Karti Chidambaram moves court after CBI issued a lookout notice for him

per which he is required to inform the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate prior to leaving the country. He has appealed to the Madras High Court to withdraw the circular and his plea will be taken up by the court on 7th August.

A business man as well as a Congress leader, Karti, is being probed for corruption and foreign exchange violation in the INX Media case. The company, which was at the time run by Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea, had raised around Rs 350 Crores while it had a license for foreign investment worth Rs 4.62 only. The CBI has alleged that Karti Chidambaram had used his father’s influence in the finance ministry to get the approvals. It further claimed that he has received payments amounting to Rs 3.5 Crores in exchange for facilitating the breaking of foreign investment laws.

As reported by NDTV, P. Chidambaram, as well as Karti, has denied all these allegations and said that they were politically motivated.

News Sources- NDTV, Times of India

44 Congress members airlifted fearing poaching by the BJP

Ahead of the crucial Rajya Sabha elections on August 8, the Congress is making a last ditch effort in an attempt to save face in the upcoming elections. This is evident from the late night airlift on Friday of 44 legislators from Gujarat to Karnataka by Congress to prevent any further defections or poaching by the BJP. The arrangements were made by Karnataka CM and party member Siddaramaiah.

For the elections, Congress has fielded veteran Ahmed Patel as their candidate in the Rajya Sabha and even after applying these political strategies it’s highly unlikely that Patel will win the elections.

In the last two days, six Congress MLAs have tendered their resignations. Three of them, including Balwantsinh Rajput, joined the BJP and was made its Rajya Sabha candidate within minutes of joining, alongside Amit Shah and Smriti Irani. In the 182-member Assembly, the strength of Congress has gone down to 51 from 57.

It is also predicted that more members are likely to leave the Congress in the near future. The members of the Congress either leave by free will, are suspended or have their term expiring soon. Ahmed Patel’s term in the Rajya Sabha is ending on August 18. Also, recently in the Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended six Congress Lok Sabha MPs for five days after they behaved unruly. It was yet another blow to the Congress party.

The future of Congress seems weak and the further exodus impending. The party can no longer hide its mis-governance by picking points on the opposition.

 

Sources: The Hindu, TOI

Cabinet clears proxy voting for NRIs

While overseas Indians and NRIs are free to cast their votes in the constituencies where they are registered, as per the proposal, they would also be allowed to use the option of proxy, which is only available to service personnel, as of now.

Currently, NRIs need to fly back to India to cast their votes, an option which is exercised by only 12,000 overseas voters. The government had considered two options to avoid this inconvenience: Either to send ballot papers electronically and receive them back after the voter posts it to the nearest embassy or to allow a vote by proxy like in the case of an option already available to service personnel in India. 

This proposal will amend the Representation of the People Act to make proxy voting for NRIs a reality. Around 16 million NRIs will be then able to vote in Indian elections by appointing proxies residing in their constituencies to cast their votes.

Sources-

  1. Livemint-http://www.livemint.com/Politics/Wk913WiGy0DW3KCQOhFpoN/Cabinet-clears-proxy-voting-for-NRIs.html

2. Economic Times- http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/cabinet-clears-proxy-voting-for-nris/articleshow/59887036.cms

Image Source- Reuters

Congress – RJD welcome Sharad Yadav against Nitish

The Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) chief, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s invitation to Janta Dal (united) leader and co-founder Sharad Yadav in the fight against the Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, was welcomed by the Congress Party on Monday.

Sharad Yadav, who is a colleague of the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, has expressed his disapproval towards his ties with the BJP. Yadav, who decided to remain silent for five days was invited by Lalu to fight against Nitish Kumar. On Monday, Yadav broke his silence and said he does not agree with the steps taken by his colleague. According to a report by NDTV, the veteran leader told the reporters at Parliament, “Whatever happened is very unfortunate, the mandate by the people was not for this.”

On July 26, 2016, Nitish Kumar took a political change as he broke his mahagahtbandhan with RJD and Congress and shakes hands with the BJP. According to Kumar, the refusal of resignation by the deputy chief minister, Tejashwi Yadav, made him take the step.

ANI reported that Naresh Agarwal, a leader of Samajwadi Party (SP), condemned the decision taken by Kumar and also pointed out that a senior leader like Sharad Yadav was left out from making this decision.

RJD is planning to launch “Desh bachao, BJP bhagao” movement soon.

 

Sources: ANI news, NDTV

 

Samajwadi Leaders Resign from Party; gives a jolt to the already shaky foundation

In a surprising turn of events, Samajwadi MLCs Yashwant Sinha and Bukkal Nawab tendered their resignations from the party. This move has caused a major setback for the already politically volatile atmosphere within the Samajwadi party.

Nawab cited Akhilesh Yadav’s confrontation with his father as the reason for his resignation from the party. “I am feeling very suffocated since last one-year. It is clear that when he (Akhilesh) is not with his own father then how can he be with the people”, Deccan Chronicle quoted Nawab saying.

After his resignation, Bukka Nawab told ANI, “Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is doing good work and PM Modi has given a good slogan of ‘Sabka sath, sabka vikas’. If they invite, then I might go with BJP. Yogi is also doing a good job in the state; at least there has not been any scam yet.”

Nawab went on to say that more people might resign from the party.

With these resignations, it will be easy for the Uttar Pradesh chief minister to become a member of the legislative assembly. He will not have to contest an election to become a member.

Sources: ANI, TOI, Deccan Chronicle

JDU checkmates RJD joins hand with BJP

Nitish Kumar sudden decision to break the grand-alliance and join BJP within hours came as a shock to many, but those who were in the political circles knew that something was not very right. It was like a game of chess between JDU and RJD where JDU was winning the board with every move they made, till the final check-mate this week.

Nitish Kumar was one of the few oppositional leaders who supported demonetization while his ally RJD was against it. On the issue of GST Bill, Nitish Kumar’s JDU was first to support BJP. In the last presidential elections, almost everyone began to see the tilt which JDU had towards BJP. The rumors began to take serious shape with CBI investigating the hotel scam against Lalu Yadav’s family. JDU has repeatedly demanded former deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav to step down based on alleged corrupt allegations.

However, one thing is very clear that Nitish Kumar is no more in the race of becoming PM, as Narendra Modi would occupy that post. Within two years of breaking up with the NDA camp, JDU realized that it is not getting what it wanted as family politics of “Yadavs” did not give JDU the full-fledged freedom to rule autonomously. JDU’s decision to break ranks with the NDA had gone bad. In the national assembly elections, JDU was able to secure only 2 seats across Bihar. Nitish Kumar also resigned and appointed Jeetan Ram Manjhi as the new Chief Minister who was not able to rule properly. In the end, the situation became so bad that Manjhi founded his own party i.e. Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM).

This is the first time since 1990, that both the state government and the central government are ruled by the same coalition party in Bihar. The demand for “special-status” for Bihar can be fulfilled under these circumstances and more funds can flow inside the state. Thus for the general population of Bihar, it could be a blessing as there has always been a shortage of funds allocated from the center in Bihar.

RJD can now try to split the JDU, as there are reports of some JDU leaders including Ali Anwar Ansari and Sharad Yadav who are unhappy with Nitish Kumar’s decision. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury are also trying to engineer a split within JDU. If RJD is successful even a small fraction of JDU leaders it would be difficult for the ruling coalition to stand the floor test. Also with 80 seats, RJD is currently the biggest party in Bihar. There are 16 Muslim-Yadav legislators in the JDU camp which can break up, due to a difference in ideology with BJP. RJD may try to convince them, that Nitish Kumar would backstab them when the time is right.

However, the situation of the opposition is now in tatters if we look at its preparation for the 2019 assembly elections. With Congress losing one state after another and defection of party members followed by a broken opposition which has a divided ideology, it will be very difficult for them to defeat a strong NDA which has been expanding in every direction.

Nitish Kumar is the Chief Minister again just like the last week, everything seems to be functioning normally, and just political-parties have changed hands. Sushil Modi is back in his shoes of deputy CM thanking Tejaswi Yadav for being an accused of corruption charges. What else can one expect from politics in Bihar?

 

News Sources- Financial Express 

Zeliang wins trust vote in Nagaland backed by BJP

Nagaland CM TR Zeliang emerged victorious on the floor of Nagaland assembly after he bagged 47 out of 59 MLA’s vote on Friday. The former CM Shurhozelie Liezietsu along with his party members did not turn up for the special emergent session chaired by the Governor, P.B. Acharya as he is not a member of the assembly.

On the floor-test today he was backed by 36 MLAs belonging to the Naga People’s Front (NFP), four from the BJP and seven other independent candidates. Whereas Liezietsu managed to secure 11 votes- ten from NPF and one Independent.

On July 19, when he was sworn in, his regime lasted for only 15 minutes after he was expelled from the party making him a CM without a party. Other party members might face similar fate, who has backed Zeliang instead of Shurhozelie, reported the Hindustan Times.

Previously, Liezietsu moved to HC to render the Governor’s order for a floor test by July 17 as “ex facie unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary”. After quashing Liezietsu’s claims, the court ordered for the floor test to be held on Friday.

Now with nine months to go for assembly elections, Zeliang has a tough job keeping his MLAs happy by offering them a ministry as the intake remains constant at 12.