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Return of the Tainted

Highlights

Return of the Tainted, Gollapudi Maruti Rao, opportunist, Ashok Chavan. The people by now are anxiously waiting to show their disgust at the first available opportunity and want to deliver cruel judgment on the brazenness and opportunism of these parties.

Either the politician became obstinate and arrogant into thinking that he can take the voter for a ride or he took the person on the street for granted. Either he is over-confident of hoodwinking the voter and can get away with the taint or feels that the people are helplessly at his mercy. Either he is so sure of the inherent weakness in the system or he thinks that people have hopelessly short memory. Either he is an incorrigible hypocrite or he thinks the voter is rank ‘opportunist’. Either he is myopic or the voter is blind. How else he chose a tainted criminal, whose criminal intent was upheld by the courts and was sent to jail only to return to the highest law making body of this country? Let us see the list of the tainted leaders who were given tickets by their respective parties and their ignoble adventures. Ashok Chavan, the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra was involved in Adarsh Housing Society Scam, considered to be the mother of all scams in this country for the involvement of four chief ministers, several bureaucrats, army chiefs etc., and had resigned amidst great uproar on November 9, 2010 over the alleged of corruption. A Raja, the blue-eyed boy of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, was involved in 2G scandal worth 1766.45 billion dollars involving several bureaucrats and was arrested on February 2, 2011 and stayed in Tihar jail for 15 months and came out only on bail. Suresh Kalmadi, the sole representative of Olympics on this part of the globe was involved in Commonwealth Games 2010 scam involving Rs 1600 crore , which was then termed as the mere tip of the ice berg and was duly sent to jail by CBI on April 25, 2011 and stayed there for 10 months. Pawan Kumar Bansal, the former Railway Minister, was indirectly involved in Railgate scam while his nephew Vijay Singhal took Rs 90 lakh kickbacks and the former had to resign from the office on May 10, 2013. Dayanidhi Maran, the then youngest minister in the Central Cabinet and grand nephew of Karunanidhi had the dubious distinction of establishing 323 telephone connections, virtually having a private telephone exchange in his house had put in his papers on July 7, 2011 as he was accused of having a share in the famous 2G scam. B S Yedyurappa, the 19th Chief Minister of Karnataka was involved in several scams- a miniscule of which being purchasing an acre of land at Rachenahalli, Bangalore for Rs 40 lakh and selling it for Rs 2 crore. His assets skyrocketed by 292% in just three years in the office. He was arrested on October 15, 2011 but released after 23 days on bail. Kanimozhi, the darling daughter of Karunanidhi and his ‘literary heir’ was arrested by CBI for her involvement in 2G scam for stage managing 60% stake for her mother Dayalu Ammal in May 2011 and stayed there for more than six months and was received outside Tihar Jail with fanfare unheard of even during the Freedom Movement. And Veerappa Moily, the Petroleum Minister who was targeted for misuse of powers in price fixing of the gas has been given ticket from Chickaballapur of Karnataka. Sashi Tharoor, who had once put in his papers for supporting his erstwhile girl friend Sunanda Pushkar who later became his wife and is now deceased, in IPL Franchise from Kerala is contesting for Thiruvananthapuram. Subodh Kant Sahay from Jharkhand was accused of nepotism in coal block allocations. But what about the Minister for Coal, our very own Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? And then the accountability of our Defence Minister A K Antony in Augusta deal? As the famous adage goes ‘the Ceaser’s wife must be above suspicion’.

This goes to prove that every party in this country has its own baggage- a baggage of which they are not ashamed of nor would they like to dispense with. It also goes to prove that morality in politics is the utmost casualty of which our parties are not worried about nor they expect the voter to be sorry for. What is the common magical quality that rules the roost of a political party today? Hypocrisy with the capital H! What they are not aware of and what they are going to be made aware of by the electorate this time is that winnability is going to be the costly mistake for which they are all going to pay the price. The political system is giving the most miserable message to the world at large that the 18th place India hitherto occupied in the most corrupt countries in the world will soon catapult in the coming years.

The people by now are anxiously waiting to show their disgust at the first available opportunity and want to deliver cruel judgment on the brazenness and opportunism of these parties. Hitherto the anti-incumbency vote or the rejection of a particular party used to be the only choice left with the electorate to express their dissent. Not anymore. Thanks to the inclusion of NOTA, the voter can very explicitly express his abhorrence of one or more parties by negating one or many or all. NOTA is an expression of dissent of the individual voter in expressing his disgust towards the system. It is time the politician, for once, is shown the gate by one and only power vested in democracy-the vote. It is unequivocal and non-negotiable power that can make or mar the system in the long run.

In an already crippled democracy at least the voice of the commonest of the common man and his unconditional disgust must be ventilated- through NOTA-so that some sensible elements might hopefully surface and filter these murky politicians or at least read the message on the wall. It is time for a devastation of Titanic dimensions to lend hope to an otherwise sinking ship called the Indian Polity.

(gmrsivani@gmail.com)

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