Loot has an Italian nexus
Yet again an Italian connection has raised its ugly head after Bofors. Of course the government of India is claiming to take all corrective corrective measures. Former IAF chief, SP Tyagi, who’s in the eye of the storm over the multicrore chopper deal scam is giving politicians of the UPA government a clean chit and subtly hinting at the possible involvement of the NDA regime. But the question being asked is how come in all major defence scams an Italian connection props up. Nobody is questioning the nationality of the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi. Mrs Gandhi, the most powerful politician leader in the country has often been the target of the opposition. But the question remains why is there an Italian angle to every major defence deal? For the record, India has suspended payments to Italian defence group Finmeccanica SpA for a $750 million helicopter deal and won’t take delivery of more aircraft until the completion of a federal police investigation into bribery allegations. Italian police arrested Finmeccanica’s chief executive Giuseppe Orsi on Tuesday for alleged bribes paid to secure the sale of 12 AgustaWestland executive helicopters to the Indian Air Force, when he was head of the Finmeccanica helicopter unit. Orsi’s lawyer denied the allegations.
Rahul makes party squirm
Trust the Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi to make statements, which even makes his own party men cringe with embarrassment. Return of the Left in the forthcoming assembly elections in Tripura is a forgone conclusion. There’s no trace of Congress in the state. But Mr Gandhi, whose experience in grassroots politics has always been a joke among people and in social media suddenly declared that Congress has ousted Left from the country. Of course the perpetual “ little boy” in Congress is often ignored by the veterans for he belongs to the family which rules Congress.” Congress has no tacit alliance with any Left parties and our main task is to end the rule of Communists in any state in the country,” party vice president Rahul Gandhi said in Agartala. The Congress’s mission is not only to oust the Left Front government in Tripura, but to diminish their activities in the entire country,” Gandhi said, addressing an election campaign meet. “We have succeeded to vote out Left parties in Kerala and West Bengal. We would certainly be successful in the February 14 Tripura polls,” he added.
Merciless on crime
Days after the hanging of Afzal Guru, President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected the mercy pleas of four associates of the infamous forest brigand Veerappan, who were sentenced to death in a landmine blast case. The President has ordered death penalty for seven convicts in the last seven months, way more than any Indian President in the last 15 years. Here’s a look at the other Indian Presidents’ record of ordering death penalties to convicts: Pranab Mukherjee: He rejected the mercy petitions of Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab on 5 November, 2012 and Saibanna Ningappa Natikar on 4 January before clearing Guru’s death penalty on 3 February. Today, he rejected the mercy pleas of four associates of Veerappan. He commuted the death sentence of Atbir, who was found guilty of murdering three relatives on 15 November, 2012 over a property dispute. Patil: She granted clemency to 34 convicts including four rapist-killers during her tenure while rejecting three pleas. These included the politically sensitive case of former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan. She also rejected the mercy petition of Devinder Singh Bhullar, found guilty of killing nine bystanders in a 1993 car bombing intended to kill Maninderjeet Singh Bitta. The third petition she rejected was that of Mahendra Nath Das, accused of murder. The cases of both Bhullar and Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins are pending before the Supreme Court. APJ Abdul Kalam: President Kalam rejected a petition, left 14 pending and granted clemency in one case. He inherited the nine petitions from his predecessor KR Narayanan. He disposed of only two, rejecting the mercy petition of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, accused of raping and murdering a teenager, and commuting the death sentence of Kheraj Ram.
UP CM under fire
Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s repeated criticism of son Akhilesh Yadav’s government has put the opposition in Uttar Pradesh in a belligerent mood. The Akhilesh Yadav government can now expect trouble from an emboldened and aggressive opposition when the budget session of the state legislature begins here on Thursday.“There is no doubt that Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav has made things easier for the opposition. If, as the head of the ruling party, he finds the government faltering on many scores, we have every right to mount a blistering attack on the government for its failures. Akhilesh Yadav’s grace period is over and we will grill him on issues like mismanagement of Kumbh Mela, cane farmers’ woes, poor law and order situation and misdeeds of ministers,” said Mr Hukum Singh, leader of the BJP legislature party. Leader of opposition Swami Prasad Maurya, on the other hand, said that the Samajwadi government lay fully exposed before the people. “Whatever they do is thwarted by their own people and the chief minister looks completely helpless in the prevailing state of affairs. Law and order has touched its nadir and development has ground to a halt. We will definitely demand an explanation on these issues from the government in the budget session,” he said.