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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bleak future faces the Congress

by Dina Nath Mishra

Political vacuum has expanded in the last quarter of a century. Fragmentation of political parties is causing concern to the country's polity. The growth of caste-based parties and its leaders is gaining ground. All this is the cumulative result of political policy and opportunism practised by the Congress.

It was by sheer accident that the Congress alongwith its allies and outside support of the Left is ruling the country today. The result of the 2004 Lok Sabha election did not deliver the Congress a clear mandate and authority to rule the country. The hollow secularism, devoid of positive content, manufactured an unnatural alliance to rule such a great country.

The Congress with its allies got 35.8 per cent of the total votes and BJP and its allies got 35.9 per cent votes -- slightly more than the UPA. The remaining seats went to other parties. This can't be termed as a clear mandate. It is a confused authorisation to rule the country. The transparent contradictions have resulted in mis-governance.

The Government came into being on the basis of common minimum programme which was never adhered to the satisfaction of the common people. During these four years we have heard about verbal fisticuffs, not only with the Left but also among 'firm' allies. It was the most unnatural alliance ever witnessed at the Centre. Why did such situation arise?

It was result of vacuum created by the Congress itself. How did it happen? The Congress was always dependent on votebank combining Muslims, SCs, STs and a regional caste here and there. After 1960s the Muslims started deserting the Congress gradually. Kanshi Ram organised SCs in phases and they too deserted the Congress.

Meanwhile, the implementation of Mandal resulted in consolidation of OBCs and a few parties espousing their cause sprang up. Thanks to VP Singh for the disastrous social harmony political operation. This left the Congress to vote-baseless and its all India character thinned. In a nutshell erosion of its vote-banks caused loss of status of a powerful pole of Indian politics.

How much erosion has taken place in the Congress? There are 10 States having 25 or more Lok Sabha seats; UP (80), Bihar (40), West Bengal (42), Madhya Pradesh (29), Rajasthan (25), Maharashtra (48), Andhra (42), Karnataka (28), Tamil Nadu (39) and Gujarat (26). In how many States out of these 10 Congress is ruling today.

In one-and-a-half, -- Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra in alliance with Sharad Pawar. You can imagine that the ruling party at the Centre doesn't have as many as eight and half big States to rule. Now let us come to the other side.

There are eight States wherein the Congress has zero Lok Sabha seats and these include Kerala which sends 20 representatives to Parliament.

Further, there are seven other States where the Congress has one Lok Sabha seat each. In a situation like this what type of mandate did the people give the Congress to rule at the Centre? Therefore, this manipulative Government, full of contradictions, can't fulfil the promises it made during or after the election. And that also explains how far four continuous years it mismanaged the country's affairs in almost all spheres.

The year 2007 saw another ignominy inflicted by this Government. The selection of the presidential candidate passed through several pulls and pushes and ultimately a President was selected and elected and that brought historic shame to the 1.1 billion people. I only pray and hope that no person of present President's immoral low would ever come to occupy the high office in future.

And what is the situation in the economic arena today. Even after four years the GDP growth of the country remains where the NDA left it.

Inflation in the last week was ruling at a high of 7.57 per cent which means playing havoc with the aam admi by unprecedented price rise. In last four years price rise has ranged from 75 to 100 per cent. You go to vegetable market; you will feel it, you go to grocery shop, you realise that your pocket has been picked. This is the story of whole of the food-basket, medicine, transportation cost, house-rent and electricity bill. On the other side, manufacturing has slowed down infrastructure stands stagnated, internal security is in the state of inertia. Dissatisfaction in aam admi has increased.

In a situation like this, the Congress loosing States likes Punjab, Himachal, Uttarakhand and Gujarat is not surprising. Now it is the turn of Karnataka. In the next phase, Delhi, MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh would go to polls.

There is no doubt that the people are angry with the Congress.

In the General Election also, they can't hope much. Things are not encouraging for the Congress in the next phase as well as in the General Election.

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