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In TMC meet, Mamata calls BJP ‘militant’ organisation, takes veiled jibe at Dilip Ghosh

In TMC’s extended core committee meeting, party chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee lashed out at BJP and warned party members against infighting and complacency ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha election. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday called the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a militant organisation.”We are not a militant organisation like the BJP. They are creating fights not only among Christians, Muslims but also among Hindus,” the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said.Mamata’s statement comes at a time tensions between the two parties are escalating in the state.Without naming Dilip Ghosh, Mamata Banerjee slammed him. She said, ” Someone is calling for encounter. Someone wants to shoot, others want to kill, there are few who are looking to hurl bombs.” She further said, ” I am telling them to come. Show your strength. So far only you have seen Panchayat. All your guns are because of power in Delhi. What will happen when that goes”. Also readDilip Ghosh challenges TMC with encounters, cops make case against himMamata scolded party workers from districts like Jhargram and Purulia where TMC has done badly in the Panchayat polls and asked them to buck up. She gave a strong warning to people who are ‘running parallel organisation’ inside TMC and told them they can leave the party if they want to. Mamata also had special message for the trade union wing and the youth wing of the party. She stressed on unity among the workers who are under the TMC banner. For student leaders, she focussed on ensuring discipline among the workers and to maintain a good academic atmosphere in campuses. With ANI inputs
West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress (TMC)

Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)

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BJP targets South Kolkata LS seat, Amit Shah challenges Mamata on her own turf

Targetting Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee in her backyard, BJP national president Amit Shah, during his two-day visit Bengal on June 27-28, will hold a meeting with the booth level workers of Kalighat area in Kolkata. He will start his journey in the area after giving puja in the famous Kalighat temple. Sources said that the party was targeting Mamata’s erstwhile South Kolkata constituency in the next 2019 Lok Sabha election. He will also take a low down on the preparedness of the party ahead of the election. Shah will chair an organisational meeting with party leadership on June 27 and is also likely to visit the residence of the two BJP workers killed in Purulia district.During his last visit to Bengal, he had stressed upon formation of 100 per cent booth committees across the state. He had instructed party leadership to ensure that at least 10 persons were there in each of the committees. During his visit this month he would be taking stock about how much of the booth committees have been completed, with a special focus on Mamata’s area.Also readPM Modi, Amit Shah, Mamata Banerjee wish Union Minister Piyush Goyal on birthday Party sources said that about 20 per cent of the booth committees are in place, including several booths in Kolkata but Shah would want to make sure about it by talking to the booth level workers directly.BJP workers are already gearing up for Amit Shah’s visit with a week-long protest programme from June 18 to 25 on the cards. Sources also said that Shah was likely to instruct party workers to go all out against Mamata and would lay down the roadmap and strategies of fighting against TMC. Looking at the rise in the number of people joining BJP, he would also stress upon the discipline needed in the saffron party. Also readIt is responsibility of Rahul Gandhi to keep Congress alive, not mine: Amit Shah He will meet intellectuals and will court their support to oust TMC from the state.
Mamata Banerjee

Amit Shah

Trinamool Congress (TMC)

South Kolkata

Kalighat Temple

Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)

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BJP scouting for big, spacious locations in Bengal ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections

As the BJP steadily increases its presence in West Bengal, the party’s state unit is scouting for spacious, well-equipped new offices in Kolkata and other parts to keep up with the flurry of activities ahead of the next general election.The BJP is planning to shift its state headquarters at 6 Muralidhar Sen Street in central Kolkata to a nearby spacious place, ahead of the Lok Sabha poll, due next year.”We are looking for new places both in districts and in the city for setting up new party offices. In some of the districts, the office has been built and in some other places, work is on,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh told PTI.”In Kolkata, we are planning to take a new place on rent near our party office ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.” At present, the party is divided into 36 organisational districts. According to senior party leaders, new offices will be built in all organisational districts and at block levels.”The type of offices the CPI(M) and TMC have at the block level, we do not have such offices even at the district level. But we are planning to either build new offices or rent office space. Let us see,” BJP state general-secretary Subhas Sarkar said.The party has identified land for building offices.Apart from offices in organisational districts, BJP will have an election office in all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state, another party leader said.According to the senior BJP leader, the party is planning to equip the new offices with the state-of-art technology such as desktop and laptop computers, WiFi connection and e-library, besides big conference halls to accommodate at least 200-250 people and retiring room for party leaders and workers.The new head office in Kolkata will have facilities to set up video-conference sessions with party high command in New Delhi and the district unit leadership.With increasing number of rallies and agitation programmes, the party has decided to buy new cars for every organisational district for swift movement of party leaders.The BJP leadership is also planning to hand over bikes to district and mandal level organisers for faster mobility.”Every organisational district has been asked to buy one car for 24X7 services and rent few others, if needed. For better movement of leaders and workers, vehicles are a must,” the senior party leader said.BJP is trying to expand its footprint in West Bengal. The party, at present, has just two Lok Sabha seats in the state.The recent bypolls and the panchayat election results have indicated a paradigm shift in the state politics with the BJP emerging as the main opposition to the TMC, although it still has to go a long way before it can challenge the ruling party.
West Bengal

Narendra Modi

Amit Shah

2019 Lok Sabha elections

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In extended core committee meet, TMC looks to stem BJP’s growth in Bengal

The first extended core committee of Trinamool Congress, after the three-tier Panchayat election will be held on June 21, at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata.Sources within the party said that West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee would be giving out important instructions to party leaders post the panchayat results and ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Sources also said that there will be an assessment of the panchayat results and accordingly some district leadership are likely to be changed. Districts such as Purulia and Nadia would have an overhaul in terms of leadership given the party’s poor performance there and the ascent of BJP at those places. Changes in district president of South 24 Parganas is also expected.It was found out that Mamata would also thank party leaders for their impressive performance across the state. She would also instruct about the formula to be used for board formation in places where the result is hung. She will also decide fate of those panchayat members of previous term who had not been given tickets this time around. They would be put on important posts to avoid any dissidence.Mamata is also expected to draw a roadmap for district leaderships for the 21 July Martyrs’ Day observance, one of the biggest annual public meetings of TMC which takes place at Esplanade. Party MP and Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee would not be able to attend the meeting because at that time he would be in Singapore for eye treatment.
West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Singapore

bharatiya janata party

Purulia

Abhishek Banerjee

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Thane Municipal Corporation to take action against those who threw 39 plants

The TMC will issue notices to shop owners who mercilessly threw away 39 plants from a Pachpakhadi building’s terrace on world environment day. While the building residents are annoyed at this inhuman treatment meted out to the plants, the shop owners say that it is a ploy by the former to trouble them.When the world was celebrating environment day, over 39 plants died a silent death as they were thrown from the terrace of Gagangiri flat owners’ society at Panchpakhadi.Since past two years the society has been bifurcated as Gagangiri flat owners society and shop owners. Earlier it was one body but issues cropped up in the management of the society which led to the bifurcation. “The shop owners said that they threw the plants away since there was leakage due to the water tanks kept on the terrace. Whatever it is, they cannot take it out on plants,” she said.The residents also claim that the first floor is a sanctioned terrace garden as per the building plan submitted to the TMC and they pay property tax for the same.The shop owners, however, say that the residents are blaming them for no reason. “The terrace belongs to us. We asked them to remove the plants and waited patiently for 10 days. When they failed to do so we did it ourselves,” says S Sawade, one of the shop owners from the building. “It is the residents who encroached upon our property. We will send a defamation notice to the residents and will also respond to TMC,” he said.On Monday K Dawade, a horticulturist from the TMC said that they will issue notices to the concerned shop owners and take necessary action. “Whatever be the dispute between the shop owners and the residents, we will take legal action against those who threw away the plants,” says Sandip Malvi, public relations officer, TMC.
World Environment Day

TMC

plants

Thane Municipal Corporation

Pachpakhadi

shop owner

Gagangiri flat

K Dawade

S Sawade

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Will not sacrifice interests of state leaders for sake of alliances: Congress

As parties put their heads together to cobble out an anti BJP alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress has struck a note of caution and said it will not ignore the interests of its state leaders for the sake of regional tie-ups.Congress media head Randeep Surjewala has said that while the party has a time-tested policy of working with ideologically compatible parties, it will not abandon the interests of its state leaders.The Indian National Congress will never sacrifice the interests of a state leadership and aspirations of its workers. An ideal balance will be struck on a state to state basis, Surjewala told PTI.He made the case for state-specific alliances while arguing for a larger coalition with like-minded parties in national interest.The Congress has a time-tested and well defined policy of working hand in hand with ideologically compatible political parties,” he said.A committee headed by former minister A K Antony would take a final call on alliances after discussions with state leaders and those in charge of the states, he said.In national interest we shall further strengthen energies to bring together like- minded parties on a common platform and a common agenda. However, INC will never sacrifice the interests of a state leadership, Surjewala said.The reiteration of state-specific tie-ups comes when the Congress has been facing a rebellion in its Kerala unit after it decided to give up the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state to its estranged ally, the Kerala Congress (Mani).The KC (M) had quit the Congress-led UDF on the eve of the last state polls and contested by itself, making a dent in the Congress votes in the process.Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s decision to give the party’s RS seat to the KC (M) was aimed at bringing the old ally back to the party fold ahead of the 2019 LS polls, but led to unprecedented protests in the state party.As the Congress pursues an anti-NDA grouping, it would have to consider the possibility of regional parties demanding a bigger pie in the seat-sharing talks.While striking state-specific pacts for the General Elections would not pose a problem in some states such as Karnataka, where the party has already announced a pact with the JDS, it would have have to conduct a fine balancing act in some other areas.West Bengal is a case in point where the state Congress leadership has been openly attacking TMC chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for murdering democracy” in the recent panchayat polls.West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been issuing statements against Banerjee, who has been projecting herself as an important pillar of any anti-BJP structure for 2019.The Congress will have to factor in the views of its Bengal leadership while building any understanding in the state either with the TMC or the Left.In Punjab and Delhi, the state units of the Congress have rejected suggestions on aligning with the Aam Aadmi Party.Delhi Congress chief Ajay Makan has said the party does not need any ally in the state. AICC in charge of Punjab Asha Kumari has dismissed as baseless talks of a possible alliance with AAP in the state.In Rajasthan, too, state Congress chief Sachin Pilot has indicated the party would rather go solo when a section of Congress leaders has been advocating a pact with the BSP.Though in election-bound Madhya Pradesh, state Congress president Kamal Nath is in talks with the BSP for the upcoming Assembly election, it remains to be seen whether the party will part with the number of seats BSP chief Mayawati has been seeking.In Uttar Pradesh, too, the Congress will be faced with a difficult choice of seat sharing as the RLD, BSP and SP have shown they can lead the race to defeat the BJP without aligning with the Congress.Candidates of the BSP-SP combine defeated BJP nominees in the high profile Lok Sabha bypolls to Gorakhpur and Phulpur where the Congress candidates lost their deposits.Eating humble pie, the Congress backed the RLD-SP alliance nominee in the just concluded Kairana Parliamentary seat by-election in UP. The candidate won, giving regional parties in the state a clear edge over the Congress.In election-bound Chhattisgarh, the Congress is facing a new rival in former CWC member and chief minister Ajit Jogi. The Congress leadership is still debating whether to ally with him.The Grand Old Party may, however, find negotiations easier in states such as Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir where it has already worked with the RJD, DMK, NCP and NC respectively in the past.The allies have also been putting pressure on the Congress to be more flexible in its negotiations. Opposition leaders have said the Congress will have to show openness and flexibility and ensure that it gives space to other parties.”Congress should give space to regional parties and there should be more give and take to help bring everyone together on one common platform,” senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar, a former Congressman, had said.
Congress

Mamata Banerjee

Alliance

Randeep Surjewala

Opposition parties

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Maharashtra: Heavy rainfall predicted from June 9 to 11, TMC asks people to shift to safe places

The Thane Municipal Corporation has upped its ante to meet any eventuality which Thanekars may experience on account of heavy rainfall as predicted by Skymet from June 9 to June 11.It has asked people from low lying areas in Thane to shift to other safe places to avoid getting submerged during heavy rains.The Skymet’s prediction of heavy rainfall this weekend has been taken seriously by the Thane municipal corporation (TMC). The TMC officials have started its awareness campaign among Thane residents to shift to safe places. “As per our commissioner’s instructions we are asking people in low lying areas of Thane to go to better, safe places before the 3-day rainfall hits Thane,” says Ashok Burpulle from TMC’s demolition department.The residents have been asked to take refuge with their relatives, friends or whom so ever they are comfortable with. “If people do not have a place to go they can seek shelter at TMC run schools, vacant buildings, etc.,” he says. TMC commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal has also asked the civic staff to acquire wedding halls to accommodate people during these three days of rainfall. “We are also getting private wedding halls, TMC halls, etc., so that people can stay here during heavy rains,” he says.Moreover, leaves and off days of all the civic staff have been canceled from June 9 to June 11 and they have been asked to be present in TMC headquarter at Pachpakhadi to meet any challenge that arises in this period. 18 senior officers have been deputed to be present in three shifts, 24×7 in TMC’s control room to handle all kinds of emergencies.There are over 35 flood-prone areas in Thane and TMC’s nullah cleaning work started mid-May due to late tendering process.
Rains

Thane

Municipal Corporation

Sky Met

Rain Fall

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Mamata Banerjee removes three ministers from cabinet, asks them to concentrate on party’s organisational works

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today dropped three ministers from her cabinet and asked them to concentrate on the Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) organisational works ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls.Confirming this, Banerjee, who is also the TMC chief, told newsmen, “All the three ministers have been asked to concentrate on the party’s organisational works.”Those removed from the cabinet are — Backward Class Welfare Minister Churamani Mahato, Tribal Development Minister James Kujur and Abani Joardar, who did not hold a portfolio.All three had sent their resignations to the chief minister, sources in the state secretariat said.Joardar earlier held the portfolio of correctional (jail) administration, refugee and rehabilitation. He did not have a portfolio now due to health problems.To a question on whether new faces would be inducted into the cabinet, Banerjee said, “That is our prerogative, you need not worry about it.”While the exact reason for the removal of the ministers is not known officially, TMC insiders view it as a fallout of the party’s relatively poor show in some pockets of the state in the recently concluded panchayat election, which helped the BJP increase its vote-share.
West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress (TMC)

Backward Class

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In Bengal, BJP supporter shot at in Cooch Behar, third case in a week

Days after two BJP workers were found hanging from a tree and a high-tension wire in West Bengal’s Purulia district, another ruling party supporter was attacked in Cooch Behar.According to news agency ANI, the victim has been identified as one Narayan Sarkar. He was shot at in Cooch Behar on Sunday night. At present, the victim is being treated at a hospital in Siliguri, the news agency reported on Monday.This is third such attack on BJP supporters in a week. On May 31st, the body of 18-year-old Trilochan Mahato, member of the district BJP youth wing was found hanging in Purulia’s Supurdi village with a message on his T Shirt saying it was the result of him supporting BJP.On Saturday, 32-year-old Dulal Kumar’s body was found hanging from a high-tension electric pole in district’s Dabha village of Balarampur area. Despite the claims of the family members, the Purilia SP has said that Dulal Kumar committed suicide. Newly-appointed Purulia Superintendent of Police (SP) Akash Magharia said a team of five doctors conducted the post-mortem of Kumar’s body.”The post-mortem report said it was a case of asphyxia due to ante-mortem hanging and suicidal in nature,” Magharia was quoted as saying by PTI.The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal replaced Joy Biswas as the SP of the district and appointed Magharia in his place, following the two back-to-back incidents.The BJP has alleged the deaths are “political murders” and demanded a CBI inquiry into the incidents.The alleged killings have triggered another round of face-off between the TMC and the BJP, which has emerged as a formidable challenger to the ruling party in the state after last month’s panchayat polls.Meanwhile, the CPM has also said that workers of Trinamool Congress have attacked a party worker in the state’s Coochbehar district.Taking to Twitter, the CPI (M) said, “Atabul Islam, a student leader of CPIM had won the Panchayat Polls from Jamaldaha, Mekhliganj in face of grave threats from TMC goons. Today TMC goons attacked his house in Coochbehar, Bengal. His uncle Ramjan Ali was shot dead and 7 family members including himself and his father are in a critical condition in the hospital.(With agency inputs)
West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Cooch Behar

Trinamool Congress

Purulia

West Bengal Police

BJP worker

BJP worker attacked

BJP worker in Bengal

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West Bengal: After BJP workers found hanging, CPI(M) alleges TMC shot party worker who won Panchayat polls

After two BJP workers were found dead in West Bengal’s Purulia district in the past five days, the CPI(M) has now alleged that workers from West Bengal-led Trinamool Congress government have attacked a party worker in the state’s Coochbehar district.Taking to Twitter, the CPI (M) said, “Atabul Islam, a student leader of CPIM had won the Panchayat Polls from Jamaldaha, Mekhliganj in face of grave threats from TMC goons. Today TMC goons attacked his house in Coochbehar, Bengal. His uncle Ramjan Ali was shot dead and 7 family members including himself and his father are in a critical condition in the hospital.Our Comrades bear the brunt of TMC’s murderous violence as TMC snuffs out democracy in Bengal!”Also readWest Bengal: Post-mortem reveals second BJP worker found hanging in Purulia district committed suicideThe CPI(M) also shaered some gory images of the incident on Twitter.Earlier in the day, the BJP leadership in the state called for a 12-hour bandh at Balarampur, to protest the deaths of the two party workers, allegedly at the hand of ‘TMC goons’.Also readWest Bengal: Purulia SP shunted after two BJP workers found hanging in district in four daysOn May 31, the body of 18-year-old Trilochan Mahato, member of the district BJP youth wing was found hanging at Supurdi village with a message on his T Shirt saying it was the result of him supporting BJP.On Saturday, 32-year-old Dulal Kumar’s body was found hanging from a high-tension electric pole in Dabha village of Balarampur area.Both incidents have been criticised by political parties, who have asked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take prompt action
CPI(M)

Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress

bharatiya janata party

Mekhliganj

West Bengal Panchayat polls

Violence in West Bengal

Purulia district

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West Bengal: BJP stages 12-hour ‘successful’ bandh in Purulia district following death of two party workers

Following the death of two BJP workers at Balarampur village in Purulia district, the party leadership in the state called for a 12-hour bandh at Balarampur, which received good response.Streets were deserted since Sunday morning with shops shut and hardly any vehicle plying. District BJP president Vidyasagar Chakraborty said people had responded spontaneously to the call of bandh. “They have seen how the ruling TMC had hit rock bottom in terms of dirty politics and thus have decided to support the bandh in protest,” he said.One of the busiest areas of Purulia, Sahebbandh area wore a deserted look with only BJP flags seen on both sides of the road. BJP workers had put up road blocks with police guardrails and stones, at different places but by midday, they were removed by the police.Also readWest Bengal: Post-mortem reveals second BJP worker found hanging in Purulia district committed suicideBJP state Mahila Morcha president Locket Chatterjee along with state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu visited the families of both victims. Chatterjee held TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee responsible for the deaths. “It is him who had come here and said that he wanted an Opposition-free Purulia, which amounted to TMC killing BJP workers here. The murders have happened at the behest of Abhishek and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Both of them should be arrested,” Chatterjee alleged.State BJP president Dilip Ghosh demanded a CBI inquiry into the deaths. “We would want a CBI probe into the killings. If it is not done we will move High Court with petitions demanding a CBI investigation,” he said.Also readPeople of Bengal will teach a lesson to perpetrators: Javadekar on murder of two BJP workersTMC national secretary general and state minister Partha Chatterjee countered Ghosh’s statement saying that he should be arrested first. “He is the one who had been threatening of sending people to the crematorium and burying people six feet underground. There is nothing wrong in asking for an opposition-free district. Any popular political party wants that.”On May 31, the body of 18-year-old Trilochan Mahato, member of the district BJP youth wing was found hanging at Supurdi village with a message on his T Shirt saying it was the result of him supporting BJP.Also readWest Bengal: Purulia SP shunted after two BJP workers found hanging in district in four daysBJP national president Amit Shat took to Twitter to express his grief and criticism against the TMC government. ‘Deeply hurt by the brutal killing of our young karyakarta, Trilochan Mahato in Balarampur, West Bengal. A young life full of possibilities was brutally taken out under state’s patronage. He was hanged on a tree just because his ideology differed from that of state sponsored goons’, one of his tweet read while another said, ‘The present TMC govt in West Bengal has surpassed the violent legacy of Communist rule. Entire BJP mourns this tragic loss & stands firmly with Trilochan Mahato’s family in this hour of grief. His sacrifice for organisation & ideology will not go in vain. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti’.On Saturday, 32-year-old Dulal Kumar’s body was found hanging from a high-tension electric pole in Dabha village of Balarampur area.A five-member medical board had been put up which carried out the post mortem and looking at the report, SP Akash Magharia said that it was a possible suicide. “After the death of Dulal Kumar a case of an unnatural death had been started and the body was sent for a post mortem. The report suggests that it was a case of suicide,” Magharia said.Family members of Dulal however, are not ready to buy the theory. Monika Kumari, widow of Dulal said, “We had no financial or family problems. We have three kids. Why would he commit suicide? His body was found hanging about one kilometre away from the bike which still had the key in the ignition. I have seen it myself,” she said.Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who was in town on Sunday, too, expressed his concern, saying, “It is inhuman. We condemn the brutal political murders of 19 BJP workers since the announcement of the Panchayat polls. People of West Bengal will definitely teach a lesson to those responsible.”
West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

hanging

Prakash Javadekar

bharatiya janata party

Purulia

Purulia

Abhishek Banerjee

Locket Chatterjee

Dilip Ghosh

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West Bengal: Purulia SP shunted after two BJP workers found hanging in district in four days

