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Analysis

Yeddy does ‘Atal’, deals blow to BJP’s south strategy

With Karnataka gone now, Yeddyurappa made an emotional last bid to win people’s heart ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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BS Yeddyurappa

New Delhi, May 19 : The BJP’s efforts to expand in southern states suffered a blow on Saturday with its two-day old government collapsing as Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa resigned before a trust vote in an assembly where no party has majority.

The party now hopes that the move, akin to what then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did in 1996 after failing to garner enough support for his 13-day old government, will help it gain sympathy in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Despite knowing the fact that it was short of the required numbers, the BJP leadership went ahead to stake claim and took risk of allowing Yeddyurappa to take oath as Chief Minister.

This is what Vajpayee — the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Minister — did almost 22 years ago.

The BJP, which considers Karnataka as its gateway to south, tried its best to win the trust vote after forming the government on Thursday but failed to sustain it.

Despite this, BJP leaders are hopeful Yeddyurappa’s emotional speech in the Assembly before resigning and clearing his vision for the cause of farmers and downtrodden, will help the party in 2019 elections.

“Yeddyurappa did the same way Atal Bihari Vajpayee made his speech in the Lok Sabha in 1996 before resigning as the Prime Minister,” a senior BJP functionary told IANS, recalling how the BJP-led NDA returned with a thumping majority in the elections that followed.

“The BJP surged all over the country and formed governments (in many states) with coalition as well as of its own in 2014. We are hopeful of emerging in south too through Yeddyurappa,” he said.

With the possibility of relatively fewer seats in the Hindi belt states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and other north Indian states during the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, BJP President Amit Shah has been working on a strategy to compensate a bit from the probable loss of seats in southern part of the country.

But after Yeddyurappa’s resignation, Shah’s startegy has suffered a jolt as it provided an opportunity to the opposition camp to remain united.

The Assembly poll results clearly indicate that if the Congress and JD-S join hands in 2019, it will be a tough task for the BJP.

In 2014, the BJP had won 17 out of total 28 Lok Sabha seats of Karnataka. Out of total 129 seats of southeren states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerela, the BJP could win only 21 in 2014.

With the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) quitting the NDA, the BJP has already suffered a jolt in south as its position has weakened considerably in Andhra Pradesh where Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is campaigning against the Modi government for not meeting the demand of special status to the state.

To compensate TDP’s departure from the NDA, the BJP has been eying YSR Congress. But that looks like not an easy task as YSR Congress itself has been vehemently opposing the Modi government for not meeting the demand of special status.

In 2014, the BJP could won only two out of 25 seats in Lok Sabha in Andhra Pradesh.

In Tamil Nadu, the BJP is also facing the ire of the people as the Union government has failed yet to constitute a Cauvery Management Board.

With AIADMK in power and DMK as the main opposition, the BJP has very little space for its emergence in the state. In the 2016 state Assembly elections, the BJP even found it hard to identify candidates for the 234 constituencies in the Dravidian state.

The BJP is now trying to make inroads in Kerala but it will again not be an easy cup of tea for the party.

Although the BJP improved its vote share by around nine per cent in 2016 state Assembly elections, but it failed to stop Left Democratic Front from retaining power. In that year, the BJP opened an account in the state assembly — a first in the history of Kerala.

The BJP is hopeful of gaining ground in Telangana but faces a tough contest from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Congress. In 2014, it could win only one seat out of total 17 in the state.

Now, with the country all set to face general elections next year, the only state through which the BJP could have made inroads in south was Karnataka.

With Karnataka gone now, Yeddyurappa made an emotional last bid to win people’s heart ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“I will travel across the state non stop. We have received tremendous love and support across the state. For 2019, I promise, we will win 28 out of all 28 Lok Sabha seats. I won’t relent. I will continue to fight till my last breath,” he said in the Assembly, before meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala to resign.

