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|NEW GOVERNMENT AT THE CENTRE - 2009
By Mohan Shenoy
| One can not but be relieved at the conclusion of the General Elections and installation of a new government at the Centre in
India. The relief is primarily because one of the national parties has secured substantial number of seats to give no room to rival parties to
claim to form the Central government. There is decisive mandate for a pre-poll alliance which can claim to form a government. The ideological
differences within the winning alliance are less important. When the government was formed in 2004, after the last General elections, the
communists were a strong force. Only with the help of the communists the Congress party was able to form the government. The 2009
General elections resulted in the Congress party gaining substantial number of seats so that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) lead by
Congress party has gained 262 seats. This is still 10 seats short of the majority required to form the stable government. A simple majority
consists of 272 seats. The ten members of parliament from other smaller parties or the Independent members can join the UPA to help the
Congress party to form a majority. The Independent members are those members who do not belong to any political party recognised by the
Election Commission of India (ECI).
The party with the second largest number of seats is the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP. The pre-poll alliance of the BJP is the
National Democratic Alliance or NDA. The NDA has gained only 157 seats. The NDA is going to be the largest Opposition and the leader of
the Opposition will normally be a BJP member. The other parties of the NDA can chose to either support or oppose the government if and
when the question arises. The rest of the members elected are going to have to chose to either oppose or support the government at the
Centre in the parliament or outside, if and when the question arises. Many of these members belong to the regional parties, like the Asom
Gana Parishat of Assam, Shiromani Akali Dal of Punjab, Haryana Vikas Party of Haryana, Janata Dal Secular of Karnataka, etc. The
Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee is also a regional party of the state of West Bengal. These parties will have their say in the
parliament on questions relating to their states and regions.
The President of India invites the largest party or the largest pre-poll alliance to form the next government. The incumbent
President, Prathibha Devi Singh Patil does not have any difficulty to invite the UPA to form the next government since the numbers of UPA is
the largest and also the possibility of a stable government being formed by UPA is strong. This is a great relief for the nation.
The 2009 General Elections in India have made the country stronger since the new government is going to take office with a
greater degree of stability in the next five years.
Globalisation has provided very few options for any country to manipulate the political and economic conditions. The Indian
government has to go along with the international limitations that come into play to either impede development or to enhance the living
conditions of the citizens. The work put in by the citizens will always pay to sustain their living conditions. Healthier and smarter the citizens,
the stronger is the nation. The government by itself can not achieve anything significant unless the people that work in the offices, workers in
the factories, the farmers, the traders, the financiers, etc., also work in the interest of the nation. Corrupt officials have an upper hand under
an inefficient government. The Congress party has been in power for over 50 years in the past and it has not made significant contribution in
the development of the country because of its laissez-faire attitude towards corrupt officials. There should be efficient collection of
government revenue and adequate control over spending. The grants by the government for upliftment of the living conditions of the citizens
should reach the citizens and not get pocketed by the intermediaries. We want a government that spends our tax rupees fully for the benefit
of the country.
The only ideology is now semi-socialistic and semi-capitalistic. The communist ideology has taken a beating at the hustings of May
2009. The ideology which provides development must be upheld. The question of Ram Temple, Ram Sethu, Amarnath Shrine, etc., are
important and can still provide for clashes and protests. The Congress government at the Centre will be responsible for disruption in life of
the citizens if these matters are given stress in its policies. These questions will not disappear with the selection of UPA by India.