1. If you thought corruption amongst the ministers in the central government has reached its saturation point, then please throw away such thoughts in the dustbin! This week, it is the turn of Dayanidhi Maran, who was telecom minister from 2004-2007 (yes, he was the predecessor to A.Raja, not Arun Shourie as is popularly thought!). The first scam relates to a policy decision by Maran. Apparently, Mr. Maran denied licenses to Aircel for about 2 years citing many vague and frivolous reasons. Once the ownership of Aircel changed hands, license was immediately granted in many important circles. The former owner of Aircel has apparently told the CBI that he was forced to sell his stake to Maxis, a Malaysian company. This company, Maxis has about 20% stake in SUN TV (owned by Dayanidhi's brother)! So now the trail becomes clear :). Not just this - Mr. Maran also got spectrum pricing removed from the terms of reference from the GoM constituted by the honest and decent Prime Minister. Yet, the honest and decent Prime Minister kept quiet.
And then there is a second scam on which honest and decent PM kept quiet. Mr. Maran, as telecom minister, got the BSNL to connect 323 lines to his home in Chennai, and basically used these lines for SUN TV offices. And the worst part of this is that these lines were not connected to any existing exchange. A new exchange was created just for these 323 lines! A secret one that too. On just one phone, about 49 lakh call units were recorded in just one month! This report in Indian Express gives full details of the scam and how the honest and decent Prime Minister sat on the report, and did nothing.
However, honest and decent Prime Minister has enlightened us this week - "All these matters are being looked into by law enforcement agencies. They should be allowed to do their work without fear or favour."
2. This week has also seen hectic political activity in Andhra Pradesh. Damodaram Rajanarsimha, a minister from Telangana region, was appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister for the state. He is currently holding Secondary education and Agriculture portfolios. He is also reportedly insisting on Home Ministry too. If he gets, then it will be good riddance of the present Home Minister in the state. Next appointment of significance was the new Chief of the Congress. Botsa Satyanarayana, currently Transport Minister, was appointed as the new president of the state congress unit. As minister in YSR government, Botsa was embroiled in a Rs. 11 cr scam. And as expected, he came out as not guilty in this scam. Botsa's wife is an MP, brother is an MLA and nephew is also an MLA. Botsa is also known to be very aggresive person and is seen by many as the right person to take on TDP and Y.S.Jagan. However, what is more significant is that the Congress party has decided to erase all memories of YSR. It is solely because of YSR that the Congress party has come into power in the state, twice. It is solely because of him that leaders like Botsa and Kiran Kumar Reddy rose up to these positions. And today, they (along with Sonia Gandhi) have decided to erase YSR's memories for cheap political gains. On the flex poster behind the stage on which Botsa took over as president, photos of obscure leaders were displayed but not YSR's. I am no big fan of YSR, but this shabby treatment to a guy who bought them to power twice will certainly boomerang on this leadership. It is just a matter of time.
3. Baba Ramdev, after being sent out of Delhi, has continued his fast in Haridwar for 9 days. He broke his fast today. The government tried to discredit Ramdev using every possible ridiculous argument. The Home Minister of the country enlightened us by saying that RSS was behind this act of Ramdev. How does it matter if RSS is behind the fast? He obviously no answers for the same. The government, with the co-operation of the English TV media has turned the debate on corruption into a debate on communalism. Wondering what the link between the both is, your honour? That's how low the political discourse has fallen in this country. That's all, your honour!