(Brajendra Nath Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

Analysis

Hindu migrants from Pakistan living a life of homeless wanderers, courtesy Indian red-tapism

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Hindu migrants from Pakistan,

Jodhpur, Aug 14 : At a time when the world is battling one of its biggest refugee crises, India has its own share of the problem — thousands of Hindu migrants from Pakistan remain stranded at this Rajasthan transit hub. They have been awaiting their citizenship papers for years, despite submitting their passports, documents and hard-earned money too.

Although the world observed International Refugee Day in June, these migrants continue to run from pillar to post to check their status as a callous Indian bureaucracy works at its own inefficient pace unmoved by their plight.

Wandering like a nomad, one of these migrants, Anumaal, told IANS: “Our lives have become deplorable since the time we came to India. The longing to be a part of this country forced me to come here. But since then, from the year 2000 in April, we have been making untiring efforts to get citizenship, but to no avail.”

“My son has completed his 12th, but he couldn’t get admission in any college as the authorities demand domicile certificates and other identity proof. Eventually, he started working as a labourer to ensure we don’t die of hunger. His future has become dark and the same will be the case with my other son who is pursuing his 12th. Eighteen years of running from here to there has failed to bring any result for us,” he lamented.

“In a camp organised in the year 2005, we missed submitting our certificate by a day. The officials asked us to come with a certificate but it being a Saturday, we reached on Monday and since then, our grievances remain unheard,” Anumaal added.

“We surrendered our passports, our forms were duly filled, and they asked us to come along with a certificate. However, when we reached on Monday, we were informed that we can’t be given citizenship as they had received fresh instructions from the government. Since then, we have been meeting district collectors… the home secretary too, but to no avail. We have exhausted all our savings to pay these officials. We have even borrowed money, which has now exhausted. Now we are asked to fill in fresh forms and deposit fresh fees. When asked about the money we had already deposited, the officials said its gone, so forget about it and make a fresh start.

“There are many people like me who are running around in distress. We were doing agriculture in Pakistan but here we are forced to work as labourers. Initially, during partition, we lost our ancestral land which was seized by residents of Pakistan. Most of the Hindus lost their lands at that time. Now this is the second time we are losing a lot. We were initially in Jaisalmer. However, we left the place a long time back because of the water crisis. It is an irony that people consider us as Pakistanis now, which is quite sad to hear,” he added.

Then there is Dr Rajkumar Sharma, who practises medicine and was whose citizenship was confirmed on June 17. He said, “We came to Jodhpur in 2004. Since then, we have been working hard to make a decent living. There are thousands like me who have come here, their passports have been submitted, but they are yet to get their citizenship. The major challenge for them is getting a long-term visa (LTV) which gets stuck in red tapism,” he added.

Sharma said that he, being educated, managed to earn his bread and butter. “But when I think of other people like me who have migrated, I have tears in my eyes. They are really suffering. People refuse to give them a house on rent or a job to earn considering them as Pakistanis. More than 1,000 people are awaiting their long-term visas,” he informed.

“I belonged to Sindh and came here as Muslims were not so kind to Hindus in Pakistan. Radicalism was growing and so was their influence. Although we had land there, we preferred coming here leaving everything as we knew that things might become challenging in the coming days for Hindus,” he said, adding: “Now, when I have got citizenship, I will try to clear the Medical Council of India examination so that I can start my practice here.”

Dr Hindu Singh Soda, an activist for Pakistani minorities living in India, said that the number of Total Registered Migrants (TRMs) at various FROs in Rajasthan is 13,623. Of them, 12,253 are at FRO Jodhpur alone. Of them, 3,408 were granted LTVs in 2017 while rest of the applications are still under process.

On paper, an LTV is supposed to be granted within 120 days of applying; but in almost all cases, these are not granted for many years, he said, adding that 965 migrants were permanently sent back to Pakistan in 2016 and 2017.

Soda said red-tapism is to be blamed for this situation. Also, the processing of LTVs needs to be hastened to ensure the migrants get justice in India — a land for which they have left everything in Pakistan, he added.

