Monday, October 16, 2017

Signal of Cong resurgence and wake-up call for BJP

The by-election result of the Gurdaspur Parliamentary elections is a wake-up call for the ruling BJP at the Centre and the clear indication of Congress resurgence to some extent. It was the bastion of BJP. Its MP film actor late Vinod Khanna represented Gurdaspur constituency thrice in the Lok Sabha. It was because of his death that by-election was necessitated there. There is Congress govt. in Punjab. So, Congress being strong there politically may be natural but the margin by which the BJP candidate was defeated must be a matter of serious concern for the party. It now clearly appears that the demonetization move of Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not yield any result as was expected. In addition to demonetization, the hastily implemented and ill-conceived GST also did not go down well with the small, middle and big businessmen. The proof of the adverse impact of these two economic measures can be seen in the fall of GDP growth by two percents. One thing also is evident all around that an atmosphere of economic gloom spreads all over. The market shows no enthusiasm despite the time of Deepawali. The employment is not generated in proportion to the growing number of unemployed. There is no bright spot anywhere. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP must introspect that where they are going wrong that the people in only three years are appearing to be against the govt. They had given overwhelming support to Prime Minister Modi in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. So, the govt. must initiate economic measures to provide succour to the people. All economic activities have come to a standstill due to the implementation of GST without giving any proper training to the businessmen community. They are absolutely not satisfied with the Modi govt. It has also been experienced that in the NDA regime the gulf between the poor and the rich is widening. The rich are becoming richer and while the poor are becoming poorer. Modi govt. is required to think seriously about the falling economic condition of the people. Modi Govt. must realize one thing that the longstanding and idealistic speech cannot fill the stomach of the poor. The poor and the unemployed youth need employment to earn their livelihood. The common people of the country have nothing to do with this or that political party. They want the govt. that works for them. The Gurdaspur by-election result is the reflection of people's discontent with the ruling BJP at the Centre. If the BJP holds Congress corrupt, by which parameter it holds Akali Dal in Punjab honest to be made alliance partner. As long as the BJP will remain with Akali Dal, it would not resurge in Punjab. Now, only a year and 10 months have left to go to Lok Sabha elections in 2019. So, the ruling NDA must do something to revive the economy fast. Otherwise, it will also have to face people's wrath in the Lok Sabha elections. It has been in govt. so it will have to answer the questions put by the people to BJP leaders. The Congress has registered a massive victory in the Gurdaspur, as party candidate Sunil Jakhar won by a margin of 1,93,219 votes. The six-month-old govt. of Congress passed a litmus test by winning the election by such a huge margin. The Congress had fielded veteran leader Sunil Jakhar to contest the by-elections against the BJP-SAD alliance candidate, businessman Swaran Salaria and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate, Retired Major General Suresh Khajuria.Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could not save its security deposit. Gurdaspur result clearly shows that the people are not satisfied with the work of the BJP govt. at the Centre. Though by-election result generally goes in favour of the ruling party in the state, it is definitely taken seriously by the BJP.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Keen contest in Himachal Pradesh assembly elections

