Previous123456789...120121Next

TMC urges centre to declassify all files, book on Netaji, Azad Hind Fauj


TMC urges centre to declassify all files, book on Netaji, Azad Hind Fauj

Netaji, like many Bengali icons, has been a major talking point ahead of the polls with both BJP and TMC trying to emerge as the better servant of his cause.

Amid the tug of war between parties to appropriate one Bengali icon after another to achieve political gain, Trinamool Congress on Wednesday asked the BJP-led Centre for de- classification of “Netaji files”.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), defence ministry and several intelligence wings of the government still hold many files that haven’t been brought to public.

“Yesterday, I sent a letter to the Prime Minister which PMO has accepted. I forwarded a copy to honourable Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as well. I had sent a similar letter four years ago as well. But nothing was done,” Ray said at a press conference in Kolkata.

Apart from asking for declassification of all the files related to the freedom fighter, he also urged the Defence Ministry to make public the book ‘A History of Indian National Army 1942-45’ which was published by its ‘History Division’.

“The book, which contains unknown facts and information about the Azad Hind Fauj during their revolution from 1942 to 1945, has never seen the light of day,” the Parliamentarian said.

Ray even alleged that like the UPA government, Narendra Modi-led NDA has also refused to publish the books, despite a single bench of Delhi High Court asking the Centre to do that following an RTI to know its contents.

However, after taking charge, the Modi government had declassified around 200 files in connection with Netaji and his mysterious disappearance. TMC, back then as well, had asked the Centre to bring out all the files and not just few.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Tuesday renamed the Howrah-Kalka Mail as Netaji Express. It also declared that his birth anniversary on January 23 would be celebrated every year as ‘Parikram Diwas’.

The central government earlier this month had formed a high-level committee to commemorate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary.

The 85-member committee, which will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also include Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was formed to overlook the year-long celebration for Bose, from January 23, 2021 to the same day in 2022.

On the other hand, the West Bengal government has formed a separate committee to plan Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary celebrations.

The committee – led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – boasts a similar demography as its central counterpart. However, there are not many eminent personalities from outside Bengal.

As West Bengal heads towards a much-talked-about Assembly Election, the political parties are busy appeasing the cultural and social icons of the state.

Netaji, being one of the most prominent figures of Bengal since pre-independence, has been a major talking point ahead of the election with both BJP and TMC trying to emerge as the better servant of his cause.




Adhir Chowdhury alleges TMC trying to gain ‘unethical advantage’ in Assembly Election


Adhir Chowdhury alleges TMC trying to gain ‘unethical advantage’ in Assembly Election

Adhir Chowdhury said TMC was trying to take “unethical advantage” in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly Election by not holding the municipal polls in time.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday alleged that Trinamool Congress (TMC) was trying to take “unethical advantage” in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly Election by not holding the municipal polls in due time.

The term of all Municipalities and Municipal Corporations in the state came to an end last year. The elections were due in May and June.

But due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the West Bengal administration had failed to have the polls in their scheduled time. The institutions are currently run by an unelected Board of Administrators.

“The terms of councillors in municipalities across West Bengal have come to an end. But the state government has placed administrators instead of holding fresh elections. To achieve political goals, they are breaching constitutional guidelines,” said Chowdhury in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.

“Actually, the Trinamool Congress government is not conducting the municipal polls to take unethical advantage in the Vidhan Sabha election,” the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chief added.

“Participation of people is the most important aspect of democracy. But TMC has placed unelected administrators to satisfy its politiical agenda.

“The administrators are working beyond the ambit of constitutional guidelines. I request the Election Commission to ensure that TMC doesn’t influence citizens like this,” he added.

The Supreme Court of India in December last year had directed the state government to hold the elections immediately. Following the court’s order, Bengal administration decided to conduct the polls in March this year.

But if latest news reports are to be believed the Election Commission is planning to hold the State Assembly election in March and the dates could be declared in February.

As a result, Municipal Affairs Minister of West Bengal Firhad Hakim informed that the Municipality votes are likely to be postponed again, reported Hindustan Times Bangla.

Hakim informed that after declaration of the Vidhan Sabha election’s dates in February, the West Bengal administration would go under the ambit of EC. Thus, the Municipality elections would not be possible then.




Trinamool Congress unveils Lenin’s statue in Kharagpur in presence of Left leaders


Trinamool Congress unveils Lenin’s statue in Kharagpur in presence of Left leaders

The outlandish political event took place at Lenin Park in Kharagpur’s block number 20 when local MLA Pradip Sarkar unveiled the Marxist icon’s sculpture.

In a strange turn of events in West Bengal ahead of the much-talked-about assembly polls, Trinamool Congress unveiled a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Kharagpur on Tuesday.

The outlandish political event took place at Lenin Park in Kharagpur’s block number 20 when local MLA Pradip Sarkar unveiled the Marxist icon’s sculpture.

After dethroning the Left Front regiment in 2011, TMC is known to have celebrated the May Day as well. But a party legislator disclosing a statue of one of the most significant leftists and garlanding it is something unheard of.

“Lenin should not be associated with a single party. He is an inspiration to workers across the world. Our party works beyond the domain of partisan politics. That’s why we have called the left leadership as well,” Sarkar said.

BJP, meanwhile, hurled a common attack on both TMC and the left parties. Demanding a statue of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee instead of the former Soviet Union premier, local BJP leadership said that the other parties had come together to form an alliance, forgetting their ideologies and promises to people.

The left leaders have refused the allegations and said that they were happy with the gesture from TMC. They hoped that the West Bengal-governing party would build Lenin’s statue across the state.

According to local media, the park was established in the 70s during the Congress regime under former Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Roy.

However, with the change of tide in Bengal politics, the park was left in the ruins. Following requests from citizens, the local municipal authorities decided to renovate it and unveil a new statue of Lenin.




Controversial CAG report to be tabled in Assembly today


Controversial CAG report to be tabled in Assembly today

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s( CAG’s) audit report for the fiscal year ending 31 March, 2019, containing alleged irregularities in the market borrowings of controversial government entity KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) may be tabled in the Kerala Assembly on Monday.

A controversy had erupted when state finance minister Thomas Isaac took the unprecedented step of attacking the CAG last November, alleging its conclusions were politically motivated. He had said that the Kerala government will not allow the CAG to destroy KIIFB.

Following this, the Opposition moved a breach of privilege notice against the finance minister. Congress MLA VD Satheesan had filed the complaint against Thomas Isaac to the Assembly Speaker. The complainant alleged the finance minister revealed the content in the CAG report to the media before tabling it in the Assembly.

The CAG report is considered a secret document till it comes before the House. According to accepted norms, any document that is the property of the Assembly, cannot be discussed outside before it is presented in the Assembly. The CAG has, reportedly found serious breaches by KIIFB, particularly with its market borrowings, including a masala bond issue floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Finance minister Isaac had initially said it was CAG’s draft report, but later admitted it was a final one, which should have been tabled in the Assembly. But he defended his decision as an extraordinary measure taken at an extraordinary situation created by the CAG report

Meanwhile, there are reports that the Privileges and Ethics Committee chaired by MLA Pradeep Kumar, may table its final report soon. There are indications the committee may come to the conclusion that there was no violation of rights on the minister’s part.




SAD mobilises parties to protect federal structure


SAD mobilises parties to protect federal structure

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday said the party has decided to create a joint strategy along with likeminded parties on ways and means to strengthen the federal structure of the country which “is being eroded under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government”.

Disclosing this in a statement here, senior SAD leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said the Akali Dal and likeminded parties including Trinamool Congress (TMC), Shiv Sena, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Samajwadi Party (SP) will hold a conference in Delhi after 15 January that will deliberate on current erosion of federalism and its impact on farmers as well as financial wellbeing of states.

Chandumajra said a three member party committee had been formed by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to reach out to like-minded parties who were perturbed by the rise of a unitary system in the country.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday said the party has decided to create a joint strategy along with likeminded parties on ways and means to strengthen the federal structure of the country which “is being eroded under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government”.

Disclosing this in a statement here, senior SAD leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said the Akali Dal and likeminded parties including Trinamool Congress (TMC), Shiv Sena, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Samajwadi Party (SP) will hold a conference in Delhi after 15 January that will deliberate on current erosion of federalism and its impact on farmers as well as financial wellbeing of states.

Chandumajra said a three member party committee had been formed by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to reach out to like-minded parties who were perturbed by the rise of a unitary system in the country.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday said the party has decided to create a joint strategy along with likeminded parties on ways and means to strengthen the federal structure of the country which “is being eroded under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government”.

Disclosing this in a statement here, senior SAD leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said the Akali Dal and likeminded parties including Trinamool Congress (TMC), Shiv Sena, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Samajwadi Party (SP) will hold a conference in Delhi after 15 January that will deliberate on current erosion of federalism and its impact on farmers as well as financial wellbeing of states.

Chandumajra said a three member party committee had been formed by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to reach out to like-minded parties who were perturbed by the rise of a unitary system in the country.




T’gana govt permits liquor sales till midnight on New Year’s eve


T’gana govt permits liquor sales till midnight on New Year’s eve

In a government order dated 29 December the prohibition and excise department has granted permission to liquor shops to remain open till midnight on 31 December and permitted bars and event organisers who are license holders to serve liquor till 1 a.m. on the same night.

Even as union health ministry asked states to consider imposition of appropriate restrictions on 30 and 31 December Telangana government has given permission for liquor sales till midnight, beyond the stipulated time of 11 p.m. on New Year’s eve.

In other words there will be no restrictions on celebrations and revelry with bars, event managers and Tourism Development Corporations allowed to sell and serve liquor till late in the evening even as the pandemic rages on.

This comes at a time when neighbouring Karnataka has decided to impose section 144 on New Year’s eve to cut down on revelry due to Covid 19 pandemic. Hence, any public gathering of five or more people have been barred under the prohibitory orders.

The Telangana government’s decision seem to be prompted by revenue concerns, particularly after lock down had badly effected revenue collection as many agencies like the Hyderabad civic body teetering at the edge and failing to clear dues of contractors on time. Liquor sales is one of the popular revenue generating avenue for state governments.

In a government order dated 29 December the prohibition and excise department has granted permission to liquor shops to remain open till midnight on 31 December and permitted bars and event organisers who are license holders to serve liquor till 1 a.m. on the same night.

However, the permissions granted will be subject to observance of Covid -19 protocol. Meanwhile, all flyovers except the one at Begumpet will be closed to traffic to curb rash driving and police will keep a vigil on drunken driving.

In fact Cyberabad commissioner VC Sajjanar drew a parallel between drunk drivers and terrorists who kill anyone who appears in front of them while adding that they are booking drunk drivers under section 304 of IPC which amounts to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The traditional Open House regularly held every year at Raj Bhavan on 1 January as part of New Year celebrations has been cancelled in view of the pandemic and instead governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan will accept the greetings through phonein.

Mission Build Andhra Pradesh case.

Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered the registrar general to file contempt charges against IAS officer Praveen Kumar for filing a false affidavit in Mission Build Andhra Pradesh case.

The state government had filed an affidavit in the court requesting Justice Rakesh Kumar to recuse himself expressing concern that he might be biased and his continuance in the division bench could deprive it of a fair hearing.

The affidavit was filed by Mission of AP Special officer Praveen Prakash who also holds the post of Principal secretary in the chief minister’s office and considered to be the most power bureaucrat in the present government.




After Rajini U-turn, TN parties continue business as usual


After Rajini U-turn, TN parties continue business as usual

AIADMK continued it’s assertion that chief minister Edpppadi K Palaniswami is the CM candidate for the upcoming Assembly polls, but its ally, the BJP today said the NDA coordination committee would take a final call on the CM.

The day after Rajinikanth shocked everyone with his withdrawal from entering active politics, the Tamil Nadu politics did business as usual.

While the difference of opinions between the ruling AIADMK and it’s NDA ally BJP continued, the opposition DMK today moved Madras High Court against AIADMK workers indulging in distribution of Pongal cash incentive and gifts.

AIADMK continued it’s assertion that chief minister Edpppadi K Palaniswami is the CM candidate for the upcoming Assembly polls, but its ally, the BJP today said the NDA coordination committee would take a final call on the CM.

Addressing press conference in the presence of BJP Tamil Nadu president L Murugan after a meeting of organisers of assembly constituencies and in-charges, BJP national secretary and Tamil Nadu in-charge C T Ravi said once the NDA comes to power in the state, the NDA coordination Committee will take final decision about the chief minister.

While asserting that its relationship with its alliance friends were open and cordial, he said the seat sharing will be finalised once the elections were announced. Ravi’s remarks comes at a time when senior leader and AIADMK deputy coordinator K P Munusamy, during the launch of party’s election campaign, had bluntly told BJP that there was no question of sharing power or Cabinet berths i f the AIADMK-led Front wins the polls and retained power for a third time.

On Monday CM EPS also said that the people of Tamil Nadu will not accept a coalition government and so the sharing of power after election is out of debate.

Taking potshots at National parties often blaming the Dravidian parties–AIADMK and the DMK–of ruining the country and the State, Munuswamy in a veiled reference to the BJP, said it has to accept Mr Palaniswami as the CM candidate and should not demand a share in power or else the saffron party should rethink its options.

Meanwhile DMK today moved Madras High Court against the alleged involvement of ruling AIADMK cadres in distributing the Pongal cash and gift announced by the State government.

The petition was filed by DMK MP R S Bharathi. In the petition, Bharathi stated that since the AIADMK cadres are distributing the tokens, many people will not receive it.

Bharathi requested the Court to take the petition for hearing at the earliest. The Court has said that it will consider Bharathi’s request. Chief Minister Edappay K Palaniswami announced Rs 2500 and a gift kit for all ration card holders in the state as Pongal gift from the government this year a few days back.




Bihar: RJD fishes in troubled NDA waters


Bihar: RJD fishes in troubled NDA waters

RJD leader claims multiple JD-U legislators ready to switch sides

Is something cooking between the RJD and the JD-U in Bihar? Although nothing is officially known about this, claims and counterclaims by the two parties have infused sudden interest in Bihar politics.

In a fresh political development, former RJD minister Shayam Rajak today claimed at least 17 JD-U legislators were in touch with the RJD to switch sides any time.

“At least 17 JD-U legislators are desperate to join the RJD at the earliest since they are feeling suffocated in the company of Nitish Kumar who has literally surrendered before the BJP. However, we have told them to wait till their number goes up to 28 since we don’t want to violate anti-defection law,” Rajak told the newsmen today.

He claimed their strength would touch the required number very soon.

Strangely, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was quick to reject such claims although he is not known for making comments over such issues; rather he allows his smaller party leaders to give their comments over them.

“This kind of claim is totally baseless,” the chief minister said today.

JD-U spokesperson Sanjay Singh, on the other hand, claimed 18 RJD legislators were touch with the JD-U and would cross over to the latter after ‘Kharmas’ (end of inauspicious month) on 14 January.

Only yesterday, the RJD suggested the chief minister to quit the NDA and return to the Grand Alliance, citing BJP’s alleged contempt for smaller parties.

However, the RJD’s condition is that Kumar should install Tejashwi Yadav the chief minister of Bihar and the RJD in turn would try to project him as the Prime Ministerial candidate in 2024. The very offer has come from senior RJD leader and former assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary.

Political circles are agog with the news that the chief minister has been known for surprising everyone with his “unexpected decisions” and it won’t be a surprise if he displayed another such move very soon the way he did a couple of days back by relinquishing the post of the JDU’s national president and handing it to his close confidant RCP Singh, a Rajya Sabha member.

Again, in 2013, Kumar had walked away from the NDA after Narendra Modi, then Gujarat chief minister, was projected as the NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate, in 2014, he resigned as the chief minister and handed over his throne to Jitan Ram Manjhi after his party fared badly in LS polls while in 2015, he joined hands with his archrival, RJD president Lalu Prasad. Barely two years later, he broke alliance with the RJD midway and returned to the NDA.

The fresh twist in the state politics has come after the BJP caused a split in the JD-U in Arunachal Pradesh and inducted six of total seven legislators into the party, leaving its Bihar ally furious.

The JD-U has dropped ample indications in the past one week that it is in no mood to forgive its ally over the issue.




Uttarakhand Cong leaders claim some BJP leaders ‘keen’ to join Oppn party


Uttarakhand Cong leaders claim some BJP leaders ‘keen’ to join Oppn party

Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader, Indira Hirdayesh regularly makes this claim and now former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, All India Congress Committee general secretary, is claiming on the same lines.

Many senior Congress leaders of Uttarakhand have started saying that some leaders of the ruling BJP were in touch with them. They even claim that these BJP leaders were keen to join the Congress.

Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader, Indira Hirdayesh regularly makes this claim and now former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, All India Congress Committee general secretary, is claiming on the same lines.

The sudden change in approach of Harish Rawat has surprised many, as earlier Har Da was dead against turncoats joining Congress. In a new development, Harish Rawat makes a fresh statement, “To save democracy it is vital to weaken the BJP. I am willing to felicitate any individual who is expert in peeking.”

The speculation about some BJP leaders staging revolt to join Congress started after state forest minister Harak Singh Rawat was recently axed from a welfare board under the labour department. Annoyed by the removal, Harak announced not contest next election.

Making an attack of turncoats, Har Da had said at that time, “The silence of BJP in the case of turncoat is strange. Now the BJP wants the turncoat to leave their party as these ‘Dal Badlus’ are struggling in their assembly areas and are likely to get defeated. So the BJP wants to get rid of the turncoats.”

Uttarakhand BJP claims that their fortress is strong. Uttarakhand agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal even asserts that Harish Rawat is teasing Indira Hirdayesh by supporting her claim. Terming the Congress speculation a joke, Uttarakhand BJP vice president Dr. Devendra Bhasin said, “Who will sail on a sinking ship (called Congress)?”

To keep him connected to the public, Harish Rawat is extensively using social media. After hosting a citrus eating competition recently, the former Uttarakhand Chief Minister conducted an online traditional attire competition this week. With the state assembly elections approaching, Har Da has increased his activities. Even the speculations about some big BJP leaders joining Congress is likely to clear in the New Year.




Joe Biden names Indian-American Vedant Patel to be Assistant Press Secretary


Joe Biden names Indian-American Vedant Patel to be Assistant Press Secretary

Patel is currently the senior spokesperson of the Biden Inaugural and has been a part of the Biden Campaign as well where he served as Regional Communications Director.

President-elect Joe Biden on Friday named Indian-American Vedant Patel to be the Assistant Press Secretary as he announced the additional members of the White House Communications and Press Staff.

Mr Patel is currently the senior spokesperson of the Biden Inaugural and has been a part of the Biden Campaign as well where he served as Regional Communications Director.

During President-elect Biden’s primary campaign, Mr Patel served as the Nevada and Western Primary-States Communications Director.

Previously, he worked as Communications Director to Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Western Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic National Committee, and Communications Director to Congressman Mike Honda.

Born in India and raised in California, Mr Patel is a graduate of the University of California-Riverside and the University of Florida.

Mr Patel is one of the 16 appointments announced by Biden to his White House communications and press staff. Prominent among them are Megan Apper, Director of Research; Kate Berner, Deputy Communications Director; Rosemary Boeglin, Assistant Press Secretary; Amanda Finney, Chief of Staff for the Press Office and Special Assistant to the Press Secretary; Mike Gwin, Director of Rapid Response and Meghan Hays, Director of Message Planning.

Biden also named Paige Hill as Senior Regional Communications Director; Michael Kikukawa as Press Assistant; Jennifer Molina as Senior Director of Coalitions Media; Kevin Munoz as Assistant Press Secretary; Angela Dela Cruz Perez as Press Assistant; Emma Riley as Chief of Staff for the Office of Communications; Mariel Saez, Director of Broadcast Media; Amijah Townsend-Holmes, Press Assistant and Remi Yamamoto, Senior Advisor for Communications to the Chief of Staff.

These diverse, experienced and talented individuals demonstrate President-elect Biden’s continued commitment to building an administration that looks like America and is ready to deliver results for working families on day one, the transition said.

“Restoring faith in government by speaking honestly and directly to the American people will be a hallmark of my administration. Our communications and press staff are integral to this effort and are committed to building this country back better for all Americans. I’m proud to have them serve the American people in the White House,” said Biden.

“These appointees are among a diverse and experienced team that is dedicated to rebuilding the trust of the American people amidst a pandemic and a struggling economy,” said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

“In times of crisis, clear communication can save lives and keep families safe. These staff members recognise the important role they play in communicating fact-based information to the public on behalf of the president and vice president-elect. They are respected and creative communicators ready to tackle the urgent challenges facing our nation,” he said.




Previous123456789...120121Next
Top