Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Three rulers who blatantly use enforcing agencies against political rivals

We are ruled by three musketeers who have no qualms about enforcing their will.  They give vent to their anger with the critics. They don’t care for the legitimacy of their actions. Selective in implementing the law and the rules, they don’t spare their rivals and don’t touch their camp followers. The best way to escape action by the enforcement agencies is to join the ruling party and enter the rulers’ good books. The rulers are intolerant. They abuse the official machinery to settle scores. They don’t care what the people think about their partisan attitude. There may be degrees of difference in their blatant attitude. But the three of them are the same in their core.

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West Bengal ministers arrested

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ably aided by Home Minister Amit Shah who belongs to the same school, shows  his preferences in using the enforcement agencies (CBI, ED, Tax officials) without any hesitation. During the assembly elections in five states, tax officials raided the houses of close associates of Stalin and Mamata Banerjee. In West Bengal, soon after the contentious elections in which Trinamool Congress (TMC) won a big majority, two present ministers, who had taken oath less than a fortnight ago, and two former ministers were arrested by the CBI on Monday  in connection with Narada tapes case. But Suvendu Adhikari, the important leader of TMC who jumped on to the BJP bandwagon weeks before polling  and defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram constituency, who also took the bribe on the tape and accepted the fact that he took money, is spared. He is now the BJP floor leader. Although he committed the same crime as the two present ministers and two former ministers, he is not touched by the CBI. Neither the CBI nor the home ministry cares to explain why Suvendu Adhikari is not arrested along with the others and why his name has been removed from the Narada tapes case in social media. They think they can get away with anything and everything they do as long as they are in power. There are so many persons who faced CBI raids and became honourable after joining the BJP. Sujana Chowdary and CM Ramesh are examples that are known in this part of the country. But there are many others. The agencies plunge into action against the rivals of the ruling party but the PM does not talk about it. He is busy, you see, with arranging oxygen and vaccination to the people fighting the second wave of Covid-19. Law will take its own course, they say.  

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Etala hounded

Same method is followed by K. Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) in Telangana. Etala Rajender was an honourable minister and the top leader’s ‘younger brother’ as long as he silently suffered the humiliation. Once he spoke something unacceptable to the supreme leader in his private conversations and tried to maintain relationship with leaders of the opposition parties, the chief has lost his patience. He got some representations from the aggrieved persons, ordered enquiry into the alleged land scam and sacked the minister-all within days without stirring out of his farm house. That the minister was in charge of health portfolio  and has been actively working to contain the Coronavirus did not deter the CM. Ministers from the old Karimnagar district, where Etala belongs, such as Gangula  Kamalakar and Koppula Eswar were pressed into service and made to hold media conferences to criticize the former minister. Though there are land grabbing allegations against some other ministers, they are not touched. The CID and officers of revenue department take unilateral action against Etala and his followers but the chief minister does not care to talk about the issue.

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MP with heavy clout, big mouth

In the neighboring Andhra Pradesh, a Member of Parliament is being hauled up for criticizing the ruling party, government and the chief minister. Lok Sabha Member representing Narasapuram, Raghuarma Krishnam Raju has his political reasons to talk against the chief of the party on whose ticket he won the 2019 elections. He should have resigned to the membership of Lok Sabha as well as the party and started his tirade against the CM. The YSRCP should have expelled him from the party for the severe criticism Raju has been indulging in. If he is expelled, he will continue to be an MP. That was the reason why disciplinary action is not taken against him in spite of his acute provocation. Raju, on his part, has been keen to get expelled so that he can retain his membership of the lower house. He would not cease to criticize the chief minister until he is shown the door. Had the party obliged him with an expulsion, he would perhaps have been less strident in his criticism of the chief minister. He was testing Jagan Mohan Reddy’s  patience. The chief minister obviously lost his cool with the recalcitrant MP and asked the CID to get into the act. There has been ruckus for the last four days. The MP has gone from CID court  to Supreme Court in Delhi within one day since he is an MP and also has heavy clout and big mouth. A lot of criticism by the opposition leaders appeared in TV channels and newspapers. Ambati Rambabu, YSRCP MLA, attacked Raghurama Krishnam Raju and the two channels-TV5 and ABN- for trying to defame and destabilize the government and causing disaffection towards the establishment. Action against the media houses would be counterproductive. If they are implicated, the owners of the media houses would become national figures. It means empowering the enemy. Leaders of Raju’s Kshatriya community also attacked him for making baseless allegations about conversions of Hindus  into Christianity and corruption against the ruling party leaders. There was a lot of effort behind all this activity. But Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy does not open his mouth.

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No media conferences

Modi never held a media conference so far in his seven years in office. KCR speaks to media occasionally when he is in good mood. He humiliates media persons for asking embarrassing questions. Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke to the media only a couple of times in more than two years as CM, one of them intended to  attack the State Election Commissioner Ramesh Kumar. It is easy to find a lot more similarities in the modus operandi adopted by the PM and the two CMs. Other politicians would think about criticism of selective action and political vendetta. But not these three leaders who enjoy absolute majority in their respective legislatures and have no strong leaders in opposition. They perhaps think that they don’t have to care for any party or individual as long as they have the numbers with them. But the people, the ultimate stakeholders and decision makers,  are watching.

Also read: Narendra Modi’s dynamism missing

K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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