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Statue of a Elephant in a welcome posture was “not a violation” of the model code of conduct.
New Delhi: Refuting allegations that elephant statues installed in Uttar Pradesh resembled its election symbol, the BSP today told the Election Commission the statue of a pachyderm in a welcome posture was “not a violation” of the model code of conduct.
“These elephants standing in welcome posture are an inalienable part of Indian culture and no parallel could be drawn between the statues standing in welcome posture and the party symbol,” it said in its submission before the EC.
Earlier, three petitions filed before the EC alleged that Mayawati government had deliberately installed several statues of elephants at various memorials for Dalit icons in the state.
The party in its reply also took a dig at the Congress, saying the leaders of the party with its election symbol of ‘hand’ embraces everyone by waving hands.
“Now, the waving hands are nothing but waving hands for the purpose of misappropriation of the national resources for the benefit of political party Congress at the cost of public exchequer,” it charged.
It argued that if its ‘elephant’ is being objected to, then by those standards “the BJP being a national political party cannot be permitted to use ‘lotus’ as its political symbol so as to directly connect it with the religious mythology and affect the mind of the electorate on a permanent basis”.
Talking to reporters after submitting the reply to the EC, BSP general secretary SC Mishra said the petitions seeking to freeze the election symbol of the party was “not maintainable as the points raised by the petitioners are baseless”.
Mishra alleged that “the petitions were not in public interest and were motivated by political parties which were feeling insecure due to BSP’s growing stature”.
He said the EC listened to arguments and has given two weeks time to all the parties involved in the case to file their submissions.
The party submitted that the petition against it should be rejected.
BSP had filed a similar reply before the poll panel in August 2009.
Woman leaders join forces to stall quota bill
Two powerful women joined the ranks of saboteurs of the Women’s
Reservation Bill in its original form, thus torpedoing Congress’ bid
to push the legislation to provide for 33 per cent quota for women in
central and state legislatures during the budget session of
At the end of an all-party meeting convened on Monday by Leader of the
House in the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee to evolve a consensus on the
Bill, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Bahujan Samaj Party
supremo Mayawati made certain suggestions that, in essence, will
jeopardise the fate of the gender empowerment legislation.
At the meeting and outside, Banerjee insisted on a sub-quota for
Muslim women in the Bill, echoing the stand that other opposing
parties such as Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and Lalu
Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal have always taken on the Bill.
Mayawati’s party demanded that instead of invading the already
existing quota for SC/STs in Parliament and state legislatures, the
Bill should provide for quota for Dalit women over and above the
The two woman leaders in effect set in motion the process for
derailment of the Bill by respectively joining the demand for minority
quota and, on the BSP’s part, introducing a new element in the already
existing chaos over the Bill.
On behalf of Mayawati, BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan said: “We will
not be in a position to support the Bill.” He said the BSP believed in
the principle of “jiski jitni hissedari uski utni bhagidari
(reservation should be in proportion to population). ” That meant as
opposed to what is proposed in the Bill, i.e. onethird reservation
even in the seats reserved for SC/STs by rotation, the BSP’s demand is
to let the reserved seats remain untouched and, in the legislation
proposing reservation for women, provide additional reservation to
Dalit women over and above the existing reserved seats.
To mobilise support for its stand, the BSP, fighting a turf war with
the Congress, has decided to hold dharnas across Uttar Pradesh on
Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14, its leader in the Lower House said.
In the face of such strident opposition, supporters of the Bill tried
to dwell on alternative ways of finding consensus.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj apparently
witnessed the mood at the meeting and told Mukherjee that it would
perhaps not be such a bad idea to consider alternative ways of pushing
“Why not look at the Election Commission proposal as well?” she
reportedly told Mukherjee.
The EC’s proposal regarding women’s reservation makes it incumbent on
political parties to give one-third tickets to women.
Having let the government know that the BJP is willing to support the
Bill in any form, Swaraj decided to make her position clear publicly
as well. “We support the Bill. We have already said we are opposed to
using marshals in the Lower House and suggested alternative strategies
for its passage. But we are completely opposed to quota within quota.
If the government wants to consider the EC’s proposal, we are open to
it,” said Swaraj.
Swaraj later refuted any suggestion that the BJP was changing its
stand. “What I said today was a reiteration of our stand in the
Standing Committee. There is no change,” she said.
The CPM suggested that if, after the passage of the Bill, the
government brings a proposal to give quotas to minorities, the Left
parties will not oppose it.
Though the CPM has been a staunch supporter of the Bill in its
original form, CPM politburo member Brinda Karat added a new dimension
saying if the government wants to give a subquota for backward Muslim
women, she was okay with it.
She, however, made it clear that if such a measure would lead to
further delay on the Bill, then the party is not for it.
“We have stated our position on the Bill when it came up in the RS.
Our stand remains the same and we will continue to press for the
passage of the Bill in the current session of LS itself,” Karat said.
