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Political decadence

Political decadence
Highlights

The cash-for-vote scandal is taking a curious turn. The Revanth Reddy episode is only a symptom of a deep-routed malaise that, of late, pervades parliamentary politics in India. It all began with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) attempting to decimate the Telugu Desam Party. In fact, the TRS tirade against the TDP began even before the State bifurcation.

The cash-for-vote scandal is taking a curious turn. The Revanth Reddy episode is only a symptom of a deep-routed malaise that, of late, pervades parliamentary politics in India. It all began with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) attempting to decimate the Telugu Desam Party. In fact, the TRS tirade against the TDP began even before the State bifurcation.

This continued even after the TRS was catapulted to power. Its strategy is to make the revival efforts of Telangana TDP to be a Sisyphean task. Of course, the TRS did not even spare the Congress. But, the TDP proved to be more vulnerable. The TRS brazenly encouraged defections.

The political decay reached an abysmal point with the defectors not just getting renominated but even moving into the cabinet. The spectacle reached its crescendo with the ruling party deciding to field a fifth candidate in the biennial elections to the state legislative council with the aim of denying the opposition their rightful representation. Of course, the TRS is not the first party to do so and neither would it be the last.

In fact, TRS itself was the victim of such politics during the pre-bifurcation period. No party can claim to be impeccable in this regard. The TDP which is crying wolf in Telangana is doing the same in AP. Barring the latest episode, the modus operandi adopted by the TRS and the TDP to capture the Legislative Councils of their respective States is exactly the same.

Against this backdrop, the Revanth episode came to light. Whatever may be the political compulsions and the provocations, the means adopted by the TDP to play a tit-for-tat with the TRS is absolutely reprehensible. However, reference to a general decline in political values cannot justify the machinations of TRS. People obviously expect reasonably different political culture in a new State, that too, from a party that emerged out of a democratic aspiration for a separate State.

Besides these political aspects, the episode has its share of legal dimensions, too. At this point of time, speculating on the turn of the events at the judicial level is nothing but running a media trial. We really do not know the complete details of the evidence produced by the ACB in the court. Prima facie, the TDP seems to be caught on the wrong foot.

Then comes the question of the role of TDP president and AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the whole operation. The video clippings show a repeated reference to the ‘boss.’ The audio tapes containing purportedly the conversation of Chandrababu Naidu seem to corroborate the offence.

But, the claim of Andhra Pradesh government that the conversation is not that of Chandrababu Naidu needs to be investigated. Assuming that it is the real conversation, whether Naidu will be implicated is a matter of legal wrangle. Meanwhile, attempts to convert the issue into a confrontation between two State governments are uncalled for. Let the issue be fought on political plane and settled through legal process. The people in both the States should frustrate such a political decadence, whoever may be its author.

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