<b>Do the due</b>
<i>Are we finally seeing a new Manmohan Singh?</i><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There is a second, more crucial part to the one-to-one, which is that Sonia and the PM have reportedly decided to break with Laloo after the seat-sharing agreement, and to go entirely with Paswan.<b> Internal party polls say Laloo is losing Bihar, and second is a realisation that he cannot be trusted. </b>Here, too, Manmohan is expected to manage the play. This is far from easy and it is potentially bloody, but from the manner the PM has spontaneously and then more sustainedly taken on the CPI-M, hammering in about Buddhadeb, maybe we are seeing new muscle flexing that should surprise Manmohan Singh himself. But perhaps, more surprises are due, and necessary.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Modi show of strength in Keshubhai stronghold? </b>
By Indo Asian News Service
Ahmedabad, Aug 27 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is organising an apparent public show of strength - in arch rival and former chief minister Keshubhai Patel's stronghold.
<b>Besides Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president L.K. Advani will address a meeting at Botad, 170 km from here, Sunday.</b>
Advani is expected to inaugurate the state electricity department's Jyotir Gram Yojna.
<b>Patel and his supporters are also expected to attend a Patel community function at Botad Sunday. The presence of both the groups in Botad the same day has generated a lot of attention.</b>
This is Advani's second visit to the state within a week. Advani has thrown his weight behind Modi, who is under attack from BJP legislators to step down.
The dissident legislators this week went to New Delhi and demanded that Modi be sacked as chief minister.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
PALAKKAD: Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) president K. Muraleedharan has said that the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has lost its secular tradition and political integrity because of the stand it has taken on issues like the Marad violence and the Kannur speech of (its State general secretary) P.K. Kunhalikutty.
Addressing mediapersons here on Saturday, he said that some of its leaders were responsible for the League loosing its secular image. They influenced the then Chief Minister A.K. Antony into taking unilateral decisions that supported one community. The League lost its political honesty because of the `strategic moves' it experimented with in elections while remaining in the UDF, he said.
KADAPA: People for India Forum was launched here by the zonal general secretary of All India Insurance Employees Association, V. Ramesh, on Saturday. Addressing the gathering, he said privatisation was adversely affecting living standards of people and making education and medicare unaffordable to the poor, has said.Mr. Ramesh called upon people to be vigilant against divisive forces. The forum envisaged bringing together people to fight them.
A concerted struggle waged in Bolivia against privatisation of water was an inspiring factor for the movement, he said.
Claims that liberalised economy would help Third World countries progress were far from truth, Mr. Ramesh said.
The forum launched at Kadapa was the 164th one in the country, he added. AIIEA divisional president A. Raghunatha Reddy, presided and general secretary B.V.S. Raju, spoke.
The meeting elected retired district judge N. Krishnamurthy as the Forum president. Those elected vice-presidents were skin specialist K. Manohar, Kadapa Muslim Association Secretary S.M.H. Basha, LIC Class I Officers Association National Council member T. Chandrasekhara Reddy, B.V.S. Raju and M.V. Subramanyam. LIC Employees Association divisional office unit Secretary S. Sultan Mohiuddin was elected convenor.
The Governor Buta Singh was alleged in bribery cases during the whole Presidential term. And the political parties were just tussling among themselves, leading to the complete chaos in the state. But the recent Election Commission decision has now comforted the inhabitants and they are now hopeful for the reorganization of democratic structures within the state machinery.
Please share your views in this regard so that the people of Bihar get the assurance that the whole India is with them, during their hard time
<b>Landcruiser seized from Jyoti Basu's son by DRI</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized a landcruiser car from the son of former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu on charges that it was brought into the country after tax evasion, DRI sources said on Tuesday.
The DRI sleuths seized the vehicle of businessman Chandan Basu during an ongoing probe into a racket of importing cars by evading custom duty upto 105 per cent, they said, adding Chandan's role was being investigated.
<!--QuoteBegin-ashyam+Sep 16 2005, 09:44 AM-->QUOTE(ashyam @ Sep 16 2005, 09:44 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Since death of DMK is imminent, Jayalalitha really needs a challenger in TN. Finally a film star has decided to jump into this opportunity. Even though it not sure how well Vijay Kanth is going to perform, I see few positive things for India as a whole.
- His party doesn't claim to be a typical Dravidian party
- Very pro-India views (no anti-Hindi, anti-North feelings)
- He doesn't hide his Hindu identity
Madurai, Sept 14 (Chennaionline): Popular Tamil film actor Vijaykant today plunged into politics when he launched his own political outfit -- Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam (DMDK) -- at a state-level conference of his fans association at Thoppur near here.
Vijaykant, who had been toying with the idea of forming a political party for the last four years, finally did it today, amidst milling crowds of his supporters, who had thronged the temple city right from last night.
