Thursday, May 23, 2019

How to resurrect AAP

With the Congress doing badly and Modi surging like never before, there never has been a more appropriate time for a party like the  Aap with all its original principles on the National scene.

For that to happen, what are the steps that need to be taken?

1. Kejriwal should immediately go and meet Yogendra Yadav and request/plead with him to come back to Aap as the National Convenor. He will have to let go of all ego and all national ambitions.

2. Aap should call a National Convention and AK should submit his resignation and hand over charge to YY to reconstitute a fresh NE and PAC. He should profusely apologise to all members and supporters for some of the ill-thought decisions taken. He should work on governance only and not on organization.

3. In the PAC, instead of just NCR based members, the team should be the best talent from across the country. Old members should be persuaded to join. Policy for one-man-one-post should be made.

4. AK should continue with his cabinet as CM in Delhi but should hold no position in party structure. He must stop talking too much and focus on good governance. Power brokers should be kept away. Sanjay singh's role should only be to represent party in Rajya Sabha.

5. YY and his team should travel all over the country and appoint teams for each state and districts. After a period, internal elections should be held. Local leaders should be empowered to take up key responsibilities to build the organisation from scratch.

6. Should not fight state elections anywhere except Delhi, in the initial years, till a certain team strength is built . Start by fighting small - Zilla parishad and municipal elections. Age and time are on our side, wisdom lies in building the party and the nation step-by-step after great deliberations and without compromising on principles.

7. Strong measures must be put in place to ensure that wrong-doers are penalised and merit based, capable and honest people are given the space to grow and occupy decision making space. Merit, not loyalty, should be the way towards growth in the party.

8. Leadership should be made up of people who have the guts, courage of conviction and the ability to work as equals in group dynamics. Those with contrary opinions should be treated as allies rather than adversaries. Leadership should be of equals with someone being projected as the first among equals.

9. A two-tier Internal Lokpal (the first tier to check the veracity of the complaint against MLAs and senior partymen prima facie and a three member Lokpal to investigate and give their judgment)

10. Reinstate the donor list on the party website. Start asking for donation. Many will give.

11. Reaffirm our internal ideology
a. Participatory working
b. Accountability
c.  Transparency
d. Decentralization of decision making
e. Integrity in all dealings.

12. Create our national principles
1. Do what is good for the nation - no isms (neither capitalism, nor socialism, nor communism, neither leftism nor rightism)
2. No truck with any of the mainstream parties(Bjp / Cong)
3. No minority appeasement nor majoritarianism. Law of land in dealing fairly with all. More.....

13. Speak to media in matured, measured, balanced and objective manner. The aim should not be to attract media attention by negative and exaggerated stories. Media should be compelled to approach us by our work.

14. Be the voice of the needy, the farmers, the workers and all those who are not heard in the country. But be a balanced and honest voice.

15. Most of all, create an agenda for alternative politics. Power will come as long as the party continues to work hard and ethically. It must always be kept in mind that Nation first, party next and individuals last.

Finally, there is no shortcut to Nation Building.

JAI HIND 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Should one vote for Modi or against? - an open letter

Dear friends


Am neither in BJP nor in opposition. Just passionate about our beloved country.

Would like to present key pros and cons of the last govt in a brief, balanced and dispassionate manner, considering the short and long-term good of the nation.

These are the six major critical indicators

1.     Economy (4/5)
Overall, it is on the right track. India is one of the fastest growing economies with 7.2% GDP growth, inflation under control and in the last 5 years – India has jumped from 9th to 5th largest economy in the world. The failure of DeMo to achieve its objective of black money eradication reduces one point.

2.     Law and Order (3.5/5)
No major riots, no bombings (unlike 2009-14 period), control and eradication of secessionist tendency in different parts of the country except Kashmir are positive points. Kashmir could have been managed much better. Relation between centre and state are above average except with Delhi govt

3.     Development and administration (3/5)
The pace of development – Roads, Electricity, Houses, Cooking gas, Toilets, Medical (ayushmann scheme), opening of bank accounts and transfer of funds directly into beneficiary accounts (thereby reducing leakages) is unprecedented. Corruption at higher level has reduced, but at the lower levels – corruption has not been tackled effectively. Administration machinery is probably functioning slightly well, but jobs are not being generated fast enough. Farmers are suffering and the distress is real. They are not getting the benefits of development as much as they should get.

