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2015 Report Card: From Modi to Kejriwal, here are the big winners and losers of Indian politics

It’s a very hard to take a politician seriously, when you know that he uses the state’s police to search for his missing buffaloes. Known for his rather extreme views about various issues, Azam Khan cranked it to an insane level by trying to give a backhanded justification for Paris terror attack and also saying that he will raise the Dadri issue in United Nations. Ratings: 1/10

Arghya Roy Chowdhury

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PM Modi holds PRAGATI video conference with chief secretaries

Meanwhile, Modi also reviewed the progress with respect to Aadhaar enrollment and its seeding with bank accounts. Linking Aadhaar with bank account will allow authentication of the beneficiary to receive Direct Benefit Transfer under various government-run schemes like MGNREGA, scholarships. Prime Minister in this regard also asked states to complete the process expeditiously.

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Cow urine used only in 5 products, says Patanjali

Reacting to the ‘fatwa’, it further said: “This is conspiracy to misguide and confuse crores of poor Muslims who want to use affordable and pure Patanjali products.” Yesterday, a Tamil Nadu-based Muslim organisation had issued a ‘fatwa’ against Patanjali alleging products were made by using cow urine, saying its usage was considered ‘haram’ (forbidden) in Islam.=Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat (TNTJ) had alleged that cow’s urine was being used as a ‘key ingredient’ in cosmetics, medicines and food products of Patanjali that are available in open markets as well as online.

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BJP rubbishes Mamata Banerjee govt’s claims on West Bengal’s growth

Buttressing his point that Bengal’s 10.48 per cent growth in 2014-15 was due to its low base, he said a poor state like Bihar had grown by 17 per cent for the same reason. The state government’s claim about starting of projects worth over Rs 91,000 crore was also “misleading”, he said, noting that work worth over Rs 70,000 crore pertained to the Centre. He also hit out at the Congress government in Assam for registration of a criminal case against BJP workers over their protests at its office. He alleged that that it took no action against its leaders involved in targeting BJP leaders and the party office. “It is a case of double standards,” he said.

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At Sivagiri mutt, Sonia Gandhi makes veiled attack on BJP

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was denied an invitation to Modi’s function on December 15 kicking up a controversy, said attempts to create division in the society in the name of religion, caste and creed should be challenged by upholding the ideologies of Narayana Guru.

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Also ReadIndiaCow urine used only in 5 products, says PatanjaliIndiaEntry denied: US cites immigration assessment, India tell it to honour visasIndiaBJP rubbishes Mamata Banerjee govt’s claims on West Bengal’s growthIndiaPM Modi’s nod must for suspending IAS officers working with CentreIndiaAt Sivagiri mutt, Sonia Gandhi makes veiled attack on BJPIndiaOdd-even rule: CM Arvind Kejriwal warns volunteers against ‘misbehaving’ <!– /.block –>

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TMC ministers get engaged in ugly verbal spat; cautioned by party

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Trouble for Mamata Banerjee ?

Two Trinamool Congress ministers were on Thursday allegedly locked in a verbal duel at a programme in Malda to distribute land rights, prompting party leadership to caution them.Minister of Refugee Rehabilitation Department Sabitri Mitra arranged the programme to distribute land rights (patta) to the refugees living at Old Malda and English Bazar sub-divisions. While the pattas were being distributed among the beneficiaries, Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, Minister for Food Processing, allegedly stormed on to the stage and asked the sub-divisional officers present there as to why the programme was convened without informing him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chowdhury said neither he nor the local councillor was informed about the programme and claimed pattas could not be distributed in this manner. Mitra however defended the move to distribute pattas and said Chowdhury was “apprised” of it. “He (Krishnendu Chowdhury) threatened the officers. Why did he have to do it? I had informed him”, she said.Later the programme resumed without distribution of land rights to the beneficiaries of the English Bazar municipality. As visuals of the verbal spat between the two ministers went viral on television and the Internet, the party top leadership took exception and asked MP Subhendu Adhikari, who is the observer for the district to talk to the two ministers and caution them.The recurring incidents of internal bickering in the Trinamool Congress had forced party chief Mamata Banerjee to caution leaders on December 12, asking them to focus instead on development programme.

No one can dictate what one should eat, says West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

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The TMC chief said she was shocked by the cancellation of Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s event in Maharastra following threats from Shiv Sena.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said food and religion are matters of individual choice and no one can dictate what one should eat, and asserted that the “biggest” duty of governments is to protect the religious freedom and rights of minorities.”We are against the Dadri incident, we don’t support it. Who are you to dictate what should one eat…It’s a matter of my choice. If I have the right to eat fish, you have the right to eat meat as well. Whatever you eat, beef or chicken, is your individual choice,” Banerjee told a gathering of members of the Muslim community at Furfura Shariff in Kolkata.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Many minorities, Christians, tribals consume beef. It is their choice. Who are you to stop them! We are all citizens of this country. The Constitution has given us some basic rights. It’s a secular country,” she said.The Chief Minister made an all-out effort to reach out to minorities ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls and said, “The biggest duty is to protect you people…to preserve your religious rights and freedom. I believe that just like I have my own freedom of religion, you people too have your freedom of religion.”On Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan facing criticism over their comments on intolerance, she said, “All of a sudden if someone is asked to leave the country or banished from the country, this is not right. Sometime Shah Rukh Khan is being asked to leave the country, sometime Aamir is being asked to leave. They are being asked to go to Pakistan. Why will we leave this country, this is our country, too,” Banerjee said.”Just like I have the right to speech, you too have this right. Just like I have the right to visit temple, you too have the right to visit mosque, someone goes to gurdwara, someone to church. Everybody has his own right,” she said.The TMC chief said she was shocked by the cancellation of Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s event in Maharastra following threats from Shiv Sena.”An artist came to perform in Mumbai. He was stopped from performing. I was shocked. I urged him to come to Bengal and perform,” Banerjee said.

Fake Facebook Wall: Arvind Kejriwal lashes out at Narendra Modi for CBI raid

The following is a fake wall.

Fake Facebook Wall

There was high drama in New Delhi as Arvind Kejriwal claimed that his office was raided by the CBI. Calling Prime Minister Modi a ‘psychopath and coward’, he received support from fellow Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar. Meanwhile Arun Jaitley denied any allegations. “The office of the chief minister of Delhi has not been raided. The raid has nothing to do with Mr Arvind Kejriwal or his tenure as chief minister. The search is against an officer.” Kejriwal however accused the finance minister of lying. Day ago, Arvind Kejriwal had told a leading news channel: “There is definitely a vendetta against AAP. Five of our MLAs have been arrested on flimsy grounds.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here’s a Facebook Wall showing conversations that never took place: Arvind Kejriwal: I am shocked. We will not yield. Modi is psycopath and cowards. I am the best. I am the man without fear.Mamata Banerjee: I am shocked by this. #JeSuisKejruArvind Kejriwal: Didi, you know na, I will throw my own son in jail if he was corrupt.Daredevil: Hey bro, can you not steal my tagline. I am the Man Without Fear. Except for Didi. FYI My cartoons have never made fun of you
Pulkit Kejriwal: You suck dad. Hate you.
Rahul Gandhi: Don’t kids say the darnest things.
Sonia Gandhi: Yeah they do. Now get off Facebook.Ashutosh: Hey Arvind, you made a spelling mistake, and I didn’t. #SOProudSomnath Bharti: Please don’t drag Don into this. I beg you Modiji, Don has suffered enough.Anupam Kher: Planning another march to protest Ashutosh’s tweets. #JaiHindNarendra Modi: Bhai that puppy remark was a slip of tongue. You will never leave me or what. So many places to see, so little time. Why can’t we all be friends?Nitish Kumar: “I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love mewho you are, where you’re from, don’t care what you did, As long as you don’t forget Bihar.”Narendra Modi: What, did you decide to enter the spoof business?
Devang Patel: Please don’t Nitishji, leave some stuff for me no.Narendra Modi:Haha finally a Patel I like seeing. From Hardik to Ameesha, Patels have really let me down.Star Wars Fans: Modji, why you say ‘May the phorce be with you’ if you no let movie release on time. :(Shah Rukh Khan: Thank you for the birthday wishes, here’s a return gift for you. Watch Dilwale trailer.Star Wars Fans: STFU. Because of your stupid movie we have to wait a week to see Star Wars. If we see one spoiler…Shah Rukh Khan: You guys do know I am best friends with Salman again, don’t you?Star Wars Fans: Oops sorry, our bad. Dilwale roxx, Bhai roxx, Star Wars suxx. Don’t take me to court.Kiran Bedi: How dare Kejriwal use such despicable language for you Modiji?Amit Shah: Kiranji, I hope you know you’re never going to be our CM candidate again.
Kiran Bedi: #SoSad

CBI raids: Sealing of CM’s office unprecedented, says Mamata Banerjee

“Sealing of a Chief Minister’s office is unprecedented. I am shocked”, Banerjee tweeted.

Amidst claim by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that his office was raided by CBI, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she was “shocked” by the “unprecedented action”.”Sealing of a Chief Minister’s office is unprecedented. I am shocked”, Banerjee tweeted.Kejriwal’s claim was denied by the CBI as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha where the opposition created an uproar and forced a couple of adjournments.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”CBI raids my office,” Kejriwal claimed in a tweet. TMC national Spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said in a statement that his party demanded clarification from the Centre on the raid.”CBI raid on Arvind Kejriwal’s office is unprecedented.The union government has to clarify. Has emergency been declared?,” he said.TMC would take up the matter in the Rajya Sabha, he said.”Trinamool has given notice in the Rajya Sabha under Rule 267 to suspend usual business and immediately take up discussion on the issue,” he said.

Three jailed over India gang rape

Three men are sentenced to 10 years in prison for the 2012 gang rape of a woman who later waived her right to anonymity to encourage other rape survivors to speak out.

Park Street rape case: Suzette Jordan’s rapists pronounced guilty

Suzette Jordan, the Kolkata woman, was gang-raped in the dead of the night on February 5, 2012.

After almost four years of a tough legal battle, a Kolkata session court on Thursday pronounced three of the five men accused in what came to be known as the Park Street rape case, as guilty.Suzette Jordan, the Kolkata woman, was gang-raped in the dead of the night on February 5, 2012. Her case was vilified by the judgement, after struggling against much social stigma, coming directly from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had accused Jordan of fabricating the case, questions over what she was doing in a club, and intimidation from the more powerful families of the rapist. Jordan, who passed away in March this year from encephalitis, had made a powerful statement by shunning anonymity and revealing her identity to support other victims of sexual assault.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While two of the accused are missing, the court booked the other three under Sections 376(d), 323 and 506 of the IPC. Jordan’s family, her parents, two daughter and sister, have finally been given enough cause to celebrate, saying they were “happy” with the order and that Suzette’s soul would now rest in piece.Her lawyer, Anirban Guha, said that this was justice, though it came late. However, “better late than never” he told dna. “If she had been alive today, she would have been very happy,” said Guha. He added that Suzette’s actions made it possible for many other women to break their silence and fight legal battles over sexual assault. He called her an icon who gave courage to countless other women.With the positive verdict, he said the state was now trying harder to catch the missing two accused. However, the family and he were aware that this was not the end of the road, as the now convicted could appeal in higher courts.”We have fought so far and will will fight again,” said Guha.The quantum of punishment is to be pronounced on Friday.

Three found guilty for India gang rape

A court in Kolkata (Calcutta) has found three men guilty for the 2012 gang rape of an Indian woman who later waived her right to anonymity to encourage other rape survivors to speak out.

Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi seeking central funds for West Bengal

Around 130 people died in the heavy floods in July, which also destroyed crops and vegetables on 8,000 hecatres of agricultural land. Referring to West Bengal’s debt problem, she said “even after more than four years of our rule, we are still repaying the debt left behind by the previous Left Front government.”
File Photo
PTI
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here seeking adequate central funds for the state. Banerjee said she demanded central aid for relief and rehabilitation of lakhs of people affected by recent floods in West Bengal.”I had controlled the flood within 3 days after returning from London,” she said emerging from the nearly half-an-hour meeting with Modi.Around 130 people died in the heavy floods in July, which also destroyed crops and vegetables on 8,000 hecatres of agricultural land. Referring to West Bengal’s debt problem, she said “even after more than four years of our rule, we are still repaying the debt left behind by the previous Left Front government.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I hope they will give us justice. It was not a political meeting,” she said when asked about the meeting with the PM.The Chief Minister said a meeting of the full Niti Ayog should be called and all states invited so that disbursal of funds to states can be discussed. Earlier, the Planning Commission used to invite each state to discuss fund allocation but that is not happening now, so a full meeting the Ayog should be called, she said.On the ongoing debate on tolerance issue, she said “tolerance or intolerance I am a secular person.” Asked about her stand on disruption of parliament, she said “some issues come up in a democracy but we do not support disruption everyday.”

Senior TMC leader asks party workers to show ‘restrain’ ahead of Assembly elections

Chatterjee, the Education minister, said while during the Left Front regime 32 colleges had come up in the state in the over three-decade long period, 30 colleges were established during the four and half year period of TMC government.

Partha Chatterjee

File Photo
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Secretary-General Partha Chatterjee on Saturday asked party activists to be restrained and be prepared to face the big challenge in the crucial time, ahead of assembly elections.”In our effort to reach out to people, everyone should be united. We must take everyone along us. We should not put the party in embarrassing situation,” Chatterjee told party workers here in South 24 Parganas district.He asked TMC workers not to bring out ‘jatha’ (rally) the same day of the CPI(M) procession “in the respective locality and rather bring it out the next day and thus not give them the chance.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chatterjee, the Education minister, said while during the Left Front reg ime 32 colleges had come up in the state in the over three-decade long period, 30 colleges were established during the four and half year period of TMC government. Even these included one for women, he added.Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim said while CPI(M) and Congress were having alliances, TMC will never go for any track with those who were responsible for the Nandigram ‘killings’ and Singur attack.Abhisek Banerjee, the national President of All India Trinamool Youth Congress, said by the name of taking ‘jathas’ CPI(M) was aiming to capture villages.State President of TMC Subrata Bakshi said people knew the party whose leader went on a fast for 26 days on Singur issue, will always remain on their side. “We had held 109 administrative meetings in four years time,” Bakshi said. The leaders were addressing a party workers’ meeting in Canning.

Mamata Banerjee allocates funds to tackle drought-like situation in Purulia

The Chief Minister took a swipe at the Centre for not paying attention to her long-standing demand for special financial packages and appealed for resumption of social sector projects for the benefit of people.

Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced sanctioning of Rs 50 crore for the people affected by a drought-like situation in Purulia district.Addressing a public meeting here in Purulia district, Banerjee said, “Once a Maoist den, peace prevails in the district now. We have brought in various development programmes in Purulia to benefit people of the district.” Banerjee repeated what she had been saying during her tour of the districts that the Centre had either stopped or drastically reduced funds and subsidies for various social sector projects. Nonetheless, she said, her government would continue with these projects like ICDS and development of Jangalmahal in the interest of local people.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister took a swipe at the Centre for not paying attention to her long-standing demand for special financial packages and appealed for resumption of social sector projects for the benefit of people.As in other districts, she inaugurated or laid the foundation stones of a number of projects, including the Sabuj Sathi Scheme, to help the tribals, in particular, to attain self-reliance.She said that the benefits of these projects would reach over 90 per cent people soon.Banerjee said that the Purulia district would be divided into four sub-divisions next year to decentralise its administration and expedite development activities. She also announced the setting up of an archery academy and a Chhou academy in the district, funds for which have been released with an immediate effect.The projects she inaugurated related to eco-tourism, roads, water supply health care, Krishak Bazaars, hostels for boys and girls, administrative buildings and auditorium, among others.She also laid the foundation stones for healthcares, Karma Tirtha, roads, bridges, water supply and schools, among other things.

Tolerance debate: Mamata Banerjee supports Aamir Khan, says India belongs to everyone

Banerjee’s comment’s comes in the backdrop of countrywide criticism on Aamir Khan’s recent remark where he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months.

Mamata Banerjee

Extending her support to Bollywood star Aamir Khan by saying that it is his democratic right to say what he felt, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said aid no one has the right to ask someone to leave this country as this country belongs to everyone.”No one has the right to ask someone to leave this country or go to Pakistan. We all are citizens of this country, India,” Banerjee said. She also lashed out at Hindutva groups, saying that no one has the right to kill someone for just consuming beef, as the Constitution of India grants the right to preach to each of its citizens. “Nobody can say anything against them in this country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They will decide what we will say or not. Aamir has said something what he felt and what his wife told him, he just said that. He is being asked to leave the country. Who are you to ask someone to leave this country? This country belongs to everyone. This is our motherland,” Banerjee said while addressing a rally of the minorities. Banerjee’s comment’s comes in the backdrop of countrywide criticism on Aamir Khan’s recent remark where he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months.”Kiran (his wife) and I have lived all our life in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India… She fears for her child, she fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” the actor said in an interaction at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism ceremony organised by the Indian Express few days back. Banerjee also criticised the statements against Shah Rukh Khan for his comments on intolerance.”They have criticised Aamir. They have also criticised Shah Rukh. They have criticised A R Rahman. Who are they to decide what we will say or what we will eat?” she asked.Banerjee expressed apprehensions that the powers in Delhi might unleash CBI against her for her comments against intolernace and threat to communal harmony.”If you say anything against them, they will engage CBI after you but you can’t shut my mouth by engaging CBI after me. They have threatened Mithun Chakraborty in such a way that he can’t even talk to me. He is an MP (Rajya Sabha) of our party,” she said. Banerjee dared the Centre to put her jail “if they want to” as she was speaking against communalism. “Who are you to decide what we will eat or not? No one has the right to kill someone because he consumed beef. What will you do to me as I have conusmed poultry? If you think you can put me in jail, I will stay in the jail of the masses and I will have some rest.”But you can’t stop me. I don’t care. Even if everybody in this country keeps mum out of fear, I will not stay mum. I will fight against injustice. We are all brothers and sisters and we all have equal rights,” she said. Banerjee said the biggest question in front of the country is whether we shall be tolerant or intolerant. “The question before the nation is whether we shall be tolerant or intolerant. The Constitution of India has granted equal rights to each and every citizen of this country. We should not mix religion with terrorism. Terrorism has no religion, caste or creed. Terrorists are terrorists, criminals are criminals,” she said. P

Mamata Banerjee invites Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal for Bengal Business Summit

The invite by Banerjee comes just days after she attended the swearing-in ceremony of Nitish Kumar in Patna, which was attended by Kejriwal as well.

Three leaders at Nitish Kumar’s oath taking ceremony

PTI
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has invited her Bihar and Delhi counterparts Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal to the Bengal Global Business Summit here on January 7 next year.”Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal have been invited to Bengal Global Business Summit not because they are leaders of political parties, but as chief executives (chief ministers) of their states,” Trinamool Congress national spokesperson Derek O’Brien told PTI. The invite by Banerjee comes just days after she attended the swearing-in ceremony of Nitish Kumar in Patna, which was attended by Kejriwal as well.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The TMC leadership had termed Banerjee’s attending the ceremony as a “mark of protest against authoritarian attitude of the Centre” and effort to “strengthen the federal structure” in the country. Kumar, also a top JD(U) leader and Banerjee had spoken over phone after the Bihar assembly elections results were announced. Kumar had thanked Banerjee for supporting the grand alliance in Bihar in its fight against BJP.Banerjee had also congratulated Kumar over Twitter and termed the victory of the Grand Alliance as “the defeat of intolerance”. JD(U) leadership had also extended its support to Banerjee in her fight against BJP and had said that along with AAP and TMC it would fight to strengthen cooperative federalism in the country.

Park Street rape case: Court to announce verdict on December 10

The 37-year-old, Jordan was allegedly gangraped by five men in a moving car on Park Street on February 6, 2012.

Suzette Jordan

The city sessions court, Kolkata will announce verdict in the controversial Park Street rape case on December 10. However, the rape victim, Suzette Jordan will not be able to see justice delivered to her. The 37-year-old, Jordan was allegedly gangraped by five men in a moving car on Park Street on February 6, 2012. This announcement of the verdict by the court, comes almost three years after the incident took place. While the three accused, Nasir Khan, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj are behind bars, two prime accused including Kadir Khan, are still at large. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 28 people, including the investigating officers and witnesses have deposed before the court. The court will conclude trial and announce the verdict on December 10 and, thereafter announce the quantum of punishment. In January, this year, the Calcutta High Court had directed the city sessions court to conclude trial within three months. However, it took another year to conclude the trial in this case. The rape case took a controversial turn,w hen the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed the rape as a ” sajano ghotona (fabricated incident)” even before an inquiry was initiated.But, the then Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Crime) Damayanti Sen, who spearheaded the investigations in the rape case, had maintained that the complainant was indeed raped. Sen’s stand led her to be shunted out as the detective department’s chief and was asked to take over as the (DIG) at the Police Training School, considered to be a relatively low-profile posting. The rape survivor died of meningoencephalitis in a hospital in Kolkata on March 13, this year. While Indian laws forbid the disclosure of a rape victim’s identity, Jordan had chosen to not hide her name and had come out strongly against her aggressors.

Shiv Sena poses as Nitish Kumar clicks groupie at swearing-in

For the BJP this could be a cause of worry as speculations and discussions are on in political circles on the need for replicating Bihar model of mahagathbandhan in other states as well.

Lalu Yadav, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal and HD Deve Gowda at the swearing-in ceremony of Nitish Kumar as Bihar chief minister on Friday.

PTI
A scattered opposition sent out the first signs of an attempted cobbling up of a possible alliance against the BJP at the historic Gandhi Maidan here on Friday during the swearing-in ceremony of Nitish Kumar as the chief minister of Bihar for the fifth time. A handshake, followed by a warm embrace between Lalu Prasad Yadav and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and leaders’ holding of hands in a rare display of bonhomie, spoke volumes on the way things are going to unravel in the days to come.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the BJP this could be a cause of worry as speculations and discussions are on in political circles on the need for replicating Bihar model of mahagathbandhan in other states as well. “The foundation of a strong opposition has been laid and this will echo in the parliament too. We will not allow the politics of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar to flourish,” senior Congress Rita Bahuguna Joshi told this correspondent.The top leaders present included Rahul Gandhi, former PM H D Deve Gowda, chief ministers Mamta Banerjee (West Bengal), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Tarun Gogoi (Assam), PK Chamling (Sikkim), Okram Ibobi Singh (Manipur), Virbhadra Singh (Himachal), Nabam Tuki (Arunachal Pradesh), Siddaramaiah (Karnataka), and party chiefs Sharad Pawar (NCP), Sharad Yadav (JD-U), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Sitaram Yechury (CPM). Not to be missed out was the presence of senior Shiv Sena leaders Subhash Desai and Ramdas Kadam, who are also ministers in the coalition ministry headed by the BJP in Maharashtra. Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was one of the first political leaders to telephone Nitish to congratulate him once the election results were out. The ceremony conspicuously had an overwhelming presence of Lalu Yadav, who took the front row greeting the dignitaries who graced the occasion, giving critics a chance to allege that “Lalu would eventually be into backseat driving”. Lalu’s sons Tejashwi and Tej Pratap took oath after Nitish Kumar and were rewarded with plum portfolios. Tejashwi was given the post of deputy chief minister with PWD portfolio while the elder son Tej Pratap got health and environment ministries.Remarked LJP leader Chirag Paswan, MP, “After Nitish, it was the turn of Lalu sons and senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui. It’s clear now that Lalu will dictate the government.” Lalu supremacy also left discontent among ministry hopefuls with Shyam Rajak (JD-U) even unwilling to participate in the oath-taking ceremony.Observers meanwhile opine that the absence of both Samajwadi Party and the BSP in the grand coronation should be taken as a dampener in the larger design of cobbling up of an effective alliance against the BJP. (The writer is channel head, Maurya TV)

Mamata Banerjee’s Bihar visit protest against Centre’s authoritarian altitude: TMC

Kumar, the JD(U) leader and the Bihar Chief Minister designate, and Banerjee had spoken over the phone after the Bihar Assembly elections results were announced with the former thanking the TMC chief for supporting the grand alliance in Bihar

Mamata Banerjee

Stating that the party would fight to “strengthen the federal structure” in the country, TMC on Thursday said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s attendance at the oath-taking ceremony of Nitish Kumar on Friday would be as a mark of “protest against authoritarian attitude of the Centre”.”Our chief minister is going there (Bihar) to fight against intolerance and mark her protest against the authoritarian attitude of the Centre. “Trinamool Congress will fight in favour of strengthening the federal structure and secular fabric of our country,” said party leader and state urban development minister Firhad Hakim.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kumar, the JD(U) leader and the Bihar Chief Minister designate, and Banerjee had spoken over the phone after the Bihar Assembly elections results were announced with the former thanking the TMC chief for supporting the grand alliance in Bihar in its fight against BJP. Banerjee had also congratulated Kumar over Twitter and termed the victory of the grand alliance as the defeat of “intolerance”.The JD(U) leadership had last week extended its support to Banerjee in her fight against BJP and had said that, along with AAP and TMC, it would fight to strengthen cooperative federalism in the country.

Pahlaj Nihalani now wants to make a documentary exposing FTII students as ‘anti-national’

Central Board of Film Certification chairman, Pahlaj Nihalani is in the news again and this time it isn’t about his much-talked-about video tribute to Prime Minister Narendra ModiMera Desh Mahan‘.

Next on Nihalani’s bucket list is to make a documentary film to expose FTII students as “anti-nationals”, who he thinks are backed by unimportant industry members whose only aim is to bring down the Modi government.

New censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. Image courtesy: IBNLiveNew censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. Image courtesy: IBNLive

Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. Image courtesy: IBNLive

In an Economic Times report, Nihalani said that the ongoing FTII protests (which have been in motion since June this year, against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairperson) are being supported by producers who “have never made any commercially viable movie in life”.

He adds, “I am going to make a movie on how badly the FTII was functioning all these years and how the students were using government resources continuously but working against it.” He also said that these students may have managed to get everyone’s attention, but they will not be able to adjust in FTII with “such an attitude”.

After calling off their 139-day strike, which was followed by the #awardwapsi debate with Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Patwardhan and other filmmakers returning their National Awards, the FTII students have now decided to take their protests to the International Film Festival of Goa.

Nihalani also defended his tribute video by rubbishing unnecessary criticism towards it. “If this is chamchagiri (sycophancy), then I am proud of it,” he told NDTV, in this report.

Intolerance is not acceptable: Mamata Banerjee

“Tolerance is life. Intolerance is not acceptable. Every religion has spoken about tolerance. It is also written in the Vedas,” Banerjee said.

Supporting Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan’s views on intolerance, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said India’s culture gives the lesson of unity in diversity irrespective of caste, creed and religion. “Today Amitabhji has spoken on the issue of intolernace. Everyone has spoken on this. Unity in diversity, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, is our strength. “Tolerance is life. Intolerance is not acceptable. Every religion has spoken about tolerance. It is also written in the Vedas,” Banerjee said at the 21st edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival here at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amitabh Bachchan, while inaugurating the film festival, today recalled the contribution of Indian cinema in fostering social unity, communal amity and love at a time when “cultures are being questioned and prejudices against communities are dividing the world”.

People dying to get National Award, seeking my help: Hema Malini questions Award Wapsi

Mumbai: Actress-politician Hema Malini is not in favour of filmmakers returning their National Awards in protest against instances of growing intolerance in the country.

Last month, 12 filmmakers announced that they would return their National Awards, also in the wake of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) stalemate.

Hema Malini. AFP

Hema Malini. AFP

“It (returning national awards) is not a right thing to do. I feel it is a politically instigated matter. People are dying to get a National Award… it’s a national reputation.

“People come to me saying if I can help them in getting national award. And here these people are returning awards,” the BJP MP told PTI.

FTII students had gone on an indefinite strike from 12 June following the appointment of television actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of its Governing Council.

They also expressed discontent alleging that Chauhan lacked the expertise and credentials to secure a place in the prestigious institute.

Filmmakers returning their National Awards include Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Patwardhan, Paresh Kamdar, and Nishtha Jain.

Celebrities like Anil Kapoor, Vidya Balan and Anupam Kher have also said not in favour of the move.

On whether FTII row can be resolved, Malini just offered, “We will talk later about it.”

PTI

Kundan Shah to return his national award won for ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’

Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, Tunnu Ki Tina writer Paresh Kamdar, Odia director Lipika Singh, Gulabi Gang director Nishtha Jain, Producer Kirti Nakhwa, actor Harish Kulkarni and Malayalam cinematographer Hari Nair have also returned their national awards.

YouTube Screen Grab
Bollywood filmmaker Kundan Shah is all set to return his national award for the 1983 cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.According to Indian Express, Shah has claimed that a dark satirical film like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro or its hilarious climax sequence with a stage-performance of the Mahabharata may not see the light of day in “today’s atmosphere”Bollywood director Dibakar Banerjee and eight others had returned their National Awards to show solidarity with the protesting FTII students. The awardees also protested against the murders of rationalist author MM Kalburgi and activist Govind Pansare.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apart from Banerjee, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, Tunnu Ki Tina writer Paresh Kamdar, Odia director Lipika Singh, Gulabi Gang director Nishtha Jain, Producer Kirti Nakhwa, actor Harish Kulkarni and Malayalam cinematographer Hari Nair have also returned their national awards. Also read: Anupam Kher to lead tolerance debate march to Rashtrapati Bhavan”It is not about the Congress or the BJP. Both are the same. My serial Police Station got banned when Congress was in power,” said Shah. He also told the newspaper that not just the Mahabharata sequence, the film had several other things, including a reference to Indira Gandhi, which would have made it run into trouble even then. But it went without a single cut largely because it was produced by a government agency — the National Film Development Corporation.Meanwhile, actor Anupam Kher, who had criticised the filmmakers returning their awards to protest “rising intolerance” in the country, is set to lead a tolerance debate march to the President’s house to counter it. The 60-year-old actor said the march will take place on November 7 and will include artists, writers and painters.

Kejriwal government begins proceedings for imposing penalty on ACB chief Meena

Retired IAS officer B S Banerjee will probe the charges against Meena, who is also a Joint Commissioner in Delhi Police.

