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Modi's 3.0 Temple Administration Run, Handover To Hindus

The results of the Lok Sabha elections have disappointed the rank and file in the BJP but, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already commenced his third term work to flesh out his 100-day plan for India, including flagship policy amendment for handing over administration of temples across India to the Hindu community. This strategy, even while Modi continues in election mode targeting forthcoming state assembly elections in five states of the Indian union. A closed-door meeting between expected incumbent PM Modi and erstwhile Union Home Minister Amit Shah decided to prioritise the first council of Union Ministers comprising public representatives from states facing imminent assembly polls. Maharashtra’s citizens will elect 288 Members to its state legislative assembly by November 2024 just like Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir. Delhi and Bihar follow suit in 2025 while Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry, Kerala, West Bengal state assemblies are scheduled in 2026. PM Modi’s 3.0 political regime will likely include Shivraj Singh Chauhan who relinquished Union Ministership to deliver Madhya Pradesh state assembly to BJP. Maharashtra’s Lok Sabha outcome has dampened and shocked everybody in the BJP coming in the wake of the double sympathy wave attracted by Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar. Pawar has silenced critics who foretold the end of his political career. There is going to be serious introspection and there may be reshuffle in Maharashtra according to sources. So, parliament ushers in the amendment allowing Hindus to administer their own temples (take it away from respective state governments) bringing the community on par with Muslim and Christian religious trusts.
yadav cbfc

Premiering Now: Sanatan Critic As New Censor Board Chief?


The BJP government’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry, mandated to rectify pejorative and false narratives of Hinduism peddled through (mostly Hindi) commercial cinema by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014, has almost finalized its CEO for the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to censor films before release. IRS (customs) officer Kundan Yadav’s appointment file is pending approval of the Election Commission of India. More recently, Yadav was seen poking fun at Sanatana dharma, the Sunder Kand and Maha Mrityunjay Mantra while also taking potshots at Brahmanism and the Manu Smriti texts while using self-composed poetry on a public platform in Jaipur. “Even while drafted for election duty, this JNU product openly denounced the BJP giving speeches regarding his single-minded efforts against the national party. Is it merely enough that he possesses a doctorate (PhD) to be appointed the CBFC CEO? What happened to the 360-degree-SWOT analysis, assessment of his knowledge on the craft of film-making?” asks a senior BJP leader in anguish. Yadav’s stay at JNU was subsidized by his seniors in his first year, when he failed to secure hostel accommodation. Thereafter, this brilliant student, despite needing two terms to complete his HSC board examinations, became a topper of his class, even securing a teaching tenure in the USA on scholarship. One of his JNU professors did pull him up once for not having collected funds allocated to him through yet another scholarship he had been bestowed with for inordinately long. Some guys have all the luck!

Modi’s 3.0 Avatar, Judicial And Electoral Reformer

PM Narendra Modi’s 3.0 avatar will prioritize judicial, electoral reforms, bolstered in large measure by Amit Shah’s twin criminal laws kicking in come July 1, 2024. Recent judicial trends, including a temporary bail gift to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for indulgence in unfettered propaganda, criminal indulgence against his party’s youngest woman MP, has irked Modi. The proverbial last straw was the Supreme Court mandating 48-hours for full disclosure of voting percentiles pan India. “The ECI will submit to court the minimum 96 hours requirement for professional, fool proofed disclosure of pan India voting percentages considering manual processes involved for collation,” BJP’s senior leader told Teachers, civic staffers drafted by ECI, for the election process are trained in the run up to polls. These personnel, up by 3 am, reach Lok Sabha polling booths (1500 to 1800 booths per constituency) by 5 am to precede the 7 am public voting. EOD time of last vote (between 8 pm and 10 pm) depending on voters at booths before timely deadline follows voter count data manually maintained by personnel collated like a police panchnama, even as EVMs get transferred to strong rooms. EVM machines at rural centres take longer (3-4 hours). Missing names in voter rosters, recurring concern every general elections, to be resolved through AADHAR synchronization in 3.0, long standing BJP requisition put off by judiciary in India backed by ‘privacy concerns’ prevalent in Western nations. The Collegium system is also set to go, according to those in the know.
Bhupendra Patel

Has Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel Put In His Papers?


In March 2024 Haryana chief minister Manoharlal Khattar resigned his post and now, Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel is following suit. Khattar resigned after PM Narendra Modi asked him while honest Patel’s similar intent is owed to familial reasons. Patel communicated his indisposition to public service as he wants to dedicate himself to the full-time care of his ailing son, who underwent neuro-surgery with his medical status pegged at critical. “Unlike Congress culture of holding on to power, Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot being prime examples, BJP is endowed with the Sanghi culture of abstinence espoused by RSS Pracharaks like Khattar, former Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani. Fulltime Pracharaks live away from their families for years following a spiritual code of self-conduct prescribing, for instance, daily meals at party offices or homes of BJP workers,” a senior Sangh leader told Khattar and Modi worked as Pracharaks in Punjab, Haryana for years together riding on the same scooter. “Modi similarly distributed the proceeds after auctioning gifts he received as Gujarat CM among staffers in the CMO before taking charge of PMO in 2014. Rupani eschewed his post when told to and now dons the role of Punjab’s Prabhari. The mantle of Gujarat’s CM will likely pass to another Patel or even Rajput candidate after recent disruptions in the latter community. Only Modi knows though. Khattar has donated his property worth one crore to the PMO in public interest but may have to take charge of Union Ministership next. Godspeed to Patel for his son’s recovery.
priyank kharge

Is Priyank Kharge “The New Power Centre” In Karnataka?

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections have turned into a battle of survival for India’s regional parties, with centralisation of political power emphasized by the only two national political formations – BJP and Congress. The centralisation of power has also witnessed a new phenomenon: Remote controlled state governance from Delhi. While BJP was known to have done so in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka (erstwhile government), Congress has also unofficially appointed president Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank, known for his strident anti-Hindutva, as Karnataka’s de-facto CM after placating CM Siddaramaiah, Deputy CM DK Shivakumar through an equitable state control. Meanwhile, regional fault-lines have erupted replacing coalition dharma across India that hitherto accommodated regional concerns of allies. The NDA witnessed soft murmurs of protest among regional partners over inadequate representation for general elections although things did not come to a head. The I.N.D.I.A front, however, witnessed sharp differences and varied responses from regional players apparently taking the Congress head on despite the alliance. CPI in Kerala pitted Annie Raja’s candidature against Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad. Similarly, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav quickly announced his daughter’s candidature to contest against Pappu Yadav (Rajesh Ranjan), a day after the latter merged his standalone Jan Adhikar Party with Congress for general elections 2024. Similarly, in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party/Congress bonhomie evaporated after Congress’ manifesto reiterated reservations not only for caste but also minorities (read Muslims). Akhilesh Yadav has taken note of the Congress outreach to the minority vote-bank and now additionally worries about outsider AIMIM party’s full-fledged foray into UP that threatens to upstage his own Lok Sabha fortunes.
nupur sharma

Career Boost For Nupur Sharma, May Get Rajya Sabha Berth


The BJP that was seriously considering the rehabilitation of its former spokesperson Nupur Sharma, relegated to political silence in the wake of her controversial comments over the Gyanvapi temple issue, may likely elevate her to parliament through the Rajya Sabha. Sources close to the development told, “Sharma’s rehabilitation was under active consideration for over two months now. Originally, BJP intended to field her from one of the seven parliamentary constituencies in Delhi. However, issues of security, with a fatwa of sur-tun-se-juda (decapitation threat) issued against her by Islamic fundamentalists, resulted in her candidature not being confirmed as it would lead to security challenges as she would have to publicly canvas for the general elections.” The source added that the BJP is still to finalize her exact mode of political elevation with the Raebareli and Amethi Lok Sabha seats also being considered as options if Rahul Gandhi’s second parliamentary candidature or Priyanka Vadra’s nomination respectively are announced from either of the two seats. “The BJP is keen to serve out a double drubbing to the Gandhi family from their traditional parliamentary bastions in Uttar Pradesh. On Hanuman Jayanti, which was celebrated on April 23, Nupur Sharma was seen distributing food to people. Coincidentally, Lord Bajrangbali’s birthday and Sharma’s fell on the same day.” Nupur, who insists that her comments were in response to pejorative statements against Lord Shiva’s Jyotirlinga at Gyanvapi, being referred to as a mere water fountain by Muslim panelists on the televised show, may thus benefit from divine intervention to kickstart her political career once again.

Will Tesla Set Up Its EV Plant In Maharashtra?


Maharashtra is hyperventilating over Elon Musk’s plans to invest US $2 to $3 billion, in the state, probable announcement during his visit to India. According to informed sources, “Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri (Konkan belt) or Vidarbha region (in north) may find precedence over Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) that boasts an automobile cluster near Pune city. Tesla’s plan to manufacture electric vehicles by itself is not news as much as the resultant disruption in the new technology for batteries these EVs will use. Already, Tata Motors enjoys first mover advantage in this specialized automobile sector within the conventional technology batteries, with its Exon and Punch EV models enjoying advantage of competitive pricing also.” Additionally, recent discoveries of lignite deposits by the Neyveli Lignite Corporation NLC, a private limited company of the Union Government of India, may also synergise with the forward foray in India’s EV segment. There is also a sharp political inclination to house the Tesla EV project within Maharashtra that recently lost out to Gujarat on the mega Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductors investment. A BJP source insists, “The then MVA government under Uddhav Thackeray had set a pre-condition of government primacy over appointing contractors related to the project that soured the deal. Subsequently, after heading into Gujarat Foxconn parted ways with Vedanta but the project moved towards financial closure.” The BJP leader says that with state assembly elections scheduled in Maharashtra in November 2024, the entry of Tesla in the state, would help to enthuse industrial growth and progress while dissipating any residual bad aftertaste over the Vedanta exit two years ago.
mangal prabhat lodha

Will BJP Field Mangal Prabhat Lodha From The Prestigious South Mumbai Constituency?

Mumbai’s southernmost Lok Sabha seat has reverted to BJP after a decade and current Maharashtra Skill Development Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha may be fielded there. BJP sources say, “Lodha secured highest votes in Maharashtra during 2014 state assemblies, and improved his vote catching performance in 2019. Importantly, south Mumbai was traditionally BJP’s bastion electing Jaywantiben Mehta until 2014, being the Jan Sangh’s headquarters. Uddhav Thackeray wrested the seat away, committed alliance adharma, deliberately fielding lesser-known Arvind Sawant, Sena’s MTNL trade union face prodded by a corporate house that backed a Congress candidate.” Lodha worked as poll manager for late Arun Jaitley’s Amritsar constituency in 2014. He not only nurtured his assembly constituency but also strategically cultivated the larger parliamentary voters across six assemblies. He organized the massive felicitation function for Lata ‘Didi’ Mangeshkar at Mahalaxmi racecourse grounds inviting newly minted PM Narendra Modi as chief guest in 2014. “Miffed Uddhav Thackeray, seated in the audience, exited the event midway through the function. The undivided Shiv Sena chief had earlier scoffed at winning prospects of his own man Sawant during general elections, though BJP exit polls indicated a 50, 000 winning vote for the Sena candidate. Without Thackeray’s family in NDA, BJP cadres prevailed upon BJP’s top poll management demanding the constituency, even putting paid to efforts by BJP’s state assembly speaker Rahul Narvekar’s aspiration to become BJP parliamentarian. Last heard, Narvekar has piped down public rallying across south Mumbai. So will it be Lodha?
ShindeFamily modi

Maharashtra CM Has Hotline To PM, Calls Sparingly

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde enjoys hotline service to Prime Minister Narendra Modi (been a while now) as alliance partner of the Mahayuti government and his Shiv Sena now formally within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Informed sources say, “PM is too fond of Shinde. After general elections and subsequent state assemblies are positively concluded, Modi plans to elevate him to parliament. Probably, Rajya Sabha nomination, if all goes as per Narendra Modi’s political vision. Shinde only uses his direct connect to the PM very sparingly though.” The down-to-earth Shiv Sena CM faces his current political test to ensure disgruntled MP colleagues, unwilling to relinquish parliamentary constituencies, toe the BJP line. Shinde has power to offer state assembly constituencies in lieu of forfeited Lok Sabha seats in return, keeping with BJP’s objective to maximize the number of winning MPs from Maharashtra. The BJP consciously keeps aloof over Shinde’s intra-party wranglings while Shinde consolidates his leadership over Shiv Sena, independent MLAs who joined his team. Still, Sena colleagues vehemently object to eschewing Lok Sabha seats despite opinion polls indicating their non-winnability. Already, alliance partner chief of independent Prahar party, Bacchu Kadu, re-emphasized fighting intentions over Amravati’s Lok Sabha seat. Here, the BJP has given a ticket to independent MP Navneet Rana. Some freshly sought retirees from among Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena MPs, who trucked with Shinde, have now upped the ante insisting on 16 parliamentary seats. BJP seems in no hurry considering the final nominations due date is over a month away.
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Maha Battleground Cleared For Devendra Fadnavis, BJP’s Mantra Is Perform Or Perish

BJP’s Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is working in right earnest, sans political distractions anymore, to ensure 41 to 45 (out of 48) Lok Sabha seats for NDA from Maharashtra. His party high command cleared the field in Maharashtra by designating him as BJP’s sole face, having strategically elevated Sudhir Mungantiwar, and Pankaja Munde among other perceived contenders to the Parliamentary arena. Fadnavis’ political challenge remains to ensure his party contests 31 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra and convince chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar to accommodate BJP candidates from their allocated seats just like Milind Deora found Rajya Sabha nomination from Shinde’s quota. Fadnavis has emphasized the ‘winnability’ criterion and 50% vote share to turn into reality, PM Narendra Modi’s aspiration for 370 BJP MPs in Lok Sabha 3.0. Fadnavis must ensure NCP MLA, Pankaja’s cousin Dhananjay Munde’s wholehearted efforts to ensure his sister (whom he defeated in 2019 state assemblies) wins from Beed. He never enjoyed good relations even with the late Gopinath Munde. “The important thing is Fadnavis has liberty to offer adequate representation in subsequent state assemblies while asking coalition partners to swallow the bitter pill for general elections. The results of the Lok Sabha will decide subsequent state assembly seat allocations in Maharashtra as well,” a source revealed. Whether this will have a placatory effect on known rabble rouser, independent MLA Bacchu Kadu, remains to be seen?

Was The Bomb Blast At Rameshwaram Café In Bengaluru A Trial Run?

The National Investigative Agency (NIA) is hot on the trail of a Kerala link to the recent bomb explosion at Rameshwaram Café in Bengaluru, Karnataka, that left eight persons injured, two of them grievously. According to a well-placed source, “The NIA suspects this was a trial run and has launched into a major deep dive investigative exercise in its wake that has already revealed linkages to Kerala and the PFI (as well as SFI) mobilisation by an ISIS module based out of the southern most state of India. NIA has also learnt that the operatives involved in the terror act had also visited Pune city in Maharashtra.” What has surprised the agency is the initial effort by the Karnataka government to dismiss the IED blast as a cylinder explosion that was followed by another government spokesperson then suggesting that the bomb explosion was the result of some business rivalry. The zero tolerance to terror policy, enforced since the installation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as India’s Premier in 2014, has Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) on tenterhooks ever since the incident in anticipation of a reprisal offensive on Pakistani soil by India. “Already scores of Pakistani terror elements belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba as well as pro-Khalistani terrorists numbering over 160 were neutralized in Pakistan, Canada and even the world over. Indian intelligence agencies have also established that another one among India’s most wanted terrorists has departed the world.”
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Amit Shah Forges Maha Consensus For Lok Sabha Elections

The Lok Sabha seat sharing talks between the Shiv Sena Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar are finally reaching a consensus. BJP will contest the lion’s share of seats (30 seats), Shinde’s Sena taking the tiger’s share (10-15) while Ajit Pawar’s NCP may be restricted to three to four seats. According to a senior political leader, “The NCP will be allotted seats based on the number of Lok Sabha seats the undivided NCP had secured in the 2019 general elections with the deal likely sweetened with the Pune parliamentary constituency. Things are fluid and the alliance is still open to candidates from any party in the alliance for seats where the other two fail to find suitable contestants with a winning political quotient.” The BJP may give up its claim on the Pune Lok Sabha seat, having already sent its party candidate Medha Kulkarni to Parliament via the Rajya Sabha. In 2019, the BJP had contested 25 seats and won 23. The (undivided) Shiv Sena contested 23 and won 18, giving the NDA a tally of 41 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra. While Ajit Pawar may get Pune, the BJP’s state leadership failed to ensure poll wins in the region in Pimpri Chinchwad and Pune in lower rung elections, cooperative sector may come back to haunt it in the coming days. Union Home Minister Amit Shah is directly handling the talks with Shinde, Fadnavis and Pawar.

