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Posts Tagged ‘Mamata Banerjee’

Team Anna: Are they ready to campaign across 400 constituencies in 700 days

August 2, 2012 9 comments

Between a decrepit Congress and a paralysed BJP, we need an alternative. Anna can have my vote if he gives that choice.

Can Anna take on these entrenched forces? It has been done before.  |  Cartoon by Kureel on October 22, 2011; source & courtesy - iacpune.blogspot.in  |  Click for image.

Can Anna take on these entrenched forces? It has been done before. | Cartoon by Kureel on October 22, 2011; source & courtesy – iacpune.blogspot.in | Click for image.

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has finally said that he is ready to give a political alternative to the country. Making the announcement at Jantar Mantar on Thursday, Anna has asked public for ideas on a political roadmap.

Making the announcement, Anna said, “Political alternative will be found, we will travel across the country for the next two years.”

Talking about the funds required for the purpose, Anna said that it was yet to be figured out.

He said, “We will have to see where the funds will come from in case we plan to give a political alternative.”

Anna, however, clarified that he was not willing to contest an election. He said, “I will not enter politics. Choosing the right candidate is important. Candidates will be scanned. Need to have the spirit of service, must be patriotic, and non corrupt.”

Following the announcement by the veteran social activist, Kejriwal addressed the gathering at Jantar Mantar saying the country needs people’s alternative to the government.

“Our movement is for the change of system and not change of government. Our movement is for decentralisation of power, power in the hands of the common man, power to people,” said Kejriwal.

Hitting out at the government for not accepting the demands of Team Anna, Kejriwal said the government was not willing to pass the Lokpal Bill.

He said, “This government is deaf and mute. They do not want to pass the Lokpal Bill. All parties are corrupt.”

However, Team Anna defended the decision with key member and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan saying that the only option left with them is to bring revolution.

“When the government is showing arrogance of power, the only option left is to bring revolution,” he said.

Bhushan further said, “Existing political parties are corrupt beyond repair, so we need an alternative politics.”

The decision by Team Anna came after around 22 eminent citizens, including former army chief V K Singh, appealed them to end their fast.

via Team Anna ready for a political role, to end fast on Friday – Politics – Politics News – ibnlive.

Democracy is not like…

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra – where kings ruling small kingdoms, without

  • A standing army
  • Many ministers
  • Large treasuries and bureaucracy
  • Prisons, courts and police
  • A Parliament

were able to create the most industrialized society for the last 2000 years – till we had the ‘glorious’ British Raj.

Promise and performance are two different things. To me winning a majority is performance. | TN Ninan cartoon on 20 Apr 2011 in Pune Mirror | Click for image.

Promise and performance are two different things. To me winning a majority is performance. | TN Ninan cartoon on 20 Apr 2011 in Pune Mirror | Click for image.

Cut out the glib talk

Democracy usually means:

1. Single Party democracies like China and Communist Russia – where lakhs of Party members choose leaders from among themselves.

2. Two-Party democracies like America, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany Japan, etc where leaders are chosen from thousands of leaders that belong to one of the two political parties. Using complex mechanisms, more than two parties are usually not allowed to survive or win elections in these two-party democracies.

3. Multi-party democracies – India is the closest that has come to this system. With Congress and BJP in shambles, we need a good Third alternative.

After Indira Gandhi in 1980, no one has gained an electoral majority in India for the last 30 years.

You can have my vote

If Anna can change that, he can have my vote.

Between a bad government by the Left in Bengal and a bad government by Mamata Banerjee, I will give Mamata Banerjee a chance.

How much harm can she do? Compared to the Left?

Similarly, compared to a bad governance by Mulayam Singh /Akhilesh Singh Yadav or Mayawati, I will choose Mayawati.

On the other hand, stellar performers like Nitesh Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu can get my vote anytime – based on a positive agenda.

Any day of the week.

Will Anna be able to change the rules of the game?  |  Cartoon by Manjul on July 31, 2011; source and courtesy - manjul.com  |  Click for image.

Will Anna be able to change the rules of the game? | Cartoon by Manjul on July 31, 2011; source and courtesy – manjul.com | Click for image.

700 days

Two years of hard work can win you an election.

NTR Rama Rao came from nowhere and trounced Indira Gandhi’s party twice – in Andhra Pradesh. YS Rajasekhara Reddy turned around the Congress in AP based on his two-year padayatra.

NTR’s Chaitanya-ratham morphed on the national scene as LK Advani’s rath-yatra. This rath-yatra re-floated the sunk-ship of BJP into an electoral victory – and a party of national standing.

So, Anna go for it

I know you have no agenda. I also know that you are very disparate lot – with Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal pulling in 75 degrees of each other.

You have some 700 days to contact important 400 parliamentary constituencies. It is a lot of work. If you do 2 years of mass contact work…

But you can do it. Eat well. No more fasts. Sleep well.

And give us a parliamentary majority.

PS

psst … like Rahim said many centuries ago

बिगरी बात बने नहीं, लाख करो किन कोय।
रहिमन बिगरे दूध को, मथे न माखन होय॥6॥

अर्थ: जब बात बिगड़ जाती है तो किसी के लाख कोशिश करने पर भी बनती नहीं है। उसी तरह जैसे कि फटे हुए दूध को मथने से मक्खन नहीं निकलता।

This Lok Pal is a silly idea.

One more policeman will not change anything. This system is broken – and it can’t be fixed.

Go the भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra way.


 

Black Box Mamta

May 14, 2011 1 comment
Will Mamata didi also behave like this? (Cartoon by - by Abhishek Tiwari; courtesy - toonpool.com). Click for larger image.

Will Mamata didi also behave like this? (Cartoon by - by Abhishek Tiwari; courtesy - toonpool.com). Click for larger image.

Lone woman standing

Mamata Banerjee, an ex-Congressi, split from the Congress  over strategy on how to defeat the CPI-M. Friendless for sometime, without any patron or godfather, she ploughed a lonely furrow.

Till an alliance with the BJP gave her impetus – and political standing. A split with the BJP and an alliance with the Congress put the wind in her sails.

India's oligarchs are a significant threat in the Mamta program. (Image courtesy - economictimes.com). Click for larger image.

India's oligarchs are a significant threat in the Mamata program. (Image courtesy - economictimes.com). Click for larger image.

Blackbox

Her policies and programmes are a black box – and may not make a big difference. Mamta Banerjee has broken the Communist hold over West Bengal – which is an unalloyed plus for West Bengal.

Red Flag

India’s emerging oligarchs who are in control of crucial parts of the economy – and the political support they get, are possibly the biggest problem. With Amit Mitra, earlier of the FICCI (a business union for lobbying) as her ‘finance’ brains and consultant, a backdoor entry by the oligarchs is a distinct danger in Mamata’s  poribortan.

Endgame for Manmohan Singh?

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment
(Montage courtesy - Sunday Magazine of Faking News dated 30 May 2010.). Click for larger image.

(Montage courtesy - Sunday Magazine of Faking News dated 30 May 2010.). Click for larger image.

Tom-tom drums

In the deep jungles of Indian politics, tom-tom drums are beating. Some people who know how to read these drum-beats are saying that the message reads “Rahul baba is coming … Rahul baba is coming …”

Will Indira Gandhi inspire Rahul Gandhi

It is some 15 months of UPA-II. Will it be like the 1971 election of Indira Gandhi. Leading a lame-duck, Government for two years, after a flurry of populist tokens, like abolition of privy purses, bank nationalisation, Indira Gandhi called for ‘garibi hatao’ and an election.

Will we see an ouster of Manmohan, installation of Rahul Gandhi as PM, another flurry of populist tokens – and an election in 12-18 months.

Going by personal experience, the few 2ndlook posts in the last 3 months, on Rahul Gandhi have had unusual traffic. Reader interest has been higher than what the content would justify.

Listening posts

A report in The Times Of India reads

our economist PM’s lack of leadership gets manifested best in his absolute abdication of responsibility on issues concerning the country’s economy … foodgrains continue to rot for want of storage space … even as Naxals continue to kill our forces at will … the home minister’s response suggests it to be a ‘law and order’ problem, Digvijay Singh thinks otherwise … as the killing spree continues, the government’s absentee railway minister addresses a massive rally at Lalgarh with Maoist support and even supports an investigation into the death of a Naxal commander.

Cartoon date - Sep 06, 2010; Cartoon by - Sandeep Adhwaryu; cartoon courtesy - outlook.com. Click for larger image.

Cartoon date - Sep 06, 2010; Cartoon by - Sandeep Adhwaryu; cartoon courtesy - outlook.com. Click for larger image.

Pranab Mukherjee disapproves of Mamata Banerjee’s antics. But soon the Congress’s own heir apparent takes a dangerous left turn. Addressing a massive tribal rally alongside a suspected Naxal leader, Rahul Gandhi talks of being a soldier of the tribals in Delhi … What is most unbecoming of the ‘honest’ Singh is his constantly looking the other way on issues involving gross corruption. No wonder then that telecom minister A Raja and CWG chairman Suresh Kalmadi have seemed to carry on their reported exploits with impunity.

India deserves a more ‘in-control’ PM … what makes the PM-in-waiting, Rahul, choose to remain ‘shielded’ perpetually? Has he done a reality check and concluded that he is not prepared for the job? Is he worried that he might face the same flak when his opportunity comes? What is equally surprising is that our ‘PM-designate’ is just as invisible on almost all important issues. (via No Nightwatchman’s Innings – The Times of India; parts excised for brevity.).

Is Rahul trying out his grand-mother's strategy? (Cartoonist - RK Laxman; Cartoon courtesy - outlook.com) Click for larger image.

Is Rahul trying out his grand-mother's strategy? (Cartoonist - RK Laxman; Cartoon courtesy - outlook.com) Click for larger image.

National Advisory Council (NAC) takes over

A web-zine, MeriNews in a recent analysis points out

The SIX-year old trusted political equation between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh is said to be under pressure. Since the revival of National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by Sonia Gandhi …

All these six years, perfect understanding was maintained among these two power centers. While Sonia Gandhi looking after political issues of Congress-led UPA Government; Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was given free hand with regard to the affairs of the government. But the growing interest shown by Sonia Gandhi in the governance seems to be widening the gap between the two political titans.

At this juncture, the revival of NAC is seen as Sonia Gandhi’s efforts to take control over the administration on her own to pave way for the coronation of her son Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister. …

Manmohan Singh  is taking all due care avoiding the media focus on himself. He has hardly given any full-length interview for any news paper or news channel. He is also not happy with the attitude of some ministers, who did not cooperate with him … only Home Minister P. Chidambaram interacts with the Prime Minister on a regular basis on all major policy issues. While all other ministers are trying to show that they are more loyal to `madam’ than the prime minister.

Manmohan Singh was upset when AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh had written an article questioning Chidambaram’s anti-Maoists policy at a time when the government was facing crisis following 76 CRPF jawans massacre in Chhattiasgarh. Whether Rahul Gandhi will be allowed to lead the nation or some intermediate arrangement will be preferred, is yet to be seen. (via Has Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh equation as a team ended?).

It wasn't easy then ... (Published on - Jul 14, 2010; cartoon by - Sandeep Adhwaryu; cartoon courtesy - outlook.com.). Click for larger image.

It wasn't easy then ... (Published on - Jul 14, 2010; cartoon by - Sandeep Adhwaryu; cartoon courtesy - outlook.com.). Click for larger image.

Insider knows

A BJP MP, Chandan Mitra, writing for The Pioneer, paints a similar picture. Some edited (for brevity) sections are reproduced below.

What happened in the Rajya Sabha on August 31, last day of the Monsoon Session … was probably the most incredible example of a Government under siege … from within. The … next day, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister sought to drape Congress MP Keshava Rao’s rebellion against … Kapil Sibal with the cloak of “inner-party democracy” reveals the … bewilderment. Later the same evening, … P Chidambaram and Digvijay Singh were back in the ring …this time over the term ‘saffron terror’. Was it mere coincidence that two efficient … Ministers — Mr Chidambaram and Mr Sibal — bore the brunt of Congress MPs’ wrath? Some … believe that … Mr Keshava Rao’s … access to 10 Janpath, the rebellion must have been staged … (knowing) that no consequences would follow.

leaders have begun jockeying for the post-Manmohan era. With Rahul Gandhi’s mounting visibility, carefully calibrated by sections of the media, Congress know it is a matter of time before the heir-apparent takes direct charge.

the Prime Minister sat through all five hours of the Nuclear Liability Bill debate in the Rajya Sabha. Congress MPs later complained they couldn’t even take coffee breaks because it would have been improper to gad off while he sat on impassively. From this unusual action it has been deduced by many that Mr Manmohan Singh is in the final stage of repaying his debt to Washington on the nuclear issue.

So now that the nuclear deal process is complete, Mr Manmohan Singh may prefer to walk into the sunset once US President Barack Obama’s visit happens in early November.

Proponents believe that 2011 or latest 2012 will be the year of transition … a political crisis may be deliberately stirred so that a fresh election has to be called to legitimise Mr Rahul Gandhi’s ascendancy since his mother believes electoral endorsement is what’s kept the dynasty going. Congress strategists have calculated that if an election is held within the next 12 to 18 months, with Mr Rahul Gandhi projected as Prime Minister, the party will win a majority on its own. …

some seniors in the party are already positioning themselves for such an eventuality — Mr Digvijay Singh for one [.] has been consistently making jholawallah-type noises … significantly, he has targeted Mr Chidambaram who is clearly doing his best to uphold the dignity and power of the Indian state. … Rahul is building a jholawallah team around himself, some inherited from his mother’s National Advisory Council, which now acts as a super-Cabinet, and the rest drawn from from across the globe, potential British Labour Party leader David Miliband included. I would rather have Mr Rahul Gandhi take over right now than permit his ambitious cohorts to inject chaos and disorder in governance so that they can herald the Crown Prince’s arrival into South Block as the knight in shining armour destined to ‘rescue’ India from drift. Who knows, maybe Ms Sonia Gandhi will time her ‘voluntary retirement’ to coincide with that so daughter Priyanka begins a long stint as Congress president! [Significant caveats and qualifications by the author excised for brevity. Read original, linked at the beginning and here to verify the credibility and degree of certainty of the analysis].

Remember! Congress has won just 3 elections in the last 40 years. (Cartoon By Sandeep Adhwaryu; courtesy - outlook.com; publication date - Jun 28, 2010.). Click for larger image.

Remember! Congress has won just 3 elections in the last 40 years. (Cartoon By Sandeep Adhwaryu; courtesy - outlook.com; publication date - Jun 28, 2010.). Click for larger image.

Which way the wind blows

The wide- coverage of Rahul Gandhi’s support  to Omar Abdullah by the media was indicative of the way political winds are blowing. Did Omar Abdullah with nearly 12-15 years of experience in governance need Rahul Gandhi’s certification? The shrill attacks on the Government using Commonwealth Games is another indicator. Will the Ayodhya judgement by the Allahabad High Court be used as a trigger for displacing Manmohan Singh?

Time will surely tell. In the meantime, Rahul Gandhi would do well to remember that the Congress has really won just three election out of ten in the last 40 years. No doubt, the Indian Voter exudes warmth towards Rahul Gandhi.

To assume that this warmth will translate into votes is immature.

Trinamool storms to power in Kolkata civic polls

June 2, 2010 1 comment
Mamata's supporters in mamata with Mamata (Picture courtesy - The Hindu)

Mamata's supporters in mamata with Mamata (Picture courtesy - The Hindu)

The Trinamool Congress, which had already won two-thirds majority in the 141-member KMC, will not need the support of the Congress to rule Kolkata where her party has already captured 94 of the 135 wards the results of which were available. (via Trinamool storms to power in Kolkata civic polls – Economy and Politics – livemint.com).

Decline of the Bengal’s economy

From a prime business centre till the 1960’s West Bengal stagnated during the last 30 years of Communist rule. Rampant storm-troopers kept political opposition at bay. Voters were ‘kept’ in line. Trade Unions suppressed businesses till there was no industry left in West Bengal.

 Members of the Chinese community display their voter identity cards during the Municipal elections. (Photo: PTI; Courtesy - The Hindu)

Members of the Chinese community display their voter identity cards during the Municipal elections. (Photo: PTI; Courtesy - The Hindu)

Mamata Banerji’s biggest symbol of success was reversal of the Tata Nano project – where prime agricultural land was forcibly acquired by the state – for ‘progress.’ Mamata’s detractors alleged that Tata Nano’s automobile competitors were behind the Mamata campaign.

Lone woman standing

Mamata’s, an ex-Congressi, split from the Congress  over strategy on how to defeat the CPIM. Friendless for sometime, without any patron or godfather, she ploughed a lonely furrow.

Till an alliance with the BJP gave her impetus – and political standing. A split with the BJP and an alliance with the Congress put wind in her sails.

A victorious Mamata! (Picture courtesy - Outlook magazine).

A victorious Mamata! (Picture courtesy - Outlook magazine).

Blackbox

Her policies and programmes are a bit of a black box – and may not make a big difference. Hopefully, it will break the Communist hold over West Bengal – which is an unalloyed plus for West Bengal.

Related reports

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