Mamata Banerjee was unhappy with diesel price rise, cap on LPG cylinders with subsidy at six per year per family, and FDI in multi-brand retail. Most people are unhappy with diesel price rise as it will lead to other price rises. Cap on LPG cylinders will not affect most families as they do not use for than six cylinders per year. FDI in multi-brand retail is beneficial to farmers while small shop owners will lose.
Mamata Banerjeeâ€™s statement that court orders can be bought has evoked various reactions, most of them against her. Her statement was taken in the context of West Bengal Human Rights Commission slapping a fine of 50,000 rupees for the arrest of a professor who had sent her cartoons through e-mail. Her critics said her statement was unacceptable and irresponsible; she was dictatorial, intolerant and does not have a sense of humour.
Pranab Mukherjee is the president of India. He could not become prime minister, even caretaker prime minister, home minister and missed becoming president in 2007. There was suspense about his candidature. When during Congress Working Committee meeting he proposed authorising Congress president to nominate candidates for president and vice president he seemed out of equation. Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav said they did not want him or Hamid Ansari and proposed A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and Somnath Chatterjee. It seemed all over for Pranab Mukherjee but Mulayam Singh Yadav turned around and supported him. JD(U) and Shiv Sena supported Pranab Mukherjee. There was split in Left Front. CPI(M) supported him. CPI abstained. At the end Mamata Banerjee also supported him.
On 12/6/2012 Election Commission announced the dates for presidential election. Strange are the ways of Election Commission. They announce elections for Legislative Assemblies six months before the expiry of the term and club various state elections together though announcement before 40 days is enough and clubbing elections together is not necessary and right. In case of presidential election the law provides for announcement 60 days before the expiry of the term and Election Commission announced the dates 43 days before the expiry of the term. Soon there will be vacancy of vice president but Election Commission has not clubbed together elections of president and vice president. S. Y. Qureshi was CEC when 60 days were left i.e., on 25/5/2012. He should have announced the election but did not do so and retired on 10/6/2012. Perhaps he was waiting for Congress to announce its candidate. On 11/6/2012 V. S. Sampath became CEC and next day at 5.30 p.m. he announced the election.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has sent a bill for Rs.10.87 crores to Maharashtra government for providing security to Ajmal Kasab for the period from 28 March 2009 to 30 September 2010. Maharashtra government says it does not have the money and has discontinued ITBP protection to Ajmal Kasab.
There was no need to deploy 200 men to guard Ajmal Kasab. The trial was inside the jail. There were other expenses that were unnecessary like constructing a hospital ward for him at the cost of 2 crore rupees which was not used and a tunnel at the cost of 50 lakh rupees which was rarely used.
Election results for Legislative Assemblies in four states and one union territory are out. In Assam it is third time successively for Congress and allies. In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee led TMC-Congress defeated Left Front which was in power for 34 years. In Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, Jayalalitha led AIADMK and partners to victory over DMK-Congress coalition. In Kerala, UDF won, LDF lost.
CPI-M and CPI lost power in West Bengal and Kerala. They are in coalition with ADMK but did not contest many seats. Congress was in the winning combinations in Assam, West Bengal and Kerala. In Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments have changed every five years for the past few times. BJP lost seats in Assam and did not win seats in other states. Congress is happy that BJP did not do well.