The most debated topic in the country

"Will Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister of India"


To start of I am reproducing 2 articles to start a discussion on IREF

My sincere apologies to cricket commentators. I am going to borrow a few of your pet (read tired) cliches for the 'Will Narendra Modi be PM' debate. Here comes one - It's not over till the last ball is bowled. I don't profess to know where the Indian voter will finally press the button. But, since politics can be as full of 'glorious uncertainties' (note history of ousted governments - NDA 2004 prime example) as cricket, the final outcome will be known when it is known. Till then, all arguments pointing to why he cannot be PM have equally strong counter-arguments. And since the arguments have been laid out, it's only fair that counter arguments be given a chance too. People can choose what to believe as per their respective biases

One of the primary assumptions in many arguments is that Narendra Modi has jumped into this without a plan. He may be many things but even his worst enemies will concede the man can think. Now, here is a man who has battled the most hostile political attack in independent India's history for over 10 years (note: I am not going into the validity of the attack). He has managed to fight that battle and reposition himself to become a front-runner for the topmost position in a party which itself did not anticipate his rise.

For him, if the rewards of success are bountiful (PM's post & dominance), failure will be catastrophic. His own party will bury his political career forever, leave alone all the 'secular' cases that will come back to hunt him down. He is human & so has no magical control over outcomes, but it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume he must have a workable enough plan to get himself to 7, Race Course. Wouldn't it be fair to wait for the final stages of electioneering before writing him off and to know if his plan was good enough?

Even with its limited footprint, a BJP campaign focused on its strong areas & the yet to be conquered Uttar Pradesh, can get it enough numbers for a good bargain. It's easier said than done, but not impossible. It was a far more limited BJP which got 183 seats earlier. Oh, but SP/BSP will still push the BJP around in UP say some. Yes, they probably will. But, there are also indications that UP wants a credible alternative to them. That Narendra Modi can appeal to UP voters is also in the realm of possibility. Isn't it?

Another counter argument is that Muslims will view Modi as communal and not vote for BJP. This argument is sought to be strengthened further by arguing - as Nitish Kumar is fond of doing- that Narendra Modi even refuses to wear a skull cap. Now, that's a heads-I win-tails-you-lose argument. If he does wear the skull cap, the same set of people will dismiss it as a gimmick for votes - remember the famous 'mukhauta' of BJP, not even today's 'acceptable' Vajpayee was spared. Plus, no matter who the leader, BJP is unlikely to get too many minority votes. So many motions against the UPA have fallen through in Parliament because other parties didn't want to gang up with a 'communal' party like BJP even though it was being led by a now secular L K Advani. So, while minority votes would be welcome, they can't be BJP's main plank.

But, a leader other than Modi will make the NDA more acceptable, say many. That's another facile argument. If BJP does manage to get a reasonable figure by itself, the rank opportunists masquerading as secularists are likely to work out a face-saver in 'national interest' & to prevent another election. Plus, people can transition from being communal to being secular. The unacceptable, communal Advani of 1996-99, is now the acceptable 'secular' leader of 2013-14 to the same set of 'secular' parties. Some 'common minimum program' type of charades can always be handy when it comes to 'protecting national interest'.

But India is not a presidential election is another argument and a valid one at that too. It indeed is an aggregation of constituencies. But, if that's the case then why does the Congress stick to the Nehru-Gandhi family & the SP to the Yadavs? By the same logic, Sonia & Rahul shouldn't be important in a disaggregated election. But, they are. There is no reason why Modi can't be like them. He is today one of the most recognised faces (for good or bad) across India. He may not win the election on his name alone, but he can be central force of the BJP's campaign.

TV opinion polls? Oh well, they do pick the straws in the wind but can anyone say they are definitive? I don't see too many TV opinion polls considering the possibility of different voting patterns for centre & state level elections. Asking voters if Modi is communal is gamed to get a certain response. What if channels ask if all politicians in this country play communal politics? The answer to this question, as the view from my armchair goes, would be a resounding yes. The 'sab chor hain' argument (with due credit to Mr Kejriwal) could also extend to 'sab communal hain ji'.

Having said all this, it would be foolish to assume BJP or Modi will have a cakewalk. While the loss (if it happens) will be conveniently blamed on Narendra Modi, the real cause will be the party's lack of purpose over the last nine years. It is inexplicable that a party sits in opposition for NINE long years but doesn't work on its biggest weakness of limited geographical reach or a focused consolidation of areas it was strong in. How can it ignore the biggest contributor UP for such a long period of time? It perhaps deserves to lose for this callousness alone. It's only now, with rallies & with public outreach is BJP attempting to change the 'narrative', forcing the Congress to rethink how it will meet the 2014 challenge. We don't know yet if it's too late, but it may be. Finally, BJP needs to watch out for generous UPA give-aways - those can be fatal.

To cut the long story short & come back to cricket, Modi can, on his day, turn the match around. That alone will make 2014 interesting. And, we will know in that year if what Narendra Modi hit, stayed hit.

Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/poke-me/poke-me-dont-write-narendra-modi-off-yet/articleshow/21954725.cms (ET)
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  • Mr Modi & Rahul Gandhi why are you silent on subrato roy. How are you quiet that almost 25000 crore rupees are said to be given back in cash and nobody knows to whom it has been given.

    is it not fishy , why this conspiracy of silence :D
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  • alleged land scam involving sharad pawars company

    How money from this glittery mega IT Park built on public land will go into a company of Sharad Pawar’s son-in-law | Gulail.com

    as always pin drop silence from Rahul and Modi.

    chor chor mausere bhai as the saying goes. scandal after scandal involving politicians and both of them remain absolutely silent, no cbi investigation, open loot .

    ----------------
    The going market rate for commercial built up area is 22,000 sq feet hence the company stands to earn Rs 8,800 crores in revenue even while the government has received a mere 11.42 crores or Rs 55.74 per sq. feet for 95 years as premium. In addition the company pays Rs 1 (you read it right; it’s Rupee One) to the government in rent every year
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  • -----------------
    Candle march by students of IIT kanpur in support of Arvind Kejriwal ji's rally of 2nd march ,

    any guess on the IQs :D:D

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  • kinjal bhai
    10-15 saal me ye desh bik jayega yar
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  • Does Krazzi travel in bullock cart or auto? A clown like Kumar Vishas had entourage of hundred luxury cars in Amethi...

    That Modi spends too much (how much is too much?) in his travels - these are the issues on which AAP wants to fight elections...

    What about rs 6 cr. waiver that Krazzi gave to defaulters? Rs. 335 cr subsidy to Reliance in delhi? and hundreds of crores that'll be wasted in Delhi re-election since Krazzi ran away?

    Krazzi and AAP wants to bring down the level of national discourse to Mohalla sabha gossip. That's why, its necessary to watch this link to understand what vision means and what India needs...

    Shri Narendra Modi addressing Chartered Accountants Association in Delhi - YouTube
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  • Uttarakhand’s anti-graft party joins AAP for LS polls - The Times of India

    Months before the Parliamentary polls in Uttarakhand, the state unit of Aam Admi Party (AAP) got a major boost after the influential regional party- Raksha Morcha merged into it on late Friday.

    A party comprising over 20,000 ex-servicemen from defense and paramilitary forces, Raksha Morcha came into being in November, 2011 to launch a crusade against corruption.
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  • Will Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister of India

    Originally Posted by kinjalchato
    Mr Modi & Rahul Gandhi why are you silent on subrato roy. How are you quiet that almost 25000 crore rupees are said to be given back in cash and nobody knows to whom it has been given.

    is it not fishy , why this conspiracy of silence :D



    This is ridiculously funny and hypocrisy .

    On a RE. Forum if you are I will assume that you are involved in some kind of buying selling activity .........unless you are a paid PR. Of some party .

    If that is so I am sure you have bought and sold property and a lots of its parts are in colored also ? Having done that and knowing all this that colored economy is also a parallel economy in India .........you must be knowing that it's has been an integral part of India , and our society ,and most of our politicians come from very same society .its a known fact that people don't give enough taxes and evade then it's because government doesn't use it wisely and most of it is lost before it reaches for the benefits of tax payer ..................so it's a viscous circle ..................and rocket science ?

    So when people indulged in business and RE. Do it .........it's a non issue and maybe part and parcel of business , so why this halal Gullah on subroto ?

    I think it's quite a thing to understand that society is as corrupt as it's politicians ............at least in sense of money , society encourages transaction in color by doing it and not complaining enough .period

    And why do you expect Modi to talk on every freaking issue ? Do you think Indian presidents ,prime ministers ,cabinets ministers and all government machinery don't know about color money in India ?

    Did you ever ask president of India about colored money cases .............? Gandhi should probably be more answerable as they have ruled quite a lot in India then any other party , subroto is mainly a Uttar Pradesh businessman ................how come Modi should immediately speak up on this ?

    I am sure he would do enough from his side to tackle corruption and black money problem in India ...........after becoming the PM .................huh.

    The moment a news comes you come asking Modi view on it like Modi was behind all this and is answerable to exact issue ....................he s answerable for good governance and all related issues after he becomes PM or things from his states , I know now you will shout some things he may not have spoken off , so my answer is ready ..............there is always some leeway in somethings .................a single person cannot always talk about everything ...........let hm be PM and give some 10 years ...........he will change the face of this nation .
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  • Originally Posted by toocool
    This is ridiculously funny and hypocrisy .

