Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, it would appear, has not forgotten the fact that the UPA government did not go down on bended knees to woo her back when she walked out of the alliance in a huff on the issue of FDI in retail among other things. Now, she has decided to pay the UPA back by attempting to move a no-confidence motion when Parliament begins. Is it naivete or is it vindictiveness that motivates her, we wonder. Whichever it is, her latest move is irrational in the extreme given that none of the other parties is willing to go along with this scheme. This is driven not so much out of any fondness for the UPA but by the fact that the numbers will not add up. And also that the collapse of the government, if that were to happen, is in no one’s interest at the moment, Ms Banerjee included.
But Mamatadi is not one to listen to reason and is behaving true to type — that of the firebrand maverick that she has always been. There are several important issues that she needs to deal with in her own state, from unemployment to rural poverty to crumbling urban infrastructure to the lack of industrialisation. But her sole obsession appears to be to see the back of the Manmohan Singh government even though she must know that this is well nigh impossible. With less than 50 MPs likely to support her no-confidence motion, she will have egg on her face if she presses ahead. The other parties like the BJP, the SP and the Left are clear that they will oppose the UPA on issues like FDI in retail. They are also conscious of the fact that a lot of time has been wasted in the last session wrangling over this and other issues like corruption. It would now seem that they want to focus on debating issues and raising economic subjects and not try and go the whole hog in trying to topple the government. Even the taciturn CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, no admirer of the government, has decided not to go along with the no-confidence motion though his reason is that if defeated, it will serve to cover up the government’s wrong measures.
Such is the desperation exhibited by Mamata Banerjee that she has gone to the extent of asking her arch-enemy the Left to bring about the no-confidence motion. The Congress must be enjoying this spectacle of its former ally engaged in an exercise which is bound to fail. All that Ms Banerjee will achieve is to waste some more of Parliament’s time, something that will not endear her to many. And Mamatadi will only come out of this diminished, perhaps even in the eyes of her own faithful flock.