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Misuse of the CBI – Will the BJP reverse the course of the Congress ?




It’s been 2 years now, enough time to evaluate how the Govt is doing on its stated mission of reducing corruption in Government. Now, the Modi Govt claims that top level corruption is down, and there have not been any major stories (backed by some evidence) about any corruption in the top levels of Government. At the same time, normal citizens are more impacted by the corruption they face on a day to day basis. This could be corruption they face when they deal with the police, or with government land departments, or with the educational department, or with other government departments that they need to deal with. I don’t think anyone is making the argument that there is any reduction in corruption at this level, and this is the corruption that people deal with on a day to day basis – they don’t get hit by an Adarsh or CWG kind of corruption scandal, but about the corrupt babu who wants money to do some work that was part of the job. Any reduction in such corruption is what would really benefit people. Some of this is with the state governments, but there is still a lot to be done by the central Govt. The CBI can step in for such cases where it has been requested by the state, or is in an area where the center has control.

Another area which has been a subject for immense debate over the past few areas has been the use of the CBI as a political tool. A number of politicians belonging to states of North India are involved in some way of corruption, or at the minimum would have assets beyond their known income streams, and detailed investigation would be sure to convict most of them. During the Congress regime, this weakness was something that was used very effectively. The way it worked would be to get somebody to file a complaint for disproportionate assets against a pollution and the CBI would get involved. Now this was an instrument of blackmail. If the politician refused to work the way that the Congress wanted, the CBI would call them for up for some questions, and the politician would get the hint and maybe promise to abstain rather than voting against the Government. This happened time and time again, and was a clear example of how the CBI could be used to twist other parties to do the bidding of the Government. The Modi govt has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, but is running into significant problems in the Rajya Sabha where it is far from a majority.
The key is not only about whether the Modi Government is doing this, but also whether is actually moving on the various politicians who surely have profited from their times in power. And on this front, there is really not much to talk about. It turns out that the Modi Govt will need support from various parties in Uttar Pradesh, and the same issue in Maharashtra. And hence, there is no movement on trying to stop the various corrupt politicians in the North Indian states, and on that front, the BJP is no different from the Congress regime. One is not seeing any changes in that area.




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