    On a RE. Forum if you are I will assume that you are involved in some kind of buying selling activity .........unless you are a paid PR. Of some party .

    If that is so I am sure you have bought and sold property and a lots of its parts are in colored also ? Having done that and knowing all this that colored economy is also a parallel economy in India .........you must be knowing that it's has been an integral part of India , and our society ,and most of our politicians come from very same society .its a known fact that people don't give enough taxes and evade then it's because government doesn't use it wisely and most of it is lost before it reaches for the benefits of tax payer ..................so it's a viscous circle ..................and rocket science ?

    So when people indulged in business and RE. Do it .........it's a non issue and maybe part and parcel of business , so why this halal Gullah on subroto ?

    I think it's quite a thing to understand that society is as corrupt as it's politicians ............at least in sense of money , society encourages transaction in color by doing it and not complaining enough .period

    And why do you expect Modi to talk on every freaking issue ? Do you think Indian presidents ,prime ministers ,cabinets ministers and all government machinery don't know about color money in India ?

    Did you ever ask president of India about colored money cases .............? Gandhi should probably be more answerable as they have ruled quite a lot in India then any other party , subroto is mainly a Uttaranchal Pradeep businessman ................how come Modi should immediately speak up on this ?

    I am sure he would do enough from his side to tackle corruption and black money problem in India ...........huh.

    The moment a news comes you come asking Modi view on it like Modi was behind all this and is answerable to exact issue ....................he s answerable for good governance and all related issues after he becomes PM or things from his states , I know now you will shout some things he may not have spoken off , so my answer is ready ..............there is always some leeway in somethings .................a single person cannot always talk about everything ...........let hm be PM and give some 10 years ...........he will change the face of this nation .


    could you spend time in understanding the sahara issue which supreme court is seized of the matter before writing such posts :D.

    and for the record do not assume everyone involved with real estate buying and selling deals in black money , you can speak for yourself though :D.

    a matter involving 24000 crores , is a small matter :D

    very good logic I indulge in black money, so must others and since I have assumed everyone indulges it is okay and the politicians are made of people like me so that is also okay. so black money is okay what the fuss

    Thankfully there are more and more people are revolting against such thought process .
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  • Will Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister of India

    Originally Posted by kinjalchato
    could you spend time in understanding the sahara issue which supreme court is seized of the matter before writing such posts :D.

    and for the record do not assume everyone involved with real estate buying and selling deals in black money , you can speak for yourself though :D.

    a matter involving 24000 crores , is a small matter :D

    very good logic I indulge in black money, so must others and since I have assumed everyone indulges it is okay and the politicians are made of people like me so that is also okay. so black money is okay what the fuss

    Thankfully there are more and more people are revolting against such thought process .



    I am not saying that indulging in black money is right ............or wrong , but it's been a part and parcel of Indian economy for last many decades now ............things will improve with time and I hope Modi does that , and I am hopefull ...............every emerging economy goes through the periods of transition .......................nothing to rant about it , like America doesn't have it neither china nor England who is responsible for Indian state of things ?

    Regarding you not being engaged in any colored activity at any point in life and didn't do it ......................and being in RE investor never done it?


    YEAH I BELIVE YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART .
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  • Originally Posted by toocool
    I am not saying that indulging in black money is right ............or wrong , but it's been a part and parcel of Indian economy for last many decades now ............things will improve with time and I hope Modi does that , and I am hopefull ...............every emerging economy goes through the periods of transition .......................nothing to rant about it , like America doesn't have it neither china nor England who is responsible for Indian state of things ?

    Regarding you not being engaged in any colored activity at any point in life and didn't do it ......................and being in RE investor never done it?


    YEAH I BELIVE YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART .


    If you have doubts about indulging in black money is wrong , illegal and a punishable crime then I have nothing to discuss further :D.

    and there was never any black money in Gujrat or during NDA I presume. I have hopes from mr Modi of a different kind of brilliant execution and bringing around a faster turnaround in indian economics , of fast tracking several long pending economic reforms and reinvirogating the economy . But I have no hopes from his party on either decriminalizing the polity or do anything to eradicate black money/ corruption.

    If it were possible for it to be solved by BJP, then no aap would have been born.

    As I said you believe what you want to believe , it does not change the truth and there are many many more who do not indulge in such criminal activities and that is what makes me proud as an indian, and not some misplaced notion of nationalism :D
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  • congress bjp sp protecting sahara

    Congress, BJP protecting Subrata Roy: Bhushan - The Hindu

    one more instances where the trimurti of corruption come together to bail out another crony capitalist. Lage raho nation is watching.
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  • Modi gigantic PR machinery in action

    More Than A Cup Of Me | Prarthna Gahilote

    It is impressive to say the least, hats off to the man he understood the power of social media and campaign way way ahead of any other politician . Truly impressive.
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  • Originally Posted by kinjalchato
    If you have doubts about indulging in black money is wrong , illegal and a punishable crime then I have nothing to discuss further :D.

    and there was never any black money in Gujrat or during NDA I presume. I have hopes from mr Modi of a different kind of brilliant execution and bringing around a faster turnaround in indian economics , of fast tracking several long pending economic reforms and reinvirogating the economy . But I have no hopes from his party on either decriminalizing the polity or do anything to eradicate black money/ corruption.

