The 2G scam – Internal fighting within the Congress refuses to die …

It seems so funny now. During the first 5 years of its reign, the UPA – 1 seemed very weak, buckling down to its allies for so many issues, until the Government finally developed some spine and withstood the left parties over the nuclear deal with the United States. It managed to get a majority for this purpose through some fine tuned voting in Parliament, with a lot of suspicion that some of the vote was bought. So, there was some relief when the Congress came into power with an enhanced majority in the form of the UPA2, and less dependence on allies. In this new form, the Congress promised to make things much better, starting with a 100 day plan to do much more. What is funny is, that after this increased number of seats, the Government seems to be in more of crisis situations, almost during the whole time of its existence.
The 2G scandal was simmering ever since Raja distributed a new seats of telecom license, and after the CAG report and the admonishment by the Supreme Court, the Government has been choking on the 2G scam ever since, sinking lower and lower in public opinion. Till some time back, the Government seemed to believe that it was able to get over the impact of the scandal, by getting Raja sent to jail, and by pretending that it was all a matter of the DMK and the Congress had nothing to do with the criminality committed by an alliance partner.
The first shock to the Congress came from the PAC report (headed by Murli Manohar Joshi), which severely castigated the Prime Minister and the then Finance Minister for letting the 2G scam happen. The Congress managed to get a majority on the PAC which put the report in a limbo.

And then came a RTI request to the PMO, which (to the current astonishment of all) showed the existence of a note that stated that the then Finance minister P Chidambaram could have have stopped the scandal, but did not do anything. The press started having a field day, since it was surmised that the note was created by the Finance Ministry, currently headed by Pranab Mukherjee. It immediately got projected as being a sign of the conflict between Pranab Mukherjee and Chidambaram, and there were plenty of meetings to try and project that nothing was the problem. And the Congress spokesman even dismissed the note as something created by a junior officer.
By this time, Pranab Mukherjee let loose with a second arrow, where he blasted the conception that this was his creation; instead, it was a considered and joint effort of a number of ministries to prepare such a note as a part of the Government position on the subject of the 2G scam. Now, it is pretty clear that the note was prepared with even the PMO knowing details of the note, and all of them accepting that the then Finance Minister Chidambaram could have have indeed done more to stop the scam. The Government is still battling to stop this, and seems to have lost this round; the public believes that something has gone seriously wrong. It’t not only Chidambaram, but the lily white image of the Prime Minister seems to be turning different shades of brown.

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