Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Congress

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.

CAG and constitution

It is strange that former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) V. K. Shunglu suggested that CAG be made a multi-member body. Narayanasamy, MoS in PMO said the government is actively considering it and later retracted.

V. K. Shunglu had submitted six reports on Commonwealth Games. The government implemented first report which was against B. S. Lalli. Other reports which were against Sheila Dikshit and others were not implemented.

About CAG, V. K. Shunglu had suggested that a three-member body would obtain greater transparency in operation. Was there not enough transparency when Shunglu was CAG?

Former CEC S. Y. Quraishi said CAG will become more powerful if it has more than one member. The fact is additional members are appointed to make Election Commission fall in line with government. One CEC had problem with Navin Kohli who was then Election Commissioner. The CEC did not want Navin Kohli to succeed him as CED but UPA government appointed him as CEC.

The constitution provides for CAG as one person and Election Commission as a body headed by CEC. Articles 148-151 deal with CAG, duties and powers, accounts, and audit reports. Article 148 is clear that CAG is one person. There is no provision for multi-member CAG.

Article 324 deals with Election Commission. It states, among other things, “The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix…” CEC is enough. ECs are optional. For a long time India had only CEC. In 1989 Rajiv Gandhi government appointed two ECs. Rajiv Gandhi was unhappy with R. V. S. Peri Sastry. When V. P. Singh government came to power they removed the two ECs. When T. N. Seshan became CEC he took decisions that favoured Congress. Janata Dal wanted his removal. P. V. Narasimha Rao promised that but did not keep his promise. Later T. N. Seshan became a problem for Congress. Then Congress government appointed two ECs. As the governments changed they continued with Election Commission as a three-member body. They promoted ECs as CECs and brought as ECs people who thought were suitable for them. Sometimes the calculations went wrong.

UPA is unhappy with Vinod Rai as CAG. Previous CAGs were quiet. Vinod Rai said the brazenness with which the decisions are taken is appalling. Amending the constitution to curb CAG’s powers is not easy for UPA. CAG is a constitutional functionary. There is no bar on him holding press conferences, giving interviews, blogging, or tweeting.

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.

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