Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP’s merger with JD(U) has a message for BJP and opposition parties: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is fortifying himself for a longer innings in politics. But displays of short temper reflect deep insecurity of a man under siege. The sooner he gathers his wits, the better for Bihar.
AAI exit from major airports a good start. It should now morph into a regulator
Government plan to get AAI to fully exit four major airports is a good beginning that should be replicated at other centres. AAI-run airports have for long symbolised what is inefficient and decrepit with state-controlled public infrastructure. AAI should morph into a regulator ensuring private operators provide modern, reasonably-priced services.
Modi needs to move India’s crawling vaccination programme into mission mode under PMO
India’s Covid vaccination programme completes 60 days. It’s averaged a mere 5 lakh jabs daily. Worse, it seems smugly crawling in cruise control in second gear. PM Modi needs to move it into mission mode by shifting it to the PMO, if that’s the only way to speed things up.
After watching Cut the Clutter. The no. 1 priority now should be to bring the national fatality rate to 0.4%, of Kerala, from Punjab’s scary 3.5%.
Whether more – or less – centralisation is the panacea we seek is hard to judge. This could have been Dr Harsh Vardhan’s 1971 year and moment. However, as far as the mass vaccination strategy is concerned, it is clearly not measuring up to the required scale. With no shortage of vaccines or nurses, we should have been grazing 100 million jabs now. 2. Wife and mother in law, filled with hesitation till recently, went to the designated centre a few days early and had a flawless experience. What is now required is a massive scaling up. The return of lockdowns in Maharashtra is something that a more successful vaccination programme could render redundant.
One course of action is for CM Nitish Kumar to rediscover his good governance / development avatar. Now in his fourth term, he should leave behind a fine body of work for Biharis to recall his tenure for more than its record length. He has the experience and guile to not let his coalition partner to upstage him, despite having more legislators. 2. As for national ambitions, which other senior leaders nurse as well, that appears a remote possibility. The tail wags the dog phase, which gave us the humble farmer and others of his ilk, has passed into history. To the extent that the future can be predicted, stable governments, assuming the phase of one party dominance does not remain permanent, must be led by a consensus builder from either national party. The Congress will have to work much harder to be counted as one.
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