With the 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill which provides reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the General Category got cleared in both houses of the Parliament. With this, Modi Government has once again proved its credentials in fulfilling the long-standing demands of poor people. One cannot help but compare this historic achievement with the previous instance of passing the long-awaited GST legislation. The commonality between these two achievements is unambiguous.
- Both in the GST and 10% EWS quota, Congress ostensibly did not have an in-principle opposition. However, despite being in power for a whole decade, UPA Government could not meet these demands though it had promised the same in their 2009 and 2014 manifesto.
- Congress is now indulging in fault- finding with both GST and 10% EWS quota, apparently to hide their sheer incompetence or to deny credit to Modi Government who has actually got these done.
- By achieving these two enormously transformative measures, that is 10% EWS quota which will help poor, and GST which has simplified and overhauled the country’s tax structure, Modi Government has evidently proved that it is the real propagator of New India.
10% EWS Quota - Congress Engaging in Lip Service and NDA is Delivering Promises
In simple terms, the legislation ensures 10% quota to the economically weaker section of the General Category without disturbing or diluting the existing reservations for SC, ST and OBC communities. This is what Congress had promised both in their 2009 and 2014 manifesto, but now it is trying to sow unnecessary doubts in the minds of people with their frivolous arguments. Initially, the Party called the uplifting step of 10% EWS quota as ‘jumla’.
During the discussion in Rajya Sabha, Congress Member Kapil Sibal tried to interpret the move as a basic structural violation of the Constitution. So, the question arises if it was just a ‘jumla’ or a basic structure violation of the Constitution, why the Congress Party promised the same thing in their manifesto? Below are the two screenshots of Congress manifesto of 2009 and 2014 which thoroughly expose their blatant hypocrisy.
So, the agenda of Congress seems to be clear, that it offers only lip service on important national issues and does nothing to implement it. When the NDA Government implements big and bold measures, Congress spends all its energy to spread false narratives. We have already documented this in our article, how the friends of Congress have been spreading a scaremongering campaign against 10% quota to EWS.
Congress Incompetence in GST
Evidently, Congress displayed similar incompetence with regard to GST while it was in power. When Modi Government became successful in passing the GST by bringing in consensus among various stakeholders, it resorted to a misleading campaign and used negative phrases like calling GST as the Gabbar Singh Tax. As we documented in our earlier article, GST – How the Narrative Was Gamed from ‘Promising’ to ‘Complexity’, NDA essentially ensured GST with a lot of efforts.
- In the previous UPA era, they were not able to arrive at a consensus on GST as the state governments did not trust the Central Government. More than the political differences, UPA’s it was the delaying tactics in releasing the pending compensation that actually caused that mistrust.
- NDA Government was able to bring in consensus as it promised to bear the revenue loss of the states in the first five years of the GST implementation. Also, it brought petroleum into the ambit of GST but left out the issue of taxing the petroleum products to the GST Council, to be done only with the approval of states.
- For all concerns over federalism, the GST Council is a well-functioning, truly federal institution that has set a benchmark for cooperation between the states and the Centre, where both have an equal say.
Building New India can be assured by taking decisive steps. Without action, and just mentioning agendas in manifestos will not help the nation. Thus, with these two big steps, the Modi Government has ardently exhibited that it has the real capability to build New India.