CHURUMURI POLL: UPA-II versus UPA-I?

On May 22, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) completes one year of its second term in office, and it would be fair to say that the hype and hoopla about the Congress getting 200 seats and forming a government on its own without Left support has well nigh dissipated and disappeared.

Instead, there are questions marks, big question marks, over several of the policies ushered in by the government, be it the women’s reservation bill or the nuclear liability bill, Over the Telegana decision taken in a hurry, the approach to Maoists, and the charges of wholesale and retail corruption.

In the absence of any kind of opposition from the Left or the Right, Congressmen (from Digvijay Singh to Jairam Ramesh, from Mani Shankar Aiyar to Shashi Tharoor) have been providing all the pinpricks, even as allies like the DMK and NCP have been happily riding merry on the spectrum scam or the IPL.

Question: How has UPA-II fared compared with UPA-I? On current evidence, does Manmohan Singh seem like he will last out the full term? Will Sonia Gandhi‘s return to the helm of the national advisory council restore a sense of balance? Is the BJP poised to exploit the situation?