    If it were possible for it to be solved by BJP, then no aap would have been born.

    As I said you believe what you want to believe , it does not change the truth and there are many many more who do not indulge in such criminal activities and that is what makes me proud as an indian, and not some misplaced notion of nationalism :D


    Kinjal woi hai in logo ki lovelyhood pe affect hai due to AAP. They earn via black money etc islie against AAP. Warna even they know they are wrong
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  • In The Eye Of The Storm

    All Along The Waterfront | Sunit Arora, Lola Nayar, Arindam Mukherjee

    Not as proverbial as the Ambani saga, but the joint upward arc of the Adani-Modi graph is striking. So are the grey areas.




    AAP attack Arvind Kejriwal’s party wants an investigation into Narendra Modi’s “closeness” to Adani, dubbing him the corporate backer of the BJP’s ‘PM candidate’. Photos of Modi using the group’s corporate jets are doing the rounds.

    1. Cheap land Adani has been accused of getting massive pieces of government land in Mundra dirt cheap (often as low as Rs 1 to Rs 16 per sq mt) when the official rates are much higher.

    2. Green norms Another persistent charge is that the Modi government looked the other way while Adani built massive infrastructure projects in the state without getting green clearances.

    3. CAG Scrutiny The CAG report on Gujarat reveals that the government was supplying expensive GSPC gas at cheap rates to the Adani group. Between 2006-09, this cost the exchequer Rs 70.5 crore.

    4. Wharton withdrawal Adani withdrew its sponsorship for a Wharton Forum last year when the American university removed Modi as a keynote speaker as he did not want to get on the wrong side of Modi.

    5. ‘Jayanthi tax’ When Modi attacked former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, he was seen to be batting for the Adanis, whose special economic zone (SEZ) project in Mundra has run afoul of farmers and green rules.

    6. Security Clearance Adani’s port project faced problems from the UPA government when it withheld security clearances following allegations of money-laundering and customs duty violations. It got clearance in 2013.

    7. Karnataka Lokayukta In 2011, Justice Santosh Hegde faulted the Adani Group for illegal exports of wrongfully mined iron ore. He said the Adani group had paid many bribes.

    8.Duty evasion In 2010, Gautam Adani’s brother Rajesh Adani was arrested on charges of evasion of customs duty. The matter was closed after the payment of a fine.


    ***

    Denizens of downtown Ahmedabad say it’s better to leave early for Gautam Adani’s mansion, as it’s way beyond the BRT corridor, past the suburbs, off the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway. Guards do a thorough check of cars before they open the giant steel gates. It’s quite a drive from the gate to patio, with impeccably manicured lawns lined with flower beds and a fleet of parked cars. Then it’s a walk through gleaming corridors to the back lawns where a huge table is set up for breakfast. Guards lurk in the backgro­und, inconspicuous behind the trees and bushes.

    There is a live breakfast counter making south Indian, Gujarati, north Indian, continental and even Chinese dishes, but everything is vegetarian. Waiters move around with assorted fruit drinks, biscuits and bakes. Gautam Adani, in a formal dark suit, greets guests warmly with a broad grin and heavily Gujarati-accented Hindi, and later similarly accen­ted English. He’s India’s 21st richest man, according to Forbes, with a personal net worth of around Rs 16,000 crore. With interests in private ports, power and coal trading, this infrastructure magnate, many aver, is another Amb­ani in the making. It’s a comparison Adani discourages.


    Aisle seats Modi lands in Karnataka in Adani plane (encircled)

    But like Mukesh Ambani, Adani has been in the news lately for non-business reasons. As the pre-election season warms up, the Aam Aadmi Party has asked about the “exact relationship” between the Adani group and the BJP’s prime minister­ial candidate. “We want to know about the rise of the Adani group in Gujarat,” the AAP’s Yogendra Yadav said at a rally. Answers are being sought on whether it’s just a coincidence that the spectacular growth of the largely Gujarat-based Adani group coincides with 12 years of the Modi governm­ent. This direct accusation by a political party explicitly verbalises more tacit spe­culation over the years on the links between Modi and the Adani group. It sharp-focuses charges that the Adani group has gained beyond measure in Gujarat, thanks to an over-eager state government that plied it with sops like cheap land, and an easy regulatory regime. The Adani group had not replied to Outlook’s questions at the time of going to press.

