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The 2014 general elections to the 16th Lok Sabha promise to be momentous in more ways than one. The elections and the pitch by political parties are going to be impacted by a number of trends emerging in Indian society. There is the youth factor and the middle class which is seeking to assert itself politically.

Weak leadership at the centre has meant a pronounced tilt towards regionalism as evidenced not just by the creation of the new state of Telangana, or assertion by regional leaders in Bihar, Chhatisgarh, MP, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal and Maharashtra, but also by the emergence of Narendra Modi in Gujarat as a strong prime ministerial aspirant.

The common man’s anger, anguish and frustration with political corruption, apathy and crony capitalism stands reflected by what happened in Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party emerged as a political force in Delhi and now its leader Arvind Kejriwal is hoping to make an impact nationally in the Lok Sabha polls.

In many towns and cities across India, urban voters feel empowered and awakened and all of this makes the 2014 elections extraordinary and momentous. Every vote will stand to count as political parties beg for your valuable vote and promise nothing less than the moon in their bid to come to power.

It is therefore important that the voters and political parties stand well-informed about the priorities before the nation. The political parties will need to draft their election manifestos with these priorities in mind just as the voters will need to make the right choices in terms of whom to vote for. To assist in this process, the Pune International Centre, one of the newest think tanks in the country has published Innovating India: Road Map 2014-19, identifying 13 priorities for the next government.

As presented in detail in Briefing, these priorities include the need for fiscal consolidation, rejuvenation of the manufacturing sector and employment growth, creating a robust innovation ecosystem and providing a boost to agriculture through technological inputs and intervention.

A society that is well-informed is well-armed and well-prepared to deal with the issues of the day. Do read and reflect on the priorities listed by the leading thinkers, scientists, economists, social workers and journalists of the country and write to us with your thoughts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abhay Vaidya

 

 

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