The Mahagathbandhan- it is an antagonistic setup and a loose coalition of some opposition parties sharing one common feature-Contempt towards India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ‘Grand Alliance’, a combination of opposition parties which are sliding into irrelevance and facing an existential crisis against the strong, stable governments. This time, such sort of an opportunistic alliance is led by Congress party and has other regional players like SP, BSP from Uttar Pradesh, RJD from Bihar, Communist parties and Trinamool Congress from West Bengal and many other insignificant political parties from different states.
The Grand Alliance, since the inception of the idea, has been facing severe credibility issues. The past governance record with their controversial involvement in many criminal and financial irregularities have made the voters stay away from this rhetoric. The leaders of the alliance are themselves embroiled in various financial irregularities and scams, are also now being prosecuted by various agencies and tried by courts. Most of the prominent leaders of the Mahagatabandhan are either convicted for scamming people or facing charges while out on bail for time being. Let us look at some of the ‘honourable’ leaders of the Mahagathbandhan, who are out on bail for committing various crimes and frauds over the years.
Indian National Congress:
The Gandhis- Rahul and Sonia:
National Herald scam is one of the most notable legal cases in Indian history, as the Gandhis are directly accused. The Mother-Son duo, along with their aides – Oscar Fernandez, Motilal Vohra and Sam Pithroda, who are out on bail, is alleged to have involved in massive ‘cheating and breach of trust’ in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) by Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL), as assets worth crores of rupees had been allegedly transferred for purposes other than originally intended for a paltry sum. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi got unconditional bail in December 2015.
P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram:
P Chidambaram, alleged to be the ‘brain’ behind the humongous UPA scams, along with his son has been facing tough times, as the investigation agencies have been unearthing severe irregularities attached to the both P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram. The Enforcement Directorate has been chasing the former union finance minister for his alleged involvement in the irregularities during Aircel-Maxis deal of Rs 3,500 crore and INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-1 regime. P Chidambaram has been granted an anticipatory bail by the court which protects him from CBI arrests.
Karti Chidambaram, like his father, has been accused of involving in frauds and several other money laundering cases. He is alleged to be involved in both Aircel-Maxis and the INX media cases and is currently out on bail.
Shashi Tharoor, the loverboy of the Lutyens cabal has been accused of abetment of suicide in his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s mysterious death. The former Union Minister has been granted a regular bail, who has been charged under sections 306 (Abetment of suicide) and 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the IPC.
Virbhadra Singh and Vikramaditya Singh:
The former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh has been facing several cases related to corruption charges and disproportionate asset cases. The former Chief Minister is out on bail currently in a case related to corruption charges, as he was charged by the CBI for being involved in dubious financial transactions.
Vikramaditya Singh is also accused of involving in money laundering and accused by the ED, along with his father for being involved in creating illegal wealth. The Delhi Patiala Court had recently given him bail after CBI had registered a disproportionate assets case against him and his father.
D K Shivakumar :
One of the most powerful leaders of the Congress, D K Shivakumar is also out on bail, after being charged by the Income Tax authorities for tax irregularities. The Income Tax department carried out raids on more than 67 locations across New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mysuru and Chennai.
Along with this, there are several leaders in the Congress who are facing probe and are out on bail. Sajjan Kumar, one of the masterminds of the Sikh genocide of 1984 under Rajiv Gandhi, is still facing charges and is out on anticipatory bail. In fact, Congress leader Sunil Chopra’s bail plea has been denied. He was involved in the alleged question paper leaks in the judicial officers. M Vincent, Congress MLA Kovalam constituency is out on bail who was arrested on charges of stalking and raping a 51-year-old woman accused him of raping her twice, and then, intimidating her.
Rashtriya Janata Dal :
Lalu Prasad Yadav :
Lalu Prasad Yadav has been found guilty for indulging in series of fodder scams when he was the Chief Minister of Bihar and currently serving a total of 14 years in jail. He and his family, including daughter Misa Bharati and son Tejashwi Yadav, are facing several cases related to disproportionate assets and also for conducting benami transactions.
The Son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav-9th class failure, who was also the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar seems to be more interested in carrying his corrupt father’s legacy. Tejashwi Yadav, along with his mother Rabri Devi, who are out on bail now, has been accused in the IRCTC scam for allegedly granting operational contract of two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri to a private firm, owned by Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, in return for a prime land plot in Patna in 2006.
Gayathri Prajapathi (Samajwadi Party):
Gayathri Prajapathi, the former minister of Uttar Pradesh was arrested, along with six others for alleged gang rape of a woman and attempting to rape her minor daughter. The rape accused Samajwadi leader has been granted bail in April this year.
Chhagan Bhujbal (National Congress Party):
The NCP leader was arrested in Chhagan Bhujbal by the Enforcement Directorate on chargers under Prevention of Money laundering act. The Enforcement Directorate on Monday attached properties 290 acres worth Rs.55 crore in Nashik in connection with a money-laundering case against the former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Chhagan Bhujbal. After two years of imprisonment, is now out on bail
Om Prakash Chautala (Indian National Lok Dal):
The Indian National Lok Dal, another prominent wannabe member of the Grand Alliance is also led by another scamster Om Prakash Chautala. He, along with his son Ajay Singh Chautala, one of the opposition leaders in Haryana is sentenced to ten years imprisonment under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act for involving in the Haryana teachers’ recruitment scam case.
H D Kumaraswamy (Janata Dal-Secular):
H D Kumaraswamy and his wife Anitha are facing charges in the Janthakal mining scam. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is probing this scam on the direction of Supreme Court of India. He is accused of pressuring a senior bureaucrat to renew Janthakal Enterprise’s lease of iron ore mining for 40 years on the basis of forged documents and violating several rules. Earlier, he had moved anticipatory bails to avoid arrests from the SIT.
Jignesh Mevani, the controversial MLA from Gujarat, along with Umar Khalid -one who was rusticated from JNU for organizing anti-India events to honour terrorists, are charged by the Pune police for instigating violence during the Bhima-Koregaon protest. The police have registered a case under sections 153(A), 505 and 117 of the Indian Penal Code for creating enmity between groups.
Hardik Patel, who was once the face of Patidar agitation in Gujarat, is now convicted for causing riots in Mehasana. Hardik Patel has been found guilty of charges related to arson and creating a ruckus at the office of a BJP MLA Rushikesh Patel.
Apart from these leaders, there are many other fellow friends and allies of the Grand Alliance, who are being probed for their questionable involvement in various cases including disproportionate assets, financial irregularities and even in heinous crimes like murders etc.
The Mahagathbandhan is yet another sense of political falsehood offered by the opposition ranks to replace the existing government in the upcoming elections. The Opposition Parties devoid of any positive agenda, are mainly banking on Modi bashing aided its sycophancy intellectuals in the media. There are severe inherent contradictions within the coalition and it will be interesting to see how this rhetoric of so-called ‘Grand Alliance’ will play out next year.