All these suggestions could effectively mean that the Bill may get
derailed at least in the remaining part of the budget session when
Parliament reconvenes after the recess on April 15. The government, on
its part, maintained that it will convene more all- party meetings to
arrive at a consensus on the Bill.
Congress sources rejected all such demands and ideas saying that they
are “clear attempts at sabotage”. A senior party leader said, “It’s a
can of worms; they are not constructive suggestions.
It is a clear attempt to scuttle the Bill. The nature of objections is
not to let the Bill pass on some pretext or the other.” In the absence
of a consensus -with SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD boss Lalu
Prasad and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav sticking to their stand of a
sub-quota for backward and Muslim women and the BSP and the Trinamool
also opposing the Bill in its present form - Mukherjee decided to
convene another meeting to discuss the Bill.
Where the pro-and anti-quota parties stand
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has come out in favour of
sub-quota for minorities in the women’s Bill. She had earlier
abstained during the passage of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
The government had hoped to persuade her to drop her stand against the
Bill in its present form, but has clearly failed.
RJD, SP, JD(U)
The Yadav troika of the three parties has raised several objections to
stall the Bill.
They argue it will benefit only elite women; want sub- quota for SC/
STs, OBCs and minorities; say the rotation formula will leave only 50%
seats for men; and suggest that instead of reserving seats, it should
be mandatory for parties to give tickets to women.
It is in favour of a separate quota for SC/ST women over and above the
proposed 33 per cent reservation for women. Party chief Mayawati is
against the provision for reserving only 33 per cent seats for women
in the Lok Sabha and assemblies. She says the reservation should be in
proportion to the population
It supports the Bill and is against quota within quota. But the party
says it will not support the use of marshals to remove the dissenting
MPs, as the government did in Rajya Sabha.
Sushma Swaraj also said the party could support former CEC MS Gill’s
formula of parties giving tickets to women, marking a shift from its
The Left party is a champion of the cause of women’s reservation.
The party supports the Bill in its current form. MP Brinda Karat said
on Monday that the party could consider supporting introduction of
quota within quota if the government came up with a firm proposal, but
at no cost would it accept further delay.
The Congress was stone Hearted for 63 years ! Now they have realise that next Ms. Mayawati will be the next Prime Minister and that there would not be any fund crunch to implement RTE which is the Constitutional Right. If the congress was really interested in implementing the same, they would not have put the burden on the State Government.They are also scared if it is implemented, the untouchables would get educated and empower the SC STs as desired by the father of the Constitution.
by R. Upadhyay
“I would go to the length of giving the whole congress a decent burial, rather than put up with the corruption that is rampant.” — Mahatma Gandhi May 1939
This was the outburst of Mahatma Gandhi against rampant corruption in Congress ministries formed under 1935 Act in six states in the year 1937. The disciples of Gandhi however, ignored his concern over corruption in post-Independence India, when they came to power. Over fifty years of democratic rule has made the people so immune to corruption that they have learnt how to live with the system even though the cancerous growth of this malady may finally kill it. The recent Tehelka episode surcharged the political atmosphere of the country but it hardly exposed anything, that was unknown to the people of this biggest democratic polity.
Politicians are fully aware of the corruption and nepotism as the main reasons behind the fall of Roman empire, the French Revolution, October Revolution in Russia, fall of Chiang Kai-Shek Government on the mainland of China and even the defeat of the mighty Congress party in India. But they are not ready to take any lesson from the pages of history.
The history of corruption in post-Independence India starts with the Jeep scandal in 1948, when a transaction concerning purchase of jeeps for the army needed for Kashmir operation was entered into by V.K.Krishna Menon, the then High Commissioner for India in London with a foreign firm without observing normal procedure. Contrary to the demand of the opposition for judicial inquiry as suggested by the Inquiry Committee led by Ananthsayanam Ayyangar, the then Government announced on September 30, 1955 that the Jeep scandal case was closed. Union Minister G.B.Pant declared “that as far as Government was concerned it has made up its mind to close the matter. If the opposition was not satisfied they can make it an election issue.” Soon after on February 3,1956 Krishna Menon was inducted into the Nehru cabinet as minister without portfolio.
In 1950, A.D.Gorwala, an eminent civil servant was asked by Government of India to recommend improvements in the system of governance. In his report submitted in 1951 he made two observations: “One, quite a few of Nehru’s ministers were corrupt and this was common knowledge. Two, even a highly responsible civil servant in an official report as early as 1951 maintained that the Government went out of its way to shield its ministers” (Report on Public Administration, Planning Commission, Government of India 1951)
Corruption charges in cases like Mudgal case (1951), Mundra deals (1957-58), Malaviya-Sirajuddin scandal (1963), and Pratap Singh Kairon case (1963) were levelled against the Congress ministers and Chief Ministers but no Prime Minister resigned.
The Santhanam Committee, which was appointed by the Government in 1962 to examine the issue of corruption in its report submitted in 1964 observed: “There is widespread impression that failure of integrity is not uncommon among ministers and that some ministers, who have held office during the last sixteen years have enriched themselves illegitimately, obtained good jobs for their sons and relations through nepotism and have reaped other advantages inconsistent with any notion of purity in public life.”
