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Tripura: BJP calls for band to protest against murder of party activist, life partially affected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Normal life was partially disrupted during a dawn-to-dusk bandh in Dhalai district of Tripura on Wednesday called by BJP in protest against the recent murder of a party activist.Schools, colleges and other educational institutions remained open and attendances in government offices, banks and financial institutions were normal, official sources said. Movement of vehicles was almost normal, but in some areas it came down to a trickle, the sources said. Shops kept open their shutters, but markets in a few places in remote areas were closed, the sources said.Ruling CPI-M has opposed the bandh. The BJP has claimed that their party activist Chanmohan Tripura, also a member of village committee of Dalapatipara, a remote tribal hamlet in Gandacherra sub-division of Dhalai district, was murdered on Monday afternoon, allegedly by one Biswada Tripura, a CPI-M member.However, officer-in-charge of Gandacherra police station, Babul Das said that Chanmohan Tripura was a priest who practised witchcraft, and was hit by a heavy object, allegedly by Biswada, when he went to his house to treat him. Biswada was arrested next day.

Mamata arrives in capital to attend joint Oppn meeting, Left to stay away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Raising the stakes in her fight against Modi government on demonetization, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived in New Delhi to attend a meeting of opposition parties and a joint press conference tomorrow along with Congress, DMK, RJD and other parties.Mamata, who is spearheading the fight against demonetization, will be part of the joint opposition meeting, TMC sources said. Banerjee told reporters at the Kolkata airport, “The Congress has called me for the meeting. Let’s see what happens!” She will attend the media briefing at Constitution Club along with other Opposition leaders including representatives from DMK and RJD among others, sources added. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are expected to attend the meeting.While the Left parties announced they are staying away, the JD(U) also gave hints that it may follow suit. A top TMC leader told PTI while reacting to CPI-M’s pull-out, said, “It is the CPI-M’s internal matter. But we feel that it is for them to decide on which side they are.” TMC chief will be in the capital for three days and expected to meet several leaders from different political hues during her stay.We want to highlight the hardships caused due to demonetization across the country, a senior TMC leader claimed. CPI(M) not to attendCracks appeared in the Opposition’s unity as the CPI(M) today decided to stay away from a press conference by the opposition parties convened by the Congress, citing “lack of coordination and consultation” among the participants. “We have decided to stay away from the press conference of opposition parties convened by the Congress because there has been no proper consultation and coordination among the parties,” CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told a press conference here.”Most of the parties were neither consulted nor informed about what will be the agenda of the meeting. Several opposition parties have reservation about the way the meeting has been convened,” Yechury said.The Congress is striving for uniting the Opposition on the issue of Rahul Gandhi’s charges of “personal corruption” against the Prime Minister and plans are afoot for a joint press conference by its president Sonia Gandhi and other opposition leaders on December 27.Yechury said that a few days back he had received a call from the Congress leadership inviting him to the press conference on December 27. “But when I wanted to know what will be the agenda of the meeting, plan of action and whether all opposition parties have been called, I didn’t receive any answer,” Yechury said. On being asked if the decision to stay away would not provide ammunition to the BJP camp, Yechury said,” When you want to take the opposition unity of 16 parties from a Parliament level to a political level then you need to hold consultation and discussion with the political leadership. A decision should be taken on the basis of proper consultation.That was not done, which is unfortunate,” the veteran leader said.He noted that in order to take forward the unity of opposition parties, references should be taken from the efforts that the CPI(M) has taken during the 1996 United Front government and UPA-I government. Yechury wondered why only the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee was invited to the press conference and Chief Ministers of Tripura, Bihar, and the NCP leadership were not properly consulted. “Why are you only inviting Chief Minister of West Bengal and not calling CMs of Bihar, Tripura and other states which have non-BJP governments?” he questioned.

250% jump in human trafficking cases in North East in 2015

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A whopping 250% jump has been witnessed in human trafficking cases in northeastern states last year as compared to 2015, with most being reported from Assam.Of the total 1,539 human trafficking cases registered in 2015, as many as 1,494 were from Assam, 20 from Meghalaya, 16 from Tripura, six from Nagaland and three from Arunachal Pradesh, an official said.The total number of such cases reported in these states in 2014 were 435, while just 186 in 2013.In 2014, about 93.5 per cent or 407 human trafficking cases were reported from Assam. Of the total 435 such incidents, 17 were also reported from Meghalaya, four from Nagaland, two from Arunachal Pradesh and three from Manipur, the official said.Incidentally, in 2013 too, Assam had topped the list of human trafficking cases in the northeast, with 149 of the 186 cases, the official said.Though police is a state subject and registration, investigation and prevention of crime of human trafficking are the state government’s responsibility, the Centre has adopted multi-pronged approach to combat the menace, the official said, adding apart from it, anti-human trafficking units have been set up in the state governments, including northeastern states.

Satish Verma, cop who’s gunning for Kiren Rijiju, had earlier doubted Ishrat Jahan’s terror link

The man who dragged Union Minister for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju into the alleged Rs 450 crore scam at the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited’s 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project, Gujarat cadre IPS officer Satish Verma, is no stranger to controversies.

Verma, as chief vigilance officer of the Neepco, had prepared a 129-page report of the ongoing irregularities in the power project. The officer now serves as an inspector-general in the Central Reserved Police Force in Tripura.

CRPF IGP Satish Verma. Image courtesy CRPF websiteCRPF IGP Satish Verma. Image courtesy CRPF website

CRPF IGP Satish Verma. Image courtesy CRPF website

According to a report in The Economic Times, Verma as one of the three members of the Gujarat High Court-appointed SIT to probe the Ishrat Jahan encounter differed with his fellow panelists and doubted if the 19-year-old girl shot down by cops in an alleged gunfight was at all a Lashkar-e-Taiba cadre.

The 1986-batch officer doesn’t share an enviable relationship with the Gujarat government and was even charged in January 2015 for prolonged absence from duty as the principal of Police Training College in Junagadh, a report in the DNA said.

Although the officer was granted Central deputation on request, he was apparently unhappy with his posting as the CVO at Neepco headquarters in Shillong. According to the DNA, the Central Administrative Tribunal, which he had approached seeking reprieve, refused to entertain his plea for a better posting.

His tenure in Neepco was cut short and it was not without controversy. Soon after he submitted his report involving Rijiju and his cousin Goboi, the officer was soon transferred out as IGP, Tripura sector of the CRPF as a lateral shift on deputation in July this year.

“Verma, a Gujarat IPS officer, was pulled up by NEEPCO for “unauthorised absence,” and transferred to the CRPF in Tripura soon after his report. He attributes the “absence” to his investigation.”—a report in The Indian Express said.

Appointed as Neepco CVO in August 2014, Verma soon had run-in with the company and the power ministry itself which finally got him out of the public sector enterprise by formally lodging a complaint against him with the Ministry of Home Affairs for alleged ‘high-handedness’. The official line is of course long absence from duty.

Before being shunted out of Neepco, the former CVO was given three show cause notices for unauthorised absence.

It is unlikely that the Tripura-based CRPF officer would have much popularity among colleagues from the IPS fraternity as well. His stand in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case resulted in seven IPS officers going behind bars which include high profile names like PP Pandey, DG Vanzara and GL Singhal among others.

Verma was on deputation with the Central Bureau of Investigation when he was made a member of the Special Investigation Team following court orders.

The IPS officer grabbed headlines in March this year as well when in a startling revelation, RVS Mani, former under secretary in the home ministry had told Times Now that he was coerced to file the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case. Mani directly accused Verma of torturing him.

“What Satish Verma did to me was unprecedented…On 21 June 2013, Satish Verma burnt me with cigarettes,” he told Times Now. “He was not collecting evidence, but engineering evidence,” he further said. “I was chased by so many officers and people,” he said.

Verma, however, rejected the charges.

“Further, Mr. Mani has spoken about physical torture by cigarette…; I must say the CBI never tortures anybody in such a way in any of their investigations. Suppose, I had done what Mr. Mani was claiming – it would be a big misconduct and perhaps it would be a crime under law. He was an officer of the Government of India, he must be aware of the fact that he could take legal action against me (for misconduct). Also, the highest investigating agency like the CBI, which doesn’t tolerate such misconducts, would also have taken some action. Hence, the charges are baseless,” the IPS officer was quoted as saying by ABP News.

The IPS officer was also entangled with the Gujarat state over a government accommodation allotted to him but later withdrew the plea.

A report in The Indian Express said that Verma approached the Gujarat High Court to get a state government order quashed asking him to vacate a flat on Ahmedabad’s CG Road allotted to him in 2013 when he was with the state police.

However, on legal advice, the officer decided to approach the CAT after withdrawing the case from the high court.
A NDTV report said that the Verma’s family occupies a flat at the Samarpan Government Colony in Ahmedabad. The state government wants the officer to vacate the Ahmedabad accommodation as he is on deputation with the CRPF now.

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 17:34 IST

Demonetisation day 23: Cash shortage noted on payday as angry customers queue up again

Reeling under shortage of currency stock, banks across the country have resorted to rationing of cash in order to handle the huge payday rush at branches. Although claims were made by various banks that adequate arrangement would be in place to tide over the cash crisis on payday, branches are seen rationing cash depending on their currency stock position.

Some banks are disbursing only Rs 5,000 per person while those having better cash availability are offering Rs 10,000 or Rs 12,000 per withdrawal. Making matters worse, a large number of ATMs are still dry despite recalibration of nearly 80 percent of ATMs, while people are struggling with the problem of change as the operational ones dispense mostly high denomination Rs 2,000 notes.

The news updates of day 23 show how people across India queued up in large numbers outside banks and ATMs to withdraw cash from their first salary received after the 8 November demonetisation.

People wait for cash in Delhi

Long queues were witnessed outside most banks and functioning ATMs across the capital, residents said. At Lakshmi Nagar in east Delhi, hundreds queued up outside the only three ATMs that were dispensing cash. In Dilshad Garden, also in east Delhi, most ATMs were dry. There was a huge rush outside five banks in the locality. At an ATM in Khirki extension in south Delhi, people queued up outside banks much before they opened. “I have to pay my landlord, maid, newspaper guy and many others. I am not sure I will get cash as this ATM works only for an hour after it is refilled,” Nandini Gupta, a call centre employee waiting outside a Khirki extension ATM, said.

The scene was no different outside the ATMs in Connaught Place in the heart of the city. A resident of Noida near Delhi, Shiv Kumar, even queued up outside the ICICI Bank in Sector 18 hours before it opened.

Long queues at banks in Kolkata

Young working professionals to pensioners, a large number of people queued up at banks long before the start of banking operations on Thursday morning, the first payday after demonetisation.

A number of ATMs in Kolkata — in the city and suburbs — displayed “No Cash” notice while the functional ones mostly dispensed Rs 2,000 notes. Queues at banks in the city were relatively longer as many people wished to withdraw the maximum amount permitted to avoid a cash crunch over the next few days.

Representational images. PTI

Representational images. PTI

Cash shortage in Telangana, Andhra

The queues turned longer as people lined up as early as at 6 am at banks to draw the money to meet their financial commitments on the first day of the month. Employees of private firms including IT companies, pensioners, housewives, traders, students and daily wage earners all had the same complaint — low cash or no cash in banks.

Majority of the banks allowed customers to draw only Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000. The situation was worse at ATMs, with almost all of them closed. A few, which opened in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and other major towns, soon went dry. The new Rs 500 note is yet to reach the banks in the two states.

The Telangana government has asked nationalised banks to open special counters for employees and pensioners to pay cash. It also directed them to work extra hours to meet the demand.

Salary Day in Kerala

State Finance Minister Thomas Issac had said there was no issue as far as the government was considered in paying the one million-plus people their salaries and pensions. He had expected Rs 1,000 crore to arrive at the state treasury on Thursday, while the banks were also expected to get around Rs 1,200 crore.

However, serpentine queues were seen in front of state treasuries and banks (ATMs saw less of a crowd) across Kerala on Thursday. With ATMs having a ceiling of Rs 2,500, the withdrawal limit in treasuries and banks has been fixed at Rs 24,000 a week, and hence, there was less of a rush at ATMs. In Kerala’s commercial capital Kochi, the scene was much the same with people — mostly pensioners — queuing up before the treasuries and banks.

As a matter of abundant caution, additional police force was deployed in front of several banks and treasuries across the state.

No mayhem in Tripura

The crowds at banks and ATMs in Tripura on Thursday, the first salary day after demonetisation, was not as massive as feared by many. In Mizoram, the first consignment of new Rs 500 currency notes along with Rs 100 notes arrived two days back, easing the cash crunch somewhat.

Bank officials in Agartala said a large number of employees withdrew some money in advance from their accounts fearing a huge rush on the first of December. However, the cash crunch continues to be serious in semi-urban, remote and rural areas of Northeast India where most banks do not have adequate currency or where ATMs lack notes of various denomination.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 15:34 IST

Demonetization: First meeting of panel of CMs on December 2

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first meeting of the panel of Chief Ministers set up by the Centre to suggest measures to minimize the inconvenience to the people post the demonetization drive will be held on December 2 under the chairmanship of Andhra Pradesh’s N Chandrababu Naidu.Sources said the Chief Ministers of Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry and Bihar will also be present in the meeting. In order to blunt the opposition on note ban, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday held talks with Naidu and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The Central Government yesterday decided to form a sub-committee of Chief Ministers to deal with the demonetization issue.This come as a united opposition is leaving no stone unturned in taking potshots at the government post the decision. Demanding that this decision should be rolled back for not being implemented properly, the opposition parties have also alleged that this exposed the ‘anti-poor’ stand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government as the general public is the worst hit.So far, only two Chief Ministers Bihar’s Nitish Kumar and Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik – have voiced their support for the Centre. Nitish has said he supported the currency ban as he is ‘convinced’ that it would help in the fight against black money while Patnaik has praised the move as a bold step. The ruling BJP at the Centre is also facing the wrath of its alliance partners as the Shiv Sena has alleged that the implementation of demonetization has not been done in an appropriate manner and said it is not only ‘one party’s monopoly’ to end corruption.The government has recommended the use of cashless methods of payment not only to tide over the cash shortage being experienced by people due to demonetization but also to curb corruption and generation of black money in the future.

Mizoram: Question mark on Bru people repatriation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mizoram Bru Displace People’s Forum (MBDPF) President A Sawibunga expressed doubt that thousands of Bru people, now lodged in six relief camps in North Tripura district would be willing to return to Mizoram unless each repatriated family is disbursed money for construction of a house under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). MBDPF is an apex body of the Bru people lodged in the Tripura relief camps since the later part of 1997. Sawibunga, who is now in Aizawl to appear before a district court in which he is the accused in a defamation case, said that the centre has to give official assurance that all the families in the camps would be given house construction expenses under the Prime Minister’s program of housing for all.He lamented that many bona fide residents of Mizoram in the six relief camps were not identified by the Mizoram government officials who conducted the identification since November two till Wednesday. “The officials did not bother to check ration cards issued by the Mizoram government and other documents saying their instruction was to identify only those enrolled in the 1995 Voters lists,” he said, adding that many descendants of voters whose parents have died were also left out in the identification.He also said that the Tripura government officials issued birth certificates to only few Bru babies born in the relief camps which created problems in identification. Mizoram government officials identified 32,857 Brus belonging to 5,413 families during the identification process who would be repatriated as per the proposed road map for Bru repatriation.According to the Road Map-V for Bru Repatriation, around 21,000 Brus belonging to 3,445 families were to be repatriated, but the figure had shot up much more than the target earlier.Meanwhile, the physical repatriation, scheduled to commence from November 30 is not likely to begin as per schedule due to various problems, state home department officials said.The officials said that the Ministry of Home Affairs’ delay in making final decision on the proposed enhancement of rehabilitation and resettlement package for the resettled Bru families and the recent demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes hindered physical repatriation to begin as per schedule.At this rate, the physical repatriation may only take off in February next year, some officials said.

Decoding by-election results: From the demonetization impact to the pro-incumbency wave

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The results for the by-polls have been declared and it is more or less along expected lines. Analysing by-poll results is a dangerous task. Most of the time, the results are heavily skewed in favour of the ruling party.The by-polls were held in six states and one union territory, of which three had assembly polls this year. Hence, the honeymoon factor is likely to be very strong. With all these caveats in place, here are some of the inferences that can be drawn from this round of polls.There were by-polls in 12 assembly constituencies (4 Lok Sabha and 8 Vidhan Sabha) and general elections in two assembly seats in Tamil Nadu where election was cancelled in May. Overall, BJP has increased its tally from 3 to 5. The Congress is down from 4 to 1. AIADMK and TMC have cemented their authority in Tamil Nadu and Bengal respectively. The by-elections became significant as it took place merely a week-and-a-half after the Modi government embarked on a revolutionary note exchange scheme. With demonetization pains felt acutely across the nook and corner of the country, it was a test whether it has impacted the voters, especially in the rural zones, to go beyond their ideological leanings and give BJP a thumbs down. While the full electoral impact of demonetization will only be known in the 2017 round of polls (with the mother of all battles in Uttar Pradesh), the BJP top brass can take heart from the party’s performance this time around. Saffron tilt in North East: Many pundits believed that the North East, where financial inclusion is less, will be adversely affected by demonetization. Well, that effect hasn’t impacted the electorates’ voting pattern so far. In Arunachal, BJP wrested the Hayuliang seat from Congress, where former CM Kalikho Pul’s wife narrowly won the seat with just 944 votes. BJP experiencing a pro-incumbency mood, managed to comfortably win in Assam, wresting one seat from Congress. But the heartening sign for BJP came from Tripura. The Left continued its dominant run winning both the assembly seats. Congress’ vote bank has completely collapsed after the high profile exodus to TMC. But they haven’t managed to transfer all the Congress votes with them. BJP which has painstakingly done ground work in Tripura has reaped some of its benefits and has emerged as the second largest force with an impressive vote surge of 20%. Tripura is likely to be a red bastion for sometime in the future and the real battle will be for the second place between TMC and BJP.Mamata consolidates her position: In Bengal, TMC won all the three seats which it had held previously. But it has managed to significantly increase its vote share in Monteswar (highest margin in Bengal history) and Tamluk. Rather than getting complacent post a comfortable win in Assembly elections, the party managed to consolidate its number. BJP has come second CoochBehar (+12%) and increased vote share in Tamluk by 9%. Left which has been traditionally been strong in the rural heartlands seems to have completely given up on its base. The vacuum is gradually being filled by BJP, though it needs to find a leader who can match the aggression of Mamata Banerjee. Rupa Ganguly maybe? Mixed fortunes for BJP in Madhya Pradesh:Madhya Pradesh has been a saffron state for a long time post-Digvijay Singh’s disastrous stint. But despite Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s competent rule, anti-incumbency has started to wean off BJP’s core votebank. Congress is a divided house in MP, and hence that gives BJP a decent leeway to stay in power. BJP has won both the Shahdol and the Nepanagar seat. But it has lost 9% vote in Shahdol (LS) and in Nepanagar(VS) it managed to increase its vote-share by 8%. Amma all the way in Tamil Nadu:The AIADMK did a clean sweep in Tamil Nadu winning all the three seats. Amma’s emotional appeal from the hospital bed may well have sealed the election for the ruling party. It significantly managed to increase its vote share also. Congress’ sole victory came in Nellithope, Puducherry where the seating CM managed to win the seat. The clear trend emerging from the polls is that the overall graph is positive for BJP. The backlash which many expected the party to receive post demonetization has clearly not happened. It may also be the case that the full effect of the note exchange hasn’t been felt so far, and the negative repercussions will harm the party later. But opposition parties may do well to slightly modify their stance vis-a-vis demonetization. They may well be seen as supporters of black money hoarders if demonetization indeed manages to get popular support.

Bypolls: V Narayanasamy bags Nellithoppe assembly seat in Puducherry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress contender and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy bagged the Nellithoppe assembly seat in Puducherry by-election defeating AIADMK’s Om Sakthi Segar. Narayanasamy, who is not a member of the territorial assembly, had emerged as compromise candidate for the Chief Minister’s post after May 16 assembly elections.This election was crucial for him as his continuance in the Chief Minister’s chair depended on the outcome of the bypoll.For Om Sakthi Sekar, the two-time MLA from this constituency, the electoral battle was an opportunity to prove his mettle after defeat in the last assembly elections.Counting of votes took place for four Lok Sabha and eight assembly constituencies, spread across six states and one Union Territory where by-elections were held on Saturday.In Tamil Nadu, bypolls were held for Thanjavur, Aravakurichi and Tiruparakundram assembly seats on November 19. The first round of counting for the Thanjavur assembly seat ended at around 9.30 am and AIADMK was leading with 5,993 votes, DMK at 3,974 votes.The Lok Sabha seats were bypolls where held are Lakhimpur in Assam, Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh and Coochbehar and Tamluk Parliamentary seats in West Bengal. The Assembly seats are in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and the Union Territory of Puducherry.In Tripura, the counting of votes for bypoll in Barjala and Khowai assembly constituencies began at 8 am amidst tight security. The CPI (M) won both assembly seats in the state.In Assam, the counting of votes for Lakhimpur Lok Sabha and Baithalangso assembly by polls is being held amid tight security. Over 66% polling was reported at Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat while over 74% voters exercised their voting rights at Baithalangso assembly seat.Five candidates are in the fray for the Lakhimpur seat while political fate of three candidates will be decided at Baithalangso assembly seat. Both the seats are likely to witness straight contest between the NDA and the Congress. The outcome of the bypolls will be the first test for the Sarbanand Sonowal-led BJP government as well as newly appointed state Congress president Ripun Bora.

Tripura bypolls: Vote counting begins in Barjala, Khowai

Tripura bypolls: Vote counting begins in Barjala, Khowai


Agartala: The counting of votes of the by-elections to the Barjala and Khowai assembly seats in Tripura began on Tuesday, an official said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Polling for the two scheduled caste reserved seats in Tripura took place on Saturday amidst tight security.

The Barjala seat fell vacant after Congress legislator Jitendra Sarkar resigned on 6 June following an internal feud within the party while the Khowai seat turned vacant following the death of veteran CPI-M legislator Samir Deb Sarkar.

Five candidates each contested from the two constituencies.

Both by-polls were four-cornered contests.

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 10:56 IST

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Counting of votes begins for bypolls of 4 Lok Sabha and 8 Assembly seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Counting of votes has begun for four Lok Sabha and eight Assembly Constituencies, spread across six States and one Union Territory where by-elections were held on Saturday.The Lok Sabha seats are Lakhimpur in Assam, Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh and Coochbehar and Tamluk Parliamentary seats in West Bengal.The Assembly seats are in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and the Union Territory of Puducherry.In Assam, the counting of votes for Lakhimpur Lok Sabha and Baithalangso assembly by polls is being held today amid tight security. Over 66 percent polling was reported at Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat while over 74 percent voters exercised their voting rights at Baithalangso assembly seat.Five candidates are in the fray for the Lakhimpur seat while political fate of three candidates will be decided at Baithalangso assembly seat. Both the seats are likely to witness straight contest between the NDA and the Congress.The outcome of the bypoll will be the first test for the Sarbanand Sonowal led BJP government as well as newly appointed state Congress President Ripun Bora.In Tamil Nadu, the results will be announced today for Thanjavur, Aravakurichi and Tiruparakundram Assembly bye-elections held on 19th of this month. The results are expected to be known in the morning itself as voting was held through Electronic Voting Machines.In Puducherry, counting of votes of the Nellithoppe assembly by-election has begun. Election Department has made all arrangements for counting.Police has put in place a three-tier security for Bharathidasan Women’s College in the city where counting is underway. As by-poll was held in a single constituency the result is expected by 10 am.The by-election saw fierce electoral battle between congress candidate and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and AIADMK’s Om Sakthi Sekar.Narayanasamy who is not a member of the territorial assembly emerged as compromise candidate for Chief Minister’s post after May 16 assembly elections.This election is crucial for him as his continuance in the post depend on the outcome of the by-poll. For Om Sakthi Sekar, two time MLA from the constituency, the electoral battle was an opportunity to prove himself after the defeat in the last Assembly elections.In Tripura, the counting of votes for by-poll in Barjala and Khowai assembly constituencies began at 8 am today amidst tight security.In Barjala, the counting is being held at Umakant Academy complex whereas in Khowai the counting is being held at SDM Office campus hall. Counting will be done in 4 rounds.First postal ballots and then EVM votes will be counted under the supervision of central election observers. Both the centres will be having CCTV for surveillance during counting of votes.In these constituencies polling was held on 19 November. Mainly four parties i.e. CPI (M), TMC, Congress and BJP are in the fray. There are around 39,000 voters in each constituency.

Demonetization: People in northeastern states welcome PM Modi’s move against black money

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central government’s move to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes evoked mixed reactions with the common people generally welcoming it in Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and some other places in northeast India.Although markets and other businesses in different parts of the state witnessed low-key activity due to the demonetization, most praised it as a step towards freeing the country of black money.From exchanging the demonetized 500 and 1,000 rupees notes to depositing and withdrawing cash, people were seen in long queues outside cash deposit counters and ATMs in Assam’s Guwahati city after Prime Minister Modi’s decision to ban the existing 500 and 1000 rupee notes that took the entire nation by surprise. Understandably, people had to face problems but they lauded the step of the government. “This is a huge success for the government for us and the entire nation. But the government should have given us time so that people would know the use of money during such hard times. I too have cash with me to deposit but let’s see what will happen. It would be miracle for us if something good happens out of it,” said a local from Guwahati.In the remote north-eastern province of Arunachal Pradesh, ATMs and banks were flooded by people, however, they were of the view that it was a short-term pain for a long-term gain. “Decision is good. For one to two months general people will face great difficulties but that is for time being . I am sure it will reap great benefits for us. It is definitely for the good of the public because these will great difference in the development scenario of the country,” said a local from Arunachal Pradesh. “It is a great initiative undertaken by our PM. Public’s money are all used as black money and not for the welfare of the people but such initiative is helping people to get back their money,” he added.In Manipur, security was beefed up as people in large numbers rushed to the banks to exchange notes and deposit cash. People were allowed to enter the banks in batches for depositing the amount. Patience wore thin after standing in long queues as depositors especially senior citizens were seen lining up since 6 am on Friday morning. “It is good but for people like us who only keep small amount of money for daily use will be very difficult. Now if we need to buy certain things from shops, shopkeepers are not accepting it as the 500 and 1000 notes are no more legal. The decision by Modi is good but abrupt as for common people it has really become a difficulty,” said a senior citizen Robin from Manipur.In Nagaland, security was beefed up outside bank branches as people struggling to buy daily items lined up to get Rs 100 currency notes. “My daughter is getting married this month but we are unable to do any kind of preparations. Shopkeepers are not accepting old notes it is creating great difficulties for us. I am sick. It is really creating problem for us. Could not express my problem in front of anybody,” said a local from Nagaland.In Tripura, people supported Modi’s bold step saying the absence of large-denomination notes will make it harder for people to hoard black money. “For time being some public will be affected of course but as a whole public and country will be benefited. To stop black-marketing this is going on for the last few months. This step is good and perfect,” said a local from Tripura.The government move is part of its efforts to tackle the triple menace of black money, fake currency and terror financing. It will not only curb the menace of black money, but will also help the government in improving its finances which can be used for public spending.

Earthquake with 5.0 magnitude hits northeastern states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale on Tuesday morning rocked the northeastern states.There were no reports of any casualties or damage.The tremor was felt at 7.40 a.m. with an epicentre located in Assam’s Karimganj district bordering Bangladesh, reported IANS quoting an official of the Regional Seismological Centre.Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur – are considered by seismologists as the sixth major earthquake-prone belt in the world.

Tripura govt to repair road near Dipa Karmakar’s house

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tripura government has now decided to repair the roads near Rio Olympian Dipa Karmakar’s house after the reports of the gymnast deciding to return her BMW surfaced.Dipa had cited poor conditions of the roads and maintenance of the vehicle as the reasons behind her decisions. Event organisers in Hyderabad have accepted her decision and offered to pay her the equivalent amount or buy a vehicle that is locally available.According to a report in Hindustan Times, PWD chief engineer Somesh Chandra Das said that the road near Dipa’s house falls among some others that they have selected for renovation. Work is expected to begin next month.The news created a political ruckus in the state with opposing parties blaming the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist). However, justifying Dipa’s concern that in the absence of a BMW service centre in Agartala, it will be very expensive for her to maintain such a posh car, TMC MLA Sudip Roy Barman lauded the gymnast for taking a wise decision. “Now, people are trying to malign her by saying that Dipa has insulted the state by demanding money, which indirectly is trying to shatter her dreams of performing well in the coming challenges,” Barman said.”We should make a request to all political parties, media and NGOs to stand by her and encourage her for future ventures in sports. It is unfortunate that ministers are trying to politicise this issue by passing comments detrimental to sports in Tripura,” he added.State CPI(M) secretary Bijan Dhar said in response that the party or the government did not criticise Dipa. But Karmakar’s could have avoided mentioning the road conditions in the state.

Dhaka-New Delhi bonhomie to touch new high

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first of its kind, cross-border cooperation, India is planning to allow Bangladesh to build its Border Outposts (BOPs) manned by Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) on the Indian side to help restrict the movement of insurgents groups.The idea came up when BGB said that it was very difficult for its personnel to watch and detect movement because of the dense foliage on their side of the International Border (IB), and they could do well if they are facilitated by India to build their BOPs on the Indian side that has clearing and good embankment roads.Later, it was discussed at the DG level between Border Security Force (BSF) and BGB, and then between the home ministers of the two countries, and given in principle approval.”The proposal is at an advance stage with the union home ministry and likely to be cleared soon. If cleared it will be the first of its kind border cooperation between two countries in the world. It shows the kind of confidence level the two countries enjoys with each other.””It will prove highly effective to control the movement of insurgent groups and smuggling cartels from Bangladesh side through the forested area, especially along the Chittagong hill tracts,”said highly placed sources.Once cleared at the highest level, as it involves tinkering with the international border, the BSF is likely to facilitate BGB in Tripura, Mizoram and Assam that sit on the Chittagong hill tracts (CHT) and some forested patches along the border in West Bengal, and Meghalaya also to build their BOPs on the Indian side.The first such BOPs of BGB may come up along the international borders in Tripura and Mizoram, and depending on their efficacy in other northeastern states.After committing terrorist acts, most northeast insurgent groups use CHT route to cross over to Bangladesh and then Myanmar to escape Indian security forces. Many of the insurgent groups have also established camps in CHT.The Chittagong hill tracts in Bangladesh covering an area of 5,093 sq. miles, touch boundaries with Indian states of Tripura in north, and Mizoram on the east, and Arakan state of Myanmar on south and east, and provides an ideal base for anti-India insurgent groups like ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom), PLA, UNLF and PREPAK and KYKL etc. India fears that here, they could obtain support from the JMB and other Bangladesh terror groups to launch terror attacks in India.

Government approves Rs 1,660 crore highway projects across 8 states

The 454 km highway project will cover Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Nagaland. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government, on Friday, approved Rs 1,660 crore worth of highway projects in eight states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Assam. “The standing finance committee (SFC) on Friday cleared eight projects worth Rs 1,659.96 crore for 454 km length for eight states,” a road transport and highways ministry official said.Of the eight projects, five will be undertaken on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode.The other states covered by the projects cleared are in Andhra Pradesh, Tripura Sikkim, Meghalaya and Nagaland. The project for Uttar Pradesh pertains to upgradation of 37 km stretch of Allahabad-Mirzapur section of NH 76E at a cost of Rs 219 crore, while Rs 323 crore Maharashtra project involves upgradation of Malewada to Chimur stretch on NH-353E.The Andhra Pradesh project covers widening of Machilipatnam to Avanigadda section on NH- 214A under National Highways Development Project (NHDP). In Tripura the Rs 172 crore project pertains widening to two lane with paved shoulder on Churaibari Agartala section of NH-44 while Sikkim will see construction of 1000 metre length viaduct at Rangpo on NH-31A. There will be two-laning of Nongstoin – Shillong Section of NH-44 and Nongstoin – Rongjeng – Tura road while in Nagaland the project aims at four-laning of Dimapur to Kohima Section of NH-39.The Assam package contains shifting of Electrical line and operational cost for compensation trees for construction of Dhola – Sadiya Ghats Bridge.

Unable to bear expenses, Tripura tribal couple sell daughter for Rs.650

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what highlights the sorry state of affairs in the backward areas of Tripura, a tribal couple in remote Dhalai district sold their girl child as they were unable to bear the expenses of the infant.The family belongs to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. A report published in a local paper said the child was sold for Rs. 650.Expressing grave concern over the incident, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Sudip Roy Barman said that the tribal sections are living mainly in the interior areas and are dying due to lack of food, and added that these incidents are hardly flashed by the media as the government cover them up.Barman said that there was an incident in Gandacherra area day before yesterday where a child was sold, adding a child was sold by the parents earlier in Kamalpur area in the same district.He said that the poverty ridden couple had sold the girl child to earn their livelihood.”A child was sold by the parents to earn their livelihood and this is a sorry state of affairs. Though the parents have been arrested, the kid hasn’t yet been recovered. The people are dying because of poverty. This government is in such a callous mood that they are least bothered, rather they are busy trying to suppress these facts and figures,” Barman said.According to an official report on September 18 last, a two-year old girl child was handed-over by her parents Harita Tripura (mother) and Charan Tripura (step father) to one Rita Chakma.This incident comes just days after another tribal couple from Gandachera subdivision of Dhalai district had sold their child.Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) Gandachera Bhaskar Das Gupta said, “The child was handed-over with mutual consent and on humanitarian ground for education purpose.”The SDM had met the tribal couple along with Jhutan Jamatia, the officer-in-charge of local police station, and inquired about the incident.He added that the child was traced and recovered from Abhoynagar area of Agartala, around 180 km from the village and handed over to her parents.It may be recalled that a similar incident was reported from Khowai district’s Munda Basti ADC (Autonomous District Council) village in the month of July last year where a tribal couple said that they were compelled to sell their newly-born child for Rs. 4,500 as they were unable to bear the cost of the kid.

Terrorism in Bangladesh will also impact India: Indian envoy to Dhaka

Agartala: Any incident of terror taking place in Bangladesh has implications for India as well, says Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

“Although there is not sufficient evidence of cross-border terror activity, consequential effect of a horrific incident taking place in Bangladesh can be on India as well, as we share a long land boundary with that country,” Shringla told IANS during a visit to Agartala.

He, however, expressed satisfaction that the Bangladesh authorities have now realised that terror activities could take a serious turn in their country, and they have met with some success in dealing with the recent acts of terror on their soil.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Indian envoy said, “Ever since the Bangladesh security forces have taken some pro-active steps, the situation in that country has improved a lot. Bangladesh has been mobilising the people of all sections to deal with the situation emerging from the recent terrorist attacks.”

Referring to the Home Minister-level meeting held in July in New Delhi, Shringla said that India and Bangladesh would fight terrorism jointly, as agreed upon during the meeting, also because it is in their interests.

“The Home Ministers of India and Bangladesh, during their last meeting in New Delhi, decided to tackle terrorism jointly, in the common interest of the two neighbours,” he added.

The Indian diplomat maintained that if Bangladesh faces a threat, its potential impact on India can’t be ruled out. “Bangladesh is very responsive to our security concerns. Both countries are helping each other in dealing with the threats and the situation currently prevailing there.”

Shringla, who joined as the High Commissioner in Bangladesh in January 2016, was in Tripura as part of his visit to the five Indian states along the Bangladesh border. He met Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh and various other officials and dignitaries and discussed India-Bangladesh issues.

“Bangladesh security forces’ actions against the militants holed up in northeast India were instrumental in securing peace and stability in India’s northeastern region. Most of the camps (on Bangladesh land) of militants active in the Northeast have been busted and their infrastructure demolished,” he said, and added that the Bangladesh government has also handed over several militants and their leaders to the Indian authorities.

The Indian High Commissioner also hailed the Bangladesh security forces for deft handling of the situation and nabbing terrorists after the deadliest terror attack in Dhaka on 1 July that killed 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, in the capital’s diplomatic zone.

“Bangladesh security forces were more or less successful in finding the blueprint of the recent terror activities in their country. We believe Bangladesh would be successful in containing terror activities and threats from that country,” he added.

“The Bangladesh government has involved people and all stakeholders, including Imams, to deal with terrorism and arrested many terrorists and their collaborators. In fact, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has personally interacted with the authorities and stakeholders in the 64 districts across the country to handle the situation,” Shringla said.

The District Magistrates and Deputy Commissioners of the border districts of India and Bangladesh are meeting regularly to ease out border-related issues of the two countries, according to him. “Both New Delhi and Dhaka have delegated various powers to district-level officials to handle issues that can be sorted out at their level.”

“India is fencing its borders with Bangladesh to check crimes, terrorists’ movement, cross-border harmful activities and infiltrations. Over 75 per cent of 4,096-km India-Bangladesh borders have already been fenced and remaining portions are being fenced in a phased manner,” the High Commissioner added.

Talking about the attacks on minorities in that country, Shringla said that some isolated incidents of attacks did take place, but the Bangladesh Government has taken appropriate actions immediately and addressed the issues.

“A number of perpetrators of attacks on minorities were either arrested or killed by the Bangladesh security forces,” he added.

Five states of India — West Bengal (2,216km), Tripura (856km), Meghalaya (443km), Mizoram (318km) and Assam (263km) — share longest 4,096-km border with Bangladesh.

BJP chief Amit Shah accuses Nehru of ‘historic blunder’ on Kashmir issue

BJP President Amit Shah on Wednesday blamed late Jawaharlal Nehru accusing him of having committed a “historic blunder” on Kashmir and the criticised the then Congress leadership for the partition.Referring to the declaration of truce when Pakistan- backed tribal raiders in 1948 were being repulsed in Kashmir, he said if such a decision was not made, the Jammu and Kashmir problem would not have existed today.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Suddenly, without any reason….the reason is not known even today, truce was declared. Never has any leader of the country made such a historic blunder. If Jawaharlalji had not declared a ceasefire at that time, the Kashmir issue would not have existed,” Shah said speaking at an event in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) here.He claimed that this decision was taken to improve “one’s (Nehru’s) personal image,” and lamented that because of this a part of Kashmir is now with Pakistan.The event was to commemorate Bhartiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, where Governor of Tripura Tathagata Roy gave a lecture.In his lecture, Roy also raised questions over the circumstances leading to Mookerjee’s death in Kashmir in 1953 where he had gone to participate in a protest and raised questions about Nehru’s handling of the events and the decision not to conduct an inquiry into it.Shah said that a “large section” believes that Mookerjee’s death was in fact “murder” and if a probe had been conducted, truth could have come out.Lauding the Jan Sangh founder’s role, Shah said that he had played a key role in raising the concerns of Hindus in Bengal and “If Kolkata is a part of India, and one person has to be given credit for it, it is Syama Prasad Mookerji.” Shah claimed that if the Congress leadership at the time of independence had not got into a hurry, the division of India could have been prevented.”When at the time of independence, the entire Congress leadership was anxious to become independent…. all of them were ageing, if it gets delayed was also worrying them. But at that time a young leader thought that a mistake should not happen and Bengal was saved,” Shah said.

Senior Tripura government official suspended after rape charge

A senior Tripura Civil Service officer Panna Ahmed has been suspended after an FIR was lodged against him alleging that he had raped a woman, official sources said on Wednesday.Chief Secretary Y P Singh said Ahmed, a joint director of sports and youth affairs department, was suspended yesterday after an FIR was lodged by a woman claiming that he had raped her when she went to his residence in South Ramnagar on Monday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the basis of her complaint, a search warrant has been issued against the absconding accused, Superintendent of police (Police Control) Uttam Bhowmick said.According to the FIR, the incident took place on Monday morning when she went to meet him seeking to rent rooms.The accused also reportedly threatened her of dire consequences if she disclosed the incident, they said.

Tripura CPM leader suspended from party over grabbing bidi workers’ land

Agartala: Veteran Tripura CPI-M leader and former deputy speaker of the assembly Subal Rudra was suspended from the party for allegedly grabbing land, a party leader said on Tuesday.

Representational image. AgenciesRepresentational image. Agencies

Representational image. Agencies

“After an internal inquiry of the party about allegation of grabbing land against Rudra, he was suspended from the party for a year,” Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Tripura state secretary Bijan Dhar told IANS.

Dhar, also a CPI-M central committee member, said that party probe found that the accusation of land grabbing against Rudra was correct.

The 66-year-old leader refused to comment on his suspension.

“I have received the suspension letter. I have not yet made up my mind about my future course of action. I would not make any comment at this moment,” Rudra, a CPI-M Tripura state committee member, told IANS over phone.

The Tripura government had allotted 3.2 hectares to the bidi workers in 1993 in Melaghar in Sipahijala district. Half of the land was allowed for housing 45 families while rest was kept for construction of a school and other civic amenities.

Rudra is alleged to have grabbed a portion of this land.

Rudra was elected to the assembly five times since 1978, when the CPI-M led Left Front government first came to power in Tripura

International borders of North-eastern states will be fenced to check trans-border movement

Agartala: International borders of the northeastern states would either be fenced or sealed to check trans-border movement of militants and prevent infiltration and cross-border crimes, a top Union Home Ministry official said here on Friday.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Government has different approach depending upon the northeast India’s borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar. We have concrete action plan for the management of the borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar,” Union Home Ministry’s Border Management Secretary Susheel Kumar told reporters.

“Government has already decided to seal Assam’s border with Bangladesh within two years. Most parts of Assam’s 263-km-long border with Bangladesh are riverine,” he said.

To a question the official said that topography, requirement and approach to manage the 1,640-km unfenced border with Myanmar are completely different from the Bangladesh border.

Four northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam share a 1,880-km border with Bangladesh, while Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh share a 1,640-km unfenced border with Myanmar.

Susheel Kumar, who came to Tripura on Friday on a three-day visit after meeting officials in Meghalaya and West Bengal, held a meeting with Tripura Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh, senior officials of the Border Security Force, District Magistrates and Collectors of different bordering districts besides senior state government officials.

“By December next year, Tripura’s 856-km border with Bangladesh would be completely fenced to check trans-border movement of terrorists, hostile elements, prevent infiltration and check border crimes,” he said.

“As per international norms, the barbed wire fencing is being erected 150 yards from the zero line of the borders. Where there are problems, the fencing is being erected at the Zero Line after taking cognisance of the Bangladesh government,” he added.

The official, who will visit a few bordering areas during the next two days to assess border management, said that wherever the people’s perception is different about erecting the fencing, the concerned District Magistrate and Collectors have been asked to talk to the people.

India had started erection of a fence and putting up of floodlights all along the 4,096-km India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura several years back to stop infiltration.

Union Minister Anant Geete says 67% of population in Tripura languishing below poverty line

Union minister Anant G Geete on Friday denounced the Left Front government in Tripura for not being able to alleviate poverty in the state, saying 67 per cent of its population is below the poverty line.”Is it good governance? When the national average of BPL is 38 per cent, in the Marxist ruled state the number is 67 per cent, which is abnormally high. “What is this government doing being at the helm of affairs for the last 23 years? People in this state are getting poorer due to the governance they are being provided,” Geete said at a press conference in Agartala. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister, who visited the state to highlight the achievements the two-year rule of the Narendra Modi led NDA government, said even very poor people in the country were now getting LPG. “In Tripura, people do not get their proper share of money allocated by the Centre, which is the main reason for poverty and such a high rate of BPL percentage,” he said adding, had there been good governance, the people of Tripura could have caught up with the national BPL average.Attacking the UPA government, he said the last ten years of the UPA government were full of scams, and could be termed as government of scams. But, in the last two years of Narendra Modi government, there is no scam and the coming three years would also be scam-free, Geete claimed. “There is only 16 months left for the Tripura Assembly polls and we will work hard to change this government. There has been a change of guard in neighbouring Assam and it seems a BJP-led government will also come to power in Tripura,” he added.

All major parties in Tripura reject statehood demand by Indigenous People’s Front of Twipra (IPFT)

Secretary of the state Committee of ruling CPI-M, Bijan Dhar on Monday said, “we oppose this demand because it is divisive, irresponsible and politically motivated. This demand for Twipra Land is aimed at creating a separate state by dividing the small Tripura state, which would increase the sufferings of the people.”The IPFT, in a statement earlier, called for blockade of the Assam-Agartala National Highway on June 22 for 24 hours to press for their demand. “This demand is aimed at destabilising the communal harmony between tribal and non-tribal communities of the state and against peace and development of the state,” the CPI-M leader told reporters here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The IPFT demanded to carve out the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), home to the tribals, who constitute one-third of the state population and occupy two-third of the state territory to form the new state.

TMC gains strength in Tripura, Mamata likely to visit next month

In a bid to strengthen Trinamool Congress in Tripura where it has emerged as main opposition party, its supremo Mamata Banerjee is likely to visit the state next month.”We have given a few dates after the Ramzan month gets over. We are very much hopeful that Mamatadi will visit Tripura in July. Her visit will help us to strengthen the party organization in the state,” Sudip Ray Barman who led the Congress dissidents, told PTI here. In a setback for Congress, six dissident MLAs in Tripura yesterday joined TMC which has now become main opposition party in the Left-ruled state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The six rebel Congress MLAs submitted a letter to Tripura Assembly Speaker Ramendra Debnath saying they are quitting the party and joining Trinamool Congress. Burman has been elected leader of the TMC legislature group and is expected to stake claim to the post of the Leader of the Opposition.

Former Tripura CM, six Congress MLAs to join Trinamool Congress

Former Tripura chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman along with six rebel Congress MLAs, including his son Sudip will join Trinamool Congress after the end of Ramzan next month.”I along with five other Congress MLAs and my father, former chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman, will join Trinamool Congress after the end of Ramzan next month,” Sudip Roy Barman told PTI.”We want to fight the Assembly election in Tripura under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. In Tripura, Congress has lost all credibility after it entered into an alliance with CPI(M) in West Bengal. How can you fight against CPI(M) when you have an alliance with them in another state ?” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The development comes a day after Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy held a closed-door meeting in Agartala with the six rebel Congress MLAs of Tripura to explore the possibility of inducting them into the party.The MLAs whom Roy met had fallen foul of the Congress high command after they criticised the party leadership for entering into a tie-up with the Left in West Bengal saying it reflected badly on the party’s position as the principal opposition party in Tripura. The Congress high command had suspended MLA Sudip Roy Barman who led the five disgruntled legislators.

TBSE Tripura Madhyamik (Class 10) Results 2016 to be declared today on 2nd June

The students awaiting Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) Tripura Madhyamik (Class 10) Results 2016 can relax now.Reports state that the Tripura Madhyamik (Class 10) Results 2016 are scheduled to be released today on 2nd June.All the students who have appeared for the TBSE Class 10 2016, Tripura Class 10 2016, Tripura Madhyamik 2016, Tripura Board Class 10 2016 exams can now easily check their results on the board websites.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Follow these simple steps to check the results:1. Visit the official websites of the board: www.tbse.in and tripuraresults .nic.in2. Fill in the required information like the name and roll number3. Click on the ‘Submit’ icon4. Your result will appear on the pageYou can save the result and take a printout for future useWe wish all the students all the best for their results!

PM Modi in Shillong: Centre committed to North East’s welfare

Shillong: The government is committed to the welfare of the northeastern India, especially the women of the region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday after laying the foundation stone of a new football stadium here.

File photo of Narendra Modi.

PM Modi also inaugurated passenger train services to Mizoram and Manipur on the newly-laid broad gauge line, and the Kamakhya-Katra weekly train from Assam to J&K. File photo

Modi laid the foundation stone of a football stadium which is being constructed in Shillong at a cost of Rs 38 crore.

“Foundation stone of a football stadium has been laid. This region has a great talent in sports, particularly football. Football is a passion here and it is played in each and every nook and corner of the state and the region,” said Modi.

The prime minister also inaugurated passenger train services to Mizoram and Manipur on the newly-laid broad gauge line, and the Kamakhya-Katra weekly train from Assam to Jammu and Kashmir.

“The government is committed to the development in the northeast region, the Self Help Groups (SHG), particularly the women SHGs. Keeping this in mind, the government has also approved a special package for the northeast,” the prime minister said at the North Eastern Council meeting here.

He said he wanted to see the northeastern region shine in the organic farming sector.

“I am particularly keen to see the northeast shine in the organic farming sector. Northeast can become the organic food basket of India,” said Modi, who is the first prime minister in the last two decades to attend the NEC plenary meeting.

He said the central government’s focus on the northeast is manifested in its ‘Act East Policy’.

“We want to particularly improve connectivity, infrastructure and tourism,” said Modi.

The North Eastern Council (NEC) is the nodal agency for channelising the funds for economic and social development in the region.

The prime minister said Agartala, the capital of Tripura, has become the third international location to be connected to Cox Bazar of Bangladesh, which would further aid the social and ecomomic empowerment of the northeastern region.

Trade along border of Tibetan Autonomous Region of China increased by 312.64%: Govt

Till around a year ago, at 4,545 meters in freezing temperatures at Nathu La, trucks moved from both sides of the border and porters transferred goods under the watchful eyes of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).Last year, the government stepped in to make the border trade less grueling by using the facility near the borders. The trade, through Nathu La, along the border of the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China and Sikkim in India, has increased by 312.64%, according to Commerce Ministry sources. The pass in the Himalayas, falling on the ancient silk road, was reopened in 2006 after it was closed for over 40 years.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Such efforts of encouraging trade through border haats, located at the zero line mostly falling along borders of northeastern states with Bangladesh, China and Myanmar, seem to have paid off recording increase in trade figures. The BJP is hoping to cash in on the issue as part of its plans to make inroads into the northeastern states, where it feels it is on the upward trail. Besides Assam, which the party has wrested from Congress, it is setting its eyes on five states– Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim. Several of these states, particularly Nagaland and Mizoram, have significant Christian population.A senior BJP leader said the Congress-led UPA had not even tried to cash in on the low hanging fruit like border haats in the region, which has been crying for development.At the land customs station (LCS) at Moreh in Manipur and Zokhawtar in Mizoram along Myanmar border, the export-import figures have risen from Rs 3.11 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 147.95 crore in 2014-15, according to official figures.According to government sources, chief minister Manik Sarkar wanted more border haats as he felt it helped in containing insurgency.The first border haat along the Tripura-Bangladesh border was opened in Srinagar last year, after which four others were planned. The total trade in Srinagar was Rs 84 lakh in 2014-15 and it rose to Rs 4.21 crore in 2015-16, according to ministry figures. At the Kamalasagar haat, inaugurated by Prime Ministers of both countries in June last year, the total trade has been Rs 3.52 crore, of which Rs 2.96 crore is by the Indian side.However, Tripura, where CPM leader Manik Sarkar has been in power since 1998, and Meghalaya, which has a majority of Khasi population, are not on the BJP’s radar yet. Both share border with Bangladesh.The main commodities from India are local handicrafts, fruits cosmetics, steel utensils, cloth material while from the Bangladesh side the items are mostly dry fish, bakery items, plastic goods and local vegetables. The Indian and Bangladeshi governments have agreed to establish two more border haats in Tripura and four more in Meghalaya.At Nathu La, the imports are mostly of colourful Chinese blankets and quilts, RMG, carpet, shoes, China clay, Yak tail and local herbal Medicine while the exports range from vegetable oil, handloom products, tobacco, utensils, incense sticks, tea and snuff.”With many more Border Haats proposed along the India-Bangladesh border, there is hope and promise for people living in the remote border locations and particularly in the North East region of India which is a land-locked territory with low indices of human and economic development,” according to CUTS International, an NGO pursuing social justice and economic equity within and outside borders.It said the initiation of Border Haats along the India-Bangladesh border has also shown a lot of promise towards economic development of border communities, formalising informal trade, building trust and higher trade openness.AT A GLANCE​The first border haat along the Tripura-Bangladesh border was opened in Srinagar last year, after which four others were planned. The total trade in Srinagar was Rs 84 lakh in 2014-15 and it rose to Rs 4.21 crore in 2015-16, according to ministry figures. At the Kamalasagar haat, inaugurated by Prime Ministers of both countries in June last year, the total trade has been Rs 3.52 crore, of which Rs 2.96 crore is by the Indian side. The main commodities from India are local handicrafts, fruits cosmetics, steel utensils, cloth material while from the Bangladesh side the items are mostly dry fish, bakery items, plastic goods and local vegetables. The Indian and Bangladeshi governments have agreed to establish two more border haats in Tripura and four more in Meghalaya.

TBSE Board Class 12 Result 2016: Check Tbse.in and tripuraresults.nic.in, Tripura Board Class 12 Exam Results 2016 announced

Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) has announced the results for TBSE Class 12th result 2016. Students can breathe easy and head over to the websites to check their scores.The exams for Tripura Board Class 12 Results 2016 were conducted from March 2 March until Arpil 7, 2016. Here’s how you can check the results:- Visit the official websites tbse.in and tripuraresults.nic.in<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>- Click on the link that reads ‘Tripura 12th (+2) Results 2016’- Enter your roll number and date of birth in the space provided and submit- Download and print the results for reference purposes.About the Tripura BoardTripura Board of Secondary Education was established in 1973 by an Act (Tripura Act. No.12 ) called Tripura Board of Secondary Education Act, 1973 as passed by Tripura Legislative Assembly. The Board started its functioning from the 1st January, 1976. Intervening period was spent in framing Rules and Regulations, Curricula and Syllabi, and such other guidelines which were being necessary for smooth and active conduct of the business of the Board.

TBSE Board Class 12 Result 2016: Check Tbse.in and tripuraresults.nic.in, Tripura Board Class 12 Exam Results 2016 to be declared soon

Wait for students who appeared for the Tripura Board Class 12 Exam Results 2016 conducted from March 2 to April 7, 2016 will be over today. Tripura Board of Secondary Education will announce the results at 9.45 am.Here’s how you can check the TBSE Class 12 Results 2016:1. Visit the official websites tbse.in and tripuraresults.nic.in<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Click on the link that reads ‘Tripura 12th (+2) Results 2016’3. Enter your roll number and date of birth in the space provided and submit.4. Download and print the results for reference purposes.We wish all the students a very good luck!

TBSE Board Class 12 Result 2016: Check Tbse.in and tripuraresults.nic.in, Tripura Board Class 12 Exam Results 2016 to be announced today on May 21

The TBSE Class 12 Results 2016 will be declared today on May 21. The Tripura Board will announce the results of their official websites. Students who wrote the exams held from March 2 to April 7, 2016 can check their results using their roll number and birth date. Here’s how you can check the results:- Visit the official websites tbse.in and tripuraresults.nic.in<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>- Click on the link that reads ‘Tripura 12th (+2) Results 2016’- Enter your roll number and date of birth in the space provided and submit- Download and print the results for reference purposes.About the Tripura BoardTripura Board of Secondary Education was established in 1973 by an Act (Tripura Act. No.12 ) called Tripura Board of Secondary Education Act, 1973 as passed by Tripura Legislative Assembly. The Board started its functioning from the 1st January, 1976. Intervening period was spent in framing Rules and Regulations, Curricula and Syllabi, and such other guidelines which were being necessary for smooth and active conduct of the business of the Board.

Tripura agrees to supply additional 100 MW power to Bangladesh, but on one condition!

Tripura government has agreed to a proposal to supply additional 100 MW power to Bangladesh, but with a condition that the Centre would continue a steady flow of gas to 101 MW thermal power project in Sipahijala district, Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey said on Saturday.Recently, Bangladesh has written to the Government of India about its requirement of additional 100 MW power from Tripura and the ministry of power wanted the opinion of the state government.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are also interested to supply additional 100 MW of power to our neighbour. We can give them the entire production of the 101 MW gas based thermal power project at Monarchak in Sipahijala district. If the Government ofIndia can ensure steady flow of supply of gas to the project. We have intimated our opinion to the central government,” state Power Minister told reporters here.The Monarchak project is owned by North East Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), a state owned power company which made an agreement to sell the entire production to Tripura.The project is now ready for commercial run if natural gas is supplied. During trial run gas was supplied by ONGC, which has huge recoverable reserve in the state.A double circuit transmission line from Sryamaninagar here to Comilla district in Bangladesh covering 47 km was erected by the Government of India, through which 100 MW power is being supplied from Tripura’s 726 MW gas based thermal power project in Gomati district since March 23.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, along with Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, on March 23 opened the transmission through video-conferencing.

Mercury soars: Water levels in country’s reservoirs down at 23%

With the mercury soaring, water stock in 91 major reservoirs across the country has plunged to 23% of their total capacity, government said on Monday.According to the Water Resources Ministry, 35.839 billion cubic metre (BCM) of stock was available in these reservoirs for the week ending April 13 out of a total capacity of 157.799 BCM.The levels are 33% less than the stock available during the corresponding period last year, the Ministry said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The stock is 23% less than the 10-year average storage levels for the same period.Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala have reported lower levels of water in major reservoirs compared to the previous year.Only two states, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura, have reported better storage vis-a-vis last year for the same period.For the week ending on April 7 this year, the stock was at 37.92 BCM or 24%, or of their total storage capacity.The estimated water storage capacity of all reservoirs (small, medium and major ones) in the country is 253.88 BCM.Out of the total number of major reservoirs, 37 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

‘I’m slowly but surely succeeding, perseverance the only way’: Iron lady Irom Sharmila isn’t backing down

There is heavy police presence on both sides of the road. Barricades are in place to ensure that no one can come into Manipur House, located in the capitals Chanyakapuri locality, without permission. The heavy Delhi Police bandobast outside is supplemented by state police sprawled across the lobby inside the building.

All this is to ensure that Manipur’s human rights icon Irom Sharmila does not address students who wish to meet her. Not that the students are organising a protest. The authorities just will not allow the young people, several students from JNU, be anywhere near the premises. Nobody can answer the simply question: why? “Orders from the authorities,” they say. Which authorities? Who in authority? There is no answer from the plain clothes policemen swarming the building.

Irom Sharmila in a file photo. ReutersIrom Sharmila in a file photo. Reuters

Irom Sharmila in a file photo. Reuters

Irom Sharmila is frail. She has a ready smile and speaks softly. She is in a happy mood, with the Delhi Court acquiting her in a 2006 attempt to suicide case. She is being forcibly fed through a nasal tube, and has several other similar cases against her in Manipur. “Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, had resorted to fasts while making certain demands,” she said in court earlier while justifying her fast. “Since there is no meaning of true democracy in the country, human rights activists should join hands. The matter should be brought to the attention of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.”

She is determined to continue her fast until the government relents and lifts the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives extraordinary power to the security forces and provides them impunity against civilian courts. The determination comes through in her interaction. She makes it clear that she wants to live, she wants to do all the normal things, but only after AFSPA is lifted from Manipur. She is not at all bitter, not against the authorities who have done this to her. She says her fight is not against any individual but against the ‘Black Act’. She is almost spiritual in her approach and has love for people, including her tormentors. She has a special place in her heart for the young people of Manipur and the youth across the country.

Q: It seems you want to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Why? Do you think he will understand your plight and help your cause?

A: Yes I want to meet Prime Minister Modi. My presence will have an impact on him. I mean I shall explain my position and say why it is important to lift the draconian AFSPA which has no place in a democracy. I am quite certain the Prime Minister will understand. My soul is pure and he will know I have no ulterior motives. If a person is sensitive he will understand what I am fighting for.

Q: The Prime Minister is a busy man, do you think he will spare the time to meet you?

A: I hope he will.

Q: Do you think the Prime Minister is sensitive?

A: I don’t know yet, will know after I meet him.

Q: It has been 16-years since you went on fast, but it has made no impact. The AFSPA has not been lifted. You have various cases against you. You are being force fed. In the meantime life is passing you by. Everyone else is leading their life as they please. You are suffering. Has it been worthwhile to continue this fast?

A: I don’t agree with you. I am fighting for the people. Our people are suffering because the security forces can do what they please with impunity. People know that I am fighting for the right cause, for them, in the only way I can. I am not doing this for personal gain. It is not that people don’t care, but they don’t know how to help at the moment. Young people across Manipur are supporting me. I have influenced them, and they know that it is right to fight for principles. I am convinced that I will finally have my way. The struggle has been worth it. I have no regrets.

Q: Do you think the time has come to re-think your strategy. You can fight for lifting the AFSPA by other means? So far you have hurt only yourself.

A: I don’t see it that way. I think I am slowly but surely succeeding. Look what happened today. The judge quashed the case and acquitted me. The judgement upheld the Constitution. The court saw the reality of the situation that was a big achievement. I am happy.

Q: In neighbouring Tripura, AFSPA was lifted, because Chief Minsiter Manik Sarkar worked for it. Can’t that be replicated in Manipur?

A: Manipur is not Tripura. I will achieve what I have set out to do. We have to remain united and persevere, that’s the only way. Happily I see there is a change in people’s perception. As I said before the court judgement today is a step in the right direction. I expect something else will happen tomorrow. Change comes with patience. I am now at the peak of my struggle and I see hope at the end of the tunnel. Things are changing, awareness spreading.

Q: Who do you hold responsible for AFSPA – the army, the state government or the Centre?

A: All three are responsible. The collective voice of the people should be raised against governments that use violence and religious beliefs to divide society. India cannot progress unless we change our system. The country will remain as it is now – poor and torn by conflict where nobody is happy. I want to talk to the Prime Minister and make him understand the hollowness of our system, where we cannot spread the happiness index.

Q: Are you aware of what is happening in JNU? What are your views.

A: Let the young be fearless and ask questions. It is the youth that always challenges the status-quo. They are bright and have the right to raise their concerns. Without an enquiring mind how can the human race progress? Why should the young not be revolutionary? The students must continue to question authorities and bring in change. Change is at the heart of human progress.

#WomansDay: Tripura tea vendor takes Class 10 exam with daughter

Agartala: Twenty years is a long time to carry through the dream of passing at least the Class 10 examination, especially when life is a struggle just to make two ends meet.

Not for Smriti Banik, 39, though.

A triumph in Tripura/ Representational pic, ReutersA triumph in Tripura/ Representational pic, Reuters

A triumph in Tripura/ Representational pic, Reuters

This mother of two daughters does private tuitions and runs a tea stall to supplement her husband’s meagre income as a vegetable seller. That’s in addition to the household work.

She still has had the desire and the energy to prepare for this year’s Madhyamik (Class 10th) examination of the Tripura Board of Secondary Education, which started on March 3.

Smriti is now sitting for the board exams along with her teenaged daughter Sagarika. Both are enrolled as examinees at Office Tilla Higher Secondary School in Bishalgarh, 30 km from here.

“When I was three years old, my father died. We were four sisters. My mother had to struggle through poverty to run our family,” Smriti told IANS.

She said she had to discontinue her Class 10 studies when she got married in 1996 at the age of 19.

“Since then, I have always wanted to sit for the Madhyamik, but poverty came in the way.”

Her husband Jiban Banik is a small vegetable trader, and barely earns enough.

“I tutor small children and run a tea stall,” Smriti said with undisguised simplicity.

Thankfully, her husband, elder daughter Sagarika and even neighbours have been encouraging and helpful. They all helped her make up her mind to take this year’s Madhyamik examination.

For many weeks before the examination, Smriti had to take at least 2-3 hours off her household chores and other work every day to study.

She and Sagarika would study together, sometimes through the night.

“Even though the syllabus has changed since I stopped my study 20 years ago, I have managed to prepare myself with the help of my daughter,” she said.

Smriti said she would like to study beyond Class 10.

Becoming a college graduate — even a post-graduate — is her larger ambition.

Over 47000 students, including 23,464 girls, are sitting for this year’s Madhyamik examination of the Tripura Board of Secondary Education.

Board president Mihir Deb said every year some elderly men and women, retired government employees and even jail inmates take the secondary and higher secondary examinations.

“These elderly men and women, retired government employees and jail inmates are not sitting for such examinations for getting government jobs but to fulfil their unfulfilled dreams,” Deb told IANS.

Tripura’s literacy rate increased to 96.82 percent last year from 87.75 percent recorded in the 2011 Census, he noted.


Tripura: Landslide win for Left Front in Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council polls

The ruling Left Front in the state consolidated its base in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) by winning more than 90 per cent seats in the village committee elections held on February 24.Of the 587 village committees, so far results of 575 have been announced of which the Left Front has secured absolute majority in 515 committees, State Election Commission secretary Tamal Majumder said. The Congress has won 10 committees, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) 24 and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) has won 14 committees. Independents have won the rest, Majumder told reporters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 84 per cent turnout was recorded in the TTAADC poll to constitute village committees. Election was held in 528 of the 587 village committees as Left parties were elected unopposed in 59 of them. The tribal council area is formed with two-thirds of the state territory and is home to tribal people, who form one-third of the state’s population. The village committees are equivalent to village panchayat committees.Meanwhile, the ruling CPI-M, the major partner of the Left Front, in a statement congratulated the people for the massive victory. “This is a verdict in favour of harmony, peace and development for which the Left Front always strives hard,” the statement said.

Free speech being questioned and not many willing to stand up for it: Chidambaram

Former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Friday expressed serious concern over the “deep polarisation” that is prevalent in the country now and the way debate has come to be framed on communal and other lines.There were only three occasions when India was deeply polarised — 1947 partition, 1992 after Babri Masjid demolition and 2015, one of the most polarised years, he said. “2014 was a year of acrimony and I thought 2015 will be a year of acronyms but at the end of 2015 it is a most polarised year. Today the year has turned out to be deeply polarised. How polarised the Indian society has become.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Please talk to a Muslim, dalit, or a man of small land holding. There is great insecurity and fear as to where we are heading, towards a deeply divided polarised society. This is what we want we you to think about,” he said at a function here. Chidambaram was speaking after the release of his book “Standing Guard–A year in Opposition”, a compilation of his Sunday columns published in the Indian Express in 2015.The function was attended among others by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, former Ministers Kapil Sibal, Jairam Ramesh, Shashi Tharoor, former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, CPM leaders Sitaram Yechury and T K Rangarajan and leading lawyers.The Congress leader said that debate in Dadri was not whether a man had beef or mutton in his home but whether a mob has a right to lynch. It was not whether Rohith Vemula was a dalit or not, but how insensitive a university was in dealing with him. The debate in JNU is whether a bunch of mis-guided youth allegedly raised anti-national slogans.”What is a university. University is not a monastery. At my age, I have a right to be wrong. In a university I need not be profound, I could be ridiculous also. But how are you framing the debate in this country in a perverse manner,” he said in an apparent reference to the BJP and the Sangh Pariwar making it a nationalism versus traitor debate. Chidambaram said that free speech was being questioned now and not many were willing to speak up.He said the narrative still excludes poor, the downtrodden and the under privileged. He said being in opposition was also a privilege like the ruling party occupies the ruling space given by the people. “If I do my duty and criticise, I do not become an enemy of the government,” he added. Quoting from one of Saint Thiruvalluar’s couplets, the former minister said that a king without a critic will fall even without an enemy.Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he had a good working relationship with Chidambaram for all of his six year tenure and disappointed that some of things they set out to do could not be completed. That included removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state. In his remarks, Chidambaram said when one is in the government there is an apprehension in doing something that one may fail.It is not bad if one tries and fails and cited the example of Tripura where Chief Minister Manik Sarkar removed AFSPA and the state has not gone into the hands of militants. Referring to Omar’s regret that relations between rival parties have touched so low that civilised contact was not possible between each other, Chidambaram said that there was a time when Jawaharlal Nehru had taken R K Shanmugam Chetty, John Mathai and Hindu Mahasabha leader S P Mukherjee into his cabinet seeking talent from outside. But he cannot think of such a situation in the years to come.Replying to a question on GST, he said the bill should not be passed on the basis of just numbers. “It is a flawed bill and should not be passed in its present form,” he said adding even the Chief Economic Advisor has acknowledged that there are faults.JD (U) MP Pawan Verma, who was also on the panel, said he did not agree with Chidambaram who has written in one of his columns that defeat in Bihar assembly elections will have a sobering effect on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.He said he thought they (PM and BJP) will pause and pull back in case of defeat but now he felt that they would not give up tendencies to polarise on hyper-nationalism and communal issues till the next elections. Before release of the book, Anant Goenka of the Indian Express Group said Congress’s loss in the elections was a gain to Indian Express in the form of Chidambaram’s columns.

Tanzanian woman assaulted | Rahul Gandhi’s silence exposes his hyprocrisy: BJP

BJP targeted Congress on Thursday for its “hypocrisy” in not initiating action against the culprits in the Tanzanian woman stripping case in Bengaluru and for doing politics of opportunism, even as it questioned Rahul Gandhi’s “silence” over the incident.The party accused the Congress government in Karnataka of covering up the incident and said its “inaction” has brought disrepute to Bangalore city. It also demanded immediate action, including transfer of DGP and suspension of police officers concerned.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citing rape incidents in Tripura, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, where action is yet to be taken against the culprits, BJP said Rahul and other leaders pick and choose incidents to give them political colour and have no interest in victims.”Such a big incident has happened and so much time has passed, still Rahul and Congress are silent for something that has happened under the very nose of their government there. No action has been taken. This shows how much hypocrisy is there in them and how they play hypocritical politics,” Union Minister and senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.”It is shameful that those who are experts in creating a mountain out of a molehill have suddenly turned silent and their silence seems to justify such an unfortunate incident,” Naqvi said.Accusing Rahul and other leaders of doing “politics of opportunism”, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, “Rahul Gandhi and others have no interest in the victims as they never visited them in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura and other places. It is clear they do ‘pick and choose’. They are masters in political opportunism and give political colour to incidents only to regain their lost ground.”He said had they been concerned, they would have visited victims of incidents in states ruled by them or even uttered a few words in their support, but they never did so.”Their only aim is to do politics and politicise such incidents. Their purpose is to condemn the Modi government and gain cheap political mileage. They are selective in their silence and in their protests,” Sharma said.A Tanzanian woman student was allegedly beaten up and stripped by a mob in a case of “mistaken identity” after a woman was mowed down by a car in the city. The 21-year-old Tanzanian, who is doing her Bachelor of Business Management course, was dragged out of the car in which she was seated along with her three friends on Sunday night.Sharma dubbed Congress and other parties as “anti-poor and anti-development” and said Rahul Gandhi and leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad, Mayawati, Owaisi, Mamata Banerjee and leftists have remained silent on rape of a minor Tripura girl, where culprits are still roaming free.”The state chief minister does not have the time to meet the victim and catch the accused, but had time to visit Hyderabad and do politics,” he said.He also cited the rape of an Asha worker in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, who after being raped committed suicide as her video was circulated by the culprits, aagainst whom no action has been taken. The rape of a West Bengal girl was also cited by him.Congress leader P C Chacko, however, said Rahul Gandhi is very much alert to these issues and has sought government’s opinion on this.”What he wants is the government should act. Rahulji wants the Karnataka government to act and very stringent action is to be taken by the government. That is what the vice president wants,” he said.

Kirti Azad’s suspension unfortunate, should be revoked: Shatrughan

“I felt sad for what was happening in Bihar. I was not being called, invited… He being the party president I just hoped and wished he would give me protection. He would call me and talk. It did not happen…”

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