LOKPAL BILL PASSED: IN 10 DAYS FLAT!

The Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill yesterday paving the way for its implementation. Implementation – that is the big, another complicated battle lying next.

Passage of a ‘compromised’ bill with some good and some ‘can and to be manipulated’ features is just half the battle won.

And the day comes after 45 years if we begin with 1968 when a related legislation was tried for the first time in the Indian Parliament or it may be after 50 years if we take the first discussion on an anti-corruption ombudsman in 1963 in the Indian Parliament as the point to begin.

And see the brazenness of the political class who kept delaying it for so long, for five decades, is now singing paeans of its efforts, of being the anti-corruption champions.

Now who is going to tell them again that we are not fools? Okay, we, as electors, have acted and act erratically and foolishly every now and then, but many of us are not fools.

Yes, we didn’t have options. All in the political lot were similar. So many of us didn’t vote or if voted, we went for the best of the available, even if we were not satisfied.

We needed option. NOTA is now one. Yes, we cannot say the Aam Aadmi Party way is an option but its remarkable electoral show in Delhi tells us and everyone in clear terms that anti-corruption is the central poll plank and is going to play big in the upcoming general elections scheduled for next April-May.

The AAP show tells the politicians about centrality of corruption as ‘the’ poll plank and to ‘look’ sincere on anti-corruption measures. And this centrality forced the mainstream political parties to go into a huddle, to form an ‘alliance’ to pass the Lokpal Bill, and that too, in 10 days flat.

Yes, 10 days, since December 8, when the assembly election results of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were announced, results that gave AAP, the one-year old political debutant, 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly making it the second largest party after BJP’s 31 seats. And AAP’s success has its origin in the hugely successful anti-corruption movement of 2011 for Lokpal led by Anna Hazare the epicenter of which was Delhi.

The aspect that is to be seen here is how the politicians came back to their tricks of delaying the Bill once the anti-corruption movement got derailed in 2012. In spite of passing a lame and inefficient bill in Lok Sabha in December 2011, they were not sincere to pass even this diluted version, and they did not present it, debated it or pass it, until the assembly election results of December 8, when they were slapped hard by the electorate on the issue of corruption.

Before this, their arrogance was dismissing the corruption plank, the anti-corruption movement was being seen as long dead and they were back to treat the Indian masses having short memory believing they would forget the acts of political corruption soon.

Had it been for a poor show by AAP in Delhi, even Anna Hazare’s ongoing fast would not have ensured such a ‘lightening fast’ passage of the Lokpal Bill by the Indian Parliament.

But the Delhi public had an option this time that was ‘unlike’ the others in the political fraternity and though yet to be proven, it went for them.

And that forced the mainstream political class to scramble to ‘at least look sincere’ on coming down heavily on corruption and this forced-necessity pushed them to pass the ‘compromised’ Lokpal Bill, the many provisions of which can still be killer for the corrupt politicians and officials, in a hurry, because there is no time left in the big political battle, the Lok Sabha polls.

Their scare and not their commitment that the centrality of corruption as the poll issue may reflect across the country in the 2014 general elections made them pass the bill in such haste.

And dear political folks, we realise it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

LOKPAL, LALU AND CONGRESS-RJD ALLIANCE: THE POLITICAL CACOPHONY CONTINUES

On one side, there is going to be this rat-race to take credit on who got the Lokpal loaded finally into the enactment line of the legislative procedure, with a rush to loot the ‘certificate’ of being the anti-corruption harbinger in a country where corruption has been at alarming levels and where it is has just found the status of being the central poll plank to become the dominant factor in the Indian elections with Aam Aadmi Party’s stunning debut in Delhi, ironically, the events happening concurrently, once again confirm, on the same day, the duplicitous nature of these claimants and their make-shift honest intentions.

Though, there is an amicable atmosphere prevailing right now in sharing the mileage from the outcome, it is bound to get stinky as the Lok Sabha polls approach near. And the ones in the ruling coalition, who will be crying over the top in taking the credit – their acts, on the day itself, were defying their very intent.

Consider this.

Lalu Yadav, who has been convicted and sentenced with five years of imprisonment under anti-corruption charges leveled against him in the much publicized Fodder Scam of Bihar, is given a grand welcome, after he walks out of jail after getting bail from the Supreme Court, after spending 8 weeks in the jail.

There was elation. There was jubilation. And there was celebration. One could not say if there was anything demoralizing being felt on his part, in the camp of Lalu Yadav, the former Bihar chief minister and the former rail minister. It seemed after being convicted and jailed, Lalu has got his acceptability even more increased.

And this Lalu says Sonia Gandhi, the number one in Congress, in the UPA and in the government and politically the most powerful person in India (save some big corporate names) called him to express her happiness on getting bail and walking out of jail. A Times of India report quoted him: “Congress president Sonia Gandhi had telephoned me after my release from Ranchi jail. She graciously extended greetings to me and expressed happiness over my release, Prasad told reporters.”

Okay, we do not have any right to comment on if it is a personal matter. But once it gets into the domain of forging political alliances, it becomes a public matter. And the way Lalu is speaking on forging alliance with Congress and supporting the Congress PM candidate for the upcoming general elections gives us valid reason to raise questions.

It is sure we are going to have another addition in list of repetitions that Rahul would tells us again and again in his electoral rallies – we gave you the Lokpal, we passed the Lokpal Bill, like he claims about RTI, Food Bill and other policy measures.

How pathetic, how phony, how ironic it would sound then claiming to be the anti-corruption crusaders while forging alliances with those convicted by the courts for their corrupt activities!

But, then, it not the first time for them, the politicians! Isn’t it?

Yes, but the two developments coincided ironically on the same day, when reported today, giving us yet another reason to remain beware of the difference between what our politicians say and what they do; to remain alert to the disconnect between their promises and their intent.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/