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WhatsApp Image 2022-07-18 at 3.33

Vice Presidential Elections: Opposition Makes It A North-South Battle

Whose idea was it to field the former Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva, a senior Congress leader who fell out of favour way back in 2008, when she talked about tickets being sold in Karnataka assembly elections? Well the credit for pitting Alva against formidable NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankar, West Bengal Governor and a Jat leader from Rajasthan goes to CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury. It was Yechury who proposed Alva as a candidate at the July 17 Opposition meet at Sharad Pawar’s residence. Yechury who is close to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul seems to have done all the preparatory work with Alva. Congress leaders breathed easy as they knew the Gandhis would not object to Alva’s name once they became aware of Yechury’s role. It was Yechury’s idea to turn the Veep’s battle into a North versus South, a minority Christian against Hindu nationalist candidate.  But did Alva’s candidacy help in swinging Southern parties like the pro- Christian YSRCP to the UPA side? Apparently not. Even the TMC may not back Alva. Mamata did not enjoy good terms with Alva while she was in the Congress. As for Dhankar his elevation is bound to have salutary effect on the Jat votes in Rajasthan, Haryana and UP. MPs cutting across party lines are bound to vote in his favour on August 6.
Collage Maker-18-Jul-2022-11

Kerala Govt Gets Into Internet Play, To Provide Free Service To 20-Lakh Economically Backward Households

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued an internet service provider (ISP) Category B licence to Kerala Fibre Optic Network Ltd (KFON). This enables KFON to provide internet services within Kerala. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a Facebook post said that Kerala has become the first state in India to have its own ISP and internet project. Kerala will provide internet services as a basic right to the people. The project announced in 2019 envisages installation of 35,000 km of optical fibre cable (OFC) network across 14 districts in Kerala. Till date 30,000 km of OFC has been laid and connected to 5000 Government offices and 25,000 Government institutions. KFON aims to provide free internet access to 20 lakh economically-backward households. The project also plans to connect government offices, educational institutions, hospitals etc.  KFON will allow telcos and other service providers and community -level networks to offer services to under-served areas. Of the total OFC network, 50% will be leased out to telcos and cable TV operators.  KFON will be able to connect to the nearly 8000 odd mobile towers in Kerala and significantly enhance the mobile call quality and also accelerate the 4G/5G transitions. The project is backed by Kerala State Electricity Board, Bharat Electronics Ltd, Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board and Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd.
devendra and Raj


Fadanvis-Raj Thackeray 90-Minute Tete A Tete Indicates New Formations In Maharashtra

A 90-minute tete a tete between Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadavnis and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) boss Raj Thackeray at the latter’s Shivaji Park residence in Mumbai is considered significant in view of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election due later this year. Fadanvis drove to Thackeray to ‘honour’ his earlier pronouncement that he would be meeting Raj soon. MNS was considered a formidable factor against the Shiv Sena of Uddhav Thackeray till the last civic election held five years ago. However, its performance was disappointing and hence was sidelined in Maharashtra politics. The installation of the Eknath Shinde-Fadanvis saffron alliance regime has changed most equations in the state overnight. The major among them is the BMC, which has been under Shiv Sena control since 1985. All attempts to wrest this body having the largest civic budget in the country away from the Sena have failed so far. To deal one more fatal blow to Uddhav, the BJP, the Eknath Shinde faction and MNS are in the process of reaching a pact that will take on the Sena of Uddhav.  Raj’s decision to ‘postpone’ his public address a second time is viewed as confirmation of such an emerging understanding. Shinde, Fadanvis and Raj will sing the same tune from different platforms at the same time soon to sound the bugle, saffron insiders have indicated.
Collage Maker-18-Jul-2022-11

Soumaya Ranjan Pathak and Bhatruhari Mahtab

Odisha’s Media Barons-Cum-BJD Leaders Question Naveen Patnaik’s Working Style

Odisha’s two prominent media barons Soumya Ranjan Patnaik of No 1 daily Sambad and Kanak TV, and Bhatruhari Mahtab of Odisha’s oldest daily Prajatantra seem to be questioning chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s working style. Interestingly, both are senior BJD leaders. Patnaik, son-in-law of the late chief minister JB Patnaik is BJD MLA and so too is Mahtab, BJD’s Lok Sabha MP.  Sources say it was Naveen babu’s clever move to get these media barons on his side by offering them party tickets.  According to sources, these barons now are uncomfortable and would like to speak their minds on a host of burning issues plaguing the state. They want to give an alternate opinion as independent thinkers. But in Naveen babu’s scheme of things policy issues and role of think tank were assigned to bureaucrats who in turn ensured these politicians were kept out of bounds, be it strategic issues or cabinet reshuffle. Feeling left out they have started playing the role of watchdog.  Result: Odisha’s media has started publishing/broadcasting hard stories exposing government’s shortcomings, allegations regarding Covid mortality details being fudged, dominance of bureaucracy ,rising trend of alcohol consumption, corruptions within the party. BJD sources say “The complaining media owners are also part of the BJD government now. When an individual joins a party he ceases to be an independent voice”.


Editor’s Note: Big Punch In Small Pack

It is the Third Anniversary of Short Post and as a news media startup launched during the Covid-19 pandemic it certainly feels better than good to find ourselves where we are today. Here, I must cite the unstinted support of our seasoned contributors, all senior editors in the country, who brought a great degree of maturity and sagacity to the Short Post newsroom. But for them, our tagline “Authentic Gossip”, an Oxymoron, would not have matured viably. Our user numbers may be small but our stories have created the desired impact among people who matter — decision makers and influencers. We offer a big punch in a small pack and Short Post with its 225-word stories has been punching above its weight category. Having posted close to 3,000 stories in the last 36 months, Short Post, I feel, is an idea whose time has come.
And this is vindicated by our two marquee advertisers – IDFC FIRST Bank and ICICI Lombard. Both believed in our story and have supported us from Day one. A big thank you to both.
If you look at the media landscape – print, TV and digital — it is a mixed bag. There are job losses as some outfits have closed down while a lucky few were bailed out by large corporate houses. Yes, there is a lot of action in the digital space. However, the entry of corporate houses has raised the question of independence of news media outfits. Sadly, there are just a handful of independent media outfits in the country that are highly respected for their neutrality. At Short Post, our credo is not to take sides, prejudge issues or be biased but, informing readers of behind-the-scenes happenings. In essence, Short Post strives to be a neutral editorial platform — neither anti-establishment nor pro-establishment.
As I said last year, disruptions in the media world are moving at a fast and furious pace. Technology is playing a very big role in how content is generated and consumed. But, we are neither alarmed nor perturbed as it is all a part of the evolution process. What gives us comfort is that AI is unable to create original gossipy content. And that is the news arena where we have achieved a distinction.