Sabtu, 15 Februari 2014

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Kejriwal quits as Delhi chief minister after 49 days

Posted: 14 Feb 2014 10:02 PM PST

NEW DELHI, Feb 15, 2014 (AFP) - Firebrand anti-corruption champion Arvind Kejriwal was clearing his desk Saturday after quitting as Delhi's chief minister in a move that leaves him clear to lead his party into battle in a looming general election.

Only 49 days after his upstart Aam Aadmi ("Common Man") Party took power in the capital, Kejriwal resigned on Friday night when the country's two main parties combined to thwart his efforts to bring in a new anti-corruption bill.

Kejriwal, whose stunning breakthrough in the Delhi state elections in December highlighted public anger towards the political establishment, launched a blistering assault on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in his resignation speech.

Newspapers said his decision to quit so soon after taking power appeared part of a wider strategy which would free Kejriwal to lead his party's campaign in a general election due by May.

The anti-corruption bill was the main plank of Kejriwal's manifesto in the Delhi state election, the first campaign that his party had ever fought.

Although Aam Aadmi only won 28 of the 70 assembly seats, it was able to take power after Congress agreed to give it backing from outside.

However Congress refused to support the Jan Lokpal bill, which included plans to set up an anti-corruption commission, in a vote Friday on procedural grounds.

In his speech to supporters on Friday, the 45-year-old accused Congress of reneging on an earlier promise to back the bill.

'Broken promises'

"Congress had promised us, in writing, that they would support the bill but when we tried to present it before the assembly today both they and the BJP came together to block it," Kejriwal said.

"This is the first time in India's history that both the BJP and Congress have come together... They have exposed themselves and shown their true face."

In his typically fiery address, the former tax inspector also accused the two parties of taking orders from Mukesh Ambani, India's wealthiest man who heads the giant Reliance Industries conglomerate.

The BJP is expected to win the national polls, but it will need support from smaller parties to clinch victory.

Although Kejriwal only formed his party a year ago, its remarkable showing in the Delhi election shocked the country's political establishment.

Congress, which has been badly damaged by a series of corruption scandals at national level, saw its number of seats slashed from 43 to just eight.

Aam Aadmi has said it plans to contest the national elections although analysts say it is unlikely to win much support outside major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai due to its lack of infrastructure and funding.

Newspapers said that Kejriwal's resignation represented something of a gamble for his party, with many of the voters who backed him in December unhappy at his decision to walk so soon.

"As AAP moves to launch an audacious Lok Sabha (parliamentary) campaign, the political greenhorn who humbled both Congress and BJP will also have to answer questions about its commitment to governance and if it has the vision to be a long-term player," said The Times of India.

The Hindustan Times said that Kerjiwal's resignation was part of a plan that would allow him to spearhead the general election campaign.

"The decision to quit is part of AAP's bigger strategy," the paper said.

"It hopes to paint the Congress and BJP as the villains of the piece who did not let his government fulfill its promises, and is banking on the people to bring it back to power on its own."

During his administration's brief time in office, Kejriwal unveiled a series of headline-grabbing initiatives, including a graft hotline aimed at stemming the rampant corruption of police and bureaucrats.

After shunning the usual official car and instead taking the subway to his swearing-in ceremony, Kejriwal then slashed electricity costs and announced free water supplies.

But while his elevation to one of the most important political posts in India was initially widely welcomed as a much-needed shock to the system, the former tax inspector has since come in for criticism over a series of stand-offs with the authorities.

The self-styled "anarchist" staged a sit-in on the pavement close to the national parliament last month, triggering chaos in the city centre, as part of a push to be given greater powers of control over the police.

In Delhi, the BJP will be given the opportunity to form an alternative administration before any decision is made on holding fresh elections.

The party is the biggest faction in the assembly, having won 32 seats in December.

Thai opposition protesters vow no surrender

Posted: 15 Feb 2014 12:47 AM PST

BANGKOK: Thai opposition protesters on Saturday refused to end their rallies in Bangkok despite a vow by police to clear more demonstration sites, following an operation to reclaim the besieged government headquarters.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government is attempting to seize back key state buildings after more than three months of mass protests seeking to curb the political domination of her billionaire family.

On Friday police with shields and riot helmets, some carrying rifles, met little resistance as they cleared areas around Government House, which Yingluck had been unable to use for about two months.

But there were no arrests or serious clashes, and demonstrators were later seen rebuilding their makeshift barricades.

The security operation is focused on government offices rather than major intersections in the commercial centre that have become the main focus of the rallies in recent weeks as part of what protesters have described as the "Bangkok shutdown".

So far the authorities have not announced any plan to clear those intersections, where several thousand protesters gather each evening to hear free concerts and speeches.

"We will continue fighting. We will not be shaken by the police operation," a spokesman for the anti-government movement, Akanat Promphan, said Saturday.

"No matter whether police succeed in reclaiming the rally sites or not, we will keep on protesting," he added.

On Saturday about 1,200 police were mobilised to try to reclaim a government complex in Chaeng Wattana in the north of the capital on Saturday, National Security Council chief Paradorn Pattanatabut told AFP.

But they later appeared to have retreated, after the two sides agreed to hold talks about re-opening the complex, which has been occupied by demonstrators led by a saffron-robed monk who has emerged as a key figure in the anti-government movement.

An aide to the monk-turned-protest leader Luang Pu Buddha Issara - who faces an arrest warrant for his role in the rallies - said the protesters "will not give up", but later confirmed that negotiations would take place on Sunday. 

Attendance falling

The government has so far appeared reluctant to use force against the protesters, despite declaring a state of emergency last month that gives authorities the power to ban public gatherings of more than five people.

Attendance at the rallies has fallen sharply compared with December and January, when at the peak of the demonstrations tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of people took to the streets.

Thailand has been periodically rocked by mass demonstrations by rival protest groups since a controversial military coup in 2006 that ousted then-premier Thaksin Shinawatra - Yingluck's brother.

At least 10 people have been killed and hundreds injured in violence linked to the latest round of protests.

The deployment of security forces has revived memories of a bloody crackdown on mass pro-Thaksin "Red Shirt" rallies in 2010 under the previous government, using armed troops backed by armoured vehicles.

Yingluck's opponents say her government is controlled by Thaksin, who fled overseas in 2008 to avoid jail for a corruption conviction and now lives in Dubai.

Pro-Thaksin parties have won every election for more than a decade, most recently in 2011 under Yingluck, helped by strong support in the northern half of the kingdom.

The tycoon-turned-politician is hated by many southerners, middle class Thais and members of the Bangkok elite who accuse him of rampant corruption.

Anti-government protesters disrupted a general election held earlier this month that was boycotted by the main opposition Democrat Party.

Demonstrators prevented 10,000 polling stations from opening in the election, affecting several million people.

The protesters want Yingluck to stand down to make way for an unelected "People's Council" to enact reforms to tackle corruption and alleged vote-buying before new polls are held.

The Election Commission has set a date of April 27 for election re-runs in constituencies where voting was obstructed by protesters. -AFP


0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved