Posts tagged ‘United Progressive Alliance’

18/10/2015

Sonia says Modi govt imposing its ideology on people – The Hindu

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday blamed the Modi government for the growing intolerance to intellectuals and communal tensions in the country. The government, she said, was anti-poor and corporate-friendly.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi at an election rally in Buxar, Bihar on Saturday. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

“Ever since Narendra Modi came to power, the intellectuals are being harassed and an effort has been made to stoke communal tensions through rumours. The BJP is trying to enforce its own ideology on people. It is shameful,” she said at election meetings at Buxar and Chappra. Her comments refers to the recent lynching of a man at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and writers returning their Sahitya Academy awards.

“Modiji, Hindu aur Musalmaan apas main ladte nahi, balki unko ladaya jata hai… kyunki communal jhagde band ho gaye toh kuch logo ki dukaandari band ho jayegi, aur yeh BJP se behtar kaun janta hai? [Mr. Modi, Hindus and Muslims don’t clash with each other but they are being pushed to do it … If communal clashes are being stopped, many people’s business will be closed, and who knows this better than the BJP?],” she said.

Ms. Gandhi said the Modi government worked only for big businesses and had no concern for the poor.

She said the Congress would not allow the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill to go through the Rajya Sabha as it was against the welfare of the people. “The UPA government wanted the GST law for the development of industry, but we are opposing it now for the welfare of the people,” she said.

“Mr. Modi speaks much but delivers little. Has he delivered on the tall claims made by him during the last Lok Sabha polls,” she asked. When the crowd yelled “no”, she said: “It is high time he understood the pain of the people.”

The government was silent when pulse prices were rising, farmers were committing suicide and unemployment among the youth was rising, she said.

Taking on Mr. Modi for alleging that the Congress had done little in the past 60 years of its regime, Ms. Gandhi said: “When we got freedom, we had nothing; but the Congress government did revolutionary works in education, health and employment in the past 60 years. We maintained the unity and integrity of the country and strengthened democracy.”

Source: Sonia says Modi govt imposing its ideology on people – The Hindu

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11/04/2014

India’s election: Seasons of abundance | The Economist

LICK your lips: mangoes are coming into season in Andhra Pradesh, piled up on roadside fruit stalls. Hyderabadis claim theirs are the country’s sweetest. So too are the bribes paid by the state’s politicians to get people to vote. Since early March state police have seized more money from politicians aiming to buy votes—590m rupees ($10m)—than the rest of India combined. An excited local paper talks of “rampant cash movement”, reporting that police do not know where to store the bundles of notes, bags of gold and silver, cricket kits, saris and lorry-loads of booze.

Andhra Pradesh, India’s fifth most populous state, is due to hold an impressive series of polls in the next few weeks—municipal elections and then both state-assembly and national ones. Many politicians keep up old habits by paying voters, especially rural ones, to turn out. A villager can stand to pocket a handy 3,000 rupees per vote. Economists predict a mini-boom in consumer goods.

If this is the lamentable face of Indian politicking, the hopeful side is that, increasingly, skulduggery is being pursued. A worker with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Hyderabad says police looking for illicit cash stopped and searched her car five times in a single drive one day last week.

This may be because in Andhra Pradesh, unusually, politicians are not currently running the show. The state is under “president’s rule”, with bureaucrats in charge, ahead of its breaking into two on June 2nd. Then, a new state, Telangana, will emerge to become India’s 29th, covering much of the territory once ruled by the Nizams of Hyderabad, the fabulously wealthy Muslim dynasty whose reign India’s army ended in 1948. A rump coastal state gets to keep the name Andhra Pradesh. For a decade Hyderabad will serve as joint capital.

The split will have a bearing on the national election. In 2009 the ruling coalition, the United Progressive Alliance, led by Congress, returned to national office on the back of two whopping southern victories. Congress scooped 33 seats in Andhra Pradesh, more than in any other state. Its ally next door in Tamil Nadu, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), got 18 seats. Both now face heavy defeats. “The south’s biggest impact nationally will be negative, in not voting for Congress”, says K.C. Suri of Hyderabad University.

via India’s election: Seasons of abundance | The Economist.

