Archive for the 'Elections 2009' Category

Manmohan Singh has been generous to Patnaik’s demands of late?

CENTER & ODISHA, Demanding equitable treatment, Elections 2009, Key Center-State issues, Odisha govt. action, Odisha MPs 2 Comments »

Following are excerpts from an article in Telegraph.

Congress managers have launched an operation to manage the numbers in the Lok Sabha after the political flux caused by the women’s reservation bill.

The government is working on two tiers to build a cushion in case the BJP tries to push the UPA to the wall with the support of the Samajwadi Party, the BSP, the RJD and the Left. …

… The Congress is also in touch with the Biju Janata Dal for a “limited understanding” in parliamentary proceedings even as the two parties oppose each other in Orissa. There is a unity of purpose — fighting Maoists and clearing development projects — and Manmohan Singh has been generous to Patnaik’s demands of late.

As the current term of the government progresses the UPA will be needing BJD’s help. The Orissa CM and BJD MPs must be ready to forcefully ask the fulfillment of some of Odisha’s important or longstanding demands. But no demand for a "special category state" please.

Sangh parivar activists involved in Kandhamal riot:

Elections 2009 5 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report.

Members of the Sangh parivar were involved in the communal violence in Kandhamal which claimed at least 38 lives besides causing damage to 4640 houses, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Monday.

"It is learnt from investigation into the riot cases that the members of RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal were involved in the violence that took place last year," Patnaik told the Assembly while replying to a question by a CPI member.

Sangh Parivar activists were arrested in this connection. Of them 85 were of the RSS and 321 members of VHP were rounded up on charge of riot. The number of Bajrang Dal workers arrested on charge of violence was 118, he said. …

Thank God the people of Orissa got rid of BJP from power. I hope they are completely wiped out in the next election. 

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.

India needs an inclusive national alternative to Congress; BJP can reinvent to be that, but it needs to drastically change its track

Elections 2009 Comments Off on India needs an inclusive national alternative to Congress; BJP can reinvent to be that, but it needs to drastically change its track

In some of my earlier postings, I mentioned this. See the following:

Now many others have similar thoughts, including some of the insiders and some people from the Sangh Parivaar. Here is a sample.

  • Vaidya of RSS : "the BJP has failed to convey the real meaning of ‘Hindutva’ to the people (in the recent elections). Probably, they thought they were not deemed to climb the pedestal of power with ‘Hindutva’ line. Hence, BJP should now disassociate itself with ‘Hindutva’." … He said BJP mentioned ‘Hindutva’ in its election manifesto in recent Lok Sabha elections but it "miserably failed to attract" the common voters and citizens in the country".
  • Vir Sanghvi – The middle class has rejected BJP’s definition of Indianness: "…A new middle class did emerge. It did reject the Nehruvian consensus. It did embrace conspicuous consumption. And yes, it clasped the BJP to its collective bosom.   The party, which had hovered around the fringes of national politics for decades in various guises, suddenly became the party of a certain kind of educated Indian. The new BJP pandered to middle class sentiment, to middle class prejudice and to middle class grievances.   By 2002 or so, things had got to the stage where history books were being re-written, where Jawaharlal Nehru was being routinely derided as the man responsible for India’s poverty, and where L.K. Advani could confidently proclaim that the BJP was now the natural party of governance.   And yet, just seven years later, the party seems to be over. …

    what happened to the new middle class and its affinity with the BJP? Over the last five years, prosperity has actually increased. And yet, the rejection of the Nehruvian consensus has tapered off. Nor do the issues that once defined the new middle class now seem to matter that much.

       We see this most clearly in the change in the middle class approach to the Hindu-Muslim issue. In the 1980s, the BJP built on Hindu anger. It said that Hindus had been humiliated by Sikhs in the Punjab. Now, they were faced with fanatical Muslims who refused to return the sacred birthplace of Ram, preferring to protect a mosque that was itself a symbol of Hindu humiliation. Worst of all, the secular Congress was backing Muslims against Hindus. … 

    Because that approach worked for so many years, the BJP tried a variation at this election. Hindus were being attacked by Muslim terrorists. These terrorists could easily be locked up but the Congress refused to re-impose POTA for fear of losing Muslim votes. But this time, the middle class paid no attention. And as for the whole Ayodhya issue, middle class voters seemed embarrassed that in the 21st century they should be asked to debate India’s future on the basis of a dispute over a medieval mosque.

       We see the change in the way the middle class has rejected the BJP’s definition of Indianness. In 2004, Sushma Swaraj was able to go on TV to declare that she would shave her head in protest if a foreigner became Prime Minister. Now, nobody cares about the foreign origin issue. When you watch TV footage of Sushma’s outburst today, she just seems silly and overwrought.  So it is with ‘Indian culture’. The last BJP government demanded that DD newsreaders increase the sleeve-lengths of their blouses and routinely denounced MTV. Throughout the BJP’s term in office, cinema halls were regularly attacked and film shootings disrupted on the grounds that Indian culture was being undermined.

       Now, when the Ram Sene attacks women for going to pubs or the lunatic fringe of the Parivar tries to disrupt Valentine’s Day, the protests come from the entire middle class. Nor are the attacks on cinema halland film crews that common. For instance, Deepa Mehta could easily shoot Water in today’s India. …

    Nowhere is the transformation clearer than in the attitude to Narendra Modi. I accept that most middle-class people do not necessarily regard him as a mass murderer in the way that I do. But equally, you cannot deny that his brand of hate-filled demagoguery makes the middle class nervous.

     People want stability even more than they want development. They do not want the politics of hate and communal tension. And at some level, they are embarrassed by the way the world looks at us after the Gujarat riots and by Modi’s pariah status in many Western countries.   What’s made the difference? Here’s my theory. I reckon that the middle class today is more homogenous and more mature than it was even five years ago. The new middle class has lost its sense of grievance; it has lost the outsider’s desire to overturn the ruling consensus; and it has gone past the issues on which the BJP’s appeal is based.

