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EDITORIALS

Speaker is right
Parliament can expel members
I
T was one of the saddest days in the history of India when its citizens became a witness to the unthinkable spectacle of their beloved, honourable MPs demanding and getting money for asking questions in Parliament. This was worse than the world’s oldest profession.

General idea
Musharraf can stop cross-border terrorism
P
AKISTAN President Gen Pervez Musharraf comes out with some “idea” on Jammu and Kashmir whenever he finds an opportunity to do so. His latest is “let all the military” move out of Srinagar, Kupwara and Baramula to the outskirts, and “Pakistan will be with the Indian government and the Kashmiris to ensure that there will be total peace and tranquillity in these three places”.


 

EARLIER STORIES
Indo-US deal on track
January 9, 2006
From the Raj to Inspector Raj
January 8, 2006
No quota for AMU
January 7, 2006
The grounded chopper
January 6, 2006
Second Green Revolution
January 5, 2006
Design for New Year
January 4, 2006
Understanding on nukes
January 3, 2006
Unrest in Baluchistan
January 2, 2006
Need for a policy for the displaced people
January 1, 2006
Whither BJP
December 31, 2005
THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Hangman’s noose
Postgrads ready to handle it
D
EATH and taxes, it is said, are great levellers. To this might be added unemployment too. The cruel irony of rising unemployment is that the standard of joblessness is high – more educated people are available for jobs that require no literacy of any kind.

ARTICLE

Insurgency in Iraq Sunnis hold the key 
by Maj-Gen Ashok Mehta (retd)
S
ince the fall of Saddam Hussein, plenty of water has flown down the Euphrates and the Tigris. Regime change has failed to bring about “internal reconciliation” for the stability and security of Iraq.

MIDDLE

Ek Thee Gudyia
by Ramesh Luthra
There she lies cold and still Eyes closed, lips unable to speak The heart that throbbed suddenly stopped The heart of a woman, a mother called Gudyia Ironically kicked as mere gudyia By fate and man alike Concerned deeply for the life pulsating within her Not long back She had stood at the crossroads of life Whom to choose husband Arif or Taufeeq?

OPED

Lobbying scandal set to engulf US political system
by Rupert Cornwell in Washington
J
ack Abramoff, the disgraced former Republican super-lobbyist, has agreed a deal with US government prosecutors, opening the way for what could be the biggest political influence peddling scandal in Washington for decades.

The $4 bn industry that is America’s guilty secret
by Rupert Cornwell
L
obbying is Washington’s grubby secret. Some say it is part of the democratic process. Others claim it is legalised bribery, even corruption. But love it or loathe it, it is the way Washington works.

Delhi Durbar
Reshuffle soon?
T
alk of an impending expansion-cum-reshuffle of the Union Cabinet is once again in the air. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to undertake this exercise before the winter session of Parliament but that was not to be, thanks to the Paul Volcker controversy.

From the pages of

Cartoon by Rajinder Puri

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Speaker is right
Parliament can expel members

IT was one of the saddest days in the history of India when its citizens became a witness to the unthinkable spectacle of their beloved, honourable MPs demanding and getting money for asking questions in Parliament. This was worse than the world’s oldest profession. It was thought that the MPs involved in the racket would be so shell-shocked to find their dirty game exposed that they would resign, never to show their faces to anyone. But in India, politics seems to be legally separated from morality. The discredited leaders not only held their ground but some of them even had the tacit support of their parties when the Lok Sabha threw them out. Surprises didn’t end there. Eight of the ousted ones have appealed to the Delhi High Court for redress, as if an injustice has been done to them. Under such circumstances, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has done well to say in no uncertain terms that courts have no jurisdiction in this matter. But this did not prevent the High Court from issuing notices to the Speaker besides many others.

The Constitution has not given any authority to courts to punish a member of Parliament or legislature for his conduct as a legislator. A natural corollary is that Parliament itself has exclusive jurisdiction to decide on the procedure and disciplinary matters in regard to its members. That is what was done when the Pawan Bansal committee was formed, which decided to show them the door.

