Sonia's NAC agenda

Her return to the body signals aam aadmi is under focus again


Ajay Singh | March 30, 2010

The Congress seems to have developed into a fine art the difficult practice of running two power centres. Ever since the party came back to power in 2004, there was hardly any doubt that Sonia Gandhi is the political boss but there came a time, especially during the nuclear deal and the first few months of UPA2 when it seemed like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a mind of his own, too.

Initially there was a lot of skepticism about the efficacy of this duality of power centres. But, after six years in governance, it can be safely surmised that the party has learnt to deal with this duality dexterously. This is the precise reason why Sonia Gandhi's re-appointment as chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC) will not raise much heat and dust.

In her earlier role as NAC chairperson which bestows on her cabinet status, Gandhi influenced the government’s policies in a major way. She can be justifiably credited with prompting the government to take concrete social initiatives and bringing in the Right to Information Act to ensure transparency in governance.

It was the NAC that also came up with NREGA as the ultimate flagship programme for poverty eradication. The success of the Congress in 2009 elections was largely attributed to  successful implementation of this programme.

As of now, Gandhi’s reappointment as NAC chief (she had to quit earlier because of the office-of-profit problem which has since been taken care of) is just a technicality. Her overweening influence over the government was evident when she virtually pushed the agenda of the women’s reservation bill in spite of skepticism in some quarters. Her return as NAC head only implies that she is willing to play a proactive role in formulating and shaping the policies of governance. In her status as cabinet minister, she will be entitled to get access to government files and suggest measures which will be in consonance with her politics.

If at all there is some element of surprise, it is about why she chose to come back now. But even that is explained easily. Her party and government have come under for persistent attack of late for having abandoned the "aad aadmi" agenda. It is perhaps Gandhi's message to her political constituency that now that she is back, her social agenda will be back too.



Other News

What makes Sundargarh the cradle of hockey in India

Neha Lakra, 20, doesn’t forget to practise hockey, at least for four hours, every day. Whether at home or at the Panposh sports hostel in Rourkela where she is training under the guidance of coaches, her routine doesn’t change. “I can’t sleep unless I have worked on the ground,&rdqu

Where the true sadhana of Vedanta is to be found

Somewhere Among the Stars: Reflections of a Mystic By Adi Varuni Kali/BluOne Ink, 282 pages, Rs 395 Decades ago, when an unknown N

India celebrates National Voters’ Day

The 13th National Voters’ Day was celebrated across the country Wednesday with president Droupadi Murmu gracing the national event held here. Kiren Rijiju, union minister for law & justice, was the guest of honour. The chief election commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, election commissioners Anup Chandra

INS Vagir to give fillip to Navy: Admiral Hari Kumar

The Indian Navy commissioned its fifth stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Vagir on Monday at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai in the presence of Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff. Vagir was launched on November 12, 2020, under Project 75 (P75) and post completion of sea trials it w

Uddhav joins hands with Prakash Ambedkar ahead of BMC polls

Ahead of the Mumbai civic polls, former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday announced an alliance with Prakash Ambedkar`s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). Addressing a joint press conference, Thackeray said their grandfathers, Keshav Thackeray and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, were conte

How women leaders enable collective action at local level

Ela R. Bhatt, the founder of SEWA, once said, “There is ample proof to demonstrate that women can and do build strong and vital organizations around issues that relate to them, and find viable solutions out of their own experiences.” Women Leadership Schools (WLSs) promoted by Se

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Current Issue


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter