Can the PM Make Course Correction
to Arrest Governance Deficit?
The Indian Republic is suffering from a deep malaise of governance deficit of the Congress Government, which is abundantly clear from the cascade of corruption scams, squabbling ministers within the Cabinet, tampering with the Republic’s federalism structure, and unabashed playing of minority votebank cards in States elections. The Congress’s miserable failure in the prestigious Uttar Pradesh Elections testifies that all Congress Party strategies devised by political strategists close to the Congress Party failed. Blame is now being sought to be transferred to the Prime Minister. The question that pertinently emerges is can the Prime Minister make a course correction to arrest the governance drift and salvage his image in the remaining two years of his tenure?
The answer to the above question is a big NO as the Prime Minister is not a master of all that he politically surveys. His hands are tied by the Congress President’s own perceptions of India’s political landscape. Most of the time the policy dictates emerging from the Congress High Command are populist in content and economically not viable or economically sustainable. Thousands of crores of rupees seem to have been wasted on wasteful schemes like NREGA etc. The Congress President need better advisers around her with a sensitive ear to the ground in terms of political realities.
Governance deficit and governance drift is a natural corollary when the Prime Minister is not allowed to choose and select the members of his Cabinet team. Ministers are imposed on him either due to coalition compulsions as read by the Congress President or by personal preferences of the Congress High Command.
The Government’s image suffers when tempestuous coalition leaders defy or pressurise the Prime Minister to buckle down as the alternative would be risking the survival of the Congress Government. If the Congress Government so far has survived it is because the regional chieftains who have sizeable numbers of MPs and yet are not part of the Coalition have Damocles Swords hanging over their heads in the form of CBI enquiries and cases. They have no option but to bail out the Congress Government from being voted out of power.
Contextually therefore, the Indian Prime Minister would be unable to apply mid-course political corrections to arrest the governance deficit and the drift in governance. India would have to suffer this governance deficit for the remaining two years unless one or more of the Coalition partners feel emboldened to withdraw political support from the Congress Government.
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Dr. Subhash Kapila
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