The Speaker is right in quoting the remark of the Chief Justice of India that the judges’ misconduct should be tackled within. Similarly, the misconduct of MPs should be tackled within. The whole nation appears to be behind the resolute and timely action against them. This was an extreme case of impropriety in which any lesser punishment would have been grossly inappropriate. Politicians are fond of saying that they would like to take matters to the “people’s court”. Do the expelled MPs realise that if the public were to decide their case, they would be sitting on donkeys with their faces blackened? 

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General idea
Musharraf can stop cross-border terrorism

PAKISTAN President Gen Pervez Musharraf comes out with some “idea” on Jammu and Kashmir whenever he finds an opportunity to do so. His latest is “let all the military” move out of Srinagar, Kupwara and Baramula to the outskirts, and “Pakistan will be with the Indian government and the Kashmiris to ensure that there will be total peace and tranquillity in these three places”. This illogical idea is a reiteration of what he had said on an earlier occasion. The only difference this time is that he has mentioned only three towns while talking about his “demilitarisation” idea. His utterances on Kashmir, including those relating to “self-governance”, may impress some people in Pakistan, but not the world community, which now realises that he is not serious about what he says. A head of state should avoid loud talk on as sensitive an issue as Kashmir.

His so-called “demilitarisation” idea has been treated in India with the disdain it deserves. Through his statement General Musharraf has indirectly admitted that cross-border terrorism in India cannot end unless Pakistan wants it. That is why India has been reminding him time and again of his January 2004 pledge not to allow Kashmir-centric terrorists to carry on their destructive activities from their bases in Pakistan or the territories under its control. Pakistan is yet to honour that commitment, which also involves dismantling terrorist infrastructure, including their communication and funding networks.

Once terrorism is eliminated, there will be no need for India to deploy in Jammu and Kashmir the security forces General Musharraf wants to be withdrawn. India’s action in the troubled border state is predicated on what happens across the border. Once the cause is gone, the affected area will obviously be a “demilitarised” zone. In any case, what India does in any of its territories will be guided by the requirement of its people, and not by what those like General Musharraf say. He should shun his habit of making thoughtless statements, which can only further complicate a knotty issue like Kashmir.

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Hangman’s noose
Postgrads ready to handle it

DEATH and taxes, it is said, are great levellers. To this might be added unemployment too. The cruel irony of rising unemployment is that the standard of joblessness is high – more educated people are available for jobs that require no literacy of any kind. A grim reminder of this comes from – where else, but – Bihar. In this benighted state, among the applicants for a hangman’s job are graduates and postgraduates; and, the post was not even advertised. Yet, word spread that the Bhagalpur Central Jail has a vacancy for a hangman, and the superintendent has received a clutch of applications from educated young men, which he has duly forwarded to the authorities. The hangman does not receive any monthly salary but a fixed sum of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. But this is prospect enough for those trapped in poverty and unemployment.

This illustrates starkly what all the statistics conceal about the state of the Indian economy, which has little to offer by way of decent livelihood to a vast majority. Many decades ago, George Orwell, who was, incidentally, born at Motihari in Bihar, opted to live a jobless life in Europe for a short time to know what it means to be unemployed. In his worst Orwellian nightmares he could not have seen that unemployment would drive man to seek such inhuman tasks for survival.

While all this talk of the global Indian is flattering, there are many of our countrymen who are faring miserably in distant lands too. Several Indian doctors who have passed the professional and linguistic test of the UK’s National Health Service are unemployed in England. Their only refuge is said to be religious places in London to which they go every evening – for free food. Apparently, in the absence of employment exchanges from where they could have expected to earn their way to a meal, these doctors have been reduced to surviving on charity. Brave, yes, but nothing new about this world. Just that we don’t see it always.

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Thought for the day

All experience is an arch to build upon. — Henry Brooks Adams

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Insurgency in Iraq Sunnis hold the key 
by Maj-Gen Ashok Mehta (retd)

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, plenty of water has flown down the Euphrates and the Tigris. Regime change has failed to bring about “internal reconciliation” for the stability and security of Iraq. The Iraqis were expecting to be compensated for 12 years of sanctions and the war damage, which has not happened due to the insurgency that the coalition forces had not anticipated. Further, there was no accurate view of the political and socio-economic situation in Iraq. And there were other reasons for this botched enterprise.

