BiharWatch is an initiative of the East India Research Council (EIRC) which focuses on public policy, public finance, law making and justice besides nature and science. It attempts to keep an eye on poems, unalloyed truth, unsound business, paid news, courts, central and state legislatures, central and state governments, courts, district and block administrations, mayors, mukhiyas, sarpanchs, police stations, jails, the migrants from earliest times and neighbors.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Diverse Colours of Bihar by-elections
On September 15, Assembly by-elections will be held for the Bagaha (SC), Nautan, Begusarai, Tribeniganj, Simri–Bakhtiarpur, Araria, Dhuraiya (SC), Munger, Phulwari (SC), Ghosi and Bodh Gaya (SC) seats.
Of the 15 candidates facing murder and attempt to murder cases in all, 13 are contesting from Bihar alone.
In fact, the highest number of candidates with criminal background - 7 — is in the fray from Begusarai in Bihar followed by six such candidates in Nautan, also in Bihar.
Congress is going it alone in the assembly by-elections to 18 seats in Bihar keeping an equidistant from both RJD-LJP alliance and the NDA. Congress is attempting to revive itself in Bihar under the tutelage of Jagdish Tytler and Sachin Pilot.
Congress has lined up several national leaders for campaigning in the 18 seats in two phases - on September 10 and 15.
While Lalu Prasad-led RJD is contesting 13 seats, Ramvilas Paswan's LJP has fielded nominees on five seats in the state.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has accused the Congress ministers at the Centre of misusing official position for political purposes. "The ministers are misusing official position for the sake of politics," he said.
Referring to Union Rural Development Minister C P Joshi's charge that the state failed to utilise Rs 8,000 crore fund allocated by the Centre under various development schemes, Nitish said, "I have no complaint against Joshi...But political platform should not be used for the purpose of electoral politics...It is improper to use official position at the time of elections.
This war of words between a minority government led by Congress at the Centre and a majority government in the state reveals the nature of mandate which is generally not discussed these days.
Nitish Kumar’s decision not to field the kin of elected party MPs in the bypolls is being appreciated by the rank and file of the JD(U). This has upset at least one of the newly-elected JD(U) MPs from Gopalganj (SC), Purnamasi Ram, who has fielded his son Ajay Kumar Ram on the RJD symbol from Bagaha (SC). The Bagaha seat was earlier represented by Purnamasi Ram, who on being elected from the Gopalganj (SC) Lok Sabha constituency, relinquished his Assembly seat.
State Congress president Anil Kumar Sharma has criticized JD(U)'s General Secretary, Shivanand Tiwari for holding the Congress responsible for the bifurcation of Bihar. He said that it was the BJP and power-hungry leaders of the RJD who were responsible for it. He said that the RJD had joined hands with the JMM because it ran a minority government in Bihar and it was instrumental in passing a resolution by the Bihar assembly recommending creation of Jharkhand.
Political parties have fielded several tainted candidates for the assembly by-elections in Bihar. Analysis of the data gathered for a National Election Watch study shows that Bihar also leads others in the final tally, with 36 per cent (45 out of 123) of its candidates for the September 10 and 15 assembly byelections facing criminal charges.
The study of the affidavits of 202 of the 329 contestants in the fray in all states has revealed 64 candidates with self-declared criminal cases pending against them.
Indian National Congress has given maximum tickets to tainted candidates for the coming byelections. Of its 31 contestants, 13 (42 per cent) are facing criminal charges. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD comes a close second, having given tickets to 9 tainted persons out of 12 it had fielded.
BJP and JDU have fielded five tainted candidates each, making up 29.41 per cent and 45.45 per cent of the total.
On the front of fielding candidates with serious criminal charges, Congress leads the pack with six, followed by RJD and JDU at 4 each; CPI at 3, NCP, Lok Janshakti Party and CPM at two each.
Earlier, Hulas Pandey, younger brother of JD (U) suspended MLA and strong man Sunil Pandey, surrendered to the Patna police on 24 July, 2009 on the Bihar legislature premises soon after he took his oath.
A team of policemen was already deputed there to arrest him. Soon after courting arrest, in a reply to a question by the media that whom he considered his leader, he said it was known to every one ‘who was my leader.’ Hulas has been wanted in dozens of criminal cases including murder and kidnapping for ransom.
His name figured in a murder related case in 2003 in which he was made prime accused and the police believed Sunil as a conspirator along with him in the case.
Soon after he came out of the House, police took him in custody and produced him before the court concerned which remanded him to judicial custody.
Hulas is a named accused in the kidnapping of Patna-based neurosurgeon Ramesh Chandra in 2004 and for kidnapping a doctor from Muzaffarpur in north Bihar.
Hulas has become a member of the state legislative council after winning the recently concluded council polls. He is an Independent member. He defeated JDU's official candidate Bisheshar Ojha (a close relative of Munni Devi Ojha, Shahpur's BJP MLA)in the fray. It has been speculated that this BJP MLA supported the candidature of Hulas Pandey.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Bihar preparing for October 2010 Assembly elections
The 42 months rule of JDU led government appears uneasy in its relationship but it needs the 55 MLAs to keep his government afloat. With another 18 months left in its five year tenure, the government has approved a Rs 815 crore ambitious project for Mahadalits (a separate category for 18 sub-castes of dalits). The steps taken for empowerment of extremely backward castes (EBCs), Mahadalits and minorities benefited Nitish led government in the Lok Sabha elections.
His focus on Pansmanda Musalaman (i.e. backward Muslim community) is also quite strategic in dividing the Muslim vote banks like he has divided Dalits and Hindus. Reopening of Bhagalpur riots also is aimed at the same.
