Will UPA succumb to populist pressures?

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New Delhi, Jul 19: The exit of the Communists from the UPA may have removed all ideological constraints for the UPA government but it certainly cannot be on the fast forward mode on its globalisation drive, particularly in an election where parties will be pressing for more populist measures, according to the RSS.

In its editorial comment in party mouthpiece Organiser, days ahead of the crucial Vote of Confidence in the special Lok Sabha session on July 21 and 22, it said the Congress was willing to do anything to save its government after the Left's withdrawal of support. The Samajwadi Party(SP) had reportedly assured the UPA that it was not opposed to more liberalisation but the fate of the government is uncertain.

The enthusiasts for globalisation drive are forgetting that in an election year the party will exert more pressure on populist measures. Last week, the UPA had brazenly submitted to crony capitalist demands to ensure the support of SP, the paper said.

Studies have shown that state policies rather than market forces had proved to be a 'big culprit' in creating income inequality while the impact of liberalisation in creating opportunities for the poor was under dispute, it said.

Unequal opportunties for the poor in crucial areas like health, education, housing and transport during the UPA regime had become a matter of political concern. Now the question is will the UPA still give a chance to common man? The paper said while soaring oil prices and continuing double digit inflation were the biggest hurdles for economy, the EMI on housing, vehicle and consumer loans had more than doubled in the last two years. The cost of schooling has shot up by nearly 160 per cent over the last few years. It was worrying that India is predicted to become a 'chronic importer' of foodgrains by 2020 because of sheer neglect of the farm sector during the reform period. There was ample evidence for soaring trade and fiscal deficits and the experts were of the view that the country had never witnessed such bad macro-economic condition, the Organiser observed.

The party also said in the editorial that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his Finance Minister's avatar 13-year-ago in the P V Narasimha Rao Government, had simulated the same kind of economic scenario -- price rise, double digit inflation, security scam and macro economic mess resulting in his master's political decline. Is he cooking something similar for his new master with elections just months away? it wondered.


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