Would the Supreme Court (SC) have let off the CEO of a consumer goods company for using beef talo to produce soap on the basis that the Head of Production disobeyed the CEO’s written instructions? The answer is a clear NO. So also why is the focus primarily on V Raja and not on the CEO of India Inc PM Singh Kohli?
How will the scam affect national politics? Here is some crystal ball glazing on how things might shape out in the next twelve months.
Who are the losers in this scam? One is PM Singh. Inspite of being personally honest the public wants to know the reasons why he chose not to exercise authority when the scam was being perpeutuated? Two, is the House of Tatas. The Group always espoused high corporate values and commanded respect amongst the aam aadmi. Post Nira Radia tapes the sheen has gone. It is not a question of whether the Tatas were wronged or not but the extent of lobbying by Tata’s ace lobbyist means the group can longer take the moral high ground.
One of India’s biggest success stories in the last decade was Telecom. It is only after Reliance entered the mobile space and the Arun Shourie introduced policy framework that the mobile phone ceased to be an instrument of the elite. Prices fell, market expanded such that vegetable vendors, taxi drivers and maids have cell phones today. If the scam compels older operators to pay license fees with retrospective effect it could hurt the Indian consumer.
The 2G scam has put Karunanidhi on the defensive in Tamil Nadu and could undo the benefits of various pro poor programs implemented during the last five years. A weakened DMK would mean more seats for the Congress. If they get the numbers right we could see a Congress CM in Chennai sooner than expected, more so in the post Karunanidhi era.
If the SC ensures that those found guilty are convicted within the next one year the rule of law would be established once again. Investors, both foreign and domestic, would feel confident doing business in India. If the case goes on endlessly like the 1993 Mumbai Blasts case, India’s image would take a severe beating. We would then become a nation of outstanding politicians and lawyers but an ineffective judiciary. Remember it was the present telecom Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal who ably and successfully argued, in the House, against the impeachment motion of former Supreme Court judge Mr. V Ramaswamy. Since Independence, Ramaswamy was the only constitutional authority whose impeachment was actively considered by Parliament.
With scams taking place in quick succession, the NDA has got one life line after another. As if the Commonwealth Games were not enough, the 2G scam followed. They have caught the imagination of the common man unlike the Bofors scam that related to purchase of defense equipment.
How will the political situation shape out in the next 12 months? The NDA shall stick to the demand for a JPC and keep the heat on the Government. In search for TRP’s sections of the media shall also keep up the pressure. The Ambani brothers fight saw a lot of corporate secrets go public, the same could happen now. The fight could accentuate if Bharti’s Mittals and Reliance business interest are affected. With Parliament non functional experts would ask, how will the Budget be passed?
Eager to avoid a constitutional crisis the SC might step in. It could request PM Singh to take quick action against Raja & Co or agree to a JPC. The PM dithers. The SC passes severe strictures against Singh who then resigns!
Congressmen publicly shed tears for Singh but are actually happy. Privately they admit that the cause of the present crisis was Singh’s not towing 10 Janpath line. He had outlived his usefulness for Congress’s first family! Pranabda makes public his candidature for Presidentship.
The Congress has the numbers but no one is willing to get into the hot seat. Rahul Baba is too inexperienced to become PM at such a critical moment. If he failed his political career would be finished. Mismanagement of Hindu Muslim riots over Ayodhya or a combined Chinese / Pakistan attack could force him to leave the country never to return. The fiscal and current account deficits had reached worrisome levels. Food inflation was running at 12%. At Rs 60/ a kg the price of onions had people crying. At Rs 150/ a kg for tuar dal had sambar lovers up in arms. There is a strong anti-Congress wave all around.
Sonia Gandhi is unable to find a capable and trustworthy Congressman. Unwilling to let go power, call elections and with a heavy heart, she walks into the house of L K Advani with an unconditional Offer! Politics in India is the art of the impossible.
Advani to head a Congress supported NDA government. In the interest of the nation the Congress was willing to sacrifice power and support its arch rival, the untouchable BJP. Congress says that Sonia sacrificed the PM’s position in 2004 and once again offered power to the BJP, the hallmark of a selfless and great leader!
Every human being wants to see their dreams come true? Advani becomes India’s PM. The bonhomie between the Congress and the BJP at the swearing in made people wonder how they could be at logger heads only a few months ago. True to nature, Advaniji and other nationalists stir the nation out of difficult times. India returns to the path of growth, Indians begin smiling and spending once again.
Just when things were looking good, Sonia Gandhi withdraws support to a government headed by the communal BJP. Indira Gandhi did the same to Charan Singh in 1979 and Rajiv Gandhi to Chandrasekhar in 1990. She was only following family tradition! Elections are called.
The fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Priyanka Vadra and Rahul Gandhi, were now ready to rule India!