Archive for the ‘control’ Category

V. Shanmuganathan: Was he a victim, scapegoat sacrificed for wrong calculations ? (3)

January 30, 2017

V. Shanmuganathan: Was he a victim, scapegoat sacrificed for wrong calculations ? (3)

ami-shah-opposed-by-tur-i-meghalaya

Anti-BJP groups not properly identified, negotiated and satisfied: TUR leader Angela Rngad said while adding, “We want to show that the BJP’s anti people policies will not be tolerated.” Stating that the protest is also to show all that the BJP’s hate campaigns will not be accepted in the state, she alleged that the party, through the Ghar Wapsi and policies of grabbing of farmers’ lands, the make in India campaign are all efforts to enslave every citizens of country. Referring to the ban on beef and atrocities against the minority, Rngad accused the BJP of being a party that actually attacks the rights of people like attacking the lifestyle, food culture and habits and way of dressing. KNU general secretary S Diengdoh said that this indifferent attitude of the BJP against the minorities including Christians is totally undemocratic while adding that it is against the Constitution of India. HNPF president R Rani questioned why these issues have cropped up only after the BJP was voted to power. Here only, that the BJP had not properly understood the groups was revealed, to cite an example based on the media reports. He said, “We suspect that this is being instigated and we demand that the BJP central leadership respects all religious communities.” It is a futile exercise to have any negotiation with these separatist groups, as they have been carrying out their activities since independence supported by the US, Chinese and Pakistani forces with all facilities, where the BJP is not a match for them.

shanmuganathan_message_22-12-2015

Shanmuganathan’s experiments with Christianity, Christians and Christmas (2015-16): His sudden praising of Christianity, Christians, their services were quite amusing, as he hid not have any experience in “inter religious dialogue”. Some of the Tamilnadu ideologists had gone there enjoying time, but, obviously misled them with their half-baked ideas and imagined details. Whenever, he visited Tamilnadu and Chennai, a coterie never allowed other friends known to him to approach him. This was openly revealed during the facilitation programme organized and Chennai. Because of his dual role here and there, he was rather confused with the inputs stuffed by the fellow-ideologists. The Church was so delighted to record that[1], “The Christmas celebration this year has got more meaningful since the head of the state the governor of Meghalaya Mr  V. Shanmuganathan himself attended  in the Christmas service  at Laitumkhrah Presbyterian Church, Shillong on 25th December, 2016”.  Of course, he had been so considerate with the Christians since 2015.  He hosted Christmas at Rajbhawan with all fanfare. He gave discourse from biblical narratives, just like a pastor / priest from the pulpit. One website[2] characteristically as “Meghalaya Governor, V. Shanmuganathan while sharing inspirational stories said that churches have shown compassion and dedication towards the service of mankind”. The Presbyterian Church was so happy, as he participated the services with Bible in his hands[3]. Whether, he was experimenting with the different denominations, or dialoging in theology or otherwise, only God knows, as some of the websites started disappearing[4].

vs-attending-christmas-services-with-bible-on-25-12-2016

Inaugurated and praised Mother Teresa (September 2016): Meghalaya hosted a 4-day film festival titled ‘Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF)’ based on the life and teachings of noble laureate – Mother Teresa from September 6 to 9, 2016 in Shillong[5]. Addressing the inaugural function, the Governor stated that Mother Teresa represents the message of love, peace, enduring strength, hope and service to the world at large[6]. Underlining that understanding the pain of others is no easy a task, the Governor stated that Mother Teresa understood the pain of acute poverty. “She served the destitute, lepers, abandoned children, old people, the poorest of the poor and the downtrodden. Because she understood their pain, she was a solace, a helping hand and a source of comfort to them” he further stated. Showing his admiration for Mother Teresa for identifying herself with her love for the Almighty, he said that in a world where people identify themselves by the power they hold, or the money they possess, what truly marks Mother Teresa’s greatness is her identification of herself with her love of God. Applauding the great works and selfless services of Mother Theresa’s followers he further stated that their work must extend to all places. In August, when there was a photo of Teresa was there in the Spiritual Fair pur up by ASI, a huge cry was made and it was removed. However, they might not be knowing abut this!

vs-hosting-christmas-services-at-rahbhawan-on-25-12-2015

Opposition to ADSPA, Left mobilization and BJP governor in isolation: In a recent Order of the High Court of Meghalaya[7] dated 2.11.2015 passed in Writ Petition (C) No. 127 of 2015, the High Court of Meghalaya has made a suo motu suggestion to the Central Government for the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, in the Garo Hills area of Meghalaya[8]. “It is shocking and deeply disturbing that a draconian law like the AFSPA is being sought to be imposed through a judicial order. There have been protests against this order in the Garo Hills area and in Shillong. What follows is a statement which carries objections to this order endorsed by more than 60 concerned citizens, from various parts of India – some whom are well respected and accomplished individuals in their fields, like law, academia, journalism, films, bureaucracy and activism[9]. As usual in letter supporting the radicals signed by the eminent, elite and secularists appeared in the media. Thus, when Shanmuganathan came, it was not known as to whether he was understanding the problems and issues involved there in and around Meghalaya.

vshanmuganathan-inuaugurating-teresa-film-festival

Tribal youth festivals etc., have been a trap for him?: Of late, he was moving with different tribal groups and participating in their festivals. He participated the Wangala festival. Wangala is the festival of the Achiks (Garos), the post harvest festival where the harvest reaped is celebrated with thanks giving to the Gods ‘Misi Saljong’ and ‘Mima Kiri Rokkime’, the Gods of the fields and the paddy[10]. For the Achiks (Garos) the agrarian activities is not only physical labour but a spiritual journey as well which culminates in joy at the Wangala Festival.  Thus, with joy in their hearts and sprint in their feet, they perform the Wangala Dance which is actually a synchronized movement of symbolic nature which co – ordinates with the drum beats. The Wangala dance is therefore a story of the Garos in rhythm. The word ‘wanna’ refers to dance and merry making and ‘gala’ refers to offering in thanksgiving. Thus, the word ‘Wangala’ means the dance of ‘Thanksgiving’[11]. Thus, he went on attending many tribal festivals[12]. He compared Wangala with Pongal. In any case, he could have restricted his program-attending agenda carefully. At every level, the intriguing point is who was the PA or advisor to him, when he was discharging his official duties. Definitely, that person must have been known to him or RSS person. Then, he must have gone into all details in the context of Meghalaya and NE complexities.

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Was he a victim, scapegoat sacrificed for wrong calculations?: He has been a genuine worker without any selfishness. As already mentioned with his hard-work he has come up. Now, the media comes out with stories that “Shanmuganathan belongs to Saiva Pillamar community (a forward community)” and thus had / have difference with Brahmin-friends and so on[13]. This is mischievous, as RSSwalas never talked in terms of caste, in any context. Thus, the “Shanmuganathan-Ganesan” variance as raised by “The Wire”can be ignored in the context[14]. Then come the remarks of RSS media incharge – Sadagopan. “But the state unit of the RSS has a different take on this issue”, as noted by the Wire, picking from “The Hindu”, at least judging by their initial reaction to Shanmuganathan’s resignation[15]. “It is an unfortunate incident… A person occupying a high position should be doubly careful to avoid such allegations, as he represents an organisation such as the RSS and the BJP,” said N. Sadagopan, the sangh’s state media coordinator, in an interview to The Hindu[16]. His response has been in fact, unfortunate, intriguing, shocking and irresponsible too, as how he could have come out with such words. Instead of analyzing the issue, one should not try to show off himself indulging in such remarks. As explained above, the different complexities, intricacies and complications involved, Shanmuganathan has done excellent work, in spite of his health. He had an open heart surgery and in soite of such condition, he was performing his duties relentlessly. He has lamented many times that though he had many friends in Chennai, none visited him when he was admitted in the hospital for open-heart surgery. In fact, he pained that nonde came to sign the forms for the conduct of the operation. Of course, it went on well. In fact, he Unfortunately, as pointed out elsewhere, the Tamil and Tamilnadu friends have not analyzed the NE complex issues, Meghalya tribal politics, Congress-anti-national nexus acting against him and informed him. Perhaps, they have not been trained to understand, though, they have been making trips to NE under different banners like ABVP, Vidhya Bharati and so on. Therefore, the Sangh Parivar should assess, reassess and re-examine the involved complicated issues and political gameplans and respond accordingly. They should be trained in the NE affairs with national and international agendas, as they have many ramifications. As for as Shanmuganathan is concerned, his good deeds would liberate from his temporary problem. May God shower his blessings!

 

© Vedaprakash

30-01-2017

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[1] http://spnewsagency.com/leit-jingiaseng-christmas-u-lat-ka-jylla-v-shanmuganathan-ha-iing-mane-presbyterian/

[2] http://thenortheasttoday.com/in-pictures-pre-christmas-celebration-held-at-raj-bhavan-in-shillong/

[3] http://spnewsagency.com/meghalaya-governor-mr-v-shanmuganathan-attended-christmas-service-at-presbyterian-church/

[4] http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.Press_Release.Press_Release_2015.V_Shanmuganathan_Governor_Christmas_Message_20151226

[5] http://meghalayatimes.info/index.php/front-page/35466-meghalaya-to-host-international-film-festival-on-mother-teresa

[6] Nelive, Meghalaya: Mother Teresa International film festival gets underway in city, Sep 06, 2016 17:47, Shillong.

[7] Order of the High Court of Meghalaya dated 2.11.2015 passed in Writ Petition (C) No. 127 of 2015.

[8] THMA U RANGLI JUKI (TUR), Implications of Meghalaya high court’s suggestion to impose afspa in garo hills, NOVEMBER 26, 2015

http://raiot.in/implications-of-meghalaya-high-courts-suggestion-to-impose-afspa-in-garo-hills/

[9] http://raiot.in/implications-of-meghalaya-high-courts-suggestion-to-impose-afspa-in-garo-hills/

[10] http://meghalayatimes.info/index.php/front-page/36478-governor-adds-glitz-to-wangala-celebrations

[11] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/honourable-governor-attended-wangala-festival-11th-v-shanmuganathan

[12] http://meghalayatimes.info/index.php/front-page/36468-prelude-to-39th-hundred-drums-wangala-festival-begins

[13] The Wire, BJP Uses ‘Anti-Conversion’ Card to Defend Ex-Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan, BY R. RAMASUBRAMANIAN ON 29/01/2017

[14] https://thewire.in/103851/bjp-uses-anti-conversion-card-to-shield-ex-meghalaya-governor-v-shanmuganathan/

[15] The Hindu, Shanmuganathan’s exit shocks RSS, B. Kolappan, CHENNAI: JANUARY 28, 2017 00:00 IST; UPDATED: JANUARY 28, 2017 03:42 IST

[16] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/Shanmuganathan%E2%80%99s-exit-shocks-RSS/article17106406.ece

V. Shanmuganathan: What went wrong with him and Sangh Parivar – his dialogue with varied groups failed him? (2)

January 30, 2017

V. Shanmuganathan: What went wrong with him and Sangh Parivar – his dialogue with varied groups failed him? (2)

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The complaint letter sent to the President of India: The five-page letter signed by 98 workers / nearly 100 employees of the Governor’s House in Shillong[1] – widely circulated on social media –  on Wednesday (25-01-2017)[2], lists a series of misdemeanours including sexual misconduct and “torture and humiliation” of officers and staff[3]. “From the time he has taken over, employees are going through severe humiliation, mental stress and torture,” the employees write. The 67-year-old was accused of hiring or posting only women in his staff and turning the Raj Bhavan into a place where “young ladies come and go at will with direct orders from the governor.” The letter said[4]: “His activities hurt the decorum and prestige of the Raj Bhavan as well as the sentiments of the Raj Bhavan employees who are very much attached to the Raj Bhavan, it becomes our concern. From the time he has taken over, the employees are going through severe humiliation, mental stress and torture.”  The 11 point-letter stated[5] the Governor has “appointed two public relations officers, a cook and a nurse on night duty, all of whom are women”. The staff alleged that the Governor “selected only girls” to work for him and shifted the male official private secretary to his secretariat[6].

shanmuganathan-megalya-governor-resigned-amit-shah-sealed-his-fateCircumstances forced him to resign on the Republic Day: The Governor has also been accused in recent media reports of sexually harassing a woman who had gone to him for the post of Public Relations Officer. Mr Shanmughanathan was appointed Governor of Meghalaya in 2015 by the central government. He is expected to fly to Delhi 27-01-2017. “Till now there are no statements from any women. Facts should be looked into before commenting,” Nalin Kohli, spokesperson of the ruling BJP, said. Protests by civil society groups erupted on the streets of Shillong yesterday as Republic Day was being celebrated. “The Governor should step down. We want impartial probe into sexual harassment in the governor’s house,” said Tarun Bharatiya, one of the protesters. Three aides of the Meghalaya Raj Bhavan were ssacked on Saturday (28-01-2017), an official said . The three officials — public relation officers Chinmoyee Deka and Emdorini Thangkhiew, and private secretary Saurav Pandey – were appointed during the former governor’s tenure[7]. “They were appointed on contractual basis and their jobs were co-terminus with the governor’s tenure. After his resignation, they were asked to quit,” said HM Sangpliang, the secretary to the governor[8].

v-shanmughanathan-high-land-post-24-01-2017Shanmuganathan has denied the allegations:  As per the media report, the victim alleged that the Governor had a personal interview with her on the night of December 8, 2016 for the post of public relations officer and made “inappropriate advances” after he personally called her to attend the interview[9].  What irked the victim was the alleged ‘unprofessional and unfriendly’ behaviour of the Governor. She was one of the seven candidates selected for the personal interview. When asked if he met the candidates separately or in a group, the Governor admitted that he met some candidates separately as well as in a group[10]. But he denied calling one of the candidates from a personal number and asking her to come after 6pm. “I wanted to meet them (the job aspirants) before finalising the candidates and they all came. Everyone was there for half an hour. I have got great respect for everyone. I have not done anything wrong,” he said.
Shanmuganathan also rebutted the allegations that he made physical overtures or inappropriately complemented the girl. “No it is not right… all these things are not right… we have selected only one person and some people were not selected and because they were not selected they should not say all these things,” the Governor said.
Though the victim has not filed any FIR, when contacted, DGP SB Singh told the media that the matter was referred to the Government and legal opinion is being sought.

vs-encouraging-different-women-grooupsShanmuganathan was encouraging different women groups: Women activists from nine organizations  had sought the State Governor’s intervention to ensure that the KHADC’s Village Administration Bill (VAB) 2015, which is awaiting his assent, is ‘gender-just’ and fulfils the rights of women as guaranteed by the Indian constitution. A delegation of women representatives from the nine organizations met Governor V Shanmuganathan on Tuesday (Jume 24, 2015) and submitted a memorandum seeking his intervention on the issue[11]. “We request the Governor to intervene in this matter so as to ensure that the VAB 2015 does not become a law without ensuring that the Khasi-Jaintia women are considered as full members of the existing institutions of local self government at the village level,” the memorandum said. According to the memorandum, the KHAD (Village Administration) Bill 2015, passed by the KHADC both in its intent and drafting, suffers from a lack of clarity regarding the rights of women. The women groups further said that the VAB must ensure real devolution of power to Ki Khun Ki Hajar or the people at the village level besides a transparent and accountable democratic self-government that is structurally and financially independent. “This is unfortunate because both in the past and in the present day, practices in these traditional institutions have been varied and have evolved over time,” the memorandum said adding  “This means that in some areas women attend the dorbar meetings while in others, they are given representation in the executive body.” The women groups also opposed section 2(18), Section 6 and section 8 of the Bill that denies women their rights as full members of the Dorbar and demand that amendments be made before the Bill becomes a law. The Bill is designed without much thought to the governance issues at the village level. It does not clearly lay out the lines of responsibility, institutional structures or for that matter even systems of accountability,” the memorandum said[12]. It is not known as to BJP or the appointed Governor knew the nuances of the demands that were made on the lines of other groups like TUR or RAIOT.

tur-beef-and-bjpVS’s dialogue with the radical groups failed: Shanmuganathan was having dialogue with different radical, extreme and seperatist groups after resuming office on May 12, 2015. Who advised him to do so was not clear, however, some overenthusiatic Sanghparivar ideologists without any proper understanding of Northeast politics, anti-national activities, seperatist forces operating under different banners etc., had urged him to have dialogue with them. The first visit of BJP national president Amit Shah to Shillong on Wednesday (April 22, 2015) was greeted with a mixed bag of the HNLC sponsored 12-hours bandh and a ‘beef party’ with placards mocking him sprinkled with songs, dance and music organized by Thma U Rangli Juki (TUR) to protest against what it has termed as the BJP’s ‘hate campaign’[13]. TUR organized the beef party which was held about 10 meters away from BJP’s office in Lachumiere on Wednesday[14]. The Hynniewtrep National People’s Front (HNPF) and Khasi National Union (KNU) members were also seen taking part in the TUR’s public forum[15]. Heavy security was deployed in the vicinity and policemen had a harrowing time stopping those who attempted to take a protest march to the State’s Conventional Hall, where Shah addressed party members[16]. TUR and the other NGO members intended to throw a beef party in front of the Convention Hall to protest against the BJP promotion of a ban on beef and its alleged atrocities on minorities and Christians. “We are here to protest the coming of Amit Shah as he ‘symbolizes’ the BJP.” Why BJP alone is targeted by the radical groups is intriguing, when Congress has been accepted there.

© Vedaprakash

30-01-2017

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[1] The Hindusthan Times, Rude’ Meghalaya governor Shanmuganathan resigns amid molestation charges, Updated: Jan 27, 2017 10:51 IST

[2] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/meghalaya-guv-shanmuganathan-facing-sexual-harassment-charges-resigns-reports/story-ovqHxU7CHtdUj4HwO2Vw5J.html

[3] NDTV, Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan Resigns After ‘Young Ladies Club’ Controversy, Updated: January 27, 2017 19:39 IST.

[4] http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/meghalaya-governor-v-shanmuganathan-resigns-after-ladies-club-controversy-1653124

[5] The First post, Molestation case: President Mukhejee accepts Meghalaya governor V. Shanmuganathan’s resignation, FP Staff, Jan, 27 2017 15:57:09 IST.

[6] http://www.firstpost.com/india/president-mukherjee-accepts-meghalaya-governor-v-shanmuganathans-resignation-3223540.html

[7] The Hindusthan Times, After Shanmuganathan’s resignation, 3 Meghalaya Raj Bhawan staff shown the door, Updated: Jan 28, 2017 20:46 IST.

[8] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/after-shanmuganathan-s-resignation-3-meghalaya-raj-bhawan-staff-shown-the-door/story-9BEfZYRM7jBdWliM5bn7QJ.html

[9] The Shillong Times, Guv denies molestation charge; Cops approach govt, BY OUR REPORTER | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2017.

[10] http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2017/01/25/guv-denies-molestation-charge-cops-approach-govt/

[11] The Shillong Times, Demand for a women-friendly VAB gains momentum, BUREAU | WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, 2015.

[12] http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2015/06/24/demand-for-a-women-friendly-vab-gains-momentum/

[13] Meghalaya Times, Amit Shah was invited with beef party, Aprul 12, 2015.

[14] http://www.meghalayatimes.info/index.php/front-page/29602-tur-holds-beef-party-to-greet-amit-shah

[15] Indian Today, Amit Shah welcomed with a beef party in Meghalaya, New Delhi, April 22, 2015 | UPDATED 11:35 IST.

[16] http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/amit-shah-welcomed-with-a-beef-party-in-meghalaya/1/431640.html

V. Shanmuganathan: What went wrong with him and Sangh Parivar? (1)

January 30, 2017

V. Shanmuganathan: What went wrong with him and Sangh Parivar? (1)

anti-vs-campaign-blatantly-evident

Who is Shanmuganathan in Tamil Nadu politics and how did he rise to occupy a gubernatorial post?: The 67-year-old politician, a bachelor, hails from an agricultural family of modest means in Nagore, Nagapattinam district[1]. After graduating with an MA in political science, he became a full time RSS pracharak in 1969.  He rose steadily in the organisation and was the state RSS secretary from 1985 to 1995[2]. It was during his tenure as state secretary that the RSS headquarters in Chennai was razed to the ground on August 8, 1993 in a terrorist bombing that left scores of people killed and injured[3]. Old timers say he vowed on that day to build a new office within a year and came good on his promise. “It was difficult in those days as the BJP was in the opposition in Delhi and fundraising – especially for states like Tamil Nadu – was not at all in the radar of those who were in charge of budgetary allocations” says a senior BJP leader. In 1999, when the BJP-led NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power in Delhi, Shanmuganathan was drafted to the BJP and sent to the capital as additional secretary of the party’s parliamentary office[4]. During his time in the national capital, he struck up a close relationship with Narendra Modi, an RSS export to the BJP who became chief minister of Gujarat in 2001[5]. According to BJP leaders, Modi appreciated the fact that Shanmuganathan used to write positively about the state of affairs in Gujarat, especially after the 2002 riots, openly praise Modi’s ‘achievements’. In May 2015, Modi appointed him governor of Meghalaya.