4.     Geo-political position and dealing with neighbors (5/5)
India’s position has never been better and we are considered as one of the major nations of the world. Our dealing with our pesky neighbors has been exemplary. We have shown the magnanimity of offering hand of friendship and when rebuffed, we have been firm and strong, setting boundaries of sovereignty.

5.     Political culture (1.5/5)
Misuse and abuse of various institutions like media, judiciary and executive, authoritarianism, lack of transparency, no internal democracy of parties, deterioration of quality of debate and discourse in public life, VIP culture, dynasty politics and dominance of money, muscle and divisive agenda of vote bank continues to plague our electoral system.

6.     Social fabric (1/5)
India is more polarized than ever before. Minorities are insecure. Statements against Muslims by ruling party leaders, entry of Sadhvi Pragya are sending wrong signals. Triple talaq was a good step, and so also reduction of appeasement of Muslims for vote bank. But overall, the social fabric needs to become more harmonious.

Based on what is important to an individual, he should vote for BJP along with their strengths and weaknesses or vote BJP out. It is unfortunate for the nation that right now, we do not have the choice of at least two different ideologies, programs and vision for the nation. It is either for BJP or against.

That’s not healthy.

Just keep one’s prejudice away and vote for India.

India can wait no more!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

EVM hacking - the truth


The EVM hacking theory is flawed for several reasons.

Let’s list them out:

    AAP had won nearly 96 per cent of the seats in the 2015 elections with precisely the same EVMs. Congress has since won 4 states using the same EVMs. If the machines were hacked, should re-elections be done?

    I was a candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, and few days before the poll, scores of our volunteers were called for ‘EVM checking’. They were allowed to select machines randomly and press buttons multiple times to confirm that their votes were being registered correctly. Some volunteers pressed an assortment of buttons across various machines, and each time the result was correctly registered.

     Of all the machines we tested, only one proved to be faulty—when volunteers repeatedly pressed the button against my name, the vote was transferred to a nondescript independent candidate. As soon as we pointed this out, the officer promptly replaced the machine. That’s when I came to understand the kind of rigid standards and care that was taken by the independent EC to ensure that elections were fair.

    Even if there happen to be a few faulty machines, this does not amount to a case of massive rigging. Maybe some machines might be sending that faulty vote to a BJP candidate. To discredit out EC and democracy based on some faulty machines is undermining our country.

5  Machines are individual sets (like a calculator, using its own algorithm) that cannot be influenced from outside, by wi-fi etc. Therefore EVM cannot be mass influenced, nor changed without physical contact with each individual machine.

    During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, 9,00,000 EVMs were being protected day and night by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), election officers and political workers across all parties. To suggest that EVMs, despite being under such scrutiny, were having their motherboards tampered with was unrealistic.

As a corollary, there were thirty-four lakh permanent and temporary employees as part of the election exercise. It is impossible to conceive of any party being able to arm-twist all of them into ignoring physical manipulation of EVMs. India is a noisy, contradictory nation and not a homogeneous political group and even a small group of 4/5 people would have different political opinions. So, lakhs of people keeping quite or complicit in this is not correct. Some whistle – blower could have exposed if there was something hidden. Many retired Election Commissioners have been anti-govt, but no one has made any such ridiculous claims.

 In several constituencies across Punjab and Goa, where AAP made allegations of the ruling party hacking EVMs, the maximum seats went to the Congress. Did the BJP manipulate the results so the Congress could win?

In many of the cases, opinion polls and especially exit polls have been reasonably accurate. But opinion poll and exit polls are not made on EVM, why do they match?

   I had done some serious study of EVM and their possible misuse in 2017.  The results of all the 1,642 polling stations in the 40 assembly seats of Goa as well as those in 33 assembly seats in Punjab that had VVPAT (voter verified paper audit trail)—an independent verification method in a ballot-less voting system which allows voters to check that their vote has been cast correctly. Connected to the EVM, the printer-like apparatus generates a receipt indicating the symbol and name of the candidate a voter votes for. After being visible to the voter from a glass case in the VVPAT for some seconds, the ballot slip is cut and dropped into a drop box in the VVPAT machine and a beep is heard. VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only. The VVPAT rolls are taken out for counting only if a candidate, his election agent or counting agent (in the candidate’s absence) applies in writing to the returning officer (RO) to count the printed paper slips in any or all the polling stations.