Launching the party, he said he was relying on the support of a major section of Tamil population, mainly women.
A confident looking Vijaykant said he named his party, Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam, only to prove the point that Tamil Nadu was part and parcel of India. Indicating that his party's programmes and policies, which were to be announced in the evening, would be progressive, he said that was why he had included the name Murpokku (progressive) in the party's name.
He said he had to struggle very hard to pick the name for the party, and had to discuss with his wife Premalatha and a close friend to finalise the name.
"I had to think for hours and only yesterday with the blessings of Lord Siva, Goddess Meenakshi, Lord Muruga and my family deity did I finalise the name, DMDK," Vijaykant, who visited the famous Meenakshi temple here last night, said.
He formally hoisted his party's flag before the conference began. (Agencies)
As Cong CMs meet, Sonia to scan report cards
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->And the picture is hardly rosy. For example, Sheila Dikshit (Delhi), who led the party to an impressive victory, has to contend with mass unrest over inflated electricity and water bills on the one hand and dissidence on the other. Oommen Chandy (Kerala) has just registered a dismal performance in civic and panchayat elections barely six months ahead of the Assembly polls.
The Naxalite policy of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) has gone haywire as the peace process initiated by him and the consequent ceasefire has only led to consolidation of the far-Left extremists. This has not, however, prevented the Congress from undertaking a similar move in Assam vis-a-vis ULFA. Tarun Gogoi (Assam) faces another challenge following the formation of a front by several Muslim organisations. Coming a few months before assembly polls, the move can undermine the prospects of the party, which depends heavily on the minority vote.
Vilasrao Deshmukh (Maharashtra) remains bogged down due to pressures of the coalition and an almost hostile PCC chief (Prabha Rau) and general secretary in-charge (Margaret Alva). Narain Dutt Tewariâs government (Uttaranchal) is weighed down by inertia, while N. Dharam Singh (Karnataka) plays second fiddle to Janata Dal(S) president H.D. Deve Gowda. Manipur has been quiet, but only after remaining cut off from rest of the country for weeks, due to blockade by the Nagas. Meghalaya is still smouldering after violence in Tura.
Furore over Indian actressâ pre-marital sex comment
CHENNAI: Comments on premarital sex and virginity by film star Khushboo has sparked a furore in conservative south India, prompting protests and lawsuits amid claims she has cast a slur on Tamil women.
Protestors say Khushbooâs remarks to a weekly magazine that âno educated man would expect his (bride) to be a virgin,â reflects on the chastity of Tamil women while those taking her to court say she has defamed women in general.
The Tamil Protection Movement, meanwhile, says that since Khushboo is a Muslim - like most actresses in south Indian cinema a non-Tamil - she must return to her native Mumbai, Indiaâs financial capital in western Maharashtra state.
Political parties in the Tamil Nadu have also joined the fray, with the Dalit Panthers of India (DPI), representing people discriminated by caste, accusing her of âdenigratingâ Tamil women and âencouraging them to be immoralâ.
Film stars in Tamil Nadu hold great sway, with several having led the state, including current Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha. Panther activists stormed the office of the South Indian Film Artistes Association with broomsticks and slippers - traditionally used in protests - to demand an apology from the star, the Press Trust of India (PTI) said Thursday. It added that the association has left Khushboo to fend for herself even as the Pantherâs chief Tol Thirumavalavan ratcheted up tensions Wednesday, declaring her remarks âagainst public orderâ.
Other political groups such as the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), have joined the protests, PTI said.
Separately, five women advocates have filed a petition in a magistrateâs court seeking action against the actress under two sections of the Indian Penal Code which deal with defamation, it said. afp
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Pseudo-secularism out, BJP in </b>
The recently held civic body elections in Kerala revealed the changing political scenario in the state. Though the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) swept the urban bodies and panchayats,the victory is bittersweet. The party is now brooding over the political prospects of the BJP in the state. The BJP cornered an impressive tally in the civic body elections to become the single largest party in Palakad municipality with 17 seats, and bagged four panchayats in Kasargode district.
Understandably, the BJP leadership is jubilant. The much awaited victory has boosted the morale of its cadre. It has corked the infighting which bedevilled the state leadership for the time being. The BJP may be the only party which is comfortable with election results, which tells beyond election statistics and dogmas. The party has proved beyond doubt that it is emerging as third political force in the state.
Though the LDF won the maximum number of seats to the civic bodies, its leadership is an unhappy lot as the BJP made significant political gains in strategic points. The baffled CPI(M) leadership is trying its best to find a face-saving logical argument that can reassure its cadres.
