Weekend Wrap : Cong-BJP face-off Over Nirav Modi, Army Chief’s Bloomer, AAP’s Inept Governance

File Picture Courtesy : News X

File Picture Courtesy : News X

Embattled Jeweller Nirav Modi continues to be the big news maker after the sensational revelations of his Rs 11, 400 cr fraud in the PNB. As the usual the blame game between the BJP and the Congress over Nirav Modi has started. Charges and counter charges have become the order of the day. Nirav Modi however, has decided to brazen it out . He has indicated that he is not willing to appear before the ED and with a tagline – Catch me If you can , he is simply mocking India and has severely embarrassed the Narendra Modi government .

BJP had claimed that it had unearthed the scam as it took place under the UPA tenure. Congress, on the other hand has put the government on the mat and BJP spokespersons grappling with answers in various news channels as to how Nirav Modi could leave India under its very nose? Kingfisher owner Vijay Mallya, similarly fled the country. These twin incidents have now raised serious questions whether there was a sort of tip – off to the two business tycoons to leave India.

Catchy slogans have been the hallmark of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dispensation ever since it has come to power in 2014. Digital India, Make in India, Start Up 6I6ndia, Make in India . But after the trio – Nirav Modi ,Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi, it seems we are staring at a hypothetical slogan – Run away From India .

The PNB scam is all set to dominate  the second leg of the Budget session of Parliament scheduled to begin on March 5 . The Nirav Modi loot could not have come  at a worse time for the government  which is already  facing the heat over the Rafale jet pricing deal.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is taking on the Modi government head on ever since the PNB scam has come to light. The silence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue ( not even a single tweet as he normally tweets on everything that is under the sun instantly ) and the selective silence of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has not helped matters either . Jaitley did finally speak up on the PNB fraud but was rather late not prompt. Like Jaitley, PM Modi did finally speak on the issue, much delayed though and promising stringent action.

It was a rather bizarre scenario where one got to see the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman  and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad defending the government. A financial scam / wrongdoing comes under Finance Ministry – Jaitley being the Finance Minister and certainly not under Sitharaman. This has been the laid down principle for years now . Its change from the usual norm has made the tongues wag.

If the Nirav Modi episode  had the nation and the Prime Time occupied , then the capital witnessed an unprecedented incident that shamed us all. In a shocking , brawl audacious AAP’s MLA’s physically assaulted Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash. It was shocker out of the blue throwing capital into chaos. AAP’s inexperience in governance had been exposed in the past, but this brazen assault on a senior bureaucrat their image has now reached its nadir . It is regrettable that CM Arvind Kejriwal instead of apologising for the disgraceful behaviour of his party men has decided to play the victim card – alleging that The BJP, Congress and the media are out to malign his government.

It is pity that the AAP which had completed three years in power recently is now staring at a serious credibility crisis not only in governance but as a party . Its claim to be different than other parties – BJP , Congress has turned out to be farce. People of Delhi would now be wondering whether the capital was better off in the hands of the two national parties – BJP or Congress than AAP? . Hopefully, when the assembly polls are due in Delhi, people would think twice before casting their vote in favour of AAP.

Army chief Bipin Rawat has often irked China with his comments on Doklam issue. Beijing had termed his comments unconstructive for maintaining peace on the borders. Now the army chief has found himself on sticky wicket by his latest comment that in Assam the AIUDF has grown faster than the BJP in the North-East state. When was the last time an Indian army chief talk about politics / or give his views on a region? One hardly remembers. Rawat’s remark is causing the furore simply because it is seen as a deviation from the Indian army’s long stand – to remain apolitical – when it comes to political affairs , which are the domain of the political parties. It is essential to note that role of the army in India is not similar to that of Pakistan . In Pakistan, the army decides the tenure of the civilian government in power.

An  interesting interview  of the week was that of the NCP supremo and Maratha stalwart Sharad Pawar by MNS Chief Raj Thackeray. Pawar is arguably one of Maharashtra’s most powerful and shrewd politicians. The wily Maratha strongman answered volley of questions asked by Raj Thackeray with élan and aired his views on host of issues – Rahul Gandhi, Congress future, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s working style, Late Bal Thackeray among others. No wonder, everytime the political situation in Maharashtra becomes fluid – Pawar Play definitely comes to the fore.

Another issue that has created unnecessary controversy is the picture of former Miss World Priyanka Chopra on the Assam tourism calendar. There can be a debate as to why Priyanka Chopra was chosen as Brand ambassador of Assam in the first place, but to point fingers at her attire is absolutely uncalled for. Before getting her on board the government should have done some homework . I am afraid they did not . She is a Bollywood superstar actress and now also a Global star thanks successful foray in the US . Further, she has been setting new benchmark with her sense of fashion off- late. Therefore, this attribute of Priyanka alone makes this whole brouhaha all the more laughable.

Finally in sport and in tennis , It was indeed great to see Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer become the oldest ever number one player in the world in the latest ATP rankings at the age of 36. . Here was a player who was for while unable to get past the 17 Grand Slam tally leading to clarion calls for retirement . But he was determined to prove that he still has the fire in his game. He hung on and emerged triumphant in the end . Proving what a great never say die champion he is . He has now an astonishing 20 Grand Slam singles titles under his belt. This is nothing but a truly phenomenal achievement . Making him beyond doubt the greatest tennis player . The affable Federer has also shown that the axiom – that age is just a number is possible in gruelling sport like tennis too.

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