Five days after Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi unveiled his party’s economic vision for the nation, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday said it offered no relief from the mounting economic burdens that the people were seeking. The need of the hour, according to the CPI(M), is an "alternative economic vision" to that of both the Congress and the BJP.
In the editorial for the forthcoming issue of the CPI(M) mouthpiece People’s Democracy, the party said: "If at all there was any reconfirmation that was ever needed on the score that there is virtually no difference … on matters of economic policy between the Congress and the BJP, it has come in the RSS/BJP’s prime ministerial prospect’s address at the recently held BJP’s national council meeting."
Titled 'High Rhetoric, Zero Content: Greater Misery for People', the editorial argues that the BJP’s vision, "aping the Congress’s trajectory of economic reforms while paying lip service to people’s welfare", will only widen the divide between the rich and the poor by heaping greater miseries on the people.
Going into the specifics of the BJP’s economic vision – building 100 smart cities, bullet trains across the country, creating more IITs, IIMs and AIIMS, development of infrastructure, reviving power plants, and pushing river interlinking with some social welfare schemes thrown into the mix – the CPI(M) said: "Does this sound any different from the UPA’s objectives of Bharat Nirman along with inclusive growth?"
Further, according to the CPI(M), the BJP’s economic vision is silent on how resources will be generated for such a programme. Referring to India Inc.’s "overall applause for such a vision", the editorial said the BJP blueprint is premised on the very logic of the reform process being implemented by the present government. "The BJP’s vision of `high growth with a mix of social welfare schemes’ is nothing else but a rephrasing of the UPA’s agenda of 'liberalisation with inclusive growth'."