Showing posts with label Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congress. Show all posts

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Punjab Elections Gaining Heat
Can Sidhu take the plunge and swim safe to the shore?

As of today, the cricketer-turned-politician and recently an entertainer in comedy shows, Navjot Singh Sidhu has not as yet resigned from BJP though he did from Rajya Sabha for which he was nominated only three months back. Yet, the media has created a hype as if the BJP has lost the electoral cricket match slated in early next year which it was, otherwise, sure to win. It has already put him in the Aam Aadmi Party's kitty and anointed him as its chief ministerial candidate though the AAP anxious to catch a big fish from the other side has, so far, refrained from saying so. Note further. Sidhu too has, so far, not resigned from the Party though his wife has gone on record saying his quitting Rajya Sabha amounts to quitting party.
As is the wont with most of the media, it is only highlighting the huge losses the BJP, in its opinion, is sure to score in the next election with Sidhu campaigning against the Akali-BJP alliance in power for the last about one decade. It is totally ignoring the other side of the story, the negative one of Sidhu, only because that heightens its hype and adds to the sensation.
Needless to recall that Sidhu stands convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced to three years' jail besides a fine of Rs. One lakh. His appeal is pending in the Supreme Court. He could not have re-contested the 2009 election to Parliament from Amritsar had the eminent lawyer, Arun Jaitley, now Finance Minister in Narendra Modi led NDA government, not successfully pleaded before the court and succeeded in getting his sentence suspended. Sidhu had won in 2004 and repeated his victory in 2009.
It is also a fact that in the last elections to Punjab assembly in 2012 BJP's star campaigner Sidhu did not campaign for the Akali-BJP alliance because he had developed irreconcilable differences with those running the Akali Dal. He wanted the Party to sever the oldest alliance with Akali Dal. Yet it was voted into power with BJP winning a larger number of seats than last time. Yet, his wife was favoured with a ministerial berth in the new government. She too had an uneasy relationship with Akali Dal. She still continues in alliance government.
Sidhu had a perennial fight with Akali Dal holding the latter responsible for lack of development in his Amritsar constituency. On the other hand, Sidhu’s detractors charged him with ignoring the constituency at the cost of taking part in a programme that was popular with the name 'Laughter Challenge'.
In 2014 Parliament elections Sidhu was denied the nomination for the third time and Arun Jaitley was made the BJP candidate. Sidhu did not campaign for Jaitley whom he otherwise publicly accepted as his “mentor”. Even in the Modi wave Jaitley lost not for his own fault but for the sins of both Sidhu and Akali Dal.
Yet, Sidhu was made a Secretary of BJP at the national level. He still remained sulking, more active in Kapil's Comedy Show than in the discharge of his functions as a functionary of the party. The Kapil show did earn him hefty financial dividends  but these left him poor at the political level. In the elections which threw up BJP to power at the Centre for the first time, his showing at the campaign trail was few and far between.
BJP did try to keep the sulking Sidhu in good humour and continued to pamper him one way or the other. His nomination to Rajya Sabha, which he gladly accepted, was one such instance. In his first reaction after taking oath in April 2016, Sidhu said: “The present nomination by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is significant for me as he is a great role model for me”.  But he did not consult PM before resigning.
After quitting Rajya Sabha on July 18 he said: "At the behest of the honourable PM, I had accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination for the welfare of Punjab. With the closure of every window leading to Punjab the purpose stands defeated. It is now a mere burden. I prefer not to carry it”.
While media is agog with hunches that Sidhu was unhappy at the treatment meted out to him by the party and that he had been ignored for a ministerial berth in the expanded Modi Council of Ministers a fortnight back, he seems to be trying to plunge into the uncertainty of the next year's assembly elections to stage a Kejriwal in Punjab. Otherwise, his political future stands eclipsed. Whether Akali-BJP alliance scores a hat trick or loses power, he will stand to lose in both eventualities.
Even if AAP finally decides to launch him as its chief ministerial candidate, he is not likely to have a smooth sailing. It is fallacious to measure the success of Kapil's comedy show as the barometer for Sidhu's acceptance as a chief minister in Punjab where his political role for the last over five years has been minimal. TV shows can contribute enormously to a person's popularity and financial standing but it is a hard nut to crack in elections. If occasional jumlas and comedy gimmicks in TV shows were to do the trick in parliament or assembly elections, then Kapil should win hands down from any constituency in the country. But that is a false assumption. Raju Srivastava who regaled audiences in a greater measure than Sidhu had a bitter taste of this electoral reality. Raju contested the last UP assembly election on Samajwadi Party ticket. Raju lost while his party won the UP election and formed government.
Further, both Akali Dal and Congress are most likely to throw a gauntlet of challenge for him. Congress chief ministerial candidate may invite him to fight against him from Patiala, Sidhu's home district, to test his popularity. Likewise, Akali Dal may ask him to try his popularity either against the elder Badal or his son Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal. Accepting either of the two challenges from Congress or Akali Dal may boomerang and shying away paint him as a paper tiger. Needless to recall that Kajriwal did challenge the sitting Congress CM Sheila Dikshit in her own constituency in Delhi and did win. But Punjab is not Delhi and Sidhu is not Kejriwal. Can Sidhu take the plunge?                                                                                  (Antaryami)
Courtesy: Uday India weekly (English)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Secularism' redefined?

