New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, like him or dislike him, has been a strong leader, who has seen major political success over the last seven years.
“The fact is that his politics has been greatly, overwhelmingly successful in the last seven years now,” said ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta in episode 687 of Cut the Clutter.
Gupta speaks about the three pillars of PM Modi’s success story and also about how the last 60 hours have been crucial as the PM has undertaken multiple initiatives across several states.
Focus on infrastructure
In the last few days, the prime minister visited Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where he laid the foundation stone of power projects and inaugurated a 9-km stretch of the Chennai Metro.
“Among the broad list of things that he has done, in Kerala he inaugurated a 320-KW power plant and a 50-MW solar power plant in Thrissur. In Tamil Nadu, he went to oil refineries and also visited Chennai and inaugurated a 9-km phase of the Chennai metro phase one,” Gupta said.
In Assam, Gupta said, Modi launched a two-lane bridge from the river bank in Jorhat district to Majuli, which is the largest river island in the world.
He also launched the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra programme, which is a very ambitious programme for river navigation in Assam.
The big takeaway from all these inaugurations and visits is — infrastructure.
“So, the Modi government is making infrastructure construction building a very central part of its politics,” Gupta said.
He also mentioned ‘Metro man’ E. Sreedharan, who will join the BJP in Kerala, calling him a “national icon” and “APJ Kalam of infrastructure building” in the country.
“So to get him into BJP, he will not win the BJP Kerala, the message from getting him to BJP (is) that BJP loves to build infrastructure and it also honours the infrastructure builders of India,” Gupta added.
Also read: Narendra Modi is selling a failed Covid lockdown as a success
Welfare and Hindutva
The second pillar of the PM’s success story is “efficient welfare at the poorest level”.
“Look at the Ujjwala scheme, PM Gramin Awas Yojna, PM Kisan direct benefit transfer, direct transfer of cash even to those affected by the pandemic, it’s delivered very efficiently. So, nearly nine crore people in India have got their LPG cooking gas connections. That’s the reality and you may want to reject it but look at how India’s kerosene consumption is coming down in several states,” he said.
According to Gupta, the third pillar of the prime minister’s politics is “robust, muscular nationalism”.
“Robust, muscular testosterone driven, hard nationalism soaked in Hindutva. So if you take these three (pillars), they become quite a formidable proposition before Indian voters,” he added.
Watch full CTC here:
Also read: The political success of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’
Gupta gets it wrong – like the PM himself. The usual conflation between “outputs” and “outcomes” when it comes to government policy is the culprit here. Let me explain.
When a policy or scheme is implemented by the GOI to combat some problem, failure, health hazard, environment hazard, burden etc. for the citizen, what needs to be measured is not what the government has done but whether the planned benefits reached the citizen. Let us take the LPG cylinder distribution which the PM brags about a lot.
PROBLEM GOI WISHES TO ADDRESS: Health hazards and accidents caused by cooking using kerosene, firewood, cow dung etc. The GOI seeks to improve health outcomes, particularly for women and children who are more often at home.
OUTPUT: 9 crore LPG connections installed. This is measured.
OUTCOME: Unknown. Indeed, nobody bothers to measure this.
The scheme is flagged as a success by the BJP. Modi shouts from rooftops that 9 crore LPG connections have been provided. I am willing to bet that even he does not know why these LPG connections are being given in the first place – but I will not digress. Nonetheless, researchers have actually tried to study or measure the outcome of the LPG schemes and the news is pretty dismal.
A sample of 420 households in Bangalore were studied by researchers André Neto-Bradley & R Rishika Rangarajan (ref: bit.ly/37K3uAC) and their findings:
HIGH UPFRONT STOVE COSTS: Switching from kerosene or firewood to LPG entails high investments in a different type of stove. This deterred some households.
RURAL MIGRANTS: Many migrants do not have households with permanent addresses and hence they do not have bank accounts to receive the LPG subsidy.
KEROSENE SALE RESTRICTIONS: To nudge people to use LPG, the GOI restricted sale of kerosene. Result: Households went to firewood; kerosene demand in black market increased
HIGH UPFRONT COSTS FOR CYLINDERS: A gas cylinder sells for Rs 750 or so. Many poor on unpredictable incomes are unable to pay this large amount and instead resort to buying firewood as and when needed.