MK Meena

The Arvind Kejriwal government has initiated proceedings for imposing penalty on Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) chief Mukesh Kumar Meena for “not working in accordance with law”.Retired IAS officer B S Banerjee will probe the charges against Meena, who is also a Joint Commissioner in Delhi Police. “There were several instances in which Meena did not work in accordance with the law, which include not replying to the CM’s memorandum for intimidating his juniors, alleged scam, and issuing false statement about government’s anti-corruption helpline 1031,” a government source said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sources said that as the AAP dispensation is not the cadre controlling authority of Meena, Delhi Government is only concerned with the ACB work. “In view of several rule violations by the ACB Chief, Delhi Government can impose penalty for not working in accordance with law,” the government source said.Last month, Kejriwal had issued a memorandum to Meena seeking his reply within 10 days over allegations of negligence in performing his duty and “intimidating” his juniors. Meena, however, had challenged the Chief Minister’s note to him and threatened “appropriate action” if it was not withdrawn immediately. Despite several attempts, ACB chief Meena could not be contacted for his comment.

West Bengal bids a teary adieu to ex- speaker Hashim Abdul Halim

West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury condoled the death of Halim who had the distinction of being the longest-serving Speaker in the country

Hashim Abdul Halim

Zee 24 Ghanta
Former West Bengal Assembly Speaker and CPI-M veteran Hashim Abdul Halim died on Monday after a cardiac arrest at a city nursing home, his family members said.He was 80 and is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter. West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury condoled the death of Halim who had the distinction of being the longest-serving Speaker in the country. Halim held the Speaker’s post in the state Assembly from 1982 to 2011 during the Left Front rule He had been suffering from cardiac problems for the last few years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Halim complained of chest pain after returning from a morning walk and was immediately shifted to a nursing home where he breathed his last at 10.10 am, his son Fuad said. West Bengal governor K N Tripathi in his condolence message recalled his long association with him. “I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of Hasim Abdul Halim, a leader of the democratic movement and former Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. He was my friend, having worked together in several commonwealth parliamentary Association conferences. His death is a personal loss to me,” Tripathi said.Leaders cutting across political lines condoled Halim’s death and remembered him as a gentleman whose death, they said, created a vacuum in parliamentary democracy. Present West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee also paid his condolence to the veteran. Halim had also served as the chairman of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and president of World Federation of United Nations Association.CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury in a series of tweets said, “Lal Salaam…Comrade Hasim Abdul Halim. Served longest as Speaker of West Bengal Assembly. Remained strong pillar of support in maintaining communal harmony.” In another tweet, Yechury said, “Steered with statesmanship, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association as Chairman of its executive committee.”Senior Congress leader Manas Bhunia said Halim had created an example of how a speaker should perform rising above the party line. Halim was elected as a CPI-M MLA for the first time in 1977, when the CPI(M) led Left Front came to power. He was elected to the state Assembly for seven consecutive terms till 2011. He also served as Judicial Affairs minister from 1977 to 1982, the year when he was elected the Speaker. His body was laid to rest on Tuesday. Thousands of people cutting across political lineage paid their last respects to Halim in the state Assembly building. Many fondly remembered how Halim reached out to people from all walk of life during his long stint as Speaker.

Uma Bharati lauds Bengal government work under irrigation department as ‘masterpiece’

Uma Bharati said such works were not done in last 30 years.

Uma Bharati

Union Water Resource Minister Uma Bharati on Sunday termed as “masterpiece” the efforts of taken by the West Bengal irrigation department under the Command Area Development (CAD) Programme as a “masterpiece,” Uma Bharati said such works were not done in last 30 years.”I have seen the works done by the state irrigation department under CAD. They are beautiful, masterpiece I think. And I can say that the works done in the last three years were not done in the last 30 years,” Bharati said. The Minister said she would put up the state irrigation department’s success story under the CAD programme as a model for other states and ask them to follow it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am happy to see the works done under the Ghatal Master Plan… It’s commendable… Even one year before there was nothing there,” she said. Later, after having a look at areas where riverbank erosion was growing, Bharati promised the Centre would help the state in reducing riverbank erosion from Farakka to Mohana.”Last time we had taken her to areas in Farakka where erosion was taking place. Today we showed her those places, which are eating up land every day. She (Bharati) was quite concerned and she has promised all help to check riverbank erosion,” state irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee told PTI. Banerjee took the Union Minister on a boat ride on the Hooghly River for an inspection of areas where heavy erosion was reported.

Narayan Murthy backs protesting intellectuals, says communal harmony essential for development

Infosys founder Narayana Murthy has come out in support of writers and intellectuals who have returned their awards to the Modi government, following a perception of ‘growing intolerance’ against minorities.

Infosys founder Narayan Murthy
Manit Balmiki
dna
Infosys founder Narayana Murthy has come out in support of writers and intellectuals who have returned their awards to the Modi government, following a perception of ‘growing intolerance’ against minorities.”I am not a political person, I am not at all interested in politics. But I sense there is a considerable fear among minorities and migrants in this country”, Murthy said to NDTV.”Just as the Shiv Sena in Mumbai created fear amongst South Indians in the 1960s, now some elements are creating fear among both minorities and within communities”, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There is first a need to create an atmosphere of trust among the people, said Murthy, adding that only then economic growth would follow.Stating that trust between communities and lack of fear was essential to India’s development, Murthy said there was no society in the world which thrived in spite of communally charged atmosphere of intolerance. He said that if India had to overcome its problems like farmer suicides and other issues, ideals like tolerance and secularism and respect for people’s rights was necessary.Murthy is one of the first business leaders to speak out in support of those protesting. On Friday, dozens of scientists, historians and filmmakers had spoken out against the ‘vitiated atmosphere’ in the country. Leading names like Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, KN Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee had issued a joint statement raising their serious concerns over increasing incidents of communal violence and intolerance in the country under the BJP government. Filmmakers like Dibakar Banerjee and Anand Patwardhan among others have also returned their awards to the government.Recently, a Muslim man was beaten to death by a mob in Dadri, UP for allegedly storing and consuming beef in his house. There has been a spate of attacks on Dalits, including children. Rationalists and reformers like Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi have been killed, and far-right organisations like the Sanatan Sanstha are under the scanner for these murders.The Modi government has adopted an aggressive stand against the writers and intellectuals who have returned their awards, claiming it to be a political conspiracy and questioning why these individuals did not do the same during Congress rule.

Indian filmmakers return awards

A group of 10 Indian filmmakers return national awards in protest at what they say are threats to freedom of expression.

Kerala House beef raid aftermath: Hello, Delhi Police, come get my neighbour, he is a culinary criminal!

I don’t hate my neighbour, I just don’t like him. He plays music too loudly and throws his rubbish into our side of the house. Besides, his window sill is covered with cigarette butts. Dissss-gusting.

So I have come up with this idea inspired by what went on in Kerala House and the alacrity with which the cops responded to the accusation that the canteen was serving beef from cow’s meat. You have a burglary you find the police strolling up in their own sweet time. Somebody gets raped they hunt for a pen to take down the FIR. You get mugged they laugh and don’t come at all. But accuse someone of eating beef and the posse gallops in and saves the day.

Neelabh Banerjee's toon for Firstpost on the beef row.Neelabh Banerjee's toon for Firstpost on the beef row.

Neelabh Banerjee’s toon for Firstpost on the beef row.

Imagine if I just called them on my neighbour. Hi, guess what, I smell beef cooking across the hall. Worth checking them out. Maybe the self-appointed guardians of my faith will fetch up and beat the guy to pulp. I can hear the sirens already. At least the loud music will stop.

Trick is not making the accusation if its fish. Fish has a distinctive cooking smell. But everything else goes. Especially since the cops have had no training in meats per se and won’t know one from the other.

If they can enter Kerala House they can easily enter my neighbour’s house, what fun. If my idea catches on and more folks start accusing more people of eating beef, the crime wave will rise exponentially because all the cops will be busy chasing down suspected culinary criminals.

Okay, enough of the satire. Seriously, where are we taking this issue when privacy is thrown to the winds and strangers can enter a state government premise, trample down the door, raid the kitchen and smite us with righteous indignation? We have already had three deaths and counting…

On nothing more than an airy accusation. And it is time Parliament passed a law and clarified what the national stance is on eating beef in a nation that has 300 million people living below the poverty line. You want to change things, promulgate a legally binding ordinance and then the nation will cow down.

Enough of this guesswork about what can be done or not. Very soon you will have scenarios crossing the bizarre.
A schoolteacher accused of eating beef by a failed student.
A fellow passenger in a train creating havoc because he wants your seat.
A passenger on a plane demanding an upgrade because someone is eating beef or so he thinks.
Roadside gangs demanding ‘protection’ money or we are coming for you, Mr Beefeater.
Blackmail. Revenge. For a lark. Like the Nazis painting ‘Jew’ on the walls of residence we can go with ‘Beefeater’ …or just a moo.

How can we all live in fear of someone not liking what we eat? You are walking down the road munching a sandwich and you bump some guy or you have a fender bender and the fellow accuses you of eating beef and the next thing you know you are a victim of a mob frenzy.

Even rapists get a better deal.

They just barged in to Kerala House without so much as a by your leave and conducted a raid. It is a frightening thought. Isn’t that State territory which underscores the fact that the police broke the law?

My neighbour better watch out. So might you. Even if you are a veggie, that soyabean looks very much like mashed beef.

Because I say so.

Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Patwardhan and 7 others return National Awards

Meanwhile, former students of the institution and alumni Pratik Vats and Vikram Pawar have decided to return national awards that they had received for their films while studying in the institute.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Bollywood director Dibakar Banerjee and 8 others have returned their National Awards to show solidarity with the protesting FTII students. The awardees are also protesting against the murders of rationalist author MM Kalburgi and activist Govind Pansare. Three ex-FTII students on Wednesday also announced the return of their national awards, after the agitating students called off their strike against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s chairman. Dibakar Banerjee had won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for Khosla Ka Ghosla in 2007 and the National Award for Best Popular Film award for Oye Lucky Lucky Oye in 2009.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan also returned his National Award. Patwardhan had received 7 National Film Awards, including for Bombay: Our City (1985), In the Name of God (1990) which was based on the demolition of Babri Mosque, War and Peace (2002), Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), In Memory of Friends (1990) and Father, Son and Holy War (1995).Apart from Banerjee and Patwardhan, Tunnu Ki Tina​ writer Paresh Kamdar, Odia director Lipika Singh, Gulabi Gang director Nishtha Jain, Producer Kirti Nakhwa, actor Harish Kulkarni and Malayalam Cinematographer Hari Nair have also returned their national awards. Meanwhile, former students of the institution and alumni Pratik Vats and Vikram Pawar have also decided to return the national awards that they had received for their films while studying in the institute. “We are going to return our awards and have written a letter to the President for the same,” Vats said. Related read- FTII row: Two ex-students return national awards

Tarun Gogoi and Mamata Banerjee condemn police entry into Kerala House over beef

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday condemned the entry of the police into the Kerala House in New Delhi following a complaint about beef allegedly being served there, saying it “is an attack on cooperative federalism.”

File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday condemned the entry of the police into the Kerala House in New Delhi following a complaint about beef allegedly being served there, saying it “is an attack on cooperative federalism.””A complaint about beef being served in Kerala House and the manner in which the Delhi Police entered the state-owned Kerala House is an attack on cooperative federalism in our country,” Gogoi said.The tenets of democracy allow everyone to profess his own religious beliefs and practices and any external control on it is tantamount to violations of the rights of the citizens, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also condemned the “unauthorised” entry by some activists into Kerala House in New Delhi following allegations that beef was being served there saying it was an “unwise and unhealthy” attempt to “curb” people’s fundamental rights.Kerala government on Tuesday dismissed claims that beef was served at Kerala House and said that a complaint had been lodged over the entry of activists without permission after a phone call to the police yesterday claimed that cow meat was being served there.

Relief to PhD aspirants: Smriti Irani says non-NET fellowship won’t be discontinued

Irani’s tweet came in response to a concern raised by CPI (M) MP in Rajya Sabha Ritabrata Banerjee who had also written to the minister expressing her concern over the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to scrap the non-NET fellowship.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Putting an end to the anxiety among PHD aspirants, HRD minister Smriti Irani on Sunday made it clear that the non-NET fellowship is not being discontinued. Her assertion came on a day when she met an eight-member delegation including representatives from students union of Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University her at her residence.”Not being discontinued. Need to include state university students and direct benefit transfer (DBT) so that students accrue benefit directly,” she tweeted following her meeting with the students.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irani’s tweet came in response to a concern raised by CPI (M) MP in Rajya Sabha Ritabrata Banerjee who had also written to the minister expressing her concern over the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to scrap the non-NET fellowship.UGC, had resolved to discontinue the scheme of non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship, which is provided to those undertaking research in central universities across India, in a meeting held on October 7, contending that the fellowship programme was discriminatory in nature and lacked uniformity among universities in the selection process.The commission had also cited shortage of funds as the reason behind inability to provide fellowships. Under the scheme, financial assistance was provided to students undertaking MPhil and PhD, they were provided Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 per month respectively.PhD students got assistance for four years and MPhil students for 18 months. They also got a contingency amount per year to help them carry out their research. Hundreds of students from JNU, DU, Jamia Millia, Ambedkar University and other institutions have been protesting since last week at the UGC demanding the authorities to restore the fellowships.While 100 of them were detained on last Friday and released later in the evening, the UGC officials had assured a student delegation that the decision will be reviewed. However, students chose to continue the protest until their demands are met.Meanwhile, the left-backed All India Students Association(AISA) which has been protesting since last week claimed that the delegation included only representatives from BJP s student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).”We will continue our protest and organise a strike at JNU tomorrow. The protest will go on until a circular is issued by UGC revoking the decision,” the party said in a statement.

Free Speech Debate: Taslima Nasreen accuses Mamata Banerjee of appeasing Muslim fanatics

Nasreen has also claimed in the past that seculars had double standards, when it came to supporting freedom of speech.

Taslima Nasreen and Mamata Banerjee

On Saturday, author Taslima Nasreen tweeted: “My serial was banned by Mamata Banerjee to appease Muslim fanatics. Didn’t see any secular conscience awake.”What she is referring to is to, is an incident in 2013, when a serial based on her writings was banned by the West Bengal government. Titled Dusahobas, the show was pulled after some minority religious groups objected to its screening.While people like Sujato Bhadra, Mahasweta Devi, Shankha Ghosh and Joy Goswami did speak up against the ban, there wasn’t a national debate around the freedom of speech and expression that we see these days.Activist Sujato Bhadra was quoted saying: “”How can a serial which has obtained a censor certificate be forced to be withdrawn? Surana in her letter has written that she was forced to do so because a senior police officer threatened action if the serial was telecast and anything untoward happened.”Recently, Taslima Nasreen had claimed that most secularists were biased towards Muslims and anti-Hindu. She claimed that a majority of Indian intellectuals didn’t speak up when Muslim fanatics attacked her. She claimed that Indian authors kept mum when she had to fight to live in India, and even supported the ban on her book.She had said: “Many writers are guilty of double standards when it comes to dissent. Most secular people are pro-Muslims and anti-Hindu. They protest against the acts of Hindu fundamentalists and defend the heinous acts of Muslim fundamentalists.”

Use of chemical weapons must be condemned: India

India completed the destruction of its chemical weapon stockpiles in 2009 within the stipulated time frame under the CWC.

UN council

India has called on the international community to be vigilant on non-state actors and terrorist groups seeking and using chemical weapons and said the use of such weapons anywhere and by anyone must be condemned. “The use of chemical weapons anywhere and by anyone must be condemned and the international norm against the use of chemical weapons must not be breached,” visiting Member of Parliament Abhishek Banerjee said at a debate on weapons of mass destruction at the First Committee of the General Assembly on Thursday. He said India contributed to international efforts under the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapon stockpiles.”The international community should continue to be vigilant on non-state actors and terrorist groups seeking or using chemical weapons,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Given that disarmament is a primary goal of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the remaining possessor States should fulfil their obligations within the shortest possible time. India completed the destruction of its chemical weapon stockpiles in 2009 within the stipulated time frame under the CWC. The provisions of the Convention should be implemented in a manner that does not hinder legitimate activities, especially in countries like India with a large and growing chemical industry, he said adding that universality is fundamental to the success of the Convention. He voiced India’s commitment to improving the effectiveness of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and strengthening its implementation and its universalising. “We believe this is necessary in view of the new challenges to international peace and security emanating from proliferation trends, including the threat posed by terrorists or other non-state actors seeking access to biological agents or toxins for terrorist purposes,” he said. He also supported a robust consultation process among all States Parties leading to the Eighth Review Conference next year, so as to contribute to its success through preparations on substantive and procedural issues. He reiterated India’s commitment to maintaining the highest international standards with reference to control of nuclear, chemical, biological and toxin weapons and their means of delivery. “In this regard, India has made considerable progress in its engagement with the relevant multilateral export control regimes with a view to seeking full membership,” he said.

This Mamata Banerjee remix video is the funniest thing on the internet today

These days Mamata Banerjee might be in the news for constantly offering to host events that Mumbai bans (Ghulam Ali concerts or PCB meetings), but there was a time when she would often be the news for getting angry at people for making fun of her or questioning her.In 2012, Prof Ambikesh Mahapatra was arrested in 2012 for forwarding cartoons while in 2013; Taniya Bhardwaj was called a Maoist sympathiser on television for questioning Didi.Well, we hope she won’t hold it against us for putting this hilarious remix video which takes the best of her Bong accent and literally puts it in a song. Didi raag koro na: <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

World’s tallest Durga idol inaugurated at Kolkata’s Deshapriya Park

iamin.in
The world’s tallest Durga idol finally saw the light of the day on Friday. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the Durga puja pandal at Deshapriya Park in Kolkata. A cultural show followed the inaugural function.The 80-feet tall fibre-glass Durga idol has been created by artist Mintu Pal and over 40 other artists had been working on the idol and the pandal for over two months. Over 50 lakh had been spent on the idol alone.The idol was made part by part and put together last week. The organisers have written to the Guinness Book of World Records for listing it as the World’s tallest Durga idol.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This year, Kolkata will see an idol of Goddess Durga that will touch the sky. Star Cement and the Deshapriya Park Puja Committee are the joint organisers of this event,” said Sanjay Kumar Gupta, CEO, Star Cement, organiser of the Deshapriya Park puja.This article was first published on iamin.in. For more such hyperlocal stories, visit their website.

Garba grooves in full swing as Navratri celebrations take stage in Gandhinagar

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President Pranab Mukherjee visits Israel, addresses Parliament

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Kolkata finally gets its Big Ben

The watchtower stands tall at 30 metres on the main road of Lake Town and has been developed by the South Dum Dum municipality.

Team iamin
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream of making Kolkata into London just got a step further. While Kolkata Eye, a replica of London Eye, is a far-fetched dream for many, the city got its Big Ben this week. A clock tower at Lake Town came up this week that replicates the Big Ben of London.The watchtower stands tall at 30 metres on the main road of Lake Town and has been developed by the South Dum Dum municipality. The tower will have retro watches on its four sides, provided by the Anglo Swiss Company.The chairman of the South Dum Dum Municipality, Mriganka Bhattacharya and local MLA Sujit Bose took the initiative of constructing this watch tower. The total investment is close to Rs 1.5 crore in creating a replica of Big Ben.The deadline to finish the watch tower was July. But better late than never.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

dna Must Reads for afternoon: From latest in India v/s South Africa match to Lalu’s comment on Hazare

Narendra Modi

1. Emergency was the biggest blow to Indian democracy: PM ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday termed the Emergency, imposed in 1975, as the biggest blow to democracy and said its memories should be kept alive to draw lessons to further fortify the democratic framework and values in the country. Read more here.2. Suicide bombing targets foreign forces in Afghan capitalA suicide car bomber targeted a convoy of foreign troops in the Afghan capital during rush hour-traffic on Sunday, flipping an armoured vehicle on its side, but the number of casualties was unknown. Read more here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3. LIVE India v/s South Africa 1st ODI: Morkel dismisses Dhawan but Rohit carries on the good workSouth Africa have managed to get past the hosts in the T20 series by winning it 2-0 and will be bolstered by the arrival of the pace duo of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Read more here.4. Mamata Banerjee lends support to Missionaries of Charity’s stand on adoptionWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday supported the Missionaries of Charity on stopping adoption at their orphanages following a recent change in rule by the Centre. Read more here.5. Anna Hazare speaks out against reservation, Lalu dubs him ‘anti-poor and anti-Dalit’Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday hit out at Anna Hazare over his remarks on reservation, saying the veteran social activist is in the same league as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah who are against the poor, backward and Dalits. Read more here.

