kapilmishra

Posts Tagged ‘indian politics’

BJP: Need to Update and restart before it’s too late

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Today UPA government is going through a crisis of credibility and leadership and people of India are looking for a promising alternative which can deliver on issues like corruption, black money, exploitation of natural resources, agriculture crisis etc.

The political reality of today is that people are left with limited options, even if India goes for election today with clear anger and frustration in people’s mind against current regime, there is no chance of a stable and credible alternative coming into the power. The reason is the absence of any such alternative.

BJP which claimed to be a party with difference has lost the plot somewhere midway. Advani is absolutely right when he says that issues of black money and corruption were raised by their leadership in the beginning but another truth is that BJP do not get popular support when BJP talks of these issues, reason is lack of credibility in the eyes of masses.

In current political scenario, where Congress is all ready for a transfer of leadership to its new generation and it’s almost certain that country will very soon see Rahul Gandhi as its new Prime Minister, in absence of a credible political alternative, country may go back to the days of mid-term elections, opportunistic short-term political alliances or worse to the unchallenged era of one party rule where sycophancy and blind loyalty will be the only way of governance.

If we look at present political parties and alliances, this gap can be filled only by BJP but it need to reinvent itself and present itself as a credible political alternative to Congress.  Whether Congress comes back to power or not, but a strong BJP as opposition and alternative to congress is what India needs to check balance the power equation and to ensure that people are not taken for a ride by ruling coalition just because there is no real political opponent, and to be very frank the present BJP is not ready to be the one.

First of all BJP need to answer a very basic question,  Why Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev are capturing the people’s imagination and why similar issues raised by BJP go completely unnoticed?  Why even though people are fed up with constantly rising inflation and are willing to come out and protest on issues of black money and corruption but they do not vote for BJP which promises to provide an alternative? We have seen this in recently held elections, BJP has performed poorly in all states.

Upcoming UP elections are going to be real litmus test and will decide the future of Indian politics, with Congress all set for a leadership change before UP elections ( yes, we may actually see Rahul being PM before UP elections) and chances of Loksabha elections also happening around same time are real, it seems BJP is running out of time.  Whether deciding on leadership or it’s position on core political issues or on strengthening the organizational strength, the strategy of delaying is not going to work in party’s favor.

BJP need to come out with a clear political face and also an alternative agenda that can win over people’s imagination, it is not that BJP do not have faces or intellectual strength but the problem is that it lacks the courage to take decisions.  Yes, courage is all it takes.

Another challenge for BJP is to gain acceptance from sections beyond its traditional support base, party need to come up with an agenda that is non threatening to minorities especially Muslims and Christians and that can win dalits, tribals and other communities which have so far kept themselves away from the party.

Another major problem is that BJP did not so far have thought about raising real issues that Indian rural population is battling with, people do not know what is the stand of party on land acquisition or  corporatization of natural wealth or what they have to offer on agricultural issues or how will they deal with farmers suicides and increasing disparity among rural and urban India. So far BJP has been seen replicating the similar policies that Congress has to offer on these issues. People do not want a copycat policy model, they need an alternative and BJP think tank has to come up with one if they actually wish to pose a real challenge to Congress.

Lets take the example of Gujarat, which BJP is portraying as their role model for governance, Gujarat is only replicating Manmohan’s economic model. If replication of Manmohan’s economics is the only strength that BJP has to offer then why not let it be done by the Manmohan himself at the center?

Yes, BJP has to find and develop and then flaunt its “X” factor to win new constituencies and to widespread it s support base.

So far it seems that BJP leadership is just waiting for people to get fed up with Congress and they believe that people in absence of any other alternate option, will bring back the BJP to power. Obviously things do not happen like that in politics and this wait and watch policy may result in an everlasting waiting game for this party. Advani must understand this.

“Change with changing times and reinvention of self” is the mantra for the success and survival of organizations and time has come for BJP to go for it.

