Unknown | 6/10/2014 |

"An Epoch-- a milky way after a black hole"

Happy Tweeting, happy facebooking , happy  Linkedining, happy whatsapp, chatting & blb  blb…  now this  new article  in the  recent culture of Webzining.  There  are pretty handful  blogs  in net  nowadays &  all of us are members in some groups . Degree  of involvement may differ.  I am  an ACA  of May 1990 & naturally  associated with Taxguru &  ICAI blots.  But what  is  the concern there is  the paucity  of  articles  on matters  other than  of pure  professional interest . I  am too much entangled  in my day to day  routine  as Accounts Payable head  in  a  large corporate .  But, yes, economics & politics &  briefly socio-eco-politics  of India  & our world.   Several times , I have thought of  sending treatises  to diff journals  &  newspapers, but  a)  not too many  stalwarts  have invited me, & b)   even despite offers  from  smaller  magazines,  I did not get enough time  to  concentrate  on writing on crucial issues.  But  at the end of the  day, all  of us  are little economists , starting from all bloggers , all writers , all  novelists , all artists , all poets &  all  direct bread earners n  homemakers , either in a macro way or in a micro way.   But  Economics  , to  many of us , is not  a funny / interesting subject to play  with , but  a  subject  of econometrics, tooth breaking theories , graphs, curves  &  topics best left either  to Dalal Street  &  ET / BW  type  papers n journals , in hands of  people working day in & day out with  stock markets  / treasury mgt / portfolios , or  , the  other  scholastic  paradigm--  the Political & Economic weekly .   Felt, there should be a common forum for common men to write & discuss on matters affecting our daily lives.

Eg, The Theory of Senonomics .  I admit not to understand the theory in very great details.  But I have a habit of reading & collecting   essays, news pieces etc. My writing shall   enclose such great pieces &   this is not a commercial writing, nor to be commercially published. Why I am citing all these is the fact that  over  a  period of  1 year  or more , I am collecting  some  good  articles  from TOI, Deccan Herald, NYT  & so  many other sources .  In many of them ,  the author’s  name may be absent.  But  my  submissions , supported  by  such essays  shall   set the mood  of  the  readers  &  create  a  fond for  such boring topics.

What makes a nation wealthy?
The true wealth of a society is measured by how it treats the helpless young, the slowing aged, and the disabled - and how society seeds in them a feeling of hope and encouragement. All this while also strengthening the true contributors of the longevity of any civilisation: its contribution to the Arts - music, dance, drama, literature, art, sculpture, and architecture.  

“UPA’s biggest failure is that its leadership doesn’t talk to the people”
Don Quixote: An audio editorial by Tehelka Editor Tarun J Tejpal

I  shall start with an excellent analysis  in Tehelka magazine , which I  produce below---
[Sabita Orang, 54, a tea garden labourer from Lahoal in Assam’s Dibrugarh district, had been an ardent Congress supporter for the past three decades. But this time, she voted for the BJP. “We voted Congress every time, but the lives of the tea tribes (Migrant Adivasis working in Assam’s tea gardens) have remained as dismal as ever,” says Orang. “We are yet to get Scheduled Tribe status and our wages are pathetic. I thought now is the time for change.”
Since the first General Election in 1952, the Congress had lost the Dibrugarh seat only once. That was in 2004 when the BJP state chief Sarbananda Sonowal, who was then with the Asom Gana Parishad, won the prestigious seat in upper Assam. This time, former Union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar of the Congress, a four-time MP from the constituency, faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of a young BJP candidate from the tea tribes, Rameshwar Teli. Teli defeated Ghatowar by a mammoth margin of over 1.85 lakh votes.
In the neighbouring Jorhat constituency, another Congress fortress and the home district of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, BJP candidate and tea tribe leader Kamakhya Prasad Tasa defeated six-time Congress MP and former Union minister Bijoy Krishna Handique by more than 1.15 lakh votes.
The Congress’ once impregnable fortress of upper Assam has fallen to the BJP. The tea tribes, the Bangla-speaking Hindus and the Assamese-speaking population, including even a section of Muslims, voted for the BJP, helping Narendra Modi break the saffron party’s jinx in Assam.
The BJP won seven of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, restricting the Congress to just three seats. It is a big loss for the grand old party, which has been ruling the state since 2001. In the 2009 General Election, the Congress had won seven seats, and the BJP four. And in the Assembly polls held two years later, Gogoi had been voted to power for the third time in a row, winning 76 of the 126 seats. No wonder, all opinion polls had predicted that Gogoi’s party will be able to buck the nationwide anti-Congress mood. But the BJP’s election campaign, with massive rallies by Modi, managed to galvanise support away from the Congress and put paid to Gogoi’s hopes of a decent performance. The only silver lining for the Assam CM was that his son Gaurav made his political debut by winning from Kaliabor, considered a family seat of the Gogois.
One factor that partly explains the Congress’ debacle is that its Muslim vote bank in lower Assam got fragmented even as the BJP consolidated the Hindu votes in the Brahmaputra Valley. A huge section of Muslims were swayed by the minority-dominated All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) led by perfume baron and cleric Maulana Badruddin Ajmal. The AIUDF, which is the main Opposition party in the state with 18 Assembly seats, won three Lok Sabha seats, equalling the tally of the Congress.
Ajmal retained the Dhubri seat, which he had wrested from the Congress in 2009. His younger brother, Sirajuddin, won the minority-dominated Barpeta seat, which had always been with the Congress. And in southern Assam, the AIUDF candidate Radheshyam Biswas snatched the Karimganj seat, reserved for the Scheduled Castes, from the Congress. Biswas had deserted the Congress to join the AIUDF.
“Developmental works in the state had taken a backseat during Gogoi’s third term,” says AIUDF organising secretary Animul Islam. “There was a lot of dissidence against the CM and he did not try to douse it. This must have cost the Congress dear and helped its rivals to strengthen their position. Our party did well because we could capitalise on the organisational loopholes in the Congress-dominated areas. Hundreds of Congress supporters joined us before the polls.”
The AIUDF was floated about 10 years ago and burst into Assam’s political scene during the 2006 Assembly polls. Since its inception, it has been eating into the Congress’ Bengali Muslim vote bank. The Congress has been accused of appeasing the illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh and treating them as a vote bank. But in the past few years, a large section of Bangla-speaking Muslims seems to have shifted allegiance towards Ajmal’s party, perhaps because the perfume baron is also a key leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e- Hind. A hardcore stand on the Bangladeshi migrant issue might have created ripples among the Bangla-speaking Muslims and made them prefer the AIUDF over the Congress.
Another prominent loss for the Congress was the Lakhimpur seat, where former Union minister Ranee Narah was defeated by BJP state president Sonowal.
BJP leaders from the state attribute the party’s success to the Modi wave and anti-incumbency against the ruling Congress. “The Modi wave did not leave Assam untouched,” explains BJP National Executive member Pradyut Bora. “If you analyse the results, the BJP was No. 1 in nearly 70 of the 126 Assembly segments. This shows that there was widespread anti-incumbency in Assam because of the misrule and corruption under the Congress government. But Modi’s rallies in the state were definitely the tipping point.”
But Gogoi had a different take on the Modi effect in Assam. He blamed Modi’s rhetoric targeting illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh for fomenting communal polarization and consolidating the Hindu votes in favor of the BJP.
Whatever be the Assam CM’s rationalization of his party’s defeat, the BJP’s campaign was clearly successful in swaying the sentiments of a majority of the electorate to its advantage. The vote share of the BJP in Assam has gone up from 16.21 percent in the 2009 polls to 36.6 percent this year — an incredible political turnaround, considering that it had hitherto been seen as a party of the Hindi-speaking heartland.
The results have sent the Assam Congress into a tizzy. The party’s vote share went down from 34.89 percent in the previous election to 29 percent this time. Even Gogoi had to admit that his party failed to grasp the pulse of the people and offered to resign, taking moral responsibility for the defeat.
Ever since the 2011 Assembly polls, the ruling party has been witnessing dissidence and the voices against Gogoi have been gathering momentum, led by his one-time loyalist, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Combined with the Modi wave, this became a recipe for disaster for the Congress.
The dissident camp within the Congress has been busy weighing various permutations and combinations since the results came out. At least 50 MLAs, including some prominent ministers, are against Gogoi. “We will ask the high command to remove Gogoi,” reveals a young Congress MLA on the condition of anonymity. “If he calls for a legislative party meeting, we will say we no longer have confidence in him and demand a new CM. The majority is against Gogoi and if the high command does not listen to us, we may consider forming a new party. All of us will resign.”
A major political drama will unfold in Assam in the week ahead, and like always, Gogoi will expect party chief Sonia Gandhi to bail him out. So will Sonia support Gogoi at the risk of more instability in the party, or leave him to fight his own battle? Maybe she still has an ace up her sleeve that can save her party in Assam.

(Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 11 Issue 22, Dated 31 May 2014)

