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Sonia's 5-fold attack on corruption

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Obviously conscious of the toll a series of scams and controversies have taken on the credibility and image of the Congress and the government, Sonia Gandhi on Sunday announced a multipronged war on corruption and directed ministers and partymen to tackle the menace head-on.
    
Sonia Gandhi’s five-point agenda for probity in public life:
1) Fast-tracking of all cases of corruption involving public servants, including politicians. ‘Why can’t we put in place systems that bring corruption cases to closure in a defined time-frame?’
2) Effective laws and clear procedures to ensure full transparency in public procurements and contracts. ‘Whistleblowers must be protected’
3) Congress CMs and ministers at Centre and states to set an example in relinquishing discretionary powers, especially in land allocation
4) Open, competitive system of exploiting natural resources
5) State funding of elections. ‘As a party and as a govt, we must confront corruption head-on’ Oppn took no steps to curb crime.

For the full report in the ToI, click here

Pious intent - but, will it be put to tractice, is the Rs 1.76 lakh crores question.

Whatever, the response, even though delayed, is better than that of her mother-in-law, who, having got herself cornered by various misdeeds some 35 years back, chose instead to impose emergency rule. Simultaneously, she took on all powers on herself, curtailed fundamental rights, and locked up all major opposition leaders behind bars. Very much like today, then also, the opposition had been up in arms. Unable to check the waning popularity, the autocratic streak in her, made the late Madame Gandhi Sr decide to tell the country-men she knew best what was good for them. The meek Cabinet, and the country's President, just signed on the dotted lines.

Some interesting aspects of how she managed to bluff the country into justifying the imposition of the emergency was published recently in the ToI (click here for the full report).

Notable excerpts:
The omission of Indira Gandhi’s signature is most glaring in the file relating to the manner in which she had bypassed the cabinet while asking Ahmed to sign the Emergency proclamation late on June 25, 1975. While the original proclamation bearing Ahmed’s signature is available, there is only a typed copy of the PM’s “top secret’’ letter that had recommended imposition of Emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution. According to the file, the copy of Indira Gandhi’s historic letter was obtained by the home ministry from the President’s secretariat. The original letter signed by Indira Gandhi was probably taken out of the file at some point and kept away in her personal papers, which are in the control of her family.

Whatever the reason for the missing originals, the file nails the claim made by Indira Gandhi in her letter that she had information suggesting that “there is an imminent danger to the security of India being threatened by internal disturbance”. The file does not contain a shred of material backing such threat perception on the fateful day. In fact, the file reveals that the first assessment of the alleged threat of internal disturbance was made more than a fortnight after the imposition of Emergency. It was in the form of a report on the situation before and after June 25, 1975, from the Intelligence Bureau submitted on July 11. This shows that India’s hard-fought democracy was suspended on the perception of one individual, without any institutional checks. The file is a treasure trove for historians as it brings out, among other things, the manner in which the cabinet gave post-facto approval to Emergency at a meeting held at 6am on June 26, 1975.


After an initial show of promise, the emergency rule eventually turned out a disaster. If not for the likes of Lokmanya Jaiprakash Narayan, we may also have gone the Pakistan, Mayanmar or China way.

Muralidhar Rao

 

Comments

bhargava rama's picture

How can she say  " BJP has

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How can she say  " BJP has failed to remove B S Yeddyurappa as chief minister, despite serious corruption charges against him. She argued, the Congress has asked ministers and CMs to step down even when no charge has been established"?

They were ousted only after the opposition volleyed on the issue. Suresh kalmadi is still the chairman of OC. He was just ousted from some other paltry post. Though high scale corruption charges were made well before the CWG, he was let free for a long time and the probe was ordered only after the games, giving him copious time to hide incriminating documents which are now missing.

There is no CM who is not involved in land allocation scams. Only BSY was caught red -handed. How can she compare a minuscule 2-3 crore rupees in front of 1750000000000+Adarsh+CWG+..... rupees? Why doesn't the congress accept a JPC to really 'attack corruption' 



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