Suit Boot or Suitcase
The Pot calling the Kettle black
By Faraz Ahmad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Land Acquisition Ordinance “Is not a matter of Life or Death” with him or his 12 month old NDA Government. And even while speaking to the outgoing Editor of The Tribune, Raj Chengappa, the Prime Minister was signing the papers for the Cabinet meeting the next day which cleared the re-promulgation of the controversial Ordinance for the third time in succession lest it lapse and the poor farmers who are the target of the NDA Government’s attempt to steal their land and hand it over to the Corporate honchos in the name of development, manage to save their assets somehow.
Modi said it is no matter of life or death, yet he rushed through the Cabinet approval to ensure President Pranab Mukherjee signed the Ordinance and promulgated before embarking on his official visit to the Scandinavian countries. And we are supposed to swallow it all hook line and sinker. Bah.
It is so apparent now that the corporate sector backed Modi to do to India what he did to Gujarat, giving off for a song all the prime agricultural land to the Tatas, Ambanis and not to forget his chum Gautam Adani. The Corporate sector the foreign investors who spent millions nee billions of dollars on Modi’s election campaign are all breathing down our dear Prime Minister’s neck to replicate the Gujarat model throughout the country. And these Opposition scoundrels of the suitcase variety are unnecessarily putting obstacles in the path of India’s great progress and development. How unpatriotic of these Opposition leaders?
You have to give it to Modi he is never on the backfoot. He is unapologetically blass’e and brazens it out without batting an eyelid. So his reply to Suit Boot ki Sarkar (Rahul Gandhi remark on Modi’s million dollar suit) is to fling a jibe at the previous UPA government calling it ‘Suitcase ki Sarkar’. Well if it was suitcase ki sarkar and the Prime Minister is in the know of it, what’s he been doing with all the paraphernalia at his command? How many people from the previous government has he put behind bars for accepting suitcases? Even Navin Jindal an accused in the Coal scam is frequently breaking bread with our Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. And what’s happened to all the Black Money the Gandhi-Nehru family has supposedly stashed away in foreign banks. Where are those names when will we see Rs 15 lakh in our banks?
Second, does it lie in the mouth of Narendra Modi to talk of suitcases? Indian Express (May 31) ran a full three column story of 49 per cent growth in the assets of Gautam Adani in last one year with his assets growing to US $ 8.1 billion which is Rs 51,600 crore. Wasn’t it Gautam Adani’s plane the Prime Minister chose when he flew into the Capital to take the oath and assume office. Isn’t Gautam Adani going as an advance party to every foreign land the Prime Minister visits, to collect crowds of the NRIs to Hail Modi, be it the USA, Australia and now China and South Korea too? Isn’t Adani adding to his wealth abroad now through various agreements signed under the Prime Minister’s eagle eyes in each trip he makes with the Prime Minister? Does Modi think people are blind or dumb not to see the obvious quid pro quo? What was Adani’s worth when the BJP came to rule in Gujarat and how it progressed geometrically since Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001. But Modi is an honest man!
As many as 41 persons supposedly involved in Madhya Pradesh government’s Vyapam scam have died one by one in mysterious circumstances, leading to the obvious inference that those who could lead the investigations to the door step of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan are all being eliminated one by one. The whistle blowers Indore based Dr Anand Rai and Gwalior based Ashish Chaturvedi face threats to their lives and Chaturvedi has faced three attacks on his life. Same is true of Dr Prashant Pandey a forensic expert, the man who discovered the Excel sheet suggesting the chief minister and his family members’ involvement, who has had to flee Madhya Pradesh, fearing the attempts on his life. The names of two RSS leaders, late Sarsanghchalak K C Sudarshan and one time top gun in the Sangh Suresh Soni have cropped up during investigations and Soni has been relieved of his responsibilities, demonstrating Sangh concerns to put up a façade of distancing from the scam. Yet Modi has the chutzpah to announce on a loud speaker in Mathura only the other day that “Bure Din chale gaye.” Hail Modi.
Arun Jaitley, a one time legal adviser to the Ruias, has neatly relieved Vodafone of liabilities worth US $ 2.5 billion (Rs 11000 crore) slapped by the Income tax authorities. But there is no quid pro quo. Vodafone in India is Essar belonging to the Ruias and the Ruias like Surya Bulbs and Lights have been the backbone of BJP’s corporate financing even in early 90s when other Corporate houses were not taking the BJP too seriously. But this does not warrant any charge of corruption. And let us leave it to Kirti Azad to open the can of worms in Delhi District Cricket Association which Jaitely chaired for over a decade. And Jaitley is an honest man.
Wonder what the original suitcase inventor Ram Jethmalani would like to say on Modi’s claim, for after all it was Jethmalani who together with Harshad Mehta held the first press conference to allege that the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao accepted a bribe of Rs one crore from Mehta who carried it in a suitcase. And curiously the BJP under Modi and Amit Shah is now furtively attempting to resurrect and appropriate Narasimha Rao as well. Three cheers to the honest Prime Minister who has moved far beyond suitcases.