Scam-Riddled BJP : MAHARASHTRA ADDS TO WOES…

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel June 26, 2015 16:10

Scam-Riddled BJP : MAHARASHTRA ADDS TO WOES…


The BJP seems to be increasingly scam-hit. While the noose around Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje seems to be tightening with fresh disclosures, two ministers in the Maharashtra government are in the eye of a storm. Minister for Women and Child Development Pankaja Munde, who had been a front runner for chief minstership has been accused of corruption. The Congress has lodged a complaint with the ACB alleging that her department had awarded 24 contracts worth Rs 206 crore to 15 firms within 24 hours without inviting tenders! Armed with details of the contracts for medicines, water filters, micro nutritious chikkis, carpets, educational material etc for anganwadis, the opposition has demanded her resignation and a high-level inquiry. Days earlier, the BJP was embarrassed over Education Minister Vinod Tawde’s degree from Dyaneshwar Vidyapeeth, in Pune coming under the scanner. The university is neither recognised by the UGC nor the All India Council for Technical Education. And, while the Fadnavis government may be battling the charges, the BJP, already reeling under Lalit Modi scandal, finds itself getting cornered from all sides.

 

A Delhi court has added to its miseries. It refused to throw out a complaint against Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani for misrepresenting her educational qualifications in affidavits to the Election Commission. Declaring that the petition was maintainable, the order has provided additional ammunition to the Congress to hit out at Prime Minister Modi. Joined by the CPM, it has demanded Irani’s resignation as she could influence the probe and same standards be applied to this case as Delhi law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, who is rotting in jail for allegedly submitting fake educational degrees. Indeed, the troubles seem never-ending. Raje of course is getting to be its biggest headache, notwithstanding Union Transport Minister Gadkari and Rajasthan MLAs backing her. Documents showing Raje endorsing her ex-best friend Lalit Modi’s application to get UK immigration without the knowledge of Indian authorities, is making her position untenable. The Congress’ demand for her resignation is getting shriller. But can NaMo afford to lose a single wicket of his BJP team? While that may be contemplated, fear is that more skeletons will tumble out in the all-out war, which is getting murkier by the day.

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Delhi’s Aam Admi Budget

The Delhi AAP government is firmly for the common man and education is its new mantra. This is the message Chief Minister Kejriwal seeks to give through the maiden budget presented on Wednesday last. Of the Rs 41,129 crore budget, the lion share has gone to education– Rs 9,836 crore, followed by the transport sector (Rs 5085 crore) and health (Rs 4787 crore). It has envisaged 236 new schools with 83 new buildings and 20,000 new teachers, 5 new government polytechnics, 10,000 new buses, 500 neighbourhood clinics et al. While this brings cheers to the aam admi, those wanting a good life have a frown as luxury tax has been raised from 10 to 15 per cent, entertainment tax on cinemas doubled from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, cable charges hiked by Rs 40 among others. However, it sought to appease the traders (largely the BJP votebank) by not increasing VAT on any item. Besides, Rs 253 crore has been set aside for residents to develop their local areas under the Government’s ‘swaraj nidhi.’ While Finance Minister and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia can pat himself for a pro-poor and middle class Budget, read the party’s main vote bank, the big question will be whether the Government will be able to deliver. Implementation is the key.

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Growing Intolerance In UP

Growing intolerance among the political class, particularly against the media can be gauged   by the horrific murder of a journalist in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The case of Jagendra Singh being set ablaze allegedly by the police at the behest of Minister Ram Murti Singh Verma hit the headlines for days. But what adds to the concern is how the political leadership chose to deal with it. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav opted for sops rather taking action against his minister, who Singh sought to expose on his website. Yadav has promised compensation of not Rs 2 or 5 lakhs but Rs 30 lakh to the victim’s family, jobs to his two sons, an arms licence and Samajwadi pension to his wife. However, this came after a Press Council committee went inquiring into the case and the Supreme Court seeking a response from both the State and the Centre to a petition urging a CBI inquiry. The administration now says the family doesn’t want a CBI probe and that investigation is being done by the local police! The fact is that the minister carries with him a huge vote bank, which Akhilesh can ill-afford to lose. But the media shouldn’t let go either, as cases of journalists being beaten or killed are making the news far too often, be it in Madhya Pradesh, Assam, J&K and elsewhere. It must protest as money power extends its reach and UP sets a dangerous trend.

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Bengal Cosying Up?  

The political animosity between West Bengal and the Centre appears to be slowly fading away, if recent developments are any indications. The emerging bonhomie between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Modi pre and post Dhaka trip appears to be growing, raising many an eyebrow. Not only did the Trinamool government ensure that the International Yoga Day was celebrated with much fervour, but it decided to take an extraordinary step of offering tributes to Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookherjee on his death anniversary. Both CPM and Congress leaders were left dumbfounded. This apart, Didi has maintained a stoic silence over the Lalit Modi controversy engulfing the BJP, which is difficult to fathom for many. However, observers note that the firebrand shrewd leader is under pressure to be on the right side of Modi to avoid a CBI probe, following her ministers and party leaders’ in the dock over the Saradha scam. Is there a quid pro quo worked out? The ensuing monsoon session of Parliament should provide additional cues.

 

MP Panchayat Surprise

Madhya Pradesh may offer a novel way for the men across the country’s districts to have their say in panchayats. District authorities in Ratlam district have gone on the alert. A woman sarpanch has given the power of attorney to the man who paid for her election expenses to take decisions on her behalf! Her reason: both she and her husband are illiterate. Thus, for the past four months, this man has been calling the shots in the Mewasa gram panchayat. However, it wasn’t the administration which smelt a rat, but got alerted only after it received complaints from other sarpanches about his interference in local affairs. The administration has sought a report and if the woman sarpanch is guilty of authorising the man, she will be disqualified. While that would be a pity, it may be a warning signal to the others. For despite the State government banning the practice of husbands of women sarpanches running the show “sarpanch pati’, men have found this other way. It is no secret that women wearing the pants is still a no-go in the country. —INFA

(Copyright, India News & Feature Alliance)

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel June 26, 2015 16:10

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