If you think even from a socio-politically fragile perspective, the present political drama in India offers much to look at, enjoy, scoff at derisively and, finally, be sad at.
In last one week, the Coalgate has found echoing fillip in government’s moves like diesel price hike, reduced number of subsidized LPG cylinders and FDI norms in multi-brand retail, single-brand retail and broadcast sectors. The atmosphere got a perfect dumping dose in complimentary developments like the Economist ripping into the political persona of Rahul Gandhi based on a book. And continued popping up of the ruling coalition members' names in the Coalgate was the perfect topping.
And all this is still ‘is’ and given the way winds are blowing, it is expected to remain ‘is’ for a long time to come, giving us more spoilt food for thought. For our bellicose politicians, the charged-up political atmosphere is its own spicy and sumptuous food.
The immediate and the spiciest condiment to it is the upcoming Gujarat assembly election that is expected to be held in December.
Narendra Modi has been running Gujarat since 2001 and has done all to create a cult-like figure for himself though he has not been able to distance himself from the ignominy of the 2002 Gujarat riots. But given the political vacuum in the country and success of his development plank in Gujarat, he has emerged as the tallest leader among the poor lot of politicians ruling the roost.
Now if he wins the Gujarat election again, he will be a much more powerful contender for the central political position in the national politics in spite of all the dark patches. Though anything can happen but ground realities of Gujarat’s strengthening middle class favour him. That will certainly be the sharpest blow for the Congress party and the UPA when it goes for the next general elections asking for a third term in the office and that too, with a figure like Rahul Gandhi who is now being explained with terms like ‘mute spectator’.
So what can be the logic behind recent bravado of our comfortably numb economist of the yore who is also the prime minister, Manmohan Singh?
Could it be some sort of spiritual awakening after all the massive wrongdoings he has allowed his government to be in, given the left, right and centre criticism? No doubt, Manmohan Singh has been the central figure of the all sorts of jokes and satire in his second terms as the prime minister.
Naah! That could never be we can say safely given the way he is choosing his words to big-mouth the achievements that are never there in real terms. See PMO Tweets and website to realize how beautifully Statistics can be manipulated.
See, what the politics of the day can do to a thinking and intellectual human being.
If Gujarat is the ammunition that is making BJP to exploit every possible anti-Congress development to drive home the electoral mileage, upcoming general elections is the prospect that the Congress party is gunning for and the recent policy bravado is just the beginning.
What might be behind this ‘reform policy resurgence’ is the arrogant mentality of the Congress party that again became public when the accidental home minister Shushil Kumar Shinde said that public had a short memory and it would forget the Coalgate like the Bofors scandal.
So Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and other Congress strategists (?) might have thought to fill the coffers of the government so that they could present a populist budget before the next general elections, be it in 2013 or 2014. A political line of analysis emphatically says it and UPA track record supports it.
The UPA-2 government has failed miserably and their policy-handicap would certainly be looking at measures like the massive farmers’ debt waiver scheme as they did before the 2009 general election.
There are more and spicier ingredients to add to the jamboree.