In the civic body elections the Left has, once again, emerged as the biggest group with the most seats. All the five corporations and 12 out of 14 district panchayat councils went to the LDF fold. The Left Front, with the support of the K.Karunakaran-led Democratic Indira Congress, managed to secure majorities in 689 out of 999 gram panchayats in the state. Meanwhile, the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance could manage to secure majority in only two district panchayats, 12 municipalities, 25 block panchayats and 222 gram panchayats.
The only consoling factor for the Congress leadership is that the party has improved its vote share from 38.45 per cent in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections (when it lost all but one of the 20 constituencies in the state), to 40.38 per cent this time). But this data pertains to elections to the district panchayats, municipalities and corporations. The data regarding gram panchayats is not taken into account. Those who took care to leak out this significant statistic has gladdened the Congress leaders who are assured that their party has got a future in the urban areas of the state in the very least.
When the election dates were declared, the situation was quite different. Nobody dreamt that the BJP would make a political gain in the civic body elections. The Left Front was over-confident about its electoral prospects. After all, it has all the ingredients that go into making a convenient political environment - a discredited government, the support of Karunakaran and, of course, the momentum received from May 2004.
The CPI(M)'s leaders and cadre never considered the BJP as a force to reckon with. Though the BJP-led NDA won 12.12 per cent of votes in the 2004 elections, <b>the lone NDA member from Kerala in the 13th Lok Sabha, PC Thomas, switched his loyalty to the Left Front, thereby strengthening the Communists in central Kerala.The rubberised Mosses found the powerless BJP as an anti-minority and distinctly pro-Hindu - in short, a party that has no political future in his life-time. So, they were eager to present their secular credentials before the CPI(M) leadership for political accommodation.</b> It was a convenient proposition for the Communist leadership too, as <b>the entry of Mr Thomas opened the floodgates to votes from the middle class, neo-rich Christian families of central Kerala</b>. Under globalisation, money has evidently become dearer and political ideology obsolete to Kerala's reds.
The same logic applied when the CPI(M) leadership tried for a tactical understanding with Karunakaran's new-born party. The comrades embraced their old arch rival and praised him to the skies. They baptised Karunakaran and his son in the pool of political pardon and telecast his interview in the party channel, Kairali, to whitewash his involvement in custodial deaths during the Emergency. Born again, Karunakaran and his son fitted well in their new roles and proved their worth. VS Achuthanandan and his loyalists raised dissenting notes in the state committee, but their voice was silenced. And the stage was set for sweeping victory for Left.
Then, who facilitated the BJP's victory? The Communists blamed the Congress, but the CPI(M) leadership in the state is finding it difficult to explain why the party is sharing power in Vorkadi gram panchayat in Kasargode district with the BJP. Here the Communist member, Kittanna Shetty, was elected as president with the BJP's support. Similarly, BJP member Chandra Hasa Shetty was elected as vice-president of the panchayat with the CPI(M)'s support.
As a face saving attempt, the state CPI(M) leadership tried to get the resignation of its president in Vorkadi panchayat. But, to their dismay, he has gone underground! Worse, Kasargode district BJP president Balakrishna Shetty revealed that the CPI(M) leadership requested for the party's support in the president's election.
Again, the BJP emerged as the single largest party in Palakkad municipality, and the main opposition party in Kasargod and Kuthuparimba municipalities. It was more humiliating for the CPI(M), as Palakad is the home district of its general secretary, Prakash Karat.
The party leadership's blood pressure went up when two of their councillors were voted invalid during vice-chairman's election that ensured the BJP's victory - another blow to secularism and its godfathers.
In fact, both the Left and Congress leaderships facilitated a comfortable cruise the BJP in this election. The disintegrating Congress and the Left Front's political opportunism forced voters to think about a third political alternative in the state. Many people found the BJP as the right party. This change in their political attitude got reflected in the poll results.
<b>The BJP contested 37 out of 50 seats in Palakad municipality, where the party won 17 seats to become the largest single party.</b> The LDF and UDF got 16 seats each. Ten councillors of the BJP won their seats with thumping majority. In one municipal ward, the party candidate got 90 per cent of the votes polled. The party came to second position in four wards in Palakkad municipality. In many gram panchayats there, the party showed its political strength by winning the second spots. That worries the secularists no end.
What is the secret behind the BJP's victory? According to P Raghavan, who coordinated the campaign in Palakkad, it was political strategy all the way. <b>"We have penetrated into both the Congress and the CPI(M) vote-banks. We were honest in our political approach and sincere to voters. We are not ashamed of telling people what we are. Of course, we selected candidates who have winning chances and support of their community."</b>
Moreover, the party was able to score political mileage from the arrest of the Shankaracharya. Many Tamil Brahmins who have made Palakkad their home over generations without losing their distinctive identity, were hurt when the Shankaracharya was humiliated. The BJP capitalised this opportunity and won the people's sympathy.
