Edition : June 2016

Swamy on political centre stage

Dr Subramanian Swamy, former President of the Janata Party and presently with the Bharatiya Janata Party, is known for his controversial statements more than anything else. If he cannot do good for anyone, he certainly has the capability to destroy and damage the reputation of the high and the mighty. Scam doesn’t become a scam unless Subramanian Swamy jumps into the picture Precisely, for this purpose, he has been brought into the mainstream politics by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dr Swamy is back on the political centrestage, courtesy Prime Minister Modi, who is keen to divert the attention of the people from the omissions and commissions of his two-year tenure, which failed to usher in the promised acche din for the common people.
Having won half the battle by dragging Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to court in the National Herald case, he succeeded in convincing Prime Minister Modi that he will indeed put the mother and the son behind bars in the Augusta Wasteland Helicopters deal. He did not hold back punches when he named Sonia Gandhi in Augusta Westeland scam.
With the backing of the RSS and Prime Minister Modi, Swamy has won half the battle by defaming the family, which, for obvious reasons, is nervous, given that the scam had taken place during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA Government. Former IAF Chief S P Tyagi is already in the dock for having alleged playing a major role in the Rs 3727 crore deal and given the determination of Dr Swamy, it will be no surprise if he succeeds in tarnishing the image of the Gandhi family.
On his part, he has convinced Prime Minister Modi that he will soon realize his dream of achieving a Congress-Mukt Bharat by targeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.
Even after the high-decibel debate in both the Houses of Parliament concluded, with no one getting any clue on the bribe-takers and whether the Gandhi family has anything to with the kickbacks, Dr Subramanian Swamy and the BJP on the whole are convinced that they have enough ammunition to defame the Congress.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lost no opportunity to rake up the Augusta Westland choppers scam during his election rally in Tamil Nadu. Having no iota of evidence, he limited himself to the fact that he and the people at large, had no kith and kin in Italy and therefore the needle of suspicion pointed towards Sonia Gandhi.
In future, the BJP backed by the RSS is all prepared to leave no stone unturned to rake up the issue outside Parliament, especially in the run-up to the Assembly polls in Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in 2017.
Dr Swamy, who has himself no evidence against Sonia Gandhi, is pleased to unnerve the Congress, which is forced to hit the streets in defence of the Gandhi family. He is now determined to further embarrass her by pushing the ED to grill her. In Parliament, he revealed as much, saying, “If the people named are not cooperating, then there should be custodial interrogation… With my experience, I am going to assist the Government. So, in the next three years, we will definitely find out all those who got the money and we will put them in the right places.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and Dr Subramanian Swamy, have all one thing in common. They all hate Sonia Gandhi and want to see her in jail. Having enough fodder to convince the two, Dr Swamy has assured them that he will take the case to its logical end by putting the family behind bars.
Dr Swamy’s speech in the Rajya Sabha exuded confidence on how he planned to shame the Gandhi family. He challenged Abhishek Singhvi that as he defeated him in the National Herald Case, similarly he will defeat him in the Augusta Westland case, too.

The Prime Minister has every reason to believe Dr Swamy, as he has achieved the impossible, which they had failed to achieve so far. Both Sonia and Rahul had gone to the Patiala House Court in Delhi, on being summoned by the District Judge and later got bail from the court.
The firebrand leader of the erstwhile Janata Party days has now asked for a free hand from Prime Minister Modi and is also keen to become the Finance Minister in order to get control of the Enforcement Directorate. With ED under him, he will make sure that the case against Sonia Gandhi is fast-tracked.
Interestingly, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all quiet and has deliberately kept himself on the backstage. An arch-rival of Dr Swamy, Jaitley cannot lower his standards to compete with him and has no talent to defame and expose anyone to that extent, fully aware that they have no evidence so far, to book the Gandhi family in the Augusta Westland deal.
An economist with a Harvard background, Dr Subramanian Swamy has had a chequered history. Inducted into the erstwhile Bharatiya Jan Sangh, the precursor of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he was the hero of the anti-Emergency struggle, making waves by getting away from Parliament House during the Emergency, without being arrested, despite a warrant against him. Later, he drifted away from the saffron camp and moved closer to the Congress, becoming close to Rajiv Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Dr Swamy was very close to late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1989-91, when it was widely speculated that he may formally join the Congress. After the tragic assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, he became close to the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, whom he helped to survive in the No-Confidence Motion in 1993. Narasimha Rao rewarded with a Cabinet-rank post for Dr Swamy as Chairman of the Labour Standards Commission.
After Sonia Gandhi took over as Congress President in 1998, he became close to her. In March, 1999, he was instrumental in organising the famous tea-party in Hotel Ashoka in the Capital, which brought together Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa that created a political earthquake, resulting in the fall of the Vajpayee Government in April, 1999.
After falling apart from Congress President Sonia Gandhi, he made determined efforts to woo the RSS, in order to get closer to the saffron camp. Initially, his Janata Party became a constituent of the NDA under L K Advani. Finally, he managed to enter the BJP.
Completing a full circle, Dr Swamy has made a home-coming by not only joining the BJP, but making an entry into the Rajya Sabha. It has given him the political space needed to effectively carry out the campaign against Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Dr Subramanian Swamy, unlike Arun Jaitley, who has many friends in the media and politics, is isolated but given his past record, no one is any doubt that he has the potential to damage the credentials of his enemies, presently, Sonia Gandhi and her family. Though all alone in the BJP, he is the most powerful man in the party, next only to BJP President Amit Shah, as he has the full support of RSS and Prime Minister Modi. His meetings with Modi are increasing with each passing day, giving jitters to the Congress, which has every reason to feel nervous of the next move of this maverick person.

-Anita Saluja

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