Saturday, March 14, 2015

The oped you won't see

/Begin fake oped.

Parliament sessions are in progress. The government, now nearly a year in experience is experiencing its first major difficulty. That of passing bills in the Rajya Sabha. The government has resorted to the ordnance route to get the bills, but have now come back to Parliament to seek backing for these important legislations. The biggest stumbling block is on the Land Acquisition bill (though other supposedly minor bills have been sent to a select committee - which is essentially nothing more than a delaying tactic).

The Congress (and the rest of the communal gang) which has a majority in the Rajya Sabha, a legacy of its sweeping victory in the 2009 polls, has two choices. Act churlish and stall the bills (as it seems intent on doing) or adopt a bipartisan approach and work with the government as a responsible opposition.

Sure, the Rajya Sabha is the Congress playground at this point - but the numbers will change and the tables will turn. And the BJP knows it well too - having disrupted Parliament during the UPA rule and   now the boot on the other foot. (A minor point here is that BJP disruptions were over real scams - 2G, Coal blocks missing files and misappropriated money and a certain private citizen - apart from Telangana - whereas the current disruptions are all about self preservation.)

Perhaps, just perhaps, this may be a time for the Congress to start working with the government.

Rahul Gandhi, who has just taken a photo opportunity less vacation away from the generally photo opportunity laden vacations that he takes, might do well to come back and announce that he has decided to take this important step in Indias development and strengthen the hands of the government.

It may also be a golden opportunity for Ms. Sonia Gandhi, to come out and show some statesmanship. The famous inner voice can come out of the confines of 10 JP and perhaps make a speech (and virtue) of helping the BJP pass these bills so necessary for development.

The other minor point to remember is that Congress has not exactly done well in the state elections - actually in no state elections post May 2014. It is also at the lowest point of electoral victories at any point in its history. So, while the Congress can make a big show around land acquisition bill and act as it is acting on farmers interests where even it knows that the new bill is a huge improvement over its flawed bill, it is fundamentally on quicksand.

Modi has won the elections on the basis of development - and a successful projection of Congress is both corrupt and anti-development. Indeed Modi has won the election on a pro-development platform which has decimated the communal stands of the other parties (yes, we are 'supposed' to call that secular, but I am bypassing political correctness here).

Remember, this government is indeed taking real steps to help last mile delivery - which is perhaps the best work done in this area in 60 plus years post independence. Well executed projects like the Jan Dhan Yojana, Pahal are just the beginning. Getting targeted subsidies via Aadhar into bank accounts will help reduce leakages and fraud. These are projects where the poor can see a real difference.

It does not take a genius to figure out that Modi will take that question to people, in say, the Bihar elections and all his other communication platforms and use it to paint Congress as opposed to any sort of development for the poor.

Right now, the Congress is playing on expected lines. But it has a golden chance to confuse the NDA strategy, plus earn the rah-raahing of the Lutyens club on statesmanship and bipartisanship.

Will Sonia Gandhi rise to the occasion?

/End fake oped

PS: No media will write something like this. Ever. Ask yourself why.
PPS: Media will go ga-ga over Congress for anything and everything. The emperors new clothes syndrome it is called. They don't need to do anything. And won't. 

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