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Power centers in the corridors of power, Extra Con
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->True. BJP's not good at hoodwinking people into thinking that they are different than commies before election and going into bed with them after election.

loser's excuse<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The only people who lost were those voted for Congress against the commies to find that Congress has outsourced administration to commies after elections. Other losers include Sonia worshippers who found that President Kalam wouldn't roll over to appoint a PM. More losers were those believed that Sonia's 'inner voice' spoke at a very opportune moment in history and have yet to hear it in over past 3 years despite so many screw ups. So anish, line of losers are pretty long and I'm not sure where we all fall in that line.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->
Anish: Akshay Kumar has been refered to as thai cook on this forum. Valmiki as robber in his past life. Gandhi as a male nurse.
and is that a right thing to do? if you say yes, we have a serious diff. of opinion.
People are judged and critiqued based on their words and action and using the proper set of reference - example we might admire <i>Lage Raho Munna Bhai</i> but don't mince words on Sanjay Dutt with his ties to underworld or discuss transcripts of his calls to 'bhais'.
So yes, if you can't see such difference, we do have a serious diff. of opinion.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->i never credited congress with anything<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Yeah, right.. maybe I read too much into your: <i>congress who worked hard, won election and are doing what they think is right</i>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->my only point is BJP should accept defeat which it had not done till now<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
You expecting some personal email or letter from someone? Or did you miss the smooth transition of power and ABV's concession?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->for heavens sake even those bloody communists are doing a better job of a good opposition than BJP.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Commies in opposition? Correct me, without the 60+ communists MPs wouldn't Congress be sitting in opposition?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->crises, loss of their best leader in mahajan, death of a professor<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Mahajan - best leader of BJP!! Yes, we do have difference of opinion.

Please lurk a bit more in India-Forum Archives with respect to election or Sonia related threads.
Till then stick to thread.
<!--QuoteBegin-anish+Dec 1 2006, 08:29 AM-->QUOTE(anish @ Dec 1 2006, 08:29 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->BJP is waiting for congress to make mistakes (bomb blast in mumbai, afzal, vande mataram) and not creating issues. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Anish, that is what constructive opposition is supposed to do. Give the govt a free hand in running the govt and point out the mistakes. Or would you prefer the commie way of creating a problem and then try solve it (eg. Honda factory problem, Ramdev lab issue etc). The problem with BJP is that they dont have any friends in the media and made no effort to encourage a friendly newspaper when they were in power for 5 years. Due to this handicap, BJP has not been able to get their message to the public on these issues.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->for heavens sake even those bloody communists are doing a better job of a good opposition than BJP. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Please commies are not the opposition, they are just like the italian, power without responsibility.

now, dont tell me that she is indian now in her current life and should not be referred to as italian. SHE DID HIDE in italian embassy after cong lost in 1977 and became citizen only after rajiv became PM. that shows no love for india at all

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->. for heavens sake even those bloody communists are doing a better job of a good opposition than BJP.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Why I missed good work by commies, please enlighten us here link, we should honor good work.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SHE DID HIDE in italian embassy after cong lost in 1977 and became citizen only after rajiv became PM. that shows no love for india at all
I am waiting for Natwar Singh to educate us on Sonia and Russian love connection. She had rescued her Ostrich from CBI claws with loot and saved Satish Sharma's neck.
<b>Sonia announces Rs 3,500 projects for Rae Bareli </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A number of industries set up in this district during former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's regime were either shut down or facing problems, she said inaugurating the fifth 210 MW unit of <b>Feroz Gandhi Unchachar thermal power station</b>.

"Realising the sentiments of the common man, I have tried to give a new lease of life to all such industries and set up new ones," she said adding the NTPC unit would increase the plant's capacity to 1,050 MW and fulfill the power demand of her constituency and other parts of the state.

The AICC chief said Rs 1,000 crore had been sanctioned for establishing a rail coach factory in Rae Bareli, the proposal for which was okayed the Railways Ministry and the work was expected to start soon.

She said the factory would produce 1,500 coaches per year and provide employment opportunities.

Another Rs 1,000 crore had been granted by the Centre for industrial training institutes as "ITI workers in Rae Bareli have been appealing to me to bail out the industry from a financial crunch", she said.

Gandhi also announced a Rs 1,500-crore project approved by the Heavy Industries Ministry for Lalganj and said she had written a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister for land allotment and was "expecting a positive response from him". <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Queen can't find any other name. What was his contribution other than married to Indira. Why freedom fighters, noted scientist never make list?
Not even Sita Ram Kesari, COngress President.
<b>It's Sonia's birthday, Congress ishtyle!</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi, December 9: It was a carnival-like atmosphere outside Sonia Gandhi's 10, Janpath, residence in Delhi on Saturday as scores of joyous Congress workers celebrated their leader's 60th birthday singing, dancing and beating drums.
<b>Moron Singh, accompanied by wife Gursharan Kaur, presented her a bouquet, a shawl and a uniquely handcrafted momento containing an essay on her political career,</b> letters from the Prime Minister and other eminent personalities. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I did wonder how is it that a strongly anti-India magazine like Newsweek, which almost never budges its stance on anything related to India ocne it publishes something on it, should immediately retract their statements on Rahul Gandhi and print an apology. Their behavior seemed highly curious. The article below explains it all. It seems plausible that Rahul Gandhi, a man with VERY limited intelligence and capability, but like his mother, extremely power-hungry, is seen as the perfect cadidate by the American government that can be easily manipulated into allowing them free access and control over India. He is being propped up as the next candidate for the PM post by the American media at the instructions of their government and possibly other groups with vested interest in India (like the billion dollar christian evangelism industry), and consequently misleading the American public regarding the true character of the Maino family in India by painting him in a more favorable light.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->                                                                <b>Republic of the dynasty</b>

