UPA's biggest problem is not the external Opposition, it is the naysayers within the ruling coalitiion
There is little doubt that on many occasions, the Opposition has tried its best to block reform moves, the opposition to hiking FDI in insurance being a good example. Even more worrying, however, is the sharp increase in friendly fire. Parliamentary standing committees headed by Congress MPs and packed with MPs from parties supporting the UPA are increasingly criticising the efforts of the government, most probably because MPs think the NAC’s agenda counts for more than that of the government. And since it is difficult to translate a Bill into an Act if a Parliamentary Standing Committee is against it, this makes the government’s job that much tougher.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on petroleum, for instance, is headed by a Congress MP and 17 of its 31 members belong to the UPA or supporting parties but it has still come out against the hike in prices of bulk diesel and it has asked for exemption of the railways and state transport corporations. Even in the case of committees headed by Opposition members, UPA MPs are going along with reports critical of various government policies. Being neutral and rising above party lines is a noble thing for Parliamentary committees, but if this makes it difficult for the government to implement its policies, it is quite another matter. Nothing shows up the problem of dual controls better than this.