India Forum Archives
Monday, March 22, 2004
  Lok Sabha Polls 2004
Posted by: rhytha Mar 22 2004, 12:11 AM New Thread
Posted by: Mudy Mar 22 2004, 12:32 AM
muddur, As per Paki short time love affair is big hidden story wait for a while you will know. One side India Inc was pushing for peace but major reason is something else smile.gif I think Hindu vote will still go to BJP and lot of fence sitter will also go to BJP. I think Gujarat episode is main reason to be soft for this election as media will go full on bashing. At this moment media is clueless how to bash Hindus and its representative. VHP etc are working full time in lot of region. I am still expecting just before election media, opposition and international agency will comeup with some cook story wait and see. As per religious Hindu, Mandir is still issue and they know if we bring BJP in majority we can have it. Cong-I at this moment no one see as option and it is know as Xitian and muslim party anyway. I will let you know some info in couple of days, actual trend of Hindu voting. In UP higher caste will go to BJP. SP, COng & BSP & independent will split low caste and minority votes. This will give advantage to BJP/NDA. Cow belt is crucial. Bihar will be grab for any big goonda of town. It is open for money and guns. Punjab and Uttaranchal will go to NDA.
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Mar 22 2004, 02:10 AM
BJP will not build Ram Temple 1. Per Konrad Elst, BJP is not too keen on temple In 1989 election, VP.Singh foolishly promised site to Bukhari Then he wanted to wriggle out VP.Singh then requested Advani to start Rath Yatra 2. The mosque demolishers were mostly backward caste hindus These people mostly vote Mulayam Singh When Ashok Singhal tried to stop them, they pulled off his dhoti 3. They also thrashed RSS workers who tried to stop the demolishers 4. Per NS.Rajaram, a non-BJP former PM is keen on building temple, but he is afraid of muslim rioting The day hindu society learns to stand up to muslim rioters, that day, all temples will be liberated
Posted by: muddur Mar 22 2004, 06:59 AM
Now is that another typo error or what ? When did this Italian/Colombian Mafia person, Idol smuggler became the computer scientist ? How and where ???? NEW DELHI — Rahul Gandhi, son of assassinated former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, will stand in upcoming parliamentary elections, marking a new political generation from the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, a party leader said yesterday. Rahul Gandhi, a 34-year-old computer scientist who has spent most of his adult life abroad, will contest the Amethi seat which is currently held by his mother Sonia Gandhi, who heads the main opposition Congress party. Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, 57, will shift her seat to Rae Bareilly, another traditional seat of India’s most famous political family, senior Congress leader Ambica Soni told a news conference. Opinion polls have placed the 118-year-old Congress party behind the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run-up to the elections due in five phases beginning April 20. Congress leaders said no decision was yet taken on whether Rahul’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had been the de facto manager of the Amethi seat, would also contest the election. “We will make an announcement (about Priyanka) at an appropriate time,” Congress media secretary Tom Vadakkan said. Rahul Gandhi, a Harvard University graduated.gif who used to work for a computer firm in London, bears a striking resemblance to his father, who was slain by Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels in 1991. “It is not a surprise for us because dynasty politics is the main policy of the Congress party,” BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said. “The people have already rejected the dynasty and they will do it again,” he said. The Nehru-Gandhi family was on the forefront of India’s movement for independence from Britain and Rahul Gandhi’s great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, became the first prime minister in 1947. Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi became prime minister in 1966 and ruled with only a three-year break until 1984 when she was killed by her Sikh bodyguards at the height of a Sikh insurgency in Punjab state. “This is an interesting and expected move,” said independent political analyst Yashwant Deshmukh. “But it doesn’t look at the moment that this would help the Congress in a big way. Winning one or two seats will not help. It’s a bit too little and too late. “In fact, now the people’s expectations have been raised. They will have to live up to these expectations,” he said. Rahul’s entry into electoral politics is also being seen by obervers as an attempt by Sonia Gandhi to counter the BJP campaign over her foreign origin. The BJP says that Gandhi cannot become prime minister as she was not born in India. Both Priyanka and Rahul have been vigorously campaigning for the Congress and recently visited northern Uttar Pradesh state, where Amethi and Rae Bareilly are located, along with their mother. Meanwhile, popular Bollywood star Govinda, known for his earthy comic roles and scintillating dance numbers, yesterday joined the Congress party, indicating he may also contest the coming polls. — AFP
Posted by: Mudy Mar 22 2004, 07:11 AM
Complete lie, he is just 12th pass. Used to work for financial company owned by congress fianancier. He was studying in Boston community college but unable to get grades, later left studies and moved to London.
Posted by: muddur Mar 22 2004, 07:29 AM
Mudy, I guessed it to be so too... Because as I remember Varun Gandhi is the only G-raduate graduated.gif from that family. WHY does the congress party or the media keep telling lies to the Indians ???? If the family can keep lying about the very basic education they had received, HOW can the nation of 1 billion trust them ??? Why should we trust this family of liars or is it the media that is involved in giving wrong information about their background ?? Either way the family owns responsibility, since they are accountable to the public. liar.gif Flush.gif
Posted by: Hyagriva Mar 22 2004, 07:59 PM
Personally I think that the BJP Juggernaut is fast loosing stream and the Congress catching up. BJP is utterly failing to take advantage of numerous Congress weakness. Sonia's Foreign Origin should be laid to rest and her 15 year Italian citizenship on Indian soil must be the first issue. Secondly, her inexperience and thirdly, the dynastic entry of Rahul. The Foreign Origin must be recast in a different form - one that asks uncomfortable questions like: Would you allow Sonia (uneducated) to negotiate issues like Kashmir and Aksai Chin with Pakistan and CHina? Does Sonia understand India? She has lived an Italian life in N.Delhi amongst westernised people.. Does she understand what it is to be a Farmer? or Scion of a Middle Class Family? The BJP is focussing too much on India Shining. It must be yet more aggressive on Sonia and all her co-congressians. There is nothing 'personal' about Sonia that can be raised. The timing should be crucial. Just a few weeks to the Election, BJP should swing to full toss mode. Sonia must be made the last minute issue. A Huge hue and cry should be made out of a newly found 'Sonia Factor'. That will ensure BJP's second term!
Posted by: Mudy Mar 23 2004, 12:11 AM,001300740000.htm Press Trust of India On Board Special Bharat Uday Yatra Bus, March 22 Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on Monday admitted to some dilution of party ideology on its way to becoming a ruling party at the Centre and said acceptance of economic liberalisation by all parties has resulted in bridging the ideological divide between them. "A country as vast and pluralistic as India cannot be ruled only by an ideological party as the Jan Sangh. It has to be an aggregative party," he told a select group of reporters during his ongoing 8000 km-long Bharat Uday Yatra. "I propounded that either we limit our objectives as an ideological party and fight election in some states or corporations but if we aspire to become a ruling party in India, we cannot be limited as an ideological party," he said. On whether it had diluted BJP's ideology, Advani said, "It takes place. Otherwise don't think in terms of ruling the country and exist just as an organisation and propagate ideology. To rule India, we have to be inclusive". Leaving no opportunity to take pot shots at Congress, he said, "It is ironical that the Vidhan Sabha elections in the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh were fought on the issues of development and good governance, it was one of the Congress chief ministers who brought the issue of cow slaughter as their track record has been very bad". Stressing Kashi and Mathura temple disputes were not on the BJP's agenda, Advani said, "I have time and again said that only construction of Ram temple was on our party agenda and even Ayodhya issue will be solved after the elections". To a question, he said, "If I were to spell it out (the terms of talks to its negotiated settlement), it would have died long back". However, Advani said, "One reason why ideological gaps between parties have been bridged is that liberalisation has been accepted by all in the country. And we are discussing that the role of the state should be minimal". Asked if minimising the role of state limited its functions as a welfare state, he asserted "therefore we cannot have America in India". "When Janata Party was formed, I had said it can be a two-party system if it stabilised but both Janata Party and as well as Congress had to be aggregative parties". On reasons for the fall of Janata Party government formed after the Emergency, Advani said one reason was the clash of ambitions of the top leaders but the major reason was the fear after announcement of organisational elections in the party that it would be dominated by cadre-based Jan Sangh. Asked about his foremost achievements as Home Minister in the Vajpayee government, the Deputy Prime Minister said, "Strengthening of federalism and democracy in the country. We brought a series of laws related to electoral reforms along with ceiling on the size of council of ministers and anti-defection law besides sustained campaign to smoke out ISI modules in the country". Advani said, "When the NDA government was formed in 1998 and I was assured that it was going to last, I thought it was enough. Personally, I don't have anything more to achieve but after seeing the work in the last 5-6 years, I think India has come up and we can do it (make India a developed country). That gives me motivation to go on".
Posted by: Viren Mar 23 2004, 12:50 AM
Bihar CM does not pay for electricity mad.gif March 21, 2004 15:56 IST Chief Minister Rabri Devi's official residence is in danger of plunging into darkness with the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) serving a notice regarding outstanding dues of about Rs 1.25 crore. furious.gif BSEB, Member (finance) Afzal Amanullah sent a letter to the cabinet coordination committee on March 17 warning that the power connection to the CM's official residence at 1, Anne Marg and her residential office would be snapped if the chief minister did not clear the dues by March... thumbup.gif
Posted by: muddur Mar 23 2004, 01:51 AM
Personally I think that the BJP Juggernaut is fast loosing stream and the Congress catching up. I kind of had the same feeling as well... BJP and NDA need to regroup and counter the Congress weakness, ie, their failed 45 years of rule at Delhi, inexperience of the current crop of congress leadership, leaning on one dynasty to rule India, the dynastic affinity, and finally in the slog overs as you suggested, attack the Sonia's foreign origin in that order. Congress also knows that this is a do or die battle for them to survive in Delhi. If they loose now, they will have hard times ahead for their survival. The reason why the WHOLE family is OUT from their foreign huts to campaigning inside of India. Only an idiot would give up a free lunch (in the form of power) that they are getting from the congress party. But another SAD pathetic irony is that, we all Indians know the Mahatma Gandhi, who could not do the wrong even as a child, could not copy the spelling for the word 'kettle' from his master during the school inspection. That's what made him the Mahatma and that's what the 'Gandhi' stands for. But this current family of Gandhi's the congress is projecting to the Indians is a FAKE dynasty and a bunch of power hungry liars. If they can lie to the world about their basic education, claiming the Sonia to be the cambridge graduated.gif and the Rahul Gandhi as a computer scientist, they can lie and cheat anyone in this world. Where is the Mahatma Gandhi, who could not copy even from his master as a child, and where are these Gandhi's who lie about their education to the people of India ???? They are disgrace to that family, especially when they use 'Gandhi' as their last name. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif I can only equate them to liar.gif
Posted by: muddur Mar 23 2004, 06:59 AM
Someone should tell the Reuters that this current Congress party is not the same congress that fought for India's independence. This is the Congress (Indira) patry, which successfully fought, very hard, to split the original Congress party that fought to get independence in an attempt to GRAB power in NDelhi. Also the patry which can split Indian National Congress to grab power, has the capability and the wil to SPLIT India again. They are a bunch of pathetic politicians, a disgrace to Indian politics. REGION: Is India’s Congress withering away? NEW DELHI: It was once called the grand old party of Indian politics that fought for the country’s freedom from colonial rule. But as the world’s largest democracy heads for a general election, many say the only thing grand about the Congress party today is its decline. “From a two-thirds majority all through the Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi periods and four-fifths during Rajiv Gandhi’s time, they haven’t come into power on their own in recent years,” said political analyst Inder Malhotra. The numbers are telling. The venerable party that once dominated India’s political landscape won just 114 seats in the 545-member lower house in the 1999 election and it heads a government in just a handful of the country’s 29 states. If the present seems imperfect for the Congress, its future looks bleak. Some opinion polls have forecast the party will slip to 103 seats in this poll while the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which heads the ruling coalition, will grab 195 seats in the lower house. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has called the elections in April and May, nearly six months early, to capitalise on an economic boom, strong gains in state elections last December and a nascent peace process with Pakistan. “The Congress’ future is bleak if they come down to less than 114 seats and are out of power for the next five years, especially since they have already been out for so many years, said Malhotra. “There is little scope of a grand Congress revival.” From ‘catch-all’ to ‘catch-none’: That’s a long way for the Congress, which began its political journey in 1885 as essentially a party of upper-crust lawyers determined to overthrow the country’s British colonial rulers. Over the years, it grew into a political behemoth that galvanised millions under Mahatma Gandhi and his non-violent struggle to lead India to independence in 1947. Often compared to a spreading banyan tree because it offered shelter to all, Congress was in power most of the first 50 years after independence when it grew to embrace a broad spectrum of ideological, caste and regional groups. India’s oldest party suffered its first big blow in 1977 when it was thrown out of power after Indira Gandhi clamped emergency rule, but the Congress bounced back on a wave of sympathy after her assassination in 1984. However, it was only in 1996 that the party was dealt a really humiliating defeat after many of its leaders were tainted by corruption charges, and since then it has been torn by internal division and bogged down by introspection. From a “catch-all” party it became a “catch-none” party, wrote analysts Anthony Heath and Yogendra Yadav in an essay, “The United Colours of Congress”. The ground beneath the party’s feet began to shift in the 1990s with the rise of regional outfits based on caste allegiances and the growth of the Bharatiya Janata Party that rode to power on the back of a Hindu revivalist agenda, which included building a controversial Ram temple in Ayodhya. Some say the party lost its pro-poor image and came to be seen as a part of the rich after it decided to liberalise the economy in the early 1990s. “Congress suffered a huge setback in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, two large states where it was strong, because its rivals played the caste and religion cards,” Congress spokesman S Jaipal Reddy told Reuters. “And Congress did not take a strident stand on them.” Playing the dynasty card: Some analysts say another reason why the Congress is floundering for direction is its overdependence on the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which gave the country three prime ministers — Nehru, his daughter, Indira, and her son, Rajiv. The Congress, riven by dissension and cronyism, failed to develop a second rung of leaders, leaving it with no alternative but to push Rajiv’s politically inexperienced Italian-born widow, Sonia, to the head of the party. Sonia was propelled into politics after Rajiv’s assassination in 1991. She is the party’s frontrunner for the nation’s top job. Rumours also keep swirling within political circles about Sonia’s children, Priyanka and Rahul. “The dynasty factor has always been overplayed,” said Malhotra, who is also a biographer of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty. “What can Rahul and Priyanka do? They’re not Indira Gandhi — she too took four years to settle down. Besides, if youu’re in power, dynasty can work, but if you’re not in power, it will not.” Sonia is seen as no Indira either. She has been on the campaign trail for the past month, but analysts say Sonia is unlikely to lift the troubled party’s fortunes because she does not have mass support. The once reclusive widow, uncharitably called the “Sphinx” at one time, has been trying to shrug off her image of being inaccessible by adopting her mother-in-law’s signature style of mingling with the masses. But the going still won’t be easy. She has been under bitter attack, particularly from the BJP, for her Italian birth. Sonia dismisses all criticism about her “foreignness” and insists she is Indian. She often speaks in Hindi, heavily accented but grammatically correct, and always wears traditional saris or salwar-kurtas. Not everybody is ready to write Congress off just yet. “The Congress is a survivor. In its long history, it has drawn many obituaries; somehow it remains standing,” Sunil Khilnani, a political scientist, was quoted as saying in Outlook magazine. “It has endured a wide range of leadership styles: that’s an index of how deeply rooted in the political landscape it is.” —Reuters
Posted by: muddur Mar 23 2004, 02:22 PM
Is there any truth in this ???? or more lies ???? Rahul is a highly educated person, a business graduated.gif, (MBA) from Harwad University, one of the prestigious universiteis in the world.
Posted by: k.ram Mar 23 2004, 07:19 PM
Congress: reservations for muslims. Equality/fairness, does not apply to hindus I guess in Congress's book. "On social reforms, the party promises reservation for Muslims who are ``socially and educationally backward'' and reservation for economically backward."
Posted by: Harshavardhan Mar 23 2004, 08:15 PM
Is there a good independant website (outside the bbc) that's monitoring the elections? was good, but it looks like it hasn't been updated in 4 years is no longer there...
Posted by: Mudy Mar 24 2004, 02:57 AM
No good site yet, Lets make India Forum to take lead and fill vaccum.'Like~Nehru,~Atal~is~natural~PM' Sanjay Singh / Dholpur It just could not get more bitter for the Congress Party. On Tuesday, launching a frontal attack on his party's principal political adversary, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani said: "The Congress has conveniently forgotten that it was the Indian National Congress. It did not have the word 'India' when Congress (I-Indira) was formed. The BJP seems to be considering the party "Indian National" only until the era of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru lasted. As his Bharat Uday Yatra rolled on, Mr Advani also made a sharp attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi without taking her name. Said he: "To be a leader of the country, you must know India. In Mr Advani's speeches over the past two days, his party's concept of suraaj had been replaced by Ram Rajya, as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi. It, however, comes with a mix now - Ayodhya me Ram Mandir and Desh me Ram Rajya.. Confidence building statements for the minorities have followed too. This rhetoric became sharper as the yatra entered Uttar Pradesh from Rajasthan near Agra with party leader Kalyan Singh joining Mr Advani for a better part of the day in rallies held at Mathura, Aligarh, Khurja and Ghaziabad. The audience, too, responded enthusiastically. Mr Advani has consistently described Jawaharlal Nehru as a great patriot and he put Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the same pedestal. Calling them "natural" Prime Ministers, he said Mr Vajpayee's appeal cuts across regions and religion. He added that the Congress was already in a defeat mode. The Congress, he said, has no answer to Mr Vajpayee. "The party's attempt to challenge him lacks credibility. If there is one single reason why the Congress could assume power in 1999 when the Vajpayee Government fell short by one vote was because of its leader. Everyone knows the name. She was not accepted as the leader by the Opposition then and would never be accepted by the country. No wonder, the Congress is keeping the leadership issue under wraps." Contrasting Mr Vajpayee with Ms Gandhi, Mr Advani said: "Mr Vajpayee is both a consensus builder and a leader. His stature stems from his abiding nationalism and deep understanding of India. He is able to harmonise different strands in the Indian society and provide stability through a coalition Government. For Ms Gandhi, coalition is a temporary phenomenon. This reflects her total arrogance and belief that only they could rule. To be a leader, one will have to know India and the different facets of the Indian society and polity, and that is lacking on the part of Congress's leadership. The Congress has conveniently forgotten that it is 'Indian' National Congress." The BJP's stress is on broadbasing the party's social constituency to include Muslims. Their actual number is not too important for the party at this stage. At Aligarh, which has a sizeable Muslim population, Mr Advani said: "Why did Muslims lag behind in education during all these years? The community should be cautious of vote bank peddlers. The community has now opened a dialogue and their aspirations would be kept in mind."
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Mar 24 2004, 04:59 AM
QUOTE (Harshavardhan @ Mar 23 2004, 08:15 PM)
Is there a good independant website (outside the bbc) that's monitoring the elections? was good, but it looks like it hasn't been updated in 4 years is no longer there...
This is a pretty good site.
Posted by: muddur Mar 24 2004, 06:42 AM
I had already predicted in the previous thread that Priyanka will contest from Bellary ... well atleast now it seems to be so ...
Posted by: k.ram Mar 24 2004, 09:25 AM
Agnivesh to contest against Vajpayee March 23, 2004 21:49 IST Swami Agnivesh on Tuesday said he would contest the Lok Sabha election from Lucknow against Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He said liberal credentials of Vajpayee had taken a knock after Gujarat riots. "My main objective is that Vajpayee should be defeated," he said. Agnivesh said he was trying to garner support from opposition parties for his candidature. "I recently met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and I have got a positive response," he said, adding he was making efforts to contact Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party leaders. "If I feel there is someone who is more likely to defeat Vajpayee, I will withdraw my candidature and even campaign for him or her," he added. Agnivesh said he would reach Lucknow on Wednesday to gauge the people's mood. He said he had considered Vajpayee a 'liberal', but his 'real face' came to light after the Gujarat pogrom, as he 'did not condemn the violence'. Asked about BJP raking up the issue of Gandhi's foreign origin, Agnivesh said, "As leader of the opposition, she is already a shadow prime minister and so there is no difficulty in her becoming the prime minister." He said the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya was not an issue at all in a country plagued by poverty and unemployment.
Posted by: Viren Mar 24 2004, 08:54 PM tongue.gif
Posted by: Viren Mar 24 2004, 09:01 PM
Posted by: Mudy Mar 24 2004, 11:17 PM,001300740000.htm Indo-Asian News Service Amroha (Uttar Pradesh), March 24 Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday raked up a 1987 kickbacks scandal while accusing the main opposition Congress party of hampering India's progress due to its corrupt ways. Raising the Bofors scandal in which Congress president Sonia Gandhi's late husband, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, has been absolved of charges, Vajpayee boasted that his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had always cracked down on corruption. "If anyone in our party is found indulging in corruption, he is expelled. What about others?" Vajpayee asked without naming the Congress. He was addressing a campaign rally in this Uttar Pradesh town, 130 km from New Delhi. Vajpayee noted that it was corruption and not lack of resources that had adversely affected the country's development and its march to progress. "There is no scarcity of resources in our country but these are not used properly from the (village) level to parliament as corruption is the main hurdle," he said. Vajpayee attacked the Congress for not taking action against those involved in the Bofors scandal of high-level corruption and bribery running into millions of rupees in the purchase of guns. "The case is still continuing," he pointed out. The prime minister also held the Congress responsible for failing to build roads and tackle the recurring problem of floods and drought. "They did not even take up the construction of roads or even small developmental projects", said Vajpayee, crowing about his own government's achievements in the past five years.
Posted by: Mudy Mar 25 2004, 12:27 AM
'Vote for us because we are stepping into our father's shoes' March 24, 2004 At our prestigious management schools -- yes, including the very ones that Human Resources Development Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi is threatening, but more on that another time -- students have a set of parameters when judging which company to join: its size, the kind of job, the remuneration, for example. There is one more key criterion: the ability to rise from within the ranks. And it is for this reason that many of the best students never join firms that are seen as family establishments, where no matter how good you are, no matter how brilliant, the top job can only belong to a member of the family. Thus, the best usually join foreign firms or Indian giants such as HLL (a company that has become the byword for professionalism). Yes, the Tatas and Reliance do draw some of the best students but that is because the company is large enough to let the best flourish even if the very top job -- of chairman -- is within the family. And those who do join family-run firms, who see their chances of rising through the ranks stymied, invariably quit after picking up some experience or making some money. After all, why put in effort so that someone else will shine and garner the rewards? Every human being has within him the desire to rise in whatever field he has chosen. Dr Abraham Maslow terms this desire 'self-actualisation', and explains it as 'man's desire for fulfillment, namely the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming.' Politics is no different. India's political parties, especially the bigger ones, have thousands of members and supporters. Every year thousands join them while those who are already part of the party, aspire to do better; rise within the ranks, and at some stage become a legislator, parliamentarian, or a senior party functionary. To achieve these goals, these dreams, they work extremely hard, supporting policies and programmes with their sweat and blood. In doing so, they often forego or sacrifice careers in the outside world. True, not every member – rich or poor, high or low – can become a top leader or a legislator or parliamentarian. But every member likes to believe that he has a chance at succeeding, and if at all he should not win a nomination, there would be some rational, justifiable reason for it. And this is where we come across a major problem. Of India's two main parties, one, the Congress, has little room for such aspiration. Today a talented, hardworking person could be stuck in the Congress for years without ever getting a shoo-in as a candidate for parliament or an assembly seat. Because in this party, the only persons who can aspire to a Lok Sabha ticket, or even from an assembly constituency, or be designated to a senior post within the party, are those who have a father, mother or at least an uncle in it. That is the primary, perhaps only, requirement to flourish in the party: a relative. Thus Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, and Milind Deora get the seats their respective fathers held, no questions asked. Having once met Sachin Pilot, I can vouchsafe that he comes across as a bright, intelligent and capable person; but the only reason he got the nomination is clearly because he is Rajesh Pilot's son. This insults both Sachin and his late father. And what about Milind Deora from south Mumbai? It is inconceivable that this posh locality had no other contender to match Milind on all parameters but one: paternity. What was the method by which Sachin, Milind or Rahul were nominated to their seats over other aspirants? Have constituencies become fiefdoms, held by individual families and passed down the generations? Were there no other candidates among the hundreds who have slogged over the years in the Congress but are forever condemned to be just workers, petty officials, or mere advisors? The Congress is fast becoming a party of family members, for family members, by family members! And if that is the case, why on earth should anyone vote for it or even work for it? Why should a worker who doesn't have a relative in the Congress stay on in that party? Why should he give off his best effort for the party's success when he knows the fruits of his efforts will always belong to someone else; that no matter how hard he works he has very little chance of ever fighting an election, and no opportunity at all for his self-actualization. Lower morale and enthusiasm will translate into less work during campaigning, which is the time when the Congress has to actually work harder. In stark contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party has thus far not been smitten by the dynasty bug (one hopes it never does). It selects candidates based on parameters of success, not inheritance. But more important, any middle-level official in the party knows he stands a chance of winning a nomination, if not now then the next time. With such hope burning eternal in his breast, a member will work that much harder for the party's success, because he knows the next time round his colleagues might well be working for his electoral success. Look at the contrast: the Congress president is president only because of her family connections; the BJP president comes from a humble family. What is the message being sent out? You don't have to be a management graduated.gif to know that workers are much more enthusiastic when they can dream of stepping into the master's shoes, or that greater enthusiasm produces better results. Moreover, India's youth today are disdainful of feudalism and all that goes with it, including this jagirdari system of sons (or daughters) succeeding fathers (or mothers). The message the Congress sends out is that its newest ideology is not socialism or liberalism but nepotism. The appeal screams: 'Vote for us because we are stepping into our father's shoes.' Can this message win elections?
Posted by: Mudy Mar 25 2004, 04:17 AM,001300740000.htm New Delhi, March 24 A survey conducted by the BJP shows an overwhelming 82 per cent of voters appreciate the party's development plank. The remaining 18 per cent want Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin and the temple issue to be taken up during election campaign. Disclosing this, BJP chief Venkaiah Naidu said the party's campaign was proceeding in the right direction. Asserting that the BJP forced the Congress to speak about development, he said: "They have come on our turf. We will be able to clean bowl them on the development wicket." He said the BJP would release its 'vision document' ahead of its 'carpet bombing' campaign beginning April 6. The NDA's agenda of governance, which is the coalition's manifesto, will also be released. George Fernandes, Jaswant Singh and Arun Jaitley have been asked to work on the coalition document. All allies will be "taken into confidence" before the PM releases the manifesto, he said. Meanwhile, the party's election panel will meet on March 27 to finalise names for the remaining LS seats.
Posted by: k.ram Mar 25 2004, 07:13 AM
From: Lok@, To: "Lok Satta" , Subject: Candidate Disclosures Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 17:16:36 Dear Friends, The country is in the midst of a general election. Given the excitement surrounding any election in India, most of the public attention is focused on who is going to win or lose. We at Lok Satta, for long have been saying that it doesn’t matter who win and governs us as long as they govern well. And as such our focus has always been on the electoral process itself and larger substantive issues of political and governance reforms. To capitalize on the focused public attention during election eve, Lok Satta launched a campaign – “AP Election Watch 2004”. The focus of the campaign is to mobilize public opinion in favour of democratic and electoral reforms and to promote better and citizen-centered democracy. One of the major activities of the campaign is the screening of prospective candidates for criminal/corrupt antecedents. During our earlier Election Watch campaign in 1999, we released a list of candidates with criminal antecedents after the nomination phase and left it to the judgment of the voters to decide whom to vote. This campaign certainly stopped nomination of new candidates with criminal record for elective office by major political parties. But established politicians with criminal antecedents continued. We realized that given the polarization of our society, very often the voter’s choice is influenced by caste, communal and other factors. Therefore this time around Lok Satta decided to make public the names of prospective candidates with criminal/corrupt antecedents ahead of the nomination phase, there by putting pressure on the parties not to field them. Lok Satta gave wide publicity to its campaign against criminal elements in politics and sought the assistance of the public and parties to ensure that such candidates are not fielded. Advertisements were broadcast on television and radio, and a Post Box No. 100 was set up to receive information. After a 3 month long campaign, Lok Satta came out with a list of 51 prospective candidates with criminal antecedents. The details of the process adopted are outlined in detail in the attached press note. The list of candidates with criminal/corrupt antecedents can be accessed at As expected there was a huge uproar in the state. While the public is very supportive, some of the candidates whose electoral and political prospects are affected are angry with us. But the facts speak for themselves and they couldn’t counter the evidence presented by us. There cannot be perfection in any such screening process; and we can only adopt objective, reasonable and verifiable standards, and apply them in a non-partisan and uniform manner. As part of Election Watch campaign, Lok Satta also undertook a survey to gauge public opinion on criminalization, election expenditure and other related issues. The overwhelming majority of the approximately 216,000 people who participated in the survey/people’s ballot indicated their preference towards clean candidates. The results of the survey can be accessed at . As you are all aware, thanks to the Supreme Court judgment of March 2003, all candidates contesting in the current election have to file an affidavit disclosing their criminal, educational and financial antecedents. The Election Commission ordered that the affidavits filed by the candidates be widely disseminated. We felt that there is a pressing need to collect, compile and preserve all such information on candidates from across the country in a single place, so that they can be easily accessed at the click of a mouse. To facilitate this effort, Lok Satta created a website Once this round of elections is concluded, the candidate information will be catalogued and preserved on the site for future reference. This will help the civil society groups to mobilize public opinion and research bodies to study the data and verify trends as well as accuracy of information on a long-term basis. We request our friends and civil society partners from across the country to collect all the candidate affidavits and convert them into easily understandable format (refer for a suggested format) and send it across to us. As the affidavits from across the country keep coming in, we will try to update them on a 24-hour basis. Lok Satta will undertake the maintenance and upkeep of the site. We have identified nodal groups in many key states and are actively working with them to collect the candidate affidavits. We are looking for partners in the states of Bihar, Jarkhand, MP, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Assam, J & K and the whole of Northeast. If there are any interested organizations or nodal groups interested in working with us in this states, we will be grateful if they could contact us. Jayaprakash Narayan National Coordinator Lok Satta 401 Nirmal Towers, Dwarakapuri Colony Punjagutta, Hyderabad - 500 082 Tel: 91 40 23350778 / 23350790 Fax: 91 40 23350783 Email: url:
Posted by: k.ram Mar 25 2004, 09:42 AM
frusty.gif blink.gif Nothing wrong with dynastic politics Delhi Diary by S Viswam When Chowdari Devi Lal, the Tau of Haryana, began promoting the political fortunes of his son Om Prakash Chautala, he was accused of playing dynastic politics. Questioned about such criticism at a press conference, Devi Lal turned to the reporter who had raised the issue and asked him: “Who should I help if not my own son? Your son?” Devi Lal himself joined in the ensuing laughter and the question was not pursued. However, dynastic politics has always been a controversial issue in democratic India. Not so strangely those who criticise the phenomenon are not averse to resorting to it themselves or condoning it when it suits them. Of course, dynastic politics is not to be encouraged or condoned in a true democracy, and there can be no two arguments about it. Membership of an illustrious family cannot be an automatic entitlement to acquisition or conferment of political power, nor can a single family hold a monopoly over power as a matter of inherited right. At the same time, the kind of hypocrisy which prevails among Indian politicians on this issue is equally condemnable. Arun Jaitley was being less than fair in criticising the nomination of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress candidate in Amethi. “The Congress,” he said, “determines its leadership on the basis of a relationship that an individual has to a family.” The Congress is not the only party which has promoted the dynastic factor in the past and is even now exploiting it. The BJP has chinks in its armour in this regard, and so have a few other parties. It has, to quote Jaitley, determined the leadership in Rajasthan on the basis of the relationship Vasundhara Raje has to a royal family. The BJP saw nothing wrong in associating with leaders who have played dynastic politics and/or with beneficiaries of dynastic politics. The BJP has not shunned dynastic politics in the past nor those who believe in such politics. It worked hand in hand in the NDA with Karunanidhi who has promoted his son Stalin as his successor, with Navin Patnaik, son of Biju Patnaik in Orissa, Omar Abdullah, son of Farooq Abdullah in J&K, and with Chautala himself in Haryana. If the BJP wants to draw political benefits by exploiting Varun Gandhi’s dynastic legacy, there can be nothing sinister in the Congress wanting to press into service another segment of the next generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family. It is time that all parties admit honestly that political dynasties are now acceptable participants in Indian politics. A pointer to this is Laloo Prasad Yadav’s statement welcoming Rahul’s candidature and urging the Congress to field Priyanka against Vajpayee in Lucknow. Rahul Gandhi’s entry into politics raises more relevant and interesting questions other than that of the perpetuation of dynastic politics. One such question can be the desirability of a major national political party fielding candidates with no political experience for a career in the Parliament. Priyanka can be said to have already stepped into politics a few years ago by campaigning for her mother in Amethi and nursing that constituency on her behalf. Unlike her, Rahul Gandhi is a late entrant in politics, and like his father Rajiv he is also a reluctant politician.The UP electorate has been led to believe till now that Rahul was not keen on politics. In view of this, the party’s decision to field him or his own decision to contest will definitely be interpreted as a sign of nervousness if not desperation in the Congress, which is now forced to fight on its own without allies in UP. It is not without significance that Rahul Gandhi decided (or was persuaded) to contest from Amethi only after both Mayawati and Mulayam Singh distanced themselves from an alliance with the Congress. Although both Mulayam and Sonia Gandhi maintain that there is still a chance of a Congress-SP alliance, the latest statements by Amar Singh ought to end further speculation in this regard. The Congress has to fight alone and hence every seat in UP has a value of its own for the party. The Congress is thus banking on the certainty of Rahul Gandhi’s victory from Amethi. It is possible that Priyanka’s candidature for a Lok Sabha seat from a constituency in the south is anno-unced by the time these lines are in print. Even otherwise, the Congress appears to have decided to use her talents and popularity as an active campaigner for the party. The nomination of Rahul Gandhi for the Amethi seat is also a signal that the Congress is willing to use all its assets to counter the setback caused to its prospects in UP by the refusal of both the BSP and SP to forge an alliance with it. Till the last, the party seemed reluctant or unwilling to use its trump cards--Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka--hoping against hope that an alliance with either the BSP or the SP would come through. When that hope collapsed, it had to exercise the last option available to it. It is reasonable to expect that Amethi and Rae Bareilly, the two Congress strongholds, will definitely return Rahul Gandhi and his mother respectively from these two seats. But will Rahul’s nomination have the electrifying effect of impacting beneficially on the Congress prospects in other UP constituencies and the rest of the country? Given that there is to be a four-way contest in the State, this is a difficult question to answer as far as UP is concerned. In the rest of the country, looking at the pre-election scene from Delhi, the Congress is not all that hopelessly placed, if the findings of a couple of public opinion surveys are an indicator. Though the BJP has managed to wrest the propaganda advantage from the Congress by investing heavily in the popular appeal of Atal Behari Vajpayee and the India Shining campaign, nothing has happened in the last few weeks to tilt the scales further in its favour. The Feel-Good and India Shining campaigns have already lost steam, and the anticipated groundswell in favour of the BJP from Advani’s yatra has not occurred. In the four Southern States, the BJP’s influence (or lack of it) remains unchanged with no recent gains for its political image or clout, and the Advani chariot failed to enlist more voters for the BJP although the yatra received a fair to impressive media coverage. The BJP’s boast of a significant accretion in its popularity in Karnataka is not based on ground realities. The real strength of the Congress lies in the interior rural Karnataka where the BJP’s penetration is negligible and where the various Janata groups have put in hard work in the last few years. The BJP’s presence in Karnataka is in urban areas, and here too the party’s chances may be better in the assembly polls than in the Lok Sabha constituencies. In Andhra Pradesh, the Congress prospects have recei-ved a definite boost in the wake of the alliance with the TRS, and Chandrababu Naidu may have to concede more seats to the alliance both in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha rounds. In Tamil Nadu, the DMK-led alliance is poised to mount a more formidable challenge to Jayalalithaa than in 1999, with Karunanidhi (DMK), Vaiko (MDMK), and Ramdoss (PMK), all erstwhile NDA constituents on an anti-NDA warpath this time. In Kerala, the Karunakaran-Antony war of attrition has ended, and Karunakaran has been won over. The Congress is bound to benefit from the new developments in each of the southern States, as also in Maharashtra where the NCP-Congress alliance has finally got its act together after the initial wranglings. It is also noteworthy that the BJP no more sounds as confident of annexing 300 seats in the Lok Sabha as it was a month ago. With the launch of the campaign, we will be entering the most interesting phase of the elections.
Posted by: Rudra Singha Mar 25 2004, 10:28 AM
is there any chance Rahul is going to marry Juanita ? what is her background ?
Posted by: Mudy Mar 25 2004, 11:25 AM
Junita is connected to Columbian Drug cartel family, now lives in London,Surrey county. Education- ofcourse not graduated.gif.
Posted by: Mudy Mar 25 2004, 10:01 PM,000900010004.htm Press Trust of India New Delhi, March 25 Angered over Samajwadi Party's failure to tie-up with it in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on Thursday gave clear hints of withdrawal of support to Mulayam Singh Yadav Government. "Samajwadi Party has neither taken any initiative nor any step so far which shows that it is with the secular parties. If it continues in its course, we will have no option but to do what is necessary," party spokesman Kapil Sibal told reporters here. To a specific question whether Congress would withdraw its support to the Samajwadi Party Government, Sibal said "You all know what we can do. We will take the right step at the right time."
Posted by: Mudy Mar 25 2004, 10:02 PM,001300740000.htm Press Trust of India New Delhi, March 25 The BJP's proposed 'Vision Document' would include controversial issues like Ayodhya, Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code, while focussing on population control measures, sources said in New Delhi on Thursday. The document, to be released by party president M Venkaiah Naidu before April 6, was discussed at a high-level meeting of party leaders here on Thursday, which was attended among others by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Arun Shourie and Rajnath Singh besides party leaders Sanjay Joshi, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Bal Apte and Pramod Mahajan. The sources said the document would stress on resolving the vexed Ayodhya issue through dialogue besides initiating a country-wide debate on population control with emphasis on the two-child norm. The party did not come out with any manifesto in the last elections and the Vision Document was aimed at "removing any confusion" among the cadres and supporters about BJP's commitment to core ideological issues, they said. Top RSS leaders had met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other BJP leaders few months back and insisted on the BJP including in its agenda and manifesto core 'Hindutva' issues including Uniform Civil Code, abrogation of Article 370 and a constitutional ban on cow slaughter. However, the focus of the document would be on development, stability and good governance, the sources said.
Posted by: acharya Mar 25 2004, 11:26 PM
Check this The Hindu report - 'Denying me ticket would send wrong message': Laxman AT th end it has a link to a year 200 news report. BJP natural ally of Dalits, says Laxman
Posted by: muddur Mar 26 2004, 01:06 AM
If you compare post independence and pre Independence politics in India, I have to agree here with Advani ... Current BJP = Pre independence Indian national Congress Current Congress I = Pre independence Muslim league. Will the current muslim league split India again ??? Only time can tell... but they are at it ... Advani Equates Congress With Pre-Independence Muslim League Chandigarh, Mar. 25 (NNN): Deputy Prime Minister Lalkishenchand Advani on Thursday bluntly equated the Congress party with pre-Independence Muslim League for treating the minority community as a vote bank for the past half-a-century and inculcating hatred among them towards “nationalist outfits” in the country. The Deputy Prime Minister, who ended the first phase of his 33-day, 8,000-kilometres “ Bahart Uday Yatra” (India shining Campaign), alleged: he said, "the Muslims of India have been exposed to a sustained campaign of hate against the Jan Sangh and the BJP. Our political opponents have painted us as anti-Muslim in the very same way as the Muslim League depicted Congress prior to 1947.” The Deputy Prime Minister added: “Muslim League did this as their aim was creation of Pakistan, but the Congress attempt for arousing fear in the minds of India's Muslim minority was to perpetuate its hate politics.” Accusing the party of "scare-mongering," he said, "Since 1947, the Congress has viewed the Muslim community as a block vote and developed a vested interest in keeping them backward, frightened and aloof." "It (Congress) has encountered the most regressive forces in Muslim society and prevented the community from sharing the benefits of economic development," he said. "Our political opponents have painted us as anti-minority. But a greater willingness of the Muslim community to engage with the BJP, stems from our six year record in the government," he held. Continuing his attack on Congress The Deputy Prime Minister accused it of being anti-women and said it was, along with Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), an accomplice in the notorious attempt to statutorily disinherit women in Jammu and Kashmir for marrying a non-state subject. "I find the Congress policy towards the Muslim community to be manipulative and distasteful," he added. "A greater willingness of the Muslim community to engage with the BJP stem from our six year record in the government," he said adding the community wants both security and a share in the development of the country. "In making India a developed economy and a global power by 2020, Indian Muslims have a major role to play. I believe the NDA under Vajpayee can be the facilitator of this process", he said. Describing as a 'significant' development the appeal of religious leaders from Deoband to their Muslim brethren on Id-ul Addha (Bakri Id) this year, to prevent cow slaughter, Advani said the Mahamaham in Kumbhakonam witnessed a spectacular degree of Muslim involvement. Meanwhile, Advani will leave for Ludhiana today as part of his Bahart Uday Yatra. He will be going to Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur in Punjab as part of his pre-poll campaign. Meanwhile, complementing the Indian team for its victory in Lahore, Advani said the ongoing cricket series was a step in restoring normal relations between the two countries. "The tour of Pakistan has generated tremendous interest in the subcontinent. It is a small but important step in restoring normal relations between India and Pakistan," he told reporters. "After hearing the news at the rally, where people distributed sweets and burst crackers to celebrate India's victory over Pakistan, I later spoke to BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmia and captain Sourav Ganguly and congratulated them on the famous victory," Advani said. Referring to the joint statement by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf in January this year, Advani said "it has established a framework for meaningful dialogue between the two countries." "The public announcement by Musharraf that he would not allow any part of Pakistan to be used to wage terrorist attacks on India was a good step," Advani said. This, he said, will have a tremendous bearing on both peace in Jammu and Kashmir and on Hindu-Muslim relations in the country. Advani had arrive in Chandigarh on Wednesday evening, where his rally was held in the presence of gigantic screens airing the Indo-Pak cricket match.
Posted by: Mudy Mar 27 2004, 01:38 AM
NDA to get around 300 seats: Opinion poll New Delhi, March 27. (PTI): The BJP-led NDA is expected to get a majority in the coming Lok Sabha elections, bagging around 287 to 307 seats against the Congress-led alliance which is expected to secure around 143 to 163 seats, according to an opinion poll conducted for NDTV and Indian Express by A C Nielson. The survey, claimed to be the largest ever opinion poll, covered a sample of 45,000 people in 207 constituencies, 80 per cent of them in rural areas. Showing a complete sweep for BJP in the western region, the survey gave the saffron party a total of 190 to 210 seats in the country and Congress 95 to 105 seats with others accounting for 90 to 100 seats.
New opinion poll is out but some assesment based on some info. Visible trend based on caste in majority cases where caste based voting will take place. Most of them belong to cow belt region and some constituencies in North and South Brahmin – BJP in North India, South some may opt for regional party. Kshytriya – BJP in north India, Punjab split between Ahkali and Cong-I. Baniya – BJP in North India, South India ??? Yadav, Bagahel – SP in cow belt and NDA Jadav, Kumri, chamar- BSP in cow belt, Delhi –Cong-I Muslim- split between BSP, SP, NDA, Cong-I and independent. Urban below <30 BJP/NDA Urban above <50>
Posted by: Gargi Mar 27 2004, 02:21 AM
While most of the BJP’s allies are likely to hold their positions, the biggest setback to the alliance is likely to come from Tamil Nadu. Jayalalithaa, the leader of the alliance, is unpopular in Tamil Nadu.
I was under impression that Jaya will do okay in coming election. Anyone from Tamil Naidu can shed some light. DMK coming back to power plus Sri Lanka problem will not be good for India at this moment.
Posted by: rhytha Mar 27 2004, 11:39 AM
DMK is not that strong now. AIADMK, is not popular but plp feel they are better than DMK, JJ's strong arm tatcs towards all strikes and her no-nonsense apporach to law and order are her advantages, but not able to bring cauvery water and nothing to show in economy of TN is her dis-advantage. DMK again is jumping this side and that side making ass of itself.
Posted by: Peregrine Mar 27 2004, 02:43 PM india.gif BOMBAY: Thousands of Muslims in India's financial hub Bombay pledged that they would vote for hardline Hindu political parties in the upcoming national elections. The city's Muslims said they were disenchanted with the secular Congress party, which they have traditionally voted for, blaming the party for the community's slow development and low education levels. Instead they unanimously decided at south Bombay's sacred Haj House to vote for Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally, the hardline Shiv Sena. The Shiv Sena has a reputation for being anti-Muslim, while the BJP was accused of turning a blind eye during the 2002 Hindu-Muslim riots in the western state of Gujarat in which 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. Cheers cheers.gif
Posted by: Mudy Mar 28 2004, 07:49 AM,001300740000.htm Pankaj Vohra March 27 In the forthcoming elections, another generation of leaders will rise to face their destiny in the political battlefield where their fathers and mothers rose to fame. A look at generation next on the poll landscape, the young people who will probably lead India in the years to come. The quiet, enigmatic Rahul is contesting from Amethi, and seems set to don the political mantle of his father Rajiv Gandhi Rahul Gandhi: Congress Age: 33 years Studied: Economics no degree biggrin.gif It's been one of the most-awaited, most-speculated political launches ever in India. Finally, after months and years of breathless suspense —and eager expectation — the next generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family is ready to don the mantle of leadership. Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi’s son is in the poll fray. All eyes were on Priyanka. The charismatic young lady, who bears a striking resemblance to her grandmother, Indira Gandhi, was expected to contest from Amethi. Instead, it's the enigmatic Rahul who's contesting. The decision took even party men by surprise. Rahul is known for his reticence. Friends describe him as “Quiet, unassuming and well-read”. His feelings and views are very rarely expressed in public. This trait was recently captured in a photo: After India's victory against Pakistan in the first one-dayer in Karachi, as sister Priyanka and Union Commerce Minister Arun Jaitley leaped up in joy and threw their hands in the air, Rahul stood by with a smile on his face, calmly clapping. He retains that calm in moments of distress as well. When a car door hit Priyanka's little daughter at Amausi airport in Lucknow, Rahul rushed to help his niece and cheer her up without blinking an eyelid. He did not lose his cool. Instead he politely asked those in the vehicle (security personnel) to be more cautious in the future. Family friends say these are traits he's inherited from his grandmother. They also vouch for his understanding of people and situations. His liking for the calm extends to food as well. Sources close to the family say Rahul likes simple food with little spices. “He gulps down a full cola bottle in one go, like his father,” says a party functionary. His hobbies include swimming, chess, shooting, and reading. He likes biographies and books on international relations, history and psychology, among others. And yet, Rahul wasn’t always so quiet. As a child, he was full of pranks, say people in Amethi who remember the bespectacled child who toured the constituency with his father in 1984. The young leader is technology friendly, like his father. On his Amethi visits in the recent years Rahul has been carrying a laptop fed with all the basis statistics and other statistics about the constituency. Rahul's decision to enter active politics is being welcomed by Congressmen. Most of them are enthused because they regard him as someone who can express himself freely before his mother. He could thus be a channel for accurate feedback, which may have been eluding her. (With Umesh Raguvanshi in Amethi) ************************* Jyotiraditya Scindia: Congress Age: 33 years MBA Although he joined politics in tragic circumstances following the death of his father, Madhavrao Scindia, in an air crash in September 2001, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the 33-year-old MP from Guna, has come into his own. The Harvard and Stanford-educated Jyotiraditya has politics in his blood — his grandmother Vijayaraje was a leading light of the Jana Sangh and helped promote the BJP nationally, and his aunt, Vasundhara Raje is chief minister of Rajasthan. It was inevitable that he too would follow his father in Parliament. Having just returned from doing an MBA from Stanford University, he had, however, planned on working in the corporate sector for a few years before taking the plunge. Fate decreed otherwise. Almost immediately after the mourning period he was in the hurly burly of fighting his first election. Manvendra Singh: BJP Age: 39 years MA in history Colleagues remember Manvendra Singh, son of Jaswant Singh, driving to work in a Jonga jeep when he was defence correspondent with the Indian Express. This man of military bearing also joined and left the Territorial Army a few times. The last time anyone saw him in military gear was during the Kargil war, when he joined a liaison cell of the MI Directorate. Fifteen days after resigning from the army, he chose a difficult constituency in his first attempt at a Lok Sabha seat: Barmer-Jaisalmer, a constituency that has not returned a BJP candidate to the Lok Sabha since Independence. He lost. Probably wiser from the experience, Manvendra has been virtually camping in his constituency for the past year. What would he do if made PM for a day? "My focus will be on water, health and women's issues”. Sandeep Dikshit: Congress Age: 31 years Masters in rural mgmt Sandeep Dikshit still remembers the day that he had given his mother, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, a fright by telling her that he wanted to do professional theatre. He ended up studying rural management at the Institute for Rural Management at Anand, IRMA. Now an acknowledged expert in Human Development Indexing, Sandeep has been in demand with several state governments to assess growth areas. So far, he has kept a low media profile."I was a victim of my work. I enjoyed it so much that I did not think of any other life. I have seen the glamour and toil of politics from very close.”, he says. What would he do if he were PM for a day? “One, I would do something to bring an element of more transparency and accountability in the bureaucracy. And two, I’d bring about legislation to ensure appropriate reallocation of functions, functionaries and funds”. Dushyant Singh: BJP Age: 30 years MBA in Hotel Admin Call him a political greenhorn, if you will. But Dushyant Singh, only son of Vasundhara Raje and ex-Jat King Hemendra Kumar Singh, has all the right links. His wife Niharika is the daughter of the ruler of the only ‘Gujar’ state in India. Jats and Gujars are known to be fiercely loyal. Until a few days ago, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was tentative about proposals to field Dushyant. Now he is the official Lok Sabha nominee from Jhalawar. Born on 9/11 in 1973 at Mumbai, Dushyant grew up at Dholpur, Delhi and Gwalior. He graduated.gifd in History from St Stephen’s before moving to the US for an MBA in Hotel Administration. Dushyant worked with a private firm at Boston for three years before returning to India. If made Prime Minister for a day, Dushyant would “work towards initiating scientific farming techniques, help raise standards of infrastructure, formulate policies for the ‘have nots’ and ensure that funds percolate down to grassroots”.
Posted by: Gargi Mar 28 2004, 08:00 AM
It is hilarious to read Rahul description and Pankaj can't find much to write about Rahul. Nothing is there anyway. Rest of lot look much better.
Posted by: muddur Mar 28 2004, 09:04 AM
Rahul Gandhi: Congress Age: 33 years Studied: Economics no degree
Meaning, very CCLEARLY, If Rahul Gandhi is made the PM of India, he will leave Indians exactly where he left his studies. Halfway through ... He ain't NO graduated.gif
Posted by: muddur Mar 28 2004, 09:07 AM
WHAT A LOAD of CRAP ... thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif't~jump~with~joy~in~Karachi! Why Rahul Gandhi didn't jump with joy in Karachi! this one quote here is enough to let ALL the INDIANS to know who is guiding the Current congress party and the so called Indian media ..