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26/08/2013

Sonia says food bill is ‘big message’, Mulayam calls it poll gimmick

Times of India: “Declaring Congress’s goal to “wipe out hunger and malnutrition”, Sonia Gandhi asked all political parties on Monday to set aside differences and support the Food Security Bill so that a “big message” could be sent out about India’s capabilities.

English: Sonia Gandhi, Indian politician, pres...

English: Sonia Gandhi, Indian politician, president of the Indian National Congress and the widow of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. Français : Sonia Gandhi, une femme politique indienne, présidente du parti du congrès indien, et veuve de Rajiv Gandhi, ancien premier ministre de l’Inde. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Opening the Congress innings on the debate in Lok Sabha on food bill, she rejected questions over whether the country had resources to implement the landmark measure.

“It is time to send out a big message that India can take responsibility of ensuring food security for all Indians … our goal is to wipe out hunger and malnutrition all over the country,” Gandhi said about her pet agenda.

Making a strong pitch for smooth passage of the landmark legislation, the UPA chairperson said the measure is a historic opportunity to provide food security to tens of millions of people in the country which will end the problem of hunger once for all.

She sought to dismiss questions over whether the ambitious scheme could be implemented. “The question is not whether we have enough resources or not and whether it would benefit the farmers or not. We have to arrange resources for it. We have to do it,” she said in the House where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present.

Gandhi said farmers and agriculture have always remained priority of the UPA.

Agreeing that reforming public distribution system (PDS) was a must for the food law, Gandhi noted that there was basic need to remove the leakages to ensure that benefits of the food bill reached the intended beneficiary.

Gandhi said the Congress had made a commitment to the nation in the 2009 election manifesto to bring forward such a legislation. It is one in a series of various rights promised and provided by UPA like Right to Information Act, Right to Education Act, Right to Work Act and Right to Forest Produce Act.

Poll gimmick

Contending that the Food Security Bill was being brought with an eye on elections, UPA’s outside supporter Samajwadi Party on Monday demanded that the measure be kept in abeyance till chief ministers are consulted as it would put additional burden on states.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav raised a number of questions over the bill in Lok Sabha and said it would badly hurt farmers as there was no guarantee in the provisions that all the produce would be bought by the government.

“It is clearly being brought for elections … Why didn’t you bring this bill earlier when poor people were dying because of hunger? Every election, you bring up a measure. There is nothing for the poor,” he said participating in the debate on the bill.”

via Sonia says food bill is ‘big message’, Mulayam calls it poll gimmick – The Times of India.

18/09/2012

* In India, Mamata Banerjee May Bring Down Coalition

NY Times: “When Mamata Banerjee, a 5-foot-tall dynamo in flip-flops, finally defeated the Communists last year after decades of misrule here, she became one of the most powerful but unpredictable politicians in India. Now the country is left to guess whether she will announce on Tuesday that she intends to try to pull down India’s governing coalition.

Ms. Banerjee may bring down the governing coalition.

Ms. Banerjee is the chief minister of West Bengal, a state more populous than Germany, and she leads a regional party with 19 ministers in Parliament, a crucial block of votes for the governing United Progressive Alliance. Indeed, she is so influential that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton paid her a special visit on a recent trip to India, a highly unusual honor for any regional leader.

On Thursday and Friday, the government pushed through several sweeping policy changes, including one that would allow Walmart and Ikea to set up shop in India. Ms. Banerjee has repeatedly opposed plans to open India up to more competition. She is in some ways more leftist than the Communists she replaced.

But while she has vowed to protest the changes, it is unclear whether she will go further on Tuesday and push for early elections after she meets with her party leaders. As is often the case with Ms. Banerjee, her public statements are often contradictory.”

via In India, Mamata Banerjee May Bring Down Coalition – NYTimes.com.

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