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Disclose hospital fees upfront: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday suggested to private hospitals that they discuss a patient’s financial condition during the admission process and make him or her aware of the estimated cost of the treatment. This will avoid any payment discrepancies or complications later. This would not be applicable to emergency cases.A division bench of Justices Naresh Patil and N W Sambre said, “This is a sensitive issue, but some remedy has to come out. If this method is adopted, then a filter can be put in place in the initial stage only. This way, both (patient and the hospital) will benefit; and also, the bond between a patient-doctor will not break.”The court has also suggested that the Association of Hospitals and Medical Insurance companies to come out with new policies to suit patients. “Like we take travel insurance for a month or 15-days, why can’t insurance be provided to patients when (s)he enters the hospital, taking into consideration the kind of illness. This would comfort the patient.”Advocate Mankuwar Deshmukh, appearing for the State, argued that a draft policy has been formulated by the government and is yet to be finalized.To which the court replied, “All stake-holders should come to a consensus and then only proceed.” The court has now asked the director of Health Services to file a reply by next month as to what steps it plans to take to regulate hospital treatment charges.The suggestion came while the court was hearing a public interest litigation filed challenging the purported practice of detainment of patients by hospitals for recovery of dues.A Kurla resident, 54-year-old Trevor Britto, alleged that Prachin Healthcare Multi-specialty Hospital at Panvel refused to discharge his injured bus driver, Chandrakant Pawar. Another petition is filed by a Santacruz-resident alleged that Seven Hills Hospital at Marol had refused to discharge his brother for not paying disputed dues of Rs 1.80 lakh. Both the hospitals have refuted the allegations.Court suggestsMedical insurance companies invent new short-term policies to suit patients The pre-discussion of treatment fees would not be applicable to emergency cases

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Mumbai: BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar raises Asiatic Society Central Library building roof leakage issue

The roof leakage of Asiatic Library would be done away with permanently since state Government has decided to seal the issue forever.BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar had raised the issue of water leakage leading to damage of hundreds of books in Central Library Asiatic Society. While raising the issue through a starred question Bhatkhalkar asked whether there would be any action against the contractor who undertook maintenance work of the roof last year after leakage. He also demanded blacklisting the contractor for repeated leakage of the roof. PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil informed the House that there was leakage five years ago and the repair work was carried out then. He informed that last year there was roof leakage but since any repair contract can not be guaranteed for more than five years, it was not possible to take action against the contractor. Ashish Shelar pointed out that the Asiatic Library is a construction of British Era and the lowest step of the Library is at sea level and the British construction ensured that water should not enter from below during high tide and heavy rains. Shelar criticised Government saying, “British ensured that water would not come in from steps and that is the reason our Government is allowing the water inside the library from the roof.”Bhatkhalkar asked how was it possible to have leakage again this year if the contractor had repaired it last year. He also questioned as to who was responsible for faulty tender which did not ensured maintenance after repair. Chandrakant Patil informed that he would take action against the contractor and hold a meeting soon after the winter session to sort out all the issues pertaining to repair and maintenance of Asiatic library for ever.

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CM the only beneficiary of this govt, says Uddhav Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coming down heavily on advertisement campaign of Mee Labhaarthi (I am the beneficiary) by Devendra Fadnavis led Government in the state, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday accused the CM and Chandrakant Patil of being the “only real beneficiaries” of this government.He was addressing a farmers’ rally at Karve in Vita of Sangli district. Thackeray had criticized Fadnavis Government on Saturday night during a rally at Miraj. He is on a Western Maharashtra tour.Criticising the government for the advertisement campaign, Thackeray said, “This entire campaign is based on false claims. This campaign is for misguiding the people of the state and Fadnavis along with Chandrakant Patil are real beneficiaries because people have given them mandate.’Minister of state for Water Resources Vijay Shivtare, MLC Anil Babar, Lok Sabha MP Gajanan Kirtikar, Zilla Parishad vice-president and Nitin Bangude-Patil were present on the dais.Stating that he was not interested in becoming Chief Minister of the state, Thackeray said that but he would ensure that Shiv Sena chief minister comes to power in the state. He cautioned the Government that if farmers’ issues are unresolved, he would take it to the streets.Recounting BJP’s slogan of ‘Kuthe Neun Thevlaay Maharashtra Majha’ during the assembly elections which was aimed at criticizing Congress and NCP in the state, Thackeray SAID, `We had supported BJP to bring Aache Din but when I am touring the state I have realized as to where have these people taken my Maharashtra now.’Thackeray said nothing has changed in the past three years and the government is still completing water schemes that were started in 1995 when a Shiv Sena chief minister at the helm. Pointing out that despite Chief Minister’s directions to reduce power rates, his orders are trashed by officers and if the government is ruining the farmers, farmers would not hesitate to pull down this government.Taking a dig at NCP president Sharad Pawar for his criticism of Sena for being in Government and criticizing Government, Thackeray said, `BJP and Sena are two different political parties but Pawar had back-stabbed his own leader late Vasantdada Patil to topple his Government. Pawar who criticized Sonia Gandhi for her foreign origin later became her sycophant. Pawar should not teach Shiv Sena since Pawar is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Guru.’SLAMS PAWARUddhav attacked NCP chief Sharad Pawar over his criticism of Sena for being in a part of the government He said BJP and Sena are two different parties, but Pawar had back-stabbed his own leader Vasantdada Patil

Maharashtra: In dramatic development, Fadnavis rushes to Ahmedabad to meet Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a dramatic development, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday rushed to Ahmedabad along with senior minister Chandrakant Patil and met BJP National President Amit Shah.According to sources, Fadnavis is believed to have discussed possible Cabinet expansion in the state. As Fadnavis meets Shah, amid Gujarat elections, it cannot be ruled out that Cabinet expansion can take place before polling for Gujarat.Fadnavis and Patil likely to have discussed election for the post of a member of the legislative council which fell vacant after resignation Narayan Rane.Rane is aspiring to become MLC again with BJP’s support and it is likely that BJP may not field any candidate for the election scheduled on December 7th.

Maharashtra: sugarcane farmers’ agitation turn violent as they press for higher price

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ongoing agitation launched by farmers to press for higher sugarcane price is becoming violent in the sugarcane growing areas of Maharashtra.The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) led by MP Raju Shetti, who recently broke his alliance with BJP in the state, has threatened to further step up the stir from November 22 if the state government and the millers did not take a pro-active stand for a dialogue to arrive at an amicable solution.The agitation has hampered transportation of sugarcane to the mills in various districts including Solapur, Ahmednagar, Sangli, Hingoli, Parbhani as the agitators have hit the roads and at some places allegedly put vehicles on fire. In last two days, the farmers marched towards the Lokmangal sugar factory in Solapur district connected to the state cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh and shouted slogans and held rasta rook impacting its operations.Since the commencement of the current crushing season, 137 mills comprising 76 cooperative and 61 private are in operation. As on date, these mills have crushed 4.8 million tonnes of cane to produce 2.8 million of sugar. The state has estimated sugar production of 7.4 million tonnes after crushing 6.5 million tonnes of cane by the end of current crushing season 2017-18. However, the millers have feared that production may adversely impact if the agitation continues for a long.Farmers, by and large, are not happy with the fair and remunerative price (FRP) of Rs 2,300 to Rs 2,500 per ton announced for the state depending on the sugar recovery. FRP varies from region to region.Farmers are pressing for payment of Rs 3000 to Rs 3,500 per ton. In the sugarcane rich Kolhapur district, where the state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil took initiative for talks, the millers have orally agreed to pay Rs 100 per ton over and above FRP of Rs 3,100 per ton and another Rs 100 per ton in next two months. However, the similar deal has yet to be reached between millers and farmers in other districts.Millers have cited falling sugar prices as a major factor for making any commitment to the farmers. An officer from the cooperation department told DNA, “The sugar prices are falling. They are now in the range of Rs 3,400 to Rs 3,420 per quintal against Rs 3,500 to Rs 3,600 per quintal a month ago. Most of the cooperative sugar mills have hinted that their financial position will become weak if they have agreed to the farmers’ demand. Besides, it will also be difficult to make payment to cane growers within 15 days.’’ He informed that the department is alive with the situation and making all efforts to break the stalemate.Sanjeev Babar, former managing director of the Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories in Maharashtra, which is a representative body of over 200 factories, said the millers work out their revenue from sale of sugar after taking into account prevailing sugar prices. ‘’During the present trend of falling prices, the millers will find it difficult to pay a higher price to cane growers. In such a delicate situation, the Government of India needs to either reduce or completely waive the 20% duty imposed on the export of both raw and white sugar. This will help millers to earn some additional revenue which can be used for the payment to cane growers,’’ he noted.

CPRA asks to retain caretaker status

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA) has written to the state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil demanding that they be given the caretaker status for maintaining a four-acre green patch of land belonging to the government.The CPRA had received caretaker status to maintain the Bayview Marina Garden in Cuffe Parade for five years which ended in 2012, and claims it has been spending Rs 50 lakh annually to maintain the garden. The CPRA says it has planted more than 5,000 trees in the garden and developed walking and jogging tracks and a lawn.”Previous city collectors had recommended to the state government in 2013 and 2015 to give us the garden’s caretaker status. We in turn ensured that the government land is not encroached upon. We developed a garden which is open to all. The caretaker status by the government will give us opportunities to develop it further and maintain the city’s greenery,” said Padmakar Nandekar, secretary general, CPRA.