............... when the whole of India had been wondering why Rahul did not jump in the air in the Karachi stands, together with Priyanka and Jaitley when India won the match, and instead sat unsmiling, clapping discreetly like a proper English gentleman of the last century. Flush.gif
Posted by: Sudhir Mar 28 2004, 09:37 AM
QUOTE (muddur @ Mar 28 2004, 09:07 AM)
............... when the whole of India had been wondering why Rahul did not jump in the air in the Karachi stands, together with Priyanka and Jaitley when India won the match, and instead sat unsmiling, clapping discreetly like a proper English gentleman of the last century. Flush.gif
Amen muddur - is Rahul planning to run for house of commons or some Italian Parliment? Let him jump and dance like a Indian for a change clap.gif
Posted by: Gargi Mar 28 2004, 09:55 AM
These illiterate, low self esteem journalist are sufferening from Gora Babu syndrome.
Posted by: k.ram Mar 28 2004, 11:01 AM
Anup Jalote joins BJP The Hindu March 26, 2004 NEW DELHI, MARCH 26. Anup Jalota, another man with a golden voice — after Bhupen Hazarika and Kumar Sanu — joined the Bharatiya Janata Party today. The party general secretary, Pramod Mahajan, introduced the `bhajan' and `ghazal' singer and then handed him the duly signed and sealed membership form of the BJP in the presence of the Law Minister, Arun Jaitley. "This time it is a man who has always been close to our `parivar','' Mr. Mahajan said. Later, Mr. Jalota said: "When I was 10 years old and living in Lucknow, I used to know Vajpayeeji and Advaniji and the place where I stayed was the Jana Sangh office.'' He had been "mentally'' part of the BJP for many years and now he had joined it physically. What inspired him to join the BJP? He said that while there were many achievements of the Vajpayee Government, four factors made him make up his mind. First, the nuclear test in Pokhran; second, the burgeoning foreign exchange reserves; third, the "overflowing granaries"; and lastly, the peace process between India and Pakistan initiated by the Prime Minister. And finally, for the newspersons around, Mr. Jalota rendered one line of the famous Iqbal song: "Sare jahan se accha Hindustan hamara... '' Earlier, Mr. Mahajan said the Congress did not have an issue; people did not even know the name of the Congress-led coalition, which was claiming that it would form a government; it was leaderless and it had no programme. The Congress, he said, should focus on its campaign and stop complaining about the BJP's campaign. He made it clear that the "foreign origin'' was an election issue and would remain so. Many parties contesting the election have made their stand clear on this. The Election Commission, he said, could not decide on what issues the parties raise. Did the party consider Rahul Gandhi unfit for a high Constitutional office? The answer from Mr. Mahajan was a prompt no. "He has not yet reached that stage (of making a claim to the prime minister's office).'' On an earlier occasion, Mr. Mahajan had said that "both parents'' of anyone seeking high Constitutional posts "should be Indian''. On the exit from the party of Kumar Bangarappa, son of S. Bangarappa, who had recently joined the BJP, Mr. Mahajan said: "People come and join the party voluntarily; they leave voluntarily.''
Posted by: muddur Mar 28 2004, 11:52 PM
DOES the ELECTION commission allows religious organizations like CHURCH to comment on the political matters, which can affect the results of the election based on the religion ??? IMO, Church should SHUT up and keep quiet and stay away from politics. devilsmiley.gif No ‘feel-good’ for India’s poor, says Goa Church Flush.gif‘feel-good’~for~India’s~poor,~says~Goa~Church thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif
Posted by: Mudy Mar 29 2004, 12:05 AM
Chruch every where tries to get involve in state matter, directly or indirectly. Whether in Goa or Manipur or Nagaland they are trying everything to meddle in state affair. Which very well shows there motive. In India you will not hear Cong-I or commies will critize them. India where its former PM V.P.Singh asked muslim bodies to issue Fatwa, but when Hindus bring religion, these hypocrite starts Hindu bashing.
Posted by: Peregrine Mar 29 2004, 12:40 PM baaasmiley.gif Rahul seems to be proud that Indians are considered as Outcastes in Italy. Flush.gif Is this the way to get the Dalit Votes? furious.gif Cheers cheers.gif
Posted by: rhytha Mar 29 2004, 12:57 PM
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Posted by: Mudy Mar 29 2004, 10:03 PM
TWO BILLION DOLLARS IN RAHUL GANDHI'S ACCOUNT? From Our Delhi Bureau NEW DELHI: Schweitzer Illustrierte, a Swiss news magazine, has alleged in an old issue that the Soviet intelligence agency KGB had deposited US $2 billion in a Swiss bank account in 1985 in the "minor" account of Rahul Gandhi managed by his mother Sonia Gandhi. Janata Party President Dr Subramanian Swamy, who had secured an order from the Delhi High Court to the CBI to investigate alleged receipt of slush money by late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's family, has cited a November 1991 issue of the Swiss magazine in support of his charge. In an affidavit filed before the High Court, Dr Swamy has contended that the CBI should have atleast contacted the news magazine to ascertain the facts. Dr Swamy says a proper CBI inquiry would reveal a scandal which will make the Bofors kickbacks pale before it as it involves corruption indulged in by late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and exposes the slush money received by Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Dr Swamy has contested the CBI's contention before the High Court last month that the "allegation" that Rahul Gandhi had received benefits from the commercial dealings of an Indian firm in coopertion with the Soviet foreign trade organisations is vague and hence it did not conduct any inquiry. He has claimed in the affidavit that during his recent visit abroad this year, he had received "reliable information" that then KGB chief Victor Chebrikov had sought, in writing in December 1985, from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), "authorisation to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Mr Rajiv Gandhi, viz Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi." He has further claimed that the payments were authorised by CPSU by a resolution CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20/12/1985 and the same was also endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No 2633/Rs dated 20/12/1985. He also claimed that these payments had been coming since 1971 as the payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family "have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984. It may be mentioned here that Dr Swamy had filed a writ petition before the Delhi High Court last year claiming that his allegations against Sonia Gandhi and her family members were based on the documents in the KGB archieves. He said the CBI should have obtained a Letter Rogatory to seek the information from the Russian Government instead of rejecting his charges outright. The case is listed for the next hearing on October 28. END Dr Swamy’s plea to probe Sonia & Rahul’s foreign accounts CHENNAI, June 19: Janata Party president Dr Subramaniam Swamy has urged the Union Government to obtain from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi a full disclosure of the accounts both operate abroad. Dr Swamy, who released his letter to Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha at a press conference here today, claimed that the Securities and Exchange Board of the United States and other revenue authorities in that country were investigating into Rahul Gandhi’s recently depositing some "hot money" into his account in the Credit Swiss First Boston (CSFB) Bank in the United States. He claimed that one such deposit was from an account operated by one Mr M S K Zieger on behalf of a trust. The hot money was garnered through drug dealing by the mafia, Dr Swamy claimed in his letter to Mr Sinha. He suggested to Mr Sinha that the Enforcement Directorate in India could seek the help of the CSFB and the US authorities on the nature of the deposits in Rahul Gandhi’s accounts in U.S. and London and also trace Mr Zieger. Dr Swamy alleged that Ms Gandhi’s forthcoming visit to the U.S. was to prevail on the Bush Government for an out-of-court settlement involving Rahul Gandhi. He also claimed that Ms Gandhi’s visit to Iceland was for a proposed meeting with the representatives of the LTTE and to make an attempt to erase her mother’s links with that terrorist organisation. Referring to the forthcoming Summit between Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and Pakistan’s military ruler Gen Musharaff, Dr Swamy said the latter should not come with "high expectations" and go back disappointed. He said there was no scope for the partition of Kashmir or to recognise the Line of Control as an international boundary. Dr Swamy also criticised the Prime Minister’s decision to approve the Gas and Oil Pipeline Project from Iran to India through Pakistan, claiming that it would endanger India’s national security. The country’s energy supplies would "become a hostage to Pakistan’s whims", he added.(UNI)
Posted by: muddur Mar 29 2004, 11:19 PM
QUOTE (Peregrine @ Mar 29 2004, 12:40 PM) baaasmiley.gif Rahul seems to be proud that Indians are considered as Outcastes in Italy. Flush.gif Is this the way to get the Dalit Votes? furious.gif Cheers cheers.gif
Bloody liar ..... He says that he would like to see an India where person is recognized by what he does for the country and not by his religion or caste, but his parties current agenda is even ready to claim reservations in gthe private industry based on religion and caste .... Flush.gif thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif
Posted by: Sunder Mar 29 2004, 11:26 PM
In this context, is it legal for a party to talk about religion/caste in it's manifesto? IOW, can a party in a secular democracy "bribe" the electorate into voting for them on agendas that are detrimental to the nation? Reservations in private sector - based on any criteria other than competence - is definitely counter-productive. If this is allowed, what stops the CEC from intervening a party that promises government support for jihad within our borders or something equally threatening to placate the voters?
Posted by: Viren Mar 29 2004, 11:34 PM
Scottish historian Alexander Tytler had said: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship." We know this as vote banks mad.gif
Posted by: acharya Mar 30 2004, 04:30 AM
Arif fails to convince Gujarat Muslims - By Rakesh K. Singh and Tamkeen Ahmedabad, March 28: Even the latest entrant in the party and the high-profile Muslim face of the BJP, Mr Arif Mohammed Khan, could not make a dent in the state if his flop shows in Ahmedabad and Junagadh are any indication of his popularity. The much hyped visit of Mr Khan received a lukewarm response ostensibly due to his calculated silence on the issue of riots and the lack of assurance by the local BJP leaders by their conspicuous absence in his functions. The Muslims in the state feel that those making a beeline to join the party are doing it to protect their “vested interests” and such people do not have any following among the community. A section of the community feels that there is no question even of consideration to join the BJP as long as chief minister Narendra Modi is at the helm of affairs in the state. Chairman of Urdu Academy Prof. Waris Alvi said, “The community does not want any favour or concession like the subsidy provided to the Haj pilgrims but social security.” Dr Yunus Bhavnagari, a dentist by profession, said, “Even though Muslims in the state are helpless but they still won’t support the BJP, as nothing has changed and the atmosphere remains the same as it was two years back during the riots. Those joining the party are doing so out of sheer opportunism and the move hurts the sentiments of the community.” Mr Shabbir Gandhi, a tour operator, said, “The community cannot even think of joining the BJP as long as Mr Modi calls the shots in the party. The Muslims are alienated so much that even a strong leadership has not emerged from within the community.” “People are frustrated with the Congress and no leader of consequence from the state BJP has come forward to gauge the feelings of the community despite the fact that Prime Minister Vajpayee and his deputy L.K. Advani have spoken against the riots,” Mr Gandhi added. However, secretary of Chipa Charitable Trust, Aiyub Chipa said, “Barring Gujarat, the nation has progressed a lot under BJP led NDA regime at the Centre.” Maulana Mufti Shabbir Alam of Jamma Masjid said, “People joining BJP are irrelevant both in the community as well as in politics. Opportunists keep changing their loyalties to remain in the power structure.” Joint secretary of Dawoodi Bohra community, Mr Feroz Boxwala, said, “The community is at crossroads as both the major parties have failed to protect the interests of the community. The community should vote for whosoever is sincere in taking up public issues.” ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Irfan can't bridge Hindu-Muslim divide');//--> ');//-->J S Bandukwala The subject sounds very similar to an article in The Indian Express, ‘‘The importance of Azharuddin’’, in the months following the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. Then, as now, the adoring fans of a cricket superstar were breaking communal barriers haunting our society. Can cricket overcome the religious madness in our belly? In its March 25 issue, The Indian Express talked about ‘‘hundreds of cricket fans rushing onto the streets in a victory rally. In Mandvi, the home of Irfan Pathan, policemen were almost overrun by frenzied fans. Senior police officials had to lock up the Jama Masjid and lay a cordon around it to prevent the crowds from entering his house.’’ If Irfan were in a reflecting frame of mind, he must be wondering at the 180 degree turn that his fate has taken. In his short span of 19 years, Irfan must have seen many such maddening crowds trying to enter the Jama Masjid where his father is a lowly paid muezzin, one who calls the faithfuls to prayer. The Jama Masjid of Baroda is in the VHP list of 3000 mosques that should be converted into temples. As a result, this mosque has been a frequent target of communal mobs, leading to blood being spilt and Muslim properties being destroyed in the vicinity of Irfan’s home. Now, suddenly this poor Muslim lad, who’s only passed his Class X, is an icon. But can he bridge the vast Hindu-Muslim divide in Gujarat? Would many of those in Wednesday’s adoring crowds have gladly killed the same Irfan two years ago? The truth is that cricket adulation is transitory. It lasts only until the icon hits a bad patch and gives a poor performance. Roses will just as easily become stones. One is reminded of Einstein who was a German Jew. Replying to a question on how his country would view him in future, he said: ‘‘If my theory succeeds, Germany will probably call me a German. If it fails, they will say that he is after all a Jew.’’ Sports or music can never overcome ideologically-driven prejudice and hatred. Ustad Allauddin Khan is widely considered the greatest Indian musician of the last century. He was the guru of Pt. Ravi Shankar. A Madhya Pradesh Government music academy is named after him. Last month, State Culture Minister, who is also Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s nephew, decided to drop the Ustad’s name from the academy. The charge: he was a foreigner. Incidentally, even his shishya Ravi Shankar did not utter a word of protest. The same is true of other Muslim icons — whether Dilip Kumar or Shahrukh Khan. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is acceptable only so long as he suppresses his Muslim identity. His achievements in space and nuclear science and his vast service to the country would amount to nothing in the face of a saffron onslaught. Irfan can’t bridge the Gujarat divide. That needs a change of heart, which in turn requires a Gandhi. How do you find such an epochal man in today’s Gujarat. There is only one way out of the Gujarat mess — the victims of tragedy must get justice. The writer teaches nuclear physics at M S University, Baroda. His house was attacked twice during the Gujarat riots. ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; The Muslim "Other" in Bollywood (PT 1) By Amit S. Rai SHOBAK In Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Mission Kashmir (2000), we are witness to a scene beyond the borders of the nation, where a play of shadows mimes the secret negotiation of political-economic interests and religious sentiment. Hilal Kohistani (Jackie Shroff), an Afghan militant famed for his resistance to Russian colonialism, accepts a new mission from his Pakistani and Saudi backers; withdrawn in the shadows is the immobile silhouette of a turbaned man who commits $20 million for the entire operation. Militant: They say that in Afghanistan the Russians used to flee their tanks at hearing your name. Kohistani: Leave names. Talk of work. M: Mission Kashmir. This work . . . K: Will be done. Price? M: Don't worry about money. Complete the mission and we'll pay you any price you want. Since 1947, all the attacks on India have been government-organized. We owe allegiance to no government. We are a free group, and we are soldiers for freedom. There are more Muslims in India than Pakistan. After our mission they too will join our jihad. And our unknown group will become the most illustrious. We will have the most illustrious name among all the world's mujahideen. In 1971, India changed the map of Asia. Now, we will change the shape of India. For every great goal, a great sacrifice is necessary. And the reward is also very great, God willing. K: Ten million. Dollar. Turbaned figure in shadows: Twenty million. To give money for jihad is as virtuous as giving alms. But even the name of this mission can't go beyond these walls. K: Secrets buried in a Pathan's heart don't emerge even on Judgment Day. You take care of your own people. M: We have organized the arms and ammunition aspect. TV camera, tapes and technical support will be provided as needed. If you need anything else . . . K: A man who isn't afraid of death. Who so despises his own existence that I can fire him like a missile to destroy the target and himself. M: A man like that . . . ? K: I have such a man..Altaaf. M: Where is your Altaaf now? K: Crossing into Hindustan. The film cuts to a scene of dense forests and picturesque mountains, across which moves inexorably a lone figure, Altaaf, making his way into Hindustan, like an infection moving through the body politic. The metaphor of an infection attacking the otherwise secure social body is of course quite common in the discourse of terrorism. In India, these metaphors translate into concrete practices of purifying the nation of all anomalies or inconsistencies: the Indian citizen and the Muslim subject are locked in a violent embrace of normalization that seeks to suture the other (the Muslim) to the project of Indian nationalism. In Mission Kashmir, Altaaf is that element of infection that challenges the fantasies of immunity that animate contemporary discourses of Indian nationalism. My itinerary in this paper traces the representation of the Islamic terrorist in three popular Hindi films: Sarfarosh ("Self-Sacrifice," 1999; dir. John Mathew Matthan), Fiza ("Air," 2000; dir. Khalid Mohamed), and Mission Kashmir (2000, Vidhu Vinod Chopra). These films are part of what one critic has recently called the renewed "cinepatriotism" of Bollywood: a set of films, indeed a genre now, that seeks to represent, visualize, and narrativize the sovereignty of the supposedly secular, but in practice upper-caste Hindu Indian nation. As such, they have both critiqued and fueled the ongoing tensions between Hindus and Muslims that mark India's postcoloniality. These tensions have been marked by an increasing regularity of murderous clashes between Hindu nationalist forces and Muslim communities, clashes that are set against the backdrop of the sometimes low-intensity, sometimes guerilla war between India and Pakistan over the northern state of Kashmir. Set against this social and political backdrop, the new wave of cinepatriotism emerging from Bollywood is especially important because its narratives intervene in the debates around Muslim identity and Indian nationalism by rearticulating a kind of secular national subject, and also because its aesthetic form activates cinematic pleasures associated with both high-brow art films and low-brow action films. These films show the many strategies-complex and contradictory-at work in contemporary Hindi films aimed to manage that infection known today in Hindu India as the Muslim Other. MELODRAMA AND THE NATIONAL FAMILY Hindu nationalism is a communal discourse that seeks to integrate an historical memory of trauma into a purified space of the Hindu-ized nation. Its hegemonic project seeks to narrow the field of cultural representations of difference to a battleground where all non-Hindu communities must repeatedly perform their allegiance to the nation. As Neera Chandhoke notes, the current debate around secularism in India has been sparked off by two explosive political trends: first, the recurrence of communal riots between the Hindu majority and the Muslim minority; and second, the rise and consolidation of what has been referred to as majority fundamentalism or hindutva. Historically, Hindi cinema has had a complex relationship with these Hindu images and themes. From the very first Hindu "mythological" Rajah Harishchandra (1913) the project of Hindi cinema has been to access the visual styles of popular religiosity (i.e. vernacular Hinduism, calendar art, etc.) while constructing an inclusive nationalist mode of address seeking to bridge religious, regional, linguistic, caste and class differences. The recent spate of cinepatriotism rearticulates, expands, and shifts this historical legacy. Contemporary representations of Muslims in Hindi films position specific cultural and religious identities as both necessary and intolerable to the security of the Indian nation. The figures of the radically alienated Muslim, juxtaposed with the patriotic Muslim and Christian citizen, and the dominant, often unmarked Hindu show how difference is crucial to the stability of the Indian nation-but not too different: the militant Muslim is the figure of an intolerable difference. In Hindi films, Hindutva takes the form of a post-secular nationalism, one that produces irreducible differences through melodramatic narratives of authentic belonging to the national family. As we shall see, the patriarchal family is still quite literally the model for the nation. Moreover, the family provides a template for citizenship as well, through which minority subjectivity, once differentiated, normalized and marked off from the Muslim terrorist, are repatriated into the national family. The heterosexual, usually extended Hindu family is the norm and telos of these narratives, in which a reconstituted family structure sutures the trauma of monstrosity, the trauma, that is, of a certain history. The suture here works twofold: the traumatic history of partition is imaginarily resolved through these national family romances, and the anxiety caused by the political demands of India's heterogenous minorities (not only Muslims but also Dalits, non-upper caste Hindus) is managed by this image of an organic national community. Not surprisingly, this sense of belonging to a national family is also an occasion to position women as both supplementary to the violent struggle between opposed masculine forces, and central to their eventual normalization in domesticity. As Geeta Kapur suggests, national narratives have to engage with the anxious problematic of identity "wherein what is insecure is mapped on to the female body: the body posed for unabashed viewing outside the margins of history but inside a national pictorial schema." Extending and transforming an older nationalist imaginary around the figure of woman (for instance, in the classic film Mother India [1957]), these films position femininity ambiguously between the sacred space of the home and the contamination of the world, while heterosexualizing this zone of ambiguity through a fetishistic male gaze. This space of ambiguity forms a kind of stage where Muslim women enact their patriotic duty: as "good" domesticated citizens they are agents of normalization who draw the wayward Muslim male back into the national fold. It is in repetition that trauma is specifically activated and managed. According to Kaplan, "The repetition of certain stories may betray a traumatic cultural symptom, while the mode's adherence to realism, and thus to closure, seals over the traumatic ruptures and breaks that the culture endured. The style reassures the viewer, who leaves the cinema believing she is safe and that all is well in her world." Of course, the "certain story" that gets repeated in these Hindi films is a repetition in multiple forms of the partition narrative-a sudden loss, an end to speech, a death, a murder. In the three films that I consider here, a historical trauma tears apart a family. In Fiza the loss of a son during the 1993 riots provokes his sister' s search for the the truth of those events. In Mission Kashmir the death of a Hindu child and the murder of a Muslim family is unequally balanced in a scale of justice that is questioned again and again. And in Sarfarosh the murder of a brother and the maiming of the father by terrorists gives force to the national sacrifice of the main character. The force of these traumas is then dispersed throughout the narrative in specific ways and with specific effects. Moreover, the specific events in the filmic narrative make obliquely reference and hence keep alive the memory of partition. CINEMATIC DEPICTIONS OF TRAUMA Through flashbacks, dreams, spliced images, an individualized memory and by extension the fragmented narrative itself become negotiations between the subject, the Muslim other, and the trauma of history, . The pain of communal, militant or state violence is worked through, reiterating and shifting the meaning of the trauma through each repetition, moving finally toward possible narrative closures. In Fiza, the closely connected lives of a lower-middle class Muslim family are torn apart by the communal riots that devastated Mumbai in 1993. Widow Nishatbi Ikramullah (Jaya Bachchan), and her daughter, Fiza (Karishma Kapoor), witness a Hindu mob attack the son, Amaan (Hrithik Roshan), and murder his friends. In the narrative, the memory of the communal riots returns explicitly at least three times: in Fiza's initial narration, in Inspector Shingle's recounting, and then in Amaan's final explanation. It is through Amaan's narrative that we learn how he survived the riots by killing three men, and how he found what Saskia Sassen has called an "alternative circuit of survival" by joining an Islamic "jihad." Amaan is recruited by Murad Khan (Manoj Bajpayee), the leader of the militant group struggling against, he claims, both Hindu and Muslim "tyranny, injustice and hatred." Khan teaches Amaan that far from a life of dignity, a dignified death is not even possible under the current system. This last retelling, filling in the little mysteries of Amaan's flight and Fiza's search, doesn't serve to suture the narrative, but opens the story the new traumas that will be visited on the Ikramullah family as Amaan turns more and more to terrorist activities. Amaan says to Fiza, "Everyone knew what was happening in that city, which everyone calls the most modern. How people were being massacred, how in the name of TADA [Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act] women and old people were being molested and harassed." It is as if the horror of the event expands each time, until finally, we understand that although still living, Amaan is in some fundamental way already dead. As he says in his final speech, just before he asks his sister to shoot him, "I died a long time ago on the streets of Mumbai." Amaan is a subject haunted by his own ghost. Trauma sets up the central problematic that will be resolved through narrative, a resolution that reconstitutes the nation in the figure of the individualized and domesticated protagonist. In the climax of Fiza, we can see this resolution and reconstitution taking shape through the charged dialogue between brother and sister, Amaan and Fiza. The leader of the jihad, Murad Khan decides that two Hindu and Muslim political leaders (Singh and Syed) who try to suppress enquiry into the riots must be killed in order to prevent a Muslim supported, Hindu dominated coalition government. Khan chooses Amaan for the mission. Amaan trains his body, and kills the two leaders. But Murad Khan never intended that he survive: as chaos once again engulfs Mumbai, Khan orders his men to kill Amaan. Instead he kills them. In the last scene of the film, with the police chasing him, Fiza confronts her brother. Fiza: Throw the rifle away, Amaan. Amaan: What will happen then? Another will pick it up. F: So much hatred, Amaan? Forget all this. There is still time. A: This is not hatred. It is a voice raised against hatred. They call those who die fighting in jihad martyrs [shaheed]. F: Jihad means a fight for truth, and the truth is that we are of this country and will remain part of it. Where is it written in the Koran that to win your point you must spill blood? What kind of warrior [mujahid] are you that you can't accept this fact? Right yourself, Amaan. Accept it. Look, only what is right will prevail. A: What is right, sis? What happened to me six years ago, was that right? Are these Singh and Syed people right? If they wanted to, they could fix all this. But they don't do that, sis. They have power, but with that power they pit us against each other. Separate us from each other so they can retain their own seats of power. If such people are right then I have done no wrong. I am pure [pak]. I didn't take up this rifle as a hobby. It just came to me through a line of fate in my hand. As the police take their position against Amaan, he begs his sister to shoot him, saying, "I died a long time ago on the streets of Mumbai. Let me die with honor." And Fiza pulls the trigger. In this complex and heart rending climax, Fiza stands for the assimilated Muslim and Amaan for that trajectory beyond the pale of normality. In their dialogue honor can be taken ironically to mean both living by the duties of the proper minority citizen and dying with the cry of those who will never be allowed into the nation. Similarly, in Mission Kashmir the drama centers on the possibility of Muslims being included in the nation. Inspector of police Inayat Khan (Sanjay Dutt) seeks vengeance for the death of his son, who died due to circumstances arising from a fatwa issued by Islamic militants. Marshalling his police force, he dons the black mask of the militants and lets loose a hail of bullets that not only kills the militants, but an innocent Muslim family as well - men, women, and children. This killing, reminiscent of so much police repression and outright assassination of innocent Muslim peoples, forms the trauma that will return and expand through the narrative. The only survivor of Khan's killing spree is a twelve-year-old boy, Altaaf, who before fainting from terror glimpses Khan's eyes behind the mask. Altaaf 's nightmares keep the past present, as if Khan's eyes were keeping watch over a memory that can only be presented through fragments and repetition. Trauma gives birth to a subject who intercalates the present with the past. In one nightmare, Altaaf (now the grown up Hrithik Roshan) blurs the object of his desire, his childhood sweetheart, Sufi Pervez (Preety Zinta), with the memory of his foster-mother, Neelima Khan. In this scene, a dream sequence of the adult Altaaf, what is also at stake in these memories is a certain struggle over Islam. Altaaf: Why did you hang up on me, Sufi? Sufi: I don't want to speak with you. A: And so you put a picture of me on TV to get me killed? S: What of all the people you've killed? A: Sufi, why don't you understand? I'm doing all this for my religion. S: I'm a Musulman [Muslim?], too. Islam doesn't permit the murder of innocent people. You're only taking revenge for your parents' death, Altaaf. As she walks away, he screams her name, demanding she stop; finally, he shoots her. When he turns her body over he finds it is Neelima Khan. In this dream sequence, the loss of Altaaf's childhood love Sufi not only blurs with his desire for his foster-mother, but also foreshadows the moment when Altaaf accidentally kills Neelima Khan. In an plot to avenge the murder of his family, Altaaf plants a bomb to destroy Inayat Khan that kills Neelima instead. In that sense the memory of trauma in these films functions to link the subject beyond the law of the nation to the sentimentalized ties of kinship, and to rupture those very ties through the fragmentation of narrative. Inayat Khan and his police force track down the Afghan mujahid Hilal Kohistani, just in time to discover the real meaning of Mission Kashmir. The militants plan to blow up Hazratbul masjid and the Shankaracharya temple, and a pre-produced video tape will fix the blame on Hindu soldiers, with the ultimate aim of inciting communal riots throughout India. In the climactic fight scene, Khan, the man who killed his family, convinces Altaaf of Hilal' s sinister plan. Altaaf remembers his foster-mother's words of love. She had said, "In reality, this war is not between you and Khan-saab. On one side is love [mohabbat], on the other side hatred [nafrat]. On one side is compassion [insaniyat] on the other side brutality. Between innocence and guilt, good and evil, and humanity [insaniyat] and bestiality [haivaniat]. What will remain of Kashmir - this is what you, only you have to decide. So think very carefully before firing that gun, Alaaf." As if suddenly humanized, Altaaf shoots Hilal and foils the terrorist plot. The movie ends with Altaaf, Inayat Khan (his re-claimed foster-parent) and Sufi reunited, and at home. Thus, the trauma that haunted Altaaf is displaced and resolved through the elimination of Hilal and the integration of a chastened, repatriated Altaaf into a new family structure. We must mark the specific role of women, domesticity and humanization through memory and flashback that marks this genre of Hindi film. In a crucial sense without the figure of Sufi and the memory of Neelima, Altaaf would be lost to the forces of evil. In our third film Sarfarosh we have a similar problematic and an analogous resolution. The narrative is launched through a familial trauma of violence. The patriarch of an extended Hindu family, on his way to give evidence against atankvadis - "terrorists" -is abducted, and the older son is killed. Ajay, the younger son, witnesses it all. The father is tortured and then returned to the family, incapacitated for life. The complex narrative follows Ajay as he joins the Indian Police Service bureaucracy, as he goes on to become a feared officer who tortures suspected criminals. Finally we see Ajay avenge the death of his brother and the maiming of his father by displacing the trauma on to the doomed monster-terrorist, Gulfam Hasan, a Pakistani agent posing as an entertainer, who smuggles arms into India trying to foment insurrection. The movie ends with Ajay promising his college sweetheart, Seema that he'll be home for dinner, as soon as he apprehends another insurgent criminal with his Muslim subaltern sidekick, Salim. I suggest that all these narratives resolve the individualized memory of collective trauma in terms of the success (Ajay and Salim in Sarfarosh, and Inayat and Altaaf in Mission Kashmir) or failure (Amaan in Fiza) of reintegrating the liminal subject in the national family (with the family standing in for nation). The Muslim "Other" in Bollywood (PT 2) By Amit S. Rai SHOBAK MONSTROSITY AND TERRORISM As if a breach or gap had opened in the national imaginary, the trauma allows for the emergence of a monster, fully formed and "incorrigible," one whose implacable cruelty will be pitted against all the forces of humanity and justice that the state would represent. I should immediately state that monstrosity is not a category through which viewers I have talked with in India or in the diaspora experience Hindi films. The interviews I have conducted with viewers both in India and in America on the question of filmic representations of religious difference in Hindi films focused mostly on how specific films enabled the stars to showcase their talents, or how these narratives positioned difference and its relation to broader constructions of Indian citizenship. So I make no claim to any ethnographic verite. Rather, my interest in the question of monstrosity focuses on the experience of an event as a reversal or displacement of power-relations. By this I mean two things simultaneously: first, the appearance of the monster realigns all the relations of power in any given narrative such that inhumanity and brutality become his essential characteristics; second, the figure of the monster renders transparent relations of power between dominant (in this case Hindu and nationalist) groups and minorities (Muslims). In this section, I draw certain genealogical connections between monstrosity and the modern construction of the terrorist as an enemy of the state. This will allow me to show in the next section how the filmic text is bound up in certain strategies of normalizing power through narrative space and narrative fragmentation. More specifically, I wish to understand monstrosity in relation to historical trauma, as a way in which trauma is remembered, repressed or even quarantined. To contextualize this analysis a bit further, we could ask, Why, in what way, has monstrosity come to organize the present discourse on terrorism? First, we could merely glance at the language used by the dominant media in its interested depictions of Islamic militancy. So, as an article in the New York Times points out, "Osama bin Laden, according to Fox News Channel anchors, analysts and correspondents, is 'a dirtbag,' 'a monster' overseeing a 'web of hate.' His followers in Al Qaeda are 'terror goons.' Taliban fighters are 'diabolical' and 'henchmen.'" In these invocations of terrorist monsters an absolute morality separates good from a "shadowy evil." As if caught up in its own shadow dance with the anti-Western rhetoric of radical Islam, this discourse marks off a figure, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Husain, or a government, the Taliban, as the opposite of all that is just, human, and good. The terrorist monster is pure evil, and must be destroyed, according to this view. Here we can begin to chart a complex genealogy of the modern terrorist in Indian and Western media. Through the normative subject of a common but explicitly postcolonial Indian modernity-one tied to new processes of globalization and the late-capitalist post-modernity of the West-the figure of the abnormal terrorist ties together the American government's ongoing War against Terrorism and the Indian government's war to neutralize Islamic fundamentalism. Indeed, as I have argued elsewhere, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, national strategy planning in India and the US has converged on the dominant theme of "homeland security." In India' s scramble to take up its "frontline role" in the war against terrorism, in its frank ambition to become a "global power," much more is at stake than righteous posturing against Pakistan. The somehow always failed ambition of securing the nation from both internal and external threats has led to some signal innovations in India and the US. Not only a newly shared rhetoric (constellated around such bogeys as "jihadi terrorism," the internal Muslim "threat," cross-border infiltration, and global and Asian balance of power, etc.), but also an increasing cooperation of counter-insurgency military and intelligence resources. Today, in India, the figure of the terrorist is being constructed in a way that demands a certain identification by all citizens with a Hinduized nation. What I am in fact suggesting is that the construction of the Islamic terrorist as monstrous "other" enables the elaboration of a normative Hindu identity. Consider the government response to the December 2001 attacks on Parliament. According to opinions ranging from the right to the left, "Revenge is the only compensation for this attack" (the title of a Web-based forum on the attacks with leading Indian politicians). From the hindutva right, Shiv Sena's Bal Thakeray declared, "Everytime there's an attack, we condemn it. We say it is a warning to us. It doesn't seem as if anyone has kept a count of the number of warnings India has been given. The question is, does the government have the ability to take revenge? Whether it is Pakistan, Taliban or the ISI [Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence]: they shouldn't have the guts to attack us again." Or, from the center, Congress MLA, Salman Khursheed argued for simply more restraint: "We have to tell the US that Afghanistan is no longer a priority. Now they've to tell us what they intend to do about cross-border terrorism. About crossing the LoC [Line of Control between Pakistan and India], well, you have to put your own house in order first. This is not like the US where an exclusively external threat affected their interests. Here, an external threat is trying to ride on the discontent of our own young people. We have to deal with both. The one thing the government shouldn't do is push POTO." Or, from the right-centrist BJP Party, Arun Jaitley remarked, "It's clear that we need to dramatically strengthen our intelligence network. The time has also come for our security forces to send a chilling message to the terrorists and those who harbour them." In these responses, the "terrorist" functions (1) to position India geo-politically with the West and the ongoing War on Terrorism; (2) to cohere India by isolating internal enemies (disaffected Muslims, especially youth) who are allegedly supported by external enemies (Pakistan); (3) to re-situate tactical knowledge or "intelligence" as key intellectual capital that must be accumulated and exploited; (4) to call for a "chilling" military response. We will have occasion to return to each of these positions in the analysis that follows, but the point I wish to make here is that implied in all these responses is a normative Hindu citizen, a subject that is at once the reason for the new security apparatuses, and the norm toward which all subjects will be made to conform. In specific ways, the cinepatriotism of contemporary Hindi films ties these monsters to a normalizing narrative aesthetic through the repeated spectacles of familial trauma. With varying degrees of psychological complexity, Hilal Kohistani (Jackie Shroff), in Mission Kashmir, Murad Khan (Bajpayee), in Fiza, and Gulfam Hasan (Naseeruddin Shah), in Sarfarosh, emerge as figures of violence, betrayal, inhumanity, bestiality, irrationality, deracination and irresponsibility. In Sarfarosh, Gulfam Hasan is the Pakistani (or Indian?) Mohajir (refugee) , who publicly embraces the deep cultural bonds between India and Pakistan, asserting that "There are emotional ties that link Pakistan and India. Such ties are stronger than all others. In ghazal language we call this bond, mohabbat [love]: 'No consciousness is left, no attention is left. A person in love is no longer a person.'" But these cultural bonds mask political identities that are in fact rooted in the opposite of mohabbat: Gulfam Hasan, who, as a singer, is supposedly a cultural representative of the long-standing connections between Hindi-Urdu speaking peoples, turns out to be an agent of Pakistan's proxy war against India. Pretending to further cultural bonds, Hasan uses the cover of singer-entertainer to oversee the smuggling of arms into India, and helps to encourage the armed insurrection of a disaffected tribal community in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. On the other hand, what is so important about these Hindi films is that they show the forces of justice and humanity always already blurring into the violence of injustice and inhumanity. Indeed, both Inayat Khan (Dutt), the Muslim Inspector General of Police in Mission Kashmir, and Ajay Rathod (Amir Khan), the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Sarfarosh, resort directly to tactics that would otherwise be called terroristic, while Inspector Shingle in Fiza could rightly be said to embody the very stereotype of the corrupt and communal cop. The state, thus, matches its terrorist double in terms of brutal violence. And in that sense we can see that violence is not what separates the state from its other: the means are the same, the ends (national unity vs. fundamentalist fragmentation) only differ. For instance, in Sarfarosh, we see the routine brutality and corruption that mark Ajay's ascent into police stardom; in Mission Kashmir, two sequences show an enraged Inayat Khan, who, having just lost a member of his family - first his son and then his wife - resorts to outright assassination. In Fiza, however, the critique of the state and the critique of Islamic militancy are tied together in far more explicit ways. Thus the opportunistic betrayals of elite leaders such as Singh and Syed only mirror Murad Khan's (the militant leader who draws Amaan into terrorism) own tactics, while corruption, communalism or simple incompetence implicate Inspector Shingle and the Mumbai police in a kind of self-interested passivity. In all these examples, we can see how even as the monster-as-event is deployed to suture the humanity of the nation, this very act of violent othering gives the lie to the family romance: Khan and Rathod can only mirror Kohistani and Hasan, while Shingle and Khan present equally moribund options for both Amaan and Fiza. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- The Muslim "Other" In Bollywood (PT 3) By Amit S. Rai SHOBAK PERFORMING IDENTITY Through the process of isolating and eliminating this monster from the national imaginary, the normalized Muslim citizen of the nation performs her identity-in-difference as her duty to the national family. In all three films, something like the normalized minority subject who speaks her belonging to the nation emerges through a murderous struggle against the monsters of state (both the state's monsters and the monster-as-state). Historical trauma, then, not only gives birth to the monstrous terrorist, it also enables the narrative to pose repeatedly the question of who can legitimately represent the nation and the community. What is at stake for these narratives is to wrest the language of jihad (struggle, or war), shaheed (martyr, one who sacrifices life for community or nation), kaum (community), muhajid (soldier for Islam) away from militant Islam, thereby contesting the militant's claim of standing for the community. This strategy is coupled with the insistence that the Indian nation is a plural, necessarily heterogeneous space. By insisting on the pluralistic composition of India, contemporary cinema is in keeping with a long history of Muslim representation in Hindi films. However, the sign of a historical shift is precisely in the fraught and contested discourse around jihad. The ideological work of these films is not merely to assert Muslims and Hindus are one family like the Congress party's tired claim of Hindu-Muslim bhai-bhai (brother-brother). They also present pedagogical norms of citizenships that have implications beyond religious identity. For example, Fiza, Inspector Salim (the Muslim sidekick to the hero in Sarfarosh) and Inayat Khan all perform their Muslim-ness: both Salim and Khan are shown during namaaz (Islamic prayer ritual), while Fiza goes to Haji Ali Masjid to give thanks on her graduation. Simultaneously, all three forcefully resist religious discrimination by claiming and performing their belonging to the nation. In fact, all three give patriotic speeches asserting their devotion to the Indian Union - after Fiza's speeches we are even treated to the 1930s patriotic song "Sare jahan se acha" (India is the best place in the world). Specifically in Sarfarosh, we find an example of the Muslim subject who must convince his peers of his allegiance to the nation. Salim is the Muslim officer who once trained Ajay Rathod at the Academy, but is now made to serve under him. Through an extensive information network, Salim is able to get tactical information that no one else on the force can. And yet the Police Commissioner takes Salim off a crucial case, claiming, "The whole department is saying that he let [a Muslim criminal] go because he himself is a Muslim." In the confrontations that follow, Rathod and Salim will together probe the nature of belonging to the nation. Repeatedly layering the questions of religious difference and class (Salim is poor and resents Ajay's middle-class wealth) and social inequality (as an Indian Police Services officer, Ajay is a member of India's bureaucratic elite), the narrative poses the complexities of social antagonisms. There follows a series of confrontations between Salim and Ajay, in which the very possibility of Muslim Indian citizenship and subjectivity is fought over and contested. It is resolved, finally, as both accept each other's role in fighting the enemies of the nation. Salim is able to gather crucial tactical information that leads to a breakthrough in the case. Having given his information, Salim walks away. Rathod: Wait Salim. I need you. Salim: What do you want now? .Go save your country, your home. What do you need me for? R: I need you. To save this home I don't need one I need ten Salims. S: Not ten, Sir. You'll find ten thousand if you trust in us. Don't ever tell another Muslim that this country is not his home [walks away crying]. A: [walks over to him as his men look on] I won't say it. Never again. They embrace amidst a crescendo of sentimental music. Salim is reintegrated into the national family through this sequence, such that when the criminals try to get him on their side by appealing to his Muslim identity, he questions the genuineness of their faith and labels them traitors to the nation. We see here the complicity, if not paradox, that marks this representational strategy: a protest against discrimination translates into an assertion of inclusion in the national family. Similarly, in a scene from Mission Kashmir, the Commissioner of Police, worried over the impending official visit of the Prime Minister of India to Kashmir, asks Inayat Khan to step down from his post because he is Muslim. Khan refuses. Commissioner: Look, Khan-saab, one Indian PM [Prime Minister] was killed by her own security guards in the name of religion. Under the circumstances, I don't consider it appropriate to entrust the security of the PM to you. Khan: Mr. Deshpande, this is not only the misfortune of Muslims, but rather of the whole country, that an officer who has dodged bullets for 21 years must repeatedly give proof of his loyalty [vafadari] because his name is not Deshpande but Inayat Khan. Look, Mr. Deshpande, my blood is in the Kashmiri soil. My nine-year old son is buried in it. My love for this country needs no IAS [Indian Civil Service] certificate. I am this state's IG [Inspector General of Police], and until you dismiss me, the responsibility for the PM' s security will be mine. We see through these scenes the construction of a mixed discourse where the struggle for equality and representation in the nation paradoxically produces normalized subjects, and narrows the space of dissent that such minority subjects can occupy. In that sense, the liberalism of this filmic discourse belies a deeper monologic structure that is tied to the figuration of the essentially Hindu nation in hindutva discourses. This connection is oblique but, as I have been arguing, one can chart the relays between hindutva discourses and these films in both the structure of the narrative and the representations of the Muslim other. THE FEMALE SUBJECT All three films discussed above tie the iconic body of woman and the female subject to tradition, culture, family, on the one hand, and, on the other, education, social mobility, and the modernizing public. Indeed, melodrama is tied to the transference between the sacred and the secular on the terrain of the woman's body that characterizes Indian modernity. Drawing on Peter Brooks's theory of melodrama, Geeta Kapur has argued that "the melodrama . . . is predicated on the replacement of the sacred; it enshrines the beloved in the space evacuated by the sacred orders to the profane. We know that the invented genre of the Indian 'mythological' massively mediates western romantic and melodramatic forms of narration and, coming full circle, alludes to the iconic. That is to say, if melodrama involves the transference from the iconic/sacred to the simultaneously familial and public registers of the image, the mythological takes that over but reinscribes the detached beloved back into a quasi-sacred space. It maintains, in lieu of the lost realms of the gods, this close register between the iconic, the familial and public." Indeed, as we have seen, it is the bodies of women that will effect such a transference. Fiza, Sufi and Seema in different ways are perhaps the true foils of the terrorist. Put in the broader context of Hindi films, the cinepatriotism of this genre plays on some of the recurring themes of gender, sexuality and femininity common to Indian cinema. Notably, in Hindi films, representations of women have supported and contested patriarchy in numerous and subtle ways. The variety of representations ranges from the "avenging women" to Mother India (dir. Mehboob Khan; 1957), from Helen, the Dancer of the Night, to Nadia the Fearless, and from actresses like Shabhana Azmi who take on feminist roles, to the cloying glamour doll roles of Aishwarya Rai. Cinepatriotic Hindi films narrow this representational range in some ways, and extend it in others. The normative woman appears to be that good Hindu or Muslim woman who offers to the wayward Muslim a secure mooring to the nation, the family, to romance, and idealized memory. One aspect of this representation is that women as modern citizens of the nation serve as a foil for the Islamic terrorist. For instance, Sufi Pervez, in Mission Kashmir, is Altaaf's childhood sweetheart, who grows up to be a newscaster on a local TV channel. She is the modern, liberal educated Kashmiri Muslim woman who functions as a foil for Altaaf's extremism. She provides him with a kind of non-traumatic mooring to his past, his family, and, through their romance, to another future. On the other hand, Fiza disrupts the normative representation of women in these Hindi film in many respects. She refuses to be rescued by her lover, insists that her voice be heard, and displays resolve to work outside the family. As the familiar modern, college-educated subject, Fiza serves as the integrative norm against which Amaan's transgressions are weighed. Through her search for her wayward brother in the deserts of Rajasthan she moors Amaan to a family, a genealogy, and the affective ties of community and responsibility. Thus, oddly, the independent-minded Fiza is the one who says to Amaan, "Do you know what they call a man who leaves two helpless women? A coward." This is the same Fiza who says publicly that, as women, "we are not helpless." In other words, Fiza, by presenting both the independent and helpless woman, provides the narrative foil for Amaan while at the same time presenting masculinity with its traditional and also always anxious object of patronage and benevolence. Another aspect of the representation of women is the typical objectification of women in romantic segments and dance sequences, constituting a temporary focal point for a normative male heterosexual gaze. In Sarfarosh, the good Hindu girl, Seema, sports mini-skirts and bathing suits, and lives the good life as one of India's modernizing post-colonial elite. As a well-disciplined, college graduated.gif she can easily negotiate, translate and move between the different cultures of India. She can also provide Ajay (and the implicit male viewer) with both romantic diversion and heterosexual security. Indeed, the heterosexual family finally provides the justification for national security and also functions to secure gender identity, and to stabilize (by idealizing) the memory of home and family in these narratives. In terms of the use of women's bodies, one web reviewer put it in this way: "Sonali Bendre is sizzling in 'Sarfarosh'. She romances Amir Khan in the film. The Director has used her beauty to its full potential. She looks really stunning in sexy sarongs. The Waterfall songs are a treat for [the] eyes of front-benchers." But of course these three heroines do not exhaust the role of women in these films, nor the commodificiation of bodies. As I have suggested above, in keeping with the genre of Bollywood melodramas, it is specifically the iconic bodies of women that are used to manage the anxieties of the modernizing nation. In specific fantasy musical sequences, through the objectifying cabaret songs, women's bodies are displayed, producing an overall discursive regularity that ties women and heterosexuality to fantasy, humanity and the nation. On the face of it, of course, it might seem that humanity and objectifying fantasies might be in contradiction with each other and the construction of the nation. As I see it they form a discursive regularity in this way. Women provide the heroes of these films with the possibility for sexual fulfillment, hence securing reproductive heterosexuality and, by extension the family-the example of Seema. This secure heterosexuality is what calls the liminal Muslim back from the edge of ruinous, monstrous violence into the folds of domesticity-as when Sufi foils Hilal's plans for Altaaf. And finally the modernizing Muslim woman, who serves as the object, target and instrument for the nation becomes the idealized image through which a normalized minority is reintegrated into the folds of the nation (Fiza for Amaan). In this last case, we see a kind of refusal of the suturing romance that structures the other two films. In the end it is Fiza who, having pulled the trigger, is left standing without family or support, she will carry on the struggle for and as an Indian Muslim. Thus far, I have tried to map a certain narrative structure that ties historical trauma to melodrama in narratives of national belonging. My sense is that these narratives provide the occasion to reconsider the relationship between history and Hindi films more generally, and the relationship between Muslim identity and cultural representation more specifically. Clearly, my analysis of the terrorist monster also has wider implications for the manipulation of dominant media around the world, especially after 9/11. But we must study media in its specific context. Only through such an analysis can we grasp the contextual strategies of resistance available through and beyond their mode of address. As I have suggested above, perhaps it is in representing the specific kinds of discrimination used against Muslims at so many levels in India that all three of these movies seem to be at their most disruptive and effective. I conclude with some questions. How do these narratives at once render violence anti-national and legitimate? We can see that the monstrous terrorist is that subject who uses any means, violent or otherwise, to secure his goals. Arrayed in decided opposition to these violent forces is the legitimate violence of the state, as well as the legitimacy of normalized citizens. But these narratives perform both the fetishization of this legitimacy and its undermining. This fetish of the state seems to forge a strategic alliance with the filmic construction of woman and thus is able to function through a cluster of signs, discourses, practices and subjectivities that form the knot of post-secular nationalism that I have outlined here. On the one hand, we are confronted with a knot that ties the state to insaniyat, ghar, parivaar, aur mohabbat-humanity, home, family and love. On the other hand, and at the same time, in highlighting the antagonisms and traumas that haunt the state's exercise of power what is brought to crisis is precisely its legitimacy in that very exercise. For what is the basis of the Indian state's legitimacy when grotesque abuses of its coercive apparatuses are central to its everyday operations? The state represents all that is good and just but must resort to all that which is evil and unjust to secure itself-that is to terrorist tactics. Furthermore, the state is represented as a happy, integrated family except for Muslims, the poor, adivasis, tribals, dalits, and so on (which provoke all the narrative strategies for their integration centered on the figure of woman that I have outlined above). These cinepatriotic films and others like them show the essential dichotomy that founds state power: that finally the only ground of legitimacy for the liberal nation-state in India is the quantity, dispersal and force of its violences, not the democratic ideals that form its pretext. The state in these films is as monstrous as its projections: the Islamic "other" is merely a reflection. I am reminded here of the prescient words of Freud on this state hypocrisy, and I will end with these words written in the midst of war, 1915: The individual in any given nation has in this way a terrible opportunity to convince himself of what would occasionally strike him in peace-time-that the state has forbidden to the individual the practice of wrong-doing, not because it desired to abolish it, but because it desires to monopolize it like salt and tobacco. The warring state permits itself every such misdeed, every such act of violence, as would disgrace the individual man. It practices not only the accepted stratagems, but also deliberate lying and deception against the enemy; and this, too, in a measure which appears to surpass the usage of former wars. The state exacts the utmost degree of obedience and sacrifice from its citizens, but at the same time treats them as children by maintaining an excess of secrecy, and censorship of news and expressions of opinion that renders the spirits of those thus intellectually oppressed defenseless against every unfavourable turn of events and every sinister rumour. It absolves itself from the guarantees and contracts it had formed with other states, and makes unabashed confession of it rapacity and lust for power, which the private individual is then called upon to sanction in the name of patriotism. [Concluded]
Posted by: acharya Mar 30 2004, 04:35 AM
============================================= Dear Hindus, LOKSABHA(PARLIAMENT) Elections are near & which will be held in April.B.J.P. is advocating "INDIA SHINING"(BHARAT UDAY) advertisement.We Hindus of Bharatvarsh proud that we are going to be a DEVELOPED NATION.I agree with it but on the Dead Bodies of INNOCENT HINDUS. HOW INDIA SHINING BY BJP & NDA ? 1. Few days back i heared that A Musalla M.P. Anwarul Haq from Bihar joined B.J.P. who have linked with a Musalla Gangester SULTAN MIAN (Who kidnapped KANCHAN MISHRA in Bihar) and he is totally ANTI-HINDU and ANTI-NATION person. 2. During last Assamblly Election in Delhi Former Delhi State President of BJP MADAN LAL KHURANA invited SYAD IMAM BUKAHRI (Who is INCHARGE of ISI in INDIA & PRO-PAKISTANI TERRORIST) at his residence for ROJA-IFTAR PARTY. 3. Last month B.J.P. spokesman & M.P. PROF. VIJAY KUMAR MALHOTRA make a grant function in a muslim area of Delhi,i.e. JAMIA NAGAR(A small pakistan in South Delhi) area-where SIMI's activities are takes palce till now by new name SIO-(STUDENTS ISLAMIC ORGANISATION)- there more than 2,000 SIMI(SIO) supporters join B.J.P. in the presence of Prof.Vijay Kumar Malhotra. 4. Few days back Anti-Hindu Muslim leader ARIF Md. BEG annonced that he will join the B.J.P., who makes comments against V.H.P. for GUJRAT RIOTS. 5. In Delhi from last one year more than 15 temples have been demolished by Govt. & Delhi Lt. Governer, but in Delhi more than five hundreds MAJARS are illigally made on ROAD'S can't be demolished beacuse they required the MUSLIMS VOTES. 6. MUSALLAS will fly for HAJ on discounts and money will be paid by TAX PAYEE HINDUS. 7. MADARSAS will be Modernised and they will get subsidies but HINDU INSTITUTIONS will be Black Listed by U.G.C. 8. Foreign Christian Missionaries can get the foreign fund for conversions in INDIA.Govt. of India can't banned these Missionaries to work in India beacuse they have to show their faces to POPE'S AGENT IN INDIA like SONIA(ANATINO MANIO). 9. Purulia Incident Accused can be released from JAIL, but ADVANI JI can not talk for our great hero "DARA SINGH". REALLY INDIA SHINING by B.J.P. and its leaders.Musallas will cry MUSLIM RASHTRA INDIA KI JAI, MAULANA ATAL BIHARI KI JAI. Dr.Santosh Kumar Rai Youth Leader of HINDU MAHASABHA New Delhi
Posted by: acharya Mar 30 2004, 04:43 AM
The myth of a single Maratha Muslim vote In Maharashtra, no political party can rely on vote banks as securely as they once did PRAFULLA MARPAKWAR MUMBAI: In Maharashtra, for several decades, the Congress was completely dependent on its traditional vote-bank comprising members of the minority communities, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. But is the concept of the vote bank relevant today? Will it oblige the Congress in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls? Leading politicians and political thinkers feel that the concept of the vote bank is no longer relevant in view of the flexible politics by the non-Congress political parties. Former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh admitted that there was steady erosion in the Congress’ vote bank. Although the Congress retains a vote bank, it has become very weak. For a long time, besides the Marathas, minorities were traditionally supporters of the Congress but now there is a drastic change. While the older generation was firmly with the Congress, the younger generation, which constitutes nearly 60 per cent of the electorate, was undecided on their voting pattern. In Deshmukh’s opinion, while the urban population was undecided, rural folk still have complete faith in the Congress. Senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Eknath Khadse said the concept of vote bank has become a thing of the past. A prominent leader of the Lewha patil community in Jalgaon district, Khadse said post-1985 elections, there was growing awareness among members of the minority communities, as a result, they were moving away from the Congress owing to increasingly accommodative stances adopted by the saffron combine. Minorities were traditionally unable to accept the BJP as they viewed it as communal. “Over a period of time, we convinced them that they were misunderstanding the BJP. We ensured that they were brought into the mainstream and were treated on par,’’ Khadse added. Secondly, Khadse said, there was an impression that Congress alone was able to run the administration, although the BJP has been able to change that assumption. ‘‘We were in power in Maharashtra for four years, we performed better than the Congress,’’ Khadse remarked. Poll percentages in Maharashtra Caste percentages • Marathas : 29 per cent • OBCs : 38 per cent • Dhangar : 4.5 per cent • Teli : 1.5 per cent • SCs : 11.09 per cent • STs : 9.27 per cent • Brahmins : 4 per cent • Banjara : 1.5 per cent • Vanjari : 1.5 per cent Religious percentages • Hindus : 81.12 per cent • Muslims : 9.67 per cent • Buddhists : 6.39 per cent • Jains : 1.22 per cent • Christians : 1.12 per cent • Sikhs : 0.21 per cent • Others : 0.13 per centn State Samajwadi Party President and Rajya Sabha Member Abu Asim Azmi also believes that the concept of vote bank has lost its relevance. According to Azmi owing to an increase in the literacy rate among members of the minority communities, there has been greater awareness. No political party can take the minority vote for granted. Political analyst Y D Phadke and Political Science Professor Suhas Palshikar also provide reasons why the vote-bank is no longer as salient as it used to be. According to Phadke, the BJP, earlier considered the ‘untouchable’ has succeeded in changing its image and in wooing leading members of minority communities. For decades, the Muslims were with the Congress, but the Emergency created a change and slowly but surely they transferred their loyalty. Now, some prominent Muslims leaders have even joined the Shiv Sena. ‘‘I feel the BJP’s flexible policy towards the Muslims has helped it to erode the traditional vote bank of the Congress,’’ Phadke added. Professor Suhas Palshikar has carried out extensive research on Assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections after 1977, particularly on the voting patterns of minority communities, Marathas and OBCs. ‘‘In my opinion, over a period of time, there was fragmentation of the vote bank. No party was sure of its vote bank,’’ Palshikar said. Palshikar pointed out that Marathas have traditionally been considered staunch supporters of the Congress, as a result, in the Maratha dominated areas of Western Maharashtra, there was absolutely no threat to the Congress. However, now, the Maratha community is no more the monopoly of the Congress. On the contrary, quite a large number of prominent Maratha leaders have joined the BJP and Shiv Sena. In the 1980-89 period, younger Maratha politicians were in search of an alternative to the Congress and found it in the Shetkari Sangathana led by Sharad Joshi, while some found the Shiv Sena a more effective organisation. Their main grievance at this time was that there was no scope for younger leaders in the Congress. Along with Marathas, members of the minority communities, SC/STs, OBCs (comprising 272 castes), Dhangar, Mali, Teli, Banjara, Vanjari, Lewha Patil and Lingayats dominate in one or the other region. Since members of these communities were representatives in many political parties, they could not build a vote bank in favour of a single party. Take the case of NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, a prominent member of the Mali community. While NCP was promoting Bhujbal, the BJP promoted N S Pharande, Chairman, Maharashtra Legislative Council of the same community.
Posted by: Gargi Mar 30 2004, 06:58 AM
Before state election Cong-I was for for any survey, unless and until they were against NDA. Now survey companies have realized they have lost credibility and started doing Right thing,Congress-I started crying again,
Posted by: acharya Mar 30 2004, 07:26 AM
Sangliana files nomination for Bangalore North seat By Our Special Correspondent BANGALORE, MARCH 29. The Social Welfare Minister, A. Krishnappa; the former Union Minister and State BJP President, H.N. Ananth Kumar; and the former Director General of Police, H.T. Sangliana, today filed their nomination papers for the elections. Mr. Krishnappa filed his nomination seeking re-election from the Varthur Assembly constituency. Mr. Krishnappa, along with a large number of his supporters, submitted his papers at the Krishnarajapuram taluk office. He is the first Minister in the Krishna Government to file the nomination and that too before the announcement of the official list of party candidates. The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) had warned against the filing of nomination papers before the list of candidates was cleared by the party High Command. Traffic on Old Madras Road was disrupted for some time in the morning when the supporters of the Minister arrived at the taluk office. Mangala Krishnappa, wife of the Minister, and K.B. Munivenkatareddy, MLC, were among those who accompanied Mr. Krishnappa. Mr. Ananth Kumar filed his nomination papers for the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency, amid fanfare. Mr. Kumar is seeking election for the fourth time from the constituency. Accompanied by his wife, Tejaswini, Mr. Kumar first offered prayers at the Doddaganapathi Temple in Basavanagudi and the Ganesha Temple in Malleswaram. Mr. Kumar also visited Keshava Kripa, the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at Kempegowdanagar before filing his nomination papers at the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike office. Earlier, he garlanded the statue of the founder of Bangalore, Kempe Gowda. The Union Law Minister and in-charge of BJP affairs in Karnataka, Arun Jaitley, who was part of the entourage, said that the BJP would create history in Karnataka. To a cheering group of supporters, Mr. Jaitley said the BJP would have its first Government in southern India in Karnataka and exuded confidence that both the seats in Bangalore, North and South, would go to the BJP. "Vajpayee wave is sweeping Karnataka," he said and added that the BJP would win the Lok Sabha elections and Assembly elections in the State and the victory would be beyond the party's expectations. Mr. Kumar said the "misrule of the Congress Government" would ensure the defeat of the party. "Besides the anti-incumbency wave the Congress is facing here, the pro-Vajpayee wave will help the BJP significantly," he added. Mr. Sangliana filed his nomination papers for the Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituency as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate. Mr. Sangliana came along with his family and a large number of BJP workers to the Bangalore Urban Deputy Commissioner's office and filed the papers. The Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer, G.S. Narayana Swamy, received the papers. Mr. Sangliana later told presspersons that the National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP would secure a majority in the next Lok Sabha and form the Government again. His main opponent was the senior Congress leader and former Union Railway Minister, C.K. Jaffer Sharief. He would raise national issues and highlight the achievements of the Vajpayee Government during his campaign, Mr. Sangliana said.
Posted by: muddur Mar 30 2004, 09:24 PM
I have never heard of BJP claiming India to be a developed nation. All they claim is that they would like to see India as a developed nation. The liar continues to use lies to fool people. On the contrary, is there anything wrong about feeling good about the achieved success ? If you don't want to celebrate and if you don't feel good, you can go to Italy. But ridiculing or rubbishing India's achievement ???? It is wrong. One should know how to celebrate victories, be proud of them and feel good about it. Only then you can achieve more and aim to achieve further. If you can't feel good about the achievements, you can not go much farther. You will be mentally STUCK, where you are. Felling good can take you farther than the rubbishing or ridiculing the 'feel good' feeling. For a man who has achieved nothing and wants to build his own castles based on LIES and deception, for a man who could not even achieve graduation on his own, it is difficult to understand the feeling of achieving anything and feel good about it. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif Rahul or Raul, You have a long way to GO. Believe me without that fake name 'Gandhi' attached to your name, you are nothing, but a liar. Shed your name and see if anyone cares for you or your thoughts. Your identity stands on the achievements of your ancestors. With this in the background it is not wise to ridicule others achievements. Achieve something before you ridicule others achievements. Rahul rubbishes feel-good factor thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif Amethi, March 30. (PTI): Taking a dig at the BJP's much-touted feel-good factor, Rahul Gandhi, the latest entrant in politics from the Nehru-Gandhi family, today said that while fully developed countries continue to strive for more development the saffron party seemed to be content with it. "The developed countries strive for more and more development but they (BJP) say we are fully developed," Rahul said in an informal chat with newsmen without naming the ruling BJP when asked about the feel-good factor. Asserting that his aim was to bring people together and not to divide them, Rahul who is contesting the coming Lok Sabha elections from Amethi, said he believes in "politics of heart."
Posted by: Viren Mar 30 2004, 09:38 PM
Has anyone done a objective comparative study of the nations health and/or economy during the years of Rajiv/Indira v/s ABV? Might be good exercise to do so if there isn't one.
Posted by: Mudy Mar 31 2004, 12:50 AM
Sehwag to campaign for Sahib SinghVerma -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tuesday, March 30, 2004 (New Delhi): Virender Sehwag's father has confirmed that his son will campaign for Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma, who visited the cricketer's house today. The minister had turned up ostensibly to congratulate the Sehwag household on Veeru's incredible triple ton at the Multan test. But there were political undertones to the visit as well with Virender's father confirming to the media that his son would indeed campaign for Verma. "Yes, Virender will travel with Vermaji and will ensure he gets re-elected with a huge margin," said Krishan Kumar Sehwag. Verma was an MP from the Outer Delhi Lok Sabha constituency and is seeking re-election in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Posted by: Mudy Mar 31 2004, 12:55 AM Bangalore, March 30. (PTI): As pollsters predicting NDA victory sounded musical to its ears, BJP today hit out at Congress for "mounting an attack" on opinion polls and blamed it for "shooting the messenger" instead of absorbing the message contained in the surveys. Expressing surprise at the Congress' reaction to pre-poll surveys, party spokesman Arun Jaitley told reporters that instead of absorbing the message and analysing results, they had attempted to "shoot the messenger" by questioning credibility of pollsters and the agency which did it. Jaitley, whose remarks came in the wake of Congress questioning the credibility of a survey conducted by NDTV-Indian Express-AC Nielsen, said "I am neither a supporter nor opponent of opinion polls" which could be accurate or inaccurate. But, he said, he was surprised at the "refusal" of Congress to "absorb the message". Instead of attacking those conducting surveys and analysing the political situation and questioning their correctness, the Congress would "do well to at least set its own house in order", Jaitley said. BJP, he said, faced a large number of opinion polls which predicted the party's defeat in Rajasthan assembly polls, "but we did not call them names". The party just absorbed the message and took corrective steps.
Posted by: muddur Mar 31 2004, 04:23 AM
'BJP has vision, Congress has confusion' By E Jayakrishnan'BJP~has~vision,~Congress~has~confusion' BJP razz-matazz The BJP is setting the benchmark in the art of presentation. The unveiling of the 'Vision Document 2004' by the party President Venkaiah Naidu was another high-voltage event. At the ceremony at the back lawns of the BJP headquarters at New Delhi’s Ashoka Road, the top brass of the party was in attendance. Venkaiah Naidu was flanked by Union Ministers Jaswant Singh, Pramod Mahajan, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj and General Secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Plus the function included a seven-minute Power Point presentation by Mahajan’s IT team on the 'Vision Document' with a high-wattage score of ‘vande mataram’ playing along. BJP vision and the NDA manifesto The BJP was at pains to emphasise that its 'Vision Document' was quite separate from the NDA's manifesto. The manifesto that will be released by the Prime Minister on April 8, in the presence of leaders of all the NDA partners will contain nothing that is disagreeable to any of the NDA partners. Allaying the fears of the allies, Naidu was emphatic that "We are bound by the NDA manifesto even if the BJP gets a majority on our own," Naidu said. A quiz question. What is common to the BJP and the Congress Vision Documents? Answer: Narasimha Rao. The former Prime Minister, a close friend of Prime Minister Vajpayee for years, has the singular distinction of figuring in both the BJP's and Congress’ Vision Documents. Page 34 of the BJP Document has a photo of both the leaders squatting on the grass at Veer Bhoomi, former PM Shastri’s last resting place, in may 1996. Vajpayee writ large There is no question who the BJP’s 'Vision Document' is selling. From the cover onwards, a larger than life personality of Vajpayee is writ large. The 'Document' is replete with more than fifty photographs of the Prime Minister in various stages of his political life - from 1954 to the present. The Vajpayee’s life is synonymous with the life and rise of the BJP in the last fifty years, since the Jana Sangh days. So cataloguing his a life is cataloging the rising fortunes of the BJP. Venkaiah’s food for thought Venkaiah Naidu’s functions at the BJP are becoming famous for two things: his penchant for alliterations and the superb Andhra food buffet spread he offers post-function. Today was no exception. An extensive and delectable spread for journalists, at the adjoining 9, Ashoka road was was personally chosen by the BJP chief. The vegetarian including a full course South Indian feast was sourced from the south Indian food chain Sarravana Bhawan, which has opened its outlet in New Delhi’s Janpath recently. The non-vegetarian fare of chicken biriyani, fish fry, chicken curry, roast egg was provided by The Amravathi chain which specialises in Andhra cuisine. "Food for thought and food for the stomach," as Naidu put it. Journalists weren’t complaining on both counts. Venkaiah speak The BJP President is now acquiring legendary status for his off the cuff alliterations. His best is reserved for taking on the Congress. The latest: "Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan: Go back to the villages. The Congress has done just that in the last fifty years. They have shown their back to the villages." Plus he did an encore of his usuals: "We have vision, Congress has confusion. We have a leader, they have a reader. We have allies, they have rallies" etc.
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Mar 31 2004, 06:14 AM
Look what this genius has got to say.
There was one result never made public in the recent state elections. Bharat is not ready for the electronic voting machine (EVM). How come they were proved so wrong. What was the factor they did not take into account? The politicians who should have won didn’t lose to the voter; they lost to the machine. In thousands of villages, voters who lined up for hours never actually voted. The button was pressed on their behalf by an often not so impartial government servant with his/her own political leanings wanting to take his/her revenge on a government that did not agree to personal demands. In village after village, millions of illiterate rural men and women, intimidated by the machine, requested the returning officer to push the button. What it amounted to was the aspirations, wishes and expectations of a politically sensitised population being hijacked by a machine.
Posted by: acharya Mar 31 2004, 06:25 AM
LJP promises ban on RSS, VHP By Our Special Correspondent NEW DELHI, MARCH 30. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) headed by the former Union Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, has promised to ban the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and some of its affiliates such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal. In its election manifesto released today, the LJP said it was "totally committed" to the concept of secularism and social harmony and promised to work with all political parties and individuals committed to ousting "fascist and unprincipled forces" from power. Releasing the manifesto, Mr. Paswan accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Sangh Parivar of attempting to advance their hidden agenda in the garb of a coalition government. "The National Democratic Alliance epitomises an unholy, unprincipled alliance and its only ideology is unabashed pursuit of power. Otherwise, how does one explain the co-existence of parties professing secular and socialist ideology with reactionary forces represented by the BJP,'' he said. Mr. Paswan also released the first list of party candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. However, he named only one candidate (for Nalanda) in Bihar where he has been allotted eight seats as part of the LJP-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress-CPI (M) alliance. Of the remaining seven seats, it is certain that the sitting MPs — Mr. Paswan, his brother Ram Chandra Paswan and Pappu Yadav, an accused in the murder of Ajit Sarkar, a former CPI (M) MLA — will contest from Hajipur, Rosera and Purnea.
Posted by: acharya Mar 31 2004, 06:25 AM
Who are these people National Defeat BJP, says citizens forum By Our Staff Correspondent NEW DELHI, MARCH 30. A group of citizens has come together to join the "struggle" to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in the general elections so that the "country is saved from the pernicious ideology and practice of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)." Addressing a press conference here today, the forum, comprising historians, lawyers, academicians and social workers, said that this was the most crucial election since Independence as at stake was the survival of the country's republican Constitution and the plural, democratic conception of society on which it was based. It alleged that the BJP-led NDA Government had been an "instrument for the consolidation of the communal-fascist agenda of the RSS," which was accountable to none and was "exerting a dangerous extra-constitutional authority." "Breaking with the constitutional tradition of neutrality of gubernatorial positions, almost all Governors of the States are RSS members." In the sphere of education and culture, the Government was propagating the RSS ideology by enforcing changes in the school curriculum, initiating reactionary programmes in colleges and universities, and installing RSS members and supporters in academic and cultural institutions of national importance, it charged. The economic policies had at once led to "immense concentration of wealth and to the impoverishment of vast masses of people." Indiscriminate privatisation, particularly of the social sectors, and disinvestment of even profit-making public sector undertakings and those in strategic sectors, had added to the people's burden, it said. "The BJP has been able to implement this programme because of its electoral gains in the last two general elections. The division of secular vote has contributed significantly to these gains in many constituencies. In this context, the people's initiative is urgently needed." "We appeal to all political parties and groups to avoid division of votes and strive for the maximum possible adjustments among secular parties and forces. The electoral scene in Uttar Pradesh, in particular, calls for maximum maturity and restraint on the part of the parties such as the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party,'' it said. If the parties and groups, for whatever reason, were unable to arrive at a satisfactory understanding, it appealed to the voters to choose the strongest candidate and mobilise votes in his/her favour to ensure the defeat of the BJP and its allies. The forum members are Prem Shankar Jha, Sita Hariharan, Saswati Majumdar, Manoranjan Mohanty, Badri Raina and several student unions.
Posted by: Mudy Mar 31 2004, 06:32 AM
The forum members are Prem Shankar Jha, Sita Hariharan, Saswati Majumdar, Manoranjan Mohanty, Badri Raina and several student unions.
They are congress-I Babu, devoted to Indira and now Sonia. Prem Shankar Jha, now writes for IE and used to work for MEA.Rest belongs to same category.
Posted by: muddur Mar 31 2004, 06:54 AM
Read Congress-I babu (as Mudy says in the above post) === CongI goonda's. BTW,'India~first'~is~BJP's~vision specool.gif The Bharatiya Janata Party has unveiled its vision for making India a "developed and a great power" by 2020 - a goal it promises to achieve through aggressive globalisation and modernisation. Releasing the Vision Document 2004 on Tuesday, the BJP chose to re-articulate its national "vision". While the document seeks to effect a marriage between 'swadeshi' and globalisation, earlier mutually anti-thetical, there is an attempt to shed the confrontationist element from its three contentious core issues and reset the cultural moorings of its ideology. Released by BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu, the document is aimed at spelling out the distinct "identity" of a party which is also part of the National Democratic Alliance. Having started the campaign for election 2004 by calling itself "as the natural party of governance", the BJP has aimed to appropriate an agenda of modernisation and has spoken of a fast-track economy. Ridding swadeshi of its anti-globalisation overtone, BJP spin doctors have defined it as 'India First'. "A strong, efficient and high-growth Indian economy, in which Indian products, services and entrepreneurs dominate the domestic and global markets, is our concept of swadeshi," the document says. But economic activity in a globalised economy is the BJP roadmap for future. Mentioning the service sector as a windfall of the process, the document said that India will be at the centre of a knowledge economy and emerge as the preferred service provider in a range of areas including the high-paying professions. The BJP has argued that globalisation is set to benefit the low-cost economies - with competitive cost, quality and technology - in the manufacturing and services sector. As an extension, the party has said that India can become a "global manufacturing hub" in view of successes of pharmaceuticals, auto-components and engineering goods. "We aim to facilitate the creation of global Indian brands and Indian MNCs," the document asserted, pledging further economic reforms. "Evolving consensus" is the softening feature of BJP's reformulated stand on contentious issues. Reaffirming its commitment to the Ram temple issue, the saffron party has voiced preference for a negotiated settlement "in an atmosphere of mutual trust and goodwill" which will herald a new chapter of amity in Hindu-Muslim relations. The party has also called for a consensus on the much-debated Uniform Civil Code, which is "primarily an instrument to promote gender justice". Says the document: "All laws, including personal, must be in accordance with guarantees available to citizens under the Constitution." In the changed context of ongoing talks with separatists in Kashmir and the thaw in relations with Pakistan, the party has almost bypassed the demand for abrogation of Article 370. Explained Mr Naidu: "The immediate challenge is eliminating terrorism, promoting economic development and strengthening governance." He added that justice should be done to the Ladakh and Jammu region and their demographic identity be protected. The party has asked for autonomous regional councils for the two regions. It has also advocated intensification of dialogue with Pakistan to find a lasting solution to all bilateral issues. The BJP has cited religious freedom as its core value and promised educational and economic uplift and empowerment of minorities. Talking of electoral reforms, the party has said that high offices of the legislative, the executive and the judiciary should be occupied only by "India's natural citizens by their Indian origin". The document has also sought to balance the rural and urban electorate by spelling out its strategy on poverty alleviation, launching of the second green revolution and support to cottage industries. Said Mr Naidu: "We are releasing the document on Ram Navami day and our aim is Ramrajya which is gramrajya." The new debate on caste-based reservation in private sector has been dealt with indirectly. The document has promised incentives for private enterprises creating more educational, training, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Incentives and non-coercive disincentives have been mooted as the mechanism for population control. Finance Minister Jaswant Singh, party general- secretaries Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitely, Health Minister Sushma Swaraj, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shanker Prasad, Disinvestment Minister Arun Shourie and spokesperson M A Naqbi, who had all contributed to the document, were also present.
Posted by: Mudy Mar 31 2004, 09:09 PM biggrin.gif While one Gandhi great grandson has been ushered into the political arena, and offered a seat to contest the Lok Sabha polls, another has been denied the same privilege. Congressmen are euphoric over the 4th generation entering the poll fray via Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, but Tushar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson, has been denied a party ticket from Porbandar, the birthplace of the father of the nation. Though 44-year-old Tushar claimed that he was not bitter, the disappointment was evident. "I was told that a local MLA from the party was eager to contest in Porbunder. I had wanted to contest from there to counter the sitting BJP candidate who has been winning from there,” Tushar told the Bombay Times .......
Posted by: muddur Mar 31 2004, 11:46 PM
All those MP's who oppose Sonia to eb the PM should follow, the Nationalist Trinamool Congress (NTC) leader P.A. Sangma. smile.gif'I~will~quit~LS~the~moment~Sonia~becomes~PM' New Delhi, March 31: Nationalist Trinamool Congress (NTC) leader P.A. Sangma on Wednesday saw nothing wrong in Rahul Gandhi entering active politics but declared that he would resign from the Lok Sabha “the minute and the second" Sonia Gandhi became Prime Minister. Talking to reporters here, the former Lok Sabha speaker said that however such an eventuality (of Sonia becoming PM) would never arise. Replying to questions, he hoped that the BJP-led NDA was serious in bringing a Bill in the next Lok Sabha to bar persons of foreign origin from occupying high constitutional posts. “In the last Lok Sabha elections also this issue was debated but the Congress confused it. In this election, people will decide the issue," he said after releasing the list of five NTC candidates in the northeast, which included his re-nomination from Tura in Meghalaya.
Posted by: acharya Apr 1 2004, 03:14 AM
Wednesday March 31, 11:30 PM Strong Congress needed for bipolar polity: Advani By Indo-Asian News Service Viramgam (Gujarat), Mar 31 (IANS) Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani Wednesday said the weakening of the main opposition Congress party would not augur well for democracy in the country. "The Congress remained in power for a long time and it is only in the last 20 years that a bipolar polity has developed in the country. That is good for democracy," he told a meeting organised here as part of his Bharat Uday Yatra. "But the way the Congress is going, I'm afraid it will be completely wiped out. That won't be good for the country. I wish the Congress improves and emerges as a stable force," Advani said. There was a large turnout for Advani's meeting in this north Gujarat town, about 40 km from the principal city Ahmedabad, as he entered the second day of the second phase of his campaign tour. "With the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India is again moving towards a uni-polar polity. The secret of its success is that it is a thinking party. "It has transformed itself from an ideological party to an aggregating party. The Congress, however, has given up on thinking," Advani remarked. Without naming Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Advani also took a swipe at her. "The Congress has left its decision making on a single individual. They take inconsistent stances at different times. It won't be a stable force if it continues with the kind of leadership it has," he said. Advani advised the Congress not to continue thinking that it was the party born to rule. "Indian voters forgive any mistake but they don't forgive one thing - arrogance. The leader must be humble, that was what (Jan Sangh founder) Deen Dayal Upadhyaya taught us," he said. Advani also focussed on highlighting the developmental work undertaken by the BJP-led government and sought votes to continue with its programmes. Though anti-incumbency had been a factor in Indian elections in recent decades, the BJP would be successful in the coming polls, he asserted. "Incumbency is not a burden on us. In fact, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is our biggest asset," he said. As his election tour passed through drought-prone regions of north Gujarat, Advani never failed to mention at every meeting the progress achieved in the Narmada Dam project, billed as the "lifeline" of the state. "I see Narmada is an emotive issue here. Vajpayee helped the partner states in ironing out their differences, and permission to raise the height (of the dam) to 110 metres was granted last month," he said. Vajpayee would not stop with the Narmada project, Advani said. He had already conceived the project of interlinking rivers to address the problem of water scarcity across the country, he added. Reminding voters of the strides made in developing road and telecom networks, and of the BJP's vision to make India a superpower by 2020, Advani asked voters to give Vajpayee a "hat trick", a third term in New Delhi.
Posted by: acharya Apr 1 2004, 03:45 AM
This guy is a most dangerous operator -- Why the Congress is losing it By Harish Khare The Congress has not yet given the country a good enough reason to throw the NDA regime out. THAT THE Congress is not likely to make it in 2004 became evident on March 1. On that day, Ajay Singh, a Minister in the Digvijay Singh Government in Madhya Pradesh and son of the seniormost Congress Working Committee member, Arjun Singh, was reported to be on the verge of joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. A premature media leak botched up the defection. Earlier Mr. Digvijay Singh's brother had crossed to the BJP. The feudals have prospered for generations by their uncanny gift of anticipating the shape of things to come. And the "high command" failed to throw out Mr. Ajay Singh, if not his father, who, for more than a decade now, has played the "10 Janpath" card, and prevented the Congress from functioning as a normal political party. The leadership signalled to one and all that it felt it was on the back-foot. And the reason why the Congress should not make it in 2004 was provided by the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, herself on March 22. After she had released the party's election manifesto, she was responding to a few questions. When asked to explain why she was moving over to Rae Bareli and vacating Amethi, her parliamentary constituency, for her son, Rahul Gandhi, she candidly replied: "We discussed it in the family." That was it. No invocation of the cadres' sentiment. Not even an insincere reference to the party leaders' preference. And no suggestion that the Congress election committee had made the "selection." The young man wanted to contest and it was for him to pick his constituency. Simple and uncomplicated. The "democratic" feudal order has unilaterally extended its lien on the Congress party. Rahul Gandhi's sister, Priyanka Vadra, is due to announce her decision to "join" the party. There is already inspired talk of the Jawaharlal Nehru-Vijayalakshmi Pandit synergy replicating itself after 50 years. Also, there is this talk that the Maa-Beta-Beti (mother-son-daughter) Party knows it is not going to make it in 2004 and is, therefore, playing for 2009. It is no surprise that many well-meaning citizens and groups are apprehensive that the Congress may not be able to garner a three-digit tally, despite the unflagging will and untiring energy Ms. Gandhi has brought to bear on the party's campaign. She has set a punishing schedule for herself, and is drawing enthusiastic crowds. Yet the Congress is far from dominating the national imagination. A political party's performance at the time of a national election is a product of its organisational resourcefulness, its ideological profile and its leadership's capabilities. Since March 14, 1998 when Ms. Gandhi acted to acquire authority as the Congress president, the party has consistently developed, rather nurtured, fault-lines. The very nature of her leadership, which in turn was predicated on the pluses and minuses of her personality traits, would not permit these fault-lines to be repaired. The only remedy the Congress has come up with is more of the same dynastic overdose. Unfortunately, Rahul Gandhi has already revealed that he is coming to the centre-stage with a heavy baggage of "enemies" who have always thwarted the family from performing its noblesse oblige. There seems to be no doubt in his mind that the Congress will remain a family affair. What seems to escape the young man is that these dynastic pretensions would have to be negotiated through democratic contestations and endorsements. Controlling a party and its apparatchiks is easier than earning the people's affection. On the other hand, the country desperately wants to get rid of the bogus desh bhakts, here and now, not withstanding all the convoluted polls and surveys and the byte-noises that Pramod Mahajan and his spin-masters keep manufacturing. To their credit, the BJP poll strategists have perceptively noted the meagre crowds L.K. Advani has attracted on his rath yatra. All that Mr. Advani has accomplished on his odyssey so far is that he has positioned himself as an appropriately tamed disciple of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. But the battle of the ballot is yet to begin, and the BJP's election managers know it. Having the useful quality of thinking on their feet, they have quickly changed gears and have given in to scratching the party's oldest itch: an incurable taste for a discourse of abuse. After claiming to want to woo the electorate on a developmental plank, the saffron party finds itself at its creative best in reviling the Congress president for being born in Italy. A party that has pretensions of issuing a "vision document" finds itself reduced to tapping the cricket emotionalism to make its case. Even the Prime Minister has found himself having to elevate Mohammed Kaif as an icon. Like the Congress, the BJP too finds itself confronted with a strategic dilemma of its own making. For four years, especially since the traumatic 9/11 in New York, the party, under goading from its Sangh Parivar mentors, has sought to crank up a version of a brittle nationalism that borrowed heavily from the United States' President, George W. Bush's categories of friends and enemies. These mentors went into overdrive during the post-Godhra violence; the mindset continues to justify the failure of the Narendra Modi regime to act like a lawful government, duty-bound to preserve law and order. The convergence of anti-Pakistan, anti-Muslim, and anti-jehadi impulses produced a raw energy and a new nervousness in the country and that helped paper over the NDA Government's elitist economic pursuits. Now suddenly, the Prime Minister and his deputies want the country to believe that Pervez Musharraf is a benign dictator, just because he applauds the Indian cricket team's winning performance. The BJP's relapse into its old habits of character assassination is the clearest indication that the country is hardly enamoured of the contraption called the National Democratic Alliance. The country remains deeply fragmented in its political preferences and prejudices. Large chunks of the electorate remain beyond the reach of the BJP and its allies. The Shining India campaign has been an ephemeral success; like any other advertisement blitz, it has already been forgotten. After all, there are limits to New Delhi's reach and credibility. Now hundreds of prosaic realities of deprivation and pain are asserting themselves and seeking an expression through scores of political parties, regional, sub-regional and even district-centric. These small outfits and their appeal mock the national parties' claim to speak for the entire society. To be sure, the next Lok Sabha will not be less fractured than the 13th was. The Vajpayee canonisation strategy is a desperate attempt to impose a simplification on an otherwise bewilderingly complex electorate. Yet the basic problem remains: the principal Opposition party has not yet given the country a good enough reason to throw out the NDA regime. For reasons best known to it, the Congress never tried to set the polity's agenda these five years. It was always on the defensive and in a reactive mode. Perhaps, it persuaded itself that all it needed to do was to run a reasonably coherent party and then wait to benefit from the electorate's anti-incumbency proclivities at the end of five years. After all, the NDA regime was busy advertising its own inadequacies. For the Congress, this was the best way of cutting corners given Ms. Gandhi's handling of the situation. And the party's durbar culture would not permit any navaratnas (nine gems) to shine. Consequently, all these years the Congress had no organisational impetus to develop alternative views, ideas and policies because these would in turn have produced ideologues. The Congress may have a dozen Chief Ministers but none of them can dare think of himself or herself as a second-generation leader. Now the party has no voice, leave alone a message. No messenger can have a message without confidence, conviction and competence. Because Ms. Gandhi cannot market herself as an alternative Prime Minister, she cannot tell the country what kind of government she will preside over if the electorate chooses to throw the NDA out. The only way she can hope to change the chemistry of the 2004 battle is if she were to categorically take herself out of the prime ministerial stakes. If the Congress is incapable of summoning up such inspiration, the country will willy-nilly find itself meandering towards a Vajpayee-led arrangement.
Posted by: Gargi Apr 1 2004, 05:29 AM
Actually, Harish Khare is showing his true color. I am not sure how much Amar Singh have paid him, He is discrediting both options and infusing third option which day by day disappearing in thin air with there internal greed and fights. Commies and pseudo-seculars have one agenda, not to elect BJP. They are happy with 2% growth rate, poverty, unless and until India works under socialist ideology. Well they should adjust with changing environment.
Posted by: bachan Apr 1 2004, 11:33 PM
QUOTE (muddur @ Mar 28 2004, 09:04 AM)
Rahul Gandhi: Congress Age: 33 years Studied: Economics no degree
Meaning, very CCLEARLY, If Rahul Gandhi is made the PM of India, he will leave Indians exactly where he left his studies. Halfway through ... He ain't NO graduated.gif
In an Indian Express interview a few days ago, Rahul Gandhi said he had MPhil in Economics from Trinity (in Cambridge?).
Posted by: Mudy Apr 2 2004, 12:46 AM Laloo Yadav and Ramvilas Paswan are both actively promoting their relatives in the run up to the coming polls FROM J P YADAV DH NEWS SERVICE, PATNA: When they talk of political empowerment, dynasty comes first for the political bigwigs of Bihar. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav has mastered the art of nepotism and his new found ally and dalit leader Ramvilas Paswan is following suit — even as both claim to be championing the cause of “social justice”. And many others are following in their footsteps. In the sharing arrangement among the “secular alliance” partners in the state, Mr Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) managed to bag a handsome eight seats, compared to the meagre four which went to the Congress. But now it’s clear that most are meant to empower the dynasty. Out of eight seats, five have been reserved for two leaders — Mr Paswan and Pappu Yadav — and their family members. Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, the muscleman MP from Purnea merged his one man party with the LJP recently. It will once again be Ramvilas Paswan from Hajipur and Mr Paswan’s younger brother Ramchandra Paswan will be fielded from the neighbouring Rosera constituency. In Araria, Mr Paswan’s mama (maternal uncle) Ramsewak Hazari will be the LJP candidate. Pappu Yadav — languishing behind bars in a murder case of a CPI(M) leader — used to be a one man party. He joined Mr Paswan and now has a constituency for his Punjabi wife too. Pappu Yadav will seek re-election from Purnea while his better half, Ranjeeta Rajesh, will try her luck from Saharsa. This, however, could change, due to protests by leaders that Saharsa should have a Muslim candidate. For the record, another of Mr Paswan’s younger brothers, Pasupati Paras, is an MLA and his daughter’s father-in-law, Udit Rai, is a former MLA. He was defeated by the RJD in the by-election to the Fatuha assembly seat recently. In Laloo Yadav’s camp his in-laws continue to be empowered, particularly after Laloo was compelled to quit and appoint his wife Rabri Devi as chief minister. To Rabri Devi’s family members, Laloo’s helplessness is only too clear. In the “Sala Party”, one member has already been assured the Gopalgunj seat, while his brother is fighting for it. Laloo’s MLA brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav has been promised the ticket while Prabhunath Yadav, his elder brother, is adamant to contest, even as an independent. A third brother-in-law, MLC Subash Yadav, backtracked after he was assured a Rajya Sabha berth. Accusing Laloo Yadav of only favouring only the in-laws, his nephew, Nagendra Rai, is virtually up in arms for his pound of flesh. He has now declared he will stop L K Advani’s Bharat Uday Yatra to attain fame like his uncle’s. Many RJD leaders in private feel that the political end of Laloo Prasad Yadav will not be decided by his opponents but by his kin. Already rebellion has started brewing in the ranks with ministers demanding berths for them and their family members. Two have already quit and others might follow soon.
Posted by: Rudra Singha Apr 2 2004, 02:54 AM
REUTERS: BJP rides growth, cricket win over Pakistan By Sanjeev Miglani NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's ruling Hindu nationalists were looking unstoppable in elections this month, with double-digit economic growth and a crushing cricket win over rivals Pakistan on Thursday fuelling a feel-good factor. Jubilant Indians danced in the streets after the first ever cricket test win in Pakistan, which came a day after official figures said the Indian economy had overtaken China as the fastest growing in Asia in the quarter ended December. "India on Clouds 9 and 10" said a banner headline in the Times of India, referring to the exploits of the cricket team and a GDP growth of 10.4 percent during October-December, fed largely by bumper harvests caused by good monsoon rains. Analysts said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which heads the ruling coalition, was certain to exploit the cricket win and surging economic growth in its "India Shining" campaign which the Congress party, the main challenger, has struggled to counter. "It is a one-sided fight. I cannot recall an election so without a competition," said poll expert N. Bhaskar Rao, who heads the New Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies. "Whether India is shining or not is the subject of another story, but the BJP has managed to put forward a consistent communication strategy," he said. The Congress this week launched Rahul Gandhi, a fourth generation member of the high-profile Gandhi-Nehru dynasty, in the family borough in a bellweather state to boost the party's fortunes. But even this may not be enough, experts said. "The Congress has not yet given the country a good enough reason to throw this government out," said C.P. Bhambri, who teaches politics at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University. liar.gif ECONOMIC PROWESS Gandhi, son of the Italian-born head of the Congress party, Sonia, was mobbed by adoring supporters in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh from where he will contest. Experts say the magic, however, is unlikely to work across the country. "He will certainly win his seat, and may be affect the outcome in some neighbouring constituencies," said Bhambri. "But he is a long way off from changing the national scenario." Three opinion polls in the run-up to the elections have forecast an easy win for the BJP-led coalition with two of them suggesting that the Congress, once India's party of power, could slump to its lowest numbers in parliament. Voting is due to be held in five stages between April 20 and May 10. The BJP, which has put on hold its hardline Hindu agenda to grab the political middle ground by stressing on good governance, has turned on its rivals for questioning the country's growth. "I pity the cynics and doubters who even now deride the shine of India," Finance Minister Jaswant Singh told the Economic Times after the new growth figures came in. "I have always held the view that India is poised for explosive growth." Wednesday's figures showed the Indian economy, Asia's third largest, had beaten China's 9.9 percent growth in the year to the October-December quarter, which has long been the envy of many Indians. Leaders of the BJP have also pointed to record foreign exchange reserves and the rising national currency as a sign of the nation's economic well-being and muscle. The partially convertible rupee hit a four-year high at 43.6 per dollar and the central bank said on Thursday that robust foreign fund investments and higher deposits from expatriate Indians had led to a sharp rise in foreign exchange reserves. "A lot of people see the rising rupee as a sign of national machismo," said one senior BJP leader.
Posted by: acharya Apr 2 2004, 06:22 AM
Desertions confuse Congress workers By Bharath Kumar H. CHITRADURGA, APRIL 1. The rebellion of key leaders in the party has created confusion among the rank and file of the Congress in Chiatradurga district. H. Anjaneya, former general secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, and G.S. Manjunath, former president of the District Congress Committee (DCC), have resigned from the party after being denied ticket in the Assembly elections. The two have filed their nomination papers. S.K.Basavarajan, Administrator of Sri Murugha Math, has also ditched the Congress to fight the election on the Janata Dal (Secular) ticket. The departure of these leaders has created vacuum at the top level in the district unit of the party. It is also said that Taj Peer, who was expecting to be allotted the ticket, was moving away from the party. Mr. D.S. Manjunath was replaced by R. Manjunath as DCC President a couple of weeks ago and he is still to come to grips with the state of affairs in the party. Mr. R.Manjunath was also an aspirant for the Chitradurga Loka Sabha Constituency. The filing of nomination papers by the Congress candidates had sent a clear message that all was not well in the party. No first line leaders of the party in the district were present when the former Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, N.Y. Hanumanthappa, filed his nomination papers for Chitradurga Loka Sabha seat. A senior leader of the party pointed out that the mammoth road shows were organised on the day of filing nominations by the candidates and not by the party. It was an attempt on the part of candidates to flex their muscles. The party leaders were missing at the processions arranged by the former MLAs, M. Chandrappa and G.H. Thippa Reddy, who are the party nominees. "Party workers are in confusion now. Some of the leaders have left. The loyal workers do not know what to do," said a party worker. The party workers and leaders were shocked to see an earthmover in front of the party office in Chitradurga and everyone thought that it had come to demolish the building. The building belonged to Mr. D.S. Manjunath. But he clarified that the earthmover was sent for some other work. As the driver did not know the location, the vehicle was parked near the party office.
Posted by: acharya Apr 2 2004, 06:28 AM
Results will prove opinion polls wrong' By Our Special Correspondent MADURAI, APRIL 1. The opinion polls, which predicted an edge for the Bharatiya Janata Party over the Congress, will be proved incorrect once the Lok Sabha elections results are out, the Janata Party president, Subramanian Swamy, told the media here today. Both the BJP and the Congress "will get much below the projections (of the opinion polls)". "Marketing organisations cannot be expected to undertake opinion polls," he said. Dr. Swamy was confident that the results would pave the way for the formation of a "non-BJP, non-Congress Government at the Centre". On the BJP's `Vision Document', he said its claims on growth in different sectors were not genuine. The 16.9 per cent growth in agriculture was not real growth but was "only recovery". Dr. Swamy claimed that more parties were expressing a wish to have an electoral understanding with the Janata Party, which was hopeful of winning 15 seats, including two in Tamil Nadu. The Janata Party was now in a position to provide a "credible, secular and patriotic alternative" in Tamil Nadu, following its alliance with the New Justice Party. Theirs was the "first front" in the State, with "cleanliness, openness and commitment to democracy". Congress leaders, loyal to the former Prime Minister, P. V. Narasimha Rao, were welcome to join the Janata Party, he said. Dr. Swamy, who is contesting in Madurai, said the Janata Party had a "clear-cut agricultural policy" and wanted the other contestants to "make public what their party policies are for the farmers". The party favoured recognition of agriculture as an industry to ensure that the benefits enjoyed by other industries were extended to the farm sector. Another green revolution would be impractical and hence a new policy was needed to rejuvenate agriculture.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 4 2004, 02:37 AM
Sam Patroda is back, Do you think it will make any difference at this stage of election campagin? He made tons of money during Rajeev and now he is banking on Rahul.
Posted by: Rudra Singha Apr 4 2004, 09:17 AM
wonder what makes him a toadie at this age ? personal relations ? he has marketed himself well and foreigners still tend to think of him as some kinda one-man genius show who started our telecom revolution.
Posted by: Peregrine Apr 4 2004, 04:03 PM
QUOTE (bachan @ Apr 1 2004, 11:33 PM)
In an Indian Express interview a few days ago, Rahul Gandhi said he had MPhil in Economics from Trinity (in Cambridge?).
bachan : AFAIK Rahul Gandhi Studied in Moscow and possibly at some Ivy College in the USA. I believe there is a Trinity College in Hartford CT and Washington DC Cheers
Posted by: Mudy Apr 4 2004, 10:48 PM,0016005500040001.htm Press Trust of India New Delhi, April 4 Convener of Babri Masjid Action Committee Syed Shahabuddin on Sunday joined Congress and said he has decided to 'join the largest secular party to defeat the politics of deception'. Shahabuddin, a three-time Member of Parliament, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the morning and expressed his desire to join the party, spokesman Kapil Sibal told reporters at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi in presence of Sahabuddin. Senior party leaders Salman Khursheed and Chowdhury Virendra Singh were also present.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 4 2004, 11:06 PM
Posted by: Viren Apr 6 2004, 02:35 AM Some of the debate/proceedings etc in the Parliament have been censored/blocked sad.gif
Posted by: muddur Apr 6 2004, 07:35 AM
BJP wants 'India to shine' but .... Pitroda wants ... “A time will come when Pitroda will clear all meetings and decisions for the two children,” said a senior Congress leader, “and his only interest is to see them shine politically. This is neither about power or money.” thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif From intelligenceonline ... Pitroda to strategise for Rahul, Priyanka 3 April 2004: Convinced that the future of the Congress party lies in Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, the NRI telecom wizard, Sam Pitroda, will strategise and micromanage their political career, and slowly cut away all the interest groups proved to be harmful to them, including the coterie around Sonia Gandhi. Sources said that Pitroda cannot forget how he was hounded out after Rajiv Gandhi lost the elections, and is determined to secure high leadership positions for Rahul and Priyanka in the country. Since Sonia Gandhi is the focus of attack of the BJP, and there is a sympathy build-up for her two children, Pitroda will concentrate on building their political careers, and in this respect, interact with old well-wishers of the family, including stalwarts like Arjun Singh. “A time will come when Pitroda will clear all meetings and decisions for the two children,” said a senior Congress leader, “and his only interest is to see them shine politically. This is neither about power or money.”
Posted by: Mudy Apr 6 2004, 08:02 AM
Sam made lot of money during Rajiv Gandhi, No one know him here. What is source of income in US? Any clue?
Posted by: Peregrine Apr 6 2004, 01:58 PM
Cross Posted on the Sonia Memo Thread One must never confuse elections with electioneering. Many journalists get elections wrong because they report electioneering, rather than elections. This is not their fault. Media is a hungry monster, and its appetite extends from chutney and achar to the daily sacrifice of a suitable victim. A report on the elections would be merely one day's story. But electioneering is a constant source of fun: statements, replies, offence, counterattack, allegation, exaggeration, mistakes. It's a carnival. In India, it's a Russian circus, packed with trapeze artists swinging dangerously from party to party (a few reversing direction in mid-air); clowns chanting gibberish; and celebrities prancing on horses. The knives are out: slow movers wield their weapons to stab in the back; the cleverer types puncture egos with concealed stilettos. The stakes could not be higher, and ethics are not a priority requirement in this game. It's nice if you have them, but not at the cost of defeat. Why would reporting elections be minimalist? Because the essence of an election is not controlled by the din of the campaign, but the response to one or two questions that address dominant concerns. Such questions are often obvious. This is the first election since 1962 without a dramatic backdrop. 1967 was a bitter and chaotic contest between main and fringe parties within a stark, sullen and despairing electorate. There was famine across the north (Mother Teresa became a national figure thanks to Raghu Rai's superb photography of her work in the Bihar famine), and the government of India was begging for food from Washington, granted under a scheme called PL 480. Language riots had ripped through the fabric of unity. Muslims were under assault in riots engineered by Congress governments in the states, after the Congress government in the centre had wounded them malevolently during the 1965 war with Pakistan. Prairie fires lit by the Naxalites had spread across the country. The young had no hope, the elders were eyeless. The Congress lost every state from Punjab to Bengal and would have lost Delhi as well if the South had not saved it. 1971, in complete contrast, was as startlingly optimistic as 1967 was dismal. Indira Gandhi merged hope with vision. The first breakthroughs of the Green Revolution promised an India that was self-sufficient in food. Food would eliminate poverty. Indira Gandhi challenged the traditional elites, and taunted them with people's power. Her slogan was perfect for its moment: Woh kahte hain Indira hatao, main kahti hoon gharibi hatao. (They want to remove Indira, I want to remove poverty). It is a message that still resonates in the hearts of those under the poverty line. It was perfect positioning: the popular champion as victim of the manipulators. (Those Congress leaders who have devised the silly slogan "Anyone But Vajpayee" obviously have no idea of history. To demonize a popular leader for no given reason is utterly counterproductive.) The 1971 results were an upheaval. 1977 was as dark as 1971 was light. And in that darkness, the Indian electorate proved its enchanting strength. If the Emergency of 1975 threatened the end of democracy, the 1977 elections confirmed that no dictator would ever rule India again. A Janata government replaced Indira Gandhi, and after a year of promise began to defy common sense. The pendulum reversed. The 1980 elections were a sharp vote against irresponsibility and bad governance. Indira Gandhi returned to power. What no one realized at the moment of her second triumph was that she had become fundamentally flawed. Hubris ran havoc; dynasty was established; and misjudgment bred secession in Punjab, arguably India's most patriotic state. The desecration of the Akal Takht led directly to the assassination of Indira Gandhi; anger and sympathy gave Rajiv Gandhi the largest mandate in Indian history, in an election whose consistent image was fire. The fires of revolt were replaced by the fire of a gun, Bofors: Rajiv was painted in the lurid colours of corruption, and his image could never recover. The results of 1989 said it all. The nineties were consumed by different kinds of fire, of casteism and communalism. And the election of 1999 was held in the shadows of Kargil. 2004 then is the first "normal" election in nearly 40 years. Are you surprised that the voter should be relieved, and indeed feel good about the absence of hysteria? The young, instead of being urged to go to some war or the other, are being promised peace and development. They would be idiotic not to feel the difference. Atal Behari Vajpayee has not become an icon of the MTV generation by accident. I hope though that he has written out a personal thank you note to the opposition. Sonia Gandhi's text was neatly trapped by context. The BJP created a sophisticated two-phase campaign that first established the central theme of the battleground, and then swivelled the battle into a presidential contest between Vajpayee and Sonia Gandhi. "India Shining" was attacked from the wrong end. The Congress challenged the shine, but the slogan was about India far more than it was about India's economy. The difference might be subtle, but it is vital. It was less about the truth, and more about the promise. The BJP used a partial fact (the statistics of its last phase in power) to promote a vision: Indians can turn India into a developed nation. The Congress had nothing in place when the campaign broke. The BJP literally walked into empty space in the popular imagination. The only message that the Congress had communicated in five years was that it wanted Sonia Gandhi as prime minister, but no one was told why, or how this would make India and Indians better off. It was cult worship of the flimsiest kind, because it was built around vulnerability. Having established the theme of positive nationalism, the BJP has switched the debate from the general to the specific. Any good marketing man will tell that macro has to be backed by micro; that the product is nothing without a credible delivery mechanism. The switch occurred when both Prime Minister Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani asked the country to examine the issue of foreign origin as a political question rather than a personal one, and in calm rather than accusatory tones. Nationalism is a very powerful impetus, and Sonia Gandhi does not understand that it takes more than a passport to make you a claimant for the job of prime minister of India. Moreover, that passport was taken only when Rajiv Gandhi became a candidate for prime minister. Sonia Maino could have become a naturalized Indian when she married Rajiv and became a Gandhi in 1968. But she filed an application to remain a foreigner for five years, as she was permitted by Indian law to do. Even in 1973 she was not convinced that she wanted to be an Indian rather than an Italian. She applied for another five years as a foreign resident, as she did again in 1978. It was only in the last week of her permit in 1983, when Rajiv Gandhi was heir apparent, that she asked for an Indian passport. These facts may mean very little to some of us, but they mean a great deal to a lot of us. In any case, they are fodder for the BJP propaganda machine, which is currently in very high gear. Other questions will be raised as well. Most of this vulnerability would have been erased if Sonia Gandhi had shown the leadership needed to resurrect the Congress. Uniquely, the party has shrunk under her despite being out of power. Normally, a party grows when out of office. The fact is that Sonia Gandhi lost the election two years ago when she could not take advantage of Gujarat. India was not shining then, as Vajpayee himself admitted in parliament. That was the weak moment of the government, and it was given a chance to reinvent itself. Every government promises prosperity. Vajpayee is the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to promise peace with Pakistan. Through SAARC he has linked this peace to economic growth as well, but the deeper focus is on the return of human relationships in our subcontinent. This is slowly becoming a primal motivator for key sections of the electorate. Pakistani commentators have written on the surprise of visiting Indians at the warmth they received during the cricket games. They have pointed out Pakistanis stopped the game of demonizing Indians some time ago. Something even more startling is happening in India. Since 1965, confrontation with Pakistan has been the bread and butter of political rhetoric. The BJP has been in the forefront of such politics. Even the most quiescent of doves would not have dared to dream in 1999 that peace could actually become a vote-winner. The implicit question is: can Sonia Gandhi deliver peace with Pakistan, which, if it ever comes, can only emerge through a difficult and delicate process? With so many shysters around, the credibility of opinion polls was bound to suffer. But there is one opinion that remains unwavering, no matter who measures it. In any comparison between Vajpayee and Sonia Gandhi the difference in favour of Vajpayee is either 70:30 or even greater. That indicates two things: the voter's comfort levels with a very Indian Vajpayee, and his unease with Sonia Gandhi. For five years the government lulled the Congress by saying little and doing nothing about the foreign origins of Sonia Gandhi. They were waiting for April 2004 Cheers
Posted by: Mudy Apr 7 2004, 12:10 AM Swapan Dasgupta In the end L K Advani said nothing dramatic in Ayodhya. The mood of expectancy and anticipation of the media that he would use another visit to the temple to signal a return to the BJP's pre-1996 combativeness turned out to be ill-founded. Actually, there was never any basis for such a U-turn, nevertheless the theories kept doing the rounds. For much of the Bharat Uday Yatra, Advani has been answering the predictable questions on Ayodhya and Gujarat posed by everyone, from the district correspondent to the celebrity editor. Over the past 25 days, he must have spoken to some 150 journalists on a one-on-one basis. He has demonstrated remarkable patience in answering the same questions. I guess he was anxious to set the record straight and correct all misconceptions of the purpose behind his yatra. It was two days ago that I first detected a sign of exasperation when dealing with a TV reporter from a national channel. It was quite clear from the word go that this person had arrived with a definite agenda-to force an indiscretion that could be transformed into a contentious headline. It seemed a perfect example of motivated journalism. Anyway, the explosion of exasperation served a purpose. Since leaving Kanpur on Monday morning, Advani has often pre-empted interviewers by suggesting that the mere fact that such questions on Gujarat and Ayodhya are being posed serves to reinforce a stereotype. To another journalist, he was even more candid, 'if you desire an amicable settlement in Ayodhya, it is better you don't be too explicit about the negotiating details since they can derail a process'. There is significance behind wanting to go beyond Gujarat and the early history of the Ayodhya movement. Advani, it seems to me, has concluded that the phase of clarification and allaying fears is over. That message has been successfully communicated. Now the priority is to project the new focus of the BJP, as an evolving and thinking party. That was really the significance of his visit to Ayodhya. He sought to use the symbolism of the old to project the new. From the Ram rath yatra of 1990 that motivated an entire generation and reshaped Indian politics to the Bharat Uday Yatra of 2004, it has been a remarkable tale of political innovation. It was fitting we celebrated it in Ayodhya, the site for the new symbol of post-Nehruvian India.
Posted by: muddur Apr 7 2004, 05:37 AM
Hema ZindaBad ... India needs more Hemendra's and DharmaMalinis. smile.gif She is atleast making the right noise... SHE has the courage to explain the Indians the truth in plain words... smile.gif The Congress party started by the British, is behaving like the British and still uses the 'divide & rule' technique to rule India. The achievements of Congress party in terms of creating a 'United India' IMO, is NIL. In fact I am wrong when I say it is NIL, while the fact is that it is -ve, I mean 'NEGETIVE'.
Speaking a few lines in praise of Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, Hema pointed out that 45 years of Congress rule had led to unemployment, poverty, terrorism and ill-fed people in the country. The Congress was like the British, using the policy of divide and rule. But five years of BJP rule has changed the scenario. Loans at lesser rates, better infrastructure and telecommunications had made India a better place to live in, she said.
Posted by: muddur Apr 7 2004, 05:39 AM
Sonia doesn't own a house in India, but has one in Italy. Which shows where she belongs .. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif Sonia lists assets worth over Rs 1 crore PTI RAE BARELI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has an ancestral house in Italy worth Rs 12.45 lakh and gold and silver jewellery to the tune of Rs 14.71 lakh, according to the affidavit submitted by her at the time of filing nominations for the Lok Sabha polls here on Tuesday. She, however, does not own a house in the country and has no personal vehicle nor does she have any dues pending against her, says the affidavit. Gandhi declared she has cash amounting to Rs. 26.20 lakh at UCO bank in New Delhi, jewellery (2518.450 gms gold and 88 kilogram silver) worth Rs 14.71 lakh, RBI bonds worth Rs. 1.53 lakh, ten shares of Maruti Technical Services Pvt. Ltd., 500 shares of Western India Tanneries Ltd, NSS worth Rs. 1.29 lakh and Rs. 13.02 lakh in PPF account.
Posted by: bachan Apr 7 2004, 07:23 PM
QUOTE (Peregrine @ Apr 4 2004, 04:03 PM)
QUOTE (bachan @ Apr 1 2004, 11:33 PM)
In an Indian Express interview a few days ago, Rahul Gandhi said he had MPhil in Economics from Trinity (in Cambridge?).
bachan : AFAIK Rahul Gandhi Studied in Moscow and possibly at some Ivy College in the USA. I believe there is a Trinity College in Hartford CT and Washington DC Cheers
Peregrine, Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination papers, and declared he has an MPhil from Trinity in Cambridge in development economics. It was in the papers today. But I think Vijay Prashad is from Trinity in Connecticut.
Posted by: muddur Apr 8 2004, 04:39 AM
Why is Amethi threatened by the East India Company? Because Rahul Gandhi has proposed to a Colombian girl. When Colombian girls will come here the culture of Amethi will be spoilt. Amethi has nothing to do with Italy. About 1,000 Colombian girls are campaigning for Rahul Gandhi here. One crore rupees per block is being distributed here.'Amethi~full~of~Colombian~girls'
Posted by: fanne Apr 8 2004, 08:11 PM Posting in full as it will be lost tomorrow Bofors truth points to Quattrocchi, Sonia By Sten Lindstrom Principal Swedish investigator says interrogating Sonia Gandhi, Ottavio Quattrocchi and Martin Ardbo will lead to answers in the Bofors case My name is Sten Lindstrom. I am a Swedish police officer. I was the principal investigator in the Bofors-India Howitzer case. I don’t know why I use the past tense — the investigation is not over. It probably will never be. And that is because people in Sweden and India want it that way. This is not the Sweden of my dreams. And I suspect there are many in India who will be able to hear what I am trying to say. Police officers are human beings. When we take an oath of office, we pledge to serve our office to the best of our ability, to defend the principles upon which our nations are built. However difficult that task and however dangerous be our work, we are expected to soldier on. Almost 18 years after the Bofors case was handed over to me for investigation, I remain convinced that the truth about what happened in India and Sweden will surface one day. It always does. Whether I can help or not, whether those in India and Sweden who covered up in the Bofors case want it or not, one day we will know the truth. Whether we have the courage to face it and put in corrective measures is another matter. But truth has a nasty habit of surfacing when we least expect it to. As a police officer, I know that patience and perseverance are good bets. Police officers will tell you that in any investigation, very soon we get a good idea of the nature of the crime, its scope and depth. Indeed, all the pieces do not fall into place in any given sequence or pattern. Often, the wait is long. Over the years we get trained to learn a lot not so much by what is told, shown, and led to believe. We get a good idea of what is going on by what is denied, what is covered up and what we are not told. This can be information that is denied in the form of witnesses who do not speak, this can be access that is blocked because famous and powerful interests are threatened and this can come in the form of delays and hindrance to our mandate to continue the investigations without fear or favour. And this can even come in the form of investigations and inquiries that are designed to go nowhere. The Bofors-India investigation scored on all these counts. The Bofors case told itself. And it will continue to do so. By making my work difficult at every twist and turn, by hiding what I was looking for, by offering me irrelevant information and by continuing, even today, to pretend to look for the culprits, the Bofors story continues to tell itself. For example, pressure from India resulted in the closing down of an investigation by the Swedish prosecutor. Pressure from India also led to the Swedish National Audit Bureau sending a blanked out version of its inquiry to India. All the relevant parts containing the critical payment details were blacked out. I had the full report and it was unreal to see politicians claim that no payments had been made on the basis of an incomplete report. There were other problems. When a team of senior executives from Bofors travelled to India to testify before the Joint Parliamentary Committee, they were prevented from doing so. Instead they met a small group of officials to whom they did not hand over any names. We were told this was because even if the Swedes had given the names, no one would have believed them. I know this did not make sense to a lot of people, but for a police officer this meant that my worst fears were probably true. I said earlier that the truth will come out one day. I do not believe that day is far. The unravelling continues. Ottavio Quattrocchi, the Italian middleman who negotiated the political payoff through A E Services, must be interrogated. Sonia Gandhi must be questioned. All else is detail. Key questions need answers. Among them: * Who introduced Ottavio Quattrocchi to Bofors officials? * What was Ottavio Quattrocchi’s value proposition that led him to assure Bofors contractually that he need not be paid if the deal was not closed in their favour? * Why did Bofors pay Ottavio Quattrocchi? * What services did his company A E Services offer? * What are the links between Ottavio Quattrocchi and Sonia Gandhi? * Who is the Gandhi trustee lawyer that Martin Ardbo met in Geneva? I raised these questions with Martin Ardbo, the key Bofors negotiator who told me, as he did to a few others, that the truth about the India payoffs would follow him to his grave. He was especially quiet about the last-minute contract with AE Services, a deal that he personally oversaw. It was clear to me that this was the political pay-off. Police officers know that the person who comes in last and walks off with a sum of money for no apparent work is a political payment made to people who have the power to close the deal. This amount is typically calculated only after all the major stages of negotiations and the price structure are complete. This was A E Service’s profile and it received a single payment of 50 million Swedish kronor routed through Swiss banks. This money moved very fast to avoid detection. Quattrocchi was directly linked to this account. It was in connection with this very secret negotiation that Ardbo wrote of a meeting in Geneva between the front-end mover of the account (Bob Wilson) and a Gandhi trustee lawyer in Geneva. This meeting took place on July 2, 1987. Ardbo was very worried about what I knew about this deal. He was surely worried about people discovering who ‘Q’ was and what his links to ‘R’ were as he noted: ‘Q’ for Quattrocchi and ‘R’ for Rajiv Gandhi. I am being made a scapegoat to protect big people, he told us. There were other tell-tale marks. In crimes that involve political payoffs, no one has the full story. Players come in, perform their job and leave. This is done to ensure that should there be a problem, there is a built-in firewall against information landing in wrong hands, i.e. they proceed on a need-to-know basis. In the Bofors-India case too, this was true. The only person who probably has all the pieces of this jigsaw is Martin Ardbo. And he wrote his fears down on paper. I had contact with him recently and he still keeps his secrets to himself. In sharp contrast Indian politicians involved in the corruption issued denials, sent notes, dispatched officials and created confusion where none was necessary. Police officers will tell you that this is an old tactic to muddy the waters. When the protest is louder and longer than the accusation, you can be sure the guilty are speaking. The then Prime Minister (Rajiv Gandhi) told the Indian Parliament that neither he nor any member of his family was involved in the payoffs. That, I believe, was his first big mistake; one that gave us many clues. What he did not know then was that the Swedish government was examining a lot of documents even as he was speaking. The evidence in the documents documenting the bribes, including a last-minute payoff to Ottavio Quattrocchi’s AE Services, Martin Ardbo’s silence and Rajiv Gandhi’s denials in the Indian Parliament, were all happening at the same time as far as my work was concerned. The Gandhi name and the link to Quattrocchi were now part of the investigation. This did not mean that the case was politicised. It only meant that there was a critical political dimension to this, not dissimilar to cases of this magnitude. I am probably the only person who has met every Swedish official connected with the Bofors-India case. From its former head Martin Ardbo to former Swedish foreign minister Sten Anderson, from people in Bofors’ accounts department to its board members. It would not be wrong to say that I am probably one of no more than a handful of people, if not the only person, to have seen all the documents pertaining to the Bofors-India case. Sonia Gandhi must be questioned.I know what I am saying. Quattrocchi took $7,123,000 Stockholm, April 7: Sweden’s Economic Crimes Bureau received definite information in 1997, six years after the Bofors case was officially closed, that Ottavio Quattrocchi was one of the recipients of the kickbacks that are still haunting the Gandhi family. An Interpol message confirmed what the Swedish investigating team had known for several years, that a percentage of the money paid for the Howitzer deal went “as a gift” to Quattrocchi now in Italy. Principal investigating officer Sten Lindstrom, who has spent 17 years on the case and like the archetypal policeman is not prepared to let it go until justice is done, said that Interpol had confirmed “what we had known but were not able to prove with conclusive evidence.” In his first-ever interview to an Indian newspaper the detective superintendent of the Swedish Economic Crimes Bureau said that the new information clearly establishes that $7,123,000 was paid by A.E. Services between 16-29 September 1986 to Colbar Investment Ltd. Quattrocchi, he said, held the power of attorney for this company. Lindstrom was almost certain that this money, a fraction of the total amount paid by Bofors for the deal to Indian middlemen and various companies, was intended as a “gift” for Quattrocchi from his influential “friends” in India for other services rendered. He said that two facts prompted him to make this assessment. One, that in 1988, Colbar Investment Ltd Inc transferred a substantial amount of money to its subsidiary Wetelsen Oversea SA, Panama, and further on to Ansbacher Ltd, Guernsey. He said the exact amount could not be ascertained at the time. Two, he said the sum transferred to Quattrocchi’s concern did not appear to be intended for Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as it was too small an amount. “I think they intended it as a gift for Quattrocchi,” Lindstrom said, pointing out that the Italian businessman was a sudden entry as he was not mentioned by Bofors officials at any time, even in passing, during the investigation. Lindstrom said that when the investigation closed in 1991 the Economic Crimes Bureau had information that $7,343,942 was transferred by Bofors AB to AE Services on September 8, 1986. Of this, the said amount was paid to Colbar Investment Ltd Inc. Interestingly, the parent company of AE Services, according to Lindstrom, was CIAOU Anstalt, with lawyer Robert Wilson holding the power of attorney. Wilson had served in India as a General of a Gurkha regiment, and was interviewed by Lindstrom. CIAOU — Wilson himself told the Swedish investigator — reads Ciao (Italian for hello) without the U. It stands for Consortium Information Assimilation Output Unit. CIAOU, Lindstrom said, acted as an agency for channelling funds for defence manufacturers and added that Wilson had told him that it had considerable influence with governments. Lindstrom said that he was certain that there was some connection between CIAOU and Quattrocchi. He said that he had not been able to work on this as the details about Quattrocchi had come too late and it was impossible under Swedish law to open the case. He said that according to Interpol the Indian government has the documents to prove Quattrocchi’s involvement in the entire deal and that if he had known at the time he would have certainly questioned the Italian businessman who, incidentally, started his career as an agent for Italian companies in India. It is important here to establish that Lindstrom is perhaps one of the handful of Swedish personnel who, apart from being involved in the Bofors investigation from day one, has seen almost every document to do with the case. This correspondent spoke to him extensively, the interviews spanning seven long hours of intense discussion. In February 1986, as part of the national investigation team, he was assigned to work out the murder of Prime Minister Olaf Palme. Swedish Radio broke the Bofors story in April 1987 and in August the same year he joined chief prosecutor Ringberg and two other police officers to investigate the case. It was a long and arduous journey, undertaken with great enthusiasm by the team that was confident of cracking the case. Lindstrom said that they carried out detailed interviews, made house searches, collected documents until they reached the “wall” in Switzerland, where the Swiss refused to part with details of the bank accounts. He said that they were able to establish that money had been paid by Bofors AB, ascertain details about the recipients but for a variety of reasons that will be written about in these columns later, were unable to obtain conclusive evidence to pin down the guilty. Lindstrom said that 320 million Swedish kronor had been paid to the Hindujas and Win Chadha, as against the substantially smaller amount delivered to AE Services and through it to Quattrocchi. Lindstrom said that there were two ways of cracking a case. One was by obtaining sufficient evidence to take the guilty to court. The other was to know the truth but not have conclusive evidence to establish it in the eyes of the law. He said the Bofors case fell into the second category: “we know what the truth is, but we were unable to establish it.” He was sure, however, that “it will all come out” one day. “It has taken a long time, it might take more time but one day the truth about this case will be known.”
Posted by: acharya Apr 9 2004, 06:00 AM
Something startling will happen. in our favour - By L.K. Advani speaks to M.J. Akbar April 07, 2004 Q: Mr Advaniji, thank you very much for welcoming us to your yatra. I don’t want to repeat the question which everyone must have asked you, which is how this yatra is different from the one you had in 1990. You must be tired of answering that question... A: No... The basic difference is this is the first yatra I have undertaken as a substitute for my normal election campaigning. The earlier yatras were not at all related to any election. After all, I have worked for the party and the NDA in ’98, in ’99, but those were the normal ways of campaigning. This time, about a couple of months before the elections were actually announced, I thought of it; because my earlier yatras made me convinced that no other way of mass contact really reaches out to so many people. In normal election campaigning, people have to come to the meeting, the rallies. And the rallies take place in the cities or the bigger towns. Q: That is why, what you say during the yatras, can have so much impact. And that is what is held against you, that in 1990 you raised the temperature of the nation in a particular direction. That you started fires rather than calming them down. A: Firstly, the 1990 yatra has been projected in a manner as to create a totally wrong impression. People do not know that in that yatra there was not a single incident, not one single incident, of violence. If there was one, it was stoning on the rath by people who were opposed to Mandal (Commission), and their anger was: why have you not withdrawn support to the V.P. Singh government? That was the only one incident. Otherwise, it was absolutely fine. Yet the impression is, that yatra touched off riots and communal violence. When the fact is that the communal violence took place after the demolition (at Ayodhya) in 1992. Q: But without your rathyatra would there ever have been 1992? A: Absolutely nothing. 1992 would have happened normally... Q: It would have happened normally? A: Because, because we were taken by surprise (at Ayodhya). I was there... It was a day of deep anguish for me. Q: You were taken by surprise as much as Narasimha Rao was taken by surprise? And do you believe Narasimha Rao was taken by surprise? A: I do not know about Narasimha Rao, because all kinds of stories I have heard. But so far as I am concerned, I just could not... Q: Would you like to tell us one of the stories you have heard (about Rao)? A: No point. He is no longer in the active field and I would not like to dwell upon that. Q: Advaniji, we have been discussing how the yatra has changed. In these 12 years, how has L.K. Advani changed? A: When I look at myself, I would say that my basic attitudes have been constant over decades. Being in government has certainly made me more conscious of the nature of this country. Q: Would you like to define that, sir? A: How pluralistic it is. How important federalism is for this country. I can even claim that no government of the past has strengthened federalism in the manner in which the Vajpayee government has done it. And maybe it is because of the compulsions of the government itself that it has had to rely on so many regional parties. Q: But that is one part of it. Let’s take another part. You can win elections, as we have seen, without Muslim support. But can you run India without Muslim support? A: No, no... I would not say that we cannot run India, but it would not be a satisfactory government. In fact, I have seen two governments. One, the Morarji government (in 1977), which was virtually a single party government, though Akalis were also there. But the rest of us had coalesced into one Janata Party. And the second is this government, which comprises so many parties. I would think that the Vajpayee government is more representative of the country, both geographically and socially, and it is able to perform its task of governing this pluralistic society better. Q: Are you becoming another Congress for the Muslims? A: I (thinks)... wish it would become... (But) the Muslims did not accept even the Congress. Q: Yes. A: And the... But the Congress was true to itself. Q: You have to define that. A: I would define it this way. The Congress did not disown the approach of Gandhiji. At least so long as Gandhi was there. And maybe it was this approach which enabled the Muslim League to tell the Muslims that this is a Hindu Congress. After all, all these epithets which were used against the Congress prior to 1947 are used against us (today). Q: What is the turning point in your relationship with Muslims? What is the 1947? Just as after ’47 Muslims began to go towards the party that they had demonised, and turn to the Congress... What is the turning point? A: My feeling is that the Congress approach before 1947, so far as basic attitudes of Gandhi are concerned, was correct. His political moves were not very sound. He may have erred on that, though I am a junior to be commenting on a stalwart like him. And that too at such a distance. But (thinks) I have been trying to tell my colleagues also, that one of the major distortions that has come about in the concept of secularism after the passing away of Gandhiji and those of his way of thinking, is that, religion is sought to be ostracised, and religion is sought to be projected as something that undermines secularism. Which is totally a wrong approach, particularly in a country like India. Q: Which is religious by nature. A: Which is religious. Q: Is that why you too have in your quest for Muslim votes started parading beards on the television screen? A: I would not agree to that. Beards on television and these external symbols of religion... I myself am not a ritualistic person, and therefore... There are people who have said, "Yeh kaisa Hindu hai? Jo roz puja nahi karta, roz mandir mein nehi jata". Q: Lekin tika lagata hai. A: Tika laga dete hain log. Main nehi lagata. There are people who after puja, tika laga kar ke... Main puja daily nahin karta. Lekin agar koi aakar ke karta hai... I respect those who indulge in rituals. I don’t scoff at them. I don’t deride them. Q: I saw on television this morning the BJP collecting a few of the regular, what might be called Congress-style mullahs coming on parade in order to support your party. Isn’t this doing exactly what the Congress has done? Lip service politics. A: I do not know if they were collected or they volunteered to come there. I do not know. But people do come. I went to Karimnagar the other day, in Andhra, and in that meeting there was a large gathering of Muslims also. In the women’s section, there was a large number of women in burqas. Now the photographer naturally picked upon that, and I can understand the photographer’s point of view. The pressman’s point of view. But naturally that is the photo that is projected. Q: Sir, the great fear of course is that while you in your alliance with the NDA have set aside many of the elements of the BJP agenda, that if you ever come to power as a majority, the whole issue of Muslim Personal Law and so on will be revived. A: Let me first emphasise that if you have a coalition, the coalition has to function on the basis of the agreed common programme. It is not that we have set aside... Q: But that’s the fear, that they will be revived. A: No... And therefore in this election, when our party president (Venkaiah Naidu) has set a target of 300 seats, I have again and again emphasised, even if the BJP gets a majority by itself we are committed to having an NDA government. Q: But when you do have a BJP government, if you can get 300 seats, which I don’t think so, but supposing you do, will you then set aside the NDA agenda and bring your old agenda? A: No... NDA agenda is an agreed agenda. That will remain. But so far as Uniform Civil Code is concerned, I would say it is part of the Constitution. It has nothing to do with the Jana Sangh agenda or the BJP agenda. Basically, it’s an issue which the whole country, including Muslim society and Hindu society, has to deal with. Q: Yes, but deal... A: I remember when we were in the Janata government — the second phase before the 1980 election — I remember the manifesto committee and one of the members of the manifesto committee, whom you also know very well, he insisted that the Janata Party should commit itself to deleting the provision relating to Uniform Civil Code. I said that I would not agree. Q: Was this person a socialist? A: (Smiles) Was he a socialist? I think he was in the foreign service. (Laughter) Q: Did you ever think, as the iron man of this government, you would be making such a dramatic overture for peace with Pakistan? A: Perhaps three years ago no one would have done it. But I was always in favour of making moves towards peace with Pakistan including the first bus journey. And in fact I can even say that I was the person most insistent upon General Pervez Musharraf being invited to India. Q: Then why did you sabotage Agra? A: That is a word that my adversaries, and the other side have used, why should M.J. Akbar also use it? Q: Well, I am being the devil’s advocate. A: I can tell you that though I have borne the odium of being the person responsible for what happened, but the fact is that when I pointed out the great shortcoming in what we were about to agree to, everybody agreed. (They said) that you are right and therefore we should not agree. Q: What was the shortcoming? A: The shortcoming was Pakistan’s total refusal to accept that there is anything like terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Q: So why did this point not appear in the original draft? Why did we not include this in the original draft? Why do we let General Musharraf say that the draft had come from our side and we went back on it? A: (Thinks) I can only say that when the draft was shown to me, I pointed out this shortcoming and on those everyone, I am not naming everybody, everyone agreed that this (my point) is correct. The pointing out of this big loophole or shortcoming may be attributed to me. But this is also true that there was unanimity that in these circumstances it is better that there be no agreement rather than an agreement on this. Q: So what has changed between Agra and now? A: What has changed is obvious. Q: Is it 9/11? A: No, 9/11 has changed Pakistan. And if I may venture to suggest, that the happenings in Pakistan itself, prior to the SAARC Summit, may also have also influenced Pakistan’s thinking. But the fact is that what Pakistan was willing to say in the joint statement at Islamabad, if they had been willing to say that in Agra, Agra also would have been successful. Q: Then why did you try — if you still want this mood (of peace during the) cricket which we have seen, and which is such a marvellous evocation of the possible... Why did the home ministry try and sabotage the cricket tour? A: It is absolutely baseless. Our only worry was lest the dates of the matches clash with the election dates and affect the percentage of polling. That was one thing. And of course, the players had expressed their worry, that if you have it in Karachi... that in all international matches held in Karachi there have been disturbances, there have been problems, of security. Otherwise, there was no difference between the home ministry and the rest of the government. Both decisions, the first decision also (was) conveyed to the Board (BCCI). Because we did not directly do anything. It was the Board that was negotiating. Occasionally there used to be some kind of communication between the government and the government of Pakistan. But these stories about home ministry being opposed to it, and a person like me, who has been interested in cricket always... There was no question... Q: You have been talking to the Hurriyat, of late. Are these the same people that you thought were traitors to India? A: I would think that in the Hurriyat itself there are different people, and the Hurriyat as it is represented today, it is not difficult to talk to them. We may agree or we may not agree, that is a different matter, but dialogue is feasible. Q: And what is the reason for your confidence? A: I think so far as I am concerned... When Mr (N.N.) Vohra was appointed to talk to all sections of the people in Jammu and Kashmir, he asked me, I said, you talk to the Hurriyat also. There should be no objection. And then later on when the Hurriyat said that they would like to talk to somebody at the political level and the Cabinet Committee on Security itself said why not Mr Advani, I said I have no objection. Q: What has happened during the talks that has given you confidence? A: (Thinks) My confidence is only about the fact that dialogue is possible. Whether we come to an agreement or not, I do not know. Because in the first meeting the stress was entirely on that there should be no human rights violations and those who have been incarcerated for a long period of time and (against whom) there are no substantial allegations, they should be released. These are issues which are not really connected with Jammu and Kashmir as much as they are connected with good governance. Q: But just before that, as human contact, when you first met, what was the reaction? They (the Hurriyat) have demonised you too. A: I think they were more surprised than me. I had not expected anything else, but they had perhaps apprehended that Advani would be having two horns, which they found he did not have. Q: Did they find even one horn on your... A: (Smiles) I think they did not. The kind of statements that they made after their meeting with me, made me satisfied. Q: Why aren’t you letting them go to Pakistan? A: Till now they haven’t even asked. But I think once the dialogue with Pakistan directly has started... perhaps they may not even ask it. I do not know. Q: They may not ask it, or you may not have any objection? A: I do not know. I can’t say today because a meeting is due. Q: Due? And you will not discuss the substantive nature of what is going to be discussed? A: I think they also appreciate that substantive nature of discussions can take place only after the elections and a new government is formed. Q: Sir, we all keep discussing the problem of Kashmir. Nobody has any suggestions on the solution of Kashmir. Is there a solution? A: If people in my position talk of solutions and discuss them publicly, perhaps the government’s capacity and ability to be flexible in respect of such contentious problems which have a history of more than 50 years, may be affected. And therefore... When I spoke to General Musharraf, I said throughout the world, even more contentious problems have been sorted out by a continuous dialogue. So tomorrow when we meet at Agra — I spoke to him in Delhi — we may not be able to sort it out. But let us decide that hereafter peace shall not be held hostage to the resolving of any dispute between us, including Jammu and Kashmir. We will continue to exert. We will continue to talk. Q: What did the general say to your suggestion? A: (Thinks) General did not specifically reply, but to the best of my recollection, he suggested that unless we sort it out, unless we sort out Jammu and Kashmir... Kashmir problem, we can’t move forward. Q: This is what the Pakistani hawks keep saying, and they say it even now, that the talks that we want, the peace process that we want, is only an excuse by which we drag the problem on endlessly; that we never want a solution and we have no credibility. A: No. At least India does not want to drag the problem on endlessly. This I can say on the basis of what I know about the government’s thinking and in which certainly I am also a part, India doesn’t want... India wants to have very cordial relations with Pakistan, number one. India wants to sort out all issues which are contentious, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Q: What were the consequences of our tremendous one-year stand-off in which very famously a million troops faced each other eyeball to eyeball? Was that whole exercise a failure, a non-starter, a damp squib? A: I think that the subsequent events, subsequent assessments, all led us to think, that maybe without even a major confrontation, which one cannot predict where exactly it would lead, things may improve. And they did improve. Though in that improvement, it is true, that events in Pakistan also contributed. Q: Like? A: Like even the (thinks) terrorists trying to target the President of Pakistan himself. Q: Do you think Pakistan foreign policy has become over-dependent on American instructions? A: Americans, I believe, considerably influence Pakistan’s foreign policy or Pakistan’s policy. And therefore, whenever I have interacted with the Americans I’ve told them that they can do much more in curbing cross-border terrorism. They said, no you are exaggerating our clout with Pakistan. That is their standard answer. I said, I don’t agree. This is not my view. Pakistan dare not go against what you direct them to do. Q: If you got an invitation to visit to Pakistan, would you go? A: I would go, obviously. Apart from other facets of this issue, which are related to my personal nostalgia... I’d certainly be happy to go. Q: Coming to American pressure on the subcontinent, if you had been the Prime Minister of India, you would have sent Indian troops to Iraq, would you not have? A: No. I think India did a very right thing. When I visited America, the issue was still open and my replies in America, whether to the press or to the American leaders, on this issue of Iraq, I also kept it open. Somehow they got an impression that I was not averse to it, which is not true. My own view from the very beginning was, that this is not a matter in which we should involve ourselves beyond giving civilian assistance to re-create Iraq — sending our engineers and doctors and all that. But so far as Army is concerned, which may have to do the duty of policing in Iraq, we should not. Q: What transpired between you and President Bush when he dropped in to talk to you when you were in Washington? A: He did mention Iraq, but I said... At that point of time I simply told him that we have had two meetings in New Delhi of the Cabinet Committee on Security to discuss this matter. The main Opposition in the Indian Parliament has strongly opposed the move. And in India, generally speaking, on major foreign policy issues, government always tries to arrive at a consensus. In this case even though the Opposition opposed it, we considered, but in both those meetings several questions were raised and those questions need to be answered. And then it was that I was told, that a Pentagon team is visiting New Delhi next week to talk to me — government of India — in respect of all the questions (we) wanted to raise. I said fine, a decision would be taken after that. So that’s how I did keep the issue open. Q: But would you say that the former American ambassador to Delhi, Mr (Robert) Blackwill, was responsible for creating the impression that you were for sending troops and that Mr Vajpayee was not? A: He was the person to whom, even before a formal decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security, I had made it very clear... He came one day and mentioned that today in Iraq the university opened. And boys and girls came to the university. For the first time the university would have a course which would have no imprint of Saddam. And normally, this would have been a major event reported in the American press, but because one American soldier went out to buy a bottle of Coke and some sniper shot him dead, that became the main news. I told him... I said, Mr Blackwill, now this one soldier of yours has gone to perform a duty for the country and he is shot dead and everything else is eclipsed, you can imagine an Indian soldier going there... In a way, against the resolution of Parliament, government having decided, he goes and he is shot dead, how will we justify? There’s no question of our being able to justify to our people what’s happening. And privately, I also communicated to these people: I said we are having... We are befriending America today because we think in a long range point of view — both of us are democracies, both of us have many common interests — but I can tell you, that your attitude to Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism has alienated the Indian people. And the Indian people, many of them think that you are back to the Cold War days. Pentagon’s relations with Pakistan are of a nature which make it impossible for you to really curb them, though you are fully aware of their role in cross-border terrorism in India. And I said, these things also influenced our decision on matters like Iraq. Q: Coming back to Kashmir, and the real moral, ideological reasons: we have said that Kashmir is part of our India, because we have claimed, and said — and this is a part of our Constitution — that we are a secular nation. You, as a politician and as the leader of the BJP have destroyed the word secularism. How do you correlate the two? A: Have I destroyed it? I’d think that today, more and more people are coming to realise that what we of the BJP have been saying about secularism, is genuine secularism. It is those who have equated secularism with pure vote bank politics, who have really undermined the real content of secularism... Q: So what is difference between genuine and fake secularism? I mean specifically. A: Genuine is that the state must view all citizens without any discrimination, irrespective of their faith. Q: Sir, is permitting Mr Togadia to do his rather extremist rhetoric, part of genuine secularism? A: Rhetoric is rhetoric. You also call it rhetoric and that kind of rhetoric is indulged in by so many sections. If on the basis of rhetoric, you are going to take executive action and repressive action, it is not a democracy. I do not think that what you describe as rhetoric, has really support of either the government or any major party. Q: Would you say, Advaniji, that keeping Narendra Modi as chief minister is part of genuine secularism? Rather than fake secularism? A: Yes, I feel (thinks) that Narendra Modi is another person who has been victim of a distorted image projection. What happened in Gujarat, was very very sad. If Godhra had not happened, the subsequent riots would have not happened. But to say that the Modi government cooperated with the rioters, I do not know of a single chief minister in independent India whose police has shot down 200 rioters, as Modi’s did. In fact, if the police had been cooperating with the rioters, and the government was in complicity with it, then the attack on Akshardham, which was in a way more provocative than even Godhra, that would have resulted in a major outrage. But the fact that it was controlled, only showed that by that time the government had become alert. Q: It only showed that you had changed rather than Mr Modi. That the Centre was far more careful and pro-active rather than... after Godhra. A: Centre was cautious from the very beginning. But the first two days, things went bad. Q: But are you saying that the whole of media is wrong? The whole of... A: Yes it is wrong. It is wrong totally. As I said, even in my case, everyone thinks, even an enlightened journalist like you, that in 1990 rathyatra, there was a lot of violence. When there was not a single incident. Q: But if perception defines the truth in politics... A: Perception defines the truth and, therefore, I have to answer. But I answer very categorically. I don’t dilly-dally. And I know Gujarat and Modi personally. Q: Yes, you are sort of politically obliged to defend him. A: No. There is no political obligation to defend something which is wrong. Though I have said that (in) Gujarat what happened was an aberration. Should not have happened. Q: Well, we can... Civil service, police people, judiciary, all continue to believe — strong elements of it — that, that was a blot on the reputation of the NDA government, of the Central government, and indeed of the BJP. A: As I said, things happening of this nature are certainly a cause of anguish. But I do not accept the charge of complicity. Q: You are in the middle... And as you said, this is your election yatra as distinct from perhaps ideological yatras of the past, how many seats are you giving to the NDA in these elections? I hope you do not share your party president’s view that the BJP would get 300. A: If I were to repeat an answer that I have given to everyone: right from the beginning, ever since I have been campaigning for the party, I have never ventured to speculate about the number of seats. I can say this, that in my experience whenever the general atmosphere is so surcharged in favour of one party, then the final outcome generally exceeds the normal calculations. It happened in 1977, it happened in 1984. In both these elections, the atmosphere was very surcharged: in one case, against the Congress, in the second case, in favour of the Congress. And so, the calculations were easy. Similarly, something is going to happen this time. In our favour. And our results will be much better than those of 1998 and 1999. Q: But your weak links are your partners, aren’t they? A: No, not much. Not much. Q: BJP as an organisation seems to be changing. I could not believe when I saw the BJP office in Andhra Pradesh being ransacked. What has happened to the BJP’s discipline? A: I am not aware of this particular incident, but if it has happened it’s something that our BJP organisation managers would have to take note of. And try to deal with effectively. Q: Sir, a few questions to round up quickly. UP and Bihar — that is your weak link. The BJP’s weak link. A: It had weakened, and I cannot deny that Kalyan Singhji leaving the party had the (thinks)... deprived us of the holistic image that we had acquired. Q: In caste terms? A: Yes. His coming back has almost entirely corrected the situation. Q: Your great blunder was Mayawati, wasn’t it? A: It was not our blunder. I don’t view it that way. In fact, she inflicted a very great wound to herself and her party when she decided to break away from us. Perhaps she did some good to us, in the process. Q: You are wooing Muslims so assiduously, why don’t you woo dalits? A: Dalits have been with us for a long time, though not as a bloc. But we have never had Dalits regarding us as enemies. Muslim community has been given that feeling by our adversaries, over a period of time, that, we are their adversaries, that we are their enemies. That’s not so with either dalits or with tribals (with) both of whom we have had a substantial following over decades. Q: Surely, your bad reputation with Muslims is not simply due to your enemies. Your own actions and your own ideological stances have done something... A: All that I can say is, even the Congress Party and Mahatma Gandhi, they were depicted as being the enemies of the Muslims before 1947... Q: Is the veneration of Mahatma Gandhi part of your programme in this yatra — you are starting at Porbandar in the second leg — part of a BJP revisionism? A: Gandhiji became an icon with us many, many years ago, when what we have in the Sangh, the RSS, called the pratyasmaran; that incorporated Gandhiji, and in very generous terms. So, we differed with some of the policies adopted by Gandhiji, but not with his basic attitude. Q: You didn’t differ with the policy he adopted towards Hindu-Muslim unity? A: Not with his attitudes. That there should be unity in the... that there should be harmony among the Hindus and the Muslims, not (differed) with that. But in order that there be harmony, let Jinnah become the Prime Minister of India, that kind of approach we thought was wrong. Q: It was Jinnah who warned Gandhiji against mixing religion and politics. A: I am aware of it. And, therefore, it is that I said that our concept of secularism is closer to that of Gandhiji than that of Nehruji. Q: One last question, why have you never thought of becoming finance minister of India? A: (Smiles) Frankly, I don’t understand much about financial matters. And, therefore, even my own financial matters are looked after by my wife, not by me. Q: Ignorance has not prevented previous finance ministers from becoming finance ministers. A: (Smiles) Hanh, it has been said by some that a person who doesn’t know much about finance may be a competent Prime Minister. I do not know. But I do think that the responsibility entrusted to me by my Prime Minister is awesome. It is immense. (Smiles) Q: Thank you very, very much, for this long and extremely intimate, and I think wide-ranging, interview, sir.
Posted by: acharya Apr 9 2004, 06:04 AM
Check this out - learn how they the perception is formed There are no fools! BJP Woos Liberal Hindus By Appeals To Muslims By SAJEDA MOMIN The Statesman April 5, 2004 Recently, when I attended a dinner party at the lovely home of an affluent Muslim couple the conversation, like in many parlours all over the country, turned to the forthcoming elections. The room full of educated, secular, upper-middle-class people discussed the pros and cons of voting for different parties, when a gentleman present suddenly said something that made everyone stop and stare. The shocking statement came from a well-respected Muslim, a very senior bureaucrat in the all India services. “I have been approached by the BJP to join them and they have even offered me a ticket” he said. After the room had recovered from the shock, the most obvious clamour was for his reply, but before he could say anything his wife replied for him. “I told him if he said yes, then I would leave him”, she said emphatically. The matter was settled to everyone’s satisfaction. Gimmicks No matter how much the BJP would like to project itself as a centrist, national party under whose rule the minorities would be safe, it still remains an anathema to the Muslims because of their past track record and more importantly their current double-speak. The demolition of the Babari Masjid and the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat are two examples of the BJP’s attitude towards minorities, and not the recent, very superficial, empty gestures made by party members to which the likes of Arif Mohammed Khan have fallen prey. When names of people like Khan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Husain, the three Muslim showpieces of the BJP, were mentioned to the senior bureaucrat as Muslims who had done well in the party, so why shouldn’t he join them? His wife again pointedly retorted “They are like those Indians during the freedom struggle who collaborated with the British for favours or out of fear, but they were still traitors”. The BJP may have managed to entice Khan, or for the first time painted an elderly gentleman sporting a skull cap and a white beard on the side of LK Advani’s Bharat Uday rath, or got a Muslim cleric to flag of his yatra, but they are not fooling anyone, least of all Muslims. These are political gimmicks, and not a new-found love for Muslims, anyone who has seen them has recognised them for what they are. Juxtapose these images with Advani talking of Ayodhya from atop his rath, building a Ram Temple on the debris of the Babari Masjid, and establishing Ram Rajya all over the country. Or his new-found need for Hindu-Muslim unity, after having watched and supported Narendra Modi create a divide so deep between the two communities in Gujarat, that it is almost impossible to bridge. Divisive All the welcome speeches are for the cameras. The reality is totally different which a handful of Gujarati Muslims discovered when they tried to follow Arif Mohammed Khan’s example and approached the BJP to join. They were told to do so via the backdoor, ie. the state unit was not keen to announce that Muslims were joining them in fear of a backlash from the Hindu votebank which they have fed for the last two decades to hate their Muslim compatriots. If Gujarat is the standard-bearer and showpiece of a BJP-ruled state then no one from the minority communities will want to come anywhere near the party. Here they have been deprived of all security, subjected to murder, rape, arson and loot, denied justice at all stages, ghettoised and silenced, their complaints falling on deaf ears — if this is Advani’s version of Ram Rajya then it is little wonder that minorities are afraid of it. Even Advani’s current projection of improved Hindu-Muslim relations thanks to better Indo-Pak relations is a backhanded slap to the self-respect of Indian Muslims. By making this connection he clearly questions the loyalty and patriotism of Indian Muslims to their motherland yet again. Peace between India and a warring neighbour will be as important to an Indian Muslim as it is to an Indian Hindu, no more and no less. It is blinkered statements like these coming from senior party leaders which are translated by the rank and file of the party as justification for treating Muslims as representatives of the “enemy’’ and calling colonies in which they live “mini Pakistan’’, and targeting them for violence as in Gujarat. It is obvious that the BJP sees everything in religious terms. For them it is more important whether one is a Hindu, a Christian or a Muslim to determine nationality. This stems from the philosophy on which the party’s ideology is based — Hindutva, as defined by the works of VD Savarkar and MS Golwalkar who did not consider Indian Muslims and Christians as part of the Indian nation but as “internal threats’’ and enemies. As long as the BJP does not bury Hindutva, it cannot shake off its communal tag for the very simple reason that the ideology itself is inherently divisive. The idea that you can only be an Indian if you are a Hindu automatically excludes all religious minorities. Just as the Muslims have realised that the BJP’s gestures are gimmicks and are not rushing to join them, so too the BJP are aware that they will never appeal to minorities. Communal politics The real targets of the “wooing Muslims campaign’’ are actually liberal, secular Hindus who have stayed away from the BJP because of their communal politics, and it is they who have prevented the BJP from coming to power in Delhi on their own. By making these gestures, the BJP hopes to shake off its anti-minority image and expand its base to include liberal Hindus sitting on the fence. The BJP has realised that in order to achieve its tally of 300 seats in Parliament on its own it has to make inroads into the South, which so far it has not been able to do. Communal riots have afflicted the Hindi heartland in the North where the horrors of Partition can be used to breed hatred between two communities, but most of the South does not bear this burden. The BJP has been trying to take its trademark communal politics to the South and fomented trouble thereby creating Ayodhya-like situations, eg in Karnataka. But unfortunately for them there is greater education, literacy and awareness in the South, so the BJP’s task is more difficult because it cannot simply use religious fundamentalism to raise passions. The BJP has therefore tried to use the head rather than the heart and is appealing to the electorate’s more secular ideals by trying to project itself as a centrist, liberal party rather than a right-wing, fundamentalist one. But judging by the response to LK Advani’s rath yatra, they have fooled no one with the camouflage, and still have a long way to go. The author is Assistant Editor, The Statesman
Posted by: Gargi Apr 9 2004, 06:54 AM
Why these secular newspaper give so much importance to muslim votes? In reality muslim votes doesn't matter anymore. 70% of them don't vote. Rest 30% are too little to make difference. 80% of muslim can't read english newspaper, so whats the point of appeasing them. These newspaper tries to provoke majority sentiments and make them more anti muslims because it only suggests, for Indian muslim Islam is paramount, rest development or quality of life or nationhood is zipher. So again, Why these secular newspaper give so much importance to muslim votes who are not interested in India but only in Islam. argue.gif
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 9 2004, 07:36 AM
70% of them dont vote ??? Where did you get that figure from.Its exactly the opposite.Why do you think all these political parties fall over each other to appease this section of the society even at the risk of antagonizing the majority. They vote en mass and tactically i.e. anyone who can defeat BJP. Though lately this has started having an opposite unifying effect among Hindus .If you look at the constituencies with very high muslim population you will find very high voting percentage, straight fight between BJP and one other party.
Posted by: Gargi Apr 9 2004, 08:57 AM
What is the percentage of Muslim vote or population in West Bengal? I think it is certainly between 20 to 25 per cent. That high? Yes. When the census is done, large chunks of Muslim population are left the last three census exercises.
It is common everywhere. Infact West Bengal and Bihar highest number go to polling booth rest of India it is less. J&K and L&D island maximum number go to booth, they are in majority in that part of India.
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 9 2004, 09:05 AM
The muslim vote does not matter Case 1 = Mallapuram Muslims are 70% of the population and the excess votes above 40% are wasted Case 2 = Goa Muslims are 5% and their vote is irrelevant Case 3 = Lucknow Here muslims are 20% of the vote, but since they are over critical mass of 20%, they flip into jihadist mode and all hindu castes vote against muslims To win a seat Muslim vote + Hindu vote > 40% But once muslims cross 20% they riot and create a hindu BJP vote bank of 80%
Posted by: Gargi Apr 9 2004, 10:44 AM
Posted by: fanne Apr 9 2004, 09:19 PM
Outlook Survey says its BJP govt. in Karnataka!!!
Posted by: Mudy Apr 9 2004, 09:55 PM have just completed my 12th standard. I am the first one in my family to pass the tenth standard. My father does not have a proper job and my mother works as a housemaid. I have two older sisters and one younger. My ambition is to specialise in microbiology because I am told I will get a good job if I study that subject. I want a good job. I will definitely vote. After all, it is the first time in my life that I am getting a chance to exercise my franchise. I feel nobody should abstain from voting. Not all politicians are bad, we should not condemn all politicians. For example, I appreciate what the Tamil Nadu chief minister [J Jayalalithaa] has been doing for students. I want the next government to give free education to all poor students. For the last two years, my education has been sponsored by an Indian lady who lives in America. Otherwise, my parents would have found it very difficult. I feel the rich in India can emulate her and take care of some poor students. I also want the next government to provide more employment opportunities. Yes, in the last few years, job opportunities have improved. My mother tells me that 10 years ago, it was very bad. Now, my sister changes jobs quite frequently. The situation is such that if you try hard, you can land a decent job. So, I would say India is shining. I really like our prime minister, Vajpayee. I feel he is very honest. Though I have nothing against Sonia Gandhi, I strongly feel that an Indian should rule India, and not a foreigner! More than that, in India, nobody is as good as Vajpayee.
Posted by: rhytha Apr 9 2004, 10:00 PM
QUOTE (Mudy @ Apr 9 2004, 09:55 PM) have just completed my 12th standard. I am the first one in my family to pass the tenth standard. My father does not have a proper job and my mother works as a housemaid. I have two older sisters and one younger. My ambition is to specialise in microbiology because I am told I will get a good job if I study that subject. I want a good job. I will definitely vote. After all, it is the first time in my life that I am getting a chance to exercise my franchise. I feel nobody should abstain from voting. Not all politicians are bad, we should not condemn all politicians. For example, I appreciate what the Tamil Nadu chief minister [J Jayalalithaa] has been doing for students. I want the next government to give free education to all poor students. For the last two years, my education has been sponsored by an Indian lady who lives in America. Otherwise, my parents would have found it very difficult. I feel the rich in India can emulate her and take care of some poor students. I also want the next government to provide more employment opportunities. Yes, in the last few years, job opportunities have improved. My mother tells me that 10 years ago, it was very bad. Now, my sister changes jobs quite frequently. The situation is such that if you try hard, you can land a decent job. So, I would say India is shining. I really like our prime minister, Vajpayee. I feel he is very honest. Though I have nothing against Sonia Gandhi, I strongly feel that an Indian should rule India, and not a foreigner! More than that, in India, nobody is as good as Vajpayee.
