Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Winning a Trust Vote on a Black Day

22nd July, 2008 was indeed a Black Day in the history of the Lok Sabha.

For the UPA Govt. which won the Trust Vote, it was an occasion for relief and jubilation. For the record, the UPA sponsored motion was passed with a comfortable lead. Based on all calculations that were being made for days prior to the crucial day, it was going to be a close call and the Govt. could have won, if at all, only by a couple of votes. That it eventually won with a margin of 19 votes speaks volumes for the manipulative capabilities of the UPA and its new found allies. In fact, were it not for the new rescuers and saviors of the UPA, it is doubtful if the vote could have been won at all.

Basking in the glory of victory,
under the shadow of ignominious actions

Unparalleled conduct
This was one Trust Motion that has no parallel in history in so far as the brazen and shameless deployment of money power adopted to engineer a win is concerned. That monetary consideration, ministerial appointments, election tickets and other forms of inducement were deployed liberally was known to the people soon after the date of the vote was set. There is no smoke without fire and in the days prior to the vote, the atmosphere was filled up with such sickeningly dense smoke that the entire country could realize that a fire was raging. With the MDEs (Masters of Defection Engineering) of the UPA and its new ally running amuck and throwing all caution to the winds, they approached scores of persons who had the power to vote against the Govt.

In the stable

It is just too far fetched for anyone to believe that those in favor of whom the vote was being sought were blissfully unaware of what was going on. The efforts of those who worked to ensure a victory in the face of defeat admirably succeeded. If those who voted for the Motion or abstained in defiance of the Whips of their parties had actually followed the party Whips, the Govt. would have lost by nearly the same margin with which it won the vote.

Show me Proof
Sardar Manmohan Singh, when asked the previous evening a pointed question on the talk of money being offered, bluntly asked for ‘proof’ as is done by many hardened politicians, knowing full well that such activities are hardly conducted in broad daylight and receipts and agreements exchanged between the parties. And yet, it was already known that the JMM chief was assured of Ministries and other goodies during his meetings with the PM and the chairperson of the UPA. The proof of that pudding will be there for everyone to see in the next couple of weeks. Then, during the crucial debate on the Motion, agitated BSP MPs were on their feet claiming pressures from CBI to vote in favor of the Govt.

Disgust and revulsion

To cap it all, just as Abani Roy was about to finish his long speech, three MPs from the BJP produced in the Lok Sabha bundles of notes totaling to Rs. one crore, which they claimed to have received as advance in return for their promises to abstain. Their allegation was promptly denied and pooh-poohed by the UPA including those whose names were mentioned by the MPs. It would, perhaps, have been tactically more advisable for the BJP MPs to meet the Speaker in his chamber to produce before him the money with their explanations. Be that as it may, it is now for the Speaker to take a decision. The Black Day that began with the allegations by the BSP and BJP MPs eventually ended with the vote going in favor of the UPA due to several opposition MPs voting in favor of or abstaining from the vote. All right thinking persons were filled with a sense of disgust and revulsion, not because the money was produced in the Lok Sabha for the whole world to watch, but because it showed to the whole world the murky depths to which some people were going in trying to secure votes in favor of the Motion.

The aftermath
The Speaker of the Lok Sabha has asked the MPs to file formal complaints by a communication in late evening on the 23rd. The tapes of recordings of some of the details of the dealings of the agents from the UPA with the three MPs were finally handed over to the Speaker by the TV Channel that co-operated with the MPS in a sting operation, but only on the 23rd afternoon after an unexplained delay. It is still unclear as to what, if anything, has been decided by the Speaker with regard to the complaint by the BSP members. As was to be expected, those who induced some BJP MPs to vote in favor of the Govt. have also encouraged one of them to file a tit-for-tat complaint against BJP leadership for trying to kill him!

It now falls upon the Speaker to take several key decisions viz. regarding the disqualification of MPs who defied party whips, the investigation into allegations by the BSP MPs and the BJP MPs. Somnath Chatterjee is a senior and highly regarded parliamentarian. He has an avowed aversion to one of the Parties whose MPs have complained to him, to the extent of making his aversion an issue worth compromising his Party's position on substantive issues. He has also been disowned by his Party that now sits in opposition. But he is an honourable gentleman and knows fully well his crucial responsibility to restore the faith of the people which is badly shaken up. He occupies the Chair of the Speaker which is non-partisan and he will surely take the right decisions quickly in order to enhance the prestige of the High Office.

Whatever be the outcome of the actions of the Speaker, one thing is sure. Those who talk in legalese asking for proof or claim that they are being wrongly maligned or say that 'let the law take its course' should understand that the people's court does not work in the way that the law courts do. People have seen, heard, read and understood what has transpired in the run up to the vote. Protestations and proclamations of innocence have no meaning in the light of what people already know. For the people, what means most is the immorality of it all, regardless of whether those who committed this perfidy on democracy can ever be brought to book under law or not.

And finally it is also hoped that, Manmohan Singh, a man of impeccable integrity and with the supreme national interest of the country always at heart, will reflect deeply upon his victory. Just as he asked the MPs to vote according to their conscience he will, hopefully, also ask his own conscience whether what he has won was worth the serious dent to his image that he has undoubtedly suffered. For the present, it does appear that he has adjusted himself to his surroundings even if that means lowering the high standard of probity that he might have once had. He also seems to be rejoicing for the moment, having fulfilled a solemn promise that he made to the U.S. President some time back. At least on that score he has convinced himself that the end justified the means.

Democracy shall survive, despite all efforts to subvert it.


At July 25, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure Indian democracy will survive this - when it has survived the attack of the commies, when it has survived the butcher of Gujarat, hell when it has survived Baapre Thackerey, this small incident is not a big deal.

At July 25, 2008, Anonymous Mandar, disillusioned one from congress said...

Comments of anaonymous are making light of the statement that democracy will survive.

Democracy will survive inspite of the machinations of the UPA political parties.

It only needs people who can think objectively and not see everything through an opaque lens.

At July 25, 2008, Anonymous Mavin said...

Congress under Narasimha Rao did the same thing. Cash was used and survival ensured by just one vote.

You had Vajpayee who refused to indulge in this and lost by one vote.

The wheel has now turned a full circle and we have Cong/UPA ensuring their survival.

Not only has democracy survived but the country has made tremendous progress despite this.

Guess we should not worry much.

At July 25, 2008, Anonymous Jatin Sarkar said...

it is going to be difficult for speaker to take right decision because he hates BJP. Let's see what he does.

At July 25, 2008, Anonymous Beena K. said...

mavin has said we should not worry much because we have made tremendous progress.

democracy is more fundamental and the malpractices conducted cannot be condoned just because country has made progress. Such thinking alone will spell the doom for principles.

At July 30, 2008, Blogger John Pinto said...

SINGH IS KING, and he will be remebered as the one who defeated the Chinese agents of subversion .


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