A new, reinvented, open to all BJP is the need of hour, it’s now or never for this party though the sad part is that top leadership of Party do not seem to be ready for it.

Jane Mat Do Yaron!!- Present day politics and opportunities for activists

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Five states going to elections in April-May, while the ruling UPA alliance led by Congress party is under attack for high prices and graft scandals, but these polls should not be seen as a mini-referendum on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government.

Political situation is tricky and challenging for those who are working on bringing in policy changes as apparently are major decisions are almost put on hold but at the same time it is also right time for the bureaucracy-corporate-politician nexus to push their vested interests without coming into notice.

This unclear and uneasy situation has its own advantages and disadvantages for activists and people working on socio-economic environmental issues.

Here is a summary of political risks to watch in India:

State elections

Five states go to polls beginning April 4

Congress party hopes a good showing will ease the pressure the opposition has piled on it. Local political factors give Congress and its allies an edge, but elections are unpredictable and an upset could weaken the ruling coalition.

Political uncertainty has already helped as government failed to introduce Biotechnology regulatory bill in spite of declaring the same in presidential address. At the same time a quite approval by cabinet id predicted anytime and chances of making it a big political issue looks grim with inflation, corruption ruling the front pages of all leading news papers (along with ICC World Cup of course).

Analysts see Congress and its allies winning in communist-ruled West Bengal and Kerala on an anti-incumbency wave. They may also retain power in northeastern Assam due to a fractured opposition.

They have a fighting chance of retaining power in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, given the effectiveness of populist measures such as free television sets and cheap grains.

The five states jointly send 116 lawmakers to the 545-strong lower house of parliament and the elections, the first of several state polls over the next few years, are an early test ahead of national polls in 2014.

Corruption

Singh’s second term as prime minister has been deeply tarnished by a series of corruption cases, which have diverted the government’s attention from policy making.

Long-term investors have so far shrugged off the scandals as part of the risks in an emerging economy, but the worries have weighed on the Mumbai stock market which has underperformed peers. This political scenario along with media debates on issues like nuclear energy, coal mines etc. clearly sets the a wrong tone for investors and we can hope for at least temporary delay in finalization of investment deals and this activists and environmentalist some time to gear up for big battle ahead and also to revisit strategies.

The latest embarrassment to the government came from a WikiLeaks cable that suggested his government survived a trust vote in 2008 by bribing lawmakers to vote in his favour.

Police will on April 2 charge former telecoms minister A. Raja with taking bribes to favour two telecoms firms when mobile phone licenses were issued in 2008, an episode that may have caused a loss of $39 billion to the exchequer.

Progress on moves to curb corruption; investigations into the several graft cases and questioning of officials and businessmen and court proceedings in the cases is worth watching closely. With Supreme Court directly monitoring the probe, chances of more senior political leaders going behind bars are looking very bright.

Inflation

India is still unable to get a grip on high prices despite eight rate hikes since last March. Few expect inflation to ease quickly, raising the risk of heightened public anger against the government.

Prolonged high prices will only increase the possibility the government will slip into costly populist measures and slow down on “economic reforms”.

Wholesale price inflation , the main gauge of prices in India, unexpectedly quickened to 8.31% in February. The RBI lifted its end-March inflation target by 1 percentage point to 8 percent.

The RBI, which is comfortable with inflation around 5%, has said it will do everything possible to contain inflation.

Analysts expect further rounds of rate hikes this year. The risk is that too-tight monetary policy could affect “growth” in Asia’s third largest economy.

What to watch: Statements from officials, advisers and central bankers on inflation and policy responses, government data, including weekly food inflation, headline inflation and industrial output, which will provide a gauge of the impact of policy action, domestic protests over high prices. higher crude prices will mean a larger subsidy bill as well as greater inflationary pressures.

Regulatory risk

Investors are keenly watching the telecoms ministry as it considers revoking several mobile phone licences, and the decision could raise questions about the reliability of government contracts in India.

