With Darshan Amin

India has been busy with Lok Sabha Election 2019, in which 870 million voters are expected to exercise their franchise. In this seven-phased election, voters will decide their 543 representatives for the next 5 years.

Polling is complete in five out of seven phases, with the fate of 425 candidates sealed in the EVMs.

The incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a second term, fighting against a number of opposition parties. The Bhartiya Janata Party has been running one of the most positive campaigns talking about welfare schemes like Ujjwala, Gramin Awas, and the healthcare it provides under the banner of Ayushman Bharat Yojana. The opposition, on the other hand, has been running a slanderous campaign against the PM. Rahul Gandhi, the leader of opposition floated the slogan “Chowkidar chor hai” and has been slammed for the same by the Supreme Court.

However, he still continues to spread the propaganda in public meetings, and the media as usual keeps giving him a free pass for his lies.

PM Modi, who focused on showcasing his government’s achievements decided to hit back at Rahul.

On Saturday, he took the battle to the enemy’s turf and called the former PM Rajiv Gandhi “Bhrashtachari no. 1” for his role in the Bofors deal, which was a major political scandal surrounding a weapons-contract that took place between India and Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s. It was started by Indian National Congress lawmakers, involving the Indian leader, Rajiv Gandhi, and a few different individuals from the Indian and Swedish governments who were blamed for accepting kickbacks from Bofors AB, a bank basically financed by the Wallenberg family’s Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, for winning an offer to supply India with their 155 mm field howitzer.

The entire network came out all guns blazing against the PM for calling a former head of the state a “chor”, exposing themselves for remaining silent for the last 6 months when the current head of the state was called names. Not only did PM Modi put an end to the “Chowkidar Chor Hai” slogan but has also ensured that the party is concentrating on the Rajiv Gandhi issue. Earlier, Congress had been attempting to lure individuals by offering them Rs 72,000 every year through their NYAY conspire, which was the high purpose of their race to parliament. Presently, the Grand Old Party has had to desert every one of these strategies and focus on “sparing the dad”.

The next day, PM Modi continued to take down the opposition by asking them to demand votes in the name of Rajiv Gandhi in the remaining phases of the election where Delhi, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh voters would be exercising their right. This is nothing short of a masterstroke by the PM especially as each of these states have suffered severely at the hands of Rajiv Gandhi.

Sikhs in Delhi and Punjab faced genocide in 1984 immediately after the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi and the same was justified by Rajiv Gandhi as retaliation.

The worst of his side was his role in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984, the world’s worst industrial disaster, which claimed the lives of more than 15,000 people. The response of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to the biggest Industrial disaster of the world was shameful. He let Warren Anderson, the key accused in the Bhopal gas tragedy case escape from India without any trial or punishment. According to various sources, the Rajiv Gandhi government did everything to protect the man responsible for destroying the lives of lakhs of individuals.

The studied and reported long-term health effects are:

-Eyes: Chronic conjunctivitis, scars on the cornea, corneal opacities, early cataracts

-Respiratory tracts: Obstructive and/or restrictive disease, pulmonary fibrosis, aggravation of TB and chronic bronchitis

-Neurological system: Impairment of memory, finer motor skills, numbness etc.

Bhopal now has a high rate of birth defects and records a miscarriage rate which is seven times higher than the national average. An estimate says that 120,000 to 150,000 survivors still struggle with serious medical conditions including nerve damage, growth problems, gynaecological disorders, respiratory issues, birth defects, and elevated rates of cancer and tuberculosis.

Anderson was arrested on the charges of conspiracy which led to deaths of thousands of Indians due to the toxic gas leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) at Union Carbide’s plant in Bhopal. He was kept under house arrest for few hours and was freed soon after, following which he left the nation while the thousands of victims and their families begged for justice.

Within days after Anderson fleeing the nation, Adil Shahryar- son of a friend of Rajiv Gandhi was pardoned by US President Ronald Reagan who was facing a jail term for committing financial fraud. The dots are not too difficult to connect.

As both the centre and state were under the clutches of the Congress, both Rajiv Gandhi and Arjun Singh, former PM of India and former CM of Madhya Pradesh were given clean chits by the investigating agencies. Victims of the 1984 tragedy, who were denied justice for the past 4 decades have written a letter to President Ramnath Kovind, requesting a thorough investigation in the roles of the PM and CM.

The Congress, which was on front foot until yesterday in throwing mud on PM Modi is now on backfoot defending the shoddy job of Rajiv.

(Along with Darshan Amin)