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How will budget affect your shopping list?

6 Jul

pranab-mukherjeePranab Mukherjee as Finance Minister presented the first budget of the new Congress government.The stock market tanked by almost 850 points as expectations were more than what was delivered in the 100 minute budget speech. However, the main concerns were addressed by the 73 year old minister –  stimulus on growth, focus on infrastructure development, simplicity in taxes, job creation and modernization of the police and army. Continue reading

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Full Text of Budget Speech – 2009

6 Jul

pranab-mukherjeeMadam Speaker,

I rise to present the Budget for 2009-10.

2. Just 140 days back, I had the privilege to present the Interim Budget for 2009-10. It is a rare honour that I have been called upon to present the regular budget after the new government assumed office.

3. The Congress-led UPA government has come back to power with a renewed mandate. As Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, said recently “It is a mandate for continuity, stability and prosperity. It is a mandate for inclusive growth and equitable development.” It is a mandate that we accept with humility and a firm resolve to do all that we can for the welfare of this nation.

4. I am deeply conscious of the faith reposed by the people in our government and the responsibilities that come with it. I am sensitive to the great challenge of rising expectations of a young India. It reflects a population that is restless, yet engaged and is ready to seize the opportunities that it is presented with. There are new and powerful reasons for us to create, facilitate and sustain those opportunities. Continue reading

Trinamool TV : Jago Bangla

1 Jul

jago-banglaAfter a thumping win over the Left Front in the Lok Sabha Elections 2009, Mamata is not the person to relax. She is instead planning to up the ante against the Leftists and start the ground work for the Assembly Elections in 2011.

Her party Trinamool Congress, after realizing the immense influence of the 24 hour news channels is planning to launch their own media house to take on “24 Ghanta” and “Aakash Bangla” news channels both run by CPM members. Not much surprise in the name of the proposed channel “Jago Bangla” though. The party already runs a weekly mouthpiece of the same name. Jago Bangla was also her warcry during her struggle against the government all through the runup to the elections starting from Singur, Nandigram and finally the election campaign. Continue reading

Slumdog to Slumrider!

31 May


I have never seen a funnier news report photograph ever! Have you? Continue reading

Politics online

22 Apr
watch?v=Cmhq59Nf07cAdvani Adsensed!

Advani Adsensed!

Campaigning for the forthcoming parliamentary elections is not confined to streets, hoardings and loudspeakers. Politicians are using as e-mail, podcasts, SMS and social networking sites and the internet is the new battlefield. After the success Obama had with online tools to rally supporters, campaign and communicate with the people, our politicians are busy trying to woo the tech-savvy middle class youth.

BJP is leading the race with a new look website. Their Prime Ministerial candidate LK Advani seems to be the most net-savvy of our leaders.

His website team has poured in a lot of bucks into Google Adsense and effectively flooding the net with “Advani for PM” messages to catch the attention of the netizens. The party has also roped in a mobile marketing services company, Netcore Solutions to handle the mobile SMS campaign.

He is surely trying to go the Obama way by even demanding to enage with Dr. Manmohan Singh in TV debates similar to the public debates between the presidential candidates  in the US. Others in the party are not to be left behind. I found VK Malhotra, Gopinath Munde, Dr. Kirit Somaiya, Ram Naik having websites but not sure whether all of them update regularly.

Congress is clearly lagging behind. Dr. Manmohan Singh’s  website is a dampner after the professional lkadvani.in. (I later noticed that it is not the official site.) Embarrassingly it has a link to the party president Sonia Gandhi’s website at soniagandhi.org but it has already fallen to cyber squatters. A google search did not return any official website of both of them atleast in the top few results. Rahul Gandhi has a website but strangely at www.pressbrief.in. Among the other major Congress candidates I found Priya Dutt, first timer Shashi Tharoor, the young MP from South Delhi Milind Deora.

Although the BJP and the Congress are fighting it out in the virtual world, all the other major parties such as the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also have their official websites. Regional forces like the Trinamool Congress, AIADMK and also the newly formed Praja Rajyam Party have web presence.

According to the recently released BJP’s IT Vision document the party if elected to power aims to “increase the number of mobile subscribers from 40 crore at present to 100 crores in five years. Internet users to equal mobile subscribers. India to equal China in every IT parameter in five years.” However, as of date unlike in the US, the 60 million internet users make up less than 6 percent of the total population. However, the politicians are leaving no stone unturned as this group of educated netizens may be the deciding force this time.

And I am sure the politicians are also aware that there are several online campaigns like the No Criminals in Politics, for instance, which has over 5,000 supporters on Facebook. The youth cannot be taken for a digital ride.

Interested in reading more on the new age election campaign? Read more at :

1) Saheer Karimbayil pointing out that this presents a new business area for the IT sector.

2) India’s election campaigns get Net-savvy

3) Read here what a blogger irritated by the zillion ads from Advani feels.

Amusing DemoCRAZY called India!

20 Apr

1) Cricket is a religion in India. IPL is a sucess. India is a strange country. We are a democracy. And we are crazy!

zinta_at_iplOne proof for all the above statements – Kolkata prisoners on hunger strike to watch IPL. What is this!! Just FEEL the audacity of these thugs to demand being entertained by IPL. Or is it more for the cheerleaders!

By the way – remember that the freedom fighters resorted to the same method to fight for our independence!

2) Prabhakaran is a terrorist. Even Wikipedia says that! Leave alone governments of almost all civilized countries on earth. He is currently wanted by the Interpol for terrorism, murde, organized crime and more.

Our very own Karunanidhi, chief minister of Tamil Nadu says in an TV interview that Prabhakaran is a good friend of his. Then comes the shocker. He says that he doesnt think that Prabhakaran is a terrorist! So who is a terrorist? Dalai Lama?

A section of the Tamils sympathize with those in our island neighbor. But calling the chief of an organization held responsible for the assassination of our Prime Minister is shocking! Is this due to the upcoming elections! If there is any doubt, it is cleared by eerie silence from the Congress Party and its leader Sonia Gandhi who happens to be the widow of Rajiv Gandhi! What can she do? Karunanidhi’s party is an important ally of the Congress in this election. Election time!!

By the time I drafted and saved this post yesterday night and was ready to publish it today, our chief minister has already taken some corrective action. He now says he will never forgive the LTTE for murdering Rajiv Gandhi!

3) Son kills father for not casting vote for Chiranjeevi’s party

Take that! No comments!

4) And yes! Tata Tea has a commercial on TV asking people to drink their cup of tea to wake up for the election! Not to forget that the same group launched its senational people’s car just in time before the elections. Now, CPI-M has NANO on billboards across the city with the question ” Why in Sanand?” God knows.

5) Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the Mumbai terror attacks is amused by the proceedings at his trial (his lawyer is fired on the first day) and starts laughing! He tries his luck, claims to be a juvenile! The court did not accept. A billion breathed a sigh of relief under the 42 C sun.