Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jagdish Mukhi has declined to be the pro-tem Speaker of Delhi Assembly. The decision in this regard was taken by Mukhi after he received a letter from Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung about his appointment as a pro-tem Speaker in Delhi assembly. According to reports, neither Mukhi nor any BJP MLA will become the pro-tem Speaker. The pro-tem speaker administers oath to all newly-elected MLAs. Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will seek a vote of confidence on January 3 on the floor of Delhi Assembly. I can only say that this is a very churlish by BJP. And it is nothing new for the BJP. They are a party which finds fault with other parties but never see their own faults. The BJP has demanded the speakers' post, so has the Congress and so has the lone JD(U) member Shoaib Iqbal. I can only advise AAP not to accept any blackmail by any of these parties. The Speaker's post usually goes to the ruling party and consequently it should go to AAP. Of course, in the process, AAP will have one member short in the Assembly. The Deputy Speaker's post could go to the opposition as is the usual practise
Discipline or perish: the government tells rule-breaking autowallahs to fall in line by January 7. “Gundami aar cholbe na (Enough of this rowdyism),” transport minister Madan Mitra said on Monday. “You can’t break routes arbitrarily and frame your own rules. The government will not sit back and tolerate all this. Under no condition can autos ply on main thoroughfares.” The tough-talk, not a first though, was the result of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s apparent displeasure at the auto-raj in Calcutta. Sounding off autorickshaw operators to “discipline themselves” by January 7, Mitra said those found flouting rules would be fined Rs 5,000. His department estimates around 65,000 autos — many of them illegal — ply in the city. Most autowallahs have sworn their loyalty to Trinamul-led unions, an act of convenience rather than ideology because such an affiliation allegedly guarantees a shield from any crackdown against liberties on the road. Sources said autorickshaw drivers often flout the bar on carrying more than four passengers, hiking fares on their own and deciding routes according to convenience. Bulk of the three-wheelers ply on main thoroughfares such as Rashbehari Avenue and Diamond Harbour Road. The autowallahs have become indispensable — and more brazen — on key routes of late because the bus service has thinned over the government’s reluctance to let the operators raise fares. Mitra had waved the whip earlier too but always stopped short of cracking it. The minister’s previous no-no list says ■ no auto will carry more than four passengers at a time: one on the left alongside the driver and three at the rear ■ no loud music ■ no arbitrary hike in fare ■ no changing routes for their own convenience ■ no driver shall speak on cell phones while driving ■ must avoid main roads Mitra could mean business this time because complaints about rowdy autos have been steadily reaching the chief minister. Or, as insiders say, it could be a way to earn upvotes for a department trying to show that it is “working hard to address the woes of auto passengers”. Other than the no-mercy warning, Mitra said the government would introduce vehicles that can seat five or more. “We will issue permits to vehicles such as Tata Magic and mark the routes. The Hazra-Garia route will be the first. Fares will be fixed on the basis of demand.” The TMC will never take action, that is guaranteed. These threats are all for public consumption. To the above could be added one more point. Recently while travelling from Nager Bazar to Bangur Avenue by Auto, the driver informed each of us that we would be required to pay in coins. I thought he did not have change, so I agreed.One person got down before me at Shyamnagar, giving the driver change for Rs 5/-. When I got down at Bangur Avenue, I gave him a Rs 10/- note since the previous person had already given him change for Rs 5/- and he could give me change. But he refused, saying that he had asked all of us to pay in coins. I told him that since he had change, he should give change. He tried to push off with my Rs 10/- when I caught hold of his bag. Finally, he agreed. When he opened his bag to give change, we all saw that he had at least Rs 50/- in change. Nowadays, these auto drivers are forcing commuters to give them change and then selling the change at a premium to bus drivers. Madan Mitra should also see that auto drivers pay in coins when they have it and not force us to pay in coins only.
IMRAN AHMED SIDDIQUI New Delhi, Dec. 30: Rahul Gandhi wooed but Arvind Kejriwal may gain. Several leading Muslim organisations have offered support to the Aam Aadmi Party — one of them through a newspaper ad — in next year’s general election if it agrees to include in its manifesto a charter of 20 demands. The development comes a week after Rahul attended a daylong interaction between the Congress and Muslim leaders as part of his plan to “open up” the political system. Zakat Foundation of India, the country’s largest Muslim charity, put out an advertisement in all leading Urdu dailies in Delhi today. “Indian Muslims congratulate Arvind Kejriwal and his team and ask him to set up a mechanism to end the injustice meted out to the largest minority group,” it said. Zakat chief Syed Zafar Mahmood had written to the UPA government last month offering support if it fulfilled some of the 20 demands in “the next two to three months” and gave a written assurance to deliver the rest if voted back to power. “But they failed to respond; so we decided to support the AAP with the same conditions,” said Mahmood, a former bureaucrat who was in Manmohan Singh’s PMO in 2005-06. At last week’s meeting, addressed by Rahul, Muslim leaders including Mahmood had pointed out the Congress’s failures on various minority demands. The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, an umbrella body of social organisations that drew up the 20-point charter with Zakat, said the Aam Aadmi Party was a good alternative. Mushawarat president Zafarul Islam Khan said the AAP had challenged the “political monopoly of the Congress and the BJP”, giving the Muslims “another option”. Three days ago, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, a political party, took a similar stand. Before the Delhi polls, Jamaat had issued a statement favouring the Congress and warning that a divided Muslim vote would benefit the BJP. Key demands ■ Job quota for Muslims ■ Raising outlay for PM’s 15-point programme for minorities to 19% of total plan allocation ■ An equal opportunity commission ■ Fast-track terror courts; time-bound trial ■ Rs 50 lakh each for those acquitted in terror cases ■ Nomination of Muslims to high govt posts ■ Budget component for Muslims’ skill development, economic opportunities ■ An Indian Wakf Service ■ De-reservation of seats with sizeable Muslim influence ■ Minority status for Aligarh Muslim University This is the first serious test for Arvind and let us hope he passes it. Right from the beginning he should state that he is representing all sections of society, all castes and all religions. Reservations have been going on for 65 years now when it was initially planned for only 10 years. In spite of that we have not been able to bring about equality because our politicians are just interested in perpetuating the divide for their own vote banks. Just take an example of the Devyani Khabragade who has done exceeding well in life because of the backing of her father. I will not go into the validity of the charges against her that is to be decided between the governments of India and USA. However, Mayawati suddenly jumps into the fray, saying that she is being victimized because she is a dalit. This is what I call vote bank politics. I suggest that a status quo should be maintained on increase in any further reservations quotas. If once, he succumbs to what this organisation wants, other claimants will come with more arm twisting. His position is presently such, that all sections of society love and respect him. Let him not succumb to this vote bank politics like all others. Let him be impervious to both Hindu and Muslim communalism
Dear Arvind Kejriwal, Just read that you were unwell. The whole of India prays for your well being as the hopes and aspirations of the people now rest on you. I am writing this letter to express my fears at some of the news items which are coming out regarding people of other political parties joining AAP. Just yesterday Remo Fernandes and Oscar Rebello joined our party. The day before that Lal Bahadur Shastri’s grandson Adarsh Shastri joined us. These joinings are OK since they were apolitical entities. However , three days ago, Alka Lamba(Cong) and yesterday Kamal Farooqui (SP), expressed her wish to join AAP. I am sure I echo the sentiments of thousands of volunteers of AAP when I say that we do not want such people to join AAP. India has a population of 130 crores. Surely out of this vast population, we can locate about 2000 odd people who can represent us in the 2014 elections instead of falling back on these Ayaram-gayaram politicians. We saw the Binny affair, just before you decided on your ministers. These present day politicians of all the existing parties are expert turncoats who will change parties as they change clothes. They are just selfish people seeking power. I remember, many years ago, the BJP, which was earlier known as the Jan Sangh, was considered as a party with a difference. After they became the BJP, they started welcoming all the scum of the different parties to retain power. Now, there is nothing to differentiate the BJP from the Congress. If you want the AAP to go the same way, then continue welcoming these scums who are just fair weather friends and will leave the AAP when your fortunes turn. They will be the ones to be the cause of turning your fortunes with their corrupt ways. I noticed that after your swearing in ceremony, you welcomed the people of other parties to join us. That is OK but keep a two year cooling in period so that these turncoats do not get any party posts immediately. They will just be volunteers like all other volunteers.If at the end of two years, they are observed to be good, then we can think of admitting them. WE have thousands of good, honest educated people who have wanted to do something for the country but because of the existing corrupt political system they did not enter politics. We have many NGOs and social workers who want to help the people. Instead of taking these politicians, look for these people. I appreciate your call to people to send their applications for the parliamentary elections in 2014. I am sure we can collect at least two thousand good candidates not associated with any of the existing political parties. So why admit these scums? Best regards, Radheshyam Sharma Cell: 9331259878
Monday, December 30, 2013
New Delhi, Dec. 30, 2013: The amendment made in the RTI Act by the Parliament that proposed to keep political parties outside its ambit has been approved by the Parliamentary Committee, entrusted with the task of reviewing it despite much opposition from civil society organizations and citizens. In a landmark decision on June 3, 2013, the Central Information Commission (CIC) pronounced that the political parties (INC, BJP, CPM, CPI, NCP and BSP) are public authorities under section 2(h) of the RTI Act. The Government brought an amendment to the RTI Act excluding political parties from its ambit. However, due to mounting public pressure, the Parliament chose to refer the Bill to the Parliamentary Committee, which invited suggestions on the proposed amendment to the RTI Act. ADR was one of the organizations which made its submission apart from NCPRI, MKSS, Subhash Chandra Agarwal and Shailesh Gandhi among others. All of them strongly objected to the amendment. Rejecting Parliamentary Committee’s nod to the amendment, Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar, one of founder members and trustees of ADR, said, “The committee has not given any logical reasoning for its recommendation in its report. Excluding political parties from RTI Act is unconstitutional. It is odd to argue that transparency is good for all state organs but not for political parties, which in reality control all the vital organs of the state.” Expressing a similar view, Shailesh Gandhi, ex-CIC, stated, “The standing committee doesn’t appear to have taken into account objections to the RTI amendments submitted by the civil society organizations. No arguments have been given in the report which indicate that the committee has noted our objections. It is obvious that no reasons were taken to counter our views before suggesting construing citizen’s fundamental rights.” Mr Subhash Agarwal stated, "Report of Parliamentary standing committee recommending that CIC-verdict holding political parties being covered by RTI Act is not justified because according to the committee it was not intent of legislature to cover political parties under the transparency Act. There are many bodies claiming not covered under RTI Act but are declared public-authorities by Information Commissions and even endorsed by High Courts as public-authorities. None of such bodies were ‘intended’ specifically by the legislature to be covered under RTI Act. Surprisingly, the committee has overruled Attorney General’s advice that any legislative step against CIC-verdict may be struck down by courts. It is not appropriate that it may become compulsory to involve precious time of Supreme Court in every matter to get things done in public interest." Anjali Bhardwaj from NCPRI also questioned the Parliamentary Committee’s approval to the Bill, saying, “NCPRI has consistently held that the proposed amendment to RTI Act is unconstitutional. Political Parties ought to be covered as public authorities under the RTI Act. There is no rationale for people who made the law to keep themselves out of its ambit. We feel there are adequate exemptions under section 8 of the Act. The law doesn’t need any amendment.” Justifying its decision to amend the Bill the Government said – The political parties are neither established nor constituted by or under the Constitution or by any other law made by Parliament. An authority or body does not require to be established or constituted by or under the constitution or any other law made by the Parliament, to be called a public authority. According to Section 2(h) of RTI Act, an organisation that is ‘substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government’ can also fall under the category of public authority. The Government also claimed – “There are already provisions in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as well as in the Income-tax Act, 1961 which deal with the transparency in the financial aspects of political parties and their candidates.” However, an analysis by Association for Democratic Reform (ADR) of Income Tax returns for six National Political Parties and the statements filed by them with the Election Commission show that over 75% of the funds cannot be traced and are from ‘unknown’ sources. Another point made by the government was – Declaring a political party as public authority under the RTI Act would hamper its smooth internal working. Further, the political rivals may misuse the provisions of RTI Act. The above-mentioned claim of the Government does not hold much ground as the RTI Act has enough built in protection in the form of the section 8- “Exemption from disclosure of information.” The Parliamentary Committee observed that none of the six political parties, who happened to be respondent to CIC Order of 3rd June, 2013, has challenged the order in the higher judiciary which is a case of misrepresentation of a clear provision of law.” However, the correct and the established practice for a party aggrieved by a decision made by the CIC, is to go to the High Court to challenge the CIC’s decision. If this is a case of ‘misrepresentation of a clear provision of law’ there is no necessity of an amendment of the law. Association for Democratic Reforms “Kiwanis Centre”, 4th Floor, B-35, Qutub Institutional Area (Near Rockland Hospital) New Delhi-110 016 M: +91 8010394248 T: +91 11 41654200/01/02/03 F: 011 4609 4248 The Aam Aadmi Party has no objections with the decision of the CIC and given full co-operation. All the other parties are dragging their feet and just as the government tried to pass the infamous ordinance protecting corrupt politicians, it is again trying to bring forward an amendment trying protect the political parties fund from audits. The people will never accept this monkeying. This gives us one more reason to throw out established political parties and bring in the AAP.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
The man in khaki confessed with a secretive smile: "I supported them even during the Anna Hazare movement which started all this," he says, leaning against a barricade and pointing towards the sea of white caps wobbling in the air on the other side. The middle-aged constable posted at the Ramlila Maidan still remembers the tension between the protesting crowd and the police in the early days of the anti-corruption movement for the Jan Lokpal Bill, then led by Arvind Kejriwal the activist who was sworn in as chief minister a few minutes earlier. "More than any section of the society, it is the average policeman of Delhi who supports the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Arvind Kejriwal. Our life has become miserable due to departmental corruption. This is the best thing that could happen," he said on condition of anonymity. Random interviews with 15 policemen posted at the venue showed that every one was supportive of the new party. Some of these constables had to lathi-charge supporters of the anticorruption movement on orders before the Delhi elections were held. But all the 15 men revealed that they had voted for the AAP. The Delhi police reports to the union home ministry. Most of the policemen said they felt that roughly a third of the people in the department were corrupt. But this minority group was in charge of postings, transfers as "money flowed all the way to the top officials who enjoyed proximity with corrupt politicians." "Today, we have to work for 16 hours a day. It is taking a toll on us and many policemen are dying prematurely. And this is happening because the system is not in place. The honest ones are given unimportant postings and sidelined. Our only hope is Kejriwal," said a policemen who was particularly enthusiastic about an anti-corruption helpline announced by the chief minister. These constables and head constables pointed out that a significant number of people who live in police colonies have voted for AAP. "Most of the children in our police colony are AAP supporters. Kejriwal has infused the youth with a sense of purpose," said a constable, pointing out that the crowd had set an example by leaving and entering the premises peacefully. Outside the stadium, Brahm Dutt and Sagar, 11th standard students from Vardhaman Shiksha Mandir, stood atop a traffic island shouting "Vande Mataram" as a huge crowd gathered. "We are participating in this movement today because we know that in this corrupt system it will be difficult for us to get jobs without paying a bribe," said Dutt. Home-maker Sumanlatha came to the venue by herself. She said the financial burden on account of inflation had stolen happiness from the family. "Life has become sheer drudgery. This has also taken its toll on us as a family as we are both under extreme stress now. That is why I decided to support AAP." Hari Bhajan Pandey, a security supervisor, said he used to admonish his father for watching news which talked about corruption and did nothing about it. "But since I saw Kejriwal, I watch news. I have come here to lend support to AAP," he said. Whether it is a housewife or a policeman, a student or a college professor, a rickshaw puller,a bus drive or a Kingfisher employee, have all become supporters of AAP. Even BJP and Congress supporters are leaving their parties in droves to join AAP. Why? Because he brings hope to the Common Man or Aam Aadmi (called Mango People by Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law, Robert Vadra).He has been burdened with ever increasing inflation because of corruption. He has raised very high hopes among the people. We all pray to God for his long life and good health for we know his intentions are noble and God willing he will come out strong in fulfilling the people's aspirations
A letter from Admiral L Ramdas Lara to Arvind Kejriwal, which captures the sentiment of thousands of AAP supporters who are not physically in Delhi today. --------------------------- December 27 2013 Dear Arvind and all in AAP Delhi, I am truly sorry that I am unable to be with you all at Ram Leela Maidan on this historic day due to some unavoidable circumstances. But I will surely be with you in spirit. I would like to share an overwhelming feeling of exhilaration - similar to my emotions on Aug 15 1947, when Lord Mountbatten hauled down the Union Jack for the last time in India, to be replaced by the Tricolor - our Tiranga. I was a young boy of 14 then, full of hope and dreams, with fire in my belly, and ready to contribute all that it takes for my country and my people. Gandhiji had clearly outlined a focus for the development of India and her people. Over the years we seemed to have lost our way. We the people of India have waited several decades to witness the beginning of this second Freedom struggle. Aam Aadmi Party, under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal has reminded us that we need to retrace the pathway of Mahatma Gandhi as in the Achook Thabeez – or Talisman : "Recall the face of the poorest and the most helpless person whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of use to him/her. Will he be/she be able to gain anything by it? Will it restore him or her to a control over their own life? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj or self – rule for the hungry and also spiritually starved millions of our country men and women? The you will find your doubts and yourself melting away?....... " The people from every corner of the country are watching and waiting to see what we can learn from the incredible story of AAP and the cataclysm of the Delhi 2013 elections. As AAP begins her voyage in the vast and unpredictable ocean of politics there will undoubtedly be storms and rough seas and indeed many attempts to capsize us. As a former sailor I can only wish that there will be fair winds and following seas for you Arvind. And at the same time advise the captain to maintain the course he has set for himself, to remain calm and unruffled with a firm hand on the tiller, to steer us through the shoals and other hazards. And for the ship to stay afloat, we the crew must be disciplined, united, and remain alert to face the challenges ahead. With my fond greetings and God Bless You - Ramu Ramdas Just see the difference between this great man and Former General V K Singh. Just thinking of V K Singh leaves a bad taste in the mouth. V K Singh comes out as as selfish person who bit the hand that fed him. He chose to change is date of birth according to the circumstances which best suited him. Even after retirement, when many persons retire gracefully for the rest of their lives, his thirst for power made him join the BJP who the AAP calls just as corrupt as the Congress. What do they say of Birds of Feather?
And so the day has finally come, when an Aam Aadmi, supported by countless other Aam aadmi's and aurat's across the country and abroad, took oath as the chief Minister of Delhi. History books read by the future generations will find a mention of your role in golden words. Because today would not have been possible if you had not donated, volunteered, campaigned and voted for your party. Congratulations. This is your triumph. Please take a moment to look back a year ago, when no one except you gave AAP any chance. That is the power of the Aam Aadmi that you have shown to the world. People are celebrating in all sorts of ways. A donation campaign to donate Rs 2812 to commemorate this historic day was started by a few supporters. Some organized small functions in their cities & states and urged people to join AAP. The energy & passion is contagious. We leave you with some pictures that defined this historic day. Its also time to realize that the journey to eradicate corruption and bring good governance has just begun. You made today happen, your support will also make a better future happen. Once again, congratulations and thank you. None of this would have been possible without you. Team AAP
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Aston Martin crash: No compensation from Reliance, says Audi driver, Was Mukesh Ambani's son the driver of the Aston Martin?
Ruparel's Audi A4, which was damaged in the accident, got an Audi A6, as the insurance company considered it as a total loss. MUMBAI: A complainant in the Mumbai Aston Martin car crash case said that she did not receive any compensation from Reliance Industries and added that her Audi was replaced by as insurance company. Speaking to CNN-IBN Phorum Ruparel said: 'I have not got any compensation from RIL and nor do I want. I have got replacement of my car through the insurance company.' Ruparel's Audi A4, which was damaged in the accident, got an Audi A6, as the insurance company considered it as a total loss. Ruparel in a statement to the police identified the 55-year-old Bansilal Joshi as the man behind the wheel. Ruparel, who was driving the Audi car which was first hit by the Aston Martin, has now recorded her statement with the Gamdevi police saying Joshi was driving the car on December 9, the day the accident took place. Bansilal Joshi, who had worked with the company for around 30 years, turned up at the Gamdevi police station to confess that he had taken the car for a test drive on Sunday morning and crashed it. But rumours doing the rounds tell a different story. One of them doing the rounds is that owners of cars smashed by the speeding Aston Martin have got brand new cars as replacements. Ruparel's Audi A4 has been upgraded to an A6 and Vikram Mishra's Hyundai Elantra has been replaced by a Skoda Superb. Mumbai Mirror reported that Ruparel's father claimed that people from Reliance were in touch with the family to discuss a settlement. Factors that raise suspicions First, why were two security details following a car driven by a chauffeur and not a family member. Second, no chauffeur would drive a Rs 4 crore Aston Martin at over 100 km per hour when followed by a security detail. Third, why was the driver whisked away from the scene of the crime without the matter having been reported or statements being recorded. Fourth, the driver of the Audi, 25-year-old Ruparel recorded a statement saying the man at the wheel of the Audi, whom she saw weaving through traffic at high speed before he hit her via her rear view mirror, was a young man. On the evening of December 8, a customised Aston Martin worth Rs 4.5 cr registered to the Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Ports with licence plate MH. 01. BK. 99, was cruising down Pedder Road in Mumbai’s posh South Mumbai suburb, when the driver lost control. The car was going at such a high speed that it banged into an Audi, being driven by Foram Ruparel, a 25-year-old MBA student and Ghatkopar resident, causing the car to jump the divider and hit an oncoming bus. The Aston Martin then hit a Hyundai Elantra, owned by Vikram Mishra, a resident of Thane who works at a pharmaceutical firm. Though the driver tried to flee, the car stalled. By the time the chaos ended, the two security details following the Aston Martin in two Honda CRVs, had whisked the driver away, leaving the car there. The news doing the rounds is that it was Mukesh Ambabani's son Akash who was actually at the wheels at the time of the accident.But the paid media, the government media and the police have connived to kill the news. The family is accident prone. Many years ago, if I remember right, it was his uncle Anil who was involved in a similar accident. That too was hushed up. The full details may be read on this link http://exitopinionpollsindia.blogspot.in/2013/12/mukesh-ambanis-son-allegedly-kills-2-in.html?m=1
Home Ministry will soon inspect the books of accounts of Aam Aadmi Party in connection with alleged illegal foreign funding to it. The move comes after the AAP sent replies to queries from the Home Ministry regarding violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act while receiving funds from abroad. "We need further interaction with AAP as we need some clarification on their replies. We will inspect their books of accounts," a senior official said. The Home Ministry probe into the foreign fundings to AAP came following a directive of Delhi High Court in response to a public interest litigation. The AAP, which is all set to form government in Delhi, said it was ready for any kind of probe and insisted that it had taken donations only from Indians, residing in the country or abroad. "If we are found guilty of any wrongdoing, we will accept double the punishment," AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said. AAP had said it has collected about Rs 19 crore till November 8 as donations from 63,000 people including a host of NRIs. It has claimed to have received donations ranging from Rs 10 to several lakhs, from rickshawpullers to traders and industrialists to fight the polls and bring a "graft-free" administration. Former Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit had questioned the source of funding of AAP, whose main election plank was to check corruption. AAP had a stunning debut in the recent Delhi assembly election, winning 28 out of 70 seats. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal will be sworn in as Chief Minister of Delhi on Saturday after Congress with eight MLAs extended outside support to the nascent party. The Con-BJP alliance have each swallowed thousands of crores of unaccounted money without a hiccup but can't understand how the AAP got 20 crores white money. They are so corrupt that they see black money everywhere.The Adarsh scam is staring them in the face but they don't care to see that and Rahul Gandhi says that he will fight corruption. AAP is further going to collect another 100 crores from the people for the Lok Sabha Elections and have already announced it. What will they say now? They are just making laughing stocks of themselves in setting up these enquiries as the people have seen through them.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The following is a translation of an article written by Ashutosh on http://khabar.ibnlive.in.com/blogs/16/951.html The pace of history is never straightforward. At each stage, history chooses a new direction and a new destination. Today when the Aam Aadmi Party is getting ready to form a government in Delhi, it is necessary to go through the sequence of events unfolding in the last few days. This is all the more necessary as AAP has had to face many such criticisms. When Arvind Kejriwal was called to form a ministry in the last few days and he said that he would go to the people and get their verdict, whether to form a ministry or not, many people were shocked. They started saying that this gimmick should stop. Gimmicks do not work in a democracy. Elections and government is serious business and he should not make fun of it by this drama. However, is it not a comedy at what has been going on in the last few years in the name of the people and democracy? Neither is there any thought for the people nor of their rights, just a few people running roughshod over the aspirations of the masses. When Anna’s movement was on, people in the government claimed that a crowd of a few thousand people cannot determine the future of the country. Nor can they tell what the country should do. But today the President Pranab Mukherjee, who was finance minister in the Manmohan Singh government, is saying that the country is changing and civil society should not be taken lightly. Remember at that time Anna Hazare was not only arrested, but Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari remarked that “Anna is steeped in corruption from head to foot”. Beni Prasad Verma had uttered that Anna is an army deserter . Kejriwal was accused of various charges. They accused him of being excessively proud and having an inflated ego. They called him a thug who was misleading Anna. They also said a social movement is different and standing for elections is a different matter. The same Arvind’s political party AAP has won 28 seats in the Delhi election and caused a great upset. Now Rahul Gandhi says that they had been cut off from the people and they should learn from AAP. A new Lokpal Bill was passed by Parliament in a farcical manner. It is being said to be a new conspiracy of the government to maintain it hegemony. This would undermine democracy. Two years ago the mass movement was said to be a lousy idea, which was criticized. In December 2013 that has become an admirable idea. In the same way in the absence of a clear majority, when AAP decided to