India Forum Archives
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
  Bihar Elections

Posted by: Viren Jan 3 2005, 11:26 AM

Bihar elections around corner rocker.gif

Posted by: Mudy Jan 4 2005, 08:11 AM,000900030002.htm

The Rashtravadi Janata Party (RJP) has announced it will field maidservant Manju Devi against Rabri Devi in the polls. "We have decided to put up Manju Devi against the Chief Minister," said RJP President Anil Bharati. Bharati likened the contest between Manju and Rabri Devi to a fight between a maidservant and a queen. "We will put up Manju in any constituency that Rabri Devi contests the polls from," he said.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 8 2005, 08:47 PM

Posted by: Mudy Jan 11 2005, 05:37 PM

BJP plays BC card in Bihar Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi When the BJP announced a list of 27 candidates for the first phase of Bihar assembly polls, the party's central election committee ensured that the Most Backward Castes and the Backward Castes bagged a fair share in the ticket distribution. In a clear departure from the parliamentary polls, the party in fact gave tickets on one-third of the total seats to candidates from these castes. In the first phase, 64 seats in the State would go to polls. While the BJP would contest 27 seats, the remaining would go to its alliance partner JD(U). The BJP has also exchanged three seats which it had contested in the last parliamentary elections with the JD(U). Under the arrangement, the JD(U) would contest Chapra, JSarai Ranjan and Munger this time and Garkha, Sahibganj and Jalalpur would go to the BJP. The party has also decided to give tickets to all six sitting MLAs in constituencies which would go to poll in the first phase. Leader of the BJP legislature party Ashwini Kumar Choubey would contest from Bhagalpur and deputy leader in the legislature party Rameshwar Prasad would contest from Nokha assembly seat. The central election committee would meet again on January 13 to decide on the candidature of aspirants on the remaining seats. The party announced the name of Sitaram Bagdi, an SC leader to contest against Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala in Narwana Assembly constituency.

Posted by: bgravi Jan 13 2005, 11:08 AM

New Delhi, Jan. 13 (PTI): Contests between UPA partners, the Congress on the one hand and RJD and Left parties on the other, may became inevitable in Bihar with the Congress indicating that it would field 80 candidates, taking the Lalu Prasad by surprise. The Congress also made it known that it would explore the possibility of seat sharing in Bihar with the LJP-led by Ram Vilas Paswan, a known detractor of RJD chief. The LJP is also part of the UPA. In the second shock dealt to the RJD and its allies in a week's time after forging a tie-up with the JMM in Jharkhand cornering majority of seats, party sources today said the Congress would contest 80 seats in Bihar. The indication came after a virtual deadlock with the RJD, which is understood to have expressed readiness to give the Congress only 30-35 seats in polls to the 243-member House. Highly-placed Congress sources said the decision was taken after Prasad failed to allocate substantial seats to the party in Bihar where it had gained in strength since the last Assembly polls in 2000. Prasad, who had an hour-long meting with Gandhi yesterday on the issue here, indicated in Patna today the possibility of "friendly fights" with the Congress in some places. Some Congress leaders said their party was "open" to such contests on a number of seats. The RJD chief as also some senior Congress leaders, however, maintained that talks were still on to avoid division of secular votes in order to defeat the BJP-JD-U alliance.
If the "secular" vote is split, is there a chance that the JD(U)-BJP coalition can come to power? What do the Bihar watchers think? I somehow have a feeling that RJD will make it back to power, which of course has nothing to do with RJD's performance so far, and everything to do with the goonda raj!!

Posted by: Mudy Jan 15 2005, 09:19 PM

The Congress plan is to ascertain its strength in Bihar and, at the same time, not to ruffle the feathers in the UPA nest. The broad agreement that appears to have emerged is that out of the 243 seats 131 are undisputable, while it would be ``free for all'' for the rest of the 112 seats.
The RJD believes that the Congress, given its support base, will put up mostly upper caste candidates, thereby dividing the votes that would invariably go to its rivals. "Most of their candidates are likely to be Bhumihars and Brahmins and this is a vote-bank that usually votes against us. If they contest it will cut into the Opposition parties' votes and work to our advantage," said a RJD leader. The RJD leadership also believes that the minorities are unlikely to drift to the Congress, as their main aim is to keep out the Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (United)

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 17 2005, 01:20 PM Is this really a good idea ? How many people in Bihar actually go online ?

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 03:43 PM

Folks, It is election time in Bihar. Another chance for the electorate to change the tag from most backward state to state changing. Bihar badly needs a vision and a leader. Let's share the knowledge about current leaders from Bihar and their abilities. Here is a site started by some IT professionals from Bihar. Please post all the Bihar election related coverage here. If there are people from Bihar on this forum please post local news, tid-bits etc. Let me start my two bits: As things stand today Laaloo Yadav's RJD will win again in Bihar. This is the assesment from the folks that I talked to and also from various DDM sources. The challenge is whether the opposition can make any dent to change the government in Bihar? Hope to see good discussion on the Topic.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 03:54 PM Come February and it is going to be the same old political fight in Bihar—between pro-Laloo and anti-Laloo forces. Only this time, the anti-Laloo forces are divided. If this disunity continues, the stage will be set for a triangular fight between the RJD and Congress, the BJP and Janata Dal (U), and the new entrant, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janashakti Party (LJP). The anti-Laloo phalanx is in the throes of serious flux. In recent weeks, there had been efforts from the JD(U) to rope in Paswan. Two senior leaders, George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar, even dangled the CM’s post before Paswan in the event of a win. But chances of unity were marred when BJP vice-president Sushil Kumar Modi revealed that whatever efforts Nitish has been making was at the behest of party president L.K. Advani. This came at a time when Paswan, a minister at the Centre, was under pressure from UPA leaders to explain his stand on his party’s moves to side with an NDA partner. A visibly upset Paswan branded Modi’s statement as false. "I have told JD(U) leaders that if they want to join me they have to snap ties with the BJP," he reiterated. Paswan, who quit the NDA and aligned with the RJD in the last Lok Sabha polls, is now trying to make everyone believe that he would have no truck with either the BJP or the RJD. Meanwhile, there is bickering over seat-sharing in the RJD-Congress camp. Four rounds of talks have not resolved the problem. The Congress is demanding 100-plus seats in the 243-strong assembly, but the RJD has not shown any sign of yielding more than 35. In the current assembly, RJD has 120 seats, the Congress 11, the JD(U) 42 and BJP 35.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 17 2005, 04:01 PM

Much will depend on how SoniaG behaves - and along with her the EC. A really strong, strict and impartial EC can make some dents - eventually leading to some instability (atleast). But will have to look through this constituency by constituency. Is that data available ?

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 17 2005, 04:03 PM

Instead what we have is this...

Ahead of next month's assembly polls in Bihar, the Election Commission today held RJD Chief Lalu Prasad guilty of "serious violation" of the Model Code of Conduct for distributing money to voters but let him off merely with a warning.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 04:04 PM

Does anybody has the demographic details of Bihar?,001301480008.htm An influential Muslim body has said it would like to give "one more chance" to the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar from February 3 onwards. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, which enjoys the support of a substantial section of the community, indicated that Lalu Prasad's RJD was still the preferred one compared to the Congress or Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). "We would like to give it (RJD) one more chance with the hope that it would work for overall development," the organisation said at a meeting in Patna to discuss strategy for the elections. Jamaat President Abdul Haque Ansari expressed concern over Paswan's decision to go it alone in the election, saying that it amounted to virtually siding with communal forces. The Jamaat appealed to the people, particularly Muslims and Dalits, to unite and reject communal forces. Participants at the meeting also expressed satisfaction at the 15-year-long RJD rule, saying that Lalu Prasad and Chief Minister Rabri Devi had maintained communal harmony in the state. The meeting was attended by several Muslim organisations, including Emarate Sharia, Jamiat Ahle Hadith and some members of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). They would meet again on January 25. Elections to the 243-seat Bihar Assembly would be held in three phases on February 3, 15 and 23.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 04:09 PM

What can be the result of this sailing on two boats at the same time ? PATNA/NEW DELHI, JAN 14: With the Congress cutting a double deal with its partners, RJD and LJP, speculations are rife in political circles as to who will be the beneficiary in the Bihar Assembly elections. Both LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan and RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav are smiling and are keen to give their respective twists to the Congress decision. The party has decided to contest 80 seats of the 243, the basic premise being that it will not contest any seat that is being presently held by its allies — the RJD, the LJP, CPI, CPM or the NCP. Laloo believes the Congress candidates contesting form seats presently held by the BJP-JD(U) combine will cut into the upper caste vote base of the NDA. His calculation is that his Muslim-Yadav combination will remain intact, while the upper caste will be split between the Congress and the NDA. Laloo said, ‘‘We will keep a watch on the candidates and could consider withdrawing in favour of each other even at a later stage.’’ Paswan is happy the Congress is not endorsing the RJD over him. He believes this will make Muslims think of Congress and LJP as alternatives in Bihar. The BJP, on the other hand, is busy taking its own reading of the situation. It denied that the present UPA arrangement would cut its upper caste vote base. BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said the Congress would come out as a ‘‘vote-divider’’ in the state, while the NDA would emerge as a ‘‘stable alternative’’. The UPA disunity has already given the BJP an election weapon. ‘‘We will have one candidate on each seat but the UPA will have three,’’ he said. The BJP and JD(U) are campaigning jointly. So the NDA alliance hopes to draw from both BJP’s upper caste vote and JD(U)’s Kurmi and backward caste base. Ever since the Congress came to power in Lok Sabha elections, the upper caste and the Muslims, both its erstwhile support bases, have been talking favourably of the party. The question is how many of them would actually vote for the Congress. Upper caste may be wary of an RJD-friendly Congress, whereas the Muslims do not want a split in their votes causing an NDA advantage. Unless the Congress makes inroads into Muslims, the party’s dream of a revival in Bihar will remain a dream.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 04:12 PM

QUOTE (rajesh_g @ Jan 18 2005, 04:33 AM)
Instead what we have is this...
Ahead of next month's assembly polls in Bihar, the Election Commission today held RJD Chief Lalu Prasad guilty of "serious violation" of the Model Code of Conduct for distributing money to voters but let him off merely with a warning. NEW DELHI, JANUARY 17: The Election Commission on Monday said it was unaware of a recent Supreme Court recommendation that video cameras be installed and para-military personnel posted inside polling booths. ‘‘We are yet to get a copy of the judgement. We are not aware of the exact nature of the Supreme Court direction on this issue,’’ said EC’s legal counsel S.K. Mehendiratta. The court’s suggestion has come as an embarrassment for Chief Election Commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy who had announced a ban on cameras inside polling stations for the Assembly polls in Haryana, Bihar and Jharkhand. The ban, the first-ever in the country, was imposed on the grounds that it created confusion and obstructed the polling process. The court’s suggestion came during a recent ruling dismissing a petition that challenged the election of RJD’s Ram Das Rai to the Bihar Assembly in 2000. To prevent malpractices by poll officials, the Supreme Court had said, ‘‘We would like to suggest that the Election Commission consider posting some para-military personnel inside the polling booth, in addition to those maintaining law and order outside it.’’

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 04:45 PM PATNA: The release of the list of 56 Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) candidates on Saturday for the first phase of Bihar assembly polls sparked off a fresh row between Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Lalu Prasad. Even as Ram Chandra Paswan, LJP MP and brother of party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, stressed that his party has reached a complete understanding with the Congress, RJD chief Lalu Prasad alleged that the LJP candidates’ list has exposed Ram Vilas Paswan’s nexus with "communal forces" (NDA). "Paswan has betrayed secular forces," Lalu said at a hurriedly convened press conference here on Saturday. Recalling that Paswan, in his statement, had said that he would not field LJP candidates against the Congress in the coming assembly polls, Lalu pointed out that the LJP has fielded its candidates in 19 of the 23 assembly constituencies in which the Congress is contesting. "I have informed the Congress leaders in Delhi about the dubious action of the LJP," the RJD chief said while accusing Paswan of "ditching" the Congress. "I have never cheated anyone. I have never misled Congress leaders and have clearly expressed my views even to AICC president Sonia Gandhi," Lalu stressed. He alleged that Paswan, along with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BJP leader Arun Jaitley, has prepared a common list of candidates to hurt "secular forces". "Paswan is helping the communal forces. Like an old ‘burhiya’ (old woman), I am sitting at the gate of Bihar refusing to allow communal forces to enter the state," Lalu observed. He said JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, in an interview with a TV channel, had hinted at a secret pact between the NDA and the LJP. "The LJP has deliberately fielded Yadav and Muslim candidates in large numbers to damage the prospects of secular forces," the RJD chief maintained. Lalu said the BJP is thinking of sending Narendra Modi and Uma Bharati to fight him, adding, "I am also waiting for them." On Saturday, the LJP released the list of its candidates for 56 of the 64 assembly seats going to polls in the first phase.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 04:48 PM Patna, Jan 14: With or without the Congress, Bihar strongman and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad is comfortably poised for next month's state assembly election, unlike the divided opposition. Lalu Prasad, chief of Bihar's ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), was hoping for an alliance with the Congress to take on the opposition. Though that has not materialised, the division in the opposition ranks has strengthened his hands. The Congress' decision Thursday to contest 80 assembly seats on its own has not fazed the RJD, as the Congress has never joined hands with the RJD for the assembly polls. The two parties only came together for the parliamentary elections in 1999 and 2004. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal-United have agreed on seat sharing for the three-phased polls beginning Feb 3, but their decision to issue separate manifestos is indicative of the division in their ranks. During the last assembly elections, the RJD went it alone and emerged as the single largest party and formed the government with the support of Congress's 12 legislators. "If the Congress does not team up with the RJD this time, it will be like the last assembly elections but then the opposition was united, unlike now," said RJD spokesman Shivanand Tiwari. Lalu Prasad, by forging an alliance with Left parties and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has formed a secular front to send a political message to his supporters, mainly comprising the backward castes, Dalits and Muslims. In caste-ridden Bihar, one of the poorest states in the country, Lalu Prasad's electoral performance has time and again proved his image as a champion of the downtrodden, despite claims to the contrary by his rivals. The socially underprivileged Yadav community, to which Lalu Prasad belongs, and Muslims together constitute over 30 percent of Bihar's 80.3 million people and form the backbone of support for RJD. Muslims consider Lalu Prasad their protector. The fact that there has been no major communal unrest in Bihar for nearly 15 years has strengthened this feeling. The RJD believes the anti-Lalu Prasad votes will be divided among the BJP, the JD-U, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of central minister Ramvilas Paswan and even the Congress. But Lalu Prasad's detractors believe he will face trouble without the Congress as the LJP has declared its intention to defeat the RJD. In the last parliamentary polls, the RJD, the Congress and the LJP together routed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. They won 29 of the 40 parliamentary seats. Meanwhile, Lalu Prasad has denied ticket to four legislators for the first phase of the coming assembly polls. The RJD will contest 57 of the 64 seats in the first round and the Left will contest the remaining seats. Sources in the RJD said the first list of candidates would be released later but the party has finalised the list. Based on their performance, Lalu Prasad has denied the party ticket to Shiv Bachan Yadav from Kurtha, Muni Lal Yadav from Jehanabad, Suresh Kumar Mehta from Aurangabad and Shayamdeo Paswan from Fatehpur. Last week, senior RJD leaders had hinted the party would field several new faces.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 05:15 PM Election watch 2005

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 08:31 PM Human Voices/ Gautam Siddharth The rise of Lalu Prasad Yadav and the fall of Bihar into anarchy have corresponded so neatly over the last 15 years that political observers cannot be faulted for coming to the conclusion that the political exit of Lalu is the simplest solution to Bihar's innumerable, complex problems. Thus there are shenanigans at multiple levels to plot the downfall of the Yadav boss. Even the RJD's partner in power, the Congress, cannot be excluded from such efforts; for the first time in years it is pitching itself aggressively in the State - as a dry run for the next Lok Sabha elections whenever these are held. It is tightrope walking between Lalu's RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP to regain some of its lost ground. The JD(U) and the BJP, as NDA, would be jostling for space with UPA in the tight finish to the race that is expected. Lalu alone appears to be sitting pretty, the occasional jitters notwithstanding. But he has gone through this before - each time his political obituaries have been crafted, it is Lalu who has emerged beaming. There is another picture of Bihar still, far removed from the political dust. It is its rural base that is coming off at its seams. While caste wars continue to claim the lives of people, Bihar's farmers - already in penury - are often victims of official corruption. The landlord as exploiter has been replaced by the Government in the same capacity. Small example: In absence of proper distribution network - owing, of course, to the absence of infrastructure and because of corrupt nexus between small traders and State Government officials - farmers are forced to sell their products below the minimum support price (MSP) to middlemen. For example, foodgrain which is supposed to fetch the farmers, say, Rs 500 per quintal, is sold by them in distress at Rs 300 to the traders. The same grain is then purchased by the Bihar administration's procurement agencies from middlemen at the msp of Rs 500. The subsidy amount of Rs 200 per quintal is thus pocketed between the Government procuring agents and the middlemen. Such corruption causes alienation among farmers, who in turn are recruited by sundry armies, militias and "revolutionaries". The few factories that still operate have to provide "tax" to the Maoist guerrillas. The money thus disbursed helps the factory-owners in purchasing peace. What they do not realise is that, through their compliance, they are contributing to the worsening of situation. This is because militants are buying time to spread further, from the depth they have already acquired: Maoists are now knocking at the doors of comparatively prosperous centres like Munger. Their compatriots in Nepal provide them weaponry, the manufacture of which, it would not be surprising if it is discovered, could be one of the leading cottage industries in the region in terms of turn-over. According to newspaper reports, during the Lok Sabha elections last year, 34 small arm manufacturing units were busted. Guns are today a necessity in rural Bihar. Promise of arms licences is enshrined as electoral strategy. More than 42 per cent of the State's population lives below the poverty line, which is much higher than the national average of 26 per cent. It is the only State in the country where more than half its population, nearly 53 per cent, is illiterate. The per capita income at Rs 3650 is one-third of the national average of Rs 11,625. The anti-development agenda of the RJD Government is perhaps most tellingly evident from a staggering unspent amount of Rs 5,489 crore from an outlay of Rs 15,411 crore (1997-2001 Planning Commission figures). As for law and order, in the last decade, there have been more than 32,000 abductions. Murder, rape, and dacoity are common place. There is flight of human resources - skilled and unskilled - from the State. Meanwhile the population figures are running away: Bihar has an average density of population nearly double the national figure which stands at 257 per sq km. Again, it's not just the landlords and the state that help in breaking the back of their own people: Nature too is equally harsh as virtually every year the plains of Bihar are awash with flood waters. Those beyond the reach of swollen rivers are hit by drought. Elections in these conditions must come as respite to the people, for these focus attention on their abject conditions, at least once in five years. But even this single promise of bringing change is belied and corrupted. Only a couple of years ago, this paper had reported fraud in the Bihar Legislative Council elections. A number of cases of fake teachers' list were reported, with nondescript colleges in the State "employing" teachers in numbers five to 10 times higher than the actual figure. Thousands of fraud votes were thus polled, while some of the most distinguished academics of Patna University discovered, to their utter bemusement, that their names were missing from the voters' lists. Will all this change if Lalu loses the elections? It will take years for even a semblance of order to arise out of such chaos. Bihar is well and truly into its longest hour; that there will be a morning, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, is a matter of faith more than objective reality. It is emotion more than reason. For such a vision to turn real, a solution that moves upward from the ground will have to be found. Bihar needs a new message that goes beyond caste and communal identities - addressing the direst economic needs of the people - in order to turn around. As a process, if one were to use a metaphor, the State is still somewhere in the middle of the night. The process won't necessarily begin or even end with the change of the RJD Government. But it will certainly take Bihar's benighted people an hour closer to the morning.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 17 2005, 08:54 PM RJD will return to rule Bihar By Siddhartha Reddy In Bihar, the gun rules. Caste armies pay foot soldiers just Rs 1,200 per month to perpetuate merciless killings. In urban Bihar, kidnapping-extortion is a mega money-spinning industry. Criminals, policemen and politicians of all parties are in it together. The government just does not have any control. Corruption is a way of life with percentages fixed at all levels. Hardly 10 per cent of the funds allocated for development work are spent for designated activity. Roads are never repaired, though the money earmarked for their maintenance are shown as spent. Medicines, essential-supplies, fodder, food-for-work, subsidies do not reach the beneficiaries. So why aren’t voters dumping the RJD? The answer is simple. There is no alternative. The NDA can be called the New Delhi Alliance while the RJD the Rural Jaati Dada. Lalu knows Bihar, he is accessible and keeps an open house. But NDA leaders are all NRBs, Non-Resident Biharis. This can be said about the Congressmen too. The BJP-JD(U) had a wonderful opportunity to impress Bihar from 1998 to 2004. If the NDA ministers were honest, hard-working, development-oriented, and had they not been casteist, that would have created an impact on the voters. Then it would have been easy to throw out Lalu. But they spent time on the TV-talk show circuit instead of spending it in villages. They were basically incompetent, arrogant and as corrupt as RJD ministers. Nitish Kumar was preoccupied with the Kurmis, he did not become a leader of all Biharis. A Tehelka-entangled George Fernandes should have obtained a clean chit from the inquiry commission before rejoining the government. In the process, he lost the moral authority to criticise Lalu. Fernandes is perceived as BJP’s bonded labourer, who finds nothing wrong with the BJP but everything wrong about the others. Digvijay Singh was busy romancing Delhi, he did not even mobilise the Thakurs. Sushil Modi is the BJP boss in the State. Advani’s trusted factotum, he is articulate and competent but does not have any organisational skills. He is a Baniya and is not acceptable to other castes. Shatrughan Sinha is admired for his acting skills, but he was incompetent as a minister. A Kayastha, he did not become a leader with a casteless following. He frittered away the goodwill he acquired through his films. Ravi Shankar Prasad is a lawyer, known to be communal. He was a disaster as a minister. He tarred his image by mishandling the CAS controversy. As for Rajeev Pratap Rudy, he is a Thakur with proven abilities as a facilitator. But he was incompetent as a minister. In the process, he acquired the taint of corruption and extravagance. He did not nurse his constituency. As for C P Thakur, he kept his Bhoomihar brethren happy and did not look beyond them. With such terrible choices, how could the Biharis dump Lalu? The choice for the Biharis is to either have Lalu’s nominees or Advani’s nominees. Lalu is an accused in the fodder case, Advani is an accused in the hawala scam. Advani was let off by the courts, so would be Lalu. Advani allegedly interacts with Telgi’s lawyer, at least Lalu does not have any Telgi connection. Lalu has one factotum, Prem Gupta. Advani has a dirty dozen. Lalu appeases Muslims, Advani tries to appease caste Hindus. So where is the difference? The difference is that Lalu has the Yadavs to vote for his candidates. But in Bihar, Advani does not have any Sindhi who would vote for his candidates. Lalu speaks in a language that Bihar understands. Advani is a foreigner in Bihar. It is easy to call Lalu corrupt, crude or casteist, but the BJP is no better. As for the Congress, the party’s prospects in Bihar were destroyed much before Sonia Gandhi took over. The Congress has neither the leadership nor the vote in at least 200 constituencies. But Meira Kumar, Jagjivan Ram’s daughter, impresses as a minister. She can be useful in mobilising the Dalit, women and most-backwards votes. But the Communists have little influence. Rabri Devi, born in 1959 and married at the age of 14, is a mother of nine. She was sworn in as Chief Minister in July, 1997. This March, she will be the first woman Chief Minister to be sworn in the fourth time. Humble and quiet, she does not keep a single file pending. She has struck a sense-of-belonging chord with the women from the poorer and backward sections. She is a housewife who was forced to leave housekeeping to attend to the outside world. It is her conduct that is getting the RJD votes. Her contribution is being grossly underestimated by the psephologists and the media. Also, Lalu is still adored by the Yadavs, in spite of his alleged fiscal indiscretions. He has generated enormous political and administrative power for the Yadavs, which would disappear if the RJD loses. A Yadav mobilises many others to vote for the RJD. As for the Muslims, in Bihar, they trust only Lalu. Farmers, mostly small-marginal, identify with Lalu. Bihar has 40 MPs and 243 MLAs, of which Bhojpur has 24, Magadh 69, Mithila 42, Tirhut 72 and East 36. In the Lok Sabha elections the RJD-Congress-Communist-NCP led in 122 Assembly constituencies, JD(U)-BJP in 70 and Paswan in 28. Caste and community are major factors in Bihar, with the Yadavs at 19 per cent, Most Backwards at 15 per cent, Muslims 13 per cent, Nishads 9 per cent, Dusshads 6 per cent, Kurmis 6 per cent, Koeris 5 per cent, Bhoomihars 5 per cent, Thakurs 5 per cent, Brahmins 4 per cent, Bengalis 5 per cent, Christians 3 per cent, Baniyas 2 per cent, Kayasthas 1 per cent and with Sikhs at 1 per cent. The Yadavs, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Koeris and other-backwards will vote for the RJD, Congress, the Communists and the NCP. The Baniyas, Brahmins, Kayasthas and Kurmis will vote for the JD(U)-BJP. The Bhoomihars will vote for the BJP and the CPI. Paswan will get some Dalit votes in a few constituencies. The Thakurs will vote tactically in each constituency. In friendly contests, the Congress’ upper caste candidates will cut into BJP’s votes and facilitate RJD victories. If the RJD crosses the magic figure of 122, then we can expect problems for the UPA. A Nitish-Paswan-Sonia alliance would have won, defeating Lalu and decimating the BJP. But then without Lalu, the Central government would have fallen. So Sonia Gandhi sacrificed the Bihar Congress to save the Central government. So helpless Bihar has no alternative but to continue with Rabri!

Posted by: Viren Jan 18 2005, 08:45 AM

The Election Commission today “severely reprimanded” Union railway minister and RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav for bribing voters and warned him and his party that they could invite “exemplary action”. But the commission stopped short of taking any measure beyond the censure order. The commission said it was being lenient because of “solemn assurances” given by Laloo Prasad that he will not violate the model code of conduct. rolleyes.gif Laloo Prasad had also pointed out that he had cancelled official public functions as railway minister in Bihar after the announcement of the elections to the Assembly.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 18 2005, 06:25 PM

But as of now, Laloo just has found a topic to talk about, where he had none; of his 20-minute speech at Belaganj, he spoke for 12 minutes about Godhra

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 19 2005, 10:10 AM Hmmm.. If it were Modi doing similar things what would CEC's actions be then ? Right now he is just mumbling "it is unfortunate" etc.. mad.gif

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 19 2005, 01:32 PM Giving a new thrust to its Bihar campaign, the BJP on Wednesday brought in general-secretary Pramod Mahajan to manage the electioneering along with state in-charge Arun Jaitley. The party also unveiled the outline of a massive campaign blitz involving its top leaders including former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and party president LK Advani. The move is seen as an indicator of the BJP's determination to put its best foot forward against the RJD, which is hoping to benefit from the triangular contest developing in the State. The party has also decided to rope in Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for campaigning in the three States. The decision is significant because in the past RJD chief Lalu Prasad had boasted that Mr Modi would be put behind the bars if he landed in the State. The decision also comes in the wake of a polarisation of public opinion following the uproar over the UC Banerjee report on the Godhra incident. The move to utilise Mr Modi's services also indicate that the BJP is going to be offensive on the issue of Hindutva in the campaign for the three states. Mr Modi would be spending three days each in Bihar and Haryana and four days in Jharkhand.Today's decision is also seen as a rehabilitation of sorts for Mr Mahajan, who was virtually sidelined after the Maharashtra Assembly elections. The BJP has also sought to convey its displeasure to television actress-turned-party activist Smriti Irani over her recent remarks against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and subsequent retraction by not fielding her for campaigning along with other 'star leaders' like Hema Malini and Shatrughan Sinha in the coming elections. "For the proper management and conduct of elections and to ensure the party's victory, Mr LK Advani has asked senior leaders Mr Mahajan, Ananth Kumar and ML Khurana to camp in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana respectively with state poll managers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Shivraj Singh Chauhan," party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said. Bihari babu Shatrughan Sinha would be campaigning full time for the party in Bihar while Uma Bharati would be spending about 20 days in the state, he said, adding she would also be campaigning in Haryana and Jharkhand. Mr Vajpayee would be spending three days in Bihar and two days each in Haryana and Jharkhand while Mr Advani would be campaigning in Bihar for five days, in Jharkhand for four days and in Haryana for two days. Party general-secretary Arun Jaitley said Mr Vajpayee would also be addressing a couple of meetings of JD (U) candidates. Mr Mahajan would be spending eight days in Bihar, followed by six in Jharkhand and two in Haryana. Mr Naqvi said senior leader Sushma Swaraj would be spending a total of 17 days in her home state Haryana. Other leaders who would be hitting the campaign trail for the party's 'Operation Vijay' include Murli Manohar Joshi, M Venkaiah Naidu, Kalyan Singh, VK Malhotra, Vasundhara Raje, Raman Singh, Babulal Gaur, Kalraj Mishra and Naqvi himself. Dream girl of yesteryears and party MP Hema Malini, actor-turned-MP Dara Singh and television actor 'Yudhishthir' Gajendra Chauhan would be among the other star campaigners, he said. Asked about the absence of the name of Ms Irani, who had campaigned for the party in the recent elections, Mr Naqvi merely said "her programme has not been drawn up". He said actor-turned MP Dharmendra's name has not been included as he was not keeping well. Varun Gandhi would be campaigning in Bihar for six days. On Shotgun Sinha's reported complaint that a chief ministerial candidate should have been projected in Bihar, Mr Naqvi said "he is hardil azeez (darling of all hearts). He does not need any post." Meanwhile, Mr Jaitley said both BJP and JD (U) would issue joint ads.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 19 2005, 05:22 PM 8 January 2005:The Congress has not taken a final decision on Jharkhand seat-sharing with the JMM, and the announced 35-33 seats division between the JMM and Congress was to give notice to Laloo Prasad Yadav to give upto a hundred seats for the Bihar assembly polls. Top sources said that once Laloo decided on giving no more than 17-23 seats in Bihar to the Congress, Congress strategist Arjun Singh decided on the interim seat-sharing arrangement with the JMM to warn off the RJD strongman not to play around with the Congress party. Expectedly, Laloo, through his spokeman, Sanjay Paswan, protested the Congress-JMM seat arrangement, and Congress sources this is by no means final, and doors are open for further negotiations with the RJD. But they warn that if Laloo is adamant about not giving the Congress more than twenty-five seats in Bihar, then not only will the Congress adhere to its seat arrangement with the JMM in Jharkhand, it would also give notice of contesting upto one-hundred-and-fifty seats in the Bihar polls, which could seriously upset RJD hopes to sweep the state. Meanwhile, BJP units in Bihar and Jharkhand are gearing up to face massive Naxalite resistance to their poll campaign, because of reports of intensive training of ultra-Left cadres by Andhra and Nepali explosive experts in the forest tracts around Gaya, Palamu and Dhanbad/ Jharia. Political sources spoke of huge shipment of Chinese and Pakistani weapons, including rocket-launchers, via Nepal, to disrupt the elections in Bihar and Jharkhand.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 19 2005, 05:32 PM

Is this supposed to be funny ??????????!

NEW DELHI: Ram Vilas Paswan seems to have dug out the ultimate weapon to woo Muslim voters of Bihar — an Osama bin Laden look-alike, who is tagging him to election meetings. This bin Laden clone is one Maulana Meraj Khalid Noor, with whose endorsement Paswan is hoping to fell the reigning champion of Muslims in Bihar — his bete noire Lalu Prasad. TOI caught up with Paswan on Wednesday and asked if it was proper to try and attract minority voters by lionising the symbol of international terror. Paswan seemed to have been taken by surprise, but gathering his wits, he asked: "What can you do if your face looks like Saddam Hussain or Osama bin Laden?" He claimed the man who looked like Osama — Meraj Khalid Noor — was the son of a close friend of his. "His father and I have known each other for a very long time. We had together joined the old socialist party." Paswan was at pains to stress that he didn’t mean to uphold terrorism, especially a terror icon like bin Laden. But he admitted that Osama did have some following among the Muslim youth, although the vast majority of Muslims think that he has harmed Islam and the community. Underplaying the whole episode, Paswan insisted it "did not mean anything" just because "somebody who looked like Osama" has campaigned for him. But other political parties, and perhaps the Election Commission too, might hold a different view. Party sources said that Khalid Noor is a young man from Narpat Ganj in Bihar. He had sought an election ticket from Paswan only on the ground that he looked like Osama, but Paswan had turned it down. However, he decided to make use of him for campaigning. The youth himself likes to be called ‘Laden’, saying that no one will remember his real name.

Posted by: Muppalla Jan 19 2005, 05:36 PM RADHIKA RAMASESHAN New Delhi, Jan. 14: The decision of the Congress and Ram Vilas Paswan to part ways with Laloo Prasad Yadav and fight most of the seats in the Bihar Assembly election on their own is being perceived by the BJP as a double-edged weapon. The party believes the image projected by the National Democratic Alliance of a “house in perfect order” and that of the United Progressive Alliance as a divided one may enhance the credibility of its slogan of the NDA being the only alternative to Laloo Prasad’s “jungle raaj”. But there is also the fear that the anti-Laloo votes could split again. “Everything depends on how the Congress’ and Paswan’s campaigns pan out, whether they attack Laloo Prasad or the BJP and the Janata Dal (United),” said Bhagalpur MP and BJP leader Sushil Modi. If Laloo Prasad became their poll theme, Modi conceded that it would be advantage RJD because his core voters would reconsolidate if their leader was besieged. If it was the NDA, the alliance’s voters would regroup to counter the “attack”. BJP’s Bihar in-charge and spokesperson Arun Jaitley said “we will capture the alternative political space through our campaign” by stressing on the NDA being the “only stable and surviving political alliance”. “Others are in a disarray over seat-sharing. We have finalised it without a problem. We will have a joint campaign, which will harp on one point: Bihar needs change and that change can be brought only by a party or coalition that has not compromised itself with the RJD and the UPA. The NDA is intact and represents the deep-seated desire for change.” Sources said underlying Jaitley’s assertion was the feedback from the Bihar unit that if the Congress and Paswan started attacking Laloo Prasad in their campaigns and put up upper-caste candidates (the Congress especially), the NDA would be hurt. “The Congress is prone to doing this. It puts up Bhumihars, Rajputs and Brahmins against our candidates. While it has no base vote or infrastructure left, the upper-caste votes get disturbed because of the individual candidates,” a source said. Therefore, the NDA’s endeavour will be to show up the Congress as a “bahuroopiya” (a multi-faced entity). “The Congress is a pawn in the RJD’s hands and playing the role of a vote katwa (vote divider),” said Modi. A “vote katwa” is the ultimate insult in the state’s political dictionary.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2005, 12:15 AM

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2005, 08:43 AM

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2005, 08:47 AM Remember how EC pussy footed the whole thing and meowed "o lalu should not use godhra report" - well lalu is saying "SCREW YOU I WILL USE IT ANYWAY". Flush.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2005, 09:32 AM

Thursday, January 20, 2005 (Patna): RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav made it clear what his vision for Bihar is in the party's manifesto released today. He announced a Vikas Sena to fight for the rights of minorities and reservations in private sectors. But NDTV has a copy of an official report on the social and economic conditions of Muslims in Bihar, which reveals that many of Lalu's promises are little more than lip service. Commissioned by the Bihar Minority Commission, the report was ready three months back. But the Rabri government has refused to make its contents public for the reason that the report is a damning indictment of the condition of Bihar's Muslims. Startling facts According to the report- * Only around four to five per cent Muslims have benefited from state welfare programmes in rural Bihar. * Less than two per cent of Muslims have members participating in Panchayat or municipal administrations. * The literacy rate among Muslims is 38 per cent, below the state average of 44 per cent. * The sex ratio among Muslims is 1006 women for every 1000 men, which is well above the national and state average. * Almost 50 per cent of Muslims in rural households and 45 per cent in urban areas live below the poverty line. On being asked why the report has not been made public yet, the President of the Bihar Minorities Commission, Suhel Ahmad said that the report is incomplete and will be made public in two months. However, the research group that conducted the survey remains hopeful that the findings will spark off a wider debate. Sharp divisions Meanwhile, in one corner of Patna, the Maulana Mazrul Haque Arabic Persian university has a funereal look. The university was set up 13 years back by Laloo Yadav and not a single student has been admitted over this entire period. This is proof perhaps of the wide gap between rhetoric and reality. Electoral success At more than 16 per cent of the population, Muslims constitute Bihar's largest social group and have been the backbone of Laloo Yadav's electoral success. While Laloo has undoubtedly provided them a sense of security, their social and economic condition remains the same and this is a reality that Bihar's Muslims are learning to live with.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2005, 09:34 AM oooo.. And Lalu is scared... yeah right !!

Posted by: Viren Jan 20 2005, 09:56 AM

Lalu : "I only want the people of the country to know the truth. " Apparently the quest for truth begins in Gujarat and not at home...

After the U C Banerjee Committee report on the Godhra train fire, RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav is telling Muslims to vote him for ‘‘bringing out the truth about Godhra.’’ Riots in faraway Gujarat has been an election issue in Bihar, but the RJD chief opts for silence on the truth of the 1989 Bhagalpur riots in his very own Bihar. The reason: 15 years after riot-scarred Muslims voted him to power, Laloo Prasad Yadav has not delivered justice. Even compensation has been paid only in less than a third of the 1981 casualties; and of the 329 chargesheets filed in riot cases, 125 are ‘‘untraceable.’’ ‘‘I have been trying to find out where these cases are. I have written to the chief secretary, home commissioner and other government officials, but nobody has bothered to find out or reply,’’ says Mohd Quamrur Rehman, special public prosecutor for the riot cases. Some cases have resulted in conviction at the lower level and have appeals pending at higher courts. In all, 31 cases have resulted in conviction of 115 Muslims and 146 Hindus, in the last 16 years. As many as 20 cases in which the accused were Muslims and 52 in which the Hindus were accused have concluded in acquittal. Twenty-nine cases are pending trial in different courts in Bhagalpur, of which 20 are pending because the accused are not appearing and the police are not executing the warrants against them. Many of the rioters have later on joined the RJD. The most telling example of the Bihar government’s interest or the lack of it in bringing justice to the victims of the Bhagalpur riots is the case of Logain village—it was the murder of 120 innocent Muslims in this village and dumping of their bodies in a pond with the help of a police inspector that became the lasting image of the 1989 riots. The trial in this case has come to a standstill two years ago, after the state police’s investigating officer in the case refused to appear before the court. ‘‘Summons has been sent to the investigating officer (IO), a Dy SP, several times, even through the chief secretary and the home commissioner. But there is no trace of the IO and the trial has been stalled though the public witnesses have already deposed,’’ says prosecutor Rehman. In the case of another major massacre at the Chanderi village, 16 of the 38 accused were convicted in 2002. After the High Court upheld the trial court verdict, the case has now moved to the SC. The state government had declared Rs one lakh compensation for each death and Rs 10,000 was declared from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. Of the 1981 cases of death, only 642 people have been paid both compensations. In 205 cases, only the PM’s relief fund has reached. Sixteen years later, 637 claims of compensation are still pending with the relief officer of Bhagalpur. The government had rejected the claims of 169 people on various grounds. Some went to the Patna HC, against the government’s decision. The court ordered in favour of the petitioners in two cases, and directed the state government to pay them compensation. But the state government has refused to comply with the order, for six years in one case and 18 months in the other. Mhd Haffizur Rehman and Mohd Atiqur Rehman have run from pillar to post, armed with the high court order which said compensation must be paid for the death of both their parents. Nothing has moved. Meanwhile, Laloo Prasad Yadav has already won three Assembly elections and is seeking a fourth term.

Posted by: Viren Jan 20 2005, 01:27 PM

A social outfit, Tiranga Abhiyan, filed the case on the basis of a photograph of the couple published in a daily on January 5, 2005, showing them sitting during a function in Bihar, presumably on Republic Day in 2003, when the anthem was being sung

Posted by: k.ram Jan 21 2005, 03:27 PM

Posted by: G.Subramaniam Jan 21 2005, 05:49 PM

The real deal that Laloo has made with the muslims is that north bihar will be given to muslims as a minipakistan

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 22 2005, 11:17 AM

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 24 2005, 09:11 PM

More muslim then Muhammad -> Lalu or Paswan ? "Urdu Daroga" is something to watch out for.. sad.gif

Navin Upadhyay/ Patna "We want change. Muslim have lost much during the last 15 years in Bihar," says Ali Anwar, president of the All-India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaj, a well-known outfit of backward Muslims, which is giving a nightmare to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in his attempt to keep the Muslim-Yadav combine intact. Soon after Mahaj came out with a resolution calling for a "change" ahead of the Assembly polls, tremors were felt in the Bihar ruling camp. After all, over the years, Mahaj has made deep inroads in Muslim politics, mobilising the minorities along the caste divide and seeking to highlight the fact that backward Muslims have got nothing but slogans during the decade-and-half rule of the Lalu-Rabri combine. Realising the dangerous potential of the call for "change" and confronted with the same politics of divide with which he had ruled the state for 15 years, Mr Lalu Prasad got in touch with Mr Anwar. The RJD chief called up Mr Anwar and spoke to him for 30 minutes on phone from Delhi, soliciting his support and promising to deliver all that he did not do all these years. "I told him, we had taken a well-considered decision and there was no going back," Mr Anwar told The Pioneer. Well aware of the significance of Mahaj's role in mobilising Muslim opinion, senior JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ramvilas Paswan too got in touch with Mr Anwar. Said Mr Anwar, "I can't disclose what we discussed. But one thing is clear: We are willing to support anyone who is willing to give the proper share to backward Muslims in allotment of tickets. Our support will not be along party lines. We will pick and choose among candidates." But be sure, Muslims are not going to vote as a monolith this time. "After enforcing a three-way contest for the forthcoming Assembly polls, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav should have been brimming with confidence. After all, the only time Mr Yadav bit the dust at the polls was in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, when his rivals challenged him from one platform. But, despite the triangular contest, there is sense of unease in the Lalu camp. The fact that this will be the first poll in 15 years where he faces a genuine threat to his captive Muslim vote, is giving him nightmares. The massive turnout at Mr Paswan's election rallies is heightening Lalu's sense of insecurity. Mr Paswan's message is clear for the Muslims: Look at your worsening plight. Lalu has given you nothing but false promises. He has capitalised on your fears of communal forces. I will provide you a secular alternative with the Congress. Mr Paswan is doing everything possible to hit Lalu where it will hurt him most. Outmaneouvering Mr Yadav in the battle of perceptions, he has given more tickets to Muslims than the RJD for the first phase of the polls. He is countering Mr Lalu Prasad's attempt to rally Muslims around him in the name of the Gujarat riots by invoking the ghosts of the Bhagalpur communal mayhem of 1989. "Lalu has no right to talk of the plight of riot victims of Gujarat when in his own backyard, Muslim have not got justice even after 16 long years," Mr Paswan says. On his part, Lalu is cautioning the Muslims not to trust Paswan. "If you vote for him, there is no guarantee that he will not switch sides after the polls to fulfil his dream of becoming chief minister." As the war of word rages on, Lalu is also distinctly aware of the threat from the Congress camp. Local Congress leaders are dead against him and so are the party cadres. As electioneering picks up, and the Congress raises the pitch of its war cry against Mr Lalu Prasad, the resulting confusion among Muslim voters will be a factor the RJD chief cannot ignore easily. Lalu is living nothing to chance. The timing of the release of the UC Banerjee Committee report on Godhra train fire is being seen as a clever tactics by Mr Yadav to highlight himself as a "messiah" of the minorities. Even as he goes around raising the fear of "return" of communal forces, he is inviting maulanas and ulemas from all over the country to 1, Anne Marg, for their blessings. What could be a better way to convinces Muslims that he enjoys full confidence of their religious heads. It is too early to hazard a guess on which way the wind will blow when the ballots are finally cast. But perhaps for the fist time in Bihar, the Muslim voters seem to be willing to at least explore options other than the RJD. How many of them will finally exercise than option is a million dollar question.
In the run up to Bihar assembly elections, the scramble for Muslim votes has begun in right earnest. If Bihar chieftain and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav hopes to retain Muslims on his side in the poll-bound State on the strength of Justice Banerjee committee report on Godhra train blaze, Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan hopes to lure them to his fold by reminding them of the Lalu-Rabri regime's anti-Muslim acts of omission and commission during its tenure. The latest edition of Mr Paswan's party mouthpiece Nyaya Chakra has virtually served a 15-point chargesheet, detailing various anti-Muslim acts during the RJD regime. Beginning with the Bihar's RJD government inaction against those accused in the 1999 Bhagalpur riot cases, the January issue of the party's mouthpiece has alleged that some of the accused persons have been given important political posts in the State government. "In the wake of the Bhagalpur riots, the RJD had promised to constitute a Rapid Action Force, comprising of people from all communities to prevent the recurrence of communal riots, but this promise was never kept," the mouthpiece said. Besides the Bhagalpur riots, the mouthpiece details killings of over two hundred Muslims in Domaria and Imamganj in Gaya district, last year's killings of several poor Muslims in Siwan and Sitamarhi with killers going scot-free till date. "In last 15 years, more than 1000 muslims have been killed in Bihar," the mouthpiece alleged. Besides detailing instances of Muslims killings in the State, the LJP mouthpiece has gone on to list Mr Yadav various unkept promises to the community. Mr Yadav has been promising to appoint "Urdu daroga" (Urdu Police sub-inspector) for the last 12 years but till date only 3 percent Muslims have been appointed to the post, the magazine notes adding that the RJD government has even scrapped the 10 percent quota for Muslim in appointment of teachers in government schools, fixed by Congress governments prior to the RJD regime. As per the LJP mouthpiece, even the madarsas, acquired by the State government in 1989 are being starved of funds with its teachers along with those of other minority educational institutions being forced to work without pay for the last two years. Mr Paswan's party magazine added that notwithstanding Mr Yadav's claim of his commitment to minority welfare, the State's Minority Commission has been made infructous. The Commission has not been able to table even a single report in the State assembly in the last 15 years, the magazine added.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 24 2005, 10:54 PM

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 25 2005, 03:10 PM Now suddenly after all these years, when an election commision opposes some of its own pet theories and ideas, Indian Express and Shekhar Gupta thinks it fit to lecture Election Commision. Does anybody have an edit from IE during the times when EC was lecturing Modi ? Just for comparision purposes ??? BTW when such stupid games as "urdu darogas" etc are being bandied about, the other day I had read Shekhar Gupta lecture everybody about young and old and how young are confident and how Sania Mirza and Irfan Pathan are the beacon of the youth and what not. Funny ways this propaganda-by-exclusion works..

Posted by: Mudy Jan 25 2005, 03:58 PM

Krishanamurthy is cong-sonia man, when NDA was thinking to appoint someone else, media, cong, commie and press club made lot of noise and NDA end up appointing Krishanamurty based on seniority as EC. Now when we have rubber stamp PM, it is ok to have EC also. This completes whole current corrupt system. When India is heading for Flush.gif , they are just speeding up process.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 27 2005, 11:19 AM

In Bihar's casteist Disneyland... Balbir K Punj The Justice (Retd) UC Banerjee Committee report, to Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav's grave disappointment, has failed to "fire" the imagination of Bihar's Muslim electorate. BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley has already punctured its every pretension of merit. It is ironical, though not uncommon, that a former judge should play into the hands of politicians to produce a "politically correct" travesty of truth. But it is even more ironical that for Mr Yadav to feel secure in the Assembly elections to be held in Bihar, he needs the crutch a report on what happened more than a thousand miles away in Godhra. This is at the cost of issues in the State that are crying for attention. Why does not Mr Yadav speak about basic necessities of the State's populace, its deteriorating law and order, and other developmental issues? The abductions of school children underline the increasing crime in Bihar. Ruling parties in other States seek votes during elections by citing their development achievements, even if they are on paper. But the first couple of Bihar, who treat the State as their fiefdom, have conveniently done away with such pretensions. They solicit votes along and communal lines. Mr Yadav has apparently understood the "magic mantra" of being in power. To uncork the development genie in the State would be counterproductive to his hold on what he considers his property. Hence, he believes in doing nothing except abusing the "communal forces" (read BJP, RSS, VHP) and marshalling the "secular forces". This is a sad commentary on our academia, the media and intelligentsia who recognise no other crisis plaguing the country apart from so-called communalism. They should realise that Mr Yadav is actually cheating his own "secularist" allies, particularly the Congress and the communists. He is eating into their space with his hoax of "secularism" which was an invention of the Congress, and was later improvised by the communists. However, their limitation is on the issue of "secularism" - they can at best be competitors of the RJD chief but never confront him. The de facto Chief Minister of Bihar has never contributed anything to his State - in fact, not even his own Yadav community. But all this has been overlooked both for the sake of "secularism" and stability of the UPA regime. The only tangible thing Mr Yadav has promised the Muslims of Bihar is security. Therefore, he responded with alacrity when, on July 24, 2004, a Yadav gang gunned down ten low-caste Sai (Fakir) Muslims in Jagdishpur-Vishnupura village in Siwan. His swinging into action and launching a damage control exercise were understandable. The Muslims of Bihar, like everywhere else in the country, were with the Congress in the post-independence era. In the 1989 Bhagalpur riots, in which some 1,100 people were killed, violence was prompted by some members of the minority community, who attacked a Durga Puja procession. The Hindu retaliation was hard, and Muslims felt that the "secular" Government of the State could not protect them adequately. Of course, the "secular" media too did not go hammer and tongs against the Government as it did in Gujarat. This resulted in a Yadav-Muslim realignment because of which the RJD swept the polls for the first time in Bihar and Mr Yadav became the Chief Minister. The Bhagalpur riots realigned the caste-communal equation at the political and not the social level. The Congress lost power in Bihar, never regaining it. It is a shame that Mr Yadav has no other agenda for Bihar beyond his fake "secularism". But it is even more pitiable that the Congress too has none, and it has remained an ally of the RJD all these years. As Ashok K Singh wrote in the article, "Death of Patna" (The Pioneer, November 15, 2003), "According to a recent study, the flight of human capital and migration from Bihar has touched gigantic proportions: Over 2.5 crore. Some say the demographic migration from Bihar in the last decade and half is second only to religious migration during Partition. The labour class migrates because there are no employment opportunities. The middle class migrates in search of better economic and social prospects." Alas, the Congress is as insensitive to this problem as it had been to Partition. Bihar ranks abysmally low in all indices of human development. Yet the Congress, which leads the UPA at the Centre, could not care less. It is clearly reflected in the vagueness of its electoral alliances in Bihar. It is not even explicitly identifying its ally in Bihar. It is seemingly allied to both Mr Yadav's RJD and Mr Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP-two mutually hostile parties. This has pitted the Congress and RJD contestants against each other in many constituencies which are being described as "friendly" fights. All this for the sake of keeping the "secular" vote intact against the "communal" onslaught of BJP-JD (U). However, paradoxically, they do not care about the disintegration of the electorate in the State with half of Bihar having migrated to Delhi, Mumbai or Punjab. Mr Yadav has been liberally supporting Muslims, and criminals turned legislatures like Mohammad Shahabuddin, Taslimuddin or MAA Fatmi. He has indulged in tokenism like going for Yasser Arafat's funeral service in Cairo, or arresting LK Advani from a circuit house in Samastipur during his Somnath-Ayodhya Ram Rath Yatra in 1991. But there is no actual "achievement" to his credit. He treats Muslims of Bihar as his bonded slaves who, during election, will have no other option but to vote for the RJD. In Bihar's casteist Disneyland, they can have no other protective umbrella to shield themselves with other than the Yadavs. Again, if Yadavs are solidly behind him, it is not due to any tangible benefit to the community but simply because caste loyalties are deeply entrenched in Bihar. It has affected even the naxalites. The MCC and PWG merger with the CPI (Maoist) has been marred by caste killings. Then, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, in his bid to outpace Mr Yadav in garnering Muslims votes, has gone a step further. His LJP mouthpiece Nyay Chakra's charge-sheet against Lalu's "communal omissions" is slanderous. He claims that in last 15 years, 1000 Muslims have been killed in Bihar. He further says there are not enough funds for the madarsas. He laments the scrapping of 10 percent quota for Muslims in Government schools fixed by previous Congress regimes. Mr Paswan, of course, forgets to mention the burgeoning Muslim population in Bihar, and presupposes complete innocence of the community in communal riots. All this sets down a retrograde agenda for Muslims along the same Urdu-madarsa-burqa lines. In fact, it is set out with even more vengeance than Mr Yadav's tokenisms. Mr Yadav has been baying for the BJP's blood on Godhra and the Gujarat riots that followed in its aftermath. But he developed cold feet when, in November 2003, a number of Yadav migrants from Bihar were killed by ULFA insurgents in Assam. After all, it is an altogether different ball game to confront ULFA's AK-47s with lathis. Whenever a Bihari, sarcastically referred to as "natural born migrant", leaves Bihar, Mr Yadav is happy to wash his hands of him. He is thus like an irresponsible father who feels neighbours should adopt his poor children. This is already beginning to impact negatively on metropolis like Delhi and Mumbai. Mr Yadav knows only too well how to twist the hand of his ally, the Congress. And the Congress is under the illusion that since Mr Yadav is supporting the UPA as a junior partner at the Centre, his Yadav-Muslim vote-bank would automatically shift to the Congress. It is perhaps this belief that is propelling the party so look beyond the RJD, without breaking the alliance. During the last general election, Mr Yadav allowed the Congress merely four out of 40 seats. The party accepted it because it did not command the position it holds today. However, the last 15 years under RJD-Congress rule are proof enough of the fact that the people of Bihar have little to look forward to if they vote for this combination again. On the other hand, under the BJP and the JD (U), they can hope to improve their lives considering the importance the previous Vajpayee Government accorded to Bihar. The emphasis will be on building infrastructure, generating employment, and inviting capital for opening of industries, and downing the shutters on the most flourishing industry of Bihar-kidnapping for ransom. One hopes that with a vote for change, Bihar will enter the post-Lalu Yadav era.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 27 2005, 11:21 AM

Another schoolgirl kidnapped in Bihar Agencies/ Patna A schoolgirl was allegedly kidnapped in Hajipur while yet another student of a private school here went missing even as police remained clueless about successive abductions of three other school children in Bihar. Police said Anjali Kumari, a student of standard five in new St Paul's School in Hajipur, was suspected to have been kidnapped when she had gone to attend a coaching class close to her residence on January 24. As Anjali did not return home, her brother Ashok Kumar lodged an FIR with the Hajipur town police station complaining that she might have been kidnapped for ransom or with 'bad intentions'. She is a resident of Anwarpur locality in the town. Meanwhile, yet another student of a private school in the state capital has been reported missing. Sumit Kumar, a class VII student of St Paul residential public school here, has gone missing and efforts are on to locate him, officer in-charge of Mehdiganj police station, Uday Pratap Singh said Thursday.

Posted by: Viren Jan 27 2005, 01:05 PM thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 27 2005, 06:02 PM

Voices of sanity The Pioneer Edit Desk Ever since Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav turned Godhra's 'truth'-digger, there were fears that the truth would be worse off for it. The fears proved right on Bihar's poll-eve, when he resolved to go to "the people" with the UC Banerjee Committee report, asking them to believe that its terrorist-absolving findings were gospel truth. Godhra and all its socially disruptive potential have since served vote-catching ends and, despite its sermons, the EC has done little to stop it. Mr Yadav has been going to town-rather, Bihar's Muslim-dominated areas-saying that the Sabarmati Express fire had been "accidental". In a classic case of blame-the-victim, he has even insinuated that the 59 persons burnt to death had been arsonists rather than lambs to the slaughter. The Congress-Left have applauded his obnoxious cynicism, for fear of offending the votebank of their shared coveting. Just when it seemed no one had the guts to back the NDA's outcry against the revolting milking of a tragedy, two voices have been heard. The first is that of Justice GT Nanavati, who heads the Commission armed with statutory powers to inquire into the massacre. He has clarified that the 'truth' is far from established, pointing to factors making it impossible to rule out that the Godhra blaze was an "act of terror". These include eyewitness accounts of crowd aggression on the fateful day. Frowning upon the interim report's ill-timed submission, he has said the Banerjee committee's conclusions do not bring closure; they ignore, among other things, the mob's role at the Godhra station. The Special Investigation Team had said as much, its findings bolstering the 'conspiracy' angle. Nothing better exposes what seems a Lalu-scripted plot to derail genuine inquiry. The railways' probe was always thought to have been aimed at undermining the Nanavati panel. Mr Yadav set a vicious precedent, whereby ministerial axe-grinders could recruit any retired judge, set him atop a so-called "committee", and unleash a suspect 'departmental probe' with little sanctity or real authority to indict or exonerate the accused in sensitive cases. Justice Nanavati has done a yeoman's service by questioning how a departmental inquiry report-that too an interim one-can be bandied about as the final word on Godhra. He is backed by former CEC JM Lyngdoh, the very man once criticised for over-the-top public outbursts against the Gujarat administration. That even Mr Lyngdoh has berated Mr Yadav for making "crude" and misleading statements on Godhra, speaks for itself. He has described as preposterous that the interim report should be used to brainwash voters into believing that "the Sangh Parivar" was to blame for the tragedy. This, in his view, suggested that the electorate was being 'spoon-fed', despite the fact that "nothing calculated to inflame communal passions" could be condoned, particularly in the run-up to elections. When Mr Lyngdoh served as CEC, this paper was on occasion compelled to take stands against him, disapproving of his rough methods to ensure compliance with the model code of conduct, and his avowed contempt for the political class. Yet it has never hesitated to appreciate his integrity and clarity of thought. Now, more than ever, his plainspeaking consistency stands out as a virtue, posing as it does a stark contrast to the present guardians of electoral morality. The EC in its current avatar has pontificated more on the model code than it has acted to show that it means business. Given what his predecessor has said about Mr Yadav's misconduct, surely CEC TS Krishnamurthy cannot still be in doubt about the need to crack the whip.

Posted by: Viren Jan 28 2005, 01:25 PM

Posted by: Mudy Jan 28 2005, 03:07 PM

Right to negative vote Hari jaisingh Looking at India's fractured polity and the quality of persons picked up for state and parliamentary elections, I tend to endorse the support extended by the Election Commission to the petition filed before the Supreme Court that seeks to allow voters the option of not voting for any candidate if they think he is not good enough to represent them. On principle, I am not for a negative attitude in personal or public life. Negativism does not help to correct distortions and take things forward. All the same, the way electoral politics has got evolved during the past two decades or so, every sensitive Indian will have a valid reason to feel desperate, if not aghast, at the state of drift in our democratic polity. One may say that the people get the representative they deserve. Theoretically, I see the point. But I believe that it is the job of political parties and the instruments of governance provided for in the constitution to constantly monitor and improve the quality of our democratic functioning so that the "wrongs" do no get the legitimacy of becoming "right" in the country's political arithmetic. It is actually the job of the election commission as well as the judiciary to discharge their responsibilities to correct the system's functional loose ends and curb undesirable operations. The Supreme Court has of late shown guts in the way it has reacted and acted against Bihar's high profile mafia leader Pappu Yadav who was having a ball with his brand of mobile-aided muscle and money politics, apparently conducted with a tacit approval of the powers that be. He could be in and out of his jail at will. But for the judiciary's intervention in the matter, Pappu Yadav's writ would have run freely during the Bihar Assembly elections due next month. The problem here is not of fixing up one Pappu Yadav. There are the likes of Pappu Yadav in several states. They intimate the voters in favour of one party candidate or other. There is indeed a naked display of money and muscle power by gang leaders who have acquired respectability and legitimacy because of political patronage extended to them. Most political parties can be held guilty on this count. The moot point is: Should the world's largest and most vibrant democracy be allowed to be hijacked by mafia gangs? Look at the growing criminality in politics. Look at the disturbing phenomenon of "criminals" getting into our sacred houses of democracy. Can we overlook such developments by merely shedding crocodile tears? Is it not the job of enlightened citizens and the constitutionally established institutions to act as watchdogs and actively guide the people with a view to applying correctives in the system. Of course, political leaders are expected to play a more responsible role in these sensitive public areas. Unfortunately, they are increasingly getting sucked into today's highly competitive vote-bank politics of caste, religion and community. I am not drawing an alarmist picture. I have a total faith in common sense of common voters. Still, since our developing polity has varied layers of modernisation, literacy, poverty, socio-economic standards, the levels of understanding and responses among millions of our voters vary sharply. No wonder, certain disturbing trends are very much visible in the conduct of electoral politics and behaviour patterns of our established leaders. They have to be disciplined and not allowed to go haywire. They may be entertaining for our media personnel and their viewers, but elections are a serious business of assessing the performance of our leaders. We are aware of some serious gaps in electoral and general laws of the land. There are cumbersome procedures which make it easier for influential law-breakers to be one up on ordinary law-abiding citizens. This anomaly can be corrected if the custodians of law along with courts and the EC play their legitimate roles without fear or favour. Take the recent case of another Bihar leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, now Union Railway Minister of the UPA Government. During the poll campaign in his state, he was seen on TV screens distributing 100-rupee notes to the assembled people which he later defended on the ground that the money was meant for sweets. This issue was referred to the election commission which took a serious view of it, but finally gave a mere warning to the erring RJD leader and asked him to behave in future. Perhaps the EC did the best it could in the circumstances. It could not have played tough by disqualifying Lalu or his party, a step which could have led to a sharp and violent chain reaction in Bihar. In any case, Lalu-like aberrations have been indulged in by several other party leaders as well. These are serious issues which have to be examined on a larger canvas of electoral reforms. The question here is not whether the election commission will be able to provide for a negative vote option to the electorate by an amendment in the Representation of the People Act. It had moved twice - in 2000 and 2004 - in the matter but did not get the Law Ministry's approval. In fact, a number of crucial electoral changes are awaiting attention of the authorities. It needs to be acknowledged that some of the ills of the system are by-products of structural defects and faulty electoral laws. A faulty establishment would hoist wrong signals to the disadvantage of the democratic polity. A lopsided or corrupt system would only lead to the emergence of petty-minded persons who, like leeches, suck the life-sustaining blood from the body politic for personal and sectarian gains. Over the past few decades the country has suffered because Indian rulers have primarily indulged in shadow-boxing. They have sought only short term answers to the problems while poll reforms exist only on paper. The electoral scenario is certainly complex. Literacy figures have changed. The profile of the Indian electorate since the first general election in 1952 has undergone a transformation. Voters in the younger age group today account for almost three-fourths of the electorate. Their attitudes and responses differ from those of the pre-independence generation. Small wonder that everything is in a state of flux amidst different pulls and counter-pulls in the polity. This setting calls for new responses and direction to put today's topsy-turvy system in proper shape. It is a pity that moneybags have loosened the bonds of fair play and justice in the polity. The growing influence of money and muscle power has already affected the quality of legislators and parliamentarians. There is, in fact, a visible nexus of moneyed politicians with smugglers, bootleggers and underworld dons. Several legislators are known to have criminal records. These new factors are gradually shaking the faith of educated and honest Indians in the democratic system. This erosion of faith in the viability and vitality of the electoral system could be dangerous if corrective measures are not initiated urgently. The new political mantras are: "note-through-votes" - and "vote-through-notes". Unfortunately, the silent majority have only made matters worse. Indeed, a free play of moneybags has not only dehumanised politics but has also devalued the traditional value system. To improve things it is necessary to create public opinion and build up pressure with a view to putting erring leaders and parties on the right track. The right to recall and the option of a negative vote available to the electorate can help to create the right atmosphere for proper functioning of our democratic system.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 28 2005, 03:08 PM

he is so sure??

Boys will be free soon: Lalu Patna Accusing the Opposition of playing "dirty politics" over the recent kidnapping of students in Bihar, RJD president Lalu Prasad on Friday said police was on the job and the abducted children would be rescued soon. Police had achieved a breakthrough in the kidnapping of Kishlay, student of Delhi Public School in Patna, nine days ago, Mr Prasad said and hoped that police would get him freed from the clutches of the abductors in a day or two.
Why he is not naming Paswan or Congress involvement?

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 28 2005, 03:16 PM

Boys are probably with one of his goondas anyway. Thats why he is so sure.. dry.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 28 2005, 08:53 PM

Not about Bihar.

Munda or Marandi? BJP has hard time deciding Sanjay K Jha / Ranchi In Jharkhand's political circles, the BJP's tales of woe begin and end with Munda-Marandi comparison. Even Sangh Parivar activists are wondering if the central leadership erred in replacing Mr Babulal Marandi with Mr Arjun Munda as Chief Minister. Though serious efforts are now being made to project a united face, dislike for Mr Munda among BJP and RSS functionaries and the longing for Mr Marandi's leadership appear to be the most dominant features in the saffron camp on the eve of the first Assembly elections in the nascent State. Even ordinary voters remember the Marandi rule for visible work and deride Mr Munda for unleashing an almost smash-and-grab regime after that. Not that Mr Munda has not done any work. His Kanyadan Yojna, under which marriages of thousands of poor girls had been conducted by the State, alone was seen as a match-winner. Appointment of thousands of primary school teachers, policemen and over 600 hundred doctors for rural areas add more feathers to Mr Munda's cap. Still he carries a negative image, with people almost convinced that he is running a commission raj. Even RSS leaders choose to call him lutera, while showering words of praise on Mr Marandi, whose colourful personal life had created many controversies in the media. They say while Mr Marandi was too simple a man who struggled to check corrupt Ministers, Mr Munda is described as one who willingly presided over a corrupt regime. A BJP leader told The Pioneer, while Mr Marandi trusted everybody, Mr Munda suspects everybody. How can the party workers be happy with him? Mr Munda, who came to the BJP from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha only five years ago, is being accused of targeting hardcore RSS men. In Singhbhum alone, where Mr Munda hails from, four sitting MLAs were denied tickets and all have an RSS background. Out of the total nine sitting MLAs who were denied tickets, six were Marandi supporters and three Karia Munda supporters, a BJP leader disclosed, arguing that it was not for nothing that 22 MLAs had passed a resolution against Mr Munda when Mr Marandi was being replaced. He said Mr Marandi himself persuaded the MLAs to accept the high command's decision. Mr Marandi had indeed become very unpopular among non-tribal voters because of his domicile policy but BJP leaders felt elections were far away and people's anger would die down with the passage of time. Non-tribal voters, almost 70 per cent of the total electorate, constitutes the bulk of the BJP's support and that could have been one factor weighing on the BJP leadership while they chose to remove Mr Marandi amidst a bizarre political crisis. However, Mr Munda could not improve things and senior Ministers in his Cabinet began to openly embarrass him, creating an impression that Jharkhand was actually rudderless. In fact, there are still a large number of people with a soft corner for the BJP who will not vote for it because of the anarchic rule that Mr Munda gave. His priorities were wrong. Instead of arranging for drinking water, he chose to put up fancy lights on road crossings and lay stones by the road sides. All these deals sparked allegations of corruption. Even the contractor for distribution of free salt to the poor will be decided by his people, another leader remarked. Mr Marandi, on the other hand, got enough sympathy after his exit and the BJP bosses offered him the Chief Minister's post once again but he declined as barely a couple of months were left for election. Now the party is projecting both these leaders, without specifying who will head the next Government. In the meantime, workers are analysing whether the damage has already been done. Many say the party stood a better chance under a different leader. Opinion is divided even on the prospects in the Assembly poll. Some say the party will fare worse than the parliamentary election because the local-level anti-incumbency against the sitting MLA will add to the overall disenchantment while others feel the party will do better because of the disunited opposition and their poor selection of candidates.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 28 2005, 09:07 PM

First 'urdu daroga' and now 'compulsory urdu'. What is worse if that BJP is betting that Modi's presence might actually help Lalu. Does this even make sense ?

Paswan factor may keep Modi out of Bihar Navin Upadhyay/ Patna Sensing the confusion in the minds of Muslim voters, who are being aggressively wooed by Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ramvilas Paswan away from the RJD camp, the BJP has decided to play a clever gambit on help matters along. The party has almost made up its mind not to rope in the mascot of its Hindutva ideology, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, in the Bihar campaign. Earlier the BJP had announced a three-day campaign schedule for Mr Modi in Bihar. But, now that reports from the ground indicate that the Paswan factor could make a dent in the Muslim-Yadav combine of the RJD, BJP think-tanks have decided to keep Mr Modi out of Bihar. The decision to drop Mr Modi was taken after Janata Dal (U) leaders Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav convinced the BJP leadership that the presence of the Gujarat Chief Minister in Bihar campaign could be counter-productive. JD(U) leaders pointed out that while the anti-RJD votes could do without any dose of hardcore Hindutva, Lalu Prasad was capable of twisting Mr Modi's speeches to rally the Muslims around him in the name of Gujarat riots. Under considerable pressure from the JD(U) to keep the Hindutva issue on the backburner, the BJP has also decided not to join issue with the RJD chief on the UC Banerjee committee report on the Godhra train fire. Instead, the task will be handled by the JD(U), more so because Mr Nitish Kumar was the Railway Minister when the Godhra carnage took place. "We don't want to fall into Lalu Prasad's trap. He could create trouble during Mr Modi's visit and then try to capitalise on the situation," said a senior BJP leader. The BJP leaders are happy that Paswan is taking on Lalu Prasad on the issue of Banerjee committee report by raking up the ghosts of Bhagalpur communal riots. Careful not to comment on the merit of the Banerjee committee report, Mr Paswan is reminding the Muslims how the culprits of the Bhagalpur communal violence have still not be punished, mainly because they belonged to the RJD. The BJP-JD(U) combine feels that the war of words developing between Lalu and Paswan over the Muslim votes may come handy for it in many Assembly segments, specially where the LJP has fielded or is going to field Muslim candidates. While the NDA is rejoicing over the development, there is a sense of distinct discomfiture in the RJD camp. Mr Lalu Prasad on Tuesday visited the local Emarat-e-sharia to seek the blessing and support of the Muslim religious leaders. In his election rallies, he is devoting a lot of time reaching out to Muslims, promising them all that he did not deliver in the last 15 years. Mr Prasad goes as far as committing to make Urdu a compulsory subject in school, not realising it could become a potential tinder box of communal divide.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 28 2005, 09:19 PM

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 27: The kidnappings of schoolchildren may have hogged the headlines but for the Congress, it is Jharkhand, and not Bihar, where law and order and clean administration appear to be the election issues. The party posters being sent from here to Jharkhand proclaim: ‘‘Jharkhand needs rule of law and clean administration (Jharkhand ko chahiye kanoon ka raaj, saaf suthra shasan).’’ The voters in Bihar, as far as the Congress is concerned, can focus on the fight against communal forces. The AICC posters meant for the state call upon the voters to ‘‘elect those who unify society and don’t break it (chuniye unhein jo samaj ko jodate hain, todate nahin).’’ The posters with a simple message — ‘‘Support the hand, vote for the Congress’’— are designed for a universal use in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana. The much-touted aam aadmi has disappeared from the party publicity material without a trace. Though an after-thought, AICC secretary (media) Tom Vadakkan has an interesting explanation to this. ‘‘We are busy making the aam aadmi a khaas aadmi through measures like the Employment Guarantee Bill.’’ All the four posters carry photographs of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has met the same fate as aam aadmi. He is also not visible anywhere. ROTFL.gif ROTFL.gif ROTFL.gif Congress general secretary Ambika Soni defends this arguing that the Congress ‘‘has a tradition of using only its president’s photographs. It is another matter that earlier, we used to have the president holding the post of prime minister too.’’ Ahead of Sonia visit, Cong expels Haryana rebels NEW DELHI: With just a day left for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to start campaigning in Haryana, the party high command on Thursday announced the expulsion of all rebel candidates for six years. Party general secretary Ambika Soni said: ‘‘All those contesting against official candidates stand expelled for six years.’’ With no names mentioned, the move appears to be ritualistc, made necessary by Sonia’s impending visit. Sources said: ‘‘It is actually designed to be the last call to rebels to retire.’’ Though the deadline for withdrawals is over, the high command still hopes that some rebels may pull out of the poll arena.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 29 2005, 01:21 PM

Lalu Yadav’s many wars - By Arun Nehru Politics takes a very "strange" turn and major political events take place not by planning or anticipation but by "accident." Look at the current turn of events in Bihar and to some extent in Jharkhand. Lalu Yadav and family looked invincible in the elections as court cases and strictures on several issues had little effect. The Opposition was in disarray as the BJP-JD(U), despite a huge victory in the 1999 election, and 10 ministers in the NDA government, lost the initiative in the 2004 Lok Sabha election, and the Congress was held "captive" by limited seats. Senior Opposition leaders and former Prime Ministers supported Lalu Prasad Yadav in the name of secular politics and ignored aspects of criminality, be it murder, extortion or kidnap or the issue of tainted ministers. Lalu Yadav is cleared in the "assets" case and the fodder case can take many decades, with RJD’s 24 MPs at the Centre dictating the agenda. The Justice U.C. Banerjee interim report on Godhra train fire is released, just in time for the Assembly elections and Lalu Yadav makes fiery speeches to his Muslim vote banks. There are no complaints on "secular" principles as political compulsions take over senior political leaders and many in the secular media for their own interests. Bihar continues to burn. Things are clearly out of control as Lalu Yadav is dependent on the "strongmen" for his Yadav and Muslim vote banks. There is simply no rule of law. The political fraternity fails, the law courts do what they can under the system and the lower bureaucracy is an active participant while the seniors are stunned into inaction. But everything changes with the kidnapping of a 14-year-old DPS student. A group of tearful students surrounds Lalu Yadav and his helicopter but the Bihar strongman is unmoved. The nation watches the drama "live" and suddenly a tearful protest becomes a "torrent" and a "national" shame. Allies can support this lawlessness at their own risk. Lalu Yadav is also at war with the Congress as the latter fights for 80 seats, many of which against the RJD. The LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan, isolated by the RJD, finds political space and an "ally" in the Congress. Harsh words are exchanged and Lalu Prasad Yadav threatens to teach everyone a lesson! The future is uncertain and an election in three stages will now be a negative for the RJD and every day in the field, till the polls are conducted, will be a negative for Lalu Yadav. Politics aside, let us pray for the safe return of the 14-year-old student Kislay Komal and express our gratitude to the schoolchildren of Bihar for their act of courage. They have roused the conscience of a system divided into secular and non secular groups with little concern for the suffering of the public. There is news at the time of writing that another student has been kidnapped in Nalanda district. Uma Bharti is sick and her "ailment" may help the BJP-JD(U), as electoral politics in Bihar is caste related and both the BJP and JD(U) have star campaigners. Without doubt, their prospects along with the Congress’ and LJP’s, improve. But if we look at formations as they exist, then the grouping of the RJD-Left-LJP-Congress still has a decisive advantage over the BJP-JD(U) combine. But Lalu Yadav may lose his "absolute power" if the Congress wins 20 to 25 seats and the LJP wins 15 to 20 seats. My estimate was that Lalu Yadav and the RJD would win 90 to 100 seats, but as the movement gathers momentum, the political dynasty of Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi looks increasingly shaky. Lalu Yadav may still win, but for the future, he is a "loser." And perhaps this incident and its effect will have some positive bearing on the political situation in Uttar Pradesh where criminality and Mafia influence are on the rise. The SP and the BSP too are not free of this ailment, as they battle each other for the control of the state. The situation in Jharkhand is again bad for Lalu Yadav, but he is unable to "frighten" Shibu Soren and the JMM into submission. Setting up RJD candidates will not affect the situation as the JMM and the Congress are poised for a big win with a two-third majority. As things stand, the situation in Haryana may even be better as the INLD faces a rout and Om Prakash Chautala is under pressure on both his seats and can lose to either Randeep Surjewala or Jagdish Nehra, both of whom are strong candidates. The real fight in Haryana is among the four factions within the Congress and the "rebel" candidates will have to withdraw. Clearly, as I see it, the chief minister will be determined by the leader who has the maximum number of MLAs. And as things stand, Bhajan Lal has a distinct advantage over the others. But then in Haryana, anything can happen. It is good for the state to see the talents of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Selja and the young Surjewala whose father is also contesting the polls and has always commanded respect in a system where few rules apply. Haryana desperately needs a change for the better. It is indeed sad that a state which is economically on the upswing should show huge anti-incumbency trends against the INLD. These are the occasions when the system requires a "real" leader and a Prime Minister who can crack the whip and assert his authority. Honesty and administrative competence cannot substitute political decision-making. It is a sad situation where we have a Prime Minister who does not have any political muscle or clout, and who justifies criminal elements in the government on the plea that they are not "convicted." And we have the sad spectacle of two Cabinet ministers — Lalu Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan — hurling abuses at each other, and another — Shibu Soren — attending court as he is charged in a murder case. I sometimes wonder if we need security frisking in the Cabinet room as the battle of words can become quite physical. After all, in Bihar, little happens without some form of physical action! The authority of the Prime Minister is crucial and I think that the tussle on the "need" of a National Security Adviser for the future after the tragic and untimely demise of J.N. Dixit reflects the contradictions within the system. My knowledge of the system and the current challenges is limited, but having been in a senior Cabinet position and a member of the CCPA/CCEA, I cannot but feel that the post of the NSA duplicates many a function within the system and creates a power base which curbs the authority of senior Cabinet members. And no Prime Minister with political control needs an NSA. Arun Nehru is a former Union minister

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 31 2005, 05:51 PM

While Sonia did not refer to the RJD, Laloo Prasad reciprocated by not naming the Congress. The RJD chief, however, talked at length about the interim report on the Godhra train fire. “People who killed unborn children have no right to rule Bihar. This state has always showed the right way to the nation. Our victory in the parliamentary elections is a proof of that,” Laloo said. “Sankaracharya has shown the true face of Hindutva. Uma Bharti has proved the BJP’s double standards,” he added.
Election commission be damned, Laloo doesnt give a flying fcuk.. More he think Sankaracharya has shown the 'true' face of hindutva.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 1 2005, 11:07 AM

Make Cabinet sans criminals, Advani tells Cong Agencies/ Badshahpur (Haryana) Dismissing Congress president Sonia Gandhi's promise on improvement of law and order situation in Bihar and Haryana, BJP president L K Advani Tuesday said the ruling party should first get rid of the Union Cabinet of ministers facing criminal charges. "I read the speech of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in newspapers that they will rid Haryana of crime. If you want to make these states free of crime, first make your cabinet free of criminals," he said, addressing an election meeting here in support of BJP candidate Kartar Singh Bhadana, contesting from Sohna assembly constituency. "Yesterday, I was in Bihar. People of that state are very angry with the government there, as several school children have been abducted there in the last few days. In such a situation, you say that we will free the state of crime," Advani said. Accusing the Congress of having entered into an "agreement" with naxalites in Andhra Pradesh and ULFA in Assam to win assembly elections, he said violence has risen in these states, of late. "With great difficulty, we have established peace in the northeast.....To form its government, they entered into agreements with naxals in Andhra Pradesh and ULFA in Assam. Now, in the two states, violence has risen," Advani alleged. Pooh-poohing the Congress' poll slogan of 'Congress ka haath, aam admi ke saath,' Advani said prices of every commodity have risen in the nine months since the Congress came to power. "Our government kept the inflation under control for six years we were in power. In the last nine months, since the Congress came to power, cotton has become expensive. Clothes have become expensive. Prices of all commodities were rising," he alleged.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 2 2005, 10:02 AM

For Lalu, parrots are passé, his cow predicts thumping win for Rabri Amarnath Tewary/ Patna Since time immemorial, parrots, accompanied by their tilak-sporting, dhoti-clad masters, have been in the business of fortune telling on the pavements of India's cowbelt but here in Lalu's Bihar, the cow rules the profession. RJD chief Lalu Prasad has a cow in his animal farm, which predicts the future and even election results simply by licking one's hand. Psephologists and pollsters may well go berserk over Lalu's newfound method of soothsaying even as a foreign correspondent visiting him found the whole thing "incredible". The RJD chief of late has become rather allergic to Indian journalists seeking soundbytes, comments and interviews. Clearly, the man who has been lording over the State for the past 15 years uninterruptedly is having to campaign at a frenetic pace this time to retain his suzerainty for another five years. "I have to seek the renewal of Rabri Devi's license to rule the State for another five years," he has been telling voters. "And these mediawallahs have been putting the ground realities of Bihar's electoral scene in a bad light", he complained, displaying his annoyance with visiting journalists. However, the Machiavellian Lalu knows whom to give interviews and whom to show the door. Visibly impatient with Indian scribes, Lalu takes time out of his hectic poll campaign for visiting foreign journalists. The RJD boss seems to have weakness for fair-skinned journalists, says a BJP politician. Recently, when a London-based lady journalist visited Chief Minister Rabri Devi's official bungalow, the RJD boss wasted no time in putting on his inimitable funny man act and unexpectedly invited the scribe to his well-kept animal farm. Initially aghast, the journalist graciously obliged Lalu and went to see the miracle cow, for her the most incredible thing she had seen in her life. Lalu, the rustic charmer soon started playing the master. Very much like the dhoti-wearing, tilak sporting parrot-master he told the inquisitive journalist, "I had adopted this cow when she was a calf and her mother had died", said Lalu Prasad gathering wrinkles on his forehead. Flabbergasted, the journalist then moved closer to the cow. The master Lalu Prasad first clenched his fists, crossed his arms and moved in a friendly manner before the cow. In her natural instinct the pet cow poked out her tongue and started licking Lalu's fist. And, the master proved his point. "She predicts a thumping majority for me and also the end of the communal forces," he exulted, seemingly in a bid to convince the foreign journalist. But apparently unconvinced, the lady journalist later reacted by saying, "Lalu is simply incredible". True, this master of poll management and maneuvering has been an enigma and incredible not just for the London-based journalist but also for the 8 million people of the state. The other day when the RJD boss was besieged by the local media seeking his reaction over the spate of kidnappings in the state, an irritated Lalu shooed them away but when he saw a foreign journalist approaching him, he changed his expression and welcomed him for the bytes and reactions. "His body language soon changed", recalled the journalist later. The RJD boss knows very well that it is easy to fool foreign journalists with his political concepts of social justice and equality and communal harmony but he finds it very hard to score points with the local or national media who have been screening him for the last 15 years.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 2 2005, 10:35 AM

This can get pretty wild. Methinks its going to be Selja. biggrin.gif

Cong expected to regain power in Haryana Sidharth Mishra/ Rajesh Kumar/ New Delhi/ Panipat As Haryana votes for a new Assembly on Thursday, the Congress is hugely favoured to return to power after 10 years. Facing a big anti-incumbency factor, Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala is fighting his back-to-the-wall to retain power. What is, however, haunting the Congress leadership is the problem of plenty. It's not just the problem of the large number of Congress candidates making it to the Assembly but of a large number of Chief Ministerial aspirants in the race, which is bugging the prospects of the Congress. In constituency after constituency, Congress candidates are being pitched to the voters as the "future Chief Minister " of the State, fuelling speculation of a major showdown within the party, which is expected to win a majority in the 90-members House. Veteran Congress leader and former chief minister of Haryana, Bhajan Lal is contesting from Adampur constituency is the top contender for the CM post. In Adampur, there can be no CM except Bhajan Lal. The people of this constituency have great faith in his ability to manipulate things. They believe he would manage the party leadership and he would be offered the job "as he is the only candidate in the Haryana Congress who has ability." Industrialist-turned-politician OP Jindal, who is contesting from Hissar seat is also eyeing on the CM post. Jindal's supporters claim that he had the ability to bring industrial revolution in Haryana. "A progressive party with development agenda could ill afford to have anybody else as Haryana's Chief Minister," say his supporters stressing on the need to give Vaishyas reward for supporting the Congress. But the moment one walks in Rohtak and Sonepat district, no one talks about Bhajan Lal and OP Jindal. Congress candidates here have tried to convince the electorates that if the Congress came to power, veteran MP and Jat leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda would be the Chief Minister. "The Hooda Jats have kept the Congress flag fluttering during the Chautala clan onslaught. Even Devi Lal lost to Bhupinder Singh. Who else has a more valid claim than the MP from Rohtak," say Hooda supporters. Though Bhupinder Hooda himself is not contesting, he has managed to grab tickets for his kith and kins. In Sirsa, the script changes with nsarration being focused on a woman Congress president pitching in for a woman as Chief Minister. Ms Selja becomes the natural claimant for the title of the first woman Chief Minister of Haryana. Her other credentials being that he is a Dalit and very close to 10 Janpath. "Moreover she has a sober personality, something in scarcity in Haryana," say her supporters. Candidates in Sirsa and Ambala, the reserve constituency Ms Selja represents in Lok Sabha, are seeking vote in her name. In the Jat hinterland of Kaithal and Jind, Bhajan Lal, Selja, Hooda and Jindal take a backseat. It's Surjewala country with father Shamsher Singh contesting from Kaithal and son Randeep Singh taking on Chief Minister Chautala from Narwana in neighbouring Jind. Randeep's supporters too flaunt proximity to 10 Janpath and sober youthful image of their leader. During the campaigning, his supporters projected contest in Narwana as between the present and the future Chief Ministers. But there are those who would still bank on the maturity and clean image of Randeep's father Shamsher Singh. However, in one corner of Jind another Congress veteran Birendra Singh has not yet given-up the hope. His supporters in Uchana Kalan have projected Haryana's tallest Jat leader Sir Chhotu Ram's grandson as their future Chief Minister. They claim that he was the original choice of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, when Congress romped home 14 years ago. It's in Uchana Kalan that the Congress posters have prominent pictures of Rajiv Gandhi. His supporters go to the extent to claim that if a Jat does not beocme Chief Minister they will rally behind Chautala once again. "Rajivji had promised me the top post in 1991 and the assembly polls that year was fought projecting me for the post. But his assassination had upset the scheme of things," claims Mr Singh. Ultimately, Bhajan Lal had taken oath as Chief Minister - for the third time. "This time, my workers will not be cheated again," Mr Singh said. As for dark horses are concerned, there is no dearth of those who think that they could also be the right choice. The list of such contenders include former Chief Minister Bansi Lal, his estranged son and BCCI chief Ranbir Singh Mahendra and Junior Minister in MEA Rao Inderjeet Singh. Mahendra supporters take pride in the fact their leader could tame Sharad Pawar, whom even their party president Sonia Gandhi finds difficult to handle. Rao Inderjeet is son of another former Chief Minister Rao Birendra Singh. Their fiefdom is in South Haryana region of Ahirwal constituting Rewari, Mehendragarh and Gurgaon districts. And off course there is also the original Chautala challenger Anand Singh Dangi, who is once again in fray as Congress nominee from infamous Meham.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 2 2005, 11:22 AM

Congress managers expect neither Laloo nor Paswan to agree to one another or their proxy’s chiefministership in Bihar, in case either Laloo or Paswan manage more seats, in which eventuality, the Congress will stake its claim, as the most acceptable between these rival satraps, and the strategy is broadly the same for Jharkhand. But in the event Paswan performs decently in Bihar, the BJP and JD-U are likely to support him for chiefministership, foregoing their own claims, and it would be similar in Jharkhand, if Soren’s JMM does well, thereby undercutting the Congress from both crucial North-Indian states. The BJP/ NDA is willing to sacrifice the two states for expected gains in the Centre, in the form of uncontrolled infighting in the UPA, with Paswan expected to pull out, and Laloo enraged with the Congress over its Bihar tactics, besides the ongoing silent Third-Front plottings of George Fernandes, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Dayanidhi Maran, and others. At a pinch, the BJP may support a Third-Front government from the outside, and while Congress managers may pull out of their anti-Laloo campaign to save the UPA, there is also a powerful section which argues in favour of the party making all-out efforts to return to power in Bihar and Jharkhand, as a way of getting a more stable majority in the Centre.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 2 2005, 11:45 AM

EC takes it easy Amba Charan Vashishth It may be too much to say that the Election Commission is a toothless body. It does have teeth. Occasionally, it also grins. But, of late, the lion in the EC seems to have turned vegetarian. It does growl, but does not pounce to bite even when brazenly provoked. The violation of the code of conduct by Lalu Prasad Yadav and the subsequent reaction of the EC proves it. The EC found Lalu Prasad Yadav guilty of violating the code of conduct on January 17, 2005. In reply, Mr Yadav "denied that he had bribed the voters and thereby committed the violation". He "admits to have given Rs 400 to four ladies of Ebrahimpur", defending his conduct on the plea that "he paid that money to those ladies as they demanded mithai (sweets) on his becoming the Union Railway Minister". It is surprising to see Mr Yadav distributing sweets for the post he got seven months ago. Not convinced with the defence, the EC stated that "the electoral offence of bribery as defined in Section 171B of the IPC is committed when any person, inter alia, gives a 'gratification' to any person with an object of inducing him or any other person to exercise any electoral right" (the right of a person, according to Section 171A(b), means "to vote or refrain from voting, or to stand or not to stand as a candidate, or to withdraw from being a candidate at an election"). Further, a person who "offers, or agrees to give, a gratification is also deemed to give a gratification". Section 171E clarifies that "treating" is also "a form of bribery where a gratification consists of food, drink, entertainment, provision". The EC order says that bribery, besides being an "electoral corrupt practice under Section 123(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1951", is also "an electoral offence under Section 171B of the IPC". The EC further says, 'gratification' is not restricted "to pecuniary gratification or gratification estimable in money, and it includes all forms of entertainment". In C Narayanaswamy vs CK Jaffer Sharif (1994; Supp 3 SCC 170), the Supreme Court held, "Any gratification made to the elector 'with the object, directly or indirectly, of inducing' such an elector to vote, shall be deemed to be 'bribery'. Section 123(1)(A) does not require the electors to express or convey their acceptance or assurance that they shall vote for such candidate." The EC, therefore, concluded, "Giving of mithai or giving of money for mithai would also fall within the ambit of the offence of bribery." It is not the first time that Mr Yadav has broken the law. During the Assembly elections in 2003, he addressed election meetings after 10 pm in violation of the EC directives. Mr Yadav's defence was again absurd: "I don't wear the watch." Similarly, in December 2003, Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amrinder Singh used the Government helicopter for election purposes. The EC then issued a show cause notice to the Congress president. Although both of them were found guilty of the offence, they were let off by just paying for the expenses of the helicopter's use. The commission could have passed such order even without issuing a show cause notice. Moreover, such payments on the EC's order only legalised the misuse of the official machinery by the ruling party. This stands in utter violation of the letter and spirit of the model code of conduct. It's time the EC used its teeth provided by the Constitution for the sake of democracy in the country.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 3 2005, 07:50 AM

Posted by: Mudy Feb 4 2005, 02:01 PM

Muslims mired The Pioneer Edit Desk Bihar's reign-man Lalu Yadav recently poohpoohed media queries about the Muslim vote's possible anti-RJD "swing". "Yeh swing kya hota hai?" he shot back bumpkin-style, adding that the Muslim's electoral change of heart was unthinkable in "Lalu rajya". Now that exit polls for the State election's first phase have created a stir, he is reportedly not so sure. Sadly for Bihar, he may still have the last laugh. For, only seeing is believing when it comes to the speculated 'split' in the formidable Muslim-Yadav combine that makes the RJD tick. At this juncture, all one can say is that, if the M-Y bind does unravel, it would be the first glad tidings from Bihar in over a decade. Muslims have rallied round Mr Yadav as their messiah for far too long; all social indices show they are worse off for it. But they are not the only victims of the RJD's notorious distaste for development. All sections bear the cross of the socio-economic scandal that is Bihar; the most backward among them-Muslims, in this case-would naturally be the most affected. In the progressive South, Muslims fare much the same as Hindus. In prosperous Maharashtra or Gujarat, many Muslims live in affluence, as equal beneficiaries of the prevailing socio-political consensus on people's right to economic development. Yet, in Bihar, the man who hawks the slogan of Muslim uplift has failed singularly to pull the community out of the mire of poverty and backwardness. This is expected, given Mr Yadav's lowest common denominator approach to the community's welfare. Muslims are safe from riots, so goes his pet theme, hence they are better off in Bihar than elsewhere. If social harmony was all that Muslims needed, they should have been happiest during the NDA's stint at the nation's helm when- barring the Gujarat aberration-India inarguably lived out its most strife-free epoch since Independence. While the no-riots projection for Bihar is a fallacy in itself, insulation against social violence is not the sole sign of a community's health. Recently, the Bihar State Minorities Commission unveiled a report revealing the staggering institutional neglect the State's sizeable Muslim minority has suffered: It lags behind in employment, income levels, health, education and access to resources including land. Muslims are Bihar's front-line political participants. Yet they suffer social handicaps that flow from being economically disabled: 49.5 per cent of rural Muslim households and 44.8 per cent of their urban counterparts live below the poverty line. Lack of jobs drives more Muslims than other Biharis to greener pastures elsewhere-in every 100 households, there are 63 rural and 24 urban 'out-migrants'. Most Muslims struggle to make ends meet in the unorganised sector. Representation in government jobs is below par. Average annual incomes and literacy rates are low and living conditions inferior compared to other groups. Poverty alleviation schemes-skills upgradation or availability of tools for productive activities-have generally left the community untouched. Muslim women and children are the worst sufferers. One-fifth of Muslim children do not get to go to school. And more Muslim women than their counterparts in the larger social sorority are domestically confined. All this, and more, has been the community's bane, thanks to the RJD chief's 'Muslim-friendly' grip on Bihar, made tighter by his 'secular' friends in the Congress, Left and other parties. As JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar has said, "In (Lalu's) M-Y scheme, he gets the support of M but he empowers only Y". Bihar's Muslims would do themselves a huge favour if they internalised the tragic import of that statement.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 5 2005, 12:19 PM

Ofcource, they will vote along caste lines, not just positively but also negatively. You have to go to UP/Bihar to see the kind of hold yadavs have. A tractor, auto, shop etc owned by yadavs will proudly say "yadav" on it. A policeman who is a yadav will have that extra bounce in his step. All this after mulayam/laloo came to power. Now, even if they dont like them they will vote for them because they know if the other caste member comes to power, then they will be toast. The alternative is to bring a better yadav, but then how do you know that the CM will also be a yadav ? smile.gif

In Rabri's Raghopur, Yadavs are part of suffering majority Navin Upadhyay/ Raghopur (Hajipur) From a chopper flying low, Raghopur will look like a picture of prosperity, an unending green swathe, dotted with acres of banana plantations, blooming flowers and rich crops. But on the ground Chief Minister Rabri Devi's Assembly segment is a picture of utter deprivation and neglect. Five years ago, when Mrs Devi contested her maiden elections from here, people of Raghopur were euphoric. And why not? Here Rabri Devi castemen constitute more than 65 per cent of the population. The CM will not let them down, so they thought. Mrs Devi made lofty promises and raised hopes. When her castemen voted for her as one they were not voting only for the sake of caste pride, they were also queuing up before the booth under genuine hopes that the CM's Assembly segment would become a model of prosperity in Bihar. Five years down the line, the dreams have turned into a nightmare. The Assembly segment has two blocks Biddupur and Raghopur. A journey through the former presented a stark scene of backwardness, grim poverty, broken roads, burnt down transformers , schools sans teachers and students and hospitals without doctors. Talk to a cross section of people from Biddupur and you become aware of their sense of deep anger, frustration and despair. They feel badly let down because the CM never returned to keep her promises, and they had no access to her either. The roads are full of pot-holes, which at places have become cavernous pits. However, with the elections approaching hectic repair work is on. The first whiff of development has touched the people after five years. Villagers specially complaint about the road linking Chaksikander railway station to Biddupur. On this unmotorable tract people have to walk several kilometres to catch trains. This is when the Chief Minister's husband Lalu Prasad is the Union Railway Minister. If Lalu's lantern is still present in each household, it is not because people are happy with him, but because it is a necessity. Talk of power and people start laughing. "Power is like a joke. It is a source of amusement for us. In good times, we have light two hours in a day, or else there is no power for several days," says Parikarma Chaurasia, a paan-shop owner. "We pay Rs 300 per-month for four-hour generator supplied power every day," he said.Go to the schools, and in most of them teaching has stopped because of want of teachers. At Dilawarpur Gowardhan primary school, there is just one teacher, who has to attend to 300 students from class one to seven. At nearby Mathura high school, there are just three teachers for 800 students. Same is the case with other school falling under Biddupur block. The health scenario is also bleak. At the Biddupur block hospital, some doctors are present on Friday. After all, it was poll-time and the CM was filing her nomination in nearby Hajipur. But villagers pointed out that during normal times, you will not find any doctor in most of the health sub-centres and referral hospitals. Ironically, Biddupur was selected as a model block for intensified development by the state Government last year. "When we elected Rabri Devi we thought Raghopur will become like Rae Bareli," says Ratan Singh, a tea-stall owner. "How were we to know that we were going to be taken for a ride," he added. Going by the name and the bitterness with which he spoke, one thought Rathan Singh belonged to some upper caste, who see nothing right with the RJD rule. "Are you a Rajput?" The question angers him. "No, I am a Yadav, and so are all these people standing around me," he yelled. "Why do you people always think that Yadavs are not suffering like others in this regime? Why can't you realise that like others, Yadavs are also facing the brunt of lawlessness and backwardness. There are no jobs for our sons, and they are becoming criminals. Do we think we are happy?" Nagendra Yadav pipes in: "We are the worst affected, because we depend on agriculture to survive. There is no power for our irrigation pumps. Life is tough," he said. "If all of you are so unhappy will the CM not face difficulty in retaining the seat?" "Not at all, when the polling day arrives, people will again vote on caste lines. After all she is a Yadav CM. And people like us who would like to vote against her, won't be able to reach the booths. Big money will play tricks. Goons will be hired, and only they will decide who will vote," he sighed. A well-dressed Yadav arrives on the scene. He is a RJD supporter, returning from Hajpur where just two hours ago Rabri Devi filed her nomination. Silence descends. "Don't mislead them. They are journalists . They will go and write all bad things about the place," he says in a warning tone. He identified himself as Shambhu Singh, and claimed that Rabri Devi will return with a bigger margin this time. But even he was not able to name any development that has taken place in Biddupur. 60-year-old Satyendra Prasad Singh, veteran CPI(M) activist of the area, also predicted a smooth run for Rabri, but summed up the plight of the people in one line. "Yahan par sab kuch barbad ho gaya hai."

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 5 2005, 12:25 PM

Rebel Stephen rattles JMM Sanjay K Jha/ Jamshedpur The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) received a major setback on Friday when senior leader Stephen Marandi carried out his threat of filing nomination as an Independent candidate from Dumka. This is the worst that could have happened to Mr Shibu Soren at this stage of electioneering. Mr Marandi not only filed his papers against Mr Soren's youngest son Hemant, he publicly accused Mr Soren of nepotism and expressed his resolve to prevent him from becoming the Chief Minister. Though it is difficult to guess how much electoral damage Mr Marandi would be able to inflict at this late hour, this development has definitely sent a wrong message to JMM supporters. Mr Marandi was the second-in-command and was supposed to be one of Mr Soren's key strategists. His exit will weaken the party politically and further erode Mr Soren's legitimacy as a true leader of the tribals. The charge of nepotism will stick as he has given tickets to two of his sons and one brother. The JMM leaders, who admit Mr Marandi's exit was a terrible thing to have happened, however, refuse to believe that it will harm the party's poll prospects. A senior party leader told The Pioneer, "The party symbol is what matters during polling. Tribals know Guruji and the party symbol. They will feel bad about the development but will vote for the party." In fact, the party has not yet given up on Mr Marandi and Mr Soren expressed confidence even on Friday that he would be able to resolve this crisis amicably. Some leaders saw this as Mr Marandi's pressure tactic as he either wanted to become the Chief Minister or replace Mr Soren as Union Minister at the Centre. A couple of days ago, three senior party MPs, Sunil Mahto, Teklal Mahto and Hemlal Murmu called upon the party president to take action against Mr Marandi. They argued that Mr Marandi was a respected leader and the party workers adored him but he was creating a crisis at this crucial juncture by his childish behaviour. These MPs said the party had decided in principle that no MP, from the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, would be allowed to contest Assembly polls and Mr Marandi should have honoured that. Mr Soren also argued that Mr Marandi had been sent to the Rajya Sabha with great difficulty, with the help of the Congress and the RJD and he had hardly spent a year there. His contention was the party did not have able leaders for the upper House and Mr Marandi was the fittest candidate. But Mr Marandi feared Mr Soren was promoting his son at his cost and went ahead with his decision to contest as an Independent. He had been winning the Dumka Assembly seat since 1980 and has a good image among the party workers. He now plans to field Independent candidates all over Santhal Pargana to damage the JMM. Santhal Pargana, the support-base of the JMM, has 18 seats. Mr Marandi is a Christian tribal which is only 1.7 per cent of the tribal population in the region but as the BJP had made deep inroads into the tribal belt, even a fraction of votes may tell on the final outcome. Of the 18 seats in Santhal Pargana, the JMM at present holds nine, the Congress three, CPI one and the BJP five. JMM leaders understand that Mr Marandi's act will definitely affect the organization and means huge cadre loss at election time but whether he will be able persuade Christian tribals to vote in a manner that helps the BJP is a moot point. Even from the Dumka seat, defeating Hemant Soren, who is the chief of the JMM's youth wing, will not be an easy task. On the other hand, history buttresses the point that no JMM leader could flourish after leaving the party. Mr Suraj Mandal, the right hand of Mr Soren once upon a time, quit the party with the resolve of destroying his mentor. Today, Mr Mandal in a non-entity in Jharkhand politics, running from pillar to post for political survival. There is, however, another example too. Mr Arjun Munda became the Chief Minister after leaving the JMM. But that's only if the BJP is willing to adopt another JMM leader. BJP leaders, who described Mr Marandi's decision as an internal matter of the party, however, said this will make victory easier for the party. Mr Shibu Soren knows the fallouts of such unfortunate developments and party sources say he would still like to persuade Mr Marandi to return.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 5 2005, 03:28 PM

Notice nobody cares about development etc. I can only imagine an election rally. Jab main byaah ker ayeee..., Meree bachchee ko itnaa rulayaa.. . Is Sadhu Yadav Rabri's brother ? Or Lalu's jijajee ? Man this is like watching saas bhi kabhi bahu thee type soap opera.. biggrin.gif

Lalu's song: jab apne ho jayen bewafa to dil tadpe Navin Upadhyay/ Patna The empire is under siege and fresh revolts are surfacing from every corner, every day. For the self-proclaimed raja of Bihar Lalu Yadav, who is battling to retain his votebank and contain the widespread rebellion among his satraps, a new challenge has emerged, this time from his own home. Raising the banner of revolts are his two brothers-in-law and Chief Minister Rabri Devi's samdhi. Adding to his woes on Saturday was another round of frontal attack by controversial MP Pappu Yadav. Angry over his men being denied tickets, he alleged that pimps and sycophants have been awarded RJD tickets at the cost of dedicated workers. Yadav, who is behind bars in a murder case, spoke to the media when he was produced in court. He said his wife Ranjit Ranjan, LJP MP from Saharsa, was campaigning against RJD candidates and his supporters, too, would work to ensure the defeat of Mr Lalu Yadav's nominees. But the biggest family battle is being fought on the home-turf of Gopalganj, the janmbhhomi and karmbhoomi of Rabri and Lalu Yadav. From this north Bihar constituency represented in Lok Sabha by Lalu's brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav, three family members have filed as Independent candidates against the RJD nominees. While Sadhu Yadav's wife Indira Devi is contesting from Gopalganj, Lalu's eldest brother-in-law Prabhunath Yadav is in the race from Mirganj, also in Gopalganj. When Prabhunath resigned from Government service two years ago, he had declared he would devote his life to "samaj kalyan." Another source of embarrassment to Mr Lalu Yadav is the fact that Sadhu's father-in-law and Chief Minister Rabri Devi's samdhi Ramadhar Yadav has filed nomination from Gopalganj (proper). The CM was reportedly making hectic efforts to persuade the "patriarch" to pull out. There were indications that the old man would finally oblige the distressed CM. But Sadhu was in a non-compromising mood and justified the decision to field his wife by questioning the winning potential of the official nominee. "The party has fielded a weak candidate and that's why I have asked my wife to contest. There is no question of her withdrawal," he said. Mr Lalu Yadav's third brother-in-law, Subhash Yadav, a Rajya Sabha MP, had also mounted pressure for a ticket to his wife Renu Devi from Bakhtiyarpur. But Mr Yadav succeeded in placating him by promising an MLC berth for his better half. The situation is so grim within the RJD that even though Saturday was last date for filing of nomination papers for the third phase, till late evening Mr Lalu Yadav had not released the official list of candidates for fear of further revolt. Mr Yadav has quietly allotted the party symbols to candidates to enable them to file nominations. Sources said, Mr Yadav has not been able to sleep well for several days . He spent the last couple of nights getting a body massage, something he is very fond of.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 5 2005, 03:46 PM

And just incase Laloo dynasty is dethroned what awaits Bihar ??? blink.gif

Paswan to herald Jungle Raj II? Pioneer News Service/ Patna Guess who is the most powerful in Lalu's Bihar? It's not the RJD top boss but the Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan. The leader has got all the "Most Wanted" names in his party candidate's list to dislodge the Lalu-Rabri regime over the "ever spiralling crime and dangerously deteriorating law and order situation" in the State. Some of Paswan's candidates are still behind bars and others have managed to come out to strengthen his campaign. The ecstatic Paswan has distributed party tickets to those who have been hogging the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Their names are enough to spread fear across the State. Experts in contract kidnappings and killings, their only claim to fame are their history-sheets pending in the diaries of different police stations of the State. Paswan showed a clear preference for the criminals over other party workers and leaders to represent the party in the State legislature. The LJP chief, perhaps, has his own strategy to end the present "Jungle Raj" with his band of trigger-happy hunters. First, Paswan roped in the undisputed don of Bihar's underworld - Suraj Bhan Singh to represent the Balia Parliamentary constituency. On Friday, the third LJP list released by party state spokesman, Sanjay Singh had more heavyweights. Rajan Tiwari, whose name had figured in the abduction of two NTPC engineers recently has been given the party ticket from Govidganj Assembly constituency. Tiwari is currently in Patna's Beur jail. One of his cronies, Jitendra Tiwari is being fielded from the neighbouring Kateya constituency. Besides, Jharkhand and Bihar's notorious ganglord specialising in the scrap contract business in Jamshedpur, Manoranjan Singh alias Dhumal Singh has been awarded with a party ticket from his native Baniapur constituency in Saran district. Dhumal Singh had hogged the headlines with his hordes of gun-totting supporters campaigning during the last Assembly elections. Another don-turned-Paswan colleague is the infamous Ramkishore Singh alias Rama Singh was given a ticket from the Mahnar seat in Vaishali district near Patna. The list also includes Munna Shukla who has bagged the Lalganj ticket. He was the prime accused in former Minister Brij Bihari's murder. Sanjay Singh, the chief of the notorious Pandav Sena, Allan Singh alias Nalini Ranjan Sharma, a close relative of Mokama king Suraj Bhan Singh and Anwarul Haq who reigns supreme in Sitamarhi districts have been honoured with LJP tickets from Paliganj, Mokama and Sonbarsa Assembly seats respectively. If that was not enough, the list includes the name of Ranjit Don alias Kumar Suman Singh who had created a furore in the country recently for his alleged involvement in the infamous IIM-CAT paper leak scam. Also known as "Dr Leak" Ranjit Don has been given the Hilsa ticket. Don, who was chargesheeted by the CBI, is presently cooling his heels in Patna's Beur jail. Paswan has also been accused of selling party tickets at astronomical sums. Alleged a disgruntled ticket aspirant, "It is widely known that Ram Vilas Paswan who is one of the richest politicians sin the State, favours more money to the winnability of the candidate. A large number of candidates have been dropped last minute because they were unable to cough up the money." Meanwhile, Paswan has been seen beaming after the first phase poll assessments, that projected his electoral elevation in Central Bihar. The voters of this part of the State, especially from the minority community, have made a minor but sharp slice into Lalu's en-bloc vote bank. The ecstatic Paswan has been saying, "I'm not a kingmaker. The LJP-Congress combine will become the king." But will that mean that the Jungle Raj in Bihar will end? Only if criminals can clean up crime.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 5 2005, 03:54 PM

Looks like Bihar is heading for Hung assembly, but I still think Laloo will come back. Process of full decay is still in progress. Let him finish this very important task.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 5 2005, 04:13 PM

Nitish is NDA's CM candidate Amarnath Tewary / Patna The NDA has once again announced that it will saddle JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar with the hot seat of Bihar's Chief Minister, if the alliance comes to power. Mr Kumar had earlier served the State for seven days but had to vacate the seat as he couldn't prove the required majority on the floor of the Assembly. Though the JD(U) leader has had some bitter experiences in the past, top-rung BJP leaders have been dropping his name for the top slot for the last couple of days. By projecting Mr Kumar as the Chief Ministerial candidate, the BJP has put to rest speculation that post-elections, LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan would go to the NDA fold to become the State's Chief Minister. RJD chief Lalu Prasad has deliberately been fanning the theory to reap its electoral benefits. In a well crafted move to check the shrinking minority vote in his favour, Lalu has been saying in his poll meetings that "Paswan will ultimately join the NDA flock and do some political bargaining. Such is his character. He is like a train which stops at every railway station". However, by announcing Mr Nitish Kumar's name, the BJP has spoilt RJD's gameplan. It is likely that the minority vote would keep slicing out of the RJD bank. JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar is yet to make any comments on his being projected as the NDA Chief Ministerial candidate. The announcement was first made by the BJP national vice president and senior State leader Sushil Kumar Modi. The party's Bihar in-charge Arun Jaitley and star campaigner Ms Uma Bharti followed suite. "Only the one who has a clean image and whose name is identifiable with development can become the Chief Ministerial candidate. In the present scenario, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar fits this image and is our alliance candidate for the top post," said Ms Bharti in Purnia on Saturday. Earlier, the BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley too had expressed similar sentiments. "The BJP has taken this decision unanimously and there is no confusion over it," he said while adding that NDA has always been contesting elections by projecting leaders in the top seat. "Unlike the Congress or other political parties, we contest elections with the names of the Chief Minister or Prime Minister. As we've so many capable people, we do not hesitate in announcing their name", said Mr Modi. Mr Jailtey said that the NDA would be able to form the next Government in Bihar. "The Congress wants a hung Assembly to play a major role into Government formation with ruling party RJD and ally partner LJP," he said. "But despite all this, the BJP-JD(U) combine will get full mandate in the Assembly. There is an anti-incumbency wave sweeping across the State which will throw the RJD regime out," he declared. Meanwhile, the Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan has maintained a studied silence on the issue and so has the RJD boss. The Congress Party, however, has said that "we do not subscribe to the NDA's method of announcing names of leaders before polls". Said a senior party leader, "We select our leader after consulting the party representatives once the polls are over. We do not contest elections on the name of just one leader." He added, "The Congress would elect its Chief Minister by consulting ally partners and the party chief after the elections and then form the Government."

Posted by: Mudy Feb 6 2005, 07:52 PM

Laluland at bottom of human endeavour heap A Surya Prakash Now that the people of Bihar have been called upon to elect a new Government, they need to ponder over the quality of governance they have had over the last ten years before they exercise their franchise. With the opening up of the economy in the 1990s, many states have stepped up social sector spending and have turned their attention to the improvement of physical infrastructure in the hope that these measures would make them favoured destinations for both multinational and Indian investors. But Bihar is blissfully detached from this national preoccupation with development and investment. As a result, whether it is per capita development expenditure, per capita spending on health, per capita net state domestic product or per capita plan expenditure, it is the lowest in Bihar. This state also has the dubious distinction of having the lowest literacy rate and the highest school dropout rate among the big states. It is also the state with the second highest percentage of people below the poverty line. Such is the emerging disparity in Bihar that in many sectors the per capita spending is not even 10 per cent of what it is in well administered states. For example, Goa spends Rs 1081 per capita on health. Bihar spends Rs 60. At this rate, what will Bihar do to the nation's health! There must be something radically wrong at the top for a state to perform so poorly across sectors and to end up at the bottom of the heap in every area of human endeavour. A look at parliamentary and court records and state-wise tables in various sectors should leave no one in doubt that the government exists only in name in this state. On most occasions, the government seems dysfunctional or paralysed. The first sign of the dysfunctionality of a State Govern-ment is its failure to respond to queries from the Union Government, from Parliament and from the courts. Parliament records show that often the queries from the two Houses and parliamentary committees are not responded to by the state of Bihar for several years. As a result, it is quite common for a state-wise table to record NR (Not reported) or NA (Not available) against this state. When replies do come, they are vague and noncommittal, thus attracting adverse comment from a parliamentary committee or a court. These signs have been visible for many years. The second sign of dysfunctionality is the failure of the state government to pitch for central funds. There are tens of thousands of crores of rupees in the central kitty every year meant for disbursement to the states. These funds are earmarked for schemes supervised by different departments and ministries in the Union Government. A well-administered state is one which makes the best pitch for these funds, draws the most from the central kitty and utilises most of what it draws. An ill-administered state is one which gets a poor share of central funds and also reports non-utilisation of what little it got. Bihar, of course is a state of the second category. This is also true of foreign assistance for projects in the social sector. Much of the foreign funding goes to well administered states which make a pitch for such funds. Bihar rarely figures in the list of states receiving foreign assistance. Let us look at the state of Bihar in different sectors: Health: As on May, 2003, the annual per capita expenditure on health care in the state of Goa was Rs 1081. This was the highest for any Indian state but way too high as compared to some of the big states in the country. While several smaller states and union territories recorded per capita spending ranging from Rs 300 - 800, it was much lower in larger but relatively well governed states like Andhra Pradesh ( Rs 146), Tamil Nadu ( Rs 170), Gujarat (Rs 171), Haryana (Rs 164), Karnataka (Rs 154), Kerala (Rs 206 ) and Maharashtra (Rs 177). The All India average of per capita spending on health care was Rs 167. But, it was just Rs 60 in Bihar, the lowest among the larger states in the country. Commissioning of new primary health care centres, hospitals and dispensaries and upgradation of existing facilities is essential for improving health care in a state. The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has huge funds at its disposal for commissioning, expanding and upgrading medical facilities and many states make a pitch for it. Between 1999 and 2003, the ESI sanctioned 9 hospitals and 30 dispensaries in different states in the country. Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Karnataka were some of the states, which got major projects sanctioned. Bihar drew a blank. It is the same story when it comes to foreign funding of health projects. In this regard, the Union Government's reply to a question in the Lok Sabha about foreign funding of health projects in India is revealing. The Government listed 61 such health projects for which grants or loans were made by foreign governments or NGOs during a three-year period preceding December, 2003. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and several other states figured in that list. Bihar did not. Germany for example has funded a basic health project costing Rs 72 crores in Maharashtra and a basic health care project in Himachal Pradesh (cost DM 7 million and Euro 2.6 million). Germany is funding a Health Infrastructure Improvement project in West Bengal to the tune of DM 75 million. Bihar never figures in the list of states with on-going foreign-aided projects. But the irony is in the funding of projects relating to population control. Following the 2001 Census, the government told Parliament that nine states and union territories had achieved replacement levels of fertility and 11 more are poised to achieve the targets set in the National Population Policy, 2000. However, Bihar is not one of them. This is a state in which the socio-demographic indices "need significant improvement". This is a state that suffers from low literacy levels, especially among women, gaps in health infrastructure and high infant mortality. Yet, between 1993 and 2002, while states like Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and Rajasthan were identified for World Bank assisted projects relating to population and reproductive and child health and costing over Rs 1000 crores, Bihar was no where on the scene.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 9 2005, 01:36 PM

RJD faces rout in Mandal heartland Navin Upadhyay/ Madhepura The show is over. The great M-Y vaudeville, scripted and directed by the "messiah" of social justice and secularism, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, has proved a major flop in the heartland of Mandal politics. If the anti-RJD wave sweeping the Yadav-dominated Koshi belt is any indication, the RJD is headed for a major debacle in this region. Mr Yadav's rivals enjoy a clear psychological edge over him as the battle for Yadav votes gains momentum. By fielding Mr Om Mandal, son of the late BP Mandal, author of the Mandal Commission report, on its ticket from Madhepura, the Janata Dal (U) has delivered a serious blow to Mr Lalu Prasad's claim of being the true inheritor of Mandal's legacy. A two-day journey across Purnia, Madhepura, Saharsa and Supaul provided unmistakable signs that Mr Lalu Prasad has become a victim of his own politics. The forces Mr Yadav generated in the melting pot of divisive politics and in the arena of crime have gone out of his control. And the "conspiracy of backwardness" that he practised for 15 long years stands thoroughly exposed. The strong anti-incumbency wind blowing across the Koshi region is all set to extinguish Mr Lalu Prasad's lantern. If he is hoping that his appeal in the name of preserving the Yadav regime would be enough to counter the burden of a decade-and-half of neglect, then he is sadly mistaken. Like everyone else, the Yadavs too are feeling let down. They curse the state Government for the treacherous, unmotorable roads which make markets and hospitals inaccessible. Disillusioned with the RJD chief, they are available as "easy pick" for other players in the region. "Who says it is Yadav raj? It is only Lalu-Rabri raj. What have we got in 15 years to support this Government?" asks an old man who first identified himself as Bhindeshwari Yadav and then yelled, "Write my name as Birodhi (opponent) Yadav. I will never vote for the RJD!" The place was Banmankhi market in Purnia. Dozens of Yadavs joined the conversation. Except for one, all of them said that they would vote against the RJD. A major rout in the Koshi region would have serious implications for the RJD, which is battling against odds in other parts of the state too. Of the 18 seats in the region, the RJD and its allies won 13 seats in the last Assembly polls. Mr Lalu Prasad should feel lucky if his men are able to retain even four of these seats. The average Yadav of the region is comfortably placed in comparison to his kin elsewhere in Bihar. The Yadavs here are major landowners and despite annual floods, they make a descent living by reaping a rich harvest of wheat, mustard, sunflower and pulses. The man, who has nothing to eat, does not think beyond his next meal, but this is not the case with the average Yadav here. He wants development - bijli, sadak, pani. The more affluent are also seeking a share of Mr Lalu Prasad's so-called Yadav raj. Rebel, independent, and Opposition-backed Yadav candidates are all poaching on Lalu Prasad's captive vote bank. The revolt by controversial Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav is also creating serious problems for the RJD. The don has fielded rebel candidates in nearly all the seats and is working with the singular purpose of "putting out Lalu's Lantern". His wife Ranjita Ranjan, Lok Sabha member from Saharsa, is carrying out a hectic campaign against the RJD. The Yadavs, especially of Madhepura, have another specific reason to be unhappy with the RJD chief. He had vacated Madhepura and opted for Chapra after winning both the seats in the last Lok Sabha poll. "This only shows that he doesn't care about us. Why should we vote for a man like him?" says Arun Mandal, a farmer from Murliganj which falls under the Madhepura Assembly segment. For a section of Yadavs of Madhepura, the choice of RJD candidates too has come as a slap on their faces. It is common talk in Madhepura that mobile theatre group owner Siyaram Yadav, whose dancing girls have "quite a reputation in the area", bought the RJD ticket for a heavy price. Pitting such a man against the son of "the pride of Madhepura" BP Mandal has enraged both Yadavs and non-Yadavs. Travelling through Saharsa and Purnia, one comes across almost unanimous disillusionment and rebellion among the Yadavs. In Purnia, along with Pappu Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav too is making a serious bid to split the RJD's traditional votes. The SP has put up two Yadav and two Muslim candidates in Purnia and is conducting a high-pitch campaign in the district. SP general secretary Amar Singh, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh Singh, MP, and film actress Jaya Prada are expected to hit the campaign trail in Purnia on February 11. In Saharsa again, the Yadavs are a divided lot. The SP's best-known face in Bihar and former Minster SP Tekriwal is contesting from the Saharsa Assembly segment. Ms Ranjita Ranjan, too, is trying to galvanise votes in the name of her husband, who has a considerable following among the youth. The Yadavs are no longer willing to vote for preserving the Lalu-Rabri empire, which has given them nothing. but, perhaps, a sense of pride. The division of the Muslim vote too is clear. Like the rest of the state, Muslims here are drifting away for the RJD. A large section may still remain loyal to Mr Lalu Prasad but many others are clearly disenchanted with the regime. The LJP, SP, RJD rebels and independent Muslim candidates are set to corner a significant share of the minority vote. In addition, strongmen and criminals, who are thriving under the Lalu-Rabri regime, too have thrown their hat in the ring at several places. They don't want to remain mere booth grabbers for the RJD. Gone are the days when RJD rivals had a tough task protecting their votes. Today Lalu Prasad Yadav is facing the same music. Mr Lalu Prasad may still produce a rabbit or two out of his hat but the magic of booth management and behind-the-scenes manoeuvring may not be enough to turn the tide. His magic may not be enough. He needs a miracle.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 9 2005, 01:38 PM

Security scare at Atal's rally Darbhanga A 'time bomb-like' object was thrown into the security enclosure, hardly 18 metres behind the dais of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Raj Maidan here on Wednesday, sending the securitymen into a tizzy. A torch with a clock and 10 metres of wire kept inside it was thrown by unknown elements from the crowd, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Town) Ratnamani Sanjeev said. There was no explosive substance inside the object which was immediately seized by the alert policemen.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 11 2005, 10:43 AM

BJP for action against RJD over Gujarat CDs Patna Even as the BJP today sought action against RJD for display of CDs on Gujarat riots in Purnea, RJD president Laloo Prasad said there was nothing wrong about the CDs which were being shown after the permission of the state election authorities. Charging RJD with exploiting religion for electoral purposes by indulging in such "objectionable tactics", BJP vice president Sushil Kumar Modi demanded that the Election Commission take stern against the ruling party. "Use of such CDs at the time of elections will disturb peace and communal amity," Modi said seeking punitive action against the District Magistrates of concerned districts where such CDs and posters on Gujarat riots were on display. Modi said such CDs were being shown in Rupauli constituency of RJD MLA Bima Bharti in Purnea district and elsewhere in blatant violation of the model code of conduct. Meanwhile, reacting to the BJP charge, RJD leader Laloo Prasad said there was nothing objectionable about the CDs. "We have already submitted the CDs to the state election office which gave us permission to show these. The CDs are only showing the incidents which took place in Gujarat," he said. Earlier, posters depicting post-Godhra riots in Gujarat had appeared in Bhagalpur and Kishanganj districts of the state with an appeal to the electorate to vote for RJD. Assembly constituencies in Kishanganj and Purnea districts go to poll in the second phase on February 15.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 11 2005, 10:46 AM

Posted by: Viren Feb 11 2005, 12:49 PM


Posted by: Mudy Feb 11 2005, 12:50 PM


Posted by: Viren Feb 11 2005, 12:56 PM

IB report cautions Cong against Paswan 9 February 2005: The Congress party has got into a tizzy over an Intelligence-Bureau report that Nitish Kumar would propose Ram Vilas Paswan as Bihar’s chief minister should the JD-U-BJP alliance and Paswan’s party win a comfortable number of seats.
If Nitish (Laloo's predecessor as Rail Mantri during Sabarmati incident) and Paswan (on the Nanavati commision looking into the Delhi 84 riots) oust Laloo, we'll be in for very interesting times ahead.

Posted by: Viren Feb 11 2005, 01:03 PM

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 12 2005, 05:14 PM Laloo tries to woo Muslims, his ministry Deoband RLYS: Jan Shatabdi halt ordered in midst of Bihar polls, raises eyebrows

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 14 2005, 01:43 AM

As if Urdu daroga talk was not enough, now Paswan wants a muslim CM. This is unbelievable !!! Amazing case of how minorities can hijack the whole polity. Cant the BJP use this ? Why be wimpish ? Just tell people -> see the options in front of you, all these guys talk about is wooing the muslims and if you guys really want to do a comparision with gujarat look at the numbers. Show them the multi-storeys of ahmedabad, malls, multiplexes, roads, water, industrial zones. Make positive CDs and show it to hindus. Thats what they will get while in case of laloo+paswan it will be a race to just keep wooing muslims.

It's Jungle Raj Vs Muslim vote Pioneer News Service/ Patna/ Ranchi campaigning ends for 2nd phase--- Amid growing bitterness between the UPA partners and a jittery Lalu Yadav resorting to desperate ways of inciting communal fears, campaigning for the second phase of election in Bihar came to an end on Sunday. In Jharkhand, the Congress-JMM tried to exploit the anti-incumbency factor to the hilt with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ruing lack of development in the nascent state. In Bihar, while the anti-RJD forces took their jungle raj rhetoric to a crescendo, Mr Lalu Yadav tried to whip up communal fears by harping on the Gujarat riots and floating CDs to scare Muslims. Though the Election Commission intervened to sanitise the electoral ambience, the Muslim vote has become the talking point of the second phase poll. In fact, this phase will decide the fate of Mr Yadav, whose boast of renewing the license for his wife, Chief Minister Rabri Devi for the next five years has already become a subject of ridicule. If he tried to consolidate his Muslim support base by raising Gujarat fears, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan too played his card beautifully by demanding a Muslim Chief Minister. Mr Paswan, who is getting active support from the Congress workers in the State, has been able to make deep inroads into North Bihar. His work as the Union Railway Minister gave him the image of a pro-development politician and his association with the Congress has further bolstered his chances. The Congress leadership did not go the whole hog against the RJD, but it did criticise the law and order situation in the State and stressed the need for development. The areas going to poll in the second phase is where the M-Y equation overrides other electoral realities and the Congress-LJP combine is threatening to alter that situation. Districts like Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Supaul, Madhepura, Saharsa, Purnea, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar, Begusarai, Munger, Khagaria, Lakhisarai and Sheikhpura going to polls on Tuesday have been electing RJD MLAs in bulk and any erosion of votes here will tell on the final outcome. Of the 83 constituencies going to poll in the second phase, the RJD is contesting 68 seats, BJP has put up candidates in 32 constituencies and its ally JD a(U) is trying its luck in 49. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP is also in the fray in 57, Congress 34, BSP in 79, SP in 49, CPI in seven, CPI-ML in seven and NCP in 15. In Jharkhand, the second phase is do-or-die for the BJP. Areas like South Chhotanagpur, East and West Singhbhum are BJP strongholds and the NDA has 21 out of the 29 seats going to poll on Tuesday. Many of the constiuencies fall in urban centres like Jamshedpur and Ranchi and hence the Congress sent Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who holds sway over the middle class, at both the places. The Prime Minister expressed dismay at the lack of development and asked the voters to ensure a UPA Government in the State works in tandem with the Centre for its economic progress. He said the people would have to choose between development or disturbances by communal forces, contending that development was the "only way" Naxal activities could be checked.

Posted by: Viren Feb 14 2005, 06:32 AM

If he tried to consolidate his Muslim support base by raising Gujarat fears, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan too played his card beautifully by demanding a Muslim Chief Minister.
Rajesh: Paswan's just matching Laloo's campaign trail talk. Laloo nor Paswan will give up the CM kursi for anyone else (irrespective of caste or religion) nor will they covert anytime in this lifetime.

Posted by: Viren Feb 14 2005, 06:39 AM

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 14 2005, 10:14 AM

What's the fuss about, ask Bihar Muslims IANS/ Patna Muslims in Bihar are questioning the hue and cry by the Opposition over the use of videos about the 2002 Gujarat violence in campaigning for state polls, saying they only depict what happened in that State. "Why is there such a fuss about these video CDs or posters about the Gujarat violence? Everyone should know how it happened and who was behind it," said businessman Razak Ahmad, 52, who lives Muslim-dominated Sabzibagh area here. The Election Commission issued a notice to Bihar's ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) after the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained about its use of video CDs of the Gujarat violence in its campaigning. The BJP said the RJD led by Bihar strongman Lalu Prasad had violated the Model Code of Conduct for polls by using the videos. Karim Ansari said there was apparently nothing new in the video CDs. "I have not seen them but I've heard that the CDs only depict the truth of what happened and the silence of the National Democratic Alliance Government," he said. Ansari, 40, a rickshaw puller from Alamganj colony, asked why the BJP-JD-U combine was against showing what he considered the "truth". Muslims account for nearly 16 percent of Bihar's population of 83 million. In some 50 of the 243 seats in the State Assembly, Muslims enjoy enough clout to influence the outcome of polls. "What is in the CDs was shown several times on popular TV news channels. More than that, the CDs do not target any community and they do not spread communal hatred," said Naiyar Fatmi, a social worker who lives near the Patna University campus. Mohammed Arshi, a student, said the BJP was opposed to the CDs as it wanted Muslims "to forget what happened in Gujarat and not to discuss the communal issue". BJP leaders have alleged the RJD had screened the CDs in Purnea, Kishanganj, Araria and Katihar districts but Lalu Prasad has said his party had not distributed any such videos. Muslims account for 40 to 50 percent of the population of these districts, where polling will be held Feb 15 in the second phase of Bihar's three-stage elections. The RJD considers Muslims one of its main support bases.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 14 2005, 10:19 AM

Shift Pappu Yadav to Tihar: SC February 14, 2005 10:53 IST Last Updated: February 14, 2005 11:06 IST The Supreme Court on Monday ordered shifting of tainted Member of Parliament Pappu Yadav from Beur Jail in Patna to Tihar Jail at Delhi within a week. Yadav, who recently quit the Rashtriya Janata Dal over differences with party president Lalu Prasad Yadav, is an accused in the killing of Communist Party of India leader Ajit Sarkar. In transferring Yadav from Beur to Tihar Jail, the court said the authorities shall follow the rules strictly and no special privileges should be given to the accused. On the visitation rights of his family at Tihar Jail, the court directed that only those visitors who are allowed under the prison rule will be permitted to meet him strictly under the provisions of Tihar Jail manual. The court took strong exception to the manner in which Yadav had addressed a public meeting while in judicial custody, the haste in which the Bihar government constituted the Medical Board to facilitate his treatment in Patna Medical College and the manner in which large number of unauthorised visitors were allowed to meet Yadav in jail.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 14 2005, 12:17 PM

PM rally fails to pacify Sikhs Pioneer News Service/ Ranchi Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's rally on Sunday at steel city Jamshedpur failed to pacify the enraged Sikhs who are up in arms against the Congress-led Government for not making public the Nanavati Commission report regarding the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. Three Sikh organisations of Jharkhand have appealed to the community members to vote against the Congress and in favour of the BJP, "which has taken the sentiment of the community into consideration during it's rule at the Centre". The three mainline Sikh organisations which have appealed to the community members to vote in favour of the BJP and against the Congress are Jharkhand Sikh Vikas Manch (JSVM), All Jharkhand Sikh Federation (AJSF) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The Prime Minister on Sunday at a public rally in Jamshedpur had appealed to people of the state to vote against the corrupt and communal BJP Government which is serving against the interest of the minority communities. In Jamshedpur, there are around 1.5 lakh Sikh voters who hold command in two Assembly constituencies. "The UPA Government led by the Congress has done wrong by not making the commission report public. The delay in making the report public arises suspicion and the community members cannot vote in the name of Manmohan Singh," said Gurdeep Singh, president of Jharkhahd Sikh Vikas Manch. He said: "The report has been deliberately kept a secret to shield the Congress leaders. The appeal of the PM, who belongs to our community, cannot make us vote in favour of the Congress. The PM should take the sentiment of the community members into account and make the report public first." Echoing a similar sentiment, Gurumukh Singh Mykhe, president of All-Jharkhand Sikh Federation (AJSF), said: "Dr Singh himself is a nice person but he has been reduced to a mere puppet in the hands of Congress leaders involved in the anti-Sikh riots. Manmohan Singh cannot take decision independently and this hurts the sentiment of the community." The Sikh community members claim that 15 Sikhs were killed in Jharkhand in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the present Congress Government, instead of healing the wound, is giving another wound by not making the report public. ''We feel that our community was safe and in better position during NDA-led Government. At least, the NDA leaders were ready to listen to us," said Suchcha Singh, leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). But some of the community members have criticised the diktats of the three organisations to vote in favour of BJP and against the Congress despite their unhappiness over the UPA's Government for not making the commission report public. The Central Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (CGPC) has criticised the three Sikh organisations saying, "every member of the community wants the culprits of the 1984 riots to be booked but we should keep away from doing politics over the issue when elections are taking place," said Shailendra Singh, president of Jharkhand CGPC.

Posted by: muddur Feb 14 2005, 03:45 PM§ion=subcontinent

Posted by: Mudy Feb 15 2005, 10:38 AM

Second Phase : Second jolt to RJD Amarnath Tewary / Patna The battleground may have changed from the central part to the north-eastern areas in the second phase of polling in the state but the jolt was same fierce in nature for the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal. With a very low per cent age of poll [between 45-50] of poll at 82 constituencies in over 15 districts of the state the political fate of RJD could be seen hanging in balance. Unlike, the first phase of poll where the ruling party has a strong base polling in second round was the real litmus test for the RJD. The electoral tremors were even strong in the first phase with a sharp shrink of Muslim votes and strong anti-RJD sentiment sweeping across the naxal-hit areas but it touched dangerous height on rector scale in this flood-hit part of the state in the second phase. The area has sizeable number of dalit and Muslims voters. LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan looked standing on stronger wicket. Barring sporadic incident of firing, name missing in voters list and non-functioning of EVMs at some booths in Munger, Begusarai, Darbhanga, Madhubani and Purnia polling was by and large peaceful in the second phase. Six persons including two policemen were injured in a bomb blast at booth no 166 in Munger. One person was killed in Lakhisarai but the state chief secretary denied it was poll related violence. "The person was killed in a personal feud and it was not a poll violence at all", said chief secretary, K A H Subramaniun. The trend of Muslim voters and once again caused worry for the RJD boss Lalu Prasad. The opposition party LJP has once again been able to make a dent into RJD's M-Y (Muslim-Yadav) votebank, particularly in Mithalanchal and border areas. Ram Vilas Paswan appeared to bean viable alternative for Muslim voters who openly vouched for his poll symbol Bangla (Bunglow). Besides, the disgruntled RJD MP from Madhepura Pappu Yadav too proved spoilsport at least on 17 seats falling in Madhepura, Saharsha and Purnia region for the RJD. Pappu and his MP wife Ranjita Ranjan from had left no stone unturned to damage RJD vote banks and to defeat Lalu's candidates. Ranjita Ranjan is an LJP MP from neighbouring Saharasha constituency. However, the final nail in Lalu's electoral coffin in the second phase was pierced through by none other than his party MP from Kishanganj, Mohammad Taslimuddin. Taslimuddin too had been singing different tune from partyline for being neglected in ticket distribution on his term. Popularly known as Chacha Taslimuddin in the area he was openly working against the party candidates. The influential Taslimuddin even had defied Lalu's diktat and not attended his public meetings in the border areas where the Bangladeshi Muslim population has changed the demographic set up. The Muslim population in Kishanganj areas has surpassed the Hindu population because of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh. And Chacha Taslimuddin holds undisputed command on them. The ghost of Godhara posters and CDs seem to have failed in generating the expected impact for the ruling party. The voters preferred to follow different route to chart the course of their future government in the state. Though, a large section of the Muslim could still be spotted stumping for their Mugle-E-Aazam, Lalu Prasad. The rebel candidates as well as the contestants fielded by parties like Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party too marred the prospects of RJD candidates a lot. The BJP and JD-U alliance had a comparatively stronger base in this part of the assembly segments and both the parties had fielded their candidates in a very organized manner. The top leaders from both sides had campaigned extensively in the areas to garner the support. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy Lal Krishna Advani had held successful public meeting here. Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi too had her public meeting at Madhubani asking vote for her party's candidate. The ruling Party RJD was left alone high and dry. In Madhepura the party boss even had to admit that there had been mistake from his part in choice of the candidates but "pleases vote for the RJD and for me", he pleaded. However, all his pleadings appeared to have fallen on deaf ears of the voters. Out of the 82 constituencies RJD had fielded candidates on 67 seats, BJP in 31, Congress 29, LJP 50, JD-U 48, BSP 78 and Left party CPI-ML in five assembly constituencies. Poll in four constituencies, Jale, Bahera and Ghanshyampur in Darbhanga district and Surajgarha in Lakhisarai district were postponed following certain irregularities found by election Commission's special advisor K J Rao. Election on these seats would he held on February 18 and 26 respectively. There were 16,000 booths where an estimated 19000 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were in use to register the votes.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 15 2005, 11:09 AM

Can't trust these poll, anyway,~BJP,~Cong.~gain:~Zee~exit~poll

New Delhi, Feb. 15 (UNI): The Lalu Prasad-led RJD is in for a rude shock while the Congress and the BJP are poised to gain in the second phase of polls for the Bihar Assembly, held today, according to the Zee News Exit Poll. Eighty-two of the total 243 assembly seats in Bihar went to the polls today in the second phase and the Exit Poll has predicted a loss of 13 seats for the RJD while the Congress and the BJP are set to gain three and two seats respectively. Out of the 82 seats, the RJD is likely to bag 31 seats followed by the BJP with 28, Congress with 13 and others could account for 10, the survey said. In Jharkhand, a loss of three seats has been predicted for the BJP, while the Congress will gain three seats, the Exit Poll said after polling was held in 29 of a total of 81 Assembly seats in the second and final phase in the state. The BJP has been given 18 seats while the Congress nine and others two, with the RJD drawing flak in the second phase of polling.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 15 2005, 11:14 AM

Another poll-,~Jharkhand:~Zee;~Hung~House:~Star

New Delhi, Feb. 15 (PTI): Exit polls by two television news channels on the second phase of polling in the Assembly elections in Bihar and Jharkhand today came out with different projections with Zee News giving clear majority to the RJD-Congress-JMM alliance in the two States and Star News forecasting a hung House. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP is likely to emerge either as a key player in Government-formation in Bihar or providing stability to it. The RJD was shown by both channels as suffering substantial losses in terms of seats in Bihar but Zee gave the ruling RJD-Congress coalition a slender majority. While Zee News gave the RJD-Congress combine 122 seats, the magic figure in the 243-member Assembly, Star News projected the alliance securing 100 seats. According to Zee, the RJD is likely to get 76 seats and the Congress 46. The BJP and its allies are poised to bag 76 seats and others including LJP 41. It did not specify how many seats the LJP would get. Star News exit poll shows the RJD getting 91 seats and the Congress just nine. The BJP and allies were projected as getting 90 seats, LJP 29 and others 20. Both the projections were for 239 seats as polling has been postponed in four constituencies due to certain irregularities. In the second phase of polling today in 82 constituencies, Zee News pegged RJD at 31 and the Congress at 13, giving 28 seats to the BJP and 10 to others. Star News said the RJD was likely to get 21 seats and the Congress six. It gave the BJP 33 seats, LJP nine and others 13. In Jharkhand, having an 81-member House, Zee News predicted 38 seats to the JMM-Congress and four to the RJD, 34 to the BJP and five to others. Star News, however, gave 39 seats to the JMM-Congress-RJD, 36 to the BJP and six to others. In today's polling in 29 constituencies, Zee gave the Congress nine seats, 18 to the BJP and two to others.

Posted by: Viren Feb 15 2005, 12:00 PM

Any surprise?,000900030002.htm

Posted by: Viren Feb 15 2005, 12:03 PM

Trouble in paradise?

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 15 2005, 02:04 PM

Muslims rally behind Lalu Sanjay Singh/ Patna Realignment in Bihar after 1st phase--- Muslims continue to repose faith in RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. The hype created by Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP and Congress that the combine could cause a significant dent in the minority votes could just be misleading. Muslim votes seem to have further consolidated in RJD's favour after the first phase of polling and Exit Polls showing that the party was on losing grounds. It is the 'Y' or Yadav factor, of the M-Y combine that should be a cause of concern for Mr Yadav. Lalu-Rabri's experiment with social justice for the last 15 years has certainly led to the political empowerment of the community, but it is the ever increasing aspiration of his fellow caste men that the RJD chief is finding difficult to contain. The posters and CDs on Gujarat riots are not an act of desperation by Mr Yadav or his sympathisers,it's a third time reinforcement of the party's aggressive wooing of the Muslims vote. An attempt to create fresh hate symbols like LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar was to scare the minorities into realising the political alternative that they might have. Ragiq Hussain, a daily wager in Pandaul near Madhubani said he was conscious of what had happened in the last 15 years. He wanted the situation to improve, but "was not living in an idealist world, reality of the day was far more important to us and thus Laluji continues to be our leader. We have listened to what Paswanji has to say, maybe he means what he says but who knows with whom he will side tomorrow". What he says is echoed by Asif Rehman, a shopkeeper in Lalbagh, a Muslim-dominated area in Darbhanga. Asif's residence is incidentally located in a Brahmin-dominated area called Kathalbari. He and his two brothers run the shop together but the earning is not enough to keep them happy. But when it comes to voting his preferences are clear. "Who would say that he does not want gainful employment. But more than winning bread for the family, security to life is more important. I, or my family can sleep on an empty stomach if there is the hope of food two days later, but what if life is under threat? I lock my shop in the evening, go home and sleep for the night peacefully at my residence where only a few Muslim families live. Last year when there was some problem, Lalu pumped more security personnel than the total population of the township." It is this threat perception and Mr Yadav's image as a protector that keeps RJD going. To hammer this feeling home, the RJD has fielded more number of Muslims from the RJD than any other party. As against the 16-18 per cent of Muslim population, the Muslims got 26 per cent of the tickets distributed by the RJD. In Darbhanga's Madhubani area where politics is sharply polarised along communal lines, RJD has fielded maximum number of Muslims. Move from one constituency to another and you will find Mumtaz Alam fighting from Darbhanga, Nayyar Azmi from Pandaul and Anees Ahmed from Lokha, all on RJD tickets. Interestingly, most Muslims try to present a neutral picture to the polls and whom they would prefer to support, but probe a bit deeper, and the picture becomes clear. Despite counter-claims by the NDA and the LJP on Mr Yadav's credentials as a secularist for his apathy in taking action against the accused in Bhagalpur riots, the Muslims in Bhagalpur have sided with him when they cast their vote on January 15. Shabbir Alam, a resident of Muslim dominated Sabji Bagh area said "it was Congress which was responsible for the Bhagalpur riots. It is true that those accused of instigating riots were Yadavs and the Lalu Government did not act swiftly. I can say this because I migrated to Patna three-four years ago from Bhagalpur. My family members still live there. I was told that they all voted for the RJD. Sonia Gandhi had visited there but we are yet to trust her."

Posted by: Mudy Feb 15 2005, 04:03 PM

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 15 2005, 04:48 PM

From the link above..

“You must have heard over radio about Pakistan not wanting to play a cricket match in Gujarat. These people (the Shiv Sena) had threatened to destroy the pitch if Pakistan played India on Indian soil. They are not only destroying a cricket pitch but the foundation of our secular polity. Because Hindus and Muslims fought the battle for Independence shoulder to shoulder,” he said.
This guy is disgusting..

Posted by: Dev Feb 15 2005, 06:41 PM

I was wondering on that statement and thinking what does destroying pitch in opposition of Paki team got to do with Indian independence and so called "secular" polity? Indeed he is disgusting.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 16 2005, 09:35 AM

Patna, February 16: Stepping up his diatribe against the RJD ahead of the third and final phase poll in Bihar, LJP president and Union Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister Ramvilas Paswan today accused the ruling party of "conspiring with the BJP to topple the government at the Centre". "RJD leaders on the campaign trail in Bihar have been slinging mud against the Congress. They have also dubbed the Congress as a dangai party (a party of rioters)," he said referring to the recent statements of RJD leaders, including its president Laloo Prasad and Chief Minister Rabri Devi holding the Congress responsible for Bhagalpur riots in 1989. Alleging that the RJD was trying to "forge a third front after the Assembly poll in Bihar," the LJP leader accused the RJD of "having a secret understanding with the BJP to topple the UPA government at the Centre to form its government in Bihar with the support of communal forces". Paswan's comment came when he was approached by the reporters for his reaction to the exit polls by some TV channels predicting a fragmented verdict in Bihar.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 16 2005, 01:23 PM

How to waste Tax money ?

Has Paswan jumped the gun? Sanjay Singh / Patna In his eagerness to project himself as the real alternative to the Lalu-Rabri regime, has Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan revealed the best-kept secret or post-poll strategy of the Congress-led Government at the Centre? This is what is being avidly discussed in Congress and Government circles, both in Delhi and in Patna. The timing of Mr Paswan's statement wherein he said he would prefer Bihar to be under President's rule rather than support Lalu's RJD or NDA, a day after the exit poll predictions on the conclusion of the second phase of polling, is significant and it could not have been a mere "political statement", sources said. In the event of a hung Assembly, there is a strong possibility that Bihar would set such an example, punching more loopholes in the Anti-Defection (Amendment) Act, which would send jurists and constitutional experts in a tizzy. Goa set the first example of making a "mockery" of the law when legislators resigned from the parent party as they could not defect and then became ministers in the alternative Government. Since the number of members required to touch the majority mark of 122, would be much greater, the Goa example cannot be followed but there is an unexplored possibility in the Anti-Defection Law that could come in handy to rival political formations in their post-poll exercise of forming the Government. Though rival political parties like the NDA, RJD, LJP-Congress publicly claim they will reach an absolute majority on their own, currently they are focused on the single most important issue -- emerging as the single largest political party or pre-poll alliance combine so that they are invited to form the Government. Leaders of all political parties agree that Governor Buta Singh's role would be the "most important factor" in Government formation if the mandate were not very clear. The Anti-Defection (Amendment) Act has put a bar on defection aspirations. But it has a catch. Members of a legislature party are expected to follow the route as dictated by the party, which essentially means that the whip of the party would have to be followed otherwise the member would lose his membership. Now check out the loophole. The Act does not define a political party. It is free for interpretation whether the party means collective decision of the office-bearers, or a decision by a majority of the legislatures on a given situation. There is a view that if 51 per cent of the members decide to go with `A' party, it can be termed as the decision of the party. In that case, leaders of parties who finish third or fourth had better watch out. Sources said it was possible that both Mr Paswan and a section of senior leaders in the UPA Government were aware of this constitutional loophole and that President rule could be imposed, so Paswan fired the first salvo. Even as all political parties claimed that they would emerge victorious, the morale of party leaders and workers in the JD(U)-BJP camp is definitely higher than others. The combine preferred to come in as underdogs in the initial phases, gaining ground in different stages. Mr Paswan, in contrast, has been the most flamboyant player in Bihar's political arena but the predictions of exit polls indicate that he may not be the real challenger to Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Posted by: Nikhil Feb 16 2005, 03:09 PM

Hey Mudy, Can you provide more detail about the PRESIDENTIAL RULE. I.E. say Bihar goes in that way! Who will actually be running daily affairs? Is it the president/Governor or the Central Govt (UPA) ??? What will happen to all the winning MLAs, are they going to get paid for the job, or the election result will be dismissed and there will be no MLA et al since it is under Presidential Rule.

Posted by: G.Subramaniam Feb 16 2005, 03:15 PM

During Presidents rule This can last for 1 year before new elections are called The regime will be run by governor ( Sonia ) Actually the governor will have some IAS officers appointed to run the state and then fresh elections have to be called within 12 months The MLA gets paid but no opportunity for corruption In the case of Bihar and West Bengal, even Sonia is better than Lalu and CPM

Posted by: Mudy Feb 16 2005, 08:29 PM Priority now is to ensure formation of secular government in Patna [ In place calling them secular they should call anti majority government]

After two phases of polling in Bihar, the Congress is rushing to do a mid-course correction in its election strategy. Influenced by the feedback from the ground and exit polls, the focus will now shift from ‘Rein in Laloo’ to ‘Stop JD(U)-BJP.’.... The Congress is believed to have decided that its priority in the coming days will be to ensure the formation of a secular government in Patna as it realises that the going is tougher for Laloo than it anticipated. It will concentrate only on 11 of the 33 seats it is contesting in Bihar in the third round. While it cannot retire its candidates in the other 22 constituencies at this stage, it is likely to put its weight behind the candidate—from Laloo Yadav’s RJD or Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP—who is in a position to win. It will have to work on how to send the right message to the voter. The Congress’ strategy so far has been to rein in Laloo in Bihar so that he would have to depend on the Congress for forming a government in Patna and thereby be less powerful in Delhi. That’s why it decided to field candidates in 84 constituencies.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 16 2005, 08:47 PM

Nikhil, It is more on Article 356 - Good read.

In the federal relations between the state and central government, the central government has more authority on state matters than the state government. For example the central government has the right to redistribute the state borders without consulting the state governments on this matter. If the political conditions in any state are not stable, the national government can call on the President to declare President's rule in that specific state. And so the government in that state is dissolved, which means an emergency rule is declared and sometimes if necessary the army is put to work in that state.

Posted by: k.ram Feb 17 2005, 09:59 AM

Title: Defeated Lalu more dangerous for Congress Author: Ravindra Dani Publication: Mumbai Tarun Bharat (Free translation) Date: February 14, 2005 After hoisting the flag of Congress in Goa, the High Command has fixed its attention on Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It is using different techniques to come to power. Goa was a pure violation of the constitution with the help of a puppet governor. In Uttar Pradesh it is trying to muster Mayawati's help to bring down Mulayam government. To get to Congress side, all the CBI cases against her are being waived one by one. In fact, CBI was claiming to have firm evidence against Mayawati. This was a great difficulty in bringing party in power and Mayawati together. This stopper is being removed. Government has taken the support of Attorney General Milan Banerjee (my take - another Banerjee - these learned Bengalese are influenced by Marxists, generally) had opined that there cannot be a solid case against Mayawati in Taj Corridor case. The second front is also opened. Rahul Gandhi has openly indicated joining hands with Mayawati. This has made the stand of Congress very clear. First make the rule of Mulayam rather shaky and at an opportune moment, dismiss it. Then make an alliance with Mayawati and establish a Government. Congress is today everyday attacking Mulayam Singh. Salman Khurshid and Arjun Singh are taking care of this side. The difficulty is that Harkishansingh Surjeet. He has very close relations with Mulayam. Sonia had opened a front against Mulayam but Surjeetsingh had mediated between them. His stand that no secular government should be removed. It is the same situation. However, we shall see how Congress gets out of this maze. War in Bihar is rather war of attrition or of Guerrilla tactics. The equation of Congress is that unless the force of Lalu is reduced, congress cannot be strengthened there. Due to the coalition Government at Centre, Congress cannot challenge Lalu. Hence the party has placed its gun on Ram Vilas Paswan's shoulder. Once Lalu is weakened, he will restrained in centre. Then slowly attract Muslims towards Congress. For Dalit votes, take the support of Ram Vilas Paswan and at an opportune moment, hit out at Lalu. This seems to be the strategy of Congress. However, Lalu has understood this strategy. He has expressed desire that Lalu should not come to Bihar during elections. But Sonia went there in the first round. On Saturday, she went again for the second round too. She criticized on Rabadi Devi government in a mild language. Lalu has understood that today whatever support Ram Vilas Paswan was getting is because of Congress only. Now, will Lalu to deep knave strategist of India ! allow the scheme of Congress to be successful? There many questions being asked. Will there be a front against congress of Lalu with Mulayam. The Amarsingh has been insisting with Communists that today, Congress is targeting Mulayam Singh and now Lalu in Bihar. Tomorrow it will, it will open fronts against Communists in Kerala and Bengal. Lalu is backing this plan from heart. But the embers of enmity between Mulayam Singh and Lalu are still glowing and that is difficulty. However, after a possible shock in Bihar, both of them will come together. But if it happens so, Communists will not be able to back Congress for long. Today, the position of Communists is getting more and more laughable. A number of decisions like the limit of FDI investment has been raised to 74 % without caring for their protest. Their position is just like BJP in VP Singh Government. His every decision was against BJP, but it has to swallow to make the government last. It managed to do it for 11 months. If BJP had continued to support VP Singh, it would have been reduced to a very pitiable condition. .. They are tired of congress within 8-9 months. If Congress takes Mamta Banerjee is Congress, their control will end. Lalu had played a great role in forming Manmohansingh Government. He will play similar role in forming a third front. He would argue that the total members of the third front are more than Congress and hence there should be a government by led it and congress should support it from outside. In short, defeated Lalu will be more dangerous for Congress.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 17 2005, 10:12 AM

Does it look like lalloo can be ousted ? In general both INC and BJP (i think commies too) will have to do something about regional parties. A weak dilli is no good for the country - atleast not yet, not for the next decade or so.

Posted by: Dev Feb 17 2005, 11:36 AM

It's a real dog fight going on there...

Will home affairs put out lantern? Sanjay Singh/ Gopalganj/Mirganj The light of the lantern could get extinguished at home. Indications on the ground suggest that the "home" may plunge into darkness as the lantern may just fail to light up. At their home turf or birth place, M-Y messiah RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his Chief Minister wife Rabri Devi are faced with a real time challenge. The rank and file of their party has got attached to two Independents. The trouble does not end there for it is a saga of family feud and ever-rising aspirations of every single clan member of Bihar's ruling family. One of the two high-profile Independents or family rebels, Rabri Devi's own older brother Prabhunath Yadav is almost sure to lose from Mirganj and in neighbouring Gopalganj, another family rebel, Rabri's sister-in-law and her MP brother Sadhu Yadav's wife, Kiran Yadav is finding it difficult to ensure victory. Both these candidates are contesting on an erstwhile symbol of the RJD, the cup-plate. Incidentally, that symbol of the RJD had faded into oblivion after one election, to give rise to the lantern. Rabri's father Shiv Prasad is actively campaigning for Prabhunath, his eldest son. Prabhunath's youngest brother Subash Yadav, Rajya Sabha MP is supporting him. Opposing Prabhunath is Lalu Yadav's elder brother, Gulab Yadav, who is the `Pramukh' of the district Panchayat. Gulab is furious at the increased clout and complete dominance of "Lalu's Sasural" and so is the official RJD candidate, Om Prakash Singh. But the party is not listening to him. For them the word of Subash is more important and thus all are working for the ruling family's rebel. The problem for Prabhunath Yadav is that in his eagerness to reach Bihar Assembly he made his maiden foray into electoral politics from a place, which is a Koiri stronghold and never elected a Yadav as its representative. Ruling clan supporters are cursing the Election Commission. They are apprehensive that the EC in its newfound activism would not allow them to capture booths with the ease that they had been used to all these years. It was a misplaced confidence stemming from years of experience of booth capturing which perhaps landed Prabhunath Yadav and his promoters into a potential embarrassment. The battle lines are so sharp that the supporters of JD (U) candidate Ram Sewak Singh, a Koiri, claim that the CPI(M) veteran Comrade Vishwanath Singh is also a Koiri by caste and former MLA from the same constituency, is tacitly ensuring that his caste vote is not split. A number of CPI(M) candidates like Lalan Singh are openly working for the JD(U) candidate and says "treacherous Lalu has to be taught a lesson." Rabri's sister-in-law's position in Gopalganj is not too bad but she is unlikely to get Muslim votes and the dominant section of non-Yadav OBCs is weighing the winnability of BJP and LJP candidate. Drive 10 km away from Gopalganj to Koiri dominated Konhawa and Dumaria villages. Kiran Yadav's strategists are banking on Koiri support. At the outset the villagers appear reluctant to speak their mind but once they relax, a different picture emerges. "Phut Gaya Lalten Nikal Gaya Tel, Rs 25 is Kirasan Tel" (Lantern's base has got punctured and the oil is leaking), said. The emerging situation at this battleground is as baffling for other political parties also. The so called social constituencies of all parties, be it the RJD, the BJP-JD(U) or the LJP-Congress lie in shambles. But the single most vital issue before the political workers and voters in the two constituencies is whether the ever-increasing number of ruling elite from Bihar's first family will finally stop, or will the trend continue. The messiah is himself coming to Gopalganj on Thursday and what he says would be very interesting. Locals are already debating whom Mr Lalu Yadav would seek support for, first officially from the public platform and then unofficially to his confidants when he gets into his chopper or "udan khatola" as they call it. The M-Y combination of the RJD never appeared more tattered than at Mr Yadav's native place. The Yadavs have shifted their loyalty from the party to the person, Sadhu or his wife Kiran. The Muslims have found their own candidate, Bahujan Samaj Party's candidate Riyzul Haque alias Raju who had earlier been an RJD activist. He is also expected to get Dalit votes in the area. This leaves Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP in a piquant situation. His candidate, Subash Singh, a Rajput and the real challenger to Kiran Yadav is expected to get votes from all castes rather than specifically the Dalits, Yadavs and Muslims. Mr Paswan's so called social base is Dalit-Muslim. The BJP candidate Hari Narain Singh, a Bhumihar is unlikely to get the full support of the upper castes. Even the BJP has a tie-up with JD(U) whose leader Nitish Kumar is considered the lord of Kurmis and Koiris. But the Koiris are not voting for the BJP candidate and are expected to en-bloc vote for LJP candidate who has a chance to defeat Rabri's sister-in-law.

Posted by: Dev Feb 17 2005, 11:42 AM

Congress will get to see up close and personal the "challenges" of running a coalition government. That probably shows Sonia's drive to consolidate LS prospects of the party (and of course pave way for Rahul to become the PM when having comfortable majority). That may explain the experiments with toppling the vulnerable state governments. The only state they will fail is Gujarat. They will not be able to make any dent in Gujarat. Slowly, both BJP and Congress and the commies will understand that stability in central government cannot be mortgaged to regional satraps (Laloo, Soren, Pawar (most lame), Paswan and even commies). Hopefully the electorate will evolve and look at strong national parties for both state and national election choices.

Posted by: rhytha Feb 17 2005, 12:01 PM

this is getting weird and intresting.... biggrin.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 17 2005, 12:35 PM

Anti-UPA class has math, no chemistry February 17, 2005 Politicians love to talk of how they -- and they alone -- represent the 'common man.' More often, however, they are busy mouthing the latest gossip spun by urban rumour mills. Lok Janshakti Party President Ram Vilas Paswan was doing precisely that when he accused the Rashtriya Janata Dal of conspiring with the Bharatiya Janata Party to topple the United Progressive Alliance. Paswan was speaking in the context of the Bihar election, and yet, believe it or not, there are enough people in Delhi -- not least in the Congress -- who take this theory quite seriously. The fear is rooted in the fact that the Congress has barely half the seats required for a majority in the Lok Sabha (defined as 50 percent plus one, namely 273). Its government rests on the fact that many more small parties were willing to support the Congress rather than the BJP. So what happens if all the smaller groups -- meaning neither Congress nor BJP members of Parliament -- get together? The arithmetic of this Lok Sabha is such that they will still be short of a majority, but it will be a different story should the BJP choose to offer support from outside. Paswan, who is temporarily in the Congress camp, is trying to win Sonia Gandhi's backing by creating a bogeyman. The logic is that Lalu Prasad Yadav will blame the Congress if the RJD fails to win a majority in Bihar, becoming just angry enough to woo the BJP leaders. Paswan has thus raised the spectre of the fabled Third Front. His thesis has received credibility of a sort because the Left Front has independently been grumbling about the manner in which Congress ministers are discarding the principles of the Common Minimum Programme. Prakash Karat, who seems destined to succeed Harkishen Singh Surjeet as general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, menacingly mutters it should not be the Left Front's exclusive responsibility to keep this ministry in power. So, is there any credibility to the rumour that the BJP might do what the Congress did in 1996 -- offer support to a motley crew -- in order to keep the Congress away? Not really, it is hard to see how the BJP could gain from such shenanigans; the party is still in the process of rebuilding its base in the wake of the last general election and needs to concentrate on those efforts. No, if the UPA breaks up it will only be because of the internal contradictions implicit in such a group. Let me go further, should the coalition fall it will be because of the Left Front rather than Lalu Prasad Yadav. At the end of the day, it is the three score seats held by the CPI-M and its fellow travellers which are keeping Dr Manmohan Singh in Race Course Road. The strain is clearly beginning to tell. The prime minister and the finance minister have stated at various times and in different fora that the Budget will continue the process of economic reform. This necessarily involves throwing the public sector open to competition, or even selling off public sector undertakings altogether. Should it be necessary -- and foreign investors will make it so -- the government must also deal with labour reforms. Add the fact that assembly election is due in 2006 in Kerala -- where the major adversaries are the Congress and CPI-M -- and you have a recipe for an explosion. How far shall the Communists go in expressing their disapproval? After all, it is farcical to continue supporting the Congress in Parliament while denouncing its policies on, say, foreign direct investment on the street. Beyond a point, people will simply stop taking the Left seriously, laughing at its hypocrisy. Do the Marxists have the courage to go in for the kill rather than wound? I do not think so! Much as the CPI-M dislikes the current arrangement, it shudders even more at the thought of joining hands with the BJP even if neither party is officially in government. Nor do the Marxists want to fight a mid-term election. Through a combination of luck and strategy the Left Front has more seats today than in any other Lok Sabha. There is little chance of gaining seats outside its traditional areas of influence. Ideology be damned, the Left Front MPs won't give up their perks! Lastly, what is the likelihood of all the smaller parties coming together? Even if you assume that the BJP and the CPI-M are idiots enough to support from outside, can you actually see a ministry where Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati must sit together? Forget all about Paswan's bombast and the dark mumbling of the Left, the United Progressive Alliance ministry is safe for at least a year if not more. The mathematics of a Third Front may be correct but the chemistry is completely wrong!

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 17 2005, 01:02 PM Bihar: notepads, calculators out Its like a yoyo.. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Dev Feb 17 2005, 02:26 PM

From the link As for the Congress, the earlier buzz around the party has considerably weakened and the current consensus is that it is a long way from its dream of a glorious return. According to sources, the party's own internal assessment at the end of two rounds of polling is that it should be glad to finish with a final tally of 20 seats, which is hardly spectacular considering it held 12 seats in the outgoing Assembly. (The exit polls have further dampened the party's mood by placing it at a distant fourth position). This is in stark contrast to the overblown expectations that characterised the Congress' early campaign. Barely a month ago, the cadre was in high spirits and convinced that the party was headed for a major revival.
That is what I said in in the thread...
As far as Lok Sabha is concerned Congress strength will always be around what it is currently. They will not be able to make a "comeback" as Sonia is hoping. I think they are overconfident about Congress' appeal to the masses. Regional parties turned the tide for the central government in the last election.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 17 2005, 04:44 PM

party was headed for a major revival.
They are still dreaming thinking Sonia as Indira Gandhi.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 17 2005, 05:26 PM

In Bihar terror zone, law finally does what it never did: hound terror Siwan RJD strongmen run for cover as new DM, SP launch raids, order arrests, externment; Sadhu Yadav ordered out of Gopalganj VARGHESE K GEORGE SIWAN, FEBRUARY 17: Sitting in a police car on his way to prison tonight, Jitendra Swami fought back tears as he complained that he had been hit by policemen. Son of RJD MLA Uma Shanker Singh and a close confidante of Siwan MP Mohammed Shahabuddin, Swami always believed he ruled this part of Siwan. What he didn’t know was that two men, handpicked by the Election Commission and posted to this terror-zone of Bihar on February 10, had already decided they would not let the law be flouted in the run-up to the third phase of the Assembly polls. They would strike, real hard. Siwan is waking up to a crackdown never witnessed in these parts. Led by new District Magistrate C K Anil and Superintendent of Police Ratn Sanjay, the administration has started going after trouble-makers. Swami was arrested for allegedly keeping a cache of illegal arms. ‘‘We couldn’t believe it when they picked him up. We always thought the police would never touch him,’’ says an overjoyed tea-shop owner. But Swami hasn’t been the only one at the receiving end. On EC orders, Shahabuddin was shifted from Siwan jail to Patna last week. After Anil and Sanjay took charge, an arrest warrant was issued against sitting RJD Minister Shivshanker Yadav. Swami and JD(U) MP Prabhunath Singh have been directed to stay out of district limits till the polls get over. Every police station in the district has been ordered to identify and arrest the top 10 criminals in their areas before poll date. The SP and DM have been patrolling at night, a sight not witnessed here for many years now. All arms licences in the district have been suspended. Several illegal liquor units have been raided. Finally, there’s a sense of relief in Siwan. ‘‘The SP has made his mobile number public. People are not so scared now to provide information. Do you know that Jitendra Swami’s arrest has had others running for cover?’’ say residents. Sanjay’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing. He already has two notebooks full of information people have provided. ‘‘This district is full of arms. We want to seize them or at least make them ineffective before the elections,’’ says Anil, an IPS officer of the 1998 batch. District magistrate Anil, a 1991 batch IAS officer, thinks he’s not doing anything extraordinary. ‘‘You would have also done the same thing if you were sitting here,’’ he says. But that has always been Bihar’s tragedy: most officials never stand up, don’t do what they are supposed to. ‘‘The EC decision to replace officers on the eve of the elections is in itself an admission that the administration is not impartial during other times,’’ points out a senior bureaucrat. Siwan has always stood testimony to this. After Shahabuddin was shifted to Patna, Anil raided his Siwan jail cell and recovered a home theatre, refrigerator and other items. The jailor and two others were suspended. Then it turned out that the Siwan MP did not travel to Patna in a police car but in his own luxury car, had stopped at his village and at a minister’s house in Patna before reaching the jail. Anil has now filed a report on that as well.. Shahabuddin and Swami had just begun their ‘‘poll management’’ when the EC intervened. In the neighbouring district of Gopalganj—it’s the home of Laloo and his brothers-in-law Sadhu and Subhash—K K Pathak, another IAS officer posted by the EC, has ordered Sadhu out of the district till the polls get over. The RJD is defending five of Siwan’s eight Assembly seats. Without Shahabuddin and Swami, they have a battle on their hands. To make matters worse for the party, there’s this new crop of no-nonsense officers.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 18 2005, 09:08 AM,000900030002.htm

Loyalties live longer than generations in Bihar Pallavi ( A tonga ride to Dariyapur Shivala from Danapur station roughly takes an hour. The travellers riding pillion sit precariously in their places as the horse starts pulling the cart through dangerously deep potholes. The journey to the village's segregated musahar toli (rat-eaters' colony) puts the cart to acid test and to its riders as well. The musahers are the neglected "untouchables" in common parlance. Grappling with the struggle for survival, men of this largely unemployed community work in fields or as construction labourers. And women cook, if their men earn enough. However, this existentialist struggle apart, the musahers of Dariyapur Shivala have a solace: They have a house, and a concrete one at that. Here, Indira Awas Yojna is an alien term; for them, their houses are results of their "messiah" Lalu Prasad's benevolence. Says an elated Kalavati: "Lalu ji built pucca homes for us. Today, even if we go hungry to bed, we have a roof to sleep under." Kalavati, though illiterate, is the elected ward commissioner of Dariyapur Shivala, and takes pride in her "rare" meetings with local MLA (Ramanand Yadav). Her husband, Rajkumar, swells with pride while recounting Yadav's phone call to him, "requesting" for votes. "Only last night, Yadav jee called me up, put his hands across my shoulders and moved with me through the entire village," says Rajkumar, impressed with the MLA's "honour" doled out to him. But Mangni, his neighbour, has a problem: Despite being under "garibi rekha" (poverty line), musahers don't have a ration card. With meagre earnings, they eat too expensive, too little. But does their messiah know? Yes, they say, but don't hold the RJD chief responsible for their plight. The local ration shop-owner is the evil-doer for them, they believe. "We have seen foodgrain sacks being loaded at the local ration shop but they never reach us. Is Laluji to be blamed for this?" Rajkumar asks. So, where do they go to air their grievances? The musahers say that their complaints fall on the deaf ears of powers that be. "MLA saaheb wants us to demand the grains from the ration seller directly but it's like asserting in a void because he comes with various excuses for the non-availability of food grains," he gripes. But does that translate into anti-incumbency vote? If this not-too-politically-aware community is to be believed, the pucca houses built for them has meant mussahers turning into a "pucca votebank" for the RJD. Kalavati sets the right chord when she says: "Jiska khaib uska bajaib (We will sing peans to him who has given us roof)." Truly, as they say, loyalties live longer than generations in Bihar.
I dont think that translation is correct. I think it means "we will sing paeans to him who feeds us". khaib->eat and not roof.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 18 2005, 09:45 AM

Model Code: Is The EC Afraid Of Action Against Offenders? By AMBA CHARAN VASHISHTH It may be too much to say that the Election Commission of India is toothless. It does have teeth. But, of late, the lion in the EC seems to have turned vegetarian. It does growl but does not bite even when brazenly provoked. It is true that the model code of conduct for political parties has no legal sanction. Yet it a fact that it has the unanimous approval of every political party in the country. Even the Supreme Court in Union of India vs Harbans Singh Jalal and others (on 26 April 2001) put its stamp of approval. Therefore, it should either be respected or dispensed with instead of being violated with impunity. In fact, after the exit of TN Seshan, EC may have been very bold in its words, not so in action. The latest instance is the violation of the code by Lalu Prasad. Sweet money The EC order dated 17 January virtually amounts to a pronouncement of guilty for the railway minister and president, Rashtriya Janata Dal for not avoiding “scrupulously all activities, which are corrupt practices and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, for furtherance of the interest of the party”. The only thing missing is punishment. Although in his reply to the commission’s show cause notice as to why action should not be taken against his party under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 Mr Lalu Prasad “denied that he has bribed the voters and thereby committed the violation” of the code though he “admits to have given four hundred-rupee notes to four ladies of Ebrahimpur” defending his conduct on that plea that “he paid that money to those ladies as they demanded mithai (sweets) on his becoming union minister of railways”. Unconvinced, EC states that the “electoral offence of bribery as defined in Section 171B of the IPC is committed when any person, inter alia, gives a ‘gratification’ to any person with an object of inducing him or any other person to exercise any electoral right (‘the right of a person’, according to Section 171A(b)”, meaning “to vote or refrain from voting, or to stand or not to stand as a candidate, or to withdraw from being a candidate, at an election”.) Further, a person who “offers, or agrees to give, a gratification is also deemed to give a gratification”. Section 171E providing for punishment for bribery in its explanation says that “treating” is also “a form of bribery where a gratification consists of food, drink, entertainment, provision”. The EC order says that bribery besides being an “electoral corrupt practice under Section 123(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1951” is also “an electoral offence under Section 171B of the IPC”. According to law, it further says, “gratification” is not restricted “to pecuniary gratification or gratification estimable in money and it includes all forms of entertainment”. In C Narayanaswamy vs CK Jaffer Sharif (1994) Supp 3 SCC 170), the Supreme Court has held that “any gratification made to the elector ‘with the object directly or indirectly of inducing’ such an elector to vote, shall be deemed to be ‘bribery’. Section 123(1)(A) does not require the electors to express or convey their acceptance or assurance that they shall vote for such candidate”. The EC concluded that “giving of mithai or giving of money for mithai would also fall within the ambit of the offence of bribery”. Public good Smashing the defence of Lalu Prasad, the EC further says: “Distribution of mithai when he became the union minister in May 2004 could have been construed as customary sharing of his happiness with others. But giving money after nearly seven months of his assumption of office in the union council of ministers and that too when the election to the Bihar Legislative Assembly is so imminently close and the Model Code of Conduct in relation to that election is already in force, such distribution of money cannot but have only one inescapable inference that the same was for inducing the voters to vote for his party, if not directly definitely indirectly.” To give further strength to its judgment, it quotes SC ruling in Ghasi Ram vs Dal Singh (AIR 1968 SC 1191): “The dividing line between an evil practice and corrupt practice is a very thin one. It should be understood that energy to do public good should be used not on the eve of elections but much earlier and that even slight evidence might change this evil practice into corrupt practice”. The EC adds: “What has been said by the Supreme Court with regard to the speeches by the top leaders of a party so as to maintain a congenial environment for clean and fair election applies with greater force to the conduct of those top leaders in respect of other serious electoral malpractices, like bribing the voter.” The EC, therefore, concluded that there “can be no two opinions that Mr Lalu Prasad did violate the Model Code of Conduct by distributing money to electors on the eve of elections and during the period when that code was in force” but ended with just that it “severely condemns this serious violation of the Model Code by Mr Lalu Prasad”. The EC then proceeds to give more credence to “repeated assurances” contained in his reply to the notice “to observe’’ the code than the blatant and proven fact of its violation, more so when as a senior minister in the central government his conduct should have been more exemplary. In one breath, the EC order finds Lalu Prasad guilty and “severely condemns this serious violation’’ and in the other proceeds to find a justification to wriggle out of its duty to hand down what it itself states — “exemplary punishment to the party he heads as its president, apart from severe condemnation of Mr Lalu Prasad”. To justify its inclination “to take a lenient view in the matter”, the EC order recounts a few government functions Lalu Prasad claims to have cancelled after the code of conduct came into force as if it was not his normal duty to do so but a special favour to the nation and the commission and it found itself obliged to take a “lenient” view. Misuse Giving credence to his assurance, the EC “severely reprimands Mr Lalu Prasad for violation” of the code preferring to “caution the party and all its leaders, workers and supporters that this is the last opportunity” to them to “honour and abide” by the code both in letter and spirit and warning that it would not hesitate to “take exemplary action against the party in case of further violation” of the code or lawful directions of the Election Commission. It is not the first time that Lalu Prasad Yadav has done it. During the Vidhan Sabha elections in October, he had addressed election meetings even after 10 pm in violation of EC directives. He had then come out with a funny explanation saying he did not wear a watch. In December 2003 when the Congress president had used a government helicopter during assembly elections and the Punjab chief minister Captain Amrinder Singh had used it for election purposes, the EC had issued a show cause notice to Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Although both Mrs Gandhi and Captain Amrinder Singh were found guilty of the offence, they were let off with just being asked to pay for the expenses of the use of the helicopter. This the commission could have ordered even without issuing a show-cause notice. The EC order only legalised the misuse of the official machinery by the ruling party which paid for it in utter violation of the letter and spirit of the code of conduct. (The author is a freelance writer)

Posted by: Mudy Feb 19 2005, 04:30 PM

Cong ruing tactical follies? Pioneer News Service/ Patna/ Ranchi Confused in Bihar, Faltering in Jharkhand--- Tactical mistakes have begun to haunt Congress leaders much before the outcome of elections in Bihar and Jharkhand. Local leaders admit there is a growing fear in Congress circles that the BJP-JD-U combine might just be back in the reckoning because of the mess-up by the United Progressive Alliance. This fear has created such a dilemma among Congress leaders that they have started thinking of a strategy change in Bihar, while Jharkhand leaders are reconciled to the eventuality of a ding-dong struggle. Sources in Patna said some candidates may finally be asked to give up for comfort to the RJD. A section of the Congress leaders have already been lying low after the second phase of polling. In Ranchi, senior Congress leaders expressed dismay at the turn of events, saying that election management was far worse than ticket distribution. They suspect the Congress-JMM may have to seek the support of the RJD to cobble up a simple majority, a proposition that would weaken the Congress hand against Mr Lalu Yadav in Bihar. They allege that the high command is solely responsible for turning a no-contest into a fierce battle in Jharkhand. Wrong ticket-distribution, bad selection of seats for JMM, the ill-treatment meted out to RJD and bad electioneering are the reasons they give to buttress their claim. They assert that the Jharkhand election will once again bring into sharp focus dirty politicking by certain leaders in Delhi at the cost of the party's interest. Amid this dilemma and worry, Congress president Sonia Gandhi made her last-ditch attempt to give the alliance an edge in Jharkhand but in Bihar she was cautious about not sounding too Lalu-centric, focussing her attack on communal forces. She did talk about lack of development, crime and people's miseries but avoided dwelling on the subject so as to corner the RJD. The Congress leadership is aware of the serious political fallout if the BJP-JD-U manages to form the government in either of the state. While a defeat in Jharkhand will mean a huge setback to the Congress itself, the victory of the BJP-JD-U in Bihar will unleash unending problems for the UPA at Centre. While the RJD and the Left will blame the Congress for helping communal forces and violating the coalition dharma, party's own strategists will be hauled up, triggering a fresh internal feud in the top echelons of the party. Congress leaders feel that Ms Gandhi's blunt attack on Mr Yadav's politics would have terribly harmed the RJD but she held her horses precisely because of these contradictions. She touched upon the law & order situation in Bihar but chose not to rip into the state government's performance. This tentative approach may finally help the Congress gain some control over the mercurial RJD boss after the election but this will work only if the BJP is kept out of power. But in Jharkhand, Ms Gandhi didn't have any such dilemma and she flayed the BJP left and right. She said the government will be known for its misrule and corruption and taking the state on a destructive path. She said, ''at the time of Jharkhand's creation, the people had a dream that it would mean development and progress and lead to a better life for them. But the BJP-led government has dashed their hopes and not been able to transform their dream into reality,'' she told a rally in Rajmahal. Referring to the invaluable contibution of the adivasis during the freedom struggle, Ms Gandhi said they deserved a better deal and said the Congress-JMM combine would alleviate their condition, if voted to power. ''Lack of employment facilities is luring youth to the Naxalite cause. If voted to power, we shall address all these issues,'' she said. Ms Gandhi said the BJP was incapable of development because of its obsession with divisive politics. "The previous NDA regime failed to provide equal rights to the people as its politics has been centered around attaining the seat of power," she said, adding that the people of this country scuttled their attempts by voting them out of power.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 19 2005, 04:38 PM

Unpredictables of Bihar At the best of times, Bihar is an infuriatingly difficult election to call. Apart from the usual imponderables like turnout, last-minute realignments and a plethora of Independent candidates, there are uncertainties posed by largescale intimidation and booth-capturing. In the pre-EVM age, there was also a big question mark over the counting of votes. You could never be certain that the candidate who polled the highest was going to be pronounced the winner by partisan officials. It is this bewildering mosaic of caste, fragmentation and unfair practices that may explain why there is nothing remotely resembling unanimity among the exit pollsters. Even with sound methodology, truly random sampling and a finely-tuned statistical model, accurate poll prediction in Bihar depends more on luck than skill. Given this scepticism with objective tools of assessment, it comes as no surprise that political parties have reposed disproportionate faith in the subjective. The present Bihar Assembly election epitomises a media-dictated campaign. All the shifting wisdom over the past four weeks - the apparent invincibility of Lalu Prasad Yadav, the anticipated groundswell for Ram Vilas Paswan and the Congress, the contrived irrelevance of the BJP-JD(U) combine and the belated discovery of a mood for change - have been dictated by those whose barometer readings depend on the views of the tea-shops regulars along the main roads. For the media, the Bihar election has hinged almost entirely on the existential dilemmas of the Muslim community. Will the Muslim vote remain loyal to the RJD? Or, is the only "secular" community in the State groping for a "secular" alternative to 15 years of Lalu-Rabri rule? These were the only questions that were asked. Its answers prompted Paswan to flaunt a Osama bin Laden look-alike and promise a Muslim Chief Minister. Its vagaries compelled Lalu to sanctify an exercise in magic realism over the Godhra carnage, bring a clutch of maulvis from Gujarat to spread the good word, and for his supporters to distribute provocative CDs on the 2002 riots. The near-obsessive pre-occupation with Muslim voters generated good copy. At the same time, it triggered a monumental political distortion. With a monstrous "secularism" as the driving force, the pundits began seeing what they wanted to see. The "only parties out in the field gearing up machinery for battle", went one typical media report, "are led by Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan... There is little sign of the BJP-JD(U) on the ground." Paswan, it was claimed, had, "for the first time in 15 years" posited a "plural, secular alternative" to Lalu. A Dalit-Muslim alliance involving 34 per cent of the electorate, it was asserted, could engineer "secular" change. The Congress lapped up this grandstanding without demur. Like those in the BJP who fantasised a national upheaval over the harassment of the Kanchi Shankaracharya, its courtiers detected tell-tale signs of Congress resurgence in Bihar. After the first round of polling, one national daily even predicted sweeping gains for the Congress-Paswan alliance. Tragically, the optimism was based on wishful thinking. By the end of the second round, secular triumphalism degenerated into utter panic. A desperate Paswan forgot his assurance about a Muslim Chief Minister and proclaimed himself the successor to Rabri Devi. The Congress floated the feeble idea of a "secular" Government at all costs and then shamefacedly opted out of the campaign altogether. Equally mysteriously, the very same hacks who thought the BJP-JD(U) was invisible, began speculating about the possibility of the NDA tally touching 100. And suddenly, the media began detecting a fierce anti-incumbency mood. Blundering unapologetically from correctness to correctness is the divine right of the media. Next Sunday morning, we will know who was mildly wrong and who was indulging in fictional reportage. Yet, the wild swings that marked this Bihar election warrant a small corrective aside: Muslims vote (and in large numbers) but they aren't the only voters. The views of the ghetto don't always mirror the wider mood.

Posted by: Nikhil Feb 19 2005, 10:04 PM

O Bhansssssssssssss... bechara laloo to lalu ban gaya laugh.gif rocker.gif rocker.gif

Posted by: Mudy Feb 20 2005, 09:04 AM

Three-in-one The Pioneer Edit Desk The Left is right, for once. The Congress and Lok Jan-shakti Party have made a "mess" of 'secular' vote-solicitation in Bihar. Both pro and anti-Lalu sections of the electorate no longer know what is on offer in the so-called 'secular' showroom. Too many questions plague them. Is the Congress with Lalu, or against him? Ditto for Mr Ram Vilas Paswan. If the Congress is with Lalu, why did it go it alone? And why has Ms Sonia Gandhi's fire been reserved for the JD(U)-BJP rather than Bihar's ruler-by-proxy? If her party is against him, why the reported somersault of laying off its own 'weak' candidates to help the RJD's nominees? Are the Congress-LJP with each other? If so, will they fall out post-poll over the issue of supping with the RJD, since Mr Paswan says he cannot break bread with his proclaimed bete noire? Or is it really a Congress-RJD-LJP menage-a-trois, hidden only so that anti-incumbency doesn't become a JD(U)-BJP windfall? Will Mr Paswan cede chief ministership to the Congress if he gets to kingmake, as he so benignly said sometime ago? Is there to be a 'compromise' Muslim candidate, as he promised more recently? Or does he covet the throne himself, as he hinted two days ago? Finally, will the entire battle of the ballot turn out the mother of all redundancies, with the Congress-LJP trying to kill two birds-the RJD and the upbeat JD(U)-BJP-with one stone: President's Rule in the event of a hung Assembly? The Congress has kept mum on all these brain-teasers save the last: It vehemently insists that it prefers "an elected alternative". That's not saying much, given the Grand Old Party's track record of subverting democratic processes and poll mandates. If anything, people suspect Mr Paswan put his foot in his mouth about President's Rule, and the Congress is in damage-control mode. It may be that the Congress is genuinely not in agreement with Mr Paswan's radical post-poll resolution of the 'secular' conundrum. Even so, its break with Lalu has increasingly been exposed as a ploy to split the anti-Lalu vote. That itself has not beautified the party's image. As for Mr Paswan's, the less said the better. He has done 'kaun banega mukhya-mantri' flip-flops minute by minute. Worse, lacking a credible answer to how his Lalu-hatao mission will be carried to its logical end, he too has looked like the RJD chief's closet ally. Some even think his gambit is to help the JD(U)-BJP; pre-poll 'secular' politicking prevents him from saying so frankly! The Congress-LJP can certainly no longer claim to offer the electorate clarity on their poll agenda, much less consistency. Even the supposedly cornered RJD chief-who both Ms Gandhi and Mr Paswan claim to be fighting-has treated voters with greater honesty, though one cannot but express disgust at his socially divisive methods. With Lalu, what you see is what you get. With the Congress-LJP, what you'll get seems what you don't see: A hoax perpetrated on every Bihari wishing to punish the RJD's misgovernance. One need not be a die-hard JD(U)-BJP backer to see that this combine is the only authentic Opposition force in Bihar, or that anyone worth the salt of his 'anti-Lalu' crusade would have to align with it. Mr Paswan knew this, yet chose to sow 'secular' confusion in the electorate's mind. Clearly, the anti-Lalu voter is left with a stark choice. If he wants the RJD ousted, he will have to back the JD(U)-BJP, the ruling party's only trustworthy challenger. The Congress-LJP's 'secular' propaganda must not blind him to the fact that an anti-Lalu vote going anywhere else is a wasted vote-a travesty of itself, ending up helping the very man it is meant to lay low.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 20 2005, 06:34 PM

Demi-God forced to flee karmabhoomi Nityanand Shukla / Dumka Three decades ago, his struggle against moneylenders gave him the status of a demi-God and his supporters lovingly called him Guruji. He is now facing a tough time in his own bastion. His demi-god status has eroded with the passage of time. And on Saturday, he faced angry supporters who chased him away at a public meeting and he saved his life by running and boarding a helicopter which took off on time. A handful of supporters chased him with bows and arrows in their hands when Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren was addressing a public rally at Fatehpur of Littipara Assembly constituency. biggrin.gif The voters were angry with him for denying a ticket to Stephen Marandi from Dumka Assembly constituency and awarding it to his second son Hemant Soren. Initially, he tried to pacify them, but as the atmosphere hotted up, he escaped from the rally and saved his life by boarding a helicopter. The angry supporters chased him up to the helipad. In the third phase of election, 28 Assembly constituencies will go to vote on February 23. Of the total 28, 18 fall under the Santhal Pargana region, which is traditionally a stronghold of the JMM. Of the 18 seats in this region, the JMM has nine sitting legislators. According to political analysts, the prestige of two top leaders - Shibu Soren and BJP national vice-president Babulal Marandi - are at stake in this area. The JMM chief is trying his best to retain his stronghold and Marandi is making his best effort to make a dent in the tribal dominated region. In Dumka, Pakur, Sahebganj, Jamtara and other tribal dominated districts, most of the JMM legislators are facing a tough time as they have been legislators for a long time and some of them have been sitting legislators for the past 10 to 20 years. The biggest challenge here is from Soren's disciple, Stephen Marandi, a Rajya Sabha member, who defected from the party when he was denied a ticket. Stephen, a sitting legislator since 1980 from Dumka assembly seat is fighting the election as an independent candidate and making the fight interesting and tough for Hemant, who is the second son of Shibu Soren. Stephen, a Christian enjoys support from the community. When he was denied a ticket Cardinal Toppo had criticised Shibu Soren. The Santhal Pargana region has a sizeable Christian population. Soren's sons are both fighting the election and are having a tough time. Two-time legislator Durga Soren and eldest son of Shibu Soren is facing a tough fight in Jama Assembly constituency. Santhal Parnaga, a land of Sidhu and Kanhu who fought against British has witnessed many uprisings and it was also the karmbhumi of Shibu Soren. Soren launched a campaign against moneylenders and he became a demigod among the tribals and people lovingly called him Guruji. At one time, tribals were ready to lay down their lives on the call of Shibu Soren, but his popularity was eroded as he lost the Dumka Lok Sabha election twice at the hands of Babulal Marandi. Shibu does not forget to mention the jail yatra of August last year over the three decade old massacre case in which ten people including nine Muslims were killed. In 1975, he had launched a campaign against Dikus and Muslims also faced the wrath, but after three decades the scenario is different. The Muslim community has solidly rallied behind Soren but the tribals are indifferent now. Here, people charge Soren with neglecting them and no development work has been accomplished. The BJP on the other hand claims that it has done a lot for the development of the tribal people and Marandi has taken a lead in the campaign against Soren. ''No development has taken place in this region. The JMM has taken for granted that we will vote for the party which will ensure the development of the region. We have not forgotten that it was Shibu who saved our parents from pernicious moneylenders. But development of the area should now be focussed upon'' said Baburam Marandi, a voter of Jama Assembly contituency where Durga Soren is fighting the election. Durga is so confident of a hatrick that he hardly bothers to campaign in his assembly constitueny. A section of voters are also unhappy with the JMM chief for making the party a family affair. ''Shibu has done wrong by denying ticket to Stephen Marandi. He was one of the most rusted dedicated workers of the party. We find it hard to vote for Hemant Soren to defeat Stephen'', says Nunu Soren, a voter of Dumka assembly constituency. In Santhal Parngana umemployment, exploitation, mal nutrition, starvation, development are still a big issue and thousands of tribals migrate every year in search of jobs. Shibu in public claims that he is the legitimate leader to become CM of the state. "I will transform the state within six months. Employment will be given to one member of the each family. Vote us to get rid of the corrupt BJP government'' Shibu assures and appeals voters to vote for the party. The former chief minister Babulal Marandi who won the Dumka Lok Sabha seat for two times says '' Shibu has taken price of his struggle. People have come to know the real face of Shibu Soren the voters will vote for the development that has been done inlast four years underBJP government'' said Marandi. Political analyst say that the third phase will decide who will rule Jharkhand. In first two phase both the NDA and Congress and JMM alliance are neck to neck. If Congress and JMM retains their seats or slightly imrove their strength then they will certainly come to power and if BJP improves it's position in ten plus seats then NDA might form the government again. Will Shibu Soren will manage to keep his bastion intact and or BJP will be able make dent will be decided on February 23

Posted by: vijayk Feb 21 2005, 09:41 AM

I can't wait to see the jokers of Italian Express and Times Of Italy if Lalu and COngress lose and NDA comes into power in Bihar. They already started the SPIN. I sure hope to have fun at the cost of moron Sekhar Gupta and bozos of Indian press! Of piggyback riders, BJP is lighter load Party’s gains in Bihar may be by default but Cong has only itself to blame for flip-flop on supporting and opposing Laloo

Posted by: Mudy Feb 21 2005, 11:49 AM

This Robinhood challenges Sultan of Siwan's fiefdom Amarnath Tewary / Nandamura (Siwan) Hum chhuenge nahi, chhuwoge to chhodenge nahi (I will not mess with you. But if you mess with me I shall not spare you). No, this is not a lift from some B-grade Bollywood flick, not even a straight pick from Paula Fox's Difficult Characters. This is a chilling challenge to the unchallenged sultan of Siwan, Mohd Shahabuddin. Perhaps for the first time, the uncrowned king of Bihar's underworld seems to be besieged in his own den. There is a voice of unprecedented defiance in Shahabuddin's terror-driven Siwan even as villagers of Nandamura in the Siswan block of Raghunathpur Assembly constituency finally get ready for a feisty challenger to Siwan's raja. Ajay Singh, better known as Robinhood Singh, has dared to destroy 15 years of Shahabuddin's fiefdom from Siwan. Singh's defiance is not an overnight phenomenon. He and his sena have been repulsing Shahabuddin's attacks for a while now. Dozens of lives have been lost and the war is still on. Twenty-eight year old Ajay Singh has 28 cases lodged against him. The battle of the bullet however has now turned into a battle of the ballot as Singh's 55-year-old mother Jagmato Devi gets ready to face Sahahabuddin's protégé Vikram Kuer and Kamarul Haq, father of the notorious Khan-brothers, Rais and Ayub Khan, in these elections. "Although Ayub and Rais have fielded their father as an independent candidate and there are also rumours of them fighting against the might of Sahahabuddin, the truth is they are contesting the elections with the blessings of the Siwan MP. Shahabuddin's strategy in fielding Vikram Kuer is to wean Hindu support away from Ajay Singh but he has put all his might behind Kamarul Haq," explained Satyendra Singh, Jagmato Devi's poll incharge. Surrounded by a score of young lieutenants outside Ajay Singh's fort-like house, Satyendra seems confident of Jagmato's win. "Shahabuddin's terror does not rule in Raghunathpur. We're ready to sacrifice in order to retain our pride. The people of this constituency are fed up with Shahabuddin's terror; also eventually the vote will be polarised along communal lines giving us a safe passage to victory", he told The Pioneer. The Raghunathpur Assembly constituency has a total 1,94,000 votes which comprises 33,000 Rajput, 30,000 Muslim, 25,000 Yadav votes while the rest include Brahmin Bhumihars and Other Backward Castes. Although statistics based on the MY factor may go in favour of the RJD-Congress alliance candidate Vijay Shankar Dubey, the desire to see the end of Shahabuddin's reign of terror has come a prime motivating factor for a lot of voters. Almost 40 villages of the constituency have reportedly decided to rally around Jagmato Devi whose son Ajay has come as a saviour. The flying kite which is Jagmato Devi's election symbol has also become a symbol of protest against Shahabuddin's terror. Singh himself is underground these days but is available on his mobile phone to motivate his young daredevil lieutenants. He even meets them whenever he wishes to infuse fresh energy in them and boost their morale and of course to strategise for the polls. "He has taken the election as a challenge against the might and long serving terror-raj of RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin which is an unheard of thing in the recent past", said young, bandana-sporting commander Subodh Singh. "We'll keep our fight on against Shahabuddin even after the elections," he promsied with confidence. For the outside world, Siwan has long been synonymous with Shahabuddin, "it's the only fact of the district," once the terror king himself claimed. But once you visit Nandamura or villages surrounding it, this fact seems to be changing. On several occasions, the RJD MP tried to bring Ajay Singh into his flock using both money and might but failed, says Munna Singh, "because Ajayji never compromises on his principles and abhors terror politics". Satyendra says Ajay even told the new SP of Siwan Ratan Sanjay over telephone that what the latter was doing was also his own mission - to end Siwan's terror-raj from Siwan. Ajay Singh's story resembles a Bollywood-style Chambal ka dakku plot. He was barely 15 when his father Baleshwar Singh was killed in 1984, allegedly by CPI-ML cadres. Six months later his nephew was gunned down in a similar fashion. An angry young Ajay Singh then took up arms to prevent any further killings in his family. His sphere of influence spread to villages, then blocks, and finally to the whole of Raghunathpur. In a short span of seven years Ajay Singh surfaced as the most audible voice of opposition to Shahabuddin. Singh is the third of seven brothers and sisters. Aren't Ajay Singh and his lieutenants apprehensive about their lives because history is witness to the brutal murder of anyone who dared defy the might of Siwans's sultan, from underworld dons, professional criminals, and policemen, to lawyers, activists, and doctors? "During the last Lok Sabha elections Shahabuddin sent his emissaries with an offer of Rs 20 lakh for a compromise with Ajay Singh but Ajay bhaiya told him that even if he gives him a crore he would not compromise on his principles and ideals," recalls Prabhunath Singh, mukhia of Chitauli and an ardent Singh supporter. The very next day, on May 22, the wounded king of Siwan sent his men packed in three vehicles to bump Ajay Singh off. The killers reached the village in the afternoon and started indiscriminate firing with sophisticated arms and ammunition. "Ajay Singh too led his young band of commanders to the field and the battle continued for more than an hour. Later, we forced them to flee from the scene by gunning five of them on the spot and burning one of the vehicles to ashes", says Satyendra Singh. Among the gunned down one was later identified as one of Shahabuddin's close lieutenants Riyazuudin Khan. Today the half-burnt vehicle is displayed as a victory souvenir even as Raghunathpur gets ready to teach Shahabuddin one of the harshest political lessons of his life.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 21 2005, 11:54 AM

Elections, parties and democracy CP Bhambhri Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on February 12, "I would be the last one to deny that corruption is a problem in the country." He maintained that parties need funds to fight elections with, and this "paves the way for black money". Mr Singh suggested that "state funding of election" would ensure transparency and check corruption in politics. Election in a democracy is the villain of the piece because the need for money to contest elections makes parties approach "private fund-givers" who, in turn, are provided political patronage by the elected leaders. Indian democracy is under siege not only because of corruption but also because of serious distortions in the party system. The growing control of the mafia over public life is a threat to the very survival of Indian democracy. Elections and parties are the pillars on which the functioning of a strong and successful democracy depends. However, elections are often reduced to farce. The Assembly polls in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana this month have once again brought into sharp focus the weakness of the multi-party system and the difficulties faced by the election machinery in holding free and fair polls. A few facts may be mentioned to substantiate the argument that, irrespective of the electoral verdict in these three states, parliamentary democracy will not become healthy. The party system in these three states is almost non-existent. Major political contenders in these provinces "belong" to families and are private shops masquerading as parties. In Bihar, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav of the RJD and Mr Ram Vilas Paswan of the LJP have publicly stated that if one of them is depending on the support of Muslims and Yadavs, the other is attracting support of Muslims and Dalits. In Bihar, elections are being contested not by democratic party organisations but by leaders dependent on sectional support of Muslims or Yadavs or Dalits. The Congress, in spite of its pretensions, is a marginal force and the sickness prevailing in the Bihar Congress party organisation is not at all different from either the RJD or LJP. The Congress is in a shambles. Bihar PCC president Ram Jatan Singh refused to file his nomination papers because he was not given the constituency of his choice. Not only this, the former Bihar PCC chief, Sarfaraz Ahmed, quit the party and joined the RJD. In Haryana, leaders of Mr Om Prakash Chautala's INLD and the Congress distributed tickets to their family members and relations with abandon. Mr Chautala, who is the real manager of INLD, has given tickets as have his sons, Ajay and Abhay. In this situation how can the Congress abandon families of important leaders when "family tree" is worshiped at the Centre? The Congress is contesting in 90 seats and the family members of Messrs Bansi Lal, Bhajan Lal, Samsher Singh Surjewala et al are all in the race as a "family team". Jharkhand, too, is following in the footsteps of Bihar and Haryana. JMM chief Shibu Soren (like Mr Yadav in Bihar) is a permanent fixture in Jharkhand politics, and the JMM shop is owned by him. Stung by the criticism that he was promoting his sons, Hemant and Durga, he said, "For decades I led the Jharkhand movement. My sons learnt from me, now they want to lead from the front. What is wrong if someone from my family who is young, capable and has the party's backing is given a chance? Ask Lalu? Won't he allow it?" The BJP is in no better situation because in the last four years, the party had to change its Chief Minister because of internal revolts. If strong and viable party system is almost non-existent in these three states, the political vacuum is filled by families, mafias and criminals. Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy stated this on January 22. He said, "Conducting elections in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana is a challenge in view of the criminal-politician nexus. The free movement of criminals was spreading fear in the voters' mind." Further, he said that free and fair elections were not possible if the management of elections was in the hands of partisan, casteist and communalist bureaucrats. "Personalism" has substituted party system, and the actual winning of elections has nothing to do with so-called party manifestos. It is an extremely worrisome situation because chief ministers, ministers and MLAs who claim to be the voters' representatives are not bound by any party ideology, and instead of enforcing the rule of law, they themselves happen to be practitioners of lawlessness. A democratic form of government is superior to every other known type of governance because in such a system, the rulers are elected on the basis of party competition and they go through an "accountability test" on the basis of regular and periodic elections. Mr George Bush (Jr), after his re-election as US President, said on January 16, "We had an accountability moment. It was called the 2004 elections. The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, looked at the two candidates, and chose me." Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi made the same statement after winning the Assembly elections in 2002. The critics of Mr Bush's policies on Iraq or Modi Government's role in the post-Godhra communal holocaust were dismissed as people of no consequence, because the voters had re-elected the much-maligned Bush or Modi. Incidentally, fascists and dictators like Hitler or Mussolini too have staked claim to power on the basis of popular verdict. The electoral mandate provides legitimacy to every pretender and saboteur of democracy - as is observed in some Assembly elections in India. Indians should know that politics of bullet has replaced politics of ballot and elections have become a farce when managed by the State. The staggering of elections in three phases in Bihar or the redeployment of security forces from one place to another has not worked in safeguarding the sanctity of the vote. These facts clearly substantiates the argument that parliamentary democracy in India has been hijacked by pretenders and freeloaders who have misused and abused the democratic electoral system. Elected representatives are not accountable to any one except the party dictator who controls the party finances and elections. How can such representatives practice accountability in governance? What is the explanation for the growth of serious distortions as observed during elections? Politics has become a very profitable business, and without winning elections, politicians cannot reap the benefits of power. Personalised party finance and patronage of power in the hands of political families and a coterie is the best way to keep politics under "private family control". Political office is a sure guarantee for prosperity, and hence such families, along with criminals, want to win elections at all cost. The Prime Minister has not grappled with the threats facing Indian democracy from political class per se. His simplistic perception of "state funding of election" will not help in restoring the health of Indian democracy.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 22 2005, 09:16 AM

Posted by: Mudy Feb 23 2005, 10:13 AM

Officials put best foot forward for peaceful polls Amarnath Tewary/ Patna Bihar elections have always been a bloody affair but this time, thanks to some gutsy officials, it has been conducted in a fairly orderly fashion. Though ten people lost their lives during the last phase of poll, it was relatively a violence-free election in Lalu's Bihar. And thanks to the security, more people came out to vote. Aware of the topography of the State's electoral firmament, the Election Commission sought the services of a steel-framed, upright officer KJ Rao as a special in-charge of Bihar elections. The message was loud and clear that nothing beyond the guidelines would be tolerated. Taking serious note of the spineless Bihar bureaucracy, Rao made some changes, much to the discomfiture of the ruling party boss and his coterie of officials. Before the first two phases of elections, he asked for a panel of names of officials from the State Government but soon ordered certain officials to be posted at certain places. This was bound to cause monstrous itching inside the ruling party paunch. "Now the EC has started acting arbitrarily. It doesn't think it necessary to ask for the recommendation of the names of officers", reacted RJD spokesman Shivanand Tiwari. Undeterred, Rao handpicked some young, no-nonsense state bureaucrats to hold charge of the most troubled parts in the third phase of elections. Upright officers KK Pathak, CK Anil were asked to take charge of Gopalganj and Siwan districts and don't-you-dare Ratn Sanjay and Ms Shobha Ahotkar were sent as SPs of Siwan and adjoining Chhapra districts. Soon after taking charge, the officers started playing the law and order tune in their respective areas. Gopalganj DM KK Pathak ordered externment of Lalu's infamous brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav from the district till elections were over while the new Siwan DM soon pounced upon the most feared-Sultan of Siwan Mohd Shahabuddin. The much-feared Shahabuddin was transferred to Patna Beur Jain from the Siwan jail for security reasons. When the crown king got bail in the case he was lodge in jail, the DM passed an order for his externment from the district for six months under state Crime Control Act. The message swept though the district like a new lease of life. On his part, always AK-56 wielding SP, Ratn Sanjay made his cell phone number public and requested people to contact him "anytime, for anything". An infuriated RJD supreme Lalu Prasad cried foul and on Wednesday, terming as "violation of the constitutional rights of a citizen", the externment of his party MPs, including Mohammed Shahabuddin and Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav, he said he would take up the matter with the Election Commission. Siwan district officials said the turnout of voters in eight Assembly segments was 'commendable' largely because of peaceful balloting in the wake of externment of musclemen and some politicians, including RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin from the district. About 500 companies of central para-military forces and 90,000 state police personnel, including mounted police, were deployed to instill confidence among the voters. It was for the first time that the special task force conducted aerial patrolling by the IAF choppers. specool.gif Result was the arrest of 150 criminals, some hardened, some more dangerous. Siwan people started providing information to the SP and he started acting on it promptly. Notorious Jitendra Swami, son of Uma Shankar Singh, RJD candidate from Maharajganj was arrested with five goons and a huge cache of arms and ammunition. The untouchable Swami was allegedly beaten up mercilessly by the SP. "I got tremendous response from the people themselves", said he while working 18-hours a day. Kaushalya Devi whose only son, Chandrashekhar, ex-JNU president was gunned down allegedly by goons of Shahabuddin said "Bhagawan kare dono officires ko meri umar lag jaye". Next door, Chhapra SP who happens to be the wife of Siwan DM, CK Anil too hammered on the forts of heavyweights. She chased the criminals out of the district and nabbed them from their den. The go-getter SP even ensured transfers of Tarkeshwar Singh, jailed Masarakh MLA from Chhapra to Patna and raided JD-U MP Prabhunath Singh's residence on the eve of elections. specool.gif

Posted by: Sid Feb 23 2005, 04:00 PM

Yesterday on Zee news they showed people shouting Zindabad slogans for the SP and DM of Siwan .The end of La-loo raj is near so say the but I will wait for the actual results before starting celebrations or matams.

Posted by: vijayk Feb 24 2005, 07:40 AM

QUOTE (siddhartha_shukla @ Feb 24 2005, 04:30 AM)
Yesterday on Zee news they showed people shouting Zindabad slogans for the SP and DM of Siwan .The end of La-loo raj is near so say the but I will wait for the actual results before starting celebrations or matams.
The Bihar election shows why we have to go for a Presidential form of Govt. Let us have a primary for each party to send one candidate and then real election for CM, PM. Make them independent of MPs/MLAs. Then CMs/PMs will have no incentive to back up the goon elements. Let us elect police chiefs and judges seperately. If we don't reform our Govt., India can't become a real developed country. We blame people for voting based on their caste or religion but why shouldn't they when every politician is bad, corrupt and a goon? BJP and Vajpayee had an opportunity to push the changes when they were in power because the party is not based on one person and DIE-NASTY unlike the ITALIAN MAFIA that is going to dominate and ruin this country for another 25 years with the help of COMMIES and traitors such as LALOO. But BJP did not even bring the idea up. I was really disappointed..

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 08:24 AM

License not renewed: Lalu falls flat, Bihar rises Amarnath Tewary / Patna It happens once in fifteen years. The political course of Bihar has taken a new turn leaving the groundswell at 1, Anne Marg depressively confusing. When the results of the State Assembly elections started pouring in at the official residence of Chief Minister Rabri Devi on Sunday afternoon, the ambience was decidedly somber. The invincible-looking RJD boss Lalu Prasad Yadav may have been running the state through remote control during the period, but it was his chief minister wife who had the remote in her hand. Sitting besides her husband in the portico of the outhouse, Rabri Devi was flipping news channels before a TV set placed at a little distance with Lalu's favourite white-coloured leather slippers lying beneath. Unlike earlier occasions, the ruling couple of Bihar were uncomfortably seated on plastic chairs viewing the agonising poll results. It was a picture of downcast visages with the smile completely washed away. The vestige of puppy fat from their cheeks appeared worn out and sunken as the depressing results came in. Wrapped in a light brown coloured saree with a chocolate colour shawl on her head, Rabri Devi watched the TV speechlessly, remorse writ all over her face and remote clasped in her hand. Son Tej Pratap too has been making occasional appearances with perplexed eyes and a curious gaze on his adolescent face. Sitting by her side was the self-proclaimed Raja of Bihar witnessing his unceremonious downfall. Pretending to be down but not out yet, the RJD chief has also been taking phone calls every two minutes. "Hello, kya Saraiya har gaya? Kya 170 vote se."; then comes another call, "haan bolo, jeeta ki nahi, nahi, haar gaya, kitna vote se. Pappuwa sab kharab kar diya us chhetra mein"-Lalu was talking in a hush-hush tone, perhaps for the first time in his political career. Seated on his left were two media persons, one from a national TV channel always pestering Lalu to come outside for his reaction. On his right, was his most trusted lieutenant and party MP from Siwan, Mohammad Shahabuddin and Ram Kripal Yadav. Then there were the stragglers, curious minion panegyrists seated in horizontal harmony waiting for their turn to be heard and healed by the Boss. The sultan of Siwan and supposed saviour of Lalu, Mohammad Shahabuddin too maintained an eerie silence. The controversial party MP had recently come out of jail when the chief minister herself set aside the Siwan DM's order. In designer outfit, Mohammad Shahabuddin who soon after coming out from jail had declared that he "would do and go to any extent to form the RJD government" too was in a ponderous mood _ possibly exploring his ways and mends. Notably, however, two of Lalu Prasad Yadav's infamous brothers-in-law Sadhu Yadav and Shubhas Yadav whom Lalu had reportedly blamed for upsetting his applecart were conspicuous by their absence. The eternal hangers-on were missing since morning. In between the tense and grim looking mood engulfing the green-shaded portico, lemon tea was the only source of temporary relief. The RJD boss sipped tea while making occasional comments on the dismal results and quotes of other Bihar leaders on TV. The body language of the uncrowned king was indicative enough of what was in store for him. Soon after, a staff member served sliced apple. After taking a piece or two, Lalu set the plate aside and offered it to the senior TV journalist. Every time the journalist made a request to Lalu to come outside, Lalu flatly refused saying "sab result aane ke baad bolenge, saat baje bolenge." Meanwhile, tired at the thought of thefamished road ahead, Rabri Devi rose up, TV journalists trailing behind hawklike. Apprehending some misquote and miscalculation, the RJD boss ordered, "Arre mana karo kuch nahi bolengi". After some time, Rabri Devi returned and took her seat by Lalu's side. News kept filtering in through TV, landline phoness, cell phone sand the party leaders and workers. Media people too kept waiting outside for the much sought after byte from the Raja on exit. On the contrary, the scene was quite the reverse at Mithila suite no. 323 of Patna's posh Hotel Maurya where Dalit leader and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan was obliging visiting journalists with his oft-repeated quotes and comments. "I'll neither support RJD nor NDA to form the government. President's rule might be a viable solution. After all, the garbage from the state has to be removed and Manmohan Singh is an honest, upright Prime Minister who will monitor Bihar during President rule", said he to every TV channel. In the adjoining room was his wife seated on a bed in red saree with a private smile on her face. Flipping through the innumerable TV channels she looks cool and easy with the emerging trend and upcoming scenario. When a TV channel flashed the news that the Congress had offered the Railway Ministry to Ram Vilas Paswan, she expressed a bit of surprise "I don't think it is true. Perhaps Ram Vilasji also might not be aware of it", she said, while gazing unstoppably at the TV set. Bubbling with joy over the results, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan too refuted the news and said "I'm not for any ministry or post. No one has talked to me in this regard". Though Paswan admitted that Congress leader Ahmad Patel did talk to him for the UPA meeting on Tuesday "and I'm going to Delhi on Monday". But who will form the government in Bihar next? "I do not know. Only that the party should form the Government and tackle three issues on priority. First, the law and order situation, secondly the issue of development and thirdly, to maintain a social harmony, said he. Elegantly clad in an ochre-coloured suit-and-boot, the LJP chief further stressed that "Mera mission Sarkar hatana tha jo gayee, sarkara banana nahi". "I've been able to dethrone the invincible Lalu Prasad Yadav from this state and now it very much rests upon the secular forces to form the government. I made a huge dent in Lalu's MY votebank and a large number of Muslims have voted for my party", said he, while adding that if he had gone with the NDA this may not have happened. Causing much discomfiture to Lalu through his TV bytes Paswan, the kingmaker offered sweets and a smile to everyone visiting him at the plush suite. Party MP and underworld don Suraj Bhan Singh accompanied him along with spokesman Sanjay Singh. Similarly, the mood at the Janata Dal-United office in Patna too was euphoric. Though, party leader Prabhunath Singh, Lallan Singh and Brishan Patel too were engrossed in watching the TV and analysing the results. Consuming snacks with green grams, the party leaders had their own ready quotes on forming the NDA government in Bihar. "Let the results come first then we'd meet in Delhi to decide our future course of action", said party leader Brishen Patel. At the state BJP headquarter it was the same scene reeling through. Party leaders ogling at TV, counting seats and claiming to form the next government in the state. The RJD party headquarter was virtually deserted and a haunted place to visit. Party flags were torn off and not even a single vehicle or person could be seen there. Perhaps signalling the future fate of the party.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 08:27 AM

Kingmaker user posted image

Posted by: G.Subramaniam Feb 27 2005, 08:28 AM

Paswan divorced his first wife, a Dalit woman and married an upper caste woman Udit Raj too has an upper caste wife And all these Dalit leaders talk about the 'bad' upper castes

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 08:48 AM

NDA, JMM both stake claim in Jharkhand Nityanand Shukla / Ranchi Despite the much-hyped anti-incumbency factor, the National Democratic Alliance on Friday appeared all set to form the next Government with the support of smaller parties and independents as the alliance was closest to a majority. However, the JMM too has staked claim to form the Government, with chief Shibu Soren saying he has the magic numbers. The first Assembly election results indicate that the NDA managed to combat the anti-incumbency factor and sailed through most odds under the leadership of Chief Minister Arjun Munda. Of the total 81 seats in the State Assembly, the BJP-JD (U) alliance managed to get 37 seats, just short of four seats of the magic number 41. Of the total 81 seats, BJP maintained the last Assembly number and won the 31 seats and JD-U won six seats. Talks with the smaller parties and independents have began and the party which is upbeat after the election results will stake claim to form the Government on Monday evening or Tuesday after electing a leader. The BJP can now afford to look ahead after its poor showing in the Lok Sabha elections last year, when it lost 13 of the 14 seats. The party united itself and the credit for this goes to Munda who started Assembly election preparation after facing a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha election. Sources close to Munda say that he studied the entire Assembly constituencies after the last election and ensured suitable candidates in the Assembly constituencies. He also announced sops to combat the anti-incumbency factor. And the results indicate that the party retained it's position as compared to the last Assembly election when the parties had fought unitedly against RJD. "BJP and JD-U alliance is a single pre-poll alliance. And we will stake claim to form the Government on Monday" said Rajnath Singh, incharge of Jharkhand. Asked about who will be the next chief minister, he said "the elected legislators will chose the leader". On the other hand JMM chief Shibu Soren has also claimed he has the magic number. "We will form the Government. Talks with the smaller parties and other independents are going on," Soren said. He admitted that the performance of Congress and JMM alliance was not on expected lines. But he expressed confidence that the alliance will form the Government. The NDA which is facing a shortfall of four legislators has began talks with the smaller parties to get the magic number of 41. BJP alliance has either won 37 seats. BJP is banking on All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), which has won two, one rebel party candidate Madhu Koda who won the election and two United Goan Democratic Party (UGDP) legislators. The Congress and JMM alliance has either won 26 seats or is leading in them. RJD has won six seats, two seats have gone to Forward Block, one each has gone to CPI and one to CPI-ML. AJSU and UGDP were part of Munda Government. And according to sources the first choice of AJSU will be BJP. Madhu Koda who defected from BJP after being denied a ticket is likely to support the NDA government. Munda personally enjoys good relation with AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto and Madhu Koda. Sudesh was minister in Munda Government and he enjoyed good relation with him. The prominent winners are Chief Minister Arjun Munda from Kharsawa, JD-U state president and former Assembly Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari, rebel JMM candidate and Rajya Sabha member Stephen Marandi from Dumka, Industry Minister Rabindra Rai from Dhanwar, Health Minister Diesh Saragi from Bharagora and former union minister Karia Munda of BJP. The prominent losers are leaders of opposition and JMM candidate Haji Hussain Ansari from Madhupur, state RJD president Yogedra Baitha and both JMM chief Shibu Soren's sons. Durga Soren lost the election from Jama seat to rebel candidate Suil Soren and Hemant Soren lost the election from Dumka. Hemant was defeated by Stephen Marandi. The internal bickering within UPA cost the alliance. The fight over seat sharing gave an edge to the BJP-JD(U) alliance. In the Assembly election, RJD fought on 51 seats, JMM on 49 seats and Congress fought on 41 seats respectively. BJP and JD-U cemented the alliance and fought the election with 63 and 18 seats respectively which helped the NDA fight anti-incumbency in the state. In the Lok Sabha election, the NDA had won only 16 Assembly seats. Besides the infighting within UPA, the internal bickering within JMM also proved its undoing. Stephen Marandi who defected from JMM after being denied ticket retained his Dumka seat for the sixth time. Another JMM rebel defeated Durga Soren, eldest son of Shibu Soren. Now amid claim and counter claim of both the NDA and UPA partners all eyes are now set on the Raj Bhawan. BJP leaders are hopeful of receiving an invitation from Raj Bhawan.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 09:43 AM

"I have already said LJP will neither seek nor extend support for formation of a government led by either RJD or BJP-JD(U) combine. I will stand like a rock on my stand to oust RJD," Paswan told media men.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 09:55 AM

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will speak to Lok Janshakti Party leader Ramvilas Paswan and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad in an effort to bring them together to form a 'secular government' in Bihar. The meeting is likely to take place in New Delhi on Monday evening. Congress leader Ambika Soni said this after a meeting that Gandhi convened in New Delhi on Sunday evening to review the outcome of the assembly polls. Among those present in the meeting were Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Arjun Singh, M L Fotedar, Janardhan Dwivedi and Harikesh Bahadur. Singh and Fotedar were the party's strategists for Bihar and Jharkhand, while Dwivedi and Bahadur were in charge of the three states, including Haryana, during the elections.
Appeasing minority and bashing Majority is secular.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 09:57 AM

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday evening said his party will stake claim to form the next government in Bihar. Lalu claimed the RJD has emerged as the single largest party with 74 seats. "Add to it the tally of our pre-poll allies, the Congress, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India- Marxist, the Nationalist Congress Party, and we will be well ahead of the National Democratic Alliance," he said. On Lok Janshakti Party chief Ramvilas Paswan's stand maintaining equidistance from both the RJD and NDA, and instead seeking President's Rule, Lalu said, "I am not for President's Rule." Lalu said the people's mandate in Bihar is with secular parties. He said his party's main concern is to ensure that the NDA does not "set foot either in Bihar or Jharkhand." Lalu said he will also seek support from the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and independents.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 12:52 PM

Jharkhand Vote Share in 2000 and 2005 BJP - 25.13 - 23.46 = -1.67 JD-U- 2.09 - 3.99 = +1.9 JMM - 15.93 - 14.27 = -1.66 Cong - 20.09 - 12.03 = -8.06 RJD - 11.56 - 8.46 = -3.1 CPI - 3.95 - 1.8 = -2.15

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 12:59 PM

Vote share Haryana Party -2005-2000= swing Cong 37.83 - 31.22 = +6.61 BJP 9.23 - 8.94 = +0.29 INLD 23.55 - 29.61 = -6.06 BSP 2.86 - 5.74 = 2-.88

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 01:05 PM

Vote Share Bihar Party -2005-2000= swing RJD+ RJD- 21.39 - 32.97 = -11.58 CPI 1.52 - 3.51 = -1.99 CPM 0.49 - 0.95 = -0.46 BJP+ JD(U) - 12.91 - 7.68 =+5.23 gained 37 seats BJP - 9.52 - 11.75 = -2.23 but still gained 3 seats INC - 4.74 - 8.56 = -3.82 LJP - 10.43- 0.0 =+ 10.43 CPI(ML)(L)- 2.02 - 2.74 = -0.72 SP -2.7 - 1.39 = +1.31 NCP - 0.75 - 1.58 = -0.83 BSP -4.2- 2.0 = +2.2

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 02:21 PM

The fractured electoral verdict in Bihar and Jharkhand has put the spotlight on Congress president Sonia Gandhi who alone, as UPA chairperson, can work out a rapprochement between sworn political rivals Ram Vilas Paswan and Lalu Yadav. The Congress leadership has to share blame for the Central alliance finding itself in a shambles in the two states. The onus for damage-control is on Sonia as her party is unlikely to retain the tally it had in the outgoing Bihar assembly. Moreover, the Jharkhand results would force the Congress-JMM combine to seek Lalu’s support. For him, the deal in Ranchi would come as a Patna quid pro quo. His first comments after the result haze cleared drew the link: "The mandate is for secular forces. I will stake the claim to form the government in Bihar. We won’t let the NDA in, be it Bihar or Jharkhand.” Lalu claimed to lead the single largest party as also the single largest pre-poll alliance in Bihar with 92 seats — including the Congress. In addition, he stonewalled questions on Rabri Devi’s continuation as CM and the role of Paswan. Interestingly, the LJP leader’s demand for President’s Rule in Bihar suits the Congress, seeking time to reconstruct its base there. But that could cast a shadow on the central government; the RJD has 24 Lok Sabha MPs. So, the simplest solution is a Sonia-brokered peace between Lalu and Paswan. She has a good personal equation with the LJP chief, her neighbour on Delhi’s Janpath. Not that the idea has been formally mooted. But a give-and-take could involve Paswan’s return to the Railway Ministry, over which he fell out with Lalu after the Lok Sabha polls. Her task is difficult given Paswan’s belligerent posturing. But a patch-up would enable the UPA, after mopping the support of independents and smaller parties, to allow Governor Buta Singh to invite the NDA (with 91 MLAs) to form the government. It would echo 2000 when Nitish Kumar was sworn in but failed to prove his majority. The NDA has contacted Paswan. But the UPA is counting on the March 1 Coordination Committee meeting where Lalu and Paswan are expected to come face-to-face. To prepare the ground, back channel efforts are on, involving close Sonia aides, including Ahmed Patel. The Left is expected to help soften up Paswan. In Jharkhand, the Congress has established contact with independents. Various stop-gap consensual options are being debated in UPA circles, to keep the JD(U)-BJP out. To consolidate minority support, Paswan has spoken of a Muslim CM. Some feel the Congress could occupy the CM’s office to let RJD and LJP tempers cool. [Power grab without mandate, i call this Fascism-Make Sonia CM now]But given the party’s miniscule presence, this has limited value and lesser political legitimacy. A silver lining for the UPA is Paswan’s declared equidistance from the NDA and the RJD. A tie-up with the saffron party will destroy his base amongst the Muslims; such a power-sharing pact can’t last long. An intelligent politician like Paswan wouldn’t easily barter a stable cabinet slot in Delhi for a chair that can be easily rocked in Patna.[HT is doing Congress work thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 03:19 PM

Lalu poll-axed The Pioneer Edit Desk The Bihar election result is nothing short of historic. The RJD's 15-year-long misrule has finally been given a resounding thumbs down. All right-thinking Indians had wanted this better-late-than-never denouement, both for Bihar's sake and that of the country as a self-respecting democracy where rule of law reigns. Howevermuch Mr Lalu Yadav and his not-so-hidden political backers try to save face by projecting the outcome as 'split', the writing is on the wall. And the only way its message can be erased is crooked: Cynical post-poll subversion of the popular mandate by the 'secular' brigade. Bihar's battle was never a so-called 'secular-non-secular' face-off. It was about being pro-Lalu or anti-Lalu-in the fray and in the electorate. The mandate is, thus, an unquestionable rejection of the RJD strongman, and his deluded belief that Bihar was somehow his to lord over in perpetuity. It is clear as daylight that any party that built its campaign on staunch opposition to the State's self-aggrandising ruler-by-proxy has gained handsomely. Unlike others, the JD(U)-BJP were unambiguous about wresting Bihar from the RJD's stranglehold. It succeeded in making Mr Yadav's nightmares come true with a spectacular electoral performance. Its appeal to all anti-Lalu voters not to waste their ballots by backing the RJD's closet allies such as the Congress worked-and how. For the Grand Old Party, stuck on 'Sonia magic'and suffering from an overdose of arrogance of power at the Centre, Bihar has been nothing short of a catastrophe. biggrin.gif Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, by contrast, has emerged a king-maker and, some say, even possible king. This, again, is because his gambit was-at least officially-unwaveringly focused on forcing the RJD supremo to eat crow. The LJP too, not surprisingly, has reaped the wind of anti-incumbency. Taken together, votes that went every which way but Lalu's were a severe rebuff to Bihar's overlord, who seemed to think the State was contractually shackled to non-governance. Mr Yadav's casteist politicking failed to bail him out. Nor did minority appeasement via drum-beating on Godhra work his salvation. That he failed to encash his own bid to fuel Hindu-Muslim strife proves more than anything else that he was desperate to stave off electoral nemesis[/B[B]]. The RJD and the Congress both branded the JD(U)-BJP as 'communal'. Voters, whose intelligence was sought to be insulted, didn't bite. They ralllied for change. Whether or not they will see a new dawn is, however, another matter. For, yet again, false 'secular' ideologues may threaten popular sovereignty, the very principle on which Indian democracy is erected. Already there is speculation about whether the RJD, Congress and LJP will be driven by power lust to sing the secularism-in-peril song. It is even being said that Mr Yadav may slip back through the backdoor, should the LJP drop its professed allergy to him and the Congress-knocked off its high perch-play ball. Given its contempt for democratic processes, the Congress will perhaps not balk at the amorality of throwing Lalu a lifeline. But Mr Paswan at least should see that he has everything to lose. He helped humble the RJD. To sup with it now will negate his own crusade. More, he will barter away his credibility as a leader worth popular trust. An LJP-RJD tie-up will be a shocking travesty of the anti-Lalu vote. But, if he went with the NDA, Mr Paswan would not betray the popular will, since both shared the save-Bihar plank. Now that Bihar has been saved, anyone pushing it back to the brink will have to face more than just the people's accusatory eyes: He will have to answer to his own political conscience.

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Feb 27 2005, 05:18 PM

The Bihar verdict may have been a blow to the UPA but it hardly redounds to the credit of the BJP-JD(U) alliance, which could not snatch an outright victory in a State thought to have been ruined by "15 years of [RJD] misrule." That Lalu Prasad put up a spirited fight not merely against his acknowledged adversaries but also against his purported allies speaks volumes for the RJD chief's resilience as well as his ability to fight on a number of fronts. Mr. Prasad braved brickbats from all sides, the BJP, the JD(U), the Congress, and the LJP, not to mention an Election Commission that scrutinised every move of the RJD with barely concealed adversariality.
Someone actually is sorry for Lalu!! And the plaintive complaint against the EC is just delicious! For once Lalu couldn't muscle his way through the elections. And this anarchist hiding behind an anonymous 'editorial' blames the EC for it. In fact EC had been quite lenient with Lalu regarding many violations of the code of conduct. But the EC redeemed itself by ensuring excellent security arrangements.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 06:21 PM

Ashok Kumar, Commie will never learn, after this election, I have hope for Bihar. This state is much better than WB. Citizens of WB are brainwashed or controlled by commie goons that they even have forgotten their glorious days. Till now they are failed to kick out their exploiter. I hope WB will free them from commie rule soon for better future.

India discovered Marxism and like poor Russia in 1917, committed suicide. The economic lead of Bengal has vanished and so has the cultural lead. - Nobel laureate VS Naipaul

Posted by: Mudy Feb 27 2005, 08:20 PM


For over a decade-and-half he did nothing but pat his back for giving his subjects a "voice". In the name of 'social engineering', he brazenly engaged in the machination of `divide and rule'. He also introduced another element into the Indian politics - conspiracy of backwardness. Development was something that would benefit only the well-to-do; roads were meant for wealthy car owners; why harp about electricity when you have Lalu's lantern; and why despair over floods when it brought shoals of fish at your doorstep? Keep the subjects illiterate so that they were clueless about a world beyond Laluland, where things were different from the Jungle Raj of Bihar. So destroy all educational infrastructure, schools, colleges and institutions. The whiff of change wafting across the nation should not touch Bihar. That had been Lalu's mantra for 15 years. But the cookie has finally crumbled.

Posted by: vijayk Feb 28 2005, 07:44 AM

QUOTE (Mudy @ Feb 28 2005, 08:50 AM)
For over a decade-and-half he did nothing but pat his back for giving his subjects a "voice". In the name of 'social engineering', he brazenly engaged in the machination of `divide and rule'. He also introduced another element into the Indian politics - conspiracy of backwardness. Development was something that would benefit only the well-to-do; roads were meant for wealthy car owners; why harp about electricity when you have Lalu's lantern; and why despair over floods when it brought shoals of fish at your doorstep? Keep the subjects illiterate so that they were clueless about a world beyond Laluland, where things were different from the Jungle Raj of Bihar. So destroy all educational infrastructure, schools, colleges and institutions. The whiff of change wafting across the nation should not touch Bihar. That had been Lalu's mantra for 15 years. But the cookie has finally crumbled.
Unfortunately cookie hasn't crumbled yet. We have the very sad scenario of ITALIAN MAFIA and Bihar MAFIA will make up and cobble a coaliation together with the help of chmacha Governor.

Posted by: Viren Feb 28 2005, 07:50 AM

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2005, 09:30 AM

Rabri quits, leaves field for aspirants Amarnath Tewary / Patna The Kingmaker is living up to his vow. Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan, who holds the key to resolving Bihar's political deadlock, seems to be in no mood to rethink on his pre-poll pledge of not supporting either the RJD or the NDA. Outrightly rejecting the SOS from Lalu Prasad to save his empire, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, on Monday wrote to the Bihar Governor informing him that the LJP would not be party to any exercise or claim made by the RJD or the BJP to form the next Government in Bihar. Ruling out any possibility of striking an alliance with either party, the LJP chief said he would explore possibilities for the formation of "a non-RJD and non-BJP Government" in Bihar. Sources in the LJP said that even at a later stage Mr Paswan could not afford to align with the RJD because 16 of the 28 LJP MLAs belonged to the upper caste, who are dead against any such arrangement. When asked about his President's Rule chatter, the LJP president softened his stand and stressed that President's rule would be the last option. "In case of all the political parties failing in their endeavor to install a Government, President's Rule should be considered, but as the last option. Besides that, what is the way out?" Mr Paswan asked. While indicating the possibility of a post-poll alliance with the JD-U provided it snaps ties with the BJP, Mr Paswan said, "It's for the JD-U to take the initiative. The JD-U will have to first come out of the BJP". The JD-U has emerged as a significant political force in the State after the elections with 54 seats, next only to Lalu's RJD. The LJP chief, however, expressed doubts over the JD-U abandoning the NDA flock, "since both have been pre-poll allies and also the JD-U and the Congress are not on a smooth wavelength." Mr Paswan also said the LJP national executive has no problem with a post-poll alliance with the JD-U. "Before the State Assembly elections, the party executive had resolved not to have any truck with either the BJP or the RJD. There was no such parameter for the JD-U at the meeting", said the LJP chief who now holds the key to the next State Government. Incidentally, singing nearly the same tune, BPCC president Ram Jatan Sinha also called on the Governor and later said that the party workers in Bihar were against supporting the RJD in Government formation. Mr Sinha's stand in favour of imposition of President's Rule has led to speculation about a tacit understanding between Mr Paswan and the Congress to rule Bihar from New Delhi Mr Sinha also demanded immediate externment of "undesirable" politicians who could indulge in "horse trading and intimidation". "I have sought protection of all MLAs, particularly those newly elected, as undesirable elements pose potential threat to them," Mr Sinha told reporters emerging from a meeting with Governor Buta Singh. "Since no party or combination has obtained a majority, several parties may try to poach on them, either through persuasion or intimidation. I have requested the Governor to ensure that this does not happen," he said. Keeping the fluid political situation in the State in mind, the BJP has said that the party has kept all options open, including a post-poll alliance with the LJP to form a non-RJD Government in Bihar. "We've kept all possible options open to form the next Government in the State", stressed BJP national vice-president Sushil Kumar Modi, adding that the party might explore the possibility of seeking the LJP's support as well as from those MLAs who contested the election on an anti-RJD plank. "The mandate is absolutely against the RJD's misrule and Lalu Prasad's party has been outrightly rejected by the people of the State," said the party MP from Bhagalpur. The NDA as the largest group has "full constitutional right to stake claim to form the next Government and the Governor should first give us the chance to prove our majority in the State Assembly," Mr Modi asserted. When specifically asked whether the NDA would be approaching Mr Paswan for support in forming a Government, the BJP leader said, "We are in the process of establishing contact with the LJP to explore all viable possibilities". With major players across the political spectrum in the State rushing to the Capital, it seems for the first time in 15 years Bihar's fate will be decided in New Delhi. Meanwhile, morning after the verdict delivered against her regime, Chief Minister Rabri Devi on Monday resigned from her post. Amidst hectic political parleys and flip-flops, Rabri Devi drove straight to Raj Bhawan and put in her papers to Governor Buta Singh. The Governor has asked Rabri Devi to continue as caretaker Chief Minister till the formation of the next Government.

Posted by: rhytha Feb 28 2005, 09:36 AM

yeah iam not optimistic as well, lalu,congress, commie combine will try every trick and horse trading to form the gov, and will even more brazenly try to destroy and effort by NDA. i thnk paswan will brow beat for a little while and fall in line, if he does'nt there is always and odd case here or there will be threatend with by congress or some such which make him fall in line and let lalu form a gov with some seats for his party as monisters

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2005, 10:13 AM

Even so, the elections show the Congress has not shed its old mindset. ‘‘That mindset was manifest in the way we negotiated with our allies,’’ remarked a party leader candidly. ‘‘We could have contained Laloo only if we had our own strength. You cannot do it on the strength of others. We are yet to realise we have to change with the times.’’

Posted by: vijayk Feb 28 2005, 11:36 AM

QUOTE (Mudy @ Feb 28 2005, 10:43 PM)
Even so, the elections show the Congress has not shed its old mindset. ‘‘That mindset was manifest in the way we negotiated with our allies,’’ remarked a party leader candidly. ‘‘We could have contained Laloo only if we had our own strength. You cannot do it on the strength of others. We are yet to realise we have to change with the times.’’
It is easy for LOSERS in CONGRESS and our garbage DESTROY INDIA journalists in ITLAIAN EXPRESS, TIME OF ISLAMABAD and (DESTROY) HINDU news papers (who would prefer Chinese COMMIE rule to BJP) to blame COngress planning for the defeat of their secular LAlu. How the hell these A-Holes call Lalu and COngress secular? These guys were playing riot CDs to raise passions and hoping few hindu-muslim riots would help their cause. Since they are courting muslims, they are called secular where as if Modi or Shiv Sena did it, they would be calling them Hitlers and facists. When no one got any majority in Parliament elections, it was automatically interprested as anti-BJP. If COngress hotched its wagon to LALU, Congress would have lost half of its vote share to BJP. This is primarily an anti-LALU and Ignore-CONgress vote. Paswan smartly cashed in anti-LALU vote. People are not aware that idiot PASWAN, SONIA will eventually get into bed with LALU. I hope NDA can split LJP and get some independents and give CONmen a real run for their money.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2005, 11:41 AM

Mr Paswan could not afford to align with the RJD because 16 of the 28 LJP MLAs belonged to the upper caste, who are dead against any such arrangement.
This is very interesting. Still this guy was thinking to have Muslim CM and call himself secular. VP Singh created a real mess and till now still mentor Paswan.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2005, 05:05 PM

My photograph has been used during the Bihar campaign without my knowledge. There are so many who lost their families in the riots, while I didn't lose anything. Then why am I the face of the riots?. - Qutubuddin Ansari

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2005, 08:35 PM

user posted image Picture is looking for nice caption. Winner will be announced later

Posted by: Mudy Mar 1 2005, 08:12 AM

No RJD or BJP, Paswan tells Sonia Agencies/ New Delhi LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and told her that a new government could be formed in Bihar taking the help of JD(U) and anti-RJD and anti-BJP parties or President's rule could be imposed if it did not materialise.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 1 2005, 08:16 AM's~MLAs~want~tieup~with~BJP,~but~he~says~no

Patna, March1: Amidst reports that his newly elected party MLAs favoured seeking outside support of BJP in government formation in Bihar, LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan ruled out any such possibility.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 1 2005, 08:50 AM

Attacking his opponents, including Paswan, Lalu said, "Sab logon ne mere khilaf conspiracy kiya aur bahurupia ki tarah samajik nyay aur dharma nirpekshta ki takaton to kamzor kiya phir bhi hum sab se badi party banke ubhre hain. (everybody conspired against me and like people, with many faces, weakened the forces of social justice and secularism but still we have emerged as the single largest party)." Lalu said that given the "conspiracy" by communal forces, upper castes and even the Election Commission, his party's performance was "remarkable". "Being the true representative of those having faith in secularism and social justice, I will continue my fight against forces opposed to these principles," he said.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 1 2005, 10:07 AM

QUOTE (Mudy @ Feb 28 2005, 08:35 PM)
Picture is looking for nice caption. Winner will be announced later
Ye chunaa kaun lagayaa re bhai ??

Posted by: Mudy Mar 1 2005, 10:12 AM

My take on caption- "Mai Sonia kai Darbar mei chali Nachaney"

Posted by: Mudy Mar 1 2005, 02:02 PM ohmy.gif

Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad is understood to have phoned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, threatening "dire consequences" if he went by the advice of Lok Janshakti Party leader Ramvilas Paswan to imposed the President's rule in Bihar. The PM wanted him to airdash to Delhi to participate in the meeting of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leaders here in the evening. Sources said Lalu, however, outright rejected the suggestion, stating that "abhi koyee irada nahi hai dilli aane ka" (no plans now to visit Delhi) as he would not allow to be tricked to leave Patna and allow others to spoil his strategy. Lalu reportedly told the PM that he has mustered a majority for a RJD-led Government and let it be tested on the floor of the Assembly first before considering anything like the President's rule. The Centre would make mockery of the elections if the elected MLAs are not allowed to decide their fate themselves in the House, Lalu reportedly affirmed.
The Janata Dal(U), which has bagged the majority of seat in the alliance with the BJP, is trying to prop up an NDA government and its leaders claimed on Tuesday that they have already secured support of some 10 independent MLAs, though it still leaves a big gap of 20 for a majority. Lalu is quite confident that Paswan's MLAs, many of whom got elected just because of their criminal background, will switch side since they are unhappy with Paswan suggesting the President's rule that renders their election meaningless. Paswan had given the LJP ticket not to his party cadres but to those who can win and hence Lalu thinks Paswan can not ensure allegiance of such winners once the elections are now over. A simultaneous exercise has been mounted by some of the RJD MPs in Delhi at the instance of Lalu to sound the Janata Dal(U) that it is time again that the socialists join hands against the Congress and the BJP to have a socialist government in Bihar and he can even agree for JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar to be the chief minister. The RJD MPs involved in the secret parleys with the JD(U), however, said Lalu has told them to go slow for the time being since he wants to first secure the majority by pinching Paswan's MLAs as that will ensure their government in Patna without any need for him and other RJD ministers to resign from the Union Government. Paswan, who met Sonia Gandhi after Lalu's conscience-keeper Gupta was heard by her, said he had told her that a new government could be formed in Bihar taking the help of JD(U) and anti-RJD and anti-BJP parties or President's rule could be imposed if it did not materialise. "I said a government can be formed with Congress Chief Minister, preferably from minority community, in which LJP, JD(U) and other anti-RJD and anti-BJP parties can participate," Paswan told reporters after meeting Sonia at her residence. Paswan's trip to the next-door bungalow of Sonia at 10 Janpath was primarily to plead with her that the Congress should not extend support to RJD in government formation as the "mandate is against RJD." He declined to reveal Sonia's response but the Congress sources said she did not respond to all sorts of suggestions Paswan made except to point out that the communal BJP cannot be allowed to form a government at any cost. Paswan earlier held talks with senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Arjun Singh and they too did not find any weight in the kind of formations he was suggesting. He was bluntly told that the Congress cannot afford to annoy Lalu any further as he is capable of even destabilising the government at the Centre.

Posted by: vijayk Mar 1 2005, 02:23 PM

QUOTE (Mudy @ Mar 2 2005, 02:32 AM) ohmy.gif
Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad is understood to have phoned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, threatening "dire consequences" if he went by the advice of Lok Janshakti Party leader Ramvilas Paswan to imposed the President's rule in Bihar. The PM wanted him to airdash to Delhi to participate in the meeting of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leaders here in the evening. Sources said Lalu, however, outright rejected the suggestion, stating that "abhi koyee irada nahi hai dilli aane ka" (no plans now to visit Delhi) as he would not allow to be tricked to leave Patna and allow others to spoil his strategy. Lalu reportedly told the PM that he has mustered a majority for a RJD-led Government and let it be tested on the floor of the Assembly first before considering anything like the President's rule. The Centre would make mockery of the elections if the elected MLAs are not allowed to decide their fate themselves in the House, Lalu reportedly affirmed.
The Janata Dal(U), which has bagged the majority of seat in the alliance with the BJP, is trying to prop up an NDA government and its leaders claimed on Tuesday that they have already secured support of some 10 independent MLAs, though it still leaves a big gap of 20 for a majority. Lalu is quite confident that Paswan's MLAs, many of whom got elected just because of their criminal background, will switch side since they are unhappy with Paswan suggesting the President's rule that renders their election meaningless. Paswan had given the LJP ticket not to his party cadres but to those who can win and hence Lalu thinks Paswan can not ensure allegiance of such winners once the elections are now over. A simultaneous exercise has been mounted by some of the RJD MPs in Delhi at the instance of Lalu to sound the Janata Dal(U) that it is time again that the socialists join hands against the Congress and the BJP to have a socialist government in Bihar and he can even agree for JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar to be the chief minister. The RJD MPs involved in the secret parleys with the JD(U), however, said Lalu has told them to go slow for the time being since he wants to first secure the majority by pinching Paswan's MLAs as that will ensure their government in Patna without any need for him and other RJD ministers to resign from the Union Government. Paswan, who met Sonia Gandhi after Lalu's conscience-keeper Gupta was heard by her, said he had told her that a new government could be formed in Bihar taking the help of JD(U) and anti-RJD and anti-BJP parties or President's rule could be imposed if it did not materialise. "I said a government can be formed with Congress Chief Minister, preferably from minority community, in which LJP, JD(U) and other anti-RJD and anti-BJP parties can participate," Paswan told reporters after meeting Sonia at her residence. Paswan's trip to the next-door bungalow of Sonia at 10 Janpath was primarily to plead with her that the Congress should not extend support to RJD in government formation as the "mandate is against RJD." He declined to reveal Sonia's response but the Congress sources said she did not respond to all sorts of suggestions Paswan made except to point out that the communal BJP cannot be allowed to form a government at any cost. Paswan earlier held talks with senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Arjun Singh and they too did not find any weight in the kind of formations he was suggesting. He was bluntly told that the Congress cannot afford to annoy Lalu any further as he is capable of even destabilising the government at the Centre.
It is going to be a lot of fun how the ITALIAN MAFIA, DIENASTY worshippers and BIHAR MAFIA will work it out between themselves how to share the loot without stepping on each other's toe with the COMMIES shouting at them to just be relevant. Our secular press has to spin everything and keep publishing stories about 1992 Babri destruction, conspiracy stories about Vajpayee/Advani just to keep the news of the murder of democracy by CONmen led by ITALIAN mafia and Bihari mafia led by Lalu. COMMIES will be as usual confused shouting abuses at incompetent PM and FM on one hand and making sure India will be in the grip of ITALIAN and CASTIEST MAFIA on the other hand.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 1 2005, 07:29 PM,001301480008.htm

As part of behind-the-scene manoeuvres to form the next RJD government in Bihar, its Lok Sabha member Mohammed Shahabuddin met Independent MLA Tarkeshwar Singh, who is lodged in Buxar jail, prompting the Bihar Home (Prison) department to issue notice to the jail authorities. Prison department sources said Shahabuddin went to Buxar Jail to meet Tarkeshwar Singh, newly elected Independent MLA from Masrakh on Monday afternoon, in a bid to muster his support for the RJD. The MP was reportedly allowed to carry his cell phone inside the jail, the sources said. After getting the information, the prison department officials issued notice to Buxar jail authorities, including its Superintendent, asking them to explain why the meeting between the prisoner and Shahabuddin was facilitated 'in violation of jail manual'. Shahabuddin has already gone on record, saying he would "go to any extreme" to ensure the return of RJD to power. Shahabuddin was released from Beur jail in Patna on February 24 just a day after the election, as Chief Minister Rabri Devi set aside the order of Siwan District Magistrate CK Anil detaining him in judicial custody under Bihar Control of Crime Act (CCA) 1982.

Posted by: Viren Mar 2 2005, 08:55 AM

No fuel in Laloo's latern yet..

But LJP's MLAs have something else in their minds. Officially they say that they will abide by Paswan's decision. But on condition of anonymity, few of them say that they want to become a part of the new government and reap the fruits of their efforts in the polls. But they are clear on one issue - RJD must not be allowed to form the government

Posted by: vijayk Mar 2 2005, 09:12 AM Bihar's fight for Independents: AK-47 Shah Vs Dadan Pehalwan The only people who see the whole picture are those who step out of the frame, wrote Salman Rushdie, but then RJD boss Lalu Prasad is not known to be a Rushdie admirer. He refuses to step out of the frame and see the changed scenario in his erstwhile kingdom. For this raja, the battle of Bihar is still raging. Now one of his most trusted lieutenants Mohammad Shahabuddin has taken command of Lalu's war. Even as this commander-in-chief applies all his energy in saving Lalu's sinking suzerainty in the opposite camp, Lalu's ex-Hanuman is girding up his loins to stall any such move. This is none other than Dadan Singh Pehalwan, now the State Samajwadi Party president and MLA from Dumaron. According to sources, the RJD boss is planning to bring in 17 Independent legislators into his kitty to set his fallen kingdom in order. Towards this end, he has got Shahabuddin out of jail by setting aside the Siwan District Magistrate's order. As a loyal lieutenant, the Siwan MP roared: "I'll do anything and go to any extent to form an RJD Government in the State". When poll results started pouring in on February 27 the controversial MP was by his boss' side through the day, waiting for his final nod to get on with his work. A day after, Shahabuddin, against whom there are more than 30 cases are pending, was promptly out on his mission. He first set his target on Independent MLA Tarkeshwar Singh who is lodged in Buxar jail. After being denied an RJD ticket Singh fought as an Independent candidate from Masrakh Assembly constituency of Saran district. Accompanied by former State Agriculture Minister Shivshankar Yadav and party MLA Uma Shankar Singh Shahabuddin drove straight to the Buxar jail. Equipped with two mobiles, he went straight to Singh's cell and talked to him for an hour. If jail sources are to be believed, the RJD boss was in constant touch with them over the phone. Tarkeshwar Singh even talked to Lalu and conveyed his annoyance; while coming out of jail the Siwan MP expressed satisfaction with the meeting. "I have a personal relationship with Tarkeshwar Singh and the meeting was satisfactory," he said. LJP MLAs Manoranjan Singh alias Dhumal Singh and Shankar Singh too are lodged in the same jail. Both these underworld dons along with Singh were externed from their respective districts during the polls. Significantly, when the RJD MP was entering the jail he was greeted with salutes by the cops on duty and no official mustered enough courage to prevent him from entering the prison with a mobile. Under a Patna High Court order use of mobile phones in jails has been banned; Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav has been punished for possessing one. However, a day after, higher officials woke from their slumber and ordered suspension of some jail officials in Buxar. Even Shahabuddin was shifted from Siwan to Patna Jail for using all kinds of facilities, including phones. The newly appointed Siwan DM CK Anil in his report said the Siwan MP sleeps with a hand grenade besides his pillow, has a TV set and is always in touch with his men through two mobiles inside the jail. Later, the no-nonsense officer barred Shahabuddin from visiting the district for six months. This is the same "Shahbu AK-47" who had kept over a dozen Congress and other Independent legislators' inside a Patna hotel during Government formation in the year 2000 when he along with some unknown faces camped at the hotel for two days. Result: The seven-day old Nitish Kumar Government fell and the RJD returned back to power. Once again he is on the same mission. However, this time there is trouble for Lalu from Dadan Singh Pehalwan who has threatened to use physical force against anyone who tries to influence the Independent MLAs. "I'm ready with my men and bamboo sticks. We'll not spare anyone who tries to influence any Independent or other party MLAs out of fear or lure for power," declared the wrester. Accompanied by four party MLAs Pehalwan further said, "I is camping in Patna and if any MLA complains to us of being bullied by anyone we'll rush to rescue him and teach the so-called bahubalis a lesson." Here one could once again cite Rushdie who said "freedom to reject is the only freedom; freedom to uphold is dangerous". As pointed out, Lalu Prasad is no keen Rushdie admirer.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 2 2005, 09:31 AM

This is the same "Shahbu AK-47" who had kept over a dozen Congress and other Independent legislators' inside a Patna hotel during Government formation in the year 2000 when he along with some unknown faces camped at the hotel for two days. Result: The seven-day old Nitish Kumar Government fell and the RJD returned back to power. Once again he is on the same mission.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 2 2005, 10:10 AM

Plot II: Forcefeed Rabri to Biharis Amarnath Tewary/ Patna With political developments moving swiftly in neighbouring Jharkhand, the political science of mathematics, management and manipulations has started gathering momentum in Bihar also. As a sequel to the sordid farce which was played out in Ranchi, Bihar Governor Buta Singh appeared all set to swear in Rabri Devi as the Chief Minister within the next 48 hours. Sources said that Lalu Prasad had clearly told the Congress leadership that in lieu of RJD support in Jharkhand, the Congress should either ensure that LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan agreed to back the claim of Rabri Devi or give a letter of Congress suppport to the RJD and facilitate an invite from Raj Bhavan to his caretaker chief minister wife. Amidst the fast-paced political developments in Ranchi, a Congress emissary reached Patna with the letter of support and submitted the same to the Bihar Governor. The letter was reportedly sent by Bihar incharge of Congress Harikesh Bahadur Singh who was camping in Ranchi. As soon as the letter reached the capital, the puckish smile was back on the sagging cheeks of RJD boss Lalu Prasad Yadav. "The Congress has extended its support to us and we're managing the required magic number to form our Government in the state. We'll prove our majority on the floor of the House", he ranted with renewed vigour and vim. When asked how he will reach his target to stake claim, the RJD boss said "we're getting support from Congress party, NCP, and BSP and besides, we're also in touch with Samajwadi Party and Left parties". But Lalu's optimism can't prove the equation right. In the final tally of the verdict, the RJD had got 75 seats, Congress-10, NCP-3, BSP-2, SP-4, CPI-3, CPM-1 and Independents 17. Even if Lalu gets the support of all Independents, the RJD will still fall short of 7 seats. In any case without getting the support of LJP, the RJD-Congress combine will not succeed in their gameplan. LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan still holds the key to the political deadlock of Bihar and he has once again refused to budge from his earlier stand. Reaching Patna to attend the LJP legislature party meeting on Wednesday evening, Paswan said that his party would vote against the RJD-Congress alliance on the floor of the House. "Since Congress has given a letter of support to the RJD, my party will not abstain but vote against the combine on the floor of the House," Paswan said, adding, " "RJD ki sarkar saat janam mein bhi nahin banegi (RJD Government will never be formed even after seven births in Bihar). Sources said that with his option narrowing down following a virtual rebuff by the Congress, pressure is mounting from within his party on Mr Paswan to move ahead in the direction of exploring the possibility of bcoming the Chief Minister of a LJP-JD(U) Government supported from outside by the BJP. If Mr Paswan decides to take the call, he will be walking out of the UPA as a "matyr" and not as a self-seeker, who had to take the extreme course only because he was dumped by the Congress in favour of the RJD. Meanwhile, the state unit of the Congress called an emergency meeting to decide on the emerging political situation in the state. But the state Congress is still not in any mood to sing a pro-Lalu tune. State party president Ram Jatan Sinha again attacked the RJD for engineering the Congress' dismal performance during the Assembly poll. "Undoubtedly the ruling RJD and its president Lalu Prasad had played a pivotal role in defeating our candidates and for the party's poor poll performance. He even made sure that I, the state president of the Congress party should lose the election" rued Sinha. Another party heavyweight leader Vijay Shankar Dubey who too had to bite the dust from Raghunathpour Assembly constituency in Siwan expressed his annoyance towards the RJD leadership. "There is no doubt that the RJD engineered our defeat and we'll request our party high command to rethink over its decision", said he. But, an hour later, red-faced state Congress leaders changed their tunes and vociferously said, "whatever decision our central leadership takes, as disciplined party workers we'll abide by that decision". Meanwhile, the NDA leaders have also declared that they would oppose any move to form the RJD-led Government in the state. "We've already met the Bihar Governor and have apprised him about the political developments", said BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi. Bihar would not be left to go Jharkhand way, declared Modi. But, hasn't politics started governing Governors in both the states? ask many in the state. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif .

Posted by: Viren Mar 2 2005, 01:27 PM

QUOTE (vijayk @ Mar 2 2005, 12:12 PM)
Towards this end, he has got Shahabuddin out of jail by setting aside the Siwan District Magistrate's order. As a loyal lieutenant, the Siwan MP roared: "I'll do anything and go to any extent to form an RJD Government in the State". When poll results started pouring in on February 27 the controversial MP was by his boss' side through the day, waiting for his final nod to get on with his work.
Some little known facts about this Shabuddin from Siwan
Mohammed Sahabuddin's links with Pakistan's Inter-Service Ojha damns Siwan Don Navin Upadhyay/ New Delhi The day before Bihar Director-General of Police D P Ojha was sacked, he had submitted a detailed report to the State Government exposing Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammed Sahabuddin's links with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and jehadi groups as well as his role in arms smuggling and the fake currency racket. Sources said the report talks about Sahabuddin's links with mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and the Hizbul Mujahideen, highlighting the MP's nexus with arms smugglers and militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir. The report specifically mentions a meeting between Sahabuddin and Dawood in Dubai in 2001. The report also shows how Sahabuddin is acquiring sophisticated arms from the Pakistani intelligence agency. The report says that at one stage, Sahabuddin had also plotted the murder of Tehelka journalist Tarun Tejpal with the view to destabilise the country. Referring to Sahabuddin's role in running a fake currency racket through the Indo-Nepal border, the report says that a dreaded criminal of North Bihar, Pappu Deo, who was recently arrested in Kathmandu, had confirmed this in a confessional statement before the police. The 100-page report also recommends that 36 pending criminal cases against the RJD MP be handed over to the CBI and that he be shifted to Tihar jail. "The State Government does not have the courage to act on my report, because it is controlled by elements like Sahabuddin," Mr Ojha told The Pioneer on phone. The former DGP said he would pray before the Supreme Court that the State Government make public the report he submitted with evidence against Sahabuddin. The report, part of Mr Ojha's arsenal against the jailed RJD MP, has created a furore in Bihar. The NDA has called for a Bihar bandh on Tuesday to highlight the patronage provided by the Government to anti-national elements. On Monday, a NDA delegation led by alliance convenor and former BJP president Nand Kishore Yadav called on Governor Rama Jois and demanded the dismissal of the Rabri Devi Government for shielding anti-national elements. The NDA leaders also urged the Governor to apply pressure on the State Government and make the Ojha's report public. The report had provoked an instant response from the State Government, which went on to shunt Mr Ojha to the insignificant post of Commissioner of Civil Defence the very next day. His removal came just two months before his superannuation and has provoked wide resentment across the political spectrum and public at large. Meanwhile, Mr Ojha has decided to proceed on leave till he retires on February 29. After being given marching orders as police chief on Saturday, Mr Ojha did not attend office on the first working day on Monday. "I'm sending an application to the State Government for leave for the rest of the period of my service till February 29, 2004." "I do not want to work even for a second under this government," he had asserted. Mr Ojha has also remained defiant in face of a showcause notice served on him by the State Government, charging him with violating the All India Services Conduct Code by speaking against the Government at the Sonepur Fair on November 28. While addressing a function at the fair, Mr Ojha had said power had gone into the hands of lafanga politicians. Mr Ojha said he would not reply to the showcause notice "as a Government being run in an unconstitutional way has no moral authority to issue a notice to me." "I am ready to violate the code of conduct a thousand times in the interest of public and justice," he added. Referring to RJD supreme Laloo Prasad Yadav's statement that the CBI had recommended departmental proceedings against him in the fodder scam case, the former DGP said it was ironical that "Laloo who is a kingpin of the scam is levelling charges against me".Meanwhile, official sources said the State Government plans to suspend Mr Ojha and initiate action against him if he fails to reply to the showcause notice. [PTI adds] Mr Ojha also denied Laloo Prasad Yadav's allegation that he was serving the interests of Ranvir Sena, a private militia of landlords. "I have no links with the Ranvir Sena. Such allegations are baseless and out of vendetta," he said reacting to the charges made against him by Mr Yadav. "Laloo is behaving like a jester," he said. Mr Yadav had also alleged that Mr Ojha was serving criminals with NDA leanings and that he had irrefutable information that they and the Ranvir Sena leaders had made frequent visits to him and a conspiracy to topple the duly elected Government in Bihar was hatched in his office. LIST OF CASES REGISTERED AGAINST SHAHBUDDIN 1985 - 1998
Sl.No Police Station Case No. Sections Date 1 Siwan Town 34/ 1985 384, 385, 379, 323, 34 May 11 1985 2 Siwan Town 217/ 1985 307, 323, 34 September 9 1985 3 Siwan Town 222/ 1985 307, 341, 323, 324, 34, 27, Arms Act April 9 1985 4 Siwan Town 79/ 1986 399, 402, 411, 412, 414, 35, Arms Act April 10 1986 5 Moffaall PS 228/ 1986 47, 148, 325, 302, 27, Arms Act December 31 1986 6 Hussamganj 125/ 1986 324, 364, 307, 323, 34 September 12 1968 7 Siwan Town 57/1989 307, 302, 34, ¾ Explosives March 19, 1989 8 Moffasil 91/1989 353, 364, 304, 34, 37 Arms Act. May 1, 1998 9 Mairwan 134/1990 302, 34, ¾ Explosive November 22, 1990 10 Moffasil 61/1990 363 April 12, 1990 11 Siwan Town 205/1990 365, 337 September 3, 1990 12 Siwan Town 129/1985 324, 307, 34, 27 Arms Act May 6, 1985 13 Siwan Town 77/1986 394 April 8, 1988 14 Siwan Town 183/1998 307, 27 Arms Act September 10, 1998 15 Hussainganj 188/1993 147, 148, 334, 307, 27 Arms Act October 3, 1993 16 Panchrukhi 80/1994 147, 323, 327, 27 Arms Act May 24, 1994 17 Siwan Town 108/1994 147, 148, 149, 324 May 22, 1994 18 Siwan Town 155/1994 302, 307, 324 August 7, 1994 19 Punchrukhi 8/1995 ---- October 20, 1995 20 Siwan Town 11/ 1996 34, 342, 323, 27 Arms Act January 18, 1998 21 Hussainganj 99/1998 147, 148, 149, 302 May 2, 1998 22 Andar 32/1998 147, 149, 302, 488 May 2, 1998 23 Andar 36/1996 147, 148, 307 May 2, 1998 24 Daruall 34/1996 307, 353, 34, 27 Arms Acr May 4, 1990 25 Moffasil 181/1998 147, 323, 448, 504 September 8, 1998
His Interview

Posted by: Mudy Mar 2 2005, 04:47 PM

PATNA: The magic figure for RJD chief Lalu Prasad in Bihar is not 122 out of 243 but 106 out of 209. His interpretation of the letters sent to the governor by the LJP and CPI(ML) that they would neither support the RJD nor the NDA for the formation of a government in the state is, "Iska matlab ki wey log na to idhar hain na udhar (It means that these parties are neither on this side nor on that side)." "If the NDA and LJP get together and clinch a deal, I will sit in the opposition," Lalu said. He said the strength of government is tested on the floor of the House, adding, "It is the only proper forum." According to RJD sources, Lalu is expected to present a list of 106 MLAs — 75 of his own party, 10 of the Congress, three each of the NCP and CPI, two of the BSP, one of the CPM and 12 Independents — to the governor and stake a claim to form government in Bihar. The RJD has got the support letters of all these parties except for the CPI which is expected to give it by Thursday morning. Interestingly, the Congress' letter of support for the RJD was handed over to Lalu through an RJD MLA from Jharkhand. AICC general secretary in charge of party affairs in Bihar and Jharkhand Harikesh Bahadur is camping in Ranchi. The letter came even as the BPCC was holding a meeting here at Sadaquat Ashram where speakers demanded snapping of ties with the RJD. Central party leaders like Digvijay Singh and Wasim Ahmad came in for bitter criticism at the meeting, which started with condoling the death of Congress leader Radhanandan Jha. RJD sources said Central Congress leaders have been asked to persuade LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan to make his MLAs abstain from voting on the motion of confidence in the Bihar assembly. The CPI(ML) with seven MLAs is also expected to abstain. This will bring the effective strength of the House down to 209. "With the support of 106 MLAs, the Rabri Devi government will get through," said an RJD leader. "But the catch is that Paswan's MLAs must not press the red button," conceded the RJD leader. According to him, if Paswan asks his MLAs to press the red button, he will be out of the UPA. "Then we will think of sitting in the opposition," he added. Lalu's strategy for forming the government depends on the actions of Paswan who till now has been swearing to finish him off. Paswan's party is under pressure from its own MLAs — most of them belong to upper castes — to take a decision quickly.

Posted by: Muppalla Mar 2 2005, 05:16 PM 28 February 2005: Ram Vilas Paswan will support a RJD-led government in Bihar if it is headed by either Barik Siddiqui or Jagdanand Singh with Paswan’s younger brother and newly-elected MLA, Pashupat Kumar Paras, as deputy chief minister, but this is unacceptable to Laloo Prasad Yadav. Paswan’s second formula, that Laloo vacate the railway portfolio, is also unacceptable, because the RJD has warned of the consequences to the UPA government in the Centre, if the Congress backs Paswan who has two other MPs, while scorning the RJD, which has twenty-four. “If anything happens to the UPA,” warned a senior Laloo aide, “then the Congress is responsible.” Meanwhile, Laloo is strategising to break Paswan’s thirty MPs because at least half of them have apparently already indicated support to a RJD-led government, and the Congress view is that it won’t stop this if Paswan remains adamant against Laloo or Rabri Devi as chief minister.

Posted by: Viren Mar 3 2005, 02:30 PM No prizes..

RJD Chief Lalu Prasad today defended the action of Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibtey Razi in inviting JMM-led UPA coalition to form government in the state and accused the BJP of "talking in the air".

Posted by: Sid Mar 3 2005, 08:54 PM

For those who do not know Shahabuddin, here is a brief introduction. Three time MP from Siwan, he has over a dozen cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping against him. Whenever he has gone to jail, he has come out almost just as quickly, often finding comfort in a local hospital on the grounds that he is "unwell". Three years ago, he had the distinction of being perhaps the first active member of parliament involved in a police encounter. Seven members of his gang were killed in the encounter, while Shahabuddin escaped. However, instead of being arrested the moment he resurfaced, the Bihar government accused the police of "targeting" the MP. For the last 17 months, Shahabuddin had been in jail for the murder of a CPI (ML) activist. When he was finally given bail, the district magistrate said that the release should take place only after the counting was over. Rabri Devi overruled her officer, and pushed for his immediate release. Not surprisingly then, the Siwan MP appears wholly obligated to Bihar's political first family.

Posted by: Viren Mar 4 2005, 07:48 AM

Rebel RJD leader Vijendra Chaudhary, who won the Muzaffarpur assembly seat as an Independent defeating party nominee Amar Pandey, said: "Since we have won the election on an anti-RJD plank, we cannot ditch the voters by supporting RJD. We have decided not to support RJD at any cost." Besides Sharma and Chaudhary, Ram Deo Rai, Hari Bhusan Thakur, Narendra Singh and Kishore Kumar Munna participated in the meeting.

Posted by: Viren Mar 4 2005, 08:36 AM

In what seemed to be a concerted move against Laloo, Paswan met Governor Buta Singh with most of his 29 MLAs to reiterate that they would not support either the RJD or the BJP. Then, a CPI-ML delegation met the Governor and dropped a bombshell, saying the party—with seven MLAs—would vote against RJD, a day after Laloo claimed they would abstain from voting. The Samajwadi Party—with four MLAs—soon echoed that line, followed by the two BSP MLAs, though Mayawati had openly declared the party’s support for the RJD. To round off a day of skillful manoeuvring, Paswan also claimed that the CPI, too, has supported his no-BJP-no-RJD stance.

Posted by: ramana Mar 4 2005, 11:28 AM

Pioneer, Op-Ed, 5 March, 2005

Where's democracy in all this? KPS Gill The scrimmage for the Chief Minister's post in Bihar is on, after a deeply fractured mandate in the elections allowed Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi's Rashtriya Janata Dal the dubious face saver of its status as the single largest party. The eventual "victor" will emerge, presumably after every sordid stratagem and combination has been tried, but in the interim, it is useful to ask a more fundamental question - does it matter? Bihar's plunge into chaos has been sustained over nearly five decades, after it began to lose its initial sheen as one of India's "best governed states" by the early 1960s. Since then, a succession of chief ministers has driven its administration, its economy, its institutions and its infrastructure steadily into the ground. The last fifteen years of this hurtling descent into destitution and disorder have, of course, been "led" by Mr Lalu Prasad, till 1997 as Chief Minister, and subsequently, after the fodder scam made his continuance in that position untenable, by proxy, through his wife - but the trajectory had been fixed long before. With the manipulation of castes and communities having established itself as a permanent strategy of political management in the State, it is far from clear whether any change in incumbency could have a significant impact on what VS Naipaul has evocatively described as "the end of the earth", and The Economist, brutally, as India's "armpit". Even in far better-run states, few chief ministers have ever been able to leave a radical mark for the better - and the rare exception was Pratap Singh Kairon in Punjab, who laid such secure foundations for the State's prosperity and development that decades of subsequent mis-governance and political waywardness have not been able to unravel the processes. By and large, however, the general trend in a State has seldom been transformed for the better by a change of leadership, though the list of chief ministers who have led their States into rack and ruin through populist and "vote-bank" politics and administrative incompetence would certainly be long. Given the profile of the various aspirants and contenders in Bihar today, there is little reason to believe that any one of these could forge a new direction for the State, and in this, there is little difference between one party and another. The only gainers from any change in - or the persistence of - the ruling order would be small coteries of politicians, bureaucrats and their hangers-on, who would profit from the enveloping patterns of corruption and nepotism that afflict Bihar, fattening like ticks on a buffalo's belly. Indeed, the dynamic of a ruinous politics has become so deeply entrenched in Bihar that it is difficult to imagine how the people of this blighted State can be rescued from their unrelenting poverty and growing misery. Bihar is India's poorest and most ignorant State. As much as 42 per cent of its population lives below the poverty line, and per capita incomes in the State are a third of the national average of Rs 11,799. Bihar has the lowest literacy and female literacy rates in the country, 47.53 per cent and 33.57 per cent respectively. Bihar's leaders have constantly complained of the "exploitation" of the State's resources, and the "step-motherly" treatment they have received from the Centre, and there is some truth in these claims. Nevertheless, almost all States have similar grievances. What is more significant is that, the sheer situation of administrative collapse has prevented the efficient utilisation - indeed, any utilisation - of a large proportion even of available resources. Thus, out of the cumulative allocation of Rs 15,411 crore under the Ninth Plan, Bihar failed to utilise as much as Rs 5,490 crore. Similarly, as against the allocation of Rs. 2,964 crore in 2002-03, the State failed to spend Rs 737 crore. Even where the State "utilises" the funds, the benefits are questionable. A Central team assessing the status of rural electrification in Bihar in 1999 found that 46,000 villages (of a total of 67,000) had been electrified "on paper". However, at least 12,000 of these "electrified villages" showed no evidence of such electrification - apparently because all the equipment had simply been "stolen" Even in villages that were supposedly "connected", electricity was a "sporadic luxury" and one report claims that "satellite photos of India at night show Bihar at the centre of an area of darkness". That darkness goes beyond the physical absence of light and increasingly consumes the psyche of the people. Bihar is the most violent State in the country. Though terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir grabs headlines far more frequently, the truth is, far more people suffer violent death in Bihar. There are, on an average, as many as 11 murders and seven abductions, three rapes and four dacoities a day in Bihar (the data is for year 2002, and the numbers have been increasing continuous). Worse, 29 of the State's 38 districts are now afflicted by various intensities of Maoist insurgent activity, and at least 10 of these are "highly affected" - areas in which the writ of the Government would be questionable. The sense of fear is pervasive. As is the sense of a total loss of purpose and direction for a vast majority of the people. Unemployment in the State is the highest in the country; schools in rural areas are non-functional, in urban areas, they barely function. Universities and colleges are closed much of the time, and, in any event, what passes for education in most institutions in the State today is near worthless. Businesses are collapsing everywhere, and a recent report suggests that at least 80 companies, businesses and corporate houses have shut down their offices in Patna and shifted out of the State in just the past two years. Most bureaucrats in the Bihar cadre are simply desperate to get out of the State on deputation. The desire to flee the State goes from impoverished migrant workers and well into what passes for Bihar's elite. The only exceptions are those who are direct beneficiaries of the systems of corruption, nepotism and disorder that pervade the State - and even these send their children out for their education and, in most cases, for their careers. If at all this corrupt creaking, crumbling system still manages to fitfully deliver something, it is not because of its politicians, certainly not because of its chief ministers, but because a few good bureaucrats, a few district and police officers still manage to do at least part of their jobs in spite enormous interference, disruption and pressure that is exercised on them by a venal political class. Where is "democracy" in all this? Where are the "aspirations of the people"? Elections alone create nothing. Those who speak of constitutional or democratic governance in Bihar, on the authority of the fact of elections, delude themselves, or deceive others. Nor, indeed, is there any real consolation in the academic fiction that all this violence and disorder is part of a "churning process" of "social transition" and that an inevitable and utopian future will emerge. Those who have been "churned" for decades now cannot find succour in this myth.

Posted by: acharya Mar 4 2005, 11:36 AM

Nor, indeed, is there any real consolation in the academic fiction that all this violence and disorder is part of a "churning process" of "social transition" and that an inevitable and utopian future will emerge. Those who have been "churned" for decades now cannot find succour in this myth. THis is the mantra which the leftist and sociologists have been saying for decades. They cannot fool anybody now

Posted by: muddur Mar 4 2005, 05:08 PM Bihar heading for Central rule?

Posted by: Mudy Mar 4 2005, 11:28 PM

Posted by: vijayk Mar 5 2005, 05:38 PM Paswan set to resign as Minister NEW DELHI, MARCH 5. The United Progressive Alliance's political establishment was tonight bracing itself for the departure of the Lok Jan Shakti Party leader, Ram Vilas Paswan, from the Union Cabinet. The UPA's political managers expect Mr. Paswan to send in his resignation tomorrow before he hitches his wagon to the anti-Lalu Prasad camp in Bihar. These managers believe that Mr. Paswan would make available his crucial 34 legislators to a Nitish Kumar-led arrangement in order to prevent the Rashtriya Janata Dal from getting a gubernatorial invitation to have the first crack at forming the government. The UPA is not unduly worried about the loss of the four members Mr. Paswan has in the Lok Sabha. The calculation is that the loss would be easily made up in the changed scenario.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 5 2005, 06:01 PM

The calculation is that the loss would be easily made up in the changed scenario.
How? Who will join UPA now?

Posted by: Mudy Mar 5 2005, 08:13 PM

NEW DELHI/PATNA, MARCH 5: With just a day to go before the March 7 deadline to form a government in Bihar, failing which the state will come under President’s Rule, BJP and JD(U) leaders are putting great pressure on Ram Vilas Paswan to come on board. They have revived their old offer of making him chief minister, well-placed NDA sources indicated today. The BJP leadership is more than willing to provide “outside support” to a JD(U)-LJP government and are banking on restive Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) MLAs to force Paswan to accept the offer. In their bid to pressure Paswan, BJP-JD(U) leaders have also started a new tactic—telling him that President’s Rule would only be a continuation of “Laloo raj” since Laloo has now regained Congress support and is a major player at the Centre. ‘‘Our people have pointed out to him that if he wants to liberate Bihar from the Laloo-Rabri regime, then President’s Rule is not the answer. Only an alternative government can do that,’’ a BJP source said. ........

Posted by: Mudy Mar 6 2005, 08:37 AM

Posted by: Mudy Mar 6 2005, 09:08 AM

Wounded Lalu may be a dangerous foe Navin Upadhyay/ New Delhi His friends and foe alike feel that a wounded Lalu Prasad Yadav could prove to be a highly vengeful adversary. As Bihar bids goodbye to lantern age and stumbles into the uncertain era of President's Rule, the RJD supremo has reason to feel betrayed by the Congress. After all, he was one of the first non-Congress leaders to stand by Ms Sonia Gandhi when she was being assailed by the BJP on the issue of her foreign origin. Now that he has reasons to feel backstabbed by the Congress, which is using him only as a prop to keep the UPA government afloat, the dethroned Raja of Bihar will be bidding his time to settle scores with the grand old party. Already, he fears that the Congress is setting up LJP president Ramvilas Paswan against him. The RJD chief is unlikely to forgive Mr Paswan, who is largely responsible for Rabri Devi's fall from power. The RJD has started arm-twisting the Congress to drop Paswan from the Union Cabinet if it could not get the LJP chief to agree to support the formation of a RJD-led government in Bihar. In the eventuality of being sacked from the council of ministers, the Dalit leader may walk out from the UPA as a martyr and cross over to the NDA without any loss of face. As the event unfolds, Mr Paswan could turn out be the real thorn in the Congress-RJD relationship. Much will depend on what is Congress' "secret" plot for Bihar. If it is to weaken Mr Lalu Prasad during President's Rule, the days ahead could see serious trouble within the UPA. Surely, a seasoned politician like Lalu Prasad cannot be expected to sit idle if the Congress tried to expand its base during President's Rule in Bihar. Any improvement in the law and order situation and even a symbolic start of development work could invoke a comparison between the Rabri rule and President's Rule, with the advantage going to the Congress. Similarly, any large-scale administrative shake-up, which will be a pre-requisite to exterminate the all-pervasive malaise of the Rabri rule, is bound to be unacceptable to the RJD chief. For protecting his long term political interest and meeting the challenge of a fresh election as and when it takes place, Mr Lalu Prasad would like to keep the string of Raj Bhavan in his hands. That would bring him in direct conflict with the Congress and the LJP with serious implications for the UPA's stability. Mr Lalu Prasad's strategy will be to reconsolidate his core support base, especially among the Muslims and the Yadavs. If the Congress does not take aggressive measures to prevent the Muslims from drifting back to the RJD, the wheels of fortune could turn favorably for Lalu Prasad when the next polls take place. Yadavs have punished him once, they are unlikely to do it twice. If the Congress were to provide RJD an opportunity to recover lost ground during the period of President's Rule, Mr Lalu Prasad could still have hope to gain back his lost empire, six months or one year from now. Remember, despite the anti-Lalu wave sweeping across the state, the RJD had lost as many as 40 seats by a wafer-thin margin. The man who could emerge as the real loser during President rule will be Paswan. With most MLAs not wanting to risk fresh elections, Mr Paswan will have a tough time in keeping his flock of 29 MLAs together. For the time being he is able to buy some time from his MLAs by dangling the carrot of an alternative government. But if he remains hell bent on not backing any government that will be formed with the participation of the RJD and BJP, his flock could start looking for ways to avoid fresh polls. Even if Mr Paswan were to keep his party united, both anti-RJD and anti-NDA votes could desert him in the next polls, because both segments will feel cheated in some way or other. That may compel Mr Paswan to become more flexible in exercising his options in the days to come. There may lie the key to resolving the political impasses of Bihar in the coming weeks. For the NDA it is a win-win situation. The alliance could hope to consolidate its anti-RJD vote bank by projecting Mr Paswan as the villain of the piece, who poached on the upper caste votes and prevented the NDA from coming to power.

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Mar 6 2005, 12:10 PM

Old assembly (12th) has been dissolved. Not the new one (13th). Also president's rule has been declared by governor Buta Singh. President's rule means Congress gets to rule the state even while having won only 10 out of 243 seats in the assembly. Lalu will be upset. The real mood in RJD will become clear on March 15th when Sibu soren seeks confidence vote in Jharkhand. If RJD votes against or even abstains then that would mean daggers have been drawn. Otherwise it would mean RJD is biding its time.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 6 2005, 12:15 PM

Lalu intension will come out soon. I am unable to figure out what was Paswan thinking. Now he may lose his MLA and trust.

Posted by: acharya Mar 6 2005, 02:04 PM

Send this Article to a Friend A conspiracy, say RJD, BJP By K. Balchand PATNA, MARCH 6. The Rashtriya Janata Dal today charged the Lok Jan Shakti Party leader, Ram Vilas Paswan, with forcing Central rule in Bihar by not aligning either with the United Progressive Alliance or the National Democratic Alliance in the State. With the RJD chief and Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, remained incommunicado, the reaction came from the party vice-president and Union Minister, Raghubansh Prasad Singh. Governor blamed The RJD spokesman, Shivanand Tiwari, however, did not spare the Raj Bhavan either. He said that Central rule had been recommended without going through the process of putting an elected government in place. President's rule should have been the last option. "We alone had staked claim to form the government. The Governor should have invited us to form the government and it would have been our responsibility to prove the majority. In case, we failed we would willingly have taken the Opposition seats and the second largest outfit should have been given the chance. We were fair in our approach and we do not know the logic behind the imposition of Central rule." Mr. Tiwari wondered whether the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, had taken into account the fact that it was because of Mr. Paswan that a secular government could not be formed in the State. He sought to know whether they had exerted sufficient pressure on Mr. Paswan in this direction and also what action Ms. Gandhi intended to take against the LJP leader for not abiding by her directive. He wondered whether it was all part of a conspiracy in which Mr. Paswan had played his card. BJP charge The State BJP unit chief, Gopal Narain Singh, today alleged that the imposition of Central rule was part of a conspiracy hatched by the Congress and Mr. Paswan. He said it was not possible for anyone to provide a government without the LJP taking sides. The BJP vice-president, S.K. Modi, said the NDA had tried its best to work out a solution with Mr. Paswan. He accused the LJP leader of adopting double standards, pointing out that he had been part of the NDA just a year ago. The LJP had no option but to join hands with the NDA eventually to provide an alternative in the State, he added. I take the blame, says Paswan By K. Balchand The LJP chief, Ram Vilas Paswan, coming out of the Raj Bhavan after meeting the Governor, Buta Singh, in Patna on Sunday. — Photo: Ranjeet Kumar PATNA, MARCH 6. The Lok Janshakti Party chief and Union Steel Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, today took responsibility for the recommendation of President's Rule in the State by the Governor, Buta Singh. He said: "I take the blame." "What is wrong with it?" When asked about the accusations being levelled against him by both Rashtriya Janata Dal and the National Democratic Alliance leaders, he said "this is nothing new." "Who are these people? One who had lost power (RJD) and the other (NDA) who was craving to grab it,'' Mr. Paswan said, charging that his stand had caused anxiety to both the camps. Mr. Paswan hit back at the Janata Dal (United) leader, Nitish Kumar, charging that he had remained silent for all seven days. "Was it not his responsibility to take the initiative? Had he done so the Congress might not have extended its letter of support to the RJD. It might have taken another line," he claimed. He accused him of running away from the battlefield by not staking claim to form the government and trying to prove his majority on the floor of the House. He ridiculed the BJP and the JD (U) for not even electing their legislature party leaders. The LJP chief was confident that he would be able to form a government excluding both the RJD and the BJP. In his calculation, all others, including the JD (U), the Left parties, the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party and independents would join hands with him in the near future. He said he had his calculations right and achieved his target one after the other. It was first the NDA at the Centre and then the RJD in Bihar. Mr. Paswan stressed that mid-way through the elections he had spoken about imposition of President's rule knowing well the ground realities and in the interest of the State. Welcoming the imposition of President's rule, Mr. Paswan was hopeful that it would help clean the Augean stables. The State Congress chief, Ram Jatan Sinha, too welcomed the President's rule claiming that it would improve the law and order situation in the State.

Posted by: acharya Mar 6 2005, 02:51 PM user posted image user posted image

Posted by: Sid Mar 6 2005, 10:28 PM

'Super Cop' K P S Gill is likely to become Bihar governor Buta Singh's advisor if President's rule is imposed in the state. Buta Singh had recommended President's rule on Sunday and dissolved the state assembly. Sources close to Raj Bhavan told that Gill might be entrusted with the responsibility of fighting crime and improving the overall law and order situation in the state. The name of retired Indian Administrative Service officer Vijay Shankar Dubey was also being considered for the post to run the administration in the event of President's rule, they said. Dubey is known for his honest image and hard work. He had served Bihar for long, the sources added.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 7 2005, 08:22 AM

Countdown midterm poll -2005,001301480000.htm

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 7 2005, 10:51 AM

BLOWING IN THE WINDS OF CHANGE The fragmentation of polity evident in Uttar Pradesh seems to be spreading to Bihar, writes Mahesh Rangarajan Is Bihar going the Uttar Pradesh way? This is a question that now merits serious thought. For a time in the early Nineties, it seemed like each state had moved into a new kind of political equilibrium. Under Kalyan Singh, the party of the mandir broke through divisions of caste and secured for itself a clear majority in the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow. Four years later, Laloo Prasad Yadav became the first man since the late Karpoori Thakur to secure a clear majority in the state assembly in undivided Bihar. Yet, the illusion soon broke in UP. From 1993 onward, the state has seen three large political formations, each with a distinctive base and leadership, jostle for power. In the long term, the Bharatiya Janata Party had slipped to a distant third place. The camps of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayavati now alternate in power, though neither is able to secure a clear mandate from the electorate. A similar scenario is unfolding in Bihar. For the last decade-and-a-half, the long suppressed aspirations of the Mandal classes, minorities and a large chunk of Dalits found a place in the platform of Rabri Devi and Laloo Yadav. The spokes in the umbrella now have come half undone. There is a serious tussle for power for the first time with a challenger from the lower end of the social spectrum. The challenge is not encompassed by any one party or group. The vote share of fringe parties opposed both to Hindutva and Laloo Yadav’s party points to a yearning for change. The Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation have together taken one in ten votes. The latter in particular has been the only effective left wing force on the ground. On the face of it, Nitish Kumar too embodies the Mandal process. But since the Thirties, the Kurmis forged ahead of their backward brethren with the strides they made in education and contracts for brick-laying and road-building. What they lack in numbers they have made up in political sophistication. The fact they went with the Hindutva groups is less due to their affinity for saffron politics and more due to the bid to secure Kshatriya-like status via political power. The Yadavs under Laloo Yadav had a very different approach. He reached out to the culturally “invisible” but numerically crucial extremely backward classes even more than Muslims. These castes were given symbolic sops, as with the abolition of the toddy tax. Men like Captain Jai Narain Nishad, who served in the Indian air force, became an emblem of pride for fishing communities who had little access to education. Over the last decade, what was a relatively unified bloc has been breaking up slowly. The victory in 2004 of the Untied Progressive Alliance in retrospect seems to have been shaped by two factors. One was the deep unpopularity of the ruling Vajpayee government among the vast number of the under-classes and the poor. The other was the sheer accretion of votes and the momentum of the coming together of Sonia Gandhi, Ram Vilas Paswan and Laloo Yadav. The poll results of 2005 have been subject to much analysis in terms of seats. Everyone wants to know who can and will ally with whom. Or who can work against whom. But the figures reveal a society heading for the kind of turmoil UP has been caught up in during the post Mandal-mandir epoch. Neither Mandal nor the mandir issues have gone away. But once they became part of the political idiom, they slowly lost their ability to divide or, alternatively, to unify blocs of citizens. The politics of polarities has run into limits. Or rather, there are new polarities and border-crossings that cannot be easily assimilated into a bi-polar model. Paswan and the Congress together polled 18 per cent of the votes. The amazing thing about the assembly polls in Bihar is not the vote erosion of the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led alliance. It has fallen below, just below, the 30 per cent vote mark for the first time in a decade. What is more striking is the heavy loss of ground in votes for the National Democratic Alliance. From 37 per cent in the general elections only ten months ago, it is now down to just over a quarter of the vote. This shows a clear inability on the part of the NDA to expand its social base. In fact, its base has contracted even though its seat share has expanded. The formation of a new government is of less interest than the direction it will take. In fact, governing Bihar has never been as difficult. Paswan has challenged Laloo Yadav but not humbled him. The NDA has made a big stride but fallen short of even the striking distance of power. The Congress remains a non-starter. The BJP has not made the kind of splash it wanted to. The fragmentation of the polity evident so sharply in UP seems slowly to be spreading to Bihar. The loaves and fishes of office did unify his ranks but the welling up of ambitions with 2,500 applicants for 243 seats did not bode well for him. Nor did the widespread disaffection due to the cornering of tickets by a small coterie of enriched candidates. The absence of a party structure to mediate and iron out conflicts has never been more apparent or more damaging. Yet, Paswan is no Mayavati. He lacks not only the formidable cadre base of the sort the old Bamcef, the union founded by Kanshi Ram, gave her. He also does not have the kind of educated layer of Dalits that she has been able to mobilize and rely on in UP. The Dalits are not only smaller as a community; there is no history of entrepreneurship comparable to that of the leather-working castes of the north. Bihar is at a crossroads once again. There are stirrings of change. But they are not strong enough to create a new order in politics or society. There will be twists and turns yet in the story in the days and years ahead. It is still possible for a Laloo Yadav to stitch together a government. But that regime will barely be a functional one. As a senior Marxist Leninist leader told this writer, Laloo sarkar (government) may go on but Laloo raj (absolute rule) is at its logical end. What will replace it is still unclear.

Posted by: ramana Mar 7 2005, 11:12 AM

President's rule kicks off next poll battle Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi Eight days after the contending players failed to cobble up the numbers to form the government, the Union Cabinet on Monday decided to impose President's rule in Bihar, bringing the curtains down on the RJD's 15 years of uninterrupted and unfettered rule in the state. The State Assembly has been put under suspended animation for six months during which the key players will have the time to strike deals for the magic number. Else, if the RJD chief's mood is anything to go by, fresh elections loom large over the state after the term of President's rule expires. When it finally happened in a Cabinet meeting, neither Lalu Prasad Yadav, the man stumped by the people's mandate, nor Ram Vilas Paswan, the vocal advocate of Central rule and bitter rival of RJD chief, chose to be part of it. The LJP supremo, dubbed the villain of the piece by all and sundry, remained huddled at his residence while Lalu Prasad called on all the major players in the UPA alliance and Left front before taking a return flight in the evening to his lost kingdom. The Cabinet met briefly at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence where the Union Cabinet considered Governor Buta Singh's recommendation in favour of President's rule as none of the parties or alliances had the requisite numbers to form the government. Briefing reporters, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said, "Cabinet has decided to recommend President's rule be imposed and the legislative assembly be put under suspended animation." What finally happened may have been a foregone conclusion once the hung Assembly thrown up by the results was converted into a deadlocked one by the bitter rivals. Lalu Prasad air-dashed to Delhi in the morning and called on the Home Minister, chairman and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and leaders of CPM. He registered RJD's symbolic protest by boycotting the Cabinet meeting along with Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh. Sources said he had conveyed to the top UPA leadership that he will not support Central rule beyond six months. In his first attack on Paswan, he charged him in the capital with playing into the hands of "communal and fascist" forces. "Paswan is having a tacit understanding with the communal NDA leaders who also wanted imposition of President's rule in the state to throw out the RJD," he said. After his meeting with HKS Surjeet and Sitaram Yechury, the RJD leader said he came to thank them and the CPI(M) for their "steadfast support to RJD through the thick and thin". Regarding his meeting with Ms Gandhi, he said "I have told her that we are with the UPA through and through and will not rock the boat any time ... I also told her not to pay heed to reports in a section of the media that I had given an ultimatum to her. All that is rubbish". However, the man-of-the-moment turned villain of the piece, Paswan sat at home. Reasoning his absence from the Cabinet meeting even though it was a decision he had vocally advocated during the polls, the Union Chemical and Fertiliser Minister said, "Everyone was aware of my stand. I felt that my presence could prevent a frank discussion on the subject. So I kept away but I had conveyed my support to the Cabinet meeting to the Prime Minister."
So Lalu Prasad Yadav is not going to rock the UPA. By declaring President's Rule they ensured that LJP has no chances of forming the govt with outside support.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 7 2005, 03:42 PM,curpg-1.cms

Loopholes in anti-defection law may haunt Paswan NEW DELHI: Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Jan Shakti Party might have got the bungalow as its symbol after being recognised by the Election Commission as a state party. But would he eventually occupy the one at Anne Marg in Patna? As of now, President's Rule in Bihar has been imposed just as Paswan wished for, but in the long run it could turn out to be a headache for him. The breathing space given by Central rule would give enough time to various parties in the state - RJD and NDA - to cobble up the magic number of 122. With Paswan refusing to reveal his cards by keeping a safe equal distance from both RJD and NDA, the most desperate could be his own MLAs who would not like to damn their chance of power and perks for their leader's barely concealed long-term political goal. How can these desperate MLAs be weaned away? If you thought the anti-defection law, amended only last year with more teeth, could make defections a thing of the past, think again. A senior Union minister from Bihar has the answer: "Now MLAs can be weaned in a more dignified manner. Earlier, a party had to be split; now it can be merged with another party." How does it work? The earlier anti-defection law prohibited individual defections but permitted - and condoned - party splits. Paragraph three of this law said that where one-third of the members broke away from a party and formed a separate faction or block, they would not attract the provisions of the anti-defection law. But it did not work. Retail trading of legislators was replaced by wholesale trading. Assembly speakers recognised these splits, as had happened in many states as well as at the Centre, and permitted such breakaway groups to form a separate faction. Last year's amendment did away with paragraph three putting an end to splits. Any MP or MLA or their group that indulges in a split would lose the membership of the legislature. These changes were seen as far-reaching. But the devil lies in the detail of the amended law. To put it bluntly, 'split' has been replaced by 'merger'. How? Paragraph four of the anti-defection law has not been changed at all. This paragraph clearly states that a member or members of a political party can merge their party with another party or members of two political parties can merge to form another political party. The only condition is that the merger would be considered final if not less than two-thirds of the members of a legislature party have agreed to such merger. In such a scenario, Paswan's flock is the most vulnerable. Of LJP's 29 MLAs, the bulk come from the upper castes (nine Bhumihars, seven Thakurs and one Brahmin) who neither share Paswan's vision of social justice nor are averse to side with the winning combination. RJD or NDA makes little difference to this lot. The upper caste subset of LJP (17) needs two more members to attain two-third of strength. After that it would be a question of merging with the winner. Bihar has always shown the way. Making most of the loophole in the anti-defection law could be just another feather in the state's declining political culture.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 9 2005, 11:01 AM

Round II of battle for Bihar begins Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi With RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav apparently finding it difficult to reconcile to the imposition of President Rule in Bihar and pulling strings for appointments of advisors to the Governor of his choice to continue his proxy rule in the State, Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan on Tuesday promptly became active to foil his arch rival's gameplan. Mr Paswan began his day with a meeting with Home Minister Shivraj Patil and followed it up with another parley with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that only bureaucrats with impeachable credibility, immune to undue influences from any political quarters, be appointed as advisors to Bihar Governor Buta Singh. "I thanked the Prime Minister for imposition of President's Rule in the Centre and told him that President's Rule implied Central Rule, which in turn would mean the rule by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself. Accordingly, I urged him to appoint able administrators as advisors to Bihar Governors to ensure that the governance of the State henceforth under President Rule must be in accordance with his own clean and honest image," Mr Paswan told the Pioneer after meeting Dr Singh. "The Prime Minister smiled at my request and assured that law and order and development of Bihar would be on priority list of the Centre under President's Rule," said Mr Paswan, adding that he would also meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to thank her for the President's rule in Bihar and to impress upon her the need to take up the development of Bihar at right earnest. "I am also contemplating to meet Finance Minister P Chidambaram to request him to take personal interest in development of Bihar and to chart out a perfect developmental course in his budget for Bihar," said Mr Paswan. With imposition of the Central Rule in Bihar, now the Parliament has to pass the vote-on-account for Bihar. Earlier, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, after his meeting with Mr Paswan told reporters that the Centre would appoint the "right" adviser to assist the Governor. "Whatever is right will be done," he said when asked by reporters who would be appointed as adviser to the governor. To a question whether any name has been decided for the post, he said "it is our duty to appoint the right person, you will be informed at the right time." Mr Paswan said he thanked Mr Patil for imposition of Central rule and asked him to appoint an "impartial" person as advisor who would work for the development of Bihar. "The adviser should not listen to either (RJD president) Lalu Prasad or Paswan but work only for Bihar. The Home Minister has assured me that whoever goes there will be impartial and the law and order situation will be a priority," he said. Though he claimed that he had not suggested any names for the post, Mr Paswan said it was not wrong if "Cabinet colleagues" gave their "advice" in this regard. "I say take advice of all but the work should be for the betterment of Bihar," he said. Mr Paswan, who has been attacked by Mr Yadav for insisting on imposition of President's Rule, said he would watch for a month how the new arrangement worked. "For one month, we will not say anything and only examine how President's rule works and what is the reaction from the people," he said.

Posted by: k.ram Mar 9 2005, 11:03 AM

unsure.gif blink.gif

.....only bureaucrats with impeachable credibility, immune to undue influences from any political quarters, be appointed as advisors to Bihar Governor Buta Singh.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 9 2005, 11:12 AM


Posted by: bgravi Mar 9 2005, 02:26 PM

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 10 2005, 11:02 AM

Is it possible that all these stories are a plant to pressure paswan to go with lalloo ?

BJP eyes trap for Paswan RADHIKA RAMASESHAN New Delhi, March 9: The BJP is thinking up a new strategy to get the numbers in Bihar and break the political deadlock: isolate Ram Vilas Paswan from his own MLAs. The amended anti-defection law may have nullified a one-third split but the BJP, a senior leader said, is examining it to get around this clause. The law is clear that the legislature party leader, and not his party chief, offers letters of support for a coalition and issues whips. The House’s presiding officer would heed only his moves and not those of his party chief. Paswan is not an MLA and the leader of his legislature party is Ramashray Prasad Singh, who may not necessarily have a problem in engaging with the NDA like the Lok Janshakti Party chief has, BJP sources said. The sources said the party is relying on Paswan’s upper-caste legislators to press him to go with the NDA and probably chart an “independent” course if he stuck to his stand. The BJP cited the same legal provision to bolster its case in Jharkhand, too, where the lone Jharkhand Party MLA, Enos Ekka, was part of the NDA’s flock though his party chief N.E. Horo had given a letter of support to Shibu Soren. The UPA hopes to use this “violation” of the party whip to seek Ekka’s disqualification before the confidence vote. But NDA strategists claim Horo’s “whip” is legally invalid. Sonia meeting Ram Vilas Paswan met the Congress chief tonight and appealed for Bihar’s economic development and improved law and order, reports our special correspondent. “Sonia Gandhi gave the assurance that the Centre would try to extend maximum help to ensure all-round development and tone up the law and order machinery,” Paswan later said.

Posted by: rhytha Mar 10 2005, 11:48 AM

Purefooling and whining!! Is the Congress awake and listening? March 10, 2005 Nine months after it was formed following the rout of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, the United Progressive Alliance stands menaced by a crisis of its own creation. The assembly election in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana offered the UPA a handsome opportunity to consolidate itself, further isolate the BJP, and impart a decisive Centre-Left orientation to politics. The UPA squandered it and very nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Bihar and Jharkhand. Its triumph in Haryana, with almost a three-fourths majority, does not compensate for these setbacks. The UPA must learn some hard lessons. In Jharkhand, the governor courted controversy by swearing in Shibu Soren although it wasn't clear that he enjoyed greater support than the NDA. The BJP feigns injured innocence at this. But its own conduct right since the late 1970s (when the Janata Party, of which it was part, wantonly dismissed numerous Congress governments) reeks of serious abuse -- witness Nitish Kumar's appointment in Bihar (2000), and toppling of governments in Goa, Arunachal, Manipur and Nagaland later. Stop this nonsense about our great democracy! We must see this in a larger perspective. All indications available before the nomination process pointed to a thumping victory for the UPA parties in Jharkhand. Had the UPA merely repeated its polling performance in the last Lok Sabha election, it would have won a three-fourths majority -- such was the ill-will generated by BJP Chief Minister Arjun Munda's tenure. Besides, there was the 'sympathy' factor arising from Shibu Soren's arrest in a 30- year-old case pertaining to the agitation for a separate state. The upbeat mood in the Congress after its return to national power was expected to further boost the UPA. However, the Congress mindlessly and unilaterally made a seat-sharing deal with the JMM, which excluded the RJD and the Left. This decision caused the secular alliance serious setbacks, which were aggravated by an intra-JMM split between Shibu Soren and Stephen Marandi, leading to the sabotage of the much-resented candidature of Soren's sons. The Congress failed to reach its own 2000 tally even as its divisive moves cost its allies a number of seats. Evidently, the Congress forgot that broad-based alliances or coalitions have been a key to all its recent successes. It deluded itself that it was all set to re-emerge as the pre-eminent party of governance in the Hindi belt. It dreamt an old dream: the charisma of its leaders would be a substitute for the hard task of building the party by attracting cadres through programmes and policies that are relevant to the broad masses of plebeian classes and working people which have long been alienated from the Congress. The marauders of democracy The self-delusion proved especially burdensome in Bihar where the Congress has singularly failed to relate to two paradigm-setting trends of the past one-and-a-half decades -- namely, 'Mandalisation' or rise of the middle castes (the Forward March of the Backwards); and second, self-assertion of the Dalits, who increasingly demand direct self-representation. A party which doesn't incorporate or reflect the energies these processes have unleashed cannot succeed in Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. The Congress desperately looked for a shortcut to relevance and power in Bihar. It also wanted to cut Lalu Prasad to size nationally. Some Congress leaders thought Prasad, with his 'antediluvian' and 'populist' politics, was getting too big for his boots. If he were to lead the UPA to an emphatic victory in Bihar, he would demand a bigger share of central power, including the post of deputy prime minister. Besides, the Congress reckoned, the RJD's misgovernance in Bihar and its appalling development record would enhance its own popular appeal. What better way to stop Prasad in his tracks and reduce his margin of victory than enter into an alliance with his sworn enemy, Ram Vilas Paswan? Thus, the Congress made a series of absurd demands while bargaining with the RJD. In place of the 12 seats it held, it wanted 90-plus, 110, at one point, 115 seats! The Congress won just 10 seats thanks to its suicidal undermining of the UPA. The RJD's total too fell from 115 to 74, an erosion of a third of its tally. The result was a squarely hung assembly, where neither the UPA nor the NDA can form a government without Paswan's 29 seats, comprised mainly of goons and bahubalis. Lalu Prasad too deserves to be blamed for two things. First, there's simply no doubt that he has become somewhat 'soft' and complacent over the 15 years the RJD has been in power. He has developed expensive indulgences and allowed sycophancy to grow around himself. This has dented his appeal a little and decreased his breathtaking ability to communicate with and mobilise the people. Second, the RJD fielded some 40 'bad' candidates at the instance of his two brothers-in-law (Sadhu and Subhash Yadav). This, coupled with the Bihar government's remarkably bad failure to provide public services like roads, schools, hospitals and power, brought about a significant erosion in the RJD's vote. The Congress too cut into its Muslim base, especially in the first two phases of polling. Muslims (16.5 percent of the population), and Yadavs (13 percent), constitute the RJD's firm base in Bihar. Having said this, it is nevertheless creditable for Lalu Prasad to have retained a good chunk of his loyal support-base -- despite the forces arrayed against him. These were formidable. Nearly every party opposed him. A good chunk of the bureaucracy, itself upper-caste, loathes Prasad's politics. The media ran a hate campaign against him, ridiculing him as an inveterate populist and a Mandalite to be written off. And even the Election Commission passed unreasonable remarks against Prasad. (For instance, it said the Banerjee report on Godhra shouldn't even be referred to in the election campaign.) EC officials privately told some journalists they were 'fixing' Prasad! The fact that the RJD continues to enjoy significant support despite having been in power in Bihar for 15 years is a tribute to the strength of identity politics based on low or middle caste assertion in Northern India. Prasad may have earned the hatred of the savarna media and anti-Mandal intelligentsia, but his politics is legitimate and relevant for many to whom he lent his voice or helped gain self-respect. Until the aspirations of these underprivileged layers are accommodated by society, the space for Mandal-style identity politics will remain. And Prasad will remain significant within that space. Since 1977, no other leader has dominated a Northern state as totally as him. What happens now? The Congress seems to have realised that it made a huge mistake in wrecking the UPA and says it will do its utmost to form a secular government in Bihar. There are probably only three ways this can happen. One, the Congress prevails upon Paswan to join an RJD-Congress-Left government. Two, the Congress-LJP form a minority government, which the RJD supports from the outside. And third, the Janata Dal-United led by Nitish Kumar breaks away from the NDA and joins the secular alliance. This can happen immediately or after a brief spell of President's Rule. These possibilities appear more likely than that of Paswan joining a BJP-JD-U front. Each possibility will involve a price and a trade-off. Paswan could be persuaded to join a government with the RJD in it only if he is given an important central portfolio and if an RJD nominee doesn't become chief minister. Prasad will drop his claim to form a government in Patna only if he is assured of a larger national role, etc. The onus is on the Congress to make the right compromises so that a government controlled by the BJP doesn't come to power. The Congress has another major obligation too. As the UPA's largest party, it must put the alliance on a sound political-organisational footing. This it can only do if it recognises that the UPA won the Lok Sabha election not only because of successful alliance-building, but also because it represented a Centre-Left Nehruvian platform critical of the NDA's neoliberal policies with all their inequities and injustices, as well as its divisive communal politics. To be true to its mandate, the UPA must reflect both a Left-of-Centre 'progressive' orientation and a collective, alliance-based, 'united' character. Regrettably, the Congress seems to be reluctant to abide by either requirement. Going by the Budget, it doesn't seem fully aware of the nature of its mandate. Despite some of its welcome schemes, the Budget by and large perpetuates neoliberal 'free-market' policies. There is no structural change or change of direction -- in macro-economic parameters, in relations between government and private capital, in the emphasis on foreign direct investment, or on turning essential rights like those to water, healthcare and education into commodities to be sold at a profit. This must change if the UPA is to gain popular legitimacy. Is the Congress leadership awake and listening?

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 10 2005, 11:59 AM

This guy is a compulsive idiot and desh-drohi to the core. Lalloo's politics is legitimate ? WTF .. lalloo has gives self-respect to his constituency ? Is this guy dreaming ? EC was 'fixing' lalloo ? Ridiculous.. Flush.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 10 2005, 12:10 PM

Paswan has no future with lalloo. If he wants to go places he has to come out of lalloo's shadow. If he thinks lalloo is going to give him anything he is kidding himself. He has to look longterm and look at how much muslim support he got. Dalits must side with hindutva and isolate lalloo - lalloo is never going to compromise on yadav/muslim supremacy in Bihar.

No endgame in Bihar Kalyani Shankar What does Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan want? He would like to prove that he is a hero in Bihar and an alternate to RJD boss Lalu Prasad Yadav. He is, it seems, positioning himself for the future, as his ultimate aim is the Prime Minister's chair. Mr Yadav too has revealed his ambition to be the Prime Minister some day. Mr Paswan did prove his worth in the Bihar elections, but in the post-poll scenario he has emerged not as a hero but as a villain (according to the other players in the political game). While Mr Paswan could have been the king-maker or even the king, he chose the role of spoiler. Both the RJD-Left as well as the JD(U)-BJP combines are now abusing him for blocking government formation in Bihar. Without Mr Paswan's 29 MLAs, no one can form the Government. He has stuck to his "no RJD, no BJP" stand. Why did the hero become a villain? Is there more to it than meets the eye? Is there anyone behind Mr Paswan? Does he have a gameplan? These are some of the questions that need answers. Apparently, Mr Paswan seems to have been caught between two stools - to prevent Lalu rule or to stick to his new-found formula of Dalit-Muslim votes. Some think he is playing a long game to keep the D-M in his favour. If he takes the JD(U)-BJP bait to become the Chief Minister, he fears that he might lose his Muslim votes. The LJP not only won 29 seats but also got 12.6 per cent votes, staking his party's claim as a future major player. Although Mr Paswan gave tickets to a number of Muslim candidates, the result was zero. On the contrary, 19 upper caste candidates have won on LJP ticket, and now they are pressuring Mr Paswan to lean towards BJP-JD(U) combine. Then there is a theory doing the rounds that Mr Paswan is sticking to his "no RJD support" stand at the instance of another Yadav from neighbouring UP. Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and his deputy, Mr Amar Singh, are delighted by the plight of Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav as they feel the Bihar results have established the supremacy of the Samajwadi Party chief in the north. Political corridors are full of rumours of a "Mulayam move" to launch a Third Front with other like-minded parties. An enraged Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav is threatening to take his party to UP and has said he would visit the State every 10 days to teach a lesson to his Yadav brother. Mr Paswan's formula to have a Government consisting of non-BJP and non-RJD has found no takers. If there is no popular government at the end of the six months of President's rule, the State will have to face another poll. Will the results be different then? At the State level, it is war between Mr Yadav and Mr Paswan. They must bury the hatchet to form a government in the next six months. The breather given by the President's rule should enable the parties to come up with a winning formula. New equations in Bihar would also mean some new equations at the Centre. While Mr Paswan is keeping his cards close to his chest, his MLAs who are denied perks and berths despite a chance to share power are desperate. Mr Paswan's problem is that a majority of his MLAs (at least 19) are from the upper castes. They neither share his vision of Muslim-Dalit combination nor are averse to joining the winning combination which would enable them to enjoy the fruits of power. The upper caste group needs just two more legislators to break away from the party. Interestingly, UPA chief Sonia Gandhi has the unenviable task of brokering peace between Mr Yadav and Mr Paswan. If she has to choose, it is obvious that it will be the former. The Left has also sided with Mr Yadav. The two are already fighting for the appointment of advisers to the Governor of Bihar. Soon there may be other problems. They also have the task of finding the magic number to stake claim for Government formation. Loopholes in the Anti-Defection Law will haunt Mr Paswan more than anyone else. He is faced with the problem of satisfying his 29 legislators who would not like to be left out in the cold. He has promised them that he would find some solution. At the same time the JD(U) too has not given up its efforts to woo Mr Paswan. Bihar politics is also being dragged to the Centre. The first fight is about the appointment of advisers as they play a key role during President's rule. While Mr Yadav would like to rule through proxy, Mr Paswan has already asked for neutral persons. The JD(U)-BJP combine is crying wolf, alleging the Congress and the RJD want to rule Bihar by proxy. To sum up, the Congress has an uphill task and Ms Sonia Gandhi as the UPA chief has much to do to keep the alliance intact. The election results have proved that a united UPA would have done much better. Now the task before her is to ensure how to humour the warring partners. While the Congress chose the LJP as its poll ally in Bihar, it has ended up supporting the RJD in the post-poll scenario, and also called it a trusted ally. It had a difficult choice between the RJD and the LJP, but it chose the RJD out of sheer political compulsions. The Congress realises that after what happened in Goa and Jharkhand, Raj Bhavans have got negative publicity that harms the image of the party and its chief, Ms Sonia Gandhi. So, Congress strategists are advising caution and do not want the party to be seen as power-hungry. Bihar suffered on account of Jharkhand, and now with the court stepping in, if the NDA does win the vote of confidence in Ranchi, it is going to be a further setback for the Congress. The Manmohan Singh Government will be completing one year in May and it is time it took stock of the situation. Despite all this, Ms Gandhi has one achievement to her credit. And that is, the allies have accepted her as their leader. She will have to use all her persuasive skills to keep the UPA intact.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 10 2005, 04:03 PM

Mayawati's help must be procured by BJP to nudge Paswan in right direction!

Mayawati woos Brahmins in UP! By Vinay Krishna Rastogi Thursday, 10 March , 2005, 18:53 Lucknow: UP politics is getting curiouser and curiouser by the day. The latest surprise has been sprung by Mayawati, who has decided to woo Brahmins to strengthen her political base in the state. The former chief minister and BSP supremo, it might be remembered, had not too long ago raised the slogan of "Tilak, Tarazoo Aur Talwar, Inpe Maro Jute Chaar" (Show the boot to the Brahmins, Vaishayas and Thakurs). But in an above-turn that would have raised the envy of even the most nimble of circus artistes, Mayawati has now directed her partymen to hold pro-Brahmin rallies in the state. Her decision betrays her increasing political savvy and her acceptance of the fact that with a support base of only 24 per cent (mostly Dalits) she cannot swing the political pendulum in her favour in UP. Therefore, befriending the upper caste has now become a political necessity. Recently, the BSP organised huge Brahmin-Dalit rallies in Sultanpur and Bahraich districts. Emboldened by the success she met with, she has now deployed her trusted friend and lieutenant, former Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh Satish Chandra Misra, play a lead role in mobilising the Brahmin community. The BSP is also planning Brahmin rallies in 20 districts including in Allahabad, Varanasi, Deoria and Gorukhpur. Incidentally, Mayawati's preference of Brahmins over the Thakurs has everything to do with the fact that the latter have sworn allegiance to Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh and Food Minister RaghurajPratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya. Her bold move is set to reach a culmination in the next Assembly elections when she is expected to field a number of Brahmins.

Posted by: Viren Mar 15 2005, 09:51 AM

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 16 2005, 11:05 AM

They are all preparing for next elections. I would think this would be the time for the good guys to be most visible.

President's Rule makes clean sweep of Patna streets Amarnath Tewary/ Patna Ever since the imposition of President's Rule in Bihar, the State capital has assumed a different look. Gone are the swanky SUVs, omnipresent katta-wielding criminals, insouciant policemen and garbage heaps at every step. In short, the city looks less dangerous and decadent. Patna perhaps has the highest number of Scorpios, Sumos, Boleros and Toyota Qualises in the State, most of them owned by politicians. According to a rough estimate, every third politician in Patna owns a swanky vehicle to ferry his rifle-wielding cohorts. "Earlier, every fourth car hurtling down the narrow streets of Patna was either a Scorpio, a Bolero or a Sumo. But ever since the President's Rule has been imposed, they have become a rare sight," said Aashis Kumar, a shop owner at the city's NP Centre. Builder Narendra Kumar too nods with glee. "They have become virtually invisible after President's Rule in the State," said he. A week ago, these vehicles were a common sight on Patna roads brazenly flouting traffic norms, terrorising pedestrians and two-wheeler travellers. Today, however, be it a Sumo or a Pajero, such vehicles are suddenly invisible. "Basically, such vehicles are now owned by novae-riche local leaders who earned money through their connection in the corridors of power. Most of them are modern day contractors pilfering government money. Poll time or during rallies, they put their vehicles at the disposal of their political masters," explains veteran socialist leader Luxmi Sahu. "It has also become a status symbol to own expensive vehicles," he adds. Today, the odd such vehicle does dare to come out in the streets as it is bereft of the RJD flag, which in Lalu's Raj was used as a license to every liberty, a passport to impress policemen, a weapon to terrorise the man on the street. "Even tour operators started using the RJD flags on their vehicles to avoid police harassment," says a traffic constable at Frazer Road. That very flag has now become an unwanted symbol, the green flag turning a red rag to ever-vigilant officials. The Patna Police on Sunday had carried an extensive vehicle check of four wheelers, seizing several vehicles and slapping fines on their drivers. Earlier such checks were done on rare occasions, what with the powers-that-be travelling in them. For the first time in years, such vehicles have been subjected to thorough checks providing blissful relief to the common man. "It gives us great satisfaction that even the high and mighty have not been spared by the traffic cops and like us, even their vehicle and papers are being checked thoroughly," said Rajesh Kumar, a businessman. Similarly, petty criminals riding high-speed motorbikes too have gone underground, fearing a backlash in President-ruled Bihar. The state administration has reportedly been asked to be on high alert to check the grim law and order situation in the State. Director General of Police Narayan Mishra has told his subordinates that maintaining law and order in the State is top-most priority now. The SPs of all the districts in the State too have conveyed this message to all officers' in-charge of various police stations, warning of strict action in case of non- compliance. The administration's tough message to the rank-and-file of the State's police has made policemen perpetually in search of "extra income" disappear overnight. Additionally the invisible municipal corporation workers of Lalu's days can be seen removing garbage and sweeping streets early mornings. "The change is all palpable and visible for everyone. Who needs regime of politicians when things are changing for better under President's Rule," said Professor SN Jha. When things look so rosy under President's Rule, who needs a political dispensation, feel the common man. Meanwhile, the political masters of mainstream political parties like the RJD and the JD(U) have reportedly asked their workers and supporters to camp in their respective constituencies and be in touch with the electorate as much as possible.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 16 2005, 11:19 AM

nothing is going to change now Buta, his son and Paswan are boss. Whole system is corrupt. Here is some

Tejaswi and Tej Pratap, (Laloo sons) who wanted to be photographed with all-time great Kapil Dev, must have realised how things work when the family is out of power. The policemen failed to recognise the brothers and the two were shoved around when they attempted to approach the well-guarded Kapil in the Indian enclosure.
Governor Buta Singh’s son Arvinder was the spirit behind the show. Singh was present in the VIP box for a long time but the “changeover” was stark as Laloo Prasad’s bete noire Ram Vilas Paswan and wife Reena gave the governor constant company. The honours, too, were done by the new “rulers” of Bihar. The governor and Paswan took turns to hand over the trophies to the winning and the runners-up teams respectively. Singh then announced a donation of Rs 11 lakh for the calamity victims and Paswan followed suit with a gift of Rs 6 lakh
It means Paswan and Congress are still very much buddy. I think Laloo will rock this boat soon.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 16 2005, 05:18 PM

oooo.. not happy at all..

Umpires fail to deliver Ahtesham Qureshy The Assembly elections in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana have thrown up serious problems and lessons to learn for both politicians running a parliamentary democracy and for the people at large who are the benefactors and ultimate protectors of democracy. These were also the elections in which major political parties and their leaders as key players in the game failed to establish their credibility in the eye of the electorate. And, unfortunately, the umpire of the game (Election Commission) too failed to keep up the tradition of neutrality. The net result of this huge exercise - involving much time and several hundred crores of rupees - is that not many people are happy with the outcome. There are now fractured Assemblies in Jharkhand and Bihar. One immediate impact of this indecisive mandate is that there is political uncertainty in Bihar and Jharkhand. The dirty game of horse trading is flourishing, and party managers like nomads are keeping their MLAs like a herd of sheep. In Jharkhand all efforts and money is being used to keep the one vote that is so crucial to come to power. Certainly, even if a vote of confidence is won on the floor of the House by such tactics, that is no solution. The real solution would be to amend the law to provide that for a political party or an alliance to qualify to stake claim to power after the elections, should secure at least 51 per cent of the total votes polled. If no single party or a prepoll alliance fulfils that target, the Governor may nominate a leader of a party as potential Chief Minister subject to the proviso that he would first go to the Assembly and seek a vote of confidence to show that he could command a majority in the House and could provide a stable Government. These elections also brought to focus once again the nuisance of muscle power and alleged criminals. One could appreciate the anxiety of the EC to keep these elements out in order to have free and fair elections. But in doing so the EC overstepped its limits. In Bihar, there were occasions when even candidates were denied the freedom to campaign for themselves. Also there were instances when popularly elected MPs were barred from visiting their constituencies. One aspect of such arbitrary orders was an unreasonable restriction on the freedom of a person to participate in an election. It is time Parliament took serious steps and enacted a law on comprehensive poll reforms to debar criminals from the election scene, rather than leave it to the EC to tackle the problem. The other serious aspect is that the EC had sent one of its advisors to Bihar on whose instructions district magistrates issued the prohibitory orders. An advisor appointed by the EC has no power, and no power can be delegated to such a person under the Act which specifies the authorities who can exercise these powers relating to the conduct of polls. The role played by the advisor in Bihar was nothing but extra-constitutional. There were also occasions when some irrational orders issued by the EC showed bias against a party or community in Bihar. One such case was the order not to deploy on poll duty teachers of madarsas in some districts. But the real blunder committed by the EC was in having too long a poll schedule, and its insistence on compliance with the model code. The EC did not realise that its diktats left the State Governments with no power to govern for nearly two months. It was illogical to ask the Centre to withhold its decision on EPF rate hike when elections were held in only three states. Also, the extent of the model code of conduct needs to be redefined. In Haryana, the polls for all the 90 seats were held on February 3, but the results came only on February 27. The Chautala Government, which was quite legitimately in office during this interregnum, was rendered powerless. The officials refused to act on the pretext that the model code was in force. The basic intention of the code is to ensure a level playing field for all and see that the ruling party does not misuse its privileges to influence the voter. There is no chance of anyone influencing the voter once polling is over. In such a situation, the model code should be withdrawn, and not be kept in force till counting of votes is done. The Government should not be crippled or paralysed. So far as the political stalemate in Bihar is concerned, it is the Congress which should take the blame for the mess. It had adopted a strange election strategy in the hope that it would be able to keep intact its upper caste votes and also to regain the Muslim vote-bank. But it had to eat humble pie with only 10 seats out the 80 contested. Its unwritten understanding with the LJP also contributed to its disadvantage. The RJD put up 30 Muslim candidates, but not one could win. The overall impact was that the Muslim vote, comprising 18 per cent of the electorate in the State and up to 40 per cent in some constituencies, had gone waste. Neither the Congress nor the RJD nor the LJP could encash the Muslim vote. The Muslim community too made a fool of itself. It had secured a position of political worth in the Lok Sabha polls. But now the Moulvis led the community to be badly exploited by these three parties, and in the process Muslims lost their political weightage.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 17 2005, 11:38 AM

Tilting at the windmills Sir—The imposition of President’s rule in Bihar must have surely given a jolt to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. It may sound strange but the credit for saving Bihar from going into the hands of Mr Lalu Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi goes to Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibte Razi. His open foul-play in Ranchi, which was widely criticised, deterred Bihar Governor Buta Singh from manipulating his office to install Ms Rabri Devi as the Chief Minister. It is a travesty of democracy that people who turned out in large numbers to vote for an elected government, got President’s rule instead. In fact, it was the unethical and unprincipled power-game played by opportunist politicians in the guise of secularism that stalled the formation of a democratic Government in Bihar. In this regard, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan is primarily responsible. Prior to election he was dreaming of an LJP Government in Bihar. However, after the elections, since he was far short of the required number, he repeatedly stated his willingness to join hands with JD(U) if the latter left the NDA. In fact, had Mr Paswan allied with the NDA, a coalition government comprising JD(U)-BJP-LJP would have been formed with a comfortable majority. But the Dalit leader’s pathological intolerance for the BJP prevented such an alliance. Incidentally, both the NDA and LJP had fought the elections with a common goal, which was to rid Bihar of RJD. Mr Paswan wantonly squandered the opportunity to oust Mr Yadav because of his bias against the BJP. It may be recalled that Mr Paswan was a minister in the BJP-led NDA Government. His reason for leaving the NDA was the Gujarat riots. It is another matter that he resigned months after the event. The real reason for his abandoning the NDA was a change in his ministerial portfolio and the BJP’s alliance with Ms Mayawati, who is Mr Paswan’s rival in Dalit politics. Mr Paswan would do well to introspect whether to take Bihar on the path of development or carry on with his quixotic battle against the so-called “communal forces” which makes Bihar the loser. MC Joshi Via e-mail

Posted by: vijayk Mar 21 2005, 06:37 AM Ajit Singh may replace Paswan in UPA 19 March 2005: Unless Ram Vilas Paswan stands down soon and supports an RJD government in Bihar, he would be out of the UPA, because the Congress party has opened negotiations with Ajit Singh who has three MPs to join the Central cabinet. Top Congress sources said that Laloo Prasad Yadav, who has been sulking since President’s rule was imposed in Bihar to the growing dismay of party president Sonia Gandhi, has apparently given a forty-five day ultimatum for the RJD’s return to power in the state, failing which he would withdraw with his twenty-four MPs from the UPA. The Congress leadership fears that the Left with a bloc of sixty MPs would join in the exodus and together with Laloo and Mulayam begin bargaining for a Third Front government in the Centre, though the numbers don’t match for this effort. To prevent this, pressure is being brought to bear on Paswan to resile from his opposition to an RJD-led government in Bihar, and if he remains adamant, as seems likely, his party with four MPs would be replaced with the Ajit Singh group, with Singh given Paswan’s steel portfolio. The Congress sees an advantage in UP with Ajit joining the UPA without necessarily merging with the Congress, an earlier Congress condition no more being pressed, because this may strike a body blow to the Mulayam Singh Yadav government. Even if the verdict of the Allahabad high court in the case of more than forty defected BSP MLAs joining his government goes against Mulayam, the support of the Ajit Singh group gives him a slender majority, but that will go assuming the Western UP Lok Dal leader joins the Congress-led UPA government. With the fall of the Mulayam government, the Congress plans on President’s rule in UP and to subsequently contest the state elections with Ajit Singh and Mayawati, and the political calculus is that Ajit Singh enjoys Jat backing in Western UP, Mayawati’s BSP has the following of Dalits and some Muslims in Central and Eastern UP, while the Congress support is spread throughout the state.

Posted by: vijayk Mar 31 2005, 05:54 AM

Something brewing in Bihar Paswan dissolves his party in Bihar Press Trust Of India Posted online: Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 1300 hours IST Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 1434 hours IST Ramvilas Paswan New Delhi, March 31: Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan on Thursday dissolved the party's Bihar unit with immediate effect. The decision was announced by party general secretary S.N. Singh in a statement here.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 31 2005, 03:48 PM

The decision of the LJP chief has taken the state party leaders and workers by surprise. The general theory doing the round is that Mr Paswan might have taken this stand to prevent his MLAs from crossing over to the NDA camp to prop-up a Nitish Kumar-led Government. "Most of the 29 LJP MLAs had won on anti-Lalu plank and altogether 16 of them come from upper caste, who could switch their political loyalties to form any kind of anti-RJD Government in the State," said veteran socialist leader Luxmi Sahu. By dissolving the State unit of the party, Mr Paswan could take the control of the party in his hand and stall the desertion of MLAs. However, a senior LJP leader scotched such speculations and said that the decision to dissolve the State unit was taken soon after the results of the Assembly poll. Sources said that by dissolving the state unit, Mr Paswan wants to nominate a member of the minority community as the Bihar LJP president to consolidate his position among the Muslims.

Posted by: Viren Mar 31 2005, 03:55 PM

16 of them come from upper caste
So does Paswan's second/current wife? What's that go to do with post poll alliances? What does the LJP dissolution *really* mean? Can the LJP MLAs join Lalloo Yadav or Nitish attempts to form govt without triggering the anti-defection laws?

Posted by: Mudy Mar 31 2005, 04:00 PM

Can the LJP MLAs join Lalloo Yadav or Nitish attempts to form govt without triggering the anti-defection laws?
I think now he can use whip. Now it will be difficult to switch unless and until they kick Paswan out, some sort of take over.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 31 2005, 10:02 PM

New Delhi, March 31: Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan today dissolved the Bihar unit of his party and told the Janata Dal (U) it would not only have to sever ties with the BJP but also accept a Muslim chief minister if it wanted to join hands with him
The LJP has 29 MLAs. Seventeen of them are from upper castes and stridently against the RJD. Though the anti-defection law does not approve of any split, it has a loophole — two-thirds of a legislature party can merge with another party. So, 20 MLAs of the LJP, if they so decide, can merge with the Dal (U) or the BJP. But after the dissolution of the Bihar unit, all powers rest with Paswan. Narender Singh, who was so far the state unit chief, cannot take any decision
QUOTE After Bihar, Lok Janshakti Party chief and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan today dissolved the party's state committee in adjacent Jharkhand appointed Hidyatullah Khan as president of the party's state unit. .... He, however, lauded the votes garnered by defeated LJP candidates Khan, Mehta and Ojha.

Posted by: Viren Apr 1 2005, 07:59 AM

New Delhi, March 31: Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan today dissolved the Bihar unit of his party and told the Janata Dal (U) it would not only have to sever ties with the BJP but also accept a Muslim chief minister if it wanted to join hands with him
Any muslim leader Paswan's close with ? Only one I've seen in this thread was the Osama look-alike Paswan campaigned with.

Posted by: Mudy Apr 1 2005, 09:33 AM

Any muslim leader Paswan's close with ? Only one I've seen in this thread was the Osama look-alike Paswan campaigned with.
He will find some puppet. Pawasn is targeting Dalit+Muslim vote bank. It means he will stay in Bihar only. He will eat Congress and RJD votes. Hung assembly will stay forever in Bihar unless and until new Dalit candidate challenges Paswan.

Posted by: Mudy Apr 2 2005, 09:21 AM

Cong wary of Paswan's moves Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi The Congress has taken a serious note of the growing axis between Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan and Janata Dal-U leader Nitish Kumar in the context of government formation in Bihar. It is fully alive to the perils of any compromise between the two until the JD-U remain in the NDA. In fact, there are some senior leaders in the party who are critical of even the attempt to explore the possibility of a government with the JD-U before Mr Nitish Kumar formally breaks away with the NDA. But the Congress is holding its horse as it wants to see if the evolving situation finally compels Mr Nitish Kumar to desert the BJP and Mr George Fernandes who is "wedded to the saffron outfit". A senior Congress leader told The Pioneer, "We won't allow a situation in which the BJP to remain a player, an active participant or a distant observer. That means even an outside support of the BJP will not be digested by the UPA and Mr Paswan will be hauled up for that. But there is no harm in watching the churning process as it is highlighting the untouchability of the BJP." Officially, the Congress is careful about taking any side. In a cautious response to reporters' queries, AIC Media Department chairperson said, "Who is meeting whom is not the issue. It is the right of leaders of political parties to meet and discuss. But, there is no arithmentic for formation of a government in Bihar." As far as Congress role and stand in Bihar is concerned, Ms Soni said, the party had given a letter of support to the RJD and there is no change in that position. She said Bihar governor Buta Singh has stated that he would consider inviting an individual or a group only if they have support of 122 MLAs which is not in sight. Asked about Mr Paswan's flirtations with the JD-U leaders, Mr Soni said the LJP chief himself has stated that he will not take any support from the BJp whether inside or outside in formation of a government in Bihar. "We believe in his words," she said. Asked if the Congress was ready to support a JD(U)-LJP government in the event of BJP supporting it from outside, Ms Soni reiterated that the Congress was with the RJD. The RJD leaders, however, are not taking it lightly and they plan to raise Mr Paswan's conduct in a big way with the UPA leadership. The CPI(M) has already questioned the continuance of Mr Paswan in the UPa if reports about its joining hands with "communal forces" for formation of a new government in Bihar were true. "It is very unfortunate thing for the LJP to do. If the reports are true, you cannot negotiate with communal forces in Bihar and continue to remain a member of the UPA in the name of fighting communal forces at the Centre," party polit bureau member Sitaram Yechury told reporters here. He said the reported stand of the LJP was "absolutely contradictory and if this is being done, then clearly it is a case of political opportunism which, we think, the people will not accept." The JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar has sent copies of a common minimum programme prepared by his party to six non-RJD parties, including the LJP and independents, inviting them for negotiations. biggrin.gif Congress leaders are still not ready to accept that Mr Paswan will sacrifice his berth in the Union Cabinet to instal a government in Bihar. They suspect Mr Nitish Kumar too has created this hysteria about government formation to prove that Mr Paswan was the only hurdle in the way. He hs set sight on the next election where Mr Paswan will be present as villain before the anti-Lalu voters

Posted by: Mudy Apr 2 2005, 09:51 PM

Nitish sets ball rolling Amarnath Tewary / Patna Meets Paswan, shoots off CMP letters-------Treading with care on the proven cliché that politics is the art of possible, JD-U leader Nitish Kumar met up with longtime rival and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday morning. The momentous meeting took place at the State Samajwadi Party chief Dadan Singh Pehalwan's residence and renewed hope for the formation of a popular Government in Bihar. With both leaders holding the key to ending the current political logjam in the State, the half-an-hour closed-door meeting with the SP leader triggered intense speculation over the "third" alternative being stitched up by strange bedfellows in their quest to keep Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav out of power. The talk centred around a non-RJD-Congress-non-BJP formation to bring down the curtains on President's rule in Bihar. However, immediately after the meeting, Mr Kumar and Mr Paswan left without speaking to the Press and Mr Pehalwan declared that there was a serious move on to form a third front comprising all anti-RJD, anti-Congress and anti-BJP parties with Independents thrown in with liberal measure. Sources said, the latest Nitish Formula is to solicit support of all the 120 MLAs [JD-U- 55, LJP-29, SP-4, CPI-ML- 7, BSP- 2, NCP-3, CPI-3 and Independents-17] to form Government in a 243-strong Assembly. The support of remaining two MLAs would be mustered from like-minded legislators, a JD-U source said. "On this formula of Nitish, even Paswan has no objection in extending support as he would be able to stick to his demand of being equi-distance from both RJD and BJP," a senior LJP MLA said.
Now fun will start if this happen.

Posted by: Viren Apr 5 2005, 02:13 PM

Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh might bite the Congress bait at the end of the current budget session of Parliament, if all goes according to a plan being discussed between him and an emissary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The Congress needs Singh to bolster its presence in Uttar Pradesh and Ajit Singh needs a Cabinet berth. Word leaking from quarters close to the Congress bosses has it that the RLD would dump the Mulayam Singh Yadav government to switch to the Congress after the Budget session. Since the Congress is keen to get rid of the Mulayam government and impose President's Rule there, Ajit Singh might play a crucial role in the party's scheme of things. A longish stint of central rule in UP, the Congress reckons, would also provide it an opportunity to spread wings in the country's largest state, from where it was almost obliterated in the last few state and parliamentary elections. Another crucial plank in Operation Ajit Singh is that it will help the Congress neutralise the possible threat of Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, whose Lok Janshakti Party has become a major stumbling block in the formation of a 'secular' government in Bihar. The Congress has begun to criticise Paswan for his refusal to help Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal stake its claim to form a government. Should Paswan stick to his guns after the end of the Budget session, he may well find himself out of the ruling United Progressive Alliance. Ajit Singh, with three members in the Lok Sabha, might replace him. In that case, Singh might be rewarded with the steel portfolio, presently held by Paswan, whose party too has three members in the Lok Sabha. An indication that the ruling Congress was getting impatient with Paswan's rigid 'no Lalu, no Bharatiya Janata Party' stance in Bihar was available from the latest issue of the Congress party journal, wherein he had been roundly criticised for his dog-in-the-manger act.

Posted by: Viren Apr 5 2005, 02:17 PM laugh.gif

Bihar Governor Buta Singh will not have any advisers to assist him rule the unruly state while it is under President's Rule. Though the real reason for not appointing advisers was sharp differences between Lalu Prasad Yadav and his detractors in the ruling UPA, the uncharitable suggest, only half-jokingly, that with the governor's sons Lovely and Sweety volunteering to help him run the state, he may not require any assistance. Lovely was shown on various television channels within a day or two of the imposition of central rule, lording over the Bihar cricket body, overseeing the preparation of the Patna cricket ground.

Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 25 2005, 03:20 PM

Paewan's birthday suit- full text of the article: Spoiler, not kingmaker Ahtesham Qureshy LJP Leader Ram Vilas Paswan has for quite sometime been harping on the theme that he would like to have a Muslim as the new Chief Minister of Bihar. Whom is he trying to fool, himself or the Muslims? The fact is, no one takes him seriously, and Muslim leaders in Bihar want Mr Paswan to stop this political nonsense. His party has put up about 30 Muslim candidates in the recent Assembly elections, but no one could win. In this scenario, how could he assume the role of deciding as to who could be installed as the new Chief Minister? There is no Muslim leader worth his name in the LJP whom Mr Paswan could project as the new Chief Minister. Mr Paswan apparently suffers from a wholly misplaced notion that he is popular among the minority community. The reality is that most of the leaders do not trust him as the champion of the minority cause. They know that he was a Minister and an ally in the NDA Government, but left the Vajpayee Government when it became uncomfortable for him to stay on. He did no favour to the minority community by quitting the NDA. His credibility is low among the Muslims, and despite his gimmicks during the election campaign, no significant Muslim leader was seen in his camp. It is only self-deception if he thinks that he is more popular among Muslims than RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav or JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. Even if one were to go by the election result, there are Muslim MLAs in the Congress, RJD and JD(U) list, but none in the list of LJP's 29 MLAs. Not many people in Bihar were willing to accept that Mr Paswan, given an opportunity to grab power, would not again join hands with the NDA. In fact, Mr Paswan should learn a lesson from Mr Nitish Kumar, who has stood firm in his loyalty to the NDA, despite temptations. Now, Mr Paswan in order to stake claim to power in Bihar, wants Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to change the law and take the Muslims as a community out of the OBC list and put them in the category of Dalits, which come under the SC category. But is it possible? A change in the category would mean a change in the OBC list, which is not easy; it would either entail an amendment to the Law or the Constitution requiring a broad consensus in the Parliament. In the given political scenario, why would the BJP, the main rival of Mr Paswan's claim to power in Bihar, agree to such a proposition now? It would be naive to believe that the Congress would like to give a political boost to the LJP to build a vote-bank of Dalit-Muslim combination. Why would the Congress forego its claim of revival in Bihar politics and support its rival? Support to Mr Paswan's gameplan does not fit into the Congress's scheme of things. The problem is that right from the beginning Mr Paswan has arrogated to himself the role of a king-maker in post-poll Bihar. Far from being a king-maker, he has emerged as a spoiler in the game of Government-formation. With only 29 MLAs in the 243-seat Assembly, his role could only mean that there would be no Government. All his baits to JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar have recoiled, and he is now getting frustrated as reports say that the present stalemate might end soon and the State may go in for fresh elections. This would not be a happy proposition for the LJP. It seems, the Congress strategy has largely been responsible for the mess in Bihar. It would have been in the larger interest of the UPA if the Congress had observed coalition "dharma" in chalking out pre-poll alliance. The Congress's policy of fighting it out alone did not pay any dividends (it has managed to win only 10 seats). This has created new problems for the smooth functioning of the Manmohan Singh Government at the Centre. In its anxiety to cut down the popularity of Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Congress gave indiscreet boost to Mr Paswan, with no obvious political advantage. While the pre-poll alliance of the BJP and the JD(U) has stood firm and gained in strength, the UPA has lost much as an alliance of any cohesion. Perhaps, the Congress may have to choose between Mr Paswan, with his four MPs in the Lok Sabha, and Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav with 24. The biggest loser in this power game in Bihar is the Muslim community. The tragedy is that though Muslims constitute over 18 per cent of the electorate - the highest share in the country - it has badly lost its political weightage and the bargaining power for power sharing in the future. The community tacitly played a key role in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls and was in the reckoning. But at the time of the Assembly polls, the Muslims fell into a trap mainly because of their unscrupulous leaders, and got badly divided into three major camps. Now there is a growing realisation, though a belated one, that it was unwise to get lured by the hollow promise that a Muslim would be installed as the next Chief Minister. The man who projected himself as the messiah of the community has turned out to be another big political exploiter. He has apparently gained nothing and has only added to the deprivation of the community.

Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 26 2005, 05:42 PM

Flood scam in Bihar Has anybody been following this story ? What is going on here ? Is this some stunt being pulled by takloo ?

Posted by: Mudy Apr 27 2005, 02:24 PM

Buta ka patta kaat do: RJD Pioneer News Service / New Delhi A day after Bihar Governor Buta Singh made critical remarks about the functioning of the previous Rabri Devi Government, the RJD went on an offensive against the Governor and mounted pressure on the Centre to restrain the Raj Bhavan from "selective" witch-hunt against the party cadre and leaders. Angry RJD MPs lashed out against the Governor in the Lok Sabha describing President's Rule as a "ghoos ka bazaar" (market of bribe) while party chief Lalu Prasad complained to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi about the "partisan" role of the administration. Participating in the discussion on the demand of grant of the Home Ministry, agitated RJD MPs went hammer and tongs against the Governor and named his two sons as major beneficiaries of President's Rule. "President Rule mein Bihar mein ghoos ka bazaar chal raha hai," said vocal party MP Ramkripal Yadav. And then without naming the Governor, he said," Sweety and Lovely (Buta Singh's sons) were enjoying "satta ka sukh" (privileges of power).
Bihar election or Rabri Dev as CM?

Posted by: Mudy May 1 2005, 01:50 PM

Even though Mr Paswan may have failed to get wide support on propping a Muslim as a CM, his move has created ripples within the RJD. A section of the RJD MLAs who have always resented Lalu Prasad's 'autocratic functioning' were also trying to take advantage of the situation by exposing Lalu's fake Muslim love. Leading the pack is minister of state for agriculture Md Taslimuddin. A powerful Muslim leader, who never kowtows to Lalu Prasad, Md Taslimuddin has been trying to mobilise opinion within the party on nominating a Muslim as chief minister. "The only way we could resolve the deadlock is offering a fait accompli to Paswan. If Lalu Yadav were to nominate a Muslim as RJD legislature party leader in place of Rabri Devi, Mr Paswan may be persuaded to support a RJD-led government in Bihar. Mr Paswan would have succeeded in installing a Muslim as chief minister as well as emending the Lalu-Rabri family rule," a Taslimuddin supporter said.

Posted by: Mudy May 2 2005, 08:29 AM

The first move is due when the newly-constituted bench of the High Court, comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, begins to hear Yadav’s petition, challenging the validity of the Bihar Governor’s sanction to prosecute him without consulting the then state government headed by Rabri Devi.
Solicitor-General G E Vahanvati earned a short reprieve for the Centre by promising a review of the matter. The Centre is, thus, under pressure to file a belated appeal against the ITAT order by May 10, which is the next date of hearing in the Supreme Court
How long he can run? Yesterday on TV, they had shown his fodder scam and other sundry scams. I was surprised to see smooth implementation of all scam. He is really pathetic.

Posted by: Viren May 7 2005, 10:03 PM

After the Gujarat fiasco, Laloo finds another outlet.,0008.htm?headline=Lalu's~'conscience'~cries,~refuses~to~stop

Posted by: Mudy May 9 2005, 09:18 AM,000900030002.htm

The MLAs have another reason to complaint. The usually bureaucrats are also caring little for the political masters under the President's rule.

Posted by: rajesh_g May 10 2005, 06:15 AM

Bhardwaj leaves many questions unanswered Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi The UPA Government has finally woken up from its long slumber. After keeping silent during the over two days of vicious attack on the Election Commission by its own Cabinet minister and a senior bureaucrat, Law Minister HR Bhardwaj on Monday deemed it proper to say a few ritualistic words to 'protect' the integrity of the Commission. "As far as the controversy is concerned, I am not in favour of challenging the integrity of such long-serving election officers," Mr Bhardwaj said. Mr Bhardwaj was saying the obvious. Who would be in favour of dishonouring the EC? Mr Bhardwaj would have been expected to say much more, considering the gravity of the attack on the Commission. But there was no word on the outrageous charges levelled against the EC. He was also silent on the demand made by the Railway Minister for resignation of the two members of the Commission. Significantly, while Mr Bhardwaj remained silent on the conduct of the mastermind behind the whole controversy - his Cabinet colleague and RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav - he reprimanded Capart director-general LV Saptharishi for criticising a constitutional authority. Distancing himself from the whole controversy, he claimed not to have received Mr Saptharishi's controversial letter. "I have no such letter. I cannot tell you if there is any other minister under whom he is working and he has that letter. He can certainly call for his (the civil servant's) explanation." Indicating that the bureaucrat might have breached discipline by criticising the EC, the Law Minister said "it is not proper for a civil servant to criticise any constitutional authority. They come under certain discipline and they should adhere to that". Mr Bhardwaj, however, left unexplained several questions that need to be answered. Why did not he react on the first day when Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav released Saptharishi's letter to the Press? Why did he not react on Sunday when Mr Saptharishi held a Press conference and disclosed the contents of his letter to the Law Minister? How is it that the letter did not reach Mr Bhardwaj when it is in the possession of all sundry and when Mr Saptharishi claims to have sent it to him on Friday itself? These are not the days of pigeon courier service. Surely three days should be enough for a letter to travel from one corner of Delhi to another. The UPA Government's reaction is clearly a case of too little, too late. For full two days, Mr Yadav and Mr Saptharishi, who is serving under Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, also of the RJD, disrobed the EC in full public glare. The "gentleman" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh silently watched the vicious attack on the constitutional authorities, without taking any steps to restrain his own Cabinet minister. When Mr Bhardwaj finally spoke, he took caution not to offend Mr Lalu Yadav. It would have been expected that when Parliament is in session, the Government would come out with a statement to put forth its view on the matter, especially when the issue was vociferously raised in both the Houses by the RJD Mps, and all three members of EC approached the President to lodge a protest against the conduct the Railway Minister and the bureaucrat. . Under the circumstances, Mr Bhardwaj's reaction was nothing more than mere " ritual" compelled by questions raised in the media about the silence of the UPA Government on such a serious issue.

Posted by: Mudy May 10 2005, 08:56 AM

Don't you think Laloo is settling scores with Congress n Sonia? Its sweet revenge what they had done in Bihar election.

Posted by: rajesh_g May 10 2005, 12:18 PM

Lalus reply -> Bhardwaj is BSing..

Don't trust law minister, RJD chief tells Sonia NEW DELHI: Barely hours after Union law minister H R Bhardwaj washed his hands off the Saptharishi episode by asserting that he hadn’t received any letter from the controversial rural development ministry bureaucrat, railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav came out with a tart message — Don’t trust the law minister. The RJD chief, who met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday to present his side of the story on a controversy that threatens to sully the government’s image, in effect, expressed his lack of trust in his Cabinet colleague. Responding to a pointed query on Mr Bhardwaj’s clarification in Parliament this afternoon, Mr Yadav replied: “It’d be better if you believe a responsible officer like Saptarishi.’’ Implicit in his reply was that the Union law minister was irresponsible, and hence couldn’t be trusted.

Posted by: rajesh_g May 12 2005, 10:12 AM

thats what it boils down to.. dry.gif

LJP to support RJD if CM is Muslim May 12, 2005 16:24 IST Last Updated: May 12, 2005 16:26 IST Lok Janshakti Party on Thursday said it was ready to reconsider its stand towards Rashtriya Janata Dal in forming government in Bihar if the Congress proposed a Muslim Chief Minister. The LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan made the announcement ahead of his meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Posted by: Viren May 12 2005, 10:16 AM

Paswan could be playing hard ball here knowing fully well that Laloo will not relinquish control. I believe LJP dosen't have a single muslim MLA so who's the next choice? Shahbuddin?

Posted by: rajesh_g May 12 2005, 10:17 AM

RJD, Congress reject Paswan's formula for Bihar govt Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | May 12, 2005 19:45 IST Last Updated: May 12, 2005 21:28 IST The Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress have rejected Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan's latest plan to end the post-poll deadlock in Bihar. Paswan said on Thursday he was ready to reconsider his stand towards the RJD in the formation of government in Bihar if the Congress proposed a Muslim chief minister. Senior RJD leader Bhola Prasad Singh said there was no possibility of the RJD, with 75 legislators, supporting an LJP or Congress-led government from outside. Talking to newspersons in Patna, Singh termed Paswan's new formula as bakwaas (nonsense) to confuse his own 29 legislators over formation of the government. Singh said that a secular government would be formed in the state led by the RJD as the single largest party. He wondered how the Congress, with only 10 MLAs, would head the government. The Congress, on the other hand, remained cold to Paswan's fresh initiative, saying it has no role in his scheme of things and made it clear that it stood by its commitment to support an RJD-led government. Reacting to Paswan's proposal, All India Congress Committee general secretary Ambika Soni said the Congress had only 10 MLAs in the Bihar assembly and, "We have given in writing our support to the RJD in government formation. We cannot play any role." Bhola Prasad Singh insisted that the RJD still favoured a government led by Rabri Devi, former chief minister and Lalu Prasad Yadav's wife. Singh was silent over Paswan's stand that the Congress should come out with the name of a Muslim leader for the chief minister's post. However, in a new development, State Congress president Ramjatan Sinha welcomed Paswan's new formula and stated that it was now up to the RJD to decide to support a government led by the Congress or not. Sinha, who had submitted his resignation from his post to Congress president Sonia Gandhi last month, has floated the name of Wali Rahmani, a senior Congress leader for the post of chief minister. Sinha said Rahmani is a former member and former acting chairman of the Bihar Legislative Council, who still enjoys respect among all parties. However, Janata Dal (United) leader Upendra Kushwaha described Paswan's latest move as nothing but to keep his restless LJP MLAs in place by day dreaming. Paswan had again put a fresh condition before the JD (U) to leave the BJP and join the government in Bihar.

Posted by: Viren May 12 2005, 10:19 AM

Meanwhile, Lalu's obsession with Modi continues :

‘‘Panipuriwallah: A child was born without an arm in our state. We had an artificial limb fitted on him and he grew up to become a boxing champion. Bihari Babu: A child was born without a head in our state. We had a coconut fitted, and he grew up to become the railway minister.’’ This joke, on the last page of the February 16 issue of the state government’s fortnightly Gujarat—it appeared long before the spat over the ‘‘attack’’ on Laloo when he went to visit victims of the Sabarmati Express train accident last month—is kicking up a new row between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Union Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav.

Posted by: Mudy May 12 2005, 11:45 AM

From MK (IF hidden member)

These muslim DNA carrier secularists desperately want to cling to their chairs come what may and by hook or by crook. Now Paswan has taken U turn willing to support Congress-led Govt. in Bihar on the condition that C.M. is a muslim. All Hindus, who have little self-respect, must be ashamed of such rascal secularists for having voted them to what they are and must rise to launch solid campaign against them or else they will badly hurt the souls of bravemen like Rana Pratap Singh, Prithvi Raj Chouhan, Guru Govind Singh, Shiva Ji, etc., who gave up everything and lives fighting muslim rulers and preserving Hinduism, never submitting to Muslim rule. Rana Pratap Singh and his family wandered in jungles eating roti made of grass rather than submit to Muslim ruler of that time ( I think Babar or Himanyu or Akbar). These rascal secularists have totally forgotten sacrifices of such great warriers.Paswan's demand for muslim C.M. is insult to all those deserving candidates for C.M. simply because they are not muslims. This has opened my 50 year old wound. Bihar Public Service Commission recommended me first for a position in Bihar University and a muslim ( who only had M.Sc.) as second but Bihar Univ. Syndicate , under lobbying by the University College Principal ( also a muslim), appointed that muslim and Hindu Department Chairman Mishra also became instrumental in it to please his boss the principal. Of course that did not change my destiny because I got much better job a year later and eventually migrated to US in l967.

Posted by: acharya May 14 2005, 06:45 PM

You can only milk a cow so long D. Murali EVEN as the Opposition is on an indefinite boycott, the Lalu logjam is refusing to clear. No resolution is in sight and the matter appears to be like stubborn fodder at the throat. Lalu wants to meet the apex court judges in private and have a word, but the common man is anxiously asking questions in public. Kya hua? Nothing happened, except that a lot of money meant for cattle fodder disappeared. How much money? Rs 950 crore, plus or minus some small change. Didn't the cattle complain? They mooed and booed like in normal times, because the cows and buffaloes that were supposed to have eaten the missing fodder didn't exist in the first place. Otherwise, they would have died, you see. So, there were cooked up as bills for medicine, and the twist in the tale is the funding of artificial insemination too that was not real! I don't think Lalu would have taken all that fodder home? True, that's too much. But the charges are that he is one among the many who siphoned off the funds, or milked the fodder account dry. "The money, which is reported to have been stolen over nearly 20 years, came from agricultural support programs aimed mainly at helping the 350 million Indians who live in extreme poverty," wrote John F. Burns in the New York Times, about eight years ago. What does the Opposition want? They say, Lalu must quit because he has been chargesheeted more than once. Parliament's proceedings have been routinely hindered because of this demand. He's not going but our representatives feel their ammo is over! Isn't Manmohan saying anything? As a soft-hearted skipper, he couldn't bear the sight of Lalu getting flogged. So he said there was no question of Lalu's quitting or being asked to resign. Quite unfortunate that he had to come in defence, many say; but Manmohan calls the stand of the Opposition `unfortunate.' Somebody told me something in private! That must be the secret of complexion shared by the model on the soap commercial on the TV. Perhaps, Lalu has seen too many of such ads, so he's going about telling everybody that he wants to meet the apex court judges in private. Can you whisper to me the secret he'd tell them? Well, it's very much public that Lalu fears an unfair trial by the Patna High Court in the DA case (not dearness allowance but disproportionate assets). So, he wants to get two judges shifted. For onlookers, the very demand sounds absurd. Who is a tainted Minister? A tough question, because the more tainted one is, he seems to be a nicely painted one. That's why, it is said that tainting is more an art than at law. A few days ago, the PM was also so confused about the word that he said that we should define it first. There's the danger that a convenient definition of tainted may itself be criticised for being tainted. One last question, will he quit? "You can only milk a cow so long, then you're left holding the pail," said Hank Aaron. But in politics, nobody quits. Even the ones, who seem to be going off, come back through the back door. So don't breathe easy just because a corrupt politician is put in jail, because he may come out on bail without fail.

Posted by: Viren May 16 2005, 02:44 PM

Posted by: Mudy May 17 2005, 08:18 AM

x post

Fodder scam: Charges framed against Lalu Agencies/ Ranchi A special CBI court Tuesday framed charges against Railway Minister Lalu Prasad in yet another fodder scam case in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from a government treasury after rejecting his discharge plea. This is the second fodder scam case in over a fortnight in which charges have been framed against Prasad. The charges were read out in the court of CBI special judge Sanjay Prasad in the presence of Minister, former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and 37 others in connection with the case pertaining to the illegal withdrawal of funds from Dumka treasury between December, 1995 and January, 1996. Fortynine people were accused in the case. While six have died, three have turned approvers. On April 25, a special CBI court of Umashankar Prasad had framed charges against Prasad, Mishra and 68 others in case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37 crore in 1996 from Chaibasa treasury, now in Jharkhand. The CBI has filed chargesheets in 60 cases, out of which 53 are being tried in the courts at Ranchi and seven in the courts at Patna. The 950 crore fodder scam was unearthed in Bihar in 1996 when Lalu Prasad was the chief minister. He had resigned from the post in 1997 after a court issued a warrant in one of the cases. After the creation of Jharkhand in 2000, 39 of the 61 cases were transferred to the new state

Posted by: Mudy May 20 2005, 10:55 AM

BJP accuses Buta, sons of horse trading Pioneer News Service/ Patna Launching a scathing attack on Bihar Governor Buta Singh, the BJP has accused him and his two sons of plotting to install a UPA government in Bihar by offering money to NDA MLAs to change sides. The BJP has also demanded the immediate recall of the Governor, saying that he has turned the Raj Bhavan into a center for hatching political conspiracy. Stepping up NDA's offensive against Governor Buta Singh, BJP vice-president Sushil Kumar Modi said on Friday, "Singh and his sons are conspiring to install a government of RJD-LJP-Congress combine. His sons are indulging in horse-trading of NDA MLAs." "Buta Singh's sons have contacted more than a dozen BJP and JD (U) MLAs during the past 24 hours and have offered Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh and a Tata Sumo to each of them to break away from the NDA," he alleged. The latest attack on Buta Singh is part of the on-going bitter exchanges between the NDA and Raj Bhavan over allegations of encouraging horse-trading. Mr Buta Singh had triggered the controversy by claiming on May 17 that attempt at "horse-trading" was on to install a government in the state and asserting that nobody would be allowed to "malign" the Constitution. Mr Singh had said that he had intelligence reports to back his claim. It had provoked BJP vice-president Sushil Kumar Modi to serve a reminder to Mr Buta Singh about the infamous JMM(S) pay-off scandal in which Mr Singh was a prime accused. Attacking Buta Singh, Modi had said the Governor had no "moral authority" to talk about horse trading as he was himself convicted in the JMM bribery case and awarded three-year imprisonment and fined rupees two lakh on the charge of buying JMM MPs to save the P V Narasimha Rao government. He said it was a different matter that Mr Singh was subsequently acquitted on technical grounds and demanded that he disclose the names of people and parties indulging in horse trading or stop making statements that were against the sanctity of the post of the Governor. Mr Buta Singh had said, "I am getting reliable information from officials and individuals that 'kuch kuch ho raha hai'(something is going on)...I am keeping a close watch over the situation". "Laws are there to check horse-trading. I will not allow anybody to break the laws and form a government by maligning the constitutional norms," he said. Talking to The Pioneer, Mr Modi said that his allegations against the involvement of Buta Singh's two sons Lovely Singh and Sweety Singh in trying to 'purchase' MLAs was backed by "solid" evidence. "Several of our MLAs whose identity we don't want to disclose at this juncture were personally contacted by Mr Lovely Singh over the last two days. Any impartial inquiry will establish the truth," he said, adding, "we have cautioned all our 92 MLAs against such "sinister design" and we are confident that any such attempt will not succeed. Mr Modi said allegation against the NDA for conspiring to form a government through horse-trading had no substance because, "we have already said that NDA was not interested in forming a government under the prevailing circumstances. So we are not trying. We are just waiting and watching. But what could we do if some MLAs are restless and want to join us to form a government," he asked. He also urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to immediately remove the Governor who, he alleged, is "acting against the Constitution."

Posted by: Viren May 21 2005, 06:19 AM

Paswan's MLA's are breaking away, somethings afoot. Body language and words on this morning Zee News clearly showed Paswan's not too happy with developments. Needs to be seen as who benefits from this - Laloo or Nitesh?

Posted by: Mudy May 22 2005, 10:56 AM


Paswan parades 10 MLAs, talks to Cong on Bihar crisis Agencies/ New Delhi Lok Janakshati Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, faced with the prospect of a split in the legislature group of his party, on Sunday paraded ten MLAs in New Delhi in his support after having an hour-long meeting with senior Congress leader Harikesh Bahadur, during which the two leaders discussed a "proposal" on government formation in Bihar. Emerging from the meeting, Paswan told reporters that Bahadur, AICC general secretary in charge of Bihar, had come with a proposal "which I cannot to disclose" on government-formation in Bihar. He maintained LJP's stand on a Muslim Chief Minister for Bihar and that the RJD led by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad could support a Congress-led minority government. "I have no objection whether RJD gives inside or outside support so long it is a Muslim Chief Minister," Paswan said. Bahadur said, "Everything is under consideration and we want a UPA government and whatever the UPA constituents decide will be accepted by Congress. We expect a decision soon." Asked how many LJP MLAs are with Paswan, Bahadur said, "More than ten." To a question whether Congress would take up the issue of government formation with RJD, he said, "We will talk with everybody." While parading the MLAs loyal to him, Paswan claimed that he has the support of two of his party MLAs who are in jail. Four of LJP MLAs are now in jail in Bihar. The MLAs presented before the media were: Pashupati Paras, Sunita Singh, Maheshwar Hazari, Poonam Yadav, Nagina Devi, Sunita Sharma, Mahendra Baitha, Anil Chowdhury, Dularchand Yadav and Achutanand Singh.
Now Paswan had no problem with RJD, they faught election against each other. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif Till CM is Muslim everything is fine, what a joke is India. How about declaring India as Islamic nation, all problem will be solved in a day.

Posted by: Mudy May 22 2005, 11:00 AM


Patil seeks report from Buta on Bihar crisis Agencies/ New Delhi Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Sunday sought a report from Bihar Governor Buta Singh in the wake of the political developments in the state. The move comes after Patil separately met RJD Leader and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and LJP chief and Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. Informed sources said a report has been sought from the Governor with regard to the fast-moving developments in the state.
After meeting these Maharathi of Bihar, Congress back to its dirty game plan. Now UPA govt will be installed with RJD and LJP combination. Lets see how long Paswan and Lalu bluff will last.

Posted by: Nikhil May 22 2005, 02:30 PM

Bihar Assembly Dissolved by Union Cabinet What does this means? Was BJP/JDU were able to manage the needed number after breaking LJP? At least it sounds like that! eheh

Posted by: Mudy May 22 2005, 05:54 PM

What does this means? Was BJP/JDU were able to manage the needed number after breaking LJP? At least it sounds like that! eheh
It means election within 6 months. Congress played its dirty tricks again.

Posted by: Mudy May 22 2005, 05:57 PM


UPA cuts its nose to spite face Navin Upadhyay/ New Delhi Recommends Bihar House dissolution --- The Union Cabinet on Sunday night decided to dissolve the Bihar state Assembly and faxed its recommendation to President APJ Abdul Kalam, who is in Russia. The decision was an obvious attempt to prevent the installation of an NDA government in Bihar. Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar had earlier staked claim to forming the government with the backing of the breakaway LJP faction. The move to dissolve the Bihar Assembly was set in motion after Governor Buta Singh was asked by the Home Ministry to send a report on the political situation The Cabinet is reported to have discussed the Governor's report, which alleged "horse-trading" by the NDA. Sources said that RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav and a section of the Left, specially the CPI, was pressing for dissolution of the Assembly. The Centre decided to go along with Lalu Prasad after the Congress attempt to convince Ram Vilas Paswan to agree to accept a Rabri Devi-led government fizzed out. Though the Cabinet officially met to discuss the twin bomb blasts in Delhi cinema halls, Bihar issue dominated the meeting. In Patna, the developments gave clear signal that the Centre was contemplating the dissolution of the Assembly. By forenoon, the state administration had sought permission of the Union Home Ministry to deploy 24 companies of Central Para-Military Force (CPMF) deployed for anti-Naxalite operations, for law and order duty. "We have requested the Union Home Ministry to allow us to use 24 companies of CPMF which we already have for anti-Naxalite operations for maintaining law and order and tackling any political clashes," Chief Secretary KAH Subramanian said. This was being seen as a measure to deal with any possible unrest if the House was dissolved. The RJD camp put pressure on the Congress to dissolve the House after it became clear that Janata Dal (U) leader Nitish Kumar was all set to state claim for government formation in Bihar on Monday. LJP legislature party leader Ramashsrya Prasad is likely to announce his party's support to NDA on Monday after which Mr Kumar was going to stake claim for government formation. Within the UPA fold, showing flexibility for the first time, LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan agreed to accept a RJD-led government if a Muslim headed it the chief minister. But Lalu rejected the proposal. Sources said that Mr Yadav had put forwards his name in addition to Ms Rabri Devi as the chief minister, a proposal which was firmly rejected by Mr Paswan in his meeting with Home Minister Shivraj Patil and talks with senior Congress leaders. AICC Secretary in-charge of Bihar Harikesh Bahadur also called on Mr Paswan. Sources said Mr Bahadur urged Paswan to agree for a RJD-led government. Mr Paswan relented but made it clear that he will lend his support only if Lalu Prasad agreed to make a Muslim, the chief minister. ...........,001301480000.htm

Posted by: Venkat_A May 22 2005, 08:22 PM

Since the assembly was dissolved and elections comes next, the EC will be back in the picture. I hope they will put those honest officials back in those districts of Bihar and make sure Laloo's raj comes to an end for good.

Posted by: Mudy May 22 2005, 08:51 PM

honest officials back in those districts of Bihar
Already transferred by Buta Singh. One will see big time rigging by Cong, Paswan and Laloo. But Laloo's court case judgments are expected within 18 days. Shahbudin will have field day unless and until Congress do something with him.

Posted by: Viren May 23 2005, 08:37 AM

The NDA’s ranks in Bihar looked set to swell with at least 21 MLAs belonging to Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party getting ready to pledge their support to Nitish Kumar’s bid to form the next government in the state.
The only stumbling block in their strategy was the presence in the Capital of a group of 10 MLAs. While the Paswan camp paraded them here to convey the message that the rebel faction still hadn’t been able to secure the two-thirds strength requited to overcome the anti-defection handicap, the latter claimed that at least three of them had already declared their backing for the moves to break the Constitutional deadlock in Bihar and ensure the formation of a government led by the JD(U).

Posted by: Viren May 23 2005, 08:39 AM

"All rebel MLAs (who favoured an NDA Government led by Nitish Kumar) will be expelled from the party," Paswan told reporters.
He (Lalu) himself wanted it. The Railway Minister was feeling very uneasy out of power.... He had rejected all my proposals to form a government, including a chief ministerial candidate from RJD, belonging to minority community,"
I fail to understand - does LJP have a single MLA from "minority community" as Paswan keeps harping? Barring the Osama look-alike that Paswan used during election campaign, who's this "minority community" person he'd like as the CM of Bihar?

Posted by: Mudy May 23 2005, 09:06 AM

The man chosen for the job was Jabir Hussain, the Rashtriya Janata Dal's leader in the Bihar legislative council. Sonia and Paswan agreed with the choice, but Lalu Yadav was unwilling to go along. The Congress also tried to convince the Communists that an RJD-led government be formed before Nitish Kumar met Buta Singh. But Lalu Yadav was unwilling to accept any other candidate but his wife Rabri Devi as chief minister. The Congress realised the negotiations had hit a roadblock and the dissolution of the state assembly remained the only option. The CPI-M had only one demand to make to Sownia Gandhi: It wanted an early election in Bihar. The CPI-M has secured a promise from the Congress leadership that Bihar will go to the polls in September or October, Congress sources told
I think now Paswan is "go went gone". Atleast one communal person should be shown exit door. UPA manipulation is horrible.

Posted by: Mudy May 24 2005, 07:17 AM

Bihar polls in Sep-Nov, Prez Rule to be extended Agencies/ New Delhi Centre Tuesday ruled out early elections in Bihar indicating that the earliest the polls could be held in the state was in September. Stressing that it was the prerogative of the Election Commission to fix the date for the polls, Law Minister H R Bharadwaj said as the monsoon is about to set in and stays active till end of July, the period between September-November would be the right time for elections. If the polls were to be held after September, then President rule in the state has to be extended as the six month period from the imposition of central rule would lapse by then, he said. "We will want extension of President rule in the state and hence it has to be put before Parliament when it meets in the end of July," Bharadwaj told PTI. The minister agreed with Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and the NDA demanding early polls and said "once the assembly is dissolved, it is for the Election Commission to fix the date of election in consultation with the government of Bihar".

Posted by: vijayk May 24 2005, 07:34 AM

QUOTE (Mudy @ May 23 2005, 09:36 PM)
The man chosen for the job was Jabir Hussain, the Rashtriya Janata Dal's leader in the Bihar legislative council. Sonia and Paswan agreed with the choice, but Lalu Yadav was unwilling to go along. The Congress also tried to convince the Communists that an RJD-led government be formed before Nitish Kumar met Buta Singh. But Lalu Yadav was unwilling to accept any other candidate but his wife Rabri Devi as chief minister. The Congress realised the negotiations had hit a roadblock and the dissolution of the state assembly remained the only option. The CPI-M had only one demand to make to Sownia Gandhi: It wanted an early election in Bihar. The CPI-M has secured a promise from the Congress leadership that Bihar will go to the polls in September or October, Congress sources told
I think now Paswan is "go went gone". Atleast one communal person should be shown exit door. UPA manipulation is horrible.
But the good thing that came out of the whole mess is: Lalu is exposed and showed how secular he is. Power for his dynasty. Paswan lost all his leverage with voters who don't trust him any more. He basically split anti-RJD vote. Now Biharis know one thing. Let us not indulge this joker any more. I think SP and BSP will benefit more because of Lalu and Paswan's exposure. By transferring the honest magistrates and officers, the ITALIAN mafia queen lost all her credibility. I hope BJP and JD(U) put up good candidates and claim power. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of ULTA PULTA ALLIANCE.

Posted by: Mudy May 24 2005, 07:41 AM

I think Laloo + Cong will win this election with 100% free hand to rig election. Another 3-4 months lot of BDies will enter in voter list and Left will give their excellent experience of WB. Next 3-4 months we may read lot of murders in Bihar by Shahbuddin and his gang. Those MLA who managed to win will be packed to heaven. I have lost all hope for Bihar.

Posted by: ramana May 24 2005, 08:17 AM

Please save this image on your hard disk. user posted image

Posted by: Mudy May 24 2005, 09:19 AM

Observers said there was no precedent of an Assembly being dissolved before being convened and its members taking oath.
Paswan is possibly the biggest loser in the game, reduced as he has been from the role of a kingmaker, with 29 MLAs, after the February election in a hung Assembly to a politician without any cards to play
But the last election made one thing clear, the UPA can hope to win only if all its constituents fight together.

Posted by: Viren May 24 2005, 09:55 AM

The NDA's man who missed the bus, Nitish Kumar, said the alliance was all set to stake claim on Monday, just hours before the Centre decided to dissolve the Assembly.

Posted by: acharya May 25 2005, 09:14 AM

Dr Singh and Mr Hyde Kanchan Gupta It is truly amazing, this staggering decision of the United Progressive Alliance Government to dissolve the Bihar Assembly on the specious plea, to quote Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, of preventing "horse-trading of the worst type". A pious pontificator who is meticulous in pointing out the sins of others while pretending he is the sole repository of rectitude in public life, Mr Singh has also informed the nation that it is "the constitutional duty of the Government to see that such nefarious practices do not spoil the good name of the country". Mr Singh's fulsome concern for "the good name of the country" will move only those who are either complicit partners in this latest assault by the UPA on democratic processes and constitutional practices or naïve about the ease with which the Congress can jettison all pretences of fair play the moment it discovers that it is not on the winning side. If the Prime Minister had been genuinely concerned about "nefarious practices" blotting the "good name of the country", then he would not be presiding over a Government some of whose key Ministers have earned for themselves the reputation of thugs and thieves. This is not about practising 'coalition dharma' and cohabiting with undesirable partners. It is about stoutly defending individuals who are a blot on India's image-both at home and abroad. Those who value honour and honesty above power and pelf stay away from blackguard like Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav. Not so the Prime Minister-he is perfectly comfortable with protecting, some would say mollycoddling-the man who is singularly responsible for pushing Bihar into its present lalten era of poverty, violence and all-pervasive corruption. It is a national shame and a blotch on our collective conscience that Mr Yadav, who has been charged under Section 420 of the IPC, shares the high table of governance with Mr Singh. That is not all. The Prime Minister has acted on the basis of a report filed by the Governor of Bihar, Mr Buta Singh, who has spent the better part of his life paying obeisance to the Nehru-Gandhi household, a politician who excels in the art of "horse-trading". Public memory is notoriously short, but not short enough for people to forget that it was Mr Buta Singh who was accused of bribing Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MPs to manufacture support for PV Narasimha Rao's Congress Government. Perhaps the Prime Minister would like to refresh his memory by recalling that the trial court had found Mr Buta Singh guilty of the bribery charges levelled against him, that he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, and, that he was fined Rs 2 lakh. The sentence was set aside on appeal, but that is another story whose details reflect the true state of our official crime busting and prosecuting agencies. The outpouring of moral outrage that we are witnessing is, therefore, nothing more than cockamamie sentiments that have no place in the world of cynical politics whose best practitioners are leading lights of the Congress. The dissolution of the Bihar Assembly had little to do with preserving values and protecting probity in public life. It was all about preventing the coming to power of a dispensation in which none of the allies of the Congress would have a share. And more. Till such time Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, who was hailed as the kingmaker after last February's Bihar Assembly elections resulted in a fractured verdict, but has ended up as the biggest loser, was successful in spiking all possible non-UPA political permutations and combinations that could have formed a State Government in Bihar, it suited the Congress and its favourite ally, Mr Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal, fine. With the State Assembly in suspended animation, and a pliant Governor occupying the Raj Bhavan in Patna, Mr Yadav was able to re-establish his control over Bihar. His wife Rabri Devi may have lost the Chief Minister's office, but that was at best a temporary setback. Within three months, Mr Yadav was back in business, doing what he does best-working the system to his advantage. The Prime Minister would perhaps like the nation to believe that it was to "protect the good name of the country" that the Governor was instructed to transfer two honest and upright officers who had stood up against lumpens on the payroll of Mr Yadav. The District Magistrates of Siwan and Gopalganj had made it difficult for RJD goon squads to rig elections and run a parallel 'administration' based on extortion, kidnapping and more offensive crimes like murder. Both have been unceremoniously shunted out. Those who preach probity to others obviously do not rate men of integrity very high. For them, odious officers like a certain Mr Arun Pathak, who wears his loyalty to Mr Yadav on his sleeve and is proud of the fact that his political master refers to him as "Bara Babu", are the preferred choice to be appointed as advisers to the Governor. So much for the Prime Minister's concern for "the good name of the country". What if the cookie had crumbled the other way? Would the Prime Minister have acted with such alacrity to protect the "good name of the country" if legislators elected on the symbol of Mr Paswan's Lok Janashakti Party had switched their loyalty to Mr Yadav? Or, would he have had his Home Minister instruct the Governor to swear-in Rabri Devi as Chief Minister? The answer is too obvious to merit elaboration. Those who are given to arguing that more often than not the Prime Minister is pilloried unfairly because he has no other option but to yield to the pressure of allies are doing a great disservice to him as well as the "good name of the country". It now transpires that the midnight Cabinet meeting that was ostensibly called to assess the security threat posed by explosions in two cinemas but was in reality an exercise in paving the path for dissolving the Bihar Assembly was the result of intense pressure from Mr Yadav and his die hard champions in the CPI(M). This is entirely possible. The CPI(M) is utterly unscrupulous when it comes to political morality. Nothing else explains why the Marxists should so wholeheartedly support a venal politician like Mr Yadav who has been charged under all possible sections of the IPC that deal with cheating and pilfering public funds. The CPI(M) is capable of threatening to bring down the UPA Government unless the RJD strongman's turf is protected from intruders bent upon saving Bihar from marauders masquerading as messiahs of the downtrodden. If what Mr Yadav aspires for is to rule Bihar by proxy irrespective of whether or not the people want him and his party in power, the Marxists seek to rule India by proxy irrespective of their strength in Parliament. Mr Yadav has had his way by arm-twisting the Prime Minister; the Marxists have demonstrated that they call the shots when it comes to the UPA Government taking crucial political decisions. The sum total of what happened on Sunday night is abject capitulation by the Prime Minister. Rather than stand up to disgraceful blackmailing by Mr Yadav and his Marxist friends, and prove that he is indeed a man of honour, he chose to toe the line of least resistance. He may have thus demonstrated that his survival instincts are no less stronger than those of whom he accuses of "nefarious practices", but he has also lost the moral high ground to berate others for political amorality. Let's face it. This is not about protecting "the good name of the country". It is about protecting the UPA Government by sacrificing all notions of probity and rectitude. If in the process Bihar and India have lost, so be it. For any comments, queries or feedback, kindly mail us at

Posted by: acharya May 25 2005, 09:21 AM

Historic blunder The Pioneer Edit Desk The Left's justification of the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly as a move to protect "secular" forces smacks of hypocrisy and exposes its rotten core. This is the same lot which had spun much yarn about protecting federalism through the scrapping of not only Article 356, but also the post of the Governor. Always a highlight on the seminar circuit, the Left-liberal never tires of recalling the Supreme Court's judgment in the 1994 Bommai case. The CPI(M)'s fables on post-Independence Indian politics devotes practically an entire chapter on the alleged "black hand" of Indira Gandhi's representative in the Kolkata Raj Bhavan, Dharma Vira, who had dissolved the West Bengal Assembly without giving the United Front the chance to prove its majority in 1967. Its representations before the Sarkaria Commission in the 1980s were marked by emotive outpourings on preserving provincial autonomy. But then, what did we see last Sunday night? A tactical adjustment or a strategic retreat? Much more actually-the CPI(M) broke its no-first-use pledge on support withdrawal to the Manmohan Singh regime. Concerned that the Congress may allow the NDA to stake claim to form a government in Patna, and thereby weaken the position of their buffer in the UPA, the RJD, the Communists blackmailed the Singh regime into submission. The significance of the timing must be noted: This happened on the day the UPA began its second year in office. The CPI(M)'s top leadership had met the previous day and placed on media record its resolve not to destabilise the Government. That gave rise to hopes that perhaps the farce over the CMP had run its full course and henceforth Mr Singh would get his long denied latitude to govern. Unfortunately for the optimists, worse was in store. The era of serving friendly warnings on TV in mock sympathy for Mr Aam Admi is over. Now the knives are out. As the months before the Assembly elections in Kerala and West Bengal go by, the UPA can expect many a nervous moment because now that the Communists have shown their true face, one can expect a no-holds-barred combat for concessions and special packages. At this juncture, Mr Singh and his team would do well to recall the warning that West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjya had sounded within a fortnight of their swearing-in ceremony. He had said that without the CPI(M)'s permission, the UPA regime would not be able to take a single step. What was subsequently dismissed as just a posture to keep the flock together, now rings as the only truth. Where does this leave the Congress? To sustain the smile on the face of Mr Bhattacharjya and the smirk on Mr Yadav's, the Grand Old Party has covered itself with controversy it could ill afford after the Jharkhand fiasco. Worse, it has handed the BJP with a leitmotif which can pay huge dividends in the next round of polls in Bihar. Mr Lalu Prasad's thank-you gift of a few more seats in the new apportionment may backfire on the prospects of a Congress rebound in that State. Dissolving the Bihar Assembly will be recalled for years as a historic blunder in Congress circles. But then, that is an inevitable price to be paid for relying on the Communists. After all, they are the original 'historic blunder' party. For any comments, queries or feedback, kindly mail us at

Posted by: Mudy May 25 2005, 10:00 AM

The rebel leaders blamed their leader Ramvilas Paswan, RJD chief Laloo Prasad, Congress and Bihar governor Buta Singh with 'conspiracy' to dissolve the Assembly only to scuttle formation of a popular government under the leadership of JD-U leader Nitish Kumar. "The mid-night conspiracy to dissolve the Assembly was enacted only to prevent Kumar from forming government with the support of us and the 17 independents," Singh said. The rebel LJP leaders said they would soon launch an agitation across the state to 'expose' all those who played a role in dissolving the Assembly including Paswan. Giving reasons for moving to Jharkhand, Singh on behalf of the rebel LJP MLAs said, "this was done for security reasons, as we felt Paswan and his men would kidnap the MLAs." Singh and others demanded a CBI probe into the allegations of horse-trading. "If horse-trading is proved we are ready for punishment. But, if it is proved wrong all those making false charges should be punished," Singh and others said.
SO now Paswan can't even win 10 seats.

Posted by: Ashok Kumar May 25 2005, 10:27 AM

Paswan may be in trouble. He put in a lot of effort to 'win' muslim votes. But so has Lalu in the past. And Arjun Singh's actions suggest Congress is desperately trying to do the same. Muslim vote will act in unified manner only if Lalu, Paswan and Congress can fight the election together. But Lalu will never submit to Paswan having a bigger say in a coalition. So, Paswan who could easily have become the CM in the recently sacrificed assembly, wil have to eat the humble pie if he goes in a coalition with Lalu. So I doubt if he really will. If Paswan and Lalu can't fight the elctions together, then Paswan's fate hangs in balance over Congress's decision. If congress allies with Lau to fight the elections together, congress will try to maximize its gains at the cost of Lau and Paswan. Lalu will have to be more flexible, since he couldn't win the previous election on his own. Congress will be able make a bigger cut at Lalu's expense. Congress probably will see aligning with Lalu more advantageous, leaving Paswan in the cold. Either way muslim vote is likely to split threeways amongst Lau, Paswan and Congress, more so during the new elections than the previous one. NDA and Congress are both likely to gain. Paswan could be the biggest loser. Lalu probably wouldn't fare any better than what he did in the previous elections. At the end of it, we may yet see Lalu/Rabri as CM with Congress support. But an NDA CM is also quite likely. Paswan will find it hard to come close to CM's position. He will perhaps support no one just like he refused to take support from any one.

Posted by: Mudy May 25 2005, 10:38 AM

Either way muslim vote is likely to split threeways amongst Lau, Paswan and Congress, more so during the new elections than the previous one.
Muslims vote in block and majority of time decided by AMU think tank. This time Congress may get maximum advantage from Muslim votes.

Posted by: ramana May 25 2005, 12:20 PM

From Pioneer, 26 May 2005

Her Majesty's Opposition Jaya Jaitley The abrupt dissolution of the Bihar Assembly that was never officially constituted is one more nail in the coffin that has already buried a workable relationship between the UPA Government and the Opposition NDA. The question being asked is, "Has the Congress got into Emergency mode?" The answer perhaps lies in the nature of the UPA coalition. A common view propagated by the Congress and its supporting media establishments is that the NDA has not come to terms with its electoral defeat last year. Its recent boycott of Parliament is pointed out as one more example of a petulant and sulking NDA. Two important corollaries are being missed in this: The ruling Congress is still behaving in Parliament as if it is in the opposition, and its largest group of supporting Left parties are behaving as if they are the main opposition. These strange conundrums are masquerading as democratic politics, while in reality the UPA has exposed itself as incapable of working a democracy for anyone other than itself. At the beginning of the UPA's rule, the Opposition was certainly justified in raising the issue of charge-sheeted MPs being made Union ministers. If Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav resigned from his chief ministerial post in Bihar some years ago for the sake of propriety since he was charge sheeted for corruption, it was logical and reasonable to expect the same principles applied at the Centre. Another Minister, Mohammad Taslimuddin, was removed from the United Front Government in 1996 for the very reason that charges of murder and other heinous crimes were pending against him. If objections based on principles and morality were relevant then, what has happened now? If a Government is acting not just in an opportunistic manner, but in an immoral manner by upturning earlier accepted moral positions, it is justified for the Opposition to attack the ruling dispensation. Shibu Soren's criminal past catching up with him was just one more straw on the camel's back. In this case too, he resigned from his position in the Central Cabinet since he was declared an absconder, but the Congress had no qualms about handing him the Chief Minister's chair in Jharkhand. If the Government switches moral lanes it cannot express righteous indignation if an active Opposition is on its tail. The ultimate example of UPA's morality is accepting the report of horse trading by the Governor of Bihar who had quit the NDA in 1998 on being indicted for having been "bought" by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao to make up a majority in Parliament in the early 1990s. In a democracy, with a fairly evenly balanced number in the Treasury and Opposition benches, it was incumbent on the Government to respond reasonably, and show humility and magnanimity to reduce tensions. Instead, it unleashed its shouting brigade to attack Opposition members with personal accusations every time they rose to speak. Its allies, the RJD and the Left, would join them. While the Congress continued its belligerent attack inside the House, the UPA Government embarked on a series of actions that smell to high heaven of vendetta against its critics. A nasty smear campaign is no way to win the affection or even tolerance of one's opponents, but that is the way the Government has chosen to go. Obviously, it so enjoyed its role in the Opposition that it's supreme leader, Ms Sonia Gandhi, still experiences pleasure only if her old opponents are under attack. While it is the Opposition that should be exposing the ills of the Government, there is a daily dose of the Government desperately seeking to "expose" those who are no longer in power. The case of mistaken identity seems to be working for both, since after six years of governing and behaving decorously with the Opposition, the NDA has forgotten how to mount sharp attacks in Parliament. After having made their point it would have been far more dramatic if Opposition leaders had tied black bands across their mouths and stood silently in Parliament embarrassing the ruling benches instead of marooning themselves on the roadside. Mr Gulam Nabi Azad brazenly announced as Parliament ended that the UPA did not need the Opposition since they were able to pass bills more efficiently without them. Some newspapers revealed that Ms Gandhi had seriously considered extending the term of Parliament to pass more bills without the presence of Opposition, until she was dissuaded by more seasoned colleagues. Consequently, the Prime Minister's plea to the Opposition to return to Parliament lost its sincerity. Now, with Bihar's non-assembly having been "dissolved", peace in July seems a long way off. The brazenness of the Congress lies in the perfect situation of having a built-in Opposition. An Opposition should attack, bully, oppose, demand, criticise and force the Government to do its bidding "in the interest of the people". This is precisely what the Left parties are doing very well. By being amenable to the Left parties' demands, the Government believes it has done its duty by the Opposition - and there is a built-in reward that it does not get from the Opposition NDA, namely, life support to remain in power. This further emboldens the UPA to treat the NDA as a nuisance. Those who think this situation will last only till the next round of Assembly elections are mistaken. The Left will win back Kerala thanks to Mr K Karunakaran and West Bengal with "scientific" rigging. Tripura is no worry either. It will continue its shadow boxing at the Centre in the role of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition while telling the Congress that, as long as it hands over these three states without much of a fight, the Centre is theirs for another four years. It is a cleverly packaged offer the Congress cannot refuse.

Posted by: Mudy May 25 2005, 08:20 PM

NDA asks EC to hold Bihar polls by July Pioneer News Service / New Delhi The NDA on Tuesday chose a constitutionally accepted route to build pressure on the Election Commission (EC) to hold early Assembly polls in Bihar. It gave a new interpretation to the "legality of six-month time" deadline for constitution of the new legislative assembly in Bihar. A delegation of NDA leaders led by its chief ministerial candidate Nitish Kumar and BJP general secretary and in-charge, party affairs in Bihar Arun Jaitley petitioned the EC to hold early elections, preferably by mid-July. "We urged the EC to hold early elections in Bihar before the onset of monsoon and in less number of phases, instead of staggering them over a longer period. The haste with which the Assembly was dissolved, the same speed should be shown in ensuring early polls," Mr Kumar said. The NDA leaders also pointed out to the EC that the Law Minister did not have the authority to speak on the timing of holding elections. The government's role was limited to making provision of the required number of security forces for a free and fair poll, they said. Secondly, Mr Jaitley made a legal point. He said that as per constitutional norms, the poll process should be completed by September 6 when six-month deadline of proclamation of President rule ends. "The Election Commission was duty bound to hold elections in the state by that date. Any extension beyond that date could only be done if the Parliament extends President rule in the state for another six months. But the EC cannot act on the presumption that Parliament would give that extension." The NDA is taking the cut-off date from March 7, when President rule was imposed and not from May 23 when the yet-to-be-constituted Bihar legislative assembly was dissolved. Mr Jaitley said the constitutional provision laid out in Article 151 (A) was meant for by-election where a vacancy had to be filled within six months from the day it was created. Bihar situation was different and had to be read with Article 356. In response the Election Commission said the issue had "already crossed its mind and it was examining the issue". The BJP-JD(U) coalition strategy is to put the UPA on the defensive if the elections were to be held at a later date, September-October. It trying to give a message to the electorate that the UPA first robbed them of an opportunity to form a popular government in the state and was now delaying the elections as it was apprehensive of a "popular backlash and thus wanted a time lapse to erase it or minimise the anger from public memory". It said since Bihar was a "stand alone election", the centre should have no difficulty in providing troops. The polls should be held in one or two phases and also the EC should minimise the time gap between phases. Only four months ago the state had gone to the poll so the EC was aware of ground realities and had electoral rolls ready. The EC, if it wanted could announce polls in next 15-days, the NDA leaders said. On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that dissolving the assembly was the right step, Mr Nitish Kumar said, "People will ultimately prove him wrong. It was done under pressure when it became clear that formation of NDA government was a mere formality. So the assembly was dissolved at midnight. If it was the right step why was it not taken eaelier."
It will be interesting to see whether EC is Congress stooge or independent body. It make sense to have election conducted in one or two phase, but Laloo will try everything to delay it so that his gang can rig election.

Posted by: acharya May 25 2005, 09:34 PM

What was the hurry? The speed with which the developments took place when the President was out of the country showed the desperation of the UPA Government to prevent the JD (U)-BJP combine from forming a government. Saurav Pratap Singh, Jaipur That India is a functional anarchy has been proved yet again by getting the approval of a touring President for keeping democratic values in abeyance. This reinforces the obsession of the Congress party with instruments of influence for enthroning itself and its allies. The ruling coterie is so powerful that we, the people, are silent witnesses to the helplessness of a ceremonial President and an accidental Prime Minister. Mythili Sitaramaiyer, Chennai The UPA could have waited till the President was back from Moscow. K.S. Narasimhan, Chennai When President V.V. Giri signed a proclamation in Kiev (in the USSR), imposing President's rule in Uttar Pradesh, C. Rajagopalachari wondered what was the need to do so from a foreign soil and whether Giri could not have observed the minimum protocol of signing the proclamation from the Indian Embassy! K. Vedamurthy, Chennai

Posted by: Mudy May 26 2005, 08:19 AM,000900030002.htm

After his futile efforts to have a Muslim as chief minister of Bihar, LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan on Thursday appointed Ghulam Rasool Baliyavi as the chief of the party's state unit ahead of assembly polls and ruled out any truck with BJP-led NDA in the elections. Paswan also said his party favoured fighting the coming polls on anti-NDA and anti-RJD plank but a decision on whether to have electoral alliance with RJD would be taken at a meeting of LJP national executive before the polls.
Now he is thinking for electroal alliance with RJD. What a fool?

Posted by: Mudy May 26 2005, 06:22 PM


Skipper for sinking boat * After having saved the government in New Delhi, the UPA managers are now finding it difficult to find a skipper for their sinking boat in Bihar. With indication of the Congress getting a good thrashing in the polls, none is reported to be too eager to take charge. With the Muslims firmly with Lalu, Congress managers realise the futility of appointing somebody from the minority community at the cost of further alienating the upper-castes, who are consistent in their Opposition to Lalu. Last heard, the old guard in the Congress president's coterie was pitching for Veena Shahi, who was a minister in Rabri's government and wife of Hemant Shahi, allegedly slain by forces sympathetic to the Yadav clan.

Posted by: Mudy May 27 2005, 01:57 PM

At IGI, Siwan MP fails to cross LOC Pramod Kumar Singh/ New Delhi Immigration officials at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi stopped controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Mohammed Shahabuddin from boarding a flight to Jeddah on Friday morning after they found that a 'Look Out Card' (LOC) had been issued against him. The LOC was issued on August 4, 2003 after Mr Shahabuddin, MP from Siwan, was accused of being involved in the kidnapping and murder of CPI(ML) activist Munna Chaudhury. An LOC is meant to prevent accused in heinous crimes from fleeing the country. In Mr Shahabuddin's case, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued the LOC after receiving a request to this effect from the Director General of Police of Bihar. The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Siwan had issued an arrest warrant against Mr Shahabuddin after he failed to appear in person in court in connection with the kidnapping and murder case. His movements outside the country were subsequently barred through the DGP's request to the Ministry of Home Affairs. High drama was witnessed at the airport's departure terminal after Mr Shahabuddin, family in tow, reached the immigration counter at 9.15 am. They were to board Air India's 11.30 am Flight 891 to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. According to airport officials, the MP from Siwan, whose District Magistrate CK Anil had barred Mr Shahabuddin from entering his constituency and was recently transferred, was going for Umrah. After Mr Shahabuddin presented his passport, the immigration official on duty ran his name through the mandatory online check and found that an LOC had been issued against him. The officer promptly alerted his superiors and the MP was informed that he could not travel abroad. Mr Shahabuddin was furious and demanded an explanation for not being cleared for travel abroad. Immigration officials, who had by then gathered there, politely told him about the LOC. They said he could look at the details on the computer screen. Annoyed by what he described as the "temerity" of the immigration officials, Mr Shahabuddin began calling "people in high places" from his cell phone. Soon thereafter, telephones started ringing at the airport. "There were calls from everywhere and officers were visibly shaken," an eyewitness said. Top immigration officials contacted Mr Ashish Ranjan Sinha, present DGP of Bihar, and informed him about Mr Shahabuddin being stopped from leaving the country. A short while later, Siwan Superintendent of Police Ratn Sanjay contacted immigration authorities and requested them to allow Mr Shahabuddin to board the flight since he had secured bail in the case. Immigration officials contacted the DGP to confirm the SP's information. They were reportedly told that the MP was no longer required in the case and that he could travel abroad. It was only then that immigration officials allowed Mr Shahabuddin to proceed to the departure lounge. However, by then it was 12.20 pm and AI Flight 891 was already winging its way to Jeddah. Mr Shahabuddin, sulking and bitter, made a quiet exit from the airport and returned to his Meena Bagh residence in New Delhi. Late Friday night, immigration authorities received a fax message from Bihar's DGP, asking them to revoke the LOC. "We will look at the message on Saturday morning and take appropriate action," a senior official told The Pioneer
Can any other criminal on bail can leave country? Why law is different for Laloo's criminal MP's and common citizen. Now Laloo own man is DM, they can twist any law to please master and fill their own bank account.

Posted by: Mudy May 28 2005, 07:32 AM --Laloo Prasad Yadav is bad news for his allies.

Conventional wisdom may put the UPA above the NDA, but it does not factor the hurt with Laloo’s perceived betrayal. The dissolution of the Bihar assembly, when there was finally a scope to form a government, an alternative to Laloo’s obviously criminal raj, will not go down very well. In the fifteen years of Laloo’s raj, no one gained except his family, friends and associates. The wisdom of the past poll says that anyone who allies with Laloo will get burnt with him. This wisdom also says that Laloo will never rule Bihar again, not unless he reincarnates as Raja Harish Chandra. Let’s see.

Posted by: Mudy May 28 2005, 12:18 PM


Uma appointed joint incharge for Bihar polls Agencies/ New Delhi Rehabilitating sidelined former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharati, BJP president L K Advani Saturday appointed her as a member of the party's national executive. Entrusting her with a key responsibility, the stormy petrel of saffron politics has also been appointed sah-prabhari (joint incharge) for the crucial Bihar assembly elections, party sources said. Party general secretary Arun Jaitley was recently appointed 'prabhari' (incharge) for the upcoming polls in the state, following the dissolution of the assembly. Uma's rehabilitation comes close on the heels of her two meetings with Advani after her return from Amarkantak sojourn, where she vowed to send the "child in her" to the Himalayas and to "act in a more mature" manner within the organisation.

Posted by: Mudy May 28 2005, 12:22 PM


Fernandes predicts win for NDA in case of early elections Agencies/ Vijayawada Terming dissolution of Bihar Assembly as a "murder of democracy," NDA Convenor George Fernandes on Saturday said the opposition alliance was sure to win, if assembly elections were held at an early date. "It (dissolution) was a murder of democracy. When Nitish Kumar was ready to form the government, the Governor suggested dissolution of the assembly. Should elections be held in July, then we are sure to win," the former Defence Minister said. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar here, Fernandes said rumours on the formation of a third front was only a "joke" as even senior leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav and former Prime Minister HD Devegowda had become "spectators" in the present politics. On the need for a seperate Telagana state, he said there was "nothing wrong" in the formation of small states and cited the example of Goa and Delhi which were "forerunners in terms of development". Criticising the Maoists, he said, "The present day Maoists did not have any ideologies compared to old Maoists who fought for the right of people". Later speaking at the educational seminar organised by All India University Employees Confederation, Fernandes said present day higher education has become the prerogative of only the rich people in society. "With more and more private colleges coming up, the higher education remains confined to only few." Fernandes said, adding that, in Bihar, the educational system has "completely collapsed". "Within a ten year span 1,110 teachers had committed suicide in Bihar," he said.
Reason behind sucide ????

Posted by: Mudy May 28 2005, 06:12 PM,000900010009.htm

Posted by: Mudy May 31 2005, 08:44 AM

Posted by: Mudy May 31 2005, 12:26 PM

Paswan also said his party favoured fighting the coming polls on anti-NDA plank. "We are fighting for ideology and will be sticking to our principles. There will not be any compromise. Dalit and minority issues are not the issues of Bihar alone, but they are national issues," he said. "I am ready to sacrifice hundred times for the cause of dalits and minority community," he said adding, "I will fight for their rights at the government and other levels." Asked whether he would be supporting a Muslim for the Chief Minister's post in Bihar, he said that these issues would be decided at the national executive meeting after the poll schedule is announced.
Already a spent force.

Posted by: Ashok Kumar May 31 2005, 02:53 PM

QUOTE (Mudy @ May 29 2005, 12:52 AM)
"Within a ten year span 1,110 teachers had committed suicide in Bihar,"[/color] he said.
Reason behind sucide ????
Many govt school teachers didn't receive salaries for years. A poor school teacher can't really survive if he has to take care of his family from extraeous sources while govt is unable to pay his salary. Within months of presidents rule, the envionment in Bihar has improved significantly. Gunda-Neta raj is at least in a suspended animation. But the blithering idiot that Lalu is, he can't find any shame in this for himself.

Posted by: keshto patel Jun 1 2005, 04:48 PM

Laloo threatened to topple UPA Government: Paswan Wednesday, June 1 2005 23:00 Hrs (IST) - World Time - Kishanganj (Bihar): Launching an attack on his rival Laloo Prasad, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ramvilas Paswan today (Jun 1, 2005) claimed the Bihar Assembly was dissolved under Railway Minister's threat to topple the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre. "Laloo has threatened Sonia Gandhi that if Rabri Devi failed to become the Chief Minister, he will topple the Government at the Centre," he told a minorities' conference in Kishanganj. Spotlight: Bihar Elections "The House was later dissolved under Laloo's threat," he said. Paswan said he had offered CM's post to Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) but Laloo was intransigent on his wife becoming the Chief Minister. Keshto wants this 2 happen on ASAP basis. Lets rock the boat all n sundry..............

Posted by: Mudy Jun 1 2005, 09:58 PM

Staying in power is more important then to safeguard constitution or political ethics for Sonia Congress.

Posted by: Mudy Jun 1 2005, 10:14 PM

Two killed in Patna shootout Pioneer- Patna Two persons were killed and three critically injured when unidentified assailants fired at passers-by on a busy road in Alamganj area in Bihar on Wednesday. The gunmen, believed to be in an inebriated state, indiscriminately fired several rounds to create terror in which five passers-by were injured. While one of them succumbed to injuries on way to hospital, another died at the hospital. Old enmity was suspected to be the motive behind the killing, the police said.
Laloo's boys are out and kicking.

Posted by: Viren Jun 6 2005, 09:00 AM

There was some minor difference in the statement of these leaders as to how many MLAs would parade before the president, but all of them asserted it would not be less than 125, three more than the magic figure of 122 in the 243-member assembly that was required to form the government. Shukla gave the figure of 132 MLAs (NDA 92, breakaway LJP 23 and 17 independents), Munna said 130 while Yadav put the number above 125. Senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar said the MLAs of the dissolved Bihar assembly, who came in support of forming a NDA Government in the state, have expressed strong desire to meet President A P J Abdul Kalam to convince him that the UPA Government "throttled the democracy by dissolving the assembly and deprived them a chance to form a popular government".

Posted by: Mudy Jun 10 2005, 10:31 AM,0008.htm

In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Government to respond to a petition challenging the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly. A vacation bench of judges PV Reddy and Arijit Pasayat granted the government two weeks time to file its response and one week thereafter for the petitioners to file their rejoinder. The order came on a petition filed by four legislators who had been elected in the February polls that returned a fractured verdict. The house was kept in suspended animation and the newly elected legislators could not take oath. It was dissolved May 23 after efforts at government formation failed. The petitioners contended that the dissolution was a malafide exercise of power by the Bihar Governor

Posted by: Viren Jun 13 2005, 10:42 AM

The steel-like grip of Ram Vilas Paswan on his Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) loosened on Friday when most of the party’s 29 MLAs from the dissolved Bihar assembly joined the NDA-led protest march to Rashtrapati Bhavan. At least 18 of Paswan’s former MLAs joined the NDA protest march which was led by L K Advani, George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar. They also carried letters of support from four LJP members lodged in Bihar jails. In all, 126 former MLAs were present and presented a memorandum to President A P J Abdul Kalam, protesting against the dissolution of the assembly. The journey by LJP men to Rashtrapati Bhawan spelt a formal dissociation of Paswan’s flock. The whole band of upper-caste MLAs, led by prominent Bhumihar leader Ramashray Prasad Singh of Bihar, had formally declared their intention to go with NDA in a bid to oppose Lalu Prasad’s hold over Bihar. Sources say Paswan is now left with just seven former MLAs, six of whom are Dalits. Incidentally, these upper caste leaders had joined Paswan after they were refused tickets by other parties for the February polls. Those who joined Friday’s march included 15 LJP MLAs who had revolted against Paswan’s rigid stance of having no truck with either the Lalu-led RJD or Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) until the latter came out of NDA fold. Paswan’s insistence on installing a Muslim chief minister in the state had led to their revolt.

Posted by: Viren Jun 22 2005, 07:32 AM

Siwan District Magistrate Santosh Kumar Mal on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant against controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal member of Parliament Mohammed Shahabuddin for alleged criminal activities post-February 18, 2005.

Posted by: Mudy Jun 22 2005, 01:08 PM,000900030002.htm

Fed up with the image the media has created of him, RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav has opted for an ‘image makeover’ and has hired a Delhi-based advertising firm for the job. .... The firm has also been asked to give the RJD an image makeover. It has six months to do its job and it is no coincidence that the Bihar elections are expected around that time.

Posted by: Viren Jun 22 2005, 01:23 PM

Hire a decent barber and get moving...what's the big deal mad.gif

Posted by: Mudy Jun 23 2005, 08:37 AM,000900030002.htm Bihar tango started.

Posted by: Mudy Jun 24 2005, 10:12 AM

QUOTE DARBHANGA, JUNE 23 (PTI) Unfazed by the arrest warrant issued against him, RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin today attended a public function here to felicitate him saying he had the independence to move anywhere. ''If a warrant of arrest has been issued against me, does it mean that I should hide myself ... There are 2-4 warrants always against me. I have the independence to move anywhere,'' Shahabuddin told reporters in reply to a question relating to Siwan DM Santosh Kumar Mal issuing the arrest warrant against him yesterday. Mal had asked Siwan superintendent of police Ratan Sanjay to arrest Shahabuddin and produce him in his court on or before July 1 for examinations in a matter related to book him under the Bihar Control of Crimes Act (CCA) for his criminal activities post February 18, the day he was externed by the then Siwan DM C K Anil from Siwan for six months. Shahabuddin, the RJD MP from Siwan was here to attend a function organised by the 'District Moharram Committee' in his honour. Union Minister and local MP M A A Fatmi accompanied Shahabuddin to the function. In an apparent reference to Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) President Ram Vilas Paswan making all-out efforts to woo Muslims in his party's favour in the coming assembly polls, Shahabuddin said ''Nobody can lure Muslims for their political gains. The efforts to woo Muslims for personal gains will not yield any result, the Muslim community is wholeheartedly behind RJD, which has always stood with them.
How Congress shelters criminals? Sonia calls other communal, Corrupt and criminal, somebody ask her what she is?

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Jul 7 2005, 04:24 PM Bye Bye Paswan!

Posted by: Viren Jul 18 2005, 07:05 AM

Patna, July 13 : Congress leaders had vested interests in allowing the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riots to flare up, party veteran and former Bihar chief minister Satyendra Narayan Sinha has alleged in his new book. "Meri Yaden, Meri Bhool" has been penned by Sinha, who headed the Bihar government at the time of the riots that killed around 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. Sinha, a leader of the upper caste Rajput community who turned 89 this week, blames three powerful Congress leaders, including two former chief ministers, for the spread of the riots. He wonders how the Ram Shila Pujan Yatra was allowed to pass through a Muslim dominated locality in Bhagalpur district, triggering violence across the district. Sinha states in his book how an Indian Administrative Officer (IAS), Ashok Kumar Singh, was sent by him to control the riots but was forced to keep away and pushed into relief work. He says some other officials deputed to control the riots were similarly diverted for other work. His disclosures may create a new controversy over the Bhagalpur riots with assembly polls due in the state in October-November. Sinha said: "The book is a chapter of my life, it reflects what Bihar was in the past and what it is today. "I wrote the book honestly. Some people might feel offended but I have written it without any malice to anyone," he said at the function. The book was released by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee at a function attended by former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh, Minister of State for IT Shakeel Ahmad, Governor Buta Singh and a host of MPs and leaders cutting across party lines. Sinha is the father of former Delhi Police Commissioner Nikhil Kumar, who is now a Congress MP from Aurangabad. (IANS)

Posted by: Viren Jul 18 2005, 07:07 AM

Madhubani, Bihar, July 17: Taking a cue from former Bihar Chief Minister Satyendra Narayan Singh’s book in which he has alleged complicity of a few Congress party leaders in the Bhagalpur communal riots, senior JD-U leader Nitish Kumar on Sunday took a pot shot at the Congress saying the revelation had brought forth the communal face of the party. Singh’s book has made it clear that the Congress party has a communal face. The Congress which has been dubbing the BJP-led NDA as communal is yet to steer clear of the allegation levelled by the former CM on a few party leaders of fomenting the Bhagalpur riots in which more than 1000 people had lost lives, he said before embarking on his ‘nyay yatra’. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black, Kumar said hitting out at Congress campaign that the BJP-led NDA was communal. Singh in his book had hit out at party colleagues Bhagwat Jha Azad, also a former Bihar CM and Shiv Chander Jha, the then Assembly Speaker, for having a role in the Bhagalpur riots. Making a scathing attack on RJD president Laloo Prasad, the JD-U leader who is leading NDA’s ‘nyay yatra’ said, he misused the strength of his party’s 24 MPs in getting the Assembly dissolved instead of using it in promoting the cause of the state’s development by bringing more Central funds

Posted by: Mudy Jul 19 2005, 05:12 PM

CPM politburo member snubs Paswan Patna CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday advised LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan to quit the UPA and lend its issue-based support from outside if it was not prepared to fight the coming Bihar Assembly elections with its coalition partners against the NDA.

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Jul 23 2005, 05:58 PM

argue.gif Bihar elections r a challenge to constitution. I for 1 can't believe as to how a Governor can stop the assembly of duly elected Legislative Assembly. This time around even Prez has been misled as is being revealed in response to petition in Supreme Court. Think of it, this election will not give a morsel of food to hungry, poor man of Bihar. Rather it will produce apathy to whole democracy. Add to it the drama of Goa and Jharkhand and the picture is complete. Lessons : 1. To legitimise the post of Governor, it should also be indirectly elected like President of India. 2. If u look back a few yrs in UP, there has not been stable Govt which lasted x 5 yrs and even central Govt is facing it off and on. Therefore, to avoid this, PM and CMs should be directly elected. A windfall of this scenario would be that legislators will start legislating as CMs should be free to draw their ministries from talented people. clap.gif

Posted by: Mudy Jul 25 2005, 08:19 AM,001301480000.htm

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Jul 25 2005, 02:37 PM

rolleyes.gif Coming close on the heels of my earlier msg, there is a possibility that Supreme Court may stand by my arguement that : Governor has no power to stop the constitution of Legislative Assembly.In such an eventuality, the President, Cabinet and Governor (bad advice) has no choice but to rescind it's earlier execeutive order as it does not withstand the scrutiny of justice.

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Jul 25 2005, 02:48 PM

btw sleepysmileyanim.gif just in case, u missed SC piece of news, here it's for ur perusal : SC on Bihar: Centre asked to explain stand

Posted by: Mudy Jul 25 2005, 05:08 PM

We were hoping Congress had learn lesson after Goa and Jharkhand experiment but it seems they are like dog's tail. Lets wait for SC judgement.

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Jul 26 2005, 03:52 PM

lmaosmiley.gif To look at this may look like as if pertaining to 1 state of India but it's GeoPolitical as if this occurs, it will prove that Judiciary's role in a democratic set up is supreme; no wonder, they call it Supreme Court. This reminds me that USA had 1 Prez who after retirement became the Chief Justice of SC William Tuft.

Posted by: Viren Jul 28 2005, 10:59 AM

Sources said that the AG office had sought a detailed report in this regard from the state government within a month and had asked to initiate steps to recover the money from the purchaser. "The defrauding of lakhs of rupees in the purchase of government land came to light when AG officials audited documents, pertaining to the sale and purchase of land in Siwan district," a source said. In the sale of land to Shahabuddin, the government had incurred a loss of Rs 75 lakh. The land was purchased two years ago by Shahabuddin for setting up an engineering college in the district

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Jul 30 2005, 09:30 AM

specool.gif Chief Secy says I quit as tough cops shunted out in Bihar’s Buta Raj EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Posted online: Saturday, July 30, 2005 at 0155 hours IST PATNA, JULY 29: Buta Raj is turning out to be worse than Laloo Raj,’’ is how a senior bureaucrat reacted today when news about Chief Secretary G S Kang proceeding on long leave spread like wildfire rocking Bihar’s officialdom. Kang’s decision to proceed on leave comes a day after two controversial marching orders: Siwan SP Ratn Sanjay, who had dared to raid the controversial RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, has been moved out as Commandant of Bihar Military Police, a job that has got very little to do with law and order. And Patna City SP Shaleen, hounded by his bosses for cracking down on alleged corruption in the police force, has been shunted to Nawada. Though Kang won’t state the reason for his decision, no one was left in any doubt that it was his way of protesting against the transfers which were learnt to have been carried out against his advice. That the Chief Secretary had revolted was quite clear. First, he addressed his leave letter to the Governor. Then he surrendered his official car and mobile phone and in an application asked for his official landline at his residence to be disconnected. According to sources, he has said in his letter that he had learnt about the transfers from the press and he felt his advice was not needed. When contacted, he declined to comment. However, when asked whether he was protesting against the transfer of the two police officers, he told The Indian Express: ‘‘You should put this question to the Governor.’’ Buta Singh was silent on the issue. By evening, the drama over the transfers threatened to escalate. Siwan District Magistrate Santosh Kumar Mall, exercising his right under clause 20 B of the police manual, served an order on SP Ratn Sanjay that he should not leave the headquarters till his replacement took charge. He cited the law and order situation in Siwan for restraining the SP. But by the time his order could reach Ratn Sanjay, he had left. ‘‘I have no idea about the order. I have the marching orders and I am on my way to Patna to join my new posting,’’ he told The Indian Express over phone. Back in the state capital, Patna Rural SP G P Sinha, who was ordered to replace Ratn Sanjay, cited family problems and forwarded a sick leave application, expressing his inability to join. Though some other officials were also transferred, these are the two cases which have put a question mark over Raj Bhawan’s motives. Ratn Sanjay was posted as the SP of Siwan on the orders of the Election Commission just before the Assembly elections. His actions, in association with the then DM, C K Anil, had turned the heat on Shahabuddin and his gang members. Meanwhile, Patna City SP Shaleen, had been hounded by his bosses when he took on DSP Arshad Zaman, accused of passing off the alleged murder of a young woman as suicide. So far no action has been taken against the DSP.

Posted by: Mudy Jul 30 2005, 06:14 PM

Now what will happen to Paswan? His time is over or any chance of comeback. Cong and RJD marriage will stay for another 3 months.

Posted by: Mudy Jul 31 2005, 11:22 AM

Defy Lalu raj The Pioneer Edit Desk If there were any expectations that the Rashtriya Janata Dal's defeat in the Assembly election early this year and the subsequent imposition of President's rule would help restore the primacy of law in lawless Bihar, those have foundered on the rock of monumental incompetence and worse as evident from the decisions of Governor Buta Singh. Thursday night's transfer of 17 senior IPS officers is the latest example that illustrates how little has changed in the manner in which Bihar is governed. Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, who earlier ruled Bihar through conjugal proxy, continues to determine the course of administrative decisions; the seal of gubernatorial approval is nothing more than the imprint of a rubber stamp. The Chief Secretary of Bihar, Mr GS Kang, tried to cleanse the system of Mr Yadav's pernicious influence. His efforts were destined to fail with Raj Bhavan continuing to function as an extension counter of the RJD. An honest and upright officer, Mr Kang, rather than compromise his integrity, has gone on long leave to protest against Thursday's wholesale transfer of police officers who had made life difficult for hooligans and criminals who comprise the Union Railway Minister's core constituency. For, this was no routine administrative reshuffle by the Governor; the districts where the transferred police officers were posted are those where Mr Yadav's RJD was unable to use muscle power during the last Assembly election. Therefore, the charge that the transfers are tainted by ulterior political motives cannot be wished away. Nor can Mr Yadav deny that he stands to gain if pliant police officers are posted in these districts. Since the Election Commission is yet to announce the dates for fresh polling, it cannot take umbrage at upright police officers being shunted out. And with gutless police officers occupying key positions, it cannot do much to prevent rigging and other electoral malpractices by the RJD. However, it makes little sense to berate either the UPA's spineless nominee who occupies the Raj Bhavan in Patna or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's tarred ministerial colleague who personifies corruption in public life and criminalisation of politics in India. The fault lies with the Congress which is only too happy to do Mr Yadav's bidding and ensure that the man who has single-handedly pauperised Bihar and made it a safe haven for murderers, kidnappers and assorted criminals, continues to rule the State by proxy using President's rule as a cloak to hide his gross misdeeds. Mr Yadav's latest penchant for promoting a contemptible history-sheeter like Mohammed Shahabuddin - he might as well have adopted Dawood Ibrahim as his party's "secular" mascot - to pander to the Muslim vote-bank has understandably found widespread support in the higher echelons of the Congress. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif But there were two obstacles preventing Mr Yadav in his enterprise the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police of Siwan, the headquarters of Shahabuddin's evil empire. The Governor struck at the District Magistrate immediately after President's rule was imposed; he has now got rid of the Superintendent of Police. With both obstacles removed, Mr Yadav and his goons can now violate the law with impunity in Siwan as well as the other districts from where tough police officers have been removed. Once again, Mr Yadav has cocked a snook at authority. The Chief Secretary has taken a courageous stand that should inspire others who value integrity and probity. Hopefully, his defiance will not be lost on Bihar's civil society.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 1 2005, 08:52 AM,000900030002.htm

Amid controversy over transfer of 17 IPS officers that led to Bihar chief secretary proceeding on protest leave, the Union Home minister has summoned Bihar Governor Buta Singh for discussions, Raj Bhavan sources said Monday.,000900030002.htm
Charging Bihar Governor Buta Singh with "manipulating" the administration at the behest of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad for "partisan political ends", top NDA leaders on Monday met President A P J Abdul Kalam and demanded his immediate recall. Agitated over the recent transfer of 17 senior IPS officers, the leaders including NDA Convenor George Fernandes and Leader of Opposition L K Advani, alleged that the "Constitution, Rules of Executive Business and norms are being flouted with impunity". "We told the President that we don't recall any state where the Chief Secretary has lodged such a protest (of proceeding on leave). Since the Administration was being run in his (President's) name, his intervention is essential", Advani told reporters emerging from the 15 minute meeting.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 1 2005, 02:04 PM

Guv asks Kang to come back Pioneer PTI/ Patna In an apparent move to patch-up with the aggrieved Bihar chief secretary who went on protest leave over transfer of IPS officers, Governor Buta Singh on Monday visited Mr GS Kang's residence requesting him to join work but the senior official turned down the request. "Yes, the Governor had come to my house and requested me to join duty. He assured me that my prestige will be restored," Mr Kang said. "I told the Governor that my stand on the issue was based on principle and in no case am I prepared to compromise on it," he said specool.gif
Excellent, we still have honest Indians who can show finger to Governor. Well Sonia and her gang should comeup with other game plan.

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Aug 2 2005, 06:55 PM

furious.gif EC warns Bihar govt against transfers - NDTV Correspondent Tuesday, August 2, 2005 (New Delhi): The Election Commission warned the Bihar administration today to not transfer senior officials involved in election work without its permission. Seventeen District Police Chiefs and three District Magistrates were recently transferred by the state administration. The move enraged Chief Secretary G S Kang, who proceeded on protest leave. The Election Commission also pulled up the state administration for not executing almost 23,000 non-bailable warrants against criminals and politicians. Party embarrassed Bihar Governor Buta Singh has been under fire from not just the opposition but also his own party, which has been left embarrassed by his moves. Home Minister Shivraj Patil had even summoned the Governor and asked him to widen the consultation process before transferring officials. The Chief Secretary meanwhile, has refuted Patil's official claim that senior officials were consulted before the transfers were made. The controversy has given enough fodder to the opposition to embarrass the Congress in the run up to Bihar elections. admin : Please post in regular font Thanks

Posted by: Mudy Aug 3 2005, 10:29 AM

That things are not the same in Bihar any longer is evident by the near revolt in the state’s administrative and police services following governor Buta Singh’s decision to transfer seventeen IPS officers, some of them jewels like Patna city SP, Shalin, and the police chief of Siwan district, Ratn Sanjay. The state’s chief secretary, G.S.Kang, has gone on leave, without consulting the governor, and Buta failed to change his mind going unprecedentedly to his house. In Kang’s footsteps, Bihar’s home secretary, A.K.Biswas, has also gone on leave.
Laloo’s main bettor in the Congress party is Sonia Gandhi’s so-called political secretary, Ahmed Patel. Political sources say the reason for Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s devil-may-care attitude despite the police outrage against Honda workers was that Patel had assured him not to worry about his job. It is apparently Patel again working the networks to save Laloo, even if the Congress party sinks in the process, and the UPA comes in firmer grip of Laloo’s tainted politics. “It is not even that anyone believes Laloo will win,” said a Congress stalwart. “There are parasites who smell an opportunity to feed off him.” So this is about power brokering, individual gains, and not about politics, even dirty party politics as we have come to know it. So it is a free-for-all in the coming Bihar elections, but with just one certainty, which is that people are looking for a change from Laloo, from his infernal votebank politics, with the only beneficiary being himself, his family, his friends, and his associates. That change to be provided has to be comprehensive, all-encompassing, and all-new, visibly breaking from the old, discredited order, and currently, which is Bihar’s tragedy, no one is promising that change. The more the promised change clings to the old, or remnants of the old, the more confused will voters be, and the more fractionated the results. As it looks, there seems no risk that Laloo will sneak to power, with a return of scoundrel raj in Bihar, but a clear winner will depend on who is willing to risk the most for a new order. This is Bihar’s new uncertainty principle.

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Aug 5 2005, 06:11 PM

india.gif [FONT=Courier][SIZE=7][COLOR=green] Combining my 2 earlier msg HERE IS COPY OF EMAIL TO PRESIDENT OF INDIA : Your Excellency Mr. President, Bihar elections are a challenge to Constitution. I for 1 can't believe as to how a Governor can stop the assembly of duly elected Legislative Assembly. This time around even Your Excellency has been misled as is being revealed in response to petition in Supreme Court. Otherwise how else Govt will ask Supreme Court not to enquire : SC should not probe Bihar polls: Centre Supreme Court has every right to probe an executive order especially when it smacks of compromising Constitution. Please give it a thought, this election will not give a morsel of food to hungry, poor man of Bihar. Rather it will produce apathy to whole process of democracy. {(Moreover where is the gurantee that next election can produce results. Does that mean that EC will keep holding elections?) () is not part of petition.} Therefore, Your Excellency, Cabinet and Governor have no choice but to rescind the earlier executive order as it does not withstand the scrutiny of justice. Request For Your Excellency's Immediate Consideration, Capt (RETD) Manmohan Kumar

Posted by: Mudy Aug 19 2005, 10:41 AM,000900030002.htm

Bihar Governor Buta Singh's purported letter to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad seeking postings for railway officials sparked a political storm on Friday, boding trouble for the ruling Congress in Parliament amid opposition demands for Singh's recall.
I have done nothing wrong," Buta Singh told reporters here. "There is no code that says a governor cannot write such a letter if someone seeks his help." The governor said he was "proud" of what he had written. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif Buta Singh was alleged to have sent the letter dated July 15 from the Patna Raj Bhavan to ask Lalu Prasad to help transfer Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS) officer Vijay P Meshram to Mumbai as controller of stores for Central Railway, and move the incumbent Girish Bhatnagar as assistant general manager of Central Railway at Mumbai.
"If someone comes to me and I write a letter, there is nothing unconstitutional in it," said Congress leader Digvijay Singh. "He did not say or do anything is a meaningless controversy." ohmy.gif
I think this is called nepotism which is equivalent to bribe. If these moron can justify this what else is left.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 19 2005, 02:16 PM


Congress wearies of Buta burden Sanjay K Jha / New Delhi Bihar Governor Buta Singh's days are numbered and chances are he will be removed soon. Embroiled in controversies for long, his exit has been a matter of intense speculation, but Congress sources feel his continuance is almost impossible now. There are two views about his fate in the party. While one section favours awaiting the verdict of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court and sacrificing the Governor in case of adverse observations, the other section feels it is best not to delay his departure with elections being so close. The names of Mr PM Sayeed and Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde are doing the rounds as his successor. Congress leaders say Mr Sayeed, whose performance as a Union Power Minister has been far from satisfactory, was being considered only because he was a sober Muslim face but his "deficient" administrative and political skills may yet again prove to be a major handicap in the complex situation of Bihar. They prefer Mr Shinde, who is politically suave and capable of managing difficult situations, and his being Dalit will also make the decision politically correct. Senior Congress leaders dismiss with contempt suggestions that Mr Singh could be removed because of the controversies surrounding him, including the latest involving a letter he wrote for the transfer of a railway official. One senior leader said, "this is trivialising the entire issue and only those who are alien to the functioning of the political people are making an issue out of it. His writing a letter to a Union Minister is a non-issue."

Posted by: Mudy Aug 26 2005, 08:31 AM

Next round of circus,0008.htm

Posted by: Dev Aug 30 2005, 11:08 AM

The writer nicely rips in to Kalam, Manmohan Singh, Shivraj Patil, Bharadwaj, Buta but very conveniently shields Sonia as if these jokers are acting independenty and all their actions are somehow unrelated. However, there are several nuggets...,%20it%E2%80%99ll%20be%20Bihar%20all%20the%20way

Come September, it’ll be Bihar all the way By Siddhartha Reddy President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister Shivraj Patil, law minister H.R. Bharadwaj and Bihar Governor Buta Singh collectively failed to demonstrate their constitutional responsibility on the issue of government formation in Bihar. Now there is a possibility that the Supreme Court will uphold the petition challenging the dissolution of Bihar Assembly, revive the Assembly and pass strictures against the above-mentioned for failing to protect the Constitution. The Supreme Court can also do several other things: refer the matter to a full bench; stay the elections until the matter is disposed of; hear it until Bihar elections are re-held then dispose of the case as unfructuous; pass strictures against the constitutional functionaries but not revive the Assembly. Under Section 66 of the Representatives of People Act, 1951, returning officers declare results after the elections. Under Section 73, a successful candidates’ list is published. After notification, the Assembly is deemed to be constituted. It’s constituted only when MLAs are sworn in. So voters’ right must be taken to its logical conclusion, by swearing in the elected MLAs. However, after the Bihar elections, the MLAs weren’t sworn in. This is unprecedented in electoral history. An Assembly that was never constituted was dissolved. To prevent Nitish Kumar from forming the government with the help of Independent candidates and Ram Vilas Paswan’s 29 MLAs, the Bihar Assembly was dissolved. But the anti-defection law is applicable only after candidates are sworn in as MLAs. In this case how could there be horse-trading when MLAs had not even been sworn in? Former election commissioner G.V.G. Krishnamurthy says, “Bihar voters cannot be asked to vote again, when their earlier vote didn’t result in the completion of the election process.” If the MLAs had been administered oath, the Assembly constituted and then dissolved, there would not have been any case before the Supreme Court. Blaming Lalu will not help. Lalu’s support to the UPA comes for a price. If Lalu withdraws his support the Congress is in the Opposition for 20 years. Blaming Sonia Gandhi too won’t suffice. She has a genuine problem. The Congress-led government has the support of 350 MPs, of which 80 are from unreliable allies (Mulayam 38, Mayawati 18, Pawar 9, TRS 5, Ajit Singh 3, Deve Gowda 2, Athavale 1, Sikkim-Mizoram-Nagaland 3 and MIM 1). It is only Lalu who has been standing rock solid next to Sonia Gandhi. If Lalu goes with his 24 MPs, the government will be in a minority. So Sonia Gandhi passes on to government functionaries Lalu’s unreasonable requests. They are the ones who should examine such requests and refuse to oblige while trying to convince Lalu. As for President Kalam his detachment from politics and easy disposition encouraged the UPA to become reckless. During his Russia visit, on Manmohan Singh’s SOS, at 3 a.m., Kalam signed the declaration approving President’s Rule in Bihar. He could have waited, examined the request and signed it after his Russia visit. If the Supreme Court shows its disapproval on the matter, it will be too embarrassing for Kalam. As for Manmohan Singh, let him be subservient to Sonia Gandhi, but he should be loyal to the Constitution. He should have consulted various legal opinions before getting the Cabinet to approve the dissolution. Home minister Shivraj Patil should have vetted the decision before advising Manmohan Singh. Patil is there as minister this long because, it is said, his animosity to Sharad Pawar impresses Sonia Gandhi. Apparently, that’s why he was made a minister, even though he lost a Lok Sabha election from Latur in Maharashtra. Patil was made home minister, just to give him greater ministerial stature than Pawar. But as home minister Patil is a disaster. He did a crude job of sacking the BJP-appointed governors. He mishandled government formation in Jharkhand, Goa and Bihar. The Northeast is in a state of turmoil. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh is being allowed to continue beyond danger limits. Naxalite activity has quadrupled. From Nepal to Tamil Nadu, the Maoists have established a revolutionary corridor. As for law minister Hansraj Bharadwaj, he is loyal to the dynasty, but he does not have any understanding of the Constitution. He abuses his office with his incompetence, as evident from the affidavit controversy surrounding George Fernandes, the CBI’s “handling” of cases against Satish Sharma and Mayawati. Bharadwaj’s legal advice to the Cabinet will be questioned if the Supreme Court disagrees with the government. And now Buta Singh, who has come a long way . He is now driving the helpless people of Bihar to distraction and depression. Buta Singh is the worst example of a degenerate political class that has neither morality nor conscience. Pursuit of resources and power motivate them to destroy governance. He was hand-picked by Lalu to allow an RJD rule by proxy. Politicians like Buta Singh should be banished for ever from all constitutional positions. Even Congressmen are fed up with him for there is constant media criticism of Buta and his two sons Sweety and Lovely. An adverse Supreme Court judgment in September will be a matter of grave embarrassment for the UPA, possibly threatening its stability. This could come at a time when the anti-Lalu parties are no longer afraid of another election. Nitish Kumar’s anti-Lalu campaign is picking up pace, with attendance at his public meetings increasing every day. There is increasing concern in the Congress that the tide is turning against Lalu in Bihar although when Nitish Kumar’s supporters moved the Supreme Court to seek the revival of the Assembly, they were doubtful of defeating a united RJD-Congress-CPI(M) alliance. But Lalu still wants fresh elections and hopes for a victory. Come September, Supreme Court pronouncement will either revive the Bihar Assembly or prepare the ground for fresh Assembly elections.

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Aug 30 2005, 01:33 PM

thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif It's a matter of grave concern if v have a cabinet of 'mitti ka madhos' (statues) who will approve of such an illegal and unconstitutional recommendation emerging from Gobarnar's tv_feliz.gif office. I don't know as to what is left for Sept as the latest in petition is : Govt shall make the Governor's recommendation public.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 30 2005, 08:14 PM

President can't do much. He did a great service to nation by denying PMship to Sonia.

Posted by: Capt M Kumar Aug 31 2005, 02:17 PM

blink.gif There is improvement in the scenario as the whole matter has been refd to Constitutional bench with the q : Can Gov be given directions in case of derelection of duty? Why not? Did not they have to intervene in Jharkhand? Here the impropriety is still more as Gov did not even convene the Assembly. To right the wrong of Gov and for that matter even Cabinet, the exchequer can't be asked to conduct another election. However, there is bleak side to it also as SC has given 'go ahead' for election dt to EC. The wiser course would have been to hold the election dt till Sept 8 when SC gives it's judgement on the case. Moreover, what right EC has got to conduct another election when it could not give the duly elected MLAs entry to Assembly last time? 

<< Home

November 2003 / December 2003 / January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / May 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / March 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 /

Powered by Blogger