Showing posts from August, 2012

The 'Coalgate' Primer

So much coal wash slurry has flown into the Yamuna because of the serious washing of dirty coal in public by the premier Ruling party and the principal Opposition party that the whole debate is becoming confusing to follow. Here is a lowdown on what is the whole matter all about. There was allocation of mines between 2006 and 2009 by the UPA government after discussing the matter with various state governments. So what? One may ask. Well the devil, as they always say, is in the fineprint of the whole allocation process. There was briefly talk of allotting mining leases based on auction prices. Eventually the government abandoned in the 'face of stiff resistance of the states'. It is an excuse of convenience, because as quite a few former CAGs have pointed out (and which I also pointed out thanks to their observation) that Seventh Schedule under Article 246 of the Indian Constitution defines the subjects on which Centre and State governments can legislate, and it clearly sp

India Against Corruption, a Political Party? A Welcome Idea

Much sewage has flown in the channels of the Yamuna, and several hours have been wasted trying to discredit Anna Hazare and his 'team' (though they do not have a lot to their credit except for their work). News has now said that these guys will enter politics. In my opinion they already were in politics, though their contest in the electoral foray is certainly welcome. It makes sense that they contest. In this age of live Lok Sabha telecasts, it would make sense for them to come into the Parliament and expose the corrupt deeds of the people who are disconnected from the ground reality. Till now, they had just an urban audience; they can now get even the rural audience's attention. Moreover, all they need to win elections is the anti-corruption agenda. The urban voters are angry and need the kind of alternative that this group can provide.In this day of coalition governments, even a handful of seats can make a huge impact. My personal assessment is that IAC can win about 20