Indian Wiki Leaks

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by SHASH2K2, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Congress paid Rs10cr to RLD MPs for confidence vote: US cables


    NEW DELHI: An aide of Congress leader Satish Sharma allegedly showed a US Embassy employee "two chests containing cash" and said Rs 50-60 crore is ready for use as "pay-offs" to win the support of some MPs ahead of crucial vote of confidence in UPA government over the Indo-US nuke deal, claimed a set of US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.

    Noting that the Congress party machine was working "overtime" behind the scenes in the run-up to the confidence vote on July 22, 2008, the cables also claimed the party had allegedly paid Rs 10 crores to each of their "four RLD MPs."

    RLD chief Ajit Singh denied the allegations of pay-offs and said the party voted against the Manmohan Singh government since it was against the civil nuclear deal.

    The cable claimed that Nachiketa Kapur, Sharma's political aide, mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16, 2008 that Ajit Singh's RLD had been paid Rs. 10 crore for each of their "four MPs" to support the government.

    Kapur reportedly mentioned that money was not an issue at all, but the crucial thing was to ensure that those who took the money would vote for the government, according to the cable sent from the US Embassy to the US State department dated July 17, 2008.

    Kapur showed the Embassy employee "two chests containing cash" and said that "around Rs. 50-60 crore (about $25 million) was lying around the house for "use as pay-offs", the cable claimed. ( BJP demands UPA govt's resignation, Parliament adjourned )
     
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  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Guys,

    The Hindu has started publishing US Embassy cables originating from India as leaked by WikiLeaks. Please post all the revelations in this thread for information and discussion.


    'The Indian Cables' on The Hindu
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Satish Sharma aide showed U.S. Embassy employee cash to be used as ‘pay-offs’ in confidence vote

    Siddharth Varadarajan
    [​IMG] PTI/Lok Sabha TV BJP MPs show the wads of cash they had allegedly been bribed with to switch sides on July 22, 2008, the day the Manmohan Singh government faced the trust vote.

    ‘Two chests containing cash’ part of a bigger fund of Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 60 crore

    Five days before the Manmohan Singh government faced a crucial vote of confidence on the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal in 2008, a political aide to Congress leader Satish Sharma showed a U.S. Embassy employee “two chests containing cash” he said was part of a bigger fund of Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 60 crore that the party had assembled to purchase the support of MPs. The aide also claimed the four MPs belonging to Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal had already been paid Rs. 10 crore each to ensure they voted the right way on the floor of the Lok Sabha.
    In a cable, dated July 17, 2008, sent to the State Department (162458: secret), accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, U.S. Charge d'Affaires Steven White wrote about a visit the Embassy's Political Counselor paid to Satish Sharma, who is described as “a Congress Party MP in the Rajya Sabha ... and a close associate of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi considered to be a very close family friend of Sonia Gandhi.”
    Mr. Sharma told the U.S. diplomat that he and others in the party were working hard to ensure the government won the confidence vote on July 22. After describing the approaches the Congress leader said had been made to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Akali Dal, Mr. White drops a bombshell of a revelation:
    “Sharma's political aide Nachiketa Kapur mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16 that Ajit Singh's RLD had been paid Rupees 10 crore (about $2.5 million) for each of their four MPs to support the government. Kapur mentioned that money was not an issue at all, but the crucial thing was to ensure that those who took the money would vote for the government.”
    Lest this should be construed by the visiting diplomats as an empty boast, Mr. Sharma's aide put his money where his mouth was: “Kapur showed the Embassy employee two chests containing cash and said that around Rupees 50-60 crore (about $25 million) was lying around the house for use as pay-offs.”
    Independently, Mr. Sharma told the Political Counselor “that PM Singh and others were trying to work on the Akali Dal (8 votes) through financier Sant Chatwal and others, but unfortunately it did not work out.” He said “the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi were committed to the nuclear initiative and had conveyed this message clearly to the party.” Efforts were also on to try and get the Shiv Sena to abstain. Further, “Sharma mentioned that he was also exploring the possibility of trying to get former Prime Minister Vajpayee's son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya to speak to BJP representatives to try to divide the BJP ranks.”
    The cable makes it clear the Congress campaign to buy votes was not confined to the cash-filled war chests that Nachiketa Kapur and Satish Sharma had gathered.
    “Another Congress Party insider told PolCouns that Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath is also helping to spread largesse. ‘Formerly he could only offer small planes as bribes,'” according to this interlocutor, ‘now he can pay for votes with jets.'”
    Despite these efforts, the U.S. Embassy concluded that the UPA maintained only a “precarious lead” in the forthcoming confidence vote. “Our best guess at this time show the government maintaining its slim majority with the anticipated vote count at about 273 in favor, 251 opposed, and 19 abstentions.”
    The prediction was impressively close to the mark. Prime Minister Singh got 275 votes in favour with 256 against and 10 abstentions.
    Just before the vote, the BJP produced cash on the floor of the House and alleged that this was the money the government had used to try and buy the support of MPs. But subsequent investigations ran aground. The secret U.S. Embassy cable, however, is likely to reignite Opposition allegations that bribery was resorted to on a massive scale to ensure the UPA won the 2008 vote of confidence.
    The fact that Congress politicians could speak so freely to American diplomats about their bribing spree during the run up to the confidence vote — and that the latter could be so blasé about the subversion of democracy — underlines the all-encompassing but ultimately corrosive nature of the “strategic partnership” the two governments were trying to build.
    As for Mr. Kapur, his candid display of crores of rupees to be used by the Congress as “pay offs” for the trust vote was not seen by the U.S. Embassy as compromising his democratic credentials in any way. In November 2008, he was sent to the U.S. under the State Department's I-Vote 2008 programme as an observer for that year's presidential election. “The move to invite international observers”, he wrote in a blog post, “reflects the open and democratic nature of the American society.”
     
  5. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Who says India is not for sale get the right price and everything becomes possible.
     
  6. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    ‘Cash for votes a way of political life in South India’

    Sarah Hiddleston
    [​IMG]

    Politicians admit to breaking election law: ‘yes, that's the great thing about democracy'



    Politicians and their aides in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh admitted to violating election law to influence voters in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls through payments in the form of cash, goods, or services, according to a revealing cable sent to the State Department by Frederick J. Kaplan, Acting Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate-General in Chennai. In conversations with a visiting consulate team, Karti Chidambaram of the Congress, M. Patturajan, confidant of Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri and former Mayor of Madurai, and Member of Parliament Assaduddin Owaisi of the Majlis-e-Ittenhadul Muslimeen spoke without inhibition about how they, their principals, or their parties made payments to voters during the election campaign.



    In a cable sent on May 13, 2009 (206688: confidential), accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, Mr. Kaplan detailed the role and impact of money power in corrupting the electoral process, drawing from information gathered from a variety of sources in the field: “Bribes from political parties to voters, in the form of cash, goods, or services, are a regular feature of elections in South India. Poor voters expect bribes from political candidates, and candidates find various ways to satisfy voter expectations. From paying to dig a community well to slipping cash into an envelope delivered inside the morning newspaper, politicians and their operatives admitted to violating election rules to influence voters. The money to pay the bribes comes from the proceeds of fund-raising, which often crosses into political corruption. Although the precise impact of bribery on voter behavior is hard to measure, it no doubt swings at least some elections, especially the close races.”



    Wherever Mr. Kaplan and his colleagues went, “journalists, politicians, and voters spoke of the bribes as a commonly accepted fact of the election process.”



    For example, during visits to slums in Chennai and Hyderabad, they “learned that poor urban voters expect political parties to pay come election time.” They were told by a DMK political strategist that “slums are critical to a campaign because their population density and poverty allows them to be more ‘easily mobilized' by bribes.” Representatives of a non-governmental organisation working in a Chennai slum said that “the two main political parties in Tamil Nadu – the DMK and the AIADMK – regularly bribe voters.” They described a “sophisticated operation” to distribute cash: “Weeks before the elections agents of the parties come to the neighborhood with cash carried in rice sacks. They have copies of the voter lists and they distribute the money based on who is on the list.” The agents come in the middle of the night, “between two and four in the morning, when the Election Commission is asleep.”
    ‘Can I get another morning paper?’

    In Madurai, “virtually every conversation centred on the parliamentary candidacy of Mr. M.K. Azhagiri,” who according to Mr. Kaplan had “added money” to his “political muscle” and was “using it to a degree previously unseen in Tamil Nadu.” His “confidant” Mr. Patturajan confirmed that cash payments were paid to voters by the DMK to secure the Assembly seat in the January 2009 by-election at Thirumangalam. “It is no secret at all, Azhagiri paid 5,000 rupees per voter in Thirumangalam,” he is quoted as saying in the cable.



    In an instructive and entertaining section titled ‘Can I get another morning paper?' Mr. Kaplan explained the modus operandi for cash distribution adopted by the DMK in Thirumangalam: “Rather than using the traditional practice of handing cash to voters in the middle of the night, in Thirumangalam, the DMK distributed money to every person on the voting roll in envelopes inserted in their morning newspapers. In addition to the money, the envelopes contained the DMK ‘voting slip' which instructed the recipient for whom they should vote.” This, Mr. Kaplan noted, “forced everyone to receive the bribe.” Mr. Patturajan , he wrote, “confirmed the newspaper distribution method of handing out money, but questioned its efficiency. He [Patturajan] pointed out that giving bribes every voter wasted money on committed anti-DMK voters, but conceded that it was an effective way to ensure the cash reached every potential persuadable voter”.



    S. Kannan, a mid-level Congress party official in Madurai, told consulate staff that “the 5,000 rupees per voter in Thirumangalam changed everything,” noting that previous bribes to voters had topped out at 500 rupees.