Retired Talati kidnapped and killed at Mehsana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A complaint of murder and kidnapping was lodged with the Mehsana police station after a retired Talati (Executive head of Village Panchayat) was kidnapped and murdered by two accused for a ransom of Rs 25lakh.The incident took place on Monday night in Mehsana. The deceased was identified as Chandrakant Panchal, a resident of Mehsana, who was a retired Talati of Mehsana. According to the police, they recovered a half burn body on Tuesday morning near a dumping yard of Mehsana area. Panchal’s son was then informed who is a doctor in Mumbai and a case of kidnapping and murder was lodged with the police station after police came to know about the ransom call received by Panchal’s son.During the investigation, the police nabbed two accused identified as Ravi and Himanshu.Panchal used to work in the post recuring department after he got retired. He used to daily visit the accused Himanshu’s shop and used to count the money. Himanshu’s friend Ravi was in huge debt and both of them then made a plan to kidnap Panchal and to extort money from him.On Monday afternoon, both abducted Panchal in his car and killed him. They even made a call to Panchal’s son from his phone and asked for a ransom of Rs 25lakh from him for the release of his father. Panchal tried to escape during which both the accused started beating him and he died.After he died, they took his body to a dumping yard in Mehsana and tried to burn his body with the help of petrol and fled from the spot.PLOTTINGPanchal used to daily visit the accused Himanshu’s shop and used to count the money. Himanshu’s friend Ravi was in huge debt and both of them then made a plan to kidnap Panchal and to extort money from him.

Virar police arrest estate agent, mechanic for killing father & son

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two persons have been arrested by the Virar police for allegedly murdering a father-son duo.According to Virar police, Chandrakant Kargal and his son Harsh, 10, had gone missing on September 26 evening. Kargal had gone to Harsh’ school to pick him up. After they did not return home, Kargal’s wife Sumitra had lodged a missing persons complaint with the police.The same afternoon, Harsh’s body was found in a pond in Virar (E). A day later, Kargal’s body was found in a nullah at Virar (W). Faces of the father-son duo were covered in a duct tape. The police then registered a murder case and began their probe.The police later detained estate agent, Vishnu Patil, 35 and his friend Monu Sahani, 20, a mechanic in the case.During questioning they revealed that they had picked up Kargal and Harsh from outside the school and took them along on the pretext of showing them a MHADA flat.While Harsh was made to sit in a car, the duo took Kargal to a flat and strangulated him to death and gagged his mouth with a duct tape. Then they took Harsh to the pond and killed him in a similar manner and later dumped his body and fled. Next day, they disposed of Kargal’s body in a nullah.Manjunath Singe, Superintendent of Police, Palghar District, said, “We have arrested the duo under sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destroying evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. Kargal had given Rs 12 lakh to Patil which he was unable to repay. Patil then hatched a plan to eliminate Kargal and since Harsh was along, they had killed him too, so that no witness is left behind. Sahani gave a car to Patil to ferry Kargal and dump the bodies”TWIN MURDERThe Virar police on Wednesday found the body of a 45-year-old man a day after his son’s body was found on at a desolated pondBoth were killed by strangulation and their mouths gagged with tape. Their bodies were found 30 km away from each other

Has Shah started new service of checking horoscope: Pawar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a dig at Amit Shah’s statement that his party aims to stay in power for at least 50 years, NCP chief Sharad Pawar today asked whether the BJP president had started a “new service of checking horoscope”. Shah yesterday said in Bhopal that BJP has not come to power for mere five or 10 years, but for at least 50 years. “It seems Shah has started a new service of checking horoscope. Since when did he start this business? It’s always the people who decide the number of days a party will stay in power,” Pawar said in Kolhapur where he was on a personal visit. Referring to Ahmed Patel’s recent victory in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections, Pawar said that one out of two votes of the NCP ensured that the Congress stalwart won another term in Parliament. “NCP had two votes of which one MLA defected. However, the second (MLA) voted for the Congress and this vote paved the way for Patel to enter Rajya Sabha,” the former Union minister said. Commenting on senior BJP leader and Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil’s remarks that he would vacate his PWD portfolio for Congress leader Narayan Rane if the latter joins the BJP, Pawar said, “Generally, it’s the chief minister’s discretion to allocate portfolios. I would like to know whether Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has decentralised his decisions”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

More than willing to welcome Rane in BJP: Patil

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hinting that senior Congress leader Narayan Rane’s much-awaited switch to the BJP is close, Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil today said he would not only “welcome” Rane in the BJP fold but could also hand him over his PWD portfolio. Rane, the former Shiv Sainik-turned-Congressman has been in sulk for long time. The speculation that he may embrace the BJP got a fresh boost after he reportedly met the BJP president Amit Shah in April this year. Rane had dismissed the reports. Patil is perhaps the first senior leader who has made an open statement on welcoming Rane in the BJP. “I would welcome Rane if he chooses to join the BJP. It is a fact that the decision will be finally taken at the top leadership in New Delhi and Rane himself. I can even hand over my portfolio of PWD to him,” Patil said in Sindhudurg district, the pocket-borough of Rane, a former chief minister of the state. He said the BJP will benefit from Rane’s entry. “It will also help in the smooth administration of the state BJP government,” the minister said in an apparent reference to Rane’s roots as a Shiv Sainik and that he might come handy to rein in the intractable ally, Shiv Sena. Patil is the second most senior minister in the state Cabinet after the chief minister. Meanwhile, Patil said BJP president Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Mumbai this week. Though Shah is expected to carry out a review meeting with the state BJP workers, Patil’s statement vis-a-vis Rane assumes significance. “Shah in his recent address to the party workers had said that his aim is to win 350 seats in next Lok Sabha polls for which resourceful persons like Rane will be helpful,” a senior BJP leader said. Interestingly, Congress MLA and Rane’s son Nitesh yesterday changed his WhatsApp status that reads: “Narayan Rane is the only party for us”. Rane, who had served as the chief minister during the first tenure of the NDA government, suffered electoral setback in his home turf of Sindhudurg district in the Assembly polls. He is currently a Congress MLC. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan last week said that some people are “opportunists” who cannot stay without power, the remarks perceived as a swipe at Rane. He had also said that new people will get a chance to grow if “such people” leave the Congress.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Police arrest truck driver for killing Bandra’s woman biker

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a 34-year-old woman fell off her bike and was run over by a truck on Jawhar-Dahanu road, the Kasa police arrested the truck driver Vijay Yadav, 35, for causing death due to negligence.On Sunday, Jagruti Hogale, a resident of Kher Nagar in Bandra East left for a bike ride to Jawhar, bout 120 km from Mumbai. Near a village, Vaiti, she fell off her bike while didging a pothole and came under the wheels of a truck.”We’ve arrested the driver and seized the truck. The road where the accident occurred has potholes and the woman was trying to dodge them when she came under the wheels of the truck,” said Jayprakash Guthe, Assistant Police Inspector, Kasa police station.Yadav has been booked under sections 304 (A) (causing death due to negligence) and 279 (rash driving) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant sections of the Motor vehicles Act.However, Hogale’s family and friends blamed negligent road authorities for her death. “She was the senior member of the women’s biker group Bikerani, and was a very safe driver. Due to heavy rains she could not see the pothole when she lost control and fell. The truck driver is innocent. Instead action should be taken against the authorities responsible for maintaining the road in that village,” a family member said.Meanwhile, Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Chandrakant Patil has sought a report on the incident.Patil said, “Not all roads belong to the PWD. Some roads are under the jurisdiction of the concerned local bodies like municipal corporation. Report from the department would make it clear as to what was the issue in this case. Due to heavy rains in areas like Mumbai, Nashik, Konkan region, potholes have surfaced and it is not possible to repair the roads during monsoon.”

Woman rider dies in accident; not due to potholes, says Maha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a woman motorcycle-rider was killed on Jawhar-Dahanu road in the Palghar district near Mumbai, Maharashtra Public Works Minister Chandrakant Patil today said that potholes were not the cause of the accident. “The road on which she was riding was water-logged and had become muddy and slippery. Her motorcycle slipped and she fell down. A truck which was behind hit her, killing her instantly. The accident did not take place due to potholes,” he told reporters in the legislative complex. According to reports, 36-year-old Jagruti Hogale, a resident of suburban Bandra in Mumbai, fell after hitting a pothole yesterday and was crushed under the wheel of a passing truck. Hogale, member of all-women ‘Bikerni’ motorcycle club, was riding with two others to Jawhar in Palghar district. According to the police, the advertising professional was overtaking a truck at around 9 am on Sunday when her motorcycle landed in a pothole, throwing her off. Hogale was rushed to a hospital where she was declared dead before admission, Kasa police station’s Assistant Police Inspector Jaiprakash Guthe said. She had earlier ridden to Khardung La in Ladakh, one of the highest motorable roads in the world, police said. The truck driver was arrested under IPC sections 304-A (causing death by negligence) and 279 (rash driving). This is the fourth death this year due to vehicles hitting potholes on the Jawhar-Dahanu road, police said. On July 4, an 18-year-old boy was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle while trying to avoid a pothole at Bhiwandi Naka. Meanwhile, Patil said that he had instructed officials of the PWD department to repair all potholes on roads leading to the Konkan region ahead of Ganesh festival. “All roads leading to Konkan will be clear of potholes before August 5,” he said. Earlier, he held a review meeting on the condition of roads linking Mumbai with Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Konkan. The issue of potholes was in news recently when radio jockey Malishka Mendonsa incurred the wrath of the Shiv Sena which controls Mumbai’s civic body for a satirical song on pothole ridden-Mumbai roads.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Khadse’s comeback will be a matter of joy: Chandrakant Patil

