Monday, August 14, 2017

Congress MPs fight over Bofors, wants PAC to take up 'coffin scam' of NDA regime

The Bofors gun kickback controversy almost sparked off a major row - albeit politically- in the Congress party when senior Members of Parliament clashed among themselves on the powers vis-a-vis Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
To take the battle to the BJP-led NDA camp, the Congress is now planning to rake up the alleged 'coffin purchase' scam during Kargil conflict of 1999 when George Fernandes was at the helm of affairs in the Defence ministry.  "The CAG report in 2004-05 found fault with the NDA government on purchase of funeral caskets. Around 500 caskets worth $2500 each were purchased and each cost was thirteen times the original amount," a senior Congress leader said. 
                                                 

The source maintained that the Public Accounts Committee and the sub-committee headed by Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab should also examine the purchase made during 'Operation Vijay' in 1999. Meanwhile, BJP sources said, with regard the coffin purchase scam - a special CBI court found no evidence and discharged the accused.According to sources, deputy Leader of the Opposition (Rajya Sabha) Anand Sharma took exceptions on why PAC headed by a Congress MP could rake up the high-voltage Bofors gun deal controversy "from the dustbin of history".

"It was a closed chapter. The High Court had ruled its closure in 2005, how PAC can raise Bofors again giving it a fresh life," Mr Sharma told some party leaders.
The incumbent PAC chairman Mallikarjun Kharge too was "definitely" not happy and tried to suggest that he could not be blamed for the flip-flop if any, "as I (Kharge) took over the charge of PAC as chairman only recently in the new financial year 2017-18".
The Rajya Sabha members also maintained that even summoning the CBI chief Alok Verma was "erroneous". "Only a panel like the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice can summon the CBI chief," another member said.
A few Lok Sabha Members in Congress apparently did not agree to the argument from their party colleagues in the Upper House.
The former PAC Chairman KV Thomas maintained that he could not be "blamed" as the decision to examine the non-compliance of the CAG reports including the Ministry of Defence was taken long back. 
In fact, the decision was taken by the PAC in the last Lok Sabha....the PAC under me only carried it forward. Moreover, in 2015 a conference of PAC chairpersons in Delhi attended by many PAC chairpersons belonging to Congress had insisted that this non-compliance was a serious lapse, Mr Thomas reportedly said.

In October 2015, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice TS Thakur had absolved the NDA regime led by Atal Biehari Vajpayee after the CBI informed that it could not establish the guilt of the accused persons in the Rs 24,000-crore coffin purchase scam. 
A six-member sub-committee headed by Biju Janata Dal member Bhartruhari Mahtab and comprising among others Gajanan Chandrakant Kirtikar (Shiv Sena), Nishikant Dubey (BJP), P Venugopal (AIZADMK), Ajay Sancheti (BJP) and Shivkumar Chanabasappa Udasi (BJP) felt that there was non-compliance of the CAG report on Defence Ministry and also that probe on Bofors scam of 1980s was not satisfactory.

Even CBI Director Alok Verma was summoned by the sub-committee and Mr verma told the panel that in 2005, the probe agency wanted to challenge the High Court order but was disallowed by the Law ministry under the then Manmohan Singh government to go to the Supreme Court.
The sub-committee has reportedly noticed "systemic failures" in the contract signed with Bofors and said the panel wants to pursue its work of looking into non-compliance of certain aspects of the Comptroller and Auditor General or the CAG report of 1986 on the Bofors howitzer gun deal.
"The PAC sub-panel is meeting in Delhi on August 16 and is likely to examine the letter from the CBI director....It will unravel some secrets," a BJP source claimed.
Last month, the Congress President Sonia Gandhi has expressed her unhappiness on how the high-voltage controversial Bofors gun deal scandal was allowed to return to the political discourse yet again. 

Number of Congress leaders have only blamed the BJP lawmaker Nishikant Dubey for blowing it up.
By convention the 22-member PAC is headed by an opposition leader as Chairman and in the present Lok Sabha, K V Thomas, Congress MP from Kerala, has been the chairman for three years while for 2017-18, party has nominated Mallikarjun Kharge for the post.

Monday, August 7, 2017

A king maker Ahmed Patel faces career's much talked about Rajya Sabha polls on Aug 8

In the history of corridors of power play in Delhi, Congress leader Ahmed Patel's name will be certainly in the pages of mortals anointed with some kind of immortality. The politicial secretary to AICC president - over the years - has emerged a key king maker and a master strategist in the art of backroom operation.

Master strategist Ahmed Patel now faces his moment of truth in RS elections





It is said during crictial parliamentary voting during UPA regime, the BSP leaders Mayawati or Satish Chandra Mishra or Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav actually used to wait for Ahmed Patel's phone. On one occasion - the high voltage late night debate
on Lokpal Bill --- one senior Samajwadi Party was frank to admit to newspersons "Ahmed Patel ka phone aa gaya, now you all can go" -- perhaps meaning the decision has been made.

In 2002 when Sonia Gandhi named Ahmed Patel as political secretary --- in effect he shared the responsibility with Ambika Soni. Many Congress leaders thought Congress chief had kept Ahmed Patel only for an interim period as she wanted to give subtle message to the minorities in Gujarat and in time to come Ambika Soni would survive of the two.

But just the opposite happened. Though Ambika interpreted Congress President's mind in off-record debriefing and also became Information and Broadcasting Minister in UPA-II -- slowly she faded away while a man who shunned media Ahmed Patel survived.

"He became virtual number three after Rahul Gandhi....This was more than a gatekeeper," says a former Minister in Manmohan Singh government. But over the years Ahmed Patel's rise also led to speculation that perhaps he also had nexus with a powerful section in the BJP as -- never in between 2002 and 2014 -- in as many as three assembly elections - Congress could actually give electoral contest to Narendra Modi.
 

The former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela often complained that many a times his recommendations were overruled and candidates perceived "weak" were fielded. "None bothered Vaghela more than Ahmed Patel," used to be often a refrain in 2007 and 2012 assembly polls
in the state.

After Vaghela quit Congress last month, former cop Sanjiv Bhatt also flayed the Congress party for pushing his ouster.  Ahmedabad-based lawyer Yatin Oza in fact told a TV channel during last week's 'Gujarat MLAs' controversy that: "Ahmed Patel was the official liquidator of Congress party in Gujarat". 


"Vaghela's crime was that he wanted to fight the BJP in Gujarat against the designs of the coterie that has hamstrung Mrs Gandhi and Rahul," Mr Bhatt wrote in a series of tweets.

Mr Bhatt had often taken on Narendra Modi over 2002 mayhem and his wife Shweta Bhatt was fielded as Congress candidate in Maninagar Assembly seat in 2012 Assembly polls against Mr Modi. "Congress continues to be metastasized from within by the same coterie that brokered the bail of Amit Shah in Sohrabuddin Case during UPA-2," Mr Bhatt had written

The Congress strength in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly has slashed to 51 from 57 as six legislators have quit the party. The Congress claims to have the support of the requisite 45 MLAs required to ensure Ahmed Patel's victory, but the BJP camp has said that such attempts would fail.
“The BJP will win three seats and Ahmed Patel will definitely lose,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said in Ahmedabad.
BJP national president Amit Shah is more than keen to humble Sonia Gandhi's trusted aide in his home turf tomorrow.


Mr Ahmed Patel is seeking re-election to the Upper House for the fifth term.
A section of Gujarat BJP leaders are working overtime to ensure the defeat of Ahmed Patel, whose ascendancy as Sonia Gandhi's 'eyes and ears' coincided with the mayhem of 2002.








All said and done -- tomorrow's voting in Gujarat for Rajya Sabha would be able to settle at least a minor dispute -- in the power game between Amit Shah and Ahmed Patel - who among them is winner for the time being.  
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Saturday, August 5, 2017

BJP completes dream run ...Prez, VP, PM and Lok Ppr Lok Sabha Speaker -- all from Hindutva school !!


The huge victory margin of BJP nominee M Venkaiah Naidu in the Vice President elections is the highest in last three decades. Mr Naidu polled 516 votes as against 244 by his rival Gopalkrishna Gandhi making it a convincing margin of 272.
While Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma in 1987 and K R Narayanan in 1992 were virtually elected unopposed, in 1997, the Late Krishna Kant got a majority of 168 only. Krishna Kant had defeated Akali Dal leader Surjeet Singh Barnala in the vice-presidential election.

In 2002, another BJP leader Bhairon Singh Shekhawat won with a majority of 149 votes while Mr Naidu's predecessor Hamid Ansari in 2007 had humbled Najma Heptullah when he had secured 455 votes, and won the election by a margin of 233 votes. 
Mr Ansari was re-elected for the second term on 7 August 2012, defeating the NDA's nominee Jaswant Singh by a margin of 252 votes.


The BJP completed its dream run, that began in 2014, for having all the three top posts of the country, with NDA candidate M Venkaiah Naidu  defeating  joint Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi to become 15th Vice President of India.
       After Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Ram Nath Kovind became the first BJP-RSS figure to become President last month, and with today’s victory of Mr Naidu, the second highest Constitutional post of the country too will be occupied by a BJP-Sangh leader for the first time.

         During Atal Behari Vajpayee's tenure, another BJP leader Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was elected Vice President in 2002. Shekhawat had defeated the opposition candidate, Sushil Kumar Shinde by a margin of 149 votes out of the 750 votes polled.



Huge cross-voting today marked the election of BJP-led NDA nominee
M Venkaiah Naidu as the 15th Vice President of India. 
"Out of 771 votes polled, Mr Naidu got 516 votes as against 244 polled by opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi," Returning Officer for Vice President polls Shumsher K Sheriff, who is the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha, told reporters.
As per their numbers in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the NDA nominee was expected to secure about 480 votes but the ultimately figures suggest there was cross-voting by as many as 36 MPs from the 18-party opposition camp.
Former West Bengal Governor Mr Gandhi, who gave a spirited fight, was present at the counting centre till the last moment and walked away from the venue minutes before the announcement of the results. His downcast look said it all as he smiled and folded hands skirting direct replies to media queries.
  
Mr Gandhi, however, said he was more than satisfied with the number of votes he garnered. 

In contrast, BJP leader and NDA representative at the counting centre Bhupender Yadav was in an upbeat mood.

In contrast, BJP leader and NDA representative at the counting centre Bhupender Yadav was in an upbeat mood.
The major highlight of the voting today was the absent of 12 MPs from the opposition camp. 
These included four from Mamata Benerjee-led Trinamool Congress.
Others included: Anbumani Ramadoss of the PMK, Tapas Pal, Pratima Mondal and Kunal Ghosh (all AITC), Ranee Narah and Mausam Noor (both Congress), UdayanRaje Bhosale (NCP), P K Kunhalakutty and  Abdul Wahab (both IUML), Anu Aga and Naba Kumar Sarania (Independent) and Sanwar lal Jat (BJP).

Significantly enough, Ms Banerjee's nephew and Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee also skipped the voting process. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Lawmakers bid adieu to Prez Mukherjee, Govt cautioned against Ordinance route

Lesson learnt from Indira - Admitting mistakes better than justifying the acts: Pranab

New Delhi, Jul 23  If there is a single big thing that a serving politician or even an individual could learn from Indira Gandhi -- according to President Pranab Mukhejee - is "acknowledging" of own mistakes.  
"Self correction ...is always a better option than self-justification," Mr Mukherjee said speaking at a function in the Central Hall of Parliament where members of both Houses bid him farewell here today.
Lauding among other things, the Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's "steely determination, clarity of thought and decisive actions", Mr Mukherjee said his career as a Parliamentarian was mentored by Indira Gandhi only.

Mr Mukherjee recalled that during her London visit after election defeat in 1978, when she was grilled by the journalists at Heathrow Airport - on what she "gained" from the Emergency, Indira Gandhi had replied: "In those 21 months, we comprehensively managed to alienate all sections of Indian people".
Mr Mukherjee said her reply was admission of the 'mistakes' and her response was received by "a big silence followed by loud laughter".
President said after that no question was asked to her.
In the process, Mr Mukherjee said, "I also learnt an early lesson of acknowledging my mistakes and rectifying them".
In Parliament premises: July 23, 2017
"Self-correction in such situations is always a better option than self-justification," he said.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Will I&B ministry make Smriti get back her aggressive launchpad? Plus, Parliament Highlights


A Trinamool Congress leader when asked to comment on Smriti Irani being given the I&B portfolio, rather mockingly said, "Team Modi will be back in aggressive mood and the charge of the sound brigade is with Television's best known daughter-in-law".

                                              Image result for smriti irani rise and fall

Close on the heels Smriti Irani was given the additional portfolio of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting - one vital question that is being asked in the political circle and in the corridors of Parliament has been whether the television actress-tuned-neta has found back her launchpad for a big political career.
In the years to come, Ms Irani, who was shunted out from the Ministry of Human Resource Development in July 2016, would be effortlessly remembered for her stunning rise in politics in 2014 - when she was fielded to take on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi from the prestigious parliamentary constituency Amethi and later made the country's Human Resource Development ministry. 
There was a mild fall last year - and now probably - there is yet another rise as the Information Minister also becomes the automatic choice as the chief spokesman of the Union government.

Others dismiss these hyperbole queries - and say the additional charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry assigned to the Textiles Minister today after M Venkaiah Naidu had to quit following his selection as BJP's pick for Vice President's post - would be only a temporary phenomenon. 
Known for having good working relation with Prime Minister Modi, Ms Irani made news as HRD Minister in her two-year stint chiefly for her rhetoric against the student unions and political detractors whom she more often called "secular commentariat".

Slammed and mocked for her educational qualification, she has been often accused by the Left, Trinamool Congress and others for alleged 'radicalisation' of ‘Hinduizing’ of India’s school and college curricula.
Sporting an impression of an extra-ordinary middle class woman - a 'bahu (role of a daughter-in-law she played in a soap opera), Ms Irani ensured that her "rightist" kind of remarks could make her crusade look anti-Left liberals. 
Her speech in Lok Sabha on February 24, 2016 on the controversies in JNU and on alleged suicide by a student in Hyderabad University was even lauded by Prime Minister Modi. 

The big tribute to her speech came from Mr Modi when he had tweeted ‘Satyemeva Jayete’ along with the video of Smriti’s speech. Prior to that, Mr Modi had tweeted ‘Satyemeva Jayete’ was on December 26, 2013 when a Ahmedabad court gave him a clean chit in Gulbarg Society case of 2002 mayhem.
However, when he undertook the reshuffle of the ministry in July 2016, Ms Irani was shifted to a low-profile portfolio of Textiles and she was replaced by a more amiable Prakash Javadekar. 



PM Modi and Rahul -- both -- working to bring an end to Congress: BJP lawmaker

July 19 : The BJP member Virendra Singh sparked off a major row in the Lok Sabha when he said both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi were dutifully fulfilling the "wishes" of Mahatma Gandhi as both were working to bury the Congress party into the pages of history.

"Yeh dono Congress ke visarjan ke liye kaam kar rahen haen (Both these leaders are working to finish Congress)," said Mr Singh, the lawmaker from Bhadoi in eastern UP.
The senior BJP MP made the remarks while participating in the debate on agrarian situation in the country. He said soon after country's Independence, Mahatma Gandhi had recommended that the Congress party should be discontinued.
As expected, his remarks were strongly countered by the Congress members like Jyotiraditya Scindia and KC Venugopal with both requesting the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to expunge the BJP member's controversial comments. Ms Mahajan, however, said, "I will look into the text of the debate".
Mr Scindia said some remarks from Virendra Singh were "personal" in nature and thus should be expunged. 
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Modi set for last laugh in Prez polls: Indian masses have typically voted for candidates of own caste

 

 In more ways than one, the Indian electorate is responsible for the caste issues that dominate their politics. Despite the talks about electing meritorious candidates, the masses have always typically voted for a candidate of their own caste. The political classes have danced to this tune and been careful not to disturb the caste-obsessed Indian psyche.

The July 17 presidential election in the world's largest democracy is widely acknowledged to be an issue of caste. Both the government and opposition's nominations pitch a Dalit against a Dalit. It is a move that many have interpreted as political, and lacking altruistic motives to support India's socially oppressed classes. The caste system is referenced as far back as the ancient scripts, which identify the Brahmins — priestly people, the Kshatriyas — rulers, administrators and warriors, the Vaishyas — artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers, and Shudras — the laboring classes. Those not within this caste system are known as Dalit, the Sanskrit term that means trampled upon to denote the former untouchable castes within Hindu society.Several laws and social initiatives to protect and improve the socioeconomic conditions of the lower-caste populations have been implemented since India gained independence in 1947. Despite this, caste politicking has more than simply survived; it has strengthened. Caste management has become a fundamental and fascinating aspect of political governance in the country: "votebank politics" as they put it. In the initial decades after independence, upper-caste Brahmin Hindus and business communities dominated the political decisions irrespective of party affiliations. Even in the communist parties, upper-caste leaders had their say. But the last few decades saw lower castes and tribal people, who form some 25 percent of the population, emerging as politically decisive power brokers with their leaders making assertions and defying upper-caste diktats.

This has culminated in a recent surge for political parties, vying against one another, to present themselves as pro-Dalit and support the rights and privileges of the most oppressed class whose grandparents were once considered untouchable.

The "Dalit verses Dalit" contest in the presidential election could easily be interpreted as part and parcel of this political game. But rather, this is something that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has imposed upon Indians. It started with the BJP's decision to field Ram Nath Kovind, a former low-profile Dalit parliamentarian and serving governor of Bihar state in eastern India, as its presidential candidate. 

Days after Kovind's candidature was announced, the opposition coalition of Congress and other parties that include the Communists, named their candidate Meira Kumar, a 72-year-old Dalit. She is a former diplomat and a former speaker of the lower house of parliament.
Meira Kumar's "caste identity" as a Dalit is more explicit because her father, the Late Jagjivan Ram, was the former defense minister of India in the 1970s and known for his humble social background.

In fact, that has reduced the political scrap of the 2017 presidential elections down to a "Dalit brother" against a "Dalit sister". Ironically, this pitching is neither about helping socially poor castes nor about fighting a political opposition. It is part of a "new generation politics" in India that Modi leads where the parliament lacks any serious opposition.

At the moment, Indian politics revolves around Modi with two streams of political thought — the pro-Modi and anti-Modi schools of politics. Modi knows he is the games master of Indian politics, the face of the BJP and enjoys asserting himself in that position. In practical terms, that means the BJP is Modi, and vice versa.
He could have negotiated with opposition parties to elect a consensus candidate for this mostly ceremonial role of president. Although party officials hinted at such a move early on, the BJP suddenly, and surprisingly, announced Kovind's name. It demonstrated the BJP's confidence in its supremacy, but it also projected the BJP as a party that is now more considerate of the Dalit cause. But more than anything else, it challenged opposition parties either to oppose Modi or meekly support him in his game. Treated with such disdain, they could hardly support him, and they jointly nominated a Dalit woman, one of the best they could find.

