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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Narendra Modi–the idea whose time has come!

How ironical it is, that the touted dream team of Indian economy - Dr Manmohan Singh, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and P Chidambaram will leave a legacy of terrible growth deceleration, persistently high inflation, rising unemployment, and a depreciating currency after 10 years in office. But the "lost decade" under UPA is not just an economic disaster. This total economic collapse is only a natural consequence of appalling lack of leadership, absolute breakdown of authority, directionless decision making, zero accountability, and complete disregard for integrity and ethics. Ten years ago, an India that was racing towards a global superpower status, and striving to reclaim its position in the league of world nations, has been plunged into an abyss of hopelessness and despair.
The confidence, enthusiasm and vigor that were the catalysts of India's resurgence seem to have suddenly evaporated. And in this scene, the man emerges. History bears witness that time and again effective leaders, who can mobilize people, tackle tough problems and spot opportunities in crises emerge in times of great stress, change and uncertainty. In India too, a fierce wild wind that is blowing from the western state of Gujarat has already rustled many dead feathers in Delhi; the name is Narendra Modi. The man's emergence on national horizon is not an overnight phenomenon. It is a result of a life lived completely in the service of the motherland, years of devoted work at grassroots level, and a decade of governance with administrative acumen and effective leadership. Progress and Performance Unlike the Congress and most regional parties where leadership is hereditary and an election ticket is taken as a birthright, Modi's claim to fame is only one factor - performance. Even in this atmosphere of gloom, Gujarat under his stewardship stands out as a beacon of hope.
As the reputed global news magazine the Economist puts it - "So many things work properly in Gujarat that it hardly seems like India." With 5% of India's population, Gujarat today accounts for 16% of country's industrial output and 22% of exports. The state has consistently maintained a double digit GDP growth over the past decade, with agriculture growing at 10% consistently even as India struggled to achieve a low bar of 3%. As a result of sustained efforts undertaken by Modi and his team, Gujarat today has minimal labor issues, state-of-the-art infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply and supportive bureaucracy. The state known for traders only a few years back has made rapid strides in agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors.
The average citizen so awfully let down by the current national leadership is naturally looking at Modi to steer India out of the current crisis, and his stellar track record obviously puts him ahead of others in the race. Clean Image When corruption seems to be the order of the day, Modi's personal integrity and honesty stands out. Modi, his personality, his style of functioning and his growth model have been subject to unprecedented scrutiny and analysis in the past few years. Any strong leader will have his share of adversaries in politics and media, and frankly speaking, Modi has more than his fair share of them. But even Modi's most stringent critics and political opponents will admit that the man does not a have single blot of corruption or scandal to his name.
Check this out - in the recent Wikileaks controversy over leaking of US diplomatic cables, every politician whose name figured in the cables stood exposed and tarnished. Modi's name was mentioned about 100 times in the cable, but he was the only politician, not just in India, but across the world whose name but did not contain a single negative reference.
When politics India has become synonymous with dynasty and nepotism, how pleasantly surprising it is to know that the family of the chief minister of one the richest states in the country lives in a modest 2 bedroom apartment, away from the glamour and clout that they could have so easily commanded! Economic Acumen There goes a saying in India - good politics is not good economics, and good economics is not good politics.
This is because when the focus of a political party is so jaundiced on winning the next election by hook or by crook, it leaves very little scope for pursuing an economic policy that take years to show results and bear fruits. Our economic disaster can partly be traced to the lack of political willingness to take tough, visionary decisions. The UPA in past has resorted to disastrous schemes like farm loan waiver and NREGA with dire consequences to the economy. Their new initiatives like direct cash transfer and food security bills are steps in the same direction, taken only with a view on the coming general elections. Who cares about fiscal discipline? This is even after all policymakers have acknowledged that without proper infrastructure for implementation, such schemes result in huge leakages and losses to public exchequer without bringing any tangible benefits to the lives of intended beneficiaries.
