NDA APPOINTED GOVERNORS: WHERE THEY COME FROM..

So far, the BJP has appointed 17 governors in 20 states. Three governors have been given the additional charge of three states for the time being – in Assam, Manipur and Punjab. Of these 17, 14 are former BJP politicians – Keshri Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Ram Naik (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyan Singh (Rajasthan), Kaptan Singh Solanki (Punjab and Haryana), PB Acharya (Nagaland and Assam), V Shanmuganthan (Meghalaya and Manipur), C. Vidyasagar Rao (Maharashtra), Vajubhai Vala (Karnataka), Droupadi Murmu (Jharkhand), OP Kohli (Gujarat), Mridula Sinha (Goa), Balramji Dass Tandon (Chhattisgarh) and Ram Nath Kovind (Bihar) and Tathagata Roy (Tripura).

The other three are known to have pro-BJP tilt – ex-CJI P Sathasivam (Kerala) – former bureaucrat JP Rajkhowa (Arunachal Pradesh) and Ramdev confidante Acharya Dev Vrat (Himachal Pradesh). Similar is the case with the lieutenant-governors of Delhi and Puducherry.

The lieutenant-governor of Delhi, though a UPA appointee, is now seen as a BJP man while Kiran Bedi, the Puducherry L-G, was the BJP’s CM candidate in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls.

Najeeb Jung, a Muslim face, is a logical choice to handle the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi that is always in a combative mood and acts like it is some sworn BJP enemy.

©SantoshChaubey

ABOLISHING THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE: WHY NOT!

At the Inter State Council meeting, headed by prime minister Narendra Modi, three chief ministers – Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banarjee – raised the demand of the scrapping the Governor’s office.

And when we see how political has become the institution of the Governor, the demand has a valid point. Besides vitiating the relation between state governments and the Centre, the Governor offices are a heavy cost burden on taxpayers’ money. They all have palatial residences, offices and an elaborate entourage but their Constitutional duty has become an opportunity of political freeship – a retirement posting – or a gift of political patronage.

Today’s Governors are far removed from the high pedestal Mahatma Gandhi put them on. He envisioned an institution of the Governor that would be neutral and would work as the Constitutional custodian to help the elected representatives of the states. He envisioned for a constructive outsider’s perspective from the Governors in managing the affairs of the states.

But what started with Indira Gandhi has become a nightmare today. Indira Gandhi started polluting the institution of the Governors by installing people loyal to her irrespective of their credentials. The Governors, in fact, transformed into meek and complacent ‘yes men’ during her tenure. During her 15 years in the prime minister’s office, President’s Rule was imposed 50 times in different states – a record.

Today’s Governors are followers of that thought process. Though they are appointed in the name of the President of India, their lifeline begins and ends at the prime minister’s office. If Governor’s are in news today, it is only because of this or that controversy – with allegations of them working on behest of the Union Government to destabilize democratically elected state governments.

And they are again in line of fire with the Supreme Court invalidating the Governor’s action, first in Uttarakhand, then in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Supreme Court, in a first, dismissed a government in Arunachal Pradesh that was formed by the Congress rebels and had already proved its majority in the assembly floor test – and reinstated the Nabam Tuki government of the Congress party, the leading political outfit of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the predecessor of the present National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Delhi. Nabam Tuki asked for 10 days to prove majority but the Governor was not ready to go beyond two days – even after the top court’s scathing remarks in the case. Congress could somehow save the day by replacing Nabam Tuki with Pema Khandu, son of former Arunachal chief minister Dorjee Khandu, and a compromise candidate acceptable to both, Congress rebels as well as Nabam Tuki factions.

And the Arunachal Pradesh experience came just after the Uttarakhand embarrassment. Here also, the Governor’s machinations led to imposition of the President’s Rule in the state that was later overturned by the Supreme Court. The Congress government led by Harish Rawat won the floor test under the SC supervision and was reinstated in May 2016, much to dismay and loss of face of the Governor and the BJP led Union Government.

