An Open Letter to the Assistant Election Commissioner, Yadgir

To The Assistant Election Commissioner,
Loksabha Constituency 38

Dear Sir,

It has been reported in Suvarna News today that your office has issued a notice to Sri Shivanada Yogi Maharaj who is a revered religious leader alleging violation of election code.

According to the report the notice is based on some press reports stating that he has made an astrological prediction which has been interpreted by some other news paper that it indicates a prediction that Sri Narendra Modi may win the elections.

Your notice is not based on valid reasons and smacks of a malicious bias which is itself a violation of election code for an officer of the Government.

Everyday people do express their wish that some political party will win and some will lose. This is part of the legitimate public and press activity. It is the prerogative of the Press to interpret any word uttered by either a religious leader or a party leader or even a terrorist and state that this means that so and so will win. Based on such press reports, it is incorrect for you to issue a notice to the Swami.

I therefore charge you that you are biased and unfit to discharge your duties as per the constitution. You are maliciously misusing the powers and responsibility entrusted to you.
You should therefore recuse yourself from the duties related to the election forthwith.

In case the news report of Suvarna News is wrong, you need to initiate action against Suvarna News for spreading a fake message. In case your inference is based on some other news paper report and you consider it inappropriate, you need to initiate action on that news paper.

In either case, your action to issue notice to the Swamiji is highly deplorable.

Kindly apologize to the Swamiji as well as the public and withdraw the notice.

CC: The Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi, with a request to immediately divest the responsibilities of this officer.

Netizen Activist
All India Forum of Netizens
37, 20th Main, BSK First Stage, Bangalore 560050
14th March 2019

Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stop this Day light robbery from Shell India Marketing

I happened to observe today that Shell India marketing company which sells lubricants through the authorized retail petrol bunks, is selling certain products at a price which is more than double the price at which it is available through other dealers. I would like the consumers to start a movement to boycott Shell Petrol Bunks and its products until they apologize for their consumer exploitation and reduce the prices to normal levels.

I personally bought the engine oil for my car at the persuasion of the staff at the petrol bunk. After the engine oil was drained, I found that the cost of the oil for the 4 lts can was Rs 4980/-. When I checked the price online I found that it was available at Rs 2299/- through cloud tail.

I donot believe Cloudtail is selling the product at a loss and hence I believe the real price of the product should be around Rs 2000-2050 and the official petrol bunks of Shell are selling it at Rs 4980/-.

I consider that this kind of pricing is exploitative and usurious.

I have taken up the matter with the company through an e-mail addressed to one Ms Ankit Mehra as suggested by their call center and am awaiting response.

I have also copied the e-mail (copy given below) to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for their reaction.

Since the primary license of the Petrol Bunk is to sell petrol, the selling of lubricants at the above prices should be considered as a misuse of the licensing and hence should be stopped forthwith.

If this is the  attitude and culture of the company, it is possible that the premium petrol that they are selling may actually be ordinary petrol and the company is unreliable and untrustworthy.

I wish the consumers recognize this and stop using the Shell petrol Bunks.

I request other consumers who have had similar experiences to also raise this issue and write to the company to lodge their protests.


Copy of letter sent to the Company through e-mail:

