• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
State News And Discussion - II

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Subrata dons secular robe for front
Mamata Banerjee with Subrata Mukherjee during the days together. File picture

Calcutta, April 25: Mayor Subrata Mukherjee today said he would formally float a “mahajot” sans the BJP tomorrow.

A split in Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress became inevitable after the mayor’s differences with Mamata became public and leaders from both sides began gunning for each other openly.

Trinamul is likely to initiate disciplinary action against the mayor and his aides once a formal announcement on the proposed grand alliance is made.

Subrata Mukherjee’s secular brigade will comprise the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the Party for Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), among others.

Trinamul’s bitter bickering surfaced in the Assembly lobby today. Ashoke Deb, the pro-mayor MLA from Budge Budge, had a heated exchange with Mamata loyalist Partha Chatterjee, the legislator from Behala (West).

Deb made a virulent attack on Chatterjee for foiling attempts to form an official alliance with the Congress in the run-up to the civic polls.

Budge Budge municipality, too, is going to elections next month.

The mayor said: “Everybody should realise that a grand alliance of secular democratic forces is the need of the hour to counter the CPM. I am not hankering for the mayor’s post; my sole aim is to prevent a split in anti-Left votes.”

Sources close to him said over 30 Trinamul leaders, including six MLAs, five mayor-in-council members, eight borough committee chiefs and 17 councillors, have been invited to dinner at his south Calcutta residence tomorrow.

Mukherjee said: “The BJP has no place in our alliance as it is not a secular party. That is why, I have not approached the BJP.”

For the past four-and-a-half years, the mayor had been running Calcutta Municipal Corporation in collaboration with the BJP.

Mukherjee’s statement today made it apparent that he was virtually toeing the Congress line — an alliance with Trinamul was out of question as long as it maintained ties with the BJP.

Mamata has already discussed seat sharing for the civic polls with the BJP.

“The mayor has betrayed us,” said Mukherjee’s deputy in the corporation, Meena Devi Purohit, a BJP leader. “How can he regard our party as communal after running the civic board with our support for so many years?” she asked.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Pankaj Banerjee felt the mayor was echoing what state Congress president Pranab Mukherjee has been saying all these days. “It is clear that he is playing second fiddle to the Congress and the CPM and is out to break our party,” he said.

Yesterday, Mamata called the mayor “a cook trying to poison” her broth. Mukherjee today said: “She is committing harakiri. She had earlier made several unsuccessful attempts to end her life.”

He has, however, cancelled his proposed visit to Delhi to call on Congress president Sonia Gandhi. “I will have to arrange a meeting with leaders of the smaller secular parties in a day or two,” Mukherjee said, intent on consolidating his new front.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Barkis Isn't Willing </b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Desperately seeking allies, chief minister J. Jayalalitha, ahead of her visit to Delhi to attend a CMs' conference
While TN assembly speaker K. Kalimuthu dutifully predicted that Amma would be the future PM, Karat's response to a query about meeting her was: "Are you threatening me? Why would you wish danger on me?" CPI leader D. Raja, who hails from TN, was equally caustic: "We know what we should do. There is no need to take advice from her." Jayalalitha may have prime ministerial ambitions, but for now retaining her hold in TN appears increasingly difficult.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Looks like PM Amma is in deep trouble. It will fun to watch meeting between PM Karat and PM Amma.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>It's war among Muslim ministers in Mulayam's Cabinet</b>
Aloke Sharma / Meerut
Clash among Muslim ministers in Mulayam Singh Yadav's government in the state is worsening. <b>Senior Samajwadi Party leader Ajam Khan is facing the anger of two other Muslim ministers of the state cabinet. The matter has become so serious that these leaders have started personalised attacks on each other</b>.

This matter was started when Ajam Khan declared that Taj Mahal is a property of Waqf Board and the Board should take possession of the historical monument

Waqf Minister Shakir Ali and President of Shia Central Waqf Board Mukhtar Anis strongly registered their objections.

Coming close on the heels, Ajam Khan had a tiff with Haj Minister Hazi Yaqub, an MLA from Kharkhoda assembly seat of Meerut. Hazi Yaqub told media persons in Meerut that he taken the concerned file in his possession and would demand a probe.

Urban Development Minister Ajam Khan is allegedly taking personal interest in the much talked about slaughter house matter..

It is to be noted that <b>the contract of this slaughter house was given to Haj Minister Hazi Yaqub's son Imran allegedly with the blessings of Ajam Khan</b>.