There is a norm that when the Union Governments change, they install their own people as the state Governors to keep a tab on many things – to keep a check – and to act when it matters – when there is a chance (like in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh) – irrespective of the Supreme Court’s 2010 judgement that ruled that “the Governors cannot be changed with change in the guard at the Centre” – a landmark decision that the top court revisited in 2014 while hearing former Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Mizoram Governor Aziz Qureshi who had alleged that the Narendra Modi Government was putting pressure on him to leave the office. Though the Modi government sacked Qureshi in March 2015, the case is still in the Supreme Court – on easing Governors out of the office or asking them to resign arbitrarily.

The NDA government, led by Narendra Modi, had its inaugural in May 2014. And in the first two years, it has already changed Governors in 20 states. So far, the BJP has appointed 17 Governors in 20 states. Three Governors have been given the additional charge of three states for the time being – in Assam, Manipur and Punjab.

Of these 17, 14 are former BJP politicians – Keshri Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Ram Naik (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyan Singh (Rajasthan), Kaptan Singh Solanki (Punjab and Haryana), P.B. Acharya (Nagaland and Assam), V. Shanmuganthan (Meghalaya and Manipur), C. Vidyasagar Rao (Maharashtra), Vajubhai Vala (Karnataka), Droupadi Murmu (Jharkhand), O.P. Kohli (Gujarat), Mridula Sinha (Goa), Balramji Dass Tandon (Chhattisgarh) and Ram Nath Kovind (Bihar) and Tathagata Roy (Tripura).

The other three are known to have pro-BJP tilt – ex-CJI P. Sathasivam (Kerala) – former bureaucrat J.P. Rajkhowa (Arunachal Pradesh) and Ramdev confidante Acharya Dev Vrat (Himachal Pradesh).

Similar is the case with the Lieutenant-Governors of Delhi and Puducherry. The Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, though a UPA appointee, is now seen as a BJP man while Kiran Bedi, the Puducherry L-G, was the BJP’s CM candidate in the 2015 Delhi assembly polls. Najeeb Jung, a Muslim face, is a logical choice to handle the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi that is always in a combative mood and acts like it is some sworn BJP enemy.

Nine states still have Governors appointed by the UPA.

Some of them are completing their terms this year and some the next year. And none of these states have a BJP government. Yes, the party in alliance in two states – in Andhra Pradesh (TDP) and in J&K (PDP) – but the Governors of both of these states are retired bureaucrats and working with bureaucrats is always easy than with politicians. They are always amenable to be co-opted.

Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, who has the additional charge of Telangana, is completing his term next year. He is a former IPS officer and IB Director. N.N. Vohra, who is J&K’s Governor since June 2008, is a former Union Home and Defence Secretary.

Tamil Nadu and Odisha have strong non-BJP state governments with strong chief ministers and the BJP would not like to have adventures here. K Rosaiah, a Congress man and the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister, was appointed Tamil Nadu’s Governor in August 2011 while S.C. Jamir, a former Congress chief minister of Nagaland is Odisha’s Governor since March 2013.

Ram Naresh Yadav, the controversial Madhya Pradesh Governor, is an old Janata Party name though he contested his last election on a Congress ticket. As a Janata Party MLA, he was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1977 to 1979.

K. K. Paul who was shifted from Mizoram to Uttarakhand in January 2015, is again a UPA appointee. He was appointed by the UPA Government as the Meghalaya Governor in July 2013. He is a retired IPS officer and the former Delhi Police Commissioner.

Governors of Mizoram and Sikkim, electorally unimportant states, have former Indian government officials as their Governors. Mizoram’s Nirbhay Sharma, who has been transferred from Arunachal Pradesh, is a retired Indian Army official while Sikkim’s Shriniwas Patil, though an NCP MP, is a retired bureaucrat. Also, either BJP or any of its ally is not in the office in these two peaceful north-east states don’t have governments.

They are either the BJP men or have been efficiently co-opted by the BJP – as is the case with non-political Governors appointed by the NDA – or even with the Governors appointed by the UPA. They hold the office directly under the control of the Union Government – willingly or unwillingly.

So, in totality, the game is set. What the Narendra Modi government wanted to do the Governors in states, is now more or less done. The government has its men in the offices spread across Indian states.

And the designs are similar – to what we have seen in the past. If the President’s Rule has been imposed 125 times so far, there have very few instances when it was a real Constitutional crisis. Mostly, it was the hegemony of the Centre over the states – be it the dismissal of the NTR government in 1984 – or of the Kalyan Singh’s UP government in 1997 or – or dismissals of the elected governments of Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in 2016 – and all similar instances in between. We have had even a Governor who was caught getting intimate with three girls in his official residence and he was over 80 then!

Governors have been the figurehead political pawns here. In fact, if we see in the history, we don’t have anything to talk about on the contribution of Governors in nation-building. If they are not engaged in the machinations of the Central government to keep a tab on the state governments of rival parties, they are mostly reserved for decorative practices like attending events, inaugurating seminars and regular visits to Delhi. In normal times, we hear about a Governor only when he administers the oath of office to the elected representatives.

Why should we bear the cost of them – with their non-existent presence and thrifty practices when each state has a High Court and its chief justice can administer the oath of office as well as can keep a tab more efficiently to see if the Constitutional machinery is intact? There must be a proper audit to estimate the financial burden that goes into lubricating the institution of the Governor. I am sure it would be huge – especially when we see it in a historical perspective – the five decades of cost overruns – post Jawaharlal Nehru – when big names of our independence struggle like C. Rajagopalacari or Sarojini Naidu were appointed as Governors.

Why shouldn’t we uproot an institution that has failed our Father of the nation – our Constitution – and our federal structure – where we envision that the Centre and states would share powers equally?

The courts agree that the Article 356 have been widely abused and have passed orders against it. Political parties consistently talk about it. When Narendra Modi was chief minister, he was a vehement supporter of strengthening India’s federal structure. But the irony has been – every political party that comes to the Centre – starts interpreting the institution of the Governor and the Article 356 for its vested interests – including Narendra Modi’s BJP.

©SantoshChaubey

HOW POLITCISED HAS BECOME THE INSTITUTION OF THE GOVERNOR?

The Indian Constitution says:

“There shall be council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions except in so far as he is by or under the Constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.”

It is this word – discretion – that has been used and abused so many times – that the Article 356 has become a notorious term in India’s socio-political annals.

And it has been done mainly by killing the institution of the Governor. A Constitutional position, something that our forefathers had envisioned, has been rendered so toothless that it is seen now either as a retirement job or an office to follow whatever dictum the Union Government issues.

A mere look at the present state Governors would be more than self-explanatory.

20 Indian states and two Union Territories with legislatures have NDA Governors now. Three Governors are holding additional charges of once state each. That makes overall 17 NDA appointed Governors.

Of these 17, 14 are former BJP politicians. The other three are known to have pro-BJP tilt – ex-CJI P. Sathasivam (Kerala) – J.P. Rajkhowa (Arunachal Pradesh) and Acharya Dev Vrat (Himachal Pradesh). Similarly is the case with the Lieutenant-Governors of Delhi and Puducherry.

They are either the BJP men and have been efficiently co-opted by the BJP – as is the case with non-political Governors appointed by the NDA – or even with the Governors appointed by the UPA.

Nine states still have Governors appointed by the UPA.

Some of them are completing their terms this year and some the next year. And none of these states have a BJP government. Yes, the party in alliance in two states – in Andhra Pradesh (TDP) and in J&K (PDP) – but the Governors of both of these states are retired bureaucrats and working with bureaucrats is always easy than with politicians. They are always amenable to be co-opted.

Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, who has the additional charge of Telangana, is completing his term next year. He is a former IPS officer and IB Director. N.N. Vohra, who is J&K’s Governor since June 2008, is a former Union Home and Defence Secretary.

Tamil Nadu and Odisha have strong non-BJP state governments with strong chief ministers and the BJP would not like to have adventures here. K Rosaiah, a Congress man and the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister, was appointed Tamil Nadu’s Governor in August 2011 while S.C. Jamir, a former Congress chief minister of Nagaland is Odisha’s Governor since March 2013.

Ram Naresh Yadav, the controversial Madhya Pradesh Governor, is an old Janata Party name though he contested his last election on a Congress ticket. As a Janata Party MLA, he was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1977 to 1979.

K. K. Paul who was shifted from Mizoram to Uttarakhand in January 2015, is again a UPA appointee. He was appointed by the UPA Government as the Meghalaya Governor in July 2013. He is a retired IPS officer and the former Delhi Police Commissioner.

Governors of Mizoram and Sikkim, electorally unimportant states, have former Indian government officials as their Governors. Mizoram’s Nirbhay Sharma, who has been transferred from Arunachal Pradesh, is a retired Indian Army official while Sikkim’s Shriniwas Patil, though an NCP MP, is a retired bureaucrat. Also, these two peaceful north-east states don’t have governments, either of the BJP or any of its ally.

All these are either retired bureaucrats or politicians having connection with the rightwing ideologies at some point in their life. Those who have not been amenable are in the exit zone with their terms coming to end in coming some months.

So, those who hold the office are directly under the control of the Union Government – willingly or unwillingly.

And every government does so – politicising and ruining the institution of the Governor – be it the BJP or the Congress or Janata Party or Janata coalition!

©SantoshChaubey

SC’S ARUNACHAL VERDICT A BLOW FOR BJP; BUT CAN CONGRESS CLAIM MORAL HIGH GROUND?

The article originally appeared on DailyO.

The SR Bommai versus Union of India verdict of 1994 had clearly told the lawmakers that the Article 356 (imposition of president’s rule in a state) was well within the purview of judicial review by the Supreme Court of India.

Now the July 13, 2016 verdict by a constitution bench of the apex court, which termed Arunachal Pradesh governor JP Rajkhowa’s dismissal of former chief minister Nabam Tuki unconstitutional, clearly defines the limitations of a governor while discharging his role as an agent of the Centre in uprooting elected state governments. The Janata Dal government of Karnataka, led by Bommai was dismissed by the Congress-led Union government in 1989. The Congress government of Arunachal Pradesh, led by Tuki, was thrown out of office by the BJP-led government in Delhi in 2016.

If the 1994 verdict defined the centrality of the floor test in determining the majority of an elected state government, the 2016 verdict clarifies that a governor cannot act without the advice of the chief minister and his council in carrying out functions like advancing or calling an Assembly session.

In fact, that was the basic reason behind the apex court’s verdict that dismissed the proclamation to impose President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh on January 26, 2016. The Bommai verdict put an effective brake on the blatant misuse of Article 356.Though the Bommai verdict effectively checked the arbitrary use (and misuse) of Article 356, it didn’t deter the Congress government under PV Narasimha Rao from slapping it 11 times during its five-year tenure. Union governments are still using it, though the average has come down. If the average of proclaiming President’s Rule was 2.15 before 1994, it is still 1.4.

The BJP government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee imposed President’s Rule five times from 1999 to 2004. The Congress government under Manmohan Singh used the Article 12 times during its ten-year rule.

And the current Narendra Modi government has already done so four times during its first two years in office.

This includes the two highly controversial decisions in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh – both of which have been nullified by the Supreme Court. The reaction of the BJP leaders to the Supreme Court’s verdict was loaded with statements like “we are yet to get the answer”, “we will do a structured examination of the order” and that the party found the verdict “strange”.

It is a clear indication that the party felt that it didn’t commit any fault in imposing President’s Rule and that it will be ready to do so even in the future.

Such responses imply that the BJP may be forced to accept it that the order has come from the Supreme Court, but it will not accept it in practise. Moreover, the game is still wide open.

The Tuki government will now have to prove its majority. The next round is going to be fought around the issue of disqualification of 14 rebel Congress MLAs. Governor JP Rajkhowa has asked Tuki to prove his majority in the Assembly by July 16, 2016.

And the whole issue may be taken to the apex court again. But can the Congress cry foul or take the moral high ground that it is claiming today?

The Congress has always been notorious for dismissing the elected governments in states and the party has exercised/exploited these options innumerable times during its long reign in India – some 55 years of India’s 69 independent years.

During these 55 years, the Congress-led Union governments used Article 356 88 times to proclaim President Rule in various states. And like the Congress is complaining now – with Uttarakhand and Arunachal – all those parties whose governments were dismissed by the Congress government at the Centre did likewise.

So, in a way, the Congress is getting some of its own medicine back, facing something that it so conveniently did when it was in power. A very famous poem that is taught in school says that those who have seen defeats in life can only know the true taste of victory.

And it applies to both the parties involved here – the BJP-led NDA government in the Centre and the state governments run by the Congress and there are already murmurs of the similar developments in Himachal Pradesh and Manipur.

Going by the poem, and going by proverbial wisdom, the Congress is now facing the brunt of defeats, first electorally, and now in the name of the Constitution, and we should expect that it will not hesitate to use (or misuse Article 356) once it regains the power in Delhi, either in 2019 or later.

Since then the provision has been used only 22 times – including the most recent one in Arunachal Pradesh. If we take the Bommai verdict year (1994) as the baseline, there have been only around 30 instances of President’s Rule being imposed in various states.

Till 1996, Article 356, which empowers the Centre to dismiss any elected state government and impose President’s Rule if it finds the constitutional machinery to have broken down there, was used 103 times by the various Union governments.

©SantoshChaubey

GOVERNING THE GOVERNORS!

Indian Governors are only in news whenever there is some controversy – with allegations of working on the behest of the Union Government to destabilize democratically elected state governments. They are again in focus with the Supreme Court invalidating the Governor’s action in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Supreme Court, in a first, has dismissed a government in Arunachal Pradesh that was formed by the Congress rebels and had already proved its majority in the assembly floor test – and has reinstated the Nabam Tuki government of the Congress party, the leading political outfit of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the predecessor of the present National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Delhi.

There is a norm that when the Union Governments change, they install their own people as the state Governors to keep a tab on many things – to keep a check – and to act when it matters – when there is a chance (like in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh).

The NDA government, led by Narendra Modi, had its inaugural in May 2014. And in the first two years, it has already changed Governors in 20 states. The Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, though a UPA appointee, is now seen as a BJP man while Kiran Bedi, the Delhi L-G, was the BJP’s CM candidate in the 2015 Delhi assembly polls. Najeeb Jung, a Muslim face, is a logical choice to handle the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi that is always in a combative mood and acts like it is some sworn BJP enemy.

So far, the BJP has appointed 17 Governors in 20 states. Three Governors have been the additional charge of three states for the time being – in Assam, Manipur and Punjab.

Nine states still have Governors appointed by the UPA.

Some of them are completing their terms this year and some the next year. And none of these states have a BJP government. Yes, the party in alliance in two states – in Andhra Pradesh (TDP) and in J&K (PDP) – but the Governors of both of these states are retired bureaucrats and working with bureaucrats is always easy than with politicians.

Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, who has the additional charge of Telangana, is completing his term next year. He is a former IPS officer and IB Director. N.N. Vohra, who is J&K’s Governor since 2008, is a former Union Home and Defence Secretary.

Tamil Nadu and Odisha have strong non-BJP state governments with strong chief ministers and the BJP would not like to have adventures here. K Rosaiah, a Congress man and the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister, was appointed Tamil Nadu’s Governor in August 2011 while S.C. Jamir, a former Congress chief minister of Nagaland is Odisha’s Governor since March 2013.

Ram Naresh Yadav, the controversial Madhya Pradesh Governor, is an old Janata Party name though he contested his last election on a Congress ticket. As a Janata Party MLA, he was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1977 to 1979.

K. K. Paul who was shifted from Mizoram to Uttarakhand in January 2015, is again a UPA appointee. He was appointed by the UPA Government as the Meghalaya Governor in July 2013. He is a retired IPS officer and the former Delhi Police Commissioner.

Governors of Mizoram and Sikkim, electorally unimportant states, have former Indian government officials as their Governors. Mizoram’s Nirbhay Sharma, who has been transferred from Arunachal Pradesh, is a retired Indian Army official while Sikkim’s Shriniwas Patil, though an NCP MP, is a retired bureaucrat. Also, these two peaceful north-east states don’t have governments, either of the BJP or any of its ally.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

WILL THE BJP LEARN ITS LESSONS NOW?

The precedent says no.

Simply, because it has been the political culture in India.

Because the reactions from the BJP leaders today said so. Let’s see what some of them said.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Law Minister – “We are yet to get the order. We will study it in detail… and then make structured response. We will do a structured examination of the order. It requires detailed consideration. We will carefully study the judgement and its implications.” (PTI)

Shrikant Sharma, BJP national secretary – “It is a strange SC order as it asks the person with a majority to sit in Opposition and the one with minority support to run the government.” (PTI)

“We are yet to get the answer.” – “We will do a structured examination of the order.”

Obsolete answers on the worn-out lines!

And add to it the element of oddity that tells us why there isn’t going to be much change on the ground – in terms of bringing elements of the austere politics (well, did I say austere?).

Another BJP response says the ‘SC order strange”. So, it is a direct question and implies that the party may accept as it has come from the Supreme Court, it will not accept it in practice – when it comes to desisting from the practices that an Arunachal Pradesh or an Uttarakhand political crisis present.

Moreover – the game is still wide open. The Nabam Tuki government will have to prove its majority and the wave can take any form – given the fact the next round is going to be fought around the ‘disqualification’ issue of the 14 rebel Congress MLAs.

And the whole issue may again come to the top court.

But can Congress cry foul or can take the moral high ground that it is claiming today?

Congress was always notorious for dismissing/sacking elected governments in states and the party has exercised/exploited these option innumerable times during its long reign in India – some 55 years of India’s 68 independent years.

And like the Congress party is complaining now – is crying now – all those parties did so when their governments were thrown out of the power.

So, in a way, it should be kind of sweet revenge – that Congress is facing something that it so conveniently did when it had the power.

A very famous poem that is taught in school curriculum says that those who have seen defeats in life can only know the taste of victory.

And it applies to the both parties here – the state run by BJP led NDA government in Centre and the states run by Congress governments – first Arunachal Pradesh, now Uttarakhand – and there are murmurs of same fate about Himachal Pradesh and Manipur.

Going by the poem, and going by the proverbial wisdom, Congress is now facing the brunt of defeats, first electorally, and now in the name of the Constitution, and we should rightly expect that it will do all to taste the sweet ‘taste’ of victory once it regains the power in Delhi – either in 2019 or some other time.

But first about the erstwhile losers – or the parties that have had very little say in running the affairs of India – and except BJP, the only party that has had so far only any full-term government (in fact, only single full-term government) – will certainly be feeling more ‘justified’ in exercising this Constitutional provision while running the country with their government installed in Delhi.

Because, when it was its term, even Congress was always constitutionally right – irrespective of what the common sense’ political wisdom said – irrespective of what the experts said – and irrespective of what the Constitutional custodians, the courts, said.

©SantoshChaubey

WHAT REJECTION OF SADHVI PRAGYA’S BAIL PLEA TELLS US..

That all those who claim that all is lost should go back and try to tweak their mouth-organs to see the realities!

And the realities are:

Both the good and the bad co-exist in our society – the good people and the bad people – the good ideologies and the bad ideologies – the good objectives and the bad objectives – the good behaviours and the bad behaviours – the good language and the bad language – and so on.

Something that is good for the proponents of that ‘good’ may be ‘bad’ for others – and vice versa.

But they co-exist as long as someone or some of them doesn’t/don’t look and found breaching the norms of laws in our democratic society.

For many Sadhvi Pragya is a terrorist who should be put behind bars for her alleged role in propagating terror in India.

For many, she is a crusader of Hinduism who did a brave job.

For many others, she is someone who was made a scapegoat and she had nothing to do with all the terror activities she has been alleged for.

Accordingly, there have been allegations and counter allegations on attempts to implicate or exonerate her in the cases – involving the 2008 Malegaon terror strike case.

The political sides with their differing ideologies would always see and would want to see the event from their own respective perspectives.

So, some say that all has been lost and everything has been compromised – especially after the NIA removed her name from the supplementary chargesheet it filed in the case and removed the MCOCA charges on her.

Those with rival ideologies say nothing like that happened and law is taking its own course.

That is the normal diplomatic discourse in the our democratic country.

The good thing is – the spirit of law is still maintained. Yes, corruption has afflicted all wings of our administrative institutions including the judiciary – but if curative and responsive hopes lie somewhere, it is in our judiciary only – and it upheld that today – when it rejected Pragya Thakur’s bail plea.

The court made it very clear that though framing of the charges may be the domain of the law enforcement agencies but deciding on the merits of the case lies well within the judicial domain – and thus the judicial interpretation of charges and counter charges.

