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Serve public, not self

For those among you who weren’t privy to the proceedings, here’s what happened yesterday at the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. The judicial commission probing the Adarsh Housing Society scam — you know the one — tabled the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report.

The report, allegedly indicting senior state politicians, had been leaked to the media a while ago and ministers, naturally, decided to expend a fair amount of energy on this aspect rather than the actual damaging contents of the report.

Home Minister R R Patil told the Assembly that the Mumbai Crime Branch would inquire into how important official documents found their way to the media in the form of a CD before they were officially tabled. PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal described the leak as a ‘conspiracy to malign individuals’ and sought a probe, while Industries Minister Narayan Rane said he would move a privilege motion against a couple of dailies and TV news channels.

The interesting thing to note here is how ministers rallied around this cause in a rare display of solidarity. This happened, presumably, because they found that some of their colleagues were being portrayed in a poor light. ‘There but for the grace of God, go I,’ they must have reasoned.

To put things into perspective, here is what the major allegation is: Flats from a 31-storey apartment meant for Kargil War widows and war heroes were cornered by senior politicians, bureaucrats and defence officers.

Ministers of any state exist because they are supposed to play the role of caretakers. They are supposed to be the people we turn to for solutions, not more problems. They are supposed to concentrate on serving the public, not their own selfish interests. The fact that no one chose to focus on this aspect of the CAG report is tragic.
 

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