The Rajya Sabha is to India what the House of Lords is to the UK. Come to think of it, the Rajya Sabha is only there in India because we just couldn’t stop ourselves from aping our former rulers. But I digress. Unlike the Senate of the USA, the Rajya Sabha is (as is The Right Honourable House of Lords) a dummy institution which seems to only be there to satisfy egos, and perhaps provide a place for parties to dump petulant and/or cantankerous members who are too big to throw out. There are only 28 states and, therefore, only 28 governorships, you see… 250 Rajya Sabha seats are much better.
Not only is the Rajya Sabha a dummy institution with no power or utility, the elections for the Rajya Sabha are also shams. It is by and large understood that each party gets some number of seats to the Rajya Sabha and that every other party will vote for the nominees. It turns out that some people are ready to subvert this subversion of democracy, and are prepared to sell their parties short, if it means making some money.
CNN-IBN is running this story about Jharkand politicians who will vote anybody to the Rajya Sabha as long as they are paid. As always, the worst part of this story is the ‘explanation’ one particular politician (who was caught more red-handed than most people could ever manage) has for his behaviour: ‘It wasn’t official’.
Let me say that again so it can sink in: the politician who was going to accept a bribe to sell his vote is saying that the discussions about the bribe weren’t official. I’m so glad someone in government finally understands this… Oh, wait.
The genius who’s figured out that bribes aren’t official (NOT) is Jharkand Congress MLA from Mahagama, Rajesh Ranjan. He is also quoted as saying he’ sure that the Congress high-command won’t punish him without evidence. Somehow, I don’t think he’s mastered the definition of ‘evidence’. Either that, or this is par for the course when it comes to Rajya Sabha elections, and this git happens to be the unlucky (not to mention dumber than a bag of raw, unpeeled potatoes) fellow who got caught. This time, though, I have no hesitation comparing Jharkand’s politicians to the catholic church… it’s a match made in heaven, so to speak.
(HT: Sunil ‘Pogo’ Manohar)