Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: BJP

RSS and Nitin Gadkari

When IAC headed by Arvind Kejriwal came out with accusations against Nitin Gadkari on 17/10/2012 BJP took it lightly. Arun Jaitley said a mountain is made of what is not even a molehill. Nitin Gadkari said he felt laughing. Many journalists were disappointed that the expose was not explosive. IAC members defended themselves. Kumar Vishwas on Times Now said this is not a T20 match.

TV channels began their investigations into Purti Power and Sugar Ltd (PPSL). They discovered a web of companies in which driver, accountant, astrologer, and other workers of Nitin Gadkari were directors. There was demand that Nitin Gadkari step down as BJP President. Nitin Gadkari said he was ready for any probe. RSS was behind him. They wanted him to continue as president.

On 30/10/2012 IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd came out with an advertisement denying any link between IRB Group and Purti Group.

Ram Jethmalani spoke against Nitin Gadkari. Mahesh Jethmalani on 5/11/2012 quit from national executive committee of BJP. Next day Ram Jethmalani’s letter to Lal Krishna Advani became public. Ram Jethmalani had written that he, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant, and Shatrughan Sinha wanted Nitin Gadkari to quit. On 8/11/2012 L. K. Advani turned 85. Nitin Gadkari met him to wish happy birthday.

S. Gurumurthy got into the act. As chartered accountant he went through papers related to PPSL and other companies and said there is no case against Nitin Gadkari, met L. K. Advani and briefed BJP leaders. Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj prepared a joint statement which Ravi Shankar Prasad read out. The party was behind Nitin Gadkari.

RSS defends Nitin Gadkari means RSS is corrupt. RSS officially says it is for BJP to decide about its president, unofficially it tells BJP leaders what to do. Nitin Gadkari was RSS choice. Mohan Bhagwat wanted him to be BJP President. He wanted him to get second term. BJP constitution was amended to favour Nitin Gadkari.

Apart from Atal Behari Vajpayee no other BJP leader has been able to defy RSS and remain in BJP. L. K. Advani had to quit as president for his Jinnah remark. There is the question of next prime ministerial candidate. Narendra Modi has many supporters, one of them is Ram Jethmalani.

IAC revelations led to copycat revelations by Y. P. Singh and Subramanian Swamy. Y. P. Singh spoke about Sharad Pawar and Salman Khan. Subramanian Swamy targeted Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. He said Congress loaned 90 crore rupees to Associated Journals Pvt. Ltd. (AJPL) that published National Herald. AJPL was sold to Young Indian through transfer of shares. The deal was done to acquire Herald House. Young Indian wrote off the debt for 50 lakh rupees.

Manmohan Vaidya blogged Narendra Modi was behind the campaign to oust Nitin Gadkari. RSS said it was his personal view. S. Gurumurthy’s tweets about Nitin Gadkari created confusion. It seems there is confusion within RSS.

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.

Anna and Arvind part ways

Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal have parted ways. The issue was political formation. Many in IAC wanted to form a political party to fight corruption. Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and some others were opposed to it. The meeting on 19/9/2012 lasted nine hours. Yogendra Yadav was the moderator. Anna Hazare said those who want to form a political party can go ahead with it but should not use his name or photograph. Arvind Kejriwal said Anna Hazare’s decision was shocking, unbelievable and sad.

Baba Ramdev and some other people wanted a split between Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. Arvind Kejriwal was opposed to all political parties. Kiran Bedi was in favour of BJP. Arvind Kejriwal did not want to join with Baba Ramdev as there were tax evasion cases against him. RSS people wanted to use IAC against Congress. Industrialist Sitaram Jindal had a role in arranging meetings of Anna Hazare with people opposed to Arvind Kejriwal.

IAC had made corruption an issue and had raised hopes of corruption-free India. Jan Lokpal Bill was its demand. Congress came with a Lopkpal Bill that was not acceptable to IAC but was passed in Lok Sabha. Anna Hazare’s fast at MMRDA Grounds did not have expected crowds. The fast was to last three days. He called off his fast on second day. Congress managed to disrupt Rajya Sabha and the Lokpal Bill was not passed. Chairman Hamid Ansari played a role in allowing discussion till midnight and sabotaging the bill.

IAC demanded resignation of 15 ministers for corruption. The ministers did not oblige. Anna Hazare had a secret meeting with Salman Khurshid. IAC members were surprised when they came to know about it. Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai held fast at Jantar Mantar. Anna Hazare joined a few days later. The fast was called off on appeal by 22 persons. On the last day there was a decision to go political based on an SMS poll. Anna Hazare did not oppose it then.

Corruption is an issue. Congress is doing its best to divert attention from corruption. Coalgate became too hot to handle. Congress came with “reforms”. Soon coalgate was forgotten. TMC issued 72 hours deadline for rollback. Many parties opposed Congress and called for Bharat Bandh. After the deadline expired TMC announced withdrawal of support to UPA.

Fight against corruption is continuous process. Sometimes new challenges develop. Arvind Kejriwal was an RTI activist. RTI was instrumental in exposing corruption. Now two judges of the Supreme Court have made a mess of RTI by their verdict that only retired or serving justices of Supreme Court or chief justices of High Courts can head information commissions and half of the information commissioners should be judicial members. This verdict will create problems in fight against corruption.

Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal may fight against corruption separately but it is not clear how effective they will be. It is time for Kumar Vishwas, Shazia Ilmi, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai and other prominent IAC members to take sides. Shanti Bhushan is optimistic that they can win 2014 election. Yogendra Yadav thinks first election is to be lost, second election is to defeat, third election is to form government. In 2009 many people like Gopinath and Meera Sanyal contested as independents and lost.

To form government at centre, Arvind Kejriwal and others need to field 543 candidates and win 272 seats. Without 272 seats they will have to depend on others and make compromises. They should beware of moles who will pass on information and scuttle programmes. They should form a shadow cabinet and decide who will hold which portfolio if elected. Legislative Assembly elections are due in Gujarat and some other states before 2014. IAC members can test their strength during those elections. They need to take a stand against corporate debt restructuring. They need not take a stand against any issue unless it has something to do with corruption. They may take a stand against reservations in legislatures, government jobs and government-run educational institutions or avoid it.

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