With election results on the edge today and Modi government on the rise already for the second term, what could be the possibilities of NDA this time? Time again and again in the past 5 years we have seen radical views on the rise of “Hindutva Raj” walking side by side on the streets while also witnessing infrastructural development on a wide scale.
2019 elections hold a really important place as it would decide whether BJP will rule again or Indian National Congress would come back in power.
Let’s have a look at the past and possibilities of Namo 2.0:
More of World tours?
In a news article by economic times, Narendra Modi has supposedly taken 165 trips in total and had a total expenditure of 2021 crores. Though the trips were majorly focused on Foreign Direct Investment which did increase in his tenure but do we really need more of FDI and less attention on the root problems of the country such as poverty, unemployment, gender inequality and others?
Compared to Manmohan Singh’s term the total expenditure of his trips were accounted to be 1346 crores in total.
Total number of countries visited by him throughout are as follows according to Wikipedia:
Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan
France and Japan
He has been to Germany, Nepal, Russia and Singapore four times in total and finally he has visited China and United States for a total of times.
MORE OF LYNCHINGS?
India has witnessed almost 63 attacks done by Cow vigilantes which according to Reuters report came on the rise after the “Hindu Nationalist government” came in power in 2014. The report also states that a total of 28 Indians of which 24 of them were Muslims had been killed.
In 2014 itself we witnessed almost 4 violent attacks leading to communal tension from august 2014 to October 2014.
It only kept increasing and the numbers came up to 6 in total where individuals were beaten to death, it led to the extremes where a right wing Hindu mob in Jammu Kashmir “incorrectly” suspected that an 18-year-old had been transporting beef and had to suffer injuries due to gasoline bombs bring thrown at him.
From 2016 to 2017, India had already witnessed 16 attacks resulting from mob lynching due to alleged suspicion of cow smuggling and beef selling. The frequency of the attacks took a different turn in 2017 where the attacks rose up to 11 from 5 in 2016.
From 2018 to 2019, the attacks decreased down to 9 but still had some gory news to it where individuals aged 50 were shot in head or thrown in gutter.
GOING AGAINST THE NORMS OF EC
Twenty-one parties accused Bhartiya Janata Party of “blatantly” politicizing armed forces for vote bank. The joint meeting of the 21 parties equally criticized how the Modi government had been dealing with national security and failing at it.
“National security must transcend narrow political considerations. The leaders observed that the Prime Minister has, regrettably, not convened an all-party meeting as per the established practice in our democracy.”
On November 8, 2016 Prime minister declared a possibly beneficial decision for the country to get rid of black money and corruption, Demonetisation. This impulsive decision was not even discussed with the RESERVE BANK OF INDIA and RBI itself was made aware of the decision 2 hours ago before it was announced.
Later in the report released by RBI annually announced that our economy lost 1.5 percent of GDP in growth terms which was near to 2.25 crores a year.
Apart from the “Monetary aspect” to it which apparently failed majorly, this decision took 100 lives.
COMMUNCAL VIOLENCE NECESSARY WITH INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT?
The country saw the rise of infrastructural development on a wide angle, the rise of metros, cleaner cities, our apparent “ache din”. All these came with a cost of lives especially in the north and rural areas of the country.
There was a 28% rise in communal incidents under BJP rule. Statistical data collected by IndiaSpend showed an increase of 47% communal incidents in UP itself from 133 in 2014 to 195 in 2017.
According to RTI in 2017 itself 822 cases of communal violence were reported in which about 111 people were killed and 2384 were injured. Wherein 2016 702 cases were reported in which 86 people were killed and 1921 were injured.
In the fifth-to-last Game of Thrones episode ever, Everyone prepares for war. That now includes Jaime Lannister, somewhat ironically, officially rivals Bran for most pronounced character graph. Few have changed as much as Jaime Lannister, and this episode highlighted that at every opportunity, from his apology to Bran, to his knighting of Brienne of Tarth.
Season 8’s 2nd episode was yet another build-up, anticipation and the promise of something monumental waiting just over the horizon. It’s not just the Battle of Winterfell we have to look forward to: Dany and Jon didn’t get to finish their conversation in the crypt, and that’s arguably even more important. It’s the story behind the story.
The episode opens with Danaerys confronting Jaime she talks about how he killed her father and is threatening, despite knowing full well that her father was a murderous psychopath who needed to be killed. She doesn’t trust Jaime, and that makes sense given his past. Sansa doesn’t either, but Brienne vouches for him and she relents. Jon thinks they need every man they can get. And Tyrion says he believes him also. Jaime reveals of Cersei’s Plans of no intention of helping them and has a massive army that can wipe them all out once the Night King is dealt with.
Hard-Headed Women in the North
Daenerys takes out her frustration on Tyrion despite having gone along with his plan without question herself. Later Jorah takes her aside in private and speaks for Tyrion. He also urges her to make amends with Sansa though that doesn’t go quite as well as she hoped. When they’re speaking the ice does begin to thaw, but then Sansa brings up the fate of the North, asking Dany what happens when she takes the Iron Throne. Khaleesi inclining towards the madness like his Father does not wish to relieve the North.
Arya constantly in pure badass mode. She’s so tough, she’s such a great fighter, she can throw daggers with deadly accuracy, she tells Gendry to take off his own bloody pants because . . . it’s better to be tough than romantic or sexy? I’m not quite sure. It feels a little forced. I miss the old Arya.
Of the three strong women currently moving and shaking things at Winterfell, the favourite is Sansa. She’s smart and practical, stubborn and eloquent. She’s a good ruler and would make an excellent Queen in the North. I also like the young Lady Mormont, who is always putting someone in their place, this time, her cousin Ser Jorah.
The Dark Night forever.
This episode also revealed some of the Night King’s motivations, which has been a question since the very first scene of the show’s first episode. Bran tells the White Walkers are heading south so the Night King can kill him. “He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.” Sam concurs with it and says that there would be no history left about anyone and all anyone would know of is the night kings existence.
As we head into the final battle of Winterfell, a plan has taken shape: The non-combatants will cower in the crypts (which might not be so wise if the theory about the Night King resurrecting all the corpses stored down there turns out to be right) while the army of the living holds off the dead long enough for Bran to lure the Night King to the Godswood.
Reunions still..Theon is greeted by Sansa rather emotionally as finally, he is fighting for what he is a Stark, by upbringing. Tormund and Beric Dondarrian arrive at Winterfell with the Nights watch.
‘One Wish Before Death’
The episode provided plenty of wish fulfilment for longtime Game of Thrones Characters and fans.
A Girl is Human
Arya actually getting together with Gendry was much anticipated but for me, it was a little eeky. Arya will always be a child for me so maybe I could not accept it.
Ser Brienne of the Seven Kingdoms
Jamie Knights Brienne, as we found out that a knight can knight another. Sitting around a fire crew of the show’s surviving characters: Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Tormund Giantsbane. Jaime knighting Brienne fulfils their relationship, although in a very different way. Brienne had inhibitions and denies any of such wish she has. but it all comes a full circle with Podrick’s valedictory nod. With characters present in the room make emotions run high.
At this point, Podrick starts singing, Jenny’s Song at the wish of Tyrion. The Song for me is everything about the episode, the dreams & death and it had an eeriness about it. In the books, all we’ve ever seen of the song is one line: “High in the halls of the kings who are gone, Jenny would dance with her ghosts.” Florence + the Machine performed the song over the episode’s closing credits.
The song with Pod singing, plays over shots of some of our heroes and the people that matter most to them—Sam/Gilly, Theon/Sansa, Arya/Gendry, Grey Worm/Missande, and, finally, Jon/Daenerys—should make us very worried for our favorites, and for the people who will live to mourn them.
“My name is Aegon Targaryen,”
After Jon did his best the entire episode to avoid Daenerys, she finds him down in the crypts. He’s standing in front of Lady Lyanna Stark, and Dany muses about her brother, Rhaegar, and how she can’t reconcile the good man from the stories with someone who could rape Lyanna. “He didn’t,” Jon tells her. “He loved her.” And the truth comes spilling out. He tells her how Rhaegar and Lyanna were wed in secret, and how after Robert’s rebellion was successful and Rhaegar slain, Lyanna made her brother Ned swear to raise their baby as his own bastard in order to protect him from Robert and the Lannisters.
