Politik-ing!

Is The Opposition Creating a Banana Republic ?

The grouse of the Opposition against the government is its alleged misuse of the government institutions. To me this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. This insidious agenda began in the aftermath of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls by the opposition parties.

The Bahujan Samaj Party headed by Mayawati considered to be a political heavy weight in the state of Uttar Pradesh put in an abysmal performance reaching a low of 19 seats out a total of 403. Unable to digest the humiliating loss she raked up the issue of alleged malfunctioning and tampering of the EVMs. This started the murky saga of the Opposition attacking and abusing public institutions.

It began with the Election Commission of India being targeted over the malfunctioning and hacking of EVMs. Today they are throwing muck at every institution possible. Even the Supreme Court was not spared. The consequences of this mudslinging episode has found these constitutional bodies in a pincer attack between the opposition and government while the CBI finds itself amidst a raging inferno.

Let us look at this hypocrisy and ire of Opposition parties against these  institutions. The list of institutions which have been abused by opposition is quite long. To keep it concise I would like to take the examples of the Election Commission and the CBI.

The Election Commission of India

It is an autonomous and constitutional body responsible for the conduct of free and fair elections in India. It has become a target for the Opposition parties after their rout in the Uttar Pradesh elections in 2017. 

The EVM has become a constant source of controversy at every election since then. The machine has borne the brunt of various rumours. Allegations have been leveled that the machines were fitted with WiFi connections to manipulate the votes; the other charge against it is that the electronic chips were being manipulated to change the count of votes. This has become a habit of theirs where they cry foul when ever they end up on the wrong side of an election result.

EVM- It has become a topic of controversy. The Opposition claims it can be hacked. But develops cold feet when the ECI organises a hackathon.

The continued vilification of the Election Commission when electoral results do not go their way and praising the same organisation when the electoral results are in their favour raises questions above their motives. The recent by-polls in Ramgarh and Jind are a reflection of this hypocrisy of theirs.

In Ramgarh, Rajasthan the representative of the Congress party won the poll. There not a squeak about faulty EVMs at the place of their victory. While in Jind, Haryana where the representative of the BJP was leading after 8 rounds of counting, protests broke out at the counting center and stones were pelted there. The bogey of the faulty EVM was raised amid this ruckus. To get the situation under control para military forces had to be rushed in.

While this was happening on the domestic front, a Congress backed EVM hackathon was being organised in London accusing the Election Commission of rigging the EVMs and casting aspersions on the legitimacy of the elected government of the day. Such allegations made on foreign soil sometimes undermine the operations of other constitutional bodies abroad and raise questions on their jurisprudence. This adversely effects the reputation of the government on the global platform.

The Central Bureau of Investigation

The investigating agencies have been a thorn in Opposition’s side ever since the government began to crackdown on corruption.The continually allege that the government is misusing the CBI and other investigative agencies to crackdown on political opponents.

With Lalu Prasad Yadav, the former CM of Bihar being convicted in the fodder scam and leaders of other political parties either indicted  in various other scandals; and with the aides of those leaders under judicial custody and names of top rung leaders of those political parties cropping up in investigations, the Opposition was definitely feeling the heat.

When a businessman named Satish Sana accused a senior Telugu Desam Party leader in connection with a money laundering case, the government of Andhra Pradesh blocked the entry of the CBI in the state after this development. Soon the government of West Bengal followed in their footsteps.

The consequence of this action was played out in the streets of Kolkata on Sunday night. The CBI which is investigating a series of chit fund scams under the orders of the Supreme Court landed in Kolkata to interrogate Commissioner of Police Rajeev Kumar. But they were stopped from facing interrogating him. In return, Kolkata police detained the team of CBI sleuths who were there to perform their duty.

Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, the person for whom the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee detained the CBI

Though this was under the purview of the law, what did this politically motivated move achieve? All it did achieve was it undermined the federal structure of the nation. The irony of the situation is that these very Opposition parties which go to town proclaiming themselves as the saviours of federalism and democracy are trying to subvert the process of law and creating a constitutional crisis in the process.

The Hypocrisy

If these parties  claim that the investigations and indictments of various political leaders in different scams is a vendetta of the government against them, why do they block investigation agencies from doing their work in their respective states ? Why not present themselves before the investigative agencies when called upon and place the facts in front of them?

These accounts illustrate the deliberate misuse of their authority. Looking through it there definitely is a pattern to their hypocrisy. When the results or decisions go in their favour and feed their propaganda the very same institutions uphold the constitution and democracy. But when things go against them the same people brazenly attack the same institutions.

In this power struggle between the Opposition parties and the ruling dispensation, the institutions are getting hammered. The Congress and its affiliated political outfits who have enjoyed the fruits of political power for a very long seem a bit rattled seeing their misdeeds becoming public. To cover their tracks, they continually have tried to subvert protocol and procedure; they have maligned bureaucrats and officers trying to jeopardise the functioning of the system. In the process I believe they are doing things what they have accused the government of. Has the accuser become the accused ?

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