Wheeling dealings over Walmart
Is the FDI logjam over ? The government and the Opposition is likely to reach a face saver deal to end the impasse over issue of FDI in multi brand retail. The debate on the contentious issue is being slated for next week but with voting only in the Lok Sabha, where the UPA has a clear majority and not in Rajya Sabha where it might have to lobby hats for numbers. The government move after the BJP leaders demanded that the FDI debate would have to be voted to get the sense of the House. It may be recalled here that the government has made it amply clear that even if the sense of House goes against the controversial decision, it would not have any impact on the move to thrust upon the executive order on the FDI on the nation and it’s people.
UPA privileged class
In what could be described as a volte face and a brazen attempt to wool the allies, the Civil Aviation Ministry has permitted the vehicle carrying BSP chief Mayawati to drive right upto the tarmac to aircraft at civilian airports and enclaves in the country. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has already issued orders for this after the Union Home Ministry gave the go-ahead for this on grounds of security. When she was the UP Chief Minister, Ms. Mayawati had requested that her bullet-proof car be allowed up to the tarmac at civilian airports on security grounds but the same civil aviation ministry had rejected the request in February this year just months before the UP state polls. Subsequently, the BSP lost power in Uttar Pradesh this year but the Congress-led UPA Government has grown increasingly reliant on the support of the BSP to stay in power at the Centre. It was being argued that the permission was granted for security reasons. Some aviation security experts have consistently opposed granting exemptions in aviation procedures to high-profile politicians and godmen.
PMO's clean chit to Sonia’s son-in-law
This time eyebrows were not raised. The nation perhaps smiled when the PMO gave a clean chit to Congress president, Sonia Gandhi’s son in law , Robert Vadra in an alleged land scam involving realty major DLF. The government told the Allahabad High court that allegations against Vadra appear to be false, vexatious and based on hearsay. The PMO’s response reads: “the petition is driven by desire for publicity and seems to be actuated by political considerations rather than public interest. It was unnecessarily dragged into the case through this petition….” This was expected. Vadra being married into the ruling class of this country is apparently being provided all possible support by the system. The government of the day, which has repeatedly displayed its scant respect for the nation or its people has made it clear that no matter what happens the Gandhi clan and those associated to it by marriage or otherwise will be given the backing to steer clear of any trouble.
A rebellion from “grassroots”
It’s revolt within the Trinamool Congress. Trouble has begun in the very land that brought the party and it’s supremo, Mamata Banerjee to power in West Bengal. People who lost land at Singur shouted slogans against newly appointed agriculture minister, Becharam Manna and demanded that the state government give them back the price of the acquired land that is locked in a legal battle. The majority of the protectors were once die hard supporters of Mamata Banerjee. Since assuming power, Bengal’s “Didi” seem to be moving from on trouble to another. And looking at the opportunity, talks are reportedly on between Congress and the Left to join hands against Trinamool during the forthcoming general elections.
A political vendetta
What’s happening in the media? The editors of a tv channel have been arrested for alleged extortion. Forensic audit has been ordered against the English daily Hyderabad, which is apparently reeling under a debt of nearly Rs 5000 crore. Some time back a famous anchor of an English tv channel was accused of trying to help controversial PR heavyweight, Neera Radia whose name surfaced in the 2G scam. Several journalists were also linked to Radia. There is already an ongoing debate on paid news. There is a problem in the fourth estate. Gone are the days, when newspapers were called mirrors of a society, which reflected its ills. But today it’s just another business, run by media barons who are here to cut deals and make money.