The date of Himachal Pradesh assembly elections has been announced by the Election Commission. The difference between the date of commencement of election and declaration of its result is 38 days. It itself appears ocular. It has also surprised the nation that why the date of Gujarat assembly elections was not announced along with the Himachal. It appears that Election Commission which has so far been independent has come under the pressure of NDA govt. at the Centre. Election Commission is a constitutional body. It comprises three Election Commissioners and one among them is the Chief Election Commissioner. CEC AK Jyoti was the Chief Secretary of the Gujarat Govt. before being made CEC. Jyoti being the CEC and Gujarat election date being not announced along with Himachal create an impression among the people that he favours the ruling party at the Centre by giving them two to four days to announce some schemes, policy, and programmes to tempt the Gujaratis towards BJP as PM is to visit the state in the next week. With the announcement of the election, the model code of conduct is automatically enforced and after that Govt. can make no announcement about its promises and policies for the people to influence them. Though it has been the history of assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh that it alternates between Congress and BJP after every five years, this time outcome may be different. There is an anti-incumbency factor against the Congress govt. of Virbhdra Singh in the state. In addition to anti-incumbency, there is also the Disproportionate assets case against CM Virbhadra Singh. ED is already pursuing its investigation against him. In addition to this, CM and the Himachal Pradesh Congress president don't see eye to eye. Congress party is faced with the issue of infighting. Though Virbhadra is still the tallest leader of Himachal and his name has already been announced as Chief Ministerial candidate in the assembly elections by the Congress, his boat doesn’t appear to be sailing through. On the other side, the BJP is poised for victory in the assembly elections. But the irony with the party is also that no one leader emerges as the consensus candidate for the post of Chief Minister. Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal is already in the race. Himachal BJP leader and the Union Health Minister JP Nadda is also eyeing the post of Chief Minister of the state. It is also difficult for the BJP to evolve consensus over the issue of leadership for the post of Chief Minister in the state. BJP may not announce its CM candidate as it has been doing in North Indian states normally. It had not announced the name of Chief Minister in Delhi and UP elections. It lost Delhi but it won Uttar Pradesh. So, it appears pretty certain that the election in Himachal Pradesh will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi versus CM Virbhadra Singh. There is still an attraction for Virbhadra in Himachal Pradesh. It appears clear that due to not reaching consensus on the issue of leadership in the state in the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the face of the party in the state. There are several leaders in the BJP in Himachal who are of Chief Ministerial material. Prem Kumar Dhumal and JP Nadda are prominent among them. So, it appears that the BJP leadership has shelved the issue and like UP if it won the election, it would elect its legislative party leader very easily. The chances for BJP in the state look bright if the electoral history of the state is anything to go by. But as Virbhadra is himself old war-scarred Congress leader, it would not be easy for BJP to thrash him. The election in Himachal is going to be keenly contested. It is not easy either for BJP or Congress to win. Let us see what happens. But the upper hand in the election is of BJP in Himachal Pradesh.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Political violence must stop

Whichever political party indulges in violence to settle scores with its opponent is against the essence of democracy. There is no place for violence in the democracy. Every political party has right to criticize against its rival in politics. But resorting to violence to settle the score with the rival party cadre is a crime. So, it must be dealt as such. BJP charges Kerala Govt. and the Left parties with murdering its political workers. Political violence is not new to Kerala. It has been happening since long. CPI (M) is ruling there and the BJP is trying its best to establish its feet in the state. BJP has launched Janraksha Yatra against the ongoing political violence in the state of Kerala. Violence by any political party to settle scores with opponents is not permissible in the regime of democratically elected govt. in the state. The rule of law is meant for all and it must be enforced to maintain peace and amity in the state. Whether it is BJP, Congress, Left parties or others, the violence committed by anyone is unjustified and outlawed. CPI(M) govt. in Kerala must not allow the anti-social or criminal elements to take law into their own hands. No matter which party the assailants or attackers belong to, the police must act against them under due process of law. It is the responsibility of Pinarayi Vijayan govt. to maintain law and order in the state at all costs. BJP charges the CPI(M) with state atrocities against its cadres. In the recent past, several BJP or RSS cadres have allegedly been killed by the CPI(M) cadres. Meanwhile, political violence continued unabated in the state. Another BJP worker and auto-rickshaw driver Suresh Sudheesh was attacked in Thalassery in Kannur on Tuesday. He has been admitted to a private hospital. The incident took place near Ponniam bridge in Thalassery. BJP has accused CPM workers of the attack. Police are probing the incident. Political violence in Kerala dates back to decades. Since 2001, at least 120 BJP workers had been killed in the state. Of these 84 were killed in Kannur only. 14 of the killings have been conducted in Pinarai, the hometown of Kerala Chief Minister P Vijayan.To attract the media and national attention, the top leaders of BJP have taken upon themselves to push CPI(M) govt. into the corner by launching Janraksha Campaign in Kerala against ongoing political violence Democracy does not allow violence. There must be opposition in the democracy. The ruling political party in the state or at Centre must not promote violence with the help of state machinery. CPI(M) is ruling in the state of Kerala and BJP is at the Centre. Both are ruling political parties. Their cadres have clashed against one another frequently with the police as mute spectators. Whether it is BJP or CPI(M) cadre, the killing of anyone is a criminal act. So, violence must not be allowed. No cadre of any political party should be encouraged to resort to violence to settle the issue. BJP has taken the murder of its cadres in Kerala seriously. So, most of its central leaders have joined Janraksha campaign in the state. BJP's Janraksha Yatra, the campaign against the ongoing violence in the left ruled Kerala has entered its second week. Even Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan also joined the Janraksha Yatra.Union Minister of State for external affairs, General (Retd.) V. K. Singh has also attended the Janraksha Yatra. He has alleged that nearly 250 people have been killed in Kerala owing to political violence in the state. Union Minister of State for health and family welfare, Ashwini Choubey also led a Janraksha Yatra from Delhi's Arambagh to the CPM office in Gole Market. BJP is taking out marches in various parts of the country protesting the killings of BJP and RSS workers and has accused the communist cadre of the violence. Whoever is responsible for the ongoing political violence in the state of Kerala must be exposed before the nation. At present, it is the duty of the state govt. to provide security to all political activists irrespective of their political affiliations.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Abnormal rise in Delhi Metro fare