He has threatened that his community would oppose any decision of the minister in this regard as it belongs to the livelihood of the people of his community.

It may be recalled that Hazi Yaqub has joined Samajwadi Party at the time of formation of Mulayam Singh Yadav's government along with 40 MLAs and supported the government.

He played a key role in the formation of this government and the Chief Minister had given him proper weightage. On the other hand Ajam Khan is one of the senior most leaders of the party and according to other Muslim ministers of the party, does not want any other Muslim leader to grow in the party.

Giving indications that he is ready to fight , <b>Yaqub has also demanded an inquiry in the Madarsa matter of the state. He has alleged that he strongly believes that a few persons have manipulated finance in this matter</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The Statesman speculates: Hyderabad’s future

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hyderabad’s future

Will Hyderabad be a part of the proposed state of Telangana? STANLEY THEODORE on the debate
<b>Will a separate Telangana be carved out or will it continue to be a part of Andhra Pradesh?</b> This question has been weighing on everyone’s mind, especially since last year’s general elections, after the Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi formed an alliance. <b>The question that has overtaken the issue is: What about Hyderabad? As it is within Telangana, will the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad be part of the new state? </b>

If a new state is formed, should Hyderabad not be a Union Territory? Forget that, the city could be a new state itself, given its unique composition and culture! <b>The fate of the country’s most happening city is being decided by the TRS. </b>Or so it would have us believe.
When Chief Minister YS Rajashekar Reddy said last year that the future of Hyderabad would need to be decided before carving out a new state, TRS leader and Union Minister of State for Rural Development, A Narendra, called him mad.
Now when the Panchayati Raj Minister, JC Diwakar Reddy, said in the event of the state’s division, Hyderabad should be a joint capital, Mr Narendra said, “Evadi abba sommu? (Whose father’s property is Hyderabad?).”

In the meantime, TRS chief and Union Labour Minister, K Chandrashekar Reddy, said that no power on earth could stop Hyderabad from being part of Telangana. <b>Simply put: no new state, either a separate Telangana or separate Andhra Pradesh, holds any appeal without authority over Hyderabad, the fifth largest city, the fastest growing I-T centre and the country’s evolving aviation hub. </b>

With its outskirts spread over the adjacent Rangareddy district it has a population of at least one crore, which comprises substantial residents from the rest of the 21 districts. Further, there is a sizeable population of those from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
They are thriving in different fields from trading to construction and information technology. Several of them made Hyderabad their home generations ago. <b>It is this composition that makes the city unparalleled anywhere in the country. </b>
The TRS, however, is laying claim to Hyderabad simply because it is in the Telangana region. Mr Narendra has contested seven elections from three different constituencies in the capital and on two party tickets since 1978.
He lost four times and won once on a BJP ticket in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party. In 2001, he formed the Telangana Saadhana Samithi and contested polls for the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad that year. Of the 100 wards, he put up TSS candidates for only 59 seats and could not find candidates for the remaining 41.
That same year, Chandrashekar Rao floated the TRS and did not find candidates for 13 wards. Finally, the TSS won just one ward, Gowlipura and the TRS two – Manikesh Nagar and Monda Market.
The TRS mayoral candidate, Nayani Narsimaha Reddy, a veteran of the 1969 separate Telangana agitation and at present a member of the state Cabinet, gathered 52,000 votes of a total electorate of 26.8 lakh. The TDP won the mayor’s seat and it could be inferred that their united state slogan had more bearing on the electorate.
<b>Later, the TSS merged with the TRS, but it is significant and undeniable that their slogan of a separate Telangana bombed in Hyderabad.</b> Mr Rao and Mr Narendra represent Karimnagar and Medak, respectively, in Parliament. The former visited the state once during this New Year, as he claimed to be busy in New Delhi.
In the past one year, he used his leverage as Union Cabinet Minister for a Rs 350-crore drinking water package for Karimnagar or precisely only the seven Assembly segments that form part of his constituency and not the drought-prone parts of that district. He is also having a survey done for a railway line from Hyderabad to Jagityal in Karimnagar via Siddipet, which he has represented in the Assembly since 1985.
This is despite 40 km of work being completed on the 180-km Peddapally-Karimnagar-Nizamabad railway project, on for 12 years. He has ignored getting the Budget sanctioned for the remaining 140 km, despite 100 km of the stretch being in his own Parliament segment.
Mr Narendra’s achievement is getting Rs 400 crore of work sanctioned from his ministry for his Medak constituency alone. <b>Between Mr Rao and Mr Narendra their contribution to Telangana, after being in office on that slogan for the past year, is next to nothing. And the less said the better about their contribution to Hyderabad, which they so fully claim as part of the prospective state. </b>
Hyderabad is facing a traffic crisis and they are not involved in the proposals for the monorail or metro projects even on paper.
The city has always been on the verge of a drinking water crisis and Mr Narendra fuelled his 1996 and 1998 campaigns in Medak by claiming that the Manjira drinking water scheme for the twin cities is depriving the area of water and that he would break those pipes if water was not given to Medak. This is after winning thrice from the city.
Largely because of this duplicity in word and action, many people believe that a separate Hyderabad is the only option. P Krishna Rao, founder of the Hyderabad State Forum, which wants Union Territory status for Hyderabad told this correspondent that the party would test its strength in the forthcoming municipal polls.
<b>“It is a fallacy to think that the state would be divided into two parts – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Actually carving out Telangana would create four new states –Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Hyderabad. This is what the people want”. </b>
Here state Congressmen loathe giving up on an emerging opportunity. On 13 May, they are holding a meeting of elected representatives from Telangana to launch a movement for Hyderabad’s future should Telangana be granted.
Organisers of this meeting said they would fight for statehood for the twin-cities and Rangareddy district. A letter by 37 Congress MLAs from Telangana supporting this would be at the heart of the event.
One Congress MP has confirmed participation and talks are on with others. Then they would proceed to Delhi to meet Sonia Gandhi and other senior members of the party’s central leadership to press for Hyderabad’s statehood.
It is hard to say, but it is a pertinent question: is Hyderabad a happening city or reeling towards disaster?

(The author is The Statesman’s Hyderabad-based Special Representative.)

This is how the UPA constituents are undermining the future happening city. Theonly reason the TRS got mileage was its alliance with the INC in defeating the CBN TD govt which really self defeated itself by rivalry and putting wrong candidates. But in balance YSR is better for the whole of AP.
YSR naxal problem will take him down.
Deccan Chronicle op-ed on YSR'e term so far dated 10 May 2005.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->YSR’s future agenda
By Syed Amin Jafri
<b>In his first year in office, Chief Minister Dr Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy has quietly but deliberately followed a two-pronged strategy on the issue of separate Telangana state.</b> Firstly, he has sought to create a situation where the constitution of a second States Reorganisation Commission is inevitable to go into the demand for separate Telangana state along with similar pleas for creation of smaller states.

This only means delaying the advent of separate Telangana for some more years. <b>Secondly, YSR has been aggressively promoting the development of coastal Andhra region in general and Visakhapatnam in particular,</b> keeping in view the eventuality of Telangana becoming a reality some day.

Vizag, which has been touted by the earlier regimes as a City of Destiny, is truly poised to become a city of opportunity with the big push being given by YSR. It is not that the Congress government is neglecting Hyderabad even a wee bit. <b>YSR has many big plans for Hyderabad, including a knowledge corridor and three IT parks in Cyberabad area, two IT corridors on either side of the Musi river, a string of star hotels, 12 new satellite townships with two lakh houses, MRTS, five flyovers to decongest the city, apart from the Outer Ring Road, Shamshabad international airport, MMTS stage II project and gas-based metro power station. </b>

<b>The Hyderabad Urban Development Authority has drawn up the master plan for the metropolitan area for the year 2021, envisaging eight new bridges across Musi, 20 new flyovers, six sewerage treatment plants and four garbage disposal sites, 1,300 kms of new roads and a 75,000-acre increase in residential and development area to cater to a population of 136 lakh. Most of these projects, entailing massive investment totalling several thousands of crores, will be implemented in the next four to five years. </b>Some of them will be taken up under public-private partnership mode and some others exclusively in the private or public sector.

<b>At the same time, the Congress government does not want to put all its eggs in one basket. Mega plans are on the anvil to spread out industries, infrastructure projects, Information Technology and tourism ventures to other areas of the state, more particularly the coastal belt, even while focusing on backward Telangana and Rayalaseema regions. </b>The idea behind this game plan is simple. In case Telangana state is formed some day, the future Andhra state (comprising coastal and Rayalaseema) will not be found lacking in assets to compensate for the loss of Hyderabad.

