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Railgate and the question no one is asking

May 7, 2013

Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Railway Minister is in hot waters. He has been allegedly found giving top posts in the railways for monetary benefits. The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested his nephew Vijay Singla for accepting bribe of Rs 2 crores from one Mahesh Kumar – a top bureaucrat in the Indian Railways. Mahesh Kumar was promised a place in the Railway Board – the highest decision making body in the organization. The ‘deal’ was supposedly for Rs 10 crores. Sandeep Goyal, Narayan Rao Manjunath (Bangalore-based railway contractor), Ajay Garg, Rahul Yadav, Samir Sandhir and Sushil Daga are the other six accused in the bribery scandal, all close to Pawan Kumar Bansal. (1)

It is indeed strange that there are two cases as of now where the CBI is in the eye of the storm and both are diametrically opposite. One is where the CBI is accused to have shown its proposed report to the Law Minister and the Attorney General over the Coalgate (discrepancy in allocating coal blocks). The CBI was instructed pointedly by the Supreme Court to keep its findings to itself.Yet when Law Minister Ashwani Kumar asked the CBI chief Ranjit Sinha to come for discussions regarding Coalgate the CBI director acquiesced. While initially it was said that the Law Minister wanted to check the grammatical mistakes it later was made clear that there were substantial changes made in the report at the behest of the Law Minister. There were people from the PMO too present during the meeting. Later Ranjit Sinha accepted that CBI was a part of the government only to retract the statement later. He also gave an affidavit where he accepted that changes were made in the report to be presented to the Supreme Court.

The breach of trust by the CBI director shows how totally they are subjugated by the government in power – so much so that they do not think twice before committing an obvious contempt of court, and in this case against the Apex Court.

Now look at the complete opposite behavior of the CBI. They not only raid the house of the nephew of the sitting Railway Minister, Vijay Singla in Chandigarh, they arrest him too along with others supposedly involved in the Railgate. This has never happened in the history of Independent India that a Cabinet Minister has so directly been charged by the CBI. They go on to raid the house of his nephew and recover Rs 90 lakhs.  Singla and his family, it seems had come to know of the raids and took a long time to open the door for the CBI sleuths but the fact remains that these are the same officers working under the same Ranjit Sinha who would take all the reports over to the Law Ministers office when the case was directly under Supreme Court supervision. The contradiction cannot be more glaring.

Railgate has embarrassed the government no ends and this is one scam they could have well done without especially when the {Parliament is in session. Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh  and their aides were in a huddle as to how to deal with the situation. They have decided to ‘brazen it out’ as the media is repeatedly harking. They will let both the Law  Minister and the Railways Minster to continue. Notice that the CBI Director retains his job and nothing has happened to him. The question that anyone will ask is – who is running this government? Is there a parallel government in place? Did Ranjit Sinha know about the fact that Pawan Kumar Bansal was under his organization’s radar and that his movements and that of his family members and aides was being monitored? If it was so, then why did he knot tell his political masters. If he can show sensitive files to the Law Minister, surely he could have informed about this to the PMO to whom he reports. Did Mr. Narayansamy, the minister in the PMO know about this? Somebody tipped off the Bansals and they were almost ready for the raids. Was it Ranjit Sinha who tipped off the PMO who in turn informed the Railway Mi8nister? It seems that some sleuth informed the CBI Director’s office who in turn, like a faithful servant informed his political bosses.

It is not the tipping off that is important but the fact that the same spineless CBI that caters to every whim and fancy of the government in power had the temerity to move against the Railway Minister. This is most intriguing. The government suddenly becomes helpless and does not know how to react to this onslaught. Could it be that there are people over and above this government that are really running the show? Is a section of the CBI reporting to the National Advisory Council? If it is so then this is a very alarming situation. Because this means that CBI Director is not in complete control of the organization. Further it means that the Prime Minister is not in control. There are forces over and above the administration in New Delhi. These are faceless people with lots of authority and no accountability. Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh seem helpless against these forces.

There is an investigative agency recently floated on the lines of the American FBI called the National Investigative Agency. The Italian Marines will be investigated by this nodal agency. They had gone to the Apex Court with the plea that their case may not be investigated by the NIA. It seems that Italian government is not sure they will get justice if the NIA investigated the case of the Marines. The NIA has also arrested a father-son duo from Vadodra in the Ajmer blast case.(2) The government was very keen to give sweeping powers to the NIA to search and investigate across the nation without informing the state governments. This was resented by the state governments and they refused to play ball. The government has not taken a decision on this but this will come up sooner rather than later. NIA is an attempt at turning India into a police state.

It is clear that Manmohan Singh is not in control at the Center. It appeared during UPA I that Sonia Gandhi called the shots. The most alarming conclusion that one draws from the Railgate is that even Sonia Gandhi is not in control. While it is commendable that graft at the highest level is being unearthed, it is most unnerving the kind of conclusions one is forced to draw from the developments and the way the nation is being run. The people this nation voted to power are not in control and the administration has been hijacked by some unknown faces. Or are they known to us but we are not told. People like Aruna Roy, Prashant Bhushan and others?


1. Railgate may bring CBI to Bansal’s door : DNA

2. Ajmer blast case: NIA arrests father-son duo from Vadodara: Zee News

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2013 1:52 pm

    Good post. We need systemic changes. While on this pls read my post “Karnataka today,India tomorrow –
    Views and feedback welcome

    • May 9, 2013 12:11 pm

      It was a bit late in the day when I read your post – the election results are out. It is said that the one who wins in Karnataka loses at the Center. It will be interesting to watch.

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