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EDITORIALS

Only votes matter
Neera in BJP; Pappu Yadav in Congress

P
olitics
indeed makes strange bedfellows. And when it is election time, political parties, including the BJP and the Congress, have no scruple in admitting persons with doubtful integrity into their fold. Consider the case of Neera Yadav, one of the most tainted IAS officers Uttar Pradesh ever had. 

Tax havens on notice
Era of banking secrecy is over 

I
F the just-concluded G-20 Summit is not to go down in history as another talk show, countries in general and G-20 members in particular will have to act fast to end banking secrecy, especially in tax havens, that has contributed to the present global financial crisis in no small way. The collapse of some known banks has jolted the world to seek a cleanup of financial institutions.


EARLIER STORIES



Portraits of power
Gandhi may have the last laugh

T
HERE is no conclusive finding on the potency of portraits hanging on walls. But the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal must have believed earnestly in their power of persuasion when he directed that all portraits barring those of Mahatma Gandhi, the incumbent President and the Governor of the state be taken off the walls in government offices. 
ARTICLE

Foes and friends
Regional parties are more demanding
by S. Nihal Singh
E
VEN as individuals and political parties jockey and manoeuvre for advantageous positions, the approaching general election is throwing up interesting trends. First, the dominance of a single national party was broken by the Bharatiya Janata Party, still seeking to find following in large chunks of the country. And now not only is it universally accepted that neither of these two parties can rule on its own, but the regional parties believe that their time has come.

MIDDLE

Call of conscience
by N. Khosla

IT started as a small, upcountry charitable school for girls in an undistinguished part of a northern state where education for girls was considered unnecessary. Expectedly there was resistance from the village elders.

OPED

Virk as DGP
A question mark over EC’s objectivity
by Kuldip Nayar
N
OBODY questions the authority the Election Commission wields during the elections. This is meant to ensure that the polls are free and fair. The assumption is that the Election Commission is an independent body, above the taint of politics or any other accusation.

Storm over Afghan women’s laws
by Jerome Starkey
A
S Afghanistan’s president grappled with some serious damage limitation on Sunday over an incoming law that legalises rape, a student jailed for trying to improve women’s rights issued a defiant message of hope: that one day both sexes might be equal in his country.

Delhi Durbar

  • Political ragging

  • BJP’s astrologers

  • Win for Nitish?

Corrections and clarifications



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Only votes matter
Neera in BJP; Pappu Yadav in Congress

Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows. And when it is election time, political parties, including the BJP and the Congress, have no scruple in admitting persons with doubtful integrity into their fold. Consider the case of Neera Yadav, one of the most tainted IAS officers Uttar Pradesh ever had. Not long ago, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Mulayam Singh Yadav government for dropping a departmental inquiry for corruption against her and ordered it to shift her from the Chief Secretary’s post. Instead of suspending her and expediting action against her, the government posted her as Member, Board of Revenue, an equivalent post. Though several commissions, including Justice Murtaza Hussain Committee, had indicted her in the Noida land allotment scam during her tenure as Noida CEO, she has not been punished so far. Surprisingly, she sought voluntary retirement from the IAS.

Interestingly, BJP President Rajnath Singh is instrumental in admitting both Neera Yadav and her husband, Mahendra Singh Yadav, a former UP Minister and IPS officer, into the party. As the Samajwadi Party candidate, Neera’s husband lost the 2007 Assembly election from Bulandshahr. Ghaziabad, Mr Rajnath Singh’s Lok Sabha constituency, has over 50,000 Yadav votes. Since the Samajwadi Party has not fielded a candidate against him, the BJP is eyeing these votes.

The Congress, too, cannot be absolved of blame. It has to face the flak for admitting criminals like Pappu Yadav and Sadhu Yadav into its fold. Pappu’s wife Ranjana Ranjit, a sitting MP, has also joined the Congress. Pappu, who is on bail, is convicted for life for murder and the Patna High Court has refused to suspend his conviction and barred him from contesting the elections. While Pappu had won Madhepura on the RJD ticket, Ranjana Ranjit won Saharsa on the LJP ticket in 2004. Following delimitation, she will now stand from Supaul. Sadhu Yadav, allegedly involved in the multi-crore flood relief scam, has revolted against RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav for denying him the ticket. The issue remains: Why should the political parties, including the national parties, allow the entry of those whose career is smudged by crime or corruption?

