Dear Mr Modi,
Recent Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections held on 8th August, 2017 will go down in the annuls of Indian election history as the most publicized event for the following reasons:-
- Coverage Time of Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections by audio/visual and print media would exceed by a million times when compared with all Rajya Sabha polls held in the country since independence.
- Excessive and undesirable coverage of an otherwise quiet event was as a result of exceptional misdemeanor by Mr Amit Shah, You and Your government and the two congress MLAs involved in the case, in that order.
Mr Modi Rajya Sabha polls in the country have invariably been a quiet event such as cosmic events taking place outside the solar system well beyond the orbit of Pluto. But your government made it a loud and cacophonic event for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Let me be candid in asking few plain questions that you must answer to yourself. My perceptions/answers to these questions are also listed.
Firstly, What business did Mr Amit Shah have to be present near the voting booth, he being a candidate notwithstanding?
Secondly, what prompted you and your cabinet ministers to virtually hound the Chief Election Commissioner by making numerous visits and holding press conferences in the precincts of CEC’s office?
Thirdly, and least importantly, what business did the concerned congress MLAs have in showing their ballot paper to Mr Amit Shah? Was it to prove their loyalty (read sycophancy) to their new master?
I will start with answering the third question first. I do not find anything objectionable in the conduct of the two congress MLAs because they are groomed to act as a ‘Doormat’ and sing praises in ‘HIS MASTER’s VOICE’. That has been and is the culture of the party to which they belonged. My question is whether NDA (read BJP) has also adopted the ‘HIS MASTER’s VOICE’ culture by promoting sycophancy and ‘chamchagiri’. If you can defend/present their actions in any other domain and support their actions, Mr Modi, you are headed the ‘congress’ way sooner than later. Let me caution you; Indian public does not support sycophancy. Indira Gandhi learnt it the hard way. Must you insist on repeating her follies. Of course this act of Congress MLAs pales into insignificance when viewed in the context of the then Congress president Late Dev Kant Barooah who coined the slogan “Indira is India, India is Indira”. Award for the best sycophant of Indian politics as and when instituted must go to Mr Barooah, albeit posthumously. I sincerely hope that BJP president is not promoting such individuals to be next in line for such award. It was a disgraceful conduct on part of the MLAs concerned supported by Mr Amit Shah’s arrogance.
Now the answer to the first question. Did Mr Amit Shah not know the clearly defined and enunciated rules with regard to the process of polling? What was he doing in the close proximity of polling booth, where no one except those authorized by the returning officer can be present? In blatantly disobeying the norm of ‘NO PRESENCE’ near the polling booth was Mr Shah trying to convey his status of ‘KING MAKER’ to his ‘Chamchas’ and imposing his authority over public servants deputed to oversee free and fair elections? Surely Mr Shah is a knowledgeable person having accomplished path breaking events in Indian political scene in the past three years. Perhaps, rather certainly, the ‘POWER’ has gone to his head. Mr Modi there is a famous saying ‘POWER CORRUPTS and ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY’. This famous sentence was used very often to define Late Mr Sanjay Gandhi. It is time you reined in Mr Amit Shah. Indian public does not appreciate blatant and unabashed exhibition of power and authority, no matter who you are.
Lastly, my answer to second question. Mr Modi by design and/or default you seem to be headed the Indira Gandhi way. She had absolute and total dislike for constitutional authority/ appointments. It appears you have the same traits. Let me elaborate. What was your first reaction when you heard the news that two congress MLAs were caught on camera showing their ballot paper to Amit Shah after marking? Apparently you failed to act voluntarily and by choice knowing fully well that this act was not only illegal but it smacked of sycophancy IMPLYING TACIT APPROVAL OF SUCH MISDEMEANOUR. Mr Modi, the only and appropriate action on your part should have been to leave the matter of deciding VALIDITY of votes entirely in the hands of the returning officer at Gandhinagar/CEC at Delhi.
You had the following options open to you:-
Firstly, admonish Amit Shah for indulging in such frivolous, irresponsible and childish prank such as watching an MLA cast his vote knowing fully well that such act on his part may/would invite retribution, if challenged.
Secondly, await the outcome of the decision taken by the returning officer/CEC at Delhi.
