NDA must ask its erring leaders to step down and conduct probe

  • Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jun 26, 2015 01:53 IST

The advent of the monsoon promises stormy days ahead for the government with one controversy after the other coming down on it like thundershowers.

Perhaps, the most damning is the revelation of the signatures of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje on an affidavit in favour of disgraced IPL chief Lalit Modi’s immigration application. So far, the government’s defence had been that the document in question did not actually have Ms Raje’s signature, something which has now been disproved.

This leaves little wiggle room for both Ms Raje and the government, which had initially tried to brazen it out with Union minister for transport Nitin Gadkari going to Jaipur and inexplicably giving her a clean chit.

If the signature is authentic — Ms Raje has not said otherwise — it would appear that she not only aided an absconder from the Indian law but also, in the affidavit, expressed the demand that the Indian authorities should not know of her support for Modi.

But, the government seems curiously reluctant to act on the matter so far.

The BJP finds itself in even choppier waters with the surfacing of three different affidavits, filed during three successive elections by Union minister for human resource development Smriti Irani, which give differing versions of her educational qualifications. Unless a convincing explanation is forthcoming, it seems unfeasible for her to continue as the minister overlooking the country’s education sector.

Then comes news of the involvement of Maharashtra women and child developmentminister Pankaja Munde in a multi-crore scam relating to supplies for anganwadis. Ms Munde has put up a defence, but the facts on the ground don’t seem to corroborate her explanations. The issue of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s intervention in favour of Modi is also yet to be resolved.

All this puts the BJP, which promised good governance and probity in public life, in a very poor light. The prime minister too has been uncharacteristically silent on the matter.

The Union home minister’s somewhat bizarre justification that this is not the UPA but the NDA government is unacceptable. He appears to be suggesting that unlike in the UPA, top politicians in the NDA will not be quick to step aside when confronted with evidence of wrongdoing.

The best way out for the party leadership would have been to ask those facing these allegations to step aside while a probe is conducted.

If exonerated, they could always be reinstated. But, this attitude that the government will do what it will goes against everything the BJP promised when it came to power. Unless the government acts now and acts decisively, the storm could well become a hurricane.

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Lalit Modi row: Raje brazens it out, gives BJP the jitters
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