New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi’s outburst about the judiciary, calling it worse than Pakistan’s, is most unbecoming of his status as the president of a national party, although his party’s claim to be national in character is becoming increasingly suspect.
His frustration with the decision of the three-member Supreme Court bench that heard his party’s petition against Karnataka governor’s invitation to BJP’s Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as CM after a midnight sitting is understandable because a Congress-backed government in the state would have increased the number of states under Congress rule by over 33 percent from three to four.
More importantly, that would have got another full-fledged state, along with Punjab, in the kitty, the other two being minions, having been union territories for the most part of their existence.
Rahul’s burden of allegation is that, like in Pakistan, the judiciary is a puppet in the hands of the ruling party and that judges feel threatened under PM Modi. But the example he cited was of the press conference by four senior-most judges and betrayed a logical inconsistency in argument that has by now become a Rahul trademark.
The Congress president must be thankful to the Karnataka governor for having given him a cause to appear in public, after he had virtually disappeared from the scene following one of the worst drubbings for his party, making Karnataka the 14th consecutive state lost since Modi came to power.
The weight of loss in Karnataka was so heavy that the party wanted to avoid it at all costs, forcing it to play second fiddle to JD(S) although it had more than double the number of MLAs compared to Kumaraswamy’s fringe party. And this also explains the frustration over the governor’s action.
The governor has only given the first opportunity to Yeddyurappa to form the government. If he fails to prove his majority on the floor of the House, as it happened with many cases in the past, he will have to go and the JD(S)-Congress alliance will legitimately get called upon. If the alliance is so sure about the support of 117 or 118 MLAs, as claimed, why should they have to worry? They can hand down a more humiliating defeat to the BJP.
We have had worse cases of democracy going under trial in the past. A Congress ministry in Kerala in the 1980s was propped up by the Speaker, who exercised his casting vote eight times in three months to keep it aloft as both sides had 70 MLAs each. And the Speaker happened to be none other than a close confidante of Sonia Gandhi’s inner coterie member A K Antony, later known by the nickname ‘Casting Speaker’. If Karnataka’s is murder of democracy, then that was, indeed, a massacre.