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Inside Track: In Speaker’s hands

No time limit was set for the Speaker of an Assembly to decide if a legislator should be disqualified for defecting.

Written by Coomi Kapoor | Published: September 17, 2017 12:49 am
Nandyal bypoll, Jaganmohan Reddy, Chandrababu Naidu, TDP, YSR Congress, Rayalaseema, India news, Indian express In Andhra Pradesh, of the 67 MLAs elected on Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress ticket, 20 have switched to the TDP.

When Parliament passed the anti-defection Bill in 1985, it forgot to include a vital clause, without which the law has been rendered toothless. No time limit was set for the Speaker of an Assembly to decide if a legislator should be disqualified for defecting. In Andhra Pradesh, of the 67 MLAs elected on Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress ticket, 20 have switched to the TDP. Some of the showcause notices issued to the MLAs by the Speaker, who is from the TDP, date back to January 2016. With the Speaker yet to take a decision, the aggrieved parties cannot go to court. As such, the YSR Congress has no redress. In fact, four of the YSR Congress defectors were recently appointed as ministers in Chandrababu Naidu’s government; Governor ESL Narasimhan did not question the Constitutional propriety of their swearing- in. Incidentally, the reason that the anti-Sasikala camp in the AIADMK suddenly appears very confident is that they have reportedly wooed Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal to their side.

United on this

The three feuding Congress satraps of Madhya Pradesh — Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Sinha and Digvijaya Singh — were for once all on the same page. They were all delighted that Mohan Prakash, the party general secretary in charge of the state, was relieved of his responsibility. All three hold Prakash, a favourite of Rahul Gandhi, responsible for the Congress being out of power in MP for the last 14 years. With Prakash gone, his nominee, Arun Yadav, the president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress, is likely to be replaced. This could lead to a tussle between Scindia and Kamal Nath for the post.

Baba’s bio

A biography of India’s most improbable business tycoon, Baba Ramdev, is overdue. Against all odds, the yoga teacher emerged from abject poverty to start a business house, Patanjali, which deals in everything from creams, shampoos, biscuits, household cleaners, jeans, home-worship goods to freshly packaged prasad from popular temples. While Patanjali is growing at over 100 per cent annually, its FMCG peers ITC, HUL and Colgate Palmolive struggle to register single-digit growth. Patanjali’s revenues were Rs 10,000 crore in May 2017 and its target is Rs 50,000 crore by 2020. In which case, it would have outstripped all three leading international FMCG conglomerates put together. As a yogi, Ramdev cannot own material wealth but his business partner, Acharya Balkrishna, is listed as the 26th richest Indian. Ramdev, however, doesn’t want his remarkable story made public; he has obtained an ex parte injunction from a lower court in Delhi to prevent the release of the book, Godman to Tycoon. The matter is now under appeal.

KBC Bluff

During his speech at the University of California, Berkeley, Rahul Gandhi complained that the BJP had an army led by the Prime Minister himself trying to lampoon him on social media. But the blame may not all be on one side. Recently, a clip of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the game show hosted by Amitabh Bachchan on a popular TV channel, made the rounds on social media. It featured a question asking a participant to identify the voice of a politician in a taped conversation. The voice was that of Amit Shah, but the dialogue was part of an alleged expose by a website, Snoop Gate, which embarrassed then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in November 2013. The clip, shared extensively on social media, surprised many, who wondered why a popular TV channel would dare mock the PM in such a manner. It turned out that the actual programme had a completely different tape of Shah and the Snoop Gate portion had been maliciously inserted in its place.

Sudden switch

When former diplomat Hardeep Puri was in Sri Lanka on September 1 — for a conference on the Indian Ocean organised by Ram Madhav’s India Foundation which was attended by representatives from 35 countries — he got a call from the PMO. He was informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to meet him on his return. It was assumed by the party leadership that Puri was being summoned to inform him that he was to be made Sherpa (in charge) of G-20, a position previously held by Arvind Panagariya, former head of Niti Aayog, who had decided to return to the US. Modi, however, seems to have changed his mind after the meeting with Puri. Impressed by the suave, persuasive former diplomat and the paper he had written on urban planning, Modi, in a surprise turn around, offered Puri the post of minister of state with independent charge of Urban Development instead.

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  1. T
    tarsame singh
    Sep 19, 2017 at 11:38 pm
    In politics if you start hitting below the belt you are definitely going to lose in the long run.The fellow who started it should blame himself .Nothing new .No comments.
    1. Seshubabu Kilambi
      Sep 17, 2017 at 9:38 pm
      Speaker, this time, is unable to decide about his own defection...hence no time is set
      1. K
        Sep 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm
        "As a yogi, Ramdev cannot own material wealth but his business partner, Acharya Balkrishna, is listed as the 26th richest Indian." Who told you that? In which law it is written? Or in which Hindu text it is written? Do you even know the meaning of "Yogi"?Or your definition of "yogi" is based on some fuzzy concept of austerity borrowed from Islam and Christianity, mixed with socialism and communism?In Hinduism, "Arth"is one of the four goals of life!It is not a sin to earn and create wealth! It is part of "dharm", if done by right means, and for right purposes.He is earning and accumulating wealth only for the betterment of society. This is also Yog. You people do not know anything and become "writers", "columnists" and "journalists".Educate yourself first.Literacy does not mean education.
        1. S
          swamy abodhanand
          Sep 19, 2017 at 11:46 pm
          Sir , if you are Hindu you must have heard the name of a book called Manu Smriti. It says that if a sanyasi wearing saffron clothes does business in any form he should be drowned in a river with a heavy stone tied in his neck. . YOU ARE HOWEVER RIGHT THAT IT IS NO WHERE WRITTEN THAT HE CANNOT OWN MATERIAL WEALTH What is written in Manu Smriti is about doing business.
        2. A
          ak dev
          Sep 17, 2017 at 4:17 am
          Today anti-Modi trolls are more in number than pro Modi trolls. The language used by anti-Modi trolls is also very bad. So now trolling is balanced.
          1. H
            Sep 17, 2017 at 10:56 am
            In a senseless war, devastation and misery also spread equally to the victors and the vanquished. Balance? Well, zero balance Jan Dhan accounts, anyone?
            1. S
              swamy abodhanand
              Sep 19, 2017 at 11:50 pm
              Those who start this thing are always the losers in the long run. This happened in India when the Times of India reduced its price in Delhi to become number one in circulation.Only fools do not know the end result and start the undeclared war.JUST AS BALI TRIED TO DO WITH SUGRIV