Saturday, July 31, 2010

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for Sunday August 1, 2010 publication

Security agency chief quietly briefed the Government over a top
secret information. Recently a head of a regulatory body was taking
a huge cash, running into crores. This was a video taped on the mobile phone
by a third person. This tape has reached the Security agency. 
to protect the Government, the agency is preventing duplication of
the video clipping. also ensuring that this clipping should not be
an embarrassment to the Government during the Monsoon session of
parliament. This video was taken obviously in a guest house near
Connaught Place in Delhi. But the regulator sits in Mumbai.
Four times Member of Parliament and now a Union Minister Prof K V Thomas
has written nine books in Malayalam. And tenth book titled "Order Order Order'
is being released by 94 year Karunakaran in Trivandrum on August 9. Minister Thomas in his book on Sonia Gandhi, recollected the active days of Rajiv Gandhi and how
Sonia had assisted him to become PM. A prolific writer in Malayalam 
Prof Thomas in his latest book has recollected his experiences under
many speakers of Lok Sabha. That is why he titled the book as "Order Order Order"
Thomas recounts as a bad strategy of  many of theUnion Ministers of state complaint
to Prime Minister on no allocation of work by the seniors-since then 
seniors have begun to further get more irritated. Example Mamta Banerjee
and A Raja. Both had withdrawn earlier work schedue to their Juniors
like Gurudas Kamat and K Muniappa. Thomas says he is lucky. Because
Sharad Pawar has given him lots of freedom. Many files do go to Thomas
and later to Pawar.
Head of Myanmar’s military regime Senior General Than Shwe was keen to
listen to the songs of Mother India and AAWARA. During the cultural function
in Hyderabad, Shwe wanted to listen to these famous Hindi songs. Singers
found it difficult. Murmurs began to sing the song by ladies who knew these
songs. But quietly, 
ESL Narasimhan Govrenor of Andhra Pradesh 
the Host at once organised the songs. He sent ADC to near by computer
and asked him to download the songs. Taken that on a pen drive. Put to
audience. There was a heavy claps and Shwe also gave a humming sound
to these tunes. Not only that Than Shwe also wanted to go vegetarian
as the Host Governor, First lady Chief Minister Rosaiah were all Vegetarians
and why Shwe said that he alone go for non veg dinner. Pesarattu Dosa with
Upma was also served to Myanmar's Senior General.

Though politicians speak on secularism, and visit Temple,
Majid and Churches just during electioneering, but when it
comes to head an institutions, they become too religious 
turn to be have one point agenda.

Hectic lobbying has begun to get nearer to the Lord Balaji
Venkateswara by p
oliticians and 
businessmen for the
post of chairperson of the Tirumala Tirupati 
Devastanams (TTD), which is going to fall
vacant on August 24.
Outgoing chairman and former 
MP, D.K. Audikesavulu Naidu, who saved UPA1
on Nuke Bill on July 2009, 
as TDP MP voted for Congress, Dr YSR.
at once offered him the Chairman of TTD
which has  a cabinet status of Andhra govt.
Adikesavalu Naidu wants to get another term. He is close
to Kingfisher Vijay Malaya.
Senious contendors are the five-time 
Guntur MP, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, 
the industrialist,Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao, 
(GMR owner) 
Indira Reddy, two-term TTD Board member 
and wife of former MP, Mr T. Subbirami Reddy, are 
jostling for the post.


"Cut 36% customs duty please" K Rosaiah Govt


By R Rajagopalan

Andhra Pradesh Government purchased 12 Zebras animals
from South Africa for three Zoos in Hyderabad, Visakapatinam and Tirupati.

Unable to pay the 36% customs duty for import of 12 Zebras
State Government wants Union Minister of Finance Pranab Mukherjee 
to waive, which runs into somewhat 18 lakhs of rupees.

Enclosing the representation from Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy
Minister for Environment Government of Andhra Pradesh, 
Jairam Ramesh who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh 
and holding the position as Environmnet Minister wrote an unusual
request to waive the 36% customs duty to save the 12 zebras.

Pranab Mukherjee Finance Minister who is a Chanakya of UPA2
is presently examining the plea of Andhra Pradesh Government.

In his letter Jairam Ramesh wrote to Pranab argued that
Andhra Pradesh Government is procuring 12 Zebras
from South Africa for the 3 Government run Zoos in the state
at Hyderabad, Visakapatinam and Tirupati. all formalities have been

Jairam added that .Unfortunately customs duty to be paid at 36% of the value
of animals imported. This is simply beyond the capacity of these zoos
and is also beyond capacity of Central Zoo Authority to support.

Pleading for exemption, Jairam Ramesh said, 
"I request you to kindly exempt this import of zebras on Government
account for a Government run zoo from payment of Customs duty
Ended his letter jairam ramesh in a cordial note said
 "I am writing to you with a somewhat unusual request" "




By R Rajagopalan

Opposition as well as UPA2 want to end the Parliament
logjam, but none is ready to come first in this.
The only day left to bring a peace is Sunday.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs who is the key 
floor manager and coordinator between Opposition and Treasury Benches
have to play a important role to ensure a smooth 
functioning of the Parliament. 

Pavan Kumar Bansal Union Minister of Parliamentary affairs is on
a private visit to Vaishnav Devi Temple with his family. He has initiated
a process to bring a peace, discussed with Sushma Swaraj
Pavan's  college mate in Chandigarh now Leader of Opposition.
Sunday night is crucial to end the logjam, otherwise Monday also
Parliament may not function.

In UPA2 there is no senior leader other than
Pranab Mukherjee  who has the stature to call up
BJP or CPM leaders to have a track two level of

Some Ministers had tried - but the nod from UPA 2 chairperson
Sonia Gandhi was not available. There is no leader in Congress
who can make an International call to Sonia to seek her guidance
except Ahmed Patel. And he would not want to disturb the private
visit of Madam.

Saturday  many  leaders are away from Delhi. And no effort 
at the Govt level was taken up.  Arun Jaitely was in
Mumbai and is reaching Delhi on Sunday.He 
had a medical check up as three years ago he had
a by pass.Pranab Mukherjee was also busy on Saturday
in Delhi with GOM meeting minutes.

Salman Khursheed Minister hosted a Mango eating competiton
party at his house for his contact list of Ministers, MPs and 
newsmen.There he focussed on attacking Opposition.
Two senior ministers told the host not to have such
open confrontation, as MOnday is too crucial for his
two Bills be passed in both house.s

Pained at the developments Dr Hamid Ansari Chairman Rajya Sabha
at his level also trying to bring Govt and Opposition to a talking table.
His efforts are to continue on Sunday also.



31 July 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha chairman Dr Hamid Ansari on Saturday expressed his dismay over the logjam in Parliament, preventing any debate or useful business, and asked the newly elected MPs to use influence over their party leaders to curb habitual protests beyond a limit that serve no purpose.

He was inaugurating an orientation programme for the new members of the House. He held discussions with leaders of the Opposition parties on Friday and continued the exercise inviting leaders of the treasury benches to put an end to the week-long pandemonium over price rise stalling the House.

Dr Ansari told the new MPs that protest is an essential ingredient of democratic functioning but the questions to be asked are: Can protest be the only form of functioning?  Can it be the totality of our forms of expression? "Protest in registering a point is well made. Protest, when it becomes habitual, loses its novelty and therefore its effect," he said.

He frankly admitted that he does not have solution to the logjams in Parliament because of such protests. The chair cannot impose a solution, it has to come from the collective wisdom of the members of the House, he said.

Pointing out that there can be genuine issues of concern that the parties want to raise in the House, he said they can make a point by debating. "Much too often, we take the view that if we simply disrupt the proceedings of the House, we will make our point," he said asking the parties to devise ways by which "right to protest remains unchecked, but that protest does not become an impediment to the rest of your work."