<b>It is not without reason that some political leaders from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra have started talking about the future of Hyderabad in the event of formation of Telangana state. </b>Panchayat Raj Minister Mr J. C. Diwakar Reddy has demanded a union territory status for Hyderabad because, he claims, the people from all the regions contributed to the tremendous growth of the state capital over the last five decades. Similarly, other leaders have raised the demand for making Hyderabad the joint capital of Telangana and Andhra states when AP is bifurcated.  

No wonder, such demands have raised the hackles of Telangana Rashtra Samiti leaders Mr K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Mr A. Narendra. Blaming ‘Andhra power-brokers’ for inflaming Telangana sentiments by clamouring for union territory or joint capital status for Hyderabad, KCR asserted “People of Telangana have the right to retain Hyderabad.

We will have it as our capital. Only a fool can make such a nonsensical demand for joint capital because the shortest distance between Hyderabad and any part of coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema is 200 kms. No fool will be willing to travel this distance in a neighbouring state to reach his capital city.”

It is obvious that Union territory status for Hyderabad could be an option that would be considered if Telangana is formed. <b>To prepare for such an eventuality, it is significant that Huda has proposed to extend the jurisdiction of the authority by 300 square kms by incorporating some areas from Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda and Medak districts, apart from Ranga Reddy, into the metropolitan area. </b>

This will effectively protect the huge land-holdings, real estate and other prime properties owned or promoted by people who are called “settlers” in Telangana parlance. <b> With massive development of Hyderabad planned to the exclusion of other districts in Telangana, the Andhra leadership wants to give the signal that it cannot hand over Hyderabad exclusively to Telangana state but would prefer to have Hyderabad as a union territory due to its business, economic, socio-political and strategic importance. A string of defence research and production facilities, nuclear fuel complex and army and airforce installations make it a vital city which cannot be in the hands of a regime with parochial propensities. </b>

The latest demand made by Rayalaseema Hakkulu Ikya Vedika that Kurnool should be made the second capital of AP adds a new dimension to the ongoing controversy on the future status of Hyderabad.  “Rayalaseema must have a second capital to undo the injustice done to it in the last 50 years,” Ikya Vedika leader and former Telugu Desam MLA T. G. Venkatesh has demanded.

The Ikya Vedika also sought Rs 50,000 crore as compensation from the Centre in case of formation of Telangana state. Its reasoning is that the shifting of capital from Kurnool (when it formed part of Andhra state during 1953-56) to Hyderabad after formation of AP in 1956 caused this massive loss over the last five decades. The Vedika has voiced other demands, too, like allocation of Krishna water exclusively to Rayalaseema and diversion of Go-davari water to Krishna delta.

If the former chief minister, Mr Chandrababu Naidu, sought to market Hyderabad as CEO of AP Inc, his successor wants to showcase the strengths of the coastal Andhra region as the land of opportunities. At a recent review meeting, <b>YSR considered a major initiative for integrated development of the coastal corridor from Srikakulam to Nellore districts with focus on industrialisation, infrastructure and utilities and socio-economic sector. </b>

In the first phase, the corridor will 73 mandals in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Vizag and East Godavari. Phase II will cover West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts.
As part of the project, a four-lane coastal highway will be developed.

The blueprint envisages development of ports, air links, roads, rail networks, communications facilities and initiatives in industrialisation, tourism, recreation and IT and establishment of townships and techno-city. The master plan also proposes establishment of a new coastal sea route for transportation of goods and materials, new fishing landing grounds and associate infrastructure.

The Chief Minister even wanted the Telugu film industry to develop Vizag as another Tollywood hub!  The coastal corridor is just one aspect of the massive investment plans for the coastal belt, particularly from Vizag to Kakinada. Expansion of Vizag Steel Plant, naval dockyard, Vizag port and Visakha Refinery, development of Gangavaram port, establishment of special economic zone, pharma city and an IT corridor between Vizag and Anakapalli, Volkswagen plant and a host of projects in petroleum/petrochemicals/gas and mining sectors are on the anvil.

