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The last 10 years’ nightmare is over. Elections 2014 is an unprecedented vote for Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. It has been unanimous and overwhelming. Indians, across religion, caste and community, have voted for Modi’s vision of Good Governance and Development and will expect him to be accountable! He must, therefore, be allowed to assemble his Cabinet team.
1. The Mandate is for Narendra Modi’s Leadership as the PM
For nearly six months, all supporters of the BJP, the Opposition, independent media, analysts and average citizens have agreed on one thing – that the entire campaign has been run with Mr. Modi as a Prime Ministerial candidate and as the face of the campaign. Everyone agrees that, with a few exceptions in the BJP who are senior leaders in their own right, Indians have voted for Mr. Modi, his reputation and his leadership. The campaign was unambiguous that Mr. Modi would be the Prime Minister. In fact, most campaigning - including mine - urged voters to vote for MPs that would mean Modi would be PM.
2. All issues, questions and allegations discussed threadbare
During the elections, every single issue and allegation ranging from secular credentials to questioning the Gujarat model to Narendra Modi style of functioning and his claims of governance and development were put to test, and repeatedly so. They were debated ad nauseam on national TV, newspapers and social media. After taking into consideration all views, evidence, debates and opinions, the citizens of India - after a campaign that ran for six months and elections that lasted 9 phases - have decided, in their wisdom, that Narendra Modi is their undisputed choice for the job of the Prime Minister of India.
3. Narendra Modi will be held accountable
Under the circumstances, Mr. Modi not only bears the heavy burden of living up to the expectations, but will be personally accountable (as he himself has promised) to the citizens for the faith that they have reposed in him as the Prime Ministerial candidate and the face of the BJP. He will need to stand the test each day for the next five years, in every Parliament Session, in front of India’s independent press, the global community, and at the next general elections in 2019.
4. Narendra Modi will need to have a Cabinet that shares his vision on probity, governance and development for all Indians.
Having regard for the campaign and the vote for Narendra Modi as the PM, it is paramount that Narendra Modi has absolute freedom to pick the Cabinet and other important portfolios of his choice. The team who will bear collective responsibility must respect and trust Mr. Modi implicitly and vice versa. The elections are over and it’s time for operationalizing the Governance plan. While there is always scope for debate and disagreements, the Cabinet will need to work as a single, united and operationally efficient team. He can’t be looking over his shoulders, especially given the state of the nation, its economy, the Governance challenges and global trust deficit. Trust will be key to the speed of decision making.
5. Narendra Modi should pick a Cabinet of his choice
The next most important step will be to allow Mr. Modi to pick a Cabinet of his choice through which he can respond to the needs of the nation on an immediate and long-term basis. He deserves that freedom and the support to get the country back on track and deliver on the dreams and promises, based on which the citizens of the nation have reposed their undisputed trust in him as a leader of the world’s largest democracy.
This article appeared in Mail Today, May 19, 2014