Flood-hit Bihar gets relief of Rs 500 Crore from PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a prompt alleviation of Rs 500 crore for flood hit Bihar in the wake of undertaking an aerial overview of affected areas. He declared an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those harmed by the flood.

The Prime Minister was joined by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi. He also discussed relief and recovery work with them in detail.

He guaranteed both that he would be sending a central team to promptly survey the flood related misfortune in the state. He instructed keeping in mind the end goal to evaluate the cases of farmers’ harvest protection; the insurance agencies ought to send their managers to the flood affected areas with the goal that they can be given alleviation instantly.

The Road and Transport Ministry has additionally been coordinated to make fitting move to repair all flood harmed streets and electricity framework in the state.

More than one crore seventy lakh individuals have been affected by the floods in the state. The loss of life has mounted to 415, with 21 areas being affected by the storm.

To handle the flood danger, the Prime Minister talked about flood control in the outskirt regions with Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in his current visit to India. The two additionally concurred that a detailed report of Saptakosi high dam project and Sunkoshi storage cum diversion plan would be arranged soon.

Sources: News18, ANI

RJD calls for ED test into Srijan trick, requests Nitish’s resignation

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Wednesday requested an Enforcement Directorate (ED) test into the multi-crore Srijan trick, in which the administration reserves were exchanged to private records in the vicinity of 2005 and 2013.

Tejashwi Yadav, who is challenging in the Assembly premises against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, requested their separate resignations.

“They have taken money from the public treasury. Both of them two (Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi) should resign as the scam happened in their knowledge and they protected the main accused,” ANI quoted him as saying.

Yadav said that the Srijan trick was not limited to the Bhagalpur area alone, and that its connections were spread in a few districts. he made it clear that it is high time for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to suggest a CBI test into the Srijan trick as he has repeatedly been asserting on zero resilience against debasement,” he included.

Tejashwi Yadav additionally said he has not been permitted to hold a meeting in Bhagalpur for over seven days as the “legislature is perplexed” that he will uncover Srijan trick and the pioneers behind it.

The trap incorporates a Bhagalpur-based NGO Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited, which gave proficient getting ready to women. The NGO purportedly appropriated stores inferred for the organization’s welfare designs from the budgetary adjusts of the Bhagalpur zone association. Following the RJD’s push, the Chief Minister on August 17 recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation test into the issue.

Sources: India Today, ANI

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 

Gopalkrishna Gandhi opposition’s choice for Vice-President

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been chosen as the Opposition’s candidate for Vice-President. The decision to pick the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi was taken after 18 Opposition parties met on Tuesday.

According to Indian Express, only Gandhi’s name was discussed during the meeting at Parliament House.

After the meeting, Congress President Sonia Gandhi told reporters that Gandhi’s name for the nomination had been raised unanimously by all parties present in the meeting.

“Eighteen parties have decided to field Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate. We have spoken to Gopalkrishna Gandhi. He has agreed to be the opposition’s candidate for vice president”, Indian Express quoted the Congress President as saying.

Nitish Kumar caused a bit of worry in the opposition camp by not attending the meeting, although he sent Sharad Yadav, JDU’s other top leader to compensate for his absence. There has already been some tension in the Opposition camp over Nitish Kumar’s support for BJP Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. But Nitish Kumar’s earlier approval of Gandhi, though, is a major positive.

The meeting was attended by Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, TMC’s Derek O’ Brien, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, NC’s Omar Abdullah, SP’s Naresh Agarwal and BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra. If required, polling for the vice president’s post will be held on August 5 and counting will also take place in the same evening.

The NDA government is yet to announce their candidate for the vice president.

Sources: Indian Express, NDTV 

Tejashwi Yadav won’t resign, ‘RJD’

The politics of Bihar has taken another turn with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) announcing today that party leader and deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav won’t be resigning over the CBI raids in the land-for-hotels case.

This announcement comes a day before the Janata Dal (United) legislators meeting called by Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, to decide upon party’s stand on the raids. The RJD made it clear that there was no question of Tejashwi resigning from the office.

The CBI last Friday conducted raids against RJD party chief Lalu Yadav, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav.

So far, Nitish Kumar has not made any comments on the raids and the statement by the RJD leaders has clearly sent the JD(U) leaders into a frenzy who were seen rushing to Kumar’s official residence post the announcement.

As far as the future of the alliance and Bihar’s politics is concerned, both the party leaders have assured the continuation of the alliance and accused the BJP government at the Centre of trying to harm the alliance by such moves.

Sharad Yadav, senior JD(U) leader and party’s Rajya Sabha member also added that efforts were on to “destabilise the grand alliance government in Bihar by the BJP-led Central government”.

Sources: Times of India, Deccan Herald

 

CBI raids Lalu Yadav again

Fresh raids were conducted by CBI against RJD Supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav in the case of alleged irregularities in awarding the tender for maintenance of hotels. Raids are being conducted at 12 locations including Patna, Ranchi, Gurugram, and Puri.

The CBI has filed a case against Lalu Prasad Yadav his wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi and his son cum Deputy CM of Bihar Tejaswi Yadav reported Firstpost.

CBI Additional Director Rakesh Asthana said that substantial proof of irregularities was found in the privatisation of two Indian railway hotels to register a case. These hotels were transferred to M/S Sujata private limited a firm owned by Sarla Gupta. Also, another piece of land was sold to Sarada in western Patna at rates considerably below the circle. “The case is of criminal conspiracy (120-B), cheating (420) under IPC and corruption,” Asthana said.

Firstpost reported that Bihar BJP chief Sushil Modi reacted to the news by stating that once again Nitish Kumar has to decide whether they want to keep tainted leaders of RJD in its cabinet. Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi mentioned that law should be allowed to take its course and no knee-jerk political response should be taken.

Senior RJD leader stated that “today is a dark day in Indian democracy, we will not be cowed down by this) Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu rubbished the claims of central government using CBI against its opposition as reported by India.

Sources: India Today

Image Source: Indian Express

Nitish Kumar deflates opposition by supporting Kovind

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar support to BJP candidate Ram Nath Kovind for the Presidential elections has jolted the united opposition.  Kumar stated that it is not the issue of the “mahagatbandhan” (grand-alliance) but an independent issue of each of the political parties. He met Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury and conveyed them the message that it is a matter of pride that a governor of Bihar is being given the candidature for President.

The oppositional parties have fielded former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their candidate. Kumar enjoys a popular wave of support among the backward women in the state; hence this will dent his image. Nitish Kumar has earlier asked the opposition to part away with all their differences in order to form a united opposition against Narendra Modi. Though Nitish Kumar always states that his alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD is strong, he has been continuously playing cards which are against the interest of his allies.

As far as the Presidential elections are concerned, with Kumar’s support Kovind has passed the half mark required to win the presidential polls and should comfortably win the elections. The fractured opposition means that BJP would not have much difficulty in winning the 2019 elections.

News Sources- NDTV, Times of India