In Uttar Pradesh legistlative assembly elections, BJP unexpectedly won with a majority. It was unexpected because Uttar Pradesh is one of the worst affected states where lakhs of workers (including migrant workers working in other states) had become jobless because of Modi government’s ill-advised demonetization exercise. This would not have happened had it not been for vote tampering with the EVMs.
So, Modi had no problem when the new BJP CM offered loan relief for UP farmers. Uttar Pradesh government cannot forgive farm loans unless the central government headed by Modi helps. EVM guilt made it easy for Modi to forgive loans in UP. For Tamil Nadu, they perhaps have to wait for 2050 elections when BJP may be able to form government for the first time in the state.
Fiscal prudence is good but is it consistent. Modi government launched another “U” scheme called Udaan, which offers to provide private airlines with a subsidy or free money for trips to low-traffic airports. For example, a 5300-rupee New Delhi-Shimla ticket will net the private airline 3300 rupees. The well-healed plane passenger will be able to buy the ticket for only Rs. 2000. Modi government’s defence is that this is a temporary subsidy scheme, which will be withdrawn once traffic picks up. This is unlikely to happen. Once the subsidy stops, traffic will stop. Like with Tata Motors plant in Gujarat. When the subsidy is over, the high-falooting corporate bloodsuckers just walk out. Everyone does this today. In the US, Amazon will start a new dispatch center in area if local and state subsidies and tax incentives are available. Amazon gets these rewards on the promise that it will bring new jobs to the area but its pays workers only minimum wage. When the rewards run out, Amazon packs up and leaves. Similarly, Intel started a chip plant in Israel on the back of subsidies, tax holidays and other incentives. When these ran out, Intel wanted close shop.
The Udaan scheme runs counter to what the Modi government has been saying about the railways. FM Jaitley has been saying that rail users should start paying full fares and there should be no subsidies. Poor people travel by rail. If they had money, they would take planes. It is obvious what the reason is. Private airline heads have friends in the Modi ministry. I bet some suitcases are involved.