PM Modi’s Lok Sabha Political Policy, Ignores Big Names, Surnames, Aristocracy


BJP’s 2019 ‘Political Decade Policy’ empowering cadre, gen-next portends ill for more famous leaders two tenures old and over 75 years old. Brahmin Medha Kulkarni, RSS ‘Karsevak’ Ajit Gopchade secured Rajya Sabha nominations since Kulkarni relinquished her Pune assembly seat for Chandrakant Patil in 2019, while Gopchade’s prominence rose after 1992 Babri mosque demolition. BJP spokesperson Atul Shah says, “Mega party BJP always emphasises generation next and is always widening our political horizon. While Maratha leader (newbie) Ashok Chavan secured Rajya Sabha, two BJP workers got nominations too.” Maharashtra BJP Executive Committee member Mahendra Jain notes, “Kulkarni sacrificed her Pune constituency so, her RS nomination satiates Pune’s Brahmin community. Clear political message is that famous leaders may not take their Lok Sabha candidatures for granted.” BJP’s policy saw Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar moved to Madhya Pradesh assembly as speaker earlier. Union minister Parshottam Rupala may not get Lok Sabha seat to set right Gujarat caste dynamics, unreasonable pressure from Patels. Rajnath Singh (73) may still secure candidature, Shivrajsingh Chauhan asked to prove election mettle after being sidelined for MP CM ship just like Vasundhara Raje. Narayan Rane is unlikely over health issues although his son may be fielded. Similarly, Chandrakant Dada Patil and Pankaja Munde may lose out. “No decision till now on holding simultaneous polls for Maha assemblies with general polls but, PM Modi who keeps plans close to chest, may still spring a surprise.” BJP will contest 28/30 Maharashtra parliamentary seats itself while also fielding candidates from Eknath Shinde’s party (like Milind Deora got Rajya Sabha). Shinde won’t seek many parliamentary seats, lacking worthy winning candidates,” the source added. Will Vinod Tawde be BJP’s Konkan face in ensuing polls?
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PM Modi Flummoxed By Protests Again, Farmers 2.0 To Lose Twice Over MSP Ultimatum

The farmers’ stir 2.0, has flummoxed Prime Minister Narendra Modi who withdrew his three farm bills (under protest) following the last uprising by agriculturists in 2021, who refused to settle unless he backtracked. Modi expressed disappointment back then that the triple laws, aimed at doubling agriculturists’ revenues by migrating agricultural produce to open market rates over minimum support price (MSP) valuations, had to be withdrawn. A senior BJP leader tells, “Please consider the ironic fact that the price of wheat was Rs 570 when the three revolutionary farm laws were withdrawn over political orchestrations and large scale violence. Subsequently prices of wheat skyrocketed to over Rs 1000 in 2022, in the wake of the Ukraine war. Migration to market valuations based on demand and supply and open market rates would literally have made Indian farmers richer, almost doubly. But Indian agriculturists lost out on the opportunity thanks to the anti CAA Shaheen Baug protests, followed by farmers 1.0 amplified nationally, politically.” The BJP leader added that the Ukraine conflict saw demand for wheat grow manifold and it was India that stepped in to fill the global void in the Gulf region, Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan and other markets impacted by wheat scarcity. Ongoing news media narratives over 2.0 protests scaling up and demanding MSP for 23 foodgrains, on pain of unleashing anarchy once again, fail to factor in the lost commercial value that farmers suffered after 1.0 and will likely hurt farmers doubly once again.
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For Bihar CM ‘Ram Nam’ Spells Political Survival, Lucky CM Nitish Kumar Wins Yet Another Duel

Ninth-time lucky Bihar CM Nitish Kumar defied all political odds of survival commencing another stint as CM, after junking the Mahagatbandhan with RJD-Congress yet again. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge accused Kumar of practising the ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ brand of political opportunism, others tagged the sobriquet of ‘Paltu Ram’. These commonly used phrases do harsh injustice to Lord Rama’s name, suffixed with negative connotations like transferred epithets. A BJP leader says, “Pejorative terminologies for Lord Rama, preached through conscious Leftist narratives, are deliberately being contextually misplaced. Regional political player Nitish Kumar (staved off the 2014 BJP wave to return as CM in 2015) is the Indian political chess board’s survival specialist. Nitsh, holding charge of home department in 2017, dissolved alliance with RJD-Congress first (after intelligence revealed imminent plans by Lalu Prasad Yadav to break bad and install son Tejaswi as CM) still completing full tenure. It is true that post 2020 state assemblies, Kumar with 43 MLAs (BJP elected 75 MLAs) had fought in alliance with BJP, was assured full tenure as CM but still broke our alliance.” CM Kumar’s helmsmanship plans for I.N.D.I.A. and national politics went awry thereafter and the Tejaswi threat loomed once again, probably forcing his hand for yet another political play for Bihar. Turn around another negatively used phrase, “Ram Bharose Hindu Hotel” positively to more accurately show Kumar seeking refuge in Lord Rama (saffron front) in his hour of political crisis to succeed and complete full tenure as CM yet again.
nitish rane

Nitesh Rane: BJP's Young Turk Ratchets Up

The political age for young Turks is being reemphasized in Maharashtra again with pole positioning currently underway for suitable appointments to the state council of ministers once general elections conclude in April 2024. Union Minister for micro, small and medium enterprises Narayan Rane’s MLA son Nitesh Rane has consciously donned the saffron robes of Hindutva (over love and land jehad) while stridently ratcheting up his rhetoric by a few notches against the Thackeray Khandaan simultaneously. According to a BJP leader, “When Eknath Shinde was installed as CM, the BJP high command’s diktat was induction of new faces in the state council of ministers that was not done although 20 cabinet berths were filled up. The political debacle in Bihar back then saw the Modi-Shah leadership letting it slide rather than risk political instability in Maharashtra, however, repeatedly rebuffed subsequent attempts at cabinet expansion.” In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi consciously grafted the old crop BJP leadership from Maharashtra into his Union cabinet of ministers, clearing the field for the young Turks in Maharashtra following which Devendra Fadnavis became CM. Vinod Tawde, Sudhir Mungantiwar also became ministers.” Post Lok Sabha elections, young Turks including Nitesh Rane, Gopichand Padalkar, Prasad Lad, Yogesh Sagar and others from the BJP hope to find a berth in the state cabinet of ministers in the run up to the state assemblies in November 2024, unless the BJP high command holds simultaneous polls.
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PM Modi’s Western Maha Poll Play, Exploiting Maratha Strongman Vijaysinh Mohite Patil

BJP is a worried party in Bharat today with the I.N.D.I.A. alliance, compounded with on-the-boil Maratha agitations, threatening poll prospects to better BJP’s 303 Lok Sabha tally of MPs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Solapur visit recently, ostensibly to handover 15,000 homes to bidi workers rallying under former Solapur city’s CPI MLA Narsaiah Adam Master, has deeper political purpose for Western Maharashtra. A source familiar with goings on told, “Maratha reservations issue is backed by every common Maratha Manoos. A Maratha DCM (Ajit Pawar) was strapped on to expand chief minister Eknath Shinde’s political reach to woo the Western Maharashtra belt that Maha Chanakya Sharad Pawar lords over.” Modi’s Solapur visit quietly endorsed his blessings for the Krishna-Bheema rivers interlinking project. The brainchild of Pawar senior’s former Maratha DCM Vijaysinh Mohite Patil was launched in 2003 to alleviate water scarcity in six districts and 31 talukas of Western Maharashtra. BJP’s Chanakya, DCM Devendra Fadnavis relaunched the flagship project a fortnight back in earnest (for completion) although (temporarily) rebranding it as the Sangli flood water stabilization (diversion) project due to ongoing legal disputes with Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh over river water utilization. Before 2019 Lok Sabha elections Modi similarly visited Malshiras in Solapur soliciting the Vijaysinh Mohite Patil family’s sway over the Baramati, Solapur, Mhada, Pandharpur Lok Sabha seats (built through blood, political relations over three generations) in Sharad Pawar’s stronghold. PM Modi’s current outreach seeks to blunt the sympathy wave for MVA, negative fallout over Maratha reservations in the ensuing general elections.
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Thackeray’s Politico-Religious Masterstroke, Emulates Social Crusaders Over Kalaram Temple

Erstwhile Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will emulate his social crusader grandfather Prabhodankar Thackeray, social reformer Sane Guruji and Indian constitution’s architect Dr BR Ambedkar, come January 22. He will seek blessings from Lord ‘Kala Ram’ coinciding with Bharatiya Janata Party’s installation of ‘Ram Lalla’ at Ayodhya. Thackeray received no invite to attend the Ram Mandir ceremony over severed ties with BJP but, through this political masterstroke, intends to hold sway over the 48 parliamentary constituencies in Maharashtra. Thackeray’s party smartly tied up with Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) over a seat sharing formula being worked out currently and hopes to attract Dalit votes in addition to his party’s traditional vote bank. Angry Shiv Sainiks anxiously await general elections to vent their rage over alleged political betrayal by former compatriots now under CM Eknath Shinde who rebelled against the heir of the late Sena supremo even as Uddhav has smartly tapped into the Dalit vote bank. In the early 1900s Maharashtra’s social crusader Sane Guruji and subsequently, Dr Ambedkar launched crusades to allow Dalits prayer rights at the KalaRam temple. Thackeray is certain his traditional vote bank will be bolstered by the Dalit community that had even given his party (under late Balasaheb) a run for its money in its own backyard of Mumbai city in the late 1970s. Thackeray has also put the Congress and NCP allies on guard by deputing colleagues to attend I.N.D.I.A’s seat sharing meet while locally insisting on the tiger’s share in Maharashtra.
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Aaditya’s Pole Positioning Before Maha Poll, Dares CM Shinde To Roll Back Rs 250 MTHL Toll

