Archive for the 'State of the state' Category

With Congress and BJP down and out in Odisha splitting of BJD to two strong regional parties could be good for Odisha

Odisha Assembly, Odisha in Elections, Odisha MLAs, Odisha MPs, State of the state 6 Comments »

The Congress party in India is a party where the Gandhi family (especially, Sonia and Rahul) have too much power without much responsibility and that has been the major reason the UPA 2 government has floundered in many ways. Commenting on one such aspect, the indecisiveness of UPA2, Shekhar Gupta wrote: "The inherently indecisive style of this establishment is compounded by the fact that its administrative and political authority is so scattered — so scattered, in fact, that the buck has to make a dozen halts en route, like a DTC bus, before it finally stops with somebody." 

Alternatively, the BJP refuses to atone and clean up its tainted image and is yet to apologize for the Gujarat events in 2002 (unlike Congress which has apologized for the 1984 Sikh massacre in Delhi) and continues to stand behind Narendra Modi.

Fortunately, people in Odisha don’t like either and both Congress and BJP are down and out in Odisha.

As a result BJD and Naveen Patnaik have been governing Odisha for the last 12 years and in some sense going stronger. However, there have been many major shortcomings.

  • BJD has been in the opposition in the central government for the last 8 years and Odisha has had very little  representation in the central government.
  • Without a strong and credible opposition the Odisha government has been complacent in many spheres. They have done better than the previous governments but there has been a lot of missed opportunities.
  • The current government really has only one minister with influence, which is the CM.  The other ministers seem to be only for show and have no real decision making power.

The first two shortcomings can be addressed if BJD splits to two "strong" regional parties that can relegate the national parties of Congress and BJP to 3rd and 4th position in the state.

That way at any time one of the regional parties can team up with the coalition that runs the government at the center and make the case for Odisha from within the central govt. This would be better than what happened in the last 8 years where there has been zero (initial days of UPA 1) or only one minister in the central government from Odisha, and ZERO representation from Odisha in the central cabinet.

Tamil Nadu with DMK and AIDMK as the leading regional parties is a good example of regional parties having strong influence in the center. One or the other has been an ally of the center for a long time.

UP with SP and BSP as number 1 and 2 is somewhat similar though neither are part of the central government. But they extend support to the central government. Because of that SP now has strong influence on the government. Moreover, Ajit Singh from another small party is in the cabinet as the minister for Civil Aviation.

If one considers the CPI(M) in West Bengal to be a regional party (which it almost is) then West Bengal with TMC and CPI(M) relegate Congress and BJP out of the top 2. They have benefited by this approach as CPIM from West Bengal had a huge say in UPA1 (until the end) and TMC has 5-6 ministers in the current central government.

In Maharashtra the regional parties of NCP and Shiv Sena partner with Congress and BJP and thus lookout for Maharashtra’s interest.

The third shortcoming can also be addressed by the split in that the parties resulting from the split will provide opportunity for new emerging leaders and intellectuals to be part of these parties and force the BJD-Naveen to decentralize power.

In conclusion, it may be good for Odisha if BJD splits to two "strong" regional parties that can relegate the national parties of Congress and BJP to 3rd and 4th position in the state.

Fiscal deficits of various states in India in 2009-2010

CENTER & ODISHA, Odisha govt. action, Odisha govt. Inaction, State of the state Comments Off on Fiscal deficits of various states in India in 2009-2010

The following is from a slideshow in rediff.

 State  Fiscal Deficit 2009-2010 in crores of Rupees
 Maharashtra  26,562
 Uttar Pradesh  23,299
 West Bengal  22,984
 Andhra Pradesh  16,152
 Gujarat  12,148
 Tamil Nadu  11,823
 Punjab  9,660
 Haryana  8,557
 Karnataka  8,493
 Rajasthan  8,420
 Madhya Pradesh  6,436
 Orissa  6,004
 Kerala  5,681
 Jharkhand  4,232
 Bihar  3,696
 Chhatisgarh  2,564
 Goa  1,389
 Special Category states  
 Assam 10,864
Delhi 2,890
J & K 2,205
Uttarakhand 2,071
Himachal Pradesh 1,592
Tripura 1,277
Arunachal Pradesh 1,118
UT of Puducherry 901
Meghalaya 614
Nagaland 591
Sikkim 457
Manipur 407
Mizoram 212

The slideshow in rediff has the following to say about Odisha.

Its capital is Bhubaneswar. Orissa has abundant natural resources and a large coastline.

It contains a fifth of India’s coal, a quarter of its iron ore, a third of its bauxite reserves and most of the chromite.

It receives unprecedented investments in steel, aluminium, power, refineries and ports. India’s topmost IT consulting firms, including Mahindra Satyam, Tata Consultancy Services, MindTree Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Infosys have large branches in Orissa.

Progress in KBK districts; various programs having impact (from Samaja)

Balangir, Kalahandi, KBK Plus district cluster, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Odisha govt. action, Rayagada, State of the state 1 Comment »

US government 2009 Report on International Religious Freedom talks about Kandhamal violence of 2008 and its aftermath

Chief Minister's actions, Elections 2009, Kandhamala, Odisha govt. action, State of the state 2 Comments »

Following is from

In Kandhamal, Orissa State, individuals affiliated with left-wing Maoist extremists killed Hindu religious leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers on August 23, 2008. Although ultraleft Maoists claimed responsibility, the murders exacerbated underlying socio-economic tensions between the dalits and the tribals and unleashed a wave of revenge killings, assaults, and property destruction. According to widely accepted government statistics, 40 persons died and 134 were injured; most of the victims were Christians. The large-scale violence, which included the August 25 alleged rape of a Christian nun, attracted worldwide media attention. The central Government sent 39 companies of paramilitary forces to restore peace and security. State authorities established 18 emergency camps to house displaced persons, worked with NGOs to deliver assistance and relief to victims, and allocated funds to compensate next of kin and repair damaged houses, businesses, and places of worship. The police arrested 1,200 persons and registered more than 1,000 criminal cases. On April 21, 2009, police arrested Maoist leader P. Rama Rao in connection with Saraswati’s murder. According to several independent accounts, an estimated 3,200 refugees remained in relief camps, down from 24,000 in the immediate aftermath of the violence.

In March 2009 Orissa’s ruling party, Biju Janata Dal, terminated its 11-year alliance with its coalition partner, the BJP, reportedly in part over differences in responding to the Kandhamal violence. The state government, supplemented by central police, ensured that all communities in Kandhamal were able to freely and fairly exercise their franchise in April 2009 state and parliamentary elections. Since the reelection of the Biju Janata Dal Party, without its former coalition partner, the state government has worked with the central government to rebuild communities in Kandhamal both through infrastructure improvements and peace councils with various stakeholders. In June 2009 the central Government disbursed $ 300,000 (Rs. 14,648,437) compensation to the next of kin of 35 Kandhamal riot victims.

A part that is not mentioned in the report is that in the 2009 April elections the BJP party which was accused of playing a role in the violence in Orissa was decimated across the state. Out of 147 state level seats, their number reduced from 32 to 6 and in the national level MP (member of parliament) seats their number in Orissa (total seats 21) reduced from 7 to ZERO. The other party that was in power in Orissa, BJD, severed its coalition with BJP before the elections  and went on to win the elections with a larger number of seats than before.

Governor’s address to OLA: Where Orissa stands and what was achieved during the last five years (Samaja)

State of the state Comments Off on Governor’s address to OLA: Where Orissa stands and what was achieved during the last five years (Samaja)