Monday, December 27, 2010

How will pulling up socks help a corruption tainted political party?

Congress must pull up its socks.  By Mr.Pankaj Vohra, Hindustan Times 26/12/2010
This is the third article in close succession second in the month of December 2010. Why consternation of such high proportion? Mr. Vohra why have you by design thrown all caution to winds, despite the fact that Journalists and Media are wading through a very rough patch, credibility seriously dented in some case beyond redemption. You have faltered at the very outset P.M has no mandate from the people of this country to occupy the chair that he is in.
Needless to meander into political science discourse, you are fully aware how the Westminster form of Democracy functions. Laws and Conventions have an equal weightage. To obtain a mandate one must contest elections. Which is missing in the present case; appointment by High Command of Congress is not a substitute for popular mandate.
We fail to understand why is it that every journalist has to begin each article with the same preamble singing paeans of personal integrity and honesty of Dr.ManMohan Singh when facts on ground point towards the opposite direction. If bribe giver and taker are both equally guilty than those indulging in corruption and those permitting deserve to be treated on par.
“The Congress, on its part, seems to have run out of ideas. It has not been able to counter the BJP and Digvijaya Singh's strategic attempt to shift the focus of the debate from corruption to communalism versus secularism does not seem to have worked. In addition, the negative perception of the government has increased thanks to the spiralling onion prices.” This is a fact which even you had to acknowledge, Congress is in total disarray due to its own actions or lack of it.
“If the deadlock continues, it is going to damage the UPA even more. A remedy could be that the government, even at this late stage, should agree to a JPC probe, which covers the telecom policy after its formulation in the early 90s. The guidelines, which opened up the sector to private players, should be examined in a new light and every telecom minister in successive governments starting from PV Narasimha Rao's time should be probed.” The scope maybe enlarged, however, the point is will it mitigate the fact that under Congress and P.M Singh the Nation has suffered a loss of humungous proportions. Let us not digress or obfuscate the issue of revenue loss in 2G. If the probe is enlarged then the fallout for Congress will get more serious since in the last six plus years it has neither tried to recalibrate or plug the loopholes in the policy. Congress is in no position to point fingers at this late stage.
Some of the suggestion made by you are noteworthy and should be incorporated in the JPC. This is the only way forward; then there are the other scams also which need urgent treatment. Investigating agencies enjoy a reputation on par with the Journalists as of today lesser said the better it is.
“The Opposition has to concede that any kind of discussion on the issue can be held only in Parliament and the deadlock is serving only the purpose of not allowing an elected government to function by a party which faced rejection in 2009. The Congress, on its part, should pull up its socks and start behaving as a party in power instead of drawing attention to its possible involvement in all scams that have broken out since the beginning of the year.” This is a puerile argument, conversely it can be said Government is stifling the voice of the Opposition by it brute numerical strength. It would have been a better argument if a mutual give and take approach was adopted. Government of the day has the onus squarely on its shoulders to ensure smooth functioning of the parliament. Debates on 2G scam have been held and no concrete actions resulted from those debates. The compulsion of Opposition to have its say, that obstruction has to be resorted to as a last resort.
The party's plenary in Delhi will be known for its RSS/BJP bashing more than poor organisation and inability of its leadership to give out a clear message. It is time for course correction. Otherwise, the countdown for this government has begun more in the minds of the Congress party than with the opposition. This demand for JPC is not to bring down the government.
In conclusion a party which has been exposed as never before should be very bothered about covering itself up rather than just pulling up its socks.
Sample comments Posted on HT site in response to this article:
1. By Spectrum “very strange pankaj is advising congress instead of blasting them for the wrong doing. are there any honest journalists left, or honest journalists left are are not given the forum to their views. How long HT is going to give a rope to these paid journalists so called the fourth estate, which has become four twenty to the core. In spite of 100 per cent comments blasting the congress, HT obediently follow congress glory. Look at the articles of so called impartial journalists varghese vinod sharma vir sanghvi barkha dutt rajeeep sardesai all pen a song for congress praising them to the hilt. Be honest once in a blue moon. You will save many a soul and die peacefully at your old age. Be brave be honest and atleast remember the so called mahatma gandhi”
2.By ArunI want to know whether the Congress agrees that a presumptous loss of Rs. 176,000 crores mentioned by the CAG is a figure prima facie acceptable to the PM ? If the answer is yes , the PM should agree for a JPC. If the answer is no , the PM should enlighten the nation of his views. There are many a Indians who will take the PM at face value given his past record and simplicity / honesty of persona. This will not resolve any issues but only serve to educate Indians what the highest Executive of the land thinks of the 2G scam. The PM , of course , has to ensure he is not guided by the Congress party but speaks HIS mind regardless of what the aggressive opposition thinks of his views.”

Latest article in Indian Express : 27/12/2010

However, India has been robbed of more than Rs 200,000 crore (Rs 2 lakh cr) through the various scams (2G scam, CWG scam, Adarsh scam and more) on his watch, yet he is mum on that, having refused to go beyond the cursory statement that the intelligence agencies are looking into the matter. Sleeping on the Job.P.M Singh looks to assure a robbed India he is clean. How does this help us?

The more the Congress party extols Dr Manmohan Singh as a man of integrity, the more they hang him out to dry. For in the bland finality of that characterisation, lies a story that speaks poorly of both the PM and the ruling party. Dr Singh & the rest of the iceberg By: Santosh Desai.

I welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse.  Thank you.