ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Assam Elections 2021

Hyper-populism riding on welfare schemes along with a polarised campaign on religious lines paved the way for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance’s return to power in Assam. As the new government resumes office, it remains to be seen if it will continue its emphasis on polarising issues such as reverification of National Register of Citizens and ban or focus on larger issues like the Covid-19 pandemic, flood and erosion that continue to hamper the state’s development.

NDA’s Big Victory in Bihar

The National Democratic Alliance registered its best ever performance in Bihar in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. Not only did it win all but one seat, but it won mostly with huge margins. Two reasons stand out for the performance of the NDA: its reconstitution to include Janata Dal (United) and the high level of trust in the leadership of Narendra Modi. With assembly elections in the next year, it remains to be seen if and how the opposition alliance will be able to recuperate from its defeat.

Incongruence between Announcements and Allocations

A scrutiny of the Indian economy and the state of public finances reveals that while there are a few areas of improvement under the current government, the economy remains fragile and, worryingly, the situation has worsened in some other respects. It was hoped that the Union Budget 2018–19 would take measures to address some of these concerns but these expectations have been belied. Budget 2018–19, possibly with an eye on elections, has made grand announcements instead of taking hard decisions and making adequate allocations towards key sectors of the economy.

Voices of Dissent

Words Matter: Writings against Silence edited and introduced by K Satchidanandan, Gurgaon: Penguin Books India, 2016; pp 260, ₹399.

Is NITI Aayog Even Thinking about Health?

The NITI Aayog has effectively stalled the finalisation and tabling of the National Health Policy 2015 in Parliament. The document, including the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare's report, should be revived to put forth a concrete plan for transforming the healthcare system in India.

BJP: Without Direction

If indeed the BJP had held back its full approval for the prime minister’s invitation to Pakistan’s president Musharraf and for the Agra summit, there was little evidence of self-congratulation over the failure of the summit at the national executive meeting of the party. However, the resolution on the matter typically displayed no hesitancy about apportioning blame and there appears to have been some satisfaction about having ‘done our best’. Whether this nonchalance is sufficient backing for future forays into India-Pakistan parleys, remains to be seen.
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