seek the people’s verdict these intellectual people frowned upon the idea. AAP’s problem was that it had neither absolute majority nor the maximum number of seats among the parties in the assembly. The challenge before them was to form a government in spite of that. Under the circumstances they had to tread cautiously’. They would send a wrong message to the people if they formed a government in a hurry. They had been along condemning this system of horse trading in forming a government and now they would be doing the same thing. This had been going on up to now but with the high standard of politics they had set for themselves, they couldn't take the risk to be made to appear to do the same thing. It is true if AAP did this after getting an absolute majority then they could be accused of dramatizing and making a fun of the constitution. There is no need to tell that politics today has been cut off from ground realities. Leaders are imposed from above. Debates in Parliament have become a farce as everything but debates is done. Parliament does not run. In the states, the assembly sessions are a mere formality. In neither state nor the centre any public opinion in sought on major policy matters. MPs after selection as legislators appear only after five years in their constituencies. After taking crores from candidates, they are parachuted as the party’s candidates on the people. Consequently the public participation the democratic process had become almost zero. So, if AAP has taken the opinion of the 25 lakh families in the formation of the government, what wrong have they done? To know what is in the minds of the people if they have taken the help of SMS or mobiles, what sin have they committed? If they have gone to all the 272 wards of Delhi and a taken public referendum, how have they made a mockery of democracy? Actually, cut off from ground realities, these "people's representatives" who think that politics is about flying in planes and helicopters are shocked that they will have to come to ground to do politics. What will happen to their wealth and prestige? If they have to trudge the village streets in the heat of May, who will wipe their sweat? If they have to give answers to the people in the freezing winter cold what will happen to the congealing blood in their feet. And if the roof flies off in the monsoon storm what answer can their high-flying ego give to the poor villager. In a democracy, parliament and assemblies are made because the whole population cannot be involved in the day to day running of the government. Otherwise in ancient state of Greece, people used to take decisions in general meetings in the town square and these would be acceptable to everyone and were also implemented. It is also true that there is a great difference between the ancient state of Greece and present day democracies. We cannot go to the people for all decisions. But why not take the people’s views for matters which affect the people directly. I feel that these so called intellectual people should seriously give a thought to this process for the people have enjoyed this new game. History is taking a new turn, for the better. How far our leaders were from reading the pulse of the people during Anna's agitation may be seen from their reactions in Parliament. Of course, most of them, including our own Mamata Banerjee boastfully advised that they should first fight and win elections and then think of passing the law. In that list were people like Digvijay Singh, Lalu Yadav, Sharad Yadav and a host of other MPs. Our present President, Pranab Mukherjee, who was then a Finance Minister, kept on grinning while these MPs criticized the IAC supporters. Lalu Yadav and Sharad Yadav also mimicked the IAC leaders . I would suggest to AAP that the debate in parliament on that day should be made public so that people know which person said what? When we cook rice, we can find out whether the rice is cooked by just taking one grain of rice. Our leaders saw the mass of humanity in Delhi with support pouring from all over India and yet they announced that just a few thousand people were supporting the demand for a Lokpal Bill. How wrong they were? This is what happens when you are divorced from the wishes of the people. I am glad AAP has gone back to the people.
Final War against Corruption What is the Difference between an Alliance and a Minority Government? Alliance Government 1. Two or more parties combine to form a government. 2. MLAs are chosen from all the parties of the alliance. 3. Some minimum programmes from the manifestos of all the parties of the alliance are decided beforehand. 4. Both parties take joint decisions on all matters. Minority Government. 1. The government is formed by only one party which does not have the minimum numbers required for a majority. 2. The Chief Minister and other Ministers are chosen from this party only. 3. The agenda/manifesto of only that party is implemented. 4. There will be no interference in the decisions of the government by any other party. AAP is forming a minority government in Delhi and not an alliance government. AAP has never asked for any support from the Congress or BJP. The Congress Party had unilaterally agreed to support the AAP to make up the numbers to form a ministry. The BJP too had agreed to provide Constructive support to run the government. The Congress and BJP will feign ignorance of the above assurances by their parties but we are sure the common man (Aam Aadmi) will see through their subterfuge and support the AAP. We are seeing the result of an alliance government in the present UPA at the centre. Each member of the alliance has been looting the country and our impotent prime minister cannot do anything giving the excuse of "coalition dharma" The the DMK, NCP and Congress have been looting the the ministries under their respective parties while our Prime Minister looked on, hands in pocket and lips sealed. For a change, the AAP has formed a minority government with the people's support. If the Congress and BJP would like to pull the rug, they are welcome but AAP will go as per their manifesto, like it or not.
Arvind Kejriwal, leader of the upstart Aam Aadmi Party that is forming the new government in New Delhi, on Tuesday unveiled members of his cabinet. On Monday, Mr. Kejriwal agreed to take support from the Congress Party to become Delhi’s chief minister. This came two weeks after Delhi’s legislative assembly election results showed no clear winner. Mr. Kejriwal’s new cabinet, comprising former lawyers and journalists, among others, will be the youngest in Delhi’s recent history. While outgoing Congress ministers have an average age of 63, according to the Hindustan Times, the new ministers, on average, are in their thirties. Here’s a look at some of the key members of the new Delhi cabinet: Arvind Kejriwal, 45, founded the Aam Aadmi, or Common Man, Party last year to “change the way politics is done” and “clean up the system from the inside,” he told The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Kejriwal graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, with a degree in mechanical engineering, and worked as an income tax officer in the Indian Revenue Service. He came into the limelight as an anti-graft activist three years ago, when he lobbied alongside prominent activist Anna Hazare, to demand that the government pass anticorruption law, the Jan Lokpal Bill. Though Mr. Hazare didn’t support the Aam Aadmi Party, Mr. Kejriwal got support from other activists and Delhi citizens. He surprised almost everyone earlier this month, by beating Delhi’s longtime chief minister Sheila Dixit by more than 25,000 votes, according to the Election Commission of India. Mr. Kejriwal will be the youngest chief minister of Delhi in at least two decades. Manish Sisodia, 41, considered the closest aide of Mr. Kejriwal, was a journalist before he joined the Aam Aadmi Party. Mr. Sisodia has worked for Zee News channel and All India Radio, according to his bio on the party website. He was part of the campaign to pass the Lokpal Bill, and prior to that the Right to Information Act, which allows any citizen to request and receive information from the government, his bio said. In the Delhi election, Mr. Sisodia defeated Nakul Bhardwaj of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Patparganj by more than 11,000 votes. Somnath Bharti, 39, is a lawyer-turned-politician who holds a degree in science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and a law degree from the University of Delhi. Before entering politics, Mr. Bharti practiced law before the Supreme Court of India, according to his personal website. In December 2012, he defended eight men who were detained on suspicion of beating a police officer to death. He succeeded in getting the murder charges dropped, according to Mr. Bharti’s website. In the recent elections, Mr. Bharti contested from Malviya Nagar neighborhood and beat Bharatiya Janata Party’s Arti Mehra and Congress’s Kiran Walia. Saurabh Bharadwaj, 34, is a graduate of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, where he studied engineering. Before joining politics, he worked as a software engineer for a multinational company in Gurgaon, according to his website. In the south Delhi neighborhood of Greater Kailash, Mr. Bharadwaj defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ajay Kumar Malhotra by roughly 13,000 votes. Rakhi Birla, at 26, is the youngest member of the new cabinet. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and has worked at a private news channel, according to her bio on the Aam Aadmi party website. Ms. Birla contested from the Mongolpuri district in West Delhi, and beat Congress candidate Raj Kumar Chauhan by more than 10,000 votes.
