| by N.S.Venkataraman

( March 6, 2014, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) The forthcoming parliamentary election in India has now turned out to be a contest between Narendra Modi and other political parties. Obviously, the chances of BJP and its alliance partners winning the elections have considerably improved with Modi at the helm. This is well realised by several leaders in BJP itself and it is evident from the fact that in all the election meetings, Narendra Modi is the only prime speaker with others only occupying chair in the stage . The entire electoral battle has now become Modi centric.

Those with the capability to understand the intricacies and complexities of the problems faced by India clearly realise that the country today is passing through difficult times with low confidence level, inspite of several positive aspects and advantages. The energy front is facing a near crisis situation, with India emerging as a very large importer of coal, crude oil and natural gas in the last few years and to such an extent , that it has now caused serious current account deficit scenario. As it looks that indigenous production of energy source is unlikely to increase significantly, the country is now really heading for a serious and extremely difficult scenario of excessive import dependence on the energy front, that would cause severe foreign exchange crisis to almost unmanageable level. The consequence of this dismal condition may be that the economy of the growth centres including industries , transport and even agricultural operations may be considerably jeopardised and destabilised in the near future, if the appropriate solutions would not be found and implemented with great speed and efficiency.

There is also realisation amongst the thinking population that most of the social tensions in India today are due to economic issues, disparity in income and opportunities and widespread corruption in the government machinery and amongst the politicians in power , both in the central and state governments.

What is needed now urgently and importantly is that the forthcoming parliamentary poll should pave way for a person as Prime Minister of India , who has the determination, courage of conviction, wisdom and deep sense of patriotism apart from proven experience in administration , to tackle the grave issues facing the country. Above all, the next Prime Minister should be not only seen as an incorruptible and knowledgeable person but he should also be someone who would have the commitment to put down corruption with heavy hand at any cost.

In India today, the Prime Minister is the most critical position and the incumbent can make or mar the country. Manmohan Singh has clearly proved this point, by now leaving the country in an uncertain situation in several fronts, which is largely due to his lack of will to govern and lack of confidence to exercise his powers keeping the interest of the country in view , in spite of the fact that he continues to be looked upon as a man with personal honesty. People now realise that mere honesty is no substitute for capability and competence. Era of Manmohan Singh has clearly highlighted the fact that a weak Prime Minister can do havoc to the cause of the nation and the country can not afford another weak person as Prime Minister anymore.

Now, of all the persons who happen to be the leaders of one political party or the other in the national political landscape , Narendra Modi stands tall and remain very conspicuous due to his corruption free image and above average administration that he was able to provide in Gujarat over the last ten years or so. He is the only person today amongst the various political leaders who speaks convincingly and with clarity and conviction about the importance of implementing socio, economic and industrial development projects with efficiency , that would provide the much needed quick economic and social benefits for the country. He has been repeatedly assuring the country men that he would fight against corruption and bring back the black money from abroad, which reflects the mood and expectations of the common man . He certainly gives an impression that he would enable the flag of India to fly high amongst the comity of nations by speaking and acting on all issues with the philosophy of India First. The fact that there has been no communal riot in Gujarat during the last several years , which several other states had , amply prove his secular credentials . Several of his admirers think that he is sinned against rather than sinning.

Of course, there are also relentless and pledged critics of Narendra Modi who seem to dislike him even to the level of personal hatred . They express misgivings about him by questioning his credibility and claim as a secular person and also creating doubts about his administrative capability and achievements in Gujarat.

However, the recent opinion polls clearly indicate that people of India, who constantly hear about the adverse remarks about Narendra Modi , are willing to extend support to Narendra Modi and put him on the Prime Minister’s chair with expectations and hopes. Obviously, the thinking of the majority of the common man is that of all the political leaders in the political landscape, Narendra Modi represents the best bet in today’s conditions.

One hopes that Narenda Modi realises about the huge expectations of the country men from him and it is necessary that he should do his home work with care and caution. It is good to hear that Narendra Modi is seeking counsel from several experts in various domains , about finding short term and long term solutions for various issues. Henceforth , he should think beyond his political party and act decisively , even if the views and preference of his party men and allies would come in conflict with his national mission that he has promised to the people..

Narendra Modi is in a critical and decisive stage in his political career and he has the opportunity to contribute his best to the level of his capabilities to fulfil the aspirations of the country men . Time will prove his mettle and for now, the country men should keep the faith in him in his commitment and capability with the hope of seeing a resurgent India under his leadership.

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