Friday 30 November 2012

UPA’s new found confidence

All agree UPA’s new found confidence packed with decisiveness and cohesion is better late than never. The government’s new found decisiveness is also a positive sign that the prolonged bout of political paralysis mainly due to appeasement of its allies is drawing to an end. Be it sectoral liberalization or direct cash transfer, its readiness to push reforms overtly is the best response to populist demand. The UPA has rightly paved the way for parliament to function without ceding its right to make policy. Congress has understood that being clear-thinking and resolute works wonders. This helped them to carry their allies too.

The UPA’s readiness to end the ongoing Parliamentary logjam on opposition’s terms; now it is not averse to discussion on retail FDI and even vote under Rule 184. The opposition’s insistence on a vote seems to have worked to the ruling coalition’s favour; it has made UPA constituents close ranks, with even a party like DMK who had some reservations on FDI earlier. With the SP and BSP going with the UPA, it looks confident about sailing through. Since the whole issue is about a key reform, this is reassuring.

Crucial bills – financial sector reforms, land acquisition, Lokpal have been frozen. By demanding a vote on an executive decision, the opposition led by BJP has sent a message that it is bent on challenging the policy-making prerogative of the government. Hoping to oust the UPA in 2014, the BJP should know creating such a precedent would cut both ways. Many an ardent supporter of BJP is upset with this policy of just trying to embarrass the government which may prove to be its undoing. With its own house in disarray with Nitin Gadkari episode, many view BJP’s antics as a diversionary tactic and show that it is still the major opposition party in Parliament.

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