July 09, 2008
The Karat approach hasn't worked, time for the stick approach
Yesterday, the Left parties announced withdrawal of support to the UPA government, a little over 4 years after they had first supported it from 'outside'.
Although it has been apparent for a while that the 'Loony Left' will pull the plug soon over the civilian nuclear energy agreement with the USA, Prakash Karat now indicates that inflation was a huge factor as well behind the decision. In fact, the UPA government today requested the IAEA secretariat to circulate a draft safeguards agreement to the IAEA Board of Governors.
As a result, the Manmohan Singh government is in a minority and now has sought support from reliable folks like the Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (S) & the Trinamool Congress to ensure it gets past the half-way mark of 272 seats. The current arithmetic has 226 seats for the UPA constituents and 39 from the Samajwadi Party. Even if you add up those fringe parties and some independents, the number just about crosses 272. That's a huge risk to take given that the government could fall if one of those chaps called in sick or had a brainwave that he shouldn't be supporting a government that he'd opposed for 4 years!
Also, the political price that the Congress (especially) will pay is huge. It is very obvious that support from the Samajwadi Party will require the Congress to reduce the number of seats they will contest in the next elections. In addition, there's a definite corporate agenda as well. The SP's leadership is extremely close to 2 major business groups: Anil Ambani's ADAG & Subrata Roy's Sahara India Pariwar.
Sahara is currently fighting 2 battles: the RBI has prohibited it from accepting new deposits from the public and the UP Government was demolishing part of the Sahara Shahar for alleged encroachment and plan violations.
The Ambani's are at each other's throats again. Anil Ambani's attempts to engage MTN (South Africa) in merger discussions has allegedly been thwarted by Mukesh Ambani's RIL. RIL is obviously making a lot of money from exploration and refining, especially now when crude prices are increasing every day. The Samajwadi Party has asked for extra taxation of 'windfall profits' made by such firms.
With 39 MPs, the SP will ask for Chidambaram & Murli Deora's resignation as well as 4-5 ministries for their MPs. What stops parties with 1 or 2 MPs from also having their own set of demands.
The more honourable thing for the UPA government to do is to resign and call for elections. During the campaign, they can point out why they were right and why the Left wasn't right!
Labels: communist, congress (i), crazy commies, elections, india, left, loony left, nuclear agreement, politics