For once, the chinks in the Congress armour are out in the open. With Rahul Gandhi’s trashing of the ordinance hurried pushed by the UPA government to protect convicted legislators from the earlier Supreme Court order, it is more than evident that there is hardly any inner-party consensus over the sensitive issue within Congress itself. Ironically enough, it is Rahul Gandhi who is right and once again it seems that despite all the accusations of dynasty appeasement, it is the Gandhi family that turns out to be the conscience-keeper of the party, be it in its insistence on the pro-people bills such as food security or land acquisition bills, or the current criticism of the ordinance that seeks to keep convicted MPs and MLAs in their office despite being convicted and awarded at least a two-year prison sentence. Rahul’s labeling the order as ‘complete nonsense’ is akin to calling the spade a spade and it is perhaps commendable on the part of the young leader to come out with the words. Nevertheless, the absolute disarray that the Congress party is in at present is now out in the open, not only in the government’s ill-advised venture to bring in the ordinance, but also in its persistent efforts to block the apex court’s endeavour’s to cleanse our national politics of rampant corruption and crminalisation. It must be remembered at this juncture that the government has also recently blocked the recommendation seeking to bring the financial source of six major political parties under the Right To Information Act, citing that the move might jeopardise the parties’ efforts at garnering funds and the disclosures could be used to destabilise party activities. Along with the present recourse to bring in the ordinance negating the SC’s verdict that convicted leaders be disqualified from participating in active politics, the move to keep the parties out of the ambit of RTI clearly establish that the Congress and other political organisations that opposed the orders have much to hide, which the two orders could have brought out in the open.
It is intriguing that the young Gandhi scion has displayed extraordinary courage by debunking the ordinance, which was cleared by the union cabinet only recently. In fact, even President Pranab Mukherjee has been public about his uncertainty regarding the ordinance, which was aimed at keeping the criminals within politics. When juxtaposed with the recent spate of closures of cases by the CBI, it becomes transparent that politics, the way it is carried out in this country, is anything but the realm of criminals and scamsters, with barely one or two individuals who can claim that they do not have a stake in keeping the status quo. Moreover, it is a shame that the UPA government, despite a slew of corruption charges against even some of its top ministers, continues to rule the country, and resorts to undo any step that is taken by the judiciary towards cleaning our political system of the growing weight of muck that threatens to crush it under its weight. So, it is obvious that while on the one hand, the CBI, which the SC had rightly dubbed a ‘caged parrot’, had been instructed by its political masters to bring to abrupt halt the pending cases against cabinet ministers such as Sushilkumar Shinde, or allies such as Mulayam Singh Yadav, on the other, the government seeks to rid the potential ‘victims’ of the SC order by clearing the ordinance. In this way, not only does the Congress-led UPA hang the proverbial carrots before the allies and protects its ministers, it also keeps its fortress of corruption-laden MPs and MLAs intact, statistics be damned. Strangely enough, it took the relatively inexperienced party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to point out the utter baselessness of the ordinance, and the dwindling public faith in the pinnacle of democracy, our Parliament.