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Tax havens on notice
Era of banking secrecy is over 

IF the just-concluded G-20 Summit is not to go down in history as another talk show, countries in general and G-20 members in particular will have to act fast to end banking secrecy, especially in tax havens, that has contributed to the present global financial crisis in no small way. The collapse of some known banks has jolted the world to seek a cleanup of financial institutions. The issue was raised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with the leaders of France and Germany and it has found wide acceptance. The G-20 call has led the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) to “name and shame” tax havens, which include Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Switzerland. There are complaints that the list excludes some US states that provide similar safe shelter to black money.

The rich and the corrupt of the world stash their unaccounted money in shady accounts about which banks refuse to share information. Indian black money is known to find its way to Swiss banks. If BJP prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani is to be believed, Indians have hidden some Rs 25-70 lakh crore in foreign banks. The NDA government in which he was the Deputy Prime Minister did little to tackle the problem, but he has asked the government to name ministers who have visited Switzerland without any official purpose. Illicit wealth not only deprives the government of much-needed tax revenue, but also results in stiffer taxes on honest taxpayers. The fact has been highlighted by Forbes magazine’s latest “Tax Misery Index, which has ranked India at the top for the highest tax misery score.

Almost every country faces the problem of illegal draining of its resources by the corrupt. It is perhaps for the first time that the issue has been raised at such a global forum for joint action. Realisation has, at last, dawned about the havoc illicit wealth and non-transparent financial deals can play with global assets. Global banks must be more responsible and adopt financial openness.

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Portraits of power
Gandhi may have the last laugh

THERE is no conclusive finding on the potency of portraits hanging on walls. But the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal must have believed earnestly in their power of persuasion when he directed that all portraits barring those of Mahatma Gandhi, the incumbent President and the Governor of the state be taken off the walls in government offices. The CEO was possibly anxious to ensure a level-playing field. But whatever might have been his motive, he perhaps never expected the explosive reaction from the normally mild and gentle Chief Minister, Mr Budhdhadev Bhattacharya. The Chief Minister, quite understandably, described the direction as “absurd” and refused to comply with it. Mr Bhattacharya let it be known that he would be the last person to take off the portrait of Rabindranath Tagore from his office at the Writer’s Building.

The standoff, luckily, did not last long and the Election Commission’s representative in the state wisely beat a hasty retreat. Bureaucratic retreats are generally clumsy. And the CEO’s revised direction that the portraits of “current politicians” are to be taken off the walls has done little to unto the ridicule that the first order evoked. The fresh order would possibly allow Left Front leaders to retain the portraits of Marx, Engels and Lenin as well. The EC may have convinced itself that portraits of, say, the Chief Minister win elections unless it has somehow come to know that voters can reach a Chief Minister or his colleagues and see them sitting under winsome portraits. Mr Bhattacharya might find the EC’s order as absurd, but he may give credit to the EC for letting the sign “Satyamev Jayate” remain hanging on the walls along with a Gandhi smiling at the irony of the politics of the day.

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Thought for the Day

No, painting is not made to decorate apartments. It's an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy. — Pablo Picasso

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Foes and friends
Regional parties are more demanding
by S. Nihal Singh

EVEN as individuals and political parties jockey and manoeuvre for advantageous positions, the approaching general election is throwing up interesting trends. First, the dominance of a single national party was broken by the Bharatiya Janata Party, still seeking to find following in large chunks of the country. And now not only is it universally accepted that neither of these two parties can rule on its own, but the regional parties believe that their time has come.

This new belief has fuelled individual ambitions. If a group of regional parties can become a significant power factor, why should not their leaders aspire for the top job? Ms Mayawati has proclaimed her ambition, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav is willing and although the other prime donna of Indian politics, Ms Jayalalithaa, is being coy about announcing her intention, her figurative cap is firmly in the ring. Even Mr Sharad Pawar, in his own elliptical fashion, is sending a signal.

This may be the undoing of these parties, whether one defines them as the Third or Fourth Front. There is the time-worn saying about too many cooks spoiling the broth, but beyond aphorisms, it is sobering to discover that in no other general election have so many individuals and parties placed themselves in positions of jumping into whichever side offers them the plums of power and pelf.

The only certainty is that the Communist parties will not merge with the BJP. The Marxist leader, Mr Prakash Karat, is unwise in dogmatically ruling out support for a second Congress-led government headed by Mr Manmohan Singh. The field is wide open for various permutations and combinations. There are even a few advocates of a grand coalition comprising the Congress and the BJP.

