By Janardhan Janumpalli
In India parliamentary democracy appears to be rapidly fading away. Thanks to third front politics and the emergence of a potpourri of regional parties. They have effectively blocked the formation of a viable national alternative to congress party. The appearance of BJP with ‘hindu’ religious flavor also did not help much. This has resulted in coalition governments of a dozen or more parties led by local satraps, with all hues and colors. The resultant ‘common minimum program’ and ‘coalition dharma’ have started the casualty of parliamentary democracy. In UPA-1, it has become more pronounced. Though outwardly there was some facade of governance by PM and cabinet, the Commonwealth games and 2Gscam like scandals have clearly shown the erosion of authority and sovereignty of central government i.e. PM and the cabinet. In the follow up to these scams, it was clear that real governance has gone in to the hands of quasi constitutional or ‘de facto’ authority of UPA Chairperson. In UPA-2 it has almost transformed into ‘de jure’ authority; people also started believing that UPA chair person is the government head. The PM has become a mere figure head and a ‘robot’ in the hands of chairperson. The ministers in the cabinet virtually turned in to marionettes.
The UPA has a chairman in Smt.Sonia Gandhi. There is a core committee comprising of members of the partner- parties in the government, advising Chair person in formulating policies based on CMP, whetting them and taking decisions. The PM and a handful of central ministers are the members of the committee. Again in this committee, only a few members have the ear and confidence of the Chair person. Then there is a coterie, which filters the decisions of Core Committee and hands down it’s considered opinions, which invariably the Chair person, approves. After that, these decisions are handed over to PM for placing in the cabinet and pass them as government decisions, like ‘pouring water in to the conch to make it holy water’. The avowed objectives of UPA should be primarily the achievement of CMP, and then considering and taking decisions on current issues as per the exigency and on the merits of the issues, to address legitimate aspirations of people from time to time. But in reality it is not like that. Whatever discussions take place in core committee and decisions arrived on current issues, the coterie filters them from the point of view of their own hidden objectives. If we analyze the style of functioning of the UPA-2 we can infer, that the objectives of coterie are 1.Accumulating as much money as possible in party coffers for spending in elections.2.Winning power in 2014 for Congress Party. 2. Making Rahul Gandhi PM. It has come to this pass, because we as a nation cannot conjure up any other meaningful agendas except Nehru – Gandhi family and ‘hindutva’ with the the regional agendas mixing in freely at the time of elections.
For this government, the overriding criterion is accumulation of money for winning elections and making Rahul Gandhi, PM. The coterie will be examining every major issue before the government from this stand point, and make the government act accordingly. Thus virtually the central government is run by UPA chair person and her coterie, undermining the authority of PM and cabinet in our parliamentary democracy. The PM was systematically clipped of his wings, and is gradually reduced to a helpless on looker. To express it in our vernacular ‘ulloo (a proverbial owl’)banake bitha diya usko’ by Sonia and her coterie. The ministers in the cabinet were reduced to pedestrians, who simply walk along as directed. The cabinet has become like a secretariat to UPA.
There are several types of government in political science. Sonia’s government is peculiar; it has mixed characters of a few. It is a government by a chosen few with a central authority of a family of mother and son. It can be called a hybrid of oligarchy and a monarchy. It definitely is not the parliamentary democracy which our constitution ordains. In keeping with its primary objectives of winning elections and making the family rule the roost, a coterie is formed to oversee the accomplishment of these objectives. The hierarchy of Chairman, core committee and coterie work through their endless Machiavellian political games, as the PM and cabinet waiting in the wings to implement their decisions.
Telangana movement, particularly during the last two years has posed a great challenge to Sonia’s coterie. Telangana people did everything that was possible to express their ardent desire for demerger of the state, because of the treachery and organized exploitation of andhras. Instead of honoring their earlier commitment and fulfilling the aspiration of 4 crore people, the congress party and the central government chose to side with the oppressors of Telangana people and tried every Machiavellian political maneuver to subjugate them for Andhra political- money mafia. Sonia and her coterie as per their proclivity of money bags and political numbers, are playing ball with andhras and trying to micro manage Telangana leadership with all kinds of unscrupulous political practices. They used myriad types of draconian methods on Telangana people to suppress the movement. They are shifting their stand on the issue depending on the rise and fall in the intensity of struggle and dragging it on indefinitely. They are turning a blind eye to the death of about 700 people; 1 1/2 of months ‘sakala janula samme’, total paralysation of administration, a loss of thousands of crores to state revenue, great crop loss to farmers etc., They tried to make it a war of attrition and make Telangana people responsible for the loss. It is a classic case of dictatorship in democracy. The ominous silence and sadistic stubbornness of Sonia Gandhi in recognizing the decades old angst of Telangana people, the draconian politics in the state by Governor and brutal police raj by the state government in trying to suppress Telangana movement are the characteristic features of the type of government the UPA is running in the country.
The sinister politics of Sonia Gandhi and her coterie have devastated the lives of Telangana people. It is Sonia Gandhi who has ignited the hidden desire in the hearts of these people in 2004 and snatched it away from their hands in December 2009 at the behest of Andhras the scourge of Telangana for the last 55 years. Since then they are making mockery of the Telangana peoples’ struggle for the demerger of the state, by their unscrupulous political maneuvers. They have come to value the money bags and their number of MPs more than the 4 core peoples’ democratic aspirations. They now aver that if they give Telangana now, BJP will win the next elections and therefore want to drag-on this issue till 2014 on false promises. But, by this time everybody understood the ‘modus operandi’ of Sonia and her coterie. Nobody is buying their Machiavellian overdo. Their political management is going to be counterproductive. Whole world, not only Telangana people are watching the political intransigence and chicanery of Sonia’s government with interest. After all we are in a democracy; you cannot go on fooling or intimidating people for ever, with your authority. Some time or other you will be caught in the vortex of the ire of the people. The gory details of the economic may hem created by her cohorts, the Andhra political mafia in Telangana will be known more clearly in the coming days, through the CBI inquiry of Jagan and CBN and the relentless struggle of Telangana people. In fact these two enquiries cover only a part of the loot made by andhras in Telangana. It is surprising how such a gargantuan corruption is being ignored by UPA government, unless they are a part of it.
Sonia Gandhi missed the chance in December 2009. If she has shown some character and statesmanship, she could have obtained a win-win situation. By 2014 things would have settled down in favor of congress. But she has chosen a wrong strategy coming under the influence of the ‘Thugs and Pindaris’ of Andhra with the connivance of her coterie, who are suspected to be in their pay all along. Now she is a hostage to her own Machiavellian political management. The cunning Andhra congress is blackmailing her not to act in favor of Telangana. If she still delays the decision and gives Telangana some time before the elections or leaves it to the results of 2014 election it would be a lose-lose situation. The need of the hour is statesmanship not ungracious politics, for which andhras are known since the beginning. Telangana people will not rest till they get their state back, whatever the unholy alliance of coterie and Andhra congress do. Banking on andhras for a few political numbers more in 2014 elections will be like being against the dictum ‘one bird in hand is better than two birds in the bush’. If governance is on the merits of the issues, you can be confident on your forecast. If your doings are suspect, your expectations will also be suspect. After all this brazen political dithering, hoping to get maximum no. of MP seats from A.P. to help make Rahul Gandhi PM may turn out to be a mirage.
The PM’s ‘frying pan and fire’ statement is pure ‘robotics’.Telangana people are up and against Sonia and her coterie. It will take some more time for the coterie to see the point.