Monday, 12 February 2018

A story on don Atiq Ahmad which I did in Allahabad last year in February during Uttar Pradesh elections but couldn't appear in print
Akhilesh poster boy but not Shivpal
Allahabad: A board fixed on railing of the roof reads ‘Public relations office, Ateeq Ahmad, ex-MP, Samajvadi Party, 6, Karbala, GT Road, Allahabad’.
This has pictures of Mafiosi-turned-politician Ateeq (54) and his brother Khalid Azim Ashraf (38), an ex-MLA on one side and that of father-son duo Samajvadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on the other.
Slogans on the top read ‘Samajvadi Party zindabad, Mulayam Singh Yadav zindabad and Akhilesh Yadav zindabad’.
It may sound ironical to the followers of ex-state SP chief Shivpal Yadav that the board doesn’t have any image of or ‘zindabad’ for him whereas it was his love for Ateeq and another Mafiosi-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari that cost him his position in nephew Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet, led to a high drama in the state capital for several months, brought more than two decades old Samajvadi Party to the brink of split and relegated Mulayam-Shivpal to the stature of persona non-grata in the party.
Sitting in the office surrounded by local residents and also armed security personnel ex-MLA Ashraf, a co-accused in BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case, glances through a sheet of papers which has in it names of constituencies where don and his team ‘are helping the party and its candidates’ to boost their prospects as was claimed by Ashraf.
Though Ateeq was dumped as the party candidate by the party’s national president Akhilesh Yadav, the government’s soft corner for him was well discernible.
He was sent to Naini jail about a week back in connection with an attack on Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Science (SHIATS), Naini’s staff. But the arrest came almost a month after an FIR was lodged and that too only after high court rapped the police.
Ateeq’s absence in Muslims dominated Allahabad west constituency, his bastion, due to his being in jail ahead of polling couldn’t have come at a better time for a slain MLA’s wife and sitting BSP MLA Puja Pal (37). However, she still feels threatened.
“Ateeq is in jail because of me. He cannot sit idle. I face threat to my life but the problem is election cannot be fought from home”, said two-time MLA Puja talking to the Hindustan Times while she got onto an open jeep to lead a procession of more than 500 bike riding youths from Khuldabad.
BJP has fielded late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri’s grandson Sidharth Nath Singh (53) while SP Richa Singh (29).
Ashraf rubbished the threat perception and dubbed the FIRs filed against Ateeq and him as ‘certificates’ rewarded to them for raising their voice for the minority community and the OBC’.
“Had he been content with merely being an MLA and MP there would have been hardly any FIR against him. He wants to become a leader but whenever we raise our voice for downtrodden section of society we start facing troubles”, said Ashraf who along with Ateeq had absconded for 5 years after BSP chief Mayawati came to power in 2007.
Ateeq has been an accused in June 1995 state guest house episode too in which Mayawati was allegedly attacked by the then SP MLAs including Ateeq to save the then Mulayam Singh Yadav government which was reduced to minority after BSP withdrawing its support to the government.
In reply to a question Ashraf claimed Ateeq was not dropped as a candidate but he himself chose to withdraw from the contest.
“We also decided none of the family members would contest from Allahabad west or from anywhere this year as whenever we contest elections all the forces against us get together to implicate us in false charges”, he added.
Shivpal Yadav made Ateeq the party’s candidate on Kanpur Cantt seat in December last year despite apparently vehement opposition by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. The latter dropped him as the candidate the moment he took the party’s reins in his hands.
As per the affidavit Ateeq had filed at the time of filing his nomination papers for 2014 Lok Sabha elections he faces serious charges under various sections of IPC in at least 18 cases which include certain cases of murder.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017


Campaigning for his election with police security cover ahead of polling in Amethi assembly constituency on February 27 Uttar Pradesh’s controversial minister Gayatri Prajapati (49) who was arrested today from Lucknow was digging into the past of the woman simultaneously who had accused him and his aides of gang raping her repeatedly for over 2 years.

The minister also faces charges under Protection of children from sexual offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 for allegedly molesting the woman’s minor daughter presently hospitalised at AIIMS, Delhi.

The minister was on the run after issuance of a non-bailable warrant against him a couple of days back. His phone was constantly switched off. His passport had been impounded and a look-out notice issued as the minister was allegedly attempting to flee the country. Governor Uttar Pradesh Ram Naik had reportedly written to chief minister Akhilesh Singh asking why Prajapati was continuing in his cabinet.  

The passport was impounded and look-out notice issued hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a scathing attack on SP-Cong alliance said the alliance was chanting Gayatri Prajapati Mantra instead of Gayatri Mantra.

Barely 5 days ahead of the polling the minister, in his conversation with me in Amethi, told me as to how he had procured some documents and was in the process of getting more which would help him get relief from the court. On his possible arrest he said he had filed an application in the SC to present his side. “Police are investigating the matter to see if the charges stand prima facie.”

Blaming the BJP for a conspiracy against him due to his work as, he said, he was working to consolidate at least 17 weaker sections castes for Samajvadi Party the minister had dubbed SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav Lord Shiva, Akhilesh Yadav as Lord Ganesha and himself as ‘Nandi’ (mount of Lord Shiva).  

However, police sources said since the complainant woman had already accused the police of not acting on her complaints against the minister and rather intimidating her and her daughter in a bid to silence them the documents with the minister would hardly help him get any reprieve.

BJP leader Anugrah Narayan Mishra said everybody in Amethi knew the consequences of raising his voice against the minister. As far as his disappearance was concerned it’s not possible that the ruling party leaders were not aware of his whereabouts.

Much to disappointment of the minister he not only lost the assembly elections but Samajvadi Party also faced a humiliating defeat. The BJP leaders' election promise was to arrest Prajapati immediately after coming to power. However, before the BJP could form the government formally the police authorities acted swiftly for obvious reasons. There was no confusion in their mind on arrest of the minister, though the SP government is technically still in power till the BJP govt is formed. Arrest of the minister's aides and his son mounted pressure on him to come out of his hiding and he was ultimately arrested today. 

Monday, 20 April 2015

समय तेजी से निकलता है। २००८ से २०१५ हो गए और मध्य प्रदेश गवर्नमेंट ने इतने सालों के बाद अंततः मीडिया अवार्ड्स का ऐलान कर ही दिया। न सिर्फ ऐलान बल्कि अवार्ड्स के दो समारोह भी आयोजित कर दिए तथा सम्मानित पत्रकार बंधुओं को सम्मानित भी कर दिया. पर जहाँ बुद्धिजीवी हों वहां मतभेद न हो हो ही नहीं सकता। अतः अवार्ड्स पर विवाद अवश्यम्भावी था।  मेरे एक मित्र ने मुझे फ़ोन किया और विवाद पर मेरा विचार जानना चाहा।  मैंने कहा कि सबसे पहले हमे अवार्ड मिलने वाले मित्रों को बधाई देना चाहिए. जूरी के फैसले का सम्मान करना चाहिए. सम्मान देना तथा सम्मान प्राप्त करना दो पक्षों के बीच की बात है. एक पक्ष ने सम्मान देने के लिए कुछ पैरामीटर्स बनाये हैं तथा सम्मान प्राप्त करने वाला उस पैरामीटर्स पर खरा उतरता है. अतः इसमें विवाद कहाँ है? दूसरी बात ये है की अगर हम ये विचार करें की एक पत्रकार को जानने वाले मध्य प्रदेश में और उससे बाहर ५००० लोग हैं।  तो सम्मान प्राप्त करने के बाद हो सकता है की उसको जानने वालों की संख्या कुछ बढ़ जाए या हो सकता है दुगुनी हो जाए।  पर जिसे सम्मान नहीं मिलता है उसको जानने वालों की संख्या ५००० तो रहेगी। वह ४९९९ तो नहीं होगी. मैं ये भी मानता हूँ कि अगर एक पत्रकार की पहचान सिर्फ किसी एक अवार्ड से है तो फिर उसने अपने आपको पत्रकार कहलाने का हक़ खो दिया. फिर हमारा अवार्ड हमारा अपना काम है. अगर हम अपनी लेखनी से कुछ लोगों का भला करते हैं, कुछ की परेशानिया दूर करते हैं तो ये सबसे बड़ा अवार्ड है.
खैर इन पुरस्कारों का निहितार्थ चाहे जो कुछ भी हो और विवाद चाहे कुछ भी हो एक अच्छी बात ये हुई है की कम से कम सरकार ने एक नयी व्यवस्था तो शुरू की जिससे पत्रकार बिरादरी का सम्मान तो बढ़ा है. मेरे नज़र में ऐसे कई पत्रकार हैं जो सम्मान के हक़दार थे पर मुझे लगता है की उनका कद इतना ऊँचा है की वे सम्मान के दरकार नहीं हैं. ऐसे बहुत से नाम हैं जिनको मैंने पत्रकारिता के शीर्ष पर देखा है जब मैं भोपाल आया और उनमे से कई आज भी एक्टिव जर्नलिज्म में हैं. अगर वो सम्मानित लोगों के सूची में होते तो और भी अच्छा होता। कुछ गड़बड़ियां भी हुईं जैसे कि मैं अपने मित्र सतीश एलिया जी और प्रभु पटेरिया जी को आंचलिक पत्रकार की सीमा में नहीं बांध सकता।  राजेश सिरोठिया जी को प्रादेशिक पत्रकार की सीमा में नहीं बाँध सकता। 
पर अगर हम एक समुदाय की भावना से देखें तो अपनी बिरादरी के कुछ लोगों के सम्मान से पुरे पत्रकार बिरादरी का सम्मान हुआ है. जैसा की समन्वय भवन में मुख्य मंत्री शिवराज सिंह चौहान ने कहा उन्होंने भी खोजी पत्रकारिता की तो पता चला की विवाद टालने के लिए इतने सालों से अवार्ड नहीं दिए जा रहे थे। अतः इतने बड़े आयोजन में सब कुछ शत प्रतिशत सही होगा ऐसा संभव नहीं है.  अंततः एक नयी शुरुआत और सभी मित्रो को बधाई। sunday को सम्मानित लोगों में मेरे मित्र मनीष dixit जो की हमारे साथ कई वर्ष hindustan टाइम्स में काम कर चुके हैँ तथा नितेन्द्र शर्मा भी थे अतः मेरे लिए ये आयोजन और भी ख़ुशी देने वाला था। 
पर कहानी में एक ट्विस्ट भी है। वरिष्ठ पत्रकार रजत शर्मा के एक कमेंट ने राष्टीय पुरुस्कारों के समारोह में मुख्यमंत्री के मन में एक खटास पैदा कर दी। अपने भाषण के दौरान मुख्यमंत्री की तरफ मुड़ते हुए रजत शर्मा ने कहा की जल्द ही उनके कार्यक्रम आपकी अदालत में दिग्विजय सिंह को बुलायेंगे. उनकी बॉडी लैंग्वेज से पता चल गया कि एक शानदार एंकर ने एक भारी चूक कर दी  है. मुख्यमंत्री का चेहरा जो की नामी पत्रकार शेखर गुप्ता के प्रशंसा से दमक रहा था अचानक स्विच ऑफ हो गया और वे असहज दिखने लगे।  आमंत्रित पत्रकारों और अन्य मेहमानो के बीच चर्चा शुरू हो गयी की रजत शर्मा ने वाकई दिग्विजय सिंह का नाम लिया या उन्होंने शिवराज सिंह चौहान के नाम की जगह गलती से दिग्विजय सिंह का नाम ले लिया?  मैं स्वयं दुविधा में था पर मेरे मित्र राकेश अग्निहोत्री और प्रभु पटेरिया दोनों आश्वस्त थे की रजत शर्मा ने गलती कर दी है. और अंततः वही हुआ। अपना स्पीच खत्म करने के बाद  रजत शर्मा डायस पर मुख्यमंत्री की बगल में अपनी जगह पर वापस बैठे और उन्होंने चौहान से कुछ कहा. मुख्यमंत्री ने अपना सर हिलाया।  फिर रजत शर्मा वापस माइक पर आये और उन्होंने सॉरी बोलते हुए ये कहा की उन्होंने एक गलत नाम ले लिया. उन्होंने ये भी कहा कि मंच पर उन्हें ऐसी गलती नहीं करनी चाहिए थी।  पर डैमेज तो हो चूका था। अंत में जब मुख्यमंत्री का भाषण हुआ तो उसमें लय गायब था और पूरे समारोह में मुख्यमंत्री के वर्तमान में विरोधी नंबर १ दिग्विजय सिंह का नाम वातावरण में आ चुका था।   
अंत में मैं अपने वरिष्ठ और आदरणीय पत्रकार बंधुओं से एक अपील करना चाहूंगा कि वे मानव को मानव रहने दें। चाहें तो उन्हें सुपर मानव बना दें पर उन्हें 'शिव' और भगवान ना बनायें।  और उनके सर के बालों को बाल ही रहने दें, जटा ना  बनायें  नहीं तो उन्हें बालों  में कंघी करने में परेशानी होगी। आखिर मुख्यमंत्री का मत भी तो यही है कि 'महाराज की जय' करने वाले 'राजा' का नुकसान ही करते हैं जबकि निंदक को पास रखने पर फायदा ही होता है। 'पुरस्कार' का नाम 'सम्मान' में बदलना तभी सार्थक होगा, नहीं तो वो वाकई में पंजीरी माना जाएगा.  
इतने अंतराल के बाद ब्लॉंग पर लिखने के लिए मेरे मित्र प्रभु जी को शुक्रिया जिनका ब्लॉग पढ़कर मैं फिर लिखने को प्रेरित हुआ। पहली बार हिंदी में ब्लॉग पर लिखने पर गलतियों के लिए क्षमा प्रार्थी हूँ।  

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Call middlemen for railway tickets

Governments come and go. Every railway minister takes pledge to break the nexus of middlemen (called Dalals in Hindi) and who?? (Of course, our railway employees. Though majority of them are not a part of this nexus: Either they don't believe in malpractice or they don't have opportunity to get engaged in ticket booking process).
Governments go but middlemen remain. Needless to mention untold sufferings to those passengers who try to get tickets from the window or online. Every railway minister for about a decade now also makes lofty claims to strengthen the system of online booking and give excuses for lethargic pace of IRCTC website while attributing it to lakhs of ticket seekers trying to book tickets at the same time. But problem remains.
Questions remain unanswered
If there is so much crowd of ticket seekers how middlemen get tickets with so ease as if they were purchasing potatoes in the market;
why the IRCTC website opens for a common man only after all the tickets were booked;
how it's possible that 600-700 tickets on any route can be booked in just 4-5 minutes;
what is use of setting up windows for Tatkal tickets when only a few can get tickets, that too after spending hours in advance;
how middlemen who roam about at reservation counters almost daily cannot be recognised by railway personnel and force;
Questions would remain unanswered and we are waiting for the new railway minister's announcement that he would rid the system of middlemen and give a foolproof railway ticket reservation system to a passengers.


Crowded streets and lanes...all types of conveyances visible on the roads...overcrowded auto-rickshaws...complete absence of public transport system...roadside pavements encroached upon by businessmen and vendors...sweltering heat...stuffy weather in May...June...Nothing has changed in our Gorakhpur...
--The change visible is multi-storeyed buildings which are now coming up at various points to suggest Gorakhpur is changing and its population explosion is well manifested in apartments....
--Yet the city is lovely...those who belong to this soil can whiff the aroma of the land on landing here..

Monday, 7 January 2013

'Entire political culture converted into Congress culture'

In Nadi ka Ghar, hardly one kilometer away from the state BJP office- where he stayed for several years as a war room strategist of the party- the BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Anil Madhav Dave appears quite aloof from the state BJP affairs. Recovering after a by-pass surgery Dave has another task ready at his hand, though not political, how to successfully organise the proposed international convention on Narmada River at Hoshangabad in February. Is he at the crossroads of his political career? Here are excerpts of interview with him:

There is a perception in the BJP that your political graph is coming down and social graph moving up. What do you say?
Political graph is never stable. It’s always in up and down position. By nature I am a socio political person. I do politics because I want to see that the country’s system should improve. Otherwise, I don’t see any major change in the system. If you really want any change in the system it’s possible with social movement only, not the political movement. My efforts are to blend the two systems for the social cause. I mix politics with social activism to bring about eventually upliftment of society, complete upliftment of country.

But in the process don’t you think you are losing your political ground?
It hardly matters whether I am gaining or losing. Tell me who was the finance minister of home minister 20 yrs back in the state or the country. Nobody would be able to tell. It means society doesn’t remember the name of a politician but, yes, if someone has done something for the society, the society keeps the name in its mind for a century or decades.

