The euphoria dips fast!
Small minds and small considerations seem to create problems?
Yes, not even the ink dried as they say. Within the first days of Parliamentary session, we saw the lineup of issues and the minds.
The BJP raked up the defence deals and the middle men with a link at the PMO.Though the PMO promptly denied any such links names and their activities tumbled down from the backrooms.
Even before one thought all was quiet came the CBI targeting the NCP and the CPI(M).So said the Hindu editorial which found fault with the timing and the manner of the CBI going about it.The CBI was always suspect and even now the CBI is suspect,in the new dispensation.
The Prime Minister, with all the big numbers behind the UPA is no more or no less a stronger man that he was in 2004.
There is a sort of doubts and suspicions between the top two,Manmohan -Pranab duo are assessing their strengths.This time Pranab has a better bargain power with Mamata Banerjee behind him in one form or other.
Let us not forget that Pranab Mukerjee in his new avatar as the West Bengal Congress Committee which is unique among the other PCCS,there is a vice president,Manas Bhunia, two working presidents Subrata Mukerjee and Pradip Bhattacharya.No other PCC has such a high-power composition of political weight and also elite charactrer.Only the WB PCC has organized such a two day chintan and also inviting all MLAs,DCCs and the panchayat presidents.
The grass roots organizations of the CPI(M) and Trinamul Congress are such that the Congress cant take things for granted as other state PCCS do and in some states like TN where no one cares for the PCC or the TN MLAs and MPs and also the two Cabinet ministers of the Rajya Sabha members have diverse and often conflicting loyalties to not just the Congress president but also to the two rival Dravidian parties,DMK and the ADMK.
So,the West Bengal peculiar political currents and cross currents make Pranab Mukerjee this time a formidable politicallly powerful personality.Given his diplomatic and negotiating and fire-fighting skills the observers would be only too keenly watching how the inner party struggles work out in the days to come.
The PM must tread slow.He seems to be imagining that he is now a freeman to decide things.He is not.First.his express choice for the finance minister was rebuffed.Rebuffed from within the party.Sonia seemed to have taken note and that is why he hastened to say that non-politicans are not welcome into the Cabinet.
Second,the PM,unusual given his accustomed low profile,to give public expression to his finance minister to add programmes for aam aadmi.This also seemed odd.Given the fact that the Congress would play to the aam aadmi and yet given the opportunities and also the wisdom that is needed to devise a radical economic reforms programme,the PM knows only too well that the economic reforms success story would be written only when there is serious thought to a series of priorities,from growth rate to such major decisions like disinvestment to key reforms in all sectors,from agriculture to education to rural development etc.
So such an experienced leader and administrator like Pranab could only be expected to go on a systematic journey.
So,why annoy his deputy,as the PM did?
It is a mystery.May be in the days and months to come the real reasons would emerge.
Fiscal deficit, deregulation of petroleum prices and issuing of oil bonds,defence procurement and much more plugging the leakages in the proposed subsidized rice scheme and also the NREGA implementation.
Before these issues are thought out in some details,came the news of the CBI proceeding against the NCP and the CPI(M).
Why the timing like this?Before some time?And that too in an atmosphere when the CBI has not such a good reputation for objectivity?Already the CBI lost its credibility when it proceeded,off and on,against Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati.
Now to take on the already badly hurt NCP and CPI(M)?
These are serious and sensitive questions.
Governors nowadays are also seen as political tools of the Centre.
New Governors are to be appointed and there is now a great temptation to play politics and very likely to antagonize the Opposition interests.
Now comes the bad news.
The PM is not seen by some insiders as open and objective and fair as he is seen.
The government has come out with fixed tenure for some key secretaries at the Centre and the Chief Secretaries and DGPs in the states.
But so soon after he sat in the PM’s chair,the first thing the PM did was to play favourites to give extensions to his own secretaries,T.A.K.Nair,his private secretary and the Cabinet Secretary Mr.Chandra Sekar were given extensions,one for one year,the other for further orders.
This is the most damaging thing to do,if at all,to demoralise the highly bureaucratic environment around the PM and his government.
Then, the allies’ headaches.
The DMK has shown its real character.After having failed to get what portfolios it wanted it has started playing politics with the high economic policy making.
The DMK proposes to oppose the disinvestment proposals.That would please the Left and might even change the alignments in TN where the relations between the DMK and the Congress are no good and also where the CPI(M) and the CPI are desperate to desert ADMK and join hands with the DMK.
The Trinamul Congress too seems to be opposing the disinvestment and the deregulation of the petroleum sector policies.
So, the two allies, known for their irrational behaviour are going to create obstacles every time.