1. "Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, What will the results be? Will I be successful? Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead." 2. "There is some self-interest behind every friendship. This is a bitter truth." 3. "A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first." 4. "As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it." 5. "Once you start a working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest." 6."The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions." 7."God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple." Some more thoughts:- " Honesty isn't just the best policy but the best politics ." Anand Mahindra "... ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future." above quotes: John F. Kennedy Warren Buffet’s Views: On Earning: “Never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second source”. On Spending: “If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need”. On Savings: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”. On Taking Risk: “Never test the depth of the river with both the feet”. On Investment: “Do not put all eggs in one basket”. On Expectations: “Honesty is a very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people." An investment in knowledge pay the best interest. Benjamin Franklin A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over. Benjamin Franklin Nothing can destroy iron but its own rust; likewise no one can destroy us, but our own thoughts!! "Watch your thoughts, for they become words, Watch your words, for they become actions, Watch your actions, for they become habits, Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny" Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders Know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succor you want is within you. Stand up. Be bold. Be strong. Make your own future. Sent by Ramniwas Jhalani - one of the active volunteers of AAP
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Two men shaped Indian politics in 2013 – Arvind Kejriwal, 45, and Narendra Modi, 63. They might continue to do so for the conceivable future. It is therefore important to know them. Between the two, Kejriwal makes more sense than Modi. Here is why. 1. Kejriwal comes from below. Modi comes from above. Arvind Kejriwal has street cred. It’s the most valuable asset anyone can have. It frees him of the constraints and favours that a mainstream politician tends to operate within. His biggest attraction is that he is one among equals. For instance, he dresses, speaks and walks like an ordinary Indian. Narendra Modi parachuted into BJP primacy before he made his move. He speaks and walks like he believes he is someone special. He has a tough time believing that LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj may be as good as him. He looks at the BJP from a perch above. 2. Kejriwal puts people first. Modi puts himself first. Kejriwal’s instincts make him go to the people on all things important. He is comfortable listening to the anonymous Indian. He thinks it is the natural thing to do. He pays heed too. For instance, Kejriwal might well have refused to form a government if their referendum said so. Modi has no history of seeking the people’s opinion. He started to interact with them as chief minister. This is different from working as an RSS campaigner, which he did when younger. Modi trusts himself. His instincts drive him into decision first and then sharing it with others. 3. Kejriwal fights the system. Modi is the system. Even before he became a politician, Kejriwal targeted Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and Mukesh Ambani. He listed how the DLF funded Vadra’s corrupt deals because they profited in return. And then he listed how Mukesh Ambani benefited from violations of a contract to supply gas. When Ambani sued TV channels for broadcasting what Kejriwal said, Kejriwal dared Ambani to sue him and not the TV channels. Ambani did not. Modi has not taken on anyone big barring those he sees as opponents – principally Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and now Nitish Kumar. 4. Kejriwal is the product of a movement. Modi is the product of indoctrination. We might not have heard about Kejriwal the politician if it was not for Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement. Fighting the State with Hazare seems to have convinced Kejriwal that he has nothing to lose. He fasted as well, for 10 days, against the high electricity and water bills in Delhi. Modi comes from closed door politics. His emergence was crafted largely by the RSS, whose shakhas he began to attend as a child. There is no record of Modi on public fast. He seems to work best when no one is watching. 5. Kejriwal follows icons. Modi usurps icons. India’s greatest politician is Mahatma Gandhi. He undid the then biggest empire in the world in an unequal battle. Kejriwal sees no reason to try and outdo Gandhi. He tries to put into action what he may have imbibed from Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. For instance, he speaks stridently of Swaraj. Modi seeks to own icons. The wholly unnecessary attempt to steal Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s work is an example. Modi appears to be uncomfortable without a great past to display. It makes him seem like a new kid on the block, which he doesn’t like. 6. Kejriwal abhors wrongdoing. Modi abhors wrongdoers. Kejriwal has not come from hate. He has focused on the wrongs of a system and of people. He has been mild on the difficult-to-like Robert Vadra too, for instance – highlighting the corruption but not getting personal. His campaign in Delhi stressed on solutions; he didn’t get after the Nehru-Gandhis individually. Modi picks on people. His entire being comes alive when he has someone to pour scorn on. At the moment, his campaign is centered on creating an impression that the Congress is as bad for India as the British were. Modi has not spoken much about solutions yet. 7. Kejriwal is religion-neutral. Modi is religion-centric. Kejriwal comes across as equidistant from all religions although he mentions the word god at times. Apparently he sees a divine hand in how the Jan Lokpal movement ballooned. Mostly, it appears that people who follow different religions are comfortable with Kejriwal. Modi’s core followers seem to be hardline Hindus. There’s a large chunk of liberal Hindus who don’t buy into the Modi narrative. Many people who follow Islam and Christianity appear uncomfortable with Modi. This makes him come across as a fanatic, an impression he does nothing to dispel. 8. Kejriwal unites. Modi divides. The AAP had support from the followers of almost all parties. For various reasons, many people who would normally vote for the Congress, the BJP, the Akalis, the Communists and even the BSP backed the AAP. It would seem that the AAP has something for everyone, like the Congress in its early days. Modi has been attracting attention across India but large sections have concerns about him. He doesn’t have clear support among women and men. His opponents take pride in standing up against him, like Lalu Prasad. Kejriwal doesn’t have this dislike factor. 9. Kejriwal is clean. Modi is not. There are no cases against Kejriwal at the moment. No concerns about suspicious wealth. No history of hatred on grounds of religion. No instances of slaying colleagues to move ahead. Among those who know him, only Anna Hazare seems to have a degree of discomfort. Modi is seeking to be prime minister after being investigated for his role in the 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim riots. There are also fresh concerns of his men having stalked a woman on his instruction. He has not been able to erase the doubt that seems to grow with him. 10. Kejriwal does not seek big money. Modi does. Kejriwal’s method of raising funds is to keep it small and transparent. Donor details are available for anyone to see on the AAP website. He is quite happy to bring political parties under the gambit of the RTI, for instance, so their funds and other activities are open to scrutiny. Modi loves big corporates. His growth model for Gujarat largely consists of making land available cheap for business tycoons so they invest in the state. The BJP’s funding is opaque and secret. The party seeks to stay out of the purview of the RTI. The above has been written by Vijay Simha is an independent journalist and sobriety campaigner based out of New Delhi. His most recent journalism assignment was as executive editor with The Financial World, New Delhi, and tehelka.com. He was a guest on Season 1 of the popular Indian TV show Satyamev Jayate, hosted by Aamir Khan and has been sent by Anik Basu
Dear Friend, The Parliamentary Affairs Committee of the Aam Aadmi Party has decided that our party is ready to form a minority government in Delhi. Although the AAP did not get a majority of 36 seats, the required number to form a government in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections, the public of Delhi, during a referendum based collection of opinions, has directed with overwhelming majority that the party form the government. In a week long referendum, with the use of internet, cyber media and public meetings, people were asked their opinion on the question of AAP forming a government in Delhi. This was a historic beginning to change politics in this country. A large number of people participated in this process. Public gave the responses specified in the table below. In total, 697310 responses were received via SMS and internet, out of which, after removing duplicate IDs and numbers, a total of 523183 people expressed their opinions. Among these, 265966 were from Delhi. Out of these 197086 or 74% gave their decision in favor of forming a government. In view of this, the Aam Aadmi Party has decided to form a minority government in Delhi. Under the leadership of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, leader of the Legislative Team, the party is going to present its intention of forming the Government in Delhi before the Lt. Governor. http://www.aamaadmiparty.org/AAP-to-form-govt Thanks, Team AAP
New Delhi, Dec 24 (ANI): Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Tuesday took additional charge of the Environment and Forests Ministry. "There is space for everyone...environment, forests and mankind," Moily told media here. He further said that he will not compromise on the green image. Moily was given additional charge of the Environment and Forests Ministry after Jayanthi Natarajan resigned last week to help with the party's preparations for the coming 2014 Lok Sabha elections. President Pranab Mukherjee, as advised by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has accepted the resignation of Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, from the Council of Ministers, with immediate effect. (ANI) First Jaipal Reddy was removed and replaced by Moily so that Mukesh Ambani could get all the price increases he was asking for. Now Jayanti Natrajan has removed and replaced, again by Moily, so that all the industrialist friends of the Congress get their green clearance. This is the headlines of one of the happy industrialists Natrajan's exit may speed up project clearances: HCC Is it a coincidence?
The shrill, sneering criticism of the Aam Aadmi Party’s decision to seek the opinion of Delhiites on whether or not it should take the support of the Congress to form the government is revealing of the slavish Indian mentality. We are, so to speak, servile to power, believe in the infallibility of those who wield it, inclined to entrust our fate in their hands, and accept their right to special privileges. Our notion of power is authoritarian, prompting us to tamely accept the propensity of the powerful to flout the principles they, and us, subscribe to. Indeed, among the principles the AAP espoused before the assembly election was that it wouldn’t seek the support of either the Congress or the BJP to form a government. This principle the AAP leaders were initially steadfast upon until the two national parties offered their unconditional support to the debutant party to form the next Delhi government. Their offer was decidedly not altruistic – they believed the sheer inexperience of AAP leaders at governance would have them fumble and bumble, exposing them as a gaggle of activists not only ignorant to the mechanisms of state power, as against people’s power, but also prone to making promises impossible to fulfil. Many AAP leaders were inclined to pick the gauntlet the entrenched political class had thrown. They believed to shun the Congress and BJP offer would bolster their charge, which the media was articulating, of the AAP being an irresponsible force, adept at criticism but disinclined to assume responsibilities. Yet almost all in the AAP were also acutely aware that to take the unconditional support of the Congress would entail deviating from the party’s avowed principle. This contradiction became sharper as the popular opinion in Delhi, because of media debates, began to shift to government formation. Obviously, this wasn’t the first instance of a political party facing the prospect of forming a government with the assistance of its rivals, or having to tackle a situation not earlier envisaged. In almost all such cases in the past political bosses sat together, behind closed doors, to decide what would be beneficial for their outfits. In 1995, for instance, the BJP supported Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Mayawati as chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, and then withdrew support from her in just three months. The BJP, again, hitched its wagon of MLAs to Mayawati to form a year-long coalition in 2002-2003, disregarding the opinion of its upper caste voters who constituted its primary support base. It prompted them to shift their allegiance to the BSP in 2007, as the consequence of voting the BJP was creating precisely the situation they were opposed to: a BSP rule. In directly voting for it, they managed a share in power. Some might even say that had the Left had taken the opinion of its voters it would have found them endorsing the suggestion of making Jyoti Basu the prime minister in 1996. However, the party bosses concluded that Basu’s shift to the Centre could prove inimical to their interests in Kerala and West Bengal. Yet, ironically, the Left took their voters for granted as they departed from their pro-peasant line and deployed state power to oust farmers from Singur and Nandrigram to establish the TATA Nano plant and a Special Economic Zone, sparking off a movement which swept them out of power. And though the General Election is still three months away, it seems the Congress is in for a debacle in Andhra Pradesh, not the least for its inability to elicit the opinion of people, and engage them creatively, on the most acceptable process for bifurcation of the state. In this sense, the AAP’s decision to seek the opinion of people on government formation is a refreshing break from the past, of political parties mopping votes on principles they claim to represent and then mistaking the popular mandate as a licence to rule in the manner they wish for the next five years. In eliciting the popular opinion on government formation, the AAP is consciously legitimizing the decision it eventually takes. Underlying the AAP’s decision are three other ideas. One, it is possible for people to reverse or alter their opinion already expressed on an issue, and that this change must get reflected in the party decision. Two, it is erroneous to assume that those who voted a party are in agreement with every decision it takes. Three, democracy demands constant participation from the people, and ought not to be confined to pressing the button on the electronic voting machine every five years. In fact, the ongoing seeking of opinion is the AAP’s curtain-raiser to its plans of nudging Delhiites into a participatory form of democracy. Media analysts and politicians have greeted the AAP’s novel experiment with derision. The nub of the criticism is: Will the AAP seek the opinion of people every time it takes a decision? No, the AAP will not conduct an informal referendum unless a contemplated action deviates from its core principles, as the acceptance of Congress support decidedly is. And yes, it will elicit people’s opinion, through public meetings, on the kind of legislations they should enact, to serve certain collective goals. It also intends to devolve to the people the power to decide what development work they require. The idea of having people participate constantly in governance is laudable. It has thrown us into confusion because we have become accustomed to vesting authority in the political class to decide on our fate, to also sit on the sidelines in the belief its members have the expertise to satisfy our aspirations, and then breaking out in fury and disgust at their failures. And because we accept their superiority, we believe they are entitled to special privileges, to power and pelf illegitimately acquired. Over the last six decades, we have seen democratic politics become the preserve of those who have exceptional wealth and command muscle-power or boast of family lineage. This political culture has made us subservient not only to those whom we call public servants, but even in our own offices. Just what we have become was best encapsulated to me through a story the late Janata Dal general secretary Surendra Mohan narrated to me years ago. When the Janata Dal lost the vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha, Mohan returned the official car and took a bus to the party office. At the gate of the office, a recently deployed sentry stopped Mohan. “I am the general secretary,” he said. The sentry sneered and said, “You can’t be the general secretary. I just saw you get down the bus.”
The Aam Aadmi Party’s journey from mass movement to political office in just one year is without a parallel in Indian electoral history, reflecting as it does a popular yearning for change from the models of governance on offer today. A disenchanted electorate is clearly behind the resounding mandate to the Arvind Kejriwal-led party which made an ambitious leap from the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare. Yet, history has been made and the AAP is now poised to form a government in Delhi with Mr. Kejriwal as Chief Minister. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which was ahead of the AAP by three seats, wisely decided not to form a government through horse-trading and the Congress did not have the numbers. Given the high moral ground on which the AAP had placed the game of government formation, the BJP could not afford to be seen as any less righteous than the AAP. Yet, the AAP itself was caught in a quandary having declared in the electoral run-up that it would not seek or offer support to the Congress and the BJP. But going back to the voters for a fresh mandate was not an option because that would have been a betrayal of the faith the voters had reposed in the AAP — a first-time party that had come within a whisker of power because of the hope it offered for political renewal and transformation. The situation actually offered Mr. Kejriwal the opportunity to put in practice a major manifesto promise: to get the people’s feedback on issues of importance. With the message from the Jan Sabhas a resounding ‘yes’ for government formation, the next step was for Mr. Kejriwal to offer to form a government with outside support from the Congress. The idea of a referendum itself was refreshing as a method of seeking the people’s endorsement of the way forward in this complex situation. It is also a vital instrument of verifying public opinion that is missing from today’s democratic political practice in India. Mainstream parties seem to be increasingly out of sync with the dramatic changes on the ground that indicates the soaring aspirations of new social groups. The AAP has correctly gauged the potential and power of this transformative energy and indeed, sees itself as giving political expression to it. Mr. Kejriwal is admittedly hamstrung by having to take support from the Congress, which the AAP had denounced as irredeemably corrupt. However, even with this constraint, he can bring about substantive changes in governance, starting with putting an end to the much-detested VIP culture. While the first breakthrough is definitely the passing of the Lokpal law, there are still several promises that the AAP must keep. The real test of the AAP’s commitment to clean politics and transparent. For the last 65 years, the BJP, the Congress and a host of other political parties have been fooling the people. Every five years they come to the people with folded hands and ask the people to vote for them, promising them even the moon. These parties spend a few crores in bribing these poor people giving them food, clothes and alcohol and then take blank cheques from them to do what you want in the intervening five years. From increasing their own salaries and perks and passing bills protecting criminals MPs and MLAs, they do anything and everything, without for once consulting the people who voted for you. So, naturally they are shocked when an honest party decides to take all major decisions only after consulting the people who voted for them, calling the exercise by different names.
Monday, December 23, 2013
New Delhi, Dec. 23 (ANI): Senior Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said it is a misconception of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that the Congress is going give them unconditional support, and added that her party will only provide support from outside. "We are not giving them unconditional support. We are only giving them support from outside. It is their misconception that they think our support is unconditional,' said Dikshit. "We have supported them, so that they get a chance to fulfill their promises they have made to the people, and later on, they do not say they did not get a chance. We have supported them because if they fulfill the promises, it will benefit the people," she said. She further said that the AAP could not go for a referendum for every decision it makes. "First form a government, state the policies, and then go for a referendum. The opinion of the public was already clear from the elections," she said. "When they had the support, they should have taken the responsibility. Are they going to go for a referendum for everything?" she asked. "She said it was the duty of the AAP to fulfill their promises, and that there are no money making machines provided to run the government, and therefore, everything depends on the way the budget is planned," she said. "As far as feasibility, economy and running the government is concerned, there is no money making machine for that. It depends on how you plan the budget and spend the money. Now, they have made promises, it is their duty to fulfill their promises," she added. Just like the BJP, the Congress does not know its own mind. Each person speaks with a different voice. The condition of the support varies from person to person. But that is how politicians behave, we should not blame them. An after their defeat they do not know what they are saying
New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) The BJP Monday accused the Aam Aadmi Party of "betraying the people of Delhi" after its leader Arvind Kejriwal said he will form a minority government with outside support of the Congress. Harsh Vardhan, the Bharatiya Janata Party's chief ministerial candidate in Delhi, said that by aligning with the Congress, the AAP has proved that they were hungry for power. "The AAP fought the election on the anti-corruption plank and now they have taken support from a party that has been completely rejected by the people of Delhi. This proves that AAP is hungry for power," Harsh Vardhan said. "This is a betrayal of the wishes of the people of Delhi," he added. The BJP emerged as the single largest party with 31 seats, but it fell short of a majority in the 70-member house. The AAP stood second with 28 seats while the Congress took the third spot with just eight seats. After the BJP decided not to form the government, the AAP told Delhi Lt.Governor Najeeb Jung that it needed 10 days' time to decide its course of action. The AAP then held what it called a referendum to ask people whether it should form a minority government. Criticizing the AAP for holding the referendum, Harsh Vardhan said the opinion of a few hundred cannot supersede the mandate of lakhs of people. "Around 70 percent of the people of Delhi had given their mandate and chosen their representative and now you go out on streets and ask some hundreds of people to give a mandate that is an insult to the real dimension of democracy," the BJP leader said. How long will the BJP continue to fool the people? While earlier, the BJP would pay money in crores to garner support to form a ministry, the AAP has formed the ministry without paying a single Rupee to any of the Congress MLAs. On the other hand, the BJP had already started sending feelers to AAP MLAs to join them to form a ministry. Seeing the above, the BJP should be the last to object since they had refused to form a ministry as they did not have the requisite number of seats.
