Monday, March 18, 2019

BJP Manages a Respite, But for How Long?


The Bharatiya Janata Party has managed to name a leader as the new chief minister of Goa. This must come as a big respite to the party still recovering from the loss of Manohar Parrikar. However, given the wafer thin majority the party enjoys in the state, it will be a herculean task for the party to continue in the saddle for long.


Pramod Sawant willl be the new CM of Goa, BJP signalled on Monday. Two MLAs from the BJP alliance partners will be made deputy chief ministers as part of the compromise reached with allies, according to the party sources.


Manohar Parrikar died Sunday after a prolonged illness and suffering from pancreas cancer. The tiny state of Goa witnessed a deadlock as the demise of Parrikar left a big void in the state politics. However, the party managed to break the ice by offering key allies their pound of flesh and accepting their demand for deputy CM's posts. Sawant, 45 years old,  is currently the Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly.


There are strong indications that the two would-be Dy CMs are Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai and MGP MLA Sudin Dhavalikar. "We have managed to convince the alliance partners and finalised the formula of two deputy chief ministers for the state, a senior BJP functionary told PTI.


Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari held marathon discussions with his party MLAs and alliance partner regional parties such as Maharastrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party to choose the successor of Parrikar. He had told the reporters in Panaji that a decision would be announced soon. BJP national secretary B L Santosh is also helping him. Gadkari, along with BJP president Amit Shah, held a series of meetings with party MLAs and also of coalition partners to pick a new CM.
The BJP-led Goa government is supported by Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward Party (GFP), independents and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).


Following the demise of Manohar Parrikar, the strength of the Goa assembly reduced to 36 members. In the 40-member house, three seats had earlier fallen vacant following the resignation of Congress MLAs Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar, and death of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza. By-polls to these three constituencies are scheduled alongside Lok Sabha elections on April 23rd. Currently, the BJP has 12 MLAs in the house, while the Congress has 14. The Congress has already staked claim for the formation of the government. The party leaders met Governor Mrudula Sinha and handed her letter of support. 


Thus, even if the BJP manages to install Sawant as CM, he will still face constant threat of being dismantled by opposition Congress and dissidents. Therefore, the drama will only get interesting in coming days.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

नाकारों के नकारों पर सवार कांग्रेस


कहते हैं, कि जो लोग अपनी गलती से सीखते है वे साधारण होते है। जो दूसरों की गलतियों से सीखते है वे बुद्धिमान होते है लेकिन जो ना अपनी और ना दूसरों की गलतियों से सीखते है वे मूर्ख होते है। कांग्रेस पार्टी का हाल कुछ इस तीसरे वर्ग के लोगों जैसा है। अपनी पुरानी शिकस्तों और वर्तमान राजनीतिक सूझबूझ से वह कुछ भी सीखने के लिए तैयार नहीं है।
एक तरफ कांग्रेस प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी का मुकाबला करने की बात करती है जबकि अपने इस लक्ष्य के लिए दूसरी पार्टियों को साथ लेने के लिए वह तैयार नहीं है! सारे राजनीतिक विश्लेषक एक सूर में यह कहते हैं, कि कांग्रेस का अहंकार उसको डुबानेवाला है। राहुल गांधी को प्रधानमंत्री की कुर्सी में बिठाने के लिए कांग्रेस के कार्यकर्ता इतने लालायित है कि उसके लिए पूरी तैयारी करने की भी तैयारी में नहीं दिखा रहे। जंग में जीतने का उनको इतना विश्वास है कि जंग की तैयारी करना वे ज़रूरी नहीं समझते।


शुक्रवार को कांग्रेस ने कहा कि पश्चिम बंगाल सहित जिन राज्यों में गठबंधन को लेकर प्रयास हो रहे हैं, वहां किसी तरह की समस्या नहीं है। पार्टी प्रवक्ता पवन खेड़ा ने यह भी कहा, कि विपक्षी दलों का मकसद प्रधानमंत्री मोदी को हटाना नहीं बल्कि देश को बचाना है।


उन्होंने बताया कि, ‘‘हमारा मकसद मोदी जी को हटाना नहीं है। हमारा मकसद देश को बचाना है, संस्थाओं को बचाना है। सबकी स्वतंत्रता को बचाना है। जिस व्यक्ति विशेष को लेकर भारतीय जनता पार्टी इस चुनाव को व्यक्तिवाद का चुनाव बनाना चाहती है, उस व्यक्ति में ही कोई विशेषता लोगों को नहीं दिखती, तो वो कैसा व्यक्ति विशेष है? ’’


खेड़ा ने कहा, ‘‘ये बड़ा स्पष्ट है कि जहां भी हमारी गठबंधन की बात चल रही है, जिन राज्यों में चल रही है, कहीं कोई समस्या नहीं है, बातचीत चल रही है, बातचीत में जितना समय लगता है, उतना लगता है।’’


इस पूरे कथन को पढ़ने के बाद दो बातें पूरी तरह से समझ आती है। एक तो कांग्रेस में नाकारे नेताओं की भरमार है जिनका अपना कोई जनाधार नहीं है। दूसरी बात यह, की ज़मीनी सच्चाई स्वीकार करने की मानसिकता इन नेताओं में अभी भी नहीं है। अगर भाजपा का प्रचार व्यक्ति विशेष (नरेंद्र मोदी) को केंद्र में रखकर है तो कांग्रेस कहां लोकतांत्रिक परंपराओं का निर्वाह कर रही है। बल्कि वहां तो पार्टी का पूरा खाका ही एक परिवार विशेष पर खड़ा है। मोदी ने 12 वर्ष गुजरात में और पांच वर्ष केंद्र में सरकार चलाते हुए अपना सिक्का चलाया है। तब जाकर भाजपा ने उन्हें अपना नेता बनाया है। राहुल गांधी ने अब तक किया क्या है जिसके बूते कांग्रेस उन्हें अपना मसीहा मानती है?


रही बात गठबंधन की, तो राजनीति पर थोड़ी सी भी नजर रखने वाले किसी भी निरीक्षक से पूछिए। वह आपको बताएगा कि कांग्रेस का गठबंधन का हर प्रयास विफल रहा है। पिछले वर्ष मई महीने में कर्नाटक में अधिक सीटें मिलने के बाद भी कांग्रेस ने धर्मनिरपेक्ष जनता दल को मुख्यमंत्री पद देकर उदारता दिखाई थी। देश में मोदीविरोधी लगभग हर नेता उस अवसर पर उपस्थित था और तथाकथित सेकुलर दलों के नेताओं द्वारा उठाए गए हाथों की वह तस्वीर अभी भी लोगों के मन से हटी नहीं है। हालांकि उस तस्वीर से उभरी हुई आशाएं एक वर्ष के भीतर ही धूमिल हो चुकी है क्योंकि उस वक्त कांग्रेस ने जो सूझबूझ दिखाई थी आज उसका नामोनिशान तक दिखाई नहीं देता। इसी का कारण है, कि हर नेता, हर कुनबा, हर खेमा और हर पार्टी कांग्रेस से खफा है।
पश्चिम बंगाल में ममता बनर्जी कांग्रेस से गठबंधन करने में बिल्कुल रुचि नहीं रखती। बल्कि उन्होंने तो राज्य में सभी चुनाव क्षेत्रों के लिए अपने उम्मीदवार घोषित कर दिए हैं। दिल्ली में मुख्यमंत्री अरविंद केजरीवाल गठबंधन के लिए कांग्रेस से गुहार कर कर के थक गए लेकिन कांग्रेस ने उन्हें घास नहीं डाली। बिहार में अगर कांग्रेस राजद से गठबंधन कर भी लेती है तो भी उसका कितना असर होगा यह भगवान ही जाने क्योंकि राजद प्रमुख लालू यादव इस वक्त जेल में है। कर्नाटक में जिस गाजेबाजे के साथ कांग्रेस ने जेडीएस से गठबंधन किया था वह उत्साह नदारद है क्योंकि वहां जेडीएस अपने कुनबे में लगी आग को बुझाने में व्यस्त है। देवेगौडा परिवार अंदरूनी झगड़ों से परेशान है। ऊपर से पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री सिद्धारमैया की महत्वाकांक्षा इस गठबंधन को कमजोर करने में लगी हुई है। आंध्र प्रदेश में मुख्यमंत्री चंद्रबाबू नायडू ने कांग्रेस से गठबंधन कर के तेलंगाना के विधानसभा चुनाव लड़े थे लेकिन वहां इस गठबंधन को मुंह की खानी पड़ी जिसके कारण नायडू भी कांग्रेस से नजदीकी बढ़ाने में ज्यादा रस लेते हुए नहीं दिखते। हालांकि तमिलनाडु में डीएमके के साथ हाथ मिलाने में कांग्रेस को थोड़ी बहुत सफलता मिली है और इसी सफलता पर पार्टी इतरा रही है।


