Saturday, November 12, 2011

Congress must act

The Rajasthan Congress government of Ashok Gehlot should have acted much earlier against former Water Resources Minister Mahipal Maderna who is allegedly involved in the abduction of a thirty six year old woman Bhanwari Devi. She was employed as an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village of the state.

When the Cabinet Minister could commit such bestial act and the government look the other way, what justice can be expected in the state of Rajasthan. The abduction of Bhanwari Devi and alleged involvement of former minister Maderna in it must take toll on the Ashok Gehlot government either by Congress High Command or by the public at the time of elections.

The Congress Party may interpret the Bhanwari Devi disappearance case according to its convenience but the public outcry over degenerating moral values among its minister likely to cost it heavily.

It is for the court of law to decide who is guilty finally in Bhanwari Devi abduction case but prima-facie former minister Maderna appears to be behind her abduction.

Chief Minister dropped only after Maderna’s name cropped up in a CD allegedly showing Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh in compromising position with Bhanwari Devi. It is alleged that because of this CD with Bhanwari Devi, who threatened Maderna to expose, he allegedly hatched conspiracy to abduct and kill her. When media outcry over the nexus between politics, sex and sleaze grew louder, the government had to recommend for CBI investigation and Maderna was dropped from Rajasthan state Cabinet. There is also a strong rumour that CM Ashok Gehlot had prior information about Maderna’s illicit relation with Bhanwari Devi. Maderna is not an individual but a public figure representing the ruling party of the state. That is why Rajasthan government owe explanation to the people about his role in the case of abduction.

Former Minister Mahipal Maderna is a veteran Jat leader of Rajasthan Congress and it is because of his strong political base, CM Ashok Gehlot hesitated to act against him in time. It shows that the moral degeneration has set in political class. The view of the Congress that it is an individual case and Chief Minister can not be held responsible in any way is only a face saver. Can the Congress reject the reality that its Chief Minister presiding was over the cabinet whose one of the members was allegedly involved in the abduction of a woman? The abduction of Bhanwari Devi clearly reflects that if a woman harbours ambition of being powerful and rich, she has to go through the exploitation by powerful politician of the state.

Bhanwari Devi has been missing for the 72 days. There is no information whether she is alive or killed. Who is responsible for providing safety and security to a woman in the state? It is the state government of Rajasthan, which has totally failed on this count.

Central Bureau of Investigation is probing the Bhanwari Devi disappearance case and It has interrogated former minister Maderna, Congress MLA Malkhan Singh, Maderna’s wife Lila and Malkhan Singh’s sister Indira. It has submitted a sealed to the court.

Congress High Command must ask Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to trace out Bhanwari Devi without any loss of time. Merely by dropping Maderna from the Council of Ministers, Rajasthan government can not be absolved of all responsibilities.

To take the moral high ground, it would be politically better for Congress to ask Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to set an example of upholding the moral values in politics by resigning.

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