Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PM resignation call


By Manuwant Choudhary

New Delhi: I don't like Delhi.
But everytime I have stayed here for more than a few days governments start falling.
The last time was a few years ago when I just joined NDTV as a reporter my first cub assignment was the Jayalalitha-Sonia tea party, in that order.
In those days Sonia Gandhi made only a few public appearances and when she did she did not speak.
In the lobby of the venue there was only one man in a lungi on a cellphone - Subramanian Swamy - the maverick politician who runs a one-man political party called the Janata Party.
And everyone wondered whether Jaya and Sonia would come. The hall was empty except for a few scribes.
But soon more and more lungi clad South Indians all in white appeared followed by some commotion that was a huge almost Maharani-like Jayalalitha. But there was no sign of the other Maharani - Sonia.
Dr. Swamy remained steadfast...making a few more calls on his cell.
No sign of Sonia or even her Congressmen.
But soon a Kamal Nath appeared and one could be sure that `Madam' is coming.....
Come she did and what a tea party....The 13 month Vajpayee's NDA government fell.
But Sonia's crony's said madam after Rajivji only you deserve to be Prime Minister and the Italian Maharani fell for it...though the Congress did not have an outright majority she wanted to be PM. Mulayam spoilt it for her and elections were called. Vajpayee was back with a safe majority for the next five years. Godhra and Gujarat followed and the Congress Party just watched from the sidelines even when one of their former MPs was burnt alive.
So when the Congress Party got another opportunity for government formation they were wiser and Sonia `sacrficed' her PM chance to a Dr. Manmohan Singh - an architect of India's liberalisation.
Once PM Manmohan did everything the Congress Party, particularly Sonia asked him to.
Manmohan the finance minister did everything to save a bankrupt country.
Manmohan the PM does everything to save a bankrupt Congress.
A decade ago at one of his last fund-raising swimming pool party's in Bombay when Dr. Singh was still India's finance minister I had asked him if he would like to be the finance minister of any other political formation and he had replied, "I am a Congressman."
I had sensed that the United Front - goup of regional party's - would be coming to power. And India's liberalisation was so critical and another coalition which did not go forward on the liberal agenda would push the country back to bankruptcy.
But Manmohan is no Todar Mal.
Todar Mal was the finance minister of Sher Shah. But when Akbar became emperor after Sher Shah died and the Mughals took charge of India, Akbar continued with Todar Mal as India's finance minister simply because he was the best man for the job.
So Akbar became Akbar the Great.
But Manmohan the Great became Manmohan the Prime Minister, thanks to Sonia and then he thought the Congress Party was Supreme.
And so he got into a nuclear deal with Bush thinking that his allies would be with him just as they tugged along on the issue of economic liberalsation.
It backfired.
And most newspapers in the past week have been full of calls for the PMs resignation.
Should he go?
Everyone's watching a red-faced Manmohan these days!

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