Namaste- you have just been spammed

The next time someone says Namaste to you on your mail, it is time that you are on guard. Cyber criminals across the world have now realised that there is a large Hindi speaking population across the globe and for the first time have adopted the language to send out spam mails.

Symantec which has done a study to this effect has for the first time observed spam emails – using the “419 “ or “Nigerian” technique – in Hindi. This represents a paradigm shift in 419 scams, which users around the world have learnt to be wary of. While these messages were earlier predominantly in English, even when targeting Indian users, it shows that spammers have become extremely specific about their target.

Over the past few years, India has increasingly become the target for cybercriminals – from phishing and spam attacks around Diwali, to the more recent Cricket World Cup, India-specific events are being used to fool users in the country into parting with their money and information.

Furthermore, Hindi is widely spoken not only in India, but Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and among Indian Diaspora settled around the world. This is a clear indication of the fact that Asia ranks high on the cybercriminal’s target, especially countries like India with a rapidly growing internet population.

Gaurav Kanwal, Country Sales Manager, India, Consumer Products and Solutions, Symantec says that another factor that makes Hindi an attractive medium for cybercriminals is the possibility of first-time or emerging Internet users in India being more comfortable with their mother tongue, and therefore more easily deceived. This is a classic example of “social engineering” – where the attacker does not exploit any vulnerability in the system, but rather dupes the victim into revealing sensitive information.

While German, Spanish and other European languages are routinely used in scams, the discovery of the first Hindi spam reinforces the fact that India – where 35% of spam in the region originated, and the 6th ranked country for malicious code in 2010 – is rising on the cybercriminal’s radar.


Bharadwaj and his goof-ups

Photo caption: The Hindu

The question on everyone’s mind is whether it is the end of the road for Governor of Karnataka, H R Bharadwaj. Even as the Congress in the state have decided to block all highways in the state between 11 and 12 today demanding that the centre implement the recommendations made by the Governor, Bharadwaj finds himself in a lonely position.

There are many factors here that are being debated about his latest course of action where he went ahead and recommended President’s rule in Karnataka. At yesterday’s cabinet committee meeting he did not find the required support for his letter. Three senior leaders, P Chidambaram, A K Antony and Kapil Sibal had literally discarded the report stating that the situation in Karnataka did not mandate President’s rule. A final decision in this matter is expected today when the Cabinet meets expectedly today.

Rumour is already afloat that Bharadwaj may either quit or also be recalled if the Government of India does not go ahead with his recommendation or accepts his report. This would be the second time in less than a year that his report is being rejected by the Centre, something that not many governors have faced in the past. The last time he had sent such a report was in October 2010 following the controversial trust vote in Karnataka, but the report was rejected.

Although Raj Bhavan sources are mum about the Governor’s future course of action, his actions make it clear that he has decided to stay put within the four walls of the Raj Bhavan until there is a clear cut picture in this matter. The Governor was supposed to attend a function at the St Johns Hospital on Monday, but cancelled the same abruptly after the developments in Karnataka started to heat up.

Going by the developments, many in the political circles especially in the Congress indicate that he may step down or even be recalled. In all probability he is likely to step down if the Government does not implement his recommendation and the deadline for the same is the end of the week.

Many other believe that he has hit the nail on his own head. He has acted in haste and as far as our information goes, he has not really consulted the centre before shooting off the report. Sources say that he had just informed the centre in principle that things are not looking good in Karnataka and also stated that if the state government continues to tamper with the constitutional provisions then one may have to act.

It is also being pointed out that the Governor in a bid to act touch ended up acting in haste. If at all he wanted to act, he ought to have acted immediately after the verdict of the Supreme Court and stated that the government was in minority now. However he waited nearly two days to send out a report and that too at a time when the rebels and the BJP had kissed and made up. Moreover Bharadwaj also found himself crippled when it came to playing the number card since the Bommai verdict clearly mentions that any such case shall be decided on the floor of the House.

However the biggest bit of criticism which the Governor continues to face is the fact that he did not let the rebel MLAs into Raj Bhavan on Sunday evening. He had made it clear to the rebels who had gone with letters of support to the Yeddyurappa government that it is Sunday and due to the fact that the staff are on leave, he cannot meet them. However he acted in contradiction and ended up sending the report later that evening. Now this threw up the question as to how he managed to dictate the report when it was Sunday and he did not have the staff to work. Another factor that will play truant for the governor is that at the same time the rebels wanted to meet him, he was in a meeting with Congress leaders, Siddaramaiah and Parameshwar who had called on him seeking dismissal of the BJP government which at that point of time was in a minority.

A lot would depend on the Union Government and how they would act on his report. The Prime Minister has assured that nothing unconstitutional would be done in the case of Karnataka. What transpires during the course of the day is to be seen.

4 assemblies and its tainted members

The assembly elections are over and the results too are out. As the new governments get ready to take their place and commence their five year term, here is a report on nature of the MLAs these governments will have. The West Bengal assembly tops the list of criminal candidates and it has 102 such MLAs. Most of these MLAs have serious charges pending against them.

Among the four assemblies (Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, West Bengal andAssam) which have been analysed by the National Election Watch the richest assembly is without a doubt Tamil Nadu. It has 120 crorepati candidates in the assembly. The one with the least number of crorepatis is Puducherry with 19 such candidates.

Assam: 13 MLAs i.e. 10% (out of 126 analyzed) in the new Assembly have criminal cases pending against them as per their own declarations.  8 MLAs out of these 13 analyzed have declared serious IPC charges like kidnapping and extortion against them. This is an increase from the 2006 Assembly where the number of MLAs with criminal cases pending was only 7.

All major parties have MLAs with pending criminal cases against them. AIUDF has 6 MLAs out 18 MLAs analyzed (33%), INC has 4 out of 78 analyzed (5%), while AITC, AGP and BJP have 1 MLA each out of 1, 10 and 5 MLAs analyzed respectively with pending criminal cases.

A total of 47 MLAs (i.e. 37% of the total MLAs analyzed) are crorepatis

Puducherry:  9 MLAs i.e. 30% (out of 30 analyzed) in the new Assembly have criminal cases pending against them as per their own declarations. 2 MLAs out of these 9 analyzed have declared serious IPC charges like voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means and obscene acts and songs against them.

All major parties have MLAs with pending criminal cases against them. All India N.R. Congress has 5 (33%) MLAs out of 15 MLAs analyzed, AIADMK has 3 out of 5 analyzed (60%) and DMK has 1 (50%) out of 2 MLAs analyzed with pending criminal cases.

19 MLAs (i.e. 63% of the total MLAs analyzed) are crorepatis.

Tamil Nadu: 66 MLAs i.e. 29% (out of 231 analyzed) in the new Assembly have criminal cases pending against them as per their own declarations. 36 MLAs out of these 66 analyzed have declared serious IPC charges like murder, attempt to murder, robbery, extortion etc. against them.

All major parties have MLAs with pending criminal cases against them. AIADMK has 46 (31%) MLAs out 147 MLAs analyzed, DMK has 7 out of 23 analyzed (30%), CPI (M) has 3(30%) out of 10 analyzed and PMK has 2(67%) out of 3 MLAs analyzed with pending criminal cases.

A total of 120 MLAs (i.e. 52% of the total MLAs analyzed) are crorepatis

West Bengal: 102 MLAs i.e. 35% (out of 293 analyzed) in the next Assembly have pending criminal cases as per their own declarations. 75 MLAs out of these 102 analyzed have declared serious IPC charges like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and theft against them.

All major parties have MLAs with pending criminal cases. AITC has 69 MLAs out of 183 analyzed (38%), INC has 17 out of 42 (41%) and CPI (M) has 7 out of 40 (18%) MLAs analyzed with pending criminal cases.

47 MLAs (i.e. 16% of the total MLAs analyzed) are crorepatis.

Advani gets an assurance from PM

The leaders of the National Democratic Alliance met with Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and demanded that the governor of Karnataka H R Bharadwaj be recalled with immediate effect. Following the meeting, L K Advani told reporters that the Prime Minister had assured him to look into the demands and also that no unconstitutional decision based on the governor’s recommendation will be taken.

The leaders of the NDA comprising Advani, Nithin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Sharad Yadav among others also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister. In the memorandum they demanded that the PM reject the report of the Governor. They said that ever since Bharadwaj had assumed office he has taken a confrontational approach and has always tried to destablise the BJP government in Karnataka. The memorandum also stated that the governor of Karnataka be recalled with immediate effect.

The next course of action would be to parade all the BJP MLAs from Karantaka before the President of India on Tuesday. They would submit a memorandum with the same demands to the President on Tuesday.

The memorandum was submitted ahead of a cabinet meeting of the union government to be held tomorrow. The meeting has been held to study the report of the governor which had recommended President’s rule in Karnataka. Earlier today, the cabinet committee had deferred the decision for Tuesday in the wake of divided opinion as some leaders had said that the Governor’s recommendation could not be acted upon.

BJP to parade MLA’s before Prez

The BJP government in Karnataka has decided to remain unfazed by the developments surrounding it and has decided to hold the legislature session from June 2 onwards. An emergency cabinet meeting headed by B S Yeddyurappa was held a while ago in Bangalore following which the decision to convene the session was taken.

Following the meeting a letter to the effect was written to the governor who will need to give his nod to convene the session.

Meanwhile following the order of the high command, the BJP has decided to parade its MLAs before the President of India. The MLAs will be taken to New Delhi in three batches starting today evening. They would first meet with the party high command and if the need be the MLAs would be paraded before the President of India tomorrow. The high command would also meet with Prime Minister and speak to him about the situation. The BJP in Karnataka has made it clear that its government is in majority and they enjoy the support of 127 MLAs.

The parading of the MLAs will take place as the Union cabinet takes a final call on the governor’s recommendation which had asked for the imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka.

Was the Governor right?

As Karnataka plunged into a crisis yet again politically, a debate has been raging on questioning the actions of the governor of Karnataka H R Bharadwaj who had recommended president’s rule late last night.

Like in every action there are two reactions to this incident as well. We speak to former Law Minister of Karnataka, M C Nanaiah and Advocate General, Ashok Harnahalli about the actions of the governor.

M C Nanaiah, former law minister of Karnataka and JD(S) leader: First and foremost the report of the governor is a mere speculation. None of us know for sure what he has written in his letter of recommendation. Looking at the manner in which Karnataka has been governed in the past couple of years, I say that this is a fit case to invoke President’s rule in the state.

Many speak today about the order of the Supreme Court which reversed the order of the speaker disqualifying the 11 rebel BJP MLAs. However look at the Yeddyurappa government and its functioning in the past couple of months. Corruption, scandals and everyone does remember the manner in which they conducted the trust vote the last time. You must also remember the Operation Lotus that they conducted to win over some MLAs from other parties.  It becomes clear that he has had no regard for the provisions of the anti defection law and this amounts to a break down of the constitution. All this just makes one thing clear and that is Yeddyurappa does not want to govern but only wants to protect his chair.

The governor has in the past written several letters to the Chief Minister reminding him about the state of affairs. Has Yeddyurappa changed after these letters? The governor has always had a fit case to suggest imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka and the recent Supreme Court verdict has only come to his rescue.

I know a lot of people are speaking about the Bommai verdict in this context. How can this verdict apply in the instant case? The Bommai verdict does not say anything about a constitutional violation where as the current issue is centric only to that. The Bommai verdict only makes it clear that the strength of the government can be decided only on the floor of the house.

Ashok Harnahalli, advocate general of Karnataka: The Governor has no grounds to suggest imposition of President’s rule in the state. The grounds are not sufficient. In his letter to the government ofIndiahe has gone on to make a series of allegations which range from corruption to horse trading.

The issue of president’s rule comes into play only when the government has lost support or is in minority. The BJP in Karnataka is not in minority. In fact the verdict of the Supreme Court clearly states that the 11 BJP MLAs are part of the government.

The governor has adopted very flimsy grounds. If there is an issue with the numbers then he should convene a session and test the strength of the government. Here he does not even want that session to take place.

Good governance is not the job of the governor. He cannot cite mal administration and he can use the President rule option only as a last resort. In this case where is the break down? If he is speaking about the trust vote conducted a couple of months back then I feel that it is wrong. Not only in Karnataka, but MLAs fight in every assembly and that does not mean you go around dismissing the government.

The governor also goes on to cite the issue of mining and corruption. Where mining is concerned the state has imposed a ban on export and has also told the Supreme Court that it is committed to the cause of stopping illegal mining. Speaking about the corruption charges, then the matter is before the court and it is for the judiciary to decide on that and the governor cannot act suo motu on such an issue when the matter is pending before the court of law.

One must remember that propriety is completely different when compared to statuatory action and the President’s rule must be invoked only if there are proper and satisfactory grounds to do so.

Prez rule- Chidu says no, Moily yes kpn photos

The B S Yeddyurappa will have some more anxious movements with the Cabinet committee at New Delhi remaining divided over the imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka. The decision will now be taken on Tuesday during a full fledged cabinet meeting to be held on Tuesday.
A cabinet committee meeting was convened in New Delhi by the Union Government to decide on the recommendation of the governor of Karnataka H R Bharadwaj to impose presidents rule in Karnataka in the wake of a constitutional break down.
At the meeting, Home Minister, P Chidamabaram, A K Antony and Kapil Sibal spoke strongly against the imposition of President’s rule. They said that this is not a fit cause to impose president’s rule in the state and doing so could have severe legal repercussions.
However their opinion was strongly opposed by Ghulam Nabi Azad and Veerappa Moily who claimed that the governor had acted correctly. They said that there has been a break down in Karnataka and hence President’s rule must be imposed.
The decision on the imposition of President’s rule has now been deferred for tomorrow and a final decision on the same will be taken. A full fledged meeting of cabinet will be held in New Delhi tomorrow to take a final decision on the issue.

