Friday, 6 December 2019

Kejriwal Fires Salvos At Gadkari

Updated: November 3, 2012 1:59 pm

Suddenly it’s free for all. What is visible is not the actual truth and what is the real truth is not visible to the normal eye. India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal, long accused by the Congressman of being the B team of the BJP and of having old and strong links with the BJP-RSS, decided to prove that he is nobody’s man and is fair and square when he hits out at politicians.

So very cleverly, after taking the country by storm over Robert Vadra and his real estate genius, he has now pointed a loaded gun at BJP President Nitin Gadkari. He has accused the businessman-turned-politician of taking land which belonged to the farmers in Maharashtra when the land should have rightly gone to the farmers.

As far as the aam aadmi is concerned, Kejriwal is accussing, attacking and putting Gadkari under the hammer but the real target and focus of attack is the Congress-NCP Maharashtra government which refused to give the land to the farmers but instead sold it to Gadkari obviously to oblige him, ensured that the water from the dam is diverted to industries located near the dam and benefited the BJP President by making him richer many times over.

The questions being raised by Kejriwal really deserve to be answered by the Maharashtra government even as Gadkari and his party have immediately reacted by denying the allegations. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar who is from the NCP and is the nephew of Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar has already resigned over the irrigation scam, proving the point that the state government had erred and parts of the government have already paid the price for this.

It was a smart piece of bowling by Arvind Kejriwal. The Congress party has obviously understood the implications of the attack and has remained mum with no spokesperson going out on a limb to either attack Kejriwal or to defend its government in Maharashtra.

Immediately after the broadcast to the nation by Arvind Kejriwal and his team, a number of pro-BJP anchors and channels went to town insisting that the much-anticipated bombshell had no fire and was a dud missile, claiming that the charges were too weak and that it did not live up to expectation.

Whatever may be credentials of Kejriwal, he had in round one exposed the real estate dealings of Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi who has over the last few years struck gold in terms of finding best friends in Bhupinder Singh Hooda and real estate giants DLF. The news break, while not being new created a nation wide sensation on how the Congress party’s first family has remained mum even as disclosures have pointed to corruption in the highest places and the highest level.

The Vadra episode was followed by an expose on India’s Law Minister Salman Khurshid and how he is manipulating his own trust and taking money meant for the handicapped and the minorities. When Kejriwal picked up the issue and announced he would agitate in Salman Khurshid’s Farukkhabad constituency on November 1, to this Salman has attacked Kejriwal by saying he would go to Farukkhabad but would not be allowed to come out from there.

Is the Law Minister of India issuing open and outright threats, asks Kejriwal. He then goes on to say that no one can kill him except God and everyone should realise that he has come to this world for a particular mission and till that is done, no one can take his life.

The dialogue and the actions are now shifting from the theatre of the corrupt to the theatre of the absurd. The accusations and mud slinging, interspersed with threats and violent mood swings and attacks have led even the non-believers to believe that India may actually be on the way to becoming a banana republic, as described so prophetically by Robert Vadra, whose talents go beyond real estate and flat hunting.

Arnab Goswami of Times Now thinks it’s not serious enough that Gadkari has been given almost 100 acres of land belonging to farmers who are dying in the Vidharbha region, that he is now the owner of multiple power plants, sugar mills. That in a short period of time Gadkari has built a multi-crore business empire with interests in power, sugar mills, construction, distilleries, coal, agro and whatever else he does. He says it’s laughable that he is called a businessman and even Arnab believes it is laughable that Gadkari is called a businessman.

The question now being asked is whether large parts of the media are adopting double standards when it comes to the Congress and the BJP. While Vadra is a self-professed businessman who has benefited because of his marriage to the daughter of a national party president, he is certainly not the president of the Indian National Congress. But Gadkari who by all accounts is a closet businessman for whom the BJP has changed the party constitution to give him yet another term, is actually the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

While both the Congress and the BJP are in a denial mode, with both political parties having lost their credibility and image, what is clear before the people is that a thorough enquiry on both Vadra and Gadkari needs to be undertaken to ascertain who has benefited to what extent by government decisions and policies and whether the governments who have granted the favours need to be put on the mat or the individuals who have accepted the largesses doled out to them.

The question is whether Bhupinder Singh Hooda has managed to remain in power because of the favours he has granted to Robert Vadra.

The question is whether there is a bigger quid pro quo between Sharad Pawar and Nitin Gadkari which has remained hidden from the naked eye.

The question is whether the country can afford to have a law minister who issues open threats and who is not open to an enquiry on his activities and trusts.

And the question is whether officers like Ashok Khemka will survive in a system where corruption has become a way of life and where there is no one to stand up for them, when they are being victimised by men in power.

And through it all, the President of the Congress party has remained mum, refusing to say a word, this way or that!

By Renu Mittal

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