It all depends on the numbers, and the trend of progressive loss of support for the two main parties in national elections has heartened the regional leaders; the Left parties essentially are regional in nature. Many of them are building castles in the air, but they, together with the people of India, have the right to dream. Sober analysts do not enjoy that freedom and must look reality in the face while reading tealeaves.

The Congress, for one, is relying on the aam admi in the belief that the slogan and policies that won it the last general election would do the trick the second time around. The last time, the BJP as the ruling party seeking re-election wrapped itself up in the Shining India flag to come a cropper. So it too is wooing the aam admi, topping up the sops offered by the Congress with even more populist promises.

The BJP’s attempt to downgrade its Ayodhya temple agenda in its manifesto has been neatly balanced by Mr Varun Gandhi’s crude propagation of the Hindutva theme, which will be employed in Uttar Pradesh constituencies to garner majority Hindu votes. The BJP is haunted by its success in converting Mr L.K. Advani’s original rath yatra and the destruction of the Babri Masjid into victory at the national level. At the same time, there is recognition in the party that it cannot afford to alienate India’s entire Muslim population; even the token Muslim representatives in the party hierarchy find themselves in an impossible position in coping with the vulgarity of Mr Varun Gandhi’s anti-Muslim diatribe.

The logic of the so-called Fourth Front combing the Yadavs and a section of Dalits in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is clear. The constituents hope to enhance their prospects by avoiding fighting each other, essentially to secure more seats in order to bargain with the Congress or the BJP better, depending upon which national party has more seats. For the present, they are going with Gallup polls predicting a Congress edge by singing praises of Ms Sonia Gandhi.

The Left parties, particularly the Marxists, are behaving quixotically. Mr Karat seems to have convinced himself that the motley Third Front has a chance, perhaps imagining himself as the master of ceremonies leading to office a non-Congress, non-BJP government. Never mind that the average voter would rather not revisit the nightmare of revolving-door governments and Prime Ministers that took office and departed in the 90s.

In the Congress ranks, Mr Pranab Mukherjee is a wise man and has not ruled out Left support for the Congress totting up the numbers to form the next government. Present trends indicate that the Marxists and other Left parties are destined to lose seats in their strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala and will, therefore, have less clout with a future national dispensation. It is equally clear that Ms Mayawati will have a substantial block of seats, perhaps giving her the kind of influence enjoyed by the Left with the United Progressive Alliance government in a new set-up.

Today Congressmen are debating whether it was wise of the party to disdain a national alliance to contest the general election. The treatment meted out by the Rashtriya Janata Dal to the Congress in Bihar, leaving only three seats for the Congress out of 40, was insulting. In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party’s allocation of seats was more generous but still inadequate. But in both instances, the regional parties’ desire to win more Lok Sabha seats collided with the Congress’ attempt to revive its fortunes in the Hindi heartland after disastrous recent results.

What will the electorate make of the politicians’ amoral activities? There is, of course, no average voter and many divides — of caste, religion, rural and urban settings and one’s financial circumstances. There is no perceptible hawa, the periodic tempests that obliterate divisions to give one party a landslide. Despite the progress the country has undoubtedly made in the last five years, the Congress is seeking re-election at a difficult time. The world economic crisis is affecting India as well as the rest of the world. The years of boom are behind us and will take time to replicate. Besides, there is the new threat of terrorist violence, as the Mumbai attacks so tragically revealed. The voter will no doubt have the last laugh and will upset the apple-cart.

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Call of conscience
by N. Khosla

IT started as a small, upcountry charitable school for girls in an undistinguished part of a northern state where education for girls was considered unnecessary. Expectedly there was resistance from the village elders.

Yet, the spirit behind the project was an extraordinary individual who fought off the oldsters and, pitching his meagre savings and using the small patch of land he had inherited from his forefathers, built three rooms, installed a hand pump, found a retired schoolmistress who was equally enthused and got things moving.

The response from the parents of girls was instantaneous. This, however, is not the man’s sole claim to greatness.

Jaikishen (not his real name), like many other petty revenue officials in the countryside, had been taking bribes from the landowners for favours granted and there was no complaint from anyone, this being the revaaj. Still, as the time for his retirement came near, he felt uneasy about his past. He was unable to eat his dal-roti, was seen wandering aimlessly in the village lanes and everyone thought he had gone off his nut.