    The cable reported that Mr. Patturajan expected difficulties in replicating the Thirumangalam model for the 2009 parliamentary election because the relevant Lok Sabha constituency was seven times the size of the Assembly seat. According to the cable: “Azhagiri has been forced to ratchet the payment back down to more typical levels, but he still plans on giving it to every voter through the newspaper distribution method.”



    Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign in Sivaganga was managed by his son. According to the cable, Karti Chidambaram specifically denied paying cash for votes, “but not because of any moral objection to doing so. He does not pay cash for votes in his rural constituency because it is impossible to distribute the money effectively when the villages are spread so far apart.” But “the President of the Tamil Nadu Youth Congress,” who is not named in the cable, told the Chennai Consulate-General team: “Karti is doing a good job in Sivaganga. He is distributing some money to the people, which his father won't do.”



    Karti Chidambaram admitted he “does give ‘a few sops' to villages that might be on the fence about supporting his father.” Most villages wanted a donation to the local temple and a community hall, he said. In his cable, Mr. Kaplan summarised Karti's position: “bribes are useful but not necessary to political success…bribes are one factor among many, along with the quality of the candidate, the strength of the party, and the issues. But he cautioned that bribes alone will not prevail.” Anil Ambani, Karti is quoted as saying, “can't win an election just by paying people off. It doesn't work that way.” Candidates needed a strong party apparatus in order to win elections, but “bribes can help put you over the top” in a close race.



    “Worthy requests” by constituents were worth considering, mused MIM's Mr. Owaisi in a separate conversation with consulate staff over a late dinner in Hyderabad after a long day campaigning. According to Mr. Kaplan's cable, Mr. Owaisi tried to make a distinction between cash bribes given by rivals and payments to voters by his own party: “One community's leaders asked Owaisi that day to dig them a well. ‘So I sent one of my party men back later in the day,' he explained, ‘to give them 25,000 rupees (approximately 500 USD).' Owaisi emphasized that he does not give cash directly to voters, but rather funds worthy requests: ‘If they want a well, I give them the money, but make sure they use it for the well.' On the same day, he also told us that he had paid 35,000 rupees (700 USD) to pay for the marriage of an orphaned girl. Owaisi contrasted his practice of funding projects for the community's benefit with the Congress and Telugu Desam parties, which Owaisi said pay money to individual voters.”



    Surprised by such candid responses, the U.S. Consulate-General officials asked Mr. Owaisi if donations like wells or marriage fees were not illegal. “Of, course,” came the reply, “but that's the great thing about democracy.”
     
  7. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    why so much surprised. It's normal everywhere to buy votes in parliament with money and honey.
     
  8. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Cash-for-vote: UPA govt. should resign, say Opposition parties

    PTI
    [​IMG]
    On the WikiLeaks expose, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said, "What happened in the 14th Lok Sabha cannot be judged during the tenure of the present House." Photo: PTI


    The ghost of bribes for MPs’ votes returned to haunt the government on Thursday with the entire Opposition demanding its resignation over allegations that UPA-I purchased the support of lawmakers to survive the trial of strength at the height of crisis over Indo-U.S. nuclear deal in 2008.

    On top of several scams that had surfaced in the last few months, the government faced a torrid time in Parliament on Thursday with Opposition targeting it on the manner in which it won the vote of confidence in 2008 after the Left parties had withdrawn support to it opposing the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal.

    Both the Houses of Parliament were repeatedly rocked by uproar and adjournments by the Opposition members who demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his government saying it did not have any right to continue even for a moment as it was surviving on “political and moral sin“.

    The Right and and the Left combined in Parliament whenever it met during the day to launch an assault armed with the claim in a U.S. diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks that an aide of former Union Minister Satish Sharma had shown to the diplomat currency chests that were part of Rs.50 crore to Rs.60 crore money collected by Congress for purchase MPs for the vote in the Lok Sabha.

    The only defence that the government came out with was when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament that a diplomat’s cable enjoyed immunity and he could not confirm or deny its contents.

    Past is past
    “Each Lok Sabha is sovereign in its tenure. What happened in the 14th Lok Sabha cannot be judged during the tenure of the present House. Government of the day is accountable to the 15th Lok Sabha and not to the 14th Lok Sabha.

    “Whatever has happened in the 14th Lok Sabha has come to an end with the end of its tenure,” the Leader of the House said but the Opposition members were not in a mood to accept his contention.

    The Congress party attacked the BJP and other parties for disrupting Parliament over the issue and claimed “the whole world has rejected the WikiLeaks reports".

    Sharma denies
    As the storm was blowing in Parliament, two key players -- Satish Sharma and his supposed political aide Nachiketa Kapur-named in the cable sent to the State Department by US Charge d’Affaires Steven White on July 17, five days before the confidence vote, denied their role.

    Mr. Sharma, whose name had cropped up in the JMM MPs bribery case in 1990s also, said he never had Mr. Kapur as his aide at any time ever in the past or now and that the contents in the WikiLeaks cable were “baseless”.

