Posts Tagged ‘Gandhinagar’

POLL: Has Modi’s march to Delhi been checked?

20 December 2012

To nobody’s surprise, Narendra Damodardas Modi has secured a remarkable third, consecutive victory for the BJP in Gujarat. But to the shock of his fanatical drumbeaters and hype masters (and internet trolls), he has ended up with two fewer seats than what he had got five years ago: 115 in 2012 versus 117 in 2007.

The reduced margin does little to take away from the significance of the mandate, but it does throw a nice question mark over the expensive and relentless public relations campaign that had been mounted (through TV channels, magazine covers, newspaper ads) to erase the memories of 2002 and to create the self-fulfilling prophecy of the development giant towering over meek, inactive creatures populating the landscape.

The size of the victory also throws a small spanner in his grand design to swiftly move to Delhi and assume charge of his beleaguered party that is no better shape than the Congress, if not worse.

The fact that he has ended up with fewer seats for all that had been invested into his giant leap by corporates, business and media houses, means that many in the BJP and RSS (and not necessarily in that order), and the NDA, will now be emboldened to question what had been assumed for granted: that he would win a huge win on the scale of his persona, serve out a few months as chief minister, hand over charge to one of his chosen ones, and then move to Delhi to lead the BJP charge in the next general election against the hapless Rahul Gandhi.

He might yet do that, but there can be little denying that some of the air has slipped out of the blimp for the moment.

The BJP reverse in Himachal Pradesh (where he made a big song and dance over induction cookers) shows that he still doesn’t possess the pan-Indian appeal that his supporters thought he does. Sans an emotive issue (despite his efforts to spread a canard about Sir Creek or his derisive labelling of Ahmed Patel as Ahmed miyan), Modi is not the force he was expected to be.

Quite clearly, it would require a superhuman to retain the interest or sustain the hype for another five years. So, when exactly will Modi make his move to Delhi? Will it be smooth? Will he able to stomach a rebuff if his advances are spurned by his party colleagues and allies? And will the “former future prime minister” be given the opportunity to stand from Gandhinagar again?

Also read: How many seats will Narendra Modi get?–II

How many seats for Narendra Modi?—I


How the magic potion looks before it sinks in

24 March 2010

Red chillies, green dhania, voggarane. Mass-produced majjige on a hot summer day has a taste all its own that hygienic, homemade buttermilk can never really match. At a temple in Gandhinagar in Bangalore on Sri Rama Navami on Wednesday, devotees of the brew line up to taste the thunder.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Dreaming in technicolour, DTS, cinemascope

27 December 2009

In the film neighbourhood where a hundred-odd dreams take celluloid shape every year, Gandhinagar in Bangalore, a tramp gives his best friend company on a cold (and noisy) Saturday afternoon.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

5 more questions for The Great Debator to ignore

28 April 2009

Devsinh of Jalund Village has been fighting, without success for a road between Kalrada and Gamasana.

Monghiben of Borij has to actually swim out of her house every monsoon.

Ramilaben Purabia of Vrajvihar Society in Vejalpur has not been paid the promised subsidy under Ambedkar Awas Yojana, but is required to pay penal interest in case of default in payment.

Baldevji Thakore of Borisana village has until today, never been paid minimum wage. Laxminagar co.op. society of Kalol have paid for a bore well, but have not received water even once.

Jiviben of Piyaj wants her daughter to study but can’t send her to school as the daughter is required to fetch water daily.

Pushpaben Modi of Gota Housing Society has for the past 23 years received water once every eight days. 35,000 families live in Ramapir No Tekro. There are 10 toilets each for men and women in the area, which open at 8 am to close at 6 pm.

“Vibrant Gujarat” goes to the polls on Thursday, April 30.

Dancer-activist Mallika Sarabhai, daughter of the space scientist Vikram Sarabhai and dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai, and an MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad, poses a few more questions for her worthy opponent from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, Lalchand Kishinchand Advani.

# Since when has ‘Mahammad Ghazni’ become a term of endearment in the lexicon of Sangh Parivar?

# By what method of accounting are you and the Congress able to conceal election expenditure?

# Is it true that Gandhinagar has suddenly become an unsafe seat for you and that you will contest from Jaipur as well?

# Did the money accepted by your party’s then President Bangaru Laxman come from a Swiss Bank account, or was it swadeshi black money and hence less tainted?

# If redistributed, the promised sops to Tata’s Nano project would amount to Rs.30,000 for each family living below the poverty line in the state to start a micro-enterprise. Will the project ever create that level of employment and prosperity for the people of Gujarat?

Also read: Eight more questions for The Great Debator

At last, Advani‘s quest for a TV debate is realised

Eight more questions for The Great Debator

27 April 2009

The third instalment of Mallika Sarabhai‘s questions for the sitting MP from prime minister-in-waiting Lalchand Kishinchand Advani, contesting from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency:

# What do you have to say about terror laws being misused?

# What are you doing about the thousands of families displaced — at least 15,000 living on the pavements of Ahmedabad — because of urban beautification?

