Kapil Sibal strongly pitched for a coalition government


Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday strongly pitched for a coalition government, insisting that they deliver much better than governments with a majority and a strong leader.

Speaking at an interactive programme organised in Nagpur by the All India Professionals Congress (AIPC) Sibal said, “The UPA coalition governments delivered much better in terms of economic growth than the current dispensation with full majority and strong leader like Narendra Modi. So, the people have to decide what kind of government they want.”

Sibal was one of the two guests, who were posed questions by moderator Sanjay Jha, Congress spokesman and Maharashtra in-charge of AIPC, on various issues. The other guest was former Maharashtra Attorney General and senior lawyer Shrihari Aney.

Sibal’s observation on coalition governments came during an answer to a questing regarding the “street violence” by lynch mobs. He said, “This violence is because the BJP is ruling the government instead of the government running the state. There is no distinction left between the party and the state. If BJP returns to power with a majority, the violence will continue. If there is a coalition government, it will end.”

He further said, “According to this government, we had no leader and yet we delivered over 8 per cent growth. So, the people will have to decide which kind of government delivers.”

Jha supplemented Sibal’s contention saying, “The data that was out yesterday – two UPA governments delivered 8.1 percent growth for ten years. The rate of crude oil had reached $150 per barrel in 2007. You had the world’s worst recession in 2007. So, you are absolutely right that just because you have majority mandate it doesn’t guarantee economic growth.”

Sibal and Aney dwelt at length on many issues, often agreeing with each other’s view rather than differing, except on Aadhaar where Aney said Aadhaar has just replaced the role played by PAN and that digital transaction of business has already exposed us all to intrusions on personal data. Sibal differed saying, “Aadhaar was meant earlier for only public distribution system. Now it can trace everything you do, right from your journeys and meetings to your address.”

Aney drew a similarity with Emergency days over Jha’s question regarding current “media gag” by the Modi government, saying that with people collectively opposing it, it will blow over. Sibal, however, sought to distinguish saying, “The Emergency was declared under the Constitutional provision of Article 356 and was subject to judicial scrutiny but now with that provision gone, it is not possible to bring it back. So now there is this undeclared emergency.”

Sibal reiterated his “presumptive loss” theory about the alleged coal and 2G spectrum scams, saying, “The CAG first and the Supreme Court later made a point regarding the government not following the auction process. This is like doing an auction for land sought for setting up a school. Nobody would come forward to take the land at such a high rate. Now see what had happened. The auctions have fetched nothing for the government and only four out of nine telecom companies have remained and they, too, are running in losses. It showed how court judgement can destroy the economic future of the country.”

About the issue of four senior SC judges holding a press confidence in January, Sibal said, “The judges didn’t approach the media but people through media. The incident underscored their objection to the Chief Justice’s methodology. It showed how the judicial mind was getting affected by what happened outside the court. This tampering of judicial mind is a matter of concern.”

On the issue of fake news, Sibal said, “Fake news has the potential to influence the outcome of next election. This is a worldwide problem.”

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