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Has the hyper-nationalist campaign by the BJP doused the NYAY fire

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The 2019 Lok Sabha Election features two narratives. For Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, the focus is on unambiguously be on national security and nationalism, and for the Opposition, it is largely been unemployment and NYAY - the minimum income guarantee scheme.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi

The Opposition claims that its promise - of handing out a dole of Rs 6,000 per month directly into the bank accounts of the poorest 20 percent of India's households - will be a game changer and enough to vote it back to power.

The scheme, NYAY, acronym for Nyuntam Aay Yojana, will put the exchequer under a burden of Rs 3.6 lakh crore, according to a calculation that it will benefit 5 crore family units (comprising 25 crore individuals on an average).

There are myriad questions around the scheme which the party has not answered or deliberately kept vague, taking recourse to generalised statements such as "it is doable", "we have consulted the best economists and they have backed the plan", or "we will do the math when we come to power".

There is no clarity on whether this scheme will subsume other subsidies that the poorest are entitled to. This seems to have given BJP's narrative of nationalism an edge. What's your take on this?

Has the hyper-nationalist campaign by the BJP doused the NYAY fire?

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