Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Impossible is nothing in race to power/Mail Today/July-07,2008

NECESSITY is the mother of all initiatives. Nine years ago, Sonia Gandhi’s office kept Amar Singh waiting for an appointment he had sought with her and he never forgave her. He persuaded Mulayam Singh to back out from apromise to back her for prime ministership on the fall of the Vajpayee government in 1999, and made nonsense of her famous “Igot 272” claim. Since then the two sides have been daggers drawn, both politically and personally. Yet, for the government’s survival, it was to the SP that the Congress leaders turned. All UPA alliance partners were kept in the dark about the parleys with the SP and the initial feelers were sent through Sonia’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, Amar’s good friend while the SP leader was holidaying in the US. The high command has been wary of engaging him directly due to Singh's aggressive nature and his ability to drive hard bargains. Not to speak of his unpredictable and his impulsive instincts. After the way they stood her up in 1999, Sonia could ill afford another slap from the same palm, which explains why she entered the scene only after the SP made its intentions public. The first sign of this was Amar Singh’s statement that “containing communalism was top most priority for the SP”. The ice melted, Sonia called Amar on phone and later he and Mulayam dropped by at 10 Janpath and the government is no longer in peril. PS: Though SP and BSP had earlier announced they no longer back the UPA, they never withdrew their letters of support given in 2004. As the Adidas ad says, "Impossible is Nothing” applies in politics too.

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