Politics of name and colour costs exchequer Rs 5.50 crore in Rajasthan

Source: newindianexpress.com

JAIPUR: Shakespeare has asked, “what’s in a name?” But politics over the name of two former PMs of the country, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Rajiv Gandhi, have come to haunt the people of Rajasthan financially. Gehlot Government had changed the name of Atal Seva Kendra to Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra again which now has cost the exchequer crores.

After coming to power, Gehlot Government had announced in January that government sewa centres at 9894 Gram panchayat and 295 Panchayat samitis will undergo a name change. At the time it was said that all the other Seva centres around the country have the name Rajiv Gandhi whereas the previous BJP government had unnecessarily changed the names in the state to Atal Seva Kendra.

Sources in the department say that around 2000 rupees have been spent per gram Panchayat and 5000 Rupees have been spent per Panchayat samiti. The total cost has come to 5.50 crore rupees.

Earlier between 2008 to 2013, Ashok Gehlot Government had kept the name of these centres as Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra which at that time had costed Rs 1.5 crore.

In 2013 when BJP government came to power the name was again changed to Atal Seva Kendra which costed 1 crore 85 lakh rupees. Currently, 2 crore rupees have been spent with the name changing back to Rajiv Gandhi from Atal. Sources also say that there is no separate provision made in the budget for this.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot had earlier said that both Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Rajiv Gandhi are Bharat Ratnas and they wanted to keep the names of both of them. ” We wanted the name to be Rajiv Gandhi Atal Seva Kendra. But the Supreme Court has said that in these programs no name can be added or subtracted. As such, in the law, the name is Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra. This is the reason why we had to keep that name”, he added.
BJP says that in comparison to Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee was a greater leader and it is not right to change his name. ” If they wanted to change the name, they should’ve done for other projects. This shows the amateurish behaviour of the Government. ” Said Vasudev Devnani, former Education minister in BJP government”

The names shouldn’t be changed with the changing of the Governments. To change the name of a popular leader like Atalji is unfortunate. If Atalji’s name had stayed, it would have saved the government money and started a new tradition as well.” Added Devnani

While the politics of name has increased the expenditure of the government, the politics of colour have saved some extra crores. The cycles given to the school going girls by the education department will now be painted black from the saffron colour, which will save 8.50 crore Rupees. In 2007, the BJP government had changed the colour to saffron. The change of colour to saffron and putting a basket in the front increases the cost of a bicycle by 200 to 300 rupees.

Not just the colour of the cycles but the name of the RSS idealogue Deendayal Upadhyaya has been removed from the scholarships given by the education board. In fact, his name has been removed from all previous paperwork in the Government which are now redundant and lakhs of rupees have been wasted due to this.

“BJP had made education an RSS propaganda laboratory. The coloured cycles saffron and made it expensive. Now they are coming out with baseless statements against us”, said Govind Singh Dotasara, State Minister of Education, Rajasthan.

Jharkhand Minister Calls Mob Lynching Death a ‘Cut & Paste’ Allegation, Says Wrong to Politicise Incident

Source:- news18.com

A man who was assaulted on suspicion of theft in Jharkhand’s Kharsawan district and beaten up for hours before being handed over to the police on June 18, succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital on Saturday.

Reacting to allegations that Ansari’s death was a result of mob lynching by right-wing outfits, Jharkhand minister CP Singh called it a “cut and paste” job of using whatever allegations fit such incidents.

“Trend is prevalent these days to associate such incidents with the BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal. It’s a time of ‘cut and paste’ wherein who fits what words and where, it is difficult to say. The government is conducting an investigation. The trend to politicise such incidents is wrong,” Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The incident came to light after several videos of the assault went viral on social media. In one of the clips, Ansari is seen being beaten with a wooden stick. At the end of another video, he is shown being forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’.

“Tabrez was with two other men who had gone there to steal. The villagers caught them. While two of the men fled, Tabrez was caught by the villagers and beaten up,” Chandan Kumar Sinha, SP of Seraikella-Kharsawan told HuffPost India. The primary accused, Pappu Mandal, was arrested after his death.

In one of the videos, Ansari can be heard denying the charges against himself.

According to reports, Ansari worked as a welder and labourer in Pune and had returned to his home in Kharsawan for Eid last month and to get married.

A Jharkhand-based activist said Ansari left for Jamshedpur at 5 pm on June 18 with two men, unaware of where they were taking him.

Will Nitish Kumar go down as the ‘Kushasan Babu’ of Bihar?

Source:- nationalheraldindia.com

He was hailed as ‘Sushasan Babu’ or a good administrator not too long ago. But nothing seems to be working for him as lawlessness and a rush of deaths of children in Muzaffarpur expose his govt

Nitish Kumar is one of the greatest hoaxes going around in Indian politics. He turns ‘secular’ when it suits him. The very next day you might find him sleeping with the BJP without batting an eyelid. He even does not mind stabbing a political partner in the back if it suits him to survive in power. He did it with Laloo Prasad Yadav twice and even ditched Narendra Modi once. He is a survivor whose politics revolves around surviving in power.

