The Congress is strategising its game plan to counter the ongoing crisis, but this is something it has been executing masterfully for decades. Whenever the Congress has been at the helm of affairs, it has always managed to pull through the crisis. No Congress-led Government has ever lost a trust vote in the history of independent India. The last example was 2008 when the Left parties withdrew support. This time itâ€™s the Trinamool Congress (TMC) walking out of the alliance over the governmentâ€™s decision on diesel price hike and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail.
Analyzing the options which emerge for a likely ally of the government, the Samajwadi Party (SP) presently, will not break away from a secular alliance, obviously because of its crucial vote bank. It will not side with the NDA for the same and for the formation of a third front TMC and the Left will have to be on the same plank, which is impossible. The SP also feels that if they withdraw support and the Government does not fall, it will be a major embarrassment with no gains. They would rather like to get settled in the Government in Uttar Pradesh.
On the other hand, the Bahujan Samaj Party is in no hurry to announce its decision. It has been six months since they got voted out of power in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. They are still recovering from the shocking defeat so no hasty decision is expected from them. As they have lost out in the state they would like to continue taking favours from the Centre rather than unsettling the Central Government.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the DMK, the National Conference (NC) and the Rashtriya Janta Dal being vital constituents of the UPA are strongly with the government. Hence the Congress is assured of a smooth ride in these troubled times.
The last years of any Government in power are like the slog overs in a T20 match. In 2003-2004 just before the Vajpayee Government was completing its tenure there was a blitzkrieg of India Shining, which eventually did not help them. In 2008-2009 when UPA-I was near its completion a slew of reforms took place; the Indo-US Nuclear Deal for the middle and upper middle classes, the farm loan waiver for rural India. The last overs of the UPA-2 are about to begin.
We have seen the leadership take a stand on fuel hike and FDI. This action is reminiscent of the attitude which the government took in 2008. But unlike last time, there is a major burden on the Congress. It has simply conjured an unpopular public perception owing to the varied scams which include the 2G Telecom licenses, Commonwealth Games and finally the latest Coalgate issue. These corruption allegations piling up for the government had rung the knell anyway, and to add to the misery were the antics staged by the Anna Hazare camp as well as yoga guru Ramdev, slamming the government on black-money.
Despite all these setbacks, the mid-term elections are a remote possibly signifying that UPA2-II will survive its full term till 2014. Political management has always been a very strong point of the Congress. But, repeating its stupendous performance of 2009 seems a difficult task.