on-26-january-cswo-and-thma-u-rangli-tur-held-a-demonstration-outside-the-shillong-raj-bhavan-photo-courtesy-angela-rangad-thma-u-rangliEnjoying life Rajbhawan staff blaming the Governor joining hands with the protesters: Shanmuganathan’s name first came in to the limelight when former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam died in Shillong on July 27, 2015 while addressing students at a university. Shanmuganathan claimed he was with him as governor of the state but later it emerged Shanmuganathan was nowhere on the scene when Kalam collapsed and was taken to hospital. “In reality, he was sleeping in his bedroom and [it was] only after the call from the Prime Minister [that he ran] to Bethany Hospital, Shillong, although, he was advised to visit Kalam” earlier, the Economic Times quoted one of his staff members as saying[6].  Actually, the Rajbhawan staff reportedly alleged that he was in the habit of telling lies, in the context of the present controversy[7]. All these prove that the staff, protesters and complainants were expecting an opportunity to hit him below the belt. Here, the media (Economic Times to The Wire) purposely carried the non-issue matter clubbing with the current issue, sensationalizing. “The Quint” had gone to the extreme of dubbing, “RSS Pracharak to Alleged ‘Playboy’: The Fall of Meghalaya Governor” it its caption[8]. Thus, the media attack-campaign can also be noted, that too, at a cheap level.

activists-holding-protests-in-shillong-demanding-resignation-of-v-shanmuganthan-photo-andrew-lyndem-facebookThe background of V. Shanmauganathan and his Governorship: Facing sexual harassment charges, Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan,  former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ‘pracharak’, who was also in-charge of Arunachal Pradesh, on Thursday night (26-01-2017) resigned after a section of Raj Bhavan employees demanded his removal for “seriously compromising” the dignity of the gubernatorial office. Definitely, this news was suppressed by the groups of all ideologists for obvious reasons, as he has not been of that nature to be involved in controversies. Hailing from Thanjavur, he has been a post-graduate and an M.Phil in Political Science, and received the Madras University’s prestigious Gold Medal from its well-known Vice Chancellor T P Meenakshi Sundarnar.  Started working for RSS, he has been a good friend of lakhs and could remember them by name. He has been soft-spoken and friendly with all. He shifted to Delhi working for the Sangh-parivar organizations and then inducted into BJP “Think-tank”. Because of his hard work, political acumen and strategic ideas, he played a crucial role for BJP and elevated to Governorship in 2015. As BJP was planning to negotiate with the anti-national, seperatist and other groups of North-East, it wanted to maken them to mainstream with the factors of culture, tradition, heritage and civilization. The European, American and Chinese experts, researchers and propagandists have been brainwashed them as “non-Indians”, they had separate identity different from India and so on through literature, propagandist materials and physical ideological harassments. He had to face them under very hostile, demure and confronting conditions with suspicion working in all speeches, actions and interactions.

gov-in-out-meghalaya-controversyCongress versus BJP in Meghalaya: To some extent, the anti-RSS, anti-BJP and such categories also knew why he was posted there. Dr Mukul Sangma of Congress has been CM since April 2010 and the Congress was not happy with his appointment as Governor. Actually, there was proposal that Purno Agitok Sangma might be appointed as Governor, but, he was not done and unfortunately he died on March 4, 2016. Mukul Sangma in May 2014 itself accused NPP candidate and former chief minister P A Sangma of being “an agent of BJP” and contesting Lok Sabha elections to “propagate the message of RSS” adding that[9], “He (P A Sangma) is contesting the elections on an NPP ticket to propagate the message of RSS. Perhaps, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” As Sangma was with Congress and moved towards BJP when he contested against Pranab Mukherjee, the daggers were drawn already. His strong worded outburst proved that he knew the BJP gameplan targeted against him[10]. In May 2016, Conrad Sangma, son of PA Sangma won the by-elections at the Tura Lok Sabha Constituency defeating Dikkanchi D Shira, wife of Mukul Sangma, the CM[11].  The BJP supported and campaigned for Conrad widening his influence[12]. This infuriated the husband CM, as father was dead, but his son to become a political competitor. It may be noted that in May 2016 only, the plan to target Shanmuganathan was hatched through the recruitment involving women.

full-text-pof-the-100-signed-complaint-letter-addressed-to-pm-headlineMolestation charges against V. Shanmughanathan: As Keshari Nath Tripathi was shifted to West Bengal as Governor, he became Governor in May 2015. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said earlier in the day said that he was waiting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Home Ministry to take a call. Obviously, he did not want to add more heat to the boiling controversy. Nearly 100 Raj Bhavan staff here petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee, the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking their intervention to remove the Governor and restore the “dignity of Raj Bhavan”. Thus, the media has already decided. They alleged that[13] Mr. Shanmuganathan had “seriously compromised the dignity of the Raj Bhavan and made it a ‘young ladies club’. “It has become a place where young ladies come and go at will on direct orders of the Governor… Many of them have direct access to his bedroom.” Thus, media pointing to the “bed room”, though, the woman accused him of only alleged “molestation”. Mr. Shanmuganathan, who took over as the Governor of Meghalaya in May 2015, on Thursday attended a Republic Day celebration in Arunachal Pradesh, whose additional charge he holds since November 2015 last following the removal of Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa.

violence-against-women-bogey-vs-by-turCSWO, TUR and RAIOT – the radical, separatist and anti-national forces acting against him:  He was moving with various organizations and groups in his official capacity as Governor of two important NE states, but, he was definitely not briefed properly about their backgrounds. He was encouraging all to come to him and discuss with him all sorts of issues. The Thma u Rangli Juki also known as TUR has been spearheading some sort of “self-determination” struggle through various issues like wages, human rights, imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, beef and so on. Women activists had begun a signature campaign here seeking Shanmuganathan’s removal[14]. The campaign, spearheaded by women-led Civil Society Women Organisation (CSWO) and Thma u Rangli Kuki (TUR), was launched following reports of inappropriate behaviour by the Governor Shamuganathan[15]. A woman job aspirant had also accused the Governor of making advances when she was appeared for an interview at the Raj Bhavan[16]. Thus, the dialoguers have turned against him with daggers. It is a crude joke that the Sangh-parivar did not know anything about this or the newly elected MP also did not care for him.