When it suited Nitish to take on Laloo Prasad, he marketed himself as Susashan babu or a good administrator. Bihar was then sick and tired of the Laloo-Rabri misrule. It was a period when kidnappings and pot-holed roads of Bihar were making national headlines. The upper-caste establishment, both in Patna as well as Delhi, too, wanted to get rid of Laloo Prasad who had turned too big for his boots for the system.

Fodder scam came handy for the system to replace Laloo. Yet someone was needed to fill Laloo’s vacuum. Nitish was ready to play ball with anti-Laloo forces. But he needed a label to market himself that he did with media-support which sold him as Susashan babu. Nitish who had lambasted BJP for the Babri mosque demolition both inside and outside the Parliament jumped to form an alliance with saffron forces in Bihar to come to power in 2005. Ambitious Nitish was now Bihar chief minister taking on Laloo Prasad who was his one-time close friend as well as political comrade in arms.

It suited both the establishment and the media to project Nitish as an excellent administrator, rather as Bihari messaiah, who put Bihar back onto rails after Laloo’s mayhem in the state. Nitish, to be fair to him, did manage to improve Bihar roads. He also succeeded in putting down kidnappings that had instilled a sense of insecurity among Biharis during Laloo and Rabri Devi’s rule. Nitish Kumar was now hailed as the Susasan Babu not only in Patna but Delhi as well.

Nitish had smooth sailing both in Bihar and outside. He was happy with his alliance with the BJP in Bihar. But politics took a major shift with the rise of Narendra Modi in national politics in 2014. Modi took the country by storm and came to power with a comfortable majority to form the government in Delhi. It was the period when the Congress and its allies were down in the dumps. The Anna Hazare movement had destroyed the ‘secular’ camp’s credibility across the country.

Nitish now sensed a vacuum hitting the anti-Modi secular camp. He now started distancing himself from Modi and the BJP. Ambitious Nitish even started projecting himself as the ‘secular’ national alternative to Modi. He was now rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rahul Gandhi and Sita Ram Yechuri in Delhi while he had already tied up with one-time ‘corrupt’ Laloo to continue in power in Bihar.

But Modi being a much smarter political player than the likes of Nitish Kumar, the Prime Minister forced him to surrender to the BJP in Bihar and finally acknowledge Modi as a tall national leader. Of course, he ditched Laloo Yadav again. There was nothing strange about it as it comes naturally to him to ditch partners when they are down in the dump.

Political opportunism however comes with an expiry date. Because, as the saying goes, you can fool some people for some time but not all the people all the time. Nitish was neither a good administrator nor a principled politician ever. Look how the Bihar administration has crumbled with just one wave of Encephalitis that has turned Muzaffarpur into a killing field for poor children who are dying like rats.

Now even the media reports suggest that Muzaffarpur hospitals are a shame on modern health services. This breakdown of health services has not taken place overnight. It was all there when media marketed Nitish as Susahan Babu.

The only difference is that now Nitish has already served his utility of taking on Laloo and destroy him. Nitish neither has any vision to be a mass leader like Laloo Prasad Yadav nor does he seem to have much administrative skill.

He is essentially a rank opportunist who survives by switching sides whenever it suits him. But all shades of opportunists ultimately hit the dead end sooner or later. Nitish Kumar’s dead end seems to be nigh. Unfortunately, he may go down as Kusashan Babu rather than Sushasan Babu of Bihar

Politics Hots Up After Passengers of Patna-bound Bus Beaten Up in Bengal for Refusing Meal at Eatery

Source: news18.com

Patna: Passengers of a bus coming to Patna from West Bengal were allegedly beaten up in Burdwan district of the adjoining state where a mob attacked them for refusing to halt their journey to have meal at a roadside eatery, police said on Sunday.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi targeted the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal over the incident and questioned the “silence” of opposition political leaders friendly to her like jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad.

The driver, helper and passengers of the bus which brought them here from Kolkata have lodged an FIR alleging that they were stopped by the owner and employees of the eatery and assaulted, Jakkanpur police station SHO Raghunath Prasad said.

“They complained that the attackers, who were drunk, demanded that all the passengers get down, have dinner at the eatery and leave after paying up. When they protested saying they did not want to halt their journey, the mob began assaulting them saying that they are Biharis and they must not expect to have their way in West Bengal,” the SHO said.

They also claimed that that they did not get any help from the local police and hence they were lodging their FIR after reaching Patna, he said adding that investigations were on.

Meanwhile, Sushil Kumar Modi slammed “Didi’s supporters” for keeping mum on the incident. “Didi’s supporters like Lalu Prasad are maintaining silence over the episode. They had invited her to Patna for a dharna against demonetisation and shared the stage with her at a rally in Kolkata recently. They should disclose why they are not talking to her over the attacks on Biharis in West Bengal,” Modi added.

“First Mamata Banerjee attacked the federal structure as envisioned in the Constitution when she prevented a central agency like CBI from functioning, Modi tweeted.

He was referring to the Trinamool Congress chief’s dharna earlier this year when a CBI team had gone to question the city police commissioner in the Saradha chit fund scam.

