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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Karnataka High Court Friday upheld the disqualification of the 11 rebel legislators

Posted on: 29 Oct 2010

Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court Friday upheld the disqualification of the 11 rebel legislators of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the state assembly by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah.

Delivering the judgment in a packed courtroom, Justice V.G. Sabhahit said the rebel legislators stood disqualified under the 10(a) schedule of the anti-defection law.

CM welcomes court verdict

Hailing the Karnataka High Court verdict upholding the disqualification of 11 BJP rebel MLAs, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today described it as 'epoch making' and a major step towards eradicating the menance of defection in the country.

'This order has come as a warning bell to those who indulge in defection. I hope this will herald a new era in bringing an end to defections in the country,' Yeddyurappa told PTI.

Yeddyurappa, overwhelmed by Justice V G Sabhahit's ruling upholding disqualification of the rebel MLAs for withdrawing support to his government, said 'this has enhanced my responsibilities now. Now I have to give a further fillip
to development activities'. PTI

Left routed in Kerala civic polls

October 29, 2010

Reaffirming once again that the end of the Left’s supremacy in Kerala politics is imminent, the people of the State voted the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF out of power in majority of the local administration bodies.

As the results of the civic elections held in two phases on October 23 and 25 came out on Wednesday, the LDF suffered jolts at all the three levels of the local administration system. The Left’s setback was a near replication of the setback the CPI(M) suffered in the last municipal elections in West Bengal.

As the present setback has come after its terrible defeats in the last Lok Sabha election, by-polls to three Assembly seats and several local council byelections, observers expect the LDF to be thrown out of power in the State elections in April-May next.

The Left was defeated in two of the four city corporations where counting of votes was held on Wednesday. The poll results in the municipal councils were shocking to the Left as the results of the 2005 elections were more than reversed. Of the 57 municipalities for which votes were counted, the Congress-led UDF bagged 30.

The Left, which had won 34 municipalities in the 2005 civic elections, was reduced to just 12 seats. Though it managed to win more seats than the Congress-led front in some other municipal councils, this became meaningless as they could not muster enough seats to rule. In 15 municipalities, no party was in majority.

In results in the prestigious Kochi Corporation, which it ruled for 32 years continuously, was shocking for the Left. Of the total 74 seats in this corporation, the LDF was reduced to 21 seats while the UDF bagged 44 divisions. The BJP won two seats. The LDF also lost power in the Thrissur Corporation.

The Left win in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation was absolutely unconvincing as it was by just one seat in the 100-division council. The UDF, which had won only ten seats in the last election, bagged 41 seats this time.

The BJP won in six divisions. The only corporation where the Left had a convincing win was Kollam.

However, the severest shock for the Left came from the Grama Panchayats, where the votes came from the grassroots, said to be the support base of the proletarian CPI(M). As the results for the 902 Grama Panchayats in which counting was held trickled in late on Wednesday evening, the LDF had won or was leading only in 361 while the UDF led in 534.

This was almost a total reversal of the results of the 2005 civic polls in which the Left had won 668 of the total 978 Grama Panchayats. The CPI(M) might explain away the defeats in the urban areas as an elitist reaction but the setback in the village bodies is clearly an indication of how the party’s basic support system has crumbled.

The situation in the Block and District panchayats was also not very different. In the 140 Block Panchayats for which vote-counting was on, the LDF was leading only in 60 while the UDF was in the lead in 80. The LDF had won 13 of the 14 district Panchayats in 2005 but this time, the UDF was leading in eight.

Despite its startling defeat, the CPI(M) tried to put up a bold face. State CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the LDF’s position had improved when compared to the Lok Sabha election while several other leaders termed the Left defeat as a result of the “unholy alliances” of the UDF.


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has registered an impressive victory in the local body elections in Kerala, securing majority in two of the five City Corporations and 38 of the 59 municipalities.

Initial trends point to the UDF leading in 7,584 grama panchayat wards, 1,103 block panchayat wards and 180 district panchayat divisions. The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) retained Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam Corporations and secured 16 municipalities. It has secured a lead in 5,887 grama panchayats, 757 block and 122 district panchayat divisions. The results of the Corporations and the municipalities were the first to be announced as electronic voting machines were used there. The first round of manual counting of ballots for the district, block and grama panchayats is progressing. A final picture is expected to emerge by Thursday evening. Counting at the Kozhikode Corporation will be taken up on October 31.

BJP fares well

The BJP has improved upon its tally compared to the previous local body polls. The party has got significant representation in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation — six seats, two in Kochi, one in Thrissur and 76 seats in various municipalities, the highest of 15 in Palakkad municipality. The party candidates finished runners-up in eight wards in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. The party will play a crucial role in deciding the rulers in four municipalities. The SDPI has also opened its account by securing one seat each in Kannur and Thodupuzha municipalities.

A distinct feature of the local body elections this time is that 50 per cent of the over 21,000 seats are reserved for women in the multi-tier local self-government bodies.

The UDF wrested the Kochi Corporation from the LDF after three decades, winning 46 out of the 74 seats. The LDF won 23 wards and the BJP, 2 and Independent, 3. The UDF also emerged victorious in the Thrissur Corporation, winning 44 out of the 55 seats. Here, the LDF got six seats, the BJP, one and Independents, four seats.

The LDF has retained the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation winning 51 out of the 100 seats, leaving 41 to the UDF, six to the BJP and two to Independents. The LDF won the Kollam Corporation for a third successive term bagging 34 out of the 55 seats. The UDF got 18 seats and others, three seats.

No majority

As per the figures of the State Election Commission, none of the fronts secured majority in Neyyattinkara and Nedumangad municipalities in Thiruvananthapuram, and Changanassery in Kottayam district.

