STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Scam Versus Scam Politics Stalls India's Reform Agenda

India\'s premier political parties have come up with a new strategy to get even with each other - scam versus scam.

Published: 23rd July 2015 08:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2015 09:20 PM   |  A+A-

parliament_Newdelhi_Reuters

Indian security personnel stand guard at the parliament in New Delhi | REUTERS

NEW DELHI: India's premier political parties have come up with a new strategy to get even with each other - scam versus scam.

Since the monsoon sitting of parliament began on Tuesday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the main opposition Congress party have been trying to outdo each other with accusations of who is the most corrupt.

Related Stories:

-Washout in Parliament Over Lalit Modi, Vyapam Issues

- CPI(M) Rejects BJP's Debate Offer, Sticks to Resignation of Swaraj, Raje

- Monsoon Session: All-party Meet Ends in Deadlock Over Lalit, Vyapam Scams

- No Discussion Until Sushma Steps Down: Rahul

While the strategy is meant to blunt allegations of impropriety levelled against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party and ministers, it has paralysed the new session of parliament, casting doubts on the fate of a landmark tax reform.

The passage of the measure should pave the way for the biggest overhaul of taxes since independence in 1947 and reassure investors who are growing impatient with the slow pace of economic reforms.

But every day since Tuesday, opposition lawmakers led by the Congress party have stormed the chamber and forced the speaker to halt proceedings.

They are demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack his foreign minister and a state leader for alleged favours given to a sports tycoon living in London who faces allegations of tax evasion. The leaders deny wrongdoing.

But in India's notoriously grubby politics, there is plenty of mud to sling. So in its response, every afternoon, the BJP has raised alleged scams by chief ministers of Congress-ruled states.

The party made graft allegations on Thursday against Virbhadra Singh, the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. On Wednesday, it accused Harish Rawat, Uttarkhand's chief minister, of changing government policy on granting liquor licenses to make profits.

"Those who are making charges against us, will they ask their own chief ministers to resign?" asked Telecoms Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Both the Congress leaders have denied the charges.

Congress is also gunning for Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, governed by Modi's party, over the deaths of witnesses involved in a massive fraud in entrance exams for college and government jobs.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the party would not relent without their removal. "No discussion without resignation," he insisted on Thursday.

Political opposition has already forced Modi to defer the passage of a business-friendly land purchase law. His inability to pass key reforms have dimmed economic prospects, a Reuters poll showed.

A delay in passing the tax reform would only further undermine investor confidence.

Also Read:  - SC Orders CBI Probe into Vyapam Cases, Deaths

                      - Coal Scam: CBI Special Court Summons Ex-MoS Santosh Bagrodia

                      - CBI Yet to Say Yes to Probe Lottery Scam : K J George



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp