Bangalore: Billionaire Vijay Mallya, the head of the UB Group, will not seek a second term in Rajya Sabha when elections to four vacant seats are held in Karnataka later this month.
The elections could see intense jockeying by individuals seeking entry to India’s Upper House of Parliament.
“He (Mallya) won’t be filing (nominations) this time,” said Tushita Patel, political secretary to the chairman of the UB Group, adding that Mallya was not seeking re-election because of his “many international commitments”.
Apart from Mallya, the state is represented by industrialists such as Rajeev Chandrasekhar and M.A.M. Ramaswamy, whose Rajya Sabha terms expire in 2010.
Elections to the state’s four vacant Rajya Sabha seats and one seat each from Bihar, Nagaland and West Bengal are scheduled to take place on 26 June. The seats from Karnataka had fallen vacant on 9 April on the expiry of the six-year terms of Mallya, an independent, and three Congress leaders, Janardhana Poojary, Prema Cariappa and M.V. Rajashekaran.
However, politcal equations in Karnataka have changed with the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, winning the recent assembly polls.
With 110 members in the legislative asssembly and support from six independents, the BJP can send two members to the Rajya Sabha, while the Congress can elect one member (it has 80 legislators). To be elected, a candidate requires a minimum of 45 votes from the legislators. Left with 25 and 35 suprlus votes respectively, the BJP and Congress will need the help of 28 Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S), legislators to win the fourth seat.
“We are waiting for the Congress to approach us,” said JD(S) party spokesman Y.S.V. Datta, adding that no decision has been arrived at though talks were on. “We have said that we will support an independent candidate and not a Congressman,” he said.
Indian Hospitality Corp launches $200mn fund
New Delhi:Indian Hospitality Corp. Plc. or IHC, a special purpose acquisition vehicle focusing on hospitality business in India, has launched a $200 million (Rs856 crore) hospitality fund to develop or acquire hotel properties in India.
IHC will develop 60-70 hotels over the next three-four years under two brands, Gordon House, a boutique hotel brand, and an yet to be launched brand which will be in the mid-market hotel segment.
IHC is a diversified hospitality company formed in 2007 through the acquisition of Gordon House Hotels, Mars Restaurants and SkyGourmet Catering.
The company will either develop new hotel properties or acquire existing hotels. “We have two-three acquisition deals in the pipeline,” Ravi Deol, a director on the board of IHC said. “We will acquire hotels that fit our brand.”
The company is looking at acquisitions in the $40-70 million range. It is also looking at acquiring hotel properties and even restaurant chains. Shabana Hussain
CPM steps up rhetoric over nuclear deal
New Delhi: With less than a week to go before the crucial meeting with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on the issue of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, the Left parties have stepped up their rhetoric against the deal.
An editorial in the latest issue of ‘People’s Democracy’, the weekly magazine of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, attacked the Congress party-led UPA government as well as other votaries of the deal.
The Left parties, which provide a crucial outside support to the government, are scheduled to meet representatives from the UPA on 18 June to discuss the deal.
“Left-bashing, in fact CPM-bashing, for its opposition to the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal is, indeed, reaching a crescendo. The drumbeaters of US imperialism and the cheer leaders of India Inc. continue to mount a scurrilous attack through a web of fabrications against the CPM which are far removed from both rationality and fact... The running theme of such slander is that the CPM is ‘determined to make India a client state of China’,” states the editorial.
Meanwhile, CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the deal has “many features which are objectionable and not acceptable with regard to India’s sovereignty”. D. Raja, national secretary of the Communist Party of India, also dismissed any speculation of a softening of the Left stand.
The Congress party, however, sought to play down the issue.
“In the next meeting, we will try and tell them that given the spiralling prices of oil, it would be in larger national interest to keep all our energy options on the table, nuclear energy being the most scalable,” said Manish Tewari, its spokesman. Ruhi Tewari & PTI
Icrier study biased and unjustified: FDI Watch
Bangalore: The India FDI Watch Campaign, a group that opposes corporatization of the retail industry, has termed as biased and unjustified a study conducted by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (Icrier) on the impact of big retail on neighbourhood stores.
According to the Icrier report, there are no actual threats to neighbourhood “kirana” stores from corporate retail stores; and that both can not only coexist but also achieve sustained growth in the coming years.
But, campaign organizer S. Babu says the study has not considered more than 20 million street vendors. “How can the government plan to build its policy on the study, when it is not even complete? Not a single vendor has been spoken to,” he claimed.
The India FDI Watch wants another study to be carried and no new licences to be issued for companies for opening stores, he said. Deepti Chaudhary