Tag Archives: UPA

MONEY OFTEN COSTS TOO MUCH & “BLACK MONEY” MUCH MORE !!!

No one would acknowledge the title of the post more than the Finance Minister (FM) Arun Jaitley. Black money may or may not come back but the FM is surely scoring some self goals and giving black eyes to his government while trying to defend the indefensible.Reputation at stake, the NDA regime has some deft handling to do or else “Kaale din aane waale hain” !!!

In 2011, a stolen CD containing details of HSBC accounts and a purported statement of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) claiming that Indians had deposited USD 1.4 trillion in Swiss vaults brought the spot light on the retreival of black money.782 names from the CD were handed over by the French to the Indian government.The Supreme Court (SC) of India directed the government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to deal with the issue.

The UPA regime dragged its feet for 3 years and also did not declare the names siting “confidentiality clauses” in its Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) with various countries. The BJP, in opposition, attacked the UPA regime over this issue and promised that, if voted to power they would secure the entire black money in 100 days and from within it deposit rupees 15 lakhs in the account of every Indian!

In April 2014 the UPA regime however did share 26 names of “blackiyas” with the SC.

In May 2014 the NDA regime took over and promptly constituted the SIT.By now additional 627 names of “blackiyas” had been received from various countries including Switzerland.Three names were made public (Pradip Burman,Radha Timblo and Pankaj Lodhya ) and the FM cited the UPA’s “confidentiality clause” to not reveal the entire list.The BJP was now accused of doing a “U -turn” on the issue.

The government contented that it was bound by treaty obligations to make the names public only if the alleged “blackiyas” were to be found prima facie guilty of tax evasion.Otherwise it would impinge on their privacy (!!!) guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.The FM also alleged that it was the DTAA signed by the Congress in 1995 which was today a stumbling block. Later the Congress stated that the DTAA in question was signed in 1996 when it wasn’t even in power and that the subsequent NDA regime had signed 18 similar DTAAs! Then why was the BJP blaming the Congress alone?

The SC threw out the government’s contention and sought the names in a sealed envelope.Accused of shielding the “backiyas” the humiliated FM beat a hasty retreat and eventually handed over “the list” to the SC.

But the damage had been done.Narendra Modi’s government was facing its first major political embarrassment and was unable to explain its actions. One of its major poll planks was now haunting it.

But they weren’t the only ones getting the jitters.

Pending the handing over of the names reports came in of water shortage in plush areas all over India as the occupants were seen spending too much time flushing water in the washrooms.

Wives handing over grocery lists found their husbands jumping and sitting on ceiling fans to stay as far away as possible from any “list”.

Lines to Switzerland were busy all day with banks being told by the account holders that they would be shortly forwarding their own death certificates ! Swiss bankers being sticklers insisted that till the deceased did not come and prove he was indeed deceased the name would continue to figure in “the list” !!!(ISD call ke paise bhi kharab hue!!!)

Barbers had a field day as they realised all that they had to mention was “black money” and  the hair of their customers would stand on its end and make it ever so simple for the barber to ply his trade !!

Opposition parties convinced people that the government was planning to label the income generated out of milching black buffaloes as “black money” ! Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad have since painted their buffaloes saffron, green and white ! Bharat Mata ki Jai !!!

Arvind Kejriwal hollered himself hoarse over the issue but i think before he does anything about “kala dhan” he should cure is “kaali khansi”.

Last but not the least,the FM is still washing the smear from his face.

The Amul ad/ topical ob Black Money  is inspired by the ruling BJPs supposed U-turn on the issue of retrieving the ill gotten gains.It shows a caricature depicting a politician furtively inspecting his loot in a vault with the Amul Girl making a sudden entry with the keys of the vault and indicating that the game’s up!

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The Tag Line...Going Black on Promises.… is a nice play on the term “black money” as well as the aborted volte face by the BJP led government.The white crosses on the “o’s” in the red font draw on the Swiss connection.

The Punch Line….Indian Butter not Swiss Cheezproclaims Amul butter as truly Indian and not a Swiss product with the word “cheez” implying an object but at the same time being a play on the “Swiss Cheese”.

It needs to be understood that black money is what is generated after tax evasion however in financial parlance there’s “red money” too where the source of the income itself is illicit and unknown.The government in its affidavit has focused only on tax evasion and has inadvertently clubbed “red & black money”. Red money is the bigger of the evils and tax havens exist only to chanellise it back into the global economy.It is imperative to retrieve and declare the names of the red money account holders as well.

The UPA and the BJP both seem to be in cahoots and need to explain their actions, especially their reluctance and rationale for seeking refuge in confidentiality for data obtained illegally and irrationally under the DTAA.

A word of caution for Narendra Modi.The Nation has given him a mandate for change and a fiasco of  this magnitude will eventually render him a lame duck PM. He must resolve this issue in the best interests of India or else this incident can cost the government its credibility….and much more!

PAPA KEHTE HAIN PAPPU BADA NAAM KAREGA !

