The Budget and the next elections

Well, a rather surprising, albeit boring budget. PC’s gone ahead and tried to please everyone, perhaps at the cost of corporate India. The 6000 crore waiver to farmers sounds good on paper, but there’s apparently a fine-print. I’m not too worried about the cost to the government – after all, money is a flow and it will stay within the economy. But if they’re printing money to make up for the deficit, coupled with inflation fears – will lead to inflation. I suppose that explains why interest rates havcen’t been cut. The part I liked (apart from the tax sops) was the allocation of Rs. 75 crore to Tiger conservation – for setting up a Tiger Police force. I just hope some of that money is deployed instead of being siphoned off.

So this was an election budget, and there will be elections in the next fiscal. I still haven’t decided on whom to vote for: one thing is for sure, it’s definitely not the UPA or the Congress party. The problem is that there is no credible alternative to the Congress yet. I was discussing this with a friend last Saturday (yeah, my birthday), and he said it boils down to succession planning, which the BJP hasn’t done. Interestingly, now Mayavati’s BSP is gaining ground alarmingly fast. Ever since she took over power, Maya has stayed clear of controversy and focused on spreading her party beyond UP; what helps her is the mess that Mulayam Singh left in UP after his goondaraj ended. But the contrast is stark – while everyone else is talking regional – a hangover of coalition politics – Maya started talking national, like a statesman (or should that be statesperson?). Not that I’m a supporter, though – the splurging on her birthday are legendary…the thing I don’t understand about that – why the rabid media, and indeed the election commission and the vigilance bureau don’t question the financing of such excesses…

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  1. Dont you know? People love her. They donate generously to her party, and spend all that money on her birthday celebrations. I’m sure they’ll buy a crown for her once she’s queen…err…PM.

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