cong-modi– V.N. Balakrishna | December 30, 2013

Ahmedabad | Narendra Modi saga is never-ending. For how long would he have to go through the baptism of fire before the Gujarat chief minister is vindicated of any role, direct or indirect, in the 2002 riots, and see the Congress’ comic relief coming to an end?

When last Thursday the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court rejected former Congress MP’s widow Zakia Jafri’s plea against the Supreme Court appointed SIT’s closure report the same day Union Cabinet authorized a probe into l’affaire ‘Snoopgate.’ Who says chivalry is dead when a single woman’s rights can be taken so seriously by the central government?

Despite the latest Ahmedabad court order, Modi’s detractors continue their mud-slinging saying the Supreme Court never gave Modi a clean chit as it had asked the SIT to further investigate in light of the amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran’s “contrary findings” even when RK Raghavan, who headed the SIT, had stated categorically “he stands by his report.” If Apex Court appointed SIT is in danger of being run down as an institution what message are we sending about the sanctity of our courts?

The nation has had enough of Congress mal-governance and corruption which reflected in its losing four states Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan, the last two in ignoble fashion. Like the Banqo’s ghost the Modi-phobia keeps haunting the Congress with its listless rank and file now looking for a miracle to take the party past the 2014 general elections.

In ordering the Snoopgate probe where nothing happened to the architect woman except some snoopers allegedly following her, the Centre’s alacrity seems astounding. Why no such initiative was seen, say, in the aftermath of Nirbhaya gang-rape of December 2012 when a 23-year-old woman was brutally beaten and gang raped in a private bus or when the main accused in the case Ram Singh was ‘allowed’ to commit “suicide”? Can the Snoopgate probe restore faith of women in justice delivery system and state accountability when institutions often fail to function?

The quick 90-day probe running parallel to the Gujarat government’s two-man probe launched on November 25 is so timed that the commission report will be out when the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign reaches its peak if elections are scheduled in May. In other words if the report finds fault with Gujarat chief minister it will be yet another grist to the overwrought Congress mill.

Even if, as the Congress argues, Snoopgate probe is as per Supreme Court 1977 ruling that makes such judicial appointments not infringing upon rights of states can a woman being tailed without she or her family complaining be reason enough for the Centre to rush in as if the rights of Indian women had been violated?

Contrast haste of Snoopgate probe with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family being let off from the CBI hook in the disproportionate assets case which coincided with passing of Food Security Bill in Parliament or Mayawati being allowed to combine three bungalows into one in a prime location like the Lutyen’s zone of Delhi simply because she is a Dalit leader.

An angry Ram Jethmalani remarked on Snoopgate probe, “This is counter blast to the Ahmedabad court’s dismissing Zafia Jafri petition.” BJP leader Arun Jaitley called it “phony probe” and said the timing on a day when a court in Ahmedabad was scheduled to deliver its verdict on Gujarat CM was too much a coincidence. “It was as if the Centre anticipated the setback,” he said.

All past efforts to target Modi through judicial pronouncements have come unstuck. For last several months Modi’s ever-increasing crowds at election rallies could well mean that Gujarat as microcosm be the new India the people are looking for without divisive politics bedeviling it.


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