Month: September 2011

Petrol price hike unjustified

Petrol price has gone up once again. There is no good reason for the hike. It is a myth that oil marketing companies decide the hike. When there were elections in four states and one union territory petrol price did not go up. The hike happened after voting was over. That time LPG price also went up.

The government says hike is inevitable because of increase in price of oil in international market. When the price comes down in international market petrol, diesel or LPG price does not come down. Then it is said there is subsidy for diesel, kerosene and LPG. The government’s manipulation of exchange rate has resulted in rupee being weak and common people having to pay a high price. When rupee appreciates against dollar the government buys dollars and keeps the value of rupee down. When rupee depreciates the government does not sell dollars and keep the value of rupee. It is done to favour exporters at the cost of 121 crore Indians.

USA prints about a trillion dollars every year and dumps them in the market. That should have brought down the value of dollar. However India has printed notes and when USA goes down India goes down even further. If India had not manipulated currency the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG would have been about one tenth of what they are today.

PM Manmohan Singh he does not have a magic wand. You don’t need a magic wand. You have to do the right thing. DMK, NCP and TMC opposed price hike but no one has talked of currency manipulation that is the root of the problem.

Congressification of BJP

There was a time when BJP claimed it had discipline and was a party with a difference. Later on the differences among members became public knowledge and people referred to it as party with differences. As years passed BJP started to resemble Congress.

Like Congress, BJP does not have inner-party democracy. Decisions are imposed from above. Leaders in Delhi decide who should be chief minister or leader of opposition in Legislative Assembly. That is like Congress high command. MLAs defying central leadership, as happened in Karnataka, is an exception.

BJP did not associate with Gandhi except for a time when it talked of Gandhian socialism which was soon abandoned. BJP leaders were not known to fast. Raj Ghat was not a place where one expected BJP members to be present. That changed when BJP members had one day fast at Raj Ghat. Sushma Swaraj dancing to a song led to a controversy. She claimed it was a patriotic song.

Narendra Modi’s decision to go on 72 hours fast has evoked various reactions. Some call it political stunt. Yogendra Yadav talked of cat going on Haj after eating 900 rats. That can be said of Mamata Banerjee who led bandhs and blockades in West Bengal and after becoming chief minister does not want bandhs. Some say Narendra Modi is making a bid for central leadership and setting himself as a candidate in 2014. Shankarsinh Vaghela came up with 75 hours fast. Some call the fasts farce. Narendra Modi has chosen an air-conditioned hall for his fast. Some call it five-star fast. In 2002 the riots lasted 72 hours. Shankarsinh Vaghela has chosen to fast outside Sabarmati Ashram. It seems Anna Hazare’s fast had an effect on politicians.

There is not much difference between BJP and Congress on economic or foreign policy. On issues like Article 370 and uniform civil code BJP did nothing when it was in power at centre. For long BJP accused Congress of dynastic rule. Now BJP is following the same path with family members of politicians getting tickets to contest elections. Congress is property of one family. BJP is property of RSS.

BJP should expel Ram Jethmalani

Ram Jethmalani has consistently contradicted BJP’s stand. He had quit BJP and contested against Atal Behari Vajpayee. BJP took him back and made him a Rajya Sabha member. He continued in his ways. He took up cases against BJP governments or policies. He appeared for Binayak Sen against Chhattisgarh government. BJP wants death penalty for terrorists. He takes up their cases. BJP accuses UPA of corruption in 2G spectrum allocation. He took up Kanimozhi’s case. Now in cash-for-votes case he has taken the defence of Amar Singh and has argued that the money might have come from BJP. Instead of taking disciplinary action BJP is quiet with the lame excuse that he is expressing his client’s views. BJP’s statements on terror and corruption sound hollow. BJP seems to be consumed with death wish.

Amar Singh is out of jail without bail. He is in hospital.

BJP has expelled members for minor offences or sometimes for no offence at all. It expelled Jaswant Singh without reading his book. It did not give him an opportunity to defend himself.

Lal Krishna Advani has claimed responsibility for the sting operation. Two BJP members are in jail for receiving money even though they showed it in Lok Sabha. Delhi police did not treat them as whistleblowers. Bangaru Laxman can go to court saying people who gave him money are guilty and should be charged for impersonation, cheating and giving money. He did not ask money. He did not promise anything. The impostors told the money was for New Year’s party. Tehelka wanted to trap Jaya Jaitly but did not succeed. She told the impostors to give money to the treasurer. MPs who were expelled from Lok Sabha for taking money to ask questions and allot money under MPLADS can ask for prosecutions of people who gave them money.

Ram Jethmalani has turned BJP into a joke. If BJP is serious it should expel Ram Jethmalani and issue him a notice for retraction failing which it will sue for damages for besmirching its reputation. Otherwise people will call it a party of jokers.