Shiv Sena scion Aaditya Thackeray threw the gauntlet at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde over the Rs 250 tariff to traverse the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link by demanding a roll back, free ride instead. The day before Thackeray @33 years young tweeted development works started utilizing his MLA funds in Worli. Indications are clear of Aaditya assuming leadership (Maha CM) positioning for forthcoming state assemblies. A BJP leader tells, “Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray consciously pushed his son to hold pole position on the political racetrack even during the 2014 alliance with BJP. To Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s consternation, Aaditya turned up for meetings scheduled with his father in New Delhi. After Maharashtra’s 2019 assembly elections Thackeray senior formed the MVA alliance with NCP, Congress though Devendra Fadnavis’ promised that Aaditya as DCM would be groomed over five years to become CM of Maharashtra in 2024.” Another source revealed, “Even parleys to seal the deal with NCP for the MVA alliance nearly broke down after Uddhav proposed Aaditya’s name for CM. NCP Chief Sharad Pawar baulked, threw sheaf of papers he held in the air and then, convinced the undivided Shiv Sena Chief to take up the mantle of government.” In 2004 Balasaheb Thackeray prematurely announced free electricity for agriculturists if Shiv Sena was elected to power. Then Congress CM Sushilkumar Shinde hijacked the plan before the code of conduct was enforced and returned his party to power. Eknath Shinde may not, however, bite the bait or, will he?

Brijbhushan Singh On The Mat, Sanyaas From Wrestling And Lok Sabha Format?

The Union Sports ministry dismissed the newly elected Wrestling Federation of India body under president Sanjay Singh, close confidant of erstwhile president, BJP MP Brijbhushan Singh whose exit followed sexual harassment allegations by women wrestlers in India. The BJP strongman MP had also thrown the gauntlet at MNS Chief Raj Thackeray last year threatening him against visiting UP to seek blessings of Lord Rama. Singh’s criminal antecedents, including live boasts of killing rivals in gunfights and acquittal by special CBI court for lack of evidence over harbouring sharp shooters involved in the infamous JJ Hospital case of 1992 in Mumbai, invited the ire of the BJP high command that had mandated an unbiased welcome for all pilgrims. UP CM Yogi Adityanath even booked the Ayodhya state guest house to facilitate the MNS chief’s proposed June 5 visit this year. A source reveals, “Brijbhushan Singh came under the radar because his outburst against Thackeray followed his closed-door meeting at Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s bungalow in New Delhi also attended by NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Vested foreign interests provoked Singh against Thackeray, it was learnt.” The former WFI president announced his sanyaas from WFI in December 2022 and has now started political rounds, meeting BJP national president JP Nadda, over his Lok Sabha candidature from Kaisargang. The BJP’s Sanyasi UP CM Adityanath has clearly won the bout with a knockout “Dhobipachhad’ move as subdued Singh now lives on political hope for survival. Singh’s belligerent posturing has also been replaced with humility now.
Ajit modi

Maha State Polls To Coincide With Lok Sabha Elections, Come April?

Is Maharashtra heading for simultaneous polls of its state assembly coinciding with general elections of Bharat? Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent statements emphasizing “One nation, one poll” compounded with a dismal political picture painted by internal surveys by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) indicate exactly such a prospect. A well-placed source says, “Results of recent assembly elections in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh enthused BJP tremendously as state level anti-incumbency was effectively neutralized by Modi’s persona bringing rich political dividends even in MP where Congress was dead sure of a win. A similar political situation exists in Maharashtra, where the Shinde led Shiv Sena faction (40 MLAs plus 10 independents), even Ajit Pawar’s NCP grouping may not perform well in the next state assembly elections after the current government’s tenure ends in November 2024. The party was mulling over simultaneous polls for over a year now.” Even the BJP retaining its 2019 figure of 105 MLAs in Maharashtra, that came down from 122 MLAs in the 2014 state assemblies, was a deciding factor. The Prime Minister is also a votary of the two (national) party system of democracy as prevalent in the USA. The I.N.D.I.A coalition of opposition political formations under a single umbrella in 2023 is viewed by the BJP as a step in this direction. The party feels public disenchantment with their current three-party alliance government in Maharashtra can be simply countered by projecting Modi’s face for the twin polls being held simultaneously. Will I.N.D.I.A stay together?
Samruddhi express

Maha Samruddhi, Pune Expressways Fail ITS Test, Lost Human Lives Post Car Accidents!

The Samruddhi Expressway connecting Nagpur and Mumbai witnessed over 1000 vehicular accidents in exactly one year claiming 142 lives. Bharat’s fatality rate is 1.5 lakh human beings annually in 5 lakh road accidents. Human error, tyre bursts, highway hypnosis caused a small percentile of accidents on national highways though more lives could have been saved were ITS (intelligent transport system) in place. An IAS source reveals to, “Fact-of-the-matter is though we laid optic fibre cables alongside Samruddhi Mahamarg, Mumbai-Pune expressway exploiting this resource to set up ITS was not accomplished. The golden hour of critical importance, on high-speed road routes, makes the difference between life and death after motor accidents but is non-existent. High manpower requirements may be the reason.” The Mumbai-Pune expressway was Gadkari’s first infrastructure accomplishment in the 1990s when Shiv Sena led the Maharashtra government with the BJP alliance. Gadkari inaugurated ITS on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway in Uttar Pradesh in 2021 and yet, Maharashtra doesn’t adhere to internationally prescribed road safety standards to ensure ambulances reach crash sites within 15 minutes. Common sense to check tyre pressure at the cold start of the day’s travel can avert tyre bursts due to faulty pressure checked on warmed up tyres just before entering highways. Meanwhile, Shiv Sangram Maratha leader Vinayak Mete (Pune expressway), Cyrus Mistry (Mumbai-Ahmedabad expressway) and thousands perished on Maharashtra’s high-speed expressways without ITS. Last heard, the Maha government was working on erecting fake boulders on Samruddhi corridor to break highway hypnosis. What about ITS lethargy?
modi mp

PM Modi Faces State Assemblies With Aplomb, Readies For Lok Sabha Polls Faceoff

PM Narendra Modi’s political gambit to field himself as BJP’s face in just concluded state assemblies in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana was a success except in Telangana. This was deliberately done to the detriment of (Rani) Vasundhara Raje, (Mamaji) Shivraj Singh Chouhan, (Chawalwala Baba) Raman Singh in the first three states, initiated long ago. Post results, benevolent Modi may even prefer Jyotiraditya Scindia. The Congress’ political intransigence to encourage new blood into the party stream cost them growth, national acceptability and now, regional acceptance as national party of choice. Modi became PM of India in April 2014 and immediately elevated veteran party leaders from Maharashtra including Nitin Gadkari, Gopinath Munde as Union Ministers clearing the field for young Turks in BJP to take over. The fresh blood leadership potential being emphasized included Devendra Fadnavis, Ashish Shelar, Vinod Tawde, Sudhir Mungantiwaar in Maharashtra. Fadnavis subsequently made the cut for CM ship after the November 2014 state assemblies. MP CM Mamaji followed Modi to Delhi subsequently. Congress on the other hand, failed to similarly empower Jyotiraditya Scindia (in MP) or Sachin Pilot (in Rajasthan) after capturing power, cowing down to veteran politicians Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot. With Scindia going saffron consequently and Pilot’s failed teacup storm of rebellion curtailed by the Zadugar of Rajasthan, the political future in both states appears bleak for the Congress party. The I.N.D.I.A front led by the only other national political party in Bharat will face an acid test come April 2024.
Ajit pawar_010

Sharad Pawar’s Patronizing Cold Play Matches Ajit Pawar’s Political Ambitions

Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar wants four Lok Sabha seats, including Shirur, Satara, Raigad, Baramati won by NCP in 2019 and hopes to get some more. Pawar wants to field son Parth from Shirur, believing he holds sway over his political karmabhoomi of western Maharashtra. Uncle Sharad Pawar issued patronising sound-bites over his nephew’s political plans seeking to undermine him. In 2014 and 2019, the BJP and Shiv Sena fought general elections in alliance but now, will battle each other even as CM Shinde’s Sena and Ajit Pawar’s NCP seek to adversely impact votes accruing to the (undivided) Shiv Sena and NCP respectively. In 2024, BJP, Shinde led Sena and Ajit Pawar’s NCP will square up against Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar and Congress (that has held its flock together). BJP suggested Shinde field new candidates, since only two/three of his Sena MPs may get re-elected, citing internal surveys. Shinde emphasized his responsibility to secure the political future of his MPs and may, on the brink of elections, even ask them to contest as BJP candidates to still keep his word. Uddhav Thackeray may re-launch political touring soon. Few political pundits credited him for political acumen, making stark comparisons with Balasaheb Thackeray, though the former chief minister of Maharashtra got 63 Shiv Sena MLAs elected in 2014 after BJP severed political ties. His late father had publicly lamented his party’s inability to cross the 60 MLAs benchmark in Maharashtra.
eknath ahit