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid speculation over possible comeback of Eknath Khadse in the BJP-led ministry in Maharashtra, a senior minister today said it will be a “matter of joy”. “Khadse rejoining the ministry will be a matter of joy for us,” Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil told reporters in Jalgaon district, from where Khadse hails. “The Zoting panel has submitted its report, which is now with the chief secretary,” Patil said. “The chief minister and chief secretary will take a call on the issue,” said Patil, who was elevated to the number two position in the Devendra Fadnavis ministry after Khadse’s exit. Over a year after accusations of impropriety in a land deal prompted his resignation from the Maharashtra cabinet, the Zoting inquiry commission appointed by Fadnavis to probe the allegations recently submitted its report. Its contents have not been made public yet. Khadse stepped down on June 4 last year, after uproar over a series of allegations, including one involving a land deal in Pune. After his resignation, Fadnavis appointed the commission headed by retired Bombay High Court judge Dinkar Zoting on June 23 last year. The panel was originally expected to submit its report within three months, but was given extensions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress plots to topple govt in Goa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress leaders in Goa have now begun hectic activities to see if the single largest party can form the government in Goa with the help of smaller parties currently with the BJP-led dispensation.Sources say that former CM Digambar Kamat and Opposition leader Chandrakant Kavlekar have taken lead to gather support for the Congress. The initiatives commenced after Luizinho Faleiro resigned as Pradesh Congress Committee chief.Congress MLAs had assured the high command that the present government can be toppled if Luizinho is replaced as PCC chief. Now, the onus lies on leaders like Kamat to prove their point.The Congress hopes to woo Goa Forward party and its leader Vijai Sardesai along with some independent MLAs. However, they haven’t received any response from the alliance partners in the present government. The current strength of Goa assembly is 38. Congress has 16 MLAs in the House and needs three more legislators to destabilise the government. For now, the party is hoping to break at least one faction from the ruling alliance.On the other hand, as per the sources close to the ruling, the BJP has opened communication with at least four Congress MLAs. The party plans to poach these MLAs if Congress succeeds in breaking the present alliance. BJP’s plan includes bringing down Congress’ strength to 12, equal to the present strength of the BJP in Goa assembly.

Maha to disburse crop credit through PSUs in 16 districts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after agreeing in principle to waive loans of farmers with certain riders, the Maharashtra government today decided to disburse the crop credit through public sector banks in 16 districts where district central cooperative banks are in red due to financial mismanagement. Against the backdrop of the protests by farmers, the inter-ministerial committee appointed by the government announced the loan waiver after a meeting with farmers’ leaders yesterday. The government also decided to set up a committee to decide the criteria of debt relief, after which cultivators called off their protests. After the meeting, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil announced that loans of farmers with small and medium land holdings stand waived from yesterday itself. Explaining the government’s decision to disburse the crop credit through public sector banks in the 16 districts, Patil today said there are 14 district central cooperative banks in the state where either administrator is appointed or concerned bank’s financial condition is too weak to provide crop loan for farmers in the current kharif season. “After the announcement of the loan waiver for farmers on Sunday, the state administration is facing the biggest hurdle of infrastructure to provide crop loan to farmers. Hence, the government has decided to by-pass the route of DCC banks and provide credit supply through public sector banks in those districts,” the minister said. Patil is closeted with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a closed door meeting where this issue is being discussed basis the ways to make funds available for farmers. “The district central banks for Parbhani & Hingoli and Dhule & Nandurbar are common. For remaining districts (14), each one has its own district central cooperative bank for crop loan disbursement. Hence there are 16 districts for which 14 DCBs are working but currently are unable to disburse the loan. “As these banks are not in a condition for credit supply, the state government has decided to ask the public sector banks in those respective districts to provide credit supply to farmers,” according to Patil. The districts where PSUs are likely to provide crop loans are Dhule, Nandurbar, Parbhani, Hingoli, Nashik, Jalgaon, Solapur, Jalna, Beed, Osmanabad, Nanded, Yavatmal, Buldana, Nagpur, Wardha and Amravati. “The farmers having land up to five acres are going to be considered as debt-free, hence these farmers will be eligible for fresh crop loans. To disburse the crop loan for these farmers, the state has decided to rope in the PSUs,” Patil added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Loan waiver for farmers with large land holdings should be done with great care, says YSP Thorat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s former chairman YSP Thorat on Monday said no financial solution in the agriculture sector can succeed without taking several important things into account. Thorat will head a high level committee appointed by the Maharashtra government to decide parameters for providing loan waivers to farmers with large land holdings and suggest a mechanism for the same. He told DNA,”There is money in agriculture, but not with the farmers. This time, the main cause of agitation has been low prices led by over production. Therefore the solution must ensure that farmers get reasonable prices for their produce.”The announcement on the establishment of a Thorat-led committee was made by state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil on Sunday evening. The Patil-led committee announced the loan waiver for farmers with small holdings up to 5 acres, after a meeting with the core committee of farmers organizations. The relief will be extended to farmers with large holdings after fixing parameters.Thorat said he is yet to receive a formal communication from the state government to chair a high-level committee. However, he noted that the committee’s mandate will probably be related to the procedural framework in which the policy is to be operationalised.”This will involve questions such as who is eligible, to what extent, the funding mechanism, governance structure and monitoring arrangement, in addition to whether it is a complete waiver. I also hope that the committee will be asked to look at agriculture in Maharashtra in a broad way so that dependency on financial intervention can be reduced,” Thorat said.When asked who will be eligible for the loan waiver, Thorat said it will depend on the government. “However, loan waiver for large and irrigated sections should be done with great care,” he opined.Fresh loans for farmers Meanwhile, state water resources minister Girish Mahajan, who is member of a committee chaired by revenue minister Chandrakant Patil to look into the farm loan waiver, told DNA that the Thorat committee will comprise of representatives of government, members of the core committee of farmers’ organizations and agriculture experts. “The loans of farmers with small holdings upto 5 acres have been waived off with immediate effect. This is worth about Rs 30,000 crore. These farmers will now be entitled for fresh loans. The debt for such farmers is below Rs 1 lakh. The decision was arrived on Sunday evening after the committee’s meeting with the core committee members. The necessary instructions will reach banks in a day or two so the farmers with small holdings can start getting new loans,’’ he added.However, Mahajan informed that the core committee members were quite categorical that the loan waiver should not be random but only after fixing certain criteria. “The core committee members suggested that farmers, who have taken a loan of more than Rs 50 lakh or upto Rs 2 crore, should not be given relief on the lines of farmers with small holdings. Besides, there are professionals including doctors, lawyers, professors who also hold land parcels and they should not be covered under the loan waiver. Therefore, the government will take a final decision in this regard after the Thorat committee submits its report,’’ he said.

‘Don’t cremate my body until Maharashtra CM Fadnavis visits,’ writes debt-ridden farmer in suicide note

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest in various parts of Maharashtra demanding loan waivers, a farmer from Solapur’s Karmala has committed suicide. He also left behind a note asking that his body not be cremated till Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ visits.Dhanaji Chandrakant Jadhav (45) committed suicide, days after Devendra Fadnavis said the government would write off farm loans in the biggest such waiver ever in the state, but the promise had little impact on the farmers’ strike, which entered its eighth day today. Jadhav ended his life by hanging himself to a tree at around 8:00 pm on Wednesday. In a two-page suicide note found from his pocket, Jadhav wrote, “I am a farmer. My name is Dhanaji Chandrakant Jadhav. I am committing suicide.”Asking his body to be taken to his village, he wrote. “.. Don’t cremate me till the time Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis arrives.”Jadhav had around Rs 60,000 as unpaid loans, apart from the money taken from private lenders.Angry relatives of Jadhav have refused to cremate him, while all parties have called for a Karmala band. An official from Karmala police station said that the relatives have insisted that if not the Chief Minister, the Guardian Minister should come and meet them. Officials said that the Guardian Minister Vijay Deshmukh will be visiting the deceased’s family. Jadhav is survived by a mother, wife, two brothers and two sons. His elder son is in class 12 and younger one in class 10. Meanwhile, a state convention of farmers has been called today in Nashik, around 150 km from here, by the Kisan Kranti Morcha (KKM) to discuss the future course of the agitation.Politics over the farmers agitation in the state intensified with Shiv Sena ministers skipping the Cabinet meeting yesterday.The Sena hit out at the Centre for allegedly pushing debt-ridden farmers into greater despair and allowing their farms to fall into ruin by ‘brandishing the knife’ of demonetization.The farmers launched their stir on June 1, suspending supply of milk and vegetables to towns and cities.

Collector held in bribe case lands in hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>North Goa additional collector, Sabaji Shetye arrested red handed while accepting a bribe has been admitted in the Goa Medical College and Hospital after complaining of chest pain.The Anti Corruption Bureau has decided to halt the probe till the hospital declares him fit. They were supposed to start his custodial interrogation from Tuesday.On the other side, massive politics has begun on the issue after the arrest of this senior bureaucrat. “BJP always claims that they function on “zero corruption”. They are in power from last five years. How was this continuing?” said leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar.Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has taken a firm stand insisting that anybody involved in any kind of corrupt practice would pay price henceforth.”The message is loud and clear. There cannot be any compromise on integrity and character. We are here to deliver for the people. Everybody should keep it in mind,” Parrikar said.Aam Aadmi Party has however raised the issue of pending corruption cases with the ACB.”What happened to the raids conducted in the past? All those investigations are either pending or inconclusive. Government is cherry picking while taking action”, said state convenor of AAP Elvis Gomes.

