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Those That Rule Above and Beyond


It is a common recognition of Indian  “mainstream”  politics that however the various off-shoots of the Sangh Parivar may seem to be warring from time to time,  they all  obey the RSS.
 
A more macro  version of the above  is the following:  that however the Congress and the BJP may be warring on issue after issue, both  these faces of Indian Capitalism obey the Ambanis.  And sundry other corporates that have any real clout.
 
Think of the many  recent reports  on corruption of one kind or another germinated by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India  (CAG for short).  Apart from the lip service done to this  “constitutional authority” by all sections of the political class, the fact remains that  its findings are now endorsed,  now not by either of the two major parties, depending on  how the reports of this body suit or not suit  their realpolitik of the moment.  Too many instances here in  very recent public memory and media exposure to need recounting.
 
But, as the   CPI(M) has just pointed out in a most instructive Press Release, when it comes to the CAG  exposure of the corruption engaged in by the Reliance Group of Industries with respect to oil exploration rights and stipulations in the KG-6 deep water block, a pall of eloquent silence seems to have fallen over both the Congress and the BJP.  Not a squeak thus far.  True guru bhais in this regard, you may say.
 
Just to cite three  unlawful enormities underscored by the CAG, and publicized by the  CPI (M):
 
–a 117%  increase in estimated capital expenditure for the block without any augumentation of capacity involved;
 
–procurement awards made by Reliance Industries Limited “on single financial bids, major revision of scope/quantities/specifications, post-price bid opening, substantial variation in order quantities, with consequent adverse implications for cost recovery and Government of India’s financial stake”;
 
–a contract of $1.1 billion given to the Aker group for a ten year lease against an estimated original cost of $300 million; RIL gave eight such contracts to the Aker group out of ten single party bids on what prima facie seem to be sweet heart deals that enabled it to inflate capital expenditure.
 
Equally remarkably, one has heard nothing to date on this particular CAG report from  Anna and his team who, after all, have taken on the burden of exposing corruption and its sources in modern India.  But then, as some have been pointing out,  the chief object of the Anna phenomenon seems to be to pillory those that manage the state, not those who actually own it.
 
Post Script:  how many Indians know of the fact that the chief beneficiaries of the  Oil for Food programme (Iraq) were not the ones we got to hear of but the Ambani  group of industries?  A fact  concealed and kept from parliament and people with  conjoint efficiency by both Congress and the BJP while the country was going  after the likes of  Shri Natwar Singh.  (See  Arun K. Agrawal, Reliance, the Real Natwar,  Manas Publications, Delhi, 2008.)

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