Ulta Pulta UP: Govt-Opp Slugfest
Opinion

Ulta Pulta UP: Govt-Opp Slugfest

Ulta Pulta UP: Govt-Opp Slugfest

Nothing ever good comes out of violence. True, but not when it comes to our netagan who revel when it happens and make a big tamasha to whip the Government with.

With Ulta Pulta UP going to polls early next year the farmers protest at Lakhimpur Kheri, where four kisans and four others died amidst violence as a Ministerial convoy was passing has emerged as a new flashpoint. It is a Godsend for Opposition Parties to corner BJP’s Yogi Sarkar, take it to task, add fuel to fire as it gives them the opportunity to glibly indulge in their favourite pastime: taking potshots at each other interspersed with tu-tu-mein-mein and accusations galore to milk and exploit farmers/citizens angst and sentiments. In the hope of garnering attention and getting votes.

Accused Congress General Secretary Priyanka, “I have been stopped from going to the protest site and arrested, but Union Minister’s son who allegedly ran over four is free?” The SP, BSP and AAP parroted the same and also demanded the Minister’s resignation.  But their tirade was in vain. Dismissing it as a political stunt the Yogi Administration promised Rs 45 lakhs and job to deceased farmers’ families and Rs 10 lakhs to injured. While a FIR has been lodged against the Minister’s son reportedly driving one vehicle.

The Supreme Court too lashed out at farmers’ organisations for strangling the Capital and blocking highways with their continuing protests against the agricultural laws when the “matter is sub judice and laws kept in abeyance? It is intriguing there is no Act in place at the moment. The Act is stayed. The Government has assured it will not give effect to it… So what is this protest for?”

Lamenting, when agitation snowballs into violence causing deaths, loss to property and damage, “nobody takes responsibility,” it decided to adjudicate on whether right to protest was an “absolute right”. Along-with whether farmers’ bodies could resort to protests on legality of the three farm laws when the matter was already sub judice.

Of course, nobody cares or wants to take responsibility. Why should one even expect this of our netagan who are past masters at fobbing of blame and accountability? It’s all about scoring ghisa-pitta brownie points against their rivals. “Lakhimpur Kheri will die its natural death within days, time then to move to another topic”, said a senior Opposition leader. Standing testimony that the aam aadmi translates into a sterile statistic! And spotlighting once again our leaders cavalier churlish attitude and approach to violence or tragedy.

 

Alas, in this crater of moral decay, gone are the days of Shastri who resigned as Railway Minister over a train accident owning moral responsibility. Today, it’s the obverse. A typical political rebuttal: “I am Minister does that mean for even a minor incident or accident I should step down?” Sic. Or a leader accused of corruption: “Where does the Constitution enjoin its citizens to speak the truth and nothing but the truth?” Does that mean we speak lies? Another trots out legal loopholes as an excuse for political immorality or draws a fine distinction between a criminal and charge-sheet.

Worse, in a chor-chor-mauser-bhai political milieu of you-scratch-my-back- I-yours, with every one propounding his own recipe of governance, with the favourite recipe of communal harmony and caste bhaichara, the nation is getting sucked into the vortex of centrifugal bickering. Does the Opposition really want the farm laws repealed?Does not seem so. It’s merely optics.

Recall, the farmers’ gave Modi Government eight demands: Repeal law which allows tax-free trade of agricultural produce outside of regulated mandis, stop corporates from entering the agriculture sector, provide guarantee for Minimum Support Price. Two, repeal law allowing contract farming. Three, revoke law amending Essential Commodities Act, decriminalising hoarding of agricultural produce

Four, withdraw amendments proposed in Electricity Ordinance 2020, which end power subsidies and replace them with cash subsidy. Five, eliminate taxes on fuel and align petrol- diesel price to international crude prices. Six, cancel Straw Pollution Ordinance which criminalises stubble burning. Seven, stop Centre encroaching in States domain as agriculture is State subject.

Interestingly, the Centre exempted farmers from stubble burning penalty December while the Supreme Court ‘stayed’ implementation of the farm laws January and appointed a four member   committee to speak to farmers and Government and make recommendations. Farmers refused to meet the committee which gave its recommendations to the Court in March.

For reasons best known to it the experts report continues to remain in sealed cover even as the Government has kept the laws in abeyance for 18 months. Notwithstanding, some demands have already been met and in one case the Government, without repealing, has itself undone a key law. A couple of months ago, the Consumer Affairs Ministry imposed a limit of 200 tons (wholesale) and 5 tons (retail) on stocking by traders of all pulses except moong as prices were rising. Plainly, the Government went against the repeal of the Essential Commodities Act.

So why are farmers continuing in taking a maximalist position against the Bills and turning their back on a negotiated settlement? And why is the Government letting the protests continue instead of repealing the laws is hard to fathom. Sadly, the script continues to be stuck between the Sarkar’s offer and the farmers demand for repeal of the contentious laws. Both operating across a wide chasm of belief and trust.

It is not too late for a course correction. Both the Government and farmers should not make it an ego battle and find a middle path to create greater goodwill on all sides. The farmers might have genuine grouses. But this is not the way to go about getting the Government to see reason. By remaining stubbornly inflexible they are creating a perception of being more interested in grandstanding wanting to humble the Government than seeking an equitable solution to their woes.

 

Obviously no Government will tolerate blackmail and ‘it’s my way or the highway’ muscle flexing as it would open the flood gates for more bodies and lobbies holding the Administration to ransom, challenging its authority. As the Opposition looks for a needle in the haystack to pin the Government it also needs to introspect.

The writing is on the wall. Time to put an end to this political nautanki of greed for power. Let not truth become a casualty where you end up with only babble and bedlam. Enough is enough!

 

The Dispatch is present across a number of social media platforms. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for exciting videos; join us on Facebook, Intagram and Twitter for quick updates and discussions. We are also available on the Telegram. Follow us on Pinterest for thousands of pictures and graphics. We care to respond to text messages on WhatsApp at 8082480136 [No calls accepted]. To contribute an article or pitch a story idea, write to us at [email protected] |Click to know more about The Dispatch, our standards and policies   
Ulta Pulta UP: Govt-Opp Slugfest