At the nub of the Congress desire to push polls in Karnataka towards the year-end is the the fear that the outcome would go to the advantage of the BJP if early polls are held. There is also a view that the party will stand a better chance under the delimited regime, as the number of ST and SC seats will go up in such a situation.
The Karnataka Congress aversion to early polls, however, has put the Manmohan Singh government in a fix, which is now having to grapple with the vexing decision of when to notify the delimitation process in the country. It is still to get the ball rolling on getting the Presidents seal on the matter, even though the union cabinet a few weeks ago decided to move ahead with the delimitation process.
The problem before the UPA government, however, is that it will have to seek an extension of Presidents rule in Karnataka in parliament during the budget session. This is easier said than done in the face of staunch opposition from the BJP, who have already made it clear that they will not agree to any postponement of polls in the state.
As of now, the election process have to be conducted in Karnataka before May 27. In the event that polls are held in May, they will have to be done as per existing constituencies since the Election commission is on record stating that it will need around four months time before holding polls under the delimited regime.
PICK OF THE WEEK
The finance ministry is unlikely to cast the tax net any further in Budget 2008-09. We are not thinking in terms of expanding the scope of FBT and bring more items under it this year, an official source confirmed to FE. This is very significant, as FBT has emerged a big headache for accounts departments in the corporate sector.
Japanese auto major Toyota has decided to recall about 20,000 units of its best-selling multi-utility vehicle Innova in India. The vehicles, manufactured between April and October 2007, have been recalled to repair a faulty part that could lead to oil leakage. The number of recalled vehicles is about 15% of nearly 1.3 lakh Innovas on-road in India.
After almost four volatile and uncertain sessions, bulls were back on Dalal Street on Friday, driving the benchmark index to its highest single-day closing gain. In line with global markets, domestic markets recovered most of the past weeks losses, with the BSE Sensex gaining a record 1,139.92 points, or 6.62%, to close at 18,361.66 points. The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE posted a gain of 360.75 points, or 7.17%, to end the day at 5,383.35 points.
This one may pour cold water on the countrys dream to get $8-billion investments for oil & gas exploration under Nelp-VII. An annual ranking of countries on oil stability, by US-based energy and consultancy firm PIRA, for 2007, has assigned India a score of 3, of a possible maximum of 17. The ranking has placed India way behind China. Indias score has, however, improved from 1 in 2006, on account of its investment upgrade by global rating agencies. Chinas position remains the same at 6 in 2007, over 2006.