The political message from the opposition camp, which includes the parties on the Left, is: "we oppose Kovind because we fight Modi"...The refrain is: "the opposition is against Modi and not against Kovind nor the Dalit people". Their leaders continue to make that clear at every opportunity.
 

Numbers wise, the BJP nominee is far ahead with around 63 percent of the vote share from the electoral college. The electoral college comprises all members of both the houses of parliament and the elected legislators from the 29 state assemblies. With support from several regional parties, Kovind is set to win. The opposition, although certain to fail, nominated a candidate just to wriggle out of the ignominy Modi had thrust upon them. As prime minister, Modi "could have played a statesman-like game" to have a president selected by consensus. "But he is not quite a political reformist," the Communist Party of India leader, D. Raja, told me. But Modi, as opposition leaders say, had his own political compulsions to present the BJP as a pro-Dalit party. Dalits have in the past given their support to smaller and regional parties and leaders. Until recently, the BJP was always seen as the party of upper-caste Hindus, an image Modi wanted to change.

The recurring attacks on Dalit people in the name of "cow protectionism" by certain Hindu groups in recent months have also negatively impacted the party. Such incidents have increased since extremist Hindu groups, who wanted to assert their upper-caste Hindu hegemony, advanced their cause in the wake of the BJP's 2014 national election victory. This further damaged the party's image among Dalit people.
Modi himself belongs to a lower caste, though not a Dalit. In the complicated caste hierarchy, his caste comes a step or two above Dalit groups. However, whenever the opportunity arises to appease Dalit groups, he parades his humble lineages to attract Dalit sympathy.

On the contrary, although Congress had several Dalit people in its ranks, no one came to the leadership position that Modi enjoys now. Political history will prove that Meira's father, a Congress man, could not become prime minister because of his caste background. 


Although Dalit groups supported Congress up to three decades ago, no Dalit leader could climb the political ladder above a certain rung. They have abandoned Congress in recent years to join regional parties. Hence, it is essential for Congress to win back the Dalit groups and, at the same time, to oppose Modi.
Neither do the Communists want to be seen opposing Dalits. Their rank and file is the working class, mostly Dalits. 

It has become convenient for them to join the Congress to support the candidature of Meira for political considerations.

However, the opposition is fractured and sadly lags behind the BJP. They named Meira "as a reaction" to the BJP's Dalit nominee, said Saud K. Kavitha, a parliamentarian from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi party in the southern state of Telangana. Having already decided to back Kovind, she added, "We do not approve of this. They could have discussed it earlier."

For his part, Modi plays the game exuding confidence and with a proper plan at hand. He aims to use the presidential polls to achieve yet another political milestone. If, and when he achieves it, he will be able to denounce his political detractors who have attacked him for being pro-Hindu and the party of the upper castes.

He will have delivered the country's second Dalit president after Kocheril Raman Narayanan who was the tenth President of India from 1997 to 2002.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blindness has caught up with Congress, Sickular gang: Key to Future lies in the Womb of Time

Fasting is not about diet or burning calories; but burning pride and false ego and complete surrender to Madhava, The Almighty

Bhagavad Geeta 

I often hate the inertia amongst the Indian public. Worse part is the intellectual inertia – the stagnancy - of the intellectuals. This can be also called a status-quoist syndrome. Sab chalta hae......”Na janne ho...” in Nagamese.....In recent past the compartmentalised politics has led us to two clubs – anti-Modi and the Narendra Modi bhakts. The prisms have brought in glaucoma -- a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing gradual loss of sight.

