Well Balanced Budget Congress Sandesh by alicejenny



     A                          T
                                       his month we have witnessed a horrific tragedy in Japan that has suffered
                                       an unprecedentedly severe earth quake followed by the disaster caused
                                       by the Tsunami. The Congress Party and all its workers express our

                             condolences for the loss of life in Japan. We hope that Japan and the Japanese
                             people, who have already shown such fortitude in the face of this tragedy, will soon
                             overcome this event and rise once again to their eminent position in the world.

                                  The opposition Parties have once again gone ahead and wasted the budget
                             session due to their lack of commitment to Parliamentary Democracy. It is
                             amazing that for the BJP holding up the functioning of the Budget Session by
                             unsubstantiated WIKILEAKS reports that the whole world has ignored, and

  Budget                     later came back to haunt the BJP itself, was more important than debating and
                             discussing the economic planning and the future of India. The Budget session is a
                             most important session when the allocation for the various ministries and various

                             programmes is made. This should have been discussed and debated in Parliament
                             so that the public would have been better informed about the budget provisions.
                             It is indeed a matter of regret that this did not happen. The BJP should answer the
                             public as to why it failed to discuss such an important issue and instead wasted
                             the tax payers’ money by forcing constant adjournments in Parliament.
                                 The Budget was a good and balanced budget and put the UPA government’s
                             goals of inclusive development at the forefront. Allocations for MNREGA and other
                             social development programmes were increased as were funds for infrastructure
                             development and education. Allocations for infrastructure development have
                             risen by 23%. MNREGA wages will now be linked to the inflation index and thus
                             rise from the current 100 r/d and saving the poorest of the poor from inflationary
                             pressures. These are core sectors, the development of which positively affects
                             both the industrial and agricultural sectors. Greater emphasis was also given to
                             green and environmentally friendly development. The Finance Minister also gave
                             greater tax concessions to the Middle Class in terms of raising the tax exemption
                             to 1.80 lakhs. Special concessions were also given to the elderly. The agricultural
                             sector was also given additional importance and funds for irrigation and rural
                             development were increased. Special emphasis was placed on food storage and
                             15 new food parks were sanctioned. Economic growth was also given a boost by
 “The Budget was a good      easing the norms for FDI investment and overall, the Indian economy is expected
                             to continue on its growth trajectory of 9 % per annum.
and balanced budget and
                                 One of the main issues raised by the Finance Minister during his budget speech
put the UPA government’s     was the need to swiftly put in place and implement the all India Goods and Services
                             Tax by 2012. A united tax that would help pave the way for India to become a
    goals of inclusive       truly single market. This act would allow a freer movement of goods and services
                             between States and thus help overcome the bottle necks on the supply side. This
   development at the        is especially important for perishable agricultural commodities and has a direct
                             relationship with the prices of daily food products and vegetable that has seen
forefront. Allocations for   inflationary tendencies over the last year. We hope that opposition governments
                             in States will not use political ideology as a way of holding back a reform that will
MNREGA and other social      only have a positive impact on the economy as a whole.
development programmes          Over the next two months, we will be witnessing elections in the States of
                             Assam, Kerela, Puducherry Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. We hope that our
 were increased as were      Party workers will reach out to the grass-roots and propagate the many schemes
                             and policies that the UPA government has put in place for the benefit of the aam
funds for infrastructure     adami. Our goals remain the overall development of the country and our fight
    development and          against the debilitating poverty that has pushed back the growth of India as a
                             whole must continue to be at the forefront of our campaigns. Smt. Sonia Gandhi
       education”            has emphasized many times the need for inclusive growth and development. We
                             must help realize her goals by pledging our own commitment to them.
                                Finally, on behalf of the Congress Sandesh, we wish all the candidates fighting
                             the forthcoming elections, the very best and hope that under the leadership of
                             Smt. Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Party and their allies will emerge victorious. n
www.congresssandesh.com                                                                      MARCH 2011 • 1
                                                                                     Commonwealth Lecture
                                                                                     Delivering the lecture in London, the UPA
  Published in Hindi & English
                                                                                     Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi said that
                                                                                     women are the agents of change in the modern
           Vol. XIII No.6,                                                           world                                     4
            March 2011

        MEMBERS OF
                                                                                     Motion of Thanks
   THE EDITORIAL BOARD                                                               While paying motion of thanks on the
      Salman Khursheed                  Five States are going in for a poll after    President’s Address Prime Minister Dr.
                                                                                     Manmohan Singh said that the crux of the
         Sarvjit Singh                  completing their term. The Congress
                                                                                     matter was to strengthen democracy and
                                        and its allies are the favorites in all      secularism                            8
             EDITOR                     these states. West Bengal is poised for
            Anil Shastri
                                        a Historic change with the citadel of        PM’s Interview
     ASSOCIATE EDITORS                  the Left Front crumbling and ready to        Excerpts from the Prime Minister’s post
                                        fall. With Kerala and West Bengal out of     Budget interview given to Doordarshan 15
        Pankaj Sharma
       Dr. Ravni Thakur                 the fold of the Left front, they are going
                                        to be very seriously marginalized. The
   EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS                                                              The summary of the Union Budget 2011-
                                        Left will have to wake up to the reality
      Ram Naresh Sinha                                                               2012                              16
                                        of the needs of the Modern World. Even
        Rattan Francis
                                        the bastions of the Left in China and        FM’s Interview
            MANAGER                     Russia are going through a serious           Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his
    (ADMN. & CIRCULATION)               change in their ideological framework;       interview after presenting the Union Budget
            Kamal Shahu                 Left movement in India too would             said we need to use modern technology with
                                                                                     political will to improve governance    18
                                        have to moderate their philosophy to
         Congress Sandesh,              synchronize with the changed world
                                                                                     Assembly Elections
   All India Congress Committee         atmosphere in the Twenty-first century.
          24, Akbar Road,                                                            List of Congress candidates selected to contest
                                        The results would also put paid to the       for Assembly elections in five states:-
         New Delhi-110 011
    Phone: 2301 9080 Extn: 429          exaggerated ambitions of the major           • Assam                                    20
           Fax:2301 7047                Opposition party in the Centre. It may       • Kerala                                   21
  Email: congress-sandesh@hotmail.com   also allow them time for introspection
   Website:www.congresssandesh.com                                                   • Puducherry & Tamilnadu                   22
                                        to understand that the people of the         • West Bengal                              23
            PUBLISHER                   country are fed up of the negative
             Motilal Vora               and confrontationist politics and are        Reconstituted
      Published every month by
             Motilal Vora               looking forward to a clear thinking,         The list of CWC and AICC office-bearers
     on behalf of Sandesh Trust,        all inclusive and progressive ideology       which has been reconstituted       24
 All India Congress Committee and       which they find in the Congress-led
 printed at Chaar Dishayen Printers,
   G-40, Sector-3, Noida 201 301                                                     Celebrating the anniversary of the great
     Subscription Rates                 The key to the success of the Congress       Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi, his
                                        would obviously be to listen to the call     grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi gives his
 One Year ____ Rs.100/-                                                              opinion                              26
                                        of the Congress President Smt. Sonia
 Two Year ____ Rs.175/-                 Gandhi to fight unitedly. Everyone
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Outstation cheques should include       decision should be considered as             • Janakrosh Rally                          30
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be sent in favour of ‘Sandesh Trust’,   must get the unstinted support of all
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                                                                                     AICC Diary                                32

MARCH 2011 • 2                                                                            www.congresssandesh.com
 Letters to the Editor
Interest of Gramin Dak                             the same to them. The Postal Department           happen to take the impact of the burst of
                                                   has recruited no permanent employee in            passengers while making forceful entry. It is a
  Sevaks be kept safe                              rural area. Like other departments, the postal    pity that despite so many years of freedom,
    India is an agriculturally and rurally         department should also give opportunities         people of India have not learned to express
dominant country. 80% of its population            of availing facilities and promotions to its      etiquette to women. How much more time
lives in villages. It is such that a post office   rural employees so that the life standard         is needed when we can be proud of our
in an urban area works for full day but on         of the Gramin Dak Sewaks may improve.             culture in which women are worshipped as
the other hand, a post office in a rural area      It is submitted with a sorrowful mind that        Devis.This is just one glimpse of our attitude
works for only three hours despite the             the postal department has, undoubtedly,           which needs to change.
fact that two or three additional non-post         ignored the matter of giving promotions to                                            - Ku. Ritu
office villages are attached with this rural       the rural postal employees i.e. Gramin Dak                                                Bihar
post office. Every city or urban post office       Sewaks. It should, therefore, be accepted                  National loss
has a post office but not every village has        that the Gramin Dak Sewaks should be
a post office, for providing postal service                                                              Crores of rupees have been lost due
                                                   given opportunities of promotion. Without
in rural areas. Postal system is age long old.                                                       to the blockage of rail and road by the
                                                   any further delay so that the interests of the    agitating Jats of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan
Ever since the postal depar tment came             over-aged GDS may be secured.                     who have been demanding reservations in
into offing, the Grameen Dak Sewak have                             Gurjant Singh Bakshiwala,
                                                                                                     jobs. It may be recalled that Gujjars too had
been working there-under, under different                                             Punjab
                                                                                                     agitated in a similar fashion earlier to get
designations, even today a GDS is part and
parcel of postal department. Indian post
                                                       Stay true to Party                            reservation. Due to this agitation crores
                                                       I am a well-wisher of the Congress            have been lost due to blockage of railway
offices are mostly found in rural areas. The
                                                   and had been in touch with Bharat Ratna           tracks and national highways. I think it will
government has recruited GDSs for rural
                                                   Shri Rajiv Gandhi through letters. I was          be wise if the government takes stringent
postal arrangement. But the government has
                                                   quite impressed with the address of the           action and enforces ESMA (Essential Services
not secured the rights of there GDSs as they
                                                   Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi which       Maintenance Act.) in future to stop all such
are not provided with any promotion and
                                                   she delivered at the AICC Session. If the         agitations which hamper national progress
instead, they face discrimination. Whereas
                                                   directives which she had given to the party       and are a loss to the national exchequer.
a GDS who fulfils even the condition of                                                                                            Arun Bhalla
                                                   workers are seriously accepted and obeyed
educational qualification for of promotion.                                                                                Janakpuri, New Delhi
Here, his only fault is that he has served in      in full earnest, then the party in the future
rural area.                                        can become so strong that no opposition                   TRUE SANDESH
    This should, therefore, immediately be         can ever think of making a dent into it. I
                                                   can only appeal to the party workers to              I am very happy to receive a copy of
accepted that if a Group D is given the
                                                   stay true to the party and Smt. Gandhi and        January issue of Congress Sandesh. I am
opportunity of giving test on the basis of
                                                   see for themselves how the Congress Party         glad to read that our beloved leader and
promotional quota, why not this be given to
                                                   becomes the party of the common man.              the Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi
a GDS because a GDS is also basic worker
of the department and the poor GDS is                                        Bidhuri U. S. Azad      in her presidential speech presented her
                                                                                     New Delhi       views and policies of the party. The speech
satisfied to work on a meager salary.
                                                                                                     by Shri Rahul Gandhi inspires us to work
    A part from postal department, other            Our attitude towards                             with full commitment and dedication for
different departments of Centre and other                  women                                     the party. Together they are like light at the
States have also recruited permanent                  We have just celebrated the International      end of a tunnel for ordinary Congressmen
employees in rural areas and there rural           Women’s Day and despite the facade put            and provides them with a clear direction
employees given promotion along with               up our men-folk have little regard for the        and guidance.
special kind of facilities. Besides there are      women. It is shocking to see women being             I would like this magazine which was
other facilities like Rural Area Allowance,        least respected in civic society. I was shocked   started by Smt. Sonia Gandhi to flourish
concession in merit to rural children,             to see women being jostled around in the          and disseminate the light of knowledge in all
preference in jobs, etc. on the other hand, the    Metro in the Jehangirpuri Huda City route         directions and serve as a link for the unity
Postal Department has deprived the postal          which has been witnessing heavy rush. The         and integration in the party.
employees of the facilities instead of giving      men are not concerned about women who                                           Harkesh Kohli,
www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                                     MARCH 2011 • 3
                                                                                                  Commonwealth Lecture

  Women as Agents of                                                                                                    But on the positive
                                                                                                                     side, we also know that
                                                                                                                      investing in women is
                                                                                                                      the highest-return

  Change: Sonia Gandhi                                                                                               venture. It’s not just
                                                                                                                           about improving
                                                                                                                            things for
                                                                                                                             them, it is
              Thursday, 17th March, 2011 London
                                                                                                                                a s v it a l ly
    Introductory Remarks                                                                                                            letting
    I am honoured to deliver the fourteenth Commonwealth lecture on the                                                              women
theme of women as agents of change. It was an invitation I could not refuse
for two reasons – first, my own personal involvement in the cause of women’s
empowerment, particularly that of Indian women who constitute some 60 per
cent of all the women in the Commonwealth; and second, my family’s close
association with this organization.
    II. India and the Commonwealth
    The modern Commonwealth owes much to India’s first Prime
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It is ironic that a man imprisoned for so
many years by the imperial masters of his country should have become
so crucial for the survival and evolution of the Commonwealth. During
the long years of India’s freedom struggle, membership had been widely opposed,                   improve things for themselves, their
implying as it did dominion status and allegiance to the Crown. Yet, in the aftermath             families, their communities and the
of Partition and the polarised world scene, Nehru, the student of world
history, saw that the Commonwealth could be a bridge between the dying
world of Empire and the new post-colonial world being born. Nehru, the                Rajiv Gandhi pledged India’s
statesman, saw merit in an institution that sought to build bridges at many
levels between countries and peoples.                                                 support to the establishment
     Indira Gandhi valued the Commonwealth in a less idealised way than
her father. She shared a personal bond with the leading Commonwealth
                                                                                        of the Commonwealth of
figures of her time and brought to it a special focus on the development            Learning, which has played such
needs of its members.
    I accompanied my husband Rajiv Gandhi to successive Commonwealth
                                                                                     a significant role in improving
Heads of Government Meetings and remember some of the colourful                     the quality of distance education
episodes that took place behind the scenes. To give you just one example,
at the 1985 CHOGM in the Bahamas, the issue of sanctions against South                        in our country.
Africa dominated the discussions. Margaret Thatcher stood out in solitary
opposition to the rest of the Commonwealth’s call for sanctions against
the apartheid regime. At the weekend retreat, Shridath Ramphal put together a three-              world at large. Even a small investment in
member team to talk informally to Mrs. Thatcher and persuade her to relent. They were             women has great economic, political and
Rajiv Gandhi, Brian Mulroney of Canada and Robert Hawke of Australia, selected by                 social reverberations.
him apparently as much for their looks as their political weight. In private, he jokingly             Women and Change: The Global
told them: “She will not be able to resist the three best-looking men of the Conference”.         Context
    The Iron Lady was unmoved and the handsome threesome failed either to charm or                    Women as agents of change is an
to persuade her. Thus was the stage set for the most acrimonious political confrontation          idea that seems self-evident in the
in the Commonwealth’s history.                                                                    Commonwealth. The two most influential
    At the subsequent Vancouver CHOGM in 1987, Rajiv Gandhi pledged India’s                       women personalities of the twentieth
support to the establishment of the Commonwealth of Learning, which has played such               century - Indira Gandhi and Margaret
a significant role in improving the quality of distance education in our country. India           Thatcher — were both Commonwealth
has always been in the forefront of important cooperation initiatives launched by the             leaders. Margaret Thatcher changed
Commonwealth and I am sure will continue to be so.                                                Britain. Indira Gandhi changed India.
    I am particularly glad about the theme for this lecture. Women are disproportionately             Indira Gandhi was described as
vulnerable in our world, even today. The global economic downturn of recent years has             the only man in her cabinet, much as
hurt them hardest. Similarly, climate change and environmental degradation exact a                Margaret Thatcher was in Britain – the
greater price from women, who have less access to resources, technology and credit.               assumption being that it is only men
Conflict and warfare impose their own terrible toll. And it bears repeating that in many          who shape our destinies and alter the
countries a girl is less likely to go to school, get adequate healthcare and social protection,   course of events. There are other vivid
or be given the chance to make her own life-decisions.                                            examples of women who overturned
                                                                                                  such conventional wisdom. Rosa Parks’s

MARCH 2011 • 4                                                                                        www.congresssandesh.com
                                                           global warming. Unfortunately, as the International Union for the Conservation
  Investing in women is the                                of Nature has pointed out, most of the climate debate has so far been gender-blind.
                                                               Yet women have played a special role in raising environmental consciousness.
 highest-return venture. It’s                              Some may remember only Julia Roberts in the Oscar-winning role of Erin
                                                           Brockovich. But there have been others in an earlier era who blazed a whole
  not just about improving                                 new trail. Rachel Carson’s book “The Silent Spring” published in 1962 was a
     things for them, it is                                watershed and led to the banning of DDT. Indira Gandhi herself, at the UN
                                                           Stockholm Conference on the Environment in 1972, powerfully expressed the
    as vitally about letting                               link between poverty and environmental degradation, an issue which continues
                                                           to shape the current debate.
 women improve things for                                      The Chipko movement in the Himalayas in the 1970s, in which village
  themselves, their families,                              women hugged the trees to protect them from being felled, gave a new meaning
                                                           and momentum to environmental activism in India. In other parts of the world
 their communities and the                                 too, women have taken an inspiring lead in protecting the environment, such as
                                                           Wangari Maathai in Kenya, Rigoberta Menchu in Guatemala and Marina Silva
 world at large. Even a small                              in Brazil, to name just a few.
  investment in women has                                      I sometimes wonder whether women’s greater empathy with nature and
                                                           concern for their children’s future might not help the world to find a new, more
   great economic, political                               sustainable, less consumerist path of development.
  and social reverberations.                                   In 1989, the Commonwealth became the first major international organization
                                                           to publish a landmark scientific study on the devastating effects of climate change.
                                                           Commonwealth Heads of Government also agreed on a Climate Change Action
refusal to give up her seat in a bus to a white            Plan in 2007, where, among other things, they called upon the support of women
man triggered the civil rights movement           to ensure effective action.
in America, leading to the end of racial
                                                      How can such support be extended if women’s voices and concerns hardly figure
segregation. During Nelson Mandela’s long
                                                  in the global climate negotiations, or in national and local climate management plans?
imprisonment, Winnie Mandela, Albertina
                                                  Perhaps it is time for a fresh Commonwealth initiative to help the world bridge this gap.
Sisulu and the Black Sash Movement, led
                                                  Such an initiative could suggest ways to bring women’s participation and perspectives
by Jean Sinclair and Sheena Duncan, along
                                                  more squarely into the global negotiations. We need climate justice not only between
with others, kept resistance to apartheid
                                                  countries, but also between genders.
alive within South Africa. And there is
Aung Saan Syu Kyi in Myanmar whose                    Enhancing the role of women in protecting the environment is necessary. But what
sacrifices have become the focus of the           about protecting women themselves? Economic growth is leading to mass migration
democratic cause in her country.                  to cities. Disturbingly, this is being accompanied by growing violence against women.
                                                  If urbanization is the world’s future, we must design urban environments and services
    Although the women’s movement
                                                  in ways that will give women greater security, and educate and involve citizens in this
has already transformed the way in
                                                  cause. A Commonwealth initiative bringing together our great cities to collaborate on
which we look at society in each of our
                                                  this issue would be timely.
countries, the search for equality is far from
finished. History, culture and economics              IV. Women and Change: The Indian Scene
still remain weighted against women.                  You will appreciate that my own experience equips me better to focus on the
In my own country, most worrying of               importance of women’s issues in India, which is what I now turn to. In order to understand
all is the declining sex ratio of females         where Indian women are today, let me first tell you where they once were.
to males. The age-old preference for                  In the late 19th century, during the Raj, a section of educated Indian women looked
sons, coupled with the development of             to Queen Victoria for relief from oppressive customs, hoping that as a woman she would
sex-selection technologies, has given an          intervene on their behalf. Alas, Her Majesty showed them no gender solidarity!
alarming demographic twist to gender
                                                      Women in Europe and America too, had to struggle to be educated. In India, however,
bias. That this is happening in regions of
                                                  the opposition to female education was far more intense, grounded as it was in millennia
substantial economic prosperity within the
                                                  of patriarchy — even though Indian culture has very prominent female deities, including
country is even more disturbing. I should
                                                  a Goddess for Learning. In the west, the argument was that women did not need to
add here, however, that in the recent
Commonwealth Games in New Delhi,
young women from these very regions
won the most number of medals. In a                   I sometimes wonder whether women’s greater
poignant interview, one of them recalled
that her parents had wished her to be a
                                                        empathy with nature and concern for their
boy — but reconciled themselves after she           children’s future might not help the world to find
developed her sporting prowess.
    Among all the challenges facing                 a new, more sustainable, less consumerist path of
humankind in the 21st century, few are                                development.
more pressing than climate change and

