Category Archives: Politics

MBMC Hit Congress, Warned to oppose it

Aligarh:  If the Congress led UPA government is really serious for the well being of Muslims why it failed to constitute the “Delimitation Commission” till now despite the harsh reality that all Muslim concentrated assembly and Lok-Sabha constituencies are reserved which is negatively affecting Muslim representation in policy and government bodies said President, Former AMU Teachers Association (AMUTA) Prof. Razuallah Khan while chairing a Political Analysis meeting held by Millat Bedari Muhim Committee (MBMC) at Media Centre Aligarh. He pointed out that though Congress shouts from roof tops about secularism and Muslim development but has failed bitterly on ground level to take up them.

Secretary of MBMC Jasim Mohammad said that the High Court had struck down the provisions of Muslim reservations made by Andhra Pradesh government in 2011 but till now the Congress government has not gone in appeal which indicates its real goal. Likewise the case of minority status of AMU is pending in Supreme Court and the Congress led UPA government has failed to submit reply and the case is still pending. He pointed out that perhaps Congress treats Muslims like slaves. He said that we are faithful but not slaves and the faithfulness has its own limits.

Jasim Mohammad said that Indian Constitution does not permit any discrimination on ground of religion but Presidential Order of 1950 on the Article 341 of the Constitution of India still debars Indian Muslim and Christian dalits from the provisions of the reservation which is discriminatory. He said that despite demands since a long time, the Congress did not took up any corrective measure.

AMU Court Member & Sr. Scientist Prof. Humayun Murad said that though Maulana Abul Kalam Azad first education minister of India and a great freedom fighter is portrayed as poster boy by Congress but the UPA government fails to release the funds for Maulana Azad Memorial Lectures this year which has exposed the gulf between claims and intentions of Congress.

AMU EC member Dr. Mohammad Shahid said that through the SP led UP government failed in controlling and deliverance of justice in Muzaffarnagar riots but the UPA government also failed to act. He said though law and order is subject of states but Muzaffarnagar riots and subsequent incidents were above law and order and had generated a Constitutional crisis and UPA government should had acted at that time but Congress the leading partner of UPA had no political will.

Analyzing the deliberations of the meeting N. Jamal Ansari Director Centre of Studies an Muslim Politics said that all political parties treat Muslims as their natural votes and a significant section of Muslims goes with some parties at the time of elections Muslims should demand for their political representation in policy and governance bodies and for that they must float their own secular political parties.

In the end of meeting MBMC, Aligarh passed a resolution condemning the discriminatory attitude of the Congress and demanded that it should clear its stand on all issues which affect Muslim interest MBMC made it clear that it may launch a massive opposition of Congress during coming Lok Sabha elections if Congress failed to take up corrective steps.

BJP will not be supported but Congress must Awake: FMSA

Aligarh:  We do not subscribe the thinking or philosophy of the Sangh Parivar. So Indian Muslims will never vote for BJP but at the same time the Congress should also take up sincere steps for the development of Muslims said Jasim Mohammad Secretary General of Forum for Muslim Studies & Analysis (FMSA) while addressing a meeting at Media Centre Aligarh. He pointed out that even after six and half year, the recommendations of Sachar Committee could not be implemented fully and the socio-economic status of Muslims is the same.

President of the Forum, Prof. Razaullah Khan said that Muslims are not receiving due justice on false cases of terrorism and in fact the Congress is failing in taking action against real culprits of terrorism and riots. He pointed out that many Muslim concentrated areas have been declared reserved constituencies and due to that political representation of Muslims is declining.

Prof. Syed Iqbal Ali said that the government has failed in constituting Equal Opportunities Commission. Even Central Urdu Teachers scheme has not been implemented in several states. VP of FMSA, N. Jamal Ansari said that the allocation of budget for Prime Minister’s 15 point programme should not be only implemented truly but also monitored. Prof. Shahabuddin Iraqi said that Muslim strength should be increased in police force and for that Limited Competitive Examination (LCE) should be waived off for Muslims in recruitment of 1400 additional IPS officers.

OSD Jamia Urdu Farhat Ali Khan demanded that the youth who have been released by Courts on the Charges of terrorism should be paid compensation of 35 lakh rupees and action must be taken against the policemen who had implicated them falsely. Dr. Mohd Farooq Khan said that the recommendations of Sachar Commiteee and Joint Parliamentary Committee on Wakf should be included in the Waqf Bill 2013.

