Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s commitment to go ahead with the controversial Russian-built Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu is a welcome step. The plan with a massive investment of Rs 14,000 crore, expected to sail the country out of deepening energy crisis, should not be avoided, but there is a doubt that the Prime Minister will be able to proceed as per his promise because the nuclear plant has become a political issue in Tamil Nadu. With the Prime Minister’s announcement to move ahead on the plan, the threat issued by opponents to speed up their stir is not a surprising element. Unfortunately, the state government’s moral support being extended to the protestors has restricted nuclear scientists and employees to reach the plant. This is happening when the Centre as well as nuclear scientists strived hard to dispel the fear of local people. The support and patronage extended by the state government to the opponents of Koodankulam nuclear plant exhibit a naked show of political bankruptcy. The cause of concern is that the same is being witnessed in every matter especially the economic reforms programme. Consequently, economic reforms appear to have met with a setback which has alarmed India Inc.

The issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) has also gone into oblivion because of the political parties’ thinking that it can be politically exploited to the hilt, and they did the same. This is simply not an anti-development politics, but is also a part of politics affecting the nation’s economic interests. The ruling and opposition parties have acted in the similar fashion and the glaring example of it can be witnessed in the stand of UPA allies like Trinamool and DMK which led the Prime Minister to clearly state that partners are not able to agree on reforms. Despite his expressing hope on evolving a minimum consensus on reforms, the expectation for the same is minimal. The opposition is taking political mileage out of the problems lurking over the ruling party and this approach is scuttling economic reforms. If the opposition parties are of the view that this government has failed to act they should strive collectively to pull it out of the governance if this is not possible then they cannot be allowed to scamper the development. The ruling party should also not wash its hands off the responsibility by blaming the opposition as well as its allies. If economic reforms are not pushed forward, the ruling party itself would be held responsible to a great extent.