Saturday, November 6, 2010


Tamil Nadu politics hotting up

PC meets Karuna 

and Jaya formlates ADMK MPs
on winter session strategy

By a correspondent

DMK, ADMK and Tamil Nadu congress are gearing up
for the Tamil Nadu assembly polls.

High level meetings have begun, there are uncofirmed
reports that from Congress-that is from
New Delhi political emisarries are in constant touch
with both DMK and AIADMK.

Interestingly, the first meeting in pre poll discussions
begun on saturday in chennai , withP Chidambaram Home Minister having
held a lengthy discussions with DMK Chief Karunanidhi
in Chennai. This meeting covered various political issues
including Sri Lankan tamils and DMK approach towards
Congress in the ensuing Winter session of Parliament.

16 MPs of DMK are to take a casual view on the CWG scams
if discussed in both houses of Parliament, DMK will neither
support or join the BJP sponsored motions.

While ten Congress MPs elected from Tamil Nad will distance
from the motion of BJP on A Raja Telecom Minister. Ten Congress
MPs from Tamil nadu shall be quiet - and would not support A Raja

This means a shift in the stance of Congress towards DMK.
But there are opportune time, for Congress also to strike.

Meanwhile, AIADMK General Secretary Jayalalitha has called
a meeting of her MPs at Poes Garden at six pm on Sunday.
to direct her MPs on issues to be taken up for winter session.
This meeting is significant as the future alliance of ADMK
is likely to be indicated to her MPs


to be discussed between
Dr Singh to Mr Barak Hussein Obama

By R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: Eleven major secret issues pertaining
to India will be discussed between Prime Minister
Dr Manmohan Singh and President Obama on Sunday
at 7RCR when they meet for a quiet dinner.

Despite being a policy document, the PMO prepared
it for the background purposes.

These issues will also be deliberated at the Hyderabad
house when these two leaders meet with officials.

Recognizing that US President Barrack Obama’s visit was not
aimed to achieve immediate goals, a policy brief circulated amongst
top strategists and government officials by the Prime Ministers’
Office (PMO) suggests building a base for a long term India-US
relation for the year 2020. The policy actually summarizes the
conclusion of a study commissioned to various thin-tanks ahead of
Presidential visit to apprise officials and the informal brainstorming
group including National Security Adviser (NSA) Shiv Shankar Menon,
former NSA Brajesh Mishra during NDA rule and former ambassadors in US
Naresh Chandra and K S Bajpai to sensitise key US officials during
formal and informal interactions.

The brief realizes that while the strategic partnership of 2005 had
laid out a roadmap for the two countries in various sectors, the
assessment shows that pace has been “uneven”. Significantly, Obama’s
former Campaign Chief of Staff Pete Dagher recently told Indian
audience candidly that India needs to lobby hard in Washington with an
imaginative mix of vision and deft planning to achieve its goals.

DEFENCE: On the issue of defence cooperation, the policy brief
outlines that CISMO was a roadblock. While agreeing that US has long
standing laws on the limits of defence transfers and India cannot
demand a treatment superior to that offered by US
to its military security partners such as NATO alliance, UK etc., the
policy brief, howeve,r suggests that Washington should make sure
that defence commerce between US and India follow along the lines of
WTO members that means MFN treatment. The US should treat India in
matters of defence transfers in no less favourable manner than it
treats its other customers not bound by military alliance. In general
if a principle of reciprocity and freedom of choice is maintained, the
chances of further defence cooperation will be enhanced substantially

TERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE SHARING: India by participating in several
multilateral export control regimes such as NSG and MTCR, could
contribute to the global efforts to deny terrorist outfits materials,
technology and know-how needed for the development of WMD. In this
process, both the US and India, however, have to overcome problems
with regard to domestic constituency as well as legal provisions and
rulings; geo-strategic compulsions and politic-military. The current
cooperation between them, for various reasons, appears to be in the
range from low uncertainty to medium uncertainty. The next decade
would be a test for both the partners to reach the zenith of the
cooperation of which intelligence sharing should be established as a

CYBER SECURITY: The cooperation was mooted in 2002, when the India-US
Cyber Security Forum was set up in the National Security Council
Secretariat. It got a severe set back following an unravelling of an
alleged espionage racket involving Secretariat officials incharge of
Forum and a lady US embassy official. The paper calls for sharing
best practices and coordinating approaches geared towards a common
vision of ensuring that cyberspace remains open and free, and at the
same time secure.