    Mr. Kapur also maintained that he never worked for Mr. Sharma, whom he knew, but denied the diplomat’s claim as “malicious allegations”. “I did not meet him (diplomat),” he claimed.

    No, says Ajit Singh
    Ajit Singh, chief of Rashtriya Lok Dal whose four MPs were allegedly paid Rs. 10 crore each for supporting the government, also denied the allegation. He said his three MPs had voted against the government in the trial of strength.

    The BJP-led NDA and other Opposition parties like Left, SP, TDP and JD(S) made a common cause on the issue and launched a frontal attack on the Prime Minister.

    PM should resign
    “We would like the Prime Minister to come to the House and announce that he has decided to resign in the light of new revelations,” NDA’s Working Chairman L.K. Advani told a press conference flanked by leaders of the alliance.

    He ruled out moving a no-confidence motion against the government saying “the people are no longer with the government".
    “We will be failing in our duty if we do not not affirm that this government has lost the moral authority to continue even for a single moment,” Mr. Advani said.

    He said the full establishment of the government and the Congress party from the right were involved in the bribery episode which has “maligned” India’s democracy in the eyes of the world.

    Moral sin
    His party colleague and Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said the government survived on the basis of political and moral sin and was conducting a “farcical game” as it has been caught “with its pants down”.

    Mr. Jaitley dismissed Mr. Mukherjee’s argument that what was done in the 14th Lok Sabha could not be gone into now saying the commission of criminal offence in 2008 does not disappear with the constitution of a new House.

    He also said the defence of diplomatic immunity may apply to the cable of the diplomat for its protection but even that has been leaked and the protection may not extend to the bribes given by Indians in India.

    Describing the alleged “buying” of MPs during the 2008 confidence vote as the “biggest scandal” in Independent India, he said WikiLeaks had confirmed “our suspicions” about the ‘cash-for-vote’ scam.

    He gave enough signals that the BJP—led alliance would not allow normal functioning of Parliament till its demand is met as he said that allies will meet every day to decide the course of action.

    Moral degeneration
    Addressing a separate press conference along with the leaders of CPI, SP, TDP, TRS, CPI(M) leader Mr. Sitaram Yechury dubbed the alleged acts of buying votes as “gross moral degeneration and crass political opportunism” which has undermined Indian democracy.

    “It is a humongous indictment of the Congress and the UPA government,” he said, adding, “The Prime Minister must come and explain. Today was his day in the Rajya Sabha and he was not present.”

    Demanding a probe into the matter by the CBI, he wanted to know why investigation in the cash—for—votes scam did not continue. “Was it because it would have embarrassed the government and the principal opposition.”

    The CPI(M) leader was addressing the press along with Gurudas Dasgupta and D. Raja (CPI), former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda (JDS), Nama Nageshwara Rao (TDP) and Shailendra Kumar (SP).

    The Left parties questioned the silence of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the wake of fresh WikiLeaks expose.
    “The Prime Minister must come and explain. Today was his day in the Rajya Sabha and he was not present,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters.

    The party also demanded registration of a case in the `cash—for—vote’ scam.

    In a statement, the party Polit Bureau said the report sent by the diplomat should be the basis for filing an FIR and initiating an investigation against Mr. Satish Sharma and his aide Mr. Nachiketa Kapur, who were named in the diplomatic cable.

    The WikiLeaks expose, published in The Hindu, confirmed what the Left parties had been saying in 2008 that MPs were bribed to vote in favour of the government, Mr. Yechury said.

    “It is a humongous indictment of the Congress and the UPA government,” he said and demanded an investigation into the matter by the CBI.

    TDP’s Nama Nageshwara Rao said the UPA had committed a murder of democracy by buying votes for its survival.
    “The UPA government has no authority to continue in office. The Prime Minister should come forward and make a statement. If he does not speak, he should resign,” he said.
     
  9. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    How India kept pressure off Sri Lanka

    Nirupama Subramanian
    [​IMG]


    In the final stages of the war with the LTTE, New Delhi played all sides but discouraged international attempts to halt the operations.

    India played a key role in warding off international pressure on Sri Lanka to halt military operations and hold talks with the LTTE in the dramatic final days and weeks of the war in 2009, confidential U.S. Embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks showed.

    The cables reveal that while India conveyed its concern to Sri Lanka several times about the “perilous” situation that civilians caught in the fighting faced, it was not opposed to the anti-LTTE operation.

    They also show that India worried about the Sri Lankan President's “post-conflict intentions,” though it believed that there was a better chance of persuading him to offer Sri Lankan Tamils an inclusive political settlement after the fighting ended.

    After its efforts to halt the operation failed, the international community resigned itself to playing a post-conflict role by using its economic leverage, acknowledging that it had to rope in India for this.

    In the closing stages of the war, New Delhi played all sides, always sharing the concern of the international community over the humanitarian situation and alleged civilian casualties in the Sri Lankan military campaign, but discouraging any move by the West to halt the operations.