Cong dubs Bhamre’s lunch with ST family as ‘political drama’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Goa Congress has dubbed Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre’s lunch with a scheduled tribe family at their house in Taleigao village in the state, as “political drama”. Bhamre along with his union cabinet colleague AYUSH minister Shripad Naik had his lunch sitting on the floor with the family on Monday. They were accompanied by BJP Goa unit president Vinay Tendulkar and South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar. “Can’t they sit around the table and have their food ? Why were they sitting on the floor and eating when they had a table in their house? Do they want ST community to come back on the floor (remain undeveloped),” questioned former State Home Minister and Congress legislator Ravi Naik. He said the entire episode was just a ‘political drama’ played by the BJP which has lost its base in the state. “What is so special in having food at a family of ST community family ?,” he asked. Bhamre was in in Goa on Monday to participate in the series of meetings to highlight achievements of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the last three years. Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the state, Chandrakant Kavlekar said that BJP was trying to garner “cheap publicity” by engaging in such acts.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bridge over Savitri river reopens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After taking toll of 42 lives on August 2, 2016 with its collapse due to flash floods, state Government on Monday once again threw open the bridge on Savitri river at Mahad.The bridge was newly built in just 165 days in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari. Union Minister for Heavy Industries Anant Gite, PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil, Raigad Guardian Minister Prakash Maheta, Minister of state Ravindra Chavan, Zilla Parishad President Adoiti Tatkare, MP Amar Sabale, MLAs Prashant Thakur, Bharat Gogawale, Pravin Darekar, Avadhoot Tatkare, Niranjan Davkhare were also present.Lauding the PWD for completing entire work for building new bridge in record time, CM Fadnavis said that this reopening of the bridge is in one way tribute to all those who lost their lives in bridge collapse incident last year.Gadkari said that being the Union Minister for this department he owns the responsibility of the bridge collapse incident and said that he has already gone for an aerial review of the new bridge construction work. Gadkari on Monday laid foundation for the construction work of three stretches between Indapur to Vadpale, Veer to Bhogaon and Bhogaon Khurd to Kashedi Ghat which are a of total 12 packages in Maharashtra falling under four-laning work of Mumbai-Goa highway.Thanking Gadkari for undertaking work worth Rs 3000 crores in his Raigad district alone, Gite said that state Government has reacted quickly on Mahad bridge collapse incident which was laudable.

Farmers’ stir: Maha revenue minister takes swipe at Pawar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accused the opposition of instigating the farmers’ stir in the state, senior minister and the BJP leader Chandrakant Patil today accused NCP chief Sharad Pawar of doing little for cultivators when his party was in power. “Why Sharad Pawar has started showing so much concerns for farmers of late? His party failed to give a minimum support price (MSP) to farmers during its 15-year rule. Pawar’s recent allegations are coming from fear of losing (his) ‘Janata Raja’ identity,” the revenue minister alleged. The “Janata Raja” tag is typically attached to the veteran politician for his understanding of rural and agricultural issues. When the farmers’ stir was at its peak, the former Union agriculture minister alleged on Friday that the government was trying to create fissures among farmers by leaking reports that it is considering loan waiver for small farmers. Taking a swipe, Patil said, “There are some people who in the name of farmers’ strike are creating ruckus and destroying milk and vegetables. One should find out who were those who looted the common man by hiking prices and which party they belong to”. Patil alleged some people are “unhappy” over the state government finding a solution to farmers’ protests. “Some people are unhappy as they could not capitalise on the protests,” he alleged. Farmers in Maharashtra launched their stir on June 1 for various demands, prominent being waiving loans due to crop failures and indebtedness, and guaranteed MSP. After holding talks with leaders of farmers on late Friday night, the chief minister yesterday announced that his government will waive loans of farmers with small land-holding. He said 80 per cent of such farmers are in Vidarbha and Marathwada who will benefit by the move. After the announcement, some farmer leaders announced that the stir stands withdrawn. However, a section of farmers expressed their resolve to continue with the agitation. Meanwhile, Patil added the government is keen on holding talks with farmers who still feel disappointed, and finding a solution.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Fadnavis to launch Samwad Sabha today to reach out to farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will launch a ‘Shivar Samwad Sabha’ today to reach out to farmers in the state and address their issues. The four-day initiative is being launched amid the rising resentment among farmers across the state over delay in procurement of tur this year. Nearly 4,000 elected representatives of the party will participate in the campaign and hold meetings with farmers at various locations. According to a press release issued by the BJP yesterday, the party’s representatives, including MPs, MLAs, zilla parishad members and corporators, will engage in a dialogue with farmers to know about their issues and take their feedback on various decisions taken by the government in the last two-and-half years. Each leader will hold four meetings everyday. On day one, Fadnavis will meet farmers in Latur district of Marathwada region, while BJP’s state unit president Raosaheb Patil will interact with the cultivators in Nandurbar district in North Maharashtra. Other leaders like Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil will meet farmers in Kolhapur, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in Chandrapur, Education Minister Vinod Tawde in Ratnagiri and Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde in Beed. The chief minister, during his speech at BJP state working committee’s meeting last month in Pimpri Chinchwad near Pune, had announced that the party will hold the ‘Shivar Samwad Sabha’ in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Will take steps to stop construction of Godse memorial: Patil

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government today assured the Legislative Council that it would take steps to stop the construction of a memorial of Nathuram Godse being built by an organisation in Saparde village near Kalyan in neighbouring Thane. The government’s assurance came after the state Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar today directed the government to ensure that the construction of the memorial was stalled. As per reports, Hindu Mahasabha is constructing the memorial of Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, at Saparde village, 6 kms from Kalyan and land has been acquired for the purpose. Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt raised the issue in the Council through a point of propriety and demanded that the state government should urgently intervene to stop the construction of the memorial. “After coming to power by promising ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’, the mask of the ruling regime is being replaced with their true face coming forth, which proves that for them it is actually ‘Mann pe Ram, dil mein Nathuram (Lord Ram in mind, Nathuram in heart),” Dutt said. “The fascist forces, who killed Mahatma Gandhi are now blatantly raising their heads once again to continuously throttle Bapu’s ideals and teachings, while the government is consciously turning a blind eye to it,” he added. Dutt asserted that Congress, along with all secular forces, will not allow it to happen, no matter what. “Nathuram’s memorial coming up in Kalyan is a blot on progressive Maharashtra and sends a very wrong message across India and even internationally,” he said. Hence, the government should immediately intervene to stop it and also take strict action against those initiating it, as well as the authorities concerned who have failed to take prompt action in the matter, Dutt said. Responding to Dutt’s demand, Leader of the House, revenue minister Chandrakant Patil said that the government has not given permission for any such memorial. Chairman Nimbalkar said it may not have permission, but if someone is constructing Godse’s memorial, it should be stopped. Patil then assured that the government will initiate steps to stop it. “We will conduct an inquiry into the matter and appropriate action would be taken against people involved into construction of the memorial,” Patil said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rishikesh-Badrinath highway opens post massive landslide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway which was shut on Friday near Vishnuprayag in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district due to a massive landslide was re-opened for traffic on Sunday. SP Chamoli Tripti Bhatt told ANI, ”Badrinath Highway near Hathi parbat which was shut due to landslide is now open.” Earlier, Maharashtra’s Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation, Chandrakant Patil informed that hundreds of Char Dham pilgrims stranded in Uttarakhand have been rescued. He told ANI, “The government has taken all necessary precautions. The state’s department of disaster management immediately came into action. We contacted the tour operators and figured out that 102 pilgrims from Maharashtra were stranded who have been rescued now and have been accommodated in different hotels.” “By noon all roads will be cleared, and by evening, all pilgrims will be made to board trains to their respective home stations. We have reached out to the railway authorities for the same so that none miss out their trains,” Patil added. A landslide blocked part of the road leading up from Joshimath to Badrinath in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand on Friday. There have been no casualties or injuries.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt denies hiking stamp duty, says gap in communication

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a move that may embarrass the state government, it has done a volte-face on the cabinet’s decision to hike the stamp duty on gift deeds of immovable property.The Shiv Sena had criticised the decision taken on Tuesday and had threatened to hit the streets in protest. Chandrakant Patil, Revenue Minister, told DNA that they had not changed the present system wherein a nominal amount of just Rs 500 is levied on such transactions.Sources said the 2015 amendment had reduced stamp duty on gift deed transfers by and from a father and his children, a grandchild and his grandparents and a widow and her in-laws. However, transactions between some relations like brothers and sisters, husband and wife had been outside the purview of this exemption and continued to attract a duty of two per cent of the ready reckoner (RR) rates — this has been hiked to three per cent. Not only did this lead to a revenue loss of Rs 500 crore, there were also complaints that many transactions were being touted through this both in Mumbai and Thane. There were concerns about rights of some inheritors being neglected while registering the property too.”The decision taken two years ago remains unchanged,” Patil told DNA.However, the press release issued by the Chief Minister’s office on Tuesday, clearly mentioned that stamp duty at the rate of three per cent on the prevailing RR rate would apply on gift deeds of property to family members or to descendants or forebearers.”There was a mistake in understanding the government’s language… there is nothing wrong with the press note,” said Patil.The minutes of Tuesday’s decision are to be confirmed at the next meeting of the state cabinet when the changes and clarifications are expected to be made.”There is confusion in the state government,” said a Revenue Department official, adding that for now, the earlier amendment stays.

