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Stinging issues

Stinging issues

Author: Editorial
Publication: News Today
Date: July 25, 2008
URL: http://newstodaynet.com/newsindex.php?id=9477%20&%20section=13

The Speaker of Lok Sabha was summarily dismissed by his party for going against its diktat.

When Somnath Chatterjee celebrated his 80th birthday, in normal circumstances it would not have been reason enough for the visit of high profile politicians particularly from the UPA to his house.

But now the changing tides of political sea has washed him away from the party that anchored him so far.

But it is unimportant whether he switches loyalties or remains to steadfast to Communism, The bigger task for him is how he handles the CD on the 'bribe for votes' sting operation conducted by the BJP and recorded by a private TV Channel.

The disturbing factor in the whole episode has been the undue 'delay' of the TV Channel in handing over the recorded CDs to the Speaker and so far, it has not given a convincing reason for it.

The history of the so-called sting operations conducted by the media shows that the recordings have been broadcast first to the public and then handed over to the respective authorities.

Whether the exposures are genuine or doctored, the concerned channels have brought them out in the public domain first.

The tradition being so, it is a surprise that the said channel has decided not to show the recordings in public, which causes suspicion on its intent. Moreover, the channel's delay in delivering the CDs to the Speaker's office also lead to misgiving in certain quarters whether the recordings have been tampered after.

It can be said that the BJP's seeking help from the channel itself was to take the matter to the public, and in that case, it is a wonder why the channel refrained from broadcasting it! It is reported that the CD contains real incriminating stuff, which could cause deep trouble for the Congress and the Samajwadi Party.

The Prime Minister, who also met the Speaker yesterday, seemed to be not bothered at all about the entire episode, barring his single statement of feeling saddened about it. It is not known if he had discussed about this issue with the Speaker.

He must realise that his victory has been tainted; his sudden aggression in politics is being viewed with suspicion and his carefully groomed 'honest' image has taken a heavy beating.

He must ensure that the government cooperates with the Speaker in his investigations and the culprits, however powerful they may be, are brought to book. The Speaker must also ensure a proper and speedy investigation, as the sting operation has been conducted against two traditionally rival parties, who have joined together purely on selfish interests.

The Speaker, who defied the whip of his party on the grounds that he was above party politics, neutral and trustworthy, has got this case on hand to prove those very same factors and also to assert his authority and his office's autonomy.

Democracy is sacred and its sanctity must be reestablished by removing the stains caused by the unscrupulous elements for the sake of remaining in power.

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