(Published in TheNew Indian Express dt.08.05.04)

TheCongress party must be kicking itself for setting up the Jain Commission. AndSonia Gandhi must be ruing why she raised the Jain Commission issue in thepast.

Today,it appears the Jain Commission issue would not leave the Congress to live inpeace with its new ally, the DMK. When she stunned one and all with her cleanchit to Karunanidhi on the Jain Commission issue, Sonia Gandhi signalled thatshe has buried the Jain Commission and with it Rajiv Gandhi’s assassinationissue itself.

Everyone knows that only she, no one else, could have done that. Why becauselegitimately Sonia became the complainant against what she called ‘‘the tardyprobe’’ into her husband Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.

IndeedRahul and Priyanka began attending the Verma and Jain Commission hearings,creating political waves that undermined Narasimha Rao’s authority. RashidKidwai who wrote a biography of Sonia Gandhi finds that the probe into Rajiv’sassassination became the vehicle for the Sonia family to enter politics.

Theissue of probe into Rajiv’s assassination thus provided the smoothest entry forSonia into politics, without her seeming to do. On her debut, from a publicplatform at Amethi, she complained against Rao government’s tardiness inprobing her husband’s assassination.

Later,in 1997, she pulled the rug under the United Front government headed by InderKumar Gujral. The reason her party gave was that the Jain Commission had, inits interim report, indicted Karunanidhi whose party was a constituent of theUF.

Sheinsisted that the DMK ministers be sacked from the government. As the UFdefied, she directed Sitaram Kesari, who confessed with pride that he was a dogof the Sonia family, to write to President K.R.Narayanan, withdrawing supportto the Gujral Ministry.

Withthat the UF government’s life was cut to just 18 months. The 11th Lok Sabha’slife was cut by three and half years. The result was a fresh election on thecountry imposing a cost of a thousand crores. After the interim reportinflicted this damage, came the final report of Jain five months later, inMarch 1998.

From1998 the scene shifts to 2004. In February this year Sonia Gandhi dismissed theJain Commission saying that ‘‘there were few comments on some (DMK) leaders,there was no negative comments in the final report.’’

Seehow ‘serious charges’ that scalped the Gujral government in 1997 has become‘few comments’ and ‘some leaders’ gets quietly substituted for Karunanidhi. Shealso asked ‘since the final Jain report had exonerated Karunanidhi, how couldthe interim report stand’.

Sothe issue became interim report of Jain versus his final report, with the finalreport claiming to prevail over the interim and exonerating the DMK leader.Thus the issue, which paved way for Sonia’s entry into politics, and shaped theCongress and nation’s political history during the mid-1990s endeddramatically.

Ironicallythis burial ceremony took place in the DMK headquarters at Anna Arivalayam. Theoccasion was the historic meeting between Sonia Gandhi and Karunanidhi forclinching the alliance between two most unlikely allies, the Congress and theDMK. She clinched the alliance by burying the Rajiv assassination issue.

Nowinvestigation by this website’s newspaper conclusively establishes that what Soniatold the nation from the DMK headquarters was a blatant lie. Look at the newfacts uncovered.

Thegovernment led by Vajpayee assumed office around the time the final Jain reportwas submitted. Five months later, on August 19, the All India Congress Committeedelegation met L.K.Advani, the Home Minister, and submitted a memorandum askingthe Vajpayee government to investigate the role of Karunanidhi and prosecutehim.

Thismemorandum was signed by almost half of the Congress Working Committee includingManmohan Singh, Sharad Pawar, Arjun Singh and Pranab Mukherjee.

Aweek later Arjun Singh wrote another letter to Advani reminding the HomeMinister that he had promised to investigate Karunanidhi and proceed againsthim in law. At this point the Sonia Congress had insisted that the CentralGovernment prosecute Karunanidhi on the basis of, not the interim, but thefinal Jain Commission report.

Itwas not that Sonia had in a cool state of mind re-read the Jain Commissionreport and came to the conclusion that her original view that Karunanidhishould be investigated and prosecuted was wrong and, on that basis, sheexonerated him.

Hadshe done so, it would be regarded as an honest introspection. For no one couldhave faulted her or questioned her intentions, since it concerned her husband’sassassination. But that is not what Sonia did. Instead she lied, lied brazenlywhen she said in the DMK office that there was nothing in the final reportagainst the DMK leader and therefore what the interim report said was also notvalid any more.

Boththe statements are lies, post-facto lies. It is this lie, which is the issue,not that she exonerated Karunanidhi. In fact she has vindicated him, but, byvindicating him by lies, she stands indicted.