The UPA government version of democratic governance would have been hilarious were it not so damaging.
The judicial commission report that probed the Adarsh housing scam had nailed four former chief ministers of Maharashtra guilty of corrupt practices. These included the current Union Home Minister Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde. The report is pure dynamite and it provoked strident criticism from political parties across the board. However the Maharashtra Cabinet rejected the report and refused to table it in the assembly. This arbitrary decision further inflamed critics.
After Mr. Rahul Gandhi spoke about ridding the nation of corruption but refused to allude to the Adarsh scam, one Union Minister Mr. Milind Deora went public with his criticism of the Maharashtra Cabinet decision. He said: “Congress leaders themselves are not with the Chief Minister on this decision.”
Encouraged by this the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Ajit Pawar dissociated himself and his Cabinet colleagues from the decision. He said: “Being the head of the Cabinet the final decision was that of the Chief Minister.” He advised the opposition parties to go to the court against the Cabinet decision. The Chief Minister Mr. Prithviraj Chavan responded: “I stand by the decision unanimously taken by the Cabinet in Nagpur. It was a collective decision and there is no question of reconsidering the matter.”
What is one to make of this astounding incident?
Do not UPA ministers know even the basic laws of democratic governance? All cabinet decisions after discussion are deemed unanimous and taken collectively. Mr. Prithviraj Chavan is right in asserting this. How on earth can Mr. Ajit Pawar publicly dissociate himself from a Cabinet decision taken in his presence? Do he and other UPA leaders seriously believe that by enacting this charade of publicly distancing themselves from a controversial and scandalous Cabinet decision which involved them they can deceive public opinion? If they did not agree with the decision they ought to have either forced the Chief Minister’s hand or failing which resigned from the Cabinet. As things are now the Cabinet deserves to be dissolved.
Apart from the Congress President and Vice-President one wonders if the President of India and the Maharashtra Governor are also concerned about this unique display of democratic governance. Now government and opposition not only operate from within the same ruling party, but also from within the same Cabinet! Long live Incredible India!