Nation
Trinamool, AIADMK retain power, BJP takes Assam, Left Kerala
West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday crushed the opposition and Tamil Nadu's AIADMK proved exit polls wrong by retaining power in assembly elections, the biggest popularity test after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP stormed to power in Assam while the Left made a comeback in Kerala amid a washout in West Bengal.
 
The Congress was the worst hit in the five-state election, losing power both in Assam, which it had ruled for 15 long years, and Kerala, where it was confident of winning its second term. The Congress-DMK alliance was, however, ahead of the ruling All India N.R. Congress in Puducherry.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party also made history in Kerala where its veteran O. Rajagopal, 86, was elected from Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram. He will be the first ever BJP member in the Kerala assembly. 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promptly congratulated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Tamil Nadu counterpart J. Jayalalithaa. 
 
"Across India, people are placing their faith in (the) BJP and see it as the party that can usher in all-round and inclusive development," he tweeted.
 
Riding on the development plank, Banerjee led the Trinamool to a landslide win, leading in 214 or more than two-thirds of the seats in the 294-member Bengal assembly.
 
The Congress-Left combine, which had hoped to unseat Banerjee, was left gasping. The Congress was poised to win 44 seats while the Left, headed by the CPI-M, just 30 seats, a far cry from the times it had vice-like grip over West Bengal.
 
As Trinamool supporters celebrated wildly, Banerjee said a campaign of slander and lies led to her party's sweeping win. "People do not like such campaigns. There were all sorts of alliances against us. But people have ultimately made their choice.
 
"This is for the first time in 49 years that such a massive mandate has been given to a single party," said Banerjee, whose party hopes to win a whopping 212 seats.
 
Tamil Nadu produced a spectacular result. The AIADMK was set to grab 126 of the 234 seats, leaving the DMK-Congress combine with 102 seats, but far more than what it won in 2011. Almost all other parties were wiped out. 
 
An elated Jayalalithaa said: "There are not enough words in dictionary to adequately express my feelings of gratitude to the people of Tamil Nadu."
 
Most exit polls had predicted that the AIADMK would be unseated.
 
There were noisy celebrations outside Jayalalithaa's residence in Chennai. Holding her portraits, supporters danced to music and burst firecrackers.
 
But Chennai, battered by floods in December, dumped the AIADMK. Its candidates trailed in 12 of the 16 constituencies. Jayalalithaa, however, was set to win from Radhakrishnan Nagar in the city.
 
In a much-awaited victory, the BJP was poised to take power in Assam, with its candidates and allies leading in 85 of the 126 seats. 
 
The stunning performance buried the Congress, which is set to win only 24 seats. The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), which had hoped to play the kingmaker if there was a hung verdict, led in 13 constituencies.
 
A beaming Sarbananda Sonowal, who will be Assam's chief minister, said that sealing the winding India-Bangladesh border to end infiltration would be his government's major challenge.
 
Keeping alive Kerala's tradition of ousting the government in every election, the Congress-led UDF suffered a stunning rout, which its leader and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said he had never expected.
 
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) was leading in 91 of the 140 seats and the UDF in 47. 
 
"This is a vote against the corrupt and those who failed to protect the dignity of women," said CPI-M leader and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan.
 
An independent was also on the winning track.
 
An apparently shattered Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the party will work "harder" to gain the trust of the people. "We will work harder till we win the confidence and trust of the people," he tweeted after the Congress was voted out in Assam and Kerala.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

D S Ranga Rao

1 year ago

The results of the polls indicate that the people in the respective states are left with no choice but to choose either the Tweedledee or the Tweedledum because of the absence of a viable and pragmatic third alternative for which, of course, people do not have time and patience to build up but prefer to content with a few more apparent freebies that may be showered on them now and then. After all, the people get the government they deserve!

India ninth among crony capitalist nations: Economist
London: A spurt in number of billionaires and increasing wealth creation by any means have made India rank ninth among the crony capitalist countries, said a study in "The Economist" latest issue.
 
According to the weekly crony-capitalism index, crony fortunes had leapt relative to global GDP and as a share of total billionaire wealth.
 
"Encouragingly, India seems to be cleaning up its act. In 2008 crony wealth reached 18 percent of its GDP, putting it on a par with Russia. Today it stands at 3 percent of its GDP, a level similar to Australia," the study revealed.
 
The non-crony sector wealth in India accounts for 8.3 percent of its GDP.
 
The index ranked Russia as the worst crony-capitalist country, followed by Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Ukraine, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey above India. Taiwan and China are ranked 10th and 11th after India.
 
The magazine's index of crony capitalists is based on a study by Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Aditi Gandhi and Michael Walton of Delhi's Centre for Policy Research.
 
The index was designed in 2014 to test whether the world was experiencing a new era of arobber barons' - a global re-run of Americas's "gilded age" in the late 19th century.
 
"It may seem that this new golden era of crony capitalism is coming to a shabby end. In London, Vijay Mallya, a ponytailed Indian tycoon, is fighting deportation back to India as the authorities there rake over his collapsed empire," the article said, in light of legal battles the liquor baron is facing back home.
 
Using data on billionaires' fortunes from rankings by the US magazine Forbes, the article labelled each billionaire as a crony or not, based on the industry in which he is most active.
 
"The pin-ups of Indian capitalism are no longer the pampered scions of its business dynasties, but the hungry founders of Flipkart, an e-commerce firm," the study said, referring to its co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal figuring in the Forbes' 2016 billionaires list, ranked jointly at 1,476 position.
 
Among the 22 countries in the updated index, Germany is the cleanest with least number of crony capitalists, ranking at the bottom of the index, while China has the biggest concentration of crony wealth in the world at $360 billion.
 
The study suggested that since globalisation had taken off in the 1990s, there had been a surge in billionaire wealth in industries that often involve cosy relations with the government, such as casinos, oil and construction.
 
Over two decades, crony fortunes had leapt relative to global GDP and as a share of total billionaire wealth.
 
"The economic climate has been tough on cronies, too. Commodity prices have tanked, cutting the value of mines, steel mills and oilfield concessions. Emerging-market currencies and shares have fallen. Asia's long property boom has sputtered," the study added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Ethics panel recommends Mallya expulsion from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi : The Rajya Sabha ethics panel has recommended the expulsion of Vijay Mallya "with immediate effect" from the house after his resignation was rejected by Chairman Hamid Ansari.
 
"Having considered the whole matter, including Mallya's (resignation) letter, the Committee of Ethics unanimously decided at its meeting on May 3, 2016, to recommend to the house that Vijay Mallya be expelled with immediate effect," the panel said in its recommendation to the upper house.
 
The report was tabled in the house on Wednesday by panel chairman Karan Singh.
 
"The committee hopes that by taking such stern action, a message would reach the general public that parliament is committed to take such steps as are necessary against erring members to uphold the dignity and prestige of this great institution."
 
The house will now take a call on the recommendation before adopting or rejecting the committee report.
 
Mallya is accused of defaulting on more than Rs.9,000 crore in loans he had taken from a consortium of banks. He left India on March 2 and is believed to be in the United Kingdom. His passport has been revoked after he failed to appear for three consecutive summons by the Enforcement Directorate.
 
In an apparent attempt to pre-empt his expulsion, Mallya wrote to Chairman Ansari on Tuesday seeking to resign from the house because he did not want his "name and reputation to be further dragged in mud".
 
However, Ansari turned down the resignation on procedural grounds.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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