  • Sudheendra Kulkarni in Tehelka: "… Why did the BJP invite this weakness upon itself? The reason has to do with the widespread ideological confusion within the party over what the BJP’s advocacy of Hindutva actually means. The confusion has persisted for a long time, but it intensified after the defeat of the BJP/NDA in 2004. There was a strong view within a section of the party — and a much stronger and almost unanimous view within the larger Sangh Parivar — that the Vajpayee’s government was defeated because the BJP had “abandoned Hindutva”. The argument went like this: “In its bid to form the NDA government, the BJP kept aside its core ideological commitments on the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the abrogation of Article 370 and the Uniform Civil Code. The Hindu voters, who had enabled the BJP to emerge as a strong force in Indian politics in the late 1980s and 1990s, felt let down by this. In 2004, the BJP again kept the Hindutva issues in cold storage and made development its main plank. This further disillusioned the Hindu voters. Their indifference led to the party’s defeat in 2004.” In the aftermath of the setback in 2009, many angry voices have again blamed the party leadership, Advani in particular, for the same reason — “You lost because you abandoned Hindutva.” t’s a deeply flawed view. It errs in believing that the BJP’s Hindu base is synonymous with the totality of Hindu voters. The fact is, Hindus never vote as a block for any particular party. There is only a small section of Hindus who have voted as Hindus for what they perceived as a pro-Hindu party — the Jana Sangh in the past and the BJP in later years. Their number increased dramatically in the late 1980s and early 1990s due to the Ayodhya movement, which, for about ten years, caught the imagination of a large section of the Hindu society. However, the BJP’s rising strength in the late 1990s was also on account of another important factor, which had nothing “Hindu” about it: the people’s desire to give the BJP also an opportunity to govern the country. This desire was further whetted by Vajpayee’s pan-Indian popularity, as was evident from the appeal of the slogan “Sabko dekha baari baari, Ab ki baari Atal Behari”.

    If the BJP’s electoral success in 1998 and 1999 was due to factors beyond what are narrowly seen as “Hindutva” issues, subsequent events have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the party’s Hindu base is small even within Hindu society, not to speak of the electorate as a whole. This small Hindu base on its own can never bring the party to power at the Centre. … At a broader level, it is high time the BJP seriously debated and decided what it means by ‘Hindutva’, and also what formulations of ‘Hindutva’ are not acceptable to it. True, the BJP must remain an ideology-driven party. But without clarity on what the BJP’s ideology is, the party cannot win the support of more Hindus, let alone the support of Muslims and Christians. Understood as ‘Cultural Nationalism’ in an inclusive, integrative and noncommunal sense, Hindutva indeed defines the organizing and sustaining principle of the Indian Nation. However, just as the noble principle of secularism can be perverted and practiced for politically expedient reasons — the selfstyled ‘secular’ parties have indeed done it to isolate the BJP — Hindutva is also vulnerable to narrow interpretations and bigoted practice. …

  • Pratap Bhanu Mehta – Party of little men: "… This is a real shame, because India needs a good Opposition party. It also needs a sensible conversation about many of the issues the BJP raised before it completely lost track of what it stood for. But all the recipes being proposed: the BJP should ideologically reinvent itself, it should jettison the RSS, it should be forward looking, face one obstacle. Who will bell the cat? Is there any leader amongst this lot who has the minimal credibility to take the party in any direction?"
  • Sundeep Dougal’s roundup at
  • Kingshuk Nag in Times of India.

Excerpts from the Presidents’ speech to the new parliament on 4th June 2009

Aaam Admi Bima Yojana, ADMINISTRATION & REPs, Agricultural insurance, Bharat Nirman Program, E-governance, Elections 2009, Fishermen insurance, Health insurance for BPL workers, Health insurance for weavers, Marquee Institutions: existing and upcoming, National Food ... (NFSM), National Old Age Pension (NOAP), NFBS, NMBS, NOAPS, NREGS, NSAP: NOAPS, NFBS, NMBS, NURM, JNNURM, PPP, RURAL & SPECIAL PROGRAMS, Universities: existing and upcoming Comments Off on Excerpts from the Presidents’ speech to the new parliament on 4th June 2009

The whole speech is at Following are excerpts. The underlining and other emphasis is mine.

18. The flagship programmes which my Government introduced have moved the country towards inclusive development. It would be our endeavour to consolidate these programmes in the next five years. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has proved to be what it promised-an effective social protection measure and the largest programme in the world for rural reconstruction. Its transformational potential is unfolding before our eyes. My Government would enlarge the scope of works permitted under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act presently limited to unskilled manual work. The opportunity for improving land productivity through the NREGA will be maximized through better convergence of NREGA with other programmes. To ensure transparency and public accountability, independent monitoring and grievance redressal mechanisms will be set up at the district level.

19. The National Rural Health Mission has begun to strengthen rural public health infrastructure. The Mission would be consolidated to make perceptible reduction in infant mortality and maternal mortality in the next five years. Vaccine producing institutes in the public sector will be revived to support the immunization programme. My Government will expand the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to cover all families below the poverty line in the next five years. Malnutrition has emerged as a major health challenge needing urgent response. Hence the nutrition delivery programme will be comprehensively revamped to bring it under the watch of panchayat institutions and move to provision of hot cooked meals in anganwadis.

20. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been able to provide access to children to elementary schools and retention has increased on account of the universal mid-day meal programme. The focus will be on making quality education a right through the enactment of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill now under consideration of Parliament. The Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan will universalize access to secondary education. The massive expansion in higher education through new institutions under implementation in the Eleventh Plan will enable the country to meet the challenge of education in full measure. In the last five years, a wide range of scholarships and educational loans was introduced for the needy and deserving students. This effort will be reviewed and further strengthened. Government’s strategy for higher education will be formulated around a three-fold objective of expansion, inclusion and excellence. The suggestions given by the National Knowledge Commission will guide the formulation and implementation of the strategy.