CM Eknath Shinde’s Shrewd Gambit, To Tackle DCM Ajit Pawar’s Political Brinkmanship

An under-the-weather Maharashtra deputy chief minister (DCM), Ajit Pawar, worked out of home for a fortnight sparking speculation again over his imminent ascension as CM. The alternative political music piped down Friday after Pawar attended the cabinet meeting at the state secretariat — Mantralaya, however, refusing to die down since the Maratha strongman met up with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, adding further grist to rumour mills. The reality may be a mix of both narratives. Maharashtra’s finance minister Pawar may be miffed over his decisions needing to pass muster (ratification) from DCM Devendra Fadnavis’ office first, followed by the CMO thereafter. This is unlike his tenure in the erstwhile MVA government when he enjoyed free reign, even inviting accusations from then alliance partners for allegedly monopolising fund allocations to suit his (undivided NCP) party’s interests. A leadership change in the state may not be imminent unless the Apex Court decides the legal challenge seeking to disqualify 16 MLAs with CM Eknath Shinde. Pawar’s storm-in-a-teacup may have to do with extracting his pound of flesh including allocation of cabinet portfolios, state development corporations for his NCP faction that bolsters the current government. In his previous DCM avatar under Fadnavis as CM, lasting a mere 70 odd hours in November 2019, Pawar brought closure on 20 odd irrigation department cases registered against him. “Though 20 cases were wound up back then, around 100 more remain active that prompted PM Narendra Modi’s “Rs 70,000 crore corruption” comment against NCP,” a source reveals.
Ajit Fadnavis shinde

‘Worker’ CM Shinde’s 500 Public Schemes, To Fulfil PM Modi’s Maha Lok Sabha Dreams!

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde extended service hours of the twin Metro lines (2A, 7) to 11 pm daily for Mumbai’s western suburban commuters’ convenience. Shinde was on perpetual poll mode since becoming CM in 2022, with an agenda to blunt political negativity over erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi, led by his former boss Uddhav Thackeray, being ejected from power. The current Maha boss had a clear brief to launch a blitzkrieg of project announcements, big and small, to launch 500 public welfare schemes before polls. After BJP severed political ties (for good) with Uddhav Thackeray, it leveraged Shinde’s grass roots work culture and recently, added NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s political dynamism to counter the groundswell of disenchantment among citizens. Shinde’s efforts are yielding political returns by carving a positive image for his (breakaway) government in Maharashtra where self-body elections to 27 municipalities were kept on hold to tide over negative public sentiment. A BJP leader tells, “Things are looking up now in the 48 Lok Sabha seats from Maharashtra. ‘Worker’ Shinde, backed by ‘Chanakya’ Fadnavis and ‘Dynamic’ (Ajit) Pawar are expected to ensure negative results turn positive in the forthcoming polls. BJP’s fail-safe to ensure Lok Sabha victory is projection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face under which elections will be fought in Maharashtra, just like in Rajasthan.” Understandably, the ‘Maha Chanakya’ from Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar, is leaving no stone unturned to counter BJP’s strategy of wait-and-watch by precipitating protests over ‘Maratha’ reservations to never-before-seen levels
Modi pawar

Modi Vs Pawar: Aggro Over Agri

Bharat’s Pradhan Sevak Narendra Modi recently cited NCP Chief Sharad Pawar for non-performance during UPA 1&2. Modi alleged Pawar was an ineffective Union Agriculture Minister for a decade. Pawar hit back saying Modi got his facts wrong and now, BJP has provided its data. UPA 1&2 saw production of 1,849 MT of wheat, rice and pulses while eight years under Modi’s watch witnessed total produce of 1,957 MT. Wheat stood at 824 MT, rice at 868 MT and pulses at 157 MT during UPA’s decade. Bharat saw 913 MT wheat stocks, 864 MT rice, 180 MT pulses between 2014 and 2022. A senior BJP leader reveals, “Wastage of rotting food grains in FCI storehouses was the rule under UPA when annually 20,000 MT was the average loss. Under Modi, this scaled down to 1,700 MT annual wastage as reported in 2021-2022. Modi emphasized the first in first out (FIFO) policy at FCI storehouses as against the last in first out (LIFO) policy under UPA. Official records indicate 20,000 MT waste food grain stocks were burnt annually. We now learn a large portion of alleged wastage stocks were clandestinely diverted to wine distilleries across India to manufacture alcohol besides lining the pockets of unscrupulous politicians.” Modi also hammered down India’s hunger index, during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 80 crore beneficiaries getting free food grains to this very day. No coincidence, the Union (international) Budget (2023-2024) says lots on enhancing India’s millet production to meet growing international demand
ShindeFamily modi

Maha CM Shinde Is PM Modi’s Blue-Eyed Guy, Political Winner Even If Disqualified

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde sits pretty over rumours of being replaced by deputy chief minister (DCM) Ajit Pawar for three months and now, his other DCM Devendra Fadnavis. Shinde, the blue-eyed-boy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is unlikely to be replaced till poll bells sound, unless the Supreme Court disqualifies him. BJP’s ‘X’ handle reiterated Fadnavis’ second coming as Maha CM, before hurriedly deleting the post. A BJP leader told, “PM Modi likes Shinde’s efforts as a grass roots worker, reiterated during the Covid pandemic (in erstwhile MVA government) when he contracted the nCov twice. Modi loves Shinde and only a few months back the entire Shinde’s clan (four generations) met PM Modi in Delhi. Earlier, under CM Fadnavis his diligent work during the Kerala floods of 2018 caught the PM’s eye.” He reveals that Shinde is in Modi’s good books for elevation as Union Minister with elections in Maharashtra projecting DCM Fadnavis. Sources say Shinde’s MP son Dr Shrikant is being groomed as Maha DCM in the next state government. When Pawar recently joined the government Shinde’s Sena did not lose many portfolios like Fadnavis led BJP did, due to the 50:50 share of power agreement. Pawar’s political pound of flesh recently (guardianship of Pune and other districts), saw BJP’s Chandrakant Dada Patil losing out his Pune turf. Modi’s new political template using ‘report card’ assessments was to the detriment of BJP leaders while rewarding staunch NDA allies like Shinde, who may face disqualification but still come out a winner.
Rizvi builders

Double Jolt To Rizvi’s Utopia

Twenty-two families occupying residential apartments in the ongoing Rs 2500 crore Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) approved project – Rizvi Utopia – in the western suburb of Kalina, Mumbai have to vacate within the week. The directive from the SRA comes in the wake of the finding that ‘C’ wing in the triple-tower complex lacks the requisite Occupation Certificate (OC) despite which possession of 22 of the 25 two-bedroom apartments was handed over to unsuspecting homebuyers. The statutory authority, in its October 18 missive to the project developer Rizvi Land Development Pvt Ltd (RLD) states, “You are hereby directed to vacate all occupied flats in sale wing C of your building immediately… within seven days.” The SRA directive comes in the wake of the report submitted by the Mumbai Fire Brigade in September, 2023, after inspection of all A, B and C wings. The fire brigade report states, “The developer has not obtained an occupation certificate for C wing from the CFO department or SRA. The fixed fire-fighting system is not in working condition.” The SRA action comes as a double jolt to Rizvi builder in particular after he deposited Rs 6 crore with the Bombay High Court over the sale of four commercial office spaces in the realty project without commercial components being part of its approved plans. Why the SRA waited over a month after the fire brigade’s report is another question that remains unanswered?
purohit zutshi

Lt Col Prasad Purohit and Chitkala Zutshi

Malegaon Blast Case: Lt Col Purohit Must Pay Ex-Maharashtra Home Secretary Rs 10,000 To Cross Examine Her Again

The special court trying the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case (323 witnesses deposed, 34 turned hostile) recently asked accused Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit to pay Rs 10,000 to Maharashtra’s former Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Chitkala Zutshi. The directive came after Purohit’s (known for connections with pre-independence Chaphekar Brothers gang in Pune) counsel sought to re-examine Zutshi. The good judge cited her concluded cross examination and said, “Why call a senior citizen repeatedly? She has been here, given evidence. If you want to recall her then pay her Rs 10,000.” Zutshi was cross examined over two-and-a-half days over granting sanction to prosecute the accused in September and queried whether she blindly signed the sanction to prosecute? Fully read the case file? Zutshi also cancelled her return flight ticket on occasion when her cross examination lasted one-and-a-half days. When inquired Zutshi, who was literally hostage during the Pakistani terror attack at The Taj hotel in 2008, confirmed that she was yet to receive the Rs 10,000. Back on the night of November 26/27, 2008, Pakistani handlers got wind of her presence and directed the Fidayeen at the Taj terror site to “Take the home secretary hostage. We will be able to free (arrested terrorist) Ajmal Kasab”.Multi-tasker Zutshi informed Mumbai Police Commissioner Hassan Gafoor of need for specialized forces, shared contact of erstwhile western command army head Arjun Menon and shepherded 46 international/Indian guests stuck in Sea Lounge restaurant with her, till evacuation early next morning.
Nitish Kumar

Caught Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, Nitish Kumar May Lose Bihar For Courting Lalu Prasad Yadav!

