Is UPA in a self-destructive mode?
I fail to understand why the central government appears to be totally out of control. The government was re-elected with a convincing mandate in 2009 but seems to have frittered away its advantage.
Its leaders are on the defensive and they do not seem to be setting the agenda any longer. It is very evident that both the Congress, which has the largest number of MPs in, the Lok Sabha as well as the government functionaries are in a reactive mood.
The latest Onion Crisis if not handled properly could prove to be the proverbial last straw in the back of the government trying to come to terms with itself following a whole lot of scams. Sharad Pawar, the Agriculture minister instead of re-assuring the people that the government would face the crisis head on, is in fact contributing to the panic situation. His reaction in fact is helping the hoarders who would like to make quick money by pushing the prices as high as Rs 100 a kilogram if they had their way.
In several parts of the NCR, Onions were on Wednesday morning selling at Rs 80 a kilogram.
I am not suggesting that Sharad Pawar alone is responsible for the mess since it is the collective responsibility of the government in power. It is also equally a failure of the Delhi, UP, and Haryana governments who have failed to ensure that Onions should have been sold at controlled prices at least through the Public Distribution System. But it appears that PDS in all parts of the country is in a very poor shape and the various state governments have not done anything to strengthen this institutional mechanism.
Onions are most essential ingredient in virtually everything that is cooked in this country. Poor people in the North also use it as a vegetable to eat their Rotis with. Imagine if the price goes up to Rs 80, it is a real shame.
The prices of other commodities are also causing great alarm. A few days ago, the Milk Prices went up by another Rs one per litre. The Petrol prices have been constantly going up. Every essential item is on the rise. So who is this government serving. It is not the growth rate of six or seven or nine or ten percent which is going to enthuse the aam aadmi but the prices.
If there is no control over the prices, it makes no difference if the economy is doing so well. The crisis is of both credibility and confidence. The scamsters are getting away. There is evidence to suggest how the Spectrum was used to take bank loans by big players. While the money should be returned at once, even those who took the loans using Spectrum and those who facilitated this should go behind bars. It is illegal and it is this kind of action, which is required.
Mere slogans of fighting corruption will not do. Corruption has to be fought in the open and not in public auditoriums, TV programmes and political functions. People are watching and they will react when their time comes.