In a democracy, the form and procedural matters are as important as the content itself. It is well known that it will always be alleged that the Congress or whichever Government is in power uses the CBI to harass its opponent and protects its people. However there is no proof of this. It is done in an informal manner, more in a manner of seeking a favour of the CBI director, and done in a very informal way. In all those cases of the CBI, the Government of course would deny, the CBI will also deny. It is the first case, in which the Government first tries to deny, but the CBI director put the Government in a spot by confirming that indeed he was called and told to make changes in the report to the Supreme Court. I think, this is the first incident since Independence where a CBI director has clearly alleged that pressure was brought upon him. Of course, he has tried to protect the Government by saying that the heart of the report was not changed, but that is not relevant. The Supreme Court is kind; it could have issued a contempt notice on the CBI director and other officers who attended the meeting, on the basis of the Vineet Narain judgment, in which the court has directed that no investigative report should be shown to the Government. However, the Supreme Court in its own dignity has passed certain remarks and given a date of 10 July. Funnily the Government thinks the matter is subjudice. This matter is not subjudice. This is the wrong use of the language. The Coalgate matter is subjudice, but not this matter of meeting and calling the CBI director. It is not subjudice. It is not the Supreme Court’s job to tell the Government, whom to appoint Minister, whom to remove as Minister, whom to appoint Attorney General, whom to remove as Attorney General. Mere comments are enough. Any self respecting Law Minister would have resigned the day the CBI director made it public and contradicted him. After the Supreme Court remarks, there is and was no basis for any respectable person to continue on that post, yet he continued. But the rumour was that he was not going to be removed; only the portfolio was to be changed. Very funny.
The other case was of Pawan Bansal. That is one of the normal corruption cases. From TV reports it was clear that Pawan Bansal was to be dropped, and then he resigned. And Ashwini Kumar was to get a lighter punishment. The opposite should have happened. Pawan Bansal is an alleged corruption matter, which the CBI is investigating. Of course, he should have resigned, which he did belatedly, to facilitate investigation. But Ashwini Kumar, there is no enquiry required. As it is said in India, no daleel, no appeal, nothing no Vakeel. Nothing is required. He should have just resigned straightaway. It was so embarrassing, but it appears he is the favourite. Ashwini Kumar is the Prime Minister’s favourite. He was to be let off lightly and Pawan Bansal was sacked. But now both have resigned.
Meanwhile a funny thing has happened. Anti-incumbency has acted against the BJP in Karnataka. Their mishandling of the Yedurappa episode, Yedurappa making a separate party and getting 10 per cent of the vote, which is surprising. Congress being the beneficiary, being the other party there, won the election. The Congress party thinks this is some sort of indication that they have become popular. And at the same time the Congress party says the verdict in Karnataka is against corruption. If that is so, then how can the central Congress even hope to win. Here the verdict will be 10 times as bad. The corruption in the Centre is at least ten times, if not many more times, than in Karnataka. Sharad Pawar has rightly said that the Congress should not read too much in the Karnataka results.
But the Congress spokesmen are all trained to speak Goebbelsian lies. They are saying BJP is talking about corruption and look at Karnataka. This was brazen, crude and arrogant. What look at Karnataka? They have lost the election, good. It has happened, it has happened. They must learn their lessons and again rebuild their party. The real lesson in Karnataka is for the JDS. They should introspect why in spite of the BJP losing, they could not gain. That is because they broke the agreement with the BJP in the earlier past when they were supposed to hand over power to BJP. Observers think that people do not understand, they are wrong. The Indian people understand very well. They especially understand their rights. They understand who is trampling over their rights and Ashwini Kumar not resigning straightaway was trampling over the rights of people. It showed contempt to the people. It was an Emergency like situation. Then Mrs. Gandhi was much more honourable she declared Emergency under her own signature. People threw her out after two years but she took it. The same situation is developing again, but without someone taking responsibility. You are misusing, using, breaking all Constitutional norms and you think you can get away with it. It will not happen. People will not tolerate it. Ashwini Kumar not resigning straightaway, according to me this is the biggest nail in the coffin of this Government.
The earlier they understand this the better. If the Congress still wants to make a fight of the 2014 elections, they must clean their Augean stables. The PMO officers, who attended, may not be their fault, but they should be suspended or transferred immediately. You must maintain norms in a democracy. Manmohan Singh has got the reputation of being a decent man. Why he is putting his reputation on the block by favouring a few corrupt people ? One can’t understand.