Yuva Sai Sagar

Online news channel!

Author: Siddhartha Rai

RSS, affiliates concerned about economic policies

At a two-day coordination meet between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), its allied organisations associated with various economic aspects, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party was apprised of different concerns which would also go a long way in honing the economic polices of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.The meeting, which concluded on Saturday evening, was attended by RSS’ joint general secretary Krishna Gopal, representatives of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Sahakar Bharati, Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat, and Laghu Udyog Bharati.Representatives of these organisations — different wings of RSS that specialise in ideological and practical aspects of their respective realms — told BJP president Amit Shah as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley about their problems and concerns.”We are not unhappy with the government and we want to say that categorically. This meeting was organised so that they — party and the government — can listen to us and we can listen to them. There were no complaints, only suggestions, and that too from both sides. This was for coordination,” a senior RSS leader told DNA after the meeting.Participating organisations gave their feedback to the government and the party regarding economic polices and how they have worked out with the people.Some of these organisations have been at variance with the government regarding economic policies in the past. Earlier, SJM had pressured the Modi government to regulate imports from China to save indigenous cottage and small and micro industries from falling prey to glut of substandard but cheap produce from the neighbouring country. SJM has also been a longtime critique of the Niti Aayog, alleging that it was populated by experts who were ‘pro-liberalisation’ and ‘anti-people’.The SJM, sources said, had raised its concerns over Chinese imports at the coordination meet. Laghu Udyog Bharati too had joined the SJM over the issue.The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, which has criticised the government for forcing farmers to sell their produce at lower prices, a factor that has angered the farming communities across the country, also raised its concerns regarding farmers’ plight.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Tamil Nadu lags in cable digitisation: I&B

The report of the standing committee on I&B has revealed that though Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata had clocked 100 per cent digitisation of cable TV services, Tamil Nadu was holding up owing to litigation of the ideal of achieving complete digitisation in the four metros.While complete digitisation was sought to be achieved in the four metros by October 31, 2012 in Phase 1 of the four-phase plan devised by the ministry, litigation by Arasu Cable had held up matters there. The same litigation was also responsible for holding up digitisation in Coimbatore, which falls under Phase 2. In the latter phase, which includes 38 cities that have a population of more than a million, it was to be completed by March 31, 2013.For the same reason, Phases 3 and 4 also had been disturbed and complete digitisation was pending. Phase 3, that includes “all other urban areas” apart from Phases 1 and 2 and Phase 4 which includes the rest of India had to reach complete digitisation by the extended time limit of March 31, 2017, but owing to the TN factor, “about 75% digitisation has been achieved in Phase III and IV areas (excluding Tamil Nadu).The ministry also cited “stays/extension granted by some High Courts in a large number of court cases filed in different courts” as hurdles in achieving 100 per cent digitisation. At the request of the ministry, all these cases had been transferred to the Delhi High Court, but the process took “considerable time”. Owing to delays, the ministry extended the deadline for the sake of consumers, but a large number of stakeholders took this for granted, expecting further relaxation. This, the ministry said, caused further delays.”On the cut off date of 31.3.2017 for Phase 4 areas, the progress of digitisation was about 70 per cent (excluding Tamil Nadu),” the report said.The ministry also said that the help of “Authorised Officers”such as DM, SDM, ADM and Commissioner of Police were considered essential to “take action against defaulting cable operators”.HC ORDERSThe I&B ministry also cited “stays/extension granted by some High Courts in a large number of court cases filed in different courts” as hurdles in achieving 100 per cent digitisation.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Usually cordial on Twitter, Sushma Swaraj blocks Cong MP

Twitter-savvy External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has blocked one of her fellow parliamentarians and Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab Partap Singh Bajwa on the social media platform.Bajwa told DNA that Swaraj, otherwise open to helping people who reach out to her on Twitter, had done so as he had been asking her difficult question in the Parliament to nail the Centre’s “lie” on the 39 Indians who had gone missing in Iraq after they were kidnapped by Islamic State and who are considered ‘not dead’ by the external affairs ministry.”This is not the way one of the most senior minister of the government ought to behave. It is our right to ask her questions and it is her duty to respond. I was not even aware of this development. A few days ago, I tried tweeting to the PM and her regarding the plight of Sikhs in the Hangu district of Pakistani Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where they are being forced to convert. To my surprise, I saw that she had blocked me on Twitter,” Bajwa said.”I decided to tweet about it today (Wednesday) because in the intervening days, the Parliament was not working. I follow not her, but the external affairs minister. If she blocks an MP, then it is completely insensitive.”Bajwa also accused the government of trying to hide the truth. “For the past two or three sessions, I have been grappling with her to come clean. The eyewitness is from our Gurdaspur and he told us that all of them had been shot dead in the desert. Swaraj had said that the witness was misleading the government. She has repeatedly said the government will get them back, later claiming that they were all alive and have been tied up as bonded labour in Mosul, but this was repudiated by the Iraqi premier,” said Bajwa.”I believe that she was initially misled. She realised that a false stand had been put up in the Parliament, but now they are not ready to change their stand.”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Identify heroes of 1857, assist their kin, BJP MP tells Centre

In yet another attempt to change the popular perception of Indian history to suit the right wing, BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh Sharad Tripathi has claimed that freedom fighters from the anti-colonial uprising of 1857 were not well-known to the people, and has urged the Centre to identify them and extend benefits to their families.Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have long asserted that the uprising of 1857 — dubbed as the First War of Independence by none other than Sangh ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar — has not been given the pride of place in Indian history, and that the history has been dominated by Gandhi and Nehru under the ‘Congress-Left hegemony’.Balmukund Pandey, organising secretary of RSS’ history rewriting project Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana (ABISY), had earlier told DNA that it was conducting a research to find the national heroes who were missing from Indian history books. Several martyrs from 1857, such as Tantia Tope and Jhalkari Bai, figured in this list.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raked up the issue at a Meerut rally in 2014 accusing the Congress of having ‘insulted’ martyrs by forgetting them.Tripathi too had earlier this year demanded in Parliament that a martyr’s gate be built in Delhi to honour freedom fighters who laid down their lives between 1857 and 1947.A list containing the names of such freedom fighters should be released by the government, he said adding that, so far there was no such authentic record. “While the names of Indian soldiers who fought the World War-II were inscribed by the British on India Gate, there is no such commemoration for the Indians who died for the country’s freedom from 1857 to 1947,” he said.In a similar push, RSS and BJP had in 2008 organised events to commemorate 150 years of 1857.More recently, RSS-affiliated historian Satish Chandra Mittal, associated with ABISY, had said in a seminar this year: “Instead of calling it a revolt, we should rather say it was a fight to protect the Indian culture.”Ironically, Savarkar had considered the Hindus-Muslims unity during the uprising as the cornerstone of Indian nationalism in his book ‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’ first published in 1909.”I believe that India’s fight for Independence began in 1857 led to the freedom in 1947. The government should do a study and recognise such heroes as martyrs. Their family members should be given benefits,” he said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Ahead of poll, BJP alleges MNREGA scam in Tripura

Months ahead of assembly polls in left-dominated Tripura, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the Manik Sarkar government of presiding over a massive scam in the MGNREGA Scheme running into “hundreds of crores” even as a complaint has been lodged with the Rural Development Ministry at the Centre with “all the proof”.The complainant has also threatened to sue the Central Ministry and the secretary “if ministry fails to investigate and punish the culprits”.However, the BJP refused to reveal the name of the complainant for security reasons, but DNA has accessed the complaint. The name, the party said, would be divulged once the time was “ripe”.As per the complaint lodged with the Rural Development Ministry, the scam allegedly was the doing of the state government in collusion with the local administration, BDOs and DCs. BJP alleged that the local officials had to tow the line of the state government for the fear of their lives.”In Tripura, the detailed ‘Social Audit Report’ made by government-appointed ‘Block Resource Persons’ has found that there is rampant corruption in implementation of MG-NREGA schemes. On all major indices, the implementation had flaws,” the complaint said.Citing a survey by Block Resource Persons in Tripura, the complainant has also alleged that “no job cards were issued; no Gram-Sabha resolutions were passed and register not maintained; work provided without demands, only on the basis of verbal political orders; in many cases work has been completed but payment not made; in many cases payment is still not made to suppliers of material; no signboards were displayed at the sites of work with details of work and project; in almost all cases payment was made without technical assistant approval.””With this complaint, I am requesting you to start a high level inquiry of the MG-NREGA in Tripura on the basis of the findings of ‘Social Audit report’ made by ‘Block Resource Persons’ because there is embezzlement of hundreds of crore rupees in the entire state of Tripura and the guilty must be punished to recover misused funds,” the complaint said.”The scam has been going on in the state from 1996 violating the general financial rules of the Government of India. Since they have such iron grip on local administrations no one can question them. We had complained to the EC in 2013 elections. EC had probed the matter and found merit in our complaint. They forwarded the report to the Centre, but the Congress did nothing. It also refused a CBI inquiry. In such an instance in Odisha, SC had observed that pertaining to MNREGA, the Centre can conduct an independent investigation without permission from the State. Then we went to high court. The court has found there were serious irregularities and corruption in MNREGA. HC told the state to conduct an audit. Now the government is dillydallying with the findings of the audit,” Ashok Sinha, Tripura BJP’s spokesperson told DNA.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

At IAS coaching institute, RSS teaches what it protests

Call it helplessness or internal ideological tensions, but the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the fountainhead of right wing cultural nationalism, is teaching aspiring bureaucrats from books by the very same authors it has derided for decades for distorting Indian history and giving it an anti-Hindu, anti-India tilt.At Samkalp IAS, a civil services coaching institute supported by and affiliated to the RSS, aspirants are being taught from books the Sangh Parivar has long opposed for being steeped in either colonial or leftist intellectual traditions.The brochure that the institute hands out shows that integral to the reading lists are anti-RSS scholars as Bipan Chandra in Modern History section, Satish Chandra (no relation) in the Medieval History section, and avowed Leftist scholar RS Sharma in the Ancient History section. Both the Chandras taught at Jawarharlal Nehru University, which the right wing has long targeted as a bastion of Leftist ideology, while Sharma was the founding chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research.Apart from these, the institute also encourages candidates to read older NCERT book instead of later ones commissioned under the NDA-1 regime when debate raged over the so-called ‘saffronisation of history’.The coaching institute attributed the dichotomy to both academic helplessness as well as a paucity of credible works by right wing intellectuals. “We have to teach these books because we have to confirm to the UPSC syllabus. These are the books from which the UPSC asks questions. Now we can’t teach students our brand of books because they will fail the exams,” said an officer of the institute, declining to be named.He rued that there were not enough and credible right wing intellectuals who had written anything which was acceptable and could be taught. “People among us have not produced work of repute,” he added.THE CONTRARIANAspirants are being taught from books the Parivar has long opposed for being steeped in either colonial or leftist intellectual traditions. Reading lists are anti-RSS scholars as Bipan Chandra, Satish Chandra, and Leftist scholar RS Sharma

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

PM Modi meets BJP MPs from Gujarat, Himachal

Even as the choices for chief ministers of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are shrouded in secrecy, BJP MPs from both states met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.”Met party MPs from Himachal Pradesh. Had a wonderful interaction with BJP MPs from Gujarat,” Modi said in tweets.The two sets of MPs felicitated the Prime Minister for the two victories; the party retained Gujarat for a sixth consecutive term and recaptured Himachal after a gap of five years.Also present were party president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The party’s state in-charge Bhupendra Yadav was also present for the Gujarat MPs’ meet, while Union Minister JP Nadda and MP Anurag Thakur were present in the meeting with Himachal MPs.Within the party, the thinking seems to be that there are no ‘moral grounds’ for making Prem Kumar Dhumal the CM, given his electoral loss. He is also just two years shy of the BJP’s 75-year caveat for retirement. The two other top contenders are Nadda and Jai Ram Thakur, a five-time winner.In Gujarat, however, Vijay Rupani is likely to stay on as CM as insiders believe removing him would look like capitulation to Patidar pressure, not to mention that he was projected as the Chief Minister face. Rupani won by a huge margin, beating one of Congress’s strongest candidates.Apart from Vijay Rupani, the other names doing rounds are that of MoS road transport and shipping Mansukh Mandaviya, Vajubhai Vala, the incumbent governor of Karnataka. Ranchodbhai Chanabhai Faldu, who is a Patel leader and won the Kalavad seat is also being projected as a Patidar face.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

