Faces of PARIBARTAN Showcase Full FLEDGED Brahaminical COUP led By Media, Civil Society and Intelligentsia!NO Space for SC, OBC and ST in Mamata`s Manusmriti Rule!Post Poll Scenerio is ALL OUT Monopolistc Aggression targeted for Ethnic Cleansing!Govt mulling Rs. 3/litre diesel rate hike after Assembly polls!Post Poll Scenerio is ALL OUT Monopolistc Aggression targeted for Ethnic Cleansing!Govt mulling Rs. 3/litre diesel rate hike after Assembly polls!However,Barring reports of minor trouble, the fourth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections involving 63 Assembly constituencies on Tuesday was largely peaceful. But the Clashes despite Huge Presence of Forces hint at the FUTURE to be INFLICTED with Unprecedented VIOLENCE!AIR INDIA Strike showcases the Economic ENVIRONMENT in the country!It is quite a Brahaminical COUP countrywide as CIA and World bank Sponsered NGOs and Civil Society take over the Polity nationwide. Hate Campaign is relaunced with resurgence of Gloabal Hindutva with the stimulus emerging after the KILLING of OSAMA BIN Laden. We have seen ANNA HAZARE drama. Now Baba Ramdev takes over the centre stage coinciding with PARIBARTAN Hype in Bengal!
Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - SIX HUNDRED TWENTY EIGHT
Osama Death: Impact on Pakistan
Pakistan might have got very, very lucky on Sunday
America would have shot down any Pakistani jet that attempted to intervene in the operation, the National Post newspaper said.
- Wikileaks: Laden received tip off from ISI
- Pak Generals afraid US may now raid nukes
- US: Pak could mistake raid for India attack
- After Osama, Pakistan the greatest casualty
- Notorious ISI playing double game
Faces of PARIBARTAN Showcase Full FLEDGED Brahaminical COUP led By Media, Civil Society and Intelligentsia!NO Space for SC, OBC and ST in Mamata`s Manusmriti Rule! It is quite a Brahaminical COUP countrywide as CIA and World bank Sponsered NGOs and Civil Society take over the Polity nationwide. Hate Campaign is relaunced with resurgence of Gloabal Hindutva with the stimulus emerging after the KILLING of OSAMA BIN Laden. We have seen ANNA HAZARE drama. Now Baba Ramdev takes over the centre stage coinciding with PARIBARTAN Hype in Bengal!Yoga guru Baba Ramdev Wednesday announced he will go on a fast-unto-death from June 4 in New Delhi to demand capital punishment for corrupt officials and recovery of black money stashed away in Swiss banks by Indian politicians and businessmen.
Post Poll Scenerio is ALL OUT Monopolistc Aggression targeted for Ethnic Cleansing!Govt mulling Rs. 3/litre diesel rate hike after Assembly polls!However,Barring reports of minor trouble, the fourth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections involving 63 Assembly constituencies on Tuesday was largely peaceful. But the Clashes despite Huge Presence of Forces hint at the FUTURE to be INFLICTED with Unprecedented VIOLENCE!AIR INDIA Strike showcases the Economic ENVIRONMENT in the country!
The Telegraph has published Opinions on West Bengal Elections in Full Spread Pages and NO Sapce has been spent on Excluded Communities. All Faces representing Bengal have to be BRAHMINs only. It had been speculated that Ex CBI Director Upen Biswas and Matua Chieftain Manjul Krishna Thakur have to be included in Mamata Ministry. that is NOT to be as Ananad Bazar published the Brahaminical Faces of the Mamat Minstry today while the Election for TWO phases have to be complete.
West Bengal's ruling Left Front Wednesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission that a section of media was playing a partisan role and publishing "paid news".
"We have attached a copy of an article published in a vernacular daily, in which it was reported that the Trinamool Congress leadership has finalised the names of the proposed ministers and their portfolios. The item of the news was motivated and completely unusual before the completion of polls," Left Front chairman Biman Bose said in the complaint.
"The news item is completely planted and written in a planned manner to influence the voters for the next two phases of the state assembly elections. It is evident that the news is nothing but paid news. We demand immediate action from your end to conduct free and fair elections in the state," the complaint said.
State Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kumar Gupta said: "We have received a complaint from the Left Front in this regard and forwarded it to the office in New Delhi for their consideration."
The six-phase state assembly polls began April 18, and so far 242 of the 294 assembly constituencies have gone to the hustings in four rounds.
The next round is slated for Saturday and the final phase on May 10. The votes will be counted May 13.
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday said Left Front will retain its power in West Bengal.
"West Bengal has already undergone four out of six phases of Assembly elections. So far, the way people have exercised their democratic right, we are confident of our victory. People are going to establish eighth Left Front government in West Bengal," Bhattacharjee said in a press statement on Wednesday.
He slammed Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and said: "Lots of efforts were put in by the Trinamool Congress to break confidence of our workers."
"Trinamool is campaigning for an imaginary cabinet. They will also try to influence a part of voters in the coming two phases of elections. Earlier also they tried to do the same, but failed in their efforts," said Bhattacharjee.
"I am confident that truth will prevail over lies and West Bengal's people will ensure Left Front's victory," the veteran CPI-M leader said.
Over the last four years, the Left, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), suffered back-to-back poll debacles which saw their majority challenged by Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Lok Sabha, Municipal and Panchayat elections.
Nearly 85 percent of the 1.26 crore people spread across 63 constituencies in four districts of West Bengal thronged to 15,711 polling stations throughout Tuesday for the fourth phase of state elections as voting concluded without any major incidents.
This was arguably the most closely watched phase of elections so far which included some of the most politically volatile areas of the state, including Singur and Nandigram which were the centres of violent protests against the ruling Left Front government during its last tenure.
The earlier two legs also saw largely incident-free polling amid high voter turnouts.
Hindustan Times - 8 hours ago
Only two hours after Mamata Banerjee's rally at Debra Bazaar, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee held a rally at the same venue. "Trinamool will not win the elections. Today in some areas, elections were held. Trinamool cad res, in some places in ...
Buddha revisits Jhargram, accepts presence of armed cadres Indian Express
If it's numbers, Didi scores over CM in West Midnapore Times of IndiaWashington Bangla Radio - 9 hours ago
Kolkata, May 4 (IBNS) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday said Left Front will retain its power in West Bengal. "West Bengal has already undergone four out of six phases of Assembly elections. So far, the way people have ...
Voting for Trinamool Congress means voting for Maoists: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Daily News & Analysis
Back at you Indian Express
all 14 news articles »Email this story
Hindustan Times - May 1, 2011
Speaking at a rally at Heria, Khejuri, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said, "Ha ldia was transformed from a village to a flourishing port and an industrial town. We then turned our attention to Nandigram but the Trinamool Congress sabotaged our effort with ...
Chem hub decision was correct: Buddha Times of India
Want to make Nandigram another Haldia: Buddhadeb IBNLive.com
No mistake in Nandi: Buddha Calcutta Telegraph
MSN India - Apr 30, 2011
Howrah (WB), Apr 30 (PTI) Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today took a dig at West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for sharing the dais with CPI(M) leader Anil Basu who had come under fire for making derogatory remarks against ...
Battle royal for Hooghly Hindustan Times
Anil Basu on Buddha dais at Pursurah rally Times of India
CM ignores, then talks Calcutta Telegraph
Indian Express - Apr 27, 2011
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Mamata Banerjee both voted on Wednesday. He did not flash the victory sign. She did. The Chief Minister, his wife Mira Bhattacharjee and daughter Suchetana voted at Pathabhavan, a school in Kolkata. ...
Mamata rigging slur on CPM Calcutta Telegraph
High-voltage contest in Jadavpur Times of India
Anil Basu barred from the rest of election campaign Hindustan Times
Times of India - Apr 27, 2011
... quietened into the silence of a bandh day in Kolkata and its suburbs on Wednesday as voters lined up in thousands to decide the fate of heavyweights like CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Trinamool's Manish Gupta, a former chief secretary, ...
Buddhadeb in fray in crucial phase III The Hindu
Kolkata votes today in 3rd phase NDTV.com
Bengal phase 3 polls: 78.3 pct turnout Washington Bangla RadioThe Hindu - Apr 25, 2011
In a vitriolic attack against West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his government's handling of the Maoist problem, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said he would have "expected" Mr. Bhattacharjee to resign "and make way ...
PM didn't address Maoist issue: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Daily News & Analysis
Buddha hits back: Chidambaram has failed Indian Express
Crucial 3rd phase WB polls tomorrow Hindustan Times
Mangalorean.com - IBNLive.com
all 276 news articles »Email this story
Times of India - Apr 28, 2011
DANKUNI: As expected, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee seized the opportunity to make electoral gain from Wednesday evening's Times Now exposure on the 1995 Purulia arms drop on Thursday itself. Addressing a CPM election meeting at Dankuni on ...
For Buddha, it is back to industry in Nano hub Hindustan Times
The Hindu - Apr 23, 2011
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Saturday took strong exception to senior party colleague Anil Basu using abusive language against Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at an election meeting on Friday. ...
Left Front seeking 8th term in office, says Buddhadeb All India Radio
Buddhadeb censures CPM leader for abusing Mamata IBNLive.com
Bengal revels in garibi dikhao politics Express Buzz
Times of India - Apr 18, 2011
KOLKATA: The Election Commission on Monday directed police to investigate a complaint byBuddhadeb Bhattacharjee's election agent Bikash Bhattacharya that referred to a caller impersonating the chief minister and threatening people in Jadavpur. ...
Tatas leaving Singur hurt Left Front: Buddhadeb IBNLive.com
Fake Buddha calls up people for votes Indian Express
Descent of Buddhadeb Calcutta Telegraph
The government plans to hike diesel prices by up to Rs. 3 a litre soon after the Assembly elections in five states are over next week, while an equivalent steep increase in petrol rates is also on card.
"An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to meet on May 11 to mull on a hike in diesel prices," a top government official, refusing to be named, told reporters here.
A Rs. 3-4 a litre hike in the price of petrol, which had been freed from government control last June, is also on the cards immediately after polling in the last phase of Assembly elections is completed on May 10.
"Petroleum Ministry officials yesterday discussed with the Election Commission the issue of raising prices before Assembly election results are announced on May 13. The Election Commission is believed to have cleared the move," he said.
Meanwhile,An anonymous call threatening to kill Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee have prompted security agencies to conduct searches in the National Capital Region to identify the caller, sources said on Wednesday. The call made from a mobile phone was received at the DelhiPolice Control Room on Tuesday evening, they said, adding that the caller threatened to kill Singh and Vajpayee.
During investigations, sources said, the number was traced to be active in Ghaziabad.
However, they said, searches did not yield much result as the address used to procure the SIM card was found to be fake. The phone number, according to records, belonged to one Ram Avatar residing in Ghaziabad's Sanjay Nagar.
Raghubir Lal, Superintendent of Police (Ghaziabad), said a search was conducted in the area but could not find the address as it was fake.
NDTV.com - Raj Kumar Sahu - 1 hour ago
The government is planning to hike petrol prices by up to Rs 5 a litre soon after the Assembly elections in five states are over next week.India to hike diesel by Rs 18/litre to get par with global priceCommodity Online
EGoM may meet on May 11 to discuss fuel price hike Moneycontrol.com
India Infoline.com - IBNLive.com - Indian Express
all 35 news articles »
BOM:530965 - BOM:500104 - BOM:500547Email this story
Hindustan Times - 55 minutes ago
At least four banks have raised their benchmark lending rates after Reserve Bank of India governor Duvvuri Subbarao, battling inflation, turned hawkish in his monetary policy by jacking up policy rates by 0.5 percentage points.Loans to get costlier from tomorrow; 5 banks to hike rates Daily News & Analysis
BoM ups base rate, BPLR by 0.5 per cent each IBNLive.com
Business Standard - Equity Bulls - Economic Times
all 62 news articles »
BOM:532648 - NSE:YESBANKEmail this story
Business Standard - Neha Pandey - 1 hour ago
Though the savings rate has been increased, it's better to keep money invested in higher paying instruments. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released discussion papers on savings rate deregulation last week.POLL: Inflation worries to prompt aggressive rate hikes Economic Times
Moneycontrol.com - Hindu Business Line - Times of India - The Hindu
all 1,101 news articles »Email this story
Economic Times - 4 hours ago
MUMBAI: Indian markets extended losses for eighth straight session as jittery investors continued to book profits on concerns that the central bank may continue to hike interest rates to curb inflation.Sensex down 65 points; continues decline for the eighth day The Hindu
Sensex down for 8th day; Auto, IT under pressure NDTV.com
India Infoline.com - Business Standard - Times of India
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Ramdev said that names of all foreign bank account holders should be made public and high denomination currency notes like of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 be banned.
"Despite knowledge about it, the central government has not taken any concrete decision on the issue of black money plaguing the country," Ramdev said.
He is likely to be joined by social activist Anna Hazare, former police officer Kiran Bedi and Karnataka 'Lokayukta' (ombudsman) Santosh Hegde.
Ramdev said his supporters in India and from abroad will join him in the hunger fast at New Delhi's Ramlila Ground.
Vowing to continue the fight against corruption, Ramdev said a strong Lokpal Bill should be enacted by August this year, as assured by the central government after a hunger strike by Hazare in New Delhi last month.
Ramdev said he plans to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, highlighting issues related to corruption in the country.
Ramdev reiterated this is not a platform for him to join politics. "I have no ambitions to be a politician and will never take part in active politics."
Ramdev is at present touring Mumbai and surrounding areas as part of his 300-day nationwide tour to teach yoga to the masses.
Officially on the EGoM's agenda is ways of mitigating the over Rs. 180,000 crore revenue loss state-owned oil firms have projected in 2011-12 on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at current rates.
An increase in domestic LPG prices may also be discussed at the EGoM meeting that will decide on how the oil firms will be compensated for their losses, he said.
State-owned Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum currently lose Rs. 16.17 a litre on diesel and after adding local sales tax or VAT, the desired increase to make rates at par with international prices is Rs. 18.19 a litre.
The companies have not even raised price of petrol, a commodity which was freed from government control in June last year, in view of Assembly elections in five states like West Bengal and Kerala.
The hike need to take petrol prices to international parity is about Rs. 8.50 per litre, but the entire burden will not be passed on to consumers in one go. "Oil companies will be asked to stagger the hike over a couple of months," the official said.
Besides petrol and diesel, the three state oil firms lose Rs. 29.69 a litre on kerosene and Rs. 329.73 per 14.2 kg domestic LPG cylinder.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum will "at current international crude oil prices lose Rs. 180,208 crore in revenues on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below their imported cost in the 2011-12 fiscal", the official said.
The revenue loss, termed as under-recovery by oil firms, will be the highest ever, even more than what they lost in 2008-09 when crude touched a record high of $ 147 a barrel.
In addition, they lose about Rs. 8.50 per litre on petrol, whose rates have not moved in tandem with the imported cost despite its pricing being freed from government control in June last year.
"Losses on petrol are not included in the under-recovery figures for 2011-12 as it is a decontrolled commodity," the official said.
The basket of crude oil India buys had averaged $ 83.57 per barrel in 2008-09 and calculations for the current fiscal have been done at the prevailing rates of around $ 110 a barrel.
"The average price of the Indian basket of crude oil last fiscal was $ 85.09 per barrel, higher than the 2008-09 average when the government had cut customs and excise duty on crude oil and products to check the impact of rising international rates on domestic markets," the official said.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has refused to cut customs and excise duty on crude this time to protect his projected fiscal deficit.
"The situation in the current fiscal will be worse, the three PSU oil marketing companies are losing Rs. 540 crore per day on diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene sales," he said.
The killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces by itself does not mean an end to terrorism, which has many dimensions, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Polit Bureau said his death was a setback to al-Qaeda but would not result in an end to extremist violence spawned by fundamentalism.
At the same time, the methods used by the U.S. to fight the so-called global "war on terror" only worsened the situation. In the name of fighting al-Qaeda, the U.S. devastated Afghanistan and Iraq. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in these wars of aggression. "The fact that Osama could live in Pakistan for so many years points to the linkage between the security establishment and some extremist groups operating there."
The CPI(M) said the U.S. had enlisted Pakistan to fight the Afghanistan government backed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The Pentagon and the CIA had equipped and financed through the ISI people like bin Laden, thus fuelling the latter-day Taliban and jehadi fundamentalists.
The military intervention in Libya and the continuing war in Afghanistan showed that the U.S. had learnt no lessons. "State terrorism and fundamentalist terrorism feed each other. Unless the U.S. changes its approach of resorting to military force and state terrorism, the problem of terrorism cannot be tackled successfully."
Tight security arrangement has been made for fifth and sixth phases of election in West Bengal when Maoist-affected Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and parts of Burdwan would go to the hustings.
Apart from state forces, around 550 to 600 companies of central paramilitary forces would be deployed in the 38 constituencies where polling would be held in the fifth phase on May 7, Election office sources here said today.
In the sixth and last phase of polling on May 10 the number of central forces deployed would be increased to 660, the sources said adding aerial surveillance would be carried out by three helicopters during the phase.
A meeting of senior district police officers was held with senior district police, including SPs, DIGs, IGs and Divisional Commissioners of the concerned districts were held during the day to review the poll preparedness, Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.
Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra Debashish Chakraborty has been appointed special observer for the two phases.
Chakraborty would arrive in the state on May 5 and stay till the end of elections, Gupta added.
|১৮ই শপথ নিতে চান ব্রিগেডে|
মন্ত্রিসভাও গড়ে রাখছেন প্রত্যয়ী মমতা
জয়ন্ত ঘোষাল • কলকাতা
| দু'দফা ভোট এখনও বাকি। ফল বেরোতে বাকি দশ দিন। কিন্তু জয় সুনিশ্চিত ধরে নিয়ে এখন থেকেই মন্ত্রিসভা গঠন নিয়ে ভাবনাচিন্তা শুরু করে দিয়েছেন মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়। |
মমতা নিজে এ বার ভোটে লড়েননি। তিনি মুখ্যমন্ত্রী হবেন কি না, তা নিয়েও সংশয় প্রকাশ করছে কোনও কোনও মহল। কিন্তু তৃণমূল সূত্রে জানা যাচ্ছে, ক্ষমতায় এলে মমতাই মুখ্যমন্ত্রী হবেন। কারণ রাজ্যের ২৯৪টি আসনের ভোটপ্রচারে তিনিই ছিলেন প্রধান কাণ্ডারী। মমতা মুখ্যমন্ত্রী হবেন, এই প্রত্যাশাতেই পশ্চিমবঙ্গের মানুষের মধ্যে পরিবর্তনের ঝড় উঠেছে বলে মনে করছেন তৃণমূল নেতৃত্ব। সেখানে অন্য কোনও ব্যক্তিকে মুখ্যমন্ত্রী হিসেবে মেনে নিতে আমজনতা প্রস্তুত নয় বলেই বুঝতে পারছেন মমতা।
'স্টার আনন্দ'কে দেওয়া সাক্ষাৎকারে মমতা ইতিমধ্যেই জানিয়েছেন যে, তিনি মুখ্যমন্ত্রী হলে চারটি দফতর নিজের হাতে রাখবেন। এই দফতরগুলি হল স্বরাষ্ট্র, শিল্প, শিক্ষা এবং স্বাস্থ্য। অর্থমন্ত্রী পদে মমতা সম্ভবত নিয়ে আসতে চান ফিকি-র সেক্রেটারি জেনারেল অমিত মিত্রকে। ভোটে জিতলে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ মন্ত্রী হবেন পার্থ চট্টোপাধ্যায়, সুব্রত মুখোপাধ্যায়, ব্রাত্য বসু, সুব্রত বক্সী, শোভনদেব চট্টোপাধ্যায় প্রমুখ। সংখ্যালঘু সম্প্রদায়ের প্রতিনিধি হিসেবে মন্ত্রী হতে পারেন ফিরহাদ হাকিম। তবে মেয়র পদে শোভন চট্টোপাধ্যায়কেই বহাল রাখবেন মমতা।
মমতা মুখ্যমন্ত্রী হলে রেলমন্ত্রীর পদে অভিষিক্ত হওয়ার সম্ভাবনা থাকবে মুকুল রায়ের। প্রধানমন্ত্রী মনমোহন সিংহ সংসদের বাদল অধিবেশনের আগে কেন্দ্রীয় মন্ত্রিসভার রদবদল করবেন। তখন মমতা আরও একটি পূর্ণমন্ত্রীর পদ নেবেন। সেই পদে আসতে পারেন স্বাস্থ্য প্রতিমন্ত্রী দীনেশ ত্রিবেদী। কোনও কোনও মহল থেকে বলা হচ্ছে, এ বার কাকলি ঘোষদস্তিদারকেও কেন্দ্রে মন্ত্রী করা হতে পারে। মন্ত্রী হিসেবে লোকসভায় তৃণমূলের মুখ্যসচেতক সুদীপ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়ের নামও দীর্ঘদিন ধরেই আলোচনার মধ্যে রয়েছে।
রাজ্যে ক্ষমতায় এলে স্বাভাবিক ভাবেই রাজ্যসভাতেও বাড়তি প্রতিনিধি পাঠানোর সুযোগ পাবেন মমতা। এখন রাজ্যসভায় তৃণমূলের সাংসদ দু'জন— মুকুল রায় ও স্বপনসাধন বসু। অগস্টে রাজ্যসভার নির্বাচনে সাংসদ হতে পারেন ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন। তৃণমূল-ঘনিষ্ঠ বিশিষ্ট জনদের মধ্যে দু'এক জনেরও রাজ্যসভায় আসার সম্ভাবনা উজ্জ্বল।
ক্ষমতায় এলে ছোট মন্ত্রিসভা গড়বেন, এমন কথা ইতিমধ্যেই জানিয়েছেন মমতা। বস্তুত, ৮-১০ জনের বেশি পূর্ণমন্ত্রী করতে চাইছেন না তিনি। একটি উচ্চ ক্ষমতাসম্পন্ন মুখ্যমন্ত্রীর সচিবালয় (সিএমও) গড়ে তুলবেন মমতা। সিএমও-র অধীনে অন্তত দু'জন প্রতিমন্ত্রী থাকবেন। বেশ কয়েক জন আমলাকেও সচিবালয়ে রাখা হবে, যাঁরা গুরুত্বপূর্ণ দফতরগুলির সঙ্গে সমন্বয় রক্ষা করবেন। এ ছাড়া, মমতার অধীনে থাকা দফতরগুলির কাজ দেখাশোনার জন্যও প্রতিমন্ত্রী নিয়োগ করা হবে। যেমন, স্বাস্থ্য প্রতিমন্ত্রী হিসেবে চিকিৎসক সুদর্শন ঘোষদস্তিদার এবং শিক্ষা প্রতিমন্ত্রী হিসেবে জাতীয় শিক্ষক ব্রজমোহন মজুমদারের নাম মমতার বিবেচনায় রয়েছে।
তবে দু'একটি ব্যতিক্রম ছাড়া সাধারণ ভাবে কাউকে তাঁর পেশার সঙ্গে সংশ্লিষ্ট দফতর না দেওয়ার ভাবনাই তৃণমূল নেত্রীর রয়েছে। সেই কারণেই নাট্যপরিচালক ব্রাত্য বসুকে তথ্য ও সংস্কৃতি দফতর দিতে চান না তিনি। ওই দফতরের মন্ত্রী হিসেবে পার্থ চট্টোপাধ্যায়ের নাম ভাবা হচ্ছে। তবে তৃণমূল সূত্রে এ-ও বলা হচ্ছে যে, গোড়ায় চারটি দফতর হাতে রাখলেও ছ'মাসের মধ্যে নতুন শিক্ষা, শিল্প ও স্বাস্থ্যনীতি ঘোষণা করে এই দফতরগুলি অন্য কারও হাতে তুলে দিতে পারেন মমতা। স্বরাষ্ট্র দফতর অবশ্য তিনি নিজের হাতেই রাখবেন। নোবেলজয়ী অর্থনীতিবিদ অমর্ত্য সেন বারবার প্রাথমিক শিক্ষা ও স্বাস্থ্যে অগ্রাধিকার দেওয়ার কথা বলছেন। প্রথম তিন মাসের মধ্যেই এই নীতিগুলি তৈরি করে ফেলা হবে। তার পর অমিতবাবুর হাতে অর্থের সঙ্গে শিল্প দফতর তুলে দেওয়ার প্রস্তাব রয়েছে। কারণ, রাজ্য যে আর্থিক সঙ্কটের মুখে দাঁড়িয়ে, তা কাটাতে রাজস্ব আদায় বাড়াতে হবে। সে জন্য শিল্পায়ন জরুরি। অমিতবাবুর পক্ষে সেই কাজ সহজ হবে বলেই মনে করা হচ্ছে। তবে এর পাশাপাশি পার্থবাবুকে অর্থমন্ত্রী করার প্রস্তাবও রয়েছে।
তৃণমূলের যে সব নেতারা মন্ত্রী হতে পারেন, তাঁদের মধ্যে অতীতে মন্ত্রী ছিলেন সুব্রত মুখোপাধ্যায়। কিন্তু তাঁকে ঠিক কী দফতর দেওয়া হবে সেটা এখনও স্পষ্ট নয়। তৃণমূল সূত্রে বলা হচ্ছে, সুব্রতবাবু বিধানসভার স্পিকার হতে চেয়েছিলেন। কিন্তু ওই পদে বারুইপুর পূর্ব কেন্দ্রের তৃণমূল প্রার্থী বিমান বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়ের নাম মমতার বিবেচনায় রয়েছে। ক্ষমতায় এলে বিধান পরিষদ পুনরুজ্জীবিত করার পরিকল্পনার কথাও ইতিমধ্যেই ঘোষণা করেছেন মমতা। বিধান পরিষদ গঠিত হলে তার স্পিকার হতে পারেন বাঁকুড়ার কাশীনাথ মিশ্র।
মুখ্যমন্ত্রী হলে বর্তমান সরকারের বিভিন্ন প্রকল্প পর্যালোচনা করার পরিকল্পনা যেমন রয়েছে মমতার, তেমনই কয়েকটি নতুন দফতরও গঠন করতে পারেন তিনি। যেমন, বিমান চলাচল দফতর। কারণ মমতা মনে করেন, দমদম, বাগডোগরা, কোচবিহার, অণ্ডাল, বেহালা ফ্লাইং ক্লাবের উন্নয়নে কেন্দ্র ও বেসরকারি সংস্থার সঙ্গে সমন্বয় রক্ষার প্রয়োজন হবে। পরিবহণ দফতরের অধীনে এই কাজকে আলাদা করে গুরুত্ব দেওয়া সম্ভব নয়।
মমতার মন্ত্রিসভায় কংগ্রেস যোগ দেবে কি?
কংগ্রেস নেতা আহমেদ পটেল বলেন, "নির্বাচনের পর প্রদেশ কংগ্রেস নেতৃত্বের সঙ্গে আলোচনা করে দল চূড়ান্ত সিদ্ধান্ত নেবে।" তবে মমতা কংগ্রেসকে মন্ত্রিসভায় সামিল করতে আগ্রহী। তৃণমূল একক শক্তিতে সরকার গড়তে সমর্থ হলেও। কংগ্রেস মন্ত্রিসভায় যোগ দিতে রাজি হলে কত জন মন্ত্রী হবেন, তা অবশ্য নির্ভর করবে তাদের নির্বাচনী সাফল্যের উপরে। যদিও কংগ্রেস সূত্রে বলা হচ্ছে, তৃণমূলের ফল ভাল হলে কংগ্রেসের ফলও স্বাভাবিক ভাবেই ভাল হবে। এবং কোন কোন দফতর দেওয়া হবে তার উপরেই নির্ভর করছে কংগ্রেস মন্ত্রিসভায় যোগ দেবে কি না। গ্রাম বাংলায় প্রভাব বাড়াতে বিদ্যুৎ, কৃষি, সেচ-এর মতো দফতর প্রত্যাশা করে কংগ্রেস। এ নিয়ে তৃণমূলের সঙ্গে তাদের ফের এক প্রস্ত সংঘাতের সম্ভাবনাও উড়িয়ে দেওয়া যাচ্ছে না। সেই সব জটিলতা কাটিয়ে কংগ্রেস মন্ত্রিসভায় এলে তাদের মন্ত্রীদের নাম ঠিক করবে দলীয় হাইকম্যাণ্ড। তবে দেবপ্রসাদ রায়, প্রণব মুখোপাধ্যায়ের পুত্র অভিজিৎ মুখোপাধ্যায় প্রমুখ মন্ত্রী হলে মমতা খুশি হবেন বলে তৃণমূল সূত্রের খবর।
তৃণমূল নেতৃত্ব আশা করছেন, ১৩ তারিখ ভোটের ফল বেরোলে সে দিনই রাজ্যপালের কাছে গিয়ে ইস্তফা দেবেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী বুদ্ধদেব ভট্টাচার্য। তার পর ১৮ তারিখ নতুন মন্ত্রিসভার শপথগ্রহণ অনুষ্ঠান হতে পারে।
মজার ব্যাপার হল, ২০০১ এবং ২০০৬ সালেও ভোটের ফল ঘোষণা হয়েছিল ১৩ মে। আর শপথগ্রহণ অনুষ্ঠান হয়েছিল ১৮ মে। সেই দু'বার ষষ্ঠ ও সপ্তম বামফ্রন্ট সরকার শপথ নিয়েছিল রাজভবনে। এ বার 'পরিবর্তনের' আশায় বুক বাঁধা মমতা কিন্তু ব্রিগেড প্যারেড গ্রাউণ্ডে শপথ নিতে চান।
উল্লেখ্য, ২০০১ সালে, যখন ক্ষমতায় আসার বিষয়ে খুবই আশাবাদী ছিলেন, তখনও ব্রিগেডেই শপথ নেওয়ার পরিকল্পনা করেছিলেন মমতা। এ ব্যাপারে রাজ্যপাল আপত্তি করবেন না বলেই মনে করছে তৃণমূল। কারণ, দেশের অন্যত্র, যেমন বিহার বা অসমে রাজভবনের বাইরে প্রকাশ্য শপথগ্রহণের নজির রয়েছে। তবে, তৃণমূলেরই একাংশের আবার অভিমত, মূল শপথগ্রহণ অনুষ্ঠানটি রাজভবনেই করে ব্রিগেডে বিজয় সমাবেশ করা হোক। শপথগ্রহণ অনুষ্ঠানে দেশের শিল্পমহল এবং নাগরিক সমাজের বিশিষ্টদের আমন্ত্রণ জানানো হবে।
সব মিলিয়ে এক সময় প্রার্থী বাছাইয়ের কাজটা যেমন নিঃশব্দে সেরে ফেলেছিলেন, নতুন মন্ত্রিসভার চলার পথটাও ঠিক সে ভাবেই ছকে ফেলছেন মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়।
Air India Pilots' strike enters eighth day
Mumbai: Air India services remain crippled for the eighth day today due to the pilots' strike with the ailing airline operating just 10% of its overall flights including 10 each from Mumbai and Delhi.
The operations of the national carrier remained disrupted as the striking pilots refused to budge from their positions. About 40 flights were in operation today as the airline cancelled almost 90% of its 320 daily services.
As many as 221 Air India flights on the domestic operations were cancelled, with operations restricted to the trunk routes between metros.
But the Air India management said some 100-odd flights of sister budget carrier Alliance Air had been deployed to ferry passengers as no reconciliation was in sight between the management and the striking pilots, co-opted from the erstwhile Indian Airlines .
"The decision to operate only four fights, that too on the metro routes, was taken after a new operations plan which came into effect today (Wednesday)," a senior official from the airline told IANS over phone from the carrier's headquarters in Mumbai.
"But these four flights, along with those of Alliance Air, are sufficient today, since bookings had been closed five days ago. So there is no backlog. We will take a decision on when to re-open bookings later in the day," the official said.
Air India is suffering a loss of Rs26 crore per day on account of the stir. So far, seven pilots have been sacked and six suspended.
The Delhi high court yesterday slapped contempt notices on nine office bearers of de-recognised Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) for disobeying its order to call off the strike, while deciding to take up the matter on May 25.
The pilots, who struck work from midnight last Tuesday, have been demanding pay parity with their colleagues of erstwhile Air India, better working conditions and CBI inquiry into alleged withdrawal of flights from profitable routes, aircraft purchase and other issues.
Of the total 1,200 pilots, over 800 belonging to the erstwhile Indian Airlines have gone on strike. The remaining 400, mostly operating international flights, owe allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild.
About 600 social activists under an umbrella organization — Wada Na Todo Abhiyan — have given recommendations to the approach paper on the 12th five year plan. The recommendations from non-government groups come at a time when the Planning Commission is finalizing its outlook that will influence funding and policy for the next five years.
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan national convenor Amitabh Behar said, "There is disagreement with the growth-led model of planning that has restricted inclusiveness to a mere footnote. There is unanimity about huge inequities, and this gap is growing as is evident from the poverty figures."
Hazards Centres Dunu Roy said, "Planning has failed. We have 8% growth, but the urban poor has been passed by."
Roy added that India has world class cities and infrastructure, but the underbelly of this progress is a large population, who has been encouraged to migrate and then marginalized from development process and human rights. He also blamed the `trickle down theory as faulty.
In its report, "Approaching equity: civil society inputs for the approach paper" voluntary groups have sought public opinion on 12 challenges that will be addressed in the 12th Plan. These include enhancing capacity for growth, decentralization of government processes, improved access to quality education and enhancing skill and employment generation.
Concerns were also raised over was the lack of attention to youth segment in the country. Swaasthya director Geeta Sodhi said despite the fact that adolescents and youth form a significant part of the population they are increasingly marginalized. She added, "The youth are crying for their own allocations and a dedicated department to look at policy issues."
KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that a factory would be opened at the site in Singur from where Tata Motors relocated its small car project after her agitation, but only after 400 acres (out of the 997.11 acres acquired) she has been alleging was forcibly bought was returned to the owners.
Her remarks at a rally at Dhanekhali in Hooghly once again highlight how the land acquisition is still a potent political issue, especially in the district.
Ms. Banerjee was apparently countering West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's recent announcement that if voted to power, the Left Front would set up one of the State's "biggest" industrial units on the site.
"We will not permit forcible acquisition of land" whether "of Adivasis or farmers," she said, even as she claimed the days of the Left Front government were numbered.
"It is after 35 years that you will be creating history [by voting the Left Front out of power]."
Ms. Banerjee, whose party is facing allegations of using black money for its campaign, described the Communist Party of India (Marxist) "as Bengal's shame", responsible for having "stolen the money that belonged to the people" and whose corrupt practices over the past "35 years of misrule" would be investigated "A to Z" once the Trinamool Congress came to power. Nor did she spare the Bharatiya Janata Party which "the CPI (M) had bought with money" and which "is working as agents of the CPI(M) in the State."
The Left Front had reduced the government to bankruptcy with a debt burden of more than Rs. 2 lakh crore, Ms. Banerjee said. Salaries over the past months were being paid to State government employees with overdrafts from the Reserve Bank of India.
- Stories in this Section
- Removal proceedings against Dinakaran stayed for two weeks
- Pilots defiant, passengers stranded
- Stockholm Convention approves recommendation for ban on Endosulfan
- Supreme Court orders suspension of 19 mining leases in Bellary
- Dadasaheb Phalke Award for K. Balachander
- Gujarat withdraws security for Sanjiv Bhatt
- "It's State government's duty"
- Joshi leaked PAC report to media: Moily
- Draft report on 2G a "gross distortion'' of my January 2008 note: Chidambaram
- Joshi thinking of submitting 2G draft report to Speaker
- Left supporters protest Centre's 'collusion' in Purulia arms-drop
- Purulia: Karat for judicial probe
- All pomp and pageantry at Britain's most hyped wedding
- Icing on the cake: the India connect at royal wedding
- A royal wedding
- Former BARC scientist commits suicide
- Bail plea of Bhanot, Verma dismissed
- CBI takes over Prajapati case
- Passport Office promises remedial measures
- 'Mismatch due to regional variations'
- Raghavulu sees end to single-party rule
- Frequent power cuts cripple knitwear industry
- Buddhadeb demands judicial probe into arms drop case
- Merchant airport to be set up at Karaikal
- Hyderabadi girl murdered
- Mamata promises factory at Singur, but only after 400 acres is returned
- Pesticide lobby defeated, says Achuthanandan
- They're man & wife
- Retail price inflation static at 8.82%
- Ruling front's hartal total, peaceful
- Over 7,500 cases under investigation till 2009: police
- Court restraint on 19 mines in Bellary
- Enquiry ordered into post-delivery death of woman
Under Singur shadow- Mamata's Nano foot soldier takes on Nirupam Sen at home in a close contest
A tough test awaits him on Tuesday but Nirupam Sen still cannot forget a defeat that turned his dream into a nightmare two-and-a-half years ago. The industries minister will always be haunted by October 3, 2008, the day Ratan Tata announced the Nano pullout from Bengal.
"That was the saddest moment of my life," he says, sitting in a small room in the sprawling CPM district headquarters in Burdwan. A well-oiled machinery is working round-the-clock from this building, off Parkus Road at the heart of the district town, to ensure his victory from the Burdwan South Assembly constituency.
Sen talks less about the battle at hand and prefers discussing how a combination of factors had slammed the brakes on his plan to revive industry in Bengal.
"The Tata Motors plant could have changed the face of the manufacturing industry in Bengal. We could have created a modern manufacturing sector," the CPM politburo member rues.
According to the grapevine, he was not interested in contesting this election. Personal preferences, however, count for little in a regimented political party. So, the minister, bruised after Singur, is now contesting again from the constituency that elected him in 1987, 2001 and 2006.
"Those were the golden days of our party," a CPM supporter recalls while reeling off the margins of Sen's past Assembly poll victories: 11,958 votes in 1987; 24,327 in 2001 and 35,242 in 2006.
"The battle is difficult this time but we have the organisational strength. Nirupamda will win," says Amal Haldar, the party's secretary in a district reputed to be a Left citadel.
However, a 70-year-old retired Burdwan University professor is putting in at least 12 hours a day to prove that Burdwan has changed from red to green. Rabiranjan Chatterjee is the surprise Trinamul nominee whom Mamata Banerjee nudged into the fray to stage an upset.
An avowed anti-communist, Chatterjee was against the Singur factory from Day One and his regular presence at the dharna mancha along Durgapur Expressway brought him close to Mamata.
"I took part in Mamata's hunger-strike at Esplanade as well," boasts Chatterjee, who couldn't say "no" when Mamata's aide Mukul Roy called him one night and requested him to contest from Burdwan South.
Within two days, Chatterjee shifted his base from Lake Town to Burdwan and pulled out all his resources — from past students and colleagues to family members settled across India — to fight another battle with Sen.
The transition from a foot soldier in Mamata's Singur war to the challenger of Sen has not been difficult, claims the ever-smiling Chatterjee.
"The people of this state want a change and that's my strength," says the candidate who was fielded after the initial nominee, Swarup Dutta, was replaced without any reason being cited.
Poll trends suggest that the change chant resonating across swathes of Bengal since the 2008 panchayat polls has been heard in Burdwan. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Saidul Haq, the CPM candidate from Burdwan-Durgapur, trailed by 99 votes from the Burdwan South segment.
While Chatterjee and his supporters highlight these numbers, Sen and his poll managers dismiss the data as dated.
"Things have turned around since then. People may have voted for them in the past, but they are now firmly behind us," claims Haldar, the man behind the united face of the party in Burdwan.
He cites as evidence the crowd of 30,000-plus at star CPM campaigner Gautam Deb's rally at the Housing Ground on Thursday, and the "comparatively lower turnout" at Mamata's meeting at the same venue the next day.
Sen, however, prefers talking about a different turnaround, describing it as his biggest achievement since the Singur disappointment.
"Although the Opposition prevented the Singur plant coming up, Bengal's industrialisation has become the biggest poll plank in the manifestos of all the political parties. I consider this my biggest achievement," Sen smiles, happy at clinching the farm-versus-factory debate.
He is quick to add that the Singur debacle has taught him several lessons. One, drawing too much attention to a project can boomerang (the government had gone on a publicity overdrive while announcing the Tata Motors project in Singur).
Two, he is now more aware of the need to address popular perceptions — many had thought he was anti-peasant during the Singur land-acquisition controversy.
"In less than two-and-a-half years (since Singur), we have succeeded in acquiring more than 8,000 acres across the state silently," he says, citing the industrial park project in Panagarh, the Matrix fertiliser plant in Burdwan and the airport project in Andal.
Sen says the state has attracted investments worth more than Rs 35,000 crore in 1,300 medium and big industries in the past five years.
But even as the Bengal Left's most high-profile industries minister ever reels off his achievements, many people here cite his failure to deliver on his promises to the constituency.
"What happened to the promised health city in Burdwan? Why did he fail to turn Burdwan into a planned city?" asks a trader of capital goods in his showroom near Curzon Gate.
People also complain of the minister's lack of visibility in the constituency that has kept voting for him.
Such discontent has prompted Sen — for the first time, claim local people — to campaign intensively across the 35 wards of Burdwan town, which has 213,727 voters.
At Thursday's rally, Deb tried to explain why Sen cannot devote too much time to Burdwan: "Nirupamda remains busy with the running of the state and the party."
Sen says: "I have spent much more time campaigning this time.... I have tried to meet all the poor people."
To counter the charge of Sen not being "available" in his constituency, his campaigners are reminding voters that Chatterjee is an outsider and will not be "available" to the voters.
Chatterjee claims such propaganda will not succeed. At his street-corner meetings, he mentions his student days in Burdwan and the years he spent teaching in Burdwan University. "I am made-in-Burdwan," he says, drawing huge applause.
Loud cheers can also be heard at Sen's meetings, and his padayatras have scored huge turnouts.
So, which way will Burdwan turn? At an adda among a band of first-time voters, many seem undecided. Sunil Kumar Ram, a student, speaks for change while his friend Pradeep Raut, a professional, asks him what's the point in bringing about change.
Perhaps aware that many voters have not made up their mind yet, both the CPM and Trinamul have raised their campaign pitch ahead of polling day. While the CPM's organisational strength is obvious, Chatterjee is trying to fight back through his team of local Trinamul leaders, former students and colleagues, and civil society members.
"We don't have such a structured set-up but we have the people with us and that's my strength," he says as a colourful tableau rolls out, canvassing for him.
A rainbow coalition that included the Opposition parties and civil society members had spoilt Sen's Singur dream. Chatterjee wants to repeat the victory in Burdwan South.
A set of political compulsions combined with a weak administration had handed the industries minister an unceremonious defeat in Singur, but the situation is different now. He has Haldar and his cadres to fall back on.
Besides, Burdwan South has a solid BJP base of 4,000-5,000 voters who will cut into Chatterjee's tally. That seems to leave the battle rather open, with the outcome probably hinging on the might of Haldar & Co.
|DEVADEEP PUROHIT IN BURDWAN|
The undeclared Pak mission- Behind feverish disclaimers lie clues to Islamabad's co-operation with US in killing Osama
San Francisco, May 3: There has been a coup d'etat in Pakistan. A quiet one. But it is a coup that may change the course of history not only in South Asia but in the entire Islamic ummah or community.
By giving up Osama bin Laden, the Pakistan Army's wildest trump card in the cat-and-mouse game between Islamabad and Washington that reached a critical point when CIA contractor Raymond Davis was arrested, factions in the Pakistani establishment which seek a continued alliance with the US have displaced those who want Pakistan to be part of a global Islamic resurgence.
It was a cat-and-mouse game between Langley, the CIA headquarters, and Rawalpindi, seat of the Pakistan Army General Headquarters, which began with the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 when the Americans, foolishly trusting Gen. Pervez Musharraf then, enabled the Inter-Services Intelligence to facilitate the safe passage of Osama from the Tora Bora mountains through deceit.
The Americans were to regret their foolishness for a whole decade.
The arrest of Davis in January for killing two men who were widely believed to have been ISI agents, the arrest of at least one other CIA contractor, the denial of visas to American "diplomats" by Pakistan, the near breaking point in ties between the ISI and the CIA — all made it necessary for Pakistan to choose between being dumped by the US for needling them in Afghanistan using its proxies or extending their full and unstinted co-operation to Washington in return for continued military and other assistance.
The army faction that supports a deep alliance with the US has won out and proved its loyalty to Washington.
Contrary to the carefully cultivated perception in Washington and Islamabad about the fallout of killing Osama, a new phase in the US-Pakistan security alliance has been sealed in Abbottabad with the blood of the Saudi billionaire-turned-terrorist.
The best accounts of the operation which killed bin Laden are not to be found in the US media, which is behaving as if it is embedded with the CIA like American journalists were with the US forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and swallowed army propaganda for which newspapers like The Washington Post later apologised.
Revealing details about Sunday's Abbottabad operation are to be found in the Chinese media, especially China's official news agency, Xinhua, which has no pretensions to media freedom unlike its American counterparts.
The Chinese have the best sources in Pakistan, given the all-weather friendship between Islamabad and Beijing.
Xinhua says electricity was cut off to Abbottabad as the operation to kill Osama began. That shows complicity with the Americans not only within the Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi but down the line to the local administration that controls the electricity switching stations.
Xinhua says security forces cordoned off the entire area near Osama's safe house before the Americans attacked it and no one was allowed to enter or leave the operational surroundings during the attack.
That only means the Pakistanis knew what was going to take place, although it is only logical that reasons for sealing off the area would not have been communicated down the line to the local police or paramilitary units.
Xinhua also says residents of Abbottabad took videos and cellphone pictures from their rooftops as the spectacular helicopter landing and firefight was under way.
But Pakistani security forces went round from house to house collecting memory cards from cameras and seizing videos from residents soon enough so that the pictures were not transmitted freelance by what modern TV would call citizen journalists.
All this could not have been organised by the Pakistanis after the event, which means, circumstantially, that the killing of Osama was a well co-ordinated US-Pakistani operation down to local ward-level in Abbottabad.
Besides, Abbottabad is the seat of a brigade of the second division of Pakistan's Northern Army Corps and several other sensitive army establishments, including a key military training academy.
Metaphorically, even a fly cannot circle the skies of that city without escaping the attention of the defence network that guards Abbottabad.
It is for this reason and to keep up the fiction that the US and Pakistan did not co-operate in killing Osama that an official statement was issued in Islamabad today that "US helicopters entered Pakistani airspace making use of blind spots in the radar coverage due to hilly terrain".
The statement added that "US helicopters' undetected flight into Pakistan was also facilitated by the... efficacious use of latest technology and 'nap of the earth' flying techniques".
At the same time, the Pakistan Army did not want its people to lose faith in Rawalpindi as the guardian of their country's borders and their defence.
Hence, a paragraph in the statement which asserts that "it may not be realistic to draw an analogy between this undefended civilian area and some military (and) security installations which have elaborate local defence arrangements".
But to think that American helicopters carrying heavily armed personnel who attacked Osama's hideout could have violated Abbottabad's air space without help from Pakistan is pure fiction that is meant for the masses who are vulnerable to jihadi sermons in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Inflaming those masses could mean difficulties for the Americans everywhere.
But it is true that "Abbottabad and the surrounding areas have been under sharp focus of intelligence agencies since 2003, resulting in highly technical operation by ISI which led to the arrest of high-value al Qaida target in 2004", as the statement claims.
Of the greatest significance, however, is the revelation in the statement that "as far as the target compound is concerned, ISI has been sharing information with CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009. The intelligence flow indicating some foreigners in the surroundings of Abbottabad, continued till mid-April 2011".
The Pakistani statement is remarkable for its candour between the lines because it is admitting that in April 2011, the ISI stopped sharing information about Osama with the Americans because of strains between their respective intelligence outfits.
As a result, the Americans had to put off their plans to kill or capture bin Laden in mid-April, plans which began when Pakistan shared that intelligence from 2009, because the operation could not be undertaken without Islamabad's full support.
The internal power struggles in the Pakistani establishment were resolved when it was decided that not only will intelligence co-operation be revived but also that to make up with the Americans, they would sacrifice Osama.
That is tantamount to a coup within Pakistan which paves the way for stronger, better and deeper ties between Pakistan and the US, belying Indian hopes to the contrary.
The Pakistani statement truthfully claims that "reports about US helicopters taking off from Ghazi airbase are absolutely false and incorrect". The US has enough capabilities for an operation of this kind not to want to use Pakistan's military facilities.
All it needed was logistics support and unimpeded passage into Abbottabad.
There is irony in the portion of the statement which says the "CIA and some other friendly intelligence agencies have benefited a great deal from the intelligence provided by ISI. ISI's own achievements against al Qaida and in the war on terror are more than any other intelligence agency in the world".
There is a ring of truth in it with their sacrifice of their biggest trump card in dealings with the US, namely the world's most wanted terrorist, Osama.
And finally, some window dressing: "The Government of Pakistan expresses its deep concerns and reservations on the manner in which the Government of the United States carried out this operation without prior information or authorisation from the Government of Pakistan."
No mistake in Nandi: Buddha
Khejuri, April 30: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said the state government had not made any mistake by planning to set up industry in Nandigram.
"Amra Nandigram ke arekta Haldia toiri korte cheyechhilam (we had planned to turn Nandigram into another Haldia). Haldia was just a town before we developed it into a city. We wanted to do the same for Nandigram. This was not a mistake," the chief minister told a rally in East Midnapore's Heria, 15km from Nandigram.
He accused the Trinamul Congress of running a "disinformation campaign".
"They told farmers that we were going to snatch their land. They even told the people that we would take away their temples and mosques. All these were lies," Bhattacharjee said.
The chief minister alleged that Trinamul had created "unrest" in Nandigram. "They killed our supporters, torched their homes and left them homeless."
Bhattacharjee said he had "not asked police to open fire" in Nandigram on March 14, 2007. "But when trouble broke out, they had to open fire," he added. "When the police went to restore law and order, they (Trinamul) placed women and children in front."
Fourteen villagers, including women and children, were killed in the firing. It was the trigger for the CPM's slide at the hustings and gave the initial impetus to Mamata Banerjee's rise.
The chief minister said the anti land-acquisition movements in Nandigram and Singur "had not been able to scare away investors".
"A steel plant is coming up in West Midnapore's Salboni. It will be the biggest steel plant in the state. A fertiliser plant is being set up in Durgapur. Industries are being developed in Siliguri and other parts of north Bengal."
Bhattacharjee accused Trinamul of trying to stop development. "We built roads, they kept on digging them. We built bridges, they damaged them."
He said the Trinamul-controlled zilla parishad and gram panchayats in East Midnapore were the "worst-run" in the state. "Just look at the deplorable condition of the gram panchayats in Nandigram. All of them are run by Trinamul. When we used to run the panchayats, people got work. But now, Trinamul is busy minting money," the chief minister added.
Criticising Trinamul's change chant, Bhattacharjee said: "They want change. What do they want to change? They will snatch the land we gave to the villagers."
East Midnapore goes to the polls on May 3.
Pakistan 'involved or incompetent', says furious US
Washington/New Delhi: Two days after Osama bin Laden's dramatic killing, the US Wednesday described its ties with Islamabad as "complicated" with the CIA chief saying that Pakistan was either "involved or incompetent" in la'affaire Osama.
In a stinging attack, CIA director Leon Panetta told US lawmakers that Washington was trying to get to the bottom of Pakistan's "troubling" role in their professed ignorance about the whereabouts of the Al Qaeda chief.
In a closed door briefing for House members Tuesday, Panetta said that "either they were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be", CNN reported.
Senators were unrelenting in their attack on Pakistan, a country whose leaders have repeatedly claimed that Osama, the world's most wanted terror leader, was either dead or hiding in Afghanistan.
"It had everything except a neon sign sticking out there," Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg told CNN, referring to spacious and high-walled mansion in Pakistan's Abbottabad city where US special forces shot dead Osama after a 40-minute gun battle Sunday night.
Republican Allen West echoed the angry mood in the Congress.
"There is no way people in the ISI (Pakistan's intelligence agency) and military did not know that Osama has been living there for quite some time," said West, who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
In his detailed briefing on how Osama was trapped and killed, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spoke approvingly of Pakistan's cooperation on the war on terror but admitted that US-Pakistani ties were "complicated".
"Pakistan is a partner - a key partner - in the fight against Al Qaeda and terrorism," he said. "It's a complicated relationship. There's no question. And we do have our differences."
In India, US envoy Timothy J. Roemer kept up the pressure.
"We are certainly going to see Capitol Hill take a very hard look at the assistance that we give (to Pakistan)," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi.
Underlining that Pakistan needed to do more against terrorists, Roemer said it had to be seen whether Islamabad was using the funds given by the US in a "proper way".
"Congress is going to engage in I think two very fundamentally important tasks in the weeks ahead. One will be as we share or sell certain military equipment to Pakistan, is that being used in the proper way to take on counter terrorism efforts."
While conceding that Pakistan had taken on Al Qaeda, he said it wasn't, however, doing enough against terrorists ranged against India.
"Are they doing enough on Lashkar-e-Taiba? Are they doing enough on Mumbai trials? Are they doing enough on Hafiz Saeed and (Zakiur Rehman) Lakhvi? No, they need to do more."
He said Pakistan should also show results on trying the masterminds of the Mumbai massacre of November 2008.
"They need to show progress and results on the Mumbai trials. That Mumbai attack on 26/11 killed scores of Indians, six Americans, and the US wants to see progress and results and justice."
Roemer said Osama's discovery in Pakistan would also be taken up.
"The second part of this will be in respect to bin Laden being discovered outside of Islamabad.
"Congress will ask tough questions and go to the bottom. How do we more effectively use that aid, I am sure Pakistan is helping us not only degrade Al Qaeda, but go after groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba," he said.
In Pakistan, there were more voices of disbelief that American's enemy number 1 was holed up near a Pakistani military academy in Abbottabad even as Islamabad claimed to be chasing the Al Qaeda leadership.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain demanded an apology from the Pakistani government and intelligence agencies for their lapse on allowing Osama to hide deep inside Pakistan.
Dawn newspaper echoed the national despair: "Right under our military`s nose was found Osama ... living in relative comfort in a compound with stringent security that somehow went unnoticed.
"Add to this the way he was killed, and embarrassment turns into deep shame."
A Canadian newspaper meanwhile reported that the Pakistan-backed Hizbul Mujahideen, which seeks to end Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir, owned the Abbottabad mansion where Osama was killed.
It added the HM, as the group is widely known, had the backing of the Pakistani military.
The report added that Hizbul's links to Al Qaeda would "deepen Pakistan's embarrassment" over Osama's death.
Made in USA, destroyed in Pakistan
On September 11, 2011, when two hijacked planes smashed into the icons of American prosperity - the World Trade Centre twin towers - and two others rammed into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania respectively, a new era dawned in the history of politics.
Terrorism, once the global scourge, became the single point agenda for the United States of America. Indeed, the struggle against terrorism became America's War on Terror.
On March 8, 1985, US President Ronald Reagan said: "Throughout the world... its agents, client states and satellites are on the defensive -- on the moral defensive, the intellectual defensive, and the political and economic defensive. Freedom movements arise and assert themselves. They're doing so on almost every continent populated by man -- in the hills of Afghanistan, in Angola, in Kampuchea, in Central America... [They are] freedom fighters."
This glowing praise was for Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and their 'holy war' against the 'evil empire'. The 'evil empire' was the Soviet Union, and other movements fighting US-backed colonialism, dictatorship and apartheid.
Everything changed on a bright day in September, 10 years ago.
In the wake of "the worst terrorist attack on American soil", bin Laden the "freedom fighter" suddenly became bin Laden the "World's Most Wanted Terrorist".
Yet, the US government refuses to acknowledge its pivotal role in creating, funding, nurturing the movement that gave birth to the like of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and Islamic fundamentalism as a whole. And, of course, that great American unifier: 9/11. The media, too, has rarely focused on the origins of bin Laden and his vicious brand of fundamentalism.
The Rise of the Mujahideen
In the April of 1978, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) wrested control over the country after the ruling government issued a crackdown against the party.
The PDPA was committed to land reform that favoured the farmers, equality for women, trade union rights, separation of the church and the state, and the expansion of education and social services. It also supported stronger relations between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union.
These policies did not go down well with the country's monied landlords, the Muslim religious establishments and the tribal chiefs. They began organising a resistance against the progressive government, under the guise of defending Islam.
The US, fearing the spread of Soviet influence from Afghanistan to key allies Pakistan, Iran and the Gulf states, immediately backed the Afghan 'Mujahideen', as the resistance force came to be known.
In 1979, the PDPA government was in tumult after internal power struggles in the party. When thousands of Soviet troops entered the country to prevent the fall of the government, it only spurred the fundamentalist factions; their 'jihad' became legitimate: It became a national liberation struggle.
The Soviet Union eventually left the country in 1989, and the Mujahideen captured the capital Kabul in 1992.
In the years between 1978 and 1992, the US poured $6 billion (some estimates put the figure closer to $20 billion) worth of weapons, training and funds to arm the Mujahideen. Other Western-backed government, like the one in Saudi Arabia, pumped in as much. Wealthy Arab fanatics, like Osama bin Laden, provided millions more.
Washington's Afghanistan policy was shaped by US President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski. His plan was not just about getting the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan; rather, it aimed at building an international movement to spread Islamic fanaticism to the Islamic Soviet republics in Central Asia, in an attempt to destabilise the Soviet Union. US-run Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe broadcast fundamentalist tirades across Central Asia (while paradoxically denouncing the "Islamic revolution" that toppled the pro-US Shah of Iran in 1979).
Washington's favourite Mujahideen faction was the most extreme, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar was notorious in the 1970s for throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. He had a side trade: the cultivation and trafficking of opium. The backing of the Mujahideen by the CIA coincided with a boom in the drug business. Within two years, the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was the world's single largest source of heroin, supplying 60% of US drug users. In 1995, the former director of the CIA's operation in Afghanistan was unrepentant about the explosion in the flow of drugs: "Our main mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets... There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes. But the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan."
Osama bin Laden was a close associate of Hekmatyar and his faction.
Ahmed Rashid, a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, says, in 1986 CIA chief William Casey committed CIA support to an ISI proposal to recruit 'soldiers' from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. At least 1,00,000 Islamic militants flocked to Pakistan between 1982 and 1992. The November 1, 1998, British Independent reported that Ali Mohammad, one of those charged with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, had trained "bin Laden's operatives" in 1989.
In Pakistan, recruits, money and equipment were distributed to the Mujahideen factions by an organisation known as Maktab al Khidamar (Office of Services -- MAK). MAK was a front for Pakistan's ISI. The ISI was the first recipient of the vast bulk of CIA and Saudi Arabian covert assistance for the Afghan contras.
Bin Laden was one of three people who ran MAK. In 1989, he took overall charge of MAK.
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, one of 54 sons of billionaire construction magnate Mohammad bin Laden, arrived in Afghanistan to join the jihad in 1980, specialising in recruiting, financing and training the 35,000-odd non-Afghan mercenaries who joined the Mujahideen.
The bin Laden family has been a prominent pillar of the Saudi Arabian ruling class, with close personal, financial and political ties to the pro-US royal family. Mohammad bin Laden was appointed Saudi Arabia's minister of public works as a favour by King Faisal. The new minister awarded his own construction companies lucrative contracts to rebuild Islam's holiest mosques in Mecca and Medina. In the process, the bin Laden family company in 1966 became the world's largest private construction company.
Osama bin Laden's father died in 1967. He had access to the billions left behind by his father, until he was disowned by his family in 1994.
Till 1994, Osama's military work in Afghanistan had the support his well-connected family and the US-backed Saudi Arabian regime. His close relationship with MAK also meant that the CIA was fully aware of his activities.
Milt Bearden, the CIA's station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989, told the January 24, 2000, New Yorker that while he never met bin Laden, "Did I know that he was out there? Yes, I did ... [Guys like] bin Laden were bringing $20-$25 million a month from other Saudis and Gulf Arabs to underwrite the war. And that is a lot of money. It's an extra $200-$300 million a year. And this is what bin Laden did."
In 1986, bin Laden brought heavy construction equipment from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan. Using his extensive knowledge of construction techniques, backed by his degree in civil engineering, he built "training camps", some dug deep into the sides of mountains, and built roads to reach them. These camps harboured the Afghan ultras, including the tens of thousands of mercenaries recruited and paid for by bin Laden and were armed by the CIA. Pakistan, the US and Britain provided military trainers. Al Qaeda (the Base), bin Laden's organisation, was established in 1987-88 to run these camps.
Post-9/11, these camps were dubbed "terrorist universities" by Washington.
Tom Carew, a former British SAS soldier who secretly fought for the Mujahideen told the August 13, 2000, British Observer, "The Americans were keen to teach the Afghans the techniques of urban terrorism -- car bombing and so on -- so that they could strike at the Russians in major towns... Many of them are now using their knowledge and expertise to wage war on everything they hate."
Bin Laden became a "terrorist" in US eyes during the Gulf War. He opposed the Saudi royal family for allowing 5,40,000 US troops to be stationed on Saudi soil following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. When thousands of US troops stayed behind after the end of the Gulf War, bin Laden declared that Saudi Arabia and other regimes in the Middle East were puppets of the US, just as the PDPA government of Afghanistan had been a puppet of the Soviet Union. He proclaimed it the duty of all Muslims to drive the US out of the Gulf states. In 1994, he was stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced to leave the country. His assets there were frozen.
Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan in May 1996. He restored the camps he had built during the Afghan war and offered the services of the Al Qaeda to the Taliban, which was ultimately responsible for what happened in 2001 in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
In the years before the devastating September 11 attack, US ruling-class figures remained unrepentant about the consequences of their dirty deals with the likes of bin Laden, Hekmatyar and the Taliban. Since the attack, however, volte faces have been dime a dozen. In an August 28, 1998, report on MSNBC, Senator Orrin Hatch, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee which authorised US dealings with the Mujahideen, was quoted as saying he would make "the same call again", even knowing what bin Laden would become.
"It was worth it," said Hatch, "Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union."
After 9/11, Hatch's was one of the loudest voices demanding military retaliation.
Who to blame after the Soviet Union? Pakistan, of course
Pakistan has remained a faithful ally of the USA, despites strained relations with regard to the ISI and Pakistan's sympathy for the Taliban. Former Pakistan Army Chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg says in the May 4, 2011 issue of the Pakistan Observer: The Americans have tried several options to negotiate peace in Afghanistan on their terms - "A non-Talibanised peaceful Afghanistan". Pakistan too has endorsed the idea. Both are on the wrong track, because in this brutal contest, the Talibans have won and have the right to lay down the terms for peace and not the Americans and the allies who have lost the war."
Gen Beg goes on to say: In fact the Americans have to demonstrate 'diplomatic wisdom' to accept defeat.
That "diplomatic wisdom" was out in full force after Osama bin Laden was found and killed 50 km from the nation's capital Islamabad. That the Americans chose not to even inform the Pakistanis that an operation was underway to "kill or capture" bin Laden is a statement in itself. Even as Pakistan was left licking its wounds and soothing its ego bruised by not knowing what was happening in its own soil, came another salvo from the CIA Chief Leon Panetta.
"It was decided [during the planning] that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardise the mission. They might alert the targets," said Panetta.
It may have been a tactical decision for one particular mission, but it clearly underscores the distrust that the US has for Pakistan.
Pakistan the scapegoat, once again
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari was left clutching at straws, and did what he does best - write an opinion piece in the Washington Post on May 3, 2011.
Zardari says Pakistan did its part: "Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilised world."
He continues: "Some in the US press have suggested that Pakistan lacked vitality in its pursuit of terrorism, or worse yet that we were disingenuous and actually protected the terrorists we claimed to be pursuing. Such baseless speculation may make exciting cable news, but it doesn't reflect fact."
Juxtapose the CIA Chief's words and those of the Pakistan president's and two very different stories emerge. After the US operation that killed bin Laden, President Barack Obama told a global audience: "I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates."
While Obama's words may seem to bolster Zardari's argument about cooperation, it is interesting to know that the US was fully prepared for go to war with Pakistan if any action was taken against the Navy SEALs team that conducted Operation Geronimo.
The US had armed jets on standby in Afghanistan, and "given the importance of extracting bin Laden's body for examination and the obvious desire of the US to protect its special forces," says Toronto's National Post, "America would have shot down any Pakistani jet that attempted to intervene in the operation."
So, it was only natural that Osama bin Laden was killed in the one country where it would be easiest to launch an operation, and then imply that it was that nation which harboured the "world's most wanted".
It was easy. Pakistan, the hotbed of global terrorism, and the perennial CIA stepping stone, was once again made the scapegoat. It was only fitting that Osama bin Laden died on its soil. Now the world can rejoice and Obama's ratings can hit the roof.
Source: India Syndicate
Congress distances itself from Digvijay's Osama remarks
New Delhi: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh found himself caught in another controversy Tuesday with the party distancing itself from his remarks about the need for even hardened criminals getting last rites according to their religious beliefs.
Party spokesman Manish Tewari parried questions on whether Singh's remarks concerning terrorist Osama bin Laden's burial at sea was the party's official view.
'On the question of bin Laden and terror, we have repeatedly cleared our position. The position of the Congress has been very clearly articulated and delineated. We have nothing further to say on the neutralisation of bin Laden after what we said yesterday,' Tewari said.
Making an observation in relation to all terrorists and terrorist organisations, Tewari said: 'If you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.' A senior leader disapproved of Singh's remarks and said he should have shown more sensitivity.
'He sometimes speaks needlessly...The effect of his words is communal,' the leader said, adding that it amounted to addressing a personal constituency. He said bin Laden was not a saint and there could be reasons for his burial at sea.
Singh also met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday evening. However, there was no confirmation from party leaders that the meeting was in the context of Singh's remarks.
Singh, on his part, defended his remarks and said he had not mentioned Osama.
Singh blamed the media for creating the controversy. 'I stand by my remarks,' he said, adding that if the party had left him alone, he would not be in his chair. Singh had been in controversy earlier over some of his remarks relating to civil society activists on the joint drafting committee on the Lokpal Bill.
Though the party had backed him initially, it did not approve his remarks on the performance of Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, who is a member of the drafting committee. Singh said later he never meant disrespect to Hegde.
It's back to Tihar for Kalmadi
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday remanded dismissed CWG Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi and two others, arrested on charges of cheating, conspiracy and corruption in the award of Games related contracts, in 14 days judicial custody.
Special Judge Dharmesh Sharma sent Mr. Kalmadi, OC Joint Director General (Sport) A.S.V. Prasad and OC Deputy Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal to judicial custody till May 18 after the CBI said that some important witnesses are yet to be examined.
"The investigation of this case is at crucial stage. Some important witnesses are yet to be examined. The role of accused persons Mr. Kalmadi, Mr. Prasad and Mr. Lal is of serious nature," the CBI said.
The court accepted the plea of the CBI which said that the accused may be remanded to judicial custody in the "interest of effective and proper investigation of the case."
Mr. Kalmadi, Mr. Prasad and Mr. Lal were arrested by the CBI on April 25 for allegedly awarding illegal contract to a Swiss firm for Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system for the mega sporting event last year causing a loss of Rs 95 crore to the exchequer.
Earlier, the court had remanded the trio to eight days of CBI custody after the agency had submitted that various incriminating documents regarding their role in awarding the contract had been collected and they needed to be confronted with them.
The CBI had said that Mr. Kalmadi and his two associates were evasive and not co-operating with the probe agency.
Mr. Kalmadi, suspended Congress MP from Pune, and the two other officials have been booked under sections 120 B (conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC besides other relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Mr. Kalmadi's arrest had come weeks after his close aide and OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and Director General V.K. Verma were taken into custody in the same case. Mr. Bhanot and Mr. Verma are presently in judicial custody.
As the state is high on poll fever, both the CPM and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) are trying to woo the Matuacommunity, which is a deciding factor in more than 74 constituencies. It has more than 12 million followers in West Bengal and around 40 ...
Hindustan Times - Apr 24, 2011
When Mamata Banerjee picked the youngest son of the Matua's supreme leader, Binapani Devi, as candidate from the Matua-dominated Gaighata constituency, it raised many eyebrows. Some called it a masterstroke that would go a long way in swinging votes of ...
Matua chief at Mamata meet Calcutta Telegraph
Mamata shares dais with Matua Mahasabha supreme IBNLive.com
all 5 news articles »Email this story
Business Standard - Shine Jacob - Apr 27, 2011
As the state is high on poll fever, both the CPM and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) are trying to woo the Matuacommunity, which is a deciding factor in more than 74 constituencies. It has more than 1 crore followers in West Bengal and around Rs 4 crore ...
New York Press - Linnea Covington - 3 hours ago
As I ordered a simple glass of the Matua Sauvignon Blanc ($8), my companion pored over the short, intricately detailed cocktail menu. I recommended the monsoon sour ($12), a smooth combo of sweet St. Germaine and Woodford Reserve bourbon that gets a ...Pacific Daily News - Meryl Dillman - Apr 30, 2011
Mike G. Santos/For Pika Family affair: Johnny Sablan and his son, Matua, perform at the Island Music Award 2011. / Mike G. Santos/For Pika Honored: Johnny Sablan receives an award at the Island Music Award 2011. / Mike G. Santos/For Pika In concert: At ...
Indian Express - Apr 15, 2011
The word 'matua' means to be absorbed or remain absorbed in meditation, specifically in the meditation of the divine.His belief that there is no disparity between men and women, his stand against early marriage and his backing the practice of widow ...Indian Express - Apr 21, 2011
Khokan Biswas, general secretary of Matua Mahasangha, said, "We are BSP supporters. We have our BSP candidate in Madhyamgram. the candidate is a Matua leader. We have come from Madhyamgram to listen to Mayawatiji. We do not support Manjul Thakur, ...
The Bay of Plenty Times - Jo-Marie Baker - Apr 25, 2011
Linda McDougall does the baking for the Mainly Music's weekly gathering in the Matua Hall. Linda McDougall describes herself as "an old fashioned cook" and the delectable treats she bakes for Tauranga mums each week ...
The Bay of Plenty Times - May 2, 2011
High winds are believed to be the cause of a power cut which affected 4300 customers at Matua in last night. Powerco network operations manager Phil Marsh said supply was lost to 4300 customers in and around Matua about 10.50pm, and was restored by ...
The Bay of Plenty Times - Apr 17, 2011
Ms Shapland, an early childhood teacher from Matua, finished the event's 5km stage in about 50 minutes. "It was tough at times and about half way through the course I had to slow down and have a breather. But I wasn't too bad by the time I got to the ...
Hindustan Times - 7 hours ago
A new allegation from the CPI(M), pertaining to the use of helicopter by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in her campaign, surfaced on Tuesday.
Singur, Nandigram lock their votes, Didi smells victory Indian Express
IBNLive.com - 3 hours ago
PTI | 07:05 PM,May 04,2011 Bankura, (WB), May 4 (PTI) Rubbishing West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee's charge that Trinamool Congress has links with Maoists, Mamata Banerjee today said CPI-M and ultras were both sides of the same coin.
If it's numbers, Didi scores over CM in West Midnapore Times of India
Chief minister follows Didi like a shadow Hindustan Times
Calcutta Telegraph - Arnab Ganguly - 20 hours ago
Narayangarh (West Midnapore): If you have to do as the Romans do in Rome, Mamata Banerjee knew what she had to prescribe in the doctor's territory.
Daily News & Analysis - May 2, 2011
Place: Bishnupur (WB) | Agency: PTI Campaigning for the May 7 fifth phase poll in the Maoist-hit Jangalmahal, Trinamool Congress leaderMamata Banerjee today promised development and jobs for people in the "neglected" region.
Left killed 75000 opposition workers: Mamata IBNLive.comHindustan Times - 1 hour ago
What does Mamata Banerjee stand for? She says that the traditional ideological dichotomy between Left and Right does not apply to her.
Indian Express - May 3, 2011
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday claimed that the Left Front would be wiped out after today's fourth round of polling in the six-phase West Bengal Assembly elections.
EC says it has video of Ghosh abusing Mamata IBNLive.com
Can Mamata tun around Purulia's fate? Times of IndiaiNewsOne - May 3, 2011
Kolkata, May 3 (IANS) After repeated attempts to hand over copies of a complaint to Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Anil Basu, who had allegedly made obscene remarks against Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, the Election ...
Anil under delay glare Calcutta Telegraph
WB polls: EC pastes notice at Anil Basu's door IBNLive.com
all 6 news articles »Email this story
Express Healthcare - May 3, 2011
As the West Bengal Assembly Elections draw near, Mamata Banerjee, recently released her party's election manifesto. The vision document has come up with specific plans under heads such as education, healthcare, agriculture, industry, infrastructure, ...
Destructive CPI-M must go: Mamata Washington Bangla RadioHindustan Times - May 1, 2011
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee gestures after casting her vote during the 3rd phase of...... Mamata Banerjee will address two rallies in the Maoist-dominated zone of West Midnapore on May 6. One of the rallies will be in support of the ...
Three-way fight in Maoist den Times of India
all 5 news articles »Email this story
All India Radio - 5 hours ago
Addressing a series of election rallies in Bankura, Purulia and West Medinipur districts, Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee said that the Left rule has done very little for the development of these districts despite being in power for the last 34 years.
Singur and Nandigram go to the polls today Hindustan TimesHindustan Times - 7 hours ago
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had fasted for the Tapasi Malik and the CBI arrested Suhrid Dutta, CPI(M)'s zonal committee secretary of Singur, and his associate Debu Malik.
Hindustan Times - Apr 30, 2011
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee traded charges in Hooghly on Friday. Speaking at Dhaniakhali, Banerjee threatened action against CPI(M) leaders, "who siphoned off development funds".
Didi ire at CM for sharing stage with Anil Calcutta TelegraphTimes of India - Apr 30, 2011
HOWRAH : Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday promised the people of Howrah's Udaynarayanpur to do something to prevent annual floods, if voted to power.
Indian Express - May 1, 2011
Singur votes on Tuesday and, if Mamata Banerjee comes to power, this is the seat - apart from Nandigram - that she will look back on as a game changer.
Revisiting revolution Inc Hindustan Times
Tatas let us down: Gautam Calcutta TelegraphIndian Express - May 2, 2011
On April 28, in her stormy speech at Nandigram, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjeeurged the voters to make her party victorious by a huge margin.
Hindustan Times - Apr 28, 2011
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee gestures after casting her vote during the 3rd phase of...... As the sun set on the city on Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee said there shouldn't be any reason to doubt that the people of the city have voted for ...
CPM tried to rig polls: Mamata Times of India
Mamata Banerjee's time to cash rain check Daily News & Analysis
Economic Times - Apr 25, 2011
Trinamool Congress founder and chairperson Mamata Banerjee is just three weeks away from realising a three-decade-old dream of defeating the Left Front in the West Bengal Assembly elections.
Mamata accuses CPM of looting crores in West Bengal Indian Express
Fury over anti-Mamata remark Daily News & AnalysisTimes of India - Falguni Banerjee - May 2, 2011
Riding on anti-incumbency, Mamata Banerjee made dents among workers in Saptagram, Chinsurah, Chandernagore, Serampore and Bhadreswar.
Calcutta Telegraph - Sanjay Mandal - 20 hours ago
An agitation against forcible land acquisition by Mamata Banerjeepunctured Jayita's dream. Though the protests seem to have snatched the prospect of progress away from Singur, Jayita also cannot fully agree with the way the farmers were forced to part ...
Singur land: SC to wait and watch poll outcome Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times - Apr 16, 2011
But for Mamata Banerjee, whose three-decade tirade against the comrades is finally bearing fruit, made, perhaps, on a rather fateful day —March 14, 2007.
Polls 2011: Cakewalk for Mamata Banerjee's aide in Behala-West Daily News & Analysis
Black money row may move to Court Times of India
Indian ExpressAll related images »
| Daily News & Analysis - 2 hours ago |
Place: Kolkata | Agency: PTI Tight security arrangement has been made for fifth and sixth phases of election in West Bengal when Maoist-affected Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and parts of Burdwan would go to the hustings. Apart from state forces, ...
Times of India - 18 hours ago
KOLKATA: Ballot, and not the bullet, won in the fourth phase of polls in West Bengal despite complaints of terror and intimidation. The average polling percentage in Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore and 13 seats in Burdwan is expected to cross 87%, ...
Times of India - Ronojoy Sen - May 2, 2011
Till five years ago, it was not even worth a speck on the map of West Bengal. But when on May 18, 2006 — ironically the same day Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was sworn in as chief minister — industrialist Ratan Tata announced that Singur, 40 km from Kolkata ...
Times of India - May 2, 2011
KOLKATA: Elections are usually about politicians and people. In at least eight of the 63 assembly segments that go to the polls in the fourth phase on Tuesday, the key player is the Election Commission (EC). Complaints of terror and intimidation have...
Hindustan Times - May 3, 2011
All eyes will be on Singur and Nandigram, as 63 constituencies in four districts would go to the polls in the fourth phase of Bengal's Assembly elections on Tuesday. Also in the fray from Burdwan South is state commerce and industries minister Nirupam ...
IBNLive.com - 11 hours ago
Kolkata: West Bengal's ruling Left Front on Tuesday accused opposition Trinamool Congress of terrorising voters during the fourth phase of assembly polls, and said that the "incidents" have raised a question mark over the security arrangements made by ...
Times of India - May 3, 2011
KOLKATA: Singur and Nandigram voted peacefully on Tuesday as 58% polling was recorded till 1 pm in the fourth phase of West Bengal assembly elections for 63 constituencies spread over four districts. Elections are being held in three districts - Howrah ...
Hindustan Times - May 2, 2011
Polling officials check electronic voting machines in Siliguri on the eve of assembly elections in...... All eyes will be on Singur and Nandigram on Tuesday as 63 constituencies of Bengal go to polls. The fourth phase of assembly polls will be crucial ...
The Hindu - May 2, 2011
PTI PTI Joint Force jawans patrolling the Jhargram area for the assembly elections in West Midnapore district of West Bengal. Photo: PTI Ahead of the fourth phase of Assembly election in West Bengal on May 3, the Election Commission today further...
Hindustan Times - 22 hours ago
Women display their voter identity cards as they stand in a queue to cast their votes at a polling...... If high voting percentage is an indicator of anti-incumbency, the Left, then, has lost the battle for Bengal. The turnout in the fourth phase of ...
All 40 related articles »
All India Trinamool Congress
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Timeline of articlesNumber of sources covering this story
All India Radio
NDTV.comAll related images »
NDTV.com - May 3, 2011
All related videos »
ED slaps money laundering charges on Kanimozhi
This would be followed by attachment of properties belonging to Kalaignar TV of which she is one of the major shareholders.
- Digvijay remark: Cong distances itself
- Warren Buffett speaks on the Sokol Affair
- Scandal taints Buffett's status as American hero
- Vivek Lall: Meet Mukesh Ambani's new soldier
How the US got Osama
Osama bin Laden's photo to be published says CIA Chief
I think we have to reveal to the rest of the world the fact that we were able to get him and kill him, said CIA chief Panetta.
- Tip-off 10 months ago, then the work & the wait
- 40 navy commandos trained for a month
- White House: Pictures of Laden gruesome
- At luxurious compound with youngest wife
- Massive house with no tel or net connection
SC wants former judge to monitor black money probe
Pulling up the Centre over its tardy pace in dealing with the "colossal" problem of black money, the Supreme Court today wanted a former judge to monitor action of government agencies on the issue but this was resisted by the Government.
"We do not visualise the problem going away in months. Look at the dimension of the problem. It is colossal and the biggest problem of the country after independence," a bench of justices B Sudarshan Reddy and S S Nijjar said while reserving its order on constituting Special Investigation Team (SIT) to deal with the issue.
During the hearing, the Centre vehemently opposed the idea of setting up of SIT or appointment of retired apex court judge to monitor the functioning of a 10-member high power committee of top officers from CBI, ED,IB and other departments, to deal with the black money cases.
"It is not in the public interest to appoint the SIT as it would hamper the ongoing investigation in the case. I have objection on the issue. They (government agencies) do not need any interventionist to be fast and speedy in dealing with the problem," Solicitor General Gopal Subramainum said.
The bench, however, pointed out that agencies approach has so far been tardy as nothing substantial has been done so far in such cases.
"Where is the speed in the case. Case was registered against an individual in 2007 but the custodial interrogation was done only in 2011 after the court's intervention. What speed you are talking about. We don't want to make comments on this. Even Letters Rogatory was issued after constant query from the court," the bench observed.
"I find it difficult to understand what is wrong if some eminent retired judge of this court will monitor the work of the committee. It can only enhance efficiency of the team," the bench further said while reserving its order on a plea seeking directions to the government to make public the names of persons who have kept black money in the Liechtenstein Bank.
Subramainum informed the court that the 10-member committee consisting of Revenue Secretary, RBI's Deputy Director, Directors of CBI, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Enforcement Directorate, Chairman of CBDT, Director General of Revenue Intelligence, chief of Narcotics Control, Director of Foreign Intelligence Office (FIO) and Joint Secretary of Foreign Trade has already been appointed.
The court was hearing a petition filed by noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani and some former bureaucrats seeking the its direction to the government to bring back black money stashed by Indian nationals in foreign banks, which is said to be to the tune of 1 trillion US dollars.
Dorjee Khandu — From grassroots activist to Chief Minister
Itanagar: A military intelligence man who participated in the 1971 Bangladesh war, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu had worked his way up as a local politician helping set up schools and organising drinking water supplies in far-flung areas of the mountainous State.
Mr. Khandu, who became the Chief Minister twice, was with the Indian Army's intelligence wing for seven years and received a gold medal for rendering meritorious services during the India-Pakistan war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.
Becoming an Anchal Samiti member in 1980, he turned his focus to social work in far-flung villages. He helped arranging drinking water supplies, electricity and communication and also setting up schools in remote areas of Tawang, his home district. Due to his efforts, cultural and cooperative societies were established in Tawang.
This helped him consolidate his standing among the masses when he replaced Gegong Apang as Chief Minister of the State in 2007.
He led a cultural troupe to the 1982 ASIAD in Delhi from Tawang which won a silver medal.
Born on March 3, 1955 in Gyangkhar village in Tawang district, Mr. Khandu belonged to Monpa tribe and was a Buddhist with little formal education. He is survived by four wives, four sons and two daughters.
His political innings started in 1983 when he was elected uncontested as the district vice-president of the West Kameng District Zilla Parishad and worked in that capacity till 1987.
In March 1990, he was elected uncontested to the Legislative Assembly from the Mukto constituency.
Mr. Khandu was re-elected to the Assembly in March, 1995 from the same constituency and was given the portfolio of Minister of State for Cooperation.
On September 21, 1996, he was elevated to Cabinet rank and given Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Dairy Development department
In 1999, he was elected to the third Assembly of the State and served as the Power minister from 1998 to 2006.
He also served as Minister for Mines and held the portfolio of Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation and Disaster Management.
Mr. Khandu revolted against Mr. Apang in 2007. When the Congress high command first refused to accept Mr. Khandu as a replacement for Mr. Apang as Chief Minister, he went to New Delhi with most party legislators and stayed put for 10 days till the AICC leaders relented.
After taking over as the Chief Minister on April 9, 2007, he promised to reopen the state-owned APEX Cooperative bank having 32 branches across the State lying defunct for two years after an over Rs. 200 crore loan scam was unearthed.
Within few weeks, Mr. Khandu secured a loan of Rs. 225 crore from PSU power major NHPC and invested it into the bank, enabling it to reopen, much to the relief of lakhs of depositors who were mostly poor locals.
His popularity grew further when he forced the Centre to open the FIC regional head office in Itanagar and godowns deep inside the State to check pilferage of PDS commodities.
In 2009, he was again elected unopposed to the Assembly and became the Chief Minister for second time on October 25, 2009.
The Rs. 24,000-crore special package announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Itanagar on January 31 last year made Mr. Khandu's popularity soar even further.
Press Trust of India
This article contains latest news from Press Trust of India.
Sebi board discusses IPO scam of 2006?
New Delhi, Apr 25 (PTI) The full board of the market regulator Sebi is believed ...
Pesticide body welcomes petition seeking ban on endosulfan
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) A pesticide manufacturing body today welcomed filing of a petition ...
US-based NGO supports use of endosulfan at Stockholm conferenc
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) A US-based international NGO has made a representation against banning ...
Ultra mega steel projs must for raising capacity to 145 MT
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Citing delays in multi-billion dollar ventures like ArcelorMittal and POSCO ...
HP to harness speedier hydro power potential: Dhumal
Shimla, Apr 26 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to involve central government and ...
Unitech &Telenor speak in two voices on replacement of Chandra
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Differences seem to have emerged between Unitech and its foreign ...
Assocham opposes DGFT move to tighten benefits for power proj
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Opposing a move to tighten norms for power projects for ...
Kirloskar Ferrous Ind''s Q4 net jumps 86.9 pc to Rs 206 cr
Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) Iron and steel products maker Kirloskar Ferrous Industries Ltd (KFIL) today ...
Farmer organisations ask PM not to ban endosulfan
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) A body of farmers'' organisations has written a letter to ...
India needs Evergreen Revolution for food security:Swaminathan
Ludhiana, Apr 26 (PTI) With international lender Asian Development Bank today warning that high food ...
Omar asks industrialists to provide jobs to locals
Jammu, Apr 26 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today asked industrialists to ...
MSME minister asks KVIC to weed out corruption in job scheme
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) In the backdrop of complaints of corruption in the Prime ...
Bombay HC seeks Sebi reply on MCX-SX petition
Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today asked market regulator Sebi to file ...
Coca-Cola Q1 net income up 17.65 pc to USD 1.8 billion
New Delhi/Atlanta, Apr 26 (PTI) Driven by emerging markets, including Russia, China and India, global ...
Apparel exports marginally up to Rs 50,862 cr in FY11
Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) India''s apparel export increased marginally by 0.1 per cent at Rs ...
Thomas Cook Q1 consolidated net down 40.38 pc at Rs 4.68 cr
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Travel services provider Thomas Cook India today reported 40.38 per ...
SBI plans to merge an associate bank by early next fiscal
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Country''s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) today indicated ...
No decision in Uninor board meeting on Chandra''s replacement
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Unitech Wireless, a joint venture between realty firm Unitech and ...
Petronet reports doubling of net profit in Q4
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Petronet LNG Ltd, the nation''s largest liquefied natural gas importer, ...
Village council support to Lafarge
Shillong, Apr 26 (PTI) The traditional council of Nongtrai village where French cement giant Lafarge ...
Sibal to discuss manufacturing issues with industry next week
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Communications Minister Kapil Sibal will meet telecom and IT companies ...
Haryana Excise Dept sets up vigilance wing to check corruption
Narnaul (Haryana), Apr 26 (PTI) With a view to check corruption, a vigilance wing has ...
SEBI settles case against Dena Bank for Rs 10 lakh
Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) The capital market regulator SEBI today settled and passed a consent ...
FM to review performance of public sector banks next month
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will review the performance of all ...
BSE Institute launches course in global financial markets
Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) BSE Training Institute Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Bombay Stock Exchange ...
Diesel may go costlier by Rs 3/litre
New Delhi: The government plans to hike diesel prices by up to Rs 3 a litre soon after the Assembly elections in five states are over next week, while an equivalent steep increase in petrol rates is also on card.
"An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to meet on May 11 to mull on a hike in diesel prices," a top government official, refusing to be named, said.
A Rs 3-4 a litre hike in the price of petrol, which had been freed from government control last June, is also on the cards immediately after polling in the last phase of Assembly elections is completed on May 10.
"Petroleum Ministry officials yesterday discussed with the Election Commission the issue of raising prices before Assembly election results are announced on May 13. The Election Commission is believed to have cleared the move," he said.
Officially on the EGoM's agenda is ways of mitigating the over Rs 180,000 crore revenue loss state-owned oil firms have projected in 2011-12 on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at current rates.
An increase in domestic LPG prices may also be discussed at the EGoM meeting that will decide on how the oil firms will be compensated for their losses, he said.
State-owned Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum currently lose Rs 16.17 a litre on diesel and after adding local sales tax or VAT, the desired increase to make rates at par with international prices is Rs 18.19 a litre.
The companies have not even raised price of petrol, a commodity which was freed from government control in June last year, in view of Assembly elections in five states like West Bengal and Kerala.
The hike need to take petrol prices to international parity is about Rs 8.50 per litre, but the entire burden will not be passed on to consumers in one go. "Oil companies will be asked to stagger the hike over a couple of months," the official said.
Besides petrol and diesel, the three state oil firms lose Rs 29.69 a litre on kerosene and Rs 329.73 per 14.2 kg domestic LPG cylinder.
Adani arm buys Australian port for Rs 9,000 crore
Ahmedabad: The Adani group's Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone (MPSEZ) on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Abbot Point Port in Australia for A$ 1.8 billion (Rs 9,000 crore).
Australia's northeastern state of Queensland is selling the coal export terminal as part of an A$ 15 billion asset-sale programme. It will use the money for reconstruction following the devastation caused by floods and Cyclone Yasi.
MPSEZ expects to close the all-cash deal by June. The port has two mechanised berths. MPSEZ aims to build another two in the next five years. The port has a capacity of 50 million tonnes. It is using 20 million tonnes at present.
"At present, Abbot Port can handle 50 million tonnes coal. We plan to expand it to 80 million tonnes in five years. Besides other cargo, the port will handle coal from Adani's own mines," said B Ravi, chief financial officer (CFO), MPSEZ. In August last year, Adani had bought Linc Energy's coal mines in Queensland for about $2.7 billion (Rs 12,500 crore).
Adani plans to fund the deal through debt and sale of some equity in MPSEZ.
The company expects revenues from port operations to nearly triple to A$ 305 million (Rs 1,470 crore) by 2016 from A$ 110 million (Rs 530 crore) in 2011.
"We aspire to expand globally and are in search of right business opportunities. Abbot Point is our contribution to India's increasing global ambition," said Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani.
In the past 10 years, the asset base of MPSEZ has risen from $100 million to $3 billion. The group has a cargo handling capacity of above 200 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) as against 2.5 MTPA in 2001.
On why Australia has become a favourite place for buying energy assets, CFO Ravi said, "The Australian government, which was earlier conservative, opened up to privatisation of energy assets a couple of years ago." He said domestic power companies, which had big expansion plans, were looking to buy coal mines abroad to make up for the shortfall in domestic supply.
Imports of coal to produce power rose 33 per cent to 65.7 million tonnes in the year ended March 31.
Source: Business Standard
Cognizant profit jumps 37.5%, sees strong Q2
Chennai: US-based IT services firm, Cognizant Technology has posted a 37.5 per cent jump in net profit at $208.32 million for the first quarter ended March 31 and has forecast a strong outlook for the second quarter numbers.
The company's net profit stood at $151.50 million for the first quarter of 2010.
Cognizant President and CEO Francisco D'Souza said they are pleased with yet another successful quarter of solid growth which was driven by a strong demand environment. He said during this time of significant secular change impacting our clients, Cognizant continue to enhance competitive differentiation.
The company's revenue increased by 42.88 per cent to $1.37 billion during January-March from $959.72 million in the same period last year.
Cognizant has now indicated that revenue for its June quarter will grow to be at least $1.45 billion, while for the year 2011; it expects revenue to grow at 29 per cent from 2010 to $5.92 billion, said a report in Business Today.
Cognizant Chief Financial and Operating Officer Gordon Coburn said they remain confident in their strategy of maintaining non-GAAP operating margins within a targeted range of 19-20 per cent, while allowing for strong and consistent investment in new service and delivery capabilities as well as in the best global talent.
Cognizant had a net headcount addition of more than 7,200 for the reported quarter. Cash and cash equivalents stood at $1.29 billion at the end of March 31, 2011, the report said.
Source: BPO Watch India
AI will reinstate pilots if they call off strike: Govt
New Delhi: The government today softened its stand on striking Air India pilots with Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi announcing that the airline management would reinstate the pilots, who were sacked after starting their agitation.
"If the agitating pilots of Air India call off their strike, the airline management will take back the pilot, who were terminated," said Ravi.
However, the pilots say they have always maintained that all they need to come back to work is reinstatement of pilots and a written assurance on their demands being met. "As of now, we have not received any intimation on this from the management and any decision will only come after that," said a pilot, who did not want to be identified.
The Delhi High Court today issued contempt notices to nine of the striking Air India pilots for defying its order to call off the agitation which entered the seventh day. The nine pilots are office bearers of the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), the union that has called the strike.
While issuing the contempt notices, the court also decided to take up the matter again on May 25. The members, who were issued the notices are ICPA President A S Bhinder, Vice President Ramesh Gangadharan, General Secretary Rishabh Kapur, Assistant General Secretary Rajesh Kuyeskar, Treasurer Ritesh Mathankar and four executive committee members Nitin Mahangade, Anup, Shakil and Amitesh.
About 800 pilots of the union and around 200 executive pilots who were working with the now-defunct Indian Airlines are on strike since April 26 midnight demanding parity in wages with their counterparts from the erstwhile Air India. Indian Airlines was merged with Air India in 2007. The state-run carrier has suffered estimated revenue losses of over Rs 100 crore during the strike.
According to official estimates, private carriers were carrying 15,000-16,000 passengers of Air India, which is offering only about 9,000 seats each day currently. Normally, the state-run airline offers 35,000 seats in the domestic sector daily.
The bench had also rapped the airline management and the pilots' association for their rigid stand and appointed a counsel to assist in resolving the standoff.
Replying to this, Air India said the independent committee was set up after the civil aviation minister held talks with all unions/guilds/associations of Air India, including ICPA, and after taking their consent.
"The management explained to the court that the pilots and other employees need to engage with the Justice (retd) Dharmadhikari Committee, as it provided a very vital platform to resolve all human resource-related issues, including pay parity, rank rationalisation and seniority," said a release from the airline.
As the stalemate continued, the management issued directions for not processing of the salaries of those who were not joining duty as the airline was operating with less capacity.
Source: Business Standard