This odd political move by Congress may or may not give required gossip material about Modi, but it is bound to be proved as another instance of vicious witch-hunting. And Modi seems determined to use it to the hilt
Ajay Singh | December 26, 2013
By ordering a probe into the snooping of a woman by Gujarat police, the union government has apparently walked into the trap laid out by Narendra Modi.
There is little doubt that the whole exercise would yield nothing more than salacious details of certain individual’s sexuality. Legally, the commission set up by the Centre would have no legal authority to summon any officer or the woman involved in the case. Similarly, a parallel inquiry already ordered by the state government under the commissions of inquiry act would preempt any move by the central commission.
Perhaps the UPA-instituted commission’s limited mandate would be to come out with a string of salacious stories about the Gujarat chief minister’s conduct as fodder to be used for the Lok Sabha election campaign. This queer political move by the Congress may or may not give required gossip material about Modi, but it is bound to be proved as another instance of vicious witch-hunting to victimise the BJP prime ministerial candidate. And Modi seems determined to use it to the hilt.
Perhaps nothing exposes the political naivety of the Congress in general and the UPA government in particular more than instituting the probe into the events surrounding Snoopgate. It is ironical that the UPA government found no logic in instituting a similar probe in several riots in western UP. But it found a peek into someone’s perceived sexual conduct more attractive proposition than massacre of people in communal violence.
Once again the Congress seems to be busy fighting with Modi a battle which is more technical than political. In fact, the problem emanates from the fact that the party’s key strategists are great lawyers like Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram who always employ the best of language and technical points to score over debating point in the court of law. But they find their sophisticated language inadequate to convince people of culpability of the innocents and innocence of those culpable.
There are enough indications that right from the beginning the Snoopgate case was built upon taped conversation between GL Singhal, an officer facing murder charges in the Ishrat Jehan case, and Modi’s aide and then Gujarat home minister Amit Shah. All evidence point to an overzealousness shown by a “Saheb” (assumed to be Modi) to monitor the movement of the woman and her interaction with people.
If we go by the evidence collected and collated by the Gujarat police, Pradip Sharma, an IAS officer with dubious distinction, was besotted by the woman and harassing her. Sharma’s elder brother Kuldip Sharma is an IPS and at present serving as adviser in the union home ministry after retirement. Both Sharma brothers were perceived to be quite close to the Modi administration till they fell out with the regime mysteriously. The crime department of Gujarat police is in possession of enough material evidence which show that Pradip Sharma’s activities in his stint as DM in various parts of the state were not only objectionable but at times criminal. He has been facing charges on those counts.
On the other hand, the allegations levelled by Pradip Sharma indicate he was hounded out because he was friendly to the woman who caught Modi’s fancy; and Modi, in his capacity as the chief minister, used all his state machinery to snoop around and guard the woman. “He misused official machinery and curb the individual liberty of the woman,” Sharma and his sympathisers point out.
Intriguingly, the women on whose behalf the whole battle is fought has pleaded to protect her identity as she is married and does not want her name to be dragged in this muck. But none of these pleas are cutting ice with the UPA regime, which seems knowing salacious details of a love, sex and dhokha story imagined by the likes of Sibal and Chidambaram is more important.
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