Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Kejriwal ‘s way of defending corruption

The politician, who came to power on the anti-corruption plank, is now defending the corrupt. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal projected himself among Delhiites as number one crusader against corruption in the country during his days of agitation before coming to power. The day he came to power, he changed his tack. He is no longer fighting against corruption. He appeared to be upset the moment he got the news that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar's office, which he terms as his office, for his involvement in corruption that occurred between 2007 and 20013. CBI raid had nothing to do with CM Kejriwal. It is also open that his Principal Secretary Kumar was very close to him. CM tried to project the CBI raid as an attempt of the Modi govt to harass him, which it could not do politically. Kejriwal alleged that CBI raided his office to collect the files related to DDCA corruption in which Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is allegedly involved. The case of corruption against Rajendra Kumar was filed by former member secretary of Delhi Dialogue Ashis Joshi with CBI. The swiftness with which the CBI pursued this case despite the acute shortage of manpower shows its ulterior motive at the behest of its master. Supreme Court termed the CBI as a caged parrot some years back during the previous regime. It is also a fact that no govt. at the Centre ever allowed the CBI to act independently. CBI has been flagrantly misused by both Congress and non-Congress government. Govt. always used it to bring its political opponents on line. So, Kejriwal's allegation that CBI scanned the files to find out those related to DDCA is not out of place. It is also a grave charge against the Finance Minister. And instead of terming Kejriwal's talk as rubbish, Jaitely must also come clean on it. As far as the defence of Rajendra Kumar by Kejriwal is concerned in the case of corruption, it places him in very poor light. Though there is no charge of corruption against CM Kejriwal on personal level, his closeness with his Prinicipal Secretary also makes his intention suspect. Was the Kejriwal unaware of the antecedent of the IAS officer whom he appointed as his Principal Secretary? When his Principal Secretary was not above board, how could it be possible that he would be able to give clean govt. to Delhiites? As far as theatrics is concerned, Delhi CM is number one. He wants to take political mileage out of it. Since he came to power, his govt. chooses the path of confrontation with the BJP govt. at the Centre. Delhi appears to have come to a standstill. It has not moved an inch from the place where former CM Sheila Dixit left it due to the Kejriwal’s involvement in controversy 24/7. As far as corruption is concerned, there must not be concession to anyone on this front. There are 3 more complaints against kumar which are being probed. The CBI has claimed it has seized about Rs. 13 lakh cash in raids, including Rs. 3 lakh in foreign currency from his home. Rs.10 lakh has been recovered from co-accused GK Nanda. This is a case pertaining corruption but the irony is that the Delhi government which was voted to power to fight corruption, is now terming CBI action against corruption, as political vendetta.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

India wants talk on terror sponsored by Pak from across the boarder in J & K

Nation favours talk, but its focus must only be on terrorism sponsored by Pak from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir. It is good that talk between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Paris on the sidelines of Climate Summit yielded fruit. It resulted in the meeting between NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasser Khan Janjua in Bangkok in Thailand. Indian Foreign Secretary Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart also met in Bangkok. The talks between two NSAs were on terrorism and they turned out to be fruitful. It is because of the successful talk between the two NSAs that paved the way for foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan to participate in the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan. India’s participation was to be there because it was on Afghanistan, which has significance for the country in various ways. India’s interest is also involved in Afghanistan. During her visit, she met her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan. Sushama Swaraj stated in Parliament that Pakistan gave assurance to expedite Mumbai attack of 26/11 trial. She said that both sides agreed to hold comprehensive talks. She also said that both sides asked their respective foreign Secretary to fix schedules and modalities of the talks. It is a good beginning and there is consensus on the issue of talks with Pakistan in the country. But it is also taken into account that Pak never delivered on its promises and the position reached to square one after every talk between the two neighbours. It is also to be taken into consideration that there has been no change in policy of Pakistan in regard to separatist Hurriyat Conference of Jammu and Kashmir. It is due to meeting between Pak High Commissioner Abdul Bast and separatist Hurriyat represantives in Delhi in the recent past that NSA level talks had to be cancelled. It shows that Pakistan did not learn any lesson nor did it have any affinity with the separatist groups, and again Abdul Basit invited separatist leader Sayyad Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates merger of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan, for talks and briefed his representative on Sushma Swaraj’s talk with Pak Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan. Now, the question here arises when it a well-acknowledged fact that Jammu and Kashmir is the integral part of India and it will remain so, what necessity does Pak feel to talk to separatist and secessionist forces of the state. It shows that Pak conscience is not clear in regard to J & K. It is one side of the story and the other side is that on one hand Pak appears to be interested in carrying forward talks on terror with India and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz continued to spew venom against India on the other. He publicly makes it clear that India could not prove guilt against him in the last 7 years and Insallah it can not do. Though Hafiz Sayeed’s speech is not allowed to be telecast by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Act (PERMA), he uploaded a two-minute video on the Twitter handle of Sushma Swaraj. Pak needs to act against Hafiz Sayeed immediately as a part of positive signal. India has only to talk with Pakistan primarily on the issue of terror in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India in the first place.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Confrontation jeopardises GST

The hope of getting GST Bill, which is vital for carrying economic reforms forward with speed, is getting dimmer and dimmer with the increasing confrontation over National Herald case between BJP and Congress. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi have been summoned to appear before the court in this case. Congress terms it as political vendetta of ruling party against the opposition. National Herald, an English Daily, was started by the first Prime Minister and the tallest Congress leader late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. He had written 72 editorials for the paper and his analytical write-up on the first atomic explosion test in 1954 under the Title 'Mauth Ka Saudagar' was up to the mark. It was run by Associated Journal Pvt.Ltd.(AJL). It was like the mouthpiece of the Congress Party on which only senior party leaders were on its board of directors. When AJL ran into the debt of Rs. 90 crore, a charitable company under Company Act 25 called Young India was formed in which Sonia and Rhaul had 38 per cent shares each and the rest share holders were Moti Lal Bora, Oscar Faernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda. The Board of Directors of Young India took over AJL and paid off its debt of Rs. 90. The news paper publication was stopped in 2008 due to financial crunch. It is estimated that AJL has immovable property worth over Rs. 2000 crore spread over the country. The control of all the immovable property went to Young India. Though Young India is a charitable company of which even Board of Directors can not sell its property or use it for the purpose of any commercial benefit, how is the case of corruption against Sonia, Rahul and others to be made out? Subramanim Swamy charged Sonia, Rahul and other members of Congress party who are on Board of Director with grabbing the AJL property through Young India. He charges them with the criminal breach of trust. Swamy is not an ordinary member of the BJP. He is its central committee member. Though it appears to be his profession to implicate his political opponents in court cases without any rhyme or reason, he has also caused a great hurdle in passing the GST bill in Parliament as Congress describes court summons as political vendetta. While govt. and the nation as well needs earnestly to pass the GST Bill to give impetus to the economic reforms process in the countrty, the disgruntled party leader like Subramanium Swamy jeopardised the hope of passing it by antagonizing the main opposition Congress party. Without the support of Congress Party in Parliament, the GST Bill can not be passed. Due to the inevitable role of the Congress party in passing the GST Bill, PM Modi had reached out to the opposition and showed an example of statesmanship by inviting Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to talk over tea about how to pass it . Congress also appeared co-operative in regard to GST. But the court summons in the case of no value in terms of corruption have brought the ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress on the path confrontation, resulting in the logjam in Parliament.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Set Indo-Pak talk process in motion

A very short meeting of a few seconds between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of UN Climate Summit in Paris appears to have paved way for starting the talk process. It is good to start talk process between the two neighbours at different levels but at the same it is to be ensured that it could be held in peaceful atmosphere. It is only possible when Pak stops sponsoring terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir; and there must also be hold on ceasefire violations from across the border in which innocent army officers, jawans and civilians living in the village adjacent to the border on the Indian side . India must also make it clear and try to impress on Pakistan amidst talk process that terror and talk can not go together. The crux of the talk as far as India is concerned is the complete cease on terror. There must not be any attempt to infiltrate terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir under the cover of firing on the border by Pakistani troops. After Modi-Sharif meeting in Paris, National Security Advisors of Pakistan and India have talked in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, away from the venues of the two countries. Indian Foreign Secretary Jaishankar has also met his Pakistani counterpart in Bangkok. Both the sides have expressed to carry forward the talk process that was put on held since September. Talk between the two countries is the only means to resolve all outstanding issues. No problem can be solved with gun. India's main problem with Pakistan is the issue of terrorism that the later has failed to address to despite several pleadings by the former. Terrorist groups based in Pakistan are operating from there against India of which Mumbai attack of 26/11 is the stark example. Despite sending several dossiers about handing over the mastermind of Mumbai attack Hafiz Sayeed, Pak has always looked the other way while he is freely moving in the country. India's most wanted gangster and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim involved in Mumbai serial blasts is living in Pakistan very completely. To carry forward any peace talk, it is necessary for the Nawaz Sharif govt. to come out of his Army and ISI and keep control of the situation as the democratically elected govt. Both the countries have been holding talks since their inception. But the result that came out of them in all these years is before us. So, the beginning of talk is good must there must be concrete result on the ground. As far as the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, it is a settled one. Jammu and Kashmir is the integral part of India and it will remain so. If there is any issue left to be resolved is how to take back Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and merge it with India to complete a legitimate process unification of a nation. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also to travel to Islamabad on Tuesday on a two-day visit during which she will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz and attend a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.She will lead Indian delegation for 'Heart of Asia' 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan on December 9 in Islamabad External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will make a statement on 10th December in the Parliament on the meeting between National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok on Sunday. Nation must know what transpired in the meeting between NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart and the talk between Foreign Secretary Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart in Bangkok. Has anything come positive out of their talks?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chennai requires immediate help

The entire nation should come forward to help Chennai in this hour of tragedy. Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu have been experiencing the heaviest rain ever. The rain is so vicious that the life has been thrown out of gear. And all activities have come to a standstill. Life has been paralyzed in rain affected Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. Near about 300 lives has been lost. There sees only water and water in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. Only life has not been lost but there has also been a great loss of property due to the heavy and incessant rain. Road, rail and air traffic have been badly affected. The airport has been closed till Sunday. Passengers are stranded at railway stations and airport. Roads and rail tracks have also been damaged on a large scale. The state of Tamil Nadu deserves help from all quarters in this hour of tragedy. It is difficult to make estimate of the loss of property due to disastrous rains and floods in Tamil at this point of time but it is expected to be burgeoning. There are several contributory factors behind this monstrous rain. As this disastrous rain in Chennai have broken the record of 100 years, it also sends warning to governments all over the world that if they continued to tempering with nature, went all out for industrialization and failed to learn any lesson from this tragedy, the more is in store for the human beings. Ill-conceived town planning, choked drains, continued deforestation for setting up of industry for the economic development by the successive government and paying no attention towards maintaining an ecological balance have caused this type of disastrous rains. Most of the cities are ill-planned. There has not been made the way out for the logged water, which has created a great problem for the people of Chennai. All ponds have filled in the city to build buildings on them. UN Climate Change Summit is underway in Paris, and the rains that have lashed Chennai must have reverberated there. The world leaders assembled in Paris are required to pay their attention towards Chennai rains and should think how the environment could be kept clean so that the human beings could live lives to the full healthily. Untimely and frequent rains, droughts, floods, cyclone etc in different parts of India as well as world give clear signal that we are not doing justice to the nature. Untimely heavy rains and drought reflect that if the emission of carbon was not cut without any loss of time, the mother earth will no longer be livable. Central govt. has pumped all sorts of help into Chennai to bring out the people there out of tragedy. A message should also go out that the entire nation is behind Tamil Nadu in this hour of tragedy. Centre provides all sorts of relief materials and undertakes rescue operations. NDRF team and Army jawans are also undertaking a massive relief and rescue operations. The entire city of Chennai and its adjoining places are in deep water. Entire city looks like a sea. There is water everywhere. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has instructed his entire Cabinet to supervise relief and rescue operations in Chennai. The Centre is constantly keeping a close watch on the situation in rain-battered parts of Tamil Nadu with a series of review meetings. PM Modi promptly held a meeting with senior Union ministers to take stock of the flood situation in the state.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Set Agenda before talks

