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Coalgate – Confrontation between the Congress and team Anna – the PM joins the battle




The fight between team Anna and the Congress is getting bitter. It is pretty clear by now that the Congress will not pass a Lokpal Bill in Parliament, and the rest of the political space will support them in this (even a party such as the BJP will prominently publicly push for the Lokpal, but all its actions are essentially against the bill; if the BJP wants such a bill, it should implement a Lokpal in every state where it rules or is a coalition partner, this will give the push for a Lokapal much moral support). Till now, Anna Hazare and the team behind him were accusing many members of the Congress of corruption, and were accusing the Prime Minister of letting it happen, but had never directly accused him of being involved; however, with the draft CAG report on coal allocation to private parties and the reported loss to the Government as a result, the Prime Minister is coming into the firing line because the ministry was under him for the time period. Till now, the attack has been on people who are powerful, but putting the Prime Minister on the spit directly is causing huge tension to the Congress.
Given the spate of scams, the public already accuses the Congress of being corrupt through and through, and all recent electoral results have been against the Congress (where it was leading, it just managed to win or lost; where it was losing, it lost badly). In such a situation, having the supposedly honest Prime Minister coming under the firing line cannot be good news for the Congress.
The situation is absurd. The draft CAG report (and the TOI had some analysis on the draft and some backfoot by the CAG, which showed that the essential element of the report about loss to the Government was valid) accuses the Government of letting huge amount of benefits accrue to certain private players. Now, this is a accusation that would topple Governments in the west, or put forward demands for an independent investigation. Here, the Congress supplies a clarification from the Coal ministry which really does not deny the losses but claims that this was because of the policy of that time (remember the zero loss in the telecom scam proposed by Kapil Sibal?) and that this was an absurd accusation from team Anna, not worthy of responding to.

Well, atleast this citizen of the country demands an investigation, and not by the totally useless Congress Bureau of Investigation (remember that this was the same agency that was sitting on the 2G scam until the Supreme Court ordered it into action). After all, we are asking the CBI to investigate losses caused by the Prime Minister, and the CBI is under the direct control of the Government; no independent agency in the world would accept such a biased body being asked to probe its own masters (investigative bodies in India are not so independent like those of the west where any attempt to interfere with a FBI or Scotland Yard probe can result in the career ending of the person who tried such interference).
Now, we hear that the CVC has asked the CBI to investigate, but unless somebody like the Supreme Court ensures that the CBI remains on the job (like in the 2G scam case), one should not expect anything much to happen out of these cases. Remember that all these mega-rich politicians have cases of dis-proportionate assets against them, being supposedly investigated against them by the CBI for years and years. I would agree with team Anna on this one (link to article):

“The CBI is under the government. Here the Prime Minister is accused. How will the CBI investigate the Prime Minister? It is laughable, it is a pretence. We know the outcome of this probe. It will say that the Prime Minister has not done anything wrong. It will give clean chit to Singh,” Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal told reporters here.
Demanding an independent probe by a panel of three “honest” retired judges, he said why is the PM afraid of a probe if he is sure that he has not done anything wrong.




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