Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Opposition watches as UPA cringes, crawls before Hazare & Co

This is going to be the routine for the Manmohan Singh government in their remaining years in office -- they will be humiliated, pushed around and subject to daily vilification. It has started happening. On August 24, prime minister Manmohan Singh convened an all-party meeting to seek some political consensus to deal with the crisis created by Anna Hazare's fast-unto-death for the passing of Jan Lokpal Bill by parliament. The opposition parties refused to bail out the government. Apparently, the government has now promised to send the Jan Lokpal Bill to the parliamentary standing committee which is now looking at the government's Lokpal Bill, introduced on August 4.
Compared to the situation in April, 2011 when Hazare went on fast at Jantar Mantar and the government responded by setting up a joint drafting committee, the government on Wednesday was in a worse position. The crowd at Ramila Maidan is gorwing, Hazare continues to be obstinate and his associates -- Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi -- continue to take a hard-line and even a militant stance.
The government has now to do everything to stave off the impending crisis in the medical condition of Hazare because anything that goes wrong there will create an explosive situation.
It is not clear whether Hazare and his associates want the situation to get out of hand where no one is in control. They are playing for dangerously high stakes.
Of course, the government is yielding ground, literally groveling before the blackmailers. And this is what this government will continue to do.
Of course, the government is still playing its dirty games of trying to play one civil society group -- led by Aruna Roy -- against another led by Hazare. There will be another explosion, and the government will back off again.

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