Mamata Banerjee lends support to Missionaries of Charity’s stand on adoption

Following revision in guidelines on adoption by the Centre, the Missionaries of Charity, set up by late Mother Teresa, had said in a statement on Saturday that it had stopped adoption at their orphanages two months ago

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday supported the Missionaries of Charity on stopping adoption at their orphanages following a recent change in rule by the Centre.”We fully support Missionaries of Charity and Sister Prema in their decision to opt out of adoption programme. They have a right to do so,” Banerjee tweeted. “The essence of India is unity in diversity. This is the pillar of our great nation,” she said.Following revision in guidelines on adoption by the Centre, the Missionaries of Charity, set up by late Mother Teresa, had said in a statement on Saturday that it had stopped adoption at their orphanages two months ago. “This decision was arrived at by the Missionaries of Charity Headquarters in Kolkata soon after we received the new “Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015″ issued under a notification from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development,” the statement had said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The move comes after revised guidelines were notified in July making single parents (separated, divorced, unwed mothers) eligible to adopt through online registration of prospective parents. The Women and Child Development Ministry had recently said they would identify those child care homes, which are not complying with the revised guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Act, one of which includes orphanages run by the Missionaries.

West Bengal: Traffic congestion shuts down flyover a day after inauguration

The flyover is deemed to be the city’s longest flyover, with the main flank 4.3 km long and the entire flyover stretching nearly 7.7km.

Entry closed at the flyover.
Pooja Mehta

A day after the Paroma Island flyover was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee it was shut down temporarily on Saturday. The newly-inaugurated flyover lead to long snarls of cars and other vehicles across the Park Circus-Chingrihatta area. “We are closing and opening the flyover at regular intervals. We are working on it so that we can make it operational entirely,” V Solomon Nesakumar, Deputy Commissioner, Kolkata Traffic Police told dna. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, sources in the Kolkata Traffic Police say that the flyover has lead to even more congestion and the situation is beyond the police’s control.Long traffic snarls along the flyover.The Chief Minister along with other ministers of the state and the Kolkata Police Commissioner inaugurated the Paroma Island flyover on Friday. The flyover is deemed to be the city’s longest flyover, with the main flank 4.3 km long and the entire flyover stretching nearly 7.7km.

Ghulam Ali to perform in Delhi in December, tweets Arvind Kejriwal

A day after Ghulam Ali’s programme was called off in Mumbai amidst threat of protest from Shiv Sena, AAP Minister Kapil Mishra had reached out to Ghulam Ali .

After being banned from performing in Mumbai by the Shiv Sena, Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali has agreed to do a concert in the national capital in December.”Ghulam Ali sir, I am a big fan of yours. It was great talking to you. Thanks for agreeing to do a program in Delhi in Dec,”Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.A day after Ghulam Ali’s programme was called off in Mumbai amidst threat of protest from Shiv Sena, AAP Minister Kapil Mishra had reached out to Ghulam Ali urging him to perform his concert in Delhi. Today, Mishra also met Ghulam Ali and the noted singer confirmed about a possible concert in December. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shiv Sena had earlier defended banning the Pakistani singer from performing in Maharashtra, saying what they had done was in true spirit of patriotism. The Shiv Sena also slammed Kejriwal for inviting the singer to perform in the national capital, accusing him of doing ‘vote bank politics’. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee too has urged Ghulam Ali to perform in her state and the singer has consented, tweeted TMC spokersperson Derek O’Brian. After the controversy broke, Ghulam Ali said that he will continue to perform in India. With ANI inputs

Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal offer to host Ghulam Ali’s concert

“Music has no boundaries. Music is the rhythm of the heart. Ghulam Ali concert can be held in Kolkata”, Banerjee, who is now on a visit to Bhutan, tweeted. “We will make all arrangements,” (for the concert) she added.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offered to host the concert of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, a day after the event was cancelled in Mumbai in the face of Shiv Sena threats.”Music has no boundaries. Music is the rhythm of the heart. Ghulam Ali concert can be held in Kolkata”, Banerjee, who is now on a visit to Bhutan, tweeted. “We will make all arrangements,” (for the concert) she added.Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai was cancelled after Sena threatened to disrupt it warning that no artiste from Pakistan will be allowed to perform in the city till terror emanating from across the border is stopped. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Meanwhile, the Arvind Kejriwal government on Thursday invited Ghulam Ali to perform in the national capital, saying “music has no boundaries”

UK seeks more time to decide on declassifying Netaji files

New Delhi: The UK has sought more time to decide whether to declassify the secret files in its possession on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, his family said on Sunday.

Bose’s family had recently approached British authorities demanding making public all the files relating to his sudden disappearance in 1945.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Reuters.Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Reuters.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Reuters.

“My sister Madhuri Bose has approached the government of UK. She has already received several responses admitting that there were files on Subhas Bose but they would require more time to take a decision about the de-classification,” Netaji’s grandnephew Surya Kumar Bose told PTI.

Surya, who had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Berlin in April, said the Bose family will also keep asking the governments of the USA, Russia and Japan to open up the files they have on Netaji.

“In post-war India, Subhas Chandra Bose was a threat to Nehru and Patel. Hence the classified files on Subhas are of immense importance,” he said.

Complimenting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for declassifying over 60 files relating to Bose, he said it was time for the Centre to unravel the mystery and make public the information relating to Netaji.

“We do not know if all the files were opened up or some were eaten up by moths or bureaucrats. This move will certainly put pressure on the Prime Minister to open up his Pandora’s box! But it would be very much more difficult for Narendra Modiji to open up all the classified Bose files,” said Surya from Berlin.

Sixty four files running into nearly 13,000 pages relating Bose were declassified last month by the West Bengal government. The files showed some of his close family members were spied on in independent India but there was no clarity whether he died in an air crash in 1945 as is widely believed.

“I think Mamata Banerjee has taken a very good and welcome step in declassifying all the files in the custody of the West Bengal government. There may have been political motivation behind this very bold move but we must give her credit for doing so,” said Surya.

He said Bose family will not sit quiet till the Centre declassied all the files relating to Netaji.

“We shall continue the movement till sufficient pressure has been built up for the Centre to comply with our demand and the demand of the people of India,” he said.

Asked when the family approached the British authorities, he did not specify but indicated it was done recently.

Toeing the line adopted by the previous UPA government, Prime Minister Modi’s Office in February had refused to declassify the files relating to Bose.

The PMO had in August told the Central Information Commission that it cannot declassify the files as it will adversely affect relations with foreign countries.

Netaji had gone missing in 1945 and some of his family members have rejected the theory that he had died in a plane crash in Taihoku in Taiwan on August 18 that year.

PTI

West Bengal: Civic poll marred by violence, over 70% cast votes

Rubbishing opposition allegations that ruling Trinamool Congress had used outsiders to unleash violence in Bidhannagar and Asansol, senior party leader and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said “The opposition parties have tried to create violence during the elections.

Image courtesy: ANI
Sporadic violence and assaults on journalists on Saturday marred elections to two municipal corporations in West Bengal as over 70 per cent people cast their votes.”The voter turnout till 5 pm in Bidhanngar and Asansol was 71%. We have received complaints of violence, rigging and malpractices from both places. We are looking into those complaints and will decide the course of action,” State Election Commissioner S R Upadhaya told PTI. The election to Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad passed off peacefully, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rubbishing opposition allegations that ruling Trinamool Congress had used outsiders to unleash violence in Bidhannagar and Asansol, senior party leader and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said “The opposition parties have tried to create violence during the elections. As the ruling party why should we create violence? We want to categorically state that in Bengal rule of the law has been established under Mamata Banerjee.”As ruling party we will never want any breach of peace,” Chatterjee, also TMC secretary general, said and accused CPI(M) of trying to create disturbance during the polls.He said it is the duty of the State Election Commission to see that the elections are conducted peacefully. Several journalists of various media houses were assaulted while covering the elections in the Bidhannagar.Asked about it, Chatterjee condemned it and said “We feel that whoever has done this is wrong. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inquired into the incident. Those responsible for the attacks would be identified and the administration will deal with them.”Also Read: West Bengal municipality election: Widespread violence marks Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation pollsChatterjee while replying to a query on “outsiders” being brought by TMC to unleash violence, said “It is the job of the SEC to see who is an outsider and who is not. It is SEC who conducts the election,” S R Upadhaya when asked said, “The SEC has to work with the state machinery and the resources available from the state government.” Left Front chairman Biman Bose described the civic polls in Bidhannagaar and Asansol as “mere farce” and alleging massive rigging there demanded re-polling at some wards. Also Read: West Bengal Municipality Elections: Journalists attacked by mob led by TMC leaderPolice said a few motorcycles were burnt during a clash between supporters of two political parties at VIP Road during the polling. Senior CPI-M leader Gautam Deb announced that the Left Front has called a 12-hour bandh at Rajarhat-Bidhannagar area on Monday in protest against the alleged malpractices and violence. Alleging that the hoodlums belonged to ruling party and were aided by the administration and police, Bose said “We condemn this act where democracy has been attacked and the democratic rights of the people have been snatched in the name of elections.”He said besides the bandh, Left Front would hold rallies and demonstrations across the state on Monday in protest against the alleged rigging at several wards. West Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury too condemned the violence during today’s poll and alleged that “TMC has turned the election in Bengal into a farce”.BJP and the Left Front workers staged a sit-in outside the SEC office against the alleged malpractices and violence during the polls. SEC officials and state police said there were reports of bombs being hurled at Jamuria in Asansol and Bidhanagar and people being stopped from the casting their votes.”We are taking stock of the situation,” they said. The polls are a precursor to next year’s assembly polls in Bengal when arch rivals Trinamool Congress and Left Front will be pitted against each other. Votes for the civic polls will be counted on October seven. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Press Club has strongly condemned the attack on journalists during the municipal elections and has demanded strict action against the culprits.”We note with immense concern that many of our fellow journalists and photo-journalists were either attacked or roughed up allegedly by ruling party members or hoodlums when they were discharging their duties during today’s election in Salt Lake, Rajarhat, as also in Bally and Asansol,” a statement from the Press Club said.”Mere words of condemnation are no single solution to such persistent acts of cowardice by the hoodlums, patronised by political parties. We demand strict action by the police authorities, including arrest of the guilty and exemplary punishment to them as an immediate measure,” the statement added.

