Monday, 18 November 2019

Is Modi Ganga washing away the sins of the corrupt?

Updated: February 25, 2019 1:57 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not have cleaned the Ganga, but it appears he need not do it anymore for he himself has turned Ganga, for he has that Midas touch where anyone he fondly touches or simply nods in approval, becomes honest, pure and free from all corruption charges. People revere Ganga for they believe that one bath in the flowing water of Ganga would wash off all their sins and so thousands go to Benares to take a dip in Ganga every day.

Modi who before getting elected to the Lok Sabha from Varanasi had very pompously announced that he would turn Benares into Kyoto, the beautiful temple city of Japan, once, centuries ago its capital, and had declared his public resolve to make Ganga ‘Aviral” meaning free from all filth and impurities, but did not spend a single rupee from his MPLAD funds of Rs 25 crore for any development around Varanasi, still seems to possess that magic wand which when waved immediately turns a “Corrupt” person honest. And why not? the Supreme Court has implicitly certified him as Pompeia, (the proverbial Ceaser’s wife, above suspicion) in the Sahara-Aditya Birla bribery case.

Bharati Ghosh, the former IPS officer of West Bengal once considered a close aide of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is the latest in a series of such “Purified” individuals.

Monday, February 4, even as the officers of Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) were still trying to haul up by the collar Kolkatta Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar for allegedly trying to destroy or hide evidence in the Saradha scam cases, same time parallel to the drama in Kolkatta, BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvarghiya and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad were swishing Modi’s “magic wand” and purifying Bharati Ghosh by welcoming her as a new entrant to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here in the Delhi at the party headquarters.

In July last year there were allegations of extortion against Bharati Ghosh who once was the first Woman Police Commissioner of Kolkatta and Police and Enforcement officers allegedly recovered Rs 2.5 crore cash and some jewellery and other valuables of immense value from her premises. At that time Ms Ghosh who had recently retired from Government service, was derided by the same set of saffronites as the epitome of corruption, arbitrariness and highhandedness. But now by joining the BJP, she has done the proverbial Ganga “Snan (bath)” and naturally then she is pure and honest at least in the eyes of Modi and the ever increasing army of Modi bhakts.

But then Bharati is not the first nor will she be the last person to be purified thus. Modi and even before that the BJP has a long history of “purifying” all such persons who are either in the party and its parivar extension or have joined it even belatedly.

So there is this former Railway Minister Mukul Roy one time confidant of Mamata Banerjee, whose name figured high not just in Saradha scam but innumerable other allegations of corruption and financial misdemeanours.  Mukul Roy joined the BJP on November 3, 2017, exactly a week after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under central government, summoned him and three other TMC leaders in connection with the Narada sting case. In 2014, Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel (of Tehelka fame) conducted a sting operation and released a video showing as many as 12 TMC leaders including Mukul Roy accepting money from him, posing as a businessman, in lieu of favours. Though the case is ostensibly still under investigation by ED, no body heard of it ever since.

Present day Assam Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, is another politician similarly “Purified” by Modi’s magic wand after he joined the BJP in August, 2015, whom the BJP had accused just a month earlier in July, 2015 of being the “key suspect” in the Guwahati Water scam which surfaced in 2010. But those days he was a Congress leader with a good mass following and connections with other leaders of the north east beyond his state, which the BJP later put to good use in forming governments Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and other neighbouring areas.

Before Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu quit the Congress party and eventually crossed over to the BJP along with the entire compliment of 32 MLAs of his newly formed Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) creating for the first time a full-fledged BJP government in this border state in December 2016, he was facing charges of “corruption and criminal conspiracies” highlighted by the media and the BJP with equal vehemence particularly after his predecessor Kalikho Pul committed suicide. Former PPA secretary-general Kaling Jerang referring to Kalikho’s suicide note made serious allegations against Khandu. But not just Modi and the BJP, even the Supreme Court brushed aside all allegations as not deserving any probe. Such is the purification spirit of this ‘Ganga.’

Everyone seems to have forgotten the Vyapam scam under the watchful eyes of the then Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and overall hawk eyes of RSS pracharak Sushil Soni. Over a hundred were arrested and nearly 40 died mysteriously. But no aspersions were cast either on the chief minister, though his wife’s name did figure in the reports about the depth of the scam. The whole exercise of handing over to a private organisation the responsibility to conduct recruitment and higher professional education admissions exams smacked of irregularity. But then this was a BJP government and no one dare raise a finger.

Remember, the Hawala racket, in which then BJP strongman L K Advani’s name appeared in Jain diaries. First Delhi High Court judge Mohammad Shameem discharged Advani for lack of evidence, citing diary as incomplete evidence submitted by the CBI. Shameem was duly rewarded with chairmanship of some body with a bungalow, car and official paraphernalia at Feroze Shah Road in Luttyen’s Delhi. Even after the last NDA government went out of power, Mohammad Shameem was retained as legal counsel to a Delhi based company Urban Improvement, running  disputed Greenfield housing near Surajkund in Faridabad, under litigation,  with a state government appointed administrator, with BJP links. Thanks to this judgement all the other politicians and bureaucrats whose names also appeared in that diary, were consequently out too.

But the Damocles sword of corruption and bribery hung on two individuals Sharad Yadav and Devi Lal who were honest enough to admit that someone came (they did not know who) and gave them money for party funds, till after the 1999 mid-term general elections they too joined the BJP-led NDA government or supported it. Nothing was heard of the Hawala case since then even after the supposed absconding kingpin in the case Amir Bhai returned to India and detained by the airport authorities at Indira Gandhi Airport here in Delhi for 48 hours.

So join the BJP and wash off your corruption sins.

By Faraz Ahmad

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