# Why are Gujarat’s Human Development Index and all social indicators slipping?

# Why is Gujarat’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme performance the worst in India, not providing work for even 45 days against the stipulated 100?

# Why are you silent on the allegations against Maya Kodnani, the minister accused of personally leading a murderous Hindu mob?

# How can the BJP guarantee security when reports show that the Sabarmati prison leads the country in violent incidents?

# Why has Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi not appointed a lok ayukta?

# Why does Modi’s one-man human rights commission (Justice D.S. Sinha from Allahabad) not have any local, leave alone minority community, member?

Meanwhile, Advani is still to respond to Sarabhai’s invitation to a TV debate.

Also read: At last, Advani’s quest for a debate is realised

The Great Debator ducks out of a TV interview!

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray on the Mallika Sarabhai trail

At last, Advani’s quest for a debate is realised

7 April 2009

Lalchand Kishinchand Advani wants a debate, and he is getting one. Not from the man he wants to take on, but from the woman who is taking him on in Gandhinagar: Mallika Sarabhai. And, given how busy the BJP’s prime minister hopeful is, at a place and time of his choice.

Mallika, who has declared she will fight a model election without the name-calling, dirt-throwing that has become emblematic of our democracy, has thrown down an extra gauntlet: a set of five questions which she says she will ask every Monday, like Ram Jethmalani used to ask of Rajiv Gandhi during the Bofors row.

1) How many and what kind of questions has Advani raised in the Lok Sabha about Gandhinagar in the past five years?

2) Why did he not speak against the violence and atrocities against women in Gujarat and specifically in Gandhinagar?

3) What did he do towards creating educational and livelihood opportunities in rural areas of the Gandhinagar constituency?

4) Why did he not show any concern towards local issues as well as Gujarat despite being an MP from here for the last 20 years?

5) How much funds did he use under MPLADS scheme to benefit the deprived and underprivileged in his constituency?

Because Oscar Fernandes is an ordinary minister

25 February 2009

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: That the Minister was not in a good mood was evident to the chairman of the slum clearance board, Shri Jhuggi, by the way the Minister twisted his fingers when he greeted him with a handshake.

As the meeting started,  Jhuggi briefed the Minister and the board about the major works taken up by the board which again wasn’t received well by the dignitary .

As the secretary of the board, Shri Jhopad Patti, was reading the annual report, third para, second line and paused before a comma, the minister’s voice ‘Stop it!’ woke up the rest of the members from their slumber.

“I say stop it, full stop. I am tired of listening as to how many slums have been removed, how many water and electricity connections given, etc. Has anybody taken note of what has been done except for some local newspapers which nobody reads anyway? I want action that focuses national and international attention on us. Look at Dharavi….”

The gale that hit the room was a 300km/hour tornado.

Before the chairman could say, “But Mr Minister”, the Minister thundered again: “Don’t talk of removing the slums again! Let us give more facilities to them. We will convert part of it to build a studio. Hire some dance masters who will train our slum children to dance in the rain, on the train, on hume pipes and in the middle of traffic. If Gulzar and Rahman are not available get some local chaps.”

This was a180-degree shift by the Minister.

“And you two! I don’t want you wasting your time supervising the works of the studio like some village mesthris. I want you to go to Hollywood. I understand you can hire directors there by the roadside who are cheaper than the suits or—what is it?—-yes, ‘Tux’ or something  worn for awards shows. Get them to direct a story of our slum. We have enough dogs in our slums. You also meet BAFTA, NAPHTA, Golden or Silver Globes. Are you with me?” the Minister barked at both of them.

“Yes, Sir,” was the duet.

“We don’t have enough time. Gandhi Nagar and Kodambakkam have enough writers spinning stories in local tea shops all day. We will get one of them to write a story. My wife will get somebody to stitch the costumes. You two make sure to sign up a gora to direct the film for us. Only that can get us awards and prizes. I will take care of funds. Some funds are always available under ‘emergencies’. I will ask CM to divert it to us.”

“Any questions?” demanded the Minister

“Sir, what will be our role?” squeaked one of the members.

“You will all get suitable roles, don’t worry. Make sure our slum children practice regularly before the final shots are taken. Some of you meet the TV channels and distribute pamphlets and make sure we get enough publicity. No, leave it—I will handle that myself. We should hit jackpot too. If Dharavi can do it, why can’t we? The only Oscar we hear around is Oscar Fernandes. We have to get the real Oscar too. I don’t mind taking a week off and going there to America. Jhuggi and Jhopad Patti, please realise we have to work as a team and no time to lose. Let’s start the work. Now!’

So ended the meeting of the slum clearance board.