Will Sonia be allowed to open the Food Bill debate?
Modi defanging Sushma and Jaitley
All those, particularly Congressmen party, anxiously awaiting their leader Sonia Gandhi opening the debate on behalf of her party on Food Security Bill in Parliament on the eve of 67th Independence Day of India, might have been sorely disappointed, when Food Minister K V Thomas was obstructed in the Lok Sabha and the discussion Food Security Bill postponed for August 19, preventing Sonia from delivering her lines.
After pushing through the RTI Act, the MNREGA, through her National Advisory Council (NAC) this was billed as her latest political Brahmastra to help Congress party take the winds out of the sails of the BJP/RSS de facto PM candidate Narendra Modi’s constant diatribes against her party and persona.
Chaired by Sonia, the NAC has been pushing for Food security for all in the country for almost three years or more now. There was considerable resistance from various quarters, even within her party and the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), including Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh supported by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, both votaries of the trickle down philosophy, quite like Narendra Modi, too was reluctant to put his seal of approval on this proposal. However finally Sonia’s persistence paid and the Government, suspecting Opposition non-cooperation, passed an Ordinance to enforce the Food Security law. Simultaneously it seems she pushed the Congress party to accept Telangana in the hope of changing the discourse in Parliament and preventing the pro-Telangana MPs from holding the House to ransom every time some semblance of order was restored in the Lok Sabha. But in the process she has fuelled the passions of united Andhra votaries and today we have Seemandhra MPs from both the Congress and TDP stalling the proceedings.
BJP president Rajnath Singh, and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj had repeatedly assured full cooperation on Food Security Bill, reserving their right to move amendments.
But would that help the BJP and Narendra Modi? No. The credit for such a law, like MNREGA would naturally go to Sonia Gandhi. So why help her?
On their part both Sushma and even Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely seemed ready this time to allow Parliament to function smoothly and debate issues rather than disrupt proceedings and seemed to be keeping their word so far. Yet in spite of their best efforts and assurances the two Houses are witnessing disruptions on one flimsy excuse or the other not just by TDP or Trinamool Congress but also the BJP MPs, crying wolf about Pakistan or attacking the hapless Defence Minister A K Antony.
The nation is now witnessing that Modi sets the agenda, Arnab Goswami and his Times Now start screaming and tearing their hair and the national leaders of the BJP have to meekly follow. But even that has not satisfied Modi and his sweat mopper Mohanrao Bhagwat. So if Sushma and Jaitley virtually defied Modi in cooperating to allow Parliament to run even with some hiccups, it has definitely not gone down well with the Tarzan of Gujarat. So we had the two Deputy Leaders of the BJP in Parliament Gopinath Munde and Ravi Shankar Prasad attempting to divert the limelight from the happenings in Parliament by launching some website and such other internet, sms mumbo, jumbo offering 24 hours access to their tweeting mates across the globe to prepare a chargesheet against Sonia Gandhi and this Government. And why drag in the poor hapless Munde? He is anyway on the margins of the BJP. But the hugely ambitious Ravi Shankar Prasad has got his lifetime opportunity to endear himself to Modi and Jhandewalan and get ready to hold a plum portfolio in the event of Modi becoming the Prime Minister. Even otherwise he will have strong backing for being elevated to the Leader of Opposition position post 2014, if the BJP failed to make it.
That is the reason I believe that notwithstanding Sushma, Jaitley and even L K Advani, by Monday when Parliament resumes its sitting, some other issue will come up to stall the Lok Sabha and prevent any discussion on the Food Bill. But that is now only a secondary issue in the context of what is happening inside the BJP.
It was in 2009 when if we go by BJP/RSS undeclared spokesman Kanchan Gupta, Bhagwat had declared his resolve to defang D-4, meaning the four Delhi based leaders, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar, aligned then with Advani. Bhagwat found the then BJP president Rajnath Singh ineffective to tackle the ‘Chaukri’ as they were derisively referred to by their detractors in the BJP. He appointed Nitin Gadkari who too failed to come up to Bhagwat’s expectations.
That’s when they set their eyes on Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi, even though many in the RSS could not take his unabashed arrogance and blowing his own trumpet. Yet they sacrificed Sanjay Joshi to appease Modi.
Prasad’s Independence eve press conference is only a trailer of how much before setting foot in Delhi, Modi now holds the reins of the BJP and how inch by inch power is being sniffed out of D-4 and how soon enough Modi/Bhagwat combine will leave them powerless, gasping for breath.
One thing any decent person would hate saying is, “I told you.” Yet it did not take a couple of hours before the BJP now just a handmaiden or rather a Delhi chapter of Narendra Modi, silenced L K Advani. In the spirit of an elder statesman Advani attempted to make amends for Modi’s challenge to Manmohan Singh for a public kushti on independence day by saying that independence day is for greeting all and it is the PM’s day. Promptly the BJP got Nirmala Sitharaman to snub Advani justifying Modi’s act of abrasion and aggression.