                                                                          Sandhya Jain

Is it time for regime change in India, for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to walk into the sunset? Uncle Sam, ever anxious to rearrange the world with friendly dictators and pliable democrats, seems to have woken up to the grand potential of Mr Rahul Gandhi, whose scintillating 30-month-old stint as Amethi MP has set the Potomac on fire.

In the best traditions of American journalism, a leading newsweekly has run an effervescent cover story on the Indian "crown prince" (their phrase, not mine). This certainly suggests Congress 'queen' Sonia Gandhi is planning a major political manoeuvre. It is hardly coincidental that the party suddenly withdrew support to the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime in Uttar Pradesh, setting the ball rolling for the Assembly election, which is bound to impact the Centre.

Sadly for the friendly Americans, the eulogistic write-up which exhorts Indians to look up to Mr Rahul Gandhi on account of his lineage rather than his ability to lead, has upset the family retainers. Much like the since-denied Tehelka interview of September 24, 2005, the Newsweek story has been deemed embarrassing to the family and party because it refers to Mr Gandhi's qualifications with unflattering matter-of-factness. It speaks volumes for the clout enjoyed by the Gandhi-Maino clan in Washington DC that Newsweek could be made to eat crow.
In a prompt and unprecedented retraction, Newsweek apologised for "several inaccuracies" in the story, mainly the claim that Mr Rahul Gandhi failed to earn a degree and did not stick to his job with the Monitor Group for long. The magazine now asserts that Mr Gandhi has an MPhil degree in Development Economics and had worked with the Monitor Group for three years. Crawling when asked to bend, the magazine said it erred in stating that after a year of college in Delhi, Mr Gandhi took economic courses at Cambridge and Harvard, but failed to earn a degree. It said his father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated while he was at Harvard in 1991, and that "serious, immediate and life-threatening security concerns" compelled him to transfer to Rollins College, Florida, from where he graduated in 1994. He went on to receive an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge University, after which he joined the Monitor Group, a leading, global-strategy consulting group in London.
Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi feels "deeply satisfied" with the apology, though personally I feel it raises more issues than it answers about the so-called "crown prince", because America's hugely irreverent media does not normally defer so abjectly to even the tallest giants of the First World. Obviously, larger forces are at work to build a mythology around India's most unremarkable political phenomenon.
It is, therefore, necessary to look closely at the leader Uncle Sam has so lovingly anointed for us lesser mortals. The irrepressible Mr Subramanian Swamy, who not long ago forced Ms Sonia Gandhi to admit that she had not been to Cambridge University but only to Cambridge town, scoffs the belated claim that Mr Rahul Gandhi dropped out of Harvard undergraduate studies due to "security reasons" after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. Mr Swamy says that hitherto Mr Gandhi had inspired the Indian media to write that he had a Harvard undergraduate degree. It now transpires that he "graduated" from "some Rock and Rollins College" in Florida. Mr Swamy adds, with some justice, that the Harvard campus is one of the most protected in America, and as a recipient of Z-security cover for figuring on the LTTE hit-list, he faces no difficulty visiting Harvard every summer.

It is pertinent that regardless of from where Mr Gandhi graduated, there is even today no evidence that he undertook post-graduate studies anywhere. As such, his MPhil degree requires credible explanation. Mr Swamy has demanded that Mr Gandhi make public the department from which he secured this degree and disclose the thesis he wrote to qualify for it. The demand is not unreasonable because in the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission, it appears that he did not mention graduation from Rollins College, Florida, but only gave his educational qualifications as High School and then MPhil. Some Indians have now written to the President of Rollins College to clarify matters, as the Alumni Records and also Alumni & Friends list of 1994 fail to mention Mr Gandhi, and some persons in the 1994 alumni list could not recall such a prominent personality graduating from there.
It is equally curious that the Monitor Group, where Rahul Gandhi supposedly worked in London, has clamped up about his three-year stint there. It is also not known how the "serious, immediate and life-threatening security concerns" lessened in London. All this suggests careful White Western management of Mr Rahul Gandhi's academic and professional qualifications and public projection of the same, which does not augur well for Indian democracy. This may, therefore, be an appropriate occasion for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to clarify reports about the mysterious detention of Mr Gandhi at an American airport during his premiership, and his role in having him released.

Further, given the concerns of many Indians about his mother's nationality and religious affiliations (which caused her to associate with discredited Western evangelists like Ron Watts), it would be in the fitness of things for Mr Rahul Gandhi to clarify if he possesses an Italian passport (and nationality) besides his Indian ones, and what faith he practices. I specifically wish to know whether or not he is a Hindu like the late Indira Gandhi, the grandmother in whose house he was born and raised.

Finally, there is a need to explain the spectacular performance of the little known Backops Engineering, which is constructing the International Airport Terminal Building at Mumbai, container freight station for Maersk Sealand, Training Centres for RBI, headquarters of Wochhardt Ltd and Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, IPCL township at Nagothane, meditation hall at Osho Commune of Pune, among others (Deccan Herald, May 29, 2004). Though based on Arthur Bunder Road opposite Taj Mahal Hotel in south Mumbai, hardly anyone in the construction industry had ever heard of this company, which managed to grab such prestigious projects without creating an overt ripple in the market. Eighty-three per cent of the firm's shares are owned by Mr Rahul Gandhi, according to his election affidavit; the turnover and profits should be impressive.



<b>Rahul Gandhi sends notice to US-based Web site</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Congress member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi has sent a legal notice to US-based Web site www.hinduunity.org for alleged "perverted, scurrilous and gutter writing" against him and his family members.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Seems like Hinduunity had exposed this story and below NDTV blog is saying same on Gang Rape. Any clue? Is it true? NDTV blog is carrying girl's picture.
Google search

Results 1 - 10 of about <b>47,200</b> for Rahul Gandhi rape. (0.21 seconds)

It is everywhere.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The following Reporters who were present on 4th December,2006 to cover Rahul's Trip in Amethi and who were given information about the incident. These reporters were informed about the incident, none of them took interest to look into the matter

a) IBN7
b) Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar
c) Punjab Kesari
d) Hindusthan Times (Hindi)
e) Times of India & Times now
f) NDTV (Hindi)
g) Aaj Tak
h) Star News
i) Nav bharath times


<b>Sukanya and his mother are said to be hiding in one of their Relatives House in Harayana. Our Sources in Lucknow say that "The Congress men have been ordered to kill them at sight before they come out in open or approach the president" .Congressman have been deployed at all 7 borders of UP & Delhi to trace both motherand and Daughter . Congressmen deployed at checkposts have been provided photographs of Sukanya.

Door to Door Searching is on in Amethi and neighbouring Villages to track down them, and simultaneously the villagers are being warned and threathened if they provide protection to both mother and daughter</b>.

As per the information, both Mother and Daughter are alive (Updated information about 10:00 P.M IST 16/1/2007) and search is going on. There is likely that Congressmen and Congress Governments in other states are secretely been instructed to track them down and hand over to them at the earliest.

We have no information like who is contacting the president on behalf of them. We are trying to gather information from our people in New Delhi whether the Human Rights has seriously registered their Complaints. Our people are hesistant to to because there is a possibility that they may apprehend us and hand over us to the police or congressmen for questioning.

Few Congress MLA'S from Uttar Pradesh are under tremendrous pressure from the high command to Locate both mother and daughter and finish the needful.Secretly a reward has been announced by the Congress High Command if whosoever provides info or ...... Congressman from other districts and states are touring all over UP & Delhi.

<b>"I am sure they have decided to kill both mother and daughter."

IMPORTANT : Father of the victim Mr.Balram Singh has either gone underground or has been killed, he is not to be seen since 4th January 2007.</b>


24 Jan 2007
by Anonymous Poster
Reply to this comment
-- The Victim's family Address in Amethi UP is

Ms.Sukanya 's address
23-12 Medical Choke
Sanjay Gandhi Marg,
Raebareli, UP

-- Ms.Sukanya and Mother last seen on January 19 , 2007 . Missing .

-- Congress goons are still looking for her

-- Father of Victim Mr.Balram is still missing

-- We interviewed people , very soon we will air video interviews<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>First among equals? </b>
Jaya Jaitly
The Congress is trying to elevate party president Sonia Gandhi to the level of the unofficial head of the state
Today, we are left with the position of the chairperson of the UPA, which is not designated through a rule or resolution of Parliament. Nor is there any provision in the Constitution that provides for a post of chairperson of a post-election alliance when the person is not the Prime Minister.
People may well say that in the NDA Government from 1998 to 2004, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also designated as the chairperson of the NDA. However, this was an informal designation that did not carry its own recognition or sanctity, nor was it detached from that of his role as Prime Minister.

The NDA was only an informal political platform with a label to bring allies together and was not a legal entity or an officially designated body with a separate status of its own. It can disintegrate anytime and it did not even have an office or letterhead of its own. The chairperson of that body had only as much power as did Mr Vajpayee as the Prime Minister. The UPA is no different. The post of chairperson cannot be parallel to or higher than that of the Prime Minister, nor can it be treated as a part of the Government.

In contrast to the earlier dispensation, the Prime Minister has allocated to his party president the position of chairperson of the UPA without precedent or legal sanction, nor any sense of propriety or fair play. It has been taken for granted that this accords the Congress president an official position in the Government itself as well as automatic sanction to preside over functions that are conducted entirely from public funds. In effect, there is no doubt in the public mind that this is visibly projected as the highest post in the Government.

<b>Many sectors of Government are thus using funds spent from the public exchequer to host the Congress party and its president, which, apart from being improper, is to the detriment of other parties within the UPA coalition</b>. Here are some examples:

<b>Public advertisements issued by the Congress State Governments in all national newspapers announcing anything are accompanied by photographs of the Prime Minister, Chief Minister or other Ministers but are nearly always alongside, preceded or engulfed by pictures of the UPA chairperson.

The Satyagraha Conference held recently in Delhi was announced as a Congress party event. However, it was entirely organised and facilitated by the Ministry of External Affairs at an official venue and the host of the programme was the Congress president.

The National Games at Guwahati was fully funded and organised by the State and the Union Government, but it was inaugurated by the Congress president.

The inauguration of the bus service from Jammu & Kashmir to Pakistan was a country-to-country event coordinated by the Governments of both countries. However, prominence was given to the Congress president who flagged it off.

The Central Social Welfare Board, an autonomous fully owned body of the Union Government, recently launched special schemes for women of the North-East. The Congress president inaugurated the schemes at a Government function in the presence of a number of NGOs that would presumably be among the recipients.

The Surajkund Crafts Mela is an annual event, which has been inaugurated by Chief Ministers, Union Ministers or Governors for the past 20 years. It is wholly funded and organised by Haryana and the Union Government. In 2007, for the first time, the head of the Congress party inaugurated the event. </b>

The Chief Minister of Haryana followed the inauguration with advertisements in all newspapers the next day thanking the "president of the AICC" for inaugurating the fair. While it is not known whether these advertisements were from party or Government funds, gratitude was expressed publicly to the Congress president and not UPA chairperson. Dividing lines between these designations have already been blurred and one can easily be substituted by the other.

These and many other occasions have been used by the Congress to elevate its president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, to the level of the highest Government functionary although there is no official, legal or parliamentary sanction for the same. It may be pertinent to ask the Prime Minister whether the same situation would prevail if there had not been a member of the dynasty heading the Congress.

Renunciations may be good for the heartstrings, but rewards for these cannot come from Government purse strings to exalt individuals and benefit parties. Such a precedent can enable the Shiv Sena, if it heads a Central coalition, to make Mr Bal Thackeray its chairperson, the Left parties leading a coalition can make Mr Biman Bose its chairperson or the Samajwadi Party can appoint Mr Amitabh Bachchan as its chairperson. Why not?

Wrong precedents guarantee aberrations and constitutional complications in the future. If the position of the Prime Minister is undermined, and public funds used to promote the interests of one party by the creation and misuse of super political posts, we should not be surprised at what tomorrow could bring. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Runaway Romans </b>
Sandhya Jain
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's obvious complicity in the Government's appalling 17-day silence over the arrest of Italian fugitive Ottavio Quattrocchi is far more serious than ordinary suppression of information or contempt of the Supreme Court. Now that so much is known about the two-decade-old scandal, it is apparent that Bofors is not a simple saga of corruption in high places.

It cuts to the heart of national sovereignty, and exposes the fact that Italian intruders have been playing games with the polity from the time Ms Sonia Gandhi landed in the household of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. This calls for a thorough inquiry into the activities of Mr Quattrocchi throughout his 25-year stint in India as representative of the Italian public sector Snam Progetti, as he did not just suborn the Indian tendering system to get lucrative contracts; <span style='color:red'>he penetrated the top political, bureaucratic and even defence circles, and was entertained solely for his proximity to a foreigner married into a powerful family. </span>

Since Mr Quattrocchi's relationship was always with Ms Gandhi, and he never became personally close to Mrs Indira Gandhi,<span style='color:red'> it stands to reason that Ms Gandhi was a covert but active player in the politico-economic life of the nation in her so-called housewife years. </span>This sheds new light on Rajiv Gandhi's entry into politics after the death of his brother, and explains Ms Gandhi's dogged determination to be politically relevant after her husband's assassination.

Some of Snam Progetti's contracts generated great controversy and ruined several political and bureaucratic careers. We need to know if Mr Quattrocchi used his eminence to secure contracts for other Western companies. This is pertinent because Bofors has revealed that this employee of an Italian Government agency, basically engaged in construction work, became one of the biggest recipients of kickbacks in a defence purchase deal.

Strangely, this purely private transaction by Mr Quattrocchi has not raised eyebrows in his native land in the decades since the scandal broke. Senior journalist MJ Akbar has pointed out that after spending some years in Malaysia, Mr Quattrocchi returned to Milan and lived there undisturbed, though Italy is presumably a member of Interpol and would be aware of his wanted status in India. This suggests that both Mr Quattrocchi and Ms Gandhi were crucial to certain Western corporate and perhaps even political interests in India, and this gave him his otherwise inexplicable immunity.<b> It is also likely that the Vatican nodded to Italy to ignore the Red Corner notice. None of this bodes well for India's status as a sovereign republic, and a commission of inquiry is clearly the need of the hour</b>.

According to Mr BM Oza, Indian envoy to Sweden between 1984 and 1988 when the Bofors controversy erupted, the tender for buying the Howitzer guns was opened and evaluated barely a week before Mrs Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984. At that time, the French Sofma gun was judged best in terms of price and some extra incentives; yet, Bofors was unethically allowed to alter its bid without re-tendering the contract. Subsequently, the murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme came to be widely linked with his knowledge of the Bofors truth; hence it may be pertinent to ask if India should re-examine the larger circumstances in which Mrs Gandhi came to be assassinated by men who had once been removed from her inner security cordon.

This brings us to the abiding reality of Ms Gandhi's foreign origins, her enduring allegiance to her Western friends (or masters), and her misuse of her mother-in-law's and husband's office to bestow unwarranted favours upon Western corporate entities. Her current abuse of her status as Congress president to ensure Government silence over the arrest of Mr Quattrocchi merely continues a habit spanning over two decades.<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'> With most security experts and political analysts of the view that India will fail to procure Mr Quattrocchi's extradition, there can be no doubt that Ms Gandhi represents a serious threat to India's sovereignty and national security. In the fitness of things, her citizenship should be re-examined, and the issue of whether naturalised citizens should be allowed to contest parliamentary elections and offer themselves as candidates for high office, debated afresh.</span>

Both Ms Gandhi and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi, who have maintained a deafening silence since the controversy broke out, should inform Parliament if they are the ultimate beneficiaries of the Bofors kickbacks. If not, why was the entire Government machinery compromised to give the contract to this company? Why was Bofors asked to dismiss representative Win Chadha and appoint instead AE Services, a Britain-based company fronting for Mr Quattrocchi? Finally, and most pertinently, since Mr Quattrocchi had no expertise in the armament business, whose idea was it to make him the 'unofficially Government-sponsored middleman' in the deal? Whose hand steered this brainwave to its ultimate fruition?

<b>Whose hand guided Additional Solicitor General B Dutta when he met the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) officials in London on December 22, 2005, and conveyed Government permission to defreeze Mr Quattrocchi's accounts, and let him run away with Rs 21 crores? What was Mr Quattrocchi's son, Missimio, doing in Delhi when his father was in detention in Argentina? He claims to have been a part (albeit invisible) of the Italian Prime Minister's delegation, and to be a frequent visitor to India for legitimate business interests which have nothing to do with his father. An enterprising journalist has revealed that his firm's website lists his father as a business adviser!

In these circumstances, it may be appropriate to ask Congress heir apparent, Mr Rahul Gandhi, some pertinent questions. To begin with, his true educational qualifications remain an enigma; he has not responded to questions about his Italian citizenship under old Roman law, nor revealed if he has an Italian passport.

But most worrying is his relationship with a girl from a dubious Latin American family. Three years ago, the lady had a vacation with the entire Gandhi-Vadra family, a highly unconventional action. Since then, she has been spotted often enough for questions to be raised about the MP's marital status. Does the lady serve any corporate interests and nurture political ambitions? What was her role in Mr Gandhi's shameful detention at a US airport some years ago? These questions must be answered.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Posted online: Thursday, March 08, 2007 at 0000 hrs

<b>Sonia’s call for Congress internal reform</b>, seen logically, puts most focus on her Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has shared with Congress Parliamentary Party leaders her assessment that there may be more than just price rise to the party’s recent setbacks in Punjab and Uttarakhand. She has urged them to look wider and deeper. They would do well to follow her lead and fix their gaze on the state of the Congress organisation. But the problem will remain, nevertheless. Given the internal structure of the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi’s challenge is not so much to spread the message of organisational primacy. <b>It is, rather, to take full ownership of that message herself, and to make sure that a revival, like all things in the Congress, begins from the top</b>. In a sense, should Sonia Gandhi take her own words seriously, it would cast her in the unique role of presiding over a dispersion of power away from her and her family. For the Congress, the question is no longer — if it ever was — Dynasty versus Democracy. It is, rather, how much the

There are at least two reasons why this is a task most urgent for the party. One, electoral straws in the wind indicate that in many states the voter is looking expectantly at the two biggest national parties and the space that has been sporadically occupied by the Third Force in the last few decades is receding. The contest in many states has already assumed a bipolarity — it is BJP versus Congress, or between two coalitions led by the BJP and the Congress. But the Congress is still far too top-heavy and still not fleet-footed enough to keep pace with the shift in political dynamics, much less profit from it. It needs a more consultative decision-making process, and new ideas. It needs a participatory internal debate on how to deal with a polity that has transformed radically from the time when it was the centrepiece of a one-party dominance system.

The other reason why Sonia Gandhi should initiate organisational restructuring is because she said she would. After the verdict in the 2004 polls, when she refused to be prime minister, the general impression was that she would now concentrate on an overhaul of the party. With a crucial election looming in Uttar Pradesh, what could be a better time to redeem that promise?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>IGNCA chief resigns on health grounds </b>
Santanu Banerjee | New Delhi
Sonia asked Vatsayan to quit after fiscal bungling
<b>Amidst allegation of massive financial irregularities and faced with an adverse CAG report, president of the Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts (IGNCA) Kapila Vatsayan has put in her papers.</b>

Sources said that while Vatsayan has officially resigned on health grounds, but the directive to do so came from the Congress high command.

