Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 14:30:43

Nitish Unwelcome, Modi Welcome

Updated: April 19, 2014 5:38 pm

It is ironic. It seems Nitish Kumar is not welcome in his own constituency, Nawada. While addressing a meeting there, he faced black flags. One report alleged that shoes and small stones were thrown at him. This was one constituency where he must have expected a friendly crowd, proud of the fact that one of theirs was chief minister. But exactly the opposite happened.

A few hours later, Narendra Modi addressed a meeting nearby. The crowd was huge, and they all kept chanting Modi, even while he was speaking. Nitish Kumar would have to ruminate at his steep drop from popularity. If surveys are right he would have enough time to think and introspect.

Could A Few Bjp Bigwigs Sink?

Reports coming from Amritsar and Vidisha are not good for BJP. In Amritsar, its nominee Arun Jaitley is being opposed by Amarinder Singh of the Congress, who has been Chief Minister and headed the erstwhile princely state of Patiala. In the holiest of the holy cities of Sikhs, an appeal is being made for all Sikhs to unite behind Amarinder Singh. But Jaitley is not a greenhorn. He is a veteran of many complex electoral strategies. So one can bet on a fiercely fought battle!

The other report is from Madhya Pradesh, where apart from Modi-wind, Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also built a strong goodwill. But despite all this, it is said that Sushma Swaraj is battling a losing battle against Lakshman Singh, younger brother of Digvijay Singh. It is believed that he has great influence in the constituency. But Vidisha has been one of the safest seats for BJP. Atal Behari Vajpayee won from here. Why then reports that Sushma Swaraj could lose? The first reason is that Sushma Swaraj allegedly did not nurse the constituency. She hardly went there. Secondly, her main opponent Lakshman Singh of Congress has been doing some work there. And these days, people do not vote on the basis of one’s position but who would do some work for them.

Whatever be the truth, she is unlikely to benefit from the Modi wave. Nor is he likely to come there, most possibly because Sushma Swaraj would never ‘lower’ herself by inviting him. She has from the beginning cut out Modi. The posters carry her’s, LK Advani’s , Atal Behari Vajpayee’s and Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s pictures. She does not mention his name in her speeches. How deep must be her hatred for him?

Praise Rahul For His Courage

Army commanders are duty bound to keep up the morale of their soldiers even if the situation is bad. Rahul Gandhi should not then be laughed at if he has been claiming that the Congress Party would secure over 200 seats and form UPA-3.

Yes he did overstretch himself when he declared that not only would his party triumph but that it would win even more seats than before. Of course, if poll analysts are to be believed, Rahul is floating in the cuckoo land. He should worry about the post-election scenario when whatever is left of the party could face another exodus. There are of course parallels to Rahul’s bragging. In 1997, John Major was facing trouncing of his Tory Party. But at a dinner he claimed that Tories would be coming back. They of course did not until David Cameron won and snatched power from Labour. Likewise on April 1,1962, America’s National Public Radio announced on its Talk of the Nation programme that Richard Nixon would be standing for President again in 1964 on the compelling campaign platform: “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” The ‘news’ led to the radio station’s switchboard being jammed with outraged callers. If radio stations could have faces, National Public Radio must have laughed on the wrong side of its face when, six years later, Nixon did indeed stand for the Presidency, and won.

Accidents Galore

Various theories have come up following the crash of a recently acquired C-130J transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force. The crash of the four-engine US-made aircraft has baffled experienced pilots, given its safety records and extreme agility. One senior Air Force pilot said the accident was “bizarre”, and speculated that either the crew was incapacitated or a fire broke out aboard the plane. The IAF started inducting C-130J in February 2011 and has half a dozen of them in service. It is also set to induct another six of the Hercules.

                One speculation that found credibility in wide range of people was that the engine was fitted with fake Chinese parts. It was however said that the parts were bought by manufacturers. But then the government denied that, that was the reason.   But CBC News confirmed that some of Canada’s new Hercules military transport planes have counterfeit Chinese parts in their cockpits that could leave pilots with blank instrument panels in mid-flight.

                Could that have happened to the IAF Hercules? One report was that the plane was flying quite low. Why? Was no communication between the Captain, a Wing Commander, and ground, exchanged? Was it because of fake parts, as per CBC News, that pilots were left with blank instrument panels? Experts disagreed that accidents do not happen because of fake parts. The original manufacturer of the parts in question, for one, said the altered versions installed on the Hercules cannot be trusted.

                The US congressional investigation reported the fake Hercules microchips were originally made by the Korean electronics giant Samsung in the 1990s, and more than a decade later, had been recycled, refurbished and remarked to appear genuine by a company in China. Samsung told the investigation by the powerful US Senate armed services committee that “it is not possible to project the reliability” of the altered parts.

                The US investigation reported that the problems on the Hercules first came to light in 2010 when the instrument panel failed on an aircraft during active duty. No other details of the incident have been made public. Documents show the Canadian military has known about the bogus electronic chips in the giant Hercules C-130J aircraft since at least July 2012, but continued to hide the fact during a CBC News months later.

                An expert said, “I would not feel comfortable flying that aircraft, knowing they have used parts of essentially unknown traceability. And I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable recommending our men and women in uniform do so.” He added that any time electronic components are altered, there is an inherent and significant safety risk. “Everything these days depends on electronics, and if electronics fail, nothing works.”

                The Americans have done intensive investigation, which has still been going on for years. Will our government do this kind of investigation? In India, apart from the Hercules, there have been series submarine mishaps, which led to the resignation of Navy Chief DK Joshi. Pakistan dreads the fleet of submarines India has. The undersea capability is to hit new low by 2015. Pakistan would be happy if the fleet is reduced. Has any inquiry been made if the series of ‘accidents’ is due to sabotage?

The Army is faced with shortage of ammunition. A retired Colonel related the fear expressed by various officers. They are worried and concerned at the state of stupor of the Defence Minister and the Army Chief. Our security has really been jeopardised—and rumours persist.

Is Sabotage In The BJP Continuing?

Rumours persist, which makes most believe they might be true. It is alleged that at least a couple of BJP leaders would not shed a drop of tear if the BJP fails to reach the magic figure of 200 in the Lok Sabha. Anything less would not help BJP get enough allies to form the government. Thus, these leaders, encouraged by the Congress, are busy digging grave of their party and consequently of Narendra Modi.

As far as these sabotage-wallahs are concerned, they would lose nothing. Being close to the powers that be, they would continue to enjoy the privileges that they have presently. As for the names, they are in public knowledge. Libel laws prevent us from publishing them. But if you switch off your tape or voice recorder you will know who they are.

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