BJP’s Madhya Pradesh Mess!

The Congress party seems to have made it a habit of getting banged from all  sides on the question of corruption. Right from members of team Anna to opposition parties, everyone has been taking pride in  portraying Congress as a synonym for Corruption.  On the one hand Prashant Bhushan goes to the extent of calling the Prime Minister “ Shikhandi’ while Arvind kejriwal calls Members of Parliament as “thugs and murderers”. Yet the Congress spokespersons and leaders take it more like” a professional hazard’ than otherwise and generally try to wear those criticisms away on one way or the other.

In the process however, the Congress party appears to have forgotten the practice of counter-attack  and the best example of such a syndrome is the membership termination of two Congress MLAs Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi and Kalpana Parulekar because they were demanding discussion on Corruption in the state and the government.

The whole “ tamasha” since the monsoon session of Madhya Pradesh assembly session that began on 16 July following the Congress party’s resolve to target the ruling BJP over the recent Income Tax raids at the premises of two businessmen, Dilip Suryavanshi and Sudhir Sharma( who are considered to be close to the BJP.) has brought out the following  facts:-

1.    BJP run state governments are equally deep neck in corruption and in allowing the mines and minerals mafia to plunder the state’s natural wealth with gay abandon. Such allegations and proofs have been common in the recent past be that Jharkhand,  Chhattishgarh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh in any case has been  hitting national headlines  mostly for wrong reasons.

2. The BJP leaders who have been leaving no stone un-turned to paint the Congress-led governments both at state and the Centre as Black sheep, have either been oblivious or simply turned blind eye to various acts of omission and commission by their own party governments in States. They  have not yet learnt any lessons from the unsavory saga of former  Karnataka Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and they don’t seem to have guts to take any action against MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chavan even though there are a plethora of cases and scandals coming into public domain against him and his government.

3.  The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister is perhaps the only one who has been made accused number one in the dumper purchase case. Yet the high priests of morality and fair play in BJP sitting in Delhi did not have the guts to show him the door.

4. The Congress party legislators were demanding a discussion on the floor of the  House over the recent raids by income tax department on two businessmen who have been extremely close to  the Chief Minister. It would have been understandable if the opposition had directly attacked the Chief Minister or any sitting  BJP MLA as well. But here was a case of two businessmen and road contractors and yet the  Assembly was adjourned on July 18 without allowing any such discussion and instead, affecting the annulment of  membership of the House of two Congress MLAS. Here was a  bizarre case in which not even the principal of natural justice was followed while taking action against the legislators.

5.But then MP Assembly has seen such things in the past as well. The state assembly had cancelled the membership of three MLAs on various occasions. Two Jan Sangh MLAs P R Krull and VR Megawala were stripped off their membership for throwing footwear at the then deputy speaker N P Shrivastava in 1966. Congress MLA Suresh Seth too followed their suit for taking an elephant inside the assembly premises and showing ‘disrespect’ to the then speaker S R Navlakar in 1977. However, the offence of both Chaturvedi and Parulekar seems to be nothing as compared to earlier incidents.

6.     In any case, it was a legitimate right of any member of the state Assembly to raise any issue on the floor of the House demand a discussion on any subject of contemporary importance. But resorting to the termination of the membership of the House without giving him an opportunity to explain his/her position was like the murder of the basic tenets of democratic system.The Congress party could force the BJP on the aback foot by submitting en masse resignation and force a mid- term poll. The present BJP government, as per many local political observers and (even senior bureaucrats who plead anonymity) was perhaps the most corrupt ever and the state administration was actually run by the mines and builders mafia.

Dilip Suryavanshi is supposed be the front man of senior Minister Kailash Vijayvargi and also extremely close to the Chief Minister himself while Sudhir Sharma is supposed to be the front man of Suresh Soni( the third top man in RSS). These two persons are the biggest power brokers in Madhya Pradesh. Suryavandhi’s  Dilip Buildcon is supposed to have grabbed the major share of road construction contracts in the state. However, his House had not been raided by the IT people. Sudhir Sharma’s establishments were raided but his manfriday Uttam Swamy who has been striking deals on behalf of Suresh Soni has been spared.

A few senior officials point out that this would have emerged as the biggest scandal of the decade had ED, DRI and CBI raided the houses and business establishments of these people.” What has come out in public domain till now is just tip of the iceberg. Almost 70 percent things are still beyond the reach of investigating agencies’ said a senior bureaucrat in Bhopal.

Interestingly, the IT officials did not raid the House of former MP chief secretary Aditya Vijay Singh(AV Singh) who happens to be one the Directors of Dilip Buildcon. Singh is said to be the person who manages all senior IAS and IPS officers in the state and  Thakur ‘officers across the country. He is also supposed to have played a key role in giving a “decent burial” to Sahela Masood murder investigations in which BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh was involved. AV Singh is a high profile person who enjoys good equation with CBI director Amar Pratap Singh as well as Senior Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh.

Sudhir Sharma, a  former teacher from Samrat Ashok College of technology, Vidisha had been brought to Bhopal by Laxmi Kant Sharma. He bought mines in Jhabua and VNS college as well. He has also ventured into media through Pradesh today publication although Hriyadesh Dixit is the front man for that. Sudhir Sharma was also building a palatial House in about 14000 sq ft next to the Chief Minister’s house violating all government norms but now it has been stalled following strong opposition from various NGOs and other environmental groups.

This could be a great chance for the Congress party to bounce back into the middle and force the BJP on the back foot. The public mood is against the BJP as the state has been rocked by a series of scams and scandals and the recovery of crores of property which followed after the raids on the premises of IAS couple Arvind and Tinu Joshi sometime ago. The biggest joke doing circles in the streets of Bhopal is “even a forest officer in this state would be worth 10 crores and MLA would obviously be at least 10 times more”. Even BJP workers in private admit  that corruption runs supreme in the State.

But  then, the Congress party system runs on the mercy of the party high command and one of the reasons why the Congress party does not  wish to precipitate the matter further is its inability to win in case of a snap poll in MP. The Congress Party is a divided house torn as it is in factions. Union Minister Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Sindhia have their own sphere of support base. The MPCC President Kanti Lal Bhuria who replaced Suresh Pachauri sometime ago is, by and large seen as a Digvijaya singh protégé and unable to lead from the front as he is seen as a stop gap arrangement to facilitate Digvijaya Singh back to Bhopal in due course.

Many senior Congressmen in Bhopal also point out that Digvijaya Singh had propped up Kanti Lal Bhuria to counter a respected tribal leader named Dilip Singh Bhuria. The Congress received a terrible drubbing in the recently held municipal elections in Chindwara, Jhabua, Dhar and Khargaon tribal belt and most of his opponents have started openly  criticizing him an incapable man.

Under these circumstances, the best option for the Congress High Command would be to send a combined team of Jyotiraditya Sindhia and Satyavrat Chaturvedi to Bhopal to work together and  bring the party back to power. This combination, according to many political pundits, would emerge formidable and spell disaster for the  BJP.

There are also indications that there would be a plethora of incriminating documents and evidences emerging out in public domain to prove the direct involvement of MP Chief Ministers in many shady deals and decisions, once the Congress party makes its intention clear to force a snap poll in the state.

However, the biggest question still remains if the Congress High Command would swallow the bait ?

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