g -files March 2014

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Big Boss / VS Sampath
Elections 2014:Tough Job

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g -files March 2014

  1. 1. March 5, 2014 `200 vol. 7, issue 12 gfilesindia.com Elections 2014: Tough Job BIG BOSS / vS Sampath talktim e SY QuraiShip26 GOVerNaNCe mG deVaSahaYam ON eleCtOral iNteGritY p22 JiGNeSh Shah SeekS NeW PaStureS p32 FirSt StirriNGS mS Gill p28
  2. 2. 3www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 Anil Tyagi | editor TR Ramachandran | executive editor Niranjan Desai | roving editor GS Sood | consulting business editor Rakesh Bhardwaj | editorial consultant Arvind Tiwari | director, business development Naresh Minocha | associate editor Neeraj Mahajan | associate editor Alok Jain | coordinator (maharashtra) Ajit Ujjainkar | bureau chief (mumbai) Harishchandra Bhat | associate editor (bengaluru) Venugopalan | bureau chief (bengaluru) Kanika Srivastava | editorial coordinator Mayank Awasthi | reporter Jyoti Puri | hr Pawan Kumar | production coordinator Sumer Singh | assistant manager, logistics Nipun Jain | finance Gautam Das | legal consultant Crossmedia Solutions | edit & design Madan Lal | Webmaster advertising & marketing adv@gfilesindia.com U K Sharma— +919717588883 e-mail: uksharma@gfilesindia.in Rakesh Arora— +919810648809 mumbai: 48/C-1, Areshwar, Mhada, S.V.P. Nagar, Andheri(W), Mumbai 400 053 bengaluru: 2210, 10b main road, 3 block, jayanagar, bengaluru 560 011 Contact — +91 9845730298 e-mail: venu@gfilesindia.in Anil Tyagi, Printer & Publisher 118, 2nd floor, dda site 1, new rajinder nagar, new delhi – 110 060 tel/fax: +91 11 2874 4789, +91 11 4508 2832, +91 99531 20281, +91 99111 10385 +All information in gfiles is obtained from sources that the management considers reliable, and is disseminated to readers without any responsibility on our part. Any opinions or views on any contemporary or past topics, issues or developments expressed by third parties, whether in abstract or in interviews, are not necessarily shared by us. Copyright exclusively with Sarvashrestha Media Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction of any material of this magazine in whole, or in part(s), in any manner, without prior permission, is totally prohibited. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any material lost or damaged in transit. The publisher reserves the right to refuse, withdraw or otherwise deal with any advertisement without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the Indian Advertisements Code. Published and printed by Anil Tyagi on behalf of Sarvashrestha Media Pvt. Ltd at Kala Jyothi Process Pvt Ltd. E-125, Site-B, Surajpur Ind. Area, Gautam Budh Nagar, Greater Noida-201306 U.P. (INDIA). All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent courts in New Delhi only I n April and May, your door will be knocked on by prospective Lok Sabha candidates for your endorsement to the 16th Lok Sabha. Your decision to vote for a particular candidate or party will make a lot of difference in the governance of India as in a democracy, this is the only weapon that the common man has, the only time when he is the master of the rulers. When you vote, have you ever thought, why you vote for a specific candidate or a party? Are you fully convinced that your vote will make a change for the better in the nation or your constituency? Has any political party consulted any voter, society, group, or community, while drafting its so-called election manifesto. The answer is no. So, the voter will have to vote as per a manifesto fabricated to serve political masters or corporate interests. The text will, of course, be disguised in a lingo that promises to ameliorate the condition of millions in India. What a paradox! This is a fact of the Indian democracy. It may sound cynical, but civil society has to ponder over how to have a better political system for good governance. This issue of gfiles focuses on the elections for the 16th Lok Sabha. We have not analysed candidates, parties or possible results and, instead, have made this issue more thought provoking by reporting on where the road-map of democracy is looking like. MG Devasahayam writes in his column that the First Republic is fast becoming a ‘failed state’, with all the characteristics described by Robert Rotberg in his book, ‘When States Fail: Causes and Consequences’: “Failed states offer unparalleled economic opportunity only for a privileged few. Those around the ruling oligarchy grow richer while their less fortunate brethren starve… The privilege of making immense profits and fortune, when everything else is deteriorating, is confined to clients of the ruling elite... The nation-state’s responsibility to maximise the well-being and prosperity of all its citizens is conspicuously absent... and, escalating levels of venal corruption mark failed states.” Our Associate Editor Neeraj Mahajan is worried when he writes, “one of the easiest ways of making money is to float a political party and play the role of mediator. As compared to just 53 political parties in the first general elections, today there are over 5,000 political parties in almost every street corner of India. Almost 1,600 of these parties are registered with the Election Commission, but some of them have never even contested one election.” After 66 years of Independence, why is the Election Commission not empowered enough to check the antecedents of parties and candidates and the flow of money, given the mushrooming of political parties. India is awakening; the voter too is awakening to the games played by candidates and political parties. How long will dirty tricks pave the way to Parliament? Solutions have to be discovered, evolved and implemented by the people of India as these parties and leaders will not identify, nor endorse, a way which can catch them red handed. Still, there is hope; the President of India Pranab Mukherjee is well aware of the rot and his responsibility to remedy it. In his acceptance speech as the 13th President of the Republic, he said: “Corruption is an evil that can depress the nation’s mood and sap its progress. We cannot allow our progress to be hijacked by the greed of a few”. He went on to add that the principal responsibility of his office is to function as the guardian of our Constitution. “I will strive, as I said on oath, to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, not just in word but also in spirit.” Let the spirit prevail. Anil Tyagi editor@gfilesindia.com From the Editor vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 Download the gfiles app
  3. 3. CONTENTS www.gfilesindia.com4 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 JAPAN AbePlomAcy Jeff kiNgstoN p76 m g DeVAsAHAyAm RAce foR Pm p68 February 10, 2014 `200 vol. 7, issue 11 gfilesindia.com PetitioN iN Public iNteRest submitteD to tHe HoN’ble suPReme couRt by gfiles RegARDiNg tHe gReAt lAND RobbeRy iN HARyANA. How HooDA AloNg witH His cRoNies PluNDeReD HARyANA iN His 9 yeARs of Rule. p10 Kunal Bhadoo Hooda’s son-in-law Venod Sharma Congress MLA, Ambala Arvind Walia Owner, Ramprastha Anil Bhalla Owner, Vatika Builders Sameer Gehlaut Owner, Indiabulls Kabul Chawla Owner, BPTP KP Singh Owner, DLF De facto ChiefMinisters? Haryana’s 6 Bric-a-Brac polls & goals 10 Big Boss make no false promises 14 Cover Story the power of money in elections Governance 22 urgent need for electoral reforms 32 jignesh shah moves to diamonds, real estate business 36 green signal to state-ngo partnership 26 Talk Time oust criminals, says former cec sy quraishi 28 First Stirrings ms gill on his life and times 40 Initiative emotional intelligence at work 42 Mandarin Matters when zia-ul-haq and morarji desai met in kenya 44 My Corner thumbs down to political intelligence gathering 46 Silly Point an agenda for political parties 48 Book Review analysing the indian voter 49 Stock Doctor long-term view 56 Perspective fundamental corruption 57 By the Way hooda’s colourful officials, health ministry woes and more Haryana’s de facto CMs A very serious story has been covered by gfiles (February 2014). Very few people know that there are so many rich build- ers allegedly contributing to the Haryana Chief Minister’s office. Many perceived DLF as the only one that had tied up, by hook or crook, with the Government of Haryana. This is often cited as the reason for why we get dusty and poor roads and public infrastructure in Gurgaon and Faridabad. I personally find better public infrastructure and amenities in Greater Noida and Noida, a part of the bimaroo state of Uttar Pradesh. Rajeev Mishra via email Kejriwal again I agree with MK Kaw (Second Coming of Arvind Kerjriwal, February 2014) that Kejriwal has now become Kejriwad. It’s the beginning of the era of the common man, who’ll get empowerment in the real sense. This is the beginning of the demo- lition of business houses that control the government by using black money. RS Dahiya on blog Needs of senior citizens The article titled Demographic bulge ahead (February 2014), is appreciable. Facilities for senior citizens still need to LETTERS editor@gfilesindia.com CONTENTS be developed on a large scale as many of them suffer due to ill-health and igno- rance. The state of facilities provided to this section of society is very poor. It would be good if we have a separate bud- get for amenities needed by the senior citizens, as mentioned in the article. Ashok Sinha via email Moments and memories The subjects of everyday life captured by very unique vision of the lovely mates, Ashok and Novel, did leave a lasting impact. Readers like me were speech- less! I congratulate the writer of this arti- cle for bringing out the best of their work! Shakuntala on blog Form IV (See rule 8) gfiles 1. Place of Publication: New Delhi 2. Periodicity of Publication: Monthly 3. Printer’s Name: AnilTyagi Whether Citizen of India?: Yes (if foreigner, state the country of origin): Not applicable Address: 118 2nd floor, DDA Site 1, New Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi-110060 4. Publisher’s Name: AnilTyagi Whether Citizen of India?: Yes (if foreigner, state the country of origin): Not applicable Address: 118 2nd floor, DDA Site 1, New Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi-110060 5. Editor’s Name: AnilTyagi Whether Citizen of India?: Yes (if foreigner, state the country of origin): Not applicable Address: 118 2nd floor, DDA Site 1, New Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi-110060 6. Name and Addresses of Individuals who own AnilTyagi the newspaper and the AbhisshekTyagi partners or shareholders: 118 2nd floor, DDA Site 1, New Rajinder Nagar New Delhi-110060 Holding more than one percent of the total capital Sarvashrestha Media Pvt Ltd Shareholders: Quality Edumedia Pvt Ltd I, AnilTyagi, hereby declare that the particulars given are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Dated. March 01, 2014 Sd/ AnilTyagi Publisher
  4. 4. 5www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014
