Home / Politics / Policy /  India needs strong, decisive govt for next 10 years: Doval

New Delhi: India needs decisive leadership for the next decade to ensure that it achieves its political, economic and strategic objectives, said national security adviser Ajit Doval. He also warned that a “weak coalition (government) will be bad" for the country.

India’s democracy is its strength and needs to be preserved, Doval said on Thursday while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture, Dream India 2030—Avoiding the pitfalls. The event was organised by the information and broadcasting ministry.

Doval’s observations on political stability, weak coalitions and strong leadership come at a time when the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government is preparing for the general elections in April-May 2019 to seek a second term in office.

India cannot afford to be weak despite being a democracy, he said. Brazil is doing well at the global level, but political instability has hampered its growth, he pointed out.

“Weakened democracies can tend to make a country a soft power. India cannot afford to be a soft power for the next few years. It will be compelled to take hard decisions," Doval said.

The September 2016 surgical strikes across the de-facto India-Pakistan Line of Control was seen as a strong retaliatory measure to a hostile neighbour’s misadventures following the attack on an Indian military establishment in Uri, where 19 soldiers were killed by Pakistan-trained terrorists. It was one of the rare public disclosures of cross-border raids by the Indian government.

“If it (India) becomes a soft power, then you have to make compromises. When you have to make compromises, your political survival takes precedence over national interests," he said.

“Let there be no doubt about it, to achieve our national, political, economic and strategic objectives, India will need a strong, stable and decisive government in power, by their own right by the total mandate of the people. A fragmented polity can make it considerably difficult for India to realise its dreams," Doval said.

A fragmented polity will make it impossible for India to realise its goals because weak governments are unable to take hard decisions, Doval said. “Unstable regimes are more vulnerable to fragility, corruption and local political interest taking precedence over the larger interests."

To set India on the trajectory of high growth and ensuring unimpeded strategic autonomy, it needs to make critical and crucial decisions, and it would be necessary for the Indian leadership to take hard decisions, to allow India to achieve its destiny, he said.

The “Indian economy is the source of our strength...but it can go wrong. Populist measures should not take precedence over national requirements. It is a temptation," he said. In the short-term, it can cause some hardships to the people, but “fiscal management of economy requires (hard) measures," Doval said.

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