Monday May 21, 2018
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Rumours galore on Gajendra’s death: Its not politics but the policies, says foreign media

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Farmer Gajendra

By Gaurav Sharma

A day after a farmer committed suicide by hanging himself at a protest rally led by the Aam Aadmi Party in Jantar Mantar against the contentious Land Acquisition Bill, countless commentaries, from different people, are being spelled out on the mortifying incident.

Even as the allegations flew thick and fast between the political parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to blame any single party for the incident saying, “We should solve this together. The problem is very old, and rampant in the country.”

Calling it a “collective responsibility”, Modi said, “We need to find a solution to the farmers’ misery. We can’t leave a farmer unsupported, but instead have to be with him at his moment of peril, and also for his future.”

The international media, blamed the policies of the government as the major cause for the wave of suicides that have devoured the farming fraternity. The Guardian, a UK daily said, “Rising prices for seeds and fertilizers, and banking reforms that ended up forcing farmers to turn to loan sharks, have magnified the trouble.”

Another UK daily, The Independent echoed similar views, even though it did take into account the unprecedented damage that unseasonal rainfall had inflicted on the crops this year.

BBC highlighted the precarious nature of the farming occupation, citing a Delhi-based Centre for Study of Developing Societies report which proclaimed farming to have become risky, stressful and unrewarding.

After reports came out from the family of the deceased farmer, saying that Gajendra was stressed after the unexpected loss of crops, the Dausa district administration was quick to dismiss “loss of crops” as the reason behind the suicide.

“Loss to crops does not appear to be a reason of suicide. His family’s financial condition is fine and they have farm houses and his uncle is the local village sarpanch,” Dausa’s Additional District Collector, Kailash Sharma said.

According to the Additional District Collector not a single farm in Baswa Tehsil, where the farmer’s village falls, is entitled for compensation.

“During the survey conducted by the district administration to assess loss to crops, it was found that the damage in all the farms in that Tehsil was below 33 per cent therefore no farmer was eligible for compensation”, he said.

The New York Times also did not rule out “political motivation” as the reason behind the suicide, referring to the 90’s era when scores of young people committed suicide to protest the increasing use of caste quotas to fill central government jobs.

It also pointed direction to a number of suicides that took place during the agitation to carve out the separate state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.

While controversies are abreast as to the reason behind Gajendra’s death, all reports by the international media houses and research organisations concur with one fact– that more needs to be done to empower the farmers.

More so, to give them the financial wherewithal to withstand a shock season or two. Certainly, it is time to rubbish the debt waivers and crop loans into the bin. Forever.

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)