Rahul doesnt leak anything at plenary

Out from her shadow? Photo courtesy: The Hindu

The much awaited Rahul Gandhi speech passed off without a single line being mentioned about his saffron terror remark to the United States or the scams the UPA government has been accused of.
Sidestepping the corruption issue, he said that the Congress president Sonia Gandhi has spoken in detail about it and something needs to be done about it. The only highlight of his speech was his definitoon of the aam admi or common man. ‘ Aam admi in India is someone who does not have a connection with the system irrespective of his religion, whether he is poor or rich and educated or not. He said it could be a tribal in Niyamgiri, dalit boy in Jharkhand who is made to sit in the last bench, a widow in Vidharbha, a farmer in Aligarh who does not get the right price for his crop, a professional in Bangalore who doesn’t get admission in a good school and a professor in the North East who does not get a job as he doesn’t have the right connections. He said that thus instead of being just common he is actually unique.
However Rahul was clearly the favourite and drew loud applause from the crowd. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who had left the dais returned just in time for Rahul’ speech. His mother Sonia Gandhi watched on proudly as her son spoke. She smiled and applauded quite often as Rahul spoke.

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Diggy does it again

Digvijay Singh. Photo courtesy: Indian Express

Digvijay Singh who had created a stir with the Hindu terror- Karkare remark lareglu termed as Diggy leaks attacked the RSS yet again at the AICC plenary session at New Delhi on Sunday.
Singh speaking at the plenary said that the men of the RSS have penentrated into the entire system. They are today in the bureucracy, the army and the entire government system.
The RSS is the greatest threat to the security system of the nation. Take into account the blasts at Ajmer, Malegaon and Mecca Masjid. Why is it that only the names of only the RSS crops up. This shows the threat that is being posed to national security.

Yeddi takes over Modi

B S Yeddyurappa. Photo courtesy: Topnews

The Congress has moved from Modi bashing to Yeddi bashing. B S Yeddyurappa was the most chanted name at the ongoing Congress plenary session at New Delhi. Digs were taken against the Karnataka Chief Minister by every speaker at the plenary accusing him of being the most corrupt chief minister in India.
The attack started with Congress supermo Sonia Gandhi who accused the BJP of not having the guts of removing him despite so many charges of corruption against him. The earlier sessions of the Congress saw a series of attacks against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. However day one of the plenary was surprisingly silent about Modi and decided to target Yeddi.
The attack against Yeddi was consistent. Members from West Bengal, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat all targetted the Karnataka CM. They quoted their parties decision which removed Ashok Chavan and asked Raja to step down when charges were not established. However when it comes to Yeddyurappa the BJP refuses to act. They said that the BJP had no right to hurl allegations of corruption against the Congress when they themselves refused to act. In addition to this they also attacked the Reddy brothers of Karnataka for large scale illegal mining.

Sonia puts onus on BJP

Congress President Sonia Gandhi at AICC meet. Photo courtesy: The Hindu

Congress supermo Sonia Gandhi speaking at the plenary session of the AICC dared the BJP to take actoon against its leaders involved in corruption. Attacking the BJP for not acting against Karnataka 0chief Minister B S yeddyurappa who is facing corruption charges she dared the BJP to act against him.
Sonia who spoke for nearly an hour being interupted by applause from her party workers said that her party was committed to eradicating corruption. The congress is the only party which has removed 0chief Ministers and ministers facing allegation of corruption even when the charge has not been proved as yet. She said that the BJP must follow the same instead of accusing the congress of inaction.
Corruption is a disease and needs to be wiped out. The party will give precedence to wiping out corruption. Whistle blowers must be protected and encouraged since these are the people who help ending this menace. Let no one think that the congress will shield the coRrupt and the opposition should not live under that illusion. She said that her party has made a statement on corruption by acting on it unlike the others who just talk about it.
Sonia however did not make any specific referrences to either the 2g or adarsh scam and kept the topic of corruption general.
On the Bihar fiasco, sonia said that this was a wake up call. There is work needed from the grass root levels and there is no short cut to success. All party workers should bear this in mind.
On the issue of terrorism she said that there is a need to understand the problem. Apart from giving support to the forces there is also a need for political will to counter this problem. We need to introspect what is happening in Jammu and kashmir and see why the youth are being misguided. There is a need to find a saolutuion here and the government is committed to it.
She also made brief remarks about the varanasi blasts and the naxal problem and said that going into the root of the problem will help sort this issue out.

