Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Diversion of funds for SC/ST to Commonwealth Games wrong: HM

    New Delhi, Aug 31 Government today admitted in the
Rajya Sabha that diversion of funds meant for the welfare of
SC/STs to Commonwealth Games projects by the Delhi Government
was "wrong" and efforts would be made to bring them back to
the SC/ST Fund.

    "In my view prima facie that using Rs 678.91 crore out of
Schedule Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) to contribute for CWG appears
to be wrong," Home Minister P Chidambaram said.

    Responding to members' demand, he said this money spent
from the SCSP would be brought back to the welfare fund.
    The minister at the same time maintained that the fund is
given to states in two categories divisible and indivisible
and the diversion of the fund from indivisible category has
been happening in many states.

    Earlier, the opposition parties targeted the government
saying it is "shameful" and "betrayal of Dalits".

    Chidambaram said the Planning Commission has constituted a
committee headed by one of its members Narendra Jadhav to
re-examine how the guidelines of the plan panel on the SCSP
Tribal Sub Plan can be implemented properly.


Disgusted over disruptions,
Hamid Ansari might shift Question Hour


By Delhi correspondent

Disgusted over the repeated disruptions and adjournments, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari hinted that Zero Hour
might be taken at eleven am as the first agenda.

While delivering the concluding day I address, on Tuesday Hamid Ansari stated that 
Losing ;eight question hours,is too valuable time where the Government could have been made answerable to many of the
pressing public issues, 

Ansari spoke  220th Session of Rajya Sabha comes to a close today. It commenced on 26th July, 2010 and was extended by two days in order to transact essential Government Business.
59 new Members joined the House during the Session. I am confident they would make valuable contributions to the House in the days to come. I am glad to mention that 26 of them have already made their maiden speech.
Important legislation has been passed by the Council during this Session. Apart from transacting Government Business, the Session provided opportunities to Members to discuss some important issues through (07) Calling Attention Notices and (02) Short Duration Discussions.
I have asked the Secretary General to make available to all concerned the statistical data on this Session.
Notwithstanding the impressive work transacted in the course of the Session, the House could not conduct any Business on 5 days. In addition, there were several disruptions and adjournments as a result of which 8 Question Hours were lost.
This is a matter on which I wish to draw attention of the Members. When the rules for the conduct of business were drawn up decades back, it was not visualized that perceived concerns or grievances would be articulated through disruption of proceedings. This is now taking place with disturbing  regularity. The practice tramples on the rights of individual Members, detracts from the dignity of Parliament, and has invited public criticism.
Earlier, the Chair, recognizing the need for such articulation on matters of urgent interest and apart from what is covered under Rule 180, sought to seek a solution through the so-called ‘Zero Hour’ restricted to three minute interventions by up to ten Members. This too does not seem to meet the requirements and, as a consequence, leads to a fairly regular disruption of the Question Hour which is the most effective window available to  individual Members to seek information and accountability.
 It is evident that we need to think collectively about the matter and explore possible options for saving the Question Hour from such disruptions.  It may be noted that while the other time lost is compensated by sitting beyond the normal hours, it is only the Question Hour which is irretrievably lost in disruptions. The Chair will, therefore, continue its consultations on the re-scheduling of daily items of business in order to strike a balance between expression of perceived concerns and the normal business of the day. One option is to start the proceedings with the ‘Zero Hour’ at 11.00 AM and take up the Question Hour later in the day.

Monday, August 30, 2010




By R Rajagopalan
NEW DELHI: Union Ministers and Ministers of State of Andhra Pradesh
will now require the Prime Minister's prior approval before proceeding on 
official foreign tours and they will also have to keep the Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
 informed even about their private foreign travel.

The Prime Miinister's approval is necessary even for a private foreign trip during 
the Parliament session. Also no official or personal staff is allowed to accompany
the minister on his private visit.

M K Alagiri, Shinde, and three other ministers go on too many a private visits, which irked
the PMO to shot off such letters to other ministers who are obedient

Union Ministers are required to obtain Ministry's "political clearance" as otherwise the proposal submitted to the PMO will not be processed and returned. Requests for the ministry's clearance are required to be made at least 15 days prior to the date of departure and the PMO must get the request at least five days prior to the departure date.

The PM's approval is also made mandatory for a private secretary or members of the personal staff of the ministers accompanying them on the foreign tour. The ministries are barred from using their delegated powers to allow anyone accompany the minister, without such an approval.

These are the new exhaustive guidelines issued by the Cabinet Secretariat, detailing permissions required by the ministers and the staff accompanying them on foreign trips, and stresses that the minister and secretary should not go on foreign tour at the same time during Parliament session while the PM's approval will be necessary if both are going abroad at the same time even when Parliament is not in session.

The office memorandum issued on August 26 also covers chief ministers and ministers of the states, stating that the PMO should be kept informed by their foreign visits, official or private, and they will also have to obtain prior political clearance from the External Affairs Ministry.

The guidelines also make it clear that the ministries should not take up directly with the foreign government or its representatives any proposal for a minister-level foreign visit, without the prior clearance of the External Affairs Ministry. Such visits should be undertaken only in response to formal government invitations from the country concerned.

As regards international conference abroad, the minister should attend only if it has been certified by the ministry that attendance is going to be at the level of the ministers, say the guidelines, starting that proposals in other cases will require justification to warrant their visit.

While the Cabinet rank minister is entitled to take his private secretaries along with him on the foreign tours, the minister of state holding independent charge can also take a private secretary along, provided he is not accompanied by a delegation of officials or he is accompanied by other ministers and not leading the delegation.

The circular also stresses that the exact date of departure and return should be indicated clearly in the note submitted to the Prime Minister. It also reiterates circulars of the Finance Ministry and the External Affairs Ministry regarding expenditure on entertainment, contingencies, gifts, class of travel and hotel accommodation.

Where a delegation is headed by a minister, proposal for approval of the tour of the minister along with his private secretary or one person from his personal staff is required to be submitted to the Prime Minister while travel of the accompanying officers is to be sent to the Finance Ministry for concurrence of the screening committee of secretaries.

The circular also stresses that the size of a minister-led delegation may not exceed five, including personal staff, except in case of joint working groups. If the size of the delegation exceeds five, justification will have to be given for each additional member.



30 Aug 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: A demand for inclusion of Bhojpuri and Rajasthani languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution came into focus in the Lok Sabha on Monday through a call-attention motion.

Minister of State for Home Ajay Makan assured the agitated House that recognition to the two languages is under government's consideration on the basis of the report of the Sitaram Mahapatra committee report of 2004 on criteria for the purpose.

While the Eighth Schedule now has 22 languages recognised under the Constitution, Makan said the government has representations for inclusion of 38 other languages and the same are to be vetted under the Mahapatra committee-set criteria.

A large number of members wanted to speak on the motion creating a pandemonium as the Chair stuck to the rule to allow only those moving the call-attention. The House could move to other business only after leader of House Pranab Mukherjee intervened to point out that the government understands their sentiments about the language but the scope of the call-attention is limited and hence a separate substantial discussion can be held only in the next session.

The Chair allowed remarks by only Sanjay Nirupam and Jagdambika Pal of Congress and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh of Rashtriya Janata Dal who had given notice for the call-attention. They emphasized that Bhojpuri was the language of people not only in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh but spoken by the migrants in a large number of states as also in 12 countries. 

Those speaking Bhojpuri were anywhere between 18 and 25 crores, they contended and stressed that the language deserves the Constitution's recognition, particularly because it is not only a spoken language but has a 1000-year history, literature and own grammar.

Nirupam and Singh said equally important was the Rajasthani language that was the language spoken in whole of the state of Rajasthan and also by the Marwaris settled all over India. Both faulted the government for sitting over demand for including the two languages in the Schedule since after the Mahapatra report was received back in 2004.

Singh pointed out that then Home Minister Shivraj Patil had assured the House to include the two languages in the schedule "soon" and his deputy Jaiswal even promised immediately, but nothing has been done todate. Pal added that Patil had agreed for including the languages in principle and as such the government should implement it.

A score of the BJP and Congress members from Rajasthan also sought to join the debate, one of them pointing out that none of those raising the issue was from Rajasthan, but the Chair did not permit as they were not party to the call-attention.


gita iyer johri spoiled balwinder singh chances as Director CBI



From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Senior Gujarat IPS officer Geeta Johri's claim of the CBI intimidating her to depose against former state home minister Amit Shah in the killing of Sohrabuddin in a fake encounter rocked both the Houses of Parliament.Not only this, the calculative political move was to spoil the chances of Balwinder Singh a 1976 IPS officer of Andhra cadre who is presently
special director of CBI, to be elevated as Director CBI in December.

Sardar Balwinder Singh has been in the race for CBI director post. Next to K Vijayarama Rao who occupied this high post, a second chance of  AP cadre to hold CBI director
post was seen bright. But with Geeta Iyer Johri statements, he lost in the political game

Supreme Court is supervising the investigations and postings of the higher echeleons of CBI. Hence Gita Iyer Johri played a clever ball said a senior IPS officer of AP cadre.

The Bhartiya Janata Party racked up the issue to claim the government's hand behind nefarious attempts to involve Chief Minister Narendra Modi's confidant Shah in the killing, forcing adjournment of both the Houses for an hour. The party, however, did not pursue the issue when the two Houses met after the adjournment.

In the Lok Sabha, Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj raised the issue and sought extension of the session by a day, beyond the 2-day extension for completing the government business, to enable a discussion on the CBI working. She pointed out that the discussion on the CBI remained on the agenda for two weeks in the last session but did not materialise and hence the need for a debate to expose the government misusing the agency to trap the opposition leaders and hanging the sword on the heads of leaders of various political parties.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, however, protested, asserting that the government never opposed the debate and had in fact immediately agreed for it when sought in the last session. He also asserted that the government does not misuse the CBI which is an autonomous body and works as per its own decisions.

At a Press conference later, BJP spokesman Gopinath Munde asserted that the CBI threatened Johri to implicate her unless she agreed to implicate Shah in the Sohrabuddin killing case. He pointed out that the CBI team is headed by same Balwinder Singh who was interrogated by Johri in the course of interrogation of the Andhra Pradesh police officers.



30 Aug 2010



From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: An embarrassed government dropped the Enemy Property Bill listed for debate and passage in the Lok Sabha on Monday as it found itself falling between two stools and preferred to let the related Ordinance lapse.This is the result of  massive differences of opinion on this bill between Chidambaram and Salman Khursheed. That has come too open in the parliament today.

On one side was the main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party ready to support the original bill based on the ordinance that sought to evict unauthorised occupants of the evacuees' properties, but not the official amendments surfacing in the morning, while the other opposition parties led by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav refused to go with the amendments claimed to protect the poor Muslims living in such properties.

The House was adjourned for two hours, following a pandemonium and both sides rushing into the House Well and just as the Bill came up for a discussion in the afternoon, Home Minister P Chidambaram sprang a surprise by declaring that he was not pursuing it and will bring a fresh Bill, incorporating amendments the government proposed, only in the next session of Parliament.

Since the Constitution mandates lapse of any Ordinance promulgated by the government unless replaced by a Bill in the immediate next Parliament session, Chidambaram said whatever legal steps necessary will be taken. He justified withdrawal of the Bill on the ground that many members wanted time to study the amendments and he found the request "reasonable."

In yet another development, the government also deferred discussion and passage of two Bills for changing the name of state of Orissa as Odisha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal claiming that the step was taken on request of some MPs from the state. These Bill too will come in the next winter session now.

Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj saw a mischief in the government backing out on the enemy property bill as she suspected that a new ordinance incorporating the amendments her party objected will be promulgated after the session is over, making it a fait accompany. She wanted the Bill, alongwith the official amendments, sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee to examine it instead of attempting another ordinance.

Chidambaram refused to oblige, stating that he has taken note of the Opposition leader. It was at this stage that BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani jumped to his feet to back Sushma Swaraj, asserting that the Ordinance would lapse and the government would bring another to ensure that the Bill whenever brought does not go to the standing committee for scrutiny.

An unyielding Chidambaram said the BJP stalwart was unnecessarily harbouring suspicion as it is not unusual for the government to undertake consultations whenever any legislation comes under criticism.

MINISTER APOLOGISES: Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had to tender apology to the House as Sushma Swaraj objected to the impropriety of standing with his back towards the Chair while trying to persuade Mulayam to stop the protest he was leading against the Bill. He had rushed to the desks of Mulayam and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad to explain to them that their concerns have been already addressed in the official amendments circulated in the morning.

Sushma's stand was that the minister can not engage in consultations with members when the House is in session and that he could have taken them out instead of standing with his back towards the Chair.

The issue was raked up again by the BJP's Ananth Kumar when the House re-assembled after a 2-hour break when a score of members, including Lalu Prasad, Sharad Yadav and H D Deve Gowda, tried to defend Bansal, stressing that there was nothing wrong on the Parliamentary Affairs Minister walking to the desks of the Opposition for consultations.

Bansal, however, conceded that he had done a little impropriety of standing with his back towards the Chair because there was no space to sit with the members he approached performing his duty
and hence he would like to apologise as he holds the Parliamentary traditions in the highest esteem and would not do anything that defies them.

He, however, had a dig at the Opposition that he need not leave his seat to rush to them time and again if they too uphold the rules and do not obstruct the House through slogans and rush to the House well.







By R Rajagopalan

Prime Minister Officer has cleared appointments of
Chairmen of eight nationalised banks and promotion of
ten executive directors from general managers status.