© Vedaprakash

30-01-2017

raiot-tur-opposing-adhar


 

[1] The Hindu, Shanmuganathan’s exit shocks RSS, B. Kolappan, CHENNAI: JANUARY 28, 2017 00:00 IST; UPDATED: JANUARY 28, 2017 03:42 IST

[2] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/Shanmuganathan%E2%80%99s-exit-shocks-RSS/article17106406.ece

[3] The Times of India, Eleven persons convicted in 1993 RSS office bomb blast case, PTI | Jun 21, 2007, 10.01 PM IST.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Eleven-persons-convicted-in-1993-RSS-office-bomb-blast-case/articleshow/2139842.cms

[4] The Wire, BJP Uses ‘Anti-Conversion’ Card to Defend Ex-Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan, BY R. RAMASUBRAMANIAN ON 29/01/2017

[5] https://thewire.in/103851/bjp-uses-anti-conversion-card-to-shield-ex-meghalaya-governor-v-shanmuganathan/

[6] The Times of India, Protest in Meghalaya seeking removal of Governor V. Shanmuganathan, Bikash Singh, ET Bureau, Updated: January 26, 2017, 07.12 PM IST.

[7] http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/protest-in-meghalaya-seeking-removal-of-governor-v-shanmuganathan/articleshow/56797398.cms

[8]  The Quint, RSS Pracharak to Alleged ‘Playboy’: The Fall of Meghalaya Governor, Patricia Mukhim, January 27, 2017, 3:28 pm.

[9] First Post, Meghalaya CM calls former speaker PA Sangma a BJP agent, Mar, 26 2014 09:56:13 IST.

[10] http://www.firstpost.com/politics/meghalaya-cm-calls-former-speaker-pa-sangma-a-bjp-agent-1451039.html

[11] First Post, Tura MP Conrad has father PA Sangma’s legacy to uphold, many hopes to fulfill, May, 20 2016 21:54:16 IST

[12] http://www.firstpost.com/politics/tura-mp-conrad-has-father-pa-sangmas-legacy-to-uphold-many-hopes-to-fulfill-2791550.html

[13] The Hindu, Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan resigns, SHILLONG JANUARY 26, 2017 22:56 IST; UPDATED: JANUARY 27, 2017 16:17 IST

[14] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Meghalaya-Governor-V.-Shanmuganathan-resigns/article17098326.ece

[15] The Hindusthan Times, Meghalaya governor has turned Raj Bhawan into ‘ladies club’: Letter to PM, Updated: Jan 26, 2017 21:39 IST.

[16] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/meghalaya-governor-has-turned-raj-bhawan-into-ladies-club-sack-him-letter-to-pm/story-aGvsqCIuPkZrn9zZtD9myL.html

How BJP has gone in the Congress way to bend the law citing Shah Bano and taking ordinance route to Jallikkattu!

January 21, 2017

How BJP has gone in the Congress way to bend the law citing Shah Bano and taking ordinance route to Jallikkattu!

anti-modi-caricature

Environment, Animal Husbandry department of Agriculture Ministry, Law and finally Home – ministries engaded to clear the Ordinance (19 / 20-01-2016): The sport, which goes back to the Tamil classical period, was banned following a Supreme Court order in May 2014, but spontaneous protests in Chennai have thrust the issue into limelight and sent Tamil Nadu CM O. Pannerselvam rushing to Delhi to seek an ordinance to overturn the ban[1]. In December, 2016 the court had reserved its judgment on a clutch of petitions that challenged the central government’s notification in January 2016 allowing bulls to be used in JallikattuAs an interim order, a bench led by Justice Misra had on January 13, 2016, stayed the Centre’s notification, due to which the apex court’s original order of 2014 banning Jallikattu is still in force. [2]. How all these processes took place, why the involved kept quite, delayed or played safe and all are debated again and again. Later in the evening of 20-01-2017, the Centre cleared the final legal hurdles in holding Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu over the weekend by approving the state’s draft Ordinance. The draft Ordinance, which will add a state-specific exception in the 1960 Act, passed through four ministries during the day — Environment, Animal Husbandry department of Agriculture Ministry, Law and finally Home — receiving consent from each within hours. Again, it proved the hasty, urgency and injudicious act to settle the issue. In its comments on the draft, the Environment Ministry, which administers the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, is learnt to have taken the view that Jallikattu had to be viewed in its cultural context, and that a decision on banning the sport could not be purely legal in nature. The last nod had to be given by the Ministry of Home.

ops-modi-jallikattuNow, it is clear that the issue is political: The final clearance of the Ordinance by the Home Ministry came just a day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to find a legal solution to the issue. Panneerselvam postponed his return to Chennai on Thursday (19-01-2017) and stayed put in the capital till Friday (20-01-2017) morning as his government prepared the draft Ordinance and handed it to the Centre. Top Tamil Nadu officials made the rounds of different ministries to hold consultations and decide the final language of the Ordinance that will put bulls on the list of performing animals in the state. A group of MPs from the state, led by Lok Sabha deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, also met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave to press for the Ordinance. Whether the AIADMK was playing its internal politics or otherwise, the gameplan involved was exposed. With the Centre drawing flak, BJP sought to project that its government was actively engaged in resolving the issue[3].

anti-modi-slohaneering-in-jallikattu-demo-modi-funeral-mock

The anti-Modi placards, sloganeering etc., are inexplicable: It is evident that sizable crowd of the “Jallikkattu” protesters were not students, but members of the radical groups like ma.ka.i.ka and its associated organizations. All the fringe Communist  clusters also joined. The Muslim presence could be noted. Thus, the anti-Modi placards, sloganeering and shoutings appeared intriguing in the context. That too, several placards carried very vulgar, indecent and unparliamentary words and expressions. Why, how and for what purposes, they used, only, they have to explain. But, definitely, such aberration marred their cultural claims made on the civilization, heritage and tradition in the name of Tamil, Tamils and Tamilnadu. The separatist sloganeering also exposed the involvement of fringe elements. Asian Age reported that[4], “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rejection of the state’s demand for a Central ordinance on jallikattu has triggered widespread anger in Tamil Nadu”. Residents geared up for massive protests on Friday (20-01-2017), with all sections of people joining students and youth fighting to save its traditional sport and preserve Tamil culture. Furious jallikattu protesters widened the canvass of the protests to include all issues in which the state’s rights were trampled. One of the students, Senthilnathan, who had gathered at the Marina asked, “If Narendra Modi is so concerned about respecting the Supreme Court, why had he opposed the apex court’s verdict to form the Cauvery Management Board?”.

anti-modi-slohaneering-in-jallikattu-demo-at-marina-whyAnti-national slogans were also raised: Protesting Tamil youth vowed to return the Aadhaar cards as a sign of declaration that they are no more the citizens of India. The protesters also targeted the railways blocking the trains in several parts of the state. Traders associations announced a total shutdown on Friday and cinema theatres would remain closed to express support the agitations. The Marina continued to be the epicentre of agitations for Tamil pride with the gathering of youth reaching about 90,000 for a stretch of about three kilometre on Thursday (19-01-2017) evening. The sound of waves were drowned by slogan shouting and drum beating youth, who supported jallikattu and demanded a ban on Peta, which was instrumental for jallikattu ban. There were hundreds of protests throughout the city, besides the agitations in every district and taluk of Tamil Nadu. The southern districts continued to vibrate with jallikattu protests centred around the historic city of Madurai. Besides boys and girls, children and working and housewives too joined the agitations throughout Tamil Nadu, voicing their anger against the unjust treatment to Tamil Nadu on a range of issues from the massacre of Sri Lankan Tamils to the non-formation of Cauvery Management Board[5].

