Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Home Government and Policy And it was BJP's turn to U-Turn

And it was BJP’s turn to U-Turn

Early last year, current Defence Minister, then Goa CM, and star campaigner of BJP had said that AAP was what BJP used to be. He was speaking in a different context, but now it seems, BJP is what AAP used to be called: A U-Turn Party. Ever since BJP has come to power, there have been several U-Turns which it has taken. We list some of the prominent ones:

1. The Henderson Brooks report
When in opposition, BJP came out full throttle asking for the entire Henderson Brooks report to be declassified and made public. This was because it was the believed that this report blamed Nehru for India’s defeat in the 1962 War.

Once BJP came to power though it began singing a different tune. It ruled out making the above document public saying that “it would not be in national interest”. New found love for Nehru?

2. Talks with Pakistan
Before they came to power, BJP was suggesting the UPA Government should suspend talks with Pakistan until, Dawood and Hafiz Saeed were handed over to India. This stand might have helped them to build up anti-Pak rhetoric, but it wasnt practical.

And this was proved when PM Modi, in a sort of U Turn, invited Pakistan PM Nawaaz Sharif to his swearing in ceremony. We could argue that this is not “talks with Pakistan” but it was certainly a softening and change in stance.

3. Land Swap Deal with Bangladesh
As an opposition party, BJP had opposed the deal to swap some land with Bangladesh to resolve border disputes. Assam BJP Vice President had gone on record to say “The agreement will not do any good for the state”

However, once BJP came to power, PM Modi, in his 2 day visit to Assam endorsed this deal saying “there will be no compromise on Assam’s security”

4. Hike in FDI cap in Insurance
In 2013, like a good opposition party would, BJP opposed the proposed hiking of FDI cap in Insurance to 49%. They agreed with other provisions but this was a “sore point”

Eventually when they came to power, BJP was fully in favour of this 49% cap in FDI, and in fact pushed the bill via an ordinance after it faced opposition in the Rajya Sabha

5. Diesel Price Deregulation
In January 2013 when the UPA Government had announced its plane to deregulate diesel in a phasewise manner, BJP had come out against this decision. Current Home Minister Rajnath Singh, had then said “This is an insensitive government. Deregulation of diesel prices will lead to hike in its price”.

But come October 2014, Diesel prices were deregulated by BJP, as per the schedule announced earlier. This maybe a progressive step but it certainly is a change in policy as far BJP’s own stand is concerned.

6. Political Parties under RTI
Back in June 2013, while Congress was opposed to Political Parties being covered under the RTI, BJP had said it didnt mind sharing more details, provided it was applied to all parties alike.

But once they came to power, Minister of State for Personnel and Training Jitendra Singh, gave a written reply in Rajya Sabha saying bringing a Political Party under RTI, would “hamper its smooth internal working”.

7. Aadhar Card
In the heat of campaigning for Lok Sabha Elections, BJP had taken a stand that Aadhar card was not in national interests. Ananth Kumar, who contested against Nandan Nilekani said they would scrap Aadhar card, and initiate criminal proceedings on the those responsible for it.

But within a few months, Aadhar card scheme was back on track, albeit with a revamp on the cards, thanks to a clear go ahead by PM Narendra Modi, thus ending months of speculation about its future.

(The links mentioned above are curated from a post on Quora which replied to the question “What are the worst U-turns by BJP after forming the Government?” )

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co-founder, OpIndia.com

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