Tag: lok sabha

India and Singapore

Singapore was once a backward country. It has made progress over the years and has controlled corruption and has low crime rate. India lags behind in many respects. When comparisons are made some say Singapore does not have free press, popular sovereignty and equal moral status of citizens.

How free is India’s press? Corporate houses control many news TV channels and newspapers. Journalists working for many others are influenced by lobbyists who work for various interests. Newspapers and channels that want ad revenue enter into agreements with corporate houses not to say or write anything against them. Columns of writers who write about misdeeds about corporate houses disappear.

Where is popular sovereignty when people who have not contested elections or lost elections become ministers? Narasimha Rao and Deve Gowda were not MPs when they became PMs. Manmohan Singh is a Rajya Sabha member and the only one time he contested Lok Sabha election he lost it. Prithviraj Chavan had lost Lok Sabha election. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He was made CM of Maharashra when Ashok Chavan was removed. Bhoopinder Singh Hooda was not an MLA when he became CM of Haryana. Shivraj Patil who had lost Lok Sabha election was made home minister. There is no democracy or popular sovereignty when people who are not MPs or lost Lok Sabha elections become PMs or people in Delhi decide who should be CM, more so when one who is selected as CM is not an MLA, or industrialists decide who should be or should not be minister. Singapore has elections and its leaders are elected. Mani Shankar Aiyar lost Lok Sabha election. He was nominated to Rajya Sabha.

It is not clear what is meant by equal moral status. The constitution is about equal legal status which in India is often compromised by reservations on the basis of caste, class, tribe or gender. Over the years ministers, MPs, MLAs, bureaucrats, police officers and other public servants have been made immune from prosecution without permission from some authority which is difficult to get. Cases drag on for years in courts. In one case when the Supreme Court annulled the election of an MLA it was time for voting for the next Assembly.

In Singapore there is public caning for some offences and that plays a part in controlling crime. Singapore is a small country. Justice is quick. India can do away appeal from one court to another and see that justice is quick.

Cut motions fail

On 27/4/2010 cut motions moved in Lok Sabha by BJP and Left Front failed. BSP, SP and RJD did not vote for the motions. BSP was not part of the group led by Left Front. SP and RJD were part of the group. There was speculation of BSP abstaining on cut motions. It voted for the motion. SP and RJD took Left Front for a ride.
BJP blamed Congress for misuse of CBI in cases involving BSP, SP and RJD leaders.
Left Front should think about associating with SP in future. SP ditched Left Front during 2008 trust vote and now again on cut motion vote.
Congress had said it has a strategy for cut motions. Left Front and BJP should have guessed the strategy. BSP’s position was clear one week before. When SP and RJD did not issue whips on 26/4/2010 it was clear they will not vote for the cut motions.
JMM leader and chief minister of Jharkhand Shibu Soren was present on 27/4/2010 in Lok Sabha against cut motions. BJP expected him to vote for cut motions as JMM and BJP are partners in Jharkhand. Shibu Soren did the opposite. There was talk that he had cut a deal with Congress. No JMM MLA has vacated his or her seat for him and time is running out for him to remain as chief minister.
In 1999 Giridhar Gamang, then chief minister of Orissa, came to Lok Sabha to take part in confidence motion. There was consternation in BJP. They did not object when debate was going on. When the time for voting came BJP objected to Giridhar Gamang taking part in voting as he was a chief minister. Congress supported Giridhar Gamang. Both sides quoted precedents. Speaker G. M. C. Balayogi left it to the conscience of Giridhar Gamang to vote or not to vote. Giridhar Gamang voted the motion was defeated by one vote. Vajpayee Government fell.
It was also the time when Mayawati said in Lok Sabha BSP will not vote either for or against the confidence motion and next day voted against the motion.
This time the decision was not close as the cut motions were defeated by 88 and 84 votes. But BJP was angry. It withdrew support to Shibu Soren on 28/4/2010. BJP also is the loser as it was part of the government.
Shibu Soren was one of JMM MPs who had taken money to vote in favour of Narasimha Rao Government when it faced a no confidence motion and lacked majority.
What was Pranab Mukherjee’s role in getting the cut motions defeated? He was supposed to go to USA and his trip was cancelled. What could Pranab Mukherjee do that other Congress leaders could not do?
While the disruptions of proceedings by our MPs are bad enough sometimes we come across MPs of other countries who go a step further. On 27/4/2010 MPs in Ukraine’s parliament got physical in their fights, threw eggs and set off smoke bombs. Guards covered speaker with an umbrella to protect him from eggs.
Link to e-book King – a novel: http://go4quiz.com/vincent/king
Link to e-book Pope – a novel: http://go4quiz.com/vincent/pope

