Politicians switching sides and ideologies is no news. Mass exodus from a political party usually occurs after the party suffers or is likely to suffer a humiliating defeat in the elections. It is like rats deserting a sinking ship. However, there are those who stand by their party through thick and think despite being fully aware of the possible outcome.
Hence, when a congress loyalist like Jayanthi Natarajan, who has been with the congress party for 30 years, resigns in the manner that she did, it severely dents whatever little positive image that was still associated with the congress (if at all there was any). It reinforces the well-known fact that Manmohan Singh was just a puppet and that the strings were held by Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. It sheds light on the way in which the mother and son duo handled the functioning of the cabinet.
Her letter reveals how Rahul Gandhi interfered with the working of the environment ministry. I quote, “I received specific requests [which used to be directives for us] from Shri Rahul Gandhi and his office forwarding environmental concerns in some important areas and I took care to honour those “requests. Shri Rahul Gandhi went in person to Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha, and publicly declared to the Dongria Kondh tribals that he would be their “sipahi” and would not allow their interests to suffer at the hands of mining giant Vedanta.” However, at the FICCI meet on 21st December, 2013, Rahul Gandhi blamed the environment ministry for stalling important projects. Natarajan was later made to resign under the orders of Sonia Gandhi in the pretext of “party work” and her successor Veerappa Moily cleared 70 projects in 20 days.
The congress wanted a scapegoat to justify and defend the poor economy and the stalling of big industrial projects. The Lok Sabha elections were only four months away and the congress high command sagaciously used this opportunity to project Rahul Gandhi as the saviour. An age old manoeuvre of the congress. Whatever good that is achieved by the congress party will be credited to Rahul Gandhi and the party men will bear the brunt for all the mishandlings and wrong doings of the first family. Having said that, Natarajan is equally guilty of being an accomplice in this act and comes out equally bad. If there are legal implications, then she too has to suffer the consequences.
This revelation also raises pertinent questions. If Natarajan considers herself honest, then why did she go against the constitution and honoured Rahul Gandhi’s requests? How many times has Rahul Gandhi interfered like this? Has he made such ‘requests’ to other ministries as well? Was there any corruption and quid pro quo in clearing the projects? Should the ‘Jayanthi Tax’ allegation by Narendra Modi investigated?
It is also telling, the way loyalty is rewarded in the congress scheme of things. Natarajan defended the Gandhis during the whole ‘Jayanthi Tax’ fiasco and the back stabbing by Rahul Gandhi and yet, he could not even bother to take time out to explain his actions. According to the letter, he was running a little late and never got back to her ever since. Well, Mr. Gandhi sure has loads of time at his disposal for his foreign trips, but no time for loyal party men.
I won’t be surprised if the Gandhis stay true to their customary style and ignore the media and the accusations surrounding them and continue to live in their bubble of denial and indifference. As it is, the congress has lost its position as a national party of any relevance and is diminishing by the day. A major chunk of this decline can be directly attributed to the first family, their arrogance, their denial and their style of functioning.
If such resignations, revelations and inept leadership continues, the congress on its own will fulfil the BJP’s vision of a congress-mukht Bharat.