Integrating this blog with Empowering India portal

We have now integrated this blog with our award winning initiative on elections – http://www.EmpoweringIndia.org/blog

Please visit this portal, where one would find a lot of information about the electoral constituencies, elected representatives, political candidates, and political parties.

We at Empowering India are now preparing for the upcoming General Election to Cthe 16th Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament. The polling will take place in multiple phases, starting April 7 , and on May 16, the ballots will be counted.

We greatly appreciate your support, and are looking forward to welcoming you to Empowering India.

Why Kejriwal is a game changer?

My inbox is always full of chain mail exulting the great China success story. They come to me largely from young Indians who see in modern China a model of growth worth emulating. India ranks way down in the list of nations easy to do business in. (The World Bank ranks us at 134.) Not that China is much better. (It ranks 96.) But it certainly looks better placed than us for the future, and I think much of the admiration for Narendra Modi comes the fact that he is seen as a guy who can bring about a similar Indian miracle. At least Nomura thinks so. So do CLSA, UBS, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, HSBC. In short, pretty much the rest of the world.

Last week I received an article about how millions of American workers and thousands of small communities all over the US are already dominated by China who acquired a record number of businesses in the US last year, and looks all set to better that this year. Take Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer with facilities in 26 US states, employing 46,000 Americans with sales of $13 billion. It owns 460 farms, has contracts with another 2,100, Shuanghui, a Chinese company has bought it for $4.7 billion, to become one of the biggest employers in rural communities across America.

This is easy for China because of the US’ huge trade deficit. It leaves China with trillions of dollars to invest. As we all know, there’s little difference between the Chinese Government and the companies. Almost 50% of profits generated in China come from companies in which the State has controlling stake. (It used to be the same here till Manmohan Singh started his famous reforms and the public sector, already sick, went comatose.)

Last year China’s richest man spent $2.6 billion to buy AMC Entertainment, one of the biggest US theatre chains. Now Wanda is the world’s largest seller of movie tickets. Chinese companies are putting down roots in cities like Detroit and taking over traditional all-American businesses like making cars and auto parts. It’s impossible to say today how much of a GM car is American. But what makes Americans worry most is China’s acquisition of US energy resources. It mines vast quantities of coal in Tennessee. So much so that locals are now up in arms.

China is the world’s No 1 trading nation, if you add imports and exports. It has the highest foreign currency reserves. It has the biggest car market. It also produces twice the cars the US does, twice as much beer, thrice as much coal and 11 times as much steel. It’s the No 1 gold producer. It consumes more energy than the US. It’s the world’s largest manufacturer of goods. It consumes more cement than the rest of the world put together. It produces 90% of the global supply of rare earth elements. It’s the No 1 supplier of defence parts. And hey, it seems all set to take over more. So when we cosy up to the US, as we are doing today, we could well be cuddling China who is eyeing vast tracts of Indian territory in the North East.

No wonder, in such a complex world, where your friend could well be owned by your enemy, young Indians want a leader who can take India where China is today. They think Modi is that man. He has a track record of inspiring change. Unlike the Congress which has always enshrined the status quo. And young Indians believe, it’s the status quo that hurts India most.

But does it? Just shift focus a bit from economics to politics; you will be surprised. There’s no way Chinese politics could have ever thrown up the kind of results our Delhi elections did. The arrogant ruling Congress was booted out. The BJP won but barely. The unquestionable victor was a totally new party which had never fought an election, had no money, no muscle power. Its winning candidates are people no one has even heard of. Its hugely under-estimated leader, Arvind Kejriwal felled the two biggest giants with one tiny slingshot.

Could this have happened in China? Not by a long shot.

Read more at

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/extraordinaryissue/entry/why-kejriwal-is-a-game-changer

What does the AAP symbolise ?