एक पूरी पार्टी की पार्टी एक ही परिवार पर निर्भर हो और जनाधार रखने वाले नेताओं का अकाल हो तो वास्तविकता को नकारनेवाले नेताओं की तूती तो बोलेगी ही। ऐसे नकारों पर सवार कांग्रेस की नैया डूबना तय है।

Thursday, March 14, 2019

NCP's List of Candidates Adds to Conundrum


The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which is struggling to overcome the internal bickering has released its first list of 12 candidates, including eleven from Maharashtra and one from Lakshadweep. However, the list has only added to the conundrum after NCP workers were distraught by the Pawar family's feud.


The prominent names in the list are former state Irrigation Minister Sunil Tatkare, who would be contesting from Raigad, former state minister Gulabrao Devkar from Jalgaon, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s daughter and sitting MP Supriya Sule from Baramati, Udyan Raje Bhosale from Satara and Anand Paranjpe from Thane.


The party said the next list of candidates will be declared in the next couple of days. It has, however, desisted from announcing the candidate for contentious Ahmednagar seat. The party has not announced candidate from the Hathkanangale seat in south Maharashtra thereby leaving it for its alliance partner Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.


The NCP has also not announced the candidature for Maval and Madha seats which have garnered attention from all quarters because of the family feud being staged for the candidacy from these constituencies.


NCP Chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew and former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar has put his foot down to field his on Parth from Maval.


Sharad Pawar, the doyen of the Maharashtra politics was likely to contest from Madha. However, he pulled himself out from the ring at the last minute leaving the party workers in disarray. Pawar had announced last time that he would not contest the Lok Sabha election and instead chose the Rajya Sabha way. However, he had said that party workers wanted him to contest from Madha constituency in Solapur district, currently represented by NCP leader Vijaysinh Mohite Patil.


The 78-year-old, who completed five decades in politics two years ago, announced that since two members of his family were going to contest the polls, "somebody had to step back." "Since I have already won elections 14 times, I decided not to contest the poll (this time)," he told reporters after holding a meeting with party leaders on Monday.





These frequent somersaults from the veteran leader has left the observers gaping in awe as Pawar is known for political acumen and apt decision making.


Not surprisingly, ruling BJP was forthcoming in attacking his stance. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the NCP chief's decision to pull out from poll fray was because he had "sensed the change in the air".

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Priyanka Slams Narendra Modi - An Honest Rendering of a Borrowed Script


Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday opened her account in the election camapgin by targetting the Narendra Modi government or just Namo. She alleged the the National Democratic Alliance government failed to fulfill promises and destructed institutions. All this was honest to the script run by the Congress party and one must admit that she adopted to the script very well.


Priyanka Gandhi was recently appointed as the Congress general secretary in early February and this was her first first political rally after assuming charge of the office. Obviously enough, there was much curiosity abound her appearance and the hallowed 'similarity' to her grandmother Indira Gandhi.


Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were present at the rally near Adalaj village of Gandhinagar district.


She exhorted the people to be vigilant, treat their vote as a "weapon" and ask right questions. "Our institutions are being destroyed. Wherever you see, hatred is being spread. Nothing matters more to us that you and I protect this nation, work for it and move forward together," the Congress leader said.


Earlier in the day, a meeting of the the party's highest decision-making body Congress Working Committee (CWC) was also held and Priyanka also attended the meeting for the first time.





It was quite perplexing that Priyanka said that she was appalled at the country's situation today. This sounds very phony for someone who has chosen to remain in slumber for over two decades and repetedly denying any interest in politics. It also becomes laughable when one looks at the pathetic condition her party is in. obviously, Priyanka must be worried about the situation of her party rather than the country because it is the former that is in predicament right now.


The country is doing fine!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Ayodhya Verdict - Another Tactic to Delay the Inevitable?


That the Supreme Court on Friday referred Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case pertaining to Ayodhya to mediation for amicable settlement reeks of another attempt to delay the inevitable. The court has to give one or another verdict howsoever it may try to evade from its responsibility.


Former apex court judge Justice (retd) F. M. Kallifulla will head a panel of mediators in the case. Other members of the panel of mediators include spiritual guru Shri Shri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu. Fortunately enough, the apex court has accepted that the case was not just about property but, also about sentiment and faith.


The SC has said that proceedings in the case will be held in Faizabad and process to start within a week. The SC has asked the panel of mediators to complete its mediation process within eight weeks and file a progress report of the mediation proceedings within four weeks.


Court also said that panel of mediators may co-opt more members and in case of any difficulty, they can inform the SC registry. The court directed in camera proceedings of mediation in Ayodhya case and restrained media - both print and electronic - from reporting the proceedings of mediation case.


A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday had reserved the order after hearing various contesting parties. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lala.





The constant postponing of the matter, sometimes even refusal by the SC to hear any plea, has created a sort of discontent among the Hindus. It seems that the SC simply does not want the case to reach to its logical conclusion lest any political party gets mileage from it. It is pertinent here to remember Congress leader Kapil Sibal's famous statement where he requested the SC to postpone the hearing of the case till Lok Sabha elections this year are over.


It has been a long wait for Hindus in India to get to see a grand temple to their beloved deity being built on the same site where Shri Rama was born. It is also worth mentioning here that in an interview to a news agency, Modi had said in January this year that a decision on bringing an ordinance on Ram Temple can be taken after the judicial process is complete. The BJP had passed a resolution for the construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya at Palampur in 1989. The party is pursuing the issue ever since and there is tremendous pressure from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to get the issue resolved as early as possible. RSS expects Modi government to fulfil its promise of building the Ram temple within this tenure as the BJP was elected to power in 2014 after committing itself to do so.


