The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday said the Manmohan Singh government was in a state of drift and lost its direction though there were no obvious factors of instability.
“A curious political situation has been prevailing. The UPA government, which marked its completion of two years in office in May, is seen to be drifting devoid of any direction. Faced with one corruption scandal after another, the government has tied itself up in knots — first in trying to evade the issue and then improvising to somehow limit the damage … While the loss of direction is a fact, the situation is curious because there are no obvious factors for instability. As far as the government is concerned, there is no political threat which has emerged. None of the allies in the UPA has deserted them nor have any of the parties which have extended support to it from outside withdrawn their support. Why then is the government appearing to be weak and beleaguered,” CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat asked in an article in the latest edition of party organ, “People’s Democracy.”
Identifying corruption and neo-liberalism as factors behind it, he said that after being hit by a series of scandals, the image of the UPA government had been dented with the latest being the censure by the Supreme Court for not being serious in bringing back black money stashed away abroad and constituting a Special Investigation Team.
Mr. Karat said high level of corruption was threatening the very integrity and credibility of the government. “The wages of neo-liberalism are the corruption and the loot of public resources,” he said, adding the government had been acting as the handmaiden and facilitator of this process.
“The Prime Minister and the Union Cabinet are at the heart of this process. That is why the architect of liberalisation is now directly feeling the heat of these corruption scandals which are endemic to the policies and the framework that he has pioneered,” the CPI(M) leader said, adding representatives of three sections of the nexus — politicians, bureaucrats and big businesses — were today lodged in jail.
Even the government’s greatest supporters — business and its lobbies — were bemoaning the fact that it had failed to push ahead with neo-liberal reforms while some were talking of loss of investor confidence, others were criticising the Prime Minister of being indecisive and ineffective with discord between the party and the government.
The inability of the Congress leadership and the UPA government to politically address the issue of corruption stemmed from the fact that it was inherent in the economic regime which they had instituted. “We saw the eruption of high-level corruption earlier under the NDA government with the same economic regime,” Mr. Karat said.
He said the issue of high-level corruption would not go away despite whatever fire-fighting tactics the Congress adopted and the fact that the Prime Minister and the Congress leadership were criticising the Comptroller and Auditor-General and judicial encroachment in the sphere of Executive showed their desperation.
That the government was losing the battle for winning the minds of the people for its version of fighting corruption was resulting in the Congress leadership spinning the web of a conspiracy. Recently, Pranab Mukherjee, the number two in the government and seniormost Congress leader, had accused the BJP and the CPI(M) of ganging up to “support self-appointed messiahs” like Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. Mr. Mukherjee alleged that the CPI(M) was helping their attacks on the parliamentary democratic system.
Mr. Karat said: “We should be grateful that the Congress leader has not added the CAG and the Supreme Court as partners in this conspiracy. As for parliamentary democracy, it is Pranab Mukherjee and his colleagues who have repeatedly displayed contempt for Parliament. The latest instance being the postponement of the monsoon session by two weeks.” Hindu