Why is monsoon active over Cong-ruled States alone, asks Mamata
New Delhi: With the rains playing truant in many parts of the country, the beleaguered UPA government was faced with further pressure with an aggressive Opposition taking it to task for letting slip the monsoon ‘just as it had Dawood Ibrahim, Bofors intermediaries and some 2G scamsters previously’.
‘It is sheer callousness on the part of the UPA to allow the monsoons to go missing,’ BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said at a press conference today. ‘The government’s lack of interest in the matter is clearly established by the fact that it has let the job of tracking the monsoon with the Met Office, which no one knows under which Ministry it falls.
Stating that the Met Office has no real expertise in handling ‘missing cases’, Javadekar said the need of the hour was for a well-equipped agency to handle a matter of such importance and sensitivity.
‘We demand that the Centre immediately hand over the case to the CBI with the brief to trace the whereabouts of the monsoon,’ Javadekar said.
The BJP, however, suspected foul play over the fact that there were rain-bearing clouds at many places but no rains. ‘There is more than what it meets the eye. We cannot rule out the possibility of some forces from Pakistan being behind this mysterious absence. And that is why we want the CBI to take over the case.’
‘We also want all the Met offices in the country to come under the CBI so that such a fiasco is not repeated,’ Javadekar added.
Meanwhile, there is confusion in the UPA as to which Ministry is actually responsible for the day-to-day working of the monsoons.
The Agriculture Ministry headed by Sharad Pawar, it is learnt, has circulated an official note saying that it comes into the picture only after the monsoons hit the ground. ‘Agriculture is all about work on the ground. What happens in the air is not our business,’ the note said.
The Water Resources Ministry too said that its primary job was to settle disputes between States over dams constructed non-existing river water.
There were some suggestions that the matter should be referred to the Union Science and Technology Ministry. But finding where that Ministry is, is a bigger task than finding the monsoons.
Since monsoon in India is mainly a compilation of numbers, the government, it is learnt, may end up pushing the file to the Union Statistic Ministry.
Elsewhere, Janata Party leader Subramaniam Swamy claimed he had substantial proof to establish that Sonia Gandhi and her family had diverted the ‘valuable Indian monsoon’ to Switzerland.
‘Swiss bank accounts are clouded in secrecy. Those clouds, I have reliable information, are the monsoon clouds of India,’ Swamy said.
Swamy also said he had photographic evidence of Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram’s son, Karthi Chidambaram, walking in the rain-drenched streets of Singapore and Malaysia. ‘Monsoon clouds in the air were sold to foreign buyers under the AirSell(Maxis) deal,’ Swamy alleged.
Meanwhile, the mercurial Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Bannerjee has shot off an angry letter to the Prime Minister, urging him to access her Facebook page, which carries an even angrier letter, in which she has forthrightly accused the Centre of ‘playing dirty party politics’ in the matter of monsoon.
‘The monsoons have been, so far, relatively active over Kerala, Maharashtra and Assam — the three States being ruled by Congress governments,’ Mamata Bannerjee said. ‘Other States, by which I simply mean West Bengal, have been given the short shrift with regard to the monsoons. This is patently unfair,’ she added.
Urging the Centre to immediately dispatch monsoons rains to West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee said ‘if the Centre failed to heed our legitimate request, we (the Trinamool Congress) would have no other option but to continue our support to the UPA and create further problems for it’.
However, in a bid to mollify Mamata, the Centre is planning to offer a special package to West Bengal, declaring Roshagulla as the national sweet of the nation and bringing Bappi Lahiri under the ‘Endangered Species’ list.
The Centre is also working on an ordinance whereby 25% of the monsoon rains are to be earmarked for the minorities and the OBCs.
(Disclaimer: If the monsoon fails to show up, the Centre is expected to ration the use of water across the country by completely banning the single biggest source of water consumption in India: Maniratnam movies)