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Mamata Banerjee opposing Centre’s policies for the sake of opposing: Union Minister Meghwal

Replying to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegation that the Central government had dismissed Christmas as a national holiday without any logic, Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, during his visit to Kolkata on Monday said the allegation was baseless.“Our government would not take any decision on the basis of religion. It functions according to the provisions of the constitution of the country. Mamata is opposing to every policy of the Centre just for the sake of opposition,” he said interacting with media persons.On December 22, while inaugurating the Christmas Festival on Park Street, Mamata had questioned the intention behind cancellation of December 25 as a national holiday. She had also said that on two occasions the tableaux proposals from West Bengal during the Republic Day had been rejected by the Centre. Replying to that Meghwal said that the Central government had no hands in it. “These are baseless allegations. There is a committee to look into it to accept or reject such proposals. The government didn’t interfere into these day to day activities. We don’t do politics with everything. Next we will see that an NCC person comes up saying that he had not been selected and it was a conspiracy. Mamata herself is doing politics with this issue,” he added.Also readMamata Banerjee attacks Centre over no national holiday on Dec 25Talking about Mamata’s allegations regarding Centre freezing funds for welfare schemes, he said that in a meeting with the Centre and Chief Ministers of the state it was decided that the Centre-state share in most funds would be 60:40 and the on-going schemes would be completed as usual. “She was in the meeting too. Her government had failed to produce utilisation certificate for the funds allocated already by the Centre,” Meghwal said.Referring to the on-going protests against the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, he said that under no circumstances would the depositors’ interests be hampered. “It is a good bill. We have to take care of the investors’ interest. The bill, at present is with the Select Committee which comprises members from all parties including hers. We are not against investors,” he said.Asked about the Triple Talaq issue he said that it was an attempt by the Centre to ensure equal rights for women. “Shouldn’t women’s rights be protected? The social security and right to equality of women is being looked into. We should welcome the move,” he said.

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Amidst Rahul’s rising stock, TMC says Mamata has finest credentials to take on BJP in 2019

Young leaders from across the country were reaching out to Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee for her guidance to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, party leader Derek O’Brien said today.A day after Banerjee reportedly had telephonic conversations with Patidar quota agitation spearhead in Gujarat Hardik Patel and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, O’Brien said the young leaders were certain to gain from the TMC chief, who had the “finest credentials” to take on the BJP in 2019.”I am not surprised that young leaders from across the country are reaching out to her (Banerjee) for her guidance and to learn from her experiences. She has the finest credentials to take on the BJP in 2019,” he told DNA.According to O’Brien, the TMC chief was sure that the saffron party could be defeated in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls if all the anti-BJP forces came together.”Her experience, track record, role in people’s movements over the last four decades, the experience as a cabinet minister and the resounding mandate of last year (in the West Bengal Assembly polls) makes her the most credible face to take on the BJP,” The Rajya Sabha member said.”If we were to look at the future of the Opposition, Mamata Banerjee has the best credentials. She has the experience, credentials and integrity. Bengal will have an important role to play now and in 2019,” O’Brien added.Apart from Patel and Mevani, OBC leader Alpesh Thakore also played a crucial role in the Gujarat election in putting up a tough fight against the BJP, which had ruled the state for 22 years.Whereas Thakore won on a Congress ticket and Mevani won as an Independent candidate backed by the party, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), led by Patel, extensively campaigned against the BJP in Gujarat.With PTI Inputs

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After saffron sweep in Assembly polls, Mamata trying to appease Hindus, alleges Bengal BJP

After BJP’s victory in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, Bengal unit of the party believes CM Mamata Banerjee is looking for an image correction. After a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday, state education minister Partha Chatterjee said that Rs 17 crore has been allotted for the renovation of 74 ghats centred around Dakshineswar and Belur.“The decision has been taken in today’s cabinet meeting. It is a message to those who had been spreading canards about our party,” he said. He also said that a total of 1220 new posts have been created including 460 in the Home and Hill Affairs department, 82 in the Health and Family Planning department and 42 in the Finance department.With the panchayat election next year and BJP getting a shot in the arm in the shape of the defection of former TMC Rajya Sabha member Mukul Roy to BJP, TMC leaders have been trying their best to give out the message that they are for inclusive development of the state, irrespective of the person’s faith. At the district level too it is being used as a tool. In Birbhum district of West Bengal, a Brahmin Sammelan will be conducted on January 8, 2018. District TMC president Anubrata Mondal told DNA that it was being done in accordance with a party circular. “About 15,000 brahmins across the district will gather. They will perform pujas and each of them will be given a Gita, a religious shawl and a photograph of Ramkrishna Paramhansa and Saradha Ma,” he said and denied that it had any political connotation. “We had done this earlier at a block level but going by the party’s instructions, this year I am doing it at a district level,” he said.Also readHow BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal will impact Bengal political equationsBJP leaders, however, said that the Mamata Banerjee-led government was doing those out of fear that the party and the government was growing unpopular among the members of the majority community. “They had taken appeasement of the minority to such a level that members of the majority community was disturbed and sensing it, they have now turned to do some damage control but I don’t think these will work. I have also heard that ahead of panchayat polls the TMC will donate cows to people in the rural areas. I have have seen Mamata chant mantras full of mistakes on stage to show people that she is a Hindu,” said Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary and former party state president. He alleged that Mamata had started the politics of division in Bengal and had she done politics on the basis of developmental work in the state, there would have been no question of appeasing members of any religion.

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Mamata Banerjee: BJP has suffered a moral defeat

‘I congratulate Gujarat voters for their very balanced verdict at this hour. It is a temporary and face-saving win, but it shows a moral defeat for BJP. Gujarat voted against atrocities, anxiety and injustice caused to the common people,” she tweeted.”

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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByArshad Ali <!–end of artlbotbor–>Tuesday 19 December 2017 2:43 ISTMust read’FRDI Bill will take away people’s bank deposits’: Mamata writes to Jaitley for immediate withdrawalForget sharing your data with banks, in Goa you need to share Aadhaar for paid sex<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>After the Assembly election result for Gujarat was out on Monday, with BJP registering its sixth consecutive victory, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulated the people of Gujarat for a ‘balanced verdict’ and at the same time termed it as a ‘temporary and face-saving victory.’<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>‘I congratulate Gujarat voters for their very balanced verdict at this hour. It is a temporary and face-saving win, but it shows a moral defeat for BJP. Gujarat voted against atrocities, anxiety and injustice caused to the common people,” she tweeted.

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BJP leaders meet in WB ahead of bypolls

A day after Trinamool Congress’ youth wing president Abhishek Banerjee lashed out at BJP at Sabang in West Midnapore, ahead of bypolls on December 21, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and BJP MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo along with others conducted a meeting on Sunday at Sabang.At the meeting, Ghosh accused the Mamata Banerjee-led government of indulging in politics of appeasement and alleged that there had been no development at Sabang and that it had been given step-motherly treatment by the state.”The TMC government had not done any development here in spite of the Central government sanctioning Rs 678 crore to build canals to help prevent floods. It is just a huge scam. The canals have been dug haphazardly,” Ghosh said, adding that most of the money had been re-routed to the party fund.He also said that Sabang was famous for its mats but Mamata did nothing to ensure the development of that art. Referring to the role of Manas Bhuniya, who had been a Congress MLA since 1982 before defecting to the TMC, he accused him of being an opportunist who switched over for his own personal interest.”So far, there has only been politics of corruption, violence and opportunists who overlooked the interest of the common people by depriving them of basic facilities. There needs to be a change to be brought about here,” he said.Supriyo reiterated that Mamata had been claiming all the credits of providing rice at Rs 2 per kg to the common people but in effect Food Corporation of India (FCI) was buying the rice at Rs 33 per kg of which, the Centre was providing Rs 29.67 per kg, the state was paying Re 1 per kg and consumers were paying Rs 2 per kg for the rice. He also alleged that corruption galore in the TMC government in the implementation of the Centre’s Swachh Bharat mission.

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Women security issues raised in event on Nirbhaya’s Fifth anniversary

Ensuring the safety and security of Indian women was highlighted again at an event held here to mark the fifth anniversary of the Nirbhaya gang rape case that shook the nation to its core in 2012.A research paper on women’s perspective and alternative media was presented and primarily dealt with changes taking place in the lives of women. Another research paper dealing with the security of women centred around sexual harassment at workplace and how it differs from the western perspective.Another issue taken up was the insecurities faced by women and mainly dealt with sexual crimes and sexual violence.Also readFive years of Nirbhaya case: Mamata Banerjee calls for keeping society safeThe presentation of research papers was followed by a panel discussion on rape, child abuse, legal intricacies related to such crimes, how women are supposed to carry themselves according to society, but how they actually should, gender sensitisation and how women should forge their road ahead.Rakesh Yogi spoke on equality and how women should start raising their voices against such crimes. He also gave the vote of thanks.Also readEvery day a Nirbhaya is gang-raped and killed here: Asha DeviOther participants included chief guest and journalist turned social activist, Alok Dixit, television anchor Richa Anirudh, senior journalist at The Tribune Aditi Tandon, Assistant Professor Lal Bahadur Ojha, research scholar Richa Chandi and others.

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If Centre is not willing to pay for mid-day meals in school, we will provide money: Mamata Banerjee

A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Bengal-based labourers working outside the state were welcome to return if they were feeling insecure, at a public meeting on Wednesday at Indus village in Bankura district, she came down heavily upon the Centre saying that if they were not ready to give foodgrain for mid-day meal in schools, the state would pay for those.“They say that they don’t have enough foodgrain for mid-day meal and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) project. They have also frozen funds so that we cant supply foodgrains to the poor. We are not scared. I tell them that if they don’t want to give foodgrain for mid-day meals or funds, we will provide those ourselves but we will not stand your high-handedness” Mamata said.She alleged that members of certain political parties were spending a lot of money to create divide among people on the basis of religions. Mamata asked people to be alert and to inform police if any such person was spotted. If police fail to do their duty, she asked people to approach her directly. “We don’t burn people to death who have come here to work. We don’t divide people on the basis of religion. If you see any suspicious person, inform the police. I will ask district police authorities to suitably reward such informers. I would also say that if you see police are not taking any action, dial 100 and inform police helpline about it. If that also doesn’t work, come to my residence with the complaint letter,” she said.Also readMurder of Bengal workers: Electrician found dead in Kerala, Mamata Banerjee to address meeting in BankuraEarly this month, Md Afrazul Khan, a 47-year-old labourer from Malda district of West Bengal, who had gone to Rajasthan looking for employment, had been brutally hacked, doused with kerosene and then set ablaze. The incident had been captured on camera and the video was made viral by the offender himself.

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Rajasthan hacking: Bengal Congress accuses Mamata Banerjee of trying to reap political dividend

State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Tuesday alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was trying to reap political dividend after the ‘hate murder’ of Bengal-based labourer Md Afrazul Khan in Rajasthan.“In the wake of the brutal murder, Mamata had taken an unprecedented step by organising a political meeting right at the doorstep of the deceased, the very next day after his body arrived when the entire family of the victim, according to the rituals of condolence, was reciting the Holy Quran. I think Mamata herself is not acquainted with the established religious Muslim rituals after death. I found that Trinamool was over-enthusiastic in expressing their grief and sorrow while ignoring the rituals of the Muslim community,” he said talking to DNA . He further added, “While speaking in that political programme under the guise of condolence, even the ministers were simply harping on the magnanimity of Mamata Banerjee which does not have even scant relation with the murder. Certainly, it is garnering political dividend out of the brutal death. It was found that Mamata had virtually started campaigning for panchayat polls in that area.”Also readRajasthan hacking- If people want to return to Bengal, will provide assistance to set up business: Mamata BanerjeeAdhir said that while the Rajasthan government had paid Rs 5 lakh to the family of the victim, the state government should have paid at least 10 lakh. Referring to the on-going Gujarat polls too Chowdhury dealt barbs at Mamata saying that there was no message from her to people of Bengal who worked in Gujarat. “Speaking at the Shahid Divas platform, she had said that it was necessary to strengthen Sonia Gandhi’s hand for fighting against the BJP’s communal force but active as she always is on social media, she could have sent a message via Facebook or Twitter to Bengalis who lived there to vote for secular partes,” Chowdhury said.

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Rajasthan hacking- If people want to return to Bengal, will provide assistance to set up business: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at state BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Monday for his comments regarding the hate murder of Md Afrazul Khan, a labourer from Malda district of Bengal who was killed in Rajasthan.“There are so many people who had come to West Bengal from UP and Bihar and made this their place to live and work. Can I ask all of them to leave Bengal? Does Dilip Ghosh know for how long this has been going on? Aren’t people like him ashamed to make such comments?” Mamata said speaking at a public meeting at Kanksa in West Burdwan district.She said that people from Bengal who had been working in other states, if they intended to come back to Bengal out of a feeling of insecurity, the state would give them a financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to set up a business. “Leaders who are mindless make such comments. People of Bengal will not forgive such persons. They will shoo them away from Bengal permanently,” she said.Also readRajasthan hacking: “We only know our father was a hero of the family, don’t know what love jihad is”Ghosh had yesterday said that if there were enough jobs in Bengal people would leave the state and such incidents would not happen at all.Mamata refuted Ghosh’s allegations of Muslim appeasement and said, “If there has been a murder I would not want to know what was the faith of the victim. Whether he was a Hindu or a Muslim. We believe it has been a death of a human being. When we carry out a welfare project we don’t cater to any particular person. All school goers get bicycles irrespective of their religion. Girls of all religion get Kanyashree benefits. It is the job of BJP to divide people on the basis of their religion,” she said.Also readRajasthan murder: Woman denies she was ‘rescued’ by accusedMamata also warned party district president from Birbhum, Anubrata Mondal for his remarks. “If the BJP is saying something foul, we don’t need to counter that by saying something worse. It is not our culture. We will fight them politically, democratically. I have given Keshta (Mondal) a final warning saying he should not repeat such things,” she added.Mondal, at a meeting yesterday said that if such thing had happened in Birbhum, he would have burnt the offender alive, whatever post of BJP he could be holding.

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Mamata Banerjee declares compensation, job for victim’s kin

"Very sad incident happened in Rajasthan. Afrajul Khan of Malda of our state was brutally killed. His family is totally helpless," she tweeted. She added that she is sending a team of ministers and MPs to visit the family in Kaliachak in Malda district on Saturday. A team of five comprising three MPs – Sudip Bandopadhyay, Sougata Roy and Kakali Ghosh Dastidar and two ministers – Suvendu Adhikari and Firhad Hakim, will reach Khan's residence at Kaliachak in West Bengal's Malda district on Saturday morning. Khan's body will be brought late on Friday evening to his residence for the last rites.”

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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByArshad Ali <!–end of artlbotbor–>Saturday 9 December 2017 6:25 ISTMust readWhat’s wrong with Vande Mataram? If not mother, will you salute Afzal Guru, asks Vice President Venkaiah Naidu India admits its drone lost contact and crossed into China<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh and a job for the family of Md Afrazul Khan, victim of alleged ‘love jihad’ in Rajasthan.”Very sad incident happened in Rajasthan. Afrajul Khan of Malda of our state was brutally killed. His family is totally helpless,” she tweeted. She added that she is sending a team of ministers and MPs to visit the family in Kaliachak in Malda district on Saturday. A team of five comprising three MPs – Sudip Bandopadhyay, Sougata Roy and Kakali Ghosh Dastidar and two ministers – Suvendu Adhikari and Firhad Hakim, will reach Khan’s residence at Kaliachak in West Bengal’s Malda district on Saturday morning. Khan’s body will be brought late on Friday evening to his residence for the last rites.

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Love jihad wasn’t the motive, indicates Rajasthan police’s preliminary investigation into Md Afrazul’s death

Preliminary investigations have ruled out ‘love jihad’ behind the gruesome killing of a 48-year-old Muslim labourer in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district, police said today.Mohammand Afrazul from West Bengal was hacked and burnt to death in Rajsamand by Shabhu Lal Raigar, who was seen ranting against ‘love jihad’ in a video that was shot and uploaded on the internet by his minor nephew.Raigar was today sent to three days in police custody and his nephew to a juvenile home by a court in Rajsamand even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded “exemplary action” against him for killing Afrazul.The Bengal government has announced Rs 3 lakh and a job to the labourer’s family.”The accused, Shabhu Lal Raigar, said that he committed the crime over ‘love jihad’, but it has not been established so far that any such theory was behind the killing of the labourer,” Inspector General of Police, Udaipur, Anand Srivastava said.The police is interrogating Raigar to ascertain the motive, the officer said.”Nothing conclusive can be said at the moment, but preliminary investigation suggest that there was nothing like ‘love jihad’. However, the matter is being thoroughly probed on all angles to find out the motive,” Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said.Also readMamata announces Rs 3 lakh and job for kin of labourer killed in Rajasthan, accused gets three-day police custodyThe video of the gruesome incident went viral on social media on Wednesday and a day later Raigar was arrested and his nephew detained. He is seen raving against ‘love jihad’, a term used by sections of Hindu activists to describe marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men.”Raigar was produced in the court of chief judicial magistrate of Rajsamand. The magistrate remanded him in police custody for three days. He will be produced in the court on December 10 again,” SHO Rajnagar Ramsumer Meena said.Also read’I am a normal person,’ says accused in gruesome Rajasthan murder videoHis minor nephew was sent to a juvenile home by the court, he said.Meanwhile in Kolkata, Banerjee asked the West Bengal director general of police to speak to his Rajasthan counterpart and ensure security to nearly 3,500 labourers from West Bengal working in that state.”This is a very sad incident… Cannot even think of this. There must be strong and exemplary action against those responsible for the heinous crime,” Banerjee said.Senior TMC leaders, including ministers Firad Hakim and Suvendu Adhikary, and party MPs are slated to go to Malda district tomorrow to visit the labourer’s family, who have described Afrazul as their sole earning member and demanded strict action against Raigar.

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Mamata Banerjee says will protect Muslims, Dalits in state

An event billed as Communal Harmony Day organised by the youth wing of Trinamool Congress (TMC) ended up being a platform for BJP-bashing by top TMC leaders, led by party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.”Intolerance is the biggest programme of the government at the Centre and a political party. I am also a Hindu but that doesn’t give me any right to hate Muslims or Christians. What one will eat or wear is one’s own choice and no one has the right to intervene in it. It is a bigger problem than an emergency situation,” Mamata said at the public meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.She said that on the one hand Dalits were being subjected to atrocities and on the other, when elections neared, BJP leaders went with to the houses of these Dalits and had food there which had been brought from five-star hotels.She also said that there were 31 per cent Muslims in West Bengal and 23 per cent Dalits who she would protect. “It is my duty to protect them and I will do that. If people say it is appeasement, so be it,” she said.She alleged that the Central government was setting central investigating agencies on people who dared to speak against them even as BJP leaders who had been accused of several cases had gone scot-free. “Our leaders had not taken any money…. In this case, they didn’t even want the money and were given forcefully,” she said. Mamata also claimed that she had been told that about 75,000 industrialists had settled abroad during the BJPs current tenure at the centre.Mamata’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee claimed that TMC would win all the Zila Parishads and would win all 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.He also challenged Mukul Roy, saying “If he contests in anyone and wins from there, I will quit politics,” he said.
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Mamata banerjee mocks Swachh Bharat mission over Sri Lankan players wearing masks

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mocked the BJP-led Central government on Tuesday for its Swachh Bharat scheme pointing out the high pollution level in New Delhi which led to Sri Lankan cricketers wearing masks during the third Test against India at Feroze Shah Kotla.“What happened to Swachh Bharat Mission? We all know that charity begins at home. Players of the Sri Lanka cricket team were wearing masks on the field at the capital of the country. There is so much pollution at the capital. From political pollution to air pollution. People need masks for everything from eating to playing,” she said while addressing a gathering organised by the minority department of the state at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here in Central Kolkata.Negating the claims of BJP leaders that she had rechristened Swachh Bharat Mission as ‘Nirmal Bangla’ in West Bengal, Mamata maintains that Nirmal Bangla was launched a lot earlier than Swachh Bharat which was rolled out on October 2, 2014.Also readMask-gate: Angelo Mathews says conditions getting worse, Mohammed Shami plays it downOn Monday too, Mamata, interacting with mediapersons at Nabanna, the state secretariat, said, “Delhi should control pollution. I am saying this because I am ashamed of it. It was an international game and international players were playing with masks on. Pollution problem is getting bad to worse everyday.”
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Samajwadi Party stands with Mamata Banerjee in her ‘fight against communal forces’: Akhilesh Yadav

Sending out a strong message to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday voiced his support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her “fight against the communal forces”. Akhilesh, after meeting the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo in Kolkata, said, “Whenever I have visited Bengal, I have met Didi (Mamata Banerjee). Didi’s struggle is not hidden from anyone, and the Samajwadi Party stands with her in her fight against the communal forces here.” The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also lauded Banerjee for her work in West Bengal.Also readAfter drubbing in UP civic polls, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati invoke tampered EVM allegations”Her secular battle and her work for the progress of Bengal is a huge work in my opinion,” Yadav told reporters after meeting Banerjee in Kolkata.”This is one region where major secular forces will join hands,” he added. Also readMamata Banerjee miffed with officers for failing to keep promisesBanerjee, in recent past, has taken the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre and the BJP head on and has emerged as a leading Opposition voice. Earlier in August, Banerjee had launched ‘BJP quit India’ campaign and had said that the TMC would work with all opposition parties to oust the saffron party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Akhilesh also commented on the results of Uttar Pradesh Civic polls, wherein the BJP emerged victorious, winning 14 out of 16 municipal corporations.”As for UP polls, it was publicised that 16 elections took place out of which 14 was won by BJP. Then what was left for others? But if we closely look at the elections, then it’s the BJP’s slyness that it shows only that portion (of the result) that benefits it,” he said.
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Indian economy back on track, GDP expands 6.3% in July-Sep quarter: Who said what

