What a week we have had. Sigh, another scandal, more corruption, the Law Minister gets together Officials of Departments that are under investigation for possible wrongdoings and correcting the draft of the Affidavit the investigators are expected to submit in confidence to the Supreme Court, and the friends and family of Ministers make hay while the Sun shines, like the Railway Minister who has a nephew who offers to fix up a top post in the Ministry, collects an advance in cash, and the Minister is not asked to quit because he has denied being involved! Mr. Kamalnath even says 'it is wrong to demand the Ministers resignation before the end of the probe'.
I'm amazed at this brazen stand taken by the Congress. Despite being caught red-handed in this case, how can Kamalnath believe that it is 'wrong'? Wrong in whose eyes, pray? Definitely not in the eyes of the vast majority of the thinking public, who will want him to step down. Just to put things in perspective, let us consider the following:
The first point is that the nephew is able to convince a crooked Official that his coveted post can be purchased, who in turn gets a hard-nosed businessman to put up 90 lakhs as a first tranche of an eventual 2 crores of bribe money. Would these two have paid him the money if they had any doubt that he couldn't deliver? And, If he could deliver, can they make anyone who is not a half-wit, believe that it can be done without the Ministers' knowledge and blessing?
The second point is that this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If this is what happens for the fixing of a posting, what would be happening during the Tender process and the award of contracts? A businessman who is ready to put up Rs. 2 crores in cash on the word of a Member, will surely stand to gain multifold times? Sometime in the near future when he collects, we would never have 'seen' the Rs. 20 or 30 Crores loss caused to the exchequer!
Or, should we agree with Kamalnath that the amount was a ‘mere’ 2 Crores, and hence would be a pittance for a Minister as was recently claimed by someone in the defense of Salman Kurshid? A vast majority of us who support this nation with our taxes will never see such a sum of money in a lifetime! Further, speaking about the money trail, it will be interesting to know how the Rs. 90 lakh was collected, how much of it was tax paid, how was such a large sum safely transferred to Chandigarh from Bangalore, were Hawala Channels used, or worse, Banking Channels? Considering all this, and the fact that a Minister permitted such a criminal act to take place in his Department under his watch is inexcusable.
Finally, let us forget the criminality. What about the moral and ethical standpoint? Even if the Minister is innocent (I will personally never be convinced on that, regardless of ANY probe), is he not expected to ensure that his family and cronies do not involve themselves in the affairs of his Department? If the Minister himself is not vigilant and permits such flagrant nepotism, is mere deniability sufficient?
The moral fiber of this government is really in tatters and so will its fast-depleting credibility if Bhansal sits in his chair while the 'probe' is conducted. GO.