- Login | Register
- Current Issue
- Most Read
- Back Issues
Lenders to Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) would take a joint decision once the report of the forensic audit of
Noted journalist Syed Majeed-Ul-Hassan Jaffri (60) died at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia yesterday following cardiac arrest, famil
Ashok Malik in The Deccan Chronicle:
It was said of Ronald Reagan that he was the “Teflon Man”: nothing (no scandal) stuck on him. In the post-2004 period, Mr Advani became the “Fevicol Man”: he just stuck on to everything, every post. Did he really have to bring this upon himself?
...Whatever its other shortcomings, the Sangh leadership has been extremely courteous to Mr Advani. It has told him he has a couple of years to fade away from the party hierarchy and decision-making.
Till then, he can be guidance counsellor to a team that will probably be put together by the RSS.
Yet, as his “talent hunt” brainwave suggests, Mr Advani is not reconciled to his own irrelevance. He plans to use his grace period to keep himself in the limelight or merely in the news. Bheesma thinks he is Arjuna, believes he is the hero and the Pandavas and Kauravas are peripheral characters, and wants the script altered to his convenience.
This is not a modern Mahabharat; it is a political tragedy.
Read the full article: Advani’s fall: From Iron Man to Fevicol Man
This lottery prevents MPs from nurturing constituencies, and the electorate from rewarding or punishing their MP. Besides, men who are forced to vacate their constituency when it becomes a woman’s seat for one election would use their women relatives as placeholders. Women MPs would have to flit from one reserved constituency to another, rootless and vulnerable.
And they will be limited to fighting against other women — ushering in the age of purdah in politics. It would limit the voter’s democratic choices, instead of increasing them.
Besides, a “quotawali” could further hinder the acceptance of women as equal to men, and their legitimacy as MPs. We have always had outstanding women leaders and ministers, and this devaluing of women MPs would be a great pity.
The reason we don’t have enough women in Parliament is because political parties don’t give enough tickets to women — and often allot them weak constituencies to lose from.
Meanwhile, retired chief justice of the Delhi High Court and chairperson of the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee on the Status of Muslims repeats that the easy way out of the impasse is to increase the membership of legislatures:
If there is agreement on the double-member seat formula, the identification of seats can be done immediately. All that needs be done is to identify the most populated constituencies and have them declared as such (this will also mean no haggling and a rule-of-thumb quick measure). Women could be elected from each of these constituencies. I feel women activists should seriously opt for double-member constituencies if they want representation or face another decade of useless bravado, false promises and mutual mud-slinging. Frankly, I see no logic as to why women’s organisations should object to such a course — the more they delay, the more the danger of the Sharad Yadav kind of perverse logic spreading.
A day after the BJP announced Arun Jaitley as its leader in the Rajya Sabha and Sushma Swaraj as LK Advani's deputy as the leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Swapan Dasgupta does a clinical, hardnosed analysis of what is wrong with the party in the Times of India, very much continuing the the debate on his website:
The BJP has been insufficiently sensitive to these developments. Intellectually, it has not moved beyond the formulations of the 1990s. Today's Hindu is no longer beleaguered. Rising prosperity has contributed to a gentler, pop nationalism marked by good-humoured flag-waving in cricket matches. Indians don't feel threatened but, at the same time, are repelled by bigotry. The BJP must candidly recognise that assertive Hindutva marked by hate speeches and moral policing is seen as ugly mirror images of the Taliban. The spectacle of old and middle-aged men oozing sanctimoniousness and droning on about India's ancient inheritance belongs to a bygone age. It also reeks of hypocrisy because the integrity quotient of the BJP isn't worth showcasing....
...In politics, image and perception are everything. Today, Hindutva has become an etymological obstacle in the BJP's path, diverting attention from the party's impressive record in governance. The party should consider freezing it in the way Jawaharlal Nehru quietly shelved Gandhism after independence. Enlightened nationalism, good governance and modernity must become the party's priorities.
Read the full piece at the Times of India.