To start  with,  many  on date in India  &  globally  feel that Senonomics has  fallen.  I am perturbed by shallow   views  of many of my  colleagues &  friends.  I  started  my corporate  career  at the  time of   VP Singh’s  caste  chronicles &  LK  Advani’s  Rama  mandir movement.  In St  Xavier’s  the friends  were equally divided among  left & right , also in Scottish Church  CP was a surprise entrant in the arena --  a  party  that  was a bonhomie  of  drunkards &  opium/ LSD lovers  , suddenly started  getting patronage  of   scholars…  so much so that  to us –the left leaning  students, it came as  a  whirlwind of surprise , but   CP  won so many college SU elections  in the aftermath of a sympathy  wave , a sympathy wave that  saw Indiraji   as a  martyr &   engulfed the slogan--  MAAYER RAKTER PRATISHODH, CONGRESSKE SAB VOTE.    In fact, that was a  turnaround for Bengal politics.  Bengalees  accustomed  to live under  Left regime  that took away  land  from   middle classes.  Can such middle classes be called bourgeoisie?    Don’t know. But  to become classless  was a fad for   my friends.  I   took  Sandipandaa  as  my guru,  & gradually  realized  that  electoral politics  has  made the  old guards of Maoism  very helpless Even if  the GS  / President of the  SA union did not  want  to stand up for  students failed owing to lack of studies, they had to gherao the chamber  of Mr Kalyan, the principal, &  throw  paper weights to him, intimidate &  make him sign a paper  issuing  admit cards to  students for HS exam , whom no  sensible person would not want to sit   for  .   Results naturally went pathetic.  During my 7 days’  classes  at Presidency, I   found   the   stark   diff   with St Xavier’s  where I was  studying in the mornings.  I  saw  that  absence of politics calls for a  discipline of sorts .  Anyway,  coming to the times,   the scenario is St Xavier’s  was  not too good  anyway.  Students  used to throw chalks & abuses  to  lecturers,  &  lecturers used to reply back  stopping short of just calling students Bustards ( that  citation  earned  Prof Shantanu , a gold medallist in Eco )  a very harsh   award / reward .  And,  in 80s , when  Bharatiya  Janasangh  was  trying to gain  the airs  of Janta  dal   that  was  the immediate  replica of Congress in  Bengal &  had   Prafulla Sen , Vijay Singh Nahar & other stalwarts , there was  clear  fading of   the  Hindu  attire ,  like the  age old Load-shedding of Kolkata & Bengal , which  became morbid  earlier  than  most  other metros, thanks to  the stoppage  of most of our  Industries sans  power plants.   At  that time,  when I could take revenge of punishment  from Mr Neogi, a  maths lecturer,   owing to my proximity to both SA & DSO, despite not being directly associated either.  At that point of  time , all  debates  used to circle around   dialectic materialism  or  theory of evolution & involution.  Des Capital, Communist Manifesto  , Tolstoy, Anton Chekov, Nicolai Gogol,  Fydor Dostovosky … &   there were so many cheap Bengali versions  of   very great essays of  Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Engels , Cruschev. But we also used to debate on Dr Zivago  & Somerset  Mom , on  Keats , Ulysis &  Sukanta. We  loved Sushash Mukhujye, Shaktida,Sunilda, Nirenda , Sankhadaa equally,  &  we were  fascinated by both  Mao & Mark Twain.   At that  point,  strong left ideologues  were  active ,  &  the  leaders  that  were  out  after  a  long battle  of  mastless  defeat   were divided in too many groups  , &  after SUCI  created  DSO, probably  ultra lefts came out with IPF .  But nowhere  there was BJP  in a big way , nor Hindu Mahasava.  Politics was not discussed too much  , in common rooms of Xavier’s  as was a ritual in Scottish / Presidency  canteens,  but  in debates & tea breaks  what we could gather  was  that  in  most of colleges  ,  other than   the jumping brigade of SFI, who were trying to bounce back , was CP. How?  We  did not  infer  any  violence with  our  mothers & sisters, nor the majority  of  fellow students .  Yaa,  there were  a few of them , but they were  mostly with SA / ABSA/ DSA.  Shila of  high repute in  music , was  with DSA, our batch-mate &   do not know, why  SFI  & SA/DSA  had the worst of rivalries –be it Scottish , or  Presidency / JU.  CP was  either  non-existent, or  surprisingly, when CP  won elections in  most of medical colleges &  to our surprise,  doctor fraternity embraced   CP as a better refuge compared to  ultra left,  SA shook hands with CP, to oust SFI  from colleges. ( SA / DSA were college based, not organised like SFI) . In those  days,  our Marwari friends    still did  not  join CPIM ,  CPIM’s  inroads thru Jyoti Basu’s  appeasement of  Todis  & Thapars  &  Neotias were  slow ;  our friends  , who considered  that  Bengalees won’t get  clerks’  jobs  unless   they   shower that  bounty & mercy on them , were  with CP / Congress,  &  it  took me long  to assess  the atrocities  inflicted  on  our elders   by  a  regime of  mousers ---  the slaughters of 350—400 in deads of  just 2—3 nights by Runu-Manu  combine .  
It may  sound   awkward, but  I pose this question to the podium ---  we  censor the  Gujrat carnage . We  seculars n liberals definitely  censor  the karseva &  the  madness  of Dec 2002.  I was  an ACA by then  &  what I  discovered  during my CA study  days & Lovelock / Pricewater days  in the aftermath of qualifying, is that   so many of my Bengalee  friends  &  my Tamil  friends & a  handful of Kannarh n  Malayalee  friends that were,  have all  bathed  in Hinduism  by then.  BJP was  a  party  not of just Marhwaris  as we  flocks used to think,  living in n  around Barabazar & parts  of Kankurgachhi  n  parts  of Saltlake that   went to them thru backdoors, but   Kolkata was up for  Punjabis,  Marhwaris  , & South Indians  across  big stretches  of  posh areas beyond  Alipur , to New Alipur, to Jodhpur Park, to Lake gardens, to Golf Greens , &   among  the  middle class   Aiyars n Aiyengars  that have been residing with  our relatives  for decades  , at rents  decided  long before  Rent Control Act,   BJP  happened as a reality.  For  students  that started  ranking  in CA Inter & Final and  pasing out in lone  chances  CA, ICWA , ICSI  at a stretch , were not  from Marhwari community alone  , &  the spread  was so devoted  to professions  that   very average  numbers  ( for many of them)  in graduation did not mean anything for  them,  & this was a  class  100%  with BJP.   The Bengalee  ( &  Kolkatan non-Bengalee) friends  who were backbones  of TISCO & TELCO--  in audit, in accts,  in  Indl Engrg , in R&D , in shops as GETs / DETs  were all  with BJP  by then , & for them, Ram Mandir was  a symbol for upsurge  of  Hindus suppressed &  oppressed for centuries , for them  Muslim rule  was  no way with lesser  malice than British  rule.  In Patna,  BJP was a  consolidation of above  Yadavs, a combine for  people other  than MY-dalit – Kurmi ,-- pandeys, Bhumihars , Rajputs, daily warring with each other & socially alienated to the brim were  unified, when it  came to BJP.   Laluji  had a solid brain &  he  had special affection for Babusahabs & a babusahab lady ,  he  gave 3 top party slots   to a Pandeyji, a Bhumihar, a  Rajput  & a  Muslim.  But if the  people I  am talking about, hailing from 1/more  lala  companies of Patna , as  also local C&F  / branch of  MNC & Indian  capital giants,  looked down upon  Yadavs  .  BJP  made inroads  into  Yadav base  by giving a top slot to mama of 1 my close  friends.
I  was not lucky yo be a part  of   Coffee House debates at regular  intervals , but  I was at North Kolkata  Basant Cabin  &  we had   good meeting points  around Park Street  , Loreto—Middleton ,   ICAI –Russel St  & Sri Shikshayatan—Lord Sinha Rd.  In some of the addas  I asked  some  of  friends, both  male n female,  how  they can  patronize  any carnage  ( luckily  Godhra happened a decade later, when  I was far away from Kol addas) &   one  of them , a  Santoshpur  slum resident  , a friend from CIT Bldg Beliaghata & a  friend  from  Sinthee Morh Baranagar / Banhooghly had  one opinion in common,---  they  were sufferers  of Congress massacres  of  1970-74. They had lost  some member  or other in family  during emergency. They  personally do not  support  ultra left,  but they have  been told by their  elders  how   some talents  were  carn aged  at gun-points,  similar to  the 1971 liberation war of  Bangladesh  --the Muktisenas’  slaughters  in the hands of Urdu imperialism.  And, they believe,  whatever the magnitude , Ram mandir  carnage was  even lower  than the castist carnage  broken open by Mr VP Singh.  Could not gather  their opinion, post  Gujarat carnage, but  believe  they are much  more  liberal   than  the   fanatic Hindus  , who  believe inside their hearts  that   a)Muslims  deserved  a    befitting  reply & that  b) if they have to live in India  & do not  leave for Pak, they have to live as 2nd  grade citizens  like Srilankan Tamils .   No, my  said friends  were  not  at  that  altitude , but   when I   studied  extensively & discussed  with several   stalwarts  in social polity  as to the  reason  for depletion of Congress  in Bengal ,  found,   a  mass  remains in   colonies of  60s  &  barracks /  CIT  buildings, slums & shanties, who  have lost   either  1/more  sons, 1/more  daughters,  the bread earner fathers , or the  respect  as  a  lady  that  rulers  protected  for Leftist political opponents till  Bidhan Roy, Ajay Mukherjee , Prafulla Ghosh or  Prafulla Sen .  Despite all  of  movements incl  Food movement  of 1959,  ladies  were protected . Yaa, there were not a handful that used  to go out on jobs , but  there  were  women  on jobs in industry belts &   Kolkata, but  they did not feel unsafe . A lot  many no of people could not ever  pardon Congress  for that.  In Bihar &  UP, the Congress bastions that  did not  infer  direct  upsurge of  such  left  hatred & retaliation by mouser brigade,  it got gradually clear  that many of the riots had   linkages  to the ruling Congress  regime.  And,  the  dharmantar  in the hands of  the OBC  leaders   --  the upsurge of naia thakurs over  landlord thakurs &  gradual  growth of   MCC & PWG  in Bihar  dealt a blow  strong, stronger & strongest to Congress , benefiting  the  socialist  Lohiabadis & JP  badis  in between . 