At last, Metro fare was raised unbearably by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which is straight under the control of Central Govt. The Metro fare hike will directly affect the livelihood of Delhiites as it is connected with it. AAP Govt. and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had strongly opposed the proposal for Metro fare hike, but no heed was paid by the Central govt. Central Govt. is of the view that without adequate expense on the Metro, it cannot provide world-class service. It is right that good service demands good cost. But as Delhi Metro is the lifeline of Delhiites and all of them are not in a position to afford the increased fare, it appears the backbreaking move against the metro riders. They would have to stop availing Metro service and choose some other sources of conveyance cheaper than the Metro. All are not equally well off in Delhi that they would have no problem with the increased fare. More than 80 percent of office goers go to their offices by Metro to reach in time. Metro is preferred because it provides satisfactory, fast and punctual service to the commuters. To go to the office in time daily, Metro is the first and last priority of all Delhiites. As there is no disruption normally in the movement of Metro from this corner to that corner in Delhi, Delhiites had the privilege of doing the job anywhere in the city and distance no longer remained any hurdle for them. In about one and half hours, one can make a round of Delhi. This is the miracle of Delhi Metro. So, a steep rise in Delhi Metro fare will create many problems for, especially, the petty job holders and daily wages earner. They live in one corner because of cheap accommodation in the area and work in another corner only due to the Metro service. It could only be possible because of the running of Metro train. Only in May this year, the Metro fare was raised from Rs.8 to 10 as its first slab. Its impact was felt by Metro in the decreasing trends in its passengers. Now as the steep rise in fare was introduced, the number of commuters will definitely go down. Despite the letter written by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister of State for Tourism, to handover DMRC to Delhi Govt. to manage without raising fare of the Metro, no attention was paid. Instead, Suri said that Metro would meet the same fate as DTC it its fare was not hiked. It is a matter of common knowledge that without adequate expense, one cannot avail good service. But matter here is that the commuters who would avail the high class if they had the capacity to afford the increased fare. So, while increasing the fare in the name of providing better service, the DMRC must have kept in view the affordability of the Metro commuters in Delhi. If the Metro needs immediate financial support to keep it running in the same condition, the Govt. should have taken responsibility of providing adequate funds. Burdening the poor Delhiites more and more is not a good idea of the Narendra Modi govt. Delhiites are not in a position to afford the increased Metro fare. Metro riding is becoming costlier and costlier year by year. Delhi Metro is the lifeline of Delhiites. But it gets costlier from today.As part of the two-phase revision of Metro fares recommended by the Committee, the fare would remain Rs. 10 for the first 2 km, but will subsequently increase by Rs. 10 in each slab, going up to a maximum of Rs. 60.The Metro fares were last revised in May when the minimum tariff was raised from Rs. 8 to Rs. 10.The revised fare structure will be: up to 2 km - Rs. 10, 2-5 km - Rs. 20, 5-12 km - Rs. 30, 12-21 km - Rs. 40, 21-32 km - Rs. 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km - Rs. 60.