DNA EXCLUSIVE | Flashpoint Meghalaya: RSS vs missionaries

Poll-bound Meghalaya is fast emerging as the new flashpoint of conflict between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Christian missionaries. While Sangh-backed body Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) is accusing Christian missionaries with crimes of various hues, the latter have written to several Parliamentarians to raise the ‘hounding by RSS and LRO’ in Parliament as they are under ‘intense pressure from Hindutva forces’.DNA received a mail from North East India Christian Forum wherein the organisation expressed fear of reprisals from LRO after the Prime Minister’ Shillong visit to ‘start BJP campaign’ as it would embolden the RSS-affiliate body.Meanwhile, the Christian Forum wrote: “In a carefully prepared plan, RSS has founded legal activism group called Legal Rights Observatory under command of former RSS Pracharak Vinay Joshi from Mumbai… At present LRO has focused Meghalaya Christians.”Earlier this year, LRO had alleged religious discrimination after Kulam Nongrum — a priest of the local ‘Niam Khasi’ faith — was not allowed to be cremated at the traditional crematory.The organisation had accused missionaries to have ‘used’ children from two schools to foment protest. Responding to the complaint NCPCR had ordered for an enquiry.Emboldened by the LRO campaign, a petition had been filed in the Meghalaya High Court over denial of crematorium to people of indigenous faith, in which case the HC fined several people for “disrespecting” the Constitution on December 7 saying that it never put any restrictions on any person’s faith.”Violent protests were orchestrated forcing the cremation venue to be changed. The violent undemocratic behaviour of Catholics in Meghalaya has now gone beyond tolerance. Indian Catholic leadership is showing inherent animosity, cultured arrogance and nurtured hatred towards indigenous faiths of India,” Vinay Joshi told DNA.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

BJP gears up to make a mark in states not won

In the midst of celebrations after retaining Gujarat and snatching Himachal Pradesh from the Congress, the BJP has not lost sight of the 2019 General elections. The party is now preparing to make deep inroads into Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and the East coast.After a ‘close shave’ in Gujarat, BJP has decided not become complacent. Realising that 2019 might not be a cakewalk for the party, it has renewed its efforts aiming at winning 120-odd seats, and called it Project Coromandal. These seats open a window to make up for the losses it might incur in the northern states.Though the project is a rough reference to a geographical area stretching along the east coast — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal — the North East too has been included in this as a logical political extension.”We cannot afford to be complacent. In UP, we bagged 71 of 80, and in MP we won 27 out of 29. But the point is that we might not be able to better these numbers in 2019 Lok Sabha elections; we may lose some. We need to expand to regions and states where we have not yet made inroads into and where there is scope of expansion. This way we would be able to make up for the losses in the states where we performed spectacularly,” said a senior BJP leader.In the six states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, out of a total of 190 parliamentary seats, BJP bagged only 15 in 2014 despite a saffron sweep in the rest of the country. The party wants to change that in 2019.BJP’S PERFORMANCE IN 2014 POLLSIn the six states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, out of a total of 190 parliamentary seats, BJP bagged only 15 in 2014 despite a saffron sweep in the rest of the country

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat elections 2017: How Amit Shah’s team brought it home for the BJP

Team Amit Shah has delivered once again, wresting Gujarat in a tightly-contested election. This time, it came good on its promise to retain the high-stakes’ bastion of Gujarat. In that group, two men, who besides being the party’s strategists and implementers of stratagems devised by Shah, are also his most trusted lieutenants: national general secretaries Bhupendra Yadav and Anil JainBattle-hardened partymen, both have seen action in previous elections, including Bihar and UP, and enjoy the unquestioned trust of the party’s top bosses. Silently and diligently, they have powered the war efforts of the party under the overall leadership of their party chief while marshaling local resources—men and materials —in Gujarat.Yadav and Jain came together once again in Gujarat to script a crucial win for the party. While Yadav was the party in-charge of the state, Jain was called in two months before the polls to the state.The two came together for the first time in Bihar, and then again in Uttar Pradesh.Jain assiduously oversaw several departments such as media, social media, the feedback system and war room, among others. Booth-level arrangements and constituency-wise meetings were handled by Yadav. The war room was operated of ‘Kamalam’, the official address in Gandhinagar.An extensive feedback system had been put in place by the party. To bolster outreach, national media in-charge Anil Baluni and Sanjay Mayukh had been stationed at Ahmedabad’s media centre. Sambit Patra, a national party spokesman, also camped in the state to handle media and public debates.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat elections 2017: BJP upbeat, gears up for ‘twin wins’

Silently, but diligently, the BJP’s election machinery rolled on a chilly Sunday, with party spokespersons huddled at the headquarters at 11 Ashoka Road, just a day before the fate of its candidates in Guajarat and Himachal Pradesh was to be revealed.As exit polls give the BJP a decisive edge in Gujarat, the mood was upbeat with BJP general secretary in-charge for Gujarat, Bhupendra Yadav, and Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, briefing the spokespersons.According to sources in the party, nearly 30 party workers met at the party office to discuss and finalise the media communication strategy for Monday. They included leaders such as Dalit face of BJP, Bizay Sonkar Shastri, former Union minister Shahnawaz Hussain, the suave Samajwadi Party-turned-BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia, and Zafar Islam.Yadav oversaw communcation management, BJP’s media in-charge Anil Baluni and his deputy Sanjay Mayukh helped.”This meeting is nothing special. We are here only to decide the media strategy for Monday, as it would be a long day. We are deciding the shifts in which the spokespersons would be present here to interact with the media,” a senior BJP leader said.As the results start trickling in from 8 am, most of the party members would be present at the headquarters by 7 am. In the event of a victory, celebrations have been planned, including sweet distribution and cracker bursting.Meanwhile, an eye-catching poster of Congress president Rahul Gandhi was seen hanging right opposite the saffron party’s central office, ostensibly put up by the Youth Congress. The poster had Rahul waving his hand, with the message: “Lead For The India”.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

UPA ministers ignored PM, reported to Rahul Gandhi: Piyush Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal accused Rahul Gandhi of having scuttled developmental projects in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister and the UPA was in power at the Centre.E-mails show that during the Congress-led UPA rule for a decade, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was not the first whip of the Cabinet, but it was Rahul, now president-elect of the Congress, who called the shots.In a second presser, within hours of the first on Wednesday, Goyal showed a series of e-mail correspondence between then Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and Rahul’s political secretary, wherein the minister was found seeking and taking orders from the Gandhi scion.The e-mails also reveal that Natarajan was going behind Manmohan Singh’s back and was not just divulging privileged conversation with the PM to Rahul regarding developments in the ministry and the government, but was also seeking “guidance” from Rahul and his then Congress president mother Sonia Gandhi.Natarajan is also seen seeking time to meet Rahul’s aides.(Email exchange between Rahul Gandhi & Jayanthi Natarajan)Incidentally, Rahul was just a party functionary with no formal role in the government, but he is seen directing a minister on issues of national importance.It goes on to show that the first family of the Congress was in power rather than Manmohan Singh.In an e-mail, Natarajan tells Rahul how she was opposed to the introduction of GM Crops. She also informs in a complaining tone: “However, I have just received a call from the Prime Minister, where although I tried to convince him, he has specifically overruled me…” Also, she briefed Sonia Gandhi on this issue and claims to have sent a note by hand.Goyal cited another e-mail in which “Rahul Gandhi opposed Nirma project and instructed Natarajan to not give environmental clearance. He was willing to kill jobs in Gujarat to undermine and to hurt development agenda of Narendra Modi,” he said.In an e-mail, Rahul instructs Natarajan to not “dilute Nirma” as “Nirma is high priority, especially for Gujarat – no dilution must be allowed”.”A Home grown company was being killed by the petty politics of Rahul Gandhi,” Goyal said. Natarajan presents clarification on this issue, promising to “work tirelessly” to “justify confidence which CP and Rahul have placed” in her.Later, in yet another mail, Kanishka Singh, Rahul’s aide, “reminds” Natarajan that the case was coming up before the SC on December 9 and that “MoEF can move towards closure report”. Natarajan replies that she had already denied clearance to reject the Nirma project and that she had informed Rahul of this by e-mail.Similarly, the then minister admits to briefing Rahul on confidential instructions between her and then PM Manmohan Singh, seeking once more “urgent guidance” on Lavasa from Rahul. She discusses options and asks the Congress leader to be told about this and guidance be given to “proceed further”.In an e-mail, Rahul is seen inquiring about road projects in Amethi and Raebareli when none existed. “Knowledge of Rahul Gandhi was such that he did not know that there was no proposal on Amethi- Rae Bareilly Highway, but he was instructing Jayanthi Natarajan to clear it.”Nevertheless, Natarajan gives a detailed picture on the said file in less than two hours of receiving the e-mail. Also, she promises to immediately clear any proposal when received.In addition, she makes a promise regarding a file pertaining to “a Lucknow to Sultanpur road, which goes via Barabanki and Amethi/National Highway 56”: “I will see that the file is cleared before the end of the month.”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

India pushes for trade, diplomacy with Nigeria

In another move to counter the growing footprint of Chinese trade interests in West African countries, the Modi government has offered Nigeria to take advantage of technology, know-how and imports from India in the agricultural sector as also from the line of credit that India had extended.Union Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday made the offer to his Nigerian counterpart Audu Ogbeh who is on a visit to India.”India will be only too happy to share its experience and expertise in any area of agriculture that Nigeria may identify,” the minister told Ogbeh while appreciating Nigeria’s new initiatives such as the ‘Green Alternative’ initiative which is a roadmap to make Nigeria self-sufficient in agriculture and a major exporter of agricultural products.”For the last few years, India has been the largest trading partner of Nigeria and Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa. There is tremendous potential for further expanding this volume. Nigeria may consider importing fresh grapes, pepper, wheat, maize, rice and cotton,” Singh told his counterpart.Singh conveyed his appreciation to the Nigerian agriculture minister for encouraging Indian companies to explore the opportunities in Nigerian agricultural sector both as investors as well as providers of agri-services, agricultural machinery and technological assistance.”India and Nigeria enjoy warm and friendly relations. The two nations are large developing countries with multi-religious, multi-ethnic societies. We share values such as democracy, pluralist tolerant societies, respect for human rights and rule of law. India would be glad to contribute to Nigerian Government’s priorities in the field of agriculture and allied sectors,” Singh added.Chinese presence in West Africa, including Nigeria which is the most significant country in the military alliance called Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has been on the rise not only in terms of bilateral trade, but soft infrastructure loans to the region.Meanwhile, in 2015 India had announced concessional loans of US $10 billion to African countries. Singh urged the Nigerian minister to take advantage of this concessional loan in the form of Lines of Credits (LoC) and training programmes for agriculture and allied sectors which India was offering. Recently Indian had increased training slots under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme from 200 to 310 annually to Nigeria, which also include short-term training programmes in agriculture and allied sectors.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

