ne man, one vote in Indian forest
Darshandas says it will be easy to find out who he votes for. Pics: Soutik Biswas
India has 828,804 polling stations in the current general election, but one of them is unique. It has just one voter. The BBC’s Soutik Biswas travels into the forest to meet him.
In a desolate, seemingly endless, lion-infested forest in India, a single man waits to exercise his fundamental right.
On 30 April, five polling officials accompanied by two policemen will travel into the wild to pick up the ballot of Guru Bharatdas Darshandas, who looks after a temple in the Gir forest in the western state of Gujarat.
Mr Darshandas is the only voter at the polling station of Banej in Gir, the last abode of the Asiatic lion.
Barely a few hundred metres from the Shiva temple where Mr Darshandas lives and work is the freshly whitewashed forest office that will serve as the polling station.
In the search for Mr Darshandas, I travel over stony, brown earth and parched rivers and thin streams, past cacti and bougainvillea and trees wilting in the oppressive heat.
I pass sluggish deer and antelope and wild cats and buffaloes tethered to huts.
It is 100F (38C) in the shade in this sprawling, 1,412 sq km forest and even our beat-up SUV is groaning.
I spot none of the more than 300 lions that live here; the heat must have driven them deeper into the shade.
Mr Darshandas is the caretaker of a temple in the forest
As a pallid dusk descends on the jungle, I reach the temple – and Mr Darshandas’s lair – in Banej.
It has been a back-breaking trip from the nearest city of Junagadh, more than 100km (62 miles) away. Banej is part of the Junagadh parliamentary constituency in a state where the Hindu nationalist BJP rules.
The temple is unexceptional, and it is difficult to ascertain how old it is. It sits atop an outcrop and a steep stairwell leads up to it. A fish-filled brook gurgles past and the mating call of the peacock punctuates the silence.
But when we arrive, the solitary voter is missing – gone to the nearest village outside the jungle, nearly a two-hour drive away, for “some chores”, I’m told.
“Wait for him for a while. He will be back soon,” says his cook, feeding a peacock near the brook.
Time stands still in the forest. I am beginning to get a bit worried about how we are going to make our way out when darkness falls.
Then Mr Darshandas drives into the temple in his pale green SUV.
In his sunglasses, open-buttoned khaki shirt and ochre sarong, he looks a contented man. His flowing white beard is tied into a neat knot. He is loquacious, unusual for someone in such remote isolation.
The journey is a long one, past deer, antelope and wild cats
“I am sorry to have kept you waiting. The air-conditioner in my vehicle was not working, so I went to get it fixed,” he says.
Talk about fixing car air-conditioning sounds incongruous in the jungle.
In the temple, there is no electricity, barring a few flickering bulbs powered by an ailing solar panel. There is no TV, no phone. His only link to the world, Mr Darshandas tells us, is through Hindi news on BBC shortwave radio.
He asks me to stay the night in the forest. “There are snakes and there are mosquitoes here,” whispers a forest guard who has accompanied me. I politely decline the invitation.
‘Last voter standing’
“I arrived here 12 years ago,” Mr Darshandas says.
“I dropped out of school in neighbouring Rajasthan, became interested in religion and reached here on my journeys. The temple was looking for a caretaker and I stayed on.”
It wasn’t so lonely in the beginning, he says.
“There were 45 of us here in the temple, living here. We had a huge rush of pilgrims. Then forest authorities began making it difficult for people to live here. So all of them left, and I am now the last voter standing,” he says.
Mr Darshandas lives here with his cook, priest, guard and a driver but they do not have a vote in this area. He is also basking in his newfound fame as the only voter at a polling station.
“The world found out about me only this year. But this is the third election, including a state election, where I will be the only voter from the local polling station. I know I am unique,” he says.
No candidate, he says, has ever come canvassing for votes in the jungle, and sometimes he does not even know who they are. The only thing he knows is that the contest, as usual, is between the BJP and the Congress party.
“But I vote, and my vote is important. Remember the BJP government lost a no-confidence vote in parliament by one vote. So one vote can make a difference,” he says, with a cheeky grin.
Mr Darshandas will cast his ballot at a forest office
“It is very easy to find out whom I vote for because I am the only vote on the electronic machine. But I am not going to tell you who I vote for.
“But I feel good that the authorities come here to pick up my vote. I feel honoured.”
What are the issues that get him worked up in this life of desolation? Doesn’t the place need mobile phone coverage at least?
“No, no, that’s not the issue. I want better roads in the jungle so more pilgrims can visit the temple. Forest officers should not harass pilgrims who stay overnight,” he says.
And what happens on the morning of 30 April when the polling officials arrive to pick up his vote?
“I will get up early, have a bath, say my prayers, take my breakfast and saunter to the polling station around 11 am to cast my ballot. The polling officers are happy to see me come, so they can leave after my vote.”
“It is an honour, it really is. It proves how India values its democracy.”
