Yes..there are still three and half years to go before the next general elections in India! And unless the present ruling dispensation exceeds everyone's expectations by putting its house in order, India will be ruing the five wasted years in 2009! Indeed the Congress government today has reached that stage of hopelessness which most governments in India only reach say four years into office.
I have lost count of the scandals and controversies that have rocked this government since it took office in May 2004. The latest is the sucidal attempt by Congress to bring back the Bofors Ghost. Why on earth did they rake this up now? Unless that 23 crore rupees in the London Account was going straight into Congress hands, this was political management at its worst. But if you have people like Bharadwaj in crucial ministries, you cannot expect anything better.
Problem obviously lies at the very top. This govt has two leaders but no leadership. Manmohan Singh has been a terrible failure on the political front while Sonia Gandhi shrieks responsibility and repeatedly succumbs to misguidance. A politically less active prime minister in Manmohan Singh may not have been a bad idea, but coming up with "Prime Minister was kept in the dark" farce during every political crisis has made him look silly. Indeed every single crisis (Raj Bhavan Misadventures in Bihar, Jharkhand and Goa, Nanavati Commission controversy, the numerous run-downs with the courts on various issues and the latest Bofors screw up) could have been prevented if either Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi had taken responsibility and fixed the issue at the appropriate time. But instead they chose to remain mute spectators allowing the opposition and the media to have a field day.
The results are for all to see. Four ministers lost to corruption or worse crimes, two senior ministers left with very little credibility (Shivraj Patil and Hansraj Bhardwaj), two winnable elections lost in Bihar and Jharkhand and ofcourse lot of goodwill. As if this wasn't enough, the Congress is on the verge of losing the Karnataka Government in almost a comic fashion. Deve Gowda with his so called "Secular" flag should have been the easiest ally to manage but they have screwed up big time.
The congress party will be holding its AICC plenary session shortly. I only hope that they take stock of the situation and put breaks on this downward spiral. The country has more to lose than the Congress Party because of the present misgovernance and India can least afford such mistakes at this point in time. To begin with they can get rid of useless Ministers like Arjun Singh and bring in fresh faces into the government. Certain portfolio shuffles are begging to be made say Kapil Sibal to Law Minsitry for instance.