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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Utter Pradesh is a failed state: courtesy Akhilesh

Akhilesh’s poor handling of the communal riots proves his incompetence as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
The state of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, sending 80 members to the Lok Sabha, is the kingmaker for any government formation in Delhi. In addition to being notorious for crime, casteism and corruption of the worst kind, it has also become the most communally violent state in India. According to official information released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, over 100 communal clashes occurred during the year 2012 in UP. Communal clashes have become a regular, almost monthly affair, ever since the Samajwadi Party came to power in 2012, cumulatively costing several hundred lives. Here is the snapshot: June 2012 Mathura and Muzaffarnagar; July 2012: Bareilly; September 2012 Ghaziabad; October 2012 Faizabad; December 2012 Azamgarh; January 2013 Lucknow; April, July 2013 Meerut; August 2013 Muzaffarnagar; September 2013: Shamli and Muzaffarnagar, which is still simmering. The MHA statistics confirm the fact that communal riots in Uttar Pradesh are deadlier, and with higher fatality rate than the rest of the country. UP has become a land where politicians base their legitimacy and power on the loyalty principle of respective castes and religions, through which they control large sections of their followers. They are like tribal warlords whose word is law, even though officially there is supposed to be the rule of law in operation, based on the Anglo Saxon pattern. They appropriate the wealth of the State, the taxpayer's money, funds meant for peoples' welfare, and then abandon them to illiteracy, disease and abject poverty to be inherited in perpetuity. The UP warlords are not unduly perturbed about their people's deprivation. How else will they be able to control their votes, election after election? But this primitive exercise of power has made them forget that caste and religion obtain loyalty only up to a point. Beyond that, the people want their basic expectations from government met, which they see happening in other states, but are denied to them, simply because the money meant for them never reaches them. Remember the recent NRHM scam, where thousands of crores meant for providing better health facilities to the people of UP were siphoned off by a criminal partnership of politicians and government functionaries. While other states have been able to give their people more modern and upgraded primary health centres, better maternal care, UP can only boast of one more CBI inquiry, and about half a dozen murders of Chief Medical Officers in broad daylight. Apart from complete ignorance of how to govern and having no such intention anyway, a government composed of power-brokers and criminals is bound to get alienated from whichever caste or religion they claim as captive vote banks. It has happened in Bihar, and presently, a great political churning and disaffection is visible in UP, in the aftermath of the Ahkilesh Yadav government's complete failure to handle communal violence, especially the recent clashes that emanated from Muzaffarnagar. We are still not sure of how the communal clashes started. Some reports suggest it was eve teasing, and others that it was a traffic accident. Whatever it was, there are adequate laws regarding both issues, which had they been enforced instantly by the local police and magistracy, could have contained the tragic mayhem that followed. Obviously the local officials have lost their will and capacity to enforce laws, groomed as they would be in decades of lawlessness during when all statutory authority, including that flowing from the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, regarding registration of FIRs, has been expropriated and is being exercised benaami by the political representatives. The sting operation conducted by a news channel regarding the cops and Azam Khan gives a clear indication of this. And what has become a reality in our democracy, which the sooner we accept the better, is that cutting edge police appointments at SHO levels are done purely on caste grounds, so that law enforcement can also follow a caste agenda. This is what political scientists refer to as the collapse of the state, or a failed state. Communal tensions continue in Muzzafarnagar, even after two months of the initial outbreak. On 30 October again three people are reported to have lost their lives, something completely unacceptable and unpardonable. It only confirms a complete breakdown of the state and administrative authority, of the capability of the police and magistracy from tehsil to district levels, to enforce law and order, and the complete failure of oversight and control by the state government and Chief Minister. No one still knows the number of lives lost; they could well be in hundreds. But what is reported universally is that at least 40,000 people are still living in makeshift relief camps, even though almost two months have elapsed since the riots started. UP has created a shocking humanitarian crisis for itself, and a new category of communal riot victims, equivalent of "internal refugees". We are not aware of what confidence building measures the state machinery has undertaken to persuade them to return to their homes, though almost two months have elapsed after the riots first started. Is any further evidence required to establish the state's callousness and complicity towards its own people whom they have converted into refugees in their own state? Clearly, another confirmation that the state of Uttar Pradesh has completely broken down, both in intent and action. It was looking away in utter inaction when Muzaffarnagar was burning, and now it is doing the same to the humanitarian crisis of such a huge magnitude within its own borders. The fact that communal disturbances have become a political industry by itself in UP only compound the government's political crimes against the people. What is surprising is the relative silence of the human rights NGOs and activists, wherever they are funded from, who normally react very swiftly and vociferously to assist the victims of communal clashes, or provide them legal support to secure their legitimate rights, who should have called for accountability from the Akhilesh government as to why his government remained inactive allowing the situation to assume such dangerous and inhuman levels.
