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Kashmir’s Double Whammy: Ex-ARMY CHIEF’S SALVO AMIDST TERROR, By Insaf, 26 Sept, 2013 Print E-mail

Round The States

New Delhi, 26 September 2013


Kashmir’s Double Whammy


By Insaf


Picturesque Kashmir has been struck by a double whammy. One burgeoning terror, two a raging storm over allegations that former Army Chief Gen VK Singh set-up an intelligence unit to try and topple the Omar Abdullah Government by misusing secret funds. In a strong counter Gen Singh lobbed a bomb by asserting that the Army had “paid monies” to Abdullah’s Ministers towards maintaining stability. Taking advantage of the ensuing pandemonium heavily-armed militants stormed a police station and an army camp in Jammu region on Thursday killing twelve including a Lieutenant Colonel. That too barely three days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharief tomorrow in New York. Resulting in a free-for-all melee with Abdullah demanding a CBI inquiry, the Centre promising action against those involved and the BJP raising the ante against a dialogue with Islamabad.  All further mudding the complicated Kashmir imbroglio. 

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Special Category Status Obsolete

Chief Ministers Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik’s hopes of getting their respective States Bihar and Odisha earmarked as 'special category' might be dashed. The Raghuram Rajan (now RBI Governor) Committee report seeks an end of this criterion for providing more funds and additional assistance to poorer States from the Centre. Instead the Rajan panel suggested a new methodology for devolving funds on States based on a 'Multi Dimensional Index (MDI)'. Whereby, the 28 States would be split into three categories: least developed, less developed and relatively developed, depending on their MDI scores. Interestingly, Goa and Kerala topped the most advanced States and Bihar and Odisha along-with Assam and Arunachal the least. Under the new parameters States would get a basic fixed allocation and an additional allocation depending on its development needs and development performance. Politically, with the “special category” carrot receding it remains to be seen if Nitish will cozy up to the Congress!

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Rains Play Havoc in Karnataka, Gujarat

Lord Indra’s wrath plays havoc in Karnataka and Gujarat after Uttarakhand. In the Southern bastion over 119 people have been killed, 11,536 houses damaged, bridges and roads swept away, electricity snapped, 2,49,596 hectare agriculture crops damaged and losses worth over Rs 2,724 crore till date. In fact the State has recorded 17 per cent more than its normal 758 mm rainfall. Ditto is the case in Gujarat wherein 30km long traffic pile-up on the Ahmadabad-Mumbai national highway dotted Bharuch’s landscape. The heavy downpours also led to trains being cancelled resulting in lakhs of commuters being stranded. The State Administration has its fingers crossed the Lord Surya will rein in the rain God.

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Ministers-Babus Face-Off

All is not well in Chhattisgarh where senior Ministers and top bureaucrats are engaged in a bitter public tu-tu-main-main. Both are busy accusing the other of corruption and indiscipline. Shockingly, seven of the twelve Ministers have demanded the removal of the Chief Secretary and the Additional Secretary for leaking confidential papers to the media. The charges relate to petty issues wherein the Secretary rejected the Education Minister’s proposal to distribute bicycles to school going children under the Saraswati Cycle Yojna. In retaliation unidentified people complained to the CVC that the two top officials were using their offices for personal gains a also buying substandard furniture for the school department. With Assembly elections round the corner, Chief Minister Raman Singh has deftly turned a deaf ear to his Ministerial brood’s demand for a CBI enquiry.  

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Jagan Walks Free In Andhra

The recent bail to YSR Reddy Congress’ leader Jaganmohan Reddy is giving sleepless nights to his former party Congress. Post the announcement of the creation of Telangana with Andhra now dividing three ways the rousing welcome to Reddy in the Seemandhra area has added to the ruling party’s woes in the 2014 general elections. Pertinently, Andhra Pradesh’s 42 Lok Sabha seats are vital in the Congress calculations in the run-up to the polls. Recall, in 2009 the party had won 33 seats. With Telangana accounting for 17 seats and Rayalseema and Seemandhra getting 13 and 17 seats respectively it is going to be a steep uphill for Congress and has Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP jittery. Already the TRS is slated for to win in the Telangana region and with Reddy making plain his opposition to the trifurcation of the State alongwith purportedly enjoying a majority in Rayalseema the battle of the hustings is going to be very interesting.

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National Dis-Integration Council Meeting

The much trumpeted National Integration Council on Monday was neither national nor integrated. Not only did 16 Chief Ministers attend worse they took pot shots at each other and the Centre. Importantly, four regional satraps BJP’s Prime Minister candidate Gujarat’s Narendra Modi, West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu’s Jayalalitha and Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik for reasons best known to them state away. Under attack for the recent Muzaffarnagar riots UP’s Yadav duo Mulayam and son Akhilesh along with Bihar’s Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav hit out at the Sangh Parivar. Countered by Madhya Pradesh’ Shivraj Singh Chauhan who blamed the so-called secular parties for vote bank politics. All in all confrontationist rhetoric and communalism singed the lackluster meeting

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Kudos to Mumbai Honesty

Believe it or not in dishonest and corrupt India Mumbai ranks as the world’s second most honest city out of 16 across four continents. India’s commercial capital has been heralded for returning valets to their rightful owners, whereby nine out of the twelve purses found with Rs. 3000/- found on roads were returned. Interestingly, while Finland’s capital Helsinki topped the honesty list, Portugal’s Lisbon was the most dishonest while Switzerland renowned for its honesty saw only four wallets returned in Zurich. Wonder whether this will make help our corrupt netas from turning a new leaf!


(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)


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