A politician's true test will lie in being able to take difficult, enduring decisions even if it requires risking short term political gains. Modi has demonstrated this in Gujarat time and again. In his tenure right from 2001, he has desisted from taking populist decisions or giving freebies. When he faced considerable opposition in the last state elections in 2012, he could have easily added a few more seats to his tally by announcing some freebies and subsidies here and there, but he resisted taking that path. Instead, Modi has always focused on generating investment which eventually leads to more growth, employment and better standard of living in the long run. It takes tremendous discipline and confidence in oneself to do this, especially when short term rewards are so attractive. No other politician in India except Modi had courage to oppose the proposed Food Security Bill, for the risk of losing some vote share. Mass Appeal Critics have been continuously accusing him of being a polarizing figure who would not be able to take everybody along with him. Modi's recent rally in Hyderabad proved how horribly wrong and biased they really are. Congress's opportunistic politics in dealing with the Telangana agitation has led to a very distressing scenario of escalating tensions between the two newly formed regions of Telangana and Seemandhra. Almost everybody in the state has taken an extreme position on this issue. Tensions have reached to such an alarming level that no politician can even take the name of Seemandhra in Telangana. Modi struck a poignant note, appealing to our Andhra brothers to stop hostility amongst themselves and move shoulder to shoulder on the path of development. In an act of sublime statesmanship, he made the entire crowd hail both Telangana and Seemandhra right in the heart of Hyderabad. It would have required incredible political courage and conviction to pull off something like this. Path of Development But Modi's single biggest achievement has been to aggressively steer the national discourse from vote bank politics to development politics. One of the biggest drawbacks of Indian democracy is that electoral outcome is still based on caste/religious blocks voting en masse in favor or against a particular candidate. This remains the primary factor above all everything else, and the candidate's track record, integrity and other real issues get overshadowed. Modi has sounded a death knell to politics based on such narrow identity considerations. In the past ten years, he has never tried to polarize the electorate through caste-based references or policies. Elections in Gujarat have been fought purely on the basis of what the government has done in past 5 years and how that has affected the lives of people. In the process, he has offered himself, his government and his policies for unparalleled examination, criticism and debate. Every possible social/development indicator has been brought out and analyzed threadbare. If previous central and state governments had been subjected to even a fraction of assessment and scrutiny by the yardsticks that have been applied to Gujarat, India's situation today would have been radically different. Patriot who embodies strength When India is facing serious security threats at the borders and within its borders, it desperately needs a leader who can take strong decisions and put narrow political interests aside. It needs somebody who has a firm and realistic view of what is happening on the ground, which can provide a powerful political backing to its defence forces, which can inspire the spirit within the masses. Modi seems to perfectly fit the bill in this regard. Need of the hour He has been most articulate on a range of issues including national security, foreign policy, reducing the size of government, promoting enterprise and empowerment, necessity of electoral reforms, changing India's archaic labor and business laws, etc. What sets him apart completely from the others is that he provides two things which we desperately need today - vision and hope. Narendra Modi's rise is the story of an underprivileged boy from a village in Gujarat rising in the hearts and minds of people by sheer hard work and determination. It is absolutely reprehensible on the part of Congress and their cabal of cultivated journalists to ridicule his background by calling him names like chaiwalla, tea stall worker, etc.
It is a matter of great pride and inspiration that somebody with even such humble beginnings rose up as a source of inspiration for millions of aspiring and restless youth of the country. Their comical yuvraaj is still roaming the villages of India with a camera crew ostensibly trying to understand India. At the age of 43, he is still struggling to figure out what India's problems actually are!! Modi has been a victim of the biggest witch hunt by political opposition, biased media, NGOs with vested interests, and so called pseudo-intellectuals.
Anyone would have broken down and given up in the face of such a vicious, personalized and sustained campaign. Modi has been able to come out of it much stronger and determined purely on the strength of his character and convictions. The arc of politics is now bending, and Indians are now looking at him as an answer to towering challenges the country is facing.
Numerous nationwide surveys done by independent agencies all have one conclusion in common - that Narendra Modi is far ahead in terms of popularity and groundswell of support across the country, and any of his competitors come only a distant second. The now inevitable ascendance of Modi on the national centre stage is not merely the ascendance of an individual. To quote Victor Hugo, for India, Modi is an idea whose time has come. And when he comes, he will truly be a merchant of death - merchant of death to terrorism, merchant of death to vote banks and nepotism, merchant of death to political and bureaucratic inefficiency, merchant of death to darkness and despair!!
Article credits Oneindia - [The author is an MBA from IIT Powai. He has an experience of five years in research and analysis in BFSI sector. He can reached at]

