Politics: Corruption And Punishment!

Even as the worst crisis for the ruling UPA-2 coalition government continued to gain momentum every day this week witnessed two huge days for the media fraternity—Wednesday, the 8th of May 2013, and Friday the 10th of May 2013. That momentous Wednesday was a picture of ecstasy and agony—a political study in contrasts. And, on Friday yesterday heads rolled as expected and anticipated on a daily basis.

The main national opposition BJP has been chasing the Congress led UPA-2 Government relentlessly, tirelessly and also ambitiously on the issue of corruption for the last at least two years. In its obsessed aim of cornering the Government the BJP, basically a political party that ruled India earlier, even did not bother joining hands with the anti-corruption activists—at times with Anna Hazare and with Baba Ramdev at other. But, the BJP was routed in the Assembly Elections of the southern state of Karnataka the counting for which was taken up on Wednesday for running a corrupt and non-performing government there. The root cause being BS Yeddyurappa, a veritable symbol of corruption, defecting from BJP and forming a separate political entity thus splitting the votes as well as creating a somewhat anti-corruption wave in the state.  

Congress party of the scam and corruption infested UPA-2 got a landslide victory and was in a position to form the government on its own. This was the ecstasy for the beleaguered national party—the highlights being the prevention of further corruption through possible horse trading on a hung verdict and the marginalization of Yeddyurappa who naturally wanted to be a kingmaker. However, almost simultaneously that Wednesday the agony came in the form of the Supreme Court of India slamming UPA-2 for meddling with the Coalgate report of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to the apex court and making the premier investigating agency of the country a ‘caged parrot’. The position of the Law Minister became untenable after those scathing observations and the Railway Minister was already in the dock for Railgate. Pressure mounted on UPA-2  to punish the indicted ministers. The ministers’ alleged closeness to the Prime Minister made it all the trickier for the ruling coalition. The stock responses like ‘Let investigations take the due course’ or ‘The matter is sub-judice’ failed to convince anyone. 

Mounting media and public pressure forced the Government to take the much awaited action. Two top cabinet ministers were sacked within just one hour last evening, the Friday we mentioned. Now, this move can very well be interpreted as taking cue from the so-called anti-corruption wave of Karnataka Poll and punishing the corrupt, and if it is so things are not to be merrier for the BJP. Because, to try coming back to power in its only southern bastion, Karnataka, the BJP still wants Yeddyurappa badly. If it does take him  back it will be criticized as welcoming back corruption for political ends. Therefore, the citizens of this hapless country stand to benefit by default if the issue of anti-corruption becomes the main plank for 2014 General Elections.

However, politics is politics. For the latest the BJP and the Left parties are now, as expected, after the Prime Minister of India demanding his resignation.