So you think you are going on the right path?
Everyone feels he is on the right path. But the time will tell the truth who is right and wrong.

Where do you politically stand today in your observation?
Politically whatever maximum I can do I do that. People see failure and success in politics with post. But this is another false notion. No one remembers the name of Congress president who was at the time of Gandhi, Tilak or Lohia. But society remembers the name of many many Anna Hazare. So politically, success or failure doesn’t depend on the posts but the contribution you do to the society.

How far have you travelled if you want to be an Anna Hazare?
(Laughs)..I don’t want to be Anna Hazare. Just I want to say success or failure doesn’t indicate the post. I am satisfied with my role.

Is it disillusionment with present day politics?
In politics somehow culture of politics has been converted into Congress culture. That’s why everybody feels that congress way of doing politics is the right way of doing politics. But I think Jansangh way of doing politics is the right way of doing politics. So, when you know the truth but don’t have an opportunity, for God’s sake don’t leave the truth, hold it. Time will change and time keeps on changing. So, creating a change in the Indian political culture that is the big role. I am confident that we would be able to change it.

If’s it is so then don’t you think Jansangh should have been alive today?
There are many politicians who do politics according to Jansangh way of politics. But it will be only known in the country when it is successfully executed from the Red Fort. Look at this- in 2003 (assembly elections in MP) we had a slogan- ‘Vikas ke liye vijay ka sankalp’. That was the theme of the elections in Madhya Pradesh. And look at it today. Development is an issue in every election whether it’s MP or Gujarat or any other state. We set the agenda of development in 2003 and now development is the agenda of the entire country. At a public meeting at Lal Parade ground when Advaniji came and Uma Bharti was declared leader of the campaign the theme was printed in the background of the stage. Advani ji had said he wished tomorrow in the country the government is measured with development yardstick, not gimmicks. And this is what has happened.

But I remember the catchy slogan ‘Mr Banthadhar’. I think this slogan helped the BJP strike chord with people. What do you say?
Entire food is not one vegetable or one thing. You need spice also. That makes it tasty. But no spice is food.

You seem to be keeping away from the party for about three years or so. Any reason?
When I was active in Madhya Pradesh I had never been to Delhi or any leader’s House. Now I have been given a job in Delhi. Being a karyakarta I am supposed to do an assigned work only. Doing ‘dhakka mukki’ to go on dais, crying to speak at mike is a Congress culture. If a job is not assigned to you, you should not do it.

But don’t you think whether it is BJP or the Congress or any other party the culture is same everywhere?
One thing is sure entire culture of this country has been converted into congress way of political culture. We need to change it. Congress culture means more and more people on dais. Everyone wanting positions without hard work and wanting to be on top of the organisation. These are the symptoms of Congress. Unfortunately, this is prevalent everywhere from the DMK to Trinamool, Janta dal to SP and BSP. It has been proved that Congress way of doing politics has failed. Citizens of the country have paid a lot for it

What about the ‘Party with difference’?
I am talking of the entire political spectrum in the country.

So you are not a part of political mainstream here in Madhya Pradesh?
I am always in the mainstream. Yes, not visible because I am in Delhi. The moment I am back they would say you are in the mainstream. Anyways, I have had long long discussions with all office-bearers of this state regarding planning, programme and everything which is a part of running the organisation here.

And result is the change of guard (on December 16)?
(Laughs)..... It’s natural course of politics. Change is always there.

If in your view the Congress culture prevails everywhere then don’t you think the Congress has succeeded? It has not failed.
Congress is more than 100 years old party. Given the worst condition in Gujarat it had 40% share (in votes). There was no leader with the party. There was no brand ambassador like Modi. But still Congress has got its share. But still Congress way of doing politics means a politics which is self-centred, career-oriented and gimmicks based.

You talk of the change. Is there any beginning?
Look in Madhya Pradesh. There is a change. Just compare 10 years of Digvijay Singh’s rule with Shivraj Singh Chouhan government here. During the Congress regime the entire state was ruined. There was no road and power. The law and order situation was bad.

