Tag: rajya sabha member

BJP should expel Ram Jethmalani

Ram Jethmalani has consistently contradicted BJP’s stand. He had quit BJP and contested against Atal Behari Vajpayee. BJP took him back and made him a Rajya Sabha member. He continued in his ways. He took up cases against BJP governments or policies. He appeared for Binayak Sen against Chhattisgarh government. BJP wants death penalty for terrorists. He takes up their cases. BJP accuses UPA of corruption in 2G spectrum allocation. He took up Kanimozhi’s case. Now in cash-for-votes case he has taken the defence of Amar Singh and has argued that the money might have come from BJP. Instead of taking disciplinary action BJP is quiet with the lame excuse that he is expressing his client’s views. BJP’s statements on terror and corruption sound hollow. BJP seems to be consumed with death wish.

Amar Singh is out of jail without bail. He is in hospital.

BJP has expelled members for minor offences or sometimes for no offence at all. It expelled Jaswant Singh without reading his book. It did not give him an opportunity to defend himself.

Lal Krishna Advani has claimed responsibility for the sting operation. Two BJP members are in jail for receiving money even though they showed it in Lok Sabha. Delhi police did not treat them as whistleblowers. Bangaru Laxman can go to court saying people who gave him money are guilty and should be charged for impersonation, cheating and giving money. He did not ask money. He did not promise anything. The impostors told the money was for New Year’s party. Tehelka wanted to trap Jaya Jaitly but did not succeed. She told the impostors to give money to the treasurer. MPs who were expelled from Lok Sabha for taking money to ask questions and allot money under MPLADS can ask for prosecutions of people who gave them money.

Ram Jethmalani has turned BJP into a joke. If BJP is serious it should expel Ram Jethmalani and issue him a notice for retraction failing which it will sue for damages for besmirching its reputation. Otherwise people will call it a party of jokers.

Tyranny of the unelected

Some Congress members refer to the demands by Anna Hazare group about Lokpal Bill as tyranny of the unelected and unelectable. They are against fast as protest and call it blackmail. Congress has a history of tyranny of the unelected.

In 1939 Mohandas Gandhi’s candidate Pattabhi Sitaramaiah lost and Subhash Chandra Bose won the election to become Congress President. Mohandas Gandhi said Pattabhi Sitaramaiah’s defeat is my defeat. It became difficult for Subhash Chandra Bose to function as Congress President. He had to resign some months later.

In January 1948 India was fighting a war with Pakistan over Kashmir. India had stopped transfer of 55 crore rupees to Pakistan as that would have been used against India. Mohandas Gandhi went on fast against government decision and the government that had Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel agreed to Mohandas Gandhi’s demand.

In 1952 Morarji Desai lost Legislative Assembly election. Congress made him Chief Minister of Bombay claiming he was victorious leader of the victorious party.

Sanjay Gandhi exercised power when he was unelected.

In 1991 Narasimha Rao who was not an MP became PM.

In 1998 Sonia Gandhi who was neither a member of CWC nor an MP dislodged Sitaram Kesri as Congress President and became chairperson of CPP, a post created for her.

Over the years Congress had appointed many unelected people as chief ministers and ministers. Many who have lost elections have been made governors.

BJP refers to Manmohan Singh as unelectable. He became a Rajya Sabha member from Assam when there was a law that a Rajya Sabha member must be a resident of that state. Later that law was abrogated. He contested a Lok Sabha election and lost. He continues as a Rajya Sabha member.

What Congress has to say about judiciary usurping the power of legislature or executive? Judiciary has made or abrogated laws by its judgments. Sometimes it has amended the constitution by its judgments. Recently Bombay High Court struck down mandatory death penalty for repeat offence under Section 31A of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Act, 1985.

A Supreme Court judge has written to PM asking to release Pakistani prisoner Chisti from Ajmer Jail saying if he dies in prison it will be bad for India. Such arguments were made in UK for the release of Lockerbie bomber saying he had three months to live. After his release it was said that he had 10 years to live. Oil exploration contract for BP in Libya was said to be the reason for the release. BJP finds it odd that a Supreme Court judge has written to PM for release of a Pakistani prisoner but has no problem if Chisti is exchanged for Sarabjit Singh who is in a Pakistani jai.

What about the tyranny of the unelected who resort to violence and announce money for murder? People who threw flower pots on Taslima Nasreen got away with it. Maqbool Fida Husain’s painting exhibitions were disrupted. He received death threats. Someone announced crores of rupees for anyone who murders Maqbool Fida Husain. Maqbool Fida Husain left the country, became a Qatari national and died and was buried in London.

What about industrialists who dictate who should or should not a hold particular portfolio? Usually when there is a CAG or some other report about some irregularity BJP is quick to demand the minister’s resignation. CAG report on Reliance and other oil companies had not elicited any response from BJP for some days. Then BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi wanted the government to investigate how CAG report got leaked instead of demanding the resignation of Murli Deora which BJP had done in cases of Shashi Taroor, A. Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and P. Chidambaram exposing BJP’s double standards.

India and Singapore

Singapore was once a backward country. It has made progress over the years and has controlled corruption and has low crime rate. India lags behind in many respects. When comparisons are made some say Singapore does not have free press, popular sovereignty and equal moral status of citizens.

How free is India’s press? Corporate houses control many news TV channels and newspapers. Journalists working for many others are influenced by lobbyists who work for various interests. Newspapers and channels that want ad revenue enter into agreements with corporate houses not to say or write anything against them. Columns of writers who write about misdeeds about corporate houses disappear.

Where is popular sovereignty when people who have not contested elections or lost elections become ministers? Narasimha Rao and Deve Gowda were not MPs when they became PMs. Manmohan Singh is a Rajya Sabha member and the only one time he contested Lok Sabha election he lost it. Prithviraj Chavan had lost Lok Sabha election. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He was made CM of Maharashra when Ashok Chavan was removed. Bhoopinder Singh Hooda was not an MLA when he became CM of Haryana. Shivraj Patil who had lost Lok Sabha election was made home minister. There is no democracy or popular sovereignty when people who are not MPs or lost Lok Sabha elections become PMs or people in Delhi decide who should be CM, more so when one who is selected as CM is not an MLA, or industrialists decide who should be or should not be minister. Singapore has elections and its leaders are elected. Mani Shankar Aiyar lost Lok Sabha election. He was nominated to Rajya Sabha.

It is not clear what is meant by equal moral status. The constitution is about equal legal status which in India is often compromised by reservations on the basis of caste, class, tribe or gender. Over the years ministers, MPs, MLAs, bureaucrats, police officers and other public servants have been made immune from prosecution without permission from some authority which is difficult to get. Cases drag on for years in courts. In one case when the Supreme Court annulled the election of an MLA it was time for voting for the next Assembly.

In Singapore there is public caning for some offences and that plays a part in controlling crime. Singapore is a small country. Justice is quick. India can do away appeal from one court to another and see that justice is quick.