Lok Sabha 2019

On 19/5/2019 seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections ended. TV channels came out with their exit polls.
India Today – Axis: NDA 339-365, UPA 77-108, Others 69-95.
Republic TV – C Voter: NDA 287, UPA 128, Others 127.
News18 – IPSOS: NDA 336, UPA 82, Others 124.
Times Now – VMR: NDA 306, UPA 132, Others 104.
Republic Bharat – Jan Ki Baat: NDA 305, UPA 124, Others 113.
NewsX – Neta: NDA 242, UPA 164, Others 135.
ABP News – Nielsen: NDA 267, UPA 127, Others 148.
India TV – CNX: NDA 300, UPA 120, Others 122.
News24 – Chanakya: NDA 350, UPA 95, Others 97.
Others included AAP, BJD, BSP-SP-RLD, Left Front, TMC, TRS, YSRCP and some other parties.
Figures for NDA were 365 highest and 242 lowest.
Figures for UPA were 164 highest and 95 lowest.
Figures for Others were 148 highest and 69 lowest.
Reactions to exit poll figures were predictable. Mamata Banerjee said they were gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. Omar Abdulla said every exit poll can’t be wrong. Chandrababu Naidu said time and again exit polls have failed to catch people’s pulse. Congress members said they will do better than predicted and results on May 23 would surprise the ruling party. Vote share to seat share conversion is a difficult job. There is fear psychosis is the country and people do not reveal their views. BJP members were happy about the figures. Yogendra Yadav said the Congress must die. If it could not stop the BJP in this election to save the idea of India, this party has no role in Indian history.
In 2004 exit polls had predicted NDA victory. Lowest number of seats was 230. As it turned out NDA got 196 seats. BJP got 138 seats, seven less than Congress. Left Front had around 60 seats and SP 36. UPA formed government with the support of Left Front and SP.
On 23/5/2019 counting began at 8 a.m. Three full days gap between voting end and counting. There are 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. Vellore election countermanded as money was used.
Sensex went up beyond 40,000 and then came down and ended lower at 38,811.39 points, 298.92 lower than previous close.
Final tally: NDA 351, UPA 92, Others 99.
Congress lost Muslim votes in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states because it wanted to prove it is more Hindu than BJP. In Madhya Pradesh, National Security Act was applied on Muslims caught for cow smuggling. In Rajasthan, Congress said they spend more money on cows than BJP spent.
AAP did not win any seat in Delhi. BJP won all seven seats. Congress finished second. AAP finished third. AAP had four seats from Punjab in 2014. This time only Bhagwant Mann won. AAP did not win any seat in Chandigarh, Haryana and Goa. Last time it had contested more than 400 seats. Great fall for a party that was seen as an alternative to all other political parties and for Arvind Kejriwal who was spoken as a Prime Ministerial candidate.
BJP tally increased from 282 to 303.
Congress tally increased from 44 to 52.
DMK tally increased from 0 to 23.
JD (U) tally increased from 2 to 16.
BSP tally increased from 0 to 10.
YSRCP tally increased from 9 to 22.
AIADMK tally decreased from 37 to 1.
TMC tally decreased from 34 to 22.
BJD tally decreased from 20 to 12.
TDP tally decreased from 16 to 3.
There were 3,443 independent candidates. One won.
PMK, AINRC, SDF, RLSP, RJD, RLD, JVM (P), HAM, VIP, PDP, PRISM, JSP, JJP, NPP, AIFB, AGP, GGP, UDP and SUCI did not win any seat.
Prime Ministerial ambitions of Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, KCR and others suffered a setback.
There were Legislative Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim and Legislative Assembly voting in 22 constituencies in Tamil Nadu. In Andhra Pradesh YSR Congress won. BJP won in Arunachal Pradesh. BJD won in Odisha. SKM won in Sikkim.

Iran and oil

USA does not want India to buy oil from Iran. It is India’s right to buy anything from any country. USA threatens sanctions against any country that buys oil from Iran.
For long India has succumbed to US pressure. There was plan of Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. India withdrew to please USA.
Oil trade is mostly in American dollars. USA will fine banks that deal with Iran and block them from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) System. Russia has developed SPFS (System for Transfer of Financial Messages) as an alternative to SWIFT. EU wants to establish an alternative to SWIFT.
Iran has received rupee payment for oil. At one time India imported 17% of oil from Iran. It has come down from that and recently it is said to be 5%.
USA says it helped India to get Masood Azhar declared as global terrorist. China has blocked India’s attempt against Masood Azhar for a long time. We do not why China relented, what compromises India made and what was USA’s role in getting China agree on Masood Azhar. Reports about how India achieved that are not reliable as officially nothing is said. USA talks of war on terrorism. It wants India to go against Iran because it sided with India in Masood Azhar case. So USA will not side with India against terrorism unless it gets something in return.
India should make rupee strong. Stronger the rupee the better. There will be no need of subsidies for oil and gas.
USA also does not want India to buy oil from Venezuela. It tried to topple Nicolas Maduro government and failed.
India will have to fight against terrorism on its own. USA is not India’s ally in fight against terrorism. Buying oil from any country is India’s prerogative. It is question of India’s sovereignty. India’s relationship with USA or any other country should be reciprocal. If USA is nasty to India, India should be nasty to USA. That happened in Devyani Khobragade case. Now it is election time in India. Government and Opposition are attacking each other and Iran oil issue is not talked about. Hope things will be better when elections are over and new government is formed.

Ranjan Gogoi

A woman has accused Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment. She was an employee at his office. The complaint is in the form of affidavit with a covering letter. It was sent to 22 judges of the Supreme Court. The reports appeared on Caravan, Leaflet, Scroll and The Wire on 20/4/2019. It was Saturday. CJI Ranjan Gogoi convened a sitting of the Supreme Court. He headed the bench that consisted Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna. Attorney General K. K. Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta were present.
Ranjan Gogoi denied the allegations. He said “There has to be a bigger, bigger force behind this… They want to deactivate the office of the CJI.” He further said he had taken the extraordinary and unusual step of convening the sitting because things have gone too far. He hinted the charges were made because he was hearing sensitive cases next week.
Tushar Mehta said the charges were rubbish. Arun Mishra said the judiciary would not be able to function if such unscrupulous allegations were levelled against judges.
On 12/1/2018 Ranjan Gogoi and three other Supreme Court judges had held a press conference against then CJI Dipak Misra. That time he did not think highly of the office of CJI. He should name the persons behind the accuser.
The sitting could have been held on Monday. Ranjan Gogoi could have recused himself and another judge could have taken his place. The accused being a judge in a case involving himself is strange.
Supreme Court has Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee. It is headed by Justice Indu Malhotra. It has 11 members. GSICC has power to pass orders on any complaint of sexual harassment in the Supreme Court precincts. However GSICC requires permission of the CJI to implement certain directions. CJI has the authority to modify or set aside the orders passed by GSICC.
What happens when CJI is accused? The code dealing with complaints has no provision for that.
Supreme Court lawyer Utsav Bains said he was offered 1.5 crore rupees by an unidentified person to organise a media conference and frame Ranjan Gogoi at Presss Club of India and present and present the accuser. He refused and went to inform Ranjan Gogoi of the conspiracy around 7 p.m. on 19/4/2019. The staff said he was not at his residence.
It is wrong to say accusation against CJI is an attack on independence of judiciary. The law is above CJI. If CJI can get away that way, other judges also can do the same. Contempt of court provision has been used against true reports about judges. Ministers can claim attack on them is attack on India. Let law take its course.