The great prime minister bazaar
Sun, 19 Apr 2009
The complaint is as old as the politics of social justice: the hegemony of urban elite over the wretched and the dispossessed. Votaries of the so-called Other India the India beyond the sensations of the Sensex and the temptations of the marketplace never get tired of narrating the conspiracy of the privileged.
Twelve of our 14 prime ministers, they keep reminding us, have been from urban India. Only two, H.D. Deve Gowda and Charan Singh, came from the peasant class, and both were accidental. Now that the politics of cohabitation has made India one of the most crowded and politically promiscuous democracies in the world, the sociology of power has become starker.
The most obvious trend in the India Today Mood of the Nation poll on the eve of the General Elections is the shrinking bipolarity or the thriving multiplicity. There are no clear winners as the ruling UPA and the NDA are separated by only 19 votes. The middle is occupied by that amorphous group called Third Front, populated by provincial pachyderms who think their time has come to be the rulers of India. If they can’t, they will decide who will. It may not be the revenge of the regions but it certainly brings out the less-than-national appeal of the national parties.
The only certainty in a fragmented polity is that we have an embarrassment of prime ministerial riches. In the beginning, there was only one, and BJP leader L.K. Advani has been campaigning in true presidential style, that too without an identifiable opponent.
Much belatedly, and less ceremoniously, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said Manmohan Singh would get another term as prime minister if the UPA won the elections. She can only name him, she just can’t make him prime minister. Without the support of regional parties with more than 70 members, either Advani or Manmohan can’t become prime minister. That support can no longer be taken for granted as kingmakers now aspire to be kings.
As Lalu Prasad Yadav, a Sonia worshipper-turned-heartbreaker, said in an interview with the television channel Aaj Tak, The UPA exists only in Delhi and why can’t we consider Ram Vilas Paswan, a Dalit leader, for prime ministership after the elections? Then, why just Paswan? Why not Pawar? The NCP has been projecting its leader and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar as a future prime minister for a while.
He will share a platform with CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat and Orissa Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik at a rally in Bhubaneswar on April 13. That is the freedom of being Pawar. His party is fighting the Congress everywhere except his home state of Maharashtra and Goa. The strategy of each regional party is to contest maximum number of seats so that they can improve their tally of 2004. Obviously, both the Congress and BJP are anxious, and they may end up fielding more candidates than they did in 2004.
The poll provides little cheer to the Congress and BJP. Parties which belong to neither of the two alliances are likely to get almost the same number of seats as the others. Leaders like Lalu, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Paswan, Jayalalithaa, Mayawati and the communists are an independent lot.
Pawar’s feet may be on the UPA ground but his heart is elsewhere. And each of these satraps is worth 25 to 30 seats, and their combined strength could go up to 180. Still, they are too volatile a group to remain intact. Will Maya and Mulayam ever be compatible? Unlikely. A candidate sponsored by the so-called Third Front led by the Left and others can’t reach 7 Race Course Road without the support of either the Congress or the BJP. In the marketplace of prime ministers, choices are many and the art of bargain alone can ensure a politically profitable deal.
How come we have got so many choices or so many competing ideas of India in the fray? The UPA has been particularly fertile for prime ministers in waiting. Leaders like Lalu and Pawar have acquired a national profile as star Cabinet performers. They used their power at the Centre to expand their regional base. For the UPA, the vote of confidence was the moment when it realised the true worth of its allies. It survived the vote because partners like SP, RJD and DMK not only kept their flock together but broke the ranks of others.
It gave the allies a new confidence. As the poll illustrates, all those regional leaders seeking national glory enjoy more support in their states than the prime ministerial candidates of both the national parties. Mayawati with 24 per cent votes and Mulayam with 21 per cent are way ahead of both Advani (11) and Manmohan (7) in Uttar Pradesh. For the voters of Bihar, Lalu or Nitish Kumar would make a better prime minister than Advani or Manmohan.
With 120 seats, these two states will play the arbiters after the elections. In Gujarat, Modi is the choice of over 40 per cent of voters: Advani gets only 3 per cent. In Maharashtra, Pawar is the second most popular candidate for the top job. In the South though, Manmohan scores over the likes of Gowda, Jaya, Karunanidhi and Chandrababu Naidu. When Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee were in power, there were no regional leaders who could match or come anywhere near their popularity.
This regional eruption in leadership also means the rise of so many little Indias. Post-election, India is all set to stage a thriller of mathematics and megalomania, of oversized prime ministerial ambitions and total repudiation of political morality.
Reproduced From India Today. Â© 2009. LMIL. All rights reserved.
We who are in public life have the responsibility to ensure that your vote is translated into good and responsive governance. As far as the BJP is concerned, I want our government to be judged by your expectations. I say this because we know what your expectations are. To enable you to succeed, to enable you to build a great India, the BJP promises you, I personally promise you, initiatives and reforms in five major areas.
First, we will work to ensure that each of you will have access to the best education possible.
Second, that even the poorest student will receive financial aid to complete his or her education and improve their ability to find jobs that match their talents and abilities.
Third, we will ensure security – so that you are able to live and travel without fear and work anywhere in this great country. The problems of terrorism and naxalism will be tackled with a firm hand.
Fourth, we will work with you to protect our environment so that you can inherit a green and flourishing India. Our holy rivers, our lakes, our mountains, our forests, our wildlife, our sea shore — all these are a part of India’s priceless natural resource. It is our duty, the duty of both the Government and the people, to preserve this resource.
Finally, we will work with you to improve our existing cities, to build beautiful new cities, to so improve amenities in our villages that you don’t feel compelled to leave them to go and stay in some urban slum.
How shall we fulfill this covenant? Let us take them one at a time.
Quality Education for All: First and foremost, we will liberate the education sector – so that the seats and facilities in it multiply and improve. It is a tragedy that, even as we have seen in sectors as far apart as manufacturing and telecom what freeing a sector can do, education continues under the old, licence-quota raj.
There are too few public universities; private colleges charge too much; our teachers are not paid adequately for their unstinting service; too many of our students have to go abroad for higher education. On the one side, we cannot find good craftsmen and technicians. On the other, good jobs go unfilled – the list of problems is endless.
We will open the doors to higher education and ensure that there are more than enough seats for all qualified students. We will create incentives for all who want to promote learning; to set up good private colleges and universities; to partner with the best foreign institutions of learning; to set up many, many vocational training institutes; to develop the facilities for, and the culture of research and innovation in, India. We will thereby multiply seats for students, and also ensure that teachers are rewarded for their efforts.
Our top educational institutions like IITs and IIMs will remain autonomous and be able to pursue academic excellence as they see fit. There will be no governmental interference in their functioning. We have the best students in the world; we will to ensure that they have access to the best academic institutions in the world. Our government will ensure financial aid for all deserving students through scholarships and loans.
Many of our organizations strive to give you the opportunity to serve society through constructive work. I know that many of you want, in addition, to participate in public life, in crafting public policy. Our government will launch a new highly prestigious National Fellows program in honor of our distinguished leader, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As a beginning, we will award special, national fellowships to young Indian leaders under the age of 25 with undergraduate degrees. Each of these young leaders will receive a one year internship in a government organization. At least 50 of these National Fellows will work in the Prime Minister’s Office and other ministries on policy assignments. An independent eminent jury will select these National Fellows and all will be encouraged to apply.
Employment opportunities for all: Once talent has been transformed into abilities through the education system, there must be jobs that enable the young to stretch themselves to the maximum. New and exciting jobs will, of course, come through sunrise industries like IT and BPO, as they will through modern manufacturing. But much more can, and must be done. In services, we have just begun to scratch our potential: product and process design; surgery; civil engineering, accountancy, legal assistance, teaching from a distance by using new technologies.
I believe that productivising Indian agriculture through sound policies can create tens of thousands of rewarding and fulfilling jobs for our educated youth. For this we need technologies that can transform rural India. Technologies for water and soil conservation, for organic farming, for growing of new and higher-value crops – pulses, fruit, vegetables, for preserving what our kisans grow, and for ensuring that farmers get good credit and marketing facilities. We will pay priority attention to these areas, so that you can get good jobs — and good opportunities — in changing the face of rural India.
No compromise in the fight against terrorism: One of the great failures of the present Government has arisen from its weak approach to lawlessness and terrorism. Often traveling in public transport can be unpleasant for you. Many of you, especially girls and young women feel harassed and victimized. Sometimes you are afraid to settle in parts of our country that are racked with violence or are hostile to outsiders.
This is not the India we want. We want an India where, in whichever part of the country, you choose, you can contribute your best. We will, therefore, resume the work we were doing to strengthen national security – from restoring necessary laws such as POTA, to ensuring they are enforced, to reforming and strengthening our security forces. We shall also ensure that their structures, work culture and emoluments and facilities improve so that many of you can look forward to fulfilling careers in them.
Protection of India’s priceless environment: Along with protecting you and your loved ones, we must also protect this beautiful country. I know that, more than most other sections of our people, the young are the ones who are most dedicated to preserving our environment. After all, we do not own this great country, we hold it in a trust for you, as do you for future generations.
Our government will transform the way in which we deal with environmental issues. We will formulate environmental policies and regulations that will protect our environment and wildlife for generations to come. I want our governments to create a new regime of taxation and rewards – one in which people and industries are not penalized according to what they contribute to society, but in accordance with what they use up from the pool of our non-renewable resources, in accordance with the harm they inflict on our environment. We will constitute an independent Environment Management Authority that will be headed by a world-famous environmental expert and will be staffed with eminent scientists. This agency will help us formulate the best possible plans for our environment and wildlife, and keep every government accountable.
Transforming Urban India: I come next to our villages and cities. Our first priority must be to create in our villages the facilities and opportunities that will provide jobs and a fulfilling life right there – so that you do not feel compelled to flee them to some urban slum. Second, we must improve our cities. They are not in a good condition. There is no need to repeat the unpleasant facts that fester all around us. Many empty promises have been made – of making Mumbai an international financial center, for instance. You know what has been done about them. We will fix our existing cities and build many new beautiful cities.
This requires coordinated action on many fronts including strengthening urban property rights, enforcing land use restrictions, establishing good property tax collections, and reforming our municipal governance. We will work on all of this in our existing cities. But, we promise more – we promise that we will build cities that you will be proud to live in, cities that will welcome our brothers and sisters from rural areas, cities that will be green and pleasant places to bring up families, and cities that will live on as spectacular and grand urban spaces.
These then are our promises to you:
• Vastly enlarged education capacity so that every young person, especially those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, and disadvantaged sections of other communities, can follow their dream;
• Financial aid to complete this education;
• New and exciting job opportunities for all young men and women in the frontier areas of tomorrow;
• Opportunities to work in public life – to improve our policies and institutions;
• Security to pursue your lives and ambitions;
• A green and clean India;
• Prosperous villages, and beautiful welcoming cities for you and your families.
― From a speech by Shri L.K. Advani at an interactive session with students Organised by INDIA BANAO! in New Delhi on October 20, 2008
DETERMINED LEADER, DECISIVE GOVERNMENT
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY and HIGHLIGHTS
Election Manifesto – 2009 BJP Highlights
PUTTING POOR FIRST:
1. All BPL families to get 35kg of rice or wheat every month at Rs 2 per kg. This will be available against Food Coupons redeemable both at PDS and private outlets.
2. Ensure farm loans at a maximum interest rate of 4 percent.
3. Waive agricultural loans.
4. Introduce a Farm Income Insurance Scheme through which both price and produce will be insured
5. Irrigate 35 million hectares of additional farmland within 5 years.
6. Initiate special schemes for the urban poor, such as loans at 4 percent interest to poor vendors.
7. Set up a “Workers Bank” to provide a safety net for unorganized sector workers.
8. Revise minimum wages and ensure strict implementation of the Wages Act.
ECONOMY GROWS, INDIA PROSPERS
1. Generate employment through massive public spending on infrastructure projects. Complete the implementation of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s dream projects: National Highway Development Project by building 15-20 km of new highways every day; and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, to link all villages with over 500 people by all-weather road.
2. Introduce schemes to encourage private industry and services sectors. Ensure a low tax, low interest rate regime.
3. Exempt personal Income Tax for those earning up to Rs 3 lakh per annum. For women and Senior Citizens, the exemption will be Rs 3.5 lakh per annum. This will benefit over 3.5 crore people.
4. Complete exemption for interest income on bank deposits for all other than corporates and those who have business income.
5. Scrap Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT), which is a source of harassment to employees and employers alike.
6. Abolish CST and fix a ceiling of 12-14 percent on GST.
7. Ensure watertight monitoring of regulatory bodies so that the public is secured from companies indulging in fraudulent practices in the stock markets.
8. Construct 10,00,000 housing for the poor units every year; kick-start the real estate sector that is suffering at present. Bring down interest on housing loans to make urban housing affordable.
9. Take firm steps to identify and retrieve Indian money stashed away in foreign banks. Estimated at Rs. 25 lakh crore-Rs. 75 lakh crore, getting this amount back through international cooperation will be enough to complete road and power connectivity throughout the country; ensure setting up of quality schools in all villages. This quantum of black money, if recovered, will amount to allocating Rs 4 crore to every Indian village to improve living conditions in the countryside.
10. Boost tourism sector: Identify 50 destinations and develop infrastructure, connectivity. Double foreign tourist arrivals in 5 years to help generate employment in hospitality industry.
11. Ban on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail sector to help domestic retail trade.
WAR AGAINST ENEMIES WITHIN AND WITHOUT
1. BJP’s robust commitment to securing the nation against its enemies is well known. Our first priority will be to take stern steps against terrorists, cross-border or home-grown. An improved POTA-type law will be introduced. The intelligence mechanism shall be overhauled. India’s 4000-km long coastline will be fully protected by enhanced naval security.
2. We will systematically detect, detain and deport illegal immigrants who have emerged as a major source of homegrown terror. Fencing of the India-Bangladesh border, deliberately neglected by the UPA in pursuit of vote bank politics, will be speedily completed.
3. Use coercive diplomacy to isolate and compel countries engaging in exporting terror across the border to stop their misadventure. Ensure that the foreign tap of separatist groups in India is completely turned off.
4. Wage a relentless war against Maoist groups throughout the country using the highly successful and popular Chhattisgarh model.
5. Introduce a comprehensive National Identity Card for all citizens of India.
JAI JAWAN IN ACTION
1. All members of the armed forces and the para-military shall be exempted from payment of Income Tax. This will benefit nearly 20 lakh people.
