The conspiracy can't work against incorruptible Modi
From Saroj Sharma
THE upholding of the appointment of Justice (retired) RA Shah as the Gujarat Lokayukta by the Honourable Supreme Court is being perceived as a victory for the Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal by the Congress party. But a reading between the lines of the judgement is clearly indicative of gross misutilisation of power by the Governor.
That the octogenarian Governor is an old and faithful Congress warhorse who has, in her controversial tenure tried every trick in the book and every power vested with her by the Constitution to bring disrepute to the party in power in the state is no secret. In fact, in keeping with the tradition of the Congress of appointing its tried and trusted lieutenants as Governors particularly of states where it is not in power , Beniwal has been chosen to be the Constitutional head of a state as important as Gujarat specially to rein in or trip the elected head on any ground. Her run-ins with the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi show that the underlying intent has not been to uphold the Constitution but to subvert it and try to usurp the authority of the elected head, specially one so popular and upright as the Gujarat CM.
The Honourable Supreme Court has ticked off the feisty Beniwal not only for her decision to arbitrarily hand pick a Lokayukta of her own choice without so much as consulting the CM but also seeking opinions from the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice and Attorney General on the pitfalls, if any, of making such an appointment.
Yes, the appointment of Justice Shah as Lokayukta has been upheld by the Supreme Court and to that extent the shrewd Beniwal has won the battle. But at what cost? The recently held Gujarat state Assembly elections and the thumping mandate that Modiji has won for the third successive time from the people of his state show that such skirmishes with a known
Modi-baiter is unlikely to win her, or the Congress, any brownie points in the people’s court.
The decision to select as Lokayukta a person only on the grounds that he’s got public differences with the Gujarat CM is very obviously a calculated move to embarrass the government in power. In view of the clamour raised by the Congress party to discredit Modi’s enviable track record of inclusive development, peace and a corruption-free environment conducive for growth and prosperity which have come to symbolize Gujarat over the past decade, the appointment is possibly a desperate move to bring out skeletons from his cupboard.
But barring the two hundred odd kurtas in his cupboard and personal assets which have not increased by any significant amount over the past ten years and remain almost static at around Rs one crore, nothing else is likely to tumble out of the Gujarat CM’s squeaky clean cupboard. Compare this with the graft charges which are already tainting the Governor herself and it takes no rocket science to infer the real motive behind the well-orchestrated move to bestow Gujarat with a hand-picked Lokayukta.
Not surprisingly, the Gujarat CM had resisted the appointment precisely because of the blatant politicization of the issue by the Governor. That, and the malafide intention of the Congress to taint his impeccable credentials. From publicizing his private friendships with some home grown industrialists which is not a crime by any yardstick of the imagination to unsubstantiated allegations of crony capitalism to even desperate and ham-handed attempts to have him implicated in the scores of Godhra riot cases which have been doing the rounds of various courts without a single indictment for the Gujarat CM, in all its attempts to besmirch Modiji, the Congress and its mandarins have fallen flat on the face.
For Gujarat, it is undoubtedly great news that it has an ombudsman of great repute and a legal luminary of no mean stature who will now be the state’s Lokayukta. But it's not bad news for the Gujarat CM either who has nothing to hide. It’s the Congress which should now look for the proverbial fig leaf to hide its own sins of omission and commission!