PMO over-ruled the objections from the Establishment Officer
and also from the Cabinet Secretariat about the status of
B category and A category banks. There was a hitch
from the Establishment Officer PK Mishra who sat on this
promotion file of Chairmen of public sector banks.

40 MPs have written letters to  Prime Minister about the
intentional delays of appointments of chairmen.

Pranab Mukherjee Finance Minister had a meeting with
the Prime Minister recently on the inordinate delay.
And at the instance of PMO the file was cleared on Monday

Insiders in the establishment section of the Union Ministry of
Personnel murmur that some senior officers played into
politicking of Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders to get key postings
Hence the delay. PM asked for the details and cleared it in
a single. day. PMO totally went by the recommendations
of the screening committee which seleceted the chairmen
and EDs.


Thursday, August 26, 2010


By R Rajagopalan

Andhra Congress MPs are now split into two. Telangana MPs
held a separate press meet to demand action against Jagan Reddy




By R Rajagopalan

Hamid Ansari Chairman Rajya Sabha today switched off the master control of Rajya Sabha
TV live telecast when the House proceedings were disrupted briefly today 
by  LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan  demanded suspension of Question Hour to discuss 
the issue of rise in saffron terror in the country.

Hamid Ansari is disgusted with the unruly behaviour of senior MPs, Ansari having been
in the foreign service -does expect decorum and dignity. Ansari was so sad when he 
greeted Dr Manmohan Singh who was entering, but could not resist his saying loudly
that ' just live telecast of the proceedings put off, nothing going on record, Please sit down
Paswan... You have been a senior most MP ....." There was a complete din.

As soon as the House met for the day, Paswan stood up and wanted to know the fate of his notice for 
suspension of Question Hour to discuss the rise in saffron terror as pointed out by Home 
Minister P Chidambaram.

At a conference of chiefs of police forces yesterday, Chidambaram had said a new phenomenon 
of "saffron terrorism" involved in many bomb blasts has been uncovered.

Paswan was vociferously countered by BJP members who termed him as communal and said 
that he was indulging in cheap politics for the sake of votes with an eye on the forthcoming 
Assembly elections in Bihar.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

HEARSAY- new grapevine venture


A new column from today

of Corridors gossips 

R Rajagopalan

UPA2 cabinet full of egoists

CP Joshi raises ruckus in Cabinet meetings

In the last Cabinet meeting held a few days ago, there was a virtual 
face off between Union Human Research and Development Minister Kapil 
Sibal and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister 
C P Joshi, with Joshi objecting to the setting up of an education 
tribunal being installed by Sibal.,writes Renu Mittal in her column

Renu Mittal alsostated that her sources confirm
that Kapil Sibal's view point was that if bodies like the 
AICTE and others had grievances and needed to approach some authority 
to resolve their problems, the tribunal would act in that direction and 
avoid the judicial route, as that is 'too time-consuming and non-productive.'

But Joshi said that having been a teacher (he was a professor), he felt 
it could not be done in this way and objected to the setting up of the 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is then learnt to have intervened 
and told Joshi that the Cabinet was going ahead with the bill, and whatever 
clarifications Joshi needed or any points to be sorted out, he should contact
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee  who would explain them to him.
Later that same day Joshi had a meeting with Mukherjee in his office.

Sources in the HRD ministry state that part of Joshi's anger stems from 
the fact that he had been asking for an Indian Institute of Management to 
be set up in his constituency of Bhilwara, in Rajasthan  but it 
is learnt that according to the feasibility studies by the HRD ministry, 
it is not felt to be a suitable place.

Most MPs and ministers have been asking for big-ticket educational 
institutions to be set up in their constituencies, but HRD ministry 
officials say this is neither practical nor possible and that they 
cannot accommodate all the requests which come their way.

Joshi's meeting with Pranab Mukherjee also comes after his controversial 
remarks following Congress' poor show in the Rajasthan local bodies elections. 
Joshi, also the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committe president, said that price 
rise was responsible for the party's poor showing, particularly in urban areas 
where the people have been hit hard by surging inflation.

A senior Union minister said that the leadership has not taken Joshi's statement 
too well, since he appears to be forgetting for the moment
that he is also a senior Cabinet minister in the government and that
this kind of statement reflects poorly on not only the entire government but the 
Congress party as well.

A senior leader from Rajasthan said that since Joshi has two heavy duty portfolios, 
both of which have a wide canvas, he has not been able to focus on his role as the 
state PCC president, which also requires a great deal of time to be spent there.

