The answer lies in the middle

Having garnered the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) support, Congress is quite enthusiastic about the prospects of the nuclear deal. Mayavati’s vicious imputation of SP being anti-Muslim is emphatically silenced by Abdul Kalam endorsing the nuclear deal. Now it is official that the deal is going to be activated from India’s side. Unless US Senate or oncoming US elections bring in any hurdles, it would be safe to consider that India is on its way to be proudly becoming part of the world’s glorious nuclear club. There are going to be restrictions and conditions applied to this club membership and the fine prints are going to outweigh bold fonts. But then, no one these days gets to be have a free reign in this club. Not even a rogue nation like North Korea.

In this high-pitched drama played feverishly by everyone, the Left stands to lose immensely. Having been ostracised by every other party in the country, with their base in Bengal eroding hurriedly, now having abandoned by the centre, they ought to conduct some serious review meetings. Hardly few people genuinely believe that this deal is unproductive and oppressive. If Left withdraw support and enforce elections, they would be blamed for having wrought instability when the inflation is zooming northwards. If they do not, they would simply become a laughingstock. There is every reason to believe that the Left will settle with being cantankerous than becoming clowns.

The other party which loses in this game is BJP. At least the Left had some ideological compulsions to repudiate the deal but BJP, whose government actually started this process with the US, began to oppose the deal with the contemptuous anti-Congress stand has exhibited cravenness in not standing up to the deal. BJPs support to the deal would have further alienated Left and exposed the hollowness of their argument. With the deal going through now and Congress scoring enormous brownie points, BJP too remain isolated from the centre-stage. The nation witnesses a rare event of both Left and the Right wings standing in one line and being the newly emerged middle-wing standing opposite to them.

Nevertheless, this government might collapse on the floor test. With fuel prices, Amarnath, inflation and the omnipotent anti-incumbency looming large, Congress might lose elections. Left might slowly walk into the sunset – not so heroically – and fade out into the end credits. But the future India with adequate energy-reserve will remember Manmohan Singh fondly and thankfully. The man who made the elephant dance has achieved another feat. Of calling the commies’ bluff.