In the process we are unable to see what we ought to see. Worse, the blindness has caught up with the Congress party !! The ‘genius’ Vice President met Chinese envoy, - first denied and then confirmed – and in jocularly stance flayed Modi regime for sending three ministers to China. And even showed classical intellectualism  and questioned the rationale behind Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

And hence some mistakes could occur in the strategic and our national security system. Having said so – we must closely examine the gap today ‘India’s interest’ – that exists between the incumbent Government of India and Indian liberals – the aristocracy of a mixed cocktail of communists, socialists and dynasts. One may add the Lutyen’s ‘liberal’ or self-seeking journos also. 

India’s China policy is under closer scrutiny of the left-liberals with the inclination to believe that Narendra Modi is messing up things. But on global context – much better analyses would suggest there is need to examine the recent political and diplomatic games of Beijing as well as Islamabad. China needs a strong and firm cheque move and here comes the significance of tri-lateral ties between India, Japan and the United States. Apparently Israel is keen to join the bandwagon. So more the merrier!

But before endorsing Modi’s a few diplomatic triumphs – there is need to understand the deeper goals of China vis-a-vis its tie up with Islamabad and its push for CPEC or OBOR.

Rather it is imperative to focus on what are the implications for Pakistan and its geo-strategy once these projects fructify. 
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"CPEC is a part of China's OBOR initiative to expand its influence in the world and Pakistan is just the geographical space used by Beijing to reach the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. But in the process, Beijing blueprint will ensure complete control over Pakistan,” says Columbia and Karachi university political economist S Akbar Zaidi.

Skeptics may dismiss these contentions with the refrain being - This is 21st century and political economy has seen a paradigm shift. Pakistan's identity has been established and yes, like America, China can have more influence on Pakistan! So be it. If America could be maneuvered by Pakistani politicians and army – the same yardstick would apply to China also.

But From Indian point of view -- what is essential to appreciate is that all strategies and international cooperation should be well framed in order to deal with China. I have said this earlier quoting a former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh that China respects the position of ‘strength’. Hence Modi’s muscle-flexing and firmer grip in handshakes do give some message.

Ever since 2014 - with China,  Modi did not seem to be bogged down by any bitterness of the past. However, during his Japan visit, Modi walked an extra mile when without naming Beijing he made a veiled attack on ‘expansionist” designs of the 18th century. The reference to “encroachment” and “entry into the seas” were largely interpreted as an reference to spat with China – Japan is involved in the SenkakuIslands.

 Modi maintained that spirit when in early 2017 – the government gave enough indication to China vis-a-vis the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.  The assertiveness had its purpose. The Modi government was not apologetic about India’s decades old relation with the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dali Lama.
But India’s liberals are not comfortable about the happenings. 
Anything good about Modi – even if it is crucially important and in national interest make them furious. 


While there are international media cherishing about Modi-Netanyahu new axis --- liberals were busy with lynching incidents!

For them – entire India seems to be turning into a big Gujarat. The 2002 dichotomy is not yet over.
BUT THESE ARE AGAIN GLOOMY DAYS FOR SICKULAR INDIA.

THERE IS A SENSE OF DEPRESSION THAT MODI HAS LAUNCHED A FEW WAVE OF REPRESSION. WESTERN-FUNDED NGOS ARE IN SOME KIND OF A TROUBLE..

Sadly again for them, in 2015 – February (in Delhi) and later in October in Bihar, as Modi-Shah duo was electorally humbled, it was dreamily possible to imagine that Modi might find things turn from bad to worse. UP elections changed the game. These days, few think Modi is ‘weak’ politically and also in overseas – this realisation now make Rahul commit a few mistakes here and there. He called Modi a ‘weak’ PM !! – He rushed to Chinese envoy and then crafted a flip-flop. 

Indian opposition is demoralised. Talented are looking here and there! They discuss – why the ‘sickular’ revolution fail? West Bengal is burning.
The best of journos - TV anchors and NRIs may soon turn jobless. Honest guys are being raided. 
Sickular’s darling – 'post-2013 Nitish Kumar' – may now turn a ‘communal’ agent any day! Future roadmap? The answer lies in the womb of time.


Ends