had been demonetised, Rs 15.31 trillion came back to the RBI. So, more than 99% of the demonetised currency notes were returned to the banking system.