None of the above factors went into the planning before implementing the
The researchers identified 4 types of households:
1. Households that could not avail of the LPG subsidies due to their informal living conditions;
2. Households that struggled to pay the much higher costs of the LPG scheme;
3. Households that adopt gas for cooking but continued to use traditional methods in parallel;
4. Households that were not aware of support they would be eligible for.
They say that the “devil is in the details”. Just as counting the number of toilets built in rural India (the output) is the wrong measure to judge the benefits of the Open Defaecation Free (ODF) policy, the number of LPG connections is the wrong measure to assess the health benefits of LPG. Just as number of accounts created under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is regarded as the end in itself, never mind the fact that most of these accounts are seldom used by the bulk of the people. Indeed, the participating public sector banks for the PMJDY scheme charge people who use their ATMS more than a certain number of times a month. The poor are effectively locked out of their own funds!
Modi the demagogue does not care about outcomes, only the outputs that he can use in speeches to boast about achievements under his watch.
For leftists & their Abrahmic supporters, nation building & protecting once own civilization is politics!!
NO! Mr.. Gupta@The Print, this is how politicians & citizens should work for the nation!! Editing tool kits of anti Hindu & India forces is NOT what they are supposed to do!!
Shekhar Gupta is a closet communist!! What Hindutva is he talking about?? Is Hindutva doing ethnic cleansing of Hindus like Muslims are doing not just in Pakistan/Bangladesh but also in Delhi, Bangalore, Kerala….??!!
Is Hindutva doing Chinese style nationalism by eliminating Muslims & sleeping with their women to remove trace of Islam in China?? Despite the atrocities being committed on Hindu civilization through fraudulent conversions, is Hindutva eliminating the Christians like the communist Chinese??!!
Muscular testosterone did not help India being a slave for 1000 years. Today, it is used here to sound good. Actually, countries like Afghanistan and North Vietnam had it for real. They kicked the S*t out of USA, France Britan and Russia and remained free.
Ha!! Ha! Mr. Testosterone!! Hindus were enslaved because idiots & sell outs like you opened the doors from Inside & let fascist Islamist’s & Christian British exploit this splendid civilization & nation!! Have your facts right and develop some muscular muscles in your brain!!
Life dedicated to Service of country and its people. Honest efforts for good governance. There are visible positive and good results. A long journey ahead. Best wishes to him
Nothing of the crap. The widow was planning to massacre the Hindu religion after coming to power in 2014. This scared the crap out of intelligent Hindus into supporting the BJP.
Sanatan Hindu: From your asinine, misogynistic post, it is clear that like many Hindu men, you too hate widows. Want to bring back Sati Mr Sanatan Hindu?
@Kili Jolsiyar: Ha!! Ha!! One can bet that you are an Abrahmic or a communist/congressi!!
Hindus are being killed & converted since a 1000 years and it carries on to this day not just in Pakistan/Bangladesh but also in India!! !! Even after giving land land & resources to Islamic fascists, they carried on their terrorist activities against Hindus there & even in India!! Ask the congressi communists & the fascists that when they created Islamic Terroristan of their dreams, what are they still doing here??!!!
Conversion holler do not hold up When you look up the hillbilly crap germinating from the RSS morons. Have you checked up the percentage Christians amongst the Indian population since independence? Same with the Muslims. Hindu are becoming a minority, Huh? Sheesh, how stupid.
Excellent comment Mr Raghuraman.
Whatever happens, I only hope that Hindutvans like this missing link do not become a majority !
@Raghuraman: Leftists like you don’t have any morals, truth or a trace of grey cells!! Did Hindus or Christians created Pakistan?? So now what’s the population of Muslims In India & of Hindus in Pakistan/Bangladesh??
Stupidity & lies of the leftists have no limits!! So when 90% of Muslims voted for and created Pakistan, is it love for Hindutva which made most of them stay in India??
Christianity & Islam say that their God is the only god!! What these crazy & fascist belief systems have done & can still do to Hindus & India is anybody’s guess!!
You can lie al you want but truth always comes out!!
@Kili Jolsiyar: One wonders why that bar dancer widow is not wearing Burka and settling in Vatican or Pakistan!! It’s clear that you don’t have an iota knowledge of Hindu sanatan!! All you leftists/communists can do is lying with your half brains!!
Your idols like that idiot Biden , so called leader of free world in USA said that Chinese can do Muslim genocide because it’s a cultural issue!! In India/USA, the leftist idiots like you say that Muslims can kill Hindus in Pakistan or India because that’s their culture!!
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