Sree Iyer: Hello and welcome to PGurus Channel, this is your host Sree Iyer and we are with weekday news capsule for today with Sridhar ChityalaJi, this is episode number 37. SridharJi Namaskar and welcome to PGurus Channel.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and very good morning to all.
Sree Iyer: Let us hit right off of the blocks, now with the news on the US election. There’s a lot to cover perhaps, you can walk us through some of the main things that have been happening over the past three days, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Yes, indeed. Well, they’ve been a lot of developments over the weekend. So, let’s go state by state, Pennsylvania the appeal for recount and disqualification of the votes was dismissed by the local courts and they were quite specific which is to say to invalidate 7 million votes in Pennsylvania would be Preposterous and that would not be the way to go in the absence of evidence. This is the vast number of it is postal ballots and qualification of the postal ballots so it may be going to Supreme Court and right now the Pennsylvania Court has kind of declined. So, this is a Circuit Judge and Sam Alito is the appointed Supreme Court a Circuit Judge to address the Pennsylvania issue.
As far as Michigan is concerned Michigan, there was a lot of questions around the two Republicans and two Democrats, initially the two Republican observers validated that approved the verification, then they subsequently turned back, which is to say there was not an exerted pressure from them from outside forces and so on and so forth and they reneged on that there was a meeting with the president over the weekend, the president said, in both the president as well as the two observers indicated, you know, there was nothing mentioned which is against the Constitution and or anything to do which is Contra venous. So, it looks like one of them or both of them may not sign off which puts into a very interesting spin, what is going to happen to Michigan. They can’t validate it without all four observers signing off two Republican two Democrat. So that’s on the Michigan side.
As far as Wisconsin side is concerned, the recount is in progress and it looks like the recount, there’s been a number of objections from the Republican side and the Democrats say look, they’re objecting to every postal ballot that is being seen for verification purposes. So, how that is going to play out, we will know in the next couple of days our next day or two, that’s on Wisconsin.
As far as Georgia is concerned, the recount is going to be commencing on Tuesday. So, therefore their time till Tuesday to order for a recount. It looks like the Republican Party would be going for the record as well.
As Nevada is concerned, it seems to be a still impasse, which is the contention between the Republican side and the state around the process as well as the validity in terms of what the next steps are.
So, this is the general overview across the five states and then of course on Friday, Mr Rudy Giuliani Trump’s attorney laid out in detail plan, was dismissed by the left media as another buffoonery. Even Chris Christie and others dismiss that part of it, he hasn’t produced evidence, he says, I have you been in the form of affidavits. Affidavits are evidence, but I don’t need to show the affidavits to media as well as to the others, when the time comes we will show it to the appropriate legal authorities. So, they seem to have affidavits, which is acceptable evidence in the court of law. It looks like a he is ready to take it to the Supreme Court. In the same press conference, Sidney Powell, who made a statement that there was a lot of issues around this dominion software in Barcelona in Spain as well as in potentially in Germany and other places. She had indicated that this lot is, she called it as biblical evidence that she has, that’ll kind of reveal itself and play out.
Then, overnight yesterday, she has made a press statement where she has indicated that she is not employed and part of the legal panel of Mr President. She has not signed an agreement. She doesn’t have any retailer fees or retains arrangement with Mr Trump, which was confirmed by Rudy Giuliani and she is a lawyer she can act on our own and she acts on our own, that was his statement. And Sydney Powell press statement is very compelling, which I can share the statement to PGurus, which basically indicates that yeah, she is fighting for the Republic and this is not about Republicans Or Democrats, it’s possible that both people, may be impacted by whatever she is doing. She has created an independent organization, she’s collecting non-tax-deductible fund for those who want to participate. But she says, she going to bring to bear and she listed some countries like Hong Kong, Iran, then she listed…
Sree Iyer: Serbia.
Sridhar Chityala: Yeah, so she listed Serbia as well. And she has listed at least four Countries, from where things could have happened. Venezuela was the other one then she said, you know we are not going to allow communist and socialists to do to run riot on what is a sovereign state in the United States. So, I think that that’s a very compelling or very profound statement leaving no doubt in anybody’s mind that there’s nothing, people can always speculate, you know, she was fired or dismissed all these kinds of things but, no, this is a basically very clear statement that she is issued.
