Poll Alliance 2016: TN, BENGAL LEFT WOO CONG?…

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel January 2, 2016 10:31

Poll Alliance 2016: TN, BENGAL LEFT WOO CONG?…


Poll Alliance 2016

TN, BENGAL LEFT WOO CONG?

By Insaf 

The New Year should usher in great surprises. The canvas would be political alliances for ensuing State elections. For starters, signs of the first steps being contemplated are coming from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Murmurs of the CPM considering a tie-up with the Congress were heard in the Left party’s plenum being held in Kolkata. This may also have something to do with the State Pradesh Congress chief writing to the High Command seeking ‘seat adjustment’ with the Left Front, which along with a declared common minimum programme could dethrone the Trinamool Congress. However, TMC supremo has rubbished this alliance saying it is not the character of the CPM to observe “jotdharma” (rule of alliance), as sometimes it lends support and then withdraws it! ‘Look, who is talking’, could be a prompt reply. With the parties wanting to keep the BJP out, some unholy alliances are bound to come up.

Likewise, the Congress appears to be a favourite in Tamil Nadu, with Opposition DMK. Having said it would opt for an alliance rather than going alone, the DMK is seeking to mend bridges with the Congress. After inviting the MDMK chief Vijayakanth for an alliance, Karunanidhi sent feelers to its erstwhile partner in the UPA era. He wants power and for the Congress it would be target BJP. Recall, the decade-old alliance was broken by the DMK citing the Lankan Tamils’ issue, when it was actually seeking to distance itself from scam-tainted UPA. The Congress would be willing as going alone in the Lok Sabha polls was a disaster.  After the success of the ‘Mahagatbandhan’ in Bihar, a mini alliance would indeed to be enticing. Much would, however, depend on whether the Congress can have its finger in many pies?

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Karnataka Bats For Cong

In the meantime, Karnataka’s ruling Congress is upbeat. The year ended well for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, despite simmering in the party. In the recent legislative council polls, the Congress won 13 of the 25 seats, just two short of a majority in the Upper House. Reports suggest it wouldn’t be difficult for the party to rely on Independents and JD(S) support to push through legislation in the 75-member Vidhan Parishad. For the BJP, however, it is bad news as it barely managed to win six seats, while the JD(S) won four and Independents two seats. The results are a dampner for the saffron party as prior to these polls it controlled the legislative council with 30 members while the Congress had 28 and the JD(S) 11. Worse, the BJP was neither able to encash on the rebellion in the Congress camp following ticket distribution for these polls and nor able to win Shivamogga, represented by former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa. It would need to rethink its strategy as its Congress-mukt Bharat seems too distant a dream.

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Haryana Fake Pensions

Haryana would set alarm bells ring in other States too. A whopping 1.75 lakh “fake” pensions under the social security pension scheme have come to light, amounting to a whopping Rs 288 crore going into phoney accounts annually. The racket was detected after the pension beneficiaries were asked to submit their copies of bank pass book and other documents for the Direct Bank Transfer. Of the 23.26 lakh beneficiaries on the books, which involved an outlay of Rs 3,400 crore per annum, only 21.50 lakh complied. Who were the missing lot? Fake pensioners, is an immediate guess. Besides, some beneficiaries were taking double pension from EPFO and the State government, village and city, in both Haryana and Punjab. Not wanting to be taken for another ride, the Khattar government has decided that from 1 January all beneficiaries will get the pension transferred directly into bank accounts and all 6756 villages will be covered under DBT. Arrangements with banks, post offices, common services centres etc are being put in place. Will other States pay heed?

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Kerala Gets SC Thumbs Up

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy must be heady. His surprise decision ordering closing down of all bars except those in five star hotels has been upheld by the Supreme Court. The new liquor policy announced in August 2014, had got entangled in controversy with bar owners association knocking on the court’s door and accusing finance minister of taking a bribe and not delivering. However, that is now passé. The big question is will the policy curb the social evil? While time will tell, the apex court had a list of dos for the Government: there is an urgent need to curtail heavy consumption of liquor among youth in Kerala as the State with 100% literacy accounted for “14% of the total consumption of alcohol in the country!” Also, being informed that the Government had not utilised the 5% cess on liquor sale to rehabilitate those rendered jobless, the court asked the aggrieved to approach the High Court. Recall that thousands of workers had lost jobs due to closure of bars and pubs and some had even committed suicide. Besides, the State should check the malpractice of 5-star hotels opening their premises for consumption of liquor at lower rates.  Will the administration deliver and ensure its policy is not just cosmetic?

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Bihar’s Jungle Raj?

Is ‘jungle raj’ back in Bihar? Well, that’s a question doing the rounds in the Mahagatbandhan-ruled State and Delhi, after two engineers of a private road construction company were gunned down in Darbhanga district and another’s throat slit in Vaishali district. There has been a rippling effect suggest reports: road construction work appears to have come to a halt; 300-odd workers and senior staff have refused to go on work; workers of the construction company in Darbhanga are said to have fled the site, et al. And of course, the Opposition has ammunition. It could well tell the people ‘We told you so.’ The victory of the Grand Alliance has “boosted the morale of the criminals’ allege the BJP and LJP. In Delhi, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is claiming that engineers are seeking transfers out of Bihar. Meanwhile, the police suspect the killings related to ‘ransoms’ not being paid and has set up a SIT to crack the cases. Surely, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar needs to do more. His recent order on banning the use of hooters in VIP vehicles smacks of shifting the focus from the deteriorating law and order situation. The murmur of an unruly Bihar of ransoms and kidnappings shouldn’t turn into a shrill.

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Family Tussle In UP? 

Uttar Pradesh may not need an Opposition after all to overthrow the Samajwadi government? The rumblings within the ruling party seem to suggest so. A sulking Akhilesh has given both the BJP and the BSP reason to believe that all is not well within the Yadav family. The young Chief Minister skipped the opening of the ‘Sefai Mahotsav’, a yearly grand festival in father and party chief Mulayam Singh’s native village in Etawah. His staying put in Lucknow raised many an eyebrow, with few takers for the explanation that he was busy in official engagements. Akhilesh is said to be peeved over two of his close aides (in students’ wing) being sacked by his uncle and Cabinet Minister Shivpal Yadav for alleged anti-Party activities during the ongoing panchayat polls. Worse, uncle was made in charge of all party matters relating to these elections, sidelining Akhilesh, who was directly supervising poll strategy and candidate selection as party State chief. Is Shivpal consolidating his position to become the heir apparent? Signs of his holding ‘durbars’ among the party rank and file while Akhilesh is busy running the Government are slowly emerging. The Chief Minister will have to do more than just sulk to ensure there is no coup within before the 2017 elections. –INFA

(Copyright, India News & Feature Alliance)

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel January 2, 2016 10:31