The stunning display of political brazenness by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati justifying the growth of her assets by 30 times in three years is an interesting postscript on the cavalier attitude of the Manmohan Singh regime to persons in public life accused of serious corruption.
No other government since independence has bailed out as many persons accused of financial turpitude of scandalous proportion in such a short time. The list is too long and it gives the impression that UPA is all about wheeling dealing and making a fast buck at immense loss to national security and public morality.
It might be accidental that the Prime Minister'sspirited defence of the UPA Presidential candidate Pratibha Patil accused of numerous financial irregularities and exoneration of three senior officials in the multi-crore Telgi fake stamp case came on the same day as Mayawati proudly flaunted her treasure as loving gifts from her frenzied admirers. Political immorality was never in such grotesque celebration in a single day.
It is this new-found impudence that inspired the Bofors scandal accused Ottavio Quattrocchi to threaten to file cases against Indian politicians for allegedly harassing him by pursuing the payoff charges.
That the UPA regime has infused such all-round confidence in the corrupt, criminals, terrorists and tax evaders amassing wealth beyond all imaginable limits is perhaps the best illustration of its raison d?etre. The Telgi scam in which top politicians from Maharashtra and many other states were reportedly involved and presumed to be the biggest ever scam in the country'shistory is now almost likely to be buried after the last week'scourt order. Not a drop of tear unfortunately will be shed on this unhappy ending of the hugely publicised scam. Similar was the fate with the Bofors scam.
In spite of the repeated judicial reprimand of the CBI, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi are almost out of the hook in the fodder scam and the disproportionate assets case. Earlier the UPA had bailed out Capt. Satish Sharma and V. George in minting millions in similar situations. Ajit Jogi and his son are other beneficiaries of such mercy. Shahabuddin and Sibu Soren are other honoured members of the UPA in the Lok Sabha. And there are half a dozen ministers accused of various criminal acts in the UPA cabinet. And all of them will soon get exonerated going by the UPA track record.
Mayawati is a multiple beneficiary of UPA indulgence. She was not only spared of the judicial process but even the UP Governor, known for his pro-UPA proclivities, did not find any merit in the charges against her. So far so good. But what is the monetary miasma that multiplies wealth to such astronomical proportions?
In the 2004 general election according to the affidavit filed by Mayawati she was worth Rs 1.67 crore. Now her declared wealth for the UP Council election is Rs 52 crore. All this she says is gift from her supporters. And we are talking here only about the declared assets.
A CBI case of disproportionate assets against her involving just about half that amount of Rs 28 crore has been in deep freeze when Mayawati made her new declaration. Reports say that her relatives involved in the Rs. 28 crore case have in the meanwhile been offered an exit route by the CBI. The case finalised in 2004 is pending ever since as the agency has not pursued it.
Meanwhile the great bonhomie and camaraderie between the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati is the talk of the town. The deal the Congress has struck with Mayawati on the eve of the nomination of Pratibha Patil as UPA-Left candidate is well known. Is this deal that has emboldened Mayawati to make this audacious declaration? What a way to make black money legal! If Mayawati'sargument is taken seriously, then popular politicians in the country, even businessmen and film stars can declare all their ill-gotten wealth as gifted and get away. But it may not be that easy if you are not a UPA fellow traveller.
Take for instance, an alleged false affidavit case against the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. It is being pursued with great perseverance. But a number of similar allegations against the Congress president Sonia Gandhi were dismissed outright, though the documents presented by the petitioners, prima facie seemed authentic.
Writing in Organiser, in the wake of the Argentinian court'srefusal to extradite the Italian middleman the former CBI chief Joginder Singh said, ?The case against Quattrocchi is still strong as it is based on bank records. He can still be extradited, provided the government has the will?.but obviously he has friends in powerful positions.? It is clear where the needle of suspicion points.
The fountainhead of the UPA is bent on destroying the system. Morality and accountability in public life are the easiest casualty. So the UPA is not bothered if there are half a dozen unanswered questions about a person likely to soon hold the highest constitutional position in the country. This again is without a precedent.