Wow that was beautiful and a very heart warming opinion clap.gif smile.gif
Posted by: Mudy Apr 10 2004, 01:31 AM
Laloo ban gaya crorepati TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, APRIL 09, 2004 11:01:29 PM ] PATNA: For a messiah of the downtrodden, Laloo Prasad Yadav seems to be doing pretty well. The man who was born in a poor village family and was staying in a peon's shared quarter till he became chief minister, is now a crorepati, obviously enriched by the love and affection of his people. Laloo addressing his supporters in Chapra on Friday. (AP Photo) According to his nomination papers filed at Madhepura and Chapra this week, he owes the income-tax department Rs 1.58 crore up to 2003-04; his wife Rabri Devi owes Rs 61 lakh. Both, however, dispute the demand raised by the department. They have been paying tax based on what they claim is a correct assessment. The RJD chief has bank deposits of over Rs 5 lakh and his wife over Rs 4 lakh. Rabri, a housewife till she became the Bihar chief minister, formally owns 50 cows and 31 calves, valued at Rs 5.2 lakh. Laloo owns jewellery worth Rs 28,000, besides precious stones worth Rs 25,000. His wife has jewellery worth over Rs 2.6 lakh. While Laloo himself doesn't own any immovable assets, his family members are in possession of immovable assets worth about Rs 70 lakh in various places in the state. Rabri alone owns land worth Rs 14 lakh, while the rest of the assets are in the names of their sons and daughters.
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 10 2004, 01:39 AM
QUOTE (fanne @ Apr 9 2004, 09:19 PM)
Outlook Survey says its BJP govt. in Karnataka!!!
I don't think much value should be given to these surveys.Looking at their history they are yet to prove their worth.In the last assembly elections they got it all wrong, even in the exit polls.The sample size of these survey is generally between 10,000 to 20,000 people that roughly translates to 20 to 30 people per constituency.Basing a prediction on such small sample size requires a lot of courage I reckon.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 11 2004, 12:58 AM
1984 Master rioters against Sikhs, Tytler, Sajjan and Maken and famous goondas of Delhi will contest Delhi seats on Cong-I tickets. Well only Bhagat name is missing, I hope they will honor dead sikhs by giving ticket to his son. God bless India and people who will vote and will elect them because of money and muscles. devilsmiley.gif
Posted by: muddur Apr 11 2004, 02:23 PM's~vote~for~BJP Rajni's vote for BJP By Our Special Correspondent Chennai, April 11. Popular film actor Rajnikanth today said that his vote will be for the BJP as the party has promised to interlink major national rivers to solve the drinking water problem. Ruling out any formal support to any alliance Mr.Rajnikanth urged PMK leader Dr.Ramdoss to exercise restraint and asked his fans to refrain from any protests against the PMK. Statements against Rajinikanth by the PMK leader had sparked friction leading to black flag demonstrations by his fans. Some of Rajinikanth's fans had also been attacked in this connection. Mr.Rajnikanth met media persons today to explain his stand.
Posted by: muddur Apr 11 2004, 02:27 PM By Our Special Correspondent Chennai, April 11. Superstar Rajnikant will vote for the alliance led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He is convinced that the BJP-led NDA Government will solve the water question in the country, which according to him is the biggest issue now facing the nation. Here is why he thinks Prime Minister Vajpayee will win again. "Whenever there is an election, people want to know who I support. I want to make it clear that in this Lok Sabha election, for various reasons I support no one. Yet, I want to state that the biggest problem facing the people all over the country now is water. For the rich, poor, for animals and birds. I have already said that only linking all the rivers in the country can solve this problem. Without such a solution, Tamil Nadu will suffer more than others, because it has no river with a local source. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala all have such river sources. I have already offered to contribute crore to any scheme for interlinking of rivers. The Central government alone can implement the interlinking scheme. I have toured many states over a month now. I am convinced that in this election, whatever be the fortunes of various parties in Tamil Nadu, the Government at the Centre will be led by Vajpayee. So far as I am concerned, my vote is for the party that will solve the water crisis in the country. In the river interlinking scheme, when no firm decision has been arrived at, I found that the NDA manifesto includes this project. The Deputy Prime Minister L.K.Advani has also affirmed to me that this scheme will be implemented. I have full confidence that the Vajpayee government will do it. I will therefore vote for the Vajpayee-led BJP alliance. I am not compelling the people of Tamil Nadu or my fans to vote for a particular alliance. Because I am voting in a particular way, I am not asking that my fans should feel compelled to follow suit. Your right to conscientious vote is your own. But please think hard. All have to consider this, especially, women and the educated. Are you going to vote for a party, a caste or for water ? You can decide for yourself. Your life is in your hands. Let the rivers be linked. Let India shine."
Posted by: rhytha Apr 11 2004, 02:44 PM
Ok, thats it, AIADMK-BJP combine is going to have a thumping victory. Thalivar has spoken. smile.gif
Posted by: Mudy Apr 11 2004, 09:50 PM
Does Superstar Rajnikant have so much following in South? How much it will effect election? I know in Singapore and Malayasia he is worshiped as God.
Posted by: rhytha Apr 11 2004, 11:59 PM
QUOTE (Mudy @ Apr 11 2004, 09:50 PM)
Does Superstar Rajnikant have so much following in South? How much it will effect election? I know in Singapore and Malayasia he is worshiped as God.
Imagine if he is worshipped as god in singapore and malaysia, what about TN? graduated.gif For example if thalivar just stood for election, i think there will be no opposition virtually, this is fact, and he is really a force to reckon wilth in TN. devilsmiley.gif Vijayakanth, is going to stand for 2006 assembly elections, he has already started the ground work, and if rajini supports vijayakanth(i think he will), AIADMK and DMK has a big problem smile.gif And bulls eye, he has targeted one of the most pressing problem TN is facing now and will face in near future worser, WATER, so his announcment on inter-linking of rivers will make more plp wake up and demand a more effecient handling of the water issue from any ruling party, so i think he has proven he is in touch with reality specool.gif
Posted by: Kaushal Apr 12 2004, 07:34 PM
Rajnikanth is doing a big favor to TN and the country by asking people to vote for issue based candidates rather than caste based or region based. The water problem is the preeminent problem in india today next to poverty. That needs to be solved. Governments need to address these 4 isssues above all else Poverty - shelter and food water primary and high school ducation health care and sanitation facilities The rest of the issues are secondary
Posted by: Mudy Apr 13 2004, 09:29 AM
Hemmed in, Sheila sounds Sonia out Rajesh Kumar/ New Delhi Visibly annoyed by the fresh parameters being set by AICC functionaries in ticket allotment, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is believed to have told Congress president Sonia Gandhi that under the circumstances, she was not ready to take charge of the poll campaign in the city. The stalemate over the names of the Congress candidates for the remaining three seats of Delhi continued. Taking strong note of the ongoing factionalism and infighting in the party as far as ticket distribution is concerned, Ms Dikshit on Sunday met Ms Gandhi and apprised her of her unhappiness with certain developments in the party. Insiders in the party said that Ms Dikshit told Ms Gandhi that under the circumstances, she was not ready to take charge of the poll campaign in the city and leaders like AICC general secretary, in-charge for Delhi Ahmed Patel should be given responsibility for Delhi election. It is learnt that Ms Dikshit has expressed her resentment over the distribution of tickets for Delhi and certain parameters being set by the AICC functionaries. Sources said that the Chief Minister had told Ms Gandhi that the Congress was in a comfortable position after winning the Assembly elections in December last year and there was possibility of winning at least four seats in Delhi. She has conveyed to the Congress president that factionalism and infighting among various leaders will harm the party's prospects in the coming Lok Sabha election and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win the seats despite non-performances," the sources said. Sources said that senior leaders like Mr Patel and Ms Ambika Soni are opposing the candidature of Ms Dikshit's son Sandeep Dikshit from East Delhi parliamentary seat despite being aware of the fact that East Delhi party's councillors and MLAs had petitioned the Congress president and several leaders and urged them to nominate Mr Dikshit. The MLAs and Councillors of East, had also told senior Congress leaders why Mr Dikshit should be nominated from East Delhi seat. On the other hand, both Mr Patel and Ms Soni wanted to nominate Mr Anil Bhardwaj, a restauranteer. It is learnt that Ajit Singh Chadha, who was supported by Ms Soni, wanted a nomination from South Delhi seat but he was denied the ticket after Ms Dikshit's strong opposition. Hurt by this denial, sources said, Ms Soni didn't want to let go of the opportunity to oppose Mr Dikshit's candidature from East Delhi seat. Meanwhile, a senior party leader said though the party was yet to announce its candidate from East Delhi, Mr Bhardwaj, who has the backing of some AICC functionaries, has started his campaign. According to a senior Congress leader, Mr Bhardwaj has already ordered election materials for printing. Sources further said that supporters of Mr Sajjan Kumar have also told the senior leaders that they will not support the Congress candidate if Mr Kumar is denied ticket this time. The Congress leadership is divided on the candidature of Mr Kumar from Outer Delhi despite knowing that he is only leader in the party who can take on BJP candidate Sahib Singh Verma. Similarly, a section of party leaders are opposing the name of Jai Prakash Aggarwal from Chandni Chowk seat, despite knowing that he's a popular face. Some AICC leaders are backing Dr J K Jain, who joined the party recently. It is worth mentioning that the same J K Jain, who contested the 1996 Lok Sabha election from this seat as a BJP candidate, had lost to Aggarwal by a huge margin.
Posted by: V.V.Kiran Apr 13 2004, 05:07 PM
I do not know whether i should post it with humour icons or anger icons As far as AP is concerned both KCR and YSR use extremely foul language in public. CHALTI KA NAAM GAALI ==================== (KCR’S CHOICEST ) TIMES NEWS NETWORK (TOI PRINT EDITION) ---------------------------------------- Hyderabad: TRS leader K Chandrashekhar Rao’s ‘colourful’ language, most of the time in chaste Telanagana jargon, has added a new dimension to election rhetoric. Here’s a compilation of his abuses against Chandrababu Naidu and his ministers, TDP rule and the Advani yatra: 1. Mukhyamantri oka gaja donga; mantrulu chillara dongalu (The CM is a bandit and his ministers petty thieves) 2. Chandrababu Naidu is the World Bank’s ‘doo doo Basavanna’ (dancing bull) 3. Chandrababu Naidu akalitho vunna jittulamari nakka (Naidu is a hungry and cunning wolf) 4. Chandrababu Naidu practises dabbu rajakeeyam (money politics) and gabbu rajakeeyam (stinking politics) 5. He is a gunta nakka (cunning fox) 6. Indrasena Reddy and Dattatreya are pucca drohulu (traitors). 7. TDP government is dikkumalina prabhutvam (directionless government) 8. Chandrababu Naiduvi anni sollu maatalu (Naidu drools) 9. Chandrababu Naidu siggulekunda votlu adugutunnadu (Naidu is shamelessly begging for votes). 10. TDP indulges in only ‘Eastman colour stunts’ 11. CM’s talk is only tu tu mantram (deceptive talk) 12. His is a chaprasi brathuku (peon’s life). 13. Nee chippalo appulese Americanlu (the Americans throw coins into your begging bowl) 14. Thimmini bammi chese CM (CM makes cheese chalk and chalk cheese) 15. BJP-TDP kalayika samsarama? TRS-Congress kalayika vyabhicharama? (Is the BJP-TDP alliance a ‘marriage’ and TRS-Congress alliance ‘adultery’? 16. Nee car kinda bombu pettedaka neeku khabar ledu (you had no clue until a bomb was put under your car) 17. Nee harikathalu inka saagavu (There are no takers for your stories any more) 18. Pachcha kaamerlochchinoniki lokamantha pachaga kanabadinattu (Reacting to CM’s charges that he had sold party tickets to TRS contestants: You are looking at everything with a jaundiced eye) 19. CM is a sanyasi (wastrel), daddamma (useless man) 20. TDP leaders are chavata daddammalu (incompetent useless men) 21. CM is the World Bank’s ghulam (slave) 22. CM is a mayala marati (a deceptive talker) 23. Thelivi nee okkadi sontham kaadhu (you’re not the only clever one) 24. Chandrababu Naidudi kapata natakam (deceptive play) 25. CM is a kshudra rajakeeya tantrikudu (sorcererpolitician) 26. Separatist Andhra rally is CM’s chinna size (small size) drama 27. CM is a Telangana drohi (traitor) 28. Chandrababu Naidudi rakshasa palana (demon rule) 29. Advani yatra ado pamulata (a snake dance) 30.Arigipoyina record (CM’s worn-out record) 31. CM is a pick-pocket; TDP government is pavala chupetti rupayi kottese prabhuthvam. (The TDP government shows 25 paise but takes Re 1) 32. This is a ‘beeru-neeru’ government 33. Chandrababu Naidudi hi-tech jagirdari. 34. CM is Andhra Harshad Mehta; Devender Goud is Andhra Ketan Parekh 35. CM is pittaladora (a story-teller) 36. Naidudhi naikili and vekili prabhuthvam (Naidu’s is fake and ugly government) 37. CM is a pundakoru (liar) 39. Chandrababu Naidu has the most vikruta vyaktitvam (ugly personality). 40. CM BJP moothi enduku naakuthunnadu? Sollu enduku thaaguthunnadu? (Why is the CM licking the BJP’s mouth and drinking its saliva?)
Posted by: Amber G. Apr 13 2004, 09:37 PM
Interesting story in BBC about Ramachandra Veerappa running for parliamenet for the seventh time and who is 94 years old. One small question though: BBC says:
vMr Veerappa's constituency, Bidar, is 700km (435 miles) from Bangalore, the capital of the southern state of Karnataka. Only Dalits can stand as candidates in Bidar.
Are there legal quotas like that in India? Original
Posted by: Mudy Apr 13 2004, 09:56 PM
Are there legal quotas like that in India?
Yes, some percentage of seats are resevered for SC or ST candidates.
Posted by: Viren Apr 13 2004, 10:02 PM
QUOTE (Mudy @ Apr 13 2004, 12:26 PM)
Are there legal quotas like that in India?
Yes, some percentage of seats are resevered for SC or ST candidates.
So are the non-SC/ST votes counted or is there some mathematical formula that gets applied?
Posted by: Mudy Apr 13 2004, 10:05 PM
So are the non-SC/ST votes counted or is there some mathematical formula that gets applied?
non SC/ST votes are counted. In Delhi one seat (Karol Bagh) is reserved for SC and outer Delhi for ST candidate. biggrin.gif
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 13 2004, 10:09 PM
Outer Delhi is not a reserved constituency as far as I know.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 13 2004, 10:18 PM
Outer Delhi is not a reserved constituency as far as I know
Yes you are right, Only one is reserved for lok sabha.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 14 2004, 02:30 AM
Paki contesting Indian polls! Tuesday, April 13 2004 Jammu: Exposing gaping holes in the election machinery, authorities have detected a Pakistan national in the fray in the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency going to polls in the first phase of election on April 20. Zulfikar Ali Rahat, who had filed his nomination papers as a Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) candidate headed by former Prime Minister Chandershekhar, has been confirmed as a Pakistan national after inquiries were made about his credentials following receipt of a complaint by the returning officer of Jammu LS constituency, Naveen Chowdary, J and K election department sources said today (Apr 13, 2004). Soon after the receipt of the complaint, Naveen Choudhary referred it to deputy commissioner (DC), Poonch, Altraf Hussain on Sunday (Apr 11, 2004) since Zulfikar Ali had mentioned residential address in Salwa, a border hamlet in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district in his nomination form, they said. The DC, after verification, submitted his report to the returning officer on Sunday night confirming that the complaint was true and that Zulfikar Ali Rahat was a Pakistan national, they said. Chowdary said he has submitted a report in this regard to J and K Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), B L Nimesh and the Election Commission in New Delhi about the development. "It is upto the CEO and the EC to take a decision. However, action would definitely be taken soon," the RO said.
Posted by: ramana Apr 14 2004, 09:50 PM
Just back from desh. The consensus is that NDA at center and CBN in Hyd will return to power. The Congress led opposition is quite broken. However watch for some surprises due to the next gen Gandhis- Rahul and Priyanka due to blind loyalty of the some of the electorate. INC is not fielding Priyanka as they dont want to demolish her image. In her rallies she reminds old timers of the great Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Rahul is opening up the party center to commoners and reducing the role of the coterie so he is a populist. The coterie is figthing back by sabotage. In Telengana the TRS will be routed as the cause is not popular. The people feel that all of Andhra is one after a long time - since Kakatiyas and hence would not support the breakaway politicians as the grievances are not genuine. CBN might lose a few seats here and there but will retain power. His vision of converting Hyd to Singapore model is sold to common man and they know the future is in that vision. Yes there will be some structural adjustment but in the end all will prosper.
Posted by: varava Apr 14 2004, 10:27 PM
To improve the prospects of Congress, Zee TV in colloboration with some Taleem released a cooked up opinion poll to show that Congress is making progress and is in a situation to form a govt. with support from communists and others. Readers should know that a well known Congress MP has business interests in Zee TV.
Posted by: acharya Apr 15 2004, 12:43 AM
A snake has come out form Pakistan > And yet the shameless so called Muslims, supporters of BJP (Maulana > Waheeduddin Khan, Najma Heptullah, Arif Mohd Khan, Syed Shahnawaz, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Imam Ahmad Bukhari, Ilyas Ansari) are going round the country campaigning for BJP and saying that BJP has changed and become fair to the Muslims. > India's Muslims should organize their social boycott and should isolate them. My dear Tippu, Assalam o alaikum I agree with you wholeheartedly. The lot of the Muslims in India would not have been so bad if they had stood by the persecuted and downtrodden instead of running after crumbs from the Brahmin table. In every state of India there is a Dalit Party that is genuinely inclusive and truly secular. As you know, Dalits are not Hindus, they are the original inhabitants of South Asia who lived there before the Aryan invasion. Brahmanism and its Varna System is the only apartheid system that provides sanction of religion to discrimination and repression. The Muslims and Christians converted to escape the rigours of the Varna System. They retain solidarity with their ethnic brothers. Along with Dalits, Scheduled Castes, Backward Castes and Tribal peoples they are the sons of the soil. It is the Brahmin who is the foreigner and it is Brahmanism that is the ultimate foreign faith. It is not just foreign, it is the foundation of the most vicious and systematic form of repression ever invented. The Muslims leaders who join or support the BJP are traitors not only to their faith and their community but also to India. At this moment in time, true freedom for all the peoples of India is in sight. The political solidarity of 85 per cent of the populace of India that is outside the Varna System is their sole objective that is now achievable. Because the caste Hindus have adopted Hindutva as their objective, it is right and timely that the majority outside the Varna System join hands on anti Hindutva platform. I am grateful to Brother V.T. Rajshekar, the Editor of Dalit Voice, who has been working over thirty five years for the political solidarity of the followers of egalitarian faiths - Muslims, Christians and Bhuddist - with the low castes and outcasts who the Sangh Parivar wants to deceive back into the fold of the Varna System as Hindus. If there is no National party of Dalits or Muslims, it reflects the reality on the ground. The alternative to Hindutva is ethnic solidarity. India would always be ruled by coalitions. States get a better deal from the centre when they sit as state blocs in the Lok Sabha. The Muslims would not get a good deal from the 'national parties - the Congress, the BJP or the Communists. They would get better representation with parties of states that are often Dalit parties that are eager to welcome them in their midst. Sincerely Usman Khalid Director London Institute of South Asia
Posted by: Mudy Apr 15 2004, 01:30 AM
ramana, You just came from India what you think common Indian is thinking regarding following issue: Do you think Cong-i can fair well because of Rahul? Do you think common people in India are in favor of Paki and India new love fest? Do indian still want Vajpayee as PM? What they think about Sonia? Is progress is visible and people are seeing real difference in quality of life?
Posted by: acharya Apr 15 2004, 01:42 AM
Author not found. It is from a leftist forum discussing how to reduce NDA. The post is to show how the argument is made to descridit entire religion for a forign influence after 56 years of independence. Brainwashing Since the so called India shining and Bharat uday yatra have lost their coated shine, almost all the stalwarts from reactionary forces have set off to target Sonia Ganhi's phoren origin. Even before election-launch,she has been overtargetted for nothing; The recursive loudspeaking is spiralling around few statements; 1. She can not be the PM under any circumstances. 2.She is foreigner and can be dangerous if throned to PM ship. 3.She is widow and her son is also not an Indian as he was born in a foreign womb. 4.It will be national havoc if she is elected 5. She is not a match to Atal or Advani If one reads in between the lines, one comes across a clear truth.The real tussle is between Atal and Advani both being willing candidates for the PM ship but wish to keep the voting public from it.When both the stalwarts speak out against Sonia , they just mean it to hate foreigner and discard her as a non-national.It also means voters should not cast their votes to Congress or other part time secular parties .They are also attempting to pose BJP as true secular party .. and all will be happy the moment BJP is elected back to power. The Indian History speaksout something else and more genuine.The indian masses in general have hardly looked at foreigners as strange people.The foreigners mainly Christians and muslims, turned to be saviours for the downtrodden chained to the reigns of Brahmins and landlords under varnashrama and castiest social systems for centuries.Foreigners even from other religions were accepted to be the rulers as long as they didn't question the hegemonial roles of local ruling sections.It's the kings and queens that fought against the other rulers to save their own tiny kingdoms and at times even fell prey to divide-n-rule policy which in fact seems to be the only unique Indian feature adopted by the other rulers obviously by keenly observing the overall social system stabilised under Brhminism.This upper section ruled the societies without actually being the rulers themselves ;it worked miracles. On the one hand Brahmists could keep boasting to be the non-owners of any material things when they owned anything possessed by the other sections within the society on the other.The psyche still holds the masses down.The system received first sever set back during the Budhhism followed by Christianism and Islam.It also had been challenged at times by the intelligensia emerging from lower strata. The Indian social system and pshyche witnessed such upheavals and moderate sections welcomed the changing times.But a lot was still there to thwart the changes and it kept it's age old practice of fooling the masses through the only weapon; the language used like a double edged sword .We and the Others have been the main used in different ways without letting one to know from which side the verbal attack is being made .The Gobel technique has been a grand success all through centuries.This is precisely the reason why Sonia has been singled out and targetted by the pack of wolves set lose by the reactionary forces. And precisely it's same reason why major portion of deprived sects still look towards her ( and her party to some extent) as saviour.BJPplus has failed in every sphere and it wants to hide everything under the saffron carpet.But carpet has its own limits too ! Since this is the first election about which people are doing a lot of talking without talking and except some BJP stalwarts nobody is talking too much about the foreign origin phobia , let the issue settle by itself.Our Indians know what to do when they role their eyes over the ballot papers/EVMs.
Posted by: Viren Apr 15 2004, 02:17 AM
acharya who is the author of this garbage?
The indian masses in general have hardly looked at foreigners as strange people.The foreigners mainly Christians and muslims, turned to be saviours for the downtrodden chained to the reigns of Brahmins and landlords under varnashrama
Posted by: acharya Apr 15 2004, 02:56 AM
Congress leader calls for `soul searching' By Our Special Correspondent BANGALORE, APRIL 14. The former member of the Rajya Sabha and senior Vice-President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, H. Hanumanthappa, has called for "soul searching" on the part of his party leaders as to why the Dalits were deserting the Congress and moving towards parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr. Hanumanthappa indulged in some plain speaking at the 113th Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations at the Congress Bhavan here on Wednesday. All political parties were celebrating Ambedkar Jayanti in a big way with an eye on the Dalit vote bank. The Congress' traditional support base among the Dalits was being eroded. On the other hand, the BJP had gained the support of Dalits in the last Lok Sabha elections and also in the recent Assembly elections held in some States. The Congress leaders should open their eyes and find out the reasons for the loss of Dalit votes, he said. He said the late Ambedkar, who was well known as the architect of the Indian Constitution, was a social reformer and emancipator of the poor and the deprived. He did not associate himself with any political party. But for the uplift of the poor and Dalits, he had guaranteed Fundamental Rights, universal suffrage and reservation in the legislative bodies and government services. "Dr. Ambedkar is the voice of the people," he described. The former Law Minister and senior Congress leader, Haranahalli Ramaswamy, said Dr. Ambedkar was not just the leader of the Daltis but the entire country. Shantharama Naik, All India Congress Committee Coordinator for the State, and H. Abdul Wahab, General Secretary (Administration), Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, also spoke.
Posted by: acharya Apr 15 2004, 02:58 AM
Congress's future uncertain: Venkaiah Naidu By Our Special Correspondent SEDAM, APRIL 14. The Bharatiya Janata Party President, M. Venkaiah Naidu, said here today said that the Congress would disintegrate in some of the States after the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Addressing a public meeting here along with the film star and president of the party's Mahila Morcha, Vijayashanti, Mr. Naidu said the prevailing situation in the Congress had forced many senior leaders of that party, including relatives of the Nehru-Gandhi family, to part ways with it. He said the future of the Congress after the elections appeared uncertain. There would be divisions in the Congress and the party would lose its identity, he said. The BJP President said that unlike the BJP, which had gained respect and acceptability among other political parties, the attempts by the Congress to woo outfits such as the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (S), and the Left parties and forge an alliance against the NDA had failed. While the BSP spurned the attempts by the Congress for a tie-up in Uttar Pradesh and some other States, the Samajwadi Party closed its doors on the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress's alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party was limited to Maharashtra. The Communists too had rejected an alliance with the Congress in the States, but were inclined to support it at the Centre. In such a scenario, Mr. Naidu wondered how the Congress could promise the people of providing a stable Government at the Centre. He said the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, was no match for the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, who has brought about a qualitative change in governance with a stress on rural development. Under the NDA rule, the country had witnessed overall development in the key sectors, and India had gained respectability in the international community. Mr. Naidu accused the State Government of misusing Central funds released for drought relief and other development activities. Ms. Vijayashanti, who spoke in Telugu, criticised the Congress President saying the latter could not understand the culture and comprehend the problems of the Indian people. "A foreigner can learn an Indian language in one year, but to understand its culture an entire lifespan is not enough," she said. The party's candidate for the Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat, Basavaraj Patil Sedam, welcomed the leaders. The party candidate for the Sedam Assembly Constituency, Rajkumar Patil, the president of the district unit of the party, Shashil G. Namoshi, B.G. Jawali, and other senior leaders were present. `NDA will be back' Our Bellary Staff Correspondent reports: Mr. Naidu expressed confidence that Mr. Vajpayee would once again unfurl the tricolour from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day. Addressing an election meeting at Hospet, which forms part of the Koppal Lok Sabha Constituency, Mr. Naidu expressed certainty that the people would repose faith in the NDA Government because of the development works it had undertaken. What could not be achieved in 50 years had been accomplished in five years, he claimed. He said the NDA Government was now planning to link the Ganga and the Cauvery. "The work taken up by the NDA Government is unmatched and the people should strengthen the hands of Mr. Vajpayee to further develop the country and make it prosperous," he said. Mr. Naidu reiterated that the BJP would form the Government in Karnataka. Ms. Vijayashanti said the Congress was in a state of confusion in the absence of leadership while the BJP had an able leader in Mr. Vajpayee. Praising the Prime Minister, she said: "Everybody, especially the youth, wants Mr. Vajpayee to become Prime Minister again and further develop the country." The programme was delayed by about 90 minutes owing to the late arrival of Mr. Naidu and Ms Vijayashanti. In order to make up for the lost time, the plan to take Mr. Naidu and Ms. Vijayashanti in a procession was dropped.
Posted by: acharya Apr 15 2004, 02:59 AM
It is BJP's turn now, says Yatnal BIJAPUR, APRIL 14. When he led the agitation on the Bijapur-Gadag gauge conversion as an MLA in 1995, Basanagouda Ramanagouda Patil Yatnal may not have thought that one day the project would be <129>commissioned under his stewardship. A coach was set on fire as the agitation turned violent, and the Railway police booked a case against Mr. Yatnal and other agitators. After he became an MP, Mr. Yatnal was made a Union Minister with the rank of Minister of State. The BJP leadership wanted to woo Lingayats by accommodating a member of the community in the Union Ministry and the choice fell on Mr. Yatnal, who was initially given the portfolio of Textiles before being moved to Railways. Mr. Yatnal, who is seeking re-election from the Bijapur parliamentary constituency, is pitted against a formidable candidate in the former Minister and six-time MLA, B.S. Patil Managuli of the Congress. In an exclusive interview with Suresh Bhat, Mr. Yatnal speaks about the development that has taken place under the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, Hindutva, and the bright prospects of the BJP in the Assembly elections. Pre-poll surveys have predicted that the BJP will fare well in the Lok Sabha elections and not in the Assembly elections. Do you think that the party's failure to project a chief ministerial candidate may have contributed to this? No. We are following here the campaign strategy that was adopted in Chhattisgarh. The Chief Minister will be chosen by the newly elected legislators. That does not mean that there is a dearth of chief ministerial candidates in the party. I don't agree with the findings of such surveys although I respect such an exercise. But one cannot deny the fact that the margin of error is still wide in India, which underlines the need for adopting a more effective methodology, especially while selecting samples. For example, most pre-poll surveys predicted the defeat for BJP in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the Assembly elections last year, but they were wrong. The pre-poll prediction here was based on the opinions collected before the realignment of political forces. As things stand now, the BJP is the only alternative to the Congress. sThose who want to end the "misrule" of the Congress will vote only for the BJP as they know that a vote for the Janata Dal (S) means supporting the Congress. The Janata Dal (S) President, H.D. Deve Gowda, speaks of friendship with the Congress in Delhi, but vows to defeat it in the State. People cannot be hoodwinked. The Congress and the Janata Dal (S) have a tacit understanding to prevent the BJP from coming to power in the State. Both the parties had been given a chance to rule the State, but they did not come up to the voters' expectations. I am confident that the BJP will form the next government in the State. On which plank are you fighting the elections in State? Development is our mantra. Tapping the irrigation potential fully and generating more power are the issues the party has devoted attention to. The Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, has shown that development can be achieved if there is a political will. The State has benefited very much from the Prime Minister's Golden Quadrilateral project. The Agriculture Minister, H.K. Patil, has said that the BJP leaders who did not support the State on the Chitravati Dam had no moral authority to seek the "blessings" of the people. There is not even an iota of truth in the charge. Despite pressure from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, the Central leaders, including the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, ensured that under no circumstances the work (on it) should be abandoned mid-way. By raising such a bogey, the Congress has displayed its nervousness over the emergence of the BJP as a formidable force in the State. Has has BJP distanced itself from Hindutva after coming to power as alleged by the Sangh Parivar outfits? Power brings in its wake responsibility. One has to be more responsible when in power. One has to look at all sections of people discharge responsibility in an impartial manner. Uma Bharati was a strong votary of Hindutva, but she had to temper her rhetoric after she became the Chief Minister (of Madhya Pradesh). The one thing that I can tell my Sangh Parivar friends is that I will never try to appease any community for political gain. Do you think that the exit of the former MP, Vijay Sankeshwar, who has since formed the Kannada Nadu, has had a negative impact on the party? It has had no effect at all.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 15 2004, 04:45 AM The Manifest Destiny Of India N CHANDRA MOHAN There is, at best, only a superficial consensuality on economic reform in the vision documents and manifestoes of the Congress Party and the BJP/National Democratic Alliance. The promise to accelerate GDP growth to 10 per cent, generate 10 million jobs every year, and the dhobi-list of what needs to be done on the economic front, starting with agriculture, may have beguiled several observers to infer too much of a muchness in these documents. But a closer reading of these vision documents and manifestoes reveal qualitative differences between the Congress and BJP/NDA. While both the political formations talk of the need to “broaden and deepen” economic reforms, the most important challenge of our times, notably, globalisation, figures only tangentially in the vision of the Congress, while it features more prominently in that of the BJP/NDA. The Congress mentions globalisation as “meaningful” — as if there was a choice in the matter — only if it is aimed at local-level economic transformation that benefits the poor in rural and urban India. Elsewhere, there are one-liners on encouraging Indian industry to enhance its global presence and also of helping public sector companies in strategic areas to emerge as global concerns. These are token, reflexive statements that betray an inward-looking mindset that the party developed over 50 years after Independence. The Congress claims that it responded to the changing imperatives of the various decades that it ruled the nation. But when it comes to the 1990s, it doesn’t elaborate on how it promoted the integration of India with the world economy. There is no mention, by the way, of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)! In sharp contrast, the BJP/NDA documents devotes a full section to globalisation. Reflecting the self-confidence of a party that is gearing up to win the forthcoming elections, the imperatives of this phenomenon are realigned with its economic philosophy of swadeshi. To be sure, there are elements in the Sangh Parivar who still subscribe to a more inclusive, xenophobic interpretation of this philosophy. But the experience of governance has resulted in a more self-reliant but outward-oriented version — at least, more than the strongly economic nationalistic one expressed in 1998. Today, the BJP thus talks about a “strong, efficient and high-growth Indian economy, in which Indian products, services and entrepreneurs dominate the domestic and global markets”. That this can be done by making Indian products competitive on cost and quality. This interpretation of swadeshi also takes into account shifts in the global economy which favour low-cost over high-cost economies in manufacturing and services. That the Indian economy is rapidly acquiring the competitive strength to benefit from this conjuncture. This is why the NDA talks of India being the manufacturing hub, food factory, service provider, tourism, education and healthcare destination. And as for the WTO, the BJP/NDA documents talk of defending Indian interests. That there is a need to fight the unfair advantages of the developed nations — who give trade-distorting subsidies to their own farmers but object if others did the same — by forging a coalition of developing countries. That this was what the NDA did at the WTO meetings at Doha and Cancun. That this approach shall continue in the future as well. Public sector reform is another major area of difference between the two formations. True to its socialist moorings, the Congress nurtures a fond affection for the public sector even if it’s bleeding the exchequer. The BJP is attacked for resorting to strategic sales of the more profitable companies and making no attempt at restructuring them. For its part, the Congress prefers only selective privatisation. The talk of selectivity itself is a signal that the Congress is far from monolithic on this matter; that there are voices within to restructure the public sector rather than sell it. Internal divisions also exist among the party’s leadership on what to do with the proceeds of disinvestment. Bashing the BJP for using it to reduce the fiscal deficit is fine, but the Congress has no firm ideas regarding the social fund talked about in its manifesto. To be fair, the BJP is also internally a divided house on disinvestment. Interestingly, there is no mention of the ‘D’ word in the BJP vision document and the ‘P’ word in the NDA agenda — despite the fact that it was the perhaps the boldest reform undertaken during its five years of rule. All that is stated is that disinvestment, which yielded good results this year, will continue to enhance and realise the hidden wealth in PSUs. Naturally, questions are bound to be raised whether the BJP/NDA has lost its appetite for strategic sales due to internal opposition. But one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the BJP has done more on privatisation than the Congress did between 1992-97 when only small lots of public sector shares were sold to bridge the fiscal deficit. Is the BJP signalling that a similar process is now in prospect in a bull market? At a more fundamental level, the Congress vision is a statist one even though it makes a token obeisance to redefining the role of the government as an imperative of the 1990s. Nowhere in its economic agenda does it mention that the State must intensify its activities in certain areas while retreating from others. The burden of its song is that with the “right” government, India can well become a land where milk and honey flow. biggrin.gif In sharp contrast, the BJP is more clear on redefining the State’s role: That it must focus on core areas like national security, macroeconomic management, infrastructure and social sector and gradually withdraw from involvement in non-priority sectors and create more avenues for private entrepreneurship to flourish. This is indeed the true spirit of reform. For all these reasons, the Congress vision harks back to a past when it ran the show and the public sector occupied the commanding heights of the Indian economy. The BJP’s thrust on economics is a refreshingly new idiom which deserves to be welcomed. Unlike the Congress, its vision is relatively more forward-looking as it is looking at the big picture.
Posted by: muddur Apr 15 2004, 08:00 AM
Is there a web site where I can find the state election MLA candidates and constituencies ???
Posted by: Mudy Apr 15 2004, 09:05 AM
Cong campaign in total disarray Sanjay K Jha/ New Delhi The best-known 'secular' face of the Congress, Arjun Singh, has been asked to campaign in Godhra. But Mr Singh is resisting. After all, in the remaining few days before the D-day, wasting time in a land where Narendra Modi has altered the grammar of politics isn't making optimum use of resources. But that's how the Congress is fighting this election, each bit so badly that a senior leader remarked in frustration: "There is a clear death wish. Little wonder the BJP still keeps the political advantage despite the ground realities favouring the Congress." Large sections of the party are now talking of this death wish and fear the resentment among workers will boil over anytime. "There is no planning, no secrecy, no sense of urgency. Trust every single information to reach the BJP sooner than later," ohmy.gif the Congress leader says, arguing that money, personal whims and political blackmail completely overrode the selection of candidates. The decision to finalise candidates early was consigned to vested interests and intrigues and the process which started in February is yet to be completed. Even small aspects of election management are badly messed up. A case in point is media management. The AICC Media Department chairperson is almost invisible; neither available for interaction with the media nor to guide the spokespersons. Spokespersons are fighting among each other. biggrin.gif The fight has become so bitter that the most effective spokesperson had to carve out a separate space for himself; briefing reporters at 2 pm instead of the regular evening press meet. ROTFL.gif The contribution of the private agency, Perfect Relations, hired to bolster "the party's communication system" is yet to be noticed. Although this firm was supposed to provide "assistance and advisory package" and work in tandem with the Media Department, not a single spokesperson has received any input so far. Asked what mark he will give to this firm at this juncture, one spokesperson said, "minus one". The PR firm was also to set up 48 centres in different states and organise Press conferences of senior leaders. Senior leaders are not aware of this grand plan. The political management is so good that A E Neilson, the company which was engaged to conduct an internal pre-poll survey for the Congress, came out with a damaging survey in favour of the BJP. [proof- how they manpulate polls] The party's own department for Policy, Planning & Coordination is defunct. Different committees and departments function, or don't function, in mutual disconnect. The Pioneer asked several senior leaders about their campaign plans and the answer was: "I don't know." Ask who was making these plans, the reply is the same. So many complaints have flooded 10, Janpath, that even Ms Gandhi has started treating many senior leaders with distrust. Talk to ten leaders and five will say: "Ms Gandhi ko road show par bhej dete hain aur yehan manmani kerte hain." biggrin.gif In most constituencies, a dozen hidden non-political factors have hampered the selection process. But for Ms Gandhi's relentless campaigning, the Congress would have been absent from the field. There was so much hope from Priyanka but some leaders drummed into Ms Gandhi that her daughter's formal induction at this juncture will mean her deficient leadership was being supplemented. Now Priyanka will restrict herself to select constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. Sources in the AICC reveal that Ms Gandhi herself was upset at the silence of senior leaders on vital issues. For instance, the plan to turn the AK-47 controversy into a big election issue came a cropper for want of follow-up action. On the Lucknow stampede too, many senior leaders were reluctant to speak because of the involvement of the PM. Giving several examples, one senior leader said, "the Best Bakery judgement indicts the entire Sangh Parivar ideology. The spokespersons raised the matter for three consecutive days but senior leaders remained silent. Had such a damning judgement come against a Congress government, the BJP would have set the country on fire. But the Congress believes in fighting through whispers in the cosy confines of drawing rooms, not boldly out there in the fields."In the fields? That job has been assigned to Ms Sonia Gandhi, who is on her feet for months now. biggrin.gif The managers have other fish to fry. And the leaders are busy sulking, plotting and waiting for a disastrous performance to be able to turn the tables on today's favourites
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 15 2004, 09:08 AM
Just came back from India. Cant say for other states but Gujarat will be vote for NDA overwhelmingly. Maaybe kapadvanj will go to Shankersinh and maaaaaaaaaybe Amarsinh might be able to get 1 or 2 but NDA will most definitely get around 20-22 seats out of 26 total. Besides elections, its amazing to see the confidence in people. People buy, spend, njoy and feel good in general. The time I moved to the US (about 10 years ago) all gujjus could think of was saving - now its spending.. specool.gif
Posted by: Mudy Apr 15 2004, 09:09 AM
Mare hum, raaj kare woh: Sushma Pioneer News Service/ Jagannathpuri BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday left a simple question for Congress President Sonia Gandhi - why did she not accept Indian citizenship for sixteen years but did so only when Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister. She also asked: "Will her Italian relatives come to fight for India in times of crisis? Mare hum aur raj karey woh. Yeh sauda hame manzoor nahin." Comparing the yatra with Rahul Gandhi's campaign, Ms Swaraj said: "The Congress says their leadership is young. But Rahul fell ill in Amethi just because he had to suffer the heat and dust for two days." biggrin.gif
Posted by: Mudy Apr 15 2004, 09:16 AM
Besides elections, its amazing to see the confidence in people. People buy, spend, njoy and feel good in general. The time I moved to the US (about 10 years ago) all gujjus could think of was saving - now its spending
After centuries Indians are seeing and feeling beginning of prosperity. Yes, last five years have changed everything.
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 15 2004, 09:28 AM
From FWIW dept.. Oh there was this guy I met at chai-ki-dukan - was in gossip mood one day. This guy's conspiracy theory was that there is an Italian mafia who is controlling the Gandhi family now. Where was Sonia the day Rajiv got assasinated ? Normally you couldnt separate the two but not that day. Sanjay gandhi and Indira Gandhi were both done in by this mafia. All powerful CONgI leaders were also removed by this mafia. Whats more, if Sonia doesnt make enough progress this time around we might even see one of the remaining be sacrificed for the benefit of others.... so the theory went.. tv_feliz.gif The conversation started because of an april-fools "news" item published in one of the newspapers - the article was about Priyanka competing from Gandhinagar against LKA. It was an April fools story.. ROTFL.gif PS : BTW does anybody remember the reason why Sonia was not present with Rajiv that day ??
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Apr 15 2004, 09:44 AM
I am really worried about Priyanka: We Indians fall easily for women, even if they are 1/2 phoren and we have a short historical memory and tend to confuse new for old smile.gif . So our aam jantaa will surely take Pri to be IG- and heavens forbid something like that happening! Does Priyanka have kids through Vadhera or someone else?
Posted by: Viren Apr 15 2004, 09:57 AM
QUOTE (rajesh_g @ Apr 14 2004, 11:58 PM)
From FWIW dept.. Oh there was this guy I met at chai-ki-dukan - was in gossip mood one day. This guy's conspiracy theory was that there is an Italian mafia who is controlling the Gandhi family now. Where was Sonia the day Rajiv got assasinated ? Normally you couldnt separate the two but not that day. Sanjay gandhi and Indira Gandhi were both done in by this mafia. All powerful CONgI leaders were also removed by this mafia. Whats more, if Sonia doesnt make enough progress this time around we might even see one of the remaining be sacrificed for the benefit of others.... so the theory went.. tv_feliz.gif The conversation started because of an april-fools "news" item published in one of the newspapers - the article was about Priyanka competing from Gandhinagar against LKA. It was an April fools story.. ROTFL.gif PS : BTW does anybody remember the reason why Sonia was not present with Rajiv that day ??
Now that's funny - about the Italian Mafia. We can make our Indian version of Sopranos ROTFL.gif Imagine some Italians sitting "Rambhorse Tea Stall" (instead of Roberto's) munching some khandvis (instead of canolis) ordering a hit on Rajiv. Or a scene where a Coreleone look alike saying to Rajiv - " hey buddy, either your signature or your brains will be there on this Bofors contract". We know they like to keep it in the family - I mean the natural one wink.gif Man...I can go on. Any Bollywood walas here? IIRC Rajiv was travelling campaining in Srirempedur (spelling R?) that day in May '91 and Sonia wasn't in town. Not sure if she used to be always with him during campaiging, it was couple days before elections and the schedule must have been crazy.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 15 2004, 10:05 AM
Another theory is Sonia is very Manhoos. After her marriage to Rajeev, Sanjay, Indira and Rajeev all had unnatural death. After Prianka marriage tol Wadera, all sibling had unnatural young death. Both are so Manhoos, they should not come to power, it will bring lot of deaths to India. Popular benji talk.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 15 2004, 10:09 AM
muddur, Check every state site at this moment e.g. Delhi, I know one group is working on India's complete list. Check this site:
Posted by: muddur Apr 15 2004, 11:42 AM
QUOTE (Mudy @ Apr 15 2004, 10:09 AM)
muddur, Check every state site at this moment e.g. Delhi, I know one group is working on India's complete list. Check this site:
ThanQ very much !
Posted by: Krishna Apr 15 2004, 11:48 AM
How does things are looking in India, question for folks there? I mean how's things on the ground and not what DDM says?
Posted by: muddur Apr 15 2004, 11:53 AM
No doubtt both can be compared to one another ! Both foreigners, trying to destroy India with lies ...! Congress compares Sonia, Mother Teresa Congress should be Flush.gif,%20Mother%20Teresa
Posted by: k.ram Apr 15 2004, 08:18 PM
Christians may not vote for BJP THE INDIAN EXPRESS GROUP Wednesday, April 14, 2004 To bring the converts home, how the VHP is getting their feet wet RESHMA PATIL Gujarat, April 14: From the outside, the modest structure is no different from homesteads in its hilly, forested neighbourhood. It has a steeply sloping tiled roof and wooden beams like the rest, but it does not wear a saffron flag. The resemblance ends inside. The son of a village pastor quietly unlocks the doors for us. A tiny skylight lets the sun in, on a bench with three pictures of Jesus. A speaker and a microphone are covered up in a corner. On the dung walls, paper streamers are cut and pasted in the shape of the cross. There are stickers, posters of Joseph, Jesus and Mary, and plastic flowers. It's a two-year-old mini church, a community prarthana room for Hindu converts to Christianity. Here Sakruben Kashiyabai - once a Hindu in Pimpri village where Hindu homes are identified by saffron flags -clutches her Gujarati bible and prays: ''Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.'' The rest of the prarthana is Gujarati. ''I cannot write my name, but I can read the Bible,'' she says. A nervous crowd gathers, and pastor Gulabhai arrives, in a torn vest. He angrily scolds his following for speaking to a reporter. His son had told this reporter, ''My father was a Hindu but some years ago when he was very sick, the missionaries performed a chamatkar. Now we are Christians.'' Gulabhai conducts his service every Friday and Sunday. The wooden rafters of a church under construction are going up nearby, close to homes with images of Hindu Gods on their walls. On the face of it, the cluster of Christians live amicably with their Hindu neighbours. But the coming elections with the prospect that Christians will not vote for the BJP has made the hostilities more apparent and the focus on conversions more intense. The saffron combine is nervous about The Dangs, with its 93.96 per cent tribal population. ''We've identified 40-45 villages that are very difficult for us. So many converted Hindus, they are all Congress-types,'' admits BJP's district general- secretary, Girish Modi. This may not seem much, considering that the district has 311 villages, but in a close election, this could tilt the scales. Sitting in his hardware shop with a list of the district's voting centres in his hand, he can identify every village where conversions have been taking place. The district, under Valsad parliamentary constituency, has three- time BJP MP Manibhai Choudhary as its representative. So Modi reveals a counter-strategy: Hot baths. When VHP finds Christians who want to convert back to Hinduism, they put five or ten of them in a bus and take them to Unai Mata temple for a thorough dunking in the holy hot water spring, he says.. ''One hot bath, and we accept them back as Hindus,'' he adds. But he does not have figures on how many have reconverted. And he does not explain why the tribals should reconvert, other than to avoid the cold gaze of their neighbours. Meanwhile, there are dark whispers about how the missionaries are luring more tribals to their fold. ''Parents give first preference to the missionary schools,'' admits Yeshwantrao Bagul, headmaster of a private ashram school. Apart from an English-medium education, the missionaries have also made healthcare available. It may not seem like much, but it offers parents at least some hope that their chiildren will have a better life. In contrast, primary education officer N M Patel cannot even tell The Indian Express what is the enrolment rate for the district's schools. As the nodal officer for the elections, he is busy with other arrangements, he says.He summons another officer for help. Between them, they leap from one file to another for 30 minutes but cannot find the enrolment rate. Then Patel cheerfully finds the drop-out rate: 13.53 per cent. Elsewhere, the Christains are sending their children to missionary schools. A small shadow passes over Modi's face. He is looking to a hot spring for salvation.
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 15 2004, 11:54 PM
hmmmmmmmmmmmm...... daal main kuch kalaa hai.. my gossip friend has some dum in his theory.. cool.gif,~Scindia~die,~BJP~asks~Cong
Can the Congress answer why Rajesh Pilot and Madhavrao Scindia, both of whom were very popular, died in mysterious accidents?" BJP state President Tathagata Ray asked at a press meet here. Quoting Ian Fleming and his fictional character James Bond, Ray said, "If it happens once, it is happenstance, if twice it is coincidence. But if it happens thrice, it is enemy action. That perhaps explains the fatal accident of Ajit Jogi, who has come back from the jaws of death."
Posted by: ramana Apr 16 2004, 03:53 AM
ramana, You just came from India what you think common Indian is thinking regarding following issue: Do you think Cong-i can fair well because of Rahul? Do you think common people in India are in favor of Paki and India new love fest? Do indian still want Vajpayee as PM? What they think about Sonia? Is progress is visible and people are seeing real difference in quality of life?
1) I was in Hyd and its outskirts only. The opinion is that the people dont consider R & P in same light as Sonia. Also see H^2 post about Indian penchant for 1/2 phoren. 2) The ease in tensions is welcome but should not let the guard down. 3)YES 4)See 1) 5) Progress is very visible along with innovation and Indian solutions to Indian problems. People in HYD are spending like ther is no tomorrow. There is a massive reconstruction going on in HYD. The roads are being widened and the deal is the Muncilpal Corp will allow the owners to build an extra level in exchange for some frontal area- usually 15 feet deep bylength of the street front. Thats win win for now.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 16 2004, 04:34 AM
Does Priyanka have kids through Vadhera or someone else?
yes 2 kids and through Vadera (1/2RSS +1/2 xitian).
Posted by: Mudy Apr 16 2004, 09:28 AM
Sangma tells Garos: no ban on beef Sushanta Talukdar Tikrikilla, Meghalaya The former Lok Sabha Speaker and Nationalist Trinamool Congress (NTC) candidate from the Tura constituency, Purno Agitok Sangma, is riled with the Congress. The reason: an alleged campaign by the Congress that cow slaughter would be banned by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Meghalaya. Addressing an election rally here, Mr. Sangma claimed that the Congress was spreading rumours that he (Sangma) had joined hands with the BJP, a party that would not allow the Garos, who are Christians, to eat beef. "They are campaigning that the Garos will be not be able to eat beef if I am re-elected. For the last six years the BJP has been ruling the country. Were we not eating beef? Are we not going to church? I went to church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This is nothing but false propaganda by the Congress," Mr. Sangma said. Mr. Sangma is seeking election to the Lok Sabha for an eighth term and is locked in a straight contest with the State Public Works Department Minister, Mukul Sangma, of the Congress in the Tura Lok Sabha constituency. Mr. Sangma has made it a point to clarify that he had not joined the BJP, as allegedly put out by the Congress, and that his new party is the Nationalist Trinamool Congress, which has been allotted the poll symbol of grass and flower. Mr. Sangma's election agent, Thomas Sangma, has already moved the returning officer of the Tura Constituency against the distribution of pamphlets aimed at tarnishing the NTC leader's reputation. The literal translation of the pamphlet in the Garo language reads: "Friends, Do you know that Purno A. Sangma's (the MP we elected) party NCP has split and he has joined the BJP. You know very well the motives of the BJP party, under which 1) Eating beef will not be allowed, and 2) There will be one religion only, Hinduism." Mr. Sangma's election agent has lodged another complaint with the returning officer that posters with slogans in Garo saying, "We will follow Jesus but reject Purno," published in the name of Congress member Arnold Marak have been circulated in the East Garo Hills district with an "ulterior motive to arouse the religious sentiments of the voters against P.A. Sangma." He urged the returning officer to take steps to stop the circulation of such posters.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 17 2004, 11:55 PM
Kalam to address nation tomorrow on importance of voting Agencies/ New Delhi Setting yet another precedent, President A P J Abdul Kalam will address the nation Sunday on the eve of the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 20 focussing on the importance of voting. The address in Hindi and English titled "voting is a sacred mission" would be telecast on Doordarshan's national network at 7.30 pm on Sunday and broadcast at 8 pm the same day over All India Radio on the Indraprastha, Rajdhani and Yuvavani channels. It would be relayed by all the primary channel stations of AIR. This is the first time that a President has chosen to address the people ahead of the Parliamentary elections. In his speech on the eve of Republic Day this year, the President had appealed to all eligible voters to exercise their franchise without fail, fear or favour in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. "The right to vote is the greatest power given by the democracy to you so that you can reinforce further democratic values," he had said. Kalam is strongly of the view that a large voter turn out will be the first step towards reaching the goal of developed India 2020 and a step to become enlightened righteous citizens. specool.gif The President has stressed that every political party must clearly state their vision, action plan, and approaches for the developed India vision 2020 and how fast they can realize these missions in quality and quantity. He held that every citizen has got a role to choose the right representative to Parliament and Legislatures.