BJP to protest outside Raj Bhavan

The chief minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa who will stage a dharna before the Raj Bhavan at 12 noon has said that he would be parading his MLAs before both the Prime Minister and the President of India to show his majority.
The CM’s statement comes in the wake of a very important cabinet committee meeting of the UPA in New Delhi which is scheduled to be held at 11 am today. The meeting will decide on what course of action to adopt in the wake of the Governor recommending Presidents rule in Karnataka.
Yeddyurappa came down heavily on the governor and stated that he has lost all democratic values and he also termed his actions as arbitrary.
The BJP in Karnataka will hold a cabinet meeting shortly following which all the ministers, MLAs and also the chief minister will stage a dharna outside Raj Bhavan at 12 noon.
The BJP national leadership will also be meeting later today to decide on the next course of action to be take if the centre were to accept the recommendation of the Governor.

We will do everything it takes

The latest salvo by the Governor of Karnataka recommending President’s rule in Karnataka has left the state BJP speechless. Although they have resolved to battle the issue out till the very end, they continue to say that they have been taken aback and the action of the governor is unbecoming.
Law Minister Suresh Kumar has this to say: The national leadership of our party will meet sometime between 10 am and 11 am to discuss this issue. Our legislature party leadership too will meet to discuss the same issue and the outcome of both these meetings would lay down the ground work for our next course of action.
The actions of the governor has only made a mockery of the constitution of India. This battle is not just a battle of the BJP, but of all parties which beleive in democracy. Such actions will affect the course of democracy and I feel not only the BJP, but even the Congress and the JD(S) should question such actions.
The letter by the governor comes after we showed our support. What is the reason for the governor to issue such a letter. Is there a constitutional breakdown in the state or is the government in minority. I dont understand why he had to issue such a recommendation. The entire nation knows that the BJP in Karnataka enjoys a majority. It is really sad that such a recommendation had to be issued especially by a man who has been such a long serving law minister in the union government.
I would not be in a position to comment on the immediate next course of action, but we would do everything that it takes to fight this issue. I personally feel that the union government will not act on the recommendation. They will tread with caution since if they act the repurcussions will be bad and it will set a horrible precedent.
We will wait for the national leadership to meet. There is no decision on whether to parade our MLAs before the President of India. We will do everything that it takes and could even approach the Supreme Court if the recommendation of the governor is acted upon. There are many judgments to support our cause. The S R Bommai judgment is one of them.
State BJP president, K S Eshwarappa on the other hand says that there is no constitutional breakdown in the state to make such a recommendation. It is nothing but personal vendetta and we will tide over the crisis without a doubt. I call on both the Congress and the JD(S) also to fight against the arbitrary action of the governor as such actions leads to a precedent which will affect every political party in the future.

BJP starts process to counter Guv

The Karnataka BJP which finds itself in fresh trouble following the report recommending President’s rule in the state has convened an emergency legislature party meeting later today to discuss the latest developments. The meeting which will be headed by Chief Minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa will discuss the latest recommendation by the governor. The state BJP has however decided to let the national leadership take up the issue with the President of India.
Governor of Karnataka, H R Bharadwaj had cited a constitutional break down in the state and recommended President’s rule. The recommendation comes in the wake of the Supreme Court of India reversing the order of the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly which had disqualified 11 rebel BJP MLAs. While on Sunday all the 11 rebel MLAs had expressed support to the Yeddyurappa government, the governor on the hand went ahead and recommended President’s rule.
Legal oinion over the issue seems to be divided with some experts terming the governor’s actions to be in accordance with the law. They say that the Yeddyurappa government had been reduced to a minority following the Supreme Court verdict and if one looks at the manner in which the government has been functioning in the past couple of months, then it is an evident constitutional breakdown in Karnataka. The other argument however is that such a recommendation could not have been sent merely on the basis of a judicial order. The governor ought to have given the CM a chance to test the majority on the floor of the house and only then come to some conclusion.
The Karnataka BJP says that all eyes would be on New Delhi and their national leadership would be handling this issue. The CM has already shot off a letter to the President of India terming the governor’s actions as arbitrary and opposed to the law. The legislature party meeting which will be held in a while will be followed by a Cabinet meeting. The BJP had decided to induct some of the rebel MLAs into the Cabinet, but at the moment that process is likely to get delayed due to the fresh crisis.