Daenerys doesn’t believe him. After all, it’s his brother and best friend who came to him with this revelation. The conflict between Jon and Dany–the one caused by her life’s only mission the Iron Throne, should be easy to resolve. Where their conversation ended, I can hear what should have been the next line in my head: “But I don’t want the Iron Throne.” For Jon to respond in any other way would be unlikely; he’s always been reluctant to accept power, and quick to give it up once he gets it. Jon probably does not want the crown despite having the best claim, probably making him a better ruler.
Leaving that resolution as an open question throughout the upcoming battle was a fantastic narrative choice. Dany has become annoying, lashing out at Tyrion and exhibiting an alarming unwillingness to consider any alternative to her absolute rule. More than one character has expressed concern that Dany is more like her father and if she goes full Mad Queen or does something extreme in the coming battles, Jon might take the throne for Honor!
The Episode ends with the arrival of the whitewalkers outside Winterfell, setting the stage for an epic Battle of Winterfell. The Jenny Song in my head and the cinematography the show makes me feel for the characters. The music sets up the stage for heartbreaks in the next episode. Some dreams will be shattered, some Men will be lost.. Signing off with the song as the episode does…
Rarely has this remote state in the hilly North east was successful in making the news, which could be one of the significant reasons of why most Indians aren’t even aware of its existence. But 2018 is unlike all previous years, when the genesis of a new government made the state familiar to a lot more people than previously known.
The events that took place on February 18th 2018 changed the only consistent identity of this state- by removing the bastion of the Left winged or more precisely the CPI. After 25 years of a single party ruling, many expected the similar results of 2013 to remain. Reactions varies on all sides of the spectrum and the probability of the future is being perceived in many variations.
However, avoiding any over exaggerated premonitions, would be best as of now. Being a state where infrastructure is still developing and private businesses stand skeptical about landing themselves there, swift change needs to be the command for faster progress. Unemployment for the youth still remains a titanic challenge that needs to go down as well. These are many other urgent issues that the government would require to face. The changes that CPI was unable to make for more than two decades, people are now hoping will be a reality under BJP leadership.
On March 3rd 2018, CPI was compelled to face the facts and concede to the BJP’s win. Together with Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, BJP has managed to secure majority wins by having a vote share of 50.5% compared to the 42.80% vote share of CPI.
I am more than certain that the people of the third smallest state in India will be able to get along with this change and will welcome the BJP and its promise to change the perils of this state in terms of jobs and infrastructure.
The long awaited India tour of the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family came to an end this Saturday. Despite trying hard to the point of desperation, Trudeau’s visit could not make any positive impact on the Indians. The viral memes made on him managed to impress India more than the entire ‘Mimic the Native’ theme of the visit could.
Trudeau has been trolled relentlessly over social media for the weird choice of Indian attire during the course of his visit. The Trudeaus tried to strike a positive chord with the Indian people by dressing in traditional Indian attire but ended up looking more Indian than what Indians look like in weddings. The Trudeaus’ outright gaudy and flashy costumes displeased most Indians with some even considering it as an act of cultural appropriation. They even managed to upstage the Bollywood stars at the party they hosted for the Trudeau family. But this is not the first time that he has been in controversy for something like this. In a Toronto Gay Parade, he showed his support by wearing rainbow socks that had Eid Mubarak written on them ( Some Muslim countries are known to violently persecute gay people) to celebrate the month of Ramadan. His critics have stated that his over enthusiastic liberal attitude often misses to address the complexity of the issues. Something similar happened in his recent visit to India. Justin Trudeau’s over the top antics can be used to draw parallels with another fellow Canadian Justin’s overhyped gig last year. Both failed to live upto the hype.
On the top of that, Government of India left no stone unturned to snub the Canadian PM. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself receives the world dignitaries upon their arrival in India; but this time around, putting the protocol aside, a junior agricultural minister received the Trudeaus at the airport while PM Modi was busy campaigning in Nagaland. Our social media savvy PM did not even post a welcome tweet for them until five days into the trip. It got even worse when the Trudeaus visited Agra . They were not received by the Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh or even by any junior minister, but by district officials.
So why did India display this rude attitude towards Canada?
India has often accused Canada of sheltering the Sikh Separatists rooting for the separation of Punjab from India and the subsequent formation of an independent Khalistan. The violent Khalistan Movement in the 1980’s wreaked havoc in Punjab. India managed to suppress the militancy. But after the Indian Army cleared the Golden Temple of militants , PM Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards in 1984 leading to anti sikh riots in which thousands of Sikhs were killed across the country. The next year the militants had blown up an Air India plane flying from Canada to Mumbai.
