The UPA government'seconomic policy is losing sight of the aam aadmi. This is the mildest assessment of the three-year rule of Dr Manmohan Singh and this has come from his cabinet colleague Mani Shankar Aiyar.
The coalition that came to power only to keep the NDA out has nothing to celebrate as it completed three years in office with a promise that in the remaining two years it will try to redeem its post-election pledges. The government itself refrained from any festivity on the occasion but for full-page advertisements which carried the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi'spictures more prominently than the Prime Minister?s. A hilarious cartoon in The Asian Age said it all. Manmohan Singh had a better claim to renunciation of power as he had abdicated his role as such, it said.
That even after three years in office he could not measure up the courage to face the electorate and win a Lok Sabha seat rather than getting renominated to the Rajya Sabha from Assam also provoked much criticism. The Congress has not won any election after it formed the government in the centre under Manmohan Singh. That may be the reason for the supporting parties trying to keep a distance from the government.
The dinner hosted by the Prime Minister to mark his three years in office was conspicuous for its introspective mood, if the media reports are to be believed. The UP Chief Minister Mayawati snubbed the UPA, by not attending the dinner though she was billed as the most sought-after invitee. She did not want to be clubbed with the UPA, though the BSP is supporting the government in Parliament. Equally significant was the Left reaching late for the dinner waiting for the UPA chairperson and the Prime Minister to end their customary speeches. Reports said that the Left parties are devising a strategy not to get too much identified with the government.
All these are sufficient indications of the diminishing popularity of the government. It has no achievement to show other than the wide-spread impression that the Prime Minister has no control over his ministers and that he is a puppet in the hands of Sonia Gandhi and the heads of UPA constituents like RJD, DMK and NCP. He cannot choose or retain his ministers as he cannot choose or distribute portfolios. He has no control on policy matters and often he is made to retract under humiliating circumstances from his own initiatives. The prime ministerial authority has been severely undermined by powerful regional satraps and Sonia Gandhi by her wily manipulations. So the Prime Minister is made to parrot homilies like Muslims have the first right to resources and minority has the priority right on bank loans.
The dubious achievement of the UPA government is that it sees citizens as communal compartments. By introducing the Sachar Committee and Ranganath Mishra Commission to devise communal quota, by soft-pedaling on terrorist outfits, indulging the Maoists by politicizing internal security and Islamising the foreign policy the UPA has created a cantankerous mess of governance. Even its much hyped Indo-US nuke deal is in doldrums. Some times the UPA gives the impression that it is working on an agenda for national disintegration. And this happens to be the most disturbing thought on the third anniversary of Manmohan Singh government.