  5. 5. www.gfilesindia.com6 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 Bric-a-bracpolls & goals Busy as a bee check out the prez’ schedule bonanza for web news portals which are hungry for press materials and photographs free of cost. Apart from the media blitzkrieg, insiders say Pranabda is keeping keen watch on recent political developments even if he is not expressing his opinion. g Veterans simmer politicking heightens within BJP T he Bharatiya Janata Party resembles an arena for prime ministerial candidates. This even though, Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, has been nominated as the party’s prime ministerial candidate if the BJP gets majority in the 16th Lok Sabha. But in politics, it’s never so cut and dry. Sources disclose that one possible strategy is that nobody who is somebody among the old patriarchs may challenge Modi. Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Jaswant Singh are bewildered that the boys who used to sit outside their offices are now holding the fort and daring not to allow them to contest even the Lok Sabha elections. In this whole game, Rajnath Singh, the BJP President, is tacitly supporting the move to eliminate the old school. Clearly, it is a complicated game. Sources also disclosed that Advani, Joshi or Jaswant Singh are not likely to bow before the dictatorial commands to ask them to sit home or in Rajya Sabha. Maybe, the RSS should take cognisance of the anger of the veterans, but there too are few sympathisers. g P ranab Mukherjee’s prede- cessors seldom interacted with media. But since he became President, journalists receive innumerable emails with press releases and photographs from the President’s Office. Pranab Mukherjee knows the power of media very well. He even informs the press well in advance as to which town, city, university and hospital, he is going to deliver a lecture. It is well- known that he is an articulate statesman. His media department is under severe pressure as there is often no time in between to issue press statements, releases and photographs. As a result, the release arrives in the reporters’ computers at 8 a.m. or even 11.30 p.m! Over the year, Pranab Mukherjee has spoken on a wide range of issues— Vivekananda, leprosy, health, yoga, libraries, education, economic issues, child and women rights, and so on. The President’s speeches do no find a place in newspapers as he does not supply them with spicy news, but they are the
  6. 6. 7www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 surprised to know that the land between Vijayawada and Guntur has been purchased by those very leaders who were part of the Andhra Pradesh restructuring team, at really cheap rates. Coming back to the present: We learn that news has spread that the new capital will be between Vijayawada and Guntur. The price of land has sky rocketed. Who says, there’s no opportunity in adversity. Ask the top Congress leaders— g I N S I D E E Y E illustrations:aruna Capital clout andhra: opportunity in adversity I ndiA’s 29th state was recently formed. But let’s go back a bit in time. The local workers of Telangana and the leadership of the save Andhra movement were busy demonstrating for their political goals. Meanwhile, some of the top political leaders were working on the map of the new capitalofdividedAndhraPradesh.TheCongressleadership was more than aware that wherever the new capital of seemandhra would be set up, a jewel box would open up for builders, politicians and bureaucrats alike. Let’s go back a bit further in time. There were very few politicians within the Congress Party who were aware from the beginning that Telangana is going to be reality at the end of the 15 opportunity of a lifetime. gfiles no opportunity in adversity. Ask the top Congress leaders— they know better than anybody else. g ave Andhra movement were busy demonstrating for their political goals. Meanwhile, some of the top political leaders were working on the map of the new capitalofdividedAndhraPradesh.TheCongressleadership was more than aware that wherever the new capital of be set up, a jewel box would open up for builders, politicians and bureaucrats alike. Let’s go back a bit further that Telangana is going to be th Lok sabha. They sensed an gfiles readers will be
  7. 7. www.gfilesindia.com8 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 Bric-a-bracpolls & goals CM Sharma? plan b in haryana T here is a general perception in Haryana that there is no threat to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. In Congress circles, everybody accepts and admires him. They are convinced that after Charan Singh and Devi Lal, Hooda is the biggest crowd puller in the country. This, they say, has been proven after the Gohana rally recently where Hooda spoke before approximately one lakh people. The Congress leadership in Delhi too has been made to believe that thereisnothreattoHoodaandthereisnoopposition. Right now, the opposition in the state is fragmented and fractured and not united enough to take Hooda head on. But Hooda and his classmate team has a plan ‘B’ where in any eventuality if everything fails, power should not go from their clutches. Venod Sharma, his school-time chum, is the second-in-command for succeeding Hooda in any eventuality. Sharma is also keen to fulfil his life time desire to become Chief Minister. Had the Jessica Lal murder case not taken place, sources reveal that Venod Sharma was the first choice for CM’s post in 1999. To better his chances, Venod Sharma has been extensively touring the state for the last one year, doing Jat, Brahmin and Dalit rallies. He has everything at his disposal--men, money and muscle. Venod Sharma’s terror is so much in the Congress partythatSeljaKumarihadtorequestSoniaGandhipersonally to send her to Rajya Sabha as Sharma would allegedly obstruct her chances of winning the Ambala seat in the 16th Lok Sabha polls. November 2014 is not very far when the Haryana Assembly will also go to polls. So Hooda and his friends are ready to promote the de facto Chief Minister Venod Sharma as the de jure Chief Minister as they do not want to lose the state which allegedly sends millions to their coffers every day. Surprisingly,VenodSharmahadameetingwithBJPPresident Rajnath Singh to discuss the possibility of working together in Haryana. The meeting was fixed by his television editor. Is Venod Sharma joining the BJP? g
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  9. 9. COVER STORY / BIG BOSS v s sampath www.gfilesindia.com10 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 COVER STORY / BIG BOSSCOVER STORY / BIG BOSS V S Sampath is a 1973- batch IAS officer from thebatch IAS officer from the Andhra Pradesh cadre. HeAndhra Pradesh cadre. He was an election commissionerwas an election commissioner from 21 April 2009 to 10 June 2012, after serving forJune 2012, after serving for a year as the Secretary fora year as the Secretary for Energy and Power in the Government of India. He played an important role inplayed an important role in introducing power sector reforms in Andhra Pradesh.reforms in Andhra Pradesh. He will serve as CEC until heHe will serve as CEC until he reaches the retirement age ofreaches the retirement age of 65 on 16 January 2015. V S Sampath believes thatV S Sampath believes that the Election Commission should be given greater autonomy and more powerautonomy and more power for its effective functioning.for its effective functioning. He advocates for a strongHe advocates for a strong law to curb the practice oflaw to curb the practice of paid news. He has suggestedpaid news. He has suggested the Parliament to take up right to reject. Advocatingright to reject. Advocating such a move, he said, “Right to reject is an idea inherent to democracy, whose time for execution has come.” He talks about the measures beingabout the measures being taken by the Election Commission for the coming general elections and the challenges it facesand the challenges it faces in ensuring a free and fairin ensuring a free and fair election. Excerpts from anelection. Excerpts from an interview by Kum Kum Chaddha: v s sampath chief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissionerchief election commissioner
  10. 10. 11www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 gfiles: What is the biggest challenge in the forthcoming general election? VS: I would categorise it in two groups—the challenge of scale and the challenge of quality. As for the first, the statistics are mind- boggling—814.5 million voters, 11 million polling personnel, 1.4 million electronic voting machines (EVMs), 9.30 lakh polling stations, etc. Then there are regional, religious, ethnic complexities and cultural and lin- guistic diversities, plus the geograph- ic spread of these elections. These factors raise intimidating logistics and management challenges, like maintaining a database, training and deployment of polling personnel and material and transport manage- ment, ranging from bullock carts to helicopters—sometimes even elephants and donkeys. Add to these, information management and a free flow of information. Then there is the challenge to ensure that elections are free, fair and peaceful, that a level playing field is provided to the contestants in the electoral fray, and that there is good and genuine participation of voters, uninhibited by any kind of money or muscle power. gfiles: How do you ensure this? VS: Through a slew of measures like enforcement of the model code of conduct, taking direct control photos: Fotos4INDIA and supervision of bureaucracy and police force and, more importantly, including the weak, vulnerable and marginalised sections of society in the electoral process. The bottom line is to ensure that eligible voters are included in the electoral rolls and ineligible are struck off, and that there is a free and fair election in the country. gfiles: Peaceful elections do not necessarily mean fair elec- tions. It often translates into goons being out on the streets while the disadvantaged and oppressed remain indoors out of fear. In such a situation, how will you ensure a peaceful and fair election? VS: Peaceful elections need not necessarily mean fair elections. However, we try to ensure that elec- tions are free, fair, peaceful and participative. Some steps we take include deployment of adequate cen- tral armed police force, special law and order drives to execute pending non-bailable warrants, rounding up of rogue elements, search and seizure of unlicensed arms and ammunition and illicit liquor, a comprehensive mapping of each polling station for vulnerable pockets of voters, followed by confidence-building measures vis-à-vis the vulnerable, and preventive action against the intimidators. ‘Political parties should avoid making promises difficult to fulfill’
  11. 11. COVER STORY / BIG BOSS v s sampath chief election commissionerchief election commissioner www.gfilesindia.com12 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 gfiles: Your predecessor SY Quraishi had taken several steps to strengthen the Election Commission. How much of his work are you taking forward and what are you striking off? VS: Dr SY Quraishi, my predecessor, took several initiatives to strengthen expenditure on monitoring, voter education and participation, and we continue to pursue these goals. gfiles: TN Seshan took the fun out of elections? Would you do anything to turn the clock back? VS: Excuse me for saying so, but your question is unfair and unin- formed. Mr TN Seshan is known for his yeoman service as CEC by arrest- ing the decline in election standards and setting benchmarks for purity of polls. Subsequent incumbents to the office of CEC have built on that and taken the process forward. gfiles: How do you intend to tackle criminalisation in politics and candidates with dubious backgrounds? VS: The EC has for the past several years recommended that persons, against whom charges have been framed for offences punishable with imprisonment of five years or more, should be debarred from contest- ing elections till the disposal of their cases. However, till the time the law is not amended, candidates with dubious background cannot be pre- vented from contesting. gfiles: What about the use of black money in elections? How will you curb its use? Is it possible? VS: Checking the use of black money in an election is a major chal- lenge. The Commission has taken several steps in this regard, including 24x7 complaint monitoring cell with a toll-free number, flying squads to attend to complaints, static surveil- lance and video surveillance teams to keep watch on movement of cash or any major expenditure in the con- stituency, accounting team to main- tain Shadow Observation Register for each candidate, district-level Media Certifying and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) to watch all paid news and advertisements, associating with income tax depart- ment to keep a watch on black money, particularly the hawala operators and pawn brokers, and also to alert Air Intelligence Unit in airports and ask banks and Financial Intelligence Units to send suspicious transaction reports relating to candidates and parties. All the candidates and parties are asked to avoid any cash transaction during the election process. gfiles: What about the distribu- tion of freebies? Politicians circumvent this and get the better of the EC model code of conduct by announcing them much earlier. Once they know elections are round the corner, they start making announce- ments before the code comes into operation. In that sense, they defeat the purpose? VS: The model code of conduct (MCC) comes into force from the date of declaration of election sched- ule. Hence, the EC does not normally interfere with policies, programmes and announcement pre-dating the period of MCC. However, pursuant to directions of the Supreme Court and after due consideration of the views and comments of political par- ties, the Commission has recently included guidelines for election man- ifestos. These include that election manifesto shall not contain anything The EC has for the past several years recommended that persons, against whom charges have been framed for offences punishable with imprisonment of five years or more, should be debarred from contesting elections till the disposal of their cases
  12. 12. 13www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 In the interest of transparency, it is expected that election manifestos reflect the rationale for the promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirements for it repugnant to the ideals and princi- ples enshrined in the Constitution; the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution enjoin upon the State to frame vari- ous welfare measures for the citizens and, therefore, there can be no objec- tion to the promise of such welfare measures in election manifestos. However, political parties should avoid making those promises which are likely to vitiate the purity of the election process, or exert undue influence on the voters in exercising their franchise. Further, in the interest of transparency, level playing field and credibility of promises, it is expected that manifestos also reflect the rationale for the promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirements for it. The trust of voters should be sought only on those promises which are possible to be fulfilled. gfiles: Does the government put roadblocks in the way of effective implementation of EC measures? VS: The Commission has been engaging with the government for past several years over its comprehensive agenda for electoral reforms that includes proposals on decriminalisation of politics, making the offence of bribery in elections a cognizable offence, deregistration of political parties as well as providing for compulsory maintenance and audit of their accounts, inclusion of paid news as electoral offence and corrupt practice, ban on government- sponsored advertisements six months prior to the expiry of the term of the House, etc. I will only say that given the potential that these reforms have for cleansing the polity, in general, and the electoral process, in particular, they brook no delay in implementation. g
  13. 13. COVER STORY power www.gfilesindia.com14 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 ElEctions 2014: tDuring elections, the Election Commission of India virtually takes over governance in its hands till the time the results are announced and a formal list of victorious candidates is handed over to the government. Nobody dares to challenge the authority of the Election Commission (EC) during the election period. This absolute power is bestowed on the EC for the conduct of a fair, peaceful and harmonious election and to restore the faith of the common man in this democratic process. However, one school of political scholars thinks that the EC is only a tool in the hands of politicians to facilitate elections— nothing more, nothing less. They feel that the EC can’t do much until the Representation of People Act is amended drastically. Before the emergence of TN Seshan, most Chief COVER STORY power gamesgames
  14. 14. 15www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 : thE monEy gamEElection Commissioners (CEC) were entrenched with the ruling political parties. The credit must go to Seshan, who used the powers given in the Act as a weapon for deterrence; the cascading effect of the Seshan era is still felt. For the first time in India, he ordered political parties and leaders to behave as per the Act. Every CEC today understands the power he has during the time of elections. Seshan proved that law is subject to interpretation. To do his job, the CEC needs courage, determination and a clear mind as 80 crore voters will watch his actions closely. Our Associate Editor, Neeraj Mahajan, explains how political parties have today become a haven for a select few to flout the law for their personal gain.
  15. 15. COVER STORY power gamesgames www.gfilesindia.com16 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 W ith elections to the 16th Lok Sabha round the cor- ner, all eyes are now on the Election Commission. With more than 80 crore voters, 543 seats, near- ly 10,000 likely candidates and nearly 1,600 registered political parties, the task before the Commission is huge and onerous. More so in the current scenario where the indian polity is fractured and the use of money and muscle power to garner votes is being exercised with impunity. Politics today has become a lucra- tive business. No wonder then, that from just 53 parties in the first gen- eral election to the Lok Sabha, today there are nearly 1,600 parties regis- tered with EC. if you count unregis- tered parties, the number goes up to a humungous 5,000. Some of these reg- istered parties have never even con- tested one election. But, strangely, all of them maintain an office and receive donations from small businesses, ranging from `10,000 to `10 crore. Corporate donation is one of the main sources of income for a politi- cal party. in the last three finan- cial years, indian companies have, according to adrindia.org, report- edly donated crore of rupees to six major political parties, including the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and CPi-M. the BJP got the biggest chunk, `520.1 crore, followed by the BSP (`231.2 crore), the Congress (`168 crore) and the CPi-M (`95.6 crore). Among regional parties, the Samajwadi Party is way ahead of oth- ers with `61.98 crore. there is a lot of confusion in their books of account as to who donat- ed, how much or why. this, despite stringent monitoring of corporate donations by EC. Earlier, corporate donations were one of the best kept secrets—everyone knew that the money was given, but no one talked about it. today, there is a major dif-oday, there is a major dif-oday, there is a major dif ference. Many companies admit to giving funds to political parties and have started mentioning it in their annual reports. According to figures, the average amount spent per constit- uency works out to be `1.29 crore— almost 4 times more than the EC’s prescribed limit. this includes con- tributions by volunteers. So, if the EC limit is to be enforced strictly, almost half the MPs will be disqualified and will have to vacate their seats. Clearly, a political party is one of the best places to develop contacts and network with senior government officials, earn easy money, evade taxes and manipulate court cases. this is the reason why many non-serious, fringe parties, or so called ‘letterhead parties’ are getting enrolled with the EC. Many of these parties do not have a chance of ever winning a seat, but they still maintain an office, staff and bank accounts. they allegedly operate as money laundering dens to convert black money into white. Another glaring example of what happens behind the veil in the murky business of politics is to be seen in UttarPradesh,wherehundredsof‘fair weather’ parties spring up just before an election. their leaders bask in the According to figures, the average amount spent per constituency works out to be `1.29 crore—almost 4 times more than the EC’s prescribed limit. This includes contributions by volunteers. So, if the EC limit is to be enforced strictly, almost half the MPs will be disqualified and will have to vacate their seats
  16. 16. 17www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 media attention, giving sound bytes, and then go into hibernation till the results are out. the logic behind the creation of such parties is simple— though small in size, such parties pose a big headache forestablished players. On top of it, there is always a chance of forming an alliance to play a big role in the post-poll political negotia- tions with the national parties. Some parties even allow themselves to be used as tools by the bigger parties to eat into the rivals’ vote bank. J AgO Party, a small nondescript party in Secunderabad, is among the wealthiest political parties in Andhra Pradesh. According to the JAndhra Pradesh. According to the J donation receipts submitted by it to the Election Commission, the party received about `1 crore, way ahead of the YSR Congress (`77 lakh), the tRS (`90 lakh) and the tDP (`18 lakh). Jago Party, and dozens of other such political parties, have no more than a handful of members and may never contest elections. however, Many political parties are not even registered and nobody knows why and when were they formed. Many times, such parties close shop or merge with others to form a new party. Many such smaller parties provide an asylum to people with criminal backgrounds, or those ousted from other parties
  17. 17. COVER STORY power gamesgames www.gfilesindia.com18 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 nothing stops them from enjoying the tax exemptions. Under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, donations made to political parties are fully deductible under Section 80ggC of the income tax Act. Political parties also do not have to pay income tax on the funds received. this is the loophole that such parties try to exploit. Most par- ties, big or small, do not maintain proper books of records and details of donors below `20,000. Even big donations are split up and shown as below the `20,000 limit. the reason: Section 29C says that political par- ties only have to submit a statement of donations above `20,000. the Law Ministry prescribed Form 24A for such reports and income-tax law was amended accordingly, adding Section 13A, exempting these donations 100 per cent from income tax. Further, the RP Act was amended in 2003 and Section 29B was inserted, permitting political contributions voluntarily offered to it by any person or compa- ny other than a government company. L A L A L tAtA ER,aRti,aRti,aR filedbyADRrevealed that donations account for only 20 Lthat donations account for only 20 Lpercentofthetotalincomereport- ed by political parties. the source of 80 per cent remains unknown. Many par- ties often collect amounts of less than `20,000 in cash through ‘sale of cou- pons’ for which no record is mandated to be kept. Many political parties are not even registered and nobody knows why and when were they formed. Many times, such parties close shop or Under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, donations made to political parties are fully deductible under Section 80GGC of the Income Tax Act. Political parties also do not have to pay income tax on the funds received
