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MoEF panel turns down clearance for Rasuli iron mine in Chhattisgarh

The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has not recommended forest clearance for the Rasuli iron ore mine of Navbharat Fuse Co Ltd in Kanker, Chhattisgarh, as the mine falls in very dense forest area in the Bailadila mountain range.FAC is an apex panel of the MoEF&CC that appraises projects that seek diversion of forests for non-forestry purposes. The mining project required diversion of 220 hectares of pristine forest land rich in biodiversity.During its meeting on December 20, the FAC noted that the state government, which had allotted the mine in 2009, had conveyed to the company its rejection of the proposal and even the ministry’s regional office did not recommend clearance upon site inspection. On these grounds, the FAC decided against recommending the project for clearance under Forest Conservation Act, minutes of the FAC meeting showed.The Rasuli iron ore mine was one among 10 leases that the state government had allotted to private companies in 2009. The mine had a reserve of 9.4 million tonnes of iron ore that was to be provided for captive use in the company’s sponge iron plant in Jagdalpur. The company had retained the mine under section 10A (2) (c) of the amended Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act.The FAC noted that the forest land proposed for diversion is part of a stand-alone hill range running north to south. “The overall landscape of the area indicates area proposed for lease constitutes the part of extension of Bailadila mountain range. The extension of the said mountain range runs over a distance of more than 100 km in Dantewada, Bijapur, Kanker, Balod, and Rajnandgaon districts of Chhattisgarh…the area has high landscape integrity value,” the FAC minutes stated.The average density of the forest is approximately 0.7 to 0.8 SDI, and it is estimated that more than 90,000 trees stand across 220 hectares. “Removal of such a large number of trees over an area of 220 ha will certainly have an adverse impact on the local environment. The area proposed under the lease forms the immediate catchment of local nallah…opening of the area and removal of the trees will also disturb the existing water regime of the area,” the minutes added.Why not allowed The Rasuli iron ore mine of Navbharat Fuse Co Ltd in Kanker, Chhattisgarh, as the mine falls in very dense forest area in the Bailadila mountain range. The average density of the forest is approximately 0.7 to 0.8 SDI, and it is estimated that more than 90,000 trees stand across 220 hectares.

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Drug users can dance all night while alcohol consumers cannot, says Manohar Parrikar

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday urged the need to control rave parties in the state and bring down the use of drugs as those who use drugs can dance all night while the alcohol users can only dance for two to three hours.”Without drugs, you can’t dance until morning. With alcohol you can dance at the most two to three hours,” Parrikar said in the assembly while responding to a ‘calling attention’ moved on the crackdown of drug mafia in Goa. The calling attention was moved by Congress MLA Pratapsingh Rane.Parrikar also said that next year will be an anti-drug year and the state government will rigorously work to bring down the sale of drugs in the state. “Let us consider 2018 as anti-drug and anti-accident mission for Goa. We will make sure that we will deport those foreigners, who are overstaying in the state,” he said.Responding to the suggestions made by the Congress legislators, Parrikar said the total number of cases of sale of narcotics booked this year has increased by 2.6 times as compared to the annual average.To avoid the number of foreigners who overstay, the chief minister said from January onwards, a detention centre would be started in Mapusa.”The construction of the centre is completed. We will put the foreigners involved in such activity in the detenion centre and later deported,” he added.He claimed that many foreigners come down to Goa and burn their travel documents.”We cannot keep them in jail and hence will keep them in a detention centre,” he said.The chief minister also said that the state government will take on board experts with the knowledge about drugs, so that the state police know about the new kind of narcotics introduced in the market, which needs to be tracked.He also said that the state government is planning to launch an online portal, where people can file complaints about drugs and their name would be kept confidential.”The state government is also trying to set up or make active de-addiction centres,” he said.Parrikar said the number of officers in Anti Narcotic Cell (ANC) of Goa Police should be increased as currently the number os small.”We need to strengthen the ANC. The current strength of the cell is 30, which needs to be increased to 100,” he said.Responding to the statements made by the Congress legislators during the discussion today, Parrikar said, “while I appreciate why members have said that the impact of it is not as deep as you think.” The chief minister said that supply of drugs in the educational institutes is not a new thing.”The supply of drugs is not new to institutions, where there is high student percentage. I have seen drugs in 1973 in my college days at IIT,” he said.(With inputs from PTI)

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Cong: Scam in power purchase from pvt cos

Ahead of the upcoming elections, the Congress party on Thursday alleged a huge scam in power purchase, and accused the state government of allowing four private electricity companies to profiteer at the cost of people and the state exchequer.Quoting figures tabled by the government in the assembly as well as information obtained under RTI, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Gujarat government had purchased electricity worth a mindboggling Rs 62,549 crore from four private power companies between 2002 and 2016.”In the three years from 2013-14 to 2015-16, Gujarat government purchased electricity worth Rs26,195 crore from Adani Power, Essar Power, Tata Power and CLP. This shows the culture of crony capitalism promoted by the state government,” Surjewala said.A Congress party release said that the state had purchased power worth Rs 10,896 crore from Adani Power, Rs 8,491 crore from Tata Power, Rs 4,842 crore from Essar Power, and Rs1,966 crore from CLP. “What is shocking, and shows systematic undermining of public sector entities by Gujarat government, is that government owned power plants were running at a capacity of just 33 – 38% during these years. As against installed capacity of 8,641 MW, these plants were producing only 3,283 MW power,” he said.”The Congress leader also claimed that while NTPC was supplying power to the state at Rs 2.63 – 3.17 per unit, the government had paid as much as Rs 24.67 per unit to CLP in 2013-14. He claimed that the same company was supplying power to Haryana at Rs 2.99 per unit.”The stark difference in prices paid to a private company and the power PSUs, reeks of a scam,” Surjewala alleged.POWER STRUGGLEA Congress party release said that the state had purchased power worth Rs 10,896 crore from Adani Power, Rs 8,491 crore from Tata Power, Rs 4,842 crore from Essar Power, and Rs 1,966 crore from CLP.
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Yogi Adityanath


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

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

West Bengal: Veteran doctor suspended over Facebook posts on dengue situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> West Bengal health department has suspended a doctor for alleging in Facebook posts that the state government is suppressing facts relating to the dengue menace in the state.Arunachal Dutta Choudhury’s posts on the social media amount to “misinterpretation in the public and (are) derogatory to the hospital administration,” the suspension order issued by the state health department yesterday read.The doctor, an MD, was posted at Barasat District Hospital in North 24 Parganas district. He claimed in the posts that 500 people were admitted at the hospital on October 6 and wrote about his struggle to diagnose the patients many of whom were lying on the floor.According to the health department, there have been 19 deaths in state-run hospitals since January and over 18,000 cases were reported in various government clinical establishments. Opposition parties have been alleging that the Mamata Banerjee government is trying to suppress the number of deaths because of dengue in the state.

Raj HC restrains state govt from implementing bill to raise reservation quota beyond 50%

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajasthan High Court today restrained the state government from implementing the provisions in the OBC reservation bill, 2017 aimed at increasing the ceiling of the quota beyond 50 per cent for the benefit of the agitating Gujjar and four other communities.A division bench of the court comprising justices K S Jhaveri and V S Vyas asked Advocate General Narpat Mal Lodha whether the state government wished to implement the provisions under the bill or keep these in abeyance till the matter was decided by the Supreme Court.It was of the view that the Rajasthan government must take prior permission of the apex court before implementing the new provisions sought to be introduced by the bill.Petitioner Ganga Sai Sharma submitted that the state government is keen to implement the provisions in the bill once these were duly approved by the Assembly and once the notification for the act comes into force, it will create complications.He also said it will multiply litigation as the government will give employment against vacancies which will create third party rights.Therefore, it is necessary that the state government be restrained from giving effect to the amended provision in the bill to increase from the OBC reservation ceiling beyond 50 per cent for the benefit of the Gujjar and four other communities, the petitioner said.The court observed that the Rajasthan government wanted to take a populist view and try to use it as a shield to increase reservation.The bench criticised the government’s approach, saying it must proceed to get the Constitution amended instead of bringing piecemeal legislations.

