After having failed in the debate over lotteries and corruption, the government has turned apologetic. The Chief Minister, V. S. Achuthanandan, has just said mea culpa. That is the only option for salvation in the coming elections.
This is not to say that the Congress was not guilty. It acted with sophistication. First the government charged hundreds of cases against the sellers of lotteries. Then, it gave an undertaking in the Supreme Court that it would not harass the sellers anymore, effectively killing the cases charged and blocking future action. How much money would have changed hands for this volte-facie by the government is anybody’s guess. But the government had an excuse which, prima facie, would look valid—there was the Damocles’ sword of contempt of court above the Chief Secretary.
In contrast, the methods of the CPI-M were rather crude. Take a big contribution for the party and allow the lottery operators a free for all. Defend with what the Centre is doing to aid the lottery distributors and what the previous government had done in the State.
The Finance Minister, Thomas Issac, engaged V. D. Satheesan of the Congress in debate hoping that the he could easily succeed with the old facts in his finger tips. But he forgot one things. He was not privy to all the underhand dealings. Besides, the charges against a ruling Government would look more serious that the omissions and commissions of the previous government which had been ousted by the people.
So, the only option before the Government is to confess as Clinton had done in Monica Lewinsky case. However, the least guilty is doing the confession. Will the people accept that?
It seems that the ‘strategy’ was just that of Ahuthanandan. The party does not like to apologise. So, VS, as usual, has been forced to retract from his stand.