After  Gujarat carnage happened,  &  Nandita  made an excellent  film  on that ,  I asked  to myself ,  which  event  would  be  regarded  as  worst  by  history  & the world?  Definitely, you’ll say, what a sily question!  How can there  even be a comparison?  I don’t know , how  I can make u feel what  I feel.  Religion, to me & my wife, is  a drug.  Without her  oration  from  Chandi  ,  1  puja committee does not  start Durgotsav . Her  oration of Gita  is equally excellent .  But both of us can count days  we have gone to temples,. And that too, just to enjoy the sculptures & artefact.  If u  see  the no of movies made  by Ray, Sen & Ghatak & some others  to portray the  period &  1084’s mother  by Govinddaa, you can feel the pain  inflicted  by Congress to  destroy  a  lingua  group, & the  crab group had no dearth  of   Manu-Runu -  disciples . Left gave land minikits  to  landless &  they enjoyed  the  pride of land ownership  in late 70s  itself,  but  in cities , they destroyed  the  work culture  &   the good schools  became mediocre, English went off  from syllabus ,  premium colleges relegated  to  common ones, not calibre but proximity to Alimuddin  became the mantra to  stay put  as  a  teacher in a premier instn ; many Bengalees  could  not pardon that.  Mamta  came  as  a whirlwind  in Bengal, as an event,  &  masses  that did not know  of JP  CU episode , soon  took  her as  one so very close to their slum life , &  she did not have  the baggage  that Congress  bore –the wrath & anger .  And, why to talk about  this one issue alone?  There  are several at hand & the issues  vary  among states.   It  was  surprisingly  pro-Congress  in Assam, where  , at the time I  used  to  stay, between 2000 & 2005 ,  we found a drastic change in law & order  as soon as  Congress  took over.  The Sulfas  , so very close to AGP, used to rule  the rout in AGP govt &  massacres  by ULFA  were  very high.  North East  is a territory , where you do not deal with just 1 outfit as in  Chhattisgarh / Odissa( CPI Maoist) , you have to deal with groups  of Hmars, Bodos, Karbis, Dimasas, Nagas, Kukis , Khasis  … &  last but not least ULFA.  ULFA  gives  official money receipts duly printed ,&  then the natural gift people have  in this region is extreme graft , be it I Tax, Sales tax, excise  &  so many others;  here  if a demand notice is issued  to attach  your bank a/c, asst commissioner takes trouble  to visit your office in ghy all the way from Kohima / Imphal / Itanagar, to make hard bargains; here openly cess is collected from each invoice  by Ulfa & others & their  reps regularly visit  your factories & depots ;  here  every 5  minutes  a bus/ truck /  car travels , there is a security check & sometimes ladies  are also searched &  unlike Delhi , where  you pay  1  parchi to police , you  get permit to cross all gates violating law , you have to pay  to cross each barrier; it is an area , where  army  rules supreme ,  as if  like  a younger brother  of  J&K, diff being ltd to  the fact that here army’s  opening of fire is not so rampant  as people do not call  them Indian dogs. Whosoever calls  UP / Bihar lawless & corrupt, may come once to  NE , where many hardly existent  assesses  get  Excise, sales tax , I Tax exemptions  &  there  happen to be cases  of the whole range office getting burnt out;  this is an area, where  so-called  big cos  grounded  locally / their  promoters can even change MD of  Indl Dev Corpn of the state  or Director of Industries , who do not  toe  their  lines  of  siphoning / packing off all subsidies & tax incentives to their families .   It is an area , where political parties  to  assessing officers , with minister bypassing  Commissioner to  team up with Supdtt, earn in millions &  crores ( and I was surprised as I could not imagine such a hefty sum in Bihar  assessments) .  It  is an area that  has seen enough bloodbath &  any new corporate / individual entrant is  greeted  with  salute letter that  claims 30%  of your salary . This  area  has seen the least of development in  hands of  real mainland  industrialists. It had  been used as heavens for Tobacco, gutkha , mosquito repellents  , pan masalla etc, &  any notification denotifying an item from exempted list called a  death nail  for  so many  staff members.   It is an area, where  NEDFI   has  failed  to bring in any real investment  till now , over &  above short sighted  money spinning  units  by locales ;  it  is a  big area, where  population of  influx  daily  goes up as  lingua  majority  directly patronized  by  Ulfa &  other millitia. People who cannot speak out a word of Assameese / Nagameese / Bishnupriya Manipuri,  are  census-ed  at the behest of Ulfa & Congress  alike as  Locals . It is an area, where genuine  people suffer daily , &  the  bloodbath -  theatred  ouster of Bihari  rickshaw pullers  make the holes & grounds for  fresh  influx of masons  & labor  & unskilled  from Bangladesh , so much so that   the whole economy of towns  run on  these infiltrators, who come in full buses at the call of the dawn; earn whole day,  buy clothes , food , jewellery & white goods,  visit  nursing homes & hospitals , and  go back across the border  by the advent of the dusk . Here  you do not know  when a state  ends & another state begins, & in places like Hilli &  3 Bigha, you  find  hutments &  pucca  houses  with kitchen in 1 country & bathroom in another . Goods cross  borders on paper  to attract transport subsidy , only to come back  & sell in mfg state’s market .  It is an area, where your power meter  does not run but  prodn goes on; the  SEB officer  dares not  come to office in fear  of  militia pouncing on   the 30% flesh of pay package.   It is an area, where  OPC of 10MT is just mixed  with red/ yellow clay  6Mt ,to churn  out 16MT of PSC , which goes out with excise invoice only to be rejected  & come back , to be repacked somehow better  &  sent as  10MT again & you claim transport subsidy  on the whole 26mt. It is  an area where  1 co  myosis into 2  cos very easily , when , to your surprise , both the cos enjoy all tax exemptions  , while  the capacity  of the 1st  assessee  , post expansion , goes down to half, as its  prodn is shown  in the 2nd one thru job work / any other  route.
People  have gone fed up . The situation is so bad that  today  all India masons’ conspicuous part  is  fed by Bangladesh , &  in case there is no Malda / Barpeta / Karimganj  labor , so many industries  incl refineries  stop  operations.
Question is , are  these  phenomena typical  of only Congress ruled  states?  Definitely not.  Unlike  his mom, an arrogant  youth leader in Rahul  Gandhi  created  a blackberry team that  had no  ears to grounds, &  in an era where  the best  of Trinamul machinery  loses a precious  Asansol seat to BJP  simply owing to in-fights, Team Rahul gifted so many seats to BJP  simply by  revolting against  official party  line & lineage  of  matured  , time –tested leaders.  Congress lost owing  to the mast less ship  that  an alien mother succumbed helplessly & haplessly to her son—a son, who lived in his own world, having inherited the  power –empire, taking everything for a ride, &  ridiculing  the vacuum unfilled up at all grassroots with just a  team of  mgt  backroom , which  may augur  well  for a  corporate , but certainly not a strategy to win hearts & mandates of people.  Cambridge had to come to the rescue  of  its prized resource Mr Manmohan Singh, who was  relegated  to a joker by this team , openly challenging the wrong doings of  its own govt, on which the PM had no control & no authority; the authority lay with  the duo who were not responsible to deliver. And PC incited the wrath of  so many & so many curses,  having juggled  the balls  of  current a/c deficit , inflation , the white house  demands  &  the  Senonomics- driven socialist  excesses  of  the  lady  in the green room, who was  to be accredited  with all  good deliveries  of the regime.  The  election  advts  that ran over India  did not have any conspicuous  mention  of  Companies Act  amendments, CSR  compulsion thrust upon corporates & other  fine prints  of  path-breaking changes.  And,  the  direct  subsidy  scheme, the RTI , the RTE, the  MNREGA  had all their  voices buried  under tentacles  of   corruptions & political  ill wills .  As  nobody was allowed to  surge as a  leader  to lead from the  front , being deep-rooted  in the  ground politics, people feared   UPA3  as another  merry go round, with  spunk in the  hands  of an invisible , unapproachable  arrogant ‘s hands & Tiatanic  run  by  the chaotic pandemonium warring at the  field  to  lead in same side goal. Congress  must have learnt a very big lesson  from the defeat   in Rajasthan ,  that a  very efficient Ashok Ghelot govt was  relegated to a nullity after  stupendous achievements , only because  of   2 mutually exclusive sets ruling the roost , working in favour  of  the opponent  arena.   The team Blackberry , with  all white collars  not  having the ABCD  training on realpolity ,  managed  the  dynastic seat  of  Malda  in WB , but  the team’s  Bengal face  Mousum Noor  could not  go any farlong beyond  in  extending party  proliferation  in  hinterlands of Bengal.  The  APL & BPL people  that really benefited from UPA  schemes  drawn from the pages of Senonomics were  miffed  by the  most rampant corruption &  a faceless  PM , who either  did not have the  political will / compulsion to go to his electorate &  explain n convey the  achievements , or  he was not allowed  to do so  , as   the  credits  were to flow to Shehjada  heirloom  all the way ,  even at the cost of downgrading own  rate sheet .  They worked  like Kauravas that had all  best brains & resources, may be much better  than  the counterpart,  but  could  not consolidate on  pin pointing the agenda , the targets , the target audience &  the  strategy  of  feed  for  the  audience. Did  team Blackberry  take   people all at  just face value?  A bunch of  claps ticks & mosahebs ? 

After  hard  bargains & dramas  by TMC chief,  which   indecisive  voters  feared  a  repetition, lastly  UPA woke up to professionalise  Rlys, but , again, the Bansal story came forward.  The DMK  style paved the  way for Neerja Radia ‘s  Luytens to loot   at the very opportunity  of making money &  engrossing power.  Jayantee  tax , as Namo  familiarly called in  every odd meeting,  stalled  all  major projects.   For years  together  there  have been  hardly any growth  for cement  &  steel industry. Stalling of  ongoing highway  projects  has created a  major n crucial  dent   on  infrastructure  alias   the  whole  of economy, while India  had all  possibilities of sustaining  a  steady  growth ,  especially  with  bursting of Chineese  debt  securitisation, the  way bubble burst in US &  the  steel sector  of China is  under  the severest crisis,  India  has lost the golden opportunity to cash on   the  impetus to grow.
The  poorest  labour  , who used  to go   to Bihar  from  Garwah of Jharkhand  , or  to Maharshtra from arid areas  of Telengana  are now  getting jobs  at villages.   Then , why did not  they vote ? Probably  because a)  the  MNREGA  started  selling  off to the benefit of   political hierarchy , not  reaching out  the benefits  to  masses,   and  the political vacuum has allowed  state  rulers  in many cases  to snatch the  benefits  from  UPA.  The benefits  of nutrition, sanitation , health ,  income guarantee  whatever  has happened , has submerged  over Inflation  that has dent  an extraordinarily  heavy blow .  Dr  Rajan  was  brought in  to  arrest eco  declines  &  deprivation / obliteration .  But that  was  too  late.  Economy had , by the, bled  enough & shed  enough of  scarce foreign resources.  Dr Rajan  , a  economist   with IMF ,  did his best  to arrest the fall  of Rupee , but  FII & FDI do not come in seeing  a  RBI Governor.  “Retrospective effect ”  malice had  dent a cavity  on the  investors’ confidence.  And, how can that come?  You want to reign by  instilling  fear psychosis among honest officers. You stop all genuine refunds.  You  debar all  CCEs  from passing  genuine  favourable orders for assesses. Every Commissioner / DC / AC / Supdtt  / inspector fears  of risking a CBI enquiry &   prefers not to work /  pass order or  judgement favourable  to an assessee / clear  a file of investment. Why?  Thou thyself  is  corrupt   &  you  cannot protect  your honest bureaucrats.    And, when you cannot do that, how can you  protect your  citizens? 
Rahul Gandhi  had a fad  of  night staying in Dalit  homes  &  joining  the movements against  land acquisition to  Niyamagiri hills .  No doubt,  the rights of   marginals have  to  be protected. No doubt, BPL tribes must get a share  of  the  minerals  that lie beneath the  land  they have been living for thousands of years. But , is it a soln to just stop a project, or  is it  appropriate to   start  all  projects &  spend the whole or major chunk of royalty for  the upheaval  of   the oppressed?  The  lady  who kissed  Rahul got killed ; what  did  Congress do to protect her?  Nothing.  Rahul earned  media bonhomie & limelight  by  night spending  at  Dalit shanties,  but what  did they get in return?  Not  1% attention at their  crucial hours of distress.   This election has been an outburst  of   the  wrath  against  the mis governance & policy  paralysis  in the century crossed party  that was  a guineapig  in the hands of this  novice , apprentice Shehjada.

So many times , all of us  , none of whom can ever deny of having benefited from this regime, have tried  to forget  this regime as  a  malicious  scar on our  skins  , which we  did never want to grow into permanent moles.  But, see, how many times  the genuine demands  of   3 debt-ridden states  were put  before  center?  At no point has that been addressed .  GOI has been so beset  with CBI  & CAG  & shameless politicisation of  sacred insttns  .

