Pradhanmantriji, muhan toh kholo

By Prabhakar Timble
26 June 2015 06:08 IST

My admiration for the BJP-RSS crisis management skills has shot up for the surreptitious manner in which they manage to snatch victory from the throes of moral bankruptcy.  After the expose of the direct involvement of Sushma Swaraj, the Minister for External Affairs in the favors doled out to the fugitive Lalit Modi, the BJP was quick to rebut it as an act done in good faith during the course of office despite the abuse of power keeping the finance and home ministries in dark and with no formal or informal consultation with the bureaucracy in the ministry of external affairs. This was not even a single-window clearance. It’s a single-minister clearance or better the ‘Sushma-family’ authorization to an absconder wanted by the Enforcement Directorate for grave economic offences.  The RSS spoke of the unquestionable patriotic and nationalist credentials of the minister. The strategy initially appeared to be to downplay the Sushma saga and project it as the external affairs minister fulfilling a normal obligation of office.

Further, rattled by the expose of the dubious involvement of Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, the BJP top brass made an initial attempt to distance from it.  It looked that Vasundhara Raje would be sacrificed to save Sushma Swaraj and silence the mounting criticism. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet continue to keep the head unbowed to pressures and cling to high morals despite stinking nepotism.

No defense, distastefully offensive

BJP’s answer started with the attack on the messenger and questioning the motives, with no denials in respect of the message. It is admitted that the Enforcement Directorate functioning under the finance ministry is investigating 16 cases of alleged forex violation to the tune of Rs. 1700 crores. There are over two dozen cases of financial irregularities and money laundering filed against the former IPL Commissioner. Needless to say that Lalit Modi was one of the ace hidden financiers of the BJP, which no longer stays concealed today. LaMo is hoodwinking the ED and taking recluse in a foreign land. The Finance Minister puts up the weakest of the weak defence that the Raje-Dushant-LaMo deal is a commercial transaction. Such an intelligent argument does not come forward for similar transactions involving Robert Vadra. I do not buy the argument that Vadra has not abused the proximity to the first family in the Congress party enjoying the privilege to head the party as if it is a private property invoking almost hereditary rights. In the same vein, it is unacceptable that there is no quid-pro-quo in respect of Vasundhara Raje and Sushma Swaraj on the basis of what has come out in the public domain.

 

A supplementary strategy followed by the BJP to reduce the impact of the corrupt alcohol consumed by the two BJP ministers is by providing statistics of corruption and scams during UPA rule.  LaMo is also on the same track to distract and distort from the Raje-Sushma-Lalit issue by smear campaign on Arun Jaitley, Rajiv Shukla of the Congress and others whom he calls as the “gang of five”.  Moves to deflect and repel the attack have been made by bringing Lalit Modi and ED centre stage so as to downplay the role of the two ministers. Just as carbonated soda is added to dilute the whisky, BJP immediately used the CBI to file for preliminary investigations against rival politicians. It is not that these politicians are clean; however, the timing is to divert attention and change the priority agenda of the media. New fodder was provided to media through a package for Jammu & Kashmir. The international yoga day thunder and fireworks gave a short interval of respite from the scam.

Lips sealed, hands tied

That Vasundhara Raje would be shunted out as a solution to maintain high moral ground appears to be a distant reality. The differentiation would be argued on the  tangible exchange which is clearly visible including the signed document in support of Lalit Modi with the deadly proviso that the testimonial be kept confidential and in no way be made known to the Indian authorities. Keeping these two ministers safe in the saddle is nothing else but tolerance to corruption and abetment.

The lion roar of Narendra Modi “na khaunga, na khane dhunga’ and all his soliloquies are to be viewed as theatrical devices on the election stage as a party campaign chief.  The lack of coordination between the Finance Ministry and the Foreign Ministry and impropriety is out in the open in Sushma-Lalit episode. The abetment to provide relief to the accused is naked in the Raje-Lalit chapter. The supposedly clean and nationalist credentials of the Sangh stand stripped as reactions poured from their leaders. Despite this, the Prime Minister does not utter a word, the lips stand sealed. Known for his missiles of arrogance, hatred and self-praise, the PM should have broken his silence “aasana”  long back.

Probably, the RSS-BJP regards the indulgence of the ministers as a petty misdemeanor as compared to the purse showered on the BJP politicians and the party, notwithstanding that the LaMo funds tap will never run dry for them. Or, it is highly probable that there is more fish, much bigger under the LaMo net. Only an action of keeping these ministers away from their portfolio and ordering of an independent probe can put an end to such speculation.

The attempt of the BJP to maintain status quo and inaction on the two ministers despite the wrongs could be to reduce further political slaughter. The party which began its stint in office under NaMo just a year back with super image and abnormal profits is today incurring losses and working out strategies to minimize the loss. The boisterous and vociferous Narendra Modi is behaving as if he has lost his throat.

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Prabhakar Timble

Mr Prabhakar Timble is an educationist and a legal expert. He has served several educational institutions, especially as the Principal of Government College at Quepem, Kare College of Law in Madgao as well as couple of Management Institutes. He was also the State Election Commissioner of Goa.

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Previous Comments

Good analysis sir, why don't you write a syndicated column at the national level--if you don't already.

Hope NM doesn't become another Mounybaba, the best he can do is ask or sack the alleged tainted. Finally, congress or BJP-- seems like both are the same. There is no future for India for sure. NaMO must act and fast.

- Jayesh, Goa | 27 th June 2015 05:04

 

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