Nearly two decades back, a man named TN Seshan took the entire nation by a storm. In fact it was no less than a whirlwind or a meteor like tsunami. As the Chief Election Commissioner of India, he introduced sweeping reforms in India’s electoral democracy. He undertook an expedition to clean up the electoral system and succeeded in dampening many malpractices like booth capturing. Seshan’s magnetism strengthened the institution of the Election Commission like never before and established the commission as one of the quintessential driving forces behind Indian democracy.
Today, another man has risen during this tumultuous period of transition from being an agricultural society to an industrialized nation with the intention of changing the rules of the game. Vinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General, is in no doubt giving Seshan-like effect to the CAG which is bound to evolve as a stronger institution due to his valiant efforts. Election Commission became acquainted of its abilities only after Sechan’s theatrics and Rai’s antics will indeed enhance the role of the CAG as a proactive auditor. After having sent shivers down the spine of the Central Government by pegging the amount of loss caused due to the 2G scam and Coalgate at Rs 1.76 lakh crore and Rs 10.67 lakh crore respectively, the CAG has now taken on the self styled ‘vikas guru’ and unarguably India’s most controversial and watched after Chief Minister Narendra Modi. CAG reports for 2009 and 2010 tabled before the Gujarat Assembly have hit out at the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government in Gujarat on the issue of corruption by pinning the amount of loss caused due to financial irregularities at Rs 17000 crore. The CAG with its omnipresent vigil is indeed the most pervading watchdog in the history of modern India. We may raise question marks regarding the methodology used by him in ascertaining losses but the fact remains that he has had the courage to expose the corrupt without being overawed of their political affiliations. Well done Mr Vinod Rai. Salute!