Hyderabad as future union territory and Vizag as the City of Destiny are okay but what about the other places in the backward Telangana and Rayalaseema regions? With the two sons of Rayalaseema soil, Mr Chandrababu Naidu and YSR, focusing their attention on Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam respectively, who will act as the visionary for the all-round development of faction-ridden and drought-prone Rayalaseema? Any guesses?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Free power to farmers discontinued </b>
Agencies/ Mumbai
In view of the acute power shortage in the state, the democratic front government in Maharashtra Tuesday decided to discontinue its pre-poll promise of providing free power to farmers.
Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced this after a state Cabinet meeting. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Election promises are down in drain or promises were made to get rural votes.
Mudy, CM Vilasrao was on ZeeTV - was making a case to resurrect Enron. <!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Hyderabad as future union territory and Vizag as the City of Destiny are okay but what about the other places in the backward Telangana and Rayalaseema regions? With the two sons of Rayalaseema soil, Mr Chandrababu Naidu and YSR, focusing their attention on Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam respectively, who will act as the visionary for the all-round development of faction-ridden and drought-prone Rayalaseema? Any guesses?</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
This is interesting. Farmers problem will stay. Next election media will expose some targeted area to bring YSR down.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Modi sees light in Maharashtra blackout
Govt publishes ads in Mumbai dailies to attract industries
Send Feedback     E-mail this story     Print this story
Posted online: Monday, May 09, 2005 at 0214 hours IST

AHMEDABAD, MAY 8: Is Maharashtra's loss Gujarat’s gain? At least the Gujarat government, which is all set to make the most of the power crisis in the neighbouring state, seems to think so.

In a swift action, the state government has launched an aggressive campaign in Maharashtra, which is reeling under a major power crisis, to woo industries to Gujarat.

On Saturday, the Narendra Modi government gave half-page advertisements in all national English dailies published from Mumbai. That the campaign is limited to Maharastra gives credence to the theory that Gujarat is trying to capitalise on the power crisis there.

The advertisement reads, ‘‘The joy of having continuous light... Always Enterprising Gujarat.’’ It enumerates achievements of the Modi government in the power sector like successful implementation of reforms, disbanding of the Gujarat Electricity Board, cheap power through reduction in duty and subsidies.

Nearly half the pointers in the ad boasts about ‘‘24-hour power supply to all seven municipal corporations and 151 municipalities; 24-hour, three-phase, uninterrupted electricity to every household in rural areas and 24-hours a week quality power supply to high tension industries’’.

It also has picture of Modi and his quote: ‘‘Enterprise and innovation for progress and prosperity, resilience and determination in face of adversities, courage to dream and strength to achieve is the very essence of Gujarati spirit.’’

In Amravati, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh today said that load shedding should not affect water supply to farmers and directed the concerned officials to prepare a plan accordingly.

Deshmukh also directed the MSEB officials not to disconnect power supply to defaulters as it may ultimately affect their water supply.

The CM said the state will have to face a drought-like situation till the onset of monsoon (by June 30) and directed to give priority to digging of wells, supply of water through tankers and implementation of rural water supply schemes.

Gujarat’s Power Supply Minister Saurabh Patel is camping in Mumbai. Patel, who is there to attend a workshop for BJP ministers, says: ‘‘The government is committed to supplying quality power at an affordable rate. This was the reason why electricity duty was reduced recently.’’

To whether the campaign is to attract investment and he says, ‘‘The fact that ads were issued only in Maharashtra indicates something, isn’t it?’’

The minister had earlier called a press conference in Gandhinagar on how the forthcoming summer was going to be the best in a long time. He also told the media that to help Maharashtra, the state had forgone its share 250 MW power it was entitled from ITPC.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Bang, Bang Bangalore

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->With coalition partners at each other's throat, governance disappears from the state

The road leading to the proposed international airport in Bangalore is being expanded into a four-lane highway.

But the work is moving at a snail's pace. The gravel has spilled onto the existing road and daily two-three motorcycle riders skid and injure themselves—and if they  are completely unlucky, are run over by demonic buses that ply that path to destinations like Bellary and Hyderabad.

If you come 1 km down the domestic airport towards the city, at a busy traffic junction, you will hear the creaky sound of rusted metal. That's an incomplete flyover and it has been in that condition for over a year. Equally bad is the state of the Bangalore-Mysore highway, one of the deadliest roads you've seen. The city's arterial roads were in such bad shape that a few months ago Lokayukta Justice N. Venkatachala had to shout at the municipal authorities to get basic repairs done.

