Manohar Lal is a famous politician who had enemies everywhere because of his honesty. He stayed away from illegal activities and forbid his friends and colleagues to do so. Normally, such politicians should be awarded and rewarded regularly. But, his untainted reputation earned more enemies and disrespect than he ever expected. Though he was not happy with the status quo, he was adamant and did not do any favors to anyone or helped anyone. He believed in following the rules. He was so true to his role as a law maker that he did not even allow his kids to get the additional educational benefits that ministers kids are normally entitled to.
The Chief Minister of the state, however, liked and appreciated Manohar Lal for his honesty and trustworthiness. So, Manohar was happy he had the support of the head of the party. Everything was fine until the Chief Minister was attacked by some terrorists and got killed. According to the constitution, the party had the right to elect their leader from among the ministers as they had four more years for elections.
People expected either Shyamji or Banerji to emerge as the leaders. The party was divided into two factions. There was no clear majority. There was only one person who did not vote in favor of either of these and that was Manohar Lal. Both Shyamji and Banerji tried to convince him to vote for them. But, they failed as Manohar was too stubborn. The war between Shyamji and Banerji increased over the days and the prospects of electing a new leader seemed remote. The Governor of the state intervened and asked for a secret ballot. He informed all the ministers that they could nominate anyone and vote for them in the secret ballot.
To everybody’s surprise, seventy per cent of the ministers voted for Manohar in the secret ballot. The disgruntled ministers from both the groups met and decided to elect a leader who would be the right one for the party at this time. It had been more than two weeks since their earlier leader passed away and the opposition was taking advantage of the problems within the party by demanding elections to be held again. The party needed a strong leader immediately.
When the ministers did some quick research on public perception of the party, they found that elections at this juncture would ruin their chances of winning again. And, they did not have a strong leader and party was more likely to be broken into two separate outfits. To avoid any such problems, they decided to elect Manohar Lal who had great public response and fan following because of his clean record and trustworthy leadership abilities.
It came as a pleasant surprise to Manohar Lal at time when he decided to quit politics because his leader passed away and he expected no support from within the party.
Manohar was ecstatic at the turn of events. He realized that he finally got his due. He called his son, Trivikram and told him, “Did you check the news? You never believed in my ways. You always wanted to me do more of networking and be nice to people. But, look at me now. They elected me as the Chief Minister of the state. These ministers are all going to get disciplined. Unlike the previous leader, I’m not going to let the wrongdoers continue in my ministry. Things will change as the leadership has changed. They really have no clue what they are up to,”
Trivikram expected his father to think on these lines. He has always been a strict disciplinarian and took anyone to task if he had the authority. Trivikram also knew what he had to do. He congratulated his father and gave him a pen as a gift. Though Manohar Lal found it unusual to get a gift from his son, he accepted it. His son asked him to keep it on his shirt pocket every time he goes to his office as the Chief Minister of the state and every time he chairs any meetings. Manohar agreed to do so. Trivikram was glad that half of his work is done.
In the first week of his office, Manohar Lal express hid disgust over the performance of most of the ministers. He took them to task and asked them to work better. He framed some rules and asked all the ministers to follow all the rules. One after the other, the ministers started regretting their decision to elect Manohar as the leader. He discouraged corruption completely and wanted all the ministers to work very hard. However, they were not used to this. Slowly and steadily, the dissent within the party started to grow.
During the course of second week, Manohar suspended one of the ministers who misused his authority. The only mistake that the minister did was to use the government vehicles for the transportation of his family members during a wedding ceremony in their family. The media highlighted it as misuse of authority and Manohar was irked. He wanted his government to get only brownie points from the media and the people. Trivikram felt that his father overreacted to the situation. But, there was no way he could talk to his father about this. He decided to continue the execution of his plans.
Three more ministers were punished in the further weeks. The situation worsened when one of the ministers was caught in a corruption scandal. Manohar Lal immediately got him arrested and offered no government support to him. All the members of the politburo started fearing about their future as they were pretty sure they were involved in one or the other corruption scandal. So, they decided to put an end to the regime of Manohar Lal.
Shyamji and Banerji teamed up and came up with a plan. They met Manohar and told him that they want the party to be corruption free. They said that they were ready to share money from their pockets to establish a new department that would put a check on erring ministers. They apologized to Manohar saying that they were involved in some corruption earlier and had some black money. They requested Manohar to not suspend them or get them arrested. They said that they realized their mistakes and decided to follow Manohar’s footsteps. Manohar felt glad that people have changed under his leadership. He decided to forgive them. Shyamji and Banerji told them that they would send the money to him through a middleman as it was all black money and they could not directly involve in the transactions. It did not matter much to Manohar as he could use it for the betterment of the party and for the state. Shyamji and Banerji had repeated meetings with Manohar and discussed about the new department. Manohar Lal was happy about the progress.
One day, a businessman came to meet Manohar Lal and handed him some billions of rupees. He said that it was black money and hence could not transfer using the regular financial systems. Manohar accepted it with a smile and felt glad that Shyamji and Banerji lived up to their promise. He thought he would later tell the other ministers to learn a lesson or two from these two reformed ministers.
A few hours later, the news channels in the country started showing video clippings of the Chief Minister accepting bribe from a businessman for a huge project near the banks of a famous river. This news became too sensational immediately. The ministers and the opposition demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister immediately. They called for elections to the state again.
Manohar Lal was panic stricken and he could not believe the turn of events. He almost had a heart attack. He could not bear the corruptions allegations. He decided to end his life.
Trivikram walked in to his room and said, “Father, please do not do anything untoward. You have always been truthful all your life. Please continue to be so. Call for a press conference. Tell the truth to the people. Let them know the truth. If you die now, people will never get to know the truth and will believe that you were actually part of a shady deal.”
Manohar liked the idea and called for a press conference. Trivikram joined him in the conference. Even before Manohar could speak anything, Trivikram requested a few minutes to talk on behalf of his father. And, instead of speaking, Trivikram played some video clips involving Shyamji, Banerji, and Manohar Lal. The videos made it clear to the press and public that Shyamji and Banerji cleverly tried to frame Manohar and he was indeed innocent. For a moment, Manohar Lal could not guess how his son get hold of these videos.
Manohar Lal, then, looked at the pen in his pocket. He took it out and saw a hidden camera. He looked at his son and gave him a thankful smile. If not for the videos, Manohar would have never gotten a chance to prove himself to the public.
Manohar Lal did not like the dissent within the party and resigned. Elections were held again. Manohar Lal became the Chief Minister again with a new party with all new representatives as ministers who had a clean record.