Who is corrupt?
Chhatisgarh Minister Brijmohan Agarwal has built an expensive money spinner resort for VIP guests in Chhatisgarh forest by resorting to unchecked loot and plunder of poor tribals’ land. For three days the Indian Express carried this story. First the reporter got to know of only 4.12 hectares of land grabbed by a company called Aditya Srijan Private limited with Agarwal’s son Abhishek and wife Sarita being the directors of the said company. Then they discovered another 13.90 ha and last records show another 26 ha of pristine forest land belonging to poor tribals even forcibly and mostly deceitfully grabbed by Agarwal. But Arnab Goswami of the Republic news channel firmly believes that the Nation DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW about Agarwsal’s scam. Nor does it prick the conscience of Times Now. After all this is not Lalu Yadav or Robert Vadra. What’s the fun?
Agarwal admits that he has been at it since 2008, which means nine years, almost soon after he became a minister in chief minister Raman Singh’s government. Agarwal refused to explain anything to the Indian Express reporter saying, “Right now, there is an environment. After this ends I will give point wise answer. I have asked for many documents. After I get them, I will clear the air. There has been an investigation for eight years, why are notices appearing now?” No outcry in the media or in the BJP and its Government at the Centre or in the state. After all he is no Tejaswai Yadav, who was called upon by Nitish Kumar to immediately clear the air about the allegations.
Agarwal also discloses the embedded nature of our media saying how television channels have gone to the concerned village and the villagers said they are happy that this project is coming up and is bringing development. “We have not put pressure or trouble anyone,” he claimed . But the newspaper interviewed three different people including a widow who clearly say they were either cheated through forgery or simply coerced to sell off their plot of land on which they were doing a little farming to earn a respectable living. But the minister is blasé and says “I have not used my position to get any work done.” That’s it! That is the explanation of the minister and neither Raman Singh, himself involved in thousands of crore rice scam, with son named in Panama papers, seeks to remove Brijmohan Agarwal from his cabinet nor does our supposed squeaky clean Prime Minister Narendra Modi ostensibly crusading against corruption, so much as bats an eyelid. No press conferences by another crusader against corruption, Bihar Deputy chief minister and one of the senior most national leader of the BJP, Sushil Modi. No dismay or shock expressed by one more soldier for probity in public life, a corporate lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad. It does not even register with Nitish Kumar, for whom only the Sangh and Sanghis can be incorruptible.
You never know BJP and Modi might even incentivise Birjmohan Agrwal with further elevation, perhaps as the next chief minister in case Raman Singh is elevated and brought to the Centre. After all Agarwal has not said anything different from M Venkaiah Naidu when it turned out that Naidu’s son’s car selling company was bestowed special favour by the Telangana government for buying scores of Toyota Innovas in one sweep giving as seller’s commission worth crores of rupees. Venkaiah also denied bestowing any favours upon his daughter’s NGO and Modi patted him on the back and fielded him the Vice President candidate and thereby the chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha.
Raman Singh has done much more than Agarwal but not an eyebrow raised. As for the Vayapam scam involving not just Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan,his wife and his secretarial staff, not to forget top leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which ruined the career of thousands of prospective doctors in Madhya Pradesh, where in almost every one who rose to expose or could expose has been systematically eliminated and thus everyone has forgotten.
But why are we talking of Vyapam murders only when the list of cases against UP Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya include Sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. PC) 302 (murder), 120B and 153A conspiracy 188, 147, 148, 153, 153A, 352, 323, 504, 506, 147, 332, 295A, 153A, 353, 186, 504, 147, 332, 147, 332, 420, 465, 467, 171, 353, 380, 148 and 341 in a series of cases including murder, rape, cheating, forgery. You name it and there is not an Indian penal section Keshav Prasad Maurya has not violated. Similarly Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath too has violated the law of the land with impunity with cases of inciting murder, loot, arson and rape, publicly to his Hindutva brigade under sections 506, 307, 147, 148, 297, 336, 504, 295, 153A and 435 were registered against him much before he became the chief minister. But that was all in the service of Hindutva and that was a nationalist act. So no media rushed to confront Maurya or the Yogi on their criminal past. The UP Governor Ram Naik refused to grant sanction against Yogi or Maurya. But when it concerned Azam Khan in the previous regime, he wasted no time, even when a statement by him did not amount to any provocation.