DNA EXCLUSIVE: Old tweets reveal Salman Nizami had also mocked Rahul Gandhi

As Gujarat election is turning out to be a season of backstabbing and strange bedfellows, Congress leader Salman Nizami, whose anti-India stance was used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rip into Congress, is ostensibly also a Rahul Gandhi-baiter even while he is rubbing shoulders with Congress’ president-elect and campaigning for him in Gujarat.Several posters appeared in Gujarat on Monday showing Rahul and Nizami together in a pic.DNA accessed screenshots of what was Nizami’s Twitter account, which was protected following the outbreak of the controversy surrounding his anti-India, pro-Kashmiri azadi posts along with such ones which were derogatory to the Prime Minister, that show his tweets ridiculing Rahul for his foreign origin, even cracking a joke showing Rahul’s political understanding in poor light.In a tweet from 2011, Nizami had raised questions about the origins of the Congress president—Rahul’s elevation was announced on Monday after an election that was morally contested by some rebels such as Shehzad Poonawalla rather than any actual rival candidate in the fray.”If Rahul Gandhi is half-Indian…,” Nizami’s tweet had said. He had in the same tweet gone on to also question Omar Abdullah as the latter part of the tweet had said: “…What Omar Abdullah is?”In yet another from 2013, and rather denigrating tweet, Nizami had gone on to crack a joke on Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi. In what was presented as an imaginary conversation between Rahul and Sonia, Nizami had posted: “Rahul Gandhi overheard whispering during the Republic Day parade: Mummy, if the whole army is here, who is guarding the border right now?”While Nizami has maintained that these posts had figured after his account had been hacked, Rahul Gandhi-baiter Poonawalla told DNA that the Congress had been blinded by sycophancy so much so that it had sidelined such “nationalist” Muslims as himself and had promoted the likes of Nizami.”Back in 2013 after I had written an article in a national daily against terrorists, several accounts had been made in my name and I was defamed through them. Again in 2015 such things happened and I had lodged a police complaint,” Nizami said, but these tweets date back to 2011.Meanwhile, Poonawlla told DNA that he had complained about these things regarding Nizami to Rahul Gandhi, but nothing was done. “He (Nizami) rather was promoted as a spokesperson of the party. While the party has been calling television channels and asking them not to call me on air, they have this person close to them. He was active in UP campaign, and now in Gujarat campaign. Is the Congress a hub of separatists?”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

BJP to celebrate Vajpayee’s 93rd b’day as ‘Sushasan Yuva Mahotsav’

The youth wing of the BJP, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), would be commemorating the 93rd birthday of the party’s first Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘Sushasan Yuva Mahotsav’ (Good Governance Fortnight) from December 10 to 25.While the occasion would be used to propagate the achievements of Narendra Modi government, the gamut of pan-India programmes that has been planned would target all sections of the society.”The BJYM is reaching out to youth throughout India to highlight the good governance model of the BJP as well as information related to government’s programmes. The efforts put in by our PM Narendra Modi to improve the lives of the average citizen will bring about positivity among the youth,” said BJYM national president Poonam Mahajan.To target the youth, on the back of whose support the Modi regime came to power, Yuva Samvad (conversation) and Yuva Sammelans (conferences) would be organised in colleges and varsities, apart from Sankalp Goshti (symposia on sanitation).At youth conferences, senior party leaders would address the youth in nearly 150 cities and towns and district headquarters.To impart a renewed push to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation drives involving children and youth would be launched. The youth wing of the ruling party would also honour the safai karamchari’s or sanitation workers as ‘True Swachhta Ambassadors’, in their respective areas.”BJYM’s legal committee would hold publicity programmes about the amendments or changes made in various laws in public interest by the Modi government. Meanwhile, the cultural committee would publicise the government’s achievements through creative cultural groups of respective states,” said BJYM secretary Anoop Antony Joseph.”The sports committee will organise programmes to honour eminent and excellent sportspersons at district and state levels during this period and uprise the people about the decisions taken by government to promote sports in the country. BJYM will also run social media campaigns at various levels during the period and publicise the achievements of Modi government,” Anoop said.SWACHH PUSHTo impart a renewed push to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation drives involving children and youth would be launched as part of the programmes. The youth wing of the ruling party would also honour the safai karamchari’s or sanitation workers as ‘True Swachhta Ambassadors’, in their respective areas.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat elections 2017 | Gujarat is war between Ram Rajya & Rome Rajya: Virendra Singh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday raised the issue of the letter issued by Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, Archbishop Thomas Macwan. It claimed that the appeal in the letter was akin to alleged support given by Pope to fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in Italy.”The electoral fight in Gujarat is a war between Ram Rajya and Rome Rajya,” said Virendra Singh, chief of BJP’s Kisan Morcha, as he was in Capital before returning to Gujarat on campaign.”In 1929 the Pope in Rome had made an appeal for the victory of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. In the same way Macwan urged the Christians to vote against nationalist forces. So in a way this is also a war between the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and what dictator Mussolini stood for,” Singh said.”Our ideal is Ram Rajya which was expounded by Mahatma Gandhi in the concepts of swadeshi and village self-reliance which he tried to flesh out after independence. This very model has been taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Singh said.Singh accused the ‘Rome Rajya’ to be violent and disruptive. “On the other hand, Rome Rajya is inspired by money, pistol and dynasty,” Singh said in an oblique reference to the Italian origins of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.Singh alleged that the Nehru-Gandhi family was trying to implement and perpetuate Rome Rajya.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

DNA EXCLUSIVE | Gujarat elections 2017: Now, Shehzad Poonawalla vs Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat

Facing a tough challenge to its hegemony of over two decades in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to cement its chances with help from all quarters, some of them quite interesting. The latest to join the BJP bandwagon — although not openly — is Congressman-turned-Rahul-Gandhi-critic Shehzad Poonawalla, who recently launched a direct challenge to Congress dynasticism as he questioned Rahul Gandhi’s elevation to the top party post in a “sham election”. Poonawalla now hopes to deal a body blow to the Congress plan to dethrone the BJP on the Prime Minister’s home state by starting an anti-Rahul campaign from Rajkot on December 8.Having decided take a plunge into the muddied waters of Gujarat elections, Poonawalla hopes to do to the Congress what Hardik Patel is trying to do to the BJP — upset the applecart.Poonawalla’s campaign, he asserts, is aimed at defeating “Congress’s dynastic moorings, though not to ensure BJP victory”.”On December 8, I shall sound the bugle against the Aurangzeb of Congress in Rajkot. I will hold a press conference on the theme ‘Asli Congress bachao, Vanshwad ko hatao’ (save the real Congress and remove dynasticism). The first challenge to Congress’ internal emergency which runs in the DNA of Rahul Gandhi needs to start from the state which first challenged Indira Gandhi’s Emergency of 1975 . This will be a pan-India campaign in which I shall be joined by all Congressmen and party sympathisers who agree with my cause,” Poonawalla said.But, Poonawalla doesn’t plan to stop once Gujarat elections are over. He wants to adopt the same strategy in the Gandhi family bastion of Amethi in the 2019 general elections.As much a matter of Gandhi-Nehru prestige as winning Gujarat is for the BJP, the Maharashtra Congress leader would campaign among the people of Amethi to defeat the Gandhi scion, though not as a rival candidate.”Rahul Gandhi will be the first illegal and unconstitutional president in the history ofthe Congress. Therefore it will be observed as a Black Day. Thousands and thousands of Congress supporters will change the display picture on their social media handles to black. My supporters will protest across India wearing black clothes. The Rajkot campaign will culminate in Amethi in 2019,” Poonawalla told DNA.We shall be working day in and day out for the success of the party across all Lok Sabha seats in India, but for one, Amethi. As I shall depose the Aurangzeb of Congress from Amethi, Congress activists will displace him from Akbar Road in Delhi,” Poonawalla asserted.He is also planning to challenge Rahul’s election as Congress president legally. Poonawalla claimed that he has sought the advice of several former Chief Election Commissioners to explore grounds on which Rahul’s elevation to the post of Congress president can be challenged in a court of law.”From moral to legal, I will make this a public challenge for the Shehzada (Rahul Gandhi) and his cronies within the Congress party. I am ready to fight this in the court of the people ultimately,” he said.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

RSS brings ‘nationalist’ publishers to fair

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has planned a book blitz at the upcoming Delhi Book Fair, which kicks off from January 6, 2018. The Right-wing fountainhead of cultural nationalism has assembled an entire spectrum of ‘nationalist’ publishers, who will come together on one stall to showcase the literature pertaining to Indian nationalism.This fair-within-fair has been titled ‘Rashtriya Sahitya Sangam’ (National Literature Confluence). It has been described by Suruchi Prakashan, as a “joint literary endeavour of nationalist publishers and promoters of Hinduism and Bharatiya culture from across the country”.The book show carries such significance for the right wing that top RSS functionaries, such as joint general secretary Krishna Gopal and Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya, are expected to unveil it.”Given the number of books that would be showcased in this confluence, we have rented 10 stalls at Pragati Maidan. Recently, there has been a spurt in the number of people, especially the youth, curious to read about the RSS.Therefore, this would be a place where most of that literature in diverse languages, such as Telugu, Malyalam, and Odiya can be found under one roof,” RSS’ Delhi Prachar Pramukh Rajiv Tuli told DNA.Ten publishers from across India and from different linguistic backgrounds will be participating in this sangam. Suruchi Prakashan from Delhi, Archna Prakashan from Bhopal, Sahitya Sadhna Trust from Ahmedabad, Bharatiya Sanskriti Prachara Samiti from Cuttack, Sahitya Niketan from Hyderabad, Gyan Ganga Prakashan from Jaipur, Shri Bharati Prakashan from Nagpur, Kurukshetra Prakashan from Kochi, RSS’ prime organisation working in the Valley, the Jammu Kashmir Study Centre from Delhi, and Sanskrit Bharati will participate in the show.The Right wing has for long been decrying the ‘Marxist-Macaulian’ bent in the Indian education system as well as the hegemony of such literature in the curricula. Conversely, they have long contested this dominance through several publishing houses, especially in the vernacular and non-English languages. This would be the first time that most of such publishing houses of the country will come together and make a definite pitch against the likes of global publishing behemoths, given the latter’s presence at the Delhi Book Fair, which is second only to the Kolkata Book Fair in historicity.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Thanks to Narendra Modi govt, 10 crore farmers now have soil health cards

Gujarat elections apart, the Narendra Modi government is silently penetrating and empowering its core votebank — the peasants. In a blitz planned to be unveiled on World Soil Day on December 5, the Ministry of Agriculture will celebrate its feat of having distributed soil health cards (SHC) to 10 out of the 12 crore farmers in India.The ministry has roped in veteran Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar to feature in videos prepared to sensitise and ensure pan-India SHC usage. The actor, ministry sources said, didn’t take payment for the ad campaign. The SHCs have already covered 95 per cent of the total agricultural expanse of the country.Adding another feather to the Modi dispensation after the runaway success of such of flagship schemes as Ujjawala and Mudra, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh would be launching a mobile app on Tuesday in Jhajjhar district of Haryana through which farmers will have access to all information on soil health cards. Ministry officials will travel the length and breadth of the country with smartphones and feed details of farmers and their crop patterns to the app; crops will also be registered. The results of the soil tests will be published on the app, which the farmers can refer to.”The ministry will be organising farmer sammelans at the districts level via the Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The agenda will be to popularise the use of SHCs by putting up hoardings and distributing leaflets across the country. News and television channels have also been roped in to spread the message,” the minister said.Singh also attacked the previous UPA regimes for neglecting soil health and agriculture, as such. “In the previous seven years, before we came to power, the UPA allocated Rs 75 crore towards soil testing. No one knows what happened to the fund. No parameters were set, neither were the states given any money. In the last three years of UPA, before the NDA came to power, there were just 15 soil testing labs; we have installed over 1000 more in the past three and a half years,” he said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in one of the editions of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ underlined the significance of the soil tests for agricultural growth, and the ministry has planned the health tests of the soils across the country to be a biennial exercise.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Remembering 26/11: Rahul Gandhi questions Narendra Modi’s ‘hugplomacy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A political slugfest erupted on the eve of 26/11 Mumbai attacks after to-be-Congress-president Rahul Gandhi took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the United States passed a law to de-link Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) from the Haqqani terror network. The Gandhi scion mocked the PM’s diplomacy of personal closeness with US President Donald Trump as ‘hugplomacy’ which he claimed had failed.Gandhi’s tweet also chided the ruling dispensation on how despite its US diplomacy Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed walked free from house arrest in Pakistan on Friday.Gandhi tweeted: “Narendrabhai, baat nahi bani. Terror mastermind is free. President Trump just de-linked Pak military funding from LeT. Hugplomacy fail. More hugs urgently needed.”Retorting sharply, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called Gandhi a ‘known sympathiser’ of LeT, and alleged that his habits of sympathising with the terror outfit had not changed.”Rahul baba, aadatein nahi badli hain (habits have not changed). For once, stand with the country & not with terrorists as is your habit. You are a known sympathiser of LeT. WikiLeaks & Ishrat Jahan case cover-up exposed your links. BTW, have you congratulated your ‘Hafeez Saheb on his release yet?,” tweeted BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao.The BJP leader also cited a 2010 WikiLeaks expose in which the whistleblower had claimed that Rahul Gandhi, then Congress general secretary, had told the then US ambassador Timothy Roemer that radical Hindu groups were a bigger threat to India than some Muslim support to LeT.”Here is proof that Rahul Gandhi is an apologist for LeT, and is the architect of ‘Hindu Terror’, ‘Saffron terror’, ‘Hafiz Saheb’, ‘Osamaji’ terms mouthed by Sushil Kumar Shinde & @PChidambaram_IN @digvijaya_28,” Narsimha continued in another tweet.In yet another tweet, Narsimha reminded the Congress leader of how affidavits had been changed in Ishrat Jahan case. “Was it not on Family’s orders that @PChidambaram_IN changed affidavits giving a clean chit to LeT operative Ishrat Jahan killed in assassination bid on @narendramodi ji? What was @INCIndia ‘s motive in bailing out LeT, Ishrat ignoring NSA? Rahul, speak up!,” Narsimha’s tweet said.Ex-NSA M K Narayanan had claimed last year that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) knew of Jahan’s LeT links, but wondered why the then government had changed affidavits in her case.