Except for one Public Interest Litigation filed by Nutan Thakur before the Allahabad High Court, I am not aware of any humanitarian NGOs taking up the cause of the Muzaffarnagar riot victims. We have several organisations with a successful track record of taking up such unfortunate causes, and they normally make their presence felt very briskly and efficiently. Their absence in UP does seem a little mystifying. Also, to the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any human rights groups approaching the NHRC seeking relief or asking for accountability from the government, or fixing responsibility as to why the situation remained uncontrolled for weeks together, and continues to simmer even today. Neither am I aware of any suo motu action taken by the NHRC, which it can well take, to direct the government to take urgent action to end the suffering of the people trapped in this humanitarian crisis, or approach the Supreme Court to take appropriate action such as the constitution of a Special Investigation Team, as to why the communal riots were allowed to persist unchecked for almost two weeks, and why communal tension remains unabated even today, that the victims from relief camps do not even wish to return to their own homes. We have still not heard from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom about their views on the communal clashes in UP. The United States appears to be a favourite travel destination of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, and obviously, his US visa is intact, though it remains to be seen whether it will continue to be so. So too the British and European Union representatives have not yet reacted to the gross violation of human rights going on in UP, the CM's callous inaction, the state on a dangerous auto pilot, and atrocities piling up against the people. It remains to be seen whether they will boycott him, in their universal commitment to protect human rights and religious freedom.
Article credits ,Shri.RAM JETHMALANI,ETHICS & POWER,The Sunday Gaurdian

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who is afraid of Narendra Modi?

The government has good reasons to be wary of the BJP PM candidate as he emerges as the leader India needs.
He frightens them because he is everything that the present day politician of India is not — a man of strength and steel, with no skeletons in the cupboard that can break his strength or buy him up, and no greed for personal financial aggrandizement.
Before I proceed with my weekly piece, let me wish my readers a very Happy Diwali. May this Diwali truly usher in the victory of good over evil and bring peace and prosperity to our people and our country.
Now, to my piece. Narendra Modi has created the political upheaval that I expected he would. The Congress party appears to be in a huddle, with no clue as to how to deal with this new political phenomenon. Even our Prime Minister, best known for moderate and terse statements, whenever he is not silent, used a rather extreme word, "onslaught" to describe Modi's entry into the national political stage, a word normally associated with combat.
