LOKHSABHA ELECTIONS AND AFTERMATH By Brij Kaul

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pulled off a resounding victory in the general elections for Bhartiya Janta Party winning 303 seats, a record in itself for the party since its inception way back in early fifties.

( In 1951 Shyama Prasad Mukherjee founded Jan Sangh ,which much later was renamed Bhartiya Janta Party . In 1952 Jan Sangh won 03 seats in the election.)

The Congress, in contrast, was routed despite Rahul Gandhi’s spirited untiring campaign against the mighty BJP.

The rout of the congress is more unpalatable in view of Congress victories in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in straight fights with BJP just four months back.

The results largely indicated that the voters treated the 2019 Lok Sabha elections differently than assembly ones, though differential treatment is not commonly observed in Indian political scenario.

Normally the party that wins state elections is winning the Lok Sabha elections as well.

But this time the election was fought more personality centric rather than on the issues facing the nation and the people at large.

Rahul Gandhi by quitting as President of the Congress Party has demonstrated his sincerity in accepting his defeat and relinquishing office of power on “accountability “ and thus setting an example in itself for the present power hungry politicians not in India only but all over the world who love to go overboard to cling to power any way.

That again keeps him par apart from the run of the mill leaders.

Also looking at the Congress Party’s apathy for not finding his adequate replacement for more than eight weeks now has manifested to a great extent that he was holding the pedestal position on his own merits rather than on the “dynasty” tag.

In his four page resignation letter he has attempted to address to the Congress Party failures.

The letter says “I personally fought the Prime Minister, the RSS and the institutions they have captured with all my being… At times, I stood completely alone and I am extremely proud of it,” he writes. Gandhi does not stop here. He goes on: “We did not fight a political party in the 2019 election. Rather we fought the entire machinery of the Indian state, every opposition of which was marshalled against the opposition. It is now crystal clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India”. He further writes “

“I personally fought the Prime Minister, the RSS and the institutions they have captured with all my being… At times, I stood completely alone and I am extremely proud of it,” thus accepting at the lacunae of Congress Party ‘s efforts .

The failure in finding a successor to Rahul Gandhi is hurting the party badly in states like Karnataka, Goa .The Congress leaders both old and young ones are reluctant to come out of the respective safety zones and work with zeal and zest to galavanise the party to its semblance.

The younger leaders do not want the old guards to take charge and hence in a fix as how to break the shackles.

The 2019 results show a definite pro- BJP shift in the India’s body polity. The Party’s vote share was 37% overall.

Normally The Congress has been fighting more seats than BJP. But this time BJP had contested 436 seats and the congress only 421 seats suggesting for the first time a bigger political presence than the Congress. The BJP leders have been able to drive unprecedented large chunk of Hindu voters to consolidate behind BJP and its allies. , thus managing successfully to torpedo the dominance of Congress on the Indian Political spectrum thus making religion–based approach to politics in contrast to Congress’s inclusive politics. Having said so The Congress did manage to get nearly 21% (12 crores )of votes for its vociferous campaign for inclusive politics looking to the multi religious ,multi lingual , multi caste geographical structure of India.

That was not enough to browbeat the mighty BJP who got around 37% (22crores) votes to enjoy a graceful victory after a long time probably first time in the election annals.

Now with full majority BJP should relentlessly devote its energies to the development and building infrastructure to push the country further towards progress and prosperity.

Conclusion

BJP should not fritter away this magnificient opportunity rather use it to bolster the economy to new heights and thus alleviate the poorest of poor from the abysmal poverty, hunger and deprivation.

It is well known fact that big business men of this country  have every time stood by the Govts of the day and thus pedaled off their   ambitious projects to successful ends.

The recent Tax terrorism started by the Govt has driven one of the biggest entrepreneurs to commit suicide.

The Income Tax authorities need to be tough but friendly to impress upon such people to pay the taxes without harassment as such. The Govt needs to have a re-look on the procurement mechanism of unpaid taxes so that people volunteer to come forward to pay taxes gladly.

On the political front, BJP’s image as a party with vision is badly impaired. This is on account of ,first ,toppling of Karnataka State Govt and secondly because of the way Kuldeep singh Senegar case was handled. He ought to have been expelled long ago for bringing disgrace to the Party.

It is not enough to give lecture on morality every month by the honoured PM but prevent untoward happenings being practiced by ruthless politicians on ground.

The PM Narender Modi should be alert enough to address to the vulgarity of rape and child abuse.

On the reckless chatter of troop movements in Kashmir Valley ,a rumour is being surfaced in Srinagar that Govt is intending to do something with the special status ,let us wait and watch what is in the offing for the people of the valley at last.

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DONALD TRUMP AND KIM JONG ON PEACE MISSION By Brijkaul

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Trump  and  Kim  Jong in deep conversation  in North Korea. Sunday .

 

American President Trump’s brief encounter with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in North Korea’s fortified demilitarized zone on Sunday (30/6/19) seen as a major move to bring two warring American and North Korean diplomats to the negotiating table. The two leaders agreed to re-start the negotiations.

Greeted by an agile smiling Mr. Kim, the president stepped at 3:46 p.m. local time and walked about 20 paces to the base of a building on the North Korean side for starting long stalled talks in an unprecedented friendly manner.

“It is good to see you again,” an excited hopeful Mr. Kim told the president . “I never expected to meet you in this place.”

“Big moment, big moment,” Mr. Trump replied back

Mr. Trump soon after escorted Mr. Kim over the line into South Korea, slipping inside the building known as Freedom House for a private conversation along with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea. The meeting lasted over an hour

Mr. Trump said he would invite Mr. Kim to visit him at the White House.

“This has a lot of significance because it means that we want to bring an end to the unpleasant past and try to create a new future,” Mr. Kim told reporters. “So it’s a very courageous and determined act.”

“Stepping across that line was a great honor,” Mr. Trump replied. “A lot of progress has been made, a lot of friendships have been made, and this has been in particular a great friendship.”

Mr. Trump clarified he and Mr. Kim had agreed to designate negotiators to resume talks in the next few weeks. The American team would be led by Stephen Biegun, the special envoy , however the North Korean side head was yet to be announced.

Trump had already plans to meet Kim Jong in DMZ during his trip to South Korea but he protrayed it as a spontaneous decision in his usual flamboyant manner.  Source  N.Y.T

Background to Korean dispute.,P

it is necessary to know background to Korean dispute visa vis Japan and recently with USA.

Korea was ruled by Japanese Imperial Government under Japan –Korea annexation treaty in 1910 until the second world war in 1945, resulting in South Korea and North Korea. separated by DMZ .South Korea being patronized by Japan and United states and North Korea by Soviet Union and China. Later The Soviet Union influence wanned and China remains the sole mentor .

Recently there were positive efforts by the leaders of both South Korea and North Korea to discuss inter-Korea relations and to take positive steps towards denuclearization.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in of South Korea met for 3 days summit in Pyongyang on 18th September 2018 to deliberate on reunification of two Koreas. A delgation of 50 leaders in business and politics,sports culture from South Korea met the counter part from North Korea and recognized the importance of fostering trust a common vision for building good relations and thus lay strong foundation for ultimate reunification.

Trump visualized the role of United States to ease the long standing dispute and thus supported Moon Jae –in’s efforts for reconciliation .

Trump’s Gamble

Trump virtually gambled that the gesture of amity could break the nuclear logjam underlying his faith in the  prowess of his diplomatic skills even to deal with kooky persons like Kim Jong-un.

More than halfway through his term, Mr. Trump is hoping against hope that a resolution to the vexed problem apart from bringing much awaited peace finally, could also yield dividends to his re-election campaign.

Even a modest success in reconciliation with North Korea would mean a lot to uphold his grip over his critics who are hell bent on not giving any credit to Trump for reducing the tension with North Korea.

Although Mr. Trump was confident that nobody can deny the fact that during his tenure North Korea has suspended nuclear tests, released detained American soldiers and handed over to the United States the remains of American soldiers killed in the war.

“There’s no reason to regard the current situation as a stalemate in the peace process on the peninsula just because the pace has remained slow,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in. All others agreed broadly that tension has reduced in the region and Mr Moon praised Mr Trump as “the peace maker of the Korean Penunsula”

The Singapore meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim was a step towards reconciliation and some possible promises to eliminate Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal. Their second meeting in Hanoi was complete failure as Kim did not comply with the promises made in first meeting.

The stalemate continued for a long time.

But suddenly in the recent past weeks Mr Kim exchanged some letters with Mr Trump promising some positive upbeat in the diplomatic relations.   source   Politico  Times of India

Conclusions.

The Bromance between two leaders finally made possible the third meeting in North Korea on 30th June 2019. hoping to resolve the long standing conflict amicably.

Mr. Kim said he knew nothing about a possible meeting until the president’s tweet.

“I don’t think this kind of surprise meeting would have happened without the excellent personal relationship between your excellency and me,” he told Mr. Trump in Freedom House.

Though the path to peace remains slow but both leaders show renewed enthusiasm and determination to overcome the fiery rhetoric and long standing animosity with peace and love letters .

KASHMIR IN NEVER ENDING TURMOIL BY BRIJ KAUL

Enduring  28 years of insurgency ,Kashmir is numbed to the state of never ending  turmoil  and violence.

Majority of peace loving Kashmiris  are mere hapless spectators to the tragedies being inflicted by the terrorists . 

Recently a statement of National Conference leader ,vice president of NCP ,Omar Farooq Abdullah while addressing election  rally in Bandipora,  stated  in case of abrogation of Article 35A ,he would like to revert back  to the  position of PM and Sadar-e-Riyasat  that J&K enjoyed  way  back in fiftees and early sixtees, caused ripples in the political corridors of  the country.

 Prime Minister Mr Modi reacted angrily   at a rally  ,tweeting as well “ National Conference wants two PMs 1 in Kashmir and 1 for the rest of India –Till Modi is there ,no one can divide India”.

Prime Minister of J&K

J&K had its own Prime Minister and Sadar-e-Riyasat till 1965. In 1965 when J& K constitution was amended ,(probably sixth  J&K Constitution Amendment Act 1965) by then Congress government  which replaced two positions with Chief Minister  and the Governor. Mr G.M. Sadiq  was first chief Minister   and Mr Karan singh  the Governor  of J&K in 1965.

 Sadr-e-Riyasat

The J&K  Constitution was adopted  on November 17  1957 .

  On June 10 1952 the “ the basic principles Committee “ recommended  that “the institution of hereditary rulership  shall be terminated” and “the head of  state shall be elective”. ON June 12  1952 the constituent assembly unanimously adopted the report.  and resolved henceforth  the head of state named  Sadr-e-Riyasat  would be elected  by the legislative  Assembly for a period of five years. and recognized by the President of India. However New Delhi on july 24 1952 agreed to allow J&K to recognise  an elected Sadr-e – Riyasat instead of appointed Governor. once elected by the legislative Assembly,the Sadr- e- Riyasat had to be appointed by the President of India.

under the sixth amendment to the J&K  constitution   carried out in 1965  a fundamental change was made to its basic structure and  as a result of amendment the Sadr-e-Riyasat was changed to Governor  across the J&K constitution.

The  Prime Minister of  J&K after independence (October 1947  to March 1948) was Meher chand  Mahajan. He was replaced by Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah ,who had been head of the administration .

When Abdullah was arrested  on 9THAugust 1953 ,Bakshi  Ghulam Mohammad was appointed the Prime Minister who ruled Kashmir till 1963 .

In 1953 , the author , being just eight years old was living temporarily in Anant Nag  with my  married sister and at the time of arrest of Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah sahib was incidently  taking bath in the blue waters of Nag Bal Spring. The Purohit of the Nag Bal informed all to leave the premises  immediately. In helter skelter  I ran away barefeet leaving my wooden patten( footwear worn by kashmiris)  behind.  

Days after when calm was restored  I collected the  same wooden footwear  lying undisturbed at the right spot. 

    Indian Provincial Prime Ministers

Not only  Jammu & Kashmir  but all Indian Provinces had a Prime Minister till 26th Jan 1950 when India was proclaimed as Republic of India.  After that the nomenclature was changed to  Chief Minister.

Since 1937,when Indian Govt was under British yoke each Province  was headed by a Prime Minister.

The  historic Government of India Act 1935 was passed in the British Parliament  and had provided for the position of Provincial Prime Ministers.

British India was divided into 11 Provinces namely 

Bombay ,Bengal,  Madras,  United  Provinces ,Punjab, Central Provinces , Assam ,Northwest Frontier, Bihar ,Orissa, Sind .

In the provinces, there was  to be full democracy  in  running of the day to day administrative matters.

The flaw of the unelected  governor  having a right to dismiss a popular government and take over the administration ironically still exists in modern India under the name “President’s Rule”.

So there were eleven Prime Ministers till the proclamation of Republic of India on 26th January 1950.

In August, 1947, however, as part of the transfer of power from British to Indian hands, India appointed  Pt  Jawahar lal Nehru  as Ist  Prime Minister of  Independent India.

Conclusions

The years 2016 and 2017 saw great spurt in the fatalities of both soldiers as well as  civilians.

The year 2018 witnessed bloodiest terror related  violence. Kashmir situation is beyond riddance.

 The rise in radicalisation in the valley is direct result of Delhi’s non engagement with the people of the valley thus losing the Midas touch to heal the relations  on sound basis.

 This is the ripe time to strengthen the hands of moderates in the valley , a grave mistake to ignore pro-dialogue separatists and thus push  them into the lap of insurgents.  All these retrograde steps could be detrimental to the ultimate peace.  

Delhi needs to refurbish its image and policy of reconciliation towards Kashmir and bring some  semblance to the dying spirit of the valley to silence the demand of restoration of J&K’s autonomy to its original state’s 1953 position .  Since Kashmir is on the brink of  extreme alienation and thus  needs  to be moored to the Indian banks permanently .

UNDERSTANDING KASHMIR PREDICAMENT

Every morning Kashmir wakes up to the  rattle and boom of guns ,a beautiful but cursed valley nestled in the Himalayas, for the  last three decades now , as  a result of  militancy  aided and abetted by the belligerent Pakistan. 

The terrorists have infiltrated deep inside Kashmir and create violence against the Indian soldiers day in and day out.   There is miasma of  despair and  de s p o d a n c y  writ large on the faces of Kashmiris and all over Kashmir.

Armed  Paramilitary soldiers on the streets fighting radicalized local militants along with terrorists from Pakistan, hartals and protests at the behest of separatists and Hurriyat leaders have  made life very difficult for the average Kashmiri .who believes in peace and tranquility for one and all.

Nearly three wars have been fought  so far between the two countries and  the enemity is deep  rooted and no sign of rapprochement in the offing to come through.

Violence and anxiety has flared up again in Jammu and Kashmir following the lobbing of a grenade  at a crowded bus stand in Jammu on Thursday 7th March 2019.,killing two persons and injuring more than 30.

The  Jammu and Kashmir  Police  identified  the suspect as 13 year old  Kashmiri militant from south Kashmir ‘s Kulgam , had been  arrested immediately. He was  ordered  by the  Hizbul Mujahideen commander to carry  out the dreadful task.

According to the advisor (home department) J&K Governor ,K.Vijay Kumar told press reporters in Srinagar  “ the accused is an ordinary youngster  and made into a mercenary”.       source  Indian Express.

Interestingly around the same time, a video  of two men wearing saffron shirts  beating Kashmiri street vendors in the northern Indian city of Lucknow  went viral .

The two incidents heightened the tensions in the region and incidentally bound to stoke  hatred and animosity between Hindus and Muslims before flaring into a communal riot.

India is still in a war like situation though temporarily eased out by the return of  our IAF Pilot  MR Abhinandan Varthaman safely on a good friendly gesture by Pakistan. Hence both sides posturing only  but in reality neither  wants   a war at the moment.

There is tendency  to draw distinction between external security and internal security.  but a closer view will determine that  condition of one has an impact on the other. In other words any kind of laxity on internal security has terrible repercussions on the external security more paramount for the safety of the nation.

This is what exactly happened in relation to the internal administration of Kashmir.

Terrorism in Kashmir has been a great threat for last three decades and has eaten like a moth  into the  country’s  internal security .

It continues to be so  as we witnessed the Pulwama holocaust where 40  paramilitary  personnel were killed in  by a suicide bomber.

Earlier also there were threats of Maoism ,contained to a large extent now, if not eliminated in totality , the  separatism in Punjab in the 1980’s was wiped out in the state  completely.   The language problem,most flagrant one one time, a lot of lives lost in Tamil Nadu, was solved with great alacrity and in right spirit .

Why Kashmir impasse cannot be solved  ?

In dealing with Kashmir impasse we need to follow two pronged strategy in resolving  the same for good.

1/  Firmness and determination in elimination of terrorism in the state.

2/  To follow a conciliatory policy and taking confidence building measures with fairness towards the people of Kashmir .

The firmness and determination in elimination of terrorists and terrorism calls for complete sealing off  both international  Border as well as Line of Control. The military strategists in confidence with the Ministry of Defence should be able to draw up plans of action to thwart  infiltration in totality.

 Right from building impregnable barriers to more often surgical strikes could be thought some of the provisions among many others to be decided by the Military Generals. and the experts.

currently the  infiltration is very high .The year 2017 there were 136 infiltrations and in 2018 upto October  only it was 128.The year ending report could be much more.

As far as J&K is concerned  the current policy of  muscular militaristic may be good at controlling at the borders but not vis -a -vis in dealing with the people of the valley.  As on today it has driven young men to more radicalization and into the lap of militant groups .

The people need to be weaned away and to be developed  into a patriotic citizens.  

The feeling  of alienation among Kashmiris  young and old is undeniable.

The alienation of youth however  needs to be addressed otherwise the situation will acquire larger proposition without any recourse to normalcy. Pakistan could use the radicalized youth in a more  lethal way to foment Taliban like militancy.in the state.

CONCLUSIONS;

The  Pulwama attack has been responded adequately by attacking Jaish –e-Mohammad camps in Balakot.and the expected Pakistani counter there by establishing its blatant belligerency.But the return of IAF Pilot immediately quietened the war like situation though temporarily.

 As of now crisis is blown over.

 With the LOK SABHA elections in the offing –11th April , as announced by the Election Commissioner, The Govt in place BJP will try to derive advantage on PM  Narender Modi’s decisiveness and the opposition would try to deny him to cash on it.

In the melee of elections  India should not forget to put relentless diplomatic pressure on  Pakistan through world leaders  to be black listed  in case it does not stop offering even a modicum of shelter to the terrorists growing on their soil.  

PULWAMA HOLOCAUST

On 14 the February, 2019 a local radicalized Kashmiri youth Suicide bomber terrorist having links with JEM (Jaish-e-Mohammad) of Pakistan struck at  Pulwama , Kashmir ,killing 40 Indian security forces instantly. Thus causing a biggest ever loss of lives in the three decade old militancy in Kashmir .

A very sight of the body bags calls for remorse ,anger and revenge.

To gauge the background of Jaish –e- Mohammad it is imperative to recall the implications of the rude shock of releasing  Masood Azhar, the prized terrorist  in January 2000 along with other two terrorists in exchange for passengers and crew of hijacked Flight IC184,from Kathmandu to Kandhar.

The eight day hostage of the passengers was  a saga full of agony and more painful to see India’s  external Affairs minister , Jaswant  singh escorting Masood Azhar and two others  to Kabul .

The same Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for Pulwama bombing.

The anger is against Pakistan in the firs place aiding and abetting the terrorist acts against India and secondly against radicalized  local Kashmiri terrorists for executing such heinous crimes at the behest of the Pakistan masters.

We need to be aware that every Kashmiri is not terrorist and not pay heed to the bigoted politicians  who vitiate the atmosphere by spreading hatred and inciting for violence against one and all.

The Prime Minister Narender Modi had assured the nation that the Pulwama attack will be retaliated and with much severity this time.

In September  2016 when Army camp was assaulted by terrorists who infiltrated from Pakistan into Uri sector in kashmir, Indian  army carried a  targeted surgical  counter attack.

Pakistan and ISI has been attacking rather bleeding India especially in Kashmir for last nearly three decades .

The surge in militancy in Kashmir in recent years have reached its zenith.  The aggressive Islamist  radicalization among educated younger generation is a matter of concern .and needs immediate redressal.

Insurgency related deaths have risen alarmingly in recent years.

The number of local recruits have been on the upswing since 2014

   YEAR     NUMBER OF RECRUITS.

   2013       16

   2014       53

   2015        66

   2016        88

   2017       120

   2018      164 (upto October)   Source Raj Sabha Q and A  27/3/2017 and 12/12/2018.  TOI.

 After Pulwama holocaust as evident in the melee of anger and vendetta, traders and students of Kashmir  valley were brazenly attacked in Jammu and other cities of the country. The students were thrown out of the hostels . In the  process of rage and rancor many innocent people got harmed

Again our PM Modiji’s assertion “not to harm any Kashmiri as the war is against terrorists and not against kashmiris “ brought some sanity among the hoodlums across the country.


India bombs Islamist Militants

Now after nearly 11 days  of Pulwama attack,

The act  of retaliation has shown to all in India and outside that India continues to be a strong composite nation to combat any eventuality on its own .

 in the wee hours of  the morning of 26th February 2019 twelve IAF Mirages 2000  attacked the terrorist camps in Balakote in Pakistan occupied Kashmir eliminating the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camps, thereby inflicting heavy casualities upon the terrorists, as per the statement of India’s Foreign Secretary Mr Vijay Gokhale. He further said a pre emptive strike was “ absolutely  necessary” to prevent further more attacks on our strategic military installations.

Our PM Narender Modi has demonstrated he   being a steadfast leader could not dither on taking such a resolute action.

In the past we have  fought two full fledged wars with Pakistan1965 and 1971 and defeated Pakistan both times.

In 1971, the defeat was colossal.Indira Gandhi ,a  determined strong willed leader dismembered Pakistan into Bangladesh and Pakistan with 90,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendering to Indian Army. The stature of India had zoomed to great heights in the comity of world nations.

Pakistan retaliates.

 Day after IAF struck and eliminated the terrorist camps in Balakote, Pakistan air force(PAF)  three F-16s  violated Indian air space in J&K on wednesday morning(27/2/19) in Nowshera and Krishna Ghati sectors of Poonch and Rajouri Districts tagetted the military installations with bombs, Indian two MIG 21 Bison chased the pakistani aircrafts  and in fact shot down one F-16 and it was spotted in Lam valley 3 kms inside  Pakistan territory.  Pakistan shot down  one MIG21Bison and captured wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman. 

Currently Wing Commander Abhinandan is in the Pakistan Army custody.

A few videos of the pilot emerged on social media. One showed him struggling to defend himself from the outrage of a mob in plainclothes in the middle of a forest, another showed him answering questions from Pakistani security forces.

Conclusions.  India and Pakistan have not been able to live like good neighbours from the day one and several wars were fought over Kashmir  without recourse to any permanent resolution to the contagious conflict.

in view of the aftermath of non military pre –emptive  strike at  Balakot by India following Jaish –e-Mohammad attack in Pulwama , capturing of IAF pilot by Pakistan,thus escalating the conflict between two nuclear armed neighbours high and definitely veering towards another possible war.

It is heartening to see the political class across party lines have conducted itself with sense of responsibility .

On the other hand our television studio warriors  are  indulging in irresponsible war mongerings. One is aghast to watch at paranoid crowds indulging into jingoism rather than  a sensible support for the authority to take right decision in the hour of crisis looming large over the country.

The people living on the borders of India,and in  the states like Punjab,J&K, Rajasthan ,Gujrat ,facing direct impact of war, understand it better than those living thousands of miles away from the boom of guns, air strikes and the loss of lives and the miseries it bring along with.

For instance in 1965 war , I was reading in College  and we were  living in the close  vicinity of Indian  Military concentration camp in ‘ChandMari’  just two kms away from our residence in Srinagar city. The guns boomed throughout day and night .The large number of infiltrators had sneaked in Kashmir and infiltrators were fighting in “Chand Mari” and  elsewhere in the city.  Indian Army finally flushed  out thousands of infiltrators with help of local Kashmiris. We were dying every day seeing the bullets zooming over our heads.

we have faced the trauma of war and fully aware of its  disastrous consequences.

There will be some steps to be taken as follows.

 Firstly we  must help the Govt to bring back the wing Commander Abhinandan safe and sound .

 Secondly the Govt of India should try other options like using diplomatic channels to put pressure on the world leaders and UNO to punish Pakistan for nurturing militants on their soil to settle  scores with India .

 Thirdly India is a large democracy and we must try all options before embarking upon a full fledged war bound to bring miseries to the teeming millions for no fault of theirs.

The decision needs to be taken with sobriety and in a cool headed state of mind not by flashy muscles .

THE METAMORPHOSIS OF A LEADER.

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Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan  Singh briefing the media

 

   RAHUL GANDHI ON THE UPSWING

Hitting the headlines for right reasons the metamorphosis of Rahul Gandhi from the image of derision to the combative leader with confidence and conviction to excel and lead has been remarkable and rewarding.

Rahul Gandhi’s vision is clean ,corruption free ,merit oriented politics.

Since he is genuinely concerned about the poor, he undertook the countrywide tours, spent time with poor people in the villages and Dalits to take stock of the problems they face so that the redressals could be thought of on ground realities.

He meets on regular basis the experts in various fields in close door meetings to seek their perspectives and possible solutions for the problems in villages.

 

For example the Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s political and Socio economic bombshell announcement promising his party ,the Congress ,if returning to power after Lok Sabha polls , would ensure a “Minimum Income Guarantee to every poor” ,has practically quacked earth beneath the feet of everyone. This announcement was made in a public meeting on 28th January,2019.

Immediately all political wizards of opponents or otherwise huddled together to find the mathematics of his big announcement.

Rahul Gandhi’s announcement is important in view of growing unemployment as 12.8 million youth are joining the unemployed labour force every year as per ILO’S 2018 world report.

ILO’S 2018 employment report shows India’s unemployment is expected to rise from 18.3 million in 2017 to 18.6 million in 2018 million and 18.9 million by 2019.( source REUTERS)

The future is bleak and dismal.

The world is toying with idea of Income redistributing in view of vast inequalities and the threat of automation resulting in joblessness.

Rahul Gandhi’s scheme on the face of it looks meant essentially for the poor falling below poverty lines.

“The Congress has decided to take a historic decision… The Congress-led government is going to give a minimum income guarantee. This means, each poor person in India will have minimum income. This means there will be no hungry, poor people in India,” Gandhi announced.

With his historic statement, Rahul Gandhi has changed the connotation from the job guarantees to income guarantees for one and all, irrespective of religion and caste.

 Distinctively an alternative narrative , a plan to put the Congress ahead and apart from all other political parties including BJP itself.

A very clever risky move by Rahul could bring unexpected gains for the Congress or take it out from the race.

But that is what a shrewd but courageous leader is expected to do. It is not always right to keep to the left. Sometimes you have to cross the road to reach the desired destination.

Rahul Gandhi has succeeded in shaping the Congress to be the sole alternative to the BJP, win or lose.

He has rightly decided to go alone in Andhra Pradesh and fight all 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies .

In UP he has decided to fight all 80 seats and has brought Priyankya Gandhi and Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia as two independent generalsectaries to handle east and west UP constitutions to win good no of seats.

Appointment of Priyankya Gandhi Vadra came as a surprise to one and all. It was announced after BSP and SP kept Congress out of the alliance.

A sound and pragmatic decision by Rahul again to play on the front foot . The Congress wants to make it clear that it does not want to be any one’s B-team.