www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                                  MARCH 2011 • 5
                                                                 be educated. In India, the       dowry and violence, household labour,
 Enhancing the role of women                                     argument was that women          discriminatory customs, property rights
                                                                 should not be educated,          and wages. These campaigns resulted in
 in protecting the environment                                   that education would ruin        the enactment of radical new laws.
                                                                 women’s character and their          A visitor to contemporary India will be
  is necessary. But what about                                   traditional submissiveness       impressed by the prominence of women
 protecting women themselves?                                    and subvert the very basis       in all aspects of life. India’s President
                                                                 of Indian culture. Dr.           is a woman, as are the Speaker and the
   Economic growth is leading                                    Anandibai Joshee, who            Leader of the Opposition in the Lower
                                                                 later became India’s first       House of Parliament. The Chief Minister
   to mass migration to cities.                                  woman doctor, described          of India’s most populous state is a woman
                                                                 her experience of going
    Disturbingly, this is being                                  to school in the relatively
                                                                                                  from a section of society subjected to
                                                                                                  discrimination for centuries. Women are
    accompanied by growing                                       progressive city of Bombay       Presidents of four of our major political
                                                                 in the late 1870s as follows     parties. Women are prominent in the
   violence against women. If                                    and I quote:                     judiciary, the higher civil service, the
                                                                     “When people saw me          professions, academia, the corporate
   urbanization is the world’s                                   going with books in my           world, the media and every branch of
  future, we must design urban                                   hands, they put their heads      civil society. At the time of Independence,
                                                                 out of the window just to        women accounted for less than 10 per cent
   environments and services                                     have a look at me. Some          of enrolment in higher education—they
                                                                 stopped their carriages for      will soon be on par with men.
  in ways that will give women                                   the purpose. Others walking          And it is not by government action
greater security, and educate and                                in the streets stood laughing,   alone that this silent revolution is
                                                                 crying out derisive remarks      taking place. Today, women in India are
  involve citizens in this cause.                                so that I could hear them….      becoming agents of change through their
                                                                 Some of them made fun and        own initiative, their energy and enterprise.
                                                                 were convulsed with laughter.    Through individual and collective action,
                                                                 Others, sitting respectably in   they are transforming their own situations
their verandahs…did not feel ashamed to throw pebbles at me. The shopkeepers and vendors          and indeed transforming the broader
spat at the sight of me, and made gestures too indecent to describe.” Unquote.                    social context itself.
    As if the gauntlet of public hostility on the street was not enough, women had also               Let me give you some examples
to endure hostility within the family. In 1889 Kashibai Kanitkar, the first major woman           of where and how women—ordinary
writer in the Marathi language, described the stigma attached to women’s literacy as              poor women—are beginning to make a
follows and I quote:                                                                              difference with far-reaching implications
    “If a woman picks up a paper, our elders feel offended, as though she has done something      for our country as a whole.
very shameful. If she receives a letter from her relatives, all the family feels dishonoured.         Self-Help Groups
If a woman’s name appears in a newspaper, if her essay is published, if she stammers out
                                                                                                      The first is the growth of women’s Self-
a few words at a women’s gathering, she is certain to be slapped with a gigantic charge of
                                                                                                  Help Groups which are changing rural
having tarnished the family’s honour!” Unquote.
                                                                                                  India. Groups of women pool their savings
    The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the emergence of a number of outstanding           on a regular basis and secure loans for a
social reformers. But it was Mahatma Gandhi who brought about the first real and                  variety of activities that help them increase
nation-wide wave of emancipation through his mass mobilization of women into the                  their incomes. There are now about five
freedom movement. Unusually for his time, he believed that India’s economic and moral             million such groups, averaging 10-15
salvation lay in women’s hands. He condemned the traditions of child marriage, female             members each. Last year, they secured
seclusion, dowry, enforced widowhood, and the lack of education that had shackled                 bank loans worth more than two billion
Indian women for so long. He urged women to fight injustice and inequality
and become masters of their own destiny. Women came out in their millions
to participate in the civil disobedience movement, profoundly changing their
outlook. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, can perhaps also be called
                                                                                            It was Mahatma Gandhi
the Mother of Indian feminism.                                                             who brought about the first
    Our Constitution that came into force in 1950 gave women a new charter
for emancipation and empowerment. Women were given the right to vote in the                real and nation-wide wave
very first national elections in 1952. Actually, the Congress Party had promised            of emancipation through
universal female franchise way back in 1928 when many developed democracies
were still debating the idea.                                                               his mass mobilization of
    Like elsewhere in the world, and especially in India, it has not been easy
to carve a direct solidarity among women. Their concerns are divided by
                                                                                            women into the freedom
class, by community, by caste, by culture. But through the 1970s and 80s,                          movement.
the women’s movement in India flowered, banding together on issues like

MARCH 2011 • 6                                                                                        www.congresssandesh.com
   The second arena where                             male alcoholism, domestic violence and the drain on household finances.
                                                           But there is something even more fundamentally revolutionary about this
     women have emerged                               movement. It cuts across caste divides. It gives women a new voice, a new
                                                      self-confidence, a new assertiveness. Attending a meeting of these women is
    as catalysts of change is                         an uplifting experience. When once they dared not open their mouths even
   politics, especially at the                        within the family, let alone voice their concerns before outsiders, they are now
                                                      vociferous in discussing personal and family problems as well as a whole range
  local level. In 1993, India                         of community issues.
 amended its Constitution                                  Women’s Reservation
                                                           The second arena where women have emerged as catalysts of change is politics,
     to provide 33 per cent                           especially at the local level. In 1993, India amended its Constitution to provide
                                                      33 per cent reservation or quota for women in rural and urban local bodies
   reservation or quota for                           throughout the country. There was cynicism, resentment and even anger – from
 women in rural and urban                             powerful men, predictably — when the idea was first mooted. No longer. Today,
                                                      1.2 million elected women representatives, including women from the most
   local bodies throughout                            deprived and disadvantaged communities, have taken their place alongside men
                                                      in the councils of rural self-government. Long-established power equations are
    the country. There was                            now changing.
 cynicism, resentment and                                  But I am less than happy to admit that at the national level we have not yet
                                                      been successful. Women’s representation in Parliament has hovered between 9 and
even anger – from powerful                            11 per cent, a figure that is considerably lower than in many other democracies.
                                                      Legislation for a 33% quota in Parliament and state assemblies has been passed
 men, predictably — when                              by the Upper House. We shall persevere in our efforts to get it approved by the
 the idea was first mooted.                           Lower House as well.
                                                           Civic Activism
      No longer. Today, 1.2                                The third area where women are leaving their distinctive imprint as harbingers
    million elected women                             of change is social activism. Over the last few years the language of rights has
                                                      entered the mainstream of political discourse. Thus we now have a right to
 representatives, including                           information, a right to work, a right to education and soon, a right to food security.
                                                      What is remarkable about the rights debate and how it has progressed is the
    women from the most                               leading role women have played as its champions and advocates. Thanks to their
deprived and disadvantaged                            passion and commitment, governance has become more open and accountable
                                                      and public policies more caring of the poor.
  communities, have taken                                  Environmental activism too is something in which women are prominent.
                                                      This is not surprising because, in essence, the issue of environment in India is an
 their place alongside men                            issue of livelihoods, of public health, of access to forests, of water security. What
in the councils of rural self-                        is particularly noteworthy about this form of environmental activism is that it is
                                                      spontaneous in nature and is not driven by any formal organization. A spark is
          government.                                 lit and a movement begins.
pounds.                                                    The fourth arena of impact is enterprise. The most visible may be women who
    This expanding network has had            lead some major Indian corporations, businesses and NGOs. But, perhaps even more
enormous impact. By giving poor women         significant are the unsung majority — who make up over 90 per cent of all working
access to credit (and I might add, with a     women in what we call the informal or unorganized sector. For years, they enjoyed no
repayment record far superior to that of      pension, health insurance or maternity benefits, something that our government has
well-heeled borrowers!), these groups are     begun to address.
helping to blunt the harsh edges of poverty       Collective action by women has taken different forms. Thus, India, once the world’s
and destitution. But women are doing          largest importer of milkfood, is now its largest milk producer. This White Revolution,
more than getting loans. They are actually    as we call it, has proceeded in parallel with the Green Revolution. And it is millions of
taking on a variety of functions on behalf    women in thousands of villages who have been the backbone of these milk cooperatives.
of government departments. They are,          There are many other instances such as Lijjat, producer of those poppadums so loved
for instance, buying rice and maize from      by British diners in Indian restaurants here. Founded by seven Gujarati housewives
farmers for sale through fair price shops.    with a capital of about 7 pounds, it now has 42,000 owner-producers with a turnover
They are distributing old age pensions and    approaching 70 million pounds.
scholarships. They are managing primary           The largest collective of women in India’s informal sector is SEWA—the Self-Employed
health centres. And in this pub-loving        Women’s Association, also founded by a woman. Its achievements within the country
country, it may surprise you to know how      to provide a social security net for its members and add value to household enterprise
successful they have been in forcing the      have been widely recognised. But one of its most recent endeavours is particularly
closure of village liquor shops to combat
                                                                                                                        continued on page 14

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                                                                      institution in our country.
                                                                           I have listened with great respect to the speeches that have
                                                                      been made. I was not present all the time, but I have extensive
                                                                      notes. Shri Rajnath Singh, Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shri
                                                                      Sharad Yadav, Shri Devegowda, and many Members from our
                                                                      side – Shri P.C. Chacko and Shri Manish Tewari – have made
                                                                      very many important points. I will try to answer as many as I can.
                                                                      But I think the gist of the concerns of Parliament is captured in
                                                                      Paragraph 6 of the President’s Speech where the Hon. President
                                                                      lists the five more important priorities for our Government in
                                                                      the year 2011-12.
                                                                         1. to combat inflation and in particular to protect the
                                                                      common man from the impact of rising food prices;
                                                                         2.     to address frontally the concern regarding the lack of

                                                                             I have always believed that in
                                                                          parliamentary system, those who
                                                                          take part in the debate can debate
                                                                           the broad question, but if people
                                                                          start doubting intentions, I think
                                                                            that is not good for the healthy
                                                                           growth of parliamentary system.

   M     adam Speaker, I join all Members of Parliament in
         expressing our grateful regards and thanks to the
Hon. President for the gracious Address that she has presented
                                                                      probity and integrity in public life;
                                                                          3. to sustain the momentum of economic growth while
to both Houses of Parliament.                                         ensuring that the poor, the weak and the disadvantaged get a
                                                                      fair share in the fruits of growth;
    Madam, the debate has been vigorous. Several issues have
been raised which deserve the attention of the Government                4.    to maintain an uncompromising vigil on the internal
as well as all other entities. I am, therefore, very happy that       and external security fronts; and
Parliament is functioning as it should function. There is a couplet
                                                                         5. to pursue a foreign policy which will ensure that our
in Urdu which says something like this:
                                                                      voice is heard and our interests are protected in global fora.
        “Kuch aise bhi manjar hain tareekh ki najron main,
                                                                          This, I feel, Madam, captures the gist of the concern which
          Lamhon ne khata ki thi sadiyon ne saja pai hai”             the Members have expressed. Some have appreciated what the
                                                                      Government is doing; others have criticized that our efforts are
    During the last three months when Parliament was not
                                                                      inadequate, half-hearted, and some people have also questioned
allowed to function, I often felt that we were passing through
                                                                      our motives. I have always believed that in parliamentary system,
one such moment. I thank all the leaders from all the political
                                                                      those who take part in the debate can debate the broad question,
parties for their sagacity to end that stalemate and that the
                                                                      but if people start doubting intentions, I think that is not good
House is functioning normally as it should function is a tribute
                                                                      for the healthy growth of parliamentary system.
to our country’s deep and abiding commitment to contribute
everything in our power to strengthen the parliamentary                  Madam, with regard to inflation, I will be the first one to
MARCH 2011 • 8                                                                                      www.congresssandesh.com
admit that inflation in the last 18 months has become a problem.           concern about the plight of farmers. I share their concern
There were reasons beyond our control. First of all, there was the         about the farmers not getting a fair deal. By way of fixing
drought of 2009; there were natural calamities which affected the          the procurement prices, we have tried to give sufficiently
production of important products such as vegetables and onions.            remunerative procurement prices for sugarcane, for wheat and
                                                                           for rice. But there are commodities where procurement system
     There was the international environment where the oil
                                                                           cannot be extended. Therefore, if the commodities are perishable
prices have been rising. Now the cost of oil is as much as over
                                                                           and they are in short supply, there is no mechanism to control
100 dollars per barrel. Internationally, the world food situation
                                                                           them. The only way in the long run to control inflation, as I
has deteriorated. World prices are rising of commodities like
                                                                           said, is to invest in agriculture. That is what we are committed
oil seeds and vegetable oil which we import. There has been a
                                                                           to. There may be some defects in the functioning of various
sharp increase in prices. On all these things we have no control.
But, there are also commodities where we can control prices. I
would like to inform the Hon. Members of this House, through                      it is our bounden duty and my
you, that as far as cereal prices are concerned, the fact that we               promise to this House that we will
have large accumulated public stocks with the FCI and public
procurement agencies, we have been able to stabilise prices of                   not flinch from ensuring that no
cereals, wheat and rice. There have been problems with regard                   wrong-doer escapes the penalties
to vegetables, with regard to meat and with regard to milk. But
some of these things are beyond control. The Government policy
                                                                                  that our legal system provides.
is to ensure that we control inflation but in a manner by which
we do not hurt the growth of employment opportunities. And
                                                                           schemes, the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, the National Food
                                                                           Security System. But I do not think that this is an issue which
         From the ramparts of the Red                                      should divide the House. The Government is very serious and
                                                                           it takes very seriously its commitment to do everything in our
        Fort, on the 15th of August last                                   power to strengthen the
       year, I had promised the country                                        growth impulses in agriculture and to strengthen the growth
          that if any wrong things had                                     of productivity.

       been done, we would investigate                                         We have to strengthen the Public Distribution System.
                                                                           Public Distribution System is the kingpin of our strategy to
        that matter, and if found guilty,                                  stabilise prices of foodgrains. When we come forward with the
         nobody would be spared. That                                      National Food Security Bill, I am confident that we will expand
                                                                           the frontiers of our ability to control inflation.
              commitment stands.
                                                                               And that commitment I give to this august House that we
                                                                           are working to bring to this august House at an early date a Bill
I respectfully submit to this august House that if we did have a           to consider and approve the system of National Food Security.
half-hearted approach, we could have killed the growth process                 Madam, the second point that I wish to address is and
which is the only source of providing jobs for our youth. So, this         which the President has highlighted or drawn attention is to
delicate balance which has to be preserved between control of              address frontally the concern regarding the lack of probity and
inflation and protection of employment, I think, that sometimes            integrity in public life. I will be the last person to deny that
gives a feeling to ordinary people that we are not worried                 some unfortunate developments have taken place in the area of
about inflation. That is not the case. Our Government stands               telecom, in the area of Commonwealth Games. Those concerns
committed to control inflation. I am hopeful that at the end of            are being addressed. As and when we got credible, actionable
this fiscal year, the rate of inflation, at least the headline inflation   evidence, action has been taken. Chief Ministers have resigned;
will come down to about seven per cent. Food inflation has also            Ministers have resigned, the CBI has been on the trail of wrong
been a cause of concern. But recently, the situation has improved          doers and I assure the Hon. House that there is nothing we will
and I expect the situation to improve. But in the long run, in a           not do in order to clean our public life. With regard to telecom
country like India where agriculture prices are the kingpin of the         policy, Madam, I would like to place before this House a few
price structure, the only way we can control inflation is through          things. My own view has been that as far as the telecom policy
increased production and increased productivity of agriculture.            that was sought to be implemented by the United Progressive
    I think, Shri Mulayam Singhji, Shri Devegowdaji expressed              Alliance Government, in the basic policy, there was nothing

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with that. It was consistent with the advise given by the TRAI;        was sound, the way it was implemented, I think, gave rise to
it was consistent with the objective need that we all felt at one      problems. Those problems will now be looked into by the JPC;
time that the maximum teledensity must become accessible               they are being looked into by the PAC; and if there are any
and an enforceable target, and if you look at the figures of tele-     criminal aspects, they are being looked into by the CBI. Our
density, when our Government came into office, let us say, in          Government will fully cooperate with all these agencies and
March, 2004, the tele-density in rural areas was 1.55 per cent; in     with all these entities to ensure that the truth comes out and
                                                                       the guilty are punished.
   Terror is not something which can                                       Madam, with regard to the Commonwealth Games, we
    be attributed to any one religion.                                 have had a very successful Commonwealth Games, despite
                                                                       all the doubts that we all had at one time; the Games were a
        Terrorists have no religion.                                   great success. The Gold medal and the other medal tally is very
      Therefore, we have to create a                                   impressive and I would like to congratulate the youth of India
                                                                       for their excellent performance in the Games.
     climate where this country will
                                                                           Even before the Games were concluded, there were
   unitedly face terrorism of any hue.                                 complaints of wrong-doings and from the ramparts of the Red
    It will unitedly face that menace                                  Fort, on the 15th of August last year, I had promised the country
                                                                       that if any wrong things had been done, we would investigate
       and overcome that menace.                                       that matter, and if found guilty, nobody would be spared. That
                                                                       commitment stands. The High-Powered Committee is looking
the urban areas, it was 20.79 per cent, total for the country was      into the various aspects. Its first report has been received, and
7.02 per cent. In the last six years, when we look at December,        the Government has been prompt in taking effective action in
2010, the tele-density in rural India has gone up by 31.18 per         line with the recommendation of that report. The other matters
cent to urban areas 147.8 per cent and the total tele-density in       are being looked into by the investigating agencies.
our country has gone up from seven per cent in March 2004, to              In all these matters, I think, it is our bounden duty and my
66 per cent in December, 2010.                                         promise to this House that we will not flinch from ensuring
    People talk of scams and if there is a scam, it must be dealt      that no wrong-doer escapes the penalties that our legal system
with. The law of the land must punish the wrong doers but we           provides.
must also not overlook also the fact of this tremendous growth             Madam, the third issue which has been agitating the minds
of the telecom sector which has taken place as a result of sound       of some people is in connection with the Antrix-Devas deal with
policies pursued by our Government. In 1999, the then NDA              regard to the transponder lease agreement which was entered
Government changed the system of allocating telecom resources.         into in 2004. I would like to place certain facts before this august
The National Telecom Policy was needed at that time because            House. The Antrix Corporation entered into a commercial
the operators could not honour their earlier commitment which          contract in January 2005 with Devas Multimedia Services for
they had undertaken through the auction process. So, the auction       lease of two transponders to be built by ISRO.
process was reversed in 1999. In its place, there was put in place
                                                                           This was done under its own authority. But Antrix needed
a revenue sharing business. Our Government, by and large, has
                                                                       Government approvals for operationalising the Contract.
continued on the same path that was laid down in the National
                                                                       These were not given. In particular, the operating licences and
Telecom Policies.
                                                                       regulatory approvals from various Ministries were also not
    I think, that policy has paid rich dividends. People ask           given and hence the Contract did not become operational. In
me why then all these concerns about the wrong-doings. My              the light of complaints that emerged and the growing national
respectful answer to that is that when I looked at the telecom         security and strategic requirements the Government undertook
situation in 2007-2008, the proposals that came to me that the         a review of the Contract in December 2009. This was followed
Ministry had decided not to go in for auctions, at that time, it       by a decision of the Space Commission in July 2010 to annul
had the support of the technical arm of the Telecom Regulatory         the Contract. Since then, the Government has taken a policy
system, the TRAI; it had the support of the concerned Ministry;        decision that in the light of the country’s strategic requirement
and I felt that for level-playing field, it was entirely appropriate   it will not be able to provide orbit slot in S-Band to Antrix for
that we should continue on the path which we had followed              commercial activities including for those which are the subject
until 2007.                                                            matter of existing contractual obligation for S-Band. Action has
   Then subsequently it turned out to be that while the policy         been taken to annul the Contract in pursuance of this decision.