Friday, October 6, 2017

A warning to Pakistan

Air Chief Marshal B. S. Dhanoa has rightly warned Pakistan that if it dared to do mischief with its tactical nuclear weapons, Indian air force has the capability and ability to locate, fix and strike across the border. Our air force has already shown its valour in 1971 war against Pakistan. But as far as the surgical strike against the terror outfits based across the border is concerned, the decision has to be taken by the govt. It is also the chief characteristics of Indian army that all its three wings- Navy, Army and Air Force- operate in a well-coordinated manner whenever the need arose in the past. Our IAF is well prepared to face any eventuality. Pakistan must know that by dangling nuclear weapons in the air, it cannot strike fear among Indian military personnel. Though Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa's reply to the question of the reporter may appear to be reflecting belligerence, Pak needs to understand that it must not be in any delusion that by dangling nuclear weapon in the air, the Indian army will hesitate to undertake any more surgical strike across the border if terror activities continued to go on. The prowess and the valour of IAF are of highest order. It is so fully equipped with weapons and fighter jets that it can strike across the border with the blink of eyes. Our Air Force is one of the best professional forces in the world. The Govt. of India must see that if Air Force is well-equipped with all the required modern weapons of the time or not. India has to keep its three wings of Army well- prepared to meet any eventuality. As far as India is concerned, it is the first target of terrorists sent by Pakistan. Pakistan is its hostile neighbour and its promotion of terror activities against India must be thwarted at all costs. Air Force has shown its concerns about the safety and security of the country. Pakistan is not only promoting terror against India its army and notorious ISI have greater say in the govt. there also. Pak army always likes to wage war against India despite being badly defeated thrice in the past. Air Chief Marshal has shown his forces' bravery that they will no longer be behind in carrying out surgical strike against Pakistan. Pakistan being the promoter of terror, it cannot face the truth. It is mischievous and wicked. Our brave air force personnel must show their bravery once to Pakistan that even the entire world would come to know that India is no longer prepared to accept any kind of humiliation. The Indian Army in September 2016 had destroyed five terror camps across the LoC. In counter-terror operations, members of the Special Forces from the army were also para-dropped at the spots. Also, as per reports, eight Indian Army soldiers were killed in ceasefire violations in 2016. This loss has risen to 14 soldiers till now in 2017. Incidents of ceasefire violation and infiltration attempts made by Pakistan more than doubled till September end of this year. The ceasefire violations in the year 2016 were 228 and this year, it has reached to 503 attempts till date. Security analysts associate the ceasefire violations with the infiltration bids which are to ingress across the LoC.