©SantoshChaubey

LOK SABHA TV V RAJYA SABHA TV: BJP AND CONGRESS IMPRINTS

The Rajya Sabha speaks in the voice of the Indian National Congress and the political opposition that see its ideological and political survival in BJP bashing.

That is the sole reason responsible for the logjam around important Bills like Land Acquisition, tax reform bills including the Goods and Services Tax Bill, the Whistleblowers Bill and so on.

Both the Houses define each other as tyrannical and anarchist – and the debate always rages.

And this skewed discourse is best reflected best in the content of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha television channels.

As the names suggest, the Lok Sabha TV comes under the control of the Lok Sabha Secretariat and the Rajya Sabha TV under the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

The content and the manpower selection and retention are thus aligned accordingly.

Yesterday, while randomly changing channels – I came across a perfect testimony to this – on June 25, around 3 PM.

NEHRU-MOOKERJEE COLLAGE

The Lok Sabha TV was showing a programme on Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, once a minister in the Jawahar Lal Nehru’s cabinet who quit the Congress due to his difference with Pundit Nehru and formed the Bhartiya Jana Sangh, the predecessor of the BJP.

Like him or like any other political figure or ideologue associated with the BJP or its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS), most in India would not see much of them on TV (especially on the state run TV channels). But they are now all over, especially on the state channels run by the government like the Doordarshan, India’s national broadcaster.

Likewise, on the Rajya Sabha TV, still under the control of the Rajya Sabha with its control gear in the hands of a Congress member, it still revolves around political, ideological and historical figures of the post-Independence India – like Pundit Nehru.

The Lok Sabha TV was showing a programme on the Zamindari Abolition Act with Pundit Nehru in focus.

The two programmes on these two channels – in the same time slot – on the same day – indicated only this – reaffirmed only this – though it may be an unrelated, random event.

©SantoshChaubey

WHY WE WILL SEE MORE OF ROBERT VADRA ISSUES IN UPCOMING DAYS?

Congress has come forward, out in open, to defend Robert Vadra now – with Sonia Gandhi taking the charge this time.

There is no more ‘diplomatization’ of words by Congress spokespersons.

But isn’t it indefensible – defending Robert Vadra?

Till now, he was a private citizen for Congress to ignore questions on his meteoric rise, his multi-millionaire status from a modest background, his questionable land deals, his shady companies, his controversial statements and so on.

But not anymore – after his name was dragged into a ‘benami’ property that he reportedly had in London – that he bought and sold some years ago – through his links to a controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

Since yesterday, this house in London has become a must visit for every news honcho and for all those who work to fuel and plant political conspiracy theories.

Congress has demanded an impartial probe. BJP has demanded a thorough probe.

Sonia Gandhi has dared the Narendra Modi government to conduct a comprehensive enquiry saying Modi is just a prime minister and not a Shahenshah (emperor).

Subramanian Swamy, in his trademark (and frivolous) style, has said that Robert Vadra is preparing to take British citizenship and this ‘benami’ property was a part of these efforts.

Impartial probe – it cannot be – it can never be – because it doesn’t suit to the long-term political gains weaves around such issues – given the state of affairs Indian politics is.

Comprehensive, it will be as much as it can be (or any such probe with so many angles to stir the political pots), but to the extent that it doesn’t see any conclusion, but presents a maze of political cocoons, from which a favourable plot/element can be picked up – when(ever) it is the time.

Congress knows this. BJP knows this. Every political party knows this. And everyone who keenly watches Indian politics knows this.

So, the ongoing probe(s) against Robert Vadra, in Delhi, in Rajasthan and in Haryana, will never see a logical conclusion.

It is an evergreen pool of political potpourri to choose from whenever politically surcharged events like elections are ongoing. So, Robert Vadra becomes a hotly debated issue whenever an election approaches, especially where Congress is the main political rival.

That will always remain Congress’s political predicament – and an evergreen source to score some (and sometimes major) brownie points. Why will BJP let it go dry?

Congress is now realizing this ‘hoot and scoot’ (hit and run) strategy and today’s open counter-attack by Sonia Gandhi is an indication of that. But what else can Congress do?

And we will see more of it as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand elections approach as Congress is a major political force in these states, even if we say so with ample reservation in case of Uttar Pradesh.

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