Less than fair
The indecent hurry and disregard for important norms by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee head, Murli Manohar Joshi of the BJP, has destroyed the credibility of a revered institution, writes Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam.
The shoddy 2G affair has harmed the country beyond ordinary calculation. It has hurt public faith in the state and investor confidence in the economy. It has created extraordinary sense of uncertainty and frustration in the country. The BJP and its allies have tried to cash in on the negative public mood like always, because they know from experience that the BJP wins vote by default, vote that is not in favour of the BJP as such, but vote of anger against the ruling party.
All of us remember how this party has been immersed in corruption upto its nose, but it has shamelessly stalled Parliament over alleged 2G scam. Now it turns out that the BJP is more responsible for the 2G scandal than the Congress Party. Everyday we are seeing new exposes on how the PAC head manipulated, goaded and browbeat CAG officials to ignore established procedures, caution and care just to produce an exaggerated account of losses to public funds.
Senior officials’ statements have shown how Joshi was in a hurry to produce a damning report to embarrass the UPA government. This fact has also been corroborated by the latest auction of spectrum. The initial picture that is emerging puts Joshi and his party in a poor light as sensation mongers who have held Parliament to ransom and misled the people of India.
At least there is one certainty now: the BJP will have less enthusiasm for shouting hoarse about corruption. The party, with two presidents caught with their pants down and one of its stalwarts trying to destroy the credibility of a great institution like Parliament’s PAC, does not have the face (or the cheek) to act holier than thou.
Institutions like PAC require persons involved with it to function in a non-partisan way. The judges of the Supreme Court (or other courts), CAG, PAC, UGC, EC and Speakers of Legislatures, above all, the President of India, are supposed to stand above petty political manipulations. Joshi’s conduct has breached this haloed tradition. He has acted more like an RSS-BJP person than the head of PAC. Experience shows that expecting anything else from such people would be a mistake. g