April 29, 2011

Joshi‘s PAC and Congress intrigues

Dr MM Joshi, PAC chief
Parliamentary bodies have been created to sort out matters that would be lost to party politics in the full house, but nowadays parliamentary committees have also become kabaddi play grounds between the ruling and opposition formations.

Dr Muli Manohar Joshi is known to be rigid guy. Tose who know him closely say that his stagnation within BJP too is partly due to his inflexible approach. When the opposition’s demand for JPC on 2G scam had generated heat enough that it had become an embarrassment for the ruling coalition, Joshi smelled an opportunity to show his power as PAC chief. In fact, BJP had to come to terms with him when he declared that PAC would look into 2G irrespective of the JPC.

Joshi’s report, as leaked to the press, is a document that embarrasses Congress, especially the PM. If during depositions and examination of papers in JPC, certain omissions and commissions came to light, it is the duty of the PAC to bring them in the report. There is the issue of using moderate or harsh wordings and making inferences out of weak evidence. Being what he is, Joshi could not have given a report that exonerates PM, and – as reported in the press – there is surefooted evidence against PM’s inaction and wrong action by people close to the PMO. A more flexible chairman would perhaps tried to reach consensus and allowed differing opinions, including his, as annexures to the report.

But what Congress is resorting to is also what Congress is supposed to do. [For that matter, which other party that is there in India today would not do that?] So, it gathered the scam tainted and CBI hounded parties – Mayawati’s BSP, Mulayam’s SP and DMK – to cobble up majority within PAC and reject the PAC report.

Congress does not have conviction to clean up its governance systems and courage to accept criticism. Joshi does not have courtesy and humility to reach sort of consensus in drafting the PAC report. All parties swear by parliamentary democracy, and PAC has very senior parliamentarians as members. If they cannot rise over their party stands even in parliamentary committees, it only shows the immaturity of our democratic institutions even after sixty years of their working.

PS: JPC will not only have severe divisions: BJP will try to avenge its defeat in PAC, Congress will be more vociferous, and Chako is no angel.

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