One after the another, scams in thousands, lakhs and crores of rupees are being exposed. The role of the ruling party and the people’s representatives from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and that of the Opposition Congress party along with its coalition partners in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and other organisational functionaries has given people a clear view of their corruption ridden conduct. Following this, an approximation of the expected winners in the 2014 elections has already started. Based on these presumptions of results, parties have started making not just strategies but preparations as well for their implementation. as well. In this series or presumptions, current Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is expected to win the 2013 Legislative Assembly elections in the so called heart of India – Madhya Pradesh — and complete a hat trick of wins before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The major Opposition Party, the Congress, after evaluating this situation has been seen trying to identify its rough edges and making efforts to rectifying obstructing issues. The ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has also started to tie up loose ends at all levels.
The lack of a third power centre in the electoral politics in the state makes it a straight forward competition between two parties _ the BJP and Congress. Both the parties are ready to support their members to fight against their opponents and are ready to take every suitable step with the full force required to make them the winners and thereby gain power in the state.
However the results that have come up because of these practices provide us with only one deduction : that the fight for power between the ruling BJP and the Congress which forms the Opposition is not going to prove beneficial in reducing the problems of the common people and society at large. Both the parties do not really have anything substantial to offer. They have just their programmes, ostentation and sanctimonious discourses. It is mainly the greed for power which basically sends these parties to the common people. The lack of a third power centre in the electoral politics in the state makes it a straight forward competition between the two parties _ the BJP and Congress. Both the parties are ready to support their members to fight against their opponents and are ready to take every suitable step with the full force required to make them the winners and thereby gain power in the state.
The leaders of the BJP and the Congress party, who have been playing this game for the past few decades, have become expert and professional players in this field. They are looking at each and every issue with a lot of delicate care and taking small, careful steps ahead. Those students and youth, who have been included as part of the ‘upfront battalion’ by these parties are new learners and to gain name and fame for themselves, they are working hard without even thinking about it. By the look of things it can be said that the BJP and Congress party are going to make, for their own benefit, sacrificial goats of these youth. As a result of the debate between the students wing of the BJP named the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the student wing of the Congress named The National Students Union Of India (NSUI), a student belonging to the NSUI was recently first beaten up and then set on fire while he was still alive. The allegation for this heinous act has been levelled against some people associated with the ABVP. After this, a fight between these two parties at Katni resulted in injuries to some students.
Following violence, the responses which came from the political parties, who are playing the political game by using these student organisations as their weapons, gave a clear view that both these parties are providing protection to their student leaders keeping in view the upcoming elections.
During this incident, the way in which it snowballed from the Katni Police station till the District hospital premises, and above all, the role that was played by the District administration, police and the college administration gave a clear signal of their political protection and patronage. The responses which came from the political parties, who are playing the political game by using these student organisations as their weapons, gave a clear view that both these parties are providing protection to their student leaders keeping in view the upcoming elections.
In this context, in Katni recently, in an illegal mining case, the Mining Department seized one truck and continuous efforts were made by Arpit Poddar, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha District President and also a nephew of Giriraj Kishore Poddar, the current BJP legislator from Katni, to release the truck by pressurising the officials. But his efforts went in vain. After this, the nephew, along with his friends, attacked the Mining Department situated in the District Collectorate and beat up one of the officials and tried to kidnap him as well. After this fracas Arpit Poddar was removed from his post. Later, a programme organised in the name of Swami Vivekananda saw the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, State President Prabhat Jha, member of the Legislative Assembly Ravi Shankar Prasad and a few other national leaders. Just a day prior to this programme, the post of the District President which was vacant for months, saw the reappointment of Arpit Poddar by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, which sent a clear message that the state ruling Government is giving open support to protective anarchy.
In Katni, the continuous use of the Congress as their hereditary estate by former minister Satyendra Pathak, Nagar Pallika Nigam Mayor of Katni, Nirmala Pathak and her son, Sanjay Pathak, an MLA who is accused in the illegal mining case and is also the General Secretary of the state Congress, is worth mentioning. The draft presented by Sanjay Pathak at a recent press meeting showed his willingness to use the shoulders of the district NSUI and the Youth Congress for accomplishing his political goals. The conclusion which could be drawn from his speech was that the members associated with the NSUI would be the first contenders to be used as pawns in their fight against the BJP. Under these circumstances political observers are seeing signs that the youth are going to be used as the sacrificial goats in the more than likely event of anarchic and blood stained elections of the Legislative Assembly. This is something that cannot and should not be ignored.
PEONS, CLERKS AMONGST MP’s MILLIONAIRES
In January this year, a news report brought to light startling revelations about corrupt government staffers in Madhya Pradesh who have amassed unaccounted wealth worth crores of rupees. In 2011, the state anti-corruption wing unearthed assets running into crores from many government employees, from peons to clerks to engineers. The assets included cash, jewellery, land, farmhouses, luxury cars and others.
This included the recovery of Rs.12 crore from a peon in the Ujjain Municipal Corporation and Rs.30 crore from a clerk in the Road Transport Office (RTO), Indore. The raids continue this year as well, with the first two weeks of 2012 netting seven officials worth many millions. According to the report, activists like Ajay Dubey, a member of Transparency International, say agencies have yet to act against higher officials and ministers who have cases pending before the Lokayukta and the Economic Offences Wing (EOW).
“As of now, raids are being conducted only against the small fish and the big ones are going free. Here, IAS officials are holding private dinner parties on public money and there are corruption charges against cabinet ministers, but no action is being taken,” Dubey told IANS.
According to Madhya Pradesh Lokyukta office records, the department had unearthed assets worth some Rs.100 crore from 63 officials in the last two years. Not only that. Only a fraction of these officials have been suspended – most continue to hold their posts while their respective departments are conducting inquiries. In 2010, the Lokayukta had raided 25 officials’ premises and recovered illegal property worth Rs.24 crore, while in 2011, it snooped down on the premises of 38 officials and unearthed assets amounting to around Rs.75 crore.
The trend first hit the headlines in February 2010 when the premises of high-profile Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers Arvind and Tinu Joshi here were raided. The couple were found with Rs.3 crore in cash and owning assets worth around Rs.300 crore.”IAS couple Tinu and Arvind Joshi were blue-eyed officials of the Madhya Pradesh government and one can estimate the level of corruption in the state if this is the case with these two officials. The anti-corruption wing got many complaints and had to act as corruption has spread everywhere, from top to bottom,” economic analyst Rajendra Kothari told IANS. Dubey said: “Except Arvind and Tinu Joshi, no raid was conducted on higher officials. The reality is harsher than what is surfacing now.”
Not surprisingly, the matter has taken political overtones.
“The ‘swarnim’ (golden) Madhya Pradesh of (Chief Minister) Shivraj Singh Chouhan is actually the most corrupt state in country,” said B.K. Hariprasad, Congress general secretary in charge of Madhya Pradesh affairs.
However, Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta defended the Lokayukta and EOW for not netting the big fish.
“Such agencies can act only on concrete information, and it has nothing to do with positions. The raids are proof that the state is tough in dealing with corrupt officials,” said Gupta.