To Ms Ankita Mehra

Territory Manager
Shell India Markets Private Limited
Sub: Shell is practicing unfair marketing practice and cheating the Consumers
I hereby give you notice that it has been observed that your company is practicing unfair marketing practices and cheating the consumers, in the marketing of lubricants sold through your authorized retailers.
I today went to your authorized petrol bunk in the Bull Temple Road for buying petrol. I was offered a free engine oil check up and advised that the oil needed change. I agreed to change the oil and chose to use 5W-40 Helix Ultra. I was sold a can of 4 litres at a price of Rs 4980/- for my Maruti Swift Dzire (petrol).
While the engine oil was being drained from my car, I checked the price of the same oil at other dealers and found that it was available at Rs 2299/- inclusive of all taxes through Cloud tail India.
The authorized dealer however has billed me Rs 4980/- stating that it is the MRP and they have been instructed by the Company to sell only at MRP.
I therefore was paying Rs 2681/- higher than the retail price of Rs 2299/-, which was 117% higher.
Considering that Cloud tail must be selling at a margin of atleast 10%, the real price of the 4L can should be around Rs 2050/- and your authorized petrol retailers are selling it at Rs 4980/- or at a margin of 143%. (Even if the tax component is considered, the change would be only notional).
Further by selling me a 4L can when I required only 3.5 lts, a further over charging has been done to the extent of 0.5 liters which would amount to Rs 622/-
This is obviously an usurious and a day light looting of consumers.
Please therefore show me cause why I should not move the Consumer Courts to ban the sale of lubricants to consumers through your petrol bunks all across the country.
I will also be moving the Ministry of Petroleum to understand if such consumer exploitation is allowed under Competition act and whether the petrol retailing licenses include a permission for such consumer exploitation.
Kindly let me know if you have any response. If I donot receive any response, within the next 15 days, it will be presumed that you donot have any response and I would go ahead with necessary action to claim damages and for a direction to stop selling of lubricants across the retail petrol bunks.


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Lingayat Issue in Karnataka Election

Congress has made one of their biggest mistakes in recent times by trying to divide the community of Lingayats and Veerashaivas by holding out the “Reservation” carrot.

Reservation is the bane of our country and needs to be eliminated completely. However politicians have been revelling in holding out the incentives to different castes and religions based on the concept of “Reservation” and Siddaramaiah has now taken this concept too far to divide the developed community of Lingayats.

Lingayats in Karnataka are the ruling class and are well developed educationally and economically. Hence they donot need reservation. Actually it is demeaning for most Lingayats if they get some benefits in future based on the concept of “Reservation”. Today they are considering themselves on par with the “Bramhins” in the society but once they become “Reservation targets” , Lingayats will get demoted in public perception as equivalent to SC, ST and BC.

I therefore think that most Lingayats are not comfortable with the “Separate Religion” tag. However, like the majority of Muslims not being able to oppose the minority radicals in their community, some Lingayat leaders may find it politically incorrect to oppose what on the face of it is projected as a “Benefit”.

Today, this silent majority may be in a dilemma what to do in the election. But the progressive people in the community will see the Congress bluff and remain with BJP. Even if some vocal leaders try to support Siddaramaiah, they will remember that Mr Siddaramaiah and his Congress Culture is more suitable for the PFI than the Lingayats  who are an off shoot of Hindus who revolted against some customs.

The Lingayat issue has given an indelible mark on Siddu as a “Divider of Hindu Community” and along with his support for PFI by withdrawing cases against the radical elements and then accepting the support of PFI in the elections has declared a war on the Hindu community.

People of Karnataka are aware that Congress of Rahul Gandhi is fundamentally anti Hindu despite his temple hopping gimmick and Mr Siddaramaiah though a staunch Hindu at heart would not mind selling out the interest of Hindus to remain in power.

The Lingayat issue therefore has indirectly created a polarization of Hindu votes not limited to the Lingayat community but also in the larger Hindu-Muslim polarization. The Lingayat Veerashaiva division is recognized as an attempt to weaken the Hindu community in general and help the Muslim community to consolidate their support base.

Perhaps Siddu did not anticipate such a backlash and also BJP may not like to openly exploit such a sentiment but the undercurrent of feeling that Rahul Gandhi and Congress is dangerous to the very existence of Hinduism in the world is slowly gaining strength. This could hurt Congress and could be a parity breaker to swing the pendulum in this election in favour of BJP.

The present community in the “Reservation Category” will also be upset that Congress is bringing a dominant community within the “Reservation Category” and ultimately, this can only dilute their present privileges. Hence Congress should lose some of its present support base also for its ill advised move to divide Lingayats.

There is no way leaders like Anant Kumar Hegde and others will leave an opportunity to exploit the situation and we can therefore see some fire works nearing the election. The Coastal Karnataka which has seen many killings of RSS workers may therefore consoldiate behind BJP much to the discomfort of Congress.

