Mamta jolts the UPA
She shows the way on how to be decisive
Nothing still seems to have been lost for the Congress-led ruling United Progressive Alliance if the combine reflects on its sense of timing and take decisions as and when required. How a timely decision or a stitch in time cane save the situation has amply been reflected in the manner in which the UPA put up a united face to name Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee as their Presidential candidate. Though belatedly.
Politics is a game of strange possibilities. Sometimes the decisions taken by the political adversaries tend to become favourable for the rival camp as much. And the Congress leadership should be eternally indebted to mercurial Trinmool Congress chief Ms Mamta Banerjee for creating such a situation and ultimately jolting them out of slumber. The rest, as they say, is history.
It could be a one-off chance that helps retrieve the situation through sheer quirk of fate. The Mamta-Mulayama episode should act as an eye-opener for the Congress leaders and managers that they simply cannot sit on laurels and wait for things to take shape automatically be it on the administrative or the political fronts.
A dangerous situation had developed wherein the two UPA allies had almost plotted a coup against the ruling combine due to sheer indecisiveness of Congress president Mrs Sonia Gandhi. As she and her band of advisers sat indecisively, what unfolded was a dangerous intrigue which could have further added to the prevailing state of political uncertainty in the country.
Had Ms Gandhi taken an early decision on Presidential candidate, she could have acted quickly and discreetly to stitch up support, it could have prevented Ms Banerjee from running a mock with her political antics.
There are political lessons galore in the Mulayam-Mamta episode to be learnt not only by the rival combines led by the Congress and the BJP but also by Ms Banerjee and people of her ilk. The first and foremost is that the sense of timing and capacity to take decisions matter a lot in politics particularly in the prevailing fragile era of coalitions. Secondly and more importantly for Ms Banerjee; Pragmatism and reasoning still has a strong place in Indian polity despite all its degradations.
The indecisiveness most of the time is interpreted as a weakness, as is the prevailing case with the UPA Government and the Congress dispensation. Both Prime Minister Singh and Gandhi should realize that there is no virtue in hiding behind the facade of “coalition compulsions” while avoiding decisions on key issues. Ultimately, the dictum that the system runs with authority is also true in the running of a coalition.
How a right decision could change the course of events, could be gauged from the manner in which naming of Mr Mukherjee as Presidential candidate set-in a fresh thinking in the entire political spectrum. Rather than setting the agenda on this front for the nation and particularly the Opposition, an indecisiveness Congress leadership almost played into the hands of their adversaries.
In all fairness, the old warhorse in Mr Mukherjee and his party president should thank Mamta for creating a situation where he is likely to emerge as an uncontested winner. It is on account of the inherent strength of the Congress and more so Mr Mukherjee’s solid track-record of service to the nation that he is being perceived to be invincible.
The run up to the prestigious Presidential elections could have been planned in a much better way had the Congress and the BJP acted in decisive and timely manner to prevent the tardy moves of people like Mulayam and Mamta. Beset with their own leadership crisis, the BJP leadership was as casual on the issue of Presidential election as their arch-rival the Congress. The contest could have been much healthier had the BJP also adopted a cohesive approach on the issue.
Mukherjee, a veteran of four decades in politics, has been called the Congress party's chief trouble-shooter and crisis manager. When his name first surfaced as a potential candidate for the presidency, a Congress spokeswoman said he was too indispensable to the party, but media reports suggested Mrs Gandhi was uneasy about installing a man in the presidential palace who was unlikely to prove as compliant as his predecessors.
He is lauded for his ability to reach across party lines, but critics say as finance minister he has been too complacent, failing to rein in spending on fuel, food and fertilizer subsidies and win cross-party support for reforms to boost flagging economic growth. Since delivering his latest budget in March, he has also come under fire for his tough stand on tax proposals that scared off foreign investors and insistence that the euro zone crisis is largely to blame for the economy's woes.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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