The alleged snoopgate controversy was at its peak in 2013 with the leadership of some UPA allies wanting the issue to be probed. Policy paralysis in the ruling dispensation once again took its toll and the issue died down. Now, appointing a judge before May 16 to head the snoopgate probe panel (“Why name judge to probe snoopgate now, ask allies,” May 5) will carry the imprint of a vindictive attitude by the UPA against its prime opponent, and is hence inappropriate.
The UPA’s managers have already committed a series of strategic blunders to aid the leapfrogging of Mr. Modi to Delhi. This apart, the NCP appears to be sitting on the fence and may become opportunistic.
The Congress’ attempt to hobble Mr. Modi over the snoopgate issue will only backfire, if it has not happened already. Amid the din of political manoeuvring, the real issues of privacy, state surveillance and illegal use of state machinery have been relegated to the background. Political parties should desist from politicising every issue to score political gains so that their credibility in the eyes of the public remains intact.
It is obvious that commissions and panels are the mechanisms available to our political masters to settle scores or make erring alliance partners fall in line. Snoopgate and its aftermath shows that the time has come to give commissions and the CBI the autonomy they deserve.
Instead of trying to probe this scandal at this late hour, the government should appoint a panel to trace the missing coal allocation files. The appointment of a panel to probe the snoopgate allegation is only a waste of public funds.
When snoopgate was raised a month or two ago it caused some excitement but it was soon seen by most people to be a trivial instance of police intrusion into individual privacy that had been blown grossly out of proportion. This perception was strengthened when the government projected it as involving three States to legitimise a centrally appointed commission. The matter resurfaces now, just a few days prior to the expected announcement of the total electoral rout of the Congress. This last act of desperation will be seen as malicious and mala fide abuse of power.
That a few allies have expressed their dissatisfaction over a probe at this stage is to be appreciated. Whether this is linked to an ulterior motive after May 16 is to be seen. The Indian political class has become a laughing stock now, with politicians reducing campaigning to mudslinging. If only they had displayed this energy in Parliament! When will our politicians channel their time, wisdom, energy and resources constructively for our development?