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Will the Change Seekers in Indian politics loose out again to the old economic balancing trick of the

ruling party
By Amit Bhushan Date: 17 March 2013

The contours of the emerging political equation for the remodeled center post 2014 as being envisaged by major political leaders is becoming steadily more apparent. It seems most political leaders are of the view to continue with the old economic management tricks since most of the businesses are still heavily invested and aligned towards the same and this game still has reasonable chance to succeed one more time with public with some luck. This is especially because the demand for change is not backed by any practical alternate economic alternative proposal which can cut ice with the political representatives in major states. The Chief of one of the major state has stated his Adhikar which is nothing but old wine in new bottle. Only thing is that the space for Congress own leaders has shrunk and allies and potential allies are increasingly calling shots in its policy setting mechanisms. Since politics in India as practiced by most leaders is about capturing power and then negotiate policy and service delivery to people; the debate on principles is shallow and most leaders shy away from such debates as this would take away their political clout to bargain with supporters. The political leaders know that people in moffusil towns and villages are still unaware of the Global political settings and in fact, they would like to maintain awareness level of the public at that level. This suits politics practiced by most leaders who would otherwise lose their job, should public starts to question them from global perspective. Thus from an intellectual perspective Indias smaller parties have very little new things to offer to people fed up with a peculiar type of offering, however eve such parties can nurture ambition to hold the highest office of governance in the country because holding political offices in India is more about striking at the right opportunity rather than investing political capital to develop real political capability to mobilize countrywide public opinion. The current ruling dispensation with background deal strikers have reiterated and proved beyond doubt that such politics is about to continue to hold currency in the country and task of any political party to come to power is to first grapple with this situation. The other major state who have voiced special deals are West Bengal while Uttar Pradesh is one which remains perennially in the queue owing partially to its unmanageable size and also its clouts allows its leaders to explore these grants as one of the available options rather than taxing their Janta. Some of the other potential seeks of such coveted status could be Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, and Punjab (in that order) while Maharastra may also not want to be left behind. The ambitions of Tamil Nadu will become known as parties start to spar for elections. The stand of the concerned parties on major taxonomy related bills is at best ambivalent. The principle concern is what keeps them in power, rather than what is good for the country. In fact, the opposition (including all the potential leaders within principal

opposition) has not shown itself to be any different either so the parties concerned can hardly be blamed. The principles in India are almost perennially on the back seat to be espoused when the going turns extremely bad in politics for a party rather than in economics of the country. The present opposition seems to be almost unprepared to cope up with this overwhelming challenge. The lack of leaders who could summon all hands on the deck including hands from friends who largely practiced regional minoritism, is a major challenge. So is the challenge posed by unmotivated leaders who have failed to bring about any consternation in states like Himachal, Harayana, Rajasthan (where Raja and Praja seem to be at loggerheads amongst themselves rather than with the ruling bastion) and Karnataka. The opposition is hardly able to crack whip on its leaders to raise awareness level of the masses and contact ground workers and people to build public opinion and support. One of its major failure in all states (irrespective whether it is a ruling party in these state, ruling with allies or principle opposition or marginal opposition) is its failure to show a different but effective economic management principle that works for India and educate public about the same. The opposition still seems to be grappling with the issue on what is more important for it: i.e. to have allies at cost of some of its own seats or to have a large no. of seats for its own even by upsetting allies. This problem is further compounded by minor parties who are more comfortable with secular settings then the so called hindu chauvinist setting offered by the principal opposition party. The opposition is also unable to formulate a credible economic response to current challenges faced by different state to win allies. The ruling parties in the state feel more comfortable to negotiate with the natural party of governance more so because the bureaucracy at state also find them more predictable as well as more winnable due to years of their experience. While the opposition may bank, that such parties would break ice and get cosy with any one managing to cobble up to formulate the next government post elections, however the ongoing rumblings are ominous and reduce its clout and winnability in the eyes of public and this often is a precursor to lose votes in a real election (since a cross section of people vote for the likely winner irrespective of principles propounded; propounded principles anyway have little value as far as experience of Indian voter goes). While there is still sometime to go as political pundits would want to read and analyze signals from the ensuing polls in some of the large states before concluding deals, however the time to get cracking for the opposition seems to be now. To mobilize people in the Swing states stated above and have a game-plan for all India in each of the constituency and their complex dynamics is a tedious study to make any meaningful decision in a short span. The buzz is out that poll pundits everywhere have started getting busy for the real challenge of 14 rather than petty issues of regions that are likely to come forth in 13.