How comfortable and cosy previous national elections were. Election behaviour of political parties was predictable; everyone knew everyone else's secrets; everyone understood each other's mediocrities, and empathised with one another's personal ambitions. They sportingly accepted mutual election unpleasantness and acrimony, with a remarkable understanding and bonhomie. After all, verbal acrimony during elections happens all over the world and is a sign of a mature democracy. And by no means did it disturb the political comfort levels of leading political figures. The dynasty was given due respect, even when criticised, and conversely, it had its own favourites in the Opposition for its own reasons, whom it never criticised. Election manifestoes contained a host of promises, several of them unfulfilled promises of yesteryears. But all political parties would rest assured thereafter, knowing full well that once the election was over, they would never be held accountable about them either by the people of India or their own party brass. The lucky winners could then start the serious and exciting business of plundering India, alongside forming appropriately understanding alliances with the Opposition. What is it about Narendra Modi that seems to frighten the comfortable ruling establishments, present or prospective, out of their wits? As I have stated earlier, he frightens them because he is everything that the present day politician of India is not — a man of strength and steel, with no skeletons in the cupboard that can break his strength or buy him up, and no greed for personal financial aggrandizement. This is what the present political system of India cannot stomach. How dare he not be like one of us, is what is written beneath their anti-Modi script. Next, he frightens them, because his record of governance suggests that he is a patriot who places our country before anything else. The Congress governance model is based on electoral vote bank politics, even at the cost of breaking the country asunder. Neutralisation of vote banks spells doom for the Congress, and rumblings from the minority communities are already being heard. He frightens them because he is a quick decision maker, something anathema to a regime that believes in plundering the country through multiple pathways, with the chief political executive looking the other way, dithering or passing the buck. The UPA dispensation has made decision making by the Prime Minister unnecessary, undesirable and extinct. It has become a regime of GOMs and PMO (as differentiated from the Prime Minister) and NAC. And unless the Prime Minister has a personal interest in an issue, such as coal block allocation, the PMO has innovated a theory of "distancing itself" from the murky goings on in government, a new coinage, whatever it means, in the Arthashastra of South Block. The Modi critics believe that this implies true team spirit in running a government that Modi lacks, and that unlike Modi, the Prime Minister exemplifies a true team leader, because he is always outsourcing decision making (his first and legitimate function), to his GOMs or to the Core Committee or NAC. According to them, there is no way that Modi being a quick decision maker can qualify to be a good team leader, because neither does he believe in disseminating his accountability or responsibility to extra constitutional authorities like GOMs, and nor does he require their safety of numbers. Quick decision making and taking responsibility for it scares South Block and frightens it like Banquo's ghost. It must be exterminated before it strikes, for the sake of saving team leadership and secular unity, which in reality means the best financial interest of the ruling establishment. So start labelling decisiveness as divisiveness or communalism or lack of team leadership without explaining any of them, and keep repeating them until they stick. What has started terrifying the ruling establishment even more is the magnetic power Narendra Modi holds over the crowds, and the ease with which he establishes a rapport with them. Psychologists call this quality "charisma", a gift which one either has or doesn't have; a As Modi's oratory and charisma become more and more visible to the nation and his rallies keep increasing in size all over the country, opinion across the country (including within the Congress establishment) is that as a political leader, he stands unmatched and unstoppable. The Congress party, during the last decade, had a single point objective on which it concentrated, using all the might of the state machinery it controlled. And that was to somehow get Modi personally indicted in a court of law for the 2002 riots that would finish his political career. For it was in Modi, more than anyone else in the political arena, that they saw the real threat to its power. Modi is neither intimidated nor pays obeisance to them, regardless of the historical halo they claim. However, they were neither able to politically assassinate him nor banish him into disgrace. The Congress is in crisis — frustrated and frightened. They must helplessly countenance day after day Narendra Modi's steady and hard earned success finally reaching the national political stage, and being declared the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate of India. How will the party vice president compete with the charisma, the oratory, the experience and insights that can only be acquired by being a three-time Chief Minister? The country is aghast at the party vice president's attitude and oratory, starting with the gate-crashing at Ajay Maken's press conference. He then indulged in a speech evoking death images of his father and grandmother. This infuriated the Sikhs and Tamils. In his next speech, he dwelt upon the Muzzafarnagar riots, as usual wrongly blaming the BJP, the real reason being the Jat-Muslim dynamics as manipulated by the ruling Samajwadi Party; and made the startling disclosure regarding the IB informing him of ISI agents recruiting Muzzafarnagar Muslim victims. This time the Muslim community was infuriated and the Home Ministry rubbished the statement. The serial bomb blasts at Gandhi Maidan Patna were shocking. But what came through to the people of India, and what I regret has not been noticed or lauded by the media or political commentators, was Modi's composure and demeanour while he was speaking, even as low intensity bombs were going off, and danger and death confronted him in the face. The country requires no further demonstration of his courage in the face of mortal danger, his presence of mind, his leadership qualities, and forbearance. Article credits -Ram Jethmalani is a senior politician and eminent lawyer.
