It is not say that the BJP rule was without a few warts here and there, but to say that the Congeress party’s rule would be utopian is stretching the argument beyond the boundaries of the electoral stadium.
All the top three party leaders, president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, attacked the BJP on several fronts, but corruption was the lead topic for the speeches.
There was no hint of irony in their speeches. In today’s world of 24x7x365 news complemented by social media, was it very naive thinking on part of these leaders to imagine that Karnataka was very far from New Delhi and the people would not know how that the Congress party-led central government was drowning in a cesspool of scams?
The first off on corruption issue was the youngest of the lot, the Congress party’s heir-apparent for Singh’s position, Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul said the BJP in Karnataka had broken “world record” in corruption. This was followed by similar charges made by Sonia and Singh.
People of Karnataka very well know that the present UPA dispensation led by Manmohan Singh has been the most corrupt government since independence in 1947. Almost every voter in Karnataka knows about the monumental scams, be it the CWG, 2G, Coalgate, JijaG… There are many more scams that the Congress party is mired in.
The people also know how the Congress party has been trying to deceive the legal system to protect its own ministers in the various scams, and the latest being developments in Coalgate, where the needle of suspicion points to the prime minister himself.
They also point out that there was no stability in Karnataka with frequent change of chief ministers. First it was D V Sadananda Gowda — who succeeded B S Yeddyurappa after he was forced to step down following the Lokayukta report in the mining scam — and then came Jagadish Shettar.
They forgot to mention their own central government is depending on the diminishing oxygen being supplied by Mulayam and Mayawati, rivals in Uttar Pradesh.
They also forgot to mention neighbouring Maharashtra. Take a look at this, Ashok Chavan succeeded Vilasrao Deshmukh in 2008, followed by Prithviraj Chavan. Can anyone say Deshmukh and Chavan did not face any serious allegations.
Look at Andhra Pradesh, another neighbouring state, also run by the Congress party. The government is on the brink of a collapse with Kiran Kumar Reddy perceived as a weak chief minister with about six or seven of his cabinet ministers facing criminal chargesheets by Manmohan Singh’s own Central Bureau of Investigation. (That the CBI is proceeding at a snail’s pace is another issue). One minister has already landed in jail.
The lead Congress campaigners also pointed out to the drought situation and how the BJP has allegedly mismanaged it. Again, they forgot to mention Maharashtra and how hundreds of farmers have been committing suicide regularly.
They also forgot to mention that in Maharashtra, many villages receive water only once in a week or 10 days with the help of water tankers and that all tanker contracts have been cornered by their own ruling dispensation’s henchmen with money being exchanged under the tables.
They also forgot to mention that the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra said that they will urinate in reservoirs so as to provide the suffering people with “drinking water”.
Do the people of Karnataka need to drink the urine of Congressmen to satiate their thirst?
That the drought was the result of the failure of the rains is another issue, but the Congress has been completely silent as to how they would have tackled the drought issue.
Karnataka politicians have been screaming foul on the Cauvery dispute and delegation after delegation met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for help. Instead, what they got was his trademark silence.
They also spoke on the issue of power supply and how the BJP government had failed to provide regular power supply, but again, they forgot how Andhra Pradesh is drowned in darkness. It is another matter that of the southern states comprising also Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Karnataka is faring much better on this front.
They also failed to mention how the Congress party-led UPA government failed to provide coal linkages — if not outright denial — to Karnataka so as to help the state overcome the power generation problem.
The troika also talked about lack of security in Karnataka and how women and minorities were feeling a sense of fear.
But they failed to mention that New Delhi, which is under their watch, today is considered India’s crime capital and no woman dares to step out of their homes after 6:00 pm. Compare this with Bangalore, where women feel safe even going out even after 10:00 pm.
It is not say that the BJP rule was without a few warts here and there, but to say that the Congress party’s rule would be utopian is to stretch the argument beyond the boundaries of the electoral stadium.
Probably the leaders ensconced in their ivory towers in India’s capital did not hear the old adage: “The muck stops here!” My apologies for that one letter change.