What is wrong? What should be done?

Let’s talk about Arvind Kejriwal’s principle?

With respect to the free water issue, I read that Arvind Kejriwal tweeted something to the effect, “One can dispute the amount of water but not the principle behind it as water is the lifeline of people.” Let me dispute the principle behind it.

There are many things which are basic for a person to survive. Roti, Kapada aur Makan is something we have all heard about. You can include electricity and healthcare into it. Now what all is Arvind Kejriwal going to dole out as free and who is going to pay for it.

Arvind Kejriwal should know that the system of the government providing everything for its people has been tried and tested before. If he wants he can borrow the system from China and Russia who have abandoned the system long time back and will be happy to give it to him. However, even these systems made people work. I don’t think people received things free.

Now I agree that the government has a responsibility towards the weaker section of the society. Taking the example of drinking water, the government has the following responsibility:

(a) To run the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in an efficient and cost effective manner (no water wastage and no corruption) to supply safe drinking water to all the people of the state. If DJB is run properly, the cost of supplying water will come down and a larger percentage of people can afford it.
(b) To make sure that water is available through PIPES and no tankers. It is the weaker section of the society which spends a lot of time to get water which they can utilise productively to improve their standard of living.
(c) To make sure that the water is supplied 24 hours. If this is not possible, supply water at fixed times. I think somebody in AAP should find out what problems this would solve for the weaker section and even the not-so-weaker section of the society.
(d) AAP should also ask itself, how many people in the weaker section of the society can buy and maintain water pumps and water purifying systems. The government needs to first work on these.

First, the responsibility of any political party in control of the government is to carry out the above actions and if after that some people without access to water or cannot afford water, I am all for giving free water to them. So the principle of giving free water as a first step is a little difficult to understand. However, even this has to be done in a targeted manner so that nobody can take advantage of the system.

Let me also address the issue where AAP has claimed that this step of giving free water will also save water. I would like to hear the logic behind this claim by AAP. Just because water is free, people will use it less.

Avinash Narula

Arvind gives free water. What are the other CMs waiting for?

I think all the political parties have received such a shock with the AAP victory and its growing popularity that they seem to have gone off to sleep. They are not even thinking. It seems all their political strategists have gone on a holiday. Arvind Kejriwal is giving away freebies at super speed to win the Lok Sabha elections and they are just waiting for a miracle to happen.

You know what I think all the CMs of differents states and political parties should do? They should also give away free water just like the Delhi CM has done. In fact, they should give away more water free water than what Arvind Kejriwal has given away. When Arvind Kejriwal subsidises electricity 50%, they should also do it. By the way, I am not saying this lightly and that there is a good reason behind it. Both Arvind Kejriwal, the media and the people of this country should realize that its the most easy thing to do. Just like Arvind Kejriwal can pass an order, so can the other CMs. This should either put a stop to Arvind Kejriwal giving the nation’s resources away for free or at least suggest to the media, the people and the politicians that this is not the way to govern the nation and the state. Also, people should realize that once every CM does this, how will AAP be different?

I hope it does not come to this because the last thing that we want is for our resources to be wasted or given away free. But I think Arvind Kejriwal should realize and so also should the other CMs that winning elections by giving things away for free will not be acceptable by the people of this country. What we want is somebody who, for instance, reduces waste, eliminates corruption, modernises water infrastructure and makes DJB efficient and then passes on the cost savings to all the people in terms of the cost of water. Once DJB is working efficiently, the cost of purifying water to each and every citizen of the state will come down and the benefit passed on the consumer. The idea is very simple. Businesses have been doing it since ages. Its not rocket science.

By the way, the above model is applicable to all the government organizations, institutions and departments. This is why the people of this country have been looking for an alternative political party anf that is why AAP has received the success it has achieved. I very much doubt if the people are looking for a party to give the country’s resources free which Congress, BJP and the other parties were already doing.

I also doubt if the people were looking for a party to increase taxes or cost of government services which AAP has done. They have accepted increase of 10% for water charges from Jan 1, 2014 primarily because “there is no free lunch.” I was wondering if Shri Yogender Yadav’s research had shown this and if it did why didn’t AAP reveal the same to the people before the elections. Did they purposely misled the people.