Love jihad case: Hadiya’s father welcomes SC order, says will produce daughter before court on November 27th

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday observed that the consent of the girl is prime in the Kerala ‘love jihad’ case, adding that she is a major.The top court asked the father to produce Hadiya on November 27, the next date of hearing in the case.Reacting to the verdict, Hadiya’s father Ashokan welcomed the SC order. He said: “Welcome the order of Supreme Court. I will produce Hadiya before the court on November 27th.”The Centre said parental authority can be invoked in cases where someone is manipulated or indoctrinated.Earlier, the Kerala Government had told the Apex Court that the state police is effectively investigating the alleged ‘love jihad’ case of the state and hence, there is no need for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe it.In an affidavit, the state government informed the Apex Court that the state police is competent enough to investigate such crimes.Recently, while hearing a matter, the Kerala High Court observed- “all inter-religious marriages cannot be termed love jihad”.Last month, a group of people had submitted a petition to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and demanded a probe into the alleged unlawful incarceration of Hadiya, the 24-year-old Vaikom native, who had converted to Islam after marriage.Four months ago, the Kerala High Court had sent Hadiya with her parents K.M. Asokan and Ponnamma after annulling her marriage with Shafin Jahan.The case is under consideration of the Apex Court now, which had ordered the NIA investigation into it.

Bombay HC calls MSRTC strike illegal, orders to call it off with immediate effect

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Friday termed Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) strike illegal and ordered to call it off with immediate effect.MSRTC employees went on an indefinite strike on October 17 demanding the implementation of 7th pay commission.Earlier in the day, the High Court observed that no concrete steps were taken by the government to end the strike.It also added,’If you (state) constitute high power committee, court is ready to give you time.’After that the State Government submitted undertaking before the court that it is ready to constitute a high-power committee which will submit report within three weeks.More than 17 thousand MSRTC buses run throughout the entire state, and about one lakh workers are on strike.The strike has left the daily passengers troubled and they had even appealed to the government to look into the matter.

Watch | Don’t play victim; Pakistan paying price for creating dangerous terror industry: India’s strong stand at UN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s First Secretary to the United Nations, Eenam Gambhir on Friday gave a befitting reply to Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s charges that New Delhi was instigating war crimes in Kashmir.WATCH:Read the full text of India’s response:UNGA72, 21 September 2017, India’s Right of ReplyMr. President,I take the floor to exercise the right of reply in response to Pakistan’s defense of terrorism. It is extraordinary that the state which protected Osama Bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should have the gumption to play the victim.By now, all Pakistan’s neighbours are painfully familiar with these tactics to create a narrative based on distortions, deception and deceit. This august Assembly and the world beyond know that efforts at creating alternative facts do not change reality.Mr. President,In its short history, Pakistan has become a geography synonymous with terror.The quest for a land of pure has actually produced “the land of pure terror”. Pakistan is now ”Terroristan’, with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism.Its current state can be gauged from the fact that Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, a leader of the UN designated terrorist organization Lashkar-i-Taiba, is now sought to be legitimized as a leader of a political party.This is a country whose counter terrorism policy is to mainstream and upstream terrorists by either providing safe havens to global terror leaders in its military town, or protecting them with political careers.None of this can justify Pakistan’s avaricious efforts to covet the territories of its neighbours. In so far as India is concerned, Pakistan must understand that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always remain an integral part of India. However much its scales up cross-border terrorism, it will never succeed in undermining India’s territorial integrity.Mr. PresidentWe also heard Pakistan complain about the consequences of its supposed counter terrorism efforts.Having diverted billions of dollars in international military and development aid towards creating a dangerous infrastructure of terror on its own territory, Pakistan is now speaking of the high cost of its terror industry. The polluter, in this case, is paying the price.Mr. President,Even as terrorists thrive in Pakistan and roam its streets with impunity, we have heard it lecture about the protection of human rights in India. The world does not need lessons on democracy and human rights from a country whose own situation is charitably described as a failed state.Mr. President,Terroristan is in fact a territory whose contribution to the globalisation of terror is unparalleled.Pakistan can only be counseled to abandon a destructive worldview that has caused grief to the entire world. If it could be persuaded to demonstrate any commitment to civilization, order, and to peace, it may still find some acceptance in the comity of nations. ALSO READ India’s stinging reply to Pak at UN: World doesn’t need lectures from ‘Terroristan’; J&K is integral part of India

Notice to Guj over Rs 1400 cr stamp duty

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to Stamp Duty Superintendent of Gujarat asking why the state government has not recovered stamp duty for the land allotted for the Mundra Special Economic Zone (SEZ) between 2005 and 2017.The first division bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and justice Vipul Pancholi issued the notice while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by Sanjay Bapat, who has alleged that the state exchequer incurred a minimum loss of Rs1,400 crore because of government’s inaction.The reply has to filed before November 8. The petitioner’s advocates, Jamini Patel and Sanjivkumar Patel, submitted he represented the issue before the Kutch district collector in 2016.The collector had issued a notice to Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd., asking it to pay the stamp duty. However, it was not followed up, the petition stated.From 2005 to 2017, hundreds of acres of land was allotted to the SEZ at 33 locations in Mundra. The PIL has sought a directive to the Stamp Duty Superintendent to calculate stamp duty based on Jantri and should recover it from Adani Group at the earliest.The PIL alleged that the state government has failed in recovering stamp duty, despite a government resolution of 2005, making stamp duty mandatory for land allotted for Mundra SEZ. Though the petition was moved in March, the court directive has come after nine hearings.The company’s has maintained that as per the government’s 2004 resolution, land allotted to SEZ is exempted from stamp duty.

Goa to ban drinking liquor in public places, says CM Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Chief Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said that the state will ban the drinking of liquor in public places to curb the nuisance created by people in a drunken state.He said necessary amendments to the excise act will be done next month.”We need to come out with the notification banning drinking of liquor in public places. The notification will be issued by October end for which we will amend the existing law,” Parrikar said at a function here.The state government is currently governing the licences to the liquor outlets under Goa, Daman and Diu Excise Act, 1964.Goa has already announced ban on drinking in selected public places including beaches.Parrikar said the state government is serious about inculcating the habit of wearing helmets while riding two- wheelers.He said the police will penalise two-wheeler riders who are driving without helmet and also will tell them the benefits of wearing a helmet while driving.

BJP govt is responsible for delaying Narmada project, alleges Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Narmada project is going to be one of the major issues in the upcoming assembly elections. While the BJP government has embarked on a Narmada Yatra since September 6 to celebrate the Centre’s nod to close the dam’s gates, the Congress blamed the successive BJP government for delaying the project completion.Addressing media-persons, senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil said that environmental approval for Narmada project was received in June 1987, and BJP has been in power in Gujarat for 22 out of 30 years.“Congress was in power in the state only for seven years, and BJP is ruling since 1995. Majority of the work related to Narmada project was completed during the years that our party was in power. More than 43,000 km out of the total 90,000 km Narmada canal network is still unfinished due to BJP government’s failure,” Gohil said.It was in June 2014 that the Narmada Control Authority gave nod to install gates which would increase the dam’s height to 138 metre. The nod to close the gates came in June, with the BJP claiming it was because of Modi, and Congress alleging that the claim was made for upcoming polls.Gohil also claimed that the state gains nothing by either increasing the dam’s height or closure of gates.Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said that Congress would give top priority to Narmada canal work when it came to power.Rejecting Gohil’s claims, state revenue minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said that the height of the Narmada dam has gone up from 80.3 metre in 1995 to 138 metre now under the BJP rule.Chudasama also said that the state had to suffer the loss of over Rs 30,000 crore due to the unpardonable delay of UPA government in approving the installation of gates on the dam. He added that canal network of nearly 50,000 km has been completed so far.