Once Rahul Gandhi had been seen as the future of a youthful India & his 129 year old Indian National Congress (INC) Party.Soon,he led his party to disaster at the hustings and mutated from the biggest hope to the biggest dope -aka Pappu! To compound issues, he was found sleeping through (oh so blissfully) a heated debate being led by his Party men on the Railway Budget to corner the Narendra Modi led NDA government.

Wwy would Rahul Gandhi ,the designated “Gladiator” of the Congress Party ,doze off in parliament & expose himself to the daggers & sarcastic barbs of his rivals?How could be he so dumb?Did it happen?

The answer to all of this is a big & hilarious – YES!..and it happened while he was sitting right behind the party colleague making an impassioned case against the government! Rahul probably emulated a certain Arvind Kejriwal, that it pays to be in the news,somehow, for good or bad reasons.So he conjured a controversy! This is sacrifice in the best Indian traditions.He sacrificed himself for the Party as otherwise who would notice the 44 seat rump of the INC in a humongous 544 seat Indian Parliament. Mommy Sonia Gandhi, of Italian ascent, had sacrificed the Prime Ministership in return for a zero accountability position as the Puppeteer in the UPA dispensation headed by a mute puppet named Manmohan Singh!!!

Rahul Gandhi probably slept to escape the misery of his actual life.In his dreams “impossible is nothing”.

He dreamt that his mother had finally allowed him to chase his ambition..of being a gardener in the Parliament lawns…in a dhoti & gamcha and his Venezuelan girlfriend bringing him a spartan meal of chapatis & onion (what else would a gardner eat after the UPA government’s legacy of price rise!). He also found the secret of dealing with his nightmare Arnab Goswami, hidden in jack fruit ! In his dream, uncle Manmohan had a tongue & it was recovered from the deepest vaults of the kingdom of Psycho-fancia, ruled by an evil Queen (any guesses?). Furthermore, uncle Digvijay Singh is seen having a zip lock on his mouth which is configured to open in 9999 AD.

But in his dream he still had his bad moments.He dreamt that he was plucked from his gardening pursuits by a Robert Vadra when the latter bought the garden to develop a Pub!

Where’s sister Priyanka Gandhi?She was still campaigning in Rae Bareilly & Amethi & exhorting the people to vote out (!) her brother & mother!

How did things come to such a pass for the Gandhi scion that from “Shehzada (Crown Prince)” he transformed into “Pappu” – a disrespectful sobriquet used to describe a juvenile & incompetent nincompoop! Even the Amul ad line had earleir captured the euphoria surrounding his elevation to the post of INC Vice President and the possibility of being named as his Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate.

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Rahul turned out to be a “dud” largely on the back of his bizarre actions.In an effort to connect with the people & their distaste for a controversial government ordnance, Rahul tore the document in a press conference which had been promulgated by his lParty’s PM nominee.This immature behaviour was compounded by his inability to articulate a coherent response to his Party’s defeat in the Delhi Assembly and stressed by his confused choice of words.He gradually lost ground when he refused to take on the BJP & NDA Prime Ministerial candidate,Narendra Modi, in the build up to the elections.As the campaign progressed in comparison to a stuttering Rahul, Modi emerged better prepared,organised & focussed.

The final nail in the coffin was the interview with a famous & aggressive TV presenter,Arnab Goswammy,known for unsettling his guests.In the interview Rahul Gandhi failed to present any substantial views and vision for an emerging India.It was as if Rahul knew the questions to be asked…but it seems the interviewer changed the order & Rahul still answered in a prepared sequence! It was an unmitigated disaster and Rahul came out battered & bruised from the his first ever interview in 10 years.(Sometimes it is better to stay quiet and let the world think…we know the rest!!)Whereas Narendra Modi emerged stronger and aggressive from the same bed of burning coal in another interview with Goswamy.

These and many more incidents cemented the opinion in the country that Rahul Gandhi was just a famous name & possessed none of the abilities of his illustrious family members (Jawahar Lal Nehru,Indira Gandhi,Rajiv Gandhi). He was a political novice in the tumultuous cauldron of Indian Politics and brought nothing worthwhile to the table and was’nt coming up to the expectations of his family and party members

For his immaturity,juvenile behaviour & lack of initiation into politics in spite of 10 years in the arena he earned the sobriquet “Pappu” on the social media & his reputation was ripped & tattered mercilessly day in and day out in a net savvy India.

The featured Amul Strip is amazing to the last detail as it depictis Parliament benches and a sleeping Rahul Gandhi falling over to his right and in the spot light (denoting live TV coverage) while the Amul Girl attired in a combination symbolic of Indian politicians is making a sincere effort in a debate replete with a clutch of notes and has a bewildered and aghast expression while attempting to wake up the Party leader!!!

The Tag Line...Duty Sleep?… is a question asked (almost rebuking) and a catchy spin on the concept of sleep working towards enhancing the beauty and complexion of a person as also a pun intended on the fact that the Gandhi scion was sleeping in Parliament when he should be participating in debates and discharging his responsibilities & duties as a political leader.

The Punch Line is simplistic and simply exhorts Rahul Gandhi to wake up literally and figuratively as well as endorses the Amul Butter by exhorting the readers to wake up to its superior taste and quality and to adopt it as brand of choice.

