India’s Top 10 Politicos Who Hogged Major Limelight in 2013


When it comes to politics, politicians are always equipped with some major unexpected twist and turns. They are often the source of inspiration who can lift the economic condition of a country, or can be the source of chaos. Here are the names of such 10 politicians who hogged major limelight in 2013 as listed by India TV

Narendra Modi

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After emerging as NDA’s prime ministerial nominee, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi—fondly called NaMo, embarked on a spirited campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha elections creating political enthusiasm in business-oriented state. On September this year, the BJP’s parliamentary board declared Modi as a prime ministerial candidate of NDA. Modi’s elevation has aroused much enthusiasm about politics among the business-oriented Gujarati communities. He is among Time magazine’s shortlisted candidates for its ‘Person of the Year’ title and has emerged as an early favorite among the readers in an online poll; however, Modi is the only Indian shortlisted in the list.

Arvind Kejriwal

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Arvind Kejriwal, a well known social activist, now emerged as an active politician who formally launched Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi on 26 November. He has contested elections for the first time in the Delhi Legislative Assembly and are all set to form a government. Kejriwal defeated Sheila Dikshit, a three-time Chief Minister of Delhi, with a huge margin of 25, 864 votes.  He is now one among the five most mentioned Indian politicians on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

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Shivraj Singh Chouhan was recently sworn in as Madhya Pradesh chief minister for third consecutive term after he led the Bharatiya Janata Party to a spectacular hat-trick in assembly elections. 54-year-old Chouhan was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav at a ceremony held at Jamboree ground in Bhopal. Known for maintaining a low-profile, Chouhan led the BJP to win an impressive 165 seats in 230-member legislative assembly reducing Congress tally to just 58 from 71 in 2008.Presently, he represents Budhni constituency, a tehsil place in Sehore district, in the Madhya Pradesh assembly.

Raman Singh

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Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister, Raman Singh has joined the influential club of BJP chief ministers who have scored hat-tricks in their respective states, leading his party to a historic victory. This has been done despite several challenges like criticism from Opposition Congress after the killing of its senior leaders and anti-incumbency factor. But the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act, which he is credited of bringing in much before the National Food Security Act, is being dubbed as a game changer for 61-year-old Singh. Distribution of rice at subsidized price to poor families seems to have done the trick for the ‘Chaur wale baba’ (rice man) who proved wrong all political analysis and opinion polls to emerge victorious.

Vasundhara Raje Scindia

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Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, who failed five years ago on account of infighting in BJP, reinvented herself and galvanized the cadre to spearhead her party’s spectacular comeback to power in Rajasthan. 60-year-old Raje, who belongs to the royal Scindia family of Gwalior and married in Rajasthan, managed to get the BJP high command fully behind her in her bid to oust the Congress government headed by Ashok Gehlot. It was the full-throated backing from Narendra Modi who extensively toured Rajasthan during the election campaign that led to her victory. Vasundhara’s rise from a National Executive member of BJP to one of its most powerful leaders in Rajasthan can be attributed to her charismatic personality and strong will, which have helped her tide over political crises from within and outside in her 30-year-long political career.

Pu Lalthanhawla

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Pu Lalthanhawla who recently sworn in as the Mizoram Chief Minister in Aizawl was the icing on the Congress’s failure on other states in the recent polls. Lalthanhawla has become Chief Minister for a consecutive term for the second time and a record fifth term in his political career. He led the Congress party to a landslide victory with the ruling party winning 34 seats in the 40-member Mizoram Assembly, two seats more than the 2008 Assembly polls.

K Siddaramaiah

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K Siddaramaiah, the 22nd Chief Minister of Karnataka rose to great heights within a short span of his political career. The congress in Karnataka had successfully defeated the BJP government under his leadership. He had contested from Varuna Constituency and won 2013 election from same constituency on 8 May 2013. He was elected as the leader of the Congress legislative party in the Karnataka assembly on 10 May 2013. He had previously announced that 2013 assembly election would be his last election.

Nitish Kumar

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Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar since 2005 is one of the most sincere and competent leader.  He has been hinted as a best Prime Ministerial candidate.  Most recently, Nitish Kumar is the talk of the social media platforms after breaking 17 years long ties with BJP with the elevation of Narendra Modi as the Chairman of the BJP Campaign Committee for the upcoming 2014 General Election. Nitish gained positive discussions for Development and Economy.

