Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Anna Hazare hits a roadblock, but people's anger against Congress remains

Anna Hazare did not create people's anger against the Congress government led by prime minister Manmohan Singh. He had just used it. Hazare might have hit a roadblock because of his health and his aides are not in a position to sustain the hype of the agitation. It will fade away for sometime, and it might come back at some other opportune moment because the Congress has the uncanny knack of giving an opening to others to attack the party and its government. The Congress is a lazy and arrogant party, which gets into power most of the time out of sheer habit rather than anything positive on its part. There are always a few at the top who cook up an agenda, which sounds good, something that other parties are not even capable of doing at the national level, and who implement that agenda in a garbled manner.

At the moment, Congress must be feeling quite comfortable at the fact that the Lokpal bill has been passed in Lok Sabha on Wednesday and that Hazare abandoned his fast on health grounds and he has also ended the agitation phase for immediate purposes. But Hazare and Kejriwal have announced that they will campaign against the Congress in the five states going for assembly polls -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Goa. The anti-Congress campaign will not pose much of a threat to the party in these states. In Uttar Pradesh, Congress is not in the reckoning. In Uttarakhand, it is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is in power and its image is tainted by corruption charges. Congress could win in this state. In Punjab, Akali Dal is reeling under charges of corruption, and Congress is the likely winner. In Uttarakhand as well as in Punjab, if the Anna team were to attack Congress, it will not make much sense to the local electorate who want to throw out the party in power and get another. In Goa, even without the Anna campaign, Congress will lose. In Manipur, the situation is too volatile and it will be a hung assembly. In Uttar Pradesh, people are looking for an alternative to Mayawati and her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and Mulayam Singh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party (SP). Congress is in no position in UP to replace BSP or SP. That leaves Anna's anti-Congress campaign at a loose end.

The Congress will be punished by people but it will not be because of the Anna agitation. It will be rapped on its knuckles because of its arrogance that it is the only party that can rule and that there is no alternative. People hate arrogance in their political leaders, and they throw them out of office. Congress knows this much better than any other but it cannot help slipping into the arrogant mode like a lapsed alcoholic.

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