What do you say of government figures like the national crime record bureau figures which put Madhya Pradesh on the top of the states as far as atrocities against women and children are concerned?
This is because police stations have started registering incidents. Just before yesterday a woman committed suicide in another state because her complaint was not registered.

What do you say of illegal mining in Madhya Pradesh?
Illegal mining has become a part of the entire system. We need to change it. We want that there should be no illegal mining in any river or any part of country or state.

Does Anil Madhav Dave raise his voice against the illegal mining before the government?
I keep on putting questions on floor of the Parliament. I bring the subject before the state government and media. Probably I am the politician who says this is the nexus of politicians, bureaucrats and goondas which is responsible for illegal mining. More, hard hitting measures are required to check this.

To what exent you have been able to check illegal mining by raising your voice?
In Narmda area we are able to create awareness. Now, they do it in night only. I brought the situation to the notice of media, government and bureaucracy. But it’s a long way to go. ‘Par itna aasaan nahi, bahut lamba rasta hai (But it’s not an easy task, there is a long way to go)’.

When you come across the allegations about those close to chief minister being involved in illegal mining what is your reaction?
Levelling charges is one thing but proving through judiciary is something else. Passing remarks are not the verdict.

You have been very close to Uma Bharti. Should she not come back to state politics here?
I think no one goes or no one comes. Everyone is always there. Sometimes something is visible more. Sometimes something is visible less. Otherwise, all the party workers who were born and brought up in the state or district there are always there.

You have been very close to Uma. She is not invited to attend any party programme in Madhya Pradesh. She was not invited to attend even the programme which was organised to anoint Narendra Singh Tomar as the state BJP president. Any comments?
Whosoever has taken decision-inviting or not inviting- it’s their own decision. Till I discuss with them I cannot comment. But yes, if there was such a decision they must have given some thought over it.

For the past few years whenever there is a vacancy for the top post in the state BJP your name is not discussed. Any comments?
I don’t think the job of selection is based on discussions on the streets. It is always the job of the party’s central team. When Shivraj ji came as the party president I think he was absolutely busy in Delhi. When Gadkariji became party president hardly anybody can say that he had assessment that he would be national party president. But this is the way of happenings in the world.

So, you are Busy in Delhi now?
Yes, I am extremely busy. A parliamentarian has a lot to contribute to democracy if he or she takes up his job seriously. In the Indian parliamentarian system too much is there to read, a lot to think about and always an ample amount of work to do. If someone doesn’t do that it doesn’t indicate that role of parliamentarian is not there. Congress way of doing politics is culture now. After lunch in Parliament percentage of attendance is very very low. If you look at the questions raised by politicians, issues raised at forums or level of discussions. I see deterioration.
But our forefathers created the system with genuine and pure heart. That’s there. Look at the Upper House of country. Day by day business tycoons are coming into parliament. If this will keep on happening after 20 years or so I should say there may come a day when the entire flaour of the house may smell like Wall Street. So, we will try that the day should not come. All social workers, politicians working at the grassroots they should come and discuss the policies of the country, not the industrialists or multinationals representatives.

Is BJP not sending industrialists to Rajya Sabha?
I am not talking of the Congress or BJP. I am talking of the entire political spectrum. Otherwise, the subject would dilute.

What kind of change do you want in the system?
On August 15, 1947 we got political freedom. But India is yet to achieve freedom from the colonial system which covers our administrative, political, education and taxation structure. We should have a new system and indigenous system which is far ahead of the British system. We are still slave, slave of the colonial/British system. But in the next 10 or 20 years there would be change. There are several socio-political persons including myself who are thinking, planning and working on the new system.

Are you talking of Anna Hhazare’s kind of movement?
A movement cannot create freedom. Movement can create environment. If you want to create a system then creation of a system is like carving a stone to create a statue. In any movement/agitation you cannot create a statue. It needs peace, silence and concentration. Work is going on at certain level. When time will come we will deliver.

Are they politicians involved in the process?
There are politicians, socio politico persons like me, members of various orgnisations. Everyone is thinking we should change the system. Every party has some good names. But yes, majority is from this family.

There are a number of politicians who see the Prime Minister potential in Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. What’s your view?
I think we should think on this question only after last election (results) of the parliament is declared. Then there is a right figure on the ground. But of course Narendra Modi proved his mettle. After all odds he is able to score the game. Now, he doesn’t need any certificate. However, again as far as the PM issue is concerned it depends of the figures of the parliament in the elections (in 2014).

