DC Debate: War on graft, or just politics

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published May 18, 2017, 1:52 am IST
Updated May 18, 2017, 1:52 am IST
The CBI and I-T raids on Opposition leaders are a political witch-hunt.
Karti Chidambaram
 Karti Chidambaram

Centre wants to muzzle all voices in Opposition: Ashish Dua, National media coordinator, AICC

The BJP has completed three years at the Centre but revenge and vendetta has become its hallmark. When the BJP was in Opposition it levelled charges against the Congress, accusing it of using the investigative agencies against their political rivals. The truth is far removed from this fiction, which the BJP was peddling. Our sitting ministers went to jail and some resigned from their posts. The CBI and other investigative agencies under the UPA were free from political interference. It was the Congress government that got in the RTI law to make government dealings more transparent. We went a step forward and moved the Lokpal Bill.

Now people who are championing the cause of Lokpal and supporting several movements covertly have done nothing in the last three years to get the Lokpal. Instead, they are giving excuses for not bringing in Lokpal. Coercion and threat are tools of the BJP government. It is sad that to implement this policy, the investigating agencies have become their enforcers. Our senior leaders like P. Chidambaram, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda all have been targeted by the BJP government. This government is so blinded by power that it raided the house of Mr Virbhadra Singh on the day of his daughter’s wedding.

Three years after Mr Chidambaram demitted office, the government suddenly realised that there is something wrong and raided the premises of his son. This is happening because he is taking on the government over its doublespeak in his weekly columns. It is not surprising that suddenly the investigative agencies are seeing wrongdoing by the leaders of Opposition parties. The government wants to muzzle the voice of the Opposition. During demonetisation, when West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was taking on the Centre, suddenly, action against the MPs of Trinamul Congress started. All the Opposition parties are under the scanner. If the government feels that it is under threat from any leader, prompt reprisals come his or her way.

Strangely, the investigative agencies see no wrong whatsoever with the leaders of the ruling party. In Madhya Pradesh, there is Vyapam scam, most of the people who could throw light on the issue mysteriously started ending up dead. But there has been no action. Fugitive Lalit Modi goes abroad, a BJP chief minister gives surety to the British government. Another Cabinet minister goes ahead and facilitates his travel documents. True to the Modi government style, no action whatsoever.

The list of allegations against Chhattisgarh chief minister goes on and on. Have we seen any action? No. Tainted leaders, when they join the BJP, suddenly wash off all their taints. In fact, a senior minister of this government said openly that the BJP is a river that cleanses all. It is for all to see that in the past three years, apart from tall claims, the government has not done anything. When we point this out the government gets uneasy and goes after us. This is what we are seeing. The problem is that the government has been caught for not being able to deliver. Now it wants to show that the Opposition is crooked. The people of this country are way too smart to fall for this ploy.

UPA has a long list deserving punishment: R. Balashankar, Member of the BJP central team on National Cadre Training Programme and publications

Too late too little is the feeling one gets when reports of raids on the premises of Lalu Prasad Yadav and P. Chidambaram are being debated in political circles. One had expected the end of political careers and a good stint in jail for these leaders after the people of India voted a government to power with a massive mandate on a plank of delivering India from corruption, cronyism and entitlements of a few privileged families. This was three years ago. We waited and waited patiently for some action, and now that there is action, some vested interests are crying vendetta. India has a long history of corrupt politicians going scot-free and even bouncing back after a brief uncertain spell.

Mr Chidambaram was the longest-serving finance minister India has seen. But he has not made any mark as a politician who turned around the economy. He is more infamous for the Aircel-Maxis scam, 2G scam, Coalgate scam and a series of other scams that looted the country under his indulgent patronage when a bunch of politicians became astronomically rich. Mr Chidambaram and his family had a link with every sleazy deal that happened since 1991. His role figured even in the Saradha scam and now with the two murder accused (Peter, Indrani) swindlers rotting in jail. The list is so long. An English daily had published the endless list of properties he and his family owned in 14 countries. And now the list of 45 companies starting with “advantage”. Who does not know of the coastal belt in the south that his family acquired? All through the procession of scandals he brazenly lectured political morality and economic wisdom to the Delhi establishment lobby. He even had the audacity to declare the Budget as nothing but fudging of figures, which he did all his life. There is some relief that at last nemesis is catching up. The least Mr Chidambaram can do is to explain how he and his family acquired so much wealth and property.

Who is the master of the trick? Mr Yadav or Mr Chidambaram? Like the latter, Mr Yadav too was the longest-serving chief minister of Bihar. He too bounced back, shattering the faith of simpletons who hoped for clean politics. He fooled around for too long and like Mr Chidambaram, Mr Yadav too is known not for any great administrative feat but only for jungle raj and the fodder scam. But for the Supreme Court Mr Yadav would have been laughing away to glory in his rustic disdain.

One cannot see a political insight or strategy in these raids. If there was one it may not have taken this long for them to catch up with the law. It took 30 long years for the court to find J. Jayalalithaa guilty. The UPA has a long list of those deserving punishment. The last raid on Mr Chidambaram was in December 2015. Nothing happened since then. We heard a lot of bluff, including justifying Kashmiri terrorists and rubbishing demonetisation from this crony capitalist. People have great faith in Narendra Modi’s promise of guarding every single penny that belongs to the people of this country. He cannot let them down by sparing these scoundrels who looted Mother India, more brutally than the Ghoris and Ghaznis of yore.





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