In this scenario, even though this has raised the hope for a decision on the long pending case in a stipulated time frame, that possibility still remains a pipe dream because no result from this mediation exercise is guaranteed. So as of now, it seems that all this mediation thing is just a ploy for buying some time till elections are announced. Once the announcement of poll schedule takes place, the government's hands will be tied and one may expect any further development only thereafter. That is quite a smart move!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

लाचार केजरीवाल और ठगे हुए समर्थक


दिल्ली में आगामी लोकसभा चुनावों के लिए कांग्रेस और आम आदमी पार्टी (आप) के बीच संभाव्य गठबंधन पर पूर्णविराम लग चुका है। दिल्ली प्रदेश कांग्रेस ने राज्य में सातों लोकसभा सीटों के लिए आप के साथ चुनाव पूर्व गठबंधन होने की संभावना मंगलवार को नकार दी। इन सातों सीटों पर भारतीय जनता पार्टी ने 2014 के लोकसभा चुनावों में विजय प्राप्त की थी। ऐसे में कांग्रेस और आप में मतों का विभाजन हुआ तो भाजपा को इस बार भी लाभ मिल सकता है। एक हिंदी टेलीविजन चैनल द्वारा सोमवार को किए गए सर्वेक्षण में बालाकोट के हवाई हमलों के बाद विशेष रूप से भाजपा की स्थिति मजबूत होने की पुष्टि की गई।


मंगलवार को दिल्ली प्रदेश अध्यक्ष शीला दीक्षित के साथ-साथ कांग्रेस के अनेक वरिष्ठ नेताओं की बैठक पार्टी अध्यक्ष राहुल गांधी के साथ हुई। इस अवसर पर स्थानीय नेताओं ने आप से गठबंधन न करने का आग्रह किया और राहुल गांधी ने भी इससे सहमति जताई। श्रीमती दीक्षित ने कहा, कि 'हमने आम सहमति से निर्णय किया, कि आम आदमी पार्टी से गठबंधन नहीं करनी है और अपने बल पर चुनाव लड़ने है।' अहमद पटेल और पी. सी. चाको जैसे कुछ नेता आप से गठजोड़ करने के पक्ष में थे, लेकिन कांग्रेस के स्थानीय नेताओं ने इसका जोरदार विरोध किया। पंजाब कांग्रेस ने भी आप से किसी भी प्रकार गठबंधन करने से मनाही की। आप ने 2014 के चुनाव में पंजाब में 4 लोकसभा सीटों पर विजय प्राप्त की थी।


कांग्रेस के इस ताजा निर्णय से दिल्ली के मुख्यमंत्री और आप के प्रमुख अरविंद केजरीवाल तिलमिला गए। उन्होंने सीधे आरोप किया, कि कांग्रेस भाजपा की मदद कर रही है। उन्होंने ट्वीट किया, कि 'सारा देश मोदी और शहा को हराने के लिए एकत्र आया है, ऐसे में कांग्रेस भाजपाविरोधी मतों का विभाजन कर भाजपा की सहायता कर रही है।' इतना ही नहीं, उन्होंने संदेह जताया, कि कांग्रेस ने भाजपा से कोई गुप्त समझोता किया है।


केजरीवाल इस गठबंधन के लिए अत्यंत लालायित थे। इससे पूर्व भी उन्होंने गुहार लगाई थी, कि मैं कांग्रेस के दरवाजे पर खड़े रहकर थक चुका हूं लेकिन कोई हमारी सुध नहीं लेता। केवल दो सप्ताह पूर्व 16वीं लोकसभा के अंतिम सत्र के अंतिम दिन विरोधी दलों द्वारा आयोजित सभा में भी केजरीवाल ने हिस्सा लिया था। इस सभा की मेजबानी ही आप के पास थी। वरिष्ठ कांग्रेस नेता आनंद शर्मा का केजरीवाल ने मंच पर स्वागत भी किया था। आज वही केजरीवाल 'अच्छा सिला दिया मेरे प्यार का' का राग आलापते हुए कांग्रेस को कोस रहे है।


एक समय था जब इसी कांग्रेस के खिलाफ जंग छेड़कर केजरीवाल ने देशवासियों का ध्यान आकर्षित किया था। कांग्रेस, खासकर शीला दीक्षित, भ्रष्टाचार की प्रतीक है यह बात उन्होंने पुरी शिद्दत से रखी थी। भ्रष्टाचार उन्मूलन और स्वच्छ राजनीति ही हमारा कार्यक्रम है, यह कहते हुए उन्होंने दिल्ली की सत्ता हथियाई थी। आज उसी कांग्रेस से नजदीकियां बढ़ाने के लिए केजरीवाल जद्दोजहद करते हुए दिखाई दे रहे है। राजनीति का चरित्र बदलने की भाषा करनेवाले नेता का चरित्र ही बदलते हुए देश देख रहा है। एक नायाब अवसरवादी के तौर पर केजरीवाल सामने आ रहे है। एक ऐसा नेता जो सत्ता के लिए किसी भी स्तर तक गिर सकता है।


वास्तव में राजनीति सत्ता के लिए ही होती है। कम से कम आज के जमाने में तो यही देखने को मिलता है। लेकिन केजरीवाल ने हमेशा से ऐसा दिखाया है, कि जैसे भ्रष्टाचार विरोध की मशाल वे हाथ में थामे हुए चल रहे है। बढ़ी शातिरता से बनाई गई तस्वीर में अब दरारें आने लगी है।


केजरीवाल के पलटाव से उनके समर्थकों में खलबली मचना स्वाभाविक ही था। कुमार विश्वास जैसे उनके समर्थकों ने इस असंतोष को मार्ग दिखाया है। उन्होंने ट्विटर पर केजरीवाल पर निशाना साधते हुए उन्हें भिखारी की मिसाल दी।





वैसे भी अन्ना हजारे को आगे करते हुए भ्रष्टाचार के खिलाफ लड़ाई में शामिल अधिकांश सहयोगी केजरीवाल को छोड़कर जा चुके है। केजरीवाल द्वारा पार्टी में तानाशाही चलाने का आरोप करने के बाद प्रशांत भूषण और योगेंद्र यादव को अपमानजनक ढंग से पार्टी की कार्यकारिणी से निकाल दिया गया। उसके बाद एडमिरल एल. रामदास को पार्टी के अंतर्गत लोकपाल पद से त्वरित प्रभाव से बर्खास्त किया गया। पूर्व पत्रकार आशुतोष और कपिल मिश्रा कागजी तौर पर आज भी पार्टी में है लेकिन उनका अधिकांश समय नेतृत्व की आलोचना करने में बीतता है। विनोदकुमार बिन्नी, शाझिया इल्मी, जी. आर. गोपीनाथ, एस. पी. उदयकुमार, अशोक अग्रवाल और अंजली दमानिया जैसे सूरमा आज पार्टी से दूर है, जबकि किरण बेदी ने सीधे भाजपा का संग साधकर पुदुच्चेरी के राज्यपाल का पद प्राप्त किया।


यह तो बात हुई प्रमुख नेताओ की, फिर कार्यकर्ताओं के क्या हाल होंगे ? दूसके स्वतंत्रता संग्राम का नाम देकर दिल्ली के जंतर मंतर पर आंदोलन में उतरनेवाली एक पूरी पिढ़ी अब ठगा हुआ सा महसूस कर रही है। स्वतंत्रता संग्राम से नाता होने का दम भरनेवाली कांग्रेस को भ्रष्ट होने में चार दशक लगे, पार्टी विथ डिफरन्स कहलानेवाली भाजपा को सत्ताकांक्षी होने में तीन दशक लगे। लेकिन स्वच्छ चारित्र्य और शुचिता की हामी भरनेवाली आप का पतन होने में एक दशक से भी कम समय लगा। केवल केवळ आठ वर्षों में आप का सफर जिस पार्टी को बुरा-भला कहते हुआ उसका जन्म हुआ उसी पार्टी की ओर हो रहा है। इसे लोकतंत्र का खेल कहें या विडंबना?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

After Pulwama : Sense and Sensibility of Politicians


India has given a befitting reply to the proxy war inflicted by Pakistan through a devious mean of terrorism. Even as the Pakistan is licking the wounds of the last surgical strike, the heroes of the Indian Air Force gave another shock. They crossed Pakistan's border and eliminated the terrorists holed up there. The attack is bigger than the last surgical strikes, but it makes all the more appreciable because of measured reactions coming from all quarters. The responses from both ruling and opposition parties have been subdued this time around. While the ruling party had rushed to take credit of the surgical strike I, the opposition had questioned the action and worse, questioned the Army's prowess itself. After this arial strike, however, the situation looks a lot different.


