UPA Victory : Nuclear Fallout

The most significant fallout from the UPA victory is probably the emergence of regional parties on the national political stage, especially the power wielded by Mayawati and the real possibility of her as the future prime minister of India.

Being a Atal Bihari Vajpayee loyalist, I am shocked at the levels to which BJP has presently stooped. Though ten years down the line or even today itself, the most significant achievement of the Vajpayee government having credible effect on the common man is the pace at which road reforms were started and the massive pouring of money from both government and private sector into the transportation sector.

One could probably argue the nuclear tests in 1998 to be of most significance, however, that was a promise made in the electoral manifesto of BJP and though I do give him credit for not falling back on his promise; but it was just a decision that was waiting to happen. PV Narasimha Rao was almost about to give the go-ahead and if not Vajpayee, then I guess any other PM at that time would have given the green signal. Plainly speaking, it was bound to happen.

So anyways, the likes of LK Advani and party, do not share an iota of the charisma and respect that I held for Vajpayee. Therefore, people like our PM Manmohan Singh and FM, P. Chidambaran stand tall among the present lot of senior politicians (One can now safely call Manmohan Singh as a politician after the way he led Congress to believe in him and securing a political victory). When NDA held power in the centre, I had respect for Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh. However, with the recent articles in the media about them being the ones who were against the nuclear deal plainly on the basis of BJP being in the Opposition, that respect has diminished a great deal.

And it is this lack of any dynamic personality in the BJP ranks that makes me wish another term for the Congress. It would be an extremely uphill task for them – with all the hoopla surrounding them… cash-for-vote scandal and more importantly, the downslide of economy chiefly represented by the high inflation. The government needs to strongly enforce measures to reign in inflation and at the same time ensure that the business environment is not harmed in any way. With the Left off its back, there is a good chance of the government introducing financial reforms primarily in the sectors dealing with insurance and pension funds.

Secondly, it is interesting to note how it should have been the Left that should have fallen hardest on loosing the trust vote. However, its BJP that has disgraced itself the most and this is ironical. I really wished for Left to take a huge beating in the next elections so that there would never be a situation when the government falls prey to the whims and fancies of such a narrow-minded party. However much they stake their words on ideology and principles, but there is nothing more baffling than CPM joining hands with such corrupt politicians as Mayawati in order to take down the government.

A couple of days back, there was an interesting discussion on the nuclear deal among a few of my friends and one friend claimed that there were some negative points rightly pointed out by certain experts. Most importantly, if India conducts a nuclear test in the future, US and other countries would again impose the sanctions that are presently in place. Now first of all, India has declared a self-moratarium on further nuclear tests since our scientists don’t feel the need of doing so; now even if India does wish to conduct a test in the future, we need to remember that by that time, India would have become a prominent member of the nuclear club, engaged in import as well as export of nuclear fuel, equipment and technology. I say “export”, because I believe in the Indian companies and their capacity to import nuclear technology and equipment, study it, tweak it for better use and sell it back. It is not a far fetched idea and I would not want to be proved wrong. I believe that just like in early 1990s, when the economic reforms were started, there was a huge cry that the globalisation would lead to the demise of the Indian domestic companies as the foreign MNCs would gobble up our market. However, the reverse has clearly proved true with a number of Indian companies becoming MNCs in the true sense of the word; and proved their mettle in various industries. It goes to show the depth and strength of the Indians and their will to succeed against all odds.

Similarly, in the nuclear energy sector, we should not worry much about the future sanctions. Public sector companies like BHEL, ONGC would prove to be more than a match for the foreign nuclear forging companies; and even the private sector companies like L&T, Reliance Energy would definitely jump on the bandwagon and make India shine and lead India to the top ranks of global power!

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Tomorrow is the Tryst with Destiny : Nuclear Stand-off

Here I am…penning on a topic that has been at the centre-stage of national discussions for the last few weeks, generated incredible uproar at the national politics and has led to a confidence vote to be held on 22nd July.

It amazes me to no end as to how a party like Left having such a myopic vision was ever able to hold its own in national politics. And now the highly corrupt Mayawati taking the lead to topple the government. Her rising stature and her self-proclaimed ambition to be a future Prime Minister surprises me to no end. A party like the Leftists, who base their decisions on ideology, have joined hands with such a corrupt politician. And this goes to show the stubbornness on the part of Mr. Karat, who has not been able to gauge the mood of the people. Practically everyone believes that the nuclear deal is good for India and would help to strengthen India’s energy security in the future.

Even the media whole heartedly supports PM Manmohan Singh on the nuclear issue, but Left has to interfere. They seem to forget that they are a Indian political party and are not pursuing the interests of a communist country like China. Even China for that matter, has not raised its opinion against the deal. I just hope that the electorate are able to understand how the Left has blackmailed the government and instead of helping the government in dealing with the economic crisis; it has forced the government to concentrate its energy in keeping itself afloat and be able to complete its term. Hopefully, sane politicians would understand the situation and denounce the Left as the one that has triggered instability and led to the trust vote that was completely avoidable after PM had promised to return to Parliament before operationalising the nuclear deal. BJP is another party that amuses me to no end. They clearly state that they are neither against the nuclear energy nor against a strategic relation with US. They want to renegotiate the deal. That plainly means that they want BJP to go down in history as the party that operationalised such a deal and not Congress. That is completely against national interest, specially as time is running out for India to complete the deal.

So, all fingers crossed while waiting with abated breath for the results of tomorrow’s trust vote. It is no longer a decision that will decide the fate of the government. It is a decision that the parliamentarians have to make about the future of India and its future role in the world. If she has to rise to be a global power then it has to show the world that it is not afraid of making the big decisions for national interest. The PM has showed his resolve in portraying to the world his determination to create history and that is, perhaps, the only positive that emerges from the whole nuclear stand-off. Sonia Gandhi’s admiration and complete support to Manmohan Singh demonstrates her will to take decisions that are in the best national interest and not dependent on the idiocracies of the politics. PM’s decisiveness to stake his prime-ministership on this nuclear deal is something to be applauded and not to be misplaced as ego taking over his consciousness.

I shudder at the thought of Mayawati becoming a PM. Just imagining her in the same fold as people like Manmohan Singh kills me. Even Lalu Prasad seems a better option than her after his amazing effort as a Railway Minister. Unfortunately, its Mayawati who has emerged as the kingmaker from the opposition camp by dramatically rallying the opposition.

Even though as of now, UPA is pretty confident of striking success tomorrow, fears still persist and the close numbers predict a photo-finish. An interesting observation made by Times of India is that the confidence shown by government has given the impression that the Opposition challenge is not firm. Except the mobilisation shown by Mayawati, Independents and small groups have tilted towards the government. The very rare articles against the government fail to make an impression (and believe me…I can be taken for a ride) and therefore 90% of general public must be hoping for the UPA to win the motion tomorrow. It will be a toast to our PM for his unfaltering faith and ambition to take India to the higher ranks of global power.

(*trivia – PM Manmohan Singh will be the first PM not to vote in a trust vote since he is a member of Rajya Sabha)