(Archana Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])

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Analysis

Kerala floods: Here’s how Twitter can save you from fake news

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iduki

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) If you are in Kerala and are affected by the devastating floods, using Twitter may help you steer clear of fake news.

When communication services are limited and internet connectivity is poor, using the data-friendly “Twitter Lite” can help you connect easily with government agencies, relief organisations, media and volunteers.

One just needs to use hashtags such as #KeralaFloods, #KeralaFloods2018 to find information regarding relief operations, such as locations of relief centres.

Other hashtags such as #OpMadad can help with aid or rescue and #KeralaFloodRelief for raising funds for Kerala flood survivors.

To keep abreast with latest information, you can track Twitter “Moments” which is available in over 40 languages and can also be accessed offline.

“Moments” are curated stories showcasing the most relevant tweets for what’s happening on the micro-blogging site.

One can also create a chronological account of the situation and curate relevant tweets, which can serve as a point of reference later on.

Further, tracking government agencies like the National Disaster Response Force (@NDRFHQ) Indian Navy (@indiannavy), Press Information Bureau (@PIBIndia), the Chief Minister of Kerala (@CMOKerala), and the Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) can help get the latest news from trusted sources, as and when it happens.

Avoid sharing information that you are not able to verify and after receiving the help you need, make sure you update your tweet to save time and avoid duplication of effort.

The northern and central parts of the state have been battered by heavy rains since August 8, causing one of the worst floods in its history and have until now claimed 29 lives and left 54,000 homeless.

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Analysis

CAG blasts defence PSUs for delays and defective items

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NEW DELHI: From failing to meet the Army’s UAVs requirements to defective and life threatening parachutes and critical quality problems in the Pinaka rocket systems, the Comptroller and Auditor General has come down heavily on India’s state-run defence research and production sector.

In a report tabled this week in Parliament, the CAG states that two types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) could not be inducted into the Army due to severe delay in their development by the DRDO. Among issues listed are problems with the airframe, engine and payload that have impacted the Army’s aerial surveillance capability. In a particular model’s case, all four trial unmanned planes were lost to crashes.

The auditor has said that Ordnance Parachute Factory Kanpur met production targets for parachutes only in five instances out of 49 analysed and faced complaints from the forces. This led to a critical shortage that adversely affected the operational preparedness of the two forces such as grounding of aircraft and efficiency of paratroopers.

The CAG also highlighted quality problems in Pinaka rockets for the Army such as excessive short ranging, bursting of rockets and burning chunks of propellants. But two Failure Analysis Boards could not pinpoint the exact problem in the manufacture of the rockets. With this, the CAG stated that the production of the rockets has not fully stabilised.

Detailing problems with the ‘Nishant’ UAVs, the CAG pointed out that they failed to meet any requirements of the Army and all four given for trials crashed within three years of receipt. “Army found it unsuitable due to its inadequacy in meeting the surveillance requirement of the Strike Corps, because of its poor mission reliability, long preparation time and defect prone quality. All the four UAVs crashed within three years of their receipt. Only one UAV ordered was replaced by the DRDO, which also crashed in November 2015 due to failure of parachute recovery system,” reads a CAG report.

In regard to parachutes, the CAG found that as the ordnance factory did not meet production targets, there were significant shortfalls in Pilot Parachute for Mirage 2000 aircraft, Pilot Parachute Chest Type, Paratrooper Tactical Assault (Main) and Brake Parachute for Sukhoi-30 aircraft.

The CAG also said that 730 parachutes valued at `10.80 crore did not achieve specified quality parameters but were passed by state run units with deviations.

“Though the users (army and air force) expressed serious concern on the nature of the defects having flight safety implication and high risk in man dropping activity, undue delays in rectification or replacement of defective items by the ordnance factory led to critical deficiencies at the user’s depot and field units,” said the reports.

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