Bhopal: 2016 saw Shivraj Singh Chouhan firmly in the saddle as he completed his 11th year as Madhya Pradesh chief minister though he had to grapple with the situation arising out of the controversial police encounter in which eight suspected Simi activists were killed.
Chouhan also managed to win back RSS’ confidence after all did not seem to be well following police allegedly beating up Sangh pracharak Suresh Yadav in September at Balaghat district over a WhatsApp message with communal overtones.
He was also upbeat after CBI, the prosecution agency in the multi-crore Vyapam admission and recruitment scam, told the apex court that the electronic evidence in the rip-off was not tampered with.
The Congress has been alleging that the electronic evidence in the scam were tampered with by the state police to save Chouhan and his family.
Cow vigilantes too were seen in action in the first half of the year and in one such case, two Muslim women were beaten up at Mandsaur railway station on suspicion of carrying beef in July.
The state witnessed communal unrest in some parts.
After the encounter killings of suspected Simi activists who had mysteriously escaped the highly-fortified central jail here on Diwali night allegedly killing a security guard, questions were raised but Chouhan’s defence was that the police action was taken “for public good”.
Minutes after the encounter, Chouhan, who seldom speaks to the media, hurriedly convened a press conference to dub the undertrials as “terrorists” who posed a serious threat to society after escaping from the jail.
After the encounter, Muslims huddled in a mosque, on being denied permission to hold a public meeting. They claimed the killing was stage-managed.
Earlier, the community had often found the moderate Chouhan in their midst on Eids, once wearing a Muslim skull cap which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had refused to don.
After initial resistance, the state government agreed to a judicial probe into the encounter after the outcry and criticism by media and public.
The month-long Simhasta-Kumbh mela in the ancient city of Ujjain in April-May too made a political splash when BJP chief Amit Shah took a holy dip with the Dalit seers.
This drew the wrath of seers who said they were being divided on caste line for the first time.
The event also took a political hue with Congress blaming BJP for hijacking the event for political gain and siphoning off crores of rupees from the state exchequer.
Besides, the mela, considered to be one of the biggest congregations of Hindus, saw the participation of eunuchs for the first time despite the reservation of Hindu clerics.
After police action on Suresh Yadav, local Sangh Parivar leaders took to the streets in Balaghat and a confrontation between the RSS and the Chouhan government seemed imminent.
To mollify the RSS, the state government booked Balaghat Additional Superintendent of Police and other policemen and charged them with attempt to murder. The accused policemen, still at large, were suspended.
But RSS apparently wanted more. Finally, the Chouhan government shunted out Inspector General of Police and Superintendent of Police from Balaghat to placate it.
As the lower rungs of Sangh Parivar were still frowning, Chouhan flagged off a 5-month-long yatra from Amarkantak in Anuppur district – the origin of river Narmada – on December 11 with RSS at the helm of the event.
The event, called Narmada Seva Yatra, ostensibly aimed at turning the river pollution-free and maintaining the sanctity of the water body considered to be holy in Hindu scriptures.
At the start of the yatra, RSS general secretary Bhaiyaji Joshi heaped praises on Chouhan for his deep faith and respect for the holy river.
Then on December 19, in an apparent endorsement, senior RSS functionary Alok Kumar said Madhya Pradesh was a laboratory of Sangh Parivar’s ‘ekathma manavad’ (integral humanism).
Twenty-eight people hailing from the state perished in the derail incident of Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur on 20 November.
After 32 years of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, victims of the world’s worst industrial disasters and the organisations helping them rejoiced on December 7 when a local court issued notices to the then district collector and the then superintendent of police for allegedly helping Union Carbide Corporation CEO Warren Anderson to escape from the state capital and criminal prosecution in December 1984.
Anderson who died last year was facing charges of criminal liability in the compensation case for the disaster.
BJP also won a number of by-polls in the state that were held during the year including Shahdol (ST) Lok Sabha seat and three assembly seats.
During the end of the year, Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal held a public meeting here. AAP has already raised cadres in several parts of the state with an eye on the 2018 assembly polls.
First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 14:57 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in Bhopal on Tuesday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh has said it doesn’t see any threat in increased activities of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state.”AAP’s victory in Delhi was an accident. Entire country has witnessed the poor show of Kejriwal government in Delhi. The people of Delhi have been suffering,” MP BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chouhan told reporters here last evening.Firing a salvo at Kejriwal’s ‘Parivartan Rally’ in Bhopal, Chouhan ruled out any possibility of the rise of ‘third force’ in the state, recalling that he had defeated Alok Agrawal, the convener of MP’s AAP unit, from Khandwa during last parliamentary elections.The MP BJP chief is a Lok Sabha member from Khandwa.”The next assembly election of the state would be contested under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister),” he said and ruled out any possibility of the MP CM shifting out of state politics.The MP BJP President also reiterated that the party would not field again the MLAs who performed poorly.”Only those with good performance would be given tickets in the next assembly polls,” he added.Polls in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled to be held in 2018.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in Bhopal on Tuesday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh has said it doesn’t see any threat in increased activities of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state.”AAP’s victory in Delhi was an accident. Entire country has witnessed the poor show of Kejriwal government in Delhi. The people of Delhi have been suffering,” MP BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chouhan told reporters here last evening.Firing a salvo at Kejriwal’s ‘Parivartan Rally’ in Bhopal, Chouhan ruled out any possibility of the rise of ‘third force’ in the state, recalling that he had defeated Alok Agrawal, the convener of MP’s AAP unit, from Khandwa during last parliamentary elections.The MP BJP chief is a Lok Sabha member from Khandwa. “The next assembly election of the state would be contested under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister),” he said and ruled out any possibility of the MP CM shifting out of state politics.The MP BJP President also reiterated that the party would not field again the MLAs who performed poorly. “Only those with good performance would be given tickets in the next assembly polls,” he added.Polls in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled to be held in 2018.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madhya Pradesh government will bear marriage expenses of all the police officials who die in the line of duty, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced in Bhopal on Saturday.Chouhan, who attended the marriage ceremony of slain jail head constable Ramashankar Yadav’s daughter Sonia last night, donned the role of the girl’s father as he welcomed guests at the entry gate. “If any police personnel dies in the line of duty, then the state government will bear all the expenses of their daughter’s marriage and these girls will be treated as the state’s daughter,” an official release from the state government said.The state government claimed that it had left no stone unturned to make this (Sonia’s) marriage a grand event. Yadav was allegedly killed by eight SIMI activists on the intervening nights of October 30-31 before they escaped from the high security jail by scaling its walls with the help of bedsheets. The activists were later gunned down by Bhopal Police in an alleged encounter.Chouhan had then promised that the government will not only offer job to any family member but will also make all arrangements for the marriage of Sonia. The chief minister also handed over an appointment letter for the post of Assistant Grade-III to Sonia as her marriage gift on the occasion.Chouhan stayed at the wedding till all rituals were done and said that Sonia is a daughter of Madhya Pradesh. He conveyed greetings to both the families on the occasion. Madhya Pradesh Minister of State for Cooperatives (independent charge) Vishwas Sarang was among others present at the function.
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who completed 11 years in office on Tuesday, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s move to demonetise the Rs 500/1000 notes a “risky” but “brave” decision.
“Wherever I went I saw people supporting it. Such strong decision can be taken only by a leader who is determined and has the strength to strike positive change.”
“It was a risky but a very brave decision by the Prime Minister against corruption, fake currency and black money,” he was quoted as saying by News Nation channel.
Chouhan said those protesting against the decision were doing it for “no reasons and just for the sake of opposing it”.
“People have stood strongly behind this decision taken by the Prime Minister to demonetise the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes,” he said.
The chief minister said the central Indian state has initiated various schemes for creating entrepreneurs and business achievers.
“I want entrepreneurs to come out from Madhya Pradesh and for which special schemes have been tailored by the state government. Venture funds have been created for supporting innovative business ideas in the state,” he said.
Speaking about women empowerment and providing opportunities to girls, Chouhan said his government has taken a number of steps in this regard.
“I had seen girls not being treated at par with the boys as they were always considered as economic burden. So, when I came, I decided to check such social discrepancies and took the decision to run welfare schemes for them.
“At a place where girls are not safe, one cannot talk about progress,” he said recounting schemes like ‘Ladli Laxmi Yojna’ and ‘Beti Bachao Yojna’ among others started by Madhya Pradesh government.
Talking about his personal life, the CM advised professionals to take out time for their families from their busy schedule.
“I take out time at least twice in a year to move out with my family and at least once in two months to go out to a restaurant for having food with my family.
“This keeps the family ties strong and acts as a mechanism to strike a positive chord between the family and the professional life and gives you the required strength to work for the people,” he said.
First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 09:43 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A lawyer, who represented eight SIMI operatives killed in an encounter on October 31, on Sunday demanded a high court-monitored inquiry and termed as “mockery” the Madhya Pradesh government’s order of judicial probe into the incident.”It is baffling that the culprit of the encounter, which is the state government, has chosen its own investigator to probe its serious crime,” said Parvez Alam, who represented the slain SIMI operatives facing terror cases.”This is a sheer mockery of democratic and judicial system. The state government, instead of requesting the MP High Court to order a judicial inquiry into the cold-blooded murder, has itself appointed an investigator, which is against the natural justice,” Alam said.He said that the state government should have moved the MP High Court and waited for it to name a sitting or retired judge to investigate the fake encounter.”We are going to petition the High Court for a judicial probe. We want the probe to be monitored by the High Court and it (probe panel) should have lawyers of both sides–the government and the deceased,” he added.Meanwhile, when asked if he had received any written communication from the government asking him to start judicial inquiry, the retired MP High Court judge S K Pandey said, “I don’t have any information (yet).”The MP Government announced judicial probe by Justice Pandey three days ago after the alleged encounter came under severe criticism. Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had till then maintained that no judicial probe into the encounter was necessary.Earlier, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced a NIA probe into the jail-break during which the fleeing SIMI activists allegedly murdered a head warden.
Bhopal: After ordering a judicial probe into the Bhopal jailbreak and alleged encounter of eight SIMI activists, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has put on hold the cash rewards it had announced for the policemen who took part in the operation, throwing up questions about its veracity.
“After the announcement of judicial probe into the incident, the government cannot give cash rewards to anyone till the completion of the inquiry,” a highly-placed official told PTI.
“The cash rewards were announced prior to the announcement of the judicial probe and therefore, it is logical that it can not be given till the inquiry gets over,” the official said. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh each for policemen involved in the shootout, a day after the alleged encounter took place on 31 October.
However, the rights activists had demanded that the cash reward be withheld till the probe unearthed the details of the encounter.
“The government should at least wait till the completion of several inquiries it has instituted to probe the encounter to justify the reward,” Abdul Jabbar, a social activist, had said.
“It (the reward) cannot be justified till the probe is complete and all questions raised on the issue are properly addressed,” he said.
Transparency International’s Ajay Dube also questioned the “rationale” of announcing the reward when the state is under the scanner over the veracity of the encounter. “The government should have waited for the outcome of the judicial inquiry it has instituted into the encounter. Announcing (rewards for policemen) before it amounts to giving them a clean chit and to influence those involved in it (the probe),” he said.
Eight activists of the banned outfit, SIMI, were killed in the encounter on the city outskirts hours after they killed a head constable and pulled off an audacious escape from the high-security central jail.
A PIL was filed two days back in the Madhya Pradesh High Court by a journalist and social worker seeking a judicial probe into the alleged encounter.
The undertrial activists of the outlawed outfit escaped from the central jail here on the intervening night of 30 and 31 October. They were subsequently killed in an encounter on the outskirts of the city early on 31 October.
After the encounter, conflicting versions from police and state Home Minister have surfaced, leading to allegations that it might be fake.
TV channels have also shown footage purportedly from the encounter site, in which a policeman is seen pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife in a plastic cover and places it back.
Later, an audio tape also emerged purportedly containing conversation related to the encounter, which states that the policemen on job were getting instructions from control room to “bump them off” and “khel khatam ho gaya” (game is over now).
Raising questions about the encounter, Congress and other opposition parties had pressed for a judicial probe into the entire episode. The judicial probe will be conducted by retired High
Court Judge Justice S K Pandey.
Fri, 4 Nov 2016-09:19am , Bhopal , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madhya Pradesh Government has ordered a judicial probe into the encounter of eight SIMI operatives, which escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail, in Bhopal.Retired justice SK Pande will head the inquiry commission. The panel will probe the circumstances under which SIMI operatives escaped and the encounter in which they were killed by police. The Madhya Pradesh High Court had issued a notice to the state government yesterday seeking a detailed report on the encounter. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier announced a NIA probe into the incident. On the other hand, Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had said that there is no need of any probe into the encounter. Eight SIMI operatives had escaped on Sunday night from Bhopal central jail after killing security guard Ramashankar Yadav. They were gunned down later. Social activists and political parties have raised several questions regarding the incident.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday warned the opposition Congress party about paying heavily for questioning the authenticity of the police encounter with eight SIMI terrorists on the outskirts of Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, and added that the latter is in the business of glorifying terrorists.”Glorifying terrorists and questioning the martyrdom of our soldiers has become a habit of the ‘Italy’ Congress. When Mohan Chand Sharma was killed in the Batla encounter case, Digvijay Singh raised questions on his martyrdom, they even asked for proof of surgical strikes, Congress will pay heavily for glorifying terrorists,” BJP leader Shrikant Sharma told ANI.The opposition parties has been cornering the BJP ruled- Madhya Pradesh Government over the killing of eight people from the banned SIMI group.The Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, yesterday, questioned the authenticity of the encounter video.Singh wondered as to what is the reason that only Muslims break out of jail and not Hindus while stating that he was against all those playing politics in the name of religion.The Communist Party of India (CPI) dubbed the SIMI encounter as ‘dubious’ and demanded an explanation from the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government.In response, Chouhan condemned the opposition parties for indulging in votebank politics.”I don’t know what sort of political mudslinging has begun. Few leaders of our nation cannot see the martyrdom of our soldiers. They cannot see the sacrifice of Ramashankar Yadav. They are the ones who murdered Shiv Prasad Kushwaha. They killed Sitaram Yadav in Khandwa. Some people are doing vote bank politics on this matter which is highly condemnable. One must refrain from doing this,” he said.The chief minister said it is extremely unfortunate that they do not utter a word about the martyrdom of the soldiers.Bhopal Inspector General of Police Yogesh Choudhary on Monday defended its action to open fire on the terrorists, saying the escapees were neutralized in ‘retaliatory’ fire, adding that the suspects have been continuously perpetrating serious offences and also killed police constables in 2008 and 2011.On Monday, eight terrorists of the banned group SIMI were killed in an encounter after escaping from the Bhopal Central Jail.
New Delhi: Stating “discrepancies” in the statements made by the Madhya Pradesh government and state police over the killing of eight (Students Islamic Movement of India) SIMI activists in an encounter, Left parties on Tuesday sought a judicial probe into the episode, contending NIA inquiry will neither be “credible nor acceptable”.
The Left parties sought to know how these men could have escaped from a high security Bhopal central jail and stated the Shivraj Singh Chouhan dispensation owes “full explanation” about how the prison security could be breached. As they raised doubts, the Left parties stressed the eight were “under trials whose guilt had not yet been established” and were “suspected” to have links with the banned organisation SIMI.
“The claim by police that the accused were shot dead after they were attacked by these men who were armed is contradicted by state’s Home Minister Bhupendra Singh. That these men could secure arms while being unable to get a vehicle to make good their escape sounds implausible,” CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.
The Politburo also referred to video clips, purportedly from encounter site, showing a policeman pumping bullets at one of the “escapees” after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife. It said the clip shows the activists waiving at cops “presumably indicating that they want to surrender” and stated this raises doubts over veracity of claims made by cops.
“In the light of these concerns, the Politburo demands a judicial enquiry headed by a sitting judge be constituted to conduct a thorough investigation. “The Chief Minister has announced that an enquiry would be conducted by the NIA. Such an enquiry would neither be credible nor acceptable,” it said.
Taking to Twitter over the issue, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury reiterated the concerns and insisted the Centre and the BJP hold the state government responsible for “its actions”.
His predecessor Prakash Karat echoed Politburo’s demand for a judicial probe into the entire episode. The CPI too pitched for a “high-level” judicial probe into the matter and appealed people to understand the “sinister design” of BJP-RSS, which it alleged was trying to politicise the fight against terror.
“To divert the attention of the people and polarise them on communal lines BJP-RSS blame others raising the bogey of nationalism and patriotism,” the CPI said in a statement.
The SIMI activists were killed yesterday during an encounter with police on the outskirts of Bhopal, hours after they escaped from high-security central jail killing a security guard but questions cropped up over the killings.
As controversy raged over the police action, TV channels showed footage purportedly from the encounter site in which a policeman is seen pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife said to be in a plastic cover and places it back.
Speaking to media on Monday, Chouhan had said the jail-break would be probed by the NIA but parried a question on the encounter. He said the state government will also carry out a separate investigation into the matter.
Following the encounter of eight suspected SIMI terrorists, who had escaped from Bhopal Central Jail on Monday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should really pause for a moment and introspect.
He must seriously ponder over why, under his administration, the biggest Indian state has seen a sharp decline in all aspects of policing – be it law and order, intelligence gathering or jail administration.
While the police force does have some brave and committed men, like Head Constable Ramashankar Yadav, who laid down his life in the line of duty while trying to stop the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists from fleeing, the incident does pose some serious questions.
What kind of police force did Yadav serve, where no backup was available to him? Why did no one come to his rescue? And why were no alarms raised to thwart the jailbreak attempt? It seems that men like Yadav are just exceptions in an otherwise inefficient MP police force.
In his capacity as chief minister, Shivraj has done well on his moral and official duty to visit the martyred head constable’s home, pay his condolences, attend the last rites, offer ex-gratia and additionally sanction money for his daughter’s upcoming wedding.
He is also well within his right to blast his political rivals for politicising the ‘encounter’. He said that the political rivals raising questions over the encounter, couldn’t see the head constable’s supreme sacrifice.
“They could have spared two words for this martyr and shed a few tears over his martyrdom, which could have proved their compassion” Shivraj was reported as saying.
While dismissing the opposition’s charges against his government, he said: “The hardcore criminals have been eliminated. Who knows what kind of violence they could have unlashed if they managed to escape.”
On the other hand, Congress general secretary and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh had given an entirely different twist to the jailbreak episode. He questioned that how was it possible that only Muslim SIMI operatives managed to escape from the jail and not the Hindu ones. Again, it was alright for Shivraj to respond to that charge, as Digvijay’s commentary seemed to be angled for obvious political motives.
But the big question that remains is that why did Shivraj not weigh the situation and collect all the facts before going to the public with his tall claims about the ‘encounter’. Why did he compliment an incompetent police force for killing the eight SIMI terror operatives on a hill top, where they were surrounded from all sides with negligible chances of escape?
Though you cannot second guess the bravery and commitment of constable Yadav – whose two sons serve in the army and daughter was to be married in five weeks – the problem arose when Shivraj mixed the two narratives. Yadav’s death and the contradictory arguments made by senior police officers about the encounter, in a bid to cover up the cold-blooded killing of the SIMI operatives, are two very distinct equations.
Instead of trying to mislead the public by mixing the two narratives, here is something that should’ve concerned Shivraj more:
The Bhopal Central Jail was the first in India to get an ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) 9001-2000 certificate in 2004 for its better amenities for inmates, about a year before Shivraj assumed office. But apart from the amenities, jails are as much about security. The ease with which the SIMI operatives fled reflects on the poor safety measures employed by the administration.
Security loopholes like the fact that all terror operatives were lodged in one jail; the CCTV cameras were not working; dining utensils issued were easily converted into knives; a long drawn jailbreak plan went unchecked; keys were made inside or smuggled from outside; the high walls were easily scalable; guards were sleeping on duty; the administration did not take any lessons from the Khandwa jail break by members of the same group; officers were busy lighting lamps and fire crackers while the criminals escaped, are all indicative of corrupt and inefficient jail management by the civil and police officials. In that regard, it is truly ironic that the jail’s website is full of ISO certifications and boasts of its safety records.
The manner in which hundreds of policemen conducted the hunt for the escaped activists, and how the supposed ‘encounter’ took place, reveals a saga of incompetence, inefficiency and even foolishness.
It clearly indicates that the MP police has never really engaged in a real encounter situation, at least lately. The chief minister and his government will have a difficult time in explaining the conduct of the state police force. From the videos of the encounter that have surfaced since then, it looks like the operation was conducted not by uniformed and trained police officers, but by a lynch mob out to kill a hated target.
The scenes emanating from the video, of policemen shooting with crude 303 rifles; fellow colleagues recording videos on their phones; conversing over unsecured wireless sets; some policemen firing from long distance; some shooting at dead bodies, all point towards the fact that the encounter was in all likelihood fake and foolish.
From the audio heard in these videos, it was clear that there was no chain of command. Everyone was shouting over each other and perhaps some villagers had also joined in as cheer leaders for the armed policemen.
How is this effective policing? Shivraj will have to introspect and come up with an answer.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan came to the residence of Ramashankar Yadav (Head Constable who was killed in Bhopal jailbreak. He said that the issue of Bhopal jailbreak is being politicised. “It hurts when some political leaders cannot see the martyrdom of our jawans and don’t see the sacrifice of Ramashankar,” MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Ramashankar Yadav’s funeral said. “Some people are doing vote bank politics on this matter which is highly condemnable, one must refrain from doing this,” he added.Chouhan also said that he would give Rs 10 lakh compensation to family, Rs 5 lakh for his daughters marriage and said that the colony will be renamed in his name.The mortals remains of Ramashankar Yadav were later taken out being taken for the last rites.
New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday alleged that the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh is in the thick of a “scam of monumental proportions” in the resettlement and rehabilitation of the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar project on the Narmada.
Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters that the Judicial Commission headed by Justice S S Jha has “indicted” the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the matter. Congress has already been targeting the government over the multi-crore Vyapam scam and demanding the resignation of the chief minister.
“The Chouhan government seems to have become a Vyapak Ghotala-all Pervasive Scamster-Government, even as the Prime Minister continues to patronise him (Chouhan) and his corruption,” Singhvi alleged.
He said the scandal has put question mark on the future of thousands of families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
The Commission, after a seven-year investigation, has “exposed the rampant forgery of documents” that allowed compensation to be paid to impostors, he said, claiming the scam is of “monumental proportions”.
The Jha Commission was appointed by the Supreme Court, he said.
The compensation was meant for those who will be displaced when the dam’s height is raised.
The commission has also brought to the fore that the state government did not cooperate with its inquiry and made every attempt to prevent the damning report from being made public before it was finally tabled in the state’s Vidhan Sabha at the end of July, Singhvi said.
Targeting the Prime Minister, he said Narendra Modi never misses any opportunity to politically encash the Sardar Sarovar Dam but could not prevent the massive corruption in this ‘Narmada Dam Scam’.
“Congress demands that the Jha Commission report be made public and appropriate action under the Supreme Court guidelines taken so that the culprits of this massive Narmada Scam can be brought to book”, Singhvi said.
“The Prime Minister talks about ‘Swachh Bharat’. It is high time that Narendra Modi first provides us a ‘Swachh Sarkar’, which is devoid of corruption”, he remarked.
Surgical strikes reflect will of PM Modi, valour of forces: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said surgical strikes across the LoC reflect firm will power of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and valour of armed forces.
“The surgical strikes were a result of firm will power of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and valour of our forces,” the Chief Minister said in an interview to PTI.
On some political parties demanding proof of the Army’s action, Chouhan said defence and security issues should be above politics.
“Demanding a proof of it is not correct principally as well as practically. Such proofs are never given. Those who are demanding proof are not aware of the consequences of disclosing the details of this military operation,” he said.
Surgical strikes were carried out on seven terror launch pads across the LoC on the intervening night of 28 and 29 September, with the Army saying it had inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK, days after Modi warned Uri attack would not go unpunished.
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating the newly built war memorial — Shaurya Samarak — and address a meeting of former servicemen at Lal Pared ground, in Bhopal during his three-hour visit, ahead of the Brics meet in Goa.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, this visit comes after his Dussehra speech in Lucknow, where he was quoted as saying “sometimes war is inevitable” in the wake of the surgical strikes by the Indian Army. The state BJP vice-president, Vijesh Lunawat said, “It is a matter of pride for Madhya Pradesh people that the Shaurya Smarak came up with the state government’s efforts and the PM is going to inaugurate it. This will give a boost to the morale of not only the armed forces but also the citizens of the country”.
In an ANI report it is said that the Samarak covers 13 acres of ground and cost Rs 41 crore. It symbolises the various stages of life, war, death and victory. The bravery and glory of soldiers is celebrated in the Shaurya gallery display and India’s gratitude is represented by the Shaurya Stambh. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar will be present as well.
A report by The Times of India speculated that PM Modi is likely to speak about the surgical strikes on this occasion, and meet the former soldiers and war widows. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government have sent invitations to General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Chief of Navy Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba.
Security has been ramped up in the state capital in view of Modi’s visit. Railway stations, airports, bus terminals, important markets and localities in the city were secured ahead of the high profile visit. Vehicles were screened at different check points to ensure no untoward incident occur. The administration also issued a circular asking all government and semi government offices to suspended work post 3 pm.
Bhopal Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Raman Singh Sikarwar said 5,000 policemen have been deployed at the airport, route and the venue of the three events
Modi will meet the Jain saint Acharya Vidhyasagarji Maharaj at a Jain temple first and then will inaugurate the Shourya Smarak.
He will remain in Bhopal for nearly three hours before leaving for his onward destination, said an official.
At 7:05 pm Modi will leave for Panaji.
With inputs from agencies
Indian Twitter users ridicule Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan after images show him being carried by police through ankle-deep flood waters.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan surveyed the flood hit areas of Madhya Pradesh to assess the damage, and as per his tweet, ‘provide consolation’ to the victims of the calamity. What could go wrong you may ask? This humble tweet only indicates a minister hard at work.
“I surveyed the flood affected areas in Panna city. The villages of Gadhokhar, Kamtana, Singhori have been affected and I’ve provided support to the villages, the leader tweeted out, but the Twitterati were quick to point out that there were certain, not-so-PR-friendly pictures that Chouhan failed to share.
The first image courtesy ANI caused quite the uproar, where some people decided to feel outraged by the incident, while others decided to poke fun at the minister for his callous deed.
Social media didn’t hesitate to display its Photoshop skills to help the image go viral.
While the situation is the definition of a comi-tragedy, the focus must be on the disaster that the floods in Madhya Pradesh are causing.
Let us not forget the victims of the floods amidst mocking Chouhan.
Bhopal: US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Wednesday said he travels extensively to learn about developments in states with an investment point of view and to have a better interaction with people.
“We travel as much as we can to learn about what’s happening in states from investment point of view, clean energy point of view, people-to-people exchange and things we can do to deepen our relationship, to meet government officials, and that makes a big difference in how you can carry out your work in New Delhi,” Verma told PTI after visiting the Taj-ul-Masajid in the old city area.
The US Ambassador arrived here on a day-long visit for the first time.
“You have a better appreciation of what’s happening in important state like this and talk to the people and hear their mind. That’s why we come here,” said Verma, who has been travelling all over the country.
“We have been travelling all over the country. In fact, I have been to 21 states, 55 cities and we travel as much as we can to learn about what’s happening in states,” he said when asked about the purpose of his visit before he headed to meet Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
He described the historic Taj-ul-Masajid as an “amazing place.”
“It’s an amazingly beautiful place. It was an honour to meet the leaders of the mosque, their place of learning, place of history and place of culture,” he said.
“It is a great place of history and we wanted to be here and pay respect and to know about this amazing structure,” he said.
The envoy wrote in the visitor’s book, “Thank you for showing me this amazing place of worship, inspiration and learning. It was a great honour to be here.”
Upon arrival at the grand mosque, Verma was welcomed by Darul Uloom Taj-ul-Masajid committee head and other members.
The committee’s communication head Mohammd Aamir Ansari and other members showed him various parts of the mosque.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited Chief Ministers of Telangana and Madhya Pradesh for meetings tomorrow as part of his exercise to take stock of situation in 11 drought-hit states.Modi will be meeting Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan separately, sources said on Monday.These meetings are a part of the Prime Minister’s exercise to review the situation in 11 drought-hit states. He has already met the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka on Saturday last.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During those meetings, the Prime Minister had said that the centre and the states would have to work together to mitigate the problems faced by the people due to the drought. He had pitched for focus on medium and long term solutions for drought-proofing.Modi laid stress on the use of technologies like remote sensing and satellite imaging for planning of water conservation and recharge structures. He had also stressed the need for changing cropping patterns based on scientific advice, use of drip and sprinkler irrigation for increasing water use efficiency, community participation, especially women, for better water management.The Prime Minister had also pressed the need for monitoring delivery of water through tankers in the affected areas, using technology such as GPS.
Hours after the Madhya Pradesh High Court set aside the provision of reservations in promotion in the state government services, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said his government will move to the Supreme Court challenging the order.”My government is in favour of reservation in promotions and we will be appealing in the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling,” Chouhan told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier in the day, the ruling of the division bench of Chief Justice Ajay Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjay Yadav had set aside the provision of reservations in promotion in the state government services.The decision came while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by R B Rai, Santosh Kumar, S C Pandey and others, who challenged 2002 rules on the ground that they were not in conformity with the guidelines given by the Supreme Court in the M Nagraj vs. Union in 2006.The state high court in observation noted that the existing provision relating to reservation, backlog vacancies, carry forward of backlog vacancies…contained in the Rules of 2002 runs contrary to the constitutional provisions contained in clause (4A) and (4B) of Article 16 and Article 335 and law predicated in M Nagraj.The court further added that consequently, various promotions of SCs/STs category made on the basis of these Rules of 2002 are held to be non-est in the eyes of law and the persons be placed in the position as if the said Rules never existed and all actions taken in furtherance thereof must be reverted to status quo ante (the situation existing earlier).
A helicopter carrying Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan “disappeared” for around fifteen minutes on Friday, sending officials in a tizzy before it landed safely in Katni, an official said.”The chopper carrying Chouhan, BJP state chief Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan and state Minister Gyan Singh, which was supposed to land at a school in Katni around 9.45 am, went ahead of the helipad and suddenly disappeared,” Katni District Collector Prakash Jangre told PTI over phone. The concerned officials on ground sprung into action.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The helicopter returned after some time and landed safely at 10 am, he said.The Chief Minister had gone to pay last respects to former Madhya Pradesh Minister Satyendra Pathak, who passed away yesterday after a prolonged illness.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday visited External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at AIIMS, where she is recuperating from fever and chest congestion.Chouhan met 64-year-old Swaraj in the Cardio-Neuro Centre of the hospital where she undergoing treatment since April 25, AIIMS sources said.”Chouhan reached at 7.35 PM, he met her and enquired about her health and left at around 8 PM,” a source said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier during the day, Rahul visited Swaraj and spent some time. Swaraj has had a good rapport with Rahul and his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi since she was the Leader of Opposition in the last Lok Sabha.Both Sonia and Rahul had, last year in Parliament, walked up to the minister to ask about her well being when she was unwell.The hospital on Thursday had said that Swaraj was showing some signs of improvement. AIIMS has also set up a medical board for formulating a combined treatment strategy for the Minister who was admitted with fever and chest congestion with features of pneumonia.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said he was shocked that of the over seven crore people in state, more than five crore are below the poverty line as per the records.”The population of MP is around seven and a half crore, of which more than five crore have been registered under the BPL category. I was shocked and baffled, as to wherefrom so many people came,” Chouhan said at a function during the ongoing ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday’ Abhiyan near here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In some places the number of those with BPL status (in records) was more than the overall population there,” he added. “Those whose names figure in the BPL list wrongly should come forward honestly to get the name struck off, so that the poor reap the benefit of government welfare schemes,” he said.Some residents of Dewas district had got their names removed from the BPL list, he pointed out.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday announced free education for Scheduled Caste students in government colleges including, engineering and medical institutions.He announced the decision at a function in Maihar town on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas. He visited Maihar to thank the voters of the constituency who gave the BJP candidate Narayan Tripathi a convincing victory by a margin of over 28,000 votes earlier this month.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Congress bastion, it was wrested by BJP by fielding Tripathi who had earlier won from the seat on Congress ticket in 2013 Assembly polls. Later he joined BJP and resigned from the Assembly, to be reelected on BJP ticket.Chouhan on this occasion also said that Mahakumbh’ would be organized on the occasion of Ravidas Jayanti at Maihar every year.Ravidas’s birthplace Varanasi will be linked with the Mukhya Mantri Teerth Darshan Yojna (Chief Minister’s Pilgrimage Scheme) so that people can visit the place free of cost, he said.
Asserting that his government’s first aim was to win the trust of the farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government wants to integrate technology in the agriculture sector for the farmers’ welfare.Prime Minister Modi, who was addressing a Kisan Kalyan Mela at Sehore, said the Madhya Pradesh Government under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, did a lot of work for the farmers. “The government and farmers worked together to script history,” Prime Minister Modi said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is not a small thing to win an award in agriculture for four years,” he added while highlighting the agriculture success under Chouhan’s leadership.Placing the guidelines of the crop insurance scheme in the presence of the farmers of Madhya Pradesh, Prime Minister Modi said this scheme has the solution to problems which the farmers face. “When Atalji was Prime Minister, first time such a scheme was thought about and an effort was made to change the lives of the farmers. But when the government of Atal ji changed, the scheme was modified and the farmer started running away from crop insurance scheme. Our first aim was to win the trust of the farmers,” said Prime Minister Modi.”This scheme has the solution to problems the farmers face. Farmers were not joining the crop insurance scheme. Even estimates about this scheme were made through a few villages only. We have decided to integrate technology in this scheme, do proper surveys and ensure 25 percent of amount is paid immediately…I urge you to trust this scheme and join the scheme, as the compensation to farmers has increased three fold,” he added.Prime Minister Modi said, “The age old wisdom and technology must meet. When we talk about technology and a digital India, we see the welfare of the farmers at the core. Our start up India movement is not restricted to IT. There is scope for this in agriculture sector also.””Per drop, more crop is what we are giving importance to. We initiated several measures for sugarcane farmers. Our dream is to increase the reach of the soil health card scheme,” he added.Prime Minister Modi said this scheme will come into effect from the upcoming Kharif season. “It envisages a uniform premium of two percent to be paid by farmers for Kharif crops, and 1.5 percent for Rabi crops. The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops will be five percent,” Prime Minister Modi said.”There is no upper limit on the government’s subsidy for this scheme. The provision of capping the premium rate, which existed in earlier schemes, and resulted in low claims being paid to farmers, has been done away with. Farmers will get claims against the full sum insured, without any reduction,” he added.The Prime Minister also distributed soil health cards, and crop insurance settlement claims to select beneficiaries on the occasion.