He also asked the parties to make use of instruments like Question Hour, Special Mentions, Calling Attention and Short Duration discussions to hold the government accountable, responsible for individual acts of omission and commission.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

29 July 2010



By R Rajagopalan
NEW DELHI: Even as the Commonwealth Games (CWG) preparations come under public criticism for time and cost overruns, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has cracked the whip on six government agencies for lapses and irregularities, including loot of public money by awarding works at higher rates, in the CWG-related works in Delhi.

It has sought explanation from the Delhi Government, two civic bodies, and other agencies based on deficiencies detected in a surprise inspection carried out by its Chief Technical Examiner's wing. 

Central Public Works Department (CPWD), PWD of Delhi Government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC), DDA and RITES have come under the CVC's censure for the gross irregularities detected during the inspection.

Award of works at exhorbitant costs, poor quality of works due to lack of monitoring and contracts to ineligible agencies are the main charges levelled against the agencies tasked with the CWG works.

"The Commission has advised the organisations concerned to take corrective steps in the works inspected," says a CVC note, stressing that they have been advised "systemic improvement, adherence to CVC guidelines on transparency in tenders and procurement and fixing of responsibility against officers identified for lapses."

The inspection report, available with this correspondent, says: "Almost all the organisations executing works for CWG have considered inadmissible factors to jack up the reasonable price to justify award of works at quoted rates, citing urgent/emergent circumstances. Despite higher rates, poor site management, delays and quality compromises have been observed."

It has identified at least 30 items for which no tenders were issued but they were incorporated in the contracts at higher rates after receipt of the tenders.
It points out that in one case the tender documents tampered by overwriting the price after the bids were opened to increase the quoted amount by Rs 3.63 crores over the price quoted by the next highest bidder.

The inspection report also slams the civic authorities for buying imported luminaries at the exorbitant price that was three times the rates quoted for indigenous supply of fittings with same technical specifications and other performance parameters, putting extra burden of Rs 1.52 crores on the exchequer.

The report also refers to execution of poor quality works but test records fabricated to show high strength. It says 12 samples failed to meet the 28-day strength test, though seven-day samples were shown to achieve high strength. Concrete core samples taken from the already laid concrete also failed to meet the requirement of the strength in testing by an independent outside laboratory and cement content was found much less than prescribed and recorded to have been used.

"This indicates forging of testing records, Third party quality assurance agency also failed to point out major failure of concrete samples and preparation of forged testing records," the report said.

Pointing out that almost all the agencies have taken up work of streetscaping, especially kerb stone and footpath tiles without ascertaining the need for such upgradation, the report said, "The purpose of aesthetics could not be achieved due to poor quality control, lack of supervision and coordination. "

The report also expressed concern that the electrical installations were not tested before energising them and putting to public use as mandatory. "In absence of the same, any type of electrical mis-happenings cannot be ruled out."

It also points out how ineligible agencies were awarded the work. In one case. In one case, a joint venture (JV) firm was qualified while it was different from the firm which had filed the bids. Work finally had to be terminated which resulted into time and cost overrun, the report added.


Saturday, July 17, 2010


17 July 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute dominated political space here on Saturday with Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa pledging not to compromise on security of the "linguistic minority" of the Marathi speaking people in Belgaum region even while Maharashtra Chief Ministe Ashok Chavan led a Congress delegation to Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister to complain about repression and police atrocities to these people in the disputed areas.

Addressing a Press conference after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani on the illegal mining that rocked Karnataka whole of this week, Yeddyurappa asserted that the Belgaum dispute is already settled by the Mahajan Commission and what remains for the Centre to implement its report.

He faulted the Maharashtra leaders trying to create "confusion unnecessarily where there is no dispute" as there is full harmony and Marathi and Kannadiga people in the Belgaum region have been living like brothers for centuries. Why create the divide when we all are first Indians and then only Marathi, Kanadiga, Tamilians or Malayalis, the Karnataka CM affirmed.