Four of a family, riding motorbike, dead in accident

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four members of a family, riding a motorbike, were killed when front tyre of the two-wheeler burst near Batiagarh village on Damoh-Chattarpur road in Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh today. The deceased were identified as Mitthu Athya (38), his wife Radhabai (36), their son Golu (6) and nephew Virendra (16), residents of Manthandari village, police said. They were on their way to Shahnai Piparia village to visit Athya’s in-laws, Batiagarh police station in-charge Chandrakant Patel said. Athya lost control of the motorbike after its front tyre burst, and it hit pipes lying on the roadside. All four died on the spot, Patel said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Danve’s statement was misconstrued, says Patil on controversy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil today came out in support of state BJP president Raosaheb Danve, who is facing flak for his derogatory remarks against farmers, saying the latter’s statement was “misconstrued”. Patil is the first minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government to defend Danve openly. Danve had on Wednesday courted controversy after he allegedly passed insulting remarks against farmers for questioning the government s stand on tur procurement. “The remarks (about farmers) made by Raosaheb Danve were misconstrued. Danve is aware of farmers woes. He never spoke anything that was against them,” said Patil in Pune. He also took a dig at opposition which is demanding Danve’s resignation, saying, “It is the only work left for them now.” Danve had allegedly said that some farmers continued to complain despite the state government doling out sops to bail out tur growers. “The state government has so far procured the highest amount of tur in the history and it is going to purchase additional 1 lakh tonne; still some (referring to farmers) continue to complain,” Danve had said. “…ajoon ek lakh tonne tur kharedi karnaar aahe taree radtaat (We are going to procure 1 lakh tonne of tur but still they are crying),” he had said in a reply to a question raised by a BJP worker in Jalna in Marathwada. Danve has already issued an apology after the BJP drew flak for his statement.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kolhapur reaches lofty heights with India’s second-tallest flag

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hoisted a 303-feet high national flag — considered the second-tallest flag in the country — in Kolhapur on Monday.A special helicopter that showered flowers from the sky was deployed for the occasion. Actor Akshay Kumar, Kolhapur’s Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil and other ministers and MLAs were present during the event.The flag, erected at the police ground in Kolhapur city, measures 60×90 feet. Almost 5,400 sq m of cloth was used to make it.“Such a high flag can be seen from anywhere in the city and will inspire the people, instilling patriotism in them,” said a statement issued by the CM’s office.The Wagah border has the tallest flag in India. It’s 307 feet tall.

Rebuilt Mahad bridge may open for public on June 5: Patil

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The work of rebuilding the British-era Mahad bridge, which had collapsed in August last year and claimed around 30 lives, is almost done and it is likely to be opened for public from June 5 this year. Maharashtra Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Chandrakant Patil gave this information to reporters. “The bridge is almost ready and we hope to open it for public on June 5. The bridge will be inaugurated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray,” he informed. Patil was speaking after a review meeting held here with Gadkari and the authorities of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). “The state has spent around Rs 27 crore on rebuilding the bridge,” he said. When asked whether the Maharashtra government would also denotify state highways in the backdrop of the Supreme Court ban on liquor outlets along the highways, Patil said, “We do not have any such plans and in Mumbai, it was just the Western and Eastern Expressways that were transferred to MMRDA.” “We also do not have any plans of denotifying the Sion-Panvel highway,” he said. The British-era Mahad bridge across the River Savitri on the Mumbai-Goa highway, collapsed on August 2, taking with it two buses and two private vehicles, carrying over 40 persons.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Tenders for Mum-Goa coastal highway to be floated next month’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tenders for the proposed Mumbai-Goa coastal highway will be floated next month, state Public Works Department Minister Chandrakant Patil said here today. “The detailed project report for the Mumbai-Goa coastal highway is already prepared and tenders will be floated next month,” he said. He was addressing the media after a review meeting held here with Union Minister for Roads and Highways Nitin Gadkari with the authorities of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Gadkari had proposed to develop the coastal highway on Mumbai Goa route along the lines of the highway on the Las Vegas St Francisco Pacific Coast in the US. During the meeting, Gadkari reiterated that the Mumbai-Goa highway would be completed by 2019, Patil said. The construction work of the project will be divided in four packages in Goa, and in eleven packages in Maharashtra. The highway would have an investment of Rs 12,000 crore in Maharashtra and Rs 5,000 crore in Goa. Patil said the state government would also get funds from the Centre for constructing a separate highway between the Raigad fort and Mahad, which will cost around Rs 260 crore.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sow-for-free is Fadnavis formula to end agri deaths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under pressure from the united Opposition for loan waiver on the lines of Uttar Pradesh, the Maharashtra government is preparing a two-pronged strategy to prevent suicides by farmers and also get rid of the agrarian crisis once and for all.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has tasked Public Works Department Minister Chandrakant Patil, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar to prepare this strategy. The government is likely to unveil the strategy during the Monsoon session of the state legislature.According to the strategy, the government would provide all agrarian inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, power, water and labour free of cost. In addition, it would provide an assured price for 22 important crops.The free cost inputs and assured price for crops would put a burden of Rs 8-10 thousand crore on the state exchequer. If the state government were to go for a complete loan waiver, it would require Rs 30,500 crore.The Devendra Fadnavis government has been under pressure from Opposition as well its alliance partner Shiv Sena for loan waiver ever since Uttar Pradesh Government waived farm loans up to Rs 1 lakh. If it can be done in UP, why not in Maharashtra, the parties ask.Chief Minister Fadnavis had in the recently concluded budget session made it clear time and again that providing loan waiver at this juncture would hamper all other social sectors as well as infrastructure schemes and projects. He also made it clear that the government would be bringing the farmer out of agrarian crisis by introducing new measures. The CM said that loan waiver would prove counter productive as the more than one crore farmers who repaying loans regularly would feel that it was wrong on their part to repay the loans.A senior minister said that as it is whenever there is drought, the state government is required to pay at least Rs 4- 5 thousand crore towards compensation to farmers.The 22 crops for which the government plans to provide free input costs include tur, onion, grapes, cotton, oranges, tomato, chana dal and soybean. The minister said that if the market prices are below the assured price, government would bear the difference so that farmer gets the assured price for the produce. He said that the assured price would be decided on the basis of fluctuations in the last 10 years for the particular farm produce.Reducing input costs and assured price for the produce is expected to fetch reasonable incomes to farmers.CROP CIRCLE1.38 croreThe number of registered farmers in the state1 croreFarmers who are paying their loan installments regularly31 lakhFarmers who are not in a position to repay the loan instalments1 croreMarginal farmers who are expected to benefit from this policy

MMRDA may take over Mumbai highways to bring respite to bars and wine shops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government recently received a proposal from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), seeking to take over the Western Express and Eastern Express Highways from the state public works department. If approved, the two stretches will be denotified and cease to be considered as highways and thereby bring relief to around 500 bars and wine shops along the two stretches. As per reports in Mumbai Mirror, public works minister Chandrakant Patil said that state highways passing through cities can be handed over to a local municipal body or a development authority. Around 500 bars and wine shops along the Western Ex press Highway and the East ern Express Highway were affected following the Supreme Court order last month banning alcohol within 500 mt of state and national highways.
ALSO READ Over 100 liquor vends, bars shut in DelhiCurrently, the state has around 25,000 liquor shops and bars, of which nearly 6,000 have been affected by the SC ruling. The government is estimated to take a hit of at least Rs 7,000 crore due to the order.

Maha govt takes stock of farmers with heavy loan burden ahead of Modi’s visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Maharashtra tour scheduled on April 14th, state government is gathering information about indebted farmers, especially farmers with small land holdings.BJP in its manifesto had assured loan waiver to farmers while going for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Soon after coming to power, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in his first cabinet announced loan waiver up to loan of Rs. 1 lakh.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who was under pressure from Opposition for repeating the loan waiver for Maharshtra farmers has announced in state assembly that he has asked Finance Secretary to gather information about Uttar Pradesh loan waiver. Interestingly, state Government has started gathering the information about indebtedness of farmers in the state. The district cooperative banks have been asked to give details of farmers’ loan especially which are long pending. Commissioner for Cooperation Chandrakant Dalvi informed that it was a routine circular which is send to all the cooperative banks so that Government can take stock of the unpaid loans. He informed that the information comes by April 30’th. A finance department official however informed that the information sought by finance department would be gathered in next two months. Chief Minister Fadnavis has made it clear in the state assembly that loan waiver would cost state government Rs. 30,500 crores and it is not possible to go for it at this juncture.

Sena offers ‘proof’ that AI staff abused Ravindra Gaikwad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Just days after Shiv Sena MPs met Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan requesting that the blanket ban by airline companies against Osmanabad MP Ravindra Gaikwad (in pic) be revoked, they met Mahajan again on Thursday and claimed that Gaikwad, too, was abused and hit by Air India staffers. They appealed to the Speaker that the airline staffers should also face action for abusing a Member of Parliament. Agitated Sena MPs told the Speaker that Gaikwad, who has been grounded for allegedly assaulting a senior employee of Air India, was the victim of a media trial. Senior Sena MPs Anandrao Adsul, Chandrakant Khaire, Gajanan Kirtikar, Vinayak Raut and Arvind Sawant were present in the meeting, along with Shrirang Barne, Shivaji Patil, Prataprao Jadhav, Bhawana Gawli, Hemant Godse and Rajya Sabha member Anil Desai. Gaikwad stayed away from the meeting and even the Parliament after he reached Delhi from Osmanabad by road. “Only one side of the story is coming out. We showed a video to Madam Speaker where some of the staffers are clearly heard abusing our colleague. We requested once again that the ban imposed on him be revoked so that he can perform his duties properly,” said Arvind Sawant, Member of Parliament, Mumbai South.

