Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Big fight between two Union Minisers


By R Rajagopalan

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is faced with multiple issues
which turn into be a major political issue.First is Commonwealth Games corruption.

Second is the Enemy Property Bill.
Both had dominated the Wednesday Union Cabinet Meeting
It was really a major irritation for the 78 year old Dr Manmohan Singh

Salman do not raise this it is a conflict of interest. Said P Chidambaram
Most befitting reply from Salman was too hot."You also appeared in
apex court for one section therefore you also flout Conflict of Interest"
retorted Salman.

There was a stotic silence, but as a presiding deity Dr Singh quietened all 
the warring Ministers.

The Enemy Property Act has turned two senior cabinet ministers into 
adversaries. Salman Khurshid, minister for corporate affairs and minority 
issues, directly targeted Home Minister P Chidambaram

Khurshid was under the impression that in previous meetings it was 
decided that before the legislation will be passed in next session of 
Parliament, an ordinance would be issued by the government. 
No such ordinance has been issued.

Dr Manmohan SIngh might have recollected Atal Bihari Vajpayee

But most interesting was that Dr Manmohan SIngh on Wednesday behaved like
a Chief Justice to sort out the heated arguments between two Union Ministers

Dr Manmohan Singh might have recollected the gospel saying of Atal Bihari Vajpayee
not to have too much of advoctes in the Council of Ministers- and do not include
other than Congress leaders in the Cabinet Committee on Security. As Vajpayee
faced immense political turmoil while George Fernandes was facing Tehelkha
Aluminium gaskets issues.

What is enemy property bill?

After the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965, the government issued the 
Enemy Property (Custody and Registration) Order, 1965. 
Under this act all immovable properties in India 
belonging to or held by or managed on behalf of Pakistan nationals, 
stood vested in the custodian of enemy property. This is how the
 entire property (running into several hundreds of acres) in Lucknow
 belonging to the Raja of Mahmoodabad got vested with the custodian.

Why Khurshid is angry?

Khurshid, who is openly supporting the cause of the heir of the Raja of 
Mahmoodabad, was so livid that he kept arguing against Chidambram 
even after the matter ended.

Friday, October 15, 2010



By Delhi correspondent




15 Oct 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Maharashtra Congress President Manikrao Thakre is being sacked for an utterly irresponsible talk that the state ministers collecting funds for Sonia Gandhi's "Sadbhavna Rally" in Wardha on Friday.

Though both he and Chief Minister Ashok Chavan issued statements for the damage control after a TV network caught on camera and flashed the loose talk Thakre was having with former minister Satish Chaturvedi, the leadership is not satisfied, top party sources said. Not only Thakre, but Chaturvedi will also be punished, they said.

Sonia Gandhi was more upset from Thakre's reported comment that part of the collections made for the rally has to be also sent "upar" meaning the AICC as she angrily told her aides that it puts her in a bad light and she was even thinking not to attend the rally.

The Congress President's political secretary Ahmed Patel is believed to have pulled up Thakre and told him about Sonia Gandhi's shock over his unbecoming conduct and that she wanted the rally cancelled but for persuasion that the party workers engaged in organising it should not be punished just because of his wrong act.

Instead of dismissing Thakre outright which can be misconstrued as an admission of what all he said on the camera, the party sources said he would be shown the door as part of the new state Congress chiefs to be appointed by Sonia Gandhi in a number of states that authorised her instead of electing them.

Asked if the Congress will institute a probe into incident to verify if Thakre were not framed, party spokesman Manish Tiwari asserted at the AICC Press briefing that both the Chief Minister and Thakre have already issued clarifications. "If the party takes any further action and if anything is necessary to be conveyed to the media, we will get back to you," he added.

BJP Spokesman Prakash Javadekar had a dig, saying the truth has come out that the Congress always organises rallies using money. Why blame Chief Minister Chavan or PCC President Thakre when it is a Congress tradition to bring crowds for rallies by collecting and distributing money, he quipped.