He has got Ali anwar and Dr Ezaj Ali sent to Rajya sabha as well as a crucial signal to the Muslim community.
Nitish Kumar is seeking special category status for Bihar and has made it a huge public issue.
Ram Sundar Das, a former chief minister joined the JDU just before the Lok Sabha elections. He defeated Ram Vilas Paswan who had retained Hazipur seat in eight elections. Das had lost the chief minister’s job to Lalu Prasad Yadav in 1990. Janata Dal had won the most seats in Bihar Assembly. Lalu Prasad ruled Bihar for 15-year until Nitish led coalition defeated him 2005.
In the recently held Lok Sabha elections Ranjan Prasad Yadav of JDU defeated Lalu Yadav.
Nitish Kumar has focused on the EBCs (includes many poorest sub-castes), which account for over 20 percent of Bihar’s eight crore people. He has introduced a 20- percent reservation for them in village panchayats.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Meira Kumar: New Speaker or Bihar's future Chief Minister?
Sonia Gandhi's choice of Meira Kumar, daughter Jagjivan Ram, the former Deputy Prime Minister who had to walk out of Congress is meant to send a clear signal to Dalits across the country.
L K Advani, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Yadav recalled Jagjivan Ram's rift with the Congress party while claiming him to be their own. BSP was part of the chorus welcoming Kumar's ascension to the top chair. For BSP, likes of Jagjivan Ram has been the ‘co-opted’ used by Congress against Ambedkar.
Kumar has defeated both Mayawati and Ramvilas Paswan in the 1985 Bijnore by-election.
Bihar politics was yet again played out in LS, with JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and his bete-noire Lalu Prasad using the inauguration of Speaker Meira Kumar to settle scores with each other.
The newly-elected Speaker, who, like the other two leaders, too hails from Bihar, however, made a timely intervention, preventing the scene from getting uglier. She was constrained to issue her first directive as Lok Sabha Speaker soon after when she asked the House reporters to expunge parts of the exchanges between the two Yadav satraps. Meira Kumar is a Congress MP from Sasaram, Bihar.
Trouble arose when the former railway minister, in his speech welcoming Ms Kumar's election as Lok Sabha Speaker, deviated from the standard practice of hailing her elevation, and said her anointment on the post should not be seen as a mere tokenism.
RJD chief recalled the role of her predecessor Somnath Chatterjee, saying he had shown how a Speaker should be above party-affiliations. When the issue of nuclear deal arose, Chatterjee, he said, took a stand "which went against the Left parties. But he did not budge. A similar situation may arise before you and you will have to take tough decisions".
He sought to caution Speaker against the Opposition’s real gameplan. "All leaders have promised Speaker that they would cooperate in smooth running of the House. But I have my doubts whether these promises will be kept," Lalu Prasad said in his usual tongue-in-cheek style, evoking laughter from a section of the members.
What invited Sharad Yadav's interruption was his charge that the NDA government, when it was in power at the Centre, had refused to approve welfare schemes initiated by the then RJD government in Bihar for the welfare of SC/STs.
The JD(U) leader, at this juncture, sought to remind him that this was not the occasion to play politics. When interrupted again after some time, the RJD leader retorted by saying that Parliament was the platform from which politics was generally played out.
"We've come here to do politics. You may do Hari-Bhajan if you like," Lalu Prasad retorted as other members watched silently. Rather than joining issues with the irrepressible RJD leader, Sharad Yadav opted to remain silent after this. The newly elected Speaker later ordered portions of the exchange between the two Bihar leaders to be expunged.
Grapevine from Congress sources suggest that Meira Kumar would be the Chief Ministerial candidate in the next Bihar assembly elections. Isn't her refusal to resign from the membership of Congress Party even after assuming Speaker's chair pregnant with some such meaning?
Highlights of Bihar's Economic Survey
1. Out of the entire Bihar population 89.5% stay in the rural areas
2. Population density is 880
3. Sex ratio is 919 girls to 1000 boys with Siwan having the best ratio of 1031 girls to every 1000 boys and Munger having the worst ratio of 872 girls per 1000 boys. Patna follows close behind with 873 girls to 1000 boys. (However the high ratios in Siwan is most likely due to emigration of the male population to other
states in India in search of work)
4. Gross enrollment of students from Bihar in higher education is 6.7% compared to the India average of 9.2%. While the male enrollment is better the female enrollment is only 3.5% against India average of 7.7%
5. Bihar has a very low density of higher education institutions. For e.g. Bihar has only 7 engineering colleges (with no new applications for engineering colleges pending). Compare this with 292 engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh (with applications for 113 new colleges pending) and 286 engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu (with applications for 53 new colleges pending). Even UP has 125 engineering colleges with 43 new applications pending.
6. Reduced crime rate: As per the report there were 117.9 crimes per lakh of population for the year 2007 which is below the national average of 175.10. This placed Bihar at the 28th rank for crime with Pondicherry having the highest crime rate of 475.4 crimes per lakh population and Nagaland having the lowest crime rate of 54.4 crimes per lakh population. Source: World Bihari Forum
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Bihar Assembly seeks special category status for Bihar
One must admit that the report/book titled "Special Category Status: A Case for Bihar" makes a compelling case for special category status to Bihar.
There is statistical evidence to show that Bihar did not become backward, it was made backward. There has been a deliberate effort that in terms of economic and social indicators of development, Bihar remains below all-India averages in most respects of human development.
Raekha Prasad reporting in May 2006 for The Guardian from Khagaul, her father's home town wrote, "The state of Bihar contradicts modern India's optimistic vision of itself। "Bihar" has become an expletive, a butt of derogatory jokes made by people in certain metropolitan circles who have never visited the place। Underlying the ridicule is a potent fear in the minds of many Indians that Bihar is a template of what this ascendant economic power could yet become. For India's burgeoning middle classes, Bihar is a byword for everything they most fear: feudal and caste cruelty, criminalised politics and grinding poverty." Backwardness of the state is at the root of the crisis that has been underlined.
While special category status to Bihar merits attention, does anyone know about the fate of the Bihar's Common School System Commission that had submitted its 313-page report in June 2007 calling “for a legislation underpinning the Common School System.” If this is done Bihar can show the right path especially with regard to education to the whole country. Has Bihar Government acted on its recommendation?
Bihar Deserves ‘Special Category status'
He has put forward a strong case for special category status for the state, which lags behind several states in economic development. He put forward a strong case for special category status for the state, which lags behind several states in economic development. He pointed out, however, that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had refused to give Bihar special status despite repeated requests.
Noted economist Lord Meghnad J Desai on Friday fully endorsed Bihar's claim for special category status and even favoured "political bargaining" for that. "Transformation in the position of Bihar is a great achievement. It is time to make a persuasive case for Bihar".
Deasi said: "Political bargaining can come in handy for achieving the special category status to Bihar. There should be more transparency in allocation of funds by the Centre."
Desai said something has gone wrong in Bihar and UP which send 120 MPs to Parliament. "In advanced states, the social empowerment of weaker sections took place much earlier. In Bihar and UP, the empowerment of socially weaker sections has remained suppressed for a long time," he said.
He strongly pleaded for effective people-centric governance and direct funds to the target group. "A poor man knows more than experts where to spend the money," Desai said.
Nitish said giving funds directly to the poor will cut down corruption and government expenditure. He also pointed towards the poor power condition in Bihar. "Whenever I hold meetings with important persons there is always a power outage. I told Lord Desai that this is also one reason Bihar should be given the special category status," he said. "When I took over, Bihar's own production was zero. While efforts were made to set up power plants in Bihar, private parties were unwilling to come because no coal linkage (transportation of coal directly from mines) facility has been given to the state," he said.
Nitish listed grounds for making such a demand saying Bihar has international borders with Nepal and Bangladesh, it is struck by recurring floods, power scenario is critical and also there is a problem of extremism. "Bihar can overcome these problems once it gets financial support, investment and subsidy," he added. In a rare gesture of unity and rising above the political affiliation, the members sitting on both sides rose in unison and forcefully approved the resolution calling the Centre to include Bihar in the special category of states. Members cutting across the party line favoured the move and urged their central leaders to take up the matter with the Prime Minister.
An all-party delegation led by Nitish Kumar sought an appointment with the PM on the issue. The delegation approached the PMO for an appointment on April 13, 2006. But even after 37 months, the appointment has not been given. Bihar Chamber of Commerce (BCC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on 15 May, 2009 urged the Centre to give special category status to Bihar. Satyajit Singh, Bihar CII, chairman too felt that Bihar needed a composite package with special category status.
BCC delegation had on August 28, 1999, met the then Union finance minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the then vice-chairman of Planning Commission Pranab Mukherjee, seeking special category state status to Bihar. He recalled that in June, 1989, the then PM Rajiv Gandhi had announced a special package for Bihar of over Rs 5,000 crore for various projects but it was never implemented.
Bihar government and BCC has been demanding economically and industrially backward state status for Bihar for the past several years.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Loka Sabha Election Results of Bihar
Kumar's JD(U) won 20 of 25 seats it contested, the BJP pocketed 12 of the 15 it fought.
Ramvilas Paswan's LJP was obliterated in the electoral battlefield losing all 12 seats it contested, including his own seat of Hajipur, which sent him seven times to the Lok Sabha. LJP had four MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha.
Lalu Prasad lost from Pataliputra where he was pipped at the post by his friend-turned-foe Ranjan Prasad Yadav of JD(U)। Prasad retained Saran, winning it for the fourth time.
In terms of vote share, JD(U) has gained only modestly with its share rising from 22.4% to 24%, and the BJP has actually dropped slightly, but the RJD's vote share has plummeted by over 11% - from 30.7% last time to just 19.3% now - and Paswan's LJP has lost another 1.6% in vote share. The Congress, despite contesting on its own, has raised its share from 4.5% to 10.3%, but that huge jump didn't yield seats because of the low base on which it came.
