BJP prime minister designate LK Advani is no longer the leader he once used to be. Hemmed in by his own partymen, the loh purush (Iron Man) is unable to re-energise the party.
The reasons for the depreciation of the rupee range from obvious - the slowing of export growth and the even pace of imports leading to a widening current account deficit - to the sublime - the disproportionate dependence on capital flows in the form of capital invested by foreign institutional investors in the stock market which have seen a sharp outflow from India up to the tune of $23.7 billion in the past year. While this explains the recent weakness of the rupee, the sharp decline is still a puzzle. Wealthy Indians in the country have been sending money abroad at an alarming rate. Remittances by resident Indians shot up from $72.8 million in 2006-07 to a staggering $440.5 million in 2007-08.
The Indian political turnstile is on the swing with individuals and parties busy playing musical chairs. The music will stop only on May 16.
Out of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, the Left Front is contesting all - CPI(M) in 32, the RSP in four, and the CPI and Forward Bloc in three each. The Opposition “Mahajot” comprising mainly the Congress, the Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee and other smaller parties including the Leftist SUCI are opposing the Left Front. While Trinamool has put up 27 nominees, the Congress is contesting in 14 seats while one has been given to the SUCI. This is the first time in its 32 years of rule, the Left front is faced with a crisis because of the change in social dynamics which can substantially upset the electoral calculations if one only analyses the results of the last Lok Sabha elections. Following is a brief analysis for each of the 42 seats with an indication as to which party at present enjoys an advantage for the 2009 general elections:
The dusty battle ground of electoral politics will witness some of the erstwhile rulers of this colourful desert state dotted with royalty.
Last minute deserters are not only being welcomed by parties but are being given tickets in preference over their own candidates. And leading the pack in Bihar is the Janata Dal (United) Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The victims of the Gujarat massacre in 2002 have had to wait seven long years for a glimmer of justice. It finally came with the arrest of Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani implicating her in the killings of Muslims in Naroda Patiya. But, ironically, will Modi benefit from this long-awaited justice?
A reality show with real implications – that’s what the buzz is in the media world. Like TV’s Big Boss, newsrooms are putting their money on who is next?