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  • Indian politicians get homes meant for war widows

    Indian politicians get homes meant for war widows
    By NIRMALA GEORGE, Associated Press Nirmala George, Associated Press 57 mins ago

    NEW DELHI – The apartments in the upscale Colaba neighborhood of Mumbai were for the noblest of causes: giving shelter to wounded Indian war veterans and the widows of those slain in battle.

    But the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai appears to have been a huge scam, with nearly every one of the valuable units being sold for a song to a clutch of top politicians, their kin and retired generals in a scandal that has rocked India's ruling Congress Party.

    The scandal, first reported last week in The Times of India newspaper, is considered so toxic that Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi appointed India's defense minister and finance minister to investigate.

    Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, the top elected official in Maharashtra state where Mumbai is located, offered to resign over the weekend after media reports revealed that his mother-in-law and other relatives had apartments in the building.

    The scandal comes at a sensitive time for the Congress Party. Chavan is slated to play host to Barack Obama when the U.S. president visits Mumbai this weekend. Party leaders have not made a decision on whether to accept Chavan's resignation and quickly replace him.

    The land in the upscale neighborhood in southern Mumbai had been earmarked for a six-story building of apartments for disabled veterans, war widows and heroes of the 1999 Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan that raged for three months across the disputed Kashmir region.

    But the original blueprints for a modest building were cast aside and in its place arose a 31-story luxury high-rise, even though zoning laws and environmental regulations appear to bar tall buildings along the coast.

    Of the 103 apartments in the building, only three went to families connected to the Kargil conflict, according to the Asian Age newspaper.

    The remainder went to two retired Indian army chiefs, a former naval chief, relatives of federal ministers and scores of top politicians and bureaucrats in Maharashtra.

    The apartments, finished in 2008 and bought for as little as 6 million rupees ($130,000), are now worth about 80 million rupees ($1.8 million) in Mumbai's highly inflated real estate market, according to media reports.

    India's opposition parties have demanded the government come clean on who authorized the changes in the building plans and who allocated the apartments to powerful officials.

    The defense ministry has ordered an investigation into the building, said Sitanshu Kar, a defense ministry spokesman.

    Chavan has directed municipal officials to begin proceedings to expel the residents, and the local utility company has threatened to cut off power and electricity to the building.

    And some of the recipients have rushed to distance themselves from the building, with the former military commanders offering to give back their apartments.

    The allegations come just weeks after the end of the Commonwealth Games, which were marred by accusations of sleaze and corruption.

    Copyright © 2010 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  • #2
    wow.. Thanks for the post. Traitorous politicans.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yay

      This has been in the news for the past week, today i hear they might demolish the building.

      Now you see it, now you don't, it never happened ;)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
        Yay

        This has been in the news for the past week, today i hear they might demolish the building.

        Now you see it, now you don't, it never happened ;)
        They should simply hand it over to the war veterans instead of demolishing it. Although I don't know if this building could be given a waiver by the environmental regulations now that it has been exposed; im sure the zoning laws could be done.

        Originally posted by cirrrocco View Post
        Traitorous politicans.
        What else is new? ;)
        Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
        -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry

        Comment


        • #5
          And this is how it all happens....

          Another Adarsh nipped in the bud?



          MUMBAI: The breaking of the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam has nipped in the bud a similar act which politicians and ministers were planning to pull off at the proposed Indus Cooperative Housing Society at Wadala.

          In return for clearing the file, several Mantralaya departments added their own people to the original list of members — the finance department added three, revenue added 25 and so on.

          Indus Society was promoted by a few IAS officers; subsequently IPS officers, government servants, MLAs and MLCs joined in and the list went up to 130 members. The society applied for land at Wadala, and the government in principle showed willingness to allot 13,000 sq metres (over 3 acres) in September 2009.

          It was then that the officials realised that the plot was next to the creek and was covered under the provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, allowing them to use only 7,000 sq mts (less than two acres), sources said. The society then submitted a reduced list of 92 members to the Mumbai collector, who pruned it to 74 since some members were not eligible. Since the area was reduced, the building could have accommodated only 82 members for 1000 sq feet flats.

          Sources in the government said that when the file started moving in Mantralaya, politicians demanded their pound of flesh to clear the proposal and names began to be piled on to the list of 74. ''When it went to the finance department, three names were added, in revenue another 25 came in. Finally, the CM's office called for the file. But since the Adarsh scam was unearthed, the names added to the file will be deleted or the allotment of land to Indus may be delayed,'' said sources.


