Opposition, Economy; Huge Challenges for New Government

Akbar Khan

Days after the poll verdict sprang a pleasant surprise for the Congress and its allies, early indications suggest that the road ahead may not be a smooth ride for the UPA, especially as the hysteria triggered by the mandate has resulted in inflated expectations that will continue to peak, inverse to plummeting global indices.

Though, the Congress victory resulted in immediate optimism on the bourses on Monday, the economic downturn is one of the biggest challenges facing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as it could slowdown the development process for at least the next two odd years and cause considerable damage to party plans.

While the world media has welcomed the phoenix like rise of the Congress and called on it to leverage the mandate for “global responsibility” for India. The international press has, perhaps, failed to note that Premier Singh in his second term would be pitted against a formidable and diverse Opposition line up that could stonewall any significant changes in internal or external policy.

With the top political leaders in the country sharing the Opposition benches, the ideological diversity of its opponents could dwarf any unipolar government, especially as the ruling alliance seems to be readying to lineup its young guns to counter old war horses like LK Advani, Prakash Karat among others.

The Congress also needs to overcome the urge for unnecessary heroics at this juncture, especially as the electoral surge was not anticipated, and the party, which is likely to form a government on May 22, is already working on hastily formulated contingency plans that could so easily go irreversibly wrong.

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