anti-modi-demo-2017Chennai had two faces in the “Jallikkatu” shows and bandhs: On 20-01-2017, the worst sufferers had been the office goers, regular teavellers and some students who attend private professional institutions. Autos and call taxis kept off the roads even as few government buses plied on the roads with improper announcement[6]. That the Banking operations took a hit with workers taking part in protests and Employees of various IT companies held placards and banners with slogans against NGO People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) etc., appeared artificial, perhaps, they  too wanted publicity or showed them to be supporting for the cause with the vested interests. The “Jallikkattu” protesters purposely occupied the most-crowded junctions, bus-stands and such other places, just to get the attention of others. This only created nuisance at morning and evening hours. Many inter and intra-state trains were fully and partially cancelled while some others were diverted. The suburban EMU services ran late. In Chennai, all roads led to Marina beach with men and women, clad in black, besides children joining the protest that has transcended political and other differences. Though, the schools and colleges did not function, as leave was given to them, the office goers and regular travellers of buses and trains suffered heavily and the autos fleeced them as usual taking the opportunity.

© Vedaprakash

21-01-2017

anti-modi-slohaneering-in-jallikattu-demo-why

[1] The Times of India, Centre gives nod to Tamil Nadu’s jallikattu ordinance, TNN | Updated: Jan 21, 2017, 03.24 AM IST.

[2] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/centre-gives-nod-to-tamil-nadus-jallikattu-ordinance/articleshow/56696136.cms

[3] DNA- Daily News and Analysis, Under-pressure Centre steps in to resolve Jallikattu row, passes ordinance, Sat, 21 Jan 2017-12:58am , Chennai , PTI

[4] Asian Age, Jallikattu stir bristles with anti-Modi anger, THE ASIAN AGE. | N RAVIKUMAR, Published : Jan 20, 2017, 1:00 am IST; Updated : Jan 20, 2017, 1:36 am IST

[5] http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/200117/jallikattu-stir-bristles-with-anti-modi-anger.html

[6] http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-under-pressure-centre-steps-in-to-resolve-jallikattu-row-passes-the-ordinance-2294582

Shah Bano and Jallikkattu: How BJP has gone in the Congress way to bend the law!

January 21, 2017

Shah Bano and Jallikkattu: How BJP has gone in the Congress way to bend the law!

shah-banu-venkaiya-naidu-jallikattu-act-amendment

Venkaiah Naidu citing “Shah Bano” case precedence (10-01-2017)[1]: Venkaiah Naidu hinted that in the view of strong emotional connect of the people of Tamil Nadu with jallikattu, the Centre was mulling over a way out after the Supreme Court banned it.  He claimed that Centre is mulling the idea of amending the law to nullify Supreme Court order on Jallikattu.  “We are getting suggestions (to amend the law). After all, we did it in the Shah Bano case,” said Naidu adding[2], “But, we will have to see. We will have to discuss. We will have to weigh what court thinks.” However, Naidu was non-committal about bringing an ordinance to deal with the Supreme Court order on Jallikattu, saying[3], “I am not dealing with the subject in the government.” Speaking at the India Today Conclave South in Chennai, Venkaiah Naidu said[4], “Personally, I feel that Jallikattu is a traditional art. It is a traditional sport in Tamil Nadu. Nobody should have problem with this.” But, Naidu also added, “I don’t know whether I should be saying this as a minister.” So just like Rajiv Gandhi, the BJP has also decided to politicize the issue, by bending the law by creating another bad precedence of law. In fact, the so-called “India Today” conclave had given much focus to the “Jallikkattu” issue, calling opinion from others. Now, let us note, what the “Shah Bano” case brought out in Indian judicial, political and religious arena.

shah-banu-venkaiya-naidu-jallikattu-act-amendment-modiThe brief of Sha Bano case[5]: Though, the details of the “Shah Bano case” are known, they are briefed here as follows[6]:

  • Shah Bano, who was 62 years old in 1978, was divorced by her husband using the triple talaq law.
  • Bano, who was left with five children, approached the court to seek justice.
  • The Madhya Pradesh High Court had instructed Bano’s husband Mohammed Ahmed Khan to provide Rs 179 per month as maintenance.
  • The case reached Supreme Court, with the bench announcing a verdict in 1985, instructing that Shah Bano should be provided all the benefits which divorced women from other religious communities are entitled to.
  • The observations of court drew sharp reaction from conservative Muslims, who called it a violation of their religious affairs.
  • Fearing ire from the Muslim community, Congress government at Centre led by Rajiv Gandhi amended the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. The amended legislation nullified the Supreme Court’s order.

At that time, a lot of criticism was made against Rajiv Gandhi and Congress for yielding to the Islamic fundamental forces by reversing the Supre Court judgment.

jaggi-ravishankar-modi-jallikattuJallikkatu issue goes in the Sha Bano route: The political solution to this public demand in case of Jallikattu is to pass an ordinance, overturning and reversing the Supreme Court ban, is well understood, but, bad in the law. The job of the apex court is to simply interpret statutes and constitution provisions. The Apex Court enters the arena of traditions, religious practices or even cricket administration, only when such issues come to the court. In the Shah Bano case, the apex court’s verdict was overturned by Parliament (which had the brute majority of the ruling party). The utopia that the voice of “the people” is supreme too works with the ruling politicians. Unfortunately, there is a thin dividing line between robust democracy and mobocracy, or mere capitulation by politicians to mass hysteria and this is what happened in the Jallikkttu case. Who has whipped up mass hysteria to generate short-term political advantage, is yet to be known clearly, though, the sudden surge has been claimed as “spontaneous and apolitical”. It is, therefore, worth recalling incidents when the brute power of elected governments was thwarted by sound legal principles, and even the power of ordinance was blunted by the apex court. Whether the “emotional blackmail”, “ideological extortion”, “cultural counter threat”, definitely, it has shown a bad way for such incited, provoked and encouraged groups again bargain, so that the judiciary becomes a mockery of democracy.

anti-modi-demo-2017-vaikoPoliticians are interested in safeguarding their interests[7]: Of course, the most celebrated case is the Keshavanand Bharti case, fought so successfully by Nani Palkhiwala, which has ever since protected the basic structure of the Constitution of India. It cannot be amended by the legislature. A more recent example is from May 2002, when the Supreme Court decreed that all candidates who stand for elections must declare, via sworn affidavits, their criminal antecedents (if any), their wealth (ill begotten or not), and their education status. This was based on the voters’ right to know before they cast their vote. The Union Cabinet in its wisdom sought to nullify this verdict through a hastily drawn up ordinance in June 2002, as the entire political establishment did not want to disclose any information, or details of their candidates. But citizen activists across the nation got together and asked the then President Abdul Kalam to refuse to sign that ordinance. He had to sign since the Cabinet refused to budge, or dilute its ordinance. Hence, this ordinance (even before it could be presented to Parliament) was challenged in the Supreme Court as being un-constitutional. Denying information to voters was akin to denying freedom of expression (as casting a vote is like expressing yourself). Remember the Right to Information was passed in 2005, three years later. In March 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that the said ordinance seeking to gag information about candidates was unconstitutional and hence null and void. Hence the ordinance was defeated. As for Jallikattu, it’s a wholly different animal and the polticians may bend the law again[8].

