By Dr. Hilda Raja
One cannot and should not absolve Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress Party president Sona Gandhi from the scams and the corruption. In fact, had they been a bit more concerned of the nation, these scams would not have erupted. Today the Congress Party has the pride of place for corruption. Sonia Raj is a scam Raj and who abetted this —Dr. Manmohan Singh — our honest Prime Minister, who collected a good conduct certificate from George W. Bush and whose back Barack Obama patted many a time. All this when he turned a blind eye to what was happening and the economist in him knew about the total loss to the exchequer due to A.Raja’s maladministration of the Communication and IT Ministry.
There was already objection to portfolios distribution. Objections were raised and in the initial stage even the Prime Minister was not in favor of giving the Communications and IT to the DMK. What happened to that initial reluctance? Who pulled strings? Can this be called coalition dharma? Let us not make a mockery of dharma. The DMK may be an ally but what kind of an ally. It wanted its pound of flesh and Sonia Gandhi was prepared to give it because she wanted power. So the whole nexus of power and pelf revolved round Sonia Gandhi. Now one can understand why the renunciation drama. Only the bouquets for her and the brickbats for the others.
As the editorial in an Indian newspaper stated “Communication and IT are vital tools of empowerment and growth, and deserve to be in the hands of a capable minister,” I would emphasize that it must be in the hands of one, who cannot be corrupted. And even the headlines of the media emphasize that Sibal to get A. Raja’s ministry for now. What does that mean? It proves the DMK is corrupt and that’s exactly why it wanted Communications and IT. But knowing this well, Sonia Gandhi at that time yielded and appointed A. Raja. She is the de facto Prime Minister. It is a public secret that the Prime Minister was unable to pick his own council of ministers. One wonders why Dr. Manmohan Singh accepted to continue under such conditions. What was the compulsion for him to mortgage his integrity and self-respect and in the process bypass constitutional norms? He is answerable to the country. He cannot pretend that everything is fine with his functioning. If he has a conscience he will know that nothing has been right from the day one when he was handpicked by Sonia Gandhi.
And now we have Rahul Gandhi, who transverses across the non-Congress governed states. He never uttered a word on corruption. Today when the Congress Party was compelled and forced by the Opposition to drop A. Raja, Rahul Gandhi, the great youth leader and the Prime Minister-in-waiting, holds forth that “the UPA government is taking strong action against corruption.” What does he mean? It had to be forced and Parliament had to be stalled and yet the UPA’s strong action is contained only with A. Raja resigning? What about the next step? Why fight shy of a JPC? After all A. Raja is innocent as he and this party the DMK claim, then the JCP will only confirm his innocence. Or have we come to a stage when wrong is right and when corruption is simply a way of governance? Is this not the UPA which kept Sibu Soren as a Cabinet Minister, who went underground when the CBI was hunting for him and the Prime Minister had the temerity to state in Parliament that he does not know where his Cabinet colleague was!
The problem with the Prime Minister is that he is most of the time out of the loop and when he is in the loop it is disastrous too. Rahul Gandhi does not realize what he mouths. Most of the time, he is fed information and other inputs by his backroom boys and the other times he just cannot vibe with India. He has no sense of Indian history. This is the candidate Dr. Manmohan Singh presents as the most suitable person to be the next Prime Minister. Till such a time Dr. Manmohan Singh will keep the Prime Minister’s chair warm. How very sensitive Dr. Manmohan Singh is to democracy?
What a shame — he is on one side acclaimed as a great economist and on the other side he abets and promotes corruption by supporting corrupt personnel. Every thread in the fabric of the polity under Dr. Manmohan Singh, the de-jure Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi, the de-facto Prime Minister and the extra-constitutional power, has been stained and shredded by corruption. The Congress Party stands for corruption- and the Sonia Raj for scam raj.
It is not too late for the Prime Minister to come out courageously from the prison of his own making. He is under oath to perform without fear or favor; but he owes this to the nation. He must redeem the nation from the mire of corruption. If he is still unable to take strong action against corrupt people, then the least he could do is to step down.