External Affairs

Get Wired 4/7: India Abstains on Israel Vote, BJP OBC Morcha, Landlessness in States, and More

1. India abstains on Israel vote

UNHRC Ceiling by Miquel Barceló.

Photo: UNHRC Ceiling by Miquel Barceló.

India did not participate in Friday’s UN Human Rights Council vote for adoption of a UN enquiry Commission report on Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in Gaza last year. While 41 countries, including the European Union voted in favour of the enquiry, five countries abstained, including India. The only country that voted against the motion was US. The UNHRC’s enquiry recommends the International Criminal Court investigate and prosecute those involved in war crimes. Since India is not a party to the ICC, it decided to abstain, the Ministry of External Affairs send in a statement, adding, ”There is no change in India’s long standing position on support to the Palestinian cause.” Earlier this year, India voted against Israel on at least three UNHRC resolutions.

2. CPI (M), Congress to ally against Mamata?

Preparing to defeat the Mamta Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the CPI (M) may be prepared to work with the Congress for the 2016 Assembly election. The Left party has, however, made clear its stance that any cooperation with the Congress will purely be issue-based, especially in Parliament. There will not be an electoral agreement between CPI (M) and the Congress in West Bengal or any other state. The agenda is to create a negative environment for the Trinamool Congress government.

3. BJP forms OBC Morcha

In a move to woo backward communities for electoral gain, the BJP on Friday formed an OBC Morcha. The decision has been taken with one eye on the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar, as also Uttar Pradesh. For the party the push for OBC support  is “significant in terms of BJP’s long term election strategy.” S P Singh Bagel, a key OBC leader from Uttar Pradesh will lead the Morcha.

4. States with land reforms face landlessness

According to the Socio Economic Cast and Census, states that have adopted land reforms have a greater problem of landlessness. Among those states are Kerala with 72 per cent, West Bengal with 70 per cent and Andhra Pradesh with 73 per cent of the rural population not owning any land. In total, more than half the rural population across India – i.e. 56 per cent of 17.92 crore rural households – do not own any agricultural land. On the other hand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh have recorded the lowest incidence of landlessness.

5. NDA for PDS with direct transfers

The Central government has decided to implement direct cash transfers to the Aadhaar card-linked bank accounts of PDS beneficiaries in Puducherry, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Havel. In Daman and Diu, PDS benefits will be provided on the basis of Aadhaar-lined biometric verification. At the initial stage, the transfer will be made as food subsidy which will amount Rs. 500-700 per household. A panel led by former food minister Shanta Kumar said that cash transfers could save the exchequer Rs. 30, 000 crore annually.