A stable government is in place at the Centre, headed by an energetic PM with a known penchant to pursue set goals. This is an ideal backdrop for rapid progress. However, a weak opposition makes it imperative for the BJP to device its own checks and balances, not so much in governance but on major policy directionsbe those economic, political or socialthat only an alternative political viewpoint would help crystallise. The Rajya Sabha could provide to a limited extent the platform from which non-BJP parties may act as the alter ego, to run an effective democracy. The BJP, evidently, will follow the existing economic roadmap, be it GST, infrastructure push, banking reforms, etc, which the previous regime was unable to push due to a failing arithmetic in the Lok Sabha and the resultant administrative ennui. The BJP will continue to pull red herrings on issues like Article 370 such that it can pursue the set economic agenda on the quiet, without appearing to tow the UPA-2 line. With everyone busy pushing growth, there may not be any hitch on this score for the BJP in the next 2-3 years. The problem would start when the GDP curve is regained and questions of inclusiveness arise. A stronger opposition would be really needed then. At that juncture, the BJP would be put to a real test on its traditional antipathy to government largesse and social equity, and the Congress and others would look to consolidate individual strengths and perhaps even to move towards ushering in a federal concept for the 2019 battle against a confident BJP.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
Apropos of the edit Ease those gold curbs (FE, May 23), it is human nature to run after what it is denied and more so in the case of gold-crazy India where people have an undying love for the shining metal that is passed from generation to generation. So, it was no surprise when the gold prices shot through the roof, Indians made a beeline for lapping up gold and ensured that our CAD was almost on the edge. So, at that time, it was necessary to curb the humongous gold imports. However things have changed over the past few months, Sensex is in a bull phase, markets are rallying, gold prices are tumbling down.