Centre only worried about saving its chair, not rupee, says Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad/New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today attacked the government for the free fall of rupee against the US dollar, attacking the Centre for "saving its chair" and not the economy. "The country is disappointed today because the government is neither concerned about the economy nor the falling rupee. It is only worried about saving its chair," Mr Modi said. The rupee continued its slide and slumped to a record low today, breaching the 64-mark against dollar. "We never thought such a huge economic mess would be created. It's a grave concern and reflects lack of confidence in the leadership," Mr Modi, the BJP's presumptive prime ministerial candidate for 2014 said. The domestic currency had yesterday recorded the decade's worst single-day fall of 148 paise to close at record low of 63.13 against the dollar in the previous session. "The rupee has fallen rapidly in the past three months. But the government has not taken any steps to strengthen the rupee against the US dollar. If the rupee keeps falling like this, other countries will start taking advantage of India," the Gujarat Chief Minister said. Terming the leadership as direction less, Mr Modi said, "The country might have never imagined that it would face such an economic crisis. But when leadership during such a crisis is direction less, then hopelessness increases. The Centre has not taken any step to instil confidence among people." A spate of measures by the Reserve Bank of India and government has failed to halt the slide of the rupee, with liquidity tightening measures aimed at making it harder to short the currency pushing up borrowing rates and battering corporate and investor sentiment. "I have been hearing for last five years that inflation would come down, but it has not happened. They have failed," said a combatant Mr Modi. "Manmohan Singh only has bookish knowledge of the economy. He does not know about the ground reality," said the BJP's Kirti Azad. Leaders from other political parties too slammed the government and the Prime Minister for their failure to curb the weakening of the currency. News Credits: NDTV

