Non-Bengalis contributed more than Bengalis in development of Bengal, says Dilip Ghosh


Non-Bengalis contributed more than Bengalis in development of Bengal, says Dilip Ghosh

Sparking a controversy, Dilip Ghosh said that workers from Bihar are treated as outsiders in West Bengal while Shah Rukh Khan is called a Bengali.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president in West Bengal, Dilip Ghosh, on Wednesday sparked a controversy with his statement where he said that non-Bengalis contributed more than Bengalis in the development of the state.

“From British era, people from outside are coming to Bengal to earn livelihood. For more than 100-200 years people from outside are coming to Bengal to earn money and do business,” Ghosh said at a rally as seen on ABP Ananda.

“Citizens from outside Bengal have always worked at the jute mills and factories at both sides of the Ganga here. Non-Bengalis have contributed more than the Bengalis in the development of Bengal.

Taking a jibe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Ghosh said that she treated workers from Bihar as outsiders but made Shah Rukh Khan a Bengali.

The Midnapore MP said, “Who rode the tangas? Who pulled the rickshaws? Today they are outsiders here and Shah Rukh Khan is one of our own! All the workers from Bihar are outsiders but Prashant Kishor is one of our own!”

Ghosh’s remarks comes at a time when the outsider-insider debate has taken a centrestage in West Bengal ahead of the state’s Assembly Elections next year. Led by Mamata Banerjee, TMC has built their election campaign with narratives to paint BJP as an “anti-Bengali” entity.

The attack on BJP comes after it decided to put central leaders in charge for Assembly Elections in West Bengal next year. The party had put five central leaders in as many organisational zones in the state before fielding another five central leaders in the state.

These developments followed BJP’s decision to appoint the party’s IT-Cell chief Amit Malviya as West Bengal’s co-convener alongside Arvind Menon. They will play deputy to BJP General Secretary Kaliash Vijayvargiya, highlighting the desperation of the party to win the eastern state.

The plot to portray BJP as an “outsider” and “anti-Bengali” party has been made evident by back-to-back press conferences from heavyweight TMC leaders.

They had somewhat similar theme of presenting BJP as an alien entity in West Bengal and invoking the ethno-nationalism pride among Bengalis against the hindutva-nationalism of saffron camp.




Trudeau’s remarks unwarranted: India


Trudeau’s remarks unwarranted: India

“I would be remiss if I didn’t start by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends.” Justin Trudeau, Canadian PM

India today took strong exceptions to the remarks made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the ongoing farmers’ protests in the country against the new farm laws.

“We have seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country. It is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

Trudeau joined other Canadian leaders, particularly those belonging to the Sikh community, to express concern over the farmers’ protests, stating these concerns had also been conveyed to the Indian government.

He made the remarks while participating in a Facebook interaction organised by Canadian MP Bardish Chagger to mark the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. He was joined by Canadian ministers Navdeep Bains, Harjit Sajjan and members of the Sikh community.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t start by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends,” Trudeau said. “I know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that’s why we’ve reached out through multiple means directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns,” he said, adding it was important to remember Guru Nanak’s teachings of compassion, equality and selfless service, which were central to both Sikhism and Canadian values.

Others from Canada to have expressed concern over the farmers’ protests include politicians from the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP).

India-Canada ties have gone through a rough patch in the past too due to the Trudeau government’s perceived support to the ‘Khalistan’ movement.




Hyderabad civic polls: Low turnout after blistering campaign


Hyderabad civic polls: Low turnout after blistering campaign

By 5 p.m. the polling percentage was only 35.8 per cent and with only an hour of polling left it is unlikely to cross even 50 per cent.

After a blistering campaign lasting less than two weeks Hyderabad civic poll turned out to be a dampener, recording the lowest ever turn out as urban voters chose to stay away from polling booths amidst the pandemic. By 5 p.m. the polling percentage was only 35.8 per cent and with only an hour of polling left it is unlikely to cross even 50 per cent. The last hour of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) was reserved mostly for COVID-19 patients by the state election commission.

The campaign narrative based on national issues for a municipal poll evidently failed to impress the electorate and with a large number of IT professionals and other migrants leaving the city for their native places due to work from home policy, the voter turnout was embarrassingly low. However, suburban areas like LB Nagar, Uppal and Amberpet which are under Opposition MPs saw comparatively higher polling percentage. These were also among the worst flood-hit and likely to witness some anti-incumbency voting while Ramachandrapuram and Patancheru in adjoining Sangareddy district which registered highest polling percentage of more than 55 and 53 per cent respectively, might see a sway towards the ruling party. Langar Houz in old city area recorded one of the lowest polling percentage, just over 6 per cent.

While the pandemic kept away a large section of senior citizens and middle class voters voting was done through ballot boxes which might have led to apprehension, though the commission had arranged for sanitisers spots and ensured social distancing. Voting took place in 149 of the 150 words after a repoll was ordered at old Malakpet. Instead of ears of corn and sickle, the symbol of CPI candidate the ballot paper carried the symbol of hammer, sickle and star belonging to CPI-M. Repoll will be held on 3 December and the returning officer has been removed.

The state election commission had roped in celebrities to appeal to voters to come and out and although actors like Chiranjeevi and Vijay Devarakonda came out to cast their vote, the public chose to stay away. Even TRS working president KT Rama Rao had left recorded messages urging them to come out to vote. Mr Rao was one of the early voters along with his wife and so was AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi who chose to ride his bike to the polling booth at Shastripuram.

Incidentally, roadshows by both Union home minister Amit Shah and TRS working president KT Rama Rao had drawn huge crowds but it is evident from the low turnout that majority of the crowds had been organised, mostly from the districts. In fact, the apathy and indifference of the urban voters can be gauged from the fact before the election commission had intervened the Mee Seva Kendras which deliver citizen centric services of the government had seen huge crowds as people thronged the centres to register their names and bank account details to claim the flood relief of Rs 10,000.

BJP blamed the TRS government and SEC for the low turnout. Union minister G Kishen Reddy alleged that after the Dubbaka defeat TRS was apprehensive about GHMC poll results and hence advanced the election dates and people hesitated to vote due to apprehensions of second wave of Covid-19. Moreover, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao harped on communal riots creating a fear psychosis.




India highlights Pak’s role in terror-financing at SCO meet


India highlights Pak’s role in terror-financing at SCO meet

With Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan opting out of it, the meeting was attended by Pakistan’s parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers of other SCO countries~ Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan– also attended the meeting.

Chairing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation heads of government meeting attended, among others, by China and Pakistan, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today tore into Islamabad for using terrorism as an instrument of state policy and repeatedly raising bilateral Indo-Pak issues at multilateral forums.

Underlining that economic growth and trade could only operate in an environment of peace and security, he said, “Peace is the essential prerequisite for progress. The most important challenge faced by us in the region is terrorism, particularly cross-border terrorism. Terrorism is truly the enemy of humanity. It is a scourge we need to collectively combat.”

With Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan opting out of it, the meeting was attended by Pakistan’s parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers of other SCO countries~ Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan– also attended the meeting.

Without directly naming Pakistan, Naidu condemned terrorism in all its manifestations, saying India was concerned about threats emerging from ungoverned spaces and the threat from countries that leverage terrorism as an instrument of state policy. “Such an approach is entirely against the spirit and charter of the SCO,” he reminded.




Infighting flares up in U’khand Congress


Infighting flares up in U’khand Congress

The game of one-upmanship rages between the camps of ex-CM Harish Rawat & state Cong chief Pritam Singh

A high-voltage fight for supremacy seems to be raging in the Uttarakhand Congress.

A group of Congress leaders held a press conference at Haldwani on Saturday to declare that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and former Uttarakhand chief minister, Harish Rawat, would be the party’s face in the next state Assembly elections in 2022. These state Congress leaders included Rajya Sabha member Pradeep Tamta and other supporters of Rawat.

Even in the 2017 state Assembly polls, Rawat, the then incumbent CM, was the Congress’s face, with the party then choosing to fight the polls under his leadership. The Congress had then made an appeal to state voters to provide a full five-year term to Rawat again.

However, that appeal failed to woo the voters and the Congress suffered the worst-ever defeat in Assembly elections in Uttarakhand by getting reduced to 11 seats. Rawat also failed miserably to save himself and lost from both the seats that he had contested.

The Saturday press conference is being looked at as a “pressure tactic” being applied by Rawat’s supporters. The infighting in the Uttarakhand Congress is growing now, with the rival camps of Rawat and Uttarakhand Congress president Pritam Singh being at loggerheads.

Rawat also seems to be losing his cool, seeking to share his “anguish” on social media. Hitting out at his rivals within the state Congress for asking him to retire from politics, the veteran leader made a sarcastic remark, stating that “I am thankful to the kids who are making me count the elections I have lost. Some of these warriors learned a few lessons at RSS classes and are applying the theories to me. They took birth when I had lost the first election and was getting ready to fight the next polls. Some bluff masters, who never contest ward elections, are making me count my election defeats.”

In its reaction to the Saturday press conference held by the Rawat faction, the Pritam Singh camp sought to downplay it while claiming that the Uttarakhand Congress was “united” and that each election is contested by the party under someone’s leadership. By going ahead with such a press conference, the Rawat camp might have taken its rival group by surprise. This is, however, likely to fuel infighting in the Uttarakhand Congress in the coming days.




Cold desert region Ladakh being made organic, carbon-free: LG Mathur


Cold desert region Ladakh being made organic, carbon-free: LG Mathur

Mathur stated that even though Ladakh has joined hands with science slightly later than rest of the world, it has been now well realized that science can play an instrumental role in making life easier and more productive.

The cold desert region of Ladakh is on the path to be converted into100% organic to achieve the target of making the newly carved out Union Territory (UT) carbon-free.

This was stated by Lt. Governor RK Mathur while speaking at the
curtain raiser event of the 6th edition of the Indian International Science Festival organized by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

He said that the Mission Organic Development Initiative (MODI) has been initiated which will convert Ladakh into a 100 percent organic state, as part of the Prime Minister’s vision in making Ladakh Carbon-free, which can be made possible only with the help of science. This, he said is an achievable goal.

Mathur expressed hope that with the set target of installing 1100 greenhouses, Ladakh will substantially increase vegetable production around the year.

He said that the UT administration has commissioned the Indian Remote Sensing Agency (IRSA) based in Dehradun to provide Ladakh with satellite maps of various features viz. glaciers, water sources, animal resources etc, so that a database can be maintained and more importantly to continuously study the change in these features, which will help make plans for the development of Ladakh.

He stated that the UT administration is seeking help from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for generating a land-use plan to map the potential growth of agricultural and horticultural crops, medicinal and aromatic plants etc, thus contributing substantially to the economy of Ladakh.
Speaking of science and its role in the promotion of tourism, Mathur said that a study is being undertaken to explore the tourist carrying capacity of Ladakh.

Citing examples of the predominant role of science in the development of animal resources, Mathur said that the UT administration is in the process of developing a breeding policy, fodder development policy and policies to achieve maximum benefits out of Ladakh’s indigenous resources such as the indigenous cow, goats and Yak etc, which offer good commercial opportunities.

He complimented the Defence Institute for High Altitude Research (DIHAR) for its substantial contributions to Ladakh and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the people of Ladakh.

Mathur stated that even though Ladakh has joined hands with science slightly later than rest of the world, it has been now well realized that science can play an instrumental role in making life easier and more productive.

Ladakh wishes to see more science institutions in Ladakh so that the newly formed UT can benefit from scientific inventions for the betterment of the living standards, income level and curbing damages to Ladakh’s ecology.




BJP trying to muzzle dissent, freedom of speech: Mehbooba Mufti


BJP trying to muzzle dissent, freedom of speech: Mehbooba Mufti

The degree of oppression has increased in J&K after the PAGD decided to participate in these elections, she said.

Former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday accused the BJP of trying to create an ecosystem of itself where there is no place for democracy and freedom of speech in the country.

Mehbooba, who was talking to media persons in Srinagar, charged the BJP of muzzling dissent. “BJP is dividing this country like anything”, she said.

Hitting out at the BJP, she said that the latest weapon with them to curb dissent is to label “Muslims as Pakistanis, Sikhs as Khalistani activists, social activists as urban naxals and students as tukde tukde gang”. If everyone who raises voice of dissent is anti-India then is only the BJP Indian, she asked.

She said it was unfortunate that the institutions that were supposed to protect democracy and rights of people were now in the forefront implementing the agenda of BJP. There is no one to listen to the voice of the common people.

She alleged that the BJP government was trying “to get to me”. They want to ban my party because I raise my voice against their wrong doings. I am repeatedly told that Article 370 is being talked by the people after my release. How I can be held responsible for that, she asked.

The BJP ministers in their speeches describe abrogation of Article 370 as a great step but get rattled when I speak on the issue.

“My bank accounts have been scanned and those whom we sold our land or availed loan are being summoned for interrogation”. Those who raise their voice are harassed by the enforcement directorate (ED) and CBI.

Mehbooba said that the “opposition is fearful of being labeled as anti-national and agencies like ED and NIA are being directed to hound them”.

She said that the candidates of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Resolution (PAGD) are not allowed to campaign for the ongoing DDC and local body elections. Candidates of the Alliance have been confined at some places and not go out for canvassing. How will candidates contest if they are not allowed to canvass?

The degree of oppression has increased in J&K after the PAGD decided to participate in these elections, she said.

Talking about the Roshni Act that is being investigated by the CBI, Mehbooba said that the Act was a scheme but it has been dubbed as a “scam” by the government.




Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi passes away after long battle with post-Covid complications


Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi passes away after long battle with post-Covid complications

Gogoi, 86, had been severely ill for a long time with post-Covid complications and had been in a hospital for several weeks.

Tarun Gogoi, the veteran Congress leader and three-time Assam Chief Minister, passed away on Monday evening.

Gogoi, 86, had been severely ill for a long time with post-Covid complications and had been in a hospital for several weeks. He died of multiple organ failure, informed Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Gogoi’s health condition deteriorated since Friday due to post-Covid19 complications.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death.

President Kovind tweeted, “Extremely sad to know of the demise of Shri Tarun Gogoi, former Chief Minister of Assam. The country has lost a veteran leader with rich political and administrative experience. His long tenure in office was a period of epochal change in Assam.”

“He will always be remembered for the development of Assam and especially towards his efforts to improve law and order and fighting insurgency in the state. His passing away marks the end of an era. In this hour of grief, condolences to his family, friends and supporters.”


Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Shri Tarun Gogoi Ji was a popular leader and a veteran administrator, who had years of political experience in Assam as well as the Centre. Anguished by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and supporters in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.”


Tarun Gogoi is survived by wife Dolly Gogoi, son Gaurav Gogoi, a Lok Sabha member, and daughter Chandrima Gogoi who lives in the US.

Gogoi’s body would be kept at the famous Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati on Monday night while the cremation will take place on Tuesday or Wednesday with full state honours after consultation with his family, said Sarma while interacting with the media.

(With agency inputs)




Kerala government puts amended Police Act on hold after backlash


Kerala government puts amended Police Act on hold after backlash

‘Concerns were expressed by those who supported LDF and those who stood for the protection of democracy. In this situation, it’s not intended to amend the law,’ Kerala CM said.

The Kerala government on Monday decided to not implement the amended Kerala Police Act which enables arrest for content or social media post deemed ‘offensive’ amid widespread criticism.

Kerala’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the amendment to the Kerala Police Act ‘will not be implemented’.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan said, “With the announcement of the amendment, different views arose from different quarters. Concerns were expressed by those who supported LDF and those who stood for the protection of democracy. In this situation, it’s not intended to amend the law,”

“Detailed discussions will be held in the assembly and further steps will be taken in this regard after hearing the views of all parties.” he further added.

On Friday, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan signed the special order for the Kerala Police (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which included a new section, 118 (A). According to it, an individual who creates or sends any information that is offensive or is intended to offend or threaten another individual, through any means of communication, is liable to face imprisonment of three years or a fine of Rs 10,000 or both.

There has been massive outrage over this controversial move by Kerala’s  Left Democratic Front (LDF) government. The opposition had said that this could be used to suppress free speech and was done to target the media.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday had said that the law would not be used against ‘free speech’ or ‘impartial journalism.’ The chief minister’s office (CMO) released a statement.

The statement read, “The new amendment will in no way be used against free speech or impartial journalism. Apprehensions to the contrary are unfounded,”

The statement further added: “Along with ensuring freedom of the press, the Government also has the responsibility of upholding a citizen’s individual freedom and his/her dignity, as enshrined in the Constitution. The popular idea that one’s freedom ends where the other’s nose begins needs to be respected. However, there have been instances of this idea being repeatedly violated.”

The CM in his statement said that attacks where the use of ‘personal likes, or dislikes, political or non-political interests’ were used to ‘settle scores’ did not fall under the journalism and were ‘personal vendetta.’

He also said that his government had received complaints against the ‘misuse of social media.’




Freight Launch River going to Bengal, loaded with stones from Jharkhand, submerged


Freight Launch River going to Bengal, loaded with stones from Jharkhand, submerged

There were 8 trucks loaded with stones at the launch, in which 20 people were 12 people somehow got out of the river, but still 8 people have no idea

A cargo launch in the Malda Manikchak River Ghat of West Bengal was reported to have been drowned in the launch. There were 8 trucks at the launch, all the trucks loaded with stones were coming from the Rajmahal in Jharkhand to the Manikchak Ghat in Malda, West Bengal. Suddenly, the launch drowned in the river and at the launch, the stone-laden trucks also drowned in which 20 people rushed into the river, while 12 of them managed to get out of the river safely by saving their lives but 8 people Still missing, the rescue continues to find




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