He also seized the opportunity to express concern over a Kannadiga beaten up by the Shiv Sena activists in Kolhapur on Friday, saying this should not have happened. 

The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee delegation led by Chief Minister Chavan urged Sonia Gandhi to advise the Karnataka Government to refrain from repression of the Marathi-speaking people and maintain status quo until the Supreme Court verdict on the border dispute.
They also sought an inquiry into the human right violations in the disputed areas.

The memorandum submitted by them chronicles happenings so far on the border issue. Chavan later told reporters that Sonia Gandhi assured the delegation to take up the matter with the Prime Minister and Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Congress leaders from Karnataka also thronged the capital and called on Dr Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Chidambaram but they did not touch the Belgaum dispute as they remained focused  to press for a CBI probe into the alleged illegal mining scam in their BJP-ruled state and called for dismissal of the state government if Yeddyurappa does not resign on his own.

The delegation, which also met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, included AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Ghulam Nabi Azad, PCC chief R. V. Deshpande, CLP leader Siddharamaiah, Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge, K. H. Muniyappa and another AICC general secretary B. K. Hariprasad.


advani floored about Hindus in Indonesia

17 July 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Bhartiya Janata Party veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani, who is just back from a world Sindhi conference in Jakarta, has blogged this time on the immense Hindu influence in the Muslim-majority Indonesia.

He writes that he was surprised and impressed to find Lord Ganesh imprinted on that country's high-denomination currency note of 20,000 Rupiah and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharat dominating prominent sculptures mounted in various parts of Indonesia.

He felt this was also significant as the Hindus otherwise constitute hardly 2 per cent of the country's population, with the Muslims dominaing 88 per cent of 20.28 crore people and Christians accounting for another 10 per cent.

Unlike in the past, his blog this time carries pictures to buttress his impressions like a brand logo recently adopted for the island of Bali, the homeland of the Hindus, manifesting the country's Hindu traditions, the Sri Krishna-Arjun pair mounted on a multiple-horse drawn chariot at the main square in capital Jakarta and another in Bali, Ghatotkach statue near the Ngurah Rai international airport and the statue of Bheem.

Even in India very few would be able to identify who Ghatotkach was, but "here was the driver of our car knowing fully well both Ghatotkach as well as his relationship with Bneema," Advani points out, adding that Indonesia seemed to know and cherish Ramayana and Mahabharat better than we do.

He was pleased to gather that the official mascot of Indonesian Military Intelligence is Hanuman. The rationale offered by a local was that it was Hanuman who had been able to trace Sita, kidnapped by Ravan and kept in confinement at the Ashok Vatika.

Turning to his own Sindhi community whose over 1000 members thronged the Sindhi conference from 32 countries, Advani write that he felt proud that the Sindhis had gone through the most traumatic experience of partition in 1947 with confidence and fortitude but they actually prospered immensely, converting a calamity into an opportunity.

He underlined that partition of India dealt a terrible blow to millions on both sides of the Redcliff Line. "Hindus from Sindh had not only been uprooted from their hearths and homes, but unlike Hindus of Punjab and Bengal who had the satisfaction of saving something like half of their home state, has also despoiled off their entire province, and forced to adopt different states of divided India as their totally new homes."

Advani was in Indonesia for the 3-day Sindhi conference from July 9 to 11 with his wife Kamla, daughter Pratibha and his associate for decades, Deepak Chopra and his wife Veena. They returned to Delhi on July 13.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010




By R Rajagopalan
NEW DELHI: The Congress is bracing up to defeat any no-confidence motion that the Opposition may bring in the Lok Sabha in the ensuing monsoon session from July 26 as the UPA-II government is short of 13 votes for the half mark in the House to sail through.

