Distrust of Chidambaram spurs challenge to UPA

nion Home Minister P. C. Chidambaram’s attempt to bulldoze state governments into accepting a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) under the Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has provoked a political possibility into a probability. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been working towards a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance; and she found the opportunity in Delhi’s direct challenge to the federal spirit by creating a body with rights to ride roughshod over state police forces.

Banerjee has created a front comprising leaders from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. This group will determine who holds the majority in this Parliament, and have the decisive say in the formation that will come to power at the Centre after the next polls. The open opposition of non-Congress CMs (and silent resentment among most Congress CMs) is because the proposed NCTC would have dictatorial powers, including of interrogation, seizure and arrest under Section 43(A) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Apart from poaching on states’ rights in matters of law and order, such broad powers were till now never made available to the IB, even under the British. In other democracies, intelligence gathering has always been kept separate from police functions.

According to a senior official, the IB “has been grossly misused for political espionage and intimidation” under the present Home Minister. Another claimed that the IB, as it was functioning now, “was unconcerned about national interest. Its only interest is the personal protection of the privileges and powers of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.” That the Union Home Minister has emerged as one of the two “enforcers” of 10 Janpath within the UPA (the other being HRD Minister Kapil Sibal) is no secret to politicians. A Congress functionary said that both the senior ministers informally “take their orders from Ahmed Patel and Pulok Chatterjee”, the two main confidants of Sonia Gandhi, who are known to channel the Congress president’s instructions to those down the line, and ensure that they are carried out.

Using his power to advance or retard the career of police officers through their postings and confidential reports, a task in which the Home Minister has a much larger say (because of his closeness to 10 Janpath) than his strictly legal role, even CBI officers are reluctant to go against the powerful Tamil Nadu lawyer-cum-politician. Whether it is the CBI or other agencies technically independent of him such as the Enforcement Directorate, Chidambaram is known to have a major say in the way selected investigations get done and charges framed. “In the case of Maxis, he (the Home Minister) saw to it that charges were framed only by the ED and not by the CBI, and that too on weak sections of the statute,” a senior official claimed. A source close to Chidambaram denied such allegations and claimed that “the Home Minister goes by the book”. However, this is not the view of other officials or the political class, both of which remain convinced that Chidambaram is engaged (in the words of a party insider) in an effort to “do the dirty work for the Congress president” by shielding favourites and targeting rivals “in a way that Shivraj Patil never stooped to do, despite his subservience to Sonia”.

Because the IB is completely under his thumb, and by implication that of the Congress president, the taking over by the organisation of all counter-terror operations in the country would have given a political colour to all such activity. An official connected with internal security said that the Home Minister is known to take a “very political view” in such investigations, and to “consult closely with political elements before taking decisions and giving directions”. The official added that in contrast, “Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee never asks for political direction in professional matters, but acts on the advice of experts and officials.” Another officer claimed, “The Home Minister’s open favouring of his son Karthik’s contacts has led to a lot of disquiet within the Ministry of Home Affairs.” This charge is rejected by an officer close to Chidambaram, who claimed that “Karthik succeeds on his own, and because of his skills, rather than because of his father.” What is undoubted is that the Home Minister, as also the HRD Minister, has been known to intervene “quite heavily” in situations where the political or other interests of 10 Janpath are challenged, or need to be advanced.

It is his reputation for being a “caporegime” (chief executant) for Sonia Gandhi that has led to the present revolt against an IB-controlled NCTC by non-Congress Chief Ministers. From Mamata to Mayawati, all are aware of the way in which political motives drive investigations by Central agencies, a trend that has been accelerated under Chidambaram. Given the likely instability in national politics, coupled with the investigative zigzags in the monitoring and investigation of terror cases under Chidambaram, “forcing through a Chidambaram-dominated NCTC is intended to ensure that the stick of counter-terror operations is available to be used against CMs who are inconvenient” for the Congress, according to a party office-bearer. It is this perception that is likely to create a revolt within Parliament that may lead to the collapse of the UPA and the coalescing of a Third Front comprising Mamta Banerjee, J. Jayalalithaa, Naveen Patnaik and Chandrababu Naidu, should the Home Minister persist with his plan to make his favourite, IB director Nehchal Sandhu, the new “counter-terrorism czar” of India.



About janamejayan

A Viraat Hindu dedicated to spread the message of Paramacharya of Kanchi
This entry was posted in Anti-national Congress Party, corruption India, Crimes India, Dr.Subramanian Swamy. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Distrust of Chidambaram spurs challenge to UPA

  1. Rajagopal. H says:

    PC believes and behaves as if he is the only super intelligent being in the country. His nexus with the present occupant of 10 Janpath enabled by the total ineffectiveness of the occupant of 7 RCR
    embolden him to conclude that he can hoodwink all the CMs in non-Congress ruled states.

    However the proclivity of TMC Chief to sommersault at the crucial time is what the UPA chairperson could be banking on.

    As such those who are ganged up to fight this machivellian move by PC should bevare of Didi’s potential for last minute volteface

  2. everG says:

    that barah baje mms lends credence to chidambaram as he did in the case of raaja which landed the latter in jail

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s