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Prime Ministers can never look helpless. They can never go back with the feeling that Im not being allowed to deliver

Well renew ourselves: Rahul

Smarting under the rout of Congress in assembly elections in four States, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday acknowledged that his party didnt really hit a six in recent polls but expressed confidence in its ability to rise from adversity time and again.

I now understand what it feels like when you have to go to your AGMs with bad news
Let me begin by acknowledging that we didnt really hit a six in the last elections. We did not do as well as we expected and I now get the sense, I now understand what it feels like when you have to go to your AGMs with bad news,Gandhi said with a grin in a veledictory address at FICCI. Gandhi led the party from the front in the recent round of Assembly polls, which saw Congress debacle in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Delhi with Mizoram being the only silver lining for the party. The recently held elections have made their

Congress MP Mohammed Azharuddin interacts with young hockey players during inauguration of floodlights at a stadium in Moradabad on Saturday. Photo: PTI

point. We need to have the foresight and humility to accept the messages being expressed to us without resorting to the usual props of statistical data and excuse-making, Gandhi said. Noting that a political partys strength lies in the voice of those it represents, he said, We will listen to the voices we represent. The Congress Party has long prided itself in this very ability and used it to rise

from adversity time and again. He promised that the party will renew itself. Admitting that corruption is the biggest issue that is bleeding people dry, Gandhi sought to reach out to the India Inc by saying that arbitrary powers were holding up projects. Interacting with business leaders here and responding to their concerns, the Congress vice-president favoured rule-based system in clearances to correct the situation. Asserting that the UPA government was committed to deal with corruption and push growth, he outlined the steps taken by the UPA government, including enactment of Lokpal, to combat graft. Gandhi talked about the problems of inflation, clearances, accountability and transparency while underlining the need for pushing the growth to alleviate poverty and making the country the largest economy by the time it turns 100-years-old. Gandhi said he has learnt that it is not polite to ask that ordinances be torn and thrown into the dustbin. Gandhis remarks made in a lighter vein drew instant applause from the audience. Let me begin by acknowledging that my last quarter results have not exactly been resounding. I now know how it feels when you have to go to your AGMs with bad news, Gandhi said at the outset.

Chavans acts beneted kin, says Adarsh panel


India can go ahead with Kishanganga project


There was certainly a nexus between the acts of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and benefits derived by his close relatives, the judicial inquiry commission on Adarsh housing scam has said.

The grant of additional FSI gave a wrong message to the public that undue favour was being shown to Adarsh

Adarsh file as Revenue Minister in 2002 and later allegedly asked the housing society to take 40 per cent members from civilian category, when it was originally meant only for war veterans, it said. There was certainly a nexus between the acts of Chavan and benefits derived by his close relatives. The membership process clearly indicates that grant of requisite permission by Chavan was by way of quid pro quo, it said. According to the commission, whose report was tabled in Assembly on Friday, membership to the housing society was not open for general public and it was controlled by a small coterie. A few lords or coterie of the Adarsh like former MLC late Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and R C

The International Court of Arbitration has allowed India to go ahead with construction of the Kishanganga dam in Jammu and Kashmir, over which Pakistan has raised objections.

It is hoped that the negative arguments often heard on the working of this treaty will be nally put to rest
Kishanganga dam

The court delivered its final award on Friday night after India requested clarification of an order issued by it in February. In its partial award in February, the court upheld India's main contention that it has the right to divert waters of western rivers, in a non-consumptive manner, for optimal generation of power. The western rivers are

allocated to Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. The final award specifies that 9 cumecs of natural flow of water must be maintained in Kishanganga river at all times to maintain the environment downstream, said a statement from the Indian High Commission here. This is

much lower than the 100 cumecs of natural flow that Pakistan wanted to maintain, it said. We have also received the clarification we sought from the court with regard to the technique of draw-down flushing used for the de-siltation of reservoir in run of the river power projects in the