Bouncing back from a three-year low, Indian economy has reversed a five-quarter slide in GDP growth to expand by 6.3 % in July-September quarter. According to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the GDP for Q2 stood at Rs 31.66 lakh crore, registering a growth of 6.3%, up from 5.7% reported during the first quarter of 2017-18. Chief Statistician T C A Anant hinted that the GDP numbers could be revised upwards as businesses uncertain of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime may have accounted for lesser taxes. While the government was upbeat with the positive growth which came just ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls, Opposition leaders said this was too early to arrive at a conclusion and government should wait longer to beat its chest. Here is how people across the country have reacted to the GDP numbers: Also readImpact of demonetization and GST behind us: Arun Jaitley on Q2 GDP figuresArun Jaitley, Union Finance MinisterGovernment’s reforms to push economic growth are working can be seen from that manufacturing has shown robust growth of 7% in Q2 and services at 7.1%. Gross fixed capital formation has increased from 1.6% in Q1 to 4.7% in Q2.Also readAhead of Gujarat polls, GDP brings cheers for PM Narendra Modi, grows at 6.3% in Q2Amit Shah, BJP PresidentToday’s GDP numbers reiterate the #IndiaUnstoppable story under PM Narendra Modi. The strong rebound in growth is a reflection of solid economic management by the Modi Government. The reforms by Modi Govt is leading to faster growth as well as creating a strong and stable economy with increased formalisation and increased opportunities for the poor and middle class.Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for RailwaysTransformational reforms under PM Narendra Modi ji bearing fruit through faster growth and prosperity for all. Quarterly GDP growth accelerates to 6.3% vs 5.7% in the previous quarter.P Chidambaram, Congress leader and former Union MinisterHappy that the July-Sep quarter has registered a growth rate of 6.3%. This a PAUSE in the declining trend of the last five quarters. But we cannot say now whether this will mark an upward trend in the growth rate. We should wait for the growth rates over the next 3-4 quarters before we can reach a definite conclusion. 6.3% is far below the PROMISE of the Modi government and far below the POTENTIAL of a well-managed Indian economy.Randeep S Surjewala, Congress spokespersonImprovement of GDP numbers is an encouraging sign, but it is just a ‘Temporary Pause’ from the ‘Downward Trend’. India’s Economic Stress continues; #GDP far below at 6.3% compared to 7.5% of Q2 of last year! -A close scrutiny reveals the Real Picture. No amount of ‘Spinning’,‘Sugar Coating’ and ‘Bloating on figures; will alter the Ground Reality that has hit us hard! Agriculture Sector Growth is Abysmal & Core Sector Growth is Stagnant & Manufacturing Down – What is the Modi Government celebrating.Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CMGDP figures out. Again no growth. No jobs.Effects of note ban scam & unplanned GST continue to damage economy. Only talking. No performance. Last year Q2 GDP growth was 7.5% and this year it is 6.3%. This Govt only bhashan, no action.Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CIIThe rebound in GDP growth to 6.3% is noteworthy and a great confidence booster. The revival of the #GDP growth print reinforces the perception that economy is on a robust recovery phase and the short-term disruptions caused by demonetisation and GST are behind us. CII believes that eco performance wd be better in the 2nd half as companies move to execute projects on the back of improved demand.
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Biswa Bangla row: Mukul Roy summoned by court after Abhishek Banerjee files defamation case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee on Tuesday filed a criminal defamation case against former TMC Rajya Sabha MP, now BJP leader, Mukul Roy.The case was filed at Bankshall Court in Kolkata. On the basis of Abhishek’s complaint and the documents submitted, Bankshall Court has issued a summon to Roy on December 20. Post filing the case, Abhishek said that he had been hurt by the allegations levelled by Roy. He also gave a challenge to Roy saying, “If I say something, people might choose to believe me or not. Similarly with Roy. Now it is up to the court to decide and pass a verdict. Then everyone will believe what the truth is. He has alleged that I am the owner of business entities named Biswa Bangla and Jago Bangla. If he cannot prove it, he should leave his seat and Bengal. If he can prove it fair and square, I will leave politics.”Roy, however, interacting to mediapersons maintained that he had not said anything without documents. “These papers are that of the corporate affairs ministry. If it is tried in any court of the country, I will be able to prove that what I had said is true,” he said. Reacting to Abhishek’s comments he said, “These are attempts to divert people’s attention from the issue. He is a young man and is immature that is why he throws these challenges.”
ALSO READ Mukul Roy moves Delhi HC against West Bengal govt over alleged tapping of his phoneHe added that earlier Alipurduar District Court had passed an injunction prohibiting Roy from making public statements against Abhishek following a petition by him but Roy repeated it again at a press conference on November 25. “Now I have filed a criminal case against him. I have my full faith on the judiciary. People are watching. We have shown how to win convincingly through ballot. We will do the same in this legal battle as well,” he added.Along with Abhishek, also present at the court was party MLA Smita Bakshi’s son Soumya Bakshi. Abhishek’s lawyer said that the defamation case has been filed under section 202 of the Indian Penal Code.
ALSO READ Why Mukul Roy is getting ‘Y-plus’ security? Trinamool leader files plea in Calcutta High CourtInterestingly, Roy too, had filed a similar case against Abhishek last week at Patiala House Court in New Delhi saying that the legal notice which was sent to him was defamatory. It will be heard on December 1. State BJP leadership refused to comment on the issue. “It is Roy who has alleged and the case is against him. The party is with him but he himself will have to prove the credibility of his allegations,” said a senior state BJP leader.In another development, the Biswa Bangla Biswabidyalay Bill (Biswa Bangla University Bill) was tabled by state education minister Partha Chatterjee at the West Bengal state Assembly while Opposition members opposed the title of the bill. Left Front and Congress members suggested that the bill should referred to the select committee which was turned down by speaker Biman Banerjee. Chatterjee said that the name had nothing to do with the Biswa Bangla logo. The proposed university would be located at Bolpur in Shantiniketan. Opposition members said that they opposed the use ‘Biswa Bangla’, which was a tainted phrase, in the name of a university at Shantiniketan because it amounted to an insult to Rabindranath Tagore.

Padmavati | Don’t forget Shurpnakaha’s fate, BJP leader threatens Mamata Banerjee for backing Deepika Padukone’s film

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after announcing Rs 10 crore bounty on Deepika Padukone’s head, BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu on Saturday threatened West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for backing the period saga Padmavati.Talking to reporters, Amu said in no uncertain terms that Mamata Banerjee must not forget what happened to Shurpnakaha.In an open threat, Amu said that the ‘Lakshman had cut the nose of evil women like Shurpnakaha. Mamata ji must not forget it.’The warning comes a day after the West Bengal Chief Minister said that she would welcome the Padmavati crew in her state and make arrangements for the screening of the movie.
ALSO READ Padmavati: It’s murder, my brother can’t commit suicide, says brother of Nahargarh Fort victim“If they are unable to release the film in any other state, we are ready to make special arrangements for it in our state. Bengal will be happy and proud to do it. Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his Padmavati team are welcome here,” Banrejee had said at an event in Delhi.The Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone starrer period drama, which was supposed to be released on December 1 had been deferred following protests in many parts of the country.
ALSO READ Padmavati Controversy: Delhi HC dismisses plea, says such petitions encourage agitatorsThe protests took brutal turn when a dead body was found hanging from the parapet of Jaipur’s Nahargarh Fort on Friday. Though the charcoal writings found around the body linked it to the Padmavati protests, but the mystery remains.The police identified the man as 40-year-old fashion jewellery trader Chetan Saini, who had left home on Thursday afternoon but did not return. “My brother cannot commit suicide. He was not depressed nor was he under any financial or emotional pressure. It appears to be a murder. We demand an investigation. He has nothing to do with the graffiti,” said his brother Ram Ratan Saini.
ALSO READ Nahargarh Fort Death: Is it connected to Padmavati? Some unanswered questionsPolice officers and forensic teams rushed to the spot but could not conclude anything.“It’s premature to comment on the issue. Investigations are on,” said Satyendra Singh, DCP Jaipur (North). The police were collecting writing samples to ascertain who wrote the messages.

Linking of Aadhaar with personal details dangerous for individuals and society: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that linking of personal details with Aadhaar number was “dangerous” for individuals and society.Banerjee, in a post on her Twitter handle, said, “Linking of #Aadhaar is very problematic. In the name of #AadhaarCard, details have been put on 210 government websites. This is dangerous for individual liberty, the society, and the country.””All the skeletons are being exposed. Some people feel happy even after doing wrong things,” the chief minister said continuing her tirade against the BJP government at the Centre on the Aadhaar issue.Banerjee had yesterday told reporters at the state secretariat, “We already have the PAN card, voter ID card. But I believe what is taking place in the name of Aadhaar card — that will be dangerous for any individual and society.” Criticising the Centre, the Trinamool Congress chief had stated, “Some people act like Muhammad Bin Tughlaq and take sudden decisions like dividing the state or the move of demonetization. This information about Aadhaar card details leakage also shows such mindset.””Details from head to toe of every individual, talks between mother and daughter… husband and wife would be known. I have been a warning (people) about this time and again,” she had said.More than 200 central and state government websites publicly displayed details such as names and addresses of some Aadhaar beneficiaries and Banerjee had denounced the central government over the leak, the Unique Identification Authority of India said recently.The Aadhaar issuing body in response to a Right to Information query said it took note of the breach and got the data removed from those websites.

Mukul Roy moves Delhi HC against West Bengal govt over alleged tapping of his phone

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Newly inducted BJP leader Mukul Roy on Friday moved Delhi High Court against the West Bengal government over alleged tapping of his phone.The court will hear the matter on November 20.Earlier, Roy had said that the ruling Trinamool Congress has turned itself into a ‘private limited company’ under the stewardship of Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek.Explaining his reasons for leaving the TMC, Roy asserted that the promises made by the party were not fulfilled.”The TMC is no longer a party, but a limited company. So I could not stay longer in the party,” he saidMukul Roy quit the TMC and joined the BJP on November 3.

Preparing list of TMC leaders involved in attack on BJP workers, says Dilip Ghosh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to the attacks on BJP workers allegedly by TMC cadres, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that they are keeping a tab on people who are attacking BJP supporters. “The ruling dispensation was rattled at the increasing popularity of BJP in Bengal. Their leaders and workers are joining BJP almost everyday. TMC leaders are unable to stand this. Which is why they are launching attacks on BJP supporters. A list of those who are involved in these attacks on us is being prepared,” Ghosh said on Wednesday at the NJP station as he was on his way to Malda as part of his tour to districts for strengthening party organisation. He was however, quick to add that they did not believe in vindictive politics and would like to reply in a democratic manner.He also alleged that TMC was launching the attack on BJP with the help of police. “TMC has lost its popularity among people and their leaders are unable to face people so they are taking the help of police to do everything for TMC from extorting money to beat up Opposition leaders,” he said.Referring to the situation at the hills he said, “The condition of the hills is equally pathetic. None of the TMC leaders including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee can go to the hills at the moment and the party is using Central force to protect the police personnel who are made to sit idle there. I had been there and people have urged me to request the Centre to withdraw forces from there,” Ghosh added.On Wednesday, several students from South 24 Parganas defected from TMCP, the students’ wing of Trinamool Congress to BJP under the leadership of former TMCP leader Monty Jaiswal, in the presence of newly-inducted BJP leader Mukul Roy. Jaiswal said that not only from TMCP, many from the TMC youth wing too would be joining BJP. It was found out that soon a unit of ABVP, the students arm of the saffron brigade, would be opened in Behala.

West Bengal: BJP leader Babul Supriyo lashes out at TMC govt over dengue management in state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Babul Supriyo lashed out at the West Bengal government of discreetly instructing hospitals to not write ‘dengue’ in prescriptions or in death certificates. Supriyo’s daughter, who studies in Mumbai, has contracted the disease and his undergoing treatment in the island city. “My elder daughter who lives in Mumbai has contracted dengue. She has been admitted to a private hospital where her blood platelet count is being monitored and I am given constant feedback over phone. But over here in West Bengal, neither the private hospitals nor the pathological laboratories are allowed to write dengue in prescriptions,” Supriyo said at a public meeting in Asansol, the constituency from where he is a BJP MP.He added that the state would not have to spend a lot of money even if dengue is detected. “I have come to know it lately after my daughter contracted the disease that dengue treatment doesn’t involve administrating a lot of medicines,” he added.Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court has asked the state government to produce the latest report with exact figures of dengue deaths on Thursday.On Tuesday, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharyya and Justice Arijit Banerjee asked the exact number of dengue-related deaths. The state government had earlier on October 4 said that 19 dengue-related deaths had been reported from state-run hospitals, but authorities were unable to give data on the number of deaths in private hospitals.Upon hearing several petitions by individuals and political parties High Court directed on Tuesday that the state needs to produce an updated report on dengue on Thursday when the case would be put up for hearing.Counsel for the petitioners, Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya said that a senior doctor who had put up a post on dengue on his Facebook profile had been suspended.

Cong accuses Bengal govt of illegally using FIFA logo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when the TMC-led state government is yet to get out of the ‘Biswa Bangla’ ownership controversy, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee has levelled a fresh allegation that the state has infringed copyright rules by illegally using the registered logos of FIFA.“According to the FIFA committee, the logos are internationally protected. It is a shame that being the host state for Under-17 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, the state had indulged in such an illegal activity. We have written to the FIFA authorities drawing their interest towards this unlawful act,” said state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Tuesday while interacting with mediapersons.He said during the tournament from October 6 to October 28, several municipalities and local self governments had used the picture of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and various state government-sponsored schemes, such as Sabuj Saathi, Kanyashree, Khadya Sathi, using the logo of FIFA U-17 World Cup. “The unauthorised use of FIFA logos not only undermines integrity of the tournament and marketing programmes but also puts interests of worldwide football community at stake,” he said.He also read out the rules from the FIFA website, which said, ‘FIFA is obliged to take action against any unauthorised reproduction of its marks in a commercial context. If FIFA did not follow up on any infringements of its trademarks and copyrighted works, it would risk losing its legal right and title to such works, thereby endangering the foundation of its commercial programme.”A letter has been shot to the FIFA president and pictures of hoardings carrying such advertisements have been uploaded on the website of FIFA.INFRINGEMENTA letter has been shot to the FIFA president and pictures of hoardings, during the Under-17 FIFA World Cup, carrying such advertisements have been uploaded on the website of FIFA

It’s official: Rasgulla belongs to West Bengal, not Odisha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced that the state had been granted geographical indication (GI) status for rasgulla.”Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that #Bengal has been granted GI ( Geographical Indication) status for Rosogolla,” Banerjee tweetedGIs are signs used on products that possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods in 2003.In 2015, a report of Bengalis and Odiyas sparring over the origin of the sweet went viral on social media. The fight got so intense that the Odisha government even set up three committees to look into matters relating to the origin rasgulla.The first committee would look into facts and evidence regarding the origin of Rasgulla in Odisha, the second would study the ground, based on which West Bengal is making its claim. The third would collect necessary documents to support and validate Odisha’s claim.However, two years on, and West Bengal can finally claim that the rasgulla is officially theirs.

Madras High Court dismiss PIL seeking ban on ‘Mahatma’ prefix on currency notes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a direction to the central government to refrain from using the word ‘Mahatma’ as a prefix to Gandhi’s name in the currency notes with a cost of Rs 10,000 on the petitioner for wasting time.The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar dismissed the petition moved as a PIL by S Muruganantham, a research scholar at Jadavpur University in Kolkata saying that such PIL’s only clogged the business of the court and consumed valuable time of the judiciary.The petitioner questioned the constitutional validity of prefixing the title ‘Mahatma’ before the name of MK Gandhi in Indian currency notes and contended that the act of the government was in complete violations of Article 14 and 18 of the constitution. He also said that when the Reserve Bank of India uses the prefix, it amounts to a violation of the principle of equality which is the basic structure of Constitution.

WB CM’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee sends defamation notice to Mukul Roy for levelling graft charges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, who is also nephew of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday sent a defamation notice to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukul Roy for levelling corruption allegations against him.On November 3, Roy during a public meet alleged that Banerjee, owned ‘Biswa Bangla’, a brand promoted by the state government. He further added that All India Trinamool Youth Congress national president owned the party’s mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’.Banerjee’s defamation notice comes days after Mukul Roy accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of indulging in ‘minority politics’ in the state.”In West Bengal, Durga Puja and Laxmi Puja have stopped. Mamata Banerjee is indulging in minority politics,” Roy had said while addressing a rally here. He further said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would come into power in West Bengal in 2019. ?A change will come. The BJP will come into power in Bengal in 2019,” he said.Roy added that Mamata Banerjee had changed, adding that before coming to power, the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) slogan was change, and not revenge, but six years later, the party’s slogan changed. Explaining his reasons for leaving the TMC, Roy asserted that the promises made by the party were not fulfilled. ?The TMC is no longer a party, but a limited company. So I could not stay longer in the party,” said Mukul Roy. Mukul Roy quit the TMC and joined the BJP on November 3.

Didi’s UK visit is to improve health: Oppn

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition parties in West Bengal have criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her official visit to the United Kingdom terming it a pretext for health benefits. Mamata has been invited to London to unveil a commemorative blue plaque in the memory of Sister Nivedita on Monday.The CM is expected to unveil the plaque at Sister Nivedita’s residence in Wimbledon, where she lived before moving to India in 1898. On Wednesday, Mamata is scheduled to visit Scotland to meet prospective investors to attract investment in West Bengal.State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury told DNA: “It is nothing but her annual tour to restore her health and disposition at the cost of the exchequer. We all respect Sister Nivedita, but the CM should not have concocted such a cock-and-bull story to justify her trip.” Him apart, former TMC MP Mukul Roy, who recently joined the BJP, and CPI(M) MP Md Salim were among the leaders who attacked the Mamata.

WB dengue crisis: BJP writes to JP Nadda seeking central intervention

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh has written to Union Health Minister J P Nadda seeking his intervention to tackle the state’s dengue situation which, he said, has become an ‘epidemic’.In a letter to Nadda, Ghosh alleged that hospitals and health centres of the state are inadequately equipped to treat patients and are sending them home without meaningful treatment. “Under such precarious situation where common people are victims and state government is busy subverting the facts, I am compelled to request you to kindly intervene in this ‘dengue epidemic situation’ in West Bengal immediately and please take necessary steps to provide relief to the people,” he said in the letter.The BJP leader also accused the Mamata Banerjee government of discreetly instructing the hospitals not to write dengue in prescriptions or in death certificates and has created fear psychosis among doctors. “The CM, who is also the health minister, has declined to accept that there is any epidemic of dengue in Bengal and said ‘it is a conspiracy of the opposition political parties’,” Ghosh said. Alleging that there is a huge shortage of dengue test kits in state-run hospitals, he wrote to the union minister that the number of dengue deaths in the state were much more than the state government’s claim of 18.The number of dengue cases have crossed 50,000 while the health department is saying it is only 18,000, he claimed in the letter written on Thursday, a copy of which was made available to the media today. When contacted, Ghosh told PTI that the state government is unwilling to solve the situation and that is why it is trying to suppress facts. “Lives of the common people hold no value to this government. The Mamata Banerjee government has lost the trust of the people,” he said.

On DeMo anniversary, Opposition and BJP leaders fight pitched battles across the country

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his decision to demonetise high value currency notes, there were emotional speeches and number crunching and some poetry besides protests by the opposition parties. Key BJP ally Shiv Sena also joined the protests in Maharashtra.Indians had won a “decisive battle” against black money, Modi said, as the Congress led the opposition charge, calling it a tragedy in which millions had suffered. Modi also said he bowed to the people of India for supporting the measures against corruption and black money.The prime minister had announced that he was demonetising Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes as a measure to fight black money, corruption, fake currency and terror funding.
ALSO READ Amit Shah attacks Rahul Gandhi for using pic of ex-serviceman to pan demonetization, BJP says INC turning into Indian Fake News CongressWhile opposition leaders such as the Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram, Trinamool Congress’s Mamata Banerjee, RJD’s Lalu Yadav and Left leaders argued that it had done none of the above and actually helped convert black money into white, the government fielded a host of ministers to counter the barrage of criticism and defend the move.Modi posted a series of tweets and some short films on his Twitter handle to showcase the benefits it brought. It had, he said, formalised the economy and ensured better jobs for the poor, while cleansing the financial system.
ALSO READ Watch: Ex-serviceman who became face of demonetization protests actually supports note-banBut the opposition parties were unimpressed. The Congress and the Left parties held demonstrations across the country, while the RJD organised rallies in Bihar, and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.Congress vice president Gandhi used multiple platforms to slam the exercise. He wrote a signed article in the UK’s Financial Times, took to Twitter and met a cross-section of people in Surat, poll-bound Gujarat’s “diamond city”.
ALSO READ Mamata Banerjee describes demonetisation as ‘DeMoDisaster'”Modi’s reforms have robbed India of its economic prowess,” he alleged in the Financial Times and said demonetisation had wiped out 2 per cent of the GDP and “ruined” the lives of millions of workers.He even resorted to some poetry as his party observed the day with processions, rallies and candle-light marches in several parts of the country.”Ek aansu bhi hukumat ke liye khatra hai, tumne dekha nahin aankhon ka samundar hona (Even a single tear is a danger for the government, you have not seen eyes turning into an ocean),” Gandhi said in a tweet.His party colleague, former Union finance minister Chidambaram, echoed him.Launching a scathing attack on the Centre and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley – who said yesterday the demonetisation decision was an “ethical drive and a moral step” – he asked whether it was “ethical” to heap misery on millions of people.No one could deny that lives and jobs were lost due to the note ban, he said.Chidambaram went on to ask if it was ethical to destroy 15 lakh regular jobs during January-April 2017 and force thousands of micro and small businesses to close down.RJD chief Lalu Yadav also questioned the rationale behind the note ban, saying the move served the purpose of “converting black money into white with greater ease”.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who described demonetisation as “DeMoDisaster” and turned her Twitter display picture black, agreed with him.”Demonetisation was not to combat black money. It was only to convert black money into white money for vested interests of the political party in power (sic),” she alleged.The DMK joined in, with Working President M K Stalin saying in Madurai that November 8 was a day that brought despair to 125 crore Indians.”We got freedom in midnight (in 1947). But, we have lost our freedom in the midnight,” he said in an apparent reference to Modi’s announcement on the evening of November 8 last year.The Left parties, which took to the streets, said for the first time in India’s history, a government was “celebrating” death and suffering.Shiv Sena performed a ‘shradh’ or post-death rites at Ramkund, a sacred bathing ghat on the Godavari, in Nashik, in front of enlarged pictures of the scrapped notes.The government kept its arsenal ready too.Among the ministers who came out in defence of the decision were Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu, Nitin Gadkari, Prakash Javadekar and Manohar Parrikar.BJP president Amit Shah, who was in Junagadh, Gujarat, launched a signature campaign to mark the “anti-black money day” and said he supported the prime minister’s commitment for a “new India, free from corruption and black money”.Union minister Gadkari, who holds multiple portfolios, took up the fight in Mumbai.The government’s demonetisation decision had led to 58 per cent growth in digital transactions and an increase in the number of tax payers, he said.His colleague, Defence Minister Sitharaman, was in Chennai and hit out at former prime minister Manmohan Singh over his criticism of demonetisation.Prabhu, Union commerce and industry minister, was in Jaipur, HRD Minister Javadekar was in Bangalore and Goa Chief Minister Parrikar stepped into the battle from his perch, saying demonetisation had struck a blow to anti-India forces and empowered the poorest of the poor.

LK Advani turns 90, foes and friends wish BJP leader on Twitter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior politicians wished BJP leader and former deputy prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani on his 90th birthday.PM Narendra Modi also extended greetings to Indian Politician and veteran leader LK Advani. LK Advani was the deputy Prime Minister during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Advani was one of the founding members of the BJP, whose “Rath Yatra” in 1990 had brought the party into national prominence for the first time. The former deputy prime minister has also served as an MP from Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter and greeted BJP veteran LK Advani on his 90th birthday stating ‘his efforts have contributed richly to the building of the party.’ He said Advani is a political stalwart, a leader who has distinguished himself through hard work and dedication towards the nation.Wishing him good health and long political life, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also extended greeting to the veteran politician. “Wishing a very happy birthday to Lal Krishna Advani Ji. Health and happiness for a long life,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle this morning.Most of the leaders took to Twitter to pay respects to the veteran BJP leader on his 90th birth anniversary. However, ditching his former colleagues, veteran BJP Leader LK Advani celebrated his birthday with visually-impaired children.

Demonetization’s aim was to convert black money to white: Mamata Banerjee attacks Modi govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching a fresh attack on the Narendra Modi government over demonetisation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today alleged note ban was a big scam and was announced to help vested interests convert black money into white money.Banerjee’s remarks came on the eve of the first anniversary of demonetisation.”Demonetisation is a big scam. I repeat, demonetisation is a big scam. If a thorough investigation is conducted, this will be proved,” the chief minister alleged on Facebook.”Demonetisation was not to combat black money. It was only to convert black money into white money for vested interests of political party in power (sic),” she alleged.Neither it brought back black money stashed abroad nor it could combat terrorism or help the country develop, Banerjee claimed.”In all practical sense, it yielded a big, big zero,” she said.Due to demonetisation, “the country has already lost GDP worth nearly Rs 3 lakh crore. Crores of workers, particularly in the informal sector, lost their jobs. Farmers were left to starve. Over 100 people lost their lives”, the CM claimed.November 8 will be observed as Black Day to protest against demonetisation and the “unparallelled damage” it caused to the country and the economy, she said. PTI SCH SUN PR

Chennai floods: Following electrocution of two girls, HC orders Rs 10 lakh compensation each to next of kin

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Saturday took a serious view of the electrocution of two minor girls after they stepped on a live wire submerged in rain water and directed the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation each to next of kin.”Keeping live wires open smacks of criminal negligence. The respondents shall ensure that all naked wires in the city are sealed and that adequate steps are taken to ensure that such incidents do not take place in future,” the court said.The bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, took suo motu notice of the incident after a mention was made by Advocate George Williams yesterday.Additional Advocate General Manishankar submitted that already Rs two lakh each were paid to the bereaved families while Advocate Williams sought a compensation of Rs 25 lakh.The negligence on the part of TANGEDCO to maintain the electricity supply boxes and wires in a good condition had scattered the dreams of their parents to make them engineers or doctors, Williams told the bench.After hearing their submissions, the bench said Rs 10 lakh shall be paid to the respective families within seven days after deducting the amount of Rs 2 lakh which was already paid.The two girls were electrocuted when they stepped on a live wire submerged in water while playing at Kondungaiyur area in the city on November 1.

