Political scenario of today’s India, as one can witness, is heating up day by day with rival parties positioning themselves in the combat mode at the outset of crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In a desperate attempt to hide its failures in the last four-year regime, the BJP government is trying to conceal its policies turned fiasco — be it the demonetisation, GST, Kashmir issue, corruption, petrol prices, or its pet issue Ram Mandir. In 2014 general elections, the saffron brigade campaigned against its rival party Congress, raking up core issues such as fuel prices, jobs, infrastructure, growth, development, and corruption. The exuberant claims of PM Modi to investigate in 2G scams, coal scams, and bringing back money from Swiss accounts turned futile over the years while Congress got a consolation and rejuvenation after its victories in five states elections. While the plethora of scams has bugged this country in recent years with resurfacing Rafale issue, now the winds are changing adversely against Modi’s NDA.
The Rafale deal has triggered a political controversy and has tainted NDA government’s image; it seems that the ruling party bypassed a number of relevant institutional mechanisms to divert from these important questions around the issue.
While BJP is trying to position Vadra as the Black Sheep of the Congress family, other relative parties are jumping to support the Congress and its black sheep. While BJP is trying to encash Priyanka Gandhi’s political entry as the dynasty ruling in her favour, Gandhi could be fatal to the Modi brigade and may lead to the political nemesis of NDA govt.
Congress MLA Satej Patil stated, “Congress has won in the last three states elections with full majority and somewhere the poll result has created a fear among Modi brigade and that led to the allegations against Vadra. The whole nation has witnessed how PM Modi is misusing the CBI and their strategy won’t affect Congress and we will face the issue with full confidence.”
While Modi government hyped about zero tolerance against corruption before and after the 2014 elections, all his rhetorical promises turned futile as many corrupt leaders from various other parties found their heaven with the NDA government. In 2017, Narada sting case accused Mukul Roy (TMC) joined BJP with flying colours, former union minister in UPA government Sukhram’s son Anil Sharma too joined BJP who is facing charges of involvement in a Telecom scam. Guwahati Water scam accused Himanta Biswa Sarma from Assam too joined BJP in 2015. Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu who is facing charges of corruption and criminal conspiracies has joined BJP, and former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane, who is allegedly involved in money laundering cases, too has joined BJP.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetty asked whether the government was sleeping so far and further asserted, “Both the CBI and ED are being misused and with the investigation against Robert Vadra, the central government is trying to blackmail Congress before the general elections.”
Congress has gained ground on Rafael scam and is consistently trying to now entangle BJP by harping about how the Modi government has compromised national interests and national security in this deal.
Welfare Party of India Maharashtra President Saleem M Shaikh told the paper, “The sudden process of interrogating Robert Vadra is a revengeful act by the BJP; we have also seen how the central government misused independent agencies like CBI recently in Kolkata. The BJP is concerned about losing votes in the Lok Sabha elections as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is now active in politics.”
While BJP is wary of Priyanka Gandhi’s recent entry in the Congress which can change the winds of Indian politics in the next five years, the BJP in return has created controversy surrounding the alleged land dealings of Robert Vadra, which freshly resurfaced last week with a series of investigative reports. Vadra has consistently been in the news right from 2013 when Delhi CM Kejriwal accused him of land deals in Haryana. BJP has been targeting him before and after 2014 elections, accusing him to have connections with Dubai based NRI businessman CC Thampi who was questioned by ED under land fraud case (FEMA). The ED has recently informed the court that it has received information about ownership of 1.9 million pounds of undisclosed assets abroad allegedly belonging to Vadra. Since the last couple of days, Vadra is facing ED enquiry.
BJP MP Ashok Nete emphasised, “The allegation that ED questioning Vadra is a BJP strategy to corner Congress after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry into active politics is groundless. Investigative agencies are probing allegations against Vadra and the recent interrogations are a part of it. Robert Vadra has been involved in many fraudulent activities and Congress accusing Modi and the central government of tricking ‘innocent Vadra’ into the cases is unreasonable.”
Vadra has repeatedly denied charges against him and now Priyanka Gandhi too has stood strong to support her husband amidst these fresh happenings.
The Congress has consistently been accusing the BJP government of misusing agencies such as ED and CBI to launch a political vendetta against its party leaders. The Congress sees the Rafale controversy as an opportunity to defeat the plans of BJP juggernauts whereas the relentless attacks by the Congress seem to have upset the BJP’s plans.
Another BJP ally RPI’s National General Secretary Avinash Mahatekar said, “The ongoing investigations against Robert Vadra are not because of the approaching general elections. Oppositions are falsely alleging it as the election propaganda of the central government to put Congress under pressure. Congress always attacks PM Modi saying that he is in a revenge-spree; however, all his decisions are for the welfare of the country. Investigations further will prove if Vadra is innocent or not but nobody can stop the investigation”.
Despite the dwindling economy and lesser jobs, the government is back on its communal agenda to gain political mileage and the Congress too has rewritten its ideological agenda and has opened entry gates from the broad spectrum of secular politics to the soft Hinduism to counter the BJP surge in the country.
However, the irony is that all these political parties, rather than concentrating on basic issues like population-control, poverty alleviation, eradication of illiteracy, generation of jobs, the growth of the industry, agriculture etc, are focusing on insignificant issues to gain political benefits.