Concerned over the main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party and the Left Parties coming together to organise an nationwide strike over the fuel price hike, the Congress core group meeting last week worked out a strategy to overcome a similar gang-up in the House that seems possible.

As part of the strategy, a team of the party leaders have been briefed to get in touch with Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik whose Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has 14 members in the House, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha whose AIADMK has 9 members as also smaller parties to ensure the government musters enough numbers to ward off any threat from a no-confidence motion.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad are coordinating contacts with various parties. Mukherjee is reported to have dropped hints to the MPs of both BJD and AIADMK who keep calling on him for some or the other work.

The Congress has 208 members in the Lok Sabha while its ruling allies have another 51 (Trinamul Congress 19, DMK 18, NCP 9, NC 3 and Muslim League 2). The party sources said the government enjoys support of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) of Ajit Singh, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad and some other smaller parties to have a majority but yet the leadership felt these are slippery allies and hence better that it musters all possible additional support to meet any eventuality.

The urgency to get in touch with leaders and MPs of various parties for a possible support was felt also in view of the BJP and Left wanting to encash the price rise issue. The Congress sources said the government has to prepare to meet any attempt by the BJP to repeat the drama that the Congress enacted in the Karnataka assembly.

They said the core group felt the party must work out a long-term strategy on the floor management in the Lok Sabha for the rest of the government's innings and not look for a temporary arrangement just in the monsoon session.

As part of the strategy, the Congress leaders have started establishing contacts with leaders and MPs  of BJD and AIADMK, though in their personal capacity to ensure the exercise does not send the wrong signal of the government's weakness.

The AIADMK cannot openly support the government because its rival DMK is one of the ruling allies and hence the Congress leaders are suggesting that its MPs can stage a walkout and abstain at the time of voting as that would show them protesting and yet helping the government escape any possible defeat. A similar proposal has been sounded to Navin Patnaik, the sources said.

These two parties together have 23 MPs and the government will be in safe zone if they are not voting in support of the no-confidence motion. The government, however, will be still on the edge and hence the Congress leadership wants maximising support of all possible small parties for the sake of safety.

The small parties on which the Congress is counting include RLD and RJD as also JD-7 (3 MPs), JMM (2), and a single-member parties like Haryana Janhit Congress of Bhajan Lal, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha of Babulal Marandi, Sikkim Democratic Front, Kerala Congres, Swabhimani Paksha of Raju Shetty, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi of Baliram Jadhav and VCK.

Sources said Jayalalitha and Patnaik approached through their MPs did not negative the proposal to help in stability of the government. A senior minister reported back to the Congress President that Jayalalitha sees the proposal as a signal to get closer to the Congress.


Monday, July 12, 2010

new delhi corridor GRAPEVINES

new delhi grapevine buzz ( July 12, 20100  


Prime Minister Office directed Cabinet Secretariat which monitors the
SPG, to be cautious about the PM travel plans which should not be
too much of harrassment to the common man.

This directions comes with the backdrop of recently incident in Kanpur.
On Friday almost all language and National TV news channels flashed
this news. PMO maintained a stotic silence yesterday. In a soft spoken
reaction, PMO also takes on the print media of Kanpur for exaggerating this
incident. PMO is also equally concerned about the over play of Media on subjects like how
can VIP security in India be made less inconvenient for the common man
In a direction to Cabniet Secretary PMO stated to review the system periodically
without affecting comforts of the common-man.

Finance Ministry is not keen to press the Ordinance
IRDA-SEBI to be ractified by the Parliament. Internal contradictions
in UPA2 has since surfaced. Senior officials of PMO are
seeking advice from Leader of Lok Sabha Dr Pranab Mukherjee
who is also the Finance Minister to quietly allow the ordinance
to lapse. UPA2 is consisting of financial and leagl weizards
Still they are not wanting to proceed furthre with enacting it
as a law. BJP may not be supporting and it is evident that CPM
would oppose. PMO is not showing keen interest. Put the ball
in Pranab Mukherjee domain.