But NN Krishnadas, the CPI(M)'s Lok Sabha MP, discounted such claims. According to him, the BJP only made marginal increase in its vote-bank due to the support of the Congress. "In the last Lok Sabha election too, the BJP polled a good number of votes and has a political base in the urban areas. It was the political opportunism of the Congress that gifted the BJP with impressive wins in many pockets," Mr Krishnadas said.
If the Congress is not sincere about its secular credentials, why is the CPI(M) supporting the UPA government at the Centre? The party cadres raise this question often, and the leadership is yet to find a convincing answer. The Left Front may design a three point political agenda for the future - fight the BJP nationally, drub the Congress in the state and liaison with the BJP locally. When it comes to the point of sharing power, who cares about the colour of the flag and political past of the man sitting next to you. After all, democracy is a numbers game and numbers reassures the BJP with a political space in Kerala.
(The author is a political commentator)Â
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->PM, Prez discuss deteriorating law and order
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | October 19, 2005 16:41 IST
Last Updated: October 19, 2005 16:51 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday called on President A P J Abdul Kalam and discussed various issues including deteriorating law and order situation in some of the states.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Somethings up ????<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
ploy for emergency or President told dummy PM tell your madam, in place of sitting next to you in Ramlila Ground, Delhi She better start reading newspaper.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Muslims opt for B-S-P issues, vote BJP </b>
RK Misra / Gandhinagar
AHMEDABAD CIVIC POLL------ Did the Muslim voter thaw towards the BJP in the just concluded Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections which the party swept with a long hop?<b>An analysis of the results show that in the segments of the Ahmedabad civic body which form a part of former deputy prime minister LK Advani's Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP bagged 48 of the total 57 seats and many of areas covered herein have a sizeable minority population. </b>
In Ellisbridge, Dariapur, Asarwa and Sarkhej wards it won all the 12, 9, 6, and 9 seats respectively making a clean sweep while in Sabarmati it won 12 of the 15 seats but could manage only one of the six seats in Shahpur ward.
<b>In sheer percentage terms, the BJP bagged 84 per cent of the seats it contested in Mr Advani's Lok Sabha constituency segment falling under the Ahmedabad municipal corporation.</b>
Sarafaraz Mansuri, a reporter working for an Ahmedabad-based Gujarati eveninger who lives in a predominantly Muslim locality is convinced that there has been a noticeable shift in the way his community is looking at the BJP.
<b>"It is particularly visible among the young and the educated of the new generation of Muslims. They feel that no political entity should be able to take any community for granted. We are nobody's pocket borough and would be better off voting on issues, intent and on the basis of concrete work on the ground, is the new line of thinking,"</b> he points out.
The defeat of Badruddin Sheikh, a senior Congress leader contesting from Dani Limbda which has a fair Muslim population who has been fighting the poll since 1995 and has lost for the first time is an indicator in this direction. This minority-dominated seat was considered a bastion of the Congress where it just could not be defeated. The contention stands shattered.
Though the argument has been advanced that this was because his business rivals had propped up an NCP candidate, the fact remains that some degree of minority votes did switch sides causing the debacle for the Congress candidate.
Besides Dani Limbda, other Muslim-dominated areas like Kalupur, Dudeshwar and Jamalpur have also noticed some shift in preferences.<b> 50-year-old Fazalbhai Mansuri , a bank employee residing in Jamalpur is of the opinion that most of the apprehensions in the minds of the community that grew out of the 2002 communal riots have not come true and therefore there is no harm in giving the BJP a chance. The Congress has for long taken the minorities for granted and therefore one ventured out,"</b> he says.
<b>Shahnawaz Sheikh, a student of M.Com confirms that the new generation is looking at development and opportunities and if it is the BJP under Modi which provides it, he would vote for it again. "There is a distinct impression that the present Chief Minister is providing a dynamic leadership and everybody will benefit for it so why confine oneself to an age old stereotype chained to fears,"</b> he observes.
<b>Young Shoib Chobdar, staying in Astodia who is learning shorthand has also opted to try out the BJP this once to see things for himself. "No purpose is served by slinking in a corner. One must venture out into the sun and see things for oneself. I have done just that,"</b> he points out.
Whether it is an isolated example borne out of frustration with the Congress or the first slow step towards a new beginning only time and the ensuing election will tell
<b>Telangana Rashtra Samithi splits; rebel meet held</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> <i>K.Chandrasekhar Rao, Santosh Reddy expel each other </i>
<b>Santosh Reddy says that he represents the real TRS
Several pro-Telangana activists attend meeting
Plea to hand over land allotted to TRS to a trust
Santosh Reddy declines to accept leadership
Seven TRS MLAs do not attend Narendra's meeting</b> <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Congress was trailing behind in over a dozen seats in Amethi, Rahul Gandhiâs constituency<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->