Subhas Chandra Pattanyak
The Prime Minister of India is not expected to act as Dr. Man Mohan Singh. But Dr. Man Mohan Singh is refusing to act as the Prime Minister. This is the severest danger that democracy of India has been subjected to in this regime.
It is true, Dr. Singh belongs to the Congress party and heads a Congress led Government. But he has not been able as yet to convince us that he adheres to the principle that a man after becoming the PM of a multi-party-democracy like India should never act as a leader only of his party, but should rise above party timidity and act as the leader of the country.
Orissa run by a non-Congress Government has the bitterest experience of his partiality.
The National Institute of Science, earmarked for establishment in Orissa as per UGC framework, was, through clumsy conspiracy cooked up by him, changed to IISER and shifted to Kolkatta to suite his allies in West Bengal during the phase of his dependence on the Communists for survival in power. Had the Oriya intellectuals not registered their protests against the foul play and had the Oriya netizens not refused to remain silent, as several reports in these pages would show, the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) could never have come to Orissa.
We had exposed in these pages the political prejudices of Dr. Singh against Orissa when his Government had played the tricks in tackling the 2008 devastative deluge that had equally affected Orissa and Bihar. When Bihar, the province of the then Congress ally Lalu Prasad Jadav was immediately visited by Dr. Singh and supported with central aid amounting a thousand crores of Rupees, Orissa was ignored and only when criticism from the global community embarrassed his government, light feathers were asked to make a lackluster review of the flood of Orissa after the deluge was receded and a sum of only Rs. 98 crores was advanced as central assistance against an announced amount of Rs.500 crores. But, out of this 98 crores assistance, Singh’s government, after Orissa rejected the Congress in the general elections, insisted upon refund of 80 crores!
Commenting upon the scenario on July 12, 2009, we had mentioned,
“Orissa was discriminated against last year by Man Mohan Singh Government in the matter of central assistance to tackle the catastrophic damages wrecked by rivers in full spate. Even as Orissa damage was no less severe than that in Bihar, Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and UPA Chief Sonia, then dependant on Lalu Pr. Jadav of Bihar for survival of their Government, rushed there and announced an instant assistance of Rs.1000 crores over and above the flood of funds Lalu was pumping from the Railways into that State as flood assistance. The Center deliberately delayed in having a survey of the spate in Orissa and when, much after the deluge had receded, the Union Home Minister made a reluctant visit to evade world criticism for negligence to Orissa on political grounds, he had announced central assistance worth only Rs. 500 crores in a face-saving attempt. But that the Union Minister’s announcement was a mere joke was unveiled as in reality the Union granted only Rs.98 crores.
It is shocking and surprising that out of this amount, the Union Government now wants refund of Rs.80 crores when on records in the Loksabha it has stated not to withdraw any fund from Bihar.
Orissa is undoubtedly discriminated against in absence of a legal guideline.”
It is a shame for our democracy that Dr. Singh’s Government has not yet released the promised amount of Rs.500 crores even as it has still been demanding refund of Rs.80 crores from the meager amount of Rs.98 crores remitted by NCCF. On the other hand, responding to recent flood in Andhra Pradesh and Karnatak, Singh has granted Rs.1000 crores each to these two States.
We do never want to say that these two States do not deserve more than what the central government has granted. But we certainly want to say, that Orissa should be treated with equal devotion.
Chief minister Navin Patnaik in his latest memorandum to Government of India has demanded that Rs 2687 crores be immediately sanctioned for resurrection of the State devastated by flood, one after one, since 2006.
This is a justified demand.
Orissa’s suffering is gradually increasing because of her inability to perfectly repair the damaged embankments and infrastructures due to rabid non-cooperation of the Central government. Had the announced assistance been released in reality, the State might have made solid reconstructions at specific points, which, in a way, might have stymied further decays. But by mischievously withholding the assured assistance, Singh’s government has played havoc with Orissa.
People of Orissa have refused to be hoodwinked by the agents of the American nuclear business and so, they have rejected the candidates of Singh’s party and the Congress has conceded defeat in Orissa.
With manipulators of EVMs available both to Navin and Singh, BJD victory over Congress is sure proof of people’s rejection to Congress.
This is democracy.
Instead of appreciating democracy, Singh has been playing the nasty game of discrimination against Orissa.
This nasty game shall have to be stopped. Dr. Man Mohan Singh must be made to know that he has the legitimacy to act as the Prime Minister. But the Prime Minister must be made to know that in a democracy like ours, he has no legitimacy to act as Dr. Man Mohan Singh.
On this premise, we the people of Orissa wholeheartedly appreciate Navin Patnaik’s role as our Chief Minister in protesting against discrimination and in pressing for flood related assistance that is Orissa’s due with retrospective effect as an equal partner in Indian Union.
We call upon Navin to resolutely proceed for complete stoppage of discrimination of one State against another by the political animals in power at the center.
In our comment cited supra we have stressed upon the need of formulation of a national guideline to regulate central assistance in case of natural calamities. We reiterate that this is the only way to stop the foul play. Hence, Navin should proceed for formulation of such a guideline in order to obliterate every possible scope of discrimination in future too.
If he feels, let him call for a mass movement against the Central discrimination and we are sure, in greater interest of Indian democracy, people of Orissa, except the shameless slaves of Sonia Gandhi, will gladly join the movement.
If he fails to develop such a just movement, it will be because of his lack of sincerity, not because of reluctance of the general public.
So, instead of stopping at the posting of his memorandum, he should, on principle, resolutely proceed to force Dr. Singh’s Government to stop discriminating against Orissa.