The raid: Targeting of rivals undermines fight against corruption - The Tribune India

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The raid

Targeting of rivals undermines fight against corruption

The raid

Photo for representation only. File photo

The registration of a corruption case against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and a raid by the CBI follow a pattern of action against political rivals of the ruling party that has become so predictable that it raises doubts about the independent functioning of Central agencies, and the process of investigation itself. The government may brush aside the Opposition’s allegations of misuse of premier probe agencies as confirmation of party leaders being caught on the wrong side of the law, but the exclusive focus on political opponents is no coincidence. A shift of loyalties to the ruling party has been proven to provide instant immunity.

Prime Minister Modi, in his Independence Day speech, spoke of his desire to wage a decisive battle against corruption and sought support of the people. Fighting corruption is the key to cleaning up politics and the goal is commendable. However, mixing politics with policy can be counter-productive. A proactive approach ahead of elections, during government formation and the focused attention on only those who do not align themselves with the BJP, or are outspoken critics, only undermine the sanctity of the mission. It is all the more damaging when a protective shield is on offer for those willing to switch sides.

The course of investigation changing as per the changing political affiliations of the accused is not a new development. The unleashing of investigating agencies against those on the opposite side of the political trenches, too, is not the NDA’s invention, though it has been more audacious and frequent about it. The Congress, when it was in power, did not spare any effort in ensuring erosion of their powers and hence, their credibility. The concern at this point of time is the sweeping subjugation of the institutions that are meant to uphold all that the Constitution stands for. The widening trust deficit can have serious repercussions, especially in the fight against corruption.

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