QBullet: AAP Sacks Lokpal, Flood in Kashmir, Srini Booed and More

Here’s a round up of the top news stories fresh off the press. 

5 min read
Incessant rain has led to fears of flood, landslides and devastation like in September 2014.  (Photo: PTI) 

1. AAP wants national Lokpal, sacks its own

After ousting Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from its National Executive, the Aam Aadmi Party has reconstituted its Lokpal panel and disciplinary committee, effectively removing Bhushan from all important functionaries of the party. Admiral L Ramdas, the current Lokpal of the party has also been replaced.

While Ramdas claimed that the party had not communicated the decision to replace him, Yadav said the national executive had no powers to replace the Lokpal. “Shocked to hear that a party built on the Lokpal movement has thrown out its own Lokpal. As per the party’s constitution, the NE has no authority to appoint new Lokpal. Only the Lokpal can appoint their successor,” he said.

Read the full report from The Times of India here

2. ‘Mukhyamantri ka saala’ is a story of growth in Chhattisgarh

As the fortunes of Chhattisgarh CM’s cousin Sanjay Singh rise, questions are raised about the increasing levels of corruption in the government.

In the official files of the Chhattisgarh government, Sanjay Singh is occasionally referred to as Mukhyamantri ka saala. A Class III employee, Sanjay was made Tourism DGM in 2005, less than two years after Raman took over as CM. In three years, he was GM, a post reserved for Scheduled Tribes. He also entered a higher payscale in 2005. After employees complained, the revision of his pay was declared illegal, and orders were issued to recover the incremental salary from him. This was in 2008; Sanjay is yet to pay.

Read the complete story in The Indian Express here.

3. Ahmed Patel, Seen and Heard Like Never Before

(Photo Courtesy: The Indian Express) 
(Photo Courtesy: The Indian Express) 

He is the right hand of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and a long-trusted aide. But is Ahmed Patel’s resurgence an attempt to make his mark in history or just be heard by the Congress’ heir apparent?

Patel has been Sonia’s right hand, a position he earned after having been a trustworthy treasurer under Sitaram Kesri, Sonia’s predecessor. It is uncertain if he will wield the same kind of influence once Rahul Gandhi takes the reins, which is why Patel’s sudden visibility has set off so much talk.

Read the full story in The Indian Express here

4. Kerala Church deal with nun

In what seems like a first of its kind deal, a catholic Church in Kerala is paying Rs 12 lakh. The deal was made after the nun alleged that she was tortured and expelled from the convent for resisting advances of a priest.

Under the arrangement, the 40-year-old nun has agreed to return her robes. She had earlier threatened to hold a sit-in outside her convent - the Sisters of St. Agatha convent in Aluva near Kochi - which had refused to take her back on her return from Italy on February 20.

Read the full story in The Telegraph here

5. Heavy Rain, Rising Jhelum Spook Kashmir Again; Srinagar on Alert

Relentless showers over the past 24 hours in Kashmir have led to landslides, damaged houses and flash floods. The government has declared a flood alert in the Valley.

Several areas in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Kulgam were cut off after flash floods washed away bridges. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed flew-in from Jammu to take stock of the situation, schools and college exams scheduled for Monday and Tuesday were cancelled and control rooms set up in the valley.  The meteorological department said there was no fear of floods but issued an avalanche alert for upper reaches.

Read the complete report from Hindustan Times here

6. Booed Srini Bailed out by Presence of Sachin

Lokendra Pratap Sahi writes about the real reason behind MCG audience booing N Srinivasan and how Sachin Tendulkar saved him from further humiliation.

According to the constitution, ICC president A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal, a powerful minister in Bangladesh, should have given away the World Cup. But Srinivasan is out to teach him a lesson for questioning the umpiring during the India-Bangladesh quarter-final. There were thousands of fans from the subcontinent and it’s assumed that they booed Srinivasan, when Mark Nicholas, the master of ceremonies, introduced those on the dais.

Read the full story in The Telegraph here

7. No One’s Children

Veteran journalist Neerja Chowdhury asks whether the drastic cut-backs in budgetary allocation for the nutrition and healthcare of children can really be made up by the states.

If the Centre is stepping back, why would the states not do likewise, giving preference to industrial corridors and infrastructural outlays at the cost of the more basic and immediate health needs, which may determine whether many of our children live? So much for the demographic dividend we proudly tout.

Read the full story in The Indian Express here

8. No Place for Peers - Presumption and Parochialism
Mukul Kesavan examines what the expulsion of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan tells us about the nature of the Aam Aadmi Party, and how the ‘intellectuals’ did not understand the nature of the political movement they helped build.

Bhushan and Yadav’s mistake, for which they were so severely punished in the national council meeting, was not the laughable charge of anti-party activity. It was their intellectual sense of entitlement, their presumption in thinking that they were Kejriwal’s political peers. It’s not a coincidence that Anand Kumar, Ajit Jha and Yogendra Yadav were academics with an acute interest in politics that was held in abeyance (or sublimated into psephology) because the political vehicle that could use their talent and enthusiasm didn’t exist.

Read the full Opinion piece in The Telegraph here

9. Lessons for India from Singapore

<!--StartFragment-->Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) smiles as he attends the LKY School of Public Policy 7th anniversary dialogue session in Singapore September 14, 2011.&nbsp; (Photo: Reuters)<!--EndFragment-->
Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) smiles as he attends the LKY School of Public Policy 7th anniversary dialogue session in Singapore September 14, 2011.  (Photo: Reuters)

Swaminathan Aiyer analyses why Singapore has developed so much faster and better than India. For Aiyer, Lee Kwan Yew’s acceptance of capitalism and trade was the key to Singapore’s success. Nehru on the other hand, was afraid of foreign trade, and that has kept India back.

Nehru feared foreign trade and investment as vehicles for India’s re-colonisation through economic means. So, he sought to reduce both and aim for self-sufficiency through import substitution. Incredibly, socialist intellectuals saw no contradiction in extolling self-sufficiency while constantly demanding more foreign aid.

Read the full The Times of India article here

From The Quint Basket

1. Betrayal, Stalinism and Sadness - #AAPWar gets Uglier. Read here

2. Super Sunday for Saina and Srikanth. Read here

3. Watch: Why is India Crazy About Govt. Holidays? Watch here

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