Mamata Banerjee meets Rajnath Singh, wants all Netaji files declassified

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked the Central government to declassify all files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked the Central government to declassify all files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.”We have already declassified all files that were with us. Now, the Central government should do the same,” she told reporters after a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.Sixty-four secret files relating to Netaji which could help throw light on his mysterious disappearance — an enduring enigma for seven decades — were released by the West Bengal government on September 18. Banerjee said copies of the CD containing the 64 files related to Netaji have already been given to President, Vice- President, Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and the Speaker of Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Altogether 89 files related to Bose are with the Central government. The Ministry of External Affairs is holding on to 29 files and the Prime Minister’s Office has 60 files related to Netaji. Some files were already declassified by the Central government and sent to the National Archive.Banerjee said whenever she visits Delhi, she meets the Union Home Minister and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.”Last time I could not do it because there was heavy floods in Bengal,” she said. The Chief Minister said she has urged the Union Home Minister to provide financial assistance to West Bengal for flood relief works.”Disaster management fund is with the Union Home Ministry. A Central team has gone to our state after the flood and they have submitted the report also. We have already spent some money from the state’s fund. Now we want Centre’s assistance,” she said.Related Read: Mamata Banerjee declassifies files on Netaji and allied cabinet meetings held during 1938-47Netaji’s disappearance mother of all conspiracies: RSS

Bengal govt may have more Netaji files, say family and researchers

Netaji’s grand-nephew Chandra Bose and a researcher say some Netaji files might still be lying hidden inside the cupboards of government buildings.

Welcoming the release of cabinet papers on Netaji and allied issues from 1938 to 1947, his family and researchers today said the West Bengal government might have some more secret files in its possession, a contention denied by the Kolkata Police.”This is a very bold step and the family is very happy with her (Mamata Banerjee) decision. She is proving that her government is a transparent one,” Netaji’s grand-nephew Chandra Bose told PTI.However, Bose and a researcher say some Netaji files might still be lying hidden inside the cupboards of government buildings.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am told that there are at least nine files which were given before the Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry into the disappearance of Netaji which have not yet been made public. But we trust that if this comes to the notice of our chief minister, she will release it as she has nothing to lose,” he said.Researcher Dr Jayanto Chaudhuri of Netaji Chetna Manch said he even had file numbers of documents which were submitted before the Mukherjee Commission but are yet to be made public.”I have found that there are 12 files which are still not released. They belonged to the Intelligence Bureau under the state Home Department and talked about activities of revolutionaries between 1941-42,” Chaudhuri said.However, Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha said all files related to Netaji had been released and nothing was kept on hold.”We have released each and every file related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his family. Nothing has been held back,” Purkayastha told PTI when asked if some files were “not released” as alleged by his family and researchers.Of the 64 files released on September 18, nine were with the state police while 55 were with Kolkata Police. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the release of the files had said, “If I knew that the files were with us, I would have released them long back.The chief minister also released a CD containing information about the papers of 401 cabinet meetings during the crucial phase of 1938-47 which were witness to ‘Quit India’ movement, the great ‘Bengal Famine’ and the partition of Bengal.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee condoles loss of lives in Mecca stampede

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah also tweeted condolences.

dna Research & Archives
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday condoled the death of piligrims in a stampede near the holy city of Mecca.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah also tweeted condolences. At least 717 people of different nationalities were killed and over 860 others, including two Indians, injured in a stampede today when Haj pilgrims jostled their way to perform symbolic stoning of the devil here, marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage.

VHP asks Centre to declassify Netaji files to clear air about his mysterious disappearance

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday appreciated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for declassifying files relating to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and demanded the Centre to follow suit by making public all files in its possession to end “myths” about his death.

File Photo

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday appreciated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for declassifying files relating to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and demanded the Centre to follow suit by making public all files in its possession to end “myths” about his death.”The decision of Mamta Banejree to declassify files on Netaji is a very good thing and it will remove the myths concerning his death,” Joint General Secretary of VHP Surendra Jain said.”It’s a right of people to know about Netaji and all the files on him should be brought in public domain by the Central Government and all other governments to clear the air about his mysterious disappearance and his death,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jain also welcomed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit to Banke Bihari temple in Mathura, saying “that it is good that he went there. Anyone can go to a temple.” He, however, added that it is good if he went there to pay his obeisance but if he went to the temple for “electoral gains”, he will be “exposed” by the people.The VHP leader also condemned the moves to restrict religious and cultural activities of Hindus in the name of checking pollution.”I have reports that Delhi Government is working for regulating noise levels during Ramlila which will be fought tooth and nail by VHP,” he said.

dna Must Read: From Patels v/s Patels in US ahead of Modi’s visit to Alexis Tsipras returning as Greek PM

Patels v/s Patels in US ahead of Modi’s visit; one group to hold protest while the other calls it politically motivated

Patels v/s Patels in US ahead of Modi’s visit; one group to hold protest while the other calls it politically motivatedAn influential section of the Patel community on Sunday said they are opposed to a planned rally against Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits the US this week while another group in the Silicon Valley said they would hold protests against him over the handling of the recent reservation agitation in Gujarat. Read More<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Jay Banerjee sparks controversy, says Election Commission in our handsActor-turned BJP leader Jay Banerjee on Sunday sparked controversy by saying that the Election Commission of India was under his party’s control and the next Assembly election would be conducted under Army surveillance. Read MoreBCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya dies, East Zone holds the key to his successorSome called him Old Fox for his shrewdness; some others paid tribute to his financial acumen by giving him the sobriquet ‘Dollarmiya’. But for those who knew him up, close and personal, Jagmohan Dalmiya was just ‘Jaggu da’, an affable man who lived and breathed cricket. Read MoreGreek leftist Alexis Tsipras returns in unexpectedly decisive vote winGreek leftist Alexis Tsipras stormed back into office with an unexpectedly decisive election victory on Sunday, claiming a clear mandate to steer Greece’s battered economy to recovery. The vote ensured Europe’s most outspoken leftist leader would remain Greece’s dominant political figure, despite having been abandoned by party radicals last month after he caved in to demands for austerity to win a bailout from the euro zone. Read More

West Bengal: Election Commission in our hands, says BJP leader Jay Banerjee ahead of assembly polls

“Our central leaders have said that after winning the Bihar election, bulldozer will be run in West Bengal,” he said.

Banerjee alleged that the opposition TMC had defeated them in the last Lok Sabha election by using “unfair means”.

Actor-turned BJP leader Jay Banerjee on Sunday sparked controversy by saying that the Election Commission of India was under his party’s control and the next Assembly election would be conducted under Army surveillance. Addressing a party meet at Mayureswar, near here, Banerjee alleged that the opposition TMC had defeated them in the last Lok Sabha election by using “unfair means”.”They had defeated us by cheating. But in the coming Assembly election it will not be possible as it will be held under Army vigilance and the Election Commission is in our hands,” Banerjee claimed. “Our central leaders have said that after winning the Bihar election, bulldozer will be run in West Bengal,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting to the allegation, Anubrata Mondal, TMC’s Birbhum district president, said in Bolpur, “We don’t know what kind of bulldozer they will run. The common people are with us. Led by Mamata Banerjee, our party will win all 11 Assembly seats in Birbhum.”

Netaji files: How West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee checkmated Congress and BJP

Netaji files have given a perfect jumpstart to Mamata’s campaign ahead of assembly elections next year.

Mamata Banerjee

Cynics believe politicians are all the same, but hallmark of good leaders are to respect and understand public sentiment and manipulate it to their advantage. By declassifying Netaji files, Mamata Banerjee has precisely done that in nick of time with Assembly elections just few months to go in West Bengal. By now, from all accounts, forget controversial content, there is very little about Subhas Chandra Bose in the 64 files declassified by the West Bengal government. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 12,744-page dossier, has definitely provided a glimpse of how the feted freedom fighter encountered with people and also gives details of interaction between Netaji’s family member and his wife Emilie Schenkl. But there is hardly anything about the death mystery of Netaji or anything with potential adverse ramification for India and its world partners. Also Read: Declassification of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose files end in a whimperIt is hard to believe that Mamata Banerjee did not know about this for a long time. Yet she chose to declassify these largely benign set of files for strategic reasons. 1. Put the state and central unit of BJP under pressure: Mamata Banerjee has put the money in the mouths by declassifying the files which were there with the state government. Shortly after the files were released, didi demanded the Modi government to release all the files with them. The NDA government has so far opted for a very cautious approach to this with Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu saying that they have to carefully look into possible ramifications before taking the final decision. But expect TMC MPs to ramp up the rhetoric in the Winter Session and Mamata Banerjee attacking BJP on it as dates of assembly election come nearby. If Modi government decides not to publish the files, state BJP will be a siting duck facing TMC’s tirade. 2. Winning back the confidence of Bengali ‘bhadrolok’:While Mamata Banerjee, since her massive mandate in 2011, has only increased her grip over rural areas, there has been some resentment in the urban areas with the ruling party. Be it Saradha scam or the infamous Park street rape case, or cracking down on activist like Ambikesh Mahapatra or entire mishandling of the JU fiasco, Banerjee has come across as an authoritarian to the upper and middle class Bengali. While they still support her primarily due to lack of alternative, the chink in support base is evident. Mamata wants a long inning for her and declassifying Netaji files may just give her a much needed shot in the arm. It is not uncommon to hear theories about chokranto (conspiracy) against Netaji in addas in the bylanes of Kolkata, and didi’s gesture will warm the cockles of Bengalis. 3. Further eroding Left unity and social base:Party formed by Netaji, All India Forward Bloc is part of the Left Front in West Bengal. While the Left has reacted cautiously, Forward Bloc has whole heatedly supported the move. The smaller allies of Left Front, both Forward Bloc and RSP has had a difficult relationship with CPI(M) in the recent past. Mamata has publicly courted their support too. This latest move by West Bengal CM may only increase bonhomie between Forward Bloc and TMC. 4.Completely obliterate Congress in West Bengal: Congress in West Bengal is in a terminal decline, now being only confined to limited pockets. This latest reveal shows tall former leaders of Congress in poor light, the likes of Bidhan Chandra Ray and Siddhartha Shankar Ray. Congress even in South Bengal still gets some votes from ‘old Congressi voters’ mainly driven by nostalgia. Expect an exodus of voters from Congress to TMC now that they snooped on Netaji has been revealed. So all in all, Netaji files have given a perfect jumpstart to Mamata’s campaign ahead of assembly elections next year. Not that her winning was never in doubt. But by giving a sense of closure to Bengali sentiments who feel strongly for Netaji, she has landed a knock-out punch even before the fight has started.