Gujarat High Court asks govt to verify number of docs, general practitioners in state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat high court on Friday asked the state government to share data about specialised doctors and general practitioners in the state. The question arose after allegations were made that there aren’t enough doctors in the state to handle the rapidly spreading swine flu.The first division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi heard the public interest litigation moved by Manasvi Thapar. The petitioner’s contention is that enough action and measures are not being taken by the state government due to which the death toll is rising.The petitioner’s advocate, KR Koshti, submitted that a total of 4,371 doctors posts are approved by the government against which 3,168 doctors are available right now, and 1,203 posts are vacant across the state. The numbers include doctors from primary health centres to mega city civil hospitals. About 55 per cent posts of specialised doctors are vacant. This could be one of the reasons leading to 358 deaths from swine flu. The advocate also alleged that out of 33 districts, 24 districts don’t have a laboratory to carry out swine flu tests.Submitting the state government’s reply, the Additional Advocate General Prakash Jani submitted that the state is tackling the disease’s spread at four levels. These include creating awareness about precautionary steps and making medicines and health facilities available to citizens free of cost. Jani also informed the court that the state is making Tamiflu medicine available free of cost at all government medical hospitals, and added that all tests of swine flu patients are conducted free of cost.The matter will be further heard on September 6.Swine flu claims four more lives, death toll now 358Swine flu death toll in the state climbed to 358 on Friday as four more patients succumbed to H1N1 virus in the last 24 hours. The state government said in a release that 172 new swine flu cases were reported in the state in the last 24 hours. With this, the total number of swine flu cases in the current year touched 5,259, which is the highest in the country. The number of swine flu deaths on Friday was the lowest in a single day in almost a month during which the average daily deaths were 9 – 10. Out of 358 deaths in the state since January, close to 300 deaths were reported in August alone, according to officials, who also said the cases of swine flu are now bottoming out.

State not willing to part with BKC land for bullet train project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project of a bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad received a jolt when the state government refused to provide a piece of land sought by the railways at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).The state government is believed to have conveyed the same to the railways and asked them to look at an alternate piece of land.Sources from the government informed that the state government has put forward alternate pieces of land in BKC for the project.However, the alternate pieces of land are located on one corner and are not in any way at the proposed site of International Financial Services Center.The sources informed that the state government has also proposed to provide a piece of land in Dharavi which is going for redevelopment. The government offered another piece of land at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.Sources said that the state government has informed officials of High Speed Railway Corporation, which will be undertaking the bullet train project, about their inability to provide the proposed land below IFSC.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be laying the foundation stone of the bullet train project at Ahmedabad in September.

Bengal better off than nation: Mitra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Finance minister Amit Mitra said that the state was better off in major macro parameters when compared to those pertaining to the country. “West Bengal did better than the national average in terms of GVA, gross capital formation during 2015-16”, Mitra said at an Assocham seminar here today. Agricultural, industrial and services sectors in West Bengal grew at a faster pace than the national average, he said, adding that it only showed the positive environment prevailing in the state. The state had also added to human capital through skill development, he said. The state was laying stress on building rural roads which had already become a game changer in the last assembly elections, Mitra said. The government had also put in Rs 700 crore ADB fund into building state highways through the PPP route. For that studies on traffic density for tolling purposes were being carried out at the moment, he said. Criticising the Centre for not deferring the GST launch as demanded by the state, Mitra said “now issues are cropping up each day. The GSTN could not take the load of such huge uploads. And the beta tests even failed”, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TN one of the states where law & order well maintained: CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister K Palaniswami today said Tamil Nadu is one of the states where law and order is well maintained, while it was on top in health care and education. “Tamil Nadu is one of the states where law and order is well maintained. Even in health care and education (sector) the state is on top,” he said, without elaborating. The chief minister was addressing a meeting held here to commemorate the centenary celebrations of AIADMK founder late M G Ramachandran. Palaniswami said his government has ensured that there is no rise in prices of essential commodities “despite the state now experiencing the worst drought in 140 years”. He detailed various schemes taken up by the AIADMK government soon after it assumed office in 2011 and also in the last six months (since he assumed charge, in February). Palaniswami said the assurances given by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the run-up to the election campaign were also being implemented. Earlier talking to reporters, Palaniswami described as “not true”, reports that the state’s senior counsel has informed the Supreme Court that it had not expressed apprehensions over construction of a new dam across Mekedatu river by Karnataka. “When the Centre conveys its stand on the construction of a new dam across Mekedatu, strong arguments will be put forth (by the state in the Supreme Court) so that Tamil Nadu’s rights do not get affected in any way,” he said. Palaniswami said his government would “never allow” construction of a new dam against the welfare of the state’s farmers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jharkhand now has a positive identity, says CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das today said that the state had once been known for negativity but now it has got a positive identity. Jharkhand is at the second position in the country in development growth rate, Das said addressing the assembly on the last day of the monsoon session. The chief minister said that his government is heading to complete 1000 days and and the basic mantra is transparent rule and accountable and corruption-free administration. When the last person in the queue gets the benefits of development, then only it would be considered as real development, he said. He welcomed all the constructive suggestions given by the members of both treasury and opposition benches. The government is working towards a balanced development of all the regions, Das said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Madras HC permits Stalin to inspect water bodies across TN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today permitted DMK working president M K Stalin to inspect desilting work, claimed to be carried out by DMK cadres, in water bodies in the state, with prior information to the district collector and superintendent of police concerned. The court also allowed him to visit Kacharayankuttai Tank in Konganapuram in Salem district, which falls under Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s assembly constituency. Justice M Duraiswamy passed the order on a petition by DMK’s legal wing secretary M K Giririjan which alleged that the state government was preventing Stalin from visiting water bodies which were being desilted by DMK workers. The judge noted that no case had been registered against the DMK leader in connection with his visits to water bodies and hence preventing him from visiting Kacharayankuttai Tank in Konganapuram was violative of Article 19 of the Constitution. Referring to the submission by the respondents that Stalin can visit any place in the state except Kacharayankuttai Tank, the judge observed that it only proved the mala fide intention of the authorities. He also said even assuming that the state government was desilting water bodies and tanks, a person cannot be prevented from visiting or inspecting them since they do not belong to any individual. “In these circumstances, I am of the view that the respondents should not prevent M K Stalin from visiting any place in the state of Tamil Nadu, for inspecting water bodies, tanks, etc,” the judge said. “However, since the respondents have stated that if Stalin inspects water bodies and tanks, it would create law and order problem, I am of the view that the number of persons accompanying Stalin, Leader of the Opposition, can be restricted to 25,” he said. Justice Duraiswamy also directed the government to give suitable directions to the respective district collectors and superintendent of police or commissioner of police for giving adequate police protection at the time of visit of Stalin. The DMK in its petition wanted the court to restrain the state government from preventing Stalin from visiting any part of Tamil Nadu to inspect water bodies, where desilting work was taken up. The main opposition party filed the petition after Stalin was detained in Coimbatore by police last month en route to Salem to visit Kacharayankuttai tank and also to participate in a human chain protest on the NEET issue. The state government had opposed the petition the ground that such a relief may lead to breach of law and order.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UP: HC orders CBI probe into GPF scam in Ballia district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Allahabad High Court today asked the CBI to conduct an investigation into fraudulent withdrawal of several crore rupees from the general provident fund (GPF) accounts of teachers and other employees of intermediate colleges in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. A division bench comprising Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, while passing the order, asked the state government and the district administration to hand over all relevant records to the CBI and directed the probe agency to complete its investigation and submit a report within three months. The order was passed on a public interest litigation filed by Bhim Singh, a resident of Ballia, who had drawn the court’s attention towards the irregularities. The petitioner had also alleged that the money which was fraudulently withdrawn from the treasury, was diverted towards payment of salary and other emoluments to more than 100 “illegally” appointed teachers of the district. The petitioner had further contended that the state vigilance department, which was investigating the scam, had submitted a charge sheet against a number of officials then posted in Ballia, but no action had been taken by the government against them.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mamata calls hill parties to discussion table

