Honest when you are with, but corrupt if you oppose BJP
By Faraz Ahmad for TwoCircles.net,
Now that Lalu Yadav has been safely thrown behind bars at Birsa Munda jail, Ranchi, the BJP has turned around and taken a second look at Ntisih Kumar. For years Rabri Devi and Lalu Prasad have been complaining that if the CBI could rely upon the confessional accusation of the prime accused in the fodder scam Shyam Bihari Sinha for inferring Lalu’s involvement in the scam, then the same yardstick be applied to all others including Nitish Kumar whom Sinha has also named in his confessional statement.
The CBI ignored such pleas and in the eyes of the BJP and the casteist media, Nitish was a politician of unmatched integrity, committed to development of Bihar through clean governance. Every now and then BJP leaders would sing paeans of Nitish Kumar. Bihar never had a leader like Nitish Kumar! Why? The BJP needed a credible OBC face to juxtapose Lalu and so almost every BJP leader, be he Bihari or national cited Nitish Kumar as the ideal role model, “secular and pro-development with impeccable integrity. Every so often L K Advani, Arun Jaitley, Sushil Kumar Modi and Ravi Shankar Prasad would throw broad hints that Nitish Kumar could even be projected as the NDA’s secular PM candidate. Only two BJP leaders, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Syed Shahnawaz Husain were distrustful of Nitish, but they did not question his integrity either.
Nitish Kumar [TCN file photo]
But the BP behaves worse than a woman scorned. Never mind Lalu’s grouse and we are not even discussing here the merits of the case, though I do believe that there is some merit in Lalu’s case against Nitish in the fodder scam as well. That apart, when did BJP discover Nitish Kumar to be involved in the fodder scam?
Suddenly of all the people Sushil Kumar Modi who had lodged the cases against Lalu Yadav and his legal counsel Ravi Shankar Prasad, who together guided the investigations and prosecution in fodder scam for years together, discovered that Nitish Kumar too was a beneficiary of “fodder loot” to the tune of Rs 1.50 crores? And the Jharkhand High Court which turned a deaf ear to Lalu’s pleas all the while throughout these 13 years has suddenly woken and posted a notice on 20 September to the CBI to explain why Nitish and his party colleague Shivanand Tiwari should not be arraigned as accused in the fodder scam. The court has asked CBI to file its reply by 22 November. Ravishankar now says that there was proof of Kumar’s involvement in the fodder scam case too,” adding, “Elder brother is in jail and it is now the turn of the younger brother. His name figures in the fodder scam and hence he too will have to go to jail,” Prasad told a party rally. Sushil Kumar Modi, former deputy chief minister and one of the original petitioners in the scam, said. “The imprisonment of Nitish Kumar and his colleagues is inevitable.” They wouldn’t tell us when did they discover of Nitish’ involvement.
In the Jain Hawala Case, starting with L K Advani all the top political leaders cutting across party lines including the Congress, BJP and Janata Dal, were let off soon after Advani himself was discharged on the specious plea of lack of corroborative evidence. The hawala sword kept dangling only on two heads—Sharad Yadav and Devi Lal, ostensibly because they admitted on camera that they had taken donations for elections. As a result, Sharad could not become a minister in the UF government. But in 1999 the JD-U led by Sharad and Devi Lal (independent of JD-U) aligned with the BJP. After that we never heard a word about the Hawala case. Sharad became the NDA’s Civil Aviation Minister.
Thus only BJP is qualified to issue you a good conduct certificate. The moment you part company or turn against the BJP, you are corrupt and a criminal. Take the case of Shibu Soren. He has been frequently changing camps, secular to saffron to secular, every now and then. But since he is popular with his people and is politically relevant to Jharkhand, the BJP does business with him. However soon as he ditches the saffron camp, he turns out to be the worst criminal politician we’ve ever known. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inducted him in his first UPA government in 2004. Immediately there was an outcry against him and the PM as well. The BJP did not allow the traditional basic courtesy to the Prime Minister of introducing his ministers to Parliament in 2004 objecting to the induction of Lalu and Soren dubbing them as criminal and corrupt. Within no time some court issued a warrant against Soren and he had to quit and go to jail. He returned after prolonged incarceration but on November 28, 2006 a Delhi court pronounced him guilty of murdering his ex-secretary and on December 5, the same court handed out life sentence to him in the same case. The court also rejected his bail plea, and he served a jail term for almost a year when the Delhi High Court overturned the District Court ruling saying that “The trial court’s analysis is far from convincing and not sustainable.” In the meantime succumbing to BJP and BJP inspired media campaign, Manmohan Singh dropped Shibu Soren and he broke off from the UPA. BJP did not think twice of embracing him immediately thereafter and making him the state chief minister. In 2008 confidence vote he came and voted for Manmohan Singh and BJP chucked him out. But had no hesitation forming a government with JMM support.