PM Modi says will receive Bose’s family next month, silent on files

“It is a matter of joy for me that I can host this family (Bose family) at my residence. They are coming from various nations,”he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he would be receiving family members of Subhash Chandra Bose next month but avoided any reference to declassification of secret files related to him which is being demanded by various sections after West Bengal government did so.In his 12th edition of monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi spoke about a number of issues, including those he had highlighted during the previous episodes like giving up of LPG subsidy, Swacch Bharat campaign, promotion of khadi besides pushing for greater voter participation and paying tributes to soldiers on the 50th anniversary of 1965 India-Pak war.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the 30-minute programme, he recalled that in May he had met some family members of Subhash Chandra Bose during a visit to Kolkata.”I got an opportunity to spend some time with them. That day it was decided that the extended family of Subhash babu will visit the Prime Minister’s residence…. Last week, I got confirmation that over 50 members of Subhash babu are coming to visit the Prime Minister’s residence,” Modi said.”Over 50 members of Subhash babu’s family, from various countries, will be coming…I am happy to welcome them,” he said.Describing it as a momentous occasion for him, Modi said the family members of Netaji, perhaps for the first time, would be together visiting the Prime Minister’s residence.”But the bigger happiness is for me as nobody in the Prime Minister’s residence would have got such a chance earlier as I will be getting in October.”While making the reference to Bose, the Prime Minister made no mention of the issue of declassification of secret files related to the freedom fighter.After West Bengal government declassified 64 such files a few days back, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and some others have demanded that the central government also should declassify the files that are with the PMO and Home Ministry.

Declassify all Netaji files to put an end to speculation: Congress

Congress on Saturday demanded that government declassify all files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to put an end to all speculation and innuendos.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Congress on Saturday demanded that government declassify all files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to put an end to all speculation and innuendos.”Government should declassify all the files it had on Netaji to put an end to all speculations and innuendos,” Party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.He sought to dismiss reports that the family of Bose was snooped upon noting that Independent India had seen stalwarts like Sardar Patel, Govind Vallabh Pant and Lal Bahadur Shastri as Home Ministers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”These allegations are not against certain individuals but distinguished freedom fighters who were Home Ministers of India during 1947 to 67-68. It will be very unfair …They were stalwarts and could not have even remotely thought of snooping “, he said rejecting the allegations.Besides, he said that the snooping of the family of Bose was possible by the Britishers before Independence. On Friday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the files on Bose declassified by the state government contain letters supporting the theory that he was alive after 1945 and that his family was snooped upon.

Declassified Netaji files show Bose might been alive after 1945: Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose files declassified by her government have letters showing he might have been alive after 1945 when he mysteriously disappeared and that his family was snooped upon.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

She also demanded that the Centre declassify files relating to the nationalist leader who went missing mysteriously 70 years ago.

“There are letters in the files where some people had said that Netaji might have been alive after 1945 (when he reportedly died in a plane crash),” Banerjee, who visited Kolkata Police Museum where the 64 declassified files are kept, told reporters.

“I did not get much time to go through the files. I have seen a bit of it and I have seen letters which were intercepted even after 1945 and documents which indicated that Netaji’s family was snooped upon,” she told the media.

Demanding that the Centre declassify files with it on Netaji, she said it is unfortunate that the mystery regarding his disappearance has remained unresolved for 70 long years.

“We do not know what happened (to Netaji). It is unfortunate. How long you can keep it under secrecy?” she said.

“This (declassification of Netaji files by her government) is the beginning of the future. The people should know the truth. Let the Central government also declassify the files on Netaji.

“Let good sense prevail on all of us. You cannot suppress the truth. Let truth come out. It will come out today or tomorrow,” Banerjee said.

Asked to comment on the perception that India’s relations with some countries might be affected if files on Netaji with the Centre were declassified, the chief minister said, “Now we have got independence. There is no harm in honouring those leaders who got us independence. We should salute them. Before declassifying the files we have seen that internationally nothing will happen. If we have bilateral relation with a country it is necessary to review it.”

On questions whether there was any attempt to hide something, she said, “What you can guess, I can also. Let the country face the reality. There is nothing to hide. Why don’t you (Centre) declassify the files?”

On whether there might be law and order problem after the declassification, she said, “I don’t think there will be any. It is a mere excuse. If there is any law and order problem, we are there to tackle it.”

PTI

Mukul Roy all set to form Nationalist Trinamool Congress Party?

Mukul Roy though has formally refused to divulge whether he is joining this new political outfit and has maintained that he is still a Rajya Sabha MP from Trinamool Congress.

Once closest aide of West Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, former Union Minister MP Mukul Roy is all set to form a new political party, reports Zee 24 ghanta. After applying with Election Commission, now a notification has been issued in a Hindi newspaper announcing the formation of the new political outfit. The name of the outfit is Nationalist Trinamool Congress Party and Mukul aide Amitabha Majumdar has been named as the President. The head office of the party is located in Dinhata, in North Bengal. Mukul Roy though has formally refused to divulge whether he is joining this new political outfit and has maintained that he is still a Rajya Sabha MP from Trinamool Congress. Once the linchpin of the party, Mukul slowly lost favour with West Bengal CM once his name cropped up in the Saradhha scam. Slowly the then general secretary of the party was removed from all the important posts. Many political pundits believe Mukul Roy who was the de facto number 2 in TMC was sidelined to pave way for Mamata Banerjee’s cousin young MP Abhisek Banerjee. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There have been several reports in the past of Mukul joining either BJP or Congress though nothing materialised finally. Mukul Roy forming a new party is unlikely to upset Mamata Banerjee’s applecart with elections just six months to go as so far this rebel TMC MP has found very little support from other leaders.

Declassified files show Netaji’s family was being spied on

A declassified file contained a letter written by Netaji’s nephew Sisir Kumar Bose to his father and Netaji’s elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose in 1949 that he had information on Netaji going on the air on a radio channel.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Sixty four files running into nearly 13,000 pages relating Netaji Subash Chandra Bose files were declassified on Friday which shows some of his family members were spied on in independent India but there was no clarity whether he died in an air crash in 1945 as is widely believed.Tucked away in police and government lockers for decades, the files containing 12,744 pages were declassified by West Bengal government here in the presence of Bose’s family members, who have been demanding that information on Netaji who went missing mysteriously 70 years ago be made public. The files are kept in glass cascades in Kolkata Police Museum before they are made accessible to public from Monday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A declassified file contained a letter written by Netaji’s nephew Sisir Kumar Bose to his father and Netaji’s elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose in 1949 that he had information on Netaji going on the air on a radio channel.”Peking Radio announced that Subhas Chandra Bose would broadcast. The radio also gave details regarding the time and wavelength of the broadcast. The Hongkong office tried to listen in according to the details but nothing could be heard. I have asked the guard to let me have further details if possible,” he had written to his father from London on December 12, 1949.The letter was intercepted by Kolkata Police’s intelligence bureau following a government order, according to the declassified files. Netaji’s grand nephew Chandra Bose said they have seen in the files that 14 IB officers were tasked to spy on his father Amiya Nath Bose.”Even Congress leaders close to Netaji and officials of the Indian National Army (INA) were tracked. We have found it from the files,” he claimed.”Why did the Indian government keep our family members, who were reputed citizens and well-known personalities, under surveillance? We demand an inquiry into this from the central government,” he said.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the Police Museum, said that the Netaji files declassified by her government today have letters showing he might have been alive after 1945 when he mysteriously disappeared.”There are letters in the files where some people had said that Netaji might have been alive after 1945 (when he reportedly died in a plane crash),” Banerjee told reporters.”I did not get much time to go through the files. I have seen a bit of it and I have seen letters which were intercepted even after 1945 and documents which indicated that Netaji’s family was snooped upon,” she said. She demanded that the Centre declassify files relating to the nationalist leader and said it is unfortunate that the mystery regarding Netaji’s disappearance has remained unresolved for 70 years.”We do not know what happened (to Netaji). It is unfortunate. How long you can keep it under secrecy ?” Banerjee said.”This (declassification of Netaji files by her government) is the beginning of the future. The people should know the truth. Let the Central government also declassify the files on Netaji. Asked to comment on the perception that India’s relations with some countries might be affected if files on Netaji with the Centre were declassified, the chief minister said “now we have got independence. There is no harm in honouring those leaders who got us independence. We should salute them. Before declassifying the files, we have seen that internationally nothing will happen. If we have bilateral relation with a country, it is necessary to review it.”On whether there might be law and order problem after the declassification, she said, “I don’t think there will be any. It is a mere excuse. If there is any law and order problem, we are there to tackle it.”Netaji had gone missing in 1945 and some of his family members have rejected the theory that he had died in a plane crash in Taihoku airport in Taiwan on August 18 that year.

WB govt to give monetary compensation to 30 lakh farmers who lost crops

Kolkata: The West Bengal government has decided to give monetary compensation to 30 lakh farmers who have lost their crops due to floods in the state.

“Nearly 30 lakh farmers who have suffered partial or full crop damage will get a compensation of Rs 13,500 from the state government,” Pradip Majumdar, Chief Agriculture Advisor to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

More than 11.5 lakh hectares of land has been identified by the state government which has been either fully or partially affected by the floods in the month of August this year.

“Near about 13 lakh hectares of land has been affected either partially or fully. Out of this we have identified 11.5 lakh hectares of land farmers of which are eligible for compensation,” said Mazumdar.

He said that more than 10 lakh farmers had been registered so far who would be eligible for the compensation.

“With the next few days we will be able to complete the list of 30 lakh farmers for their registration,” said Mazumdar.

The compensation of Rs 13,500 would be given to farmers to create new seed bed for cultivation of crops as existing sea beds have been washed away by the floods.

PTI

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