गुरुवार, 24 अप्रैल 2014

By the ruling class, for the ruling class ANAND TELTUMBDE

By the ruling class, for the ruling class


ANAND TELTUMBDE

The electoral system in its current avatar is not serving India’s democracy

In the next few weeks the gigantic exercise of conducting elections in India will be over. The nation will pat itself on the back for being crowned yet again the world’s greatest functional democracy while most people will get back to their struggle for survival. The long dance of democracy would come to an end, leaving the elected representatives to do the business of recovering their huge investments. A fortune is spent to conduct elections in India, rivalled only by the United States (it is said that in this election, Indian politicians would spend upwards of $5 billion as against $7 billion spent in the 2012 U.S. presidential election). All kinds of intrigues and foul play come into motion for acquiring money to fight elections. By any logic, these amounts can only be raised through plutocracy and crime. That being closer to the truth, one wonders whether this process of election needs to be probed for being at the centre of what ails India.
Trajectory of corruption
In a liberal framework, direct democracy is not possible. Elections are meant to get peoples’ representatives to operationalise democracy. Peoples’ choices however are restricted to the candidates put up by political parties, and to some independents, most of whom contest to help the electoral arithmetic of the main political parties as dummy candidates. This results in the same set of people getting elected election after election without any evidence of performance. The entire process has a kind of barrier of entry. For instance, the official expenditure allowed for a candidate for the Lok Sabha election is Rs.70 lakh that only mainstream political parties can afford. The actual investment is several times more. If this is the quantum of risk capital one invests in elections, there should be a theoretical return on this investment. Since there is none, it inevitably manifests itself as growing corruption. This has turned politics into a big ticket business with unrivalled returns. The elected leader becomes a feudal lord and the constituency his fiefdom, fortified by musclemen and money power.
The data on politicians who participate in elections are in the public domain, thanks to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), that picks it up from their affidavits filed with the Election Commission and presents them in a manner that is comprehensible. These self-sworn data, likely to be a gross understatement, nonetheless reveal the rapidly growing number of crorepatis among these representatives. In the 15th Lok Sabha election, there were 1,249 crorepati candidates, of whom over 300 reached Parliament. The crime record closely correlates with their riches, and both exist across parties. The parliamentarians with criminal cases belonging to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the two main political parties, were 24 and 29 in 2004 respectively, which went up to 44 each in 2009. These are the so-called representatives of the people, a vast majority of whom live off Rs.20 a day!
More interesting is the incredible growth of their wealth before every election. The analysis by ADR and National Election Watch (NEW) has found that the wealth of 304 re-contesting MPs had grown by 289 per cent. These rates are almost unheard of even in the corporate world. A person of average calibre, ostensibly in service of poor people, outbeats the best of fund managers. In an ordinary case, such evidence would alarm the income tax and anti-corruption authorities; but the political connections of these worthies provide them immunity from such mundane risks. There are no prizes for guessing the sources of wealth here when it is known that the entire machinery works for corporate houses and other moneybags in the name of the people.
Method of election
When India became independent, the biggest challenge the new rulers faced was in fulfilling the aspirations of the people — the aspirations they helped build during the freedom struggle. These were further amplified by developments such as the dazzling progress made by the post-revolution USSR, the welfarist ethos of the post-War world, and the ongoing revolution in neighbouring China. The communal flare-up in the wake of the transfer of power, the integration of nearly 600 political fragments in the form of princely states within India, the communist-led armed struggles in certain pockets in the country, and the awakening of the lower castes collectively posed a formidable challenge to the new rulers. The republican constitution they created reflected these aspirations. However in real terms, the Congress Party that assumed the reins of power, represented the interests of the bourgeoisie and had to skilfully promote them. This tension between the need to appear addressing peoples’ aspirations — but in reality furthering the interests of capital — necessarily showed up in a series of its deceitful acts. Launching Five-Year Plans to display socialist orientation but clandestinely adopting the Bombay Plan created by the then eight top capitalists of the country, or to initiate land reforms but ensuring that they remained throttled so as to create a class of rich farmers as an ally in the vast countryside, or to push the Green Revolution to spread capitalist relations in countryside in the name of removing hunger, are just a few examples. It was politically imperative to adopt such a method for operating democracy to ensure that they remained in full control of power.
The First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) type of election system (in which the winner is the person with most votes) was chosen as a means to fortify the political power of the ruling classes. This system as such was inherited from the colonial regime like all other former colonies of the British Empire. But there was nothing that could have prevented India to discard it for the one better suited to its specific situation. The rulers ignored these considerations and rather focussed on their own interests which would be best served by this system. Most of the evils that we find ourselves engulfed in today stem from the FPTP system. A single winner in elections with such extraordinarily diverse polity could not come without the support of the majority party. It followed that most interest groups would be forced to come to terms with the majority party, paving ways for co-option and other manipulations. The diversity of interests in the country may still throw up many parties, which could only aggravate the inherently competitive FPTP elections. That in turn would only mean increasingly huge expenditure, to be met by big businesses, and the use of existing fault lines like caste, community and religion. It necessarily evolved into an oligopolistic power structure of all ruling classes, irrespective of parties, fortified by multilayered defences such as the police and the military.
Another model
Was there no alternative to FPTP? The diverse polity would point to a different model of election, say, the Proportional Representation (PR) system, which is followed in most European democracies and many others that have had far superior democratic records. While there are many practical variants of the PR system, essentially it entails voting for parties or social groups (rather than for individuals), that get representation in proportion to their share of votes. For example, Dalits in India are 17 per cent but being in the minority in every constituency, one of them would never get elected independently in the FPTP system; not even from the so-called reserved constituencies. The PR system would assure them their share in Parliament and legislatures and may even create a centripetal force to expand their constituency. What is euphemistically called bahujan today was possible to be created through this process. The social identities would make way for class consciousness and impart class orientation to the entire politics. There would be no cut-throat competition as every interest group would be reasonably assured of its share of representation. The competition would then shift to the ring of Parliament to shape the policies in the interests of the majority of the people. In the FPTP system, once the elections are over, there is no motivation for debate in Parliament on policy content. The most material policies of the government that impacted people (such as the imposition of Emergency and the neoliberal economic reforms) were never discussed in Parliament.
The theoretical fallacy in the FPTP elections that the elected representatives hardly enjoy consent of even half the voters is overcome in the PR system that ensures most interest groups their due share of representation. The intense competition of the FPTP elections leading to huge resource expenditure and consequent rise of corruption would also be eliminated in the PR system. Most importantly, in the context of India, it would curb the vile motives in the ruling classes to divide people on the lines of caste and community.
For instance, there would not be any need for the reserved constituencies for Dalits and hence even the Dalit tag, thereby eliminating the salience of castes from politics. Although, no system may prevent the black sheep being black, the PR system would surely eliminate the structural spaces by promising them their dues. Dalits lamented for years the Gandhian blackmail in the Poona Pact but did not understand that it was pivoted on the FPTP system. It would lose its relevance in the PR system. The same could even be extended to any need of preserving caste identities and vexatious problems they have created.
Indeed, India would hugely gain. But then, what will happen to the ruling class?
(Anand Teltumbde is a civil rights activist with Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai.)
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/by-the-ruling-class-for-the-ruling-class/article5938087.ece