Secularism' redefined?
By Amba Charan Vashishtha

Today's (May 11) The Statesman carried a news saying that Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, the head of the All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) pads for 'secular forces' to join hands to prevent BJP from coming into power in Assam.
It is an irony — and to a great extent, hypocrisy — if a person like Ajmal claims himself to be a 'secular'. Though nobody, not the Constitution  and even courts, have so far defined secularism, yet if people like Ajmal claim themselves to be 'secular', then god save this pious concept.
Reality is that many political parties which have confined their membership to one community, like the Indian Union Muslim League and others, claim themselves to be 'secular' outfits while they condemn BJP, RSS, Shiv Sena and others who join hands with NDA as 'communal'. This is true of JD (U) even. Till JD (U) was having a coalition government in Bihar with BJP and had joined NDA government at the Centre, both BJP and RSS were not 'communal' for it. But when for political and electoral opportunism, JD (U) snapped its about 18-19 years old political-cum-electoral association, BJP and its allies instantly became rank 'communalists'.
The fact of the matter is that practically every political party, except the Congress, has at one time or the other shared power with or got outside support of BJP — the same BJP whom they today condemn as 'communal' and, to a great extent, untouchable.
Late V. P. Singh had no qualms of conscience to accept the outside support of 'communal' BJP to occupy the chair of Prime Minister which, he knew, he  could never without it. But the moment it withdrew support, it became 'communal'.
In the sixties during the Samyukta Vidhayak Dal governments formed in various State, even communists shared power with Jana Sangh, the earlier avtar of BJP of today. BJP, it looks, becomes 'secular' and 'communal' to these 'secular' parties depending upon whether they need it for power or not.

When will our political parties stop befooling the public on the issue of 'communalism' and 'secularism' with their hypocritical conduct?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