The Sunday Gaurdian,Nov 2, 2013

Modi was never communal in his conduct: K.P.S.Gill

In a biography released this week, former IPS officer K.P.S. Gill talks about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the 2002 riots.
riots were at a peak in Gujarat; police was not able to control (the situation) and there were reports in the media that "The CM was ineffective for the challenge, or he simply lacked the will to stop this violence, or to say worse, he is himself, along with other BJP and VHP leaders, organising all these riots." Seeing the sensitive situation and the negative publicity it was generating for the BJP, L.K. Advani, the then Deputy Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, was busy finding ways to end that mayhem. The situation was confusing since it was not becoming clear what the root cause of the problem was. Was it Modi himself or the ineffective administration of Gujarat! Anyway, the first priority of Advani was to end this violence at any cost... It struck Mr Advani that there was a man who was no more in active service but who was never away from the service of the nation who could be trusted to bring peace in Gujarat at that time. That was KPS Gill. So the only solution which seemed plausible to the Union Government was the appointment of former DGP Punjab KPS Gill as incharge of Police in Gujarat. But Gill was retired. Advani then came to the conclusion that Gill should be requested to become Security Advisor to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi... Dr Chandan Mitra met Mr Gill and broached the subject. On understanding the proposal, Mr Gill expressed his willingness to undertake the assignment but had one reservation. He said, "Chandan, you know I cannot be an armchair theorist, what will I do, if I am not given any freedom to control the affairs? What if my advice is not implemented? As a result Muslims will continue to get killed and then, I will also be held responsible for the killing of innocent people despite not having any power to stop it?" Mr Modi through Dr Mitra assured Mr Gill that he would not interfere in his work and would provide him all possible support to end the riots. When news spread that Gill would be joining as Advisor to CM Gujarat, his former boss and former Punjab Police chief, J.F. Ribeiro, in his praise, said, "Gill can solve the Gujarat problem in a week but he will have to arrest VHP members and Muslim criminals. If Modi allows that, he will be signing his own death warrant." In the first one to one meeting between Mr Gill and Mr Modi, what Mr Modi told Mr Gill, expressed the sincerity which he had towards the whole episode which was going on in Gujarat at that time. Mr Modi said, "Gill Sahib, we have been talking to each other through Mr Mitra or Mr Advani but I want to request you now in person that I am not finding any solution to this violence, I am not getting a fit police response which could end the riots, I sought more force from the neighbouring States which happen to be Congress-ruled States, but they refused. Media, opposition parties and activists have launched a false anti-Modi campaign that I am behind all these riots, which is not true. My first principle as a devout Hindu and as a politician is 'Sarve Janah Sukhino Bhavanthu (May all the people in the world be happy and peaceful).' I believe in this prayer and I start my day as a politician with it. I have lot of faith in you, the country is indebted to you for saving Punjab from going out of the Union. Without cops like you there can be no democracies, there can be no political leaders and there can be no kings. I will personally be thankful to you for my life if you can help ending this mayhem at the earliest. The onus now is on you to fail me or make me successful as a democratic leader."
Mr Gill says, "After meeting Mr Modi, I was moved by his sincerity. I found him to be fair and sincere in terms of his intention to end the riots. He seemed worried and sad because his police had failed him in ending this violence; he wanted me to take whatever steps I deemed fit to end this violence and assured me whole-hearted support."