    Actually, on the face of it, such a relationship could even be seen as ‘normal’, given Modi’s corporate-friendly image, one that he has never been ashamed of­—in fact, he is ope­nly using it to reach out to voters seeking development. And there’s nobody better than Adani, after all, that symbolises the Gujarat model. He’s the first homegrown billionaire out of the western state, a fascinating journey for a college dropout who moved on from trading (import-export business, as they say) to big-ticket infrastructure projects.

    For Adani has built assets on the ground, even if most of them have been in Gujarat. He runs India’s most efficient private port, Mundra, where visitors come back with stories of how it glistens like Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel (where Adani, incidentally, was holed up during the 26/11 attacks in 2008). Mundra, which also hosts an SEZ, is fed by India’s largest private rail network set up by Adani. Then there’s Adani’s power business, which may be the reason for the group’s dependence on high levels of debt (at about Rs 80,000 crore, it is among the top 10 in terms of corporate debt in India). But even here, Adani has achieved admirable capacity, like in the coal trading business or edible oils. He’s attracted good talent, and is particularly fond of surrounding himself with ex-bureaucrats.

    Many would argue that Adani’s success is the ‘Indian way’—of moving from trading to logistics, dreaming big and building scale in a very organic manner. Anyone who works in the infrastructure business will tell you that corruption is a given, and suitcases with cash are ferried about. That said, though Adani has had brushes with the law in the past (his brother was arrested by the CBI for evasion of customs duty in 2010), nothing has been conclusively proven. As for politicians, as Vijay G. Kalantri, chairman and managing director of Dighi Port Ltd, puts it, “Nobody in India has become big without political support or patro­nage. Also, to run a large corporate house you need political patronage and support, otherwise it is difficult in the present circumstances as the system is very cumbersome.”


    Gautam Adani and Modi at the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ summit, 2011. (Photograph by Trupti Patel)


    Docking space Robert Vadra (with Adani) visiting Mundra port

    Adani himself makes no bones about the need for political patronage. “I firmly believe that the business of infrastructure cannot be done without the blessings of the government,” he told Fortune magazine in a 2011 story. Adani also “defended India’s style of capitalism” in a New York Times story. Of late, the group has been trying to downplay his proximity to Modi, stressing that the group has got approvals in earlier regimes too. Insiders say the group enjoys the political patronage of Congress and NCP politicians too (Kamal Nath and Sharad Pawar are mentioned here). A Gujarat Congress leader, unwilling to be identified, grudgingly concedes that Adani enjoys the “patronage of all influential political leaders irrespective of the party. He has support both at the state and the central level.”

    In fact, given Gujarat’s penchant for big business, some might ask why Adani alone is being targeted. The short answer is that Adani is the only big businessman in Gujarat who has made his billions after Modi came to power. His turnover has grown 12-fold in the years under Modi’s reg­ime to Rs 35,881 crore. Over the past 10 years, the Adani group’s listed firms have shown staggering compounded annual growth of 21.7 per cent in sales and, even better, 37.1 per cent in profit after tax. “For a first-generation company, its growth is frankly quite astounding,” says somebody who has closely tracked the group as an analyst.


    Though such comparisons are never perfect given the different businesses, all experts Outlook spoke to agreed that Adani’s sheer growth rate overshadows any comparable infrastructure firm in the country. “What is in his companies that gives him such a success rate,” asks a senior infrastructure consultant (who has not worked with the Adanis), adding that “there is logically no answer, so it has to be something beyond that”. Adds a retired IAS officer from the Gujarat cadre, “Adani is blessed because he gets more permissions, and the things he does with those permissions are not taken note of.”

    Adding fuel to the relationship between Modi and Adani is the fact that the two have openly reached out to the other in the past. For instance, it was Adani’s decision to cancel the sponsorship of a Wharton India Economic Forum event last year after it dropped a live video address by Modi. Or in arranging a special air-conditioned tent on the university grounds when Modi staged a dharna in Ahmedabad over the Narmada water issue. At last year’s Vibrant Gujarat function, Gautam Adani was the only businessman (apart from Anil Ambani) who made a clear pitch for Modi, saying that he hoped “Modi would migrate northwards (read Delhi)”. In an earlier Vibrant Gujarat, surrounded by the Tatas and Ambanis, it was Adani who got to sit next to Modi. More recently, when Modi attacked former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, most agreed he was batting for the environment concerns Adani’s Mundra port was facing.



    This close relationship goes back to the early days of Modi’s regime. For almost a year, he sidelined Reliance, which had had very close relations with his predecessor, Keshubhai Patel, and forged links with the Essar group. But then, the Gujarat riots happened and senior CII members attacked Modi. As journalist Kingshuk Nag reminds us in his recent book, The Namo Story, “Leading businessmen of Gujarat who were on the same page as Modi regrouped under the Resurgent Group of Gujarat (RCG). Along with Karsenbhai Patel of Nirma, it was Adani who played a key role in the formation. A statement issued by them said, ‘Forces causing embarrassment to the state globally need not misunderstand peace-loving and tolerant nature of Gujarat as its weakness’.” Later, Adani cemented his hold on Modi’s regime by making big investment plans in Vibrant Gujarat functions—he also leads the lobbying for Modi abroad.

    In return for this support, what did Adani get? Land, cheap land, and lots of it. Ahmedabad-based lawyer Anand Yagnik has been fighting cases in the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court against allocation of land given to the Adani group by the Modi government. Indeed, he has horror stories to recount—all land allocation to the Adani group after Modi came to power has been done at a price much lower than the Jantri price (arrived at after evaluation of land by the Gujarat revenue department). In case more than 10 acres of land is allocated to any party at a price lower than the Jantri, the power of clearing that allocation moves from the local collector to the state revenue secretary.

    The revenue ministry was headed by Anandiben Patel, a close aide of Modi. According to Yagnik, all clearances to Adani were made at a swift pace—the group got land at prices ranging between Rs 1 to Rs 16 per square metre. This when land for industrial purposes in the area is worth Rs 200-300 per sq metre. In fact, Yagnik says that in the pre-Modi regime, the Adani group’s land holding was about 3,000 acres. In the Modi era, this has increased to about 2 lakh acres, of which 45,000 acres has been given by the state. Indeed, the group has stated before the commerce ministry and submissions before the courts that it has 45,000 acres of land only for the SEZ. The Mundra port stretches over 35-40 km of coastline (almost equivalent to the size of Mumbai)­—this was given to the group for about Rs 33 crore (when the Jantri value of the land was Rs 3,000 crore).

    Yagnik adds that the Adani group also did large-scale dredging in the coastal areas to support its port. This new land was evaluated by the government and given to the company at thr­owaway prices. “The land was then sold by the Adanis to IOC, ONGC and other PSUs at rates of over Rs 600 per sq metre. The Adani group was also exempted from all stamp duties for the thousands of acres of land at the SEZ, making the magnitude of this state subsidy phenomenal,” concludes Yagnik.

    The other big issue is the environment. At the showcase Mundra port, Adani has also run afoul of environmentalists for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone rules, illegally cle­aring mangroves and contaminating the water with inadequately treated waste water, leading to considerable damage to the coastal areas, alleges Dr Kanubhai Kalsariya, a former BJP MLA supporting the agitating fishermen living in the Navinal village within the Mundra SEZ. The fishing communities in the area fear the destruction of their traditional fishing grounds, even denial of access to it.

    At the heart of all this is a disregard for the law. “Adani proceeded on construction of facilities at Mundra without the required environmental clearances—on the basis of an in-principle clearance given to part of the land in 2004. Adani’s land was approved in 2007,” says Suresh Mehta, ex-Gujarat CM who’s also had a stint as state industries minister. Former home secretary G.K. Pillai, now an independent director on the Adani ports and SEZ board, clarifies that all the units have individually got green clearances while the SEZ has got the nod from Gujarat Pollution Control Board. The wait now is for the Union environment ministry to give its decision based on the recommendations of the Sunita Narain Committee report.


    Incidentally, Pillai faced some questions for taking up the job with the Adani group while it was still awaiting security clearances in 2010-11. Pillai’s defence is he took up the assignment nearly 20 months after retirement. The government held up security clearances following allegations of money-laundering and customs duty violations (the issue has been resolved with payment of fines). Official sources claim that many of Adani’s problems at the Centre stem from his perceived closeness to Modi. That may be partly true. But that doesn’t fully explain the many other controversies surrounding the Adani group.

    ***

    The West India Company

    A short history of Gautam Adani

    Born in 1962 in Ratanpol, north Gujarat, into a family of 7 siblings. Father was a commodities trader.
    In 1978, Gautam dropped out of morning college classes in Mumbai and became a diamond trader; moved to Ahmedabad in 1981 to help start a cousin’s PVC-trading firm.
    Adani sets up his commodities trading venture in 1988 with Adani Exports. Today has a personal net worth of $2.65 billion (approximately Rs 16,000 crore).

    Is most comfortable speaking Gujarati; is reputed to be decisive, humble, and a good listener. Likes to surround himself with ex-bureaucrats, whom he looks after well; said to know the first names of his top 500 executives.
    Claims to have good relations across the political spectrum, but is closest to Modi and makes no bones that doing business in India requires access to politicians.

    20 is his lucky number. Has set targets with that number for the year 2020 (200 MMT of cargo handled, 20,000 MW of power generation capacity and so on).
    Was kidnapped in 1997 in Ahmedabad, released after 18 hours when ransom was paid; police say Adani had to be “gently persuaded” to file a complaint. Adani was also inside Mumbai’s Taj Hotel when it was attacked on the night of November 26, 2008; says he was amongst the last to get out safely.
    Has a fleet of BMWs, and a penchant for vintage cars. Also has three aircraft including a Beechcraft and a Bombardier, plus helicopters.
    Has a dentist wife who now works with Adani, two children. Nephew Pranav Adani closely works with the group.
    ***

    The Adani Empire: The infrastructure and consumer businesses that comprise the House of Adani

    Trading Adani is India’s largest private trader in coal, with mines in Australia and Indonesia.
    Ports & SEZ With Mundra, it’s also India’s biggest private port operator. Also has two more ports (Dahej and Hazira), four ships, and India’s largest private railway line.
    Power Coal-based power producer with 9,240 MW installed capacity.
    Edible Oils 50:50 JV with Wilmar Group of Singapore, has 18 facilities across India. At 2.2 MT/year, it has one of the largest refining capacities in India. ‘Fortune’ is the main brand.
    Agriculture Has investments on the ground in fruit cold storage and foodgrains storage.
    Real Estate A small part of its business is in real estate; Adani Realty is developing 50 million sq ft of real estate in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kochi and Gurgaon
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  • Must read for feku bhakts and do reply

    The BJP hype and the reality check
    February 20, 2014Uncategorized
    The BJP hype and the reality check

    By

    Faraz Ahmad

    The media surveys have always troubled me with skepticism and disbelief, partly because I am not particularly good at arithmetic, which is why I had to give up studying science and turn to the study of English Literature. To this day numbers give me jitters what to talk of graphs and percentages and therefore I fail to comprehend the psephological analyses conducted on various TV channels with utmost confidence by erudite and articulate psephologists like Yogendra Yadav, Swapan Dasgupta or Arnab Goswami. Frankly I am not sure how much of this Arnab or Rajdeep Sardesai actually understand. I of course remember that my good friend Yashwant Deshmukh was doing his surveys sitting in The Pioneer Bureau room on his laptop for the 1996 elections for which a paper like The Pioneer, sinking fast, paid him substantially. That made me further lose any faith in the science of psephology. In a country like India which is so wide and varied where language, culture and food habits change every 50 kilometres, it is incomprehensible how any sample survey at best of a few thousand urban babus could reflect the true picture of the overall people’s mood.

    My analyst friends and their surveys are giving the BJP, specially on account of Narendra Modi’s perceived popularity anywhere between 223 and 285 and in turn the Congress even 50-60 seats. I therefore decided to do some of my calculation, though I concede I am not too good at it.

    Let’s start with the BJP and see what is the maximum number of seats it can get, in a dream scenario. Let us start with Jammu and Kashmir and accept for argument’s sake there is a Modi wave. It is almost impossible, but let us give two out of six seats to the BJP in J&K. These can only be Jammu and Udhampur. Even the die hard saffronised Sanghi can’t give more than this to the BJP in J&K. Granted?

    Next come to Himachal Pradesh which has four seats. In 2009 BJP won three seats. It is almost impossible for the BJP to improve upon that. But let us assume there is a Modi wave and the BJP then gets all the four. That makes BJP tally go up to seven.

    Then in Punjab, the Akali Dal will contest eight and give three to the BJP. Give BJP all three, which is very unlikely. The tally goes upto 10.

    In Haryana, Congress won all ten seats. Even if Congress is down and out there is the INLD of Chautala which would be the biggest gainer. Nevertheless we give BJP five seats. That makes 15 for BJP. In Delhi let us give all the seven to BJP taking its tally to 22.

    Rajasthan witnessed a wave against the Congress, so give all the 25 to BJP, taking the tally to 47, same for Madhya Pradesh with 29 added plus all the 11 from Chhatisgarh so add another 40 to BJP kitty taking its tally to 87. Ditto for Gujarat, 26 and 2 from Goa, taking the tally to 115. In Maharashtra they won nine in 2009. In the Modi wave let us assume it will now get 12 (though its Shiv Sena’s junior partner there) taking the tally to 127.

    In Karnataka despite the return of Yeddyurappa, even the BJP optimist concede they cannot win back the 18 they won in 2009 so a fair figure should be say 10 seats. That makes it 137. This covers almost all the big states where the BJP is in direct fight with the Congress and therefore it could sweep. Conceded?

    Now in UP the BJP claims it will get 40, granted taking the tally to 177. The BJP says it will get 20 seats in Bihar, done. The figure goes upto 197. In Jharkhand the BJP won seven in 2009 which was a very high figure. Nevertheless say Modi wave gives it another 10 of the 14 seats. The tally goes upto 207. Again in Uttarakhand there are only five seats. Add all the five to BJP kitty the figure goes upto 212. Then in Andhra Pradesh the BJP may score a duck. But for argument sake give them two. That’s 214. In Assam again BJP got four in 2009, give them six. This goes upto 220. Add one each seat from Chandigarh, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. That is another 3 seats, taking the BJP tally to 223. That’s it. Even with such a dream run the BJP is stuck at 223. No sane person can argue that the BJP will get a seat from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal or Kerala or the rest of the North-East.

