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Thursday, May 26, 2005

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Coalition politics

The article "Coalition politics delaying reforms" (Business Line, May 23) describes the Prime Minister and his economic team as being hamstrung by "coalition politics".

Former Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee did a better job of managing the coalition by coining the binding term "coalition dharma".

What the present team seems to be facing is the antithesis of such dharma.

How long can the Prime Minister do the tightrope walking between the reformists and their opponents?

As pointed out by the article, India has to be satisfied with whatever reforms are possible by executive fiat since what requires legislative effort seems to be out of reach.

There is yet another disquieting factor. Whatever funds are made available for reforms by the coalition — the rural employment scheme, for instance — can be siphoned off by corrupt officials for paying ghost workers `employed' to build phantom projects which exist only on paper.

Kangayam R. Rangaswamy


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