These cases aren't being cited as examples of Bangalore's infrastructure problems, but to highlight the absence of administration even in this 'showpiece' city. Keep the city aside and think of rural districts, the mandate of which the 
ruling coalition partner, JD(S), claims. There has been no news coming from there either, except for Naxal killings and their penetration into areas hitherto thought safe. According to a Congressman, "the only rural sound bites on TV these days are on the CM's pilgrimages or the deputy CM's caste meetings." Even former PM and JD(S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda, the self-professed 'son of the soil', has hardly made any noise outside Bangalore of late. <b>As a columnist put it, "arthritic slowness" has become the defining feature of this government. Indeed, it took six months for it to have a semblance of a cabinet and there are still two vacancies. </b>

But ironically, despite the absence of any development activity in the city, the focus of the government in this one year of being in power, by default, has only been Bangalore. The reason is the booming real estate in the city. This is the one issue that has caused rivalry between the ruling partners and the intensity of their courtroom battles has been such that the Opposition bjp has become irrelevant. "It is difficult to call this a government. It has been functioning like a real estate agency," says Basavaraj Bommai, JD(U) legislator and son of former chief minister S.R. Bommai. "It is a piquant situation for chief minister Dharam Singh who has to distance himself from his predecessor while remaining loyal to his party and Sonia Gandhi," says political analyst Prof Ravindra Reshme.

Right from the start, in quite an unprecedented manner, Deve Gowda took up the issue of land grab in and around Bangalore. He claimed it was to the tune of "tens of thousands of acres", and in a veiled manner started attacking the associates of former chief minister S.M. Krishna. He also started publicly examining every land deal that the previous regime had entered into. A rally of slum-dwellers and urban poor, organised in the city on April 30, marked a new high in this acrimonious process. Addressing the rally, Deve Gowda said: "This is a rally of 'daridra narayanas' and not West End Narayanas" (referring to the Taj West End Hotel and an associate of Krishna who is said to often stay there). Getting more overt, he said, <b>"A hi-tech madness gripped the state between 1999 and 2004 and the ground beneath the poor was swept away by the tech tsunami." In an indirect reference to the previous CM, he sighed, "at least this chief minister has not grabbed any land, he has no joint ventures and no associates in star hotels."</b>
Deve Gowda has also put the revenue department on the land recovery job. According to revenue secretary S.M. Jamedar, after this government came to power, it has recovered 1,989 acres of land in urban and rural Bangalore.

Just last week, we recovered 124 acres of urban land and 35 acres of rural land," he said.

A senior Congressman told Outlook, "What Gowda is saying is correct, given the fact that some ministers from Krishna's cabinet are building the biggest malls in the city. But Gowda's brashness has spoilt the game. In Karnataka today, even 10 acres of irrigated land is considered a liability, while a 30x40 ft residential plot in Bangalore is treated like gold." It's in facts like these that a politician sees both money and a swelling constituency of urban poor. This has ensured that the public debate this past year only revolved around land prices and land mafia.

Here are the four most contentious projects over which the coalition partners have been punching each other's face in the last one-year:

The first project to come under fire was the Rs 2,250-crore Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project, which aims to crunch travel time to Mysore and develop new townships en route. This is touted as a Rs 10,000-crore scam by the new government. The public works department, headed by Gowda's son H.D. Revanna, set up a technical committee to probe land acquisitions by NICE, the company implementing the project. The panel, in its interim findings, said that 2,450 acres of excess land had been acquired around Bangalore and even if a nominal commercial value of Rs 1,000 per sq ft were applied, it amounted to handing over a "largesse of Rs 10,000 crore to NICE". All through, NICE has been portrayed as being 'very close' to the Krishna regime. But on Tuesday, a high court judgement on a pil threw the government's claims to the winds. The court said the government had filed a false affidavit claiming ignorance on how NICE bagged the project and held the chief secretary guilty of 'perjury and withholding' documents. Gowda reacted saying, "This isn't the end of the road. It is unfortunate that we have to keep our ties with the Congress going."

The second major 'land deal' this government pored over closely was the 2,750-acre Arkavathy Housing Project of the Bangalore Development Authority. For 20,000 housing plots there were 2.5 lakh applicants and this was Krishna's dream project. Gowda again alleged irregularities in work tendering and land acquisition. The matter reached the high court and the entire project was quashed as "illegal". The judge even said "the project would help only the affluent". But on Tuesday, a bench of the high court stayed the single judge order quashing the project.

The third project is the international airport. Here again, Gowda said Krishna had allotted land in excess. After much deliberation and intervention from the prime minister, the government gave final clearances after withdrawing 408 acres of 'excess' land and handed over 3,884.5 acres to the project. This would still make the land area of the airport far bigger than that of London's Heathrow airport, one of the busiest in the world.

The fourth contentious issue has been the allotment of urban land to IT majors to extend their campuses. "Do they need the poor farmers' land to build golf courses?" asked a close Gowda associate.

