Rahul's Take on Corruption is a Bluff That Must be Called
By Kamlendra kanwar | Published: 29th December 2013 06:00 AM |
Hypocrisy has long become the hallmark of our politics and politicians. Thus, when the Congress heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi waxed eloquent at the New Delhi convention of FICCI a few days ago that corruption was bleeding our country dry, people merely chuckled.
It is no secret that it is Sonia Gandhi who has called the shots during the decade of Congress-led UPA’s rule, closely aided by son Rahul. It has been power without responsibility for the mother-son duo and the other way about for the spineless Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
So why on earth did Rahul allow corruption to bleed the country dry? Where was he when scam after scam was being unravelled by a vigilant media? Today, with the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, he is seeking to appropriate credit for the passing of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, but where was he when Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and their team at that point were crying themselves hoarse in quest of the institution of Lokpal?
With the jolt that the electorate has given to the Congress in four states, anti-corruption legislations are being pulled out of closets and credit is being claimed by the UPA government. The Aam Aadmi Party whose leaders were at one time being harassed and hounded are now being wooed.
When the 2G scam burst on the scene and became a huge embarrassment for UPA, DMK leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi were the ones who took all the knocks while all protestations that PM Manmohan Singh and finance minister Chidambaram were fully in the know of things were brushed aside.
Today, memories of 2G have faded and there is a new scandal on which Rahul has woken up to strive to prove his bona fides as a crusader against the corrupt. He did not do so when allegations flew thick and fast against his brother-in-law Robert Vadra for having acquired huge tracts of land in Haryana and Rajasthan through questionable means.
In the latest case, after procrastinating and allowing the Maharashtra cabinet to reject the report of the judicial commission which indicted four former chief ministers—Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil—two former urban development ministers Rajesh Tope and Sunil Tatkare and 12 top bureaucrats in the Adarsh scam, Rahul is now all set to have the rejection reversed so as to project himself as a knight in shining armour. Until Rahul said that he was opposed to the rejection, CM Prithviraj Chavan was categorically ruling out a re-think, but now he would predictably have to eat his words.
It’s the same story as Rahul Gandhi’s dramatic declaration three months ago that an ordinance hurriedly pushed by the government to protect convicted MPs and MLAs was “complete nonsense”, which led to the reversal of the move which had earlier been passed unanimously by the Cabinet. The Prime Minister had then been acutely embarrassed, but Rahul looked taller in the process.
Significantly, the judicial panel report had said Ashok Chavan and key bureaucrats gave permissions and clearances in exchange for flats in the Adarsh housing society in south Mumbai. Besides, Ashok was also charged with illegally approving as revenue minister the allotment of 40 per cent of the flats to civilians when the society was meant for Kargil war widows and defence personnel.
Another shocker was the refusal of Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan to give the mandatory go-ahead to the CBI for prosecution of Ashok Chavan in the scam.
It is indeed a moot point whether both the convicted legislators ordinance and now the Adarsh scam report rejection were orchestrated to benefit Rahul.
Kanwar is a senior journalist