Did the BJP overlook some vital poll issues?

What the BJP is missing in its messaging...

What the BJP is missing in its messaging...
The BJP needs to sharpen its messaging...

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]t is surprising that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s party meet the other did not seem to have deliberated on some vital issues which are bound to be raised by the Opposition on the noisy road to the elections in the five states, especially the crucial one of Uttar Pradesh where Rahul Gandhi has strived to create a perverse image of the Narendra Modi government’s reign so far.

The blunt truth of that so-called “promise” of Rs.15 lakhs ($22,000) is that it was never made!!

Firstly, there is the public perception that Prime Minister Modi has not keep his election campaign promise that he would get rid of corrupt money abroad and deposit Rs.15 lakhs ($22,000) in each Indian’s Bank account. That just hasn’t happened. And strangely as well as sadly, the BJP has evaded that question although Rahul Gandhi and others from different political parties have often asked that question on public platforms. The worst bit on this issue is that Amit Shah, the BJP chief, dismissed this query as a jhumla at the time he addressed a big rally during the Bengal state assembly elections a little over a year ago. Now jhumla is a Hindi word of which no proper English word has been found. The best one can say is that it’s just an election jumla — meaning it was an idiomatic expression, not meant to be taken literally. In short, it was a frivolity.

Even if it were a frivolous “promise” made in political rhetoric, it carries weight and gravitas when uttered by a political leader who was projected as the Prime Minister of the country. It had some meaning and rationale behind it. And the political leader who indulged in that gravitas had to fulfill that promise or give an explanation for not doing so by telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And publicly apologise if he had failed to keep his promise. The BJP has so far done nothing of that kind.

The blunt truth of that so-called “promise” of Rs.15 lakhs($22,000) is that it was never made!!

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Y[/dropcap]es, Narendra Modi never made that promise!! He just did never promise to bring back the corrupt Indian money stashed abroad in Swiss Banks and other institutions of the kind and use it to deposit Rs. 15 lakhs in each poor resident Indian’s account.

…BJP campaigners to make that point in their election speeches and debates, and, perhaps, put it out in posters saying “Our Leader Does Not Lie Like Others.

The truth of what Narendra Modi said in that election speech of his can be seen on a brief YouTube video.

One viewer, Swati Goila Jain, who saw the above video posted on social media (Quora) as follows on December 4, 2014:

“As per the video posted by another member, what he, Modi, is  saying – ‘If all the black money being deposited by people all these years is brought back it would be so much that every person could get 15-20 lakhs each’.  I could not hear any mention of 100 days in Modi’s speech.  That was probably somewhere in some other speech.  This does not say he has promised this much amount to every citizen.”

Now that, readers, is the whole truth, nothing but the truth. And that is what Amit Shah, the BJP party chief should have most emphatically told his party’s campaigners to say whenever they were faced with that Rs.15 lakh ($22,000) question by their rivals. In fact, it would be a good idea to order the BJP campaigners to make that point in their election speeches and debates, and, perhaps, put it out in posters saying “Our Leader Does Not Lie Like Others.

The second issue which the BJP appears to have overlooked is the contemptuous criticism from rivals that the party has “written off” crores of rupees of Bank loans given to the rich industrialists like Vijay Mallya but permitted a farmer let commit suicide for not repaying an installment of his Bank loan in time. An allied charge is that the BJP had let the millionaires like Mallya and Lalit Modi to run away to foreign lands instead of putting them in jail.

This is another serious allegation which the BJP has miserably failed to rebut despite the known facts.

The primary reason for this is the media’s big headlines on “Written Off Loans” and dubbing Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya as the cuckoos who were allowed to fly away from the cage.

Take a look at two sample headlines:

1. “Govt banks wrote off Rs. 59,500 cr last year:”

Why the taxpayer should worry


 2. “Rs. 1 lakh crore bad loans of corporates written off: RBI”


In this matter of “Bad Loans” and “Written Off “ loans, it is incumbent on the BJP to enlighten and educate its election campaigners and spokespersons about the Reserve Bank clarification of February 2016 reproduced below:

RBI Logo

February 9, 2016

Bank Write-offs: Clarification

We refer to the article published in today’s (February 9, 2016)  Indian Express under the headline ‘Rs. 1.14 lakh crore of bad debts: The great government bank write-off’.’

Though based on our response to an RTI query, the news item lacks right perspective and does not bring out all the facts involved in such writing off of loans.