Vatsayan's resignation came ahead of the disposal of a PIL in the Delhi High Court alleging serious financial irregularities in the IGNCA.

<b>The adverse CAG report during her earlier tenure as academic director of the trust during 1995-1999, is also under the high court's scrutiny in another PIL filed last month.</b>

Sources confirmed that recently the <b>Congress leadership, which does not want any new scandal ahead of the Uttar Pradesh election and when the UPA is under pressure from allies for various political reasons, asked her to step down.</b>

Vatsayan is known for her proximity with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and sources said she could not have been forced to step down without the explicit directive from 10 Janpath.

Interestingly, Vatsayan's resignation came in the wake of a Delhi High Court order upholding her reinduction as trust member on February 2, 2005. The PIL had questioned her reinduction alleging that top Congress leadership exercised political influence to bend rules and regulations of the trust for the purpose.

Subsequently,<b> she was made the chairperson of the Executive Committee of the IGNCA in July and took over as president in October the same year.  </b>
<b>A Gandhi would have never let Babri fall, says Rahul</b>
6<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"<b>Babri Masjid (destruction) would not have happened had any Gandhi family member been there," Rahul Gandhi told reporters while sharing his home-made lunch at a roadside 'dhaba' between Khatauli and Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Rahul conveniently forgets that it was his father Rajiv Gandhi who opened the locks to at the site which was closed for over 50+ years. It was his father who got Shilayas performed at the site and he even sent his home minister as his representative to scantify the occasion.
All these to garner some Hindu votes to wash their sins on Shah Bano issue.

<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> Congress ke paas apna kuch nahin hai, they say, as they all line up to watch Rahulji
<b>MANINI CHATTERJEE</b> Posted online: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 0000 hrs Print Email
MUZAFFARNAGAR, KHURJA, APRIL 9: Purely in terms of a visual experience, the spectacle is guaranteed to warm even the most despairing Congress heart. Men of all ages rush madly to catch a glimpse, women jostle with one another from the balconies of every house that lines the street, and rural boys and urban girls eagerly reach out for a handshake they will talk about for the rest of their lives.

Yes, Rahul Gandhi — interspersing his chopper rides with road shows in kasbas and interior villages of western Uttar Pradesh over the last two days — definitely has star appeal. And if body language is anything to go by, he has certainly come a long way since his first hesitant foray into public life exactly three years ago during the Lok Sabha elections in UP.

Sitting comfortably atop the carrier of his SUV (Captain Satish Sharma always at the wheel), Rahul reaches out to grasp a hand thrust his way, throw back garlands at the children running alongside, and smile and wave incessantly at the thronging crowds. Mesmerised by the sight of their leader being feted as though he were a 16th century Mughal prince or a 21st century film star (or both), Congress workers now believe that the party could win around 60 to 70 seats — and all thanks to “Rahulji”.

But if you stand a little away from the throng, or arrive earlier than Rahul and leave after his chopper has taken off, you soon discover that the reality is not quite as rosy. Sure, Rahul’s drawing enthusiastic crowds. But except where the Congress has a strong local contender, his meetings — like a summer shower — leave no lasting impact and are unlikely to change the fortunes of the Congress this time around. And there is no dearth of voices to explain just why.

At Meenakshi Chowk in Muzaffarnagar, a large group of Congress workers, waiting patiently in the sweltering sun for Rahul to arrive, start out insisting that the Congress candidate and former MP Saeeduzaman will win this time. But as the sun gets hotter and the wait begins to get tedious, some of them confess that it’s a tough call. Mohammad Taslim, a bystander, makes it clear that the crowds to greet Rahul should not be mistaken for voters. “He is a famous young man from a famous family. But the fight here is between the SP and the BJP,” he says, adding, “Tell me, why should Muslims vote for the Congress when it does not have any base vote of its own?”

It makes much more sense to vote for SP candidate Chittaranjan Swarup who will get his own caste’s vote plus the Muslim vote.

Zaheer Alam, the soft-spoken and erudite qazi of Muzaffarnagar, is a veteran Congressman of the old school. But he too admits that although the Congress candidate commands much respect of the community, most Muslims do not want to “waste” their vote.

In neighbouring Baghra, the Congress has a relatively strong Jat candidate, Pankaj Malik, and in the adjoining Khatauli seat, the Congress is backing Mahendra Singh Tikait’s son Rakesh Tikait. As Rahul’s chopper lands in Baghra on Sunday evening (from where he embarks on a road show to Tikait’s native village Sisouli), we catch up with an old wizened man who is running towards the helipad.

Does he know which leader is arriving, we ask. No, he replies hesitantly, but he knows it is a Congress leader. And who does he plan to vote for? Without thinking for a nanosecond, he replies: “Mayawati.”

It’s an answer that would not surprise old Congressmen in the region. Devendra Singh Thakur, once a prominent local leader in the Muzaffarnanagar district, says the best thing the Congress did was not ally with Ajit Singh. “But Rahul made a big mistake by joining hands with Tikait because the Jats are still the biggest oppressors in this region. Congress has already lost Dalits. It should now focus on the most backward castes. In western UP, Congress can revive only on the basis of anti-Jat politics,” he insists.

That may be tied to local politics, but the one recurring complaint — whether in the Muzaffarnagar sugarcane belt yesterday or in the towns of Dadri and Khurja where he received a splendid reception today — is that “Congress ke paas apna kuch nahin hai.” (Congress does not have anything of its own.)

Unlike the reigning wisdom in political circles in Delhi which attributes the Congress decline to organisational decay, the more earthy voices we hear blame it on the Congress’s outdated “umbrella” politics. Congress is still caught in the old mould of patronage politics, offering all things to all people, and has been unable to understand — leave alone contend — the post-Mandal politics of empowerment that has taken its place.

That is why Rahul Gandhi’s standard speech — extolling the virtues of the old Uttar Pradesh and bemoaning the “politics of divisions” over the last 15 years — is cutting little ice. “For many people, particularly the Jatavs, things are much better today than they were 15 years ago. Then they could not even meet us in the eye, now we dare not speak against them,” points out Tarseram Gujjar, a businessman in Sikandrabad.

At the end of two days, one thing becomes clear. There is no hostility to the Congress anymore and there is a certain goodwill for “Indira Gandhi’s grandson” in many pockets of UP.

But neither nostalgia nor charisma are quite enough to change the Congress’s fortunes in a polarised polity.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Govt gets notice on Sonia's foreign origin </b>
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
SC admits petition on public office issue
The foreign origin issue, which haunted Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has been reopened. This time not by way of political opposition, but by the Supreme Court's acceptance of a plea, to decide whether a naturalised or a registered citizen could be appointed to a public office. 

The petitioner, Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, had filed an SLP in the Supreme Court to challenge the Delhi High Court's dismissal of its plea, questioning the citizenship status of Sonia Gandhi and whether she could hold a constitutional post.

<b>A Bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice RV Raveendran issued notices to the Centre, but refused to include the plea seeking de-recognition of the Congress for having a registered "citizen" in Sonia Gandhi heading it.</b>

The apex court said, <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>"We will issue notice confined to the issue whether any person who is not a citizen within the right of Article 5 (of the Constitution) could be elected to public office." </span>

<b>It is for the first time such an issue has come under challenge. Article 5 of the Constitution, dealing with citizenship, provides for citizenship by birth or domicile in the territory of India prior to the adoption of the Constitution. At the same time, the Citizenship Act, which came into force in 1955, creates four classes of citizens - by birth, by registration, by naturalisation and those of Indian origin who had adopted foreign citizenship. Even under these classes, only those citizens by birth and falling under the constitutionally defined meanings are eligible to participate in the political affairs of the State.</b>

Arguing for the petitioner, senior advocate PN Lekhi held fault with the High Court's observation that the Sanskrit proverb, Vasudaiva Kutumbakam, was found in Panchatantra tales. "<b>Heritage is not a piece taken out of a fairytale or read in the ethos of any political or social organisation or religious group of people"</b> Lekhi said. Going by the same standards, he added, <b>"by this policy we can say Come East, Come West and call people from all sides of the world to rule the country."</b>

But as arguments proceeded, the Bench raised an objection midway. "You have accepted to address arguments confined to the legal issue and not on the person." The Bench made the statement with reference to Sonia Gandhi, wishing to know whether the petition has singled her out or dealt with the broad legal issue.

Citing the Bench's discomfort, Lekhi said, "Whenever the name (of Sonia Gandhi) is mentioned a cocoon gets built around it." Stating that his intention was never to include Sonia Gandhi as a party, he said, "While arguing in the High Court the opposite side had demanded that Sonia Gandhi should be made a party." Giving reasons for initially dropping her name, Lekhi reiterated, "The moment her name is included the cocoon gets built around it."

Making a strong case in favour of the case,<b> Lekhi pointed out that nowhere in the world does any country allow a registered or naturalised citizen to assume a constitutional post. He said in the 202 member-states of the United Nations, there is no practice which provides for a person of foreign origin to assume the top office in the country</b>. Under these circumstances, he questioned<b> "what gives India to make an exception?"</b>

The Bench accepted that the Constitution does not deal with the case at hand and hence requires consideration. It is in this regard, the petitioner stressed, that in several countries convention is followed on issues which the Constitution fails to address.

The court refused to entertain the request by the petitioner to deal with the issue of de-recognising the Congress as Lekhi argued that no political party was entitled to recognition as a political party under the Representation of People Act if its head was a registered or naturalised citizen.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>RIFT AT THE TOP </b>


Speculation about differences between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mrs Sonia Gandhi has often surfaced in the past.

Opposition by the Left Front to the policies of Dr Singh, Mr P Chidambaram and Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia has generally been cited as the cause of tension. The Left did entertain serious reservations about policies of this trio. But Mrs Gandhi successfully smoothed ruffled feathers of the Left without seriously compromising the government.

Now however, an emotive issue has arisen to divide the UPA government at the very top. The issue is Ottavio Quattrocchi.

Readers might recall what this scribe wrote immediately after news of Quattrocchi's arrest broke on the night of February 23rd. On February 25th I wrote:<b> "There seemed to be a tug-of-war within the government over how to handle the issue." It turned out that the news of the arrest was leaked only on the day that Quattrocchi was released on bail – on February 23rd. </b>

Subsequent disclosures suggest that the differences have assumed the dimensions of a rift between the PMO and 10 Janpath.