Whether you support or scoff at Arvind Kejriwal going “back to the people” to determine whether he should accept the Congress offer of support in Delhi, you have to admit that it is most certainly a wickedly innovative idea.
After all, India’s veteran party had played a hand of classic, old-style, Machiavellian strategy by declaring its “unconditional support” for a man its leader had just days ago dismissed as “the man from Ghaziabad.” The aim was clear: place the blame for a fresh election at the door of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or better still, gamble on them accepting the offer, so that they could be trapped into tripping on their own decision.

For an otherwise near-comatose party it was a pretty shrewd move. But it was vintage politics in an India that is so much more avant garde than retro. And the counter-move by the AAP — the declaration of a Delhi referendum — was typical of the status-quo smashing, disruptive energy it has come to symbolise.

Read more at
http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/barkhadutt/it-must-be-aap-to-the-task-now/article1-1164825.aspx

Lokpal is a good beginning, but more needs to be done

After eight unsuccessful attempts in the last five decades, the Lokpal Bill finally saw light of day on December 18. However, it is important to understand that the Bill, although a good beginning, is not a magic wand that will banish corruption overnight. To be effective, it must be part of a series of parallel actions, so that we have an effective architecture against corruption.

What should that architecture look like? It must include, in the first instance, four other steps: One, reform of funding and financial accountability of political parties. Two, a systematic increase in the neutral intervention of technology into as many areas as possible where the common man has to deal with government. Three, finalisation of a model legal framework ensuring transparency and fair play in all transactions relating to the disposal and acquisition of national resources and government procurement processes. Four, instituting deterrent action in a timebound and exemplary manner for all acts of corruption, which, in turn, presupposes substantive judicial reforms.

Read more at

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Lokpal-Bill-has-kindled-hopes-of-curbing-graft-but-more-needs-to-be-done-to-banish-the-menace/articleshow/27692664.cms

Will AAP prove to be good ?

“Providing effective governance is no rocket science.” That’s what Aam Aadmi founder Arvind Kejriwal told ET when congratulated for changing the political discourse in the country.

But now that AAP has agreed to form the government in Delhi with Congress support, it will have to put that to test. Providing effective governance might not be rocket science but it will need a special escape velocity to get out of opposition mode, a role that AAP succeeded in spectacularly even before it was ever elected to anything.

It is undeniable AAP has shaken up politics as we know it. Even President Pranab Mukherjee commented that “participatory democratic movements like Anna Hazare’s” had added a “new dimension” to India’s democratic structure. Mukherjee went off his prepared text to recall that during the Lokpal movement he had been asked to head a group of ministers for talks with Anna. The old order went this way – people chose their representatives who then made laws and implemented them. That is no longer the only way forward, Mukherjee said. Now activists or NGOs can demand a legislation, “insist that you work to adopt a particular model.”

Read more at
http://www.firstpost.com/politics/aap-to-form-govt-now-comes-their-real-test-in-delhi-1298511.html?utm_source=mail&utm_medium=newsletter

BJP’s worry about the AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party’s spectacular electoral debut coupled with the huge setback for the Congress and Rahul Gandhi is good – as well as bad – news for Narendra Modi.

A clear front-runner for more than a year, constantly increasing his lead over Gandhi, the verdict of assembly elections is the first real political worry for Modi. But, before the bad news let’s look at the positives.

The good tidings stem from two counts: virtual decimation of the Congress and the limited time available for either the AAP – on its own – or any other national alternative to coalesce. The main challenge to Modi at the moment comes from an assortment of regional parties. Unless they succeed in projecting themselves as a credible
pan-Indian alternative, those rooting for Modi because they look at him as a strong personality and a doer are unlikely to look for alternatives.

The worries that the recent verdict has generated for Modi stem from the possibility that the AAP effect may now spill beyond Delhi, and constituencies where it can draw blood have so far been in the BJP’s comfort zone. AAP’s
current social base is primarily urban, though not only the urbane. Immediate acceptability of its political idiom is likely to be restricted to urban constituencies. Here, lower middle and working classes feel most strongly about the twin issues that form the cornerstones of the AAP campaign: corruption and price rise. Here, lower middle and working classes feel most strongly about the twin issues that form the cornerstones of the AAP campaign: corruption and price rise.

