Four years after the Congress led UPA was thrown out of power, Congress leader Kapil Sibal has come out claiming that the UPA was a victim of falsehoods and could not defend itself in face of graft allegations. Kapil Sibal who was also a minister in the UPA government made unsubstantiated allegations about the then CAG Vinod Rai and stated that he had exceeded his brief in alleging that there was a scam to the tune of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in allocation of 2G spectrum contracts. However, it is beyond comprehension how Rai exceeded his mandate. The mandate of the CAG is to carry out an audit of government’s financial matters and that is exactly what he was doing. According to Sibal, the Congress lost the perception battle in 2014 leading to its disastrous performance during the Lok Sabha polls.
In his new book titled ‘Shades of truth’ on the UPA and NDA years, Sibal has admitted that the UPA did not show the stomach to rebut the graft allegations that were being made against it. Sibal also claimed that, “there were some forces which created an environment in which we were vilified…And our government was not able to stand up. Only a couple of people stood up, it should have been a collective effort.” When asked about the colleagues who were unwilling to stand up and defend the government, he said, “there is no point naming people.”
Kapil Sibal launched a tirade against the then CAG Vinod Rai and BJP, who had exposed the UPA government in connection with the 2G spectrum scam. Sibal stated, “Ultimately, Vinod Rai’s conclusions and the supreme court’s decision cancelling 2G licenses came to naught. However, by that time, those who wished to enter politics were safely ensconced in positions of power”. Sibal also claimed that there was some sort of a conspiracy in order to dislodge the UPA government. He has claimed that the UPA government was derailed by a “myth” of scams- including 2G and Coalgate as well as the Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare agitations. Sibal who seems to be unable to hide his frustration has further claimed that seeking to negotiate with Hazare and meeting Baba Ramdev at the airport were big mistakes.
Kapil Sibal’s claims are nothing but a desperate and naive attempt to vindicate the Congress in view of a plethora of graft allegations against the previous UPA government and senior Congress leaders. Kapil Sibal knows that UPA lost in 2014, in a major part, due to graft allegations and even though there may have been some dilution of public anger, Congress is still seen as a symbol of corruption in the country. Sibal and the Congress are wary that this image might again lead to embarrassing results for the grand old party when the nation goes to the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Sibal’s airy claims that there was some sort of conspiracy against UPA and that it was unable to defend itself are absolutely unsustainable. His claim that there were certain people who did not want to defend the party seems to be a mere figment of imagination. There is no reason why a party functionary won’t defend his party against fake graft allegations. The fact that he has failed to name anyone or give any reason for the lack of will to stand up against false allegations makes his claims unreliable. The fact that the Congress could not defend itself or did not have enough stomach to defend itself also gives rise to the presumption of guilt. It is only the one who is guilty of certain wrongdoing who is unable to put up a valid defence. It seems that the Congress has realised that people have still not forgotten how the UPA indulged in financial misappropriation throughout its tenure. Therefore, it is now desperately trying to claim that there was no financial impropriety in the first place and that the graft allegations were nothing but politically motivated concoctions.