South Indian For Vice President?

Speculations are rife that two South Indian names are being considered for the post of Vice President. Will they turn out to be true or will they go with the wind like in the case of Presidential candidate, where so many names were floated?

Hyderabad: After a great amount of suspense, the BJP announced its Presidential candidate. The Modi-Amit Shah duo which is known for their shock and awe decisions, selected a Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind for the highest Constitutional position in the country. As Kovind has filed his nomination, now sources said that they are concentrating on selecting the candidate for the post of Vice-President.  Speculations are rife that the candidate would be from South India.

The tenure of the present Vice President Hamid Ansari would come to an end on August 11. In this context, two names came up in Hyderabad Both of them happen to be Governors of South Indian States. One is the Governor of AP and Telangana- E L Narasimhan and another is Vidyasagar Rao who is the Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Sources said that Governor Narasimhan has more chances as his style of working attracted Modi. It is also being said that Modi feels that he is more eligible for the post. However, Vidyasagar Rao who is from RSS and BJP background too had good chances.

As there is dissatisfaction amongst many people in South India that only North Indians are dominating the political scene, the BJP leadership is mulling over fielding a South Indian for the post.

But, will the BJP leaders select one from these two or will they spring up a surprise like in the case of Kovind? One has to only wait and watch.

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  1. June 29, 2017

    […] If polling is required, it will be on August 5th and counting will take place on the same day. MP’s will use special marked pens for this election too as per EC. There should not be any whip by political parties, EC said.  More: South Indian For Vice President? […]

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What Were The Reasons That Made Venkaiah Naidu VP Candidate?

Although the news of Venkaiah Naidu being selected Vice Presidential candidate, it has been received by the people with mixed reaction.
What Were The Reasons That Made Venkaiah Naidu VP Candidate?

Ankababu Kollu

Vijayawada: The coup to send Venkaiah Naidu has been in the making for quite some time.

The active role being played by Ramadhav, who has become very close to PM and Amit Shaw after playing a crucial role in Jammu & Kashmir and the northeast. Ram Madhav who hails from East Godavari of AP is a known rival of Venkaiah Naidu in BJP politics.

Ram Madhav became Narendra Modi’s confidante. The bonhomie is evident for some time. He was also going in advance to foreign countries to prepare ground for Modi’s meetings with NRIs.

All Venkaiahnaidu arch rivals like Vidyasagar Rao, Veerraju, Purandhreswari, Kanna, Kavuri have been pulling their strings in Delhi with Ram Madhav’s blessings.

Venkaiah Naidu rivals’ single-point programme in Delhi was convincing the top leaders of the BJP that the party will not grow in AP as long as Venkaiah Naidu plays an active roll in politics.

They could convince Amit Shaw with relevant proofs which showed how Naidu has not been allowing BJP cadres to grow by having close association with the TDP leaders and big shots in business and industry who are again close to the TDP.

In the last meeting at Vijayawada these people also orchestrated slogans that BJP should severe ties with the TDP which was much against Naidu’s liking.

Six months back itself there was indication to Naidu about tipping him to VP post.

After getting that indication, Naidu tried to indicate to BJP’s bigwigs by telling in numerous meetings that he would like to be USHAPATHY than UPARASTRAPATHY. The bjp high command kept quiet until the polling in the presidential election came to a final stage.

It is much humiliating situation for Naidu to be VP when Kovid is President. Kovind is by far a rank junior to Venkaiah in politics and parliamentary life.

But Amit Shaw has created such a situation where Naidu cannot go against the party high command’s decision.

Besides AP BJP leaders with support of Ram Madhav, Arun Jaitley and Sujana Chowdary played their own roles due to their vested interest.

After getting I&B portfolio Naidu has became proactive in media and dominating the political space.

Hence he wanted Naidu to be sidetracked by sending him as VP.

Sujana Chowdary has his own interests in Delhi. He will be the only person in the Cabinet from his community.

Until now he is playing second fiddle to Naidu in Delhi.

Now since Naidu will be elevated to constitutional post, Chandrababu Naidu has to find a better arrangement at Delhi as Ashokgajapathy Raju is of no use in liaison at Delhi.

Now real looser is Chandrababu Naidu as there is nobody with the stature of Venkaiahnaidu who can help him at the centre.

It is Naidu who was instrumental in getting all the projects cleared at centre and getting funds for Ap development.

Now nobody except Sujana to do liasoning at Delhi.

Sujana will be more interested in his personal business interests than state interest.

Of late, Sujana has developed personal rapport with Jaitley for his own interests.

AP state is the biggest looser after naidu becomes VP as he cannot play proactive role in dealing with Center.

Now there will change in state BJP hierarchy also.

As Naidu’s friend and close associate Haribabu could not be changed though his term expired long back. Now the rumour is agog wit either Gangaraju or Veerraju may become bjp state head. Chandra babu’s sister-In-law Purandeshwari’s name also under active consideration, according party sources.

4 Responses

  1. A V L Narasimha Rao says:

    Good analysis

  2. Thumati Chaitanya says:

    Good review

  3. Satish says:

    Correct

  1. July 20, 2017

    […] life with Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan first and then Jana Sangh and later Bharatiya Janata Party, Venkaiah Naidu scaled new heights step by step and is set to be the country’s new Vice-President. Though not a […]

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Gov. Narasimhan To Be Elevated As Vice President Of India?

New Delhi: Vice President Of India, Amid Ansari will complete his second five year term by August this year. A few names are on cards for replacing Ansari. E.L.Narasimhan, Governor of Telugu States, is one of the names heard in Delhi circles.

Narasimhan’s second term as Governor ends on May 3, who is the only UPA appointed Governor to survive under NDA Rule. Narasimhan’s views, tips during Surgical Strikes along POK impressed PM Narendra Modi, who wants to elevate Narasimhan as Vice President. Even Narendra Modi was impressed with Narasimhan’s performance as Governor and the balancing act between two Telugu states after bifurcation.

Narasimhan was a close friend of National Security Advisor Ajith Dowal. He worked as Chief of IB for Chhattisgarh up to 2007.

Many names are circulating for post of President. L.K.Advani, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and Speaker Sumithra Mahajan are prominent among them. PM Modi, known for taking sensational decisions., was tight lipped and has been maintaining top secrecy.

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Mike Pence Narrowly Wins VP Debate

Venkata Kondubhatla

The Republican Vice President candidate Mike Pence has narrowly won against his opponent Tim Kaine of Democratic party in the vice presidential debate held at Longwood University in Virginia, according to the CNN polls.

With a well-behaved demeanor, in contrast to his running mate, Donald Trump, in the first presidential debate, Pence was polite even when his opponent Tim Kaine interrupted him multiple times in an effort to attack, following the strategy that Clinton had adopted against Trump.

Pence proved to be a much more polished politician and a better skilled debater than Donald Trump.  He responded to Tim Kaine by explaining Trump’s policies and at times attacking Clinton’s policies.

While Tim Kaine pushed Pence to respond to Trump’s controversial comments, Pence has successfully hammered away their policies at times defending his leader Trump, and at times just ignoring them.

However, the debate also revolved around the issues discussed in the previous debate. Pence argued that his opponent dual had used “avalanche of insults” against them whenever Kaine attacked him.

There was an argument on handling undocumented immigrants in the debate. When Kaine attacked that Trump wanted to deport all of them, Pence pointed that Trump wanted to remove only the “criminal immigrants” from the country. He said that unlike Democrats who want to secure borders as the last step, Trump wants to start with border security first, eliminate all the criminal immigrants, and then talk about the immigration reform.

Mike Pence has tried to show Trump’s policy in a soft tone. While agreeing that their immigration plans included building a wall, an aggressive step compared to Democrats immigration policy, Pence also balanced his talk by saying that they would also try to implement the immigration reforms.

Another challenge that Pence faced through out the debate was responding to the comments Trump made on Vladimir Putin. When Kaine repeatedly criticized Trump for saying Putin is a better leader than Obama, Pence pointed out that Trump had said that Putin was a “stronger leader on the world stage than Obama”.  What Trump said exactly has to be fact checked.

When moderator Elaine Quijano of CBS News asked Pence as to why Putin likes Trump, he responded, “Strength, plain and simple”.

Pence also argued that Iran nuclear deal was the biggest failure of Clinton and Obama’s foreign policy.  He maintained that the deal was a disaster, as it doesn’t guarantee disarmament of nuclear weapons. He said the US has in exchange given Iran $150 billion and also withdrawn sanctions.

Overall, the debate had a high-level talk compared to the first presidential debate with candidates talking about moral and social issues. Both the candidates are extremely religious. While Pence is a catholic who slowly adapted evangelicalism, Kaine is a Methodist who spent his teenage with Jesuits in Honduras.

The debate became conventional with the subject of abortion on the table.  As a typical Democrat who believes in woman rights, Kaine left the decision in the hands of women. He said that he believes in women and that they would take the right decision.

Republicans believe in pro-life, said Pence. He argued adopting children as opposed to abortion, to which Kaine attacked him for not trusting women, playing the woman card.

Pence said, “The society is judged by how it defends its most vulnerable”.

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Chattergam incident – a proof that Kashmir is highly militarised!

  • Rollback the dreaded AFSPA

  • Send the troops to borders

  • Punish the army men who shot down two children

(Shujaat Bukhari)

Army’s top commander in Northern region Lt Gen B S Hooda did something unusual on November 7.  Accepting it as a mistake, he owned the responsibility for killing two unarmed teenagers by his soldiers on November 3 near Srinagar. After the initial gaffe’, the Army for the first time realized that covering this brutal act under the ready-made excuse of  militant’s  “first opening fire” would not help. Before Hooda, the Srinagar based Commander of 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha too had admitted that the rules of engagement were not followed by the troops of 53 Rastriya Rifles (a counter insurgency wing carved out of Army) when they showered bullets on four young men. This surely does not compensate the loss and is not going to neutralize the tempers that are still running high over this incident.

Shujaat Bukhari,

Shujaat Bukhari, (The writer is a senior journalist and former Srinagar correspondent of The Hindu)

However, this is for the first time the Army has publicly acknowledged the wrong done by its men on the ground. In the past the theories of cross fire and militant attacks would be used as a cover up. This time Gen Hooda has also promised that the trial would be speedy and “justice will be done”. This remains to be seen whether the Army Commander keeps his promise to deliver the justice. The kin of two innocent boys have turned down the relief offer of Rs 10 lakh, thus standing tall in this hour of tragedy.

Here the question is not of Army’s public acknowledgement that its men did the wrong. It is also not known that which way the trial would move. In the past it has been seen that Army courts have failed in instilling confidence among the people as far as punishing the soldiers is concerned. The incident in Chattergam (in central Budgam district of Kashmir) should not been seen in isolation but in the larger backdrop of a place that is highly militarized. The numbers vary between the separatist camp and the security establishment. Whether the separatist figure that more than 7 lakh troops are on the ground is correct or the “conservative estimate” of officials putting it at less than 5 lakh (including all forces), does not make much difference. It is actually the visibility of the troops, their conduct and the mechanism of delivering justice on the ground that matters more.

The controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that the outgoing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had assured would go “during my tenure” has worked as a strong tool to infuse confidence among the troops on the ground to do whatever they want.

chidambaram

P Chidambaram, Former Home Minister

Army’s top officials do admit in private that the wrongs done by their men on the ground do not fit in their rules of engagement. And even the incumbent Corps Commander Lt Gen Subrata Saha admitted that publicly. But when it comes to the AFSPA it is like a raw nerve for them. What the troops of Rashtriya Rifles did on November 3 is the direct result of unaccountability that the system has strengthened over a period of time. Getting immune with the unbridled powers to shoot even in suspicion has made them trigger-happy. These powers are continued even when by their (government) own admission the number of militants in Jammu and Kashmir was not more than 200. And these powers were brought when the number of active militants in Kashmir ran in thousands. The parametres of normalcy, again according to government figures have undergone a drastic change. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah addressing at Police Commemoration day function on October 21 reiterated his demand for repeal of AFSPA arguing that the militancy has seen a sharp decline of 70 to 80 percent in past few years. Then why the number of troops on the ground remains same leading to the situation like that of Chattergam.

Justice B.P Jeevan Reddy

Justice B.P.Jeevan Reddy

Army’s stiff resistance to thinning out of troops and repealing AFSPA is based on the argument that no chances could be taken, as the “success against militancy” needs to be consolidated. Through Defence Ministry, the Army emerged stronger than the all-powerful Home Ministry when the then Home Minister P Chidambaram was keen to at least bring certain amendments in the law. The cabinet memo suggesting those amendments must be now gathering dust. Even if the premise that more concentrated effort is needed to prevent the rebirth of militancy is taken on its face value, then the security grid along the Line of Control needs to be strengthened rather than dominating the hinter land with olive green uniformed people. If the troops are withdrawn from populated areas and then shifted to borders to plug the infiltration routes that would help curtail the militant movement. But in that case the Army and Border Security Force may feel more accountable before its system in case everything is not plugged. In past the allegations that those guarding the borders also played role in facilitating the militant entry into Kashmir have also raised eye brows.

Hamid Ansari

Md Hamid Ansari, Vice President

Since the Army has failed to respect the institution of justice, no healing would matter this time. In past the Army has put its foot down when it came to punishing  the officers involved in fake encounter case of Pathribal in which five innocent civilians were killed and then labeled as “dreaded foreign militants”. Trial in Bandipore, Ganderbal and Machil fake encounters also is something that does not help it to restore its credibility. One odd case of punishing Major Rehman who was responsible for rape of women in Handwara is far less in weight to convince the people that justice would be done. Now that Gen Hooda and Gen Saha have assured that a speedy trial would be ensured, it is expected that the results are delivered in promised time frame.

Answer, however, lies in reorienting the Army and its behaviour. Withdrawal of troops coinciding with the repeal of AFSPA would make the Army normal in its conduct and help it to be less irritant on the ground. What is important is to respect the recommendations of Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission and Mohammad Hamid Ansari (current Vice President) headed Working Group on Kashmir that suggested roll back of this law. More than that the Army needs to change the glasses through which it sees every Kashmiri as a gun totting militants.

(The writer is a senior journalist and
former Srinagar correspondent of The Hindu)

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