Turning away from the House

These days, the news is full of reports of the stunning revelations made by so-called political activist Arvind Kejriwal ostensibly revealing the political hand behind several scams that drained the public exchequer. While this led to discussions nationwide, the darker side of these stories is that the so-called activist himself has targeted the integrity of policy managers while failing to address the root cause of the problem, that is, the adherence to a faulty and defective policy. However, we need to to appreciate that he showed the courage to target the Congress by raising serious allegations against Robert Vadra. It needs to be remembered that the starting point of all these issues are compliance with a faulty policy structure articulated without foresight to satisfy the vested interests of a few to the detriment of the national interest.

The issues raised by Kejriwal, though, need serious consideration, which they haven't got from the Centre. Indeed, the Congress not only ignored his allegations, but even promoted Salman Khurshid by giving him the high-profile external affairs portfolio. This indicates the attitude of the ruling coalition towards corruption.

As for the BJP, it could not use this issue, since it was itself trying to wriggle out of the case against Nitin Gadkari. The veteran BJP leader and member of Parliament Ram Jethmalani questioned the integrity of his own party president and the BJP convened a core committee meeting and to give a clean chit to Gadkari. Ultimately, the supposedly strong opposition lost its will to raise the issue of corruption.

The disclosure on the Krishna Godavari basin allotment by Kejriwal was another turning point. MPs had raised this issue seriously and continuously in Parliament for the last two years. Unfortunately, the media did not give it the attention it deserved. Why was Jaipal Reddy replaced as petroleum minister? The day is not far when the government will be compelled to answer these questions before the House. The cabinet reshuffle seems to reflect the hands of certain corporations in fixing portfolios. But the reality is that nobody is surprised by such sudden changes in the portfolios after the revelations from the Radia tapes threw light on the depth of crony capitalism in the system. In this context, why did the prime minister's office compel the petroleum ministry to reconsider Reliance Industries Limited's request to increase the price of gas, which had previously been rejected by the ministry and group of ministers? Why is the government not ready to charge a fine as per the agreement for the reduction of production of natural gas from the KG Basin?

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