As I sign out,Rahul Gandhi has done it again.While responding to a visual of Narendra Modi playing drums (dhol) during his Japan visit.Visiting a parliamentary constituency bereft of electricity and basic facilities he quipped to the media (as if alluding to a burning Rome & Nero) that while the backward constituency languishes, the Prime Minister is busy playing the “dhol”.It would have been a perfect sound byte by an opposition politician but for the small detail that the constituency in question was Amethi – represented by Rahul himself since 2004 (!!!!Time to wake up Pappu!!!)and which has been represented by his father and uncle since the 1980s!So how is Modi guilty?????

While this goes to print it is reliably learnt that Congressmen have secretly requisitioned the services of Leonardo di Caprio to carry out Inception in the dreamy and drowsy head of “Pappu” – to convince him to take a solo voyage to the Bermuda Triangle!

But has anyone ever made it back from the Bermuda Triangle??????  

 

RAILROAD BLUES AND (HIGH) FARE RULES!

IMG-20140625-WA0009   This one touches a raw nerve with the  ‘aam aadmi’ (not referring to a certain Mr Kejriwal😜).The strip was featured right after the pre railway budget hike in rail fares.

The newly installed Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDkA) government effected a steep hike of 14.2% in passenger fares and 6.5% in freight charges.This was the single largest one time hike in rail fares brought in by any government.

Since  the hike came in within a month of the change of guard at Raisina Hill the opposition as well as some coalition partners in the NDA derided the Narendra Modi led dispensation for the decision.The mainstay slogan of the BJP-ACHCHE DIN AYENGE- was squarely slammed and the BJP was taunted for the nature of Achche Din it had ‘imposed’ on the people who had voted for the Party.

However, symptomatic of the politics of the day there is more to the issue than meets the eye.

Firstly  the staid facts, the Government justified the hike due to the Rs 26000 crore loss being borne by the Indian Railways including a Rs 30 crore daily loss on  account of passenger subsidy. Secondly, (still on the staid facts 😎) the experts on economic issues also came out in favour of the hike as it will haul in Rs 8000 crore annually and should be sufficient to fund  the modernisation and infrastructure requirements of the Indian Railways. Thirdly and now comes the juicy bit and most interestingly the hike actually turned out to be a fait accompli for the Government as it had already been approved by the previous Indian National Congress (INC) led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government in the interim budget on 16th of February 2014 and it’s implementation had been delayed on account of electoral considerations of the UPA !!!

Thus the NDA picked up the tab for the hike with a smug INC (now in opposition) shouting the loudest in criticism of the Modi Government !

The hike came as a shocker as once each during the tenures of the UPA I & I I the fares had been downwardly revised. Also, as public memory remains short, a 5-10% hike was brought in by UPA I I in January 2013 but now remains banished from the public conciousness. Whatever be the economic merits of the issue it will be revealed in the days, months and years to come.The Prime Minister though had already forewarned the people of the country to be prepared to swallow a bitter pill (s?) in order to rejuvenate the stagnating and flagging national economy.

The strip however also portrays an issue close to the suburban railway commuters of Mumbai.

It shows the Amul Girl purchasing a ticket from the ticket counter with a white elephant in the Ticket Collector’s (TC) coat holding up a board showing the 14% hike in passenger fares (is it actually 14% for Mumbaikars – read on 😎😜😎). The white elephant is in all probability the image equivalent of the Indian Railways!The Amul Girl is also shown carrying a toast generously smeared with butter 😋( i guess for the feel good factor).

The Tag Line…PASS FAIL HUA is a clever play for a catchy line and signifies the fact that all those who had secured Season Passes were now to pay more thus rendering their supposed plan of saving expenses due to the ‘Pass’ being deemed a ‘fail’-ure.

The Punch Line…TICKET TO TASTE…is referring to the Amul butter being a sure bet and an assured ticket for adding taste to all dishes it forms part of.The USP of the line is the Indian Railways based sign posting with a blue banner on a red circle.

Just a little add on to the facts.

The Mumbai commuters in some cases will have to pay double the price for their Season Passes and not just an additional 14%😭😭😭! Also, as the hike is effective from 25th of June 2014 , all who had procured tickets for a journey beyond the 25th will still have to pay the difference in cost 😛😜😝!! The only bright part in the script is probably the smiling faces of all involved including the elephant 😎

Btw a certain Mr Kejriwal ( not the same who has been referred to earlier in the piece) is having  a field day berating the Government, but can’t say the same for the hapless FM listeners of Delhi who have to endure him protesting the hike in his dulcet voice thrice between two songs :mrgreen:😁😁

As of today the Railway Budget has been tabled in the Parliament and true to the election pitch of ushering in development, the focus has been on consolidating existing projects, modernisation of the railways, developing high tech freight corridors, developing railway stations on the lines of modern airports., safety and signalling systems and emphasis on women’s safety and better amenities for commuters.

To speed up the arrival of the Achche Din the Government has also planned to run bullet trains.Since Gujarat has given us the Prime Minister the first bullet train is planned on the Ahmed a bad – Mumbai route!!!.