Anna Hazare Proved Right
on Congress Government’s Intentions Not to Pass Lokpal Bill
Right across the board yesterday at midnight, the Congress Government stood condemned on inflicting on the Indian Republic a day of infamy when in a well choreographed plan it deliberately filibustered and allowed the Lok Pal Bill to lapse in the Rajya Sabha. Never in the history of the Indian Parliament did any Government stoop so low in being dismissive of parliamentary propriety and upholding traditions and convention. The Congress Government did so because it knew that it did not have the numbers in the Rajya Sabha to push the Bill through. Anna Hazare stands proved right in persisting to maintain that the Congress Government was insincere in its intentions to get the Lok Pal Bill through the Parliament in the Winter Session.
India’s well known Constitutional experts publicly aired on TV Channels that the Congress Government’s stand that the Rajya Sabha session could not be extended beyond midnight of December 29, 2011 was patently wrong. They opined that the members of the Upper House had the powers to extend the Session. All major Opposition Parties less those supporting the Congress Party repeatedly intervened to assert that they were ready to sit the whole night and even the whole of the next day to ensure passage of the Bill.
The Congress Government stubbornly refused to entertain that plea fully knowing well that in actual voting it would have to face the sorry prospect of being defeated on the floor of the House and with elections due in five states it would lose face and esteem with the Indian public.
Surprisingly the Chairman of the Upper House, the Vice President remained unmoved by the leading members’ demands that the House Session be extended. Close to midnight he sated that it was difficult to continue proceedings with the din in the House and declared the House adjourned sine-die. His refusal in the one hour preceding midnight to Opposition demands to give a ruling that the House would finish at midnight or otherwise have created misgivings.
This political ‘nautanki’ inherently carries in itself the seeds of boomeranging on the Congress Party in the forthcoming Assembly Elections in five States. The Congress Party has misread the political situation that is likely to unfold in the coming months. As some astute political analysts maintain that by such a deplorable choreographed political drama the Congress Party may have to face the opposite effect of a large number of civil society members and the educated middle class galvanizing together with or without Anna Hazare to corner the Congress Government and the Congress Part on its double speak on the Lok Pal Bill.
In the run-up to the Rajya Sabha session on the passage of the Bill the Congress was shouting itself hoarse that it was determined to get the Bill passed with strong provisions to curb the menace of corruption. But its underlying intentions were well deciphered by many even during the Lok Sabha debate when it kept on saying that if some provisions maintained as unconstitutional would be struck down by the Supreme Court, if so. It is obvious that the Congress Government was deliberately keeping infirmities in the Bill to make it toothless while it kept creating the impression that it had all the intentions to push through a strong Lok Pal Bill.
The Lok Pal Bill deliberately allowed to lapse by Congress Government political machinations besides breeding public contempt against the Congress Party also throws up the image as rightly maintained bu Opposition Leaders that the Congress Government and the Congress Party ran away from the Upper House to avoid the public spectacle of being defeated on the floor of the Upper House.
Along with the Congress Party, its other political minions in the shape of regional parties also stooped low to collude in defeating the passage of the Bill.
The Congress Government intentions were suspect all along from April 2011 that it was not sincere in getting the Bill passed. For political purposes it kept up the façade of appearing to be reasonable and accommodative to Indian public demands for a strong Anti-Corruption Bill.
Anna Hazareji should feel that his persistent stand questioning the intentions of the Congress Party were right all along and yesterday at midnight he would have felt vindicated and had the last laugh.