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POSTED BY Buzz ON Feb 26, 2014 AT 23:47 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 26, 2014 23:47 IST

A Pew Research Center survey conducted between December 7, 2013 and January 12, 2014 based on face-to-face interviews with 2,464 randomly selected adults and a margin of error of 3.8% says:

More than six-in-ten Indians (63%) prefer the BJP to lead the next Indian national government. Just two-in-ten (19%) pick the Indian National Congress. Other parties have the support of 12% of the public. BJP backing is consistent across age groups. And support is almost equal between rural (64%) and urban (60%) Indians.

 

Surprisingly, however, the survey shows the following breakdown of the BJP's support-base, which shows it doing even better in the South (where it has practically no or very little presence in Tamil Nadu and AP, and Kerala is not sampled) than in the West:

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Feb 26, 2014 AT 23:47 IST, Edited At: Feb 26, 2014 23:47 IST
POSTED BY News Ed ON Feb 18, 2014 AT 00:15 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 18, 2014 00:15 IST

We have all been told about how BJP's candidate for the prime minister's post, Narendra Modi, started out as a tea-vendor. But here is something that we didn't know.

The Telegraph, on Feb 17, published a story about PM Manmohan Singh's affinity for, well not exactly tea, but tea sets.

"Singh has been quietly building a collection of teacups, saucers and pots that he received as gifts from abroad and can be taken with him once he leaves 7 Race Course Road this May...Singh, known for his frugal lifestyle, has despatched to the government 38 of the 44 gifts he had received from heads of state and government, ambassadors and other foreign visitors since July last year...All the six gifts Singh has taken home are tea sets."

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POSTED BY News Ed ON Feb 18, 2014 AT 00:15 IST, Edited At: Feb 18, 2014 00:15 IST
POSTED BY News Ed ON Jan 03, 2014 AT 11:30 IST ,  Edited At: Jan 03, 2014 11:30 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's third press meet after he took charge as the Prime Minister in May 2004.

Full text of the PM's address to the press:

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POSTED BY News Ed ON Jan 03, 2014 AT 11:30 IST, Edited At: Jan 03, 2014 11:30 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 31, 2013 AT 23:39 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 31, 2013 23:39 IST

Shailaja Bajpai in the Indian Express: The Chosen One

If the election results were to be decided solely by TV coverage, Modi would have won a landslide already.

Countries such as the US try to follow the idea of equal coverage especially in the run-up to an election — and especially after a politician is declared as the official candidate, as Modi has been. Recently, the Republicans threatened that TV channels, NBC and CNN, would not be allowed to telecast the party's next presidential debates because NBC had planned a TV series and CNN a documentary about Democrat Hillary Clinton. Indian news channels don't let minor matters like equality trouble them. They're obsessed with the man, to the point that Modi-fixation has become a clinical condition which may soon require treatment.

Read the full piece at the Indian Express: The Chosen One

While a debate on the idea of equal coverage is thus afoot, the Information and Broadcasting ministry on its own part is not-so-subtly using crude arm-twisting tactics, as this report in Niti Central, which put up the following ridiculous "advisory" issued by the I&B ministry, reveals, as an example of the ruling dispensation's desperate attempts to intimidate private TV channels:

No. 804/1 56/201 3-BC-lll

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION & BROADCASTING
‘A’ WING, SHASTRI BHAWAN
NEW DELHI- 11OOO1
Dated 21st October, 2013

ADVISORY

Whereas it had come to the notice of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting that certain TV channels attempted to denigrate the Office of the Prime Minister of India by constantly trying to compare the speech of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India with the speech of other political leaders on 15th August, 2013.

Whereas the telecast of this kind of programme on a day when entire nation was celebrating its 67th Independence Day is highly objectionable. The Prime Minister spoke from the Ramparts of the Red Fort, as the Prime Minister of the country and not as a leader of a political party. Therefore, on such a solemn day to put him in an artificial competition with anyone is not appropriate. On Independence Day when the Prime Minister addresses the nation and the country is united in the emotions of national integrity, patriotism and national fervor, the attempt by certain TV channels to denigrate the status of the Prime Minister can best be described as sensational and against all norms of ethical journalism.

Whereas, as per Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 read with Rule 6 (1 X) & (i) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, as amended from time to time, no programme can be transmitted/retransmitted on any Cable Service which contains anything offensive against good taste or decency; and criticises, maligns or slanders any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public and moral life of the country.

Whereas, according to the basic conditions/obligations of permission/approval for Uplinking/Downlinking of TV Channels in India, the channels are bound to follow the Programme Code and Advertising Code as prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and rules framed thereunder.

Therefore, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, in exercise of powers under Uplinking/Downlinking Guidelines issued by it, the terms of permission granted to the Channel to uplink/downlink TV Channels and under Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, hereby advises all News & Current Affairs TV Channels to follow the provisions of the Programme and Advertising Codes scrupulously and keep the significance of the solemn days like Independence Day, etc. in view while carrying the speech of the Prime Minister and the President of India.

It is also brought to the notice of all TV channels that any further violation of the provisions of the Programme/Advertising Code would attract penal provisions stipulated in Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995and the terms and conditions of uplinking and downlinking guidelines.

(K.S. REJTMON )
Director (DAS)
Te1 23381246

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 31, 2013 AT 23:39 IST, Edited At: Oct 31, 2013 23:39 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 29, 2013 AT 22:59 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 29, 2013 22:59 IST

Ashok Desai is in fine form as always, and delivers some of the best lines on the finance minister in recent times:

He does not take shelter behind his advisers like the prime minister, who seldom gives his own views. He is often wrong, which makes it easier to criticize his interpretation. It is impossible to find such a riveting combination of intelligence and fallibility. The nation is likely to be stuck with him for many years; a columnist would hope never to be without him.

Recently, he has been strangely silent. That cannot be due to his critics, for he hits out at them with abandon and then forgets them.


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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 29, 2013 AT 22:59 IST, Edited At: Oct 29, 2013 22:59 IST
     
 
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