Karats & Sticks

By | December 9, 2007

Mr. Karat is at it again. After giving the UPA government some breathing space on the Indo-US nuclear deal in November, the left has put a stick in UPAs wheels a day after the parliament concluded its winter session. This time around though, the warning was much more direct.

Mr Karat warned the Congress led UPA government to wrap up negotiations with IAEA by end of December, or get ready for general elections. One is tempted to ask, why is the left putting on so much pressure on its coalition partners? In my earlier post on the same issue, I had tried to analyse why the left parties had a problem with the 123 agreement. So why did left relent to let the government have negotiations with IAEA in the first place? To look for the answer to this one, we just need to look at the left parties’ home state of West Bengal.

In the days leading up to the left relaxing its position on the nuclear deal, West Bengal was in a mess. Nandigram was a major issue that had the West Bengal government, ruled by the left parties going as red in their face as their flag. At one point, it seemed that the centre could be a moment away from imposing president’s rule in this strife torn state. This was when the olive branch was extended, and the centre was allowed to go ahead with the nuclear deal.

So what has changed today? For one, Nandigram has cooled off. So what’s the harm in flashing some teeth, and throwing the entire nation in confusion again.

My take. Well, a mid-term election costs the country a few billions of rupees. So if the left is so keen on having a mid-term election, make them pay at least 50% of the money upfront before they can withdraw support from the government. This would make any political party think twice before they spend so much of the nation’s money just on a whim of having an election.

This would also make parties think twice before entering into a coalition arrangement. In addition, the country can expect more accountability from its so-called leaders. So Mr. Karat, if you’ve got the cash to fund the mid-term election, go ahead and do so. I would be most unpleased if you throw away my hard earned money into an election that is undesired, and unnecessary.

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