New Delhi: The Swarna Bharat Party under the patronage of former IAS officer (voluntarily retired) Sanjeev Sabhlok says that it opposes “socialism in its entirety.” In a letter to several media houses, it said, “We believe that the role of a government must be limited to core functions of defence, police and justice (which all governments are neglecting). We believe the government must ensure equal opportunity through targeted, market-based approaches.”
Reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he had stated before the 2014 Lok Sabha election that “government has no business in business” and that he had also raised the slogan of “minimum government, maximum governance”, the SBP says that it is unfortunate that “the PM keeps on running PSUs. Just recently, ITDC opened its 10th duty free shop.”
The libertarian party slammed the Modi government for appearing to be “more interested in selling liquor and cigarettes than in governing”.
The party had written to the Prime Minister on 26 August, it says, asking him to divest all PSUs and start governing. “Since Mr Modi has not responded, thus displaying his lack of interest in governance”, the party decided to launch a “National Movement for Good Governance” from Rajghat at 2 pm.
“Should the government refuse to divest all PSUs immediately (according to a systematic plan) and continue to withhold essential funds from the police, judiciary and defence; should the government continue to not implement critically needed electoral and bureaucratic system reforms; we will be left with no option but to take this movement forward,” the press release said.
The letter continues thus: “We do not have anything against any person working in the PSUs. We recognise that PSU employees are doing their job. This is all about public policy, not about any individual. It is also our policy that no staff of the PSUs should be made worse off for five years as a result of any consequential divestment that takes place. The government must employ them as part of core functions such as in supporting the police and the justice systems, where there is a gross staffing shortage. Alternatively, if a private company buys out a PSU, the no-worse-off-for-five-years condition should be ensured.”
Then the party appeals to all citizens to hold events or rallies in PSUs across India (both central and state) till the country’s governance is fully reformed. “We may start with hotels and duty-free shops, but will expand to include banks, manufacturing and all other types of PSUs. We will individually inform the relevant PSU when we are ready to host an event on their campus, in a collaborative, not confrontational manner.” Further, the communiqué to the media assures everybody that the political events of the SBP will follow the due processes laid down by law.
Finally, executing its promise of beginning a nationwide movement against the policy of socialism, SBP president Sanjay Sonawani led a march of over 100 persons from Rajghat to Delhi Police headquarters on the Gandhi Jayanti Day. Other senior leaders of the party, like the party’s vice-president Alok Kumar, joint secretary Vidyut Jain and spokesperson Rahul Pandit, joined the march.
The SBP claims that it has shown the Prime Minister how additional funds can be obtained for core functions of the government, mainly by divesting public sector undertakings. “There is no reason for a government to operate businesses and run banks,” it says.
The party quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s statement, “Government that is ideal governs the least. It is no self-government that leaves nothing for the people to do”.
“The people can run businesses themselves. If necessary, government can regulate businesses, but it must not directly undertake any business,” the SBP’s statement released after the march reads. The party is also pressuring the government for implementation of “critically needed governance reforms” including “state funding of elections on a per vote basis to allow honest people to contest elections and elimination of the guarantee of tenure for senior bureaucrats”.
“Government servants must be held to account for results,” the party demands. Its policies, the SBP claims can transform India once again into the “Sone Ki Chidiya — the freest, richest and most powerful nation on Earth”.