15 Oct 2010


From R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: The Commonwealth Games (CWG) over, Suresh Kalmadi and others involved in organising it are being put in the dock. Even Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is not being spared. The Government is instituting multiple inquiries into the Games-related financial irregularities and misutilisation of the government funds.

Sonia Gandhi has given a clear line to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the misdeeds for which the government and the Congress got the flak should not be pushed under the carpet just because Kalmadi and Sheila Dikshit belong to the party. She wants a thorough probe into all allegations made against the CWG organising committee and other agencies, the Congress sources said.

A top source in the Prime Minister's office (PMO) said a comprehensive probe is being considered as the Prime Minister was equally concerned. Agencies to be involved in probing various aspects of the irregularities will be identified and announced within three, four days, he said. 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are already seized of the matters even before the Games began while the government is examining which other agencies should get cracking to examine complaints from all angles, the source said.

PARLI PROBE: Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had already prepared a report on the Games but its chairman and BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi had put it on the hold as he felt nothing should be done at the stage of preparations lest they get derailed bringing a bad name to India. The Games over, the PAC report may be the first to arraign the organisers as it may be tabled in Parliament beginning winter session next month. Another Parliamentary committee is also seized of the matter.

The first to speak out on behalf of the government was External Affairs Minister S M Krishna. Asked if the government will forget the charges o corruption that surfaced before the Games in view of its successful completion and let Kalmadi go scot free, Krishna shot back: "Success of Games is one side of the story but natural corollary will be followed. Government has already said this and Government will follow it up."

CONG FOR PROBE: Without mincing words, Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari also called for an inquiry, stating that "anyone allegedly mishandling of government funds has to be brought to book." 

"Obviously huge public money was spent in organising the event and such expenditures always undergo the audit process. We expect the government agencies and constitutional and statutory bodies will perform their responsibility to deliver the verdict, satisfactory to the nation," Tiwari affirmed at the AICC Press briefing on Friday.

Asked if Kalmadi will get the clean chit for ultimately successful conduct of the Games, he shot back: "Our party is not in the business of giving or not giving clean chit to anybody." The party's stand has always been that those mishandling the public money should not be spared, he said.

He said there were too aspects of the Games. One was the irregularities and delays. All the same, he wants to put on record that the party is satisfied with the successful and secure conduct of the games and it congratulates all those players who bagged medals for the country. Because of their efforts, India finished second in the game with its 100 plus tally of medals, he added.

PUBLIC JURY OUT: BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said: "The public jury is already out from the way spectators cheered every player and every artist at the closing ceremony Thursday night, but jeered Kalmadi and company." It only showed the anger and mood of the nation and "we will now wait for what actions the government takes" as both the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have gone on record that nobody will be spared, he said.

"We will wait for three-four days for the government action, though we are ready with our own investigations. We will pursue the issues of corruption, delay and mismanagement," Javadekar affirmed while talking to reporters at the BJP headquarters here.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hearsay- all heard in the corridor of power

new delhi political grapevine snippets
October 10, 2010

National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon is now ascertaining 
his position like his predecessor MK Narayanan. Menon though attending 
regularly in the morning meetings chairmed by P Chidambaram
MAC0 Multi Agencies Committee to review internal security.
At the same time Shiv Shankar Menon also begun to put up
top secret notes on issues concerning Left Wing Extremism,
J&K,Sri Lanka, Bangladesh refugees.All with the eyes on
external preceptions.

Recent  suggestion of Menon which has also been put to use
is to have an Indian Foreign Service diplomat 
in crucial ministries as Joint Secretaries. Menon  got the nod
from highest political authority. This new trend of posting diplomats
in Commerce, Agriculture, Petroleum, Energy, Environment
Company Affairs- all to result in a chaos-with Secretaries to
Government of India opposing it tooth and nail.
Vimala Narasimhan first lady of Andhra Pradesh and 
ESL Narasimhan Governor of Andhra Pradesh have opened up
Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad to carnatic music lovers to render
their skills. For the first time in Hyderabad Raj Bhavan
a KOLU a treaditional festival is being organised from October 8th to
October 16. 