To make a proper assessment of the situation, Mr Gill started touring all those places which had witnessed communal riots. He listened in detail to the victims of violence, the constables, the officers and the locals to assess where the problem or the weakness lay. After a detailed assessment of the challenge which lasted for one week, Gill says, "I found the police force unequal to the challenge; majority of the policemen themselves had become communal in their duty as they were enraged with the killings of so many kar sewaks (fellow Hindus) at the hands of Muslims in Godhra. Similar was the condition of the civil administration. Since Mr Modi had become the CM only a few months back, the administration and the police force were not in his proper grip and it takes time to develop such a grip when you are at such a top position. I found that in the previous two months Mr Modi had made all efforts to stop riots, he had called in the army with swiftness, he sought forces from the neighbouring States and the Centre. Narendra Modi with Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the early 2000s. "I realised that people of all political parties who were anti-Modi and anti-BJP were taking advantage of this mayhem and making all efforts to defame Modi one way or the other. "The so called dharam-nirpeksh (secular) parties were taking advantage of the fact that Mr Modi follows the principles of Hindutva. They were portraying Hindutva as something anti non-Hindu religions. My understanding was that Mr Modi's practising of principles of Hindutva in no way meant that he would allow killing people of other religions. "An American journalist asked me, What do you mean by Mr Modi's Hindutva?' "I said, 'In Christianity you have a Christian way of life, where some standard norms have been laid out for Christians; similarly in Hinduism there is a Hindu way of life where norms have been laid out for Hindus; but neither the former nor the latter means anything against any religion.' "Today Gujarat is one of the best administered States not only for Hindus but for all religions and all castes. The credit for this goes to only and only Mr Modi." Mr Gill's assessment was that the problem which needed an immediate solution was to cut this communal bug from the minds of the policemen and those who could not be freed of this bug should not be allowed to sit in sensitive posts... The first step Gill took within three days of joining there was transferring all those officers who failed to prevent the riots in their areas. Mr Gill interacted with all those officers and based on his assessment of their competency and intentions he got them transferred from sensitive posts. Those officers expected to be fair in their working were given sensitive posts. Mr Gill says, "Mr Modi provided me full freedom to transfer those officers whom I considered ineffective in terms of preventing violence as per their record of the past few days. The kind of free hand Mr Modi gave me to apply my strategies was given to me in Punjab by Sh. Beant Singh and through the pages of this book I want to make it clear to one and all that Modi was never communal in his conduct during this whole mayhem. He only conducted himself as an able administrator, whether it was during my tenure as Security Advisor or before it... "My observation is that when things like riots, terrorism, natural calamities, etc. happen then sometimes the administration or the Government gets stupefied by it. In those circumstances the administration is not able to find an appropriate solution to the problem which leads to inordinate delays. "This delay is sometimes used by the opposition parties to tarnish the image of the Government. Media also plays a negative role by being judgemental and describing those false statements by the opposition leaders or other people who are anti-Government, as facts. The allegations may be proved false later on but this false propaganda created through media initially, goes a long way in developing wrong perceptions about that Government or the leader and this happened with Mr Modi in 2002. Moreover, the stupefaction was compounded by the fact that Mr Modi was new to Chief Ministership. "What I feel is, the media should not only behave as a critic of the Government all the times, they ought to sometimes understand the crisis situation for the Government and act as a supporting arm to it, which unfortunately media failed to do in 2002 vis-à-vis the Gujarat riots. From my first-hand experience of the Gujarat situation I can say with conviction that the Gujarat riots were not the failure of Mr Narendra Modi; instead it was the failure of the Gujarat Police as well as the intentions of the Chief Ministers of the neighbouring States which had then denied forces to Gujarat when the riots started." Extracted from KPS Gill: The Paramount Cop by Rahul Chandan, Maple Press, 244 pages, Rs 295, paperback.Extracts: 2nd Nov 2013 Sunday Gaurdian

Old Delhi’s UPA Muslim MLAs spent least on development

Rs 437.74 cr remains unspent from Yousuf's fund. Iqbal is yet to spend Rs 444.88 cr from his fund
RTI reply shows that Haroon Yousuf and Shoaib Iqbal are the most frugal of Delhi MLAs when it comes to developing their constituencies.
Muslim MLAs from the walled city, Haroon Yousuf, also a minister in the Sheila Dikshit Cabinet, and Shoaib Iqbal have spent the least from their area development funds in their under-developed constituencies. Yousuf and Iqbal represent Ballimaran and Matia Mahal seats. An RTI reply lists the expenditures incurred by all of Delhi's 70 MLAs, showing that except Yousuf and Iqbal, all the others spent most of their fund allocations by the end of September. An MLA is given Rs 4 cr per year to spend for his constituency's development. Rs 1 cr of this amount is mandatorily spent on Delhi Jal Board projects. Interestingly, both Yousuf and Shoaib have been the least spenders for the past three years. Despite strong protests by Old Delhi locals, they haven't planned any fresh development projects in their areas. Rs 437.74 cr remains unspent from Yousuf's fund. Iqbal is yet to spend Rs 444.88 cr from his fund. When asked why they have been so frugal, both Yousuf and Iqbal said that they were holding back to their money to spend it in the next session. But they didn't respond to the question what if they din't win the election this time and the money was returned to the state treasury. Meanwhile, residents in Ballimaran and Matia Mahal say that since both these candidates are unchallenged and will win for certain, they are either ignoring or delaying the development work in their areas. "Iqbal has unparalleled clout in the area. He does not have a competitor. He will continue to represent the area in the next Assembly session also. This confidence has turned him complacent about development. He is more concerned with popular causes like mosque construction and other sentimental Muslim issues. It reaps him political dividends. Plus, he also does some genuine charity works by helping the poor of the area," said Gulfam Qureshi, a small time political leader in Jama Masjid area. "Locals are angry with Yousuf as there is hardly any visible development in the area except a few renovated streets and improved sewer lines. But they don't see any suitable challenger to him," said Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, a Ballimaran-based Urdu journalist.
