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Will this time be different?
Fri, 21 Sep Pre-Open

Mamata Banerjee has been considered as a one-(wo)man opposition squad to the Congress' reform plans. Being in 'sweet spot' that she is, the major reforms processes initiated by the UPA government - land acquisitions, retail and divestment - in the past have either been deferred, canceled or overhauled considerably.

As you would be aware, Mamata Didi has recently threatened to withdraw support from the Congress led coalition, unless it rolls back the newly announced reform plans. These reforms include FDI in multi-brand retail, capping of government's subsidy on cooking gas, the Rs 5 per litre hike in diesel prices, allowing more foreign investment in media and airlines companies. Looking at this from Mamata Didi's perspective, she would be more concerned about the first three.

However, the key question remains - Will the UPA stand firm?

"If we have to go down, let us go down fighting," is what the Prime Minister said a few days ago. Going by these words, the possibility of a positive response to the question 'Will this time be different?' does remain.

Industrialists display their support

Noted businesswoman Kiram Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman of Biocon has expressed her support to the government through a social media site asking it not to give in to the demands of the Trinamool Congress chief and to go ahead with the reform process. "Mamta Didi is a maverick politician who depends on a vote bank of poor people. Her economic agenda is not aligned with strong economic growth," Shaw tweeted.

Industrialist Anand Mahindra also expressed similar views, tweeting - "Again, we urge the Govt (sic) to stand its ground. Right-thinking Indians will be less than amused by partisan politics in a fragile economy."

As far as our views are concerned, we are all for reforms as long as it benefits the common man and is in the long term interest of the country. However, if it means free coal, free spectrum and free other natural resources, then there better be no reforms at all.

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