Editorial

Cs logo Fri, 30 Nov 2018

Editorial

Five states are going for the elections to their assemblies between November and December. In three states BJP has been in power out of which in 2 for 15 years. These are important states of the Hindi heartland and cover a large population of the country. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have been favoring BJP during the elections and gave large numbers also in Parliament to BJP. The mood of the people has shifted away from the BJP to the Congress and is giving sleepless nights to the BJP. The PM, who is an avid campaigner has reduced his forays to these states to a bare minimum and this because the BJP is aware of the mood of the people. Victory in these states is going to give a great boost to the morale of the Congress workers across the country and this will help the Congress regain the power in the General Elections in 2019. Not having anything to say for their performance either at the Centre or in the states the PM is carrying out a vilification campaign against the top leaders of the Congress since independence. It is beyond the capabilities of the PM Modi to wash away the achievements of the Congress’ rule during the last 70 years; it is on those achievements, by altering names PM is trying to build his own image, as he is bereft of any new ideas. The frustration is visible as the speeches of the PM have now sunk to the lowest of the low and only convey his hatred. He has nothing to say for his future plans or past achievements. People do not believe in his Jumlas and promises. The BJP has no stake at Mizoram in the North East. In Telengana the alliance of the Congress and TDP has been giving nightmares to TRC and to the BJP. The Congress is set to increase the tally of states under its control by five more. The reverse counting has begun for the BJP. The Congress is giving a united fight under the leadership of the Congress President Rahul Gandhi who is leading the campaign vigorously in all the states.

Every time the government opens its mouth to give some more trumpeted announcements about the Rafale Scam they keep on sinking deeper into the mire. Regardless of how much efforts are being made by the government to get support from France to hide their manipulations to help crony capitalist, the truth has its own way to emerge. Even the French are forgetting statements made by them earlier and are in a denial mode as they are worried about losing a coveted order at a exorbitant rate. Former President of France Hollande in an interview clearly stated that there was no option with him except to accept Reliance as a partner if he wanted the contract for French company. Eric Trappier, the CEO of Dassault Aviation, in his interview to CNBC TV18 admitted that it was not till the Press Briefing of April 13 that he got to know that the HAL was not their partner. The Reliance Company was incorporated in April and the contract with Dassault also happened in April. How could anyone negotiate with a company that was non-existent and how could the French imagine that this company was coming into existence. The reason attributed to this selection, as a recent clarification seeks to justify was that they were selected because Reliance had land near the airport at Nagpur, whereas the Reliance applied for this land only in June. So how could Trappier have known that Reliance was going to form a company and would be able to acquire the land later, a few months in advance? One thing is clear that Reliance did not have the land in April and therefore this couldn’t have been a reason for according them preference. This, he said, was the weakness of HAL as they had no land near the airport, whereas HAL not only had the land in 2014 but had already begun the exercise to develop this new facility at Bangalore where they had an all encompassing complex. The French are keen to oblige their valuable customer but the problem is that so many things are already in public domain that they are not able to provide an adequate reply. Both Government, have given indications about the price at various forums, but the Indian Government keeps on saying that this is highly confidential.

No one has asked about specifications. You are supposed to spend public money for a good cause. We realize the need of the Air Force and we too have examined the capability of the aircraft and found it to be satisfactory. We are not decrying the purpose of the purchase; we are questioning the escalation in price while the French have gone on record to say that it is the same configuration that was approved during the UPA negotiations. The entire deal was suddenly changed. Price escalated, the number of aircraft reduced, the Make in India clause dropped, HAL dropped and Reliance introduced and the guarantee of the French Government dropped in a G-to-G deal etc. etc.. All these amendments without going through proper procedures to get the sanction in a proper laid down procedure in the system established in the Government for such purchases. It’s, not as if, personal decisions are being made. These are decisions of the government under a constitution and procedures are not playthings to be twisted at will. There are other procedural anomalies overlooked in the French side in this contract signed undue. The Modi Government has a lot to answer in this scam.

14th November, the 129th birth anniversary of Pt. JawaharlalNehru is celebrated as the Children’s Day. Chacha Nehru as all children used to call him fondly had a vision to build such an India that would be worthy of the generations yet to come. One of the greatest statesmen of recent history he led India towards modernization even without having resources in the country. The establishment of the Public Sector was to ensure people would have access to basic necessities, as there was not enough entrepreneurial wealth in the nation nor our financial institutions. The establishment of true democratic values, which though, were a part of the fabric of the nation had to be imbibed in the governance of the country. He made sure that we got a Constitution, which would stand the test of time and fulfill the aspirations of the people. A grateful nation remembers him for all that he achieved for the country and for the eons of generations that are yet to come.

We also remember our Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the iron lady, who gave us the second fillip for the progress of the country. The Iron Lady, as many remember her, was instrumental in providing a direction to the growth of the nation by her encouragement to small and marginal entrepreneurs. It was under her that small-scale industry, which is the backbone of our industry, got its strength and was encouraged over the large industrial houses. She abolished Privy Purses and Nationalized Banks so that every one would be able to share and contribute to the nation’s wealth. This led to the more equitable distribution of wealth. The courage with which she dared the might of the US Navy while she helped the Bangladeshis to get rid of the tyranny of the Pakistan rulers and carved out a new nation is unparalleled in contemporary history. She was snatched away from us by her trusted bodyguards who assassinated her.

The nation lost a true leader and a unifier of all Indians. CPP Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi paying tribute to Indira Gandhi said: “She laid down her life in defense of national integration and secularism, Indira Gandhi continues to be a compelling personality. She is still remembered for her indomitable courage and her fierce commitment to India, our country founded on unity, not uniformity, rooted in inclusion, not exclusion, and sustained by harmony, not hate. Her contributions to the shaping of its history and the geography of our region are enduring. She gave new hope to the aspirations of the weaker sections of society.” We pay our homage on her 101st birth anniversary on 19th November.