Sree Iyer: Sir, what about Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, he has been crisscrossing the world in the last few days one more time, what is happening with his visits in Japan and to Israel sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think it’s fascinating. There are some things before we discuss that. President Trump, lambasted, you know, over the weekend, immediately after his G20 visit which is to say Mr Biden is trying to re-endows the Paris Accord, which will kill the economy. In his address in a G20 video address, he mentioned the same topic which is to say that hey, you know, we are ready, we can help on the Covid side, but, as far as this Paris Accord is concerned it’s complete nonsense and so we would not be a party to it.
Now, Mike Pompeo who is making rounds and he took permission and he was making rounds, as you know is he is on a week-long trip which took him to Japan and also to come to the West Bank and Israel. He is making rounds to reaffirm that, you know the United States, there’s no change and standing by the policies that have been in place for the past four years unless and until the situation changes the policies change. It also appears that Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli Prime Minister and you know King Salman and Mike Pompeo seem to have met in Saudi, which augurs well because Saudi is supposed to be the next cabin, the rank in terms of signing that Peace Accord, which to some extent the 8.34 squad gang in the United States has been opposing signing their peace Accord with the West Asians or the Middle East saying, these are all kind of totalitarian regimes and one should not be signing, Israel should not be signing the peace Accord.
So Pompeo has been very active, on the stateside visiting various capitals and reaffirming, the quad commitment as well as to the policies that they rolled out in the fag end of the presidency.
Sree Iyer: Sir, the next question that I have for you is now, Biden is starting to roll out some appointments and from what I’m reading in the newspapers and in other media outlets his secretary of state appears to be a very good pick. What are your thoughts on that sir?
Sridhar Chityala: I think Anthony Blinken is Pretty good, he was an assistant Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, I think it’s a good pick, everybody in your audience’s, you know looks at the India-US Vintage position. He seems to be a much more balanced person, he seems to have indicated that he knows India quite well and he has worked with India. There was a strategic agenda laid out between Obama and Mr Modi that the trade should multiply eight to ten times and trade and other strategic themes should be the basis of Indo-US partnership. Well, those seem to be the words in the last interview that he had given. He is considered somebody who’s fairly experienced in this specific state department. I think India may find it much easier to work with. I would say the same with southeast Asia because southeast Asia, South China, Quad, Pacific and India or the Himalayan region now as is called now, the greater Himalayan region, which is India, China and those countries, that’s going to be the strategic theme of the state policy because everything hangs around, how China needs to be combated. The EU is already in place. So he seems to be a good choice by Mr Biden contrary to some other names that were floating around.
Sree Iyer: Sir, quickly, let’s take a look at the covid vaccine updates and then we can go on to India where there is some significant news coming out.
Sridhar Chityala: I think the Covid situation is, there are rising cases in Covid, roughly today as we speak, close to 59 million cases. We are just shy of 60 million cases, of which close to 40 million people have recovered, and active cases are 16 million. 40 million people recovered is about 66% on a global basis. If you take the US, it has got about 12.59 million cases and the total recovered is around 7.5. It is rising cases as we discussed it in the last, I don’t want to belabour that point, which is namely that there are more shutdowns and more kind of closures coming. India is again doing pretty well. Brazil is not bad. The most important news with Covid situation is, the vaccines have evolved. So, the first set of vaccines are likely to come into the United States for treatment by even mid-December programs being rolled out. Moderna, we talked about, Pfizer, even Eli Lilly has got permission, Johnson & Johnson has got permission. AstraZeneca, here the numbers were floating around 90% they seem to be hovering around 70% kind of the success rate.
Regeneron, which is the plasma treatment, which seems to have got the president’s endorsement, which was something taken by President Trump and there was a lot of criticism which is to say, he did not offer them because those in the initial state and those in the early stages can avoid hospitalization and have a quick discharge or quick out-patient treatment. Protocols were applied to them as to why it was not offered to others. When he took it, it was not tested by the FDA, but now it has got an accelerated approval within three weeks and now, it’s likely to be rolled out to people.
