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Nuclear deal breakthrough
It goes to Prime Minister Modi’s credit that he stood his ground on two crucial points
about the Indo-US nuclear deal. First, he persuaded President Obama to use his executive prerogative to override objections and agree to India’s stand against United States’
‘intrusive tracking’ of all Indian nuclear reactors that may have been sourced from
third countries but that use any US-made component. Secondly, he could persuade the
American side not to insist on any change of India’s nuclear liability law which makes
reactor suppliers liable for action in case of any accident.
There will be greater defence cooperation between the two countries including
defence production. But by warning Russia from the Indian soil that the US will impose more rigorous sanctions against it on the Ukraine issue, President Obama may
have given a veiled message to New Delhi that strengthening defence ties with both
Washington and Moscow simultaneously is not possible – India has to choose between
the two. The new ten-year agreement on defence cooperation covers defence production also. The US will help India make unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs.
An uneasy Beijing has taken note of the latest developments in Indo-US relations
and its first cautious reaction is that differences between the two sides still persist.
Beijing reportedly believes that Obama’s trip is aimed at containing China but that
New Delhi ‘will not fall for it’. Beijing knows that India is strengthening its ties with
Vietnam, Japan and Australia against the growing Chinese threat. President Obama
in a veiled reference to China emphasized the "importance of safeguarding maritime
security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over-flight throughout the region,especially in the South China Sea". This must have worried Beijing. It now knows that
its unilateral claim on the whole of the South China Sea will face mounting challenges
from Vietnam, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
US sanctions against Russia will only drive Moscow closer to Beijing, which will
be not be in India’s interests. Again, Obama’s stern warning to Pakistan to dismantle
its terror outfits, may bring Islamabad closer to Beijing. For one thing, the US cannot
influence Pakistan’s nuclear policy or stop it from increasing its nuclear arsenal because Pakistan’s reactors have all been supplied by China, not by the US. The security environment around India is certainly hostile and it will need great diplomatic
skill to balance India’s relations with her neighbours so as to protect her interests but
not to get involved in a Sino-US cold war.
Sunday February 1, 2015
Making a beeline for BJP
Opportunists of all political parties are knocking
at the Door of BJP for entering. BJP President
Amit Shah is the most sought after political leaders now. Praising Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s
leadership is just enough to get entry into the ruling party these days.
This is not for the first time that there is an
exodus towards the winning side. Recall the days
following Emergency and ouster of Indira
Gandhi from power. Almost all senior leaders either left the Congress or formed their own parties.
Most glaring example was that of the late K C
Pant, affectionately called Raja, only son of
Govind Ballab Pant, first chief minister Uttar
Pradesh, later Union Home Minister and a confidante of Jawaharlal Nehru. When K C Pant too
left the Cong ress to join the BJP, Mr s Indira
Gandhi was shell shocked and could not believe
this could also happen—“Has Raja also left the
Congress…has Raja also gone”, this correspondent heard an anguished Mrs Gandhi saying. Before imposition of Emergency K C Pant had accompanied her to Kashmir and was advising her
on J&K situation.
The plight of these top Congress leaders, who
had left the sinking ship like rats, was worth seeing when Mrs. Indira Gandhi returned to power
after 1980 Lok Sabha elections. Many rejoined
the parent parties on bended knees with profuse
apology. A stalwart like Y B Chavan too returned
to the Congress almost begging her to take him
This should not, therefore, be surprising that
the opportunist elements have been leaving the
Congress now that the party is down and out. This
time leaders of other parties too are joining a resurgent BJP because they see their future in the
saffron party. Even the BJP leaders have been
surprised at the exodus to their party from other
parties. A BJP leader was heard saying “has the
doors of the BJP been opened so wide and every-
one is walking in?” Trinamool Congress leader
and former Railway Minister, Dinesh Trivedi, is
also inching towards the BJP. He has lavishly
praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and
quoted by newspapers as saying that Mamata
Banerjee has failed. Trivedi was removed from
his railway minister’s post at the behest of the
West Bengal Chief Minister and, since then, the
rift between the two has widened. Few days back
Trinamool Minister, Manjul Kumar Thakur has
joined the BJP and many of West Bengal Ministers are in touch with Modi’s party. Elections are
scheduled to be held in West Bengal in April/
May 2016.
Most important catch of the BJP was Kiran
Bedi, once confidant of Anna Hazare, in his anticorruption movement. There was time when she
used to abuse BJP, calling it the most corrupt
par ty. She was then colleague of Arvind
Kejriwal. Now she has praised Modi sky high,
saying “when I came face to face with the public,
I realized how wrong I was. Modi’s image in the
country and among the people is very good and
which is why I changed my mind. It was PM’s
commitment for development that prompted me
to join the BJP”. She described the BJP as an
“amazing and organized party”.
In a sharp attack on the BJP for anointing Bedi
as Chief Ministerial candidate, AAP leader
Ashutosh said: The move shows the ideological
and organizational bankruptcy of the BJP. One
of the most abiding image will be that of Bedi
standing next to Anna Hazare, and now that of
her standing next to Amit Shah. Their despera-
tion and bankruptcy have been exposed.
After the AAP’s Shazia Ilmi, Krishna Tirath,
a former UPA-II minister, who had lost her security deposit in 2014 Lok Sabha election, walked
in to the BJP, saying “I feel there is no discipline
in the Congress now. It has no vision. Rahul needs
to introspect why so many people are leaving the
Congress”. Tirath was MLA for three terms and
two-time MP on Congress ticket. How does Tirath
make her way to the BJP? A story that is being
widely circulated is that her “spiritual Guru”,
who also happens to know Amit Shah, facilitated
the successful transition. Apparently, the Guru
told Tirath, who was worried after her Lok Sabha
defeat, that she had a bleak future in the Congress and should consider other options. An aide
of the Guru is said to have conveyed this conversation to Shah who had been looking for a Dalit
leader for the BJP- that is how Tirath joined the
Surprisingly, the BJP President has no objection in taking anyone in the party irrespective of
his/her personal record in the past. He is not at
all bothered that enrolling corrupt people from
other parties may also pollute the culture of the
BJP and what will happen to Hindutva ideology?
He mistakenly feels that those who accept his and
Modi’s leadership would simultaneously accept
the Sangh’s ideology. Needlessly to say that the
BJP may now gain by its short-term policy of
opening the doors of the party to all and sundry
but in the long run, it will be disastrous. (IPA)
The views in the articles published
here are absolutely the views of the author and The Echo of India does not
stand liable for them.