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that an “undeclared bandh” in Darjeeling hills has affected many lives, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today urged the hill parties to shun violence and come to the discussion table. She told the state assembly that there had been a loss of Rs 550 crore and that the state administration had shown restraint. Schools, offices and tourism had come to a halt due to the bandh, she maintained while speaking on the current impasse in the Darjeeling hills. The indefinite shutdown in the hills called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and other hill parties demanding a separate Gorkhaland entered its 55th day today. Banerjee said Darjeeling had been a part of West Bengal and she would not allow its division. She said such kind of agitation in the hills had become common in a 10-15 year interval, adding that the time has come for election to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration as its five-year-term comes to an end. The TMC supremo praised the Congress for not politicising the issue while hitting out at the CPI(M) for trying to fish in troubled waters. CPI(M) member and Siliguri mayor Ashok Bhattacharya alleged that the situation in the hills had become worse than before. He blamed the chief minister for raising the language issue in the hills which “was not well taken and resulted in the current stalemate”. Bhattacharya’s statement drew flak from the ruling party members who tried to hoot him down. Congress MLA Shankar Malakar said it was not the time for pointing fingers against each other as the situation had gone beyond anybody’s control, and that the time had come for all political parties and the Centre to arrive at a solution. Banerjee said constructive suggestion by the Congress was welcome. She also hit back at the CPI(M) for misleading the House, asserting that the state government had not issued any notification on any language. Her statement irked the Left members who staged a walk- out from the assembly. Speaker Biman Banerjee said that by staging a walk-out, the CPI(M) and other Left members failed to show political courtesy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Arunachal a ‘chicken rib’, ‘hardly an asset’ for us: Chinese scholar questions Beijing’s obsession with state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an unusual move, a Chinese strategic analyst has questioned Beijing’s “national obsession” with Arunachal Pradesh, saying that the state is only a “chicken rib” and hardly an “asset” for the country.China claims Arunachal Pradesh as “South Tibet” and in April Beijing had announced Chinese “standardised” names for six places in retaliation to Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s visit there.The Chinese state media had said the move to rename the places was aimed at reaffirming China’s claim over the state.But Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju, who accompanies the Dalai Lama to Arunachal, had made clear that the state is “an inseparable part of India”.The Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal was the seventh since he fled from Tibet through Tawang and sought refuge in India.”Although China and India have been in a rocky relationship over the disputed territory for years, the disputed territory, which has been a national obsession, is hardly an asset to China,” Wang Tao Tao said.”In realistic terms the area is just a chicken rib for China,” Wang wrote on the popular Chinese website zhihu.com – which is akin to Quora – mostly covers security matters.Interestingly, the article came at a time when India and China have been engaged in a border standoff for more than a month after Chinese troops tried to construct a road in Doklam area in the Sikkim sector. India has protested the move saying it would allow China to cut India’s access to its northeastern states.Social media websites and blogs – like the zhihu.com – have become popular over the years in China, where millions access them on their mobile phones.”The territorial dispute between China and India is essentially meaningless, because this disputed territory for India and China, not only difficult to development, but the moral, economic, political and management costs are extremely high,” Wang said.”In this case, it is hard for China to actually go to war with India for these chicken ribs as long as it does not hamper security interests,” he said, suggesting that any contest over Arunachal will have adverse impact on rest of the Tibet potentially strengthen separatist forces.”Objectively looking, the potential for separation in Tibet could become more powerful,” he said.Wang said China has failed to fully address Tibetan identity issues.”While the land of southern Tibet is very different from the bitter cold in northern Tibet, agriculture is relatively developed, will also virtually strengthen the ability of Tibetans to support themselves,” Wang said.Moreover, the area is vulnerable to attacks and cannot provide superior strategic depth and security interests for China’s inland like the vast Tibetan plateau, he said

1,000 women police constables to be recruited soon: Khattar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said that the state government had recruited 1,000 woman police employees and would shortly recruit 1,000 more. He urged the people to encourage their daughters to join the police force. Khattar was addressing a gathering of women from the Naraingarh Assembly constituency in Ambala district at his residence here. They women had come to express their gratitude for sanctioning a women’s police station in the Naraingarh sub- division and a government girls college at the Badagarh village, an official release said. Reiterating the comitment of the state government towards women’s safety and education, Khattar said that a number of steps have been taken in this direction. Women s colleges are being established at a distance of every 20 km to provide the facility of higher education to girls in the state, he said. “Several steps have been taken to ensure the safety of women and girls. Women’s police stations have already been opened in every district and now the government has sanctioned such police stations in eight sub-divisions, including Naraingarh,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hry to set up Art and Culture varsity after Pt Lakhmi Chand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Haryana Government will set up an art and culture university named after renowned Haryanvi poet Pandit Lakhmi Chand at village Aterna in district Sonepat. For the purpose of setting up of this university, the village panchayat has offered 50 acres of land, state Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said at an event organised in the memory of the poet at village Jati in Sonepat district. Sharma said that the state government had decided to to establish a university after Chand. “This university will act as a symbol for future generations regarding Pt Lakhmi Chand’s contribution to the society,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pilot project on windmill technique to clean ponds in Punjab

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab government has decided to run a pilot project through which ponds will be cleaned using a new windmill project, a state minister said today. Rural development, panchayat, water supply and sanitation minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said today that the state government was making sincere efforts to preserve and clean ponds. As part of this drive, a Canada based company gave a detailed presentation on cleaning ponds through a natural process here today, Bajwa said according to an official statement. Bajwa said that depending on the results of the pilot projects, a final decision would be taken on using this technique for cleaning ponds across the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Resolve differences over CAPF deployment in Darj: HC to WB,

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Empathising with the sufferings of people in and around Darjeeling under indefinite shutdown, the Calcutta High Court today asked the Centre and the West Bengal government to resolve their differences over need and and deployment of Central Armed Police Force in the hills. A division of Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty asked the Centre and the state government to resolve the issue of CAPF’s requisition and deployment in the hills immediately and inform it tomorrow. Appearing for the Centre during the hearing of plea for restoration of normalcy in Darjeeling hills, Additional Solicitor General Kaushik Chanda submitted that the state’s requisition is under examination. The state government through a communique on June 30 had requested the Centre for replacement of three women companies of the CRPF with three male CRPF companies and replacement of three companies of SSB with those CRPF or RAF. Chanda submitted that the state government was requested to provide details of availability and deployment of state armed police in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts. This was disputed by Advocate General Kishore Dutta who submitted that the state government was yet to receive any such request. There are at present 11 companies of CAPF in Darjeeling hills, comprising the districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, along with state police force to tackle the disturbances there. The matter will be taken up for hearing again tomorrow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI refuses to hand over Nobel probe dossier to state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kicking up the possibility of a fresh bout of dispute between the state and the Centre, the Cenral Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has refused to hand over investigation of the case of Rabindranth Tagore’s Nobel Prize medallion theft case to the state government.Sources at Nabanna, the state secretariat said a communication from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the controlling authority of CBI, said on Wednesday that the agency would not hand over any document regarding the Nobel theft case. On the contrary, they had demanded that the state investigating agencies keep the CBI abreast of new clues.Expressing his displeasure on the issue, State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said it proved that the Centre was not serious about recovering the medallion and that the state government would carry on its independent investigation into the matter.The state had written to the DoPT in December 2015 for the first time to hand over the case dossier to the state investigating agency. Since the DoPT didn’t reply to the letter, a reminder was sent to the DoPT in August 2016. The DoPT replied on Wednesday stating its unwillingness to comply.After the Nobel medallion theft in 2004 from Shantiniketan in Birbhum district, the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had handed over the case to the CBI.

Caught on camera: Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Ajay Singh slaps party worker

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh has landed himself in a small controversy as a video purportedly showing him slapping a party worker to push him away from the police barricade emerged.The incident took place when Singh was in Sagar to participate in Congress’ protest against farmers’ deaths in Mandsaur.However, Singh said he did not hit the worker but only pushed him away.”When we were going to submit a memorandum to the district collector, some workers were getting angry. I stopped them as we wanted peaceful protest,” he said.Meanwhile, regarding the victims in Mandsaur, Ajay Singh also claimed that their autopsy didn’t find bullets in the bodies of victims who died in police firing in Mandsaur during the farmers’ agitation. “I demand forensic examination of policemen’s guns to know the truth behind missing bullets,” the Congress leader said. “It also means that the state government deliberately removed the bullets from the bodies of dead farmers,” he alleged.(With PTI inputs)

Arunachal Govt enhances ex-gratia for armed forces, CPMF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Arunachal Pradesh government has enhanced the amount of ex-gratia payment for armed forces and central para military forces performing duties in the state or deployed at the request of state government within the state. Ex-gratia payment has also been enhanced for permanent residents of the state employed in the armed forces and central para-military forces anywhere in the country. Chief Minister Pema Khandu through a letter to Union Defence and Home Minister informed that the state government through two separate notifications, have increased the ex-gratia payments, an official release said. As per the notification, the rates of ex-gratia payment have been enhanced from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 50 lakh in case of death. In case of permanent disability, ex-gratia enhanced from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. In case of grievous or serious injury, ex-gratia has been enhanced from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000, the release said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Reopened liquor bars will not function till disposal of

