The BJP-led NDA is set to come back to power as Narendra Modi’s party registers a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP came to power in 2014 with a majority and several promises of development. This will be the first non-Congress government to earn a second term in Lok Sabha.
ThePrint asks: What can we expect from Narendra Modi in his second term?
PM Modi’s second term promises a new India, which is certain of its rightful place in global community
National spokesperson, BJP
The credit for this historic victory of the BJP-led NDA goes to the charismatic leadership of Narendra Modi. People have given their stamp of approval to his honesty and hard work with which he delivered on his promises – an agenda of hope, positivity and development for all. Credit also goes to our party president Amit Shah for strengthening the organisation from the booth level.
It’s a humbling mandate, and also a huge responsibility to fulfil the aspirations of a billion-plus citizens for a new India.
PM Modi will consolidate on all the good things that the BJP began in 2014. This includes ensuring a committed fight against black money and corruption, ensuring that social schemes reach the poorest and disadvantaged sections of society, improving healthcare, generating self-employment opportunities, helping the farming sector and strengthening the economy.
PM Modi’s second term promises a new India, which is certain of its rightful place in the global community. The second term will also ensure that India exceeds all expectations vis-a-vis the economy and we move up several notches in the world economy ladder.
Modi govt should put the spotlight on real issues of governance and not ride solely on hypernationalism
National spokesperson, Congress
In the second term, the Modi government should try and put the spotlight on real issues of governance, rather than diverting from them by riding solely on hyper-nationalism. They should also try and reduce the gap between the larger-than-life advertising of their schemes and their actual implementation on ground.
The Modi government should focus on contemporary issues rather than distorting history, as they have done in the past. They should also try and focus on their own governance, rather than dragging a former prime minister into current politics.
They should also endeavour to keep the Army out of politics, and maintain the apolitical nature of the Army. It would do them good to stop viewing the opposition as their sworn enemy, and try and engage with them and their ideas.
One can only hope they would live up to these expectations and not disappoint Indian citizens. The NDA has earned the people’s mandate and this is something we just have to accept. As of now, the Congress party needs to introspect given how we performed in the Lok Sabha elections. It is a day of introspection for the Congress party, not a day to be giving too many suggestions.
Modi govt took many great initiatives, now it can take them to its fruition
Former secretary, government of India
There were a number of initiatives taken by the Modi government in their first term, which should be taken to their logical conclusion now that it has been given a second mandate.
Many such initiatives had especially been taken on the social sector front. For instance, the government had taken the decision of changing the two-year B.Ed course to a four-year B.Ed course. This was a great decision, and it must now be implemented. If this is indeed done, then it will go a long way in improving the quality of our teachers – pivotal to education in the country.
Similarly, preparing action plans for state governments is an initiative they could take forward. Action plans were prepared for Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. Similar action plans will have to be prepared for the rest of the states.
There need not be too much emphasis and focus on policy per se, because what is needed right now is an action plan – not so much a policy.
Unlike other sectors, social sector plans take longer time to reach fruition. The government initiated all these plans themselves, so now they have an opportunity to implement them.
The Aadhaar mess needs to be cleared, and privacy concerns of the people need to be addressed. The uniqueness of Aadhaar could be used to plug leakages in the economy. They have already taken steps to minimise the unnecessary complications related to Aadhaar, and bring forth a mechanism that is transparent and doesn’t breach the privacy of citizens.
There will be a tug of war between Modi’s two opposite agendas now: divisive politics and vikas
Senior columnist and writer
A second term, a rarity in Indian politics, provides ample chance for the victor to be magnanimous or vindictive, heading for course correction or coercion, with the sanction of the majority of voters. What path can we expect Narendra Modi to take? We can wishfully think he will take care of economy, jobs and agrarian crisis—the most pinching of the issues for any government.
Relationship with Pakistan has already entered a new phase after the Balakot strikes. We can expect a continuation of it as the new normal. Modi tried to tackle China with varying success but it remains a challenge that can put up a tough challenge for his PR machine.
If recent past is anything to go by, the Modi government might be harsher towards civil society, organisations and dissenters, as well as more unyielding to independent constitutional organisations.
Most of the work in this direction has been completed in his first term itself. There might be a subtle tug of war between two opposite agendas of his own: divisive politics and whatever constitutes vikas. He let vikas go during the campaign time. We can only hope, if not expect, that Modi with a renewed mandate, goes ahead with a healing touch for all sectors including basic constitutional values and civility.
In his second term, Modi will make India more inclusive
Assistant professor, Delhi University
If in 2014 Narendra Modi was a gamble, in 2019 he has been an informed choice. If the vote for Modi then was an expression of anti-incumbency, this time it has been an assertion of the right course. If Modi 1.0 was magic and wave, then Modi 2.0 is the voice of ‘New India’ loud and clear.
The Modi government was formed five years ago with the slogan of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas” and in 2019, “Sabka Vishwas” has been added to this equation. Over the span of his first term, Modi tried to reach every section of society through a range of schemes and programmes. These programmes directly benefitted over 20 crore people and it has been a result of this that the 2019 elections have defied the traditional vertical identities of caste, language and religion, among others.
We now have the rise of interest groups – women, farmers, disabled, poor – with which people associate more. Modi has emerged as the voice of these interest groups and during his second term, these groups will be heard more and more, as he moves to make a more inclusive India.
The task ahead for Modi is not easy, but he has never been the one to choose an easy goal. In Modi, India has found the leader who has the grit to take difficult decisions without electoral considerations. In the coming years, we can expect more action on the lines of ‘what must be done’ by the government instead of ‘what can be done’.
By Fatima Khan, journalist at ThePrint.