Sunday, June 30, 2013

Presentation made to Modi on problems faced by Muslims

Narendra Modi lends ear to presentation on 2002 riots - The Economic Times

A known critic of Narendra Modi, Syed Zafar Mahmood today presented a slide show, touching various aspects of problems being faced by Muslims and the 2002 riots, in front of the Gujarat Chief Minister and said he was happy that his views were taken in stride.

Mahmood made the presentation at Young Indian Leaders Conclave where Modi remained closeted for a day with 150 young participants at the event organised by Citizen of Accountable Governance. Out of the 150 participants, around 30 were from the minority community.[article]

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Uddav Thackeray attacks Modi, then retracts

Shiv Sena attacks Narendra Modi, then does U-turn - Indian Express

In an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena has criticised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over his "parochial and regional outlook" in only trying to rescue Gujarati pilgrims from flood-ravaged Uttarakhand.

However, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray played down the criticism, saying, "It was not meant to attack Modi but against those handling his communication."[article]

Monday, June 24, 2013

Modi in Punjab, woos Kashmiris

Modi invokes Vajpayee, woos Kashmiri youth in Punjab rally - Indian Express

Modi reached out to the youth of Kashmir by underlining their importance in the development of the nation, but lamented that the Congress-led UPA government had failed to provide them with the opportunities they deserved and wanted. "Instead of bomb, bandook (gun) and pistol, there was a need to usher in peace, unity and harmony," he added. [article]

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Modi in Uttarakhand - news and views

Modi in his twitter feed said he was ready to rebuild Kedarnath, an offer that will certainly be refused.

Modi calls on CM Bahuguna, discusses relief work - Hindustan Times

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his day on Saturday after meeting Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna to discuss relief works in the areas that had been devastated after last week’s heavy downpour. [article]

A bit of a gatecrasher - Karan Thapar

Modi, as far as I know, is the only chief minister who’s decided to visit Uttarakhand. In addition, he comes from the Opposition. However, he is also the campaign committee chief for the BJP and its probable prime ministerial candidate. [opinion]

Friday, June 21, 2013

BJP has dug its own grave - Vastanvi

BJP has dug its grave: Vastanvi on Modi's elevation - Times of India

"Bringing Modi forward will mean a loss of the Muslim vote bank for BJP. And by making Modi the election campaign committee head, the party itself has dug his own grave," Vastanvi told reporters here. [article]

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Modi mentioned most in social media

'Narendra Modi most, Jaitley least mentioned politician in social media' - Times of India

The study was conducted by Indian consultancy firm Blogworks from January to April 2013. It found that Modi had thrice as many mentions as Rahul Gandhi. The BJP leader was cited over 10 lakh times. However, in percentage terms, Rahul Gandhi's share of demographics between 18-34 years was marginally ahead of Modi. While Modi led the pack in overall reach, he had the lowest reach per author, according to the report. DMK leader M Karunanidhi scored the highest on that front.

The graphs in the report indicate that a significant amount of web traffic covered came from Twitter, with only marginal inclusions of traffic from Facebook, Youtube, Blogs and Forums. "Twitter has the largest share of mentions for all political leaders, followed by Facebook. Majority of the conversations on Facebook happens in private networks amongst family and friends and hence often is not available as public conversations," says the report. [article]

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nitish Kumar wins trust vote in Bihar

Nitish wins trust vote in Bihar, slams Modi's development model - Hindustan Times

Nitish Kumar sailed through with 126 votes in his favour after 91 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members and a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) legislator walked out of the 243-member house. [article]

Modi will not be visiting Ayodhya

Modi declines invitation to visit Ayodhya - The Hindu

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has declined an invitation to visit Ayodhya. According to Vishwa Hindu Parishad sources, Mr. Modi’s proposed visit either on Wednesday or Friday is off. [article]

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Modi meets LK Advani, MM Joshi in Delhi

(I am going to track key Modi- related articles in this blog from now on.)