Manmohan Singh

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Manmohan Singh is in his second term as India’s Prime Minister and the stability of the UPA government has been questioned frequently, whether it will make it till the next general elections. He was tagged as an ‘Underachiever’ last year by TIME magazine; however, his leadership has fetched the Indian economy the $1 Trillion milestone. On the other hand, he is frequently in the news by for spending a whopping amount of 642 crore in the previous nine years while going for a foreign trip.

Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi is one of the politicians in the country from whom a lot is expected. After being appointed as the Vice President of the Indian National Congress, he is second in position in the party, following his mother Sonia Gandhi, the party President. The moving speech at the Chintan Shivir has rested many speculations about Rahul’s seriousness as a leader and has made ‘Rahul vs Modi’ in the 2014 general election official sight to watch.

Four Faces of Arvind Kejriwal #AAP


AAP has publicly accepted Congress’s offer of marriage.


Delhi  citizens and indeed Indians all over the world following the going-ons  in India have mixed feelings. Most do not know what to make of it, what  would have been the right approach, both AAP supporters and BJP  supporters are groping in the darkness of political morality and  strategy. So let’s try to make head and tail of this marriage from  various perspectives.

A. Hazrat Kejriwal faithfools 

According to this group Arvind Kejriwal cannot do any wrong, either  ethically nor strategically. If he has entered into an alliance with  Congress, it still hasn’t changed his convictions. He is out to change  the face of Indian politics and root out all corruption. This is the  Jholawala, the city Marxist, the NGO activist view. Then there is the  idealist first time student activist who finds the energy of student  activism addictive, allows him to expand his social network even as it  makes him feel as making a contribution to the betterment of India and  society, especially as the student activist movement is led by a  coalition of yuppies and jholawallahs, willing to inject the spice of  cool modern (read West-inspired) cultural ambiance. Most importantly  this view is shared by the “Aam Aadmi” (read middle-class) who has grown  up in Delhi on a cultural diet of secularism and an ubiquitous and  perennially dysfunctional and corrupt system, who has been taken in by  the images broadcast by the mainstream media, and is thus more than  willing to project all his hopes onto this simple looking former IT  inspector.

They are willing to believe that Kejriwal did not long  for power but was forced to accept CMship due to the pressure from  others and their supporters who wanted to see him in power and fighting  corruption.

This coalition is taking Kejriwal at his word that  despite this alliance with the corruption devil, he would continue to  expose corruption in high places even if it is of the devil.

B. Cautious AAP Supporters

Many Delhi citizens supported Aam Aadmi Party believing that it was the  political heir to the Indians Against Corruption Movement led by Anna  Hazare.

They too share the concerns of the most of the  faithfools, but their support is not to the individual Arvind Kejriwal  but more to the movement in general.

This group is shocked to see  Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party agreeing to forming a government in  Delhi together. If not shocked, at least this group is quite worried  whether he may have made a mistake in trusting the party and its  leadership. The support this group provided was qualified support and  the question is whether the group was betrayed.

C. AAP is Congress’s B Team

Most of the BJP leadership as well as the BJP voters feel this way.  They can see how the Indian mainstream media doted on Arvind Kejriwal.  For them Arvind Kejriwal is a crook not to be trusted. He is part of  Congress’s strategy to wean away urban youth away from Modi’s magnetism,  and thus to stop Modi’s march to power.

According to this view,  Congress and its support system in the media helped to project Arvind  Kejriwal as the anti-corruption messiah. Arvind Kejriwal and indeed Aam  Aadmi Party was built up to cut into BJP votes, and to channelize all  the anti-corruption and thus anti-Congress votes to AAP, rather than  allow these to fall into BJP’s basket.

During the elections, BJP  was focused on taking down Congress, and almost completely ignored Aam  Aadmi Party not expecting them to put up such an impressive showing.

This  marriage of AAP and Congress only confirms their strong suspicions that  AAP is Congress’s B Team, and helped Congress to steal an election  which should have brought BJP to power. According to this view, Kejriwal  fooled the people and basically did a Chiranjeevi on Delhi citizens.