“Ever since she received a jolt in the recent Lok Sabha polls, there has been a spurt in attacks on Biharis in her state,” claimed Modi who had recently flayed Banerjee for rebuking a group of BJP supporters chanting “Jai Shri Ram” by calling them “outsiders”.

In the general elections, the BJP’s tally soared from only two five years ago to 18, only four less than 22, the number of seats won by the TMC.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s outreach to Nitish: A sign of churn in Bihar?

Source: business-standard.com

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decimated the opposition in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but intriguing developments of the past few days suggest space opening up for a possible churn in Bihar politics in the run up to the state Assembly polls by October 2020.

On Tuesday, union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh ridiculed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and others over their attending ‘iftaar’ parties. In turn, Kumar was dismissive of Giriraj Singh’s comments and said his government would deliver on all its promises much before the Assembly polls.

By evening, BJP sources said party chief Amit Shah had phoned Giriraj Singh and advised him to be careful about his comments, particularly on BJP’s allies.

In his tweet, Giriraj Singh had commented at a photograph of Kumar and other leaders breaking fast at an ‘iftar’. “How beautiful would the picture have emerged, had phalaahaar (a fruit feast) been organised during Navaratra with the same fervour with splendid photographs taken. Why do we lag behind in observance of our own karm-dharm (religious customs) in public, while staying ahead in making a show for those of others,” Singh tweeted in Hindi.

The latest developments come in the wake of Kumar spurning the offer of a cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi-led council of ministers at the Centre, stating that his party does not “symbolic” but “proportional representation”. He, however, denied any “unease” between the allies.

Kumar then expanded his cabinet, including eight ministers, all from the Janata Dal (United) that he leads. He offered the BJP one ministerial berth, which it refused.

On Monday, senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said all non-BJP parties needed to get together to provide a national alternative to the BJP. “We are not allergic to any particular party or leader,” Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said when asked about Kumar’s acceptability.

“It would be even better if all small parties merge together and become a single entity to take on the humongous challenge posed by the BJP,” Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said. He said these were his personal views but RJD chief Lalu Prasad, currently incarcerated, and he have worked together for a long time and thought alike “on most occasions”.

In the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, the RJD could not win a single seat in Bihar. Its ally Congress could win one seat. However, Kumar’s JD(U) won 16, and allies BJP and Lok Janshakti Parthy won 17 and six seats respectively.

The RJD vote share in the Lok Sabha polls was 15.36 per cent, while JD (U)’s was 21.81 per cent, BJP’s 23.58 per cent and LJP’s 7.86 per cent. The Congress bagged a vote share of 7.7 per cent. In 2015 Assembly polls, the alliance of RJD, JD (U) and Congress had defeated the BJP-led NDA in Bihar.

Historically, the JD (U), and its previous avatar of Samata Party, has performed poorly whenever it has fought any election without a strong alliance partner.

The Samata Party, with George Fernandes and Kumar as its top leaders, could win only seven of undivided Bihar’s 324 assembly seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the JD (U) could win only two seats. The JD (U) has improved its vote share significantly.

Observers of Bihar politics say Kumar is aware that the BJP might now want the chief ministerial chair for itself after the next Assembly polls. In Maharashtra in 2014, the BJP had severed ties with the Shiv Sena to emerge the single largest party in the Assembly.

However, no other party currently has a leader of the stature of Kumar in Bihar, including the BJP. BJP’s Giriraj Singh is now a cabinet minister in the Modi government, while Bihar BJP state unit chief Nityanand Rai, being groomed as a possible chief minister, is minister of state for home at the Centre but still lacks Kumar’s popularity.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s comments suggest that the parties that came out of the womb of the socialist parties, or the ‘Janata parivar’, could be prepared to come together under Kumar’s leadership. “Now that the results have dented Tejaswi Yadav’s leadership, the challenge from within the family of Lalu Prasad to Kumar has weakened,” a Bihar leader said.

Giriraj Singh, who defeated CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai, has been a known detractor of Kumar’s. “We have never taken utterances of Giriraj seriously. We have always believed in giving respect to all religions and hence we sport a ’tilak’ and also wear skullcaps.” JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh said.

The ’tilak’ and skullcap metaphor is reminiscent of the developments of April, 2013, when at his party’s national executive meet in New Delhi Kumar had used the analogy to highlight ideological differences with the BJP, which eventually led to him severing 17-year-old ties between the two parties.

Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said the BJP-JD(U) and his party’s alliance is “intact”. Former chief ministers Rabri Devi and Jitan Ram Manjhi also appeared to have mellowed towards Kumar. Kumar attended the iftar that Manjhi hosted. Rabri Devi said any decision on inclusion of new allies can be taken only in consultation with all allies.

Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said the BJP-JD(U) and his party’s alliance is “intact”. Former chief ministers Rabri Devi and Jitan Ram Manjhi also appeared to have mellowed towards Kumar. Kumar attended the iftar that Manjhi hosted. Rabri Devi said any decision on inclusion of new allies can be taken only in consultation with all allies.