Then a day came when he seemed to have pulled himself together. He visited each one from whom he had extracted or accepted a bribe, apologised handsomely and scrupulously paid back every penny, having kept a full account.

On one occasion, Jaikishen had, in the flush of sarkari enthusiasm, given 10 shoe-beatings to a petty landowner for some default which fact also he has noted in his log. He went to the surprised man’s dwelling, prostrated himself, picked up his rustic jooti and forced him to give him ten.

Times changed, and to cut the story of the long struggle of this remarkable man short, the primary school which he founded after his retirement in a small, nondescript village, is today a deemed university with an enrolment of five thousand with a capable lady IAS officer as its Vice-Chancellor.

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Virk as DGP
A question mark over EC’s objectivity
by Kuldip Nayar

NOBODY questions the authority the Election Commission wields during the elections. This is meant to ensure that the polls are free and fair. The assumption is that the Election Commission is an independent body, above the taint of politics or any other accusation.

Yet the appointment of a delinquent officer like S.S.Virk as the Maharashtra Director General of Police puts a question mark on the Election Commission’s objectivity. The police officer is facing corruption charges in a criminal case registered against him.

That the Election Commission was divided over Virk’s case does not in any way lesson the wrong done. Navin Chawla, the Chief Election Commissioner-designate, is said to have put his weight behind Virk.

The whole thing becomes curiouser when Congress leader Amarinder Singh jumps into the arena to defend Virk. The charges against him relate to the management of political funding when Amarinder Singh was the Punjab Chief Minister.

Chawla’s proximity to the Congress is not a secret. He owes the continuation of his job to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He is one officer who was nearly dismissed from service due to the misuse of power during the Emergency (1977-79).

On the basis of strictures by the Shah Commission, which examined the excesses committed during the Emergency, a top government committee decided to end his services summarily.

The committee was headed by Home Secretary L.P.Singh and two of its other members were M.M.Hooja of the Intelligence Bureau and D.P.Kohli of the CBI. They held that Chawla was unfit to hold any public office. But he survived. The Congress returned to power in 1980 before he could be thrown out.

The Election Commission has done something worse. Virk’s induction as Director General in the Maharashtra police has created a piquant situation. He is the topmost police official, but debarred from election work.

This task has been entrusted to another police official, S. Chakravartty. All state police officials are made to report to the latter. Yet Virk is responsible for the state’s law and order. The whole set-up is a strange menagerie.

Chakravartty has less than three months to retire. The EC’s own directive to the states is that an officer with less than six months in retirement should not be given any poll duty. True, the Maharashtra government — a Congress-led coalition —appointed Virk when Amarinder Singh pulled wires for his reinstatement. The hurdle in the Election Commission was crossed with the help of Chawla. What is disconcerting to see is the government transcending bounds of honesty and integrity for the sake of the party’s convenience.

Virk faces the criminal case of corruption. No court has given him any relief. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected even his prayers to quash the First Information Report (FIR) and to transfer the investigation to the CBI.

The Supreme Court has also not given him any relief in the criminal case. The only concession the High Court made in his case was to direct the State to appoint a new team for investigation.

But the Election Commission and the Congress government did all. Virk has come back to the Maharashtra cadre after remaining on deputation in Punjab for some 23 years. And he has only a few months to retire. How palpably wrong has been the whole process of Virk’s appointment and his transfer from Punjab to Maharashtra!

It has shattered the morale of honest officers. What status the recommendations of the National Police Commission will have when the government violates the main suggestion that a committee, including the chief minister and the opposition leader, will make top transfers? Maharashtra is one of the few states which have accepted the National Police Commission’s report in principle.  The letter which the Punjab Chief Secretary wrote to the State Chief Electoral Officer is itself a charge sheet against Virk. He was arrested and produced before a magistrate who remanded him to police custody. Subsequently, he was under judicial custody. His bail application was rejected by the sessions judge.

Virk remained under judicial custody for about one and a half months. Against him, there is evidence of disproportionate assets of over Rs. 18 crore. His diaries have also been recovered and they mentioned the amounts of unaccounted money noted by him.

The most damaging point which the Chief Secretary’s letter highlights is that Virk “grabbed and retained the land of a war martyr’s widow in connivance with his co-accused, one Sukhwinder Singh (Sukhi), who is involved in several terrorist killing cases in the state, indulged in the business of colonisation, ran an illegal night club and abused his official position to defraud the state exchequer.”

Still the Election Commission has ignored the indictment despite its clear instructions that the official must remain under suspension till the final verdict is delivered by the court. It has yet to pronounce its final judgement.

There are questions for all the three: the Election Commission, the government and Virk himself. The Election Commission has to clear itself of suspicion which has arisen over the manner in which Virk was sent back to Maharashtra and appointed as Director General.

In the same way, the Congress government in Punjab under Amarinder Singh and the Congress government in Maharashtra owe an explanation to the public for what they have done. Virk also owes an explanation because a top officer, with a smudged reputation, cannot evoke confidence among people whom he has to serve. I find that ethical considerations inherent in public behaviour have become dim and even beyond the mental grasp of many of the public functionaries.

Desire for self-preservation has become the sole motivation for their official actions and behaviour. The fear generated by the mere threat has become so pervasive that the general run of public servants acts as willing tools of tyranny.

The appointment of Virk has exposed the entire system to ridicule. It is apparent that for many government servants the dividing line between right and wrong and moral and immoral has ceased to exist. It is a pity that even the Election Commission has got mixed up at some stage. 

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Storm over Afghan women’s laws
by Jerome Starkey

AS Afghanistan’s president grappled with some serious damage limitation on Sunday over an incoming law that legalises rape, a student jailed for trying to improve women’s rights issued a defiant message of hope: that one day both sexes might be equal in his country.

Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, who was accused of blasphemy and sentenced to death for questioning Islam’s treatment of women, said he dreams of an Afghanistan where women are free to live as “human beings”.

“I want an Afghanistan where the mothers of this country and the daughters of this country have the same rights that you and I have as men,” he said in an interview inside the Walayat prison where he has languished since June. “They should have the right to education. They should have the right to work in any organisation they want, and they should have the right to live as human beings in this society.”

Justice Minister Sarwar Danesh was dispatched to meet female MPs as part of a snap review ordered by President Hamid Karzai. However, MP Sabrina Saqeb, who attended the meeting, said officials had tried to impose a media blackout and refused to give a timeline for their review, prompting fears it will be buried and forgotten until after the presidential elections in August.

The law eliminates the need for sexual consent between husband and wife, tacitly approves child marriage and restricts a woman’s right to leave the family home. Some Nato countries have threatened to withdraw troops and withhold aid unless the law is repealed.

Last night it emerged that the United Nations was quietly seeking emergency funds from donors to provide bodyguards, cars and safe houses to protect MPs who had dared to speak out against the legislation. Wenny Kusuma, the head of the UN Development Fund for Women in Afghanistan, said a number of activists had already received death threats. “There’s no other country in the world where working for women’s rights puts you at a higher risk of death,” she said.

Analysts believe Mr Karzai signed the legislation to win support from Afghanistan’s minority Shia leaders, but instead he scored a spectacular own goal as talk of its draconian clauses dominated Nato’s 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg, alienating his already-weary Western backers.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the issue had been raised in no uncertain terms with Mr Karzai. “I made it absolutely clear to the president that we could not tolerate that situation. [Karzai] responded by saying this law would not be enacted in the way it has been presented,” he told Sky News.

Afghan women who campaigned against the legislation said they would keep up the pressure. MP Shinkai Karokhail, who described the law as “worse than the Taliban”, said: “I get around 12 calls a day threatening me, but I don’t even listen. I don’t care. I have been branded a bad Muslim. I have been accused of being against Shias. It’s not true. I am a woman and an MP.”

Sabrina Saqeb, who at 28 is Afghanistan’s youngest MP, added: “Politics in Afghanistan is very risky. Especially if you are a woman talking about women’s rights, human rights or anything to do with Islam.”

Mr Kambaksh knows just how dangerous it can be, after being locked up for downloading an essay on women’s rights from the internet. He was originally sentenced to death in a closed court without a lawyer, but his punishment was commuted to 20 years on appeal after the only prosecution witness withdrew his testimony. That sentence was upheld in February by Afghanistan’s Supreme Court, which met in secret and refused to hear his defence.

Speaking from inside prison, for the first time since the legal process was exhausted, he made a personal appeal to president Karzai to pardon him.

“I am a son of this land and I should have the right to live here freely,” he said. “Everyone knows I have done nothing wrong. I am asking president Karzai to review my case. He is the president. The constitution gives him the right to pardon me. He is the only one who can save me.”

