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Mainstream, VOL L, No 26, June 16, 2012

Frustrate the Diabolic Game


Wednesday 20 June 2012, by SC


Finally the Congress-led UPA II—the ruling coalition at the Centre—has taken the decision: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is going to be its candidate for the Presidential poll. This sets to rest all speculation about the UPA’s nominee for the office of the head of state.

Much has been already written, broadcast and telecast about various aspects of the presidential poll. What has not been brought into focus, in all probability deliberately, is the role of the corporate sector and big business in this election. One question that had legitimately cropped up when Pranab’s name as a possible presidential candidate was doing the rounds was: who can replace him in the Union Cabinet in terms of firefighting and management of the Congress in general and in Parliament in particular? While no answers were forthcoming the hype was suddenly built up around his name.

Close examination of this phenomenon helped one to unravel the nefarious design put in place by the corporate world with the full knowledge and concurrence of Pranab (after all he too is quite close to a corporate house): once Pranab is catapulated into the Rashtrapati Bhavan the PM, the architect of the IMF-World Bank-sponsored reforms, would—with the assistance and support of his close colleagues and trusted aides who are full-scale liberalisers totally opposed to the Nehruvian growth with social justice concept—go full-steam ahead in implementing the reforms agenda, as directed by the US policy-makers now exerting massive influence over our policies; and this they would do without any conside-ration of the political consequences. At the same time under Washington’s diktat Dr Manmohan Singh would go for an intense peace offensive with Pakistan starting with demilitarisation of Siachen (which, at this stage, would run counter to national interest). The idea is to let the PM retire in a blaze of glory as the foremost liberaliser in the developing world and enable him to win the Nobel Peace Prize for having unveiled the contours of peace with Pakistan (even if such success is of a trasient nature) regardless of national interest.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s crime is that by suggesting, along with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, that Manmohan Singh be elevated to the office of the President she unwittingly threw a spanner in the works of that project. Stung to the quick the Congress spokesperson and even a Minister reacted sharply hurling personal attacks on the Trinamul chief. But the corporate-driven media’s anger reached a much higher level. The Economic Times editorial of June 14 was a case in point—it used the choicest words to assail Mamata, whose integrity and personal credibility among the people are an eyesore for such pedlars of corporate culture.

Mamata and Mulayam had put forward three names of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and Somnath Chatterjee for the President’s office. Mamata herself pointed out that these were the names of three honest persons best suited for the top post thereby implying that she did not consider Pranab to fall in that category, an observation which many in Bengal share given Pranab’s past record in politics and social life. This is where the corporate world lashed out at her through the media under its control because they felt that by airing such views she was trying to scuttle the US-orchestrated design to be materialised by Manmohan and company.

The country should know of this diabolic game behind the presidential poll and do everything possible to nip it in the bud. That is the call of the hour.

June 15 S.C.

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