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A Sore Disappointment

The Congress led United Progressive Alliance completed the fourth year of it's second term, which began after the 2009 general elections recently. The Government celebrated it in style; with a grand dinner banquet where almost all major supporters of the UPA were present.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister released a report card of the UPA's performance in the last 9 years. The report card seemed to paint a very rosy picture of India, it's economy, foreign relations and administration.  But the common man on the streets knows better.

Even the most loyal Congress worker will admit that the UPA 2 has failed to deliver upon expectations. In 2009, when Manmohan Singh became the first Prime Minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to get a second term after completing a full 5-year one the common man was optimistic of a stable and decisive government.
Alas, his expectations were misplaced. The Government became mired in one corruption scandal after the other. A severe policy paralysis gripped the country. The economy lost it's steam. In fact, instead of political stability India was racked by political instability.

How did it happen? How did the UPA Government which had governed India quite well till 2009 turn like this overnight? The most simple and common explanation to this answer would be that getting re-eleted in 2009, with a bigger margin gave all the UPA babus and netas big heads. They decided that whatever they did, they would get re-elected the next time. With this misplaced sense of overconfidence, they began indulging in corruption. Governance took a backseat.

Public anger against the Government rose to an all time high with the anti-corruption campaign by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev in 2011. The two biggest allies of the Congress, the TMC and the DMK pulled out and so did a few more minor political parties. And due to this lack of majority in the parliament, passing economic reforms became quite impossible.

Even pre-poll promises remain unfulfilled. Important bills like the Woman's Reservation Bill, The Land Acquisition Bill and the Food Security Bill, which featured in the election manifesto remain to be passed. The only bright spot seems to be reduced terror activity and sterner action against terrorists like Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab.

Today, the UPA faces a credibility crisis. Recent events like the Chinese incursion and Sarabjit Singh's death have ensured a loss of face for the government on the foreign affairs front too. The Government must pull it's socks up and began to deliver otherwise it certainly faces a political backlash in the next general elections.

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