Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Anna, the only party working to pass the Lokpal is the Congress…..

If you weren’t so overtaken by your bias against the Congress Anna, you would have noticed this fact. Your favorite party BJP – the one that always supports you in public but often stabs you in the back and whose games you are unable to see Anna – is the one that has a historical opportunity in its hands to give the country the much delayed Lokpal, but again it’s likely to do what it does best – play opportunistic politics. What’s surprising to me Anna is that you are putting absolutely zero pressure on them. It appears to me Anna that your goal was always only attacking the Congress, not passing the Lokpal. If this is the case Anna, you alone will be credited for bringing the corruption issue to the front burner but also held responsible for the country not getting the Lokpal now.

Maybe in your opposition to the Congress, you failed to notice Anna that it is the BJP that has done an absolute U-turn on one of your core issues that was captured in the Sense of the House Resolution: The setting up of Lok Ayuktas in the states alongwith the Lokpal as part of one single Central Act. All along, in public and on TV, the BJP supported this clause. They said the same thing from the stage on which a farce of a debate was conducted at Jantar Mantar recently. One of their staunchest allies – the JD (U) said in fact that they would honor every full stop, every comma of the Resolution. And see what they did in the Lok Sabha? Citing flimsy grounds of constitutional problems – grounds that were challenged by the Government – the BJP demanded and forced the removal of this clause. But have you complained even once Anna? No.

You have not expressed your views on whether you believe that maximum corruption happens in the states (both Congress and BJP ruled). Nor that more citizen’s grievances exist in the states. Yet, you appear to be alright if there is no Lok Ayukta instituted in the states as part of the Central Act. You are so worried about citizen’s grievances, but with no Lok Ayukta in a state, how will your citizen’s grievance redressal mechanism work? You seem to have conveniently ignored this major watering down of your “demand”.

Maybe you have also missed the fine print in the support that the BJP has given you on the issue of the CBI reporting to the Lokpal. Yes, the BJP claims that it supports you on this. But in reality all they are demanding is “autonomy” for the Lokpal. Today’s TOI says that no party except the BSP wants the CBI under the Lokpal. By your simple yardstick, you should love the BSP. Have you also missed the point Anna that the BJP wants to strip the Lokpal of the powers to prosecute and adjudicate (and I support this)? Imagine this – any amount of evidence you generate with your investigation wing may be found inadequate with a politically motivated prosecutor. What will you do then? You fail to understand that what the BJP is saying is the same as what the Congress is saying – that you cannot have all powers built into the Lokpal. But somehow your fail to appreciate this point.

The BJP also opposed the provisions of Section 24 of the proposed Lokpal. So now even that’s been diluted down. So now, even after they are chargesheeted, MPs (some definitely belonging to the BJP as well) will face no action from the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha till the courts pass the order. On the other hand, you do realize Anna, don’t you, that as per your JLP, ordinary citizens if chargesheeted would have been already handed down a penalty of jail, demotion, salary loss etc by the Lokpal. These ordinary citizens could then go in appeal to the High Courts, but that could take years. But have I heard you speak against this special privilege that the BJP has secured for its ilk? No. Instead, your colleage Arvind Kejriwal has gone on a misinformation campaign saying that 90% of all politicians are out of the grasp of the Lokpal. If this is true, who is responsible? The Congress or the BJP?

Ultimately Anna, the politicians have been wiser than you. By continuously saying that they support a “strong” Lokpal, they have made sure they do not even vote for a “weak” Lokpal. This is ideal for them. They simply don’t want a Lokpal. Some like Laloo are wickedly candid enough to accept it in Parliament. Others – the more wily kinds – just do it without much noise. All politicians are fooling you Anna – and you are not even aware of it. Your team is perhaps hand in gloves with these politicians. Why else would they not see through this so obvious game being played?

Anna, even media – without whose support your movement would not have gathered so much steam – has complained about your anti-Congress credentials. No less than Arnab Goswami – your most avowed supporter – was flummoxed when he asked Kejriwal “five times” about whether he and you held the BJP guilty as well, and all five times, he apparently refused to blame the BJP. Over the last few days, every TV channel has had panelists severely criticizing your movement and the anti-Congress slant it has taken. In fact, one of the main reasons why your movement has fizzled out is that you have made this into a political movement. The signs were there from the beginning Anna when you first praised Modi for development rather than complain about the absence of the Lok Ayukta for nearly eight years. After a small protest against Bihar’s Nitish Kumar, you gave up complaining about the “weak” Lok Ayukta Bill his state passed. Ultimately, it appears that Digvijay Singh was always right in accusing you on being an RSS agent.

Because if you aren’t Anna – and I am sincerely hoping that you are not – then why would you not do a dharna outside the houses of BJP MPs in Delhi today? Because if you did that, the BJP would get the message that the passage of the Lokpal is an important thing for you and the country. That even if they do not like certain clauses in the Bill, they cannot reject it. They can always seek changes a few months later. And if everyone believes the BJP/NDA will come to power in 2014, then that’s even better – they can make it exactly like you want it then. And in the meantime, Sushma Swaraj has already committed that she will get BJP to enact a similar law as you like in all her states.

Surely Anna you realize that if the Rajya Sabha rejects the bill today thanks to the BJP not supporting it, there will be no Lokpal for another few decades? The Feb-March period is fully busy with the budget and with elections in five states. After that, there will be a long break before the monsoon session starts. By that time, the momentum for your movement will all but have gone. Please do get the message that Mumbai has sent you. The people in this financial capital did not support you. Kejriwal is wrong with his bizarre accusation – there are thousands of autos available at Bandra station to ferry people to the MMRDA grounds. The fact is that if people wanted to come, they would have come. But they are a little fed up with this excess dose of fasting they have got; and they are disappointed you are not directing your ire at the BJP now. People in Mumbai are very practical – not politically alert like they are in Delhi. They saw you as an anti-corruption crusader; not as a BJP supporter. Now, they see you as the BJP’s B team; and in this city and state, the BJP is all but dead. You may have noted the results of the elections of the state-wide municipal councils that happened recently – they were swept by the NCP and the Congress. Earlier it was the government who missed the pulse of the people. It was their arrogance, you claimed Anna. Today, today, your people are missing the pulse of the people. Today, it is your team’s that is arrogant Anna.

Forget the Trinamool Congress Anna. At the right time – once the UP elections are over and the Congress gets into a deal with the SP – the TMC will be practically out of the alliance. Or will cease to matter. They deserve it. Time and again, they come in at the last moment to embarrass their partners. Whatever objections they had – why did they not raise them before voting in the Lok Sabha? Why did they support the amendment to the Lok Ayuktas clause then and help pass the Bill? Now if they move a further amendment to that clause, don’t they realize that the Bill will need to go back to the Lok Sabha and that won’t be possible at all for many months?

The real truth Dear Anna is clear. It is only the Congress that is pushing the Lokpal Bill. Agreed you may feel there are infirmities, but which law doesn’t have infirmities? Who says those infirmities cannot be removed in the future? But Anna, you are appearing to be more anti-congress than pro-lokpal. And that’s why people are disappointed. Please salvage this bill Anna. Only you can now. Please call Advani and Jaitley and give them some instructions…..

1 comment:

  1. An eye opener for me. Agreed to every aspect of your article. Will no longer be a blind follower of anna.