western rivers of the Indus, the statement said. The court said alternative techniques will have to be used for Kishanganga hydroelectric project and all future run of the river projects undertaken on western rivers of the Indus system. Contrary to negative propaganda that the Indus Waters Treaty has been receiving in recent years, the International Court of Arbitrations award has shown the pact is a strong framework for division of river waters between India and Pakistan, the statement said. The treaty has stood the test of time and ups and downs in India-Pakistan relations, it said. It is hoped that the negative arguments often heard on the working of this treaty will be finally put to rest, it added. Meanwhile, Water Minister Khwaja Asif claimed Pakistan had achieved a big victory through the courts ruling. Pakistan has achieved a big victory (as) International Court of Arbitration has accepted Pakistans right as a riparian state to waters of Kishanganga. Similarly Pakistans right over waters of Jhelum and Chenab rivers is also established, he said, adding The decision will safeguard our water rights in future also.

Lalu is an empty shell: Sinha


Form govt in Delhi: Omar to AAP


In its 891-page report, the panel, set up by the State government in early 2011, also found fault with former Chief Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil over the way issues of land allotment and grant of construction right were handled. Membership of the 31-storey Adarsh Housing Society building in south Mumbai was not an open affair and clearances for the residential high-rise were given on quid pro quo (give and take) basis, the two-member panel has said. Three close relatives of Chavan were granted membership of the society during his tenure (December 2008 to November 2010). Chavan handled the

Thakur (a defence estate cadre officer) played vital and effective role in proposing the names of the new members of the society. They had a final say in the matter of proposing names of members, the commission said. The commission said certain submissions made by Deshmukh before it were found to be incorrect. Deshmukh, as Chief Minister, had sanctioned additional FSI (floor space index or construction right) for the building. This was done despite a similar proposal being rejected by his predecessor Shinde on November 24, 2003. The grant of additional FSI gave a wrong message to the public that undue favour was being shown to Adarsh. sponse and the State stood out as the best. This explanation notwithstanding, most of the guests in the award function, organised by a leading media house, could not exactly digest the news. Perhaps they have not forgotten the scenes of disruption, long drawn protests and the sheer aggression on the streets.

BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Saturday termed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav as an empty shell aiming to gain relevance by criticising the partys Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. What to say about Lalu Ji. He is an empty shell and lost his explosiveness, Sinha said. Responding to Yadavs accusation of the BJP as communal and Modi as a supporter of the capitalists after his release from jail on Monday, Sinha said the current political trend was such that many politicians want to become relevant in the country by criticising the Gujarat Chief Minister. And Lalu is in that category, claimed the former external affairs minister. then, the Arvind vs Arvinder war of words is on and doesnt seem likely to be die down any time soon.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday asked Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to respect the mandate of the people of Delhi and enter into a coalition with Congress to form the government. The people of Delhi have asked for a coalition and if AAP and Congress come together to form a coalition, it is the wish of the people, Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here. He said AAP has not announced its decision yet and after winning the polls, it seems the party has gone for another sort of an election by returning to the people to seek their opinion on government formation. If you (AAP) think you will form the government without any support, you have to wait for absolute majority for a be a story from Mumbai, the situation is said to be no different in Varanasi, Kanpur, Patna, Jammu, Dehradun or any of the many cities where NaMo has had his massive rallies.

If you (AAP) think you will form the government without any support, you have to wait for absolute majority for a very long time
very long time. It is better the party should come forward and fulfil the promises which it made to the electorate and which cannot be fulfilled by remaining in opposition, Omar said. He said the people had given AAP an opportunity to form government. This is the time for coalitions. If you take Jammu and Kashmir or

the Centre, coalition governments are there, the Chief Minister said, adding nobody forms the coalition by his own will and it is decided by the people who give their verdict. After the passage of Lokpal Bill in Lok Sabha, he said, It is now time to fulfil other promises they (AAP) made to the people of Delhi. Asked about the prospects of AAP in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister said he does not underestimate the party because it has performed well in Delhi. There are no footprints of AAP here till date. When they have their footprints here, then ask me what effect would the party have. I dont underestimate them because they have performed very well in Delhi. Whether they will repeat the performance in Jammu and Kashmir, is perhaps impossible," he said.


BJP leaders make hay while Modi shines

Cong denies PCC chief post to Jogi, alienates him


Kiran award surprises foesand friends!

Arvind vs Arvinder
It is now Arvind vs Arvinder in Delhi. The Congress high command has changed party presidents in States which received a drubbing in the recent Assembly elections. The first state chief to be dropped was JP Agarwal in Delhi. He was replaced by Arvinder Singh Lovely. Even before his name was formally announced, Lovely made a scathing attack on AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, claiming that the Congress party had offered support to AAP only to ex-

Prez son has some competition at home

If all goes according to plan, President Pranab Mukherjees smart and talented daughter, Sharmishtha may likely contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls from West Bengal. She had been postponing her decision for a while but the grapevine has it that she is now keen to take the plunge. This may not be good news for her brother Abhijit who currently represents his father in Lok Sabha. Abhijit is also a former MLA. Sharmishtha, on the other hand, is an accomplished dancer and artiste. She made headlines when she openly criticised her brother in the media for his infamous dented and painted about women activists.

The recent development in Chhattisgarh Congress is a bad omen for former CM Ajit Jogi who was aiming to take control of party unit either by getting the PCC presidents post for his spouse or for one of his supporters. By abruptly appointing

The governance award bagged by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has surprised even his own friends. Seeing that the State is passing through one of its toughest times with the bifurcation bill hanging fire in the Assembly and sentiments on the boil on both sides, many eyebrows were raised when Reddy received the award from Jairam Ramesh. While nobody can deny that the Andhra is passing through turbulent times, it was pointed out that the award was decided on strict parameters of implementation of government schemes, programmes and re-

pose them on the ground. Predictably, Kejriwal retaliated soon claiming that their government would be better than the Congress as well as the BJP. Since

Most State leaders in the BJP know too well by now that prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modis rallies are managed by his own team of party workers and professionals. This means, whether the local party leaders pitch in or not, the rally is bound to be successful. Not surprisingly then, when a certain senior leader of Maharashtra BJP commented that he was not being asked in a dignified manner to help in preparations for the Mahagarjana Rally in Mumbai, a central leader decided to put some sense into him. The Maharashtra leader was made to understand that whether he pitched in or not, the rally would be a grand success. Therefore, it was plain political wisdom that he went around Mumbai looking busy so that he could claim some credit at election time. While this may

By abruptly appointing Bhupesh Baghel as new PCC president, the high command has made it evident that it is barely interested in entertaining the advice of State leaders
Bhupesh Baghel as new PCC president, the Congress high command has made it evident that it is barely interested in entertaining the advice of State leaders. Jogi has always been in good terms with it and enjoyed special treatment due to his seniority and popularity in the party unit. Not long ago, Jogi was a thorn in the eyes of his fellow Congress leaders for his parallel party activities, but he agreed to bury the hatchet with rivals on the orders of the high command just before recent

Ajit Jogi

polls to wrest power in the State. However, destiny spurned Congress for third time in a row and Jogi found himself stranded in no mans land again. Jogi is more upset because the party supremo has given reins of State unit to Baghel, a known Jogi baiter. Baghel is the only leader in the party who continued attacking Jogi through his acerbic remarks when others had called truce during polls. It would be interesting to see how Jogi will co-exist with Baghel in the party. Being senior to Baghel, he is less likely to follow the formers instructions. In the past too, the PCC chiefs Dhanendra Sahu, Nandkumar Patel and Charandas Mahant had failed to tame him. With general elections slated to be held in April-May 2014, the party has started internal preparations. Sources say Jogi might refuse to contest polls and prefer to steer poll campaign committee in State.