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What moral values do the political parties possess to lead the people?

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on November 28, 2019 with No Comments

Last Saturday, when the people of India were fast asleep, the country awoke to two different set of headlines for the same issue.  The morning newspapers had all led with the headline that the Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray was going to be Maharashtra chief minister. Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar had made this big announcement to reporters on Friday night after it was clear the Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress had managed to sink their political differences and make common cause against the BJP. Moreover, those watching the electronic media and on the social networking sites, were witnessing the former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis being sworn in, with support from Sharad Pawar’s Nephew Ajit Pawar. For many this was a masterstroke, for others it was a murder of democracy.

For Prime Minister Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, it was just not a possibility even against all odds to have any other party than BJP rule Maharashtra.  Sharad Pawar’s announcement last Friday was call for them to get the things moving and ensure they have the reins of power in their hands. The two leaders had already done, what best could be done to ensure that it is BJP all the way.

Even before the elections were announced, the Modi government at the Centre got the investigative agencies to escalate corruption investigations against NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel. The two Pawars were implicated in a Rs 25,000 crore scam involving the Maharashtra Cooperative Bank. Ajit Pawar, incidentally, was also being probed for the irrigation scam running into thousands of crores.

The election results threw up an unclear result for any party. BJP, with 105 seats, did not have the numbers to form the government by itself that it was not at all keen to give in to the Shiv Sena’s persistence on the Chief Ministership. That is when BJP’s man in Bhagat Singh Koshiyari donning the robe of the governor delayed the entire process of government formation. On November 9, the day the term of the previous assembly expired, he gave 48 hours to BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis.  When he expressed that numbers were not in his favor, Shiv Sena was given 24 hours. When they said they needed more time, he gave the NCP 24 hours but recommended president’s rule before that deadline had even expired. At no point of time, did he think of having a floor test. The Union cabinet quickly recommended president’s rule and President Ram Nath Kovind signed the papers. This was an act enacted to buy time for the BJP to woo MLAs from other parties. Certainly, politics determine who has the power, not who has the truth.

When it became apparent that Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena had sunk their differences, and had agreed on a coalition government with Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray, the top leadership in BJP went all out to ensure that the new coalition does not come to power.  BJP was irked with Shiv Sena for walking out of the NDA alliance, and was bent on teaching a lesson to the party. That is when the Nephew of Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar was roped in.  A deal was hatched under which Ajit Pawar, who was booked by the Enforcement Directorate  in September for the Cooperative Bank scam, agreed to support Fadnavis. He was offered the post deputy chief minister and obviously given assurances that the cases against him would be taken care of. Not only did BJP prove that the Politics is known to create strange bedfellows, but also proved that it has been using agencies to its advantages. If the MLAs of NCP are to be believed, Ajit Pawar got them to sign a piece of paper that many of them have alleged under false belief that they are singing for their attendance, rather than for supporting Fadnavis.  Ajit Pawar who learnt his politics from uncle Sharad Pawar, seemed to have learnt more of the opportunistic politics rather than the politics of ideals. He proved to be a sharp-witted politician knowing well when to strike the jackpot, and when to jump from a sinking ship.  How did the President sign the notification revoking Central rule in Maharashtra at 5:47 am, still remains a mystery.  Nevertheless, the president could only act based on a recommendation of the cabinet, and there appears to have been no cabinet meeting or recommendation to that effect. The government says it took recourse to Rule 12 , which says the “Prime Minister may, in any case or classes of cases permit or condone a departure from these rules, to the extent he deems necessary.” However, this rule’s primary purpose is to deal with a “situation of extreme urgency or unforeseen contingency”.  The swearing in of a chief minister in this manner can hardly be considered a matter of “extreme urgency” – unless the government had something to hide.

The list submitted for NCP MLAs was never verified by the Governor Koshiyari. He should have done, especially when NCP president, Sharad Pawar, had already announced the party is backing of Thackeray. May be he was under instructions not to do so!

Equally worth noting is the role of BJP, which has shown that it is not a minnow in enacting plans to grab power as it has proved the same several times in the past. The midnight drama was perfect as it enjoys power in the centre. It is a proven fact that the various government machineries were utilized for the early morning swearing in. How lightning fast was the revocation of the President’s rule.

The common person is concerned about the fact, that this drama had no political ethics at all. In addition, the whole episode raises question – what moral values do the political parties possess to lead the people?

 

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