Kamal Morarka

‘Principles Today Have Taken a Backseat’ : Congress Image Has Taken A Beating

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The news of recent times is the long interview that Rahul Gandhi gave to Arnab Goswami. The problem is that he has started too late. If he would have started all these years ago, by now he would have been a polished interviewee who would have been given politically correct replies. Sincerity and good intentions are not enough. He tried his best to answer the questions but there was a glaring lapse on the Sikh riots of 1984. That is a sensitive issue with the Sikhs and especially as the Congress keeps on raising the Godhra issue, it can’t sideline the 1984 Sikh issue. You can’t have it both ways. Unfortunately Rahul Gandhi was not prepared for it and instead of using this opportunity of giving an unqualified apology to the Sikh community, he faltered and did not come across as a decisive leader. On other issues as I understand that the Congress is an old party and cannot make radical promises as a new party can make or a BJP which is a party charged with emotions and keeps on making promises and when they come to power they toe the same line as the Congress. Due to the extent of economic policies etc. I can understand these problems. The real problem is what the Congress party wants to show — RTI and MGNREGA — which are both achievements of UPA-1. Because of that they got a resounding mandate and got UPA-2. During UPA-2 unfortunately, nothing big has taken place, on the contrary the scams of UPA-1 have come to light, which is the real problem of the Congress party today. It is not the question of what they stand for and what they have done or what they can do. The problem is how they will explain the glaring scams relating to the two UPAs and the Coal scam and the CWG games. The figures are big — the CAG has narrated how the scams took place. Unfortunately the debate goes on whether the loss to the exchequer is X or Y or Z — that is not relevant. The fact is that large losses have been made and they are not commercial losses, the losses are creating the following of wrong procedures or stripping procedures and favoring your own cronies. The people of India are very intelligent — they have seen through this and that is the main problem of the Congress party. Whoever is the think tank of the Congress should sit together and find out how to face these charges. They have to find some credible explanation, either order a judicial enquiry or do something by which it should look that the Congress is coming with hands that are clean. You keep on hiding matters, trying to push matters under the carpet. The same thing applies to the Adarsh society. Rightly or wrongly, one Ex-Chief Minister has been found guilty and because he is young and he was Rahul Gandhi’s choice to be Chief Minister, he wants to keep on supporting him. This is not the way. In the interest of the party you have to have certain norms, certain principles and they have to apply. Well, if even then you suffer, it is your bad luck. Secondly, on the action taken, the Supreme Court has cancelled the 2G licenses, but the coal they have not cancelled as yet. Similarly the Adarsh Society, the Adarsh Society building should be taken over by the Government. The Government should pay every allottee whatever he or she has paid to the society, because it is the land which is valuable. Land value keeps on going up. Even if they break the building, the Government will not be at any loss. What is the embarrassment to the Government or what is the confusion in the decision making quarters that they are afraid of taking action one can’t understand. But in all this, the net result is that the Congress image has taken a beating. The other recent statement by Praful Patel saying that we should respect the judicial verdict in the case of Narendra Modi. What does it mean? It only means that the reality has been realised that the BJP is ahead of the Congress. And after elections, it is keeping its options open to join up with the NDA instead of the UPA, which is uncalled for. The judicial verdict is not important. Judicial verdict wise the Congress party has done much better. Hundreds of people has been convicted in the Sikh riot cases of 1984, individual cases. In Godhra, the conviction has been negligible. But you can’t go by judicial verdict. It is the public perception. Everybody in Gujarat, everybody in Ahmedabad, everybody in the whole of the country who knows the subject holds Narendra Modi responsible for what happened in 2002. For a mature leader like Sharad Pawar to ask his party to take a stand that we should respect the judicial verdict, its just finding a lame excuse to start supporting Narendra Modi if the need arises. In today’s atmosphere principles have taken a backseat. Everybody wants to do what is advantageous — and advantageous in the immediate future, not even in the long term. Its a sorry state of affairs.

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