In may earlier post, I had mentioned that being a professional politician meant taking all actions in the interest of the country and its people. I am sure you will agree that starting a competition amongst all CMs to give country’s resources free and inequitably are not in the interest of the country, state or its people. Well, this is what AAP could have started. I am just wondering when the other CMs would come out of theit hibernation.

Avinash Narula

What is Arvind Kejriwal doing?

When Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP promised to give free water, I thought I heard them saying that they will fix the corruption, save money, make Delhi Jal Board more efficient and then give free water to people. Even though, giving a scarce resource like water free is unacceptable but one can accept a proposal like this if one is promised a corruption free and efficient DJB. But what Arvind Kejriwal has done is absurd because of the following:

(a) This act is business as usual. Practically, every politician likes giving away the country’s resources free. I think Congress was already subsidizing water. I hear all praises for Arvind Kejriwal that he fulfilled his poll promise within a day of becoming the CM. Well, I think people need to ask whats so difficult about giving away somebody elses money. Did Arvind Kejriwal lose anything. Hell, you could have told a uneducated labourer and he could have done the same.

(b) Shri Yadav mentioned yesterday in a interview with Prabhu that all the decisions of AAP have been well researched. I don’t think this is true of the water issue. Of course, everybody wants everything free but if you asked them what they wanted as far as water is concerned, they would have said the following:

* Water itself. People do not get water itself forget about getting it free. People get water delivered through water tanks.
* Clean water.
* They love to get 24 hour water supply but I think most would touch your feet if you promise them water at fixed times during the day.
* Enough pressure to push water up to the tanks. I am not sure Arvind Kejriwal knows how much people have to spend on water motors repairs and electricity to run them.
* The scheme is not equitable. A family with 6 persons is getting the same amount of water free as a family of 2. Consumption of water depends on the number of people in a family and not per connection.
So where is the research?

I thought Arvind Kejriwal will act professionally, that is, he will take every action for the benefit of the country, state and the people (all the people) of the country. But has he done so? I suggest you give it a serious thought. In case you need some help, just keep tuned to my blob.

Avinash Narula

BCCI, its negligence, stupid!

Though I do not pay much attention to BCCI scandal but today if you watch TV, you cannot avoid hearing about it. The reason I do not worry about the scandal is because we thrive on illegality and corruption.

First, what surprised me the most was that none of the board members raised their voice against N Srinivasan nor did they come out with a legal reason for forcing N Srinivasan to resign. Now I am surprised that Shri Arun Jaitley did not speak up for two reasons. One as a politician, he keeps asking for the resignation of politicians for corruption and quotes law under which they could be held accountable. But in the case of BCCI’s IPL scandal, he has kept quiet. Two, he is a well known lawyer. Now if Mr Jaitley cannot find a legal reason to throw Mr Srinivasan out of BCCI, I will give it a shot. I think Mr Srinivasan and CSK are in big trouble legally provided some one takes legal action. Let me explain.

As head of the BCCI, Mr Srinivasan invites the public to buy tickets to watch the IPL matches. It is implied that cricket matches are not fixed and that they competitively played and the best team wins. Cricket fans buy tickets to watch a fair and not a fixed game. It is Mr N Srinivasan’s responsibility as head of BCCI to take all steps to see that he delivers what he promises. Now we are all reasonable people and do understand that Mr Srinivasan is not God and that he cannot guarantee 100% fair play. It is because of this that the law has the concept of “reasonable care.” We just expect Mr N Srinivasan to take “reasonable care.”

I think Mr N Srinivasan has not taken “reasonable care” and as has been “negligent” and thus liable. Mr Srinivasan has been negligent of 3 counts. First, even though match fixing scandals have been happening on a regular basis, he did not take reasonable steps to prevent it from happening in IPL. BCCI could have banned mobile phones in locker rooms during the match and not allowed outsiders in the locker room. They could have checked on background of players on a random basis to see if they were in contact with shady characters. Second, he created a conflict of interest situation by also buying a team. Because Srinivasan owns the team, no one in BCCI would have had the guts to question any illegal or improper activity of CSK. Third, the most deadly negligent act that he committed was installing his son-in-law Gurunath as the principal of Chennai Super Kings. Why so? Very simple. It seems that it is known fact that Gurunath was into sports gambling since childhood. Now you put him in a position that Srinivasan placed Guru, disaster was waiting to happen and it did happen.

Even BCCI and the board members can be held liable. They have been negligent on the first two counts mentioned above. Based on the above logic, anyone who has bought an IPL ticket can sue not only Srinivasan but also BCCI and its board members for refund of ticket money.

To take this a step further, shareholders of India Cements can also sue N Srinivasan for negligence as he appointed Gurunath as the Principal of the CSK which is owned by Srinivasan.

I believe there is big money involved in BCCI and that is why Srinivasan dies not want to resign. He gets more power and clout from as President of BCCI than as the owner of India Cements. I believe what has happened should be good for cricket because the fight for control of BCCI is going to get murky and lot of irregularities by BCCI and cricket boards may fall out of the closet.

I hope somebody takes legal action based on the above legal grounds.

Avinash Narula

Are more protests the answer in the fight against corruption?

You know I feel guilty not agreeing with Anna Hazare or Arvind Kejriwal. Why? Simply because these guys are actually doing something. They are protesting, marching towards PM’s house, fasting and even getting beat up with lathis. More importantly, they are spending practically all their time fighting against corruption. What am I doing? I am just sitting on the computer and critizing them for their actions. On the other hand, I feel that I am fighting corruption in my own way. I am trying to convince them to alter their strategy as there is a better alternative available.

First, I have always insisted that the solution to controlling corruption is by taking over the government through elections. At least, Anna Hazare realized this and said on the TV that “What can we do? They are in power.” It was also announced by Team Anna that a political party will be floated to fight against corruption. I don’t know whether this decision was arrived by their own review of their strategy or may be somebody read my blogs but I am glad that they finally agreed with what I was saying all along.

Since I thought Arvind Kejriwal is on the right track, a few days back I wrote a letter to him which is reproduced below:

“Dear Arvind:

First, let me admit that I have been a critic of Team Anna. Critic not of the cause but of the method.

The cause of corruptioon is my cause too. I made a small effort by opening a website and blogging about the issue (www.vote2change.org). My thinking has evolved overtime but you can read some of my thoughts on the subject on my website and blog. For about a year, I have not updated my website or blogged because of personal reasons.

I think you are now on the right path, that is, contesting elections. I have some thoughts on the subject especially on the strategy / implementation part and I was wondering if your group would be interested in hearing me out.

By the way, I am not a politician and don’t want to be one in the traditional sense of the term. I am interested in becoming part of what I like to call “Country Management.” I had planned to fight elections and may do so in 2014. However, I know that even if I win, this act of mine as an individual will not help in any manner. We need to take control of the government. Hence this letter to you.

My profile is available on the above website, If interested, please give me a call.”

If you have visited my website www.vote2change.org, you will realize that I wanted to fight corruption by contesting elections but changed my mind because I realized that till we can control the government, my fighting elections would be useless. Over the last 2/3 years I have developed a plan to take over the government to bring about accountability that BJP is talking about and to try to reduce corruption if not completely eradicate it. I believe the timing is right and Arvind Kejriwal and his team is probably the right medium through which my plan can be implemented successfully. Hence, the above letter to Arvind Kejriwal.

Protesting will not get us anywhere. It will just waste everybody’s time and result in loss of national resources. Some people may even get injured. None of the netas are going to be inconvenienced by protests. It will be the aam admi just like you and me who will be inconvenienced.

So, I suggest to Arvind Kejriwal, forget protests and focus on implementing the election strategy. Of course, I have some ideas which may help us in taking over the government which I can share with him.

Avinash Narula

Coalgate Scam-Why is Congress against investigation?

No political party or the government should be against any kind of investigation where there is suspicion of fraud. If they have done no wrong as they have claimed then why are they afraid of investigation? They are blaming the BJP for stalling the government but what are they doing? They should have agreed to a CBI investigation and BJP would not have a leg to stand on. The refusal of Congress to take any serious action to get to the bottom of this matter clearly suggests that they are guilty.

Congress is offering debate as an alternative. But what is the result going to be. Nothing. Nada. First of all, both sides will give their arguments. However, who will decide who is right or wrong? Who will decide the next course of action? Remember, Congress is in power and they have majority in the Parliament along with their allies. BJP knows that nothing will come out of it. Just like they know nothing is going to come out 2G JPC.

Just as they say in law that flight is evidence of guilt, I would say not agreeing to conduct investigation in a suspected government decision involving huge amount is evidence of guilt.

More about Coalgate later.

Avinash Narula

Zero loss, an illogical obsession with Congress

What is it with Congress ministers? First, Kapil Sibal floats the absurd theory of Zero Loss in the case of 2G scam and now PC Chidambaram finds logic in it to justify coalgate scam. The surprising part is that both are reputed lawyers and lawyers are supposed to be logical. The discipline of law is nothing but logic. We all know that politics corrupts but I did not know that it also makes people trained to be logical illogical.

I have, in the past, rubbished Kapil Sibal’s theory of zero loss in 2G scam and Arun Jaitley did not give me a chance to do the same to PC Chidambaram as he did it quite well. Since Arun Jaitley is also a reputed lawyer, I am glad he has used logic to trash PC Chidambaram’s argument that there has been no loss since no coal has been mined. Later he said, “We did not say zero loss. We said there will be loss or gain only when coal is mined, not when there has been no mining in 56 blocks.” Could you please explain it simple words what you are saying Mr. Chidambaram as I am not as intelligent as you and I cannot understand the mumbo jumbo. I think Chidambaram should be held in contempt of the people of this country for insulting their intelligence. Does he think we are all stupid?

Arun Jaitley very rightly stated when he said, “The coal, which is a mineral under mother earth, now doesn’t belong to Mr Chdambaram’s government but to 142 private entreprenuers.” He further added, “If someone takes money out of Chidambaram’s bank account, puts it in his account but doesn’t encash it, will he (Chidambaram ) assume he has not suffered any loss.”

I found the whole case very interesting. On one hand, a politician makes one of the most absurd statement and on the other hand another politicians counters it with logic rarely exhibited by politicians.

Now another lawyer Salman Khurshid, a UPA minister, wrote an interesting article arguing that the government has the right to make policy. As such, the government can decide whether to allocate or auction the coal blocks or any other resource or asset of the country. He gave the example of giving land at low cost to the hospitals with the condition that they treat the poor free or at subsidized rates. I agree. But the policy has to be implemented in a transparent and fair manner so that the benefits of the policy results in the benefit to the nation and the citizen of the country. The coal blocks cannot be allocated on the whims and fancies of the government or in exchange of money or by favouring one party over the other. Also, there should be performance clause in the agreements when you are allocating the resources of this country. If the parties do not adhere to the terms of the agreement or achieve the performance goals, strict action should be taken.

Let me give a simple example. If permission to build a multistorey building on the Adarsh land is being given, it should be for the good of the nation and for the benefit of the citizens of this country. Let us say, the benefit to the people of Mumbai if the permission is given would be that by doing so the number of dwelling units will increase which is good for the citizens of Mumbai. I can understand that if Salman says this is a policy matter. But the flats cannot be allotted to relatives, drivers and servants of politicians and bureaucrats as a policy. This is not a policy matter and the government has no discretion in this matter. All the citizens of Mumbai and the country have an equal right to buy these flats.

The problem is that the politicians and bureaucrats are not aware of what the decision making criteria of the government should be and as such they keep making decisions which are incorrect. I think that each one of them should be made to sign a document which states what their decision making criteria would be which is as follows:

“To make all decisions in the best interest of the nation and the citizens of this country even if it hurts them personally.”

The above should also be included in the oath taken by the ministers, prime ministers and others.

Avinash Narula

I told you so. Team Anna’s plan will not work.

I had been away for quite some because of personal reasons, I am back. Also, the fight against corruption has taken a new turn.

I had predicted that Anna Hazare’s campaign will not yield result and that is exactly what has happened. It is unfortunate that Team Anna again decided to go on indefinite fast and finally had to give up with a promise to fight corruption by contesting elections. Some say it was to save face. I hope that Arvind Kejriwal and others are serious about it. This is the only way we can take our country back and I have been shouting about it at the top of my voice but nobody is listening.