We have to wait and see how Congress counters this backlash.


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Water issue…in the Karnataka elections

The twin water disputes namely the Cauvery dispute with Tamil Nadu and the Mahadayi dispute with Goa appear to be another bug that is hurting BJP since it has some responsibilities as the Union Government. When Jayalalitha was alive, she was able to manipulate the Supreme Court judgements in her favour by even manipulating the Karnataka Chief ministers and hence the blame was always on the Supreme Court.

However now there is a perception in Tamil Nadu that the Center is responsible for action and will bring pressure of its own.

Unfortunately there is no solution that would be acceptable to both States and hence whatever decision Mr Modi wants to take he has to be ready to lose either Karnataka voters or the Tamil Nadu voters. Presently Karnataka election is in the radar and hence TN has to wait for its turn to get some favours.

While Mr Modi may remain silent for the time being on this issue, he should take some steps to make the South Karnataka people comfortable that the injustice committed by the British and blindly supported by the Supreme Court cannot be the basis to deny water to the Cauvery basin in Karnataka. There is no way people in Karnataka will see water flowing in front of their eyes to TN where as TN continues to ignore its responsibilities of coming out of the British protection and develop its own resources. Mr Subramanya Swamy is pragmatic in some of these aspects and Mr Modi should listen to his advice.

Similarly the Mahadyi issue is politically sensitive between Karnataka and Goa as any decision would be interpreted as against one of the States and Center has to tread its path carefully.

However, Mr Modi is capable of finding acceptable solutions to both and if he is able to provide some hint to such a possibility, there could be a huge swing of farmer’s votes in favour of BJP.

The river water issue therefore appears to be also an opportunity for BJP to be converted into a potential weapon to win this election.

I hope Mr Modi would be properly advised in this regard. I am not however confidant that BJP would be able to harness the potential of this issue and it may be satisfied by remaining neutral even if it may help Congress in the process.


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What bugs BJP?

BJP suffers greatly from its “Pro Hindi” image which is exploited by Siddu by whipping up of the Kannada sentiment. While during the election time, Mr Modi and others may be making efforts to dilute the feeling that BJP in the long run will impose Hindi on south Indians, the efforts so far has not been convincing.

Unless Mr Modi himself provides the kind of assurance that Mr Nehru was supposed to have given that Hindi would not be imposed on South India, and backs it up with efforts such as “Scrapping of the Hindi Prachar Sabhas” which are a symbol of Hindi imposition in South India, people in South including Karnataka has to live with the feeling that just as Indira Canteens are a political pre-election stunt, BJP’s efforts in projecting a Pan-India image is unlikely to be trusted.

We must however appreciate that Mr Modi can speak far better Kannada and even pronounce Sir M Vishweshwaraiah flawlessly while Rahul Gandhi always looks like a joker when he tries to pronounce Vishweshwariah or quote a vachana.

I wish Mr Modi provides his personal assurance that Hindi would not be imposed on Kannadigas and Kannada would be respected as a language. Once the distrust is removed, Kannadigas are comfortable in adopting to many languages and one can see BJP making more progress in Karnataka than before even if the local leadership is weak.

Language is therefore the first issue that bugs BJP and they need to tackle this effectively during the last few days of the campaign. They have Pratap Simha and Sulibele Chakravarthy to help them and these two should be used as “Star Campaigners” though Sulibele may like to remain an a-political character.


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is Indira Canteen a show of Development?

While the Congress Government led by Mr Siddaramaiah has been in power for the last 5 years, they seem to have woken up only in the last 6 months talking about development by introducing many welfare schemes including the “Indira Canteens”.

Public know that these are election gimmicks and funded out of Government money which the honest tax paying citizens have contributed.

While the beneficiaries of the scheme may enjoy the discounted food for the time being, every body is reconciled to the fact that either these will be closed down after election or will become white elephants that breed corruption.

Citizens know that whether it is the Steel Bridge project or any other major construction project, Congress Government will consider them only because while awarding the contract, there is flow of funds to the election kitty.

All major private sector construction companies including the types of L&T are aware how contracts are awarded on the basis of negotiations below the table.

Hence these projects which have been introduced in the last six months are of little consequence for the voters to consider that this Government is development oriented . In fact these “Give Away” schemes are only “Welfare Schemes” and donot qualify as “Development Schemes” since they may actually work against the interest of encouraging people to work hard for a living.

As regards BJP, the development at the country level can be projected with the additional sting that Karnataka missed out on many development schemes because Siddu Government was not cooperative.

There is no doubt that Karnataka lost out participation in many development opportunities not only because the Government here was of the opposition but also because Congress has been openly antagonistic in its approach to cooperation between the State and Center. Neither Mr Siddu has the necessary vision nor RG has the inclination to work towards a cooperative federal Governance scheme and hence if Congress continues in power in the State, the disadvantage of being in opposition with the center will continue.

Congress may like to say that they may come to power even in the center in 2019 but what they mean by power is to cross 50 Loksabha seats instead of the present 44 and hence the possibility of Congress coming to power at the center in 2019 is too remote to be of consequence in the current Karnataka elections.

If therefore Karnataka hopes to develop in the coming days by working closely with the Center, Voter has to chose BJP instead of Congress.



Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is the Key determinant for the Voters of Karnataka in terms of leadership?

It is fashionable for political parties to say that the key issue in the election is “Development”. “Sabke Saath and Sabke Vikas” has been the slogan of BJP. It is politically considered as incorrect if there is any deviation from this  central theme.

However, every election will have more than one reason for the voter to decide and he has to make the tough choice of chosing a party or a candidate and live with them for the rest of the term. Every candidate and party has both positive and negative features and ultimately the voter has to arrive at a collective estimation of which party or candidate is better suited to be the MLA.

A party is reflected by its leader and often the voter has no choice but to frame his views on a party based on its leader.

In this context all the three major parties in Karnataka have at least two leaders reflecting the policies of the party. BJP has Mr Modi (NaMo) and Mr Yeddyurappa (Yeddy). Congress has Rahul Gandhi (RG) and Siddaramaiah (Siddu)and JDS has Devegoweda and H D Kumaraswamy (HDK). In each of these teams, one is the read driver of the party while the other is a probable CM candidate.

In the JDS the past has indicated that HDK and Deve Gowda have held independent views and once HDK joined hands with BJP and later at the instance of Mr Deve Gowda dumped them midway. Voters are some what confused whether they should take either HDK seriously or Mr Deve Gowda seriously. In the bargain the local candidates of JDS seem to be more prominent than the leaders for the voters to decide.

Siddaramaiah is the incumbent CM and is responsible for the development of the State in the last 5 years whether good or bad. Yeddy has a tainted past but is a much chastised leader now than he ever was and NaMo is the real driver behind BJP.

People in Karnataka will vote for or against BJP only because of Mr NaMo and Mr Yeddy and the local candidates are of much lower significance. In the Congress, Siddu is a major factor and RG is only a media face. People will vote for or against Congress because of Siddu and not RG.

The major battle is therefore between Mr NaMo and Mr Siddu. Others are only supporting actors.


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Some Banner Ads which may be used by others.

Here are some banner ads which I request other bloggers to use to create a virtual campaign if they agree with the message.

This is also a basic disclosure of where my personal choice lies though in my writings, I may highlight even the weaknesses of BJP


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It is election time in Karnataka

It is election time in Karnataka. On May 12th, the State is voting for the legislature of 224 seats and the fight is as usual between Congress, BJP and the JDS. Of these three parties, Congress is the ruling party at the State and BJP is the ruling party at the center and both are good enough to garner around 40% of the seats. But it is the JDS with the possibility of 20% of the seats that may have the last laugh by negotiating with either of the two parties to grab power.

The electorate of Karnataka need to evaluate the three parties and take a decision. Since there are hardly 10 more days of campaign left this is the critical time when the voters may have to take a final call and it may determine if any one of the major parties will cross the 50% mark or let the assembly remain hung and go for a coalition rule.

