Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Corruption

Robert Vadra and DLF

IAC has raised questions about Robert Vadra’s dealings with DLF and subsequent benefits to Robert Vadra and DLF. Congress members, UPA ministers and a governor have defended Robert Vadra. There is a question over ministers and a governor defending a private person. BJP and Left Front want an investigation in Robert Vadra’s dealings. Manish Tewari said IAC is B team of BJP. Sanjay Jha said Manish Tewari was extremely charitable; BJP is B team of IAC. Harish Salve is a lawyer of DLF.

IAC did what many people consider unspeakable; attacking Gandhi family. IAC did not do anything new. Economic Times had an article on Robert Vadra and DLF around 18 months back. Some people in BJP had accused Rahul Gandhi or Gandhi family of having money in Swiss banks. Sonia Gandhi denied it. L. K. Advani apologised. That embarrassed BJP members.

Many people appeared on TV discussions. Dushyant Dave said anyone related to a politician, bureaucrat or judge becomes a brilliant entrepreneur. Someone related to a former CJI earned 200 crore rupees. Shalini Singh said a business model where one starts with 50 lakh rupees and earns 300 crore rupees in two years is something she and Karan Thapar should explore. Salman Khurshid said we will teach Arvind Kejriwal a lesson. Arvind Kejriwal said Salman Khurshid is law minister of India and not law minister of Congress. Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia, Anand Kumar, Yogendra Yadav and Preeti Menon appeared for IAC. Vinod Sharma referred to Arvind Kejriwal as a loose cannon.

There are discrepancies between DLF statements and Robert Vadra statements. Haryana government is under attack for some of its actions favouring DLF. What happened to Jaganmohan Reddy can happen to Robert Vadra.

IAC goes political

IAC members launched their political party on Gandhi Jayanti at Constitution Club. They will announce the name of the party on 26 November, Constitution Day. I wondered it may have to do with 26/11. The party could have done without white caps with words “I am common man” and “I want Jan Lokpal” as its symbol. White caps belong to a bygone era. Not many politicians use them.

Arvind Kejriwal appeared on Headlines Today and Times Now. He talked of people fixing the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG. On issues like FDI in multi-brand retail decisions will be through discussions.

The party mentioned its agenda. MPs and MLAs will not have red beacons atop their cars, not use government bungalows and so on. In that case they will have to auction government bungalows. Otherwise former MPs and MLAs will stay on. How will MPs and MLAs who are not residents of capitals manage during Parliament or Assembly sessions? Will there be flats or government accommodation?

Arvind Kejriwal announced agitation on 7/10/2012 against water and power tariff hike by Delhi government. Money saved by cracking down on corruption will be spent on health and education. There will be direct power to people. It means referendum on any importance issue. That happens in Switzerland.

The party should give up the idea of reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies.

Sonia Gandhi travel expenses

How much money has been spent on Sonia Gandhi’s foreign tours? Narendra Modi quoted a figure of 1,880 crore rupees from Gujarati newspaper Jaihind dt. 12/7/2012. RTI activist Ramesh Verma had filed an application in 2010 and there was no reply. Congress has attacked Modi but no reply on how much was spent and why the delay in reply.

Someone said the figure of 1,880 crore rupees is absurd, it is several times the figure of space travel of Virgin Atlantic. Absurd things happen in India. Commonwealth Games were supposed to cost few hundred crores rupees. It went up to 1,02,000 crores.

Sonia Gandhi’s travel includes people who accompany her; her son, daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and security guards. Sometimes she has led delegations to other countries. Once she went to Russia. If the planes were chartered, expenses would have been more. In what capacity did Sonia Gandhi spend public money? As an MP? As chairperson of UPA? As chairperson of NAC? When public money is spent people have a right to know how it is spent.

There may be something embarrassing about expenses. Questions may be raised about expenses on family members. That may be the reason why government does not want to reply to RTI question and Congress is unwilling to face the question.

CIC said government did not spend money on Sonia Gandhi’s medical expenses in August-September 2011. Nothing was said about travel expenses.

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