The reshuffle has sent a signal. This government, particularly the Congress has scant respect for the people of India. The move by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and the mother-son duo (Sonia-Rahul) to promote Salman Khurshid, despite charges of allegedly making money in the name of disabled had shocked even the hardcore Congress loyalists. “We cannot win elections by being so brazen and indulgent towards corruption,” an old Congress functionary at AICC looked concerned. Not merely Khurshid and his wife’s NGO was accused of embezzling funds, but he also issued threats to the IAC activist, Arvind Kejriwal. “I can also write in blood “was Khurshid’s threat to Kejriwal when the latter planned an agitation at Farrukhabad.” What signals are we sending. If Salman can be promoted why did we drop Maran, initiate probe against A Raja…,” the Congressman wondered.
Why blame the West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee for being dictatorial and intolerant to any criticism? In Chennai, an industrialist was arrested on charges of posting offensive remarks on union Finance Minister, P Chiambaram’s son, Karti on micro blogging site Twitter. The 46-year-old industrialist in a tweet on October 19 said that Karti had “amassed” more wealth than Robert Vadra. He also tweeted that “as a Tamilian” he felt “bad to have sent Chidambaram to national politics.” The industrialist was arrested and granted bail. To Didi’s dislike a few months back a professor was arrested in Kolkata for posting Mamata Banerjee on a social network site. The section used against the Chennai-based businessman is the same that Mamata Banerjee had used against the Professor. It seems this is no country for free speech.
Talking of Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal is in the news again and for all the wrong reasons. Citing unsafe work conditions, cargo handling company- Haldia Bulk Terminal has pulled out of the state. After dislodging the Marxists, Mamata had assured resurgence of Bengal. Corporates and industrialists, who did not want to invest under the left regime started looking at Bengal. The decision came like a big jolt to the investment prospects in the state reminding the ill-fated Singur crisis where the automobile giant Tata Motors had to withdraw their operation at their near-complete Nano plan following Trinamool Congress’ prolonged agitation. Following a sustained agitation by Trinamool leaders and civil society activists led by Mamata Banerjee, Tata Motors had pulled out its Nano project from Singur in 2008. The development has sparked off a high-voltage debate in the political circle with the Congress and CPM leaders jointly criticising the role of the ruling state government.
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati had declared that her party “will not encourage or promote relatives in politics.” This was a month back. The existing scenario shows a completely different picture. The BSP has been finalising candidates for the Lok Sabha elections and majority among the candidates finalised so far, are relatives of prominent BSP leaders. Afzal Siddiqui, son of senior BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui, will be contesting the Fatehpur Lok Sabha seat as the party candidate. Afzal, a new entrant in politics, has already launched his campaign in the constituency and all local leaders have been instructed to ensure his victory.
Mr Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who held 14 portfolios as minister in the Mayawati government, is a member of the UP Legislative Council and his wife, Husna Siddiqui, is also a BSP MLC. Afzal’s entry into politics completes the family picture.
Another BSP family member who will be contesting the Lok Sabha polls is Sanghmitra, daughter of Swami Prasad Maurya, the Leader of Opposition in the UP assembly. Sanghmitra will be the BSP candidate from Mainpuri and will take on Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav on his home turf. Former BSP minister Ramvir Upadhyaya’s brother, Mukul Upadhyaya, will be contesting the Ghaziabad seat opposite senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh. Ramvir Upadhyaya’s wife Seema Upadhyaya is already a BSP MP from Fatehpur Sikri and she will seek re-election on her seat. Former UP minister Jaiveer Singh’s wife Rajkumari Chauhan is the sitting BSP MP from Aligarh and will re-contest her seat. The former minister is also trying to get another seat for his brother. Savita Singh, a BSP MLC, has managed to get a ticket for her husband Dhirendra Pratap Singh for the Lok Sabha polls from Shravasti.