17 December , 2017 Sunday



Archive for the ‘News’ Category

As campaigning draws to a close, winds of badlav sweep across Punjab’s Dalit belt

By indian express On February - 2 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

As campaigning draws to a close in the countdown to the February 4 vote, anger runs deep in Doaba, the land between the Beas and the Satluj which, with the regions of Malwa and Majha, makes the state. And it is this feedback from the Dalit stronghold of Punjab that has the ruling SAD-BJP combine worried.

As elsewhere in the state, one of the talking points this election in Doaba has been the menace of drugs and the failure to stem the rot. Any talk of development is immediately overtaken by that of the illegal drug trade.

In Dhamian Kalan in the Sham Chaurasi constituency of Hoshiarpur district, Jasbir Singh speaks for many in the village: “If there has been any progress, it has only been for MLAs and ministers. In our village, only the drug trade has flourished, nothing else. One can buy nasha injections even from kirana shops. The drug peddlers know how and who to supply.”

In Chakowal Brahmana, Jeewan Chand echoes the sentiment. He says people do not need free sugar and ghee being promised by the SAD. “The drug supply will kill our children and the sugar and ghee will kill us. What does the government want?”

Khuradpur village is in Adampur constituency, another reserved seat. And people here are rooting for the AAP, the newcomer which has made the fight for Punjab a triangular contest. “We do not know the candidate. But our village is going to vote for the ‘jharoowali party’ this time,” said Jeet Ram who works as a farm hand in Khuradpur.

In Phagwara, Balwinder Singh complains about the law and order situation. “One can see drug flow freely in several areas of the city. We don’t need this. We have been with the BSP for long. But this time, we will vote for some other party.”

Across Doaba, there is a clamour for “badlav” (change). And this is not only troubling the SAD-BJP but also the Congress which has “committed votes” in these constituencies — up against inroads made by the AAP.

This region has 23 seats — Malwa accounts for 69 seats and Majha 25 in a House of 117 — and is home to 46 per cent of Punjab’s Dalit population. While eight are reserved constituencies, 20-30 per cent of the voters are Dalits in the remaining constituencies.

In the 2012 assembly elections, the SAD-BJP won seven of the eight reserved seats. Its score in Doaba was 17/23.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Chaudhary Santokh Singh of Congress took the Jalandhar parliamentary seat, defeating his SAD rival. But it was the AAP which came third, pushing the BSP to Number 4. The Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha reserved seat went to BJP state president Vijay Sampla who defeated his Congress rival. Again, AAP was Number 3 and the BSP fourth.

This election, every party has gone all out to woo Dalit votes. The AAP brought out a Dalit manifesto, promising a Dalit Deputy Chief Minister if the party is voted to power. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi promised to clear the backlog of 50,000 government jobs, mostly with Dalit youth. He also promised an Ambedkar university in Jalandhar. He and his party leaders visited Dera Sach Khand Ballan which has a large Ravidassia following in the Doaba.

AAP, BSP and Congress leaders have all demanded the Bharat Ratna for Kanshi Ram. The SAD-BJP government built the Ravidass Dham at Khural Garh, Ram Tirath in Amritsar for the Valmiki caste, besides promising houses and free education.

While Congress has its share of loyal supporters, the AAP appears to have attracted the young Dalit voters, especially in rural areas.

Chabbewal Congress candidate Raj Kumar says AAP has “nothing to give to the people of state as they do not understand Punjab or Punjabis”. The Captain, he says of Amarinder Singh, has “great vision” and “people trust him a lot”.

AAP’s Sham Chaurasi candidate Ravjot Singh says his is “a new party with new blood which wants to change all stereotypes” since “these old parties have no vision… people know the reality and will not be carried away by false promises”.

Karnataka: Onlookers click pictures as accident victim bleeds to death

By indian express On February - 2 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

In yet another incident of public apathy, an 18-year-old boy succumbed to injuries following a road accident as onlookers clicked pictures of the bleeding victim. In the incident caught on camera, the boy lay bleeding with an agonising pain for about 25 minutes before he was rushed to a hospital nearby by. The video footage that has now gone viral shows the victim lying in a pool of blood crying for help, while some one gives him water.

The incident happened on Wednesday morning when Anwar Ali was cycling to the market where he worked, police said on Thursday. He was hit and run over by a state transport bus going to Hubballi from Hosapete. They said Ali who was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance succumbed to his injuries around 1:30 pm, Ali’s brother Riaz said “.. no one came to his help, they were making video and clicking pictures.If someone had cared, my brother could have been saved.More then 15 to 20 minutes were wasted there.”

Police have registered a case in this connection. A person who claims to be an eyewitness to the accident said, “People at the spot were shocked and did not know how to help him as the victim was severely injured and was bleeding profusely.” Locals complain that the spot where the incident took place is an accident prone area and authorities have not taken action despite repeated incidents there.

Recently, in a similar incident, a 38-year-old police officer deprived of timely medical help by onlookers succumbed to injuries following an accident in Mysuru. Karnataka has Good Samaritan law to protect those who provide aid to accident victims.

Arms factory unearthed in Muzaffarnagar, 1 held

By pti On February - 2 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Muzaffarnagar, Feb 2 (PTI) One person was arrested and large cache of arms and ammunition, meant for supply during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, was seized during a raid at a house in Badhiwala village in the district, police said today.

SSP Bablu Kumar said that the arms manufacturing factory was set in the basement of a house and 5 country-made pistols, 10 rifles and 50 pistol pistol barrels were found there.

Police also arrested one accused named Gopal, who revealed during interrogation that arms in the factory were being made to supply them to persons during the Assembly polls starting from February 11

Samajwadi Party ‘war room’ breathes life in SP campaign

By pti On February - 2 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Lucknow, Feb 2 (PTI) As SP chief Akhilesh Yadav criss-crosses Uttar Pradesh to drum up support, the ruling party’s hi-tech ‘war room’ here is working round-the-clock as his “eyes and ears” to breathe life in his hectic electioneering by updating him on all key developments.

“We are synchronising the entire campaign with the tagline of ‘kaam bolta hai’ highlighting the works done by the CM,” Aashish Yadav, in-charge of the war room that has been set up on the first floor of Janeshwar Mishra Trust office here told PTI.

“We have designed a 360 degree campaign to reach people at booth level from all possible ways including mass media, social media and door-to-door campaign,” he said in an interview.

He said the war room has been divided in four main sections led by separate heads, who are experts in their own fields and have been doing the job voluntarily as they themselves “support Akhilesh”. The four sections are news monitoring, research, creative and digital campaign.

These work as “eyes and ears” of the CM giving him relevant updates including on local issues as and when they unfold so that the chief minister can speak on those issues in his rallies, said Aashish, a communication expert.

Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, in his early 30s, who runs one of India’s largest independent digital agencies from Mumbai, heads the digital section.

He says that with penetration of Internet in rural areas “social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp are best ways to propagate our work”.

“90 per cent of youths in UP are on WhatsApp. We are focusing on targeted reach by providing contents that they not only see or read, but also share and like making our campaign go viral,” he said. .

E Ahamed, former union minister and IUML MP from Kerala, passes away

By indian express On February - 1 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Former union minister and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP E Ahamed passed away early Wednesday after he suffered a cardiac arrest. The 78-year-old Ahamed died at 2:15 am at RML hospital where he was admitted Tuesday and put on artificial life support.

“E Ahamed has passed away at 2:15 am. His body has been taken to AIIMS hospital for embalming (a method to preserve a corpse from decaying) as the facility is not available at RML,” a senior RML doctor told news agency PTI.

The MP, who represents Malappuram constituency in Kerala, was rushed to the hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest during President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to joint sitting of Parliament in the central hall on Tuesday. At around 2.15 PM, he was shifted to the RML trauma centre’s ICU where he was put on ventilator and breathed his last.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had rushed to the hospital late Tuesday night and met Ahamed’s family. There was high drama at the hospital after Ahamed’s family alleged that they were not allowed to meet the leader.

“As a son, I am not being allowed to see my father. I have been here for the last three hours. No one is allowed to go see him or visit him,” Ahamed’s son was quoted saying in a video. “We are perplexed and appalled as to what’s going on.”

A brother-in-law of the late MP also told ANI that the doctors wanted to do ECMO procedures so that he can be sustained on artificial means, which wasn’t allegedly discussed with his family. There was even speculation that the news of Ahamed’s passing away was being withheld to prevent the adjournment of Parliament on budget day.

Ahamed’s body will be taken to Kerala later today

Rahul Gandhi blames Badals for Punjab drug menace, names Capt. Amarinder Singh as Congress’ CM candidate

By indian express On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Sounding the poll bugle for the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi declared that Captain Amarinder Singh would be the party’s chief ministerial candidate. Launching a full-frontal attack against the Badals, Rahul blamed the ruling Akali Dal for failing to act against the drug problem ailing the state.  “Guru Nanak said ‘everything is yours, nothing is mine’ and the Akali Dal says ‘everything is mine,’” said Rahul addressing an election rally on Majithia. Rahul accused the Badals of “hurting” Punjab by distributing its resources among themselves. “After Badals came to power in Punjab, they took everything — Punjab’s water, energy and resources and divided amongst themselves and left nothing for the people of Punjab,” he said.

He also charged the Badals for doing little for Punjab farmers.  “Whenever a farmer sees clouds (badal), he becomes happy that there will be rain and his crops will be good, but that’s not the case in Punjab as Badals don’t give water in Punjab,” he said.

On the drug menace that has gripped Punjab in the last few years, Rahul said the Congress government, if elected to power, will enact a law that would “make everyone shiver at the first thought of drugs”. “Four years back, I said that 70 per cent youth are affected by drugs. Badals made fun of me. Now whole Punjab is saying what I had said,” Rahul claimed.  Rahul is on a three-day visit to Punjab, where he will hold joint rallies with Amarinder and Navjot Singh Sidhu in Jalalabad and Lambi. Rahul will also campaign in Rampura Phul, Talwandi Sabo and Bathinda Urban, besides Majthia on Friday. Punjab will vote on February 4 and the counting will take place on March 11.

SC refuses to entertain PIL for issuing guidelines to restrict transport of beef

By indian express On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for issuing guidelines to restrict transport of beef to states where slaughtering isn’t allowed. The apex court stated that it has already passed orders on measures to stop illegal inter-state transportation of cattle.

Around 36 beef dealers associations across Maharashtra had filed a petition in the top court challenging the ban on the slaughtering of cow last year. The dealers had asked the court to permit the slaughtering of cattle – bulls and bullocks, and out a ban on cows.

The petition challenged the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Animals Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2015, that bans the slaughtering, possession, consumption and import of beef in the state.

Last year, the Maharashtra government had banned the slaughtering of bulls, bullocks and cows by amending the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1976, which was later challenged in the Bombay High Court. The Bombay High Court subsequently upheld the ban on slaughter in May.

SP, Cong haggle over seats in Amethi, Rae Bareli

By pti On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Lucknow, Jan 27 (PTI) Congress and Samajwadi Party are haggling over seats in Amethi and Rae Bareli,the parliamentary turf of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul.

Congress, which managed to get 105 of the 403 seats under the seat-sharing deal with the SP after hard negotiations, is in no mood to give up its claim over all the ten seats in Amethi-Rae Bareli.

Sources said the party was perturbed as none of the five candidates declared by its alliance partner earlier has been withdrawn by SP.

“SP had announced five candidates in these parliamentary constituencies before the alliance was sealed but since then no name has been withdrawan and local Congress leaders are especailly perturbed over the issue,” a senior Congress leader said here.

Though both the sides are more or less agreeable to a broad understanding that Congress will get 6 and SP 4, local leaders and workers are not ready to give up either Amethi or Gauriganj Assembly seats from where SP has already announced its candidates, he said.

Congress, which is looking for a major share, also wants freedom to choose its nominees rather than blindly following the “sitting-getting” formula.

“Giving tickets only on the basis of previous performance will only benefit rivals and we cannot afford to see reverses for failure to forsee them,” he said.

Without assessing the situation and winnability of each candidate before fielding them would be like helping BSP, he said, citing the example of Sareni in Rae Bareli.

SP has given ticket to its sitting MLA in Sareni but situation there has undergone a major change since 2012 and now even their supporters are against them, he said, apprehending that the seat could go to BSP in case the same candidate is repeated.

It is essential that both the alliance partners work towards assessing each others’ strong and weak points seat-wise or else it will cause more harm than benefit to the ideals for which both the parties have come together, he said.

SC to hear Jallikattu matters on Jan 31

By pti On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) The Supreme Court today said that it will hear all Jallikattu matters on January 31 after the Centre filed a plea seeking to withdraw the January 6 notification, allowing the bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra allowed all the applications related to Jallikattu to be filed and said the matter will be heard on Tuesday.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi mentioned before the bench that Centre has filed a plea seeking to withdraw the January 2016 notification.

Justice Misra said the appropriate bench which has heard and reserved the verdict will take up the matters.

The apex court has earlier said that it will be hearing the matter on January 30.

JD(U) not to contest Uttar Pradesh polls, says ‘don’t want to divide secular votes’

By indian express On January - 25 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday said that they will not contest the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election so as to ensure that the secular votes are not divided in the state. However, in a press conference held in Patna, the party also said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will not be campaigning for any candidate in the state. “Nitish Kumar will not campaign even if Akhilesh Yadav asks him to,” the party said.

Uttar Pradesh, along with four other states, is set to go to polls next month. The elections will be held in seven phases from February 11 to March 8. Counting of votes will take place on March 11, 2017. The incumbent Samajwadi Party, which witnessed a lot of turmoil in last few months, has formed an alliance with Congress ahead of the polls.

According to reports, RJD, which part of the ruling alliance in Bihar, had advised JD(U) against contesting in UP as ‘it may lead to confusion. In 2012, the party contested on 219 seats of total 403 but could not win on any seat. After its victory in Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar had expressed his enthusiasm to prepare for UP elections and said that they will start working to campaign in the state.

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