2G verdict: Is there any 'clean' minister left in the UPA?

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 07, 2012 13:09 hrs
No first come licence issuance: TRAI

The Supreme Court's decision to cancel 122 telecom licenses in the 2G scam is unprecedented and will have many political, financial and legal ramifications.
The key question that emerges from this is whether the UPA has any right to continue at the Centre.

The rule of collective responsibility says that if there is big lapse or major policy failure on the part of the government, all the members of the council are jointly responsible.

In this case, it has been reversed. The number of ministers who are not associated with any scam or controversy is diminishing greatly by the day.

The roll call of "irresponsible" UPA leaders which do not seem to have the nation’s interest on their mind at all times is indeed embarrassing.

As it is getting three years into its second term, the UPA is already looking at becoming the most corrupt government of Independent India.

A Tainted Cabinet: There are a lot of ministers in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet who are under fire.

The biggest example is former Telecom Minister A Raja who masterminded the biggest scam of Independent India. He not only had to resign, but even went to jail.

The telecom license cancellations have even put Home Minister P Chidambaram in bad light. For months a Damocles sword has been hanging above him and that condition continues. Even his Lok Sabha election has been under a cloud.

NCP minister Sharad Pawar has a long list of allegations against him, but luckily for him, none of them have led to a chargesheet and arrest.

Newcomer Shashi Tharoor had to quit his ministry because of conflict of interests in the IPL case. The spat with former IPL chief showed Indian cricket in a really bad light.

Tharoor’s old boss Foreign Minister SM Krishna has found his name being dragged into the illegal mining case in Karnataka.
Former Aviation Minister Praful Patel also left the ministry under a cloud and Mamata Banerjee as Railway Minister saw an unusually high number of accidents.

MPs jailed: While everyone knows that Indian Parliament has a lot of chargesheeted MPs, sitting MPs being arrested is a new low for the UPA. A Raja, M Kanimozhi and Suresh Kalmadi are some of the embarrassments.

Even Amar Singh going to jail does not show the government in good light as it was the main beneficiary in the cash-for-votes controversy.

Shaky CMs: It’s not just the central ministers. UPA Chief Ministers are also on shaky ground. The two states that have shown the greatest development in the last couple of years, Gujarat and Bihar, are both non-UPA states.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit has been pulled up over her role in the CWG scam.

One of the ministers of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s government is allegedly involved in the Bhanwari murder case. The Salman Rushdie Jaipur Literature Festival fiasco also did not show Rajasthan in good light.

Kerala CM Oommen Chandy has been linked with the Palmolein oil import scam while J&K CM Omar Abdullah has been linked with the mysterious death of Syed Yousuf Shah. Abdullah has also been accused of using state helicopters for personal use.

Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan resigned over the Adarsh scam and late former Andhra Pradesh CM YS Reddy’s name appeared in a chargesheet.

In 2010, former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang was arrested in the PDS scam.

All this has to be a new record by the UPA.

A beleaguered PM: The problem is that even though the Prime Minister is still perceived to be honest and clean, he cannot wash his hands off fully. With each passing day he seems guiltier of inaction in the 2G scam.

If Amar Singh opens his mouth, then he may even be dragged into the cash-for-votes scam. After the Fukushima disaster and the Kudankulam protests, his nuclear power legacy is also under threat.

Other “honest” ministers have their own controversies. Defence Minister AK Antony is involved in an unnecessary tussle with the Army chief over his date of birth.

IT Minister Kapil Sibal is wasting his time trying to police the Internet, which is a meaningless battle. His multi-crore Aakash tablet project also seems to be falling flat on its face.

Without even getting into things like the Lokpal, the sheer scale of the 2G scam (second only to Watergate in terms of abuse of power and way ahead of dictators like the late Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, according to Time magazine) would have been enough.

Instead, the citizens of India have lost count of the scams that this government has given India and it is high time that India got a new central government.

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