The issue of initiating any talk at any level between India and Pakistan can not be taken casually. Though there is very little possibility of the outcome from the talk with Pakistan, it is also the requirement of the situation not to switch it off permanently. The impromptu meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Paris on the sidelines of Climate Summit shows some positive signs that both have realized that being neighbouring countries, we cannot shut the door of talks for ever. Though Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that his talks with PM Modi have been good, no reaction has been made from Indian side that nation could know. Ruling BJP has said that it was a chance and courtesy meeting, and no a formality should be should be attached to this. But the posture of sitting very close to each other and talking with all seriousness clearly reflects that one was forwarding another view point properly. The issue may be of Climate Summit or of the prevailing relation between the two neighbours or how to break the deadlock to start talk process, but one thing is clear both leaders are inclined to initiate dialogue process. Whatever transpired between the PMs of two neighbouring countries, Indian govt. too should have made it public as the issue is related to national interest. It may a courtesy meeting and that must be maintained. But what had happened in New York during the UN General Assembly Summit when the two PMs Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif were staying in the same hotel and despite that what to talk of any meeting on the sidelines, both even refrained from saying Hi, Hello or beckoning to each other. What necessitated in two months that both realized to talk even for a very short period of two minutes on the sidelines of Paris Climate Summit that nation wants to know. Narendra Modi govt. is required to tell the nation why PM talked to his Pakistani counterpart Sharif when there has been no change on the ground. Has the ceasefire violation come down? Has Pakistan taken action against Hafiz Sayeed, Dawood and other terror groups involved in creating mayhem in India? The answer is,’ no’. India demands and sends one dossier after another dossier to Pakistan to handover Hafiz Sayeed, the mastermind of Mumbai attack, most wanted terrorist Dawood, Zakir-ur-Lakhvi and others so that they could be brought to justice for their inhuman acts. Neither infiltration of terrorists from across the border, the killings of Indian Army officers and Jawans in terror violence nor frequent cross border violations by Pakistan have stopped. In the given situation, India must set its agenda of talks first. It is not doll's play that whenever mood permitted both countries talked and whenever it did not permit, broke down all talking relations. The relations between the two countries can not be governed by whims and fancies. They must be based on the ground reality. After the Mumbai attacks, India stopped talking with Pakistan. India took a stand that until and unless Pakistan acted against the terror outfits operating from its soil against India and handing over Hafiz Sayeed, Dawaood and other wanted terrorists to it, it would not talk. India had already made it clear terror and talk can not go together. The govt. of India of the day must take clear stand on policy with Pakistan and ensure that there is no confusion whatsoever on its part at least in regard to its hostile neighbor Pakistan.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Jan Lokpal worse than Lokpal

The drama of Jan Lokpal by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has now proved to be a farce. This drama was enacted under Anna Hazare, social activist of national repute. The main actor in Jan Lokpal drama during the days of Anna Hazare-led agitation was none other than Arvind Kejriwal. The entire agitation of Anna Hazare was for the appointment of Jan Lokpal for removal of corruption. Kejriwal was then following Anna Hazare step by step. The Jan Lokpal enunciated by Anna Hazare, Kejriwal and other agitators was centred against the corruption in Dr. Manmohan Singh led govt. at the Centre at that time. They demanded that the panel meant for the appointment of Jan Lokpal must not have any political leader on it. It must be constituted of eminent judges and people known for honesty and integrity in the country. Anna agitation gathered tremendous support from all quarters, and the then Dr. Manmohan Singh UPA govt. had to bow down before it and passed Lokpal Bill, about which CM Arvind Kejriwal said that It would not even be able to arrest a rat. He meant to say that it was too weak to act. Now his own Jan Lokpal Bill which his APP govt. tabled in Delhi assembly has been severely criticized and described by none than his former Comrades in arm Prashan Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav as worse than the Lokpal appointed by the Centre. Prashant Bhushan and Yadav were also with Anna Hazare and Kejriwal agitating shoulder to shoulder for Jan Lokpal. Kejriwal's Jan Lokpal’s power and function will be guided by the Delhi government as it would have no employee to investigate any case of corruption. Delhi govt. official will investigate the corruption case under Jan Lokpal. The appointment panel would consist of four members, three of them will be from political class and one will be the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court. Among the three politicians on the panel two are from ruling party one is CM himself and other is the Speaker of the assembly and the fourth one will be the main opposition leader in Delhi assembly. The constitution process of Kejriwal's Jan Lokpal is favourably balanced towards the ruling party. There is no search committee as to who could be fit to become Jan Lokpal. The intention of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in appointing Jan Lokpal is also suspect. Apart from keeping everything related to its appointment under Delhi govt., it has kept Central ministers and all Central govt. offices in Delhi under its purview. One thing is clear for all and Delhi govt. too that no law can be made by it without the approval of the Central govt. It is neither possible nor constitutionally valid that the Central govt. could be placed under the scanner of Delhi govt. So, it is a foregone conclusion that Central govt. would reject Kejriwal govt.’s Jan Lokpal. Kejriwal may have landslide victory in the assembly elections, but now his true colours are coming to fore. He only wants one man show and only interested to centralize all powers in his own hands. Delhiites are not fool. They are watching AAP govt. silently. It appears to them that Delhi has come to a standstill since Arvind Kejriwal came to power. Delhi is there where the Sheila Dikshit govt. left it at least in terms of development.