Thursday, December 15, 2011

The silly political games of the BJP and Congress

The BJP has not much of political imagination. The emphasis on black money -- senior party leader L.K.Advani moved an adjournment motion on it -- was one of those dead stories of Indian economy, which has been there for decades now. To argue that once the black monet that Indians put away in Swiss banks brought back, it can be used to develop the Indian villages really reveals the poverty of politics in this country of immature politics.  Education is not important for the BJP, cities are not important for this party, and creation of jobs does not find a place on the BJP radar. So the Congress can get away with doing little or nothing in these matters.

Today BJP's Yashwant Sinha has come up with an issue that home minister P.Chidambaram tried to help a former client against there are cases of forgery by asking the home ministry to tell the Delhi government to withdraw the first information reports (FIRs) filed in 2001 and 2003 and the cases are pending in a court. Of course, like a good politician Sinha gave one side of the story.

The government on its side gave out that Chdiambaram did not ask his ministry to direct Delhi government to withdraw the case. All that the union ministry seemed to have done is to attach the opinion of the ministry of law and justice along with the petition seeking withdrawal from the accused, S.P.Gupta.

Of course, the initial reaction of the government was to say that it is difficult for a senior lawyer to remember all his clients. It was a silly explanation. The more important was the simple fact that he did not ask for any pro-active intervention from the ministry for his former client.

When Sinha was asked whether there was any legal remedy instead of picking it up as a political tactic, Sinha argued that as a politician it was his right to raise the issue in parliament and that he does not have to go to a court to make his point.

Home ministry's clarification that no such direction was issued to Delhi government, whatever its internal flaws much too late. And government did not make the clarification in parliament.

Perhaps Chidambaram is on a sticky wicket. But that is not important enough to make a hue and cry about. Not from a party that prides itself being a national party. Targeting Chidambaram might be a fair political game -- no quarter need be given to a rival -- but this diversion cannot pass for a matter of national importance.

Parliament needs to discuss more national issues and bringing down Chidambaram, however politically legitimate, cannot be elevated to a national agenda.

Congress deserves to be thrown out of office. It has dug its own grave. But if the BJP were to zero in on non-issues like black money and indiscretions of Chidambaram, then the country can only throw up its hands in political despair.

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