PM defends the state of economy

The state of the economy is certainly not in a good shape. There is gloomy atmosphere all around the country in every sector of economic activities. Undoubtedly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying his best to improve the economic situation in the country but it will take time. He has taken several decisions to halt the falling economic growth. He has pursued structural reforms to close all doors of corruption. The encouragement of cashless mode will certainly leave no scope of corruption. The criticism of his economic moves is not only by the opposition leaders but also his own party leaders, which has upset him. That is why while addressing the Golden Jubilee Company Secretaries of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lashed out at the critics of his economic management. Two veteran leaders of his own party BJP and both are former Ministers- Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie- have already expressed their dismay on the fall of GDP by 2 percents in the last quarters. They criticized stingingly and said that PM Modi mismanaged the economy very badly. They also criticized PM's move of demonetization and introduction of GST. Former Finance Minister and veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said that GST was an ill-conceived idea and it was hastily implemented. He also criticized the handling of economic affairs by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Shourie said that demonetization was as bold as a suicidal step. Brushing aside all criticism of his economic management, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly defended his economic policy and compared it to the previous UPA govt. and said that in that govt. at least 8 times the GDP had fallen by two per cents. PM has rightly said that fundamentals of Indian economy is very strong so minor jolt to it would make no difference. PM has rightly said that economy of the country is on firm footing and that he will never jeopardize the country's future for the present gains. He has spoken plainly on the state of the economy as he addressed the Golden Jubilee of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. He has rightly attacked those pessimists who were exaggerating the extent of a fall in just a single quarter of growth. The PM said that many experts are in agreement that the fundamentals of the economy are strong and reforms are positive. The Govt. over the past three years has taken several important decisions to improve ease of doing business. PM has assured that economic stability would be maintained, and govt. will take all possible steps to increase investment and speed up economic development. It is correct to say that the country's economy has seen only one such quarter after achieving three years of 7.5 percent growth. The NDA Govt. is fully prepared to restore the growth trajectory. Inflation has been brought down from double-digit levels. The data indicates how the economy is improving both in urban and rural India. FMCG's growth has also increased, and so has production of coal and electricity. The credit offtake has increased and so has investments in the mutual fund. Rural road construction has increased by 50 percent in three years as has a construction in the housing sector. There may be gloom in the economy in the prevailing situation, but spreading pessimism in about it is not in the interest of the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself making the sincere effort to bring the economy of the country back on the track and be counted as the fastest-growing economy of the world.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sinha versus Sinha on state of economy

Former Union Finance Minister and veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha made a stinging remark on the state of the economy in the Narendra Modi-led NDA govt. in an article published in prestigious English daily. Yashwant Sinha is not only a former finance Minister but also a retired IAS officer, who used to be the Principal Secretary of former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur before joining politics. He was Union Finance Minister in the Vajpayee govt. As far as his academic record is concerned, he is an MA in Economics from Patna University. So, he cannot be a layman so far as his view is concerned on the state of the economy in the country. He may have a personal grudge against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not being given due position in the govt., but the way he criticized economic measures such as demonetization and GST cannot be given a go by. Instead of taking Yashwant Sinha’s criticism in a positive way, the entire Cabinet in the Modi govt. came out to attack him. But at the same time Opposition leaders have rejoiced at Yashwant Sinha's broadside of the economic policy of the Narendra Modi govt. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh defending the Govt. said that India is the fastest growing economy. There are four fastest growing economies in the world and India's position is at fourth. So, India is the fourth fastest growing economy in the world. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mr. Jayant Sinha, who is the son of Yashwant Sinha, has also written a blog to defend the economic condition of the country. He is also a well-read person. He is very articulate and has in-depth knowledge of economics. Narendra Modi govt. put him into the service to defend the govt. and he has rebutted his father’s charges against it. The issue appears to have taken the shape of father versus son. Being the son of Yashwant Sinha, the appeal among his caste men is still working. What wrong Yashwant Sinha has said? He opened the public eyes by enumerating the price of essential commodities. Jayant has tried his best to rebut the charges made by his father Yashwant Sinha against the handling of the economy by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Yashwant says in his article that as PM Modi has seen poverty from close quarters, so Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ensures that people see poverty from very near. In other words, Yashwant Sinha says that Jailtely ensures making the people poor. He has mishandled the economy. Jayant Sinha rebuts his father’s comments on the status of the economy. He in his blog has said that some "sweeping conclusions" were drawn from a "narrow set of facts", missing the "structural reforms" transforming the economy He said GST, demonetization and digital payments were game-changing efforts to formalize India's economy. He also said India is well on course to achieve 100% village electrification by 2018 with the number of villages remaining to be electrified having decreased to only 4,941 villages by 2017 from 18,452 in 2014. Son’s defence of the govt. doesn’t hold water. It also doesn’t carry weight. Modi govt. must take Yashwant’s broadside of its economic policy seriously at the earliest. Otherwise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may meet Vajpayee’s govt. fate, which was thrown out of power in the very next Lok Sabha elections after five years in 2004 despite the slogan of Shining India.