Prime Minister Narendra Modi lamented that scams to the tune of thousands of crores and shell companies have become a common feature in our country. Delay in investigation into the graft cases and inaction in one corruption case forms the foundation for future scams and corruption, he pointed out.
Dynastic corruption has become a part of political culture in some states and it has emerged as a formidable challenge that is hollowing our country like a termite, he added.
Modi was speaking after inaugurating a three-day national conference on “Vigilance and anti-corruption” organised by the CBI in New Delhi.
“During the past decades, we have seen that when one generation of corrupt people is not punished adequately, its subsequent generations indulge in corruption with more impunity,” he said.
Foundation for more graft
Modi’s words led to worry among the YCP leaders. The mention of shell companies, delay in inquiry into graft cases, inaction in one corruption cases forming foundation for more scams indirectly hit the YCP leaders. They felt like that Modi made the observations keeping their party president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on mind.
The Centre had decided that corruption cases against elected representatives should be taken to a logical end in an expeditious manner. The central government also said that it would extend complete support in this exercise.
Daily hearing into the disproportionate assets cases filed against Jagan has begun in Hyderabad court. Modi’s statement that delay in investigation into the corruption cases would lead to further graft is worrying the YCP leaders. They fear that something adverse is likely to happen. Modi’s speech revolved around black money, suit case companies, abetting corruption, dynasty politics and delay in dealing with graft cases.
Though Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and others had flown off to foreign countries defaulting huge loans taken from Indian banks, Modi made little mention of them.
Many of the points stressed by Modi seemed to be true for Jagan. Some IAS officers are trying to read between the lines of Modi’s speech. They felt that his remarks could also be targeting Tejaswhi Yadav, the chief ministerial candidate of Mahaghatbandhan, against whom the BJP-JD(U) is fighting in the Bihar elections, the first phase of which has been conducted. Tejashwi Yadav is the son of RJD leader Lalu Prasad.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the central government had already released funds to the state governments to provide all facilities within a month to expedite investigation into the graft cases filed against elected representatives. He said that CBI and ED cases against elected representatives would be taken to logical solution in the near future.
Modi batted for preparation of a report on the cases against sitting and former MLAs and MPs, the stage of investigation and the likely time in which they will be complete and also the reasons behind the inordinate delay in hearing into the cases so far. He also made it clear that severe action would be initiated if there is delay for no strong reason.
Sri Lakshmi’s deputation
Earlier, Jagan had put in many efforts to bring IAS officer Sri Lakshmi to Andhra Pradesh. She is on deputation in Telangana. She is one of the accused in the multi-crore Obulapuram mining case and Penna Cements case. In one instance, he even took Sri Lakshmi to Prime Minister’s office along with him. Jagan’s confidante and YCP MP V Vijayasai Reddy also took special interest in Sri Lakshmi’s case but the PMO did not agree to sending her on deputation to Andhra Pradesh.
There are doubts if Modi would come to the rescue of Jagan in connection with the multi-crore scams the latter had committed, as Modi had not given nod to an IAS officer’s deputation.
Jagan’s pleas rejected
Officials also reminded that Jagan’s plea to hear the CBI cases first and then take up ED cases was also rejected by the CBI special court in last January itself. The court also rejected Jagan’s plea that all the cases be considered in a single charge sheet.
The latest indication is that the Centre is not likely to interfere into the cases and there will be no relaxation in dealing with Jagan’s cases. The money-laundering cases filed against Jagan would be investigated impartially just like cases relating to other elected representatives. “Corruption will be dealt seriously” is the indication sent by Modi. He also made it clear that the government’s intervention into the graft cases of elected representatives should be minimal.
“The shifting of corruption from one generation to the next is the biggest challenge the country is facing,” Modi pointed out in the conference, alluding to Jagan.
The PM also made a special mention about money laundering crimes. Modi’s remarks on dynastic corruption were targeted at the regional parties in the nation. Jagan, the chief of a regional party, is also facing charges of
money-laundering. In his affidavit, Jagan stated that 31 criminal cases were filed against him.
According to sources, Modi is very serious over Jagan for levelling allegations against Supreme Court judge Justice NV Ramana and AP High Court judges and putting the letter he wrote about the same in public domain after meeting him and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, just to make it appear as though he has the support of the central government. However, it is being said that the reality is not as it is being made to appear to the outside world.
BJP sources said that the Centre wants all cases filed against Jagan to see a logical ending. Modi also knows that the obedience being faked by the YCP leaders both inside and outside the Parliament is for their political needs, sources said.
It should be recalled that Modi had not interfered into Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets case too and the same might be repeated with Jagan.
The national conference organised by the CBI coincides with the ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’ observed in the country from October 27 to November 2 every year.