21. While male literacy went up to over 75 percent in the last census and is expected to be higher now, female literacy was only 54 percent in 2001. My Government will recast the National Literacy Mission as a National Mission for Female Literacy to make every woman literate in the next five years. Increased female literacy is expected to become a force multiplier for all our social development programmes.

22. My Government launched Bharat Nirman five years ago as a time-bound business plan for rural infrastructure. It has succeeded in reaching basic infrastructure of roads, electricity and telephone to a large number of villages. It has also achieved most of the targets of rural water supply, rural housing and has increased irrigation potential. The remaining tasks will be completed in the second phase of Bharat Nirman. It is also proposed to set enhanced targets for Bharat Nirman in the second phase.

The Indira Awas Yojana, which exceeded the original target of sixty lakh houses for the period 2004-2009, will now take up double the target of rural housing to one crore twenty lakh houses to be completed in the next five years.

Rural Water supply programme will be completed by 2011 and handed over to be managed by panchayats in the next Plan.

The rural telecommunication target will be set at reaching 40% rural teledensity in the next five years and expanding broadband coverage to connect every panchayat to a broadband network in three years. The scheme for Common Service Centres or e-kiosks will be suitably repositioned to be a network of panchayat-level Bharat Nirman Common Service Centres to provide government services to citizens in rural areas.

– New targets would be set for rural electrification, irrigation and road connectivity.

23. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with approval of projects of nearly Rs. 50,000 crore in the last four years is reshaping our cities and has been widely welcomed. It will continue to focus on infrastructure, basic services and governance reform and increase support to cities to upgrade public transport. Over 15 lakh houses are under construction for the urban poor. There is a need to focus urban housing programmes on the poor living in slums. My Government proposes to introduce a Rajiv Awas Yojana for the slum dwellers and the urban poor on the lines of the Indira Awas Yojana for the rural poor. The schemes for affordable housing through partnership and the scheme for interest subsidy for urban housing would be dovetailed into the Rajiv Awas Yojana which would extend support under JNNURM to States that are willing to assign property rights to people living in slum areas. My Government’s effort would be to create a slum free India in five years through the Rajiv Awas Yojana.

24. My Government proposes to enact a new law — the National Food Security Act — that will provide a statutory basis for a framework which assures food security for all. Every family below the poverty line in rural as well as urban areas will be entitled, by law, to 25 kilograms of rice or wheat per month at Rs. 3 per kilogram. This legislation will also be used to bring about broader systemic reform in the public distribution system.

26. Over 50 percent of our population is below 25 years of age and their creative energy is our greatest strategic resource. The challenge is to invest in their education, employability and employment. India has the capacity to contribute to a fourth of the global work force if it invests in skill development of its youth. Education which provides employable skills holds the key for equal opportunities for Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Minorities. My Government has in the last five years brought in legal changes and investment in this direction. These would be consolidated. Besides making massive investment in education, government will focus on the national skill development initiative that has commenced operation with the very ambitious goal of creation of 500 million skilled people by 2022 so that we realize the demographic dividend.

27. The implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act would be monitored to ensure that all title deeds are distributed by end of 2009.

29. The Amendment Bill to the Land Acquisition Act and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill prepared to protect farmers and others dependent on farming from unfair displacement and which was placed before Parliament could not be carried through. It will be our endeavour to have these bills reintroduced and enacted in the budget session of Parliament.

30. My Government considerably enhanced provisions for social security through old age pension for all people below the poverty line and above 65 years of age, all handicapped people and all widows above the age of forty. It will examine extending social protection to other persons at special risk. Social security schemes for other occupations like landless labour, weavers, fisherfolk, toddy tappers, leather workers, plantation labour, construction labour, mine workers and beedi workers will be appropriately expanded.

32. My Government will initiate steps within the next hundred days on the following measures:

Restructuring the Backward Regions Grant Fund, which overlaps with other development investment, to focus on decentralized planning and capacity building of elected panchayat representatives. The next three years would be devoted to training panchayat raj functionaries in administering flagship programmes;

A public data policy to place all information covering non-strategic areas in the public domain. It would help citizens to challenge the data and engage directly in governance reform;

– Increasing transparency and public accountability of NREGA by enforcing social audit and ensuring grievance redressal by setting up district level ombudsman;

Strengthening Right to Information by suitably amending the law to provide for disclosure by government in all non-strategic areas;

– Strengthening public accountability of flagship programmes by the creation of an Independent Evaluation Office at an arm’s distance from the government catalysed by the Planning Commission. It would work on a network model by collaborating with leading social science research organizations and concurrently evaluate the impact of flagship programmes and place it in the public domain;

– Establishing mechanisms for performance monitoring and performance evaluation in government on a regular basis;

– Five Annual Reports to be presented by government as Reports to the People on Education, Health, Employment, Environment and Infrastructure to generate a national debate;

– Facilitating a Voluntary Technical Corps of professionals in all urban areas through JNNURM to support city development activities;

– Enabling non government organisations in the area of development action seeking government support through a web-based transaction on a government portal in which the status of the application will be transparently monitorable;

Provision of scholarships and social security schemes through accounts in post offices and banks and phased transition to smart cards;

– Revamping of banks and post offices to become outreach units for financial inclusion complemented by business correspondents aided by technology;

Electronic governance through Bharat Nirman common service centres in all panchayats in the next three years;

– A model Public Services Law, that covers functionaries providing important social services like education, health, rural development etc. and commits them to their duties, will be drawn up in consultation with states;

A National Council for Human Resources in Health as an overarching regulatory body for the health sector to reform the current regulatory framework and enhance supply of skilled personnel;

A National Council for Higher Education as recommended by the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission to bring in reform of regulatory institutions;

Develop a "brain gain" policy to attract talent from all over the world into the 14 universities proposed in the 11th plan to position them as "Innovation Universities";

– A roadmap for judicial reform to be outlined in six months and implemented in a time-bound manner;

– Targeted identification cards would subsume and replace omnibus Below Poverty Line (BPL) list. NREGA has a job card and the proposed Food Security Act would also create a new card. Identification of beneficiaries for other programmes which currently use the omnibus BPL list would improve identification based on programme objectives with the common underlying principle that all identification of beneficiaries will be done through gram sabhas and urban local bodies and the list placed in the public domain to be open to challenge;

– A Delivery Monitoring Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office to monitor flagship programmes and iconic projects and report on their status publicly;

– Suitably institutionalized quarterly reporting on Flagship programmes as "Bharat Nirman Quarterly Reports" where Ministers would publicly report on progress through the media.