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/27669861.cms?intenttarget=no&utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

How can we ever justify dynasty rule in democracy ?

On March 14 2008, Narendra Modi and Digvijaya Singh appeared together on a panel at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi. It was such a rare event, as top leaders of the two parties have seldom sparred with each other directly in public. It was also very civil and quite stirring. Both know their lines and politics. Neither is known to take any prisoners.

For once, however, Digvijaya, certainly the more experienced and bilingual of the two, was stumped. Modi asked him, how did he justify dynastic rule in his party. Digvijaya recovered quickly, though. This, he said, was common enough in democracies around the world. For evidence, he said, look at America and the Clintons. This is precisely when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were locked in a close battle for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. Digvijaya’s short point was, if nobody is complaining about the Clintons in America, why should we keep complaining about the Gandhis in India.

Read more at

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/help-us-imagine-rahulji/1207462/

The passage of the Lokpal Bill is great , let us, however make sure it is implemented

The lokpal legislation’s journey of over four decades ended on Wednesday with its passage by  Lok Sabha. This is welcome. After a tortuous journey, its last phase was speeded up considerably when people had almost given up hope. Praise is due to Congress, BJP as well as Anna Hazare for facilitating legislation that’s an important step in the fight against corruption in public life. To be more effective, it needs to be complemented by other legislation such as one protecting whistleblowers, and enhanced investigative and prosecution skills.

While we should certainly celebrate the passage of the Lokpal Bill, its eventual impact will be contingent on ground level implementation. India’s legislative history has seen many laws grand in ambition, but their impact on society has been poor. A law can never offset the inability to get things done and this is where the state has repeatedly tripped up.

Read more at

.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Passage-of-Lokpal-Bill-is-great-but-problems-often-dont-end-with-legislation-alone/articleshow/27604885.cms

Dynasty in Democracy doesn’t make sense

Congress’s secular nationalist narrative has lost its vigour. Internal elections must be brought back even if they oust its first family.

However one wishes to cut the statistical cloth, the recent state elections have delivered a resounding defeat to the Congress party. Of course, there are other issues that have emerged, too: whether the Aam Aadmi Party has the potential to extend its reach beyond Delhi and the extraordinary implications that might have for the nation’s politics; how Narendra Modi’s charisma was unable to turn anti-incumbency into a BJP win in Delhi and why the margin of BJP victory was so narrow in Chhattisgarh; and, finally, why the BSP got nearly wiped out in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, in each of which it had established a promising foothold.

There are at least two large and noteworthy conclusions. First, India has yet again watched a remarkable festival of democracy. Turnouts rose, a new party emerged, the Maoists were unable to disrupt elections in Chhattisgarh, and no losing party questioned the integrity of the verdict, as was customary in India in the 1980s. For all its flaws, India’s democracy is by now deeply institutionalised. There are legitimate questions about how to improve the quality of Indian democracy, but there is no threat to the existence of democracy per se, a historically unique phenomenon at a low level of national income.

Read more at

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/one-problem-is-the-dynasty/1206587/

Rajasthan Assembly Election 2013

by Nitu Maurya

For more information, please visit www.empoweringIndia.org

MLAs 2013: There were 2087 candidates contesting the Rajasthan Assembly election 2013 for 199 seats. Among the newly elected MLAs, BJP has 162, INC has 21, BSP has 3, NNP has 4, and NUZP has 2 and 7 are independent.

Electoral Performance: The average voter turnout percentage in Rajasthan 2013 Assembly Election is 74.38%. In 2008 election, it was 66.25%.

