06 December, 2020

Who’s Complaining?

Opposition to sops never comes from the huts of the poor, only from the drawing rooms of the affluent.

Who’s Complaining?

Come election time and it starts raining sops to an extent that would make any monsoon blush. Political parties of all hues suddenly remember the aam aadmi’s aspirations. The needs of each target segment are quickly identified: women, youth, tribals, minorities, slum-dwellers. So what if they didn’t matter for four-and-a-half years? Didn’t the wise man say, ‘der aayad, durust aayad’? Free power and water, cheap foodgrain, oil, gas...anything and everything is fair in love, war and seduction.

There are two kinds of sops. One, pre-election ones announced through subsidies, price cuts and new schemes. These are essentially the domain of the ruling parties. The party is in a rush to make such announcements before the Election Commission becomes a spoiler. Here we see the genuine debate of good politics versus bad economics. This is the time when the voter decides what is good economics. Then there are sops through the manifesto that do not attract the model code: the Rs 2 kg rice, laptops, bicycles, TVs. The EC is inundated with requests...



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