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Early Missteps



There are those who believe that the ‘national’ issues raised by Rahul Gandhi during the recent electoral campaign played a role in consolidating the negative opinion of the BJP among undecided voters. One of these has been the agreement on purchase of ‘Rafale’ fighter aircraft for the IAF. Now that the Supreme Court has not found the need even for a preliminary investigation into the matter, there are no apologies from the Congress, particularly from its President for calling the Prime Minister a ‘chor’. In fact, given the seeming success in influencing public opinion on the issue, the Opposition is resolved to continue with the allegations – truth was never a concern in the first place, after all!

In Parliament, the Congress is seeking a JPC to look into the matter in the confidence that being a part of it would provide an opportunity to further malign the government. The BJP ought to counter this by passing a resolution in the Lok Sabha condemning Rahul Gandhi, in particular, and the Congress, in general, for playing fast and loose with the truth even in matters as sensitive as national security. In the meanwhile, the Opposition is wary of an actual discussion on the subject in the two Houses of Parliament and is resorting to the time-tested tactic of noise and disruption.

On its part, the Congress has displayed little sensitivity to public opinion while appointing Kamal Nath to the post of Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, despite the allegations against him of having led an anti-Sikh mob that killed two persons in 1984. It may be noted that there hasn’t been a peep out of the ever vocal Navjot Singh Sidhu on the issue. Despite the lessons of its own history, the Congress continues to try and exploit divisions within the community for political gains. It may be noted, however, that at least some among the Leftists found it in their hearts to offer, if nothing else, token opposition to the choice.

There are a number of promises that have been made during the election campaign which the Congress will have to implement in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. One of the prominent ones is the waiver of farmers’ loans within ten days. It will be interesting to see how this is done and from where the funds would come. Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh has been trying for quite some time now to blame the Centre for his failure to deliver on extravagant promises that he had made. Do not be surprised if Congress members are seen carrying placards and raising slogans in Parliament seeking the money from the Centre. The more governments change, the more they remain the same, it would seem!