Sunday, June 16, 2013

NDA in Bihar breaks

JD(U) walks out of NDA; End of alliance with BJP in Bihar

In a major setback to National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of next year's Lok Sabha election, the Janata Dal (United) broke its ties with BJP in Bihar, bringing to an end a 17-year-old alliance that had held firm through thick and thin in the national politics.
Heading the eight-year-old coalition in the state, JD (U), which does not need BJP support to run the government, removed 11 saffron ministers from the state Cabinet and decided to seek a vote of confidence on June 19 in view of the "new situation."
Sunday's development is a major jolt to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which is now left with only three constituents -- BJP, Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). JD (U) President Sharad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced the break up of the coalition at a press conference, exactly a week after Modi was made the BJP's campaign committee chairman, considered just a step short of being made the prime ministerial candidate.
Yadav also quit as Convenor of the NDA. "We cannot compromise with our basic principles. We are not worried about the consequences. As long as the alliance was Bihar-centric, there was no problem. But we had no alternative now. We are not responsible. We were forced to take this decision.
"The BJP is going through a new phase. As long as there was no external interference in the Bihar alliance, it ran smoothly. Problems began whenever there was external interference," Kumar said without taking the name of Modi even once in the half-an-hour press conference but made several barbs aimed at him. Though JD (U)'s decision comes a week after Modi's elevation in Goa, the party's National Council had a few months ago set a deadline of December asking BJP to name its PM candidate.
The party has always made its aversion to Modi explicitly clear on a number of occasions. Kumar had three years cancelled a dinner with senior BJP leaders including L K Advani because of Modi's presence.
When asked whether he was referring to Modi, Kumar said "those who understand have understood, those who don't are naive." In an indirect reference to Modi's new appointment in BJP, Kumar said that there was no problem when the late Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitley were made campaign committee chiefs in the past.
"Everybody knew what were our basic concerns," he said in an apparent reference his and his party's serious reservations over projecting Modi. At his insistence, the BJP had taken out Modi from its list of campaigners in Bihar in elections. In the 243-member assembly, the JD (U) has 118 MLAs and BJP 91. JD (U) just needs four MLAs for a majority.
Independents and 'Others' account for 6 MLAs. The main Opposition RJD has 22 and Congress four. The Bihar CM said there is a need to enlarge the umbrella of NDA by bringing in new allies if the alliance wanted to form the next government at the Centre. "You want to form the government, but don't be under the misconception. No single party is going to get the majority. It requires 272 MPs to make somebody the Prime Minister.
"For that the NDA has to get more allies. If people think there is some wave or a storm is blowing in their favour, they are under a misconception," he said in another dig at Modi.
The script of the separation of JD(U) and BJP has been written after a crucial meeting between JD(U) President Sharad Yadav and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar late Saturday.
Accordingly, Yadav had called a meeting of JD(U) MPs, legislators and other office-bearers at the CM's residence at 12:30 pm to discuss the political situation.
Party leaders in the meeting were to be told that the need for severing ties with BJP in the wake of elevation of Narendra Modi as chief of BJP campaign committee for the next Lok Sabha elections.
Nitish to seek vote of confidence on June 19
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he will seek a vote of confidence at a special session of the state Assembly on June 19. "I have urged the Governor to call a special session of the Assembly on June 19 for a confidence vote," he told reporters after a meeting with Governor D Y Patil this afternoon.
Kumar drove to Raj Bhavan after he had a meeting with JD(U) leaders at his 1, Anne Marg residence. He spent about half-an-hour in the Governor's House.
Party sources said the JD(U) meeting adopted a resolution saying the Narendra Modi brand of politics was dangerous as a section of the society was wary of him.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi is scheduled to address mediapersons at BJP headquarters here at 4 pm to express his party's view on the entire episode.


M5.8 - 22km W of Jolalpan, Mexico2013-06-16 05:19:01 UTC

Event Time

  1. 2013-06-16 05:19:01 UTC
  2. 2013-06-15 22:19:01 UTC-07:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-06-16 13:19:01 UTC+08:00 system time


18.328°N 99.051°W depth=53.8km (33.4mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 22km (14mi) W of Jolalpan, Mexico
  2. 31km (19mi) E of Huitzuco de los Figueroa, Mexico
  3. 34km (21mi) SSE of Jojutla de Juarez, Mexico
  4. 35km (22mi) SSE of Tlaquiltenango, Mexico
  5. 122km (76mi) S of Mexico City, Mexico


Preliminary Earthquake Report
  • 15 Jun 2013 11:20:34 UTC
  • 15 Jun 2013 23:20:34 near epicenter
  • 15 Jun 2013 15:20:34 standard time in your timezone
Location33.895S 179.455E
Depth172 km
  • 313 km (194 mi) SSW of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand
  • 502 km (311 mi) NNE of Whakatane, New Zealand
  • 511 km (316 mi) ENE of Whangarei, New Zealand
  • 514 km (318 mi) NE of Tauranga, New Zealand
  • 918 km (569 mi) NNE of Wellington, New Zealand
Location Uncertainty
 Horizontal: 14.4 km; Vertical 10.0 km


