It has taken longer than anticipated. Nevertheless, surely but slowly, we are getting there. The UPA government seems to be on its death bed. And it is expiring precisely as was projected in April this year when it was written in these columns:
“The established mafia gangs of New York were demolished when they fought each other while the police watched. Ultimately the looters of India will be destroyed not only by the police or by the courts. They will destroy themselves as they fight each other tooth and nail.”
Media reports give different versions about who is leaking what while the ministers of the UPA government savage each other in a fight to the finish. The Finance Ministry sent a secret note to the Prime Minister, overseen by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee that nailed Home Minister (HM) Chidambaram as an accomplice of jailed former Telecom Minister Mr. A Raja in fixing the price of 2G Spectrum licenses. The note was dated March 27th. That would have been around the time when the Home Ministry was bugging the office of the Finance Minister (FM).
Who leaked the note?
The Finance Ministry sources told one newspaper that the note was prepared by the Cabinet Secretary. By implication the PMO leaked the note. Mr. Chidambaram blew a fuse as demands for his resignation mounted. He phoned the PM in America asking why he had not been informed of the note. First the PM urged him to hold fire till he returned to India. Mr. Chidambaram declared ominously that he would not make any statement until the PM and FM had returned from USA. The implicit threat worked. After the PM it was the turn of FM to phone Mr. Chidambaram from the USA to assuage his ruffled feelings. The FM cut short his visit to Washington to hold panic consultations with the PM in New York. It had also been established that Chidambaram and Raja had cleared their joint decision on price fixing with the PM. The guilt could reach the very top. The PM made an extraordinary statement from the US expressing his confidence in Mr. Chidambaram while he was both the Finance Minister and later the Home Minister.
It is safe to assume that after bugging the FM and consulting the PM for the price fixing Mr. Chidambaram can embarrass the PM and the FM if he starts squealing. That is why the nervous phone calls from the US. It is quite possible that after the two top UPA leaders return home differences will be ironed out. But to what avail? There are the courts to con tend with. There are potentially fatal cases awaiting judgment.
How long can a corrupt government with a former cabinet minister already in jail delay its Day of Judgment?
The ministers are busy trying to prove that they had no knowledge of what Raja was doing. Haven’t they heard of the old convention of ministers accepting constructive responsibility for lapses? Instead of wasting time trying to prove his ignorance, and therefore his abysmal incompetence as PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh should have resigned the day the 2G corruption was proved. Now the best thing he can do is to accept constructive responsibility and resign. He should order a mid-term election and seek a fresh mandate from the people. That would be better than going out in disgrace and plunging the nation further into the depths of corruption while the whole world watches in wonder.