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala High Court today directed the state government to ensure that no liquor bar opened on the basis of its last week order on pleas of bar owners functioned till the disposal of a review petition related to the matter. Justice Devan Ramachandran issued the directive, observing that the state government had misinterpreted the court order relating to reopening of bars, which were closed following the ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways. Passing orders on a petition by bar owners last week, the court had directed the state excise department to consider the application of petitioners for permission to operate the bars in the light of a August 14, 2014 government notification denotifying certain highways. The bar owners had contended that the roads from Kannur till Kuttippuram and from Cherthala to Thiruvananthapuram could not be considered as highways in view of the notification. Filing a petition seeking a review of the order, one V P Ibrahimkutty from Koyilandy in Kozhikode district, claimed that Kerala PWD Minister has openly declared that the roads were still National Highways. He alleged that the state government was now initiating steps to permit bar licences along these highways, ignoring entries in the National Highway Act 1956. Judge Ramachandran directed the state government to see that none of the bars opened on the basis of the earlier high court order shall function till the present petition was heard and posted it for tomorrow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hindu Munnani seeks transfer of Sasikumar murder case to CBI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hindu Munnani today sought transfer of the case relating to murder of its spokesperson C Sasikumar in September 2016 to CBI, alleging that the State CB-CID had failed to achieve any major breakthrough in it. Sasikumar was killed by a motorcycle-borne four-member gang on the night of September 22, when he was going home, triggering a communal flare-up the next day during the funeral procession. Protesting the delay in nabbing the culprits, about 500 Hindu Munnani workers staged a demonstration in the city today and condemned the ‘tardy progress’ of the case. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the protest, Munnani’s Tamil Nadu president Kadeswara Subramania said since CB-CID, the investigating agency, had failed to achieve any breakthrough,it was high time the case was transferred to CBI. He alleged that law and order situation in the State was deteriorating, due to administrative lapses, because of factional feuds in the ruling party.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA Micro edit: Is the balanced marking scheme a boon for pupils?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A few years after its students started scoring sky rocketing scores, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), seems to have made its marking policy for class XII exams more stringent this year. While several students featured in the 90s brigade like every year, experts have observed that the overall number of top scorers have gone down this year.Over the last few years, there were a lot of contestations about the CBSE’s marking policy. Due to its marking pattern, students’ scores would most often be on the higher side. Students from the state board have been finding it difficult to compete with their counterparts from the central board taking up all the top spots in the most coveted colleges across the country.With the ICSE board becoming a prominent player in the country in the last five to six years, competition for state board students became even tougher as those from the ICSE board were given the option of picking the subjects of their choice, and would often score better than them due to the board’s marking scheme.In 2008, the Maharashtra government also introduced a percentile system to equalise the scores of students across boards to ensure that the state students do not suffer. It is from these criticisms and the whole controversy over marks moderation that the CBSE seems to have learnt its lesson. While overall dip in the number of high scorers might be seen as a bad sign, experts actually feel that a balanced marking scheme would benefit all students at large.

In last letter, Dave wanted states to set up animal welfare

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Late Union minister Anil Madhav Dave not only wished people planted more trees but also wanted states to do more on the animal protection front. On May 16, he wrote a letter, his last official communication as minister, to all chief ministers, asking them to set up animal welfare boards. “As animal welfare and their protection and development have begun to receive enhanced attention in recent years and have emerged as an important area of social and environmental concern, it is felt that the state governments should have similar bodies at the state level,” he wrote in the letter. Animal rights activists had been urging Dave, who passed away on May 18 after suffering a cardiac arrest, to constitute such boards in every state so that violations under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 can be prevented. He expressed a sense of urgency to have such boards, and underlined that even the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, had taken note of the absence of such a protection mechanism at the state and district levels. “I urge you, therefore, to consider setting up a state- level animal welfare board in your state. As there is no specific financial provision available to support setting up such bodies, it will be necessary for the state government to earmark resources from relevant sectors and enable such bodies to perform their functions under the PCA Act, 1960,” Dave wrote. The animal welfare boards will be given statutory status and they will be authorised to enforce legislation on behalf of the state, the letter stated. An animal rights activist, Gauri Mulekhi, who had been urging the minister to write to the states on the issue, said, “Dave was a visionary minister, who understood the need for strengthening the state animal welfare boards for better implementation of the provisions of the PCA Act. “The state governments have been dragging their feet on the issue of staff and budget for the boards, but we do hope that our minister’s last wish will be respected.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Everest conqueror Kalpana Das critical, shifted to hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kalpana Das, who conquered Mt Everest in 2008, has fallen ill and has been admitted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital here in critical condition. Family sources said Kalpana complained of pain in her abdomen and she was taken to a Puri hospital on Monday. But when her condition did not improve, she was referred to the Cuttack hospital last night. Local MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal, who met Kalpana in the hospital today, said he had discussed with the doctors about her condition. “I have already put a word with the district collector to ensure that the state government bears the cost of her treatment,” Biswal said. Immediately after scaling Mt Everest in the summers of 2008, Kalpana was taken ill and was hospitalised for the same ailment. She recovered after undergoing treatment in AIIMS, New Delhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UP govt to work to double farmers’ income: Agri minister Shahi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi said today that the state government would make efforts to double the income of the farmers while adding that an increased foodgrain production is also envisaged. “Without the development of the farmer, the development of the state and country will be a distant reality. The UP government will endeavour to double the income of the farmers. For this efforts will have to be made to reduce the input cost, while increasing the production,” Shahi said. He was addressing a seminar here on kharif crops. “Scientific farming techniques, availability of funds at right time, soil testing, use of organic manure and crop insurance will be made available to the farmers, so as to boost the agricultural production,” Shahi said. He said that as compared to previous year’s aim of 185.11 lakh metric tonnes foodgrain production, this year the target has been set at 194.62 lakh metric tonnes. This year, we are targeting 151.30 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, as compared to 143.96 lakh metric tonnes last year, Shahi said. He mentioned that 17.50 lakh packets of organic manure will be distributed to farmers in the state. Training will also be imparted to farmers, and benefits of various schemes will also be provided to them.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

3 lakh quota students in Maharashtra deprived of scholarship

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over three lakh students from various reservation categories in Maharashtra did not get scholarships even as the academic year comes to an end. Despite repeated follow-ups, the affected students and their educational institutes have failed to get their dues.Lack of funds and a continuous software glitch in the scholarship portal are being cited as two main reasons for the deadlock. Over three lakh students from the underprivileged communities of schedule castes, other backward classes, denotified and nomadic tribes are anxious and disappointed.“Several colleges have been unable to submit the students’ details on the government portal due to software problem even as the deadline was extended many times,” alleged several colleges.The social justice and special assistance department which is entrusted with disbursement of the scholarships to over 18 lakh quota students in the state shifted the blame to the Centre.Minister of the department, Rajkumar Badole told DNA, “We spent nearly Rs 2,900 crore this year to give feeship and scholarship to nearly 15 lakh students. However, three lakh students could not get their dues yet because of deficit of over Rs 300 crore in the scheme. The Centre has not released its full share.”Badole claimed that the state received only Rs 43 crore in 2016-17 for the scholarship schemes as against its share of 50 per cent. He justified the delay by saying, “Same or even more number of students awaited scholarships till the end of the academic year in the past as well.” He further added, “Since the financial year ended in March, the pending applicants can be accommodated in the 2017-18 scheme.”Incidentally, the same department is spending Rs 700 crore to establish a grand memorial of Dr BR Ambedkar at Indu Mill, Mumbai.The blame gameThe outsourcing firm hired by the government to make the scholarship application process online a few years ago is being blamed since the last four years for the chaos

Govt to crack down on all illegal activities along Goa beaches

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the backdrop of allegations that the state government was singling out a particular community for creating nuisance on Goa beaches, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has said that all those operating illegally in the coastal destination, would face action. The state government will crack down on all those involved in illegal activities on the shoreline. Everyone who is creating nuisance for tourists would be taken to task,” Ajgaonkar told reporters here yesterday on the sidelines of an annual wine festival. The government will take action against everyone involved in illegal activity. Even if we find Nigerians trafficking drugs, we will deport them back to their country,” he added. The minister’s recent remarks against Lamanis– a nomadic tribe from neighbouring Karnataka which has made Goa their home for ages–had raised eyebrows. Ajgaonkar, had earlier this month, said that Lamanis were creating nuisance along beach stretches in Goa. He had alleged that Lamanis were illegally vending on the beaches and troubling tourists especially foreigners while roaming around in groups. The minister had also warned his department officials of suspension, if they fail to clear the state s beaches of the nomadic tribe by forming special squads. Ajgaonkar today said the state government agencies have already initiated action on those illegally operating in Goa. “Those working with valid permission will be given protection and those who are here illegally would be acted upon,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cong indulging in vendetta politics in Punjab: Sukhbir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal today alleged that the ongoing attacks on Akali workers in Punjab had made it clear that the ruling Congress in the state had given a “go-ahead” to its cadre “to indulge in vendetta politics”. It also seemed that the state police had been “informally co-opted in this vendetta drive” by the Congress, he told reporters here. “There can be no other reason for the continuing murderous attacks on Akali workers,” said Sukhbir. The former Punjab deputy chief minister also alleged that the Congress government had “fine-tuned its response to every barbaric act unleashed on Akali workers”. “Each time, the government offers lip service and asks the administration to act against the offenders. In spite of that, the attacks are continuing. It is obvious that the Congress workers know that the government is not serious about putting an end to this vendetta drive and thus, they continue to attack the Akali workers at will,” he said. The SAD chief said his party will take up the cases of vendetta politics unleashed by Congress workers in the court of law. “We will also initiate court proceedings against all the officers who abet such cases,” said Sukhbir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MP govt to ask Centre again for land for Ambedkar memorial

