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Expectations from Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Wednesday May 21, 2014 10:38 PM, Syed Ali Mujtaba,

The landslide victory of Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of its Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi is one of the most fascinating stories in the recent electoral history.

Modi as PM

Defying all odds and silencing all its critics, Narendra Modi, romp to victory symbolizing the aspirations of millions of Indians that desperately wanted a change in leadership and style of governance.

Indian electorates, particularly the young, have responded overwhelmingly to the promises made by Modi during his electioneering. These were ushering in good governance, economic growth rapid development etc.

Will he bring about through swift actions and deliver speedy results on the ground that's what everyone is talking about. Leaving behind history, will he be able to construct a new future for India.

The foremost task before the incumbent Prime Minister is to fix up the shattered state of Indian economy. The expectation from the new is PM to control inflation on urgent basis. People are reeling under the burden of price rise. This is caused by massive fiscal deficit. It is expected from Narendra Modi to rein in wasteful subsidies and reduce fiscal deficit. At the same time he should see to it that his actions do not discomfort the common man.

Prime Minister should be focused on certain key areas like, foreign trade, investment, manufacturing etc to push up the economic growth. In doing so will he mindlessly follow the liberalization mantra to attract foreign investment, or will be guarded to have the waves of globalization sucking India. As a BJP leader he had been advocating nationalism, as Prime Minister is he going to give India to multinational companies to lift up the Indian economy. It's like choosing between a rock and a hard place.

The other expectation from him is to overcome power shortage and make India energy surplus. Is going for big dams and hydel projects, is going to go for nuclear energy, is he going for solar energy and wind energy, choices has to be made as the expectation of the people is to deliver results. Each energy source comes with a rider and environmental and human consideration overweighs all the options. For the sake of energy, will he convert India to Uttrakhand or Fukushima like catastrophe? Again it's like choosing between a rock and a hard place.

If India has to grow, it has to have surplus water for its farms. This can happen only if the rivers are linked. This project was initiated by the previous BJP led rule was abandoned by the next government. Now, the visionary Modi, can link the rivers of the country and provide comfort to the millions of farmers who are going hungry due to lack of water. The expectation of the people is to make India water surplus and uplift the farm growth.

Next is the task of improving the infrastructure of the country. This has to be done through completion of the golden triangle roads, introduction of fast trains, and work on the connecting the entire India. All this has to be done in a firm timeline so to make the people see the difference.

There is a huge expectation from Modi is to check corruption at all levels. If he can deliver a government that works for the people, it can make a huge difference to the lives of the common man.

It is expected from Modi to move towards a truly federal system, leaving most development functions to the States and institutions. Central government's role should be to provide incentives to deliver better development results. Center- state relationship is a huge issue. Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat wanted more powers to the states minimal control by the centre. As Prime Minister will he allow to loosen the grip of the centre on the states? Again it's like choosing between a rock and a hard place.

Prime Minister Modi's immediate challenge is to restore the confidence of the entire people towards his governance. He should never give the impression that his government belongs to a particular religion or caste. This requires shedding his communal baggage and working for the secular ideals. The best way to win the hearts of the people opposed to him is to show that secularism thrives not through words but through affirmative action to lift the minorities and down trodden in the country.

Like Secularism, Socialism is the corner stone of Indian edifice. The other expectation from Modi is not to waver from the socialist ideals of the country. For this he has to shed the pro capitalist tag and work for achieving social ideals. Any digression of this will be negating the basic idea of India.

The new Prime Minister had mentioned in his campaign that cities need to play a much bigger role in the development of the country. He seems to favoring that cities should enjoy autonomy in revenue mobilization and expenditure management. He is of the view to develop more cities with central government's funds.

This idea sounds bright but what about the villages. His creation of special cities should not mean uprooting the villages and inviting huge urban exodus. If India has to grow, it has to both in the cities and the countryside. This incumbent Prime Minister should not put his growth agenda in favor of the cities and at the expense of the villages. No Indian may like to entertain such ideas that are egged up by the capitalist forces.

Narendra Modi has mentioned during his campaign that he has a definite vision of the development of India. People believed him and voted him to power. Now after making him the Prime Minister of world's largest democracy, people want that the new Prime Minister to deliver on all his promises.

If Modi is really serious about governance, the first thing he must do is to appoint efficient and honest officers on the key post who can deliver results. For this he has to energies India's giant administrative apparatus. It is expected from him to make the bureaucracy work for the benefit of all the people.

Will Modi meet the expectations of every Indian? This only time will tell. As such he has raised the bar of expectation by saying he is serious about making a difference and delivering results. It is this expectation that is ruling the roost at the moment. As soon as the euphoria of his victory tampers down, after that it's only the record of his work that alone will speak and this is what people expect from him.

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at

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