PBs twisty take on the top five headlines of the day.
1. Kejriwal’s Odd-Even Formula to Return – Women could lose exemption!
Kejriwal’s pet scheme odd-even formula to regulate Delhi pollution and traffic is all set to return. Govt. invited public opinion on improving the plan and has incorporated some of the suggestions. Good example of public participation in governance.
Kejriwal used to do a lot of these before he became a politician – public opinion on manifesto, public opinion on selection of candidates, public opinion on whether to form govt. with Congress or not.
Needs to do this much more. Public opinion to solve MCD crisis, public opinion on Jan Lok Pal etc. I have been his critic but second his plan. Its also a good way to distract the critics during their one year anniversary celebrations.
2. UAE to store crude oil in India’s strategic facility – Historic ties in the making!
Taking UAE-India partnership to new level, UAE will help India build underground storages to store and guard oil against global price shocks. This will store oil to meet India’s need for 10 days in emergency situation. UAE needs India’s strategic help in defence. Also majority of the expat population in UAE if from India. India also using the leverage to force UAE to act against Dawood and his family members who till last year were allegedly travelling freely to and out of Dubai.
3. RSS may bring back Ram Temple to win Uttar Pradesh – Trick may backfire!
Subramanium Swamy is on a spree holding speeches and tweeting about how BJP is committed to construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. With elections due in UP next year and after loss in Bihar, win in UP is essential for survival of Amit Shah and re-election of Modi in 2019.
Opponents argue its for this reason that BJP is raking up the issue – to unite / polarize Hindu votes. If Hindu votes get split on caste lines – OBC / Yadavs to SP, Dalits to BSP and Upper Caste to BJP, BJP may find it tough to win the state where it won 73 / 80 seats in 2014. This has its risks of polarizing the minority community though. BJP hopes alive if they get 50%+ votes of all caste groups including Dalits.
BJP Vote Share from Hindu Sub Caste Groups in 2014 Lok Sabha
Ram temple construction was mentioned in the last pages of BJP manifesto. And it will benefit if it focuses on deteriorating law and order in UP plus development work done by Modi. The issue does not entice the Hindu voters as it used to do in 1990s. Plus Swamy after building for himself an anti corruption crusader image now trying to build an image of fighting for the rights of Hindus.
4. Railway budget hike fare expected by 5-10% – Support but improve services as well!
1. Hike sleeper fares by 20%-25%. But make it same as AC, no waitlisted passengers to ply if tickets not confirmed. This way you provide a better travel experience for which people would be willing to pay.
2. Devise means to reduce without ticket travel. Increase fines 10x to deter people from travelling without ticket. This way corruption of TTEs would be curtailed.
3. Raising AC fares is fine and people won’t complain but quality of food and free WiFi should be introduced. However, they should not surpass the fares of low-cost air carriers in some sectors.
5. Rahul urges Kerala leaders to stop infighting – Nervousness of imminent loss!
Rahul has urged various factions of Kerala Congress to remain united before polls. AK Antony faction is demanding resignation of Omen Chandy (from Karunakaran group) because of his alleged involvement in solar scam. For past 30 years public in Kerala has always thrown out the incumbent government. So trend wise its Left chance to win.
However, decline in Left Front vote share and influence nationally and emergence of BJP in the state which will compete with Left for traditional vote bank of Nairs has made the polls interesting. But the solar scam seems to have tilted the scale in favour of Left Front for the moment.
With inputs from Risha Bhattacharya.