Sunday, January 15, 2012


Sunday, January 15, 2012 2 comments Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

VVS Laxman - The End

Thanks Smile @thebansal -!/thebansal/status/158444475734167552

@thebansal: i m wondering more abt Laxman's..irony..aus brought him glory and aus dusted him

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The patient, the quack and the nurse

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 1 comments Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

The Congress party messed it up completely - not having the numbers, not managing allies and avoiding a vote hiding behind technicalities. But let’s go back to the start. This was an exercise in fixing responsibility for preventing the passage of Lokpal bill.

The first round was in the Lok Sabha, played out in two parts - the voting on Lokpal bill and the constitutional amendment. The Bill went through, but the constitutional amendment didn't. Without going into the "strong Bill"/"weak Bill" argument, the Govt came closest to delivering on promises made outside parliament. Opposition parties, by abstention, amendments or walkouts, missed a trick. The Bill, as Govt saw it, was passed. It is not what Team Anna wants, it is not perfect, but I would be surprised if we get anywhere closer than this to Lokpal being a reality.

Part two was the constitutional amendment for which the Govt. never had the numbers and Govt. gets brownie points for effort. Regional parties and the opposition beat the drum of federalism but if corruption was such an important issue that they had vowed to combat, why not give the Bill safe passage based on assurances from Govt.? That question has one answer – lack of trust in the Congress party which has behaved arrogantly, as if it can do no wrong even while stumbling from one scam to another, creating a crisis where none existed and handling it ineptly enough to take matters to the brink.

The end result was a Lokpal bill that made it through the Lok Sabha and, a ‘game changing’ constitutional amendment that didn’t.

The second round in the Rajya Sabha saw a spirited debate where strong points were made by Arun Jaitley, a man who looks increasingly prime ministerial and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was technical but made great counter arguments. A few speeches later, it all went downhill due to a Govt. that presided over a bizarre sequence of events – some orchestrated, some accidental – and Mamata Banerjee made the situation even more volatile. She had a right to go on strike at the time of her choosing, and for the second time in a month, she tripped up a bumbling Govt. The opposition parties saw an opportunity and rightly took it, making it even worse for the Govt.

It does not matter if Lokpal bill was strong or weak, who was right or wrong, or there were 187 amendments with little time for discussion, or who voted for the Bill in Lok Sabha and who defeated the constitutional amendment or why. It also does not matter if federalism was a genuine issue, enough to override corruption, or if it was a bogus issue raised to prevent the bill from going through or if a manufactured constitutional crisis was averted. 3 things matter:
1. Govt and Congress, had blood on their hands when it all ended
2. The Bill, in whatever form, survived for another day when circumstances might be different.
3. Mamata Banerjee proved herself as volatile and unreliable even if her politics made sense

And then there is Arun Jaitley.

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