1. A NEGATIVE TURN
IT was fine until Barack Obama left. Then, swiftly, the wheels came off. The Centre is not holding.
2. PRICES THAT WON’T SLOW
Too many economists spoil the math. Manmohan, Pranab, Chidambaram, Montek.
3. RASH OF SCAMS
Adarsh. CWG 2010. Lavasa. 2G spectrum. Land. Defence supplies. Palmolein oil and the CVC. Bofors.
4.REBELLION IN THE RANKS
Jagan Mohan Reddy turns it on in Andhra Pradesh. A J&K minister says give Kashmir azadi.
5. THE BIHAR ROUT
They didn’t expect to win but they didn’t plan for obliteration either. This will take years to undo.
6. FRAGILE ARMED FORCES
It’s not about the nukes, as we distressingly know. China does what it wants and we can’t do a thing.
7. ABSENCE OF THE LEFT
Now the Congress realises what a difference it makes to have the Left. They kept UPA1 on track.
8. AMBIVALENT ALLIES
Mamata, Lalu, Pawar, Karunanidhi, Farooq Abdullah, Ram Vilas Paswan. To each his own.
9. CORPORATE CABALS
Big businesses have enslaved large sections of the Congress. The Radia tapes are merely one strand.
10. LETHARGIC MEMBERSHIP
A self-serving leadership. Foot soldiers in the barracks. No rousing Congress mass event for years.
& 10 THINGS THAT MAKE IT EASY
1. The Opposition. Dysfunctional. Unattractive
2. Sonia Gandhi, would be mayhem without her
3. Manmohan Singh. Waning, but still an asset
4. Urban middle-class support
5. Hindutva terror, always trips the RSS
6. Pranab Mukherjee, Mr Congress
8. RTI Act, hugely effective
9. Apolitical army
10. Professional EC
ILLUSTRATION: SUDEEP CHAUDHURI