‘Govt misused CBI to pressure parties’

Dubbing the UPA government’s victory in the Lok Sabha on FDI in retail issue its “moral defeat”, the Opposition on Wednesday alleged that the government “misused” the CBI for remaining in power by pressuring some political outfits not to support the Opposition’s motion. However, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said she was happy about the government’s victory in the LS and was not worried about the Rajya Sabha where voting on the issue is pending. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the issue now has the approval of the Lok Sabha. The Opposition also accused the government of failing to prove a simple majority on the issue.
Rejecting the allegations of Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj that the CBI was used to ensure that the SP and BSP do not vote against the government, parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath said: “This is a rejection of the politics of the BJP. They had FDI in their manifesto. Swaraj has lost her cool because the motion moved by her has got defeated. She is frustrated.” The minister said the SP and BSP staged a walkout when the Opposition’s motion was put to vote as they realised that the BJP was only doing politics on the issue.
Buoyed by the government’s victory, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said “this is a major step which will change” the face of the country”.
Alleging that the government failed to secure a simple majority, Ms Swaraj said: “This has happened for the third time consecutively when the government could not manage a simple majority in the Lok Sabha. First time was during the passage of the Lokpal bill, second time during the discussion on price rise and today is the third occasion.” She also said that the SP and BSP had been “exposed” as they were with the Opposition during debate but voted against the Opposition’s motion. “Had they voted according to their speech in the House, then the government would have been defeated on FDI. Though they won technically, they have lost morally,” she said. Deputy leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ravi shankar Prasad said: “CBI has won over FDI... The nation has seen the debate and they know who is right..” Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said both SP and BSP did not match their words with their action.
TMC leader Sudip Bandhyopadhyay said: “The day the TMC withdrew support from the government, it was reduced to a minority. Had they been in majority, they would have got 272 votes but they did not get that number.”
which means they do not have majority. It is not a moral victory.”
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said: “... government has no majority in the House. It got the people absented in the house under influence... making a deliberate attempt to make people absent is a criminal offence.”
His party colleague D. Raja said: “It is a huge moral defeat for the government. The House stands virtually divided on the issue. Even after the walkout by SP and BSP, the margin is so small. The vote clearly shows there is no overwhelming majority for the government.”
RJD chief Lalu Prasad alleged that the Opposition had misled the Lok Sabha and the people on issue and tried to create a “big but unfounded fear about multinational companies.”

There is a celebratory air about the recent elections in West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu that is intriguing. The celebration is at two levels.

Critic Martin Esslin had coined the term “Theatre of the Absurd” in 1960 to describe the plays written after the Second World War, which were totally unconventional and left people who came to watch t