The PM’s bold measures to revive the economy could herald his finest house in office
One answer to the question should come with the way the government has dealt with Mamata Banerjee’s ultimatum. If it continues to remain firm as it has in its dealings with her, it will signal the strength of its resolve to risk its survival in office to uphold the national interest.
Even more significantly, the BJP, which championed reforms when it was in power but has now become the pied-piper of a no-holds-barred populism, will find it hard to sustain its fierce opposition to the government.
He took that risk when, in the face of stiff opposition from the CPM, he pushed through the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal the CPM that had to eat crow.
For a prime minister who is cautious to a fault, such risk taking must surely be rooted in hard-headed calculations.
Armed with the backing of his cabinet and that of his party’s leadership, the prime minister made bold to take the steps he has taken. That such boldness wasn’t expected of Singh shows the extent to which analysts have underestimated his ability and willingness to rise to the occasion.
Each one of the measures announced over the past few days is thus a pointer to a dramatic change in the prime minister’s approach to governance.
Don’t Cave In
Mamata’s exit is the UPA’s opportunity to uphold a politics of conviction
The purpose of acquiring power is to govern. If coalition compulsions make governance impossible, exercise of power becomes an empty shell. Thanks to Mamata Banerjee, the UPA at the Centre put a moratorium on policymaking. She hobbled virtually everything it tried to pursue: reforms, land acquisition revamp or boosted strategic ties with key neighbors like Bangladesh. Now that UPA-II has shaken off policy paralysis, she’s walked out. Clearly, her backing for the government depends on its kissing reforms goodbye. For the UPA, that’s an unaffordable trade-off.
Extracts of an article by Dileep Padgaonkar
The Times of India, New Delhi
Thursday, September 20, 2012