UNITED PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE - 262
Congress - 206
Trinamool Congress - 19
DMK - 18
Nationalist Congress Party - 9
National Conference - 3
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha - 2
Muslim League Kerala State Committee - 2
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen - 1
Bodoland People's Front - 1
Kerala Congress (Mani) - 1
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE - 159
Bharatiya Janata Party - 116
Janata Dal-United - 20
Shiv Sena - 11
Rashtriya Lok Dal - 5
Akali Dal - 4
Telangana Rashtra Samithi - 2
Asom Gana Parishad - 1
THIRD FRONT - 80
Bahujan Samaj Party - 21
CPI-M - 16
Biju Janata Dal - 14
AIADMK - 9
Telegu Desam Party - 6
CPI - 4
Janata Dal-Secular - 3
Forward Bloc - 2
Revolutionary Socialist Party - 2
MDMK - 1
Haryana Janhit Congress - 1
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) - 1
FOURTH FRONT - 27
Samajwadi Party - 23
Rashtriya Janata Dal - 4
OTHERS - 15
Independents - 9
Assam United Democratic Front - 1
Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi - 1
Swabhimani Paksha - 1
Nagaland People's Front - 1
Sikkim Democratic Front - 1
VCK - 1
Performace in the Bihar's 40 Parliamentary constituencies
Party Position - BIHAR
Ind & others
|Ara||GEN||Meena Singh||Janata Dal (United)||Rama Kishore Singh||LJP||74,880|
|Buxar||GEN||Jagdanand Singh||RJD||Lalmuni Chaubey||BJP||2,252|
|Sasaram||SC||Meira Kumar||Indian National Congress||Munilal||BJP||42,954|
|Karakat||GEN||Mahabali Singh||Janata Dal (United)||Kanti Singh||RJD||20,483|
|Saran||GEN||Lalu Prasad Yadav||RJD||Rajiv Pratap Rudy||BJP||52,571|
|Maharajganj||GEN||Uma Shankar Singh||RJD||PrabhuNath Singh||JD(U)||2,795|
|Siwan||GEN||Om Prakash Yadav||IND||Hena Shahab||RJD||63,430|
Ram Sundar Das
|Janata Dal (United)|| |
Ram Vilas Paswan
Lok Jan Shakti Party
|Paschim Champaran||GEN|| |
Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal
Bharatiya Janata Party
Lok Jan Shakti Party
|Valmikinagar||GEN||Baidyanath Prasad Mahto||Janata Dal (United)||Fakhruddin Ahmed||IND||1,84,125|
|Purvi Champaran||GEN||Radha Mohan Singh||Bharatiya Janata Party||Akhilesh Prasad Singh||Rashtriya Janata Dal||78,863|
|Sheohar||GEN||Rama Devi||Bharatiya Janata Party||Md.Anwarul Haque||BSP||1,21,423|
|Madhepura||GEN||Sharad Yadav||Janata Dal (United)||Prof. Ravindra Charan Yadav||RJD||1,68,973|
|Muzaffarpur||GEN||Capt. Jainarayan Pd. Nishad||Janata Dal (United)||Bhagwanlal Sahni||LJP||47,987|
|Vaishali||GEN||Raghuvansh Prasad Singh||Rashtriya Janata Dal||Vijay Kumar Shukla||JD(U)|
|Gopalganj||SC||Puranmasi Ram||Janata Dal (United)||Anil Kumar||RJD||42,471|
|Begusarai||GEN||DR. Monazir Hassan||Janata Dal (United)||Shatrughan Prasad Singh||CPI||40,837|
|Banka||GEN||Digvijay Singh||IND||Jaiprakash Yadav||RJD||28,716|
|Patna Saheb||GEN|| |
Bharatiya Janata Party
|Rashtriya Janata Dal|
|Pataliputra||GEN||Ranjan Prasad Yadav||Janata Dal (United)||Lalu Prasad Yadav||RJD||23,541|
|Ujiyarpur||GEN||Ashwamegh Devi||Janata Dal (United)||Alok Kumar Mehta||RJD||25,279|
|Samastipur||SC||Maheshwar Hazari||Janata Dal (United)||Ram Chandra Paswan||LJP||1,04,376|
Dinesh Chandra Yadav
Janata Dal (United)
Ravindar Kr. Rana
|Rashtriya Janata Dal|
|Munger||GEN||Rajiv Ranjan Singh||Janata Dal (United)||Ram Badan Rai||RJD||1,89,361|
|Nalanda||GEN||Kaushalendra Kumar||Janata Dal (United)||Satish Kumar||LJP||1,52,666|
|Gaya||SC||Hari Manjhi||Bharatiya Janata Party||Ramji Manjhi||RJD||62,453|
Janata Dal (United)
|Nawada||GEN||Bhola Singh||Bharatiya Janata Party||Veena Devi||LJP||34,917|
|Bharatiya Janata Party|| |
Md. Ali Ashraf Fatmi
|Rashtriya Janata Dal|
|Purnia||GEN||Uday Singh||Bharatiya Janata Party||Shanti Priya||IND||1,86,227|
|Katihar||GEN||Nikhil Kumar Chaudhary||Bharatiya Janata Party||Shah Tariq Anwar||NCP||14,015|
|Kishanganj||GEN||Mohammad Asrararul Haque||IndianNational Congress||Syed Mahood Ashraf||JD(U)||81,125|
|Madhubani||GEN||Hukumdeo Narain Yadav||Bharatiya Janata Party||Abdul Bari Siddiqui||RJD||9,931|
|Araria||GEN||Pradeep Kumar Singh||Bharatiya Janata Party||Zakir Hussain Khan||LJP||22,242|
|Jhanjharpur||GEN||ManganiLal Mandal||Janata Dal (United)||Devendra Prasad Yadav||RJD||42,778|
|Supaul||GEN||Vishwamohan Kumar|| |
Janata Dal (United)
Indian National Congress
|Sitamarhi||GEN||Arjun Rai||JD(U)||Samir Kumar Mahaseth||Cong||1,17,139|
Syed Shahnawaz Hussain
|Bharatiya Janata Party|| |
|Rashtriya Janata Dal|
|Aurangabad||GEN||Sushil Kumar Singh||Janata Dal (United)||Shakil Ahmed Khan||RJD||72,055|
|Jehanabad||GEN||Jagdish Sharma||Janata Dal (United)||Surendra Prasad Yadav||RJD||21,329|
Candidates in Ara
|Performance of Bihar's Key Politicians|
|Victors || |
|Lalu Yadav||Ramvilas Paswan|
|Ram Sunder Das||Prakash Jha|
|Sharad Yadav||Shekhar Suman|
|Shatrughan Sinha||Ranjita Ranjan|
|Ranjan Yadav|| |
|Kirti Azad||Prabhunath Singh|
|Lallan Singh||Kanti Singh|
|Jagdish Sharma||Shakil Ahmed|
|Syed Shahnawaz Hussain||George Fernandes|
|Digvijay Singh||Rajiv Pratap Rudi|
|Jagdanand Singh||Akhilesh Prasad Singh|
|Raghuvansh Pd. Singh||Munna Shukla|
|Meira Kumar||Jai Prakash Yadav|
|Monazir Hussan||F A A Fatmi|
|Hukumdeo Narain Yadav||Surendra Yadav|
|Radha Mohan Singh||Muni Lal choubey|
CRIMINALS AND THEIR RELATIVES WHO LOST
Wife of Pappu Yadav Supaul
Mother of Pappu Yadav Purnea
Wife of Mohammad Shahabuddin Siwan
Wife of Anand Mohan Sheohar
Wife of Suraj Bhan Singh Nawada
Jay Prakash Yadav
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Politics of Common School System & English language
Although one disagrees with Samajwadi Party on almost all issues ranging from its support for Indo-US Nuclear deal to its impudent promotion of industrialists like Anil Ambani and its dynastic politics but on the issue of language underlined in its manifesto, one is compelled to agree with it because there is an echo of what was recommended by a Government of India’s high-powered committee under Dr D.S. Kothari, the then chairman of University Grants Commission to frame a national policy which would give shape and direction to newly independent India’s school education system.
The Kothari Commission Report on Education (1964-66) is still regarded as the most in-depth study of primary and secondary education in Indian history. The Kothari Commission advocated a common school system. According to the commission the characteristics of a common school system include--publicly funded schools open to all children irrespective of caste, creed, community, religion, economic condition or social status, no tuition fee is charged and providing free instruction for all in the mother tongue at the primary level, particularly for linguistic minorities; active encouragement of teaching in regional languages at the secondary level and discontinuance of state aid to schools imparting education other than in the medium of mother tongue/ regional language.
The National Education Policies of 1986 and 1992 endorsed the Kothari Commission’s recommendation of a common school system across the country. However the recommendation has never translated into action. In 1990, the apex Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE), which appraises the extent to which the National Education Policy is implemented by the Central and state governments and other agencies appointed a committee to review NEP 1986. The CABE constituted Acharya Ramamurti Committee which noted that the common school system proposal was not making any headway because of the constitutional protection given to minorities to establish and administer their own educational institutions is incompatible with a common school system, public schools and privately managed English medium schools, schools charging capitation fees and those offering expensive coaching have proliferated.
What is noteworthy is that quite like other political parties Samajwadi Party neither did anything to promote common school system when it was in power nor does it promise to do so now. Therefore, mere insistent and valid criticism on misplaced emphasis on English language is not sufficient. Almost all the advocates of Hindi including the stalwarts in Hindi journalism and politicians of Hindi heartland have either sent their children to English schools or wish to do so.
In such a backdrop, Dalit thinkers are absolutely right in demanding English education because at least since 1757 English language seems to have determined as to who is an oppressor and who is the oppressed. In fact it is sad but it appears to be true that they who know English are Upper Castes and they who do not are Dalits. English as a medium of education must be eliminated in favour of mother tongue but opposing it without advocating common school system is manifestly insincere and dishonest because no developed or developing country has ever achieved Universal Elementary Education or, for that matter, Universal Secondary Education, without a strong state-funded and state-regulated Common School System. It is indeed an irony that such an equitable public school system has been prevalent in some form or the other in several European countries, USA and Canada but not in India where it is needed the most.
However, it must be mentioned that in 2006, Bihar Chief Minister called for the Common School System to be implemented by the central government in order to ensure quality and non-discriminatory education to all. Bihar, said he, is the first state to have constituted a commission on common school system. Since then reiterating the recommendations of Kothari Commission, the Common School System Commission has submitted its 313-page report in June 2007 and almost two years have passed but one is not aware of steps taken by Bihar Government to act on its recommendation calling “for a legislation underpinning the Common School System.” If it happens it would be a trendsetter beyond empty posturing on English language as a medium of education.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Third Front government in offing again?
Communist Party of India (Marxist)[CPIM] dictates and guides the Left-ruled states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura.
Prakash Karat, 60 years old General Secretary of CPI (M)says, his party would decide on joining the Government if the Third Front came to power after the elections. “We would decide after weighing our options. If a non-Congress government comes to power, we would think about joining it. Joining the government is easy, but implementing the alternative policies is more important”.
Third Front is fighting the Lok Sabha elections with 10 parties in its fold. “The Congress has dissolved the UPA. The party has already said there would be no national-level alliance with any party. If the front was a 'maya', why should others waste time discussing it?” he asked.
Karat said the manifestos of the Congress and the BJP looked alike. The BJP was silent on its earlier promise that the party would review the nuclear deal if it came to power. Instead, that party had highlighted the Ram temple issue. The Third Front has proposed a policy alternative to that of both the Congress and BJP. The front would revamp the public distribution system in the country, doing away with the categorisation of consumers into the BPL and the APL.
On economic policies, Karat said the Third Front had suggested infusing more liquidity into the system to bring down the prices of essential commodities. “Containing the inflation alone would not pay dividends.”
Karat likes crime novels and reads Inspector Cheng series (by Qui Xiaolong), Henning Mankell’s books, Ian Rankin and Michael Connelly.
Karat was involved with student politics and was elected the third president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Student's Union. He also became the first President of the Students Federation of India between 1974 to 1979. He worked underground for one and a half years during the Emergency in India in 1975-76. He was arrested twice and spent 8 days in prison. He was also instrumental in defining the basic paradigm of the JNU Students Union constitution, perhaps the most revolutionary students union manifesto of its time.
Bihar witnesses CPI (ML) led Left Front
Bowing to the glaring political reality CPI-ML, the largest Communist party in Bihar has joined hands with CPI, CPI-M to put up candidates in 33 of the state's 40 Lok Sabha seats in an attempt to make its presence from the state in the 15th Lok Sabha. CPI (M-L) was an underground organisation until 1992 because it had taken the path of armed struggle which it gave up.
CPI-ML which has a significant organisational capacity in Bihar has put up the maximum 20 candidates. CPI has put up candidates for 8 seats the and CPI-M has put up candidates for 5 seats.
Father of Rahul Raj who was killed in a fake encounter in Mumbai, Kundan Singh has accused NDA and UPA leaders of failing to pursue the issue of Bihari identity and his son. He accused Nitish Kumar, Lalu and Ram Vilas Paswan of killing the emerging student movement in Bihar when students agitated over the issue of killing of Bihari youths: Rahul Raj (Patna), Pawan (Nalanda), Harendra Manjhi (Gopalganj) and Santu (Munger). He said that the JDU government did not help him in the inquiry of false encounter case and he was supported only by the CPI-ML. He has appealed to the people of Bihar to support the Left Front candidates. An appeal has also been issued to defeat Bollywood non-resident Bihari actors who remained silent while Bihari youths were being killed by Raj Thackrey's goons in Maharastra and were given clean chit by the Maharashtra Government.
“There are differences and they will be there. We are not merging with the CPI(M). Now the plan is to hold joint actions with the CPI(M) and CPI in Bihar. It is a positive development as the CPI(M) responded to our appeal this time around,” said, Kavita Krishnan, spokesperson, CPI(ML).
Indeed "Caste and community combinations employed by various political formations have been the most crucial factor in all elections in Bihar in the past 20 years" with the exception of CPI (ML).
CPI-ML has a support base in at least 11 of the state's 38 districts, including Bhojpur, Buxar, Jahanabad, Sasaram, Gaya, Siwan, Gopalganj, Maharajganj and Jamui. There is fair chance that the CPI and the CPI(ML) can capitalise the division of votes to their advantage in constituencies such as Begusarai.
CPIML's Arun Singh who is a sitting MLA from Karakat is contesting from Ara in Bhojpur district. Ara has more than 15 lakh voters. He is cotesting against rivals like Rama Singh of LJP, Meena Singh of JDU, Haridwar Prasad Singh Kushwaha of Congress and Rita Singh of BSP. Some believe that only Arun Singh and Rama Singh are serious candidates while other feel the contest is between Arun Singh and Meena Singh. The fact remains Meena Singh (from late Tapeshwar Singh's family) is a sitting MP from Bikramganj which she won because of a sympathy factor due to her husband Ajit Singh's accidental death. Rama Singh is a sitting legislator from Mahnar that makes him also an outsider so is LJP in Ara.
In the Bihar Vidhan Sabha election of 2005, Arun Singh won as a CPI(ML)(L)candidate from Karakat (in Rohtas region) by getting 35954 votes as against his rival RJD candidate Tulsi Singh who got 29274. He won by a margin of 6680 votes. He is a third time MLA.
In February, 2008, this CPI-ML MLA was in news for his acts in the Bihar Vidhan Sabha during Governor R S Gavai's address to the joint sitting of the two houses of Bihar legislatures. Arun Singh read out a parallel speech denouncing Bihar's NDA government for its failure on all fronts.
In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the CPI (ML)candidate was the first runner up.
Earlier, Rameshwar Prasad was elected to the Lok Sabha from Ara in 1989 as a front candidate for the underground organisation.
In the 2005 Vidhan Sabha election, the CPI (ML)'s got seven MLAs although two of its MLAs Amarnath Yadav and Satyedeo Ram who are MLAs from Siwan district are in jail.
Sudama Prasad, another CPIML leader is contesting from Buxar.
CPI(ML)'s candidate in Siwan Amar Yadav is emerging as a strong contender against RJD leader Mohammed Shahabuddin's 36-year-old wife Heena Sahab. Heena is a resident of Pratappur which comes under Hussainganj Police Station. She is a graduate from Vidya Bhavan Mahila College.
(Lalu Prasad along with Shahabuddin's wife and party candidate from Siwan, Heena Sahab)
Shahabuddin was denied ticket because he accused of several criminal offences and is now in jail as a convict. Patna High Court dismissed his plea to suspend his conviction in a criminal case so that he could contest the Lok Sabha elections. Shahabuddin was convicted on May 5, 2007, for kidnapping and trying to kill a CPI (ML) activist, Chhote Lal, in 1999. The court August 2007 sentenced him to 10 years in jail. Under the electoral laws, anyone convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to jail for more than two years is barred from contesting elections. Shahabuddin has also been convicted in 2006 for carrying out an armed raid on the CPI-ML office in 1998 and sentenced to a two-year jail term. JD(U) nominee Brishen Patel in Siwan is also a strong candidate because he has represented this constituency prior to Shahabuddin. Lalu Prasad is contesting from adjoining Saran constituency.
CPI(ML)says it is seeking votes for a fighting Left opposition within Parliament and to to rebuild and revitalise the Left movement in the country and forge a fighting unity of Left and democratic forces.
The Left Front had 62 MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha but the way India's foreign policy became dependent on US and away from the tradition of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) shows that while Left Front's presence was felt, it could not save India from strategic embrace of US and consequently of Israel to the detriment of relations with Iran and other NAM countries.
In the last three general elections the Congress Party has been between 140 to 145 seats in the Lok Sabha of 543. In the elections of 1996, the Bharatiya Janata Party won 161 seats, in 1998 it increased its tally to 178 seats and in 2004 it won only 138 seats in a Lok Sabha of 543.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Fifteenth Lok Sabha Elections in Bihar
Rama Kishore Singh is the Lok Jansakti Party nominee, Arun Singh, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) [CPIML] nominee, Meena Singh is Janata Dal (United)[JDU] nominee, Rita Singh is Bahujan Samaj Party candidate and H.P. Singh Kushwaha is Congress candidate for Ara constituency.
Prior to the delimitation of constituencies Ara was represented in the 14th Lok Sabha by Kanti Singh of Rashtriya Janata Dal. She had won by a margin of 149743 votes. She had got 299422 votes and defeated her nearest rival CPI(ML)'s Ram Naresh Ram who polled 149679 votes.
Based on the statistics of previous elections it is being claimed that Arun Singh, the CPI(ML) candidate who also represents the Left Front in Bihar is all set win the Ara seat for the 15th Lok Sabha.
In Buxar the BJP candidate is Lalmuni Chaubey who is the sitting MP in the 14th Lok Sabh. He had defeated Dadan Singh, an independent candidate by getting 205980 votes as against his rival Dadan Singh who polled 151114. Chaubey had won by a margin of 54866 votes.
In the 14th Lok Sabha Sasaram was respresented by Meira Kumar of Indian National Congress who got 416673 votes as against her rival BJP candidate Muni Lall who polled 158411 votes. She won by a margin of 258262 votes.
In Maharajganj for the the 14th Lok Sabha, it was Prabhunath Singh of JD(U)who got 283506 votes as against his against his RJD rival Jitendra Swami who got 237041 votes. Prabhunath Singh won by a margin of 46465 votes.
State Chief Electoral Officer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh said in Patna immediately after the issuance of the notification by President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, the process of filing of nominations by the candidates for 13 Lok Sabha seats in the first phase of elections on April 16.
The filing of nominations continued till March 30 and their scrutiny was done the next day, while the last day for withdrawal of papers was April 2.
While on the second phase of polling on April 23, another 13 seats would go to the poll, on the third phase on April 30 the fate of a total of eleven seats would be decided. On the fourth and final phase of elections on May 07, electorate of the three remaining seats would cast their ballots.
The Presidential notification for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections for 13 seats in Bihar was issued on Mar 23, 2009 along with the rest of the country.
Bihar would witness a four phase elections on April 16, 23, 30 and on May 7 for the 40 Lok Sabha seats, on the first day elections would be held for only 13 seats.
LIST OF CPI(ML) CANDIDATES IN BIHAR
1. Araria Kamli Devi
2. Ara Arun Singh
3. Buxar Sudama Prasad
4. Darbhanga Satyanarayan Mukhia
5. Gaya (SC) Niranjan Kumar
6. Gopalganj (SC) Satyadev Ram
7. Jahanabad Mahanand
8. Jhanjharpur Yognath Mandal
9. Karakat Rajaram Singh
10.Katihar Mahbub Alam
11.Maharajganj Satyendra Sahni
12 Muzaffarpur Jitendra Yadav
13. Nalanda Shashi Yadav
14. Pataliputra Rameshwar Prasad
15. Patna Sahib Ram Narayan Rai
16. Purnia Madhavi Sarkar
17. Samastipur (SC) Jeevachh Paswan
18. Sasaram (SC) Dukhi Ram
19. Siwan Amarnath Yadav
20. Valmiki Nagar Virendra Gupta
List of JD(U) candidates from Bihar for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections:
1. Damodar Raut (Banka)
2. Capt. Jaya Narayan Nishad (Muzaffarnagar)
3. Rajeev Ranjan Singh (Munger)
4. Meena Singh (Ara)
5. Bhudeb Chaudhury (Jamui)
6. Prabhunath Singh (Maharajganj)
7. Arjun Rai (Sitamarhi)
8. Sharad Yadav (Madhepura)
9. Munazir Hussain (Begusarai)
10. Dinesh Yadav (Khagodia)
11. Jagdish Sharma (Jahanabad)
12. Ranjan Yadav (Pataliputra)
13. Ashwamedha Devi (Ujirarpur)
14. Purnamasi Ram (Gopalganj)
15. Syed Mohammed Ashraf (Kishanganj)
16. Ramsundar Das (Hajipur)
17. Munna Shukla (Vaishali)
18. Mangnilal Mandal (Jhanjharpur)
19. Brishin Patel (Siwan)
20. Vishwamohan Kumar (Supaul)
21. Kaushalendra Singh (Nalanda)
List of BJP candidates in Bihar:
1. East Champaran GEN Radha Mohan Singh
2. Madhubani GEN Hukumdev Narayan Yadav
3. Araria GEN Pradeep Singh Gange
4. Katihar GEN Nikhil Chowdhary
5. Purnia GEN Uday Singh
6. Saran GEN Rajiv Pratap Rudy
7. Bhagalpur GEN Syed Shahnawaz Hussain
8. Patna Saheb GEN Shatrughn Sinha
9. Buxar GEN Lalmuni Chaubey
10. Sasaram SC Muni Lal
11. Gaya SC Hari Manjhi
12. Nawada GEN Bhola Singh
13. West Champaran Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal
14. Sheohar Mrs Rama Devi
15 Darbhanga Kirti Azad
RJD has announced the candidate for Lok Sabha Seats of Bihar for parliamentary Election 2009.