The PM, journalists, and the nuclear deal:SANJAYA BARU

The PM, journalists, and the nuclear deal
‘When Ram left, Dr Singh sat back in his chair looking completely satisfied. He had crossed the rubicon, he thought.’ Three senior journalists figured in the events as they played out in August 2007, recounts SANJAYA BARU
Posted/Updated Wednesday, Apr 23 14:35:24, 2014
Book Extract 
The Accidental Prime Minister—The Making And Unmaking of Manmohan Singh
Sanjaya Baru
Penguin/Viking 2014
Pages: 301 pages, Price: Rs 599
 
Finally, on 3 August 2007, the government was able to make public the 123 Agreement. After a careful reading of the agreement, N. Ram, chief editor of The Hindu and a sceptic on the deal, wrote a full-page editorial comment under the headline 'A Sound and Honourable 123'. He wrote enthusiastically. 

'It is a sound and honourable agreement and the assurances provided to Parliament by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006 have been fulfilled virtually in their entirety,' said the editorial. The editorial criticized the BJP for raising ill-informed objections. 'The Manmohan Singh government has won for India the keys to unshackle its nuclear programme from the unfair restrictions it has been subjected to for the past 33 years.' 

On reading the editorial, I called Ram and thanked him on Dr Singh's behalf. He sounded ecstatic and was full of praise for the PM. 'Tell the prime minister he has made history!' 