The following comments of Nehru on the memorandum of charges against Pratap Singh Kairon submitted to the President of India by the non-Communist opposition in Punjab suggest his approach on corruption - “The question thus arises as to whether the chief minister is compelled to resign because of adverse findings on some questions of fact by Supreme Court. The ministers are collectively responsible to the legislature. Therefore, the matter was one, which concerned the assembly. As a rule therefore, the question of removing a minister would not arise unless the legislature expressed its wish by a majority vote.” (Pathology of Corruption by S.S.Gill)
Thus, we find that while Nehru’s tolerance of corruption among his ministers legitimized this malady, his daughter Indira Gandhi institutionalized it by holding both the posts of the Prime Minister and party president. By doing so she was herself controlling the party funds, which gave birth to the money power in politics. The famous V.P.Malhotra (Chief Cashier of State Bank of India) case in which he got a telephone call believing from Indira Gandhi to pay Rs,60 lakhs to one Nagarwal remained a mystery. Corruption cases like Fairfax, HBJ Pipeline, and HDW Submarine deal came up since then. The famous Bofor’s deal is well known. Narsimha Rao was the first Prime Minister being prosecuted in corruption charges. Cases like Rs.2500 crore -Airbus A-320 deal with France involving kickback (1990), Harshad Mehta security scam (1992), Gold Star Steel and Alloys controversy (1992), JMM bribery case, Hawala scam of Rs. 65 crore and Urea scam (1996) also came up during the period of Narsimha Rao Government.
Criminalisation of politics is another facet of corruption. N.N.Vohra, Union Home Secretary in his report (1995) on this issue observed:- “A network of mafias is virtually running a parallel Government pushing the state apparatus into irrelevance. Quoting some ‘DIB’ sources, he added, “….there has been a rapid spread and growth of criminal gangs, armed senas, drug mafias, smuggling gangs and economic lobbies in the country, which have over the years developed an intensive network of contacts with bureaucrats, government functionaries at local level, politicians, media persons and strategically located individuals in non-state sector. Some of these syndicates have also international linkages including the foreign agencies.”
Against the above-discussed historical background of corruption during last fifty years, the only contribution of Tehelka is that the exposure has forfeited the right of the BJP to claim itself to be a party with difference. So long the BJP was in opposition, it was by and large known as a party with moral integrity, but when it aligned with the political leaders with shady background for the sake of power, the malady of corruption infected this party too. Once the moral integrity is compromised it opens the door of corruption. Perhaps the BJP leadership deliberately went for ideological compromise for capturing power at centre. L.K.Advani put the responsibility on middle class when he reacted to a suggestion by an important ex-National Executive member of the party against the “dubious coalition politics”. Advani reportedly said: “ The middle class does not like compromises and tends to be idealistic. At the same time, it is unhappy if we lose power. It wants power as well as ideological integrity. This is the dilemma of the party”. ( Inside BJP by Dr. Jay Dubashi published in Times of India dated March 22,2001). Advani might have philosophised the situation but he cannot escape from the responsibility for the ideological compromise the BJP made for the sake of power.
Corruption is an abstract term. According to World Bank report 1997 abuse of public power for private gains is described as corruption. But this appears to be too simplistic explanation of corruption. In fact it is a multi-faceted evil, which gradually kills a system. A basic conflict between the ethos and system has weakened the Indian polity. The feudal outlook of the ruling class polluted the people’s mindset, which judge the status of an individual on his capability to flout the law to favour them. This is the reason why corruption is no more viewed by people with abhorrence in Indian society. Leaders like Laloo, Jayalalitha, Sukhram and others, who are facing corruption charges, continue to have wide range of people’s support. Transparency, responsiveness, accountability, probity in public life and good governance are now only slogans. The legislature has failed to make the judiciary, executive and even media sensitive to the cause of the common people. The failure of the political leadership to take a principled stand against corruption has clouded the system to the extent that it is now difficult to understand whether the system is alive or dead.
In the present context corruption is so much linked with power that our politicians have adopted a cynical attitude toward political morality. Maneuvering the anti-defection law for electoral politics with the help of both money and muscle power and other unfair means for the sake of power have affected the political morality of all the political parties and as such none of them can claim themselves to be faithful to nation in true sense. It was pathetic to see an excellent orator of congress struggling to brush away the past of the congress in the recent “Big fight” programme of Star TV.
The collapse of the Janata Party Government (1977-80), fall of V.P.Singh and Chandrashekhar Government (1990-91), turning his minority Government into majority by Narsimha Rao, split in Telugu Desam Party (1994), defection of Ajit Singh with his supporters to Congress (1993), defection of S.S.Vaghela from BJP, maneuvering defection by Kalyan Singh to keep the BJP led Government in power in UP are some of examples to prove that a sizeable number of our politicians are not immune to corruption.