Archive | February, 2021

Will Mumbai be different from Maharashtra?

Posted on 26 February 2021 by admin

Has Mumbai, the industrial capital of India, has been entangled in the new political strings? Now a demand has started rising that Mumbai should be separated from Maharashtra and given the status of UT. The entire ruckus started with the statement of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wherein, he said that until a decision of the Supreme Court on Belagavi (Belgaum) comes, it should be declared as UT i.e. Union Territory, so that it will neither be in Karnataka nor Maharashtra can claim it. After Thackeray’s statement, Karnataka came to a boil and its Deputy Chief Minister, Laxman Sawadi first raised the demand to declare Mumbai a part of Karnataka, as two other ministers of Karnataka’s Yeddiyurappa government- Ramesh Jerky Holi and Sasikala Jole – also gave statements on the lines of the Deputy Chief Minister. It is worth mentioning that Marathi is spoken more than Kannada in many parts of the Belagavi region of Karnataka, such as Niyani. Uddhav played his emotional card on this aspect however, it fell back on him. Years ago, Bombay, now Mumbai, was the part of the Bombay Presidency Estate out of which, states like Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra were carved out. It is worth mentioning that after the Maharashtra agitation in 1960, Bombay was declared the capital of the newly created state of Maharashtra. Although the BJP is currently in power in Karnataka, but the party has kept quiet on the issue, as it knows that by bringing in this Mumbai issue to the fore, there can be a ruckus in Maharashtra, where the BJP currently has 105 MLAs.

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New BJP in Bihar

Posted on 26 February 2021 by admin

In Bihar, there is an ongoing exercise to give a new face to the BJP, where new and young faces are being given importance by bypassing the old leaders. In the current cabinet of Nitish Kumar, there are 16 ministers from BJP quota out of which 12 faces are brand new; while old ministers like Nand Kishore Yadav, Prem Kumar, Vinod Narayan Jha have not found a place in the new cabinet. BJP is also acting like an ‘elder brother’ before Nitish Kumar. In the 2015 assembly elections, Nitish’s JDU had 71 and BJP had 54 seats, while in 2017, when Nitish again joined hands with BJP, BJP ministers had no say. However, on the other hand, Nitish even used to appoint secretaries of those ministers, but the situation has now changed after the 2020 elections. This time, BJP has won 74 seats and Nitish’s JDU has won only 44 seats, so JDU quota has less ministers than BJP as Nitish’s current cabinet has 16 BJP ministers and 13 ministers from JDU. Shahnawaz Hussain, whom Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi never liked, is now Industries Minister in the Bihar government. The BJP High Command has entrusted this responsibility to him as part of its ‘check and balance’ strategy. The party leadership has given Shahnawaz Hussain the minister’s post as a reward for waging the BJP’s victory in the DDC i.e. District Development Council of Jammu and Kashmir. PM Modi’s emotional speech after senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s retirement from Rajya Sabha also opens new doors of possibilities for the BJP. In the recent past BJP has also brought Zafar Islam to the Rajya Sabha. All these ventures could be a bid to rally Muslim votes in upcoming Bengal and Assam elections and as such, Modi-Shah have the expertise to weave such a strategy.

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Cabinet reshuffle on cards?

Posted on 26 February 2021 by admin

The first phase of the Parliament’s budget session, which was to end on February 15, got a break on February 13. The current budget session is going to end on April 8, but with the current political situation of the country, there are indications that perhaps the budget session will not be able to complete its fixed period. According to sources, PM Modi is busy finalizing the long-awaited reshuffle of his cabinet. In this regard, he is also finalizing the final negotiations with the allies. It is said that Nitish Kumar reached Delhi on the PM’s call on last Tuesday, but he could meet Modi on Thursday. Sources say that the PM had asked the names of MPs from Nitish’s JDU to induct them into the cabinet, but Nitish’s attitude was evasive. Sources associated with JDU reveal that this time, perhaps Lallan Singh’s name may be included, as he has got Nitish’s special loyalist RCP Singh appointed as the JDU’s national president. A three-time MP from Nalanda, Kaushalendra Kumar, who is also closely associated with Nitish, is also being touted to be inducted but according to sources, Nitish personally does not want any MP from his party to be included in the Modi cabinet. He does not want to build a ‘power- centre’ of his party in Delhi. To a large extent, the same sentiment is for ‘regional satraps’ also like Naveen Patnaik and Jagan Mohan Reddy, both of whom have also made it clear to the PM that they will continue to give their full support to the Modi government on policy issues, but their party MPs will not join the cabinet. Even Naveen Patnaik rejected the PM’s proposal to make his party’s Bhatrihari Mahtab as the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Sources reveal that last time, RCP Singh missed out on becoming a minister at the Centre only because he got a direct call from the PMO. Nitish considered it a ‘danger bell’ for himself. So, it is possible that only the people of BJP can get a place in the coming reshuffle of the Modi cabinet.

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Kursi Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega

Posted on 08 February 2021 by admin

Will the central government introduce a new policy for the heads of public sector enterprises? Can the tenure of PSUs chiefs be decided with the firmness that they will not get extensions in service after retirement? The latest case is related to the Ministry of Jal Shakti and its consultancy organization and public sector undertaking Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) Limited (WAPCOS). WAPCOS appointed RK Gupta as its CMD in 2010. Gupta held the post for the next 5 years till 2015 and after that, he was again given an extension of 3 years with the help of his well-wishers.

The extension of service was approved by ACC and he was re-employed as CMD of WAPCOS for a period of two years from the date of his superannuation on 01.10.2018. Not only this, but Gupta also held the additional charge of CMD of another mini Ratna NPCC along with WAPCOS for a year. When RK Gupta retired from his post in September 2020, he did not give up and opened a consultancy firm in Connaught Place, New Delhi, and started lending his skills to other companies directly or with a side glance for WAPCOS related works. Not only this, but Gupta’s nephew has also started a similar consultancy firm which is providing new dimensions to his uncle’s competencies. Even though Devashree Mukherjee, the additional secretary of the Ministry of Jal Sakti, has been appointed as the new CMD of WAPCOS, Gupta still holds his grip in the PSU. Well, Gupta is not the sole beneficiary, but this is the story of dozens of PSUs. One such example is also of NBCC subsidiary HSCC, where CMD Gyanesh Pandey has been in his post since 2012. He has been in this position for 9 years, retiring in July this year. Sources say he is also pushing for his extension, given his political clout, one should not be surprised if he gets another service extension.

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…And finally

Posted on 07 February 2021 by admin

In the recent past, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla was seen in Parliament in a new avatar. He came across as calm, sober, and soft-spoken. Over the time as MP and then as the Lok Sabha Speaker, Birla has made personal connections with MPs of opposing parties, and even in the House proceedings, he gives ample opportunity to the MPs of the opposition parties to speak during debates. But recently, he shunned this new ‘shiny image’, when Punjab AAP MP Bhagwant Mann stood up to say something, the speaker stood in his place of aggressively shouted in a loud voice – ‘Chup’ (Silence). Everyone was left stunned. Later, it was learned that Bhagwant Mann had come in the ‘Well’ in front of the Speaker opposing the Agricultural Bill of which the Speaker felt very bad about.

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Who is more farmer friendly?

Posted on 07 February 2021 by admin

Amid the noise of the farmers’ movement in the country, this question is constantly raising the head as to what is the attitude of the governments in the rest of the world to the farmers, how much they care about farming, and how much money is spent from the state treasury on the farmers of these countries. According to a report by the Center for WTO Studies, Norway topped the list of farmer-friendly countries, where a government spends $ 22,509 per year on a farmer. Looking at some of the other major countries in this list reveals that Switzerland spends $ 9,716 per farmer, Canada $ 7,414, America $ 7,253, European Union $ 1,068, Russia $ 855, Brazil $ 134, China $ 109 and finally India, where an Indian farmer receives merely 49 dollars or around three and a half thousand rupees from the government as subsidy.

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Voices are silent in custody

Posted on 07 February 2021 by admin

The emerging trend of a new era is out of the league. It is no longer easy for people to raise voice by being involved in protests. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is a byproduct of the JP movement, is no longer able to digest disagreeable voices. A notice issued by the Bihar Police Headquarters said that now those participating in the agitation and demonstrations will not get government jobs. The Government of Uttarakhand has also issued a similar ‘Tughlaqi decree’ saying that it will not issue passports to those who participate in such protests. The Aam Aadmi Party, which was the result of Anna Hazare’s movement, is in control of the government of Delhi today. Even in Delhi, a unique decree is being heard that it will not be easy for people involved in the protests to get their driving license. In the notice issued by the government in Bihar, it is stated that in the character certificate of those detained during the agitation and demonstration, the police will make a detailed mention of the individual’s ‘doings’, then such people will not get a government job. A few days before this, the Bihar government issued a notice stating that action will be taken against those who write objectionable pieces about the Chief Minister, state government ministers, and officials on social media. Does this mean that the beginning of democracy ends at the polling booth itself?

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Why are profitable companies being sold?

Posted on 07 February 2021 by admin

This year the government has set a target of raising one lakh 75 thousand crores by selling to public sector companies, and perhaps on this hope, the government is claiming that the current fiscal deficit, which is about 9.30 percent, will be reduced in the next financial year to 6.8 percent. It is worth remembering that last year, the target was to earn 2 lakh 10 thousand crores by selling to government companies, but in the meantime, the outbreak of Corona pandemic happened due to which the government had to revise its target to 60 thousand crores, but it could only muster 19,499 crore rupees. sidelining the whole theory of disinvestment, the government intends to sell the profitable ‘Maharatna’ companies this time around, as no buyers were coming forward to buy the loss-making state-owned companies. Hence the government has to sell flagship companies like LIC and Bharat Petroleum and Shipping Corporation of India. Apart from this, two state-owned banks are also ready to be sold. Bharat Petroleum is earning 8 thousand crores every year, the government will get 63 thousand crores only by selling 52% of its stake. Once LIC is listed on the stock market, it will become the company with the largest market capital i.e. it can have a market capital of 10 lakh crores, if the government also sells 25 percent of it, then it will get 2.5 lakh crores in its bag. Perhaps this is how the government is claiming to reduce its financial deficit.

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When MPs clashed in the House

Posted on 07 February 2021 by admin

The budget session of Parliament started on Friday which saw some strange scenes. When 18 opposition parties were boycotting the President’s address, while Nagaur MP of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) started raising slogans for the cancellation of three agricultural laws inside the Parliament. He started making videos from his mobile and later released these videos in the media. While any type of photography is banned in the House, only Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha TV can operate their cameras in the House. It also showed for the first time that the movement of MPs continued during the President’s address. On the Ghazipur border, there was a kind of solidarity with the Jat MPs on the other side of the party line, while Hanuman Beniwal clashed with BJP MP from western UP Sanjeev Balyan and the atmosphere of this ‘verbal clash’ came to its bare minimum standard too.

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Why is Rahul’s coronation delayed?

Posted on 07 February 2021 by admin

If sources are to be believed, Rahul Gandhi is very upset about the fact that senior leaders of the party are still not taking him seriously, this is what is troubling Rahul. As long as Ahmed Patel was alive, he would work as a dialogue bridge between Rahul and senior leaders, because the senior leaders have a common complaint to Rahul that he does not give them an appointment and they have to appease Alankar Sawai and Kaushal Vidyarthi to meet Rahul. Till the time Ahmed Patel was alive, he would have listened to their views and conveyed its essence to Rahul. Patel’s absence is now troubling senior leaders. It is said that when Sonia tried to convince Rahul about this in the recent past, a miffed Rahul suddenly left for Italy. Senior leaders also complain that they are not included in the policy decisions of the party, even during the Kisan agitation, only Rahul and Priyanka discussed among themselves and it was decided that Rahul would go to the President to submit a memorandum and Priyanka would give her arrest. Many senior leaders complain that Rahul talks to the senior leaders of the party in an abusive tone in a full meeting. Rahul is also deeply hurt by the behavior of senior leaders, he feels that seniors consider themselves as ‘Turram Khan’. Rahul is doubtful that young party leaders like Sachin, Jitin, Milind, etc. are in touch with BJP. So, Rahul’s loneliness troubles him somewhere, and hence his statement that ‘Even if I am left alone, I will tell the truth, I do not care, I have nothing to hide,’ gives voice to his pain.

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