Even though a minority group in Canada, Sikhs form a voting block for Trudeau’s Liberal Party. In fact , the sikh vote bank matters so much to the party that he even attended a Khalsa Day parade organised by a radical Gurudwara in Toronto. Some Gurudwaras in Canada have barred the entry of Indian diplomats .Trudeau publicly boasts of having more sikh ministers than Modi. All four of his Indian origin ministers are sikh who have been accused of having sympathies with Canadian sikh extremists .
Moreover, Trudeau’s attendance at the Canada-India Business Summit was overshadowed by reports that the Canadian High Commission in India had issued an invitation to the businessman Jaspal Atwal who has been convicted of trying to assassinate a politician in 1980s.
Canada maintains that it cannot curtail the freedom of expression of its sikh citizens whereas New Delhi maintains the stance that while Canadian citizens do have a right to support Khalistan or any group they identify with, the Canadian ministers do have a choice when it comes to associating with them. India demands that Trudeau publicly distance himself from the supporters of the secessionists. The issue had not been resolved till the visit as Canada refused to comply. Hence, the royal snub meted out to the Canadian contingent.
The effects of the visit on Canada-India relations:-
As for the outcomes of the visit, India-Canada relations remain frozen in time as Canada has little to offer in terms of assisting India with objectives including China, Pakistan, maritime security in Indian Ocean and in the subcontinent. Canada is reluctant to engage in such issues. Then there are trust issues regarding the Khalistan secessionist groups. India is afraid they might re-instigate Sikh separatism in the country and cannot rely on Canada for it’s prevention.
Trudeau’s over the top enthusiasm and sparkly costumes have failed to mask the epic fail that his India visit has been, drawing flak from all over the world. Moreover, Trudeau could not use this opportunity to bring content or continuity into bilateral relations with India. However the final joint statement does indicate that both countries are keen to expand strategic co-operation on several issues like Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion , economic partnership, electricity and renewable energy efficiency. Efforts will continue on the civil nuclear front.
Trudeau has said in his statement that Canada supports “One United India” and has been all praises about India’s diversity and Pluralism. This is definitely not going to go down well will the Sikhs back in Canada. On the other hand, the revelation about Canada’s invitation to Jaspal Atwal has proved the linkage between Canadian ministry and the sikh extremist groups. Trudeau and his Canadian contingent’s actions have been suggestive of heir ulterior motif of securing their sikh vote bank through the visit. He has been trying too hard to keep everyone happy. Mr.Trudeau wants to appease his sikh vote bank and India at the same time. He can’t have both. And this time, his visit has been nothing but a messy failure as he has managed to displease both the Canadian sikh community and India . In an attempt to appease the two opposing parties, he has lost the confidence of both. His image has deteriorated back home as well as internationally. The Canadian PM did not only lose a great opportunity to strengthen ties with India but he missed out on warm Modi hugs too!!
Meanwhile, India’s stance on the issue is to be appreciated. India sent out a strong message that it will not be welcoming those who promote secession. It will definitely mount pressure on Canada to stop sheltering the Sikh extremists if Canada hopes on fruitful bilateral relations with India.
The results of the Tripura Assembly polls conducted on 18th Feb were released on Sunday and BJP –IPFT alliance has emerged as the winner with a clear majority of 43 out of 60 seats. BJP won 35 seats and IPFT won 8 out of 9 seats that it contested. BJP backed by the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura handed a crushing defeat to the Manik Sarkar led Left front CPM, who had been ruling over the state for 25 years. BJP rose from a non-entity party to chief opposition party in Tripura in the last four years. With Tripura under its wing, BJP will now rule over six of the seven north eastern states with the exception of Mizoram. The north east which was mostly cut off from the mainland politics until now, has been taken over by the Saffron wave that prevails over the country with the exception of very few states.
Let us have a look at the factors that actually led to the historic victory of BJP in Tripura:-
The people of Tripura voted for CPM in elections after elections for 25 years and still could not see any development or scope of improvement in the conditions of the poor. Despite being in power for such a long time, the Left has not been successful in uplifting the tribal population of the state. Basic facilities still elude a large chunk of the tribal population. They are still poor and many families cannot send their children to school. Drinking water continues to be an issue as tribals still drink water from rivulets. Also, the unemployment rate in the state is one of the highest in the country. Local CPM leaders were accused of providing the benefits of government schemes to their own people only. So basically, the people of Tripura gave up on the Left and were looking for a better option to dislodge the state government. All these years, there was no such strong opposition option available to them apart from Congress. With the extensive BJP-RSS campaigning in the state for the last two years, BJP was able to create a vote base for itself as the population turned in its favour. A lot of Congress supporters too converted to BJP. The Bengali majority of the state was a loyal vote block for the Left but this time, they too got lured into BJP’s call for change.
ROSE VALLEY CHIT FUND SCAM:-
Kolkata company Rose Valley Hotels and Entertainments Limited has been accused of running a scam and cheating investors of more than Rs.17000 crores across the eastern states of Assam, Tripura, West Bengal and Bihar. It is one of the biggest chit fund scams of India. A large number of poor people in Tripura who were among the investors, lost their money in the fraud. BJP used the Rose Valley scam issue to not only intimidate the Left but also gained the confidence of the people by promising them thorough investigation of the scam and justice for the victims on coming to power in the state. BJP also promised to work out a mechanism to compensate the 14 lakh people cheated by the Rose Valley company. In the past two years, BJP has managed to bring out a lot of big names associated with the Manik Sarkar government who were involved in the scam with the help of CBI.
Unemployment in Tripura is a major issue of concern. The state has nearly 7 lakh unemployed youth. The Bangladeshi immigrants managed to infiltrate into the state and somehow procure all necessary documents, taking up the few employment opportunities that are available while the youth of Tripura continue to suffer. The Manik Sarkar government has been suspected of encouraging the Bangladeshi infiltration. With BJP coming to power, the people are hopeful of generation of more employment opportunities and overall development of the state.
The shifting of the loyalties of the tribal and backward class voters (considered the vote bank of CPM) towards BJP turned the tide in its favour. BJP’s masterstroke was the striking of an alliance with the regional party IPFT, an agenda it has followed in all the north eastern states. The common goal of the alliance was the formation of a government with representatives from centre, state and the indigenous community for better addressal of the tribal issues. This move by BJP helped it procure the votes of even those areas which were not aware of the party owing to their trust and loyalties to IPFT.
The Seventh Pay Commission has not been implemented in Tripura yet. State government employees continue to draw salaries on the basis of the Fourth Pay Commission. BJP has promised to implement the Seventh Pay Commission which would lead to an approximate doubling of salaries of the government officials. A majority of the 2.5 lakh government employees of the state voted in favour of BJP.
While large parts of rural Tripura are yet to be provided with electric supplies, the state continues to supply electricity to Bangladesh. This issue is a major source of discontentment among the people.
Post-election Scenario in Tripura:-
After the BJP victory in Tripura, Lenin statues were brought down by the BJP workers. The Left has accused the BJP of violence against its cadres. Currently, section 144 has been implemented in the state. The violent acts have drawn criticism across the country after which BJP issued a warning that any party worker who was found to be involved in such activities would be arrested and expelled from the party. While Biplab Deb, the state president of BJP in Tripura is being considered for the post of the Chief Minister, IPFT has raised demands for a tribal CM for the state and proportionate representation at respectable positions in the ministry. The IPFT continues to stand firm regarding its demand for a separate state for the tribals . It would be interesting to see how BJP manages to handle the sensitive issue.
Congress is trying its level best to regain the face it lost in UP, almost three decades back. Kisan Yatra is a tried and tested method that they are bringing to the menu again.
Rahul Gandhi, Vice-President of Congress indulged himself in election campaign . Once again, he has taken the charge, this time to conquer the largest state of the country. He had launched Kisan Yatra his party’s election campaign at Deoria, a town in eastern UP on September 6 ,by conducting a khaat Sabha. But, as soon as the meeting was over, the public created a chaos to collect the Khaats present over there . There were around 2000 khaats and the aim to arrange such campaign was to listen to the problems of the farmers. But, the public wanted at least some benefits from congress. This attitude of public questions the image of Rahul Gandhi.
