On Afzal Guru, Dikshit doesn’t really matter

The brouhaha over her ignorance of MHA’s reminder on Guru’s mercy petition, however, may put the ball into the Centre's court


Kapil Bajaj | May 18, 2010

To be fair to Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who handles the home portfolio, a decision on the mercy petition of Afzal Guru was destined from the start and has been nothing but a political question requiring the attention of her ‘elders’. She doesn’t have any significant role to play here except to do her elders’ bidding.

So her reported ignorance of the umpteenth reminder from the union ministry of home (MHA) that her government needs to send its views on Guru’s mercy petition is largely explicable except for her clumsiness in handling a simple query from the media.
Asked about the latest reminder from the MHA to the home department of Delhi government, Dikshit reportedly responded: “I have not received any letter. Maybe the home department received it."

Her response is actually pretty honest and revealing even though she seems to make an unwarranted distinction between the home minister, who she happens to be, and the home department.
What she seems to mean is that “If my elders had wanted me to act on this matter, they would directly tell me to do so; letters written to the home department are just a formality.”

The most likely effect of the brouhaha over Dikshit’s evident indifference to the formalities of the department she heads would be that the city government could be ‘allowed’ finally and in the near future to send its views on the mercy petition and be done away it.
The ball would then be in the court of her elders.

It would then be interesting to see how the UPA government would deal with the question of whether or not the man convicted in parliament attack case should be put to death.
It’s an issue – bear in mind – that has acquired more weight and urgency because of its politically motivated association with the recent awarding of death penalty to Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab.



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