Governor has sent out invitations to Chief Minister Rosaiah 
and other Ministers of Rosaiah cabinet. He also selected
hundred who is who of Hyderabad. advocates,school teachers
mediamen. industrialsits-scientists- bureacrats-police officers.
to this KOLU. 

KOLU - in means Dolls exhibition.It is a famous navratras festival
in Andhra, Karnataka Tamil Nadu and Kerala. To collect dolls
of all Gods and Goddess-made in paper smash- or plaster of paris
or with country sand..   In olden days
this was to be a support system to artisans and sculptures.
Elderly ladies would render carnatic songs in the evening hours
prepare snacks and distribute it to devotees.
"Do not take me for granted"- is the style of 
Sushma Swaraj Leader of Opposition, She told
in clear terms that after having been bitten once
now she is twice shy. In the issue of P J Thomas
as Central Vigilance Commissioner- Government got
a negative publicity-with Sushma Swaraj exposing 
UPA2 manoverability. Then the issue of Central Information
Commissioner. Sushma was categorical that
a senior most member should get the elevation as
Chairman and that she would not agree to any other
name proposed by the Government.

As per Supreme Court ruling Selection of  CVC, is by a panel with
Prime Minister-Home Minister and Leader of Opposiion. And
the Right to Information Act is too clear that PM in consultation
with Leader of Opposition shall select Chairman of CIC.

But in the case of choosing a Secretary General of Lok Sabha
Sushma Swaraj shown her authority. When Speaker Meira Kumar
sought her views on TK Viswanathan, Sushma Swaraj is believed
to have maintained that she is opposed to giving four years 
term -instead let us have eleven months contract. Leader of 
Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee also tried to  convince Sushma
but she stood to her ground.
Sooner the closing ceremony of Commonwealth Games 
are over - according to the corridors grapevine 
that political heads few   bureaucrats heads are certain to roll.
Four top politicians-all are from Congress.two or three serving
bureaucrats are now too scared that they would be in the line of fire.
Feeling too nerves about the investigations by Enforcement Directorate
and by Royal Revenue Service in London. All these trails lead
to a particular person. And that is Darbari. He is also set to
spill the beans. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010



--------- EXCLUSIVE-------

Confusion worst confounded

ON  KARUNANIDHI  - DMK feels so 

By R Rajagopalan

Sonia Gandhi visit to Trichy in Tamil Nadu on Friday
has created a confounded confusion in the minds of 
senior DMK leaders.And thereby future politics of Tamil Nadu.

DMK second ranking leaders feel that Sonia Gandhi did not
show her usual respect to Karunanidhi. 

At the age of 87, Karunanidhi drove to Chennai airport to receive
Sonia Gandhi. DMK leaders expected Sonia Gandhi to share her mind
in private for half an hour- on irritant issues like 2G and Ayodhya.
Later of course about the Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

But Sonia Gandhi just after receiving the flower bouquet abruptly
left the VVIP lounge of the Airport to get into an helicopter.


One section of DMK feels that the mindset of Sonia Gandhi
has since changed. Sonia Gandhi should have shown courtesy 
to Karunanidhi -atleast to his age of 87.This is how "inner ring"
leaders of DMK comment.


DMK leader Karunanidhi disappointed with Sonia Gandhi not 
showing warmth 

Does it mean  Sonia Gandhi begun to ignore Karunanidhi?

Does it also mean that she would like to toe the line of politics 
of her son Rahul Gandhi in ignoring DMK?

Rahul Gandhi articulation for the past three years and his
influence on his mother  Sonia Gandhi is so strong that she also
got carried away by abruptly walking away with the flower bouquet 
at Meenambakkam airport on Friday.