I suggested that he should tell that to him personally. Ram agreed to fly down the same day from Chennai. After checking with Dr Singh, I invited Ram to have breakfast with the prime minister the next day. For more than an hour over breakfast, Ram waxed eloquent on the deal, calling it a great achievement for India and a great political coup for the PM. 

When Ram left, Dr Singh sat back in his chair looking completely satisfied. He had crossed the rubicon, he thought. Ram was a close friend of Prakash Karat, and himself a long-standing member of the CPM. Dr Singh took Ram's endorsement as a signal from the Left that it would not attack the deal. Rarely had I seen Dr Singh so pleased, so at peace, so content as he was that morning. 

An hour or so later Ram called me at my office in South Block. Right after his breakfast meeting with the PM, he had gone off to meet Karat. 

'Sanjaya, I have bad news. The Left will not support the 123 Agreement. They will ask the government to put the negotiations on hold.'

This came as a shock. Ram agreed it was so, and said he, too, was surprised. He had spent some time explaining the benefits of the deal to Karat but the latter, he said, was not interested. 

'He has taken a political decision,' said Ram. 'It is not about the merits of the deal, but the politics. You have to tell the PM that he should put the deal on hold. Karat will be making a statement asking the government not to operationalize the deal.'

I rushed to RCR to deliver the message to the PM. While driving down I called Sitaram Yechury to seek an explanation. He confirmed Ram's account and said this was Karat's decision and would have to be ratified by the politburo. Yechury sounded displeased and helpless. It was he who had read out in the Rajya Sabha the famous 'red lines' to the government on what would be acceptable to the Left. He agreed now that the 123 Agreement had offered reassurance on every one of the issues raised by the Left and DAE officials. Neither Ram's friendship nor Shivshankar's equations, nor indeed Yechury's best efforts, would come in the way of Karat's decision.

****
A couple of days later, Dr Singh met Manini Chatterjee of the Telegraph (Kolkata) in his room in Parliament. She had just taken charge as the Telegraph's Delhi bureau chief and wanted to meet the PM. It was a courtesy call, not an interview, but it turned into one. The prime minister, still angry, was in a talkative mood and was willing to be candid while replying to her questions on the Left's demand. As his remarks became more and more interesting and newsy, Manini realized she had a front-page story. She sought the PM's permission to quote him and report his views. He looked at me. I told him that if he truly felt this way, he owed it to the nation to make his views known. This was an important issue on which his critics were freely offering their criticism. He should not remain silent, I said.

Dr Singh agreed to allow Manini to report what he said. He only insisted that since she had not recorded his remarks on tape she should clear the text of her report with me before its publication. Manini and I sat in an anteroom and shared our notes. She then went to her office, typed out her story and emailed it to me. It was an accurate report and 
I gave her the green signal.

Next morning, on Saturday 11 August, the Telegraph ran the headline 'Anguished PM to Left: If You Want to Withdraw, So Be It'. The report said, 'Tired of the Left parties' constant bark, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dared them to bite after their latest diatribe against the Indo-US nuclear deal.' It quoted Dr Singh as saying, 'I told them it is not possible to renegotiate the deal. It is an honourable deal, the Cabinet has approved it, we cannot go back on it. I told them to do whatever they want to do. If they want to withdraw support, so be it.'

The news report sent shock waves around Delhi. Narayanan and Nair called me to find out if the report was accurate. They were not aware of the PM's meeting with Manini, which had taken place in Parliament House while they themselves were in South Block. It is also possible that neither was as aware of the PM's anger and anguish as I had been. 

They reported that the Congress party's leadership was unhappy with the interview and might want the PM to issue a denial. Since the PM's statements were not taped, felt Narayanan, it should be possible to issue a denial. I was appalled by that line of argument, but kept silent. It occurred to me that they, along with Congress party functionaries, might have already decided to get the PM to issue a denial and to put the blame on me for what Manini had written. I realized that the prime minister might come under pressure from his party, and was not sure what he would do. I returned to my room, read through my own notes of what exactly the PM had said and waited for the summons.

Several journalists called to say that the Congress party was planning to deny the story, saying Dr Singh never issued any such ultimatum to the Left. One senior journalist called to tell me that Ahmed Patel had said to him, 'How can Doctor Saheb issue any such ultimatum to the Left? He did not bring them into an alliance with us, so he cannot ask them to go.'

