Ever since the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) seemingly rediscovered its mojo, a conspiracy theory has been doing the rounds in New Delhi, claiming that it was designed as a diversion. The government had its back to the wall battling allegations of corruption in the allotment of coalfields, charges that even sought to target the Teflon-like integrity cover of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Whether it was indeed a conspiracy is still not clear. But, what is true is that for the last three weeks, the headlines of newspapers have focused on the UPA’s second coming. The stock markets have roared and finance minister P. Chidambaram has not lost a step in calibrating the pronouncements. The mood has indeed lifted.
But all of a sudden, thanks to the maverick actions and audacious allegations of activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal have once again turned headlines. Once again politicians are in the me-too act and turning the spotlight on corruption; claims and counter-claims are being flung around. In politics, unlike in judicial cases, the verdict is delivered inevitably by the first mover. Elections have often been fought and won on allegations that either were not proved or were blatantly false.
As an incumbent, the Congress is naturally at a disadvantage and can only hope that the tide would ebb once again.