The stronghold of BJP Eastern UP, wherefrom both the Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Yoginath have contested, is to be managed by Priyankya with care and aggression to bring some positive gains for her Party Congress. A difficult task but her charismatic appeal should work.

On the other hand BJP is struggling with its allies in the North east ,breaking away on the proposed changes in the citizenship laws, in UP with Apna Dal .

Rafale Deal

Rahul is emerging as a frontline leader and possibly the game changer in 2019 general elections . Taking on the Modi-Shah duo with more frequent public rallies ,media briefings on Rafal deal with sharp edged eloquence on the NDA Govt failures like rampaging joblessness, demonetization,badly implemented GST and much talked Rafal deal.

The CAG report tabled on Wednesday 13th February 2019, failed to answer some key questions raised first by the President of Congress party, Rahul Gandhi making serious allegations that were later explained in more details and carefully with well sourced media reports with defence ministry documents.

The CAG report makes assertions that the price of Rafale negotiated by present govt is 2.8% cheaper than UPA govt and delivery schedule was five months quicker than proposed in 2012.

The CAG report ,however, criticises the govt for not going on fixed price formula , a point made in dissent note of the experts in the Indian negotiating team , accepting French price escalation formula instead.

While addressing to the Congress parliamentary party on the last date of 16th Parliament session Rahul Gandhi, exuding optimism and confidence, said “We are now winning. We are defeating BJP in ideological fight. We are defeating BJP on the daily news cycle and Congress is now firmly entrenched in the mood and spirit of the people. Right now, you are thinking ‘Oh! we are 44 in LS’, you will see that the number of people standing behind you will surprise you. You will get a shock as to what is going to happen in 2019”, Rahul concluded smilingly.

Conclusion;

 Rahul Gandhi has shown his mettle in the last year after taking over the reigns of the Congress party, and winning three Hindi heartland states in December 2018 thus has evolved himself into more confident, committed ,steadfast and aggressive leader.

The election results have given him much more  acceptability as front rank leader of the opposition. This feat has motivated the Congress ,otherwise a demoralised  party forthe  last five years .

Rahul and his party has refused to respond to the BJP’s polarizing narratives like Ram temple.

Moreover what surprised every one was his aggressive attack in Parliament on the controversial Rafael deal this week targeting none other than the Prime Minister whom he has accused of corruption in the purchase of 36 Rafael jet fighters from the French company Dassault.

2018 the year proved lucky for Rahul as he came into his own as a campaigner and strategist, thus emerging as a powerful voice in the opposition against Modi.

Focusing  on farmer’s distress ,unemployment and the Rafael deal and on the issue of corruption more than anything else he has rightly captured the imagination of voters across the country.

Rahul has taken pains in strengthening the organisation as well.

He has rightly decentralized work among younger leaders and created weekly review of the work allotted.

Rahul has learnt nuances of administration by advising young leaders to remain patient and wait for their turn, and showed maturity by choosing the senior leaders like Baghel, Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath as chief ministers of the newly won states.

The recent surveys in all its probabilities has shown Gandhi’s growing acceptability as a challenger to Prime Minister Modi across pan India.

Rahul Gandhi has been successful in projecting himself as friend of the poor and needy, fighting for the causes linked to common man attacking PM Modi on such issues, thereby  promoting  himself as the leader of the masses.

The battle of 2019 LokSabha election is going to be a tough one and the dice is cast.

Who wins the race is the million dollar question to be answered by the people of India soon.

BATTLE OF 2019 LOK SABHA ELECTION.Will Modi Win Again?

With barely 100days left for the present govt, the battle lines for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections have already been drawn up.

The razzmatazz of political campaign seem to be started building up slow fire to be galvanized into a full blown inferno in the nick of time for the elections somewhere in early May 2019.

The Opposition Mahagathbandhan ( The Grand Opposition Alliance) formed with Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal blowing the trumpet on 19th January in Kolkatta.

At a mammoth rally organized by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress

The air rant with chorus of ‘oust Modi and BJP’.

The speakers from Mamata to Mayawati ,Akhlesh to Arvind Kejriwal , MKStalin to Mallikarjun Kharge ,Chanderbabu Naidu to Devgowda ,all spoke in one tone and pledged by the unity of strength.

The allies though of of disparate ideologies, united with sole aim of dislodging and defeating the Prime Minister Modi and BJP as a matter of fact.

The BJP mocking at the Gathbandan by claiming that the motely combination with varied political agendas offered much less viable alternative without a clear leadership.

In his inimical style Prime Minister Modiji said scornfully at a rally in Dadra & Nagar Haveli about Kolkata Gathbandan “They have gathered to save themselves from BJP.I can hear screams of ‘bachao, bachao,bachao”.

Rahul Gandhi is upbeat at the popularity chart, though still questioned to be closer to the personal popularity of Prime Na r e n d e r M o d i.