Pic Credits- The Quint
In a TV interview with Rajat Sharma, Raj Babbar , Chairman of UP congress said “ Rahul Gandhi is being taken seriously by the farmers of UP. Rahul is talking about their problems. “ when a woman present in the TV interview asked about Rahul’s image as according to her no one takes him seriously now. His stand on Gandhi proves that every time Rahul does something he needs to be justified by his party members. It seems all his tactics are now overrated like eating at a farmers house. Day by day it is becoming tough for Rahul to relate himself to the farmers.
Rahul Gandhi’s Kisan Yatra had begun from Deoria and will conclude in western UP on October 5. Yesterday, he conducted a rally in Allahabad, where he was talking how Modiji is underestimating the farmers. .Rahul had undertaken similar campaign before 2012 assembly elections which covered around 15 districts. But, the party managed to win only 28 out 403 seats. Prashant Kishore, political strategist of UP congress is trying hard to increase the party’s vote percentage as the party is already comatose in the state.
Prashant Kishore has proved himself in 2014 and 2015 . But the year 2017 seems tough for him with Congress.
Modi had once said ‘Khaunga Nahi, Khane bhi nahi dunga!’ which meant that he will not get corrupt and neither will he allow others to get corrupted. But riding on the ‘Modi Wave’, came the BJP Government of Devendra Phadnavis in Maharashtra in 2014. Of course, the CM himself is clean and his character is unquestionable but the same cannot be said about the members of his Cabinet.
Here is a list of 16 ministers with a question mark over their credibility:
1. Pankaja Munde
The state’s Women and Child Development ministry led by Munde, daughter of the late stalwart Gopinath Munde, was at the centre of controversy when, in July second week, the Aurangabad High Court struck down tenders issued by the Maharashtra Government worth Rs 12,000 crore for purchase and supply of Take Home Ration (THR), which is raw nutrition provided to Anganwadi children. The tenders issued in February were meant for the state’s 10,000 plus Anganwadis. But Self help Groups (SHG) complained of irregularities, claiming the tenders were designed to favour large companies. This defied Supreme Court guidelines which mandated a proper process for SHGs that would allow employment of women and supply of locally preferred nutritional THR items.
In June 2015, Munde was mired in the Rs 206 crore chikki scam, where she allegedly flouted norms by clearing purchase of chikki, mats and books without floating the mandatory tenders.
Image source : indiatimes.com
2. Girish Bapat
The minister of Food and Civil Supplies was served a notice by Lokayukta in mid-July for failing to curb the sky-rocketing prices of toor dal and other pulses. The Mumbai Grahak Panchayat filed a complaint in which it blamed Bapat for not invoking the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) to regulate prices between April 2015 to November 2015, when prices of toor dal went up from Rs 90 per kg to around Rs 200 per kg. It meant the traders earned profits in excess of Rs 4,000 crore and the Opposition has asked for a probe into it.
Image source : dnaindia.com
3. Girish Mahajan
The Water Source and Medical Education Minister was caught in a murky land purchase. He had forcibly purchased 5 acres of land in 2002 from a Dalit farmer at a cost of Rs 1.11 lakh on the pretext of setting up a sugar mill. The project, however, never took off. He had not divulged the procurement of this land in election affidavits. But immediately after dna broke the news, he said he would return the land to the farmer.
Image source : dnaindia.com
4. Vinod Tawde
The Education minister was accused of impropriety for awarding contracts to buy fire extinguishers worth Rs 191 crore without inviting e-tenders, similar to Munde’s chikki scam. The scam came to light in June 2015. Previously, the Opposition had accused him of having a fake graduation degree.
Image source : windows.net
5. Deepak Sawant
In April 2016, the Health minister was accused of a Rs 297 crore drug scam while purchasing drugs for state’s public health system. Leader of Opposition in the legislative council, Dhananjay Munde, had claimed that large quantities of iodine bottles, diabetes medicines etc were bought eventhough the municipal corporations did not need them. Sawant had also suspended three of his officers following the allegations.
Image source : india.com
6. Vishnu Savara
Tribal minister Savara was accused of a raincoat scam this month, where the raincoats for tribal kids in residential schools (Ashram Shalas) were ordered without proper tenders. Two months into monsoons, Opposition demanded an explanation as to why the students have not yet gotten the raincoats. “The department had invited e-tenders for procuring rain coats. Due to delay the process was cancelled on June 16, 2016, and the school principals were authorised to carry on the purchases. However, they were later forced to purchase the rain coats from certain vendors and that is why the High Court put a stay on the purchase and lashed out at the government,” Leader of Opposition Vikhe Patil said. The tribal minister did not deny facts but maintained that there was no corruption involved in it.
