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Mamata so engrossed with chit funds,she can’t think beyond lotteries: Piyush Goyal slams BHIM criticism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hiting back at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for criticising the new BHIM app launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi , Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said she should think beyond her ‘own narrow interests.’Banerjee described the new Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) as a lottery app, named after BR Ambedkar by the Centre. Goyal urged the West Bengal Chief Minister to understand that this is for the benefit of the poor and the deprived section of the society. “I urge her to go beyond her own narrow interests and consider it at the national interest for a change,” he added.The Minister said the app has nothing to do with the Lucky Grahak or DigiDhan Vyapar Yojanas and explained that BHIM app, which was launched by Prime Minister Narenda Modi yesterday, is for digital payments.Banerjee had said that the app is a reflection of crude mentality of the Centre and it insults the backward classes. “This app has nothing to do with the Lucky Grahak or DigiDhan Vyapar Yojanas. Mamataji is so engrossed and involved with lotteries and chit funds that she cannot see beyond lotteries,” Goyal told PTI.The Minister was of the view that the app will strengthen the digital payments infrastructure in the country. The UPI & USSD modes of payment for transacting business, and for paying for goods and services, will be made simpler, more robust and secure through this app, he said. “We are delighted that Bharat Ratna Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s name has been associated with this app,” he added. Elaborating further, Goyal said: I do hope that Mamataji will get out of her phobia of attacking everything that Prime Minister does for sensationalising things”.

Demoneization: Why are there restrictions on cash withdrawal? Mamata to Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning the restrictions imposed on cash withdrawal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the government cannot simply “snatch away” economic rights of the people.”Modi Babu, public are not beggars. Why are there still restrictions on cash withdrawal?,” Banerjee asked in a statement. “Fifty days are now over. How can you take away the rights of citizens to withdraw their own hard-earned money? A government just cannot snatch away people’s economic rights,” she said. The Reserve Bank of India said last night that cash withdrawal limit from ATMs would be increased to Rs 4,500 per day from the current Rs 2,500 from January 1.There has been no change in the weekly withdrawal limit, which stands at Rs 24,000, including from ATM, for individuals and Rs 50,000 for small traders.

Demonetization: Tejaswi Yadav backs Mamata’s ‘super emergency’ assertion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav on Wednesday backed Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s assertion that the present situation in the country after the Centre’s demonetization drive is a ‘super emergency.’Yadav said, “The situation in the entire nation is very bad post this demonetization drive. There is no solution to the problems being faced by the people as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.””The situation is worse in downtrodden areas which are not well connected with the cities, do not have the facilities of ATMs and other modern techniques. Several people have lost their lives due to demonetization. However, the Prime Minister has said nothing over this. So, I think the statements made by Mamata Banerjee that is a super emergency is absolutely correct,” he added.The TMC chief on Tuesday led the attack on the Centre over their demonetization move alleging that the government had completely destroyed the federal structure.”It is not emergency; it’s super emergency. Just that it has not been officially declared,” said Banerjee addressing the media after an anti-demonetization meeting which was attended by all the opposition parties except the Left, Janata Dal (United) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).”Demonetization is a mega scam, biggest one after independence. The government is looting money of the poor and giving it to rich in the form of loans,” she added.The West Bengal Chief Minister further questioned Prime Minister Modi whether he would resign if things don’t get back to normal even after 50 days.”Even if after 50 days, things will not change. Will the Prime Minister resign,” she said.The TMC chief also accused the Modi government of pushing the country 20 years back.”In push for cashless economy, Modi government has become baseless. It’s a total loss of face for them,” she said while describing the situation prevailing in the country as ‘super emergency’.The West Bengal Chief Minister also insisted that all the opposition parties will make a common minimum agenda program.”Modi ji said we will have ‘acche din’. Is this what he meant by acche din? People are troubled. The country has been robbed in the name of acche din. In the name of cashless, Modi Government has gone baseless. It has become totally faceless,” she said.”This is a fearless government. They do not care about anything.”Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also escalated his attack on Prime Minister Modi, saying the goal of his ambitious demonetization drive has completely failed as people are continuing to suffer.”Demonetisation has done absolutely nothing against corruption. What it has done instead is to leave people without any money,” said Gandhi.”December 30th is about to come and the situation is still the same. The motive of demonetization has failed completely. The Prime Minister should answer the nation as to what was the real motive of demonetization and what will he do for those affected by it,” he added.The Congress vice-president further said that demonetization was an attack on the country’s poor and had only increased unemployment.Claiming that a new black market was created to exchange the demonetized notes, Gandhi said that demonetization was a direct attack on the country’s financial institutions and the poor.”A new market for conversion of money has been set up which has resulted in an attack on financial institutions and poor,” he said.

BJP accuses Rama Mohana Rao of ‘doing politics’ by thanking Rahul and Mamata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP on Tuesday lashed out at former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao over his critical remarks on Income Tax raids at his home and office and charged him with “doing politics” by thanking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.Party’s state unit President Tamilisai Sounderrajan said no one is above the law and sought to know why Rao would talk about the state’s security when an elected Chief Minister was there to take care of it. “By thanking Mamata Banerjee and Rahul Gandhi, his intentions are clear. It is clear that he is brazenly doing politics,” she said in a statement. She asked if he was “challenging” the Chief Minister and Governor by his remarks.”Who is he to say that there is no security for the people of Tamil Nadu? Why is he bothered when there is an elected Chief Minister? (to take care of that),” she said. Further, the Income Tax department can carry out checks anywhere in connection with a probe, she said responding to Rao’s contention that the tax men’s search warrant did not have his name.Tamilisai also slammed Rao for claiming that he continued to be state Chief Secretary and termed it as “arrogant.” “Overall his remarks amount to impeding the peaceful situation in Tamil Nadu. The fact is he has become a wrong precedent by a wrong action (of talking to the media). It is amazing that an official does not have the patience to wait for law to take its own course,” she added.

Mamata writes to Centre on deploying CRPF, calls action unconstitutional

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shot off a letter on Friday to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, following the deployment of central forces to assist Income-Tax (I-T) officials during their raids in the city.In the letter, Mamata said that the state was kept in the dark about the deployment of 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. “The state government objects strongly to this decision, which is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal and against all principles of cooperative federalism,” the letter read.It said that the deployment of any central police force to any state could only be done at the request of the state government. “The decision must be immediately revoked,” she demanded. Mamata assured that the state would provide all necessary help, if requested by any central government agency.The letter by Mamata had been forwarded to all chief ministers as well.The West Bengal Chief Minister’s letter comes after a letter dated December 20, where the Department of Revenue and the Ministry of Finance requested the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide 15 armed personnel to I-T officials for assistance in their seizure operations in Kolkata.Sources at the I-T department said that during search operations at several places in the city, they had been outnumbered even while being accompanied by state police personnel. Thus they had requested for central forces, which would be used only if there was any lack of cooperation from the part of the state police.”It is, by no means, a step to demean or insult the efforts of the state police. They have been kept as an additional means of precaution. Besides it is not unprecedented. Central forces have been used during recent operations in Tamil Nadu as well,” an investigating official said.Earlier this month, Mamata had protested against the deployment of army personnel at toll plazas calling it a “political vendetta.”

Fight against demonetization to continue despite govt’s tactics of browbeating my party: Mamata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said her fight against demonetization would continue despite the “Centre’s tactics of browbeating my party.”Stating that TMC parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay has received three calls from CBI, she said “Nothing will deter us from the fight against demonetization”.When contacted Bandopadhyay said that he has received three calls from CBI.”I called them (CBI) back. They said you have to come to our office”, he said.Bandopadhyay is also the chairman of Railway Standing Committee.Banerjee had yesterday attacked Modi government saying it did not understand the hardship faced by people who had turned ‘fakirs’ after demonetization.”Realising the people’s difficulties, Venezuala withdrew the decision on demonetization, but the Modi government doesn’t listen to anyone”, she had said.

Mamata Banerjee questions I-T exemption on deposits in old notes by political parties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday questioned the government’s decision to give income tax exemption on deposits by political parties in old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, saying the timing of the announcement shows that there may be “an ulterior motive”.Her statement came a day after Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia stated that political parties depositing old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in their accounts will be exempt from income tax provided the donations taken are below Rs 20,000 per individual and properly documented. “They need to clarify that #DeMonetisation means it is #DeMonetisation for all. Same rules for everyone. If 500/1000 are illegal tender, then how are they trying to show that there is a division btwn common people & political parties?” Banerjee said in a series of tweets.”Even the timing of these statements show that there may be an ulterior motive. Is there a motive? Are they trying to give a hidden message to cadre of one political party? Why these confusing and misleading statements now? They must clarify,” she said. “It is most unfortunate how there are confusing and misleading statements coming from senior govt officials,” said the Trinamool Congress chief, who has been vociferous in her opposition to the Centre’s demonetisation move.In a press conference yesterday, Adhia had said the government is not tinkering with the tax exemption available to political parties and they are free to deposit old 500 and 1000 rupee notes in their bank accounts. But these deposits will, however, be subject to the condition that individual donations taken in cash do not exceed Rs 20,000 and are properly documented with full identity of the donor.”If it is a deposit in the account of a political party, they are exempt. But if it is deposited in individual’s account then that information will come into our radar. If the individual is putting money in his own account, then we will get information,” he had said.

Mamata Banerjee meets RBI Governor Urjit Patel, expresses concern over note ban

Kolkata: Amid protests by Trinamool Congress against demonetisation, RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Thursday met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during which she expressed concern over hardship faced by people and “political discrimination among states”.

“The meeting was good,” Patel told reporters at the state secretariat after meeting Banerjee.

Earlier, Patel attended a meeting of RBI central board at the apex bank’s office here where TMC and CPM staged demonstrations.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo. PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo. PTI

When asked about the meeting, Banerjee told reporters, “I am satisfied with the meeting (with Patel)”. “I availed the opportunity to express views of the common people of the country who are facing immense hardships (due to demonetisation)… The prime minister, Parliament, nothing is available. No one is responding. He (Patel) is a direct man,” she said.

“RBI is a big institution. We respect it. It should not be politically misused,” Banerjee said.

The TMC chief also handed over a letter to Patel in which she said, “As the governor of RBI, an autonomous institution with a great history, which issues currencies to the nation, we expect you to stand up against this demonetisation onslaught against the common people of the nation at this moment of crisis, rather than falling silent and remaining opaque”.

“We would also like to know from you the nature of allocation of new currency to each of the states in a spirit of transparency and accountability, since there are serious concerns of political discrimination among states,” the letter said.

The whole country, she said, is going through “unprecedented misery and suffering” due to the “cruel
misadventure” of demonetisation which has not been seen in any modern democracy.

“You are perhaps aware that already five crore workers across the country and across the sectors are facing
unemployment and hunger. Unorganised sector of the country which provides 2/3rd jobs in the country has literally collapsed,” Banerjee said in the letter.

“The small and medium enterprises are shutting down shops in lakhs. The massive trading sector of the economy has been brought down to its knees due to cash crunch, unable to conduct its business.”

The farmers of our nation are going through a trauma never seen before and that too not due to natural calamity but due to a man-made disaster of massive demonetisation. Even the middle and large industries have dropped their production by at least 50 per cent,” she added.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 19:45 IST

International Tea Day: Mamata urges Centre to help tea workers hit by demonetisation

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday yet again urged the Centre and RBI to “extend a helping hand to tea garden workers”, who she alleged were “dying” in the aftermath of demonetisation.

Her comments came on a day when RBI Governor Urjit Patel was in the city to attend the apex bank’s central board meet.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo. PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo. PTI

On the occasion of the International Tea Day, Banerjee said in her tweet that the tea garden workers were hungry and dying due to demonetisation.

“RBI must immediately restore payments by our government through DMs (district magistrates),” Banerjee said.

She said as many as 97 people died following the 8 November decision.

The Trinamool Congress supremo had on Wednesday demanded that the RBI restore and continue payments by the state government till March 2017.

TMC legislators and senior state ministers organised a sit-in in front of the Reserve Bank of India office in Kolkata on Wednesday to protest against the insufficient supply of new currency notes in the state.

Banerjee also accused the central government of discriminating between states with regard to disbursement of cash from the RBI.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 15:23 IST

Demonetization: How many more lives will be lost? Mamata to PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi about how many more lives would be lost in the country in the wake of the demonetization move.”How many more lives will be lost for Modi babu?” Banerjee said on a social media website while retweeting a post by Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’ Brien.Earlier, TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien had tweeted a list of 95 people who he said had died while standing either in queues at banks or ATMs or allegedly committed suicide due to cash crunch after demonetization.

Mamata politicising everything in wake of demonetization: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Saturday that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to politicise everything in the wake of demonetization after indulging in a war of words with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. BJP leader S Prakash snubbed Banerjee, saying that she is behaving like ruler of some union and not of a state of some democratic country. “She is seriously under the impression that she is heading a union of West Bengal, which is part and parcel of India and abides by its Constitution. The army serves every state impartially. She is just trying to politicise everything in the wake of demonetization,” Prakash told ANI.The political row over the recent army drill at toll plazas in West Bengal flared up again on Friday as Parrikar wrote a letter to Banerjee, saying her allegations can “adversely” impact the morale of the armed forces. Banerjee hit back over his “wild assertion”. She maintained that the Ministry of Defence had not taken prior permission of the state government for the large deployment of army personnel in civilian areas.On December 1, as part of exercises across Bengal and several northeast states, the army had deployed unarmed soldiers at check points and toll plazas to note the movement of vehicles which could be diverted in case of a major disaster, military operation or war.Seeing soldiers at a toll plaza just 500 metres away from her new secretariat in Kolkata, left Mamata infuriated and she refused to leave her office until the army moved its troops out. She left her office 30 hours later.The West Bengal government said the army was denied permission to hold the exercises. The army, however, produced correspondence with the state’s police and civil administration, and also asserted that the exercises are held annually.

Mamata’s allegations against purchase of land baseless, nothing to do with demonetisation: BJP

Kolkata: Refuting allegations by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the purchase of huge tracts of land by BJP ahead of demonetisation, Siddharth Nath Singh on Thursday said it was a decision taken by BJP two years ago to buy land for building party offices in each district of the country.

The BJP national secretary also urged Banerjee to stop “harbouring perceptions” about the hardships caused due to demonetisation.

“She should stop hallucinating that hardships are being caused by demonetisation. When the entire country had supported demonetisation, she is opposing it for her vested interests. She should stop blabbering lies, false statements and canards,” he said.

File photo of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File photo of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Terming the allegations raised by Banerjee that the BJP had brought huge land assets months before demonetisation move as “baseless”, Singh said the chief minister should first look into the assets of her own party colleagues, who have “amassed fortunes by siphoning off money in chit fund scams”.

“The allegations are completely baseless. We have proper papers for everything. Secondly, the decision to buy land was taken by our party leadership two years back. We had then decided that we needed to have party offices in every district of the country. So in order to build a party office, you need to have land,” Singh reasoned.

Reacting to Banerjee’s claim that a financial emergency had been imposed and that the country was being run in an “arbitrary way”, the BJP leader asked, “She is questioning prime minister, but what is her credibility?”

Banerjee had demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge into the assets bought by BJP months before demonetisation was announced. She had said there were “reports and proof” of how the BJP purchased the huge tracts of land and deposited large amounts of money in accounts held by it before ban on old high-value bills was announced on 8 November .

The TMC supremo had also staged a sit-in in Delhi on 23 November  and met President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue.

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 17:43 IST

Demonetization: Mamata Banerjee slams ‘dictator’ PM Modi for man-made financial emergency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday alleged that demonetization is a manmade disaster of financial emergency caused by a dictator and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must clarify the situation and take responsibility for the chaos created in the last one month.Continuing her outburst against the ruling dispensation, Mamata alleged that the rule of the BJP-led NDA regime is the darkest period in Indian democracy. “What is the hidden agenda and who is the beneficiary? Beneficiaries are only the Prime Minister and his people. Parliament is liable to the people. That was not taken into account,” she said.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo also used the occasion to launch a frontal attack on Prime Minister Modi and said that he didn’t care about the people but instead looted everybody’s money. “Many Prime Ministers assumed office, but nobody did this what Narendra Modi has done. It is public money, but the Prime Minister is acting as if all of this is his own. Where is the black money? This is public money that you have taken, the tax payers’ money,” she added while lambasting him for not consulting anybody before taking the decision.The TMC also questioned RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s silence on the matter. “Under the leadership of the current Prime Minister, the government is derailed completely. The RBI Governor is silent on the entire matter. Nobody is giving details on the currency notes. He (Prime Minister Modi) thinks as if he is a tiger, and the only one who is right. Everything is done in huge secrecy as if he is some Ali Baba. He should realise he is occupying a constitutional post,” said Mamata.”The RBI Governor is also with Modi ji, he should be playing his own role. People don’t know what will happen tomorrow. The Prime Minister just doesn’t respond… no reply. He only gives speeches, not answers. Prime Minister Modi must take responsibility for the chaos created in the entire one month,” she added.The West Bengal Chief Minister earlier vented her ire on Facebook, saying no black money has been recovered so far but the white money of the common people has been snatched away. “One month of harassment, pain, hopelessness, financial insecurity and utter chaos. That is all that the common people has got after the black decision on demonetization announced a month back on 8th Nov, 2016. No black money has been recovered. Only white money of the common people has been snatched away,” Mamata wrote.”Even no black money has been recovered from foreign countries. In the name of recovery of so called black money, the ruling party at the Centre has created assets in the form of land, bank deposits, gold, diamond and have become more and more capitalists. All the common people are helpless,” she added.Mamata further wrote that immediate action is necessary to restore the trust and confidence of the people on the banking and financial sector of the country. “People must have hassle-free access to their own money and feel secure that their money is safe with banks and financial institutions,” Mamata shared.”We have raised the issue repeatedly in Parliament and in different other platforms. Leading economists have criticized this mindless demonetization. But there is no response yet. PM must clarify the situation to the nation and take entire responsibility,” she added.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi has praised the nation for supporting the demonetization decision which he termed as ongoing yagna against corruption, terrorism and black money. In a series of tweets, he said that the government’s decision has several gains for farmers, traders, labourers, who are the economic backbone of the nation.Prime Minister Modi further said that though the government’s measure will bring a degree of inconvenience, this short-term pain will, however, pave the way for long-term gain.Meanwhile, both houses of the Parliament were adjourned for the day as an united opposition cornered the government over the demonetization move.

IndiGo takes off duty 2 pilots of Mamata Banerjee’s flight

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Budget carrier IndiGo has taken off duty the two pilots of its Kolkata flight, carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, over which a row had erupted following Trinamool Congress’ allegations that the aircraft was not accorded priority in landing despite fuel shortage.Pilots operating flight 6E 342 have been kept off flying duties till investigations and discussions with DGCA are complete, an IndiGo spokesperson said. The two pilots would not be rostered as long as the investigation by the aviation regulator DGCA is completed, the airline said.Following the uproar by the TMC members in Parliament, the government had said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had launched its probe into the issue.The inquiry was conducted by the regulator, supported by IndiGo safety department, the airline said, adding that as an airline it always complies with the DGCA guidelines.IndiGo captain had followed all SOPs as laid by the regulator and at no stage the captain declared a fuel priority or an emergency, it said. “There has been no violation or breach of any regulatory requirement in the above mentioned matter. We are taking up the matter in greater detail with the DGCA,” the spokesperson added.

Demonetization has hit those involved in chit fund scams: Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday claimed that those involved in chit fund scams were now in trouble due to the Centre’s demonetization decision.”Many people were thinking what will happen to BJP’s plan to hold (Vijay Sankalp) rallies (in Goa) after demonetisation.But we don’t gather people for rallies by paying money,” Parrikar said at Siolim here.Ruling BJP is holding ‘Vijay Sankalp’ rallies in Goa ahead of next year’s Assembly polls.”Mayawati, Mamata, Mulayam might have been in grief but not BJP. Those who have looted crores of rupees through chit funds are feeling the heat of demonetisation,” Parrikar said, hitting out at former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.”One Chief Minister was so much hurt by the demonetisation that she started accusing Army of taking over the state,” he said, without naming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.Some members of Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress have faced cases in a chit fund scam case.”My sleep was disturbed (following her allegations). I enquired with Army, they told me that they have communicated with them (West Bengal government). They only recommended where they (Army) should be stationed. Only after that I slept in peace,” Parrikar said.

Mamata not against demonetization, but its way of implementation: Ramdev

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is not against demonetization per se, but the way it is being implemented, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev said on Saturday. “I praise Mamata Banerjee because she is very simple and stays in a cottage and wears hawai chappals. I think she is not opposed to the demonetization move per se. But I feel she is not happy the way it was implemented,” he said at the Infocom seminar here. Banerjee has been most vocal among opposition parties against demonetization and held protest meetings in Delhi, Patna and Luckhow.The Yoga guru-cum-entrepreneur said, “I had planted the seeds of demonetization. I continued the movement from 2009 to 2014 and asked the government to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as it was the root cause of corruption, black money, terror and militant funding”. Now with demonetization, black money generation, corruption and terror funding had stopped totally, he claimed.”The common people is getting inconvenienced due to cash crisis. But none is complaining against this,” he said.Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the move, Ramdev sarcastically said former PM Manmohan Singh, who had never spoken a word on any issue, had actually spoken now on the issue.”This is the effect of demonetization you see,” he quipped.

Army carrying out annual data collection exercise in Bengal, says Maj Gen Sunil Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Army formations in Bengal, GOC (Headquarters), Bengal Area, Major General Sunil YadavNot withstanding Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that army was deployed at two toll plazas on National Highway 2 in West Bengal without informing the state government which is unprecedented and a serious matter, General Officer Commanding (GOC), (Headquarters), Bengal Area, Major General Sunil Yadav said army formations in Eastern Command at local levels are carrying out routine annual data collection exercises on availability of load carriers at all major entry points in various states in coordination with local police authorities.”This is an exercise carried out for our operational purposes, which will terminate to its logical end tonight. They are only collecting data of heavy vehicles, which is an annual exercise being carried out every year. Similar exercises are also being carried out in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from September 26 to October 1 this year”, said Maj. Gen. Yadav.Terming the allegations of money collection from commuters at the toll counters at at Dankuni toll plaza in Hooghly district and Pallsit toll plaza in Burdwan district ‘baseless’, the GoC said, “You must be aware that we have specific targets, specific information and data to be collected. On the completion of data collection at Nabanno, the Bengal State Secretariat, the team was withdrawn last night around 12 o’clock. We were there for almost for 36 hours.””Since it is a major point, we achieved our data and we withdrew. In the entire northeast, 80 search points have been established, and as I said the exercise continuing most of the places including the toll plazas here and Nabanno”, he added.Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegation that the state’s rights are being impinged upon by the Centre was a clear sign of her political frustration, and added that it is saddening to see her and other opposition parties questioning the credibility of the Indian Army while it was performing a routine annual military exercise.Addressing the lower house of the Parliament, Parrkiar asserted that the deployment of army is a routine exercise being carried out since many years. “It is army’s routine exercise being carried out since many years. It also took place on 19th and 21st November last year too. Saddening that a routine exercise has been made a controversy now”, he said. “Concerned officials were intimated by Army this year too. Original dates were 28, 29 and 30 December but were changed to 1st and 2nd December later”, he added.Echoing similar sentiments Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told the Rajya Sabha that West Bengal government was informed about the drill, while urging the Upper House to not drag the Indian Army in to an unwarranted controversy. “It is a sensitive matter as it pertains to the Army, let us not derail from important issues. Bengal was taken into confidence, it happened last year as well and last to last year. Let’s not drag Army into controversy”, said Naidu.Hysteria gripped West Bengal yesterday night after chief minister Mamata Banerjee decided not to go home and instead stayed put at the state secretariat Nabanna to protest against the ‘sudden deployment’ of the army in the area. Banerjee camped overnight at her office in the secretariat in Kolkata, objecting to the presence of Army jawans at toll booths, one just 500 metres from where she was.”Is this a military coup?” the Banerjee asked, alleging that the state government had been had not been informed about what the Army said was a routine exercise that it was conducting across eastern states.

Plane ferrying Mamata made ’emergency’ landing due to ATC’s ‘misinterpretation’: IndiGo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of the ongoing controversy over the emergency landing made by the commercial plane on Wednesday with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee onboard, IndiGo on Thursday clarified that the flight captain at no stage declared a fuel priority or emergency, adding that the fuel on arrival was more than minimum.The airline in a statement said IndiGo flight from Patna to Kolkata had normal landing at the Kolkata Airport and the flight was kept on hold due to air traffic.”IndiGo flight 6E 342 from Patna and Kolkata made a normal landing at the Kolkata airport on Wednesday, November 30. The flight was kept on hold for landing due to air traffic congestion in Kolkata. The pilot operating 6E-342 had advised the ATC that he has eight minutes of extra holding fuel over Kolkata (destination) before commencing diversion to the planned alternate,” the statement said.The airline said the emergency landing was declared due to ‘misinterpretation by the ATC’.”However, this information was misunderstood by the Air Traffic Controller, who assumed that the aircraft had only eight minutes of total fuel left. The misinterpretation of the information by ATC controller led ATC to instruct fire engines and ambulances to be stationed at Kolkata airport. We would like to clarify, IndiGo Captain at no stage declared a fuel priority or an emergency,” it added.”Subsequently, the airplane made a normal landing at Kolkata Airport at 8 40 p.m. after being delayed by an hour due to congestion. The fuel on arrival was more than the minimum diversion fuel and there has been no violation or breach of any regulatory requirement in the above mentioned scenario,” the statement said.IndiGo said the safety of passengers, crew and the aircraft is the utmost priority and at no stage it can be compromised.The IndiGo flight from Patna to Kolkata, which was reported short of fuel, was made to circle the airport for nearly 30 minutes as it waited in line for clearance to land.When it touched down, the plane was surrounded by fire engines and ambulances, standard protocol for emergencies.

Mamata’s photo should be kept in every household: TMC MP Idris Ali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A TMC MP on Wednesday compared party chief Mamata Banerjee to national icons like Rabindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi and said the West Bengal Chief Minister’s photograph should be kept in every household in the country.TMC MP from West Bengal’s Basirhat, Idris Ali, today came to Parliament sporting an orange kurta, specially created and designed in College Street in Kolkata, with the face of Banerjee drawn on it. Ali told PTI the photograph of the West Bengal Chief Minister is kept in almost all the households of the state nowadays.”Just like people keep the photograph of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, I think, her (Banerjee’s) picture should also be hung in every household across the country,” he said. He said she is a very popular leader who has lead from the front to oppose the government’s demonetisation decision from the very first day. He said Banerjee leads a very simple life and she has also taken up the cause of the poor. Many leaders from various parties also greeted him after they saw the kurta in Parliament, he added.

Demonetisation: Mamata Banerjee to protest in Lucknow today, Patna next

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) on Tuesday said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s protest in Lucknow will be a big one and would be followed by another in Patna.”Last night, Mamata Banerjee reached Lucknow. Today is the protest rally. The protest which took place in Kolkata was huge. Around eight- ten lakh people were there. After Lucknow, it will take place in Patna and in the whole country,” TMC national spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said.While leading a protest march against demonetization in Kolkata, Mamata said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has acted like god in implementing the demonetization decision without caring about the common people.She also threatened to demonstrate outside Prime Minister Modi’s residence in the national capital against the demonetization move.”The people are distressed. I believe such a step has not been taken anywhere worldwide. Suddenly Modiji felt, he acts like God. He has done whatever he wants, without knowing the consequence. Ask him why there’s scarcity of notes in banks. If there was ample notes in banks then nothing would have bothered us. Without any proper strategy he took the step,” she said. “I am taking pledge that either I’ll die or live, but will remove PM Modi from Indian politics,” she said on Monday.Continuing her tirade against Prime Minister Modi, Banerjee said she would fight till the end against the anti-people decision.

Mamata Banerjee threatens to demonstrate against demonetization outside PM Modi’s residence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday threatened to demonstrate outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence against demonetization, vowing to dislodge him from the seat of power if the scrapping of high value currency notes is not withdrawn. “The entire country is suffering. There is no money in banks, ATMS. So far 80 people have died due to the hardships caused by demonetization. But Narendra Modi is having a sound sleep and giving lectures on taking the country towards cashless economy,” she told a rally here. “Most of the people in rural areas do not have bank accounts. How will they cope up with this situation?” Banerjee said after her protest march from College Square to Esplanade. Continuing her tirade against Modi, Banerjee said she would fight till the end against the “anti-people” decision which has imposed an “undeclared financial emergency” in the country. “I will not stop until and unless this decision is rolled back. I had also given solutions on how to cope with this situation. But they (Centre) did not accept it.”Whoever opposes him, he will send CBI, ED, Income Tax after them to muzzle their voices. But he can’t muzzle my voice. I will again go to Delhi and raise my voice, take out protest march and if needed I will demonstrate in front of Modi’s house…I will not stop until and unless he is out of power,” Banerjee said.The TMC supremo along with Trinamool Congress leaders and activists led a massive rally in the heart of Kolkata. She lauded intellectuals for playing a vital role in protesting against the “anti-people” decision. Banerjee herself raised slogans like “Modi sarkar hai hai” and “Tanashahi nahi chalegi”.

PM Modi ‘spreading lies’ on demonetization: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “spreading lies” on the demonetization issue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday claimed that Rs 1.28 lakh crore have been lost forever due to the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.”Shocking that Rs 1.28 lakh crore have been lost forever due to note-ban only in ‘transactions’ in the country, says CMIE, top research body. World-famous Moody’s says ‘note ban will badly disrupt economic activity’,” Banerjee said in a statement here.”Common people are suffering miserably while Modi Ji is relaxing and spreading lies,” she said.Claiming that the Opposition has united in the movement against demonetization, Banerjee on Thursday said any movement was bound to succeed if people were involved in a massive way.

Demonetisation: Mamata Banerjee backed by JD(U), SP, NCP, AAP in protest at Jantar Mantar

New Delhi: In a show of strength, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, backed by JD(U), SP, NCP and AAP, on Wednesday held a demonstration against demonetisation in New Delhi and ramped up attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging the country was not safe in his hands.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar, Banerjee alleged that abolition of high-value currency notes had heaped pain on people and snatched away democratic rights of almost every section of the society including farmers, youth, women, labourers and traders, besides halting the country’s economic growth.

Accusing the BJP-led dispensation of “looting” the common man, she wondered why those having Swiss bank accounts were “not touched at all”, and warned that people will teach a “good lesson” to the ruling party in the upcoming assembly polls for implementing a “black law”.

“I can challenge that no one will vote for BJP. If I were you (PM), I would have apologised to the public. Why you are so egoistic? You have branded everyone in the country a black marketeer and have yourself turned into a saint ,” Banerjee said.

In his address, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav questioned the legality of the demonetisation exercise and challenged the Prime Minister to explain to the Parliament how the decision will benefit the country.

“Under which law have you enforced this measure? You are stopping a person from withdrawing his hard-earned money which is his fundamental right. Demonetisation has destroyed the business of small traders. Come to Parliament and explain the logic as to how it will curb black money,” Yadav said.

The presence of Yadav at the protest assumes significance as his party had supported demonetisation.

The street protest was also addressed by SP’s Dharmendra Yadav, AAP’s Raghav Chadha and NCP’s Majid Memon.

The Bengal Chief Minister also lashed out at a group of people who were shouting pro-Modi slogans, alleging that they were sent to disrupt her public meeting and wondered what the police and administration were doing.

Referring to Tuesday’s bypoll results, the TMC chief said BJP’s victory margins have come down significantly in Madhya Pradesh and that Modi has left the country in the lurch (Modiji ne desh ka barah baja diya).”

Banerjee said she will continue her fight till woes of the people are not addressed, adding she will also support a country-wide protest called by the Opposition parties on 28 November against demonetisation.

Last week, Banerjee had addressed a rally against demonetisation along with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

First Published On : Nov 23, 2016 17:02 IST

Opposition parties agree on joint protests

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the Opposition on Monday dug its heels at a joint meeting on Monday, the month-long Winter Session of Parliament appears to be heading for a washout on the issue of demonetization. As the Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister who is leading Opposition protests on the issue of demonetization, is returning to the National Capital on Tuesday, the Opposition plans a series of measures which included a sit-in outside Parliament House on Wednesday and another march to the doorsteps of President Pranab Mukherjee. At the meeting, the Congress suggested a one-day nationwide bandh to put the government on the backfoot. Other parties said they will discuss it with their leaders before committing themselves. Keeping in view the sensitivities of the Left parties, which don’t want to be seen rubbing shoulders with their arch rival Mamata Banerjee, it was also decided that the march will not be led by anyone. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan continued the question hour in the Lok Sabha despite pandemonium, adjourning the House at noon and then for the day at 2 pm, even while the Rajya Sabha went through a series of adjournments until deputy chairman P J Kurien called it the day at 3 pm.

Returning land to Singur farmers almost complete: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said as much as 846 acres of the 997.11 acres of land acquired by Tata Motors for a small car project at Singur in Hooghly district had been returned to the farmers after dismantling the factory shed on it.”Of the remaining land, there is a dispute regarding about 71 acres. Either there is no existence of it or some fake people had taken money against it. If the genuine claimants come forward to take it back, the administration will take steps accordingly,” she said after visiting the site. “Nobody had claimed for the return of the land till the last day on which such claims were to be made, which was today,” the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said.The Supreme Court had, on August 31, ordered that the land acquired by Tata Motors in Singur be returned to the farmers within 12 weeks. The chief minister’s visit to Singur today was to thank the Hooghly district administration for completing the task within the stipulated time “against all odds”.She also assured the government officials and others involved in executing the order during festival time that they would be “adequately compensated by way of holidays and other benefits”.On October 20, Banerjee had formally started the process of returning land by handing over the physical possession of 90 acres to 2,216 farmers. On that day, she had also symbolically commenced farming on the land by sprinkling mustard seeds on it.

Ban on news channel shows emergency-like situation: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday criticized the central government for putting a one day ban on a Hindi news channel and said it showed that an “emergency-like situation” prevailed in the country.”NDTV ban is shocking. If Government had issues with Pathankot coverage, there are provisions available. But ban shows an Emergency-like attitude,” Banerjee said in a statement.An interministerial panel yesterday concluded that the channel ‘NDTV India’ had revealed crucial and “strategically sensitive” information when the terror attack on IAF base was being carried out.The Information and Broadcasting ministry while invoking the powers under the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act said it “orders to prohibit the transmission or re-transmission of NDTV India channel for one day on any platform throughout India with effect from 00:01 hrs on 9th November,2016 till 00:01 hrs of 10th November, 2016”.This is the first ever such order against a TV channel over its coverage of a terror attack, the norms regarding which were notified last year.In its reply, the channel said that it was a case of “subjective interpretation” and that most of the information they had put out was already in public domain in print, electronic and social media.

Mamata refutes ‘communal clashes’ allegation during festival season

Wed, 2 Nov 2016-06:15pm , Jhargram (WB) , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that a particular political party was trying to depict the clashes during Durga Puja and Muharram as “communal clashes” and insisted that they were the result of “personal rivalries”.She emphasised that the festive season in Bengal had passed off “very peacefully”. “There were one or two small incidents of clashes, but they were not communal in nature. They were triggered by personal enmities. Only a political party tried to paint them as communal clashes. This is false,” she said addressing a programme.”Bengal has been a pilgrimage of communal harmony and it will remain so,” she added. The BJP and the RSS have accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal of “provoking and supporting communal riots” in order to “appease a particular community”. “India will remain forever united. Rabindranath Tagore, who wrote the national anthem of the country, has clearly depicted how the country stood united from Punjab to Bengal,” the chief minister said.

TMC MP Abhishek Bannerjee in stable condition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Trinamool Congress MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee”s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who underwent a surgery for “orbital floor fracture” caused in a car accident, is in a stable condition now. As per a medical bulletin released by the hospital this morning, the TMC youth wing President ”slept well throughout the night but complained of persistent pain which is considered quite normal in such circumstances”.”All his vitals, including blood pressure, pulse are stable,” it read.Dr Sukumar Mukherjee, with other specialists, would visit Banerjee for a check as both dressing and eye check-up were scheduled today, the statement added. “It is expected that gradually he (Banerjee) will be put on normal diet,” Bulle Vue Clinic CEO P Tondon said. Banerjee”s car had met with an accident on the National Highway-2 near Singur in Hooghly district on October 18.

Mamata Banerjee cautions about conspiracy to disrupt Bengal’s harmony

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that a conspiracy was being hatched to disrupt harmony in the state, and asked people not to tolerate those trying to create differences. “The administration is with you. I ask common people that if you see injustice happening, you should protest. Do not tolerate those who are trying to create division among people,” she said at a function in the state secretariat here. The Chief Minister said those who divided people on religious lines would divide families and neighbourhood one day. Without naming anyone, the Trinamool supremo said a conspiracy was being hatched by those who did not want the state to feel proud in the international market. She also asked people not to respond to any provocation ahead of Kali Puja. “There are some people who want to create trouble…They know only destruction and not creation. They do not want life, only death,” Banerjee said. In the meantime to augment the fire fighting capability of the state, the CM flagged off 50 new water tenders.Equipped with latest technology, the tenders have been procured at a total cost of Rs 13.2 crore. In the last two years, a total of 22 tenders have been procured through e-tendering process adding to the existing fleet of 674 fire fighting vehicles.

Abhishek Banerjee’s health condition causes worry for docs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The health condition of Trinamool Congress MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee continues to be a source of worry for doctors even a week after his road accident. According to a medical bulletin issued by the Belle Vue Clinic today, where Banerjee is admitted, he continues to suffer from fever and body ache besides needing oxygen support. He is still feeling the effect of trauma which he had undergone on October 18 after the road accident in Singur, the bulletin said. On the night of October 21 and wee hours of October 22, Banerjee’s heart rate was fluctuating, causing concern, the bulletin said. The eye tests and other tests which he had been through resulted in satisfactory reports causing some relief amidst the grim overall situation, hospital CEO Dr P Tandon said. Decision on the planned surgery shall be taken soon, which is based on the improvement in the facial swelling below the left eye, he said. The Trinamool youth wing president’s car had met with an accident on National Highway-2 near Singur last Tuesday. An MRI report had confirmed Abhishek suffered “orbital floor fracture”. At present, he is under strict observation of the 14-member medical board.

Abhishek Banerjee’s condition remains the same

Sat, 22 Oct 2016-03:05pm , Kolkata , PTI

Abhishek Banerjee has mild fever, body ache, discomfort and is on intermittent oxygen support, the medical bulletin said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The health condition of Trinamool Congress MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who was injured in a road accident few days back, continues to remain the same and he is intermittently on oxygen support. According to a medical bulletin issued by the Belle Vue Clinic, where Banerjee is admitted, his condition remains more or less the same. He continues to have mild fever, body ache, discomfort and is on intermittent oxygen support, the medical bulletin said. The Trinamool youth wing president’s car had met with an accident on National Highway-2 near Singur on Tuesday last. An MRI report had confirmed Abhishek suffered “orbital floor fracture”. At present he is under strict observation of a 14-member medical board.

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee severely injured in car accident

Trinamool Congress MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s nephew Abhishek Banerjee was seriously injured when his car met with an accident on the Durgapur Expressway in Hooghly district on Tuesday, the police said.

“The accident occurred at Ratanpur. He is being shifted to a nursing home in Kolkata,” an officer manning the state police control room said.

Banerjee, who is an MP from the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, was on his way to Kolkata from Murshidabad when his car crashed. He is also the national president of the youth wing of All India Trinamool Congress.

According to News 18, at the time of the accident, Banerjee was the only person in the car apart from the driver. According to the report, former Congress leader Manas Bhuniya, who recently joined TMC was also accompanying Banerjee on the trip to Murshidabad, but he was not in the same car.

Abhishek’s security personnel were in another car behind him. They rescued Abhishek from the car which was heavily damaged and took him to the hospital. Further details on Banerjee’s situation are awaited.

With inputs from IANS

Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek meets with road accident, suffers head injuries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee met with an accident while returning to Kolkata from Berhampur on Tuesday. Banerjee’s vehicle suffered a head-on collision with a truck and overturned near Singur on the Durgapur Expressway. Abhishek has reportedly suffered head injuries and has been taken to the Belle Vue Clinics in Kolkata. Other senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress have also rushed to the hospital. West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is also likely to visit him.The vehicle at the accident site

‘Where is your raj dharma?’: West Bengal Congress asks CM Mamata Banerjee

Reminding West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of her “raj dharma”, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Thursday urged her to take necessary steps to “establish order in the society” and “stop attacks on opposition workers”.”I would like to bring to your notice incidents that have been taking place in the state after your party came to power ….there have been instances of several post-poll violences in the state,” Chowdhury said in a letter to Banerjee.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”You, while addressing the people of Bengal after a massive victory, had clearly stated that everyone should be proactive in maintaining law and order. But unfortunately attacks on opposition parties have increased,” he claimed.Chowdhury questioned whether democracy means protecting only TMC supporters.”The people of Bengal have blessed you with their votes and once you get elected you are the Chief Minister of everyone irrespective of your supporter or your opposition. Where is the ‘raj dharma’?” he asked.”I urge your good office to stick to good governance and rule of law. In a democracy even the opposition has existence and presence,” Chowdhury said.”Is your government trying to crush the opposition and establish a one-party government. Is this the ethos of Indian democracy? I put these questions to you and would firmly believe that you would act like a true statesman,” he added.

Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi over allocation of kerosene

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to reconsider the decision to reduce allocation of kerosene to the state.”The decision will cause grave distress to the consumers in remote and tribal areas and will adversely affect the poor, SC, ST, minorities and economically weaker sections of the society,” Banerjee said in the letter.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said in view of this it would not be appropriate to reduce allocation of kerosene, which was essential for basic needs like lighting and cooking by the poor. “The education of the poor children will also be adversely affected,” the letter read.She requested the Prime Minister to reconsider the decision and permit allocation of kerosene to the state as it was in March 2016.Banerjee today while addressing her first government meeting here in West Midnapore district announced various projects.She also said the state government had already cancelled around 1.41 crore bogus ration cards in order to ensure that benefits of PDS system reach only genuine beneficiaries.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee urges business leaders to ‘act’

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her first meeting with business chambers since assuming office for the second term urged business leaders to “act” instead of merely speaking and praising the government.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTIWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

“Now let’s stop talking and instead put things into action,” Banerjee told Bengal Inc present at the felicitation event organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce, BNCCI, MCC, FICCI, Assocham, Calcutta Chamber, BCCI, Bharat Chamber along with the district chambers.

Her comment comes after business and chamber leaders showered praises on Banerjee for her thumping victory in the last assembly elections.

Banerjee said she would take the opportunity of her visit to Vatican City to attend canonisation of Mother Teresa on 4 September to attract investment for the state.

She said she will try to hold business meetings in the nearby countries, too, to attract investment in auto and manufacturing sector in the state.

Bengal, Banerjee said, is the best industry-friendly destination and is fast growing as its “achievements speaks for itself.”

“Our gross value addition has grown in excess of 10 per cent, while in the country it grew by 7.5 per cent. Industry expanded by 8.3 per cent in the state, while India’s comparable number is 5.3 per cent as Bengal had nil strike and mandays’ loss and revenue generation doubled to Rs 40,000 crore in the last four years,” she said, highlighting her government’s achievements in her last term.

Bengal should not be compared with Maharastra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu as either they house finance capital or have huge numbers of ports or high revenue income. We (Bengal) have just two ports and even those have not been dredged. Despite that I have doubled the state’s revenue to Rs 40,000 crore,” she added.

Banerjee said she was in favour of short, mid and long term vision, adding, “We should work keeping those goals as targets.”

Farooq Abdullah apologises for talking on phone during national anthem

“I apologise,” said National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Saturday after drawing flaks from several quarters for talking over phone during the national anthem at Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee’s swearing-in ceremony as the West Bengal Chief Minister.”I didn’t intend to disrespect the nation by my actions, I was standing for the national anthem, but if it offended anyone, I am sorry,” Farooq said. “Farooq has always kept his life for the nation. I have been attacked just because I stood with India and if these things are not visible to people what can I say?” he said.Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party questioned Abdullah “if he was talking to separatists to figure out their national anthem.””Obviously he was more interested in talking on the telephone than being attentive to the national anthem. I almost question whether he was talking to separatists to figure out what their national anthem is because if you can disrespect Jana Gana Mana, it is most disrespectful to our great country as well,” BJP leader Shaina NC said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP had dubbed the incident as unfortunate and asked Abdullah to tender an apology. It is the constitutional duty of every citizen, under Article 51A(a) of the Constitution, to respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

Modi, Sonia and Kejriwal among leaders likely to be invited to Mamata’s swearing-in

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi are most likely to be invited for the swearing-in ceremony of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her second tenure on May 27. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar are most likely to be invited for the swearing-in ceremony on May 27. The list of invitees is yet to be finalized,” a senior TMC leader said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Akhilesh Singh Yadav are also likely to be invited for the swearing in ceremony, he added. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s new cabinet is likely to have some new faces, TMC sources said. Eight ministers of the outgoing cabinet have lost the Assembly election this time.”There will be new faces as the eight ministers who lost will be replaced. A few new and young faces may be included in the cabinet which will be a mix of both youth and experienced MLAs,” a senior TMC leader said on condition of anonymity. According to the TMC leader, among those who might find a place in the cabinet are MLA from Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari and MLA from Bhangore Abdur Rezzak Mollah who switched over from CPI(M).Siddiqullah Chowdhury may also find a berth. Former Indian cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla may also be considered as MOS. The eight ministers who lost are Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Manish Gupta, Sankar Chakraborty, Sabitri Mitra, Abdul Karim Chowdhury, Shyamapada Mukherjee and Upendranath Biswas. According to the source, the portfolios of ministers in the outgoing cabinet may see a reshuffle.

West Bengal Elections 2016: EC examining Mamata Banerjee’s reply to show-cause notice

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday responded to an Election Commission show-cause notice on prima facie violation of model code, days after the poll body rejected a response from the state Chief Secretary on her behalf.”Reply to the EC notice has been received from Mamata Banerjee. It is under examination,” a Commission official said here, refusing to give further details. The Trinamool Congress chairperson was given time till tomorrow morning to respond to the show-cause notice after EC rejected the response from Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee. In a strongly-worded letter to the Trinamool supremo on Tuesday, the poll panel had made it clear that the notice was issued to her in her capacity as Trinamool Congress head and not as the chief minister of West Bengal.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting the response sent by the Chief Secretary, the Commission, in a separate communication, pulled him up, saying it was not “appropriate” for the state government to respond to a show-cause notice related to violation of the model code of conduct (MCC). In its letter to Mamata, EC said no response was received from her and that “the Commission, hereby, makes it clear that the aforesaid notice was issued to you for MCC violation related to you as Chairperson of the All India Trinamool Congress and not to the state government of West Bengal”.She was served with the notice last week for announcing at an election rally creation of a new district. A defiant Mamata had responded to the EC missive at another election rally, saying that “on the first day of the Bengali new year, the EC has sent me a show-cause notice over things I had said. I will say it again, I will say it a thousand times.”

West Bengal assembly elections 2016: Mamata Banerjee replies to notice, EC decision on Tuesday

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday filed her response to an Election Commission notice which said she prima facie violated the model code by announcing creation of a new district in the poll-bound state.Sources in the Commission said that the Trinamool Congress leader responded to the show cause today. While refusing to go into the details, they said the issue is under the consideration of the poll watchdog and a decision will be taken by Tuesday. She was asked to respond by 3 PM today. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an unusual move, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had himself announced in Kolkata earlier this week that Banerjee has been served with a show cause notice. The Chief Minister had responded at an election rally by saying that “on the first day of the Bengali new year, the EC has sent me a showcause notice over things I had said. I will say it again, I will say it a thousand times.” The Commission has already shunted out Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar over allegations of bias towards the ruling party.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee slams electronic media

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday attacked a section of the electronic media blaming them for showing old footage of arms brandishing men moving around polling booths during live coverage of today’s Assembly polls.”A particular TV channel is showing footage of armed men roaming around in areas where polling took place today. Who has given this channel the right to show old clippings of armed men of other parties? Who has given them the right to defame TMC in this way?” Banerjee told an election meeting here at Dabgram-Fulbari assembly constituency in the district.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging that a particular section of the media has joined hands with evil forces to defame the party and create disturbances, Banerjee said “this evil alliance (of Congress-CPI-M) are bent on spreading canards. But the people are not with them.”

West Bengal Elections: Mamata Banerjee declares net worth, doesn’t own any vehicle or property

Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has declared her net worth to a little above Rs 30 lakh.According to her self-sworn affidavit filed before the Election Commission, Banerjee who is fighting from Bhawanipur Assembly constituency, doesn’t own any vehicle or property but has a multi-gym machine worth Rs 2.15 lakh.The 61-year-old’s income for the year 2014-15 was Rs 5.92 lakh as filed before the income tax authorities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Her total movable assets are worth Rs 30.45 lakh. Cash in hand with the chief minister is Rs 18,436 while she has a bank balance of Rs 27.6 lakh which includes Rs 6 lakh in her election expenditure account. She has 9.75 gram jewellery worth about Rs 27,000 in the market.By educational qualification, she is an MA from the University of Calcutta and also holds an LLB degree. Earlier in the day, Banerjee filed her nomination papers for Bhabanipur constituency where she is pitted against Congress’ Deepa Dasmunshi and BJP candidate Chandra Kumar Bose, grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

West Bengal polls: Rahul Gandhi blames Mamata Banerjee, TMC for Kolkata flyover tragedy

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday used the recent Kolkata flyover mishap and the Sharda scam to target West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said she has failed on every front and has not fulfilled any of the promises made before coming to power.”In Kolkata, a bridge collapsed and many people lost their lives. Mamataji said politics should not be done over this. I agree with her but I want to ask Mamata ji that why was work related to bridge stalled for five years? The people of West Bengal gave power to Mamataji so that she works for their betterment. The people who suffered and lost their lives in the mishap are not the TMC party workers,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“The flyover collapsed and people died. People of Trinamool Congress were involved in the construction of the flyover,” he saidAddressing a rally here, Gandhi said from the moment the Left and the Congress have joined hands, the people of Bengal have known that Mamata won’t come to power again. “We don’t want corruption in West Bengal. We don’t want only one person to rule the state. And that is why we have joined hands with the Left to fight against the TMC. Mamata ji says that she is against corruption but under her nose Sharda scam takes place. She doesn’t speak a word on it. She says that she has provided employment to the youth of the state. But she has failed on that front too,” he added.The Congress vice president also used the stage to lure the electorate, saying that once the alliance of the Congress and the Left comes to power, there first priority would be to provide jobs to the youth. “We will definitely form the government in the state. We will bring development to the state. We would work for the upliftment of the tribals and the adivasis. We will fight against corruption. The first priority for our government will be to provide jobs to youth of the state,” he added.At least 26 people have now lost their lives and hundred others have been injured in the recent flyover collapse that took place on March 31 in Girish Park area of Kolkata. West Bengal, will caste vote for 294 assembly seats which will be held in six phases starting from April 4 to May 5.The first phase would take place in two parts- April 4 and 11. The second phase polling will be held on April 17, third on April 21, fourth on April 15, fifth on April 30 and sixth on May 5.

Opposition has formed nexus to malign TMC, ‘section of media’ also involved: Mamata Banerjee

Kalchini: With the controversy surrounding sting operation blown out of proportion, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the Opposition parties have formed a “nexus” to malign the Trinamool Congress ahead of the state Assembly election.

Speaking at an election rally here, Banerjee also said a “section of media” is with the Opposition parties and she will “expose” them later.

Mamata Banerjee. PTIMamata Banerjee. PTI

Mamata Banerjee. PTI

“We have done a lot of developmental work in the last four years. No other political party in the country has been able to usher in so much of development. But the Opposition parties can’t see that development. They are only campaigning to malign us,” Banerjee told an election rally here.

“They have formed a nexus to malign the TMC. A section of media is also with them. I won’t name them now, but in future I’ll expose them,” she said.

Banerjee said she will seek justice from the people of Bengal. “We have full faith in them. The Opposition parties want to divide West Bengal. But as long as I am alive, I won’t let them do that,” she said.

Her statement comes in the backdrop of the telecast of a sting video by a web portal purportedly showing some TMC leaders accepting bribe to help a fictitious private firm.

Stating that the CPI-M, Congress, and the BJP are united against the TMC, she said, “Congress has sold their party to CPI(M) and BJP. The CPI(M) is now seeking the help of those who want to divide the hills so that they can win seats in plains. A party which has political ideology does not do this,” the Chief Minister said.

While listing out various developmental work her government has achieved, Banerjee said every section of the society has benefited from the schemes.


West Bengal polls: Mamata Banerjee releases TMC’s manifesto, takes on critics

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who released the TMC’s manifesto for the upcoming assembly elections here on Friday, said it has been prepared keeping in mind the welfare of all people of the state. Silencing her critics, Banerjee said the TMC believes in performing its task in an efficient manner. “The work has been initiated for development and progress. Financial discipline has been achieved and set by our government,” she said. The TMC boss also highlighted the achievements made by her government in past five years. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Infrastructure projects and many other growth related projects, which were started, would be completed by this year. 80 percent of the work has been done and 20 percent will be achieved by March this year,” Banerjee said.”We have huge responsibility; we do not speak uselessly and do not make false acclamations,” she added.The Election Commission on Friday announced the dates for the West Bengal assembly elections, according to which the first phase of the six-phase voting will take place on April 4 and 11, while the second and third phases will be conducted on April 17 and 21, respectively. The last three phases of elections will take place on April 25 and 30 April and May5, whereas the votes will be counted and results will be declared on May19.

West Bengal government to take over Jessop and Dunlop Ltd

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that the state government would take over the Jessop and Dunlop India Ltd which are now closed.”We have decided to take over the Jessop and Dunlop. We will take steps in this direction and will also bring a bill,” Banerjee told the house on the penultimate day of the current session before the coming Assembly election.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In this connection, she mentioned the central government taking over few closed tea gardens in north Bengal.Both Jessop and Dunlop are owned by the Ruia group and both the units are presently closed.Ruia Group had earlier tried to reopen the units but they closed down after few days of operation.

West Bengal Elections: Mamata brands proposed CPI(M)-Congress alliance as ‘mistake’

Mocking opposition CPI(M) and Congress for their efforts to forge an alliance ahead of the Assembly polls in Bengal, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday termed the electoral tie-up as a “mistake”.”CPI(M) and Congress are committing a mistake by trying to forge an alliance. If BJP is helping them then it too is committing a mistake. They are sacrificing their ideology in order to forge an alliance. “If you sacrifice your ideology for the sake of power and money – what is left with you? Nothing is left with you…I am neither Leftist nor Rightist. I am progressive. A person may die but his/her ideology lives on. They (Congress and CPI(M)) are committing a mistake,” Banerjee said at TMC’s extended general council meeting here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Criticising CPI(M), she said that she had been regularly reading reports of the proposed alliance for the past one month. “CPI(M) used to call Congress as Bofors Gandhi (during the Bofors scam). They used to criticise Indira Gandhi as fascist, hurl abuses at her. We have seen those days. Now it is the same CPI(M) which is calling for an alliance with Congress,” Mamata said. The state leadership of both CPI(M) and Congress have advocating an alliance to take on ruling TMC in the polls in the state.”I want to tell them (Congress and CPI(M)) the alliance will not have an impact on the prospects of TMC in Bengal. You people won’t be able to weaken me or my party. As long as I live I will live like a lion. I want them to forge an alliance so that they have their own political evaluation,” the West Bengal Chief Minister said. Yesterday, the CPI(M)-led opposition Left Front formally agreed to discuss the issue of alliance with Congress if it is approached.

West Bengal: Sonagachi sex workers getting ready for TV soaps, films

A section of sex workers in Sonagachi here, considered Asia’s largest red light area, is all set to begin a new phase in their lives armed with training in acting, dancing and singing for a career in films and television soaps.Several girls who were rescued by NGOs after being forced into flesh trade, sex workers who want to leave the profession and children of sex workers are now undergoing a workshop training programme where they are being trained by professionals in the ABC of acting. The project christened ‘Muktir Alo’ (Light of Freedom), a pet project of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is aimed at bringing back the sex workers and their children to the mainstream . “This is a second phase of the rehabilitation programme for the sex workers and their family members and those girls who have been rescued from the flesh trade. In this project we aim to train them in dancing/ acting and singing, so that they can get an opportunity in movies and serials,” state women development and social empowerment minister Sashi Panja said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier the government had brought in various rehabilitation schemes such as vocational training, workshops on sewing, weaving. But those projects couldn’t gain much popularity as they were not financially lucrative.Panja said that her department and coordinators of the project have already spoken to several film and serial producers and directors in order to provide the sex workers who are being trained in acting, to get their first break. Apart from acting lessons, the girls are also being given classes in spoken English.

Netaji Bose must be given ‘Leader of the nation’ title: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday demanded that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose be given the title of “Leader of the Nation”, and said the country has the right to know the truth about his mysterious disappearance. “The country has the right to know about the fate of Netaji. 75 years ago, Netaji left the country, but we still don’t know the fact about his disappearance. People have the right to know the truth,” Banerjee said at a function organised to celebrate Netaji’s 119th birth anniversary today.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We want to see the files which would bring to light the details of Netaji’s disappearance. The truth about Netaji’s disappearance must come out through documentation and proof. Netaji must be given the title of ‘Leader of the Nation’. He deserves this honour,” she said. Banerjee said it is the government’s responsibility toward the youth and future generations to share with them the truth about Netaji’s disappearance. The TMC government in September last year had released 64 “secret” files related to Netaji.In New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made public digital copies of 100 secret files relating to Netaji which could throw some light on the controversy over his death.

Malda violence: Despite BJP’s insistence, govt to not send an official team

Apparently not willing to antagonise West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Centre will not send any official team to West Bengal, as demanded by BJP, as of now to probe the violence in Malda.A decision has been taken by the central government not to send any team of officials to West Bengal to study the violence in Malda where protesters had set fire to a police station and damaged several vehicles, leading to tension in the area. “As of now, no central team will visit. Since law and order is a state subject, let the West Bengal government handle the situation,” a Home Ministry official said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A three-member BJP delegation had yesterday met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and demanded a high-level probe into the Malda violence, alleging it had links with fake currency and narcotics trade and infiltration.Accusing the Trinamool Congress government of protecting criminals involved in the incident of “anarchy and terror”, the BJP team led by general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is also the in-charge of party’s West Bengal unit, had met Singh, who “assured” them of appropriate action.”Leaders linked with TMC were also involved in it. It is not only a matter of state but that of national security. People who do illegal activities there were leading it,” Vijayvargiya had said. He alleged that “pro-Pakistan” slogans were raised by the crowd which also targeted establishments of a particular community. Tension gripped West Bengal’s Malda district on Sunday after a mob torched the entire police station and several vehicles during a protest rally.

Malda incident: JD (U) MP Ghulam Balyawi says allegations against him a ‘conspiracy’

Janata Dal (United) Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Rasool Balyawi on Tuesday denied accusations of his alleged involvement in the Malda incident, saying it was a conspiracy against him.”This is an attempt to make this (Malda) incident a controversy. I wasn’t present there in the procession. I challenge anyone, who can prove that I was there in the procession,” Balyawi told ANI.”A procession was taken out and it was conducted very peacefully. Few people, who were heading back after the procession was over, are responsible for this incident,” he added.The Rajya Sabha lawmaker also referred to the footage of the incident, saying it is enough to prove who the culprit is.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This incident is highly condemnable. I also demand that the culprits should be arrested as the law should take its course,” he added.Dubbing the incident and his alleged involvement as ‘conspiracy’, Balyawi pointed out that it has been done as the elections in Bengal are due this year.”This is a conspiracy and it has been done because elections are there in the state. The parties don’t have any agenda and hence it is a result of that,” he added.A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation is set to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to apprise them of the law and order situation in the state.This comes after the BJP delegation was turned away from Malda railway station.The BJP has accused the Trinamool Congress of backing the perpetrators, adding that the violence in Malda was not a communal incident but a planned attack.The TMC has, however, accused the BJP of spreading communal venom ahead of the state assembly polls this year.On January 3, a mob set the Kaliachak police station and several vehicles on fire in protest against a hate speech by a right-wing leader.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the violence was nothing more than a localised problem and claimed that the state government was taking appropriate action.