At the end of the meeting FMSA passed a resolution demanding representation of Muslims in the planning and monitoring of the schemes and projects meant for them. In another resolution, FMSA demanded that the recommendations of the Raghuram Ranjan Committee of the Planning Commission should be implemented and interest free banking must be introduced in India.

Is SP playing ‘dangerous’ politics with Muslims?

Lucknow:  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, have time and again expressed their indebtedness to Muslims for voting them to power in the assembly elections earlier this year.

“Many innocent Muslim youths have been framed in cooked up cases. We will always help such people,” Mulayam Singh told IANS recently. Muslims comprise about 19 percent of the 200 million population of the country’s most populous state and are hence wooed by all parties.

The father-son duo have said in the past that cases against “innocent” Muslims arrested in “false” terrorism cases would be dropped. The government thereafter moved Oct 31 a notification seeking withdrawal of cases against the accused in the March 7, 2006, serial bombing cases that ripped through Varanasi and killed 20 people.

The government’s move, other than inviting criticism from parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has also been resented by the bureaucracy. “This is a dangerous precedent that we are setting,” said a government official, adding that not only would this divide the state on strong communal lines but would also encourage terrorism.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former chief minister Mayawati also slammed the SP government for “letting off terrorists”.

Talking to reporters outside parliament in New Delhi, Mayawati said her party would raise the matter in the house as this move could set a dangerous precedent.

Allahabad High Court Thursday rapped Akhilesh Yadav’s government on the matter.

A bench of Justice R.K. Agarwal and Justice R.S.R. Maurya observed: “Today you are releasing them, tomorrow you may give them the Padma Bhushan.” The court also said that whether one was accused or not was a matter to be decided by courts, not politicians.

Through the Oct 31 notification, the state government had sought to withdraw cases against all those accused in the serial blasts at Varanasi’s Dashvashmedh Ghat, the Cantonment railway station and the famous Hanuman temple, Sankatmochan. The bench asked the state government on what grounds the cases were being withdrawn. The petition against the government’s move was filed by social activist Rakesh Srivastava and advocate Nityanand Chaubey.

The bench questioned the state government whether the move would not encourage criminals and terrorism.

The court’s observations, many feel, were not only justified but “due for a long time”. BJP leader Kalraj Mishra accused the government of “playing with national security for petty vote bank politics”. He added: “This is a very serious matter and we have been raising this for a very long time. I am happy that the judiciary has taken note of it.”

Mohammad Rafae, public relations secretary with the Students Islamic organization (SIO), which held a massive protest against the arrest and detention of Muslims by the police in Lucknow, Thursday called the moves by the “SP government mere lip service”.

He pointed out the case of a certain Shakeel from Sitapur who, he alleged, was wrongfully arrested recently. “We have been given assurances by many, including Revenue Minister Ambika Chowdhary, that no innocent person would be arrested or harassed, but that’s not happening,” Rafae said.

“If someone is guilty and there is evidence against him, he should be arrested, but innocent students should not be harassed,” he added.

There are 63 Muslim legislators in the 403-member state assembly, 40 of whom are from the SP.

While many SP leaders admit in private that the move was “triggering a major votes polarisation”, they said they would have to do it for the sake of “Mission 2014”. Mulayam Singh, however, is more forthright and says that a lot of “innocent Muslims have been framed by previous governments and that the SP government would do all that is possible to help them”.

Officials in the state government, however, say that the judicial reprimand was egg on the face of the government, which might force it to do a rethink.

(Mohit Dubey IANS)

Mamata isolated in Delhi yet again

Kolkata:  For the second time in four months, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to leave a mark on national politics has fallen flat.

Banerjee was left high and dry when her Trinamool Congress’ plan to table a no-confidence motion Nov 22 against the Congress-led UPA government ended in a whimper.

Minutes after Trinamool parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay, like a loyal soldier, obeyed “didi’s” (elder sister – as Banerjee is called) diktat by moving the motion in the Lok Sabha, it was rejected by Speaker Meira Kumar for want of sufficient backers.

Nobody was surprised, perhaps not even the Trinamool MPs. The motion seemed destined to meet such an inglorious end.

While the support of at least 50 MPs is needed for the no-confidence motion to be admitted for discussions, the Trinamool’s strength in the Lok Sabha is only 19. And it did not seem to have made a serious and sincere effort to get the backing of other parties.