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said that the state government will once again approach the Centre, asking it to provide the defence land adjoining the Mhow-based memorial of B R Ambedkar for its expansion. “We are making efforts to get adjoining defece land for the expansion of Dr Ambedkar’s memorial. I had also talked in this regard to the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who has now become Goa’s chief minister, and the ministry is now being looked after by Jaitley (Finance Minister Arun Jaitley),” Chouhan said addressing a function to mark the 126th birth anniversary of the Dalit icon at his birth place here. “We will again talk to the defence minister and the Prime Minister for getting the additional land for expansion of the memorial,” he added. Chouhan said that there is no need to worry because “when the state government can bring Ambedkar’s memorabilia from Mumbai and London, then it can get the additional land as well.” “Though it has nothing to do with politics, Narendra Modi was the first Prime Minister of the country who reached here to pay obeisance to Dr Ambedkar on his birth anniversary last year,” Chouhan recalled. He said that various BJP governments have worked for the conservation of the places associated with Ambedkar, the architect of Constitution. “When late BJP leader Sunderlal Patwa was the chief minister, he had laid the foundation stone for Dr Ambedkar’s memorial here. However, the work of the memorial could not be completed during Patwa’s tenure. It was my privilege that this memorial was dedicated on April 14, 2008 under my chief ministership,” the CM added. On the occasion, Chouhan informed that the state government is launching ‘Gramodaya Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’ in all 23,000 village panchayats in Madhya Pradesh from today, to mark the birth anniversary of Ambedkar. During this campaign, the public representatives and officials would visit villages to prepare developmental schemes. The campaign would continue till May 31. Forest Minister Gaurishankar Shejwar, Minister for GAD Lal Singh Arya, BJYM (Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha) national president and Lok Sabha MP Poonam Mahajan were present.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Goa has sufficient water stock to sail through summer: Min

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa government has said that the State has sufficient water stock in its dams to sail through the summer season. “Goa has enough stock to tackle the water shortage problem during the summer. Water resources department is constantly monitoring the levels in the dams and there is no reason for any concern,” Water Resources department minister Vinod Palyekar told reporters here after chairing the meeting of officials. He said that the water in Salaulim dam in South Goa is almost 34.56 metres which is sufficient for almost 300 days for the area serviced by the project. “Anjunem water level stands at 81 metres which is sufficient for 90 days. Amthane dam level is 47.28 metres which is sufficient to provide water for almost 300 days,” he said. “Water level in other dams including Panchawadi is almost 22.41 m which is sufficient for 150 days. Chapoli has 32.68 m water which is sufficient for 525 days,” the minister said. Palyekar said Water Resource department is all set to tackle the problem of water shortage if at all it arises during the summer season. Palyekar said he had a detailed discussions with all the officers regarding their works and projects.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

While world celebrating Ram Navami, Kejriwal celebrating Ram Jethmalani Navami: Twitter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Twitter went into overdrive moments after lawyer Ram Jethmalani said that he will appear for the CM even if he cannot pay him his fees.Speaking to ANI, Jethmalani said, “Even if the government (New Delhi) doesn’t pay or he (Kejriwal) can’t pay, I will appear for free. I will treat him as one of my poor clients.”Jethmalani’s reaction came after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government came under fire from all he quarters after it came to light that the state government was paying massive legal bills incurred by Kejriwal and his party leaders in their battle with Jaitely.This is how Twitter responded

Former district judges may assist police as advisors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Odisha government is mulling the idea of engaging retired district judges as district legal advisors to assist the police in their respective districts in handling all complicated cases. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made the statement here today while attending the 82nd State Police Foundation Day. Noting that the State police organization needs to be more citizen-friendly, Patnaik, who also holds the home portfolio, said that in the backdrop of the ongoing socio-economic changes in society, the police force should upgrade itself to meet fresh challenges. “For this, my government is constantly giving more emphasis on enhancing police capability through modernization and infrastructure building. We are also regularly expanding the force by adding more and more wings to it”, Patnaik said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BPL homes to get free power connections in UP, others at EMIs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All below poverty line (BPL) households in the urban and rural areas of Uttar Pradesh will get free power connection while those above poverty line (APL) will be given 100 per cent financing option with easy EMIs. These decisions were taken today after a marathon meeting between Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Uttar Pradesh Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma, which lasted over 3 hours, a Power Ministry statement said. According to the statement, the major decisions that were taken during the meeting included giving free electricity connections to the urban and rural BPL households and to APL households at reasonable EMIs by giving 100 per cent financing option. These electricity connections would be given without any discrimination on caste or religious lines and would be based on the latest Socio-Economic Census data, it said. Further, it said that an amnesty scheme would be given to all those households and commercial connections that want to take legal electricity connections. There would be a state-wide campaign against power theft, along with a drive to sensitise all the stakeholders to shun corruption and bring in honesty in the sector, Goyal stated in the statement. Other important decisions that were taken during the meeting include making 100 per cent feeder separation and smart metering expeditiously, waving off of interests on electricity dues and provision of option of EMIs to pay off the principal amounts and bringing in zero government official discretion. It was also decided that there would be transparent monitoring to prevent harassment to the consumers at the hands of field officers and designation of state power official at each industrial feeder level who would be responsible for monitoring the consumption, billing, collection and ensuring 24×7 reliable quality power to the industry… Goyal has directed the officials of the power ministry to conduct weekly ground level review of the progress of projects being implemented in the state with the state power department officers in Lucknow from next month onwards. The Minister also directed the state power officers to devise a strategy to replace all the old thermal power plants in the state with Super Critical Power Plants and to engage in 100 per cent coal linkage swap so as to bring down the power costs for the common man. In the area of achieving energy efficiency in state power sector, Goyal directed the state power department to take steps like replacing all agricultural pump sets older than 10 years across the state with energy efficient pumps having a smart control panel; replacing street lights across all municipalities with LED bulbs; making affordable energy efficient fans and tube lights freely available to the people. The Minister directed state-run EESL and the 4 DISCOMs in the state to make 10 crore LED bulbs freely available under UJALA scheme and increase awareness among the common people for the same. Sharma assured Goyal the state power department officers would work in cohesion with the Power Ministry to implement all the decisions taken today within the stipulated time. He informed that the state power department is preparing a roadmap to ensure 24×7 affordable quality power for all rural and urban households by October 2018. It was also decided in the meeting that the state of UP would sign the “Power for All” document with the Centre by mid-April, 2017. “We have to bring an Urja Kranti in UP and we will work together to achieve it, Goyal stated. The meeting was attended by Sanjay Agrawal, UP Principal Secretary (Energy) and senior officers of the Ministry of Power, EESL, REC, NTPC, POWERGRID and PFC.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Liquor shops near Narmada riverbank to be shut down from Apr.