On top of that, he is the president of the Rajasthan cricket association and needs 
to spend time focusing on cricketing affairs.

As if that is not enough, Joshi has also been made a member of the Congress party's 
screening committee for Bihar, of which Hari Prasad is the chairman This committee 
would be screening all the candidates for the upcoming assembly polls and shortlisting and 
recommending the names of the prospective candidates.

A senior AICC functionary said that the leadership is in the process of rationalising the 
dual responsibility given to leaders as many of them are doubling up in the organisation 
and the government, with the result that they have little time to do justice to their job.

In this context it would be fair to say that with the organizational elections underway in 
the Congress party, Rajasthan is likely to have a new PCC president if the leadership goes 
by the dictum of 'one man one post.'

Hectic lobbying is on in Rajasthan for the new president as both Joshi and Chief 
Minister Ashok Gehlot  are pushing for their own man for the plum post.

Relations between Joshi and Gehlot are known to be strained.


Action against Jagan likely? pm summons andhra governor


PM wants Andhra Governor 
inputs on Jagan Reddy
and political inputs on possible
fall out?

By R Rajagopalan

ESL Narasimhan Andhra Pradesh Governor is rushing to
New Delhi on Thursday to meet Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh 
possibly Sonia Gandhi on Friday. 

Speculation is now ripe on summoning of Governor ESL Narasimhan to Delhi on two probables. Prime Minister wants to understand the
political ground realities as for as Telangana and Jagan Reddy
aspects are concerned.

With the backdrop of recent meeting of
D Srinivas APCC chief with Sonia Gandhi
the possible meeting of Governor is also
speculated at the highest political circles in Delhi.

Centre is also keen to take a political decision on
impending issues of Andhra Pradesh, hence after APCC
Chief meeting and getting real inputs from Governor
there is a possibility of Chief Minister K Rosaiah coming
to Delhi on Sunday is not ruled out


sikh militancy on the rise IB chief Rajiv Mathur

25 Aug 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Mathur on Wednesday talked of revival of the Sikh militancy in Punjab, saying the Pakistan-based agencies were behind it.

Pointing out that the militants' roots were already there, he told a 2-day conference of the Directors General of Police of states that the Pakistan agencies were behind the Sikh militancy earlier also and the government has definite inputs of their hand behind the Khalistan Zindabad Force and some other outfits springing up in Punjab.

Home Minister P Chidambaram, who inaugurated the conference, spoke of finding "that elusive starting point" in the next few days to break the vicious cycle of violence in Jammu and Kashmir that the government is not able to stop and restart the process of a dialogue for a solution.

He said the starting point will be from where "we could reach out to protestors, reassure them of their rights and dignity, restore peace and order, redeem the promises made and restart the process of a dialogue that will lead to a solution."

He said the security forces have been told to act with great restraint in Kashmir which is caught in "a vicious cycle of stone pelting, lathicharge, teargas and firing, leading to casualties and resulting in more stone pelting." 

The situation has not yet returned to normal but nevertheless, he said, 4.57 lakh pilgrims completed the Amarnath Yatra as against 3.92 lakhs last year and 5,16,970 tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir, the number that far exceeds 3,55,960 tourists last year.

Taking pride that last 21 months have been remarkably free from terrorist attacks barring the attack on the German Bakery in Pune, Chidambaram said it does not mean the threat of terrorism has gone away. "There is no let-up in attempts to infiltrate militants into India, no let up in attempts to radicalise young men and women in India," he said.

It was in this context, that he expressed concern over "the recently uncovered phenomenon of saffron terrorism that has been implicated in many bomb blasts of the past" and asked the assembled police chief to be ever vigilant and continue to build capacity in counter-terrorism.

IB chief also drew attention of the state police chiefs to the worrying rise of the Maoist menace in various states and felt their activities would not come down in time to come. He said the most worrying part was the technology training that the Maoists are getting.

As regards "fragile" Kashmir situation, Mathur said the counter-militancy operations in the state are not that effective as the Jehadi organisations in the state are getting support from the neighbourhood.



It was Pranab who crossed the floor
to Opposition to say "thanks"

PM did not stay to wish 
Opposition for passage of Nuke liability bill

By Delhi Correspondent

Usual courtesy in Lok Sabha has been  that PM 
goes to Leader of Opposition to thank for passage
of Bills.

But Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh did not stay back in Lok Sabha to thank the
Opposition BJP for smooth passage of Nuke Liability bill. It was 
Pranab Mukherjee Leader of Opposition who crossed over to the BJP benches
behind the Speaker podium, to say 'big thanks'

BJP senior leaders murmured that Dr Singh should have large hearted feeling
one leader also commented that on such votings,it is PM who generally show usual
courtesy and magnanimity to go to benches of Opposition. 