33. Infrastructure is a fundamental enabler for a modern economy and infrastructure development will be a key focus area for the next five years. Public investment in infrastructure is of paramount importance. Bottlenecks and delays in implementation of infrastructure projects because of policies and procedures, especially in railways, power, highways, ports, airports and rural telecom will be systematically removed. Public-private partnership (PPP) projects are a key element of the strategy. A large number of PPP projects in different areas currently awaiting government approval would be cleared expeditiously. The regulatory and legal framework for PPPs would be made more investment friendly. My Government will continue its special emphasis on infrastructure development in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir and enhance connectivity to these regions.

34. Our fellow citizens have every right to own part of the shares of public sector companies while the government retains majority shareholding and control. My Government will develop a roadmap for listing and people-ownership of public sector undertakings while ensuring that government equity does not fall below 51 %.

35. My Government is firmly committed to maintaining high growth with low inflation, particularly in relation to prices of essential agricultural and industrial commodities. It will steadfastly observe fiscal responsibility so that the ability of the Centre to invest in essential social and economic infrastructure is continuously enhanced. This will require that all subsidies reach only the truly needy and poor sections of our society. A national consensus will be created on this issue and necessary policy changes implemented.

36. My Government has been able to significantly increase realization of direct taxes as a result of improved and simplified tax administration and this process will continue. The roadmap for moving towards a Goods and Services Tax will be vigorously pursued. My Government is fully seized of the issue of illegal money of Indian citizens outside the country in secret bank accounts. It will vigorously pursue all necessary steps in coordination with the countries concerned.

37. Coordinated action for energy would be guided by the integrated energy policy. The effort would be to see that at least 13,000 MW of generating capacity is added each year through a mix of sources -coal, hydel, nuclear and renewables. Village and rural household electrification and reduction in aggregate technical and commercial losses will continue to be given the highest priority. Competitiveness and efficiency in the power sector will be enhanced through time-bound measures, including operationalising the provision of open access.

38. The pace of oil and gas exploration will be intensified and India’s oil diplomacy aggressively pursued. Reforms in the coal sector, for which a detailed blueprint has been prepared, will be pursued with urgency. The international civil nuclear agreements will be operationalised with various countries even as domestic sources of uranium are exploited and work continues on the indigenously designed fast breeder and thorium reactors.

39. My Government will ensure that our space programme which has achieved wide recognition continues to bring rich dividends to society in agriculture, tele-medicine, tele-education and by providing information to rural knowledge centres, besides contributing to telecommunication, television broadcasting and weather forecasting. Several innovative initiatives commenced by government in the science and technology sector in the last five years and now under implementation will be further strengthened.

40. My Government is proactively addressing issues of climate change through eight national missions. Of these the National Solar Mission, the National Water Mission, the National Mission on Energy Efficiency, the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture and the National Mission on Sustainable Habitat will be launched by the end of this year. The National Ganga River Basin Authority, set up recently will evolve a new action plan for cleaning and beautifying the river in partnership with the basin states.

Orissa (outside of Kandhamal) voters not fooled by hatemongers; unfortunately that is not the case in Mumbai and Bangalore

Elections 2009 4 Comments »

Update: JD-U is wising up in Bihar and Jharkhand. As I mentioned before, unless BJP changes track, its fate in many other states will be like its fate in Orissa. Personally, I would like a proper national alternative to Congress. Thus I hope BJP will learn from its mistakes and take a hint from what its few allies like JD-U are saying.

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

The JD(U) on Saturday launched an attack on BJP for facilitating Congress’s victory in the Lok Sabha polls by raising Hindutva issues rather than focusing on issues that had to do with the common man.

The party identified Varun Gandhi’s alleged hate speech and the sudden insertion of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the campaign frame as BJP’s two missteps which allowed Congress to corner victory when it ought to have been on the backfoot for issues like price rise and unemployment.

The details of the discussion, however, were yet another reminder of the strain in the NDA alliance in Bihar, and reinforced the estimate that a resurgent JD(U), that under Nitish Kumar aspires to rule Bihar on its steam, could be chafing at the partnership with the BJP.

JD(U) MP N K Singh’s interview where he emphasized that the party shared a commonality with the Congress on the issue of secularism.

The writing is clear for BJP. It can listen to its few remaining allies and become a real national alternative or put its head in the sand and write its own epitaph.


Following is an excerpt from an article in

After 26/11, it seemed like all of Mumbai had become one, rising above language and religious divides. Had the English media got it all wrong again? Five months later, 22 per cent of Mumbaikars voted for the same man who made his name by having helpless poor North Indians bashed up, supposedly to protect the interests of Marathi-speaking locals. Most of these voters would have otherwise voted for the Sena, another party driven by hate and violence. Together, MNS-Sena votes in Mumbai accounted for more than what the Congress-NCP combine got; the split in their vote led to the victory of the ‘secular’ Congress-NCP in the city (except for Priya Dutt, whose victory margin outstripped the vote tally of the MNS candidate).

After all the hullabaloo about the 1984 Sikh killings, the party universally alleged to have been associated with the killings got voted in. The Congress bagged a remarkable 57.11 per cent in Delhi. The party won in Punjab too, getting almost half the votes. And in Orissa, where Adivasis have been resisting POSCO and other corporate land-grabbers, the man who backed the latter has been given the state on a platter.

