India Forges Ahead Toward Nuclear Production

The meeting of India’s Left-UPA committee on June 25th has produced nothing: no nuclear clearance nor ‘parting of ways’ by the Left.  And it was the most expected outcome if political circle is to be believed. The game of buying time by both left and the Indian National Congress (Congress) is a popular one in India.

 

The reasons are not far to see. Congress requires time to take care of Inflation and cool down prices. The Board of Governors of IAEA is likely to meet in September’08. If ‘parting of ways’ occurs in September, then the elections can be held in February’09, which means the five-year term of UPA will almost be completed. The intervening period of 7 months would be enough to reverse the inflation to some extent and additionally make big-ticket announcements on price front.

 

Therefore N-deal can be Okayed any time in September. The UPA partners too can be taken into confidence in this arrangement, as none of them are against N-deal. As the Deal is an international treaty, Congress is duty bound to implement it. Congress has nothing to lose in ‘parting of ways,’ as it would have to fight the poll against the Left in any case.

 

Conversely, with polls around, the Left, too need ‘parting of ways’ from Congress because of political compulsions of fighting against Congress. Naturally, ‘parting of ways’ would always be beneficial for them on Nuke issue. And when it occurs, they would be able to impress Muslim voters in particular (constituting 25% of population in Kerala and West Bengal), who basically nurture anti-American sentiments Additionally, the Left would try to pin down Congress on price front.

 

However, the Left needs time to repair and regroup after the substantial loses they suffered in the recently held rural polls in West Bengal. So buying time is a mutually beneficial game for both Congress and Left for the time being.