In Thiruvananthapuram district, the LDF retained Attingal municipality and the UDF wrested Varkala from the LDF. In Kollam district, the LDF won Paravur and Punalur municipalities, while the UDF registered an impressive victory in Karunagapally municipality. In Pathanamthitta district, the UDF secured majority in Adoor and Pathanamthitta municipalities and emerged as the largest group in Thiruvalla with 17 seats. While the LDF got 13, the BJP bagged five seats. The LDF won Alappuzha municipality and the UDF Cherthala in the district. The UDF emerged victorious in Kottayam, Vaikom and Pala municipalities. In Ernakulam district, the UDF won 12 and the LDF, one municipality. The LDF won four and the UDF two municipalities in Thrissur district. In Palakkad, the fronts shared two municipalities each. The rival fronts maintained status quo in Kannur district. Of the total six municipalities, elections were held to five. While the LDF retained Thalassery, Koothuparamba, Taliparamba and Payyannur , the UDF fortified its position in Kannur municipality. Elections to Mattannur will be held later.

In Kasaragod district, the UDF registered a thumping victory in Kasaragod and Kanhangad municipalities, while the CPI(M) defeated the UDF in Neeleswaram.

The UDF won the lone municipality in Wayanad district, Kalpetta, capturing 20 of the 28 wards. The Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League won eight seats each and the Socialist Janata (Democratic) four seats. In Malappuram, the UDF retained power in Malappuram, Manjeri and Tirur municipalities and toppled the LDF in Ponnani and Perinthalmanna municipalities. The UDF will rule the newly-formed Kottakkal and Nilambur municipalities. The UDF also won 17 seats in Perinthalmanna and the LDF 16. One seat went to an Independent candidate.

In the campaign, both the LDF and UDF had described the civic body elections, held on October 23 and 25, as a referendum on the government's performance.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BJP demands JPC probe in CWG Corruption

October 19, 2010

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today demanded the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to inquire into the allegations of corruption in the organisation of the XIX Commonwealth Games, which were held in Delhi from October 3-14.

"The terms of reference of the proposed JPC, among other things, should include devising a foolproof mechanism to ensure complete transparency in hosting a corruption and scandal free international sporting event in future," BJP President Nitin Gadkari said at a press conference here.

Mr Gadkari said Indian sportspersons had made the country proud by winning as many as 101 medals at the Games. He also said that the opening and closing ceremonies were spectacular and praised the foolproof security arrangements.

"But all was not well with the Commonwealth Games-Delhi 2010. It all looked fine and on track till the bid was won. Then where did we fail and who all nearly let us down? The world community in general and the people of India in particular need to know," he said.

He said the "irregularities and bungling" in the tendering process of various Games-related proejcts were "scandalous involving several thousand crores".

He referred to the allegations about corruption in the organisation of the launch of the Queen's Baton Relay in London late last year "without proper tendering and paperwork".

He said corruption was suspected in the award of tenders for different projects, including stadia and other infrastructure, and grant of contracts for hire or purchase of items such as air-conditioners, treadmills and toilet paper.

Mr Gadkari said he Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India had commented adversely on the cost overruns for the stadium being built or refurbished for the Games.

He referred to the collapse of an under-construction footbridge near the main venue, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, after which the army pitched in by building a temporary structure.

Mr Gadkari said leaders of his party had raised these issues in both Houses of Parliament. He said the party had now prepared a "First Information Report on Commonwealth Games Loot", which alleges that the Government agencies and sports bodies had wasted taxpayers' money, which had resulted in huge cost overruns.

Referring to the inquiry ordered by the Prime Minister into the allegations as well as the probes being conducted by various official agencies, he said the BJP felt these must be expedited and taken to their logical end so that those guilty could be punished without any delay.

"In view of the multiplicity of the agencies involved in this task, we demand that a high-power coordination committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary should be set up to ensure an effective and concerted effort to unearth the scandals. All these investigations must reveal the extent and magnitude of the corruption in different deals and the role of the agencies involved therein for which those found guilty must be taken to task as per the law of the land," he said.

Mr Gadkari said the BJP would extend full cooperation to all the investigative agencies and make available to them the information gathered by its leaders.

"But at the same time, I strongly feel that there is an urgent need to pin point accountability on those who cleared these projects and sanctioned fund allocations from time to time overlooking the serious discrepancies in the project reports and the unreasonable exorbitant cost escalations. It is high time to expose the nexus between the partners in the Commonwealth Games loot and those providing them political patronage by condoning this mess," he said.

"People of India have a solemn constitutional right to know who the real culprits of this national shame are. The truth must prevail and shall prevail only if a comprehensive inquiry in the public domain is held and that is possible only through a Joint Parliamentary probe," he added.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A victory by 80 percent clarifies it that more than 30 percent vote has come from the Muslim community -Modi

Modi blames Centre for political crisis in Karnataka

October 13

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has held the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre responsible for the ongoing political crisis in Karnataka.

"Congress party takes undue advantage of heading the Central Government to browbeat the State Governments ruled by its opposition outfits," said Modi, while addressing a mass rally organised by his party here on Tuesday to celebrate the victory in Gujarat's municipal elections.

Modi further said Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj was creating needless political complications to destabilise a popular elected government, and termed his call for a second floor test on October 14 as illogical since it was already proved on October 11.

"The way political game is being played in Karnataka and Governor himself playing a crucial role in it. He is working as a political party himself and this is all being done to trip Bharatiya Janata Party's Government in that State," said Modi.

"It is a government that has been elected by the common people, B S Yeddyurappa's Government works for the welfare of the people. The BJP Government in Karnataka won the confidence motion yesterday, but the Congress party is trying its level best to upturn the confidence motion by some way or other way," he added.

