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Arun Shourie: How to fight BJP in 2019

By Archis Mohan
November 25, 2017 11:07 IST
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Dubs Modi government a "one trick horse" which will make the Hindu-Muslim issue the dominant one in political discourse; asks Opposition to field one candidate in every seat against BJP nominee in 2019 polls.
Archis Mohan reports from New Delhi.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

Former Union minister Arun Shourie has likened reports by international rating agencies, such as Moody's, to "schoolboy reports". Economic policy makers should not take either negative or positive ratings by international rating agencies seriously, he felt.

Shourie, a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, bemoaned that policy makers in the Narendra Modi government lacked the "attention span" needed to reform the economy which he said was a task akin to running a marathon.


Speaking at a book launch event in New Delhi on Friday, Shourie said he has worked in the World Bank for nine years. He said the time when India needed loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund is long past, but now these institutions desired accolades from India.

To a question on the improved ratings by Moody's and the World Bank, Shourie said the government has been "gaming the system".

While Moody's recently improved India's ratings, a World Bank survey had shown a significant improvement in India's 'ease of doing business' ranking.

Shourie said he cannot disclose private conversations he has had with people in the know, but information available in the public domain indicates that the World Bank teams visit specific cities where officials are forewarned about the visits and prepare suitably.

The former minister has of late been critical of the Modi government. Shourie said he had supported Modi for his development plank, but the government has not delivered.

He termed the government a "one trick horse" which would eventually make the Hindu-Muslim issue the dominant one in the political discourse.

Quoting from a speech by Lenin, Shourie said it was time Opposition parties "give history a helping hand" to ensure the BJP's defeat in 2019.

The Opposition should decide that there must be one candidate in every seat against the BJP nominee in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

"If you really think the country is in peril... then you must get together. There must be one candidate against people who we all believe are taking the country to a dangerous zone," Shourie said, sharing the dais with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Shourie’s comments came on a day West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave a similar call, saying democracy was under threat under BJP rule and asked the Opposition parties to work together for the greater interest of the people before the next Lok Sabha polls.

Shourie said the judiciary should suo moto take up the issue of the circumstances surrounding Central Bureau of Investigation special judge B H Loya's death.

10 eminent citizens could take it upon themselves to get to the bottom of the circumstances that led to the judge's death.

Shourie, who had supported Modi in the 2014 polls before turning a critic of his government's policies, said people forget the fact that even at the height of Modi's popularity in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had got 31 per cent of votes but it won due to fragmentation of the remainder 69 per cent votes.

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Archis Mohan
Source: source