The mask is off. Arun Jaitley brushes away Sushma’s objection against Sriramulu as “marginal issue”

Arun Jaitley Anna Hazare
BJP’s fight against corruption is the biggest farce of this century
Sushma Swaraj may have caused a certain amount of embarrassment to Modi by objecting to the re-enrolment of B Sriramulu in BJP. Both Yedurappa as well as Sriramulu, were exposed by the Lokayukt for committing major irregularities in mines in Bellary, including those owned by Obulapuram Mining Company and by G. Karunakara Reddy, G. Janardhana Reddy and G. Somashekara Reddy who were ministers in the Government of Karnataka. It was Modi himself who took the initiative of re-inducting the corrupt ministers and business men back into BJP.

The hypocrisy and pretensions of Modi to eliminate corruption is for all to see. But his ideologue friend Arun Jaitley has come out in his defense to term the criticism of allowing corrupt politicians to rejoin BJP as a “marginal issue”! Jaitley wrote in his recent blog that:

Anti-incumbency and a desire for change existing on account of price rise, slow down in economy, plight of the farmers, corruption, security related issues and a leadership vacuum  in the UPA, voters’ mind space  are key issues. We must all entirely concentrate on these issues and the ability of a Modi led government providing a solution to these concerns. Relatively marginal issues such as declaration of candidates particularly who is in and who is out cannot be allowed to dominate the political agenda in the BJP.

Thus who should be in and who should be out is a trivial issue and Sushma Swaraj should not raise such marginal issues to divert the party. Such a view coming from Jaitley is not surprising at all.

In February 2003, Arun Jaitley, who was the Law Minister in NDA Government, had appeared on behalf of the Global Business Institute (GBI) in the Supreme Court. This was related to a controversy that had arisen when Income Tax authorities started investigating the real identities of the investors who were investing in India through Companies registered in Mauritius. As there was a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement(DTAA) between India and Mauritius, Indian investors were making black money by investing through pseudo Companies in Mauritius which had the benefit of zero tax – a tax haven. To help the black money hoarders, Atal Behari Vajpayee led Central Government (CBDT) issued a circular in 2002 asking I.T. officers to accept at face value the “certificate of residence” provided by the Mauritian authorities, effectively preventing the IT Officers from investigating whether they were really residents of Mauritius or not.

THE CBDT circular was challenged in the Delhi High Court by public interest petitions filed by the Azadi Bachao Andolan (represented by Prashant Bhushan) which quashed the CBDT circular. A consortium of international investors, represented by the Global Business Institute (GBI), had joined the government in filing the appeal against an order of the Delhi High Court quashing the circular. Arun Jaitley, while appearing for GBI, had pointed out that the circular prevented officers from discharging their duties by “investigating the matrix of facts to determine whether a company seeking benefits under the convention was really a Mauritian resident”. Arun Jaitley was successful in getting the Delhi High Court order overturned, thus reopening the doors for black money hoarders.

BJP has therefore been the fountain head of corruption and Jaitley their able legal counsel. No surprise therefore that he does not find anything unusual in allowing Yeddyurappa and Sriramulu to re-enter BJP despite the fact they have been indicted by Lokayukt and had been sent to jail with cases pending against them under the prevention of corruption Act.

BJP’s fight against corruption is the biggest farce of this century.