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Rediff.com  » News » Scam or no scam... Why the BJP will never send Sonia to jail

Scam or no scam... Why the BJP will never send Sonia to jail

Last updated on: April 27, 2016 17:50 IST

Narendra Modi knows that the Congress without the Gandhis is a more formidable and more dangerous adversary, argues Syed Firdaus Ashraf.

IMAGE: Sonia and Rahul Gandhi outside the Patiala House court during a hearing of the National Herald case. Photograph: Reuters

While watching the news last night, my phone kept buzzing.

Unable to ignore the constant buzzing, I checked my phone to find pro-Narendra Modi friends bombarding me about the revelations about Congress President Sonia Gandhi's alleged role in the AgustaWestland chopper scam.

Message after message informed me of how finally achche din had arrived now that Sonia's name had been mentioned in the Rs 3,600 crore (Rs 36 billion) VVIP chopper scam.

The messages were more or less identical: 'AgustaWestland scam -- Rs 250 crore paid as bribes to Sonia Gandhi and her aides to clinch deal.'

'Italian court convicts AugstaWestland Chief Guiseppe Orsi for paying bribes to top Congress leaders in India,' the messages read further, 'Sonia Gandhi struck the deal and used her puppet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to loot public money.'

Initially, I felt the urge to ignore the messages, but later I responded that despite my friends' delight, nothing would happen to Sonia and that she would not land up behind bars.

My phone went quiet. My Modi bhakt friends fell silent.

The media trial against Sonia, Rahul Gandhi or for that matter against Sonia's son-in-law Robert Vadra will yield no results. Two years have passed since the Modi government came to power, but the Gandhi family remains untouched.

From 1998 to 2004, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister, the issue of Sonia's foreign origin kept being raised by many in the government and the Bharatiya Janata Party. But the Vajpayee government did not do anything during those six years. Why?

Because if Sonia, the 'Italian,' was at the helm of the Congress party, it would only serve the BJP well.

Today, the Modi government does the same thing. It keeps highlighting the alleged scams that the Congress is involved in. But the people of India did not elect Modi just to talk about scams and to let Congress leaders go scot free.

If some Indians elected a prime minister with a self professed 56-inch chest, they want to see some action against the Gandhis, which is not happening.

Check out the allegations against the Congress party and check what action the Modi government has taken. The answer? Zilch.

The Adarsh scam. The 2G scam. The coal scam. The Delhi CNG fitness test scam. The Delhi Jal Board tanker scam. The Delhi power scam. The Uttarakhand liquor licence scam. The Tatra truck scam. And now AgustaWestland.

Newspapers and television channels report one scam or another, but there is little follow up government action.

The sole exception is the National Herald case, undertaken by Subramanian Swamy who dragged the Gandhis to court and for which, it appears, Modi rewarded him with a nominated Rajya Sabha seat.

The BJP believes the Gandhis are a liability for the Congress party which is a huge advantage for Modi come the 2019 election. I believe none of the Gandhis will see a prison cell, at least till an election year.

Modi knows the Congress without the Gandhis is a more formidable and more dangerous adversary.

After the back and forth with the Modi bhakts on the phone last night, guess the answer from them.

'There is no person fit to be PM than Modi today. If you have any alternative leader, convince us -- maybe we will vote for him in 2019.'

Syed Firdaus Ashraf / Rediff.com