BJP doesn't need allies which are against it, Modi tells Advani: Hindustan Times

On his first visit to Delhi after being made head of BJP's election campaign committee, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met senior BJP leader LK Advani and is understood to have discussed the recent political developments including the split in the NDA. [article]

Modi invited to visit Ayodhya

Narendra Modi likely to visit Ayodhya; to pray at disputed site - PTI (Economic Times)

In a move having big political significance, Gujarat Chief Minister NarendraModi is likely to visit Ayodhya this week and will also offer prayer at the disputed site.

Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia, Gorakhpur MP Yogi Aditya Nath and yoga guru Ramdev will be reaching the town tomorrow to welcome Modi, said Sharad Sharma UP spokesman of VHP. [article]

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nitish Kumar's JD(U) exits NDA, angered over Modi

JD(U) ends 17-year-old alliance with BJP, quits NDA - Times of India

The JD(U) on Sunday formally announced the split of its 17-year-old ties with the BJP in Bihar and walked out of the NDA.

Addressing a news conference with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in Patna, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav also announced his resignation as NDA convener.

Since there was divergence of opinion on basic issues, we decided to part ways, Sharad Yadav said justifying the party's decision to end the alliance. [article]

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Advani takes back his resignation

Narendra Modi hails LK Advani's decision to take back his resignation - Economic Times

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi today "whole heartedly" welcomed L K Advani's acceptance of BJP Parliamentary Board's rejection of his resignation, saying he knew the veteran leader will not disappoint party workers.

"I had said yesterday that Advani ji will not disappoint lakhs of Karyakartas (workers). Today, I whole heartedly welcome his decision," Modi tweeted within minutes of the announcement by party chief Rajnath Singh that Advani had accepted BJP Parliamentary Board's decision. [article]

Monday, June 10, 2013

Advani resigns from all key party posts

LK Advani resigns from all positions in BJP - Times of India

85-year-old Advani, a founder member of the BJP and considered the party patriarch after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, resigned from all main forums of the party's parliamentary board, national executive and election committee. [article]

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Modi is the BJP campaign committee chairman

Narendra Modi anointed chairman of BJP 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign committee - Times of India

Soon after the party's national executive meeting got over at 2pm, [Rajnath] Singh publicly declared that he was appointing Modi as chairman of BJP's national campaign committee. "I have an important information to share. All political parties take elections as their biggest challenge and so do we. We will move ahead with the resolve of victory. Today, I have appointed Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as chairman of the national election committee. This decision has been on the basis of unanimity," Singh declared while addressing reporters. [article]

Sunday, June 02, 2013

BCCI: From J. Dalmiya to N. Srinivasan (via L. Modi) to J. Dalmiya again

In the early 1990s, the attempt to convert BCCI into a money-spinner was started by Jagmohan Dalmiya and IS Bindra. Of the two, I would say Dalmiya was the real financial brain. Right upto when Dalmiya was ousted by Sharad Pawar in 2005, Dalmiya remained the most powerful man in BCCI. Even when Dalmiya was in ICC between 1996-2000, he was remote-controlling BCCI, in particular when it came to commercial activities of the board.

It took quite a bit of effort and political maneuvering by Sharad Pawar to get Dalmiya's representatives defeated and also initiate criminal proceedings against Dalmiya and get him banned and pushed out of BCCI and West Bengal Cricket Association for a few years. During this period, Lalit Modi was the key finance man. Finally, Modi was thrown out in 2010 and driven out of India, on charges of corruption and more.

Around this time, N. Srinivasan of the BCCI was the most capable man to handle the financial negotiations of the board.

Now, his place has become untenable.

Despite these black marks, all these three have contributed immensely to BCCI. I will also add that, none other than these three have contributed to the finances of the board. A few others have been board president and secretary over this period, but have simply deferred to these three men on almost all key matters.

