After 50 days of “pain” will come the “gain”, so said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 November in his public speeches in Goa and Belgaum.:
The people have kept the faith in Modi’s promise beyond the expectations of even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Bank officials, lawyers and businessmen getting caught with tranches of currency notes, and visuals of old currency notes being burnt or thrown in ponds has satisfied the public need to see those with black money suffer.
Visuals in the media of queues outside ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai have also served the same purpose – “the rich” have suffered.
But now comes the test for the Modi government, primarily for the PM himself since he has taken ownership of the note ban decision.
From now to elections in five states, particularly Uttar Pradesh from mid-February onwards, the Modi government needs to keep the political narrative in its favour, particularly as the expected gains are unlikely to match the initial estimates.
The PM’s fist post demonetisation interview will be shown today at 8pm on the TV Today network. The PM is also expected to deliver an address to the nation either on Friday or on the New Year’s Eve. This will be followed by a huge public rally in Lucknow on 2 January.