DMK has begun to speculate that two or three Congress leaders
holding high positions in the UPA2 are misleading Rahul Gandhi
and thereby Sonia Gandhi-

DMK inner circle leaders feel that one or two Tamil Nadu Congress
leaders who hold high positions in Centre-are the crucial personalities
to create a differences between DMK and AICC

Seventh and most important is 

DMK is concerned with the sudden shfit of Sonia Gandhi
attitude towards Karunanidhi- with Friday meeting with Sonia
Karunanidhi bacakdrop the DMK speculates whether there
is  any serious plans afoot from AICC that in Tamil Nadu
elections in April 2011- TNCC will lead a third front with PMK
and Vijaykant?


In Trichy where Sonia Gandhi addressed Friday Congress meeting
is estimated as  35-40 thousands crowd. 

When Karunanidhi addressed in the same venue in August he
attracted one lakh and odd.

But in July for Jayalalitha a remarkable crowd of 3.5 lakhs cheered her

TNCC does not have cadre accepts TNCC leader
Atleast with crowd statistics one would estimate the cadre strength of Congress in Tamil Nadu.

Comparing this, a senior DMK Minister gave an illustration.
Why P Chidambaram winning margin in 2009 LokSabha drastically
fell? In 2004 he won with a margin of one and half lakh votes,
Chidambaram downloaded almost all the 28 nationalised banks
branches in each street of Sivaganga..Banks growth was more than
the Tamil Nadu congress workers cadre? It is not DMK fault
commented a senior  DMK leader

Comparing Chidambaram's Sivaganga with Palanimanickam's
Thanjaur parliamentary constituency just an  adjacent constituency 
Chidambaram winning marging why drastically been reduced.
in 2009 and a huge increase in Palani manickam winning margin. 
Does this also  not reflect that TNCC does not have cadre strength.


At the same time senior TNCC leaders are unhappy with the 
tamil print media not playing up Sonia trichy show.
TNCC leaders suspect that DMK might have played foul
by calling up tamil dailies. Though this is a usual state government
pressure on media, but TNCC leaders suspect so.

Tamil media did not provide  prominent display
Largest circulated tamil dailies did not give a good display
to Sonia Gandhi addressing mammoth meeting  in Trichy 


Sonia Gandhi went to Trichy to induct a powerful Thevar leader
S Thirunaukarasar from BJP to TNCC. He merged his partymen into TNCC
before Sonia Gandhi on Friday.Arasar is a powerful Thevar leader
in his assembly constituency.He joined BJP and Vajpayee inducted
Arsar in NDA government.


Friday, October 8, 2010


EC prepares a panel of three names?


By R Rajagopalan

Election Commission has zeroed in on a panel of
three IAS officers of Andhra Pradesh to select one for the 
post of Chief Electoral Officer of the state,
to succeed I V Prasad Rao who has since been brought to Centre
as Establishment Officer.

Nagi Reddy IAS 1984 seDr Rajiv Sharma IAS 1982 and L V Subramanian IAS 1983
are the three IAS officers EC has identified.  A formal communication from EC will 
be sent to Government of Andhra Pradesh in a day or two.

Since V S Sampath and HV Brahma the two stalwarts of Andhra cadre IAS
officers are holding the position as Election Commissioners and they know the 
work culture of these officers- hence picking up of a right person is not at all 
an issue said a senior official of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Also there is an added advantage is the presence of IV Subba Rao in Delhi
as Establishment Officer- who can also be informally sought the details
of the officer who is identified to be the CEO of Andhra Pradesh.

Most interesting aspect is that the Andhra  Pradesh is not going in for election
hence, the process of selecting a panel for a CEO - can be a slow process
say a month's time, as the Election Commission is now focusing on the
Bihar Elections.



8 Oct 2010



By R Rajagopalan
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission is putting under check the chartered helicopters and aircraft used by the political parties and candidates in the elections to prevent transportation of huge money that is pumped in to rig the elections.