Many  were however expecting that Kejriwal would not take the bait and refuse  to join Congress, as that would destroy his credibility, especially as  he wishes to fight Lok Sabha elections too, and may have dreamed of  winning the re-election, especially in the aftermath of such a very good  electoral performance. In the re-election more of Congress vote-banks  may have gone over to AAP thus enabling AAP to get a majority. BJP  supporters were feeling that Arvind Kejriwal may feel over-confident,  also thinking on similar lines and opt for new elections.

However  now that the marriage has been solemnized, BJP supporters feel that  Kejriwal has bowed to the wishes of his MLAs to taste power. BJP feels  that he has taken the bait and gone into the trap set by them. Now it  makes Kejriwal vulnerable to the charge of duplicity.

BJP had  opted to not stake their claim on government formation and acted  honorably. BJP feels that they are on a strong wicket and sooner than  later either Arvind Kejriwal would make a fool of himself in power or  the Congress would withdraw support to AAP sooner or later, especially  if Arvind Kejriwal tries to live up to his stated agenda of  anti-corruption. If he doesn’t follow up on his promises, then Kejriwal  becomes a dead duck, and stops being a serious ideological challenger to  BJP.

The interests of Congress seem apparent to these BJP  supporters. Congress wants to avoid a re-election right away, as well as  stop BJP from coming to power and thus is willing to extend support to  AAP.

To some extent the fact that AAP received more votes and  seats than Congress, and in fact AAP hurt Congress more than they hurt  BJP, does cause some cognitive dissonance as to why would Congress allow  itself to be decimated by AAP. It weakens the theory that AAP is  Congress’s B Team. This weakness makes it difficult for those holding  this view to convince others of AAP’s duplicity. With this marriage BJP  feels that it would be easier to make this case.

I believe this view is restricted and does not think everything through.

D. Kejriwal can have his cake and eat it too

This is the view I hold.

The  main danger to the Dynasty comes from Narendra Modi. Stopping Narendra  Modi is all his detractors think of. Kejriwal and his image as a  corruption fighter is in fact the only ace the dynasty has up its sleeve  to stop Modi. Mainstream media does not tire from projecting Arvind  Kejriwal as if he was himself a PM candidate running against Narendra  Modi.

If Arvind Kejriwal can entice the urban youth away from  Modi, there is a chance that Modi would then not get a good majority and  thus would have to either have to make way for a more amenable BJP  leader or accept the poisoned chalice of support of “secular party”  agents thus hindering him in translating his agenda.

So Arvind Kejriwal has to be bolstered at all costs.

So  the question was how best to bolster Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi  Party? The Congress could have chosen to not extend outside support to  AAP.

  1. This would have  kept Arvind Kejriwal squeaky clean, but it would also shown to the voter  that a vote for AAP is a wasted vote, as the citizens do not get a  government in the end. So all those looking for stability would have  chosen to vote BJP next time.

  2. In fact people would  have cast aspersions on Arvind Kejriwal that he is afraid of embracing  responsibility and AAP is nothing more than a protest party unsuited for  doing the hard work of governing.

  3. Thirdly if Arvind  Kejriwal had opted not to form a government, his own MLAs would have  left him and joined up with BJP. This would have given a jolt to the  idealist charm of AAP.

  4. If Arvind Kejriwal has to stand up to Narendra Modi someday, he has to be able to show some executive experience.

  5. The most important consideration was however that a hung assembly would  have led to President’s rule and re-elections which would probably have  coincided with the general elections. That would have put Congress and  AAP at a serious disadvantage. For one thing AAP would have been chained  to Delhi elections, as they would have had to pledge all their meager  resources to Delhi, and Kejriwal would have been thus unavailable for  campaigning across the country in Lok Sabha elections supporting AAP  candidates. Also with assembly elections coinciding with Lok Sabha  elections, Modimania would have been at its highest and BJP would have  swept away both AAP and Congress from the field, even in Delhi.


So  due to all these considerations it was felt by both Congress and AAP  that Arvind Kejriwal’s loss of political virginity and idealistic appeal  to Congress can be otherwise offset and in fact be bolstered even more.

