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Plethora of Complaints: STATES MAKE EC EDGY?, By Insaf, 4 April, 2014 Print E-mail

Round The States

New Delhi, 4 April 2014

Plethora of Complaints


By Insaf


The Election Commission and its cross-country team have no option but to burn the midnight oil. Not so much for the usual poll preparations underway, but for the unusual plethora of complaints pouring in from various States about model code violation. The absurd suggestions emanating from notorious Uttar Pradesh leaders including Akhilesh Yadav egging voters to indulge in “booth capturing and bogus voting”, to Maharashtra leader Sharad Pawar advising “remove ink and vote twice” to Delhi’s Congress chief Sonia Gandhi meeting Imam Bukhari for votes, have made the watchdog edgy. The 2014 battle has indeed got all parties rattled like never before and the EC wondering to what low the parties would stoop. However, while it yields the stick, it ironically finds itself too on the other side of the fence. Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa has questioned its code. It’s unacceptable that the expenses of a public meeting should be put into a candidate’s account if a speaker of the party mentions his name or picture, she has complained to the people. Worse, she has questioned the poll panel’s order of putting a stop to a Government’s orders once the code comes into play. How can functions of a “democratically elected Government come to a standstill,” the lady asks and threatens to file a complaint against the EC! With the first phase of polling to roll out soon, the poll panel will soon have its plate overflowing. How it chews on the absurdities, is worth a watch.  

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Maharashtra Upstages Gujarat

Maharashtra has good reason to be buoyant. It’s said to have upstaged Narendra Modi’s Gujarat as the country’s number one investment destination. This is not emanating from election speeches, but a recent study undertaken by the Assocham. It’s report states the Congress-NCP ruled Maharashtra attracted cumulative investment proposals of Rs 14,73,466 crore as on December last year, whereas BJP’s Gujarat managed only Rs 13,98,347 crore. This is because Maharashtra has put the focus on development more on industrial centers in tier-II and tier-III cities, rather than “all-round” as touted by Gujarat. The change in priority since the past two years has apparently yielded dividends with both Indian and global service sector industries opting for Maharashtra. The State is being viewed as the hub for both service and electricity industries which put together attracted investment over Rs 67,000 crore last year, as against Rs 62,000 crore in Gujarat. The latter, however, was on number one position in December 2011 and had attracted Rs 16,28,126 crore of investment proposals, against Maharashtra’s Rs 14,13,728 crore. Guess, ammunition for a worried Congress in its campaign against Modi?

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UPs Brahmins On SP Radar

Uttar Pradesh Muslims are no longer the privileged class this election for the ruling Samajwadi Party. There’s big competition from the Brahmins, as its manifesto released on Wednesday last suggests. Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has promised the upper-caste voters that he would set up a Commission for them specifically to redress their grievances. The official justification being that while there are Commission’s for SC/STs, minorities and women, a large chunk of the Upper Caste, harassed and poor have been left out. However, the party fails to admit that Muzaffarnagar riots have made a huge dent in its Muslim vote bank. While it’s certain the outreach towards the Brahmins would not cut much ice, the SP nevertheless is trying hard to cut into BJP’s growing gains in the 80 Lok Sabha seats. Insofar as the Muslims-- its known core vote bank, is concerned the SP has pledged 15-per cent job quota in police and PAC and release of accused in fake terror cases, other than speedy justice to victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots. It would have done better had it looked in its own backyard in time. If it wasn’t for the pathetic mishandling of the Muzaffarnagar riots, the SP would not have had to look elsewhere.  The Maulana, indeed has miscalculated.

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Haryana Opposition ‘Deal’

Haryana is getting to be a tough terrain for the ruling Congress. Its rivals have ganged up surreptitiously to go for the grand kill for the 10 Lok Sabha seats. It looks like the Opposition is in a win-win situation despite the parties not working out an alliance. While the BJP has failed to seal a re-alliance with the INLD, which is fielding all 10 candidates, the national party’s partner SAD in neighbouring Punjab, is going to chip in and campaign for Om Prakash Chautala’s party given its close “family-like” ties. It would turn out awkward, as BJP, which has an alliance with the Haryana Janhit Congress, would find SAD campaigning for the INLD in some constituencies! But, the BJP doesn’t want to make much of a noise as INLD is viewed as a party of the Jats, which comprise 25 per cent of the population and in any case Chautala has stated he would support Modi as prime minister. Signal enough that whether the Jats vote for INLD or the BJP, the two may eventually come together depending on the latter’s final tally. The tacit understanding may even go beyond—Assembly elections later this year, much to the chagrin of the Congress.

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Rajasthan’s Vadra ‘Deals’   

Rajasthan spells further doom for a battered Congress and the nation’s ‘first family’, the Gandhi’s. Son-in-law Robert Vadra has hit the headlines again with reports that former Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot reportedly helped him make big bucks. With the sitting BJP MP demanding an inquiry into land deal irregularities, the Bikaner DM has indicated that companies in which Vadra has stakes, have made huge profits by way of buying land at reduced rates and then selling it at premium rates! The DM has named “five companies” which bought 663 hectares of land, if not more, in which Vadra has stakes. It is learnt that 284 hectares was later sold at a premium. This apart, the report suggests Vadra was the “first to purchase plots in parched deserts of Bikaner,” and soon after that the Gehlot Government went into an agreement with a private firm to set up a silicon plant and develop the area as solar hub! Recall, Vadra ‘land deals’ have caused much embarrassment to the Congress in Haryana. With Rajasthan now it would be a double whammy—of poor show. 

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Bihar Stink over ‘Pink Revolution’

Hindutva seems to be back on the Saffron Sangh’s agenda following BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Modi taking up cudgels against cow slaughter. In his latest rally in Bihar, Namo accused the Congress-led UPA Government of promoting meat export and cow slaughter. Dubbing cow butchering as ‘pink revolution’, he accused his arch rival of giving subsidy to those who kill cows for export and not to farmers who rear cattle. Undeniably, his vociferous attack was to drive a wedge between the cattle-rearing Yadavs and the Muslims who principally export meat to the Middle-east and other parts of the world. It remains to be seen whether he would be able to drive a wedge between the Yadavs and Muslims, communities which have traditionally supported both Mulayam’s Samajwadi Party in UP and Lalu’s RJD in Bihar. ---INFA


(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)














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