BJP’s Michael Lobo elected deputy speaker of Goa assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP legislator Michael Lobo was today elected the deputy speaker of Goa assembly, defeating Isidore Fernandes of Congress. In the election held in the House, Lobo polled 21 votes, while Fernandes bagged 15. While Speaker Pramod Sawant did not vote, two MLAs – Churchill Alemao (NCP) and Francis Silveira (Congress) – were not present in the assembly at the time of the election. The coastal state has a 40-member House and one MLA resigned days after assembly poll results were announced two weeks ago. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar escorted Lobo to his chair after he was declared elected. Parrikar congratulated the MLA from Calangute on assuming responsibility of an important post. Others, including Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar and MGP minister Sudin Dhavalikar, also congratulated Lobo. In his speech, Lobo described Parrikar as a “visionary leader”. “I will always be with Parrikar due to his vision for Goa. Parrikar quit as Defence Minister for the sake of Goa. People of Goa know why he came (back as chief minister). There are pending issues which need to be settled,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP’s Pramod Sawant elected Speaker of Goa Assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP legislator Pramod Sawant was today elected as the Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly. The 38-year-old BJP leader defeated Congress nominee Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco. Sawant secured 20 votes while Lourenco got 15. When pro-tem Speaker Siddharth Kuncolienkar called for the election, BJP, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward Party and Independent MLA Govind Gawade moved separate motions supporting Sawant. On the other hand, Congress legislators Luizinho Faleiro, Digambar Kamat, Isidore Fernandes moved the motions supporting candidature of Lourenco. The pro-tem Speaker then called for the head count of those supporting the motion in favour of Sawant following which 20 MLAs from the ruling benches stood up. Later, when he called for those against the motion, 15 members from the opposition benches stood up. After Sawant won, Kuncolienkar invited him to occupy the Speaker’s chair. With the resignation of Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane last week, the effective strength of the 40-member House is now reduced to 39. Out of the 39 members, 20 from BJP and its alliance partners voted in favour of Sawant. The pro-tem Speaker did not vote. The Congress nominee received 15 votes. NCP legislator Churchill Alemao, who had supported the BJP-led alliance during the trust vote in the Assembly last week, remained seated when the pro-tem Speaker called for the head count. Two MLAs BJP’s Nilesh Cabral and Lourenco of Congress – reached the House after the voting was over. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar later said in the House that the two legislators were stuck in traffic. Parrikar congratulated Sawant on being elected as the Speaker and said he is an experienced legislator who has actively participated in various debates in the House. The Chief Minister said the House is expected to have healthy debates in future which will contribute towards bringing better legislations. Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said he expects that the Speaker would be impartial in doing his job. “I request you to be fair to all the members as many of them are new in the House,” he said. The three-day session of the Assembly began today. State Governor Mridula Sinha will address the House tomorrow and Parrikar will present the state Budget on March 24.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maharashtra: BJP wins ZP president post in 10 out of 25 districts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP candidates won the post of Zilla Parishad (ZP) president in 10 of the 25 districts where elections were held today, with NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena emerging winners on the rest.At some places, Congress and Shiv Sena, otherwise political rivals, joined hands to get their nominees elected to ZP posts. These 25 ZPs, spread across Maharashtra, went to polls last month to elect their members with BJP gaining ground among rural voters and winning most of the seats on offer. Elections for the post of ZP president were held today. BJP nominees bagged ZP president’s post at 10 ZPs, while NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena won 5 each with local permutations and combinations playing a key role in the polls.Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve suffered a setback in his home turf Jalna. Despite BJP emerging as the single largest party with 22 seats, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP came together to deny the top post to the BJP. Shiv Sena bagged the top ZP position, while NCP got the post of vice president (VP). In Beed, the home district of women and Child welfare minister Pankaja Munde, BJP won the president post while its ally Shiv Sangram bagged the VP post with help from a section of NCP members. NCP had emerged as the single largest party in Beed.Pankaja’s estranged cousin and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde is NCP’s face in Beed. NCP won president and VP’s posts in Osmanabad. In Aurangabad and Nashik, Shiv Sena and Congress joined hands to win the president and VP posts, respectively. In Solapur, even though NCP was the single largest party with 23 members, BJP bagged the president’s post. In revenue minister Chandrakant Patil’s home district Kolhapur, BJP won the post of president, while Shiv Sena bagged the VP’s post.In Yavatmal, Congress won the president’s post while BJP got the office of VP. In Buldhana, BJP bagged the president’s post while the VP will be from NCP. In Ahmednagar and Nanded, Congress and NCP won the posts of president and VP, respectively. NCP bagged both president and VP positions in Satara and Pune, while BJP got both the posts in Latur, Wardha and Chandrapur ZPs, where they had majority on their own.BJP also won president’s post in Sangli district while VP will be from the Shiv Sena.NCP got both posts in Parbhani since it was the single largest party. The Sharad Pawar-led party also bagged the president’s post in Raiga ZP while PWP got VP’s post. Gadchiroli ZP president post went to BJP. Sindhudurg saw Congress winning both the posts and same was the case with Shiv Sena in Ratnagiri. In Jalgaon, BJP won both the posts. In Amravati, Congress won president’s post and VP will be from Sena. In Hingoli, the top post went to Shiv Sena and the no. 2 position to Congress.

BJP takes charge in Goa, Congress infighting intensifies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ending the political crisis in Goa, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar won the trust vote on the floor of Legislative Assembly on Thursday, with 22 legislators voting for him in the 40-member Assembly.Congress MLA and senior state leader Vishwajit Rane defied the party whip, and abstained from voting. He later resigned from the membership of the party as well as the Assembly. Rane was a front runner for the chief minister’s post within the Congress.In Delhi, Congress leaders were livid at party general secretaries Digvijay Singh and CP Joshi, both close confidantes of Vice President Rahul Gandhi, for not turning the tables in Goa and Manipur even after emerging as the single-largest party.“Right from the beginning, the Congress did not have the numbers and it was only a hype created by them,” Parrikar said “It happens when you come to Goa only to enjoy, not to work,” he quipped.Rane was upset with Singh for failing to clinch the support of smaller parties after election results were announced on Saturday last. “I have resigned as MLA. I have also resigned as a member of the party. I am going back to the people for a fresh mandate,” he told DNA on phone from Goa.He also accused the Congress for failing Goa. A senior party leader said that he was upset that the party could not muster the support of four MLAs to form the government. There was high drama ahead of voting after Rane walked out and went missing. Earlier, Vijay Sardesai, chief of the regional party Goa Forward, had alleged that the Congress had attempted to contact him to ensure Parrikar’s defeat.Party sources said that Gandhi, who was monitoring the developments, was told that Rane was with the party. Singh told him that Rane has taken oath as Congress MLA and is bound by the whip. State leader Chandrakant Kavlekar was asked to trace Rane as voting began.Kavlekar went all around the Assembly complex but could not find Rane. He said that he even checked the bathrooms in the complex. He returned and signalled Singh, who was in the visitors’ gallery. Even if Rane would have voted for the Congress, it would have hardly made any difference. Parrikar sailed through with 22 votes in his favour, one more than what he needed. Just 16 Congress legislators voted against him.Singh had, till last evening, said that the Congress could gather enough support to defeat Parrikar’s vote of confidence. But gave this up as the BJP’s new allies publicly reconfirmed their support.The Congress had too many chief ministerial aspirants and they were busy lobbying with the high command. Senior party leader Renuka Chowdhury openly blamed Singh for the Congress’ failure and mismanagement to win a majority in Goa.The BJP, in the meanwhile, won over two independents, and got letters of support from its former ally, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP), which have three MLAs each.In Chandigarh, flanked by Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Gandhi charged the BJP with “stealing” the mandate of people in Goa and Manipur and forming governments in these states by using money power. “The BJP used money power in the two states. They stole the mandate of the people,” he alleged.

481 Maharashtra doctors play hard to get, tribals suffer for 3 months

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last week, the Pune rural police arrested Dr Madhukar Chandrakant Shinde, a medical practitioner employed by the state government, for allegedly conducting sex determination tests on pregnant women. Police and health department officials said that Shinde was absconding from duty as a medical officer in Ratnagiri — one of the 481 medical officers employed by the state who have similarly skipped work. Dr Satish Pawar, director, health services, Government of Maharashtra, told DNA that around 481 medical officers were under “unauthorised absence,” which meant they were absent from work for three months without sanctioned leave.This includes both, MBBS degree holders and specialists like gynaecologists and anaesthetists. This number of absent medical practitioners’ covers around 7 per cent of the public health department’s about 7,600 sanctioned posts of medical officers. Pawar said reasons for these medicos staying absent from work included postings in difficult areas like tribal belts and doctors starting their private practice in their present postings, which led to them resisting transfers elsewhere. Moreover, some doctors also preferred to seek postings around large cities rather than the hinterlands. Pawar said they were terminating the services of 99 such doctors and had announced a one-time amnesty scheme under which around 100 medical officers had offered to resume work. These cases were under consideration and details had been sought about the number of days the doctors were in service, their last postings, service records and reasons for absence. The termination procedure was underway for the remaining medicos. Incidentally, Shinde had applied under the amnesty scheme, revealed Pawar. The termination procedure included sending a recommendation to the state government’s general administration department (GAD), which in turn forwarded to the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) for approval. Health minister Dr Deepak Sawant said after he had taken over, the state government had terminated the services of 180 of these missing doctors. The state has also approached the Medical Council of India to suspend the license of these doctors to prevent them from conducting their private practice.Pawar said they had around 500 vacancies for the post of medical officers and considering that these were essential services, the department was posting bonded candidates (students passing out from state and civic run medical colleges who have to serve the department for a stipulated period) and doctors hired on 11-month contracts. Dr Abhijit More, co-convenor, Jan Arogya Abhiyaan, who had worked as a medical officer at Mulshi near Pune said apart from lack of facilities in rural areas, lack of a proper work culture in the state government also leads to doctors not joining duty. “There is a dire need to improve the work culture. Even if the government cannot match the salaries paid by the private sector, the pay and facilities must be respectable. These doctors must also be given autonomy in decision making and easier promotions… there are little incentives for people to stay in the system,” said More. He added that some doctors chose to be absent themselves from work even while on duty and stressed that periodic dialogues between the local communities and senior officials would help crackdown on such errant medicos. Maharashtra has a three-tier health infrastructure system for people, especially those in rural areas. The primary tier comprises of sub-centres, PHCs and Community Health Centres (CHC), followed by sub-district hospitals and district hospitals. The medical colleges provide tertiary services.CRACKDOWN AFTER SANGLITo crack down on unqualified doctors and unregistered centres, Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant called for the formation of a special squad consisting of officials from deparments like health, revenue, police and the FDA. This squad will conduct examinations of hospitals in the respective districts and submit reports to the district collectors.

