Monthly Archives: AUGUST 2017


HARYANA POLITICS
Khattar left high and dry, not CM-enough material for next poll
04.08.17 - Amodini Sachi Priya
Khattar left high and dry, not CM-enough material for next poll



CHANDIGARH: BJP supremo Amit Shah did not use the words, yet made a sensational disclosure. Addicted to inane press releases, the media missed the story. You will, of course, find it in today's newspapers, as long as you do not depend on the journalists to understand what the headlines really say.

Manohar Lal Khattar will not be the BJP's man to lead the party into the next Assembly elections in Haryana, BJP President Amit Shah made it clear during his three day visit to the state.
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If Amit Shah came to assess the state of the party with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he has left Khattar with a bad taste in the mouth. Time for journalists to do some speculation about the next one, and get their headlines right.
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Having hailed Khattar's administration as corruption free, and singling out its teachers' transfer policy as exemplary, Amit Shah, in his cryptic style, said there will be no change in the leadership till Khattar completes his term. Of course, political pundits know only too well that such statements are made only when a serious challenge exists to the leader.
 
For example, you haven't heard a similar statement about Yogi Adityanath in UP. And Amarinder Singh in Punjab would hope that Sonia Gandhi makes such a statement about his own position.

Shah was asked about some BJP legislators sulking ever since the party sprung a surprise RSS nominee upon Haryana as its chief minister, Amit Shah made it clear that there would be no change of leadership in the state.

"I have interacted with all BJP MLAs from the state and they have unanimously agreed that the government is doing well under the leadership of the Chief Minister Manohar Lal. Party workers also believe that no previous government had taken up development works that Khattar government undertook,” Shah said. 

He was then asked by an irreverent journalist if the next state assembly elections will be fought under Khattar’s leadership. Pushed into a corner, all that Amit Shah said was: "Manohar Lal will continue to lead the state till next elections.” 

This is a clear signal to the party leaders to jostle for the attention of the kingmakers. And Khattar has been put on notice, too. 
 
Shah's good words about the Khattar government would hardly give him any consolation. If a CM does not get even a simple assurance that by running a graft-free administration, making the state kerosene-free, computerising the Public Distribution System, ensuring that water reaches the tail ends, and fighting a good fight on SYL front, he has earned the right to stay the leader once again, then what will? 

And the BJP President even chose to make a public statement about bureaucrats not listening to partymen, bringing the troublesome issue on record by saying that "the views of workers about the government is the party’s internal matter."

If Amit Shah came to assess the state of the party with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he has left Khattar with a bad taste in the mouth. Time for journalists to do some speculation about the next one, and get their headlines right.




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Vigilantes at it again
3 Men accused of carrying beef attacked In Bihar, CPM says sign of BJP back in power
03.08.17 - team pt
3 Men accused of carrying beef attacked In Bihar, CPM says sign of BJP back in power



Three men were beaten up by a mob in Bihar's Bhojpur district allegedly because they were found to be transporting beef, police said. The driver of a truck and two others were hurt in the incident.  This is the first such incident of cow vigilantism reported in Bihar.
  
The mob also blocked Ara-Buxar stretch of the National Highway 84, disrupting vehicular traffic for more than three hours, alleging beef was being smuggled to neighbouring West Bengal, police said. The group also demanded action against the Shahpur station house office (SHO) for his alleged failure to check "beef smuggling.”
 
The three men, who were rescued by the police from the mob, were later taken into custody. "A truck was intercepted by locals on the suspicion that it was carrying beef [cow meat],” said a senior police official Daya Shankar. "We’ve seized the truck and arrested three persons in this regard.”
 
The mob, led by a group of self-styled cow vigilantes, also tried to set on fire the truck which was on its way to Muzaffarpur district. But the police said they foiled the attempt.

The incident occurred in Shahpur near Arrah town, 50 km from Patna, in the afternoon where the mob stopped the truck on suspicion that it was carrying beef.

The truck driver, however, claimed that they were carrying buffalo meat and not beef. "They will be interrogated about whether they were carrying beef or buffalo meat,” an unidentified police official told IANS.
 
The people who led the attack were said to be members of the Bajrang Dal. They also demanded action against local policemen who they said were shielding people smuggling beef.
  
Reacting to the thrashing of the three persons, the CPI(M) said it is "clear confirmation” of the BJP assuming power in the state. "It is a clear confirmation that BJP has assumed power in Bihar. Now only Hindutva policies will be implemented while he (Nitish Kumar) continues to remain the Chief Minister,” CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters in New Delhi.

Yechury said lynching and mob violence have "entered Bihar as soon as the BJP came to power there.”




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100 bridges across country can collapse any time: Transport minister Nitin Gadkari
03.08.17 - TEAM PT
100 bridges across country can collapse any time: Transport minister Nitin Gadkari



Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today informed the Parliament that around 100 bridges in different parts of India are on the verge of collapse and they require immediate attention.
 
Gadkari said in the Lok Sabha that his ministry has completed safety audit of 1.6 lakh bridges in the country and found more than 100 structures in dilapidated condition.
 
"These 100 bridges can collapse anytime and they need immediate attention," Gadkari said during Question Hour in Lok Sabha.

The union minister informed the Lok Sabha that the transport ministry had last year launched a special project to organise data regarding all bridges and culverts in the country as part of measures being taken to avert mishaps.
 
Expressing concern over the condition of these bridges, the minister referred to last year’s tragic incident in the Konkan region where two state-run buses and some private vehicles were swept away after a British-era bridge over the Savitri river collapsed.
 
Referring to the delay in works on various road projects, the minister said this has been happening due to issues related to land acquisition, encroachment and environmental clearance. He said road projects worth Rs 3.85 lakh crore were delayed due to various reasons in the past and most of these issues were resolved and their works are in progress.
 
Gadkari added that the transport ministry was working to come up with wayside amenities every 50 km on national highways for passengers and truckers. These facilities will offer a range of services that will include parking for vehicles, food courts, rest rooms and kiosks for sale of local specialities and help battle unemployment, the minister said.




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IT raids on Karnataka minister's properties, Cong calls it 'witch hunt'
02.08.17 - team pt
IT raids on Karnataka minister's properties, Cong calls it 'witch hunt'



The Income Tax department conducted raids on Wednesday at the residence of Karnataka energy minister D.K. Shivakumar and his brother D.K. Suresh, a Lok Sabha member of parliament.
 
The IT department conducted searches at the resort of Shivakumar, who has been hosting 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs at a resort near Bengaluru since Saturday, allegedly to prevent the BJP from "poaching" on them ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat.
 
"I condemn the timing of the IT raid at the Kartanaka minister's resort in Bengaluru. It is an attempt to portray that Congress is indulging in horse trading. The Congress has never done that, but the BJP is known for horse trading. The BJP in Rajasthan is an example which doesn't trust its MLAs," the Congress national general secretary told reporters.

The raids on the Congress minister by the I-T department comes days after the two brothers undertook the responsibility to host at least 40 MLAs from Gujarat who have been residing in a posh resort outside Bengaluru ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in their state. "Yes, the I-T department conducted raids on my brother (Shivakumar) house, offices and my home as well,” said Suresh.
 
I-T officials said Rs 9 crore cash was recovered from the search of various properties linked to the Shivakumar.
 
The I-T department, in a statement, said that the raids were part of an investigation over a considerable period of time.

"The timing of the search was decided well in advance. The events involving certain MLAs of another state being brought to Karnataka were unforeseen and unpredictable events,” the IT department said in its statement on Wednesday.

The statement added that the minister being probed was staying at a resort where "some MLAs from another state are put up”. The department clarified that only the minister’s room was being searched.
 
 
The Congress reacted to the incident saying it was an attempt to terrorise their legislators. Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil, who had posted a video showing armed CRPF men roaming inside the compound, told reporters outside the gates of the resort: "Gunmen were roaming around inside the hotel as if our MLAs are criminals. This is politics at its worst.”
 
Karnataka chief minister K Siddaramaiah, accused the Modi government of using the Income Tax department for its "political conspiracies”, and called the I-T raids "an attempt to silence voice against BJP” and urged the MLAs to "not bow down to intimidation.”

"I-T raids targeting energy minister D K Shivakumar is completely politically motivated and central government’s role behind it is well-known,” Siddaramaiah said in a statement. "It is not right on the part of central government to use I-T department for its political conspiracies. We will not bow down to such intimidation.”
 
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, but the finance minister said the matter should not linked to the polls in Gujarat for Rajya Sabha seats. Kharge termed the raids as "a political vendetta and witch-hunting”.

"I appeal to the government, not to terrorise and threaten the MLAs. You will also have to face this tomorrow. …. If there is any offence, then action should be taken even if it involves me. You are resorting to this to defeat one person (Ahmed Patel) in the Rajya Sabha polls,” Kharge said.
 
Responding to Congress members’ protests in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, finance minister Arun Jaitley told them not to link the searches with Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. He also said that no search operation was conducted at the resort in Karnataka where Gujarat Congress MLAs have been staying.

Jaitley also said that the Karnataka minister who had "gone and parked himself” at the resort, was picked up from there for questioning.




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