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Reiterating his commitment to an addiction-free society, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that all liquor shops within five kilometer of the riverbank of Narmada River will be shut down from April 1. ?From April 1, all liquor shops within five km of the riverbank of Narmada River will be shut down,? Chouhan told the media. Chouhan earlier on Thursday announced that the state government would shut down all liquor shops, if people launch a de-addiction drive in that area. He also said after the Narmada river, a similar drive would be launched to remove liquor shops from 5 km periphery of the Tapti river. In successive campaigns, Chouhan has been reiterating his commitment to de-addiction drive and closure of liquor shops on the bank of river Narmada.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi made Yogi CM so that he can appear secular to liberals: Twitter reacts to Adityanath’s appointment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yogi Adityanath, the controversial mascot of hardline Hindutva, will be the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.In a move that surprised many, the 44-year-old five-term MP from Gorakhpur was elected the BJP legislature party leader at a meeting of the newly elected MLAs, a week after BJP won a resounding three-fourth majority in the key Hindi heartland state, making a combeback to power after 15 years.State BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was himself in contention for the top job, first announced Adityanath’s election.Maurya, the MP from Phulpur in Allahabad, will be the Deputy Chief Minister apart from senior BJP leader and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister-elect Yogi Adityanath today said that he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ slogan and exuded confidence that the state would march on the path of development. “I am thankful to Governor Ram Naik who invited me to form government in UP,” he said in his first brief media interaction at Raj Bhawan.Adityanath said he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” (With all and development of all) and ensure all round development of the state. “I am confident that the state will march on the path of development,” he said.The Yogi said his efforts would be to provide “good governance” in the state. He thanked party MLAs for reposing faith in him.Here’s how Twitter reacted to this developmentWith agency inputs

Will ensure all round development of UP: Yogi Adityanath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister-elect Yogi Adityanath today said that he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ slogan and exuded confidence that the state would march on the path of development. “I am thankful to Governor Ram Naik who invited me to form government in UP,” he said in his first brief media interaction at Raj Bhawan. Adityanath said he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” (With all and development of all) and ensure all round development of the state. “I am confident that the state will march on the path of development,” he said. The Yogi said his efforts would be to provide “good governance” in the state. He thanked party MLAs for reposing faith in him. The 44-year-old five-term MP from Gorakhpur was earlier in the day elected the BJP legislature party leader at a meeting of the newly elected MLAs, a week after BJP won a resounding three-fourth majority in the key Hindi heartland state, making a comeback to power after 15 years.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dhumal hits out at Himachal Pradesh govt for ‘mounting debts’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Prem Kumar Dhumal today hit out at the Himachal Pradesh government for its “poor financial management” which has “pushed the state into a debt trap”. Initiating the debate on the budget presented by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for 2017-18 in the Assembly on March 10, Dhumal said, “It is much ado about nothing. “The over-four-hour-long speech by the chief minister on his 20th budget may be a record of sorts, but the fact is that every year, the state government is exceeding the limit of borrowings set by the Centre and if it continues, the state will not even be able to procure loans in future.” Expressing concern over the “failure” of the government in spelling out a plan for resource mobilisation in the budget, the former chief minister said the “disturbing” aspect was the government opting for “short-term measures, further worsening the situation”. “Out of every Rs 100 spent in the state, Rs 22.55 would come from borrowings, while Rs 65 is coming from the Centre, which implies that the state’s share is only Rs 12,” he said. Dhumal claimed that the state government has raised loans amounting to Rs 5,000 crore this year, more than the Rs-4,000 crore limit as per Article 293(3) of the Constitution, which could be a “cause for trouble in future”. Alleging that the Congress government in the state was indulging in “wasteful expenditure” by appointing 45-50 chairmen and vice-chairmen of boards and corporations, the BJP leader claimed that the total loan liability of the government would stand at Rs 39,213 crore as on March 31. He said it was a matter of concern that in spite of the Rs 72,470 crore sanctioned by the 14th Finance Commission to the state, compared to the Rs 20,000 crore of the 13th Finance Commission, the government “failed” in prudent financial management and was raising more loans. Alleging that the government has “cheated” the youths by allocating Rs 150 crore for unemployment allowance, Dhumal said there were 12 lakh unemployed youths in the state and the total liability on payment of allowance to them stood at Rs 12,000 crore. “But, what happened to it is not known,” he said. Dhumal said the chief minister had announced to set up a football academy at Dharamsala, construct a helipad near Shimla and create a playground in each of the Assembly segments in the state and alleged that all of these projects remained only “on papers”. The BJP leader asked the government to inform the House about the Gau Sadans (cattle shelters) set up in the state as per High Court orders, how many monkeys were sterilised, and sought to know the fate of the announcements made in the past regarding constructing tunnels and bus stands and installing water ATMs.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jharkhand govt to give land to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s AOL: CM Raghubar Das

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Friday announced that the state government would give land free of cost to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living to open a spiritual centre.Let the spiritual guru inspire the people to remove Jharkhand’s poverty, Das said while speaking at Ravi Shankar s programme, according to an official release here. “One’s development would happen only when one is physically, mentally and ideally strong and then the state would develop,” he said, adding it would be realised only with the inspiration of Ravi Shankar. Thw Spiritual leader called upon Naxals to join mainstream of society for the sake of Jharkhand s development and development of poor people. “If you are fighting for social justice and development of poor people shun bullet and adopt ballot, your mission would be fulfilled”, he said while addressing a gathering at Golf ground here this evening.”In Jharkhand naxal incidents have come down sharply. Hardly 10% have been left in state. I request naxals whosoever are left come to mainstream of society and contribute in proper utilization of Jharkhand s mineral resources for the development of state as well as for the uplift of poor people”, he said.

BJP accuses political leaders of instigating protest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP today alleged that “some political leaders” are instigating people to protest at Neduvasal in Pudukottai despite the Centre saying that it would not implement any scheme inimical to the interests of the state. “The central government has said if people do not want the hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal, it will not be carried out. Even then some political leaders and some outfits to gain something are instigating the people of that area to protest,” BJP state unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said. Apparently referring to the opposition to the hydrocarbon project, Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan had said yesterday that the Petroleum Minister had said he would look into it if people harboured any doubts. “The central government will not implement a project which people feel is inimical to the state’s farming sector and its people,” he had said. Radhakrishnan had also alleged that a group was preventing people from listening to sane views on the project and urged experts to explain its pros and cons to them to dispel their fears. The villagers of Neduvasal are against the proposed project of the Centre. They have been protesting for more than a week with support from many sections, including students. On drought relief, the BJP leader alleged that the state government was delaying sending the report to the Centre and that is the reason why funds have not yet been disbursed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TN CM assures Neduvasal farmers that no permission will be given for hydrocarbon extraction project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the protest against hydrocarbon extraction project in Neduvasal in Pudukottai district spreading to various parts of Tamil Nadu and opposition parties backing the protest, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday assured agitating farmers that the state government has not granted permission for the hydrocarbon project.”The state government has not granted any license to commercially extract natural gas at Neduvasal as it will affect the livelihood of farmers. Hence the farmers need not worry about it,” the Chief Minister told a group of 11 farmers, who were part of the 14-day-long protest in Neduvasal when they met him at the Secretariat on Wednesday.Stating that he had taken up the hydrocarbon project with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting with him on Monday, Mr Palaniswami further assured the farmers that the state government is following the principles of Amma (former chief minister J Jayalalithaa), and will not implement any project inimical to the interest of farmer’s. He urged the farmers to end their protest.C Velu, one of the farmers who met the CM, said that the decision on whether to call off or continue the protest would be taken only after consulting all “our people in Neduvasal”. “Agriculture is our source of livelihood. Oil leaked from one such well drilled by the oil companies in a nearby village has contaminated both the soil and groundwater. We also came to know that few people living adjacent to the oil well have died of cancer. So we will not allow the oil wells to spoil our lives,” he told reporters.The villagers of Neduvasal are up in arms against the proposed hydrocarbon project fearing it would have an adverse impact on agriculture, and further deplete and contaminate groundwater in their area. Farmers began their protest a day after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval on February 15 for awarding production contract for the projects at Neduvasal and 30 other locations in the country.The agitation has intensified over the weekend with students, youngsters and celebrities from across the state visiting the village to lend their support. Students in Chennai, Tirunelveli, Thiruvannamalai and Dindigul were staging protests in solidarity with the villagers. All the political parties in the state except BJP have extended their support for the farmer’s protest and supported their demand for scrapping the project.