A LETTER FROM A GIRL TO JRD TATA IN 1974 This is the stuff legends are made of..Worth a read.. THE GIRL WRITING AS HERSELF.... It was probably the April of 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming at the IISc campus. I was the only girl in my postgraduate department and was staying at the ladies' hostel. Other girls were pursuing research in different departments of Science. I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. I had been offered scholarships from Universities in the US... I had not thought of taking up a job in India. One day, while on the way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement notice from the famous automobile company Telco (now Tata Motors)... It stated that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc. At the bottom was a small line: 'Lady Candidates need not apply.' I read it and was very upset. For the first time in my life I was up against gender discrimination. Though I was not keen on taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers... Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough to be successful? After reading the notice I went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the topmost person in Telco's management about the injustice the company was perpetrating. I got a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem: I did not know who headed Telco I thought it must be one of the Tatas. I knew JRD Tata was the head of the Tata Group; I had seen his pictures in newspapers (actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the company's chairman then) I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote. 'The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives they have cared for higher education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprised how a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender.' I posted the letter and forgot about it. Less than 10 days later, I received a telegram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco's Pune facility at the company's expense. I was taken aback by the telegram. My hostel mate told me I should use the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs30 each from everyone who wanted a sari when I look back, I feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed good enough to make the trip. It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city. To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways. As directed, I went to Telco's Pimpri office for the interview. There were six people on the panel and I realized then that this was serious business. 'This is the girl who wrote to JRD,' I heard somebody whisper as soon as I entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not get the job. The realization abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being conducted. Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them, rather impolitely, 'I hope this is only a technical interview.' They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude. The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them. Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, 'Do you know why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate that, but people like you should work in research laboratories. I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place. I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I answered, 'But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be able to work in your factories.' Finally, after a long interview, I was told I had been successful. So this was what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I would take up a job in Pune. I met a shy young man from Karnataka there, we became good friends and we got married. It was only after joining Telco that I realized who JRD was: the uncrowned king of Indian industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet him till I was transferred to Bombay. One day I had to show some reports to Mr Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew as SM. I was in his office on the first floor of Bombay House (the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD walked in. That was the first time I saw 'appro JRD'. Appro means 'our' in Gujarati. This was the affectionate term by which people at Bombay House called him. I was feeling very nervous, remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced me nicely, 'Jeh (that's what his close associates called him), this young woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate. She is the first woman to work on the Telco shop floor.' JRD looked at me. I was praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview (or the postcard that preceded it). Thankfully, he didn't. Instead, he remarked. 'It is nice that girls are getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is your name?' 'When I joined Telco I was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir,' I replied. 'Now I am Sudha Murthy.' He smiled and kindly smile and started a discussion with SM. As for me, I almost ran out of the room. After that I used to see JRD on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and I was merely an engineer. There was nothing that we had in common. I was in awe of him. One day I was waiting for Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office hours. To my surprise I saw JRD standing next to me. I did not know how to react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard. Looking back, I realize JRD had forgotten about it. It must have been a small incident for him, but not so for me. 'Young lady, why are you here?' he asked. 'Office time is over.' I said, 'Sir, I'm waiting for my husband to come and pick me up.' JRD said, 'It is getting dark and there's no one in the corridor. I'll wait with you till your husband comes.' I was quite used to waiting for Murthy, but having JRD waiting alongside made me extremely uncomfortable. I was nervous. Out of the corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple white pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There wasn't any air of superiority about him. I was thinking, 'Look at this person. He is a chairman, a well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the sake of an ordinary employee.' Then I saw Murthy and I rushed out. JRD called and said, 'Young lady, tell your husband never to make his wife wait again.' In 1982 I had to resign from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go, but I really did not have a choice. I was coming down the steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my final settlement when I saw JRD coming up. He was absorbed in thought. I wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped. He saw me and paused. Gently, he said, 'So what are you doing, Mrs. Kulkarni?' (That was the way he always addressed me.) 'Sir, I am leaving Telco.' 'Where are you going?' he asked. 'Pune, Sir. My husband is starting a company called Infosys and I'm shifting to Pune.' 'Oh! And what will you do when you are successful.' 'Sir, I don't know whether we will be successful.' 'Never start with diffidence,' he advised me 'Always start with confidence. When you are successful you must give back to society. Society gives us so much; we must reciprocate. Wish you all the best.' Then JRD continued walking up the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like a millennium. That was the last time I saw him alive. Many years later I met Ratan Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the chair JRD once did. I told him of my many sweet memories of working with Telco. Later, he wrote to me, 'It was nice hearing about Jeh from you. The sad part is that he's not alive to see you today.' I consider JRD a great man because, despite being an extremely busy person, he valued one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice. He must have received thousands of letters everyday. He could have thrown mine away, but he didn't do that. He respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed her life and mindset forever. Close to 50 per cent of the students in today's engineering colleges are girls. And there are women on the shop floor in many industry segments. I see these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and asks me what I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were alive today to see how the company we started has grown. He would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly. My love and respect for the House of Tata remains undiminished by the passage of time. I always looked up to JRD. I saw him as a role model for his simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he took of his employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of the sky; they had the same vastness and magnificence. (Sudha Murthy is a widely published writer and chairperson of the Infosys Foundation involved in a number of social development initiatives. Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy is her husband.) Article sourced from: Lasting Legacies (Tata Review- Special Commemorative Issue 2004), brought out by the house of Tatas to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of JRD Tata on July 29, 2004 .
New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley Sunday termed as "farcical" the referendum by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on government formation in Delhi and accused the party of "political opportunism". Jaitley said the AAP was somersaulting on its stated position of not accepting support and trying to mask its political opportunism. In a post on Facebook, Jaitley said the AAP had stated it represents "alternative politics", but the party seems to be compromising on its commitments. The AAP emerged as the No.2 party with 28 seats behind the Bharatiya Janata Party (31) in the Delhi assembly polls, which produced a hung verdict. The Congress with eight seats in the 70-member house has offered conditional support to the AAP. "It (AAP) is guided by idealism. It will neither support or accept support from either the Congress or the BJP," Jaitley said. He said if the AAP stands by its commitment, the Delhi assembly "becomes a dead-locked assembly" wherein a fresh poll has to be ordered. "How does the AAP justify a volte face where it seems to be compromising on its commitments of alternative politics," he asked. "It may even be strategising on how to capture power, announce a few popular decisions and carve out a further positioning for itself. "For any of these strategies to prevail, the AAP has to somersault from its stated position. It has to retract its public commitments of not accepting support from the Congress. It has, therefore, decided to enact a farcical referendum," Jaitley said. He said "motley crowds" from all over the town are being asked whether AAP should form the government. "... a statistical wonder is produced wherein less than 30 percent people voted for AAP in the election but more than 75 percent want it to form a government," Jaitley said. "Political opportunism is being masked with the idea of popular sanction behind it ... its leaders could argue 'we are not hungry for power, we would not be taking Congress support. But we are democrats who are now bowing to the popular will of the people. It is the people who want the AAP to form the government with Congress support'." Jaitley, however, acknowledged that AAP's performance in the polls was "certainly remarkable" and its "silent and systematic" campaign produced results. He also took a dig at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the results of the assembly polls, saying it misled itself because of excessive advertising. Recalling the Emergency, Jaitley said former prime minister Indira Gandhi consistently justified her "dictatorship, press censorship, detentions of political opponents on the ground it was a 'bitter pill' to be swallowed during the 'era of discipline'". He said Indira claimed people of India supported her but there was no way of measuring this support. He said she was routed in the 1977 elections and even lost her own seat. "This is one of the dangers inherent in excessive propaganda. Demagogues always believe their own logic to be true. Governments buy their own propaganda. The UPA government had also misled itself because of excessive advertising of its so-called achievements," Jaitley said. Dear Mr. Arun Jaitley, People like you, Shiv Shankar Prasad, Harsh Vardhan and a host of other leaders of the BJP live in glass houses and so do not gauge the pulse of the people. A revolution is occurring in the political history of India and you call it "farcial" and "political opportunism". Being able to speak good English does not mean you are correct. For 65 years, the BJP, the Congress and a host of other political parties have been fooling the people. Every five years you come to the people with folded hands and ask them to vote for you, promising them even the moon. You people spend a few crores in bribing these poor people giving them food, clothes and alcohol and then take blank cheques from them to do what you want in the intervening five years. From increasing your salaries and perks and passing bills protecting criminals, you do anything and everything, without for once consulting the people who voted for you. So, naturally you are shocked when an honest party decides to take all major decisions only after consulting the people who voted for them, calling the exercise by different names. You ask why AAP has made a Volte-face. You politicians speak with a forked tongue. Just the other day your party was asking why isn't the AAP forming a government when the Congress is willing to support it and we also will not prevent it? You were claiming AAP is scared. Now that AAP has taken up your challenge just as earlier they had taken up your challenge to fight the elections, you start singing a different tune.Heads I win - tails you lose, that seems to be your motto. Don't worry, the people have seen through you game. I always thought that you were one of the sensible ones among the BJP but I find that I was mistaken. You are all from the same basket, whether it is Yeddyurappa or you. Best regards, Radheshyam Sharma