Amidst all this, when Outlook asked Dharam Singh about his government's achievements, a top aide listed them: "Rice and wheat at Rs 3 per kg; six per cent interest on cooperative loans; abolition of online lottery and expansion of mid-day meal scheme." Do any of these sound new?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Parting politics </b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
Rare is the politician who has lost an election and has the courage to acknowledge the real reasons that cost him the race. Hence, Telugu Desam Party president and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu may be forgiven for claiming that his association with the Bharatiya Janata Party led to the TDP's resounding defeat in last year's elections. <b>More specifically, he has pinned the blame on the post-Godhra riots and the BJP's refusal to sack Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi</b>.

He has also cited the advancing of election dates and the drought in Andhra Pradesh as the other reasons that contributed to his loss of power. This is Mr Naidu's version, and he is entitled to it, never mind that a vast gulf separates his assessment from the truth. <b>Even before riots erupted in Gujarat, people in rural Andhra Pradesh were seething in anger over the TDP Government's inability to cope with the crisis caused by successive droughts that led to hundreds of farmers committing suicide. While Mr Naidu was being feted at Davos for converting Hyderabad into 'Cyberabad', the economy of the State was collapsing with remarkable speed.</b> He and his flatterers contemptuously ignored a World Bank study, explaining with empirical evidence the poor state of affairs in Mr Naidu's Andhra Pradesh.

<b>By depriving the people of Telengana-that was by design, not default-he managed to create a vast electorate of disgruntled people waiting for a chance to vote against him with zeal</b>. Mr Naidu cannot cite lack of Central funds for the deprivation Telengana suffered; <b>he extracted a heavy price in the form of Central aid for the TDP's support to the NDA. If he misgoverned, that is entirely his fault. And, he has only himself to blame for advancing the election dates</b>. Indeed, the BJP cannot be faulted for suggesting that it is the <b>TDP that is to blame for the NDA's defeat, instead of the other way round.</b>

The real reasons for Mr Naidu's blame game however lie elsewhere. Never a steadfast ally-he deserted the United Front of which he was the chairman to join ranks with the NDA-<b>he is seeking re-entry into national affairs through the expeditious route of "Third Front" politics </b>which is essentially the brainchild of the CPI(M). The Left is keen on forging a Third Front as a pressure group that will influence UPA policies and it is not surprising that it should be prepared to embrace Mr Naidu with open arms. It is another matter that there is no percentage for the TDP in looking for long-term gains through such an alliance. In India's firmly established bipolar polity, a Third Front shall forever remain a non-starter; at best it will serve the narrowest political interests of its constituent members.

<b>The BJP, therefore, need not be overtly bothered about losing an ally in Andhra Pradesh. On the contrary, the parting of ways opens a window of opportunity for the BJP to work on strengthening its State party that has suffered serious erosion of support, especially in Telengana region where it used to be a potent political force, on account of its alliance with the TDP. If the BJP is able to increase its share of the popular vote from eight per cent to twice that figure, Mr Naidu will find it convenient to dump Muslim voters and their 11 per cent vote for whom his heart cries today. Make no mistake about that.</b>
Goa's up for elections for 5 MLA seats. The overall MLA numbers are so close that if either Cong or BJP win 3 of the 5 seats, it can form a govt!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Congress gets power in Goa, sweeps Haryana</b>

Congress, which came under attack during the political turmoil in Goa three months ago, stormed back to power on Sunday in the state and swept all the three by-elections in Haryana.

<b>But the party lost in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, where the Samajwadi Party opened its account winning the Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency</b>.

<b>Winning three of the five by-elections on its own and with its ally NCP bagging one seat, the Congress-led United Legislature Party raised its tally to 21 in a House of 39 in Goa </b>which came under President's rule in March after two controversial confidence votes that unseated BJP and placed Congress in power.

<b>BJP won the fifth seat and raised its tally to 17. It also has the support of UGDP MLA..</b>

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, at present a Lok Sabha member, fulfilled the constitutional requirement of becoming a member of the assembly, when he won the Kiloi seat with a huge margin of over one lakh votes defeating INLD's Azad Singh Attri.

Two of his party colleagues, Savitri Jindal and Kiran Choudhary, rode a sympathy wave to secure similar margins of victory in Hissar and Tosham in the wake of death of their husbands OP Jindal and Surender Singh, both Ministers, who were killed in a helicopter crash a few months ago.

All the seats were retained by Congress which has 67 members in a House of 90.

