New Delhi. Upset by news reports that the government was spooked when two small regiments of the army moved towards New Delhi on the night of 16th and 17th January, UPA allies have asked the Prime Minister to explain to them if the government considered the army as the number one threat to the government – a position of power previously held by the coalition partners.
“This is totally disappointing,” a Trinamool Congress MP told Faking News on conditions of anonymity, “We have threatened to bring this government down on petrol price hike, railway fare hike, NCTC (National Counter-Terrorism Center), and other issues; and yet the government believes that it’s the army that will bring them down!”
Trinamool MP further revealed that an emergency meeting of all party leaders has been called by Mamata Banerjee to find out how they can spook the government in a bigger way.
“Madam Mamata Banerjee could give a missed call to the Prime Minister in the middle of the night to see if it sends a chill down the spine or not,” the MP revealed.
Similar sentiments were echoed by MPs belonging to parties like DMK, NCP, JMM, and RLD.
“This is an era of coalition politics, not military coup,” an NCP MP said, “It indeed is puzzling how the government can afford to be wary of the army movement, when movement of one party from the coalition can bring down the government, that too without any bloodshed.”
“Precisely!” RLD leader Ajit Singh, who became a cabinet minister for civil aviation just before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, supported the views of the like-minded UPA allies, “Forget Air Force, the government should worry more about Air India.”
Ajit Singh candidly admitted that he was worried over lack of news reports about government’s dependence on allies and a sudden surge in news reports about ‘trust-deficit’ between the government and the army.
“I don’t want to feel like an employee of Kingfisher Airlines, whose job could go anytime,” Ajit Singh said, “I am sure the government needs allies like me to remain in power, and they must worry about us more than worrying about General VK Singh.”
Political experts too believe that the UPA allies and other political parties “friendly” to the Congress party were jealous of the current Army Chief, who is suddenly being seen as a threat to the government.
“Notice how parties like Samajwadi Party and RJD, not a part of the coalition but supporting the government from outside, were most vocal in criticism and asked for immediate sacking of General VK Singh,” an expert pointed out, “These parties don’t want the army to replace them as power centers that can arm-twist the government.”
When contacted, Prime Minister’s Office refused to comment on the issue. They even refused to order ‘UPA allies’, ‘parties supporting from outside’, and ‘armed forces’ in an increasing or decreasing order of threat to the stability of the government.
“Hey, we are also a threat to the government!” a BJP MP claimed as this reporter framed his questions, but the claim was ignored.
(originally written for and published in the English daily DNA)