Bihar is undergoing political sickness, with the BJP and JDU drifting apart. The alliance came apart due to Nitish Kumar’s newfound love for Lalu Prasad Yadav. CBI raids followed and recovered hard evidence against the Yadav family, in the land-for-railway-jobs scam. The CBI, sources point out, may arrest multiple family members among Laloo’s big family. Tejaswi Yadav was in London with RaGa when the raids occurred. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has felled many birds with one stone, cutting Nitish Kumar down to size for breaking ranks and for sleeping with the enemy is nothing new for him. The CBI actions have cut off political options Kumar planned with the RJD due to the railway scam where job aspirants parted with 5 to 10 bighas of land for government jobs. Clearly, Nitish Kumar finds himself between the devil and the deep blue sea. No Congress option to go to, since Bihar’s Congress party will likely switch over to the BJP with his own party facing an imminent collapse. Shah has underlined his remote control over the Bihar government from New Delhi and emphasized plans by BJP to take over Bihar’s political administration, sooner than later. And the Congress is silent for the moment.

Prashant Kishor’s Electoral Analytics For Congress, Prescribes Hard Life For Rahul, To Halt Modi’s Progress!

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s fresh overture to Congress, a 78 slide PPT is under review. A Congress G23 member says, “PK reached out four months ago. His formal enrolment or associate role was left open ended. We did not ask him to enrol although he had set some preconditions. We wanted to know his role play? His single-minded agenda to defeat Narendra Modi connects with us.” PK next met Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in New Delhi. Former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan told, “I also had a long (45 minute) meeting with Ms. Gandhi on April 14, submitted suggestions to enthuse demoralised party cadre after results of state assemblies. Decision on PK’s PPT is awaited and pertains to internal party issues, I may not discuss. The Party Chief asked where difficulties exist and sought suggestions.” Another Congress leader says PK is clear that only a broad arrangement of like-minded (anti-Modi) political formations can overcome BJP. Says he, “Importantly, PK charts a clear course for Rahul Gandhi, who must decide to be Prime Minister and if so, eschew party presidentship. Rahul must assume leadership of opposition in Lok Sabha, a disciplined lifestyle. It is hard work, getting up early, reading the day’s agenda, and 9:30 am attendance in Parliament. Moot question is whether RaGa will warm up to PK’s advice after returning from his foreign tour? Will he, won’t he?

Centre’s New Service Rules To Break IAS Nexus With State Governments, On Pain of Two-Year Jail Term

A year after the Union government amended the All India Services (AIS) Rules for the Jammu and Kashmir union territories, under which four IAS officials were recently sacked, and powers of the local administration to grant two three month extensions to superannuated IAS, IPS and IFoS cadre officials was withdrawn, a new notification makes the same rules applicable pan India. A well-placed source told, “The move comes in the wake of West Bengal’s confrontationist attitude, whose then Chief Secretary continues in the state despite repatriation to New Delhi. When PM Narendra Modi visited WB on May 28, 2021 for a ground report on the cyclone that hit the state, CS Alapan Bandyopadhyay did not brief him, even left the meeting. Similarly, Chief Minister Mamta Bannerjee demanded WB’s leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari be excluded.” In June 2021 Bandhyopadhyay retired and was appointed as Chief Advisor to Banerjee. The new notification, with retrospective effect, disallows such extensions without prior clearance from the Central Vigilance Commission and intelligence committee. The new rules provide for a two-year jail term for officials found in violation and also includes anti-government comments on social media as grounds for action. The new AIS rules will impact other states like Maharashtra where former CS Sitaram Kunte and before him, Ajoy Mehta were also appointed as advisors to CM Uddhav Thackeray post retirement.
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MNS Conundrum Continues As Raj Thackeray Finds New Political Guru In Nitin Gadkari, Post Pawar Phase

It’s Ghar Wapsi for Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Chief Raj Thackeray, who has thrown his weight behind the BJP hereon. This completes the full circle that began when Nitin Gadkari assumed office as the national BJP president years ago, and Raj paid him a visit in Mumbai. Thackeray had Gadkari over for dinner at his Shivaji Park home a day after his militant Hindutva rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar on April 2 where he was introduced as ‘Tiger Raj Thackeray’. The turnout was impressive, as was his fiery one-hour long speech attacking Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray. Raj Thackeray’s proximity to Gadkari goes back a long way. Circa 2005, Raj announced his own party plans and formed MNS the next year with an avowed anti-north-Indian stance, ironically with financial backers from Uttar Pradesh’s minority segment. Thackeray is now trying to occupy the perceived political space of Hindutva-Marathi voters that Shiv Sena always counts on. This also marks Raj’s volte-face, taking on the BJP after spending 10 days in Gujarat under then CM Narendra Modi’s hospitality, followed up with an-anti-BJP stance before the 2019 general elections, apparently at Pawar’s behest. BJP leader Ashish Shelar played a key role in Raj’s current political disposition, alongside Devendra Fadnavis, who has the final say on Maharashtra. BJP seeks to project Gadkari as the tallest Maharashtra leader to replace Pawar.
amit shah_mamata B

BJP Launches Mission 2024 In West Bengal, To Retain Elected MPs, Expose TMC Misdemeanours

Mission 2024 has commenced for BJP in West Bengal with Union Home Minister Amit Shah setting his sights on Mamata Didi’s political turf, once again. With a more realistic objective this time around, the BJP wants to retain the number of MPs elected in 2019. Shah’s multi-pronged attack upon the TMC government got a shot in the arm by the court directed hand over of investigations into the Birbhum murder, arson killings to the CBI. The BJP also cited public statements by TMC MLA Naren Chakraborty from Asansol asking TMC cadres to warn BJP voters against casting their ballots on pain of death, for the scheduled bye-poll. “If you vote we will presume you voted for BJP and after the election you will be living at your own risk,” Chakraborty said. The EC imposed a seven-day campaign ban on the MLA after the video of his speech emerged. The BJP is pursuing a criminal case against the MLA for threatening people against exercising their vote without fear. A BJP leader told, “Didi is using strong-arm tactics like the erstwhile CPM government of WB employed to keep its grip on power, by hook or by crook. The Congress shoots itself in the foot by keeping mum only to keep the BJP out, like a man willing to die to ensure another woman is widowed also.”

Vasundhara Raje Gets PM Modi's Nod To Battle For Rajasthan

Vasundhara Raje has fortified her continued reign over Rajasthan, as the BJP’s CM face, thanks in no small measure to her face-to-face with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the last fortnight. Raje was on the radar of the BJP high command for quite some time when the party leadership was actively looking at alternatives to replace her, with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat first and then Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla being seriously considered for the job. Things have settled down now for the Rani, who celebrated her birthday bash in Boondi, Rajasthan on March 8, 2022, through a show of strength, even as 42 BJP MLAs and a few MPs were in attendance. According to a BJP leader, however, “The Rani made strong statements against the Congress party announcing her serious political intentions. More importantly, Vasundhara Raje has visibly shed her arrogance and even reached out to PM Modi who met her recently in New Delhi where she promised better coordination with the high command going ahead.” With elections to the Rajasthan state assemblies scheduled in December 2023, the BJP high command for its part, after failingly prospecting for an alternative to the Rani, has finally buried the hatchet in the larger interest of the party. With Modi’s sanction Vasundhara is here to stay in Rajasthan.

