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Posts Tagged ‘Kailash Vijayvargiya

The Congress government of Harish Rawat in Uttarakhand is facing a crisis following large scale defections from the ruling party. Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal has tried to save the government, for the time being, by allowing the Appropriation Bill to be passed by a voice vote. But Kunjwal has only followed what Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker Sita Sharan Sharma had done last year. Kunjwal did it to save government. Sharma had done it to save corruption. 

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has described Kunjwal as an agent of chief minister Harish Rawat and has accused him of violating the provisions of the Constitution by allowing the Appropriation Bill to be passed by voice vote. BJP spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan said that ‘he (Kunjwal) has no moral right to preside over the proceedings of the State Assembly as he has brought his office into disrepute. He should resign immediately if he has even an iota of self-respect left in him’. BJP leaders perhaps think that only Congressmen should have self-respect, those belonging to BJP do not require it. 

Appropriation Bill is a Constitutional provision. After the budget estimates have been passed by the Assembly, the Appropriation Bill is presented to the House in a prescribed manner, debated and voted, if the members so desire, and passed.  The BJP leaders’ allegation is that Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Kunjwal has not put the Appropriation Bill to vote as the members had desired and thus violated the provision of the Constitution. Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker Sita Sharan Sharma had done worse in his eagerness to save chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Vyapam scam-related embarrassment. 

Last year the budget session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly was due to start on February 18. Two days before that, Digvijaya Singh threw a virtual bombshell. He submitted a sworn affidavit to the High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) claiming that the excel sheets in the computers of the Vyapam had been tampered with to save chief minister Chouhan. Later he released a copy of his affidavit with the “tampered” excel sheets at a press conference.  

On February 24, STF told the media that an FIR had been registered against the Governor on the basis of the statements made by some Vyapam officials who had been arrested by Special Task Force (STF) over a year earlier and were in judicial custody. The STF did not explain why it waited for over a year to act on the allegations made by the Vyapam officials in custody.  

The FIR against the Governor created a sensation but it did not dampen the clamour against the chief minister. As Chouhan found it too embarrassing to face the incessant Opposition demand in the House for his resignation, Speaker Sita Sharan Sharma abruptly adjourned the budget session sine die on a motion of Legal Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra as the House assembled on February 26 (though it was scheduled to last till March 27). Before adjourning the House, the Speaker declared the budget passed – as well as the Appropriation Bill introduced, admitted and passed, in flagrant violation of the rules. 

The Appropriation Bill cannot be passed at 11 AM. Rule 158(2) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha says that after introduction of the Appropriation Bill in the Vidhan Sabha, the Speaker will allot day or days for discussion of its various stages and “shall at 5.0 clock on the allotted day or as the case may be, the last of the allotted days, forthwith put every question necessary to dispose of all the outstanding matters in connection with the stage or stages for which the day or days have been allotted”. Apparently, for Speaker Sharma, saving the chief minister from continued embarrassment was more important than observance of the rules and propriety.

If you are the chief minister of a State and the Nature’s wrath destroys the crops and the farmers commit suicide, the illegally stored explosives burst killing over a hundred and injuring scores of others, the law and order situation takes a nosedive, the contract-hired teachers agitate and the health services are in a mess, more particularly in the rural areas, what would you do? Go on a foreign tour with your wife and some trusted bureaucrats in the name of soliciting foreign investments.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan learnt this mantra soon after assuming office ten years ago. He has since been periodically visiting various countries, all the time claiming to woo investors. Even if one per cent of the assurances and promises he claimed to have received, the face of this BIMARU Madhya Pradesh would have by now been glowing with red hue.

Recently he returned from nine-day jaunt to Japan and South Korea with 23 investment promises. Not long ago he had been to Italy, the Netherlands and Germany at the head of a large brigade comprising (then) industries minister Kailash Vijayvargiya (who now has divined that actor Shah Rukh Khan’s body is in India but his soul is in Pakistan), a contingent of State government officials and a platoon of the State’s industrialists.

If, as the cliché goes, Chouhan’s wishes were horses, Madhya Pradesh would have by now a Rs 20,000-crore aviation city for repair and maintenance of the aircraft, a world university, a world class golf course, and would have become a pioneering State in power, textile, food processing, information technology and bio-fuel sectors with investments from Italy, the Netherlands and Germany alone.  One of the first tasks of Chouhan on becoming the chief minister was to invite Britain’s biggest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), with assets worth £8 billion (nearly Rs 75,000 crore), to begin its operations in Madhya Pradesh.

In February this year when the heat of the Vyapam scam had become a bit too much for Chouhan to endure (in spite of the illicit help provided by Assembly Speaker Sita Sharan Sharma), Chouhan had pushed off to the US with his wife and coterie. The information obtained by Ajay Dube through RTI application revealed that Chouhan had spent close to Rs 3 crore on his five-day US trip, nearly Rs 2 lakh on gifts alone.

Congress leader K K Mishra has alleged that Chouhan may also be using his frequent foreign trips to stash in foreign banks his ill-gotten money.


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Value of propaganda

Adolf Hitler believed in the use of propaganda as an integral element to seizing and holding on to political power. His maxim was 'the bigger the lie, the more easily it will be believed, provided it is repeated vigorously and often enough'. (Sean Murphy in his book 'Letting the Side Down')

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