    Now the best advocate of the BJP cannot give the BJP more than this! And everyone knows that this is a dream scenario for the BJP which is not almost but actually impossible to achieve. A more realistic scenario is that it is next to impossible for the BJP to cross 200, even if the Congress is completely liquidated in 2014.

    Add to that the AAP factor. In Delhi Assembly elections three months back, AAP completely decimated the Congress party. But if it caused 70 per cent damage to the Congress, BJP admits it dented the BJP base as well though nowhere near what it did to the Congress, if it caused 70 per cent damage to the Congress, it caused 30 per cent damage to the BJP as well. Now of the 200 odd seats the BJP hopes to win in its wave, if the AAP factor works in the urban centres as is being forecast by most of the psephologists then that brings down the BJP tally by 60 seats. Even if the damage is only 15 per cent it means 30 seats less. That brings down the BJP tally to 160-170 and that is the figure the BJP insiders are actually calculating.

    In such a scenario, it is well nigh impossible for Narendra Modi to head the next government. A BJP led NDA government is still likely but a Modi-led, unlikely.

    Now let us look at the Congress. We all concede that the Congress is in bad shape and may do worse than it ever did in its entire political career.

    The Congress was about to get wiped out from Andhra Pradesh where it won 33 seats under the combined leadership of Sonia Gandhi and late Y S Rajasekar Reddy. But with Telangana given, it is now in a position to reclaim some loss in the 17 seats of Andhra Pradesh and so a fair assessment would be about 10 seats to the Congress from AP. In Arunachal Pradesh there is no opponent so the two seats in 2009 go back to it taking its tally to 12. In Assam Tarun Gogoi has proved quite invincible. In 2009 Congress won seven, let us say this time it will come down to three taking the Congress numbers to 15. In Bihar a tieup with Lalu Yadav will help it improve its tally at least marginally to three seats taking the tally to18. In a fair assessment it should get at least one in Chhatisgarh, going up to 19; Goa zero and Gujarat where it got 8 in 2009 it may win only two, with the total going upto 20. Himachal Pradesh we can safely assume that Virbhadra Singh or his wife will anyway win their pocket burrough so that makes it 21. In Punjab we give only three seats taking the tally to 24. In Haryana Congress won all ten seats in 2009. We give them only two which makes it 26. J&K zero. Jharkhand this time in alliance with Lalu and JMM they could improve their tally by say two seats thus getting three and taking the tally to 29. There is still no anti incumbency factor against the Congress in Karnataka, so even if it does badly it can get 12 seats taking the tally to 41. Kerala it got 13 in 2009. This time it may get only six jacking the figure to 47. Four from Madhya Pradesh against 11 in 2009 takes it to 51. In Maharashtra it got 17 in 2009. This can come down to 7 totaling upto 58. Plus two from Manipur, making it 60 and one each from Meghalaya and Mizoram, taking it to 62. In Odisha they got six in 2009. There should not be much of a loss in Odisha, but let us give them only four taking the tally to 66. In Rajasthan the BJP won five and Congress 20 in 2009. This time in the reverse scene, Congress may get only five with its overall figure going upto 71.

    In UP people may say I am being too optimist but I gave them 14 studying the seats the Congress could still win, for instance Amethi, Rae Bareli, Faizabad, Gonda, Kanpur, Unnao and if Jayaprada joins Congress and Congress decides to replace the no good Azharuddin with Jayaprada the Congress may win both Rampur and Moradabad. Similarly Gonda has Beni Prasad Verma and in Firozabad, post Mzaffarnagar the Muslims may still stick by Raj Babbar. Anyway the figure is disputable. Nevertheless this makes it 85 for the Congress. With a tacit understanding with the CPM to teach Mamata Banerjee a lesson the Congress can expect to still win six seats in West Bengal with its tally going upto 91. Similarly in Uttarakhand it may retain Harish Rawat’s seat taking the tally to 92. In Tamil Nadu it may score a duck. But it may still win its Puducherry seat, going upto 93and one more from Lakshwadeep taking the finally tally to 94. This is the worst case scenario for the Congress party.

    Of the 544 Lok Sabha seats there are only 111 seats in HP, Delhi, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, MP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Andaman, D&N and D&D where there is a direct contest between the BJP and Congress and of that we can safely take out Delhi now for it will be three way here. So that leaves only 106 seats. At best the BJP can win all those 106 seats. What next?
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