This rift surfaced after an incident involving one MV Rao. On February 21st, two days before the news broke of Quattrocchi's arrest , and before he was released on bail, newspapers reported that a fraudulent person posing as an "adviser" to the Prime Minister was contacting people.

The Prime Minister's Press Adviser, Mr Sanjaya Baru, told the media: "It has come to the attention of the PMO that one Dr M.V. Rao has circulated visiting cards and greeting cards describing himself as adviser to the Prime Minister. . . . There is no such adviser to the Prime Minister." The PMO asked the agencies concerned to identify the imposter and take necessary action.

However, on February 27th Mr Baru told The Indian Express that "no complaint had been filed in this regard with the Delhi Police". But the police did arrest MV Rao from his Green Park house in South Delhi on February 23rd. According to the Express report, "the Delhi Police was directed only to register a case of impersonation at Parliament Street Police Station".

In subsequent raids at Rao's house and office the police recovered Rs 1 .92 crore, which was handed over to the I-T Department.

However, on the very next day, February 28th, PTI reported that MV Rao had been arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by the PMO. The PTI report therefore set the record straight. Despite Mr Baru's disclaimer of February 27th, the PMO had in fact filed a complaint against Rao. So what happened between February 21st and February 27th to persuade the PMO to downplay the MV Rao episode? It is reasonable to infer that some pressure had been exerted. Who could exert pressure to override even the PMO? Only one guess is required.

<b>MV Rao, 75 years old, has been described as an educated man who speaks fluent English. He is not exactly small fry. He is linked to the Dynasty. He was active in the 1980s as an arms dealer during the HDW submarine deal. That notorious deal , still under investigation, was made when Mr SS Siddhu, personally close to the late Rajiv Gandhi, worked in the Defence Ministry. The police investigation named Mr Siddhu in court as a witness required for further questioning to wind up the case.</b>

While the investigation was still under way , the UPA government appointed Mr Siddhu as Governor of Manipur, a post which he holds to this day. <span style='color:red'>Governors are not questioned by the police.</span>

What the police forgot to tell the media was that during the raid on MV Rao's premises, apart from Rs 1 .92 crore, the police also seized a migration slip and other papers. The migration slip was in the name of Massimo Quattrocchi, son of Ottavio Quattrocchi.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>The police inferred that Rao went to receive Massimo at the airport when he visited India during the days before his father was released in Argentina . Among the papers seized by the police there was also a letter written in Italian. Without a copy of the letter in hand it could be presumptuous to report on its broad contents</span>.

<b>It may be noted however that the coincidence of the government releasing news about Quattrocchi's arrest on the very day he was released on bail in Argentina seems unusual</b>. The government was informed of Quattrocchi's arrest on February 7th. It delayed disclosure till February 23 rd. Any attempt to prevent his bail therefore was ruled out.

Last heard Rao was in Ashlok Hospital in South Delhi. Is he still there? Is he under detention or a free man? What is the status of the PMO complaint against him? If detained, under what charge is he held? If free, did the PMO level a false charge against him? If India had a genuine opposition, answers to these could be demanded.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Siwan court sentences Shahabuddin for life
Here's a first: Laloo is tongue tied!!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->RJD Chief Lalu Yadav, however, refused to comment on the issue.

''I will not comment on this. Every accused has the right to go to a higher court. I will not comment on this,'' he said.
<!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo--> PIL seeks ban on Sivaji

Pioneer News Service | Chennai

...for showing PM, Sonia in 'poor light'

A man claiming to be aggrieved by the alleged defamatory portrayal of Congress leaders in some shots of the Tamil blockbuster Sivaji - The Boss on Monday filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking a ban on the big budget movie, which has been running to packed houses in hundreds of theatres in several countries for the past few weeks.

In addition to the ban, the petitioner, M Sathyamoorthy, has sought Rs 50 crore as damages from superstar Rajnikanth, the film's hero, and its producer and director, for portraying the villain as someone close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The petitioner, an AICC member, said the protagonist was shown as a man intending to establish charitable educational institutions and in a particular scene was shown seeking guidance of the owner of a private university. The latter, the villain in the tale, has a photograph of himself alongside Gandhi and Singh on his table. This photograph is shown four times in the film.
As the villain is portrayed as an evil man exploiting thousands of students by collecting huge capitation fees and a huge tax evader, the film sought to give an impression that he was a Congressman, the petitioner said and claimed it would give a poor impression of his party and its leaders to the public.
He sought a ban on the film and payment of compensation of Rs 50 crores to the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee.
Sathyamoorthy also claimed that Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu, who was invited to a special screening of Sivaji, had asked his partymen to see the film. He alleged that Naidu could have inspired such an anti-Congress scene.
The petition is yet to be numbered in the registry, but may make it to the admission list before the High Court on Tuesday.
Apart from Rajnikanth, director Sankar and producer AVM Saravanan, officials of the Film Certification Board the State information secretary were cited as respondents.

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