Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Three years of UPA-II: Not much to cheer


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New Delhi: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II government completed three years in office on Tuesday amid charges of policy paralysis and key initiatives remaining mired in fractious coalition politics.

There have been thin silver lining in the proverbial black cloud of corruption, government inaction and unending economic woes with the common person forced to cut back on essentials as prices rise steeply.

As the helmsman, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh continues to get flak for being non-communicative and fighting the perception that he’s ceding space to the Congress’ preferred man, Rahul Gandhi.

A spate of scams, including the 2G spectrum allocation scandal and the various allegations of graft associated with the 2010 Commonwealth Games, continues to haunt the UPA-II.

A combative opposition has hurled charges against Home Minister P Chidambaram over his alleged role in the 2G spectrum case and an assertive civil society, led by Anna Hazare, is trying hard to pin down the government over corruption.

The economy is in a dismal shape, with the rupee plunging to an all-time low of Rs 55.13 (as of Tuesday afternoon); inflation is soaring and manufacturing has declined.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has played the role of the opposition rather than an ally, forcing the government to backtrack on important initiatives like the FDI in multi-brand retail.

One source of solace for the UPA-II seems to be the disarray in the BJP.

But the disappointments run deep. (IANS)


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