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With much advertisement of the Gujarat model, all eyes were on the Modi government, particularly since BJP expects higher standards of those it criticizes than itself. The reality is stunning, but not in a nice way.

Nitin Gadkari with dubious financial dealings with Ideal Road Builders including a no interest loan to his company, Purti Group - amount of loan was greater than company's turnover - from them in a period when Gadkari handled the ministry in Maharashtra and massive lucrative contracts went to them gets to build the country's roads. Nitin Gadkari was assessed by the Income Tax department as having evaded 7 crores in taxes by means of benami investments and over a dozen firms operating from bogus addresses. Gadkari also threatened Income Tax officers. Gadkari is said to have six DIN numbers - something BJP had raised a huge hue and cry over Priyanka Vadra and Karti Chidambaram. Cabinet Minister for the Prime Minister who made grand declarations about corruption in his election campaign. This is apart from the much covered up case of the dead girl Yogita Thakre found in his car.

Rao Inderjit Singh - whom the BJP itself accused of involvement in a Defence land scam when he was in Congress is Minister of State and handling (hold your breath) defence in Modi's government as well.

Smriti Irani, Minister for Human Resources Development, which includes education faked her own educational qualifications in an election affidavit.

Gopinath Munde apparently got a degree in 1976 from a college that started in 1978.

Ordinance Modi turn
Ordinance Modi turn

After criticizing ordinances passed by UPA2 government for less than urgent reasons, the Modi government has so far passed two ordinances. One weakening TRAI act to be able to appoint Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary (which the act barred) and the second on the controversial Polavaram project. Neither of them requiring immediate action that can't wait for a Parliamentary session.

Varun Gandhi's mother is in charge of child development.

After endless accusations of Congress misusing the CBI to frame Modi, Satya Pal Singh, who defended Mumbai's encounter cops was head of SIT for Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case is now in Modi's cabinet.

Ajit Doval, ex-head of IB (which has consistently served to dilute cases of state sanctioned human rights abuse in Gujarat), with dubious links to the gangster Chota Rajan is now National Security Advisor. A National Security Advisor with links to gangsters is whose idea of development?

After condemning multiple DINs by Priyanka Vadra and Karti Chidambaram as proofs of corruption, Two ministers in Modi's cabinet (Coal Minister, Piyush Goyal and  Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari) so far have been shown to hold multiple DINs.

30% of Modi's ministers have criminal cases against them in a Lok Sabha with 21% ministers with criminal cases against them, which is already disproportionately high compared with India's general population. Development of India or criminals? Or perhaps that IS the Gujarat Model? After all, 57/182 MLAs in Gujarat too face criminal charges - 31%. That may be the magic ratio of development.

In the much advertized OBC-chaiwalla's government, 2/3rd of the cabinet is Brahmin, Thakur, Rajput.

For those who claim Modi will controll RSS, of 23 ministers who swore in on the cabinet,a mind boggling 17 are affiliated with the RSS or affiliate organizations. That is over 80% in case anyone is interested. Or in other words, Modi's cabinet has 6 non-Hindutva ministers. That will really finish the RSS, I think.

As usual, the accusations BJP levels at others turn out to be true about themselves and virtues it takes pains to advertize turn out fake.

Is this a government or a joke?

 

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In a continuing saga of fake educational qualifications, Gopinath Munde of BJP has stated in his signed affidavit for the Lok Sabha Elections 2014 that he has graduated B.J.L., from New Law College, Pune, 1976.

Munde Gopinathrao Pandurang Bharatiya Janata Party BJP   Constituency- BEED MAHARASHTRA  - Affidavit Information of Candidate

He has claimed the same in 2004, while in 2009, he states B.J.L. without mentioning college.

Now here is the catch  New Law College, Pune was established in 1978. Two years AFTER he graduated from it.

New Law College, BVDU, Pune

Howzzat for time travel?

Update: Gopinath Munde's website mentions him joining ILS college in 1971 on the page about his initiation to politics, though there is no mention of graduation or which college he graduated from. His 5-page "about" section makes no mention of any graduation for himself, though his wife, Pradnya is stated to be a "graduate and perfect housewife".... all of which leads one to wonder whether politicians are honest in any place at all when speaking of their realities.

Will the real educational qualifications of Gopinath Munde stand up?

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Perhaps the way the Modi government intends to deliver good governance is to do about turns on many things they used to criticize. Here are the highlights.

How important is education exactly?

Smriti Irani, a never elected, never graduate politician is heading HRD. Which in itself isn't such an awful thing, given that lack of a degree may actually be better than learning the crap graduates often come out with, but the Minister handling education lying about education on election affidavit is a casual insult of the system BJP could have easily avoided after all their tall talks on importance of education and how UPA2 had fucked up.

To save the Ganga or not to save the Ganga?

Swami Nigamananda died under mysterious circumstances fighting the (then BJP) state government crony sand mafia to protect the Ganga. Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand in Haridwar, who was Guru Das Agrawal, former professor of environmental engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur before becoming an ascetic has been fighting a long war to save the Ganga from ecological destruction due to hydroelectric projects and went up against the notoriously pro-large project BJP government itself several times. So did Uma Bharati, actually. There are 650 dams proposed and Uma Bharati, when she was out of the BJP had opposed them. The BJP has put Uma Bharati in charge of water resources. Yet the BJP policy remains pro hydro electric projects, and just yesterday cleared the Polavaram project on the second day of government itself with a special ordinance, which it had earlier fought tooth and nail to make a national project. So which side of BJP is to be believed? The Uma Bharati, who after all of BJP's penchant for hydel projects is now handling Water Resources and Ganga clean up or the cabinet at large that remains firm on its old track?

CAG reports must not be used as a weapon to target political opponents

After abundant attacks on the UPA2 government using CAG reports, Modi decides that CAG reports must not be used as a weapon to target political opponents. One wonders why. Is Modi saying that CAG reports are not reliable information? Or that if CAG reports find misgovernance or bad practices, they must not be criticized?

"I personally believe that CAG reports must not be used for political gains but utilised to find solutions. I introduced such a system here and asked my men to go to the roots of problems (mentioned in CAG reports),"

Is Modi going to explain how non-BJP entities can use CAG criticism of a BJP government to find solutions other than attacking and forcing accountability? Or is Modi saying that people should cover up government failures in their own capacity?

Or is it more about devaluing CAG reports as valid criticism because CAG rapped his Gujarat government for 17,000 crore losses? BJP certainly had no hesitations using CAG reports to corner the Congress before the elections.

Talks with those who behead Indian soldiers

Modi talks to please his voters and acts to please his sponsors and there is no confusion here. After a career of criticizing UPA for any action even remotely conversational with Pakistan government, Modi suddenly has woken up to the idea of India-Pakistan peace. As recently as his pre-election interviews, he was clear that there could be no talk with Pakistan if terror continues. The chicken biryani quote will be remembered long. Then you have "Hemraj's wife kept wailing, but this government could not get her head back." said Modi about the UPA2 government in January. This time, Hemraj's wife objected vociferously to his invitation to Nawaz Sharif, and how did he act any different from the UPA2 government? Modi called Nawaz Sharif "Man of Peace" when two soldiers were killed and two injured in a cross border ambush at the LoC exactly a week before his meeting with Nawaz Sharif. His super-patriotic bhakts will ignore these double standards, because they have been conditioned to believe whatever Modi does to be the right thing to do, so this isn't any argument with them, their nation is Modi, and they are "Nationalists". For the rest, it may be worth considering that Adani wants to build a power plant in power surplus Gujarat to export power to Pakistan. Anyway, 24 hours after Modi meeting Nawaz Sharif, his stronghold of Punjab passed an anti-Modi resolution condemning him for accusing them of terror activities anyway.

Rajnath Singh on Modi's cabinet

Less than a month ago Rajnath Singh was saying he would not be on "Modi-led NDA alliance government" as he preferred to remain BJP president and had responsibilities. He is on the cabinet handling ministry of home affairs.

And this is just day 3.

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After Madhu Kishwar raised the question of Smriti Irani's educational qualifications, the internet has been busy. It seems she has submitted different details at different times. Notably her affidavit for Lok Sabha Election 2004 from Chandni Chowk said she was a B.A. (1996) [page sc5] from Delhi University (School of Correspondence) in 2004 and for Rajya Sabha, Smriti Irani's 2011 affidavit states B.Com. Part 1 [page 10] and the same in affidavit for Lok Sabha Election 2014 from Amethi.

Basically, it is all very exciting, but I don't think it amounts to much, as the lie is more likely to be her earlier affidavit from 2004 Chandni Chowk, which if I remember correctly, she lost to Kapil Sibal, so she can hardly get disqualified from that and it is too late anyway. My guess is that she would have the documents for this one ready to give whoever so much as raises an eyebrow, so I think that this is at best a curiosity exercise.

At best it is an embarrassment that the MP no handling education has a history of faking educational qualifications on an election affidavit.

This may not be such a bad thing from my Point of View, which is very interested in people in charge of education actually understanding the plight of alternatively schooled people and homeschoolers who can face professional prejudice over these pieces of paper which rarely return well educated citizens anyway.

Update: Several people have informed me that Section 125A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 says that false affidavit by candidate has 6 months jail punishment. This may be true. I have not verified, but it is unclear who is going to prosecute, and I doubt the government will give permission. Also, unsure if a wrong affidavit can be prosecuted 10 years later or if there is some time frame when it can be challenged. Someone with more legal knowledge is probably better qualified to comment on this than me.

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Wanting a lean cabinet is one thing, but the selection of ministers does not invoke confidence.

Narendra Modi will be handling Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space. Given the secretive nature of India's nuclear establishment, and the very serious apprehensions regarding several existing and proposed nuclear plants, the ability and intent of Modi to demand and examine accountability and risks with regard to safety rather than merely push for more nuclear plants becomes paramount. I don't know if it exists. If he puts his mind to it, I imagine it will be a very good thing, but the pollution in Gujarat as well as interest in health doesn't look very promising.

Nitin Gadkari gets Road Transport and Highways! Sheer brilliance. Ideal Road Builders thanks Modi. Like Modi was lucky for Adani, Gadkari was lucky for IRB to the point of giving Gadkari's company interest free loans. There is good money in tolls we hear. Ask the guy who campaigned for Modi who has a habit of vandalizing them.

Arun Jaitley, whose grouse against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was that he was not elected will control the country's finance, corporate affairs and defense after losing the election he contested in. That too, to a Congress candidate. So, at best, it is a "let us see how he does".

Smriti Irani, who lost the election she contested in as well will be handling HRD, which includes education. Smriti Irani is 12th class pass, as Madhu Kishwar and Ajay Maken pointed out. While, as Swapan Dasgupta said "Someone remind me. Did Rabindranath Tagore go to university? he certainly established one & had enlightened views on education" is true, it doesn't immediately follow that every uneducated person is a potential Rabindranath Tagore who was a polymath, while Smriti Irani hasn't been associated with intellectual pursuits as far as I am aware. Worse, she apparently has lied about her education on an earlier election affidavit. Nor was Rabindranath Tagore given the responsibility of handling the Nation's education and I don't think he'd lie about his qualifications either. I am no educational snob, and I don't necessarily see India's graduations as a qualification, so for me at least, this isn't a minus as much as a wildcard. Not something you know enough about to expect performance.

Uma Bharati, the 6th class pass and with 13 criminal cases against her, and a key player in the Babri Masjid demolition gets Water resources, river development and Ganga Rejuvenation. On the good side, she had been demanding fighting pollution and illegal quarrying on the Ganga. Considering that much of the sand mafia has BJP blessings, she may actually be able to do some good by pulling them up - or covering up... but for all the undesirable qualities, Uma Bharati does not come across as deceitful. I actually respect her for that. So I am hoping for the Ganga at least. Looks like she gets to put her money where her mouth was. I imagine if she gets sentenced in her cases, Modi will do a Maya Kodnani rerun and pretend ignorance.

Sanjeev Balian, Muzafarnagar riots accused, is Minister of State and Modi's second opportunity to claim ignorance in the future if he fails to protect him.

Inderjit Singh Rao, Minister of state for Planning (Independent Charge), Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), and Defence had been accused by the BJP in the Kandivli Defense Land Scam. Dr. Kirit Somaiya had called it Adarsh II. Rao Inderjit Singh was then Union Defence Minister of State for Defence Production, and as per Dr. Somaiya, he had directed his personal secretary to ask the military authorities in Mumbai to hand over the defence land to Kalpataru builders. Dr. Somaiya was BJP National Secretary and Chairman Scam Expose Committee for BJP. I assume he wasn't just doing false accusations, right? I suppose doing such things as a part of Congress was the problem. Now that he is BJP, he may proceed? Seriously? Adarsh II is now Adarsh the role model?

Former Army Chief, the controversial V K Singh is Minister of state for the northeast. I can't imagine north east with its serious grievances about the AFSPA will really find a representative in a former army chief, thought the government will likely count on his experience as well as be influenced by his views on the key issue.

I haven't been through whole list yet, but this cabinet looks like putting the cat in charge of guarding the milk. I imagine with no fear of the media and no opposition to name as such, one doesn't really have to bother about election promises of ending corruption and such for another four years at least.