Whatever setbacks they have faced, they will continue to be the most important people in the affairs of BCCI in the years to come as well. This is because of their special skills, an archaic working model of the board and manner in which board elections happen.

Let us take Dalmiya. He has single-handedly changed the way of working of not just BCCI but also ICC. He established clear commercial sources for BCCI such as (1) TV rights (2) Player sponsorship (3) tournament/tour sponsorship and ensured the best deals possible for the board. He made the board cash rich. He was also ambitious and managed the election process beautifully and lapped up all the associate member votes to get elected to the ICC President post in 1996. The world cricketing biggies of that time England and Australia kept him away for one whole year. But he came back strongly and convincingly and pushed aside all the technicalities and took over as President of ICC in 1997.

The first activity he got involved in was to generate the finances for ICC. ICC at that time was running from a single room at The Lord's, given to it by the England Cricket Board, and the subsidy money from ECB and ACB. It had only 4 staff or so. World Cup rights were with the respective organizing country. Dalmiya created ICC Champions Trophy out of thin air (the first edition was called Wills International Cup) and brought ICC the TV rights deal and immediately made ICC financially self sufficient. 1999 World Cup remained the last one under the control of an individual board (in this case, ECB) and then this lucrative championship was handed over to ICC. This happened during Dalmiya's reign.

Dalmiya had become too powerful in the board and it appeared that no one could dislodge him. He was too shrewd to pick up dummy candidates as fronts and ran the board behind them. Only wily Pawar could dislodge him and it took the powerful central minister more than an year to make this happen.

It was during Pawar's time that L. Modi rose up. Pawar was content with winning the presidency, but was not really interested in (nor capable of) managing the affairs of BCCI, most notably the pesky commercial activities. An ambitious and young L. Modi was ready at hand. A Vice-President under Pawar, he took it upon himself the task of commercial negotiations. Others simply moved away making way for him.

Modi however inherited the arrogance of Dalmiya (but not Dalmiya's shrewdness). Modi, for his part, had to do new things to go one up on Dalmiya. A country's board controls commercial rights to only the home matches. When matches were played in neutral venues such as Sharjah or Toronto, the rights were held by the local cricket associations. Modi tried to create a completely new set of rights for India, through one-day tournaments in neutral venues where the local countries had no role whatsoever. This flopped eventually, but still you have to grant it to Modi to have thought of something like this. No one else had thought about this.

However Modi's greatest baby was IPL. For this to happen, first Zee owned ICL had to be finished off. Modi did that extremely well. Then, he did an excellent job of launching IPL. He had the temerity to take the Indian Government on and moved IPL to South Africa at such a short notice, when P. Chidambaram as Home Minister asked for postponing the tournament citing Indian elections.

Corruption was his downfall as in the case of Dalmiya. Dalmiya at least exonerated himself by getting BCCI to drop all the charges against him, whereas Modi is a fugitive (as pointed out by Srinivasan correctly!) still. Whatever Modi's shenanigans are with IPL, he created a significant additional revenue stream for BCCI.

N. Srinivasan was the best placed to manage the commercial activities of BCCI from this point. Unlike Dalmiya, Srinivasan was late to BCCI, but it had to do with more powerful forces in TNCA which had not allowed someone like Srinivasan to get into BCCI. But once Srinivasan got into BCCI, there was no stopping him. That is until now.

The news today is that J. Dalmiya's has been suggested as an interim president.

I don't have great regard for any of the three mentioned above. Dalmiya is wily, Modi is outright shady while Srinivasan has clear conflicts of interest. Srinivasan however is more cricket friendly and has supported cricket for a long long time.

All these controversies aside, I expect that Dalmiya and Srinivasan will be running Indian cricket (together) at least for the next decade. Modi will forever be out. Pawar and co. do not have the commercial nous to manage BCCI. All Pawar and co. have succeeded in is to temporarily cause a setback to Srinivasan.

And I don't like this at all. There is no way there will be a thorough clean up of BCCI.