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Narendra Modi can be a better PM than Rahul Gandhi: Sadhu Yadav

New Delhi, Aug 17: A day after meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar Congress leader and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's brother-in-law, Sadhu Yadav chose Modi as a better Prime Minister candidate than Rahul Gandhi.
Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav, who met Modi at CM office in Gandhinagar yesterday, said that India would be safer in the hands of Narendra Modi rather than that of Rahul Gandhi.
Modi is PM material: Sadhu Yadav "For me, the country is big and I think about the country. And the country is looking forward to Narendra Modi. Whatever Narendra Modi says, he says about the country. So, I am seeing that the country will be safe in his hands," Yadav told a news agency.
"Had Rahul Gandhi been effective, he would have talked about the country at large. He does not talk about the country. Narendra Modi is talking and thinking about the country. So, we are talking about Narendra Modi," he added.

Yesterday, after meeting Modi ,Yadav, who was accompanied by another Bihar Congress leader Dasai Chaudhary, lauded Modi and said the people of the country want to see the BJP's poll panel chief as the Prime Minister. "It doesn't matter whether the Congress wants or not, the people of the country want him," he had said.
"If you compare Modi with Rahul Gandhi, I think Modiji is much better because he will come to your help immediately when you ask whereas you have to wait for three years for the appointment of Rahul Gandhi,
"he further said. On being asked about possible action from party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Yadav 'defiantly' replied,
"Who is afraid of Sonia Gandhi? Is Sonia Gandhi running this country?
This country is being run by Manmohan Singh and tell me how many people know that Manmohan Singh is our Prime Minister. Whereas every child in our country knows Narendra Modi."

"I am not at all afraid of disciplinary action from Congress Party. Let them take action against me at their own peril. If party takes action against me then do you think I will sit idly with my hands tied?," he retorted. However, Yadav ruled out that there was any hidden agenda behind his meeting the Gujarat Chief Minister. "Is Narendra Modi an untouchable? Is he not an Indian citizen? There was no agenda in it. I met him because I was in the city," he said. Yadav, a former Rajya Sabha MP, had quit the RJD after being denied an election ticket in 2009 and then joined the Congress. "There is no question of taking him into BJP. Anybody can meet any person as there is no bar in this. Neither Sadhu Yadav expressed any desire to join BJP nor the party gave him any offer so from where does this question of Yadav joining BJP comes?", former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said today.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Narendra Modi, not Manmohan Singh, gave us hope'