Jaane bhi do, Barkha

YSR’s brother prefers cabinet to nephew

Y S Vivekananda Reddy. Photo courtesy: http://www.greatandhra.com

In what appears to be a set back to Jagan Mohan Reddy, his uncle has made it clear today that he will abide only by what the Congress high command has to say. In a statement issued at Hyderabad today, Vivekananda Reddy brother of Late Y S Rajashekhar Reddy has dismissed the allegations made by his nephew that the Congress was trying to split the party.

Jagan Reddy who quit the Congress on Monday had in a detailed letter to Sonia Gandhi said that inviting his uncle to New Delhi was an attempt to split the party. He said that this was the last straw and this prompted to decide on quitting.

However Vivekananda Reddy had a different take today and said that he had gone to New Delhi on his own will. I wanted a ministry in the new cabinet and that is what I had gone there for, he said. I am not sure about my fate in the new cabinet, but I will do whatever the high command asks me to do and I shall remain with the Congress he also said. Moreover he also added that he would contest the elections from Pulivendala if the party wanted him to.

Meanwhile Jagan’s followers are trying to bring pressure on the senior Reddy not to remain in the Congress. They feel that he should get out of the party and go with his nephew since he had stepped down because the party was attempting to break the family.

Jagan meanwhile has refused to react to this statement and he is presently at his father’s home at Idupalapaya. He has not issued any statement on the recent developments and will return to Hyderabad on Thursday and decide on the next course of action.

‘What was wrong in what Jagan was doing?’

Ambatti Ram Babu. Photo courtesy: anigalla.net

The whole of Andhra Pradesh is today speaking about the Y Jaganmohan Reddy resignation from the Congress. One of his closest aides, Ambatti Ram Babu who has been at logger heads with the Congress for quite sometime now thanks to his vocal support to Jagan today says that this is a betrayal by the Congress.

In this brief interview with rediff.com, Rambabu who has been suspended from the Congress says that the ball is in the court of the people today and they will decide what would happen. It is too early to speak about the new party and these things require sometime, he also says.

What are your reactions to the resignation by your leader, Y Jagan Mohan Reddy?

It is sad to see how things have developed in the past few months. He has not voluntarily left the party, but the party made him leave it.

But was he not asking for too much too soon?

No he was not. The YSR family has been serving not only the Congress but the entire state of Andhra Pradesh for the past 30 years. I don’t think Jagan deserved this treatment. He was just going on a Yatra to serve the people and also in the memory of his great father. The party reacted very strongly to that. What was wrong in what Jagan was doing?

So you are entirely in the defence of Jagan and say that it was only the Congress party at fault?

Try and understand that this family has been with the Congress for three decades and has given the party their life and blood. Given a choice, Jagan would have never left the party. Some in the party had played vindictive politics and this has what has made him quit. In his letter too he says that there was an attempt made to split his family. This hurt him no end.

But don’t you think he has acted in haste?

This is not a hasty decision. I said above too he was hurt. He has watched and waited patiently for the past 14 months and this time it got to him. As I said it is not he who left the party, the party made him leave.

So do you say it will rain Congress MLAs in Jagan’s camp now?

There is no attempt to split the party whatsoever. In fact I was surprised and touched with what Jagan had to say. He in fact made an appeal to all the MLAs and MPs who support him not to resign and that is a great thing that he has done. His resignation was not an attempt to kill the government of Andhra Pradesh. There are people, let them see, watch and decide.

What about you? You remain suspended from the party, now are you thinking of quitting?

Jagan has told all of us not to act in haste.

What about the plans to launch a new party?