Most  detractors of Arvind Kejriwal, especially those in BJP, take it for  granted that Arvind Kejriwal would not go after Congress corruption once  in office, as otherwise Congress would withdraw support. Actually they  revel in this certainty.

There is no such certainty. By taking over power in Delhi, Kejriwal has eaten his cake, his reputation.

But  the understanding with Congress is that he is still going to have his  reputation in the end, in fact it would be multiplied even more.

What  we assume is that Sonia’s and Congress’s interests are identical. They  are not. In order to let Arvind Kejriwal win, Sonia started shifting her  vote-banks through the local Congress controllers towards AAP, even as  it decimated Congress MLA candidates. Sonia Gandhi got the mainstream  media to do carpet bombing of Delhi citizens with news and interviews of  Arvind Kejriwal and his movement and tried to project the animosity  between AAP and Congress as real.

So the AAP-Congress plan is to  have Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal discover some big corruption scandal  against some prominent Congress leader, possibly against Sheila Dixit  herself. Even a scam pointing culpability directly at the dynasty itself  is not unthinkable. Such a scam and the following attack by CM Arvind  Kejriwal would give him even more credibility. The thing is all these  scams are going to be discovered anyway if Modi comes to power, so  better let one’s own man uncover one or two of them and use these to  bolster his image.

So to keep the pretense of genuine opposition  by Arvind Kejriwal to Congress corruption, most probably Congress would  pull the rug sometime in March or early April, a few weeks before the  Lok Sabha elections. This would allow Arvind Kejriwal to hog the  limelight with his attack on Congress corruption or even Dynasty-based  corruption. Impressed by his selfless pursuit of anti-corruption  struggle where Arvind Kejriwal even endangers his CMship, many voters in  cities around the country would vote for AAP candidates. Instead of  NaMo being at the spearhead of anti-corruption drive against Congress  and Dynasty, Arvind Kejriwal would be able to don this mantle, or at  least the mainstream media would try their level best to put it on his  head. Arvind Kejriwal would be projected as somewhat who sacrificed his  position as CM for his principles.

This approach would then  confirm the faith of the faithfools of Hazrat Kejriwal. It would also  allay the fears of those who thought Arvind Kejriwal was compromised by  Congress. And in fact this theater may even attract more votes who did  not believe in Arvind Kejriwal or AAP earlier, as they would see  themselves proven wrong about him. In this case it would be difficult to  not see the rakshasa as a devta.

So what happens then? Does  Arvind Kejriwal have to pay anything? Of course not! Congress would  withdraw support and Lt. Governor of Delhi would declare President’s  Rule in Delhi. The fun part of it would be that if done in March, it  would be too late to hold elections for Delhi assembly together with Lok  Sabha elections. So Kejriwal would be free, even from CMship, to  campaign across the country on his “anti-corruption” agenda. Also there  would be no danger of AAP MLAs rebelling against Kejriwal as he would  again be upheld as a new prophet of anti-corruption, unlike now where  Kejriwal is being seen with suspicion holding hands with Congress.

Once  the Lok Sabha elections are over, and before the Lt. Governor is  changed by the next government at the Center, the Congress legislators  would again pledge their support to AAP. If that looks too suspicious,  in the aftermath of the Congress rout in 2014, the Delhi Congress could  simply rename itself and superficially cut its ties to parent Congress,  and thus give Arvind Kejriwal their support, under a new name!

So  before the new government takes over at the Center, Delhi would again  have a stable Arvind Kejriwal led government, perhaps this time  including the “erstwhile” Delhi Congress MLAs formally into the  government.

So Kejriwal gets to stay as Delhi CM for a full 5  year term, i.e. unless he is made PM by some third front, AND at the  same time Kejriwal receives both a boost from exposing some scam just  before elections and can keep his image as anti-corruption crusader  intact.

Arvind Kejriwal can have his cake and eat it too!

BJP’s  only chance is to break away MLAs of Congress or of AAP right now. Make  them resign on principle and force a reelection. Congress MLAs can  resign by exposing Sonia’s hand in the defeat of many Congress MLAs  through her support to AAP. AAP MLAs can resign citing Arvind Kejriwal’s  duplicitous move to form a government with the support of Congress.

