The serious existential crisis looming over Mr. Kejariwal’s future as CM and his politics because of this excise scam is becoming graver every day. The facts which are now available in the public domain clearly point to a humungous scam and siphoning off of hundreds of crores, writes former IAS officer V.S.Pandey
The infamous Delhi excise scam has again hotted up with the arrest of Sanjay Singh, the AAP MP from Rajya Sabha. Allegations and counter allegations are being hurled incessantly. The AAP leader and Delhi CM has again reiterated the allegation of witch-hunting by the PM. He is even making extravagant claims that no scam ever happened and it is only a political vendetta unleashed against the AAP party and its leaders because the ruling party at the center is scared of its rising popularity graph . He has again repeated the argument that ED/CBI found no cash or trail of the alleged pay offs during all the raids conducted so far. Mr. Kejariwal has conveniently forgotten the valid reasons for the investigation launched by the central agencies .
We are living in a “Media Society” where speaking lies is insidious and relentless, and perception is filtered according to the number of times the lies are uttered. Currently politics is all about lying and befooling the people by setting a narrative which is remote from even any semblance of the truth. Every lie perpetuated by our politicians through the well fed and pre paid media outlets with pro twist given by the so called experts and political analysts duly supported by the pro anchor, takes avatar and is presented as the truth. Spreading lies and false narratives has become the bedrock of new and veteran politicians alike , but leading the pack now is Arvind Kejriwal who tomtoms honest governance whilst his most prominent cabinet ministers are behind bars on serious corruption charges. Even then, Kejariwal, who has been accused of being neck deep in the now infamous “ Delhi Excise scam” running into thousands of crores of rupees, had the temerity to label others as corrupt . After the arrest of Mr. Sisodia, his close associate, and now his party MP Sanjay Singh ,he is apprehensive of the consequences and fall out of the on going CBI and ED investigations in the excise scam of Delhi government -which he heads. Even the most ignorant citizens are aware about the government’s functioning, and understand that in case of any policy decision cleared by the cabinet, the buck stops at the Chief Minister’s desk. Mr. Kejariwal will have to answer a lot of questions regarding this excise scam- worth thousands of crores. Accusing the investigating agencies is not going to help his cause .Answering their questions will. His habit of making false accusations against many politicians and industrial houses has already harmed him irreparably in the past. He has had to tender unconditional apologies many times.
The serious existential crisis looming over Mr. Kejariwal’s future as CM and his politics because of this excise scam is becoming graver every day. The facts which are now available in the public domain clearly point to a humungous scam and siphoning off of hundreds of crores. One can only sympathise with those who are still trying to defend the indefensible. The irony of this episode is that this scam -with all the available evidence- is under the lens of the judiciary and despite the repeated claims of Kejariwal and his party men, his excise minister and his other close associates are still languishing in jail due to their alleged roles in the scam. They have been denied bail repeatedly. Still Goebellian propaganda continues that the Delhi excise scam is “fake”.
Our nation has had a very poor record of punishing those who looted public money while in power. As politics in India has remained mired in black money all these decades , no politician dares to talk about cleansing the morass that we are in currently. However we have to walk the talk if we want to remove poverty from our land and provide just and equitable living conditions for our people . This cannot happen unless we ensure that corrupt politicians and public servants do not occupy powerful positions . We have allowed the loot of public money to go on unabated far too long and its ill consequences are tragically there before us. A nation of enormous potential which ,before the Britisher’s looting spree started, was one of the richest on the globe and enjoyed nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP, is still struggling to provide a decent living to a vast section of our population. The all pervading corruption has gobbled the public resources and lined the pockets of a select few. Currently less than one percent people have cornered nearly eighty percent of our country’s wealth. All this is the result of the years of benevolent tolerance shown by our ruling class towards corruption and all those individuals who looted the public exchequer and prospered. This is why exemplary punishment to all those involved in this murky excise scam must be meted out. It is time that the masquerading of unethical and unprincipled governance as honest and squeaky clean is ended.
(Vijay Shankar Pandey is former Secretary Government of India)