Archives for: Politics Category


With various controversies involving top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders coming to light, both the goods and services tax (GST) constitutional amendment Bill and the land acquisition Bill are unlikely to clear Parliament in the monsoon session.

Both Bills are with parliamentary committees. Members of the panels say increasingly, it seems the Congress will oppose both the pieces of legislation. Concerned about being seen as supporting the BJP, other opposition parties such as the Biju Janata Dal and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) are likely to side with the Congress.

A senior TMC leader told Business Standard in an environment in which clouds of controversy surrounded senior BJP members, it was unlikely that much would be done in the monsoon session of Parliament, beginning July 21.

Besides, what has ominous implications for the process of reforms is reasoned criticism is also becoming a basis for opposing the government’s moves. In an article in The Indian Express, former finance minister P Chidambaram had listed the Congress’s reservations about the BJP’s GST Bill: that a 28 per cent effective GST rate was too high and would hit the services sector; excluding petroleum from the GST would render it toothless; and the one per cent additional tax on inter-state sales was a “retrograde provision (that) negates the very character of GST (as) a destination-based tax”.

Opposition leaders say for the Congress, the land acquisition Bill and the fact that it dilutes the social impact analysis clauses is a political cause célèbre and the party will fight the Bill tooth and nail.

Speaking to Business Standard, Congress communications chief Randeep Surjewala didn’t mince his words. “The BJP’s obduracy and rigidity will definitely lead to obstruction in the smooth functioning of Parliament. Congress supports the GST but it can only be taken up when it is acceptable to states; after all, they are the main stakeholders. Also, it can be rolled out when the five conditions clearly stated by the Congress in public interest are accommodated. As for the land Bill, the BJP and the prime minister have to shed their obstinacy in helping corporates at the cost of farmers. In its present form, the land Bill is completely non-negotiable and unacceptable.” >> Read More

  1. Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy - Ernest Benn
  2. In politics, absurdity is not a handicap - Napoleon Bonaparte
  3. Practical politics consists in ignoring facts - Henry Adams
  4. Nowhere are prejudices more mistaken for truth, passion for reason and invective for documentation than in politics - John Mason Brown
  5. Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other - Oscar Ameringer,
  6. A promising young man should go into politics so that he can go on promising for the rest of his life - Robert Byrne
  7. We believe that to err is human. To blame it on someone else is politics -Hubert H. Humphrey
  8. We have the best government that money can buy - Mark Twain
  9. A lot has been said about politics; some of it complimentary, but most of it accurate - Eric Idle

The poll, part of a series of indicators measuring satisfaction with various levels of state power, found that 89 percent of respondents generally approve of “the work of Vladimir Putin as the president of Russia,” with 10 percent generally disapproving, and 1 percent unable to answer. June’s rating is a percentage point higher than the previous high, reached last October, when the president’s approval rating jumped to 88 percent.

 The Russian president’s approval rating jumped from the low- to mid-60s in 2013 to the 80s beginning in March 2014 over his handling of the crisis in Ukraine and the subsequent crisis in relations with Europe and the United States. Russians had previously gathered around their leader in September 2008, at the onset of the world financial crisis, at which time Putin was serving as prime minister, and similarly in 2000, when Putin took up the presidency from the ailing Boris Yeltsin, whose approval ratings had hovered between 5 to 10 percent throughout the late 1990s.

Putin’s approval rating remains 25 to 35 percentage points above those of other Russian government officials and organs, with 66 percent of those polled approving the work of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, 62 percent that of the Russian government, 54 percent that of the Russian Duma, and 64 percent the activities of the country’s governors.

 Asked whether on the whole “Russia is moving in the right direction or in the wrong direction,” 64 percent of respondents answered “in the right direction,” with 22 percent answering “in the wrong direction,” and 14 percent finding it difficult to answer.

Polling was conducted between June 19-22, 2015, with 1,600 people 18 years or older from across 46 Russian regions taking part in the poll; Levada estimates a margin of error of no more than 3.4 percent.

Yoga For Politicians

21 June 2015 - 12:12 pm



PUTINPresident Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia would add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year and a defense official accused NATO of provoking a new arms race.

Putin made his announcement a day after Russian officials denounced a U.S. plan to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO states on Russia’s border as the most aggressive U.S. act since the Cold War.

“More than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems will be added to the make-up of the nuclear arsenal this year,” Putin, flanked by army officers, said in a speech to a military and arms fair.

Tension is high between Russia and the United States over the crisis in Ukraine and Washington and Moscow have disagreements on a range of other issues.

Russian officials have warned that Moscow will retaliate if the United States carries out the plan to store heavy military equipment in eastern Europe, including in the Baltic states that were once part of the Soviet Union.

“The feeling is that our colleagues from NATO countries are pushing us into an arms race,” RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov as saying on the sidelines of the arms fair.


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Rejecting opposition demands for Sushma Swaraj’s resignation, the government, the BJP as well as RSS today defended the External Affairs Minister over the Lalit Modi travel documents issue, asserting that she had done no wrong and only acted on “humanitarian” grounds.

“We want to make it clear that whatever she has done is right. We justify it and the government completely stands by her,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the controversy.

Swaraj also reportedly talked to the Prime Minister.

Singh’s comment came after reports that Sushma had written to British lawmaker Keith Vaz to recommend travel documents for Lalit Modi, scam-tainted former IPL commissioner, for visiting Portugal. Swaraj said she had written to Vaz on “humanitarian grounds” after Lalit Modi said his wife was ill. The Home Minister said Swaraj told Vaz to do only what was “allowed” as per the rules and regulations of the UK. >> Read More

Seen First Time Since 1947

10 June 2015 - 18:16 pm

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Saudi Arabia is ready to acquire nuclear weapons if diplomatic talks aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions break down, the Saudi ambassador to the UK has said.As RT reports, 


Prince Mohammed bin Nawwaf bin Abdulaziz al-Saud said the oil-rich Gulf kingdom hoped negotiations being led by US President Barack Obama would result in a “watertight” deal with Iran.


However if does not happen, then “all options are on the table,” he said. 


Prince Mohammad told The Telegraph: “We have always expressed our support for resolving the Iranian nuclear file in a diplomatic way and through negotiation.”

>> Read More

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Six world powers (P5+1) – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – have agreed on relieving major UN sanctions against Iran if Tehran accepts the terms of a proposed nuclear deal, Reuters has reported.

The timing of the sanctions relief, access and verification of compliance and a mechanism for restoring sanctions – if Iran breaks its commitments – will be discussed in further negotiations. 

According to US and European negotiating parties, the removed sanctions should be reversible in the event Tehran violates the agreement.  

US and European negotiators want any easing of UN sanctions to be automatically reversible if Tehran violates the proposed deal. Russia and China traditionally reject the notion of such automatic measures as undermining their veto power as permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Officials involved in the negotiations did not disclose precisely how sanctions would be restored, but Western powers are adamant that it should be implementable without a Security Council vote, based on provisions to be included in a new UN Security Council resolution to be adopted after a deal is struck, a proposal preventing future interference by Russia and China, traditional allies of Iran >> Read More

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