Modi also claimed that the Muslim community of Gujarat is with the BJP and cited the results in the civic polls to support his contention.

"Congress leaders got surprised to see that members of the Muslim community is casting their votes for BJP. A victory by 80 percent clarifies it that more than 30 percent vote has come from the Muslim community," said Modi.

" I would like to say to my political critics that all of them have tried to taint Gujarat so many times. I have succeeded to deliver my message that politics of vote bank or politics of appeasement would not do any good, but the politics of development would do," he added.

During his address, Modi termed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a puppet in the hands of Congress-led UPA Government.

Narendra Modi-led BJP won the six municipal corporations at stake in Gujarat with ease.

Besides Ahmedabad, the BJP won the civic polls in Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot and Bhavnagar with a two-thirds majority. The party, which decimated the Congress, got a simple majority in Jamnagar. (ANI)

BJP leaders meet PM, demands Bhardwaj's recall

October 13

New Delhi: Top BJP leaders met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today and demanded immediate recall of Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj accusing him of acting in a partisan manner.

In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, the BJP delegation led by senior party leader L K Advani said the
Governor acted with 'pre-determined mind' in sending his report to the Centre recommending President's Rule in
Karnataka 'within minutes' after the trust vote in the state Assembly on Monday.

Home Minister P Chidambaram was also present when BJP leaders including Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and
Venkaiah Naidu met the Prime Minister.

'We have met both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister and submitted a detailed memorandum. Our meeting was only regarding the Karnataka Governor. The party has demanded that he should be recalled immediately,' Jaitley told a press conference after the meeting.

He alleged 'the Raj Bhavan in Bangaluru has been converted into an epicentre of horse trading in order to
destabilise the state government there'.

Jaitley said that the Governor was 'acting with pre-determined mind' and he made the recommendation for
President's Rule in the state 'literally within minutes'.

The BJP leader claimed that neither the action nor the language of the Governor was in consonance with the dignity of the Constitutional office.

Jaitley alleged that the Governor 'failed to politically detach himself from his past' and 'remaining
politically impartial is not in his nature'.

He said the Centre should now fulfil its responsibility and recall the Governor.

Jaitley said that though the first trust vote was 'conclusive', the party agreed for a second trust vote as suggested by the Governor because it wanted to 'avoid a constitutional confrontation'. PTI

What the Tenth Schedule of Constitution says

It is clearly mentioned in the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution how and when the anti defection law applies and what is the rights of the House speaker

You have a right to know what is what and all citizens are supposed to read the constitution.

Extracts from the Tenth Schedule.Have a look from the following link

JD-S and Congress threaten to boycott trust vote

13 October

Bangalore, Oct 13 (IANS) An upset Karnataka opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Wednesday threatened to boycott the state assembly's special session convened Thursday for another trial of strength for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

'We are planning to boycott the trust vote session as it is not only unprecedented but also unconstitutional on the part of the governor (H.R. Bhardwaj) to have called for it again when the case against the (16) disqualified legislators is pending in the high court,' an enraged Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

The Congress, which has 73 legislators in the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated, has convened its legislature party meeting later in the day to decide its strategy for the D-day.

'The view in the party is that the governor should postpone the session until the high court gives its judgment on the joint writ petition filed by the disqualified legislators to know their status in the assembly,' Siddaramaiah asserted.

'If he does not, we will have no choice but to keep away from such an unconstitutional exercise,' he added.

Sharing the anguish of the Congress over the governor's sudden decision to ask Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to move the confidence motion once again, JD-S state unit president and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said his party legislators also may not go for the trust vote.

'The governor has already termed the trust vote taken through voice Monday 'farce' and recommended president's rule, citing 'constitutional breakdown' in the state, as the proceedings were conducted against the rules amid chaotic scenes and confusion,' Kumaraswamy told reporters.

'How can he (governor) ask the chief minister to take the floor test again?,' a miffed Kumaraswamy asked.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP has issued a three-line whip to its 105 legislators to vote in favour of the motion for proving majority on the floor of the assembly.

An upbeat BJP has also lodged all its members at the Golden Palm resort on the outskirts of the city to prevent horse-trading or poaching of its legislators by the rival parties.

With the disqualification of the 16 rebel legislators, including 11 from the BJP and five Independents, the strength of the house is reduced to 208, with 105 as the halfway mark for proving majority.

since the high court declined to grant stay over the disqualification of the rebels, the strength of the combined opposition is 102 -- 73 of the Congress, 28 of the JD-S and one Independent.

A division bench of the high court, headed by Chief Justice K.S. Khehar and Justice N. Kumar Tuesday reserved judgment in the case of 11 BJP lawmakers and posted for further hearing the Independents' case to Oct 18.

Speaker K.G. Bopaiah disqualified the rebels in response to a petition by the BJP after they submitted a joint letter to the governor Oct 6, withdrawing support to the 29-month-old first BJP government in the southern state and expressing lack of faith in the leadership of Yeddyurappa.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why a change of government is not good for Karnataka

Any democratically elected government assumes office with a mandate for five years and any act to destabilise it is a crime against democracy. The time has come for the nation to bring in constitutional safeguards to ensure that governments are allowed to complete their five-year term.

It is not just about political equations; political instability will deal a severe blow to the development of any state. The way political conspiracies are being hatched and the style of functioning of governor HR Bhardwaj does not augur well for the state. The governor cannot dictate terms to the speaker about proceedings in the house.

Assuming that the BS Yeddyurappa government is brought down on October 11, I am not sure that the alternative government that could be formed by Congress and JD(S)would be any better.

Congressmen should introspect about their experience of Dharam Singh’s tenure when JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda had turned the chief minister into a puppet.

I feel it has not done so badly either. The failure of successive governments over the last 20 years in powering the industrial engine of the state has plunged the state literally into a ‘dark’ age.

The power crisis is acute. The Yeddyurappa government has drawn up a clear charter for augmenting the generation capacity to make Karnataka a power surplus state in five years.

The implementation of this plan that can power the second Industrial Revolution, providing employment for our youth and relieving human pressure on agriculture. For the first time, a comprehensive plan has been drawn up for the implementation of Nanjundappa Committee report for the eradication of regional imbalance.

A separate committee, headed by a cabinet rank leader, has been created for its implementation with special allocation of funds in the budget.

The initiative in the next five years proposes to raise the infrastructure standards along with health and education services in North Karnataka. The fall of the present BJP government will derail this comprehensive plan for the development of this backward region.

I have no objections if the government falls due to bickering, but using money bag politics by political rivals to bring down a democratically-elected government should end.

Modi's big day: BJP sweeps municipal elections

Press Trust of India, : October 12, 2010

Ahmedabad: Ruling BJP has swept the polls to six municipal corporations in Gujarat retaining power with two-thirds majority in all but one of them, in a big victory for Chief Minister Narendra Modi who put all his might behind the civic election campaign.

Besides Ahmedabad, the BJP won the civic polls in Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot and Bhavnagar with a two-thirds majority. The party, which decimated the Congress, got a simple majority in Jamnagar.

Savouring the win, Modi profusely thanked the people of Gujarat for reposing faith in the party.

He said BJP bagged 80 per cent of the votes in almost all the places with the remaining being accounted for all the other parties and Independents put together.

The poll victories came just a few weeks after the BJP won Kachlal in Anand district in a bye-election, bagging the assembly constituency - a Congress bastion - for the first time in the history of the state.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani congratulated Modi for the spectacular showing for the party and noted that the Congress has been wiped out.

On-line voting was introduced for the first time in the civic polls.

Over 2,100 candidates were in fray for more than 558 seats for elections in six municipal corporations in Gujarat.

Ruling BJP as well as Opposition Congress had campaigned extensively and had also roped in national leaders for the polls.

The BJP had won all the six municipal corporations in the last elections held in 2005

It had made the arrest of Amit Shah, close aide of Modi, by CBI in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, as one of the main issues, as all its national leaders alleged that the arrest amounted to misuse of CBI by the Congress and asked people to give its mandate through the ballot papers.

During the campaign, Modi also took a swipe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the tardy pace of preparations for the ongoing Commonwealth games in Delhi.

Congress on the other hand had focussed more on local issues saying that the corporation polls were about civic amenities and highlighted assistance given to the state under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission for development of infrastructure in cities.

In Ahmedabad, the BJP has so far won 129 of the 156 seats declared with results for remaining 33 seats yet to be announced.

The saffron party notched 95 of the 114 seats in Surat while it bagged 61 of the 75 in Vadodara.

The Rajkot Municipal Corporation where BJP won 58 seats in the 69-member house was the only civic body where it could not get a two-third majority.

The Congress bagged the remaining 11 seats and improved its tally by one from 10 it had won in the 2005 elections. Among the winners were Mayor Sandhyaben Vyas of BJP.

Modi had campaigned extensively in Rajkot addressing three public rallies in the last week of campaigning.

Accepting defeat, local Congress leaders said they had expected a good show in the RMC polls by the party as it had wrested the Rajkot Lok Sabha seat from the BJP after many years during the 2008 parliamentary polls.

BJP retained its two-third majority in the Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (BMC), bagging 41 out of the 51 seats with Congress winning the rest.

BJP, which had won 39 seats in the 2005 BMC elections, improved its tally by two, while the Congress saw its seat strength reduce from 12 to 10.

The ruling party had emerged as a clear favourite in Bhavnagar due to infighting and absence of strong local leaders in the Congress.

Elections to the BMC were held two months earlier than scheduled, as the BJP decided to go for the polls along with the other five other municipal corporations in the state on October 10.

BJP retained a clear majority in the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) pocketing 35 seats out of 57.

Opposition Congress won 16 seats, while Independents (3), NCP(1), BSP (1), and SP (1) bagged the remaining seats.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Will expose money power used in luring MLAs

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has said that a comprehensive inquiry will be done to expose the money power used in luring the MLAs.

Hitting out the opposition JDS and Congress for attempts to destabilise his government, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Monday said that a comprehensive inquiry would be conducted to expose the “money power” used to lure MLAs.

Alleging that Rs 20 crore to Rs 25 crore was paid to dissident MLAs, Yeddyurppa said he would order a comprehensive inquiry to expose this. “I will not spare them easily. I know from which source the money has come and how much money was distributed by each”, he charged.

The Chief Minister was addressing a press conference after he won the trust—vote by voice—vote.

Despite winning the confidence motion, many ministers seem anxious about the fate of the Government and what action the Governor H R Bhardwaj may recommend.

The Chief Minister also saw a conspiracy by what he called “affluent class” to topple the government and said this would also be “exposed”. Yeddyurappa, however, did not elaborate.

Mr. Yeddyurappa accused the opposition of resorting to unruly behaviour to destabilise his government after realising that they don’t have majority and that they can’t come to power.

He charged the Congress and the JDS with trying to "uproot democracy” by seeking to topple a democratically elected government and termed their behaviour in the House as “shameful”.

Quattrocchi's son in Bangalore adding more in Drama

Adding more drama, the BJP has alleged that the son of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi has got into the act to destabilise its Government in Karnataka.

“It has come to our notice that Quattrocchi's son has come to Bangalore and held discussions with Deve Gowda in a hotel last night and is giving a push to the operation (of toppling the Government),” BJP MP DV Sadananda Gowda said.

“Intelligence department already has been information in this regard. We have taken it seriously and are looking at it in depth,” he added.

Quattrocchi's son, 33-year-old corporate honcho Massimo, runs business in India and also has presence in Bangalore. According to the membership records of the Italian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Massimo owns a company called CI Partners in Milan, which provides consultancy services to MNCs to help them establish commercial presence in different countries. The records state that CI Partners has in-depth knowledge of international markets, especially India, and that it has an office in Bangalore.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BJP government wins trust vote in Karnataka

Karnataka BJP wins trust vote

Bangalore, Oct 11: The latest crisis of the Karnataka government has finally come to an end with the Bharatiya Janataka Party (BJP) government of Karnataka on Monday, Oct 11 winning the trust vote with support of 106 members.

With the speaker K G Bopaiah disqualifying 16 rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law hours ahead of the trust vote, the advantage went to BS Yeddyurappa government.

After days of high drama with culminated in a huge ruckus outside the assembly as disqualified MLAs barged into the Assembly alleging that the speaker is biased, the 224-members-strong assembly is now left with 208 members and BS Yeddyurappa has retained the power.

The numbers now favour the BJP and it could scrape thorough in the floor test.

October 11, 2010

Ahead of floor test, Karnataka Speaker disqualifies rebel MLAs

Bangalore: Karnataka Assembly Speaker KG Bopaiah has disqualified 11 BJP dissident MLAs and five independents, hours before the BS Yeddyurappa government faces floor test in the House.

In his order, Bopaiah said these 16 MLAs have been disqualified under the provision of the anti-defection law as envisaged in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

With this disqualification, the numbers now favour the BJP and it could scrape thorough in the floor test.

Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa would be moving the motion of trust vote in the Assembly which starts at 1000hrs.

CWG wrestling: Sushil wins gold, India end campaign on a high

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) Amid electrifying atmosphere at the K.D. Jadhav wrestling stadium, Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Sushil Kumar brought a spectacular end to India's campaign in wrestling by winning the 66 kg freestyle gold here Sunday. India finished with 10 gold, five silver and three bronze.

Sushil gave a power-packed performance as he outclassed South African Heinrich Barnes, 7-0. As the bout ended, the overflowing stands broke into an impromptu jig to the tune of 'yeh desh hai veer jawano ka'. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Commonwealth Games organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi were among the spectators cheering the Indian wrestlers.

Apart from Sushil's gold, there was some disappointment on the final day of wrestling as Indians lost two other finals -- Anuj Kumar (84kg) and Joginder Kumar (120kg) -- and had to be content with silver. Anil Kumar got bronze in the 55kg event.

'I feel very happy winning the gold for India. I had put in a lot of hard work and by God's grace I have won today. Now my next aim is to win gold in the upcoming Asian Games,' Sushil told reporters.

'It was a tough match. The main challenge was to get hold of my opponent as he was very quick.'

Canada's Chris Prickett, who overcame Pakistan's Muhammad Salman 8-4, won the bronze.

In 84kg category, Anuj lost to Pakistan's Mohammad Inam 4-3 amid high drama as the fight went all along the wire.

'I do not know why I have lost today. I can only say that I could not fight properly. In the Manchester Games also, my opponent got a clinch and I had to be content with silver and this time again my opponent got the clinch. But I have to move on and now my aim is win the gold at the Asian Games,' said a visibly dejected Anuj.

'We had done a lot of hard work and I beat the Nigerian wrestler, who was the best wrestler, in the semi-final. So there is no question of lack of preparation. Unfortunately I could not execute my strategy in the final. Too much of sweating was also a hindrance for me.'

Nigerian Andrew Adibo Dick, who thrashed South African Gerald Waldema Meyer 3-1, won the bronze.

Joginder Kumar, who was also in the race of gold medal in the 120kg category, was defeated by Indian-origin Canadian Arjan Singh Bhullar 4-0.

Cameroon's Hugues Their Onanena, who defeated Australian grappler Denis Roberts 4-3, got the bronze.

Anil Kumar won the bronze in the freestyle 55kg, defeating Wales' Craig Pilling 3-0 in just 33 seconds in the first bout itself.

Pakistan's Azhar Hussain, who defeated Nigeria's Ebikewenimo Welson in the finals 9-5, won the gold.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 5: India firm in second spot with 20 golds so far

October 08, 2010 2

New Delhi: Hosts India have now claimed 20 gold medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and fans all across are egging the sportsmen and women to win more of the 'yellow metal' and do the country proud.

With an entire batch of boxers yet to go after a perfect start in the competitions, India are certain to surpass the tally of 22 golds in the last edition of the Games in Melbourne.

In fact the countdown has now started for them to beat their Commonwealth Games record of 30 Golds, which they had set in Manchester eight years ago.

The shooters gave the country a great start today as Gagan Narang and Hasan Imran Khan won the gold in the men's pairs 50m rifle 3 positions shooting event. This was Gagan's third gold in the Games.

Another shooter Vijay Kumar did the country proud by winning Gold Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event. Incidentally his score was higher than the wining score in the same event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The women's recurve archery team comprising of the troika of Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee and Bombayala Devi Laishram continued India's gold rush by beating English team who were favourites to clinch the top honours.

Women's freestyle wrestling gave the hosts double delight as Alka Tomar (59 kg) and Anita (67 kg) won gold in their respective categories to boost India's chances of finishing second in the table for the fourth consecutive day.

Omkar Singh won a gold medal late in the day in 10m Air Pistol to take India's tally to 20 golds.

The hosts though need to keep excelling in all disciplines if they want to stay ahead of England and Canada who have been traditionally finishing behind the dominant Australian contingent.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NII researchers develop once-in-3-month insulin to treat diabetes

Indian scientists at the Delhi-based National Institute of Immunology have developed a new technology that could produce once in 3-month insulin injection for diabetic patients.

Currently, insulin is injected multiple times a day to control blood sugar in diabetes patients.

The new insulin formulation follows a simple technique in the hormone is clumped together into complexes called oligomers.

These oligomers are then injected into rats, mice, and rabbits with chemically induced diabetes. A single injection maintained basal glucose levels for up to 3 months, whereas other diabetic mice needed daily injections.The diseased mice mice not given insulin died within 40 days.

The NII researchers tested the oligomer insulin on mice and rabbits using bovine and recombinant human insulin. A single dose using bovine insulin was able to give coverage for over 120 days while that with recombinant human insulin sustained over 140 days.

The oligomers act like “an insulin depot” at the injection site, releasing a steady, low insulin dose, according to Dr Avadhesha Surolia, director of the National Institute of Immunology here, who led the research team.

“The just above basal level of human insulin released in a sustained manner has been found to be effective in not only controlling the upsurge in the level of blood glucose after meals, but also in preventing the dreaded early morning hypoglycaemia, which is caused by low glucose levels,” stated Dr Surolia.

The oligomer technique primarily involves getting individual molecules of insulin to come together and form multi-molecular or supra-molecular assemblies.

Oligomer insulin utilizes the basic principles of protein folding to harness the inherent aggregative property of insulin molecules to generate a form that exhibited a controlled and sustained release of the molecules over prolonged periods, explained Dr. Surolia, who is also a professor at the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science’s Molecular Biophysics Unit.

Since oligomers do not lead to the activation of enzymes that destroy insulin, it does not cause cancer which many currently available insulin analogues are associated with.

The researchers observed no side effects in the animal studies.

NII has transferred the technology to Life Science Pharmaceuticals in Darien, Connecticut for further development including clinical trials. The US firm plans to launch clinical trials to test the oligomr insulin later this year.

If it comes out successfully through all clinical testing, the oligomer based insulin could be available in the market in about six years after, Dr Surolia hoped.

A major issue with diabetes management with the current practice of multiple injections in a day was the fear of pricking oneself. This often lead to the patient not adhering to the treatment in toto, resulting in complications such as diabetic cardiopathy, cataract and nephropathy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

India hits Bull's eye, wins 2 golds at CWG

Oct 05, 2010

The Commonwealth Games have started and how! Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang gave India its first gold in the 19th Commonwealth Games by winning the 10m Air Rifle pairs. The pair scored 1193 to break their previous record of 1189 set four years ago in Melbourne.

The second gold followed soon after. Anisa Sayeed & Rahi Sarnobat bagged the women's 25m Pistol title after defeating Australia

Abhinav Bindra (Shooting, 10 metre air rifle) had ended India's quest for the country's first individual Olympic gold medal in Beijing 2008. Bindra has not competed in many events since but fans were expecting him to hit the bull's eye again. He is also one of the Games brand ambassadors.

Indian shooters win 2 gold medals in CWG

05 Oct 2010

Indian shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gangan Narang fired in unison and shot a Games record 1193 in men's 10m air rifle event to give the country its first gold medal in the 19th Commonwealth Games here today. Anisa Syyed and Rahi Sarnobat also won second Gold for India in 25m standard pistol pairs event

Abhinav Bindra and Gangan Narang pair together scored 1193 to break their own record, which they had set four years ago in Melbourne, by notching up 1189. World record holder Gagan, coming off a none-too-impressive season, shot a spectecular sequence of 99, 100, 100, 99, 100, 100 to total a grand 598, while Beijing Olympic gold medalist, Bindra's series read 100, 98 ,99, 100, 99, 99 for a total of 595 in the first shooting event of the Games.

England's James Huckle and Kenny Parr (1174) won the silver medal while Bangladesh's Abdullah Hel Baki and Md. Asif Hussain Khan
(1173) had to be content with bronze. Both teams, however, were far behind the Indian dup of Bindra and Gagan.

'Many thought I am a dictator, since I had imposed a gag order on the shooters prior to the Games. But whatever I was doing, I was
doing for the country. And we have got the reward for that,' said national coach Sunny Thomas.

Thomas, however, cautioned that, instead of basking in glory, it would be wise to focus on the coming events. 'This was easy but I am sure the coming events are going to be difficult. I am happy that both Gagan and Abhinav shot well today. It's certainly a good start for India and we hope to maintain the momentum,' Thomas said. PTI

Obama Visit India on the eve of Diwali

October 6, 2010

Washington, Oct 6: The American President, Barack Obama will be visiting India on Diwali night, Nov 5, flying most likely into Mumbai first, the White House sources said.

Ready for Obama ?

Over the last two weeks Washington has witnessed a virtual procession of Indian ministers and senior officials, all of them anxious to clinch as many outstanding issues as possible in order to make US President Barack Obama’s first visit to India in the second week of November a big success. Talks between them and their opposite numbers have been “comprehensive and cordial”, and there is conspicuous optimism on this score. However, there is yet no certainty about how far the things would go.

India’s commerce minister Anand Sharma was the first to arrive. Having protested against the manifestly unfair and even discriminatory restrictions the United States has imposed on outsourcing of IT business, he made his point to his hosts rather politely. Foreign minister S.M. Krishna was next. Though he came primarily to receive a prestigious international award on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York, he was the only one to have met Mr Obama on the fringes of the UN General Assembly session. Defence minister A.K. Antony’s arrival created much excitement because huge defence deals are under discussion and the American side is keen on announcing them during the presidential visit. Close on his heels came national security adviser Shivshankar Menon and in the course of two days saw US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, defence secretary Robert Gates, his own opposite number, General James Jones, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, an array of senior defence and security officials and no fewer than eight senators, including Senator John Kerry and Senator John McCain. India’s finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, unquestionably the most important Cabinet minister, would be in Washington today.

Mr Menon also found time to address a meeting of opinion makers at one of the major thinktanks, the Carnegie Endowment. In his speech he expressed satisfaction with the state of the bilateral relationship, describing it “better than ever before”, but summing up the situation thus: “Ours is a partnership that has come a long way in a short time, but it still has enormous potential”. In his view, the time to tap that potential and for both countries to become “ambitious” about their relationship was “now”, that is to say before the Obama visit.

Against this backdrop, let me focus on the preparatory work for the Obama visit now in progress. The first point to remember is that while the members of the US President’s Cabinet and officials concerned are busy in brisk discussions, the President’s own mind is on something else. He and his Democratic Party are in the throes of a very hard mid-term election to the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate, and so great is the economic discontent in the US today, that the Democrats might lose control of at least one of the two houses of Congress, if not both. No wonder then that Mr Obama is concentrating on hot-paced electioneering in a vigorous attempt to mobilise his young followers that seem to have got disillusioned.

As it happens, the US President is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi for a three-day stay on November 7, barely a week after the crucial mid-term Congressional poll. In June last — at the time of Indo-US strategic talks at the level of foreign ministers — Mr Obama had gone out of his way to declare that during his visit to India he would “make history”. How far he can live up to that promise is a moot point but, according to American sources, the desire is there. Indian sources are also hopeful.

While high-level discussions on some important issues are still on, some matters are apparently settled. One of these is the purchase of 10 C-17 transport aircraft by India, a deal of great significance to the US because it would keep the production line going and thus save a minimum of 20,000 jobs at a time when unemployment is America’s biggest problem. Another similar military deal may also be concluded soon. In addition, India has already bought $4 billion worth of defence equipment and material and orders worth the same amount are in the works. All these deals are under the US Foreign Military Sales rubric, which means government-to-government transactions. The US is very keen also on the sale of more than 100 F-18 advance fighter aircraft but it is a competitive deal for which there are global tenders and several competing offers. Whether a decision on it can be taken before the visit is difficult to say. Moreover, there is no American answer yet to Mr Antony’s complaint, voiced during his visit as well as afterwards that America’s supplies of sophisticated military equipment to Pakistan that has nothing to with fighting terrorism is causing difficulties for India.

The Indo-US nuclear deal, entirely a handiwork of former President, George W. Bush, is the epitome of the transformed India-America relationship. Despite his earlier opposition to it, Mr Obama has carried it forward. It is indeed in its final stages of implementation though India’s Nuclear Liability law has become a sticking point for the US. The Indian side has told it that the two governments should complete their respective obligations after which private companies can enter into necessary negotiations.

Transfer of high technology, including defence technology, to India seems to be a more difficult issue in Washington than it had appeared to me in Delhi. Whatever the inclination of the White House, there is much resistance within the American bureaucracy. The outlook is much brighter on “creative and innovative” cooperation in such fields as agriculture, science, technology, education and healthcare.

Overriding all this is the wider and crucial matter of defining the exact content and meaning of the strategic relationship between the world’s largest and most powerful democracies. During the last 20 months, Dr Singh and Mr Obama have met six times. But almost every summit ends up in what may be called “give and take”. What is needed is a wider, principled and long-term strategic partnership based not just on congruence of interests but also on shared values. What Mr Obama would say on this subject will be the key to the future.

Yes we trained militant groups against India, admits Musharraf

05 Oct 2010

Washington: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has admitted that Pakistan had trained underground militant groups to fight in Kashmir, the first such admission by a top leader of the country.

Musharraf's candid remarks came days after he announced his return to active politics from London where he has been living in self-imposed exile.

'They (underground militant groups to fight against India in Kashmir) were indeed formed,' Musharraf told German magazine Der Spiegel in an interview.

Asked why did Pakistan train militant underground groups to fight India in Kashmir, the former President said Nawaz Sharif's apathy to the Kashmir issue was one of the reasons, so was the fact that the world had turned a blind eye to the dispute.

'Yes, it is the right of any country to promote its own interests... When India is not prepared to discuss Kashmir at the United Nations and is not prepared to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner,' Musharraf claimed.

'The (Nawaz Sharif) government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir,' he said.

Musharraf indicated he had no regrets for the Kargil intrusion, that led to an armed conflict with India in 1999, and argued that each country had a right to promote its national interest. Musharraf slammed the international community, particularly the West, for persistently ignoring the Kashmir issue, and for singling out Pakistan for all blames.

'The West was ignoring the resolution of the Kashmir issue, which is the core issue of Pakistan. We expected the West -- especially the United States and important countries like Germany -- to resolve the Kashmir issue. Has Germany done that?' the former Pakistan military ruler asked.

Musharraf launched his political party the All Pakistan Muslim League in London and announced his intention to contest the 2013 election.'The West blames Pakistan for everything. Nobody asks the Indian prime minister, why did you arm your country with a nuclear weapon?

Why are you killing innocent civilians in Kashmir? Nobody was bothered that Pakistan got split in 1971 because of India's military backing for Bangladesh. The United States and Germany gave statements, but they didn't mean anything,' he said.

Musharraf, who overthrew Sharif's government in a bloodless coup in 1999, had also as Army chief presided over the Kargil misadventure that had threatened to scale up into a full-fledged war between India and Pakistan.

Musharraf charged the international community of courting India for strategic deals, while treating Pakistan as a rogue state.

'Everybody is interested in strategic deals with India, but Pakistan is always seen as the rogue,' Musharraf said.

The former Pakistan ruler also said the worst blunder of the US would be to quit in Afghanistan without winning.

'Then militancy will prevail not only in Pakistan, India and Kashmir, but perhaps also in Europe, the United Kingdom and in the United States. That's my belief,' he said. PTI

Monday, October 4, 2010

World media dazzled by CWG opening ceremony

Press Trust of India
October 04, 2010

New Delhi: "India has arrived" -- this summed up the international media comments on the dazzling opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on Sunday.

Newspapers in two major Commonwealth countries, Australia and Great Britain, used terms like 'An ancient land opens its heart to the world', 'India opens doors to the world at opening ceremony' and 'India sweeps aside Games shame' to describe the two-hour cultural extravaganza that unfolded at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium last night.

People across Britain watched the ceremony live on BBC and were all praise for it with NRI Industrialist Lord Swraj Paul summing up the public reaction by stating, "India has done itself proud. It was a great show."

The Guardian newspaper said it was a moment of national pride for India, which had drawn flak for the troubled build-up to the Games.

"'India has arrived': spectacular ceremony opens Commonwealth Games," read the newspaper's headline.

"Concerns of recent weeks forgotten as dazzling event launches games amid atmosphere of national pride and celebrations," it said.

"At exactly two minutes past seven tonight, a huge inflatable blimp rose slowly and smoothly into the hot air above Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to the sound of hundreds of traditional drums, pipes and conch shells, and the cheers of 65,000 people.

"This was the moment that 1.2 billion people there are few in India who were still unaware of the event had been waiting for," it added.

The Daily Telegraph marvelled at how smoothly the ceremony was conducted after all the organisational goof-ups that marred its run-up.

"No collapsing scenery or malfunctioning sound system. No fluffed lines, botched choreography or missed cues and not a single stray dog in sight. The preparations for the XIXth Commonwealth Games may have been an unmitigated disaster but India certainly knows how to put on a show," it said.

"A dazzling, colourful, high-octane opening ceremony that was part Bollywood, part cultural extravaganza, did much to dispel the nightmares of the past fortnight, thrilling a sell-out crowd in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium as well as the athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth nations.

"It even managed to start on time, to the very second, proving there are some deadlines that Games organisers are capable of meeting," the newspaper said taking a dig at the missed venue-completion deadlines that threatened to derail the Games at one stage.

The Daily Mail was also effusive in its praise of the ceremony which showcased the centuries-old Indian culture to a packed crowd.

Friday, October 1, 2010

FII buying earns 2447 pts for Sensex in 5 weeks

Oct 01, 2010

Indian equity benchmarks rallied for fifth consecutive week on back of consistent inflow of funds from foreign institutional investors (FIIs). The Nifty added 734.7 points (13.58%) and the Sensex 2446.63 points (13.59%) during the same period.

The upsurge in the Indian markets has created vigour among investors abroad. This, Naresh Kothari, Edelweiss Capital says continues. “The mood is quite upbeat on India and we feel the strong FII flows to India will continue. Most FIIs seem to be very bullish on India any which way, especially the long-only funds, those are the people who have been bringing in a lot of capital.”

FIIs were net buyers to the tune of more than Rs 27,500 crore since September 6, 2010, including Thursday's provisional data. On the other side, domestic institutional investors were the net sellers of more than Rs 11,500 crore since the same period.

Today the Nifty closed above another psychologically important level - 6100 led by buying across the sectors on first day of October series; even it touched 6150 in an intraday trade.

The upbeat mood was also led by Ayodhya verdict. The three-judge special Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court ruled by majority that the disputed land in Ayodhya be divided into three parts and be distributed among the Sunni Wafk Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the party for 'Ram Lalla'.

On Friday, the 30-share BSE Sensex closed at 20445.04, up 375.92 points or 1.87% and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 113.45 points or 1.88% to settle at 6143.40. The Nifty October futures ended at 32.6 points premium.

Amongst sectoral indices, the BSE Realty and Metal indices outperformed other indices - rallied 4% each. Capital Goods, IT, Auto and Power indices gained 2-2.7%. TECk, Healthcare, Bank and Oil & Gas indices were up 1.5-1.9%. Even the broader indices like BSE Midcap and Smallcap rose 1.5%. On the flip side, Hero Honda, Bharti and Reliance Communications were the only losers.

However, the experts looked cautious at these levels. Rahul Mohindar of said the Nifty would pause a bit before making high of 6420-6450 levels. "If the markets can go and sustain close past 6,150 that would mean 6,420-6,450 in terms of a target gets set. But probably I think we are in for a pause because somewhere in these next 15-20 points on the Nifty, we would consolidate, take breathers down to about 5,950-6,000."

Dipan Mehta, Member BSE/NSE also looked bullish but sees correction. "Key resistance levels in the global markets have been breached and they too are trading in good positive territory. I think on the whole the factors continue to remain positive but correction could take place any time point of time, it could be swift and could be about 5 to 7% or thereabouts," he said.

Good auto sales numbers for the month of September also added confidence in today's rally. Mehta said, "At some point of time the base effect will catch up and growth rates will come down to low double digit. I do not think that is a cause for worry but on the whole the operating environment for the industry remains very favorable, volumes are picking up, cost are more or less under control and getting full benefit of operating leverages. Some of the companies expansion plans will come on stream over the next 6 to 12 months, export markets are also picking up. So this is a fantastic scenario for auto companies and from an investor point of view one should keep in mind that valuations are not out of whack they are quite reasonable whether it is a two wheeler space or the four wheeler space."

Reports Moneycontrol