Appealing for success of the SP-Congress alliance,

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Priyanka asked voters to identify those who want to work for them. “Strengthen this alliance so that the state is strengthened and developed,” he said. The Congress star campaigner exuded confidence that the alliance will win 300 of the 403 seats in these elections. Under the alliance, SP has left 105 seats for Congress. “I want to say that a lot of hollow promises have been made…A lot of years have passed…Ask people Varanasi,” she said, adding Modi has been the Prime Minister for the past three years but “what has been done?” “Ask people of Amethi as to how Rajiv Gandhi did what he decided when he was the Prime Minister,” she said. Referring to Modi’s speeches in which he addresses women in the crowd as ‘sisters’ and ‘mothers’, Priyanka said there is no need to connect with them only through a relation. “If he has to say anything, he should look into your eyes,” she said. “If he has to tell anything, he should tell who has committed atrocity in the past six months on our daughters, sisters and women,” she said. Targeting Modi over demonetisation, Priyanka said just by clapping his hands, the savings of the women have been wasted and they were made to stand in queues in front of banks. Turning to some issues over seat-sharing in the region among the alliance partners, Priyanka said she had a challenge before her as she wanted to field dedicated workers and also made an appeal to the people to vote for Congress candidates here.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Governor lauds state government on opening day of Assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the opening day of the budget session of the state assembly today, governor Kesari Nath Tripathi said that Mamata Banerjee government had done all it could and successfully tackled with the adverse effects of the Centre’s demonetization policy.”Despite all adversities, the government has succeeded in taking the inconveniences posed by the unprecedented challenge of demonetization in its stride and all possible measures were adopted to provide much needed relief to the cash starved populace of the state. Chief minister has left no stone unturned in her untiring effort to keep the morale of the people high in these trying times,” he said.He said that that demonetization had had its effect on the economy of Bengal causing a lot of hardships to a huge number of people. The worst affected were those related to small and medium scale industry, tea gardens, jute and beedi workers, other unorganised sectors and state cooperatives.He went on to paint a rosy picture of the state owing to the developmental projects of the state government. “The Centre has withdrawn the Integrated Action Plan for development activities in the Junglemahal areas, but government is continuing the same with budgetary support from the state under Jangal Mahal Action Plan,” he said.He also highlighted the Singur issue in his speech saying that the Supreme Court had upheld what the state government believed in that no land should be taken from farmers forcefully. He added that the state had been successful in maintaining peace and communal harmony in the state. Tripathi lauded the state government’s efforts of putting up several development boards for tribals in Darjeeling and appreciated the creation of three new districts – Kalimpong, Jhargram and Burdan and all in spite of the legacy of debt left over by the previous regime. He was optimistic that the state was well on track for an overall development.“I am very much optimistic that West Bengal after an era of political disruptions, violent trade unionism, vanishing industries, isolation of the farmers and above all a lopsided industrial policy has now emerged out of the shadows of its past legacy and is fully prepared to march forward on its road to a new dawn,” he said.Some of the Left Front members protested while the speech was on, speaking about the recent incidents of violence at Bhangar in South 24 parganas district and Ausgram in Burdwan district.

Maha: Only 54 pc 7/12 receipts digitised so far

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only 54 per cent of the total 2.5 crore 7/12 receipts/extracts (a land title document) in Maharashtra have been digitised so far, a state government official said here today. Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil in December had announced that digitisation of all 7/12 receipts will be completed by March 31 this year. However, going by the current pace, it is highly unlikely that the state will be able to do so. “There have been number of challenges including poor internet connectivity, lack of skilled manpower and non-availability of infrastructure to carry out the drive. There have been efforts to push the digitisation but other factors are affecting the progress of the project,” said a official on the condition of anonymity. The 7/12 receipt is a crucial piece of document for the establishment of ownership of a land. The receipt is extensively used by farmers for loan agreements, crop survey and availing government facilities. Till some years ago, hand-written 7/12 receipts were prepared by village level revenue officer –Talathi. Only Talathis are entrusted with the powers to make changes in these receipts and this resulted in several instances wherein officers misused their authority. To avoid this, the state government had come up with an idea of digitisation of entire revenue documents. The aim is also to avoid any tampering with documents. The state government has made several provisions including setting up a network of optical fibre network, providing high-speed internet connection and asking Talathis to use laptops instead of pen and paper for issuing 7/12 receipts to needy people. We may miss the deadline but we will achieve it for sure, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

One of the injured was admitted to Agroha Medical College

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>while five others to the civil hospital here with simple injuries and were likely to be discharged today, he said. Sub Divisional Magistrate Ashok Bansal today met the injured in the civil hospital here and assured them that the state government would bear the expenses of their treatment, besides ensuring their safety. Nearly six years ago, two people were burnt alive in an inter-caste violence in the same village. Following the violence, CRPF troops had been deployed in the village to maintain peace, but the force was withdrawn last year. A 20-member committee had also been formed earlier to maintain harmony in the village. The CRPF was deployed the village when an alleged group of villagers belonging to upper caste torched over a dozen houses belonging to Dalits on April 21, 2010 in which a 19-year-old polio-stricken girl and her father were charred to death. The incident was triggered by an argument between some Dalit youths and upper caste men after a person from the latter’s community had thrown a stone at a dog which was barking at him while he was passing through a Dalit locality in the village.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP rejects charges of not giving tickets to Muslims in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting allegations that the party is ignoring Muslims in ticket distribution for the upcoming Assembly polls in Manipur, BJP today said it has selected candidates on the basis of “winnability”. Claiming that the state has become the most backward in the entire northeastern region due to prolonged Congress rule, BJP Manipur spokesperson O Joy said in order to change the situation, the party has chosen those who would help it come to power in the polls scheduled to be held on March 4 and 8. “There is no question of communalism in ticket distribution. Our party leaders have focused on winnability as the top priority while deciding candidates,” Joy told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Goa Elections 2017 | Casinos in state will be monitored by I-T during polls, says CEC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday said that the state administration will keep an eye on casinos in the state, which could be used to gift voters to influence ahead of the upcoming Goa assembly elections. Addressing the media, Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi said, “Political parties fear misuse of casinos where voters could be gifted to influence them, therefore, the state administration has been directed to keep an eye on them.””Senior officials of Karnataka and Goa have been roped in to tackle concerns over casino misuse and the teams are working on a strategy,” Zaidi added.
ALSO READ Goa Elections 2017: Where is the money coming from to double the funds, Parrikar asks AAPStating that the entry and exit of casinos and transactions will be monitored, he said, “Static monitoring teams by Income Tax officials will also be keeping an eye and action will be taken as per the Income Tax (IT) laws.The Election Commission has also asked the excise department to seek strict action against bars operating beyond stipulated deadline of 11:00 pm.
ALSO READ Goa Elections 2017: EC censures Kejriwal, Delhi CM calls order ‘completely wrong’Zaidi also said that the state administration will also keep watch on the sale bulk items. “Purchase of items like pressure cookers, bicycles etc., are under watch. A list of 200 establishments have been made and the state administration is watching their sales.” he added.A total 250 candidates are in fray for the upcoming Goa Assembly elections, following the scrutiny and withdrawal of nominations. Of the 250 candidates to contest the February 4 polls for the state’s 40 constituencies, 131 are from South Goa and 119 from North Goa, as per the data available with Chief Electoral Officer.

States told to block matrimonial websites encouraging dowry: Centre tells Bombay HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union government has informed the Bombay High Court that it has issued guidelines to all the states to block matrimonial websites encouraging dowry.”Such guidelines have been issued to all the states, including Maharashtra, and it is for the state governments to act on them,” it said recently in an affidavit on a PIL filed by advocate Priscila Samuel on the dowry menace.Advocate General Rohit Deo and Government Pleader Abhay Patki, appearing for the state government, assured the court that steps would be taken to implement such guidelines.Patki submitted that the state would file an affidavit within two weeks, detailing the steps taken regarding the formation of the grievance redressal mechanism and district-level advisory boards as also the time-frame within which these would be set up.Deo told the court that the proposal of appointing dowry prohibition officers was under the consideration of the state Women and Child Welfare Department. Thereafter, it will be approved by the General Administration and Finance departments and then, it will be placed before the Cabinet for approval.Patki submitted that the state will put on affidavit details of steps taken till date and the time required for appointing dowry prohibition officers. On his request, the court granted two weeks to the state to file an affidavit in this regard.A bench headed by Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Prakash Naik posted the matter to January 10 for the next hearing. The PIL claimed that though the Dowry Prohibition Act was enacted in 1961, the state had done “little” to control the dowry menace.It urged the court to inquire into the “mushrooming of illegal businesses” of marriage brokers and marriage service providers. It also contended that advertisements on matrimonial websites seeking dowry were directly violating the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act and sought orders to the state government to regulate the functioning of such websites.

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