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The underlying message in Modi-Karunanidhi meeting

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The underlying message in Modi-Karunanidhi meeting

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Chennai to attend the platinum jubilee celebrations of Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi, he also visited the DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s house to enquire about his well-being. This was purely a courtesy call but there was an underlying political message. Some people portrayed this news in such a manner that there was an impression that Bihar’s story could be repeated in Tamil Nadu. Some even said that the Congress would continue to sleep and Karunanidhi could join the NDA leaving the UPA just like Nitish Kumar did in Bihar. This speculation was fuelled when the DMK postponed the anti-Government agitation on the anniversary of demonetisation on account of heavy rain in the State.

But apart from the apparent courtesy call, PM Modi’s political motive was somewhat different. In all likelihood, the BJP has no intention to take the DMK on board; the party doesn’t have any MP in the Lok Sabha, and in the Rajya Sabha, it has a meagre presence. In comparison to the DMK, the AIADMK is strong in Parliament and it stands with the BJP. However, the problem is that the AIADMK has many factions, all of which are fighting with one another. So, there is no decision on getting the AIADMK in the NDA till date. That is why it is being said that the PM’s meeting with Karunanidhi was only a message for them that the BJP had other options.

This is also being said that there was a message behind PM-Karunanidhi meeting for Rajinikanth also. The BJP has been waiting for him for years, and hopes that if the actor plunges into politics and joins the BJP, the party’s graph will shoot up drastically. Even if he launches his own party and goes into an alliance with the BJP, it will be good for the latter. So, it seems that PM

Modi has hit many targets with one arrow. Apart from the AIADMK and Rajinikanth, the message has also gone to the BJP’s old alliance partners — the DMK, PMK, and MDMK.

 

GOING ALL OUT IN HIMACHAL

Election campaigning is over in Himachal Pradesh, and the BJP did a great job. PM Modi said the party was not enjoying the elections as there was no one to fight against. He claimed that the Congress had left the battlefield, so no big leader of the party was coming to the State for campaigning. According to Modi, in Himachal, there was a one-sided fight. That is why Prem Kumar Dhumal, the BJP’s CM candidate, claimed that the party would win 60 of the total 68 seats. Despite that, the BJP roped in all its bigwigs in Himachal. All leaders of the BJP, who could have influenced even a single vote, were in the State to do their bit. The PM himself campaigned in several areas and roped in Rajnath Singh as well. The BJP is said to have known that Virbhadra Singh enjoys great support of Thakur voters, and Rajnath toiled hard to counter this.

With the same motive, CM of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, was also roped in. He is the face of Hindutva but there are not many Muslims in Himachal Pradesh. Apart from being the face of Hindutva, Yogi hails from neighbouring State Uttarakhand and also belongs to the Thakur caste. So, he put in his efforts in Himachal also. For Brahmin votes, Central Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda put in all his strength. Apart from these, Shanta Kumar, who was unhappy with the party, was persuaded and Modi gave him space on the dais in both rallies at Kangra. Smriti Irani also went to Himachal for campaigning. Despite the hope of 100 per cent victory, the BJP roped in around a dozen leaders for campaigning.

 

PARADISE PAPERS’ TIMING

After Offshore Leaks, Swiss Leaks, and Panama Papers, now Paradise Papers have come to light. A German newspaper got the documents which exposed names of businessmen, leaders, and companies that have either invested in tax haven countries or have launched companies there. The newspaper also shared these documents with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

This matter is linked with Bermuda law firm Appleby and Singapore’s firm Asia City. These companies help in opening companies in tax haven countries, investments, and tax evasion. If you pay attention to the Paradise Papers, you will find the names of two powerful leaders of the world — Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. These documents mention the names of 714 companies from India as well.

Nobody would bother about around 700 names of the 714 because they are lesser known businessmen. But around a dozen famous personalities — from politics, films, and the health sector — also feature on the list. Names of veteran leaders of the Congress, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, are also there. They were directors in the company of Ravi Krishna, son of former minister Vayalar Ravi. This company is under scanner for the Rajasthan ambulance scam.

But the question is what will happen if anybody’s name is in the Paradise Papers? Nothing happened against those whose names came to the forefront at the time of Offshore Leaks, Swiss Leaks, or Panama Papers. Neither did the investigation move forward nor was there any action against anybody’s account. Of course, investigation is being done like a ritual. These papers are nevertheless being used to defame people; the latest leak has happened just before the elections in two States, hence the timing is questionable.

Names of the Congress leaders are being vociferously raised after these papers were brought to light. Apart from Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot and Ravi Krishan, the name of P Chidambaram’s son Karti is also there. The company related to the Loveleen scam, NNC Loveleen, of Kerala is also in the list. Initially, the name of P Vijayan appeared, but he got a clean chit. The timing of this exposé is bound to dent the reputation of the Congress.

 
 
 
 
 

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