Power & Politics
Prime Minister must get his House Maths right for the people
Anyone who has something to hide or fear runs away from dialogue and debate. Instead of taking detractors head on, they take refuge in whispers, vendetta and verbal vandalism. Such cowards are subjecting India’s parliamentary democracy to the worst kind of assault.
With the numbers stacked against the Congress, its floor managers are not willing to take any risks. The conduct and posturing of UPA leaders betrays their lack of confidence. Last week, its floor managers used every rule in the book to stall any debate that would expose the Government’s numerical minority. For voting on the floor of the House on subjects like inflation and black money, even UPA allies and sympathisers wouldn’t want to be seen being on the Government’s side. Opposition leaders like L K Advani, Sitaram Yechury and others are determined to prove that the Prime Minister has lost the confidence of not only the allies who are part of the Government, but also of those who are supporting the Government from the outside. On the other hand, Manmohan’s floor managers and promoters are equally aggressive in preventing Parliament from giving any number-driven verdicts against the Government. Political compulsions prohibit all political parties from wanting a mid-term poll and hence they are refraining from making any move that might bring the Government down.
In fact, the ruling establishment is seriously divided over the manner in which parliamentary business is managed. No UPA minister has been able to infiltrate the Opposition. Worse, hardly any of them commands respect or has a reasonable rapport with those who matter in the BJP or in other powerful opposition parties. Sadly, the weakness and irrelevance of the few individuals in the Government has made the Prime Minister’s position shaky and untenable. Already weakened and crippled by various scams, any question mark over the majority the Government enjoys in Parliament subverts the Prime Minister’s authority. If Manmohan wishes to regain his political clout, then both he and the Congress has to dispel the impression that the Government does not enjoy full support in Parliament, even though public perception feels so. The sooner this is done, the better it is for the stability of India’s political system. firstname.lastname@example.org