If  the Delhi BJP does not do this now, then there is a real possibility of  them sitting in opposition benches for at least the next 5 years even  though they came so close to power. Much worse would be that Arvind  Kejriwal would be ballooned by Sonia Gandhi to a size of NaMo just  before elections through the media and thus stop the Modi juggernaut  just enough to deny him a free hand at Center even if he does become the  PM.

Facebook, Google Cannot Flout Indian Law, Says Court


The Delhi High Court Friday said that social networking site Facebook Inc and search engine Google Inc are bound by the rules of this country and cannot flout the law just because they are foreign companies.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru also directed the two companies to display on their websites the name and contact details of their grievance officers.

“We direct Google Inc and Facebook Inc to display the name of grievance officer on their respective sites. We also direct other intermediaries that the compliance (of the rules) be done in two weeks,” the court said.

It said the Information Technology (Intermediaries) Rules mandate that all social networking sites have to publish the name of grievance officer and their contact details.

“Just because you are a foreign company, you cannot flout the law. Like us, you are bound by the rule of law of this country,” said the court, also asking the central government to take steps to ensure that the social networking sites comply with the rules.

The bench also asked the central government to file its response on the allegations of petitioner that Delhi Police, Indian Railways and others have created accounts on social networking sites despite government departments being barred from doing so under the law.

The petitioner submitted that government departments like Delhi Police and the Indian Railways are not entitled to create accounts on social networking sites.

The court was hearing the PIL filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K.N. Govindacharya through his advocate Virag Gupta alleging that the websites have no mechanism for protection of children from online abuse.

The PIL has said that children below 18 years are entering an agreement with the social networking sites to open accounts which is against the Indian Majority Act, the Indian Contract Act and also the Information and Technology Act.

The plea has also sought recovery of taxes from the websites on their income from operations in India.

Source: IANS

Online Campaigns, the New Tool for Political Parties to Woo Netizens


Which strategy have the Indian politicians and political parties not applied to win the hearts of their voters? There are hardly any. With the advancement in the information technology, now the political parties are not just confined to their political campaigns through rallies, rath yatras, TV appearances, full page advertisements, posters and pamphlets but have also employed the new media platform like the internet and social networking sites for the upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha elections, as reported by Kim Arora for Times Of India.

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Most of the political parties have their own IT cells in order promote their party manifestos and contribute through the online medium. Recently, the netizens of the country were the most targeted masses through digital medium as the political parties believe it will easily help garner voters, mostly the youth. Arvind Gupta of BJP‘s IT cell said, “We’ve built a strong base of volunteers through our online outreach, who are well-informed about the party policy and its activities. Our social media guidelines, which are up on the party website, were crowd-sourced,” reported TOI.

The digital age has changed the game and this seems evident even among politicians, as they are involved in their digital campaigns. Kumar Vishwas of Aam Aadmi Party said “Not just our central team, even our candidates have online support groups they interact with regularly. When a five-year-old’s rape case wasn’t being registered by the police, the candidate from the area got people together with a single message. They picketed outside the police station until an FIR was filed.”

Though, social media and new technology was also employed during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the last two years have witnessed a massive increase in the practice of digital tools by political leaders and parties. This was started with several “official” Twitter and Facebook pages of the leaders, and now the policy makers are reaching out to the masses via videoconference too.

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According to the study by the IRIS Knowledge Foundation and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI), social media is most likely to impact 160 Lok Sabha seats.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that acts as the watchdog of political parties is also in the digital race as they introduced a mobile app known as Election Watch Reporter. It was first launched in Karnataka to help people report violations of the election code of conduct with the help of mobile phone pictures, and soon a Delhi-specific version of the app will also be launched.

The internet medium which is considered as the fastest mode of deciphering information might indeed serve as a successful medium to political parties to get the maximum votes.

Restaurants to Serve Dishes Named After UPA Scams


The drama hasn’t ended yet for the UPA government; after Hotel Aditi that had criticized the UPA government in its bills, now restaurants in Gujarat may serve dishes named after UPA scams.

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From “2G ka samosa” to a toasted “Coalgate sandwich”, restaurants in Gujarat may soon add some flavor of politics, reported Tushar Tere for TNN.

