Tamil Nadu was the real challenge!
Chief Election Commissioner says so! Why?
Elections and democracy’s survival now hinges on the way the big corporates go about lobbying for licenses, even now!
The Chief Election Commissioner SY.Quraishi must be congratulated for his bold and decisive steps he and his team has taken to conduct the state assembly elections that have now been concluded. Among the states, the most tough were in TN and W.Bengal. While W.Bengal had the entrenched Left and the CPI (M), the TN State saw the most corrupt and corrupting election process.
Yes, everyday in Tamil Nadu there were seizures of unaccounted money. One RDO in Trichy district caught red-handed Rs.5 crore hidden in a minivan and in spite of danger to her personality she went ahead and managed to lay her hand on the hoard. Everyone knew immediately who the real culprit was, the minister was a legend in the district and right hand man of the Chief Minister and so too other state level officials who rose up to the challenge. One district collector, namely Samayamurthy, who led the Madurai district affairs, the district where the CM’s own son was the dada and yet this unassuming collector gave a run for Mr.Alagiri, money. When the strongman attacked the minor official one tahsildar was asked by the collector to file a case against the strongman and he did and yet under pressure for life the tahsildar relented and completely went over and lied that such an incident never took place.
Action was taken against this official. Another official, district revenue officer was also asked to file a complaint against the mayor of the town municipal council and even the Madras high court dismissed a petition against the district election officer, this is the very same Samayamurthy, the collector.
Samayamurthy and the Superintendent of police, one Mr.Mishra also proved tough nuts and these officers must be recognised and duly rewarded by promotions. So too some other officials.
It is a very strange scenario in TN where large scale transfers of senior police officers were affected to prevent misuse of official machinery.
But over and above all these news as reported in the local media and also national TV channels, what went unreported as now we gather from first hand through local sources, it is a fact that in spite of such heavy prevention acts and seizures, it is now learnt that other parties, not just the dominant cash-rich DMK, even the AIADMK and the Congress were not short of funds. We now learn that Congress also was flush with funds, not to speak of AIADMK.
Now, as the CEC Mr.Quraishihas said at a New Delhi anti-corruption forum that money and muscle power can’t be easily eradicated.
There can’t be a level playing field as of now. There has to be a systematic policy framework to eradicate the evil of black money in elections. This, this remedy, the CEC didn’t elaborate.
The drafting and hopefully passing of the Jan Lok Pal Bill must be the first step. This Bill must also in principle applicable to the Prime Minister and even the Chief Justice of India. Then only there will be the fear of a deterrant. But this is not alone enough.
As for the clean election process, there must be a well-thought out electoral reforms. These measures are all in the bag of the government and it is now time the electoral reforms agenda is brought to the forefront of the national debate.
Along with electoral reforms, there is a whole lot of Constitutional reforms agenda. This is again a vast subject.
One clear, why one or two obvious transparent measures is, one, the parties accounts must be audited by the Election Commission. Once this part of the reform is introduced there will be the fear of an exposure. Now, there is no such fear.
Now, in the present election itself, there is every reason to suspect there could be the 2G funds to have reached allies! So, if there is the fear of a deterrent, the allies at least would be on the alert.
Otherwise, how the very non-existent PCC in TN could have distributed so much cash, almost, our sources say, mon the very same high large scale high level! So, the electoral reforms must include the auditing of parties funds, the sources of parties funding and this also would expose the nexus between a particular corporate house and the dominant and even smaller parties.
Take a large corporate like the Tata group. They have even otherwise a huge advertisement fund, as much as some 1,000 crores, they say. The Radia Tapes only brought out the very ramifications of the illegal deals. Nira Radia, the lobbyist’s sister, it is now told by the ED to the Supreme Court is operating as many as five front companies in British Virgin Islands under the Foreign Exchange Management Act(FEMA) for quid pro quo money trail in the 2G scam. ED is also moving to attach two corporate companies, Unitech and Swan. Other companies named and now making rounds in the argument of advocate, Prashant Bhushan are Tata Teleservices and R-Reliance ADAG.
So, elections and democracy’s survival are now hinging on the way the big corporates enter the logging for licenses, even now.
So, the generation of black money is now a full-time industry in itself and given the very laxness of the government, it is anybody’s guess what else might tumbled down from the closet.
The role of black money in elections is now taking some unmanageable proportions.
And for god’s sake let nobody assume this is going to be the same old style business, that, is to capture power and assume high offices and then life will be all sweet and unaccountable to anybody.
Rather from now on wards, life for a politician will be a challenge, the more one tries to play a dada, the more difficult for him or her to play angel or god. It would be rather devil incarnate for a person who enters politician and wear pure white khadi as a badge of honour.
Politics has already taken a toll on all who were mighty yesterday. Sharad Pawar fell, Suresh Kalmadi fell and even those who are standing one the sidelines are no more safe. Even those who now find themselves in the shadow, the respectable journalists, the very epitome of corporate glory, the very many czars whose names came out in circulation and now may be left out for some reason, there is no guarantee you might be left out for ever.
We have changed out polity such a mess.
There is no hope the present players are any way capable of reforming the system.
The very rise of Anna Hazare and the very many NGOs, the unsung heroes and heroines are the civil society members.
All it requires is a broad view, broad vision for a very morally sound system of some core values. The hope lingers on the youth who have no hang-ups and the middle class, the well-educated and well-endowed, both in terms of wealth as well as good education and a strong professional commitment to truth and morality can change the every face of the system from one of endemic corruption to one of upright, transparent governing system.
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