Image source : twimg.com
7. Chandrashekhar Bawankule
The Energy Minster was accused of purchasing solar pumps priced unreasonably high in favour of a particular company. In January, the CM had stayed its purchase after the red flag, but it was cleared in May after a probe.
Image source : ytimg.com
8. Diwakar Raote
Earlier this month, the Lokayukta sent a notice to Transport minister Raote seeking an explanation for an allegation of scam at the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) amounting to over Rs 30 crore. Despite its contract ending in December 2014, Trimax, the company that digitized MSRTC’s ticket vending system, kept receiving payments from the state.
Image source : hindustantimes.com
9. Prakash Mehta
An RTI query by Mulund resident Ankur Patil revealed that a case had been registered against the Housing minister Mehta in 2008 with the Anti Corruption Bureau for “carrying out corruption of crores of rupees in an SRA project”. The building in question is a 22-storey on in Ghatkopar. ACB chief said that the case was still pending in court because the position of the judge was lying vacant in the court. Mehta has, however, said, “The allegation is that there was corruption by me in some 22-storey building in the area, but let me tell you that there is no such building and no transaction involving me has even been done.”
Image source : maharashtra.gov.in
10. Pandurang Fundkar
Recently sworn in as agriculture minister, Fundkar is one of the suspended directors of Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank and is being investigated for mismanagement of funds and irregularities. His name features in the chargesheet as well. While Sena-BJP was in Opposition, allegations of misappropriation were made against State Cooperative Bank. Opposition leader Vikhe Patil questioned how the same man, who was in charge of the bank then, is a minister now and asked the CM to sack him.
Image source : indiatvnews.com
11. Jaykumar Rawal
The newly inducted Tourism minister is accused of misappropriating Rs 36 crore from the Dadasaheb Rawal Cooperative Bank, Dondai, Dhule. Earlier this month, CM Fadnavis transferred the probe from a Special Investigation Team to the Crime Investigation Department (CID).
Image source : bp.blogspot.com
12. Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar
Labour minister Nilangekar is named in the CBI chargesheet for his links with a company declared as wilful defaulter by Bank of Maharashtra. He is a guarantor to loan worth almost Rs 50 crore, which was declared as NPA and a fraud account. The CBI investigations show that the property offered as collateral at the time of sanctioning the loan was not the property that was eventually mortgaged.
Image source : loksatta.com
Minister of State for Home, Patil is said to have under-reported his properties in the election affidavit in 2010. A complaint has also been filed against him in the Anti Corruption Bureau for allegedly forging a dead farmer’s signature to get land in Akola. He bought the land for Rs 5 lakh from Haribhau Mohite in 2000 and transferred it to his son’s name in 2013. The transfer papers have signatures of Patil and Mohite, but government records show that Mohite died in October 2001. The complaint against him was filed by Mumbai-based advocate Prashant Nimbalkar.
Image source : hindustantimes.com
14. Ravindra Waikar
This Minister of State for Home is accused of usurping land spread across 20 acres in the pristine Aarey colony. Sanjay Nirupam has alleged that Waikar constructed a state-run gymnasium adjacent to the “grabbed” land and is running it through his private unregistered trust.
Image source : intoday.in
15. Ravindra Chavan
The Minister of State for Medical Education has 12 criminal cases pending against him. In December 2015, in a letter to CM Devendra Fadnavis, Dombivli builder Jagdish Wagh wrote, “Please save me from the harassment by BJP MLA Ravindra Chavan and KDMC’s additional commissioner Sanjay Gharat else I will also have to take extreme steps like Thane builder Suraj Parmar.” Wagh also said that Chavan had harassed and threatened him, extorted money from him and encroached on his flat in Dombivli, where Chavan lives with his family.
Image source : hindustantimes.com
16. Gulabrao Patil
Minister of State for Co-operation, Patil was arrested on June 16 by Jalgaon police. A case of usurping a prime plot belonging to a school through forgery is registered against him. He is currently out on bail.
