Friday, June 27, 2008

Pandit Shyama Charan Shukla- an obituary

This obituary was written by my dad when Shyama Charan Shukla passed away in Chhattisgarh in February 2007. I came across it while surfing a news-site, posting it here.

Pandit Shyamacharan Shukla,the veteran of Congress politics of central India passed away 15 days back..

I am writing this just to share my experiences of interaction with the literally towering leader .I was taken to his Shankar Nagar(Khamardih) house by one of his non-political followers when I landed at Raipur from Kashmir after formation of Chhattisgarh.I was conducted into the inner room of the bungalow ,where Pandit Shukla was having his evening breakfast.Large number of his admirers and followers were in the hall .Pandit Shukla inquired about my background-Bihar and told about his Bihar connections too.

He offered me tea,which he prepared himself after inquiring about sugar quantity.He offered me fried items,like chana,daal,besan made sev etc.We discussed about Chhattisgarh politics for about 45 minutes.Since,the state was new,he told about the various leaders and their role in state politics.He was NOT at all critical of any leader and told about the importance of individual leaders.He told about the irrigation networking created during his chief ministership and suggested some ideas about how to develop the infant state.He talked about industrial potentialities and also agricultural growth of Chhattisgarh.He shared some of his experiences in Congress poltics-vis-a vis,Ms Sonia Gandhi.

He appeared to be an attentive listener too as he invited my ideas too.Pandit Shukla must have consumed three cups of tea from the Pot during the meeting.

What touched me most about Pandit Shukla was his gesture of coming out of his room to seem me off.He did not listen to my request to say good bye from the room itself.One may not believe,but he came to my car ,barefoot and left only after I was in the car and the engine was switched on.He was the tallest politician ,like Biju Patnaik.Like Bijubabu,Pandit Shukla has also great heart,he was hospitable like Bijubabu .

The greatness of the man who was thrice the chief minister of undivided Madhya Pradesh was evident in my first encounter itself.

Pandit Shukla could not get due from the party in the fag end of his life.His life could have been longer.He could not be appointed Governor of a state,though his name was in circulation for the last three years.He was Pandit in all respects. Late Rajiv Gandhi as prime minister had attended the funeral of Jagjivan Ram at his village in Ara and his petroleum minister,Chandrashekhar Singh at Munger.One was expecting, Soniaji's presence at the funeral of Pandit Shukla.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Patna Diary

Long time since I used my blog for news that was related to me. This can be attributed to what I call the "wheel of life" which i am witnessing right now, a phase which is characterized by the turning of wheels-when so much is happening yet you cannot say anything conclusively until the wheel stops.

Initially I planned to pursue MBA from Chandragupta Institute of Management, Patna ( where i have been selected. I will be among the 60 students who maybe 4-5 years down the line will proudly say that we were the first batch of CIMP. The Pioneers! When I made up my mind of doing MBA in summer of 07, my mind was hovering around places like Delhi,Pune and Mumbai for these are the cities that houses some of the best business schools of India. And I candidly admit that Patna was not even in the wildest of my dreams.

The journey which started from the entrance test for IRMA went all the way to the exam for the NarseeMonjee and in between I made a brief stopover at CAT . I missed IRMA by 5 marks, Narsee by 7 and the CAT score left me with IMT(N) and score of other colleges which I can safely say were in the top 40.

But after the rest at CIMP which i though was the final abode, the wheels started spinning again and as of now a major part of my thought process is centered around doing MBA or Msc from Leeds University or University of Lancaster.

Only time will tell what the wheels hold..maybe Patna maybe Leeds!

Recently one of my college mate Roy got married to his child-hood sweet heart. He courted her for more than 8 years. Another of my friend Prashanth who is from Bangalore too is following the foot steps of Roy and after more than 7 years of a blissful relationship with a girl from Bhopal for more than 7 years is finally getting married on the 25th of June.

Good things happen to good people.May god be as kind to all of us who fall in the category of Roy and Prashanth as he has been to them.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Chhattisgarh political analysis May

With the final count-down for the ensuing Assembly elections starts in Chhattisgarh, Congressmen in the state rally behind the unity mantra to take on the rallies of Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh.

May 23 will have a great significance when the new government will assume office later in the month of December this year. For, it was on this day the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a Gujarat-model of Yatra to retain power while opposition Congress went for a major overhaul in the party model to prepare for the coming polls.