— By arrangement with The Independent

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Delhi Durbar
Political ragging

On the day of its manifesto release, the BJP could barely hide its pleasure at the recent disintegration of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Touting the NDA as the only “stable and viable” alliance for the forthcoming polls and the Third Front a “fallacy and illusion which had no scope”, the party leaders sought to mock at the parting of ways between the Congress on the one hand and Lalu Yadav, Ramvilas Paswan and Mulayam Singh Yadav on the other.

Venkaiah Naidu had a rather hilarious explanation to the change of political equations in the cow belt. “This is the season of ragging. Lalu, Mulayam and Ramvilas indulged in political ragging of the Congress. The only difference between normal ragging and this one was that here the juniors ragged the senior. Times are changing, you see.”

BJP’s astrologers

BJP insiders are pretty impressed with their spin doctor Arun Jaitley. They think he has everything going for him, wonderful intellect, commendable ability to articulate his thoughts clearly and suave and classy looks.

In effect the saffron astrologers believe Jaitley has all the traits of a Rajayoga. The sun, according to them, is the star of ascendancy for Jaitley. But just because of that, they say he should not cross swords with a true Kshatriya whose star sign is the sun.

Incidentally, Jaitley has taken on Rajnath on the Sudhanshu Mittal issue. We know now which side this great astrologer is tilted.

Talking of astrology, Rajnath’s astrologers have told him about Rajayoga in his stars too, implying that he may also get the opportunity to lead the country. Well, he has already ruled UP for a considerable amount of time and wouldn’t mind another go at the nation itself. That is why all this readiness to contest from Ghaziabad and get into the Lok Sabha.

There are others in the party also looking for a Rajayoga. And so you have Sushma Swaraj contesting from a safe seat, Vidisha, and Murli Manohar Joshi contesting from Varanasi.

But one wonders why this mad race for the Lower House when L.K. Advani contesting from Gandhinagar is already their prime ministerial candidate. They say this race is for the contingency in the event the NDA fails to form a government and a party leader is required to be the Leader of the Opposition.

But again at this rate, one thing looks almost certain that Jaitley will emerge as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and that is where perhaps his Rajayoga will work.

Win for Nitish?

Every time there is an election in Bihar, psephologists and political analysts write off Lalu Prasad. There are those who announced the extinguishing of the lantern (RJD election symbol) in 1998, ‘99 and every consecutive election. And so this time again it is no surprise that analysts are mocking the Lalu-Paswan combine as a finished force and predicting a sweep for Nitish and his NDA band.

The Congress has kept harping on getting Sadhu Yadav to its side, which, as Lalu said, was actually a good riddance for Lalu. But losing Vijay Krishna to Nitish is surely going to cost the RJD heavily. Those from Bihar know that Vijay Krishna, a Lohiaite Rajput, with a clean image, was in the rank of Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Devendra Prasad Yadav and gave jitters to Nitish in the Barh constituency in 1996, 1998, 1999 and eventually defeated Nitish in 2004. After this, one seat Lalu is sure to lose is Barh, the traditional Nitish constituency.

Contributed by Aditi Tandon and Faraz Ahmad

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Corrections and clarifications

n On page 2 of the newspaper ( April 3 ) a headline in the ‘Briefly’ column states, “ Lawyers booked for supporting Varun”. It was a misleading headline because lawyers were actually booked for using inflammatory language against a community, which is a punishable offence.

n On the same day in the same column, another ‘brief’ under the headline, “ IIM-B hikes fee”, IIM has been spelt out as Indian ‘Institution’ of Management. It should have been Indian Institute of Management in the text.

n On April 4 a report on the last page says that the BJP manifesto has failed to ‘suffice’ its allies. It should have been ‘satisfy’.

n On April 5, on page 2, a report on Arjun Singh’s son quotes the HRD minister as saying “ I cannot deny I am not disappointed…”. It should read, “ I cannot deny I am disappointed”.

Despite our earnest endeavour to keep The Tribune error-free, some errors do creep in at times. We are always eager to correct them.

We request our readers to write or e-mail to us whenever they find any error. We will carry corrections and clarifications, wherever necessary, every Tuesday & Friday.

Readers in such cases can write to Mr Uttam Sengupta, Associate Editor, The Tribune, Chandigarh, with the word “Corrections” on the envelope. His e-mail ID is uttamsengupta@tribunemail.com.

H.K. Dua,
Editor-in-Chief

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