Banerjee for the second time failed to exhibit the high-level of political astuteness and sophistication needed for successful political manoeuvres in Delhi.

During the presidential polls in June-July, the feisty leader had taken political watchers by surprise when she rushed from a meeting with the UPA and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to team up with the Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The duo came up with a new list of probable presidential candidates, but the move backfired the very next day as Mulayam Singh did a volte-face and announced support for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee, leaving Banerjee dumbfounded.

Despite her initial firm opposition to Mukherjee’s nomination for the highest constitutional office, Banerjee was forced to take a U-turn and announce her party’s support for the veteran leader at the eleventh hour.

But the West Bengal chief minister, it seems, is yet to learn from her mistakes.

Political observers feel instead of unilaterally announcing Trinamool’s decision to move a no-confidence motion and then seeking support of other parties, Banerjee should have first tried to gauge their mood by engaging them in talks.

“Political strategy is decided on the basis of the ground situation, and after discussions. I may desire to bring the government down but is that enough? Numbers are needed for this,” said Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Biman Bose.

In reality, Banerjee addressed a couple of media meets in the run up to moving the resolution and sought support from both the Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left parties and others, saying: “The anti-people and minority UPA government should not be in office even for a day. By introducing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, it is trying to rob poor people of their livelihood”.

She also offered to go to the state CPI-M headquarters here and discuss the matter with Bose, besides calling up BJP stalwart and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Communist Party of India MP Gurudas Dasgupta.

As Trinamool went about the job the other way, it found itself isolated. Only three MPs of the Biju Janata Dal stood up to back the motion.

Causing further embarrassment to the Trinamool, its dissident MP Kabir Suman stayed put in Kolkata instead of attending the Lok Sabha, thus reducing the party’s effective strength in the house to 18.

Opposing the bid to table the no-trust proposal, Suman later said had it been successful, “it would have resulted in mid-term polls which would have cost the nation an enormous amount of money”.

Besides, the lone Lok Sabha member of Trinamool’s electoral ally Socialist Unity Centre of India-Communist also did not root for the motion. Its MP Tarun Mondal claimed that his party was not consulted on the move, though Trinamool parliamentary party leader Bandopadhyay denied the allegation.

Trinamool’s political adversaries were quick to rub salt into its wounds.

Leader of the opposition and CPI-M politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra said: “She (Mamata Banerjee) went from door to door seeking support for her no-confidence motion. But actually it is she on whom nobody has confidence. It is a laughable matter.”

Former state Congress president and erstwhile minister in Banerjee’s cabinet Manas Bhuniya said by seeking help of “communal” BJP and “authoritarian” CPI-M, she had been exposed.

Banerjee, however, seemed undaunted, at least publicly. In a Facebook post, she said “the saviours of the (UPA) government are exposed”.

(Sirshendu Panth IANS)

Congress, BJP in close contest for tribal votes

Ahmedabad:  As Gujarat gets ready to go to the polls next month, the closest contest is going to be perhaps over the hilly and densely forested eastern peripheries of the state, where the majority of the population is tribal in origin.

The tribal parts of the state, called Poorvi Patti (Eastern Belt), constitute 26 of Gujarat’s 182 constituencies. Adivasis comprise 14-15 percent (five million) of Gujarat’s population. There are 37 tribes in the state. The majority of these are Bhils, who in turn are subdivided into Vasavas and Rathwas. Other tribes include Dhodias, Chaudharys, Gamits and Halapatis.

The spoils were divided equally between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), now making its third bid for power, and the Congress in the last elections.

And this time is likely to be no different, say analysts with the BJP not doing enough for the development in the area and the Congress unable to play up the ruling party’s failures.

“It is going to be close,” said Satyakam Joshi from the Surat-based Centre for Social Studies (CSS).

“Gujarat’s adivasis (tribals) are not very happy with a decade of Modi’s rule. Disparities have increased a lot. But so has polarisation. Things are not well with the Congress either. I can predict 12-13 seats for the BJP. A lot will depend on the Congress’ choice of candidates,” Joshi told IANS.

After Gujarat was carved out of the Bombay Presidency in 1960, one of its chief ministers, the Congress’ Madhavsinh Solanki (who served four terms), pioneered the politics of KHAM – Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim – in the 1970s and 80s. The formula worked and succeeded in garnering votes for the Congress.

But with the rise of the Hindu right, Gujarat’s tribal areas became a battleground between Sangh outfits and evangelical Christian missionaries seeking ‘to harvest’ tribal souls.

