13 October 2017


Isaac GomesThe track record of the two leading political parties in India has shown that whichever party is in power, there is a quantum jump in the financial health of the kith and kin of the ruling party honchos. This is the phenomenon both in the Centre and the States.  We have seen a number of instances. But it becomes an eyesore when the present dispensation which champions Swachh and Mukt (Corruption-free) Bharat takes up cudgels, instead of clearing the air in the first instance, when  skeptics question the meteoric rise of some of its own people. The pertinent editorial in the Telegraph Kolkata, makes a clinical analysis of this dual standard.  Isaac Gomes, Asso. Editor, Church Citizens' Voice.


    'Have Documents? Go To Court': Amit Shah Rejects Allegations Against Son Jay Shah

     Jay Shah (right), BJP chief Amit Shah's son, has rejected allegations of financial impropriety. (NDTV)


The philosopher's stone no longer belongs to the realm of myth. Some cynics are suggesting that the son of the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party is in possession of the magical object with the golden touch. What else, the sceptics are asking, can explain the exponential rise in the annual turnover of a firm owned by Amit Shah's son, Jay Amitbhai Shah, soon after 2014, the year the latter's father became the party chief and Narendra Modi became the prime minister? An investigation carried out by a news portal has found that the company's turnover rose by as much as 16,000 times in one year. In response, Mr Jay Amitbhai Shah has filed a criminal defamation case against the portal. The truth of the matter should be established in a court of law, and after a fair investigation. This is par for the course. Why is the BJP, which claims that it is untainted unlike the Congress, then betraying signs of nerves? The home minister has already ruled out the need for an inquiry since the charges are " baseless", even though the BJP has been quick to demand investigations into purported misdeeds of some Opposition leaders. An impressive lineup of ministers has been asked — or is ' ordered' the correct expression? — to defend the accused.

The additional solicitor- general, Tushar Mehta, has also been drafted in for the purpose. Incidentally, Mr Mehta is said to have requested the law ministry to give him the necessary permission a couple of days before the story became a part of the public domain. The law does not prevent the senior law officer from taking up the case, but it is certainly not the convention for a government to encourage the additional solicitor- general to defend a private citizen. The BJP seems to be emulating the Congress, which, too, had eagerly defended Robert Vadra against alleged improprieties.

It is not as if sycophancy or profiteering is unknown in India. Corruption had led to the downfall of the United Progressive Alliance, opening the doors of power for the BJP. The BJP's present discomfiture has perhaps to do with its lofty pledges on integrity and transparency. It has in the prime minister a watchman apparently committed to prevent such transgressions. This carefully orchestrated campaign of incorruptibility has now come under strain. The economy is stuttering; it needs to be fixed before the next elections.

Additionally, the BJP would now have to protect near and dear ones from damaging conjecture.



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