****

While the diplomats had done India proud, negotiating a historic agreement, India's politicians let the country down. The hypocrisy of the Left was exposed by the somersault Ram had to perform on the editorial pages of The Hindu. After proclaiming the 123 Agreement 'sound and honourable', he followed up with an editorial a few days later, toeing Karat's line and advising the government to put the deal on hold. And Yechury, who had privately agreed that the PM had done what he had promised to, publicly criticized him. 

****

On 12 October 2007, both Sonia Gandhi and Dr Singh spoke at the Hindustan Times Summit. In response to pre-approved questions that Vir Sanghvi posed to Sonia, she said the survival of the government took precedence over the nuclear deal and while the Congress would continue to try and win over the Left it would do nothing to force the issue and risk a break with the Left.

Dr Singh watched her remarks live on television at 7 RCR. As soon as her session was over, the PM's carcade left for Taj Palace Hotel where Dr Singh was scheduled as the second speaker. 

In a pointed question, the newspaper's editorial director, Vir Sanghvi, asked him, 'You made a statement to a newspaper which was a bit out of sync with your persona and that started all the controversy. Do you think you overstepped a bit?'

Dr Singh responded with uncharacteristic firmness, 'I don't think I overstepped. I was responding to a public statement issued by the four Left parties and I don't think I overstepped. I am quite conscious of my responsibilities and what I should say and what I should not say.'

However, fully aware of what Sonia had said before him, the PM parried questions on the nuclear deal, saying his government was not a 'one-issue government' and 'one has to live with certain disappointments . . . If the deal does not come through, that is not the end of life.'
 
Reprinted with permission from Penguin/Viking
 

मंगलवार, 22 अप्रैल 2014

Why most women would never marry Narendra Modi…:Shobhaa De

Important disclosure: I have asked approximately a hundred women this idiotic question: "Would you marry Narendra Modi?" I have even asked myself the same one (errr... maybe he goes for older women?). Why? Because when a woman looks at a man with any level of interest, she generally asks herself a set of absurd questions, starting with: Is he 'husband material'? Would I like to make babies with him? Is he a keeper?

This has nothing to do with age. Since I am writing about NAMO's attractiveness / sex appeal vis-a-vis the women of India (key voters!), how could I resist or hold back? So here's the first cut on this sizzling topic: Narendra Modi - Stud or Dud? Namo is definitely not the sort of guy you want to take home to mother. He'd probably scare the hell out of her. You wouldn't want to introduce him to friends either (this is key... girls- friends must approve of boyfriends/husbands). As for getting Dad to hang with this guy - oooops! No chance. After all, Dad is the real 'chowkidar' in a daughter's life. Why hire another? Next criterion: Would Namo make a compatible travel companion? Doubtful. He'd probably make a speech wherever he finds five people. And the only sight seeing he'd be interested in would be restricted to helicopter surveys of expressways. Could Namo be a good listener (this is perhaps the single most important quality women look for in men)? The answer is an emphatic 'no'. Modi loves the sound of his own voice. And he doesn't listen to anyone - man or woman.

Besides, he doesn't speak - he thunders. He talks at people, not to them. A woman likes to be spoken to. He gives the impression he'd have neither the patience nor the interest in listening to her and may consider such interactions a complete waste of his precious time - unless of course, the woman was gush-gush-gushing and drooling all over him. Modi appears arrogant and dismissive, self-absorbed and conceited. Chicks like appreciation... compliments .So do men! Modi always appears in self-congratulatory mode, rarely bothering to make eye contact even with someone sitting two feet away from him. Basically, Modi gives the impression of being madly in love - with himself.

Just to balance it out a little, let me say it's not entirely downhill for Namo, either. There are women who admire cave men. There are women who do consider Namo 'manly' in the old fashioned sense -remember, he has that impressive 56-inch (now downsized to 44-inch) chest. While it may not translate into a 'Me Tarzan, You Jane' script, some women do believe Namo represents the strongsilent prototype - a guy who focuses unambiguously on masculine concerns and cares a damn about metrosexuality. My worry is that he looks as if he doesn't care a damn about any kind of sexuality - metro, new age, whatever. Power is sex for Modi. Where is the space for a woman in this equation? Some ladies insist it's a relief to come across a man who doesn't give off a lecherous vibe. That's fine. But zero vibe is also not nice, na? Then again, he himself says marriage is not for him. Never mind what Jashodaben, the wife he abandoned when she was just seventeen years old, feels about that. His 'bachelorhood-equals -sainthood- equals honesty' theory is equally bizarre. He recently said no wife, no parivaar means no temptation to accumulate wealth, which in turn leads to a drastic reduction of corruption. This is another crazy pronouncement of his, and it makes him sound like some sort of a weirdo not in sync with the times we live in.