    In January 2009, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee made a “short notice” visit to Sri Lanka. The Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo, Vikram Misri, briefed the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission and other diplomats about the visit, in a cable dated January 29, 2009 (189383: confidential).

    At a two-hour meeting at President Rajapaksa's residence, attended by the army chief, defence secretary and other top officials, Mr. Mukherjee stressed he was in Colombo with “no objective other than to ensure that human rights and safety of civilians were protected.”

    Mr. Misri told the diplomats that while domestic political considerations were a factor in the Indian calculus, “New Delhi is deeply worried about the humanitarian crisis in the Vanni. He added that Indians throughout the country, not just in Tamil Nadu, are troubled by the high level of casualties sustained by Tamil civilians caught in the crossfire.”

    From Mr. Mukherjee's statement at the end of his visit, it was clear that India did not oppose the operations. “I stressed that military victories offer a political opportunity to restore life to normalcy in the Northern Province and throughout Sri Lanka, after twenty three years of conflict. The President assured me that this was his intent.”

    Indian theme

    This was to remain the Indian theme, except for a brief period in April 2009, when New Delhi, under pressure in the context of elections in Tamil Nadu — the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a partner in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), was feeling the heat of the Sri Lankan operations — made an attempt to press for a pause in the operations, if not a cessation.
    In a meeting with U.S. Embassy Charge d'Affaires Peter Burleigh on April 15, 2009, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said the Sri Lankan government had made clear it “did not want a UN Envoy in resolving the conflict with the LTTE, nor was the GSL interested now in direct negotiations with the LTTE or in a cease-fire”, which is in a cable sent on April 15, 2009 (202476: confidential).

    The Foreign Secretary told Mr. Burleigh that the Indian government had advised Sri Lanka against rejecting all such proposals out of hand and “offered a suggestion that the GSL consider offering an amnesty to all but the hard core of the LTTE.”
    But he also pointed out there were questions about what constituted the LTTE's core and what modalities would be used to make such an offer.

    The Foreign Secretary “acknowledged that the space for such discussions was small and flagged President Rajapaksa's electoral considerations as militating against anything that could be viewed as a concession to the LTTE. ‘Quiet diplomacy' outside of Sri Lanka faced serious challenges and the Sri Lankan government would have to ‘be dragged, kicking and screaming' to talks.”
    Mr. Menon highlighted another problem: in “India's view, the group was sending conflicting signals and there was a real question as to who spoke for Prabhakaran”. He also questioned whether Prabhakaran understood the situation he faced.
    Ruling out the possibility of Indian involvement in any such process between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government, Mr. Menon told the U.S. official that the ongoing elections in India made such efforts “impossible.”

    Still, he left Mr. Burleigh with the impression that India was not opposed to the idea of talks at that late stage.
    “He asked whether the U.S. was interested in such talks and said India would think about participation, perhaps with other states under UN auspices, in an effort to obtain a peaceful conclusion to the conflict,” the charge wrote in the cable.

    Three weeks later, U.K. Special Envoy for Sri Lanka Des Browne, visiting New Delhi on May 6-7, heard from Foreign Secretary Menon and National Security Adviser (NSA) M.K. Narayanan(cable 206806: confidential, May 13, 2009), that while there was “domestic political pressure” on India to do more on Sri Lanka due to the ongoing elections (the Tamil Nadu Assembly election was on May 13), “there was little anyone could do to alleviate the fighting as Sri Lanka government forces moved towards the end game of defeating the LTTE.”

    A British High Commission contact briefing the U.S. Embassy political counselor on this meeting said the Indian officials were concerned about the humanitarian situation, but “were more upbeat on chances to persuade President Rajapaksa to offer Tamils a political solution once fighting had ended.

    The two Indian officials were “slightly more optimistic of the chances to persuade President Rajapaksa to offer the Tamils a genuinely inclusive political settlement once fighting had ended. It was the Indians' impression that President Rajapaksa believed this was his moment in history, i.e., a chance to bring peace to the island for good, but that the Sri Lankan Army was an obstacle, having been emboldened by its victory over the LTTE.” They told Mr. Browne that if Sri Lanka did not implement the “13th Amendment Plus” devolution plan quickly, a new terrorist movement could quickly fill the vacuum left by the LTTE's defeat.

    Their advice to the British special envoy: it was “useful to have Sri Lanka on the UNSC's agenda, and to issue periodic Presidential Statements, but it would be counterproductive for the UN to ‘gang up' on Colombo; providing Rajapaksa with a rationale for fighting off international pressure would only serve to bolster his domestic political standing.”
    On May 15, the U.S. Charge met Mr. Menon again for “a discussion on the urgent humanitarian situation” in Sri Lanka, in a cable sent on May 15, 2009 (207268: confidential).

    Acknowledging the “dire situation,” the Foreign Secretary said pressure needed to be put on the Sri Lankan government to avoid civilian causalities. But once again, “he cautioned that bilateral diplomacy would be more effective than highly public pressure in the UN Security Council or the Human Rights Council.”

    For a ‘pause'

    By then, under pressure from UPA coalition partner and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, New Delhi had already tried to get the Sri Lankan government to go easy on the war-front.

    On April 23, Mr. Burleigh wrote (203792: confidential) of his meeting that day with the Indian Foreign Secretary.

    Mr. Menon told him that in a phone call to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later that day, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee would propose that the U.S. and India coordinate an international effort to force the Sri Lankan government “to take appropriate political steps to bring stability to Sri Lanka and a return to normalcy in the Tamil regions.”

    He told Mr. Burleigh that the Indian Cabinet had decided to make “a new appeal to pause military operations” and provide relief to civilians trapped in the war zone.

    Mr. Menon and Mr. Narayanan then made a quick visit to Colombo on April 24. On their return, the NSA told Mr. Burleigh, in a cable sent on April 25 (204118: confidential), that the Sri Lankan President had “more or less” committed to “a cessation of hostilities”.

    Mr. Rajapakse would make the announcement on April 27 after consulting his Cabinet. Mr. Narayanan asked the U.S. to “keep quiet” about it until it came.

    The announcement did come, but not for a cessation of hostilities. Declaring that combat operations had ended, the Sri Lankan government announced heavy-calibre weapons would no longer be used. The Defence Ministry warned this was not a cessation of hostilities or ceasefire, and said the push into a 10-km swathe of land where the LTTE leader and the members of his inner circle were holed in would continue.

    Briefing Delhi-based diplomats during his May 6-7 visit, Des Browne, the U.K. special envoy, said he believed Sri Lanka could be forced through monetary inducements to accept a post-conflict role for the international community, according to the cable sent on May 13, 2009 (206806: confidential).

    “At the end of the day they'll want the money,” Mr. Burleigh quoted the U.K. special envoy as saying. Mr. Browne noted that the government had expended “vast resources” for the war, and emphasised India's “unique role” in the post-conflict scene.
    But it appears that the U.S. was worried India might shy away from such a role, and Mr. Burliegh suggested in his cable that “the time is ripe to press India to work more concretely with us on Sri Lanka issues.”
     
  10. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Sonia versus Kalam?

    Mukund Padmanabhan
    [​IMG]

    The Hindu File photo of then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

    “if President Kalam believes Sonia won't grant him a second term next summer, he may choose to push the (Afzal Guru) issue into the forefront again at a crucial moment,” says a cable sent by Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission in 2006.
    U.S. Embassy official on the Congress ‘dilemma' over Afzal Guru's execution


    The issue of executing Mohammed Afzal Guru, sentenced to death in the 2001 Parliament attack case, “may bring to light longstanding animosity between President [A.P.J. Abdul] Kalam and Sonia Gandhi,” states a cable sent by the United States Embassy in New Delhi to Washington in 2006. It added that this was so “especially as a member of her own party, [Jammu and Kashmir] Chief Minister [Ghulam Nabi] Azad, has argued on Afzal's behalf” — a possible reference to news reports that Mr. Azad had pressed for clemency to be granted to the convict.

    Sent on October 20, 2006 by Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, the cable (82638: confidential) goes on to conjecture mischievously that “if President Kalam believes Sonia won't grant him a second term next summer, he may choose to push the issue into the forefront again at a crucial moment.”

    Accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, the cable highlights the “significant electoral dilemma” the Afzal Guru issue posed for the Congress, just ahead of the “crucial” elections to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly in early-2007. It quotes unnamed party sources as telling the Embassy that if “the UPA grants a pardon for Afzal or stalls his execution, the Congress Party will be portrayed by BJP leaders as weak on national security. If, however, the President lets him hang, some fear Congress may lose support from their traditional Muslim vote block on a national scale.”

    The cable records the difference in the manner in which Kashmiri Muslims and the rest of the Indian public reacted to Afzal Guru's possible execution. It says that for Srinagar's Muslim population, it “highlights concerns about the fairness of the Indian justice system and failures in India's longstanding program to demobilize and reintegrate surrendered militants [such as Afzal Guru]”… For much of the public, commuting his sentence would demonstrate India remains weak in the face of attacks emanating from Pakistan.”

    Kashmir factor

    It quotes Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik as telling a Consulate political officer that many “Kashmiri Muslims feel sympathy for Afzal” and that his only crime was “buying a car.” (Afzal Guru was not a member of the team that attacked Parliament but had bought the Ambassador car which breached Parliament's first line of security.) “How does this warrant a death sentence?” Mr. Malik is said to have asked. However, Mr. Malik's comments were at variance with many moderate Kashmiri separatist leaders in the Valley. One Hurriyat leader told the Consulate's political officer that his faction was “remaining as quiet as possible because they do not feel strongly that Indian should pardon Afzal.”

    He said “moderate members of the Hurriyat are unable to express this view publicly, given the mood in the Valley and the threat from terrorists. He claimed that the controversy over Afzal Guru had led to a loss of support for moderates such as himself among Kashmiri Muslims, “especially [among] a small but growing cadre of Kashmiri youth who are being educated in extremist madarassas springing up across Srinagar with Pakistani Jamaat-i-Islami party funding.”

    The cable suggests that the “easiest option for the Congress may be to delay Afzal's execution for years to consider his appeal for clemency.” This is exactly what has happened. In February 2011, Home Minister P. Chidambaram clarified in Parliament that Afzal Guru's mercy petition, filed on October 3, 2006, had not yet been forwarded to President Pratibha Patil.
     
  11. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    ‘Elitist Congress leadership unwilling to engage with masses'

    Suresh Nambath
    [​IMG]

    The “elitist leadership” of the Congress, including party president Sonia Gandhi and her children, are unwilling to go into the countryside in the Hindi belt to engage with the masses and regain their loyalty. Besides, there are the problems of “overreliance on the Gandhi brand to solve all problems” and sycophancy, which is seen as a licence to “backbite and squabble behind the scenes.”

    This is the candid assessment of the internal state of the ruling party conveyed to Washington by the U.S. Embassy in January 2006.

    The cable sent on January 27, 2006 (50883: confidential), reported that Congress weaknesses had become evident after the party gained power in 2004: “In the crucial Hindi belt, its elitist leadership (including Sonia Gandhi and her children) are unwilling to go into the countryside to engage with the masses and regain their loyalty. Inside the party, there is an over-reliance on the Gandhi brand to solve all problems. The insistence on outward displays of loyalty to the Gandhis has prevented the emergence of a strong and credible second tier leadership capable of mounting effective state-wide campaigns in crucial states like Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.”

    “The coterie surrounding the Gandhis believes that public loyalty to ‘Madam' gives them a license to backbite and squabble behind the scenes.

    “The party leadership in Karnataka arrogantly dismissed JD(S) attempts to share power, insisting that Congress should predominate,” the Embassy cabled.

    Referring to the All India Congress Committee's January 22, 2006 plenary session in Hyderabad, it noted how 10,000 party leaders and workers went to “extraordinary lengths to demonstrate their sycophantic loyalty to the Gandhi family.” Although Sonia Gandhi herself had requested that such demonstrations be held to a minimum, “participants staged disruptive demonstrations demanding that the party induct Rahul Gandhi into the leadership and provide him a space on the podium.”
     
  12. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Cash-for-vote revelations tarnish PM's image

    For Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the latest revelations couldn't have come at a worse time. Already under siege on the 2G scam, the latest Wikileaks revelations that cash was exchanged to win the crucial trust vote in 2008 now raises more troubling questions.Singh is King was the slogan at that time. A much-fought-for win in the 2008 trust vote gave Manmohan Singh a reason to smile.Three years later, the latest Wikileaks cables has brought the frown back. The accidental politician and embodiment of decency has now being asked to step down.

    "This Government has no authority to continue. They must resign immediately," said Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
    The report has brought shame to the nation. This government has lost the moral right of ruling the country," said Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

    At the peak of the nuke deal tug-of-war with the Left, PM had threatened to step down. The Congress chose him and then bent every democratic rule to muster the numbers covering up for the loss of Left support.

    In these scams, PM's spin-doctors gave the argument that while his ministers erred, the PM himself was clean.But Wikileaks, to a great extent, shakes this argument.
    The alleged exchange of cash for votes is being seen as a fallout of the PM's personal obsession with the nuke deal and his personal affinity with the US.

    A stung Congress swung into action.

    "There is no reason for the PM to resign. We came back to power in 2009...shouldn't the people's voice be more important than the cables," said Congress leader Rajiv Shukla.
    The credibility of the cables may be questioned but what cannot be denied is the fact that, stung by scams, the PM's image has been deeply shaken. And now even his spin doctors seem to be failing to find a solution.

    A 2009 UPA victory had made him the king, but now with 2G, CWG and Devas Antrix deals, the PM's honest image has been shaken.
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    It is true that Mr. Manmohan Singh, before becoming the PM, was revered as possibly the most honest, hardworking, pragmatic and capable man Congress could come up with and today, stands with several taints or question marks on his integrity. One thing that we need to keep in mind is that the blame should go to Congress as a whole, because the PM alone does not take all decisions and is often 'guided' by other wise men sitting behind the curtains. Let us not make Mr. Singh the scapegoat here. I have a hard time believing that he is the one pocketing all the monies from so many scams.
     
  14. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Was this even a surprise?

    I can remember the media quoting how much each MP is getting paid, while the confidence vote was going on. So how is this a shocker after 2 years? Everyone knew about it, including which MP was getting what.
     
  15. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    This is politics in India.

    IMO no party has moral high ground over anyone.
     
  16. gogbot

    gogbot Regular Member

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    This just how politics works in this country , regardless of what party is in power.
     
  17. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Had kar di apne singh sahab. I didnt ask anyone to buy votes for me but I didn't stop them either.


    NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today appeared to raise doubts over the veracity of diplomatic correspondence cited by the Wikileaks and insisted that he had "not authorised anybody" to purchase votes nor was he involved in any such "transactions".

    "I think, people who are affected by them (Wikileaks expose), they have already commented on them, casting serious doubts about the veracity of allegations made in these diplomatic despatches," Singh said here while commenting on the Wikileaks expose which alleged that MPs were purchased during the 2008 trust vote.

    "I have no knowledge of any such purchases and I am absolutely categorical, I have not authorised anyone to purchase any votes. I am not aware of any acts of purchase of votes," he said while replying to questions at the India Today Summit.

    "I am absolutely certain in asserting that I am not at all, I think, involved in any of these transactions," the Prime Minister insisted.

    His response, however, did not categorically clarify whether or not the purchases took place at all during the Confidence Motion on July 22, 2008.

    "As far as the events of the last few days (are concerned) and the so-called Wikileaks, I would not like to comment," Singh said about the Opposition onslaught on the government following the Wikileaks expose.

    "I would not like to comment on what we are going to do right now or in days to come. These are the matters which are being discussed in Parliament. If I have anything to say, we would say in Parliament first," he said.

    Pranab dares oppn to move court on 'cash-for-votes'
     
  18. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    NEW DELHI: Refusing to buckle under attack over the Wikileaks expose, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today rubbished charges of bribery during the 2008 Trust Vote based on "speculative and unverified" cables and asserted that no one from Congress or government engaged in any "unlawful act".

    Making a statement in both Houses of Parliament, an assertive Singh hit out at the Opposition for lending "dignity" to "purported" correspondence between the US Embassy here and State Department in Washington and raising "old charges that have been debated, discussed and rejected by the people of India."

    Amid thumping of desks by the Treasury Benches, he said, "No one from the Congress party or government indulged in any unlawful act" during the July 2008 Confidence Motion.

    "An issue was raised that the offence of bribery was committed in India. Government rejects the allegations absolutely and firmly," he said, referring to the charges in the Wikileaks that bribes were paid to win the Confidence Motion of UPA-I after Left withdrew support over Indo-US nuclear deal.

    Raising questions over the cables cited by the Wikileaks website, the Prime Minister said in identical statements in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha that, "The government cannot confirm the veracity, content or even the existence of such communication."

    To press his contention, he said those who have been named by the Wikileaks have "stoutly rejected" the charges.

    Hitting out at the Opposition, he said it was "unfortunate" that it continues to raise the "old charges".

    "It is most surprising that speculative, unverified and unverifiable communications should be given dignity and seized upon by the Opposition parties to revive old charges that have been soundly rejected," Singh said.

    He pointed out that the UPA-I had won the Confidence Motion in July 2008 with 275 votes in favour and 256 against.

    These allegations of bribery were investigated by a committee of the 14th Lok Sabha which concluded that there was insufficient evidence to draw any conclusion.

    "I am disappointed that the Opposition has forgotten what happened thereafter. The Opposition repeated the allegations of bribery and how did the people respond," he said, citing the increase in Congress seats from 141 to 206 in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls as compared to BJP whose tally declined from 138 to 116 and that of Left parties from 59 to 34," he said .
     
  19. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    Only we have to blame on ourselves for this great support to scam (Congress seats from 141 to 206 in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls),lets all of us select upa for 3 rd time and we can witness 5 lakh crores scam(4 g spectrum allocation),and trillion dollars scam lol
     
  20. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Why Pranab as FM, asks Hillary: WikiLeaks

    New Delhi: A day after WikiLeaks disclosure indicated that the Congress had paid lawmakers to survive a vote of confidence in Parliament in 2008, another Wikileaks exposure reveals Washington's interference in Indian political decisions.


    US secretary of state Hillary Clinton is said to have questioned Pranab Mukherjee's appointment as finance minister and also asked its embassy in Delhi why Mukherjee was preferred to Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

    In a cable to the US Embassy in Delhi in September 2009, Clinton asked, "To which business groups is Mukherjee beholden?'; Why was (he) chosen over Montek?"

    It further adds: "To which industrial or business groups is Pranab Mukherjee beholden? Whom will he seek to help through his policies? What are Mukherjee's priorities in the upcoming budget... ?"

    These questions appear to indicate that the White House was expecting either P Chidambaram to return as finance minister or Montek Singh Ahluwalia to be elevated to that post.

    The September 14, 2009 cable asks: "What are Mukherjee's primary economic concerns and his views on Prime Minister Singh's economic reform agenda? How quickly does he plan to pursue these reforms? What is his ability to enact reforms?"

    Clinton was interested in knowing about how much importance does Mukherjee attach to the US-India bilateral economic relationship and where he saw the relationship heading.
     
  21. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    I don't see congress winning in Andhra Pradesh next time .Neither I see it winning in Rajasthan this time
     

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