The debate continues in the Deccan Chronicle, where R. Balashankar, the editor of the RSS mouthpiece Organiser, argues that there is no need for another Congress carbon copy and that the BJP needs to reassure and cultivate its core RSS constituency. Ashok Malik politely points out that politics is not RSS' core competence and that "the next generation of the BJP needs to be empowered by its voters, not by the RSS." Read on at the Deccan Chronicle
The open season is coming to an end. And in the spirit of the times, we even have an Outlook guesstimate, and the indefatigable Arun Nehru of course is still projecting numbers similar to the TOI for the two parties:
The three possibilities are a Congress-led coalition with Group D if the former has the numbers and can meet the requirements of the Left and the demand list of the AIADMK, which could, for a start, be the dismissal of the DMK government.
Further, the TDP and the BJD may also need the assistance of the Congress if they have a hung Assembly in the state.All the main parties in Group D (BSP, AIADMK, TDP and BJD) could also travel to the NDA if things do not work out to their satisfaction.
The first attempt I feel will be to forge a strong combination involving the Left and others in Group D. Attempts will be made to weaken both the UPA and the NDA by inducting the NCP and the JD(U) into this combination. At 160-plus seats they will be bigger than the Congress and the BJP but not bigger than either the UPA or the NDA.
One IB estimate received late last night says BJP 147, Congress 139. This may explain the stream of overtures from the Congress to the Left.
A pollster whose conclusions are contrarian (but often accurate) says that of the 457 seats polled to date, the projections are: BJP 154 and allies 42, Congress 123 and (pre-poll allies) 24. This makes it NDA 196, UPA 147.
MJ Akbar, as always, should be allowed the last word:
For the rest of India, back to astrologers and bookies. Bookies are considered superior because they seem to put their money where their mouth is. A friend who was born intelligent but has grown wise over many an educational afternoon spent in the exquisite environment of the Kolkata race course, reminded me of the first law of racing. Bookies only make money when the favourite loses. What would a bookie prefer? To get it right, or to get rich? Dumb question.
As the great Faiz Ahmed Faiz said,
ChaNd roz aur merii jaan,
faqt, chaNd hii roz
Arun Nehru is predicting both BJP and Congress will maintain and perhaps improve upon their 2004 Lok Sabha numbers:
Graphic Courtesy Deccan Chronicle. More here
The NDTV predictions after the third and second phase incidentally stand as follows:
|| 3rd Ph
But what's the harm in guessing? First Arun Nehru in Deccan Chronicle:
I still see both the Congress and the BJP getting close to 300 seats between them. Either of them could form a stable government and the floating vote may stabilise in favour of either party. In states where both are in contention we may see the biggest changes in the next few weeks.
A swing of 20 seats in either direction can change the existing power equations and I think this may well happen as the voter is generally ahead of most political parties.
I find a distinct change in the mood of the electorate as several chief ministers returned to power beating anti-incumbency trends. There is a premium on integrity and good governance based on stability
Graphic Courtesy Deccan Chronicle
And then DNA editors, who now show the UPA losing big and the Others gaining this week:
Graphic Courtesy DNA
MJ Akbar said it best:
Sharad Pawar, it has been suggested, has thrown a cat among the pigeons by opening a can of prime ministers. He may have done something more worrisome than that. He may have thrown a pigeon among the cats.
And another useful insight:
The Left read a clear message in this decision. The Congress wastreating the Left, rather than the BJP, as its principal enemy in thisgeneral election. How? Because in the states where an alliance wouldhave hurt the BJP, like Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, theCongress rejected an alliance with leaders who could have helped defeatthe BJP, like Shibu Soren, Lalu Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan and MulayamSingh Yadav. The distribution of seats in Jharkhand had even beenannounced, but the arrangement collapsed suddenly, and inexplicably, atthe last minute. As a consequence, the BJP will pick up vital extraseats in a state where it was comprehensively defeated five years ago.The Marxists do not consider this accidental. They believe this to be partof a careful Congress strategy to marginalise the Left. There isnothing personal or sentimental about their response.
They will notpermit Congress to lead another Government because they are convincedthat the Congress will use every tactic, political and administrative,behind a screen of conciliatory words, to pursue the same objective ifit returns to Government. They know it is a battle of survival and theyintend to survive.