Monday, May 26, 2014

Arvind Kejriwal - Controversy about his official residence !

Remember the controversy surrounding the Government residence that Arvind Kejriwal was criticized for not vacating.. I was quite surprised when that controversy disappeared from print and TV media? If you google, you will find news of 6/7th march and 28th march only. It was not discussed even once during the elections..

I found the answer yesterday. An RTI reply showed 36 ex-ministers as "illegal occupants of govt. bungalows". The data given by the Urban Development Ministry under the RTI to Subhash Agarwal shows that the ministers continue to squat on ministerial accommodation even after relinquishing office. Among those who have been listed as unauthorized occupants include BJP leaders include LK Advani, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, M Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shanakr Prasad, Congress leaders like Mukul Wasnik, Ambika Soni, Ajay Maken, Subodh Kant Sahay, Saifuddin Soz, CP Joshi, Pawan Bansal, SM Krishna, DMK's Dayanidhi Maran, M K Alagiri and T R Baalu, RJD's Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Trinamool Congress's Saugata Ray and C M Jatua.

Now you can very well imagine that AK's official residence controversy has opened a Pandora's box. So, it conveniently disappeared from the news...

Some facts about AK's official residence: A Govt servant can request extension of his stay and the PWD can grant such a request. AK requested extension till July citing his daughter's exam and having no other house to immediately shift to. PWD had agreed and a rent of Rs. 85000 has been paid by his IIT batch-mates every month on time. So AK is not an illegal occupant of Govt bungalows like some other politicians such as Mr. Advani, Ms. Sushma Swaraj and others.

Please understand and share this information to keep honesty in public life alive. Joi Ai Axom. Vande Mataram.

Update (21/06/2014): AK will shift on 31st July as was promised to another house in Civil Lines area of Delhi. The house belongs to Mr. Naren Jain and he has offered his house to Mr. AK on rent. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

GAS WARS - Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis (Book Intro)

GAS WARS - Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis is a new book on the politics surrounding our immense natural resources. Although it is on 'Natural Gas', it draws a picture surrounding natural resources as a business proposition by the well connected rich and the powerful. It is written by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Subir Ghosh and Jyotirmoy Chaudhuri.

The book highlights the weaknesses of our system that allowed the Reliance group to blatantly exploit loopholes, which were consciously retained in the system to benefit the powerful. It is an alarming reflection of how big businesses with money and muscle has benefitted from the way Government policies are structured - be it Meghalaya or Coal fields of Sonari, Assam, or the rich natural gas reserves in the Krishna-Godavari basin.

It lays bare the alarming facts of a natural disaster waiting to happen due to the ruthless exploitation of the country's natural resources in order to swell the fortunes of the few. 

I have an opinion that this also funds the super expensive elections of the country, with its thousands of helicopter rides, plane trips and cash to the thousands of volunteers.

All concerned citizens of the country should read this book. This book gives us strength to actively participate in our country's progress by providing the necessary checks and balances.

It is worth mentioning that when Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and Mr. Prashant Bhushan had called for a press conference regarding the same issue, quite a few of media companies were served legal notices by Reliance Group for broadcasting the press conference !! Where is Right to Free Expression?

Later, all the three authors were served legal notices. Even and who are merely selling the book were served legal notices. One young girl who just helped Mr. Thakurta sent out invites for the book launch was also served a legal notice !!

Please read the book or just glance through it before making an opinion. But please make an opinion for sure.