After 34 months, 2150 US soldiers killed and 16000 wounded, Iraq is stricken with deadly insurgency, sometimes on the verge of civil war. Daily insurgent attacks shot up from 61 in 2004 to 100 in 2005 with no signs of abating. The civil administration and the security forces have been unable to support political transformation of Iraq. After the war, Ms Condoleezza Rice had said: “Institutions will hold”, but most collapsed. In hindsight, dismantling the Baathist administration and disbanding the 200,000-strong army and militia was a mistake. Iraq now has 85,000 Army and 125,000 police personnel but largely incapable of operating independently. It is believed that of the 100 trained battalions, only five are operationally fit. Though coalition troops number 175,000 from 27 countries, the bulk is from the US (160,000) and the UK (8500).

The problem is not just inadequacy of numbers but also of motivation and skills. The US Army is configured for a war of attrition, not insurgency laced with high-end terrorism. Obsession with self-protection on the part of GIs diminishes nimbleness of thought and action. It seems the US Army has decided to return to the basics of a low-intensity conflict which the British, due to their experience in Northern Ireland and Malaya, have applied in Basra. The US has missed out in Baghdad.

For a transformation in military culture, from macho soldiering to “touch an ear to the ground combat”, military schools in the US at Fort Polk and Fort Leavenworth are diligently working at it with role-playing Al-Qaida and replicated terrain. The British first did such scenario recreation complete with rowdy pub-crawling Protestants and brawl-control British soldiers in Belfast. Back to the basics training will emphasise on hearts and minds, public relations, human intelligence and language and communication skills. Belated though, the new counter-insurgency doctrine will include transition from high intensity to post-conflict stability and security operations, and from shock and awe to care and comfort of civilians. GIs are to be taught the virtues of patience and restraint while cohabiting with people and their culture. The Indian Army could impart a lesson or two.

The insurgent forces consist of 3000 guest fighters (another 1000 will arrive by June 2006) supported by 20-40,000 indigenous supporters. Volunteers as human bombers are in an unending queue. Nearly 40 per cent of the workforce in Iraq is unemployed. After investing $ 21 billion in civil services, there is little to show for it by way of rebuilding Iraq. Only oil production of 2.24 million barrels per day is nearly on a par with pre-conflict levels. The US Administration is hoping that equipping its military with counter-insurgency skills will reduce casualties, the alienation of people and collateral damage. More importantly, it will help fine-tune an exit strategy.

“As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down” is the basic tenet of the exit strategy. It is based on three flawed assumptions: insurgency will taper away, Iraqi security forces will come up and public support will grow. Plan A for downsizing US forces was spurred by the first two premises and Democrat Senator John Murtha’s speech in the US House of Representatives on November 19 last year, when he described Iraq as part of a “flawed policy wrapped in illusion”. To this, one could add domestic compulsions such as difficulties in recruitment, overstretching of the National Guard and the increasing number of body bags. By 2007, some US soldiers would be on their fourth term in Iraq. Before mid-term elections in 2006, the US plans to withdraw two of its 17 Brigades and by the end of the year, altogether 60,000 troops. Many commanders in the field though continue to complain about insufficiency of troops, a conceptual error that the High Command has not only left unrectified but is also doing the opposite. Had the coalition forces increased the number of boots (and the right type) on the ground and done more for the Iraqi people, the insurgency would not have fanned out and intensified.

Plan A envisages that Iraqi forces, backed by US advisers and air power, will be able to operate independently later in 2006. Air power is a double-edged weapon and can shock and awe Iraqis, still recovering from its first salvo. Unless US advisers can combine infallible intelligence with precision-guided weapons, air power may turn out to be counter-productive. The Israelis used this technique effectively in Gaza in 2003-04. They were able to take out Hamas leaders from the third-floor office of a seven-storeyed building without any collateral damage. Human intelligence was key to the success of their operations. Similar precise intelligence will be difficult to obtain in the Sunni triangle, given the deep-seated aversion for the US occupation forces.

Will the insurgency end? Unlikely, because Iraq has become the magnet for guest fighters and the new epicentre of terrorism. The Iraqi insurgency enjoys the international spotlight and has attracted the first white Belgian female suicide bomber in Baghdad. Insurgency will rise and ebb with frequent spikes in terrorism. There is a direct correlation between the Sunni-led-and-supported insurgency and political instability resulting from unsettled election results. Further, as long as Iraq’s borders are not secured, insurgents will be able to maintain the force level of 3000 fighters. In J&K, there are at any time up to 2000 terrorists despite their annual toll being around 1500. Confronting them are highly trained and motivated counter-insurgency forces, at least four times the coalition forces.

The Iraqi insurgency will thrive as long as the Sunnis support it. Iraqi forces with US advisers and air power are a chimera. Still, the Washington-based Conflict Outcome Forecast Dupuy Institute has been tasked to forecast the duration and intensity of the Iraqi insurgency. For India, its success will have a negative effect on cross-border terrorism.

A possible exit plan must start with a semblance of political stability in Baghdad. The Sunnis hold the key to the insurgency and must be politically accommodated as compensation for the loss of power. The new Iraqi military has been at the receiving end of terrorist attacks. It is unlikely to be able to stand up to the fury of the guest fighters. A forced US withdrawal in deference to domestic compulsions would be dangerous. Meanwhile, the US and its allies should consider deploying NATO forces while the new UN peace-building commission could also contemplate a role. One thing is clear: the Iraqi people and the coalition forces need help.

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Ek Thee Gudyia
by Ramesh Luthra

There she lies cold and still

Eyes closed, lips unable to speak

The heart that throbbed suddenly stopped

The heart of a woman, a mother called Gudyia

Ironically kicked as mere gudyia

By fate and man alike

Concerned deeply for the life pulsating within her

Not long back

She had stood at the crossroads of life

Whom to choose husband Arif or Taufeeq?

Alas! had no option but to bow

Before the dictates of the so-called religion

Poor thing, she succumbed to the pressure

‘Cause a woman she was!

Thrown to the winds were

Aspirations, dreams she had cherished

She personified what “empowerment”

Virtually means to the weaker sex

In the male dominated society

A plaything tossed here and there

Treated like a lifeless commodity.

Moments ago

She lay in the hospital ward

Struggling desperately for life

She held here son’s hands tightly

Recollecting how she had craved not

Not to part with the

Yet-to-be born, her very flesh and blood

Amidst sheer pain and agony

Her doe-like eyes shed copious tears

A’ heaved deep sighs

For the toddler whose future seemed

Endless dark night

Thou Gudyia more sinned against than sinning

Let peace be with you

That eluded you when alive.

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Lobbying scandal set to engulf US political system
by Rupert Cornwell in Washington

Jack Abramoff
Jack Abramoff

Jack Abramoff, the disgraced former Republican super-lobbyist, has agreed a deal with US government prosecutors, opening the way for what could be the biggest political influence peddling scandal in Washington for decades.

At a brief appearance on January 3 in a federal court, Mr Abramoff pleaded guilty to three sets of charges covering fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery, and tax evasion. According to his lawyers, he is also pleading guilty to two separate fraud charges connected to the purchase in 2000 of a fleet of casino gambling boats in Florida.

The convictions could send the lobbyist to jail for five years or more. But that sentence may one day prove a mere footnote to a possible corruption scandal involving as many as 20 congressmen, senators and their aides mostly Republicans but also including some Democrats — believed to be under investigation by the Justice Department.

Under the plea bargain, Mr Abramoff is expected to tell all about his dealings with the congressmen, and the gifts lavished upon them to win their support. The favours include millions of dollars in campaign contributions, all-expenses-paid foreign trips, meals, luxury boxes at major sporting events, and generous funding of special interest groups linked to the lawmakers.

The indictment accuses Mr Abramoff of “corruptly” offering gifts and other incentives “to influence others in the performance of their official duties.” Congressional ethics rules specifically bar legislators and their aides from accepting such gifts from lobbyists.

Thus far, congressmen caught up in the probe — among them the Ohio Republican Bob Ney, who went on a 2002 golfing trip to St Andrews courtesy of Mr Abramoff — have denied all wrong doing. But the ramifications of the case extend to the heart of the ruling establishment in Washington. Mr Abramoff soared to prominence because of his ties with the younger, hard-charging generation of Rupblicans led by the former house speaker Newt Gingrich, who seized control of Congress in the party’s stunning mid-term election victory of 1994.

One of his closest allies was Tom DeLay, who was the hugely powerful (and greatly feared) House majority leader, until he stepped down last September after being indicted for alleged illegal fundraising in his home state of Texas.