‘Writing off’ of non-performing assets is a regular exercise conducted by banks to clean up their balance sheets. Substantial portion of this write-off is, however, technical in nature. It is primarily intended at cleansing the balance sheet and achieving taxation efficiency. In ‘Technically Written Off’ accounts, loans are written off from the books at the Head Office, without foregoing the right to recovery. Further, write offs are generally carried out against accumulated provisions made for such loans. Once recovered, the provisions made for those loans flow back into the profit and loss account of banks.

The data published in the above news item is the total write-off made by banks, which includes a large portion of technically written off accounts where the recovery efforts continue as usual.

Alpana Killawala
Principal Adviser
Department of Communication
Reserve Bank of India
Central Office
Shahid Bhagat Singh Road
Mumbai 400 001

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]bout letting “the cuckoos to fly away”, the BJP leaders, including the MPs, must be mentally drilled to remember that no individual with a valid Indian Passport can be prevented by anyone — be it the local police, the CBI or the Enforcement Directorate — to leave the Indian shores as long as he has a valid Passport. And remember, a valid Passport can be impounded, and travel abroad stopped thereafter, only by the authority of a judicial court under Section (3) of the Indian Passport Act… For your satisfaction read the law of our Supreme Court laid down below:

“Thus it is concluded that the police may have the power to seize a passport under Section 102(1) Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, but it does not have the power to impound the same. Impounding of a passport can only be done by the passport authority under Section 10(3) of the Passports Act, 1967. The Passport Act, 1967 is a special Act relating to the matters of passport, and whereas Section 104 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 authorizes the Court to impound document or thing produced before it. Law is clear on the issue that where there is a special Act dealing with a specific subject, resort should be made to that Act instead of the general Act providing for the matter connected with the specific Act. As the Passports Act is a special Act, the rule that “general provision should yield to the specific provision” is to be applied. Thus, by necessary implication, the power of Court to impound any document or thing produced before it would exclude passport and passport can be impounded only by the authority provided under the Passports Act, 1967


Finally, specifically, with reference to the UP elections, there is no need for the BJP to be apprehensive about the recent apex court verdict which prohibits the use of religion during the polls season. All that needs to be said publicly by the BJP is “We are very happy that the majority verdict of the Allahabad High Court of October 2010 gave a jhudgement which favours our viewpoint on a long disputed verdict on a property dispute over a 2.72 acre plot of land in Ayodhya. We are sure that the Supreme Court too will rule in our favour for no reason other than that our case itself is strong, very strong, very very strong, and we have great faith in our apex court.”

1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 68.04 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
3. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Arvind Lavakare has been a freelance writer since 1957. He has written and spoken on sports on radio and TV. He currently writes on political issues regularly. His writings include a book on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."


  1. Mr. ARVIND LAVKARE has ably defended PM Modi whereas Modi’s best man Amit Shah had made Modi look like a untrustworthy politician..by using the defending line ..JUMLA …/ SOMEONE SHOULD TELL THE PM to bring Mr. LAVKARE in his advisory group …/ only the otherday Mr. LAVKARE had enlightened us the lego history of POK ‘ status in India…the position brought out later by Supreme Court judgement …..
    Jumla is fresh comment ..earlier comment is reiterated to reinforce the logic .

  2. Mr. ARVIND LAVKARE has ably defended PM Modi whereas Modi’s best man Amit Shah had made Modi look like a untrustworthy politician..by using the defending line ..JUMLA …/ SOMEONE SHOULD TELL THE PM to bring Mr. LAVKARE in his advisory group …/ only the otherday Mr. LAVKARE had enlightened us the lego history of POK ‘ status in India…the position brought out later by Supreme Court judgement ..

  3. No Indian citizen is as naive/stupid/wet behind the ears like AK, RaGa, Mamata et al to literally believe that 1-Rs 15 lakhs will be deposited in their account post foreign black money recovery,2-Rs 10-15 thousand cash deposit in jandhan accounts post demonetisation profits,3-That all problems those might continue till 30thDec will suddenly vanish on the next day,4-that all withdrawn cash will be available in circulation (to facilitate further hoarding/clandestine money) and many such other things.
    They oppose the entire exercise by citing these so called promises to spite the Govt, for political brownie points, to cover up their own tracks with financial criminals and to discourage Govt from taking further/sterner measures to correct economy and encourage honesty in transactions.
    For the common citizens these things have become things of the past,demonetisation came, did the job and gone, time for him to carry on with his vocation/life honestly and leave the criminals to stew in their own juice and face consequences.


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