In the confusion, Thambidurai who presided over the Lok Sabha abruptly adjourned
the house for tomorrow. It was he who said that zero hour would be taken up
and Trinamool MP began to speak also. A senior Minister went to the podium
told Thambidurai that soon after such bills are passed the house is adjourned
and no other business is taken up.Hence Thambidurai announced adjournement.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


TRS K Chandrasekhar Rao
TDP Nara Chandrbabu Naidu

By Delhi correspondent

Two Chandras from Andhra Pradesh- K Chandrasekhar Rao TRS Leader and 
Nara,Chandrababu Naidu TDP leader both have arrived in Delhi
creating a furore in Andhra politics.

K Chandrasekhar Rao is likely to attend the Lok Sabha,while Chandrababu 
Naidu having met CPM leaders planning an all party meet on Andhra 
in Delhi in the first week of September

already D Srinivas APCC chief is in Delhi, with these developments
the Telugu politics is hotting up


3Y factor major irritant for Speaker Meira Kumar



From Our Delhi Bureau

Mock Parliament is a major irritation for Speaker Meira Kumar.
She wants to condem 3Yadavs for their 'drama' on mock Lok Sabha
Misusing the Lok Sabha premises- in the glare of entire press
gallery and some MPs... They made Lok Sabha a drama.

A via media is being worked out. Lalu Prasad is planning to
say "Sorry" on Wednesday, when house resumes session after three days.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is quite upset with the Troika of Yadavs
-- Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Janata Dal (U) chief
Sharad Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad -- for their
regular defiance of her authority and not allowing her to conduct the
business unless she yields to them to have the say.

She has convened a meeting of leaders of all political parties
Wednesday morning before resumption of the sittings after a 3-day
break, urging the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi personally to attend
as she wants to find out a consensual solution to upturn the falling
decorum of the House. The meeting is convened at 9.30 AM to have enough
time of 90 minutes to discuss the issues giving her a lot of pain and
anguish, sources in the Speaker's House said.

They said she may even offer to step down as the Speaker if the parties
do not lend her support in putting the Yadavs in their place. They said
she would also broach at the meeting the "unparliamentary conduct" of
the MPs on Friday when they conducted a mock Parliament in the Lok
Sabha hall after the House was adjourned for the day.

With the help of the staff, she has drawn up the list of some 60 MPs
who participated in the so-called mock session with Lalu Prasad as the
"prime minister." She will put their names before the meeting and urge
leaders of the parties to decide what exemplary punishment should be
imparted to prevent recurrence of such drama bringing shame to the
temple of democracy.

Meira Kumar is understood to have also conveyed to Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee her unhappiness over no condemnation of the incident
as the leader of House and instead resorting to placate the Yadav trio
to allow the House conduct its business smoothly on Saturday. She felt
the government should accommodate the Opposition for running the House
without disruption, but it should not be done by shutting eyes to the
members resorting to unparliamentary behaviour.


Monday, August 23, 2010


Re: Fwd: Fw: Mr. Quraishi, arrest of Hari Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs is uncalled for (additional point)


Save Indian Democracy

 to DrsyquraishiSampathsyq2feedbackJaiBalakrishnan
show details 10:05 AM (6 hours ago)
Dear Mr. Shukla,

Further clarification to my earlier email with regards to involvement of ECI in arrest of Mr. Hari Prasad.

A DEO though a District collector, on matters concerning elections takes instructions from ECI.  We have information that the probe has been initiated and pursued at the instance of the ECI.  Therefore what the DEO has done or has been doing is at the ECI's behest.   ECI can issue directives to DEO to withdraw the FIR.

We request you again not to turn this issue a boiling issue internationally across Academic bodies, Election Watch bodies,  Human Rights Commissions, United Nations, Indian Consular offices,  other Countries particularly where ECIL/BEL are selling EVMs as well as nationally, that will without doubt tarnish the image of the ECI and put the whole Indian democracy into question.    We need to work together to make India a better democracy just as many activists have done in US and several European countries.    

Below are additional points put forth by a Law Professor on this issue.  

Firstly, in fact the EVM supposed have been stolen was made available by a local official for research purposes.

Secondly, the intention behind is not to steal it from the owners of it for appropriation, which is obvious and open to all public and officials. In a crime basic requirement is intention. As there is no stealth lifting of EVM and that can never be transformed into a viable charge. Criminality must be rooted in malice, to fulfill the requirement of mens rea (the guilty mind) in addition to actus reus (forbidden act). 

Thirdly, if EVM is stolen during elections on poling day, it could be considered for obstruction of poll which is an electoral offence. That is not the case here.

Fourthly, a very important factor that is ignored by Maharasthra police is the mandate of the Supreme Court. The petitioners VV Rao and other sought direction of the apex court to ECI and EVM makers to rule out the doubts raised by the petitioners. The petitioners were given an opportunity to demonstrate before election commission the vulnerability of EVMs to fall prey for manipulations, and in turn it was also for the ECI to prove how it could not be manipulated. When the petitioners were implementing the direction of the order of the Supreme Court how can those public interested persons become criminals?

Fifthly, the union cabinet has recently approved the protection of whistle blowers bill to be passed into legislation. This arrest is purposefully made to silence any person from raising any doubt about the frauds sponsored officially through such activities.

Sixthly, Mr. Hari Prasad or Mr. V Venkateswar Rao is not a thief and their social service and they are heading non-governmental organizations propagating better governance and right to information.

Seventhly, the makers of EVM first raised the IPR objections to somehow stop the examination of EVMs for their non-tamperability or vulnerability, saying that they had patent for the product. Even a person with ordinary and common sense will not raise this objection. Patent means laying everything open. The information and specifications about the innovation that is patented must be open and it should be available in public domain. In return to that openness of information, the state on behalf of society guarantees the exclusive economic benefits from the industrial application of that innovated product or tool. Who is stopping the EVM makers from having exclusive economic benefits from these great machines? And if one piece is opened and examined, there is nothing illegal about it and it is perfectly a legal requirement. Any other person can rip any innovative product open, and research to develop something better than that to secure a new patent over it. This is the national and international law. It is absurd that people raise such contentions against a public spirited and perfectly constitutional activity.

Finally, All this shows that the Election Commission of India is hesitating to take the challenge and thus indirectly confirming the suspicions raised by the V V Rao and Hari Prasad. All democratic forces should condemn the arrest and eminent lawyers to help them in getting bail and quashing the charge, and ending this most unreasonable and undemocratic reaction of Government of India along with ECI and Maharastra Police. 

Satya for Save Indian Demcocracy

On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 8:31 AM, Save Indian Democracy <saveindiandemocracy.org@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Mr. Shukla,

Thank you for your response on behalf of ECI.   I appreciate your comments and if I in any way cast aspersions on the workings of election commission I would stand corrected.  We are here to partner with you in making India's democracy better.

Given the factors below:

1) That the FIR is lodged by DEO is an official of Election Commission
2) Hari Prasad has been working with ECI for several months now and Hari Prasad intention for hacking was very patent
3) What Hari Prasad has done was also done in other developed democracies without any FIR's lodged in spite of their laws of land in such cases are very similar or perhaps even stricter
4) Hari Prasad has not done anything to manipulate elections and in fact should be commended from distancing himself from such attempts with lure of large sums by unscrupulous politicians
5) That the manifestations of Hariprasad arrest due to FIR lodged by DEO will reverberate in many aspects that will bring down the reputation enjoyed by ECI

I request the ECI to immediately issue directives to DEO to withdraw the FIR and continue to engage in dialogue with Hari and the other activists.  

Satya for Save Indian Democracy

On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 7:44 AM, Dr Alok Shukla <dralokshukla@eci.gov.in> wrote:
                        Mr. Satya Dosapati

Sub: -               Investigation by Maharashtra Police in the matter of a missing EVM.

Ref: -                Your email dated 21st August 2010 addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner, and your telephone call to Deputy Election Commissioner, Dr. Alok Shukla and Director General, Mr. Akshay Rout.

Dear Mr. Dosapati,

Please refer to your email and telephonic conversation as cited above. 
I am surprised at the allegation made in your letter that Shri Hariprasad has been got arrested by the Election Commission. This allegation is patently false. The arrest made by the police is in the course of an investigation conducted by them on an FIR lodged by DEO Mumbai as early as 12th May 2010 about an EVM stolen from her custody. The Commission cannot interfere in criminal investigation of the police in any manner and the law of the land takes its own course. You would recall that when the issue of the possible arrest of Shri Hariprasad on the FIR of the DEO, Mumbai was raised in the EVT-WOTE Conference at Washington DC on 9th August, 2010, I had made it clear even at that time that once an FIR has been registered, the Commission has no role in the investigation.  You would also recall that I had reiterated this position during the telephonic conversation with you on 21st August 2010, referred to above. Mr. Rout, Director General, had also done the same.

As far as improvements in the voting system are concerned, the Commission has always had an open mind, and has had discussions with several persons on these matters including Mr. Hariprasad. Mr. Hariprasad has met the Commission on several occasions. He came with Mr. V.V.Rao, on 17th August 2009 and again on 3rdSeptember, 2009. The Commission has given Mr. Hariprasad a patient hearing, and has assured him that the Commission will consider his suggestions. At his request, EVMs were allowed to be examined by him, in the Commission Headquarters. Mr. Hariprasad met the Commission once again on 10th August 2010, with his other colleagues. This meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere where the Commission categorically stated that it has an open mind in the matter and looks forward in receiving any suggestions for improving the electoral system. Reciprocating to this Mr.Hariprasad and his colleagues said that that they will come up with some positive suggestions. It was mutually agreed that this dialogue will continue in future, and that Mr. Hariprasad and his colleagues will meet the Commission again with more suggestions on a mutually convenient date.
            In your mail, you have made several other baseless and irresponsible allegations and also cast aspersions on the working of the Election Commission and its officials. These do not merit any response other than dismissal considering the fact that Indian elections are totally free, fair and credible and acknowledged as such worldwide. Your allegations only betray your lack of knowledge of the Indian Constitution under which the Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional body completely insulated from any pressures.

(Alok Shukla)
Deputy Election Commissioner

----- Original Message -----
From: Alok Shukla <dr.alokshukla@gmail.com>
Date: Sunday, August 22, 2010 4:33 am
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Mr. Quraishi, arrest of Hari Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs is uncalled for
To: Dr Alok Shukla   <dralokshukla@eci.gov.in>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SYQuraishi <syq2@rediffmail.com>
Date: 21 August 2010 01:07
Subject: Fw: Mr. Quraishi, arrest of Hari Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs is uncalled for
To: dr.alokshukla@gmail.com

Note: Forwarded message attached

-- Original Message --
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Save Indian Democracy <saveindiandemocracy.org@gmail.com>
To: syquraishi@eci.nic.in, vssampath <vs.sampath@eci.gov.in>, syq2@rediffmail.com,navinchawla@eci.gov.in
Subject: Mr. Quraishi, arrest of Hari Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs is uncalled for
Dear Mr. Quraishi,

Save Indian Democracy with great efforts brought the best international experts recently to India who worked with Mr. Hari Prasad to expose the vulnerabilities of Indian EVMs.   As you know, the efforts of Mr. Hari Prasad was to educate Indian public and the path taken was only to work around the unrealistic and dishonest restrictions imposed by ECI in demonstrating the vulnerabilities of EVMs.    

In this effort,  Mr. Hari Prasad has nothing other than the best interests of the country.    You should note that the same Mr. Hari Prasad have not entertained a single offer for tampering by politicians as far as North East India with offer of attractive sums.    It will be a matter of shame and travesty of justice for Election Commission of India instead of appreciating the acts of such heroes, your office stoop to intimidating and punishing them.  It is a disgrace that the ECI that is arresting and intimidating the activist who has only best interest of the nation at heart,  has done little about those who are approaching Net India that Mr. Hari leads to tamper them for a price in real elections. 

The act which Mr. Hari Prasad did was also done by activists in US and Europe and they are respected for it.   For e.g, Dr. Alex Halderman who worked with Mr. Hari Prasad in hacking India's EVM has also hacked a EVM used in US elections and he was employed by State of California Secretary of State to expose the vulnerabilities of the EVM's used in California.  If any,  ECI could use services of Mr. Hari Prasad to better serve the nation.

During the Usenix conference Mr. Alok Shukla was told by international community that the way to resolve this is not by use of threats but by amicable discussions held with honesty.  Instead of heeding such advice, you decided to pursue a path that  will only enhance the resolve of international community by many factors to show the tamperability and lack of transparency of Indian EVMs across international conferences/discussions and expose the shameful threats used by Election Commission of India to suppress the truth because of the fear of the exposure.   It will only lead the international community to communicate to Election Watch bodies and Human Rights Commissions that Indian elections are a farce and the use of threats to suppress is the best proof that Election Commission of India has something to hide.  Indian Elections and the venerable Election Commission of India will soon become a laughing stock of the world.

I request you sir, to rethink the path chosen and restore the dignity of highly respected institution you are leading.  We understand bureaucracy in India is under pressures that are not usually patent to those outside,  but by standing up for what is right you will be remembered in history.  There are many in dustbin of history of India that are bringing down a great nation with enormous potential,  but I request you to stand apart and do the right thing.

Satya Dosapati for Save Indian Democracy


Alok Shukla