J&K parleys: RSS makes wishlist clear

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The RSS had made its wishlist clear for what it expects from newly-appointed Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma. No preference to separatist elements and equal weight for the public opinion of all the regions of the state, not just the Valley, are at the heart of the rightwing thinking.Chief RSS affiliate working in Kashmir, Jammu Kashmir Study Circle (JKSC), told DNA that the interlocutor needed to approach the people of the state as a “common man himself” and not be overwhelmed with the separatist narrative that is “current in just five districts of the Valley”.JKSC believes that former spymaster Sharma must not give any preferential treatment to the Hurriyat leaders. “We are not saying that Hurriyat leaders must not be talked with. But, they must not be given any preference over others or they must not be considered as the sole voice of Kashmir. If they wish they can approach the interlocutor and express their views, but Sharma must not invite them especially,” said JKSC media director Abha Khanna.”Hurriyat has lost the trust and support of the people and that needs to be made clear,” Khanna said. “Sharma must ask them why their children have not been throwing stones, and are the legatees of state patronage in the form of government jobs and properties across the country.”Khanna also told DNA that there were such nascent yet powerful and numerically dominant sections among the common people of the state who want to come to the mainstream and yet were unable to sound their views due to threat perception from the separatists.”Anybody who wants to get a real sense of Kashmir, they must go as a non-entity, not as a journalist and not as a bureaucrat or as a politician. One should go like a tourist and go around and about on the day of a bandh call by the separatists. Then you shall see that life goes normally without being effected, only some shop shutters will be seen closed. That is the real Kashmir,” Khanna said.”There is a growing civil society in the state which so far has not been allowed to grow. It is nascent, but numerically powerful and must be taken into consideration by the interlocutor. They have not been able to come in the public realm openly due to the fear psychosis created by the separatists. They must be reached out to because they shall not be able to dare to approach Sharma on their own,” the JKSC director said. “Some such groups are women or villagers whose problems are civic and not separatism.”Moreover, the RSS-backed body wants an end to the dehyphenation of the Valley from the other regions of the state such as Kargil and Ladakh. “The state is diverse; the people of Kargil or Doda or Ladakh or Jammu are equal to those in the Valley. Why should their voice not command equal weight,” Khanna added.Meanwhile, Sharma would be back in the Valley on November 26. He would be visiting Mufti’s constituency and south Kashmir.

Gujarat elections 2017: RSS body moves EC against Archdiocese of Gandhinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS-affiliated Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) has moved the Election Commission (EC) against Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, Archbishop Thomas Macwan, for releasing a signed communique which urged to “save secularism” and Indian from the “nationalist forces”, which were on the “verge of taking over the country”.Though no party has been named, yet the allusions to BJP and RSS are more than obvious. LRO has lodged a formal complaint with the EC, alleging a paid news angle behind the communique released on November 21. In the letter, which was accessed by DNA, the rightwing legal body has called for an inquiry and demanded action against the priest.”With this complaint, I urge you to immediately take action against Bishop and thwart his attempts to divide Gujarat voters on the bases of caste, creed and religion. As the statement is highly biased against ruling party, paid news angle should be investigated and due action be taken against those guilty,” said LRO convenor and former RSS pracharak Vinay Joshi.While the communique referred to atrocities on the poor, OBC and minorities and claimed that Constitutional rights were being violated in the current regime, the LRO letter accused the priest of trying “his best to generate fear among voters”, apart from trying “to divide voters on the basis of caste and creed” and “spreading the rumors to create clashes between various social groups and also making baseless allegations against Nationalists Forces”.Calling the remarks “highly provocative and objectionable” which “directly aimed at demonising certain organisations…obliquely appealing electorate to vote against ruling BJP”, LRO wants Macwan prosecuted under the Representation of the People Act-1951.In the communique, the priest had also asked Christians to pray for divine intervention, and as Gujarat elections “could make a difference”, it also urged the people to select and vote for candidates who would uphold the Constitution and safeguard people against discrimination. Earlier, the same LRO had lodged another such complaint with the EC during Goa elections against Goa Catholic Bishop’s magazine under RP Act 1951.”While studying the matter of indulgence of Catholic Church and other Christian bodies in electioneering in India violating RP Act 1951, I have come across several instances and I shall be bringing them in front of the Election Commission,” said Joshi.IN GOD WE TRUSTIn the communique, the priest had also asked Christians to pray for divine intervention, and as Gujarat elections “could make a difference”, it also urged the people to select and vote for candidates who would uphold the Constitution and safeguard people against discrimination.

Cong wants minority status for Hindus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a development that might disrupt the Majority versus Minority debate in India, Congress leader in Maharashtra, Shehzad Poonawalla, has demanded that the governments in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir grant minority status to Hindus in their respective states.In a scathing response to Poonawalla’s statement, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) called for the abolition of the minority status in the country altogether. The VHP accused the Congress of trying to divide Hindus and the Indian society.In a sharp reaction, VHP’s international joint general secretary Surendra Jain said: “The Supreme Court has observed in a case pertaining to the status of Jains as minority that minoritism must be done away with. In India, we must have equal rights according to our Constitutional status as citizens. We warn the Minority Commission that nothing like this must happen, or we shall campaign for the commission to be scrapped. The Congress is trying to divide the Indian society once more,” Jain said.

RSS gives another shot to end ‘separatist’ narrative in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has made yet another attempt to expand the dialogue on Kashmir and end the “separatist narrative” that identifies the state with just the Valley as an affiliated body would be celebrating the birth centenary of the best known Buddhist lama of Ladakh Kushok Bakula Rinpoche.The RSS has always maintained that the mainstream narrative regarding Kashmir was exclusivist, having over-emphasised the significance of the Valley, while not giving due pride of place, political as well as social, to the other regions of the state, such as Kargil and Ladakh, which constitute majority of the state. Such, narrative, RSS believes gives more say to the separatists voices. The move attains political significance as the Centre had recently appointed former top spy Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor in Kashmir.RSS’ primary affiliate working in Kashmir, Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC), in association with Himalayan Sanskriti Sanrakshan Sabha would be celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche on November 23.According to JKSC functionaries, while Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan would inaugurate the event, RSS leader Suresh Soni would be the chief guest on the occasion. What lends more weight to the commemoration is the representation of the state, most probably by deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.”Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will be inaugurating the centenary celebrations of Buddhist saint Kushok Bakula. The 19th Kushok Bakula is recognized by the 13th Dalai Lama as a direct disciple of Gautam Buddha and is popularly considered as the architect of modern Ladakh, the largest region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kushok Bakula Lobzang Thupten Chognor is considered as GOD figure in Ladakh, Russia, Tibet and Mongolia because of his social and spiritual contributions,” said Abha Khanna, JKSC’s Director (Media).The acclaimed Buddhist saint was also a statesman and diplomat. He was elected to the Parliament, and was deeply engaged with welfare, education and rights of Scheduled Castes and Tribes of India. In his later years, he became India’s Ambassador in Mongolia. In 2005, the Leh airport was renamed as the Kushok Bakula Airport.

Gujarat elections 2017: ‘Man-to-man marking’ campaign by RSS, VHP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Gujarat elections approach, all quarters of the right-wing have swung into action to deliver the state to the BJP, including the RSS and the VHP.According to sources, the Hindutva organsiations have launched a campaign of ‘man-to-man marking’ as part of mass contact strategy to rally voters in Gujarat. VHP’s Gujarat chapter’s general secretary Ranchhod Bharwad told DNA that functionaries were constantly touring the state and holding ‘pravas’ in different regions of the poll-bound state to establish direct contact with people. A door-to-door campaign, according to VHP’s international joint general secretary Surendra Jain, had been launched in the state. “Our goal is to deliver the state to the nationalist forces and that we shall do. We are contacting people not via big rallies but through direct door-to-door contact to establish a personal connect,” Jain told DNA.The organisations are also engaged in reaching out to the youths through their already running programmes or ‘prakalps’ and have made it a point to make sure that the youth come out to vote and “honour democracy”.

Elated BJP hails Moody’s upgrade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Elated at Moody’s upgradation of India’s sovereign credit rating, party president Amit Shah attributed it to “PM Modi’s policy of reforms and their effective implementation”. “The fact that the rating has been upgraded after 13 years shows how the Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh government had destroyed the economic structure of the country,” Shah said.Reminding that recently India had improved 30 places in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking, Shah said, “PM Modi has laid the foundation of a new India in the past three-and-a-half years,” said Shah, adding, “During the Congress regime, the country witnessed being categorised among the Fragile-5 whose economies were in problems, but they were also a danger for the global economy.”Claiming that government during Congress rule was afflicted by “policy paralysis”, Shah said all economic parameters had seen an upward swing under the Modi government. “Consumer inflation is progressively decreasing, the fiscal deficit is down from 5.9 per cent of the GDP to only 3.5 per cent, FDI inflow has shown record increase while the government is consistently moving towards fiscal consolidation.”Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed the upgrading as ‘belated recognition’ of reforms undertaken, saying that the reform agenda would continue with emphasis on higher spending on infrastructure and in rural areas. He said the government “intends to stay the course on fiscal consolidation in the medium term” .”We welcome (the upgrade) and believe that it is a belated recognition of all the positive steps taken in India in the last few years which have contributed to the strengthening of the Indian economy,” the FM said. “It is extremely encouraging that there is an international recognition (of reforms) and the fact that this recognition merely furthers our determination to follow the track we have embarked upon. The upgrade has not happened in isolation and for the last three years the India has been the fastest growing major economy,” he added.Jaitley said the upgrade recognised the major economic and institutional reforms undertaken by the government as he listed some such as GST, sound monetary policy framework, recapitalisation of public sector banks, demonetisation and use of Aadhaar to bring formalisation and digitalisation in the economy.Meanwhile, Railway and Coal minister Piyush Goyal congratulated the FM, PM and the people of the country over the upgrade on behalf of the party.”Our dharma is to stay on path of good governance and effective delivery to people of India. Endorsements, rating upgrade, certification, surveys, election results are incidental. We are working for people of India and people have endorsed us,” Goyal said. He said the number of BJP-supported government went up from six in 2014, to 18. “By next month they will be 19 and we are fast transitioning to a corruption-free and, therefore, a Congress-free India.”Reforms outcomeJaitley said the upgrade recognised the major economic and institutional reforms undertaken by the government as he listed some such as GST, and recapitalisation of public sector banks.