Posted by: acharya Apr 18 2004, 02:16 AM
Leftist analysis Opinion - News Analysis A BJP-Congress face-off It is a straight fight between the BJP and the Congress in six States, which together account for 103 Lok Sabha seats, Neena Vyas and K.V. Prasad survey the scene. THE BATTLE of the ballot is, perhaps, going to be the fiercest in the 103 Lok Sabha constituencies spread over six States, where the two national parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, are directly pitted against each other without any regional party offering a distraction. Only in a few of these constituencies is there a `third force', and where oes exist, its role is mainly confined to that of a spoiler. With the exception of Gujarat and Delhi, the people of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh have changed their Governments over the last 18 months with a decisive vote against the party ruling the State. If it was a loud and clear vote against the Congress in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the Assembly elections in December 2003, it was equally a strong vote for continuation of the BJP in Gujarat in December 2002 and of the Congress in Delhi in December 2003. What was common to all these elections was the clarity in the verdict. No confusion. Almost everyone agrees that the BJP is still enjoying a "honeymoon" with the voters in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. There is little chance for the Congress to make any dramatic comeback, although a slight improvement on its 1999 position cannot be ruled out. Several factors are working against it; not only are its workers demoralised but they are also almost without authoritative State leadership. And at the national level, the `Vajpayee versus Sonia' theme being drummed up daily by the BJP has helped the ruling party at the Centre consolidate its position further. Ajit Jogi was virtually banished from Chhattisgarh to the Northeast by the Congress `High Command', and then, at the last moment, given a ticket for contesting the Lok Sabha election from Mahasamund in the State. But the serious injuries he suffered in a road accident have meant Mr. Jogi will not be able to play any major role in Chhattisgarh for now, whereas the BJP with its newfound confidence is claiming it will make a clean sweep in the State, repeating its 1999 performance. It is a similar story in Rajasthan, where the former Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, is still to recover from the debacle of December 2003. At the same time, the BJP Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, has been able to consolidate her position. The landslide victory she brought to the BJP has silenced her critics within the party. And in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress has been virtually left leaderless without Digvijay Singh, who has been asked to pay attention to Assam and Orissa. Uma Bharati, the new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, has the entire Sangh Parivar working hard for her as she has been more than willing to accommodate the Sangh agenda, be it cow protection or promotion of vegetarianism. An attempt was made to "ban" the wearing of jeans by girls in colleges, but better sense prevailed and that "order" was withdrawn as quickly as it was announced. As for "bijli, sadak aur pani" she has said that will take time. The problem with the Congress is that even where it has won Assembly elections — as it did in Delhi just a few months ago when the electorate gave a positive verdict in favour of the Sheila Dikshit Government — the party has not been able to build on that for the approaching Lok Sabha battle. In 1998, it dislodged the BJP Government by bagging 52 of the 70 Assembly seats, and yet in the Lok Sabha battle the following year the BJP made a clean sweep of the seven Lok Sabha seats. This time around the BJP had few problems in re-nominating six of its "sitting" MPs, while the seventh, Madan Lal Khurana, was out of the reckoning as he is now a Governor. On the other hand, the Congress took a long time in announcing the names of its candidates. Open infighting in relation to distribution of the ticket, and clash of egos among leaders are the factors that could come in the way of the Congress cashing in on its December 2003 performance. However, it must be noted that since the BJP got a 100 per cent result in Chhattisgarh and Delhi in 1999, the Congress can only gain in this election. In Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress ousted the BJP Government just a year ago, it is the continuing Shanta Kumar-Prem Singh Dhumal fight in the BJP camp that could help the Congress retain its hold. Adding to the Congress strength is the recent return of the former Union Minister, Sukh Ram, to the party. As for Gujarat, it is an altogether different story — the State has still not been able to come out of the grip of divisive communal politics after the riots that shook it in 2002. Another factor that has helped the BJP grow and consolidate its position is that the workers of the cadre-based party are kept busy throughout the year, and year-after-year, while the Congress begins to wake up only when elections near. The year 1998 had been good for the Congress — it had retained power in the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh despite the incumbency factor, and snatched power from the BJP in Delhi and Rajasthan. But clearly, except for Delhi, it could not consolidate its position in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh had gone the BJP way. Taking a closer look at the States, results show that the Congress has repeatedly been routed in the Parliamentary elections in Madhya Pradesh. After winning all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the 1984 election, the Congress electoral fortunes nose-dived in the Lok Sabha polls that followed. In 1989 the Congress had won only eight of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in undivided Madhya Pradesh. In the next elections held in 1991, it recovered lost ground by wresting 27 seats. However, since then its showing has been dismal, winning only 8, 10 and 11 seats respectively despite the fact there was a Congress Government in the State led by Digvijay Singh. The Congress is now approaching the 2004 Lok Sabha polls with a double handicap: there is the psychological impact of three successive defeats in the 1996, 1998 and 1999 Lok Sabha elections and the immense confidence in the camp of its principal political rival, the BJP, following their landslide victory in the last Assembly polls. In 1999 the BJP won 21 of the 29 seats that are now in Madhya Pradesh after bifurcation, while its performance was only marginally better a year earlier. Significantly, the BJP did especially well in the seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (winning all four) and Scheduled Tribes (taking three of five). And in the Assembly elections last year the party showed that it had improved its position further in these areas — it won 37 of the 41 tribal seats and 29 of the 34 constituencies reserved for Scheduled Castes. The work done by the Sangh's frontal organisations in remote tribal areas and the subtle Hindutva card had made the difference. If it was the stick of "bijli, sadak aur pani" (a reference to the poor quality of electricity, roads, and water) that was used effectively by the BJP to beat the Congress with during the Assembly elections last year, in the Lok Sabha elections now the Uma Bharati Government is banking on the `Atal brand' to help it repeat its performance. The Hindutva ideology could also be used strategically to polarise votes. The Congress does not appear to have come out of the depression following the rout in the Assembly polls just four months ago. Some of its senior leaders have kept away from the electoral battlefield. The limited presence of a third force in the State is in the form of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. Besides, outfits like the Gondwana Gantantra Party could chip away at the vote base once considered to be with the Congress. However, the BSP and SP in many places also take away the most backward and backward caste votes from the BJP. In Rajasthan, the traditional political rivals, the BJP and the Congress, will once again be facing each other within months of the Assembly elections. The unprecedented victory in the Assembly election has brought a new confidence to the BJP while the Congress is yet to come out of the shock of the unexpected drubbing. Yet, for the BJP the Lok Sabha elections are more of a challenge since it had won 16 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the State in 1999. Though the BJP leadership has given the call for "pachees mein pachees" (25 out of 25), the ground realities do not indicate such a sweep by the party, which did well in the Lok Sabha polls last time due to the annoyance of the Jat community with the Congress. Now the Jat factor has been more or less taken care of by the Congress through a leadership change: Mr. Gehlot and Girija Vyas made way for comparatively low profile leaders like B.D. Kalla as Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly and Narain Singh as PCC(I) chief. Ms. Vyas is contesting the Udaipur Lok Sabha seat after getting a re-nomination but Mr. Gehlot — a member of the State Assembly — has decided to keep away from electoral politics though the party had offered him the ticket from his traditional seat, Jodhpur. At one point there was speculation that Mr. Gehlot, who has been made a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee and put in charge of the party for Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh, would keep away from campaigning in Rajasthan. However, this was disproved when he joined the campaign in Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu and Sikar where all the party candidates were from the Jat community. As for the BJP, the momentous victory in the Assembly elections settled its leadership issue and also silenced the critics of Vasundhara Raje. The party also took the precaution of offering an olive branch to her critics by "accommodating" them in the Cabinet and elsewhere in a post-election patch-up. Ms. Raje and her group apparently had a say in deciding most of the tickets as did the Union Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh. Both Ms. Raje and Mr. Singh have their sons — Dushyant Singh from Jhalawar and Manvendra Singh from Barmer — in the fray Both the BJP and the Congress have together re-nominated as many as 20 outgoing MPs, perhaps to minimise dissidence and rebellion. In fact the BJP wanted to replace at least half-a-dozen after a study made adverse observations against them, but finally all, except two, were given the tickets. The Congress fielding Pratap Singh Kachariawas, the firebrand youth leader and former president of the BJP Yuva Morcha, from the Jaipur Lok Sabha seat could be seen as a smart move given the voter ennui with Girdharilal Bhargava, the five-time BJP MP, who got re-nominated. As far as alliance partners are concerned, the BJP had major trouble in Banswara (ST) with the Janata Dal (United), which is not over yet. The BJP has made up with a section of the Rajasthan Samajik Nyaya Manch, registered as a political party by its former Minister, Devi Singh Bhati, prior to the Assembly polls. The Bahujan Samaj Party, has some presence in the State — not enough to make an impact but adequate to hurt the prospects of parties like the Congress. The Congress had initial problems over seat sharing with the Nationalist Congress Party, which had demanded Jaipur and Pali. Now the matter seems to have been settled down with the NCP getting none. The BJP, which proved more resourceful and organised during the Assembly polls, is continuing with its deft poll management. With the Congress it is chaos once again though the party is not yet totally out of reckoning for the public. In Delhi, the second consecutive defeat in the December Assembly polls led to an immediate change in the political equation and leadership in the local unit of the BJP. The State BJP chief and former Chief Minister, Madan Lal Khurana, was moved out as Governor of Rajasthan and the soft-spoken party MLA, Harsh Vardhan, took over the party reins. However, he had little say in the distribution of the party ticket for the Lok Sabha polls in view of the presence of a large number of senior leaders in the fray. Smaller parties like the NCP, or even the BSP, which are yet to declare their candidates for the seven Parliamentary seats in Delhi, have little relevance in the Lok Sabha polls. For its part, the BJP announced the names of its candidates for six of the seven seats as early as March first week and held back its decision on the candidate for Chandni Chowk till two days ago. The Union Minister, Vijay Goel, who won twice from this constituency has shifted to Delhi Sadar. The Congress goes to the Lok Sabha polls as a house divided with the Sheila Dikshit Government and the local unit of the party led by the former Assembly Speaker, Prem Singh, pulling in different directions. However, the party is banking on Mrs. Dikshit, who has an additional stake in the election as her son, Sandeep Dikshit, is a contestant from East Delhi. Both parties are concentrating on national issues with the local issues taking a backseat. However, the new scheme for house tax, Statehood, regularisation of unauthorised colonies, development, relocation of jhuggi-jhompri clusters and upgrading infrastructure are some of the local issues which will figure during the election campaign. As against the clean sweep of all seven seats by the BJP in 1999, the mood in Delhi points to some gains for the Congress. In the hill State of Himachal Pradesh, the ruling Congress led by the Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, has completed one year in office and is still on a high after the party's tremendous success in the Assembly polls. Although plagued by a continued factional war between Mr. Singh and the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee president, Vidya Stokes, also a State Minister, the Congress has got its act together just before the Lok Sabha polls and is taking on its opponent with full vigour. On the other hand, the BJP has its share of problems with a division in its rank and file between factions led by the former Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, and the former Union Minister, Shanta Kumar. In fact, the prestige of both Mr. Dhumal and Mr. Kumar is at stake in the Lok Sabha polls slated for May 10. In fact, in the aftermath of the Assembly polls' drubbing, both the senior BJP leaders have decided to play it safe and stick to their favourite turf. Mr. Kumar is contesting the Parliamentary polls from Kangra, while Mr. Dhumal continues to be confined to State-level politics, that is, no ticket to Parliament. The Congress has gained in the run-up to the polls by the entry of some Independent MLAs and the merger of Sukh Ram's Himachal Vikas Congress with the Congress. This would certainly brighten the chances of the Congress candidate, Pratibha Singh, in the Mandi Parliamentary constituency where Mr. Sukh Ram has considerable influence. The liquidation of the Himachal Vikas Party means there is virtually no third force in the State as other smaller parties do not count for much. For the Congress every seat won here would be a gain, for in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections the BJP had bagged three of the four seats, and the fourth, Mandi, was won by the Himachal Vikas Party, which was, at that time, very much in the BJP camp. (With inputs from Sunny Sebastian in Jaipur, Lalit Shastri in Bhopal, and Sujoy Mehdudia in Shimla and Delhi.)
Posted by: Mudy Apr 18 2004, 02:36 AM
I am waiting for Arun Nehru detail column. But on Indian TV yesterday he gave BJP/NDA - 305 Cong-I less than 70. yesterday Aajtak predicted 6 Seats for BJP, 1 may go to Cong-I in Delhi. Punjab Cong-I will lose all seats. SAD and BJP will come back. Himachal Cong-I may retain seat. In UP Cong will be luck if they can manage 10 seats. Karnataka will be interesting. As swing towards BJP/NDA is around 8% - 12 % which means atleast 75% seats. Kerala will be interesting, Commie will try everything to send comrades to vote, but yet to see BJP/NDA account. Arun Nehru predicition is always on dot. But I want to see his latest column.
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 18 2004, 02:40 AM
The Italian conspiracy theory gains momentum, boss biggrin.gif ‘Your Prime Minister’s wife does not trust you, gets her security from Italians’ Saturday April 17 2004 17:07 IST S. Gurumurthy This is what this investigation reveals. Sonia arranges a clandestine meeting between the RAW, Indian spy network, and Italian spies. This was when she was just a housewife and Rajiv was just the general secretary of the Congress. When Sonia was still an Italian and had not applied yet to become an Indian citizen. Are you surprised? Go further. Her brother-in-law, that is Sonia’s sister’s husband, Walter Winci, arranges bullet-proofing of Indira Gandhi’s car in a German factory. Are you shocked? Wait. Later the same Winci arranges the training of SPG commandos by Italian security personnel who even slap the SPG trainees. Are you embarrassed? Go further. When Sonia travels to France with Rajiv in 1985, without the knowledge of the Indian security agency, SPG, she gets the security of Rahul and Priyanka arranged by Italian and Spanish officials. Are you ashamed? It is not over yet. In 1986 when Rahul and Priyanka go to Geneva and Italy, Sonia directly gets their security organised through the Italian foreign office. The Swiss police official taunts the Indian RAW officer in Geneva, ‘‘Your Prime Minister’s wife does not trust you; she trusts only the Italians.’’ You feel humiliated? Whether you feel humiliated or not, the RAW official did feel extremely humiliated. Italian officials are the ones she trusts. Italian embassy is her official embassy. Italian security is her security. This is the Sonia who now shouts from election platforms day in and day out that she will die for her motherland. The only issue is which is her motherland. That she does not trust India is known to the whole western world, but not India. Read this humiliating story. The expose is based on oral testimony of retired officials, including the RAW officials.
Posted by: Peregrine Apr 18 2004, 05:28 AM
From “The Economist” – A subscription Site : A contest less of policies than of opportunistic alliances “A FOREGONE conclusion,” says Pramod Mahajan, a strategist with India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of the resounding victory he expects in the general election that begins on April 20th. Just what a spin doctor might be expected to say, but opinion polls and analysts all agree that the BJP is likely to emerge again as the largest party in India's parliament, and that the multi-party coalition it has led since 1998, the National Democratic Alliance, is the favourite to form the government. The biggest opposition party, Congress, is expected to remain just that. The campaign has been, by local standards, a tame affair. Such judgments are, of course, relative. In Kashmir, where separatist militants are boycotting the polls, senior politicians narrowly escaped being among the 11 people killed by a bomb at a rally on April 8th. In Jharkhand, in the east, Maoist guerrillas killed 26 policemen with a landmine explosion on the same day. In Bihar, two days later, three workers for one political party were shot dead in two separate attacks. But the violence has to be seen in the context of the mind-boggling scale of an Indian election. There are six “national” parties, dozens of regional ones, and thousands of candidates. They are vying for the favours of 670m voters, of whom, judging by the past few polls, some 60% will turn out, about ten percentage points more, for example, than in the 2000 American presidential election. There are over 700,000 polling stations, with 1,075,000 electronic voting machines. To enable officials and security forces to get to where they are needed, there will be four rounds of voting, culminating on May 10th, with the results to be announced three days later. This is the first general election in which all voting and counting will be electronic, by pushing buttons on sturdy-looking plastic boxes the size of a computer keyboard, connected by a cable to a “control unit” that resembles a large desktop calculator. They appear tamper-proof—though there are worries that biased electoral officials may hoodwink voters unfamiliar with the gadgets—and promise the remarkable feat of counting all the votes in a matter of hours. Charged with ensuring a fair election is the fiercely independent Election Commission. The politicians seem intent on finding new ways of breaking the rules. Late last month, for example, Vijai Sharma, the chief electoral officer of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, banned an 11-tonne sweet. An activist in the state capital, Lucknow, wanted to offer the world's biggest Indian laddoo at a temple, for the good health of India's prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee. Since Mr Vajpayee is the local member of parliament and standing for re-election, Mr Sharma ruled that the laddoo had to be seen as part of his campaign. The electoral code bars the use of places of worship for campaigning. The watchdogs were unable, however, to prevent an apparent exercise in vote-buying that led to a disaster. On April 12th over 20 women and children were killed at a rally in Lucknow, ostensibly to mark the birthday of a leader in Uttar Pradesh of Mr Vajpayee's BJP. They died in a stampede to secure sarees that were being handed out free of charge. Technical default This embarrassment for the BJP also highlights how hollow one of its main campaign themes—India's booming economy—rings for poor Indians, ready to risk their lives for an outfit costing about 45 rupees ($1). Perhaps for that reason, this has been a rather passionless campaign. There has been no big issue or event to galvanise it, as, say, in the 1991 election, at the height of the movement to build a temple to the Hindu god Ram on the site of a mosque at his supposed birthplace in Ayodhya. The BJP line is that the issues this time are twofold: “feeling good”, and a “great leader”, Mr Vajpayee. The party hopes that the voters will credit it with India's present economic growth-rate of 8% a year (fuelled, however, by a lavish monsoon in 2003), and overlook four previous years of lacklustre performance. Mr Vajpayee, though he can seem rather aloof, has a stature these days that no other Indian politician can match, and is basking in the popularity of his latest effort to make peace with Pakistan. The BJP campaign also tries to exploit prejudice against the foreign birth (in Italy) of the Congress leader, Sonia Gandhi, widow of Rajiv Gandhi, a former prime minister. But, despite its roots in a Hindu fundamentalist movement, the BJP is playing down “Hindu” issues, such as the Ayodhya temple, and is fielding more Muslim candidates. It has been restrained in office by its partners in the alliance, many of whom are reluctant to alienate India's 130m-strong Muslim minority. But in another blow for the BJP's image on April 12th, the Supreme Court ordered a retrial in a murder case arising from a pogrom against Muslims in 2002 in the state of Gujarat, where the BJP-run state government is accused of complicity in the terror and of sabotaging the judicial follow-up. Congress is campaigning as the party of India's secular traditions, as well as of the poor, especially those in the countryside, for whom the fast-growing economy is just a distant rumour. Its economic manifesto, however, offers not so much a radical change of course as a vague hope of increasing the annual growth rate to 10%. One Congress leader, Salman Khurshid, argues this is largely a “technical” election, less about policies than about forging competing alliances with smaller regional and caste-based parties across India's 28 states and seven “union territories”, which have less autonomy. It is true that the next government will almost certainly be another coalition, and the count will be followed by a bout of frantic political horse-trading. The BJP hopes to improve on its showing in the last election, in 1999, when it won 182 out of 545 seats. But even Mr Mahajan says it would be “real magic” were it to get about 200 seats, so it will continue to rely on the National Democratic Alliance, albeit in a revamped form. Congress, which ruled India for most of its first half-century of independence, and is still the only truly national party, has shed its traditional aversion to “pre-poll alliances” and has already shared seat allocations with a strong local coalition partner in four of the six biggest states, with a total of 169 seats (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu). It hopes for more than the 112 seats it won last time. But even party strategists say the maximum it can achieve is around 135. The anvil in the north One reason for the modesty of this ambition is the dire outlook for Congress in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, with 170m people and 80 out of the 545 seats in parliament. Congress holds only nine of them, and may well lose some of those. This state is where, to a large extent, India's general elections are decided. It is home not just to Ayodhya and Mr Vajpayee's constituency. It is also where Congress's Mrs Gandhi is contesting a seat, as did her late husband and her mother-in-law, another former prime minister. For the first time, Mrs Gandhi's son, Rahul, is also standing in a family stronghold. The state is a case study in many of the ills besetting Indian politics: not just of constituencies handed down like family heirlooms; but also of venal, sometimes thuggish and often outright criminal candidates; of parties appealing not on the basis of policies but of narrow regional or caste interests; of coalitions formed not out of like-minded ideologies but out of naked power-seeking. In Uttar Pradesh, there are no election issues, except, in Mr Khurshid's words, “the one you were born to”—the state's complex web of religion- and caste-based party loyalties. Congress has fallen through the gaps. In crude terms, the state has four blocks of voters, each accounting for 20-30% of the total: Muslims; upper-caste Hindus, such as Brahmins; dalits, the group, once known as untouchables, at the bottom of the Hindu caste system; and “other backward castes”. Congress used to rely on the votes of upper-caste Hindus, Muslims and dalits. Many upper-caste Hindus now vote for the BJP, which has 25 seats in the state. This time, Congress dithered over its strategy in Uttar Pradesh, torn between going it alone and seeking an anti-BJP alliance, and ending up with an underprepared campaign. It failed to woo either of two possible partners: the Samajwadi, or Socialist, party, led by Uttar Pradesh's present chief minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, with a strong support base among other backward castes and Muslims; and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) led by Mayawati, a former chief minister, and famous dalit champion. Congress's only hope in the state—and perhaps in the country as a whole—is a “ripple effect” from the enthusiasm that has greeted Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka, who has also been campaigning. Despite their youth—both are in their early 30s—and inexperience, they have drawn big crowds: their father, grandmother and great-grandfather were all prime minister. Congress contrasts their vitality with Mr Vajpayee, who is 79. Though an old man, he gives no sign of being in a hurry. But neither, for now, do the youthful Gandhis, believing that time, as well as ancestry, is on their side. Cheers
Posted by: Mudy Apr 18 2004, 06:14 AM
Traitor join hands with Videshi hand.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 18 2004, 08:37 AM
White hand on our nuke button? By TAVLEEN SINGH As a steadfast member of the school of political thinking that totally opposes foreign prime ministers for India I never fail to take up the issue whenever it slips back into the news. Of late, with Hindutva raising its ugly head and rape and terrorism rampant the question of Sonia Gandhi’s ‘‘imported’’ status has barely found mention in the forums of public debate so it delighted me that Sharad Pawar raised it last week even if it was in an agricultural rather than political context. One minute he was talking about imported tamarinds and the very next there was that delectable little remark about political parties importing leaders. I wanted to reach into the television set and shake him by the hand. Ignoring Sonia’s foreignness is about as difficult as ignoring a boil on someone’s nose and yet we ignore it totally these days. It is my view that we will have to pay a very heavy price for this which is why, despite hate mail and admonitions from Congress friends, I rake up Sonia’s foreignness any chance I get. thumbup.gif At about the time Pawar was making his comments about imported tamarinds and imported leaders I was wandering about Rajasthani villages conducting the usual pre-election vox populi. Naturally, one of my questions was about Sonia’s foreignness. In the drawing rooms of Delhi and Mumbai the ‘‘educated’’ view is that the ‘‘common man’’ thinks Italy is a village in Tamil Nadu. Happily, most of the people I talked to knew exactly where Italy was and said they did not like the idea of a foreign prime minister one bit. It was wrong, they said, an insult to national pride. So, when I hit urban terrain and came upon the sanctimonious editorials in the national press I was quite taken aback. Barring a couple of exceptions everyone attacked Pawar for mentioning Sonia’s foreignness on the grounds that it was a ‘‘non-issue’’. ‘In a country where everybody likes everything foreign — including whether aamchi Mumbai should be turned into a New York or Shanghai — the desi vs videshi argument is a spurious controversy stirred up for want of anything better.’ This facile, politically illiterate comment could have been ignored had it not appeared in one of our more venerable dailies and had similar comments not littered the columns of other editorial pages. To me it came as a reminder that the ‘‘common man’’ is some times wiser politically than those of us who think of ourselves as uncommonly well educated. In the Sonia context he is wiser because instinctively he appears to understand that India becomes a global joke the day we elect an imported leader. Who will take us seriously? But, there are more serious reasons why Sonia’s foreignness will never be a ‘‘non-issue’’ and these relate — as this column has pointed out before — to matters of governance. Already, one of our biggest failures as a country has been our inability to abandon ancient feudal attitudes and colonial ideas of governance. Think of how much more we regress if our only reason for choosing a foreigner for the most important job in the country is that she married into a political family. Why do we laugh then at Rabri Devi? Surely, she is more qualified than Sonia for high public office. She is at least Indian by birth. Speaking of which why is it that so few people remember that the lady who seeks to be our next prime minister has only recently acquired her love for India. How else to explain why, despite being the Prime Minister’s daughter-in-law, she chose to remain a foreigner till 1983 when her husband’s decision to enter electoral politics made an Italian wife a serious inconvenience. As it is when times got bad he was sneered at as Italy ka daamad. Think of how much worse it will be if Sonia — heaven forbid — should make it to the Prime Minister’s office and times get bad? What if there is another war with Pakistan, can you seethe Army chief reporting to a foreigner? Think of the answer to that question in the context of marriage to foreigners being forbidden to Army officers till not so long ago. Think of it also in a nuclear context and remember that it is the Prime Minister’s hand on the button. It will not just be in times of war that problems arise but even in matters of daily governance because every decision that Sonia makes will be questioned and viewed with suspicion. Beneath our supposedly civilised veneer let us not forget that every Indian child grows up being taught about the foreigners who ruled us for a thousand years. The problems do not end there. If you think Hindutva is a nuisance already please stop and think of how much more rabid it is likely to become if it actually finds a raison d’etre for aggressive nationalism? Apres Sonia will come not the Bharatiya Janata Party or even the Vishwa Hindu Parishad but the Bajrang Dal. So, instead of being attacked for saying what he did Sharad Pawar should be praised for daring to raise an issue that nobody seems to have the courage to raise any more. This is true not just of politics but of journalism. A colleague recently tried to count the number of columnists who openly opposed the idea of a foreign prime minister and, would it surprise you if I said, that he did not get beyond the fingers of one hand. Is it any wonder that foreigners found it so easy in the past to subjugate us? thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif (Write to the author at
Posted by: Mudy Apr 18 2004, 08:51 PM,000900010008.htm Press Trust of India Jaipur, April 18 Criticising the Congress for fielding Kapil Sibal and backing Ram Jethmalani's candidature in the coming Lok Sabha polls, All India Anti-Terrorist Front Chairman M S Bitta on Sunday said he would campaign against the advocate duo, who he said have pleaded the cases of terrorists. "Sibal and Jethmalani are advocates of several terrorists and it is a matter of national integrity that no such person are fielded on a Congress ticket," Bitta told reporters. He said both Sibal and Jethmalani were dealing with the cases of terrorists and it is ridiculous that a political party like the Congress was encouraging such candidates. "I have requested the Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the past," he said, adding he would campaign against the duo in the coming Lok Sabha polls but ruled out supporting the BJP. He also urged all political parties to stay away from criminals as "some ISI agents have made their way into some political parties in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar." "If such criminals came to power, it would be disastrous for the country," he said.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 18 2004, 09:00 PM's~peace~moves Pramod Kumar Singh/ Aligarh The visible bonhomie in the Indo-Pak relationship is proving to be disconcerting to the Aligarh intelligentsia. The successful conclusion of the tour of the Indian Cricket team to the Pakistan, which renewed people-to-people contact between the two after years, has caused a sharp division among the Muslim populace here. The chasm is over Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's peace moves. The entire city of Aligarh erupted in joy after Indian Captain Sourav Ganguly took the catch in the last Test to cap a historic victory. Muslims burst crackers and danced to celebrate the Indian triumph. Oldtimers in the city described it as a "paradigm shift" in the Muslim mindset. There were joyous scenes in the city as the Muslims of Aligarh proved on April,16, the day India won, that they are part and parcel of the Indian ethos. specool.gif While the local Muslim population, which has familial links across the border, is looking up to Mr Vajpayee with hope, the Aligarh intelligentsia with obvious left leanings are out to run down his peace initiative calling it a "facade and double speak". thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif They are not willing to concede that Indian Government is sincere in its effort to ease tensions with Pakistan. Instead, they attribute it to "external pressure". The intelligentsia is also in no mood to give credit to Prime Minister Vajpayee for improving ties with Pakistan but to the peace-loving citizens of both the countries. "Of course, cricket is good to bring the two nations close to each other but like many others, I am also suspicious of the intentions of the BJP leadership that this popular step might be with the intention of getting political mileage over its opponents," writes Prof Shamim Ahmad of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in his internally circulated paper on 'Role Of Minorities in Present Political Scenario'. ohmy.gif Despite the undue criticism by the AMU intelligentsia, there is a perceptible shift in the people's opinion in this city vis-a-vis Prime Minister Vajpayee. A majority of Muslims see in him a statesman who is serious about restoring confidence and improving their social status. "There is no leader of his stature and he had shown by his deeds. This is the general feeling sweeping across the city and you dare speak a word against Vajpayee and be ready for an angry response," said Salim Iqbal, a resident of Aligarh. biggrin.gif This will definitely translate into votes for the BJP as certain percentage of Muslims are going to vote for it. This is no mean achievement for a party which has been derided by its political opponents as communal, added Mr Iqbal. There are around 7.5 lakh Muslims in this city with almost half of them being voters, spread across the areas of Upper Kot, Shah Jamal, Jeevangarh, Jamalpur, Pathan Mohalla, Usmanpada, Sarai Sultan, Sarai Biwi, Saraimia and Khaidera. This reporter toured the Muslim-dominated areas and a sizeable percentage of them appeared interested in the BJP. Although the Babri mosque demolition still rankles them but, "it were Hindus who were equally pained over the demolition and it came as no surprise to us. We want to forge ahead as we see light at the end of the tunnel", said Shamim Mia, epitomising the shift that the BJP was no more an "untouchable". Stung by the turnaround among the Muslim community, the Aligarh intelligentsia is trying every trick up its sleeve to run down the new found confidence among the Muslims. Prof Ahmad's paper is in circulation among the intelligentsia nowadays. It was not surprising when this reporter met them, they spoke on the lines propounded by Prof Ahmad. "The continuous attack by the BJP on madrasas and saffronisation of education and cultural institutions are some of the examples of its anti-Muslim policy. The BJP is trying its best to send a message to the electorate, especially to the minorities that it has changed its attitude towards the minorities and that it is working for their welfare. It is trying to induce Muslims to join the party, organising programmes for them and giving it wider publicity," he writes. "The entry of Muslims into the BJP fold is part of the same game plan, so we shall be beware of the BJP's gameplan to encourage formation of Muslim parties for putting Muslim candidates. Only innocent or over-ambitious Muslims could become part of this game," Prof Ahmed concludes.
Posted by: Bhootnath Apr 19 2004, 03:56 PM
April 19, 2004 Among India's Tribes, a Campaign for Hearts and Minds By AMY WALDMAN L ANJODA, India, April 13 - "Jai Shri Ram" - victory to Lord Ram - said the barefoot boy, offering the rallying cry of India's Hindu nationalists as he opened the gate to the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram. Started in a mud house 25 years ago, the ashram today is a solid structure housing poor boys from the indigenous tribes of this central Indian state. They learn Sanskrit prayers, yogic exercises and the Hindu line of thought, their tutelage helping to create foot soldiers for India's Hindu nationalist movement and its political standard-bearer, the Bharatiya Janata Party, or B.J.P. In 20 years, the party has gone from bit player in India's politics to leader of its coalition government, and this group and an affiliated family of organizations known as the Sangh Parivar have played an important role. Much as with the Christian right in the United States, the work of Hindu nationalist groups has been a political project as much as a religious or cultural one. In the past, the party has been accused of straining India's secular fabric through its focus on Hindutva or Hindu-ness, a concept defined in sometimes strident, even fatal opposition to minority Muslims and Christians. But as it seeks re-election in national polls that begin Tuesday, the B.J.P. is playing down its Hindu nationalist identity, seeking to reposition itself as a mainstream option for all Indians. The party is campaigning on development, governance and a booming economy, as it did in December, when it won three of four state elections, including here in Chattisgarh. On the ground here, however, the links between the party and its more ardent brothers are unabashed, and the strategy and philosophy of Hindutva active. The tribal belt, which stretches through central and eastern India, provides a window into how the Sangh Parivar has worked as a stealth electoral weapon. In the December elections, the B.J.P. won 77 of 97 seats reserved for the scheduled tribes, as indigenous Indians are officially known, tripling the number won previously. While a number of factors were at work including the party's promise of cows for tribal families, many credit the diligence of groups like the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram. "These people did the spade work - that's why we won," said Om Prakash Taori, 38, the head of the local B.J.P. traders' association. Although the ashram describes itself as a social service organization, its full-time workers said they had been instructed to campaign for the B.J.P. "Whenever we are directed by senior Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram people to help in election canvassing, we do," Babu Lal Vaishnav, a full-time worker, said. Before the state elections, he and four other full-time workers had spent 15 days each visiting villages and telling people to vote for the "kamal" - the lotus flower that is the B.J.P.'s symbol. Ram Madhav, a spokesman for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or Association of National Volunteers, the parent Hindu nationalist organization, also attributed the B.J.P.'s success among India's indigenous communities to the long-term work of his and affiliated groups. "It's kind of a silent work that takes place - a kind of gradual transformation," he said. As Lata Husandi, the newly elected assemblywoman and Bharatiya Janata Party member, who had stopped to visit the ashram, framed it, "The way they are being educated here, they always think of Hindutva, and they become automatic supporters of the B.J.P." "They are being groomed," said Mr. Taori, who was accompanying her. "When you have 25 to 30 children together, they think in one way, they work in one way.'' The battle for votes here has been intimately connected with the battle for souls, with Christian missionaries used as a foil to unite Hindus. While the proportion of Christians in India - 2.3 percent of the population of one billion - has remained relatively steady, the Hindu nationalists see any conversions as a threat. To counter the missionaries, the ashram and other groups have replicated their work. Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, founded in 1952, now runs 1,530 medical facilities, 180 hostels, 5,776 single-teacher schools, and 11,530 development projects. It has undoubtedly provided social services to people often neglected by government. But during rioting by Hindus in Gujarat state in 2002, tribal people joined in attacks on Muslims for the first time, and critics blamed the ashram's work in urging Hindu nationalism. Hindu nationalists believe, sometimes with good reason, that missionaries prey on the tribals' poverty. "We are against the exploitation of people's backwardness for religious reasons," Ms. Husandi said. But there do not appear to have been large numbers of conversions here, Catholic workers and tribal people said. Rather, the ashram and other groups seem to use the specter of conversion to unite Hindus. The number of reconversions has also been small, but their impact amplified. In the Bastar district, the reconversion drive has been led by Lakhmu Ram Bharati, 65. A member of the Batara tribe, he had been doing reconversions for a year, including some on March 5 in nearby Tongkengra village. He had called a meeting of the tribe, and told the Christians: "We belong to the same group. If you will remain separate, it won't work." The Christians had all reconverted, he said, and as an ancillary benefit, he was sure they would vote for "our party." And if they had not reconverted? "They would have been treated as outcasts,'' he said. Thus Anoop Lal came back to the fold. A 38-year-old farmer, he became a Catholic four years ago after visiting a missionary clinic. No one had pressed him to convert, he said.. But a year or two ago villagers and outsiders began threatening a social boycott if he continued going to church, and said he would not get work. Even the local state assemblyman, Dr. Shubhu Kashyap, a member of the B.J.P., told him he would have problems if he did not "come back" to Hinduism. The pressure intensified, Mr. Bharati held his mass meeting, and Mr. Lal and eight or nine others came back. The whole village attended the reconversion, as did the local members of Parliament and the state assembly - both B.J.P. members - according to the village priest. They witnessed the washing of the feet, the sprinkling of sacred water from the Ganges, the chanting of mantras, the prayer for Lord Shiva. But in Mr. Lal's tiny home, beneath some clothes hanging on the wall, two Christian calendars remained. "The Word Was Made Flesh and Lived Among Us," one read. Was he now a Hindu? A Christian? Even Mr. Lal seemed unsure. Large brown eyes misting, voice choked, he put one hand in the air and one on his heart. "I still do not know where I am," he said. "God knows." As he spoke more, he began to weep. "They forced me," he said, then vowed of the Christianity he had publicly forsaken: "My God knows - I will not leave even if I die."
Posted by: fanne Apr 19 2004, 07:28 PM
aah there is so much of secularism in display here!!! Hindu ba$tards converted this guys and he still says he will not forsake his God!! (How christian), but the following hinduism is anyway communalism, everything else is secular, even converting hindus (but not reconversion!!!) Wow, I am speachless!! rgds, fanne
Posted by: Viren Apr 19 2004, 07:57 PM
Posted by: Mudy Apr 19 2004, 09:55 PM
Poll impact: Markets plump for BJP? Monday, 19 April , 2004, 15:52 Polling in the first phase of elections will open on April 20. Analysts say trade this week could be choppy on election jitters. Discuss: Will the markets remian range bound till the election are over? What does the stock market want? BJP or Congress? But the good news is that the stock market seems to have made up its mind and stakeholders have started articulating their views. Going by reports, it looks like the market is going to plump for the BJP-led coalition, the National Democratic Alliance. They want the coalition to emerge stronger so that it could push for reforms without the constraints of slender margins. Not many seem to be in favour of the rival Congress Party. This is very much in line with what several opinion polls have predicted. The reason is simple and obvious. The BJP, despite some resistance from some other members of the Sangh Parivar, have been pro-reforms. If it returns to power, it is expected to continue with the reforms. In its election manifesto, the party has committed itself to stepping up economic reforms, boosting the farm sector, fiscal and infrastructural reforms. Equally important, it has vowed to speed up restructuring of state-run firms to increase their profitability. Says the disinvestment process will continue to realise the hidden wealth in these firms. The Congress Party, on the other hand, appears to be somewhat cautious to disinvestment. Congress has wavered between trying to take credit for starting the economic reforms and complaining that the common man has not benefited. Its credentials as the torchbearers of Indian secularism have also been partly neutralised by the BJP's move to the centre, although it still has a formidable vote bank. The party's manifesto says it will approach privatisation selectively and will not resort to disinvestment merely to meet short-term targets. The party also wants to ensure disinvestment increases competition and consumer welfare. The irony, however, is that the economic reform programme began under a Congress government in 1991, and the BJP has taken much of the credit for turning India away from decades of socialist-inspired policies and removing the stigma from being wealthy. The market, having taken note of the party's hesitation on key economic policies, is not enthusiastic in endorsing it. According to a Reuters report: Besides robust economic growth, the main draw for foreigners has been the government's ability to push through reforms despite being made up of a rag-tag coalition of 18 parties. "If the NDA retains its numbers or improves on its present tally, the (Bombay share) index could possibly be headed for 7,000," said V Anantha Nageswaran, regional head of investment consulting at Credit Suisse Financial Services, Singapore. That translates into a 20 percent rise for the top-30 Bombay index, India's most widely tracked share benchmark. It has been flat in 2004 after rising 73 percent last year to become Asia's second-best performing bourse as foreign funds pumped a record $6.7 billion into a booming economy. While most opinion polls have predicted a big victory for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance, analysts say a narrow margin could slow down the pace of forms. And that could divert some of the $10 billion foreign portfolio investors are expected to bring into India this year, after the first quarter saw an inflow of $3.65 billion. "Any weaker government will pander to all sorts of demand from smaller parties and resort to populism. This could widen the fiscal deficit which is bad news for bond prices," he added. "Investors will cheer the return of the BJP which has been more aggressive in pursuing the economic agenda," said Mahendra Jajoo, head of primary dealership ABN Amro Securities. With its campaign motto "India shining", the BJP is riding high on the back of a surging economy and cheap loans which have brought cars, houses and Western consumer goods within reach of a rapidly expanding middle class. But the real significance of the election, says columnist Prem Shankar Jha, is that it is being fought on the economy, development and peace instead of on the basis of the "inherited loyalties" of caste, class and religion. "The issues will bind whoever wins, and they will probably bind them in the next election too," he said. "India is entering a phase of maturity and modernity."
Posted by: Mudy Apr 19 2004, 09:57 PM
fanne , Prospect of BJP/NDA is causing lot of heartburn to missionaries. They will lose funding big time.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 19 2004, 11:08 PM
Posted by: madhu Apr 20 2004, 12:34 AM
Is there an official Elections web site yet? I remember there was one for the previous elections.
Posted by: madhu Apr 20 2004, 12:37 AM
This is not official, but is quite good.
Posted by: acharya Apr 20 2004, 01:05 AM
IUML to back Krishna, Deve Gowda By Our Staff Reporter BANGALORE, APRIL 18. The Karnataka unit of the Indian Union Muslim League, which has decided to go it alone in the elections is supporting the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, in the Chamarajpet Assembly constituency, the Janata Dal (Secular) President and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, in the Kanakapura Lok Sabha Constituency, and the Janata Dal (S) leader, C.M. Ibrahim, in the Bangalore North Lok Sabha Constituency. The IUML has fielded its candidates in one Lok Sabha and five Assembly constituencies. According to the IUML General Secretary, M.M. Mehdi, the candidates are Hameed Saramasti (Gulbarga Lok Sabha Constituency), Mohammed Nizamuddin (Gulbarga City Assembly), Ahmed Ali (Jewargi Assembly), G. Ibrahim Saba Moula Saba (Dharwad City), Bandhe Nawaz Mohammed Hanif Sayed (Belgaum City), and Muzaffar Ahmed (Ullal). In a few other places, the IUML has chosen to support parties or independent candidates in the hope that they will challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party or National Democratic Alliance candidate. Besides Mr. Deve Gowda and Mr. Ibrahim, the candidates being supported by the IUML are M. Krishnappa (Congress) in the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency and R.L. Jalappa (Congress) in the Chickballapur Lok Sabha Constituency. Congress sets up think tank By Our Staff Reporter BANGALORE, APRIL 18. The Congress has set up a think tank or "Vichara Vibhaga" in the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee with C.R. Narayanappa as its chairman. The cell will promote and highlight the party's achievements in various sectors and interact with technical experts and others to draw up policies that will respond to the people's needs. Announcing this to press persons here today, the party spokesman and Rajya Sabha member, Ashiwni Kumar, said that unlike the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress was not projecting anyone as a prime ministerial candidate. The Congress did not wish to personalise the campaign, he said, and declared that the party and its allies would form the Government at the Centre this time. The leader of the government at the Centre would be decided by consensus after the elections, he added.
Posted by: acharya Apr 20 2004, 01:09 AM
Kerala IUML encouraging fundamentalists: BJP By Our Staff Reporter KANNUR, APRIL 18 . The BJP national executive committee member, Padmanabhacharya, today accused the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) of encouraging Islamic fundamentalists in the State and urged the Election Commission (EC) to monitor its activities. Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Padmanabhacharya, who was in charge of the party in the State, alleged that the IUML was involved in various fundamentalist activities and its leadership was misusing its powers to shelter culprits involved in incidents such as Marad. The Election Commission should monitor the IUML's activities in view of the "security threat faced by the State", he said. He alleged that certain pockets in the State where the IUML had roots were being used to carry out its `communal agenda'. The BJP leader said the successive UDF and LDF Governments had ruined the State's economy. The BJP was growing in stature in the State, he claimed. Political dogmatism had ruined the State, he said. He alleged that the Antony Government had initiated no serious efforts to address the drought situation in the State. The incidents in Muthanga and Marad exemplified the failure of both the UDF and the LDF, he said. Mr. Pamanabhacharya, however, praised the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, for the arrest of Mohamed Sirajuddin, who was suspected to be involved in the desecration of the Sree Narayana Mandirams in different parts of the State last year. The BJP leader said neither the UDF nor the LDF was following what he called the `coalition dharma' as minor parties in the two coalitions continued to be ignored by their major partners. While the smaller parties in the two coalitions were being bullied, the small parties in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) were being given due respect. Even if the BJP got majority on its own, it would form the Government as an alliance of all its partners, he said.
Posted by: acharya Apr 20 2004, 01:16 AM
`BJP conspiring to divide Muslim vote' By Our Special Correspondent JAIPUR, APRIL 18. The All India Milli Council today accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of conspiring to divide the votes of Muslims with the intention of weakening their political power. "The BJP is making an all-out attempt to implement its communal and fascist agenda in the Lok Sabha elections,'' Manzoor Alam, Milli Council's secretary general, said here. Dr. Alam, who was here to interact with the Milli Council's representatives from various districts of Rajasthan, said the BJP had given no signals of any change in its stand on the Ayodhya issue, uniform civil code and Article 370 of the Constitution and had failed to implement its national agenda for governance during the past five years. "Against this backdrop, the BJP has adopted a new strategy of enticing Muslims to its fold so as to divide the Muslim community in view of its significant strength in a large number of constituencies,'' Dr. Alam told reporters while alleging that it was a "conspiracy'' to dilute Muslims' opposition to the BJP. Dr. Alam, who is also national president of the Milli Council's Political Affairs Committee, said the BJP had a track record of "minority- bashing, hate campaign and organised violence'', the worst form of which was witnessed in Gujarat in 2002, and its sectarian agenda could not be hidden behind its "new-found love'' for Muslims. "The BJP cannot defraud voters any more. It changes its masks to suit the occasion -- the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, first claims that the BJP can form a Government without Muslims' support, then preaches Raj Dharma to Narendra Modi, and then himself becomes a steadfast Swayamsevak,'' he pointed out. He charged the BJP with hoodwinking the public opinion by inviting Muslims to join the party on the one hand and encouraging the likes of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders, Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia and Giriraj Kishore, to indulge in anti-Muslim tirade during the election campaign, on the other. Dr. Alam claimed that the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, had resorted to the "old divisive tactic'' of riding a Rath when the intelligence reports suggested that the BJP could fall 50 seats short of its last Lok Sabha tally. "At once, the BJP forgot the development plank and returned to its old ways,'' he remarked and asserted that the "theatrics'' would not sustain the public interest for long. The Milli Council -- which had recently given a call to the secular forces to close ranks and defeat the BJP while releasing a white paper on the performance of the National Democratic Alliance Government -- reiterated that an alliance of secular parties alone could save the country from the impending danger of the BJP-led coalition coming back to power." Wherever there is a scope for tactical voting, we will urge the saner sections of voters to exercise it to defeat the BJP candidates,'' Dr. Alam said, while pointing out that the Congress and its allies were in a comfortable position in Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. As regards Uttar Pradesh, the secular camp seems to be divided because of the failure of Congress and Samajwadi Party to come to an understanding. "Our emphasis in Uttar Pradesh will be on the factors such as capacity to win and credibility while choosing from among the candidates pitted against the BJP in each constituency,'' he added.
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 20 2004, 01:42 AM
QUOTE (acharya @ Apr 20 2004, 01:16 AM)
Dr. Alam, who was here to interact with the Milli Council's representatives from various districts of Rajasthan, said the BJP had given no signals of any change in its stand on the Ayodhya issue, uniform civil code and Article 370 of the Constitution and had failed to implement its national agenda for governance during the past five years.
Isnt article 370 about kashmir and NOT about indian muslims ? Why this 'Dr' speaking for kashmiris ?
Posted by: narayanan Apr 20 2004, 02:09 AM
It is time to put up the n3.gif Predictor-Corrector, so brilliantly combat-proven in the Cricket Threads, for the Elections. The usual "BJP is going to short 100 seats onlee" ddm nonsense is starting up again - sure sign of another huge walloping for the scumbags. fuck.gif I am tired of this cra*. Seeing the antics of the FOIL, the People's War Group, the Sabrang, the Gujarat "Trial" circus, the "scholars" of the South Asia Community in the US, the hordes upon hordes of ddm, the FIACONA, the IMC, "AWAAZ", "Kashmir Forum", Wagah Kandle Kissers, Musharraf-admirers, goat-lovers, yada yada yada... thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif to them all. n3.gif Prediction: BJP 327 seats out of 545. Congress .. well... Flush.gif What is the technical indicator for this? St. Rajesh Khanna has decided to switch out of the Congress and into BJP - and with that, Supreme HQ has officially endorsed BJP. guitar.gif Q.E.D. or should I say, "Fait Accompli"?
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 20 2004, 07:15 AM
Rajesh It is only stupid hindus who make a distinction between kashmiri muslims and Indian muslims There is not 1 single Indian muslim group that has called for abrogation of article 370 The Jamaat-e-Islami has 4 separate branches in south asia Pakistan, BD, India and kashmir Most Indian muslims want 'more autonomy' an euphemism for secession and SIMI openly campaigned for granting secession to kashmir
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 20 2004, 07:57 AM
n3.gif On my India trip people found 300-325 a very comfortable tally. Anything above 325 would be a pleasant surprise.. specool.gif 327 - aapke munh main ghee-shakkar.. clap.gif G. Subramanium, Understand but such questions should be asked in open in newspapers. This question always goes unasked. Those who whine about ayodhya conveniently sneak in UCC and 370 as if they all fall in the same category.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 20 2004, 09:30 AM
Priyanka started making lot of noise regarding Rai Barely polling booth, looks like Sonia may loose seat. Why they are nervous? Never seen would be Prime Minister worried about 1 or 2 polling booth. lmaosmiley.gif
Posted by: Viren Apr 20 2004, 09:44 AM
Lot of people are going to loose their deposit whistle.gif
Posted by: narayanan Apr 20 2004, 07:03 PM
Early ddm reports: Times of Islamabad:
BJP leaves Congress behind in Round I TIMESOFINDIA.COM [ TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2004 06:22:50 PM ] NEW DELHI: Early analyses on news channels on TV have given BJP an early lead in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections held on Tuesday. Sahara TV's exit poll showed BJP-led coalition bagging 82 seats out of 140 constituencies that went to polls on Tuesday. Congress was seen getting 55, and others 3. Another news channel, Star TV, also gave 78 seats for BJP and its allies, while Congress and its allies got 55 seats. The tally is marginally down from the coalition's 1999 position of 88 seats. Sahara has put Congress and its allies at 55. (Translation: these jerks never polled anyone, but sat on their musharrafs, drinking "Rooh Afza" and wrote this.) However, Aaj Tak gave BJP a big lead with 93 seats out of the 140 seats, while Congress was seen getting 44 seats only. Channel BJP+ Congress+ Others Aaj Tak 93 44 3 Star News 78 55 7 Sahara 82 55 3
Posted by: Spinster Apr 20 2004, 07:26 PM
The BJP will not cross 300 according my predictor ( Slide rule Aristo elektra wink.gif ) ABV should have contested from more than one place, one in the first leg and the other in the second leg, just for the sake of stability and ability. I hope Amma trounces the Blues Brothers (aka Karuna nidhi with his dark glasses & co) as he on Mission from (Italian) God.
