PB’s twisty take on top news of the day.
1. Jakrata suicide attacks – Time for coordinated strategy!
ISIS has claimed responsibility for a gun and bomb assault in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta earlier in the day that killed 7 people (including 5 attackers).
Just a few days into the New Year 2016 and already we have 3 terror attacks by Islamic Terror groups : 1) Pathankot, India, 2) Turkey and 3) Jakarta, Indonesia.
It is time for greater international co-operation between countries on terrorism. No terrorist is good or bad, and shifting the responsibility, “your problem not mine” is a thing of past. No country is currently safe including countries that harbour terrorists like Pakistan. Restricting their source of funding, boycott of countries supporting terrorism (even to the extent of cutting trade ties) and coordinated attack on ISIS is the only way forward. This menace sadly is only going to increase…
2. AAP throws caution to winds in Punjab – Headache for Congress!
After the historic Delhi win, Arvind Kejriwal is now eyeing Punjab and held his first rally yesterday. The new entrant is perceived as a strong challenger to both the Akalis and the Congress. While AAP makes it’s big push in Punjab, other parties too feel the strong change in the air. Hence, Congress has named their best man Amarinder Singh (who defeated Jaitley in Lok Sabha) as party president in charge of polls.
The new presence will lead to a three way split of votes, but would it help Akali and BJP combine is yet to be seen. There is a rumour that if AAP wins Kejriwal will give Delhi CM’s post to his right hand man Sisodia and move to Punjab as it has full statehood. Full state ka CM hone ka kuch aur hi maza hai. He must have got bored due to constant tiff with LG and center’s constant intervention.
This has been denied by AAP. But there is no smoke without fire. A note of caution for Kejriwal, AAP won seats in LS not because of him as he didn’t even held a single rally but because of local candidates. So pushing local leaders will be beneficial for party else it may have to face loss of popular support because it is increasingly been seen as any other party.
3. Hardik Patel custody extended in Gujarat – Big losses for BJP expected in Gujarat!
A local court in Mehsana sent quota leader Hardik Patel in police custody till January 15 in a case of rioting and assault registered against him. Gujarat goes to polls in 2017 and Congress is sniffing victory due to improved performance in municipal polls. Patels, the traditional voters of BJP helped Congress win rural Gujarat, it is alleged as government didn’t heed to their reservation requests.
Even so, Anandiben is herself a Patel but will she be able to hold on to Patel votes who are 16% of population and have traditionally voted 70% for BJP. This will be the most important question in 2017. Keshubhai Patel had formed a community party in 2012 and led to defeat of BJP candidates in 23 seats. This is much bigger agitation.
4. Are we back to square one with the Pathankot attacks – Same old tricks played by Pakistan!
To give innovative diplomacy a chance, Modi forgot the historical truth about the Indo-Pak peace dialogue. Pakistan has a parallel military govt. which is built on hate India plank because of the various wars they lost to us.
Talks have been deferred as Pakistan has not taken any concrete action in JeM terrorists blamed for Pathankot attack. The NSAs are rumored to have a meeting in Dubai or Paris.
Deferment of talks are a blow to Modi’s birthday diplomacy. We are back to square one and it shows Sharif is not the appropriate person as he doesn’t have the support of military’s and ISI to take on militancy. What is more surprising is that the Pakistan civil society is oblivious to attacks in India. Is Pakistan like a “kutte ki dum”? All the best Modi…
5. Rupee at 2 year low – May even breach 70!
Rupee reached a new low of 67.29. This is the highest in fell in past 2 years when it was at 67.63 in Sep. 2013. Low rupee negates the impact of low crude price which have fallen by c.70%. While it is good for exports, our exporters have not been able to capture the benefit of a falling rupee. Exports are actually going down despite weak rupee. The rate of decline is higher if you take out the rupee impact. So, there is a double impact financially.
An important thing to notice is that it has gone down by 16% since Modi took over. Modi make it a big election issue but is conveniently silent on this steep fall. Good days for NRIs who want to transfer money to India though!
With inputs from Risha Bhattacharya.