IPL controversies

IPL was started to crush ICL. BCCI used its clout to get ICC ban players taking part in ICL. ICL had players from different countries. It was unfair to ban players taking part in ICL.
IPL got franchisees and sponsors. Players were auctioned. ICL suffered loss and disappeared.
Media gave good coverage to IPL. The telecast of matches was in the evening or at night. The matches provided entertainment and an alternative for movies and TV serials. People were fed up of K serials and they watched IPL.
In 2009 when the government could not provide security due to general elections IPL was moved to South Africa.
Most people in media reported what IPL told them without cross checking. It was reported that all tickets for IPL matches in South Africa were sold within five minutes. When the matches played there were not many spectators. TV cameras focussed on few people in the stadium.
In 2010 IPL was back in India. More people wanted to be part of IPL. Bids were called for two more franchisees. Lalit Modi made the rules. They were required to have $1 billion net worth and had to submit $100 million bank guarantee. Few could quality and Adani and Videocon won the bids.
Then BCCI intervened and annulled the bids. Fresh bids were called. The requirements of $1 billion net worth and $100 million bank guarantee were set aside. Sahara and Rendezvous won the bids.
Rendezvous had bid for Kochi. Lalit Modi tweeted the names of owners of Kochi franchise. Sunanda Pushkar’s name got Shashi Tharoor in trouble. BJP and Left Front wanted him to quit. BJP did not allow Shashi Tharoor to make a statement in Lok Sabha and disrupted the proceedings. Manmohan Singh was out of India. On 18/4/2010 Shashi Tharoor resigned. That was the end of the beginning. Some years back BJP did not allow a session to function as their demand of Sukh Ram’s resignation was not met. Some months later BJP formed a government in Himachal Pradesh with the help of Sukh Ram. On 9/3/2010 members who disrupted proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were suspended and marshals were called to take them out. Why was that not done in Lok Sabha on 16/4/2010?
On 19/4/2010 there was discussion in the Lok Sabha. Someone wanted cricket banned. Someone wanted IPL banned. Someone wanted nationalisation of BCCI.
In the media people spoke of allegations of betting, match-fixing, call girls, money laundering and underworld involvement.
IPL came to be referred as Indian Party League, Indian Political League and Indian Paisa League.
IPL is a private tournament that stretches to 45 days. There is no need for the government to provide security.
What happened to investigative journalism? No newspaper or TV channel reported anything significant till Lalit Modi tweeted.
After a bomb blast in Bangalore semi-finals of IPL were shifted to New Bombay. Karnataka Home Minister V. S. Acharya spoke of betting lobby being behind the shifting of venue.
On 22/4/2010 Income Tax officials visited offices of some franchisees and broadcasters. Whether the visits were raids or surveys is a matter of interpretation.
How did Rendezvous arrive at the figure of $333 million to win the bid for Kochi IPL? There are two reports.
1) Lalit Modi rang up to Rendezvous people and asked them to quote a particular figure. The Rendezvous people were suspicious and quoted 10% or 20% higher.
2) IPL CEO Sundar Raman sent Kochi IPL valuation report by e-mail to Poorna Patel, daughter of Praful Patel. She sent to Chandra Bharadwaj, secretary to Praful Patel who in turn sent it to Shashi Tharoor. The report showed total loss of Rs.612 crores to first ten years, 2011-2020, and showed profit from 2021 onwards. This was meant to discourage bid for Kochi IPL. Shashi Tharoor passed on the e-mail to Kochi bidders. They did not believe the report and contacted two cricketers, one a former player, an opening batsman and legend, second a current player. Based on what cricketers said Kochi IPL bidders quoted their figure.
The names of cricketers are not mentioned by anyone. India had many opening batsmen and if anybody can be called a legend it is Sunil Gavaskar. Chetan Chauhan, Ravi Shastri and K. Srikanth lag far behind. Sourav Ganguly is known for his captaincy. Who is the current cricketer? S. Sreesanth is from Kerala. It does not seem he has inside information.
There is talk of proxy holdings. Companies in Mauritius, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and other places are mentioned.