Sorry, but Namo doesn't quite cut it in the 'Main Tera Hero' sense. I mean - really! It is not about his portly physique. It is not about his strange kurta which stretches across his generous midriff. It is not about any of this. Fifteen years ago, nobody outside of political circles had heard of Narendra Modi. When he did shoot into prominence, it was for all the wrong reasons (Godhra). It is only in the past two years that Modi has registered strongly and become a household name. But here's the catch: he is more feared than loved. More admired than respected. Women loathe bullies/ tyrants/ autocrats/ egoists. Unfortunately, Modi falls into this reviled category. So... let's be upfront about this - we are emotional people. We like mushy, happy endings, particularly to love stories. If Narendra Modi were to be cast in an iconic Bollywood film - which role would he play best? Go on... ask yourself. Gabbar Singh or Veeru from 'Sholay'? The answer's pretty obvious. And no woman in her right mind would want to be Mrs. Gabbar Singh. 


http://www.mumbaimirror.com/columns/columnists/shobhaa-de/Why-most-women-would-never-marry-Narendra-Modi/articleshow/33628078.cms

रविवार, 20 अप्रैल 2014

How NDA Government facilitated the flow of Black Money

small island nation like Mauritius perhaps generates more black money than all the SEZs put together because of the two-decade-old bilateral agreement between India and Mauritius, the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC). Indian and Foreign companies masquerading as Mauritian companies have invested in India. Taking advantage of the DTAC, they avoid paying taxes not only in Mauritius which is a tax haven but also in India. The probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee into the 2001 stock market scam in which Ketan Parekh was among the kingpins, had revealed large-scale corruption by Mauritius-based companies.
US-Companies-With-Subsidiaries-In-Mauritius-Singapore
In 2001, a controversy had arisen when Income Tax authorities started investigating the real identities of the investors who were investing in India through Companies registered in Mauritius. As there was a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement(DTAA) between India and Mauritius, investors were making black money by investing through pseudo Companies in Mauritius which had the benefit of zero tax – a tax haven. To help the black money hoarders, Atal Behari Vajpayee led Central Government (CBDT) issued a circular in 2002 asking I.T. officers to accept at face value the “certificate of residence” provided by the Mauritian authorities, effectively preventing the IT Officers from investigating whether they were really residents of Mauritius or not.
A case was filed in the Delhi high court against the misuse of DTAC way back in 2002. THE CBDT circular was challenged in the Delhi High Court by public interest petitions filed by the Azadi Bachao Andolan (represented by Prashant Bhushan).Delhi high court had quashed NDA Government’s circular and had nullified the central government’s order regarding the convention with Mauritius.However, in October 2002, the NDA government filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court order.
A consortium of international investors, represented by the Global Business Institute (GBI), joined the government in filing the appeal. In February 2003, Arun Jaitley, who was the Law Minister in NDA Government, had appeared on behalf of Global Business Institute (GBI) in the Supreme Court. Arun Jaitley, while appearing for GBI, had pointed out that the circular prevented officers from discharging their duties by “investigating the matrix of facts to determine whether a company seeking benefits under the convention was really a Mauritian resident”. Arun Jaitley was successful in getting the Delhi High Court order overturned, thus reopening the doors for black money hoarders.
The irony is that the same Arun Jaitley who appeared for the GBI to argue for the continuation of DTAC goes and sits at Rajghat demanding that black money should be brought back to India! Such is the hypocrisy of our times.
 Pratik Sinha

Facts about Kuldip Nayar’s visit to Amritsar

In view of certain comments being made in social media criticizing Mr. Kuldip Nayar’s visit to Amritsar stating that he is campaigning for Arun Jaitly, we the undersigned  met Mr. Nayar today evening. 

Mr. Nayar told us that his visit to Amritsar was a private  affair  for  about a day   i.e. he went to Amritsar on 17th and returned on 18th April. He did meet Arun Jaitly but he neither addressed  any public meeting  nor  met the press nor made any public appeal.    

However Barkha Dutt of NDTV  met  Mr. Nayar  in the hotel room  where  he was staying and requested for his bite. She asked questions about BJP, Modi and Arun Jaitly. Mr. Nayar  commented  that BJP is a communal and divisive party and it would not be good for the country if BJP comes to power.  

