Political Line newsletter by Varghese K George

Political Line | Rule of PMLA; what the hijab row hides; rewriting the Constitution

Will the SC defang PMLA?

The arrest of Maharashtra’s Minister of Minority Affairs and Skill Development and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik -- the second Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance to be arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) -- raises serious questions regarding Centre-State relations. Political opponents of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have become the targets of the ED in recent years, but otherwise too, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act is being widely and indiscriminately used by the agency. The ED conducted 1,700 raids and launched special investigations in 1,569 PMLA cases between 2011 and 2020, but it could secure conviction in only nine of these cases.

NCP leader Nawab Malik on his way to a hospital for his medical check-up, after his arrest by the ED in connection with a money laundering case involving Dawood Ibrahim, in Mumbai.

NCP leader Nawab Malik on his way to a hospital for his medical check-up, after his arrest by the ED in connection with a money laundering case involving Dawood Ibrahim, in Mumbai. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court is examining the constitutionality of the sweeping powers that PMLA gives to investigators and the complete denial of fairness to the accused. If the SC strikes down or reads down provisions of the PMLA, the political implications will be immense. Krishnadas Rajagopal explains the context.

Behind the hijab row

The BJP’s social base in coastal Karnataka is shaken by the unease among the backward castes, and the Congress is throwing up a strong challenge to the ruling party. That is the backdrop of the ongoing hijab controversy in the State, which is also tied to campaigning in U.P. The rise of the Muslim outfit, the Popular Front of India, and its political arm, the SDPI (Social Democrat Party of India), in the region is also notable. This reportage captures many strands of this political flux. 

KCR goes west

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao with Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and others during a meeting, in Mumbai.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao with Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and others during a meeting, in Mumbai. | Photo Credit: PTI

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s efforts to stitch up a broad coalition of Opposition parties to take on the ruling BJP ahead of the 2024 parliamentary election continue. He met with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai and called for “a big change” in the way the country was currently being run by the BJP-led Centre.

Federalism Tract

Kerala government on Governor’s post 

The post of the Governor should be done away with, or laws should be amended to make the post an elected one, according to the ruling Left in Kerala.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan delivered his policy address at the Budget session of the Kerala Assembly on February 18, 2022.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan delivered his policy address at the Budget session of the Kerala Assembly on February 18, 2022. | Photo Credit: Mahinsha S.

The Left Democratic Front government in Kerala is locked in a war of nerves with Governor Arif Mohammad Khan over a uniquely Kerala welfare model -- State pensions for political hacks who gets appointed as personal staff of Ministers and the Leader of the Opposition in Kerala. Read our editorial on the issue. 

Mother Language Day

February 21 is observed as International Mother Language Day. It was on that day in 1952 that students of Dhaka University began their protest against the ‘Urdu only’ policy being imposed by rulers based in West Pakistan who were determined to trample upon the Bengali culture of East Pakistan. The experience of Pakistan must serve as a reminder for all of us -- on how not to enforce unity of a country.

A new Constitution?

Several wise people have spoken about a new Constitution for India that takes into account the challenges that confront the country, particularly from the perspective of Centre-State relations. The Telangana Chief Minister raised the demand recently. How feasible is the idea? This article tries to answer the question.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2022 11:41:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rule-of-pmla-what-the-hijab-row-hides-rewriting-the-constitution-political-line/article65085467.ece