13 April, 2021

The Trishul Dilemma

Pulled by realeconomik and pushed by realpolitik, North Block may be forced to balance its act and opt for the middle path

The Trishul Dilemma
On the face of it, everyone within the BJP seems gung-ho about the future. The dramatic and clear victory in the Gujarat elections has provided a political stimulus the party badly needed. And, according to the business community, the decisive win will allow Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and his deputy L.K. Advani to push through critical reforms initiatives that had been put on the backburner. But read between the lines, analyse the nuances in statements made by BJP leaders and you will notice that the discord between them on economic issues has only increased.

That was probably one reason for the BJP not passing an economic resolution at its recently-concluded national executive. Finance minister Jaswant Singh is already grappling with Budget 2003; he has to balance between the need to take hard decisions and incorporate the pro-middle class demands of ideologue organisations like the RSS. Even disinvestment minister Arun Shourie, who thinks the privatisation process is back on track after serious disagreements between his cabinet colleagues delayed the sale of oil PSUs, is...

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