News Credits Sunday Gaurdian

Bihar, Jharkhand are safe zones for terror

The Nitish Kumar government sat on the proposal to create ATS for four years. In Jharkhand, the proposal to set up ATS has been pending for three years.
he casual attitude of the state governments of Bihar and Jharkhand in tackling terror related activities, despite available proof, has made the two states "safe zones" for terror outfits. The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar sat on the home department's proposal to set up an Anti-Terrorism Squad for four years. It swung into action only after the Bodhgaya blasts on 7 July 2013. The state Cabinet cleared the proposal two days after the blasts. The Bihar Public Service Commission and the Staff Selection Commission have been asked to follow up on the decision. The situation is similar in Jharkhand. In the last few years, Darbhanga, Madhubani and Samastipur in Bihar have provided safe hideouts to terrorists. Darbhanga's proximity to the porous India-Nepal border offers the perfect escape route to them. However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is opposed to the use of the phrase "Darbhanga module" and said as much at a meeting of Chief Ministers last year. Many terrorists have been arrested from this region. In 2011, the Delhi police arrested suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives from Madhubani for their alleged role in planning and executing the Pune's German Bakery blast of February 2010, the Bangalore Chinnaswamy Stadium blast of April 2010 and for a Jama Masjid shootout in September 2010. The Maharashtra ATS arrested Naqi Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Sheikh and Nadeem Akhtar Ashfaq Sheikh in the July 13 2011 Mumbai blasts case, from Darbhanga. Tehseen Akhtar, now arrested in connection with the Patna blasts, has been wanted by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) for a long time. The agency had raided places like Samastipur, Darbhanga, Munger and Madhubani while searching for him. The NIA also arrested Yasin Bhatkal from the Nepal-Bihar border on 29 August 2013. Terming the Bihar government's approach as "callous", BJP Rajya Sabha member C.P. Thakur said besides setting up an ATS, the Bihar government should take intelligence inputs seriously to prevent incidents like the Patna serial blasts in future. "The government needs to fix the porous Nepal-Bihar border. Also the issue needs to be seen in its social context. The government needs to find out why Bihari youths are being picked up by terror outfits," he said. Jharkhand, from where the alleged IM terrorists have been arrested in connection with the Patna serial blasts, is not far behind. The Jharkhand police sent a proposal three years ago to the state home department to set up an ATS, but the proposal has got entangled in bureaucratic wrangling. No one knows the status of the proposal. As per the proposal, the ATS was supposed to have a strength of 500 personnel and is to be headed by a DIG rank officer. As many as 10 terrorists, having links with the IM, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) have been arrested from the state in the last 13 years. In 2002, two Pakistani terrorists, Zahid and Salim, involved in the terror attack on Kolkata's American Centre, were gunned down in Hazaribagh. The Madhya Pradesh police arrested Abu Faizal, a suspected SIMI member, from Jamshedpur. In the recent past, Danish Riyaz and Manzar Imam, associated with SIMI, were arrested from Ranchi in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Last year, suspected LeT member Ehtesham Malik, was arrested in Delhi, after visiting Hazaribagh, where his mother lives. His cousin Tauseef Ahmad Pir was arrested from Hazaribagh. Sources say that terror modules operate from Hazaribagh, Giridih, Pakur, Jamtara, Ranchi and Jamshedpur. Former Jharkhand Director General of Police R.R. Prasad says it will be improper to term the region as a "terror hub". "We are living in a complex world. Of course, some terrorists have been arrested from this part but that does not mean that it is a terror centre. It's like any other place in the country where terrorists take shelter," he said. The retired top cop, however, said "routine policing" needs to be strengthened — whether it is for handling regular law and order or deal with Naxalism or terrorism. "All this talk of ATS is a fancy idea. The best intelligence input comes from the local daroga (officer in-charge of the police station)," he maintained. On the response to the Patna serial blasts, Prasad said that Bihar and Jharkhand police displayed "excellent coordination", which led to the arrest of the accused within 48 hours.
News Credits The Sunday Gaurdian,2 Nov 2013

Arrogant Nitish Kumar appeared happy after Patna blasts, alleges Narendra Modi

"Dr Raman Singh met the victims, instituted an investigation to look into the shortcomings of the government." He added, "When the Bihar Chief Minister was questioned on the blasts, his arrogance was evident. See how an empathetic Chief Minister behaves and how an arrogant Chief Minister behaves."
Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh: Narendra Modi today unpacked a litany of accusations against his adversary, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who he described, as arrogant. The leaders have over several fractious years crafted the technique of political jousting without naming each other, a tradition Mr Modi displayed today. At an election rally in Chhattisgarh, which votes for its next government this month, Mr Modi configured an image of Mr Kumar as an uncaring chief minister "whose body language suggested happiness" after last month's serial blasts in Patna which preceded a massive rally held by the BJP leader. Mr Modi, who is the BJP's candidate for Prime Minister, was not harmed in those explosions. Six people were killed and 83 injured; the BJP has attributed the terror attack to the "gross criminal negligence" of Mr Kumar and his government. In June, Mr Kumar pulled the trigger on a 17-year alliance with the BJP over its decision to give Mr Modi the starring role in its campaign for the national election. In Chhattisgarh, the BJP and chief minister Raman Singh are seeking a third consecutive term in power. Mr Modi used a Naxal attack in the state in May in which several Senior Congress leaders were killed to compare and contrast the Chhattisgarh chief minister's performance to that of Mr Kumar's. "Dr Raman Singh met the victims, instituted an investigation to look into the shortcomings of the government." He added, "When the Bihar Chief Minister was questioned on the blasts, his arrogance was evident. See how an empathetic Chief Minister behaves and how an arrogant Chief Minister behaves."

Forget Narendra Modi, now Congress is fighting over Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Nov 7: Ahead of the Lok Sabha election which is expected to be held in 2014, Congress seems to have lost its track.
Instead of attacking its opponent party leaders such as Narendra Modi, Jairam Ramesh expressed his disappointment over Rahul Gandhi.
However, other Congress party leaders did not take Ramesh's criticism against Rahul lightly. Downplaying the Union Minister's shocking remark against Rahul, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit defended their young star campaigner saying, "Rahul Gandhi has been touring all the poll-bound states.
He is in a combative mode and his speeches show that he is serious." Jairam recently has expressed his disappointment with young Gandhi family scion saying, "My frustration is that he is too forward looking, he is talking of structure, systems, he is talking of building Congress in the long term whereas we are now faced with fighting an election in the short term." Rahul Gandhi is in a combative mode and his speeches show that he is serious Jairam's statement surfaced after Rahul's meeting with party colleagues where he reportedly insisted that a win can be sacrificed for the sake of strengthening the party. According to sources, Rahul earlier had overruled a proposal of Congress leaders of strengthening party's power in Bihar by forming an alliance with RJD-led by Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Rahul reportedly preferred not to form an alliance to assert the Congress authority in the state. Though, party leaders feel that Rahul's idealism could cost them votes and it's not the right strategy ahead of the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, BJP has taken advantage of the current situation when Congress leaders are busy in fighting with each other.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar was quoted as saying, "Jairam's statement shows the exasperation of the Congress. The fact they are thinking beyond 2014 shows they have conceded defeat."

Modi visits Patna blast victims’ homes

Apart from offering condolences, Modi also handed a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the families.
