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Showing posts with the label state elections

Omicron Vs Maharashtra Vs Centre: What’s Wrong In Taking Stronger Safety Measures?

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Not only on the front of fighting and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, but on every possible issue under the sun that the central government has been finding faults with the Maharashtra government with unfailing regularity since the Shiv Sena moved away from the winning combine with the BJP and formed a coalition government with the NCP and the Congress in 2019. Now, the clash is on a very dangerously suspenseful issue of containing the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, and any political rivalry on this may lead to a situation where it is not at all clear who is going to have the last laugh; we better not call it the last laugh, because this is strictly not a laughing matter, if we still remember the catastrophe of the Second Wave that hit the country the hardest due to total neglect, complacency and lack of any kind of preparedness of the central government. Of course, at the moment the situation is much different than in late 2020 and early 2021 with rising vaccination figures and more

Prime Minister Speaks: And Then The Three Farm Laws To Be Repealed!

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In a totally unexpected development, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in an address to the nation early morning today has, on the occasion of Guru Nanak Birth anniversary called Guru Purab or Prakash Parv (a holy festival observed by the Sikhs on the birth/demise anniversaries of the their Saints/Gurus), announced the Government’s decision to repeal the three controversial Farm Laws the constitutional formalities of which are going to be completed in the winter session of the Indian Parliament starting from 29 th November 2021. The Prime Minister, though, stoutly defended the Farm Laws saying that these reforms were brought in favor of the farmers, particularly the small and marginal farmers; however, he admitted that the laws could not convince sections of the farmers and dissatisfied cultivators cannot be left behind. Narendra Modi added that perhaps the government’s ‘dedication’ to uplift the cultivators of the country was not enough. The Prime Minister also promised to

COVID-19 Second Wave: India’s Worst Ever Health Crisis That Nobody Prepared For!

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For the 5 th consecutive day India’s daily new COVID-19 cases have been more than the unbelievable 2, 00,000 or 2 Lakh mark, with over 2.73 Lakh cases in the last 24 hours. Compared to the first pandemic peak of around 97,000 reached in mid-September 2020, we are staring at the mind-boggling fact that the daily numbers have almost tripled and are scared to guess the second peak even if it comes sooner than later, hopefully. Fatalities have also crossed the daily 1000 mark again as more 1600 people perished in the last 24 hours. However, the eternal chest-thumping self-styled ‘saviors’ of our country say that as per the deaths of around 1000 when the daily cases were less than 1 Lakh the fatalities now could have been three times higher, around 3000 per day, the negation of which means that the fatality rates are still low or even lower. Yes, numbers don’t matter for them; it is only their rates that have always been important, and they were boasting of India’s low fatality rate last y

COVID-19 Second Wave In India Threatens To Overtake The First Pandemic Peak!

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The fear has always been there about the Pandemic not saying quits in a hurry, be it in India or in the US or in Europe or anywhere. Yet, people, even governments, everywhere have been loath to carry on with the COVID-19 protocols and appropriate behavior. India, after the United States, has been marked out in this care-a-hoot mentality. And both of these countries are suffering heavily, apart from others where new Corona variants have created more havoc than inappropriate behavior. New daily cases of COVID-19 have been rising exponentially in at least eleven states of India since mid-March 2021. Personally speaking, when I left Mumbai in that period for domestic reasons daily cases in Maharashtra, the worst affected state, were around 6000-8000 and in the financial capital daily cases were hovering around 1000 per day. And now, new cases have reached nearly 50000 in the last twenty-four hours in Maharashtra while in Mumbai daily new cases have crossed 9000 in the last twenty-four hour

Bihar Elections-2020: Was Chirag Paswan BJP’s Conscious Strategy?

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  Defying all exit polls, the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) came back to power with a simple majority in the closely fought Bihar Assembly Elections-2020, giving the fourth consecutive CM-term and fifth overall to Nitish Kumar. All of the exit polls gave simple to two-third majority to the MGB (Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance) led by the young energetic face of Bihar, Tejaswi Yadav, son of the Bihar stalwart and former Chief Minister for three terms, Laloo Prasad Yadav, who had been in jail since a long time on corruption cases, and predicted Tejaswi to be the next CM. One or two exit polls indicated, in the worst scenario, a hung assembly.   Various reasons have been ascribed for the incredible comeback of the NDA against all odds. The primary reasons are: the continuing influence of the Modi-factor, the 12 crucial rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar where he warned people against falling for the ‘Jungle Reign’ of the RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) led by L

Election Politics: Congress Makes It 1-4 Now!