PMO has shortlisted four names including
Sushma Nath and Shanta Sheela Nair
two women candidates for the post of
Election Commissioner Before appointment,
as a routine courtesy, PMO might discuss with
the Chairperson of National Advisory Council
Announcement is expected by Wednesday.

M N Prasad secretary to PM undergone a eyeoperation
He has taken five days medical leave to rejoin next week.
A topper of 1972 IAS also a student ot Dr Manmohan Singh
in Delhi University in late `1960s.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


political snippets

No Joint Secretary had so far interacted or briefed the Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee deals directly with three secretaries to Government of India.
Omita Paul - the lady Officer on Special Duty in North Block is also following
the foot steps of her master. She also discourages any JS entering her room.
She meets just Additional Secretaries of Finance Ministry. North Block 
is now fuming and fretting against the attitude of ignoring 15-20 JS rank officials.
Hence lots of gossips on Finance Ministry being heard at the cocktail circuits.
Nara Chandrababu Naidu TDP leader is busy in splitting Chiranjeevi's Prajarajyam
Not only at the organisational level by attracting Khamma and Kaapus towards TDP
but also Chandrababu Naidu is confident of taking away 10 MLAs out of 18 total strength
of prajarajyam. Naidu is keen to show to the Congress that Chiranjeevi is just a cine actor.
In andhra coastal areas Chiranjeevi is likely to take a padayatra like jagan to avoid such
a manipulation by TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu
Chief Minister Yedurrappa got disgusted with the politicking of Dhananjaya Kumar formre Union Minister in karnataka. 
CM appointed Dhananjaya as Special representative in Delhi for Karnatka. He expected rajya sabha seat. but could not
get this time. 
Special representative is of cabinet rank at state level. He was union cabinet minister for 13 days. he ignores protocol to meet officer who is chief secretary/additional chief secretary rank in state. In the interest state of karnataka
Dhanjayakumar does such a neat job by meeting IAS officers, of Karnatkaa cadre so that it is printed in 
Kannad dailies with photo. Also these IAS officers give him immense respect. Other Congress Ministers
do not care Dhananjyay
Prithviraj Chauhan Union Minister of State in PMO had an unique experience.
when he paid a courtesy call on PC Hota a former UPSC chairman 
and whom PM has chosen to head a sub committee on Corruption.

Chauhan wanted Hota to outline the logistic support from the DOPT.
Hota said to Chauhan that he was secretary personnel and then to UPSC
therefore many of the seniors of DOPT had already cooperating
"I got the report ready and will submit before it term ends"
said  Hota to Minister

former CVC another member of this committee
P Shankar who was present was taken back at the 
Hota's reply to Minister.

Shankar narrated that at his 75 years of age, Hota is fast
in composing the report on the desktop computer.
The draft report was given to the members, and HOta also
sent pen drive to the houses of the other members.

Shakar and AK Verma also submitted their reactions
to the draft report. the committee met only once
and approved. See the quick and fast service rendered by 
75 years Hota.
After Veerappa Moily handed over the Adminsitrative Reforms Commission report to PM,.
the UPA2 and PMO gone into the report. It was sent to Committee of Secretaries
COS decided to get experts views on far reaching suggestions of Moily on Corruption
issues. Hence PM constituted a high powered three member Committee of Experts with
P C Hota, Arvind Verma and P Shankar 
to suggest measures to expedite process involved in disciplinary and vigilance proceedings.
The committee has been given two months time frame. 

With this Committee in position, the focus of the UPA2 is to ensure that vigilance cases
are quickly disposed off. But at the same time the UPA2  is dragging its feet in filling up
two vacancies  in the Central Vigilance Commission. since last year. Another confusion is
that CVC also announcing committees for seeking clarities on the vigilance cases.