About   Jaitly he said that he  has a good reputation, he is well read, he is best candidate,  that he was with him imprisoned in Tihar jail during emergency and  that  he is a family member. About  Narendra Modi  he  commented  that Modi is a collateral damage and some other unpalatable remarks.   However the part of the interview where Mr. Nayar dubbed BJP as communal and divisive party and not good to assume power and  the other unpalatable remarks  was not telecast for reasons  best known to the NDTV.  

Barkha Dutt in her  introductory comments said  that there were  persons who  were  backing Arun Jaitly without backing the party and  mentioned Mr. Nayar  as one of those persons who was in town to support Mr. Jaitly. Such comments were introduced later on while preparing the  59 minutes report  telecast on 18th April,2014 captioned as  “The Amritsar Paradox”  in which Mr. Nayar’s bite was only for 24 seconds, and it seems to have  created an impression that Mr. Nayar was there in the town  campaigning for  Arun Jaitly. 

To our knowledge not a single print media paper or any other channel except NDTV has referred to Mr. Kuldip Nayar’s visit to Amritsar which in fact was a private visit. Mr. Nayar’s views about BJP and  Narendra Modi are well known which continuously find expression in his writings, though he  does entertain affectionate feelings towards Arun Jaitly for the last about 40 years.  

We the undersigned are pained to read  certain comments  being made against Mr.Nayar in social media  about his  visit to Amritsar  which  in our opinion are distorted, uncalled for, unwarranted and injustice to a person who has all throughout his life been fighting   against communal and  obscurantist forces.

                         N.D.Pancholi (9811099532)       
 20th April,2014   Anil Sinha  (9968777158 )                                  (E-mail:ndpancholi44@gmail.com)


Kuldeep Nayar disapproves of BJP's attempt to use his name in election campaign, terms it "shameful"

April 20, 2014: Ninety years old, veteran journalist  Kuldeep Nayar expressed his outrage and anger when he was informed about the rumour being spread by a website saying "Kuldeep Nayar joins Arun Jaitley's campaign". He  disapproved of this misleading story dated April 19, 2014.

A representative of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) spoke to him today at 12.50 PM in this regard. Mr Nayar said, " I have always written against them. This shows how low they can stoop.  This is shameful." He is currently in Delhi at his residence. He wanted a statement to be issued informing the public at large and media about this misinformation campaign by supporters of BJP.

Mr Nayar is also the author of 15 books, including "Beyond the Lines", "Distant Neighbours: A Tale of the Subcontinent", "The Martyr : Bhagat Singh Experiments in Revolution", "Suppression of
judges", "Without Fear: The Life and Trial of Bhagat Singh" and others.

Mr Nayar is also a human right activist who has formerly been High Commissioner to Great Britain and a MP.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Member, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), Mb: 08227816731, 09818089660, E-mail:gopalkrishna1715@gmail.com



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CPI-ML unleashes its "unity offensive" in support of Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi

After supporting Prof. Anand Kumar of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi's elections, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has unleashed its "unity offensive" in support of Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi. CPI-ML's cadres would work in Varanasi to expose Modi's communal face and his corporate-centric development in Gujarat.
 
"Our party would extend support to AAP's Kejriwal in Varanasi against Modi," said Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI-ML. Bhattacharya said that the  had decided to support Kejriwal to ensure the defeat of Modi from Varanasi.

Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) is also reaching Varanasi to galvanize non-BJP, non-Congress votes in favour of AAP.

Meanwhile, ninety years old, veteran journalist  Kuldeep Nayar expressed his outrage and anger when he was informed about the rumour being spread by a website saying "Kuldeep Nayar joins Arun Jaitley’s campaign". He  disapproved of this misleading story dated April 19, 2014.

A representative of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) spoke to him today at 12.50 PM in this regard. Mr Nayar said, " I have always written against them. This shows how low they can stoop.  This is shameful." He is currently in Delhi at his residence. He wanted a statement to be issued informing the public at large and media about this misinformation campaign by supporters of BJP.

Mr Nayar is also the author of 15 books, including "Beyond the Lines”, "Distant Neighbours: A Tale of the Subcontinent”, "The Martyr : Bhagat Singh Experiments in Revolution", "Suppression of judges", "Without Fear: The Life and Trial of Bhagat Singh" and others.

Mr Nayar is also a human right activist who has formerly been High Commissioner to Great Britain and a MP.