2G Verdict: PM Narendra Modi walked out safe, but a bit scarred, in the election battle of Gujarat that witnessed a surprise surge in the number of seats of opposition Congress. Modi's Spring is, however, now on fire.
2G Scam Verdict: Newspaper headlines after Gujarat election results were interesting. The Indian Express headlined its lead story on Gujarat result as ‘Modi’s December Spring’ after PM Narendra Modi walked out safe, but a bit scarred, in the election battle of Gujarat that witnessed a surprise surge in the number of seats of opposition Congress. Modi’s Spring is, however, now on fire.
Gujarat verdict forced BJP to start rethinking its strategy for the future, especially in the wake of consistent opposition attacks inside and outside the Parliament over PM Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the election campaign. As if the Gujarat woes were not enough, the 2G scam verdict on Thursday has come at the most undesired time for PM Modi.
A little over a month from now, the Centre would present the Union Budget in Parliament. The way the Congress reacted today after the announcement of 2G Scam verdict, which acquitted all accused including former Union telecom minister A Raja and DMK leader Kanimozhi, it is apparent that the main opposition party would take to the streets demanding an apology from Modi and BJP for defaming it in the 2G Scam case. Parliament would hardly function. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala left a distant hint today while talking to reporters: “BJP had disrupted the Parliament for three years over the 2G Scam case.” He didn’t say that the Congress would also do the same, but everyone can sense what is coming.
“After six long years of trial, a concerted smear campaign, and non-stop vilification, the truth has triumphed. The erstwhile UPA government and the Congress party stand vindicated today,” Congress party wrote on its official website. “The nation was misled by this rabid activism, a short-sighted Opposition, and a sensationalist media. The Congress party has come out clean and stands vindicated. The nation is watching,” it added.
While it is too early for the Congress to celebrate as the verdict would be challenged in higher courts, the judgement by the special court in Delhi has given Congress not just a respite but a solid weapon with which it would try to kill the popularity of Modi government.
Days ahead are certainly not going to be Spring-like for PM Modi. Speaking to media today, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy fell short of telling this directly to the PM but urged the latter to take on corruption on a war footing. Swamy also expressed confidence that the 2G Verdict would be overturned by higher courts. However, it may take several years. Modi doesn’t have much time before 2019 elections.