Leadership Tussle

The latest issue of CPM weekly People’s Democracy criticises the BJP for the tussle in that party over its prime ministerial candidate for 2014.

Published:June 20, 2012 3:27 am

LEADERSHIP TUSSLE

The latest issue of CPM weekly People’s Democracy criticises the BJP for the tussle in that party over its prime ministerial candidate for 2014. “The general elections are two years away. The BJP has neither won the election nor is it likely to muster a majority in the Lok Sabha,yet the dreams of becoming the PM seem to be growing in numbers,” the editorial says.

“The veteran old warhorse,(L.K.) Advani,continues to obdurately adhere to his attitude of never ‘giving up’. The BJP president has shed substantial physical weight hoping to gain some political weight and be eligible. The leaders of the opposition in both the Houses have also joined the race. The former presidents of the BJP,currently in the parliament,have also not given up their hopes,” it elaborates.

The editorial contends that Narendra Modi’s jabs at Nitish Kumar shows that Modi sees him as a potential threat to his prime ministerial chances in the event of the NDA coming to power. It argues that while the BJP’s allies may be keen to share power and the spoils of office,they cannot,for their own political reasons,go along with the Sangh Parivar’s programme of intensifying communal polarisation.

“It is this contradiction that the RSS/BJP continues to remain incapable of resolving satisfactorily… The Indian people’s commitment and steadfastness in defending our secular-democratic republic may,once again,be put to test,” it concludes.

Indo-US DIALOGUE

An editorial in CPI weekly New Age talks about the just-concluded Indo-US strategic dialogue in Washington. It says the outcome of the dialogue was clear from the outset,after the opening remarks made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton was out to “(pressure) the Indian side to concede all the economic and political demands for which (the) agenda was set when she was in New Delhi a few weeks back,” it says. The article claims the US is looking forward to expediting negotiations on the bilateral investment treaty and wants India further reduce barriers to trade and investment in areas like multi-brand retail.

“This is the economic agenda on which the American administration,irrespective of the party affiliations of the White House incumbents,had been (pressuring) India. Even after getting the Indo-US nuclear deal through dubious means,Americans had been demanding that the country waives all liabilities of supplier in case of nuclear disaster through amendments in its laws… Of late,the government… has conceded this demand to a great extent. Similarly,Americans want total liberalisation of Indian economy,” it argues.

“Despite the bravado of the UPA 2 government in taking an independent position vis-a-vis the US and Iran… It is gradually conceding all American demands regarding Iran,” it concludes.

CUSTODIAL MURDER

The CPI(ML)’s weekly ML Update discusses the murder of terror suspect Mohammad Qateel Siddiqui in a high-security Pune prison. It says the custodial murder raises serious questions about the role of jail authorities and alleges that it could not have taken place without their knowledge.

“The investigative agencies too are under a cloud. Their failure to file a chargesheet indicates that sooner or later,their lack of evidence to back up their allegations would have been exposed in court. And there are strong reasons to suspect that they too might have had a role in the suspicious murder of Qateel inside jail,” the editorial claims.

It argues that the Maharashtra ATS had failed to file a chargesheet against Qateel in seven months and points out that his fate underlines the vulnerability of Muslim youth arrested on terror charges. “There are many cases of fake encounters and custodial deaths and it is common for them to be kept in illegal custody for long periods,” it says.

“Jails are notorious for attacks on accused prisoners,and there have been many cases in which key witnesses,who stand to embarrass governments or investigative agencies,have been eliminated within jails,” it says,and demands an impartial inquiry and provide compensation to Qateel’s family.

Compiled by Manoj C.G.

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