India Insight

Wikileaks cash for votes allegations implicate India’s Congress

March 17, 2011

India’s ruling Congress party offered cash for votes to pass a crucial 2008 confidence vote in parliament, a secret U.S. state cable released on Thursday said, embroiling Manmohan Singh’s beleaguered government in yet another corruption scandal that risks further opposition attacks on the graft-smeared coalition.

Congress looks to seize the initiative as budget looms

February 15, 2011

It has been a winter to forget for India’s ruling Congress party, as a series of corruption scandals have muted its ability to control parliament, dented its popularity ratings and dappled the formerly dazzling-white kurta of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Congress takes comfort in DMK smiles, for now

January 3, 2011

Smiles, handshakes and declarations of friendship abounded during a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi on Monday, as the investigation into a $39 billion telecoms scam that has centred on the Tamil Nadu party appeared to have been forgotten in favour of coalition camaraderie.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) speaks to Karunanidhi, President of DMK (Dravida Munetra Kazhagam) party during an election rally in the southern Indian city of Chennai May 4, 2006.  REUTERS/Babu
With parliament paralysed and DMK MP Andimuthu Raja sacked from his role as telecoms minister as a result of the scam, the last thing Singh needed was signs of dissent from a key member of his Congress party’s ruling coalition.

No longer business as usual for India’s parliament

December 15, 2010

A view of the parliament building in New Delhi December 1, 2010. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files

The least productive parliament session in 25 years — this is not a milestone to be proud of in the world’s largest democracy.

Should the Congress agree to a JPC probe?

December 9, 2010

The parliament building in New Delhi December 1, 2010. REUTERS/B Mathur

With parliament still deadlocked, does it make sense for the Congress to bow to opposition demands and set up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the alleged telecoms scam?

Will departure of embattled India anti-graft chief end Congress party woes?

December 4, 2010

India’s Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the country’s federal anti-corruption body, has a self-affirmed mandate to “fight corruption and ensure probity in public life by taking various preventive and proactive initiatives from time to time.”
The Indian parliament on Wednesday approved a $9.8-billion additional spending bill to cover various payments including outstanding government debt, food and fertiliser subsidies, and government pensions. The bill was passed by a voice vote in parliament, a type of vote allowing the government to bypass a three-week deadlock between the ruling Congress party-led coalition and opposition parties caused by rows over a series of corruption scandals. REUTERS/B Mathur
Faced with a windfall of political scandals to investigate, red faces thus abounded at the CVC when media reports showed that its chief, and the highest anti-corruption officer in the country, P.J. Thomas, was himself facing questioning in connection with corruption allegations.

Budget 2010: Reactions from the common man

February 26, 2010

Rohan Dua spoke to people on the streets of New Delhi as Pranab Mukherjee tabled the 2010/11 Budget in parliament –

Playing politics over fuel price hike?

February 26, 2010

INDIA/For the first time in parliamentary history, the entire opposition led by the BJP walked out during the Finance Minister’s budget speech.

How to rate the budget?

February 26, 2010

INDIA-BUDGET/When the finance minister presents the budget, the stock market moves one way or the other.

Railway Budget 2010: Reactions from the common man

February 24, 2010

Urvashi Sibal spoke to passengers at the New Delhi railway station as Mamata Banerjee tabled the 2010/11 Railway Budget in parliament –