Of Sasikala, SP Feud, Banned Notes Fine & Trump’s Transition [Dec 29]

BY Edit Platter Desk | PUBLISHED: 29 December 2016

‘As I See It’ with Sanjeev Srivastava | Here’s our editor’s take on day’s top stories only on Edit Platter.

Good morning and welcome to EditPlatter.com from your daily host Sanjeev Srivastava. Please allow us to take you through day’s top stories.

V K Sasikala, close aide of late Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, is likely to be elected as the AIADMK General Secretary in the party’s general council meeting today. The powerful post was held by Jayalalithaa for over three decades.

Sasikala, who has no bureaucratic or administrative experience and about whose background we have little information, is going to head a party that rules India’s one of the largest and developed states.

She is now likely to pull the strings from backstage and make chief minister Panneerselvam dance on her tune. It can happen only in India when a woman is going to lead a party only because she happens to be a close aide of late chief minister. Party’s leaders, including district secretaries, will one by one approve her elevation and interestingly, Sasikala is likely to skip the meeting. She has been adviced to visit the party headquarters in the first week of next year. She is already residing in Jayalalithaa’s residence.

Whether Jayalalithaa approved of this or not – she had in the past thrown Sasikala out of her house – makes no difference now as she perhaps possesses the key to the late CM’s vault and that makes it essential for other to bow before her. Besides, Sasikala had no opponents or other contestants to the position. Therefore, her elevation to the top post is likely to be smooth.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK headquarters witnessed some chaotic scenes yesterday afternoon when the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa’s husband was beaten up allegedly by partymen. The incident happened when Pushpa’s husband and a few others went to the AIADMK party headquarters at Royapettah to file nomination for the post of General Secretary of the party.

So, a new chapter is about to begin in Tamil Nadu’s politics with Sasikala’s appointment as AIADMK chief but history is likely to repeat itself in this case as well. A charismatic, flamboyant, highly-educated leader is going to be replaced by someone we know nothing about.

Meanwhile, political dangal has begun between father-son duo of the Samajwadi Party. If anyone had doubts about the femaily feud, they can be put to rest now.

To much chagrin of his son Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday released a list of 325 of the possible 403 candidates for upcoming Assembly polls, ignoring the former’s plans for an alliance and objections to poll tickets for certain leaders.

The UP chief minister, visibly upset over the list put out by his father and uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav in Lucknow, said it did not include names of certain candidates whose win was assured in view of their good work. Earlier in the day, Mulayam Singh, flanked by his brother Shivpal, dashed hopes of his son of forming an alliance between the SP and Congress during a presser, saying: “Samajwadi Party is not forming an alliance with anyone.” Mulayam said he was given lists by some other leaders as well, besides Akhilesh, and their recommendations had to be accommodated in the final list.

There is a piece in Firstpost which seeks to know if the party is returning to pre-Akhilesh days. Why is Mulayam hell bent on losing this election? Are Amar Singh and Shivpal creating rift in the SP on the BJP’s instructions? Or is this because of genuine intra-party differences over ideology and principles?

Akhilesh said this morning he will release a new list and in retaliatory strike he also sacked two ministers. Akhilesh will meet all ministers and MLAs who have been denied tickets in the state capital Thursday.

The big question is: Will Akhilesh, like Mughal-e-Azam’s Salim, revolt against his father, Akbar? A political Mahabharat is on in Uttar Pradesh with three key players: the SP, which is reeling under a family feud; the BSP, which is under the Enforcement Directorate’s radar; and the BJP which has a grand strategy for the upcoming polls. If polls were to be held today, the BJP is likely to come first, the BSP second, the SP third and the Congress will secure fourth position. We will talk about impact of alliances when they are formed.

The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of an ordinance to make possession of scrapped high-denomination banknotes, beyond a threshold amount, a penal offence from December 31.

The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance, 2016, aims at permanently ending the legal tender status of the old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. The possession of banned currency notes could attract a monetary fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.

Meanwhile, workers of a printing press which has been minting new currency notes on a war-footing have threatened to go on a strike for not being paid for their overtime work. Can you imagine this? We are at a loss for words to react on this unique case in India which is already reeling under cash crunch. Can the government not even pay workers for their overtime work under current circumstances?

Speculations are rife that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on the evening of December 31, a day after his demometisaton deadline ends. According to reports, he might make an announcement in regard to Benami properties.

Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ has asked the prime minister to not take any hasty decision in this regard, for a large number of people from all background have undeclared properties and the move is likely to hurt the middle-class and the poor more.

President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday accused US President Barack Obama of putting “roadblocks” in his way to the White House.

Trump has in the past repeatedly praised Obama for his efforts to ensure a smooth transition, but he reversed course yesterday.

Trump wrote on Twitter he was doing his best to disregard “the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.” Trump’s remarks come a day after Obama cautioned against “the urge to turn inward” and stressed the need to “resist the urge to demonize those who are different”.

In the end, US actress Debbie Reynolds has passed away, a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher.

So, today all eyes will be on political developments in Chennai and especially Lucknow because the upcoming polls in Uttar Pradesh will seal the fate of both the Opposition and the ruling BJP.

Stay tuned to Edit Platter because now we are bringing to you some of the best voices with their take on day’s top stories from different states. Listen to podcasts of Shivkant Sharma on world affairs, Mani Kant Thakur from Bihar, Ram Dutt Tripathi from UP, Deepak Khajuria from J&K, Narayan Bareth from Rajasthan and renowned journalist Omer Farooq from Hyderabad every morning. Manzar Alam is likely to join us from north east soon. Please do share your valuable feedback with us.

Source - Sanjeev Srivastava / Edit Platter

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29 December 2016