POSTED BY Buzz ON Nov 02, 2012 AT 23:32 IST ,  Edited At: Nov 02, 2012 23:32 IST

In Karan Thapar's Last Word on CNN-IBN, the Janta Party president, was asked why his charges against Rahul and Sonia Gandhi were not as big front-page news as Arvind Kejriwal's charges against Robert Vadra, or Aaj Tak's charges against Salman Khurshid, and if this was because the press was biased against him:

from around 11:48 onwards:

Subramanian Swamy: The press is not biased against me but the press is amenable to pressure and since I have many members of my family who are in the press, I get an inside view of how that pressure works - whether it works through an SMS or a direct telephone phone call...

Karan Thapar: Can you be explicit? Pressure from whom?

Subramanian Swamy: Pressure from people in authority.

Karan Thapar: The Congress party or the Gandhis directly?

Subramanian Swamy: Well, of course the Gandhis. Definitely they've their hatchet men who perform that role...

Karan Thapar: Can I interrupt and ask as to how come that pressure didn't apply when Vadra got exposed as that was front page news repeatedly for a long time.

Subramanian Swamy: Well, I can say that there is an explanation for that. You want to hear that explanation?

Karan Thapar: Very quickly, yes.

Subramanian Swamy: Well, I think Mr Vadra is not a very popular man in the Gandhi family... and there is... I know... you'd say I am getting into personal matters, but there is a separation process going on...and there is a division of property which has become very messy...

Karan Thapar: You are being Machiavellian. Are you suggesting that the Gandhis themselves saw it in their interest to allow stories about Vadra to hit the front pages?

Subramanian Swamy :
That's right, that's right...That's what I am saying...

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Nov 02, 2012 AT 23:32 IST, Edited At: Nov 02, 2012 23:32 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 26, 2012 AT 22:27 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 26, 2012 22:27 IST

Swapan Dasgupta in the Telegraph: Black sheep in all parties

In defending its president, the BJP appears to have got itself into an almighty jam...

If the logic of Advani’s contrived distinction between business and politics had indeed been pursued, the BJP should have left the defence of Gadkari to the man himself. Since the business dealings of Gadkari were undertaken independent of his party, there was no earthly reason why Sushma Swaraj and Jaitley should have appeared before the cameras to defend him. Most surprising of all was Advani’s intervention on behalf of Gadkari the politician. Popular memory may well be short but BJP workers at least may not have forgotten that last year Advani expended a huge amount of the party’s resources organizing a nationwide yatra against corruption and black money. At that time Advani did not care to make a distinction between unethical business practices and corrupt politics. To him, at that time, both fed on each other. Why should the ground rules be changed for Gadkari?

This is a question that must also be addressed to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh whose chief, Mohan Bhagwat, devoted a large part of his annual Vijaya Dashami address to attacking corruption. ...

For the BJP, the political cost of Gadkari and Vadra being put on par will be more damaging than for the Congress.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 26, 2012 AT 22:27 IST, Edited At: Oct 26, 2012 22:27 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 17, 2012 AT 23:26 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 17, 2012 23:26 IST

Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express:

India’s political elites present a dismal spectacle. Like elites in denial, they pity the plumage, but forget the dying bird, to borrow Thomas Paine’s immortal words. They fret at the symptoms, but do not address the causes; they blame the messenger but do not go after the culprits; they worry about being declared guilty without a fair hearing, without introspection on why their credibility is so low. It is an elite now so estranged from reality, that it simply does not recognise how the world has changed. It is not a world that can be managed by old rules. India is on an astonishing cusp; the tragedy is that politicians, for the most part, are not running with the winds of change. But they still complain about the dust that is blinding them.

Delhi’s corridors of power are now echo chambers of whining. Arvind Kejriwal is running a lynch mob, the CAG is taking over the country, environmental NGOs have stopped all development, the RTI is vexatious and so forth. It is as if a vast conspiracy of non-political actors has hamstrung a virtuous political class. But the truth is the opposite: it serves the interest of this political class to present itself as victim, now that it has no authority to do business as usual.

Arvind Kejriwal’s methods should cause disquiet. He does give the impression of a closed circle of certitude: guilt is pronounced with unbreachable confidence. Sometimes the lines between political accountability and an inquisition are blurred, and often the attacks seem too personalised. But whatever the infirmities of the movement, we should not be blindsided by the fact that this mode of seeking accountability is an inevitable consequence of the decimation of institutions.

Read this must-read article at the Indian Express

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 17, 2012 AT 23:26 IST, Edited At: Oct 17, 2012 23:26 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 16, 2012 AT 23:59 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 17, 2012 04:48 IST

43 Transfers in 20 Years

Till last week, not many had heard of senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka, a Kolkata boy from St. Xavier's Collegiate School, with Computer Science engineer from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT KGP - 1984-1988), a Ph.D in Computer Science from The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), apart from holding an MBA and an MA degree in economics 

Even the news item on Saturday, October 13, about a whistle-blowing IAS officer in Haryana, who had apparently been transferred for the 43rd time in his career spanning 20 years did not attract much attention. 

The story of Director General, consolidations of holdings and land records in Haryana, who had been barely been allowed to last in his post for less than two months before abruptly being transferred as Managing Director of Haryana Seeds Development Corporation (a post previously held by an officer 12 years his junior), was not exactly front page news on the next two days either. 

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 16, 2012 AT 23:59 IST, Edited At: Oct 17, 2012 04:48 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 14, 2012 AT 18:44 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 14, 2012 18:44 IST

For those who came in late, the backgound:

Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, an NGO run by law minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise Khurshid, has been at the centre of many allegations of financial misappropriation and forgery that have been refuted by the law minister and his wife.

Arvind Kejriwal, sitting on a protest at Parliament Street police station, has been demanding Khurshid be arrested for alleged misappropriation of funds from the Ministry of Social Justice by his trust, quoting a CAG report which alleges “misappropriation of a grant of Rs 71.5 lakh, interest of Rs 15.49 lakh thereon and the irregular release of a further grant of Rs 68.25 lakh”.

According to the report, on the basis of recommendations of the Uttar Pradesh government, a grant-in aid of Rs 71.5 lakh was sanctioned to Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust Delhi, as a non-recurring grant in 2009-10 for distributing aid and appliances under a scheme to be implemented in 17 districts across Uttar Pradesh.


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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 14, 2012 AT 18:44 IST, Edited At: Oct 14, 2012 18:44 IST
     
 
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