One accused in Dhule doc’s beating commits suicide in custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pradeep Sadashiv Vetale, one of the accused in the Dhule case where a resident doctor was thrashed by relatives of a patient, hung himself in the toilet of the city police station in Dhule.Police say he was around 22 years old and was the pillion rider with the patient who had sustained head injuries on Sunday. He was one of the nine arrested for thrashing senior resident doctor Rohan Mamunkar at the Government Medical College (GMC) in Dhule.”He went to the toilet around 4.00 pm and hung himself using a bed sheet. Earlier in the day, he along with four others were presented in court on Tuesday and remanded to police custody,” confirmed Chandrakant Gawali, additional superintendent of police in Dhule.Meanwhile resident doctors across Maharashtra wore black ribbons and held protests in solidarity of the senior orthopedic resident doctor Roham Mamumkar, 28, who was beaten with rods after he asked family members of a patient with a head injury to take him to another centre since there was no neurosurgeon on duty. The incident took place on Sunday night.Resident doctors from government medical colleges in Ambejogai, Pune, Latur, Mumbai and Nagpur joined the protest.The entire incident captured on CCTV cameras has been going viral on the social media. The accused have been booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 353 (assault on a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”Despite the Bombay HC passing an order last June to limit the number of relatives with a patient to two, the rule has not been implemented,” said Dr Sagar Mandada, youth wing chairman of Maharashtra Indian Medical Association (IMA).The doctor is clinically stable, although his left eye vision has been compromised,” said Dr Yashvardhan Kabra, president, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors.

Cong. issues notice in Lok Sabha over govt. formation in Goa, Manipur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Congress on Tuesday issued an adjournment notice in the Lok Sabha over the formation of government in Goa and Manipur. Meanwhile, even as the Supreme Court is set to hear the Congress’ petition challenging the appointment of Manohar Parrikar as Goa Chief Minister today, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh-led delegation will meet Governor Mridula Sinha, a day after she issued a letter to officially appoint Parrikar as the CM. The swearing-in ceremony was slated to be held in Panaji at 5 p.m. today. Earlier, in a dramatic development, the Congress had moved the apex court against Governor Sinha’s decision, despite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerging as the second largest party. The petition filed by Goa Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Chandrakant Kavlekar had sought stay on the swearing-in of Parrikar as the chief minister. The Congress claimed that the Governor should have invited them to form the government, as they are the single largest party with 17 seats. The petition for urgent hearing was mentioned before Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar. President Pranab Mukherjee, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accepted Parrikar’s resignation as Union Defence Minister, with immediate effect, under clause (2) of Article 75 of the Constitution. Union Minister Arun Jaitley was entrusted with the additional charge of the Defence Ministry. The Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats in the 40-member Goa Assembly. But, instead of it, the BJP staked claim to form the government in the state inviting the ire of the grand old party and allegations of ‘stealing elections’.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cong moves SC challenging Goa Guv decision to appoint Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today moved the Supreme Court challenging Goa Governor Mridula Sinha’s decision to appoint BJP leader Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister of the state. The hurriedly filed petition late in the evening was mentioned at the residence of Chief Justice J S Kehar, who agreed to give an urgent hearing tomorrow. A special bench would be constituted as the apex court is on Holi break for a week. The petition filed by Goa CLP leader Chandrakant Kavlekar has sought stay on the swearing-in of Parrikar as the chief minister. The petition has also sought quashing of the decision of the governor to appoint Parrikar as the chief minister. The petition, filed by advocate Devdutt Kamath, is likely to be argued by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and has made the Centre and Goa as the parties. The Goa CLP leader has argued that the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the polls and under the constitutional convention, the Governor was bound to invite the single largest party to form the government and give it the opportunity to prove majority in the floor test. It said the decision of the governor is a blatantly unconstitutional action and is illegal, arbitrary and violative of the basic features of the Constitution. He added that the decision was hastily taken by the governor yesterday. Further, the advocate said it was wrong on the part of the Governor to invite the BJP-led alliance for government formation as there was no pre-poll alliance. In the 40-member House, the Congress has 17 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 13, the MGP (3), the GFP (3), the NCP (1) and Independents (3). Parrikar had yesterday submitted evidence before Governor, the support of 13 MLAs of the BJP, 3 MLAs of the MGP, 3 of the Goa Forward Party and two Independent MLAs thus having a total strength of 21 MLAs in the 40-member assembly.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha legislature crippled over fracas on loan waiver demand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The functioning of Maharashtra legislature continued to remain affected amid uproar over the demand for loan waiver to farmers, with both the Houses being adjourned for the day today without transacting any business. In the Assembly, the opposition Congress and the NCP members were joined by their counterparts from the BJP and Shiv Sena in raising slogans for waiving off the loans of farmers. The fracas forced the Speaker Haribhau Bagde to adjourn the proceedings twice before the House was adjourned for the day without transacting any business, on the third consecutive day. The Assembly passed the motion of thanks on Governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s customary address to the legislature on the first day of Budget session on Monday, without any discussion due to the noisy scenes. Due to the bedlam on the loan waiver issue, the two-day debate on the Governor’s address, which was scheduled to begin yesterday and end today with the Chief Minister’s reply, couldn’t take off. The functioning of the Upper House too remained crippled on the fourth consecutive day as the members of the Congress and the NCP raised slogans on the issue. The Council has not been able to take up Question Hour due to strident demands for the loan waiver. As the Council assembled today, senior NCP member Sunil Tatkare said the Opposition had moved an adjournment motion on the issue. “The government has done nothing in the last two years on the demands being made by the Opposition. How could the government write off dues of money lenders when by law they (lenders) are not supposed to lend agricultural credit to farmers,” he said. The NCP leader said the government does not want to write off the loans being availed by farmers from the cooperative banks and credit societies. As the Congress and NCP legislators started raising slogans, the Leader of the House and the Cooperation Minister Chandrakant Patil said, “the government wanted to improve the agricultural infrastructure in such a way that the farmers won’t fall into the debt trap again after his earlier debt is settled.” Patil (BJP) said though a loan waiver was granted by previous Congress-NCP government in 2008-09, the condition of farmers did not improve thereafter. “The BJP government wants to improve the agricultural infrastructure by providing better seeds, good water supply for irrigation, and fertilisers with a view to improve their crop yield,” he said. The minister said the government is installing solar-powered feeders in order to ensure uninterrupted power supply to agricultural pumps of farmers. “The government has now also allowed farmers to sell their produce outside the agricultural produce markets,” he said. However, as the sloganeering continued unabated, the Chair adjourned the proceedings for an hour. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Patil wants Sena to join hands with BJP for Zilla Parishads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Chandrakant Patil today appealed to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to join hands in various Zilla Parishads, elections for which were held last month, to form a ruling coalition. “I would like to make an official request to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to join hands with BJP to form a ruling front in the Zilla Parishads,” Patil, who is revenue minister, said while speaking to reporters outside the Vidhan Bhavan. Patil’s appeal to the Sena chief comes after BJP corporators extended support to Shiv Sena candidate Vishwanath Mahadeshwar today during the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls. “From day one, I was in favour of BJP and Shiv Sena joining hands. The way we have supported Shiv Sena’s mayor candidate, I hope Sena will reciprocate in the same manner and support BJP to come to power in Zilla Parishads,” Patil said. Zilla Parishads in Kolhapur, Sangli and Jalgaon are the key ones where BJP can form a ruling front. Both BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the recently held elections for municipal corporations and Zilla Parishads independently. Patil said, Shiv Sena’s support to BJP to gain power in ZP will benefit both the parties.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha MLCs seek termination of Paricharak’s membership

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra Legislative Council was adjourned today amid a demand by members demanding termination of Independent MLC Prashant Paricharak’s membership over his remarks on wives of soldiers. On the second consecutive day, the members cutting across party lines closed ranks against the BJP-backed MLC whose remarks had kicked up a huge row last month. Raising the issue, the Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde said around 3000 family members of soldiers protested against Paricharak’s comments this morning itself. “Until his membership is permanently terminated, we cannot let the House function, because if we do, a wrong message will be sent. When soldiers go out to protect nation, it is the responsibility of the government as well as citizens to safeguard their families,” Munde said. A strong message should be sent across so that nobody can pass lewd remarks on soldiers and get away with it, he demanded. Participating in the debate, Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe said the state government should have taken cognisance of the issue and taken action against Paricharak. “What would the government have done if somebody else had made the remarks? Had somebody from Pakistan had said this, we would have said we will teach them a lesson. If a lesson is not given to him (the MLC) now and he is not terminated (as a member), people may say we are hypocritic,” she said. Citing a “past precedent in Parliament”, the Congress leader Sharad Ranpise said there are rules under which strong action can be taken against Paricharak. Intervening in the issue, the Leader of the House and Cooperation Minister Chandrakant Patil said the incident was condemnable. “We do not support him at all. We have to sit together and take a decision on the issue. However, a message that the government is being persuaded to take action against him (Paricharak) should not go out,” Patil said. The Congress leader Narayan Rane then said there was no need for a discussion and that immediate action should be taken against the MLC. Ashok alias Bhai Jagtap (Congress) said it was a “transparent crime against the country and against those protecting the nation.” The Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar said irrespective of the party to which Paricharak belongs, ethics should be upheld. “This is a very serious issue because it concerns those who shed blood for us. We all are comfortably sitting in ACs today only because of our soldiers,” Nimbalkar said, adding that the issue needed to be considered seriously. “It seems that a meeting with the CM cannot be held today over the issue, but I do not see any opposition from the ruling party as well (on taking action against Paricharak). The CM should give time for the issue and come to a conclusion. The House stands adjourned till tomorrow,” the Chair ordered. Addressing a rally in Solapur in run-up to the local bodies elections last month, Paricharak had said, “A soldier gets a telegram from his wife that she has delivered a baby and he distributes sweets to his colleagues on the border, though he has not visited him home for a whole year.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP, Sena must join hands to rule Mumbai civic body: Minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior BJP Minister in Maharashtra today said his party and Shiv Sena are natural allies who should put aside their differences and join hands once again to rule the Mumbai civic body, where elections threw a fractured mandate. Chandrakant Patil, who holds the PWD portfolio, also asserted there was no threat to the BJP-led Government in the State. “BJP and Shiv Sena are natural allies. That is why leaders of both the parties should not make any ‘amangal’ (unholy) alliance and continue their traditional alliance which has been there for the last 20-25 years (in Mumbai),” Patil said. “It is obvious it will take some time to come out of the pre-poll and post-poll bickering between the two parties. Even in our homes, if we quarrel with our brother, it takes time to patch-up,” Patil said. “Therefore, there is no need for anyone (in Opposition) to rejoice (at Sena-BJP fight). The BJP-Sena combine will come to power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). There is also no threat to the state government,” the Minister maintained. Patil’s comments came in the wake of mounting suspense over who will be the next Mayor of Mumbai with both BJP and Sena, who don’t have majority of their own in the just elected House, eyeing the prestigious post. Elections to the 227-member BMC threw a fractured verdict with none of the parties reaching the majority mark (114 seats) to get their candidate installed as Mayor. There were reports that Congress may tacitly support the Sena to scuttle the BJP’s chances of controlling the BMC, the country’s richest civic body which has an annual budget of over Rs 37,000 crore. Ahead of the February 21 elections, the BJP and Shiv Sena split in BMC, which they had been ruling together for the last over two decades, over allocation of seats and other issues. However, the saffron parties continue to be ruling allies at the state level and also at the Centre.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

150 take ill after consuming sweets at a religious fair

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 150 people, including children were admitted to the various hospitals in Maval tehsil of Pune district on Friday night after they complained of vomitting, loose motion and other suspected food poisoning symptoms. District health department said people fell ill after consuming sweets, distributed as ‘prasad’ during a religious function in Pachane village in the tehsil. “There was an ‘Urus’ (a religious fair) in Pachane village in Maval and after the rituals, pedha (sweets) were distributed among the villagers. “After consuming the sweets, people complained of vomitting, loose motions and nausea. They rushed to nearby hospitals,” said Dr Chandrakant Lohare, health officer, Maval tehsil. He said that initially it was only handful of people, who complained of food poisoning symptoms, however, after sometime more and more people started complaining and rushed to the nearby hospitals. “Sensing the medical urgency, we set up a makeshift medical camps at the village and treated the villagers,” he added. The doctor said that majority of the people were discharged after the treatment and the situation is under control. “There are around 50 people who are still in the hospital and under observation, however, no one is critical,” said Lohare. “Samples of the sweets have been sent to laboratory for further investigation and Food and Drug Administration too is looking into the matter,” the doctor informed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former mayors, MLAs also in fray for BMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A few of the former mayors and former Members of Legislative Assembly from Mumbai have thrown their hats in the ring for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections. Sources said former Sena mayors Milind Vaidya, Shraddha Jadhav, Snehal Ambekar and Vishakha Raut were tipped to be getting tickets for February 21 elections. Former state legislators who were said to have got the ticket included former Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLA and former corporator Mangesh Sangle, who could be contesting on a BJP ticket from North-East Mumbai. Former Sena mayor Vishakha Raut figures in this category too, as she was an MLA from Dadar in 1995-99. Raut would be contesting BMC election from the same Dadar area, sources said. Former BJP MLA Atul Shah is tipped to contest from ward number 220 in Khetwadi. Sangeeta Handore, wife of former mayor and former MLA Chandrakant Handore is also in the fray from Chembur area. BJP’s former deputy mayor Alka Kerkar, Rajashree Shirvadkar, BJP BMC group leader Manoj Kotak, Ujjwala Modak, Vinod Shelar, Makrand Narvekar, Rukmini Kharatmol have got the party tickets. Congress has managed to stop the former MLA Rajhans Singh and its leader of opposition in BMC Praveen Chheda, who were reportedly on the way to BJP. Congress has given ticket to Rajhans Singh’s son from Kurla area, while Chheda has been given ticket from Ghatkopar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kavlekars are the latest to join ‘family raj’ politics in Goa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While political families like those of ‘Alemaos’, ‘Monserrattes’ and ‘Ranes’ have become household names in Goa, another clan which has thrown its hat into the poll ring ahead of the Goa Assembly elections this time, are the Kavlekars, wherein both husband and wife are contesting on the Congress ticket. Sitting Goa legislator Chandrakant Kavlekar and his wife Savitri are contesting on Congress ticket from Quepem and Sanguem constituency respectively, making them the latest entry in ‘family raj’ politics. The current election already has father-son duo Pratapsinh-Vishwajit Rane, couple Atanasio-Jeniffer Monserratte and brothers Churchill-Joaquim Alemao contesting from different constituencies. While Congress candidates Pratapsinh is contesting from his traditional Poriem constituency, his son who is a former state minister–Vishwajit–is in the fray from Valpoi. Controversial former minister Atanasio is contesting from Panaji constituency, (a bastion of BJP, formerly represented by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar) while his wife Jeniffer is contesting from neighbouring Taleigao constituency, which is currently represented by her in the State Assembly. Atanasio who shifted from his St Cruz constituency to Panaji for this election, is contesting on United Goans Party ticket with the support of Congress, while Jeniffer is a Congress candidate. Alemao brothers, both former State ministers, whose political career spans for almost two decades before losing in the 2012 polls are trying to revive their careers this time. While Churchill is contesting from Benaulim constituency in South Goa on NCP ticket, Joaquim has rebelled against Congress party after being denied candidature from Cuncolim constituency. He is contesting as an Independent. The latest entrants, Kavlekars have chosen constituencies which are dominated by Scheduled Tribe population. Chandrakant is representing Quepem on Congress ticket and Savitri is trying her luck from Sanguem constituency which is a bastion of BJP. Savitri is contesting because she is popular amongst the voters in her constituency. She has been in active politics along with me and has worked for the people in the constituency, Chandrakant said denying talks that she was given a ticket only because she was his wife. There was proper scrutiny process by Congress party which was followed before she was selected for Sanguem constituency, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Goa polls: Congress releases list of candidates for 27 seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress released the list of candidates for 27 seats for the upcoming Goa Assembly polls, retaining its six sitting legislators as nominees on Thursday.Besides the sitting MLAs — Digambar Kamat (Margao), Jeniffer Monserratte (Taleigao), Chandrakant Kavlekar (Quepem), Pratapsinh Rane (Poriem), Vishwajit Rane (Valpoi) and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco (Curtorim) — the 21 candidates comprises both old and new faces. Congress General Secretary Madhusudhan Mistry released the list.Former BJP legislator Dayanand Sopte, who joined Congress ahead of the polls, would be locking horns with BJP candidate and chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar from Mandrem constituency. Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) has already announced that they will field a candidate from the seat. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Luizinho Faleiro has been fielded from Navelim constituency, which is currently represented by BJP-supported Independent legislator and State Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado.The list also include former state ministers Subhash Shirodkar (Shiroda), Ravi Naik (Ponda), Nilkant Halarnkar (Thivim) and Filipe Nery Rodrigues (Velim). All of them had lost their seats in the 2012 elections.The first list of candidates also include three women leaders, including sitting MLA Jeniffer Monserratte. Urmila Naik will face MGP legislator Sudin Dhavalikar in Marcaim constituency, while Savitri Kavlekar will contest the polls from Sanguem seat. Savitri, wife of sitting MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar, has been fielded from Quepem constituency. The old faces who had lost in previous assembly polls include — Manohar Shirodkar (Bicholim), Fransic Silveira (St Andre), Sankalp Amonkar (Marmugao) and Isidore Fernandes (Canacona).The new candidates include — Vikesh Hasotikar (Pernem), Dharmesh Saglani (Sankhalim), Fransisco Jose Nunes (Dabolim), Gilbert Rodrigues (Cortalim), Wilfred D’Sa (Nuvem), Clafasio Dias (Cuncolim), Rosario Fernandes (Curchorem) and Shankar Kirlapalkar (Sanvordem).

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