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Millennium Post

On graft, Congress as hollow as ever

Once again, Congress party’s stance on corruption has been proved to be nothing but bogus rhetoric. At least 30 per cent of the declared candidates belonging to the grand old party have tainted pasts, with several of them undergoing CBI probes or trials in various courts of India. Names like Ashok Chavan (former Maharashtra chief minister a prime accused in the Adarsh Society housing scam), Pawan Bansal (former union railway minister, whose alleged involvement in cash-for-post scam in railways continues to dog supporters, as well as Madhusudan Mistry, Veerappa Moily, Shashi Tharoor, among others have not only been fielded, but, in fact, been given prime constituencies of their choice. Despite batting for anti-graft legislations in public, the Gandhi family-led Congress party has defended its pick of contestants despite the swelling tide of anti-incumbency built upon anti-corruption sentiments in the country. Most of these contenders are sitting on a mountain of scandals and fraudulence cases, but evidently that is nothing to prevent them from reentering the poll fray, that too with full party support. While Mistry has been fielded from Vadodara to take on the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi himself, Bansal has been gifted the Chandigarh seat, much to the consternation of relatively honest party insiders like Manish Tiwari, who has now opted out of the race. Chavan has been fielded from Nanded. All this despite strong recommendations from the Election Commission to maintain model code of conduct and the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi doing an elaborate public pantomime trying to come down heavily on corrupt politicians.

The Congress charade over anti-graft regulations is in stark contrast to the actual practice of replaying its old war horses, most of whom are neck deep in scams, with enormous stakes in nefarious circuits of money laundering, illegal mining and illicit businesses of all kinds. Evidently, being stuck in a cleft stick over the great corruption debate does not in the least deter Congress from fielding someone like Suresh Kalmadi, the architect of the massive 2010 Commonwealth Games scam. It is obvious that Congress does not have very many honest and clean contenders in its pocket, given that nepotism and sycophancy are the only way to get ahead in the rat race that characterises its intra-party politics.
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