The Raj Bhavan has sought detailed biodata of all the MLC candidates including their crime record, their conviction or punishment. Secondly, they have been asked to give detail bank loan of the candidates and whether they are defaulter or not. Thirdly, and the important query sought by the Governor is in which field these candidates have excelled or made their contributions.
Large number of people, especially from the intelligentsia, held the Raj Bhavan in high esteem as the UP Governor Shri Ram Naik hauled up the State Government over the nomination of MLCs in the specialised category of those who excel in Literature, Arts, Science, Sports, Social Service and Cooperative Movement. This is the first ever case when the Raj Bhavan wanted to check the credentials of those recommended by the State Government for the Upper House. Otherwise the list would get stamped by Raj Bhavan the very next day and would be sent back after approval.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visited Governor Shri Ram Naik the other day and handed over the same list of nine names whom the State Government has recommended for appointment as MLCs, along with details sought by the Governor. The list of candidates to be nominated on the nine seats that fell vacant on May 25 was earlier sent to Governor with brief details about each candidate. However, as these nominations are to be made from the fields of literature, science, art and social service etc, the Governor wrote back to Akhilesh on May 22 to give exhaustive details about each candidate.
While changes were expected in the list after Shri Naik sought details of each candidate, the government handed over the same list to the Governor. Since Akhilesh Yadav was on a visit to France, he had sought an appointment with the Governor for June 2. In the 25-minute-long meeting, he handed over the list along with details and also informed Naik about the outcomes of his France visit. “The Chief Minister has given me the list of nine candidates with all the details that I had sought. No name has been changed. I will now examine it and take appropriate decision,” said Shri Naik.
As per the procedure, the Governor nominates selected members to the legislative assembly on the recommendations of the State Government. The proposed names included Lucknow-based builder Sanjay Seth, Jitendra Yadav, father-in-law of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter, and party leaders SRS Yadav, Ram Vriksha Yadav, Lilawati Kushwaha, Kamlesh Pathak, Rajpal Kashyap, Arshad Mehmood and Ranvijay Singh.
Earlier, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav also rushed to Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor. However, Shri Yadav after his 45-minute-long one-to-one talks with the Governor claimed that it was just a courtesy call as he has old relationship with Shri Naik and he was his old friend. The SP president also denied that they had any discussion over the MLCs nomination row. Raj Bhaban sources too claimed that it was a courtesy visit of Shri Yadav.
According to sources, Raj Bhavan has sought detailed biodata of all the candidates including their crime record, their conviction or punishment. Secondly, they have been asked to give detail bank loan of the candidates and whether they are defaulter or not. Thirdly, and the important query sought by the Governor is in which field these candidates have excelled or made their contributions. These nominations are meant for the citizens who excelled or made contribution in different fields including art, culture, music or social work etc. The UP Government had sent recommendations to the Governor to nominate nine members on May 20, just a day before the CM left for his foreign tour and the Governor sought the clarification on May 23.
Sources said that couple of social workers and other organisations have opposed the recommendation of the government alleging that how a builder and other SP leaders could be nominated on the seats meant for intellectuals for their achievements in different fields.
It may be mentioned that under this category in Rajya Sabha there well-known figures, who excelled in different fields. They include Javed Akhtar, HK Dua, Dr Ashok Ganguli, Smt Jay Shree, Prof. Mrinal Miri, Dr Bhalchandra Mungekar, K Parashuram, Rekha, Sachin Tendulkar, KTS Tulsi, Anu Agha, etc.
Dr Shakti Kumar Pandey from Lucknow
Is the game over for him?
Despite facing Assam Congress dissidence, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi still claims that his party will win the 2016 Assembly polls and form the government at Dispur, again.
High spirited veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi does not seem to be tired of politics. Having achieved three electoral victories for the party, the chief minister of Assam has recently completed uninterrupted 14 years in power at Dispur. While expressing his gratitude to the people of Assam for his long power innings, the octogenarian Congress leader declared that he would not retire from active politics very soon.
In the last few weeks, Gogoi government shared many positive developments in the state revealing all round economic development in the state to social empowerment of women to confidence building exercise of youths in Assam.
“Our motto has been all along serving the poor and downtrodden segments of the society. Added thrust has been given to augmenting production and in raising the income of all sections of society,” said a recent statement issued by the office of Assam CM.
Though Gogoi propagated that Assam was marching ahead under the Congress government, he did not forget to remind the people that now he was dealing with a ‘different regime’ in New Delhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He claimed that his government was not getting necessary supports from the Bhartiya Janata Party led NDA government at the Centre.
“The North East has been blatantly ignored,” Gogoi said. He also maintained critical views towards Modi on the withdrawal of special category status accorded to Assam and other northeastern States. Tarun Gogoi said, “Where is the ‘Achche Din’ for Assam? Due to withdrawal of special category status and cut in central funding for different welfare schemes/projects in the State, people engaged with these projects will not get their salaries, if the situation remains the same.”
Gogoi not only approached the Union government asking for project approval and adequate funds time and again, he also hit the streets on May 12 along with Assam Pradesh Congress Committee leaders and workers in the city to register protest against the present NDA regime in New Delhi with the allegation of cutting funds to his government by the Centre. Unfortunately he had no answer as to why the Assam government failed to submit the utilization certificates as asked by the Centre.