Mr DeLay, a vital congressional “enforcer” for President Bush and his legislative agenda, was himself a guest on an Abramoff-organised golfjunket to Scotland in 2000. The trip was partly paid for by donations from various Indian tribes who had hired the lobbyist to protect their lucrative casino gambling operations.

Mr Abramoff also arranged at least $ 1m (£ 570,000) of financing for a conservative pressure group, the US Family Network, closely linked to Mr DeLay.

The lobbyist’s downfall began with a senate committee investigation which revealed that, in conjunction with his partner Michael Scanlon, he had charged the tribes more than $ 80m for their services — a colossal sum even by the standards of the $ 4bn-a-year Washington lobbying industry. According to prosecutors. Mr Abramoff reaped roughly $ 20m in hidden profits from the scheme.

Pressure had mounted on Mr Abramoff when Mr Scanlon — a one-time press spokesman for Mr DeLay — agreed a plea deal of his own, admitting he conspired to bribe a member of Congress and other public officials. By his own claim, all but penniless and facing a stiff jail term, Mr Abramoff has evidently concluded that his best hope of leniency lies in testifying against those who benefited from him.

The damage — and the trepidation — however stretches for beyond Capitol Hill, into government and the White House. Last September, David Safavian, a top official in the White House budget office, resigned after being indicted for lying and obstructing the federal investigation into Mr Abramoff.

It also separately emerged that in 2003 Mr Abramoff sought $ 9m from President Omar Bongo of Gabon to arrange a meeting with President Bush. The two did meet the following year — though there has been no evidence it was thanks to Mr Abramoff.

Questioned by reporters yesterday, Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, could not say whether the President had ever met the lobbyist. But he described Mr Abramoff’s alleged misdeeds as “outrageous and unacceptable”. If laws were broken he must be held accountable, Mr McClellan said.

The Florida charges appear unrelated to the corruption inquiry in Washington. Mr Abramoff was due to face trial in Miami next week on charges relating to the $ 150m purchase of the SunCruz casino cruise company. His co-defendant in Florida agreed last month to plead guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud and to testify against Mr Abramoff.

The pair are accused of faking a $ 23m wire transfer to make it seem they were committing their own money to the transaction. On that false understanding, two investment companies provided much of the rest of the financing. Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis, the seller of Sun-Cruz, was later murdered, apparently in a Mafia feud.

— The Independent

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The $4 bn industry that is America’s guilty secret
by Rupert Cornwell

Lobbying is Washington’s grubby secret. Some say it is part of the democratic process. Others claim it is legalised bribery, even corruption. But love it or loathe it, it is the way Washington works.

Usually you hear little about the quiet meetings, the lavish lunches and junkets that lubricate American politics. But once in a while something comes. But once in a while something comes along to open the system to what it hates most: daylight. The case of Jack Abramoff, influence-peddler extraordinaire, is one of those somethings.

Once Mr Abramoff claimed to have done nothing illegal, that his only sin was to have been too good at his job. But now his career is in ruins, a jail term of nine years or more beckons — an incarceration that would be even longer but for the plea bargain he reached yesterday with federal prosecutors.

For Mr Abramoff, only contrition is left: “Words will not ever be able to express my sorrow and my profound regret for my actions and mistakes,” he said in court on January 3. As for the two dozen members of Congress and their aides reputedly under investigation, they can only tremble. If Mr Abramoff spills the beans, they may soon be contemplating a similar fate.

Lobbying per se is nothing new. The right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances” is enshrined in the first amendment of the Constitution. Back in 1913, Woodrow Wilson said Washington was “swarming with lobbyists...you can’t throw a brick in any direction without hitting one.”

But the 28th president cannot have imagined how accesspeddling would blossom into a $4bn industry. There are 14,000 registered lobbyists, and as many again who are not registered.Between 1998 and 2004, foreign companies spent $620m (£350m) bending ears in Washington.

Lobbying thrives in the US for two reasons. In the US the executive and legislative branches are separate. The farmer is headed by the President, the latter consists of Congress, which writes laws and appropriates money for government spending. Although George Bush’s Republicans have majorities in both House and Senate, he has no direct control of the bills they consider. That power rests with dozens of powerful committee chairmen and ranking members, all with their fiefdoms, whose yea or nay is decisive.