He has ,perhaps ,now mastered the art of persistent attacks on Modi and put BJP on the defensive both in the Parliament and outside .The issues of farmers woes, Rafale , joblessness,runway of business tycoons, fuel price, demonetisation, are some of the failures of governance giving enough ammunition to Rahul Gandhi to flaunt his arms in attacking Modi Government consistently.

The winning of Assembly elections in the main heartland states, Rajasthan , Madhya pradesh, Chhattisgarh have been a shot in the arm of Rahul to bolster his personal popularity and image.

To cut short the story ,the elections of 2019 is not going to be a cake walk for Modi and BJP.

To understand the answer to the question Will Modi win again ?

let us have a look at the Pan India presence of BJP .

This should help to monitor the barometer of overall strength and chances of winning at the hustings in May 2019.

   A            STATES WITH NO BJP SEATS

1/ Sikkim                   BJP              Zero

 

2/Mizoram                BJP             1

 

3/Tamil Nadu           BJP               Zero

 

B .   STATES BJP PART OF GOVT.

 

1/   Meghalaya         BJP               02 seats out of 60

 

2/   Nagaland          BJP               12 seats out of 60

 

3/   J&K                     Assembly dissolved

 

4/  Bihar                  BJP           53 seats out of 243

 

 

C .        STATES WHERE BJP IS NOT PART OF GOVT.

 

1/   Andhra         BJP                 04 seats out of 175

 

2/   Kerala             BJP                 01 seat out of 140

 

3/ Punjab           BJP                 03 seats out of 117.

 

4/ West Bengal   BJP             03 seats out of 294

 

5/ Telengana     BJP               05 seats out of 119

 

6/ Delhi             BJP                   03 seats out of 70

 

7/   Orissa         BJP                   10 seats out of 147.

 

 

 

  D       BJP IS IN CLEAR MAJORITY IN 07 STATES  ONLY OUT OF 29 STATES.

 

  1/ Uttar Pradesh     BJP       312 seats out of 403

 

 2/ Haryana                 BJP       47 seats out of 90

3/   Gujrat                     BJP       99seats out of 182

4/   Uttarakhand          BJP       56 seats out of 70

5/ Himachal Pradesh   BJP       44 seats out of 68

6/ Tripura                     BJP     35seats out of 60

7/Aruna Chal Pradesh BJP     48seats out of 60

 

 

E    THE STATES BJP LARGEST PARTY

 

                          1/ Assam               BJP     60 seats out of 126.

                          2/ Maharashtra       BJP     122 seats out of 288

 

    (Running govt with support of allies. Like Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and  Independents inAssam.)

 

From the above statistics it is evident that BJP is in command of 07 states only on their own strength and mostly in alliance in other states leaving a chunk of states in southern belt with no or just a mere namesake presence only.

Whereas the Congress has improved its position in Northern belt .having Govts in four states, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh ,Punjab .

In southern belt Congress is in drivers seat with JDS in Karnataka and in very good standing in Kerala.

Recently in close affinity with CM Naidu in Andhra Pradesh.

 Conclusions,

Will Modi Win? Yes and no. .

 Yes because BJP has still presence in 14 states out of 29 states and with more dedicated cadres at the grass roots and to bolster the Party’ chances of winningThe Prime Minister will have to instil confidence of Inclusive India and pooh pooh the idea of Hindutva laced policies for attracting genuinely the voters to vote for him again.

However the social benefits could be vote wielding ones—-LPG Cylinders ,better roads on national level and Swatch Bharat yojna,Beti Bachao,start ups could be strong tangble achievements to boast of and appreciated by the people

No because of the failures of good governance the middle class voters, who formed the foundation of Modiji and BJP success in 2014, have drifted away from BJP and are unlikely to vote  again. This group is in haste and do not want to go with a person who have bellied their hopes .

The last four years have been scenes of a broken nation on religious ethnic and political lines. Disgusted and disgruntled one stood stupefied even to oppose the fallouts of such erroneous acts, by way of raping of 8 or 17 years old girls with no redressal measures being taken to assuage the victims.

The Centre andstate govts failed to stand on  moral grounds and did not show firm will to bring the culprits to book ,instead maintained stoic silence to allow situation to the point of no return.

Secondly the high performance of Congress and Rahul Gandhi   in wooing the voters by sincerely alleviating farmer’s problems , highlighting and promising the youths for jobs ,small traders with transparent opportunities to prosper can create a big dent in the vote bank of BJP and Modi .He has shown the results and fulfilled the promises made and need not to be underestimated by any stretch of imagination.

Also Congress being old Political Party has gone through ups and downs and hence capable of rejuvenating with its cadres glued to the principles of inclusive India politics.

The ball is set in motion and let us see where it stops.