The CM of Assam has poured down allegations against NDA regime, but the economic experts pointed out that Gogoi ruled Assam with various economic loopholes as most of his schemes were supported by the Central grants; And that he was able to wade through all these loopholes in the past as the Congress-led UPA regime was in power for a decade in New Delhi.
Another problem had emerged for Gogoi from another senior Congress leader Pranab Kumar Gogoi, who also happens to be the Speaker of Assam Legislative Assembly. Pranab Gogoi initiated for a report after discussing with over 50 civil society groups to advocate that Assam can go for preparing the National Register of Citizens (NRC with the basis of 1951 national census report.
Speaker Gogoi’s intention was to define the beneficiaries (read Assamese) for constitutional safeguards as mentioned in historic Assam Accord. The issue of defining an Assamese came to public space in a bigger way, when the Assam Legislative Assembly debated over the matter as an approach to implement various clauses of the accord, signed in 1985.
Various Congress leaders including CM Gogoi opposed the concept of Speaker Pranab Gogoi and claimed that the 1951 census report of Assam was incomplete. But Pranab on the other hand received tremendous support from all the ethnic and mainstream Assamese organizations for his initiative.
The difference of opinions between two Congress veterans arrived to a point that CM Gogoi and Assam Congress chief Anjan Dutta expressed displeasure over Speaker Gogoi for his initiative. They also indirectly threatened Speaker Gogoi to be unseated. But by then, the CM started receiving brickbats from the people of Assam for his narrow vote bank politics safeguarding the ‘illegal migrants from Bangladesh in Assam’. Meanwhile, various Congress legislators also publicly announced that they would oppose any move to replace Speaker Gogoi. Even after all these developments, where CM Gogoi’s government is performing poorly and is facing bickering from party workers, Gogoi still claims that his party will win the 2016 Assembly polls and form the government at Dispur, again.
(The Writer is Guwahati based senior journalist)
Will the RJD-JD (U)-Congress Alliance materialise in Bihar?
The ongoing Bihar politics is witnessing many turns and twists. Voters in Bihar voted for Narendra Modi/NDA in general elections and were of the opinion that they would vote for Nitish Kumar on similar pattern/issue as that of the Lok Sabha polls, as they viewed him as the leader of the main party JD(U)who could challenge LaluYadav. But it is said his bonhomie with Yadav has alienated many voters in the state.
Due to political miscalculations in the past Kumar's development agenda is completely erased from voters’ mentality. Janata Dal’s agenda became more unclear post BJP’s exit from his Government. On the other hand, the Congress Party too has lost a big section of its voters/sympathizers after their alliance with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Back in 1993 assembly poll Mulayam Singh Yadav(SP) and Kanshi Ram( BSP)joined hands to halt the BJP from coming to power fearing that if the party bounces back to power, it would push these two players towards failure and halt their political career. Later these two players parted ways and now they are not only sworn political opponents but are political enemies too.
Meanwhile, with the reports of the breakdown of talks between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav, it has becomes abundantly clear that these two leaders were only checkmating each other for their political survival. These two leaders were not ready to go a single step to sacrifice their personal interest.
After BJP’s grand success in 2014 general elections, Nitish Kumar checked his political graph and after breaking ties with the BJP in Lok Sabha polls came to the conclusion that it is Lalu Yadav who should be his first choice to secure his vote bank – it was a well thought strategy for winning Assembly elections due in 2015. Had Nitish not taken such a venture post Lok Sabha polls then his MLAs would have deserted the JD(U) and taken shelter in parties that would assure their political survival like BJP, LJP, RLSP, RJD. But Nitish by engaging his political opponent Lalu kept his MLAs intact with the added advantage of Yadav/Muslim votes in the upcoming Assembly polls.
In order to keep his MLAs assured Nitish also solicited support of the Congress Party. In the coming days, there will be a fierce clash between Lalu and Nitish team for the votes of the anti-NDA camp. Taking advantage these two players/alliances will try their best to garner maximum Muslim vote in their kitty.
But going by recent media reports, in recent weeks, it is being speculated that the proposed alliance between Lalu and Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, is not in good stead. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign led to huge gains for his party in Bihar in last year's national election, Lalu and Nitish found a way to work together. But while the speculations are rife that the alliance is not working, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav has said on June4 that both the parties will fight the Assembly polls in the state together in alliance with Congress to challenge BJP.
With these political churnings, the possibility that JD(U) MLAs may knock the doors of the other parties for 2015 assembly poll through their back channel diplomacy and finally join other parties cannot be rule out. Since Nitish is going with the INC/NCP, LaluYadav it is said may go with Jitanram Manjhi and project him as Kumar's victim to solicit anti-Nitish voters who have high reservation against voting for the BJP.
On the other hand Pappu Yadav can support the BJP/NDA in Kosi region where the NDA is respectively weak compared to other regions. The BJP will try to corner the allies in Kosi region by inducting Pappu Yadav. BJP is also in talks with Jitan Ram Manjhi, whom Kumar installed as his replacement during a nine-month time-out from office, an experiment that ended poorly.
Earlier Nitish had played the political card of resignation and had tried to control the administration by his then puppet Jitanram Manjhi. But when Manjhi refused to succumb to Kumar’s diktats, he played another game to install himself as the CM, after BJP’s poor performance in Delhi Assembly Polls.
Taking view of the present
circumstances in Bihar, one cannot rule out that some of Kumar’s MLAs may in future switch sides for their suitability including the RJD to make bright their prospect of winning the 2015 assembly polls.