In 2013 Assembly election, BJP won the largest number of 162 seats with 45.04% of the vote share. INC won 21 seats with 32.98% of the vote share. BSP won 3 seats with 3.38% of the vote share. IND won 7 seat with 8.24% of the vote share and 2 seats won by other parties with 10.36% of the vote share.

In 2008 Assembly election, INC had won the largest number of 96 seats with 36.82% of the vote share. BJP had won 78 seats with 34.27% of the vote share. BSP won 6 seats with 7.60% of the vote share, IND won 14 seats with 14.96% of vote share and 6 seats won by other parties with 6.35% of the vote share.

Table: 1

Party

Assembly Election, 2013

Assembly Election, 2008

Seats Won

Party Votes%

Seats Won

Party Votes%

BJP

162

45.04

78

34.27

INC

21

32.98

96

36.82

BSP

3

3.38

6

7.60

IND

7

8.24

14

14.96

Other

6

10.36

6

6.35

Total

199

100

200

100

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

In 2013 Assembly election, Ghanshyam Tiwari (BJP) from Sanganer constituency won the election with largest vote margin (65,350). While, Naveen Pilania (NPP) from Amber constituency won with the lowest vote margin (329).

In 2008 Assembly election, Mahendra Jeet Singh (INC) from Bagidora constituency won the election with largest vote margin (44,689). On the other hand, Kalyan Singh Chounhan (BJP) from Nathdwara constituency won the election with lowest vote margin (1).

In 2003 and 2008 Rajasthan Assembly elections, 55 constituencies, reelected representatives of the same party. Of the 55, BJP had retained 31 constituencies, INC had kept their hold on 21 constituencies and 1 constituency had kept by CPI (M), JD (U) and IND respectively. In 2008 and 2013 Rajasthan Assembly elections 71 Constituencies retained by parties (BJP-65, INC-6, IND-1) and 30 Constituencies retained by parties (BJP-29, INC-1) in 2003, 2008 and 2013 election (See Table 4).

Average assets of MLAs: The average asset per MLA in the Rajasthan 2013 Assembly Elections is Rs. 5.81 Crores. Among the parties, the average asset per MLA (162 MLAs) for BJP is Rs.4.17 Crores, for INC (21 MLAs) it is Rs 9.41 Crores, for BSP (3 MLAs) Rs.12.06 Crores, for NPP (4 MLAs) it is Rs.4.53 Crores, for NUZP (2 MLAs) it is Rs.98.71 Crores and for IND (7 MLAs) it is Rs.4.39 Crores.

Table:2

Comparison of Average Assets of MLAs in Assembly Elections 2008 and 2013

Party

Number of MLAs, 2008

Average Assets, 2008

Number of MLAs, 2013

Average Assets, 2013

Average% Increase in Assets

BJP

78

2.02 Crore

162

4.17 Crore

106%

BSP

6

1.76 Crore

3

12.06 Crore

585%

INC

96

3.44 Crore

21

9.41 Crore

174%

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

The average asset of 67 re-elected MLAs in 2013 election is Rs 3.89 Crores. The average assets of these 67 MLAs in 2008 were Rs. 1.69 Crores. Among the parties, average increase in the assets of 58 re-elected MLAs of BJP between 2008 (1 crore) to 2013(4 crore) election is 130%, 144% increase in 6 re-elected MLAs of INC between 2008 (1 crore) to 2013 (2 crore) and 118% increase in 3 re-elected MLA of IND.

Table: 3

Average asset increase of re-elected MLAs

Party

Number of re-elected MLAs

Average Assets

Average% Increase in Assets

2013

2008

BJP

58

4,18,81,556

1,82,39,555

130%

INC

6

2,85,48,560

1,16,90,733

144%

IND

3

33,95,274

15,59,219

118%

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

MLAs not declared PAN details: In Rajasthan 2013 Assembly election 9 out 199 (5%) have not declared their PAN details. Among the parties, 7 (4%) MLAs of BJP and 2 (10%) MLAs of INC have not declared their PAN details.

Among the MLAs in 2008, 45 out of 200 (23%) MLAs had not declared their PAN details in Rajasthan Assembly. Among parties, 16 (21%) MLAs of BJP, 19 (20%) MLAs of INC, 5 (36%) Independent (IND) MLAs, and 1 MLAs of JD (U) and SP respectively had not declared their PAN details.

MLAs with Criminal Cases: In the Rajasthan 2013 Assembly Elections, 36 of the 199 (18%) MLAs have acknowledged criminal cases. Among parties, 28 (17%) MLAs of BJP, 5 (24%) MLAs of INC, 2 (29%) MLAs of IND and 1 (25%) MLA from NNP has acknowledged criminal cases.

Among the MLAs in 2008, 30 out of 200 (15%) had acknowledged criminal cases. Among parties, 15 (16%) MLAs of INC, 5 (6%) MLAs of BJP, 3 (50%) MLAs of BSP and 1 (33%) MLA of CPM had acknowledged criminal cases.

Graduate MLAs: In the 2013 Assembly Elections, 43 out 199 (22%) MLAs are graduates. Among parties, 34 (21%) MLAs of BJP, 5 (24%) MLAs INC and 3 (43%) MLAs of IND are graduates.

Among the MLAs in 2008, 36 out of 200 (18%) MLAs were graduates. Among parties, 13 (17%) MLAs of BJP, 20 (21%) MLAs of INC and 2 Independent MLAs were graduates.

Young MLAs (35 years and below): In the 2013 Assembly Elections, 16 out of 199 (8%) MLAs are young. Among parties, 11 (7%) MLAs of BJP, 2 (10%) MLAs of INC, 1 (33%) MLA of and BSP and 2 MLAs of NUZP are young. Among the winners of 2008, 33 out of 200 (17%) MLAs were in the 35 year age group.

Women MLAs: Out of 199 MLAs, 28 (14%) are women in the 2013 Assembly Elections. Among parties, 22 (14%) MLAs of BJP, 1 (5%) MLA of INC, 1 (14%) of IND, 2 (50%) MLAs of NNP and 2 MLAs of NUZP are women.

Among the winners of 2008 election, 28 out of 200 (14%) were women. Among the parties, 13 (17%) MLAs of BJP, 13 (14%) MLAs of INC and 2 (14%) MLAs of IND were women.

Party Abbreviations: INC – Indian National Congress, BJP – Bhartiya Janata Party, BSP – Bahujan Samaj Party, CPI (M) – Communist Party of India (Marxist), JD (U) – Janata Dal (United), NNP- National People’s Party, NUZP- National Unionist Zamindara Party (NUZP), IND – Independent

Author: Ms Nitu Maurya is a research fellow at Liberty Institute, New Delhi.