With Sangh outfits making inroads into tribal areas, the Poorvi Patti is no longer a Congress stronghold and will see a close fight Dec 13 and 17.

“In the last four assembly and Lok Sabha polls, there has been neck-and-neck competition though with greater inclination towards the Congress in comparison to the rest of the state,” said Ganesh Devy, founder of the Adivasi Academy in Chhota Udepur’s Tejgadh and an authority on Gujarat’s tribals.

“The Congress will take 55-60 percent of the vote with the BJP garnering 40-45 percent,” he estimated.

But what about Modi’s sops like inducting tribals in his cabinet, nominating a tribal as assembly speaker and creating new ‘tribal’ districts?

“All that does not help. For the tribal areas have lagged behind the rest of Gujarat in development,” said Joshi.

Besides development, Gujarat’s tribals are also looking for redressal of other issues.

“There is a lot of simmering going on in tribal areas over these issues,” he said.

“They want implementation of the Fifth Schedule of the constitution which mandates that the permission of a Tribal Advisory Council be taken before any mining or industrial activity is taken up in tribal areas.

“Then there is the Forest Rights Act of 2006. Just 12-13 percent of claimants under this act have been compensated.

“The Panchayati Raj Extension to Scheduled Areas Act of 1998 has not yet been implemented in tribal areas. NREGA is weakly implemented here. There is also weak implementation of wages. While Rs.137 is the standard wage for agricultural labour, here it is Rs.70-75,” Joshi explained.

Gujarat’s tribals have been losers both ways, said Ashok Chaudhary of the Adivasi Ekta Parishad.

“If they do not have development, they will be unemployed. If development comes to their areas, their control over the forest and land will decrease.”

“All we want is that we should get to keep what we have. That is the least we can expect from the next government in Gandhinagar,” Chaudhary told IANS.

Poorvi Patti stretches from Banaskantha district on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border to Valsad district on the Gujarat-Maharashtra border. Besides Banaskantha and Valsad, it comprises the districts of Sabarkantha, Panchmahal, Dahod, Dangs and Navsari. It also comprises the brand new districts of Chhota Udepur (carved from Vadodara), Narmada (from Bharuch) and Tapi-Vyara (from Surat).

(Rajat Ghai IANS)

Congress attacks Mamata for seeking BJP’s support

Kolkata:  The Congress Sunday said the Trinamool Congress did not have the adequate numbers in parliament for pushing through a no-confidence motion against the UPA and attacked the Mamata Banerjee-led party for seeking support from “communal” BJP.

“She (Banerjee) must realise that with just 19 MPs she cannot succeed in the no-confidence motion. Moreover, by seeking support from the communal BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), she has shown what kind of principles her party follows,” West Bengal Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya told journalists here.

He said the state Congress will also observe a “condemnation day” Nov 22 – the day Trinamool Congress is slated to introduce the motion.

“On Nov 22 we will observe a condemnation day holding meetings and taking out procession in protests against the unprincipled politics which the Trinamool pursues especially seeking support of a communal party like the BJP,” said Bhattacharya.

The West Bengal chief minister Saturday announced that her party will bring a no-confidence motion against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government during the winter session of parliament beginning Nov 22.

She sought support of the Left parties and the BJP and reportedly approached leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

Bhattacharya also accused the Banerjee government of vitiating the industrial environment in the state which, he said, was resulting in flight of capital from Bengal.

The party has given a “Haldia Chalo” (Go to Haldia) call Nov 20 and several of its leaders, including union ministers from the state, will visit the port town in East Midnapore district which has been in the news for long-standing labour issues.


Rahul Gandhi is number two: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress Monday said party general secretary Rahul Gandhi was “number two” after party president Sonia Gandhi but did not comment on his probable re-designation.

“He is number two… work is going on,” party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury told reporters here at a press conference.

There has been speculation that Rahul Gandhi will assume a bigger role in the party over the next few days and get a new designation such as vice-president. A reshuffle in the All India Congress Committee could take place before Diwali Nov 13.

Shiv Sena leader booked for violating noise limit

Mumbai: A case was registered against an organiser of the Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally for violating the noise level limit laid down by the Bombay High Court, police said here Saturday.

“A case has been registered against Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Borkar, who had sought permission for the Dussehra rally at Shivji Park (in Dadar in central Mumbai) for violating the rules, 2000,” an officer said.

However, police is still looking into the matter and Borkar has not been arrested yet.