MARCH 2011 • 10                                                                                    www.congresssandesh.com
   I wish to clarify Madam that no allocation of terrestrial               Madam, the third issue relates to sustaining the momentum
spectrum has been made by the Government to either Antrix             of growth while ensuring that the poor, the weak and the
or Devas and, therefore, the figures of costing being quoted by       disadvantaged get a fair share in the fruits of growth. Madam,
some Members of lakhs of crores have no basis.                        the whole world admires India’s economic growth performance
                                                                      in face of the unprecedented global economic crisis of September
     I should also like to mention to this august House, Madam,
                                                                      19, 2008. Wherever I go, people ask us how is it that a country like
that the decision to open satellite services to non-Government
                                                                      India can maintain the growth path of 7.5 per cent or even aspire
parties, Indians and foreign was taken and approved by
                                                                      to a 9 per cent growth rate when the whole world is caught in a
the then Government in 1997. This was not the Congress
                                                                      depression mood. I think it is a tribute to India’s industrialists. It
Government. Thereafter, the norms, guidelines and procedures
                                                                      is a tribute to India’s farmers. It is a tribute to India’s workers that
to operationalise this policy, including the modalities for pricing
                                                                      we have managed to sustain the rhythm of the growth process.
of lease of transponder, were approved in the year 2000 under the
                                                                      Even this year our growth will be as high as 8.5 per cent. I take
NDA Government regime. The Government has set up a high-
                                                                      this opportunity to compliment my colleague, Shri Pranab
powered review committee on February 10, 2011 to review the
                                                                      Mukherjee for the handling of our economy.
technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the
Agreement to suggest corrective measures, to fix responsibility           I have often maintained that meaningful solutions to the
for lapses, if any, and to review the adequacy of procedures and      problem of mass poverty that still prevails in our country can be
approval processes followed by Antrix, ISRO and Department            found only in the framework of a rapidly expanding economy.
of Space and to suggest improvements.                                 Rapid economic growth of the last four or five years has enabled
                                                                      us to generate more tax resources. These resources have been
   Madam, having said this, I wish to say that our country
                                                                      ploughed back more and more in support of the flagship
takes great pride in the spectacular achievements of our Space
                                                                      programme for social inclusion, for economic inclusion and
                                                                      that is the only way in which we can solve the problem of mass
      India, therefore, has a message.                                poverty, ignorance and disease which still afflict millions and
           That message is one of                                     millions of our people. So I urge all the Hon. Members that while
                                                                      we debate the issues, we can find fault but the message should
      strengthening democracy; that                                   not go out that India is adrift, that India has lost its way, and
    message is strengthening the forces                               that the enthusiasm for getting this country moving forward is
                                                                      something which is no longer in evidence.
     of secularism; that message is the
                                                                          I assure you, Madam, our Government is committed to
    persistent quest of gender equality;                              achieving a growth rate of 9 to 10 per cent. Our Government
      that quest is that development                                  is committed to ensure that the bulk of resources for this
                                                                      growth will come from the domestic sources, that our savings
     must lead to social and economic                                 and investment rates which are as high as 35 to 37 per cent
       equity. These are the guiding                                  will be given every opportunity to make their contribution to
        principles given to us by the                                 sustaining the growth process and that we will use more and
                                                                      more of these resources to strengthen our facilities for education,
    Founding Fathers of our Republic.                                 paying particular emphasis to the Education of the girl child,
    These are the principles which will                               paying particular emphasis to the education of disadvantaged
                                                                      sections – Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, minorities and
    continue to guide our Government                                  other backward classes.
    and I hope these are the principles                                   Madam, this year alone the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme
      whose pursuit can unite all the                                 for the Scheduled Castes students will benefit 46 lakh students
                                                                      which is an all time record. This is a process we need to carry
      Members of this House on this                                   further to enlarge opportunities of gainful employment for all
           side and on that side.                                     our children and all our youth, particularly, the youth coming
                                                                      from the disadvantaged sections.
                                                                          Madam, I have already mentioned our commitment to bring
scientists. The Government is fully committed to preserving
                                                                      to this House a National Food Security Bill which is under
the integrity and excellence of India’s Space programme and the
                                                                      preparation. If that comes about, it will supplement the efforts
honest effort of our scientists.
                                                                      that were made through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural

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Employment Guarantee Programme to wipe out the tears of the              Therefore, we need a very sensitive regulatory system. But if we
suffering mass of our country. I do not say that we have, in that        talk of a regulatory system we open up the scope of discretion
last 5 to 6 years, been able to abolish poverty.                         as well. Therefore, we have to re-visit the regulatory framework
                                                                         in order to ensure that while we recognise the need for having
    There is acute poverty, particularly in certain parts of our
                                                                         a sound regulatory system, it must not degenerate once again
country like tribal areas. We recognise our obligation to do more
                                                                         to new one way of bringing back the licence, permit Raj. That
to help those areas but we have, at least, put in place a mechanism
                                                                         is one dimension of controlling the generation of black money
to soften the harsh edges of extreme poverty. The Mahatma
                                                                         through economic activities.
Gandhi NREG Scheme has provided a floor to the incomes of
agricultural labourers when they cannot get employment in                    The other source of generating black money is tax evasion
any other way. A minimum wage of Rs.100 now it is indexed in             and I venture to think that over the years particularly since
most States, therefore, it would have risen to Rs.130. A wage of         1991 our tax system, both direct and indirect, has moved in the
Rs.130 per day, even for one month and if jobs are available for         right direction and that on balance there is less scope for tax
full 100 days, I think that provides a significant relief to these       evasion today than was the case and the evidence is quite clear
persons and their earning capacity goes up. Therefore, there is          from the handsome figures of the rate of growth of the Central
a social safety net built.                                               Government’s tax revenue.
    If we bring in a Food Security Bill which provides food at               But there are new sources like criminal activities, human
sufficiently low prices, then that would further strengthen our          trafficking and narcotics. All these have also become more
anti-poverty programmes in addition to the programmes that we            important. As our economy grows, these practices also have
have with regard to the Scheduled Castes, the minority children          unfortunately tended to grow. Therefore, in order to deal with
education and other welfare programmes. That is the only way             black money, we have to tighten that part of the regulatory
in which we can move forward. I commit our Government                    framework and supervisory platform which can counter, control
to re-visit our flagship programmes to find out if there are             these tendencies and prevent wrong doing. Action has been
weaknesses. Some people have said there are weaknesses; there            taken. Shri Pranab Mukherjee has held a Press Conference.
are leakages in these programmes. In the MNREGA, there are               We are approaching the relevant authorities. If this money is
weaknesses. I do recognise that the performance varies from              held abroad, we are approaching the relevant authorities. If
one part of our country to another. There are excellent examples.        there are legal restrictions, we are trying to negotiate new legal
It will be our efforts to stress upon the State Governments to           treaties which would provide smoother flow of information.
plug those loopholes. That is what we wish to do in order to             I also wish to assure the House that, on this question of black
strengthen the growth impulses of our economy to strengthen              money, particularly black money held abroad, we are one with
also re-distributive aspects of our development process by paying
special attention to the needs of the disadvantaged sections, the
minorities, backward classes and other poorer sections of our                  India is respected in the world
                                                                              as never before. Whenever I go
    Madam, one issue which has been raised from time to time
and it was also raised during the last elections was with regard to          abroad, people marvel about the
black money. We all want to clean our system of this menace. But            existence of a country of a billion
we all know that black money accumulation is not a product of
the last four or five years. It has been there for a long period and
                                                                            people with all the diversities, with
we have made attempts to deal with it. The economic reforms of                all the poverty of its masses, yet
1991 were one such attempt to reduce the scope of discretionary
                                                                              trying to seek its economic and
powers of the Government at the Centre so that there would be
less scope for arbitrary practices; less scope for collection of black       social salvation in the framework
money. The economic reforms process has helped to revive our                of a functioning democracy, in the
growth impulses. At the margin, it has also helped to reduce the
scope of black money. But I would be the last one to deny that we           framework of a democratic polity,
have a long way to go. We need more competition in our country              in the framework of commitment
to stimulate our economy to promote efficiency. But at the same
time we need the regulatory system to ensure that there is fair
                                                                             to rule of law, commitment to all
competition, that the basic purposes of having an environment                   fundamental human rights.
friendly policy are not ignored. There is a delicate trade off
between environment and developments. We can neglect neither.
MARCH 2011 • 12                                                                                     www.congresssandesh.com
the Opposition in saying that everything should be done to bring      At one time I did succeed, but later on they backed out. I am
back this money to India because it belongs to us. This is not the    very happy that they have now accepted our invitation to discuss
issue which should divide the House. We will sit together with all    and to have a dialogue. They have given up the path of violence.
parties and seek their help inviting suggestions as to how far we     That is a very positive development. We should encourage both
can move and at what pace we can move. We are absolutely open         sides to work out arrangements which will lead to satisfactory
when it comes to dealing with black money. All constructive           outcomes of these discussions.
suggestions will be welcome.
                                                                          With regard to Jammu and Kashmir, we have passed through
    Madam Speaker, I come to the fourth issue referred to by the      a difficult time, particularly the last summer. But since then the
President that we shall maintain an uncompromising vigil on the       situation has improved. But we keep our fingers crossed. Come
internal and external security fronts. On the internal security of    this summer, I hope we will be vigilant enough to ensure that the
our country, we face with many challenges. There is the terrorists    unfortunate events that took place in the last summer in parts
challenge. There is the Left Wing extremism terror. There is the      of Jammu and Kashmir do not take place. Our approach to the
problem of insurgency in some parts of the North-Eastern States       problems of Jammu and Kashmir is that we will give no quarters
of our country. I am not claiming that we have succeeded in           to secessionist elements. We will do everything in our power to
getting over these problems. But they have been contained. With       strengthen the hands of the State Government to provide a fairer
regard to acts of terror, efforts are being made by my Government     deal to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir, to provide avenues
and our Home Minister to strengthen the internal security             for gainful employment. I have appointed a Group under Dr.
system in our country. The national investigation agency is in        Rangarajan to workout a plan for providing 50,000 to one lakh
place. The multiagency investigation centre is in place. Counter-     jobs to the Kashmiri youth. That Report is now nearly ready. I
terror steps are being strengthened and the results are there to      hope that once we start implementing them, these are precise
see but there is no scope for complacency. We shall remain ever       proposals where the Indian industry commits itself to employ
alert to ensure that terrorist elements do not succeed in their       Kashmiri youth and if we can create jobs for a lakh of students
nefarious design.                                                     from the Valley and other parts of Kashmir, I dare say it will
                                                                      change the mental make-up or the mindset of the Kashmiri
    Terror is not something which can be attributed to any one
                                                                      people. It is an obligation of all the political parties to do nothing
religion. Terrorists have no religion. Therefore, we have to create
                                                                      which will disturb the peaceful atmosphere that now prevails in
a climate where this country will unitedly face terrorism of any
                                                                      Jammu and Kashmir.
hue. It will unitedly face that menace and overcome that menace.
                                                                          As regards foreign policy, our policy has been to be as
   Madam, with regard to Left Wing extremism, we have to deal
                                                                      friendly as possible with our neighbours. I have maintained
with this matter with firmness but also with great sensitivity.
                                                                      and I still maintain that full development of this subcontinent
     We are dealing with our own people. I will be the last person    of ours will not be realized unless India and Pakistan relations
to deny that some times it is the economic deprivation which          are normalised. I have been working for that objective since
draws people into the folds of left wing extremism. Therefore,        2005. Some progress was made, but then there was a lapse and
we have to have a two-pronged strategy. We have to have a             the terrorist elements, would of course, not allow the process
strategy of development, of giving a ray of hope in their future      of normalisation to come into effect. But I am convinced and
to the communities of tribals, communities of Central India           I believe that there is a growing conviction in Pakistan as
where this left wing extremism is raising its head in a vicious       well among the thinking population that terrorism is not an
way. That is why our Government has drawn up an Integrated            instrument which can be used by any civilised Government as
Development Programme for sixty naxalite-affected districts.          an instrument of its State Policy. I sincerely hope and believe
That is a Programme which should grow in intensity, grow              that the new ruling classes of Pakistan would grasp the hands of
in depth in the years to come so that the tribal youth are not        our friendship and recognize that, whatever are our differences,
misdirected into the folds of left wing extremism. You can            terror, as an instrument of State Policy, is something that no
depend upon the Central Government’s keen desire to work in           civilised society ought to use.
partnership with the State Governments to get mastery over this
                                                                          Today, we have an atmosphere in which negotiations can go
menace of left wing extremism. With regard to North-East, the
                                                                      forward. But there are hopeful sign. After meeting of the two
situation in Manipur and some parts of Assam has been a cause
                                                                      Foreign Secretaries in Thimpu, they have agreed to resume the
of concern. But overall the situation has improved. More recently,
                                                                      process of dialogue and that is the only way in which we can
the leadership of the main insurgent group, ULFA, has thought
                                                                      resolve our problems. We are willing to discuss all outstanding
it fit to give up the path of pursuit of violence and to enter into
                                                                      issues with Pakistan provided Pakistan gives up its practice of
discussion and dialogue with the Government. I welcome it. I
                                                                      allowing the use of its territory for terrorist activities against India.
have been trying to reach out to ULFA right from the year 2005.

www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                               MARCH 2011 • 13
    With regard to Sri Lanka, the return of peace to Sri Lanka,            continued from page 7
we sincerely hope will enable the Sri Lankan Government to
pay greater attention to the requirements of providing a fair
                                                                               Women as Agents of
deal including political devolution to the minorities, particularly
the Tamil minorities. We have been impressing upon the
                                                                                Change: Sonia Gandhi
Government of Sri Lanka this requirement and we will continue          noteworthy—a programme in war-torn Afghanistan to train
to impress upon them that it is their solemn obligation to ensure      women, especially war widows, to acquire skills, set up food
that the Tamil minority gets an honoured place in the polity of Sri    processing enterprises and initiate ecological regeneration. A
Lanka to lead a life of dignity and self-respect. From time to time,   similar programme is the Hand-in-Hand project in two provinces
Indian fishermen run into problems and there have been recent          in Afghanistan based on the experience of our self-help-groups.
                                                                       In a true spirit of sisterhood, they are contributing to women’s
incidents in which some of our fishermen have been shot at.            empowerment in that country.
    A large number of these fishermen were arrested. We took               Such initiatives demonstrate the role women’s enterprise can
up this matter with Sri Lanka. The arrested fishermen have             play in regions ravaged by violence and conflict. Within India as
                                                                       well, these groups have taken the lead in mediating, peace-building
been released. But these frequent attempts of creating tensions
                                                                       and reconciliation in areas of strife.
between the fishing communities of the two countries are
                                                                            V. Technology
something about which we have to find a permanent solution.
                                                                           Finally, technology is proving to be a powerful tool for reducing
We will continue to impress upon the Government of Sri Lanka
                                                                       gender inequalities. In the sunrise IT sector women already
that they should not do anything even if some of our fishermen         comprise close to one third—a million strong—of its workforce.
stray into their water. I think they may arrest them, but they         There is a proliferation of knowledge-based enterprises, run
should not kill anyone of them. That is not something which is         by women in rural areas, such as village information centres
acceptable to our people.                                              and IT kiosks for accessing government services. Their ripple
                                                                       effect is growing. This is beginning to impact age-old prejudices.
    Madam, overall, India is respected in the world as never           Independent livelihoods are enabling women to stand on their
before. Whenever I go abroad, people marvel about the existence        own feet and resist pressure for early marriage. They are also being
of a country of a billion people with all the diversities, with all    viewed as less of a liability by their parents.
the poverty of its masses, yet trying to seek its economic and             VI. Concluding Remarks
social salvation in the framework of a functioning democracy,              Ladies and Gentlemen, few things give me greater optimism
in the framework of a democratic polity, in the framework of           about my country’s future than the amazing resilience of our
                                                                       women, their fortitude and courage, their capacity to overcome
commitment to rule of law, commitment to all fundamental               every obstacle, their readiness to grasp every opportunity.
human rights. I sincerely hope that whatever we do, we should              India is at the cusp of a “demographic dividend” due to its
take pride in these characteristics because we are one-sixth of the    young and increasingly educated and skilled population. Imagine,
human race. If India succeeds in finding its economic and social       what might happen when this demographic dividend is multiplied
salvation through democracy, through commitment to rule of             by a “gender dividend”. It will, I believe, yield enormous economic
law, through respect for all fundamental human freedom, I dare         gain and lead to profound social transformation.
say that we will become the harbingers of a message of change              Mahatma Gandhi saw women as the future leaders of human
                                                                       evolution, bringing compassion and morality into public life. As
for the better, for the entire countries in the world.
                                                                       always, what he said is memorable, and I quote:
    India, therefore, has a message. That message is one of                “To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice
strengthening democracy; that message is strengthening the             to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then indeed is
forces of secularism; that message is the persistent quest of          woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power,
                                                                       then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater
gender equality; that quest is that development must lead to
                                                                       intuition, is she is not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater
social and economic equity. These are the guiding principles           courage? Without woman, man could not be.”
given to us by the Founding Fathers of our Republic. These are             Unquote.
the principles which will continue to guide our Government
                                                                           It could be argued that the progressive victories of the women’s
and I hope these are the principles whose pursuit can unite all        movement, their achievement of the right to vote and other
the Members of this House on this side and on that side. On            rights, were the 20th century’s seminal contribution to human
that note, Madam, I once again thank the Hon. President for            advancement. It has been a long journey. I fervently hope that
her gracious Address.                                                  the 21st century will take this to its logical conclusion. May this
                                                                       be, not the century of any particular country, but the century
   I request this House to pass this Motion. n                         when women finally come into their own, the century when
                                                                       representative democracy is re-imagined to give women their due
                                                                       share, the century when the vocabulary of politics and culture is
               (uncorrected Lok Sabha Secretariat transcript )         re-engineered fully to include that other half of mankind. Thank
                                                                       you. n
MARCH 2011 • 14                                                                                    www.congresssandesh.com
   Excerpts from PM’s Post Budget Interview on Doordarshan
Q. Prime Minister, congratulations on your government’s third          regard to pension fund. In totality, if these promises are converted
budget. I would like to begin by asking how this budget addresses      into solid Acts of Parliament, they will provide a boost to the capital
current economic conditions specifically with regard to inflation      market as well as to the corporate sentiment all around.
and sustaining rapid growth?
                                                                        Q. There is some frustration that the same promises made from
PM: This budget meets all the challenges that our economy and
                                                                       one year to the next. Whether it is the great tax code, the Goods
our polity faces in the next fiscal year. We need to sustain a high
                                                                       and Services Tax or some of the Bills on the debt management
rate of growth and therefore this budget builds upon the good
                                                                       that from year to year the same issues are still in process and
performance of the current fiscal year’s 8.6 % growth rate to a
                                                                       they are not actually completed.
projected 9% growth rate for which adequate provisions have been        PM: As far as Direct Taxes code is concerned, that is very much
made particularly in the area of infrastructure and in social sector   on the cards. It will, I think, become a reality around 1st April 2012.
plus agricultural development. It is certainly necessary to curb       Now as far as the others, I think much depends on what we can
inflationary expectation for which it is very essential that there     push through Parliament. There is no lack of effort on the part of
should a path of fiscal consolidation. The Finance Minister has        the government, and I am confident that although there are some
done a commendable job by planning to reduce the fiscal deficit        difficulties with regard to the Goods and Services Tax- some states
and revenue deficit before the figures he himself had projected in     are not on board- but I am confident that we will persevere and
the budget estimates. And therefore, what he has done by way of        ultimately succeed.
social sector spending, what he has done by way of encouraging
                                                                       Q. One area of concern has been that interest rates have been
investment in agriculture, the tax concession that he has given,
                                                                       climbing. Now in this budget, if I understand the numbers
I think this is a budget which matches the challenges that our
                                                                       correctly, the government’s borrowing programme will not
economy faces. Sustained growth, equitable growth, inclusive
                                                                       increase next year in relation to this year. So if the government’s
growth plus a determined effort to curb inflationary expectations.
                                                                       borrowing programme is static, then would you expect interest
Q. The Finance Minister has not raised any additional taxes and        rates to moderate?
yet tax revenue is up 25%. Is this achieved just because of rapid       PM: That is certainly one factor. Because the government cannot
growth? And therefore can you continue to reduce the deficit by        be a claimant on the nation’s savings pool. So that will at the
achieving rapid growth?                                                margin help. But there are many other factors, for example what
 PM: Well rapid growth is certainly one factor. But I think equally    happens to inflation. That also has to be taken into account.
important is greater tax compliance and for that moderate rate and
                                                                        Q. There was an expectation that the Finance Minister would
simplified system also are very essential. And the Finance Minister
                                                                       raise the excise and service taxes from 10% back to 12% level that
has walked on both these legs.
                                                                       prevailed before the recession. And he has not done that. If he
 Q. The FM has announced some adjustments in IT rates at the           had done that, the deficit would have come down more. So what
bottom levels and specifically for senior citizens. But there were     were the calculations that went into keeping the taxes unchanged?
cries in the House about women for which there was no action            PM: Moderation in taxation on balance is a good thing to play
it was said. And also for those further up in the income ladder        with. And if you are moving towards a GST, I think it is also
who also have suffered inflation and there is no action for them.      necessary to have that end product in mind. And I think the
How do you react to that?                                              Finance Minister thought it through both customs and excise
 PM: Well you can’t please all people. And the Finance Minster has     duties peak rates have been kept at 10%. I think that’s the right
done as good a job as was possible. The fact that he has increased     way to go about because we cannot be too certain that everything
the exemption limit for the people at the lowest rung of the ladder    will work, the arithmetic will work the way we want it to work.
from Rupees 1,60,000 to Rupees 1,80,000 will benefit all men and       We must have ample scope to contribute to fiscal consolidation.
women and for older citizens he has done much more.
                                                                        Q. I have just two questions. One is on the social sector spending
 Q. The expectation was that there would be some kind of amnesty       programmes- where it seems that a lot of the money does not
scheme to try and bring in black money to invest in infrastructure.    actually manage to get spent. So is there a spending capacity
That has not happened. Was it at all a factor that the government      issue for the government?
considered?                                                             PM: Well there is obviously. These programmes require a boost
 PM: Well, amnesty schemes have been implemented in the past.          in terms of great delivery services. So there is a problem which
I don’t think they have succeeded in providing a permanent cure        has to be faced head on.
for black money. We need to have a system’s reform in a holistic
                                                                        Q. And the last question- this was an easy budget. Does rapid
manner to deal with this menace.
                                                                       economic growth help create easy budgeting? Because you do
 Q. The stock market was fairly optimistic through the last couple     not have to take tough decisions and numbers start falling into
of hours. In fact even before the speech began and then it kept        place, and so that is the most important thing that India needs
climbing. Yet there is nothing really for investors in the budget.     to achieve?
How do you read this from the perspective of the capital market.        PM: If we can achieve such high rates of growth, to that extent
 PM: Well, The Finance Minister has done quite a lot to encourage      the fiscal problem will be lot more manageable. But considering
foreign direct investment and foreign portfolio investment. He has     international climate, considering what was happening in the
reduced the surcharge from 7.5% to 5%. I think, the signals are that   international financial system, maintaining a high growth rate is
this is a government which is reform-oriented. He has promised         something for which the FM and the government deserve to be
that he will come with legislation with regard to insurance, with      congratulated. n

www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                              MARCH 2011 • 15
BUDGET 2011-2012                                                                                                    Summary

  T     he Union Budget 2011-12 aims to sustain economic
        growth, strengthen infrastructure, moderate the price
rise, particularly of agricultural produce and reduce social
                                                                   to Rs. 52,057 crore. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan gets Rs. 21,000
                                                                   crore which is 40% higher than the previous year’s allocation
                                                                   of Rs. 15,000 crore. The Finance Minister also proposed to
imbalances through inclusive development. Presenting the           introduce a scholarship scheme for needy students belonging to
budget 2011-12 in the Lok Sabha today, the Finance Minister        the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes studying in classes
Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the budget is a transition         IX and X. It would benefit about 40 lakh students. Plan
towards a more transparent and result oriented economic            allocation for Health has also been increased by 20 per cent to
management system in India. He said while developments on          Rs. 26,760 crores. The Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana will
India’s external sector have been encouraging, continued high      be extended to the unorganized sector workers in hazardous
food prices have remained our principal concern. He said that      mining and associated industries.
the trend revealed shortcomings in distribution and marketing         Underlining the need to strengthen Public Sector Banks
system. The Finance Minister said that huge differences            (PSBs) the Finance Minister proposed to provide Rs. 6000
between wholesale and retail prices are at the expense of          crore to maintain tier 1 capital to risk weighted asset ratio.
remunerative prices for the farmers and competitive prices for     He also proposed to infuse Rs. 500 crore into Regional Rural
consumers.                                                         Banks (RRB) . A Women’s Self Help Groups Development
   For sustaining growth tax reform will continue with the         Fund with a corpus of Rs. 500 crore is proposed to be created.
Direct Taxes Code (DTC) to be operationalised from April,          He also proposed to create a micro finance equity fund of
2012 while a Constitution Amendment Bill is proposed to be         Rs. 100 crore with Small Industrial Development Bank of
introduced during the current session of Parliament as a step      India (SIDBI) for providing equity to smaller micro finance
towards roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He said      institutions. Rs. 3000 crore will be provided to NABARD
the introduction of DTC and GST will result in moderation          to help handloom weaver cooperative societies to become
of rates, simplification of laws and better compliance. The        financially viable.
Finance Minister re-iterated the Government’s resolve to              Interest subvention of 1 per cent on housing loans will now
move towards direct transfer of cash subsidy to people living      be available for loans upto Rs. 15 lakh where the cost of house
below poverty line in a phased manner. He said that the            does not exceed Rs. 25 lakh. The present limit for the loan
Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) has improved the availability         amount is Rs. 10 lakh while the cost of the house should not
of fertilizers and the Government is actively considering          exceed Rs. 20 lakh.
extension of NBS regime to cover urea.
                                                                      The total plan expenditure has been increased by 18.3
   Finance Minister announced a number of measures to              per cent to Rs. 4,41,547 crore and the non-plan expenditure
strengthen the agricultural sector particularly in the areas of    increases by 10.9 per cent to Rs. 8,16,182 crore. The gross tax
pulses, vegetables and oil palm . He announced Rs. 300 crore       receipts are estimated to grow by 24.9 per cent to Rs. 9,32,440.
expenditure to promote 60,000 pulses villages in rain fed areas    Rs. 2,01,733 crore will be transferred to the Sates and UTs as
for increasing crop productivity and strengthening market          plan and non plan transfers. This also marks a rise of 23 per
linkages. He also proposed to spend Rs. 300 crore to promote       cent over budget estimates of last year. The fiscal deficit is
oil palm plantation in 60,000 hectares and Rs. 300 crore for the   estimated at Rs. 4,12,817 crore which works out to 4.6 per cent
initiative on vegetable cluster. Rs. 400 crore is proposed to      of the GDP.
be spent to improve rice based cropping system in the Eastern
                                                                      Turning to the direct taxes, the Finance Minister proposed
Region. Capital investment in fertilizer production is proposed
                                                                   to increase the exemption limit for general category individual
to be included as an infrastructure sub-sector since investment
                                                                   tax payers by Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1,80,000 per year. This will
in the sector is capital intensive.
                                                                   provide a uniform tax relief of Rs. 2000 to every tax payer
   The allocation for social sector has been increased by 17%      of this category. The benefit for senior citizens will now be
to Rs. 1,60,887 crore which amounts to 36.4% of the total          available at 60 years of age and the exemption limit will go up
plan allocation. Bharat Nirman, which includes Pradhan             from Rs. 2,40,000 to Rs. 2,50,000. Those who are 80 years
Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), accelerated irrigation           and above have been brought under a new category called very
benefit programme, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran               senior citizens and the exemption limit in this category will be
Yojana, Indira Awas Yojana, National Rural Drinking Water          Rs. 5 lakhs.
Programme and Rural Telephony have together been allocated
                                                                      The minimum alternate tax rate has been hiked from 18 per
Rs. 58,000 crore. Remuneration for Anganwadi workers have
                                                                   cent to 18.5 per cent of book profits. Developers of Special
been increased to Rs. 3000 per month from Rs. 1500 per month
                                                                   Economic Zones as well as units operating MAT in SEZs have
while the Anganwadi helpers will get Rs. 1500 per month.
                                                                   been brought under MAT. Tax benefit for investment in long
This will be effective from 1st April 2011 benefiting about 22
                                                                   term infrastructural bonds will continue for one more year.
lakh Anganwadi workers and helpers.
                                                                   Income from foreign subsidiaries of Indian Company will now
   The allocation on education has been increased by 24%           attract a lower tax of 15 per cent tax on dividends.
MARCH 2011 • 16                                                                              www.congresssandesh.com
   Turning to indirect tax, the finance Minister said that there      restaurants with licence to serve liquor have been brought
are 370 items that enjoy the exemption from Central Excise            under the tax net. Service tax on air travel has been raised
Duty but are chargeable to VAT. He proposed to withdraw the           by Rs. 50 in case of domestic air travel and Rs. 250 on
exemption on 130 of these items. The remaining 240 items              international journey by economy class. Services provided by
would be brought into the tax net when GST is introduced. A           Life Insurance Company in the area of investment and some
nominal 1 per cent central excise duty is being imposed on 130        more legal services have also been brought under tax net.
items. The basic customs duty has been reduced from 30 to 5              Finance Minister said the proposals on direct taxes are
per cent on raw silk, from 5 to 2.5 per cent on certain textile       estimated to result in a revenue loss of Rs. 11,500 crore while
intermediates and from 7.5 per cent to 5 per cent on certain          those on the service tax will yield Rs. 4000 crore more. The
inputs for manufacture of technical fibre and yarn. Stainless         Finance Minister has kept the disinvestment target at Rs.
steel scrap has been fully exempted from customs. Export duty         40,000 crore for the coming year. He, however, reiterated
on iron ore has been increased to 20 per cent ad valorem both         that the Government is committed to retain at least 51 percent
for lumps and fines. The basic customs duty on pet coke and           ownership and management control of the CPSUs. He said
gypsum has been reduced 2.5 per cent to give relief to cement         that as an emerging economy India stands at the threshold at
industry.                                                             the decade which presents immense possibilities. He said we
   On the service tax front a few new services have been              have the voice on the global stage and we must not let the
brought under tax net. Hotel accommodation in excess of               recent trends and tensions hold us back from converting these
Rs. 1000 per day and service provided by air conditioned              possibilities into realities. n

                                Union Budget 2011-12 Highlights
• Critical institutional reforms set pace for   • Micro Small and Medium Enterprises         • Allocation for social sector increased
  double-digit growth                             MSME gets boost as Rs. 5000 crore             by 17% amounting to 36.4% of total
• Scaled up flow of resources infuses             provided to SIDBI and Rs.3000 crore           plan allocation
  dynamism in rural economy                       to NABARD                                  • Bharat Nirman allocation increased by
• GDP estimated to have grown at 8.6%           • Existing housing loan limit enhanced          Rs.10,000 crore
  in 2010-11                                      to Rs.25 lakh for dwelling units           • Rural broadband connectivity to all
• Exports grown by 9.6%, imports by             • Provision under Rural housing Fund            2.5 lakh panchayats in three years.
  17.6% in April-January 2010-11 over             enhanced to Rs.3000 crore                  • Bill to amend Indian Stamp Act to
  corresponding period last year                • Allocation under Rashtirya Krishi             introduce. Rs.300 crore scheme for
• Indian economy expected to grow at              Vikas yojna (RKVY) increased to               modernization stamp and registration
  9% in 2011-12.                                  Rs.7860 crore                                 administration
• Five-fold strategy to deal with black         • Allocation of Rs.300 crore to promote      •	 Significant	increase	in	remuneration	of	
  money. Group of Ministers to suggest            60000 pulses villages in rainfed areas        Angawadi workers and helpers
  ways for tackling corruption                  • Rs. 300 crore vegetable initiative to      • Allocation for education increased
• Public Debt Management Agency of                achieve competitive prices                    by24%. Rs.21,000 crore allocated for
  India Bill to come up next financial          • Rs.300 crore to promote higher                Sarv Shikshya Abhiyan registering an
  year                                            production of nutri-cereals                   increase of 40%
• Direct Tax Code (DTC) to be effective         • Rs.300 crore to promote animal based       • 1500 institute of higher learning to
  from April 01, 2012                             protein                                       be connected by March 2012 with
• Phased move towards direct transfer           • Rs.300 crore Accelerated Fodder               Knowledge Knowledge Network.
  cash subsidy to BPL people for                  Development Programme to benefit           • National Innovation Council set up.
  better delivery of kerosene, LPG and            farmers in 25000 villages                     Additional Rs.500 crore for National
  fertilizer mooted                             • Credit flow to farmers raised from            Skill Development Fund
• Rs.40,000 crore to be raised through            Rs.3,75,000 crore to Rs.4,75,000 crore     • Plan allocation for health stepped up
  disinvestment in 2011-12                      • Rs.10,000 crore for NABARD’s Short            by 20%
• FDI policy to be liberalized further            Term Rural Credit Fund for 2011-12         • Indira Gandhi National Old Age
• SEBI registered mutual funds                  • 15 more mega food parks during 2011-          Pension Scheme liberalized further
  permitted to accept subscription from           12                                         • Rs.200 crore for Green India Mission
  foreign investors who meet KYC                • National food security bill to be          • Rs.200 crore for cleaning of rivers
  requirement                                     introduced this year                       • Rs.8000 crore provided for
• FII limit for investment in corporate         • Capital investment in storage capacity        development needs of J&K
  bonds in infrastructure sector raised           to be eligible for viability gap funding   • 10 lakhs Aadhaar(UID) numbers to be
• Additional banking license to private         • 23.3% increase in allocation for              generated everyday from 1st October
  sector players proposed                         infrastructure                             •	 Fiscal	 deficit	 kept	 at	 4.6%	 of	 GDP	 for	
• Rs.6000 crore to be provided in 2011-         • Tax-free bonds of Rs.30,000 crore             2011-12
  12 for maintaining minimum Tier I               proposed by government                     • Income Tax exemption limit for
  Capital to Risk Weighted Asset Ratio            undertakings                                  general category in individual tax
  (CRAR) of 8% in public sector banks           • Environmental concerns relating               payers enhanced from Rs.1,60,000 to
• Rs.500 crore to be provided to regional         to infrastructure projects to be              Rs.1,80,000
  rural banks to maintain 9% CRAR                 considered by Group of Ministers           • Qualifying age for senior citizens
• ndia Microfinance Equity Fund of              • National Mission for Hybrid and               lowered to 60; senior citizen above 80
  Rs.100 crore to be created by SIDBI             Electric Vehicles to be launched              year to get Rs.5,00,000 IT exemption
• R s . 5 0 0 c r o r e Wo m e n S H G          • 7 Mega clusters for leather products to    • Surcharge on corporate lowered to 5%
  Development Fund to be created                  be set up

www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                             MARCH 2011 • 17

   We need to marry tech with political
      will to improve Governance:
           Pranab Mukherjee
Immediately after finance minister Pranab Mukherjee delivered his third successive Budget speech
  for UPA-II, MK Venu of The Financial Express caught up with him on the Lok Sabha Television.
                                        Edited excerpts:

