No dirty hand in your poll pie
It is interesting that union minister Kabil Sibal doesn’t flinch before pointing a finger towards the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, accusing the latter of using black money in this grand and lavish poll campaigns, even as the Congress party, of which the minister is a member, stops short at accepting the recommendations of the Election Commission to instill a framework of transparency in the funding process. While Sibal raises pious eyebrows at Modi’s spending over Rs 10-15 crores on his stadiums, and several crores more over the marquee and other extravagant facility that are awe-inspiring at one level and bullishly headstrong on the other, what has his own party done to ensure frugality as far as poll drives are concerned? In fact, the Congress has not even embraced the transparency and accountability campaigns launched by the EC and the office of the chief information commission, that wanted the parties disclose their sources of funding so that they may be available to the public as part of Right to Information Act. Moreover, given the fact that both the Congress and the BJP are equally responsible for violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, in their acceptance of donations from subsidiaries of multinational firms, the union minister is clearly not telling the whole story.
Naturally, those living in glass houses must not throw stones at others, unless they change the ingredients of their walls. Whether laws are effected to curb the wide-ranging practice of accepting donations from foreign contributors, indirectly amounting to lobbying, pressuring the political fraternity to enter the nefarious circuits of business-corporate nexus, the minister should have first looked at the reflection of his party on the mirror. Even though the EC has decided to ignore the Congress’ reservations about a proposal to change the monitoring of funding for political parties, the party members themselves have not taken cognizance of the tides in the ocean of swelling public antipathy towards them. In the wake of the assembly and national elections, what should remain paramount is the interest of the people and the voters and the political leaders should focus on ensuring a good manifesto instead of indulging in mutual bickering.