तू आटा गूंधते हिलती क्‍यों है

तू आटा गूंधते हिलती क्‍यों है?
राहुल गांधी 'जासूसी' पर कांग्रेस का कुतर्क

        अम्‍बा चरण वशिष्‍ठ

तू आटा गूंधते हिलती क्‍यों है\ यह प्रश्‍न है उस सास का है जिसे अपनी बहू की बिना बात के आलोचना करनी होती है जबकि उसके पास कोई कारण नहीं होता। संयोग से अभी तक सास बनने का सौभाग्‍य तो प्राप्‍त नहीं कर पाई हैं पर आजकल कांग्रेस अध्‍यक्षा श्रीमती सोनिया गांधी राजनीति में सास का रोल ही कर रही हैं। पिछले वर्ष से चुनावों में लगातार हार के हार पहनती कांग्रेस मुद्दों की कंगाल हो चुकी है। वह सरकार की आलोचना करने केलिये एक पारम्‍परिक सास की तरह बहाने ढूंढती रहती है।
पिछले एक मास से अधिक समय से कांग्रेस के युवराज व राष्‍ट्रीय उपाध्‍यक्ष छुट्टी लेकर अज्ञातवास पर चले गये हैं। लगता तो ऐसा हे जैसा कि उनकी माताश्री को भी उनके बारे पता नहीं हो। वह इस समय उस अज्ञात स्‍थान — भारत या भारत से बाहर — आत्‍मचिन्‍तन या आत्‍ममंथन कर रहे हैं, यह तो पता नहीं पर वह कांग्रेस को आत्‍म चिन्‍ता में अवश्‍य डाल गये हैं। मीडिया में अफवाहें तो यह भी हैं कि वह रूठ कर घर से भाग गये हैं कि माताश्री उनके लिये पद क्‍यों नहीं त्‍याग देतीं और अपने कर कमलों से उनका राजतिलक क्‍यों नहीं करतीं। खैर, यह तो घरेलू सच-झूठ का मामला है। जनता को कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ने वाला कि अध्‍यक्ष माताश्री हैं या सुपुत्र। साथ ही समाचार यह भी छप रहे हैं कि वह शीघ्र ही उसी प्रकार अचानक स्‍वयं प्रकट हो जायेंगे जैसे कि वह लुप्‍त हुये थे। साथ में उनकी ताजपोशी अप्रैल में सुनिश्चित कर दी गई है। इसलिये अब उनकी छुट्टी और लुकाछिपी का कोई औचित्‍य नहीं बचा है।
राहुल के अचानक लुप्‍त हो जाने के कारण कांग्रेसपरेशान थी क्‍योंकि उसे हर दिन स्‍पष्‍टीकरण देना पड़ रहा था। इसलिये उसने भी ‘आटा गूंधते हिलती क्‍यों है’’ वाला बहाना ढूंढ लिया अपनी ओर से ध्‍यान हटा कर सरकार पर तोहमत लगाने का काम कर दिया। उसके हाथ आ गया किेसी पुलिस अधिकारी द्वारा राहुल गांधी के बारे कुछ सूचनाये प्राप्‍त करने का। बस उसने इस बात का बतंगड़ बना दिया और आरोप मढ़ दिया कि सरकार राहुल सरीखे विपक्ष के नेताओं पर निगरानी की आंख रख रही है। इसी से उसके पाखण्‍ड की पोल भी खुल गई।
सभी जानते है कि राहुल गांधी को एसपीजी सुरक्षा मिली हुई है। इसका स्‍पष्‍ट अभिप्राय है कि उनकी सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से उनपर हर प्रकार की नज़र रखी जानी अनिवार्य है। ऐसा न करना पुलिस की कोताही होगी और यह उनकी जान के लिये खतरा भी बन सकता है। वह कहां जाते हैं, किसको मिलते हैं, कितनी देर मिलते हैं – यह सब पूर्व सूचना पुलिस के पास होती है और होनी भी चाहिये। जिस क्षेत्र, जिस शहर व जिस प्रदेश में उन्‍हें जाना हो उसकी यथापूर्व सूचना पुलिस को भेजनी होती है ताकि वहां के सुरक्षा अधिकारी इसका यथापूर्व त्रुटिरहित प्रबन्‍ध कर लें। राहुल जैसे सुरक्षा प्राप्‍त व्‍यक्ति को तो यदि अपने किसी सम्‍बंधी या मित्र को भी मिलने जाना हो तो यह अनिवार्य है कि वह पहले ही बता दें कि उन्‍हें कब और किसके पास जाना है ताकि सुरक्षा कर्मी यह पहले ही सुनिश्‍चित कर लें कि वह स्‍थान जहां उन्‍हें जाना है उनकी सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से सुरक्षित है और यदि नहीं तो उसका पूर्व प्रबंध कर लिया जाये। पुलिस उस निजि घर व संस्‍थान का निरीक्षण भी करेगी और वहां रहने वालों का पूरा ब्‍यौरा भी प्राप्‍त करेगी। यदि राहुल यह गिला करें कि यह उनके या उनके मित्र-सम्‍बंधी की प्राइवेसी पर अतिक्रमण है तो यह सुरक्षा व्‍यवस्‍था व उसमें लगे कर्मियों के साथ अन्‍याय है।
हमें यह भी नहीं भूलना चाहिये कि निगरानी और उनके बारे सूचना राष्‍ट्रपति, प्रधान मन्‍त्री और मन्त्रियों तक की इकट्ठी की जाती है और रखी जाती है।  
राज्‍य सभा में सदन के नेता व वित्‍त मन्‍त्री अरूण जेटली ने विपक्ष्‍ को सुरक्षा और जासूसी के बीच का फर्क समझाया। उन्‍होंने बताया कि जासूसी बिन बताये की जाती है और सरेआम सूचना प्राप्‍त करने को जासूसी की संज्ञा देना गलत है। फिर ऐसी सूचना केवल राहुल या कांग्रेस व अन्‍य विपक्षी दल के नेताओं से ही प्राप्‍त नहीं की गई है। भाजपा के नेताओं व मन्त्रियों से भी यही सूचना व सवाल पूछे गये हैं। सरकार के पास इस समय 526 सांसदों से इस बारे सूचना प्राप्‍त की जा चुकी है। उन्‍होंने बताया कि प्रोफार्मा पर सूचना एकत्रित करने का काम 1987 से चल रहा है। 1998ए 2004 व 2010 में इस प्रकार की सूचना श्रीमति सोनिया गांधी के घर जाकर भी प्राप्‍त की गई थह। उन्‍होंने यह भी याद दिलाया कि एक बम दुर्घना में एक पूर्व प्रधान मन्‍त्री की हत्‍या के बाद उनके शव की पहचान उनके जूते से ही सम्‍भव हो सकी थी जिसकी सूचना पुलिस के पास उपलब्‍ध थी।
व्‍यक्तियों पर निगरानी सरकार ही नहीं आम जीवन में बहुत से लोग करते व करवाते हैं और करनी भी चाहिये। जो नहीं करते वह बाद में पछताते हैं। नज़र परिवार अपने सदस्‍यों पर भी रखते है। लोग अपने बच्‍चों पर भी रखते हैं। पति पत्नि पर और पत्नि पति पर रखती है। अब तो लाइसैंस प्राप्‍त जासूसी एजैन्सियां भी बन गई हैं जो किसी पर भी यह काम करती हैं। फिर आज तो तकनालोजी इतनी विकसित हो गई है कि किसी चीज़ या बात को पर्दे में छुपा कर रखना सम्‍भव ही नहीं रह गया है।       
उधर मुश्किल यह भी है कि आज सरकारी सुरक्षा प्राप्‍त करना एक स्‍टेटस सिम्‍बल भी बन गया है। किसी की सुरक्षा कम कर दी जाये या हटा ली जाये तो भी बावेला खड़ा कर दिया जाता है। हम भूले नहीं हैं जब प्रियंका के पति रॉबर्ट वडरा की सुरक्षा या सुवधिायें कम करने य हटाने की बात होती है तो बहुत शोर मचाया जाता है। जब यह सब चाहिये तो जिस परेशानी पर व्‍यर्थ का बखेड़ा खड़ा किया जा रहा है वह भी सहना पड़ेगा। पुराने समय में ठीक ही कहते थे कि यदि नथ पहननी है तो नाक बिंधवाने की पीड़ा तो सहनी पड़ेगी ही। कुछ महानुभावों की सुरक्षा का दायित्‍व सरकार पर है। उन पर ग़रीब जनता की गाढ़ी कमाई का करोड़ों-अरबों रूपया भी खर्च किया जा रहा है। तो उन महानुभावों को उनकी सुरक्षा प्रदान करने के मामले में सरकार से भी पूरा सहयोग करना चाहिये। एक ओर तो राहुल को एसजीपी सुरक्षा प्रदान की गई है तो दूसरी ओर वह यह भी हक चाहते हैं कि वह जब चाहें तब चुपचाप गोल हो जायें और किसी के कान में खबर तक न लगे। ऐसी अवस्‍था में क्‍या वह अपने आप को असुरक्षित नहीं कर रहे और सुरक्षा एजैन्यिसों को उन्‍हें सुरक्षा प्रदान करने में असहाय नहीं बना रहे हैं\ इसमें कुछ भूल-चूक हो जाये तो कौन जि़म्‍मवार होगा\

उदय इण्डिया के 28 मार्च, 2015 अंक में भी प्रकाशित

Monday, January 19, 2015

India frustrates another 26/11

By Amba Charan Vashishth

          What offended the Congress to get provoked to deny the Coast Guard
story of a terror boat emanating from Karachi having blown itself off
by terrorists themselves that it should refuse to believe it and
challenge the government to provide proof? Congress was in no way,
directly or indirectly, involved. Nobody even remotely alluded to any
Congress connection. Then, why did the Congress volunteer to refuse
to believe the Coast Guard and jump to the Pak boat to sing a duet with
Pakistan saying "there is no evidence"? That is baffling.