Further, members of the Gujarat Rajya Hotel Federation (GRHF) have decided to stand up for Mumbai eatery Aditi Restaurant that was asked to shut down by Congress workers for criticizing the UPA government in its bills. The GRHF has more than 6,000 members across the state.

Hotelier and GRHF member Ashwin Gandhi discussed the proposal with other federation members and said “Naming food and drinks after scams is an apt reply,” as reported by TOI. He added that “Every citizen has the right to express his views.”

The controversy sparked after Mumbai based Aditi Restaurant started issuing bills that had a message at the bottom of the printed receipt saying, “As per UPA govt eating money (2G, coal, CWG scam) is a necessity and eating food in AC restaurants is a luxury.”

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The GRHF was tense over the new service tax on restaurants that was imposed by the Centre a few months ago.

Sanat Relia, Southern Gujarat Hotel Association vice-president said “Bofors, 2G and other scams would appear on our menu once the proposal is approved.” He said that “We made several efforts to convince the Centre to remove the new service tax, but to no avail. Such a protest may help,” as reported by TOI.

However, the Vadodara city Congress has issued open threat to the restaurateurs in connection with the proposal. Vadodara Congress president Narendra Rawat said “This is not the correct way to protest. If any restaurant mentions about scams on their menu cards, we will protest in their premises. If the workers lose their temper and the restaurant is ransacked, we are not responsible for it.”

Rawat added that “Such hotel owners seem to be hand in gloves with BJP and they are making it a political issue. They should be ready to face ire of Congress workers.”

Ishrat Jahan case: Modi will soon be exposed, says Congress


With CBI holding as “fake” the 2004 encounter of Ishrat Jahan in Gujarat, Congress on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi saying “truth speaks for itself from the rooftop” and claimed that the chief minister’s role in such encounters will also be exposed.

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“He (Modi) will also be exposed some time. Truth comes out at one point or the other. Truth speaks for itself from the rooftop. Someday, you will come to know of the real face of the Gujarat Chief Minister,” AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistri told reporters.

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He was reacting to the CBI charge sheet in an Ahmedabad court that the 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan was killed in a “fake” encounter. The agency named seven police officers in its charge sheet in the case, saying it was a joint operation by Gujarat police and the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau.

Mistri said all “the people from Gujarat know that this encounter was fake. During a period of three months, when there was talks about removing Modi as Chief Ministers, such encounters took place with frequent intervals propping up a theory that there was an attempt to murder Modi”.

The AICC general secretary, who hails from Gujarat, also said sarcastically that “no one comes to kill Modi since some of the police officers went to jail”.

Rejecting BJP’s charge that it was doing vote-bank politics in encounter cases, Congress questioned the intent of BJP in defending IB officer Rajinder Kumar over his role in Ishrat case.

“CBI is a central agency. So is IB. Why they (BJP) are defending the IB officer? What interest they have in protecting the IB officer? Why they are doing it? What is their intent,” Mistri asked, adding that the CBI inquiry in this case is not taking place at the behest of Congress but as per orders of the Supreme Court and high court.

Party spokesperson Meem Afzal speaking separately steered clear of questions over the political fall out but maintained that the party wanted law to take its own course and “culprits to be brought to book”. “The blood of innocent speaks loudly and reveals the identity of the killer,” he said.

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Exhibition on Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s life at BJP’s MP executive meet


The exhibition also displays photographs of Vajpayee addressing in his trademark style which remained his forte till he was restricted because of poor health.

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An exhibition on the life and achievements of BJP‘s veteran leader, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has been put up at the venue of the party’s three-day state executive meet which began in Gwalior on Thursday.

Though the 88-year-old leader’s frail health has restricted him from attending the meet at his birthplace here, his presence has been ensured by way of the exhibition titled ‘Atal Bihari Vajapyeeji ke Vyaktitva ki Chitramay Pradarshini’.

The leader’s birth place ‘Krishna Kripa’ here is now converted into a library in the memory of his parents Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee.

The exhibition highlights Vajpayee’s achievements right from his formative years and is a tell tale of BJP’s political success – from just two seats in 1984 to the party’s coming to power at the Centre.

