December is a beautiful month. Weather in this part of the world is cooler, despite global warming and all. Christmas is round the corner. There is a spirit of giving in the air. This year, christmas has come early for Mr. Rahul Gandhi and congress party.
- First, Mr. Gandhi has been selected as president of Indian National Congress.
- Second, under leadership of Mr. Rahul Gandhi, congress party has given a better show in Gujarat state assembly election. Mr. Rahul Gandhi fought well in Gujarat. His arguments had traction. His body language was more confident.
- Finally, a CBI court has acquitted all accused in 2G telecom spectrum scam. 2G scam was one of corruption issue that BJP had highlighted during national election. The value of one lac seventy six thousand crore loss to exchequer is etched in public memory.
Developments of past week has made many to think downturn Narendra Modi lead NDA government has started. Under leadership of Mr. Rahul Gandhi and his astute alliance building skill, UPA and congress will take back reins of government from NDA in 2019. We do not know what will happen in 2019 general election. But the following points are worth considering:
- At the present time BJP and its allies are ruling in 19 states of India. Congress party on the other hand rules two states, namely Punjab and Karnataka.
- Leadership of congress party did not expose Mr. Rahul Gandhi to Himachal Pradesh, a state where congress had to defend its track record. In way, congress party sacrificed Himachal Pradesh to fight Gujarat election. BJP won Himachal Pradesh with two third majority.
- Congress party chose to fight Gujarat election with full force in the hope that
- 22 years anti-incumbancy coupled with impacts of demonetisation and GST will very likely bring down BJP.
- A victory in the home state of prime minister of India, would have been a feather in the crown of new president of Indian National Congress, Mr. Rahul G.
- A victory would create a template for formation of a multi party alliance to fight Narendra Modi and BJP at the level of different state and national elections.
Coming to 2G case, many are questioning if there was any corruption at all in distributing 2G spectrum? All noise was created to unseat an elected government. The following points must be considered :
- if there was no corruption why Supreme Court cancelled licences?
- Why was Mr. A Raja, telecommunication minister, sacked?
- Why did Mr. A Raja serve jail term?
- Why did the then prime minister of India not stand up in parliament and declare his government is squeaky clean?
- Charge sheet for 2G scam, was filed in UPAII era. There was evidence in another scam, coal block allocation scam, a senior minister was caught dressing up chargesheet. There is no evidence, the same happened in 2G case.
- All said and done, a judge can pass judgement on evidence that is presented before it. If quality of evidence is poor, judgement that is pronounced will also be poor. Like Hafeez Saeed is declared innocent in 26/11 attack case by Pakistani court, becuause court could pronouce judgement on evidence that was presented to it. Similarly, our 2G accused are as innocent as Hafeez Saeed.
- I am hoping 2G verdict will be challenged
Many journalists and political commentators that are considering poor showing by BJP in Gujarat to be a moral victory for congress party. It is important to remember that unlike congress party that sacrificed Himachal Pradesh, BJP did not or could not give up on Gujarat despite all potential issues of anti-incumbancy, impact of GST and demonetisation. BJP won both Gujarat and Himachal. BJP also improved its vote share in Gujarat after two decades of governance. Say what anyone may, a real win on ground is always better than moral victory.
Finally, Mr. Rahul Gandhi may have done well in Gujarat. His real test will come when he defends a state where his party is ruling. By the way, Rahul Gandhi also has to prove his persuastion ability to convince big leaders from other states and regions, who may have prime ministerial ambition. To add to discomiture of Mr. Rahul Gandhi, his alliance partner Mr. Lalu Yadav has been convicted in fodder scam case. This will be a weapon in the hand of opponents of Mr. Rahul Gandhi.