It is too early to speak on that point. Let us see how things will shape up and it is entirely up to him to decide. This is something that we do not want to discuss as yet since there is a wait and watch policy that has been adopted.

Had he been given the post of CM, do you think he would have stayed on in the party?

I think I told you last time too that he was not an aspirant for the post of CM. He was going about his job and people within the party decided to be vindictive and pull him down.

Jagan quits- what next for the Congress?

A final good bye- photo-outlookindia.com

The first question that one would ask if he would float a new party and the answer is an obvious yes. However it may be time before he floats such a party since he too has entered into wait and watch mode since he will need some activity within the Congress for him to even consider his next move.

His camp suggests that he will wait for two moves by the Congress- cabinet reshuffle and the Congress decision to cozy up to the Praja Rajyam Party. To build his party, he will be looking for candidates from the Congress and he is well aware that these are two factors which will help him break the party and build his own. His camp sources say that once the new cabinet is sworn in, they there obviously going to be people who are dejected and he is expecting them to join him. Even the decision of the Congress to cozy up to the PRP would create a dissidence within the party and these MLAs would join him.

According to political observer, G V L Rao this is a major set back to the Congress and the party is well aware that Jagan is not just another challenger to the party. The Congress will have tread very carefully now since it would not want to lose Andhra Pradesh which has given it so many MPs and also such a strong state government. Jagan is not a factor that they would take lightly at all. Not only has he built a huge campaign around himself in AP, but he has managed to keep the YSR legacy alive. Normally a leader is forgotten in a year, but Jagan managed to keep his father’s legacy alive and the late leader has a lot of sympathizers in Andhra Pradesh.

While trying to break away from the Congress, Jagan has not only managed to leave the party but has also made every attempt to put the Congress leadership in very bad light and this would hurt the prospects of the party to a great extent.

Political observers in Andhra Pradesh however feel that he will not be break the Congress so easily as yet. He has managed to win the first battle alright, but taking the MLAs will not be that easy. Everyone thought that Jagan would wait for the high command to throw him out of the party so that he comes out gaining all the sympathy and looking like a matyr. However his sudden decision to quit was aimed at destabilizing the new Chief Minister, Kiran Kumar Reddy. K K Reddy was a man capable of quelling the Jagan rebellion and by submitting his resignation, Jagan has ensured that he not given enough time for Reddy to settle in. Now Reddy would focus more on protecting his MLAs instead of slowly building his image in the party to wade away the Jagan mania.

Now coming back to the party breaking, it appears unlikely at the moment since the elections are a good three years away. Although he may try and make attempts to force a mid term poll, he too is aware that the AP assembly is a large one and pulling out a handful of MLAs would only attract the anti defection law which would mean these MLAs become useless and cannot contest for another 6 years. So it looks like Jagan would wait.

The MLAs on the other hand would also weigh their options. An Odarpu yatra would not be sufficient for them to find out if Jagan has the capability of converting these supporters into voters. They would wait for a build up and even his loyalists within the Congress would not come out of the party but would be very vocal in their support to him. They would play their cards very carefully since they would not want to lose their Congress membership as of now and also they would want to keep their options with Jagan open. If they find that Jagan is converting the Congress vote bank into his, then these MLAs would slowly cross over in order to keep their political prospects alive.

Political observers also don’t see this issue making much of an impact on the Telangana issue. The leader of the Telangana Students Movement, Dr Sangam Prithviraj feels that it is not as though the Congress did not know about this coming. It has all been weighed and the Congress was prepared for this. The Jagan factor will play no role in Telangana what so ever since none of the Congress MLAs from the Telangana will not tow Jagan’s line since any tie up with him would ensure them of a loss. Jagan’s statements have not gone down too well with the people of Telangana and he had to keep his yatra away from the Telangana region for this region. The Congress MLAs from this region would stick to their party since they would not want to jump from the frying pan into the fire by going along with Jagan.