But  was  this  all  that explains a  landslide in favor of BJP?
No, certainly not.  First, was  there a Tsunami in favor  of  Namo?  No. There was  not everywhere.  Most artefacts  & artisans  mould their idols  over  a  defined  planning for months. Namo’s  political brains  , with addl engagement  of  IITians & IIMians , created   that metaphor  of an event viz Namo.  Extremely  well.  BJP knew its weaknesses. Its  Karnataka  regime  was  rife with  same  malice as  saddling as UPA  2. Still, it went  with  the Lingayat  sympathy factor &  quashed  anti BJP wave  of KJP  that wrested  seats to Cong in North  K’taka.  So,  this time Cong was  restrained in its  South K’taka belt.  And, Bellary--  the  fortress & pseudonym of  corruption  again went back to  Mr Sriramulu, close aide of Mr Janardan Reddy . Had  BSY  not  been taken back to BJP  fold  on corruption untouchability  meter, BJP  would have drawn a  blot in K’taka.  In  South ,  where  poverty  varies from  15% to  25%--  much above national average of 33-36%,  BJP is still a nil  in Kerala. In TN  success has  gone  Amma way , --riding on  money , development & muscle  cocktails .   Cong has paid the price of  betrayal   to  Telegus who  have always  stood by this  party thru thick n thin.  TDP was  sure to come back, but   had  Rahul’s  mantle  not been there, like BJP  re-kindling  BSY  event,  Cong could  have  taken back  YSR  cong to its fold  &  both Jagan n  Cong would have gained.   Cong was  incompetent to  wrest  seats  in Telengana – the state which owes  its birth  to Cong.  Probably  history  has in store this award n reward only for its  betraying sons n daughters.

Modi’s  failures  may not  seem too obvious , but  in Odissa , ridiculing of a CM  who reads Odissa  thru  English  letters has  not gone down well with the electorate. Till  date  Nitish model was upheld as the  best governance &   development model. Suddenly today all are finding fault. Fact  remains, --  Bihar, Jharkhand & Odissa  are worst states in achieving  MNREGA  targets & spending.  K’taka  is  also a poor  implementer, but being a rich state the requirement is low.  But  maybe, it shall remain a  paradox  in Odissa to explain that  people do not want to go up  from  poverty.  It was rural poverty in Tribal hinterland that brought TMC into  power in that area .  It  is also clear  that state govts  could project  the fundamental  rights to edn, food security,  employment &  health  as their achievements  owing to a vacuum  created  by GOI  in  publishing its successes.  And, whatever BJP may say,  MP, Gujarat,  Rajas than &  Gujarat  have all benefited  from this scheme implementation .  But  how can there be a landslide  favouring  BJD—a  pro-growth hero, who has neglected  such  basic schemes?

  In  Bengal  , the  political  vacuum created  thru  exodus  of left  lumpen  & cadres  to  TMC  has definitely  helped  BJP , but excessive   appeasement  of  minorities  by TMC  &  people’s  displeasure on that could not  turn court  in BJP’s  favour , because  there was  no Amit  Shah  in WB  & there was  an opponent  ,now entrenched into cadre raj  &  a solid  orgn  that  CPIM  took pride in for over 3.5 decades .  Incessant  humiliation  of local   lingua  regime always does not pay.   In  WB  many  growth areas  are seriously lacking, but  TMC is just  3 years  old & they need  to be given a  longer rope. And,  they inherited a  legacy of bankruptcy from Left , which  has   been politically  shown  most  callous &  unresponsive care  by UPA.  Even within that, be it  glorification of  our  Kolkata  to  emulate London dreams  , or   bringing  up tribals  to a level much higher  than  of last  35 years ,  or  politically rich land  saving movements that rest of India won’t understand (since  in AP/ TN/ Ktaka average  land holding is  10 acres  ph, against  our 0.05 –0.1 acre ph) , or  cultural bonhomie , or  academic excellence  search, or  even resurgence  of good road  n  water networks  --  Bengal  may not go the Hindi Hindu Hindustan way  at least  for now.   TMC  is politically  more matured  now  not to be  played  haplessly in hands of opposition n media. Over & above  an initiative  to develop, Mamtadi  shows a  resolve  to take  along  minorities  &  SCs  alike , &  STs  are  far better  placed, so  she does  not have that  Cong tag   of horrors & MISAs  &  blackouts , which could bother  her for now.     Only  worrying factors  are  a)  Bihari migrants, whose  dominance  in transport sector has got curbed , giving way  to  unemployed Bengalee youth’s  entry therein , so they  are  agsint  TMC quite  to a great  extent; b)  Marwaris --  unbridled  lordship  over of Kolkata, Howrah & likes was  a  gift of CPIM  to the community . Gujratis  have always  been with  BJP ,  they  found a substitute in CPIM  for  an intermittent period, now  BJP is their natural heritage. But Marhwaris   have gradually  started   understanding that Buddhadev comeback is impossible,  especially  Singur type &  militant type image of  didi  have  started  throwing up more  members of the community  to  a  better  natural choice  over CPIM  in the  aftermath of  a Modi wave.

Could  Modi  win so greatly, had AAP factor not been there?  Had  Congress  been able to foresee  the Galliath & forge an alliance with AAP, what would have been the result?  Impassionate &  unbiased  look at  all  the BJP ruled  states  would   depict that  performance  of govt has been  average , but   mismgt in Cong  has gifted  many of the seats  to  this  party’s  grand Hindutva  resurgence. 
Even in North  East, where  much  of anger  has sprung from   the  fact that   more & more  of NE  people,--  the Ahoms , the  Nagas, the Mizos, Arunachalis , Khasis &  Manipuris   have started  shedding off the age old  vanity  of not doing  laborious  jobs &  started  venturing into  other states  in very great nos .  Unlike  in  Kerala  that has got   over  90 %  literacy  & enough scopes  for their youth to study  within that state, Mizos  , with equivalent  literacy rates , are  deprived  of  sufficient higher education &  till  date  JU  was  a forte  for them , with a hostel almost allotted to  Mizo girls , but now  they  are very fond of venturing into  Mumbai,  Blore, Hyd &  Delhi & myriads of other towns n cities.  Many of them are in odd jobs as well, &  unlike  in  Ghy, in typical Hindi belt  their  attire, their  Mongoloid composition n complexion  have fallen them soft targets & preys  of  miscreants &  locales  of the  North, without  any cognisable punishment  to  the mainlanders . The  isolation sustains.  They want a  change, an end to all atrocities & alienations, to stand equally as their  Aryan  brothers n sisters.  
But  more than all of above , minority factor has been the greatest crusader for  Cong, who, till date, played with  their emotions.  AIUDF ,   the Agar  money spinners  of  Hojai  &  the  demography  of the  state  divided into   around 40%  each of  Assameese  & Bengalee  Muslims  have  blown   to  Congress    the conch  in Assam that AAP  blew  in Hindi belt.  It is known that success   embraced TMC in Bengal  riding on  Muslims’ rejection of  left.  
And,  in UP & Bihar, had  Modi’s  caste  not  been made an  issue, could  dalit votes  gone to BJP  in this magnitude?  Definitely not.
Project clearances---
Gujarat &  even MP , Rajathan & CG—the  sole 3 BJP ruled  states  do not   portray  the best of shining India  glory .  We  come to  statistical  comparisons  in a later issue, but  Gujarat  is  no 1 only  wrt land approvals & environmental clearances.    That way, Raj & Punjab are no 1 wrt Single window clearances,  Raj  is also joint no 1  wrt environment clearances. AP  is no 1  wrt land approvals & infra nods.  Maha  is no 1 wrt labour laws along with Raj &  wrt infra nods they share berth  with AP.  K’taka & WB share top slot wrt  Info &  comprehensive VAT.   So,  what is  the so glorious  Modi model?   Yaa,  the state was lacking 10 years  back.   But, that  way, since our Didi  stopped   emulating Rahul –like  premature shortcuts  wrt  project  appraisals , WB  has started  looking up  &  there has been  conspicuous growth  in last 3 years .


Per se, it was  interesting for us  to watch UPA adopt  Senonomics in ardent desire to emulate socialism ,where Sonia preferred to play it safe  following her mom-in –law  to reach a welfare state status . Surprise was its packaging  &  branding in  Dr Singh’s  regime , when Dr Singh’s  fondness for  laissez faire was very well –known.  It  was  too interesting in UPA1 regime to see  the  pronouncements  directed  all towards welfare eco-- inclusive growth & capacity building & propelling of growth thru emancipation & development of  BPL masses , & all these  under the umbrella of  the God of eco liberation –Dr Singh. BJP’s  eco policies are directed & dictated till now by the reputed duo proclaimer of  laissez faire --- Mr Arvind Pangharia & Mr Chandrasekhar Bhagawati. They shall start  from the point  Dr Singh left  the reins  of his  dominance over eco discipline  in UPA2 , when  Soniaji misunderstood the success of   UPA1 as  her  own  credit instead  of  that of  Dr  Singh’s policies . So, policy paralysis shall not be there, but  there  has to be conflict.  Their theories run in strict contrast with  Dr Sen, but  can BJP stop  MNREGA  100% ?  Then , what  shall those BPLs  get  to live & feed?  Now , at least 30% of the  exp reach  their hands . Ok, BJP shall give them value added jobs ,  but how?  Is there a blue print?  Shall RTE stop?  Smriti has declared  to raise edn spending by 100% . How shall that be financed?  Shall that not be  a  valueless  inflationary  exp?  Shall  Adhar project’s  abrupt stop create a vacuum & pandemonium ?   
 Probably , BJP shall have  to take  a midway  between growth & development , which Gujarat did not well experimented so far.  We’ll be eager to see spread  of grameen banks  & people’s coops  in power distribution n  rural infra  the Dr  Yusuf way. Rural schools,  hospitals , roads, ---all    shall  need  Keynsian  welfare  spending & how  stagfaltion shall be avoided  taking care of all  such  macro  moons   promised?  (Whatever way they follow, edn spending of  6%  of GDP as pronounced by Smriti Irani  only emboldens the fact that  BJP  does have faith in welfare eco / Senonomics) .

BJP’s  plans  on  Health for all  &  Housing for all  appear  to be very novel business  game plan by combining   PPP  model with socialism to achieve goals.  Simple benefits  to local  & FDIs  can ensure  that  most of our populace  are  given Obamacare  &  cheap shelters.  Again, an  upholding of Senonomics.
Is  BJP  relying on the  Rs 64 lac crore stashed away  in Swiss Banks, --an issue  that  alienated  Cong from  masses too badly?   This election has  been pro-establishment except for incompetent cong.

What  Moditva  comes with , is a  baggage  of risk of neo  rightism,  and ultra rightism  the  dictator way. The leftist Indira  was a  dictator &  growth  master  of  1970s , but  Emergency  curse  ruined  the career  of hers & her son Sanjoy.  Modi  is  alone & India is not Gujrat.  People  want a decisive  leader, fine.  China has gone forward with a decisive leader , fine.  But  he has to balance himself ; he cannot  walk the tightrope  Dr  Singh  walked.  The  leader with just 31% mandate  would  not  be able to rule, by his own admission ,  had not  the  mandate been clear. So  he is a loner  --- within the party , & outside as well.  His  bunch  of  followers , his  pet  industrialists, whom  unscrupulous  Rahul  has angered  going  AAP  way , are  too  close  to him now.   And this is one of the very  first times,  a govt  without  tacit support  of  White  House  is in power, whom they  now have to adore.  He shall   raise the heads of Hindu  national  capitalism, if not, Hindu Imperialism.  He is without  support  of Minorities . And  his  party  has  not  still  wretched  support  of   all  the linguas of  India .  But, as morning shows the  day, the  start has been excellent;  his  no nonsense standing by  babus shall   lead competent babus deliver, &  the bureaucracy  shall  live up to  excellence & expectation. All  ministers are his hand –picked,  voices of dissent won’t  be there. But  shall CAG  go boot polish way?  Say, no.  Shall   files  be cleared too  fast ?  If yes,  shall  not Satyams  creep up more?  Already  Big 4  audits  are  in scanner in a  no of cases  &  CA  profession ‘s  reputation  is  dwindling.  And, there is SC & its CJ.  Shall mines  be opened up?  The Iron ore mines of Odissa , & of K’taka?   Shall   Bengal get its  Iron ore & coal  share for  its  biggest  investment project in Salboni, which prev regime shabbily denied?  And, the Niyamgiri  & other Bauxite sources?   Can Posco &  Arcellor Mittal do business  in India?  Undeterred  by  NGOs’  usurping in people’s  land movements ?  Shall he curb genuine land movements ? If yes, how?    So many questions.  And, India is not Gujarat.  All  Indians unfortunately do not  welcome capital the way  Gujarat  does &  Sanghai  does, Hongkong does, lying in cages  , moving in trucks,  months after months, living on coupons.  India  is  different.  Hope,  Modi shall bring in prosperity  respecting this pinch of distinction & difference, without  trying to shatter  it  with caterpillars .

Let  us  welcome BJP in establishing India  as  a  superpower  in   South Asia.  On very 1st day of existence Modi has initiated  a debate  with Pak what UPA did not do in a decade . And he has  set the agenda. Cannot India become a  China by 2025?  India  can  rope  in fullest potential of trade  with Sout & SE Asian partners , usurping in 8—10% growth  in near future, thru deficit financing & a transparent but liberal tax regime devoid of oppressions .

Now , may pls go thru a host of articles  recently  published  in  papers recently.

An  article  in TOI  by Mr CL Manoj---
The ruthless dumping of the incumbent president Sitaram Kesri had taught her the ground rule in the Congress: just three things keep the Congress establishment on the drive — votes, victory and power. It revers only a mascot that can lead them to conquer. So, her presidential 
concern for a party in trouble can't be second to her maternal worries for her son! This is the progress card Rahul Gandhi has brought home after the Congress was placed under his de facto leadership. Why blame Rahul alone? Didn't Team Manmohan create such a mess that 
the Congress' electoral burial was inevitable? True. The UPA-II ran on a death wish right from the word go, and committed serial hara-kiri. But when a government goes off the track, as UPA-II did, normally, the party steps in with course correction. But Rahul Gandhi's fanciful experiments had crippled the Congress establishment. Since he alone could be the party's future PM, Gandhi's unwillingness to join the government also meant no one else could replace the defunct Manmohan Singh to give the government a new momentum. Rahul's experiments left telling effects. The Youth Congress (YC), the agitational and often physical wing of the party, got gentrified, and never once 
hit the street to defend the UPA. An old Alsatian was "reformed" into a poodle. In Tamil Nadu, Team Rahul's biggest success in YC drive, Congress polled a pitiable 4.3% votes! Having let off realpolitik steam in his outings in UP, Niyamgiri Hills and Mumbai local trains, till about 2012, Rahul chose to be his own man. While preaching "how to defeat Modi with love", he waged a war against the Congress establishment. His "temper" became well-shown, he and his corporate-style office were mostly inaccessible to even senior leaders. He also had no atience with those who pitched for critical prepoll alliances in UP, Bengal and TN. He let his apolitical backroom team — draftsmen, technocrats, fortune seekers and social climbers — "help him win elections" through laptops/data collection, and appointed ma ..He imposed ex-socialists, Sanghis and unproductive professors in AICC to mess up time-tested political/organisational/election management systems. Rahul could do all this only because of his surname. He put on a fake "angry-youngman" act, only to be rejected by the youth. After the disaster, the ones trying to distance themselves from Team Rahul are the same people who had promoted themselves on their "Rahul tag": the Milind Deoras and Jairam Rameshes, like the Arun Singhs and Arun ..Rahul's real failure was his refusal to learn his mother's real strength. Sonia Gandhi understood her limitations and the reality of her position. When the Congress brass brought her in ceremonial splendour to anoint her as Congress chief, she never made the mistake of taking them for her palanquin bearers. She understood these Congress leaders, product of Indira-Sanjay era, are entrenched warlords and equal stakeholders. Only those with skills of Indira Gandhi or Sanjay could set terms of leadership. Sonia Gandhi was to play a harmonising unifier so that the army could march ahead and she can be the face of victory. She played that role perfectly. But Rahul chose to follow his father. The "nice guy" Rajiv Gandhi took the post-Indira assassination massive victory as his licence to demolish the Congress establishment, called them "power brokers", snubbed his CMs and propped up his own apolitical team. But as V P Singh, a Sanjay Gandhi chela, unleashed Bofors on Rajiv, the battle-hardened Congress brass whom Rajiv humiliated just lay back and watched the fun. Politics can't be one-way street. A crippling defeat can make Rahul respond in two ways: either show off that he is least affected and shall carry on with "the mission", or wise up and discover his party's core truths. Rajiv Gandhi had opted for the latter course while sincerely working on a second coming

Highlights Of UPA Achievements In 10 Years
By IndiaTimes | January 3, 2014, 1:16 pm IST

Highlights of the record of the UPA government, titled "10 years of progress and growth", cited by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address to the media on Friday and which was released by the Prime Minister's Office ahead of the press conference:

* Education - India has achieved "near universal education" at the primary school level due to Right to Education and the dropout rates have also decreased. The outlay for education has been constantly increased. Central universities increased from 17 to 44 during 2004-13.

*Farmer welfare - Minimum support prices (MSP) for wheat and paddy has been doubled since 2004, while MSP for other grains have increased three fold. More than 650 lakh farmers were financed by the banking system during 2012-13. The new Land Acquisition Act will provide livelihood rehabilitation and financial benefits for the affected people.

*Food security- There has been a three-fold increase in food subsidy during UPA tenure. The Food Security Act will entitles 35 kg of food-grains per month and other families for 5 kg per person at subsidised rates.

*Rural employment- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is the largest welfare scheme of its kind in the world started in 2006. Wages given under the scheme per day have almost doubled from Rs.65 to Rs. 128 since the launch of the scheme. In 2012-13, the scheme provided employment to over 4.98 crore households, generating more than 213 crore person-days of employment.

*Healthcare- Consistent investment in public healthcare showed reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates, while life expectancy has improved. Absence of new endemic polio case for the last three years.

*Social security for special sections - There has been ten-fold increase in the expenditure on minorities since 2004-04.

*Economic growth - Per capita income in India has grown three fold since UPA came to power. The average GDP growth during the period of UPA government has been 7.7 percent despite two global slowdowns.

*Infrastructure - More than 2 lakh km of new roads have been added to the rural road network. Allocation for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana has increased by 88 percent in the 12 th Five Year Plan.

*Poverty reduction - Average decline in poverty was two percent per annum.

*Direct benefit transfer and Aadhaar card- The UID has issued more than 51 crore Aadhaar cards giving people access to direct benefit transfer in 184 districts.

*Development of Northeast : Internal security has improved and the growth rate in north-eastern region is now higher than national average. Northeast growth rate is 9.9 percent compared to national average 7.4 percent.

*Governance and transparency - Right to information, second administrative reforms commission, and e-governance ensured transparency. Among the anti-corruption measures, the government was able to bring the Lokpal Act, as also the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, Grievance Redressal Bill, and Amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act.

*Security of women and children - The law has been amended to provide stringent punishment for sexual offences against women and children. The government has also passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. TheWomen Reservation bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Now   Please  have a look at the  following  treatise ----
IndiaToday.in New Delhi, May 15, 2014 | UPDATED 20:03 IST
Here we bring you the highs and lows of Manmohan Singh government, as listed by IANS:

1. Nuclear Deal: Manmohan pushed through the Indo-US civil nuclear deal and determinedly garnered all the support it needed.
2. Rural employment: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, a scheme to provide 100 days of employment to a member of every poor rural family a year, was said to have won his government a second term with 200 plus seats.
3. Poverty reduction: India reduced its number of the poor from 407 million to 269 million, a fall of 138 million in seven years between 2004-05 and 2011-12.
4. Rights-based empowering legislation: The passage of the Right to Information Act, the Right to Education Act and the Food Security Act empowered the poor and the powerless.
5. Polio eradication: Pushing through with India's polio vaccination drive made the country polio-free.

6. Biometric identification: Launching the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) scheme in 2009 provided every person residing in India with an Aadhar identity card.
7. DBT: Rolling out the direct benefit cash transfer scheme, in what was termed a game-changer for UPA II, ensured that cash benefits directly reached the poor and underprivileged.
8. Foreign policy: Made friends with an adversarial China, by pushing trade to high levels and also inking a border defence pact for peace and tranquillity on the border. Made India's voice heard in global forums with greater respect, forged a strategic partnership with the US and elevated ties with Japan.
9. Infrastructure: The government has pushed for major infrastructure projects, including the Delhi-Mumbai infrastructure corridor. More than 17,000 km highways developed; greater reach of rural electrification, railways, telecom widened; infrastructure in the northeast boosted. Foodgrain production reaches record heights. Power capacity more than doubled to 243,000 MW in 2013-14 from 113,000 MW in 2003-04.


1. Corruption: Biggest factor that has proved the undoing of the UPA government. Manmohan Singh, though himself impeccably honest, has been accused of turning a Nelson's eye to political and bureaucratic corruption and wrongdoings by several ministerial colleagues. The government was rocked by several scams, among them the coal mine allocation controversy, the telecom spectrum allocation controversy, 2010 Commonwealth Games controversy, alleged bribery in purchase of VVIP helicopters, cash for vote scam of 2008; and Adarsh housing society scam.
2. Policy paralysis: The government was seen as hesitating to take major economic decisions like introducing FDI in retail to revive flagging economy, largely due to pressure from allies and even resistance from his own party. He could not take his own ministers along on several decisions while many reformist measures failed to get parliamentary support.
3. Foreign Policy: UPA failed to sign the Teesta water accord with Bangladesh because of a state government's recalcitrance. Manmohan Singh government was criticised for mishandling relations with smaller neighbours, especially the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Manmohan failed to make much headway with Pakistan and got little time from his domestic problems to attend to other important regions, particularly Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
4. Economy: India's slowing economic growth and persistent high inflation, coupled with a huge populace of youth with aspirations remaining to be fulfilled, have added to the growing dissatisfaction with the government as it misjudged the implications of the global slowdown on the economy and failed to act in time.
5. Communication failure: The government's inability - and the prime minister's personal reluctance - to communicate effectively to the people, challenge the propaganda of its critics and project even the good work it was doing, was one of its biggest undoings and showed how it it lacked a key element of modern governance.

