Saturday, 26 September 2020

AAP’s dilemma, BJP, interested watcher

Updated: December 28, 2013 2:42 pm

It was rumoured just a day before the Lt. Governor of Delhi invited Dr Harsh Vardhan, leader of the BJP, to form the government, that Sonia Gandhi had reportedly directed her strategists to somehow get the BJP take power in the Capital. She felt that by the time 2014 national election takes place, the BJP, unable to solve problems of Delhiites, would lose out then. Her advisers believed that the Aam Aadmi Party would also lose many young voters, who gave mandate to it to fulfill its promises. By keeping out it would create doubts about its ability to fulfill its extravagant promises like reducing electricity bill by 50 per cent.

But, the Bharatiya Janata Party finally made it clear that it would not form the government in Delhi as it is short of majority. An announcement in this regard was made by Harsh Vardhan. Following the refusal by the BJP, the Lt. Governor invited the Aam Aadmi Party for discussion on the government formation. The meeting was expected to be held on Saturday.

Media persons were briefed by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung. He said the BJP leader informed that he would form a government only when the party got clear majority in the House. Referring to the limitations of his party, Harsh Vardhan said that President Pranab Mukherjee had asked the Lt. Governor to ensure that the party that forms the government would have to prove its majority on the floor of the House within seven days. Harsh Vardhan said, “We do not want to indulge in horse-trading or any unfair means to form Delhi government…we know we will not be able to secure majority in the House within seven days.” He further said that the BJP welcomed any other party that wished to form a government in Delhi, adding that his party would support them in their functioning if their policies were in favour of people. When asked if the BJP would consider supporting the Aam Aadmi Party in government formation, Harsh Vardhan said that Arvind Kejriwal’s party had “already made it clear that it would neither give nor take support from any other party”. The BJP’s refusal would give it the certificate of not being power hungry. But it puts AAP in a dilemma. If it accepts the invitation to it by the Lt. Governor, it will have to prove majority in the House. It can be done easily, for in all probability, Congress’ eight MLAs would support it, although AAP would be at pains to show it never asked them to do so.

No one would believe that there was no under-the-table agreement. This means AAP would start its innings with a false pretense–it will neither give or take support from any party. Moreover, most of AAP legislators are first-timers and have no experience of governance. They could mess up everything and fail the people. In any case, some promises, which would be difficult to fulfill, would give them a bad name, spoiling their chances in the Lok Sabha election. No doubt Arvind Kejriwal has been put in a dilemma, rather difficult to resolve. Either way could put him in a serious spot.

Willing to buy Akhilesh laptops for Rs 3,000?

The distribution of laptops free of cost to students in Uttar Pradesh was an election-winning gimmick like the distribution of cycles to girl students in Bihar. The young Akhilesh Yadav, son of the supremo of Samajwadi Party Mlayam Singh Yadav, had outlined his scheme during campaigning for the assembly election and he was then complimented for visualising the impact of the scheme on the polls. No one thought about the expense involved nor the fact that for poor students maintaining a laptop would be difficult.

The markets, these days, are flooded with what has come to be known as “Akhilesh laptops” instead of Hewlett Packard (company that has manufactured them) laptops. The lakhs of laptops that UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has distributed free of cost to intermediate pass students under the flagship programme of his government are now up for sale. Just a few months after the distribution of the laptops, one can find ‘Akhilesh laptops’ at Rs 3,000-4,000. Or simply contact the Naja computer market in Lucknow and you may get them even cheaper.

Stories circulated earlier by the Samajwadi Party that if anyone sold the government laptop, they would be instantly identified by a “unique code” that had been put into the laptop and that if the Mulayam-Akhilesh wallpaper was removed, the laptop would crash, have been proved wrong. “I paid Rs 300 to a computer expert who formatted the laptop again and removed the Samajwadi wallpaper. The laptop is as good as new and no one can identify it as a government laptop,” said Shirish Chandra, a BA first year student who got his laptop in Lucknow.

Reports alleged that Shirish and two of his friends have now sold their laptops for Rs 3,500 each and have bought a mobile phone with the money. “We know that the actual cost of the laptop is between Rs 15,000 and 16,000 but we had to sell it in the grey market so we accepted whatever was offered to us. The laptop is of no use to us and a mobile phone is a better option,” he explained. In the rural areas, the laptops are being sold even cheaper and most of them with the consent of the parents. “My son got this laptop and ever since he has been watching movies and songs on it along with other children. He refuses to study and keeps playing games on the laptop. I have made him sell it off because I want him to concentrate on his studies. Besides I cannot afford an internet connection,” says Rakesh Maurya, a carpenter, who lives in Sultanpur.

A computer seller in Lucknow’s computer market admitted that “Akhilesh laptops” were in “abundant supply”. “We have many children coming to sell their laptops. Many of the computers have stopped working because children do not know how to operate them. We buy these machines, repair them and then sell them at a neat profit,” the seller who requested anonymity said.

It is alleged that about 20 students who were seen using their Akhilesh laptops at BJP Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Bahraich were a part of the BJP team that is working on a live webcast of the rally on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The laptops carried the Samajwadi stickers and when questioned, one of the boys said, “Yes this is the Akhilesh laptop but there are no restrictions on its commercial use. We are getting paid for this work.”

UP Secretary for Secondary Education, Jitendra Kumar said that the government was aware that the laptops were being sold and resold and that ads on buy-and-sell websites were being tracked. “We will initiate legal action if the guilty are found,” he said.

‘INDIAN TECHIES COULD CHANGE THE WORLD’

Once the Time magazine published names of 50 persons who could, according to its group of researchers and senior Editors, change the face of the Earth. One also recalls that about a decade ago, the late VP Singh’s son Ajay Pratap Singh figured in a feature in the magazine titled the 50 who could change face of the world. In all these selections, although made very carefully, some turned out to be ‘dirty eggs’.

Now according to reports, Eric Scmidst, Google’s executive chairman, has said that “there’s every reason to believe that in five to ten years, the majority of Indian citizens will have good access to the Internet… .

“ (it would be) life-changing for them… Access to information they never had. Access to the world’s information! Access to all those languages! Access to pictures, the ability to take pictures of what’s going on around them as a security measure!”

He praised the technological abilities of Indians. Sun Microsystems was founded by someone who’d been to an IT university in India. And in the Silicon Valley, there is evidence that 40 per cent of the entrepreneurs are Indian born. So it gives one a sense of the scale and reach of Indian entrepreneurs outside of the country.

But even he mentioned that the problem was not of the people but that of the country. “India appears to be relatively dysfunctional politically, and has some corruption issues. You can see the potential when the Indians come here. Imagine if they were there and they were doing the same things with the same kind of structure. They’d change the world.”

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