Of the five Indian states that went to poll counting for the north eastern state of Mizoram was taken up today. And the intensely introspective Congress party managed to make it 1-4 as a saving grace. On the momentous day yesterday BJP roared back to power in Rajasthan with three fourth majority, swept Madhya Pradesh and managed to retain Chattisgarh too. Only Delhi has a hung assembly with BJP being the single largest party. There is lot of uncertainty here as Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cannot afford to ally with any party on principle of fighting corruption. And it cannot have full faith in its winning candidates because the lure of political power and money might tempt them to defect to BJP. Therefore AAP is not taking any chances now. In this much touted Semi Final for General Election 2014 BJP defeated Congress 4-1 and is getting emboldened to take the ruling coalition and all Congress ruled states like Maharashtra by the throat. Meanwhile in south Afr

BJP Beats Congress 4-0, South Africa Beat India 2-0!

It was expected though not entirely predictable--in both cases. Over the last few years Congress came to be identified with corruption thanks to various scams of the ruling coalition. Anna Hazare started the movement against corruption and rocked the whole of India--particularly Delhi. The BJP constantly attacking Congress on corruption and moving around Anna not exactly supporting or opposing him somewhat escaped being clubbed with corruption or Congress. Then BJP launched Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate. Add to it the unabated inflation. For the four states that went to Assembly polls in November-December, 2013 these factors possibly led to a wave for change with record voting percentage in most states and BJP beat Congress 4-0, almost. It was a sweep in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh and a grand comeback in Rajasthan. BJP ruled Chattisgarh was also retained after a tough Congress fight that happened largely due to the recent Naxal attack on its leaders. Arvind Kejr

Kill Bill, Lalu Shrill, Election Drill, Voters Thrill!

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As I cool my heels in my native city Guwahati make no frills about all the thrills of politicking in the meantime. Starting with the Bill or rather the Ordinance to protect convicted politicians the Prime Minister of India returned from the US and, as anticipated widely, decided to kill the Bill in his Cabinet meeting thanks to Rahul Gandhi's vitriolics. All got seemingly well between the head of the Government and the Vice President of the party that leads the Government. As an immediate casualty of the killed bill Bihar veteran Lalu Prasad Yadav got convicted for stealing food from the animals and sentenced five years in jail. At the moment the politician is having sleepless nights thanks to the jail mosquitoes and insects that do not discriminate. Some other about to be convicted criminal politicians are fast losing hope in their own system. And today Assembly Elections are declared for five states starting November 11 to December 4 with the date of counting fixed

Bizarre Happenings and Politics of Turmoil!

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From ancient times it has been a proven war strategy to try strike the enemy at it weakest point. At the moment the ruling coalition of India seems to be the common enemy thanks to all sorts of campaigns and bizarre happenings. And of course, the coalition has been at its weakest due to the number game and a series of unending scams. If a few crucial allies withdraw support the ruling coalition of India will be reduced to minority and these allies got emboldened by the recent election results in five states of the country where Congress—the main part of the coalition—did poorly including at the most politically strategic state of Uttar Pradesh . Opposition political parties saw another opportunity to corner the government and joined hands with the allies directly or indirectly. The state election results also indicated a possible reemergence of regional forces at the cost of the national opposition parties. The debate on center-state power equation in the federal structure of the

State Elections of India 2012: Sidelights!

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Yesterday was a hectic day for all in the Indian media including this writer as counting for assembly election results of the five states of India started at 8am sharp. This was rated as the semi-final for India ’s General Elections of 2014 and so the media hyperactivity and expectations were at the peak.   All news channels were live the whole day and late into the night debating, analyzing, assessing, speculating and of course reporting the trends, results and possible government formations with permutations and combinations. Not possible to give you everything here and so we have selected a few observations for you on calculations based on various exit polls going terribly or pleasantly wrong from the media point of view. The first state of interest was Uttar Pradesh—the biggest and politically the most important state of India . Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi campaigned extensively here to oust feudalistic and corrupt Mayawati and bring in a rejuvenated C