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Congress and BJP hand-in-hand in political Iftar

The Prime Minister attending an iftaar party thrown by BJP MP Shahnawaz Hussain after recent indecent remarks from BJP president Gadkari by drawing a parallel between PM and Gandhi’s three monkeys might have surprised one and all. The adage: politics is the art of the possible sounds reasonably true here. In recent times BJP has coarsely attacked the Congress many times but it seems Congress has pardoned BJP the way shoe-throwers have been pardoned by our politicians on many occasions.

Some believe that Indira Gandhi during her regime had used Iftaar to feel the pulse and mood of Muslim leaders towards the ruling party but this time the BJP wanted to have a look and feel of the PM’s entourage. Fingers have already been raised against a dubious understanding between Congress and BJP over nuclear deal. Lalu has charged that there has been a secret understanding between BJP and Congress in which Modi has been let off in the Sohrabuddin encounter case in return for BJP’s support to the nuclear bill.

Will our prime minister go to this extent is the big question which may put some of us in doubt, some may feel angry, many would laugh while some may say ‘politics’ mein sab kutch hota hai. Anyone who is aware of the prime minister’s statement that minorities have the first claim on the resources and very recently the question raised by the former RSS chief Sudarshan if the minorities are Congress’s son-in-law?, could hardly doubt PM’s intentions. However, it is crystal clear how important the deal is for our prime minister who has made it a matter of life and death for his government. It is said that he had earlier threatened to resign if the deal got messed up half way. If the deal gets through, it will epitomise his political career.

In the backdrop of price rise, Congress wants the deal to sail through in order to present before the people its achievement to score politically. Bihar election is approaching and many state assembly elections are in line. Congress wants something in its hand to hold its head high during assembly elections and after. All political parties wish to have some achievements in their bag to display them before voters during elections.

Of late BJP seems to have deviated a little in order to bargain over its support to the nuclear deal. BJP on 22 August expressed its objection while saying that the fresh amendments in clause 17 of the nuclear act which deals with supplier liability was totally unacceptable to it and made it clear that it would not allow the government to have its way on the legislation.  BJP wants to make sure that if the deal is passed, the BJP must have a slice of the pie when the turn comes to take credit out of the deal. The main opposition party too would  place some achievements before Bihar electorates. On the positive note, if the intention of our prime minister was to bring Congress and BJP on one platform, which is next to impossible, the purpose of iftaar may have been served. If not, then the practice of politicisation of Iftar must be abandoned by one and all. It is believed by some that iftaar these days is seen as a competition between parties and leaders. Nothing more than a public relation exercise.   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2010 on page no. 1

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