THE electoral bonds scheme which came into effect in March 2018 is a brazen and opaque method to funnel corporate funds, kickbacks and black money into the ruling party’s coffers.
That is why the CPI(M) challenged the scheme and the amendments made in the relevant laws in the Supreme Court. The Association for Democratic Reforms also petitioned the Court to strike down the scheme. The CPI(M) was the only party to declare that it will not accept electoral bonds.
THE Modi government has enlisted one more government agency illegally to serve its partisan political purpose during the elections. The Income Tax department has been unleashed on opposition political parties and their leaders. The last fortnight has seen a series of raids by IT authorities on leaders of political parties, ministers in non-BJP state governments, businessmen associated with these parties and key aides of chief ministers and ministers in non-BJP state governments.
BY deciding to contest a second seat from Wayanad constituency in Kerala, the Congress president Rahul Gandhi has taken a wrong turn. The argument set out by senior Congress leaders, while making this announcement, was that it is important that the Congress president fight from the South also. They also stated that the BJP is trying to create a communal divide in the southern states too.
THE acquittal of Aseemanand (real name Naba Kumar Sarkar) and three others in the Samjhauta train blast case is a shameful reminder that the criminal justice system in India is incapable of bringing terrorists of the extremist Hindutva variety to justice for their crimes.
Between 2006 and 2008, there were six terrorist incidents perpetrated by a network of extreme Hindutva groups. Aseemanand, Pragya Thakur and Lt. Colonel Shrikant Purohit were the prominent conspirators amongst them.
HISTORY is repeating itself with the United States dictating whom India should buy oil from. The US had forced India to drastically reduce buying oil from Iran after it imposed unilateral sanctions on Iranian oil trade last year. Now, the US is back to the business of coercing India to stop buying oil from Venezuela on whom it has imposed illegal sanctions.
THE 17th Lok Sabha election, the notification for which has been issued, is going to be the most consequential election in the history of independent India. Much is at stake. This election will have a bearing on the future of the secular-democratic Republic as enshrined in the Constitution.
Five years of Modi rule have already weakened and eroded the basic principles on which the Constitution rests. An authoritarian Hindutva State looms ahead if the BJP succeeds in coming back to power.
THE promise of the Modi government to double farm incomes by 2022 seems to be a cruel joke on farmers who are suffering the reverse - a steady decline in farm incomes. The Central Statistics Office has added credence to the allegations of the peasantry that the last five years have seen continuously low incomes. CSO figures show that farm income growth crashed to the lowest in 14 years in the last quarter of 2018 (October-December).
THE National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) has condemned the brutal lathi charge on disabled protesters in Pune, Maharashtra, on February 25.
The protesters mainly belonging to the deaf community were demanding the implementation of the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act with regard to education and employment. They sought to highlight the fact that an overwhelming majority of educational institutions continue to be inaccessible. There is a huge backlog of vacancies which the government refuses to fill.
THE aerial strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed run camp in Balakot in Pakistan was conducted to send an effective message that India will not tolerate terrorist attacks such as in Pulwama, sponsored from across the border. The extent of the success of the operation, in terms of destroying the militant base, is yet to be established. The reputed international defence monitoring media agency, Jane’s Information Group, has termed the claims about the operation’s success as “speculative”.
THE death of 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the horrific attack in Pulwama has caused sorrow and outrage among people throughout the country. Thousands of people attended the funerals of the killed jawans who were drawn from 16 states of the country.