  18. 18. 19www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 merge with others to form a new party. Many such smaller parties provide an asylum to people with criminal back- grounds or those ousted from other parties. Many notorious criminals, like Brajesh Singh, Atiq Ahmad and Amarmani Tripathi, have used Kaumi Ekta Manch, Rashtriya Parivartan Dal, Mahaan Dal, Bhartiya Samaj Party and Pragatisheel Manav Party to enjoy the fruits of power in Uttar Pradesh. In the light of this, it is rather surprising that the Election Commission tried to sweep the dust under the carpet by stating: “It is up to the major parties not to field criminals as candidates.” A peculiar situation developed A peculiar situation developed Ain Ashok Shankar Rao Chavan Ain Ashok Shankar Rao Chavan Av/s Madavrao Kinhalkar andAv/s Madavrao Kinhalkar andAothers, special leave petition (C) No. 29,882 of 2011, when the EC tried to act against Ashok Chavan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, for indulg- ing in ‘paid news’ during the 2009 elections. This was not reflected in his statement of election expenses submitted to the EC. The EC wanted to disqualify Chavan as he had filed an incorrect statement of expenses and was liable to be hauled up under law. Surprisingly, a Deputy Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice, submitted a note, which read as follows: “That I am advised to say that a plain reading of Section 10A of Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RP Act) and Rule 89 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, indicates that the power of the EC to disqualify a person arises only in the event of failure to lodge an account of election expenses and not for any other reasons, including the correct- ness or otherwise of such accounts.” The Law Ministry’s interpretation was that as long as the candidate filed A RTI filed by ADR revealed that donations account for only 20 per cent of the total income reported by political parties. The source of 80 per cent remains unknown. Many parties often raise income less than `20,000 in cash through ‘sale of coupons’ for which no record is mandated to be kept
  19. 19. COVER STORY power gamesgames www.gfilesindia.com20 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 a statement of expenses, there was nothing wrong—the EC couldn’t delve into checking those expenses. this, in other words, meant that even if a candidate filed a statement saying he spent one rupee, the EC has to accept his word. the matter is pending in court since then. the result is that Ashok Chavan, in other six months, would complete his full term as an MLA despite the fact that Section 86(7) of the RP Act specifically mentions: “Every election petition shall be tried as expeditious- ly as possible and endeavour shall be made to conclude the trial within six months from the date on which the election petition is presented to the high Court for trial.” M ANY see the first-past-the-ANY see the first-past-the-ANY post system of the indian democracy as problem in itself. According to them, this system is responsible for taking independent candidates out of the equation over the years. the vote share of inde- pendents has gone down from 19.3 per cent in 1957 to 4.3 per cent in 2004—a fall of 15 per cent. As against 42 elected independent candidates in 1957, there were just two in 2004. As compared to 60 per cent in 1957, 99.7 per cent independent candidates lost their deposits in 1996. that means, only 0.3 per cent of the independent candidates obtained more that 1/6th of the votes polled in their respective constituencies. in other words, an independent candidate has virtually no chance of winning an election in india–except if he or she is a crore- pati or supported by a crorepati party. how much money has come into the political system can be gauged by the growth in net worth of some poli- ticians. According to sources in CBi, Mayawati’s assets increased from `1 crore to `50 crore in just four years. Between 1998 and 2003, she and her close relatives came to own 96 plots, houses and orchards. According to an affidavit filed before Mayawati’s nomi- nation to the Rajya Sabha, her estimat- ed wealth today is over `111.64 crore. in his book, the Black Economy of India, Arun Kumar reveals how one of the first things that politicians do after winning elections is to tell a lie. the book narrates an interesting anecdote as to how a politician report- edly told the former Chief Election Commissioner, tN Seshan, that he spent `55 lakh on election expenses, while declaring an election expense of just `483. Another tDP MP confided to him about having spent `8.5 crore in his election campaign. Similarly, a man bluntly told CEC SY Quraishi that he gave away `35 lakh in cash to voters in Mumbai in a single night. Still his party lost. Clearly, whatever the politicians may think, the vot- ers are not fools and they do realise what’s happening. g While BSP supremo Mayawati’s (top) assets increased 50 times in four years, former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan (above) got a reprieve in the paid news case
  20. 20. 21www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014
  21. 21. COVER STORY elections mg devasahayammg devasahayam www.gfilesindia.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 201422 Much needs to be done to transform the electoral integrity campaign, as practised in Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in 2011, into a full-fledged movement to make India corruption-free. This is a task cut out for civil society. Electoral Integrity: Keytocorruption-freeIndia T he anti-corruption rhetoric has been the flavour of the last several seasons with a political party morphing out of it and briefly capturing power in Delhi in the winter of 2013. The party chief-cum-ex-Chief Minister even came out with the ‘rogue’s gallery’ of the most-corrupt politicians, who actually run India’s democracy-turned-kleptocracy. Incidentally, all of them have come to occupy positions of power and influence through the electoral process. The ‘Kejriwal List’ had several ‘big fish’init.Subsequently,hewentahead and filed an FIR against a much big- ger corporate shark. The question is: are these named-and-shamed high- level kleptocrats on the run, now that the Lokpal Act has been enacted? Far from it. Because, the legislation that has come out of the ‘India Against Corruption’ (IAC) movement, with lots of theatrics in full media glare, is more of a farce. It stands testimony to India’s immense propensity for jugaad and dramatises things that achieve nothing. Lokpal, as contemplated now, is unwieldy and top-heavy and its focus has been heavily diluted by includ- ing millions of Class III and Class IV government employees within its ambit though action on their corrup- tion would be the responsibility of the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). Ironically, the Kejriwal-driven Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, that failed to materialise, is also in the same electionselections mg devasahayammg devasahayam PIB
  22. 22. 23gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014www.indianbuzz.com league—covering all public servants from the Chief Minister to Group D employees, making it as unfocused as the Central Act. This serious aber- ration would protect the corrupt ‘big fish’ and end up chasing petty bribe- takers. In the event, Lokpal would be damp squib while providing hundreds of well-paid sinecures and draining out huge public funds. even if Lokpal becomes func- tional, it will only be a top-end, not an end-to-end solution. India’s gov- ernance structure has two kinds of leadership—political and adminis- trative. While the latter, comprising of the All India Services and State Civil Services, have defined rules and norms for entry, the former, compris- ing politicians, have none. Anyone with money and muscle power can get a ticket and become an MLA or MP and Minister by openly bribing and inducing voters by adopting dubi- ous means. These ‘leaders’ then loot to their heart’s content and all that citizens can do is to petition the high- and-mighty Ombudsman. Since most of Lokpal would comprise of former judges, the procedure is bound to be cumbersome and the wait would be long and endless. The best way is to stop these cor- rupt bandicoots is at the threshold. The bottom-end solution would pre- vent corrupt and criminal elements from contesting elections, and if they manage to get a ticket and enter the fray, defeat them. This is possible only if the electoral contest takes place on a level-playing field and voting is done with ethics, and not cash, as the prin- cipal consideration. It is here that electoral integ- rity comes in. Integrity is described as “uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles; sound- ness of moral character; honesty”. If there is one area where this is badly absent in India, it is in the electoral process through which political lead- ers are elected to govern the coun- try. It is true that the country’s track record of timely elections has drawn universal admiration, particularly because in most other post-colonial countries, elections have been a major casualty. This has given considerable prestige to the election Commission of India (eC) and legitimacy to India’s democratic polity and its politicians, who are the beneficiaries. But the moot point is what kind of ‘leaders’ get elected? Many of them do nothavebasicleadershipqualitiesand are mere henchmen or sycophants of dynastic/party chieftains. Nearly a third of elected representatives face serious criminal charges such as murder, rape, abduction and offences relating to moral turpitude. Almost all of them have amassed wealth much beyond their known sources of income. They have no concern for honest governance or ecological sustainability. Absence of ethics in voting and a skewed electoral playing field—tilting it heavily in the favour of the criminal and the corrupt—has prevented honest, committed and competent youth from entering the electoral contest. hence, there is an acute leadership crisis which is resulting in the diminishing of democracy and decay of democratic governance. This is India’s biggest challenge. T heRe are three ways in which integrity could be brought into the electoral process: Political Reforms: This would involve major efforts to bring inner- party democracy, transparent func- tioning and merit-based selection of candidates, free of criminal and cor- ruption taint. This is in the hands of political parties, who do not even want to be recognised as ‘public authorities’. No go as of now! Electoral Reforms: As the government is controlled by these very political parties, it is averse Even if Lokpal becomes functional, it will not be a complete solution FOTOS4INDIA