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Hyderabad, Dec 22 (IANS) A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has demanded immediate recall of Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, saying he has violated the constitution. Former BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters here Sunday that the Maharashtra governor went out of the way to deny the Central Bureau of Investigation a permission to prosecute former chief minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh Housing Society scam. "The governor has violated principles of constitution. He has no right to be in that post. He should be recalled immediately," he said. Naidu criticised the Maharashtra cabinet for rejecting the J.A.Patil Judicial Commission report on the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai and absolving its own ministers. "Then why did you appoint the commission," he asked. He said the Congress party was trying to whitewash Adarsh scam even after judicial indictment of its four chief ministers. Referring to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's statement that graft is bleeding India, the BJP leader wanted to know who is responsible. He said it was the same Congress party which tried to cover up the Shunglu Committee report on irregularities in organising the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Naidu said Rahul Gandhi's speech at the FICCI conference reflected the speech of an opposition leader. "He seems to have forgotten that his party is in power for last 10 years. Earlier it was in power for 50 years. Whatever he is preaching now, his party did not practice." On Gandhi's remark that without growth, the country can't eliminate poverty, Naidu said the Congress was responsible for bringing down the growth. "He said they did not hit the six in the recent assembly elections in four states. Forget about hitting the six, they were clean bowled and lost the series," the BJP leader said, using cricket terminology. Naidu said some cosmetic changes and some face-lifts by making some ministers resign will not help the Congress. "People are considering Congress as a betrayer, as a non-performer, as insensitive and as an arrogant party, that is why they have rejected it in four assembly elections," he said. Naidu said people were looking to BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as the only hope. Over the communal violence bill, he said, "People will be violent towards the Congress once this bill is introduced in parliament," and added that the BJP is opposed to it tooth and nail. Asked about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa aspiring to become the prime minister, Naidu said while everybody has a right to aspire for the post, the experience showed that the leader who wants to lead the nation must belong to the largest party in Parliament. "Otherwise the experiment will not succeed," he said, and pointed out that V.P. Singh, Chandra Shekhar, Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujral could not complete even a year in the office. "There can't be two PMs in an alliance. BJP has already decided its prime ministerial candidate," he said when asked about the possibility of an alliance with Jayalalithaa's AIADMK. Naidu also said that Aam Admi Party owes an explanation to people as it is taking the Congress support to form the government in Delhi after calling it a communal and corrupt party. The BJP despite being the largest party took a wise decision to not form a government in Delhi, he added. "We can't take support from Congress. We can't extend support to others as we don't have confidence in others. We thought better to go to people again. Some people thought better to go to the Congress party. We wish them best of luck," Naidu said. Although I don't see eye-to-eye with the BJP on most matters, I agree with Naidu on recall of the governor. Just yesterday I had posted two posts Corruption 'bleeding people': Rahul Gandhi - Crocodile Tears? and Adarsh probe indicts four former CMs but Congress Govt. rejects report on the above matter. However, the BJP are funny people. Some time back they were commenting the the AAP was not forming a government as they were scared of forming a government. Now that AAP has agreed to form a government they are accusing it for forming it with Congress support. They are making a virtue out of necessity saying that they would never form a government with Congress support. First of all the BJP has suddenly become an honest party and refused to form government although they had 31 seats against the AAP 28 seats. Earlier, they would have caused defections in the Congress ranks by offering each MLA about Rs 5 crores. They tried to break the AAP through defections but that failed.But AAP had set new standards in political behaviour and the BJP had to follow suit by not forming a ministry with defections. Secondly, the BJP being communal and the congress be pseudo communal, they would never support the BJP. QED. Mr. Naidu.
MODIS GARJANA RAILY Just have a look.... 1- 5000 buses booked Each bus hire = Rs 5000 So for 5000 buses = 5000*5000 = Rs 2,50,00,000 2- 6 lakh people were brought to Mumbai Each person was given one packet of Thepla costing Rs 10.00 The cost for 6 lakhs packet is 6 lakhs * 10 = Rs 60 lakhs. 3- 100 women were hired for 5 days to make the 6 lakhs Thepla packets Each woman was given Rs 1000.00 The cost works to 5000 * 100 = Rs 500000 4- Modis security costs about Rs 5 lakh each day... 5- Gadkari, Rajnath and all security expanses = Rs 10 lakh Therefore total expenses Rs 2,50,00,000+ Rs 60,00,000+ Rs 5,00,000+ Rs 10,00,000 = Rs 3,25,00,000, i.e Rs 3.25 crores.for one Maha Garajna Rally AAP has not even spent Rs 1.0 lakhs for the 270 Maha San Sabhas to get the people's verdict on whether to form a government in Delhi. Modi, calls himself the Lion of India, moves about with 20 to 30 NSG Commandos for his security. Kejriwal, Sishodia and the the complete AAP team travel without any special security. WE have always heard that a lion moves all alone when hunting. Now judge for yourself, who is the Lion? By the way, AAP has already decided to contest all the 26 parliamentary seats in Gujarat. Attacking the Lion in his den?
New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems set to form a government in Delhi, with party leader Arvind Kejriwal saying Sunday that "a major announcement" will be made Monday. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said Sunday that its leader Arvind Kejriwal will meet Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung around Monday noon, amid indications that it was ready to form a government in Delhi. As the party's campaign to elicit a 'yes' or 'no' from people in the capital on government formation entered its final phase, the AAP said that most voters favoured an AAP government. It also said that AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, who is tipped to be the chief minister, will address the media at 11 a.m. Monday and then proceed to meet Delhi's Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung. "Majority of the feedback we have received is 'yes'," spokesperson Ashwathi Muralidharan told IANS. The party has got responses from over 6.5 lakh people through SMS, interactive voice response (IVR), Facebook and the AAP web site, she said. Separately, AAP held public meetings in some 270 municipal wards of Delhi, covering the entire city, where too most people said they were for an AAP government, party leaders said. Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service official, indicated earlier Sunday that his year-old party was preparing to take power with Congress backing despite a split election verdict. "We will deliver whatever assurances we made in our manifesto. It (manifesto) was prepared after wide consultations, and a lot of thought went into it," he said. "Moreover, the people of Delhi are expecting much more from us, and we will perform." Later in the evening, Kejriwal told a public meeting in Sarojini Nagar in south Delhi that his party will keep "returning to the people" on major issues -- even after forming a government. "This is democracy, this is real democracy," he said, denying criticism that the AAP's decision to seek a referendum on whether or not it should take power was "nautanki" (drama). But AAP leaders made it clear that there would be no alliance with the Congress, which has only eight seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly but which agreed to prop up a government of AAP (28 seats). The BJP, which finished as the largest group with 31 seats, decided not to form a government after falling short of the half-way mark by five. The BJP's 'no' forced the Lt. Governor to invite the AAP to try form a government. Kejriwal then said he was in a moral dilemma on whether or not to take power with Congress help, and decided to seek people's views. The AAP's 'yes' or 'no' campaign was announced Dec 17. The campaign ends Sunday midnight. The AAP initially said it would be happy to sit in the opposition but was forced to reconsider following accusations that it had developed cold feet over fulfilling many of the promises it made in its manifesto. These included providing 700 liters of free water to residents and a 50 percent cut in power tariff.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Saturday said corruption was "bleeding people", and claimed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre had done "more to combat corruption than any other government". Speaking at a meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Gandhi said the UPA government had passed the Lokpal Bill to fight corruption. A clean shaven and business-like Gandhi said: "The biggest issue is corruption. It is bleeding people. It is unacceptable." He said that although the UPA government had faced a lot of criticism, "it has done more to combat corruption than any other government". Gandhi also said the regulatory system in the country needed to be overhauled. Talking about the recently concluded assembly elections, he said: "A political party's strength lies in the voice of those it represents." He said the elections "made their point", and the Congress needs to "have the foresight and humility" to accept the messages being expressed "without resorting to the usual props of statistical data and excuse making". The Gandhi scion also said that there is a need for the regulatory system to be rapidly and radically modernised. "Frankly, there are no excuses for the length of time required to clear some of these projects. We are a fast moving economy," he said. Talking about delays in clearances, like environmental clearance, he said: "The real issue in all these things, whether it is environment, or land acquisition, is arbitrary power. Creating a rules framework and taking away arbitrary power will solve the problem". Dear Mr. Rahul Gandhi, Before you start patting your self on the back and your cadres start clapping hands and congratulating you, I would like to ask you if this the best you can do. India stands 94th in corruption as per report of Transparency International. Just yesterday, your government in Maharashtra and rejected the report submitted by the two member judiciary commission which went into the Adarsh Housing scam although it indicted 4 chief ministers and the Governor of Maharashtra, appointed by your government, rejected permission asked by the CBI to prosecute Ashok Chavan, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Is this the way you go about fighting Corruption? I opine that, the Aam Aadmi Party is the only solution for tackling corruption in India.