A lot of people have criticised Team Anna’s decision. Swaminathan who writes the column “swaminomics” in Times of India have given a lot of reasons why disbanded Team Anna should not contest elections and also why they would fail. I agree with most of them. However, I feel there is a window of opportunity as far as 2014 elections are concerned. If the anti corruption movement does not grab power in 2014, then they would lose the momentum. As such, I feel that it is critical that they grab power in 2014 and I would say that they have a fighting chance to do. Anna has said that one needs Rs. 10-15 crores per seat to contest elections. I think with the mood of the country and combining the strengths of people like Anna, Baba Ramdev and others of the anti corruption movement, we have a good chance to take our country back. Having money to back helps but I think today we can takeover the government without money because today Team Anna has credibility, legal resources, a volunteer organization and the most important that the public is fed-up with corruption. People believe in the cause.

Keep yourself logged-in here if you want to know more on how we can do it, that is, take our country back by taking control of the government.

Avinash Narula

Sometimes even Digvijay Singh is logical!

Most of the time when you hear Digvijay Singh, he is talking about some conspiracy or the other. One cannot see any logic in what he says. Recently, he has written to Anna Hazare and again talked about conspiracy wherein he suggests Anna’s team members are taking him for a ride. I am not much of a guy for conspiracies but I do understand logic and for a change Digvijay Singh is talking logic when he says that it does make sense that Anna Hazare is supporting (directly or indirectly) Chautala and Bhajan Lal’s sons. Anna’s strategy does not make sense. Let us assume where Anna’s strategy will take us if he is successful in replacing Congress at the centre and in all the states and replaces them with people like Chautala and Bhajan Lal’s sons? I think we would be in deeper trouble then what we are in right now. Also, this strategy of Anna also suggests that he is being vindictive and is using his new found power in a abusive manner. He did so while threatening the Parliament and the Government earlier. Now he is threatening the Congress Party. I think Anna and his team are digging a hole for themselves.

Avinash Narula

Should we be now afraid of Anna?

I think we should be after hearing Arvind Kejriwal say that Anna Hazare is above the Parliament. I think Arvind Kejriwal has lost it or is it arrogance talking. Of course, the citizen of the country is supposed to be the proverbial “King” and certainly above the Parliament because he actually makes the Parliament collectively with other citizens. He is above the Parliament as he can vote and change the people who form the Parliament. But no individual can dictate what the Parliament should do or not do as Anna Hazare id doing. Anna Hazare can certainly using his popularity, his views and vision to take part in the elections and control the government but try to implement his ideas and nobody can stop him. But he cannot do Dadagiri as an individual citizen. Imagine what would happen if everybody started dictating to the Parliament what it should do or not do. There would be Anarchy. We have a number of people who have a large public following including celebrities, mahatmas and even industrialists like Narayan Murthy who can go on fast and start dictating unreasonable terms to the Parliament or the government.

So is there a difference between Anna Hazare and the politicians that we have? The politicians take the support of the citizens to win elections and then use the power given to them against the interest of the citizens. Anna Hazare is also misusing the support of the citizens of this country by trying to force a Lokpal Bill on us as well as destroying the highest institution of democracy, the Parliament. Power has certainly corrupted the minds of people like Arvind Kejriwal if he insists that Anna Hazare is above the Parliament.

I am also a citizen of this country. How do I know that Anna’s plan is good? I believe that Anna’s Lokpal Bill gives too much power to one single authority and overides the basic principle of separation of judiciary, legislature and administration. Such a bill is not acceptable to me. I am not willing top accept wahtever Anna proposes. In fact, I am against coming out with new laws as one can modify present laws and most important start implementing laws.

What I am afraid of is that without power Anna is behaving like a dictator, what would happen if he or his cronies get into power. Anna has no choice but to fight elections. If he does that I am with him. I will fight the elections with him. There is legal way available for us to take action and take our country back from the corrupt. I do hope we do not lose this opportunity because of unreasonable demands and actions of people like Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. I believe with the supporters of Anna, Baba Ramdev and other like minded individuals and organizations, we can overthrow the government in the elections and make our country “corruption free.”

Avinash Narula