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Between price hike and rising inflation, India moves towards general Election
"Although a part of the intelligentsia supports the move of the left parties to quit the alliance, majority of people still blame the left conglomerate for not taking up the issues seriously that affected people living at the grassroot level."
Basudev Mahapatra : July 9, 2008
Withdrawal of support by the left parties conglomerate on the issue of nuclear deal has really put the nation under tremendous pressure and lots of apprehensions. Starting from market leaders to the general consumers, everybody is now blaming left parties and the UPA for constant political instability that adds to the problems like unprecedented price rise in the country and the plight of common consumers.
The Left-Congress conflict and the political instability in UPA
Since the day India stepped for 123 Agreements, the left parties made itself a deterrent force to the congress led UPA government that started political instability at the centre. The reason placed by the left party leaders before public was possible threats to national security and allowing US to push its nose freely into India’s nuclear and security policy affairs. However, left parties and most of the parties in the opposition asked for an open discussion in the parliament on the pros and cons of the deal which an adamant Congress Party couldn’t accept and rigidly denied to go for it. So the distance between two allies in the government widened and finally the Left parties quitted on July 8, 2008.
When the norms of the agreement are supposed to get an approval only after a thorough discussion in US senate and verification by various other bodies, what was the point in not discussing the same in our parliament? Congress leaders should have allowed the deal to be discussed in both the houses of parliament to resolve the conflict and political controversies.
Otherwise, the conflict on nuclear deal could have been resolved by going for public voting or popular consensus on the deal. The government could have opened up the terms of the deal before intelligentsia and general public and sought the opinion from people whether to go about it or not. Internet platform could have been used for voting with registration of the voter ID number. As Internet has become the most used platform by the whole intelligentsia, this could have been the best way to take a decision that free from any political bias. But neither the congress nor the left leaders wanted this because it would have overtaken their power and political authority and handicapped them from drawing mileage out of the controversy.
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In the name of Nuclear Deal: Primary Issues neglected
Although a part of the intelligentsia supports the move of the left parties to quit the alliance, majority of people still blame the left conglomerate for not taking up the issues seriously that affected people living at the grassroot level. When the tussle on the issue of nuclear deal was on, few other developments took place that had severe impact on common people. The major development in the economic front was hike in petroleum product prices that resulted in an uncontrollable rise of commodity prices leaving the wallet of most consumers insufficient for shopping. What people expected from the left leaders to raise the issue and insist the government to set a price control mechanism in the country to safeguard the interests of a larger population. But the left parties didn’t raise the issue as people expected them to. Now, people put further blame on the left parties for quitting the government and forcing the nation face an election before due at such a situation when the country is encountering serious economic issues.
However, with the support from SP parliament members, UPA government is now in a bit safer state. But the priority is still on the nuclear deal. The plea is that the deal has to be finalised before president Bush relinquishes his chairs. But the question, why UPA is so desperate to finalise the deal with Bush? What would be the problem with the next president? Possibly, because the Congress government is looking for an achievement to show in the next general elections to combat the issues of price rise and inflation to be used by NDA and other opposition parties. A fresh government in US would delay the process depriving the present UPA government of taking electoral advantages of it.
Ever since rendering its support to UPA, SP is also behind the nuclear deal and not hinting upon issues like price rise and inflation and their impact on common people.
The priority now should be on developing a mechanism that can control the market prices and the Indian market free from oil monopoly and international pressure. If done, this would be the greatest achievement UPA can show to people and seek vote on the basis of its works.
In fact, nobody wants an early election in India. But the only thing people desire is to shift the priority to resolution of issues like price rise and inflation control.