Friday, April 26, 2013

Airtel India's unprofessional customer service

I have been using Airtel broadband connection for a number of years now. As long as it works, it works well. Connection speeds are decent and you get a good experience. But once something breaks, you are out of luck as you have to deal with a bunch of unprofessional support staff. They are incompetent, they avoid taking responsibility, and they just close your complaints without fixing the issue and put unrelated and confusing comments on the issue.

Recently my broadband connection became unstable and I have been facing frequent disconnections. I logged a service request on April 23rd. A support staff called me on 24th morning. I wasn’t at him, was at work, and he didn’t visit my home.  He told me there was some jumper issue at the Airtel end and he could fix it and everything was all right and he was closing the issue. I came home in the evening and checked and saw the issue to be recurring. So I logged a second complaint on 24th evening. Next day I got a call from another technician. This time he offered to come home and check. He came in the evening. Checked my modem and told me there was nothing wrong with the equipment at my end. I had rechecked with him if anything was wrong at my end, he confirmed that it was probably a cable related issue at the Airtel end. He did some reconfigurations using my laptop. He left saying the issue was sorted out.

It was fine for some time after that. Now on April 26th I started noticing the issue again.  I called the customer service a third time. The customer service representative checked the previous history and told me that the disconnections were because of a faulty modem at my end. The technician who had assured me that my modem was all right had updated the issue saying it was a modem problem. So much for professionalism and customer service ethics. I am still waiting for my issue to be resolved.

It is really irritating when Airtel just closes off your first couple of complaints without even attempting to solve the issue.

#airtel #airtelin #airtelindia
@airtel @airtelin @airtelindia

Monday, July 06, 2009

Gladiators at Center Court

Who thought someone could match Federer in sheer class? Yesterday Federer could only outlast Roddick and not outplay him. Roddick proved to be the better player, with a bigger serve, with fewer errors and all in all in better control of the situation.

Who thought someone could come out with services which turned out to be mysterious even for Federer? The same Federer who could return with ease the bazooka like serves from the 6 foot 10 inches tall Ivo Karlovic in the quarter finals, whose serves used to be a terror for lesser mortals. Given, Roddick's been known mainly for his serves, but then so far we haven’t seen anybody holding those many service games against THE Federer.

Right from the start Roddick was in an elevated state. Everything went his way starting with the toss, and then the first game, first set and so on. It was amazing to see him coming up with big serve after big serve and then following up with volleys which didn’t let Federer come anywhere near a break point. It was amazing to see Federer not being able to convert all five of his advances to the net in the first 2 sets. Too many, far too many for comfort, unforced errors from the champ’s racquet. Federer was clearly tensed from the word go, and it was evident in his game. He could never come out of that all through the match, and he mentioning the word ‘crazy’ multiple times in the post match interview was not at all a coincidence. His head would have been literally spinning on seeing those extraordinary replies, from the spirited American.

Volleys were rare. It was more of a serving competition. Break points were rare too. The very few and far between 15-40 score lines were rapidly cleared with 2 consecutive aces. Aces were the norm. How can somebody continue to send down aces, as if factory generated, even after toiling on the court for a good 4 hours is still a mystery to me. One could always predict an ace and be bang on the prediction no matter which of the two was serving at crucial points. It was bewildering to notice the stats that Federer was ahead with a 1 to 1.5 ratio in terms of the number of aces. It was Roddick who seemed to be sending down all the aces. Or it may be because we are so used to seeing Federer The God that we aren’t amused much when he pulls out one of his routine tricks. 50 aces in a championship final and still not being advantaged because of them speaks volumes about your opponent.

Full points to Federer for coming back from 2-6 down the second set tie breaker. Reminded of his come back from 2 sets down in his French Open match against Tommy Haas. But then these days you can trust Federer to do these magical come backs if the opponent is not Nadal.

Federer has elevated the standards of not just his game, but the competition’s standard too, so much so that his opponents have started becoming too good for himself. He showed the world so many new things which are possible. And now he sees his opponents closely following him on those so far untrodden paths and at times bettering him in emulating his own tricks. May be we can set aside the discussion about the greatest player ever, and admit that this is the player who has raised the standard of the game so much that there is no distinction among the best of this sport any more. Its only about the sides from which they got up from their beds on the given day.

Roddick wished, worked hard, wanted, toiled, played, elevated his game and over all deserved to be the 2009 Wimbledon Men’s single’s champion. But Destiny’s child was around to deprive him of that. This year Federer won because - It was written. If The Architect appeared on the Center Court and uttered the following words to Federer at the end of the match, I wouldn’t have been particularly surprised , as the rest of the events yesterday afternoon were as much real and believable – “Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here.”