Being a voter in Karnataka, despite other professional ethical commitments, it is natural for the undersigned to express his views on the politics of the day and some thoughts may be expressed through these columns.

So here we go…


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Judges Controversy. What “We The People” say

The Four judges of Supreme Court who recently held a press conference appealed to the public through the media with a request ‘please take care of the institution and take care of the nation’. The judges namely Justices Chelamaeshwar, Rajan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Jurien Joseph were complaining that the Chief Justice as “Master of the Roaster” is actually behaving as a “Master” and he should not do so. They said that their efforts to make him allocate sensitive cases only amongst the top 5 judges were not being heeded and some cases are being allocated to the junior judges.

The revolting judges agreed that this was an unprecedented situation and they wanted to go through this exercise as otherwise history would accuse them of having sold their souls.

The conference itself was held very clumsily. The judges did not have the press release nor a proper statement to be handed out to the press. There were favoured lawyers who were in the crowd of the journalists and Mr Shekar Gupta a veteran journalist was even invited to sit on the dais.  Immediately after the press meeting, the CPI party leader Daniel Raja, a known opposition party leader was seen shaking hands with Justice Chelameshwar giving a political colour to the entire episode.

The judges came out as completely inexperienced in not only the manner in which they conducted the press conference but also the manner in which they were fumbling for words during the interaction.

Justice Chelameshwar said that what they wanted to share was a letter they had written to the CJI a copy of which would be shared and that is all they wanted to say. Gagoi confirmed that there is nothing more to say beyond the letter but inadvertently admitted that the admission of the case in the Justice Loya’s death was a reason for this press meet.

Mr Dushyant Dave has been the advocate strongly advocating that the Justice Loya case should not be heard by a specific judge and it should be heard only by one of these four judges as if they would give a decision in his favour only.

Another advocate Mrs Kamini Jaiswal who is bitterly against Mr Amit Shah indicated in her subsequent statements that the possibility of Mr Amit Shah not being convicted was the reason behind this revolt. It was as if Teetla Setlwad was speaking through Kamini Jaiswal.

Yet another advocate Indira Jaising has also been vocal with similar views indicating that the politics of “Anti Amit Shah” forces were truly pushing the judges into a corner with the press conference.

It appears that these three advocates are either directly or indirectly responsible for the current mess in the Judicial system and are unmindful of the damage that they have done to the Indian judiciary for their own personal gains.

It was not surprising that Congress followed up with its own Press Conference though it was also as indecisive as the Judges press conference. It appeared as if Mr K.S.Tulsi had strongly opposed Congress getting into this controversy but Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram pushed through the conference.  Rahul Gandhi in his usual style spoke a rehearsed sentence and ran away without taking questions.

With the Meeting of D Raja with Chlemeshwar and the Congress press conference, it was clear that the Four Revolting Judges were playing the tune of the political parties. However much they may try to whitewash their intentions, the perception with the public is clear that this was a political agenda playing out through the four judges.

It appeared that these four judges wanted to say more but were restraining themselves. Finally the charges made by the four judges appeared hollow and self defeating. Had they been more forthright, they would have atleast sounded more convincing.

Since then, several legal luminaries are expressing their views on the points raised. A large number of advocates are on the side of the Four revolting Judges while a large number of past judges are holding  the view that conducting of the press conference was wrong.

If we ignore the perceptions and focus more on the problem they have highlighted, then solution is not difficult to find.

The accusation is that while the CJI is considered as having a discretion to constitute benches and allocate cases to any of them, he should do so only with the consultation of the 5 senior most judges who form the collegium.

While the Judges 2-5 in seniority who held the Press Conference hold that CJI is only the “First amongst equals ” and not more important than any of them, they consider that other judges of the supreme court who are 6-25 in seniority are lesser mortals who are not equal to the first five.

This does not seem to be a logical l argument and has to be rejected.

Either all the judges have the privileges attached to their seniority in which case the CJI as the senior most has higher privileges that includes the management of the roaster, or they should agree that all judges of the Supreme Court are equally competent to handle any legal matter before them without fear or favour and with the legal expertise required.

