Skip to main content

Why Gehlot's deputy embarked on his present enterprise, Scindia became a turncoat

By Anand K Sahay*
Rajasthan is in the news because of the effort mounted to topple the Congress government in the state led by Ashok Gehlot, a seasoned and respected leader. In BJP’s scheme, it is irrelevant that the government enjoys a clear majority, or that toppling it amounts to sabotaging the people’s verdict.
In numbers terms in the Assembly, in Rajasthan (unlike was the case in Madhya Pradesh), the BJP is considerably behind the Congress. This is why if Sachin Pilot is able to entice too few defectors to join him in upending the Gehlot government, the BJP won’t bite after leading the ambitious young Congress deputy CM up the garden path. This is what appears to have happened so far, and the CM seems to have regained his balance.
But he will be wise to remain alert to intimations of mischief. If the Pilot ploy eventually fails, a party like the BJP is apt to think of other ways. In the time of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, the BJP has shown itself to be a restless destabiliser of Congress governments- or governments with a Congress component- in the states. So, watch out Maharashtra.
Disgruntled Congress MLAs are typically used to achieve the saffron party’s end (through a combination of allurements and threats), governors and the Speaker are made errand boys, and the coercive agencies at the disposal of the Centre do their master’s bidding. So, who can discount the option of President’s rule in Rajasthan if push came to shove?
As a pre-emptive measure, the only fail-safe way to prevent something like that happening is people’s mobilization on a large scale. But a party like the Congress is not cut of that cloth. Besides, its organizational capabilities are suspect even when it is in the opposition, leave alone when it is the ruling party. 
Its capacity for in-fighting is the stuff of legend -- the independence movement on, although in the hoary past the skirmishing, and sometimes blood-letting, was often traceable to ideological questions (on which basis factions took shape), not loaves and fishes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into office in 2014 on a string of false promises knowing that they were false -- or “chunavi jumla” in words made immortal by his ADC or his Hanuman (since Hindu mythology is the flavor these days) -- example, ending black money, generating mass employment, doubling agricultural income But there was one promise about which Modi and Shah were dead serious -- and this was to turn India into “Congress-mukt Bharat” -- an India where there would be no Congress.
Surprisingly, they have stumbled even on this. While a combination of empty promises and an unrelenting projection of the majoritarian spirit brought votes in Lok Sabha elections, there remained a paradox. An abysmally weak Congress still managed to put up a show in state polls. 
In 2017, this emaciated party nearly put the BJP to the sword in Gujarat, the home turf of Messers Modi and Shah, where it had been languishing. And, to their chagrin, this happened under the generalship of Rahul Gandhi, a man the energies of BJP-RSS had been devoted to degrading and lampooning.
It is to deal with this paradox that the Modi regime at the Centre has been on the rampage against the Congress -- like a fox attacking the chicken coop -- especially when the latter wins state elections. It is clear this is not just political policy, but an article of faith. Only when the Congress is driven into the ground can the BJP-RSS realistically hope to rule over India, and turn it into a Hindutva leisure-ground.
Modi regime has been on the rampage against Congress like a fox attacking the chicken coop -- not just as political policy but an article of faith
If BJP weren’t a party with a proven track record of toppling a succession of Congress governments in the states, Gehlot’s deputy is unlikely to have embarked on his present enterprise. And nor would Jyotiraditya Scindia have become a turncoat. 
Such men wouldn’t have dared, though it is clear they are not in politics for the sake of ideology and the spirit of service. They are there to serve particular ambitions (in the Congress, too, they enjoyed enormous power and privilege handed to them by fellow dynasts who are a poor judge of character), as on a corporate ladder.
And why is it the BJP alone that attracts political carpetbaggers? The straightforward reason is that this party alone has the resources to throw at prospective defectors. Finding the resources has been made easy since gaining power at the Centre in 2014. 
A scheme like the electoral bond, for instance, is tailor-made for this. The Association of Democratic Reforms estimates that 94.5 per cent of all electoral bonds collections, before the 2019 parliament election, went to the BJP.
That would suggest that the scheme was brought to benefit just this one party. So suspicious is the idea that even the Election Commission, which has so conspicuously lost its bite of late, has wondered aloud about it. The recently created PM-CARES may turn out something similar. It is not a central governmental fund (coming under the government’s auditors) in spite of its name, which may have been adopted as a trick.
We just saw in Rajasthan how desperate anti-Congress forces can get. Raids on Gehlot supporters accompanied the moves to topple his government. When ‘operation topple’ was on in Madhya Pradesh a few months ago, a nephew and some associates of Chief Minister Kamal Nath were raided. 
In Maharashtra last year, since Sharad Pawar was playing an active role to cobble together an alliance of his party and the Congress with the Shiv Sena, denying the BJP a chance to return to power in the state, he received a summons from the ED in Mumbai. 
Earlier, in Karnataka, where the Congress-JD(S) government was torpedoed through shenanigans involving the state governor (and late Speaker), the dynamic Congress leader D. K. Shiva Kumar, later made the state Congress chief, had his business premises raided repeatedly and was thrown into jail.
The debasement of the aims of politics allied with immorality of intent has, more and more in recent years, produced the end result of scuttling the popular verdict secured through the design written down in the Constitution. In each case the beneficiary has been the governing party at the Centre.
---
*Senior journalist based in New Delhi. This article first appeared in the "Asian Age"

Comments

TRENDING

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

How huge crowd at Mukhtar Ansari funeral is comparable to BJP's 'people's court' talk

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The massive crowd at the funeral of Mukhtar Ansari in Mohammadabad reflects the power and influence that his family wields in the area. One can't deny that he had enormous power in Ghazipur and Mau districts. But the crowd that came and chanted slogans in his favour does not exonerate him of his conviction by the court.  It is important that we understand this.