RSS affiliate organises Tawang pilgrimage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though India-China relations are not at an all time high, but the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will be holding Tawang Pilgrimage from November 19 to 24. The pilgrimage has been organised by RSS-affilate Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch. RSS pracharak Indresh Kumar is the chief patron of this body. During the pilgrimage, devotees are taken across several holy places in Northeast India till the Indo-Tibet border where they perform dharti pujan or worship the land which is seen as a form of protest against Chinese aggression in 1962 and the annexation of Tibet.Indresh Kumar is one of the most vocal anti-China voices in the RSS and was instrumental in organising massive anti-Chinese goods rallies and symposiums across the country. The pilgrimage is set to cover a lot of places in Arunachal Pradesh that has been at the core of boundary disputes between India and China. High on nationalistic undertones, one of the most celebrated destinations in the entire pilgrimage is Jaswantgarh, the place where rifleman Jaswant Rawat showed exemplary courage during the Indo-China war. Rawat was awarded Maha Vir Chakra posthumously. Despite China being sensitive about the state, the pilgrimage would go through Bhalukpong, called the gateway of Arunachal Pradesh. Another stop is Bomdila which was captured by the Chinese forces of aggression in 1962.

Gujarat elections: BJP’s first list of candidates shows trust in old war horses, several sitting MLAs get ticket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party put paid to at least some speculation as it came out with its first list of 70 candidates for the Gujarat assembly elections. The list shows both cautions as well as trust in old war horses of the party.Prima facie the list reflects party strategy to come out with its most trusted candidates or such that it feels would be in the safe zone in the polls. As just about half the seats have been taken care of, it also goes on to show that the party is still in the cautious and not a celebratory mood, taking its time to deliberate and read more signs from the ground and taking a last minute feedbacks.A cursory perusal shows that the party has more or less repeated its candidates, at least, on most if the symbolically significant seats.Chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani has been given ticket from the Rajkot West seat. While a couple of other seats in Rajkot have also been declared.Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Bhai Patel has once again given a chance from the hot seat of Mehsana which was one of the most disturbed during the Patidar agitation.Sitting MLA Jayeshbhai Radadiya too has got a ticket from Patidar dominated area of Jetpur. Radadiya is a fairly popular figure in the constituency.Sitting MLAs – Pabubha Virmbha Manek and Jashabhai Banabhai Bar have got tickets from the holy towns of Dwarka and Somnath respectively.In the controversial town of Godhra, the party has poised faith in a sitting BJP MLA and five-time legislator, KC Raulji.From Valsad sitting MLA Bharat Bhai Patel has once again got a chance.The expectant candidates of the party have been on the tenterhooks as sources said the party had decided to axe several sitting and non-performing MLAs, as well as a few sitting ministers. The Patidar question is one of the biggest for the party as there are 45 seats out of 182 that have Patidar majority. Patidars comprise nearly 17% of the population and BJP presently has 44 out of 45 Patidar-dominated seats.

DNA EXCLUSIVE: In run-up to 2019, BJP to celebrate peasant leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an eye on the 2019 general elections and under fire from Opposition over farmers’ plight, BJP is planning to hold nationwide ‘Kisan Parliaments’ to establish a direct line of communication, or ‘kisan samvad’, with agriculturists.What’s more, the party is going beyond caste and party lines to appropriate the legacy of India’s tallest peasant leaders.The saffron outfit’s Kisan Morcha or farmers’ wing will spearhead the campaign in which the party will identify fabled peasant leaders on whose birth anniversary the parliaments will take place. The venue will be the birthplaces of these leaders.The decision in this respect was taken at a recent meeting called Kisan Samvad Baithak under morcha chief Virendra Singh, and also attended by BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao, said Kisan Morcha spokesperson Rakesh Singh.”We are not just trying to strike a direct conversation with the farmers of the country, but at the same time want to celebrate the great tradition of farming and agriculture as reflected in the teachings of these great peasant leaders. We have identified such icons cutting across party lines and across caste lines,” Singh said.The =campaign will be launched on December 23, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh who, ironically, was staunchly an anti-RSS and anti-Jana Sangh politician. The first Kisan parliament will be organised at Singh’s birthplace in Noorpur in Uttar Pradesh.While the party had celebrated Singh’s birth anniversary last year too as a way to garner Jat support in western UP before state polls, this time around the event has been transformed into a pan-India campaign to cover other significant figures too.Other peasant leaders identified for the campaign include freedom fighter Swami Sahajanand, who was born in Ghazipur in UP, and Jhinguri Singh and Baba Ram Chandra from Awadh.While Baba Ram Chandra was instrumental in rallying peasants against the Raj and landholding talukdars in general, Singh had organised the first’Kisan Sabha’ in his village Rure in Gorakhpur in UP in the early 1920s.Baba Ram Chandra was originally from Maharashtra but started organising peasants in Pratapgarh in UP after he became a sadhu in Ayodhya. His celebration and the consequent farmers meet will be held in Pratapgarh.

BJP brings back ‘potato factories’ to slam Rahul Gandhi, asks how can he talk about farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Gujarat elections date nears, the BJP is sharpening its attack against the Congress. The ruling party launched a scathing attack on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and his recent pro-farmer stance.BJP’s Kisan Morcha chief Virendra Singh said that Gandhi was “ancestrally” anti-farmer.“While Bardoli peasant leader Sardar Patel was busy securing the integrity of India post-independence, Jawaharlal Nehru was busy writing love letters to Lady Mountbatten and signing documents of the Partition. While BJP leaders go to the fields after Parliamentary sessions, Rahul Gandhi retreats to his romantic escapades,” the MP said.He appealed to the peasants of the poll-bound state not to be misled by Gandhi “whose family had dishonoured Gujarat and such of its icons as Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi.”“While Gandhi wanted to preserve the nation’s villages, pro-foreigner and pro-urban Nehru and Indira Gandhi were busy destroying that vision,” Singh added.The peasant leader from UP also said that a crack team of Kisan Morcha, to be called ‘Kisan Sena’, would be launching an all out campaign in Gujarat from November 20 to demolish the “lies being spread by Rahul Gandhi” and to take the pro-farmer schemes of the Narendra Modi government to the farmers.Invoking history, Singh said that while Nehru did not let Sardar Patel become the Prime Minister, his daughter Indira Gandhi did the same to Morarji Desai.“The Congress party has always dishonoured Gujarat and its icons. It was also from Gujarat that the first voices of protest against Indira’s Emergency came under the leadership of Jayprakash Narayan and Morarji. They were both incarcerated for 19 months,” Singh said.Citing that PM Modi came from a humble background and that he too was hounded by the Congress government at Centre when he was the state’s chief minister, Singh said political-social activist Amit Shah was put in jail for two years.“How can Rahul even talk of the farmers of India. His father had appealed the farmers to sow jaggery in fields meant for sugarcane farming while he talks about potato factories.”The senior BJP leader said that while the Modi government was the first ever in history to have allocated 42 per cent of the budget towards the farm sector and farmers’ welfare, the Congress governments had not allocated even half that amount.

Porbandar: Pakistan releases 68 fishermen, arrested in 2014

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While tensions between India and Pakistan are high, the release of 68 fishermen by the rogue neighbour in the nick of time for the upcoming Gujarat elections has given Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image a big push among the fishermen community of the state. But, they also want the Centre to solve the Sir Creek boundary issue with Pakistan immediately so that Indian fishermen can have a definite idea of where the international boundary would be crossed.“We are extremely proud to have Narendra Bhai as our Prime Minister as his dealing with Pakistan has been such that many of our fishermen brothers who were arrested by Pakistan for accidentally veering into international waters have been released since 2014,” said Porbandar Machchimar Boat Association chief Bharat Bhai Modi.“Last time when Narendra Modi had invited Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony, Pakistan had released some boats as well as prisoners,” said Modi.But, fishermen community believes that the unclear boundary between the two countries is at the heart of the problem. “From different ports of fishing in India, the international borders at at different distances. This confuses the fishermen and they get lost at sea. Moreover, we cant control sea waves which at times take us across the border,” said Jeevan Bhai Jungi, former president of the association.According to the association, while Pakistan released 68 Indian fishermen in October this year as a gesture of goodwill. Pakistan had released 438 Indian fishermen between December 2016 and January 2017 from the Landhi and Malir jails in Karachi. However, another 55 were arrested by Pakistan on November 12.

Railways set to achieve track renewal target this year: Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For ensuring the safety of passengers, Indian Railways is diverting new tracks to replace the old ones instead of just laying down new lines.Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said ensuring safety and security of passengers was top priority of the government. “New tracks are being diverted for track renewal. This government is so committed to the task at hand that there are no budget constraints. There is no limit of money that Railways can spend on passenger safety,” Goyal said.While the move is significant against the backdrop of several train derailments in the recent past, Goyal also said that after a long time 2017-18 would be the first year when Railways would be able to achieve track renewal targets. “After many many years this will the first time that Railways will achieve track renewal target set at the begining of the year,” the minister said.Recently, Railways had floated a global tender for procuring 7 lakh metric tonnes of rails for track renewal.Moreover, sources in the ministry said that in order to uplift passenger experience, the national carrier was in the process of procuring and installing one lakh television screens at stations across the country.Sources also added that apart from this, to add to passenger comfort the railways would be installing several lakhs more chairs at the top 1,000 or 1,500 railways stations where footfall was highest.Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to all MPs to set aside a portion of their MPLADS funds for providing better amenities at stations under their constituencies.

No testing waters here, Guj fishermen are all praise for Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The fishermen of Gujarat laud Prime Minister Narendra Modi for showing diplomatic spine in front of Pakistan and getting their brethren and boats locked away there released.But, they also want the Centre to solve the Sir Creek boundary issue with Pakistan immediately so that Indian fishermen can have a definite idea of where the international boundary would be crossed.”We are extremely proud to have Narendra Bhai as our Prime Minister as his dealing with Pakistan has been such that many of our fishermen brothers who were arrested by Pakistan for accidentally veering into international waters have been released since 2014. We had led several representations to Manmohan Singh but to no avail. But, since 2014 many fishermen have been released,” said Porbandar Machchimar Boat Association chief Bharat Bhai Modi.According to the association, while Pakistan released 68 Indian fishermen in October this year as a gesture of goodwill, another 55 were arrested by Pakistan on November 12. Pakistan has released 438 Indian fishermen between December 2016 and January 2017 from the Landhi and Malir jails in Karachi. “Last time when Narendra Modi had invited Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony, Pakistan had released some boats as well as prisoners,” said Modi.But, fishermen community believes that the unclear boundary between the two countries is at the heart of the problem. “From different ports of fishing in India, the international borders at different distances. This confuses the fishermen and they get lost at sea. Moreover, we can’t control sea waves which at times take us across the border,” said Jeevan Bhai Jungi, former president of the association.However, the fishermen are peeved at Pakistan seizing their boats and auctioning them away to its own fishermen which leaves the affected families in India without any means of livelihood. “These boats cost us over Rs 50 lakh and it is not possible to keep making them once seized. It is beyond means of fishermen,” said Jungi.Another problem the fishermen face is the increasing industrialisation along the Gujarat coast. “Who wants to risk going close to international boundary and get caught and rot in Pakistani jails. But, we are now forced to take the risk. Due to incessant dumping of effluents from these industrial units, coastal fish are no more. We are compelled to venture into deep waters. A decade ago we used to go and come back in a day, now we have to camp in the high seas for nearly a month to make the trip profitable,” Jungi, who was the association head for nine years in a row, said.

Beside ro-ro ferry, Gogha fishermen reel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The contrast could not have been more stark. While PM Modi’s ambitious Gogha-Dahej ro-ro ferry terminal stands tall reflecting a new India, the adjoining Gogha village gets drinking water once every fortnight, at times only once a month.The village, known for its fishermen community — mostly OBC Kolis, but also Muslims — is a picture of neglect where basic amenities are nearly absent but for the toilets built under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Politically the Kolis are dominant and BJP’s Purushottam Solanki is the local MLA.“We have the facility of piped drinking water, but the problem is we get drinking water supply once in 15 days and at times just once in a month. There is no development in the village as everything seems paralysed by local politics between BJP and Congress,” said Machchimar Boat Welfare Association head Dinesh Gulabbhai Vegad.“The rich are very liberal to let the poor take water from their tanks. The other option is water supplied in big cans which come at Rs 20 per can,” said Pravin Kumar Lallubhai Mer. Fed up with the life, he has joined the Army.While jetty of the ro-ro service is a modern marvel of engineering, stretching for a couple if kilometres inside the sea, the jetty for the fishermen is not just dilapidated, it is no more, having crumbled down to the last brick.“We have been demanding a new jetty for the last 5-6 years, but to no avail,” Vegad said.

Rahul Gandhi’s soft-Hindutva push may not cut ice in Saurashtra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress does not want to wrest Gujarat, rather aims to depose Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and thus harm Hindus, feels Saurashtra, a sentiment that has made the assembly polls that much more difficult for the Grand Old Party.In the battle of perception in Gujarat, the BJP seems to have gained a rather massive edge over the Congress as the polls have turned into a matter of the fate of Hindus in the country, and the residents of the state feel that the responsibility for ensuring that rests on their shoulders now.While Congress’ pro-minority stance has further bolstered the perception, Rahul Gandhi’s attempts to appeal to soft Hindutva — the Gandhi scion started his Gujarat campaign from Dwarkadheesh temple; visited Patel-fave Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar on Saturday, and is slated to visit Ambaji temple in Banaskantha — does not seem to have cut much ice with Gujaratis.”Narendra Bhai is the flag-bearer of Hindutva. If he loses, Hindus will lose in India. The responsibility of the future of Hindus in India now lies on our shoulders and we shall not let them down,” said Balbhadra Singh, a resident from the temple town of Dwarka. “It means nothing if Rahul Gandhi came here. Where was he till now? This temple has been here for ages, but he did not remember to visit it once before elections,” Singh added.”The Congress has plunged so seriously in the Gujarat elections not because it wants to install its government in the state. The Gujarat model made Narendra Modi the Prime Minister. Gujarat is the pivot of the Modi narrative. Congress wants to undermine that by defeating BJP here. They know that BJP’s loss here will be the loss of Narendra Modi. But, they have forgotten that Narendra Modi is the saviour not just of Gujarat but of all the Hindus of the nation. He is the redeemer of Hindus while the Congress has been the apologist of minority appeasement for the past seven decades,” said Vijay Manubhai Mandvi from Virpur, a Patel bastion in Saurashtra.The saffron party and its affiliates have been successful in running a campaign to convince people that loss for Narendra Modi would be a loss for Hindus across the country.”Who will the Congress propose to be its chief ministerial face? There are better chances that Ahmed Patel may be their choice if the Congress wins,” said local BJP leader Paresh Patel, former national executive member of the Yuva Morcha and a resident of Patidar bastion of Dhoraji.

Narendra Modi, not LK Advani is hero of Somnath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP patriarch LK Advani turned 90 on Wednesday but the place from where he scripted BJP’s rise to power way back in 1990, with his historic Ram Rath Yatra that culminated in the demolition of the Babri mosque does not quite remember him anymore.For the residents of the holy temple town of Somnath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the hero, the ‘bahubali’. In popular memory, PM Modi is the deliverer of the Hindu community from the tyranny of invaders who robbed Somnath on several occasions.DNA found that none of those we talked to remembered Advani’s birthday, leave aside any celebrations.The older generation which had witnessed or participated in the Rath Yatra do consider him to be a hero of Hindutva, someone who raised BJP’s political game, but also deprecate him for having unduly tried to cling to power for way too long. He should have abdicated the throne for Modi, is the sentiment.”There is no comparison between Advani and Modi. I was a child when the Rath Yatra happened. Advani was at the helm. But now he must retire. Narendra bhai is a bahubali, Advani is just another neta. He did what he did, but Narendra bhai now represents us and our aspirations,” said Naranbhai Chauhan who runs a pan shop just outside the gates of the temple town.The newer generation does not even know who Advani is anymore. “I don’t know who he is. I have heard his name, but I am not sure what he did,” said first time voter Manoj Silwadia. Silwadia is a resident of Veraval town adjoining Somnath.Khushiben Thakur, a housewife in Somnath who doubles up as part time caretaker of her husband’s shop outside the temple, said since she was an ardent newswatcher she knew who Advani was but then her hero too is Narendra Modi.Khushiben Thakur, a housewife in Somnath who doubles up as part time caretaker of her husband’s shop outside the temple, said since she was an ardent newswatcher she knew who advani was but then her hero too is Narendra Modi. “Politicians have tried to make political use of temple towns in Gujarat but Narendra Modi has really done so much for Somnath. She he was the CM he used to cone more often. He has returned Hindus their pride after suffering for so long under invaders. Just how many times was Somnath looted?”ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTERESTWhile the BJP is all guns blazing to justify the logic of demonetisation, a public warning inside the Somnath temple says: All pilgrims are requested not to put in the donation box old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which are now outlawed. They will not be useful for the temple

Has the Patidar vote-bank slipped out of Hardik Patel’s hands?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A tour through Patidar dominated the landscape of Saurashtra, rural as well as urban, suggests that Hardik Patel seems to have lost the confidence of the community.Interestingly, the narrative on the ground seems to be that Patidars, especially the older generation, always saw Hardik as a new face of the Patels within the BJP and not outside and that the support he enjoyed was for the limited goal of wringing out concessions from the government. When it comes to the larger politics of the state with Congress as the option to BJP, Hardik’s politics has gone haywire.”People throng to his rallies and sabhas because we feel that he is a Patel kid who is fighting for our future. We thought we have found a new face or leader who will capture the BJP for us. But now that he is hobnobbing with the Congress, which is not done. Our political affiliation is clear,” said Nareshbhai Patel from Patidar dominated Virpur village on the border of Rajkot and Junagadh districts.Dillidallying, Hardik has yet not been able to finalise his alliance with Congress. “This shows that he is rudderless. A problem is that he is not the age to contest elections and perhaps doesn’t know what to do with the following he had. Today he is here, and tomorrow he is there. So, how can we trust him?” said Paresh H Patel of Dhoraji, another Patidar stronghold.Moreover, the younger generation sees Hardik’s dilly-dallying in choosing sides as either his rudderlessness or as a sign of being in cahoots with Congress since the beginning of the Patidar unrest for “personal gains”. People of this community feel that he is trying to trade his influence with the community to mint money and a career for himself rather than a selfless effort for them. “He has exposed himself by allying with Congress. He is right to ask for our demands but allying with Congress is not done. He is making money for himself. He is trading us and the future of our children to make his own,” Pareshbhai added.Even the Patidar community of Visavadar, the constituency from where Keshubhai Patel led his war against Narendra Modi and one of the two seats that once powerful Patidar leader managed to win after breaking away from BJP, is not rallied around Hardik as one would have expected.”It is all about money. He will make loads of money in this election from the Congress and then no one will hear of him. He is not a politician. We support him for fighting for our demands, but if he were to contest we would not even vote for him. Who is he to dictate our vote? Is he a bigger leader than Keshubhai? See what happened to Keshubhai,” Vipulbhai Patel of Visavadar told DNA.The caste divide between Kadva and Leuva Patels too seems to be playing in the Hardik conundrum. While Hardik is a Kadva Patel, Leuva Patels are more in number in the Saurashtra region and they are miffed at Hardik for having caused the downfall of former CM Anandiben Patel who had to step down due to the Patidar unrest. Anandiben happens to be a Leuva Patel. “I don’t know how many Kadva Patels are in his support but Leuva community will never forget that it was due to him that Anandiben, first woman CM of Gujarat and a pride of our community was sabotaged by him and his intransigent attitude,” said Vijay Manubhai from Upleta. Meanwhile, the attitude of the trading community and that of manufacturers, who also happen mainly to be Patels given the socio-economic structure of the state, too can be gagged by the above observations.While Patel businessmen are openly criticising Modi, demonetisation and GST, they either feel there is no other option or they are hopeful that Modi will make policy adjustments to alleviate their troubles.”The small-scale manufacturing units have been hit by demo and we still don’t know how to file GST. It is frustrating as there have been job cuts for we had to let many employees go due to a slump in business. But, we think Modi will make up for it and make amendments. These moves were good, but the implementation needs to be finetuned,” said Paras Kasundra Patil, who makes hydraulic machines for farm sector in his unit based in the Atlas industrial estate in Rajkot.”Congress must not come as it will ruin the country. BJP must come but with depleted seats so that they get a lesson too,” he added. On the other hand, Veenubhai Patel, who runs a boring unit in the Samrat Industrial Complex on the outskirts of Rajkot, feels that while demo hurt for a short period, GST has helped his business. “Those who were manufacturing and trading off the books and illegally have been hurt. That has been good for my business as a genuine businessman.”

Hindutva icon’s birthplace in neglect

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While BJP might have ruled the poll-bound state of Gujarat since 1995, swearing by Hindutva, the birthplace of one the earliest proponents of the ideology lies in neglect.At Tankara village, people are upset that their longstanding demands of developing the birthplace of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj and the one to give the clarion call of back to Vedas, have not been met.The village, a mix of castes where the Patidars dominate, is bang on the highway from Morbi to Rajkot but no signboard announces that this is a place where one of the greatest leaders of India came from.“Regimes come and regimes go. We had two primary demands from the government: to give us a railway station and to accord this place the status of a pilgrim centre. These can put the village on the tourism map of the state. But both have so far not been heeded,” said Acharya Ramdev, who is the principle of the Vedic gurukul established in the vicinity of the birthplace.The neglect of the house in which Swami was born is emerging as a reason that may bring people together in electoral action. “This place is not political. But when the BJP swears by Hindu nationalism, why not pay some attention to this monument. This is not just something that makes us proud, but also unites us,” lamented Kanubhai Patel of the village.Swami Dayananad Saraswati’s Satyarth Prakash is considered the first systematic critique of Islam and Christianity, especially proselytation by the two religions. Moreover, he is also credited with fashioning a more aggressive Hindu religion as it faced challenged in British Punjab, inventing for the first time a way to reconvert Hindus who had moved to the fold of other religions.

Cong moves NHRC over DeMo deaths, asks for Rs 1-cr relief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress party has moved National Commission of Human Rights (NHRC) against what it has called ‘demonetization deaths’ and has demanded compensation for the affected families.Maharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla lodged a complaint with the rights body seeking Rs 1 crore compensation for the kin of those who died due to the rush to exchange cash in the aftermath of demonetization declared on November 8, last year.In his petition, Poonawalla claimed the rush for cash caused some 100 deaths across the country.”Following the demonetization, many people died due to various causes which would include heart attacks owing to shock and collapse. There were suicides by those who were not successful in exchanging currency or withdrawal for want of new currency. Public was collectively worried about getting money for daily needs, marriage, funeral rites, medical treatments,”said the Congress leader.He has cited that improper implementation of the policy caused infringement of the “fundamental right to livelihood and life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India…and the constitutional Right to Property under article 300A”.Poonawalla also said in his petition, “As a conscientious citizen of the county, we plea to this Hon’ble Commission to direct the Union Government to make a compensation of Rs 1 crore for relief and rehabilitation to the families of victims who lost their lives owing to the government’s demonetization action. Hope that this commission gives justice to the families’ prey to demonetization.””In the days following the demonetization, the country faced severe cash shortages with severe detrimental effects across the country. People seeking to exchange their bank notes had to stand in lengthy queues and several deaths were linked due to the rush to exchange cash. This act of demonetization move has been criticized as poorly planned and unfair and was met with protest and strikes against the government in several places across India. This action of current union government has reduced the country’s GDP,” Poonawlla added in his petition.PLAINT LODGEDMaharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla lodged a complaint with the rights body.
In his petition, Poonawalla claimed the rush for cash caused some 100 deaths across the country.

RSS wing holds ‘swadeshi’ rally against Chinese goods

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The year-long campaign of RSS’ economic wing Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) against the influx of Chinese goods and it’s negative impact on the indigenous products in the domestic market culminated into a mega rally on Sunday at the the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.In its memorandum presented to the Centre, the SJM has set demands for preferential treatment to domestic industry, particularly MSMEs, to boost employment, apart from asking for imposition of quality restrictions on Chinese goods. They also demanded that no new trade agreement be signed with the Chinese government and urged states to not allow any Chinese investment. It also asked private companies to desist partnering with Chinese companies.Further, the SJM demanded that Chinese companies not be granted contracts in the northeastern states as it poses a “security threat” and that the Centre must take initiative “to provide impetus to Tibetans to restore their sovereignty from the cultches of China”.The rightwing economic organisation urged the Centre to open ‘Special Chinese Cells’in the Ministry of Commerce and Finance to undertake studied to gauge the impact of the huge Chinese imports and “increasing stranglehold of Chinese investments in India.Some members of BJP had been apprehensive of the rally, which they feared would embarrass the Modi government after the SJM statement on the continuance of UPA’s economic policies. The organisers, however, said that they had had a Swadeshi agenda for a long time and the move was not to cause unease but enlighten policy makers.”For the last one year we have been boycotting Chinese goods and have collected more than 2.5 crore signatures of people from various walks of life in favour of our demands. We have been trying to raise awareness by way of rath-yatras, distribution of pamphlets, student interactions. We reached out villages, too. The maharally is the culmination of our efforts,” said SJM’s national co-convenor R Sundaram.”For the past 25 years we have been propounding our ideas. Just as Ayodhya is the symbol of Hindu pride, this rally, with an immediate focus on the adverse impact of Chinese goods on our economy, will be the symbol of a larger debate on economic policies,” Sundaram said, hinting at NDA policies.The SJM has also decided, said sources, that the organisation’s agenda for the coming year would be to churn out an alternate economic model for India’s growth.National convenor Arun Ojha told DNA that the rally was not against or for any government. Rather, it was against an economic menace and for changing the fate of the country. “If some people think otherwise, they can; but, I am sure not all think so,” said Ojha.

RSS to take up Baloch issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will soon start a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about ‘illegal Pakistani occupation’ of estranged Balochistan province.Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), the Muslim arm of the Sangh, is making preparations to hold seminars in educational institutions across the country to build public opinion in favour of an Indian intervention into the Baloch conundrum. They intend to focus on human rights violations in the Pakistani province, such as summary trials and political murders by Pakistan’s armed forces.This move aimed at pressurising the Modi government to take a pro-active appraoch in the matter is the brain child of senior RSS pracharak Indresh Kumar. Prime Minister Modi had raked up the issue at last year’s Independence Day speech and had formally added Balochistan in the country’s policy quiver to tackle Pakistani propaganda of rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had also raised the issue in the United Nations and described Pakistani actions in the province as the ‘worst form of state repression’.”At a recent meeting of MRM in Agra a couple of days ago, we decided that we are going to hold seminars and talks across the country on the Pakistani excesses in Balochistan. For long Pakistan has tried to mislead the world regarding Jammu and Kashmir, but here is a region that was an independent entity, and was annexed by the Pakistani forces without rhyme or reason,” said MRM national convenor Mohammad Afzal.In his address in Agra, Indresh Kumar said, “Pakistan government is perpetrating human rights violations in Balochistan. Baloch people are original Indian people. In Pakistan, 62 per cent of the land and 40 per cent of the population is Baloch. As these people are Indian people, it is the duty of Indian citizens to empathise with Balochs.”

Women’s wing BJP’s spearhead in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a crucial state poll where the Opposition is trying to cobbled up a caste combination, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat is making strides to reach out to the caste-neutral constituency of women through innovative ways such as ‘Kamal Mehndi’ and ‘Hitaishi Sammelans’.The party’s women’s wing or Mahila Morcha is the vanguard of the campaigns. “We are identifying women who are the beneficiaries of the numerous schemes for women’s welfare such as e-Mamata and Ujjwala launched by both the Centre as well as the state BJP government and are reaching out to them across all state Assembly constituencies at local gatherings, called ‘Hitaishi Sammelans’ (well-wishers’ meet). Every such sammelan is attracting over 3,000 women even in seats where we had lost the last time,” BJP Mahila Morcha chief Vijaya Rahatkar told DNA.The objective of such gatherings is to enlist the support, and therefore votes, of the women who have received assistance under Central and state schemes as also to advertise the pro-women pro-poor face of the party. “It is always easy and more effective to associate people with a political party when the party is in power or when the people are legatees of the welfare programmes of the government,” said a senior BJP leader from Gujarat requesting anonymity.Another such move, rather more innovative, is the ‘Kamal Mehndi’ initiative under which morcha activists are literally stamping women with ‘mehndi’ or ‘henna’. Interestingly, party’s fabled election symbol, the lotus flower, is tattooed with mehndi on their hands or palms. This has been envisioned as a way to directly relate to women given that mehndi is India’s traditional body art associated with women and has a sensitive place in their religious life.”We started making the lotus on the palms of women with mehndi from Saurashtra and in one day we were able to give 50,000 women lotuses on their hands. This is like handing lotus flowers to women. Then we launched it in West Gujarat and there we counted one lakh women who we handed over lotuses on hands in henna,” Rahatkar said.Added to this, five women volunteers of the party have been deputed per booth in the state and a separate unit each has been stationed on ‘Shakti Kendras’ which are a conglomeration of five booths in BJP parlance.

RSS leader shot dead in UP town

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After recent killings of RSS functionaries in Kerala and Punjab, another RSS leader was gunned down in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur. Local journalist for a national Hindi daily 35-year-old Rajesh Mishra, who was also the head of the Karanda block in the district, succumbed to bullet wounds on Saturday morning after four motorcycle-borne miscreants opened fire.Mishra’s younger brother Amitesh too sustained bullet injuries and was rushed to Varanasi for treatment. He was said to be critical at the time of this report going to press. The crime took place at the Brahmanpura Chatti.Police say an FIR has been registered against the yet to be identified assailants. “We are waiting for the statement of his brother and family members. Business rivalry seems to be the motive behind the killings. However, we are investigating the case from other angles also,” district police chief Somen Varma said. IG Deepak Ratan reached the spot and formed five police teams to nab the assailants.According to reports, Rajesh and Amitesh reached their construction material shop, after their morning walk, at around 7.30 am when four miscreants opened indiscriminate fire on the duo. Police said Rajesh died on the spot.While sources say that Rajesh was up against the local sand mining mafia and was behind the ban imposed on the business of extracting sand from the banks of the Ganges, another brother of the slain RSS volunteer said Rajesh was gunned down for both his fearless journalism and for his political activism under the aegis of RSS.”He went after the bad elements with his pen and was responsible for energising RSS in Karanda Block.””He was killed perhaps for both the reasons. He had just concluded the Officers Training Camp in Karanda. It is the first time ever that such a camp has been held in the block,” said Brajesh Kumar Mishra, Rajesh’s brother, said.DNA sources say that a dreaded criminal – Rajesh Dubey – is being considered as the chief suspect. While the police do not confirm this, Dubey escaped from the Ghazipur jail in August this year.Rajesh was also close to Union minister Manoj Sinha, who is the MP from Ghazipur. Incidentally, the Union minister was in the district to participate in a local function. Sinha has directed the police to arrest the assailants within 48 hours.

Embrace and take pride in heritage: Narendra Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP made an attempt to douse the fire on the Taj Mahal controversy triggered by BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s comments that the monument was “a blot on Indian culture,” leaving the party red-faced.Underlining the significance of history and heritage in a nation’s development, the Prime Minister said no country can develop by ignoring its past. “No country could develop, however hard it might try, without embracing and taking pride in its history, heritage, culture and traditions. Countries that chose to forget heritage over development are sure to lose their identity,” he said, while speaking at the inauguration of the nation’s first All India Institute of Ayurveda, planned on the lines of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science) in Delhi’s Sarita Vihar.BJP MLA Sangeet Som had, on Monday, questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage and said history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who had earlier said that the Taj Mahal did not reflect Indian culture, made a U-turn a day after Som said the monument was “built by traitors”. He said that the Taj was a historical monument, regardless of the emperor who had built it.”It is immaterial as to who and how the Taj Mahal was built…,” Adityanath said in Gorakhpur, “It was made by the sweat and blood of Bharat Mata’s sons. It is famous the world over for its architecture… it is a historical monument and its protection and further development for tourism is the responsibility of the government.”In a fire-fighting measure, he also announced that he would visit Agra on October 26 to review tourism schemes of the state government.”Our government is working to develop tourism around Kalinjer Fort (in Banda) and Rani Laxmibai’s Fort in Jhansi as well as the Chunar Fort (in Mirzapur),” he added.Som’s comments on the Taj Mahal had come after the Adityanath government omitted the 17th century monument from an official booklet on tourist destinations within the state.Meanwhile, after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi questioned, on Monday, whether the Prime Minister would stop hoisting the flag from the Red Fort as it was “built by the same group of traitors”, Samajwadi Party general secretary Azam Khan was quick to quip that monuments such as the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, Qutub Minar and Red Fort should be demolished as they too were “symbols of slavery”, just like the Taj Mahal.BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao, on Monday, tried to defend Som. He had described Muslim rule in India as “barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance” and asserted that BJP members could hold any opinion they wanted on specific monuments.

BJP returns to art it mastered, adopts tech for voter outreach

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leveraging technology in a big way in the run up to the Gujarat Assembly polls. While social media presence has always been the forte of the party, in the latest edition of women’s town hall conducted online by Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, the party was able to reach out to 1.5 lakh women directly, as data from the party’s information and technology department suggests.Apart from the direct connect, thousands were reached indirectly via other online platforms such as the Facebook pages of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and the BJP.”The Mahila Town hall with the External Affairs Minister in Ahmedabad was yet another innovative use of social media to connect with the electorate for a purposeful dialogue. #MahilaTownhallwithSushmaji was the top trending hashtag in Gujarat and the country as 14,000 tweets were done in just one hour while the event was live. This shows we have been able to reach the remotest of locations of the state using internet-based platform. The entire exercise was a mix of two- and one-way conversation. We were able to reach, one way or the other, around 1.5lakh women at once,” BJP’s national information and technology head Amit Malviya told DNA.In terms of the number of women reached, 3,000 of them connected at the central location, while 2,200 connected through six locations which were two-way, in the sense that women asked the Union minister questions too. There were 30 one-way locations from which 11,000 women logged on to the minister.Apart from this, the BJP’s Gujarat Facebook page received over 60,000 views, while over 50,000 views were recorded on Rupani’s Facebook page. Earlier, on September 10, party chief Amit Shah had conducted a Town hall under the banner of the ‘Adikham Gujarat’ (Resolute Gujarat) banner. Shah’s Youth Town Hall had recorded 10,000 questions on Facebook, 12,000 on the BJP website, and over 6,000 questions on Twitter while it had been attended by over a lakh BJP workers from around 250 locations.

Students allege NIT muzzling festivals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar is engaged in yet another showdown with its outstation students, as the administration has issued a notice regarding the Navratri event organised at the institute and students are alleging it has a communal ring to it.In the notice, the Dean has alleged that while the Navratri festival was organised with “religious fervour”, the ensuing ‘Garba Night’ involved drinking and DJ sets that “played only filmy songs instead of religious songs”. Owing to this, “no such such event will be allowed in future”, the notice reads.However, students at the institute insist that the move was motivated by ulterior motives, as the college wanted to muzzle all Hindu festivals on the campus. “The same organising committee that the Dean has congratulated for the successful Navratri festival was the one that organised the latter event. How can they be heroes and villains at the same time? Basically, since the administration cannot straightaway muzzle Navratri, they have tried to circumnavigate the issue,” said a student from UP, requesting anonymity.Meanwhile, the braid-chopping controversy, which has sparked furious protests and a renewed efforts by separatists to rally people, has threatened to singe the campus too.Some students allege that a few days ago, locals had jumped the boundary wall and accused the outstation students of being involved in chopping braids. The college, since then, has started fencing the boundary wall with severe restrictions imposed on the movement of students.Registrar of the college, SA Mir, said, “Whatever has been done, it has been done to ensure that students remain safe. We don’t want any stray incident to spark any controversy as in 2016.

RSS objects to Anuradha Gandhy memorial talk

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An annual affair for the past eight years, the Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Lecture might not see the light of day this year. An RSS-affiliated legal organisation has lodged a complaint with Mumbai police commissioner against the lecture that is held in the memory of the underground Maoist women’s organiser Anuradha Ghandy, wife of well-known jailed Maoist Kobad Ghandy. The lecture has been dubbed as “urban front of armed militants groups”.The complaint, lodged by the Legal rights Observatory (LRO) led by former RSS pracharak Vinay Joshi, alleged that Maoists were trying to afflict urban areas by their ideology using such over-ground activities.Sources told DNA that an intervention from the government was most likely expected as the complainants had apprised the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) of the matter and that the issue would be further escalated to the Home Secretary.”Such events and the ideology of violence that they represent are against the fabric of the nation. They must be stopped at any cost. We will be forced to raise the matter with the National Security Advisor if it is not stopped. Naxals come at such events and spew venom against the country and the security forces,” said Joshi, the national convenor of LRO.”By arranging such programmes, Maoists are trying their best to garner support of more and more civilians for their bloody war against the Indian state. So allowing such programmes to happen would be a highly objectionable thing. With this letter, we request you to immediately ban this programme and register FIR against organisers of the programme…under UAPA and MCOCA provisions,” the complaint read.The right-wing has threatened the Mumbai Police with escalating the matter to the Union Home Ministry as well as the PMO if permission to the meet was not rescinded by 10 am today.The complaint warned the police that “if no visible and immediate action is taken against organisers of the programme, we would be forced to take legal counter-measures against Police and Civilian authorities for not taking appropriate action against spread of militant ideologies.”Noted Naxal ideologues such as Varavara Rao and Tilak Dasgupta are to address the lecture that is considered an above-ground meeting of underground Naxal organisations.Moreover, the case with the venue of the lecture, Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, as listed on the Facebook page of the event, is also a curious one. While the event page is clear about the venue, when DNA called the Sangh, they said they had not been booked for any such event.

DNA Exclusive: In run-up to ’19 polls, BJP to woo farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will organise a mega brainstorming session in the Capital on October 12, to discuss the farmers’ unrest in several states. The party aims at devising ways to woo the distressed section of the society, given the political compulsions of the 2019 general elections.The country has been witnessing angry farmer protests in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh. Farmers from Tamil Nadu recently staged a “naked” protest in Delhi, carried skulls of those who committed suicide, and even threatened to eat faeces. The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh was pushed to the brink by angry farmers, some of whom died in police firing.In Maharashtra as well, the situation for BJP deteriorated severely, with farmers inviting Raj Thackeray to listen to their demands. The loan waiver announced by the newly-elected Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh further fuelled the ire as peasants in other states also started demanding the same.To cobble a response to the crisis, given that 2019 general elections are approaching, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh will be joined by agriculture ministers from the worst affected BJP-ruled states. Agriculture minister of Jammu and Kashmir, too, will be a part of the discussion.Sources in the party said that since it was an “emergency meeting”, agriculture ministers from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, and Rajasthan will be attending, while representatives from other states will be called for a more elaborate meeting on a later date.The party will be represented by prominent economic ideologue, Swadeshi-proponent, and national General Secretary Muralidhar Rao, along with BJP Kisan Morcha Chief and MP from Bhadohi in UP, Birendra Singh ‘Mast’.Several Kisan Morcha representatives from across the country, too, have been invited. Certain MPs such as Om Prakash Yadav from Siwan and Savitri Thakur from Dhar are also expected to put forth their views at the meet.Rubbishing allegations from the Opposition, Birendra Singh told DNA that the Congress was to blame for the farm distress in India and that it was the result of the party’s anti-farmer policies, which had been in effect for decades.”We are training 50,000 volunteers from the Kisan Morcha in the government’s flagship policies meant to benefit farmers. They will go among farmers and disseminate the message and connect them to the party and the government directly,” he said.”We shall be working at the district and mandal levels, which are the grass-root levels of the country, so that farmers can avail themselves of the benefits that the government has pledged to being to them,” Morcha Vice-President Shailendra Sengar said.Meanwhile, the Opposition has sharpened its attack on the BJP regime over the issue. A few days ago, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had chided the government while speaking in his Parliamentary constituency Amethi, asking the government to make way for the Congress, if it was not able to address unemployment and farmer-related issues.What’s the needThe country has been witnessing angry farmer protests in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh. The BJP govt in MP was pushed to the brink by angry farmers

Bihar river project caught in political crossfire

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The North Koel Reservoir project, which had been stalled for decades since 1972, and which received cabinet nod in August this year is threatened once more as it lands in a political slugfest. While the project had found mention in PM Modi’s Gaya speech, former Bihar BJP minister and ex-MLA from Aurangabad Ramadhar Singh is up in arms against it.The Union Cabinet in August this year had cleared the project and had sanctioned a sum of Rs 1622.22 crore. The project stands to benefit farmers in the most backward and drought-prone areas – Bihar’s ill- irrigated Gaya and Aurangabad districts and the tribal belt of Jharkhand’s Palamu and Garhwa districts – and was thus called by Union minister Uma Bharti as a potent weapon to fight naxalism.Notwithstanding the proposed benefits, the cabinet nod, and the provision in the cabinet decision that Niti Aayog would be the watchdog for the project, the BJP leader has shot a letter to the Prime Minister, calling for an inquiry into the project details and the claimed benefits. Singh has dubbed the entire project as “faulty” and a conspiracy in which the engineers misled the Central government.In his letter to the PM, Singh has also hurled accusations against sitting Aurangabad MP from BJP Sushil Singh. While Sushil Singh counts the resumption of work on the project among his biggest achievements as public representative, Ramadhar Singh has accused the former of colluding with engineers and misrepresenting facts in front of the Centre.While Sushil Singh refused to comment, Ramadhar Singh could not be reached on his cellphone.”It is to inform you with reference to your announcement at the Gaya meeting…the proposal sent to you from the Bihar as well as Jharkhand governments is faulty. The money would be spent, but of the 120 km stretch of the proposed canal, only those up to 70 kilometers would be benefited. A technical agency of the Central government in association with agencies from Bihar and Jharkhand must review the project and make amends,” he wrote.”An investigation must be carried out against such engineers who have sent half baked information to the PMO as well as against Sushil Singh, MP from Aurangabad, who has changed parties many times and who has, in association with unscruplous engineers, hidden complete facts from the Union government with the intention to bring bad name to the government,” Ramadhar Singh said in the letter.”Engineers must be terminated from service after inquiry. And if the inquiry finds my facts wrong, strict action must be taken against me too,” Ramadhar Singh said in the letter.The North Koel river is a tributary of the Son river and ultimately joins Ganga. The construction of dam started in 1972 and was later stopped by the Bihar government’s forest department in 1993.

Will double farm income by 2022: Radha Mohan Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has major plans for the agri-sector, which continues to be one of the weakest links in the economy, even as it employs a large proportion of the population. In an Interview to Siddhartha Rai, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh outlines the government’s ambitious plans. Edited excerpts:Has the government promised the moon when it declared that farm income will be doubled by 2022?We have pledged to double farm income by 2022 and that is not a pipe dream. To make research the springboard of the next agricultural revolution, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has created ‘State Coordination Committees’ and appointed the vice-chancellors of the State Agricultural Universities as directors.Any plans to rope in young minds into agricultural research?We are trying to shape the future of agricultural students to help them become leaders in innovation and establish agri-businesses. Under ‘Student Ready Programme’, students get training for a year to become agricultural entrepreneurs. Declaration of agricultural education as a professional degree is a step forward.How will you bridge the gulf between farmers and innovation?In order to improve the ‘Lab to Farm’ programme and to increase the outreach to the farmers, scientists are constantly in touch with the farmers through ‘My Village – My Pride’ programme.How are you leveraging technology in reaching out to the farmers?A network of 680 Krishi Vigyan Kendra is conducting demonstrations to instill confidence in farmers about scientific techniques. Farmers are provided mobile-based advisories.How has research fared so far in helping farmers?Research plays an important role in the growth of agricultural production. In the last three years, 571 high yielding immunised, nutrient-packed, climate friendly and disease resistance varieties of crops have been developed.

‘GDP growth rate slipped under UPA regime’: PM Modi puts a premium on honesty, crunches data

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took the fight to critics of his economy policies, especially of a slipping GDP growth rate, pointing out that that number had slipped to 5.7 per cent or below eight times in six years of the previous UPA government.Addressing the golden jubilee event of Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), Modi also called for much higher levels of honesty, both at an individual as well as professional level.”In the changing economic scenario, honesty will command a premium and the government will protect the interest of honest persons,” he said, and called upon the gathering of company secretaries to encourage their clients to honestly pay taxes.The Prime Minister reiterated that the economy was on sound footing and that he would not jeopardise the country’s future for short-term benefits.”Worrying about my present, I cannot put the future of the country at stake,” Modi said, referring to demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax, which are widely being castigated as the reason for the decline in India’s growth rate.On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of India revised its GDP growth rate from the earlier 7.3 per cent for financial year 2017-18 to 6.7 per cent, and held its repo rate on fears of resurgent retail inflation, given the government’s recent announcement of a stimulus package.”When data is good, the institutions and the processes (which make that data) are all good. The moment data becomes bad, all things become bad. Do you think this is the first quarter in which growth has been 5.7%,” PM said.”During the last government under the UPA, eight times the growth dipped to 5.7% or below,” the prime minister pointed out.Even as he conceded that the economy had taken a hit over the past few quaters, he declared that the government was ready to take all necessary decisions to reverse the trend.”The fundamentals are good, along with strong reform decisions and there is financial stability. We will keep taking all necessary steps. I assure that the government will put the country in a new league of development,” Modi said,He said the government’s hard work is showing results, with the economy moving slowly to lower cash transactions. “After demonetization, cash to GDP ratio has now come down to 9 per cent. It used to be more than 12 per cent before 8 November 2016,” he pointed out.Using extensive economic data, and drawing a comparison between the last three years of the UPA regime and the first three of his, Modi was constantly on the front foot while dissecting his critics on almost every point that has been raised over the past several days and weeks.As for the GST, likely the single largest piece of long-term economic reform this government has undertaken, Mdoi accepted that all things were not rosy. “The GST Council has been told to review all the bottlenecks and problems, and a solution be worked out involving all political parties and state governments. I assure traders that we are not orthodox and conservative. We also don’t know everything. But, if something needs to be done we shall do it.”

Amit Shah to launch ‘yatra’ as BJP eyes opposition space in Kerala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a curtain-raiser for the high-profile and star-studded “Janraksha Yatra” to be flagged off by party president Amit Shah in Kerala on Tuesday against the alleged killing of right-wing cadre by CPM activists, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar launched a scathing attack on the Pinarayi Vijayan government on Monday.High on the symbolism of October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, the minister drew a parallel between Gandhi’s movement against the British Raj and the saffron outfit’s efforts in Kerala.”Just as Mahatma Gandhi led a democratic movement against the British Raj in the Freedom Movement, the BJP is launching a democratic movement to oppose the bloody and murderous politics of the CPM in the Kerala. In democracy, democratic protest is the way to go,” he said.Javadekar accused the left government in Kerala of having unleashed “bloody politics” in which “murder and violence is used as a political tool”. “The new name of CPM is Communist Party of Maoists as they are behaving just as Naxals.””Eighty four people have so far been killed in Kerala in the last 15 years by the CPM regimes whenever they have come to power. The chief minister’s district, Kannur, is a minefield of such political murders because since he has taken over power this time, already 14 political activists have been killed in extremely brutal ways,” he said.Javadekar accused the left government of shielding the miscreants and murderers. “These criminals are deliberately patronised by the state government. They are let off and given bails on the weakest of alibis. Killing spree is the name of the game,” he added.But there will be triumph of democracy, he said, to underline the democratic nature of BJP’s latest campaign. “We are protesting in a democratic way. We are launching this yatra to raise awareness among the people against this violence and murder.”Party chief Amit Shah would be launching the yatra on October 3, Javdekar said, as he would also lead the campaign on October 5 and 17, the last day of the campaign. “All party functionaries, leaders and ministers, such as Smriti Irani, Anant Kumar, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Giriraj Singh, will be leading the yatra.” On October 3, Shah would lead the yatra from Payyanur to Pilathara; on October 5, he shall lead from Mambram to Thalassery; while on the last day he would lead the processions to state capital Thiruvananthapuram.”The yatra would be made by activists on foot as well as vehicles, while public rallies and meetings will be organised all along the route,”the minister said.

© 2020 Yuva Sai Sagar. Theme by Anders Norén.