Posted by: Spinster Apr 20 2004, 07:37 PM
OK Rahul is M.Phil. When and where did he get his undergrad from? ** Cambridge confirms Rahul's MPhil Newsdesk | April 20, 2004 16:44 IST Opponents of the Nehru-Gandhi family have long claimed that none of its scions, starting from Indira Gandhi, ever completed his/her formal education. This allegation can now be laid to rest at least as far as Rahul Gandhi is concerned. The Congress candidate from Amethi has claimed, in his affidavit filed along with his nomination papers, that he has an MPhil in Development Economics from Trinity College, Cambridge University. decided to check this and so got in touch by e-mail with the Old Records Office at Trinity College. The request was apparently forwarded to the press and publications office of Cambridge University, from where received an official reply today. It said: 'Rahul Gandhi was a student at the University of Cambridge as a member of Trinity College from 1994 to 1995, and was awarded an MPhil in Development Economics.'
Posted by: Viren Apr 20 2004, 07:55 PM One Indian observer for Miami-Dade county please wink.gif around early Nov guitar.gif
Posted by: Viren Apr 20 2004, 07:55 PM
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 20 2004, 07:57 PM
Attn Rajesh A handful of secular muslims such as late MC.Chagla and Hamid Dalwai asked for repeal of article 370 Unfortunately it is a long term process to encourage moderate voices among muslims, it is much easier to pander to a jihadist mullah to get block votes
Posted by: Mudy Apr 20 2004, 09:05 PM
Ist phase exit poll looks good. AajTak predictions are always close. Star TV predicted Cong-i will regain Raj. assembly and hung assembly in MP. thumbup.gif
Posted by: varava Apr 20 2004, 09:49 PM
50 to 55% voting is not a good sign. It indicates that the middle class and educated people again preferred to stay home and watch the results rather than participate in voting. That is not a good sign for democracy. Unless this sections of the society shows some interest, we will not see big ray of hope. I hope 2010 elections will see some change. These sections complain for 5 years about distrupted water and power suppliy, bad roads etc.. but they won't vote to bring some change. I have just no clue what they want?
Posted by: Mudy Apr 20 2004, 10:00 PM
Finally TOI made U-turn, all lies turn out to be stupidity. TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2004 03:12:40 AM ] NEW DELHI : Close to voting day, BJP appeared to have pulled out of a three-week popularity slide, a survey conducted for the Times of India showed. But as the party struggled to contain the fallout of the sari stampede well until the eve of first polling, anger amongst voters in Lucknow against Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's party manifested itself in a drop in its ratings, according to the survey tracking voter preferences for seven weeks. But Lucknow 's ire didn't seem to personally hurt Vajpayee, whose party over the weekend dumped his election manager Lalji Tandon. It was Tandon's birthday bash in a city park where 21 women were killed after a free-for-all sari distribution degenerated into a stampede. In Lucknow, one of the 10 cities surveyed nationwide for The Times of India by TNS India, a leading market research company, Vajpayee's party slipped from 70 per cent to 58 per cent in the category of 'Best Suited to Form Government'. Preference for Vajpayee personally dropped only by one percent in the week but remained fairly high with 72 per cent respondents saying they still found him very suitable to be India 's next Prime Minister. Overall news for BJP was cheerful as voting began in the four-phase election. The three-week popularity slide had bottomed out two weeks ago when only 48 per cent said BJP was best suited. The survey conducted last week found that 60 per cent of respondents now think BJP is best suited to form the government. In Delhi , BJP's fortunes remained stable. The numbers for Congress had dropped slightly in recent weeks not only in Delhi but across metropolitan centres. Perhaps linked to the wobbly fortunes of Laloo Prasad Yadav in the minefield of Bihar politics was an upswing for BJP in Patna . The party's ratings which had been mimicking the nationwide downward trend showed a sharp rise with the number of people saying yes to BJP being best suited rising from 55 per cent to 73 per cent. There was also a late swing in favour of BJP in Hyderabad and whether that translated to good news for Chandrababu Naidu's TDP in assembly elections remained to be seen. But in Ahmedabad, where the government was put on the defensive by the Supreme Court's damning indictment in the Best Bakery case, BJP's stocks continued to drop for the fourth straight week, now down to 62 per cent respondents backing the idea that the party was best suited for the Centre. Although Congress had gained concomitant ground, it remained way behind at 38 per cent. There was not much change in the Vajpayee-Sonia Gandhi faceoff in urban areas and the BJP leader seemed to have gained points he had lost in the last few weeks. Vajpayee's ratings have in fact strengthened slightly with 64 per cent respondents saying he was best suited to be the next PM. Sonia Gandhi's ratings fell to 25 per cent last week from the previous week's 30 per cent nationwide. biggrin.gif On a separate issue, respondents were asked whether softening their stand on several issues ranging from the Uniform Civil Code, Hindutva and Ayodhya would help the party get Muslim votes, which in states like UP play a decisive role. Forty per cent of the respondents said they did not think so and a slightly lesser percentage had said a softer-look BJP would be able to sway Muslim voters.
Posted by: rhytha Apr 20 2004, 10:31 PM
QUOTE (varava @ Apr 20 2004, 09:49 PM)
50 to 55% voting is not a good sign. It indicates that the middle class and educated people again preferred to stay home and watch the results rather than participate in voting. That is not a good sign for democracy. Unless this sections of the society shows some interest, we will not see big ray of hope. I hope 2010 elections will see some change. These sections complain for 5 years about distrupted water and power suppliy, bad roads etc.. but they won't vote to bring some change. I have just no clue what they want?
viren thats because of the sun ans scroching heat, u yourself will thnk twice before going out and standing in line to vote graduated.gif
Posted by: Viren Apr 20 2004, 10:37 PM
rhytha: I guess you were referring to varava. For India, I'd consider 50-55% to be a good sign though we should aspire for more. Even in US with the biggest, bestest democracy with A/C cars, polling stations etc and all, the turnout % is no better
Posted by: madhu Apr 20 2004, 10:39 PM
Any exit polls for the assembly elections in AP, Karnataka, Orissa??
Posted by: Mudy Apr 20 2004, 10:40 PM
50-50% voting main reason looks like, massive deletion of names from voting list, mostly anti-congress voters names are missing from Andhra and Vidarba region and other areas.
Posted by: bachan Apr 20 2004, 10:44 PM
How would anti-Congress voters be deleted from list if the government is TDP? Is there source for this information? From "TDP and BJP were doing well in Assembly polls and were ahead in 63-71 seats while the Congress was close with leads in 70-76 of the 147 seats where polling was held today."
Posted by: muddur Apr 20 2004, 11:03 PM
QUOTE (madhu @ Apr 20 2004, 10:39 PM)
Any exit polls for the assembly elections in AP, Karnataka, Orissa??
Exit polls for Karnataka predict, upto 21 seats out of 28 for teh BJP lead NDA.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 20 2004, 11:24 PM
Called two families in secunderabad, whole family name was missing, infact common in there area as it is know as stronghold of VHP/BJP. In Vidharba, 100 % VHP villages, either voter names are missing or complete village voter list were missing. How this is possible? When local congress leader send wrong information to election officer with little bribe as little as Rs500 Why BJP/NDA unable to do so? - they are new in game.
Posted by: varava Apr 20 2004, 11:47 PM
Whatever number NDA reaches, I still believe this is a vote for BJP as a party but a vote for Congress policies. Having diluted manyu of it's core issues, especially on secularism, article 370, Pakistan etc.. I don't see much difference between BJP and Congress now. I am just happy that Sonia Gandhi will not make it. It would be nice if that grand old [Admin:edited] Vajpayee is kicked out of power and a new hardline leader takes his place. There is no point if BJP follows the policies of Congress. It's like replacing one set of leaders with another set who pretty much follows the same policies. I don't know about others but what I am looking for is a party which is strong on national security, which will deal with Pakistan with an iron hand, which is aggressive on economic development and who will force muslims to join the mainstream rather than comes to their (muslims) terms. For me Vajpayee is a Congress man in BJP. That is why he is getting all that praise in the media. This is a country where weakness is taken as a sign of statemanship. People will one day realise that to make India a super power, it needs the guts of Israel leadership and shrewdness of Republic leadership in USA, not someone who shamelessly goes to Lahore to shake hands with a terroprist general and who thinks of giving more autonomy to J&K instead of scrapping article 370.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 20 2004, 11:56 PM
Plaese read this site and post local exit poll - varava, BJP/NDA can't change 50 years of policy in 4-5 years. I hope you have noticed small changes in school books caused so much heartburn. Whole media is against BJP/NDA. For Godhara or Kashmiri Pandit issue give amnesia to media but hey they can recall every single tit bit of Gujarat. It will take time and another 10 years will make difference. At least Hindu culture is returning back. Indian citizen still say 200 years of British raj as foreign rule, but people don’t say 800 years of Muslim raj as foreign raj. That needs to be changed. It can’t be done just switching off one thing and switch on other. Cursing won't help.
Posted by: shyam Apr 21 2004, 01:10 AM
>Plaese read this site and post local exit poll - Mudy, There are no exit polls given by Eenadu. I'll post if I come across any exit polls carried by Telugu media. However, the Eenadu carried Aajtak exit polls of AP: Assembly: (147 seats so far) TDP+BJP: 63-71 Congress+: 70-76 Lok Sabha: (21 seats so far) TDP+BJP: 8-10 Congress: 10-12 Note that first Round is mostly in Telangana Region. People from Coastal and Rayala Seema regions are yet to vote. I don't think Congress will fare well there My prediction is: TDP+BJP: 180 in Assembly (loss of 20+ seats from 1999) 27 in Loksabha (loss of 10 seats from 1999)
Posted by: Spinster Apr 21 2004, 01:25 AM
QUOTE (Mudy @ Apr 20 2004, 11:56 PM)
Plaese read this site and post local exit poll - varava, BJP/NDA can't change 50 years of policy in 4-5 years. I hope you have noticed small changes in school books caused so much heartburn. Whole media is against BJP/NDA. For Godhara or Kashmiri Pandit issue give amnesia to media but hey they can recall every single tit bit of Gujarat. It will take time and another 10 years will make difference. At least Hindu culture is returning back. Indian citizen still say 200 years of British raj as foreign rule, but people don’t say 800 years of Muslim raj as foreign raj. That needs to be changed. It can’t be done just switching off one thing and switch on other. Cursing won't help.
what about our man ABV who says Pakistan and India will fight terror together. POLL-VAJPAYEE India, Pak ready to counter terror together: PM KHALILABAD (BASTI), APR 20 (PTI) Expressing satisfaction over the recent thaw in Indo-Pakistan relations, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today said both countries were ready to counter the menace of terrorism together. "The situation has changed and now it can be said that efforts are on to deal with those using bombs (terrorists) together," he told an election rally here. "Times have changed and even those in power in Pakistan are averse to terrorism," the Prime Minister said.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 21 2004, 01:42 AM
India, Pak ready to counter terror together: PM
What's wrong with this? Only if they decide to pull Army from J&K and move heavy weapons from border, that will be judgement error. But till talk and walk is different, it is Okay, and if walk is protecting India, what else you want. Plus rest of India want to be buddy with terrorist nation. In public if ABV is saying yes, but on ground action is different. That actually matters. Outlook is anyway left mouth piece.
Posted by: Peregrine Apr 21 2004, 01:45 AM
Spinster : It is a crying shame that our Manya Shree Pradhaan Mantirji made the statement India, Pak ready to counter terror together: PM a day after, i.e. 19 April 2004, when the Lotastaanis had made the following statement : ISLAMAWORST : Pakistan would sign separate agreements with 22 countries of East-South Asia minus India to counter rising threat of terrorism. Under these accords classified intelligence information would be shared by the parties. The proposed draft of terrorism agreement was tabled in the last federal cabinet meeting by the Ministry of Interior with the consultation of Foreign Office. India is not included in these countries as despite recent CBMs, New Delhi has not been placed by Islamabad in exclusive category of "friendly" countries. "Given the security perception and apprehension and level of distrust between the two hostile neighbours since partition in 1947, Pakistan could not afford at this stage to share any kind of classified information with India", sources claimed. They said India had been accusing Pakistan of spreading terrorism so it was not advisable at this stage to enter into agreement to counter terrorism with New Delhi. Sources said separate agreements with 22 countries are being signed to counter the propaganda against Pakistan for its alleged support to the al-Qadea operatives in the past particularly before 9/11. Methinks Manya Shree Pradhaan Mantri Ji has to indulge more in Realism than in Poetry. Cheers
Posted by: Spinster Apr 21 2004, 01:47 AM
note its PTI not outlook. Also If India and Pak can jointly fight terror, where and who are the terrorists. (note there is thread on Terrorist state of Pakistan in this forum) *************************** This is my opinion about our pujya PMji. wait and watch the Akhand Bumbling may go even more senile , the Aar poor man. 'One should retire when people ask why? not why not?' Don Bradman. At my age flowers scare me." George Burns. *** Abthak Bees ( a la Abthak chappan) ( the famous list of 20s and fax machine saga) rolleyes.gif
Posted by: varava Apr 21 2004, 01:59 AM
Mudy, I do agree that India is changing but that is not my point. I am talking about the core issues like J&K, Pakistan, secularism, article 370 etc. When Godhra and Gujarat riots happened, it was just the right time and setting for our PM and Dy.PM to force a debate on secularism. They should have exposed all those pseudo-secular idiots in the media and political parties who lashed at the Hindus but not the muslims who initiated the Godhra killings. How difficult is for Vajpayee to stand by Modi and ask the secularist to clarify why it is so important to protect muslims lives but not Hindus, ask why all the prior killing of Hindus since independence didn't attract the same condemnation as much as the muslim killings did? I know it would have attracted lot of flak from the media but that is the whole point right? It is to focus peoples attention on the hypocracy of these pseudo-secularists. So what did Vajpayee do instead? He surrendered meekly and shamelessly declared at international fora around that time that he was ashamed of what happened in Gujarat. What it has got to do with 50 years of Congress rule? Isn't that one of the reasons why we kicked Congress out of power way back in 1995? Why should it make a difference if Vajpayee does the same? Because he is in the BJP? Why do we tend to give more importance to people rather than issues? So my understanding is that if a notorious Paki agent Imam Bukhari joins BJP and says that muslims should be protected at any cost no matter what they do to sabotage this country, he becomes a good buy. Is that right? When Congress was in power, millions of mullah immigrants came into India from Bangladesh illegally. BJP was in power for last 5 years but not one illegal immigrant was deported. So where is the difference? If BJP was smart enough, it should have linked rising unemployment in the North East to the influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Considering that employment is a sensitive issue anywhere, that would have moulded public opinion against these mullah immigrants and taught a lesson to those communists who are crying horse over unemployment figures while secretly aiding muslims to cross the border into India. and take our jobs. Why didn't Vajpayee think about that? I am sure he did but it comes in the way of his agenda to become a statesman. Coming to scrapping article 370, Vajpayee dropped it against the wishes of RSS and VHP. What it has go to do with 50 years of Congress misrule? Coming to Ayodhya, it's the same. It was dropped form the manifesto against RSS & VHP wishes. What it has to do with 50 years of Congress misrule? I have seen Hindus uniting like never before, believing in what RSS and VHP has been saying for the last 30 years. This is just the perfect time for BJP leaders to make this country tilt more towards Hindus and their interests but we have let this old fellow Vajapyee hijack our agenda. We are letting this one person take care of his legacy as a great stateman at the cost of the greater Hindu cause. I don't think what Vajpayee is doing has anything to do with Congress 50 year misrule. In fact he is going in the direction of Congress. That is what I am accusing him off. You are talking about fixing something that was broken by Congress but how can someone fix it when he chooses to follow Congress policies? Hope you understand what I am trying to say here. What we need are leaders like Arun Shourie, who has the right perspective about Hinduism and it's goals. What we need is a absolute majority for BJP but not with Vajpayee at the helm. I have lots of respect for Modi these days. Look at the way he is standing upto these pseudo-secularists single handedly, not surrendering meekly like Vajpayee. Modi reminds of of Ariel Sharon of Israel. That is what leadership is all about. Hell with the parties. Make Arun Shourie the PM, Modi the Union Home minister, Chandrababu Naidu as the Finance & IT minister, some hardcore RSS guys as the defense, external affairs and education ministers. That will serve out agenda. Not maulana Vajpayee or maulana Advani. thumbup.gif
Posted by: acharya Apr 21 2004, 02:10 AM
‘I want Muslim votes too but wash them in Gangajal’ VARGHESE K. GEORGE Gorakhpur, April 20: Clocks are for mere mortals. It is well past 10 pm, the Election Commission deadline for public meetings that even L K Advani had to abide. The crowd is still waiting for its star speaker. Meanwhile, lesser lights keep the audience entertained. Bazaar gossip is peddled as fact. ‘‘Sonia Gandhi is not a permanent citizen of India,’’ claims one speaker. ‘‘She renews her citizenship every five years.’’ There is more: about how Aligarh Muslim University produces terrorists and how Akbar humiliated our sisters. But don’t worry. The saviour is here. Yogi Adityanath, the 32-year-old BJP MP seeking re-election from Gorakhpur, arrives in a Tata Safari trailed by a convoy of 25 vehicles. Chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ rise in the air. Adityanath does not disappoint his audience. ‘‘Vote me in only for Hindutva, not for development,’’ he says bluntly. It is obvious that Adityanath is not bound by his party’s official agenda. In fact, for the past two years, he has been carving out an independent Hindutva fiefdom outside the audit of the Sangh Parivar, almost from the time he took over as deputy head of the Gorakhnath temple, next only to Mahant Avaidyanath in the pecking order. His saffron credentials are unmatched and his supporters brazen. ‘‘Purvanchal mein rehana hai to Yogi, Yogi kehana hoga (Swear by Yogi if you want to live in Purvanchal),’’ they shout. This is no hyperbole. As he meets The Indian Express in his office the following morning, with pearl earrings and two rudrakshas clinging to his well-toned body, Adityanath lays his cards on the table. What role does he see for the Muslims, we ask him. ‘‘We cannnot chase them away,’’ he replies. ‘‘They can live here but they must join the mainstream.’’ He does not elaborate. Make no mistake. Adityanath has muscle to back his implied threat. His two-year-old ‘‘cultural organisation’’, Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), has spread through all eight constituencies in the region. It has organised some two dozen Hindu Sangams at block levels and its support base is widenening as its insists on having the last word on anything related to ‘‘Hindu awakening’’. When a Muslim paan-chewer spat at a Hindu, the HYV was there to flex its muscle. When a Hindu girl was allegedly raped by a Muslim and when Muslim farmers beat up a bull running wild in their farms, it stepped in to uphold Hindu pride. Soon after the Godhra killings, Adityanath told a huge gathering: ‘‘I have spoken to Modiji and asked him to take 10 wickets for every one wicket from our side. Mark your houses with saffron flags and count the Muslims in your neighbourhood. We may need to do something soon.’’ As elections approach, he is adopting a more conciliatory tone. ‘‘I want Muslim votes too,’’ he says. ‘‘But wash them in Gangajal first.’’ As he shuttles between his election office and Mahant Avaidyanath’s room, his visitors are served a mix of curd, salt and sugar. Then he meets questions head on. Why does he talk Hindutva when his party is talking development? ‘‘You are wrong. Even the NDA has adopted HIndutva.’’ Is he independent of the RSS? ‘‘We get their support.’’ Official support for him was obvious when Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Deputy PM L K Advani recently made unscheduled visits to the temple over which Adityanath lords. Remember the name. You may hear more about Yogi Adityanath in the years to come.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 21 2004, 02:15 AM
Spinster, Just curious to know, Do you want Sonia as your PM? biggrin.gif
Posted by: Spinster Apr 21 2004, 02:30 AM
Its not a choice between a widow and bachelor, there are many a eligible citizen out there, for instance how about Jaya amma? Jaya ho Jaya Jaya Jaya ho Amaa ye saranam Abhaya pradata Nirantaram Santoosha dayakam Dushta shikshana Sishta Rakshana nityam Tava kartavyam samrajyam ramarajyam Bahu parak Bahu Parak. clap.gif
Posted by: Mudy Apr 21 2004, 02:34 AM
ROTFL.gif Well, problem with those so called "better" never get elected. Who can handle 24 small parties? laugh.gif or other choice, every six months have new PM like we had in mid 90s. When there is no better option in sight, appreciate old man endurance. biggrin.gif
Posted by: varava Apr 21 2004, 03:04 AM
Please read both the articles in order. We have a nut case leading this country.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 21 2004, 03:34 AM
user posted image Taleem - Commie/Muslim Sahara - Amar Singh/Mulla Yadav Star TV - Cong-I/Leftist Org - India Today
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 21 2004, 05:02 AM
Though the results of different opinion polls may look very similar,but when you look at the predictions for individual states they are giving drastically different figures.While Zee gives 10-12 seats to Cong-NCP and 6-8 to BJP-Sena IndianExpress-NDTV predicts the exact opposite. In Andhra Pradesh Aaj tak is predicting 8 for BJP+ and 13 for Cong+ NDTV's figure are 3-17.And Zee TV is predicting 63-71 and 70-76 seats for assembly which is ridiculous as it essentially means the same people are voting for different parties in assembly and parliamentary elections more interestingly Voting for BJP+ for assembly and voting Cong+ for parliament. NDTV is predicting 2-1-3 for congress,bjp and others repectively in Assam.Assuming others is AGP which until now was on its way to extinction according to all opinion polls. Looking at their record I think its time now for people to start asking questions about the quality of these opinion polls and the agenda of the people running these shows.For past two months Times of India has been publishing a downslide in the NDA's popularity and it did a total 180 degree turn right on the day of polling to align their predictions with that of other channels and newpapers.
Posted by: acharya Apr 21 2004, 05:07 AM
Looking at their record I think its time now for people to start asking questions about the quality of these opinion polls and the agenda of the people running these shows.For past two months Times of India has been publishing a downslide in the NDA's popularity and it did a total 180 degree turn right on the day of polling to align their predictions with that of other channels and newpapers. This is called as news media propaganda SELECTIVE COVERAGE This is a broad category which may overlap with other propaganda templates. Selective coverage put simply, is covering one story to the exclusion of others or reporting one side of the story to the exclusion of others. The effect of selective coverage is tied to conditioning by repetitive association. By omitting (selective coverage is a form of omission) coverage of stories which promote or disparage one side or the other, positive or negative images and sentiments of the other side are reinforced in the subconscious of the audience. The effectiveness of selective coverage is maximized by its repetitive use. Selective Coverage is also associated with the Credibility Factor. The Credibility Factor is a phenomenon in which a subject is given crediblity in proportion to the degree to which it is propagated. If a story is shown on every single television network, newspaper, and radio station, it will be more credible in the minds of the masses. This is related to the fallacy of appeal to authority. The mass media are an authority. So, simply by widely covering story A to the exlusion of strory B, story A will have more credibility. The credibility factor is also proportional to the amount of coverage time given to a story. So, while both story A and B may be given the same amount of exposure, story A is given more time and thus has more credibility in the minds of the audience.
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 21 2004, 05:09 AM
NDTV-IndianExpress user posted image ZEE TV
Andhra Pradesh: In Andhra Pradesh, where elections were held for 21 Parliamentary constituencies, the Telugu Desam Party seems to be losing ground and is expected to get between 8 to 10 seats. The TDP pocketed 13 seats in the elections held in 1999. The Congress is expected to get huge gains in Andhra PradeshThe Exit Polls show that the Congress is expected to get between 10 to 12 seats, up from 3 seats it cornered in 1999. The BJP is expected to just 1 out of the 21 seats where polling was held today. In 1999 the BJP score-card read 4 seats. In Andhra Pradesh, votes were also cast for 147 assembly seats today. As far as the projections for the assembly elections in the state go the TDP-BJP alliance is expected to suffer huge losses. The Exit Poll shows the combine getting between 63 to 71 seats. The Congress on the other hand is expected to get between 70 to 76 seats. Assam: The Bhartiya Janata Party is expected to hold its ground in Assam, getting one seat of the 6 where polling was held today. the Congress is losing ground here and is expected to get just two seats, down from 4 in 1999. The big gainer in Assam is the Asom Gana Parishad, with a forecast of getiing two seats, up from nil last time around. Others are expected to garner one of the six seats. Bihar: Moving to Bihar, where elections were held in 11 of the total 40 seats, the situation seems similar to 1999. The BJP is to forecast to get between 3 to 5 seats. The RJD got 4 seats. JD(U) which got 3 seats last time, is expected to get between 1 to 3 seats. Others will get no more than a couple of seats. Chattisgarh: In Chattisgarh, the BJP seems to be losing ground and is expected to get between 5 to 7 seats, down from 8 last time. Polling was held for all 11 Parliamentary constituencies here. The Congress is gaining here and is expected to notch up two more seats, from 3 it won 1999. Gujarat: In Gujarat, where polling was held for all 26 seats, the BJP is in a no-win, no-loss situtation. The party is expected to retain 20 seats it won in 1999. The Congress is expected to get 6 to 7 seats, similar to the 6 seats it won in elections held in 1999. Maharashtra: In Maharashtra, where polling was held for 10 seats, the NDA is expected to get between 10 to 12 seats, more or less similar to 13 it won last time. The Congress-NCP combine is expected to halve its tally to just 5 from 10 it won in 1999. The JD(S) is expected to get 2 to 4 seats, while the others tally looks good between 2 to 4. Jharkhand: In Jharkhand, where votes were cast for six seats, the BJP is forecast to get 5 seats, up from 4 it got last time. The Congress will stick to the lone seat it got in 1999. Orissa: Votes were cast for 11 seats in Orissa. The Zee News Exit Poll shows the BJP getting only 4 to 6 seats compared to 7 it got last time. The BJD is expected to get 3 seats slightly up from 2 it managed last time. The Congress is expected to get 3 to 5 seats this year. Orissa also witnessed polling for 77 assembly seats today. Out of these the BJD alliance is on its way to get between 34 to 38 seats, the Congress between 27 to 31, while others are expected to get between 10 to 12 seats.
Posted by: acharya Apr 21 2004, 05:13 AM
THE POLL The poll, as used by the media, is a special form of the fallacy Ad Populum. The irony about polls is that the very act of reporting a poll either reinforces or changes the opinion that the poll measures. The actual questions asked in the polls are never reported. They simply divide the results into simplistic "for" and "against" categories, but these results are skewed because of deceptively phrased questions. For instance the question could be "Do you support balancing the budget by putting senior citizens out on the street?" The majority of answers will probably be in the negative. They then report something to the effect of, "A majority of Americans believe that the budget should not be balanced by cutting Medicare and Social Security." Or, the poll is skewed because of an unbalanced sample population. For instance, Kinsey’s study on homosexuality polled prisoners (kinda like doing a study on virginity in a whorehouse). The methods of the poll are usually not very scientific and it is designed to get a specific result. And the purpose of polls is to say to the audience, "Here is what everyone else thinks, you should too." Now, there are accurate polls. But these polls are used by the politicians to gauge the sentiments and beliefs of the populace so that they know precisely what to tell them. These are really not just polls though, because usually they are coupled by "test balloons" in which the responses of the audience are measured and then re-polled. Politics is down to a science now. Polls help the political class to scientifically pander to the voters. Political campaign propaganda is a specialization of the science of modern propaganda.
Posted by: acharya Apr 21 2004, 05:16 AM
Have you noticed there is not much news about Karnataka. Since there is a serious challenge to Congress they have omitted it so that the voters can get confused in the wave. --- These are subtle psy ops to change the voters perception
Posted by: Mudy Apr 21 2004, 05:20 AM
People In AP still don't believe exit poll number, it is very baised. Yes, Karnataka,Orissa and Gujarat poll report is missing or low coverage. HT is with total anti NDA/BJP heading, TOI for a chance is bit positive.
Posted by: Krishna Apr 21 2004, 06:13 AM
Bhai folks log, When does the polling in Calcutta (West Bengal) start? N' how is it lookin over there? The same commies comin' back or we have a chance for a change b_woot.gif ?
Posted by: varava Apr 21 2004, 08:02 AM
Krishna, I hate to disappoint but the Commies will always be back until such time the illegal muslim immigrants from Bangladesh were deported back. Did you ever wonder how jyoti Basu won elections all the time? He went for the simple thing. He just encouarged muslims into W.Bengal from Bangladesh, gave them rations cards, legalised them and let them vote for him. The same is contuining even now. Isn't it strange that the govt.'s in every state saw changes one way or other at some point but W.Bengal never did in 30 years. Actually the federal govt. should appint a commission to investigate what exactly is growing on in W.Bengal. Don't you find it strange that people will continue to repose faith in a government that screwed the state economically, making the next worst investment destination after Bihar?
Posted by: Nalwa Apr 21 2004, 08:22 AM
spinster, but amma is SUPPORTING ABV for Prime Ministership. Are you a closet Congress(Islami) supporter? Your persistent abuse of Vajpayee would suggest so. For good or bad, he is better than ANY Congress Islami PM we have ever had - BAR NONE. Anyway, it appears that some peoples favourite dynasty will be totally screwed in this election. They will be reduced to snide one-liners rocker.gif
Posted by: Krishna Apr 21 2004, 08:29 AM
Varava, I know what you are saying....... The problem with W.B. is people have got too f**kin lazy, the whole work culture is gone....thanks to the BDees. W.B. can change only in two ways, force Presidents rule and literally get down on the street to kick some commie @$$. Or, just wait till people are tired of the mess. But the problem with the second option is people who work hard and wanna see W.B. match the success of the West / North / South (Indian north / south / west) are either in minority or have left................and folks who don't wanna see any change are happy to live off the fat of the land. I care more for India as a nation than just WB, but the problem is WB is wat connects us to N-E India. With such sever islamic infestation around the chicken neck area things not lookin' too good. And if we can't get W.B under control we may kiss NE India goodbye forever! BTW#1. That jyoti basu was himself kicked out of BD in '71 BTW#2. In 98 or 97 elections BJP candidate Tapan Sikdar won in his constituency but was almost beaten to death by the commie cadres, later on.
Posted by: muddur Apr 21 2004, 02:50 PM
The SECULAR man TALKS .... Lets see the responses of our pseudo seculars to this idiot who calls for an all Muslim party .... Flush.gif thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif,~India's~top~cleric~cries~foul
Posted by: bachan Apr 22 2004, 01:07 AM'in~trouble,'~needs~a~miracle:~NDTV~poll
Posted by: Nikhil Apr 22 2004, 02:21 AM
its good that ChandraBabu Naidu is losing his sleep now... he had been very critical of Narendra Modi..and also a big time suckup to muslims.. well you get wut u sow.. wink.gif Still remember his threats to quit NDA on ever other issue.... wut a loser now rocker.gif cheers.gif
Posted by: varava Apr 22 2004, 04:21 AM
NDTV is in the forefront projecting huge gains for Congress everywhere, even in AP, Karnataka and Maharastra. Now take a look at who is taking this survey. His name is AC Nielsen, another Christian mole. Don't forget Prannoy Roy, well known Hindu baiter who is running this whole show at NDTV.
Posted by: muddur Apr 22 2004, 05:15 AM
QUOTE (varava @ Apr 22 2004, 04:21 AM)
NDTV is in the forefront projecting huge gains for Congress everywhere, even in AP, Karnataka and Maharastra. Now take a look at who is taking this survey. His name is AC Nielsen, another Christian mole. Don't forget Prannoy Roy, well known Hindu baiter who is running this whole show at NDTV.
If the congi moles are predicting like this .... In Karnataka, the poll predicted that the S.M. Krishna-led Congress would get between 110 and 120 seats in the 224-strong Assembly as against the 132 it bagged in the 1999 polls. Then my guess is that Congress is in trouble in Karnataka.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 22 2004, 05:53 AM
Cong-I The political management is so good that A E Neilson, the company which was engaged to conduct an internal pre-poll survey for the Congress, came out with a damaging survey in favour of the BJP
ACNielsen is working for Cong-I.
Posted by: acharya Apr 22 2004, 06:03 AM
Swapan Dasgupta BJP wary of tough choices April 21, 2004 Now that opinion polling has become a growth industry, there is the spectacle of cowboys rushing in where professionals fear to tread. With little by way of expert assistance to help distinguish between honest exercises and completely spurious predictions, there is understandable scepticism in the political class to treat opinion polls very seriously. Despite parties spending many millions of rupees commissioning polls, the tendency is to gloat over favourable projections, rubbish bad news and, ultimately, rely on instinct and intuition. This is why Arun Nehru's armchair psephology has such a large fan following among politicians. One of the factors that make opinion polls marginal to political calculations is the relative lack of expertise in evaluating the results. There is a spurious belief that the size of the sample is crucial in accurately gauging voter preference. Since political parties invariably ask how a sample of 16,000 or so voters can be a true indication, the tendency is to increase the sample size dramatically. These days, pollsters have taken to flaunting large sample sizes to argue that their poll is more reliable than their competition. This is a flawed assumption. The reliability of a national poll does depend on a minimum sample size but the accuracy depends on whether or not the sample is random. If the pollsters diligently follow scientific statistical norms, the chances of the poll being accurate are higher. A 16,000 sample is as likely to give an accurate snapshot as a 60,000 sample if the random principle is honestly observed. Conversely, a one lakh sample drawn from interactions at bus stops and tea shops --the familiar journalistic technique -- is likely to go all wrong. In Rajasthan, for example, the pollsters went all wrong for the assembly 2003 polls because adequate responses from women voters weren't taken into account. It naturally follows that the analyst must not distort the findings by injecting a subjective or ideological bias. This, unfortunately, is easier said than done. I have only too frequently come across pollsters who attach greater weight to the respondents from particular social classes. This is why, for example, the A C Nielson findings were differently interpreted by NDTV and The Asian Age. During the 2002 Gujarat assembly poll, one charlatan masquerading as pollster predicted a neck-and-neck race because he expediently lumped all the undecided respondents into the column for the Congress. Second, a cardinal principle of opinion polls is that larger the area of concern the more the chances of the outcome being accurate. An all-India poll is likely to yield more accurate results than a state-wise or a constituency survey. In the pre-news channel days, pollsters used to break up India into four zones. Nowadays, with the emphasis on television ratings, there is a tendency to forecast results from the states. This is misleading. The results of two polls released last week suggest that there has been a dilution of the NDA's lead over the Congress-led alliance in the span of one month. The India Today-ORG-Marg poll, which I rate as by far the most rigorous exercise, suggests that the NDA tally is likely to be 282 seats, down from 335 in January. The NDTV-AC Nielson poll also says that the NDA will barely reach the majority mark of 272. The facile conclusion of the instant pundits is that in the past two months India has lost a bit of the feel good euphoria and that this is dragging the NDA tally downwards. There is also a suggestion that the assault on Sonia Gandhi's leadership credentials is generating a backlash. Neither of these theories is backed by the evidence. The feel good, while still not uniform, is still reflected in the staggering approval ratings for Atal Bihari Vajpayee. At the same time, Sonia's Italian origin remains her foremost handicap. The point which the pollsters haven't taken adequate note of is the fact that the real difference between the January and April surveys is that the second was conducted after the candidates had been announced. To my mind, this is the foremost factor in dragging the NDA down. The BJP, despite conducting two exhaustive constituency-level surveys, was extremely wary of changing sitting MPs, including those whose constituency records are not terribly good. The party, it seems, lacked the political will to change second and third term MPs because they enjoyed the backing of one or the other national leader. According to some participants, the party's parliamentary board meetings were marked by a complete unwillingness to take tough decision because that would offend or another faction. Therefore, while there is no significant anti-incumbency for the Vajpayee government, the NDA has been dragged down by at least two percent by the anti-incumbency for the sitting MP. Indeed, there are reasons to believe that the candidate selection of the Congress was better than that of the BJP and that this is yielding limited results. I observed this most acutely in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, three states which are quite crucial to the BJP. The BJP campaign, it seems is strongest in places where the candidate selection has been right. In large cities like Agra, Kanpur and Mathura, where its candidates lack local clout, the campaign is faltering. Likewise in Jharkhand, the BJP has been able to offset some of the strong anti-incumbency against the state government in places like Koderma and Hazaribagh, where it has fielded strong candidates. This is certainly not the case in constituencies like Dhanbad. In the first phase of polling, the BJP will have to do its utmost to ensure that a high-voltage national campaign subsumes the anti-incumbency of its sitting MPs. The Congress, on the other hand, will have to concentrate all its efforts on local campaigns because its national thrust does not seem to have had an impact. In the slog overs, what counts are nerve and strategy.
Posted by: narayanan Apr 22 2004, 06:21 AM
A.C. Nielsen is the company that does the Nielsen Ratings. I don't know about they being "Christian" rather than simple $$-ist. For what its worth, I am entirely on their side. I was sitting at Baltimore airport a few years ago when this sweet young thing came to me looking lost and asked if I would agree to be interviewed on my tv_feliz.gif preferences - and left me with a specool.gif red baggage tag - big enough to wave and say "Inquilab Zindabad" with Vijay Prashad. guitar.gif
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 22 2004, 07:01 AM
Just look at the forecast for Orrisa.BJP 40-100 seats.And they needed a exit poll for this .Let me modify this a little and put my own prediction in.BJP 0-147 seats.400% guaranteed. user posted image
Posted by: Nikhil Apr 22 2004, 07:23 AM
BJP 40-100 seats
thats probably a typo error for 90-100 ehehehe biggrin.gif
Posted by: varava Apr 22 2004, 08:08 AM
Check this link:,prtpage-1.cms
Posted by: rhytha Apr 22 2004, 10:36 AM
QUOTE (Mudy @ Apr 22 2004, 05:53 AM)
Cong-I The political management is so good that A E Neilson, the company which was engaged to conduct an internal pre-poll survey for the Congress, came out with a damaging survey in favour of the BJP
ACNielsen is working for Cong-I.
You did'nt say this when the polls where showing BJp in the lead, now the poll says cong leading, u immediatly retort that they work for cong, you have a good future in politics whistle.gif
Posted by: Mudy Apr 22 2004, 11:17 AM
rhytha, you are confused with someone else, here is 15 April post fyi Politics - nope
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 22 2004, 09:56 PM
QUOTE (varava @ Apr 22 2004, 08:08 AM)
Check this link:,prtpage-1.cms
Posting the text from the above link as the page closes on its own after 5 seconds. This is frigging ridiculous.
The Times of India Online Printed from >Cities >Mumbai -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NCP poll gives DF 31 seats TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, APRIL 01, 2004 12:30:25 AM ] MUMBAI: The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine was in an upbeat mood on Wednesday after an NCP-sponsored AC Nielsen poll survey predicted that the ruling coalition in the state would sweep the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra , winning 31 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats. The results of the survey were released on Wednesday by NCP state president R R Patil and finance minister Jayant Patil at a press conference. The poll is, however, at odds with another recent AC Nielsen poll, conducted for a newspaper and a TV channel, which predicted that the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance would win 27 seats, while the DF combine would pick up 20 seats. When asked about the contradiction in predictions, AC Nielsen’s MD Partha Rakshit said that in the first survey his firm had only collected the data for the media houses and all interpretation was done by them. “The AC Nielsen role was restricted to doing the field work—that is meeting people and interviewing them. But the survey design and the final interpretation of the findings were all done by the newspaper and the TV channel,’’ Rakshit said. Asked if the projections made by the newspaper and the channel were wrong Rakshit said, “We are not saying that they are wrong or right. The fact is that we were commissioned to do the field work and the other two areas like designing the questionnaire and analysis was done by them.’’ Referring to the survey commissioned by the NCP, Rakshit said, “We are reasonably confident about this opinion poll report as the survey design, field work and the interpretation was done by our team.’’ This report has predicted that the Congress-NCP combine would get 49 per cent of votes as against 44 percent for the Sena-BJP. NCP’s Jayant Patil said that the party had commissioned ACNielsen in order to assess the strength and weakness of Congress-NCP nominees. Patil said it was an extensive survey that covered all 288 assembly segments (into which the 48 LS seats are divided) with a sample size of 73,000 people. The survey was carried out from February until the first week of March, he said. Don't wait for evolution. Get with © Bennett, Coleman and Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted by: varava Apr 22 2004, 11:00 PM
This man has no control over lust for power even at that age. He wants to become the PM and the prescription he suggests is that Gujarat riots shouldn't happen again. Why? Because of muslim votes? What about ethnic cleasning of Hindus in J&K? Can that happen on his watch but not Gujarat riots? I am a RSS supporter to clarify things. I hate Sonia Gandhi. This old man is coverting BJP into Congress. This is bulsh**.'second~Gujarat'
Posted by: acharya Apr 23 2004, 01:25 AM
Elections NDA will get comfortable majority: Jaitley Bangalore, Apr 22. (PTI): In the wake of ripples created by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's remark on coalition, the BJP today emphatically stated that irrespective of the number of seats won by the party, "NDA is here to stay". "Prime Minister and M Venkaiah Naidu (BJP President) have emphasised this", party spokesman Arun Jaitley told reporters, when asked about Vajpayee's reported remark that he was "tired" of running a big 22-party coalition. Jaitley said he had gone through the full speech of Vajpayee made at an election meeting in Nagpur but "that sentence is (taken) a little out of context (in newspapers)". In a damage control move, the BJP had released in Delhi yesterday full text of Vajpayee's speech, clarifying that he was not averse to a coalition government at the Centre but favoured a "compact" coalition consisting of "fewer" parties. Jaitley said the BJP was confident of improving its position in the first phase of polls held for 140 Lok Sabha constituencies. "Overall, in the first round, we will add significantly to our tally". Indications from the first round were that the BJP-led NDA should get a "comfortable majority", he said. There was no possibility of either the Congress or any alliance or front led by it even coming close anywhere near forming government, Jaitley said.
Posted by: varava Apr 23 2004, 06:52 AM
See the coordination of our newspapers. After the cooked up NDTV exit polls appearing all over the newspapers, this one appears on two papers at the same time on the same day. How is that possible? Why is one newspapers picking up an article from another newspaper as it is unless there are ulterior motives?
Posted by: Mudy Apr 23 2004, 09:46 AM
Those who are in India can give better picture. Exit polls are anyway joke in Indian politics. It will take time and honest efforts by pollester to do right prediction. Right now it is zero. Error +100 and -100
Posted by: varava Apr 23 2004, 11:21 AM
What about the funds flowing to the missioneries, madrassas and the terrorist groups in J&K from UK and USA leftist and mullah groups? The dog of Congress Kapil sibal has this to say. I think she should be tried for treason. By the time his case goes to the court, he should be beaten to the pulp in the cell.
Posted by: muddur Apr 23 2004, 11:11 PM
QUOTE (varava @ Apr 23 2004, 11:21 AM)
What about the funds flowing to the missioneries, madrassas and the terrorist groups in J&K from UK and USA leftist and mullah groups? The dog of Congress Kapil sibal has this to say. I think she should be tried for treason. By the time his case goes to the court, he should be beaten to the pulp in the cell.
Congress party AIM is to NOT curb anti Indian elements, but to curb Indians. Some people have understood it, but most people are yet to understand it.'Congress~ko~harana~nahi,~mitana~hai'
Posted by: Mudy Apr 23 2004, 11:31 PM
I am surprised how people are voting. In case CBN lose election that will be a big loss. He may have some pit fall, but he had vision and working towards it. He made other CM to put some efforts in their state. He brought momentum, may be it was just media hype, but he is better than others. Rural development is needed, but it takes time. Everything can't be fixed in one shot. It will be sad result.
Posted by: muddur Apr 24 2004, 01:39 AM
Chandramouli feels there is no strong reason to opt for a change from Vajpayee. "My choice is the BJP. I like the BJP's policies, particularly their foreign and economic policies." He also feels strongly that only a person of Indian birth should lead India. "It is not an issue concerning Sonia Gandhi alone. I don't know why the media has not written about Fujimori, the Japanese who was president of Peru. He ruled Peru for ten years, made a mess of it and fled to Japan when he was about to be caught on corruption charges. The Japanese have refused to extradite him, saying he is Japanese. This shows the dangers of allowing a foreigner to be the head of state. Italian law allows Sonia to be an Italian citizen even now." [/SIZE] Chandramouli and Kantha have not yet decided whom to vote for in the 2004 election. "I would like to vote for a person who would support Vajpayee. Judging by what she [J Jayalalithaa] did last time, I am only worried and doubtful whether voting for the AIADMK will really mean trouble-free support to Vajpayee. I sometimes feel if they don't get anything at all in Tamil Nadu, it will be a relief for Vajpayee," says Chandramouli.
Posted by: Peregrine Apr 24 2004, 03:35 AM
From : The Economist INDIA’S ELECTION The new Gandhi generation THERE aren't many statues of Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian prime minister assassinated in 1991. But there is one on a small crossroads in Amethi, a dusty run-down town in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. For over 25 years, the town has been a stronghold of the Gandhi dynasty, which has dominated the Congress party since 1947. The statue is a reminder of the town's moment of glory, when Mr Gandhi was its member of parliament. But Amethi has declined since then, along with the national fortunes of Mr Gandhi's Congress party, which has not been in power since 1996. Left behind by India's economic development in the past decade, it has none of the internet booths and electronics showrooms that have sprouted across the country, nor any evidence of the “India Shining” theme that the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is pushing in the country's current general election. Now the Gandhis are using the area, whose 4m voters go to the polls on April 26th, as a launch-pad for their political dynasty's next generation. The party's general-election candidate there is Rahul Gandhi, Rajiv's 33-year old son, who is making his political debut after spending most of his 20s abroad. His Italian-born mother Sonia, Rajiv's widow and the president of Congress, is the local MP but is moving to neighbouring Rae Bareli, another family stronghold. Satish Sharma, a family friend and veteran MP, says he is keeping the nearby seat of Sultanpur warm for Priyanka, Rahul's charismatic 32-year-old sister, who has yet to enter full-time politics. The rejuvenation of the Gandhi clan is hardly surprising in a country where there is almost unquestioning acceptance of political dynasties. Rahul Gandhi is being feted wherever he goes as the reincarnation of his father. He is considered a likely future leader of Congress, which has never functioned for long without a Gandhi or a Nehru in charge. Some Congress leaders say privately that Sonia Gandhi should step aside and help the party mount a more effective opposition to the BJP. Sonia Gandhi was pulled into active politics in the late 1990s to rebuild the party's morale, which she did successfully. But she has little political experience, has failed so far to increase the Congress vote-bank, and is not regarded as a viable prime ministerial candidate. Rahul has even less experience but is a better long-term prospect. With characteristic modesty, he stresses that his first priority is Amethi, where he and Priyanka help run charity-based micro-credit and computer education programmes. “I've not come as a politician but as a son and a brother,” he tells people. His agenda, he says, is to “tackle the bigotry” in India that “divides caste and class against each other”. Friends of the family liken that to his father's (unsuccessful) ambition in the 1980s to steer India away from increasingly corrupt and self-serving governance. At any rate, it looks as though he and his sister might grow into a powerful political double-act. Certainly the BJP seems rattled by the family trio. It is attacking Sonia's foreign origins with some success, but finding it much harder to ridicule Rahul and Priyanka. Cheers
Posted by: Mudy Apr 24 2004, 07:56 AM
Mualayam Singh Yadav is going to join NDA after election according to today's press conference/public meeting by Gerorge Fernandes - Source Amar Ujala (hindi newspaper).
Posted by: muddur Apr 24 2004, 11:25 AM
When will they STOP BEGGING for votes in the name of a DEAD ? WHY do they bring the martyr's into stupid politics ? the issue is Congress wants to win based on the PAST and PAST only. They neither know today nor do they have any visions about tomorrow. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 24 2004, 07:44 PM
The political drama generated over the findings of some exit polls makes me recall an incident from my "Canteen Honours" days in Calcutta's Presidency College. On one particularly lazy afternoon in 1984, a former student who found work for a leading market research organisation joined my group with the suggestion "why don't you blokes make cool cash instead of whiling away time like this?" That got us interested. But how ? "Simple, become a market research field worker. You can make thirty bucks a day just asking people which biscuit they like or what's their favourite holiday spot," came the happy-go-lucky reply. Now, Rs 30 was something in 1984. I had worked for Amrita Bazar Patrika as a stringer for their sports desk and was paid Rs 50 for covering minor sporting events like rowing and volleyball. But, of late, assignments were getting too infrequent and payment was always delayed. These guys, the senior told me when I reported at his office the next day, were prompt and there was as much work as I could handle. Before I signed up, I read David Ogilvy's basic book for advertising professionals and learnt that the guru had started life as a market research field worker. There was a picture of him in that book interviewing a smashing blonde outside a movie theatre. The caption said the girl had told him that she would take in some film showing within, but later (under mysterious circumstances) she confessed to him that she had "kidded herself". That is instructive for anybody wishing to ply this trade. Our supervisor told me on one of my first outings that most people consider market researchers big bores full of stupid questions about the dumbest things. So, in utter contempt of the whole process, the respondents, at least most of the time, lie. A couple of weeks into the job, I learnt the easiest (and only) way to lessen the suffering of both the researcher and his subject was to take a minimalist approach. My colleagues, most of them who had spent years on the job, did it all the time. They would just fill out the forms themselves sitting under some tree. But the important thing was to take care to make the answers to the posers palatable for the client. Now, that's an art by itself because everybody can see through fiction. The smarter guys avoided straight "yeses" and opted for contradictory responses. As it was also important to put a real name, address and telephone on each form, the only hard work involved was to convince a minimum number of people to agree to just face me for a couple of minutes to take the most basic questions over income range, size of family and the like, before beating it. That was important, since we were told that the real research guys, the ones who sat in their cool cubicles back at the office, sometimes made an effort to cross-check. But that, said the dada of my group, happened only rarely, very rarely. Seeing to Pranoy Roy, Dorab Sopariwalla and their ilk on the channels pontificate about the exit poll "findings", I wondered this week if they knew that they'd been had. Or do they very well and make us the but of a grand swindle? Mind you, not one of them is telling you much more than the broad "methodology" put to play-which is ridiculous enough-and all are reticent about how they had been proved wrong, horribly wrong, in the past. Take their sample size for starters. Assuming that 50 million people voted in the first phase, how can anybody in his right frame of mind accept that a sample size as "huge" as 15-20,000 can be representative of the great mass of voters spread across a country as diverse as India ? How many under-25s? How many women, Muslims, OBCs-no word on that. There were 189,000 polling booths but nobody is telling us how many of them- and exactly which ones-their field researchers selected for stake out, forms in hand. The truth is that it was a sample size of a sample of booths of a sample of regions of a sample of states! Only the county is India, and definitely not shining if its educated elite are sitting up watching this garbage. Now, the entire political class, right up to the Prime Minister himself, is prepared to buy this bad product. In the process they seem to be willing to forgo the years of cruel knowledge garnered from actual participation in the political field and rush to totally revamp their campaign plans for the rest of the 2004 tour based on this hocus pocus. But, a hard-boiled reporter who knows his India will be prompted to say "sorry, things don't work this way." Add to that the exposition to the real face of "market research" learnt through those two weeks with that agency. Mind you, none of the agencies employed by the channels for the dubious field surveys are specialists in political affairs. Actually there is none of that variety in India. So, the same guys who do fill out those what's-your-favourite-biscuit forms end up conducting exit polls. None of them are rostered employees, just contract workers who might chose to disappear next day. And mind you, there is literally no way in which their research departments can't verify the "yesses" and "noes" put on those forms. The international experience is that people lie to exit pollsters because they either feel their political choice is something private or they do not want to sound unfashionable. That is true of India as well, plus there is the fear factor. Of course, Pranoy & Co. will tell you that this business of superimposing the "findings" from the sample on the greater mass (after deducting for some "traditions" like coastal Orissa and Rayalseema) is not a trapeze act with numbers, but "scientific". Next moment, the word "speculative" will escape their lips. One of them even admitted early enough that he would take these things with oodles of salt: They have been proved wrong thrice before in Britain, in Bihar in 2000, Gujarat in 2002 and countless other scenarios in the recent past. So why the fuss? If quenching public curiosity is the name of the game, a far better way would be to collect the horoscopes of two to three contestants per constituency (that's 543 x 3 = 2,219 horoscopes) and get them interpreted by Bejan Daruwalla or Lachmandas "Babaji" Madan or The Pioneer's own Meenakshi Rani. If psephology can be a science, then why not astrology? In our own lifetime, we saw economics get the status of a science. Some Leftist historians claimed during their struggle against "saffronisation" that history is a science. The other day somebody even said that archaeology is a science. This national fixation with "science" not only leads ambitious parents to force the science stream on unwilling children on the threshold of junior college, but also slip a pseudo-scientific rubber mat under speculative, albeit of a rational variety, pursuits. The political class' reaction to all this stems from basic insecurity, which is legitimate in democracies since politicians live and die by electoral mandates. But what is objectionable is the spurious consensus some media pundits are trying to force on the lay public. Look at the method behind the madness-none of them are telling you that the "tally" of the NDA for 2004 is "going down" not because of Rahul Gandhi's assumption of the family gaddi, but because the NDA itself is smaller by nine parties from its 1999 strength of 26. If you don't smell something curious already, try this: Has anybody ever heard of people voting for one party at the Parliamentary level and quite another for the Assembly in a simultaneous election? Well, according to one idiot box operator, it is going to happen-sorry, already happening-in Karnataka. Humour, laced with fantasy and climaxing with a disaster. Best soap I have seen.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 24 2004, 09:32 PM
After religion, it's now Dharmendra's caste that raises questions Saturday April 24 2004 17:23 IST UNI JAIPUR: After his religious links, Dharmendra, actor and BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bikaner, is now facing questions over his caste. The Rajasthan Pradesh Jat Sabha has taken strong objection to the actor being introduced as a Jat in Rajasthan, saying he was actually a Ramgarhia Sikh from Punjab who has never had any links with Jats. [sounds like he is dead or converted] ohmy.gif ''He can at best be a filmi Jat. He has had nothing to do with our community and it is wrong to project him as Jat,'' Sabha co-patron Justice (retd) P P Singh and general secretary Virendra Punia said addressing a joint press conference on Saturday. They claimed that the actor, born in the family of master Kewal Krishna at Sahnewal village, 10 km from Ludhiana, was misleading the dominant agricultural caste in Rajasthan by projecting himself as a Jat before the electorate. ''He may have played a Christian, a Muslim, a Jat, a Rajput or a dacoit in films, but that does not make him a member of that group. In fact, he has neither been seen at any Jat meetings nor is any of his family member married in the Jat caste''. Ramgarhia Sikhs have earned a name for themselves as mechanics and even Dharmendra used to work as a tubewell operator before he became an actor, specool.gif Punia said. He alleged that even the BJP was misleading voters by claiming that Dharmendra was a Jat. ''We have no objections if he seeks votes just like other stars, but he has no right to mislead voters''. The Sabha would not issue any appeal to the community over whom they should vote for in Bikaner, he clarified. The controversy comes close on the heels of the allegation that Dharmendra had embraced Islam to marry actress Hema Malini and thus did not name his wife in the affidavit alongwith his nomination papers. The Congress has alleged in an Indore court that Dharmendra gave his name as Deol Dharmendra Kewal Krishan in his nomination papers while he had embraced Islam to marry the actress and his actual name was Dilawar Khan.
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 25 2004, 06:19 AM
Can anyone compare exit polls by various pollsters vas actual results from 2002 onwards Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) gave an accurate exit poll for Modi's re-election
Posted by: Mudy Apr 25 2004, 09:06 AM
DRS survey predicts TD win Director of Development and Research Services G V L Narasimha Rao says the Telugu Desam will return to power for the third time in a row with 166 seats out of 294. The Congress along with its allies — the TRS and the Left — will win 120 seats. The survey was conducted in 147 Assembly seats for Phase I and 49 in Phase 2. Analysis of the remaining seats is currently on. The TD-BJP combine had 46 per cent votes in their favour in Phase I while it is expected to garner 46 per cent votes in Phase II also. The Congress-TRS combine got 44 per cent votes in Phase I and is expected to get another 44 per cent in Phase II. PARTY PHASE I PHASE II TOTAL TD+ BJP 77 89 166 Congress+ Allies 66 55 121
Posted by: Mudy Apr 25 2004, 11:50 AM PTI[ SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2004 10:55:01 AM ] RAIPUR : The gradual shift in loyalty by tribals of Chhattisgarh from Congress is likely to earn the saffron party rich dividends in the Lok Sabha polls, thanks to the efforts of Sangh Parivar outfits to enthuse 'Hindutva' passion in the remote areas of this backward state. Though the tribals have traditional inclination towards Congress, efforts to promote 'Hindutva' have succeeded in casting a charm over adivasi voters, who are now more tilted towards the saffron party in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, as borne out by the 2003 assembly election results in these two states. In an attempt to put a halt to conversions Sangh Parivar organisations, operating as social workers under different names, have been fanning out to the far-flung, inaccessible and mostly inhospitable hamlets to inject a feeling of self-respect among the tribals and ultimately bring them back to the Hindu mainstream. Persuading the tribals to go back to their roots in Hindu culture, the RSS had first set up Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams in over 32 districts in central India covering more than 32,000 villages and nearly 70,000 families, according to Sangh Parivar sources. RSS organisations have also started opening Satsang Kendras in villages. On the lines of the RSS Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams, VHP has been engaged in the task of setting up Ekal Vidyalayas — a single-teacher primary school where tribal students are imparted lessons on Hindu culture and religion along with normal academic curricula. There are about 600 such schools at present, VHP sources said adding that it has been planned to open 10,000 Ekal Vidyalayas in the country in the next few years. Buoyed by the success of the network established by them, as reflected in the result of the last assembly elections, the VHP and the RSS have decided to provide tribals with four A's — akshar (education), anna (foodgrains), arogya (healthcare) and aradhana sthal (place of worship) on the pattern of the Christian missionaries. So much so, that the tribals are made to celebrate Ganesh festival, hold Ramlila celebrations, conduct Geeta Paath and use Ram Ram to greet each other. Chhattisgarh has caught the fancy of the Sangh Parivar in view of the large number of conversions, said a VHP activist in Kanker district in the naxalite-infested Bastar region bordering Andhra Pradesh where the People War (PW) ultras are very active. It is interesting as to how the 'Hindutva' sentiment is inculcated among the tribals,. Katha Vachaks (story-tellers) try to mould the minds of the simple tribals by narrating tales of Ramayana after sunset every day. The listeners are told that Lord Ram spent 14 years in banishment from kingdom in this place, part of Dandakaranya, and that Hanuman is a vanvasi (forest inhabitant) who stood by him in his exile. Whether or not the villagers get the political message, the narrators of the story hope they do and thus, a silent saffron surge is underway. Carrying a copy of Ramcharit Manas, these story-tellers have been criss-crossing the entire state for the past couple of years inculcating 'Hindutva' feelings which ultimately pay dividends to BJP in elections, as was evident in the December 2003 assembly polls. "We are some 1,000 volunteers who go from village to village and preach Hindutva by telling stories from the Ramcharit Manas after sunset," Sant Agocharanand, a VHP pracharak explained. The programme, being implemented by the VHP, involves a two-month training to the volunteers at the district level and a six-month stay in Ayodhya. With conversion to Christianity prevalent in some tribal areas, the Katha Vachaks , aimed at least to help check it. "During the Congress rule, Christian missionaries were active to propagate their religion," Agocharanand said and added that his entry was banned in eight districts by the then Congress government for "opposing conversion". Most story-tellers hail from the RSS-run Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams or Ekal Vidyalayas and are trained to narrate the story in local dialect to make it easier for the tribals to follow. Girls too undertake the task of story-telling, but they are not many in number and remain restricted to 'safer' areas, while boys are sent to extremist-infested areas for the purpose
Posted by: Mudy Apr 25 2004, 11:59 AM SHOBHA JOHN TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2004 03:00:45 AM ] NEW DELHI: Is the BJP no longer an anathema for minorities? Close on the heels of Muslim leaders like Imam Bukhari softening their stance, BJP has roped in the clergy in Kerala. In a state where Christians constitute 20 per cent of the population, the party has managed to woo four priests. The party hopes that the laity will follow suit. The entrants are Rev Abraham Thomas and Rev Thomas David (Church of South India), Rev T J Kochuparambil (Anglican) and Pastor K Charly John (Pentecostal). The party has never been able to make a dent in this state. In the 1999 LS polls, BJP contested 14 of the 20 seats, but couldn't win a single seat. But state BJP president P S Shreedharan Pillai says, "The trend is changing."What enticed 68-year-old Abraham Thomas to an 'anti-minority' party? "Development in the last five years," he says from Kochi. Plus, the tenures of LDF and UDF were highly-politicised and fraudulent, he says. But can a person of God take to politics? "I am doing Christ's work better this way." He is campaigning for Union minister O Rajagopal, who is contesting from Thiruvananthapuram. Thomas David (58) says from the state capital, "I am now a missionary among politicians." Thomas speaks the Parivar language. Ask him about the Gujarat riots and he asks about Godhra. ohmy.gif Ask him about the vandalising of churches and he asks why conversions take place. Ask him about radical elements in the Sangh Parivar and he says, "Fringe elements are there in every party." ohmy.gif For David, it was groupism in the state Congress that made him take this plunge. What incentives did he get for joining BJP? He laughs, "The party bears my expenses, that's it." biggrin.gif The top clergy, however, is not too happy with the development. His Grace Job Mar Philoxenos, one of the Metropolitans of the Orthodox Syrian Church, asserts, "The main concern of the clergy should be to give spiritual leadership." He referred to the last assembly elections where CPM had fielded Fr Mathai Noornal. "Not only did he lose the polls, he lost all his possessions and respect." biggrin.gif The laity too has not taken kindly to the priests joining BJP. "They feel let down and asked what had gone wrong with me," says Thomas. David too has been ostracised; he no longer conducts service in his home church. John Samuel, a CSI member, says, "These priests are not seeing BJP's castiest tendencies. Christians won't fall for this." sad.gif Only time will tell if BJP's prize catches will remove its pariah status in God's Own Country.
Posted by: Gargi Apr 26 2004, 07:55 PM
Exit poll - Next Lok Sabha is heading for another round of horse trading. sad.gif
Posted by: fanne Apr 26 2004, 08:22 PM
Well I guess majority of survey are defenitely giving a bad picture vis a vis NDA, some like DRS not at all following the trend. So hard to say whats going on, exit polls are more correct than poll predictions. Last time they have been wrong, who knows what will happen this time.... It is hard to agree that newspapers dont have agenda (isn't it so evident that we had to coin the word DDM). But the counter argument could be that surveys are conducted by professionals (and not newspaper owners). So what gives... Going by their past performance, they do not inspire cofidence, from Gujrat election prediction to the three assembly elections in Rajasthan, MP and Chattisgrah, they have gone wrong. Funny they have always proven wrong when they have predicted NDA defeat, it has never happenned that they predicted NDA victory and were proven wrong. The only thing is we can hope that all this prediction of close call is wrong, incorrect. As science this prediction business as practiced in India has many shortcomings. If I remeber my stats class from my MBA the selection of sample size is very important. Then it has to be random. Even a good sample size gives you prediction which has only so much confidence (and confidence can be increased). The sample size is incredibly small i.e. they are using 25,000 people to predict voting pattern of 200 million people !! I dunno if it is enough. Then they are not going to each constituency rather randomly picking some and sampling them. Chances of these consistuency being repersentative of all other seats in that area is logically a very challenging preposition. And if someone is not doing it's job or manipulating number or worst voters themself lying will make predictions useless. So who knows... But still there have been prediction that have been correct, luck or science!! Dunno but this will be an important election to see if these survey are done by incompetent people or liars or both. But they do achieve one important goal of theirs, enegize voters of one party or sway fence sitter to one side. If Indian voters are smart hopefully they will sway to the right side. rgds, fanne
Posted by: Spinster Apr 26 2004, 10:37 PM
For evry employee at he end of the year there is PDP, a review of performance , goals and objectives to achieve. Take a close look at Akhand LKg what have they done? They have deviated from the core mission of BJP. They have become lackeys of sole super power They have become jigiri dost of Mushy ( and even claim to have saved his life) They have played kirkey with them the terrorist nation ( while we boycott TSP owned restaurants and groceriy shops smile.gif ) They have in essance become the congresswallahs in new grab. The aar par Bhashans The LKg rath yatra The List of 20s The fax machines The escort services The running to WH with files tucked under the arm are all not completely lost on the voters. Now the economy, Its the people who built infosys Its the people who built Wipros Its the people who built Reliance While our cabinet and their babus have gloated in the shine , wine and Dine tamashas. Time for heads to rolll when people are on the roll. Is congress going to be any better Naah Is UDF going to any better Naah Is BJP any different naah , more thunder and blister thats about it. Time for younger generation to lead not a 80 plus neta who is near senile , and according the Raj Dharma which he talks , he should have taken prashthan into Himalayas like yudhister did after Mahabharat war ended. Jai Atalji ki Jai Lkg ki Jai Mithaiwalah ki
Posted by: Gargi Apr 26 2004, 10:50 PM
I agree, sampling is very low, we don't know how they are taking. Even for state election there sample size was same and prediciton was way off. I had feeling they are misguiding voter and trying to swing voters. Bihar and UP is unpredictable anyway. Most of the constituencies have 3 or 4 strong candidates for each seat.
Posted by: varava Apr 26 2004, 11:09 PM
At this point, it doesn't matter if the exit polls are wrong or right. I think NDA will come to power with a very simple majority and the chances are that Sonia will gain few seats, instead of ending her career as a politician. That's very depressing. The credit for all this should go to Vajpayee. Right from the beginnning, Vajpayee was labelled a statesman by the secular media in order to co-opt him into doing things they wanted. It was a big ploy by the media and he fell for it. The man has a weak fibre in his blood and people got confused it with statesmanship. To be honest, I hated that man as much as Sonia Gandhi but I had no choice but to support him just for elections in order to see that lady finished politically. He lulled himself into thinking that he was indeed a great statesman and started doing all kind of stupid things, like making peace moves with Pakistan, dropping article 370 scrapping from the agenda, Ayodhya temple etc.... He fuc**** blurred the difference between BJP and Congress. He thought it was a great political strategy to occupy the political space of the Congress. He forgot that real people (read Hindus) do not want anything that resembles Congress. They don't like the way Congress suck upto the mullahs, pandering to their demands and wishes. People want change in the system, not parties. Why would people will be energised to come out and vote if they see another party with the same set of ideas for this nation. This idiot messed it up big time. RSS and VHP worked so hard, toiling for decades to build a huge network in and outside the country to advance Hindu agenda and what did BJP do in return? Vajpayee single handedly destroyed that by hijacking the Hindu agenda and making BJP look pretty much like Congress. Corrupt elements entered BJP and they started distancing themselves from their mentor RSS just for the sake of power and money. BJP was supposed to be a party of difference but it is no different from Congress as of today. That is what it is going to reflect in this election results. Many of the BJP supporters even don't know that Vajpayee was accused by few in the RSS long back as a Congressman in BJP. It was true. The man got so messedup that he practically stopped fighting back at Congress. He thought that the qualities of a statesman requires that he should not get aggressive while pouding the Congress in the election campaign. He thought that people will blindly vote for him because he is nice and sentimental. It's all crap. That's not how you win elections. You got to be dynamic and aggressive, taking the war into the opposition camp, not sitting there like a innocent gudiya, hoping people will be impressed to come out and vote. Statesmen are those who do things that are right, who protect the country's interest, not someone who make compromises in the hope of getting praises. Vajpayee always looks for praises in the media and that will be his downfall. The other day I was shocked to see Vajpayee saying that he was never interested in raising the foreign origin issue of Sonia. Was he suggesting that it was BJP's idea and not his? What does he think? That people are raising the issue as a favour to him? There is a bigger and noble cause for that. That old man should be reminded that people are raising the issue to secure the nation for the future Hindu generations. Does he think India is Vajpayee and Vajapyee is India? People don't give a damn about a man who is expected to retire in 2 to 3 years. What can be more pathetic than loosing seats against Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka? Here are some of the things that I suggest BJP to retain it's glory, irrespective of how many seats NDA gets in this elections: 1) Kick Vajpayee out of PM's chair. RSS/BJP/VHP should appoint a dynamic and young leader to take over the reins. Give Vajpayee some medal or something which he is looking for so desperately and ask him to pack his bags. We need a leader who has the guts of Ariel Sharon, shrewedness of Tony Blair. At any given time we always should have a younger Hindu leader. It never makes good politics to let anyone who is above age 65 to sit in the PM's chair. The job requires the leader to travel the length and breadth of this vast country, meeting people, younger generation, give public speeches at universities, in cities, towns, villages, inspiring them to vote for a cause. That means the leader should be physically fit and mentally strong. 2) The PMO's office should appoint a press secretary and the secretary should interact with the media regularly, speaking the mind of the PM. The PM himself should interact with the media very often. Why is that Musharaaf from a beggar's nation makes more effective usage of foreign trips than our PM's. Reciting peoms and insultating from foreign press on foreign tours doesn't not make sound foreign policy. It's waste of tax payers money. 3) Forget the idea that muslim votes are needed to get into power. They are just 120 millions compared to 850 million Hindus in India. Unite the Hindus. 4) Aggresively push for scrapping article 370 of the constitution. Hindus consider it a blot on our constitution. It is also sensitive to them. 5) Amend the constitution to ban foreign origin people from occupying security sensitive posts like President, VP, PM, DPM, CJI, Defense and Home minister. 6) Highlight the activities of missionaries and madrassas in Doordarshan everyday. Let the secular media bark. Over a period of time, they will be on the defensive. That is what I call proper usage of Doordarshan. 7) Next time, Pakistan or it's terrorists even stage a minor attack in J&K, DO NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. Do something that hurts them in one way or other. There should be proportional response. These kind of things will always unite Hindus. It's a noble cause. People punished Sonia Gandhi once before for her role during Kargil war. I wonder how BJP forgot that. 8) Stop all contacts with Pakistan, diplomatic, sports, movies etc.. until they agree to negotiate POK, not J&K. J&K is ours and it is non-negotiable. The talk by the secular media that 80% of Indian population favours peace with Pakistan is a BIG LIE. It only reveals half truth. It is true that Indians want peace with neighbors but not at the cost of making comprmises or loosing territory or self-respect. The secular media in India is very manipulative. While taking polls, they would ask generalised question that goes like this: Do you want peace with Pakistan? Instead the question should be something like this: Do you think it is worth making compromises or giving Kashmir to Pakistan to buy peace with them? Basically the media will not give a choice to the people to speak their mind clearly. Vajpayee fell for it and he thought it will pay rich dividens for him personally and for the BJP if he makes peace with Pakistan. 9) Deal with Bangladesh with an iron hand. Next time, they kill our soldiers or BSF men and play with their dead bodies, go for a covert operation to neutralize every soldier, military commander of Bangladesh who was involved in the act. These kind of things always unite Hindus. 10) Raise BSF batallions, seal the borders and implement a strict visa regime with fingerprinting. Deport as many illegal Bangaldeshis as possible, ignoring the cries of secular media. Highlight the jobs taken away by these illegal immigrants in the NE and W.Bengal. Highlight the security threats to the nation by these illegal immigrants. Nothing pisses off the citizens than the thought of illegal immigrants taking their jobs away. RSS/VHP have a special role to play on points 8, 9, 10. They may not have any constitutional authority to do so but they could do so through the govt. of BJP. 10) Liberalize the economy. Pursue labor reforms. Pump money into rural infrastructure while not loosing sight of IT and manufacturing sector. The more people get educated, the less likely they will vote for Congress. Expand the tax base to include rich farmers. On economic issues, RSS should maintain a hands of approach. This is one issue where pragmatism is required, not ideaology. Learn from China. Do whatever it takes to keep the GDP growth a minimum 8.5%. 11) RSS should infiltrate our English media. This is the most important and critical task before them. It is not enough if it keeps saying that it is doing something on it. We keep hearing that for the past ten years. 12) The govt. should investigate the funds received by missionaries, madrassas, English newspapers, terrorists in J&K. The supply line should be choked. The press council of India should be mandated to investigate the citizenship status of every journalist working with Indian media organizations. This is a country where you don't need a work permit to get a job. Who knows if Pakistani nationals are working in our media organizations under false names. Let's not forget that a Paki national recently tried to stand for our lok sabha elections using forged documents. Media is a very critical sector and some independent commission should keep a watchful eye, if not the govt. directly. 13) Create a federal police force and get a grip on internal security. The federal govt. should also find a way to insulate the state police forces from political influence. Borrow some ideas from western countries if necessary. This is one area that needs immediate attention. Ethics and moral values should also be a factor in recruitments and promotions. 14) Ethics and moral values should become a factor in all walks of life, be it the politicans, beauracracy, govt. departments, law enforcement agencies, school books and judiciary. 15) Weed out all corrupt elements from BJP. Only people who believe in our causes should be given role in the party. Anyone who is caught taking bribes should be kicked out of the party, no matter how high he is. 15) Allot few seats to national security experts and ex-military men. We need them badly in our parliament. 16) Honour our fallen soldiers and armed forces. Build memorials in some metros like Madras, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Pune etc.. We need things like these to unite Hindus and patriotic Indians. Modernize the armed forces to make them more lethal. Same with the state police forces to tackle crimes, not to harass the people or serve their political masters. These are just few things that I can write at this time. In 1999, I thought Vajpayee and Advani are going to do some great things to unite this country. Now I realise that Vajpayee is just too selfish. He is so fixated comparing his own image with Gandhi and Nehru that he is scre***g his own mentors from RSS. He is only concerned with his legacy and praises from the media. He is a nut case in the drivers seat. In fact, I consider him to be a national security threat. He is capable of making compromises on vital national security interests that the coming generations will suffer. Coming to Advani, he is a bone head. He isn't as smart as I thought him to be. Secularists consider him to be a hardliner but I don't see anything in him that fits that description. He is ready waiting behind Vajpayee to suck Musharaaf's co** in the hope of getting mullah votes. Remember how we are suffering to this day for the stupidity of Gandhi during partition and Nehru on J&K and China war. Let's not make the same mistake. It is time to think what is more important. A Vajpayee in power or a strong secular super power India that protects Hindu interests.
Posted by: rhytha Apr 26 2004, 11:10 PM
Phase II sees 55-60% polling, 6 dead Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 26, 2004 08:35 IST Last Updated: April 26, 2004 20:04 IST The second phase of the Lok Sabha election saw around 55-60% voting on Monday, according to Election Commission spokesman A N Jha. "These are tentative figures or projections on the basis of information available to us at 5pm. The actual poll figures will be complied after the commission gets reports from all the returning officers," he said. Around 17.5 crore people were eligible to vote in the 136 constituencies where elections were held. Andhra Pradesh recorded the highest turnout of 68-70% while Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar-Badgam constituency registered the lowest polling of 21%. The turnout in Assam was the second highest (65-70%), followed by Orissa (65%), Karnataka (55-60%), Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Goa, Manipur (all 55%) and Uttar Pradesh (45-50%). Barring sporadic violence in which six persons were killed, the polling was by and large peaceful, the commission said. The commission also decided to order re-poll in 60-65 booths in Andhra Pradesh, 5-7 in Karnataka, 4 each in Manipur and Orissa, and 15 in Uttar Pradesh. "Other re-polling will be ordered later after getting full reports from the concerned officers and observers. The re-polling will take place on April 28," Jha said. Polling was also held for the second and final phase of assembly elections in 147 of the 294 seats in AP, 104 of the 224 seats in Karnataka and 70 of the 147 seats in Orissa.
Posted by: varava Apr 27 2004, 12:36 AM
A letter emailed to RSS by me today with some minor changes to my earlier posting. The feedback was emailed to: I don't know if they ever take our feedback seriously but I am only hoping that they would do so. Sir, I think Sri Vajpayee messed up this elections big time. This should have been the last election for Sonia Gandhi but the trends indicate that she is actually gaining. The credit for all this goes to Vajpayee, who got carried away with the label of statesman by the secular media. Actually it was a ploy by the media to co-opt him into doing things their way. I do not know what feedback you are getting but having interacted with lots of people here in US, I can tell that RSS/BJP has let down it's supporters all over the world and within India by dropping core issues. In fact people were angry. Just when we thought that we are gaining the upper hand aginst these pseudo-secularists, Vajpayee hijacked our agenda just to protect his legacy. I couldn't believe that RSS let just one man destroy everything you worked so hard to build. If Sonia Gandhi becomes the PM, we all can kiss good bye to all those we hoped for. Compromising with Pakistan, dropping the scrapping of article 370 issue were never favoured by the people. It was all manipulation by the secular media. I am afraid Advaniji is also going in the direction of Vajpayee. The biggest mistake Vajpayee did in this election was to believe that it was a great political strategy to occupy the political space of the Congress. He forgot that real people (read Hindus) do not want anything that resembles Congress. They don't like the way Congress suck upto the mullahs, pandering to their demands and wishes. People want change in the system, not parties. Why will people be energised to come out and vote if they see just another party with the same set of ideas for this nation. Vajpayee blurred that distinction by pandering to the demands and wishes of muslims. Also, BJP got corrupted just like Congress, distributing seats to family members, along caste and religious lines.It's ditto Congress style. Now the problem is people don't see the difference between Congress and BJP. Both Vajpayee and Advaniji WERE great leaders but their time has passed. Now the cause takes precedence over these two leaders. I believed that RSS should keep out of economic issues and concentrate more on national security, J&K and focus on people, institutes and media that is sabotaging this country from within. You have been dragging the foreign origin issue and Ayodhya issue so long that people are loosing interest in your causes and ideals. Some of the ideas that I wish to forward and which I think will bring back RSS/VHP/BJP to it's glory are as follows. Sorry for being outspoken. Ignore them at your own peril. 1) Force Mr. Vajpayee out of PM's chair. RSS/BJP/VHP should appoint a dynamic and young leader to take over the reins. Even Advaniji is old for this chair. Men at that age has only one thing in mind i.e LEGACY. History proves that all the time. We need someone like Arun Shourie, a great communicator. We need a leader who has the guts of Ariel Sharon, shrewedness of Tony Blair. At any given time we always should have a younger Hindu leader. It is the first pre-requisite for inspiring people. It never makes good politics to let anyone who is above age 65 to sit in the PM's chair. The job requires the leader to travel the length and breadth of this vast country, meeting people, younger generation, give public speeches at universities, in cities, towns, villages, inspiring them to vote for a cause. That means the leader should be physically fit and mentally strong. 2) The PMO's office should appoint a press secretary and the secretary should interact with the media regularly, speaking the mind of the PM. The PM himself should interact with the media very often. Why is that Musharaaf from a beggar's nation makes more effective usage of foreign trips than our PM's. Reciting peoms and insultating from foreign press on foreign tours doesn't not make sound foreign policy. It's waste of tax payers money. 3) Forget the idea that muslim votes are needed to get into power. They are just 120 millions compared to 850 million Hindus in India. Unite the Hindus. 4) Aggressively push for scrapping article 370 of the constitution. Hindus consider it a blot on our constitution. It is also sensitive to them. 5) Amend the constitution to ban foreign origin people from occupying security sensitive posts like President, VP, PM, DPM, CJI, Defense and Home minister. 6) Highlight the activities of missionaries and madrassas in Doordarshan everyday. Let the secular media bark. Over a period of time, they will be on the defensive. That is what I call proper usage of Doordarshan. 7) Next time, Pakistan or it's terrorists even stage a minor attack in J&K, DO NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. Do something that hurts them in one way or other. There should be proportional response. These kind of things will always unite Hindus. It's a noble cause. People punished Sonia Gandhi once before for her role during Kargil war. I wonder how BJP forgot that. 8) Stop all contacts with Pakistan, diplomatic, sports, movies etc.. until they agree to negotiate POK, not J&K. J&K is ours and it is non-negotiable. The talk by the secular media that 80% of Indian population favours peace with Pakistan is a BIG LIE. It only reveals half truth. It is true that Indians want peace with neighbors but not at the cost of making comprmises or loosing territory or self-respect. The secular media in India is very manipulative. While taking polls, they would ask generalised question that goes like this: Do you want peace with Pakistan? Instead the question should be something like this: Do you think it is worth making compromises or giving Kashmir to Pakistan to buy peace with them? Basically the media will not give a choice to the people to speak their mind clearly. Vajpayee fell for it and he thought it will pay rich dividens for him personally and for the BJP if he makes peace with Pakistan. 9) Deal with Bangladesh with an iron hand. Next time, they kill our soldiers or BSF men and play with their dead bodies, go for a covert operation to neutralize every soldier, military commander of Bangladesh who was involved in the act. These kind of things always unite Hindus. 10) Raise BSF batallions, seal the borders and implement a strict visa regime with fingerprinting. Deport as many illegal Bangaldeshis as possible, ignoring the cries of secular media. Highlight the jobs taken away by these illegal immigrants in the NE and W.Bengal. Highlight the security threats to the nation by these illegal immigrants. Nothing pisses off the citizens than the thought of illegal immigrants taking their jobs away. RSS/VHP have a special role to play on points 8, 9, 10. They may not have any constitutional authority to do so but they could do so through the govt. of BJP. 10) Liberalize the economy. Pursue labor reforms. Pump money into rural infrastructure while not loosing sight of IT and manufacturing sector. The more people get educated, the less likely they will vote for Congress. Expand the tax base to include rich farmers. On economic issues, RSS should maintain a hands of approach. This is one issue where pragmatism is required, not ideaology. Learn from China. Do whatever it takes to keep the GDP growth a minimum 8.5%. 11) RSS should infiltrate our English media. This is the most important and critical task before them. It is not enough if it keeps saying that it is doing something on it. We keep hearing that for the past ten years. Going to remote areas and converting the tribals into Hinduism is like achieving 30% of the goals. The bigger war is going on in the media and that is where we are getting a sound thrashing. 12) The govt. should investigate the funds received by missionaries, madrassas, English newspapers, terrorists in J&K. The supply line should be choked. The press council of India should be mandated to investigate the citizenship status of every journalist working with Indian media organizations. This is a country where you don't need a work permit to get a job. Who knows if Pakistani nationals are working in our media organizations under false names. Let's not forget that a Paki national recently tried to stand for our lok sabha elections using forged documents. Media is a very critical sector and some independent commission should keep a watchful eye, if not the govt. directly. 13) Create a federal police force and get a grip on internal security. The federal govt. should also find a way to insulate the state police forces from political influence. Borrow some ideas from western countries if necessary. This is one area that needs immediate attention. Ethics and moral values should also be a factor in recruitments and promotions. 14) Ethics and moral values should become a factor in all walks of life, be it the politicans, beauracracy, govt. departments, law enforcement agencies, school books and judiciary. 15) Weed out all corrupt elements who entered BJP in the past 5 years. Only people who believe in our causes should be given role in the party. Anyone who is caught taking bribes should be kicked out of the party, no matter how high he is. 16) Reserve seats to national security experts and ex-military men. We need them badly in our parliament. If they cannot manage to win lok sabha polls, they should be elected to the Rajya Sabha at the very least. Establish think tanks to debate and formulate national security strategies. We cannot let sentiments and personal desires for peace creep into national security policies. Many people have no clue why our PM woke up one fine morning and declared several peace measures with Pakistan. These things cannot be done on adhoc basis. There should be a rational for that. The military should be given a bigger institutional role in formulating such policies though the final authority in decision making should rest with the PM and his core national security team. 17) Honour our fallen soldiers and armed forces. Build memorials in some metros like Madras, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Pune etc.. We need things like these to unite Hindus and patriotic Indians. Modernize the armed forces to make them more lethal. Same with the state police forces to tackle crimes, not to harass the people or serve their political masters. These are just few things that I can write at this time. In 1999, I thought Vajpayee and Advani are going to do some great things to unite this country. But I am greatly disappointed. Vajpayee is so fixated comparing his own image with Gandhi and Nehru that he is just not listening to anyone who loves this country with a passion. He is only concerned with his legacy and praises from the media. He is capable of making compromises on vital national security interests that the coming generations will suffer. Coming to Advaniji, he isn't as smart as I thought him to be. Secularists consider him to be a hardliner but I don't see anything in him that fits that description. Both WERE great leaders but their time has passed. Now the cause takes precedence over these two leaders. Remember how we are suffering to this day for the stupidity of Gandhi during partition and Nehru on J&K and China war. Let's not make the same mistake. It is time to think what is more important. A Vajpayee in power or a strong secular super power India that protects Hindu interests. People would rather vote for an inexperienced but younger person like Rahul Gandhi rather than a tired and out of tune but experienced leader like Vajpayee. I may still choose Vajpayee over Rahul but we cannot say for sure about the masses in India. They can be manipulated very easily. Jai Hind.
Posted by: Gargi Apr 27 2004, 01:34 AM
Indian citizen can easily elect Putin, Clinton, Bush, Mushy but can reject Patel, Kalam in same election, if they are pitted against (White and brown). This is a major pitfall of Democracy. Indian rural and uneducated population votes based on skin, looks, caste. Only God can help them. If they make wrong decision, and elect jokers, let them suffer, that is there fate or "Karma phal" Have you seen ads in matrimonial section - Looking for "Gori" or "fair" girl ads? WHat percentage of Indian population falls under "Gori category.
Posted by: Viren Apr 27 2004, 01:50 AM
Indian citizen can easily elect Putin, Clinton, Bush, Mushy but can reject Patel, Kalam in same election
Reminds me of very old black & white movie from our Bollywood where we have Mukri eating from a dog's bowl. When asked the reason, he reponds, it's not a ordinary bowl since his dog is 'vilayati' (aka phoren maal)
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 27 2004, 02:27 AM
Excuse me while I puke...
NEW DELHI: The chatterati might look askance at dynastic politics, but three-fourths of Indians believe that children of politicians are either better suited to join politics or are as suited as others. What's more, this perception has grown over the last month in which dynastic politics has been one of the issues in focus in the election campaign. These are the findings of a survey conducted over 16 states across the country for The Times of India.
Posted by: varava Apr 27 2004, 02:43 AM
And the current issue of India Today says that the younger generation at this time prefers Vajpayee over Rahul and Priyanka. The younger generation thinks Rahul is cute (sideeffects of exposure to too many romantic movies in Indian film industry) and he can be given a chance later.
Posted by: Gargi Apr 27 2004, 05:51 AM
varava, You have good points but, till people don't vote thinking India's best interest, nothing can be changed. Muslim and xitian still vote against Hindu parties, for them there religious agenda is paramount, but Hindus should not be religious and should only appease Pakistan or China or Vatican.,0016005900000004.htm ....
They indicated a shift in the (roughly 13 per cent) minority vote away from the Samajwadi Party to the Congress. The Bahujan Samaj Party, which was banking on a Dalit-Muslim axis, appears to have suffered in the process — even in Akbarpur, party boss Mayawati's constituency. But the BJP just about held on to its existing tally. The split in the Muslim vote should please the BJP most.
I hope this will add BJP numbers in UP.
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 27 2004, 06:39 AM Do we need to adjust our predictions ? I m going to stick with 300. What say fellow IF-ites ?
Posted by: Nikhil Apr 27 2004, 07:50 AM
I will say: BJP will get 205 seats (200-210 range) NDA will get 310+ seats (300+320 range) Though i am really pissed off at BJP for not standing on its words when it came to Uniform Civil Code, Article 370, Ram-Mandir, and completely backed off from Kashi & mathura.. wut a bunch of backstabber they really are, even though i want them to win by big numbers.. there is a corner in my heart which prays that BJP goes all the way down to the toilet hole this time for betraying hindus, and thinking that they can take them for granted and suck up to the muslims as much as they want without any collateral damage... a lesson must be taught to these greedy idiots who forget dharma after getting the kursi.
Posted by: Gargi Apr 27 2004, 07:55 AM
Uniform Civil Code, Article 370, Ram-Mandir
To reach to this goal, another 10 years needed and complete change of media. Hindu group should try to buy or comeup with mainstream Newspaper and change people thinking. Right now, average Indian just want economy amd nothing else. Let economy pickup and along with this issue should be handled. Don't forget 1990s were worst time for India's stability, at this moment stability is important. My take BJP+Allies 298
Posted by: Nikhil Apr 27 2004, 07:56 AM
user posted image BTW i am glad to see ChandraBabu Naidu getting his arse wooped.. he was always hijacking the NDA as after BJP's 183 MPs, it was his TDP which had second highest # of MPs in NDA (29 i think). He wont be in position to manuplate things or hijack the govt, he is all free to appease his muslims votes in hyderabad, we r more than happy with Modi, Chandra Babu Naidu or No ChandraBabu Naidu biggrin.gif rocker.gif rocker.gif rocker.gif rocker.gif
Posted by: varava Apr 27 2004, 09:06 AM
Nikhil, I also feel the same way about BJP, especially Vajpayee. These days I don't even look at Vajpayee's face because my blood boils. Sometimes I wish BJP is given a sound thrashing for the back stabbing it did but when I look on the other side, I see Sonia and it scares me to see her in the PM's chair. Then I decide that I would rather be back stabbed by a fellow Hindu rather than Sonia. The best thing that could happen to India is when NDA gets more than 300 seats and Vajpayee and Advani loose in Lucknow and Gandhinagar. Since that is not going to happen, I guess we have to go through this agony for few more years until the illiterate masses loose their fatal attraction for white skin.
Posted by: Sunder Apr 27 2004, 09:11 AM
QUOTE (Nikhil @ Apr 27 2004, 07:50 AM)
Though i am really pissed off at BJP for not standing on its words when it came to Uniform Civil Code, Article 370, Ram-Mandir, and completely backed off from Kashi & mathura.. wut a bunch of backstabber they really are, even though i want them to win by big numbers.. there is a corner in my heart which prays that BJP goes all the way down to the toilet hole this time for betraying hindus, and thinking that they can take them for granted and suck up to the muslims as much as they want without any collateral damage... a lesson must be taught to these greedy idiots who forget dharma after getting the kursi.
Nikhil, in a game of chess, you do not make all your moves immediately. You develop your pieces one step at at time, and at certain times you make sacrifices. As long as one gets a bigger gain (read long term gain) out of a move, it's all good. You cannot bring the queen out on the first move. Uniform Civil Code and Article 370 are necessary, but at the appropriate time. If you want BJP (or anyone else), to take up highly sensitive issues with no ground work, or communication to the subjects, there will be an expensive backlash that will be detrimental to the very security and stability of the country. BJP's first priority would be to undo the mess that has been created over the decades by Congress, and over the centuries by Macaulay and the likes. Only when a consensus is built can a Ruler (who ever it is), can tackle other issues. Taking the muslims into confidence is a needed step. Establishing points of communication and also to understand each other's viewpoints will be a necessary step. For, the President Dr.Kalam is also a Muslim. As long as muslims are alienated, and used as votebanks (like the congress and the BSP does), they will have nowhere to go. Taking all points into consideration, BJP is doing a good job of atleast boosting the morale of people. One step at a time my friend.
Posted by: Nikhil Apr 27 2004, 09:47 AM
Well no one can bring out the queen in first move, you have to move the pawn first to give queen some space to venture out, after that i can assure you that if you playing chess with me, i can probably beat you in 2 moves. (4 moves in total). wink.gif .... BJP is just taking so so so long to make four moves in total, they are playing like my dad, with him it takes days..weeks.. to finish a damn single game.. by than everyone in family gets pissed off as their is only one chess board and they dont get the chance to play much. Same thing is happening with regards to BJP, they r dropping all the core issues one by one and coming up with new fundoo issues like hiring 2 lakh Urdu teachers and providing 80 crores to madarasa and all the suckups to muslims. Who matters more to BJP? 850 Million Hindus or 140 Million Muslims?? We all had seen Gujarat election, BJP didnt even get 0.00001% of muslim votes, still it won by 2/3 majority, how that happened? hindus made that happened!!!! If BJP suckup this much to hindus, they will not get only majority on their own, but more likely they will get more than 2/3 majority. We dont want another muslim suckup congress.
Posted by: Nikhil Apr 27 2004, 09:51 AM
BTW wuts indian muslims(excluding J&K ones) beef about Article 370?? why they are so much against it? I mean article 370 or no article 370, wut muslims in rest of india got to do with it, why they r so much after no having it abolished? What does that says than..!!!
Posted by: Gargi Apr 27 2004, 10:21 AM
Nikhil, Anything which is tagged with Muslim, Muslim will cry foul and will go against. They know how to blame other. They could have solved Mandir issue, if they have any interest or any respect towards other community. They only know day in day out Islam in danger, nothing else.
Posted by: varava Apr 27 2004, 11:04 AM
Sunder, I do not believe what Vajpayee is doing can be considered part of a bigger game plan. The question is why? Does he really need to do what he has been doing lately, like sucking upto muslims? Uniting the Hindus is much more important than getting few muslims votes. You and me are witness to world events lately. Have you comes cross one country where muslims are willing to join the main stream? Name just one country. If you think so, obviously you don't understand islam. They do not believe in man made boundaries. They only believe in Allah. Every country in the world, even UK and lately even US is having the same problem with these mullahs. Even today morning, some mullah in California was giving a call for a muslim President in the white house by 2020. Such calls can be ignored but that is not the point. We need to understand the mindset of these species when they give such calls? Why a mullah President? Why should it become an issue for them to see a mullah president in USA? Can they accept a Hindu or Christian King in S. Arabia or any middle east country? So do not be fooled my friend into thinking that these muslims are capable of coming to an understanding if we compromise. If they did, they wouldn't have opposed scrapping article 370 when we pretty much sacrifised POK to Pakistan. Give Kashmir to Pak, they their next question is, which state next? What Vajpayee is doing is just to hang onto power and if he thinks he needs mullah votes, he is going to beg for it. BJP was compromised the moment it relied on muslim votes. Now the RSS needs to build another political party which protects our interests. pakee.gif
Posted by: varava Apr 27 2004, 11:15 AM
These are the kind of people Vajpayee is relying on for votes and hoping to make peace, hoping to bring into mainstream. GOD SAVE INDIA. [Links to other forum's not allowed - Admin] pakee.gif
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 27 2004, 08:18 PM
1. Per my talks with a senior RSS person The RSS does not control BJP In fact in north east, BJP is in alliance with xtian conversionist local parties 2. Hajpayees muslim kissing wont get him any muslim votes and just lose hindu votes 3. Indian muslims want kashmir to secede thats why they oppose removal of article 370 4. Indian muslims want Assam to secede thats why they support IMDT , which makes it impossible to deport BD illegals from Assam 5. Sardar Patel said, Nehru is the only nationalist muslim 6. Per Konrad Elst, UCC will involve Ayodhya x 100 rioting 7. Per NS.Rajaram, many of the so called secular politicians are in favor of Ayodhya but are afraid of muslim rioting, the day hindu society can stand up to islamic rioters we can have Ayodhya back 8. During Sikh and Maratha rule, many mosques were 'liberated'
Posted by: Nikhil Apr 28 2004, 12:56 AM
Per NS.Rajaram, many of the so called secular politicians are in favor of Ayodhya but are afraid of muslim rioting, the day hindu society can stand up to islamic rioters we can have Ayodhya back
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 28 2004, 01:11 AM
Post Godhra was an important landmark no doubt But consider Even in Gujurat, hindus hesitate to enter muslim ghettos like Juhupura and Signal Falia Hindus are scared to enter muslim ghettos all over India, and that has to change and the pre-requisite for that is hindu unity I in fact believe that the secularisation of Hajpayee and Hajdvani are bad for hindus and lots of crooks have entered the BJP and diluted it Unfortunately the alternative is worse
Posted by: Prof. Godbole Apr 28 2004, 01:12 AM
Posted by: varava Apr 28 2004, 02:16 AM
Guys, In addition to venting your anger here against maulana Vajpayee and maulana Advani, please send your feedback to RSS and BJP. Your anger should not go waste. It's energy and power should be directed towards the people who are making supid decisions. I spend whole day yesterday sending my feedback to them. Please visit and DO NOT FILL THEIR FEEDBACK FORMS. You won't be able to write much in detail. Look for their contact emails and write in detail. Do not hesitate to speak your mind. Who cares if Vajpayee himself reads it. Our cause takes precedence over him or Advani. I did mention that Indians all over the world were pissed because these two were sucking to the mullahs and backstabbed the Hindus. I told them that people were angry that BJP dropped core issues for the sake of power. pakee.gif
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 28 2004, 02:53 AM
Visit and read online books "Time for stock taking. whither sangh parivar ?"
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Apr 28 2004, 03:31 AM
QUOTE (Nikhil @ Apr 28 2004, 12:56 AM)
Per NS.Rajaram, many of the so called secular politicians are in favor of Ayodhya but are afraid of muslim rioting, the day hindu society can stand up to islamic rioters we can have Ayodhya back
Note for admins:Is this the level of discussion we want to encourage on this website.
Posted by: Nikhil Apr 28 2004, 03:35 AM
Note for admins:Is this the level of discussion we want to encourage on this website.
Here comes the censorship.. wuts the difference here than if rules are same as BR laugh.gif Nikhil, Siddhartha is not a admin or moderator here imposing any kind of 'censorship' - but as a member he does have a right to voice the kind of website we need to have. Let's try to keep a healthy discussion going. Posts like "xyz made abc piss in pants" don't serve any purpose.
Posted by: varava Apr 28 2004, 04:25 AM
Vajpayee talks about betrayal of muslims by Congress. What about his betrayal of Hindus? What an idiot.,001600550004.htm
Posted by: acharya Apr 28 2004, 05:51 AM
In Udupi, food is the greatest binder Aditi Phadnis in Udupi | April 27, 2004 10:05 IST The whole country may be fighting an election - but in this town where cooking is a religion, all political, ethnic, and linguistic differences vanish when it comes to food. Udupi went to the polls on Monday. If Tirupathi is Kanchanabrahmakshetra (where religion means money), Udupi is Annabrahmakshetra (where food is the religion). And Achuth Holla, the owner of Mitra Samaj, a chain of small restaurants that serve authentic Udupi cuisine, says workers of all political parties come to his restaurants to talk politics, but basically to bite into light as air Goli Bajje (virtually hollow bajjis - or pakodas as they are known in North India - fried in coconut oil, made with flour and rawa and other ingredients that Holla wouldn't reveal), and the family size dosa that around 3 feet long and requires three plates. These are eaten with fiery chutney, followed by seera (a kind of kheer) and pumpkin halva that is rich, dark and gooey has no resemblance at all to the vegetable that served as Cinderella's coach. Udupi has taken itself to all corners of India on the strength of its food. "I went to Nainital and found a restaurant with a board, proclaiming itself as Udupi. I ordered a rava dosa and found it simply didn't make the grade. So I called the cook. He was not from Udupi at all, but from Tamil Nadu. "So I told him, not only are you ruining Udupi's reputation, you are also spoiling Tamil Nadu's culinary name. I told him what to put in the rawa dosa and made one for him. Then I asked him to make one for me. That is what a rawa dosa should taste like, I told him," Holla said with righteous indignation. His family belongs to the orthodox Brahmin community of Shivahalli and his father was a pioneer who took the cooking talents of this community to Mumbai. "Our caste could either perform rituals, or cook for those engaged in the rituals. Everything had to be pure, clean and cooked ritually without any trace of onion or garlic. Many priests from the Krishna temple would come and eat here, so we had to ensure those standards," he said, pointing out that the restaurant was actually within the boundaries of the temple complex. Udupi's cooks don't know just how to cook they have also evolved a business management model for the fast food trade that is unparalleled. Holla is a chartered accountant by training and appreciates the finer points of the system. "We make our money by preventing waste. Most big restaurants don't know their customers so they charge paying customers for the food that goes waste. Not we. I come into the restaurant at 5 am and am here till 11 pm. As a result, we are able to monitor quantity closely. "Our system works on speed. The turnover of customers has to be quick. The sooner covers are replaced, the more customers we can accommodate. No one has to wait to eat. We can't afford to turn away people," he said in the tiny cafe that can seat 60. Holla's father went to Mumbai in 1949 to get a job, after being a cook for 10 years. That spawned the trend of the Kamat, Shanbhag and Mangalore hotels. Today, politics is top of the mind recall in Udupi. But as he recounted history, he was also barking out orders for a parcel of 30 coconut holige (puranpoli or coconut and jaggery pancakes) that Chief Minister SM Krishna, visiting Udupi that day, wanted to take with him back to Bangalore. "Food knows no politics," he said with a grin.
Posted by: varava Apr 28 2004, 05:58 AM
Please write your thoughts to BJP,RSS and VHP about their weak elections campaign and mullah sucking by Vajpayee and Advani.
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 28 2004, 08:23 AM
When are the remaining rounds of polling ??
Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 28 2004, 08:50 AM
5th may and 10th may
Posted by: Mudy Apr 28 2004, 09:10 AM,0015002200000000.htm
Alarmed by exit poll predictions that the NDA may fall short of a majority in the Lok Sabha, the BJP is planning a blitz in an attempt to maximise its gains in the remaining two phases of the election. Party workers will work with Sangh Parivar cadres and senior party leaders will fan out in all the states where polling is to be held in a stepped-up campaign. They will appeal for a decisive mandate for the NDA rather than just a simple majority. An SOS has been sent to RSS cadres to intensify their door-to-door campaign, particularly in UP, where BJP general secretary and Sangh coordinator Sanjay Joshi has been stationed. Others leaders such as Pramod Mahajan and Sushma Swaraj are already camping in the state.
Posted by: rhytha Apr 28 2004, 10:01 AM
Mudy, new thread, plz.

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