Congress lost power in 1996. Kargil war happened in 1999.  All through it was Mrs. Sonia Gandhi who called the shots in Congress — and in government when in power — as its president. It is a coincidence that both during Kargil war and the December 31. 2014 boat incident Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

During the Kargil military adventure by Pakistan the Congress then was less supportive and more critic of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's NDA government. It launched a political blitzkrieg against the government alleging ‘failure’ to keep a watchful eye on the enemy movements to frustrate such a mischief. It attributed the loss of lives of our valiant soldiers and unnecessary burden on the country's resources to this government lapse. Congress had at that time too attracted the charge of speaking the Pak language.

When ultimately the Government threw out every intruder, dead or live, and got back the last inch of India’s territory, Congress had no words of praise for facilitating  nation’s victory over Pakistan. Congress called it an army victory as if, in its opinion, army is not a part of government but a separate identity. It kept itself away from victory celebrations because for political — and electoral because elections were round the corner — reasons, it did not wish to allow the Vajpayee government to hog the credit.
Courtesy: Nai Duniya

Congress never reconciled to Kargil win. When in 2004 it returned to power, UPA government dispensed with Kargil victory celebrations at government level.

Kargil marked the first and the only decisive victory India scored over Pakistan. Kashmir in 1948 was only a partial success with one-third of the area remaining in illegal occupation of Pakistan.

In 1965 and 1971 war, too, both times India gifted on a platter at the negotiating table to Pakistan what she had won at a great sacrifice of men and material in war. India even handed over back to Pakistan the areas in Kashmir which the brave Indian army had got liberated from aggressor and which rightly and legally belonged to India.

When terrorists struck at Parliament House in 2001, all the terrorists were gunned down by bravehearts who instantly swung into defence of the temple of democracy frustrating all terror plans. Congress, on the contrary, raised the hype of this being   "a monumental security and intelligence failure" of the then NDA government. When Parliament attack culprit Afzal Guru was sentenced to death, it took more than five years for the Congress-led UPA government to take a decision on his mercy petition. The then J&K Congress chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and former NC chief minister Farooq Abdullah struck a duet that Kashmir would be on fire if Guru was hanged. As a mark of protest and in utter frustration caused by undue delay in executing Afzal, the bereaved families of those who sacrificed their life in defence of Parliament House surrendered the medals given to the bravehearts posthumously. Yet, the UPA remained unmoved of their hurt sentiments.

On December 31, 2014 night a boat taking off from Karachi port towards Gujarat was intercepted in the Indian waters about 350 miles from Porbandar by our vigilant Coast Guards. When cornered, they blew themselves and the boat off. Pakistan called the story a concoction. It sought proof. So did the Congress. Accusing the NDA government of sensationalizing the issue its spokesman Ajoy Kumar wanted the NDA government to "come clean on it" (as if it had committed some crime) as there is no evidence. How can you say that a terrorist attack was prevented?" he told reporters. This is exactly what  Pakistan was saying. It attracted BJP retort: "The Congress has time and again spoken in the same language that Pakistan has spoken. Today, we cannot differentiate between a Congress spokesperson and a Pakistani spokesperson."  The BJP national president Amit Shah said he feels "Congress doesn't know whether it would fight elections in Pakistan or India."  

It is also for the first time that a political organization which is neither a party to the dispute nor are there charges against whom has challenged a government agency and sought proof. Pak making such a demand is understandable, but why should the Congress?

In pursuit of its narrow political goals, Congress has ended up refusing to believe the brave Coast Guards whose only interest is to protect and secure the country's waters and coasts.

Comparison here with the stand taken by the ruling and opposition parties in USA during 9/11 stands starkly different. The US was taken by surprise by what happened then. But, strangely, no opposition leader or the media raised the question we in India do — total intelligence failure, alleging police, ambulances etc. not reaching in time and demand government resignation for failure to protect the life and property of its citizens. On the contrary, the whole country stood behind the US President as a rock and both houses of Congress and Senate had only praise on their lips to describe the way the then President Bush handled the situation. Do we in India wish to tell the world that we are more democratic and nationalist than all others?                                  ***  
Also published in UDAY INDIA.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

'Secular' Congress subservient to Muslim fundamentalism

'Secular' Congress subservient to Muslim fundamentalism

By Amba Charan Vashishth

As the election to Parliament draws near, the tone and tenor of election speeches is getting dirtier. The speakers may find it delectable but it certainly is detestable to the common man, the voter. The contestants may lose their cool but the voter remains cool in his head.

One of the reasons for the contestants getting lousy and abusive is because of the electoral atmosphere in the country and in their own constituencies. It is also said that when a person turns bankrupt of arguments and logic, he comes to blows. That exactly looks true in the present electoral situation.
During the last UP assembly elections, the environment looked almost the same as it is present. It was the Congress leaders who were in vociferous defiance of the Election Commission (EC). And who gained? At least not those who were the most vocal.

Union Minister Salman Khurshid who was in his defiance best while campaigning for his wife could not escape the ignominy of her being pushed to the fifth position by the electorate. His equally recalcitrant colleague in Manmohan cabinet Beni Persad Verma had no better luck.

More than a decade back, the elections were marred by an orgy of violence. The EC succeeded, to a great measure, in curbing the violence during electioneering and on the polling day. But now it looks the physical violence has been overtaken by the violence of the tongue.

In the past such instances were only few and far between. But now it looks it is the order of the day and elections.  Sometimes it was slip of the tongue. But now it has now assumed the proportion of being a desperately deliberate act.
This time the situation has been uglier and more indecent than ever before, even coming within the ambit of violation of criminal and election law.
It first started with the old hand in this dubious game, the External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid calling Modi as Napunsak (impotent).  Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi deprecated it saying: “I do not appreciate this kind of comment... the kind of language.” Then came the news of Khurshid venting the ire against the EC and the Supreme Court on the foreign soil of London — a case of a minister who has taken oath to "bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution". He violates his oath and yet remains a minister under the Constitution.

In this war of attrition and abuse jumps the Congress candidate from Saharanpur (UP) parliamentary constituency, Mr. Imran Masood who was caught on camera saying: "If Modi tries to make Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat, then we will chop him into tiny pieces... I am not scared of getting killed or attacking someone. I will fight against Modi. He thinks UP is Gujarat. Only 4% Muslims are there in Gujarat while there are 42% Muslims in UP."  

Later, he refused to tender an apology. A case was registered against him and he was remanded to 14 days' judicial custody. After two days he was granted bail.
Although the Congress said it did not approve such language yet the next day it jumped into his defence saying that the CD was one year old when Masood was in Samajwadi Party (SP). But the media which recorded the speech says it was very much recent while campaigning in his constituency. Let us take for a moment that the speech was made a year back when Masood was in SP. Does that absolve him of the crime he committed? And does his crime in SP turn into an act of piety because he has now joined Congress?

It is interesting to contrast the stand of the Congress and other parties as also the EC on the so-called "hate speech" Mr. Varun Gandhi is alleged to have given. (He has since been acquitted of the charge.) Note that on the day he spoke, the EC had not announced the election schedule for 2009 Lok Sabha elections and the Model Code of Conduct (MCoC) had not yet come into force. Mr. Gandhi had to remain in jail for two-three months. Further, EC immediately took cognizance of the speech and two days before the announcement of the schedule, advised — an unusual and unprecedented action — the BJP not to put up Mr. Varun as its candidate from Pilibhit. BJP did not accede because EC was overstepping its steps. But, surprisingly, this time EC remains unmoved by the Mr. Masood's crime.
Further, the political parties, including Congress, which wanted Mr. Varun Gandhi to be deprived of his right to contest the election for that "hate speech" are silent. Congress, so far, has not been able to dare to withdraw Mr. Masood's candidature obviously for fear of losing Muslim community votes. That lays utterly bare the precept and practice of 'secularism' by Congress. Congress need to explain whether Mr. Masood's speech smacked of secularism?

Again, Mr. Nahid Hasan SP candidate from Kairana was on March 30 quoted as telling SP workers: “Mayawati sat in the lap of Modi thrice, both are unmarried.”  The police registered a case against him.

The condemnation of such ugly voices by political parties is just a ploy. Had they honestly been against and condemned their act, they would have acted swiftly and cut their umbilical chord with such ignoble sons of which they felt ashamed to be their mother. But it is like haathi ke daant khaane ke aur, dikhaane ke aur.  They wish to have the cake and eat it too. They continue to wish to thrive on the illicit earnings of electoral bounty by such acts of brave braying. But people are not fools. They are much wiser than politicians. The latter must not ignore this fact.                                                                 ***   
Published in the Weekly ORGANISER in its April 13, 2014 issue.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

News Analysis Badle badle meri (AAP) sarkar nazar aate hain, ghar ki…

News Analysis
Badle badle meri (AAP) sarkar nazar aate hain, ghar ki…

By Amba Charan Vashishth

Great Britain has no written constitution. The monarchical Westminster form of parliamentary democracy there hinges on its great traditions and precedents. The British take pride in being strict sticklers to the law, traditions and precedents. But, on the contrary, in our form of parliamentary democracy where we claim to be following the Westminster style, we take pride in breaking the traditions and precedents.  We do swear by the Constitution but, at the same time, the ruling political party does everything to tame it to realize party’s narrow political ambitions and sectarian electoral goals in which the interest of the nation, invariably, stand isolated.

A new political outfit named Aam Aadmi Party  (AAP) composed mostly of novices in the field in just one year of its existence succeeded to catch the imagination of the metro city of Delhi to capture 28 out of 70 seats and also to defeat the chief minister Mrs. Sheila Dixit by a huge margin of about 26 thousand votes. It is an unusual happening in the electoral history of India. Though BJP emerged as the single largest party with 32 seats, four short of absolute majority, yet it preferred not to form a government than indulge in horse-trading. The ruling Congress stood reduced to paltry 8 seats. JD(U) won one seat and one went to an independent.

Even a day before declaration of results, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal swore by his children (God, save them!) stressing that his party would neither seek nor extend support to either BJP or Congress. Initially, it looked as if Delhi would have to suffer the travail of being denied a representative government with president’s rule being imposed in the State for six months. That is why for a fortnight Delhi virtually remained without a government as the incumbent ministry had resigned and, as per tradition, the Lt. Government had asked Sheila government to continue till alternative arrangement was made. 

After haggling and bargaining the Congress decided to extend ‘unconditional’ support of its 8-member group from outside to AAP government
It was the miracle of this parliamentary democracy that a ruling party badly mauled at the hustings could still be on the right side of power enjoying all the privileges of a ruling party except government bungalows, red beacon lights fitted luxury cars and staff. It provides fuse to the AAP government and luxuriates at the cost of government without accountability.

The ‘honest’ AAP stooped down to accept support from ‘corrupt’ Congress — the same Congress most of whose ministers, till the declaration of election results, the party had been vowing to throw in jail for ‘corruption’.

Finally, AAP government with Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister took oath on December 23. It was asked to prove majority in the house by January 3. In the process many unusual happenings took place. Many of the great traditions and precedents got crashed into rubble.

Since India won independence, it had been a tradition that the senior most MLA belonging to any party was nominated by the governor to function as pro-tem speaker to administer oath to newly elected MLAs. When Lt. Governor nominated the senior most MLA belonging to BJP as pro-tem speaker, the latter declined the offer. Congress followed suit. Ultimately, an AAP MLA was nominated as pro-tem speaker. After oath of MLAs, the pro-tem speaker used to conduct the election of the speaker. Thereafter the Governor/Lt. Governor addressed the newly elected assembly in which the future programmes and policies of the new government were enunciated.  It was only after that the house ccould conduct its normal business and take up the vote of confidence. In fact, the election of speaker itself is the virtual floor test of the strength of the incumbent government. All this was dispensed with.

Two days before the confidence vote Kejriwal himself said: “He has only 48 hours left with him”.  He claimed that his government may continue or be defeated in the house, he is not bothered. He wished to fulfill some of the promises made to the electorate. It was a political ploy and electoral game plan. In the event of his losing the vote of confidence, he wished to present the successor with fait accompli. If his government was defeated, he could shout from the house top: Look my government did what it could and should; it was defeated by vested interests because his government took these people-friendly decisions.

It is beside the point that many point out that neither the electricity relief is fifty percent nor the water supply concession is as promised because about half the population does not have electric and water connections in their houses and they are the real aam aadmi. Congress claimed that only subsidy had been increased.
But the question arises: Is a government which has yet to prove its majority and consequently its legitimacy constitutionally by tradition and by law empowered to do so? 

AS a rule, a vote of confidence is moved by the chief minister or the prime minister. It is he who replies on the conclusion of the debate and seeks approval of the house. This practice too was dispensed with. The motion was not moved by chief minister Kejriwal but by one of his colleagues. Both the opposition BJP and ally Congress made certain points, sought certain clarifications and made certain allegations during the debate. Congress declared that their support will continue as long as the AAP government took people-friendly decisions and adopted policies which were, in the opinion of Congress, helping the aam aadmi. The discussion was not wound up and replied by the mover of the resolution but by the chief minister Kejriwal. It was also for the first time that a chief minister chose to completely ignore all the points raised and allegations made during the debate. He preferred to keep silent on controversial issues as he felt convinced that silence was gold in the circumstances. He forgot his pre-result brave words that “corrupt” Congress leaders would be behind bars immediately after AAP government took over and that a strong Lokpal shall be passed on December 29 at Ramlila Maidan. He did vow a Lokpal within a fortnight. He did kept the hope alive that corruption will not be tolerated at any level by any individual to whichever party he/she may belong. But nothing new. Similar words have repeatedly been reiterated by Congress leadership too. Then what is different? 

What was starkly eloquent and piercing the ears of the viewers was the absence of the sharpness of Kejriwal's determination and commitment to stand by each and every word he gave to the people.

Kejriwal made name for coming out with specific allegations of corruption and malpractices against the then chief minister Mrs. Sheila Dixit and her government. For the last about one year he had been branding Congress and CM Sheila Dixit as “corrupt” and claiming himself to be “honest” on posters pasted on the back of hundreds of auto-rickshaws plying in Delhi. Ironically today, he is challenging the opposition to come out with proof against Sheila government.
This reminds us of the scene before 1989 Lok Sabha elections when in public meetings V. P. Singh used to boldly take out a piece of paper from his pocket saying it contains the names of those who received the Bofors kickbacks. But after he became Prime Minister he forgot everything and that piece of paper too disappeared.

 V. P. Singh history seems to be repeating in the case of Kejriwal. Now one only recalls a popular Hindi film song: Ab to badle badle (AAP) sarkar nazar aate hain, ghar ki………..   

Also published in the weekly ORGANISER, weekly UDAYINDIA.                                                                                                     ***

Saturday, December 14, 2013

SUNDAY SENTIMENT AAP trying to wriggle out of its electoral promises by not forming govt TRYING TO PUT CART BEFORE THE HORSE

AAP trying to wriggle out of its electoral promises by not forming govt

The cat is out. As the new day rises it is now becoming increasingly clear that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal is trying to get out of his responsibility to form a government in Delhi.

BJP has won 32 seats including one by its ally Akali Dal. It is short of at least 4 MLAs to form a government and no other political group — the Congress and AAP) is forthcoming to support it. Therefore, even though BJP emerged as the single largest party after Delhi assembly elections, yet it lacks the requisite numbers for a stable government.


It was, therefore, but natural that the Delhi Lt. Governor should call the next single party which has the numbers to cobble up a government. He called the AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for consultation on government formation. In the meantime, Congress wrote to the Lt. Governor that it would extend 'unconditional' support to AAP to form a stable government. With Congress support of 8 MLAs and two others, the AAP support in the assembly swells to 38 to give a stable government. But Mr. Kejriwal sought a 10-day time to decide on government formation.
But Mr. Kejriwal tried to put the cart before the horse by writing both to Congress and BJP seeking their support on 18 points, many of which were common and within the competence of the State government. Even BJP had said that it will extend constructive support to facilitate AAP government fulfill its election promises to the people.  

So far the history had been that a party with largest numbers sought the support of other smaller parties/groups by forming a post-election alliance or seeking support from outside. It was not the largest party which forced conditions for seeking their support but the smaller groups approached which haggled for more and more pound of flesh. This happened during the NDA rule from 1998-2004 and the UPA-I and UPA-II after 2004. In 1996 the then President invited the single largest party, BJP led by Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form a government. He did form one but failed to hoggle support from other political parties and groups with the result that he had to resign just after 13 days of the formation of government. It was the price for support from other parties that BJP from 1998-2004 period had to put its important planks of Ram Mandir, repeal of Article 370 and Common Civil Code for all in the cold storage. In the instant case, AAP is seeking support of other parties on its own terms.

Even otherwise, there are many issues in the election manifesto of AAP — 700 litres of water free to every consumer, reduction in the electricity rates, regularization of illegal colonies, creation of Lokpal or Lokayukta, Statehood for Delhi, protection of women — which no political party, be it Congress or BJP, can afford to put hurdles in AAP government implementing these promises. If any party does, it will cost very dearly to it in the eyes of the people.

AAP is making a funny demand. Both BJP and Congress should give, in writing, their support on all the 18 points raised by it. First, both Congress and BJP are going vocal on the electronic channels and in the media about their stand on these issues. They could be confronted any time if they changed stand by seeking the footage of their statements made to the media and electronic channels. Supposing if they give in writing too, are political agreements and statements enforceable through the courts?