The Election Commission has sent a top secret order to Bihar state election officer and its expenditure observers to swoop over all aircraft and helicopters chartered for the election campaign and check the baggage to seize any huge cash found.

A top source in the Commission said the order was issued on the basis of submission by P K Das, Director-General of  its newly constituted Expenditure Monitoring Division, that black money used in the elections is generally carried in bags by the political parties in the chartered flights.

According to his investigation and past experience as a top Income Tax officer, it is difficult to carry huge cash in the regular commercial flights as the baggage, including the hand baggage, undergoes thorough check, but the chartered flights are not subjected to such checks and that is taken advantage by the parties to carry the cash for misuse in the elections. 

The Election Commission hopes that the new check on the chartered flights may control the abuse of money power in the elections. The Commission's permission is mandatory for the destinations at which these hired aircraft and helicopters are to land and as such its observers will have no difficulty in knowing in advance their landing places to conduct the search operations.

On the issue of the abuse of Money Power in elections, Political Parties were unanimous in their opinion that it is a menace which undermines the sanctity of the whole electoral system.

In a new rule slapped in the Bihar Assembly elections, the candidates are supposed to open a bank account and conduct their poll expenditures only through this account to enable an audit by the expenditure observers. They are supposed to first deposit whatever money they want to spend in the elections into this account and then withdraw cash for the expenditure.


no new indira rajiv schemes pm new fiat

8 Oct 2010



By R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has issued a fiat to the ministers not to name any new programme or scheme indiscriminately in the name of late former prime ministers Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi, more so because many flounder in implementation.

Exclusion of the two leaders' names in particular may not be liked by 10 Janpath, but a confidential letter shot out to all ministers justifies the virtual ban to prevent devaluation of the national figures because of failure of programmes associated with their name.

The letter dated October 6 written by Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar on behalf of the PM says better to use names of leaders like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi sparingly. It conveys the PM's worry that many programmes named after these leaders do not click.


"Dear Minister:

"As you are aware that number of programes under execution in the country are named after leaders, particularly Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Ministers.

"The practice has become widespread and indiscriminate. This reduces the value of identifying programmes with national figures, particularly as implementation and impact of many of these programmes is not  always as ought to be. As such many of them do not merit of such association.

"I have, therefore, been directed to convey that in the light of what is stated above, there is need to be sparing and selective in associating names of the national leaders with such programmes to prevent proliferation of such nomenclature."



October 6, 2010

DO number 1/48/10/2010

Dear Minister

As you are aware that number of programes
under execution in the country are named after 
leaders particularly Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi
former Prime Ministers

The practice has become widespread and indiscriminate
This reduces the value of identifying programmes with 
national figures particularly as implementation and impact
of many of these programmes is not  always as ought to be
As such many of them many of them do not merit
such association

I have therefore been directed to convey that in the light of
what is stated above there is need to be sparing and selective
in associating names national leaders with such programmes
to prevent proliferation of such nomenclature.

WIth regards

KM Chandrasekhar 
Cabinet Secretary


8 Dec 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has yielded to the political pressure to consider  the "voter verifiable paper trail" of  voting by the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to enhance voters' confidence and satisfaction.

 It announced on Friday its decision to refer the issue to a technical expert committee to examine it "in all aspects through a process of wide consultation."

The decision is based on several political parties stressing, during a consultation the commission had with all recognised political parties here on Monday, that such a trail will remove all doubts about manipulation of votes in the EVMs.

A commission press note said the political parties' consensus was to continue use of the EVMs used effectively in elections in India for more than a decade, but they wanted the commission to explore feasibility of the paper trail to further enhance voters' satisfaction. The expert committee shall submit its report to the commission for its consideration.

It said the parties also endorsed the Election Commission's drive to tackle menace of money power and "paid news" and appreciated the Commission's orders for strict enforcement of expenditure monitoring measures during the elections.

Political parties also suggested that the commission better relax the restrictions on the conventional methods of election campaign as these restrictions have led to alternative and pernicious practices like "paid news."


govt funds pensioners portal

8 Oct 2010


By  Our correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Government has decided to fund the pensioners' associations and NGOs to set up and run the "pensioners' portals" on the Internet as part of the national e-Governance plan (NeGP) being implemented as a mission mode project to cater to the central pensioners.

These portals will provide information about pension and other retirement-related matters and help the pensioners in redressal of their grievances, officials said, describing the new venture as unique, aimed at welfare of the pensioners across the country.

The government has already identified 16 pensioners' associations in various states and sanctioned them Rs 8.67 lakhs to start the portals to help out the pensioners through them, ending the plight they suffered in making trips to Delhi for trivial clarification.

These include Accountant's General Offices Pensioners Association, Hyderabad which has been released the grant of Rs 36,499, All India Retired Railwaymen's Federation, Secunderabad (Rs 57,348), All India Central Govt Pensioners Association, Jalandhar (Rs 46,250), Central Government Pensioner's Welfare Association, Jammu (Rs 57,960), and Indian Ex-Services League, New Delhi (Rs 51,800).

A circular sent out by the Ministry of Personnel on Oct 4 detailing the scheme list out five activities for which the associations will get the recurring grant. The rates at which the grant will be calculated are: Internet connection (Rs 700 per month), Telephone (Rs 600 pm), Stationery (Rs 1500 per month), Water and Electricity (Rs 2000 pm) and annual maintenance Rs 2400.

The rules detailed in the circular also mandate reservation of scheduled castes and tribes in the recruitment to the associations that employ more than 20 persons on a regular basis and are registered societies or cooperative with annual grant of Rs 2 lakhs or more. There is, however, no mention of the OBCs.

The government reserves the right to nominate a representative to such associations and it can also seek refund of the funds not utilised for the purpose for which they are sanctioned. The associations are also required to maintain records of assets and other items of permanent value costing Rs 10,000 and above.

The associations are also permitted to construct building or immovable property wholly or partly out of the grant, the ownership of which will rest with them so long as they utilise it for the purpose for which the grant is sanctioned. If the organisation ceases to exists or if the building is not utilised for the purpose for which the grant is given, the government will take over the ownership.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


5 Oct 2010


By R Rajagopalan
NEW DELHI: The Centre is mulling appointment of a political personality as the Jammu and Kashmir Governor alongwith appointment of either Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan or Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh to head a group of interlocutors to carry forward the proposed peace talks in the valley.

Chavan is also the Congress general secretary incharge of the J&K affairs and hence he knows pulses of the valley to be considered as the main interlocutor while Digvijay Singh, a former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, is believed to have quite a good reputation in Kashmir because of the pro-Muslim stand he has been taking for long.

The interlocutors are expected to be named in a day or two as those who can establish a rapport with the Kashmiri leaders, specially the separatists, have been already contacted. While some declined and some agreed for the job, others are waiting to first know who heads the group, the Home Ministry sources here said.

Names of the likely interlocutors and request of Governor N N Vohra, a former defence and home secretary, to shift him to any other state or relieve him in view of his wife Usha's ailment reportedly figured in discussion between the Prime Minister and Home Minister P Chidambaram in a one-to-one hour-long meeting here on Monday. Usha Vohra, also a retired bureaucrat, is believed to suffering from cancer.

The Home Ministry sources said the government is also getting demand from various quarters for appointment of a political leader as the state's governor as it has been always either a former bureaucrat or a former army officer appointed as the governor since after Dr Karan Singh seized to be the Sadr-e-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The government thinks the demand is genuine as it may send a political personality as the governor, though there is also a proposal to shift Arunachal Pradesh Governor General J J Singh, a retired Army chief, to Srinagar, the sources said.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who called on Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday, said neither his government nor his National Conference party have made any suggestions about the governor or interlocutors. "There are no inputs from the state government or national conference," he said while wriggling out from discussing advantage of a political person as the governor.

The Prime Minister assured the chief minister of all Central help in resolving the issues confronting the state as also promised an early action on job initiatives under the Rangarajan Committee that was asked to give its report within three months.

The chief minister reiterated the need for sustained efforts to enter into a dialogue with all shades of opinion in the state, while briefing him about good impact of the initiatives taken to restore peace and normalcy in the state. Giving a report on the law and order scenario, Omar Abdullah also told the PM that he hopes the complete normalcy will return in the valley soon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

nitish kumar

Monday, October 4, 2010



This is a make or mar election, come out and vote

I am writing to you after a long gap. I have been extremely busy since the dates for Bihar Assembly elections were announced. Various activities related to the polls, from selection of candidates to overall preparedness of the party, have kept me preoccupied for the past one month or so.

As I have always said, the coming election is going to be different from the ones in the past in more ways than one. I think it is going to be a “make-or-mar” election for the state. For the first time in the electoral history of the state, development has emerged as a key factor in the polls this time. Each one of you have to decide whether you want the process of development to continue after the polls or want to go back to the days when progress was sacrificed at the altar of politics of caste, community and religion.

I have always maintained that development will take precedence over all other considerations in this election. It is heartening to see that most of you share my views. In a recent survey of a leading newspaper, I was pleased to note that an overwhelming majority had cited development to be most important factor in the polls.

In a state obsessed in the past with caste and community equations in the run-up to the polls, it is certainly a refreshing change. People from across the world often write to me saying they had given up hope for Bihar’s turnaround but the positive wave of reforms and change that took place during our tenure had changed their perception about the state.

At the outset of our tenure, I had made a promise to the people of Bihar that I would not come back to seek their votes if I would not succeed in bringing about the changes. I have little hesitation in saying changes are visible across the state now. This is why I have come back to the people to seek another term for our government. We have achieved quite a bit and we have miles to go.

The work culture in Bihar has changed. People have begun to repose their faith in law and order. We have taken several initiatives to work for the welfare of the poor, women, minorities, Mahadalits and other weaker sections of society. I have my eyes firm on what further needs to be done to ensure comprehensive empowerment of the impoverished and marginalised.

If voted back to power, it would be our priority to streamline the PDS system. We have done some experiments with food coupon and I want to give it a concrete shape at the earliest. I wish to reiterate my commitment that each poor should get his or her share of ration goods in a hassle-free manner. I also wish to focus more aggressively on improving the power scenario in the state as it is a prerequisite of development and we are brutally aware of this. We have relentlessly worked towards this and the results will begin to surface soon.

I am informed there are many national and international investors who are keenly observing the elections in Bihar. I wish to reassure them, the situation will become more congenial and investor-industry-friendly in times ahead.

I am resolute we have to turn Bihar into a Developed State by 2015. The rate of growth has been impressive and we wish to further capitalise on this. This can’t happen unless each one of us stand up and join the crusade.

My humble plea to all of you spread all over is to come out and use your right to vote. You will strengthen democracy and be the impetus towards intensify Bihar’s historic march to progress and prosperity. It does not matter whom you should vote for, but as long as you cast your franchise it would augur well for all of us.

It is festival time – Dussehra, Diwali and Chhatth is round the corner and it shall be peppered with the festival of franchisee. Come and rejoice the spirit of Bihar. Join your families during these festivities in deciding the shape of Bihar of the future. Your one tiny effort shall determine the fate and future of Bihar.

We are often accused by many of being complacent. Time has come to prove them wrong. Time has come to take that giant leap forward towards development.

I have always said we shall create such a vibrant and dynamic state which shall make us all proud. We shall create a Bihar where being called a Bihari will be a matter of pride. Being a Bihari henceforth will be a matter of Maan, and not Apmaan.

With best wishes,

Nitish Kumar

Postscript: I shall be busy campaigning for next few weeks and may not be able to write as often. However, I shall keep in touch with your ideas. Keep writing in. And do drop in your best wishes for us as well.