Six days after a series of blasts rocked Patna's Gandhi Maidan during Narendra Modi's Hunkar rally, the BJP's PM candidate returned to Bihar. He said he was there to answer his "call of conscience" and offer his "sympathies" to the families of those killed and injured. His visit triggered a war of words with Bihar's ruling JD(U) and the Congress, who described it as a "political stunt" and accused Modi of "polarising" people.
Modi's return visit coincided with BJP's Asthi Kalash Yatra, which started on Thursday from the villages the six victims belonged to in Supaul, Gopalganj, Begusarai, Nalanda, Kaimur and Patna districts. The Yatra is expected to tour the entire state before reaching Patna for cremation on 5 November. Six persons were killed and 90 injured on 27 October. Modi's visit to the six families was delayed by two hours because of inclement weather which eventually forced him to skip two villages. Modi first reached Gaurichak, about 70 km from Patna where he met the family of Rajnarain Singh. He garlanded the photograph of the deceased, offered condolences to the family and handed them a cheque of Rs 5 lakh. He was told that Rajnarain was an ardent follower of Jaiprakash Narayan and had gone to hear Modi without informing his family. Senior BJP leaders promised that the party would erect the statues of all six victims in their respective villages. Narendra Modi arrived in Patna late on Friday evening and was accorded the status of a "state guest" by the Bihar government. He was staying in Patna's state guest house, right opposite CM Nitish Kumar's residence. Heavy security arrangements were put in place for Modi's visit. Besides, Bihar police personnel, a large contingent of security officials accompanied Modi's. The security apparatus included 35 Black Cat commandos, 70 officials from the Gujarat Police, seven bomb squads. Special helipads had been created in each of the villages where Modi was to visit. Because of bad weather Modi could not go to Supaul. Instead he called up the family of victim Bharat Rajak. "Spoke to Shankar, the son of Shaheed Bharat Rajak over telephone. People from his village shared a very touching anecdote," Modi tweeted. "Shaheed Bharat Rajak had a pet pigeon who would stay next to his bed. Bharat would not begin his day without feeding grain to the pigeon. Pigeon refused to leave dead body of Bharat and travelled with the body till the funeral. Even now the pigeon stays around Bharat's room," Modi tweeted. In Gopal Ganj, Modi called up Patna blasts victim Munna Shrivastav's wife and consoled her. Modi tweeted, "Spoke to wife of Shaheed Munna Srivastava on phone. We are all a part of one family and stand by them in this hour of grief." Consoling Srivastava's wife, Modi said, "Your daughter is like my daughter, will take care of her." He visited Kaimur where he met the wife of victim Vikas Singh. "In Kaimur, met the wife and children of Shaheed Vikas Singh and offered my deepest condolences to the family," Modi tweeted. He later went to Nitish Kumar's bastion Nalanda to meet the family of deceased Rajesh Kumar. Commenting on Modi's return visit, JD(U) spokesperson, Shivanand Tiwari said, "This is not a 100 metre race. Narendra Modi must understand this. This is a semi-marathon, if not a marathon. There are still five months left and if he continues to remain in such a hurry then I feel he might fall and get hurt." On Friday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had described the BJP's Asthi-Kalash Yatra as an attempt to create "communal tensions". "Bihar is a place of communal harmony. We all know that attempts are being made to disturb this harmony," he said. JD(U)'s K.C. Tyagi said, "Modi is visiting Bihar with 1,000 Gujarat policemen. Is Bihar police supposed to work under the Gujarat police?" He said Modi's actions were an insult to the prestige of Bihar. Bihar's former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who was accompanying Narendra Modi tweeted, "Had @Nkumar made security arrangements for @Namo's Rally what it was in JDU's Rally then Namo wouldn't have visited Bihar again in 1 week." The Congress accused Modi of polarising society. Congress spokesman and MLA from Deoria, Akhilesh Pratap Singh said, "When the blasts were happening he continued with his speech and waved goodbye and left. Now what is the point of coming back?" Addressing the media after returning from Nalanda, Modi said that he came to Bihar again because of a call from his conscience. "I had a wish to visit the families of the victims of the Patna serial blasts that happened during my rally last week. Due to bad weather this morning the helicopter could not take off on time and I also could not visit two of the families. But I hope to meet them in future," he said.