The matter does not end with Congress and BJP elaborating their stand on these 18 points in writing. AAP says that after they receive commitment from these parties, they would go to the people to seek their opinion whether they should — or should not — form a government in the given circumstances. The people in whatever number have given their mandate to AAP, even if it falls short of the clear majority, to form a government. Moreover, what is the methodology AAP will exercise to gauge the real mood of the party on government formation? These are all diversionary tactics.

Slowly and steadily, AAP is emerging as a party that is trying to wriggle out of its commitment made to the people by adopting dilly-dallying tactics not to form a government.                                                                                                    ***

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Tuesday Teaser

As the date of polling for Delhi assembly elections is drawing near, the bubble of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal seems to be getting burst.
Kejriwal rose on the shoulders of the great social and anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare. He basked in the glory of Anna's anti-corruption campaign for Lokpal. It is he and some of his cronies who are responsible for turning the massive people's movement for Lokpal ultimately flounder.  
It is Arvind Kejriwal and his friends who, initially, smelt foul if politicians jumped on the Anna bandwagon to support the movement. They thought it will pollute it. It was he who had made certain political leaders leave the stage when they came to express their solidarity with the cause. He then claimed that he wanted to keep the campaign non-political.  But soon he staged a smart about-turn.  He decided to launch a political outfit of his own. It was this decision of his which ultimately sounded the death-knell of the movement that had sparked off a spontaneous and unprecedented support for the Anna campaign for which people of their own free will thronged in support; there was no leader to exhort them to do so. Finally, many like Mrs. Kiran Bedi deserted Kejriwal's boat because they smelt political opportunism in him.
The Anna movement met its waterloo when Kejriwal and party announced that they will campaign against the Congress and those against the Lokpal during assembly elections in four States of UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. But, for unexplained reasons, they failed to turn up in those States. That cost the Anna movement credibility, primarily because of him.
When Kejriwal launched the party, he was highly idealist and utopian. The party will not be headed by anyone; it will be the people who will guide its destiny, he said. It would be the people who will decide its course of politics. The money for the party too will come from the people, he declared.
He belied what he stated. A political organization without a leader is like a body without a head. Contrary to his declarations, he became its convener. How did it matter and placed it at a pedestal different than other parties. Every party has its own constitution. Parties like the BJP, Congress, Janata Dal, are headed by their president. Communist parties are headed by their general secretary. For all intents and purposes "convener" who is Arvind Kejriwal himself is the head of Aam Aadmi Party whatever may be his/her designation.
AAP no different
Programmes and policies of this AAP are being framed by Arvind Kejriwal and his group. Where is the aam aadmi in it? What is the difference between the process of evolution and formation of the programmes and policies of AAP and other political parties? Every political party claims its aims and objectives are those which reflect the hopes and aspirations of the people. So what is new in AAP?
Anna Hazare was against the conversion of his movement into a political body. He snapped all his ties and connections with Kejriwal and party. He announced that he will not campaign for AAP and also advised Kejriwal not to exploit his name to further his political ambitions. Deliberately, but indirectly, he did continue to use the Anna name during his electoral campaign. That is why Anna had ultimately to address a Press conference in which he made certain allegations against Kejriwal and AAP.
Congress B team
If Kejriwal thinks that he will dethrone Congress and crown himself with the office of the chief minister, he is not a realist and is living in a fool's paradise, day-dreaming. He is equally vain if he thinks that by jumping into the electoral arena in the Delhi assembly, he is harming Congress and its chief minister Mrs. Shiela Dixit against whom he is contesting. If not hundred percent, 80 percent votes he and his AAP receive will be the anti-Congress one. Thus where Congress was going to lose by a narrow margin of a few thousand, he is going to be instrumental in their win. Then, whom is Kejriwal helping?
Transparency where?
During the Anna movement and after formation of AAP, Kejriwal had been drumming up about transparency in his party. The `19 crores he has been able to collect for his party, including donations from abroad, is beyond comprehension. No political party or individual — not even renowned author Chetan Bhagat who floated a new political party and contested Parliament elections — can make such a boast because no new party in the past had been that lucky. If he wishes to make the people believe that the money he raised is through petty donations from the common people, he is befooling none else but his own self. Nobody is going to take him at his word, not even the aaam aadmi and people of his own party. Ms Mayawati has raised huge dumps of fortune and she too claimed that it was through small donations from people and party men.
To silence his critics, Kejriwal has said that if he was so enamelled of money he would not have quit his lucrative job. But his wife, his critics point out, is still there.
If Kejriwal and his AAP are so lucky to raise those huge dumps of money in their infancy in politics, it looks the trickle of donations may turn into an incessant drizzle once it wins some seats. What will happen, good god, if ever Kejriwal's AAP was voted into power in any State!                                         ***