Former TMC leader Mukul Roy to join BJP today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy joins BJP. He was inducted into the party at BJP’s Delhi headquarters. Roy had resigned from the Rajya Sabha and quit the TMC earlier this month. Last month, he was suspended from the TMC for six years for indulging in “anti-party activities” after he had announced on September 25 that he would quit the party.Subsequently, Roy had described the BJP as a secular party and said the TMC would not have tasted success without the backing of the saffron outfit at the national level in its initial years. Trinamool Congress co-founder Mukul Roy (63), once a right-hand man of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who helped her to build the party in 1998, on Wednesday quit the party as well as the Rajya Sabha membership. He was suspended for anti-party activities.His entry in the BJP will give it a boost in its campaign to unseat Mamata Banerjee and make a mark in West Bengal. The BJP’s Bengal in-charge general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya had met him at the residence of party vice-president Om Mathur on Monday.

West Bengal: Aadhaar for population above 18 years has been achieved, says NPR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As West Bengal got drubbed at the Supreme Court regarding the non-compliance of linking phone number with Aadhaar, officials of National Population Register (NPR) said that 100 per cent generation of Aadhaar for the population over 18 years has been done.“We are not bothered about what is going on at the political front. We are only carrying out our duty as instructed. Although we are lagging behind in the generation of Aadhaar for population under 18 years of age, where we have covered about 65 per cent, Aadhaar generation for the above-18 population group has been achieved for 100 per cent,” said a senior NPR official, talking to DNA.He said that with advanced software being used at present, the work was being completed almost free from all technical glitches. “There is no rejection now by the system which initially used to take up a lot of time,” he added.The political battle, however continues with TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday cautiously saying, “We have the highest respect for the court order and will abide by it. The order says that individuals can move court against the order and I have heard that some persons have already filed individual cases against it.” MLA Mahua Moitra who was in Delhi on Monday filed a case against linking Aadhar with bank account. “I have done it in my individual capacity. When the bank account was opened the RBI guidelines said that for fulfilling KYC norms one would need to submit any one of the six officially valid documents and Aadhaar was one of those, not the only one. Again, we are being threatened that our bank accounts would be frozen if we didn’t link our bank accounts with Aadhaar. Why would that be so?” she told DNA.State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that Mamata was using the state coffers for her profit. “It has been passed at the parliament and has been okayed by a court judgement. One may move court but Mamata is trying to politicise everything for her political gain, at the expense of the state exchequer,” he said.

Aadhaar plea: SC raps Mamata Banerjee, Bengal CM says will obey directive

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she will “obey” the directive of the Supreme Court, which questioned the state government’s move to challenge a central law linking Aadhaar to social benefits and said she could file a plea in individual capacity.”They (judges) have given their directive and we will obey that. I don’t think there is any problem. We appreciate it,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat today. The apex court today questioned the West Bengal government’s petition challenging the Centre’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of government welfare schemes, saying it was against the federal structure. The court asked the West Bengal counsel to amend its prayer and submit a fresh plea.It also said Banerjee could submit a plea before it as an individual. “How can state file such a plea? In a federal structure, how can a state file a plea challenging Parliament’s mandate,” a bench comprising justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said. The chief minister said that her government had gone to the court because it had “some grounds.” “We had some grounds. We accept the court’s observation.
ALSO READ If Mamata Banerjee objects to Aadhaar, let her come to court personally: SC pulls up West Bengal govtThere is no problem. Some individuals have already applied,” she said.Several petitions challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes and notifications to link it with mobile numbers and bank accounts, are pending in the apex court. The West Bengal government challenged the provision which says that without Aadhaar, the benefits of social welfare schemes would not be extended. Banerjee had earlier said she will not link her mobile phone number with Aadhaar and had dared the Centre to disconnect it.

Dengue menace in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee threatens to dissolve errant municipal bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she had allotted additional funds to municipalities for dealing with dengue and would dissolve a municipality if it was found to be faltering in dealing with the spread of the disease.“I have alerted all municipalities against dengue. If I find anyone not putting enough effort, I might dissolve the municipality as well,” she said interacting with mediapersons at Nabanna, the state secretariat.Dengue menace had affected several areas across the state especially areas such as Deganga, Bhangar, Bongaon and Dum Dum in North 24 Parnagas and pockets of East and West Midnapore, Malda and Murshidabad districts as well.Although chief secretary Malay De had said on October 24 that dengue had claimed 34 lives in the state Mamata, who is also the health minister, said today that only 13 persons have died at state-run hospitals. “Even one death is not desirable. I have been told that another 27 have died at private nursing homes and hospitals. We are looking into the papers. Those have not been confirmed yet because there are many private health institutions which resort to corrupt practices. There are private hospitals which are charging Rs 5-7 lakh for administrating saline and oxygen. We have cancelled the licences of three pathological laboratories,” she said and added that a section of media had also been blowing things out of proportions making it look like an epidemic whereas the picture in other state was worse than in Bengal. “Gujarat is a smaller state compared to Bengal but there too 435 people have died of dengue, 695 persons died in Maharashtra, 230 in Rajasthan, 165 in UP, 141 in Madhya Pradesh, 80 in Assam, 83 in Odisha and 111 deaths in Kerala,” she said.Mamata said that dengue had spread because of the prolonged monsoons. “Dengue has changed its character as well. More research needs to be done to deal with it,” she added. Mamata also alleged that political parties were crying hoarse for political dividend. “When we were in the Opposition, I had hit the streets to help people who had been affected during an outbreak of malaria. At present, political parties are taking out rallies and panicking people,” she said.State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said that West Bengal Congress would move High Court against the state for charges of suppressing actual figures of death caused by dengue. “We will submit a memorandum to the governor on November 2 and will put up an agitation on November 3. Doctors are under pressure not to write dengue on prescriptions of affected. We want the state to file an affidavit and say that the deaths cause is owing to an unknown fever. I will file a PIL in this regard,” he said.

If Mamata Banerjee objects to Aadhaar, let her come to court personally: SC pulls up West Bengal govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday pulled-up West Bengal government for challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.Even though the petition is filed through the Chief Secretary of West Bengal, the apex court took an exception to the case and said, “If Mamta Banerjee objects to Aadhaar, let her come to court personally.The court also observed how can a state challenge a law passed by the Centre.The petition was heard by a bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.The West Bengal government had challenged the provision which said that without Aadhaar, the benefits of social welfare schemes would not be extended.The SC has issued a notice to Centre, asking it to file a response within 4 weeks.On 25 October, the Centre had told the top court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail benefits of various government schemes has been extended till 31 March next year for those who do not have the 12-digit biometric identification number.Attorney general KK. Venugopal had told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the deadline extension from December end this year till 31 March 2018, would apply only to those who do not have Aadhaar and are willing to enrol for it.However, Venugopal had told the bench that he would take instructions on certain issues on Aadhaar after which the court had asked him to mention the matter again on 30 October. Several petitions, challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes and notifications to link it with mobile numbers and bank accounts, are pending in the apex court.

Mamata Banerjee moves SC over Aadhaar-phone linkage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday approached the Supreme Court to challenge the mandatory linking of Aadhaar numbers to mobile phones and bank accounts.Banerjee’s petition, filed in the apex court through senior advocate and Member of Parliament Kalyan Banerjee, is likely to be heard on October 30 before a bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.On Wednesday, Banerjee had declared she would not link her mobile number to her Aadhaar number and asked her party members to follow suit.”I will not link my phone number to Aadhaar at any cost. They may disconnect my phone if they want to. They may not even give me an Aadhaar number if they want to. I request all of you to do the same. Let us see how many phone numbers they disconnect,” she told party leaders in an extended core committee meeting that day.She claimed doing so would compromise individuals’ privacy. “I will raise the issue at the Parliament. If need be, we will fight it legally. We didn’t object linking Aadhaar with PAN because it was related to tax payment,” she added.Earlier this week, the Centre proposed extending the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones from December 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but only for those who are “willing to enrol for Aadhaar”.However, this extension would not apply to those who already have an Aadhaar card.Highlighting the fact that the deadline was moved forward, Attorney General KK Venugopal had sought a delay in the hearing on matters pertaining to Aadhaar.

West Bengal: Late TMC leader Sultan Ahmed’s son Sharique may get ticket for Uluberia bye-polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the death of Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Sultan Ahmed, the seat for his assembly constituency, Uluberia in Howrah district of West Bengal is up for grabs.One of the hottest contenders for the Lok Sabha seat is Ahmed’s younger son Sharique Ahmed. Sources said that Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is very likely to give Sharique a party ticketto the forthcoming bye-election for the constituency. It was found out that Mamata had told Sharique to take a trip of Sultan’s Lok Sabha constituency and had also asked MLAs of the constituency to include him for their meetings so that he gets a feel of the place.“She had asked me to go around my father’s constituency conducting condolence meetings,” Sharique told DNA. Asked if he was ready to take on his father’s legacy he said, “I have not given it a thought. I am waiting for some kind of formal announcement. Only after the party announces my name officially as the candidate for the seat will I start preparing myself for it.”Haider Ali Safwi, the party MLA from Uluberia Purba, said, “I have heard of it too, but unless Mamata Banerjee makes it official these are as good as rumours,” he said.A senior party leader said that Sharique had a good chance of winning because besides the support base of Mamata and TMC he will get a lot of sympathy votes.Sharique is a 26-year-old MBA and had completed his bachelor’s degree in commerce from St Xaviers’ College. Sharique is the younger of Sultan’s two sons. His elder brother Taha Ahmed is an orthopaedic surgeon in New Delhi.The seat fell vacant after Sultan Ahmed, at 64, died of cardiac arrest on September 4. Mamata had blamed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his death saying that the investigating agency had put him through a lot of mental pressure. Sultan had been interrogated by CBI in the Narada sting operation case.

Mamata to initiate and lead countrywide anti-GST movement, start from PM Modi’s home turf

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the extended core committee meeting on Wednesday asked party leaders to organise small and micro traders across the country against Goods and Services Tax (GST). She intends to initiate and lead a countrywide movement against GST, with the help of these traders who she said had been the worst hit.“We have been asked to get in touch with associations of small and micro traders all over India in states where there is even a little bit presence of TMC,” said a senior TMC leader on Thursday. He said that it has been found out that most of the small traders have been adversely affected by GST. “They are facing a number of issues after the GST rollout on July 1. The procurement of special software comes at an additional cost and a person has to be appointed to manage it. Many are unable to enrol themselves because the system keeps on crashing. Then there is the issue of multiple GST rates like in the case of sweetmeat traders where they find the rates confusing. Mamata wants a pan India exposure of this. There will be demonstration, rallies and other forms of protest,” the TMC leader said.Mamata also intends to begin this movement from Gujarat which would gain a national attention being the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.“We were never against GST. We are protesting against the hurried implementation of it which has caught many off-guard. We had warned them against this and also against multiple tax rates. We have information that about 50 per cent of traders have not been able to enrol themselves because of some problem or the other,” she had said at the meeting and added, “We just cant sit quiet when people are suffering. We will have to raise this issue within the parliament and hit the streets as well.”State Finance minister Dr Amit Mitra too at a seminar on Tuesday had come down heavily on the Central government regarding the implementation of GST. He said that in the interest of small and medium traders, he had walked out of a GST meeting one month before it was rolled out. “It was an unfortunate, ‘zabardasti’, roll out on July 1. A beta test of GST was conducted on only 200 business houses per state which was a minute fraction of the actual number of business units and even there the failure rate was 30 per cent. Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) took a review three weeks earlier, and didn’t he have a clear idea about what the situation was? We were never against GST but insisted that there should have been a proper, planned implementation of it,” Dr Mitra had said.

Pranab Mukherjee reveals why Sonia Gandhi didn’t name him as Prez candidate in 2007

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I will miss his tantrums” is what Congress president Sonia Gandhi said while bidding farewell to Pranab Mukherjee from the Congress Working Committee at a meeting which formally approved his name as the UPA’s presidential nominee in June 2012.”After briefing the meeting on the presidential election, Sonia Gandhi bid me an emotional farewell…Thereafter, with a mischievous smile she looked at me and said ‘Along with that, of course, I will miss some of his tantrums’,” Mukherjee writes in his just-launched book, ‘The Coalition Years’. The former president’s third political memoir gives several accounts of how the UPA chairperson remained reluctant to approve his name for the country’s top constitutional post despite often acknowledging that he was the “most suited” for the office.Recalling the events in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2007 and 2012, Mukherjee said the Congress chief told him that he could not be spared by the party on account of the “crucial role” he played for it in the UPA government and Parliament. Narrating the sequence of the Congress Working Committee meeting on June 25, 2012, at the 7 Race Course Road residence of the prime minister, Mukherjee noted Gandhi, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party officebearers and chief ministers present at the meeting finally gave him the green signal to run for the presidential office.Mukherjee earlier said that on May 29, 2012, the Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel had informed him that Gandhi had perhaps finalised his name as the party’s presidential nominee but was also exploring the possibility of adequate support for then Vice President Hamid Ansari. “The bone of contention about my nomination remained the same as that in 2007,” the former president said in the book referring to Gandhi’s refrain over sparing him from the government. Mukherjee said that on June 2, 2012, he met Sonia Gandhi.”She told me frankly, ‘Pranabji you are the most eminently suited for the office, but you should not forget the crucial role you are playing in the functioning of the government. Could you suggest an alternative?” Mukherjee records in the book, adding that he told Gandhi he would abide by whatever decision she took. “The meeting ended and I returned with a vague impression that she might wish to consider Manmohan Singh as the UPA presidential nominee. I thought that if she selected Singh for the presidential office, she may choose me as the prime minister. I had heard a rumour that she had given this formulation serious thought while on a holiday in the Kaushambhi hills,” Mukherjee says in the book.He said there was no doubt that Gandhi considered him as an organisation man as she once chose him to reply in Parliament on a crucial topic when there was commotion by the then opposition BJP members.”The matter (in Parliament) was thus sorted out, but not before Sonia Gandhi commented, ‘This is why you (Mukherjee) can’t be the President’,” he wrote. Disclosing dramatic events ahead of his name being cleared for the top post, Mukherjee documents that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee met Gandhi on June 13, 2012, and later Gandhi told him that the TMC chief had suggested two probables – Mukherjee himself and Ansari, and also told her that she was in discussion with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and would inform her of the decision accordingly.”I am not aware of the discussion at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence. But at a press conference jointly held that evening, they declared that their presidential nominees were APJ Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and Somnath Chatterjee, in that order. “Mamata Banerjee also mentioned her meeting with Sonia Gandhi and insisted that Sonia Gandhi had suggested two names – Hamid Ansari and Pranab Mukherjee – both of which were unacceptable to them. I heard of this development but chose not to comment. A certain disappointment spread amongst my family and friends…,” Mukherjee says.He later writes that the same night he received a call from Sonia Gandhi requesting for a meeting the next morning.”On June 14, I went to Sonia Gandhi at 11 am and had a long discussion with her. I found her to be in a decisive mood. She told me about her meeting with Mamata Banerjee. She was dismayed that Mamata Banerjee had not informed us about her decision after the meeting with Mulayam Singh Yadav and, instead, had disclosed information to the media,” he said. Mukherjee said later Gandhi told him that the matter be discussed further at the Core Group meeting the same evening. After a slew of meetings, Manmohan Singh informed Mukherjee of a joint decision to nominate him as the presidential election nominee of the UPA.”Both of them were seized of the fact that we could not afford to lose the presidential election,” he said.Chronicling the incidents leading to the 2007 presidential election, Mukherjee said, “When Manmohan Singh was holding discussions with the coalition partners on the presidential nominee I was told my name was proposed by the Left parties first and then seconded by others.” The former president said the final decision was left to the Congress party. “Sonia Gandhi called me and said, your name is being suggested by some political parties as the presidential candidate, but it would be difficult for me to spare you as you are a strong pillar of the party in the government and in Parliament’,” he said in the book.Later, Mukherjee said CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat told him that during the latter’s meeting with Gandhi, she ruled out his name citing a number of reasons, including the fact that she did not have a substitute for him as the Leader of the Lok Sabha. Mukherjee also narrated the incident when Gandhi was to appoint a Prime Minister after she declined to take up the position in 2004.”There was intense speculation in the party and the media about her choice. Within the Congress party the consensus was that the incumbent must be a political leader with experience in party affairs and administration. Finally she named Dr Manmohan Singh as her choice and he accepted. “The prevalent expectation was that I would be the next choice for Prime Minister after Sonia Gandhi declined. This expectation was possibly based on the fact that I had extensive experience in government, while Singh’s vast experience was as a civil servant with five years as a reformist finance minister,” he wrote in the book.

Depression on Bay of Bengal mars Diwali and Kali Puja celebrations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heavy rainfalls since Thursday evening stole the sheen from Kali Puja and Diwali celebrations in Kolkata and other parts of South Bengal. A depression over the Bay of Bengal resulted in the incessant downpour, which drowned the spirit of revellers. Meteorological department officials said the depression is likely to proceed towards Bangladesh, but there are chances of an overcast sky and intermittent showers on Saturday, when bhai dooj is celebrated.Several parts of the city, especially north Kolkata, were submerged, with water level varying from knee-deep to waist-deep. Kolkata Police sources said that Amherst Street, MG Road, Vivekandnda Raoad, Bidhan Sarani, and Thanthania Kalibari areas of north Kolkata have been the worst hit. Although south Kolkata suffered less, the downpour resulted in crawling traffic.To add to their woes, people returning from work were left stranded as public vehicles were kept off the road. Taxis and app-based cabs were few and charged exorbitant fares. “I tried to hire a cab from Park Circus to Shyambazar and it reflected a fare of Rs 500, which usually comes to barely Rs 150,” said Puja Lakkar, a teacher.A control room had been opened at Nabanna to monitor the situation. Fishermen have been instructed not to venture into the sea. The sea was turbulent at Digha, Mandarmani, and Chandpur and tourists were asked to stay indoors.State irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee was monitoring the situation from his office at Jalsampad Bhavan. “The rains are a result of a depression. Initially, we thought it will pass from Orissa to Andhra Pradesh. Now, it seems it will travel via southeast Bengal before moving over to Bangladesh,” he said.

Intermittent rains fail to dampen Kali puja, Deepavali spirits in Bengal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deepavali, along with Kali Puja, was celebrated in West Bengal today with pomp and religious fervour, despite intermittent rains.Both the festivals coincided this year and were being observed together, making the entire occasion a gala event. On the occasion of Deepavali, the festival of lights, the city wore a brighter look with illumination everywhere, including on all vital installations, attracting people of all ages. Braving the intermittent rains, people came out on the streets in the evening and were seen enjoying fireworks.However, bursting of crackers was much less this time due to restrictions. A large number of devotees visited the Kalighat, Dakshineswar and Adyapith Kali temples in and around the city to offer prayers to the goddess on the auspicious day. At the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district, the devotees had to stand in long queues to offer puja.Among other places, Kali puja was also held at the Thanthania Kali temple in north Kolkata, Lake Kali temple in south Kolkata and Firinghee Kali temple in central Kolkata. Like the previous years, Kali puja was also held at the residence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Many important personalities, officials and other dignitaries attended the puja and exchanged greetings with the chief minister.Banerjee greeted the people on the occasion saying, “Heartiest greetings to all on the occasion of Kali Pujo and Deepavali.” Many community pujas at Barasat and Naihati in North 24 Parganas district were major attractions for the people. All arrangements were made by the police and Fire Services department to prevent any untoward incident. “So far, the celebrations have been peaceful and without any incident,” an official said.

Calcutta HC stays withdrawal of security forces from Darjeeling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Centre for its decision to remove seven out of 15 companies of Central forces, Calcutta High Court ordered a stay on pulling back of Central forces from Darjeeling.A vacation bench comprising Justice Harish Tandon put an interim stay on the removal of forces. State government had moved the HC against the decision. The court, after hearing the plea, observed that the Union government did not have reasons strong enough for the withdrawal.The court also stated that the forces had been in place in accordance with the Supreme Court order. The court turned down the logic provided by Union government’s lawyers that the forces had been withdrawn to be redeployed in Himachal Pradesh during elections.Tuesday’s order is an interim one, and the matter will be up for hearing again when court resumes after vacation.In another development, the state government announced it would disburse an amount of Rs 500 crore as part-compensation for the losses Darjeeling had incurred owing to the indefinite strike. Sources said the estimated loss at the hills amounted to Rs 1,000 crore, and the next Rs 500 crore would be disbursed soon.On October 15, through a letter to the state government the central government said 10 of the 15 companies of central forces posted in Darjeeling would be withdrawn. After facing strong opposition from Mamata, Centre brought down the number from 10 to seven.On Monday, Mamata had alleged that the Centre had unilaterally decided to withdraw forces from Darjeeling upon the instigation of some state BJP leaders with an intention to create an unrest at the hills for winning a Lok Sabha seat there.State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said Central forces at the hills were being used for the safety of senior police officials posted at the hills and to guard the residences of GJM leaders, such as Binay Tamang, who have gone against party policies and joined hands with the state.

Mamata Banerjee visits ailing ex-West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

Updated: Oct 16, 2017, 11:49 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday visited her predecessor, senior CPI-M leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who is suffering from respiratory problems and wished him speedy recovery.Banerjee today visited Bhattacharjee at his residence to inquire about his health.He has been suffering for the past few days. “I had come to visit him. He asked me to sit, I wished him a speedy recovery. He wants his treatment to be done at home. I had spoken to his wife and assured her that we will provide all help,” she said. According to CPI(M) sources, Bhattacharjee has a history of breathing problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung ailment.

Ministry of Home Affairs orders to withdraw 1000 paramilitary personnel deployed in Darjeeling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The home ministry has ordered withdrawal of as many as 1,000 paramilitary personnel, including 300 women, deployed in Darjeeling to maintain law and order during the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state.In a communication, the ministry said seven companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), including three women companies, and three companies of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel would be withdrawn from Darjeeling from Monday.One company of paramilitary comprises 100 personnel.The paramilitary personnel were in deployment in the hill districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, an official said.However, five additional companies of the CRPF will be in the hills to assist the state police force.The situation in Darjeeling has improved in the past few weeks.The Mamata Banerjee government had last month formed a nine-member board of administrators, headed by Binay Tamang, instead of the GorkhalandTerritorial Administration (GTA) to look into the development works in Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

BJP divided over inducting ex-TMC MP Mukul Roy, final decision in one-two days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Whether to induct Mukul Roy, a heavyweight in Bengal politics is now a matter of huge dilemma for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On one hand, it may give a shot in the arm for party’s organisation in Bengal where it is still in nascent state . The flipside though is with corruption allegations against Mukul Roy, the party may lose its sting while attacking the Mamata Banerjee government if it gets the senior leader in their fold. Mukul Roy after resigning from Rajya Sabha was tight-lipped about his political futures, but it does look like he is inclined towards joining the saffron party. According to PTI report,” Within one-two days a decision will be taken on this issue,” a senior BJP leader privy to the developments told PTI. “Roy’s induction into the party will help us in expanding the party base in the state. His organisational skill and knowledge of the ground level situation will be of great help,” said another BJP leader.However there are some who believe Mukul Roy’s effectiveness as an able organiser is grossly overrated, and he is not even a shadow of himself without the guidance of Mamata Banerjee. They fear that the stench of corruption that Mukul will bring will also haunt them and blunt their attacks against the Mamata regime. It is to be remembered, that Mukul as the no 2 in the TMC hierarchy, frequently used to be targetted by central BJP leaders for being corrupt. Thus many believe Mukul Roy may become a political liability. However state BJP President Dilip Ghosh has lauded Mukul Roy recently and acknowledged his role in bringing TMC to power in the state by ousting the Left. Mukul in the last few days have met several high profile BJP leaders including Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. He even hailed BJP for helping TMC to grow in the state in its early days. Looks like Mukul Roy is all set to join the saffron bandwagon provided BJP central leadership gives its final nod. With agency inputs

SEE PICS: Mamata Banerjee inaugurates Biswa Bangla Convention Centre; calls it ‘biggest in Eastern India’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today inaugurated the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre here, which she claimed to be the biggest in eastern India, and said that she wanted all states to grow, develop and inspire each other to do better.The main convention hall has a seating capacity of 3,000.The complex at New Town also has two smaller-capacity auditoria, each with a seating capacity of 434, and four large exhibition halls including a banquet hall.A business hotel is located at the convention centre.”We want all states to prosper and move forward on the road of growth. If we do good work that will be followed by others. Also, if others do good work, we will follow them and be inspired,” Banerjee said at the inauguration programme.”West Bengal has already proved its worth by hosting the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup successfully. Before Diwali the lamp of development is glowing in Bengal and Kolkata shines brighter than other cities,” she said.Describing the convention centre as the biggest in eastern India and one of the largest in the country, the chief minister said it was beautifully constructed by the Larsen & Toubro under the supervision of the Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) at a cost of Rs 500 crore.The Bengal Global business Summit in January next year is going to be held at this convention centre, she said.”This (convention centre) is the new jewel in the crown of the state and of the country. The booking for the centre for 2019 has started already and that proves the industrial development in Bengal,” Banerjee said.The chief minister, who named the complex as Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, had proposed its setting up.Lauding West Bengal’s culture and heritage, she said her government has allocated Rs 350 crore to build a business centre at Digha in East Midnapore.

Bengal didn’t fall to provocation during Durga Puja and Muharram, showed lot of patience: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the people of Bengal had exhibited a lot of patience as they celebrated Durga Puja and observed Muharram at the same time.“There had been a lot of plans for disrupting peace in the state by several groups who indulge in communal violence and polarisation but people of Bengal didn’t fall prey to those provocation. They have shown that what Bengal can do no other state can. Even Ganapati immersion and Muharram could not take place together. Some people had moved court but people of Bengal had shown that they are the last decision makers,” she said.Sending a clear message across the board that Mamata would not tolerate any lacklustre performance ahead of the panchayat elections, during the administrative meeting in Jhargram she reprimanded state Backward Classes Welfare Minister Churamani Mahato saying that he had lost connect with the common people and that in turn was affecting the organisational structure of the party in the district. “I am not getting any good feedback about your performance. I am told that you don’t go to meet the people in general. Why?” she asked him during the meeting.Immediately after the meeting Mahato was removed from the post of district TMC president of Jhargram. He was replaced by Ajit Maiti, who is also the party district president of adjoining West Midnapore. Political experts said that this move of Mamata was a warning to all others that the electoral success which her party has achieved should be retained at any cost and definitely should not be lost owing to laidback attitude of workers.

Mukul Roy meets Kailash Vijayvargiya, says will resign from RS seat on Wednesday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suspended Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy today said he will resign from his Rajya Sabha seat on October 11.”Finally, I am going to hand over my resignation to the Vice President on October 11 and then I will tell the people of this country why I decided to end my long political innings with the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the party I founded with many others,” Roy told reporters. Though Roy has not yet divulged his future plans, but he is meeting leaders of various parties during his stay in Delhi.He met the BJP’s West Bengal BJP in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya at the residence of Rajya Sabha House Committee chairperson Om Mathur today. Roy said that though the meeting with Vijayvargiya was not scheduled, the BJP leader did enquire about his future plans. He also had a meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday. Incidentally, Roy also had a long meeting with the West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday.Chowdhury said that Roy has not proposed to join the Congress now, but claimed that he had done so earlier. “Rahul Gandhi himself had enquired about what Mukul is doing? I told him that he is a leader with potential,” Chowdhury told PTI. Chowdhury said that the Congress earlier had reservations on Roy joining the party because of the cases against him.Once the second-in-command in the TMC after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Roy was suspended for six years for “anti-party activities” following his announcement on September 25 that he would resign from the party after Durga Puja. The TMC had accused him of hobnobbing with the BJP.

Mukul Roy not joining Congress, says Adhir Chowdhury

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after expelled TMC leader Mukul Roy met West Bengal Pradesh Congress president Adhir Chowdhury kicking up speculations, Chowdhury brushed aside possibilities of Roy joining Congress or him floating a new political party along with Roy. Talking to DNA he said it was a courtesy meeting.“No. There has been no such interest shown by Mukul Roy of late of joining Congress. Earlier there had been one and I had discussed it with AICC leaders because I was interested in him joining Congress as I think Roy is a good organiser. AICC leaders, however, were not too keen and it didn’t materialise. This time it was a pure courtesy visit. He had expressed his will to meet me. So what would I have said? I might have opposing political ideologies but I am not that narrow minded. I meet freely with many politicians of the Opposition camps,” Chowdhury said. He also said that Roy had said how sad and shocked he was by the way he was treated by the TMC leaders.Roy had met Chowdhury in New Delhi on Saturday for about two hours. Sources also said that Roy had met expelled CPIM leader Ritabrata Banerjee and there was a possibility that Roy was trying to muster up all resources to join the new party Nationalist Trinamool Congress Party (NTCP). Chowdhury turned down such probability as well. “I am the state president of a national political party. Why would I like to become the secretary of a newly formed party that no one is sure about?” Chowdhury said.
ALSO READ After Mukul Roy quits TMC, many consider following in his footsteps Talking about the recent attempt to assault state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, Chowdhury said that it was an infringement of democratic rights. “There can be a difference of principles among supporters of different political parties but if the Mamata Banerjee-led government thought that BJP should be banned in West Bengal they should say that. But attacking a state president of a political party while he is visiting a particular place is definitely depriving one of one’s fundamental right,” Chowdhury added.

Mamata slams Centre: West Bengal CM calls demonetization ‘biggest disaster’, GST ‘great stunt’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday raked up the issues of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax, dubbing the note ban as the “biggest disaster” and the new tax regime a “great stunt”.”As I had said earlier, demonetisation is the biggest disaster. It has completely ruined the country’s economy.””Also, the GST is a great stunt,” she wrote on her Twitter handle.Banerjee had earlier called the GST roll-out as another “epic blunder” of the Centre after the demonetization.Claiming that the government had “hurriedly” introduced the GST, the chief minister demanded an investigation into the new tax regime.”Why Govt started it hurriedly without making proper plans? The commoners & all traders are the worst sufferers. Thorough investigation is needed,” she said.​

VHP conducts 300 shastra pujas in WB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cocking a snook at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a saffron outfit, on Saturday claimed they had performed “Shastra Puja” (weapon worship) at more than 300 places in West Bengal as part of Vijay Dashami celebrations.“Vijay Dashami marks the victory of good over evil. Today, in order to unite the Hindus and protect them against the anti-national elements, we have organised Shastra Puja in more than 300 places of the state,” said VHP state secretary Sachindranath Singha.He said that the Shastra Puja was organised mostly indoors and no armed rallies were taken out in any part of the state. “Such programmes are being held in the country for years,” he said.Earlier this month, Banerjee had warned saffron outfits that her government will not allow any processions to carry weapons and police would strictly deal with anyone trying to carry out any such plan. But, this year, the saffron camp had planned ‘Shastra puja’ in advance on Vijay Dashami on September 30.

City comes alive as Ahmedabad Bangalis soak in ashtami spirits

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Durga Puja is always special for Bengalis, and a day before the festival ends the fervour has reached the peak in Ahmedabad. The Bongs are busy pandal hopping, feasting and having a good time with family and friends.At the Durga pandal at Ahmedabad Education Society Ground, the ashtami celebrations started with Pushpanjali at around 9:00 am, followed by Bhog Prasad in the afternoon. The evening witnessed prayers in presence of thousands of people, which was followed by a cultural programme and more celebrations.”We call ourself Pravasi Bengalis, people who are living outside Bengal. We have made the city our hometown in spirit. The celebration is equally enjoyed by people of all communities. We believe Maa has come to her maternal home with her four kids . We meet and greet each other,” said Sonali Banerjee, a member of Ahmedabad Kalibari Durgapuja.A number of Bengalis had observed ashtami Uposh (fast) before the Pushpanjali – flower offerings to the Goddess. The ladies dressed in vibrant colours with bindis hopped into different pandals, while believers were silently praying. Besides the rituals and pujas, food is another attraction during the puja. The Bhog consisted of khichdi with sabzi.Professor Shankar Ghosh, vice principal of Somaiya College said, “Durga Puja is the largest socio-cultural religious event for Bengalis in the city, the best time for friends and family to get together. Any festival which any community celebrates, one shouldn’t feel it is just prayers which we offer. One should always visit places where prayers are offered as it has a positive vibration.” Kuntalica Basu, who was dressed in a beautiful traditional Bengali saree, said, “Durga puja is our love, our pride, our happiness. It is an extension of our identities.”At the venue, various stalls were set up, including one set by BM Institute of Mental Health, for vocational rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. There were also stalls of handicrafts and other open art exhibition stalls. It was a heavenly time for lovers, both literal as well as lovers of art, food or beauty in general.

After Mukul Roy quits TMC, many consider following in his footsteps

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Several Muslim leaders who had defected to TMC from other parties such as Congress and BJP are now complaining of being neglected by leaders of the ruling party.Talking to DNA, a senior leader who had switched to TMC from BJP said that he had been looked down upon from Day 1.“I was handed over the party flag at the TMC headquarters but since then I had not been called for any core committee meeting or any important rally or had been asked to share the stage with any senior leader. We are referred to ‘Naya TMC’ (New TMC),” said the leader on condition of anonymity. He said that senior leaders of TMC don’t even reply they wish them and that he hardly gets to meet.“When I go to meet Partha Chatterjee there are so many rounds of questioning that I feel like I am going to meet the country’s president. Sadly, I have not yet been able to meet Abhishek Banerjee,” he added.Another such leader said that he had not given been given a portfolio even close to what he was holding. “I have not been put to any important use for several months since I joined the party and I had to take initiative myself to attend meetings of the party. There had been times when I had to request for a turn to speak at public meetings,” he saidBoth said that they had brought in hundreds of their supporters into the party and were mulling leaving the party but were waiting to see what Roy’s move would be – whether he would join BJP or put up his own party. “If he starts his own party I will move to it along with my supporters from the district but if he joins the BJP, I will stay back because Muslims still have the inhibition of voting for BJP,” said one of them.Sources also said that the Nation Trinamool Congress Party (NTCP) which Roy had founded has been funded by the BJP and now that it was registered with the Election Commission of India, it would be used to break the TMC in Bengal using Roy’s organisational support base and to lend support to BJP in Bengal.Amitava Majumder, acting president of NTCP said that Roy’s joining the party had not been confirmed yet. “We had had a word on the first week of this month and he said that he would get back to me with a concrete decision but has not done so yet,” Majumder told DNA.On the other hand, TMC, after the exit of Roy, was busy restructuring its organisation. It was found that after Roy, who used to look after national as well as Bengal affairs of the party, it has been decided that there will be no such single person other than party supremo Mamata Banerjee who will have such power. Leaders would broadly be divided into two groups looking after India and Bengal issues.Party sources said that MPs Derek ‘O Brien and Sudip Bandpadhyay would look after the party’s national issues including strategies at the parliament and interaction with other parties across the country.Party general secretary Subrata Bakshi would take care of the party’s organisational strength within the state right up to the grassroot level. Sources also said that there would be a monitoring committee which would monitor the work of leaders’ national and state-level work. Members of the monitoring committee have not been fixed yet.State technical education minister Purnendu Bose, labour minister Malay Ghatak, and Rajya Sabha member Dola Sen would take care of activities related to trade unions. State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim and Lok Sabha MP Idris Ali will be in charge of minority division.“All elected party representatives have been asked to be alert against sparking of any in-fighting in the party which was likely to start by Roy supporters,” said a senior TMC leader.

TMC suspends Mukul Roy for six years for ‘anti-party activities’ after he expressed desire to quit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP and former railway minister Mukul Roy was on Monday suspended from the party for six years for “anti-party activities”, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.”He (Roy) has been trying to weaken the party for quite some time. The party’s disciplinary committee has discussed the issue and recommended punishment for him to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee,” he said. Shortly after Roy announced that he would tender his resignation from the party’s working committee today, Chatterjee told reporters that the Rajya Sabha member had been suspended from the party for six years for “anti-party activities”.Roy also told reporters that he would resign from the Upper House of Parliament and give up the primary membership of the party after Durga Puja.
ALSO READ West Bengal: Senior Trinamool Congress leader & MP Mukul Roy to quit party”If he (Roy) wants to leave, why isn’t he leaving now? What is stopping him?” Chatterjee asked. Earlier in the day, Mukul Roy expressed his desire to quit TMC. “I was one the signatories when the party was founded. I am announcing with a heavy heart that I will resign from the party’s working committee today. “And after the Durga Puja festival, I will resign from the Rajya Sabha and also from the primary membership of the party,” Roy said at a press conference.Roy, whose relationship with the leadership has been strained of late, said he would give an explanation on why he was leaving the party and why he was “forced to do so” after Durga Puja. The TMC, the ruling party in West Bengal, had last week censured Roy for allegedly hobnobbing with BJP leaders and said it was keeping a close watch on him. Asked whether he would join the BJP in days to come, Roy said, “Whatever I have to say. I will say it after Durga Puja.But I would like to mention that people of Bengal don’t like political controversies during Durga Puja,”. Once the second-in-command in the TMC after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Roy was absent from an event to unveil the Durga Puja edition of the TMC mouthpiece, Jago Bangla, on September 19. Banerjee and the entire TMC top brass, barring Roy, was present at the event. Roy was recently removed as the TMC vice president after the party decided to restructure its committee. He was earlier removed as the party’s in-charge of Tripura, where the TMC was steadily making inroads till its members switched over to the BJP earlier this year.

Organisers have to seek permission by Sunday for Durga idol immersion on Muharram: Bengal govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the Calcutta High Court allowed Durga idol immersions on all days from Vijaya Dashami on September 30, the West Bengal government said today that permission will be granted for immersion on Muharram if the situation is “found to be fit”.At a meeting of top officials presided over by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it was decided that the police would ask the puja organisers to take permission by Sunday, a senior state government official said. West Bengal Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya told a press conference here, “Depending on the circumstances and the situation, permission will be granted (for immersion on Muharram on October 1) wherever it is found to be fit.” He said, “Wherever there are problems, permission will not be granted,” he said.The chief minister said that her government would find a way out keeping in view the high court order. There is nothing to worry. We are taking steps to prevent spread of misinformation,” Banerjee said after inaugurating a puja pandal here. The meeting, also attended by some ministers and senior police officers, including the state director general of police (DGP), decided that the superintendents of police (SPs) in the districts bordering Bangladesh would be put on alert on immersion days to avoid any untoward incident, the official said.
ALSO READ Hindus in Bangladesh are cutting their Durga Puja expenses to provide relief for Rohingyas The state government had earlier imposed restrictions on immersions after 10 pm on Vijay Dashami (Dussehra) on September 30 and said that no immersion would be allowed on Muharram scheduled to be observed on October 1. The home secretary said that to seek permission for immersion of the Durga idols, puja organisers were required to follow a standard protocol. He also cautioned the people about rumours in social media and said, “Verify any news you are receiving before forwarding them to others. Contact the nearest police station in case you need to cross-check a message.” He said, “We have seen since last year that fake messages were spread. Even I had to call the control room to verify a message I had received.”City Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who was also present at the press conference, said that around 2,600 pujas would be held in the city and no organiser has applied for permission for immersion on the day of ‘Ekadashi’ on October 1 which coincides with Muharram. Kumar said, “It has come to our notice that some people are trying to spread rumours using social media. We will take strict measures against those found trying to cause disturbance using social media.” State DGP Surajit Purakayastha said at the press briefing that according to intelligence inputs, “outsiders” might try to create trouble in the state during the ensuing religious occasions.
ALSO READ No Durga idol immersion without police permission on Muharram, decides Bengal govtHe said that all measures were being taken to maintain communal harmony in the state.”We are keeping a close watch. If anybody tries to spread rumour and cause disturbance, we will deal with that person strictly,” the DGP said. Asking the people to contact the nearest police station in case of any emergency, the DGP said that the West Bengal Police and the Kolkata Police were working towards ensuring peace during the religious occasions. The chief minister earlier in the day held a meeting with some ministers, top police officials and the SPs from Hooghly, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas districts on the immersion issue.Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi appealed to the Hindus and Muslims in the state to peacefully observe their religious occasions. “There is no question of any tension…We all owe a duty towards both the communities to ensure that the religious occasions are observed peacefully,” he told reporters here. On the Calcutta High Court order yesterday on immersion, the governor said, “It is not a judgement in favour or against anybody. It is, in fact, an appeal to the people of West Bengal to maintain peace and cooperate with each other.”

Durga idol immersion row: Mamata Banerjee won’t move Supreme Court against Calcutta High Court order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal government on Friday decided not to challenge the Calcutta High Court’s order in the Supreme Court. The Calcutta High Court on Thursday had allowed Durga idol’s visarjan on Muharram on October 1. After the High Court’s order, Mamata Banerjee government had reportedly decided to go in appeal against the order. But now the state government has decided not to go in appeal. The High Court on Thursday had also ordered the administration to make sure that there are no clashes between members of the two communities.A division bench of Justice Rakesh Tiwari and Justice Harish Tandon ordered the state government on Thursday to plan the routes of Muharrum’s procession and idol immersion separately and in such a way that those did not overlap.The bench also said that there would not be any restriction to the immersion of idols and idols could be immersed every day after ‘dashami’ which is on September 30, the last day of the five-day Durga Puja, till midnight, including October 1, which is Muharrum.The state government had banned idol immersion after 10 pm on September 30 and said there would be no immersion on October 1 because of Muharrum. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that there would be thousands of people on the streets and restrictions would help to maintain law and order. After the final disposal of the case, the order of the court could be used for future reference if there is any clash of dates between Muharrum and Durga Puja.

Mamata Banerjee to move Supreme Court against Calcutta High Court’s Durga idol immersion order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal government on Thursday decided to challenge the Calcutta High Court’s Durga idol immersion order in the Supreme Court.The state government will move the top court on Friday against the High Court’s ruling allowing visarjan on Muharram on October 1.Earlier in the day, the Calcutta High Court had put a stay on the Mamata Banerjee government’s notification banning immersion of Durga idol on Muharrum.The court also ordered the administration to make sure that there are no clashes between members of the two communities.A division bench of Justice Rakesh Tiwari and Justice Harish Tandon ordered the state government on Thursday to plan the routes of Muharrum’s procession and idol immersion separately and in such a way that those did not overlap.The bench also said that there would not be any restriction to immersion of idols and idols could be immersed everyday after ‘dashami’ which is on September 30, the last day of the five-day Durga Puja, till midnight, including October 1, which is Muharrum.The state government had banned idol immersion after 10 pm on September 30 and said there would be no immersion on October 1 because of Muharrum. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that there would be thousands of people on the streets and restrictions would help maintaining law and order. After the final disposal of the case, the order of the court could be used for future reference if there is any clash of dates between Muharrum and Durga Puja.The bench directed the director general of police saying that police should take immediate steps if there was any sign of trouble. Priyanka Tibrewal, the lawyer on behalf of petitioners against the government notification said, “Administration has to chalk out separate routes for idol immersion and Muharrum procession and publicise it widely.”The court had criticised the state government saying that administration could not exercise indiscriminately. It asked what was the apprehension on the basis of which the ban was imposed. The court also said that if there was a law and order situation, there were different steps to be taken to bring situation under control and the final step had to be opening gunfire. In this case too it looked like the state had taken the final step at once.After the court passed the order, Mamata Banerjee called an emergency meeting with top cops at Nabanna, the state secretariat and asked them to make arrangements in sync with the court order. Later in the evening while inaugurating a puja in south Kolkata a visibly enraged Chief Minister said the administration would work according to the court’s instruction and trouble makers would be strongly dealt with.“Someone can slit my throat but no one tells me what I am supposed to do. I have been brought up on the lines that people of all religions should be given equal treatment,” she said.State BJP leaders were quick to react. “This is not the first time that the court has slapped the state government for its attempted high-handedness. Mamata Banerjee must have got used to it,” said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.(With additional inputs from Arshad Ali in Kolkata)

Calcutta HC’s Durga immersion verdict is a slap to Mamata Banerjee: BJP’s Dilip Ghosh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Calcutta High Court today revoked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s order on Durga idol immersion and instructed the police to make separate routes for both Durga idol immersion and Muharram processions.The court added that Durga idol immersion can continue till 12 am on all days, including on Muharram.Reacting to the development, West Bengal BJP state President Dilip Ghosh said that the Calcutta High has given a slap to CM Mamata Banerjee for trying to obstruction a Hindu festival. Speaking to Zee 24 Ghanta, Dilip Ghosh said that Mamata government has lost many cases in the High Court and it is yet to learn its lessons. He also said that Mamata Banerjee created a controversy unnecessarily by passing the order merely a month ahead of Durga Puja. Last year also the HC had overruled Mamata Banerjee’s decision regarding Durga idol immersion. Earlier during the hearing, the court said that one cannot impose restrictions on the basis of a mere assumption of law and order disruption over the state government’s notification. Acting Chief Justice of Rakesh Tiwary of Calcutta High Court asked the State Government, “Just because you are the state, can you pass arbitrary order? Prohibition means that you are taking last step first.”They further said, “If you (State Government) get a dream, that something will go wrong, you cannot impose restrictions.” Last month, the West Bengal government issued an order that cited that the immersion of Durga idols would not be allowed after 6 p.m. on September 30 and on October 1, on the account of Muharram. The time was later extended to 10 p.m.
ALSO READ Setback for Mamata Banerjee, Calcutta High Court allows Durga idol immersion on MuharramWith agency inputs

Ritabrata Banerjee’s expulsion was inevitable: Sitaram Yechury

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On his visit to Kolkata on Wednesday, CPI(M) national general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the committee which decided to expel former party Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee should have comprised at least one woman member.“Since the complaints against him was by some women and since we are for women’s reservation everywhere so it would have been better if there was at least one woman member in the commission which was investigating charges against Banerjee,” he said while interacting with mediapersons.He added that Banerjee had been projected as the face of youth leadership within the party and thus was given several scopes to mend his ways. “His rise within the party had been meteoric but looking at all the aspects the decision to ouster him was inevitable,” he said.
ALSO READ Ritabrata Banerjee expelled: CPI(M) continues on its path of self-destructionBanerjee had, later in a TV interview levelled several allegations against party MP Md Salim who was the head of the commission which was investigating his case. To that Yechury said that he started alleging once the decision of the committee was spelt out. Again, Banerjee had alleged that he was not allowed to spend his MPLAD fund. To that Yechury said, “The MPs never spent the money. Officers of different projects through the nodal agencies spend the fund.”He also pointed out the recent elections at Delhi University and JNU and said that the countdown of Modi government has begun and that people need to come together against the Central government misrule. “There is a need to create and strengthen an alternative political narrative to Modi’s narrative and for that it is required to mobilise people against the anti-people policies,” he added.On Rohingya Muslims being tagged as terrorists in the affidavit of the Centre to the Supreme Court he said that the issue of fighting terrorism was non-negotiable as far as the CPI(M) was concerned but tagging the entire community as terrorists was not acceptable.

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