- The present day Congress party leadership must learn a lesson from the failure of Jagdishpur, and stop socialist rhetoric in their manifestos.
- Now to contrast Congress’s socialist economic model with its Atmanirbhar Bharat economic philosophy, the Modi government plans to manufacture AK-203 rifles.
- Two decades down the line, we will get an opportunity to assess whether this economic model delivered on promises or failed like Nehruvian socialism.
For decades, the Nehru-Gandhi family tried to develop the Amethi district – at least, that is what they claimed. They forced many PSUs to set up factories in the Jagdishpur area of the pocket borough constituency, and in the name of those factories asked for votes. However, slowly most of the PSU units in the area started posting losses, and instead of expansion of the industrial area, it started shrinking.
Now to contrast Congress’s socialist economic model with its Atmanirbhar Bharat economic philosophy, the Modi government plans to manufacture AK-203 rifles. The project will be implemented by a special purpose joint venture called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL). It has been created with erstwhile OFB (Ordnance Factory Board), which the government has corporatised, and created multiple private limited companies.
“The government has approved the plan for the production of over five lakh AK-203 assault rifles at Korwa, Amethi UP. It reflects the ever-increasing paradigm shift in defence acquisition from buy (global) to Make in India. This endeavour will be done in partnership with Russia and reflects the deepening partnership between the two countries in the defence sector,” reported CNBC-TV18.
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Today, Jagdishpur serves as the poster child of Congress’s failed economic model. The brainchild of the dictatorial son of Indira Gandhi – Sanjay Gandhi – who won the election from Amethi constituency in 1980 general election, is the best example of everything that is wrong with the planned and socialist economic model.
Sanjay Gandhi died in the same year he won the election and the constituency was later represented by his elder brother, Rajiv Gandhi, who became the PM of the country in 1984. The region was planned to become an industrial hub and public sector companies were forced to set up factories in the region irrespective of feasibility and concerns of profitability. Many big PSUs like SAIL, HAL, BHEL, and thousands of small companies set up units in the area out of political compulsions.
The region flourished as the PSUs pumped money to set up factories, but in less than a decade, the decline began. The reason behind the decline was that almost all the units turned out to be unprofitable because the region is naturally not feasible for industrial development.
According to UP Congress spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh, nearly 135 small and big industrial units in Amethi closed down after Mr. Rajiv Gandhi ceased to be the Prime Minister.
Now the Modi government and Yogi government are trying to re-indistrialize the region, trying its economic model of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The AK-203 rifles will replace the INSAS rifles that the armed forces have been using for the last three decades. The AK-203 rifles are comparatively lighter, have easy to use technology and will enhance the combat capabilities of Indian armed forces.
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Jagdishpur of today should be preserved to showcase the city to all the people who believe in socialist fallacies. The present day Congress party leadership must learn a lesson from the failure of Jagdishpur and stop socialist rhetoric in their manifestos. In fact, the scion of Nehru-Gandhi family must apologize to people of the country because economic policies of his ancestors kept the country poor for decades and millions died in poverty due to these policies.
The Modi government is trying a new economic model to develop the district of Amethi. Two decades down the line, we will get an opportunity to assess whether this economic model delivered on promises or failed like Nehruvian socialism. However, given the track record of the Modi government, the optimism runs high.