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Unhelpful Support

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People can do without well-meaning but ill-advised support. One such initiative has been taken by former Minister Harak Singh Rawat (presently in the Congress), who has suggested that those sacked for having obtained jobs at the Vidhan Sabha through irregular means, paid large sums of money for the purpose. He has demanded that action should be taken against those who took the bribes. Extraordinarily, he expects people to sympathise with those who obtained jobs in such manner, ‘because they ended up suffering a double loss’. He seems to have forgotten that paying bribes is a criminal offence. While the sacked employees are presently sitting on dharna outside the Vidhan Sabha, Rawat seems determined to have them sent to jail, instead.

Misguided sympathy aside, he does have a point. If the system has taken action against those who got jobs improperly, what about those who handed these out? Whether it was for money or for nepotistic reasons, it is not just a crime, but also a betrayal of the responsibility that comes with high office. In fact, that the government has not been able to move forward on the issue all these days is probably because it lacks the gumption to act against these powerful offenders.

At the present, the claim is that the sacked employees got ad-hoc jobs not in accordance with the rules. If it were one or two such persons, it could be attributed to erroneous pursuit of procedure. However, when the number amounts to 228, the transgression has to have been deliberate and planned. The dilemma reportedly is that, while the appointments were unwarranted, those who handed out the jobs had the arbitrary power to do so. So, the present Speaker’s power is limited to terminating unneeded workforce. And there the matter stands – nobody seems willing to pursue it further.

One way to know what actually happened would be to get some sacked employee to turn approver and give testimony on bribe-taking or favoritism. Since Harak Singh Rawat seems to be so knowledgeable on the subject, he could be approached by investigating agencies to provide the names of those who paid bribes and other necessary information. It is unlikely that would happen, as it is just politics after all – shoot and scoot is the preferred tactic. The matter is likely to remain where it is and people are left to come to their own conclusions.