UPA enters fourth year amidst calls for correction of policies


New Delhi : A sharp rise in prices that has accompanied an impressive economic growth rate is causing concern to the Congress-led UPA government as it enters its fourth year in office with calls from allies and even within for a mid-course correction in policies.

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Except for a dinner for UPA MPs to be hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on May 22, the third anniversary of the Congress-led coalition is expected to be a low-key affair.

The occasion appears to be one of introspection for the government and the UPA’s leadership despite clocking several firsts — a booming economy with growing exports, relative peace and tranquillity at home and a dialogue process on with neighbouring Pakistan.

The Indo-US nuclear deal, being seen as a major achievement by the economist-turned-politician Prime Minister, is being negotiated with Washington despite several pulls and pressures.

In the words of the 74-year old Prime Minister heading a motley coalition, “India is an idea whose time has come.” The tribe of Indian billionaires is growing by the day and even domestic corporations have started to have a global footprint and are giving multinationals a run for their money.

But detractors differ. Good economics may not have translated into good politics for the coalition, especially the Congress, which had lost Punjab and Uttarakhand and is facing a crucial election in Gujarat at the end of the year.

Mayawati’s success in the Uttar Pradesh polls after cobbling together a rainbow coalition has come as a reality check.