The other key ingredient is money, the colossal sums needed to fight election campaigns. In Britain, the curbs on such spending are strict. In America, by contrast, the sky’s the limit. Total spending for the 2004 elections, presidential and congressional, reached $4bn.

The summit of extravagance was the 2004 Senate race in South Dakota, one of the least populous and less affluent US states. The two candidates spent a combined $40m. In an average state, the cost of defending a Senate seat is $20m. This means an incumbent has to raise $9,000 every day of his six-year term. At which point, enter the lobbyists.

The trade-off is simple Corporate and other donors provide cash in a bid to secure the legislation they want. The intermediaries between the two sides are lobbyists. And the more people a lobbyist knows on Capitol Hill, the more effective he or she is.

Unsurprisingly, ever increasing numbers of them are former legislators. The Washington based pressure group Centre for Public Integrity says almost 250 former congressmen and senior government officials are now active lobbyists. — The Independent

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Delhi Durbar
Reshuffle soon?

Talk of an impending expansion-cum-reshuffle of the Union Cabinet is once again in the air. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to undertake this exercise before the winter session of Parliament but that was not to be, thanks to the Paul Volcker controversy.

Now sources insist that it will definitely take place and lobbies have become active. This assumes significance as Congress President Sonia Gandhi has returned after a rejuvenating holiday in Mauritius and revamped the party organisation.

Then there are crucial assembly elections coming up in West Bengal and Kerala. The Prime Minister has acknowledged that there are gaps in his Council of Ministers as well as providing proper representation to the states.

Vajpayee backs Mahajan

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s public announcement to retire from electoral politics and annoint the team of Lal Krishna Advani and Pramod Mahajan as his successor has given a new spin to the power game within the BJP.

A little bird tells us that Vajpayee has been backing Mahajan for a pretty long time, but was waiting for the right opportunity. The former Prime Minister has been impressed by Mahajan’s role as a performer who goes after the task in a targeted fashion.

Vajpayee told a confidant that the days of politics of labels are over and now the era of politics of content has come. In the coming years, only those who can perform would remain relevant. He could not announce only Mahajan’s name as his successor and that is why a seasoned politician took Advani’s name first.

CM behind storm over CD?

The million-dollar question doing the rounds in political circles is who sent the CD to the RSS and BJP leaders days ahead of the silver jubilee celebration of the saffron party and who was behind the sting operation which led to the resignation of party General Secretary Sanjay Joshi?

While an anti-Uma Bharti lobby in the BJP is accusing the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister of the operation, the needle of suspicion is a point to Chief Minister from a state in western India known for his skills for silent but incisive planning.

Joshi had replaced him in not only in his own state, but even in Delhi at the party headquarters.

Sahib back in reckoning

No, it is not a story of “Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam”. Former Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma should smile at last because happy days will be here again for him. He was the first one to welcome the appointment of Rajnath Singh as BJP President. He knows which horse to bet on and when.

Remember when L K Advani got caught in the quagmire of his Jinnah remarks, Sahib Singh was the first party leader to come out openly in support of Advani. So during Rajnath’s tenure, Sahib Singh can hope to be the BJP’s declared Chief Minister-candidate for Delhi.

Dame Luck seems to be finally smiling on Sahib Singh, considering that the stock of Sheila Dixit is plummeting by the day and his arch-rival, Madan Lal Khurana, is unlikely to pip him to the post this time. Contributed by Satish Misra, R Suryamurthy and Rajeev Sharma

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From the pages of

July 23, 1922

Honour for S.E. Stokes

The Working Committee of the Punjab Provincial Congress Committee have invited the names of the person or persons for the presidentship of the Provincial Conference to be held at Sialkot in September next.

We require a man who not only should have made sacrifices for the country and rendered great services to the nation but also should have understood giving a definite lead to the country. Keeping this before our mind, if one takes the names of our leading men who are outside the jail, one stops at the name of Shriman S.E. Stokes, the only man who can safely conduct our boat through the dangerous water, and anchor it in safety. His services to India as a whole, and to the Punjab in particular, need no elaborate description. So let us honour the person who is most fit to receive that honour.

— Ramanand Sanyasi

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