THE ECHO OF INDIA PORT BLAIR 4 Editorial & Local THE ECHO OF INDIA ... Keeps you ahead 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 back. 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- REFLEX ACTION HARIHAR SWARUP 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 BJP. 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) NOTICE 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.
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