06 March, 2021

Pro-Poor? Bah!

The budget factored affiliate outfits’ concerns, but still fell short

Pro-Poor? Bah!

For a party and government that has traditionally been identified as pro-business, projecting a pro-poor face in its maiden full budget is a departure. This has led to more than a couple of raised eyebrows. Budget 2015-16 had welfare measures and benefits for the poor and marginalised sprinkled all over it, albeit in small measures. Even in his 90-minute budget speech, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley referred to the poor and their welfare 15 times.

The FM, among others in the government, was under tremendous pressure from its cadre organisations such as the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS) and the Bharat Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), and even the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), to not just look into the issues that affect the poor and the marginalised but also project an image that was seen championing their cause. For it was on the plank of employment and improvement of the condition of the masses that the party received such a thumping majority in the Lok Sabha elections last year.

As it turns out, a number of the...

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