Lalit Modi has taken on BCCI and refused to attend meeting on 26/4/2010 called by Sreenivasan saying it unauthorised and unofficial. As chairman of IPL he is the person who can call a meeting of IPL Governing Council. He wants a meeting on 1/5/2010.
There are questions about valuations. How did the valuators arrive at the conclusions in a short time? When franchisees are not making money how can the valuation go up?
Some MPs want JPC to probe IPL. That is not of much use and members take party positions.
Some have questioned the holding of matches at night and consumption of electricity as in most parts of the country there is shortage of electricity.
There is PIL against IPL in Bombay High Court.
On 22/4/2010 at 4.47 p.m. on NDTV 24×7 there was M. A. K. Pataudi interview with Barkha Dutt with “exclusive” written over it. At 5.04 p.m. M. A. K. Pataudi was on CNN-IBN with Karan Thapar. Did NDTV 24×7 have a contract for an exclusive interview? What about a viewer taking NDTV 24×7 to court for misleading?
It is said that Poorna Patel made Air India cancel a scheduled flight and chartered the aeroplane to carry Chennai Super Kings team from Chandigarh to Chennai. Air India has said India Cements chartered the plane. There is also report of another Air India plane diversion.
There is a report that one IPL official and 27 players were involved in match-fixing in S. Africa. Another report says the official and players are under suspicion of involvement in match-fixing.
There is demand for resignations of Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel. Congress can not do anything as they belong to NCP and if asked to resign NCP can withdraw support to UPA. It can pull down the UPA government at Centre and in Maharashtra. NCP can form government in Maharashtra and BJP will have no compunction in joining it. Congress will be the loser. When there was demand for A. Raja’s resignation DMK leader Karunanidhi ruled it out and Congress had to continue with A. Raja.
It is said some Congress members feel this is the time to teach NCP a lesson, NCP needs Congress more than Congress needs NCP. Congress does not have the support of RJD, SP and BSP. TMC is not happy with Congress. Trying to teach a lesson to NCP can prove costly. It can be repeat of 1999 when the government fell without passing the budget.
Some compare IPL to Satyam but the comparison is unfair. In Satyam money disappeared, according to one account Rs.11,000 crores. In IPL money has not disappeared. Besides there was no need for the government to get involved to save Satyam. Hit for Satyam would not have been hit for India’s software industry. In USA scams involving major companies take place with unfailing regularity yet USA has not been hit.
Some IPL team owners have money to own teams and pay millions of dollars to players but when they suffer loss in business they want government help. They don’t want to put profit in one group company to help another group company.
A. C. Muthaiah has filed a case Sreenivasan in Supreme Court. The timing can not be a coincidence.
A report of telephone tapping, technically signal interception, of conversations of Prakash Karat, Digvijay Singh, Nitish Kumar and Sharad Pawar has come out. It is said that P. Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee had incriminating evidence against Sharad Pawar and that made him turn against Lalit Modi. The equipment used for telephone tapping was acquired by National Technical Research Organisation in 2006.
A report says IT raids on franchisees were conducted on the basis of an unauthentic, unsigned and unsubstantiated tax report.
Pranab Mukherjee has cancelled his trip to USA to attend IMF meeting.
Government takeover of BCCI is not a good idea. Government runs other sports with mostly disastrous results. IOA is far behind schedule in getting everything ready for Commonwealth Games.
Let government make rules as to allow cricketers to run BCCI. Officials like President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of BCCI should have played at least 25 Tests. Officials of local associations that field Ranji teams should have played at least 25 Ranji matches. National selectors should have played at least five Tests and local selectors should have played at least five Ranji matches. Clubs or other organisations that do not field Ranji teams should lost BCCI membership.
Link to e-book King – a novel: http://go4quiz.com/vincent/king
Link to e-book Pope – a novel: http://go4quiz.com/vincent/pope