PB’s twisty take on the top five headlines of the day.
1. Railways may chop running costs to put finances back on track – Suresh Prabhu has a daunting task!
Railways plans to pare costs and raise ticket price by 5%-10% in an effort to improve its financial position. Railway Budget would also focus on raising investments in infrastructure development. Merely depending upon the freight and passenger fares and uncontrolled expenditure will not help the railways to give better service. Innovative revenue generating schemes (like auction of railway stations) and rationalization of expenditure (looking at ways to reduce mammoth workforce) are the need of the present day.
2. Amit Shah hits out at Rahul Gandhi over JNU row – Politically charged atmosphere!
Shah launched a blog targeting the Gandhis for siding with anti-nationals. He has raised the pitch as BJP wants to use it as an election issue in 4 states and get nationalists on its side. Reminds me back of the Lok Sabha duel and the heated electoral campaigns by both parties. BJP again thru this incident has brought Left Front which was fighting for its survival to the limelight and may force it to forge alliance with Congress in Bengal. After Modi the political landscape has been divided into pro Modi and anti Modi camps. There is no place for neutral view.
3. SC dismisses plea seeking LoP status for Congress – Is Congress mukt Bharat a real possibility now?
After 2014 elections Congress got 44 seats which is lower than 10% required for getting Leader of Opposition status in Lok Sabha. Party made a lot of hue and cry but BJP didn’t budge. The party has lost power in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand to BJP, lost to AAP in Delhi and lost to PDP+BJP in J&K. It has won as a junior partner in Bihar with RJD & JDU. It has lost its government in Arunachal because of dissidence in the party. It is set to loose Assam and Kerala power in a few months from now. Can Modi’s dream be fulfilled!
4. JD(U), RLD to merge in UP for 2017 assembly polls – Another Janata Parivaar effort to unite?
Nitish’s JDU will merge with Ajit’s Rashtriya Lok Dal in UP and fight polls together. JDU has limited or no presence in UP. RLD has presence in western UP. This is part of global ambition of JDU to become a big powerful block of ex Janata Dal members and play a key role in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. What would not have been discussed is who will be PM candidate? Will Ajit Singh agree to Nitish as PM? That’s a million dollar question and may lead to break up of the alliance in future as happened in the past.
5. JNU hearing turns violent – Why police watched silently?
Police silently watched as lawyers and BJP officials allegedly beat up students, teachers and journalists. Though, the police claims it to be a minor situation, critics have taken it as a serious offence and the blame game on Modi sarkar has begun. Again an incident which could have been avoided. BJP MLA leading the charge has been arrested. Bigger game is control of universities where till now ABVP has failed to make significant dent into JNU.