India Insight

DMK, Congress to untie the knot?

By Reuters Staff
June 9, 2011

By Annie Banerji

Cast as the villain in high profile graft cases and reeling from its huge loss in the Tamil Nadu state elections in May, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) appears to be in freefall.

Indian politicians and the art of the tell-all memoir

April 18, 2011

Along with the likes of Shakespeare, Britain has a longstanding literary tradition of a different kind — the explosive political biography, memoir or diary.

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.

Does Swaraj hint at a more politically sharp future for the BJP?

March 5, 2011

India’s main opposition party, the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have had much to crow about in recent months.

Fight corruption – at your own risk

March 4, 2011

The judges in the Supreme Court had finished hammering out for delivery the next day a landmark verdict in the battle against corruption, when a thousand kilometres away, another anti-graft crusader was beaten to death.

Is Congress digging its own corrupt grave?

January 13, 2011

Telecom Minister Kabil Sibal’s attack on the competency of India’s independent state auditor appears to show Congress’s growing desperation at its inability to silence corruption charges, and the inevitable backfire may illustrate just how out of touch India’s ruling party has become with the current political climate.

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.

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.

Forget journalistic ethics. The Radia tapes have wider implications

December 3, 2010

British press magnate Lord Northcliffe once stated: “News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising”.
Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group, attends the annual general meeting of Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai July 2, 2010 REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files
It’s interesting, then, that in a season of multi-billion dollar scandals that has seen India’s 24/7 news machine at its probing, questioning, investigative best, one — perhaps bigger and more serious than all the rest — has failed to make the hourly bulletins.

The ‘Manmohan’ factor reins in the Congress

November 25, 2010

Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi(L) with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is accused of looking the other way while murky deals were on in the telecom ministry.