Given below is the RJD list of its candidates:
1. Bhagalpur -Shakuni Chaudhary
2. Valmiki Nagar - Raghu Nath Jha
3. Gopalganj - Anil Kumar
4. East Champaran_ Akhilesh Prasad Singh
5. Sheohar- Sitaram Singh
6. Siwan - Hina Sahab (Wife of Shahabuddin)
7. Maharajgang - Pending
8. Vaishali- Raghuvansh Pd. Singh
9. Sitamarhi-Sitaram Yadav
10. Jhanjharpur- Devndra Prasad Yadav
11. Ujiyarpur -Alok kr. Mehta
12. Khagaria - R.K. Rana
13. Jamui - Shyam Rajak
14. Patna Sahib - Pending
15. Gaya- Ramji Manjhi
16. Darbhanga - Md. A. Fatmi
17. Patliputra - Lalu Prasad
18. Saran - Lalu Prasad
19. Kishanganj - Tasslimuddin
20. Banka - Jai Prakash Yadav
21. Aurangabad - Shakil Ahmad Khan
22. Karakat - Kanti Singh
23. Jahanabad - Surendra Pd. Mehta
24. Buxur - Abdul Bari Siddqui
25. Munger - Ram Badan Rai
26. Sasaram - Lalan Paswan
List of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) candidates:
1. Ram Vilas Paswan- Hajipur (reserved)
2. Ramchandra Paswan- Samastipur (reserved)
3. Prakash Jha- West Champaran
4. Ranjita Ranjan- Supaul (Ranjit Ranjan has left LJP and has joined the Congress)
5. Veena Devi- Nawada
6. Rama Singh- Ara
7. Satish Kumar- Nalanda
8. Ashfaque Karim- Katihar
9. Bhagwan Lal Sahni- Muzaffarpur
10.Shankar Jha- Purnia
11. Zakir Anwar- Araria
12. Anil Choudhary- Begusarai
Indian National Congress is contesting 37 seats in Bihar. It failed to reach seat sharing agreement with its key allies (RJD-LJP) in the United Progressive Alliance
List of Congress candidates:
1. PASCHIM CHAMPARAN - SADHU YADAV
2. PURVI CHAMPARAN- ARVIND KUMAR GUPTA
3. SHEOHAR- Mrs LOVELY ANAND (In place of Prof. Madhurender Singh)
4. MADHUBANI- Dr SHAKEEL AHMED
5. JHANJHARPUR -KRIPANATH PATHAK
6. ARARIA- DR. SHAKEEL AHMED KHAN
7. DARBHANGA- AJAY JALAN
8. MUZAFFARPUR- Mrs VINEETA VIJAYA
9. VAISHALI- HIND KESARI YADAV
10. GOPALGANJ (SC)- RAMAl RAM
11. SIWAN-VIJAY SHANKAR DUBEY
12. MAHARAJGANJ- TARKESWAR SINGH
13. HAJIPUR (SC)- DASAI CHOUDHARY
14. UJIARPUR- SHEEL KUMAR YADAV
15. SAMASTIPUR (SC)-DR. ASHOK KUMAR
16. BANKA- GIRDHARI YADAV
17. ARA- H.P. SINGH KUSHWAHA
18. BUXAR- PROF. K.K. TIWARI
19. SASARAM (SC)-Mrs MEIRA KUMAR
20. KARAKAT-AVADESH KUMAR SINGH
21 JAHANABAD- Mrs KAMLA DEVI
22. AURANGABAD -NIKHIL KUMAR
23. GAYA (SC)-SANJEEV PD. TONEY
24. NAWADA -Mrs SUNILA DEVI
25. JAMUI (SC)- ASHOK CHOUDHARY
26. PATNA SAHEB- SHEKHAR SUMAN
During 2004 elections the tally of seats bagged by political parties in Bihar out of a total of 50553503 voters. RJD won 19 seats, JD(U) won 6 seats, BJP won 5 seats, LJP won 4 seats and Congress won 3 seats. Total number of candidates were 462 and the 59 % turn out.
Some constituencies now have a different boundary or name because of the new delimitation rules. Some of these are Valmiki Nagar, Paschim Champaran, Purvi Champaran and Supaul.
Monday, March 30, 2009
15th Lok Sabha election process underway
Counting will take place on the 16th of May, which is expected to be completed on the same day.
Most likely the new government would be in place in the first week of June because the new parliament will be constituted before the 2nd June, 2009.
Prior to the annoucement, the Election Commission of India held a meeting with the representatives of all recognized National and State parties on 3rd February, 2009. It the election planning with the Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police and Chief Electoral Officers of all States to review the over all preparedness of the election machinery in the country.
The extents of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies in all States (except Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur and Nagaland) have recently been re-determined by the Delimitation Commission set up under the Delimitation Act, 2002. By a Presidential Notification issued on 19th February, 2008, the Delimitation Orders of the Delimitation Commission have been made effective from the same date in all the States, NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry (except the six States indicated above and Meghalaya and Tripura).
In respect of the States of Meghalaya and Tripura, the 2 from 20th March, 2008. Thus the present Delimitation Commission’s orders took effect General Elections to the Lok Sabha for 499 out of 543 Parliamentary Constituencies in all the States, NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry (except Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur and Nagaland) and to the State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Sikkim will be held on the basis of the newly delimited constituencies.