                                             also, so I shall have to prepare myself     that, federalism should be cooperative
                                             for a supply response.                      and contributory as well, not on paper
                                             Second area of concern is the global        but in reality.
                                             crude prices which re mains highly          You are depending on growth to
                                             erratic and unpredictable. I am not         generate revenue. But there has been
                                             commenting on it now because we yet         no clarity in policy, more so in last
                                             have to see how the prices shape up         sixseven months, in areas where
                                             eventually.                                 scaling up is required such as supplies
                                             You have tried to correct a perception on   of commodities like steel or others
                                             the UPA’s approach towards reforms.         which require mining and areas which
                                             Do you hope to put in place the GST,        require regulatory clarity ...
                                             which would have multifarious impact        That is why so many Group of
                                             in lowering inflation, potentially          Ministers have been appointed in
                                             attacking black money, even cutting         so many areas to ad dress these
                                             expenditure.                                i s s u e s i n t i m e b o u n d m a n n e r.
When you were preparing this year’s There should not be multiple points of               The climate would have to change. And
Budget, was curbing inflation your taxation, uniformity of the rates should              the present stress and strain would have
primary concern or sustaining high prevail,	 and	 arbitrary	 rate	 fluctuation	          to be kept behind.
growth rate the priority?                    shouldn’t take place without consulting     There was an impression among
                                             each other (Centre and the states).         investors, especially global,
In fact, both were very much on my Although there are still divergences                  that in India, the clash between
mind. Today, price rise is a real concern in some areas, on many larger points           developmental and environmental
and number of factors are responsible there are convergences. I have helped              concerns has not been amicably
for that. But people are not concerned states build the IT infrastructure for            resolved.
about factors or reason. It is not an commercial taxes, I am also aligning               I am chairing the concerned GoM. In the
academic issue for them, it is an issue of tax rates keeping in mind that Indian         area of mines and mineral development,
livelihood,	 particularly	 food	 inflation.	 GST would be in place in near future.       I have had extensive discussion with
Therefore, I decided, we shall have to NSDL would be launching pilot projects            chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Orissa
get on the high growth trajectory, but in relevant states. What I am working             and other colleagues. We are working
at the same time address the problems at now is the political consensus.                 on it.
leading	 to	 inflation,	 particularly	 food	 Reforms in the direct tax through DTC,
inflation.	                                                                              You said that this Budget marks a
                                             indirect taxes through GST would
                                                                                         transition towards a more transparent
I found out that there is a serious stabilise the tax system in this country             form of governance. You are trying to
mismatch and supply bottleneck of the and with the IT infrastructure in place,           marry the technological capabilities
essential food items. So we asked the compliance and implementation would                with political will.
ministry of agriculture to identify the be easier.
commodities in short supply such as The next round of big reforms, of                    We have to marry these two. We have
pulses, edible oil. I shall have to ensure which GST and land acquisition                the technological capability. We are
that gap between the retail price and reforms would be a part, would                     starting to give out Aadhaar numbers.
wholesale price is reduced. Also, I have require political cooperation of state          Second area is where technology is
to work on narrowing the price at which governments and the opposition.                  changing the story is tax reforms,
the producer sells and the price at which Do you have a particular strategy to           improved realisation, arrears settlement
the consumer buys. That is why I have address the issue?                                 and other settlement disputes which
deliberately used two phrases in the That is the key. We should have ongoing             is expedited with aid of tech tools. We
Budget speech -I shall have to ensure dialogue. Single party rule across the             have set up a task-force under Nandan
the competitive price advantage to the country is ideal situation for some, not          Nilekani to help us in this endeavour
consumer and the remunerative prices for others who say local aspirations,               and recommendation are expected in
to the farmers . I have taken a series of regional differences doesn’t get               June.
measures to augment the production of manifested at the centre in such set ups.          Can we expect this marriage of
those commodities which are in short We should have a mechanism to absorb                technological strength and political
sup ply. There is international pressure and accommodate these differences. For          will to tighten the delivery in the
                                                                                         flagship anti-poverty schemes?
MARCH 2011 • 18                                                                              www.congresssandesh.com
Undoubtedly, delivery would be much
better. But putting a number right
                                                                      Arjun Singh Passes Away
to that now may not be the most                          Arjun Singh (1930 – 2011) passed away on
prudent thing to do. For instance,                   4th March, 2011 after a brief illness. He was a
when a scheme such as MGNREGA                        politician who from the time of independence
was contemplated, it was mainly used                 to the day of his passing away made a place for
as a tool to deliver on wage earning                 himself in the Indian polity. His loyalty to the
of those in need of employment at
                                                     Congress	Party	was	unflinching.	He	belonged	
home, not so much a vehicle to create
                                                     to the Churhat Jagir under the ex-Princely State
durable assets although that was also
part of it. Before that labour migration             of Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.
had led to social tension in many                       A veteran party leader, Arjun Singh was well
areas. That was what was addressed.                  known for his political talent and skill and never
Now through technologi cal tools we                  feared in raising his voice against communal
can improve the delivery mechanism                   forces. He was a symbol of secular values and
substantially and once that is done,
                                                     was ready to help the poor and the downtrodden. He boldly faced all
responsibility can be fixed, a rule
based technology backed institutional                challenges and successfully discharged all his duties. The vacuum left by
arrangement can be put in place.                     his	death	will	be	hard	to	fill.	
With that the element of discretionary                 He served thrice as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Union
power, the main source of corruption                 Minister and Governor of Punjab. In UPA-1 with Prime Minister
can be eliminated.                                   Manmohan Singh he served as the minister for H. R. D. from 2004 to 2009.
Is reducing current account deficit on               He won the ‘outstanding Parliamentarian Award’ in 2000.
your priority list? And does financing
of current account deficit by FII
                                                         Arjun Singh was married to Saroj Devi of Pratapgarh near Amarpatan
inflows rather than FDI worry you?                   in Satna, (M.P.) and the couple have two sons and a daughter. n
The	volatility	of	FII	is	a	matter	of	definite	
concern. The main cause of worry in                                     Condolence Resolution
the balance of payment position is the                  The Congress Party condoled the death of veteran Congress leader
financing	of	current	account	deficit	by	             Shri Arjun Singh who died on 5th March, 2011 after a brief illness at the
FII	 inflows	 rather	 than	 FDI.	 We	 shall	         AIIMS hospital. Following is the condolence resolution passed at the CWC:
have to emphasise on the stable FDI
inflows.	 Current	 account	 deficit	 as	 a	             “The Congress Working Committee condoles the death of veteran
percentage of GDP to my mind should                  party leader Shri Arjun Singh.
not exceed 2 to 2.5 per cent.                            The death of Arjun Singh is not only an irreparable loss for the Congress
There are expectations that as part of               Party but also for Indian politics. He was such a leader whose political
this process, foreign investment in                  talent and skill was even accepted by opposition leaders. On some subjects
financial services and retail would be               and issues he had his own viewpoints and thinking on which he was
liberalised. Is that a possibility?                  steadfast. He lived a life of his own and did not care about criticism and
We shall have to work on it. When                    controversy.
economic reforms was introduced,
it was more out of compulsion than                      According to Congress traditions he was in the Indian politics for a
choice. So some times an approach                    long time and was a symbol of secular values and always raised his voice
that appears difficult today should                  against communal forces. His sensitivity towards Adiviasis, dalits and
be adopted for better prospects of a                 other backward classes and his voice of support will be remembered for
brighter tomorrow . Personally, I feel               a decade and in the future too.
liberalising the FDI regime in retail can
                                                        Apart from this he had keen interest in literature, art and culture.
solve	the	problem	of	huge	inefficiencies	
                                                     As the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and as the Union Human
and wastage in the agricultural supply
chain. But in a democratic policy, you               Resource Development Minister, at the Centre, he had given all help and
cannot thrust your decision.                         encouragement for the development of these.
However laborious it may be, the                        Shri Arjun Singh never lost hope despite surrounded by many
decision must evolve through a process               challenges and this was his biggest quality. He boldly faced all the
of consensus.                                        challenges and successfully disposed off all the responsibilities which the
Your projection on overall inflation                 party had bestowed on him. His role as a state minister, chief minister,
in 2011-12.                                          Pradesh Congress president, Governor and Union Minister is important
It	 is	 a	 difficult	 guess,	 but	 this	 year	 it	   and commendable.
should be around 7 per cent. Next year                  The Congress Working Committee conveys it heartfelt condolences to
it should be lesser than that. n
                                                     his family members, associates and well-wishers.” n

www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                        MARCH 2011 • 19
                          The Candidates selected by the Central Election Committee
                            for the ensuing election to the Legislative Assemblies

                  ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS - 2011
Sno. Const. Name & No.     Candidate Name            Phase   63    Chapaguri (ST) 63       Bikram Singh Brahma        2
1    Ratabari (SC) 1       Kripanath Mallah            1     64    Panery 64               Santiuse Kujur             2
2    Patharkandi 2         Monilal Gowala              1     65    Kalaigaon 65            Rupa Rani Bhuyan           2
3    Karimganj North 3     Kamalakhya D. Purkayastha   1     66    Sipajhar 66             Binanda Kumar Saikia       2
4    Karimganj South 4     Siddeque Ahmed              1     67    Mangaldoi (SC) 67       Basanta Das                2
5    Badarpur 5            Jamal Uddin Ahmed           1     68    Dalgaon 68              Illias Ali                 2
6    Hailakandi 6          Abdul Muhib Mazumdar        1     69    Udalgiri (ST) 69        Bisti Kumar Basumatary     2
7    Katlicherra 7         Gautam Roy                  1     70    Majbat 70               Jitu Kissan                2
8    Algapur 8             Rahul Roy                   1     71    Dhekiajuli 71           Habul Chakraborty          1
9    Silchur 9             Sushmita Devi               1     72    Barchalla 72            Tanka Bahadur Rai          1
10 Sonai 10                Anamul Haque                1     73    Tezpur 73               Rajenbor Thakur            1
11 Dholai (SC) 11          Girindra Molik              1     74    Rangapara 74            Bhimananda Tanti           1
12 Udharband 12            Ajit Singh                  1     75    Sootea 75               Hiranya Bora               1
13 Lakhipur 13             Dinesh Prasad Goala         1     76    Biswanath 76            Nurjamal Sarkar            1
14 Barkhola 14             Dr. Rumi Nath               1     77    Behali 77               Pallab Lochan Das          1
15 Katigora 15             Anwarul Haque               1     78    Gohpur 78               Ms Monika Bora             1
16 Haflong (ST) 16         Govinda Ch. Langthasa       1     79    Jagiroad (SC) 79        Bibekananda Dalai          2
17 Bokajan (ST) 17         Klengdoon Engti             1     80    Marigaon 80             Mrs. Jonjonali Baruah      2
18 Howraghat (ST) 18       Khor Sing Engti             1     81    Laharighat 81           Dr. Nazrul Islam           2
19 Diphu (ST) 19           Bidya Sing Engti            1     82    Raha (SC) 82            Pijush Hazarika            2
20 Baithalangso (ST) 20    Dr. Mansing Rongpi          1     83    Dhing 83                Dr. Idris Ali              2
21 Manakchar 21            Dr. Motiur Rohman Mondal    2     84    Batadroba 84            Gautam Bora                2
22 Salmara South 22        Wazed Ali Choudhury         2     85    Rupohihat 85            Salma Jasmine              2
23 Dhubri 23               Nazibul Umar                2     86    Nowgong 86              Dr. Durlav Chamua          2
24 Gauripur 24             Mohibul Haque               2     87    Barhampur 87            Suresh Borah               2
25 Golakganj 25            Abu Taher Bepari            2     88    Samaguri 88             Rockybul Hussain           2
26 Bilasipara West 26      Ali Akbor Miah              2     89    Kaliabor 89             Tapan Kumar Borah          2
27 Bilasipara East 27      Bharati Baruah              2     90    Jamunamukh 90           Rejaul Karim Chowdhury     2
28 Gossaigaon 28           Chrisostom Tudu             2     91    Hojai 91                Dr. Ardhendu Kumar Dey     2
29 Kokrajhar West (ST) 29 Reena Brahma                 2     92    Lumding 92              Shefali Dey                2
30 Kokrajhar East (ST) 30 Rajeswar Brahma              2     93    Bokakhat 93             Arun Phukan                1
31 Sidli 31                Supriya Rani Brahma         2     94    Sarupathar 94           Arkillias Tirkey           1
32 Bongaigaon 32           Prabhat Baisnab             2     95    Golaghat 95             Ajanta Neog                1
33 Bijni 33                Khalilur Rehman             2     96    Khumtai 96              Bismita Gogoi              1
34 Abhyapuri North 34      Abdul Hai Nagori            2     97    Dergao (SC) 97          Arati Hazarika Kachari     1
35 Abhyapuri South (ST) 35 Chandan Kumar Sarkar        2     98    Jorhat 98               Rana Goswami               1
36 Dudhnai (ST) 36         Sibcharan Basumatary        2     99    Majuli (ST) 99          Rajiv Lochan Pegu          1
37 Goalpara East 37        Dulai Chandra Ghosh         2     100   Titabar 100             Tarun Gogoi                1
38 Goalpara West 38        Abdur Rashid Mandal         2     101   Marianai 101            Rupjyoti Kurmi             1
39 Jaleswar 39             Aftab Uddin Mollah          2     102   Teok 102                Membar Gogoi               1
40 Sorbhog                 Abdus Samad Ahmad           2     103   Amguri 103              Anjan Dutta                1
41 Bhabanipur 41           Dr. Manjushree Pathak       2     104   Nazira 104              Dr. Debabrata Saikia       1
42 Patacharkuchi 42        Dr. Malaya Barman           2     105   Mahmara 105             Sarat Saikia               1
43 Barpeta 43              Abdul Kayem                 2     106   Sonari 106              Sarat Barkotoky            1
44 Jania 44                Abdul Khaleque              2     107   Thowra 107              Sushanta Borgohain         1
45 Baghbar 45              Rajib Ahmed                 2     108   Sibsagar 108            Pranab Gogoi               1
46 Sarukhetri 46           Dr. Tara Prasad Das         2     109   Bihpuria 109            Bhupen Kumar Borah         1
47 Chenga 47               Sukur Ali Ahmed             2     110   Naoboicha 110           Sanjay Raj Subba           1
48 Boko (SC) 48            Jayanta Das                 2     111   Lakhimpur 111           Ghana Buragohain           1
                                                             112   Dhakuakhana (ST) 112    Bharat Chandra Nath        1
49 Chaygaon 49             Rekibuddin Ahmed            2
                                                             113   Dhemaji ST) 113         Sumitra Doley Patir        1
50 Palasbari 50            Smt. Niva Sharma Thakuria   2
                                                             114   Jonai (ST) 114          Pradan Baruah              1
51 Jalukbari 51            Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma     2
                                                             115   Moran 115               Mrs. Jibon Tara Ghatowar   1
52 Dispur 52               Akon Bora                   2
                                                             116   Dibrugarh 116           Dr. Kalyan Kumar Gogoi     1
53 Gauhati East 53         Capt. Robin Bordoloi        2
                                                             117   Lahowal 117             Prithibi Majhi             1
54 Gauhati West 54         Hemanta Talukdar            2
                                                             118   Dhuliajan 118           Smt. Amiya Gogoi           1
55 Hajo 55                 Kirip Chaliha               2     119   Tingkhong 119           Atuwa Munda                1
56 Kamalpur 56             Uttara Kalita               2     120   Nahar Katia 120         Pranatee Phukan            1
57 Rangiya 57              Ghanashyam Kalita           2     121   Chabua 121              Raju Sahu                  1
58 Tamulpur 58             Chandi Basumatary           2     122   Tinsukia 122            Rajendra Prasad Singh      1
59 Nalbari 59              Jayanta Malla Baruah        2     123   Digboi 123              Rameswar Dhanowar          1
60 Barkhetry 60            Dr. Bhumidhar Barman        2     124   Margherita 124          Pradyut Bordoloi           1
61 Dharmapur 61            Nilamani Sen Deka           2     125   Doom Dooma 125          Rupesh Gowala              1
62 Barama (ST) 62          Pani Ram Rabha              2     126   Sadiya 126              Bolin Chetia               1
MARCH 2011 • 20                                                                           www.congresssandesh.com
        Schedule for holding General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Assam
  S.No.                        Poll Event                           1st Phase (62Acs)            2nd Phase (64 Acs)
    1                    Issue of Notification                    10.3.2011 (Thursday)            18.3.2011 (Friday)
    2             Last date for making Nominations                17.3.2011 (Thursday)            25.3.2011 (Friday)
    3                  Scrutiny of Nominations                      18.3.2011 (Friday)          26.3.2011 (Saturday)
    4           Last date of withdrawal of candidature             21.3.2011 (Monday)            28.3.2011 (Monday)
    5                         Date of Poll                          4.4. 2011 (Friday)           11.4.2011 (Monday)
    6                      Counting of Votes                        13.5.2011 (Friday)            13.5.2011 (Friday)
    7          Date before which election process shall          18.5.2011 (Wednesday)          18.5.2011 Wednesday)
                             be completed

Sno.   Const. Name & No.        Candidate Name           Phase   29   Chittur 58            K. Achuthan                   1
1      Uduma 3                  C. K. Sreedharan           1     30   Chelakkara - SC 61    K. B. Sasikumar               1
2      Kanhangad 4              M. C. Jose                 1     31   Manalur 64            P. A. Madhavan                1
3      Trikaripur 5             K. V. Gangadharan          1     32   Wadakkancherry 65     C. N. Balakrishnan            1
4      Payyannur 6              K. Brijesh Kumar           1     33   Ollur 66              M. P. Vincent                 1
5      Kalliasseri 7            Adv. Indira                1     34   Thrissur 67           Therambil Ramakrishnan        1
6      Irikkur 9                K. C. Joseph               1     35   Puthukkad 71          K. P. Viswanathan             1
7      Kannur 11                A. P. Abdulla Kutty        1     36   Chalakudy 72          Benny K. T.                   1
8      Dharmadam 12             Mamparam Divakaran         1     37   Kodungallur 73        T. N. Prathapan               1
9      Thalassery 13            Rijil Mukkuti              1     38   Perumbavoor 74        Jaison Joseph                 1
10     Peravoor 16              Adv. Sunny Joseph          1     39   Aluva 76              Anwar Sadath                  1
11     Mananthavady - ST 17     Smt. P. K. Jayalakshmi     1     40   Paravur 78            V. D. Satheesan               1
12     Sulthanbathery - ST 18   I. C. Balakrishnan         1     41   Vypeen 79             Ajay Tharayil                 1
13     Nadapuram 22             V. M. Chandran             1     42   Kochi 80              Dominic Presentation          1
14     Quilandy 23              K. P. Anil Kumar           1     43   Tripunithura 81       K. Babu                       1
15     Balusseri - SC 25        A. Balaram                 1     44   Ernakulam 82          Hibi Eden                     1
16     Kozhikode North 27       P. V. Gangadharan          1     45   Thrikkakara 83        Benny Behanan                 1
17     Beypore 29               Adam Munshi                1     46   Kunnathunad - SC 84   V. P. Sajeendran              1
18     Nilambur 35              Aryadan Mohammed           1     47   Muvattupuzha 86       Joseph Vazhakkan              1
19     Wandoor - SC 36          A. P. Anil Kumar           1     48   Devikulam - SC 88     A. K. Moni                    1
20     Thavanur 47              V. V. Prakash              1     49   Udumbachola 89        Jossy Sebastian               1
21     Ponnani 48               P. T. Ajay Mohan           1     50   Peerumade 92          Adv. E. M. Augusthy           1
22     Thrithala 49             V. T. Balaram              1     51   Vaikom - SC 95        A. Saneesh Kumar              1
23     Pattambi 50              C.P. Mohammed              1     52   Kottayam 97           Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan   1
24     Shoranur 51              Smt. Shanta Jayaram        1     53   Puthuppally 98        Oommen Chandy                 1
25     Ottappalam 52            V. K. Sreekandan           1     54   Aroor 102             A. A. Shukkoor                1
26     Kongad - SC 53           P. Swaminathan             1     55   Alappuzha 104         Adv. P. J. Mathew             1
27     Malampuzha 55            Mrs. Lathika Subhash       1     56   Ambalappuzha 105      Adv. M. Liju                  1
28     Palakkad 56              Shafi Parampil             1     57   Haripad 107           Ramesh Chennithala            1
                                                                 58   Kayamkulam 108        M. Murali                     1
                                                                 59   Chengannur 110        P. C. Vishnunath              1
  Schedule for holding General Election                          60   Ranni 112             Adv. Peelipose Thomas         1
  to the Legislative Assembly of Kerala                          61
                                                                      Aranmula 113
                                                                      Konni 114
                                                                                            Adv. K. Sivadasan Nair
                                                                                            Adv. Adoor Prakash
 S.No.          Poll Event               Dates (All 140Acs)      63   Adoor - SC 115        Pandalam Sudhakaran           1
                                                                 64   Kunnathur - SC 118    P. K. Ravi                    1
   1       Issue of Notification       19.3.2011 (Saturday)
                                                                 65   Punalur 121           Johnson Abraham               1
   2             Last date             26.3.2011 (Saturday)      66   Chadayamangalam 122 Mrs. Shaheeda Kamal             1
                for making                                       67   Kundara 123           Adv. P. Jermias               1
               Nominations                                       68   Kollam 124            K. C. Rajan                   1
                                                                 69   Chathannoor 126       Adv. Bindu Krishna            1
   3            Scrutiny of             28.3.2011 (Monday)       70   Varkala 127           Varkala Kahar                 1
               Nominations                                       71   Attingal - SC 128     Mrs.Thankamony Divakaran      1
                                                                 72   Chirayinkeezhu 129    K. Vidyadharan                1
   4           Last date of           30.3.2011 (Wednesday)
                                                                 73   Nedumangad 130        Palode Ravi                   1
              withdrawal of                                      74   Vamanapuram 131       C. Mohanachandran             1
              candidature                                        75   Kazhakkoottam 132     M. A. Waheed                  1
   5            Date of Poll             13.4. 2011 (Friday)     76   Vattiyoorkavu 133     K. Muralidharan               1
                                                                 77   Thiruvananthapuram134 V. S. Sivakumar               1
   6        Counting of Votes            13.5.2011 (Friday)      78   Aruvikkara 136        G. Karthikeyan                1
   7       Date before which          18.5.2011 (Wednesday)      79   Parassala 137         A. T. George                  1
                                                                 80   Kattakkada 138        N. Sakthan                    1
            election process
                                                                 81   Kovalam 139           George Mercier                1
           shall be completed                                    82   Neyyathinkara 140     Thamponoor Ravi               1
www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                 MARCH 2011 • 21
Sno.   Const. Name & No.      Candidate Name           Phase
1      Thirubhuvanai - SC 2   M. Ponnusamy               1      Schedule for holding General Election to
2      Mangalam 4             C. Djeacoumar              1      the Legislative Assembly of Puducherry
3      Villianur 5            A. Namasivayam             1
4      Kardirgamam 7          V. Pethaperumal            1       S.No.            Poll Event              Dates (All 30Acs)
5      Indira Nagar 8         V. Aroumougam              1           1       Issue of Notification      19.3.2011 (Saturday)
6      Kamraj Nagar 10        V. Vaithilingam            1
                                                                     2      Last date for making       26.3.2011 (Saturday)
7      Lawspet 11             V. P. Sivakozhundu         1
8      Kalapet 12             MOHF Shahjahan             1                     Nominations
9      Raj Bhawan 14          K. Latchuminarayanan       1           3            Scrutiny of           28.3.2011 (Monday)
10     Ariankuppam 19         T. Jayamurthy              1                       Nominations
11     Embalam - SC 21        M. Kandasamy               1
12     Nettapakkam - SC 22    S. Muthukumarasamy         1           4           Last date of         30.3.2011 (Wednesday)
13     Bahour 23              R. Radhakrishnan           1                      withdrawal of
14     Thirunallar 25         R. Kamalakannan            1                      candidature
15     Karaikal North 26      PRN Thirumurugan           1
                                                                     5            Date of Poll           13.4. 2011 (Friday)
16     Mahe 29                E. Valsaraj                1
17     Yanam 30               Malladi Krishna Rao        1           6        Counting of Votes          13.5.2011 (Friday)
                                                                     7       Date before which        18.5.2011 (Wednesday)
                                                                              election process
                                                                             shall be completed

Sno.   Const. Name & No.         Candidate Name         Phase
1      Tiruttani 3               Dr. ESS Raman            1     Schedule for holding General Election to
2      Poonamallee - SC 5        K. G. V. Mathiyazhagan   1     the Legislative Assembly of Tamilnadu
3      Avadi 6                   R. Damodharan            1
4      Thiru-Vi-Ka-Nagar-SC 15   Dr. C. Natesan           1      S.No.            Poll Event             Dates (All 234Acs)
5      Royapuram 17              R. Manohar               1          1       Issue of Notification      19.3.2011 (Saturday)
6      Anna Nagar 21             V. K. Arivalagan         1
7      Thiyagarayanagar 24       Dr. A. Chellakumar       1          2      Last date for making       26.3.2011 (Saturday)
8      Mylapore 25               K.V. Thangabalu          1                    Nominations
9      Alandur 28                Dr. Gayathri Devi        1          3            Scrutiny of           28.3.2011 (Monday)
10     Sriperumbudur - SC 29     Mrs. D. Yasodha          1
11     Madurantakam - SC 35      Dr. K. Jayakkumar        1                      Nominations
12     Sholingur 39              Arul Anbarasu            1          4           Last date of         30.3.2011 (Wednesday)
13     Vellore 43                C. Gnanasekaran          1                     withdrawal of
14     Ambur 48                  J. Vijay Elanchezhiyan   1                     candidature
15     Krishanagiri 53           Mrs Haseena Syed         1
16     Hosur 55                  K. Gopinath              1          5            Date of Poll           13.4. 2011 (Friday)
17     Chengam - SC 62           S. Selva Perunthagai     1
                                                                     6        Counting of Votes          13.5.2011 (Friday)
18     Kalasapakkam 65           P. S. Vijayakumar        1
19     Cheyyar 68                Dr. M.K. Vishnuprasath   1          7       Date before which        18.5.2011 (Wednesday)
20     Rishivandiyam 78          S. Sivaraj               1                   election process
21     Attur - SC 82             S. K. Arthinarai         1                  shall be completed
22     Selem (North) 89          G. Jayaprakash           1
23     Tiruchengodu 96           M. R. Sundaram           1     44       Peravurani 177            K. Mahendran               1
24     Erode (West) 99           M. Yuvaraj               1     45       Thirumayam 181            Rama Subburam              1
25     Modakkurichi 100          R. M. Palanisamy         1     46       Aranthangi 183            S. Thirunavukarasu         1
26     Kangayam 102              Vidiyal S. Sekar         1     47       Karaikudi 184             K. R. Ramasamy             1
27     Udhagamandalam 108        R. Ganesh                1     48       Sivaganga 186             V. Rajasekaran             1
28     Avanashi - SC 112         A. R. Natarajan          1     49       Madurai (North) 191       K. S. K. Rajendran         1
29     Tiruppur (South) 114      K. Senthil Kumar         1     50       Madurai (South) 192       S. P. Varadharajan         1
30     Thondamuthur 119          M. N. Kandasamy          1     51       Thiruparankundram 195     C. R. Sundararajan         1
31     Singanallur 121           Mayura Jayakumar         1     52       Virudhunagar 206          Naveen Armstrong           1
32     Valparai - SC 124         Kovai Thangam            1     53       Paramakudi - SC 209       K. V. R. Ramprabhu         1
33     Nilakkottai - SC 130      S. T. Rajangam           1     54       Ramanathapuram 211        K. H. Hassan Ali           1
34     Vedasandur 133            M. Dhandapani            1     55       Vilathikulam 213          K. Perumalasamy            1
35     Karur 135                 Ms. Jothi Mani           1     56       Srivaikuntam 216          M. B. Sudalaiyandi         1
36     Manapparai 138            Dr. S. Subasomu          1     57       Vasudevanallur - SC 220   S. Ganesan                 1
37     Musiri 145                M. Rajasekaran           1     58       Kadayanallur 221          S. Peter Alphonse          1
38     Ariyalur 149              Palai T. Amaramurthi     1     59       Nanguneri 227             H. Vasanthakumar           1
39     Vriddhachalam 152         Neethe Rajan             1     60       Radhapuram 228            P. Veldurai                1
40     Mayiladuthurai 161        S. Rajkumar              1     61       Colachel 231              J. G. Prince               1
41     Thiuthuraipondi -SC 166   P. Chelladurai           1     62       Vilavancode 233           Mrs. S. Vijayadharani      1
42     Papanasam 172             M. Ramkumar              1     63       Killiyoor 234             John Jacob                 1
43     Pattukkottai 176          N. R. Rangarajan         1
MARCH 2011 • 22                                                                                www.congresssandesh.com
Sno.Const. Name & No.         Candidate Name         Phase      33   Lalgola 61            Abu Hena                   2
1 Mekliganj - SC 1            Jayanta Roy              1        34   Raninagar 63          Mrs. Firoza Begum          2
2 Sitai - SC 6                Keshab Roy               1        35   Murshidabad 64        Shouni Sinha Roy           2
3 Alipurduars 12              D. P. Ray                1        36   Nabagram - SC 65      Prabal Sarkar              2
4 Madarihat - ST 14           Atul Subba               1        37   Khargram - Sc 66      Ashish Marjit              2
5 Jalpaiguri - SC 17          Sukhabilas Barma         1        38   Burwan - SC 67        Mrs. Pratima Rajak         2
6 Mal-St 20                   Harimohan Oran           1        39   Kandi 68              Apurba Sarkar              2
7 Nagrakata - ST 21           Joseph Munda             1        40   Bharatpur 69          Mrs. Dalia Begum           2
8 Kalimpong 22                Santi Kumar Sharma       1        41   Rajinagar 70          Humayun Kabir              2
9 Darjeeling 23               Nakul Chhetri            1        42   Beldanga 71           Md. Safiujjaman            2
10 Kurseong 24                Chhabi Rai               1        43   Baharampur 72         Manoj Chakraborty          2
11 Matigara Naxalbari-SC 25   Sankar Malakar           1        44   Naoda 74              Abu Taher Khan             2
12 Phansidewa - ST 27         Sunil Chandra Tirkey     1        45   Domkal 75             Soumik Hossain             2
13 Goalpokhar 30              Md. Ghulam Rabbani       1        46   Santipur 86           Ajoy Dey                   2
14 Chakulia 31                Sirazul Islam            1        47   Baduria 99            Quazi Abdu Gaffar          3
15 Karandighi 32              Subhash Goswami          1        48   Basanti - SC 128      Arnab Roy                  3
16 Kaliaganj - SC 34          Prof. Pramatha N. Roy    1        49   Chnning Purba 139     Ibrahim Molla              3
17 Raiganj 35                 Mohit Sengupta           1        50   Amta 181              Asit Mitra                 4
18 Kushmandi - SC 37          Partha Sarathi Sarkar    1        51   Goghat - SC 201       Debasish Medda             4
19 Gazole - SC 44             Sushil Roy               1        52   Kharagpur Sadar 224   Gayan Singh Sohanpal       5
20 Chanchal 45                Asif Mehbob              1        53   Sabang 226            Dr. Manas Bhunia           5
21 Harischandrapur 46         Mustak Alam              1        54   Garbeta - ST 233      Mrs. Hema Choubey          6
22 Ratua 48                   Samar Mukherjee          1        55   Keshpur - SC 235      Rajani Kanta               5
23 Maldaha - SC 50            Bhupendra N. Haldar      1        56   Binpur - ST 237       Smt. Chunibala Hansda      6
24 English Bazar 51           Krishnendu N.Chowdhury 1          57   Bandwan - ST 238      Sital Hembram              6
25 Mothabari 52               Mrs. Shabina Yasmin      1        58   Baghmundi - ST 240    Nepal Mahata               6
26 Sujapur 53                 Abu Naser K. Choudhury   1        59   Para - SC 245         Umapado Bauri              5
27 Baisnabnagar 54            Isha Khan Choudhury      1        60   Taldangra 251         Arun Kumar Pathak          6
28 Farakka 55                 Mainul Haque             2        61   Katulpur - SC 256     Soumitra Khan              5
29 Samserganj 56              Mrs. Mousumi Begum       2        62   Katwa 270             Rabindra Nath Chatterjee   4
30 Suti 57                    Imani Biswas             2        63   Ausgram - SC 273      Chanchal Mondol            4
31 Jangipur 58                Md. Sorab                2        64   Hansan 292            Asit Mal                   2
32 Raghunathganj 59           Md. Akhruzzaman          2        65   Nalhati 293           Abhijit Mukherjee          2

  Schedule for holding General Election to the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal
 S.No.     Poll Event      1st Phase      2nd Phase          3th Phase        4th Phase     5th Phase        6th Phase
                            (62Acs)        (64 Acs)           (64 Acs)         (64 Acs)      (64 Acs)         (64 Acs)
  1        Issue of        24.3.2011      30.3.2011           2.4.2011          7.4.2011    11.4.2011        14.4.2011
          Notification    (Thursday)     (Wednesday)         (Saturday)       (Thursday)    (Monday)        (Thursday)
  2        Last date       31.3.2011       6.4.2011           9.4.2011         14.4.2011    18.4.2011        21.4.2011
          for making      (Thursday)     (Wednesday)         (Saturday)       (Thursday)    (Monday)        (Thursday)
  3       Scrutiny of      2.4.2011         7.4.2011         11.4.2011         16.4.2011    19.4.2011        23.4.2011
         Nominations      (Saturday)      (Thursday)         (Monday)         (Saturday)    (Tuesday)       (Saturday)
  4       Last date of      4.4.2011       9.4.2011       13.4.2011           18.4.2011     21.4.2011        25.4.2011
         withdrawal of     (Monday)       (Saturday)     (Wednesday)          (Monday)     (Thursday)        (Monday)
  5       Date of Poll     18.4. 2011      23.4.2011       27.4.2011           3.5.2011     7.5.2011         10.5.2011
                           (Monday)       (Saturday)     (Wednesday)          (Tuesday)    (Saturday)        (Tuesday)
  6       Counting of      13.5.2011       13.5.2011         13.5.2011        13.5.2011     13.5.2011        13.5.2011
             Votes          (Friday)        (Friday)          (Friday)         (Friday)      (Friday)         (Friday)
  7       Date before      18.5.2011      18.5.2011       18.5.2011           18.5.2011     18.5.2011       18.5.2011
         which election   (Wednesday)    (Wednesday)     (Wednesday)         (Wednesday)   (Wednesday)     (Wednesday)
         process shall
         be completed

www.congresssandesh.com                                                                              MARCH 2011 • 23
                  CWC, AICC office-bearers

            The Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi has on 4th March, 2011, reconstituted the
      Congress Working Committee, team of Office Bearers of the AICC and assigned the work as under:

         CWC MEMBERS                   13.    Shri Jagdish Tytler                    SECRETARIES
                                       14.    Shri Jagmeet Singh Brar      1.     Shri Abdul Mannan Ansari
1.      Smt. Sonia Gandhi, President
                                       15.    Shri Luizinho Faleiro        2.     Shri Anees Ahmed
2.      Dr. Manmohan Singh             16.    Shri Mohan Prakash           3.     Shri Ashok Tanwar, MP
3.      Shri Pranab Mukherjee          17.    Shri Gulchain Singh Charak   4.     Shri Avinash Pande, MP
4.      Shri A. K. Antony
                                                                           5.     Shri Bhakta Charan Das, MP
5.      Shri Rahul Gandhi                  SPECIAL INVITEES, CWC           6.     Shri Mirza Irshad Baig
6.      Shri Motilal Vora              1      Shri G. Sanjeeva Reddy       7.     Shri Jayadev Jena
7.      Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad          2      Shri Mohinder Singh Kaypee   8.     Shri Jitendra Singh, MP
8.      Shri Digvijaya Singh           3      Shri Anil Shastri            9.     Shri K. Jayakumar
9.      Shri Janardan Dwivedi          4      Shri Nirmal Khatri           10.    Shri K. B. Krishnamurthy
10.     Shri Oscar Fernandes           5      Shri Raj Babbar              11.    Shri Manish Chatrath
11.     Shri Mukul Wasnik                     OFFICE BEARERS               12.    Ms. Meenakshi Natarajan, MP
12.     Shri B. K. Hariprasad                                              13.    Shri P. Sudhakar Reddy
                                       TREASURER : Shri Motilal Vora
13.     Shri Birender Singh                                                14.    Shri Parvez Hashmi, MP
14.     Shri Dhani Ram Shandil              GENERAL SECRETARIES            15.    Shri Praveen Rashtrapal
15.     Shri Madhusudan Mistry         1.     Shri Rahul Gandhi            16.    Smt. Priya Dutt, MP
16.     Shri Ahmed Patel               2.     Shri B. K. Hariprasad        17.    Shri R. C. Khuntia, MP
17.     Smt. Ambika Soni               3.     Shri Birender Singh          18.    Shri Sagar Rayka
18.     Smt. Hemo Prova Saikia                                             19.    Shri Sanjay Bapna
                                       4.     Shri Digvijaya Singh
19.     Smt. Sushila Tiriya                                                20.    Shri Sanjay Bhoi
                                       5.     Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad
                                                                           21.    Shri Sanjay Nirupam, MP
                                       6.     Shri Janardan Dwivedi
  PERMANENT INVITEES,                                                      22.    Ms. Shanimol Usman
                                       7.     Shri Madhusudan Mistry
        CWC                                                                23.    Shri Shantaram Naik
                                       8.     Shri Mukul Wasnik
                                                                           24.    Shri Tarachand Bhagora, MP
1.      Shri Arjun Singh               9.     Shri Oscar Fernandes         25.    Shri V. Hanumantha Rao, MP
2.      Smt. Mohsina kidwai
                                                                           26.    Maj. Ved Prakash
3.      Shri P. Chidambaram                  CWC MEMBERS I/C               27.    Shri Vinay Kumar Sorake
4.      Dr. Karan Singh                1.     Shri Dhani Ram Shandil       28.    Shri Vivek Bansal
5.      Shri M. L. Fotedar             2.     Shri Gulchain Singh Charak
6.      Shri R. K. Dhawan
7.      Shri S. C. Jamir
                                       3.     Shri Jagdish Tytler                Secretaries - Unattached
                                       4.     Shri Jagmeet Singh Brar      1.     Shri Avtar Singh Bhadana
8.      Shri Shivajirao Deshmukh
9.      Shri Beni Prasad Verma         5.     Shri Luizinho Faleiro        2.     Shri Deepak Babaria
10.     Shri M. V. Rajasekharan        6.     Shri Mohan Prakash           3.     Ms. Vijay Lakshmi Sadho, MP
11.     Shri Ajit Jogi                 7.     Smt. Mohsina Kidwai          4.     Ms. Asha Kumari
12.     Shri Shakeel Ahmed             8.     Shri Shakeel Ahmed           5.     Shri Pankaj Sharma

MARCH 2011 • 24                                                                  www.congresssandesh.com
Name of the GS/IC                 Secretaries Attached       Allocation of responsibilities
Shri Motilal Vora, Treasurer      Shri Manish Chatrath       Administration
Shri Rahul Gandhi, GS             Shri Jitendra Singh        Youth Congress, NSUI
                                  Ms. Meenakshi Natarajan
                                  Ms. Shanimol Usman
Shri B. K. Hariprasad, GS         Shri V. Hanumantha Rao,    Madhya Pradesh,
                                  Shri Tarachand Bhagora     Chhattisgarh, Haryana
Ch. Birender Singh, GS            Shri Bhakta Charan Das     Delhi, Himachal Pradesh,
                                  Shri Anees Ahmed           Uttarakhand
Shri Digvijaya Singh, GS          Shri Pervez Hasmi          Uttar Pradesh, Assam,
                                  Shri Avinash Pande         Publicity and Publication
Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, GS         Shri Shantaram Naik        Tamilnadu, Puducherry,
                                  Shri K. B. Krishnamurthy   Andhra Pradesh
Shri Janardan Dwivedi, GS         Shri Jayadev Jena          Organisation, Organisational
                                                             Elections, Training Programme
                                                             / Co-ordination
Shri Madhusudan Mistry, GS        Shri Sanjay Nirupam        Karnataka, Kerala,
Shri Mukul Wasnik, GS             Shri Vivek Bansal          Rajasthan
Shri Oscar Fernandes, GS          Shri Sanjay Bhoi           AICC Meetings, Sessions,
                                                             CWC & CEC, AICC
Shri Dhani Ram Shandil, I/C       Shri Sanjay Bapna          Arunachal Pradesh,
                                                             Meghalaya, Mizoram
Shri Gulchain Singh Charak, I/C   Shri Praveen Rashtrapal    Bihar, Punjab, Chandigarh
Shri Jagdish Tytler, I/C          Shri Mirza Irshad Baig     Orissa, Congress Seva Dal
Shri Jagmeet Singh Brar, I/C      Shri P. Sudhakar Reddy     Goa, Daman & Diu, Dadra &
                                                             Nagar Haveli
Shri Luizinho Faleiro, I/C        Maj. Ved Prakash           Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland,
                                  Shri K. Jayakumar          Tripura
Shri Mohan Prakash, I/C           Shri Abdul Mannan Ansari   Maharashtra, Gujarat,
                                  Shri Ashok Tanwar          Jammu & Kashmir
Smt. Mohsina Kidwai, I/C          Smt. Priya Dutt            Mahila Congress
Shri Shakeel Ahmed, I/C           Shri R. C. Khuntia         West Bengal, A&N Islands,
                                  Shri Sagar Rayka           Jharkhand
www.congresssandesh.com                                                    MARCH 2011 • 25

            The Great Dandi
   T    his was not the first time that Mohandas
        Karamchand Gandhi had decided to lead a march.
                                                                decision was taken, he not only
                                                                plunged into the preparations but,
                                                                typically,	gave	the	campaign	its	first	
    A great column of over 2000 men, women and children
had moved in 1913 under his lead from Natal across the          propulsion. ‘Putting Sardar Patel            GopalKrishna
Transvaal border to break a ban on Indians travelling from      out of the way’ became the Surat
one South African province to another, and to protest           District Administration’s priority
against a law that rendered all marriages barring those         because it knew that in a salt-based
under Christian aegis as illegal. The result, coming with       satyagraha in Gujarat, Sardar Patel would be the salt’s
the Relief of Indians Act, was dramatic.                        very savour.
    His work among the indigo peasants in Champaran,                The Sardar was touring the area to determine the best
Bihar in 1917 and among Kheda’s peasants in Gujarat the         route to the salt-laden coast and to alert the peasantry,
following year saw him trudging the dusty trail again.          already ‘trained’ by the Bardoli satyagraha, for the coming
Both those roads led to the removal of the peasants’            campaign, when villagers in the Surat village of Raas
grievances within some six months.                              engaged	 him	 on	 March	 7	 (five	 days	 before	 Gandhiji’s	
                                                                column started from Sabarmati) in eager conversation.
    The 24 days during which he led a column of 80
                                                                “How many in Raas are ready for prison?” the Sardar
satyagrahis traversing 241 miles from Sabarmati to the
                                                                asked. About two hundred came forward. “Are the
Surat coastline to break the salt laws did not yield such
                                                                women ready too?” A group of them, young and old, said
results. Though raw salt was lifted ‘illegally’ by Gandhiji
                                                                they were. Later, when he was about to rise to address
and his followers and though ‘contraband’ salt was made
                                                                the	 villagers	 of	 Raas,	 an	 order	 was	 brought	 by	 a	 first	
and sold, the salt laws stayed and the salt tax was not
                                                                class magistrate forbidding him to address any meeting
repealed. And yet the salt march culminating at Dandi on
                                                                in the district. After the Sardar went through the paper
April 6, 1930 is regarded as the most electrifying of all his
                                                                the Magistrate asked him, “What do you intend to do?”
satyagrahic campaigns, with Jawaharlal Nehru saying “it
                                                                Came the answer, “I will ignore the notice and speak.”
seemed as though a spring had been suddenly released.”
                                                                Before he could utter a single word to the gathering, the
    The choice of salt for his campaign had initially           future	Home	Minister	of	India,	the	country’s	first	to	hold	
evoked derision. The Statesman	wrote:	“It	is	difficult	not	     that	office,	was	asked	to	follow	the	posse	of	policemen.	
to laugh, and we imagine that will be the mood of most          Rajmohan Gandhi writes in his biography of the Sardar:
thinking Indians.” The Congress leadership too had been         “Patel rose from his seat, farewelled the audience and
ambivalent, with Motilal and Jawaharlal Nehru being             stepped smiling and laughing into the police car.”
initially unpersuaded and Gandhiji’s ‘right arm,’ Sardar
                                                                    The campaign had started.
Vallabhbhai Patel, who wanted a land revenue boycott
instead, not concealing his scepticism of salt.                     What made this campaign different from earlier ones?
    C. Rajagopalachari saw both the logic and the magic             Earlier campaigns had been sharply focussed on
of his leader’s decision. Speaking at Sholanur, C.R. said:      issues that were as vital, but with all their voltage, were
“You may say, hello, this is a funny thing. All along he        still of local import. Dandi, despite being geographically
was telling [us] that if we made khaddar we will get            identifiable	with	a	particular	district,	a	specific	stretch	of	
swaraj, now he says we must make salt also...” And then         coast, and a particular spot on that coast, yet straddled
at Tuticorin explained in detail why this “funny thing”         the nation. This was by virtue of its being centred on an
was not funny at all. “Suppose,” C.R. said, “a people rise      object that all of India related to. That a gift of nature, salt,
in revolt. They cannot attack the abstract constitution or      could be turned into a government-controlled commercial
lead an army against proclamations and statutes...Civil         monopoly suddenly seemed unacceptable. And non-
disobedience has to be directed against the salt tax or the     violent but strident resistance of that monopolisation also
land tax or some other particular point — not that that is      suddenly seemed logical and in fact vital.
our	final	end,	but	for	the	time	being	it	is	our	aim,	and	we	        Gandhiji utilised the march to breach some things other
must shoot straight.”                                           than the salt laws as well. One of these was the caste divide
    Gandhi’s ‘southern warrior’ then did a salt march from      in the villages en route. On his arrival in some villages he
Tiruchirappalli to the Tamil coastal village of Vedaranyam,     headed straight for the so-called ‘untouchable’ quarters
in spectacular sync with Dandi.                                 and drew water from the well there for his wash, making
                                                                his village hosts, often from ‘higher’ castes, to cross those
    Sardar Patel, we have noted, was not an initial
                                                                ancient and hurtful divides.
enthusiast for salt as a satyagrahic weapon. But once the
MARCH 2011 • 26                                                                           www.congresssandesh.com
    Another thing on his mind was the fragility of Hindu-Muslim equations                     But the more abiding ‘gift’ to
at the time. There were only two Muslim marchers in his team of 78, which                 Dandi needs also to be in terms of
later became 80. But the role he gave to Abbas Tyabji, as his alternative                 a ‘living memorial’ that enriches
‘leader,’ and his choice of the beachside home of Sirajuddin Vasi (locally
                                                                                          the quality of the life of the people
known as Shiraz Abdulla) as his place of stay in the village of Dandi sent a
                                                                                          of Dandi and the region, enabling
clear message. It was that the swaraj being fought for was to be for all India,
across religious denominations.                                                           them access to more drinking water,
    A	 third	 ‘bonus’	 of	 the	 campaign	 was	 the	 profiling	 it	 gave	 to	 women	       green energy. The march was sui
satyagrahis and thereby to the Indian woman. Gandhiji did not include                     generis. Its commemoration cannot
women among the marchers, but gave them roles along the campaign,                         be stereotypical.
with Kasturba setting the marchers off at Sabarmati, Sarojini Naidu being                    Which is why it is hope-giving
at	 hand	 the	 moment	 the	 first	 fistful	 of	 salt	 was	 lifted	 at	 Dandi	 on	April	   to see State and central authorities
6,1930, and the remarkable Parsi social worker Mithuben Petit standing just
                                                                                          planning a project at Dandi, which,
behind the Mahatma when he repeated the violation at Bhimrad three days
later. A memorable photograph captures the moment, Gandhiji stooping                      apart from a sculptural-cum-
to lift the salt crystals. And at different places, women like Kamaladevi                 architectural monument complex,
Chattopadhyay, Hansa Mehta, Amina Tyabji, and Rukmini Lakshmipathy                        will use solar power for lighting
broke the salt laws. Their example acquires a meaning of its own today as                 the venue and later generate solar
the nation moves dramatically ahead with what is popularly called the                     energy at Dandi, and give it a
Women’s Reservation Bill.                                                                 bioshield as well. The stretch of
    But beyond these, there are two other ‘Dandi achievements’ that need to               beach at Dandi today is no different
be recognised and studied for their contemporary salience.
                                                                                          from our coasts elsewhere. Need
    Dharasana, 25 miles south of Dandi, had a government salt depot. The                  one be surprised? The Gujarat
satyagrahis did a series of raids on this depot. The brutality with which the
                                                                                          Vidyapith at Ahmedabad, which
non-violent	raids	at	Dharasana	led	first	by	Abbas	Tyabji	and	then	by	Sarojini	
Naidu, with Gandhiji’s son Manilal Gandhi participating, was met showed,                  played a major role during the Dandi
in J.C. Kumarapppa’s words “the fangs and claws of the government in all                  campaign, is planning to collaborate
its ugliness.” But more astonishing than the state use of force against the               with the local authorities to see the
satyagrahis was the amazing self-discipline of the satyagrahis in the face of             Dandi beachline becoming, in time,
the repressive violence. Not one satyagrahi retaliated to the baton charges,              pristine.
often delivered from horseback.
                                                                                              With remarkable sensitivity, the
    Dandi	 and	 Dharasana	 exemplified	 Gandhiji’s	 non-violent	 methods	 of	
                                                                                          Archaeological Survey of India has,
protest based on the principle that “to kill for freedom will legitimise killing
after freedom.” They carry a meaning today that we cannot afford to miss.                 under the auspices of the Ministry of
                                                                                          Culture currently under the Prime
    The other abiding ‘Dandi achievement’ lies in an altogether different area.
Explaining “why salt?” Gandhiji said: “Next to air and water, salt is perhaps             Minister’s direct charge, restored
the greatest necessity of life.”                                                          the house at Dandi where Gandhiji
    Gandhiji was not a conscious ‘environmentalist.’ The term ‘ecology’ did               stayed. Its solar-illumining on April
not	figure	in	his	vocabulary.	But	the	fact	that	he	described	the	criticality	of	          6, 2010 by the Ministry of Renewable
salt	as	being	“next	to	air	and	water...”	assumes	an	enormous	significance.	At	            Energy will spotlight the multi-
a time when environmental pollution and the contamination of water sources                mode memorial.
are all too plain and can shock us into astonished disbelief, the attention paid
                                                                                              His pocket watch dangling at the
by Gandhiji to those two lifelines and then to the only inorganic material that
humans	and	animals	consume	carries	more	than	a	significance.	It	carries	a	                waist, Gandhi truly took time by
message and constitutes a mandate.                                                        the forelock at Dandi. The evolving
    There is no governmental monopoly over Indian salt today. But India,                  commemoration of that historic
like the rest of the world, is aware of the manner in which the industrial                event will also have to do more than
behemoths of the world hold nature’s gifts of air and water, of non-renewable             be in step with the times. It will have
resources, including land and its minerals, in a techno-commercial grip.                  to show the way to an ecologically
    Dandi gave India a gift of gifts in 1930. It is time, during this 80th                sustainable future where the gifts of
anniversary of that gifting, for India to give something to Dandi. This can               nature are not in thrall. n
and	should	be	in	terms	of	a	‘built’	commemoration	that	vivifies	the	Great	                      (The author is Chairman of the Dandi
March. Dandi would like to see such a memorial. Prime Minister Manmohan                         Memorial Committee constituted by the
Singh’s announcement in Dandi in April 2005 was to that effect. And the                       Government of India and the grandson of
                                                                                                                   Mahatma Gandhi)
Government of India and the Government of Gujarat are working towards
raising precisely such a complex.
www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                      MARCH 2011 • 27
                                                                                                secretary, said that due to delay in the
                                                                                                release of funds there is hurdle in the
                                                                                                development of the community. Prominent
                                                                                                among others present included Pt Mangat
                                                                                                Ram Sharma, Amrit Malhotra, Dharam
     AndHRA PRAdESH                             termed Gujjar-Bakerwals as the third            Pal Sharma, Hari Singh, Yash Pal Khajuria,
                                                largest ethnic group in the State which         Ravinder Sharma, Gurmukh Singh, Prem
Tributes to Maulana Azad                        constitute over 15 to 20 percent of the         Sagar, Swarn Lata, Mula Ram, Indu
     Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh                                                              Pawar, Bahsir Naz, Kuldeep Raj Verma,
                                                total population in the State. While
Congress Committee Linguistic Minority                                                          Ch. Rashid (NSUI), Shiv Kumar Sharma
                                                endorsing the claim of Minister for PHE
Cell observed the death anniversary of the                                                      (INTUC), Manjit Singh, Ch Hussain
                                                and Irrigation Shri Taj Mohi-ud-Din and
first education minister of India, Shri Abul                                                    Ali,Neeraj Gupta etc.
                                                senior Gujjar leader Shah Mohd., Prof
Kalam Azad here on 22 February, 2011.
     The Cell chairman, Shri Ashok Singh
                                                Soz said the role of this community in the            MAHARASHTRA
                                                formation of the government was crucial.
paid floral tributes to the leader by
                                                He asked the community to strengthen the
                                                                                                Free Medical camp
garlanding the photograph at the Gandhi                                                             Mumb ai: Dr. Nas e em A hmad,
                                                Congress Party and said that only this party
Bhawan here. Other present were Shri                                                            organizing secretary, North Mumbai
                                                can provide them the justice.
Murali Mohan Sing, Shri Prakash Chand                                                           Congress Committee organized a free
                                                    PCC chief regretted the delay being
Srivastav, Shri Sanjeev, Shri Syeed Afsar                                                       medical camp on the occasion of the
                                                caused every year in releasing the Sub
Ali, Shri Ashok Kumar Kimtee, Shri                                                              birthday of Prophet Mohammad here on
                                                Tribal Plan funds to the community
Santosh Singh and Shri Ashrith Kumar                                                            16 February, 2011.
                                                through Social Welfare Department and
Jaiswal.                                                                                            The camp was organized at the Mother
                                                assured that he will take up the issue
Tributes to Sarojini Naidu                                                                      Teressa High School which is accessible to
                                                vigorously with the Union Government
    Hyderabad: The Congressmen, under                                                           poor people from close-by Malwani slum.
                                                and the Chief Minister of the State.
the leadership of Shri Ashok Singh,             Taking note of the allegation that the
Chairman, the Andhra Pradesh Congress           STP funds are diverted to other sectors,
Committee Linguistic Minority Cell,             Prof. Soz assured the community to take
celebrated the 132nd birthday of late Smt.      total review of the matter and inform the
Sarojini Naidu here on 13th February,           Gujjar leaders accordingly. He further
2011.                                           assured to take up their issues regarding
    Smt. Naidu, who was the first woman         special recruitment and raising of Gujjar
President of the Indian National Congress,      Regiment, political reservation etc with
was also know as the Nightingale of             the concerned authorities.
India and was also the Governor of Uttar            Minister for PHE and Irrigation Taj
Pradesh.                                                                                        Around 150 heart patients were checked
                                                Mohi-ud-Din in his address appealed the
                                                                                                and of them 60 had their ECG done, 80
    Shri Ashok Singh garlanded the              Gujjars and Bakerwals to get united. He
                                                                                                got their X-ray taken and 90 had their
                                                said their vote power was very important
                                                                                                pathology tests done.
                                                and no government in the State can be
                                                                                                    The camp was held under cardiologist,
                                                framed without their support. Minister
                                                                                                Dr. Aaisa Bano with assistance from Dr.
                                                for Revenue and Relief, Shri Raman
                                                                                                Vakil Ahmad, Dr. Mukesh Bhatt, Dr.
                                                Bhalla while lauding the contribution
                                                                                                Necktian D. Natke, Dr. M. K. Jaman and
                                                of the Gujjars, described them as most
                                                                                                Dr. Sultan Ahmed.
                                                secular community. Minister for Medical
                                                Education, Shri R S Chib and Minister           11 Women honoured on
                                                for Health, Shri Sham Lal Sharma                International Women’s Day
                                                congratulated the community on the                 Thane: The Thane City Congress
photograph of Smt. Naidu and paid rich          occasion and said that they will provide full
floral tributes and recalled her services to                                                    C ommitte e C onsumer Prote c t ion
                                                support and assistance to the community         Department, led by its president, Smt. K.
the nation.                                     and resolve their burning issues.               Vrushali, organized Women’s Day here
    JAMMu & KASHMIR                                 Shri Madan Lal Sharma, MP also              on 8th March, 2011, the International
Gujjar community’s role crucial                 addressed the community and asked               Women’s Day, and honoured 11 women
                                                them to strengthen the Congress. He said
in Govt. formation: PCC chief                   the community was politically divided
    Jammu: Pradesh Congress Committee           and it was this reason that one Assembly
president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz has said         seat from Nagrota was provided to Gujjar
that participation of the Gujjar-Bakerwal       candidate on special request, lacked
community which constitutes about 20% of        adequate support from the community
the total population in the State was crucial   members and the BJP candidate won there.
in the formation of any government.             He stressed for unity among the people of
    Addressing one day Gujjar-Bakerwal          the community.
convention at Gurjar Desh Charitable                Earlier, Shah Mohd., PCC general
Trust here on 6th March, 2011, Prof. Soz
MARCH 2011 • 28                                                                                     www.congresssandesh.com
who excelled in their own way.                                                                Congress members had to cordon off the
    The women were honoured by the                                                            shop. The YC demanded and pressurized
City Congress Committee president, Shri                                                       the police to book these drug sellers, to
Balkrishan Purnekarji. The women that                                                         which they were initially hesitant. Later on
were honoured were Smt. Bhagyashree                                                           three persons were booked by the police. 
Gandhi (a blind with physiotherapy                                                                The Punjab Youth Congress launched
diploma); women driver who ferries                                                            this drive in Mohali, Ludhiana, Patiala,
children to school in her car; a deranged                                                     Amritsar & Moga districts of Punjab. The
women who was in hospital for ten years,                                                      D.Y.C. Presidents had earlier submitted a
now takes care of other patients and also       Kamla Devi thanked the guests.
makes paper packets; lady conductor
Meenakshi Sawant; lady police sub-                         PunJAb
inspector Meghna Barande; ace lady              5 0 w om e n S ar p an c h s j oi n
teacher Rashmi Dange; PTI photographer          Congress
Poonam Shinde, industrialist Madhu                  Chandigarh: About fifty women
Gupta; Deputy engineer (PWD) Meena              sarpanchs from the BJP-Akali combine
Dhokle.                                         joined the Congress on the International
    Later, the Thane District City Congress     Women’s Day at the Talwandi Block village
C om m itte e C onsu me r Prote c t i on        of Ram Nagar here on 8th Marhc, 2011.
Department, led by its president, Smt. Kalal        Meanwhile, the Punjab Pradesh Mahila      list of Chemists, known for selling drugs,
Vrushali celebrated the Holi festival at the    Congress Committee, under the aegis of its    based upon that the raids were conducted.
                                                vice president, Smt. Ranjit Kaur Ramana       The Punjab Youth Congress have received
                                                alongwith Block president, Smt. Amarjit       tremendous support from the people and
                                                Kaur, Bibi Gurmail Kaur, Raj Kaur.            the administration was shell shocked on
                                                    The Mahila Congress also pledged to       learning about the raids.
                                                                                                   Me anw h i l e , t h e r u l i n g A k a l i -
                                                                                              BJP Government in Punjab has failed on
                                                                                              all fronts, giving suggestions to them and
                                                                                              expecting them to perform is like playing
                                                                                              “Been” music in front of a buffalo, Shri
                                                                                              Ravneet Singh Bittu, President,  Punjab
                                                                                              Youth Congress  &  M.P., along with Shri
                                                                                              Lakhvir Singh Lakha, President, D.Y.C.,
                                                                                              Ludhiana (Rural)  and Youth Congress
office premises. On the eve of Holi, they                                                     Members, on 2nd February, undertook a
burnt the Holica pyre and with it burnt all                                                   “Been Bajao Programme”, at Khanna, in
the corrupt practices like female foeticide,    carry forward the campaign of propagating     Ludhiana.  The Been Bajao  programme
demanding dowry, child labour, domestic         the Central schemes in the state.             w a s   i mp l e m e nt e d i n a l l d i s t r i c t
violence against women and all social                                                         Headquarters, of Punjab.    
corrupt practices against women. Smt.           Youth Congress Initiative against
Vrushali said that we should take a vow         drug peddlers & Chemists                            uTTAR PRAdESH
to get rid of all corrupt practices against         Mohali: Continuing with the crusade       Poor not getting benefit of Central
women on this festival of Holi.                 against the menace of drug peddling and       schemes: Rita Bahuguna Joshi
   MAdHyA PRAdESH                               the continued sale of synthetic drugs, the        banda: The Uttar Pradesh Congress
                                                Punjab Youth Congress launched a massive      Committee president, Dr. Rita Bahuguna
Women’s Day among children                      drive against chemists selling synthetic
    Indore: Madhya Pradesh Mahila                                                             Joshi said that the benefits of the Central
                                                drugs, in various districts of Punjab, on     schemes in UP were not reaching the poor.
Congress president, Smt. Archna Jaiswal         18th February, 2011.
celebrated the International Women’s Day                                                      Smt. Joshi was speaking while laying the
                                                    Shri Ravneet Singh Bittu, President,      foundation stone of a linking road here on
on 8th March, 2011 here with anganwadi          Punjab Youth Congress & M.P., alongwith
children at Anand Nagar in Rajendre                                                           21st February, 2011.
                                                the YC Members raided illegal synthetic           This road was being build at the cost of
Nagar. On this occasion Puja Goda and           drug vendors, dealing through mobile
Maya Talawale were honoured.                                                                  Rs. 5.53 lakhs under the Mahatma Gandhi
                                                handsets, in the Naya Gaon area of District   National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
    Smt. Jaiswal, speaking on the occasion,     Mohali and caught three persons red-
said that women have to be empowered                                                          by which the local people were involved in
                                                handed when they were selling illegal drugs   making this road which would ultimately
in every field because they are our future.     openly from a complex which is situated in
She added that we should have a positive                                                      help the local villagers.
                                                the vicinity of religious place.                  Smt. Joshi was harsh on the local
thinking on the birth of a girl child, should       The concerned authorities were
be provided good education and should                                                         state administrative officers for denying
                                                immediately informed and the police           the rightful benefits to the poor by
take care for their all-round development.      party came to the site after repeated calls
    Smt. Sarla Swami and Smt. Nirmala                                                         mismanaging the Central schemes and
                                                were made to them. Till the time the          their implementation. Smt. Joshi, however,
Ahirkar welcomed the guests while Smt.          Government authorities arrived, the Youth
www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                                MARCH 2011 • 29
                                                     Addressing  jointly a big ‘Janakrosh
                                                 Rally’ with former State-ranked minister,
                                                 Shri Dhirendra Pratap at Dhumakot in
                                                 Garhwal. Dr. Harak Singh termed the
                                                 present BJP government as the “most
                                                 corrupt government in India” and declared
                                                 that after coming to power no corrupt
                                                 minister would be spared by the Congress
                                                 Government within three months. The
was all praise for UPCC Member Shri              people who are looting the states with         Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, Mohd.
Avdesh Kumar Singh and Gram Panchayat            both hands will be sent to jail. Describing    Azharuddin. It was attended by more than
president. Dalit leader, Shri Ramtehlu           the peoples’ woes Dr. Harak Singh said         50 thousand people. The youth of West
presided over the function.                      the rampant corruption in administration       Bengal was motivated by a politician who
Gandhiji’s view of life is humanity              had brought shame for the state and the        was once their favorite cricket captain.
    Varanasi: The Gandhian philosophy on
various aspects of our life continues to be a
pillar of strength and inspiration to provide
guidance to generations present as well
as future. Shri Mohan Prakash, who was                                                            Nation pays tribute to our freedom
a former BHU students’ Union president,                                                            fighters & distinguished leaders.
said while addressing the people here on
the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