jallikattu-cruelty-involvedRequesting Supreme Court to delay the judgment and passing the Ordinance (20-01-2017)[9]: Hours after the Central government requested the Supreme Court to delay its judgment on the legality of Jallikattu, citing “huge unrest” in Tamil Nadu, it approved a draft Ordinance by the state government to make an exception for bulls in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Earlier, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra that there were “immense problems” in Tamil Nadu due to the interim ban on Jallikattu and that the circumstances warranted delaying the judgment at least by a week. “If this court pronounces the judgment in one way or another, it (judgment) would inflame passions…there is already social unrest in the state. The Centre and the state are in talks to find a way out in the matter and our request is that the court should not deliver the judgment and hold back for a while,” submitted the AG. At this, Justice Misra asked Rohatgi how many days he wanted the judgment to be delayed. “At least for a week,” replied AG. To this, the judge responded[10]: “Okay.”

© Vedaprakash

21-01-2017

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[1] India Today, Law was amended after Shah Bano case, can do it for jallikattu too: Venkaiah Naidu at India Today Conclave, IndiaToday.in | Posted by Ruchi Dua,New Delhi, January 10, 2017 | UPDATED 18:16 IST.

[2] http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/india-today-conclave-south-venkaiah-naidu-jallikattu/1/853680.html

[3] The Hindu, Centre exploring options on jallikattu, says Venkaiah, CHENNAI JANUARY 11, 2017 01:47 IST;  UPDATED: JANUARY 11, 2017 07:47 IST.

[4] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Centre-exploring-options-on-jallikattu-says-Venkaiah/article17020612.ece

[5] India.com, Like Shah Bano case, Centre may nullify Supreme Court order on Jallikattu: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, By Mohammed Uzair Shaikh | Updated: January 10, 2017 1:36 PM IST; Published Date: January 10, 2017 1:28 PM IST | Updated Date: January 10, 2017 1:36 PM IST

[6] http://www.india.com/news/india/like-shah-bano-case-centre-may-nullify-supreme-court-order-on-jallikattu-union-minister-venkaiah-naidu-1750572/

[7] Pune Mirror, WHEN SC TURNED DOWN AN ORDINANCE, By Ajit Ranade, Pune Mirror | Jan 21, 2017, 02.30 AM IST

[8] http://punemirror.indiatimes.com/columns/columnists/ajit-ranade/when-sc-turned-down-an-ordinance/articleshow/56693786.cms

[9] Indian Express, Centre clears TN draft for Ordinance to allow Jallikattu, Written by Utkarsh Anand , Manoj CG | New Delhi | Updated: January 21, 2017 4:29 am

[10] http://indianexpress.com/article/india/jallikattu-ban-centre-asks-sc-to-delay-order-4484017/

GST – upadate: the dual control percentages decided, draft laws to be approved and classification codified on the next meeting to be held on February.18, 2017!

January 17, 2017

GST – update: the dual control percentages decided, draft laws to be approved and classification codified on the next meeting to be held on February.18,  2017!

gst-16-01-2017-pti-graphics-the-telegraph

More than Rs.1.5 crores divided into 90% and 10% and the 10% into 50-50 between States and Centre: The Centre and the states managed to hammer out a broad consensus over the contentious issue of division of administrative control over tax assessees at the ninth meeting of GST Council Monday (16-01-2017) though it will be at the cost of a three-month delay in the rollout of the proposed indirect tax regime[1]. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said 90 per cent of tax assessees below the annual turnover threshold of Rs 1.5 crore will be under the control of states and the remaining 10 per cent will be under the Centre’s jurisdiction[2]. For a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore and higher, there will be equal division of assessees between the states and the Centre[3]. Calling it a significant headway, Jaitley said[4], “The states would do 50 per cent of assessees above Rs 1.5 crore turnover and 90 per cent of less than Rs 1.5 crore turnover. The Centre would get to assess 50 per cent of above Rs 1.5 crore turnover and 10 per cent of less than Rs 1.5 crore turnover.” 90% of all assessees with a turnover of Rs. 1,5 crore or less will be sesses for scrutiny and audit by the state authorities, for the remaining 10% by the centre[5]. However, if there is a dispute between states over the place of supply, the Centre will have the power to administer those assessees. In all situations, the Centre will retain the power to collect this tax[6].

gst-4West Bengal and Kerala opposing, and Tamilnadu supporting the ratio: Some ministers, including West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, are learnt to have objected to the 90:10 ratio of division between the states and the Centre, instead seeking exclusive control over all tax assessees below the annual turnover threshold of Rs 1.5 crore[7].  It had argued that states did not have experience in dealing with service tax and states led by Bengal saw it as intrusion into their domain[8]. Mitra later told reporters this agreement pertained to services only. Mitra said 13 pending issues were raised by him — such as the definition of agriculture and definition of deemed exports — were being referred to the law ministry, which will revert by the first week of February, 2017. Left with little choice after holding out for nearly three hours, West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra submitted a dissent note. The agreement hammered out was based on a proposal by Tamilnadu[9]. “As far as the dual control is concerned, the Centre has come, finally, very close to the position that the empowered committee had taken, where under Rs 1.5 crore, all goods, all deemed goods, and the decision taken on which I had to put a dissent, that 90 per cent of all goods and services will be with the states. Only 10 per cent of services are with the Centre, on which I had to dissent because I wanted 100 per cent. So we have come very close to 100 per cent but unless it is 100 per cent, I was constrained to dissent, because I wanted that extra 10 per cent,” Mitra told reporters after the meeting[10]. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, who left the Council meeting early, said that there was no decision and an agreement was being worked upon. “The discussions are still going on. There is no agreement as to how the taxes will be administered… territorial waters, taxation powers will be delegated to the states… some compromise will be worked out. Below Rs 1.5 crore could be under the administrative control of states. Centre would have certain limited amount of audit functions that could be one possible compromise. Discussions are going on,” he told reporters. On the dissent by Mitra, Jaitley said it was confined to the extent of the 90:10 division between states and the Centre, and on other issues, he was in agreement with all other GST Council members[11]. Amit Mitra termed 90 per cent of the assessees being with states as a victory to protect small traders[12]. As per the agreement reached earlier, businesses earning upto `20 lakh in a year will be exempt from GST.  For the North-eastern states this limit will be Rs 10 lakh[13].