The Mandal Commission implementation changed the complexion of the Indian politics and Lalu, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati, all three are the product of that revolutionary transformation of the UP-Bihar politics. Lalu alone has been steadfast in his secular and ideological commitment.
The BJP might have called Mulayam Singh Yadav, derisively Maulana Mulayam once, but Mulayam has not hesitated doing business with the BJP ever so often, sometime through his onetime factotum Amar Singh and at others all by himself. In March 1991 when Rajiv Gandhi withdrew support to the Chandra Shekhar government at the Centre, he continued to support the split Janata Dal government led by Mulayam in UP, to prevent BP from coming to power on the crest of Ram Janambhoomi agitation. Just before the 1991 elections began Mulayam met Rajiv, Rajiv told him not to dissolve the assembly because simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls will only help the BJP. Mulayam ignored Rajiv’s advice, went and dissolved the assembly and paved way for the first BJP government in UP under Kalyan Singh. Then in midterm polls of 1993, post Babri Masjid demolition, he aligned with Kanshi Ram’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and formed a SP-BSP coalition government, which fell in 2005. Even though BJP’s numbers kept dwindling from 1995 to 2002, Mulayam got no chance to rule UP again till 2003 when Rajnath Singh, Amar Singh and Sahara Sri Subrata Roy as well as Anil Ambani got together to put Mulayam Singh in the saddle. But before that when he was India’s Defence Minister (1996-98) Amar Singh with close personal relations with the BJP facilitated several deals in which BJP leaders had considerable interest. Besides both his corporate backers Roy and Ambanis had high stakes in the BJP right from the Advani’s Ram Janambhoomi Yatra of 1990 and perhaps even earlier. And Amar Singh was a member of the family in both households. Lalu too has a factotum Prem Chand Guptra, but to date Gupta has no role to play in Bihar politics and even RJD politics. In fact most Lalu’s men disdainfully keep a distance from Gupta. But Amar Singh at one point of time had become bigger than Mulayam. Anyway Mulayam has always done deal with the BJP, including proposing A PJ Abdul Kalam’s name for the President. This is how skin deep is Mulayam’s secularism. That is why Mulayam is always dealt by the BJP with kind of kid gloves.
Same is the case with Mayawati who has a constituency which is unmindful of whether she aligns with or opposes the BJP. So in 1995, it was with BJP help that she became the chief minister of UP for the first time. The government barely lasted four months. Nevertheless she let it be known she has no qualms doing business with the BJP. After this experience the BJP promised not to do any business with Mayawati. But in 1987 it again supported Mayawati, though within six months it outwitted her, split her party and formed a government. In 2002 she formed a government for the third time in UP, again with BJP support. In the process, the BJP extracted its pound of flesh in the form of Mayawati going and campaigning for Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat assembly elections, even holding a public meeting in Modi’s Maningar constituency. And for future, though both Mulayam and Mayawati are currently supporting the UPA government, BJP leaders do not rule out securing support of either in a crucial hour, Mayawati openly and Mulayam tacitly in 2014.
The BJP has even secured the support of an anti religion Dravidian party like the DMK and had its ministers in the Government, 1999-2003 and ruing those days no BJP leader no Subramaniam Swamy, no Jethmalani found anything against A Raja or T R Baalu. DMK was labeled corrupt the moment it broke off from the NDA. But there is one and only one leader, who never softened towards the BJP and that is Lalu Prasad. That is why a Bhumihar judge has served him a five year sentence in jail.
Faraz Ahmad is a Freelance journalist with past association with several national dailies.