Shiv Sena, at its annual Dussehra rally Wednesday, had grossly violated the noise level conditions. The noise level report filed by activist Sumaira Abdulali pointed out that the noise level was at its highest at 88 decibels during the speech of Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu, while the noise of the drums during the procession outside the ground was at 98 decibels.

The permissible limit is only 50 decibels.

The court had directed Abdulali, the convenor of Awaaz Foundation, to monitor the decibel levels at Shivaji Park during the rally and report findings to the court.

Abdulali said that the noise levels during the speeches not only rose and far exceeded those permitted by the Noise Pollution Rules for a Silence Zone, they were also higher than those at last year’s rally.

The Bombay High Court had, on Oct 15, granted conditional permission to the Shiv Sena to organise its traditional Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice N.M. Jamdar also made it clear that the Sena would have to look for a new venue next year onwards.

IAC supporters protest outside Hooda’s house

New Delhi:  Over a hundred India Against Corruption (IAC) supporters Sunday protested outside Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s official residence here, police said.

The activists were protesting against the Haryana government for allegedly favouring and facilitating land deals between Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and realty major DLF.

“Two people and some policemen were injured in the crackdown by police to disperse the crowd,” said a police official.

The police used water canons when IAC supporters tried to enter Hooda’s house on Pandit Pant Marg in central Delhi.

“These people gathered here at 1 p.m. They started raising slogans against Hooda. We have detained some protestors,” the official said.


PMO concealing information on Sonia trips: Modi

New Delhi: Accusing the UPA government of treating Gujarat as an “enemy state”, Chief Minister Narendra Modi has said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was concealing information about Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s trips abroad. He also reiterated that his focus was Gujarat and reports of his prime ministerial ambitions were mere speculation.

In an interview with CNN-IBN, Modi said he had not asked about expenses incurred on Sonia Gandhi’s treatment but on her foreign visits. He accused the PMO of concealing information under the Right to Information Act (RTI) and said it had only answered on Sonia Gandhi’s visits for treatment, not her foreign trips.

He said the PMO was not respecting RTI and the entire issue was maligning Gandhi’s image. “That’s why I asked the PMO to come out with the exact figures.”

Asked about his claim that Rs.1,880 crore had been spent in the last three years on Sonia Gandhi’s foreign visits, Modi said newspapers and magazines had given the figure based on an agency report. “I just talked about the figures published in newspapers. The RTI activists are raising questions, not me.”

He said he was not targeting any individual.

“Gujarat is not fighting against the centre. We have complained that in the last eight years, the central government has treated Gujarat like an enemy state. They have treated Gujarat in a way that is also not expected for an enemy nation. The central agencies are being used against Gujarat.

“Gujarat is the growth engine of the country today,” he said, adding that the Manmohan Singh-led government, for political reasons, was leaving nothing to chance to ruin the state.

Modi said he had not raised question about Sonia Gandhi’s health and the country should be concerned about her treatment. “India is a liberal country, we have big hearts, whatever expenses may be there from the government exchequer we should not bother about that and spend for her health. This should be kept out of the purview of RTI.”

Asked if it was Modi versus Sonia Gandhi in Gujarat, Modi said many people were “converting the issues like this” since last 11 years but he had cleared his position.

On the possibility of his emerging as the prime ministerial candidate, Modi said he wanted to take Gujarat to new heights and will continue to do pursue his aim.

“Have the people of this country given the mandate to the media in Delhi to find out the prime minister in 2014. I’ve been repeating that the six crore Gujaratis have given me the responsibility of Gujarat… In 2012 election, BJP will register a spectacular win in Gujarat. My dream is to build ‘Divya and Bhavya Gujarat (great Gujarat)’ and after this election I will concentrate all my efforts on that.”

Asked about the scars of 2002 riots, Modi said media houses were “surviving on this”. “The Modi critics are being rewarded with Rajya Sabha seats and Padma Awards. I wish you all the best to keep this alive and get into Rajya Sabha or get Padma awards,” Modi said.

Modi admitted he was a workaholic. “I’m an RSS worker. Since my early RSS years I used to get up at ‘brahm muhurt’ (early morning) that is just… before 3 a.m. But after coming into politics it has become 5 a.m. now.”

He did not answer questions on senior BJP leader Keshubhai Patel leaving the party, his visiting Bihar or apologising for 2002 communal riots in the state to further his prospects of emerging as prime ministerial candidate.