So Covid was the focus again in G20 meet because we can cover this in one single instance. Everybody is behind Covid. So they see the next 2-3 years, 2 years at least or 12 -18 months, not 3 years, on Covid and global distribution of vaccines and treatment protocols being applied to be the theme. So I think my view is that by the time we come to Christmas and early January, I think we may be on the way to saying, ‘Okay, this is here, we have to deal with it and we have tools available for us to do it.’ In the United States, the pharmacies like CVS and Walmart are coming forward to say that they can be the testing centres, they can also provide outpatient beds and all those kinds of things, and things are moving quite well in that direction.
Sree Iyer: And a further look at India. A lot of things are happening in India. The Philippines has signed up for the Brahmos missiles from India along with the I think there was one other country before that, I think it was Indonesia. So I can see that there is a shift, at least perceptible shift away from China and towards India at least in the position of arms. What do you make of the significant development and all the other initiatives that the Modi government is rolling out?
Sridhar Chityala: Just to address the first part of it, Quad gave an opportunity for India to be very tightly integrated with a number of countries in South China Sea, southeast Asia, Indian Ocean and Pacific Rim. So now India has brought agreements with many countries around. If you recall, Vietnam was one of the first countries which placed 2 sophisticated Brahmos missiles. Now, it looks like Philippine says, it’s in the process of signing the joint agreement with Russia and India. Indonesia, either has signed or is in the process. So India is emerging as one of the Strategic Partners in deterrence to what’s happening with China. The only important fact is, Vietnam was also invited to the ASEAN meet, ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is those nations in Southeast Asia. They expanded with Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and so on when those countries came online. I think India is doing quite well and that was just the reason why they say they don’t need RCEP because they have these bilateral partnerships.
In terms of what is going on within India, there seems to be a very strategic, focused, maniacal execution that Modi Ji is known to turn this specific term. You know food processing was one of the biggest neglected sectors so he is now rolling out an allocated budget for processing and I think either six or eight states have been chosen to be, you know, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, UP, Maharashtra, Gujrat etc. Because quarantine and processing and preservation was one of the areas, where the production was not the issue, but the preservation and the storage were the main areas of neglect. No, it can be also exported. So that’s one thing is one of the big areas of focus.
The second area of focus is around the Northeast. The development of railways. Mr Piyush Goyal has come up with 2024 plan both to eliminate the manned crossings as well as the unmanned crossings as well as developing the infrastructure. Again, you will see that the northeast gets its due importance. So northeast has become the centrepiece of Modi’s strategy which is to say it’s not only deterrence but it is also to build those things in terms of the look East conduit for his trade point of view.
One more area is the infrastructure. He continues to build infrastructure without taking his eyes off the ball. I think 72 new roads and crossroads and bridges are being constructed. So that’s why the statement that it doesn’t matter what China does, we are prepared because we have to deal with the situation as the situation comes.
I think the water was one of the biggest areas, to bring water in this particular phase of his election promise. So Uttar Pradesh and few other states have been chosen. I don’t know the specific terminology are the name, but again, he seems to be moving forward with the water schemes, bringing water to the rural household.
So, clearly, it feels that his capital and per capita focus is around the rural. He believes that if the rural per capita is increased with all facilities and amenities then the general per capita will kind of go up and India can become a powerhouse in terms of the domestic consumption. There is no point in having urban, rural needs to be built. So it’s really very admirable to see such maniacal hookers around execution in the specific schemes targeted at people.
Sree Iyer: Thank you very much, sir, and that brings us to a close on today’s news capsule. We will be back tomorrow. Same time. Please, do not forget to subscribe to our Channel and also to donate to PGurus. Namaskar, and Sridharji, as always it’s a pleasure to have you on our channel.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar ji. Thank you so much.
Committed to increase trade with India: Antony Blinken on India-US relations – Dec 08, 2015, India Today