1  As per counting data of the 33 VVSAT constituencies of Punjab, the Congress got the largest number of votes in 20 seats, followed by SAD (ShiromaniAkali Dal) and AAP which emerged victorious in 6 constituencies each. A lone seat went to the Lok Insaaf Party. This showed little variation with results in other constituencies having EVMs without papertrail. As we know, while the Congress emerged as the single largest party with 77 seats, AAP got 20 seats and SAD secured 15 seats.

 .  Neither AAP’s candidates nor AAP itself approached the courts with their complaints, which should have been the obvious course of action.

 . When the EC, to call the opposition’s bluff, scheduled an open hacking challenge for EVMs, the opposition did not participate. Instead, it sought permission to physically handle the EVM and change the internal circuitry of the machines, which was turned down by the EC on grounds that it was ‘irrational and implausible’.

The hue and cry against EVM is just a drama. In my next round, I shall write about who and why are some people trying to discredit EC.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Nation First - week 50, very satisfying

NATION FIRST - Last week report (week 50)
A very good week for patients
Cases -
1) Malathi Shetty - Age 63 - Charitable Hospital (Successful ) was suffering from a lymphoma cancer in tonsil and needed chemotherapy, urgently.

While she was staying in a slum in Mumbai, her son stays in Manglore. He could not come to see his ailing mother but sends 3000 rupees per month for expenses. She took 1 chemotherapy in Pune but it cost around Rs1,00,000 which she paid with help of relatives & her Community.

Our volunteer Suresh Acharya followed up brilliantly and accompanied the patient everywhere and helped till the end. Thanks Suresh.

Malati has been admitted to Hinduja Hospital as an Indigent patient after the intervention of Nation First. She will be getting 8 chemotherapy treatments (worth Rs. 1,00,000 each) of around 8,00,000, completely Free. So happy.

2) Prasanna Kavale - Age - 10 Month old baby - Charitable Hospital (Successful ) is suffering from a congenital heart defect.

Prasanna stays in Sindhudurg, father is a small farmer who earning is not fixed and mother is housewife.

They went to Wadia Hospital however doctors in Wadia hospital did not take up the case for surgery because they felt that it was a very high risk one. He was taken to Kokilaben hospital who also felt the same and said that this surgery should have been done when the baby was one month old. However looking at the life danger to the child, they have agreed to operate

Nation First requested Kokilaben Hospital to admit the patient as an Indigent patient and treat him free of cost, to which they have agreed.

And while admitted as an Indigent patient, the family has also been asked to approach the CM Relief and other charitable Trusts, as the hospital claims it is running a negative balance in their IPF account.

On 8th of December baby got admitted and on 12th of December, the surgery was successfully completed.  We all sighed with relief. A life saved and a family saved too. Thanks to all the doctors.

Our dependable and best volunteers, Rahul and Mitali made this possible. What a fabulous team.

3) Rajani Mhatre - Charitable Hospital (Successful )

On 3rd Dec. Rajani Mhatre delivered baby girl and suffered unstoppable bleeding.

She was shifted to Nanavati. Her HB dropped to 4 and she was critical. Hospital authorities performed immediate blood transfusion and corresponding treatment. Hospital gave an estimate of 184000 rupees.

Rajani’s husband is unemployed and annual family income is just 65000 rupees.  Our volunteer Sonia Punjabi coordinated with her mother on behalf of Nation first. On our request, she was treated as an indigent patient in Nanavati, free of cost. She was discharged on 11th, hale and hearty. Thanks Sonia.

4) Wahab Shaikh - Age - 32 - Charitable Hospital (Work in Progress)
Suffering from a Dual stricture in a urethra.

He did his test in K. J. Somaiya Hospital but his treatment is not cover in MJPJAY. then we referred him to Lilavati Hospital.

We are waiting for documents and will get a date for an admission. Shrinivas, our sincere volunteer is following up.

Helpline Calls -

In the past week around 12 calls of new cases were received through which we have informed about this Schemes.

Very satisfying week.

Monday, December 10, 2018

NATION FIRST - Last week report (week 49)



Cases -

1) Malathi Shetty - Age 63 - Charitable Hospital (Work in Progress)
Suffering from a lymphoma cancer in tonsil need chemotherapy. Now the treatment process is going on in Hinduja Hospital.

2) Shashikant Velankar - Age 58 - MJPJAY (Work in Progress)
Suffering from a Kidney stone (both the kidneys) Treated in Malika Hospital in MJPJAY scheme. Left side surgery was done. Right side operation will be done in Dec. 2018.

3) Wahab Shaikh - Age - 32 - Charitable Hospital (Work in Progress)
Suffering from a Dual stricture in a urethra. He did his test in K. J. Somaiya Hospital but his treatment is not covered in MJPJAY.He has been referred to Lilavati Hospital. Waiting for documents and will get a date for an admission on 12th December 2018.

4) Prasanna Kavale - Age - 10 Months Charitable Hospital (Work in Progress)
Suffering from a congenital heart defect. Wadia Hospital refused to do surgery because there is a high risk. Kokilaben Ambani hospital has admitted. While Kokilaben Hospital will treat, they have asked the relatives to apply for CM and PM funds.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Nation First weekly report (week 48)

NATION FIRST - Last week report (week 48)

Cases -

1) Rajan Sadanand Salvi - Age 60 - Charitable Hospital
Suffering from Right DACA Aneurysm now treated in Nanavati Hospital under Charitable Hospital scheme.
last week he started receiving free treatment under the scheme but they asked for bye medicine from outside. We spoke with Social worker now from last 2 days he started giving medicine under the scheme.

2) Shashikant Velankar - Age 58 - MJPJAY  (Work in Progress)
Suffering from a Kidney stone (both the kidneys) Treated in Malika Hospital in MJPJAY scheme. Left side surgery was done. right side operation will be done on 1st Dec. 2018.

3) Mathi Shetty - Age 63 - Charitable Hospital (Work in Progress)
Suffering from a lymphoma cancer in tonsil need chemotherapy. we asked them to go to the BSES hospital and meet Arogyasevek of MJPJAY scheme because we got information from the MJPJAY helpline this treatment is available in BSES Hospital, however, the hospital denies for the treatment from both the scheme (MJPJAY & Charitable Hospital). Now we are working on this.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Citizen App - VIA 70, First-time-in-India


VIA 70 App
(Vile Parle, Irla, Andheri MCGM ward no. 70)
A unique, first-time-in-the-country tool for govt-citizen interface prepared by UPL Ltd and Shroff Family and social activist Mayank Gandhi with the support of the elected representative of ward 70 of MCGM, Mrs Sunita Mehta.
Preamble:
Decentralization: The 73rd amendment (1991) for decentralization of power in rural India has led to the creation of the Panchayati Bill, which has substantially improved governance in rural India. But there is an equal, if not more, need for decentralization in urban governance as per the 74th amendment.

Urban disconnect: Urban citizens have shortage of knowledge and involvement in the workings of local government.

Government working: Gap in communication between the govt machinery and the citizens reduces the performance of services and leads to discontent among citizens.

Proposal:

A model App has been created for one of the 227 municipal wards of MCGM to address the above concerns. This is an honest and non-political attempt to create a model for integrating urban citizens of India with the governance of their locality. This can be done by sharing of necessary information with citizens, involving them in day-to-day governance and empowering them with knowledge and data in an easy-to-access and user-friendly manner. This will serve as a model, which can then be replicated across various urban areas.

Details:

The app has the following features

Ward budget – details of works planned, work-in-progress and completed works VIA 70 ward. The app will allow citizens to rate the civic works done and also make comments on its quality and timelines. They can also suggest fresh work to be undertaken in the ward.

Complaint mechanism – Citizens will be empowered with information about the officers to whom civic complaints can be made with the necessary timelines. Escalation of complaints in case of failure to solve the complaints will be part of the App.

MCGM data – a complete data tree with various departments of the MCGM.

Ward data – Complete data of education institutes, health institutes and open spaces with Google map.

Important numbers can be accessed to report complaints in various other forums like Police, Traffic Police, Anti-corruption, elected representatives etc.

Volunteering opportunities in the ward.

Know your rights – citizen charters

Neighborhood chats – there will be multiple chat groups to encourage citizens to chat and discuss local civic issues.

Present Report:

Launched on 18th Nov 2018

Till 25-Nov-18
Total No of installs
302
Total No of Users
211
Open Complaint (work-in-progress)
46
Closed Complaint (addressed satisfactorily)
39
Total Complaint
85
Total No of suggestions
5