APPENDIX 3.      
The Congress
For the sake of the health, quality and effectiveness of India’s democracy, the Congress party needs to recoup and regenerate. This will be difficult without cutting the umbilical cord with the Gandhi family. The sycophants are already circling the Rahul wagon. The dramatic collapse of vote (by one-third to under 20 percent) and seats (by four-fifths to less than half its previous worst tally of 114) reflected poorly on the collective leadership of the party, insist the flatterers, it cannot possibly be the fault of a mere party vice-president who held no Cabinet post in the defeated government. In this, the party is repeating the errors of its post-2009 victory. In retrospect, the people had liked and respected Manmohan Singh. In voting him back to power with an increased majority, they gave him the mandate to push further on his reformist vision, agenda and programmes.
The Sonia coterie took this amiss. They believed their populist measures were responsible for the improved performance and Manmohan Singh was even more enfettered, being denied the freedom to form his own Cabinet or drive his own policy agenda. Manmohan was serially rebuffed and humiliated. The most notorious instance was when at a press conference, while Manmohan was in the US and about to meet President Barack Obama, Rahul literally tore up an ordinance, to which the party and Cabinet had agreed, to allow convicted MPs to continue in Parliament. Instead of resigning and preserving the last vestige of self-respect, Manmohan elevated loyalty to the Gandhi family above the public insult to his dignity, the damage to the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office, and the national interest in defending the institutional integrity of India’s system of governance. India’s voters retain their affection for Manmohan as a fundamentally decent person but lost respect for him as a political leader and have delivered a comeuppance to those who mistreated him so.

Aam Aadmi Party
Over the past two-three years, India’s urban young in particular have come into the streets in massive numbers, proclaiming they have had enough and are not going to take it any more. Congress ministers confirmed how tone-deaf, disconnected from average citizens, and arrogant inside their own bubbles they really were in ignoring and misreading the political significance of the anti-corruption and good governance mass rallies and protests. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was formed last year to tap into the growing rebellion with a mass base. AAP generated political excitement and turned the Delhi Assembly election last December into a three-cornered contest with the BJP and Congress. Rather unexpectedly, the neophyte party ended up forming the government but proved a one-trick pony with no political or administrative capacity to harness the one-item agenda of fighting corruption into a broader programme of general governance.
Given the opportunity to show what it could do as government, AAP self-destructed on the crossroads of anarchy, vigilantism and racism. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal seemed more interested in conducting street protests against the Central government and the other parties than in managing the affairs of the government. Law minister Somnath Bharti conducted a vigilante raid against African women that was clearly racist and also an example of vulgar sexism. The police refused his orders, citing the need for proper legal procedures — a notion that proved alien to the minister! AAP defended his actions instead of firing him, confirming it had no idea of the need to limit and not flaunt abuse of power by those in positions of authority.
AAP also went in for populist policies. It had been brought to power by a confluence of two political constituencies: the aspirational class that wanted good governance from the State so they could get on with their work and lives; and the poor who have a sense of entitlement and want State handouts. Water and electricity pricing and distribution policies and the decision to reverse the opening of the retail sector to foreign private enterprise played to the populist gallery. But only at the cost of hard economic logic, including cheaper goods for the consumer, job creation for the poor, foreign investment for economic growth and modernisation of the management of the antiquated retail sector. The combination of vigilante antics, street demonstrations by the Cabinet and anti-market policies thoroughly alienated the aspirational base.
Most importantly, AAP failed the test of political accommodation and negotiation in order to achieve doable deals. Any party and government must be able to prioritise its core interests and values on which there can be no compromise; distinguish these from items on the policy menu that are desirable but not critically essential; and learn to deal on the second set while holding fast to the first. Instead, AAP operated as though all their policies were utterly non-negotiable. When their government collapsed as a result, the public concluded they had behaved in a juvenile fashion unbefitting a party with a serious claim to government; and had indeed run away from the challenge of government. Had AAP shown itself capable of good governance in Delhi, it would have done exceptionally well across the country in the General Election. Instead, its bubble had burst and the voters punished its self-indulgent tantrums. But it has a base and can build on it, provided it eschews histrionics and avoids policy flip-flops.
Beyond these three political forces, while regional parties remain strong and vibrant in most states, other notable features of the election are the sidelining of the purely caste-based parties (Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD in Bihar, Mayawati’s BSP in UP), the decline and irrelevance of the Left Front of communist parties of various shades and hues, and the decline of family inheritor MPs. Unfortunately, however, one-third of the new MPs still come tainted with criminal charges.

The BJP’s Winning Coalition
The 2014 General Election may mark a turning point in the way the fast-growing aspirational class came into its own as a potent political force. This is not the group that has already climbed into middle-class status but the one below: the poor who have ambitions to make it into middle-class ranks. They want and demand the opportunity to improve their lot by dint of their own efforts so they can aspire to a decent job, affordable education and health for their family, and a retired life of basic dignity where pensions and savings hold their real value. The political, economic and social importance of this aspirational class will almost certainly grow in the coming years and decades. If so, 2014 will mark the year when dynastic democracy went into decline and there were even tentative hints of a breach in the handout State. Rather, they want the State to give them the necessary hand up the ladder of success through the provision of public goods like education, health, law and order and infrastructure.
Modi openly mocked two of the family dynasties opposing him. He attacked the ma-beta sarkar in the national capital, New Delhi, and the baap-beta sarkar in the Uttar Pradesh capital, Lucknow. Even Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra came across as an arrogant, petulant, rich and entitled kid, refusing to acknowledge there is a case to be answered about the miracle pace of damaad shri’s assets accumulation. Not to mention the fact that her appearances underlined Rahul’s lacklustre political skills. Modi pointedly emphasised how he had no one before or after him: he had inherited no political dynasty and had no family on whom to bequeath his political fiefdom.
Besides the policy advantages, and the political baggage of criminality and corruption that dogged the Congress party, Modi and the BJP were streets ahead in their organisational and campaign skills and strategy. Modi clocked up more than 300,000 km and addressed almost 450 rallies; the BJP mounted a massive outreach exercise directly to voters; and Modi’s extensive roadshows were buttressed by the intensive use of hologram technology whereby his apparition would appear and disappear like the gods to enthral audiences all over the country.

The Modi Agenda
Modi’s catchy and effective slogan was “MG2”: minimum government, maximum governance. India’s three great institutions of democracy, federalism and secularism have ensured its survival essentially unchanged from the constitutional system established in 1950. An assault on any one of these three would destroy India and imperil its unity and territorial integrity. To that end, Modi must reject efforts by his hardline support base to introduce the Hindutva agenda or otherwise tamper with the basic structure of India’s Constitution, reach out to Muslims, and make the states partners in his development journey. Modi has been voted to power on his promises of development and good governance. If he should pursue a sectarian Hindutva agenda, Modi will rapidly lose the goodwill of the people and run up against mounting institutional points of resistance. His campaign performance suggests that regardless of what his own inner core convictions might be, he knows that the Hindutva agenda is socially divisive and does not enjoy majority Hindu support.
Modi does have space to redefine the social purpose of the State. Political discourse has been corrupted to the point where someone who promises to treat all Indians equally without discrimination and distinction on grounds of caste and religion can be called a vicious bigot, while those who insist on framing public policy based on caste and religious identity are the self-proclaimed standard bearers of progressive secularism. Indians today are more conscious of caste identity than they were at Independence. It would be good if the process could be reversed and public policy be returned to treating all Indians equally, ensuring equality of opportunity and pivoting back from enforcing equality of outcome. In the 2014 General Election, while his opponents tried to divide Indians along caste and religious lines, Modi united people behind his vision of a prosperous, strong and self-confident new India.
India’s weak economic institutions — stifling regulatory norms, barriers to starting and closing businesses, tardy and costly enforcement of property rights, complex and time-consuming dispute resolution procedures — are matched by poor quality of governance in the legal and political institutions and bureaucratic and police structures. The new government’s policy agenda should focus on more market opening reforms (disinvestment of public sector firms, liberalisation of foreign investment rules, financial and banking sector reforms, cutbacks in subsidies); more integration with the international economy (tariff reductions and import liberalisation); and innovations in farming. Reforming the financial sector in particular may be a precondition for other critical reforms. In the process, however, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, India must avoid going from the inherent virtue of socialism as the equal sharing of miseries (the old licence permit raj) to the inherent vice of capitalism as the unequal sharing of blessings (the French economist Thomas Piketty thesis of the returns on capital generally exceeding the productivity gains in the economy to underpin widening inequality: to those who have much already, much more shall be given).
Modi should focus on a five-part agenda in his five-year term: water and sanitation, infrastructure, education (especially for girls), corruption, and administrative reform. The public sector is bloated, parasitical and inefficient. India’s elite civil servants are individually brilliant but the civil services collectively are dysfunctional. The system needs a complete overhaul. India will need at least $500 billion infrastructure investment over five years to fix critically neglected road, rail, air and sea transportation networks, and power grids.
Only a tiny fraction of India’s people is served by safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities. India has the worst health statistics of any country in the world by some margin, with the majority of diseases being water-borne or water-related. Modi’s campaign commitment to build more toilets than temples is strongly backed by internationally compiled statistics. I had earlier written how more than half the world’s population practising open defecation lives in India (almost 600 million). A follow-up report by UNICEF and the WHO, published recently, notes that India has been a laggard in reducing this disease-spreading practice, while Bangladesh and Vietnam have been among the highest reducing countries since 1990. The practice of open defecation correlates very highly with deaths of children under five, under-nutrition, poverty and income inequality. In addition, lack of safe private toilets heightens the vulnerability of girls and women to violence and is an impediment to girls’ education.
Corruption (bribery — paying off an official to do something illegal, and extortion — having to pay an officer to obtain a service that is rightfully due) distorts markets and encourages inefficiency. The biggest cost is political. It would be difficult to exaggerate the revulsion of ordinary people to the ubiquitous and institutionalised venality of public life. Petty corruption is especially endemic at the lower, clerical levels of administration — precisely the point at which the ordinary citizen comes into daily contact with officialdom. It is first and foremost a governance issue — a failure of institutions and stewardship of public life, a lack of capacity to manage social, economic and political affairs by the rules of the game that privilege the public good over private gain, and with the help of effective checks and balances.
Observing the world of higher education from my unique vantage point at the United Nations University for almost a decade, I became increasingly concerned at India’s neglect of what may well be the most precious asset for survival and advancement in a borderless knowledge society. China will pull rapidly ahead on science and technology. There is something rotten in the state of higher education and research when overseas Indians can hold several thousand patents for every one held by an Indian. While China is closing the education gap with the West, India is falling farther behind. China had recognised the crucial importance of creating and retaining a critical mass of high-quality scholars and research institutions, adequately funded and resourced to be able to compete with the world’s best. Indian secondary school students were second from bottom among 73 countries tested in maths, science and English. India’s higher education and research sector is over-regulated, under-funded, and micromanaged by politicians and bureaucrats. Although there are still a few pockets of excellence, the average quality of India’s higher education has been falling steadily behind the world average. In global rankings, India struggles to keep even one university in the world’s top 500, compared to more than 20 of China’s.
Moreover, India lags not just on global but also on Asian benchmarks. In the new 2014 QS University Rankings, no Asian university has managed to break into the global top 20 as yet. The educathree highest-ranked Asian universities this year are the National University of Singapore at 24th, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology at 25th, and the University of Hong Kong at 26th. Only two Indian universities make it into Asia’s top 50: IIT-Delhi at 38th, and IIT-Bombay at 41st. Only one non-IIT — Delhi University — makes it into Asia’s top 100. Even in comparison to the five BRICS, every other country has at least one institution ranked higher than the top-ranked Indian IIT; there is no Indian institution in the top 10, although five IITs make it into the top 20; and Delhi and Calcutta Universities fall just outside the top 50. World champions in all fields at making excuses, Indian institutions hide behind the “explanation” that international ranking metrics and indicators are not suited to India.