UP CM Yogi The Ascetic, Had No Favourites In His Cabinet, Added Sugar, Edible Oil To Free Rations Hamper In 2.0

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, did not decide upon his cabinet, leaving it to the high command. Even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah camped in UP for three days before Yogi’s swearing in ceremony, the CM designate said he had no favourites to recommend as cabinet colleagues. A BJP leader told, “Yogi had no role on BJP candidates in 2017 assemblies, while he handled the show by himself in 2022. He was reluctant about Maurya being made his deputy since the latter did not work during the elections.” However, the RSS insisted upon Keshav Prasad Maurya as Dy CM against Yogi’s advice, though he lost elections from the Sirathu assembly constituency. “Dinesh Sharma, who was also Dy CM in Yogi 1.0, declined any interest in not only contesting elections in 2022 but also, any political post, returning to work full time for the RSS. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh then proposed Brajesh Pathak’s, a Brahmin who came from BSP in 2016, candidature as the second DCM face in UP as 90% Brahmin voters had backed the BJP. Bulldozer Baba, for his part, has launched into 2.0 immediately not only announcing free rations for three months for poor citizens but also, adding three more commodities to the monthly food-grains hamper, that now includes edible oil and sugar.
Param bir singh

The CBI Case On Param Bir Singh: Accused Officer Is No Gentleman Complainant Either.

Supreme Court directions to CBI to take over investigations into criminal complaints lodged in Maharashtra against suspended state Home Guards Chief, Param Bir Singh, has unfolded into a classic study on criminal investigative science. The CBI will need exemplary skills to unravel one side of its brief, probe complaints registered against Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh, Anil Parab and others (by complainant Singh), while also establishing criminality in over seven FIRs registered against Singh himself who is accused of corruption in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. One notion that the central investigative agency was going soft on Parambir Singh, will likely dissipate following Singh’s impending arrest by CBI. Importantly, he is a complainant in ongoing CBI investigations on corruption in Maharashtra but now, Singh’s statements as accused in fresh FIRs to be probed, will likely open a can of worms in the coming days. “The CBI will need to demonstrably show extreme efficiency, professionalism to clinically cover investigations into apparently opposite ended criminal complaints in these FIRs, where a former complainant is now an accused,” an intelligence source tells Now BMC Chief Iqbal Chahal has received summons to appear before the I-T department in a probe against BMC Standing Committee Chairman Yaswanth Kamalakar Jadhav. Meanwhile, former Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale, mysteriously relegated as Director, Maharashtra State Security Guards Board from his high-profile role as Mumbai police commissioner, is yet to take charge nearly a month since his transfer.

Photo : Fotocorp

Pawar-Thackeray Sit Pretty Sure, With Congress On Board To Defeat BJP, Whenever BMC Polls Are Held

Sharad Pawar is sitting pretty with the Shiv Sena and Congress parties. With BMC elections in Mumbai deferred for six months, an imminent face-off between erstwhile alliance partners in Maharashtra — BJP and Shiv Sena — stands temporarily averted. Maharashtra’s MVA government will fight the BMC polls, Thane civic elections and other pending local body elections in alliance, single-mindedly to defeat BJP, with Congress also fully on board now. A BJP leader says, “While the MVA alliance may prove a daunting challenge for us, the Sena will lose out on absolute power it enjoys in BMC to the Congress and NCP. They would have won and yet lost.” The NCP with a single digit representation in BMC will improve its tally on the back of the minority vote bank (that holds significant influence in 52 seats) it stirred up over L’affaire Nawab Malik while Congress will seek to ensure its current tally of 37 corporators rises to over 50. The BJP elected 83 party corporators in 2017 BMC polls when in direct contest against the Sena (85), even as Congress and NCP fought each other, and is still hoping to get over 70 corporators elected this time around. Meanwhile, the political slugfest has intensified with cases registered against MVA stakeholders and kin, just as had predicted, even as counter cases against BJP stakeholders have also been preferred.

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Modi, Shah Still In Poll Mode After Big Win, To Face Up To Gujarat, Tripura Challenges Ahead

The March 10 results of state assemblies held in five states of India has most political formations now analyzing the fallout on future polls except the BJP. Rather than sitting pretty on its laurels (read having bagged four out of the five states) Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched into election mode, reaching Gujarat while his second-in-command, Union Home Minister Amit Shah similarly, left for Tripura. While the Congress Working Committee met on Sunday (March 13, 2022) to draw poll inferences and un-wrangle intra-party differences, the same day Modi and Shah had already completed the first phase of their respective Gujarat and Tripura sojourns. Gujarat, where the BJP returned to power in the last assembly, although its tally dipped below 100 elected MLAs, due to the Patel (majority) conundrum, is high on Modi’s agenda prompting his yatra across the urban centers of the state. Similarly, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had sought to make her national presence felt and, deployed former Indira Gandhi era cabinet minister Santosh Mohan Dev’s daughter, Sushmita (TMC Rajya Sabha MP) in Manipur to no avail. While the BJP comfortably won the elections, 32 MLAs elected, Shah has launched into the Tripura political battlefield where another former Congress man Hemanta Biswas Sarma (now BJP CM of Assam) will place the key role for the BJP, yet again.

Fadnavis Is Sole Face Of Maharashtra BJP, Throws Gauntlet At MVA To Bring It Down

Devendra Fadnavis has emerged as the singular face of the party in Maharashtra bolstered by political results in Goa achieved under his leadership. A well-placed source told, “A conscious decision was taken last week on the subject. The BJP leadership is keen to project Fadnavis as the sole face of BJP and has directed a cessation of distracting and divergent statements from other party stakeholders including Kirit Somaiya. All of them have been told to hold their horses for a while.” Somaiya, it may be recalled with the blessings of senior party leaders and, his inimitable style of announcing one scam a day, has been raising heat against Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders predominantly Shiv Sena.  Even other State BJP leaders have been asked to dial down even as Fadnavis has thrown the gauntlet at the MVA government with the single-minded focus on bringing it down. Even the MVA, which deferred the BMC and other local polls in Maharashtra to beyond May 2022, is facing rifts within its ranks. For one, home minister (NCP) Dilip Walse Patil was at pains explaining that Fadnavis was not summoned as accused but as witness by the BKC police and as an after-thought said that the police will visit Fadnavis’ residence to record his statement.  With demand for jailed NCP minister Nawab Malik’s resignation rising, Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray met to damage control the issue.
namak haram

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Now Trending In UP, “Tumne Namak Khaya, Namak Harami Na Karna”

After the first two phases of elections in Uttar Pradesh concluded the BJP heaved a sigh of relief. Unlike the dire predictions of a decimation for the party in western UP, both phases went off smoothly for the party with internal surveys indicating a much better than expected performance too. The two phases also featured the Mainpuri and Karal assembly seats from where SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav contested. Notwithstanding, the scheduled rallies for the remainder of the UP poll tour, Modi switched his focus on the Punjab poll challenge, a well-placed source revealed. “The first two phases were consciously scheduled to cover the difficult political terrain where BJP feared anti-incumbency. This did not happen and the remainder phases encompass BJP strongholds. We may fall shy of the 2017 mark but are winning the UP polls,” the source said. Meanwhile, a trending poll slogan reverberated in the remaining phases, “Tumne Namak Khaya Hain, Namak Harami Na Karna” (You have had the salt of this government, do not betray us now). Simply put, in the remaining phases where BJP seeks to consolidate its traditional votebanks in Eastern and Northern UP, the free rations, DBT cash transfers and other benefits are being leveraged to hold sway over voters. The BJP denies it started the new trending story though terming it a people’s calling.
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BJP To Keep Mum Till BMC Polls, Then Target Maharashtra's First Family And Raut's Kin

Maharashtra is on edge, focused on forthcoming BMC elections, the semi-final match for Lok Sabha and assembly prospects of 2024. BJP says the 416 seats it won in January’s Nagar Panchayat polls is proof the voter base of third placed Shiv Sena with 301 seats (NCP/376 and Congress/297) is eroding. Truth being, Sena fared well in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar with limited success in Konkan. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has entrusted the task to raise Sena’s tally in BMC to over 100 corporators to son and suburban Mumbai’s guardian minister, Aaditya Thackeray. Meanwhile, erstwhile BJP CM, Devendra Fadnavis seeks a CAG audit over financial irregularities in Mumbai’s jumbo Covid centres, apparently run by unregistered medical operators, with familial ties to Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut. Did Raut make a distressed late-night call to Amit Shah recently? Union Minister Narayan Rane said Maharashtra’s politics will change post March 10 which was interpreted as fresh efforts to dislodge the MVA government. “Post BMC polls no elections are scheduled in Maharashtra till 2024. After March 10 fresh efforts will commence to dislodge the MVA government. Whether this means cases registered against the CM, his wife or Raut’s kin being arrested has to be seen. After March 10 they will come to us,” a BJP leader told Clearly, the battle for BMC has begun.

Mumbaikars May Dream Of Life That’s King Size, But BMC’s Rs. 46,000 Crore Budget Is Surreal Style, Not Real

As the BJP and the Shiv Sena led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) square off for the BMC elections, the latter has announced an unrealistic high Rs 46,000 crore budget for Mumbai, the city that never sleeps. Ironically, in 2017 then BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta announced a mere Rs 25,000 crore outlay for Mumbai city and its suburban region, a Rs 12,000 crore reduction from the preceding year’s budget. When asked, Mehta had stated, “It was done to make spending more realistic. Earlier budget figures were much higher than what was actually spent. The capacity to spend was disproportionate to the allocated funds, even to the extent of our revenues (actually) generated. But the realistic budget from Mehta came a year after the BMC elections were held and the administration could politically afford to become realistic but, with elections for the BMC pie only days away now, not only unrealism but also, surrealism appears to be at play now with the whopping Rs 46,000 crore plan outlay that holds the promise of the sky for Mumbaikars and yet, may only fall short in terms of actual expenditure that takes place. A senior civic administrator told, “A lot of window dressing happens in an election year including double paper entries, due to the accounting format followed by the BMC, to make it look larger than life.”

Fully Fit Maharashtra Chief Minister On Warpath With Modi Govt!

An upset Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is on attack mode and, has thrown the gauntlet at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Emerging out of his medically proscribed limitations on offline work, Thackeray was on a signing spree for 10 days with advisor Sitaram Kunte to clear all pending files literally. Parallelly, he launched a broadside against BJP antagonists Narayan Rane and son Nitesh Rane, Amit Satam (one the Tipu Sultan naming controversy) and, Kirit Somaiya (booked for unauthorized photography in the state secretariat). More importantly, Thackeray signaled to BJP that he is the boss by clearing a file allowing the auction of the land in BKC, earmarked by the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis government for the ambitious Bullet Train project. This was followed up by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar demanding an extension of two years for the GST regime in respect of compensation for state governments for deficit revenue collections. Pawar pleaded Covid conditions to justify his demand for extending the tenure of compensation for states by a further two years. The Union Government is unlikely to concede, according to a source in the GST department. He told, that “While the two year extension of compensation for states was accorded by GOI by consensus two years ago, the state governments were found wanting in the implementation of revenue enhancing measures as was mandated by the Central Government. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

Omicron Backlash: MVA Mulls Postponing BMC Elections To April/May

The third wave (Omicron) has turned politically providential for the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra that is actively considering deferment of scheduled local self-body elections including the big stakes Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai. The MVA is beleaguered after the SC ordered the elections, re-designating 27% of allocated OBC seats in the general category. Faced with a political backlash from the unrepresented backward castes, MVA is actively considering postponement of polls to April/May 2022, giving it ample time to complete the ongoing fresh OBC census. A Shiv Sena minister’s aide told, “Omicron is spreading faster. We are considering postponement of elections to BMC and other local bodies scheduled in February 2022.” In the previous elections to BMC in 2017, the richest civic body in India, saw the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena fighting tooth and nail against each other, and winning 83 and 85 seats respectively. Post elections, BJP withdrew from its natural claim to be leader of opposition post in the civic body, which then went to the Congress party. This time though, there is no state alliance between the two parties and no love lost either. While NCP and Sena announced joint plans to contest BMC elections, the Congress is yet to make up its mind.  

Uddhav Thackeray Fit And Able, Opposition Speculations Unfounded: Shiv Sena

Ever since Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been recuperating from a cervical surgery he underwent on November 12, intense speculation has abounded regarding his health status. Reason: he has avoided public appearances and preferred to operate from his official residence Varsha. He did privately visit the Vidhan Bhawan, participated in a cabinet meeting and tea party for legislators on the eve of the winter session via video conference.  BJP, which was trying to topple the two-year old Maha Vikas Aghadi government went into overdrive saying, if the CM’s health condition is not good he must distribute his official work among cabinet colleagues. Setting speculation to rest, a senior Shiv Sena minister’s aide told Short Post, “The CM is reluctant to assume full charge of office till he is a 100% fighting fit. No new cardiac challenges have come up now either (Thackeray had stents implanted a few years ago).” He dismissed the story doing the rounds of the CM’s son and minister Aadtiya Thackeray holding proxy charge as bumkum. He further said “If Uddhavji took a break, as per protocol in the Sena, senior most cabinet minister and industries minister Subhash Desai would take charge for the interim period.” It may be noted that right now Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar from NCP is holding the fort.

Fearing Backlash Political Parties In Maharashtra Likely To Field OBC Candidates In General Category

Does political will in India care about OBCs enough to update the last census, conducted in 1931-32, by the British government on their perception of Indian caste parameters? The fate of the 27% OBC reserved constituencies in Maharashtra will go to polls in January as general category seats. The OBC community’s population based political reservation was set aside by the SC. Only Prime Minister Narendra Modi via Ordinance or, the SC may revert back to the 27% political representation for OBC people, around 54% of the population now in Maharashtra. The PM’s avowed emphasis on meritocracy apart, the OBC issue in MP and UP has now prompted the BJP to seek a stay on the apex court order till a fresh census is completed, says former Union planning Commission member Hari Narke. The only way to appease the OBCs and circumvent SC’s diktat is for political parties to field OBC candidates for the re-designated public representative posts in general category. Tall ask at short notice, for want of winnable candidates that political parties may face. But, the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s political constituents have officially decided to give individual percentage wise representation for OBC as the 450 Maha OBC communities enjoy in the education and social sector while, this is consolidated at 27% for political representation, which may find limited success?

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Two-Year Old Maha Vikas Aghadi Govt Continues To Battle Within And Without!

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, apparently on the verge of a collapse ‘anytime’, completed two years in power on November 28, 2021. Yet, all is not well between its constituents – Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. Besides the enemy on the outside – BJP – the MVA is constantly battling the foe within – individual moorings of each political constituent. Mistrust, lack of transparency and double talk persists. For example: The Congress announced for a mega rally on the iconic Shivaji Park grounds on December 28. Then came news that CM Uddhav Thackeray would decide whether the Congress could mark its foundation day at the Sena’s traditional Dusshera rally venue. Then NCP sppokesperson Nawab Malik suggested that holding public rally would need prior court approval. Infuriated Congress’ (Ashok) Bhai Jagtap, Mumbai President, petitioned the HC only to withdraw subsequently. He insists that rising Omicron cases saw Rahul Gandhi deciding against the rally on pain of being termed as super spreader. He added that the venue would witness a Congress rally before the BMC elections in Mumbai. For now, the NCP, Congress and Sena don’t see eye-to-eye on a number of issues. NCP chief Sharad Pawar seems preoccupied in getting non BJP parties together to rally behind Mamata Banerjee (for the time being) to take on BJP for 2024 general elections.
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Fate Of 12 Suspended BJP MLAs Hangs In Balance: Will Maha Congress’ Nana Patole Return Favour?

Fifty-eight-year-old Nana Patole, President, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, is a happy man. Not because his daughter found a suitable alliance and was married off with much fanfare and the ceremony being attended by the Governor Bhagatsingh Koshyari, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) colleagues Balasaheb Thorat (Congress) and Nawab Malik (NCP) among others but because he pulled off a coup of sorts recently. Sources say he got Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to withdraw their party candidate in the recently held state’s by-election to the Rajya Sabha necessitated by the demise of Congress MP Rajeev Satav. His earlier stint in BJP probably helped. He left BJP and joined Congress in 2017. Patole, who has earned brownie points with the Gandhis, now faces the real test on December 22, 2021, when BJP will expect a quid pro quo on the issue of 12 suspended BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra legislature. How Patole delivers remains to be seen. The issue of the 12 suspended BJP MLAs will figure majorly in the forthcoming state session and is likely to create fissures within the MVA constituents with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena likely to be on opposite sides of the Congress while deciding the fate of the suspended BJP MLAs.

Maharashtra Violence: A Case Of Intelligence Failure?

The recent communal flare up witnessed in Amravati, Malegaon and Aurangabad in Maharashtra over data cooked up online of desecration of a religious place of prayer, should not have occurred, says Maharashtra’s former additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chitkala Zutshi. A senior retired bureaucrat says when actionable intelligence was available it was fairly simple to pre-empt the violence witnessed on November 12-13 this year. Ideally, the State’s cyber intelligence hi-tech department should have sounded the red alert after virulent posts were shared just days before the violence occurred. So, was this a deliberate instance of sitting pretty on hard intelligence? “Nothing new,” says a home department official. Way back in 2004 the Maharashtra’s CM received an intelligence report on the proposed agitation against the Nanar power project in Navi Mumbai. He was advised to speak to the opposition leader so as to tame it down. Did he speak? Nobody knows. But poor Navi Mumbaikars suffered collateral losses after rioters indulged in arson gutting several cars. Ditto the Bhima Koregaon violence erupted on the 200th anniversary year during Devendra Fadnavis’ tenure. Currently under the watch of Maha Vikas Aghadi government it has happened once again. Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, has demanded “imposition of a ban on Raza Academy” for its role in recent violence; the institute was earlier accused of leading Mumbai’s Azad Maidan riots on August 11, 2012.


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.