Helpless Manmohan, Hopeless Opposition

I don’t think any prime minister in India was so poorly rated as Manmohan Singh today. A recent ‘India Today’ survey of young persons in India ranks him at third position after Sharad Pawar and Dinesh Trivedi. The country men today hardly see Manmohan’s initiative except in the global summit that he loves to attend. He might have created a record of a sort. Whenever Manmohan tries to assert and make his presence felt as in case of Nuclear Bill or present FDI in multiband retail sector, the parliament and the country as a whole goes into chaos. Can we blame the opposition only for this? At least in present case of FDI issue, the country could have avoided the chaos. Manmohan could have gone for the announcement of the cabinet decision after the winter session. The country was waiting for Lokpal Bill and Land Acquisition Bill to be through. FDI could have waited for few days. Now even a layman on the street smell a conspiracy of the government in bringing the FDI issue to kill those important Bills. Manmohan knew his inability to bring his allies on his sude, as Pranab takes cares of Mamta’s mood, and Sonia Gandhi DMK supremo.

Interesting the survey mentioned above has equally worse ranking for Advani and Gadkari. The country perceived for a long time that BJP would go for FDI in retails. Its opposition is strange and particularly the logic given by the party and its stalwart against it. All the economists and industrialists can’t be fool in talking about its merit. When Jaitley says that its time has not come, does he mean that the country will have to wait for BJP led party to come in power at centre and then only FDI time will arrive? I wonder how all the experts of the country be wrong in their assessment. I am sure the people of the country must be really angry even against BJP for making the parliament not work. And FDI in retails can’t be more important than other bills and issues such as black money and inflation could have been taken up more seriously and debated.

I wish the political parties enumerate the policy issues of national importance and keep on getting referendums in all the elections that keep on coming in India to understand at least the feel of the people.

It is good that print and digital media has come out with huge lot of information because of the controversy and made the people more knowledgeable but it doesn’t bring the change as there is hardly any ongoing interaction between the parliamentarians and the people of their constituencies. Moreover it’s only few key members in opposition who matter on all these issues that block the working of the parliament. It’s whip rather than conscience of individual members.

MPs must however work and may be someone approaches the apex judiciary to find out if the acts of the parliamentarians are in the interest of the people of the country. Can they keep on stalling the parliament? Will they keep on getting their remunerations for not working for even minimal hours? Will they go for a self imposed discipline at work?

One can only pity the prime minister after seeing Mamta talking on behalf of the government about the temporary suspension of FDI in retail and get morose with the way Advani looks at the possibility of fulfilling his ambition to be in the highest chair. Why can’t he take a lesson from his peer Atal Bihari Bajpai?

It seems the reform has undergone for permanent burial. I wonder why BJP is so funny. Perhaps all the major political parties must distinguish between the interest of the country and that of the party.

PS: Replying to a debate in the Rajya Sabha on price rise, Mukherjee read from a 2004 interview of leader of opposition Arun Jaitley in which the senior BJP leader had said that organized retail trade on the international pattern would be promoted as a new engine of growth and that sourcing of Indian products by foreign retail chains would be encouraged.

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