Expecting that the rule of “First amongst Equals” applies only to the first five and not to all the 25 judges of the Court indicates a self serving argument.

If we admit that the roaster allocation had some “Motive” behind it as implied by these four judges, we can also imply a “Motive” behind the accusation of the four revolting judges. If CJI wants to avoid handing over some sensitive cases to any of these four and wants to give it some other judge down the line which is a departure from the procedure indicates a “Bad motive”, then the demand that such cases should be handed over only to them and not to anybody else also indicates a “Bad Motive” on the part of the four judges.

If we leave aside these perceptions since these judges are not transparent about their motives and want to hide behind the respect they enjoy as judges of the highest court of the land, let us accept that the only grievance is that the allocations are being done not in accordance with the established procedures of the past where all the five senior most judges worked together as a collegium and distributed sensitive cases only amongst themselves so that none was unhappy but the current CJI is trying to break this tradition.

Perhaps this is making these judges insecure and their friend lawyers also more insecure because they were perhaps existing in the system more by the strength of their relationship with the judges rather than their ability to fight a case on the merits.

The solution for this is not in asking the media and the public to adjudicate since what “We the people ” may say will not be palatable either to these judges nor to their favoured lawyers. Nevertheless since they have sought our advise, let us provide them the advise.

The problem is about allocation of cases to the 25 judges of the Supreme Court in an equitable manner that justice is done to the petitioners. The criteria of seniority is only relevant as a demonstration of the expertise of a judge and not otherwise. Each judge may however carry a badge of domain expertise based on the type of cases in the past where he would have examined a particular domain in depth and thereby gained an expertise. There cannot be any expertise based on qualifications since the College qualifications of all the judges are at least 3 decades old and has no relevance today. For example, Mr Chelameshwar being a student of Physics in his college does not make him a domain expert in a case involving Noise pollution or Electric outage etc.

Either the judges have to declare their top three areas of interest/specialization based on their own self introspection or based on the cases they might have handled in their career  and have to be tagged with the domain of expertise which were required to resolve them.

Assigning a “Domain Expertise Tag” to every judgement released by a judge in all the Courts is a process that has to be introduced now so that after a decade or so, it becomes a reliable barometer to tag a Judge with his area of domain expertise. Criteria for this needs to be developed and adopted.

In the meantime, an adhoc measure can be adopted where each judge of the Supreme Court is asked to declare three areas of interest that is used as his “Specialization Tag”.

Every judge will automatically have a seniority tag also. Using these two tags along with a “Random Allocation Tag”, it is possible for the Chief Justice to select a Judge or a Bench of multiple judges for assigning any case.

For this purpose, the CJI may categorize a case as “Requiring a specific domain expertise”. He can use is “First amongst equals” privilege to do so. Similarly, he can decide on whether the case requires a single judge or more judges to be in the bench.  Having decided these two parameters out of his privilege of being the CJI, he can proceed to allocate cases in the following manner. CJI can also determine the workload of a judge and determine if he has to be part of the selection for a given case or not.

a) In case of single member allocations, the choice can be completely randomized, such as picking up a judge out of the 25 (or lesser numbers if some is over burdened with cases at present). It is possible to do this by computerized allocation with priority criteria for domain expertise and seniority to be set to zero.

b) In cases where two  judges are there in a bench, one of the selections can be made on domain expertise criteria and the other on random basis.

c) In cases there there are three or more members in the bench, one member may be selected on seniority basis, second on domain expertise basis and the third randomly.

In larger benches the criteria can be repeated for the balance vacancies to be filled up.

This process leaves enough scope for the CJI to exercise his privilege and also provide opportunities for the senior members to be part of the important cases where there are at least 3 members. The single member benches which are prone to manipulation by friendly advocates would be randomized so that no advocate would gain an unfair advantage with a petitioner saying “I Know this Judge, Come to me”.

If the Supreme Court wants a software to be developed for the purpose, I am sure that there would be many software professionals who would be willing to develop it for free as their contribution to protect the institution which is the concern of these four revolting judges.


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment