Inevitability of Budget Session Washout

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(M S Shanker)

The “Budget Session” is doomed to be paralyzed particularly with the Rajya Sabha not passing  the GST Bill among other key economic reforms.

Except for passing the “Budget” without debate and also the ‘Railway Budget”, the combined opposition are bound to stall the proceedings in both houses.  Of course, the NDA will bulldoze its way due to overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress Party strategy or game plan is simple.  For the dynasty, it is now or never for its survival.  Attempt the Congress Party to rally all the so called secular parties – more aptly pseudo secular parties – and the leftists to stall the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha.

Quite a few of the opposition parties, for their own electoral prospects, are bound to join hands with the Congress Party to paralyze the government. After all, confusion and crisis would provide an opportunity for them to portray both the mainstream political parties in bad light and gain advantage.

All of them opposing the Modi led NDA government realize that the Modi led NDA is losing its credibility and popularity among the masses. The BJP’s humiliating defeats in Delhi and Bihar indicate the political downslide of the BJP.

In retrospect, the Congress Party wants to take revenge not only on the BJP but also on the “We the People of India” for the electoral drubbing they got in 2014 elections.

On social front, the Congress Party is vociferously accusing drubbing the BJPs ‘hidden agenda’ to disturb the secular fabric of the nation by thrusting the “Hindutva” ideology. For example,  RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat just before the Bihar polls of ‘reviewing reservation policy of SC/STs’, followed by fringe and ‘motor-mouthed’ remarks of several of BJP leaders regarding establishment of “Akhand Bharat”, saffronization of education system and construction of Ram temple at Ram Mandir.

Added to this are several unsavory incidents like Dadri (lynching a minority Muslim for storing or eating beef meat, killing of writers in Karnataka and Maharashtra all leading to several intellectuals, including scientists, queuing up with returning their literary and other awards bestowed on them alleging ‘growing intolerance’ in the country ever since right wing BJP took over the reins.

Ironic, but true, even the ‘fringe’ including Narendra Modi’s own cabinet colleagues have made statements damaging the interests of the party.  Of course, the rebel, Shatrughan Sinha, has been quite vocal in criticizing Modi.

Now, a series of crises have exploded to include: ongoing controversy over OBC quota to the JATs in Harayana; the JNU stand off; suicide of Rohit Vemula at the UoH; the continuing terror strikes in J & K; and the flip flops over Indo-Pak talks.

Should Modi led NDA government concedes to JATs demand, it is bound to have contagion fallout!  Protests in more violent forms will be resumed by the ‘Pattidars” in Gujarat and the ‘Kapus” in Andhra Pradesh.  Also, there will be demands from other castes for reservations lying dormant as of now.

It is bound to have a backlash from the sections of society already listed in the SC, ST and OBC list.

On the economic front, the Opposition accuses BJP of pursuing policies of benefitting only the Corporates and ignoring the poorer sections of the society – anti poor and farmer.  To justify their allegations, the Opposition also quite often cites the way the government doing favors to Adanis and Ambanis.  Modi’s promise to ‘bring back black money from the Swiss Bank’ is also cited as a failure.

Viewed in the above super charged atmosphere, it is most opportune period for the Congress Party strategy to make an all out effort revive its political fortunes. So, it cannot afford to allow the  passage of the GST Bill and other economic reforms simultaneously raising hue and cry over anti-Dalit and minority issue, the JNU, UoH and other student issues besides the flip-flop over the Indo-Pakistan peace forays.

The Congress Party surely realizes that the passage of the GST Bill (first proposed by the UPA only) would accelerate the pace of economic growth and development beyond 8% and may even reach double digit with the “Make in India” push accelerating by 2019.

If so, it would be advantage Modi and the NDA during the election campaign of 2019 if not even in the state assembly elections earlier.

Except, the first winter session in 2014, other parliament sessions were more or less washed out.

Quite obviously, the grand political strategy of the Congress Party is to resort to ‘destructive’ rather than ‘constructive’ politics.  Even a layman can understand the vicious politics in full play.

The justification for such destructive politics is that the BJP had also indulged in destructive politics during the UPA-II rule.

None can deny the charge against the BJP. But, the BJP justifies their act as they were waging “India against corruption” agitation which was the most heinous national security threat that engulfed the nation. So, the BJP feels the Opposition’s claim of ‘repaying in the same coin’ holds no water.

Is the Congress Party vicious tirade justified? Yes. After all, politics is a ruthless game played in pursuit of power.  So, political parties will stoop to any level even at the cost of national interests to achieve their goals.

Of course, people are the final umpires over the electoral prospects in 2019.   They are no more gullible.  They can see through the games politicians play particularly the lies in the name of pre poll promises they make to gain power.

The justification for the current mess or crisis explosion by the BJP is simple. They inherited a nation in crisis or under siege from the wrong-doings of the Congress Party led UPA-II.  And, they have during the past nearly two years rule  have put the country back on firm footing and brought down inflation and ignited the growth trajectory, which is being acknowledged widely by renowned financial institutions, including the World Bank.

In fact, Modi by his active international diplomacy has projected the image of India in a favorable light to the chagrin of the Congress Party.  Everyone is looking to India in favorable terms.

So, the claim of BJP that the barrage of allegations and accusations leveled  against it are  ‘manufactured’ only to embarrass the government which has come to power with massive people’s mandate to ‘weed out corruption from grassroots and put the country developmental path’.

Undoubtedly, Modi and his government have succeeded in fulfilling some of their electoral promises by aggressively pursuing its own laid out foreign policy winning accolades all over and ensuring ‘corruption free government at the Centre’.

Furthermore, Modi has succeeded in putting “Make in India’ mission on the right track.

Meanwhile, the conspiracy theory is gaining currency to destabilize  democratically elected Narendra Modi government. Modi has chosen to let know the world by saying “the Congress and other Opposition parties are unable to digest a ‘chai wala becoming the PM of this great country.”  He justifies the theory by further stating that his government’s decision to crackdown on several NGOs, especially the urea lobby his government taken initiatives to eliminate the scope for black-marketing.

Furthermore, the debate over “Patriotism” and “Nationalism” is gaining momentum.  And, the demand for uncontrolled freedom of speech sans responsibility is already stormy. Whether the latest major encounter in Jammu in which four jawans were killed by militants, help cool down the tempers of Opposition and provide some reprieve to the BJP, will be known when the budget sessions gets underway next week.

As a matter of fact, the Congress Party, which tasted worst ever defeat in the independent India in 2014, somehow wants to destabilize Modi government.  It is willing to sacrifice ‘bigger brother’ role even by compromising to play second fiddle to regional parties like the JD (U) and RJD in Bihar, with DMK in Tamil Nadu, may be with BSP in upcoming  UP elections and with Leftists in West Bengal.  All these alliance proposals of the Congress party were only to prevent or neutralize BJP.

The Congress, which criticizes the BJP for aligning with PDP in Kashmir only to grab or form power, is unashamedly willing to join hands with Communists to take on Mamata Banerjee’s TMC and BJP in West Bengal.

All these alliance proposals of the Congress party were only to prevent or neutralize BJP.  The Congress, which criticizes the BJP for aligning with PDP in Kashmir only to grab or form power, unabashedly willing to join hands with Communists to take on Mamata Banerjee’s TMC and BJP in West Bengal.

Whether the latest major encounter in Jammu in which four jawans were killed by militants, help cool down the tempers of Opposition and provide some reprieve to the BJP, will be known when the budget sessions gets underway next week.

In retrospect, politics is becoming weird in India. Political leaders know very well that “One Week is too long a period in politics.” Political forecasting or crystal gazing is not easy. One thing is certain. If ever modern India disintegrates again, political institutions – Legislatures, the Executive and the Judiciary, are to be blamed for working at cross purposes with each other even on the core issue of unity, integrity and prosperity of India.  And, media houses are also to be blamed for adding fuel to fire.

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