Thirdly, to challenge the ‘challenge’ raised by the congress and virtually hound the CEC for over SEVEN HOURS by sending batteries of your ministers so ably led by the 2-in-1 Minister Mr Arun Jaitely, Ms Sitharaman, Mr Piyush Goyal, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad. Watching TV news it appeared as if a cabinet meeting was in progress. What was even worse that each of your ministers chose to address the press conference in the precincts of CEC’s office. Is that your definition of allowing the constitutional authority to work independently? Mr Modi you have messed it up. In classic military parlance you opted for the worst course of action that of challenging the congress ‘Challenge’.
A rational decision maker like you can fall to such depths was beyond my comprehension. Were you responding to Congress reactions and following their footsteps? Your stature would have risen manifold, if you had directed your ministers to KEEP SHUT and await and abide by the decision of CEC or his representative. You have lost a godsend opportunity to project yourself as an honest statesman that you are. To me it defies logic as to how you fell prey to shenanigans orchestrated by Mr Amit Shah.
I say the above with total conviction. I will tell you what I did as an ordinary citizen on hearing the news of Congress CHALLENGING the validity of votes cast by two congress MLAs, who had the temerity to show their votes to a smiling and arrogant Amit Shah. I went on to GOOGLE and searched for protocol, if any, for voting in Rajya Sabha. Lo and Behold there was Supreme Court ruling as well as past precedence of Haryana. As an individual of mediocre intellect, I had no doubts that both votes were invalid and that CEC would do the same. That it took nearly SEVEN HOURS to reach a foregone conclusion speaks volumes about intimidation and pressure on the constitutional authority by your ministers. Mr Modi did you not have such facility such as internet at your command? Let me guess; indeed you had the same inputs and you also knew that what was done was not only illegal and immoral but also incorrect in as far as voting protocol is concerned. I refuse to accept that no one told you this or your ministers were not aware of this precedence/ruling.
By hounding the CEC, while defending the indefensible you have committed a professionally undemocratic and blasphemous act.
Need of the hour, magnanimity and demands of dignified behavior from a Prime Minister required only one action on your part and that was to ‘SIT TIGHT AND AWAIT CEC’s DECISION’. You opted to not only challenge what you knew to be wrong but also acted in most irresponsible ‘Congressi’ manner. For the first time I am disappointed by your actions. Political expediency must not become so profound that you voluntarily lose your rational sense of judgment. There is yet another ‘Indira Gandhi’ like streak in your actions, which worries me more than anything else. Did any of your minister/advisor advise you against escalating the matter in the manner you did? If they advised you and you rejected their advise, I would term it as a flawed decision making on your part. But if none of your ministers advised you against hounding the CEC by sending emissaries in batches, the first baby step towards promoting absolute and total sycophancy has been taken, albeit inadvertently. Mr Modi you have to put a stop to this as of yesterday unless you insist on following Indira Gandhi’s footsteps.
Your ministers continued tirade while defending the indefensible has been the FIRST BLEMISH. I hope it would be the last one. I sincerely hope that you realize that how much ground you have lost by one senseless act by Mr Amit Shah, yourself and your ministers. I always believe in one paradox; if you are pointing out a flaw, you must offer a solution, may be partial. Here is the solution that will, at least partially, offset the losses due to Gujrat fiasco. You have a godsend opportunity staring at your face in Haryana. BJP President’s son has been involved in the worst form of abuse and arrogance borne out of authority/status of his father. SACK THE STATE BJP PRESIDENT, SUBHASH BARALA, THE FATHER OF ERRANT BOY. You will send a powerful message to your party as well as an ordinary common citizen like me that you exercise adequate command and control over party affairs and your extremely lovable slogan “BETI BACHAO, BETI PADHAO” comes from your heart. Oft quoted sentence by all politicians and their spokes persons viz “LAW WILL TAKE ITS OWN COURSE” sounds worse than four letter word. Sacrificing an individual for larger party interests is a done thing in politics. In any case for having groomed a son like Vikas Barala, he does not deserve to be in office.
Let me offer my suggestions:-
- Appoint a new National President of BJP. Amit Shah has delivered but has outlived his utility.
- Appoint Amit Shah as full time Minister of Strategic Affairs (read erstwhile defence minister).
Lastly, Mr Modi half naked and partially literate Indian Public recognizes promoters of sycophancy and arrogant behavior and invariably punishes the offenders. I would like to see you as PM IN 2019 AS WELL.
Best of luck!