Like Manmohan, Meira Kumar Yet Another Scapegoat of Congress
Don’t be surprised over Congress’s decision to nominate Meira Kumar. Its simple calculation of political moves. Dalit Vs Dalit, yet another historic blunder of putting caste politics on center stage. No doubt Congress will lose, they do not have the numbers, yet keeping the gun on shoulders of the former LS speaker, says a lot about this party. Obligations of an opposition? Hope not.
So who is Meira Kumar? Seven things about her that you shouldn’t miss.
1. Lost Sasaram with 61,000 votes in 2014.
Meira Kumar, who won from Sasaram in 2004 and 2009, could not retain her win and lost to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Chedi Paswan. Why did that happen?
Her negligence towards Sasaram was a major reason. Development of Karamchat dam/ Durgavati Reservoir Project, started by her father and freedom fighter Jagjivan Ram in 1976 as a Union Minister has remained stagnant. The 40 year old project was to cost Rs. 25 crores has already seen expenses worth Rs. 700 crore but awaits to see the daylight.
2. Please Spare My Luxury — I am a Dalit
Meera Kumar was gifted a luxurious bungalow, which was ‘donated’ to Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation in 2013. Interestingly this foundation was started in March 14, 2008, before the 2009 general elections, maybe because Meira wasn’t sure on her re-election. But she did get elected and also became the undisputed LS Speaker.
She moved to the Speaker’s residence at 20, Akbar Road, but continued to occupy the Krishna Menon Marg bungalow as well and public money was being spent for maintaining her bungalow.
Between 2009 and 2013, Directorate of Estates (DoE) claimed there was no claimants to 6, Krishna Menon Marg. On the other hand, records obtained by S C Agrawal, an RTI activist, showed that it was allotted to Meira. Also, a rent bill of Rs 1.98 crore sent to her. Which means it was a legit bill given to a non-official person. But there’s more.
On May 26, 2013, Agrawal wrote, “This bungalow has been continuously under ‘authorized’ or ‘unauthorized’ occupation of family members of late Babu Jagjivan Ramji ever since he expired in the year 1986… Different departments of MoUD speak in different tones about occupant of this prime government property. CPWD responds this bungalow is under occupation of Meira Kumar while DoE for last more than a decade records this bungalow as ‘un-allotted’. Even a rent bill of Rs 1.98 crore issued in the name of Meira Kumar was immediately taken back as having been issued ‘under RTI pressure’.”
After the RTI expose, minister Kamal Nath, under pressure from the party high command, waived the rent of about Rs. 2 crore, so as to show an official occupancy, even though there isn’t. Why wasn’t there a single revolt from Meira? Oh she was the one who asked for it, that’s why.
So Meira was allowed to hold on to an official bungalow in Lutyens Delhi for the next 25 years under the aegis of Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial. Remember the donation to Jagjivan Ram National Foundation? This was the donation.
What a democracy!
Finally when the new government came to power, it slapped a rent recovery of Rs 12 lakh.
3. Don’t judge me OK? I am a Crusader!
Yes, please don’t judge her, she is a crusader for the rights of dalits and those deprived of basic human rights and are victims of discrimination. That’s exactly why she suggested that you should drop your surname if you believe in caste equality.
I totally agree with her, we should drop our surnames and one day no one would no who belongs to whose caste, just like nobody will know whose bungalow she is living in.
What about financial equality? What about equality with no privileges? No? We aren’t supposed to talk about that?
4. Disproportionate Assets Case of AP Pathak
AP Pathak was the secretary to Meira when she was the speaker. His residence and properties in Lucknow and Delhi was raided by the CBI for an alleged disproportionate assets case. Eventually he was removed from the secretary’s post. How a corrupt man became a secretary to the Speaker is a question in itself, maybe because incorruptible don’t make the cut.
5. A Reflection of My Finances
6. You Are Fired!
As Lok Sabha Speaker, Meira Kumar, with few days left in office, fired the Lok Sabha Television Chief Executive Rajiv Mishra. Mr. Mishra claimed that the Speaker was unhappy with LSTV telecasting the news of her trailing in vote count in Sasaram Lok Sabha constituency.
“It was running on several private TV channels. We chose to run the story only after verifying from the Election Commission,” he said to The Hindu.
Oh ye Sacchai ki Kadwahat!
7. Lo Chali Mai! 29 Foreign Trips in 35 Months
We know Meira was an IFS officer, but such love for foreign trips is surprising. She made 29 trips that cost Rs. 10 crore of people’s money. She even presented gifts to her hosts worth 11 lakhs, all of this within three years in office. Shows her humbleness.
I am sure all of the above will raise no more doubts about her background and how big a ‘dalit representative’ she is.
I doubt her credibility, moreover acceptance of her Presidential nomination, when everyone knows that she is nothing more than a scapegoat for the Congress, makes me question every bit of excitement.
Before, I wrote why Ramnath Kovind Holds Higher Credibility Than Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil, now I would say, he is definitely more sincere, more honest and more humble than all of them combined.