Saturday, October 12, 2013

अध्‍यादेश मामला कुछ नहीं, राहुल ने केवल कांग्रेस की झेंप मिटाई

अध्‍यादेश मामला
कुछ नहीं, राहुल ने केवल कांग्रेस की झेंप मिटाई

                                                         --- अम्‍बा चरण वशिष्‍ठ

यह मान बैठना तो सरासर भूल होगी कि कांग्रेस राजगद्दी के स्‍पष्‍ट उत्‍तराधिकारी व पार्टी उपाध्‍यक्ष श्री राहुल गांधी अखबार नहीं पढ़ते और न ही कोई समाचार चैनल ही देखते हैं जो उन्‍हें पता ही न चल पाया कि पि‍छले मानसून सत्र में मनमोहन सरकार ने संसद में जनप्रि‍तिनिधि कानून 1951 में एक संशोधन  विधेयक प्रस्‍तुत किया गया था जिसका मन्‍तव्‍य उच्‍च्‍तम् न्‍यायालय के 20 जुलाई के उस आदेश को निरस्‍त करना था जिसके अनुसार यदि किसी जनप्रतिनिधि को सज़ा हो जाती है तो उसकी संसद या राज्‍य विधान सभा की सदस्‍यता तत्‍काल रद्द हो जायेगी। फिर श्री गांधी तो स्‍वयं लोक सभा के सदस्‍य भी हैं। इतना ही नहीं। इस बिल व बाद में 24 सितम्‍बर को मनमोहन मन्त्रिमण्‍डल द्वारा राष्‍ट्रपति महोदय की स्‍वीकृति के लिये भेजने से पूर्व अध्‍यादेश के मसौदे का अक्षरश: अनुमोदन कांग्रेस की कोर कमेटी ने भी किया था जिसकी अध्‍यक्षता स्‍वयं कांग्रेस अध्‍यक्ष श्रीमती सोनिया गांधी ने की थी। भाजपा समेत अनेक विपक्षी दलों ने राष्‍ट्रपति महोदय से मिल कर उनसे इस अध्‍यादेश का पुरज़ोर विरोध कर अनुरोध किया था कि वह उसे स्‍वीकृति प्रदान न करें। राष्‍ट्रपति महोदय ने भी आंखें मूंद कर अध्‍यादेश पर हस्‍ताक्षर न कर कानून विशेषज्ञों से सलाह-मशविरा करने के बाद 26 सितम्‍बर को गृह मन्‍त्री शिन्‍दे व कानून मन्‍त्री सिब्‍बल को तलब किया। स्‍पष्‍ट था कि राष्‍ट्रपति महोदय को कुछ शंकायें थीं।
तो फिर 27 तारीख को यकायक श्री राहुल गांधी को कैसे आभास हो गया कि यह अध्‍यादेश तो ''बिलकुल बकवास'' व बेहूदा है और उसे फाड़ कर फैंक देना चाहिये?  
यह मान लेना भी एक बड़ी भूल होगी कि श्री राहुल गांधी को संसद में प्रस्‍तुत बिल और अध्‍यादेश के मसौदे को पढ़ने व  समझने में इतना लम्‍बा समय लग गया।
संयोगवश एक चुटकुला याद आता है। चार दोस्‍त बैठे गप्‍प-शप्‍प हांक रहे थे। एक ने चुटकुला सुनाया कि सब हंसते-हंसते लोट-पोट हो गये। पर उनमें से एक था जो बिलकुल संजीदा रहा और उसके चेहरे पर मुस्‍कान तक न आई। अगले दिन शाम को जब वह फिर इकट्ठे हुये तो अचानक वह दोस्‍त हंसते-हंसते पेट के बल लोटने लगा और बोला, यार कल तूने बड़ा ज़बरदस्‍त चुटकुला सुनाया था। 
खैर। चुटकुला छोड़ अब अध्‍यादेश के गम्‍भीर मुद्दे पर लौटें। समझ नहीं आता कि 27 सितम्‍बर को जो सारा ड्रामा हुआ वह कैसे हुआ और किसने रचा? उस दिन प्रैस कल्‍ब में  कांग्रेस के प्रमुख प्रवक्‍ता श्री अजय माकन जब अध्‍यादेश की तारीफों के पुल बान्‍धे जा रहे थे तभी यकायक उनकी प्रैस कान्‍फ्रैंस में श्री राहुल आ धमके और अपने ''निजि विचार'' से उन्‍होंने सब को भौंचक्‍का कर दिया। फिर क्‍या था? श्री अजय माकन ने भी कांग्रेस संस्‍कृ‍ति का एक और चौका देने वाला पहलू उजागर कर दिया। एक सांस में अध्‍यादेश की स्‍तुति करने के बाद दूसरी ही सांस में उन्‍होंने पैंतरा बदल डाला और श्री राहुल की हां में हां मिलाते हुये घोषणा कर दी कि श्री राहुल की ''निजि'' राय ही कांग्रेस की अधिकारिक पार्टी राय है।
एक तबके ने श्री राहुल की तारीफ करते हुये कहा कि उन्‍होंने जनता के मध्‍यम वर्ग की भावनाओं का प्रतिनिधित्‍व व आदर किया है। पर यहां भी यही कहना पड़़ेगा कि ''बहुत देर कर दी सनम आते आते''। राष्‍ट्रपति महोदय द्वारा मन्त्रियों से अप्रत्‍याशित व कुछ कड़वे प्रश्‍न पूछने के बाद ही श्री राहुल को इस सच्‍चाई का आभास मिल गया कि राष्‍ट्रपति भवन में कांग्रेस सरकार की दाल आसानी से गलने वाली नहीं है। स्‍पष्‍ट है कि सरकार की खीज बचाने के लिये श्री राहुल ने यह सारा ड्रामा रचा। यह भी पहली बार हुआ कि प्रैस वार्ता तो किसी और की हो और कोई दूसरा बिना पूर्व सूचना के आ धमके और वह वो कह दे जो पहले वक्‍ता की बात को ही नकार दे। इस सारे ड्रामें में जगहंसाई प्रधान मन्‍त्री की भी हुई और श्रीमती सोनिया गांधी की भी । अन्‍त में निष्‍कर्ष तो यही निकला कि कांग्रेस ने ''चित भी मेरी और पट भी मेरी'' कहावत को चरितार्थ करने की कोशिश की जिसे अंग्रेज़ी में कहते है Heads you lose, tails I win.  
इस ड्रामें को ''गेम चेंजर'' की संज्ञा देना उचित नहीं होगा क्‍योंकि जब भी श्री राहुल ने ऐसा पैंतरा खेला है, मुद्दा कभी सुलझा नहीं, उलझा ही है मामला चाहे लोकपाल बिल का हो या कोई और।