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Old conundrum on nailing Vadra

It seems the lion of Gujarat roars only when an election is staring at his party’s face, whether for national or assembly legislatures. While the much-touted roar of Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought back the ghost of Robert Vadra and his alleged land deals with private construction giant DLF that were cleared by Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Haryana state government, what, pray, have been the reasons for the four-month-long silence on the PM’s part? Modi’s attack on the Hoodas and Chautalas and the general climate of proximity with Sonia Gandhi-led Congress is well taken, but its timing is suspect.

Even in April 2014, when the Lok Sabha election campaign was at its peak, Modi, raising the BJP pitch against institutional corruption and the dirty hands of Congress-led UPA government in ensuring that, had uttered the ‘V-word’ a number of times. In fact, it was both the Vadra issue and Rahul Gandhi’s absolute inaptitude as a veritable face and chief campaigner of the Congress that had made Priyanka Gandhi Vadra join the fray in the last minute. However, Modi and his team have been more or less silent on the issue after the BJP came to power riding the NaMo wave and the strong anti-incumbency tide against the UPA-II regime. Why is it that Modi has remembered the allegations against the Gandhi son-in-law only when Haryana is about to go to polls barely a week from now?

It is important to note that the point Modi has raised in his Haryana rally speech is well-founded. Indeed the Hooda government has restored the land to Vadra that was cancelled by IAS officer Ashok Khemka, after the former couldn’t be proved guilty in court of law. Modi’s appeal to the Election Commission to probe this alleged ‘violation’ of the Model Code of Conduct by the Haryana Congress, naturally as a pre-poll sop to the Gandhi family, while being perfectly legitimate, needs to be seen in the current context. Much like his assurances to ensures probes in alleged CBI chiefs’ links with the hawala operator and tainted meat-seller Moin Qureshi, his drumbeats on Vadra would die down after the poll process is over. But doesn’t that set a wrong precedent? And why should Modi, now the Prime Minister of India, still be stepping into his acerbic campaigner shoes and don the old divisive mantle? It’s not ethically right to have the PM rally around for his party candidates simply because BJP doesn’t have any other charismatic leader who could pull off a poll campaign on his own.      

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