Troubled Times

Forget the bribery. Each VVIP helicopter costs Rs 320-350 crore. There are twelve such VVIPs who need to fly at any one time. Who are these people? President,Vice President, PM and no doubt Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra. But that is only seven. Who else is entitled to such luxury? What justifies this expenditure under the Defence Budget if it is carrying non-Defence personnel most of the time? Did anyone care to find out if this is the best alternative even ten years after the initial order? Does Parliament ever debate such matters before they are decided upon or, will it only stage its usual hangama at the start of the Budget session ?

There will be other excuses for Opposition to stall Parliament. It is part of the ritual for every session of Parliament after all. Sushilkumar Shinde has become an expert at baiting the BJP/RSS. He knew what he was doing when he talked about saffron terror. Then, he has deprived them of a stick to beat the Congress with by hanging Kasab as well as Afzal Guru. How unfair!

Obviously the long election season is upon us and will last till May 2014. Mulayam Singh Yadav is fantasising about an early election as well as the chance that he would be the dark horse for Prime Ministership when there is a deadlock. But then so are many others who see their chance coming in 2014. BJP has Narendra Modi to deal with but no doubt several others like Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, and even Nitin Gadkari will be consulting astrologers about their stars. Congress may have declared Rahul Gandhi as the Leader but he may not be Prime Minister and we could have a good gamble on Sushilkumar Shinde or P. Chidambaram or Digvijay Singh.

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