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Millennium Post

His moral call

The Supreme Court has though made it clear that lawmakers with criminal antecedents need not be disqualified from their official posts as ministers but has also given the Prime Minister the right to take a call on whether such tainted politicians should be allowed to continue being a part of the government or not. By allowing the Prime Minister to take a decision on a matter so sensitive is a clear departure from the times when the judiciary came out all guns blazing. However, the complexities for Narendra Modi have only risen. If we look at the data that has been presented by the Association for Democratic Reforms, there are at least 13 ministers in the Union Cabinet with criminal cases lodged against them. At least eight of them have had a serious brush with law’s ‘amoral’ side.  Some such tainted ministers hold important portfolios and are in charge of framing and consolidating fresh legislation.

It is evident that the Prime Minister has been burdened with a rather sensitive task, which if left only in the hands of the executive, could intensify the problems of corruption and nepotism within the system. The top elected leader cannot for a moment afford to forget that the country has placed its faith in his ability to rise and shine above the moral and criminal turpitudes plaguing many in political circles. The Prime Minster should ideally uphold the values of democracy and established norms of good governance and drive away such ministers from the government. However, there also exists a grave risk that if he takes such a decision, he would push the government in deep crisis. Since his personal morality will now decide political fortunes, discretion on his part will be keenly watched in these trying times.

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