April 25, 2005

Leave Gujarat alone

Author: Editorial

Publication: Free Press Journal

Date: April 25, 2005

http://www.samachar.com/features/250405-editorial.html

The Manmohan Singh Government will be committing a great mistake
if, using the alleged incident of stone-throwing on Railway Minister
Laloo Prasad Yadav's motorcade when he went to Vadodara following a
serious rail accident last week, it were to dismiss the Narendra Modi
Government. Yadav might have his own reasons for demanding the sack of the
duly-elected Gujarat Government because he is keen to re-furbish his
image as a secularist with an eye on the Muslim vote-bank in his own State.

Even rank communalists and casteists want to pose as secularists
by abusing the Sangh parivar. But targeting Modi in particular is the
easiest, and the crudest, way for petty politicians to strike a chord
with their Muslim constituents, such being the depravity of the
secular-communal debate in the country. There is no denying that the attack on
the Union Minister in the hospital in Vadodara where the victims of the
railway accident were rushed was highly regrettable.

However strongly the near and dear ones of the injured and the
dead felt about the lack of railway safety, or about the failure of the
railway ministry to prevent frequent accidents, there was no reason for
greeting the Minister in-charge with angry slogans and pelting his
vehicle with stones and other missiles. If the local administration failed
to prevent the protesters from throwing stones, they cannot escape
their share of the blame.

Having said that, can any politician say with his hand on his
heart that such an attack on a central minister constitutes a sufficient
ground for invoking the provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution.
Not a single government in the States will survive for more than a week
if such an excuse was to become the official ground for sacking the
Government of Narendra Modi.

For, opposition parties will resort to this crude tactics to
embarrass the incumbent State governments throughout the country. Indeed,
the PM showed little tact in handling the fuss created by Yadav
following his return from Vadodara. Mercifully, neither Yadav nor anyone else
in his entourage was hurt in the protest.

But Yadav forced the PM to summon an emergency meeting of the
Political Affairs Committee of the Union Cabinet, where, instead of
discussing the railway tragedy, they focused on what might have happened to
Yadav had a miscreant's missile actually hit him. Clearly mischief afoot
to exploit the Vadodara incident for extraconstitutional ends.

It may be that Yadav is a frustrated man these days. Trapped in a
cul de sac of his own making in Bihar, he is loath to give up his
party's claim on the post of chief minister and yet he wants his ministerial
colleague, Ram Vilas Paswan, not to try and explore the possibility of
a government minus the RJD. He reckons that he can bounce back into the
centre of things political if his fraudulent histrionics persuade the
Singh Government to take action against Modi.

Why should a good man like Manmohan Singh give in to Yadav's
palpably untenable demand defies logic. In fact, Singh ought not to have
summoned the CCPA without first independently ascertaining facts from
Vadodara. The Marxists and the DMK will lose face if Article 356 is used
to dismiss a duly elected government. And it is no one's case that the
Modi Government does not enjoy majority in the House. That may be why
the Centre is considering a resort to Article 355 which would put Modi on
notice.

This too is a dangerous move and would set a wrong precedent.
Taking over the administration of the State through the backdoor militates
against the spirit of Article 355. Gujarat is a far better run State
than a slew of administration in the Northeast and of course in several
other parts of the country. The Manmohan Singh Government should
consciously desist from injecting further confrontation and bitterness in the
polity.

As it is, it has embroiled itself in a highly avoidable
confrontation with the NDA convener George Fernandes. No purpose will be served
by going after Fernandes merely because he remains a forthright critic
of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Now, by seeking to destabilize the Modi Government on the ground
that the Railway Minister could have suffered bodily harm, ( but did
not), the PM will force a direct collision with the country's main
opposition party. It might suit Yadav's partisan interests since he seeks to
profit from such a confrontation, but it will not help the cause of the
Singh Government which must necessarily depend on the opposition for
the smooth running of parliament and the passage of its legislative
business.

Do not think of invoking Articles 355 or 356. Instead gently
impress on Yadav that there are diminishing returns on his kind of `drama
politics`.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why to blame Bajrang Dal and VHP for attacking what so called Railway minister. Any sensible man will do it. He just did this drama so taht the people shall not know that this time in disaster the DMG formed by government after earthquake came in actiona nd helped the people.So just to let this activity go unnotice railway minister played a drama

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