Where does all this leave those who have fought for the rule of law, for women’s rights, against the current savage pattern of development? Which of the new MPs will raise these issues in Parliament? The Young Turks? Their fathers never did; why would they? They owe their position to their surnames; in fact, they aren’t Young Turks at all. In Orissa, the BJP almost got wiped out; Abdul Madani fell flat in Kerala. But it’s difficult to accept that Bangalore and Mangalore’s voters ignored the barbaric assault on young women; that lakhs of Mumbaikars endorse Raj Thackeray’s goons.

Manmohan’s 2nd innings also starts with humiliating Orissa

CENTER & ODISHA, Demanding equitable treatment, Elections 2009, UPA insults Odisha 6 Comments »

Update: The media coverage of the insult and its reaction is being archived at

When Manmohan Singh became the PM of India in 2004 one of the first things his government did was shift an announced for National Institute of Sciences (NIS) in Bhubaneswar to Kolkata and when Orissa MPs discussed with him about Orissa’ development he is reported to have replied "Money does not grow in trees." It took Orissa-wide demonstrations and a supreme court case for Dr. Singh to make amends and declare the establishment of a National Institute of Science Education and Research in Bhubaneswar. In 2004 he humiliated Orissa by not having a single minister from Orissa. Eventually he added a minister of state from Orissa. Somewhat similar to the NIS case, Dr. Singh’s HRD minister of state had mentioned in a speech in Patna that there will be an IIT in Orissa, but subsequently Orissa was not in the list. Again, after a lot of protests and demonstrations in Orissa, the PM  included Orissa as one of the locations of a new IIT.

Fast forward to 2009 and now Congress gets 6 Lok Sabha MPs from Orissa, 4 more than what it had in 2004. Among the 6 MPs is an ex-chief minister and a tribal (Hemanada Biswal)  who beat the national vice president of BJP in winning his seat, an ex-cabinet minister of parliamentary affairs and tourism, (Srikant Jena), an ex-minister of state of Railways (Bhakta Das), an ex state minister (Amarnath Pradhan), and two young MPs (one of them a tribal).

It is the PM’s prerogative to chose his team and there is no requirement that there has to be ministers from each state. After all these ministers are supposed to be ministers of all of India and it should not matter  where they come from or what their caste is; all that should matter is that they are qualified and they have the PM’s confidence. So objectively one shouldn’t have a problem that he has chosen only one minister of state from Orissa and chosen 3 cabinet ministers and one minister of state from Karnataka, where it got 6 MPs, the same number as Orissa. But the insult to Orissa comes from his demotion to the minister he chose from Orissa. He has picked as a minister of state, not even with independent charge,  Mr. Srikant Jena, who was earlier a cabinet minister  of India and had Parliamentary affairs and tourism as part of his portfolio. If Dr. Singh did not have confidence in Mr. Jena he need not have picked him. But what is he trying to convey by picking him and giving him a demoted position other than showing his and his party’s continued dislike and insulting attitude towards Orissa.

Dr. Singh: You have won the mandate and I guess like your earlier insult to Orissa when you were reported to have said "Money does not grow in trees", you can do whatever you like. But India is watching and they can see how you continue to insult a state and its people. People of Orissa, including those who recently voted for Congress, are fast losing faith on you and are dreading the next five years, where your ministers will take their booties to their home state.

This is not suppose to happen; your ministers are supposed to look after the whole country and not their own state; but based on the past 5 years, where your ministers have focused less on India as a whole and more on their own states, India’s poorer states, with little representation in your ministry are going to get poorer. For introspection, you may look at your past Railway minister’s boasting about what he did for his home state and compare it with states like Orissa from where it got the most revenue, and what you and your past HRD minister have done for higher education and science and technology for your respective home states.

As per Orissa, it seems like humiliating Orissa is your favorite sport or perhaps your lucky charm, as you seem to be again starting your innings with that.


Reaction from other quarters: 

List of central ministers and their portfolio

Central ministers from Odisha, Elections 2009 4 Comments »

The following list is based on data from:

Dr. Manmohan Singh Assam Prime Minister, also in charge of
Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions; Ministry of Planning; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space; and Ministry of Culture
CABINET MINISTERS                           
Pranab Mukherjee West Bengal Finance
P. Chdambaram Tamil Nadu Home affairs
Sharad Pawar Maharashtra Agriculture, Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution
A K Antony Kerala Defense
Mamata Banerjee West Bengal Railways
S M Krishna Karnataka External Affairs
Ghulam Nabi Azad J & K Health & Family Welfare
Sushilkumar Shinde Maharashtra Power
M Veerappa Moily Karnataka Law and Justice
S Jaipal Reddy AP Urban Development 
Kamal Nath MP Surface Transport & Highways
Vayalar Ravi Kerala Overseas Indian Affairs
Meira Kumar Bihar Water Resources
Murli Deora Maharashtra Oil & Petroleum
Kapil Sibal Delhi Human Resource Development 
Ambika Soni   Information & Broadcasting
B K Handique Assam Mines, Development of North-Eastern Region
C P Joshi Rajasthan Rural Development & Panchayati Raj 
Anand Sharma HP Commerce & Industry
Virbhadra Singh HP Steel
Vilasrao Deshmukh Maharashtra Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
Dr. Farooq Abdullah J & K New & Renewable Energy
Dayanidhi Maran Tamil Nadu Textiles
A Raja Tamil Nadu IT & Communication
Mallikarjun Kharge Karnataka Labour & Employment
Subodh Kant Sahay Jharkhand Food Processing Industries
Dr M S Gill Punjab Youth Affairs & Sports
G K Vasan Tamil Nadu Shipping
Pawan Kumar Bansal Chandigarh Parliamentary Affairs
Mukul Wasnik Maharashtra Social Justice & Empowerment 
Kantilal Bhuria MP Tribal Affairs
M K Azhagiri Tamil Nadu Chemical & Fertilisers 
Kumari Selja Haryana Housing, Urban & Poverty Alleviation, Tourism
Praful Patel Maharashtra Civil Aviation
Prithviraj Chauhan Maharashtra Science & Technology; Earth Sciences and MoS in the Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Parliamentary Affairs.
Sriprakash Jaiswal UP Coal; Statistics & Programme Implementation 
Salman Khursheed UP Corporate Affairs; Minority Affairs
Dinsha Patel Gujarat Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 
Jairam Ramesh AP Environment and Forests
Smt Krishna Tirath Delhi Women and Child Development 
E Ahamed Kerala Railways
V Narayanasamy Puducherry Planning and Parliamentary Affairs 
Srikant Jena Orissa Chemicals and Fertilizers
Mullappally Ramachandran Kerala Home Affairs 
Smt D Purandeswari AP HRD
Smt Panabaka Lakshmi AP Textiles 
Ajay Maken Delhi Home Affairs 
K H Muniyappa Karnataka Railways 
Namo Narain Meena Rajasthan Finance 
Jyotiraditya Scindia MP Commerce and Industry 
Jitin Prasad UP Petroleum and Natural Gas 
A Sai Prathap AP Steel 
Gurudas Kamat Maharashtra Communications and Information Technology
M M Pallam Raju AP Defence 
Mahadev Khandela MP Road Transport & Highways 
Harish Rawat Uttarakhand Labour and Employment 
Professor K V Thomas Kerala Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution 
Saugata Ray West Bengal Urban Development 
Dinesh Trivedi West Bengal Health & Family Welfare
Sisir Adhikari West Bengal Rural Development 
Sultan Ahmed West Bengal Tourism
Mukul Roy West Bengal Shipping 
Mohan Jatua West Bengal Information and Broadcasting
S S Palanimanickam Tamil Nadu Finance 
D Napoleon Tamil Nadu Social Justice & Empowerment 
Dr. S Jagathrakshakan Tamil Nadu Information & Broadcasting
S Gandhiselvan Tamil Nadu Health & Family Welfare 
Smt Preneet Kaur Punjab External Affairs 
Sachin Pilot Rajasthan Communications and IT 
Shashi Tharoor Kerala External Affairs 
Bharatsinh Solanki Gujarat Power 
Tusharbhai Chaudhary Gujarat Tribal Affairs 
Arun Yadav MP Youth Affairs & Sports 
Prateek Patil Maharashtra Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises 
R P N Singh UP Road Transport & Highways
Vincent Pala Meghalaya Water Resources 
Pradeep Jain UP Rural Development 
Agatha Sangma Meghalaya Rural Development 

