It was the month of February. The year was 2015. The Budget session of the Lok Sabha was underway. The house was discussing MNREGA. Speculations were rife about Prime Minister Modi abolishing the MGNREGA scheme completely. Congress was ready to corner the government and paint it as an anti-poor government. Then Prime Minister Modi stood up and said:
“Mai itna to zaroor vishwas karta hoon ki aap log baaki vishayon me mere kshamata me Vishay me shak hoga, aapka abhipraay bhi alag alag ho sakta hai ki isme Modi ko zyaada gyaan nahi hai, isme kam Anubhav hai, aisa hoga. Lekin ek Vishay me aap zaroor ye maante honge ki meri rajneetik soojh-boojh to hai”
“I am quite confident that you guys may be a little skeptical about my expertise in different subjects, your inferences could be a little different too, you may say Modi is no expert in this field, little inexperienced in that but I am very sure that all of you must be confident of the fact that my political acumen is phenomenal.”
The house erupted in laughter. Even the opposition leaders couldn’t suppress a smile. Prime Minister Modi had stumped them again. PM Modi mentioned that MGNREGA is here to stay and that he will publicize it as a living memorial of Congress’ failures.
Prime Minister Modi’s political acumen is a stuff of legends, something political science students will lap up ravenously for generations to come. The man battled the entire Congress-left ecosystem for 12 long years. He didn’t just emerge victorious but reduced Congress to a glorified regional party. He didn’t stop there, he went on to demolish their strongholds, weaken their cadres, turn India into a BJP territory and emerge as the most powerful non-congress leader in the last seventy years.
Two days back, Congress was ready with a script yet again. Congress’ morbid fascination with Rafale deal and the intransigent belief that there is a scam somewhere was nearing the climax. Tutored by self-styled defence expert and foreign policy specialists, Rahul Gandhi was ready to seize the day. Though he was chastised on every occasion and even Congress party knew that Rafale was a losing cause, Rahul Gandhi, in his obsession to prove his credentials as a national leader, was prepared to take the risk. And then Prime Minister Modi again turned out to be an invincible, untamable force for the grand old party of India. He came out with ‘Savarna reservation’ masterstroke. Rafale immediately became a burden for the party as electoral realities stared them in the face. The NOTA voters from Savarna castes were one of the biggest reasons behind the party’s recent success in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan. And the party was expected to immediately come up with a yay or a nay.
A nay meant thumbs down to Savarna castes, a political hara-kiri of sorts, and a yay meant strengthening what will go down in History as a policy enforced by PM Modi. Congress chose to bite the bullet and went with a yay, muttering feebly that it was their core belief “too” and that it was the Congress party that “first” came up with the idea of reservations for economically backward Savarna castes. Rahul Gandhi was caught unaware and he could barely face the camera.
Prime Minister Modi is often accused of rigging the rules of the game, but he never does that. He changes the game completely. Reservation for economically backward Savarna castes is one such game-changer.
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