Shyam Ponappa stress what could be added in the list of subsidy politics;
The following are some excerpts from his article in today’s BS.
- "‘Rice politics’ is a convenient tag for these strategies, although their reach extends to food grains, saris, housing, TV sets, mobile phones, computers, cash, liquor… This practice began in 1967 in Tamil Nadu, when the DMK swept to power on the promise of cheap rice (and opposition to Hindi). This was followed in Andhra Pradesh by the TDP in 1983 and 1994. The Congress tried to counter the TDP’s blandishments in Andhra Pradesh on both occasions, to no avail. Then came the successes in the mid-1990s by the Janata Dal in Karnataka, the late Biju Patnaik in Orissa, and the Shiv Sena in
Maharashtra. More recently, the BJP was successful in Karnataka, MP and Chattisgarh. The DMK added TV sets to ‘roti-kapda-makaan’ in 2006. Now, the Congress and BJP are trying to outdo each other with electioneering sops.
- The Congress manifesto promises expanding the NREGS, taking broadband to the villages and extending reservations to the private sector, while the BJP offers computers with Internet connections...
- The Justice D P Wadhwa Committee appointed by the Supreme Court reportedly recommended last week scrapping the PDS, and instituting a computerised, ID-linked distribution system. Executed competently as an end-to-end system, this would result in greater end-user benefits at much lower cost".