Dr Singh launched his Vikas Yatra (road show) to propel the party workers in election mode from the headquarters of worst-Maoist hit Dantewada district. Leader of Opposition and BJP’s Prime Minister candidate L K Advani along with state polls in-charge Ravishankar Prasad were specially present to flag off the Yatra

During his six-phased Yatra, Dr Singh is scheduled to address as many as 1,200 public meetings and rallies in the 90 assembly constituencies of the state. “I want to directly interact with the people. And it is not possible by flying in a chopper,” Dr Singh said while explaining about the motive of his road show.

But the road show of the chief minister is guided more by the Gujarat formula than the local one. The Vikas Rath (Chariot) is reported to be the same in which Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi covered the length and breadth of his state before the elections that rode him back to power. The Rath has been redesigned according to the taste of Dr Singh and the state. But the strategy and the mechanism of Gujarat model remain the same.

While the “Sarthi (driver)” of Modi’s Rath is driving Dr Singh’s chariot, the motor mechanics to take care of technical snags have also come from Gujarat. The message is clear—the driver is guiding the road as he did in Gujarat while the mechanics are here to rectify the technical snags if coming in its way to stop Raman Singh for taking his party to retain power in the state.

The Gujarat model is certainly in action and the master-strategists of the ruling party are selling the development theory as it worked in Gujarat to convince people that Chhattisgarh has seen a new phase of development after the BJP government assumed office in December 2003.

The only difference between Chhattisgarh and Gujarat is that, Dr Singh avoids taking a drive in the pockets that reel under one of the biggest problems the state is facing from the Maoists. Though Dr Singh started his Yatra from Dantewada, he missed to attend a single rally--contrary to the claim that he will hold meetings in each assembly constituency—in worst Maoist-hit Konta and Bijapur Assembly segments in Bastar.

Dr Singh took the roads that did not pass from the territories that red army claims to be theirs and under its influence. While he successfully completed his Yatra in Maoist-hotbed of Bastar region, the Chief Minister’s convoy passed through the National Highway or main roads instead of going to the interior areas where he could get the exact picture of his Vikas Mantra.

“Since there is no Vikas (development) in the Maoist-hit areas, the Vikas Yatra of the chief minister missed to roll in the interior areas,” a senior leader of the ruling party quipped. The BJP strategists are confident that it will not have much impact as only five to six seats can be categorised as under the influence of the rebels. But the BJP leaders failed to count the rebels had their presence in the tribals pockets and in the House of 90, the 29 seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) holds the key to power.

The opposition party however committed another mistake by failing to acknowledge the importance of 29 tribal seats in the state while appointing a politically low-profiled Dhanendra Sahu as the new President of the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee. “A tribal party chief in the state could have been a better bet,” said a senior Congress leader from the state.

The move of giving big onus to Dhanendra, a sitting Congress legislator, is to rig the Sahu votes that also play important role in changing the political equation of electoral politics in the state. In the move to sway the other backward class, Charandas Mahant has been retained as working President of the PCC—a demotion of post as he earlier held the post of state party chief.

Another Congress legislator and a Brahmin face of the Congress in Chhattisgarh, Satyanarayan Sharma has also been appointed as working president of the party. Sharma in fact has a capacity to propel the party workers to take on challenges, his election strategies in by-elections in the state has yielded the desired results for the party.

The Congressmen in the state have rallied behind the unity mantra in the new party organisational set up. A massive welcome rally in the state capital on May 29 with senior leaders of all factions on board the Ekta Rath demonstrating unity has charged the party workers. But the unity under a single leadership and now a series of leaders could help the party in better way.

Now with Karnataka going away from the Congress, it has become clear that the failure of party to project chief minister’s candidate has given advantage to the opponent. A high time, Congress should think of a one in 
Chhattisgarh and other states that go to the polls later in the year.

Madhya Pradesh political analysis May

On the one hand the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has swung into election mode by attacking on Congress led UPA, while on the other the state Congress has hardly got its campaign off the ground. Over the past one week, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the BJP have been busy attacking the Centre on price rise, and an alleged supply of substandard wheat and several other issues.

The BJP election in-charge for MP, Venkaiah Naidu has made it clear to party workers in no ambigious term that corrupt image is something the party would just not tolerate. Naidu has time and again cited the precedence of Gujarat where the clean image of the government and its developmental agenda won it assembly polls hands down and he has reiterated that the party would not want to compromise on the formula.

This new ‘clean-image’ formula took its first toll on Health Minister Ajay Vishnoi after he was asked by the BJP central leadership to resign after his brother’s premises was raided by the Income Tax Deprtment in the wake of alleged medicine purchase scam by the state health department.

More heads could roll as three present ministers of the cabinet have been charged with allegedly demanding donations from state officials. This include forest minister Kunwar Vijay Shah, Minister of state Harendejeet Singh `Babbu’ and Fisheries minister Moti Kashyap. In all the cases the complainer has been government servants and bureaucrats.

According to sources a list is being chalked out to ensure that the `tainted’ faces are distanced from the government as soon as possible so that by the time the electioneering is at peak, the negative impact of these ministers are dulled. Many of the sitting MLAs are also sure to lose tickets, but the tainted ministers are naturally on top of the agenda.

Rumors have it that at least three ministers might soon be dropped from the state cabinet and the one facing the sharpest axe is revenue minister Kamal Patel. Six ministers have reportedly being listed as liability on clean image of government but the proximity of three of them to the senior leaders in Delhi might save the day for them.In such situation, the party is likely to take some stern steps to distance itself from the black sheep and give its best shot at winning the second consecutive term in MP.

The speculation that Uma Bharti would soon make a comeback to BJP was finally laid to rest after BJP Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani personally managed to thwart the proposal of re-entry of the firebrand leader into the party folds, putting such conditions that would certainly be rejected by the former MP Chief Minister.

During a high level core committee meeting, Advani overruled party president Rajnath Singh’s proposal to let Uma Bharti return.The party stalwart – who was instrumental in mentoring Bharti into a national leader – insisted that Uma could return only on condition of forgetting Madhya Pradesh politics and providing consent of contesting next Lok Sabha election from Uttar Pradesh.

Advani is upset that Uma, who was sacked from party for indiscipline, has not mended her ways and continues to attack leaders like Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj. Rajnath’s interest in getting Uma back was to build a strong counter force to the second generation leaders, but failing to marshal enough support in the core committee, he decided to forget the proposition for the time being.

Bihar Political Analysis May

PATNA:The 30 –months-old NDA government in Bihar faces crisis for its survival due to differences within the alliance. The recent attack on a senior BJP legislator, Phalguni Prasad Yadav, at Chakai in Jamui district by the food minister, Narendra Kumar Singh, in a public meeting has once again exposed the rift between the two partners of the NDA in Bihar.

In an earlier incident the then culture and sports minister, Janardan Singh Segriwal,a senior BJP leader was publicly humiliated by a Janata Dal(U) legislator, Rampravesh Rai, in the minister’s constituency. The minister was insulted by the Janata Dal(U) legislator on the high-way.

The BJP legislators are agitated as they feel they are being treated as number two in the NDA government. They feel that the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, has done nothing to control his party legislators and leaders who have time and again acted against the BJP. Narendra Kumar Singh is senior to Kumar in the politics and had been involved in many controversies in the past too. In November 2,005, he had assaulted a magistrate on duty at the assembly gate as the magistrate wanted his identity card. Last year, he assaulted an old woman at Sabour Agriculture University, where the woman had gone to seek job for his son.

The minister and the BJP MLA, Phalguni Prasad Yadav, were sharing the dais for an official function at Chakai. Later the minister pushed the legislator and he fell down from the dais and fractured his leg. The BJP legislators have complained about the matter to senior leaders in Delhi and their legislature party leader, Sushil Kumar Modi, who is himself facing rebellion in the BJP for “mortgaging” the party to the Janata Dal(U).

The BJP legislators are seeking his removal as they feel that it is due to him that JD(U) which was a smaller party than BJP in Bihar has now overgrown BJP. The rebels have been out in the open ever since the cabinet reshuffle took place and they allege that Modi has always used his proximity to party president Rajnath Singh and general secretary Arun Jaitley to quiet any dissent in the party.

Earlier the rebels were confined to the in-house discussions but this time it appears that the nearly two dozens legislatures have decided to go for an all out war. The fact that Portfolios of two senior party leaders Nand Kishore Yadav and Ashwini Chaubey were changed has given fuel to the fire and it would require more than political acumen on the part of Modi to douse this fire.

The state BJP is also apprehensive that in the next general election it would be the JD(U) that will win hands down as all the credit of the work being undertaken in the state has the stamp of Nitish Kumar in it and he has successfully managed to portray himself as the face of the present government. This has led to the fear among the party legislatures that BJP would be reduced to a non-entity in the next election. And they feel that’s it’s Modi who is responsible for this as according to them Modi has promoted himself, not the party.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...