          Read more: Another Adarsh nipped in the bud? - The Times of India Another Adarsh nipped in the bud? - The Times of India
          Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
          -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry

          Comment


          • #6
            I think it might be time that India took Chinas lead on corruption and started lining up corrupt pollies and generals up against walls after short boring trials where the judge has already found the defendants guilty.

            Sounds nasty but the good of the nation has to come before the good of a chosen few.

            The moneypot is too shallow to allow India to take the path of western nations on the matter of corruption. A western politician taking a million US wont make a huge difference in a country of 300 million people and an economy of tens of trillions. That million US in India though is taking real funds away from developing a still poverty stricken country (in many areas anyway) into a developed one.
            The best part of repentance is the sin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by chakos View Post
              I think it might be time that India took Chinas lead on corruption and started lining up corrupt pollies and generals up against walls after short boring trials where the judge has already found the defendants guilty.
              Yet this year, Transparency intl gave China a score of 78, and India a score of 87, it was 83 last year. Lower is better.

              The diference corruption wise between the two is minimal at best.

              Originally posted by chakos View Post
              Sounds nasty but the good of the nation has to come before the good of a chosen few.
              No need to shoot anybody, they just need to be charged with something. That would be a good start.

              Originally posted by chakos View Post
              The moneypot is too shallow to allow India to take the path of western nations on the matter of corruption. A western politician taking a million US wont make a huge difference in a country of 300 million people and an economy of tens of trillions. That million US in India though is taking real funds away from developing a still poverty stricken country (in many areas anyway) into a developed one.
              Million US ? thats peanuts, recenty, MP's were being bribed upto ten times that amount to switch political party affiliations in my state alone.

              This topic was discussed on the talkshow 'India tonight' yesterday, will post the stream here when its up. The gist of it was nobody would comment further until the facts were established. They found it suspect that many senior armed forces officers would have not known this building was supposed to be for the widows of Kargil. They also found it strange that it went from a 6 storey bldg initially to a high rise that too in a prime area in mumbai.

              and the final clincher that it was the Army that brought this story to light in the first place.
              Last edited by Double Edge; 03 Nov 10,, 09:25.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by chakos View Post
                I think it might be time that India took Chinas lead on corruption and started lining up corrupt pollies and generals up against walls after short boring trials where the judge has already found the defendants guilty.

                Sounds nasty but the good of the nation has to come before the good of a chosen few.

                The moneypot is too shallow to allow India to take the path of western nations on the matter of corruption. A western politician taking a million US wont make a huge difference in a country of 300 million people and an economy of tens of trillions. That million US in India though is taking real funds away from developing a still poverty stricken country (in many areas anyway) into a developed one.
                The problem with corrupt politicians in my view can only be solved once India makes a clause which bans any politician with criminal charges from running in elections. Where things are right now, people run for elections sitting in their prison cells! There is a long list of MLA's and MP's in some party with a long criminal record, some even including murder! Which is pathetic, and the reason they can run is due to the slow judicial system which is siply overwhelmed by all the cases and takes decades to come to a conclusion. Maybe seperate fast tracks courts for the politicians would also help. Rounding up people and throwing them in prison or shooting them, and all the other wonders of authoritarian regimes is something which India can't do. Our politics crazy country will turn into a huge battleground if that were to ever happen.


                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                No need to shoot anybody, they just need to be charged with something. That would be a good start.


                Million US ? thats peanuts, recenty, MP's were being bribed upto ten times that amount to switch political party affiliations in my state alone.

                This topic was discussed on the talkshow 'India tonight' yesterday, will post the stream here when its up. The gist of it was nobody would comment further until the facts were established. They found it suspect that many senior armed forces officers would have not known this building was supposed to be for the widows of Kargil. They also found it strange that it went from a 6 storey bldg initially to a high rise that too in a prime area in mumbai.

                and the final clincher that it was the Army that brought this story to light in the first place.
                One of my favourite movies based on the dirtyness of Indian politics:

                Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
                -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tronic View Post
                  The problem with corrupt politicians in my view can only be solved once India makes a clause which bans any politician with criminal charges from running in elections.
                  They have cases pending against them but have never been charged yet.

                  Originally posted by Tronic View Post
                  Where things are right now, people run for elections sitting in their prison cells! There is a long list of MLA's and MP's in some party with a long criminal record, some even including murder!
                  Not charged yet, free to run.

                  There was an excel spreadhseet put out just after the 2009 general elections which listed all IPC (Indian Penal Code) offences pending against those that got elected. Recall going through it and found 30% out of 545 in the lower house have charges filed against them. Out of that 30%, only 20% are of a serious nature, so thats like under 30 out of 545 with serious charges in the whole house hence the distinction between serious charges or other. Many of the 30 were charges like desecrating religous sites ie communal stuff and the number with murder charges was under 10. This figure does not get mentioned in the media at all and the perception is the houses of assembly are filled with alleged murderers which is neither here nor there.

                  Note there is no info i found on what the picture is like with the state assemblies and was only referring to the one in Delhi.

                  Course you can counter that this should not be the case in the first place so maybe if there are any serious charges placed against them they should be disqualified from running. But these charges are filed with political motives as well, so serious or not will not make any difference because you could argue its a great way to stop anyone from running too ;)

                  Originally posted by Tronic View Post
                  Which is pathetic, and the reason they can run is due to the slow judicial system which is siply overwhelmed by all the cases and takes decades to come to a conclusion.
                  If you mean anyone facing charges cannot run then there's all sorts of problems with that because these ppl get charged with all sorts of offences in the name of their party, taking one for the team etc.

                  I'm not sure whether its just the slow judicial process or also the ability of their lawyers to stall the process.

                  That movie you linked to looks interesting will check out.
                  Last edited by Double Edge; 03 Nov 10,, 22:17.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                    Yet this year, Transparency intl gave China a score of 78, and India a score of 87, it was 83 last year. Lower is better.
                    What do you think it's going to be after the CWG debacle? Considering score is a "corruption perception index"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      87 after CWG, it was 83 previously.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nothings going to happen cause the opposition is weak and people don't care. Manmohan's innocence is just too mesmerising. Every new committee opens up a source of employment and a new hope. Don't feel like going back now. Might as well wait for the bubble.
                        Last edited by nvishal; 04 Nov 10,, 09:26.
                        Power Respects Power
                        --- Dr. APJ Kalam

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nvishal View Post
                          Nothings going to happen cause the opposition is weak and people don't care.
                          Then why have several parties suddenly renounced their flats in that highrise ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chakos View Post
                            I think it might be time that India took Chinas lead on corruption and started lining up corrupt pollies and generals up against walls after short boring trials where the judge has already found the defendants guilty.

                            Sounds nasty but the good of the nation has to come before the good of a chosen few.

                            The moneypot is too shallow to allow India to take the path of western nations on the matter of corruption. A western politician taking a million US wont make a huge difference in a country of 300 million people and an economy of tens of trillions. That million US in India though is taking real funds away from developing a still poverty stricken country (in many areas anyway) into a developed one.
                            The real problem is that right now majority of the nation is corrupt, people give bribes and take them when they can. It is not as if a select few are corrupt, its just that when corruption is a practice built into the system, the higher you are the more money you get from corruption.

                            Killing people is not the solution of every problem, besides its impossible to do that in a democracy which is the only possible system in a nation as varied as India, that and just imagine what the system will become in a dictatorship (the one you suggest) when its like this in a democracy. , easiest way to kill a political rival eh.

                            With more transparency, proper anti corruption laws, swift law enforcement, public awareness, and Less government&PSU services, the problem will come down, it will take its time, but it will be reduced, and there is no way around it.

                            Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                            Yay

                            This has been in the news for the past week, today i hear they might demolish the building.

                            Now you see it, now you don't, it never happened ;)
                            LOL, that would be the funniest thing to happen all year
                            as that bands song went
                            India Sir ye chiz dhurandhar, Rang rangila Parjatantar.
                            don't know if it sounds as funny in eng. translation. India, Sir, is an amazing (sarcastically) place, a colourful(sarcastically) democracy.

                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            My friends dad was maimed during Kargil, he got a Flat in Delhi, and all of the allotments in that residential area were without corruption as they were built with the intention of giving away all to the injured army men or in more tragic cases their families .

                            This Mumbai thing happened as the whole Idea behind building the Flats was to make some money by selling some and giving some flats to all the parties involved. The war widow and ex-Kargil army men thing was just to put a screen over the great scam.
                            Last edited by kuku; 04 Nov 10,, 12:41.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                              Then why have several parties suddenly renounced their flats in that highrise ?
                              What's wrong in making the right noises? Or did you actually fall for it? Lets wait for the deshmukh committee to submit a pragmatic judgement which will not be binding because rajmata likes to make the final call which technically means putting together another "better" committee, say baburao committee. But nothing beats the anti-sikh riot case with 10+ committees and still going strong. Like i said, every new committee brings new hope and accrued dumbness. Else make another sikh man a proxy PM of india to pacify your critics. The innocent face is an added advantage.
                              Last edited by nvishal; 04 Nov 10,, 13:28.
                              Power Respects Power
                              --- Dr. APJ Kalam

                              Comment

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