UPA govt completes 3 years in office in 2nd term today
NEW DELHI BATTLING serious perceptions of policy paralysis, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government completes three years in office in its second term on Monday amidst uncertainty over passage of key economic legislations and decisions like FDI in retail and faces tough challenges in the run up to the general elections in India two years hence.
Hopping from crisis to crisis, particularly in the last more than a year, the government presents a picture completely different from its first term, hemmed in as it was by the Left parties then on key issues but still went ahead with its decisions.
Adding to its discomfiture is the current rate of inflation, which crossed the double digit figure in April, and the overall economic situation marked by downturn in manufacturing and worrying tax collections.
Economist-turned-politician Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who even risked his government in the first term on the Indo-US nuclear deal, appears to have been buffeted by scams, especially the 2G scandal, a spill over of the actions of a minister in the first tenure which have come to haunt the government in the second term.
Scams relating to Commonwealth Games and Adarsh Housing Society have only added to dent its image further.
Crucial allies like Trinamool Congress, which appears to have more in common with those outside the government, have put paid to implementing decisions like FDI in retail or the setting up of an anti-terror hub National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
The coming Presidential election in July is one more challenge to the UPA, which is yet to decide on its candidate, though two regional parties—Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have taken the initiative of propping up former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma.
Interestingly, his own party NCP, which is part of the UPA, has distanced itself from his moves.
As things stand today, the Congress-led UPA has an edge in the Presidential election in an electoral college with a vote value of nearly 11 lakh.