Republic TV Pope Arnab Goswami sends ten reporters to question Shashi Tharoor on his former wife Suananda Pushkar’s death. But he firmly believes THE NATION DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW OF THE VYAPAM SCAM and all the murders linked to this scam all of which lie at the doorstep of the Madhya Pradesh chief minister.. The nation only wants to know of Sunanda Pushkar’s alleged murder. (Alleged by Subramanian Swamy and Arnab Goswami)
The Republic and Times Now have yet again pulled out from his grave that long retired Swedish police constable Sten Lindstorm with some questionable past association with our Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to aid the BJP to resurrect the dead Bofors gun issue to splash some corruption dirt on Sonia Gandhi. BJP South Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi, desperate to become a minister, was prompt enough to take the cue and raise it in the Lok Sabha, exposing who made that parrot Lindstorm speak. Remember since 1999 every time they saw some possibility of Sonia Gandhi emerging as the counter to BJP, they brought in Bofors. Lindstorm is a parrot who has been singing the same tune since 1987. Never mind that the Rajya Sabha records have a speech by Ram Jethmalani, (who once led the Bofors charge against Rajiv Gandhi with daily “TEN QUESTIONS”) wherein he had asked the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao to close the issue and charge the Hinduja brothers, exposed as one of the Bofors payoff beneficiaries, whatever loss the state might have incurred pleading that the Hindujas were willing to pay several times more to bury this. Hindujas, one time big patrons of the BJP are still thriving in Modi regime as well and their Indusind Bank opening branches all over the country.
And what about the Prime Minister himself? Prashant Bhushan, who by no stretch of imagination could have anything to do with the Congress party and even fallen out with AAP and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, gave the cheque numbers of the payoffs made by Sahara group and Aditya Birla to Narenedra Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister and demanded a probe. It was an open and shut case. All the Supreme Court had to do was to verify whether these cheques were really issued and encashed and when and by whom and the truth would have been out. Instead it refused to entertain the petition accusing Bhushan of trying to denigrate and undermine the institution of the Prime Minister. What faith do we have in the institutions when the same Supreme Court let out Saharashri Subrat Roy on a specious plea for a week close to two years ago and the man is still out enjoying full freedom thumbing his nose at our institutions? Is it unfair to see a quid pro quo involving the most sacred institutions here?
The same courts have a different standard for Lalu Yadav. He is corrupt, his wife is corrupt and even his son is corrupt. Never mind if he was not even old enough when the supposed act was committed. But we have to fix Lalu Prasad.
There was a big scandal in Arunachal Pradesh with Union Minister of State for Home Kirren Rijiju’s brother leading a sand mining mafia presenting false bills of transporting stones and sand in trucks while on an inquiry later it was found that the registration numbers turned out to be scooters and motorcycles of their friends and relatives and using his brother’s name to browbeat and influence the officers qustioning him. Remember while campaigning against Lalu on alleged fodder scam Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sushil Kumar Modi had made precisely this allegation that the receipts of the cattle fodder supposedly carried bore the registration numbers of scooters and such other smaller vehicles. So during flood time carrying fodder on two wheelers even bicycles is unheard of for the BJP leaders and the media which went to town on that. But large boulders, stones and sand can be ferried in a scooter dicky or on a motorcycle and there is not even a murmur in the media after Rijiju makes some half-hearted statement defending his backside, because here it is a BJP leader.
Just last week almost immediately after Nitish dumped the Mahagathbandhan the architect of the entire game, Arun Jaitely rushed off to Chennai for his next mission to induct the entire All India Anna DMK, (both factions) into the BJP and the first thing he did upon landing in Chennai was to go and place a wreath at Jayalalaitha’s memorial. Who cares if Jayalaitha was convicted by the Supreme Court on corruption? But Arnab Goswami or Navika Kumar won’t send a single reporter to question Jaitley. Why would they, but why not? unless they are either politically or otherwise compromised to the BJP and this Government. So much for our concern about corruption and probity in public life!