nautical-taxNautical Taxes – GST on the economic activities at the coasts and on the seas: The Council also resolved a logjam over the right to tax economic activities within 12 nautical miles from India’s coasts. The Centre also gave the right to tax economic activities within 12 nautical miles to coastal states, even as it will be the territory of the Union. At present, these states have the right to tax these activities[14]. The government is constitutionally mandated as per the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016, passed by Parliament last year, to roll out the indirect tax regime by September 16 this year, 2017. On the issue of taxation powers in offshore areas, which was raised by states in the previous GST Council meeting, Jaitley said states will have taxation powers up to 12 nautical miles in offshore areas. Since the GST will miss the April 1 deadline, the indirect tax receipts estimates in the upcoming Budget for 2017-18 will include a combination of excise and service tax for three months and GST for the next nine months, a senior government official said.

gst-16-01-2017-business-standard-graphicsDefinition of “territory” has to be decided specifically: The definition of ‘territory’ in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Model Law proposes to push the “physical boundaries” of India that could create aberrations for transactions on the high seas, according to a leading trade group. The territory of ‘India,’ for the purpose of the levy and collection of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) proposed to be collected by the Centre on all inter-State supplies of goods and services and to be roughly equal to Central GST plus State GST, is proposed to be 200 nautical miles, FIEO Director General and CEO Ajay Sahai told the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers. This compares with the 12 nautical miles plus specified structures up to 200 nautical miles as specified in the Customs Act. The difference can create aberrations, Sahai told the meeting chaired by West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra. For example, sales on the high seas between 12 and 200 nautical miles could get taxed twice to the IGST— once as a supply and later at the time of import, Mr. Sahai said. The model law also lacks clarity on the taxation of supplies terminating and originating in territorial waters and in the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone beyond 12 nautical miles, according to FIEO.

gst-16-01-2017-the-hindu-graphicsThe draft laws are to be approved on February 18, 2017: The changes would be incorporated in the draft legislations relating to Integrated GST (IGST), state GST (SGST) and Central GST (CGST), following which they would be shared with the Council at its next meeting on February 18, 2017. Citing that the whole process will take time till March, Jaitley said that July 1 will be a “more realistic date” to roll out GST. “…once they are free from making the drafts, the officials who are lending technical support will start working out the fitment of rates in various slabs. This exercise will, in all probability, take us into the month of March. The ministers and Council then assessed the realistic date by when the three important things pending — final draft legislation and rules, secondly, approval of these by the legislative bodies and fitment of rates can take place. I requested the ministers to give their opinion about the realistic dates and there was a broad view that July 1 appears to be more realistic,” Jaitley said. He said since it is a transactional tax, it can be introduced any time. The Council members felt that industry and trade should be given some adequate notice and once the rates are decided, the systems of GSTN will have to be modified suitably, he said.

gstDiscussion about “classification,” penalty etc: Also, the penal arrest provisions, which were part of the draft law, have been diluted. Officials said default in payment of taxes amounting up to Rs 2 crore will be a bailable offence. The arrest powers will be invoked only in cases of criminal offences like forgery and tax not deposited in government coffers. Tax experts said that the consensus on cross empowerment and a delayed rollout date has ended uncertainty and will give enough preparation time to the industry. “Resolution of contentious issues such as dual control in today’s meeting signifies the most decisive step that we have seen on the GST front in the past three months. The announcement that GST rollout would be from July 1 instead of April 1 is welcome as it ends the anxiety of the industry to have a firm rollout date in place,” M S Mani, Senior Director, Indirect Tax, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP said. Harishanker Subramaniam, National Leader — Indirect Tax, EY India, said, “It’s indeed a very positive development and takes the GST journey forward. What remains now are the rates for various goods and services which I am sure will be decided in March 2017.” A bureaucrats’ panel is working on “classification”— a comprehensive, if not exhaustive, list specifying the tax rate that each good and service will attract[15]. “The officials will start working out on the fitment of the rates on the various slabs,” Jaitley said[16]. “This exercise will take us well into the month of March. The broad view was that July 1 appears to be more realistic (date for rolling out GST). Since it is a transactional tax, it can be introduced at any time of the year,” he said. GST is expected to transform India into a single market, boost revenues through better compliance and a simpler procedure[17]. The power to levy and collect Integrated-GST, a tax on inter-state movement of goods and services, will lie with the Centre but by special provisions in law, states will also be cross-empowered[18].

© Vedaprakash

17-01-2017

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[1] Indian Express, Headway on dual control, GST likely in July: Arun Jaitley, Written by Aanchal Magazine | New Delhi | Updated: January 17, 2017 4:25 am

[2] http://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/headway-on-dual-control-gst-likely-in-july-arun-jaitley-4477739/

[3] The Hindu, GST stalemate resolved, rollout deferred to July 1, NEW DELHI: JANUARY 17, 2017 00:00 IST; UPDATED: JANUARY 17, 2017 04:20 IST.

[4] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/GST-stalemate-resolved-rollout-deferred-to-July-1/article17047888.ece

[5] Economics Times, GST: Centre, States reach consensus dual control, roll out likely from July 1, 2017, ET Bureau, Updated: January 16, 2017, 11.54 IST

[6] Business Standard, GST set for July 1 roll-out, dual control hurdle over, Dilasha Seth & Indivjal Dhasmana, New Delhi January 17, 2017 Last Updated at 01:47 IST.

[7] India Today, Arun Jaitley breaks 3-month-long deadlock, GST rollout on July 1, Mail Today Bureau | Posted by Sonalee Borgohain; New Delhi, January 17, 2017 | UPDATED 07:04 IST

[8] http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/arun-jaitley-finance-minister-gst-deadlock-taxpayers/1/859095.html

[9]http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/april-1-deadline-for-gst-ruled-out-4-options-now-for-arun-jaitley-in-budget-2017/articleshow/56598850.cms

[10] The Times of India, West Bengal cornered as Centre, states clinch GST deal, TNN | Updated: Jan 17, 2017, 06.23 AM IST

[11] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/wb-cornered-as-centre-states-clinch-gst-deal/articleshow/56608333.cms

[12] Deecan Chronicle, GST to roll out on July 1, says Arun Jaitley, Published Jan 17, 2017, 12:50 am IST; Updated Jan 17, 2017, 6:35 am IST.

[13] http://www.deccanchronicle.com/business/in-other-news/170117/gst-council-to-meet-on-february-18.html

[14] http://www.business-standard.com/article/specials/centre-states-break-impasse-over-gst-rollout-likely-from-july-1-117011601080_1.html

[15] The Telegraph, GST eyes July date as impasse ends, Tuesday , January 17 , 2017

[16] https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170117/jsp/business/story_130788.jsp – .WH2AYtJ95dg

[17] livemint.com, Stage set for GST rollout on 1 JulyRemya Nair, Last Modified: Tue, Jan 17 2017. 02 31 AM IST.

[18] http://www.livemint.com/Politics/7KHC3cniR8mjzof3fcydSK/GST-rollout-deferred-to-1-July-Arun-Jaitley.html