Why this madness now, Mr Sinha?

February 8th, 2012

Election fever seems to have caught up with former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, as it usually does with most politicians, prompting them to render high-decibel rants about their achievements and / or equally cacophonous and jarring criticisms of their rivals.

In Sinha’s case, it is the second weapon, so to speak that he has employed to attack on telecom minister Kapil Sibal in the Economic Times.

Here is a recap: The senior BJP leader is taking a dig at Sibal for asking his party to apologise for having wrongly accused ‘Mr Clean’ aka P Chidambaram of being directly involved in the 2G scam. Many will agree that the demand by ‘Kaabil’ Sibal is ridiculous and needs to be dealt with contempt. The BJP veteran takes a dig at ‘Kaabil’ Sibal by delivering a sarcasm-laden apology for all the wrongs of the Congress in the past 65 years, and for that ails the country since Independence.

On the surface, the former finance minister is responding to Sibal’s preposterous demand. But anyone with average intelligence will tell you that there is more to it than meets the eye. Like a shrewd politician, he has got the timing of this article right. It is election time and Uttar Pradesh, the politically most important state in the country, is going to the polls. In one single article, the BJP has attacked the entire Congress in general and ‘Kaabil’ Sibal in particular, in an apparent attempt to dilute the party’s voter loyalty.

After having completed his tirade against the Congress and the telecom minister, the infinitely wise BJP leader moves on to deliver lessons in judiciary to Justice O.P. Saini who rejected Janata Party’s chief Subramanian Swamy’s plea against Mr Clean. Then, he starts dwelling on parliamentary democracy and accountability of ministers. Ugh!

There is no problem with the essence of the article. Every word written, every allegation made and every suggestion put forward make sense. But Sinha has conveniently ignored a few laurels his own party earned during the six-year rule. For example, while talking about corruption, he does not feel the need to hang his head in shame and admit that his ex-party president Bangaru Laxman had made a mistake by accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh in 2001. And UTI scam, Mr Sinha? How did the UTI’s capital get reduced to Rs 50,000 crore from Rs 75,000 crore while you were the Finance Minister during the NDA rule? Sure you wouldn’t want us to go there, would you?

If he had admitted some of his party’s mistakes in the write-up, the credibility of the article would have increased manifold. But he did not have the grace to do that. Hence, one cannot help but doubt the motive of the BJP leader and his party in publishing the article with their eyes on votes, and only on votes.

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