Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Third Front takes shape

Third Front idea is good for the political environment of the country.In view of the approaching Lok Sabha elections, the formation of political conglomeration of 11 non-Congress and non-BJP political parties is good for the people to make choice. Third Front consists of non-BJP and non-Congress political parties. The idea of third front is a necessity for the nation at this political juncture where it appears that there are only two political parties capable of providing government to the people after the Lok Sabha elections. Third Front leaders have met in Delhi and vowed to provide a non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and non-Congress Party alternative to the people of the country. The meeting was attended by eleven leaders of main regional parties and they focused on strengthening the democratic framework, accountability in the government and establishing a firm secular order in the country. Though this is not the first time that the Third Front is going to take shape, at least it has formed governments three times in the past and run them successfully. It has failed to succeed because of the over ambitious nature of its leaders. If it has to succeed, the leaders of the third front must keep their personal interests set aside to give the people a permanent political alternative to non-Congress and non-BJP. All the times in the past whenever third front government was formed, it provided a clean and efficient government to the people of the nation. Left parties have always played a pivotal roles in the formation of Third Front. The eleven parties that participated in the meeting of third front must first of all try hard to expand it by persuading Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnayak of BJD, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee of TMC, BSP supremo Mayawati and DMK supremo Karunanidhi to come on their platform to provide a solid alternative to non-Congress and non-BJP . This type of political front is the need of the hour for the country. It is also open that BSP, SP, DMK and AIADMK are sworn enemies in their respective states. They are politically on the two opposite ends in their respective states. Barring Left, the influence of all the parties in third front is confined to the boundary of the state in which they operate. Left Parties have the ability and capability to give the conglomerate of the 11 parties a shape. There is multi-party democracy. Congress and BJP try to make it a bipolar political system. It is not good for Indian democracy. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jaylaliththa, Uttar Pradesh ruling SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav should keep their rivalries against Left, DMK and BSP respectively to the state level politics and come on the single platform to give an alternative to non-Congress and non-BJP to the people on permanent basis. It is in the interest of the nation. The stronger alternative to non-Congress and non-BJP is provided, the better result it will give the nation.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lalu down, but not out

The report of 13 RJD MLAs breaking away from the RJD in Bihar and forming a separate group in the assembly to support the Nitish Kumar government may be a set back for party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav but it can definitely be said that he still holds influence on the M-Y equation of votes built by him in the state. Though nine of the 13 RJD MLAs have got back into the party fold and participated in the legislative party meeting called by Lalu in Patna and expressed confidence in his leadership, one thing is certainly clear that his grip on the party has loosened a little. Lalu Prasad can not fight elections as he is a convict in fodder scam. Now-a-days, he is on bail from Supreme Court but not freed from any charge. After the release from the jail in Ranchi where he was undergoing imprisonment in the fodder scam, there appeared among Muslims, Yadavs and his other vote banks a renewed sympathy for him that could pave way for him to come in the limelight. But the developing situation within his party can not give him solace especially during the time Lok Sabha election is at hand. It also reflects that there is certainly some unease among his party MLAs because of his strong advocacy in favour of the Congress Party with which he is adamant to make poll pact in the Lok Sabha elections. It may be possible that the ruling JD(U) under the instruction directly from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would have poached on RJD MLAs to make up the shotage of MLA for proving majority in the assembly if ever vote of no confidence is moved against the government in the assembly at any point of time in the future. Undoubtedly, Lalu Prasad is the single leader in Bihar who can stand upto the rising popularity of BJP under the leadership of its PM candidate Narendra Modi. He can stop Modi’s Rath in Bihar as he had stopped BJP patriach L K Advani’s Rath in Samastipur in the state 24 years back. In alliance with Congress, Lalu Prasad Yadav is still the biggest force in Bihar to keep the secular credential of the nation intact. There may be corruption charges and the charges of misgovernance in Bihar for 15 years that the Lalu-Rabri duo ruled the state, but it is he who gave voice to the voiceless in the state. It is not only Lalu but almost all the leaders across the party practises caste-based politics. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of JD(U) is also practising caste-based politics. He has also divided society on caste lines. Dalits and Mahadalits are examples in sight. The present political scenario in Bihar is that no political party can claim to be in command in the coming Lok Sabha elections. BJP has cetainly created a wave like situation in favour of its PM candidate Modi but as far as the natural support for an individual leader is considered, it is again only Lalu among Muslims and Yadavs who are still his strong supporters.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kejriwal's escape route

