By Sunil Dang, Editor-in-Chief
The FBI enquiry over Russian involvement in the US presidential Polls is gaining momentum and its impact on Donald Trump is visible. His political moves in regions like Af-Pak, Korean peninsula, South China Sea and Syria to shrug off this pressure is unwanted. Through these moves, Trump is trying to show that he is anti-Russia and anti-China — two nations that American loath. Interestingly, when Trump took over, he was not so warm to the UK, which was astonishing to the global leadership. However, when the UK tried to break the ice with Moscow, US diplomacy took a U-turn towards the UK. Actually, Trump is doing this to placate the FBI and pacify them that he is an ardent American who hates both Russia and China and can go to any extent to maintain this thumb rule of being American. However, the FBI still looks unmoved and probably, Donald Trump is fast heading for impeachment.
In democracy, a leader without constituency is like a universe without stars and planets. But, in Indian parliamentary system, even if the people of India are not happy with one’s track record but their political bosses are, one can expect to get re-elected to the Rajya Sabha. We witnessed this during the recently held Rajya Sabha Polls, when the BJP had to re-elect its ministers from the Upper House as their terms were expiring. These leaders have been exhibiting their Rajya Sabha re-elections as an indicator of their good work as ministers, though public view in this regard could be quite the contrary. In my opinion, Narendra Modi is paying the price for being heavily reliant on the Upper House ministers who don’t have any experience of direct public politics. These leaders are inept is appeasing their party president and hence easily by-pass the public test during Lok Sabha Polls. They are in such favour of the top leadership that they continue to remain in power even after losing direct elections. They are even made ministers with heavy portfolios. As these leaders don’t have any public connect, they are unable to understand the public aspiration from them and hence talk hawkish with research data being prepared in their air conditioned chambers. To remind Modi about benefit of having mass leader, I would like to put an example of the UPA-1, in which all the third front regional leaders who were respective mass leaders of their states got under the leadership of the Congress Party. The Congress Party used its governance skills while these leaders captured the public mood and their requirements from time to time. This led to coining of MNREGA — a stands alone program, which helped UPA-1 to roar back to power in 2009.
Poll drum for Karnataka Assembly has begun but ironically the BJP IT Cell head had information about the state poll date before it was announced by the Election Commission. Though, they are giving an alibi that Amit Malviya had got this information from a leading English TV channel, it doesn’t absolve the Election Commission’s problem. When only five officials of the election Commission, which includes the CEC, two other elections commissioners and two other top EC officials, know about the polls dates before its announcements, how come the Karnataka poll dates get leaked. It puts serious question over the integrity of the autonomous body like the Elections Commission.
The revenue collection through the GST is around 40 percent of its target. A threat that emerges out from it is the constraint on public spending and red flags about the ill health of our national economy but the Finance Minister is still beaming about his achievement of making GST a reality. If the rollout of the GST had been of that quality which the Finance Minister and his officials have been boasting off, what was the reason of making frequent changes in this legislation? Interestingly, the ministry is mum on the status of Indian Revenue Services as the IRS cadre has become junked after the implementation of the current GST system. Rather hiding its failure while implementing the GST legislation, the Finance Minister should involve IRS officers with him and address the complexities that businessmen have been complaining in filing the GST forms. It would help government to mend its ways before it begins to bleed.
In ball tampering row, Australian Board timely stepped in and banned Captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner for one year. However, it would be interesting to see whether ICC changes its rule which stopped it punishing the Australian cricketers to such extent.