oppn parties Tapas Paul Arrest: Why This Drama?

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  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
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  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
The plot thickens in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot removed as deputy chief minister and PCC chief. His loyalists dropped as ministers.
oppn parties
Tapas Paul Arrest: Why This Drama?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-12-31 18:32:06

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Every time the investigative agencies or the police lay their hands on some politician or bureaucrat, they invariably hit back with what is now becoming the stock allegation – the government is indulging in vendetta. It has been the same with the Aam Aadmi Party, whose MPs and MLAs must have made a record of sorts by being, percentage wise, the most raided or arrested legislators. Arvind Kejriwal never tires of saying that Narendra Modi is using the power of the state to crush the party’s voice by targeting his leaders. Now Mamata Banerjee has joined the list by terming the arrest of her party MP Tapas Paul “political vendetta.” What do these leaders want? That the state should ignore charges of wrongdoing against legislators only because they are politicians? Do they want two set of laws – one for the common man and another for politicians?

Tapas Paul has been accused of taking favours from the scandal-tainted Rose Valley group that had swindled a huge amount of money from the people across several states. Paul had served on the board of the chit fund and was being investigated for his role. He was arrested when he was unable to explain how payments made to him were written at reduced figures in the books. Common people are arrested for lesser things. Politicians are given a huge leeway in any case. Agencies are already under pressure as they have to always protect their backs against raiding big names. If the opposition piles further pressure by alleging vendetta, no politician will be touched in future. Even a few years earlier, it was “let the law take its course.” The change in the attitude of opposition parties shows that either they have lost faith in the course of law or they want a carte blanche for their leaders. Why can’t Mamata let the law take its own course in case of Tapas Paul? If he is innocent, the agencies and the central government will have egg on their faces.

The behavior of these politicians every time one of their party leaders is arrested has emboldened others too. The manner in which former chief secretary of Tamil Nadu, P Rama Mohana Rao, chose to rubbish the Centre for raiding a serving chief secretary was most distressing, to say the least. What did Rao want the Centre to do after it found many charges of corruption and nepotism against Rao and his family members? Ignore them, just because Rao was on the chair he was? Rao could muster the courage to say things against the central government only because he, like misguided political leaders, feels there are two set of rules and politicians and bureaucrats enjoy a special immunity. He took his cue from politicians.

If corruption is to be eradicated, the law must be allowed to take its course. If a political leader or a highly placed bureaucrat is to be arrested, he or she must be. The opposition leaders should refrain from indulging in high voltage dramatics or terming it as “political vendetta.” The Sharada and Rose Valley chit fund scams have wiped out huge sums of money from the savings of the poor in Bengal, Orissa and Assam, among other states. As a peoples leader, the least Mamata can do is to ensure that the guilty are punished, even if they are from her own party. Similarly, Kejriwal should acknowledge that in his hurry to catapult himself in politics, he has admitted riff-raff in his party who are bringing it a bad name and shame. He should rid the party of such people instead of crying wolf. By taking off on a tangent, these leaders are trying to protect the guilty and attract a certain amount of guilt through association.