Old challenges await new governments

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 07, 2024 IST

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Anirudha Mishra

Elections are important for democracy. The first and foremost duty of an elected government is to safeguard the greatest interest of the greatest number.

The results of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 and Assembly Polls in Odisha were announced on June 4. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) got the mandate for the third consecutive time to form government at the Centre.

As expected, the NDA reposed faith in Naendra Modi to be the Prime Minister of India for the third time in a row. It is indeed a rare honour for Modi, as only late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru got such an opportunity.

However, unlike in 2019, this time NDA's major constituent the BJP, does not have the absolute majority alone. It has to depend on its allies to run the Union Government. The situation was similar in 2014.

The Assembly poll results in  Odisha ended the 24-year rule of regional outfit Biju Janata Dal (BJD). After ruling the state for five consecutive terms, BJD president Naveen Patnaik has resigned from the post of Odisha Chief Minister.

Patnaik missed out breaking the record of former Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling's rare feat of ruling an Indian state for the highest number of days. Though both have enjoyed five terms of power, Chamling's total number of days at the helm of affairs as CM, were a few days more than that of Patnaik.

As per the 2024 Odisha Assembly poll verdict, the BJP emerged as the party with majority to form the government.  For Odisha, it was finally the 'double-engine' BJP government that got the opportunity to serve people.

The new governments at the Centre and in Odisha, will have different sets of challenges and responsibilities. Of course, in the last decade the BJP has acquired enough experience and expertise to run a national or state government successfully.

Let's discuss what may be the immediate challenges before the new Union government and the state government in Odisha.

Well, needless to say that the prime challenge for the BJP led government at the Centre, would be to keep the alliance together. Obviously, the BJP from late Atal Behari Vajpayee's period, has always been very successful in alliance politics.

Once the NDA alliance remains intact for a full term, they can focus on development, internal and external challenges. Since the NDA government has got the mandate to rule India for the third consecutive term, the expectations too would be high.

Economic, employment, price hike, law and order, poll manifesto promises and relations with neighbours will demand special attention.

Asked about the challenges that the new government may have to address, financial analyst and columnist Santosh Mohapatra stated that poverty, inequality, price rise, unemployment, providing quality healthcare and education, developing infrastructure and women empowerment should be the top priorities for the new government at the Centre.

Speaking about challenges for the new government in Odisha, Mohapatra added that since the BJP has been voted to power both at the Centre and in Odisha, the state may get more financial allotments and priority, which should benefit Odisha.

However, for the BJP government in Odisha, the challenges would be price hike, creating more employment and ensuring better basic amenities. Education, health, law and order are other key areas that have to be prioritised, Mohapatra stated.

He further said that Odisha has been focusing more on mines-based industries. But it's time to develop cottage, handicrafts and agro-based industries also.

The healthcare and education facilities are excellent in the state capital Bhubaneswar. But similar facilities need to be provided in other parts of the state as well. If facilities would be better in other parts of Odisha, the migration to Bhubaneswar is likely to lessen, he reasoned.

Water resources expert Ranjan Panda expects the new regimes at the Centre and in Odisha as well, to pay more emphasis on natural resources. Apart from planting more trees, improving eco balance and conserving natural resources, the new regimes must take concrete steps to address the major problem of shortage of river water in non-monsoon period in major rivers of the state.

 Water level in rivers like Mahanadi and Brahmani, which originate from neighbouring states, is very alarming in non-monsoon periods. Though the Mahanadi river water dispute has been taken up by the Tribunal, the issue demands serious and urgent action.

Odisha must build more barrages and anicuts on Mahanadi and its tributaries to overcome serious water scarcity in summer, Panda suggested.

According to veteran journalist Sriram Das, apart from issues like employment, economy, population control and better basic facilities for citizens, the NDA government at Centre has some urgent issues to address.

Those key issues are - implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, constitution of the Judiciary Commission, inclusion of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in India and making India the third biggest economy, Das said.

But Das agreed that these challenges and issues before the new government are tricky and difficult, but definitely achievable. He expressed optimism that the NDA government in its consecutive third term at the Centre will have the drive and the ability to achieve those goals.

Educationist and social scientist Dr SK Mishra feels keeping united the NDA alliance at the Centre will be a top priority for the Narendra Modi government in its third consecutive term.

Poverty, unemployment, price hike, improving agricultural produce, farmers plights, cordial relationships with neighbouring countries and branding India better in the global market are other areas that the new government at Centre must prioritise.

On challenges before the BJP government in Odisha, Dr Mishra stated that the welfare measures and pro-people initiatives started by Naveen Patnaik government must not be discontinued.

Building more barrages on rivers, improving health and education facilities, bringing back Maoists to mainstream and setting up of more agro-based and cottage industries in the state must be taken up. If more employment opportunities are created in the state, then lakhs of people from Odisha, who work as migrant labourers in other states, will be happy to stay back in Odisha and earn, Dr Mishra added.   

Overall, the new elected governments at the Centre and in Odisha, are likely to face several old challenges. If they can address those problems efficiently and prioritise development and welfare measures, then definitely they would be appreciated by the masses and win their confidence.

    Tags
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • Odisha Election 2024
  • General Elections 2024
  • BJP

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