A harmonious start: PM Modi has promised to let bygones be bygones.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to leave behind the bitterness of the hard fought and polarizing election campaign sends all the right signals. “We have to carry along everyone for the good of the country”, he said in a victory speech after becoming the first prime minister, since Indira Gandhi in 1971 , to return to power with a bigger single-party majority. Reconciliation can help guard against triumphalism and complacency. It will also send the message down the party ranks that victory is not an end in itself but the start of the more difficult challenge of delivering prosperity to the people.
To achieve this goal, Modi cannot be sidetracked any longer by politicking and his single-minded focus is needed on rebooting the economy, where signs of slowdown are increasingly visible. The PM cut to the heart of the matter noting that “votes are a mandate for government formation, but nation building can’t happen without consensus”. Opposition parties must also reciprocate this gesture by respecting BJP’s mandate and cooperating with government’s new plans for economic revival. Let’s not have any more of the “suit boot ki sarkar” and “chowkidar chor hai” jibes which clearly haven’t helped the country or opposition.
Similarly, BJP will want to recall the pitfalls of the last tenure like the delay in condemning cow vigilantes, asking people to leave India for Pakistan and the acrimonious “Congress mukt bharat” slogan. Nation building with consensus will also entail to sedition and those unwilling to sing Vande Mataram aren’t coerced. PM Modi’s first tweet after winning was to reiterate the famous sabka saath, sabka vikas slogan from his first term along with a rousing call: “together we will build a strong and inclusive India”. Now begins the time for PM and all of us to travel further down that road.