“The exhibition has a collection of Atalji’s rare photographs collected by ‘Atal Samagra’, to showcase the achievements of the poet-turned-politician for inspiring younger generation,” BJP investor cell’s co-convenor, Shailendra Sharma said.

It also showcases Vajapayee’s political journey from Jansangh to taking oath as Foreign Minister and then as the Prime Minister, first for a short stint of 13 days, 13 months and later for the full five-year-term.

The exhibition also displays photographs of Vajpayee addressing in his trademark style which remained his forte till he was restricted because of poor health.

On display are also his photographs with former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Pakistan’s ex-President General Zia-ul-Haq, former US President Bill Clinton and at the Pokhran nuclear test site.

There are also photographs of Vajpayee’s bus diplomacy and peace initiatives during Nawaz Sharif‘s government in Pakistan.

Going through the exhibition, Madhya Pradesh Medical Education Minister Anoop Mishra, who is the nephew of Vajpayee, turned nostalgic when he identified his mother in a rare family photograph.

Though BJP’s senior leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi‘s image was conspicuously missing from the posters and banners that dotted the city, the exhibition showcased at least two of Modi’s photographs with Vajpayee, one in Lucknow and the other playing Holi with him.

Vajpayee had advised Modi to follow the path of ‘Raj-dharma’ in the aftermath of the 2002 Godhra riots.

Justifying the exclusion of Modi from the posters and banners, state BJP’s media in-charge Dr Hitesh Bajpai said, “Only photographs of those leaders are displayed who are attending the three-day meeting in different sessions.”

BJP’s national vice president and former MP Chief Minister Uma Bharti, who has not been invited by the party to attend the state executive meeting, has found a place in the exhibition which displays her 2003 victory in Madhya Pradesh, ousting Congress government led by then Chief Minister Digvijay Singh.

The exhibition also showcases Vajpayee’s photograph with late Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia, whose family ruled Gwalior for ages.

The exhibition also puts up portraits of Jansangh-BJP’s formative years under the leadership of its founders, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

Senior party leaders, including BJP President Rajnath Singh, senior leader LK Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and her counterpart in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, among others, are taking part in the meet.

The meeting is crucial for the saffron party in view of the Assembly elections scheduled in Madhya Pradesh by year-end. 

Big Blow to BJP in Karnataka Local Polls


The Congress dealt a massive blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka urban local body elections by winning four major city corporations. The Congress not only made huge gains by winning the highest number of wards across the state, but the party also routed BS Yeddyurappa‘s Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) and ended the rule of Reddy brothers in Bellary by decimating their BSR Congress across central Karnataka.

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Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s KJP failed to make a big splash while the ruling BJP could only secure third place by winning just 876 wards while the Congress was way ahead with 1881 seats. The Janata Dal Secular (JDS) managed to hold on to its strength in the Old Mysore region and managed to win 890 wards to take the second place in the state.

The Karnataka local polls, which have been billed as semi-finals before the state elects a new Assembly in a couple of months, show that the BJP is finding the going tough and has not been fully able to counter the Yeddyurappa effect.

There are a total number of 4976 seats for which counting took place. The Congress won Bellary, Mangalore and Davanagere city corporations. The party is leading in four out of seven city corporations and is also doing very well in Dakshin Kannada.

The BJP is ahead in Hubli-Dharwad while there is close fight between Congress and JDS in Mysore. Yeddyurappa’s party has put up a dismal performance in Shimoga while the BJP has suffered a huge defeat in its stronghold of coastal Karnataka where the Independents have come third. The trends and results show that urban voters have rejected BJP and its offshoots KJP and BSR Congress.

The Bellary brothers, who had launched the BSR Congress, have been routed in their stronghold. The Congress is also leading in areas dominated by the JDS.

The results are crucial since they could be an indicator of what will happen in the state elections coming up in two months. Over 200 municipalities including seven city corporations went to the polls on March 7.

In the last urban local bodies polls in 2007, of the total 5007 wards, the Congress had come first winning 1606, followed by JDS 1502 and BJP 1180.

Use Less Power If You Can’t Afford Hiked Rates: Dikshit


People should cut use of power if they cannot afford high electricity tariff, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said today, a prescription that evoked criticism.

sheila_dikshit_20121023

Under attack for the hike in power tariff, Dikshit also sought to justify it, saying the increase in cost of power production has led to the rise in electricity rates.