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Besides these, veteran BJP minister Eknath Khadse had to recently resign over charges of corruption and shady land deals. However, even as the opposition continues to mount pressure, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is in no mood to blink, In an aggressive defence of his ministers, Fadnavis backed all of them by giving them virtual clean chits. He attacked the Opposition for “baseless allegations”. He further said the Congress-NCP government did not have the moral right to talk about corruption, by raking up ails like farm distress, losses to cooperative banks etc that began in the previous regime. “If we start to exhibit the deeds of the previous government, not even a single stadium in the state would be enough,” he said in the assembly. “Maharashtra’s image has been sullied. We are here to change that.”
Congress and NCP have refused to buy this defence. “The cabinet expansion was an opportunity for the CM to clean his house,” said Sachin Sawant, spokesperson, Congress, adding that the previous regime acted upon charges of corruption, which proved baseless. “But he has incorporated corrupt people. I do not think the CM is clean either. He is shielding corrupt ministers in his cabinet, which raises question about his integrity as well.”
BJP’s ally Shiv Sena has been measured in its criticism, for four in the above list — Deepak Sawant, Diwakar Raote, Ravindra Waikar and Gulabrao Patil — are Shiv Sainiks.
The state has come to an ethical dilemma now. One of the major election issues in 2014 was the corruption and hooliganism of Congress and NCP leaders. Now, the same leaders, who were once the accused, now accuse BJP of the same. Who will people believe and who will they support?
The state of affairs, in the State, is pretty pathetic.
What happens when Rahul Gandhi speaks? It gets trending, usually for the wrong reasons, but this time the ‘Arhar Modi’ comment is probably trending for the right cause.
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Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a jibe at Modi Government criticising their inefficiency in controlling the price rise, particularly of food items like lentils. “Today in villages people are raising a slogan: Arhar Modi,” he said at the end of his speech in Lok Sabha today.
Gandhi took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “You talk about Start up India, Make in India but not about price rise.” He said Modi had not commented on price rise in the BJP’s second anniversary celebrations nor had the issue of high food prices been discussed in the parliament.
He demanded Modi to give a date by when pulses will become cheaper. He asked why the Modi government was not utilising the money saved on oil import due to global drop in oil prices to give relief to rural people, especially farmers.
In his reply, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the money saved due to fall in crude bill was being diverted to building rural infrastructure like roads and go-downs. Jaitley claimed that the seasonal price rise was a common phenomenon and added that after the monsoon, the prices would soon stabilise.
The despair of common man has been on the rise since few months. Price rises in vegetables and pulses, one after another has been haunting the households. People are starting to feel the heat. Although, Jaitley claims that inflation is ‘under control’, we the people need some kind of visible impact. Unless Jaitley, or Modi Government, can deliver visible results, such jibes will get trending and their image is going to get tarninshed.
Is this the much awaited coming off age for Rahul Gandhi? From the perspective of Congress, there is no better time but only time will tell.
Protest is taking a new form in Gujarat. 16 members of Dalit community attempted suicide in protest against four men from the community were beaten up for skinning dead cows near Una.
Suicide attempts were reported from Junagadh, Kesod, Ahmedabad and Godhal on Tuesday. One amongst these was local Congress leader Anil Madhad. According to local news agency Sandesh, one Hemant Bhika Solanki died after drinking poison in Khambaliya village, Bhesan.
Protestors blocked a national highway and set state transport busses on fire. While, clashes between protestors and the police were also reported from Amreli District.
Image source : thestar.com
The Gujarat government had earlier suspended four police officers for negligence about the beating of the Dalit community members. The government has also ordered a probe by Criminal Investigation Department.
The incident that triggered all this was the when four men from Dalit community was beaten up. The victims were skinning a dead cow they had bought, when around six men intervened and started asking them how and where they got it. They accused the Dalits of killing the animal and started thrashing them. A video showing the incident, ironically uploaded by an accused himself, went viral on social media. Apparently, the accused wanted to caution people against killing cows. The accused belong to a cow protection committee in the area.
Ahmed Patel, a Congress leader, said, “People who have faced violence need to be given justice. Failure of authorities to protect Dalits in Gujarat is absolutely shocking. Is it the Gujarat Model? Independent probe is the need of the hour.”
The protest is spreading throughout Gujarat and this is a cause of worry for everyone.