Special commandos of the Indian Army crossed the Pakistan border (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) on the night of September 28-29, 2016 and destroyed the terrorists launchpads. Our bravehearts returned safely after completing the operation. That operation was touted as the avenging of the terrorist attacks in Uri and Pathankot. Following the surgical strike, on September 29, a Cabinet Committee on Security was held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. DGMO, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh held a press conference after this meeting. The officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present along with him but only Lt Gen Ranbir Singh explained the chronology of the operation. He described how Indian soldiers killed the terrorists after crossing over to PoK.


The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party left no stone unturned to take credit for this action. Teaching a lesson to Pakistan in its own language was an important part of BJP's 2014 election campaign. Therefore, it was understandable for the party to take credit for the action taken during its rule. Tweets were made since early morning. The issue was ferverntly presented during the panel discussions on TV by the party spokespersons. Moreover, BJP openly projected the issue during the assembly elections in the five states held at the beginning of 2017. BJP leaders made most of the surgical strike I even claiming that such an operation was never undertaken in the history of India.


On the other hand, other political parties including the main opposition Congress, had accused the government of lying and that surgical strikes were false. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had said that the people of India wanted surgical strikes but real, not false. Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had expressed doubt over the surgical strikes by referring to Pakistani media. It was also claimed that it was not the first surgical strike and similar operation was carried out during Manmohan Singh's government and all attempts were made to downplay the significance of that action.


IAFmirage2000On Tuesday, when Indian Air Force showed its might through arial strikes, nothing of that sort of thing happened. The announcement of the strike was made by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and not by any minister. He described this action in a brief and measured speech.


Even though there was a sense of satisfaction across the country for the revenge of Pulwama martyrs, there was no chest thumping in it. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar described this action as a great feat. He said that the whole country was standing with the Air Force. Congress President Rahul Gandhi greeted Air Force pilots for this operation, while former Defense Minister A. K. Antony said that it would send a stern message to Pakistan. NCP Chief Sharad Pawar also congratulated the IAF. Arvind Kejriwal tweeted praise in favor of IAF pilots. Not only this, he also announced the postponement of his planned hunger strike.


On Wednesday, the opposition parties lauded IAF action against the terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed and praised the armed forces for their valor and bravery.


In a joint statement issued after their meeting in New Delhi, 21 opposition parties condemned the Pulwama terror attack and paid homage to martyrs and expressed solidarity with the IAF in crushing the menace of terrorism. Reading out the joint statement, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the meeting also condemned Pakistan's misadventure and expressed deep concern for the safety of the missing Indian pilot. He said the parties have urged the government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India's sovereignty, unity and integrity.


The meeting was attended by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP Chief Chandra Babu Naidu, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar are attending the meeting.


In essence, this shows that all the responsible people in the country have sensed the seriousness of the incident and have behaved appropriately befitting their place and posts. So this operation was not reduced to a tamasha.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

सर्जिकल स्ट्राईक 2 – भारत का एबोटाबाद क्षण


क्या आपको 2 मई 2011 का दिन याद है? जब पूरी दुनिया सो रही थी, अमेरिका ने पाकिस्तान के एबटाबाद पर हमला किया और उस दिन कुख्यात आतंकवादी ओसामा बिन लादेन को अल्लाह के पास पहुंचाया था। ऐबटाबाद में एक आलिशान हवेली में वह पांच साल तक रहा था। इस्लामाबाद से महज 65 किलोमीटर दूर एबटाबाद में पाकिस्तान का सैन्य प्रशिक्षण संस्थान और पाकिस्तान सेना की छावनी भी है। वह इमारत जहां लादेन रह रहा था पाकिस्तानी सेना अकादमी कुछ दूरी पर थी।अमेरिकी सैनिकों ने बड़े पैमाने पर सैन्य अभियान चलाकर लादेन को खत्म कर दिया।


आज, 26 फरवरी 2019 का दिन इसी तरह दर्ज किया जाएगा। जब अधिकांश भारतीय सो रहे थे उस समय भारत ने पाकिस्तान पर हवाई हमले किए कई आतंकवादी ठिकानों को निशाना बनाया। प्रारंभिक अनुमानों के अनुसार, हमले में 200-300 आतंकवादी मारे गए हैं।


भारतीय वायु सेना के 12 मिराज-2000 विमानों ने खैबर पख्तूनख्वा प्रांत में बालाकोट पर हमला किया। खास बात यह है, कि सितंबर 2015 में सर्जिकल स्ट्राइक के विपरीत इन हमलों के बारे में कोई अस्पष्टता नहीं है। क्योंकि स्वयं पाकिस्तानी सेना ने ही माना है, कि भारतीय वायु सेना ने मुजफ्फराबाद सेक्टर में नियंत्रण रेखा का उल्लंघन किया है। “भारतीय वायुसेना के हवाई जहाज मुज़फ्फराबाद सेक्टर में घुसे। पाकिस्तानी वायु सेना से समय पर और प्रभावी उत्तर दिए जाने के बाद हड़बड़ी में बम डालकर वे बालाकोट से बाहर निकल गए। जान या माल की कोई हानि नहीं हुई है," इस तरह का ट्वीट पाकिस्तान सेना की मीडिया विंग इंटर सर्विसेज पब्लिक रिलेशंस (आईएसपीआर) के महानिदेशक मेजर जनरल आसिफ गफूर ने किया।


अर्थात्, इसे गीदड़ भपकी ही कहा जाना चाहिए क्योंकि इसमें कोई संदेह नहीं है कि मिराज विमानों के हमलों के कारण आतंकवादी शिविर ध्वस्त हो गए हैं। सूत्रों ने एएनआई को बताया, कि पाकिस्तान के (अमेरिका से मिले हुए) एफ -16 विमानों ने मिराज 2000 विमानों की दिशा में उड़ान भरी, लेकिन भारतीय विमानों का आकार देखते हुए वे हवाई जहाज लौट गए। पाकिस्तानी मीडिया के अनुसार तो लगभग 200-300 लोग मारे गए हैं।





भारत के विदेश सचिव विजय गोखले ने भी इन हमलों की पुष्टी की। उन्होंने बताया कि भारतीय वायु सेना ने मंगलवार को तड़के सीमापार स्थित आतंकी गुट जैश ए मोहम्मद के ठिकाने पर बड़ा एकतरफा हमला किया जिसमें बड़ी संख्या में आतंकवादी, प्रशिक्षक, शीर्ष कमांडर और जिहादी मारे गए।


जम्मू-कश्मीर के पुलवामा में 14 फरवरी को हुए हमले में सीआरपीएफ के 40 जवान मारे गए थे। तब से भारत सरकार पर पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ कार्रवाई करने का दबाव था। लगभग हर कोई जानता था, कि भारत द्वारा कोई न कोई कार्रवाई की जाएगी। स्वयं अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति डोनाल्ड ट्रम्प ने भी कहा था, कि भारत कोई असाधारण कार्रवाई करनेवाला है। इसलिए सीमा पर तनाव बढ़ गया था और पाकिस्तान ने दावा किया था, कि वह किसी भी घटना का सामना करने के लिए तैयार है।


