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‘Big ideas’ of Modi…

BJP’s Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi outlined the economic agenda for his BJP’s election platform. Addressing members of BJP’s national council, he placed strong focus on development. This is in contrast to the approach of massive subsidies doled out by the UPA government on food, fertilizers, petroleum products…  and the regional parties attracting votes based on doles. The big ideas of Modi covered focus on agriculture, women, youth, natural resources and knowledge: “the country needs commitment, not committees,” said Modi. Health assurance, price stabilisation and focus on infrastructure through linking of rivers, gas grid, a golden quadrilateral of bullet trains, creation of 100 smart cities and IITs, IIMs and AIIMS in every state point to the strong emphasis of BJP on development to take care of the issues of welfare and social amelioration.

A gas grid to end battle over LPG cylinders is of special interest. In 2010, the UPA government came out with the plan to construct a national gas grid with spur lines to supply piped gas to hundreds of towns and cities. IE has been pointing to bulk of the gas produced in the country consumed by Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west and Rajasthan, MP, UP, Haryana and Delhi in the north. The economy, elegance and the versatility of gas as a feedstock and fuel unfortunately, has not been appreciated by most other states.  Tamil Nadu has even been blindly opposing the laying of gas pipelines on grounds of opposition from a few hundred farmers, denying the benefit of piped gas to millions. The new government should address the task of building consensus among states  on such issues of vital importance for development through activating the National Development Council.


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