Some of the earlier reports (here and here) mentioned Bhakta Das and Oscar Fernandes, but the later reports do not mention them.

Dharitri group picture of BJD MPs

Elections 2009, Odisha MPs 1 Comment »

Short biography of Orissa ministers: Samaja

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Portfolio of Orissa ministers: Dharitri

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Chief Minister

Naveen Patnaik:  Home, General Admin., Water Resources, Works, Forest and Environment

Cabinet Ministers
Prafulla Chandra Ghadai: Finance, Excise
Damodar Rout: Agriculture, Cooperation, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development
Raghunath Mohanty: Industries, Steel and Mines, Parliamentary Affairs
A.U. Singh Deo: Planning and Coordination, Public Enterprises
Prasanna Acharya: Health and Family Welfare, Public Grievances and Pension Administration
Pramila Mallik: Women and Child Development
Debi Prasad Mishra: Higher Education, Tourism, Culture
Surjya Narayan Patro: Revenue and Disaster Management
Prafulla Samal: Panchayati Raj, Information and PR
Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha: ST and SC Development
Bikram Keshari Arukh: Rural Development, Law

Ministers of State
Sanjib Sahoo: Commerce and Transport
Badrinarayan Patra: Housing and Urban Development
Anjali Behera: Textiles and Handloom
Pratap Jena: School and Mass Education
Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak: Energy
Sarada Prasad Nayak: Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare
Pushpendra Singhdeo: Labour and Employment
Ramesh Chandra Majhi: Information Technology, Science and Technology
Praveen Chandra Bhanja Deo: Sports & Youth Affairs, Revenue and Disaster Management

Jay Panda writes about the secret behind Naveen’s success

Elections 2009, Odisha govt. action 6 Comments »

Following are some excerpts from that article:

The fact is that there is no secret formula.  There is, instead, a clean slate, commonsensical approach to politics that would sound rational to the average citizen, but often confounds hardcore politicos.  There are three key components of this new approach.  First, at the core of it, is a remarkable level of sincerity and dedication.  For a man who till the age of 50 spent lots of time in the rarefied social circles of New York, London and the south of France, Naveen Patnaik has not travelled abroad in more than a decade. And he rarely sees his personal home in Delhi either, only visiting the city a few times a year for official engagements.  This monk-like total immersion in Orissa does not go unnoticed by the public.  

The second is a deep commitment to good governance.  This goes far beyond lip service, and includes numerous instances of risky decisions.  That is, risky by the standards of conventional wisdom, but which ultimately turned out to be huge political successes.  In the early days, every time key cabinet colleagues were dismissed for corruption, or well-connected businessmen were arrested for criminal intimidation, there were widespread predictions that the government would fall because these actions were “naïve” and “impractical” and that “too many powerful forces were being taken on.”  But instead, they resulted in sharp increases in popular support. 

Gutsy decisions were taken across the board.  The inefficient and corrupt lift irrigation corporation was broken up, unsettling thousands of employees, but it was replaced with the revolutionary pani panchayat system, where lakhs of villagers took responsibility for better management of water.  Good governance was not all about taking on entrenched vested interests.   Orissa, then broke and deeply indebted, also showed an open mind in quickly adopting the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act and the Value Added Tax (VAT) at a time when many states were opposing them tooth and nail.   

One of the most important decisions involved taking on the government of India and the powerful mining lobby.  Despite having enormous mineral reserves, Orissa had long been shortchanged by discriminatory central government policies which yielded a pittance in royalties and encouraged downstream investments to be made elsewhere.  The state government’s new value addition policy linked the grant of mining leases to investments in the downstream processing plants.  This has led to a huge surge of investment:  more capital has flowed into Orissa in the past five years than in the previous fifty-five!  The subsequent surge in state revenues has enabled many pro-poor policies. 