  23. 23. COVER STORY elections mg devasahayammg devasahayam www.gfilesindia.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 201424 to reforms. Proposals from eC are pending for several years. No go again! Electoral Integrity Initiative: This requires the electorate to be in action to make eC stringently enforce its constitutional mandates, existing laws and judicial pronouncements to effectively combat corruption and criminalisation in the electoral pro- cess. This is in the hands of civil soci- ety, of course with the co-operation of eC. This is the best option. This option was put into practice by the Forum for electoral Integrity (FeI), in the form of an intense campaign during the 14th Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election held in April 2011. The eC was fully involved and SY Quraishi, the then Chief election Commissioner (CeC), led from the front. As a result, electoral corruption was put on a leash. So much so, that the widely held public comment was: “earlier, the eC just announced the elections. Only now they are conducting it.” Civil society, spearheaded by the FeI, played a key facilitating role in this. The backdrop to the campaign was institutionalisation of electoral corruption through cash, freebies and liquor during the bye-election to Thirumangalam Assembly con- stituency (January 2009). The eC then was less effective and there was no civil society force to counter this venality. In the event, the ‘Thirumangalam Formula’ of cash- for-votes evolved and was touted as the sure-shot way of winning the 2011 State Assembly election. Open brandishing of this ‘terror of money-power’ demoralised the voters with most of them losing hope for fair elections. Besides, being a frontal onslaught on democracy, this was an affront to the dignity and self respect of voters, who were being treated as purchasable commodities. This had to be countered and combated. Only people’s power, in general, and youth power in particular, backed by a proactive eC, could do this. For this, civil society had to assert itself and voters had to be educated and mobilised. The eC had to be sensitised about the realities on the ground and persuaded to enforce stringent electoral discipline with the legal and plenary powers it already had, instead of endlessly waiting for long-term electoral reforms and change of heart of political parties. T huS, the FeI was formed as a civil society coalition in August 2010. The Forum addressed and interacted with several thousand students in their campuses, with full participation of the management and staff. These interactions brought out the appalling disconnect between the ‘first generation voters’ and the electoral process. There was a general perception among college students that they were not relevant to democracy and vice-versa. This, perhaps, was the worst failure of governance in India and the most dangerous challenge to the country’s democracy itself. In response, the electoral integrity campaign sent out clear and categorical messages that election is the foundation of freedom and democracy and vote is the most basic of all democratic rights; those who offer bribes for vote are making voters a ‘partner in loot and corruption’; once a voter sells the vote, he/she cannot demand any other right or services like safety, shelter, water, sanitation, healthcare, education, etc.; and, selling one's vote is like selling one’s honour, self- respect and dignity and for the youth, it is bartering their very future. These forceful messages had their impact. Commencing from the day of announcement of elections—March 1, 2011—the eC swung into action with the police and income tax observers searching and seizing millions of rupees (the final total was Rs 620 million) being moved for bribing the voters. Senior civil and police officials, who were suspected to be aiding and abetting the movement of cash were summarily transferred. Through a well-knit communication network using SMS, the Forum facilitated the steps taken by the eC team. The impact and enormity of these seizures was seen from the CeC’s statement later: “For every million rupees seized, the eC had possibly prevented 50 to 60 million rupees being given as bribes!” Informationonthesedevelopments spread across the State and voters gradually regained confidence in the fairness of the poll. This resulted in a much higher voter turnout—78.12 per cent compared to 70.70 per cent in 2006. The ‘additional’ 8 per cent voters, comprising of youth, urban middle class and senior citizens, had been influenced by the Forum’s campaign and voted in anger. The result was that the money/muscle The bottom-end solution would prevent corrupt and criminal elements from contesting elections, and if they manage to get ticket and enter the fray, defeat them. This is possible only if the electoral contest takes place on a level- playing field and the voting is done with ethics, and not cash, as the principal consideration
  24. 24. 25gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014www.indianbuzz.com power did not win the election. The CeC confirmed this with a text message sent to the FeI convener: “Thanks a lot for leading the civil society campaign against corrup- tion. I consider our victory against money in Tamil Nadu more impor- tant than success in West Bengal.” Gopalakrishna Gandhi, the former Governor of West Bengal, who is set- tled in Chennai, endorsed this in an email: “The emphatic result in TN is a mercy. Anything else would have been flaunted as the public's uncon- cern with corruption... What a won- derful performance by the election Commission! Congratulations to you for catalysing so much by way of free and fair polls.” Newton’s Third Law—‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’— did work with the eC and people jointly pushing back corruption and money power in elections, thereby restoring the integrity and dignity of election and democracy. One strong message came out of this Tamil Nadu experience—in conducting ‘free-and- fair’ polls, if the eC and civil society come together, wonders can be achieved. Based on this faith, the eC has now evolved a formal partnership with civil society through the ‘Frame- work of engagement’. The goal of the eCI-CSO Partnership is “to have every eligible citizen on the electoral roll and have every enrolled voter to vote voluntarily, thus ensuring widest electoral participation and inclusive elections through information, edu- cation, motivation and facilitation to promote informed, ethical voting.” In the run-up to the forthcoming Parliamentary elections, the elector- ate has some new tools to bring about integrity in the elections and choice of candidates. These include the use of NOTA option to dissuade politi- cal parties from fielding criminal and corrupt candidates. They can go for large-scale usage of NOTA as ‘Right to Refuse’ and take it further as an ef-to Refuse’ and take it further as an ef-to Refuse’ and take it further as an ef fective instrument of ‘Right to Reject’, moving towards cancellation and fresh election with fresh candidates if NOTA scores the highest votes in a constituency. T he CIC order, bringing politi- cal parties under the RTI Act, should also be aggressively used for seeking information from political parties on funding as well as criteria adopted for selecting candidates to contest elections. Also taking advan- tage of the Supreme Court’s observa- tion—“Freebies shake the root of free and fair elections to a large degree” — the electorate should mobilise against this corrupt indulgence. Voters must also realise that taking bribes to vote is a criminal offence punishable with one year imprisonment. Muchneedstobedonetotransform the electoral integrity campaign into a full-fledged movement to make India corruption-free. This is a task cut out for civil society. This is what IAC shouldhavedoneinsteadoffracturing intoapoliticalparty,formingminority government in Delhi and making a mockery of governance. Indeed unfortunate! g The article is an adapted version of the paper presented by the author at the ‘Conference on Technology, Accountability and Democracy in South Asia and Beyond’, jointly organised by Stanford University and University of Mumbai on January 17-18, 2014 The writer is a former Army and IAS officer. Email: deva1940@gmail.com The electoral integrity campaign in Tamil Nadu sent out clear and categorical messages that the vote is the most basic of all democratic rights; those who offer bribes for vote are making voters a ‘partner in loot and corruption’ Large motorcades have become part and parcel of Indian election scene today
  25. 25. COVER STORY / TalkTimE sy quraishi former chief election commissionerformer chief election commissioner www.gfilesindia.com26 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 ‘Bar criminals from contesting elections’ If TN Seshan is credited with bring- ing the Election Commission (EC) centre-stage, his successors, includ- ing SY Quraishi, must be thanked for bringing in reforms to make the EC proactive, people-friendly and instilling its officers with a sense of confidence. Like Seshan, Quraishi too has often been in the eye of a storm for taking on those in power. In this exclusive interview with Kum Kum Chaddha, Quraishi talks about the institution and what needs to keep it going. Excerpts: gfiles: What are the issues in the forthcoming election? SYQ: Every election is essentially the same, with a little variation. Fortunately, muscle power is history; we now have security, advance planning and vulnerability-mapping of booths. We have to ensure that the people vote fearlessly. gfiles: A peaceful election is not synonymous with a fair one... SYQ: Quite right. There could be peace because people have been intimidated. So, we have ensured that people come out and vote fearlessly. Voter apathy in urban areas has been a matter of concern. Now, through communication and a voter education division, we have persuaded people to come out to vote as a matter of right and duty. Voter slips was an innovation that worked very well. Every government acknowledges that move as being a game-changer. It was first tested in Bihar in 2010 and the turnout was very high. We replicated this in other States and, in some cases, the turnout was over 80 per cent. gfiles: I will not take away the credit due to you, but you would agree that a high turnout is, at least in the present context, an indicator of people’s anger. SYQ: Incumbency and anti-incum- bency is an ongoing process. When we reached out to people, particu- larly the young, many did not even know that 18 years was the eligible age to vote. We told them to vote to prevent dishonest people from com- ing to power. A low turnout suits criminals. People’s anger is a con- tributory factor, not a decisive one. gfiles: A great deal has been achieved. Yet there are gaps which remain to be plugged. SYQ: Yes, there are concerns. Those persons against whom there are serious criminal cases, should be debarred from contesting elections. A debate is on whether this infringes on their fundamental rights, but a counter to it is that there are a large number of undertrials in jails who too cannot vote. So, if you can take away their voting rights, what is the big deal in denying those the right to contest against whom cases are pending? We have suggest- ed safeguards, which include debar- ring those who have committed hei- nous crimes, those against whom an FIR is registered at least six months before elections and chargesheets have been framed by a court of law. gfiles: So the stumbling block are the governments... SYQ: Yes, governments are reluctant for they have a quota for these guys. gfiles: What about use of black money in elections? SYQ: We have taken stern steps in this regard. The money mafia attempts to capture power and if a candidate takes a few crores, he has to return it in kind. So, the under- lying necessity is to make money. Both, the politicians and the bureau- crats, get involved in this. Once the two instruments of governance come together, there is no stopping them. gfiles: What role does foreign funding play? SYQ: In Tamil Nadu, one party, after spending huge sums publicly, declared that it knew the winning formula—the Thirumangalam for- mula of paying `5,000 per voter. We were determined to replace it with the EC formula–to hold fair and free polls. Several PILs were filed against us, but they were disposed off in our favour. gfiles: The Thirumangalam formula is now outdated because the voter is very smart. He takes the money on offer, but votes according to his will... SYQ: You are right. We encountered this in many places. In Kerala, for
  26. 26. 27www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 FOTOS4INDIA instance, we thought petro-dollars flow in. But people told us that since voters take money from everyone and vote according to their own will, there was no point in wasting money. gfiles: The model code of conduct is tokenism because governments announce welfare schemes much earlier and, in that sense, beat the 45-day deadline... SYQ: Quite right, but we have a lim- itation. Before and after the election we are powerless. We cannot circum- vent the democratic system. We must work within a framework. Laws exist but are not followed, except during those 45 days. gfiles: Does that mean that the EC is more effective than the government of the day? SYQ: We work away from political pressure and political considerations. The same bureaucracy that is always under attack, delivers when we are in charge. They are competent, but they must be allowed to function. You can do everything with bayonets except sit on them. We can, in 45 days, fight a war, but it’s not a permanent solution. gfiles: Recently a Chief Minister announced freebies and the EC can do little… SYQ: Freebies can be announced through an election manifesto, over which we have no control. Even the Supreme Court has held that it is not a corrupt practice. So, how can we change that? gfiles: The EC can overcome this by holding an election a bit earlier and spring a surprise... SYQ: In a phased election, 45 days actually become longer. We tried advancing the election once and it was challenged in court on grounds that the EC is trying to paralyse a democratic government. gfiles: Seshan brought the EC centrestage... SYQ: Seshan’s contribution to the EC is singular. He increased its vis- ibility and enhanced its stature. Hats off to him. We can disagree with his language—saying things like “I eat politicians for breakfast”. gfiles: So, Seshan cracked the whip while you brought in imagination. SYQ: Our styles were different. I was soft, but stern. gfiles: But, he took the fun out of elections... SYQ: If that was true, then the turnout should be low. We are giving you a people’s festival minus the noise, nuisance and cacophony. gfiles: Any advice for the forthcoming elections... SYQ: The moral authority of the gov- ernment has suffered because politi- cians have developed a bad image. Public perception is that sab neta chor hain, which is dangerous for democracy. We have good leaders. But the bad elements have to be removed. My advice to politicians is to remove the villains. For the people, it is to go out and vote and things will change. g
  27. 27. FIRST STIRRINGS ms gill former chief election commissionerformer chief election commissioner www.gfilesindia.com28 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 ‘EVMs have solved many problems’ M y village Aladinpur did noty village Aladinpur did noty have a school for higher stud- ies, I had to walk up to Tarn Taran, a small town close by, for stud- ies. My mother used to pack paran- thas and pickles as refreshment for me. Sometimes I used to run after a tonga to reach home. The boys also used to take a dip in the nearby canal. Those were wonderful days. I come from a family with military background—my grandfather, father and cousins, all served in military. My father, Pratap Singh Gill, served as a Colonel in undivided India and later as Governor of Goa when Morarji Desai was the Prime Minister of India. One question I could not ask my father, which I still regret, is what inspired him to get me and my broth- er and sisters admitted in St George College, Mussoorie. I feel, that changed my life; for me, it was like a step to the moon. When I went to St George College, I did not know a word in English. My classmate–I still remember his name, In those times, there were few career opportunities. For IAS, only three chances were permitted between the age of 21 to 24. Today, the age limit has gone up to 35 years and I don’t understand how a person of that age can be moulded. I feel the UPSC has messed up the selection process. What is an MBBS doing in IAS? He has stud- ied medicine, he should go and treat the people; but, he is running admin- istration. They have introduced all language papers. This has nothing to do with administration. The IAS exam should focus more on political science, history, geography and economics. Once I was visiting Kerala, I met an officer who had passed the IAS exam with a language paper. He made no sense while talking to us. Clearly, UPSC has to be cleaned up. UPSC interviews too have become a joke. I, with BS Ojha, filled up the form for IAS while appearing for MA final examination. Patiala was the exami- nation centre. It was tough for us—we had to rush to Patiala and then come Mervyn Ledlie–used to say, “you are a monkey”. But, I was sharp enough and within a year I learnt the language to be a topper in the school. After school, I appeared for Defence Services exam and cleared it. The day I was to board the train to join the Defence College in Dehradun, I changed my mind. I decided to go for higher studies. Next day, I went to Ludhiana and took admission in BA, English literature, in which I later did my masters. With me in college were people like BS Ojha, former Chief Secretary of Haryana, and NN Vohra, Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. The UPSC has introduced all language papers in IAS exam. This has nothing to do with administration. The IAS exam should focus more on political science, history, geography and economics
  28. 28. 29www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. I trained with Norgay and climbed up to 20,000 feet. Our family is a part of Majja peo- ple; struggle is in our blood. I never hankered for a plum posting–for that, you need a mentor in Delhi. I simply did my job, wherever I was posted. When I was the Chief Election Commissioner, our team drafted the election manual. We introduced the Electronic Voting Machine; half the problems have been solved by tech- nology. The man passes on, but the institution remains vibrant, if you have taken care of it well. Election is the celebration of democracy. Its spirit should be always kept alive. I have three daughters, Natasha, Gauri and Kaveri. My duty was to educate them well. All are doing quite well in their respective fields. Kaveri is a world renowned photogra- pher. I am a firm votary for girls’ edu- cation. As a member of Rajya Sabha, not only did I sanction lot of money for girl schools in Punjab from my quota, I also visited them wherever and whenever I was invited by them. I have written many books– Himalayan Wonderland: Travels in Lahaul-Spiti, An Indian Success Story—Agricuture and Cooperatives and The Electoral System in India. These are some of my books which give an insight about my works and thought process. I have worked with four Prime Ministers–Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh, Narasimha Rao, IK Gujral and Atal Bihari Vajpayee—and I am an MP under the leadership of Manmohan Singh. I will not comment who is the finest in my eyes, but what I can say is that anybody who becomes the Prime Minister of India cannot be a small man in totality. Rajiv Gandhi had a larger vision for India. g (as told to Anil Tyagi) photos: Rajeev tyagi back to Ludhiana for MA examina- tion. I never expected I will clear the IAS in one go–I got the 11th rank and Ojha got Railways, though he later made it to the mains. I joined IAS on July 1, 1958, and was allotted the Punjab cadre. After training, I joined the Punjab govern- ment on April 1, 1960, as Assistant Collector. Pratap Singh Kairon was the Chief Minister then. He was the greatest leader of Punjab and deserves a book. He is my guru; I emulated him in my career. He was the one who brought green revolution to Punjab. I am emotionally attached to the State. I am sad that Punjab’s administra- tion is ineffective today and the use of liquor is highly prevalent in the State. It is a great tragedy! I was 22 years old when I decided to go for a posting in Lahaul-Spiti– the reason was that I didn’t like sit- ting in office and doing cushy jobs. I have walked with tribal people and worked with them. I have served as DC Ambala and Mahendergarh. The DC today is reduced to being a public relations agent of the government. When we were trainees, we went on Bharat darshan. I then met Tenzing Norgay, the famous mountaineer. Mountaineering fascinated me. When I was posted in Mahendergarh district, I requested the government to allow me to go for training at the
  29. 29. POLIT SON R CONG BH BH Is IN7Years Young
  30. 30. GOVERNANCE FERTILISERS: wRONG mEdICINE p26 POLITICS SON RISE IN CONGRESS p34 INTERVIEw AIR CHIEF NAK BROwNE p22 February 2013 Rs 200 vol. 6, issue 11 gfilesindia.com 5yearsyearsyearsyearsyears 5years POLITICS BJP:OVER TO RAJNATH p38 BHAI BHAI? Israel INDIa JAPAN AbePlomAcy Jeff kiNgstoN p76 m g DeVAsAHAyAm RAce foR Pm p68 February 10, 2014 `200 vol. 7, issue 11 gfilesindia.com PetitioN iN Public iNteRest submitteD to tHe HoN’ble suPReme couRt by gfiles RegARDiNg tHe gReAt lAND RobbeRy iN HARyANA. How HooDA AloNg witH His cRoNies PluNDeReD HARyANA iN His 9 yeARs of Rule. p10 Kunal Bhadoo Hooda’s son-in-law Venod Sharma Congress MLA, Ambala Arvind Walia Owner, Ramprastha Anil Bhalla Owner, Vatika Builders Sameer Gehlaut Owner, Indiabulls Kabul Chawla Owner, BPTP KP Singh Owner, DLF De facto ChiefMinisters? Haryana’s Thanks
  31. 31. GOVERNANCE scam jignesh shahjignesh shah www.gfilesindia.com32 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 Another trade to dupe? Jignesh Shah got a head start when the Government of India arbitrarily lifted the 33 year ban on commodity futures—against expert advice in 2003. He then managed to use the opportunity to decimate everyone in his path to control most of India’s assets: equities, stock exchanges, agricultural commodities, derivatives, power, gold, silver and currency. This was until the bubble burst. Now, of course, half his designations are useless. He is an alien in most of the companies he started. Neeraj Mahajan analyses the fall of the titan. T HERE was a time when Jignesh Shah was acclaimed as a pio- neer in developing the com- modities and futures industry in the Indian subcontinent. He was the Founder Chairman and Group CEO of the Financial Technologies Group, Chairman of Bahrain Financial ExchangeLimited(averagedailyturn- over $175 million), Vice-Chairman of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX), Vice-Chairman GBOT, Mauritius (average daily turn- over $25million), Vice-Chairman IBS Forex Limited, Vice-Chairman Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (average daily turnover $2.2 bil- lion), Non-Executive Director Indian Energy Exchange Limited, Vice- Chairman Singapore Mercantile Exchange Pte Ltd (average daily turnover $81 million), Vice-Chairman National Spot Exchange Ltd, Vice- Chairman and Group CEO MCX Stock Exchange Ltd and Director, National Bulk Handling Corporation Ltd, besides being on the board of several companies, includ- ing Bourse Africa Limited, a pan- African stock exchange yet to start trading. Today, he is nowhere. Shah and his two lieutenants—Joseph Massey and Shreekant Javalgekar—have been declared unfit and improper, mean- ing they cannot be on the board, man- agement or hold more than 2 per cent stake in any recognised commod- ity exchange, individually or through other entities. The 44-year-old poster boy of India’s financial markets is today but a financial wreck. He is on the verge of losing control over all that he built—the world’s largest networks of 10 exchanges, including Indian Energy Exchange Ltd (IEX), India’s first power exchange. The number of promoter nominees on the MCX board is down to one and institutional shareholders have all but taken over the MCX-SX board. The post-NSEL crisishasforcedhimoutoftheboardof MCX-SX, an exchange he set up after hectic lobbying in the government and a big fight with regulators and rivals. The jinxed NSEL exchange—a 100 per cent FT venture—is expected to down its shutters anytime now, leaving the poor investors, who pumped in their lifetime savings, in a lurch. But does anyone in the government care? All they reportedly want is that Shah should be let off without much damage. According to the latest information available with gfiles, Shah is invest- ing his money—Rs 200 crore out of the `12,515 crore, FT (`4,815 crore) and MCX (`7,700 crore)—in some diamond mines and real estate pro- jects. Technically, he can afford to take another risk because it’s not his money that he is playing with. But the moot question is, where does this place the 13,000-odd investors who trusted him with their entire savings? Why isn’t anyone trying to prevent the flight of money? TRUST DEFICIT There is a saying--a man is known by the company he keeps. When it comes to that, Shah has a rather dubi- ous circle of friends. Not many people know that National Spot Exchange (NSEL) was not the only fiasco asso-
  32. 32. 33www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 investigators also found evidence about the prevalence of the age-old practice of buying at one exchange and selling at another, to cash in on the price differential between the two exchanges by the foreign institutional investors (FIIs). L IkEWISE, the name of DLF Commercial Developers, the Delhi-based group, was found to be involved in the infamous Bhoruka Financial Services scam and many unlawful transactions on the Magadh Stock Exchange (MSE). The Bhoruka case came into limelight when its stock last traded on the Bangalore Stock Exchange for `5, about 17 years ago. It was admitted in the MSE at `4,490 per share by Bhoruka’s promoters and acquired by DLF. The MSE at Patna was among ciated with Shah. His name is today linked to a string of failed commod- ity exchange ventures that collapsed overnight, landing thousands of investors in a financial lurch. His flagship company, La-fin Financial Services, itself means ‘the end’. Intermsoffailedbusinessventures, the only person who comes close to challenging him is his one-time lieu- tenant Anjani Sinha, who presided over the shutdown of the Magadh, Ahmedabad and Safal exchanges before being picked up by Shah to head NSEL. There were allegations of fraudulent trading activities dur- ing Sinha’s tenure at all the bourses, resulting in the suspension of the board of one of them by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Sinha, a chartered accountant and law graduate, was the Chief General Manager and Chief Executive of Magadh Stock Exchange (MSE) for nine years before it closed down due to allegations of irregularities in deal- ings of shares. A few brokers initi- ated legal proceedings against him and the exchange in Calcutta High Court. SEBI superseded the board of the exchange following complaints of malpractice, financial mismanage- ment and administrative breakdown. Butnotmuchcameoutandthevictims were not even compensated. Many exchange brokers were found to be indulging in irregularities in issuing contract notes, non-maintenance of books of accounts, not reporting off- market transactions, not maintain- ing separate client accounts, delaying payment to clients, non-payment of turnover fees and non-fulfillment of capital adequacy requirement. SEBI
  33. 33. GOVERNANCE scam jignesh shahjignesh shah www.gfilesindia.com34 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 the 21 regional stock exchanges in India registered as limited company, under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. It was the only regional stock exchange in India to trade on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Calcutta Stock Exchange (CSE) and Interconnected Stock Exchange (ISE). It had got clearance of CSE to do vyaj-badla and get finance in lieu of securities. MSE had also signed a MoU with the CSE to provide CSE’s online trading facility to its brokers in Patna. The SEBI refused to renew the recognition of MSE when it found that the exchange has failed to estab- lish a settlement guarantee fund (SGF). Besides the failure to create an investor protection fund, some of the other grounds for the refusal included failure to appoint an executive direc- tor at the exchange, inadequate infra- structure, non-recovery of dues from members and listed companies. A few years later, Sinha was A few years later, Sinha was Aagain in the news for being involved in a share-inducedAinvolved in a share-inducedApayment crisis as the Chief Executive of the Ahmedabad Stock Exchange (ASE), the second oldest exchange in Western India recognised by the Securities Contract (Regulations) Act, 1956. ASE, the third-largest exchange in Gujarat, did not meet SEBI’s pre- conditions, like $16.12 million net worth, $161 million trading turnover and 5 per cent cap on sharehold- ing. Separate investigations by SEBI found its members to be involved in irregularities in issue of contract notes; dealing with unregistered sub- brokers; not maintaining proper cli- ent database and order books; evad- ing carry forward margins; indulging in off-market transactions and cross- deals; delaying delivery of securi- ties to the beneficiaries account (in one case, the written authority by one client to keep the shares in pool account was found to be unsigned); non-segregation of clients’ account; and, depositing clients’ funds into the general account (in many instances, brokers were deducting their own office and petrol expenses from client accounts). SEBI investigations also revealed the following irregularities: No pre- printed serial numbers on contract notesandnoclientacknowledgement; improper maintenance of client reg- istration and agreement forms; pay- ment of office expenses from client’s account; delay in security pay-out from the pool account on many occa- sions; dealings with unregistered sub- brokers; and, non-payment of turno- ver fees to SEBI. Many brokers at ASE were opposed to the move to start trading in commodities because they were asked to pay `71,000, including `11,000 membership fee for the com- modities exchange, `50,000 security deposit and `10,000 for trade guar- antee fund. The brokers were angry because the exchange had reportedly levied these charges without any dis- cussions with them. Finally, in March 2003, SEBI stepped in and super- seded the ASE Board, led by Sinha, for failing to curb illegal vyaj-badla and carry-forward transactions by the brokers inside the exchange premises. In a significant development, SEBI derecognised the ASE, despite it being one of the eight stock exchang- es in the country that enjoyed per- manent recognition like Bombay Stock Exchange, Bangalore Stock Exchange, Calcutta Stock Exchange, Delhi Stock Exchange Association, Hyderabad Stock Exchange, Madhya Pradesh Stock Exchange and Madras Stock Exchange. When Pune Stock Exchange, Coimbatore Stock Exchange, Cochin Stock Exchange, Interconnected Stock Exchange and Magadh Stock Exchange faced simi- lar action, Sinha should have seen the writing on the wall–but he didn’t. This even led Prakash Mani Tripathi, the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Stock Market Scam, to comment in its report in the thirteenth Lok Sabha: “Looking at the future, illegal financ- ing in various forms appear to be resurfacing in stock exchanges like Ahmedabad. Synchronised deals and gathering of brokers, at a fixed time on a particular day in a week, in trad- ing hall of the exchange/corridors of the exchange to fix badla charges is common knowledge. There is need for SEBI to take immediate action.” This, seemingly, was reason enough for some regulatory agency to put a stop to people with dubious track records from taking over one exchange man- agement after another, but this glar- ing necessity was overlooked. Meanwhile, one of Sinha’s con- temporary and would-be colleague, Joseph Massey, the Executive Director of Vadodara Stock Exchange Limited, left it on the verge of closure like the ASE and Saurashtra kutchkutchk Stock Exchange. It is intriguing how both these ‘exchange destroyers’ were allowed to join Shah without any clearance from the FMC, SEBI or RBI, that too within According to the latest information available with gfiles, Shah is investing his money—`200 crore out of the `12,515 crore, FT (`4,815 crore) and MCX (`7,700 crore)—in some diamond mines and real estate projects
  34. 34. 35www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 a few months of the ASE fiasco. Sinha was picked up by Shah as the CEO of MCX and later shifted as MD and CEO of NSEL and Director of MCX, while Massey was offered the post of MD, MCX-SX. Massey, incidentally, was one of the highest-paid employ- ees, drawing $0.29 million from the FTIL and MCX group till he was axed. C URIOUSLy,URIOUSLy,URIOUSL the first venture that Shah, Massey and Shah put together was the Safal National Exchange of India (SNX)—a joint ven- ture between FTIL-MCX and National Dairy Development Board. Launched amidst much fanfare, it was India’s first electronic spot exchange and online platform for trading fruit and vegetables. With the vision of ‘One India One Market’ possible because of internet reach and software-ena- bled trading, it offered contracts in mango, onion, potato, tomato, grape and bananas in December 2007. On the face of it, the exchange offered an opportunity to small farm- ers to access national markets and negotiate better price for their pro- duce in a transparent manner, with the involvementofasfewintermediar- ies as possible. SNX’s greatest attrac- tion was it being an electronic spot market, offering quality, transparency and payment and delivery guaran- tee for the benefit of large number of sellers and buyers across the country. The seven board members of SNX included Shah, Massey, Amrita Patel, Deepak Tikku, V Hariharan, Nisar Ahmed Shaikh and Ramachandran Nathan kutty. Incorporated on Junekutty. Incorporated on Junek 14, 2006, SNX initially attracted a lot of interest from farmers, but soon came to a grinding halt. One of the rea- sons was that the exchange manage- ment, traders and farmers couldn’t see eye-to-eye on quality, price and other business modalities. As a result, SNX was officially shut down. Among the theories propounded for its failure was that FT and MCX, which together held 51 per cent stake in SNX, wanted to drive traffic to its 100-per cent venture NSEL, then in a nascent stage. Some investors and members also filed complaints with the Economic Offences Wing, alleging misuse of $0.80 million by SNX promoters. It was alleged that MCX-FT did not return the mem- bership fee of $4,183 each to its 200 investors when it stopped trading without any intimation to the mem- bers. Overnight, information about its members, directors and contact details was removed from its website and SMS enquiry facility was stopped. All business development officers and supply chain employees were sacked. Interestingly, the FT’s 2010 annual report only tried to justify writing off an investment of $0.73 million in the venture without going into the rea- sons why it was terminated. Later, when SNX members were given the option to migrate to NSEL, it rein- forced the conspiracy theory of a FT ploy to secure more NSEL members. What followed was a trail of fail- ures. FTIL had to sell its 100 per cent stake in Singapore Mercantile Exchange—launched three years ago for trading in metals, energy, currency and agriculture commodities—to ICE Singapore Holdings, an entity owned by Atlanta-based ICE group, for US$150 million. Today, FTIL Group’s ecosystem is in a state of flux. g
  35. 35. GOVERNANCE ngo partnershipspartnerships www.gfilesindia.com36 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 Linking the last mile Sustained priority to grassroots institutional arrangements that lead to outcomes and impacts in social development through the state-NGO partnership is a must by AbhilAksh likhi L ocal participatory development isastrategythatisbeingdeployed by governments in developing countries to achieve a variety of socio-economic goals. These include sharpening of poverty targeting, improving service delivery, expanding livelihood opportunities and strengthening the demand for effective governance. Without doubt, an engaged citizenry involved in achieving these goals, especially in rural hinterlands, could hold the government more accountable. according to the World Bank, there are two major modalities for induc- ing local participation—community development and decentralisation. While the former supports the efforts to bring villages, neighbourhoods or household groupings in the process of managing resources without rely- ing on formally constituted local gov- ernments, the latter refers to efforts to strengthen village and municipal governments on both the demand and supply sides. However, what is critical for effective as well as inclusive governance is a public-private partnership, wherein the ‘demand side’ enables citizen participation through access to information. Further, that it fosters mechanisms for deliberative decision -making at the grassroots. In the above context, India’s 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) envis- ages strengthening of State-non- governmental organisation (NGo) partnerships to scale up approaches that are innovative, both in terms of programme content and strategy. Innovations could focus on technol- ogy, social mobilisation, local institu- tional building, architecture of part- nership, management techniques, and so on. Imagine the possibilities of generating synergies for both dia- logic empowerment and programme implementation in rural areas, with over 2,60,000 gram panchayats, in unison with over two million NGos in the fray! The proposed setting up of the Bharat Rural livelihoods Foundation (BRlF) as a dedicated institution to facilitate such partnerships at the
  36. 36. 37www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 The proposed setting up of the Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (BRLF) as a dedicated institution to facilitate State-NGO partnerships at the grassroots is a step in the right direction grassroots is thus a step in the right direction. Each project (whether for link roads, market yards, electrifica- tion, school buildings, health sub- centres, drinking water facilities, and the like) facilitated by BRlF will attempt to leverage the vast resources being made available by the central Government to the gram panchayats for flagship/special area programmes on food security, rural employment guarantee, livelihood security, health, education, sanitation, power, rural housing, and so on. B EFoRE outlining the challenges for such a partnership in India’s diverse agro-climatic and regional equity context, it is pertinent to highlight a few examples of innovative interventions by dedicated NGos in the rural-urban continuum. Myrada (Mysore Resettlement and Development agency), that isagency), that isa currently managing 18 projects in 20 backward districts, aims at securing the rights of women and children to develop livelihood strategies leading to food security and sustained incomes. It is using community radio as a major development communication tool for community empowerment and behavioural change in its projects. on the other hand, cINI’s (child In Need Institute) nutrition projects focus on the issue that the problem of malnutrition is not a straightforward case of lack of food. Many families, who have a limited amount of food, do not always share it equally. Mothers and infants, therein, are the worst The State-NGO partnership (above) could be extremely useful in disseminating relevant information through innovative social mobilisation strategies for vulnerable groups, especially rural women (below)
  37. 37. GOVERNANCE ngo partnershipspartnerships www.gfilesindia.com38 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 sufferers. Thus, CINI educates preg- nant and lactating mothers through local health workers. In addition, it also runs Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres for severely malnourished children, where balanced food is pro- vided in small but frequent amounts to increase a child’s weight safely over a period of several weeks. Pratham provides education to children in the slums of Mumbai city. Effective monitoring and evalu- ation is integral to Pratham’s endeav- ours in child education programmes. Given the large expanse of their pro- grammes and the sheer number of people involved, it ensures that the grassroots impact can be measured. This enables them to make chang- es in their strategy and models to increase scheme/project efficacy. For instance, ASER (meaning impact) is the largest household survey of the organisation that measures enrol- ment as well as reading and arithme- tic levels of children between the age group of 4-16 years. The diversity and quality of social mobilisation skills through which dedicated NGOs like the above make an impact at the last mile is undisputed. The first big challenge, therefore, to strengthen their partnership with gram panchayats (more than two lakh, comprising approximately six lakh villages) is capacity enhancement of approximately 30 lakh elected representatives and related official functionaries at the grassroots every year. To make this possible, the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Yojana (RGSY) and the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj should be efficiently used to strengthen the training needs of these target groups while plugging crucial gaps in local infrastructure (of connectivity, both digital and physical). In addition, what is also needed to be pushed and scaled aggressively is ‘activity mapping’ and the consequent provision of the backbone 3Fs (funds, functionaries and functions) to gram panchayats by the provincial governments through legislation (activity maps prepared by Kerala could be a good reference point). Simultaneously, a supplementary impetus needs to be given to the MissionModeProjectofe-Panchayats through broadband, that can enable gram panchayats to electronically track flagship/area programme funds, improve internal management processes and, in fact, supervise converged flow of funds efficiently. A good example of the State- A good example of the State- ANGO partnership is the ANGO partnership is the Ause of ‘Cluster FacilitationAuse of ‘Cluster FacilitationATeams’ under the flagship pro- gramme, MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). These teams are to address, on priority, the locally rel- evant needs of community blocks of dense populations with landless agricultural labourers, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other vulnerable groups. They also serve clusters of gram panchayats to fill the gap assessed on account of non- availability of requisite expertise in land development activities at the local level (Tamil Naidu and Kerala have successfully benefited from such a partnership). In fact, intensive intervention, during the next five years, in such community blocks needs to focus on convergence with NGO-supported Self Help Groups (SHGs). Such groups are being nurtured through the livelihood collective approach under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM). This partnership could be extreme- ly useful in disseminating relevant information through innovative social mobilisation strategies by NGOs on, for example, entitle- ments under the MGNREGA scheme to vulnerable groups, especially rural women. The state-NGO partnership faces a major challenge from intra-State inequalities in the specially designat- ed rural local governance structures of the mountainous North-Eastern States as well as the ‘Schedule Five Areas’ of nine backward States in the heart of the country, includ- ing Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha (with areas affected by left-wing extremism). Besides, the partnership would be put to test by the socio-economic back- wardness of individual districts (for instance, Mahendragarh and Mewat in Haryana), several of which are located in States that are doing well economically. Sustained priority to grassroots institutional arrangements that lead to outcomes and impacts in social development through the State-NGO partnership is a must. g The writer is an IAS officer and currently a Senior Fellow at South Asia Studies, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC. The views expressed are personal. What is critical for effective as well as inclusive governance is a public private partnership, wherein the ‘demand side’ enables citizen participation through access to information
  38. 38. 39www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014
  39. 39. INITIATIVE workplace dalip singhdalip singh www.gfilesindia.com40 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 12 | March 2014 T he skills that are necessary for good relations with others are the most important skills any- one can learn in life. When it comes to improving organisational effective- ness, administrators, management scholars and practitioners are begin- ning to emphasise the importance of emotional intelligence. At the heart of service are relationships: inter- personal relationships; intergroup relationships; and, interdepartmen- tal relationships. This is because managers who do not develop their emotional intelligence have difficulty in building good relationships with peers, subordinates, superiors and clients. An emotionally intelligent administrator can induce desirable responses in others by using effec- tive diplomacy. They have the ability to change someone’s views, attitudes or behaviour in a positive way. Being in harmony with their emotional self, they have skills to influence and com- municate to others in a way that gains support. A person with emotional intelligence is a strong mind mapper who understands others well and this plays a key factor for the development of effectual communication. They are good at assessing verbal signals, non- verbal gestures and body language. They communicate their views and feelings in a calm, direct and respect- ful way while respecting equally the views of others. There is a common tendency for leaders to try and keep hold of tasks, activities and processes. As the old saying goes, ‘No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.’ Skills required for interpersonal relations The unique quality that distinguish- es an emotionally intelligent man- ager from others is the capability to develop others in team. They have the ability to sense how their employees feel about their work situation and to intervene effectively when those employees begin to feel discouraged or dissatisfied. They manage their own emotions, with the result that employees trust them and feel good about working with them. People who are good at building bonds cultivate and maintain extensive informal net- works, seek out relationships that are mutually beneficial, build rapport and keep others in the loop, and make and maintain personal friendships among work associates. In order to make better use of the special talents avail- able in a diverse workforce, building strong interpersonal bonds among employees is important. And in virtu- ally every case, emotional intelligence must play an important role in satis- fying this need. A person with emo- tional intelligence are aware of their own feelings and those of others, are open to positive and negative aspects of internal experience and are able to communicate them when appro- priate. An emotionally intelligent per- son is often a pleasure to be around, has good influence and makes others feel better. People good at collaboration and cooperation balance the focus on the task with attention given to relation- ships, share plans, information and resources; they promote a friendly, cooperative climate; and they spot and nurture opportunities for col- laboration. An effective manager must possess emotional intelligence to establish mutual trust, respect, warmth and rapport with members of their group. People having strong bonding with group members prove to be more successful as it leads to group synergy which helps in accom- plishment of collective and shared goals. If there are healthy interper- sonal relationships among the team members, they certainly tend to work collectively towards the prescribed goal. Teamwork also contributes a lot to a healthy work environment. employees feel good about working if there is a favourable environment at the workplace. If employees have a mutual understanding with each other, there are very less chances of any kind of workplace conflicts. It has also been observed that strong

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