Concessions for the Rich and Burden for the Common people.

Narendra Modi government has again been voted to power with an increased  majority,BJP alone secured 303 seats and 353 with the alliance parties. BJP made it possible by stitching alliance in almost all states even sacrificing sitting seats. What about the opposition parties?  Congress, being the main opposition party, miserably failed to bring the opposition parties together and showed lack of leadership capability. BJP, in its election campaign cleverly avoided the burning issues of the people like record unemployment, farmer suicides,labour law reforms to the disadvantage of workers, attack on PSUs etc. On the contrary they succeeded in arousing fake nationalism in the wake of terrorist attacks at Fulwama in Kashmir and the counter attack . They also utilized religious and caste sentiments wherever possible. Most of the  print and visual media were made to propagate BJP campaign with muscle power and money. Election commission and EVMs are also reported to have played a crucial role in BJP victory. Still BJP could not secure a single seat from the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Congress could just improve its tally of 44 to 52, still short of 3 seats to get the position of Leader of Opposition. Left parties also suffered severe setback securing just 5 seats, 4 from Tamil Nadu and 1 from Kerala. DMK in Tamil Nadu took the initiative to forge unity of all democratic and left parties which proved to be formidable. 

Now, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister has presented her maiden budget in the Parliament on 5th July, 2019. The budget proposals clearly indicate how aggressively Modi government would implement the neo-liberal policies in its second term also. Concessions are given lavishly to the corporate to the extent of Rs.8.9 lakh crore, corporate tax limit for 25% is changed from Rs.200 cr to Rs.400 crore. Acting upon the proposals of Niti Ayog, the budget envisages to garner Rs.1,05,000 crore from the sale of PSU shares. Air India sell off is back on the agenda, 100% FDI is allowed in intermediatory firms of insurance sector, aggressive privatization of Railway, Petrol,diesel levies hiked by Rs.2 per litre which would cause price hike of essential commodities too, Allotment for Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Scheme cut by Rs.1000 crore.  Agricultural sector is neglected; Nothing new for the farmers in distress other than proposed in the interim budget. The proposal to commercialise the social security schemes is a matter of concern.

There is no change in the income tax slabs and the income limit for no tax is retained to Rs.5 lakh , as proposed in the interim budget. The government seems to be  firm in reforming the  labour laws, by proposing in the budget to limit the labour laws to just 4 codes.  It is very clear that the budget proposals are a real challenge to workers, farmers and the common people. So, there is no other way other than to fight against the possible onslaught of the government.