After grilling and lodging cases against NCP’s Bhujbals, now BJP has trained its gun on Congress’s Chavan. Through this step, they are weakening the opposition by prosecuting the previous government’s ‘suspected’ scamsters. Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has given permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the controversial Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society scam, which is again a clear case of political vindictiveness by the BJP. The decision to allow CBI to prosecute Chavan in Adarsh case is illegal. Anyway, he is challenging it in the Supreme Court. On November 8, 2010, Chavan had to resign as chief minister following charges of corruption and nepotism in the allocation of flats in the 31 storey Adarsh Society building at Colaba in Mumbai. However, Chavan had denied the charges and later ensured that close relatives of his who had applied for flats withdrew their applications.
The Adarsh Commission report which was partially accepted by the government in December 2014, has indicted several top bureaucrats, politicians and defense persons. Originally, conceived as a six storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and widows, Adarsh was accorded additional Floor Space Index, taking the total number of flats to 102.
The list of violations includes cases of 22 benami flats. There was no environmental clearance for the scheme. The Adarsh CHS had never applied to the Ministry of Environment and Forests for Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance through the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority. Environmental clearance is mandatory as the land for the residential structure falls in CRZ- 11 category. Important considerations such as traffic congestion were ignored. Prakash Peth Marg was not in the public interest but intended to serve the interests of the private housing society (Adarsh). It points to procedural violations in modifications of the development plan. Rules were flouted to accord higher Floor Space Index. The decision to raise the height of the building to 97.60 m as per the recommendations of High Rise Committee was improper.
Apart from the administrative and procedural violations, there was the ad hoc manner in which flats were allocated to members. The Adarsh commission pointed that, “The procedure followed by the Adarsh CHS for proposing the names for its membership was arbitrary and it lacked transparency, giving scope for nepotism and favouritism.”
A strong bias for promoting, and defending one’s political party is witnessed in all the deliberations. To cite an instance, we are yet to plumb the truth behind the shameful wads of currencies displayed in the floor of the Parliament, which was alleged to have been parted with, to save the government. Dearth of space in certain localities ends up with burying one coffin above the other. So, the successive scams in India. The Hindu’s often more than visible policy of treating Muslims as a separate category is no less than pervert. The parliament does have so little representation of northeast citizenry, so few ministers from that part of the country.
Today’s politicians are only fascinated in their re-election. This is the reason why they are not true representatives of the people of this country. The overexcited talks in the assembly could still be tolerated if the topics were related to upliftment of the society or economic standing of the country. Instead, the discussions are mostly personal and targeted towards individual members. So, is the recent fuss about the former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Ministers should rather concentrate on constructive talks and bring up good fights for pending bills.
Fresh example has been the row over a cartoon of Ambedkar created almost 66 years back. What a shame! Our politicians are worried that the minds of the children will be maligned by these cartoons in their textbooks. They should know that nobody had noticed this as a felony before the row. These kinds of inappropriate debates have been the landmark of both the houses for over years which have done nothing but wasted time of the whole country. We should be proud of sixty years of Parliamentary democracy with all its limitations. In this context, we are reminded of the fact that our constitution has made the state very powerful and to get control of the state, politicians want power. All political parties have, therefore, one common goal: To rule. To get power to rule, the politicians are ready to go any level, disregard age-old conventions, to break rules. This must change. Hence when we celebrate 66 years of Parliamentary democracy, let us make united efforts to make our democracy more relevant for the largest majority of India’s poor. We must learn to debate, express dissent fearlessly and move forward.