Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during World War II, is hailed by many as the man who saved Britain from Nazi Rule. His leadership and political steadiness is what made him a legend. Simultaneously one could easily see the stark contrast, during the same war, where just on the other side France looked destined only to fall.
Between January 1946 and November 1947, France saw 6 different heads of states. Politics was in chaos and the pressure of World War II was the main reason behind. It was the prime example of how even leaders can panic during crisis. World War was a real crisis, unlike the situation faced by the Indian government where it deals with threats from Mamata Banerjee everyday.
Till this day, the only thing Mamata has proven is that she is a wannabe dictator, especially to the UPA. The Congress seems to have lost its backbone. We all knew that Manmohan Singh was weak but the feebleness shown by Sonia Gandhi is something totally new. To me the only reason Congress is keeping up the shenanigans of its allies is the lack of political analysis. Congress’s pundits are reading the situation completely wrong.
The loss is in U.P, more importantly, the failure of Rahul Gandhi has left a deep but unnecessary dent in political brains of the Congress high-command. Instead of looking at 2014 elections, they are trying to avoid the fall of the government. In reality though one can employ any permutations and combinations but mid-term polls are not possible. UPA-2 will surely last its full term. It’s not because Congress will keep its allies under control, but because no political party will benefit from it.
UPA’s biggest thorn, Trinamool, is on a very sticky slope. TMC’s performance since its rise to power is abysmal. Rapes and dead babies mean that if Mamata goes to polls now, she will lose in Bengal and hence will lose strength at Centre. Another side is that even if she withdraws support, UPA will not fall because Mayawati’s BSP and Mulayam’s Samajwadi Party will be there to keep Congress in power.
Obvious question might be that how can I be so sure about BSP and SP’s support? Well, it’s all about political relevance and long-term plans. Immediately after the loss in U.P, Mayawati has joined the Rajya Sabha. It’s obvious that she is looking to use her political jugglery in Delhi and is in no mood to fight another election. So her support to UPA will remain intact.
In the case of SP, its election manifesto was full of promises that can’t be kept without the centrr’s help. We are already seeing mobs lining up in front of Employment Exchanges, demanding “Unemployment Benefits”. Farmers were promised free electricity, etc. All this is not practical at all due to monetary constraints. Mulayam Singh understands this very well. He also knows that the money for all this can only come from the Central Government. So, SP will keep its support to UPA. If needed they might officially join UPA, but will not let UPA fall.
There is also no pressure from the opposition as well. There have been mutterings by BJP about Mid-Term polls, but no real effort at all has been made. BJP’s national position is weaker than it was in 2009. Their seats have gone down in Punjab. Their ruling CM in Uttarakhand lost the elections and Karnataka, the only southern state they rule is still shaken by Yeddyurappa’s revolt. Moreover, they have no penetration in North Eastern states. Any election now or even an year later will not help BJP regain power. At the most, Congress might lose seats and the 3rd Front might get stronger. But still UPA will make government.
Moreover, the Annual Budget has laid foundations to Congress’s revival. Every analyst says that this budget had nothing for the “Aam Admi”. But who is this aam admi. Middle Class is not the aam admi or a potent force in deciding elections. Farmers and Rich Businessmen are what make and break governments. And Congress has taken care of them, atleast the farmers, in this budget. Loans worth 6.5 lac crores to farmers and a discount of 3% on on-time payment of loans by farmers, clearly show intent to woo the farmers.
Finance Minister has also devised a brilliant plan to solve India‘s investment needs. Now, real estate firms can borrow money from foreign investors. Pranab Da will not say it openly, but it is aimed to bring back the Black Money into India. Already some money used in Construction comes from underworld bosses and are a means to convert money from Black to White. Now, even the money stashed in Swiss banks will be converted from Black to White under the canopy of foreign loans in construction industry. So a class of businessmen is clearly happy.
If Congress looks the situation in this perspective, they can surely see that they are in good position to rule, and rule well for next 2 years. Even Anna Hazare threat is sedated. This might just be the best to enact reforms and policies and reap the results before 2014 elections. The question is whether the Congress will realise this. Governments come and governments go, Prime Ministers rule and Prime Ministers go, but the least a 64 year old democracy deserves is a stable government. Just keeping up the coalition to stay in power is not stability.
Dinesh Trivedi is a Cabinet Minister and not a personal property of Mamata Banerjee. It is government’s responsibility to make sure its ministers get the respect they deserve. Sacking of former Home Minister Shivraj Patil made sense but sacking a minister who is trying to avoid another Air-India like disaster shows nothing but political cowardice. Moreover, it looks like an attack straight on the integrity of the government. Congress needs to return to political sanity. They need to start helping themselves by actually helping the nation. Forget the Mid-Term Polls and start administering the country now!
Abhay Nidhi Sharma