The next two years!
Till the next General Elections in 2014!
Critical for very many big projects to take-off!
Labour unrest, big infrastructure projects like
Delhi Metro Express PPP model, Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor etc
FDI, India-China, India-Japan and South Korean industrial ventures all need to be tackled on a war footing!
Is there the will-power? The political vision and the leadership?
In fact, there is only 19 months for the next General Elections in India. Already there are tensions of a basic natures are building up in the Indian polity. For one thing, Pranab Mukerjee has been elected as the President. So, there is a depletion of talents in the government and the Cabinet in particular.
Sharad Pawar, the agriculture minister and also a heavyweight leader in his own right in Maharashtra as well as at the national level has revolted against the Congress and the government. He had protested for the way he is treated and had, as reports say, sent in his resignation from the Cabinet. So too his other colleague, another member of the Cabinet, Praful Patil from the Nationalist Congress party(NCP)the key ally in the UPA.
Now, the way things are happening in the Congress there is every possibility that Rahul Gandhi might be elevated as the party president or vice-president as well as a member of the Cabinet.
Before the euphoria of the son rising is celebrated, Pawar had struck.
This has dampened the mood in the Congress party.
Now, whether this government would last out the rest of the term is a big question.
There are many contenders for the Prime Minister’s job.
Yes, the top job had been reduced to the street fight for the obvious reason that Manmohan Singh had devalued the high office.
His government would go down as the most corrupt of the entire Independent India’s history.
Now, for Sonia Gandhi to act as if she is still the leader of the party and the government seems a bit comical.
So, as Pawar had complained in his letters to Gandhi and Singh, that the Congress doesn’t consult its allies, all key appointments, be it Governors or nominations for the Rajya Sabha have become the playthings for Sonia Gandhi.
She acts, with no majority, she needs some one hundred and odd more MPs for her to survive in politics, and she is behaving as if she is a sort of the infamous French Queen!
So, what to make of Singh’s own unconcern or own dream-like existence to say that the next stage of economic reforms would be on the way!
It is very unlikely. The man is so office-grabbing conscious; he doesn’t speedily assign the finance minister’s portfolio to a new comer. He is continuing to hold on to this job also!
So, what we saw when Pawar sent in his resignation?
Pawar’s letter reaches Sonia at 5.30 PM on July 19(2012). Around 6.10,that is hardly after 40 minutes Sonia rushes her adviser, Ahmed Patel to Pawar’s residence to plan with him. This is the first time Sonia has acted so fast!
As Pawar was unrelenting, both Sonia and Singh started acting still faster! Sonia wanted to meet Pawar the very same evening. The Maratha strong man was unwilling. So, the next day he went to see Sonia who pleaded with him to stay on in the job.
How Pawar can is by far the most senior and the most politically powerful. His junior, Sushil Kumar Shinde, a Sonia favourite but a nobody in the faction-ridden Maharashtra politics, is now to become the leader of the Lok Sabha.
Pawar is also now faced with the prospect of taking orders from Rahul, a greenhorn, even at his age of 42 and this only might have provoked Pawar to act. Another event, rather the trigger, was that in the Cabinet the second slot so far occupied by Pranab, was taken over by A.K.Antony. Though a very honest man, Antony, compared with Pawar is a lightweight as well, even in his own Kerala.
So, simply being a hatchet man of Sonia Gandhi is no more a factor that would play in favour of any ministers. It is all now over.
From now onwards, it is pure and simple blatant power politics that would decide things. Even Mulayam Singh Yadav seems to have started making noises for an early election to the Lok Sabha. He wants to cash in his own recent triumphs on the national scene.
So too, Mamata Banerjee who has now threatened the Congress by saying she would go it alone in the next elections.The point is that political stability an also political legitimacy are critical for the Indian government to survive and also to deliver on the many promises Singh is making as if it is a routine job!
It is not. Already, there are two critical areas where things are not working, things are going backwards.One is the rather bizarre scene of labour unrest. In Air India, in Maruti and also elsewhere there are industrial unrest. This is no good sign that our economic growth can be revived or speeded up as imagined in such a simple way. Second, the infrastructure projects.
Here we have to learn lessons the hard way. We just have to see what is happening inside China today. Compared with the gigantic infrastructure projects in China, be it the airports, or the railways, India is not just the poor second. India seems nowhere!
The Chengdu International airport in the Western China and the Pudong International airport at Shanghai are gigantic achievements. When we returned from a recent visit, we saw once we landed at Bangalore International airport, Bangalore airport looked like a rural airstrip!
Yes, literally! Once we stepped out of the Bangalore airport we walked to the half-finished concrete floor, half done and the rest still needing a finish!
When we saw the Bangalore city Metro strip of the 7-km line, it all looked like work in progress!
No gardens, under the rail pillars or over the walls, all the walls and structures showed bare concrete! Oh, what a difference we saw in Shanghai! The Shanghai urban landscape were a contrast. Clean, all greenery, trimmed and finished as if yesterday! All the underpass and elevated roads were all painted white. When we saw the Bangalore bare concrete walls, we couldn’t but tell ourselves: oh, may be, we in India don’t have that much money, funds to do such a super job the Chinese have done!
Of course, there is no point crying hoarse. Let the Prime Minister, if he reads these lines, at least know that in India there are others who really want India to get inspired by China, Japan and South Korea before we aspire for our American Dreams!
Indians needs to learn much from the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean companies, in so many new technologies, be it infrastructure projects, railroads, highways, speedy rail technologies, tunnel drilling or such other large-scale housing projects etc.
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