Sunday, December 12, 2010

Manmohan Singh has become a liability for the Congress

On the eleventh day of the Mahabharata on the battle field of Kurukshetra, a day after the greatest warrior of his time and commander-in-chief of the Kaurava armies, Bhishma Pitamah, had fallen to a bed of hundreds of arrows fired at him by the Pandava Arjun, hiding behind Shikhandi, a half-woman, against whom Bhishma was duty bound not to fight, the new commander-in-chief, Dronacharya, decided to bring an early end to the battle by capturing alive Yudhishthira, the putative king of the Pandavas. Coming to know of the enemies' plan, forgetting every thing else, the Pandavas concentrated all their energies and forces at protecting Yudhishthira and they were able to do so though at great sacrifice. The present political scene in the country, particularly the ding-dong battle over the Opposition's demand for instituting a Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into the labyrinthine affairs of the Commonwealth Games and 2G spectrum scams, which between them are believed to have caused a loss of gigantic Rs.225 lac crore or US$50 billion to the public exchequer, reminds us of the costly escape of Yudhishthira.

Despite repeated prodding from its own allies in the ruling UPA to accede to it, the Congress party has been steadfastly rejecting the Opposition's demand for a JPC because it fears, and rightly so, that its nominated prime minister, Manmohan Singh, would be unable to explain to the JPC his own failure as the leader of the government in preventing the massive loot of public money. Congressmen, irrespective of their seniority in the party, have been asked to rally round and defend Manmohan Singh by aggressively taking on the Opposition leaders, often raking up the long forgotten scandals of those six years when today's main Opposition grouping was in power at the Centre.

The winter session of Parliament is over without JPC being instituted and it seems at this moment that Manmohan Singh has survived but in the process he has perhaps used up his entire political capital. Now on, he will be a severely handicapped prime minister and his a lame duck government.

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