Coalition is about different voices & colours: Priyanka Chaturvedi, Congress Spokesperson

BW Businessworld organised ‘The Great India Debate’ in New Delhi on Wednesday

BEDebate

BW Businessworld organised ‘The Great India Debate’ in New Delhi on Wednesday that saw a galaxy of opinion-makers and influencers debate passionately. Swapan Dasgupta, Kiran Karnik, Arif Mohammad Khan, Gurcharan Das, Bhuvan Lall, Sanjay Jha, Shazia Ilmi, Raghav Chadha, Sunil Alagh and Priyanka Chaturvedi took part in the debate.

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi spoke against the motion ‘India’s growth story cannot afford another era of coalition politics’ and argued why coalitions represented the diverse nation that India is.

 

Excerpts:

As it is clearly mentioned that I am against the motion, and I have reasons to do so.

Swapan (Dasgupta) was very nicely being nostalgic about the golden era. I am sure 65 per cent of the population today remembers India post-liberalisation, and that post-liberalisation was also a decision that was taken by a coalition government.

Let’s not forget the nuclear test that we had at Pokhran, though it was done by Bharatiya Janta Party (government), was also a coalition government. Let’s not forget the nuclear deal that India got for itself was also because of the intent of a coalition government. Why should we forget that single party majority governance has got us something as catastrophic as a demonetization, as catastrophic as 260% rise in terrorism attacks in this nation? While we grew at 8.9% in an era of coalition government, we have a single party majority growing at 7.2%. We have a single largest party with a majority, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, which has brought unemployment that hasn’t been seen in the past 45 years. When we talk about external debts, we left at Rs 37.44 lakh crore and it is Rs 43.72 lakh crore where we stand today.

Apparently, only economic statistics matter in this country; the happiness index of this country doesn’t matter, the unity in diversity of this country doesn’t matter, the voices of the nation do not matter. What matters are statistics! And he listens and he listens hard as to how this economy has suffered.

The farm growth, I am sure you have an interest in it. But the farm growth story has also come to a standstill. From a 3.8% growth, that we were tracking, to a 1.9% growth trajectory that we are seeing under Mr Modi’s watch. Exports have declined.

We left at Rs 279 per cylinder per month, they brought it to Rs 479 per cylinder per month. And this is the subsidised cylinder, we remind you the people who have given up subsidy will not talk about it.

Let’s talk about jobs. Jobs that we created during our government was 28.01 lakh, what they are creating is 8.08 lakh. And I think I am being very optimistic about it. What you definitely forget to mention is the 10 years of governance that a coalition government has given, a decisive government and I also have brought out the statistics. What you seem to forget is that in an evolving democracy, every single state asserting itself, asserting its face in the centre, wants to have a voice, every single Indian in an evolving democracy wants to have a voice. We cannot be dismissive about the voices of the people and their aspirations.

How can we be ignorant that democracy is about participation and we should accept various contours of political affiliations and political associations? Today, Jammu & Kashmir is facing the worst-ever crisis because it saw an alliance of opportunism. It was not an alliance of growth story, it was not an alliance of development and they are suffering the consequences of it. So coalition is not about one particular individual wanting to decide the fate of this nation like demonetisation. A coalition is about voices; respecting those voices, adhering to those voices and building a consensus will lead towards nation building. The country has moved from an era of one person deciding what is good for the entire nation versus an era of various voices. Let me give you one simple example, I remember the time when I got married, my in-laws asked me to take “one muthhi khichdi”. People keep demeaning the entire khichdi system because of the politics of khichdi. But my mother-in-law told me that when you come into a family you take every voice along, every person along and that is how you can have a happy, successful, co-existence and a happy beneficial win-win situation in a family. This is what alliances are about, alliances are about praising all the voices across the nation to build a nation. Coalition is about various colours and voices. Thank You!

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