2. Take steps to set up a separate Pay Commission for the armed forces. Also revisit the existing pay structure to ensure a better deal.
3. Implement one-rank-one-pension.
4. Push State Governments to introduce better schemes for the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen and explore avenues for resettling them with gainful employment.
ENERGY SAVED, ENERGY GAINED:
1. Generate an additional 120,000 MW of electricity in 5 years through speedy conclusion of ongoing projects while sanctioning new power plants. 20% of this will be through harnessing non-conventional energy sources.
2. Reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels by promoting renewable energy options such as run-on-river electricity projects, solar, wind power and biomass.
3. Secure energy needs through aggressive diplomatic and commercial moves in oil-producing countries.
WOMEN EMPOWERED, NATION STRENGTHENED
1. Introduce the Madhya Pradesh BJP Government’s highly successful ‘Ladli Lakshmi’ Scheme throughout India to directly transfer funds to the school going girl child to encourage education and secure economic self-sufficiency for young women. Rs. 1.18 lakh after completion of 12th standard.
2. Pave the way for nationwide implementation of the Bhamashah Scheme proposed by the erstwhile BJP Government in Rajasthan to directly pay Rs 1,500 to open a bank account for every adult woman, to be accessed by biometric cards usable through fingerprint.
3. Provide bicycles to every school going girl child from BPL families throughout India.
4. Introduce special schemes to promote entrepreneurship among rural women through Self-help Groups (SHGs).
5. BJP remains committed to bring about 33 percent reservation for women in legislatures and will endeavour to introduce it at the earliest.
6. Salaries of 28 lakh Anganwadi workers and helpers, who are the backbone of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) will be doubled.
7. BJP believes all sections of Indian women cannot be fully empowered without the enactment of a Uniform Civil Code as decreed in the Directive Principles of the Constitution and emphasized repeatedly by the Supreme Court. The party remains committed to implementing such a code after discussions with all sections of opinion.
YOUNG INDIA, NATION’S PILLAR
1. UPA has nurtured despair, frustration and joblessness among India’s young people who account for 50 percent of the population. BJP will regenerate hope through massive vocational training programmes and job creation schemes both in rural and urban areas.
2. A network of National Knowledge Incubation Centres will be set up throughout the country to identify and groom young talent for every sector of the economy.
3. Study loans will be made cheaper and more accessible by fixing student loan interest at 4%.
4. BJP will create 12 million IT-enabled jobs in rural areas. Computer prices will be drastically cut to make it affordable to every section. All educational institutions will have internet facilities within 5 years. Broadband connectivity to every village.
5. Special provisions will be made for SC/ST/OBC and other underprivileged sections of the youth for skill development with focus on web-based training.
6. Launch an aggressive project to groom young sporting talent by allocating Rs 5,000 crore for creation of sports infrastructure especially in educational institutions Appoint trained coaches; secure employment for international medal winners. Sport will be a compulsory subject in school curricula.
NATION’S WEALTH, PEOPLE’S HEALTH
1. BJP is committed to making the right to clean water a fundamental right. A massive programme will be launched to provide clean, drinking water to every citizen.
2. A regulatory authority to be set up for private hospitals and nursing homes to monitor unfair practices.
3. A comprehensive project to bring health-for-all by 2014.
4. Introduce a mandatory ‘Dial 108 for ambulance at your doorstep’ scheme throughout the country.
5. Revive the creation of new AIIMS, originally initiated by the NDA Government but neglected by UPA. All six state-of-the-art hospitals will be rapidly constructed over the next 5 years.
6. Janani Suraksha Yojana to care for delivering mothers and infants will be strengthened.
7. Investment will be made to promote alternative medicine such as Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani etc.
8. Population stabilization holds the key to India’s prosperity. BJP will introduce schemes in consultation with different sections to expedite serious progress in this direction.
PRIVILEGING THE UNDERPRIVILEGED:
1. BJP is deeply committed to creating a society of equal opportunities with Justice for All as its credo. Its State Governments have introduced a series of schemes for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Minorities – especially in education, job training, poverty alleviation and promotion of entrepreneurial talent. These schemes will be improved upon and the most successful among them replicated nationally. In addition, people living in backward regions, particularly in the North-East, inaccessible forests and hilly areas will be prioritized.
2. Education and Job quota will be introduced for economically backward sections of society other than SCs, STs and OBCs, for whom reservations will continue.
1. Recognising the importance of Senior Citizens in nation-building and inculcating civilisational values, BJP commits itself to reducing the age for receiving travel benefits from 65 to 60 years.
2. Complete tax exemption to senior citizens in respect of pension income.
CREATING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT:
1. Combating climate change and global warming through non-polluting technologies will be prioritized.
2. Importance given to programmes to arrest the melting of Himalayan glaciers from which most major rivers in North India originate.
3. Protect and promote forests and afforestation.
4. Take all appropriate steps to save Tiger, the National Animal, and safeguard critical habitants of all wildlife. Emphasis to be laid on protecting India’s resplendent but endangered bio-diversity.
DEFENDING THE CIVILISATION
1. The BJP remains committed to the construction of a grand Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
2. BJP will not allow anybody to touch the revered Ram Setu. We will evolve a new route for Sethu Samudram bypassing Ram Setu.
3. Cleaning the revered Ganga and other major rivers will be a priority. Local communities will be enrolled in this gigantic task.
4. Cow protection is an article of faith with BJP. This will be pursued relentlessly.
5. Full integration of the nation is not possible as long as Article 370 stays on the statute books. BJP remains steadfast in its belief that the provision must be removed to ensure Indian unity.
BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY
SHRI L.K. ADVANI HOLDS ROUNDTABLE WITH EXPERTS IN HEALTHCARE; PLEDGES TO MAKE ‘AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE FOR ALL CITIZENS’ A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT
New Delhi : 6 April 2009
Shri L.K. Advani, prime ministerial candidate of the BJP and NDA, today took time out of his busy schedule of election campaigning, to hold a roundtable with experts in healthcare. He pledged to implement the promise of ‘HEALTH FOR ALL’, contained in the BJP’s election manifesto, in the event of the NDA winning the people’s mandate in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
In his opening remarks, Shri Advani said, “My belief in healthcare as an important element of Good Governance and Development was greatly reinforced by a thought expressed by Nobel laureate Dr. Amartya Sen. In one of his books, Dr. Sen writes that the neglect of education and healthcare is the principal reason for India’s backwardness. I know that Health for All is one of the toughest challenges, given the fact that the current condition of healthcare in our country is abysmal. But we are determined to accept and overcome this challenge.”
The meeting was attended by Shri Jaswant Singh, former Union Finance, Defence and External Affairs Minister; two former Union Health Ministers Dr. C.P. Thakur and Shri Shatrughan Sinha; Shri Vijay Kapoor, who conducted the meeting; and Sudheendra Kulkarni, a member of the BJP’s election strategy group.
Participants in the roundtable (list of their names attached) gave many useful suggestions on different aspects of the strategy needed to move towards the goal of ‘HEALTH FOR ALL’. All of them emphasized the need to re-orient healthcare in India towards preventive and wellness care. They urged the BJP leadership to vastly increase government spending on healthcare (which is now less than 1% of GDP) and, at the same time, shift the focus from inputs to outcomes. Many useful ideas were presented on radically improving healthcare in rural areas.
Shri Advani referred to his earlier roundtable with experts in drinking water, in which they had urged the BJP to make access to clean drinking water a fundamental right for all citizens. “We have made this promise in the BJP manifesto,” he said, adding, “Based on today’s consultation, I wish to say that the NDA will also make affordable health care for all citizens a fundamental right.”
Shri Advani also expressed his support to the following suggestions:
1. Universal Health Insurance Scheme, launched by the NDA Government, will be revived, with the Central Government bearing the expense of medical insurance for all BPL families.
2. Total Sanitation Campaign, waste disposal and recycling, nutritional security to children, and eradication of communicable diseases will receive highest attention from the Government.
3. 50 essential medicines, which can take care of 90% of common diseases, will be distributed free to all needy citizens.
4. Each tehsil will have a well-equipped hospital with a bed strength of at least 50.
5. Each district will have a modern multi-speciality hospital with an attached medical college. Public-Private Partnership model will be adopted for this purpose. This district will have a mobile extension service to cater to the needs of nearby rural areas.
6. Existing healthcare infrastructure, in which considerable public investment has already taken place, has enormous scope for improvement with minimal additional investment. Policy will be reformed to enable the private sector to partner in running this system.
7. Over 7,00,000 practitioners of Ayurveda and other Indian systems of medicine have been making a major contribution to healthcare in rural and remote areas. They will be assisted to further expand and improve their services.
8. The entire healthcare system will made more woman-centric and child-centric.
9. Considering the growing healthcare needs of senior citizens, the government will provide interest-free loans to young couples to build an extra room in their homes for their parents.
10. Every ministry in Government of India will incorporate healthcare as part of its plans and programmes.
11. Corruption in healthcare administration and medical education will be removed. Medical education will be made affordable.
12. In order to meet the enormous need for trained healthcare workforce in rural areas, the Government will start a new medical education course to create a large public healthcare cadre, who will work in rural areas.
13. Information Technology will be used innovatively and extensively to connect every hospital and every PHC in rural areas to the National Telemedicine Service Network.
14. Health tourism will be promoted.
Jaipur. Of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, the BJP and the Congress by six veterans of four tickets will cut them out of the seats showed the way to .12, both parties have been caught many veteran coming. However, the BJP and the Congress just four to seven seats and the announcement of the candidates have to.
Jhalawar seat on the ticket by the BJP MP Dushyantsinh former chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s reputation is at stake given. Minister of the Congress building here, the public’s wife Urmila Jain Pramod Jain Baya have tickets. Both felt the full force is kept here. Similarly, only one vote in the polls from the state to lose the election this time Kangresadhyksh Dr. Joshi shell from Bhilwara are lucky try. From the current BJP MP V. P. Singh has again given a chance.
BJP MP Sriganganagr existing seat Nihalchand again have a chance. While the Congress candidate from your old Brtram Megwal is only half. Alwar in the Congress this time, Dr. Karan Singh Yadav, Jitendra Singh, secretary of the national ticket cut in half the field is. Dr. Jaswant Singh Yadav of the BJP MLA’s wife Kiran Yadav has given the ticket. Kiran Yadav and her husband were in before the Congress, but the recent Assembly elections some time before they are connected with the BJP.
These seats will be interesting match
Nagore: Jat-dominated Congress in the former Union Minister, the granddaughter of Nathuram Mirdha Mirdha to light in the field is lowered. Chowdhury, former BJP MP’s daughter Ramrgunath Choudhary point is given a chance. The interesting point is that Chaudhry is the Congress family. Points in the polls recently, Chowdhury’s brother Ajaysinh (BJP) Mirdha Ricpal the (Congress) has beaten the Degana seat.
Ajmer: Ajmer Dusa seat Congress MP Sachin Pilot are to have a ticket. Women’s Front of the BJP national president Kiran Maheshwari and Rajasmnd legislators have tickets. Maheshwari, the last Lok Sabha elections in Udaipur, the National Commission for Women Chairperson Girija Vyas Dr. had to defeat.
Jaipur: The BJP’s traditional in Jaipur is the seat Dbdbe Congress once again as a candidate bra r lectures are Mahesh Joshi, former chief whip in the field is lowered. Bhargava of the BJP MP Girdhareelal died due to the senior leader and former Minister Ghanshyam Tiwari is launched from here.
Chittorgarh: Back of the Lok Sabha elections from Udaipur Cukin up to this time, Dr. Girija Vyas, has been launched from Chittorgarh. Delimitation of the diameter of the seat is being considered more secure. BJP MP Srichand Kriplani from the current in the field again is lowered. The Assembly elections here although they have lost.
Which seat on the veteran, who caught
Congress, BJP Parliamentary field
Sriganganagr Nihalchand Brtram Megwal Chauhan
Jaipur Ghanshyam Tiwari Mahesh Joshi
Bhanwar Jitendra Singh Yadav Kiran Alwar
Ajmer Kiran Maheshwari, Sachin Pilot
Jyoti Chaudhary Mirdha point Nagore
Jaswant Singh, Jodhpur Bisnoi Chandresh Kumari
Barmer Manvendra Singh, Harish Chaudhary
Udaipur Mahavir Bgora Raghuvir Meena
Chittorgarh Srichand Kriplani, Dr. Girija Vyas
Gopal Singh Rawat Rajasmnd Rasasinh
V. P. Singh, Dr. Joshi cockleshell Bhilwara
Jhalawar Dushyantsinh Urmila Jain
Jaipur. Lok Sabha elections, the nomination in the district election officers, polling and data relating to Mtgnna will be put on the website immediately. Direct election of the Commissioner Alok Shukla Commission Wednesday gave the video-conferencing. Rajasthan from this officer Upmuky MM Tiwari joined.
Information on the website to work from the first day of enrollment will begin. This enrollment information, the name of the candidate – you know, Skening copy of the affidavit, the percentage of the vote, the result of Mtgnna, winners, runners-up and other information received by the branch will not.
Tiwari said that with the Communication Commission of the designation given to prepare the plan. It all booth level officers (Bielo), sector officers, assistant returning officer (Aaro), Collector and District Election Officer (Aro), and observers of the name, address and phone number will be included.
The new booth will be a thousand
More than 1,500 voters from the booths will be made with an additional booth. The number of such booths in the state is likely to be more than 1000. Jaipur district’s various
Jaipur. Gurjron to give the Tribe reservation in the coming two years, the movement of Colonel Kirodi Basla Saturday joined the BJP. Om Prakash Mathur and Pradeshadhyksh BJP MP Ram Das Agarwal received the membership of the party made.
BJP to join the red bolero Basla in three – four with the colleagues at the BJP headquarters arrived Aprahn 4. At that time, only state party in the office as Secretary Rampal Jat were present.
After nearly an hour Pradeshadhyksh Om Prakash Mathur and MP Ramdas Agarwal reached the party office and the BJP Basla into action. MP Agarwal on the occasion said that Basla and Mathur Pradeshadhyksh the party in the polls had support from outside. This time, he urged the party’s membership of the party has received.
Important to carry the voice of the dispossessed in the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha election on the question of Basla said the voice of the people deprived of reservation in the Lok Sabha Phunchaange. During the movement to take political office and the announcement of the election not to fight about this announcement Basla said he was sure, but as long as the political voice of the society will not be until they can not get justice. Social pressure to join the BJP in the election and have decided to fight.
Political platform for the election of the BJP in the BJP Basla that their voice is heard. 5 per cent of them passed special legislation have made reservations. While Congress approved a bill making the Governor did not even work. Involved in the movement of the leaders of political parties said that they Basla Gurjron
Jaipur / Delhi. Jaipur rural Lok Sabha constituency from the Congress candidate from contesting elections Diwya Singh has refused. Meanwhile, Dusa seat was so far from Congress Atki Laxman Meena IPS to make sure the candidate has made the mind. Congress national secretary Vivek Bansal and Laxman Meena herself has confirmed it.
Meanwhile, Singh Diwya on behalf of her husband and former MP, said Biswendrasinh Diwya Singh from Jaipur rural elections not want to fight. About the state of the party leadership have been notified. Diwya Singh said that the election on the issue a cause of unhappiness is nothing like. Jaipur tickets to rural we are grateful to the high command.
Why did the Diwya refuse?
Sources said in Jaipur rural Biswendra Singh wanted the elections to fight But the party had decided earlier that the person lost in the polls will not be given tickets. That’s why Biswendra Singh’s wife was given tickets Diwya Singh. On the other hand, the party on Friday from Sikar Mahadevsinh Khandela made to the candidate. Khandela have lost the assembly elections. Singh, probably the same reason Diwya election is denied. Party sources said Singh in place of Diwya Biswendra Singh candidate can be made. Now about this party did not say anything.
BJP’s final list possible today
The remaining four seats for the BJP on Sunday released the final list can. The seats for the state leadership has decided that the names of candidates. The Central Election Committee on Sunday after getting the seal of this list will be issued. Pradeshadhyksh party leader Om Prakash Mathur and Vasundhara Raje country on Sunday morning at 7 Delhi are going. So far, 21 seats the BJP has declared candidate. While waiting for the list of the Congress party in Jaipur rural, Jhunjhunun, Dusa and Tonk – Sawai Madopur seats on the candidate had not declared.
Party sources say that in rural Rao Rajendrasinh Jaipur, Tonk – Sawai Madopur, Col Kirodisinh Basla, Dusa Jhunjhunun in MP and former minister Megwal Kailash Meena Ramkisor is likely to be given the ticket. Gujjar leader Colonel Kirodisinh party on Saturday Basla to be included in the party is.
Ramadoss – Vasundhara in Jhalawar today: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s national treasurer Ramdas Agarwal, MP and Vasundhara Raje and country leaders on Sunday will Jhalawar. The two leaders Sunday evening in Baran activists will address the conference. The next day, both the BJP leader Jhalawar Dushyantsinh candidate’s nomination – will Brwane letter.
Shailendra Joshi Committee in the Election Commission: BJP Pradeshadhyksh Om Prakash Joshi Shailendra Mathur BJP Election Commission has made in the board members. Joshi before the assembly elections, the BJP had joined.
Laxman Meena Why?
Dusa seat to the Congress candidate from Kirodeelal Meena wanted to make, but they support the Congress in the form of non-wanted. Due to these reasons, Congress and non-controversial new face has made the police officer candidate.
Why is not the official announcement: Meena Laxman (59) Maybe that’s why the name of the official announcement was not something that the formalities are left. VRS also did not have them now. Tehsil of Jaipur district Bssi Tunga village, was born in 1982 batch of IPS are Laxman Meena. Jalor, Alwar, Ajmer and Sriganganagr Jodhpur and Bikaner in the SP and DIG are in range. Kota and Bikaner are Aiji range. They Adiji, railways now after being Adiji (law – the law) is
Bikaner. BJP city municipal mayor Ahmed Mksud the ideal Gerne for violation of election code of conduct is alleged.
A literary event in the middle of the litterateurs and literature lovers to the announcement by the city BJP president Nandkisor Solanki explaining the violation of the code of conduct complained of is the district election officer. Ahmed, the mayor Mksud on the facts alleged by the opposite has been sent to inform your answer.
Issues of literature in the literary city on the political charge – to counter a sharp debate among the people is. Poet Aziz free of Bikaner famous poet – was a poet. Gajlen of the people whose language and poetry are. Literature was held in his memory which was a representative writer of the city, Rngkrmi, remember the poet and the audience participated. Who had gone in search of stories, Bawlia Brtar Mhara, my two day stay in the city and see people’s hearts and their Rcnaan – designed in mind – is Bsi.
It is alleged
Solanki city BJP president Nandkisor in his complaint alleged that on March 22 in the Town Hall in memory of famous poet Aziz Azad was a literary event in which the Mayor was present as chief guest. Charge that the corporation free from state funds in the memory of literary awards honor publicly announce the launch of.
Solanki is charged with the announcement that the mayor clearly in favor of his party and attract voters from the temptation is to aim. BJP against the city Mksud Ahmed
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