UP results “Reserved”

bjp and rss tussle

No, not another court verdict to reserve the UP election results. It is RSS again this time, repeating a Bihar. Two senior leaders of the RSS, Vaidya and Dattatreya Hosbole condemned the reservation policy in strong words at the Jaipur Literary Festival but quickly issued a clarification that the RSS is against reservation on religious basis. But the damage was done. BJP leaders went into a huddle and rushed to the RSS chief asking him to pull up the erring juniors, which he promptly refused. At one point, the BJP decided to use its social media network and innumerable trolls to ‘teach a lesson’ to the RSS. But the troll handlers developed cold feet, many of them owing allegiance to the parent body, forcing the BJP to abandon the plan. Vaidya, in his earlier avatar as chief of RSS Gujarat unit had stepped on Modi’s toes. That is the nearest he could go to Modi, who promptly got him kicked out of state politics. Smarting under this insult, Vaidya was waiting for the right moment to strike. He is said to have found a willing partner in Dattatreya Hosbole, the young ABVP activist, now holding a position in RSS. Hosbole who wanted to be the RSS pointsman for BJP was dropped at the last moment under Modi’s pressure, ostensibly to keep the ABVP out of political decision-making. Interestingly, it was ABVP activists who made Vajpayee’s life miserable with the help of RSS veteran Gurumrty, then Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) leader. In the bargain, one top Thakur leader is said to have squeezed the most out of the ticket distribution saying dalit and Muslim votes are as good as gone. And here one thought, the days of caste politics are over. Obviously not.

 

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When daya is a kala

all eyes on tamil nadu

Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi Maran, sons of former DMK leader late Murosoli Maran, have been acquitted by the CBI court in the multi-crore Aircel-Maxis licence case. The court had summoned the accused after taking cognisance of the Enforcement Directorate’s charge sheet, saying there was “enough incriminating material” to proceed against them. Serious matter for a government that is determined to eradicate corruption, lock stock and barrel. But wait there’s more to the story. In May 2014, the CBI told the Supreme Court that there was difference of opinion between the CBI Director and the prosecution regarding filing of the chargesheet. On reference, the Attorney General said that there was enough evidence to prosecute. Since Modi did not require DMK support in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha and also wanted to be on the right side of Amma Jayalalitha, it was expected that the Maran brothers would be back in Tihar jail, sooner or later. But in July 2014, Maxis Communications Berhad met and urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that the case against Maran brothers be treated in a fair manner, citing a contrary opinion by two retired judges of Supreme Court. After the Maxis-Jaitley meeting, the court deferred the pronouncement of orders on framing of charges to December. Lo and behold! The CBI court which was to frame charges against the former telecom minister, Dayanidhi, his wife Kaveri and his brother Kalanidhi however, found no grounds to proceed against Maran and the rest of the accused. To top it all, the court also cited the lack of evidence while passing the order. So no evidence, no intimidation, no corruption, no crime and no punishment. With Tamil Nadu political equations set to change in coming days, it appears that Modi and Jaitley are playing their cards right.

 

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An emerging force

priyanka takes charge

Most activities of the Congress Party are these days centred around Priyanka Gandhi Vadra though the face of the party remains Rahul Gandhi. As Sonia Gandhi is not keeping well, she has delegated her powers to both son and daughter. Priyanka visits the Tuglaq Lane residence of Rahul Gandhi every day and monitors the activities of the assembly elections. The Congress’ Janavedna convention against demonetisation is said to have been her idea. She also monitored the preparations and was the last to leave the venue a day before the convention. Apparently, she also wrote the speech that Rahul delivered at the convention. It was again her suggestion to ally with the Samajwadi Party, and it was at her residence that Dimple and Akhilesh Yadav met Rahul over dinner.

 

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Food for thought

the rise of shrikant Sharma

Shrikant Sharma is today the national secretary and media convener of the Bharatiya Janta Party. He has seen a meteoric rise in the party ever since Amit Shah became President. A friend of Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, Sharma is an old ABVP hand and was brought as Media Convener of the BJP’s Media Cell by the then party President Nitin Gadkari. He has never looked back since. Sharma was expecting to fight the 2014 Lok Sabha Election from Mathura and had lobbied hard for the same. But, somehow, Hema Malini got the ticket. After lot of hard work, he has finally got the ticket for Mathura assembly. How, one may ask. Clearly, politics has taught Sharma some tricks of the trade. The day Amit Shah joined as party president, Sharma got hold of him and created a space for himself in the inner ring of the party. It was not an easy job. Sharma found out that Amit Shah likes homemade food. Homemade food was a distant dream for Shah as he lives alone in Delhi, so Sharma came to his rescue. He made it a point that whenever Shah was in Delhi, he used to bring home cooked food prepared in desi ghee every time. The old cliché says a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Shrikant did the same and finally got the ticket from Mathura.

 

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New CEO for Prasar Bharati

Prasar Bharati, it appears, has turned into a dumping ground of all those who cannot be rehabilitated anywhere else. Shashi Vempaty was involved in the 272+ campaign for Narendra Modi and that is what made him a part-time Member of the Prasar Bharati Board first. No one has seen him contributing an iota till date and the nosedive the Prasar Bharati Board witnessed since its new look takes away all hopes. One learns that his taking over as the new CEO has the stamp of Keshav Kunj that seals every other notion. A reason cited for Vempaty’s induction is the failure of the Chairman in creating a strong public broadcaster as desired by the Government.

Media professionals are now questioning the government’s commitment to Prasar Bharati. The present Chairman with his limited understanding of the medium was found wanting on many issues. The way he sunk DD Kisan and allegedly drained public funds calls for serious investigation. Questions have already been raised on his abilities for launching a new channel for the North East.  The entire Board led by the Chairman are responsible for experimenting with public money. Furthermore, both the outgoing CEO and the Chairman have conducted official tours on frivolous grounds wasting lakhs of rupees while at the same time refusing to pay annual honorarium to staff members who continue to perform in such directionless circumstances citing financial crunch. More recently, the Board carried the entire management to Hyderabad for a dance recital by ABU despite the financial crunch. No wonder, one hears of many RTIs getting prepared and fresh legal battles seeking a refund of all frivolous expenditure.

 

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