The number of serious challenges confronting the country do not diminish: financial crisis, terrorism, Maoist insurgency, an outdated educational system, debilitating poverty, choking infrastructure, climate change, food and water insecurity, and fragile States in the neighbourhood. India will be much better equipped to deal with these challenges with a strong, stable and decisive government pursuing cohesive, market-friendly and socially inclusive policies without any aggressive foreign policy agenda. Surveying the wreckage of nation and democracy-building efforts in countries around it, India still stands out as an oasis of regime stability, democratic legitimacy and economic progress. If Modi can show substantial progress on the above five-point agenda, he will have consolidated and deepened these positive attributes and earned re-election with a solid majority in 2019.

The scale of the triumph of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party exceeded even what the opinion polls could dare to predict. Otherwise, the rest of the predictions concerning the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls have come true, even the comic drama of the mother and the son resigning together from their respective positions as president and vice-president of the Congress owning responsibility for the rout and their immediate change of mind following sobbing appeals from their henchmen. It was high entertainment, but there was one element in it which evoked both abhorrence and pity, abhorrence because the dynasty did not have the grace to spare the last ignominy for Manmohan Singh; he was made to move the resolution at the party meeting imploring noble madam and her equally noble offspring not to quit, they had not an iota of responsibility for the inglorious party performance, it was his abject failure as prime minister and of the government he presided over; pity, because even now Manmohan Singh continues to be so shamelessly obsequious to the family.
Anyway, that chapter is finally over and all speculation at the moment centres on how the BJP handles its super performance. It would be good if its leaders take account of the fact that even though it has won close to 55 per cent of the Lok Sabha seats, barely one-third of the electorate is with it. Even so, those who do the manoeuvrings in the stock markets are dizzy with Modi’s dream win; this is what they wanted and had worked for.
The Sensex, however, is not the real economy. The persistence, in recent years, of recessioning conditions in the developed countries, particularly the United States, has severely affected India’s exports; the hope of an early revival of export-based growth is dependent on whether the American economy would be back on course and refloat Indian exports. The current buoyancy in the stock exchanges, though, has led to a gush of speculative capital from overseas, leading to a boost in the country’s foreign-exchange holdings. It has, however, also caused an appreciation in the external value of the rupee, which is likely to further retard exports. The hard, harsh truth will continue to stare policy-makers in the face: a country with such a huge load of population as ours can hardly expect sustained economic growth merely on the prop of exports; even China, with its far superior technological base and its workers’ innate skill owes to export earnings at most a quarter or thereabouts of its aggregate GDP growth. As long as thoroughgoing redistribution of income and assets does not take place, adequate employment opportunities are not provided to the mass of the people, and a buoyant domestic market for goods and services does not emerge in the country, the economic crisis is most unlikely to resolve itself. True, this is a long-range issue.
Modi is unlikely to avoid experiencing the contradictory pressures that are bound to arise immediately. The top strata who have gained enormously from the economic liberalization process will demand faster advance towards full-scale liberalization, including freer entry of foreign capital. They had voted and carried out a campaign blitz for Modi precisely because they had this expectation in mind. To follow their prescriptions would however mean creation of even greater income inequalities, further shrinkage of employment opportunities, and negating all prospects of developing a vibrant domestic market. It will be interesting to watch how the new prime minister deals with this dilemma, which, in turn, will depend on the quality of ministers and advisers he gathers round him.
An equally greater worry would be with regard to the manner Modi tackles the wild Hindutva fringe in the party. If this berserk crowd take it for granted that since their kingdom has come, they could now go on the rampage, the country would have no peace from the very beginning: their aggression would be met with counter-aggression in many parts of the country, terrorists of diverse hues would activate themselves, Kashmir would possibly witness another round of uprising, several of the country’s next door neighbours would chalk out new strategies vis-à-vis India, and, who knows, the Taliban, already entrenched in Pakistan, might attempt to infiltrate across the border. Apart from the other consequences, the emergence of such a situation would rudely disturb the process of economic growth too. Perhaps the corporate sector, which had gone all out to ensure Modi’s installation as prime minister, might, in its own interest intercede with him. Again, much will depend on the group of close advisers, Modi chooses to lean on. Invitation to the heads of government of all the neighbouring countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is an excellent gesture and one would like to add, a good omen.
In any event, the BJP must remember, with all its faults and deficiencies, India is still a functioning democracy. Countrymen, who had reached the end of their tether because of the unprecedented and unchecked price rise, massive growth of unemployment and unashamed acts of corruption at high places during the UPA-Congress regime, have decided that the BJP was going to be their saviour. They are much too innocent to be able to comprehend that the BJP has basically the same class base as the Congress. Nonetheless, Modi, if only for tactical reasons, needs to offer the common people some relief in some directions. Otherwise, the herd instinct might once again take over, the ayes could turn into nays with extraordinary rapidity.
There is adequate reason for assuming a possibility of this nature. The Modi storm, helped by the quirk of the first-past-the-post principle of declaring the winner, has made mincemeat of the regional and caste-based parties everywhere except in Odisha, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, while Kerala too has not been disturbed from its traditional United Democratic Front and Left Democratic Front duality. Even so, perhaps with the exception of the DMK in Tamil Nadu, which seems to have been almost completely swallowed by the other regional entity presided over by Madam Jayalalithaa, elsewhere the local parties have by no stretch sung their swan song. Despite the erosion caused by the Modi-BJP onslaught, regional parties, for instance, those guided by Mayavati, Mulayam Singh Yadav or Lalu Prasad, have not lost the basic core of their support. There is always a next time. A couple of gross errors on the part of the BJP, and they would spring back to action.
It is worthwhile to spare a few paragraphs on the poll outcome in West Bengal. The Left Front there has met with total disaster; sorry to say it, never was such a disaster more richly deserved. The Front leaders initially attributed the poll results to large-scale terrorization and electoral malpractices in a number of constituencies by Trinamul Congress which the Election Commission failed to prevent. Even if the commission were a little less passive, it would frankly not have made much of a difference to the overall poll outcome, it was the general failure of the Front, particularly its main constituent, the CPI(M) to mobilize enough support which is at the root of its abysmal failure. Otherwise, how does one explain the complete wash-out of the Left in terms of seats won from the entire stretch of southern Bengal, considered even till a few years ago the impenetrable stronghold of the CPI(M)?
Obviously, the CPI(M) has steadily lost touch with its once formidable mass base. Errors and misjudgements on the part of the Front regime, supplemented by an odd kind of hauteur on the part of its leaders and ministers, during its final tenure led to a deep dislike of certain key persons who, in public vision, were mainly responsible for the Front government’s waywardness, their removal from positions of authority and decision-making was widely desired by large sections of the Left rank and file as well as mass supporters. The warning bell was sounded in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls; total votes cast for the Front declined by 6 per cent compared to what it had obtained in the assembly elections in 2006. The party leadership did not take heed, the faces the party’s erstwhile committed adherents wanted to wish away remained very much where they were. The inevitable followed. While the Front vote slumped from 49 per cent of total votes cast to 43 per cent in 2009, it dropped further to 41 per cent in the state assembly poll in 2011, leading to the seizure of power by Mamata Banerjee. The CPI(M) top brass refused to budge notwithstanding the greatest possible warning. This year’s Lok Sabha elections have shrunk its share of total votes cast to only 29 per cent, a stunning drop by as much as 12 per cent in the course of barely three years.
Not only have those whom the party’s lower strata and the broader range of sympathisers wanted to be evicted from leadership have continued in their positions, an ambivalence in policy articulation, too, has affected the CPI(M) most adversely. Its formal documents swear by equal dislike of the Congress and the BJP. Many of its prominent leaders in West Bengal, the speculation is widespread, are somewhat less inimical towards the Congress, a few of them were rumoured even to cherish the dream that the Congress would actively help them to oust Mamata Banerjee and get the Left Front back to power in the state. In the circumstances, when the poll campaign was at its height this year, one of these leaders — a member of the party’s politburo who also headed the Front government in its last, calamitous term — issued a statement to the effect that, should the necessity arise, the CPI(M) would help the Congress to form the new government in New Delhi following the outcome of the polls. Quite candidly, that did it. The people in the state, while generally secular-minded, have by and large no direct experience of BJP menace. On the other hand, they have been at the receiving end of the relentless attack by the Congress and the UPA on their lives and living over the years. A substantial number of them were outraged by the CPI(M) leader’s utterance. Many — in the past, staunch Left supporters — decided to cross over and vote for the BJP itself rather than those who were prepared to sell themselves to the wretched Congress. Some of them, who detested Mamata Banerjee’s antics and authoritarian ways, also opted for the BJP in the firm belief that not the nincompoop CPI(M) but Narendra Modi would be the most suitable person to extricate them from the clutches of Mamata. Ironically, even members of the minority community have mostly considered either the Congress or the CPI(M) a safer bet compared to the Left.
The CPI(M) leadership in the state, even at this stage, either do not know or do not intend to abdicate. They are, let me kindly suggest, merely ensuring the party’s total exit from West Bengal’s political picture in not an altogether distant future. Instead of admitting their own faults and deviations that have led to the party moving away from the masses, whom they should have taken the initiative to mobilize against entrenched class enemies. After a thoroughgoing cleansing process at the very top, they continue to quote party rules and procedures to justify their difficulty to effect crucial changes. What is farcical, those within the party who vocally speak for immediate reform and restructuring of the state leadership are being thrown out of the party: some of those who themselves deserve to be excluded from the party and its leadership sit in judgement, expelling those who want to save the party, its ideals and its traditions to mobilize the oppressed people against the exploiting classes.
This is the saddest part of the chronicle. Since Bengal was for long the main bastion of strength for the Left in the country, its disappearance in the state could not but mean that, in the country as a whole, it would be reduced to a nonentity. The country’s under-privileged, persecuted, immeserized millions would, at least for a while, have none to defend them against the aggression of immensely reinvigorated economic liberalization policies jointly sponsored by the country’s two principal political parties.