Coming back to the state subject would you like to say something on former state BJP chief Prabhat Jha’s Pokhran statement?
Who has said this is the right person to make comment. What I can say?

What’s your future plan?
I don’t plan it. It’s party which is to decide. My job is to do the assignment with the best of my capabilities and determination and also systematically. I have never given thought on myself.

Like the past two assembly elections will you be a part of the election management for assembly elections?
Nobody has talked to me about this so far.

In your view what was difference between the situations in 2003 and 2008 and between the situations in 2008 and 2013?
In 2003 it was the failure of Digvijay Singh. In 2008 We said to people compare 5 years Vs 50 years. For 2013, we will plan our strategy and disclose it when time comes. But yes, no election is an easy election. Every election must be dealt with complete attention and seriousness

Didn’t you every think of becoming chief minister of the state?
I am a swayamsevak. I am a karyakarta and I just cannot tell you how happy I am doing the work on Narmada. My this work will stand for years to come. I am a combination of socio-political way of working. My working is giving me more satisfaction.

How has been your relationship with former state BJP president Prabhat Jha and present president Narendra Singh Tomar?
Good. (After a pause) Very good.

Isn’t this a political reply?

While on the path of social work did you think enough was enough and I would not bid adieu to politics?
If anyone takes such a decision after failure he is not going to achieve anything. No beggar should try to be a ‘Sanyasi’. It should always be done by a King. You must have something in your hand which you can leave. That should come at a proper time and at the peak of politics. At present. My political journey helps me a lot do my social work. I am able to divert so many things for social cause.

Is the writing work going on?
I write so many things on Indian politics. I have written a book on Shivaji. One ONGC top executive told me that they have started the practice of Shivaji rules in their organisation and there is more production now. I told him this was the success of Shivaji’s working. I am just a salesman of his thought.

You underwent a by-pass surgery what were you thinking when you were entering the operation theatre?
There was nothing to think about. I resigned myself to my fate and in the hands of the commanders- the God and the doctors. After the surgery a doctor gave me a good advice and I think it is valuable for everyone. He said to me that I should get rid of the thinking that I am ailing. If I think this way then I would certainly invite trouble. This mantra helped me a lot. I felt a lot of relieved. Of course, I take precautions. But if the thinking is there at the back of anybody's mind that he is ailing then it means he is nurturing illness in him.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Uttar Pradesh's youngest chief minister

Uttar Pradesh has its youngest chief minister in 38-year-old Akhilesh Yadav whose address till a few years back was c/o Mulayam Singh Yadav, ex-Defense minister of India. The 'youngest' tab on Akhilesh would have been more suitable had he not inherited the political legacy from his father and had a 'readymade' big ground of Samajvadi Party prepared by his father. Even then his role in rise of Samajvadi Party again in Uttar Pradesh cannot be overlooked.
His dominant role in Samajvadi Party in the past few years even as his father commonly known as Netaji is battling ill health meant the youth section of society getting attached to the party and giving it a definite edge over the parties like BSP, Congress and undoubtedly the BJP. Of the last three parties Congress did and does have a young face in Rahul Gandhi but the BSP and the BJP both were devoid of young leaders and full of oldies whose thought, vision, ideology and principles hardly attracted the youths towards their respective parties.
What came as a shot in the arms of the SP (Samajvadi Party) at the time of elections was Samajvadi Party's (read Akhilesh Yadav's) promise to youths to give them laptops in case the party was voted to power. This move, definitely on the line of Southern states parties, perhaps the first in UP as far as giving of any electronic gadget is concerned, disarmed the rival parties. The youth icon of Congress better known as Yuvraj couldn't think of such a move and his tearing the list of promises of other parties could not cut much ice with the electorate.
But the story doesn't end here. In fact, this is the beginning for Akhilesh Yadav. He would have to strive hard to remove the tag of the 'party of hooligans' from his party. He would have to look for every resources to fulfill the promises to the electorate mainly youths otherwise it has the chances of boomeranging on the party. He has no option also but to deliver if he has to shape up his political career for the coveted post at the centre his father couldn't get to despite being near to it once.