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March 06, 2011

Page: 24/39

Home > 2011 Issues > March 06, 2011

In Focus

BJP crusade against corruption

By Dr Jitendra Kumar Sharma

Arunachal Chief Minister Gegong Apang got arrested for Ration/PDS scam. The Chief Minister of Manipur awarded Rs. 300 crore contract to a bogus firm for the Loktak Lake clean-up. The lake remains clogged and stinks with muck under the murky Chief Minister.

"TO support corruption in the name of coalition dharma is incorrect"-Nitin Gadkari, reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s lame excuse to spread corruption for saving his coalition government.

When Nitin Gadkari took over as the President of Bharatiya Janata Party on December 30, 2009, he had highlighted the issue of Vikas or all-round development of the country as a basic challenge facing Governments in the states as well as the Centre, irrespective of party affiliations. But soon he found that the nation is beset with corruption and no development will be possible unless corruption and inflation, twin monsters spawned by Congress-led UPA-2 were confronted firmly and decisively. Since then, the BJP President has been goading the BJP’s organisational as well as parliamentary wing to mount a sustained attack on corruption.

In the emerging scenario, the Congress and Corruption have become synonymous. Gadkari has often reiterated that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been presiding over a Corruption -ridden regime. And, it is not only the Central government but also Congress-led state governments that are looting the nation in broad-day light.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh represents the State of Assam in the Rajya Sabha. Not surprisingly, then, Assam has exceeded the Central Government’s 2G,CWG and ISRO scams put together. Assam and North Eastern Congress governments are beneficiaries of rich bonanza of grants and humungous central funding. Corrupt officials and crooked politicians have been having a field’s day in reaping bumper harvests of ill-gotten wealth at tax-payer’s and BPL people’s cost. Assam, under Congress Chief Minister Gogoi’s rule, has become the most corrupt state of the Indian Union. "Wives richer than Assam ministers", shrieked a news headline in the Times of India, recently. Some North East State Chief Ministers have been awarding government contacts to their own wives.

Gadkari, at a Press Conference on February 12, 2011, released a well-documented report entitled "Congress Governments Loot of North East". The BJP President had earlier appointed a "Fact Finding Committee" consisting of Smt Bijoya Chakarvorty Member of Parliament and BJP Vice-President, Tapir Gao, BJP General Secretary and Dr Kirit Somaiya, National Secretary, BJP. The committee appears to have taken its job seriously and listed fifty scams of North East that it has unearthed. Each investigation is supported by documentary evidence, including replies received to information sought under the Right To Information Act 2005. These scams occurred in the year 2010 only.

According to the report, " the total size of the various scams" currently being tossed around in the media, "2G, CWG, IPL, Adarsh etc runs into 13-digits". The size of Assam and North Eastern states’ scams for the year 2010 could well be beyond "Rs. 4,00,000 crore- a thirteen digit figure".

The happenings in the North Eastern states of India do not get covered in the mainstream media. For this reason, the rest of the country remains blissfully ignorant of the sufferings, agonies and woes of the people of these North Eastern states that lie exposed to both internal and external dangers. But, currently, the "enemy within", in the form of corruption and inflation, is the biggest threat to the North East India.

Though the Sun rises in the North East earlier than in any other part of the country, yet ,darkness or TAMAS prevails in this land of Seven Sisters under the Congress rule. There is a total moral eclipse and no one sees or bothers about the pyramids of corruption mushrooming in the North East. There are governments but no governance; there are laws but only lawlessness prevails. "C" for Corrupt, "C" for Congress aptly is the subtitle of the BJP’s "Congress Governments Loot of North East" report.

An analysis of North East Corruption projects astronomical figures under various heads:
Hydro Power Projects: Rs. 4,00,0000 crore; Hydro kickback: Rs. 20,000 crore ; Assam Scam: 20,000 crore; Manipur Scam: 5,000 crore : Arunachal Scam: 10,000 crore; Sikkim Scam: 3,000 crore; Nagaland, Mizoram Scam: 5,000 crore ; Total = Rs. 4630000000000 (463 followed by ten zeros).

This is only the proverbially visible part of the iceberg of North East Corruption.

Transparency International and Centre for Media Study jointly conducted investigation in eleven basic services such as PDS, hospitals, school education, water and electricity, land records, registration, housing services, forest lands, NREGS, banking and police service (traffic and crime ). In all states of North East, including Assam, corruption level is very high excepting in Mizoram and Tripura where it was found "moderate".

In Assam, bribe in one year paid by BPL households in the said eleven services has been estimated at 8,830 crore. CAG found serious irregularities in the Assam budget to the tune of 200 crore in "excess release of funds to NC Hills Autonomous Council". Principal Secretary of the District Council got away with Rs. 18.50 crore without presenting any voucher!

Arunachal Chief Minister Gegong Apang got arrested for Ration/PDS scam. The Chief Minister of Manipur awarded Rs. 300 crore contract to a bogus firm for the Loktak Lake clean-up. The lake remains clogged and stinks with muck under the murky Chief Minister.

The New York Times recently said that Manmohan Singh is "more popular" and "admired abroad". But, at home , his government is mired in corruption. Manmohan Singh, is a beneficiary of World Bank pensions and other benefits. Though he prefers to be called a Professor, he is member of the most expensive clubs like the Gymkhana Club of India. Can an Indian university professor afford such high living? No wonder, the learned professor-turned bureaucrat-turned politician as the Prime Minister of India designs policies that upholster the doddering western economies and undermine the Indian economy.

It is not possible here to do justice to the investigative efforts of the Gadkari-appointed BJP "Fact Finding Committee" on North East Corruption. What is encouraging, however, is that it is not a mere political document. It aims at unearthing corruption and misuse of power with a view to rein in the lawless government machinery on behalf of the people and " Aam Aadmi". The report contains certain positive proposals to punish and bring an end to the free run the corrupt politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats are having under the present dispensation.

These positive suggestions are : 1. Special Courts to speed the judicial process to punish the scamsters. 2. Special investigation system and speedy, coordinated investigation by NIA, CBI and other agencies. 3. Time bound action by the Government on observations/strictures of Courts, CAG and other investigative agencies. 4. Seizing the property of the scamsters and recovery of the public money. 5. Strong action against the Ministers and officials found involved in scams and loot.

As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s "coalition dharma" is turning into widespread malaise and adharma, BJP’s anti-corruption crusade is turning into a people’s movement.

(The writer is Director of Marshall McLuhan Centre. He writes on political and foreign affairs)

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