Rao however feels that the Congress has its task cut out. They would wait and watch how Jagan would fare in the belts of Andhra and Rayalseema where he can expect support and they would then act on the Telangana issue. There is a chance of them making Telangana their turf by making a big announcement, but that of course will be the last option since announcing statehood for Telangana would mean doom at Andhra and Rayalseema.

The leaders from Telangana also feel that there is no impact for them due to this resignation. The Congress will not take any hasty decision on the basis of the people he managed to gather at his Odarpu yatra since it is a known fact that a lot of the same people who attended this yatra had attended the ones addressed by Chiranjeevi or even Chandra Babu Naidu. However the developments will be interesting in the days to come, since Jagan’s primary agenda would be to break the Congress and then form his own party.

‘Anguished’ Jagan resigns

Jagan Mohan Reddy greets his supporters. Photo courtesy:The Hindu

After months of cold war, Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of late Dr Y S Rajashekhara Reddy has quit both his MP seat as well as the Congress party. He has also indicated to the high command that his mother too would be resigning to her MLA seat and would also quit the party.

Jagan has written a long letter to the high command explaining the reasons behind this action.

Although he has not indicated whether he would launch a political party immediately, he has requested his followers not to resign immediately from the party.

Read the copy of the letter

Bihar: 59% of new MLA’s have criminal record

Tainted MLA Anant Singh, JDU. Photo courtesy: Instablogs.com

The Bihar elections may be over, but according to a study conducted based on the sworn affidavits of the MLAs, there are 141 candidates with pending criminal cases against them. According to a report by the Association of Democratic Reforms, there are 141 tainted MLAs and that means 59 per cent of the MLAs in the Bihar assembly have criminal records pending against them.

The report also states that the number of candidates with a criminal record has gone up to 59 per cent as compared to the 35 per cent it used to be in the last term. Both the JD(U) and the BJP have 58 such candidates with pending criminal cases against them.

Out of the 141 candidates, 85 of them have declared in their affidavits that they have serious charges pending against them. The serious charges range from murder and attempt to murder. The number in this category too has gone up when compared to the 68 it used to be in the last term.

The number of crorepati candidates too has gone up from 8 in 2005 to 47 in the year 2010.

The top ten MLAs with pending criminal cases

Pradip Kumar of JD(U) from  Warsaliganj  has 18 cases pending against him with 27 counts of serious IPC offences.

Shivji Rai Purvi, JD(U) from Madhuban has 14 cases pending with 8 serious counts of serious IPC offences

Narendra Kumar Pandey of JD(U) from Tarari has 13 serious counts of IPC charges and 23 cases in all pending against him.

Narendra Kumar Singh again of JD(U) from Matihani has 15 cases pending and 13 serious charges.

Satish Chandra of BJP from Narkatiaganj BJP has 7 cases pending and 17 serious counts.

Amarendra Kumar Pandey of JD(U) from Kuchaikote has 7 serious counts of IPC against him and 11 cases pending

Ananadi Prasad Yadav of BJP from Sikti BJP has 5 cases pending and 7 counts of serious offences under the IPC.

Manoranjan Singh of JD(U) from Ekma has 18 cases under which there are 6 serious counts under the IPC.

Mohammad Tousif Alam of INC from Bahadurganj has 6 cases pending against him and 6 counts of serious charges.

Avaneesh Kumar Singh of BJP from Chiraia has 7 cases pending and 5 serious charges.

Party wise-

Janata Dal (U) has 58 MLAs with pending criminal cases at a percentage of 51

The BJP has 58 such MLAs and the per centage is 64

The RJD has 13 MLAs with pending criminal cases at a per centage of 59

Out of the 6 independents who have been elected 5 have pending criminal cases against them

The Indian National Congress out of the 4 candidates has 3 with pending criminal cases at a per centage of 75.

The LJP on the other hand has 3 candidates all of whom have pending cases against them

The CPI has one candidate only and he has criminal cases pending against him.

The overall picture in the Bihar assembly is that out of 241 candidates, there are 141 with pending criminal cases against them. 59 per cent of the MLAs have pending criminal cases against them and the per centage in terms of MLAs with very serious charges is 35 per cent.