An decision for firms could affect foreign investment into India, especially in the telecoms market which is the world’s second-largest and fastest growing. This will be an opportunity to highlight investment risks and getting the investments delayed on anti-sustainable development projects that are already facing huge public anger and protest.
High end political drama, last minute policy push favoring corporates and public unrest are going to be the order of the day for a long time to come.

For those who want to bring in positive policy changes or halt the negative ones, this is the time to learn few tricks from sachin tendulkar, wait for week balls to score runs, build your inning and ensure a victory for the cause.

One thins is sure that current Political situation will definitely give rise to good opportunities, right opportunities and also perfect opportunities to bring in/halt policy changes, the motto should be “Jane Mat do Yaron!!”

(Info Source- moneycontrol.com- Key risks to watch in India)

Indian Politics will not be the same again…

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Sonia Gandhi will be ceremoniously declared re-elected unopposed as the National President of Indian National Congress on Sept. 3, 2010.

She will become longest serving President of this political party (yes longer than J.L. Nehru and Indira Gandhi).

But repetition of past in Indian politics will stophere. Everything that will happen in coming few months will be full of drama and unusual both in terms of process and outcome.

Starting from Congress Party- within one month of her re-election Sonia will appoint new team including  all state unit heads and also 10 general secretaries, 25  secretaries, 6 spokespersons, 1 treasurer that together comprises Congress Working Committee.With possible 33% women reservation in party posts and one person-one post formula being implemented in the party, this will lead to replacements of ministers in UPA govt. and change in political equations with in Congress.

With UPA touching lowest figures in terms of popularity, chances are we will witness some major reshuffle in Union Cabinet ( however no bets on Manmohan continuing as PM thoughPranab has already taken over  his job politically).

New Congress team will definitely be different and will upset good many influential leaders in Congress party and some of them may decide to fight for their survival from both inside and outside party circles.

Rahul will continue focusing on Uttar Pradesh but Court verdict on Ayodhya scheduled in September will definitely affect all present equations ans scenarios. If Govt. is aware of the verdict ( which is highly possible) then chances are Congress may showcase Rahul as great problem solver who will publicly announce solution of Ayodhya issue ( several rounds of talks between Hindu-Muslim religious leaders have already taken place and only finishing touch to the final compromise is left, Rahul of course has no role in it so far but he never had any in Vedanta also).

A sudden announcement of Ayodhya Solution before or immediately after Court verdict will go hugely in favor of Congress, but seeing the sensitivity of issue and its potential of charging emotions, one slight mistake may  provoke communal tension( violence also in selected areas). BSP will be the only loser in case of Communal violence however both Congress and BJP will benefit from a limited span of communal tensions followed by Ayodhya verdict.  No one knows what will happen after Ayodhya verdict but one thing is sure Indian politics is all set to change.

On other hand BJP-RSS-VHP are also trying their best to be part of possible solution of Ayodhya conflict and will not allow Congress to go away with any political gains alone.  This is their only hope to fight back in Uttar Pradesh.[I must remind you that this court verdict is not related to what happen on 6th December 1992, but this is in response to a question put by then President of India in 1993 asking  Supreme Court to find out whether there was any temple at the disputed site before 1528 and Supreme Court has further asked High Court to investigate and find out].

Other than these two possible catalyst to political drama in coming months, there is another interesting twist waiting to happen.In light of terrorist attacks and informations related to their funding sources, CIA has forced Swiss bank and Vatican Bank to share their secrets. India has also signed a deal with Swiss bank on 30th Aug. 2010 in this regard. Chances are Government will have access to these names and something may come out after Obama’s visit to India. We still have to see how it will affect our political circus.

We can say that  BJP-Congress coming together on nuclear bill in last session was nothing in comparison to political drama that lies ahead in coming months….wait and watch….

pikchar abhi baki hai….