The hype and hoopla with which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government took charge at the Centre, with a promise of bringing in an array of changes, generating a wave of excitement among the countrymen and expectations going through the roof.

Amidst the echoing of “Ab Ki Bar Modi Sarkar” and “Achhe Din Aane Wale Hai”, the ruling dispensation at the Centre led by Modi is going to complete its one month. Let’s have a look at some of the highs and lows of the government.


Narendra Modi is seen as a skilled administrator and he presented a glimpse of his diplomatic acumen before the world even before he formally took charge as the Prime Minister. The gesture of inviting heads of several states and SAARC leaders including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif won worldwide applauds. He described the invitation to SAARC leaders as a ‘right decision at the right time’ and said that his first major foreign policy initiative sent out a message to the world about India's strength. Modi government started its innings on a stormy note after Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh said that the process to repeal Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir has commenced. The issue of Article 370 has always been a major bone of contention and even Modi during his pre-election speech spoke on reviewing the controversial Article, which provides special status and privileges to the trouble-torn state and kind of differentiates it from rest of the states. The govt’s take on the issue evoked mixed response and left J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah fuming.
Before being sworn-in as Prime Minister, Modi visited Parliament. The entire world got to see the humble, down-to-earth and emotional side of the BJP strongman. He bowed down, touched the steps leading to Parliament and paid respects to ‘temple of democracy’. While addressing his colleagues at Central Hall, he got emotional, shed tears and vowed to work for the nation. Modi government found itself fiddling with controversy after the PMO asked all the ministries to see into the details of NGOs working on several projects with them. The development took place after the PMO was told by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) that NGOs are threatening the nation’s internal security. The NGOs, involved in developmental works in multiple sectors scoffed off at the IB report and said that they have all the required and necessary clearances from the government.
Modi’s meeting with Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif just a day after taking oath as the nation’s 15th Prime Minister earmarked an important chapter in the history of India-Pakistan relations. The meeting took place a time when the relation between both nations is passing through a topsy-turvy path. During the meeting, he made Sharif known that the nation is not satisfied over the tardiness with which probe into 26/11 attacks is going on. Besides, Modi’s gesture to invite Sharif also came off as a surprise and it carried a message of friendship and goodwill. Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani found herself at the Centre of controversy after a row emerged over her qualification, which ‘apparently did not deem fit to her portfolio’. Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken expressed wonder over how someone, who is not even a graduate, can hold such an important portfolio. Reacting to this, Smriti said, "I have been judged by my organization with regard to my capacity to deliver on assignments. Judge me be my work. Extraneous circumstances have been created to deviate my attention from the work I have been given.” BJP also criticized Maken and questioned Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s qualification.
The Prime Minister’s first speech in Lok Sabha carried a signature of his emphasis on progress and development of the nation. Modi stressed on the need to clean up politics, powering the youth with job-acquiring skills and ensuring equitable development. He also criticized the politicians offering shocking statements for a spate of rapes in the country. Another low point in Modi’s governance was allegations of sexual assault on one of his minister Nihal Chand. Nihal, who is a MoS in Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, along with 16 others was issued a notice by a Jaipur metropolitan case in a four-year old sexual exploitation case. Though the charges were denied by Nihal Chand and the BJP, the Congress attacked Modi government over the issue and demanded the minister’s resignation.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came along with a white sari’ for Modi's mother and the latter thanked the neighbor nation’s Premier and mentioned this on micro-blogging website Twitter. Earlier, Modi had also gifted a shawl to Sharif's mother during his visit to India. The entire episode was unofficially coined as ‘Sari diplomacy’ and seen as an exchange of warm gestures between leaders of both nations. Modi government’s decision not to provide reservation to Muslims came as a shocker. When Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah said that minorities need a ‘level playing field’ in the society but reservation was not the solution, it raised several eyebrows. “Reservation on the basis of religion is not permissible under the Constitution. Nor is it the solution. It kills the spirit of competition,” Heptullah said, virtually ruling out possibility of doling any reservation scheme for Muslims, the nation’s largest minority community.
Modi’s visit to Bhutan was his first ever foreign visit after becoming Prime Minister and he met Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and called for greater economic ties. Terming the ties between both nations as Bharat to Bhutan - B2B relations, Modi said that India and Bhutan are ‘made for each other’ taking into consideration the ‘glorious’ traditional connect between the two Asian nations. After reports surfaced that Modi government may shrink or downsize the Planning Commission, a controversy erupted. There have been reports that the new government is planning to make the plan panel more accountable. The reports also mentioned that the Prime Minister could dilute the over-arching powers of Planning Commission and convert the body into a developmental think-tank under the newly formed National Democratic Alliance government.
During the first-ever Cabinet meeting chaired by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister instructed all his ministers to prepare their respective agenda for the first 100 days in office and subsequently ensure their time-bound delivery. The government also said that pulling out the nation’s economy from its present state of stagnation and slowdown will be one of their major priorities. Former Army chief VK Singh, who is now Minister of State with Development of North Eastern Region (independent charge), External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, courted controversy after he trained guns at Lt Gen Dalbir Singh, who has been named by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley as next Army chief. VK Singh tweeted, “If unit kills innocents, does dacoity and then head of organization tries to protect them, should he not be blamed? Criminals should go free!!”
Narendra Modi, who has been stressing on strengthening the entire bureaucratic brass in order to work effectively on his mantra of ‘minimum government, maximum government’ and administrative clean-up, interacted with top bureaucrats. During the meeting, Modi asked them to shun outdated practices and harness the benefits of information technology. He also asked them to work with a free mind, without any fear and assured all his support. The Centre’s decision to go ahead with its move to ask Governors appointed by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government did not go down well with many, especially the Opposition. On June 19, the government also asked all members of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Council of Women (NCW) to resign and it happened on a day when President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the resignation of Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt, the second governor to have quit after BL Joshi of Uttar Pradesh.
The nation saw an important chapter getting earmarked in its defence prowess after Modi took charge as Prime Minister. He visited India's largest warship, INS Vikramaditya, recently inducted in Indian Navy, in Goa and addressed the naval personnel onboard the ship off Goa coast. Dedicating the warship to nation, he called its inclusion a historic step and asserted that India won’t be threatened by anyone. The Central government’s move to promote Hindi in social networking websites with an attempt to give the language a push immediately became a subject of intense controversy. Voices of dissension could be heard clearly from non-Hindi speaking belts of the country, especially South, with DMK chief Karunanidhi and AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa vehemently opposing the move and suggesting the usage of English across all social media platforms.
What could be better than the rival camp praising you? Narendra Modi found an unlikely fan in former Union minister and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who praised the Prime Minister and said that Modi is looking to turn himself from a ‘hate figure into an avatar of modernity and progress’. Tharoor said, "We should acknowledge that this may be the evolution of Modi 2.0 but if Modi 1.0 re-emerges, then we will robustly oppose him.” Modi government saw another controversy surfacing during its first month of governance as the row over Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) of Delhi University (DU) just got bigger. Though the University Grants Commission (UGC) had ordered Delhi University to scrap the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme, Delhi University continues to hold onto its ground. The tiff-off between UGC and DU has left the students at a fix, especially those who are looking to take admission or already got them enrolled.


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