Politics of obstruction


Modi government finally had to give up the idea of extending the Monsoon Session of Parliament and with this the expectation of major reforms in national interest like GST also came to end. Now, the government will have to wait for these reforms till Winter Session. The entire Monsoon Session was washed away due to Congress stern attitude and extreme negativeness, but the Central government hopefully did not prorogue the session expecting that the situation will improve and the country’s grand old party will understand its responsibilities in the context of Parliamentary business. This hope shattered with Congress leaders’ statements that the Parliament won’t be allowed to function without the resignations of Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh. The Congress has also hinted to interrupt the Winter Session in line with the Monsoon Session. Such indications not only disregard to people’s mandate but highlight the gross negativity and anti-people attitude of Congress. How strongly such attitude is condemned is not enough. The Congress is harming not only its own prospect but also nation’s. It put hurdles on the path of GST which was proposed by Congress-led UPA government. Now, it is almost certain that it will be difficult for the government to implement GST, which is billed as an urgent reform, from its scheduled deadline of April 1, 2016. The date of GST implementation has already been extended several times and in the present situation, it’s likely to be delayed by another year.

In the case of GST, the Congress can argue that when it was in power at Centre, the BJP too didn’t support the government, but it can’t hide its negativity with this logic. Congress’ strategy to stop the GST Bill clearly shows that it is working with the spirit of revenge. Rahul Gandhi, who is not able to differentiate between aggression and negativity, is at the center of Congress strategy. The aggression without political maturity can’t benefit any party. The lack of political maturity was also reflected in Rahul Gandhi in last session when  the Congress firstly refused to hold any discussion in the Parliament until Sushma Swaraj’s resignation in Lalit Modi issue and when the issue was discussed in the last days of the session then the party had to face embarrassment. The Congress is seeking resignation of Sushma Swaraj along with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in connection with Vyapam scam. It remains adamant on resignations of three BJP leaders without making it clear that what norms were flouted by Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje? It’s refusing to see that the CBI is probing Vyapam scam case in the supervision of Supreme Court. Neither has any case been filed against Shivraj Singh nor any court has made comment against him in connection with Vyapam scam. At what basis, the Congress is demanding his resignation?

The Congress probably is showing more aggression and negativity to hide confusion over its internal problems specially Rahul Gandhi. The much-awaited coronation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president once again got delayed. The decision of extending the tenure of Congress president for another year made it clear that she will be face of party, while Rahul Gandhi will devise the strategies. It seems that the party hesitated to elevate Rahul Gandhi because of it’s not very confident of Bihar poll results. For the last few years, Rahul Gandhi’s political strategies have been falling flat. The Congress doesn’t want that soon after his elevation, Rahul is blamed for another setback. It proves that the Gandhi family is not ready to accept the electoral debacle. Manmohan Singh was blamed for scams erupted in the UPA II and Congress’ humiliating defeat in the general elections. It happened when entire nation was aware that Sonia-Rahul was interfering with the functioning of Manmohan Singh government and because of that credibility of Prime Minister’s Office got affected.

It’s surprising that despite getting only 44 seats in the general elections, the Congress is neither ready to accept it nor for introspection. The way the Congress is heading towards crossroad, it is making its own mockery. It must be aware of parliamentary tradition that issues pertaining to states should be raised in the assemblies concerned instead of the Lok Sabha. It’s true that the Congress has right to oppose ruling bench with some limitations. The Congress is not only adopting the strategy of stopping government by stalling the Lok Sabha but also misusing its numbers in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress must ponder over that its negative politics is giving wrong message among the common people. It’s facing political loss. An example was seen in Madhya Pradesh civic body polls in which the BJP got landslide victory. Something similar happened in Rajasthan and Bengaluru too.

Lashing out at the Congress at Bhopal, Chandigarh, Saharanpur and Rishikesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed party attitude as anti-development, saying that common people must see its anti-people character. It’s certain that he will remain aggressive towards Congress in the days to come and the common people can’t leave him unheard. May be Rahul Gandhi calls withdrawal of Land Acquisition Bill as his victory, but the truth is that Rahul has no match for Prime Minister in popularity. He has no capacity to present his views boldly. As per some surveys regarding Bihar polls, NDA seems to getting edge due to Modi’s popularity. It will be premature to predict about Bihar poll results, but it’s clear that the Congress has bowed down before RJD and JDU to counter BJP in Bihar. In this context, it’s need of the hour that the Congress rethinks on its attitude and doesn’t impose its ego to the country’s interests. It’s not true that any opposition party is seen stalling development and reforms schemes to satisfy its ego. At least, the grand old party is not expected to do so.

(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on Sep 13, 2015 translated by the English editorial. The author is the Group Editor of Dainik Jagran)

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