By resigning as Chief Minister of Delhi over the issue of Jan Lokpal Bill, Arvind Kejriwal has found his escape route. He resigned because his Jan Lokpal Bill to fight corruption was voted out by the opposition BJP, supporting party Congress, JD (U) and lone Independent MLA on the ground that its way of introduction is unconstitutional . The entire house except the ruling Aam Admi party did not oppose it because it was the suitable weapon to fight corruption but because of its unconstitutional way of introduction in Delhi Assembly. Delhi is yet to get full statehood and it is still a Union Territory. No Bill in the Delhi assembly can be introduced without the nod of Lt. Governor Najib Jung. If the Bill requires finance from the consolidated fund of Government of India, it must take approval from the ministry of Home. Neither Lt. Governor nor the Ministry of Home was taken into confidence by the AAP government and introduced the Jan Lokpal Bill on its own to fight corruption. Lt. Governor Najib Jung had already asked the Speaker of Delhi assembly not to allow the introduction of Jan Lokpal Bill as it is unconstitutional. But as Kejriwal was adamant on introducing the bill to martyr himself on the issue of fighting corruption, AAP government resigned under a well-thought out design to exploit it politically in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Undoubtedly, Arvind Kejriwal is honest in every respect but at the same time he is adept in blaming and defaming others. By resigning over the issue of Jan Lokpal, he has tried to give the message among the people that only he and his Aam Admi party leaders and workers are honest and the rest are dishonest and corrupt. But one message has gone among the public loud and clear that governance is out of question for him and he and his Cabinet have run away from the responsibility given to them by Delhiites. Now Delhiites will certainly think twice before casting vote in favour of Arvind Kejriwal. Being the head of the Government, Arvind Kejriwal should have been more patient and considerate. If he was so much interested to deliver on the promises he made to the people of Delhi, he can not do it by running away from responsibility. He can not deliver on the promises on streets. To fulfill them, he has to be in government. If he was so much interested in passing the Jan Lokpal Bill, he could have put pressure on the Centre to get clearance from it. So, his resignation is a well-calculated move to fight Lok Sabha elections and tell the people that he resigned because he failed to pass Jan Lokpal Bill to fight corruption as promised to Delhiites.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blot on democracy

February 13, 2014 has turned out to be the blackest day for democracy in India because of the most unseemly behaviour by some MPs inside Parliament on this day. It is not that this shame is tagged to it because of anyone else’s action but some of the members of Parliament inside it. The moment Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde rose to introduce the Telangana Bill, a member of the House reportedly expelled by Congress only yesterday used pepper spray and some other supporters and opponents of Telangana started fisticuffs. The pepper spraying caused coughing and nauseating feeling among the members inside Parliament and even some complained of uneasiness who were immediately provided medical aids. The reports have also emerged through TV news channels that even one of the TDP MPs swung even knife in the Lok Sabha. For some moments, a complete chaos occurred inside the Parliament and members started running to get out of the Parliament. Some members fell inside it and they were sent to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for first medical aid. The pepper spraying even caused coughing to Speaker Meira Kumar. Though this is most unsavoury incident in the history of Indian Parliament, this has been condemned by all parties and leaders. They have demanded severe punishment to the members who have acted like criminals inside Parliament. The government must not escape from its responsibility to hold the parliamentary session peacefully. The tension over Telangana had already been running high since the beginning of the last session of Parliament before Lok Sabha elections. Both opponents and supporters of Telangana had taken their respective political stands. UPA government had already committed itself to Telangana without taking into confidence all stakeholders. The demand for Telangana is not new. It is as old as the demand for separate state in other corners of the nation. Some new separate states were also created without any acrimony and bitterness as is being seen in the case of Telangana. Most of the MPs irrespective of the political affiliations are not in favour of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to make Telangana. They oppose any attempt to divide Andhra Pradesh. While the MPs from Telangana region want a separate state at all cost. Congress-led UPA committed to Telangana because of its dipping political prospects in the Seemandhra region. So by conceding the demand of Telangana to the people of the region, Congress party tries to compensate its political loss in Seemandhra region. That is why the nation is witnessing the most shameful incident inside Lok Sabha because of the most unruly behaviour of its members from Andhra Pradesh. Though Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar suspended 18 MPs for this most unseemly and unprecented incident, they have broken the laws and action must be taken as law demands against criminal act. The action of these MPs clearly reflected their criminal intents. So mere suspension of 18 MPs for the remaining period of the session would be like letting them off very lightly. They have committed crime inside the Parliament so the deterrent punishment would be institution of criminal case against them. Being the largest democracy of the world, our heads hang in shame over the unseemly action of our lawmakers inside the Parliament. When lawmakers break the law willfully, what can we expect from others? No one is above the law so criminal case must be lodged against all those MPs who were involved in fisticuffs and pepper spraying.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Demeaning Parliament

It now clearly appears that our members of Parliament have lost sense of courtesy, discipline and accountability. There is free for all inside the Parliament. MPs behave as if they owe no responsibility to the people who have sent them here. They are only denigrating all democratic values and importance. They demean Parliament to the lowest level. Parliament is considered as the temple of democracy. But its sanctity is now openly flouted by its own members. The situation in Parliament for the last 5 years is no better than a fish market where only noise is heard. Its honourable members maintain neither any discipline nor courtesy and decorum inside the Parliament. Since the announcement of a separate state of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh was announced by Manmohan Singh-led UPA-II government, its opponent and supporter have made it a point not to run the Parliament. All limits of parliamentary discipline, courtesy and decorum were crossed today when the four of UPA Union Ministers from Andhra Pradesh ran into the well against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana and forced the Union Railways Minister to stop his interim railway budget speech and lay his budgetary speech papers on the table of the House. This is first time that a Parliamentary proceeding on the day of rail budget has been disrupted in this way. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed extreme unhappiness over the unruly behaviour of MPs. He has said that his heart bleeds to see what is happening in the House. This is very unfortunate that our representatives in Parliament adopt this type of unruly behaviour. How can the people expect to make law from these types of lawmakers when they themselves indulge in unruly behaviour inside the House? This is very bad omen for democracy. It is natural for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to become very sad over disruptions in Parliament. But has he even once thought why this type of anarchy and bedlam have been created in Parliament over Telangana? If Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had developed consensus over the creation of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, this type of unsavoury situation would not have arisen in the Parliament. The demand for the creation of a separate state of Telangana is not new. It is a decade long demand. It means that the UPA government went for Telangana only to compensate its possible political loss due to its unpopularity in Andhra Pradesh. The UPA government’s political move of Telangana has backfired on it. Huge public exchequer is wasted daily because of disruptions in Parliament. At least Six bills of public interest are pending. And now there is no hope of passing them. This type of disruptions in Parliament is very dangerous sign for democracy. People are watching keenly the drama of chaos and anarchy inside the Parliament.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Softening of US towards Modi

The meeting, which is to be held this week, between US ambassador Nancy Powell and Chief Minister of Gujarat Naredra Modi in Ahmedabad amply reflects that the US is now softening its stance towards him. US appears to have felt that that it can now no longer ignore Modi, whom it denied visas for more than a decade, because of his rising popularity since he was made BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in April-May. The crowds Modi draws in every meeting amply reflect that he could well become the Prime Minister by winning majority in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Though the US has said that it is a part of its concentrated outreach to political and business leaders, it is endeavour to keep in touch with possible PM. It is a fact that India being its close strategic partner, the US can not ignore the political leader who could well become the Prime Minister. As far as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is concerned, he is a duly elected chief Minister of an Indian state. There is nothing wrong in meeting between Modi and US ambassador. Modi is holding a high constitutional post. Denying him visa by the US as yet is nothing but its highhandedness and an endeavour to defame a duly elected leader of India. Before this meeting between Modi and Nancy Powell, the German ambassador and UK high commissioner have already met him. As far as the alleged involvement and role of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat riots is concerned, it is under Indian investigative and judiciary to decide his culpability. The SIT has already given him the clean chit. US has no right to interfere in our internal matter. It also matters little whether the US gives Modi visa or not not. But this week meeting of the US ambassador Nancy Powell with Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad clearly reflects that the message about the strong possibility of his emergence as the possible winner in Lok Sabha elections has gone out. And India’s strategic importance for the US has compelled it to send its ambassador to Ahmedabad to meet Narendra Modi. US softening of stance with Modi also makes it clear that the super power has started seeing him as the possible premier of India. US has nothing to do with Congress and BJP. It only sees its own interest. So, it has started to keep the future door in India open if ever Modi becomes the prime Minister.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cong must consider Dwivedi’s views on reservation

Congress party must consider the suggestion of its Spokesperson and General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi that reservation must be based only on economic criteria, and not caste to uplift the society. He has made a blistering attack on the growing casteist policy being pursued by regional leaders mostly to build a secure caste-based vote bank for them. Caste-based reservation divides the society vertically on caste lines. Though advocacy of doing away with caste-based reservation and replacing it with economic-based reservation is Dwivedi’s personal view, the Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi must consider his view on reservation in the present day perspective. His view on reservation is most welcome to serve the true purpose of society. Reservation has only been provided to all sections of society on equal pedestal. And it can be only possible when reservation for jobs and admission in eduactional instution will only be based on economic basis. Now, the caste-based reservation in govt. jobs, admission in educational institutions has been in force for more than 60 years. However, no assessment has ever been made whether it has benefited the socially and educationally backward class people to serve the purpose or its benefit has been availed only by the people of socially and economically people of upper strata among backward classes, and the economically backward in real term have remained deprived of reservation benefit. It is a fact that the benefit of reservation in government/ PSUs jobs and admission in educational institutions has not reached to the really poor among OBCs or SC/STs. The benefit of reservation has either been availed by sons and daughters of the well off political leaders among SC/ ST, OBCs or by the effluent class people among them. Caste-based reservation may be according to the spirit of our Constitution but it has certainly not been beneficial to people who are really economically backward among reservation castes. Reservation also is a compromise with merit. It is retarding the growth of the nation, which is starkly evident that even after 65 years of Independence; we are lagging behind development in several aspects because of the caste-based reservation. Congress Party has been the chief exponent of caste-based reservation since its introduction. Caste-based reservation has only divided the society and promoted acrimony. Merit has been given a go by. So, the time has come to re-think on the issue of reservation by the political parties in power why we should not replace caste-based reservation with economic-based one to uplift the society in real sense of the spirit of Constitution. If economy is made the sole criterion of reservation, the larger number of people among SC/STs and OBCs will be benefited because they account for the largest number of reserved class people. Economic-based reservation will only serve the purpose for which our Constitutional maker incorporated the provision of reservation in our Constitution. If economy is made the sole criteria for reservation, it will only be opposed by castiest political leaders who are themselves well off and availed all the benefits of reservation by exploiting their poor caste men politically. Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi has given an excellent idea to the party for fighting against poverty and casteism in society. So, the Congress Party must consider it in right earnest. It will bring about a revolutionary change in society and prove a game changer if the Congress Party supports Dwivedi’s views on reservation.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Rao and Sachin deserve Bharat Ratna

By conferring the highest civilian award the Bharat Ratna on legendary cricketer Sachin Tentulkar and eminent scientist Prof. CNR Rao, the nation has honoured them in the most suitable way. Bharat Ratna was conferred on them by the President Pranab Mukherjee at a brief ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Both the recipients deserved it. There are other legendary sports persons and eminent scientists who have already made the nation proud in different streams of sports and science also deserve to be awarded with Bharat Ratna to promote sports and science in a big way. No body disagrees with the decision of conferring Bharat Ratna on Sachin and Prof. CNR Rao, but at the same time the government of India must not lose sight of other sports persons and scientists of eminence and acknowledgement for the highest civilian award. Both legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist Prof. CNR Rao have done exemplary service to the nation. They are eminent not only in the country but also all over the world. They have set the record, which is impossible to be broken. The entire nation and all cricket fans congratulate them for their memorable services to the nation. Both have contributed to the nation to take it to a new high. Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is so popular among his fans that they call him the god of cricket. No other batsman of the world in the contemporary cricket can be expected to break his achievement in making runs. Sachin has always been considered as an extra-ordinary cricket player who splendidly performed in all formats of the game. It does not matter to him whether it is a test, One-day or Twenty 20 match. He always performed on the field like a master player. Sachin was a master blaster who put the ball of every bowler out of the boundary line with exquisite technique and prowess. In a fitting finale to a record-breaking career spanning 24 years, Tendulkar, a former India Captain, was chosen for the prestigious award, after his farewell 200th Test against the West Indies in Mumbai on November 16, 2013. Tendulkar has been a true Ambassador of India in the world of sports and his achievements in cricket are unparallelled, the records set by him unmatched, and the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by him exemplary. That he has been honoured with several awards is testimony to his extraordinary brilliance as a sportsman. Tendulkar has played cricket across the world and won laurels for the country during the last 24 years since a young age of 16. Prof. CNR Rao is one of the most eminent scientists of the nation. His contribution to build scientific temperament among his students, colleagues and researchers is exemplary. He is an extra-ordinary genius in the field of chemical science. An outspoken scientist, Prof Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao is a well recognized international authority on solid state and materials chemistry who has published over 1,400 research papers and 45 books.He is the third scientist after C V Raman and former President A P J Abdul Kalam to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna.Prof Rao’s contributions have been recognized by most major scientific academies around the world through conferment of memberships and fellowships and has been honoured with several national and international awards.He currently serves as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. The Bharat Ratna was announced after a gap of four years with Hindustani music doyen Bhimsen Joshi being the last recipient in 2009.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Least performing 15th Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha constitute our Parliament. Lok Sabha is called Lower House while Rajya Sabha is called Upper House. Parliament is considered as the highest institution in democracy. It is the place where its members elected by the people discuss the issues of public concerns on priority basis. But in the recent years, the sanctity of Parliament has been lowered to such a level as could be called it a fish market. It is only due to the unseemly behaviour of the some members of Parliament irrespective of their party affiliations, it is stalled umpteen times when in session thereby hampering its business. The 15the Lok Sabha, which is to end in a month, is proving itself as the worst performing. Since the Manmohan Singh-led UPA Government came back to power in 2009 for the second consecutive time, no session of Parliament has been allowed to run business for the benefit of the people. For the non-functioning of Parliament, both the ruling and the opposition benches are equally responsible. Neither the opposition plays constructive role nor the ruling takes upon itself the responsibility to run the Parliament for the benefit of the people. This term of the UPA government also appears to be worst performing since the country got independence. In less than a month’s time, the 15th Lok Sabha’s term will come to an end with the dubious distinction of being the worst performing House since independence, passing the least number of bills (165) in a five-year term. Of the 126 bills pending in Parliament, 72 are pending in the Lower House, which means they will die when the new Lok Sabha is constituted. The remaining 54 bills pending in Rajya Sabha will live to see another day but considering that the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill has been waiting for passage since 1987, there is not much hope for them either. The ruling bench must understand that it has greater responsibility to transact parliamentary business so that it could successfully deal with the problem of the people. If the Parliament runs for fewer hours, it means it would address to fewer problems of the people. The deadlock in Parliament over one issue or the other in its successive sessions result in the drain of public exchequer and hamper the development of the nation. Unless and until the confrontationist attitude both by the ruling and by the opposition parties is abjured, no session of Parliament can transact business. In the recent days, it has been experienced that most of the members of Parliament are more interested in attracting media attention than involving themselves in reasoned debate and discussion to find the solution of people’s problems. People elect their representative to Parliament to raise their issues and discuss them threadbare to find the suitable solution. Instead of that, the members are always indulged in vociferous speech without any rhyme or reason. Their main motive is only to grab media attention no matter whether it is for right or wrong reasons.