Political debates in India have generally been about Congress and BJP ripping each other apart, with the third front (if one exists) parties taking a side whichever is convenient to them. The last week has been a welcome change in that regard. Be it the nuclear liability bill or be it the increase in salaries of MPs, the two parties have shown a united face. I don’t earn my bread through premature interpretations or by creating controversies hence I won’t make an attempt to read between the lines. I am just happy to see the two principal parties in the country come together on some issues and forget secularism or pseudo secularism for some time. At the same time, I feel it is necessary for the media and other sections of the society not to develop unnecessary connections and mislead people into territories which stregthen the already very strong anti-political sentiment in the society. We should just see this as an attempt on part of these two parties to seek whats good for the country, unanimously.
It was great to see Manish Tewari, the Congress Spokesperson, saying on television that there will always be two schools of thought as in how to run the country which is infact good for the country as people have two choices. Of course, this welcome change has not been welcomed with open arms by the likes of Lalu Prasad and left parties. Lalu Prasad has accused BJP and Congress of a secret deal where BJP has supported the N-liability bill in lieu of Narendra Modi going scot free in the Gujarat Riots case. This outrageous accusation(outrageous because this is Congress’ biggest accusation and point gatherer against BJP so there is no way Congress will let go of Modi) stems out from the fact that Bihar elections are due this year and Lalu wants to garner some Muslim support. But I guess Mr Lalu has already got more publicity than he deserves so enough of him. On a question of why such unity is not seen more often, one of the senior members of CPM said on a TV show that BJP and Congress keep changing their statements depending on whether they are in government or in opposition, hence we should not expect the “coming together” that often. To this, Manish Tewari was quick to point out, “so you are conceding that atleast you will never be coming to power” which brought a laughter to all panellists sans the left leader. Such calm and jovial atmosphere is generally not visible these days but if it continues, we can have a situation where good discussions on the floor of the parliament may help the MPs, atleast from the main parties, justify there “300%” salary hike.