Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Oh, What a fall !


Margaret Alva may not be another Margaret Thatcher, but she too was a shining star- a star bright enough to enlighten the voters during election campaigns. Nobody is sure what happened… but the star has fallen to earth.

A general secretary in charge of six states like Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab could not be a small fry. This gem of a lady who had additional heavy weight posts like party Working Committee Membership and Central Election Committee Membership, yelled out two of things about the party and it has shocked the nation. One: there's a ticket business inside the party. Two: yet her son didn't get a ticket.

There's no news in the confession that a payment seat regime operates in Congress party– what ever else it might be, it is not news. Had anybody bothered to ask the Kerala leaders they might have given you a step-by-step instruction on how it worked. It is an age old tradition. News is in the second revelation. After serving the Indira-Rajiv-Rahul generations selflessly all these years, Alva's son was denied a ticket! That too, when kids of so many small time crooks from Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh got tickets for the asking.

Nobody should entertain the misconception that Margaret is against giving tickets to undeserving children. Her regret is only about her own son not getting it. It is a long time since many sons and daughters like Rahul and Kanimozhi (whatever the party, children should flourish) had occupied the parliament. Many other offsprings had secured their seats in state legislatures. Only the son of Margaret is neglected – which mother could stand such an insult?

Recently Rahulji himself spoke out against this trend…he asserted that the status quo that only those with powerful families or cronies and money could get into the system, should be changed. What a far-sighted observation! With all these three things Margaret couldn't squeeze in her son…if this is the condition of Alva, what would be fate of lesser mortals?

Even after a general secretary proclaimed in public that the party is auctioning off tickets, the party high command has not agreed to believe the story. Investigation and things would only make shit hit the fan. The better option is to sack the general secretary. It is very easy…one general secretary can issue a statement that the other is expelled. What a democratic party!

Another national leader has claimed that the party was asking eight million rupees from some lady candidates. This amount too is for a constituency reserved for scheduled caste women candidates. Maybe the Gandhian party was giving concession to dalit women.

It's the lack of transparency in the party that is irritating Margaret. Even in dynasty politics some criteria and decorum is essential. There should be clear qualifications for offspring to get tickets: what's more important - that during student days he didn't have any relation with the party or is it a degree from a western university? For payment seats too there should be criteria. What percentage of seats should be in the payment category? Is it just to demand the same amount for a sure seat and for constituency where chances of success are remote? Chances of victory is as important as the chances for fund collection.

The seat where the chances of victory is dim, the chances of fund collection are bright –candidate him/herself can pocket half of the donations. There's a tug of war for this kind of seats too. You should take in to account this factor too while fixing rates for seats. You should definitely give concessions to children of leaders, backward classes, scheduled castes, women etc. A party that believes in social justice shouldn't deviate from Gandhian principles.

It is better to formulate the rules of ticket sales before the election itself. The old Moral Brigade – A K Antony, Manmohan Sigh et al – is hanging around without anything to do.