In a league of their own

It’s becoming increasingly important for India Inc to understand the ideologies and compulsions of regional parties

Illustration by Varun Vashishtha

For a football fan, an own goal is sacrilege. It is inconceivable that a player boots the ball not between the opponent’s goal posts, but over his own team’s goal line. But if you extend that analogy to national politics, a novice bystander would be stunned by the number of apparent own-goals scored by allies in the coalition government. There are many instances, from Trinamool Party chief Mamata Banerjee recently making the UPA government bend on the Rail Budget, which was presented by her own party nominee who apparently turned hostile by hiking passenger fares, to the DMK, among others, opposing the government’s proposal to bring in 51% FDI in multi-brand retail.