पाकिस्तान का यह दावा कितना खोखला था यह मंगलवार को सामने आया। एबटाबाद में जैसे पाकिस्तानी सेना और खुफिया एजेंसियों को कोई सुराग दिए बिना अमेरिकी सैनिकों ने लादेन को समाप्त किया, उसी तरह यह हमला किया गया। पाकिस्तान के रडार और अन्य सुरक्षा प्रणालियों को धता बताकर भारतीय वायु सेना ने अपने पराक्रम के चिन्ह आकाश में दर्ज किए। यह पूरी कार्रवाई पूरे 21 मिनट तक चल रही थी। हमारे जांबाज सैनिकों का आत्मविश्वास और साहस इससे दृगोचर होता है। पुलवामा में हमले के 11 दिनों के बाद भारतीय सैनिकों ने उन 40शहीदों का बदला लिया। आज तक पत्र व्यवहार, संदेश और चर्चाओं के मार्ग पर चलनेवाले भारत के इतिहास में इस तरह की कार्रवाई होना एक अभूतपूर्व घटना है। भारत को हजारों घावों द्वारा खून से लथपथ करना (ब्लीडिंग थ्रू थाउजेंड कट्स) पाकिस्तान का षड्यंत्र है। यह पाकिस्तान का भारत के खिलाफ छद्म युद्ध है। भारत को उसे ज्यों का त्यों जवाब देना चाहिए, यह सभी भारतीयों की कई दशकों से इच्छा थी।


'पाकिस्तान को मुंहतोड़ जवाब दो,' इस तरह की मांग करते हुए देशवासियों का गला सुख गया था, जबकि इस तरह की जवाबी कार्रवाई का आश्वासन देते हुए नेताओं की कई पिढ़ियां गुजरी। लेकिन स्थिति जस की तस थी। कुत्ते की पूंछ की तरह पाकिस्तान में सुधार नहीं हुआ और न ही सुधार होगा। उसे सबक सिखाना एक ऐतिहासिक आवश्यकता थी और आज लोगों को उस क्षण का अनुभव मिल गया है। वायु सेना और सरकार को इसकी हार्दिक बधाई!

Friday, February 22, 2019

पुलवामा हमला - यह युद्धज्वर किसलिए?


पुलवामा के नृशंस हमले के 100 घंटे बीतने से पहले आतंकवादी संगठन जैश-ए-मोहम्मद के शीर्ष नेतृत्व का खात्मा किया गया है। 15 वें कॉर्प के कमांडर लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल के. एस. ढिल्लों ने सोमवार को मीडिया के समक्ष यह जानकारी दी।
लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल ढिल्लों ने कहा कि केंद्रीय रिजर्व पुलिस बल (सीआरपीएफ) के कारवां पर हुए हमले में पाकिस्तान में छुपे हुए और आईएसआई से समर्थन प्राप्त जैश के नेतृत्व का हाथ था। कामरान नामक आतंकी सरगना इस हमले के पीछे मास्टर माइंड था और उसे समाप्त कर दिया गया है। लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल ढिल्लों ने यह भी चेतावनी दी कि आप या तो हिंसा छोड़ दे अथवा मरने के लिए तैयार हैं।
पुलवामा हमला भारत की अंतरात्मा पर हुआ हमला है। जैश-ए-मोहम्मद ने खुद कबूल किया कि वह इस हमले के पीछे था। यह सारी दुनिया को पता है, कि जैश-ए-मोहम्मद संगठन पाकिस्तान में काम करता है। इस संगठन का नेता मसूद अजहर पाकिस्तान के दामाद की तरह रहता है। पाकिस्तान सरकार के खर्चे पर वह अस्पताल में उपचार (?) लेता है और वहाँ से हमले का आदेश देता है। इससे यही साबित होता है कि हमले के पीछे पाकिस्तान का सीधा हाथ है।
इस परिस्थिति में केंद्र सरकार पर पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ कार्रवाई करने का दबाव न आता तो ही आश्चर्य था। यह आम जन भावना है, कि पाकिस्तान की नकेल कसनी ही होगी। इसके बारे में कोई दो राय नहीं है। लेकिन इसको लेकर शोरशराबा करने में कोई तुक नहीं है। ऐसा लगता है कि देश में समाचार चैनलों ने यह विवेक छोड़ दिया है। इसीलिए उन्होंने युद्ध करो, युद्ध करो का आग्रह सरकार से जारी रखा है। कुछ चैनलों ने तो सरकार को ऐसे सलाह देना शुरू कर दिया मानो वे खुद सेना प्रमुख हो।
एक ही झटके में हमारे 40 वीर जवानों के प्राण हरण करनेवाले इस हमले का बदला सरकार को लेना ही होगा। प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने यह कहकर इसके संकेत दिए हैं कि जो आग आपके दिल में लगी है वही मेरे दिल में है। खुद पाकिस्तान भी इससे वाकिफ है। यही वजह है कि इस घटना के पांच दिन बाद पाकिस्तान ने इस मुद्दे पर अपनी चुप्पी तोड़ी।
लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल ढिल्लों ने जो जानकारी दी वह इस कारवाई का केवल एक पहलू है। लेकिन पाकिस्तान जैसे पड़ोसी देश के खिलाफ कार्रवाई करने के लिए हमें कुछ युद्ध रणनीति बनानी होती है। युद्ध के मैदान में अपने बलाबल का हमें विचार करना पड़ता है। हम जैसे यह बात भूल ही गए है। चट मंगनी और पट शादी की तरह माजरा चल रहा है। पाकिस्तान के प्रधानमंत्री इमरान खान ने कहा है कि पुलवामा ही नहीं, भारत में किसी भी आतंकवादी हमले से हमारा कोई लेना-देना नहीं है। इतना ही नहीं, अगर भारत हमला करता है, तो हमें मजबूर होकर उसका उत्तर देना पड़ेगा। इसका मतलब है कि पाकिस्तान परमाणु देश होने का फायदा उठाकर अंतरराष्ट्रीय समुदाय को ब्लैकमेल कर रहा है। और चीन जैसा देश उसका साथ दे रहा है।



यह सब भूलाकर चैनल के बहादुर सरकार को कोस रहे है। वे पूछ रहे हैं कि एक सप्ताह खत्म होने के बाद भी वे कार्रवाई क्यों नहीं करते।
इस संबंध में पंजाब के मुख्यमंत्री कैप्टन अमरिंदर सिंह द्वारा निभाई गई भूमिका काफी समझदारी भरी है। गौरतलब है कि 1965 में पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ युद्ध में अमरिंदर सिंह ने खुद हिस्सा लिया था।
उन्होंने कहा, कि पूरा देश भारतीय सैनिकों की हत्या पर संतप्त है और पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ कठोर कार्रवाई की उन्होंने मांग की। लेकिन यह कार्रवाई सैन्य, राजनयिक या आर्थिक इन तीन स्तरों पर अथवा तीनों स्तर पर एक साथ की जानी चाहिए। “केंद्र सरकार को तय करना चाहिए कि कौन सी कार्रवाई की जाए, लेकिन कुछ कदम तुरंत उठाए जाने चाहिए। यह कोई नहीं कहता, कि आपको तुरंत लड़ना चाहिए, लेकिन यह नरसंहार मजाक नहीं है। कुछ करना होगा। मैं ऊब गया हूं, देश ऊब गया है,” उन्होंने कहा।
यह सच है, कि देश ऊब गया है और लगातार होनेवाले आघातों से व्यथित भी है। लेकिन इस तरह युद्धज्वर बनाना इसका हल नहीं है। यदि आप दुश्मन को खत्म करना चाहते हैं, तो आपको इसे शांत चित्त होकर ही करना होगा।
अफज़ल खान ने कई मंदिर तोड़ें, लोगों पर अत्याचार किया और गांव के गांव जलाए ताकि वाजी महाराज बाहर आए और भावनावश होकर लढ़ें। लेकिन महाराज ने अपना आपा नहीं खोया और खान को अपने जाल में खींचकर उसे समाप्त किया। इसलिए वे हिंदवी स्वराज्य तैयार कर सकें।
पाकिस्तान को सबक आज नहीं कल सीखाना होगा। लेकिन उसके लिए शोर-शराबा करते हुए दुश्मन के हाथ मजबूत करने की कोई आवश्यकता नहीं है।

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

PM Modi Must Act


The dastardly act by terrorists killing 40 of our brave jawans has left the nation shocked. This is one of the major terrorist incidents in India's recent history and will be difficult to forget or forgive for long. It has drawn condemnation from all quarters and rightly so. The government will be forced to act in a befitting manner. Especially after the last heroic action of surgical strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, the government has to show its sincerity through another such action on similar scale, if not more.


The stakes are disastrously high for Narendra Modi government. The general elections that will decide the fate of next five years of this nation are round the corner. Ever since his election to the Prime Minister's post in 2014, Narendra Modi has consistently cultivated the persona of a nationalist and patriotic leader. The much celebrated surgical strikes were one of the main achievements of this government giving a sense of pride to the people. The Indians, who were fed of being a weaker nation in the name of peace and non-violence, were jubilant at that juncture. They saw in it the validation that India is not just a victim country that could be targeted easily but an emergent power that pay back the perpetrators of terrorism in their own coin.


Modi will be hard pressed to repeat that feat. The popular mood is to "go behind those bastards". The sense is even more evident in RSS workers, supporters and sympathizers that form the core of BJP'S voters. Fortunately enough, opposition parties have promised their full support. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that his party is fully supporting the government and country's security forces in view of Pulwama attack. Such type of violence is disgusting and no force can divide or break India, Gandhi said.


The all-party meeting convened in New Delhi in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack passed a resolution strongly condemning the dastardly act. All parties condemned terrorism in all its forms and the support being given to it from across the border. The resolution said terrorism in India is being actively encouraged by the forces across the border and India has displayed both firmness and resilience in dealing with these challenges.



Therefore, it will be a big challenge for NaMo to quench the thirst of his supporters for a bloody revenge. The problem before the government is that such decisions cannot be done with the beating of drum. Be it a strategic move or a diplomatic effort, any dispensation needs to move swiftly but discretely. There is no place for brow-beating in such manner. And going by PM Modi's response, one may feel assured that this would surely happen.


PM Modi has said that each drop of tear after Pulwama terror attack will be avenged. He made it clear that New India's policy is that it will respond in full measure if messed with. The PM's warning that security forces have been given a free hand to punish the perpetrators of the attack have already been carried widely. Even Pakistan's PM Imran Khan has come up with a reaction on it.


Now time is running out fast and Modi has to act.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Kumaraswamy Trapped in His Own Karma


The karma has caught up with Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. The beleagured leader has offered to quit his post after being fed up with the tantrums thrown by coalition partner Congress. It is a no secret that Congress, which has a long history of ditching governments headed by smaller parties, is not happy with his rule.
Speaking to the media persons on the sidelines of a program in Bengaluru, Kumaraswamy on Monay said that he did not want to continue and stick to the seat if Congress was unhappy.
He said that along with his Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Parameswar, he was trying his best to offer good governance. He said that the government is spending one lakh crore rupees for Bengaluru and has cleared projects like suburban rail service, outer rink road and alleviated corridor.
However, the Congress legislative party leader Siddaramaiah is not amused. Siddaramaiah, sees himself as the guardian of secular galaxy and would want to keep all affairs in his own hands. He has said that he would speak to Kumaraswamy and resolve the matter. However, this seems easier said than done as Siddaramaiah is accused of developing cold vibes with Parameswar as well.
The crux of Siddaramaiah's unhappiness is in his reluctance to accept the reality that he is not at the help any longer. He is constantly trying to meddle into the affairs of the state and leading a backseat driving kind of role.
The frustration of Kumaraswamy seems obvious on this backdrop. Within as early as two months of swearing in as the CM of Karnataka in May 2018, he had expressed unhappiness over trepidation of the coalition Government that he was heading with support from Congress. He has broke down a number of times and this month, his outburst was all visible when he said that he was reduced to being a clerk rather than a CM. He had said on more than one occasion that party workers were happy but he was swallowing pain of the coalition.

Kumaraswamy is heading the Congress-JD(S) coalition government but Congress legislators, especially Siddaramaiah fraction, has refused to give him ample time for smooth functioning of the government. He is facing frequent brickbats from some sections of the coalition partner. The only glue keeping them together is their aversion to BJP.
Last year, he had said oenly, "I am not bothered how long I am here in this post. I believe I am here for five years. God gave me this opportunity, which I have to use for the benefit of people." Immediately after coming to power, Kumaraswamy had said that no one could touch at least till the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are over.
Statements like these only serve to show how certain his insecurity is. It is as if he was bidding time till the Lok Sabha elections in May after which the real fate of his government is determined.
The JD(S) and the Congress had entered into a post-poll alliance but from the onset, this alliance was more a helplessness than natural camaraderie. The assembly polls last May yielded a hung verdict with the BJP emerging as the single largest part. It actually tried to form a government, hoping to buy some legislators with lure of power, but failed to do so. With a prospective third front being proposed at the national level and Congress's role in it being unsure, the future appears for JD(S) not only bleak but confusing and self-destructive.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Priyanka Gandhi’s Entry - Formal Acknowledgement of Rahul’s Failure


When Defence Minister of India Nirmala Seetharaman spiritedly defended the government in Lok Sabha last week, Congress president Rahul Gandhi was at the forefront to deride her arguments. Seetharaman came clear with all facts regarding the Rafale deal and exposed all the canards spread by opposition, especially Congress. Rather than counter her arguments with equally forceful facts, the Congress President chose a very misogynist remark while targeting the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. “He is hiding behind a woman,” was the statement he made.
The irony came to haunt Gandhi and the Congress Party as Rahul's sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra formally entered politics on Wednesday. Immediately after her entry, Priyanka was appointed general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East. The liberal intelligentsia (!) hailed the move saying that it was the Brahmastra for the Congress Party. They saw in it the party's intent to go full throttle in the state ahead of the general elections.
Little did they realize that it was a formal acknowledgement of Rahul Gandhi’s failure as a leader. It showed that Congress relied heavily on sympathy and emotional issues rather than hard facts of development. Congress workers do not tire of singing paeans to Priyanka charishma and try to make others feel that she exudes Indira Gandhi’s persona. Clearly, the party wants to project her as a woman leader in a bid to attract voters and want others to see in her what a true-blood Congressman would see. It will surely boost the morale of party workers in the state but to expect any far reaching effect of this move will be an exaggeration.
Rahul Gandhi fastThe question here is - If it takes Priyanka Gandhi to arrive to enthuse Congress workers, what is Rahul Gandhi there for? What is he doing there as party president?
With Priyanka’s entry, years of speculation have come to an end. The euphoria is reminiscent of Sonia Gandhi entering in politics at the fag end of 1997. But it must be noted here that even Sonia Gandhi was not successful in her first attempt. She had to spend seven years in opposition before leading her party to power with the help of a cobbled up alliance.
It was also in line with the tradition of Congress Party that Priyanka was given new assignment in the politically crucial state without doing actual party work on ground, for howsoever little period of time. Her only credential in politics till now was managing the campaign of her brother - more as a family duty rather than commitment towards ideology. Even though Priyanka was earlier actively involved in making key decisiona in the party along with her mother and brother, it was mostly behind-the-curtain affair. Her most recent visible role was in the selection of new chief ministers for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Even then, she neither faced media nor interacted with party workers. It was just a darbari affair.
Most importantly, Priyanka is ridden with a load in the form of her husband Robert Vadra, who is embroiled in several controversies and scams including land purchase scams in Haryana and Rajasthan and is facing probes by the Enforcement Directorate. To get past those blots will not be as easy as Congressmen wish.
One cannot but laugh head goes to see a masterstroke in this move. The same section was Jubilant in 2009 when Congress managed an appreciable performance in UP election. The Congress had then won 21 seats in the state in the 2009 general election. They attributed this tally to the ‘able leadership’ of Rahul Gandhi and saw in him new savior of party. And now they see next messiah in Priyanka as Rahul could not deliver after many attempts since then.
UP was a Congress bastion till the mid 1980s. Ever since then, it has lost ground in the state to BJP, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. Most of this destruction took place under the nose of Rahul Gandhi but he sailed through thanks to dynastic mindset of Congress. To revive the party from such a sunken state is a herculean task, but never mind, none will held her responsible even if she fails to achieve her goal. After all she has a blessed lineage!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

EVM Hacking Drama – A Cheap Gimmick by Congress


The grand old party of India (which incidentally is only 49 years old and not 113-years, as if popularly believed) is kicking and shouting like a spoiled child after being out of power. Its latest salvo in the form of EVM hacking has backfired terribly, upsetting even its staunch supporters in media. More than bringing ridicule to the party through such cheap gimmicks, it has brought disrepute to the democratic institutions in the country.
The Election Commission was justified in asking Delhi Police to lodge FIR against the purported hacker identified as Syed Shuja.
The cyber expert, during an event in London, claimed that he was part of the EVM design team and he can hack the EVMs used in the elections in India. He also made some sensational claims alleging that Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party and even Bahujan Samaj Party achieved success in elections through EVM tampering. The so called cyber expert, who had little antecedents to prove his credentials, had claimed that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were rigged. And most explosive claim was that BJP leader and Union Minister Gopinath Munde was "killed" because he was aware of EVM hacking in 2014 general elections.
The self-proclaimed cyber expert's claims had all the elements of creating a magnificent scandal in the country even as Lok Sabha elections are barely a couple of months away.
Luckily enough, the game was spoiled because of presence of former Union Minister Kapil Sibal. That gave away all clues of this being a Congress-sponsored drama. Sibal is a respected name in legal circles, but he does not enjoy a good reputation in politics. He was the one asking the Supreme Court to postpone hearing of Ram Mandir case till after 2019 polls.
Thus, he is seen as someone who leaves no stone unturned to achieve his goals. Defeating BJP, and especially Narendra Modi, is a dream for Rahul Gandhi-led Congress and Sibal, like every other darbari politics in his party, is hell-bent on realizing this dream. However, his physical presence made the matters extremely difficult for his ilk and his party. Congress was too swift in denouncing him and distanced itself from his involvement in the matter.
What was Sibal doing there and in what capacity was he present - these are the questions that will be asked repeatedly. The secular campers will have a hard time replying to these questions satisfactorily.
This is why he went back foot immediately and explained that he was present in his personal capacity. However, no leader with a stature such as Sibal will dare to attend such a highly repercussive event without the party's approval. Moreover, the said hacked targeting all parties except Congress was another red flag in believing Sibal's words.





As pointed by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Indian Journalists' Association, which organized the conference in London, is headed by Ashis Ray who is a "committed Congressman" and has been singing paeans in support of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. He is a regular contributor to Congress mouthpiece National Herald, campaigns for the Congress on social media and has often attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Not only this, he had also organized Gandhi's public event in London.
In such a scenario, a well-thought and potential weapon from Congress's stead has gone in vain. The exercise was reduced to being a circus, a farce and a political stunt. This was supposed to be a press conference, yet Shuja did not offer any proof nor did he faced questions by the media. It was a really bad PR exercise.
It must be noted that EC had organized EVM hacking challenge about two years ago but no party or organization could prove anything. Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party was the only party that had shown interest in taking part in that challenge, but it failed miserably. Aam Admi Party and BSP were the parties at the forefront in levelling allegations of EVM tampering.
Therefore, the EC considers the EVM tampering as a closed chapter and rightly so. Congress has made a laughing stock by putting up theatrics in the name of democracy. It would be worthwhile it they spend their energies in building organization rather in indulging in cheap acts. If they do not stop and listen to conscience, they would probable require such flimsy excuses after defeat in ensuing elections.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Now Running…The Karnataka Potboiler


The recent blockbuster KGF aka Kolar Gold Fields starring Yash had a short-lived glory at all. The movie, first in recent times to appeal to Hindi moviegoers simultaneously with Kannada ones, earned appreciation from all and performed well on the box office. However, its successful run was interrupted by another political thriller from Karnataka though not on reel but in real.


The political situation in Karnataka is still uncertain with both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party flexing their muscles.  As usually happens in such situations, the MLA from both parties have been taken away at safe refuges to save them from the rival onslaught. The political air in Karnataka is full of chaos as of now.


BJP accused Congress of trying to lure their MLAs only to be paid back in the same coin by Congress. The latter convened a meeting of its MLAs on Friday. It was left red-faced when four dissident Congress MLAs  skipped the Congress Legislature Party which was touted as the  show of strength in a counter to an alleged bid by the BJP to topple the coalition government in the state. Now, former CM and CLP leader Siddaramaiah has promised us that the party would issue notices to four MLAs seeking explanation from them for their absence at the meeting.


And amidst all these turmoil, CM Kumaraswamy says his government is not in danger. The guy is not just lucky, he has guts too!


The fate of Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka's JDS-Congress government is still hanging on a thin wire. The two independent MLAs have openly severed ties with the government while reports confirm that more Congress MLAs have gone incommunicado.


As per the media reports emerging from Bengaluru, around 11 legislators had gone missing and Congress leadership was unable to contact them. It is said that these legislators could resign from Congress and shift loyalties to BJP.


In the meantime, BJP has taken their MLAs in the safe confines of a hotel in Gurugram.





On Friday, Siddaramaiah briefed the reporters after the CLP meet and said that the issue would be discussed with the party high command and state leaders after receiving the replies from the absentees and then only  decision on next step would be taken. . The absentee MLAs were: Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was dropped as minister in the recent cabinet rejig and is said to be extremely unhappy over it, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli. Of these MLAs, Jadhav from Chincholi, who was aspiring to be a minister, has been spotted with BJP leaders in Delhi. These MLAs are said to be disgruntled over not finding place in the coalition government.


Siddaramaiah said Jadhav had written saying he would not be able to attend the meet as he was unwell, while Nagendra had spoken to AICC general secretary K C Venugopal conveying his inability to attend because of a court case. The other two MLAs had not communicated anything, he said.


All in all, the Kumaraswamy government is in peril as it was since the day one. It was established on a shaky ground. The only footing it had was hatred for Narendra Modi. That was a very delicate ground for any government to run smoothly. Whether BJP is running Operation Lotus or not, a Damocles’ sword would always be handed on the head of Congress-JDS combine. How both the parties overcome this anti-climax will be the real spectacle worth watching.

