Report: Indian Voters are Thinking Back to the UPA Era Before They Cast Their Votes in The 2024 General Election.

As India gears up for the 2024 General Election, many voters are thinking back to the time when the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) was in power. This period, marked by failures, holds a void in the hearts and minds of the electorate. Here’s how memories of the UPA era are influencing voters as they head to the polls:

1) Security Concerns Remain Fresh

For those who lived through events like the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and the 7/11 Mumbai train bombings, worries about security are still very real. The way the UPA government responded—or didn’t respond—to these crises is something that sticks with people. One voter said, “I’ll always remember 26/11 when I vote.”

Many voters haven’t forgotten how the UPA handled security issues. If they feel the government didn’t do a good job back then, they’re less likely to support the Congress party and its allies now. As one voter put it, “The way UPA dealt with things after 26/11 makes me not want to vote for INC or its friends.” This feeling affects how people think about giving power to those they believe didn’t handle tough situations well.

2) Article 370

During Nehru’s tenure as Prime Minister, the Congress party adopted a strategy of appeasing the Muslim population in Jammu and Kashmir to maintain political control. This approach, instead of fostering unity and inclusivity, only served to deepen communal divisions within the region. The special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and the discriminatory provisions of Article 35A further fueled resentment and separatist sentiments among the people of the state.

Article 370, which granted Jammu and Kashmir a special autonomous status, was intended to be a temporary provision. However, it became a tool for political manipulation and separatism, hindering the region’s integration with the rest of India. The discriminatory nature of Article 35A, which conferred special rights and privileges exclusively to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, further alienated communities and impeded the state’s development.

In August 2019, the NDA government made history by revoking Article 370 and Article 35A, effectively abrogating the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir. This historic decision marked a paradigm shift in India’s approach towards the region, signaling a commitment to its full integration and development within the framework of the Indian Union.

The abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A was not merely a symbolic gesture; it was a transformative step towards realizing the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. By dismantling the legal barriers that had perpetuated separatism and discrimination, the Modi government paved the way for a new era of progress, prosperity, and peace in the region.

3) Hindu Sentiments and Ram Temple

The construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya stands as an enduring symbol of faith, unity, and cultural heritage for millions of Hindus across India. Yet, the journey towards realizing this long-standing aspiration has been marred by political obstacles and controversies, with the Congress party often at the center of the storm. The role of Congress and its policy of appeasement politics have not only hindered the construction of the Ram Temple but also hurt Hindu sentiments by questioning the very existence of Lord Ram.

For decades, the issue of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute has been a contentious one, fueled by historical grievances and religious fervor. However, it was during Congress rule that the controversy reached its zenith, with successive governments failing to address the aspirations of millions of Hindus who sought the construction of a grand temple at the birthplace of Lord Ram.

The Congress party’s policy of appeasement politics, aimed at garnering support from minority communities, often came at the expense of Hindu sentiments. Instead of championing the cause of cultural and religious harmony, Congress leaders chose to pander to vested interests, thereby perpetuating divisions and stoking communal tensions.

One of the most egregious instances of Congress’s disregard for Hindu sentiments was the assertion by some of its leaders that Lord Ram was a mythical figure and that the Ramayana was a work of fiction. Such statements not only undermined the deeply held beliefs of millions of Hindus but also revealed a callous indifference towards their religious sentiments.

4) Politics of Socialism and Poverty

Throughout its tenure in power, the Congress party has played a significant role in shaping the economic trajectory of India. However, its policies, particularly those rooted in socialism and centralized planning, have often stifled the country’s potential for growth and development. From excessive note printing to misguided nationalistion efforts, Congress-led governments, including those of Prime Ministers Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Manmohan Singh, have faced criticism for hindering India’s economic progress.

Excessive Note Printing and Inflationary Pressures

One of the primary contributors to India’s economic woes during the Manmohan Singh regime was the unchecked printing of currency notes. In a bid to fund populist schemes and subsidies, the government resorted to the indiscriminate printing of money, leading to a surge in inflationary pressures. High inflation eroded the purchasing power of the common man, making it increasingly difficult for households to make ends meet and undermining overall economic stability.

Lack of Basic Necessities: A Failure to Prioritize Social Welfare

Despite claims of economic growth and progress, millions of Indians continued to grapple with the lack of access to basic necessities such as sanitation, housing, healthcare, and financial inclusion. The failure of the government to prioritize social welfare and address these fundamental needs perpetuated cycles of poverty and deprivation among marginalized communities.

The absence of adequate sanitation facilities, proper housing, and accessible healthcare services underscored the government’s neglect of the most vulnerable segments of society. Furthermore, the lack of financial inclusion and access to banking services further marginalized disadvantaged communities, denying them opportunities for economic empowerment and social mobility.

Rampant Corruption Scandals: Draining the Nation’s Resources

The Manmohan Singh era was also marred by a series of corruption scandals that shook the foundations of the Indian economy. From the 2G spectrum scam to the coal allocation scam, billions of dollars were siphoned off through corrupt practices, draining the nation’s resources and undermining investor confidence.

These corruption scandals not only tarnished India’s reputation on the global stage but also hindered economic growth and development by diverting funds away from critical infrastructure projects and welfare schemes. The lack of accountability and transparency in governance further exacerbated public distrust in the government and hindered efforts to combat corruption effectively.

The Legacy of Mismanagement

As India reflects on the lost decade of 2004-2014, it becomes evident that the failures of governance and policy during this period have had far-reaching consequences for the Indian economy. The unchecked printing of currency notes, soaring inflation, unaddressed basic necessities, and rampant corruption scandals underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reforms and accountable governance.

Moving forward, India must learn from the mistakes of the past and prioritize sound economic management, inclusive development, and transparent governance. By addressing systemic challenges and fostering an environment conducive to growth and prosperity, India can reclaim its position as a global economic powerhouse and ensure a brighter future for all its citizens.

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