Cancellation of four coal blocks comes as a relief. The Government has finally realised that the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) are not that far off the mark. This Government has developed the tendency to defend the indefensible. When a CAG report comes, it is the finding of an independent auditor, a Constitutional authority which, incidentally, was appointed by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) itself. Yet the moment the findings are inconvenient, before examining objectively how far the findings match their own figures, they start shouting that the CAG has exceeded authority, the figures are all wrong and people like Kapil Sibal and Chidambaram say no loss has occurred. Chidambaram is trying to say that if no coal has been taken out, no loss has occurred. In other words the private sector people to whom the Government gifted away the coal blocks was inefficient and this inefficiency of the private sector has helped the Government not to lose money. This kind of distorted logic may impress some journalists, economists and people who like to argue ‘for’ and ‘against’. But the general public is very clear : that there is something rotten in the way the country is being governed. The earlier the Government dissolves the Lok Sabha and holds elections, the better it will be. Let them get a fresh mandate. If they think that CAG and other institutions are off the mark, then the people will repose faith again in Manmohan Singh and his Government. They can rule with a new mandate. If the people don’t give you the mandate, then so be it. Whoever comes to power will try to solve the problems of the country. The unfortunate part in the last two years has been that we are using procedures that were being used in the Emergency period without using the provisions of the Emergency. There is no Emergency in the country today. But every joint secretary level and above officer is doing what he wants to do. In Emergency, they would get away with it. Nobody could question you. Parliamentarians and also Opposition leader were in jail. Today, there is a RTI Act. Any citizen can go and get information through it. And of course, true to type, the Government is creating obstacles. Through RTI also the Government doesn’t like to give information. Because they know their wrong doings. On the coal blocks, will they ever give the correct information? They will never do it. Now the war has gone too far. The country is bleeding; the economy is in bad shape all over the world. India is a poor country. We cannot afford to bleed any further. The bleeding should stop. We must take political note of the situation and let the voter decide how to go forward.
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