Lotus has bloomed, now it’s the turn of rural job scheme 
Jharkhand among bottom three in spending for flagship MGNREGS, finds out new Gopinath Munde ministry

New Delhi, May 28: Jharkhand’s blooming lotus has a not-so-hidden thorny challenge.
The state, which has rewarded the BJP and the Narendra Modi government with 12 MPs, has also thrown the new Gopinath Munde-headed rural development minister a MGNREGS zinger. 
Along with Odisha and Bihar, Jharkhand is at the bottom of the bucket list of states as far as the actual expenditure of funds under the national job guarantee scheme goes.
In each of these three states, more than 50 per cent of households live in dire poverty, which is much higher than the national average according to the Suresh Tendulkar Committee report (see box).
According to the data of Union ministry of rural development, these three states account for just 11 per cent of the total expenditure of about Rs 30,000 crore under MGNREGS in 2013-14.
And, this was an improvement. The previous year, the spending in the three states was just nine per cent.
It is an irony that hasn’t been missed.
Social worker and former National Advisory Council (NAC) member N.C. Saxena said that the   spending in the three eastern states should have ideally been higher than other states going by their rural poverty parameters.
The MGNREGA — the Act that guides the scheme — seeks to provide up to 100 days of unskilled employment to every rural household in one year to ensure cash flow to the very poor and check distress migration.
“Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand constitute a major chunk of poor people. Ideally, these states need the job scheme more acutely. But since spending on this scheme is so low, it is clear benefits don’t percolating down,” Saxena said.
He added Panchayati Raj institutions and respective district administrations responsible for planning and implementation weren’t doing their jobs.
Each panchayat has the power to plan projects under MGNREGS. Panchayat officials assess demand for work and prepare estimates, projecting labour budget for the year. Funds are released on the basis of the statewide labour budget. Wages are paid only after junior engineers measure the work to ensure the number of workers used is justified.
“There aren’t enough junior engineers. Measurement of work is delayed, payments are held up   for months. Workers are disappointed,” Saxena said.
Social worker Shekhar Singh added another angle. “A feudal system prevails in rural areas of Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar where landlords don’t want MGNREGS. They prefer cheap labour for their farmlands instead,” he said.
“Though Panchayati Raj system seeks to decentralise power, panchayats are controlled by influential people” he added.
Munde stressed on restructuring the MGNREGS with focus on asset creation to ensure that jobs and development went hand in hand.

"The scheme failed because without proper preparations, the finance ministry forced us to cover the entire country. There was little coordination with banks and the generation of Aadhaar numbers. We hope the new government will give us a chance to explain the implementation issues," the official said.

Most junior bureaucrats are busy dissecting Modi's speech at Parliament's Central hall, where the BJP Parliamentary board elected him as its leader.

"We have to re-align our plans and schemes accordingly. It must reflect 'Antyodaya' as mentioned in his speech that his government is for the poor and deprived," a senior PLANIG COMMISSION official said.

"Modi has a strong mandate from the people and his allies to lead an effective government. But he can't be everywhere, so the bureaucrats will have to keep up or ship out," said a senior government official.

In the midst of this LOK SHABHA campaign, while explaining how the present environment didn't encourage decisionmaking, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth shared a succinct definition of the kind of leadership that India needs to meet the aspirations and demands of its 1.2 billion people.

"Leadership", he told senior economic secretaries, "is about focus, a sense of urgency and having specific targets, apart from being inspirational." It could not be ascertained if Seth had a premonition about the UPA rout at the hands of a PM candidate that is expected to bring these very leadership skills to the table.

But his words reflected the pain felt by many bureaucrats over the past decade under an indecisive regime that bent the so-called iron frame of babudom beyond recognition.

Hounded out of retirement by the CBI; castigated for playing along, often at gunpoint, to ministerial excesses; summarily shunted out of top jobs when they stood up to protect the national interest in the face of mantris' corrupt designs, the decade of the UPA rule has been a nightmare for many in the civil services as the traditional centres of power like the PM's office and cabinet secretariat weakened.

As scams from the UPA-I tumbled out and ensnared many top secretaries in investigative-judiciary dragnets, the bureaucracy responded by a stoic resolve to stall, leading to the coinage of the term 'policy paralysis' that dogged all of UPA-II.

Seth had another message for secretaries at the meeting where he laid out his definition of leadership. "Bureaucracy provides continuity and institutional memory and acts as the glue when any significant change could lead to instability.

We need civil servants to be enthused to deliver on the implementation side," the cabinet secretary said, expressing hope that babus rise to the challenge and the demands of the times. That time has come.

MUMBAI: Swiss bank account holders who have been quietly celebrating the exit of P Chidambaram now have another reason to rejoice. Almost three-fourths of the 600 or so named in the list of clients of HSBC Geneva are beneficiaries of " discretionary trusts ".

These individuals are confident that a Supreme Court ruling this week on offshore trusts will get the taxman off their back. TAX Officials have been pursuing offshore accounts held by Indians, especially those on the HSBC list that originated with an employee of the bank. 

The apex court has ruled that Indian resident beneficiaries shall not be taxed on the income of an offshore discretionary trust as long as the trustees do not distribute income to the beneficiaries. 

Contrary to popular perception, very few in the HSBC list have direct numbered accounts. Most of them are members of trusts that have accounts with HSBC Geneva. A discretionary trust is one that gives a beneficiary no right to any part of the income of the trust property, but vests in the trustees the discretionary power to pay the person what they deem fit. 

"The HSBC accounts were used to hold undisclosed wealth parked abroad. The beneficiaries were careful enough not to receive any money in India from the trusts as that would have come via banking channels and would have been easily traced," a senior tax practitioner who advises several offshore account holders told ET. 

"Instead, the arrangement with the trustees was that some trust earnings were paid to beneficiaries when the latter went abroad on business or holiday trip. Also, in many cases, there were instructions to the trustees to release funds for education expenses for family members enrolled in foreign universities." 

The SC case relates to tax claims made on beneficiaries of two private trusts set up in the early 1960s in the UK by Maharaja Vikramsinhji, the former ruler of Gondal, a princely state in the Bombay Presidency. The SC ruling not only ends the dispute that has been going on for years between the tax department and members of the Gondal royal family but has come at a time when the HSBC account holders were trying to determine how the next government would pursue the matter. 

A senior tax department official said beneficiaries may not be able to escape the tax net if there is evidence of spending during overseas visits. "The trustees will have records of payment to the beneficiaries," said the person. In fact, the Delhi income-tax office has asked some HSBC Geneva account holders to give an undertaking that they have not spent money received from trusts or trustees on foreign trips. 

However, it could be extremely difficult for the Indian tax office — having built their case so far on stolen data and yet to receive any clinching evidence from the Swiss authorities -— to access such book-keeping records of offshore trusts in tax havens. Pointing out that "the income has been retained and not disbursed to the beneficiaries", the SC said merely because the trust's settler, the former Maharaja, and after his death, his son, did not exercise their power to appoint "discretion exercisers", the character of the subject trusts don't get altered. Thus the UK trusts, according to the court, continued to be "discretionary" trusts for the assessment years. 

"The HSBC case is unlikely to be among the top priorities for the new government. Resident Indians with undisclosed overseas accounts or investments in foreign shares before RBI's liberalised remittance scheme was announced possibly hoping the government will consider an amnesty or a quasi-amnesty scheme to bring back money from tax havens," said a chartered accountant with a leading firm.

NEW DELHI: Low-cost housing, which found several mentions in BJP's 2014 election 
manifesto, is likely to get infrastructure status, making it easier for 
real-estate developers to get finance from banks and for longer tenures, and 
eventually increasing the supply of houses. While developers are in favour of an 
infrastructure tag to the housing 
sector as a whole, the government is likely to grant it only to the low-cost 
segment, said a senior government official, who did not wish to b ..

Read more at:

NEW DELHI: The new Union health minister, Harsh Vardhan  who assumed office on Tuesday afternoon, promised that the government would work to provide 'health insurance coverage for all' through a national insurance policy for health. "The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana of the ministry of labour is working fine in some states but its reach is limited to BPL (below poverty line) families. I plan to rope in all economic groups and make the health ministry a sort of regulatory body for oversight on existing microhealth insurance programme in the villages and cities of India," said Vardhan, adding that the new government can learn a lot from micro-health insurance instruments developed by NGOs, selfhelp groups and small private entities. 

The contours of the new health policy for all would be drawn after broad consultation with national and international experts. According to an estimate of consultancy firm PwC, less than 15% of the Indian population is covered under some form of health insurance, including government-supported schemes. Only about 2.2% of the population is covered under private health insurance, of which rural health insurance penetration is less than 10%. Although insurance is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% till 2015, at the current rate of growth, only half the country's population would have health insurance coverage by 2033. 

"I am not in favour of taxpayer's money being used to push a one-size fits all health policy. From this morning itself, I have started contacting public health practitioners on the roadmap to ensure that available resources will be utilized more optimally," he said. Immediately after assuming office, Vardhan took an hour-long meeting with senior officials at the ministry to get a status report from them. The health minister said focus would be on operating the health ministry with full transparency, and to do that, he would move fast to put in place e-governgovernance systems in all government-to-citizens and government-to-business interfaces under the ministry at all its offices throughout the country. 

"Accountability standards will be fixed at the highest level and corruption will be checked at source with transparent systems." He expressed concern at the way government-run programmes such as Reproductive and Child health Project, National TB Control Programme and National Disease Control Programme are under funded. "The result is that despite reducing its maternal mortality rate, India is way short of achieving its millennium development goal at 103 per 1, 00,000 live births. Even Bangladesh is doing better than India" he said, adding that the new government would devise ways to revitalize these programmes. 

Vardhan said that prime minister Narendra Modi believes that 'health should be better than wealth', and the country should expect good, clean hospitals, zero-corruption and bold initiatives in the health sector from the new government. Despite former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 2012 promise of a free drug distribution scheme on the occasion of independence day and 'high powered' panels on making 'universal healthcare' a reality in India, UPA's 'health for all' plan was a complete nonstarter. Out-of-pocket expenditure on health in India, at over 70%, is one of the highest globally and is responsible for pushing hundreds of millions into poverty every year.


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