If one looks back at the first session of Parliament under the Modi government, no one could have realised in his/her wildest imagination that within a year and a half this would be the present scenario, that would confront Parliament today.
While it is a great effort on the part of the government to bring in normal relations with Pakistan for the sake of peace and progress, and there certainly cannot be progress without peace, it is perhaps equally or more important to have normal/good relations with the opposition political parties in the Parliament, especially the Congress party, the main opposition party.
India’s political arena has suddenly become a conflict zone right from the inside of Parliament to the studios of TV channels. The conflict is so palpable that one need not waste time debating the subject of tolerance/intolerance.
One needs to ask why suddenly we find ourselves in such a situation. The CBI and Supreme Court are more in the news instead of Parliament. The main reason to my mind, is that the government has derailed itself from the agenda of development and “Sab Ka Sath Sab Ka Vikas”. Unfortunately, the CBI, which was once upon a time considered a premier institution, has lost its credibility and the public perception has been that it has become a tool in the hands of the subsequent governments to be used and misused. If you are friends then “Sau khoon maaf”. If you are perceived to be a political threat then the story changes. Right from the days of Chanakya to the Mughals to the British, governments/rulers have misused their powers to settle political scores commonly known as vendetta. History cannot forget the Shah Commission of Janata raj that made Indira Gandhi run around the country from court to court. The result was the come back of Indira Gandhi with a massive mandate.
After the Bihar verdict, one would have thought that the more intelligent way for Modi government would have been to consolidate his position and not go in for confrontation with the opposition. But just the opposite seems to be happening. Every action of the government is uniting the opposition parties. Be it the CBI raids during the marriage ceremony of the Himachal Pradesh CM’s daughter to Delhi Chief Minister’s office complex of the CM’s principal secretary to the toppling of the Arunachal Pradesh government.
There is also the growing perception that, maybe, the government doesn’t want Parliament to function. Maybe they are caught in a catch 22 situation with the GST Bill just like the Land Bill. Maybe, the BJP has realised that the GST may not be good for their middle class voters, like the FDI, and don’t quite know how to cut their losses as imports may become cheaper and Make in India may suffer.
At the end of the day, the government could lay the blame on the opposition but the fact is that they have not been able to carry forward their agenda of economic reform and also have not been able to run both Houses of Parliament in a normal way like the first session of Parliament in 2014.
What next? I had mentioned in this blog before Bihar elections that politics will change after the Bihar verdict and so it has. The government seems to have lost its main plank and has gotten down to unproductive stuff whereby a lot of time has been wasted and no effort seems to have been made to consolidate the political gains of 2014. More confrontation, more chaos, more vendetta is in store, and the great Indian Soap Opera will become interesting and exciting. BJP wanted Congress mukt Bharat but Congress style is being photocopied. Historically, Vendetta has boomeranged.