The third component is diligent homework and a clinical, dispassionate, political decision-making process.   This may sound obvious to the lay person, but is still not common in political parties.  Take candidate selection, for instance.  In the absence of US-style primaries, most parties even today still choose candidates by a complex process that involves intrigue, lobbying, drama, sabotage, subterranean tests of loyalty, unverifiable caste arithmetic, and even kickbacks. That often leads to sub-optimal choices.  In Orissa, a quick glance at both BJP and Congress candidates reveal some breathtakingly unsuitable names who never stood a ghost of a chance.   

Almost from the day the BJD was formed, and perhaps because its founder was unfamiliar with politics in the beginning, the party has relied on extensive surveys, opinion polls, exit polls, etc.  These have never been devised to advertise the party’s strength, but rather to assess the ground realities and highlight weaknesses.  They have always been conducted by highly rated external agencies, but quietly and only for internal party use.  When it came to candidate selection, the strict criterion of winnability was applied to all, and no amount of lobbying or political clout made any difference. has an editorial on the topic and it has some suggestion for Naveen.

Every media outlet, print and screen, has been vying to find words to express suitable praise for Naveen Patnaik, the hat-trick winner in Orissa. He has been variously described as having a magician’s touch, an uncanny ability to read the Oriya mood, someone not beholden to the usual corrupt structure, a clean practitioner of governance and much more. We, too, acknowledge his feat, especially when so many of his more experienced counterparts have been exposed as inept players of blind man’s bluff. Having done so, however, we would like to take our readers back to a small news item we had published early this month, sent by a staffer from the city of Paradip. In summary, Patnaik had laid the foundation stone for renovation of the 82 km Cuttack-Paradip state highway in July 2007, promising completion in two years (cost: Rs 125 crore). Our staffer reported that 20 per cent of the promised work has been done, and there are gaping holes on the newly laid stretch; locals say the cracks began in the first week. Officials stonewalled queries, save the project director, who admitted to irregularities and said the thing would be redone.

And our point is simple: what exactly does this say of the state of Orissa’s administration and its accountability, after a decade of Naveen-rule? Obviously, very little has changed in the basic system. We make the point not to tar Patnaik in his moment of glory, but to bring both the man and our readers to earth, in order that this state of affairs be addressed. Changing a system single-handed is difficult enough at the best of times, but we suggest the state of a road project is an excellent place to start. Road specifications and how to achieve these are standardised; flaws show up very swiftly, and responsibility is easily pinned on whoever had the contract, the overseer and the person who approved the payment. Start enforcing the rules here and make a few examples; the system will begin reforming with urgency, without any more orders. Let each road project, in Orissa and elsewhere, display the contract’s details at 100 ft intervals, with information of where to complain. And ensure only that all complaints to state bodies are promptly registered and acknowledged, whether these come in writing or on telephone. And, weekly, put these up on a website. You’ll no longer require a hero in the chief minister’s chair; citizens will take charge.

Which party received how many votes: list from Samaja

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List of 20 Orissa ministers: Dharitri

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Naveen seen as non-whimsical, a man of principle, a man who keeps his words and means what he says

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Unlike leaders of many other parties such as BSP, SP, RJD, who fought against their UPA allies during the election, caused them harm, and now are extending their support to the government in Delhi, Naveen has not changed his stance of not supporting NDA or UPA. In fact if one goes back the last ten years Naveen has been fairly stable in his pronuouncments. He has not blackmailed his allies and has not flip-flopped. Thus it is a big loss for NDA and very stupid of them to have lost such a dependent ally. Naveen’s keeping-his-word personality has not gone unnoticed by the others. Hence the current UPA government is keeping its channel open with Naveen in case they may need him. Even though Naveen may not go back on his words of not supporting the UPA government, if necessary, he may abstain from voting against them, and give them issue based support. Following are some excerpts from a report in Tribune which mentions the attitude of UPA towards Naveen Patnaik.

… the Congress is also looking at Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s BJD for issue-based support as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has personally opened channels of communication with him though Dr. Ramakanta Panda, the surgeon who operated on him earlier this year.

… As the numbers are stacked up today, the Congress has more supporters than it had bargained for with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati s BSP, which was part of the Third Front in the Lok Sabha elections, also extending unconditional outside support of its 21 MPs to the new government.

Although it is presently spoilt for choice, the Congress does not want to be overly dependent on parties like the Samajwadi Party and the BSP in view of the whimsical nature of its leaders. It would, therefore, like to be prepared for any future contingency by getting support from parties having substantial numbers.The Congress top brass has identified Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik in this category.

Orissa Lok Sabha results: Who got how many votes? (From Dharitri)

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Orissa assembly results: Who got how many votes? (From Dharitri)

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Modi’s introduction to Orissa – a spectacular failure (Thank God)

Elections 2009 1 Comment »

Following are excerpts from a report in Indian Express.

The JD(U) thinks the efforts of a section of the BJP to prop up Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the future prime ministerial candidate of the NDA have contributed to the defeat of the alliance. This reaction of the JD(U) puts a question mark over Modi’s plans for the future.

Asked if the Modi issue was one of the factors which played against the NDA, JD(U) president and NDA acting convenor Sharad Yadav told reporters on Sunday that it was indeed so. He felt this caused confusion in the minds of people. “The issue should have been dismissed immediately,” he said.

Yadav had not relished the “draft-Modi-for-PM-campaign” when some BJP leaders floated the idea in the midst of the campaign. “There is no vacancy,” Yadav had said, citing the fact that senior BJP leader L K Advani had been already projected as the prime ministerial candidate.

Contrary to the hype during the campaign, the Modi factor had failed to work to the advantage of the BJP. At the end of the day, the party has registered a gain of just one seat in his home state Gujarat. In Maharashtra, where Modi held charge, the BJP tally has actually gone down. And, notwithstanding the hectic campaign of the saffron brotherhood’s poster boy, the BJP has faced a rout in Orissa, UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Haryana, where he was touted as a star campaigner.

Orissa was supposed to be the most fertile ground for introducing Modi. The atmosphere was communally polarised in the aftermath of the Kandhamal violence and the BJP was free to return to its own agenda and ideology after breaking up with BJD. However, nothing worked.

Thank God the BJP plan for Orissa, as mentioned in the above paragraph, did not work.As we reported earlier in and the BJD countered Modi’s introduction to Orissa, and that plus the inherent peaceful and non-communal nature of Oriyas saved Orissa.


As the last paragraph of the quote above illustrates, there is a widespread (wrong) impression that Orissa was communally polarised.


That is not true and the proof is how BJP fared in Orissa. In Kandhamala parliamentary constituency itself the BJP candidate Ashok Sahu, who was accused and jailed for hate speech, lost. However in two assembly constituencies in Kandhamala BJP won. At best one can say that Kandhamala was communally poarised. Saying Orissa was communally polarised is as wrong as saying India was communally polarised. Outside of Kandhamala there was zero communal polarisation. PERIOD. Note that unlike Post-Godhra in 2002 or the sikh killings in 1984 the violence in Kandhamala did not spread outside of Kandhamala.

Opposition parties pursued the right approach in Kalahandi; almost.

Elections 2009 1 Comment »

Following are some excerpts from a news item in

While BJD has received an overwhelming support all over Orissa, Kalahandi district rejected the party. 

The regional outfit not only lost the Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat but also the four, Junagarh, Bhawanipatna, Lanjigarh and Narla, out of five Assembly seats to the Congress party in the district.

… In 2004 General Elections to the Lok Sabha and Assembly Kalahandi district was swept by BJD and BJP combine.

However, BJD suffered serious jolt in Kalahandi on local issues. 

Demand for the Central University in Kalahandi played a pivotal role in this regard, feel intelgentsia.

Self-made complications  by Naveen Patnaik on this matter further made local people angry. 

When the Chief Minister met a delegation from Kalahandi in May 2008 he promised that Kalahandi will get the varsity. 

Mr.Patnaik promised to use his best rapport in the Ministry of Human Recourse Development to establish the Central University in Kalahandi. 

The Chief Minister also asked the delegation to send land details.

Despite receiving the land details from the Collector of Kalahandi in July 2008, Orissa CM, later in August 2008 unilaterally announced to establish the Central University in Koraput. 

Thus he courted controversy and wrath of the young masses of the tribal zone. 

Serious protests were raised in Kalahandi. 

Gauzing the public emotions in the District, Congress Committee of Kalahandi immediately made it a political issue. 

The party protested to State Government and exposed it as betrayal to people of Kalahandi by the Government. 

This paid high dividends to the Congress party in the district during the election by getting substantially support from educated and intellectual mass in the district. 

Just two months before election, local Congress leaders’ timely attack on Kalahandi district administration while highlighting poor condition of 
National Highway 201 caused by heavily loaded truck of Vedanta during mining transportation made State Government vulnerable to local public. 

Other local issues like poor progress of Lanjigarh Road – Junagarh railway line, poor progress of private medical college, new secondary health facilities, and failure to construct a high laying over bridge over Hati river near Junagarh since past five years made local people upset against BJD led Government.

This is an example of what I suggested in regarding what the opposition parties in Orissa should do.

The pictures of the winners in Orissa assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies: Dharitri

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Winners of Orissa assembly seats (from Samaja)

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KBK Poll Graphics of various party positions

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The detailed party position is as follows:


  • Congress – 206
  •  Trinamool Congress – 19
  •  DMK – 18
  •  Nationalist Congress Party – 9
  •  National Conference – 3
  •  Jharkhand Mukti Morcha – 2
  •  Muslim League Kerala State Committee – 2
  •  All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen – 1
  •  Bodoland People’s Front – 1
  •  Kerala Congress (Mani) – 1


  •  Bharatiya Janata Party – 116
  •  Janata Dal-United – 20
  •  Shiv Sena – 11
  •  Rashtriya Lok Dal – 5
  •  Akali Dal – 4
  •  Telangana Rashtra Samithi – 2
  •  Asom Gana Parishad – 1


  •  Bahujan Samaj Party – 21
  •  CPI-M – 16
  •  Biju Janata Dal – 14
  •  AIADMK – 9
  •  Telegu Desam Party – 6
  •  CPI – 4
  •  Janata Dal-Secular – 3
  •  Forward Bloc – 2
  •  Revolutionary Socialist Party – 2
  •  MDMK – 1
  •  Haryana Janhit Congress – 1
  •  Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) – 1


  •  Samajwadi Party – 22
  •  Rashtriya Janata Dal – 4


  •  Independents – 9
  •  Assam United Democratic Front – 1
  •  Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi – 1
  •  Swabhimani Paksha – 1
  •  Nagaland People’s Front – 1
  •  Sikkim Democratic Front – 1
  •  VCK – 1

The Six Congress MPs from Orissa; their potential to become central ministers

Elections 2009 7 Comments »

The six Congress MPs from Orissa are:

  • Sanjay Bhoi from Bargarh
  • Hemanand Biswal from Sundergarh (he defeated Jual Oram)
  • Amarnath Pradhan from Sambalpur (he defeated Rohit Pujari)
  • Srikant Jena from Balasore
  • Bhakta Das from Kalahandi
  • Pradeep Majhi from Nabarangpur

Sanjay Bhoi is considered a young leader. Hemanad Biswal is a tribal and was CM of Orissa before and the fact that he defeated a BJP national level official further increases his stature. Amarnath Pradhan has been a minster in Orissa. His nomination forced Rohit Pujari to quit Congress and join BJD and run against him. Srikant Jena has been a cabinet minister in the center. Bhakta Das has been a state minister in the center. I don’t know much about Pradeep Majhi. (Update: There is a profile article on Pradeep Majhi in and another one in He is 32 years old and a youth Congress leader.)

Based on the above, one (or hopefully both) of Hemanand Biswal  and Srikant Jena may become a cabinet minister in Delhi. Bhakta Das has a good chance of becoming a minister in Delhi.