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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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UPA Presidential candidate Pratibha Patil on Sunday launched her campaign saying women were the backbone of every home and they contributed greatly to the progress and development of the nation. Addressing a massive women’s rally organised by DMK here to support her candidature, she said even during independence struggle, women had contributed greatly and faced lathis and bullets even while feeding their families. Thanking Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BSP and allies of UPA, especially DMK and its chief M Karunanidhi, she saluted Tamil Nadu women for their “leadership qualities, courage and determination”.

In the same breath Ms. Patil took a leap of logic to describe the allegations levelled against her as “false, malicious and baseless” to a gathering of MLAs and MPs of UPA and Left parties from Tamil Nadu while launching her campaign for the July 19 Presidential poll.

Unfortunately for Ms.Patil the moral indignation rings a tad hollow. She clearly cannot claim as false, malicious and baseless the fact that a Sugar Factory she was the chairperson of defaulted as reported first by CNN-IBN – the Bank Loan Default story . She clearly cannot claim as false, malicious and baseless the official record of her statements in the Maharashtra Assembly as reported by the Indian Express on sunday with references from Pratibha Patil’s pronouncements as Health Minister during the six months into Emergency.  She clearly cannot claim as false, malicious and baseless the official record of her comments in the 1993 Lok Sabha debate on dealing with Terrorism 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.

Surely she cant claim as false, malicious and baseless the Anti-Muslim Prejudices that first surfaced during the Emergency debates and then again during the Mumbai Bomb Blasts debates.

Surely she cant claim as false, malicious and baseless the official record in the Lok Sabha on her own pronouncements during the the 1993-1994 debate on the Annual Budget which confirm her authoritarian streak on the subject of Population Control.

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

Surely she cant claim as false, malicious and baseless her own speech in the Raj Bhavan on September 8th 2006 as reported by the PTI at an event organized by the Bharatiya Prachya Jyotish Sansthan in the Raj Bhavan.

Sometimes we read about 12 planets instead of nine earlier

urged Indian scholars to study and assess the possible impact of recent changes in the status of Pluto as a planet on the astrological calculations 

Surely she cant claim as false, malicious and baseless that the Women’s Co-operative Bank specifically setup by her to help women ended up lending money to her kith kin who defaulted on loans as noted by the RBI and as alleged in a case admitted by the Aurangabad High Court (Indian Express reports and Arun Shourie’s, BJP, articles).

Offstumped Bottomline: Pratibhatai, you are missing the point. The case against you is not about personal allegations of corruption. It is about the moral and ethical standards and the kind of leadership this country deserves. Each and every one of the issues against you involve ethics violations by institutions directly linked to you during a time period when you were personally at their helm. That goes to reflect the moral and ethical yardstick by which you measured your leadership of these instititutions and the moral and ethical standards you expected from these institutions which were meant to be a reflection of your public persona.  

 Leadership requires that you take responsibility and lead by example and not wash your hands off ethics violations. Women are the back bone of every home. They deserve better leadership, they deserve an apology, accountability and responsibility for their hard earned money gone bust.

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