—
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.
—   

The case against Pratibha Patil is not one of personal corruption. It is one about moral and ethical standards and the kind of leadership this country deserves.  

By going for pathetic personal attacks on her opponent without any sources, any evidence and not even direct links via either Institutions run by Shekhawat or direct acts of nepotism by Shekhawat, the Outlook has exposed itself for what it really is, a Congress rag-tag and Vinod Mehta for what he really is – a Sonia spin meister.

With just a day remaining for the lapse of the deadline for filing nominations for the presidential election, the BJP on Friday once again appealed to the UPA to withdraw Ms Pratibha Patil from the fray, and replace her with “any other suitable candidate.’’Leader of the Opposition LK Advani took up cudgels on behalf of the BJP, making yet another “withdraw-Ms Patil-from-the-field’’ plea “in the interests of the nation.’’ The Congress expectedly rejected the request, asking the NDA to withdraw the nomination of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat instead.

With the media campaign against Pratibha Patil beginning to make a difference the Congress has made a pathetic attempt at hitting at Shekhawat below the belt. The only difference is it is too late in the day and lacking in credibility.

So who is doing the hit job for the Congress – well yet another closet Communist and Sonia Spin Meister, Vinod Mehta and his Outlook Magazine.

In an article titled Monsoon Mud Slinging Outlook claims exclusive access to what the Congress has not gone public with. Ironical so if the Congress was not going public with this what exactly were Congress leaders doing speak to Outlook. So having presented itself as the gutter through which the Congress monsoon muck shall flow, the Outlook lists some allegations on Shekhwat.

Offstumped takes a hard look at them.

– First that Shekhawat as a 25 year old Police constable was suspended in 1947. It quotes no source but that does not restrain it from adding a rumor or two. Pathetic indeed.

– Secondly it makes a loud accusation about Shekhawat’s son-in-law. It is a different matter that in the same acccusation going into the details of the so called “crime” it actually discredits its own allegation saying the said “crime” was done by the father of the “son-in-law” even before he was born. Outlook is trying to make a case for pre-crime here so its basically saying that Shekhawat is guilty by association because he did not pre-empt crime by his future “samdhi” even before his future son in law was born. This folks is the best the Outlook could come up with.

– The third one is even better. It attempts to associate a corrup couple with Shekhwat while acknowledging that the Shekhawat government arrested and jailed them. So what exactly is the allegation – more innuendo that only the couple was arrested and not others. Which “others” – no names, no sources, no evidence, just sheer gossip and rumors.

– The fourth is the closest one gets to an allegation that had some documentary basis. But again it has nothing to do with Shekhawat but to do with a nephew tampering land records. So what is the allegation against Shekhawat here – nothing ?

– The fifth is comical. The VP who hails from Rajasthan flew to frequently to Rajasthan. Was this during an election ? No. Was it during the campaign ? No. But it was in the run up to it – So what does run up to it mean here ? The preceeding 12 months. What is the allegation – the VP’s office ignored neutrality ? Neutrality of what – there was no election, no contest, no campaign. Any specific incident – None ! All the Outlook has to say in typical media innuendo style “it raised eyebrows” almost sounding like the gossip loving aunty next door with her disapproving looks.

– The sixth is not even an allegation but general observation that Rajasthan under Shekhawat as CM between 1991 and 1998 had one of the worst records of atrocities against women.

– The seventh is hillarious. He used his stints as CM (June ’77-February ’80, March ’90-December ’92 and December ’93-November ’98) to make Rajasthan a Hindutva bastion. What did they expect ? He was going to make it a Congress Communist bastion ?

The real motive behind the Outlook’s at time’s comical and most of the time pathetic hit job becomes clear when it tries to name names on the BJP hit team and makes the allegation that most of the so called media investigative reports were actually lifted from Arun Shourie’s blog.

Clearly Vinod Mehta is not the in habit of reading Offstumped and the other media sources who produced original evidence.

Offstumped Bottomline: The case against Pratibha Patil is not one of personal corruption. It is one about moral and ethical standards and the kind of leadership this country deserves. Each and every one of the issues against her involve ethical violations by institutions directly linked to her during a time period when she was personally at their helm. That goes to reflect the moral and ethical yardstick by which she measured herself and she measured the institutions which were meant to be a reflection of her public persona.

By imagining that this is about personal attacks on her and then going for pathetic personal attacks on her opponent without any sources, evidence and not even direct links via either Institutions or direct acts of nepotism, the Outlook has exposed itself for what it really is, a Congress rag-tag and Vinod Mehta for what he really is a Sonia spin meister.

Be Sociable, Share!