Planning Commission is dead. Its successor must focus on ideas over implementation.
Rajasthan’s decision to ‘target’ free medicines and diagnostics is contrary to the recommended role.
But will a nodal ministry at the Centre solve all issues in a federal structure such as ours?
Some political parties are attempting to use Parliament to further their campaign, the CPM journal People’s Democracy said. An editorial claimed that the “manner in which this session has been conceived and structured, created apprehensions at the outset about the government’s intention to use this session more as a launch pad for its election campaign, rather than to transact business to implement important, longstanding, pending legislations, particularly those aimed at providing relief to the already beleaguered vast mass of the people. The way the first day of the session has only confirmed this.”
It adds that it is not just the Congress but also the BJP that is trying to use the session to “launch its election campaign”, concluding that it is therefore unlikely that any legislative business will take place. It also notes the decision of 11 non-UPA, non-NDA parties to come together and announce a common floor strategy in Parliament. The editorial believes this decision is crucial, since it is a “pointer towards the future direction that must emerge from the current political churning taking place in the country.” It calls the government’s plan of considering 39 pending legislations during this short session “absurd”.
The editorial alleges that the contentious prevention of communal violence bill was “suddenly presented to the Rajya Sabha without adequate consultations with political parties, leading to legitimate protests against the violations of our constitutional federal structure”.
In a report in its weekly, New Age, the CPI looks at the deliberations during its national executive meet held earlier this month. It says the report endorsed during the meet expresses concern about the “continuously deteriorating economic situation”.
With CPI reaching out to “secular” parties ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the report states, “Expressing serious concern on the BJP’s intensified campaign to further polarise the electorate along communal lines, the NE [national executive] has appealed to all secular and democratic parties…” According to the report, the NE also discussed the Aam Aadmi Party’s emergence and noted that it is yet to define its stand on socio-economic issues or foreign policy. “The NE noted that top AAP leaders are propagating for ideological neutrality. Declaration of having no ideology means acceptance of present capitalist structure and its ideology,” the report claims.
ML Update, the CPI-ML journal, has demanded the arrest of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat following an interview purportedly given by Swami Aseemanand, a key accused in five terror attack cases, to Caravan magazine, where he claimed the attacks were sanctioned by the RSS and its chief Bhagwat.
“The response by investigative agencies and the government to this revelation underlines the double standards inherent in handling terror investigations. It is routine for investigative agencies to declare people to be ‘masterminds’ in many terror cases — although in most such cases, the charges prove false. In the process, innocent people spend time in jail and face custodial torture. In this case, when a key accused names a conspirator in a recorded interview, why do the investigative agencies not make an arrest and interrogate the alleged conspirator?” an editorial asks.
It discusses the Ishrat Jahan case and says “the CBI has chargesheeted an IB officer but avoided pursuing the case against Amit Shah, the former home minister of Gujarat”.
Compiled by Ruhi Tewari