<b>The Samajwadi Party made its Parliamentary debut from the South with former Chief Minister S Bangarappa winning the Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency which he had quit as a BJP member to join SP a few months ago.</b>

He defeated his nearest rival Ayanur Manjunath, a former foe who now contested on a Congress ticket, by a margin of 16,633 (rpt) 16,633 votes.

Elsewhere, Congress ran out of luck. In the Chamrajpet assembly constituency in Karnataka vacated by former Chief Minister SM Krishna, the party lost to its coalition partner JD (S) when<b> its candidate RV Devaraj was humbled by Jamir Ahmed Khan by 3278 votes.</b>

In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, in the Penukonda assembly constituency opposition Telugu Desam's P Sunita defeated her nearest Congress rival B Sriramulu by a margin of 18,850 votes.

Sunita cashed on the sympathy wave generated by the killing of her husband Paritala Ravi, a TDP MLA, late last year in the faction-ridden Rayalaseema region of the state.

<b>The ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala was dealt a severe blow when its candidates belonging to Congress and CMP lost both the byelections to CPI-M in Koothuparamba and Azhikode with record margins of defeat</b>.

In retaining the two seats, the CPI (M)-led LDF improved on its performance in the 2001 assembly polls and bettered its lead in the last year's Lok Sabha polls in the two segments.

In Uttar Pradesh, retaining its supremacy the ruling<b> Samajwadi Party-RLD combine swept all the four seats to which byelections were held. SP's nominees won in Allahabad (West), Varanasi (North) and Haiser Bazar (Reserved) while ally RLD's candidate won in Khairagarh.</b>

The Congress Legislature Party will meet tomorrow in Panaji to elect its new leader amidst indications that the race for the Chief Ministers would be among Pratapsinh Rane, Ravi Naik and Lusinho Faleiro.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jun 5 2005, 10:45 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jun 5 2005, 10:45 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <b>Congress gets power in Goa, sweeps Haryana</b>
BJP had 17 seats in Goa and they still retained that 17 count. Enitre Goa goes on the dock within 2 years again. The current Cong+NCP bunch have their work cut out for them.
Those who will fail to get minister berth can rock this boat but corrupt governor is still intact in Goa and Congress is still in power in Center. As usual they can pump money. Independent MLA holds key.
But its not sweep in any term.
<b>Democracy imperilled</b>
Sir—The Allahabad by-election saw an unprecedented violation of law and order before and during the polling. Hindu communities living in certain pockets of the city were threatened in order to prevent their members from casting their votes. Various residential areas witnessed firing and explosions. The perpetrators aimed at spreading terror. A large number of families locked themselves up in their houses as they were threatened of dire consequences if they ventured out to vote. The telecast of local television channels covering these unlawful activities was forcefully stopped. It is needless to mention the percentage of votes polled on the day of election. The most unfortunate aspect of the story is that all this happened in full view of the State’s police force. If members of the mafia get elected through the use of terror and violence, the fate of Indian democracy is imperilled.
Dhirendra Mishra
<b>Sanjay-Priya fight over Sunil Dutt's seat </b>

By Deepak Lokhande
Wednesday, 08 June , 2005, 01:52

Mumbai: Barely a week after their father’s death, a row has erupted between Sanjay Dutt and Priya Dutt.

The siblings are fighting over which of them should be allowed to contest elections from Sunil Dutt’s Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha constituency.

Although no one is willing to go on record, it is believed a cold war has erupted between the two, and that Sanjay is even getting feelers from the Samajwadi Party in case Congress gives Priya the ticket.

Lo kar lo gal.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->it is believed a cold war has erupted between the two, and that Sanjay is even getting feelers from the Samajwadi Party in case Congress gives Priya the ticket.
Priya contesting directly against Sanjay!! Can't happen. This reporter Deepak Lokhande seems to Sanjay Nirupam's plant <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jun 6 2005, 11:14 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jun 6 2005, 11:14 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Those who will fail to get minister berth can rock this boat but corrupt governor is still intact in Goa and Congress is still in power in Center.  As usual they can pump money. Independent MLA holds key.
But its not sweep in any term. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Goa govt faces threat to stability

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"We want all ministers <span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>(read BJP here)</span>, who resigned and sacrificed their seats for the Congress, to get berths," said Wilfred D'Souza, Deputy Chief Minister, Goa.

Congress MLAs are already unhappy, because after making four new recent recruits ministers and one minister from the MGP, there will be only five seats left among 13 of the Congress MLAs<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)