BJP and issue of corruption

Harihar Swarup

Corruption thrives whether it is the rule of the Congress or the BJP. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah have been claiming that in three-and-half years of the BJP rule, not a single case of corruption has come to the fore.
But the point is whether the BJP is carrying out its crusade against corruption with leaders like Narayan Rane, Sukhram, B S Yeddyurappa, Mukul Roy and Hemanta Biswa Sarma. Most of the BJP leaders have called Mukul Roy corrupt. He is involved in Sarada Chit Fund scam and CBI is probing charges against him. Since he joined the BJP, has he become clean?
Likewise, before the Assam Assembly election, Biswa Sarma was allegedly involved in many corruption cases and some of them were being probed by the CBI. A minister for several years in successive Congress governments in Assam, Sarma is now a minister in the BJP government in the state and is being lauded by top party leaders of the ruling party.
Call it compulsion of elections, in Himachal Pradesh – Sukhram, involved in Telecom scam – and his son, have been admitted in the BJP. Earlier, Sukhram had quit the Congress and floated his own party and entered into an alliance with the BJP. The party spokespersons, time and again, defended Sukhram saying that with passage of time Telecom scam has become outdated. If Telecom scam has become outdated then what about Fodder scam and Bofors scandal?
In its bid to fight corruption in Maharashtra, BJP admitted in the party-fold, former Chief Minister Naryan Rane, who has recently quit the Congress. For years BJP leaders were leveling charges of corruption against Rane. But now that he has become an accomplice of the BJP, has he become clean?
The BJP leadership removed Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister ,of Karnataka on charges of graft. But now he is not only the president of the state unit of the BJP but party’s chief ministerial face in the coming elections in Karnataka. Does that mean he has become a clean leader?
Soon after becoming Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had pledged to cleanse politics of corruption and said cases pending against accused leaders would be expedited. But in past three-and-half years, prompt action was not taken in cases against these leaders as promised.
It is not only the BJP’s crusade against corruption has been derailed but similar campaign by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too has been thrown out of gear. Just before Lok Sabha elections, he had made public a list of most corrupt leaders of the country. The list included name of the senior congress leader, P Chidambaram. The CM has now taken help of same Chidambaram and fielded him to defend his officers in the Supreme Court.
Having been isolated in politics, Kejriwal has been trying to align with Opposition Parties’ Front. He took part in swearing-in ceremony of Nitish Kumar in Bihar in 2015 and on the stage embraced fodder-scam accused Lalu Prasad. For some time Kejriwal has been trying to come close to the Congress. In the elections of the President and Vice-President, he and his party voted for Congress candidates.
Three years back Kejriwal included in the list of most corrupt a dozen Congress leaders. Besides Chidambaram, he called Kapil Sibal, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Navin Jindal, Kamal Nath, Salman Khurshid, Tarun Gogoi and Pawan Bansal corrupt. This means that in eye of Kejriwal most top leaders comprising Congress leadership are corrupt. Now the same Kejriwal has no problems joining hands with the leaders he called the most corrupt.
One can understand Shiv Sena’s opposition to its ally the BJP, but the party’s praise of Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee defies logic. Shiv Sena’s MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut has said that Rahul Gandhi has capacity to lead the country. Few days afterwards when Mamata Banerjee reached Mumbai to invite investors in Bengal, she called on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Uddhav and his son wholeheartedly welcomed the West Bengal Chief Minister. The Sena chief told her that his and her view on “note-bandi” and GST were identical. It may be recalled that same Shiv Sena vociferously opposed secular parties and their leaders. The party has opposed Congress since its birth.
So the question is whether Shiv Sena is changing its colour? Flags of Shiv Sena and Akali Dal are saffron coloured; they have been oldest allies of the BJP. The question is if Shiv Sena changes its character, can the main stream parties— Congress and Trinamool Congress accommodate Sena?
Congress and TMC leaders say that BJP is their enemy number one and there is no harm in taking help of Shiv Sena to halt forward march of the saffron party. Sena is positioning itself in such a way that if the BJP decides to go it alone in the next election, the party should not be left in isolation.
Sena’s leadership feels that BJP may contest Lok Sabha election this time without allies. On the other hand Congress leaders say the party relations with Sena would remain confined to cordiality and goodwill. (IPA)

Thursday, 16 November, 2017