Just in time?
AGREEING with the editorial Big tent BSP (IE,January 3),I must say Mayawati is more farsighted and proactive than her political rivals. Her dismissals of tainted ministers just before the assembly election has put the opposition parties on the defensive. What stands out is,unlike her mentor and party founder Kanshi Ram,Mayawati is neither an avowed casteist nor is she averse to taking upper castes on board to expand her political base. This strategy paid dividends in the last assembly election. It may help her yet again.
STATE assembly elections are due and the Congress is pinning its hopes on Rahul Gandhi. The odds are heavily loaded against the Congress. UPs incumbent Chief Minister Mayawati has recently made some deft political moves and retrieved some ground by sacking ministers accused of corruption,as well as proposing a division of the state. The Samajwadi Partys Mulayam Singh Yadav has a strong hold on Muslim and Yadav voters who form a significant percentage of the electorate. The BJP had a hold on the trading class and some upper-caste groups,but lost much of its sheen because of divisions within its ranks. Its a confusing picture. Unless a miracle takes place,no party is expected to get a majority. UPs assembly results,with the state returning the most number of MPs,will have a far-reaching impact on the general elections.
M.K. VENU gives us a prescient analysis of the governments intention to allow foreign direct investment in Indian stock markets (Capital move,IE,January 3). It highlights a welcome maturation of the Indian financial markets. Whats now urgently required is framing policies that encourage the development of corporate bond markets. When a full range of financial instruments are made available,tactical reallocation of portfolios based on ebbs and flows in confidence would give the investor more flexibility and choice in managing risk. Instead of dumping stocks and inducing volatile swings in foreign reserves,the investor could shift to less risky corporate bonds. Financial pundits should not only mull over how to attract foreign capital but also how to keep it here.
Their own good
This refers to the editorial Bargaining bill (IE,January 3). The US defence bill is yet another way of saying to the world that We (US-Pakistan) are not done. Despite the tension building up over the last few months between the US and Pakistan,they are mutually dependent. Now,the issue for India is that the money meant to be used to curb terrorism should be used adequately and appropriately,because the US is only pursuing its own good.
Virendra K. Singh