Rahul lost; Modi won but this was not the kind of win the prime minister was expecting for his party. Photograph:( Others )
The final verdict is not yet out but first round of the 2G spectrum “presumptive” scam goes to the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, DMK leader A Raja, party patriarch M Karunanidhi’s daughter MK Kanimozhi and 15 others, including former top telecom ministry officials whose stand has been vindicated.
The Case will go through legal scrutiny from the High Court to the Supreme court. The Top court had earlier taken cognisance and cancelled the 122 licenses issued by Raja and even fined accused telecom companies in February 2012, citing wrongdoings in the allocation of 2G spectrum. The Supreme Court noticed that PM Manmohan Singh was kept in the dark at that time. The latest verdict also raises questions on the role of officials in Manmohan Singh led PMO. That may worry Congress but politically they have a reason to smile for now.
Initial leaks in the case were fuelled by the UPA government's internal conflicts, emerging at the time due to the existence of many power centres, acting in their own capacities and interests over and above that of the Government.
Taint on Mr clean
Post-2004 election victory, Sonia Gandhi had put her bait on Dr Manmohan Singh as the prime minister, projecting him as a leader with clean Image, which is rare in politics. Dr Manmohan Singh’s claim, “history will be kinder” to him, is proven right in this round. An economist, founder of a liberalised economic regime in India, Manmohan Singh was questioned in scam after scam during UPA2.
This Scam Series started with 2G spectrum allocation of 2008. Manmohan Singh has been given benefit of doubt but was questioned “why did he let allies loot the nation under his nose” when he was head of the government.
Reason for Congress rout
Opposition NDA, led by BJP, tore the government apart on the issue inside parliament forcing adjournments. Dr Singh was often accused by LK Advani as weak and dummy PM to 10 Janpath, which happens to be the official residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Returning to power in 2009, Dr Manmohan Singh tried to assert his authority by internally rejecting to accommodate alliance partner DMK in his Council of Ministers. So, was there some admission of wrongdoing is the question.
Opposition NDA led by BJP, Anna Hazare with Arvind Kejrival took to the streets. Politically Congress paid the price, Arvind Kejriwal got a foothold in Delhi and Narendra Modi swept the country with a historic electoral verdict.
Rahul Gandhi's challenge
A clean chit in 2G and now Bombay High Court's “no” to prosecute Ashok Chavan in Adarsh scam have given a big boost to Congress. Dramatic events are building up to 8 states Assembly elections and the run-up to 2019, making it interesting. Turning the turf to his side will depend on political skills of Rahul Gandhi as the new president of the Grand Old Party. One thing is clear if Rahul was to pose any challenge, he would have to look for combinations which would be capable of taking on the election-winning duo of Modi and Shah as 2017 ends.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL).