» 03/26/2009, 00.00
Congress Party issues campaign platform
The program is rather populist in nature. On the day of its presentation, accusations are flying between prime minister Manmohan Singh and the head of the opposition, L.K. Advani.
New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The president of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, and prime minister Manmohan Singh have presented to the press and to the public their program in preparation for the general election, scheduled from the second half of April to the middle of May.
Launched on March 24, the populist program is full of promises to the poor, farmers, and minorities. It promises 25 kilograms of rice or wheat per month to every family below poverty line, at 3 rupees (five euro cents) per kilogram; health insurance for every family below the poverty line in three years; reserved jobs and places in the universities for Muslims; free education for Dalit (outcaste) and Adivasi (tribal) children; and a one-third quota for women in central government jobs.
The prime minister also stated that the Congress Party is the best positioned among all the parties to tackle the serious security challenges in the region, as well as the economic slowdown. The BJP, instead, has a divisive policy.
Sonia Gandhi, as chairperson of UPA (United Progressive Alliance) declared Manmohan Singh as candidate for premiership in the next five years. Provoked by a question focused on his being called a weak PM, Manmohan said that the opposition candidate, Advani, projects himself as a strong leader because he played a "prominent role" in the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya (1992), had presided over the "massacres" of Muslims in Gujarat as home minister (20022), and had failed to prevent terror attacks on Parliament (2001) and Red Fort (2000), besides "rewarding" terrorists in the 1999 plane hijacking.
The opposition party spokesperson, Ravishankar Prasad, immediately retorted that Singh is PM by accident, not elected but appointed by Sonia Gandhi on whom he always depends for direction.
Erdogan heads for a vote: he will win, but he will lose support
The economic crisis, accusations of corruption, and the failure to keep many promises made in the last elections are weighing against the Turkish prime minister, engaged in a campaign of rallies and inaugurations. Neither the governing party nor the opposition parties have presented any real plans to break the inertia.
The social revolution of India’s outcastes
The redemption of the outcastes began in the early nineteenth century with the presence of Christian missionaries: PIME for example is in India (Andhra Pradesh) and in Bengal since 1855. Today, Andhra Pradesh has 80 million inhabitants and the Church has 12 dioceses (six of which were founded by PIME) with about a half million Catholics.
Congress wins in three states out of five. BJP defeated in elections
The party of prime minister Manmohan Singh keeps control of the state of Delhi, and wins Rajasthan and Mizoram. The BJP keeps Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, but falls to 142 seats, down from 173 in 2003.
Prime minister Badawi inaugurated in spite of criticisms
In the elections on Saturday, the coalition of the prime minister, in government for 50 years, lost its absolute majority in parliament. In the local legislative elections, the opposition parties won in five out of twelve states.
NPC votes in new PM Li Keqiang
Viewed as a cautious reformer, China's Number 2 man was involved in one of the country's worst health scandals, that of AIDS-tainted blood transfusions, which he tried to cover up with an iron-fist. Now he will be in charge of economic affairs.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
15/10/2016 INDIA - VATICAN
15/10/2016 BANGLADESH - CHINA
14/10/2016 SYRIA - VATICAN
14/10/2016 UNITED NATIONS
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.