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OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.
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Offstumped has uncovered a Planning Commission Report titled “Report of the Working Group on Agricultural Credit, Co-operation and Crop Insurance”  for the 2002-2007 plan. This report was compiled in 2001 and it lists Pratibha Patil as a Member of the Working Group in her capacity as Chairperson Sugar Co-operative Mills, Jalgaon, Maharashtra. What this means is Pratibha Patil was very much in the thick of things when the 2002 scandal and the loan default occurred.

The UPA-Left today dismissed as “misapplied and inapposite” NDA’s plans to seek a conscience vote in favour of Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat in the presidential election as had happened in 1969. Meanwhile Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi in defence of Pratibha Patil said “Stale allegations have been reincarnated deliberately for mischievous purposes,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury also hit out at the RSS-BJP for making “unfounded allegations” against Patil saying it reflected their desperation as they were set to lose.

However the reality is it is Media Outfits CNN-IBN and Indian Express that have been at the forefront of digging Pratibha Patil’s record and questionable ethics.

First CNN-IBN broke the Bank Loan Default story . Then the Indian Express on sunday carried a story with references from Maharashtra Assembly proceedings and Pratibha Patil’s pronouncements as Health Minister during the six months into Emergency. Some quotes

“We are also thinking of forcible sterilization for people with anuvaunshik ajar (hereditary diseases).”

“My opinion is that whatever religion one practises, he should keep it at home and adopt family planning as the true religion,”

Well the Indian Express has tried to rationalize these statements as having been made 30 years ago in the days of Emergency. But this revelation by the Indian Express puts into context Pratibha Patil’s comments on dealing with Terrorism during the 1993 debate in the aftermath of the Mumbai Bomb Blasts which Offstumped higlighted a few days ago. Pratibha Patil in the debate offered a 3 point National Agenda to deal with Terrorism and point number 2 was

 The second requirement is that there has been no national population policy in the country so far. It is quite necessary to have that policy.

At that time it seemed odd why Pratibha Patil would bring in population control to deal with terrorism. But the connection is obvious if one squares these remarks with those made during Emergency to Muslim League MLAs. While the Congress and the psuedo secular left are gloating over Patil’s so called secular credentials in the light of her returning the Rajasthan Anti-Conversion Bill, they seem to have not caught on clear Anti-Muslim Prejudices that first surfaced during the Emergency debates and then again during the Mumbai Bomb Blasts debates.

Population Control continued to be a recurring theme in Pratibha Patil’s political career and her pronouncements confirm the authoritarian streak on this subject further confirming her remarks during Emergency were not one off. As Lok Sabha MP participating in the 1993-1994 debate on the Annual Budget she made these rather astounding remarks on Population Control

Increase in the population should be looked upon as an economic crime on the country.

After the population control angle, The Indian Express today raised even more questions on ethics on the Co-operative Bank Pratibha Patil was the chairperson of. The bank was specifically setup to help women but instead ended up lending money to Pratibha Patil’s kith kin who have since defaulted on loans to the tune of 2 crores, the RBI has since shut the Bank and there is a case pending in Aurangabad Courts on the same.

The Congress lead UPA and Left combine have been relentlessly trying to deflect the ethics questions on the Pratibha Patil Nomination by dismissing it away as mud slinging. The fact however remains that Pratibha Patil was very much in the thick of things.

For example Offstumped has uncovered a Planning Commission Report titled “Report of the Working Group on Agricultural Credit, Co-operation and Crop Insurance”  for the 2002-2007 plan. This report was compiled in 2001 and it lists Pratibha Patil as a Member of the Working Group in her capacity as Chairperson Sugar Co-operative Mills, Jalgaon, Maharashtra. (Isnt it ironical that the Chairperson of a Sugar Co-operative that had defaulted on agricultural credit was advising the Planning Commission on the subject)

What this means is in the year the Muktabai Sugar Factory was cited for scandal involving freesale sugar being diverted to the open market , Pratibha Patil was very much the Chairperson. This also means Pratibha Patil was very much in the thick of things when the loan was defaulted and the factory was closed.

Offstumped Bottomline: Abhishek Singhvi and Jayanthi Natarajan can spin all they want but they cannot deny Pratibha Patil being in the thick of things in her capacity as Chairperson of all things Sugar and Sweet in Jalgaon. The ethics issues and conflicts of interest are far too many to be ignored and swept aside. The Congress has bungled the Presidential Nomination at the altar of loyalty to Sonia.

This is an ethics train wreck waiting to happen and it will drag the Left with it.

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