India’s October Revolution?

Next week the courts will be in session. The future of Mr. Dayanidhi Maran may be decided. More crucially, the future of Home Minister Mr. P Chidambaram may also be decided. If the Supreme Court decides that there is need for the CBI to investigate the minister, it might be very difficult for Mr. Chidambaram to continue in office. In the event, it is most likely that the crisis will escalate to rope in people at the very top. Mr. Chidambaram would not like to be singled out.

Earlier I had written to point out that Section 10 of the Prevention of Corruption Act could implicate the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Home Minister and Law Minister as abettors of jailed former Telecom Minister Mr. A. Raja and thereby make them vulnerable to criminal prosecution. During a TV debate noted lawyer Mr. Harish Salve confirmed that it would be very difficult to implicate Mr. Chidambaram without involving the other three senior leaders too.

However, given our political culture it is unlikely that the abetment of corruption would be taken seriously. Politicians, media and the public seem to consider only direct financial beneficiaries of corruption to be guilty. In the days ahead public attention most likely will focus on the money trail of the 2G scam. Could Mr. Chidamabaram throw any more light on that?

In recent days the rift within the cabinet has burst into public view. Media has made much about the differences between Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and Mr. Chidambaram. However these differences could be but the tip of the iceberg. As far back as April 4, 2007 I had pointed out that there was a visible rift between 10 Janpath and 7 Race Course Road. The unnatural and wholly undemocratic arrangement of a Prime Minister functioning under the shadow of an extra constitutional authority was bound to create in the government tension and even paralysis. During UPA-1 the alliance with the Left was a constant source of friction between the PM and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. Issues unrelated to that acted as catalysts for friction.

I wrote at that time: “An emotive issue has arisen to divide the UPA government at the very top. The issue is Ottavio Quattrocchi… after news of Quattrocchi's arrest broke on the night of February 23rd ... there seemed to be a tug-of-war within the government over how to handle the issue… the differences have assumed the dimensions of a rift between the PMO and 10 Janpath.”

Later, on 23 May, 2010 I again wrote: “The conspiracy to change the government within the next few months is under way... It remains to be seen whether a clash between the two (warring) groups is ignited to create a major political realignment. In his press conference yesterday the PM said he would not retire. Has anyone asked him to retire? Before winter we should know.”

Last winter came and went. Nothing happened. But things have continued to get worse. Are the chickens finally coming home to roost? Before this winter will we see any traumatic change? By popular media perception no serious fight within the government is possible because Mrs. Gandhi is all powerful and the PM is a helpless pawn. That may be so. But I would like to draw attention to a photograph taken last Sunday when Mrs. Sonia Gandhi made her first public appearance after her illness during Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. Happily, in appearance she looked quite healthy. After visiting Rajghat she went to the Central Hall of Parliament where many leaders had congregated. There a photograph was taken published in the newspapers. It showed the PM standing cheek by jowl with Dr. Subramaniam Swamy to his left, Leader of opposition Mrs. Sushma Swaraj to his immediate right and next to her just a yard away from the PM stood Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. The PM and Dr. Swamy were grinning broadly. Mrs. Gandhi was looking away with an uncomfortable expression. Dr. Swamy’s tirade against the alleged corruption and foreign bank accounts of Mrs. Gandhi is unrelenting. He attacks her on TV, through the Internet and on Twitter. Was the PM extraordinarily insensitive to stand next to Dr. Swamy while smiling broadly to the acute embarrassment of Mrs. Gandhi? Or was he sending a message to the world? I can’t decide. What do you think? 


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

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Views: 3390      Comments: 4

Comment Yes, I did not think from that angle - a frustrated coward can indeed leak damaging information against his boss - through safe channels.

And situation being so hot, hardly anyone will pay attention on who leaked what.

In such a case, Mr. MMS may not be loser (as his image is already getting tarnished, the respect he earned by working throughout the life is getting eroded quickly), but he can certainly make someone else loose a lot.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
05-Oct-2011 06:01 AM

Comment All of you seem to miss the point. The PM doesn't need spine. He needs damaging informationa against Mrs. Gandhi. If he has that he doesn't need to reveal it. He has Subramaniam Swamy to do it. That was the message he could have been sending out to his detractors within the party. I doubt if any one of you questions whether Subramaniam Swamy has spine.

My Word
04-Oct-2011 10:30 AM

Comment Sir, you seem to be assuming that MMS has a spine to conspire against the Italian origin dynasty.Your assumption seems a kind of dream.But may be MMS is being instigated from behind by some powerful Congressman.This may be giving courage to MMS.But no Congressman has the guts to come out in the open.Courts seem to be the only hope for this unfortunate country.

04-Oct-2011 05:48 AM

Comment Dear Sir,

If Dr. Manmohan Singh was brave enough to take strong stand, he would have taken a stand during UPA-1 in order not to be part of all the mess created, in order to prevent 2-G scam, and more serious S-Band spectrum scam that was about to jeopardize our defense interests and nation's security, he would have, at least, made his reservations and apprehensions public while these shameless scams and other dirty politics was were taking place.

- He does not have the bravery required, we can count on that.

If political realignment takes place, he will certainly not become PM if he leaves current alliance.

The PM does not have the courage to speak against (assuming that he is actually against the way the UPA govt functions)

He does not have any carrot to discard current alliance and switch to another.

Therefore, there must be some 'compulsions' under which he would do so, where he does not have any other option left. It will not be out of his own choice, but because of constraints.

Surely Subramaniam Swamy is not providing the required constraints, Sonia might be providing from one side, but where the other constraint comes from - needs to be seen.

May be the other constraint is coming from Court of law - in the days to come, but not visible yet.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
03-Oct-2011 09:56 AM

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