BJP Going The Congress Way In Throwing Probity To Wind

By Harihar Swarup

History was made in Ahmedabad on Tuesday (Aug 8). After a grueling battle Ahmed Patel of the Congress won in the keenly contested Rajya Sabha election, thanks to the Election Commission, which acted wisely and impartially. The EC declared the votes of two Congress MLAs as invalid for violating the secrecy of ballot paper by displaying their votes to BJP representatives, paving the way for Patel’s victory. Past mid-night Ahmed Patel tweeted–“Satyameva Jayate”.

There have been precedents, which the Congress leaders quoted and Election Commission accepted: “The most recent precedent was in Haryana on June 11, 2016 when in the election to the Rajya Sabha, a Congress MLA’s vote was rejected on the ground that the ballot paper had been seen by a person other than the authorized person. There was another precedent in 2000 in Rajasthan, where an independent MLA’s ballot paper was rejected on the ground that it was seen by a person other the authorized person”.

Though a minor victory, Patel’s success in Gujarat Rajya Sabha election has boosted the morale of Congress. It comes after a series of setbacks.

It is deplorable that instead of setting new norms of probity in politics and public life, the BJP is going the Congress way. The deterioration in the Congress has set in late during Indira’s Gandhi’s tenure and went on from regime to regime. The latest degeneration in the BJP was seen in Gujarat; the way it split the Congress, made its MLAs defect by allurement or any other means to ensure that Ahmed Patel, advisor to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, was defeated. Ahmed was lucky to have won by a whisker.

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