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jay Ho!

In the given circumstances, general elections 2009 have produced probably the best result one can hope for. Like the recent state assembly elections in Delhi, Gujrat and MP, voters continued the good trend of electing governments based on their previous developmental policies, rather than based on cast and creed politics.

The fact that this is the best result becomes obvious, when we consider the alternatives. Here are some could have been scenarios.

1. BJP with absolute majority: India will be walking right-bound (or backwards, whichever way you want to look at it) for at least five years in foreign relationships, energy generation, communal harmony etc. Merchants of deaths, culture police gangs, anti valentine day crusaders etc will be roaming our streets freely.

2. Lalu+Mulayam+Paswan gathers 60+ seats and are an integral part of the government: All development work, i.e. the ones which squeeze through the stubborn blockage of these parties, will be concentrated in UP and Bihar, not to mention the personal gains these leaders are going to make for themselves. Whichever govt accepts the support of these parties will be subject to constant arm-twisting from them. Just imagine opportunists like Lalu or Amar Singh deciding our foreign policies or developmental roadmap.

3. Mayawati getting 60+ seats and third front getting simple majority: We will have the honor of being ruled by Behan Mayawati. But then we already had the honor of being ruled by Humble Farmer Deva Gowda, so this prospect might not match in shock quotient. If she becomes the PM, no points in guessing which state will prosper and whose bank accounts are going to go through the ceiling. If she could make all these assets by looting, oops ruling, just a single state, just imagine who will be the wealthiest person on earth in a couple of years.

4. Jayalalitha sweeping TN polls: Instead of DMK, it would have been AIADMK mistaking portfolio allocation meeting for fish market, employing the same tactics of bargaining.

5. Deva Gowda and sons getting enough seats for bargaining: Or stretch that even further and think of a scenario where they get enough seats to bargain for the PM's post. We will see Kumaraswami getting into five different pacts with five different parties to have coalitions of one year tenure each. He will switch his partners five times within the five year term.

So lets just be thankful about the small mercies that come our way every once in a while.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Interesting battlefields

28 states, 7 union territories, 542 Lok-Sabha constituencies, more than 5,000 candidates. Going through each and every constituency and analyzing each and every candidate might be a little tedious. So here are some ‘news-making’ candidates, constituencies and regions. I am trying to keep track of these battlefields, comments of the candidates, their allegiances & alliances, their shifts etc through this post.

Bangalore South - Captian G.R.Gopinath- Independent

Aviation czar Captian G.R.Gopinath has decided to contest parliament elections as an independant from Bangalore South constituency.

"I am plunging into active politics due to the dramatic events and developments over the last six months in the country and the world over such as the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, global recession, economic slowdown in India and unsavory incidents in Karnataka."

"My three-point agenda is to fight terrorism, which is impacting our life in terms of safety, security and economic activity; communal violence and divisive forces, which are rearing their head again, especially in Karnataka after the BJP came to power; and socio-economic development of the country, particularly, infrastructure that is holding up the pace of growth."

"I am not joining any political party as people are disgusted with their functioning. As candidature is decided on the basis of caste, community and ulterior considerations, I have decided to be on my own. Even their manifestos and election strategies are driven by the interests of industrialists and business houses."
Captain Gopinath hails from Gorur in Hassan district, about 250 km from Bangalore. He has turned down support from SP, JD(U) to back him.

Result
SrCandidatePartyVotes
1ANANTH KUMARBJP437953
2KRISHNA BYRE GOWDAINC400341
3PROF.RADHAKRISHNAJD(S)30045
4CAPT. G.R. GOPINATHIND16383
5NAHEEDA SALMA SBSP4621


Mumbai South – Meera Sanyal - Independent

Meera Sanyal - country head, ABN Amro Bank is contesting on an independent ticket from South Mumbai. Sanyal hopes to bring about a change she truly believes in.

"I have decided to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from South Mumbai. I have been associated with community development programmes and policy reforms for a long time now and feel that I can bring about some positive changes in our system by participating in the election."

Asked if she had approached any political party for its ticket, Sanyal said "I did not look at all towards any political party to stand as its candidate. I found it difficult to align myself with their ideologies."

"There is no shortage of talent in our country but there is a vacuum of leadership." "We demand that our corporate leaders be honest, we demand the best from them. Then why should we accept anything less from our political leaders," she asked.

Sanyal, who is on leave from the bank till May 15 to concentrate on her campaigning, said she would be contesting as an independent and her entire campaign would be self-funded and within EC's prescribed ceiling of Rs 25-lakh.

Result
SrCandidatePartyVotes
1DEORA MILIND MURLIINC272411
2MOHAN RAWALESHS146118
3BALA NANDGAONKARMNS159729
4MOHAMMAD ALI ABUBAKAR SHAIKHBSP33799
5MEERA H. SANYALIND10157


Gandhinagar – Mallika Sarabhai - Independent

Danseuse Sarabhai has decided to fight BJP's prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani from Gandhinagar constituency as an independent candidate. Interestingly, her symbol is a harmonium. Sarabhai who will be contesting against BJP prime ministerial candidate L K Advani and Congress leader Suresh Patel, said that the issues included in her manifesto or action plan, as she calls it, are based on the outcome of her interaction with people in her constituency.

"I have interacted with over 1.3 lakh people and visited over 130 villages in my constituency. The points in my action plan are based on the inputs of people with whom I interacted during the campaign," Sarabhai told reporters. According to her manifesto, she aims to make politicians more accountable and bring transparency to the way they function.

State capital Gandhinagar is also known as the green capital, with the number of trees perhaps exceeding the voters. Housing the secretariat and the official residence of members of the cabinet, a sizeable chunk of Ahmedabad city and Sanand — where the Tatas are relocating their Nano manufacturing plant — now comes under the new limits of Gandhinagar constituency. Victory margin for Mr. LK Advani has remained more than one and a half lakh votes consistently for the last three terms.

Result
SrCandidatePartyVotes
1L.K.ADVANIBJP434044
2PATEL SURESHKUMAR CHATURDAS (SURESH PATEL)INC312297
3RAKESH PANDEYBSP5907
4DR.MALLIKA SARABHAIIND9268


Pilibhit - Varun Gandhi - BJP

The only claim to fame of this grandson of an ‘unconverted Muslim’ grandfather and ‘legally converted Muslim’ grandmother, is his hate speech-ability.

Result
SrCandidatePartyVotes
1FEROZE VARUN GANDHIBJP419539
2V. M. SINGHINC138038
3RIYAZ AHMADSP117903
4GANGA CHARANBSP112576
5RAM NARAYAN SINGHIND14246
6VIQUARUL HASAN KHANIND10777
7MASTER CHOTEY LAL GANGWARNCP4963
8KRISHNA ADHIKARICPI(ML)(L)3563


Thiruvananthapuram - Sashi Tharoor- Congress

The seasoned diplomat and former UN Under-Secretary General Shashi Tharoor was on Thursday (19th March) named the Congress candidate for the key Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat in Kerala. Tharoor is fielded against Ramachandran Nair, the current Thiruvananthapuram district secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the candidate of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF). Another formidable opponent is Neelalohithadasan Nadar of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

“I speak a simple Malayalam, not the high-flaunting literary variety. And I connect with people particularly well”

“I do represent the educated Indian middle class which has tended to abstain from politics. I have often argued in my writings that it’s a mistake for the middle class to abdicate this political space to others”

“I certainly come from a non-political background. In a parliamentary system, you can’t do an Obama so one has to find a party that embodies one’s ideals and beliefs. The Congress fitted the billing,”

53-year-old Tharoor has authored nine books, including ‘The Great Indian Novel’ and the bestseller ‘From Midnight to the Millennium’.

Result
SrCandidatePartyVotes
1SHASHI THAROORINC326725
2ADV. P RAMACHANDRAN NAIRCPI226727
3DR.A NEELALOHITHADASAN NADARBSP86233
4P K KRISHNA DASBJP84094
5M.P.GANGADHARANNCP2972
6AJITHKUMAR.KAITUC1606
7JAIN WILSONBSA457

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Soja Re, and save 10000 Crore Rupees

Sand opined on Rat's blog.

Considering the recession and the job losses, govt of India should skip this year's election and continue status-quo for the next 5 years. Even if the election happens (spending around 10K Crore I heard from somewhere), the same parties will get almost the same number of seats. So, what's the point? Instead of election, parties should be given an opportunity to re-align.. Like Jayalalitha to support congress, Left to support BJP, Shivsena to support congress. RJD & SP to merge. (All the post election dramas which happen every 5 years) Then a new govt will be formed with new political equations and govt saves 10K Crore from treasury.

I haven’t heard a better proposition about Indian politics in the recent times. Makes perfect sense to me.

These politicians have been looting our nation for decades, in the name of democracy. They align with communal forces, choose candidates based on cast equations, give tickets to vested interests and outright criminals, support religious extremists to influence vote banks, align with arch rivals to form coalitions, change allegiance and alliances as often as changing clothes .... in general do anything to get into power. So why bother to spend almost 10000 crore rupees to reelect them?

Here is the party wise list of members of the fourteenth (current) Lok Sabha. Once the elections are over, I will put another post to compare the party wise list to see if there is any change in these equations because of our once in five year circus.

S.No.Name of PartyMember     Leader
1Indian National Congress(INC)150Shri Pranab Mukherjee
2Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)112Shri L.K. Advani
3Communist Party of India (Marxist)(CPI(M))42Shri Basudeb Acharia
4Samajwadi Party(SP)32Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav
5Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD)24Shri Lalu Prasad
6Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP)16Shri Rajesh Verma
7Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK)16Shri C. Kuppusami
8Shiv Sena(SS)12Shri Anant Geete
9Nationalist Congress Party(NCP)11-
10Biju Janata Dal(BJD)10Shri Braja Kishore Tripathy
11Communist Party of India(CPI)10Shri Gurudas Dasgupta
12Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD)8Shri Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa
13Independent(Ind.)6.
14Pattali Makkal Katchi(PMK)6Prof. M. Ramadass
15Jharkhand Mukti Morcha(JMM)5Shri Shibu Soren
16Lok Jan Shakti Party(LJSP)4Shri Ram Vilas Paswan
17Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(MDMK)4Shri L. Ganesan
18Telugu Desam Party(TDP)4Shri K. Yerrannaidu
19All India Forward Bloc(AIFB)3-
20Rashtriya Lok Dal(RLD)3.
21Revolutionary Socialist Party(RSP)3Shri Joachim Baxla
22Telangana Rashtra Samithi(TRS)3Shri Kalva Kuntla Chandrasekhar
23Asom Gana Parishad(AGP)2Dr. Arun Kumar Sarma
24Janata Dal (Secular)(S))2Shri M.P. Veerendra Kumar
25Kerala Congress(KEC)2Shri P.C. Thomas
26All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimmen(AIMIM)1Shri Asaduddin Owaisi
27All India Trinamool Congress(AITC)1Km. Mamata Banerjee
28Bharatiya Navshakti Party(BNP)1Shri Delkar Mohanbhai Sanjibhai
29Jammu and Kashmir National Conference(J&KNC)1.
30Janata Dal (United)(U))1-
31Mizo National Front(MNF)1Shri Vanlalzawma
32Muslim League Kerala State Committee(MLKSC)1Shri E. Ahmed
33Nagaland Peoples Front(NPF)1Shri W. Wangyuh
34National Loktantrik Party(NLP)1Shri Baleshwar Yadav
35Republican Party of India(A)(RPI(A)) 1Shri Athawale Ramdas Bandu
36Sikkim Democratic Front(SDF)1Shri Nakul Das Rai

Total - 501, Vacant seats - 46
Source

There are precisely 11 parties which managed to get 10 or more people elected to the parliament. And these are the ones who decide our future.

Lets just examine the history of our major alliances and the way parties move in and out of these coalitions. How many of these movements are based on or inspired by ideology? What about parties which temporarily move away and then come back to the same alliance?

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is a coalition of political parties in India.
Had 13 constituent parties at the time of its formation in 1998.
Formed the Government in 1998, but collapsed within a year due to the AIADMK pulling out. It proceeded to win the 1999 elections with a greater majority and new alliances.

Currently, the eight parties in the NDA are:
  1. BJP - Bhartiya Janata Party
  2. SS - Shiv Sena - Maharashtra
  3. JD(U)- Janata Dal (United) - Bihar and Karnataka
  4. SAD - Shiromani Akali Dal faction led by Parkash Singh Badal - Punjab
  5. INLD - Indian National Lok Dal - Haryana
  6. AGP - Asom Gana Parishad - Assam
  7. RLD - Rashtriya Lok Dal - Uttar Pradesh
  8. NPF - Nagaland People's Front-Nagaland
Former members of the National Democratic Alliance, who have left the alliance, are:
  1. NC - Jammu & Kashmir National Conference - Omar Abdullah- Withdrew in 2002, blaming the BJP for its loss in Jammu & Kashmir state elections.
  2. LJSP - Lok Jan Shakti Party -Ram Vilas Paswan- Withdrew following 2002 Gujarat religious riots.
  3. MDMK - Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam - Joined with Congress Party during 2004 elections.
  4. DMK - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam - Joined with Congress party during 2004 elections.
  5. AIADMK - All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam - Joined with Congress Party during 1999 elections; subsequently re-joined alliance during 2004 elections, but did not remain aligned post-defeat. Joined the Third Front before the 2009 elections.
  6. PMK - Pattali Makkal Katchi - Joined with Congress Party during 2004 elections.
  7. IFDP - Indian Federal Democratic Party -P.C. Thomas-Following the 2004 election, he merged his party with the Kerala Congress, which is aligned with the Left.
  8. TC - Trinamool Congress - West Bengal - Withdrew from the alliance at the end of 2007. Joined the Congress party before the 2009 elections.
  9. BJD - Biju Janata Dal - Orissa - Left the alliance just over a month before the 2009 elections.
Parties who gave outside support, but are no longer allies:

  1. TDP - Telugu Desam Party - In the monsoon session of Parliament of 2005, the TDP decided not to continue as part of an NDA boycott of Parliament. Speculation of an end to the NDA-TDP relationship was confirmed in August of that year, when the BJP and TDP contested local elections in Andhra Pradesh on their own. The TDP was the founding member of the Third Front in 2009

United Progressive Alliance - Formed soon after the 2004 general elections after it became clear that the previous ruling coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had been defeated. The NDA had gotten only 169 MPs in the 543 member 14th Lok Sabha, as opposed the UPA tally.

The Indian communist parties (Left Front), the Samajwadi Party with 39 (now 33) MPs and the Bahujan Samaj Party with 19 (now 17) MPs were other significant blocks that opted to support UPA at various phases of its 50 month rule.The UPA did not enjoy a simple majority on its own in the parliament, rather it has relied on the external support given by these parties to ensure that it enjoys the confidence of the Indian parliament similar to the formula adopted by the previous minority governments of the United Front and the NDA.

During the tenure of Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda, the constituents of the UPA were, by mutual consent, supporting his government.At present the UPA is no longer supported by the Left parties.

Initially, the United Progressive Alliance was given external support from the Left Front which totaled 59 MPs. Similar external support was also promised by several smaller parties that were not a member of any coalition, including the Samajwadi Party with 39 MPs, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam with 4 MPs , the Janata Dal (Secular) with 3 MPs, and Bahujan Samaj Party with 19 MPs, who promised to support the government if it faced a vote of confidence. Nevertheless, these parties were not a part of the government. The UPA thus had at least 335 MPs out of 543 supporting it at the time of its formation.

Current constituents
Due to the volatile nature of coalition politics in India, the constituents of the UPA have been wavering. As of July 15, 2008 they were:

  1. INC - Indian National Congress (153 MPs) (Out of these 1 MP is now a rebel and another is a non-voting member)
  2. RJD - Rashtriya Janata Dal (24 MPs)
  3. DMK - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (16 MPs)
  4. NCP - Nationalist Congress Party (11 MPs)
  5. PMK - Pattali Makkal Katchi (6 MPs)
  6. JMM - Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (5 MPs)
  7. LJP - Lok Janshakti Party (4 MPs)
  8. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (1 MP)
  9. RPI - Republican Party of India (Athvale) (1 MP)
  10. SDF - Sikkim Democratic Front (1 MP)
  11. IUML - Indian Union Muslim League (1 MP)
Outside support is currently being offered by the
  1. Samajwadi Party (33 MPs)
  2. Bharatiya Navshakti Party (1 MP)
  3. National Conference (2 MPs)
  4. National Loktantrik Party (1 MP)
In addition, rebel MPs from Biju Janata Dal , the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Janata Dal (United), the Telugu Desam Party and the independent MPs take the tally of UPA supporting MPs to 275.

Withdrawals
  1. Telangana Rashtra Samithi -K. Chandrashekar Rao- The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was the first party to quit the alliance, first when its ministers quit the Andhra Pradesh government, and finally when an official withdrawal was done at the national level by its president K. Chandrashekar Rao, who resigned his Lok Sabha seat.
  2. Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam - Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), began its drift when it tied up with the UPA's rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) during the Tamil Nadu elections, and on March 16, 2007 officially withdrew support.
  3. Bahujan Samaj PartyOn 21 June 2008, the Bahujan Samaj Party, or the BSP, with 17 seats, announced withdrawal of its support.
  4. Left Front - On 8 July 2008, Prakash Karat, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (or the CPI (M)), announced that the Left Front would be withdrawing support over the decision by the government to go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal, a Section 123 Agreement with the United States.
  5. People's Democratic Party (PDP) - On 4 January 2009, Mehbooba Mufti, president of the People's Democratic Party announced the withdrawal of the PDP from the UPA given that the Congress had decided to support the Omar Abdullah-led National Conference Government in Jammu & Kashmir after the 2008 state elections.
Resignations
  1. DMK -On October 17, 2008 14 DMK MP's, including central ministers T.R. Baalu and A. Raja, handed in their post-dated resignation letters to the head of the party, TN CM M. Karunanidhi in demanding an end to the violence against civilians in Sri Lanka. There were consequently 16 DMK MP's left in the 14th Lok Sabha. All 4 Rajya Sabha MP's had also submitted post-dated resignation letters, including Karunanidhi's daughter, Kanimozhi had handed in her resignation on October 14, A. A. Jinnah, Tiruchi Siva, and Vasanthi Stanley. All 40 Lok Sabha MP's of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry had also threatened to quit the government if it failed to take action on the Sri Lankan issue. Lawyers in Coimbatore joined their tamil brethren in burning an effigy of Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony within the court premises earlier in the day, alleging a conspiracy by bureaucrats of Kerala origin to keep the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka on tenterhooks. Following these actions, the TN CM Karunanidhi said, on November 4, that he was "satisfied" with the measures taken by the UPA government in the center on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. A statement said: "we have a Centre, which realises the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka, and the leaders there respect our sentiments," and that they were doing their best to mitigate the sufferings of the Tamils of Lanka. He added that, "We have to raise our demands to increase their action."
Source

Update - March 27, 2009
PMK(Pattali Makkal Katchi) with 6 MPS and 2 ministers (health minister Anbumani Ramadoss and minister of state for railways R. Velu) decided to move out of UPA and join hands with AIADMK.

3 parties which were a part of or supported UPA, ie Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Lok Janshakti Party and the Samajwadi Party have decided to come out of the coalition and form their own pre-poll alignment in Bihar and UP. So the only major parties remaining inUPA are Congress, NCP and DMK.

Update - April 03, 2009
Despite their decision to field candidates against the Congress party in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) on Friday claimed they were still a part of the UPA and would come together to form a government under the leadership of Manmohan Singh after the Lok Sabha election.

“We are with Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. There are certain managers in the Congress who tried to create a rift between us during the seat-sharing discussion. However, we still say that Manmohan singh will be our PM candidate. UPA will come back and fight communal forces. Our aim is to form the government,” RJD chief Lalu Prasad told a rally in Lucknow along with SP leader Mulayam Singh and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.

Update - May 11, 2009 - TRS Moves from Third Front to NDA
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), at a rally in Ludhiana on May 10, sought to project itself as a united front that now includes the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who was with the Left-led Third Front, appeared on the platform and declared his support for this alliance. The rally, organised by the NDA’s founding constituent Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), was attended by a galaxy of leaders. They included the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, BJP chief Rajnath Singh, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, SAD chief and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, Asom Gana Parishad president Chandra Mohan Patowary, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supremo Om Prakash Chautala and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi. The TRS chief said his party was stabbed in the back after it gave the necessary oxygen to the Congress before the last parliamentary polls. Mr. Chautala warned the people that democracy would perish if they did not vote the NDA to power as the UPA was blindly following the agenda of large capital formation.

Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav while addressing a separate poll rally in Chandigarh in support of party candidate from Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat Hafiz Anwar-ul-Haq had this to offer as retaliation - "We had stopped L K Advani's Rath in Bihar earlier and this time too, his dream of becoming PM will remain a dream”. Claiming that he has joined hands with the LJP and the SP to stop "communal and divisive forces" from coming to power at the Centre, Lalu Prasad vowed to again scuttle the plans of L K Advani, who is "dreaming" to become the Prime Minister of the country. "Those people who sow seeds of hatred between brothers and communities can never become the Prime Minister of this country," he said making a scathing attack on BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Advani. Stating that his fight was against the BJP, RSS, Bajrang Dal and the Shiv Sena, union railway minister alleged "these forces are out there to spread poison in our society and breed hatred among the communities. Calling Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi "a murderer", the RJD chief said, "Narendra Modi is a murderer in Gujarat riots. ...Even the Supreme Court has ordered that the riots be probed by an independent investigating agency." He lashed out at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for sharing dais with Modi at the NDA rally in Ludhiana on Sunday and said his "so called secular mask has been exposed."