HIGH-END TECHNOLOGY: India has taken first step of harmonizing its
export control list in line with export control regimes. India and US
should now seriously explore how to mange future dual use technology
trade in a manner that helps global trade without affecting
international security.

NUCLEAR TRADE: Remedial measures can be done to allay the US industry
fears over the Nuclear Civil Liability Law. A resolution of the matter
to the satisfaction of both sides would require both sides to abandon
their current rigid positions. If this is resolved
then the way is open for substantial further nuclear cooperation
between the two countries in all matters pertaining to civilian
nuclear uses in future and in particular cooperating in
nuclear safety and security issues, assisting new entrants to civil
nuclear power in managing safely their nuclear programs etc. India
with its strong and well flourishing base in nuclear research can join
with US in managing future global civil nuclear programs in an
imaginative manner which is equitable and non-discriminatory.

PAKISTAN: Besides militancy, nuclear dynamics, war on terror and
Afghanistan, for India utmost significance is the course of US aid in
Pakistan. More aid to Pakistan is being promised without deriving
methods aimed at appropriate use of the aid money. US
administration has shown intentions to bring about a change in its aid
policy towards Pakistan. Ironically, these intentions have been far
from being translated into policy statements. US has been conducting

AFGHANISTAN: As President Obama has already announced plans to start
withdrawing forces from Afghanistan from July 2011, it may be
suggested that India and United States start mutually ecognising each
other's efforts for peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.
More significantly, the United States must engage India more deeply in
the deliberations on any future strategy for the solution of Afghan

a role to become a regional policeman by joining the PSI to check and
monitor ships, India sees missile defence as a defensive-deterrence
mechanism unlike Washington which perceives it as active defence
mechanism against missile Similarly, India sees the PSI as pre-emption
tool targeting US adversaries, which India disapproves. Even on
nuclear terrorism, India could find partnerships ineffective unless
the source of proliferation and terror (read Pakistan) is adequately
addressed. (Ends)

Monday, November 1, 2010


1 Nov 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Noted 72-year old social activist Anna Hazare has written to the Prime Minister threatening to return his Padma Bhushan unless he orders a thorough probe into the creation of the Lavasa hill station, depriving the poor tribals of their land. He has also threatened to go on a hunger strike on November 11 against the project.

“Builders, politicians and ministers have cheated poor tribes for Lavasa. The rules made for the protection of environment have been violated for creation of the first hill station developed since Independence,” says the letter, stressing that the high celebrities are occupying it without even the necessary completion certificates.

Hazare has alleged that Maharashtra revenue minister Narayan Rane is protecting Lavasa because NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter and son-in-law are alleged partners in the project. 


cbi case against gold exporters


            The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against 17 accused including Gold Exporters and Chairman of Pen Cooperative Urban Bank Ltd., besides the unknown officials of Mineral Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC), a Government of India Enterprise under Union Ministry of Steel, New Delhi and Pen Cooperative Urban Bank Ltd., who cheated the MSTC to the tune of Rs.480 crores (approx). MSTC having the corporate office at Kolkata is a trading corporation involved in Imports & Exports and is a nominated Agency for Gold Exports under F.T.P (Foreign Trade Policy). 
                It is alleged that in the year 2008-09, accused exporters fraudulently exported Gold Jewellery worth Rs.600 crores to various buyers in UAE.  In lieu of this export, MSTC gave advances worth 80% of the value of the invoice viz. Rs.480 crores to the aforesaid Associate Suppliers through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) in their nominated bank accounts.  However, as stipulated, the proceeds of Export, which were to be received within 170 days from the date of export have not been received till date.

                The accused conspired to cheat MSTC and allegedly exported gold to their own companies in UAE.  This gold was supposed to be exported to  Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) authorized importers in UAE against the Letter of Credit (LC).  However, in order to cheat MSTC, the exporters in connivance with the importers, sold the gold in UAE open market fraudulently with a commission of 2% and brought back the proceeds of sale  to India through Hawala.

                The export proceeds were supposed to be routed through MSTC to the exporters. But as the money was allegedly brought in through Hawala,   MSTC was unable to recover Rs.480 crores, which led to the loss of Rs.480 crores to the Govt. of India. 
                Searches were conducted at 15 places in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.  Incriminating documents recovered during searches are being scrutinized for further investigation.

jairam ramesh does a trick on Andhra

1 Nov 2010



From R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh cannot be accused of hitting only the non-Congress governments as the latest axe from his ministry may fall on the Polavaram multi-purpose project of the Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh.

A notice issued on Monday to the Andhra Pradesh Government to put on hold the government project is, in fact, meant to help out the Opposition-ruled states of Orissa and Chhattisgarh whose land is threatened to be submerged because of the project. 

It asks the state government to reply "with 7, 10 days" why the ministry should not stop the project for continuing it without getting the environment clearance and not holding the public hearings even after 18 months of notice issued on March 9, 2009.

Since the project may result in land submergence in Orissa and Chhattisgarh, the ministry had directed the Andhra Pradesh Government to undertake public hearing in the two states vide its March 2009 letter. 

The Central Water Commission (CWC) had cleared the project with the condition that it should provide for construction of bunds and embarkments on the rivers Saberi and Sileru to avoid submergence. Since this aspect was not considered at the time of granting the environment clearance to the project, the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the ministry asked the state government to undertake the public hearing through its letter of March 9, 2009. A reminder was sent on June 24, 2009 but that too was ignored.


Former Secretary General of Lok Sabha PDT Acharya 
is now  Parliamentary Advisor to Railway Minister
Mamta Banerjee.He is getting a spacious chambers in
Rail Bhavan - and would interact with officials of Railway
Board -train them on Parliamentary Practices. He will also
be advising the standing committee on Railways
and be attending the Railways consultative Committee.
Acharya shall liaise with Railways and

Insiders in Lok Sabha astonished to see the
downfall of  Acharya who held a status to that 
of Cabinet Secretary. And now, he is like
a exalted position of a section officer.
Suddenly huge turn out of retiring and retired IAS 
officials making  a bee line to pay a courtesy call on 
Chairman Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari. Reason
is that present Secretary General VK Aghnihotri 
to complete his term. 

Latest in the list is  PDT Acharya wants
to be appointed as  Secretary General of Rajya Sabha.
He has rich experience of Lok Sabha proceedings,
and he rose from the lower ranks-as Translator from
Malayalam to English to the position of Secretary General.
But during his tenure as SG Lok Sabha he was spiking
on Rajya Sabha and never given the due courtesy to upper house.
Today Acharya aspires a high position in Upper House.
CAG Vinod Rai, is categorical that he would not be
reporting to PMO or to V K Shunglu on the recommendations
on CWG Scams. Vinod Rai in a communication to PMO
stated that he is answerable to Parliament of India
CAG recommendations are not secret. On the day of our
presentation to the Secretary General of Lok Sabha, 
the CAG report becomes a privilege document and to be
in the custody of Speaker of Lok Sabha. It is for the
Parliament to place it on the table of parliament.
Where is the question of a constitutional authority
like CAG flouting its own set protocols.
Major irritation for A Raja- Telecom Minister. 
P J Thomas appointment as Central Vigilance Commissioner 
drew criticisms on conflict of interest. As he was Secretary Telecom
and as CVC he cannot be sitting on judgement on 2G scam.

But the major headache for A Raja Telecom Minister is the
continuation of  J Sridhar Sharma  as 
chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 
Petitions are now before courts that as Member of Telecom
Dispute Settlement Tribunal TDSAT, Sridhar sharma gave
lots of rulings. Now as Chairman TRAI same Sridhar Sharma
is negativing his own ruling. Insiders in Sanchar Bhavan
confide that Sridhar Sharma - as Secretary Telecom has
been against TDSAT and TRAI. After superannuation he held
both positions. If it comes for legal scrutiny in Apex court
Sridhar Sharma may quietly quit and go.Not to get into 
legal tangles like P J Thomas