                                                 Chief Minister is busy in making false                             Sarojini Naidu
                                                 huge claims of development in the name                             (1879-1949)
                                                 of completion of the four years of the BJP                         Death Anniversary
                                                                                                                    2nd March
                                                     Addressing the meeting Shri Dhirendra
                                                 Pratap criticized the Chief Minister Shri.
                                                 Ramesh Pokhriyal for misusing the
                                                 government machinery and asked him
     Shri Mohan Prakash added that               to come out with a white paper on his
Gandhiji’s view of life was humanness and        government’s four year’s term. The meeting                         Shaheed Bhagat
as long as humanity lives, Gandhism lives.       which was attended by a large number of                            Martyrdom Day
If there is a way out for the exploited person   people passed a unanimous resolution                               23rd March
in the world, it is through Gandhism.            asking the local MLA Mr. Bhuwan Chandra
Anyone who is not strong cannot adopt            Khanduri to resign immediately on moral
Gandhism in his life.                            grounds from the state assembly as he
     This viewpoint were expressed by Shri       had ditched the local people on the name
Prakash when he represented the Indian           of false promise of development. Former
Youth Congress in a debate “Gandhi is not        Garhwal DCC president, Shri Jagmohan
a past but future too” held at Sri Lanka were    Singh Negi presided over the meeting.                              Shaheed Sukhdev
he was the Youth President of BHU.               Nainidanda Congress president Shri                                 Martyrdom Day
                                                                                                                    23rd March
     Shri R.K. Mishra, Vice Chancellor of        Jangbahadur Singh Negi conducted the
the Gorakhpur University, was the chief          meeting according to Shri Jangbahadur
guest. Other speakers were Shri R. P.            Singh Negi, President, Nainidanda Block
Pathak, Head of the Department of Political      Congress Committee.
Science, Prof. Rakesh Pandey and Shri                  WEST bEnGAl
Ramvachan Pandey.
                                                 Azharuddin addresses W.B. Youth
       uTTARAKHAnd                                   Kolkata: In view of the forthcoming
‘Janakrosh Rally’                                Assembly elections and the continuation                            Shaheed Rajguru
                                                                                                                    Martyrdom Day
    dehradun: The leader of Opposition           of party’s effort to strengthen the Congress                       23rd March
in Uttarakhand Assembly Dr.Harak Singh           Party in West Bengal, the sate unit of the
Rawat has given a call to the people to oust     Youth Congress organized a massive public
BJP Government from power in the coming          meeting here on 3rd February, 2011.
Assembly elections.                                  The meeting was addressed by Lok

MARCH 2011 • 30                                                                                     www.congresssandesh.com
                                                                                          activists and AIMC office bearers attended the

Mahila Congress Report                                                                    meeting. Smt. Husna Subhani, Convener & Dr.
                                                                                          Neeta Mishra, Co-Convener, NGO Coordination
                                                                                          Cell of AIMC convened this meeting.
                                                                                             Smt. Vijay Lakshmi Bishnoi, President,
                                                                                          Rajasthan PMC organized a Mahila Congress
     Dr. Prabha Thakur, President AIMC
visited all the States where the Assembly
elections are to be held in 2011 and
prepared the lists of winnable women
candidates of the Party. All India Mahila
Congress hosted a dinner on February 24,
2011 at Constitutional Club Lawn, Rafi
Marg, New Delhi at which was followed by
a Kavi Sammelan. Many senior Congress
leaders, Cabinet Ministers, AICC office-
bearers and all AIMC office-bearers were
present at the dinner. The NGO Coordination
Cell of the All India Mahila Congress
organized a meeting on “Atrocities against
Women a Perspective” on 25th February
                                              Convention on 13th February 2011 at PCC Headquarters, Jaipur, Rajasthan which was
                                              attended by Rajasthan PMC office-bearers, district and block Mahila Congress presidents.
                                              Dr. Prabha Thakur, President, AIMC was the Chief Guest and Dr. Rashmi Bhardwaj, Gen.
                                              Secy. AIMC & Incharge Rajasthan PMC was the Guest of Honour. More than 500 Mahila
                                              Congress workers attended the Convention. Smt. Abha Chaudhary, President, Delhi PMC
                                              organized a block level Convention on 15th February 2011 at AICC Media Briefing Hall
                                              in which Shri Motilal Vora, Smt. Mohsina Kidwai, Dr. Prabha Thakur, Shri J.P. Aggarwal,
                                              Smt. Shiela Dixit released a book on Achievements of Central & Delhi Government. Smt.
                                              A. Amalorpava Marie Victoria, President, Puducherry PMC organized Mahila Congress
                                              State Convention on 17th February 2011. Shri V. Narayanswammy, Cabinet Minister, Dr.
                                              Prabha Thakur, President, AIMC, Shri. A.V. Subramaniyam, President Puducherry PCC,
                                              Smt. Kamalakshi Sarma, Vice-President, AIMC & Incharge Puducherry PMC and more than
                                              one thousand women attended the meeting. Smt. Sayee Lakshmi, President, Tamil Nadu
                                              PMC celebrated International Women’s Day on 18th February 2011 which was attended
                                              by AIMC President Dr. Prabha Thakur, AICC Spokesperson, Smt. Jayanti Natrajan, AIMC
                                              Vice-President & Incharge Tamil Nadu, Smt. Kamalakshi Sarma, AIMC General Secretary,
                                              Dr. K. Gayatri Devi and more than one thousand women were also present on this occasion.
                                                   In February 2011, Smt. Meera Singh, President Uttar Pradesh Mahila Congress
                                              organized dharna against Mayawati Govt. to protest the increasing rape, crime, murders
                                              in the State. On 11th February 2011, Smt. Manjula Naidu, President, Karnataka PMC
2011 at the AICC Media Briefing Hall, 24,     staged a Dharna against BJP Government in the State for irregularities in supply of LPG
Akbar Road, New Delhi. AIMC President, in     gas connection. On 11th February 2011 Smt. Monica Dias, President, Goa PMC organized
her inaugural address said that Smt. Sonia    a programme in which she congratulated newly appointed PCC President of the State. On
Gandhi, Hon’ble Congress President is very    16th February 2011, Smt. Archana Jaiswal, President, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress
much keen in fulfilling Rajivji’s dream of    demonstrated against the BJP-ruled State Government for increasing the atrocities against
women empowerment by passing the 33%          women in the State in which Dr. Shobhna Shah, Vice-President, AIMC & Incharge Madhya
Women Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha. Ms.      Pradesh Mahila Congress was also present. On 17th February 2011, Smt. Ashima Mahanada,
Bubul Das, Dr. Ranjana Kumari, social         President Orissa PMC organized a Vidhan Sabha Gherao followed by statewide agitation
                                              and rallies demanding the dismissal of Chief Minister for supply of adulterated dal ignoring
                                              the health of people of the state. On 23rd February 2011, Smt. Janet D’ Souza, President
                                              Mumbai RMC organized a Seminar on women rights which was attended by Smt. Margaret
                                              Alva, Shri Kirpa Shanker Singh and more than 2000 Mahila Congress cadre. Smt. Biva
                                              Nath, President Tripura PMC, organized a meeting of State Mahila Congress Committee for
                                              village council elections in the State.
                                                                                                                  (Dr. Rashmi Bhardwaj)

www.congresssandesh.com                                                                                           MARCH 2011 • 31
                               AICC                                     Diary
                                                                                                                        unfortunate and most regrettable that such sweeping
                                                                                                                        allegations are being made in respect of a person of
                                                                                                                        impeccable reputation and integrity like the Prime
                                                                                                                        Minister of India. Subject to checking in a more detailed
                                                                                                                        manner, you will appreciate that time is being short; I
Serious acts of violence                                   party in the state. It is very serious issue and the state   can say that there was absolutely no communication of
      AICCDM: Shri Abhishek Singhvi said that              government must pay attention towards this. It is a          any kind on such matters by the concerned person to
the Karnataka Chief Minister and the Karnataka             matter of serious concerns especially because the            the Hon’ble Prime Minister or his office and therefore, I
Government are experts at cover-ups, at white-             most of the victim women come from the backwards             said that it is most unfortunate and regrettable because
washing, at legitimation and at defending the              classes of the society. 07 February, 2011.                   it is a traversty of truth and indeed a conscious attempt
indefensible. When there is patent illegality, nepotism                                                                 to confuse and confound to mislead and misinform. 11th
and the breakdown of law and order and when                Ignorance or arrogance                                       February 2011.
it is visible to everyone, the entire party and the               Breifing Newsmen Shri Manish Tiwari said that
Government machinery in that State springs into            the BJP seems to be a combination of ignorance and           Pictorial opportunism
action to do what they do best misinformation and          arrogance. Congress Party strongly criticizes the BJP              Shri Manish Tewari said PDP’s depiction of the
distortion. A classic example is the report regarding      over the words it used against the Hon’ble Prime             map of Jammu & Kashmir in yellow, green and red
the serious acts of violence on minorities in September    Minister. Shri Tiwari said that the period, last six         colours is highly objectionable. Whatever may have
2008 in that State. There were series of coordinated,      and a half years of the UPA government has been              been the motivation, whatever might have been the
concerted attacks on churches and prayer halls across      a development phase for India. Drawing attention             objective, this kind of pictorial adventurism has long
5 or 6 districts of Karnataka Mangalore, Udipi,            towards five points, he said that the UPA government         term diplomatic and political implications. The PDP
Chikmanglur, Kolar, Bellary and Damangiri - across the     has not allowed to happen any Gujarat like sponsored,        may recall that on 22nd Feb 1994, Parliament had
length and breadth of the State. This itself shows the     riot or massacre during last six and a half years. He        unanimously adopted a resolution declaring the state
organized coordinated character of these attacks - 112     said that even after the global economic recession the       of Jammu & Kashmir to be an integral part of India.
attacks in 2-1/2 months. The BJP and the Government        UPA government has been able to have 8.5 percent             The resolution also put on record India’s views on
appointed a Commission of the BJP, by the BJP and          economic growth rate during last six and a half years,       Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Without going into any
for the BJP. No independent judicial investigation,        while it was at mere 5.8 percent during six and a half       clarifications, which will only further tie the PDP into
Enquiry Commission but a handpicked selected person        years tenure of the NDA government. He said that             knots, they would be well advised to withdraw this
a retired Judge appointed to do a white washing job.       during last six and a half years, the UPA government         map immediately. 14th February 2011.
This is a classic trick which the BJP did also in the      has provided a law based Right to Information, Right
Tehelka. 2nd February 2011.                                to Education and Right for Job to the people of the          Road map for the future
                                                           country and now it is working on their right for                   Shri Singhvi said that all Parliamentary Session
Crime under patronage                                      foodgrains. He said that during last six and a half years,   are important but constitutionally some are more
      Dr. Sahkeel Ahmad expressed concern over the         crores of the people have got a positive direction of        important and the Budget Session can be characterize
law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh. He said that     life through the social policies of the UPA government,      to be important for a variety of reasons. Not least of
it is the responsibility of the state government. The      like, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-day Meal Scheme             which of course that the budget for the whole country
state government should be sensitive towards the           and other schemes. He said that during the tenure of         is laid in this session, it is the longest session. But,
security of the life and property of its citizens. He      the UPA government, India’s prestige at international        particularly because the constitution mandates that
said that incidents could take place in state, but it is   level has increased, whether it is G-20 or United Nation     the session must start with the address of the Hon’be
the duty of the state government to control them. But      Security Council, Other Countries look with a sense          President. This is not a mere formality, it is intended to
for last a few days, it is visible in Uttar Pradesh that   of big respect for India. 09 February, 2011                  be a road-map for the future, for the whole year laid
such incidents are taking place under the patronage                                                                     out by the Government through its representatives
and protection of people of the state government.          Unfortunate and regrettable                                  to the people of India. It is intended to be the most
The incident in Banda is one of the examples, where            Shri Abhishek Singhvi said certain newspaper             important communication of the Government of the
one MLA has been arrested. Again, another MLA’s            reports report a former Minister of Telecommunications       day, speaking through the Hon’ble President to the
associate committed crime and he is not facing action.     suggesting that he has complained to the Prime Minister      people of India and its representation. It is supposed
Even, figures are being pointed towards a Minister in      or to the PMO regarding certain issues. It is most           to candidly state issues of concern. 21st February 2011.
connection with the murder of an Engineer in Kanpur.
There incidents clearly reveal that these are being
done under the patronage of the people of the ruling
                                                                                                                                   Tom Vadakkan, Secretary, AICC

MARCH 2011 • 32                                                                                                               www.congresssandesh.com

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