16 May 2009

Congress Comeback and Expectations

The election news in India is that the Congress will come back to power with some outside support. It looks like that this will also be a stable government.

With the monsoon going to set in early, the party has to give greater priority to Agriculture from the beginning. This is where more than half of the people and nearly three-fourths of rural people still depend upon there livelihood. If this is going to be a second term for Dr Manmohan Singh and he wants Mr Rahul Gandhi to be in the cabinet and I think that the latter should take up agriculture. In this sector, the opposition also needs to be involved in a major way. If planned well this has the capacity to address the larger financial crisis. The blueprint of the District Agricultural Plan has a lot of potential but then its implementation at the ground level is tardy.

Two positive and people friendly developments of the last government were the Right to Information (RTI) and the Nationation Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). This has definited translated into votes. These have to be carried forward with more vigour, make NREGA more inclusive (as already indicated by the Right to Food group) and also bring in a comprehensive Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) so that this self-employment programme complements the NREGAs wage employment.

Before I forget, they should initiate immediate steps to free Dr. Binayak Sen. He has been in jail for more than two years now. Then only, Jai Ho!

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