Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A tough call for UPA

A tough call for UPA

A disaster is looming large and nobody is talking about it; thanks to Advani-Modi row, match-fixing, Railgate and what not
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, like all harassed finance ministers, always looks for a ‘fall guy’. His recent utterances suggest that it is RBI Governor D. Subbarao’s turn. Subbarao is firmly targeted on inflation—particularly consumer price inflation—and would not budge an inch by lowering policy rate until he sees result on the price front.

But prices have belied all hopes given periodically by government sources. After 2010, when inflation spun out of control, government spokesmen began assuring at every opportunity that the “worst is over”. Actually it was only the beginning. Perhaps to convince the RBI Governor, a stickler for monetary discipline, some tentative measures were taken to bring down WPI inflation under five per cent, but the retail inflation raged 9.39 per cent in May, with food inflation at a dizzy 10.65 per cent. In the mid-year policy statement last week, Subbarao was naturally not amused.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Front for Disaster

India, like any other nation, can only be ruled from its center, not the periphery. In 2014, it will be either UPA-3 or NDA-2. Every other speculation is wild imagination laced with wishful thinking

Now that we are into the final year of UPA-2, political soothsayers cannot have a day off. Yet the business has got messy. Their usual two-option game, with heads for UPA and tails for NDA, has taken a tricky turn this time round for two reasons. Congress, which is the fulcrum of the UPA coalition, is stressed after two terms and its partners, having sensed it, are leaving. But NDA, the flipside of the betting coin, is also heavily corroded. BJP’s projection of Narendra Modi, its trump card no doubt but too tough a cookie nevertheless, has left NDA co-members and potential supporters jumping in their skin. Even if BJP gets the numbers, if it insists on being led by Modi, it will be difficult for it to gather enough friendly shoulders to lift it to government.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finally, Modi has arrived

The apprehension about Modi originates from the notion that he is bent upon changing the content of India’s politics, not merely its form.

Narendra Modi’s almost certain emergence as BJP’s leading figure in the next parliamentary poll—whenever it happens, next year or later this year—is a reminder of a past and significant chapter in India’s political history. It is the rise of Indira Gandhi as a populist leader, triggered by her splitting the venerable Congress party in 1969. The Congress was never the same again. The foreboding from Modi’s selection as chairman of his party’s campaign committee, and almost overnight marginalization of its established hierarchy, is that the BJP is at a historic cross-roads, like Congress in 1969. Maybe there will be a new BJP now, something like BJP (Modi), just as the new Congress, and the one that mattered in future, carried the sobriquet of Congress (Indira). About BJP’s Goa conclave. the metaphor that comes to my mind is drawn from our national epic, the Mahabharat. It is the Udyog Parva, putting Modi in the leadership position of his side. It is “prelude to the war”, as in the epic. On the winning side, there were many who were pacifists, Fabians, fence sitters, or in secret league with the enemy. Likewise, Modi too has too many dissenters.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

'All is well now'

What happened in fixing & betting ridden game of cricket- where all interest group ganged up against Sharad Pawar, may happen in 2014. Times have changed !
It is nobody’s case that BCCI’s “stepped aside” president N. Srinivasan—a man of questionable morals and monumental ego—deserved being treated with respect at the Board’s working committee meeting on Sunday. Particularly so as reports of unprecedented corruption through IPL matches “fixed” between betting bookies and cricketers acquired an ominous edge, with Srinivasan’s son-in-law, under detention until Sunday, allegedly being the chief link between the dishonest bettors and the players willing to be corrupted. While the father-in-law controls the company that owns an IPL team—itself betraying a glaring conflict of interest—the son-in-law was its boss. It is nothing short of a miracle that the tainted BCCI president has got a reprieve by simply stepping aside, and not fired.