Has the 3rd-time-lucky Congress broken its Italy jinx?

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New Delhi, March 22: The UPA government has hit back. Even as the Opposition parties and former allies kept on attacking it for foreign policy failures vis-a-vis Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Italy in recent times, the decision of Rome to send back two of its murder accused marines to return to India to face trial would give a welcome relief to the ruling alliance.

The latest development will mean a moral victory for the Manmohan Singh government, which has been beleaguered, among other things, by two back-to-back issues related to Italy, the motherland of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

After the VVIP chopper deal fiasco, Italy's rejection to send back the marines had raised serious question about the Congress-led government's credibility mainly because Indians today see ghost in anything concerning the European country. The memories of Ottavio Quattrocchi is yet to get off from an average Indian's mind.

In this situation, it was extremely important that the Congress salvaged some pride and not go down in history as a political outfit that always played a second-fiddle role to Italy and an Italian. The 'victory of diplomacy' will not only boost a cornered Congress but also blunt the relentless attack of the Opposition, particularly the BJP.

It is the second time that the BJP has failed to corner the Congress chief on 'Italy link' factor. In 2004, the BJP had raised a big protest against foreigner Sonia Gandhi becoming the prime minister of India but the latter gave a master stroke by refusing the post herself.

The UPA has succeeded in score at least some point in the foreign policy domain and this will help it in the image makeover. The BJP, meanwhile, has been robbed of another issue to corner the government. It can, however, pursue the marines case closely from here on. The government, in it moment of victory, might forget that the marines story hasn't ended yet and it has to ensure justice to the two fishermen who were killed by the two Italians last year.

It's the 'live-another-day' mantra that both the government and the Opposition in the country are following today.

OneIndia News

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