Cong must introspect
This refers to P Chidambaram’s column “Searching for a method in the madness” (FE, December 20). One really wonders that if the “facts” of the National Herald case were as simple as made out by him, then why had the Congress Party once again resorted to its old tactical game-plan of stalling both the houses of Parliament accusing the government of the day of “political vendetta”? One, however, fails to comprehend and see any rationale behind its out of the box idea to strategically politicise an issue that solely falls in the legal domain. Should this party not have approached the Supreme Court if its was aggrieved by the Delhi High Court judgment which asked both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to appear before the Magistrate concerned in the Patiala House court? However, what later prompted both of them to so ‘dutifully’ appear in the said court on December 19, 2015, still remains a mystery. Was it an political after-thought in the wake of the adverse public opinion that was raging across the country over the Congress’s ill-conceived political stand in Parliament? Incidentally, who has repeatedly (on one pretext or the other) been creating road blocks in the passage of the much-needed GST Bill, a low-hanging fruit, despite the fact that the government has already conceded all the major demands of the main Opposition party? It may be added that an all-party meet was very recently convened after Hamid Ansari, the vice-president of India and the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha raised some of his existing-power-related issues, where some consensus emerged on presentation and debating of various pending bills, except the GST Bill, over which the Congress party, very strangely, did not agree? Why this prolonged dirty game of hide-and-seek? In all fairness, this highly misguided and confused Congress party must try to search for a method in its madness. Mind you, charity always begins at home.
Jaitley is not above board
Arun Jaitley cannot shrug off the allegations levelled against him by the AAP and ex-cricketers Kirti Azad and Bishen Singh Bedi, simply by the virtue of his position as BJP’s chief strategist and de facto second-in-command in the Union Cabinet. He cannot exculpate himself by merely claiming that he remained only a nominal head of District & Delhi Cricket Association for 14 long years and he was completely unaware of its financial affairs. He can hardly draw comfort from Baba Ramdev slamming the AAP for raising the charges against him or from “sections of the media” soft pedalling the issue. Ex-cricketers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir appeared to have been fielded to defend him. But their defence that he ensured justice for deserving players and he was available in times of difficulty was hardly enough to exonerate Jaitley from the charges. Jaitley’s reliance on Serious Fraud Investigation Office report to prove his innocence has only betrayed his sub-conscious desire to treat the case as a closed chapter. In a democracy, no leader can place himself in such a high pedestal to dub and dismiss charges of corruption as ‘rubbish’ without rebutting them with hard facts. He has to answer the charge of his involvement in shady financial transactions between DDCA headed by him and “21st Century”, owned by a friend of his, in the reconstruction of Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium and his role in ONGC’s denotation of R5 crore to Hockey India and siphoning off of R57 crore through proxy firms, for which Kirti produced audio-visual proof. An inquiry has now become imperative to bring out the whole truth in the public domain and bring the wrong-doers to justice. As Jaitley himself has said in the context of CBI’s raid on the Delhi Secretariat, ‘there should be no taboos in investigating corruption’.