Preliminary Earthquake Report
  • 15 Jun 2013 17:34:29 UTC
  • 15 Jun 2013 11:34:29 near epicenter
  • 15 Jun 2013 21:34:29 standard time in your timezone
Location11.725N 86.975W
Depth35 km
  • 50 km (31 mi) W of Masachapa, Nicaragua
  • 60 km (37 mi) WSW of San Rafael del Sur, Nicaragua
  • 74 km (45 mi) SW of Nagarote, Nicaragua
  • 75 km (46 mi) SSW of La Paz Centro, Nicaragua
  • 90 km (55 mi) WSW of Managua, Nicaragua
Location UncertaintyHorizontal: 14.9 km; Vertical 8.1 km
Cabinet reshuffle: Young leaders to be given important portfolios;

Union Minister Ajay Maken on Saturday resigned ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle next week. Maken said that he wants to work for the party. Maken submitted his resignation as Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and has expressed his desire to work for the party, said sources. 49-year-old Maken, a Delhi Congress leader, is expected to be assigned a position in the AICC, most probably as a general secretary.
Sources said Union Minister Jairam Ramesh and CP Joshi may also take up party posts. The stress is on organisational strengthening.
Young leaders are likely to be given important portfolios in the Cabinet. The reshuffle in the Council of Ministers is expected to be the last one in UPA II with Lok Sabha elections less than an year away. The sources said the changes are likely to be effected on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to utilise the opportunity to fill several vacancies in his council of ministers. Manmohan had earlier said that there are some vacancies and the issue of filling them up is being considered. The latest vacancies in the Council of Ministers were created by the resignations of Union Ministers PK Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.
Bansal quit as Railways Minister last month in the wake of bribery scandal involving his nephew and a Railway Board member. Kumar resigned as Law Minister following a controversy over vetting of a CBI probe report on coal blocks allocation scam.
The portfolio of Railways has been given to Road and Highways Minister CP Joshi as an additional charge while that of Law has gone to Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal as additional ministry.
Under the reshuffle, ministers holding two portfolios could be divested of one. With the DMK and the Trinamool Congress withdrawing support from UPA government within less than a year, a number of slots vacated by them are yet to filled up.
Five ministers of DMK had resigned on March 20 after which there has been no rejig in the Union Council of Ministers. They were holding Minister of State position in Finance, Commerce and Industry, Health and Family Welfare and Social Justice ministries. The only cabinet minister they had was MK Alagiri who was in-charge of Chemical and Fertilisers.
Two cabinet ministers of DMK had resigned earlier - Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja, the latter in connection with the 2G telecom spectrum allocation scam. Some ministers may also be drafted them for organisational works ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls, the sources said.
A reshuffle of the party organisation in the AICC, which is long overdue, is also being firmed up. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also the general secretary of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, could be given fresh responsibilities.
There are indications that AICC general secretary and media department in-charge Janardan Dwivedi may give up the charge of the media, a job he had done for six years. The name of a number of party leaders, including Ambika Soni and Digvijaya Singh, are doing rounds for the post. Some of the incharges of the states are also likely to be reshuffled.

Petrol price increased by Rs. 2 per litre
The hike, which is effective from Saturday midnight, is excluding local sales tax or VAT and actual increase for consumers will be higher.
Petrol price in Delhi was hiked by Rs 2.40 a litre to Rs 66.39 from Rs 63.99 previously.
This is the second increase in rates this month. Oil firms had from June 1 hiked prices by 75 paisa, excluding VAT.
However unlike last time, there will be no change in price of diesel.
“Since last price change, the slide in Rupee (against the US dollar) has continued and the USD-INR Exchange rate has deteriorated from Rs 55.32 to Rs 57.08 per USD,” said Indian Oil Corporation, the nation’s largest oil firm.
IOC said international petrol prices have also hardened during this period. “The combined impact of both these factors, mainly depreciation of the rupee, has warranted the increase in petrol prices by Rs 2 per litre (excluding VAT),” it said in a statement on Saturday.
The June 1 increase in petrol price was the first in three months. The previous hike was on March 1, which was followed by rates being cut four times on falling global oil prices.
Diesel prices has been hiked on five occasions since January when the government authorised state-owned oil firms to increase prices by up to 50 paisa per litre every month till entire losses on the fuel are wiped out.
Since diesel price was hiked by 50 paisa, excluding VAT, on June 1, the next increase will happen at the month end.
IOC said the devaluation of rupee has led to widening of losses on diesel and cooking fuel.
Losses on diesel have widened to Rs 6.31 a litre from Rs 4.87 at the beginning of the month.
Besides, oil firms are also losing Rs 27.75 per litre on kerosene and Rs 335.14 on sale of every 14.2-kg domestic cooking gas (LPG) cylinder.
The company said at current rate IOC would end the fiscal with a total revenue loss of about Rs 60,000 crore while the industry (IOC plus other state-owned fuel marketing firms) would incur around Rs 1,12,500 crore loss.
Petrol will become dearer by by 2 rupees a litre, excluding VAT The revised rates will come into effect from midnight tonight. In Delhi, the consumers will have to pay 66 rupees and 39 paise a litre, in Mumbai 74 rupees and 60 paise, in Chennai 69 rupees and 39 paise while in Kolkata petrol will cost 73 rupees and 79 paise per litre.
The Indian Oil Corporation in a statement said that the hike was necessitated due to devaluation of rupee against dollar which had made the import of crude oil costlier. This is the second increase in rates this month.
Oil marketing companies had raised petrol prices by 75 paise excluding VAT a litre on 1st of this mont