India If India needed to hear a speech from its Prime Minister then the one at Red Fort was surely not the one.
I for one opted for the speech at Lalan College in Gujarat. At least it gave me hope, made me optimistic and left me a little more confident of what this country is capable of. Narendra Modi surely didn't ask that national media to beam his speech live but aren't we all glad they did. In its first ever direct head on encounter, Narendra Modi has been able to show how insipid and hopeless Dr Manmohan Singh's speech was.
Those who falsely criticize Narendra Modi for giving wrong facts or spinning stories must be disappointed today. Tearing into the Food Security Bill Narendra Modi has been able to show to the country why this rushed law will do more damage than benefit. 'Modi, not Singh, gave us hope' Forget the poor, today I have clarity why the Congress led UPA only had electoral politics in its mind when they introduced the ordinance. Why should the Centre not consult those who will be the most crucial delivery agents in this program, yes I am worried about how the states will cope with pressures of an ill-designed program. It will not only leave the poor in the lurch but also put the states in a precarious position when it comes to food procurement.
I am so glad that there is a state leader of national stature like Narendra Modi who has made clear his stand, yes I support the law but not in its present form and the only way to move forward is to consult the states and arrive at a better program. What did our Prime Minister say? Just that we have introduced the Food Security Bill, that's it! Why an Indian citizen feels their trust has been broken? Look around you, tell me why you should not feel angry with the dynastic nature of everything the Congress-led UPA does. If the recent cases of corruption were not enough then now the Damad episode of Robert Vadra is surely the last nail in the coffin. Just his proximity to the first family is enough to make hundreds of crores without ever having any qualification or a business model to make so much money? Yes I am angry and disappointed that my Prime Minister did not address this and that is also why I would rather hear a Narendra Modi who helps me articulate why this present government is a liability to the nation.
Will I not want Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister? Yes I will and yes I can. The Lalan College speech will surely go down in the history books as one of the turning points in the history of India. It has for the first time provoked Indians to make a choice, decide their fate and show that they want a better and stronger India. Narendra Modi's open challenge for a debate between Delhi and Gujarat has to be taken in the right spirit. For way too long we Indians have shied away from confronting facts, there is at least someone who says debate with me on merit and facts. He is not running away, instead he is inviting an open debate. I think India is ready for it as much as it is ready for Narendra Modi. Lastly, just like Narendra Modi I am not just disappointed with the Prime Minister's speech but also angry with it. I woke up early to listen to a person who rarely speaks.
He left me more disgusted with our style of national politics as if average citizen does not matter. As if we do not need to be talked to. And look at the other speech at Lalan College, it talked of development, future plans, urbanisation, job creation, building trust and most importantly it spoke with me, the average Indian. Narendra Modi may not be liked by the Congress and those politicians who cannot deal with his straight talk.
But I do, as an Indian, an average citizen who does not care about the past but about my future. He is one leader who gives me confidence, hope and inspiration that India is for Indians First, lndia First has to be the motto and the Indian constitution the only holy text.
Sadly that the Indian Prime Minister today did not tell me that, maybe the future Prime Minister did.

Article Credits: Oneindia ,August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Narendra Modi to address British parliament

LONDON: British MP Barry Gardiner has written to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, inviting him to visit the House of Commons and speak on 'The Future of Modern India', a move that ends UK's decade-long boycott of Modi following the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Gardiner, who is also the chairman of Labour Friends of India, told TOI that he invited Modi because he is the chief minister of a state with which Britain has more FDI than the rest of the country put together.
"Narendrabhai is (among) the longest-serving chief ministers of his generation. He is also CM of a state with which Britain has more FDI than the rest of India," Gardiner told TOI.
"Just because he is from the BJP does not mean he isn't secular. Look at Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Did he rule as a divisive character? Was he a bad prime minister? Both Modi and Vajpayee are respectful of the (Indian) constitution. India was earlier a regional power. It's now a global power. In this century, it can become a superpower. It's, therefore, of utmost importance to hear the views of a man who has had so much influence on the country's events," Gardiner said.
"Whether or not Modi goes on to become India's next prime minister, nobody can deny he is clearly one of India's most influential political actors. Hence, his view on how he wants to see India in the near future is of great interest to the UK and Europe," Gardiner added.

Modi has been invited to visit the House of Commons and deliver a lecture for a select group of top MPs on what he envisages should be the future of modern India. Gardiner is also a shadow minister. The influential Labour organisation works to further links between the Labour Party and India.
"I would like you to speak about 'The Future of Modern India'. Of course I understand how busy the current period is for you with the Indian elections next year, so please regard this invitation as being for any time that is convenient to you over the next months."
Gardiner said Modi's "integrity, ability to administer and govern and strategic political thinking is of the highest order". He called him "a secular leader who has the overwhelming support of all communities in Gujarat... proven time and time again in state elections".
"I have met politicians from across the world and I rank him on the pinnacle of all political leaders I have known," Gardiner said. "His competence to govern is unbelievable."
Asked whether Modi is capable of governing India, Gardiner said, "Gujarat is the size of the UK or any European country. Since he has taken the state to the highest pinnacles of growth, it's easy to see him as the head of the UK or any European country."
On Gujarat riots, Gardiner said, "The Supreme Court has till now exonerated Modi of all charges regarding the riots, and I believe the Supreme Court. We have to access the man on his capability to govern. It took us four days to control the London riots in 2012. It took him three days to bring the riots to a stop in Gujarat.
Earlier this year, the European Union also ended a decade-old boycott of Modi.
British minister of state at the foreign and commonwealth office Hugo Swire recently became the first cabinet minister from the UK to visit Gujarat. Swire had told TOI that UK's renewed engagement with Gujarat after more than a decade was more "economic" and not "an endorsement of any single politician or party".
"In October 2012, after much consideration, our government changed our approach to engagement in Gujarat," Swire had said. "The decision was not taken lightly and I respect the views of those who disagree with our change of policy. Gujarat has grown at 10% per year for the last five years and is experiencing rapid development. The UK has a broad range of interests there."
Kounteya Sinha, Aug 14, 2013,TOI

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NaMo magic mesmerises Hyderabad

It was May 2009 and the venue was Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad. An ocean of humanity had converged there, perhaps the largest I had seen in a while. Not having seen the heyday of NTR, this looked like the largest political event in Hyderabad for a long long time. The occasion was the swearing in of YS Rajashekhara Reddy as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. As ND Tiwari administered the oath of office to the doctor from Kadapa, the crowds went berserk. It was like a carnival. Months later, in September 2009 the same number of people converged at the Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium only that this time the occasion was somber- they were marking the death of the same YSR who they had voted into office on two occasions.
It seemed as if Hyderabad would never witness such fervour as it did on those two occasions for a while. NaMo magic mesmerises Hyderabad However, I was proven wrong on the evening of 11th August 2013 when Narendra Modi descended on Hyderabad to address a youth convention. Modi's visit is significant as this is his first major rally in the south after taking over as the campaign committee chief of the BJP. As Narendra Modi wrapped up his speech with an aspiration filled "Yes We Can, Yes We Will, Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram" it was clear that he had won the hearts of Hyderabad and their youth. Modi's speech in Hyderabad will stand as a watershed moment in the build up to the 2014 (or 2013) Lok Sabha elections, where he is all but officially declared the PM candidate of the BJP. It stands out for various reasons: 'We' not 'I' Speaking only as a Chief Minister of one of India's 29 states, a dominant theme of many of Modi's earlier speeches was how he transformed Gujarat into a land of equal and sustainable development. His admirers saw it as a mark of his genius while the critics saw it as overt narcissism. Yes, as Chief Minister Modi's primary aim was to hard-sell his state and its achievement, something that every CM does but the Modi speaking in Hyderabad was Modi the campaign committee chief, who spoke as if he was presenting a vision of an entire party that is prepared to come to power in 2014 and provide an alternative to the dismal governance of the UPA. Modi's speech showed the people what the BJP states had to offer- be it PDS reforms in Raman Singh's Chhattisgarh or the Ladli Lakshmi so vociferously championed by Shivraj Chouhan. He was also judicious in praising Jayalalithaa's work in skill development, this despite the fact that the AIADMK is neither in the NDA nor will it enter into any pre-poll alliance with the BJP.
For all those who were ready with criticism that Modi only speaks about Gujarat, they had to change their script and confine those elaborate editorials into the dustbin. Having institutionalized teamwork in Gujarat, he is all set to do the same for the BJP and in national politics. Expect to know more of the work of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh, Manohar Parrikar, Vasundhara Raje and PK Dhumal in future Modi rallies. Statesman-like It is not often that I find myself on the same page as Rajdeep Sardesai but 11th August was different. In his Tweet that evening, Rajdeep commented that Narendra Modi was very statesmanlike on Andhra and Telangana issue. I could not find a better word to describe Modi's words on the issue. He made it very clear that the BJP is in favour of Telangana but not at the cost of the development and aspirations of the rest of Andhra Pradesh. He chided the Congress for their open double speak on Telangana and asked then why did they not bother to invest in a new capital for Seemandhra when the promise for Telangana was made ten years ago. Concluding his speech with "Jai Telangana" and "Jai Seemandhra" in the same breath was noting short of a masterstroke. On Telangana, he showed the nation that he was here to heal. It reminded many of Vajpayee in 2000, who presided over the creation of small states with ease and dignity. When Uttaranchal was born, nobody remembered the bitter struggle undertaken by the locals or the infamous Rampur Tiraha incident of 1994 but both the states were celebrating. The same was the case in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand. And now, compare it with what the Congress has done with Telangana. What Modi showed was that the Vajpayee legacy of consensus, harmony and development of all was intact. Being a strong advocate of state's rights himself, Modi gave a sneak peak into his policy on small states an interstate cooperation. The resurrection of anti-Congressism plank Many of my friends saw Modi's reference to NTR as the real take home from the speech. At one level, yes Modi made a direct reference to Chandrababu Naidu and the TDP to unite with the BJP. It was overtly clear that when it came to expanding the NDA in Andhra Pradesh, Modi's first preference was the development-centered politics of Naidu as compared to the blatant populism of YSR and the opportunism of TRS. But, at another level he spoke about anti-Congressism, whose political obituary has been written. Back in 1983, when the Congress power was at its peak, NTR organized a conclave of 14 opposition parties, which was also attended by two notable Cabinet Ministers today- Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Pawar. He became a glue for anti-Congress forces and in 1984 the TDP also won the most number of seats among opposition parties. Those who expected Modi to indulge in Sonia and Rahul bashing were left disappointed. To be honest, Sonia and Rahul bashing would have been the easier way out. Considering they have not bothered to visit the state that sent the largest MPs in 2004 and 2009, the public sentiment was completely against them. Naturally, had Modi taken them to the cleaners the cheers would have been louder. But, instead he focused on the larger issue of anti-Congressism thus sounding more statesmanlike than like a politician. Without naming them, he has infused more damage on the Congress by exposing their hollow politics. Today, anti-Congressism is a thought in decline courtesy the socialists' (notably of UP and Bihar) love for ‘secularism' that has ironically drawn many of them closer to the Congress. However, one cannot say it is over. We do have a lot of strong Chief Ministers across the country who resist the policies of the UPA better than the opposition in New Delhi. In this list, the name of Narendra Modi figures prominently. In Hyderabad, by invoking NTR, a popular Chief Minister who enjoyed a cult status just like Modi, Modi showed is willingness to become a rallying point for strong Chief Ministers and Opposition leaders against the Congress. Whether he will succeed or not time will tell, but the effort shown is surely laudatory. He's got mother power When RS Bains, an NRI who has lived in Canada and Germany, wrote on Twitter that he sought two passes for his mother to hear Narendra Modi little did he know that the man who would reply to his request would be Narendra Modi himself. He asked Kishan Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh BJP head to facilitate the entry of Bains' octogenarian mother to the stadium. At the rally, Mrs. Bains was no less than the star of the show. In a sign of humility and respect for values, Narendra Modi touched her feet and sought her blessings. Where else can a man sitting in a different continent fulfill the dream of his old mother in the manner Mr. Bains did? As Shivnath Thukral put it- call it PR or any other name to soothe the ego, the fact is this gesture left the stadium and those who were watching absolutely touched. In a polity where pictures of eight year old elders prostrating before scions of political families, this comes as a welcome break! Modified foreign policy One could sense the pain and anguish in Modi's voice when we spoke about the Indian soldiers beheaded by Pakistan or the border incursions by the Chinese. His attack on the UPA on the BSF issue struck a chord with lakhs of Indians who are dismayed and concerned by the manner in which the UPA has compromised the strategic interests of the nation. When Modi spoke, one could gauge that if elected, the foreign policy of India would be in safe hands. India's interests wont be compromised, the lives of the soldiers will not be at stake and the nation can walk with its head high at the world table. India first In a polity where the disease of lip service secularism and tokenism has overshadowed everything else, Narendra Modi made passionate remarks on secularism and governance that can set the tone on the political discourse in 2014. Modi made it explicitly clear that he is not going to compromise basic principles and patriotism just to win a handful of votes. He yet again failed the Tilak and Topi test when he said that the only religion of governments was India first and its only holy book the constitution of India. He thundered that the only Bhakti and Shakti of a government is India and its people. Nothing else matters! These are strong points that will surely swing the tide in favour of Modi come 2014. It may be noted that this was the first rally where people enthusiastically contributed a token amount that went towards Uttarakhand floor relief, a far cry from the rallies where people are paid to attend. From businessmen, actors to retired bureaucrats, Modi met them all! It indicates on one hand the rock start status Modi enjoys and the massive expectations people have from this man from Gujarat who seems all set to change Indian politics forever.
Article Credits : Kishore Trivedi,Oneindia

Fake deals, false papers helped Vadra make crores: Khemka

NEW DELHI: Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka's inquiry report into the land deal between a company owned by Robert Vadra and DLF in Gurgaon has accused Vadra's firm of forgery, falsification, and sham transactions. The offences punishable under section 82 of the Registration Act, 1908, can attract "imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both," the report says. In his report to the Haryana government, Khemka has charged the Gandhi son-in-law, real estate giant DLF, and others also with violations of Indian Penal Code (IPC). He has estimates that the land licensing scam of Haryana could be as big as Rs 3.5 lakh crore in the last eight years. To reach this figure, Khemka has quoted the premium of Rs 15.78/acre earned by Vadra, and used this figure for all 21,366 acres of land given under colony licences by the state. On February 12, 2008 Vadra's Skylight Hospitality bought 3.53 acres of land in Shikohpur, in sector 83, Gurgaon, from Onkareshwar Properties for Rs 7.5 crore, then obtained permission to build a commercial colony there. Over the next few months, Vadra transferred the land and permission for colony to DLF and made a minimum profit of Rs 42.61 crore, according to Khemka. 'Entire statutory appartus was a castle of sand' "The series of sham transactions, starting from the registration of a deed on 12.02.2008, came to an end with the execution of a sale deed No. 1435 dated 18.09.2012 for Rs 58 crore in favour of M/s DLF Universal Ltd. The land, along with the commercial colony license, was sold for Rs 58 crore. Such transfers act as the perfect ruse or opportunity for middlemen to milk the market premium arising out of the grant of colony license," Khemka points out in his report. Khemka, a 1991 batch IAS officer, was the director general of land records and consolidation of land holdings and inspector general of registration, Haryana, when he ordered cancellation of the mutation of the land deal between Vadra's Skylight Hospitality and DLF. Khemka was transferred by the state government, which later set up a three-member committee last October to look into his actions on the Skylight-DLF deal. Khemka's report has now emerged in public through the detailed representation submitted by him to the state's chief secretary in response to the inquiry ordered against him. In his report, Khemka says the capacity of Skylight Hospitality to develop a commercial colony "was nothing else other than Mr. Robert Vadra. The man became the measure of everything and the entire statutory apparatus a castle of sand." When the company was given the permission to develop a colony, its paid up capital was just Rs 100,000 with two shareholders — Vadra and his mother Maureen. Khemka has also accused Vadra and promoters of Onkareshwar Properties, which sold the 3.53-acre plot in Shikohpur, of "wilfully committing" serious offences punishable under section 82 of the Registration Act. He says Vadra, his mother, and the directors of Onkareshwar Properties have also committed offences under sections 417, 468 and 471 of the IPC, as well as the Companies Act. The statements in the registered deed that Rs 7.5 crore was paid by Vadra's company via Corporation Bank's cheque number 607251 dated 9.2.2008 and that the cost of stamp duty amounting to Rs 45 lakh was paid by Skylight "were patently false and constituted an offence under sections 417, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 also," the Khemka report says. It was a "sham transaction," he says. "...Likely that a fictitious cheque number was shown by the company with the full consent and knowledge of DLF to enable it to get legal title of land," he adds. Once Skylight Hospitality got the land title and letter of intent for grant of colony license, it got into a "collaboration agreement" with DLF Retail Developers on August 5, 2008 and received huge amounts as advance from DLF. As per the balance sheet of Skylight Hospitality, it received advances of Rs 25 crore from the DLF Group towards the JV and land accounts during 2008-09. "This funding from the DLF Group was used to clear the dues of Rs 7.95 crore, ie, Rs 7.5 crore towards cost of land plus Rs 45 lakh towards stamp duty," Khemka says in his report. "The motive of the sham transactions was to corner the huge market premium accruing on account of the commercial colony license. The modus operandi suggests that the payment to M/s Onkareshwar Properties for land and stamp duty costs amounting to Rs 7.95 crore would have been made immediately after the 5th August, 2008, the date the 'collaboration agreement' was executed by M/s Sky Light Hospitality with M/s DLF Retail Developers, so as to avoid any legal complications which the management of M/s DLF Retail Developers could have landed into with its shareholders and independent members on its Board of Directors," he adds. Severely indicting the state's department of town and country planning, Khemka pointed out that it granted the commercial colony licence for 2.701 acres out of a total area of 3.53 acres to Skylight Hospitality within "a mere 18 days of the application". Khemka's report has also alleged that Haryana "lost crores of revenues in the form of stamp duty due to non-registration of the collaboration agreement" between Vadra's firm and DLF, and the department has "aided and abetted the loss of crores of revenues to the state exchequer".
TNN | Aug 11, 2013,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rahul Gandhi mocks the poor, says poverty is just a state of mind

First, Congress leaders Raj Babbar and Rasheed Masood mocked the poor by their Rs.12 and Rs.5 for a meal remarks. Now, it's none other than the Gandhi scion who has come out with his own, bizarre definition of poverty.
Speaking at a function in Allahabad on Monday, Rahul Gandhi stirred the hornet's nest by dismissing poverty as just a state of mind.
Hailing the role of self-help groups in advancement of marginalised section of society, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said they provide the poor with "self-confidence to overcome poverty". The Congress leader made this comment while participating in a discourse on 'Culture, Deepening Democracy and Most Marginalised Communities', organised by noted social scientist Badri Narayan. "I understand the weaknesses of our system. I will try my best to help the people but unless and until the voice of the marginalised comes out from within, nothing can be done," Narayan quoted Gandhi as having said at the event which was organised at the GB Pant Social Science Institute on the outskirts of the city. "Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty," he said. In this context, Gandhi cited the example of a poor woman in Amethi, who redeemed her self-esteem by getting associated with self-help group Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana. The Congress vice president, who was accompanied by the party's national general secretary Madhusudan Mistry, also interacted with people from remote villages of Allahabad and other neighbouring districts. He assured them "my one and only political aim is that I want to tune my ears to the voice of the poor and the marginalised". Earlier, while inaugurating a branch of city-based Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital in the district's trans-Yamuna region, Gandhi expressed concern over "increasing money-mindedness" among medical practitioners and urged doctors to take a keen interest in serving in rural areas. Meanwhile, the visit of Gandhi here, the first after he was elevated as the Congress vice president, was marked by protests from supporters of the BJP at a number of places. Activists of BJP's youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and the Congress students' wing NSUI came to blows near the GB Pant Institute. BJYM activists had been raising slogans against the UPA government at the Centre and were attacked by NSUI activists when some of them tried to jump in front of Gandhi's vehicle waving black flags, police said, adding that two persons have been rounded up in this connection. News credits:India Today Online Allahabad, August 6, 2013

Poverty is a state of mind: Rahul Gandhi made economics irrelevant

Allahabad, Aug 6: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Monday applauded self-help groups (SHG) for helping the marginalised sections to overcome their economic hardships. He said the SHGs give the necessary self-confidence to the poor to overcome poverty.
The Congress leader uttered these words while speaking in a discourse named 'Culture, Deepening Democracy and Most Marginalised Communities', organised by Badri Narayan, a noted social scientist.
Gandhi said poverty is just a state of mind and does not mean scarcity of food, money or material things, adding that one needs to have self-confidence to overcome poverty.
He cited the example of a poor woman in Amethi, who 'redeemed her self-esteem' by getting involved with a SHG named after Rahul's father, late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The Congress vice-president said his only political purpose is to hear the voice of the poor and the marginalised. What was Rahul trying to convey is difficult to understand. He is a leader of a party which has influenced the Course of this country for most of the post-independence era and with the nation about to complete 66 years of independence, he is saying that poverty is just a state of mind? What can be more hilarious than this explanation? If poverty is a state of mind Mr Rahul Gandhi, then the socialistic idealism that your great-grandfather had followed in those formative years was also a state of mind and it led to nowhere. If poverty is indeed a state of mind, then why not start psychological counselling for the poor in the country. Poverty is a state of mind: Rahul Gandhi made economics irrelevant 5/7 Rahul Gandhi interacts with people Vice President of the Indian National Congress Rahul Gandhi interacts with people during a program at Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute in Allahabad on Monday. Show Thumbnail The Planning Commission has already explained how much money one can have at least to get rid of the 'poor' tag and now you are also liberating the poor from their 'psychological baggage'. Great job, Mr Rahul! In this way, we are not far from becoming one of the fast-growing rich countries in the world. The Congress leader said he understands the weakness of the Indian system. If this is the understanding which encourages him to say that poverty is just a state of mind and can be withered with growing self-confidence, then we should doubt the efforts of all those economists who have been working hard on the subject. Rahul Gandhi, in one shot, made economics irrelevant. Can he then just explain why the Congress leadership's obsession with the socialistic pattern in four decades after independence made the nation's economic suffer? Who was lacking the confidence then, the aam janata or the khas netas? Article credits:Shubham Ghosh Updated: Tuesday, August 6, 2013,Oneindia