Oops!

It is not that the Delhi High Court dismissed Subramanian Swamy’s PIL seeking a court-monitored SIT investigation into the death of Sunanda Pushkar, though there is that.

It is not that an acerbic, and clearly annoyed, high court called out the PIL as a “political interest litigation” — though there is that, too.

What should make you sit up and take notice is this:

The court also said Swamy appears to have concealed data or information which he should have disclosed at the first instance. The central government, as well as the Delhi Police, told the high court that they did not subscribe to the views expressed by Swamy that the probe in the case has been influenced by Tharoor.

And this:

It was also observed by the Court that Swamy, on being specifically asked about the basis of his allegations, says that he shall file another affidavit regarding the same, thus admitting that he has information that was not filed before and which ought to have been filed.

Which is to say, having first filed a PIL where facts in his position relevant to the case were not disclosed, and having been pulled up severely by the court, Swamy now wants a do-over.

All that has been achieved so far, meanwhile, is that the new lexicon for a New India acquires another phrase: political interest litigation.

Update, 6:45 PM: Here in PDF form is the full order by the Delhi High Court. Elsewhere, predictably:

 

 

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WTFJH: October 26

#1. When the most powerful man in the country takes time out from the onerous task of building a New India to reach out to a lay party worker, it sends a message — the prime minister, like democracy itself, is of and for the people. Here, watch this chicken soup for the political soul moment:

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Post-script to strategery

Well, what do you know?! In response to my post on the BJP’s wonky strategery, I get three different emails, in the space of under an hour, all essentially asking the same thing: Am I reading too much into one case being withdrawn and one warrant in another case being issued, both involving Hardik Patel?

Like I said at the outset, when I restarted my blog, I prefer to keep all discussions here, and not one-on-one in email — I’m fine voicing my opinions in public, no reason you need to be wary about voicing your questions to me. So. In response to the above question — I am, am I? Reading too much?

Headline #1: Govt to withdraw 90% cases against agitating Patidars

Headline #2: Eye on elections, Gujarat govt to drop most cases against Patidars

Where’s the catch? Headline #1 is dated August 1, 2016. Headline #2 is dated October 13, 2017

That is what I meant when I said the BJP uses, and withdraws, cases not because of its vaunted law and order credentials, but because of political expediency.

The case in which a non-bailable warrant has been issued against Hardik Patel relates to damage to property and related sections. In response to my comment, I got this on Twitter:

Yeah, some think. And remember. Like, so (Dated October 18, 2017):

Continuing its populist announcements, Gujarat government on Wednesday declared to withdraw criminal cases registered under the provisions of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and other relevant penal sections against 22 farmers of Sanand region in Ahmedabad district. Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja made the announcement in an official release.

While on which, you really can’t fool all the people all the time. As witness:

The announcement came barely a week after the Bharatiya Janata Party government promised to withdraw all “non-serious cases” filed against members of the Patidar community after their protest rally in August 2015 had led to rioting and violence across the state. The land-owning Patidar or Patel community, which accounts for 14% of Gujarat’s population, is fighting for reservation in jobs and education under the Other Backward Classes category.

However, neither the Sanand farmers nor the Patidar leaders are moved by the BJP’s attempts to placate them. Dismissing the announcements as pre-poll bait, they claimed the government had yet to address their main problems and demands.

Shailesh Thakkar, one of the 22 farmers from Upardal village in Sanand, doubts the government will keep its word. “We have been seeing in the media that the government has claimed it will withdraw the cases against us,” he said. “But will they actually withdraw the cases? I doubt it.” Thakkar spent 16 days in jail before he was released on bail in March.

If you still think the latest action against Hardik Patel has to do with law and order, can I interest you in a big bridge?

 

What price strategery?

Serious question: Just what is the belief that the BJP is the master of the political strategy based on? Certainly not recent activities south of the Vindhyas and in Gujarat.

Kerala was doing its thing when the RSS/BJP combine decided to stir things up in the Kannur/Kasargode region. When that particular kitchen became too hot for comfort the party apparatus pulled out its default stunt — the yatra — and ended up with the dampest of damp squibs. So much so that in order to get some media attention, Amit Shah had to transplant the Kerala yatra to New Delhi.

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45 days to go

Finally, we have dates. December 9 for the first phase, and December 14, for the second phase, of the Gujarat elections.

The lead-in to the announcement had its share of controversies, the confusion being compounded by the Election Commission’s self-serving statements at various points in time. For instance, the CEC said the reason the dates for Gujarat were not announced at the same time as those for Himachal Pradesh was that flood relief work was still ongoing in the former. Not true, NDTV found when it spoke to officials on the ground.

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The teflon don

Way back in 2013, I’d posted a small take titled ‘The Talented Mr Jaitley‘. Now read this Caravan story on malfeasance within the DDCA administration (and embedded links within it to more of the same).

Now ask yourself this: Why is it that nothing ever sticks to Jaitley’s Teflon political skin?

WTFJH: The Gujarat edition

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RK Laxman’s genius is timeless. Above, as exhibit A in support of that argument, a cartoon dating back to December 2002, and as relevant today as Gujarat prepares for the polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has over the past month or so become a permanent fixture in Gujarat, which is fair — it is his home state and his political stronghold. What is interesting is what Modi has been doing in course of his frequent-flier electioneering.

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