Corrupt fevicol unbinds morals!

Poonam I Kaushish
Political Delhi continues to suffer from the Rs 1.86 lakh crores Coalgate gripes. The cacophony of shadow boxing between our netagan continues with each trying to demonstrate through free-for-all one-upmanship their deeper commitment to public interest. If the ends justify the means, so be it. All forgetting that the corruption fevicol is not the binder of a nation’s moral fabric!
Everyone is upset with the wholly unwarranted crisis thrust on the people. Yet nobody wants to resolve it. No matter, backroom bargains being struck every hour between the BJP and Congress to find a via media acceptable to both and save face.
With the BJP discounting its “tu-tu-mein-mein,” on Coalgate, asserting it has “the right to ask questions and seek political, Constitutional and moral accountability of the Prime Minister as it is the Opposition’s Constitutional and Parliamentary obligation to safeguard the people’s interest.” Sic. It is no secret the stalemate suits its plans to force early election.
The Congress’ Sonia Gandhi is unambiguous: There is no way she will allow her Government to be torpedoed by the BJP or allow its game plan to stall Parliament and either force early elections or prop up an alternate set up. Hence, her recent aggressive attitude. She is leading the counter offensive from the front. One, the Government did no wrong. Two, the CAG got it all wrong. Three, the BJP did likewise, so why fault us?
In a classic case of me-to-ism the Samajwadi along-with four Left Parties and Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP joined the Coalgate chorus. Opposing BJP’s stand of stalling both Houses of Parliament, they sought cancellation of all ‘irregular’ coal blocks and demanded an enquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge.
Undeniably, the move is aimed at challenging the BJP-led NDA’s supremacy of the anti-corruption political space created by the latest issue, to rock the scam-infested UPA. Moreover, the trio feels Coalgate is “Congress-BJP match-fixing who both have coal black hands.”
Not a few feel that the Mulayam-Left demand has been orchestrated by the Congress. Wherein, the Government might be willing to cancel coal mines allotted by the UPA as also those earlier by the BJP-led NDA. This way the Congress would kill two birds with one stone. It does not sully its hands further and admit its Government’s coal policy was flawed and get Parliament to resume. Also, Sonia would be happy to let Mulayam take the credit.
Her decision to tell Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai to clear the air on allocation of two coal blocks to SKS Ispat and Power Lld in which his brother is a director bears this out. If push comes to shove, the Government could cancel mines recommended by her Ministers favouring their kith and kin.
Further, others see the Mulayam formation as the possible emergence of a new regional alignment nee Third Front between non-Congress-led UPA and non-BJP-led NDA Parties Third Front to oppose the Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA. Wherein, all Parties are positioning themselves for the 2014 general elections. As things stand today, plainly, the regional Parties are likely to call the shots on who sits on India’s Raj gaddi. Enjoying the outside support of the either the Congress or BJP.
This assessment is based on the premise that in 2014, UP with 80 Lok Sabha seats could see Mulayam’s Samajwadi and Mayawati’s BSP gain ground with both the Congress and BJP being relegated to third and fourth position. In Andhra, the TPD is likely to gain from a divided Congress, ditto Pawar’s NCP in Maharashtra. In West Bengal, Mamata will continue to her numero uno status.
Down south, in Odisha and Tamil Nadu, BJD’s Naveen Patnaik and Jayalalitha respectively are likely to emerge victorious as the Congress has hardly any presence in these States. In Bihar Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) has made plain his animus for Narendra Modi as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. He could emerge as the king-maker if not the King, said a senior political observer.
What of the Left? Knowing it has no hope in hell for early come back in West Bengal and could lose Kerala it suits the comrades to piggy back on the regional outfits. Having supported the Congress-led UPA 1 it realizes it could “do business” again with the Party. Hence, it has already started making overtures to the Congress.
The Congress whets this thinking. Interestingly, keeping the Left sensibilities in mind, the Government did not press some important economic bills opposed by the Left. It has kept abeyance the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill 2011, listed for business this session. Even as the Lok Sabha passed two ‘inconsequential bills’ during the din last week.
Arguably, why is Mulayam cosying up to the Congress at the Centre given that they are arch enemies in UP? It has everything to do with ensuring the Centre does not present road-blocks in UP where son Akhilesh grapples with running the State.
Also, both the Left and Mulayam are determined to keep the BJP’s game plan to stall Parliament to either force early elections or prop up an alternate set up. Towards that end it suits both to gone along with the Congress. “The Congress is a ‘lesser devil’. Aligning with the Hindutva brigade would tantamount to committing hara-kiri as they stand to lose the Muslim vote bank. With the Left’s 24 and Samajwadi’s 22 MPs we would have a ready counter against the unpredictable Mamata.” It remains to be seen what the other M2s (Mayawati and Mamata) think?
Notwithstanding all these conjectures the time has come for our leaders to seriously think of their duties towards the country. It is all very well to score brownie points against each other over “mota maal”. But at the heart of India’s democracy our leaders owe it to the nation to let Parliament function. Otherwise, what is the difference between Anna Hajare-Ramdev’s holding street protests and them?
Street hartals and dharnas is not an answer to reasoned debate in Parliament which is the bedrock of our democracy. All have to sit together and apply their minds how to find a way out of the logjams? To a certain extent stalling Parliament does serve the purpose as seen in the 2G scam whereby the Supreme Court cancelled 122 telecom licences. But this should not be the rule but an exception.
It is immaterial whether the BJP lifts its ’embargo on Parliament and the Congress agrees to cancellation on coal blocks. What is important is that it spells a death-knell of democratic conventions and traditions, encourages unhealthy practices and sets bad precedents in our Parliamentary functioning. Tying up Parliament without doing any business does not behove the world’s largest democracy. Think, 31 Bills have been washed out in the ruckus Our MPs should search their souls and answer: Whose Parliament is it? Theirs or of the people?
India is too precious a democracy to be lost in labyrinth of babbling voices With 50 per cent of the population between 18-35 years, the country can ill-afford to mess up. As, it would only pave the way for anarchy. Already, Anna Hazare-Ramdev have taken the battle to the streets. Clearly, India can survive without its tooth paste politicians! INFA


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