Stating that the consumers will have to pay if they want round-the-clock electricity supply, Dikshit went on to say that if people are finding it difficult to pay the billed amount they they should cut down consumption on various electrical appliances.

“We have been supplying power round-the-clock. We are not supplying power periodically. When 24 hours supply is ensured then the Opposition says bill is too high. If you consume electricity for 24 hours, then you do not pay for five hours’ consumption.

“If you cannot afford the electricity bill then cut down your consumption of electricity. Future generations will never realise there used to be seven to eight hours power cut in Delhi,” Dikshit said addressing a meeting at Chhatarpur area in South Delhi.

“If somebody is finding it difficult to pay the bill then he can use a fan instead of a cooler. One can always cut down consumption of power to limit the bill,” she added.

Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel accused the Chief Minister of “favouring” discoms and ignoring the alleged corruption in these power distribution companies.

“She (Dikshit) is favouring discoms. There is mass corruption in electricity by the discoms but Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, instead of checking it, is giving statement about electricity being used by poor people,” Goel said.

The BJP has been targeting the city government on the issue of hike in power tariff and accused it of siding with the private power discoms.

“This is very unfortunate statement from the Chief Minister of Delhi. In Delhi, the electricity prices are not increasing because of increased production cost,” Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal said.

“How can you expect the people to stop using TV, refrigerator, washing machines which have become essential today. The electricity prices are increasing only because of the corruption of the Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in collusion with electricity companies….”

The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 and again it was increased by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July last year. It was again hiked by up to three per cent from February one.

PTI

Tough times ahead for Rahul, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family


Rahul Gandhi

 A special Congress session over the weekend formally launched Rahul Gandhi as the official No. 2 after party chief Sonia Gandhi, making him the presumptive prime ministerial candidate of the party for the 2014 general elections, but the battle is half won and tough times lie ahead for the 42-year-old fifth-generation leader of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Gandhi alluded to the challenges when he talked about the “poison” that came with such heavy political responsibility and the attached personal risks. His mother, who came to his room and cried on Saturday night, perhaps understands it better than anyone else.

Nine assembly polls – five big ones in Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh, where the Congress will have direct contest with the Bharatiya Janata Party, and four in the northeast – will test his leadership skills.

The return of the third edition of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in 2014 will also depend on how the Amethi lawmaker is able to restructure and re-energize the party for the big political fight. He heads the party’s coordination panel for the 2014 polls.

Rahul Gandhi is also expected to give key roles to younger leaders so the party is able to reach out to all voters, 70 per cent of whom are below the age of 35. Connecting with the country’s youths, who are angry over corruption, crave for better systems of governnance and want accountability from politicians, will be a major task for the new Congress vice president.

The Nehru-Gandhi family scion would also be expected to spell out his position on various national issues clearly as he now holds an official post in the Congress.

While any success in the elections will bring him credit, he would also have to accept the blame in case of a failure.

“Rahul Gandhi faces enormous challenges during the coming polls as his leadership skills would be tested,” Zoya Hasan, who teaches political science at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, told IANS.

“His speech after being made vice president pointed out many wrongs in the party. Now he has to set things right,” she said.

The move to make him vice president, which marks a generational shift in the 127-year-old party, is significant. Party insiders said the decision was postponed for a while due to reservations among some senior leaders. But members of the Youth Congress, National Students Union of India and the younger leaders in the party – who comprised a third of the 350-odd delegates at the session – made strong demands for his elevation.

Over 50 senior leaders who shared the dais with Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the session, not only heard Rahul with rapt attention, but stood up as soon as he finished his speech and were seen competing with one another in congratulating him. Rahul had arrived.

In an impassioned speech, Rahul made it clear that he does not hanker for power and stressed the need to transform the party’s systems and develop new leaders at all levels while saying the youths must be involved in decision-making.

Rahul struck an emotional chord when he related how his mother cried when she met him after his appointment.

The question now is whether he will be able to bring the middle class, especially the “restless and impatient” young, to the Congress camp from which they stood quite alienated over perceptions of corruption, misgovernance, inflation and insensitivity to issues that concern them

IANS

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