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Rahul Gandhi shoots and scoots again

Author: Ashali Varma
Publication: The Times of India
Date: December 17, 2016
URL:   http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/no-free-lunch/rahul-gandhi-shoots-and-scoots-again/

Why does Rahul do this again and again? For days, he has been saying that the Prime Minister of India is terrified of him and that he has incriminating evidence of personal corruption against the PM. He said this in a joint opposition press conference and when the press asked the other opposition members what exactly Rahul had against the PM, none of them knew and looked quite stupid.

In fact, now the opposition parties who followed the Congress are feeling quite peeved as they just agreed to be with Rahul to take on the PM. This really makes the opposition parties look reckless. The media too is upset that the earthshaking news they were following was just hot air. Rahul appears impetuous and ill-advised.

He has since then fled the national capital, without giving one iota of proof against the personal corruption of the PM. His empty promises are just that-grand posturing by the heir of the Gandhi family who feels that he has the right to say anything and get away with it. Except for the fact that he and his party have wasted the time of a whole session of parliament at great cost to the taxpayer. This has been the Congress stance for several parliamentarian sessions in the two years that PM Modi has been in power.

Today, PM Modi came out and told the citizens of India that when the finance minister in the time of Indira Gandhi’s rule told her that demonetization was very necessary she asked him:

“Don’t we have more elections to fight?”

The finance minister realized that she wanted to win the elections and did not care for the national interest, thus the move for demonetization was never attempted.

At the end of 20 days of no work in the parliament, where crores of money have gone down the drain, the people of India are not amused. This has become endemic and points to an opposition that is filibustering just because they have nothing to say. It only shows that in the case of demonetization PM Modi won the people and the opposition parties shot themselves in the foot.

There is no question that the people of India, though they went through long lines to get money, were actually with the PM on the bold step he had taken.

This is especially obvious when they see the kind of criminal behavior that has been constantly shown on TV and the press of political hacks caught on candid camera in close contact with Hawala operators changing old money for new.

Yes, the people are wondering how these goons can get crores worth of new 2000 rupee notes when the rest of India is standing in line for new cash and the banks invariably run out. It was discovered and that many bank personnel had a nexus with local politicos and gave them the new currency in crores. This is exactly what PM Modi is after—and by the looks of it the police and Enforcement Directorate are catching more crooks than they can handle.

The same problem happened at ATM’s where again money that was to go into the machines was stolen and given to touts and netas.

Since demonetization started most opposition parties were against it, which clearly showed they had huge stacks of unaccounted for money. Yet in a rather dubious way they said they were against demonetization because the poor were suffering. Just shows the hypocrisy. Few acted when their own party men including the NCP, JDU, SP and Congress were caught on candid camera saying they could exchange crores worth of old money for new at a 40 percent charge. Rahul conveniently ignored this while throwing corruption charges at the PM.

It is a sad portrayal of the endemic corruption that exists in the political parties and especially the Congress that was thrown out due to the horrendous scams that took place during the decade of their rule —from the coal scam; CWG scam; the 2G scam and a host of others involving airlines, railways and just about anything the country had to sell. Though none of this should surprise us.

In a fascinating opinion piece in the Pioneer, recently, Anirban Ganguly (Tracing the History of black money: past and present), wrote that at a media meet Amit Shah spoke of the need to eradicate black money in electioneering. He said this is not a new demand by the BJP but it had been wanting this since the days of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. This has put others in a spot especially the Congress since historically it is the one party that has allowed this practice to grow to gargantuan proportions.

Ganguly writes that as early as 1959, President Rajendra Prasad had expressed deep concern as he had heard that people were freely talking about corruption, bribery and nepotism. His colleague the PM, Nehru, however astonishingly argued, “Corruption is…the result of democratic process…” His government never found the need to book black marketeers, adulterators and others indulging in dangerous anti-social activities.”

When N Sanjeeva Reddy, the president of the party warned that the “organization had lost its prestige because many Congressman who, before independence, had been paupers had by now become millionaires,” Nehru had to modify his stance. But his daughter when she became PM did little to “cleanse the system and, instead, reinforced and institutionalized the habit of graft and promoted cronies and did much to weaken the democratic system by often subverting the electoral process; her descendants further perfected it.”

As early as 1961, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya had spoken of how a section with ill-gotten wealth was being enlisted in elections, writes Ganguly.

Upadhyaya said, “… a number of people are given tickets for no other qualifications than their capacity to spend money. These people come in the field at election time and then hibernate for five years in the crowded bustees of Calcutta and Bombay. They do not come to the people to solicit their votes but to purchase them. They do not apply or qualify for the party ticket but purchase it. For them no price is too high. All that they want is to grease their way into parliament. For them it is a business deal…”

Prophetic words indeed that applies to most politicians today and if the Prime Minister wants to cleanse the system finally, he needed to take the first courageous step, which he did with demonetization.

It would have been pertinent for Rahul, as the future head of his party, to read some family history before he indulged in his foolish prank.
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