Friday, January 18, 2019

A Mirage Called Grand Alliance


The attempts by some of the opposition parties to cobble up a grand alliance to fight Bharatiya Janata Party are in full swing. This illusionary preposition swings up every five years or so in the name of fighting communalism and fascism. Earlier they levelled the same charge on Congress and fought shoulder to shoulder with BJP, but when the BJP gathered enough mass and marched ahead on its own, they changed the tone.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was right when he said that that the opposition 'mahagathbandhan' or grand alliance was a club of 'nawabs of negativity' and the only 'glue' of this diverse grouping is its opposition to one man Narendra Modi. They are so driven by their hate towards Modi that they can set aside all their differences and ideologies to form a hastily sewn alliance.
However, the situation has changed a lot since such Fronts came up on political scene in India about 30 years ago. At that time, the people wanted change at any cost and that meant voting in favor of an melange of a smaller parties without a strong and nationwide leadership.
The people today belong to an aspirational society which is politically conscious. It will never buy into this suicidal alternative. This ragbag may come into existence propelled by the egos of the individual parties (no pun intended) but they cannot take the nation where it rightfully belongs in the 21st century. All the players performing in this political circus carry zero credibility; in many places, they are liability than assets. Look at Telugu Desam Party which was battered in the recently concluded Assembly elections in Telangana in spite of forming a front with Congress and Left.
Just last week, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party entered an alliance for Lok Sabah Poll 2019. They announced that they would fight coming lok Sabha election jointly on seat sharing of 38 each in Uttar Pradesh. And what did they have to say about Congress, which was an ally of SP in UP Assembly election in 2017?
Addressing a joint press conference with Akhilesh Yadav at Lucknow, Mayawati said that Congress is not part of alliance as it is not beneficial in seat winning contrary it creates loss. She said that she is keeping away Lucknow's Guest House incident away in interest of People and country. She said this alliance will continue for a long in future.
Interestingly, one can use the phrase ‘forging an alliance’ in all sense to describe these parties. This proposed 'mahagathbandhan' has neither the ideological cohesiveness nor a common program. They lack leadership and nor any of them has unblemished record. It does not aim at building the country but focuses on maintaining the imaginary halo of their respective leaders. Those who can't even see each other are now joining hands out of the fear for their own survival. More than anything else, their ego will eat each other even if they manage to come closer.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Sheila Dikshit's Selection Shows Lack of Choices


The appointment of Delhi former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as Head of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee comes as a very disappointing decision. It shows that Congress leadership is bereft of choices and has to fall back on old guards. This was evident in choosing choosing Kamal Nath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Ashok Gehlot as CM of Rajasthan. In an era where young voters are going to determine the future of majority of candidates in the ensuing Loksabha elections, choosing choosing 18 year old Sheila Dikshit will not help attracting the youngsters in any particular manner.


Sheila Dikshit, three times CM of Delhi, was appointed the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president on Thursday. She will replace Ajay Maken who had resigned from the post citing ill-health a few days ago. However in the political circles it is widely speculated that he made way for the new president to facilitate an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party. P. C. Chacko, the in-charge of the party's Delhi unit, made the announcement. He said that Dikshit would be assisted by three working presidents -- Devender Yadav, Haroon Yusuf and Rajesh Lilotia.


In a true Congress fashion, Maken congratulated Dikshit. "Congratulations and well wishes to Sheila Dikshit on being appointed as president of Delhi Congress. I had the opportunity to work and learn under her as a parliamentary secretary and as a cabinet minister. I believe under her leadership we will play the role of a powerful opposition against Modi+Kejriwal governments," Maken tweeted.


However, Sheila Dikshit will be hard pressed to infuse life in an almost dead party organization still reeling under the shock of defeat in Delhi. She is old and is not supposed to provide dynamic leadership that Congress requires at the moment. The Congress veteran was made the Chief Ministerial candidate for the Uttar Pradesh elections but it didn’t yield any worthwhile results for the Grand Old Party of India. Granted, Sheila Dikshit is the longest serving Chief Minister of Delhi, serving for a period of 15 years from 1998 to 2013 and she led Congress party to three consecutive electoral victories in Delhi; that is a past now. It is true that leaders seldom retire in Indian politcs, but to expect same performance from the octogenarian politcian will be nothing less than a cruelty.


It was Sheila Dikshit who was the CM of Delhi when infamous Nirbhaya episode happened that damaged Congress's reputation for a good part. The Congress at the time was always on the backfoot and its leadership was lusterless. A kind of fatigue caughts up with the cadres and Congress gradually lost its footing in the competitive politics between BJP and the AAP.


The need of the hour, for Congress, is a young and suave leader who could talk youths in their own language. Especially, when a large section of media is playing cheer girls for Rahul Gandhi, and a perception is being built that the party is on pheonix-like rise under his leadership, this was the least that he could do. Thus, he could ensure that the party would cover lost ground in the political epicentre of India.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Flogging a Dead ‘Rafale’ Horse: Rahul Gandhi Refuses to Mend Ways


Even after receiving severe admonition from the court, Congress dynast Rahul Gandhi refuses to mend his ways. He continues to flog a dead horse in the form of Rafale deal and hopes to gain windfall by raking up this issue in the run up to the impending Lok Sabha elections.


Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid Rs 20,000 crore to France's Dassault Aviation even though it has not delivered a single Rafale jet, but refuses to pay the dues of the Indian aerospace major.


Gandhi scion’s attack two days after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ripped apart arguments in heated debate in the Lok Sabha. The Defence Minister gave a spirited reply and refused all charges leveled by Rahul Gandhi. A day prior to that, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley buttressed the government’s stand that the multi-billion deal with French fighter jet manufacturer was in the nation’s interest.


Yet, Rahul Gandhi, who has professed his readiness to become future prime minister, hangs on the already weak branch in the form of Rafale deal. On Tuesday, he accused the Modi government of weakening public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and destroying India's strategic capability to benefit industrialist Anil Ambani.


"The PM pays 20,000 Cr. to Dassault before a single RAFALE is delivered but refuses to pay HAL 15,700 Cr. it is owed, forcing it to borrow 1,000 Cr to pay salaries," Gandhi tweeted. "Meanwhile, the RM (Raksha Mantri) spins lie after lie but cannot answer my questions," he said according to PTI. 


The Congress and the BJP-led NDA government have been involved in a war of words after a media report claimed that HAL, grappling with low finances, was forced to borrow Rs 1,000 crore to pay salaries to its employees, for the first time in years.


BJP Modi Rafale


The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government has accused the Congress of not supporting HAL during its rule and asserted that the government is now strengthening the defense public sector undertaking.


Since the court having settled this matter decisively, the Congress scion’s attempt to malign NDA government and especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom Rahul have personally targeted on many occasions, seems to be futile.


The Supreme Court on December 13 dismissed all the pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets saying there was no occasion to "really doubt the decision making process" warranting setting aside of the contract. The apex court also rejected the pleas seeking lodging of an FIR and the court-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, in which both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA).


A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi dealt with "three broad areas of concern" raised in the petitions -- the decision making process, pricing and the choice of Indian offset partners (IOP) -- and said there was no reason for intervention by the court on the "sensitive issue" of purchase of 36 jets.


The court’s verdict helped clear the air which was beyond doubt in the first place. All the experts and defence analysts had put their weight in favor of the Modi government. But, Congress and its coterie is not satisfied even after the apex court of the country outspoken in no unclear terms. It seems that the liberal camp is bent on creating confusion in the country to achieve their goals. Thankfully, people are not mislead by search tactics in this age of social media and free information. Therefore, Rahul crusade on Rafale will remain grounded and not take off as the liberal camp envisages.