Brinda Karat said
CPM views conveyed to PM

By Delhi correspondent

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP Brinda Karat has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging a separate law to deal with honour killings instead of referring the issue to a group of ministers (GoM).
In the letter written Friday, Karat said the government should take a firm decision for a separate law and place its draft in the monsoon session of parliament. She said referring the matter to a GoM would delay the process.

"I am writing to you in connection with the decision of the government to refer the issue of legislation for 'honour crimes' to a GoM. Such a decision will undoubtedly further delay the entire process," she said.

The government Thursday decided to set up a group of ministers to look into changes in the law to deal with honour killings.

Karat wrote that "democratic minded citizens" of the country were appalled at the retrograde assaults and violent action against young adults who assert their constitutionally and legally protected rights for self choice in a marriage or relationship.

"What is required is a firm decision by the government for a separate law, the draft of which may be placed in parliament in the coming session," she said.

Karat, who is a member of the CPI-M politburo, said: "The country was not unaware that in some of the states where this particular type of crime is taking place, there are political considerations at work to downplay the magnitude of the crime."

Nearly 20 cases of honour killings have come to light between April 9 and June 30 this year, largely reported from northern India, particularly Haryana, Rajasthan and even the national capital. Many of the killings were at the behest of khap panchayats or caste councils to nullify marriages in the same gotra (sub-caste).

In an apparent reference to Congress-ruled Haryana, Karat said: "There is an attempt by those in office in at least one of the states where such crimes have occurred to defend the highly retrograde actions of self-styled caste panchayats in the name of tradition."

"You will agree that to put vote bank politics over the requirements of those in office to uphold the rights granted by the constitution is abhorrent. Yet this is being done. Delays on the part of the central government to decide on a firm course of action in setting up a legal framework strengthens the perception that it is caused by the pressure of vote bank politics."

She said the Rajya Sabha had discussed "crimes related to 'honour'" almost a year back and parties cutting across political lines had supported the suggestion that there should be a separate law to deal with the range of so-called honour crimes.

Pointing out that there were many dimensions to the issue, including the absence of a definition of honour crime, she said the home ministry had expressed reservations over the usefulness of a separate law which "reflected the flawed understanding of those charged with addressing the crime".

"I request you to do justice to young couples who are victims of anti-democratic and casteist notions and beliefs which are strengthened by the absence of a comprehensive law to address the crimes they face in the name of honour," Karat said.


Jal Khambata

show details 4:14 PM (3 hours ago)
10 July 2010
Weilding its threat for free and fair  Assembly elections
By R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission is understood to have blacklisted
25 IAS and IPS officers of Tamil Nadu from any role in elections in
the state, censuring them for shutting eyes to the political parties
buying votes by paying money to the electorate.

The "black list" of the officers has been drawn up in an internal
discussion note of the Election Commission. "Tamil Nadu has become a
notorious state for cash for vote and those charged with
responsibility of free and fair poll are turning blind eye," anguished
Election Commissioner Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi in a closed-door
meeting in Chennai early this week with the chief secretary and
director general of police (DGP) and over 100 IAS and IPS officers.

He conveyed the Election Commission's displeasure over the money power
notoriously used in the past three, four elections held in Tamil Nadu,
pointing out that the commission had got a score of complaints from
the opposition parties and the NGOs about distribution of cash during
the election campaign.

Quraishi wanted the state bureaucrats to curb this malpractice of
"money power used by one section of the ruling and opposition





Finance Ministry is not keen to press the Ordinance
IRDA-SEBI to be ractified by the Parliament. Internal contradictions
in UPA2 has since surfaced. Senior officials of PMO are
seeking advice from Leader of Lok Sabha Dr Pranab Mukherjee
who is also the Finance Minister to quietly allow the ordinance
to lapse. UPA2 is consisting of financial and leagl weizards
Still they are not wanting to proceed furthre with enacting it
as a law. BJP may not be supporting and it is evident that CPM
would oppose. PMO is not showing keen interest. Put the ball
in Pranab Mukherjee domain.