Table: 4

Constituency

Rajasthan 2003 & 2008 Assembly Election

Rajasthan 2008 & 2013 Assembly Election

Rajasthan 2003, 2008 & 2013 Assembly Election

55 Constituencies retained by parties (BJP-31, INC-21, CPI (M)-1,IND-1, JD(U)-1)

71 Constituencies retained by parties (BJP-65, INC-6, IND-1)

30 Constituencies retained by parties (BJP-29, INC-1)

BJP

INC

BJP

INC

BJP

INC

Adarsh Nagar

X

Ahore

Ajmer North

X

X

X

Ajmer South

X

X

X

Alwar Rural

X

Alwar Urban

X

Amber

X

Anta

Anupgarh

Asind

X

Aspur

X

Bagidora

X

Bagru

Bali

X

X

X

Bamanwas

Bandikui

Bansur

Banswara

Baran Atru

Bari

Bari Sadri

Barmer

X

Baseri

X

Bassi

*

Bayana

X

X

X

Baytoo

Beawar

X

X

X

Begun

Behror

X

Bhadra

*

Bharatpur

X

Bhilwara

X

Bhim

X

X

X

Bhinmal

X

Bhopalgarh

X

Bikaner East

X

Bikaner West

X

Bilara

X

X

X

Bundi

X

Chaksu

X

Chhabra

Chittorgarh

Chohtan

Chomu

Chorasi

Churu

Civil Lines

Dag

Danta Ramgarh

Dausa

Deedwana

Deeg-Kumher

Degana

X

Deoli-Uniara

Dhariawad

Dhod

**

Dholpur

Dudu

Dungargarh

X

Dungarpur

X

Fatehpur

X

Ganganagar

X

Gangapur

Garhi

Ghatol

Gogunda

X

Gudha Malani

X

Hanumangarh

X

Hawa Mahal

Hindaun

Hindoli

Jahazpur

X

Jaisalmer

X

X

X

Jaitaran

Jalore

Jamwa Ramgarh

X

Jayal

Jhadol

Jhalrapatan

X

X

X

Jhotwara

X

Jhunjhunu

X

Jodhpur

X

X

X

Kaman

Kapasan

Karanpur

Karauli

Kathumar

X

Kekri

Keshoraipatan

Khajuwala

X

X

X

Khandar

X

Khandela

X

Khanpur

X

X

X

Kherwara

Khetri

Khinwsar

Kishanganj

Kishangarh

Kishangarh Bas

X

X

X

Kishan Pole

X

Kolayat

Kota North

Kota South

X

Kotputli

Kumbhalgarh

Kushalgarh

***

Lachhmangarh

X

Ladnun

Ladpura

X

X

X

Lalsot

Lohawat

X

X

X

Luni

X

Lunkaransar

X

Mahuwa

Makrana

Malpura

Malviya Nagar

X

Mandal

Mandalgarh

X

Mandawa

X

Manohar Thana

Marwar Junction

X

X

X

Masuda

Mavli

Merta

X

X

X

Mundawar

Nadbai

X

Nagar

X

Nagaur

X

X

X

Nasirabad

X

Nathdwara

X

Nawalgarh

Nawan

Neema Ka Thana

Nimbahera

Niwai

Nohar

X

Nokha

Osian

Pachpadra

Pali

X

X

X

Parbatsar

X

X

X

Phalodi

Phulera

X

X

X

Pilani

X

Pilibanga

Pindwara Abu

Pipalda

Pokaran

Pratapgarh

X

X

X

Pushkar

X

Raisinghnagar

Rajakhera

Rajgarh- Laxmangarh

Rajsamand

X

X

X

Ramganj Mandi

X

X

X

Ramgarh

X

Raniwara

Ratangarh

X

Reodar

X

X

X

Sadulpur

Sadulshahar

X

Sagwara

Sahara

X

Salumber

Sanchore

Sanganer

X

X

X

Sangaria

Sangod

Sapotra

Sardarpura

X

X

X

Sardarshahar

Sawai Madhopur

Shahpura

X

X

X

Shahpura

Sheo

Shergarh

X

X

X

Sikar

Sikrai

Sirohi

X

Siwana

X

Sojat

X

X

X

Soorsagar

X

Srimadhopur

Sujangarh

Sumerpur

Surajgarh

Suratgarh

Taranagar

X

Thanagazi

X

Tijara

X

Todabhim

Tonk

Udaipur

X

Udaipur Rural

Udaipurwati

Vallabhnagar

Vidhyadhar Nagar

X

Viratnagar

X

Weir

X

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org,

Note: * – IND, ** – CPM, ***- JD (U)

                                      Chart 1:

Note: Due to non-availability of 2012-13 economic growth data, we put 2013 assembly election vote% data in 2011-12 year.

Chart 2: Vote Percentage

Liberty Institute, New Delhi

Email: nitu@libertyinstitute.org.in, info@libertyinstitute.org.in

http://www.InDefenceofLiberty.org | http://www.EmpoweringIndia.org | http://www.RighttoProperty.org

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