The Purulia Superintendent of Police Joy Biswas on Saturday was shunted out after two BJP supporters were brutally killed in the district. He has been replaced by Akash Magharia, a 2009 batch IPS officer, according to Zee News.The body of Dulal Kumar, a 32-year-old BJP worker’s body was found hanging from by a pole in Dabha village of Purulia’s Balarampur. West Bengal BJP Twitter handle =posted a video, alleging that the TMC was behind the crime.This is the second BJP worker found dead hanging in Purulia. Earlier in the week, young BJP activist Trilochon Mahato was found hanging from a tree. It prompted strong reaction from BJP President Amit Shah who condemned the incident and blamed state government for inaction. TMC on its part has denied all allegations in this regard. Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha has asked for CBI probe into these deaths.Also readShameful and inhuman: Amit Shah slams second BJP worker’s hanging in West Bengal; lashes out at Mamata’s leadershipBJP President Amit Shah on Sunday lashed out at Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government over the second killing in the state.”Distressed to know about yet another killing of BJP karyakarta Dulal Kumar in Balrampur, West Bengal. This continued brutality and violence in the land of West Bengal is shameful and inhuman. Mamata Banerjee’s govt has completely failed to maintain law and order in the state,” Shah tweeted on Saturday afternoon.Also readWest Bengal: Two BJP workers found hanging in four days, cases handed over to CID BJP MP Babul Supriyo also tweeted about the incident. “Another BJP member frm Balrampur, was hanged 2 death by violent TMC goons. What crimes have they committed by merely following BJP? It’s shameful how democracy dies in Bengal every day while @MamataOfficial stays mum on it (sic),” he said,While Mamata Banerjee hasn’t spoken or tweeted about the incident, instead focussing on ‘remembering’ the late Raj Kapoor on his death anniversary, Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien tweeted saying it was a ‘despicable killing’. He wrote on Twitter: “We strongly condemn this despicable killing. All angles must be probed. The perpetrators of this heinous act must be punished. What role did Jharkhand border have to play? What elements of Bajrang Dal, Maoist or BJP involved. Let the truth be found out through proper investigation.”
West Bengal

Rajya Sabha

Mamata Banerjee

Amit Shah

Bajrang Dal

Raj Kapoor

Zee News

Babul Supriyo

bharatiya janata party

Rahul Sinha

Balrampur

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Shameful and inhuman: Amit Shah slams second BJP worker’s hanging in West Bengal; lashes out at Mamata’s leadership

BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday lashed out at Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government over the second killing in the state.”Distressed to know about yet another killing of BJP karyakarta Dulal Kumar in Balrampur, West Bengal. This continued brutality and violence in the land of West Bengal is shameful and inhuman. Mamata Banerjee’s govt has completely failed to maintain law and order in the state,” Shah tweeted on Saturday afternoon.BJP MP Babul Supriyo also tweeted about the incident. “Another BJP member frm Balrampur, was hanged 2 death by violent TMC goons. What crimes have they committed by merely following BJP? It’s shameful how democracy dies in Bengal every day while @MamataOfficial stays mum on it (sic),” he saidAlso readIs this law-and-order situtation in Bengal? Twitter slams Mamata Banerjee after murder of 2 BJP workers The body of Dulal Kumar, a 32-year-old BJP worker’s body was found hanging from by a pole in Dabha village of Purulia’s Balarampur. West Bengal BJP Twitter handle =posted a video, alleging that the TMC was behind the crime.According to a Zee 24 Ghanta report, villagers were agitating when the police came to remove the dead body from the place.Also readWest Bengal: Two BJP workers found hanging in four days, cases handed over to CID Facing heat over these two deaths, the West Bengal govt has handed the cases to CID. However, the BJP has demanded CBI probe into these two brutal deaths.This is the second BJP worker found dead hanging in Purulia. Earlier in the week, young BJP activist Trilochon Mahato was found hanging from a tree. It prompted strong reaction from BJP President Amit Shah who condemned the incident and blamed state government for inaction. TMC on its part has denied all allegations in this regard. Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha has asked for CBI probe into these deaths.While Mamata Banerjee hasn’t spoken or tweeted about the incident, instead focussing on ‘remembering’ the late Raj Kapoor on his death anniversary, Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien tweeted saying it was a ‘despicable killing’. He wrote on Twitter: “We strongly condemn this despicable killing. All angles must be probed. The perpetrators of this heinous act must be punished. What role did Jharkhand border have to play? What elements of Bajrang Dal, Maoist or BJP involved. Let the truth be found out through proper investigation.”Other Twitter users however were quite angry and demanded some answers from Mamata Banerjee over the law-and-order scenario:
West Bengal

Rajya Sabha

Mamata Banerjee

Amit Shah

Bajrang Dal

Raj Kapoor

Babul Supriyo

bharatiya janata party

Rahul Sinha

Balrampur

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Thane: Jogila lake to rise from grave

The city of lakes, Thane, will receive an appropriate gift for the World Environment Day on June 5. The Jogila lake at Uthalsar, which is now extinct due to encroachment by land mafia, will be revived by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).The civic body has already demolished over 186 structures at the Jogila market and it has also decided to rehabilitate those who have been affected by it.The TMC razed 168 hutments and 18 commercial structures at Jogila, on Thursday, in its bid to revive the lake which is buried under the human encroachment.”Many houses and shops were on the lake for the past 25 years,” informed a TMC official.Around 500 policemen and 1500 civic employees were deployed during the demolition. Subsequently, the officials from the national environmental engineering research institute paid a visit to the spot on Friday. “The officials have asserted that they will search for the natural springs underneath the lake, revive and conserve them,” said Sandip Malvi, public relations officer from the TMC.Meanwhile, a TMC official assured that all residents who have lost homes due to demolition will be given accommodation by the TMC.
World Environment Day

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Thane Municipal Corporation

Uthalsar

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BJP worker murdered in Bengal: Mamata’s nephew blames ‘internal fight’ between BJP and Bajrang Dal

On Monday, Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Mukherjee spoke out about the death of a young BJP supporter in BalarampurHe claimed that the death was caused by a clash between BJP’s local unit and Bajrang Dal.He was quoted saying by ANI: “Unfortunate, action will be taken, but it is due to their inner fight, its a clash between BJP local unit and Bajrang Dal. I challenge you, show me evidence of TMC involvement and I will ensure that person is jailed.”A BJP worker’s body was found hanging from a tree in Balarampur, West Bengal on Tuesday. Etched on Trilochan Mahato’s shirt was an ominous message, ” Now face the consequence of doing BJP at the age of 18″. Mahato’s family has lodged complaint against six people who had a tiff with him after panchayat poll results. His family has alleged that TMC workers have killed him. However, ruling party has denied all allegations. Also readYoung BJP worker hanged to death: TMC dismisses Amit Shah’s charges over college student’s murderIn the recently concluded panchayat elections, BJP did very well in Purulia district finishing close second to TMC. Particularly in Balarampur, BJP swept the area. Mahato was an active worker for BJP. The party not only won 7 panchayats in the area, it won Balarampur Panchayat Samiti and even made its debut in Zilla Parishad. The TMC Zilla Parisad President lost his own seat. Mahato was a third year History honours student in Balarampur college. He was missing from Tuesday evening. According to his elder brother, around 9 PM, Mahato called saying that some people have abducted him. He feared for his life and pleaded his brother to do something. Police used the call tower of the phone to first trace Trilochan Mahato’s cycle and later his body hanging from a tree. A note accompanying the death body said,”Doing election work for BJP at the age of 18 has become fatal for you. We wanted to do this since elections. Today you are finished”. Amit Shah tweeted to express condolence. In his tweets, Shah said the life of young BJP worker, Trilochan Mahato, was “taken under the state’s patronage” because his ideology was different from that of “state-sponsored goons”.”Deeply hurt by the brutal killing of our young karyakarta, Trilochan Mahato, in Balarampur, West Bengal. A young life full of possibilities was brutally taken under state’s patronage. He was hanged on a tree just because his ideology differed from that of state-sponsored goons,” Shah said on Twitter.
West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Amit Shah

Bajrang Dal

bharatiya janata party

Purulia

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Nagaland Lok Sabha Bypoll: NDPP nominee Tokheho Yepthomi leading over NPF by 34,000 votes

The bypoll was necessitated after Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is also the NDPP leader, resigned as a Lok Sabha member in February, days before the assembly polls.”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Nagaland Lok Sabha Bypoll: NDPP nominee Tokheho Yepthomi leading over NPF by 34,000 votes Counting underway for bypolls (ANI)
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByDNA Web Team <!–end of artlbotbor–>Updated: May 31, 2018, 12:30 PM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>Tokheho Yepthomi, fielded by the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA), is leading over his lone rival of the opposition NPF by over 34, 669 votes vfter the initial rounds of counting for the lone Lok Sabha seat.Earlier, PTI reported that Yepthomi, belonging to the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), secured 82,192 votes while C Apok Jamir of the Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) secured 61,626 votes.The PDA has the NDPP and the BJP as it major constituents.The Congress has extended its support to the NPF candidate.The bypoll was necessitated after Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is also the NDPP leader, resigned as a Lok Sabha member in February, days before the assembly polls.
Nagaland

Nagaland Lok Sabha

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Young BJP worker hanged to death: TMC dismisses Amit Shah’s charges over college student’s murder

A BJP worker’s body was found hanging from a tree in Balarampur, West Bengal on Tuesday. Etched on Trilochan Mahato’s shirt was an ominous message, ” Now face the consequence of doing BJP at the age of 18″. Mahato’s family has lodged complaint against six people who had a tiff with him after panchayat poll results. His family has alleged that TMC workers have killed him. However, ruling party has denied all allegations. In the recently concluded panchayat elections, BJP did very well in Purulia district finishing close second to TMC. Particularly in Balarampur, BJP swept the area. Mahato was an active worker for BJP. The party not only won 7 panchayats in the area, it won Balarampur Panchayat Samiti and even made its debut in Zilla Parishad. The TMC Zilla Parisad President lost his own seat. Mahato was a third year History honours students in Balarampur college. He was missing from Tuesday evening. According to his elder brother, around 9 PM, Mahato called saying that some people have abducted him. He feared for his life and pleaded his brother to do something. Police used the call tower of the phone to first trace Trilochan Mahato’s cycle and later his body hanging from a tree. A note accompanying the death body said,”Doing election work for BJP at the age of 18 has become fatal for you. We wanted to do this since elections. Today you are finished”. Amit Shah tweeted to express condolence. In his tweets, Shah said the life of young BJP worker, Trilochan Mahato, was “taken under the state’s patronage” because his ideology was different from that of “state-sponsored goons”.”Deeply hurt by the brutal killing of our young karyakarta, Trilochan Mahato, in Balarampur, West Bengal. A young life full of possibilities was brutally taken under state’s patronage. He was hanged on a tree just because his ideology differed from that of state-sponsored goons,” Shah said on Twitter.He said, “The present TMC govt in West Bengal has surpassed the violent legacy of Communist rule. Entire BJP mourns this tragic loss & stands firmly with Trilochan Mahato’s family in this hour of grief. His sacrifice for organisation & ideology will not go in vain.”Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek is slated to visit Purulia on Thursday. BJP has alleged that Mahato was killed before Abhishek’s visit to give a message that Purulia will be free of opposition. TMC though have ridiculed all allegations. Local TMC has demanded a CID probe to find out the guilty. Senior TMC leader and Bengal Minister Patha Chatterjee dubbed Amit Shah’s words as ‘provocative’, ‘unthinkable’ and ‘laughable’. BJP has called Balarampur Bandh on Thursday. According to police, the murder was due to personal enmity. With PTI inputs
West Bengal

Amit Shah

Trinamool Congress (TMC)

Abhishek Banerjee

Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)

Trilachan Mahato

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Thane Municipal Corporation: Cluster development scheme draws suggestions

Apart from filing 3,000 objections, Thane local have also submitted suggestions to the cluster development scheme proposed by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC). The Alert Citizens’ Forum has suggested certain modifications and clarifications which better the clusters in the city.One of the suggestions by the citizens’ forum wants the civic body to include the building plans which were approved by gram panchayats in Thane before the formation of the TMC in the 90s.”Thane had any gaothans and many structures came up after panchayat’s approval. TMC should consider these buildings legal and give them 25 per cent extra space,” says Dayanand Nene, a member of Alert Citizens Forum, adding, “Otherwise they may not want to be a part of the cluster.”Moreover, since horizontal hutments will be formed into clusters which will be housed in a tower, this will leave a lot of vacant land. The civic body should clarify the proposed land use of the vacant land. “Otherwise people may not come forward to offer their areas for CD if there are no accruing benefits,” added Nene.
TMC

cluster development schemes

Thane Municipal Corporation

Alert Citizens Forum of India

Dayanand Nene

Thane locals

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Arun Jaitley says federal front a failed idea, loses its balance and equilibrium sooner or later

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday launched a blistering attack on Congress and “maverick and temperamental” leaders of regional parties like TMC, DMK and BSP, and said the debate in the year to 2019 general elections would be ‘Modi versus an anarchist combination’.From his hospital bed, where he is recuperating after a kidney transplant, Jaitley in a Facebook post said that the electoral prospects of the Congress are narrowing with the party is shrinking to a fringe.He also mentioned that the fifth year of the Narendra Modi government will focus on consolidation of the policies and programmes which it has implemented.Calling the attempts of the Congress and regional parties coming together for 2019 polls as “a fictional alternative” to the BJP, he said a group of disparate political parties are promising to come together.A “federal front is a failed idea”, Jaitley said, adding such a front with “contradictions, sooner or later, loses its balance and equilibrium”.”Some of their leaders are temperamental, the others occasionally change ideological positions,” he said, adding the BJP shared powers with Mamata Banerjee’s TMC, DMK of Tamil Nadu, Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, Mayawati’s BSP and the JD(S) of Karnataka.”They frequently change political positions. They have supported the BJP claiming that it is in larger national interest and then turned turtle and oppose it in the name of secularism. These are ideologically flexible political groups. Stable politics is far from their political track record,” he said.Federal front was experimented under Charan Singh, Chandra Shekhar and by the United Front Government between 1996-98 did not work.”The aspirational India which today occupies the high table in the world shall never accept an idea which has repeatedly failed. History teaches us this lesson,” he added.Jaitley said some amongst this “disparate group” of political parties have “an extremely dubious track record of governance.” “Some leaders are maverick and others include those who are either convicted or charged with serious allegations of corruption. There are many whose political support base is confined to either a few districts or to a particular caste,” he wrote.Stating that such combinations have failed in the past, he said the 2014 elections conclusively established that in the “new India chemistry will score over arithmetic” when it comes to deciding the country’s destiny.Jaitley emphasises that a coalition must be anchored in a string party to rule a country like India effectively. “It must have a large size, an ideologically defined position and a vested interest in honest governance,” he says.The alternative to the NDA, he said, being forged by the opposition parties lacks coherence and the country has had a bad experience with governments run by such alliances.”The Congress is in desperation without the perks of office. From the dominant party of Indian politics, it is moving towards the ‘fringe’, its political positions are not of a mainstream party but one usually adopted by ‘fringe’ organisations. Fringe organisations can never hope to come in power. Its best hope lies in becoming a supporter of regional political parties,” he wrote.He said regional political parties have realised that the “marginalised Congress” can at best be either a junior partner or a marginal supporter.”Karnataka had witnessed a telling example of this. A regional political party whose base at best is confined to a few districts was able to extract a chief ministership of the Congress to which the Congress meekly surrendered. It had even lost its bargaining capacity. It is today putting on a brave face in Karnataka where the losers are masquerading as a winner,” Jaitley said.In the post titled, “My Reflections on the NDA Government after Completion of Four Years in Power,” the minister, who held the portfolio of Finance and Corporate Affairs till he underwent the kidney transplant earlier this month, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi created transparent systems and given a scam-free governance.”Unlike the UPA, the prime minister is the natural leader of both his party and the nation. We have witnessed a journey from indecisiveness to clarity and decisiveness,” he said.Listing out achievements of four years, he said India has transformed from being among the “fragile five” to being the fastest growing major economy that has become a tax compliant society with less than 2 per cent current account deficit (CAD), lower fiscal deficit and under control inflation.”As we enter the fifth year of the government, the NDA’s priorities are clear. This will be our year of consolidation of the policies and programmes which we have implemented,” he added.
Congress

Karnataka

Narendra Modi

Mamata Banerjee

Arun Jaitley

bharatiya janata party

Charan Singh

Chandra Shekhar

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Thane Municipal Corporation gets a standing committee after 15-months delay

Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) finally has a functional standing committee after it received its chairman on Wednesday, an appointment that was pending following a delay of 15 months due to a series of technical glitches in the committee’s formation.On May 16, Shiv Sena’s Ram Repale was elected as TMC standing committee’s chairman. A Thane activist, however, laments that the city functioned well even without the committee as all projects were being cleared by the TMC’s general body in the committee’s absence.Repale was elected unopposed as Narayan Pawar from the Congress took back his candidature the last minute on Wednesday.”Finally we have a standing committee after 16 months,” said Sanjeev Sane of Thane Matdata Jagran Manch (TJMJ). “The formation of the committee was deliberately delayed by the Sena and now we heard even the NCP wants to go to the high court to challenge it,” he said.The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has challenged the formation of the standing committee. “We term this committee as illegal and boycott it. We will go to court,” said Anand Paranjape, senior leader, NCP.In April 2016, the formation of TMC standing committee was challenged in the high court as it did not have the required majority. “The matter is to come up for hearing on June 25 yet they have gone ahead with it,” said Paranjape.The absence of TMC’s standing committee chair, who is also known to hold the treasury of a municipal corporation, however, did lead to a delayed budget this year. As a result, nullah cleaning work begam mid-May as the proposal was approved and contractors assigned in April end.Along with this, chairman of other committees — women and child welfare, education, sports and culture, health committee were also selected on May 16. “This shows that in Thane, things can work out even without these committees,” said Sane.
Congress

Shiv Sena

NCP

Standing Committee

chairman

TMC

Nationalist Congress Party

Thane Municipal Corporation

Narayan Pawar

Ram Repale

Anand Paranjape

Sanjeev Sane

Technical glitches

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West Bengal Panchayat polls 2018: BJP wins 386 gram panchayat seats, ahead in 231

The ruling Trinamool Congress today surged ahead by registering victory in over 2,400 gram panchayat seats, according to the results available till 12 noon, SEC officials said.The BJP and the CPI(M) won 386 and 94 gram panchayat seats respectively, the State Election Commission officials said. According to the SEC, the TMC has won 2,467 gram panchayat seats and is leading in 2,683 seats. The BJP has won 386 seats and is leading in 231 seats while the CPI(M) won 94 seats and is leading in 163 seats, the officials said. The Congress won 33 seats and is leading in 55 seats.Independent candidates have emerged winners in 158 seats and are leading in 163 seats. As per latest trends available for panchayat samiti seats, the TMC has won 14 seats and leading in 24 seats. The other parties are yet to open their account in panchayat samiti seats. The TMC was leading in 24 zilla parishad seats.Live blog of panchayat electionThe panchayat elections were held for 621 zilla parishads, 6,123 panchayat samitis and 31,802 gram panchayats in West Bengal on May 14. The counting of votes began at 8 am amid tight security, the State Election Commission officials said. Of the 48,650 seats in 3,358 gram panchayats, 16,814 were uncontested and of the 9,217 seats in 341 panchayat samitis, 3,059 were uncontested. In the 20 zilla parishads, 203 of the 825 seats were uncontested, the sources said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Trinamool Congress (TMC)

West Bengal panchayat elections 2018

West Bengal panchayat election results

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Court rejects Mukul Roy’s defamation plea against Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee

A Delhi court today rejected a criminal defamation complaint filed by BJP leader Mukul Roy against Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying the statement referred to as defamatory were not made by the respondent.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal dismissed the complaint of Roy, a former Railway Minister, who had alleged that he was defamed by Banerjee, a Trinamool Congress MP, through various means which included a legal notice and a tweet.Roy was earlier a member of the Trinamool Congress but later joined the BJP, while Banerjee is a Member of Parliament (MP) of the TMC.”It is clear that the statement referred to by the complainant as defamatory are actually not made by the respondent. Therefore, there is no ground to proceed against the respondent in the present case. Accordingly, the complaint is dismissed,” the court said.The court rejected Roy’s contention that the legal notice sent to him by Banerjee was defamatory, noting that it nowhere showed it contained defamatory terms.”I am unable to understand how serving a legal notice can be said to be defamatory in the absence of any defamatory remarks in that legal notice,” the judge said.The court dismissed Roy’s allegations of defamation based on a ‘tweet’, saying it was not made by Banerjee.It also rejected Roy’s statement that he was allegedly defamed as he was called a ‘traitor’, saying it was clearly not made by Banerjee.According to the complaint, the accused had sent a notice to Roy on November 13 last year, using “defamatory statement” in it by putting words in his mouth. The same was circulated to the media the same day which was widely covered.”The accused intentionally got the aforesaid notice served at the unit office of BJP at Kolkata, so as to tarnish the image of the complainant before his newly joined party, namely BJP, and to lower the morale of his supporters and party workers,” Roy’s complaint, filed by advocate Savinder Singh, said.The notice was sent to Roy after he had reportedly made certain public remarks about Biswa Bangla Marketing Corporation and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee.The notice sent by Abhishek’s advocate claimed that on November 10, Roy in a public rally had made certain defamatory, malicious, and false statements against Banerjee.”Roy had deliberately levied various baseless allegations which were published, broadcast and circulated by various news organisations, the notice had said. Mukul Roy had quit the TMC and joined the BJP on November 3 last year.The complaint also mentioned a tweet, made by a made by one of the followers of AITMC, which allegedly defamed Roy.
West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Mukul Roy

NEW DELHI

Kolkata

bharatiya janata party

Abhishek Banerjee

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
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PM Modi’s Bengal panchayat remark shows frustration over Karnataka outcome: TMC

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “unwarranted comments” on panchayat polls in West Bengal, the TMC today said Modi’s remarks were out of frustration as the BJP could not win a majority in Karnataka.”These comments are basically outbursts of frustration as his party has failed to reach the majority mark in Karantaka polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, before questioning us, should answer on the anarchy that his party has created throughout the country,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee told PTI.Modi today slammed the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal over violence that erupted during the panchayat elections yesterday. He said democracy was “murdered” for narrow political interests.Addressing BJP workers from New Delhi following the Karnataka verdict, Modi said the people should think seriously about the violence in West Bengal yesterday.”Such kind of comments from Prime Minister Narendra Modi is completely unacceptable and unwarranted. He has commented on the issue without any proper knowledge about it.Those who have been killed are mostly our party cadres,” Chatterjee said.Widespread violence during the panchayat polls in West Bengal on Monday left at least 12 people dead and 43 injured.Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal over violence during the panchayat elections in the state, saying democracy was “murdered” for narrow political interests.Addressing BJP workers at the party headquaters here following the Karnataka verdict, he said the people should think seriously about the violence in West Bengal yesterday.”The way democracy was murdered… from (filing of) nominations to polling, democracy had no place,” he said.Modi claimed that efforts were made to ensure that “opposition candidates are unable to file their nominations so that ruling party members are elected unopposed”.”Ballot boxes were found in a pond… innocent party workers, not only of the BJP but of other parties too, were killed,” he said.Modi told the gathering that once the people of Bengal led the nation, but blood was spilled yesterday to further political interests.”I don’t talk of who wins or loses, but democracy was wounded… All parties, the civil society and the judiciary will have to play an active role… My concern is democracy, and I am not here to blame any political party,” he said.
West Bengal

Karnataka

Karnataka

Narendra Modi

Mamata Banerjee

NEW DELHI

Kolkata

bharatiya janata party

Karnataka Election 2018

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West Bengal Panchayat polls: Left calls SEC ‘puppet in hands of TMC’, BJP says democracy has ‘ceased to exist’

Opposition parties in West Bengal slammed the State Election Commission for “failing” to conduct the rural polls in a free and fair manner and accused the ruling TMC of letting loose a reign of terror which lead to the killing of at least 12 people during the polling today.The Trinamool Congress has termed the allegations “baseless and concocted”. Union Minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo tweeted, “It is for the world to see how TMC lets WB’s Maa Maati Manush suffer in utter chaos. Bengal gets wounded and sheds blood every time TMC goons brutally attack the state’s democracy and peace. Dreadful visuals of the Panchayat Polls prove just that.” State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, who along with a party delegation met Governor K N Tripathi, claimed that more than 20 people have died in violence in the rural polls. “Democracy has ceased to exist in West Bengal. The situation is such that the state is inching towards President’s Rule. We will inform the central government about the ground reality in the state,” he said.The Left Front which held a three-hour demonstration outside the SEC office here protesting the violence, said the election body had failed to provide security to the people. Widespread violence during the panchayat polls in West Bengal today left at least 12 people dead and 43 injured, as 73 per cent of the electorate turned out to cast their vote. “This kind of violence is unprecedented. The SEC is just a puppet in the hands of the TMC-led state government. State Election commissioner A K Singh even refused to meet us,” Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.Also readBengal Panchayat Election: At least 15 dead, 78% polling recorded; TMC claims voting has been ‘peaceful’West Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said, “Democracy has been murdered by TMC in West Bengal.” However, the ruling TMC dismissed the allegations as “baseless and concocted”, and said the polls have been peaceful except for a few isolated incidents. “There have been one or two isolated incidents. The administration has taken steps in all the cases. We have seen elections during the Left Front rule when we used to witness bloodbath and death.” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.He lauded the SEC and the state administration for conducting a peaceful polling and accused the BJP and the CPI(M) of trying to foment trouble in various parts of the state during the polling process. “Every death is unfortunate. But If you go by statistics, the number of deaths this time is much less than that last few (panchayat) elections,” Chatterjee said.
Biman Bose

Babul Supriyo

Dilip Ghosh

West Bengal Panchayat Election 2018

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West Bengal Panchayat Polls: At least 12 dead in violence, Centre seeks report

As widely expected and feared by Opposition, Panchayat polls in West Bengal witnessed a vortex of violence as political parties threw caution to wind and roughed up adversaries in front of immobile authorities.While CPI(M) and BJP saw a TMC hand in the violence, TMC leaders cited numbers to claim that their workers were the ones who faced maximum casualties. At the time of writing, 12 people had died in various parts of Bengal. Even with shocking images broadcast across the country through media channels, TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien tried to justify the violence.A voter turnout of 56 percent has been recorded in West Bengal panchayat polls till 3 p.m. on Monday. The Centre has asked for a report from Also readWest Bengal Panchayat Violence: Two CPI(M) workers burnt to death in Kakdwip, Left blames TMC goonsThe voting for the panchayat polls which started at 7 in the morning is still underway. It will end at 5 pm. Earlier, 31 per cent voter turnout was reported till 1 p.m.The pre-poll clashes between the supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition parties spilled over to several areas in the state, including North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur districts, despite massive security arrangements put in place.Also readStick to Bournvita Quiz Contest: Twitter outraged after Derek O’Brien tries to downplay Bengal Panchayat violenceMore than 60,000 security personnel from West Bengal and neighbouring states were deployed for the panchayat polls.”There are reports of six people being killed,” a State Election Commission official said.Also readAfter massive poll violence in Bengal, Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien talks about 400 deaths under CPM ruleHe said a person was shot dead near a polling booth in Sujapur village in Murshidabad. The victim was a BJP worker, the party’s local unit leader Subhas Mondal claimed.In South Dinajpur, a person was killed and four others were injured after a bomb was hurled outside a polling station in Tapan area, the official said.Another person died in clashes between two groups outside a polling booth in Nakashipara area in Nadia. Another death was reported from Shantipur area of the district, he said.A CPI(M) supporter was killed and another was injured when bombs were hurled outside a polling station in the Amdanga area of North 24 Parganas, the official said.At Kultali in South 24 Parganas, one person was killed when a bomb was hurled outside a polling station, he said.The SEC official said 41.5 per cent polling was recorded till 1 pm.In Cooch Behar district, North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh allegedly slapped a person outside a polling booth, the official said, adding that the SEC has received a complaint about it and asked authorities to take action.Television channels showed Ghosh slapping the person. However, Ghosh claimed he did not do it.In Dinhata area of the district, at least 15 people, including voters, were injured after clashes broke out between two groups outside a polling station, police said.Fifteen people were injured in a clash outside a booth in Nandigram area of East Midnapore district. One person was hit on the head with a knife while another lost his finger, police said.In Contai area in the district, chilli powder was thrown at an Independent candidate and four others at a polling booth, they said.In North Dinajpur, three crude bombs were found near a polling booth at Galaisura, around three km from the district headquarter Raiganj, police said.Of the three bombs, two were found on railway tracks, RPF sources said, adding the bomb squad has been informed.In Birbhum, masked men carrying weapons and sticks were seen threatening voters outside some of the booths.Television footage from Basanti block of South 24 Parganas showed masked gunmen outside polling stations.In Bhangar, which was rocked by pre-poll violence and saw the arrest of a TMC leader, police resorted to lathicharge and burst teargas shells to disperse people following clashes, the SEC official said.In Keshpur area in West Midnapore, police resorted to lathicharge and chased men allegedly threatening voters.In Malda, the office-in-charge of Ratua police station Debabrata Chakraborty was injured in stone-pelting by a political party’s workers when he went to remove a blockade by the party on a state highway, SP Arnab Ghosh said.Chakraborty was rushed to the hospital and ASP (HQ) A Sarkar visited the spot, he said.The panchayat polls is being held after a protracted legal battle in the Kolkata High Court and the Supreme Court involving the SEC, the TMC and the opposition parties.A state BJP delegation led by district president Dilip Ghosh will meet West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi and complain about the violence. “The TMC has turned the polls into a farce,” Dilip Ghosh said.Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said “democracy has been murdered by TMC in Bengal”.The TMC has termed the allegations baseless and concocted.”There have been one or two isolated incidents. The administration have taken steps in all the cases. We have seen elections during the Left tenure when we used to witness bloodbath and death,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.Around 1,500 security personnel from Assam, Odisha, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh are in the state to reinforce the security for the polls. They are aiding around 46,000 personnel of the state police and 12,000 of the Kolkata Police.The state government is also using close to 2,000 security personnel from the departments of excise, prison and forests in manning the booths, an SEC official said. With inputs from PTI
Assam

West Bengal

Andhra Pradesh

Rajya Sabha

Sikkim

Cooch Behar

bharatiya janata party

Murshidabad

Nadia

Kultali

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West Bengal Panchayat Polls: Amid violence, over 11% voter turnout recorded till 9 am

Over 11 per cent polling was recorded till 9 am in the West Bengal panchayat polls that was marked by sporadic incidents of violence in which several people were injured today, SEC officials said. (LIVE UPDATES)Reportedly, one person was killed and three others were injured in South Dinajpur district’s Tapan area after a bomb was hurled outside a polling station. The police are yet to confirm the death.”We have received a report that four persons were injured. Out of them, one has died. The district police superintendent is yet to confirm the death,” an SEC official said.The official said that 11.93 per cent polling was recorded till 9 am.Less than three hours after polling began, the State Election Commission (SEC) received complaints of violence from several districts. It has asked the police to take action, SEC officials said.Reports of violence have been received from North 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Coochbehar and South 24 Parganas districts, they said.In Cooch Behar district, North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh allegedly slapped a person outside a polling booth.The SEC said it has received a complaint and asked authorities to take action.Televisions channels showed the minister purportedly slapping the person. However, Ghosh claimed he did not do it.In the Dinhata area of north Bengal’s Coochbehar district, at least 15 people, including voters, were injured after clashes broke out between two groups outside a polling station, sources said.The voters later lodged a police complaint.In North 24 Parganas, the BJP accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) of letting loose a reign of terror in several parts of the district, especially in the Amdanga area.SEC sources said a few people were injured in clashes that broke out between two groups in Amdanga.Senior minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said TMC workers were not involved in the incident and accused the BJP of terrorising the voters.In Burdwan district, opposition CPI(M) and BJP accused the TMC of terrorising voters and hurling bombs outside polling stations. The TMC termed the allegations as baseless.In Birbhum, masked men carrying weapons and sticks were seen intimidating voters outside some of the booths.Television footage from Basanti block of South 24 Parganas district showed masked gunmen roaming outside polling stations.In the Bhangar area of the same district, police resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a crowd, following clashes, the official said.The SEC has asked the police to submit a report regarding the incident.After a protracted legal battle in the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court involving the SEC, the TMC and the opposition parties, the three-tier panchayat polls is being held in the state.
Bengal

Trinamool Congress

Mamata Banrejee

West Bengal panchayat elections 2018

West Bengal panchayat elections

Bengal Panchayat Elections

Bengal Panchayat Elections 2018

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West Bengal Panchayat poll: TMC leader Arabul sent to 10 days police custody in murder case

Trinamool Congress leader Arabul Islam was today sent to ten days police custody in connection with the killing of a supporter of an independent candidate in the May 14 West Bengal panchayat polls.Islam, a district-level leader of the TMC and a former MLA, was arrested last night on the orders of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is also in charge of the home department. He was produced before the Baruipur sub-divisional magistrate’s court today and remanded in police custody till May 22. The police, which has registered a case of murder against Islam, had sought his remand for 14 days.Hafizul Mollah, 25, was yesterday hit by a bullet on his chest when he, along with other supporters of the independent candidate, was taking part in a procession from Kashipur to Machhibhanga in Bhangor in the state’s South 24 Parganas district.The police are now on the lookout for the TMC leader’s son and brother for their alleged involvement in the incident, a senior police officer said. After Islam’s arrest, police searches yielded a large number of bombs from areas around his residence and an adjoining pond, he said. Most of the independent candidates in the area are associated with the Jami Rakkha Committee (save land committee), an anti land acquisition outfit opposing the setting up of a power grid unit in Bhangor in the state’s South 24 Parganas district.The procession yesterday was taken out in response to an alleged attack by Islam’s associates on the residence of the rival independent candidate on the night of May 10. Islam, who is the chairman of the Bhangor II Panchayat Samiti, is facing a challenge from an independent candidate in the rural polls. Mollah was grievously injured when bombs and bullets rained on the members of the procession, the police said. He was rushed to a nursing home and then to a hospital, where he was declared ‘brought dead’, they said. The Jami Rakkha Committee alleged that Islam’s men had unleashed violence so that he could win the election without any opposition. It also claimed that several other supporters of the committee were injured in the attack.A large police contingent remained deployed in the area to maintain peace, the police said. The State Election Commission is keeping watch on the law and order situation in all districts, including South 24-Parganas district, officials said.Area domination by special forces through route march have already begun in all sensitive and super sensitive areas, the police said. Several contingent of forces from other states have already arrived. The rest would reach here by tomorrow, they said.
Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress (TMC)

Arabul Islam

West Bengal Panchayat polls

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West Bengal Panchayat Polls: Campaigning ends for May 14 elections

Campaigning for the May 14 three-tier panchayat polls in West Bengal, marred by clashes between supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition BJP, Congress ad Left and copious litigation, came to an end today.According to the State Election Commission, the rural elections will be held in 621 zilla parishads and 6157 panchayat samitis, besides in 31,827 gram panchayats, spread across 20 districts.The polling will start at 7 AM and end at 5 PM. The counting will take place on May 17, the SEC said.The panchayat polls witnessed an acrimonious campaign with the opposition accusing the ruling TMC of unleashing a reign of terror during the nomination process for the polls.The TMC had termed the allegations as baseless, alleging that the opposition didn’t have a mass base and was trying to evade the polls.Although senior leaders of all the parties campaigned in the polls, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee refrained from campaigning.She had, however, appealed to the people of West Bengal to vote in favour of development ushered by her government. The TMC in its campaign spoke of the various projects undertaken by the state government and its success in the MNREGA.The BJP, which is trying to emerge as the main challenger to TMC, has promised development in rural areas if it is voted to power. The CPI(M)-led Left Front and the Congress had appealed to the voters to defeat the TMC and BJP in Bengal.According to the SEC, of the 48,650 seats in 3,358 gram panchayats, 16,814 were uncontested and of the 9,217 seats in 341 panchayat samitis, 3,059 were uncontested.In the 20 zilla parishads, 203 of the 825 seats were uncontested, the SEC said.The TMC has no opposition in 34 per cent of the seats.The filing of nominations, which was held from April 2 to April 9 and then again on an extended date on April 23, has witnessed clashes between supporters of the ruling TMC and opposition political parties in the state leading to several deaths.The run up to the polls also witnessed a plethora of court cases.The polls, which was earlier scheduled to be held in three phases on May 1,3 and 5, had to be deferred after the opposition parties moved courts alleging violence and intimidation by the ruling Trinamool Congress during the nomination process.On April 20, the Calcutta High Court quashed the State Election Commission (SEC) order cancelling the notification for extension of deadline for filing nomination for panchayat polls in West Bengal and directed it to allow nominations by issuing a fresh notification.The nomination process for the panchayat polls ended on April 9, but it was extended by a day by the SEC the same evening following a Supreme Court Court order on petitions alleging that candidates backed by Opposition parties were being prevented from filing nominations.The West Bengal government and ruling Trinamool Congress had objected to the extension by the SEC, which had cited a Supreme Court direction to allay apprehensions of intending candidates in its notification extending the nomination process by a day.The notification, which referred to the apex court order, was withdrawn by the SEC on April 10 morning.The BJP again moved the Supreme Court on April 11 and was directed to approach the High Court with its grievances over the deadline for filing nominations.The BJP moved the high court challenging the withdrawal and Justice Talukdar stayed the election process on April 12.Apart from the BJP, the CPI(M), PDS and the Congress too have moved the High Court separately challenging the SEC’s decision.The Commission and the ruling Trinamool Congress opposed the petitions claiming that these were not maintainable since the election process had started.On May 8, the Calcutta HC had directed the SEC to accept the nominations of those candidates named by CPI(M) who had filed their papers electronically within the stipulated time before 3 pm on April 23.The apex court had stayed the Calcutta HC order directing the SEC to accept nomination papers filed through e-mail for contesting the panchayat elections in the state.The SC took note that almost 17,000 candidates have won the panchayat polls unopposed and dubbed it as “worrying”, while directing the SEC not to declare them as winners.The Calcutta HC on May 10 also ruled that the SEC and state officials would be held personally liable and have to pay compensation if the loss of life and property in the coming panchayat election was higher than that in the 2013 poll.
CPI(M)

West Bengal

TMC

BJP

West Bengal Panchayat polls

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Unprecended in history of Indian elections: Harsh Vardhan slams Mamata govt over WB Panchayat violence

The violence in the run-up to the panchayat polls in West Bengal was “unprecedented in the history of Indian elections”, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said here today.The Minister for Science and Technology alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) was responsible for the clashes.”I think it (violence over nomination filing) is the most unfortunate and unprecedented incident in the history of Indian elections. One has not seen such highly sophisticated rigging before the commencement of the polls,” Vardhan told reporters on the sidelines of an event at Indian Museum here.Clashes between political parties over filing of nominations for the panchayat polls have rocked the state over the past two months.The opposition parties have alleged that their candidates were not being allowed to file papers by the members of the TMC.Claiming that the TMC was “fooling the people of West Bengal”, Vardhan plugged the BJP as the only alternative to the ruling party in the state.”It’s time Bengal started realising that there is one alternative for them – the BJP. It will ensure better days ahead for them,” the senior BJP leader said.The West Bengal panchayat election will be held in a single phase on May 14. The results will be declared on May 17.
West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata

bharatiya janata party

West Bengal Panchayat Election

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Supreme Court to hear Cauvery dispute case today

The Supreme Court (SC) will continue hearing the dispute over Cauvery river water on Tuesday.The Karnataka Government on Monday filed an affidavit before the apex court, claiming the latter released more water from Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu than what was allotted to it while settling the dispute.On February 16, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court pronounced the judgement on the Cauvery Water Dispute between the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry.The bench directed Karnataka to release 177.25 TMC of water, instead of the 192 TMC to Tamil Nadu. It also directed the Centre to constitute a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) in six weeks.However, the Centre failed to form the CMB within given time frame. Following this, on April 9, the top court asked the Centre to frame a draft scheme by May 3.The central government sought an extension of two weeks from the top court to draft the water sharing scheme.
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Cauvery

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TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay meets President Ram Nath Kovind, accuses BJP of perpetrating violence

Amid charges of perpetrating violence, a delegation of Trinamool Congress led by senior leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday stressing that the opposition parties were spreading rumours about not able to file nominations for the upcoming Panchayat polls.In a memorandum to the President, the TMC said the allegations are misplaced as 96,000 nominations out of 2 lakh have been filed by opposition parties so far.The move came after the candidates fielded by opposition parties accused the ruling TMC members of stopping them forcibly from filing their nomination papers for the elections. TMC too has accused the BJP of spreading violence and roping in outsiders to foment trouble in the state.Following the allegations and counter allegations, the Election Commission postponed the date of the panchayat polls tentatively to May 14 from the previously announced May 1, 3, 5.In its memorandum, the TMC credited itself for bringing peace in the violence torn state and emerging as top state in mandays generation, bank credit flows to the MSME sector in ease of doing business etc.It also accused opposition parties, especially the BJP, for perpetrating violence leading to the killing of five of its cadres recently.
Election Commission (EC)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Trinamool Congress

Sudip Bandyopadhyay

Ram Nath Kovind

Opposition parties

West Bengal Panchayat polls

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Bengal panchayat poll date to be decided by division bench, says Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court single bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar ruled on Tuesday that the date of polling for the three-tier Panchayat elections in West Bengal would be decided by a division bench after scrutinising the security arrangements made by the state, rendering the date or May 14 as the election date, uncertain.The court on Tuesday criticised the role of the State Election Commission (SEC) for not doing proper homework on security arrangement. After hearing petitions filed by BJP, CPI(M) and Party for Democratic Socialism (PDS), justice Talukdar said that since a division bench was looking into the security angle, it will decide the polling date as well. The next hearing at the division bench is on May 4.Also readCalcutta High Court dismisses CPM’s e-nomination pleaAll the leaders of the Opposition welcomed the High Court ruling. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said, “We had pointed out from the beginning how democracy had been throttled by the ruling regime. We had prayed for the safety and security of our party workers and those who went to cast their votes. The court has responded to it. We have no problem even if the election is conducted in a single phase. All we want is that the poll to be free and fair and that the security of the people is ensured.”PDS general secretary Samir Putatunda said that it was good that the HC has stressed upon the security aspect. “We had pointed out that the SEC suddenly changed their thought process to opt for single phase polling with the same force at its disposal. The court condemned it and said that the division bench would decide that,” he said.Also read West Bengal Panchayat Election: BJP candidate’s sister-in-law raped by alleged TMC workers Former Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) mayor and senior HC lawyer Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya said, “It is a shame that the state government and the SEC cannot conduct a Panchayat election peacefully. It is clear today that the court is not satisfied with security arrangements. Fresh nomination should be conducted without any coercion and police should arrest offenders.”TMC MP and senior lawyer Kalyan Banerjee said that the court had said May 14 was a tentative day for polling subject to judicial scrutiny of the appeal court. “Leaders of the Opposition who don’t want the poll to be conducted are moving court because at the ground they have lost relevance,” he said.After the last date of withdrawal on April 28, a record number of over 34 per cent seats have been won by the ruling TMC, uncontested.
Kalyan Banerjee

Kolkata Municipal Corporation

Dilip Ghosh

Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)

West Bengal panchayat elections 2018

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West Bengal Panchayat Election: BJP candidate’s sister-in-law raped by alleged TMC workers

Unable to coerce a BJP candidate to withdraw her nomination, TMC workers allegedly raped her pregnant sister-in-law in Nadia district. The incident happened at Shantipur village of the district on Sunday night, a day after the last date of withdrawal of nominations for the three-tier Panchayat elections.The female BJP candidate of Shantipur Belgharia II gram panchayat, talking to DNA said that she was under pressure right from the day she had filed her nomination. She said that TMC workers had asked her husband to meet the local TMC leader, on several occasions and they were under so much pressure that they had to leave home and stay at an undisclosed location. “On Sunday, a group of 30 persons had come to our place. While 7-8 broke open my house, the others waited outside. They looted valuables from my house, ransacked my residence and broke three handlooms which we used to make sarees. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her three and a half year old son were staying in the adjoining house. They broke open their house, held the child at gun point and beat up the two ladies. My sister-in-law is four months pregnant. She was beaten and raped,” the BJP candidate said.District Superintendent of Police Santosh Pandey that a police complaint had been filed and a rape case has been initiated. Local BJP leaders said that they stand beside the victim family. “People of the village has been guarding the house of the victim to avoid further trouble,” said Sufal Sarkar, local BJP leader.Also readWest Bengal short on poll security, says OppositionThe victim lady had been initially admitted to Shantipur State General Hospital and later was referred to NRS Hospital of Kolkata and is reported to be in a critical state. BJP state Mahila Morcha president Locket Chatterjee went to meet the victim at the hospital in the evening on Monday. BJP female members had heated argument with police as they tried to visit the victim in a group. BJP MP Babul Supriyo met governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and discussed several poll-related issues with him. “I have told him about the woman who had been raped by TMC goons since her sister-in-law could not be forced into withdrawing her nomination. She has been hospitalised in a serious condition,” Supriyo said.Also readWest Bengal sets May 14 as D-Day for panchayat electionsJagannath Sarkar, BJP president, South Nadia alleged that TMC cadres had unleashed terror at various places in Nadia such as Shantipur, Chakdah and Kalyani, threatening BJP candidates to withdraw their nominations or face dire consequences.Local TMC leaders, however, negated all allegations. “It is a problem arising out of their family issues which they are trying to give a political colour, under the instigation of BJP leaders who had visited their house,” said TMC MLA of Shantipur Arindam Bhattacharya.
Crimes against women

violence against women

Babul Supriyo

Keshari Nath Tripathi

Locket Chatterjee

Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)

West Bengal panchayat elections 2018

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Bengal SEC being influenced, says ex-Speaker of Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee

Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, interacting with mediapersons at his residence on Sunday, said that he was pained to see the prevailing violence around the three-tier Panchayat polls in West Bengal.”I have seen many elections, but this one has given me a lot of pain. It is an important election and is being carried out without the participation of the people in general. This practice should be opposed,” he said.Referring to the State Election Commissioner AK Singh, he said that looking at the number of uncontested wins it looked like Singh was being influenced. “The chain of events says that he is being influenced. I would request him not to get influenced. He holds a responsible post, and he should do justice to the chair,” Chatterjee said.He also said that the State Election Commission (SEC) changed its decision of conducting the election in three phases and declared that it would be in one phase which put a question mark on the security aspect. “Now there are questions about adequate security personnel being available for the single phase,” he said. Citing the example of Birbhum district where the ruling TMC has won all the 42 Zilla Parishad seats uncontested, he said that it was evident what was going on.On the issue of the state’s decision of talking to five other states for security forces, he said, “If they could ask other states, what was stopping them from asking for Central forces. I also don’t understand on what basis were the five states chosen.”West Bengal government is in talks with Assam, Punjab, Telangana, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh for additional forces to be kept on stand by during the panchayat election.TMC leaders refused to react to Chatterjee’s comment. “He is a senior person and an ex-speaker. I would not like to react to what he said, but I hope he remembers the kind of poll violence which prevailed during the reign of the Left Front,” said state panchayat development minister Subrata Mukherjee.
Assam

West Bengal

Andhra Pradesh

Lok Sabha

Somnath Chatterjee

State Election Commission

Subrata Mukherjee

AK Singh

West Bengal Panchayat polls 2018

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Why can’t Modi govt take care of Lal Qila? Mamata Banerjee slams Centre for ‘leasing out’ Red Fort

On Saturday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the government over its decision to let a private entity maintain the Red Fort under its ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project. She wrote: “Why can’t the Government even take care of our historic Lal Qila ? Red Fort is a symbol of our nation. It is where India’s flag is hoisted on Independence Day. Why should it be leased out ? Sad and dark day in our history.”TMC spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Derek o’ Brien asked: “Wah! So here is acche din. Red Fort being ‘sold ‘? Now other national treasures ready to be auctioned to highest bidder. As Chairman Parliament Cmtee of Transport Tourism & Culture, can say matter was still being “discussed”. Pledge to stop this.”CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said: “Stop Privatising India’s Heritage: The Parliamentary Committee that went into the issue of handing over heritage sites to private corporate had decided against this unanimously. Govt should reverse its decision of privatising the Red Fort.”Also read‘Is this Acche Din?’: Cong, TMC and CPI(M) accuse Modi govt of ‘selling’ Red FortEarlier, the Congress on Saturday questioned how a private entity was given the mandate to maintain the iconic Red Fort, days after a corporate house signed an agreement with the tourism ministry under its ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project.The Dalimia Bharat group, under the memorandum of understanding, would maintain the monument and build basic infrastructure around it and has committed a sum of Rs 25 crore for the purpose over a period spanning five years. “They are handing over the iconic monument to a private business. What is your commitment to the idea of India, to the history of India? We know you have no commitment, but we still want to ask you,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told reporters . Also readCongress accuses govt of ‘leasing out Red Fort’, Dr Mahesh Sharma clarifies ‘no profit activity, will take place'”Do you have dearth of funds. Why funds for the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) lapse, why do they lapse. See the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) reports. If they have paucity of funds, then why do they lapse?” he asked.IndiGo Airlines and the GMR group were also in the race to bag the project.Also readBJP announces ‘Vedic Yagya’ outside Red Fort in MarchThe Dalmia Bharat group has agreed to provide certain basic amenities at the 17th century monument within six months. These include providing drinking water kiosks, street furniture-like benches and signages to guide the visitors, according to the ministry. The entity has also agreed to put up within a year tactile maps, upgrade toilets, light up the pathways and bollards, carry out restoration work and landscaping and build a 1,000-square-foot visitor facility centre.It will also provide a 3-D projection mapping of the fort’s interior and exterior, battery-operated vehicles and charging stations for such vehicles and a thematic cafeteria. Responding to Khera’s remarks, Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons said under the scheme started last year, the ministry is looking at public participation to develop heritage monuments.”The companies involved in these projects will only spend and not make money. They will create amenities such as toilets, provide drinking water for the tourists so that their footfalls increase. They might put up signs outside to say that they have developed the amenities. If they are spending money, there is nothing wrong in taking credit for it,” he said.”I want to ask the Congress what they did for the past 70 years. All the monuments and facilities around them are in terrible shape. In some places, there were no facilities at all.,” he said.As of March this year, 31 prospective ‘monument mitras’ (friends of heritage sites) have been shortlisted by a oversight and vision committee for developing tourist-friendly amenities at 95 monuments, heritage and other tourist sites including the Red Fort, Qutub Minar (in Delhi), Hampi (Karnataka), Sun Temple (Odisha), Ajanta Caves (Maharashtra), Char Minar (Telangana) and Kaziranga National Park (Assam).
Narendra Modi

Mamata Banerjee

Red Fort

Dalmia Bharat Group

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West Bengal Panchayat polls 2018: Voting on 14th May, counting on 17th May

The State Election Commission (SEC) has finally announced dates for the panchayat polls in West Benga. Voting will take place in a single phase on May 14th and the counting will be done on May 17th. Repolling, if needed will be held on 16th May. The announcement of revised dates were delayed because the SEC were finalising the security arrangements in the over 58,000 polling booths and also deciding on the issue of whether to conduct the election during the month of Ramzan . The representatives of various Muslim organisations on Wednesday met the SEC officials and urged the poll panel not to hold the panchayat election during the month of Ramzan, which is scheduled to start from May 16-17. The ruling TMC too was in favour of polls before Ramzan and onset of monsoon season. According to the final schedule, EC has fixed the date of polling before start of the holy month. According to the West Bengal Panchayat Act, 2003, there has to be a gap of at least 21 days between the last date for filing of nominations and the date of polling. According to this rule, the election cannot be held before May 14.The panchayat polls were earlier scheduled to be held on May 1, 3 and 5. However, following a Calcutta High Court order, the SEC had announced April 23 as the extended date for nomination-filing for the three-tier rural election. The opposition is wary if SEC can provide for all the candidates in a single phase election. They are worried whether 58 thousand police officers will be enough to properly ensure security in over 58, 000 polling booths in the state. BJP has alleged that the SEC has not discussed witht them before finalising the schedule.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Trinamool Congress (TMC)

State Election Commission (SEC)

West Bengal Panchayat polls 2018

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WB Panchayat Elections: Mamata claims reports of violence during polls ‘blown out of proportion’

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that reports of violence during the filing of nominations for the panchayat polls has been “blown out of proportion” by the opposition parties and a media house.Only eight to nine incidents of violence were reported during the filing of nominations. Four persons have died and all of them belonged to the TMC, she said.She said that her party, the Trinamool Congress, does not want violence and claimed that the opposition parties were “spreading canards” against her government.”As the ruling party why should we (TMC) resort to violence? We want peace. The opposition parties are indulging in a conspiracy against my government. A media house is also working to malign my government’s image”, she told ‘News 18 Bangla’ channel.Despite all this the TMC will win, she said exuding confidence and added “we must take care of people’s interest”.Also readCJI vs Congress: Mamata Banerjee reveals she warned Sonia and Rahul Gandhi against impeachment moveBanerjee claimed that the BJP, Congress and the CPI-M were united against her government.”In Delhi they are fighting against each other but here they are together. They are three brothers now. Everyday they are going to the court together to delay the (panchayat) polls process. They don’t have faith in people,” she said.Also readMamata Banerjee urges all state cable operators to not air riot photosRefuting the opposition’s allegations of violence before the panchayat polls, she said, “If we have tried to stop opposition parties from filing their nominations how could over two lakh candidates file their papers?”The situation, she claimed, was not the same during the previous panchayat polls in 2003 and 2008 under the Left Front rule.Also readMamata slams ‘anti-Adivasi’ Maneka Gandhi for claiming ‘so-called tribals illegally killing animals in Bengal’”We (TMC) couldn’t file so many nominations during the Left Front rule,” she said.

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BJP to move SC over panchayat poll violence in West Bengal

BJP leaders will once again move Supreme Court regarding the forthcoming panchayat polls in West Bengal. Party national general secretary and co-observer for Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya said that intended Panchayat poll candidates had been barred from filing their nominations, in violation of the SC orders.Vijayvargiya had held the State Election Commission (SEC), state government and the Trinamool Congress party as the reason why BJP contenders were not allowed to file their candidature. He alleged that in spite of getting an extra day under the direction of the High Court, BJP candidates were not allowed to file their nominations.He said that on Monday there had been 526 clashes across the state in which 500 BJP workers had been injured and one had been killed.Sources said that video clippings of violence across the state would be compiled and submitted to the President Ram Nath Kovind.Other than the death of Sk Dildar whose death had triggered a tug of war between BJP and TMC regarding Dildar’s political identity, BJP leaders also said that their workers at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas and BJP party office in South 24 Parganas had also been razed. Police inaction has also been alleged.“On the one hand our party people had been attacked by TMC workers and later on the other hand police had arrested the BJP people, holding them guilty of violence. This type of lawlessness is not found anywhere in the world,” Vijayvargiya said.

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Bengal Panchayat polls: SEC fails to announce election dates, Opposition to move HC on nomination violence

Following violence across the state, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Monday failed to announce the new dates for the three-tier panchayat election. Sources said that the SEC, which was supposed to to hold a meeting with representatives of the state government and announce the dates for the poll process, failed to do so on account of the ongoing violence. The meeting is now likely to take place on Tuesday. The scheduled meeting of the SEC with representatives of different political parties also did not materialise. Sources added that the SEC had sought reports from respective district superintendents of police.Meanwhile, to heighten security in anticipation of agitation by political parties, Section 144 has been imposed in front of the SEC office and the entire area was barricaded with guardrails. Heavy police posting was also in place. Additionally, opposition party leaders have moved Calcutta High Court alleging that the SEC had failed to carry out the instructions of the court regarding conducting a fair and peaceful process of filing nominations. Leaders of all three Opposition parties – Congress, CPI(M) and BJP moved court simultaneously and the hearing will take place on Tuesday. In wake of the clashes between Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters in West Bengal’s Birbhum, the BJP has announced to move the High Court on Tuesday.Also readWest Bengal Panchayat polls: Filing of fresh nominations turn bloody, at least two dead Addressing the press here, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya alleged that the party’s candidates were obstructed from filing nomination for the Panchayat elections, and the party elections were vandalized by goons, at the behest of ruling-TMC in the state.”We moved the Supreme Court and High Court who then directed the Election Commission to ensure the elections are free and fare and that the candidates are provided security, but I think the anti-social elements working at the behest of TMC do not understand the orders of the High Court, Supreme Court, or the Election Commission,” Vijayvargiya said.”BJP will again move High Court tomorrow and raise this issue. We have collected the footage and have even submitted a plea in the Court that we were not allowed to submit nomination. We will show the clippings to President on how democratic rights of the people are under attack in West Bengal” he added. Apart from the death of one BJP worker in the clashes at Birbhum earlier in the day, Vijayvargiya said the whole state was in turmoil and chaos throughout the day, and clashes happened in over 526 places, 11 BJP officers were vandalized, and over 500 party workers were injured. “Police were mute spectators to the TMC goons’ acts and only arrested BJP workers,” he said. With inputs from Arshad Ali and agencies

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West Bengal Panchayat Elections: Following Calcutta HC order, fresh nominations to be filed tomorrow

Filing of fresh nominations for the panchayat elections in West Bengal will be held for a day tomorrow following a Calcutta High Court order directing the State Election Commission (SEC) to extend the date.The SEC has issued a fresh notification announcing April 23 as the extended date for the filing of nominations for the three-tier panchayat elections in the state.The dates for the polls, which were earlier scheduled on May 1, 3 and 5, have, however, not been declared by the commission in its new notification issued yesterday.Scrutiny of the nominations received tomorrow will be held on April 25 and the last date for the withdrawal of candidature is April 28, the notification said.The filing of nominations will take place from 11 am to 3 pm, according to the commission.The opposition parties had alleged widespread violence by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) during the nomination process.Also readWest Bengal panchayat polls date extended by SECThe TMC, on the other hand, had blamed the BJP for vitiating peace in some parts of the state in the run up to the local body elections.At least two persons died and many others were injured in clashes during the nomination process which began earlier this month.In line with the high court order, the SEC yesterday held meetings with political parties before issuing the notification.Also readOpposition gloats as Calcutta HC asks state EC to reschedule West Bengal Panchayat polls The high court had on Friday quashed the SEC’s April 10 order cancelling extension of the deadline for filing nominations and directed the commission to issue a fresh notification after consultations with the state authorities and other stakeholders.Justice Subrata Talukdar had directed the commission to “reschedule the further dates in the election process as per statutory framework” and carry it forward from the extended date of filing nominations.The high court had earlier stayed the election process on petitions by the BJP, the CPI(M) and the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), challenging the SEC’s withdrawal of the notification extending the date for filing nominations by a day.The nomination process for the panchayat polls ended on April 9, but it was extended by a day by the SEC following a Supreme Court order on petitions alleging that candidates backed by opposition parties were prevented from filing nominations.The West Bengal government and the TMC had objected to the extension by the SEC, which had cited a Supreme Court direction to “allay apprehensions of intending candidates” in its notification extending the nomination process by a day.The notification was withdrawn by the SEC on April 10 following the objections by the state government and the TMC.The high court had stayed the election process on April 12 on petitions by the opposition parties challenging the SEC’s withdrawal of its notification.

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West Bengal Panchayat polls: Calcutta HC directs state EC to extend nomination dates, gives new election schedule

In a big boost for opposition, the Calcutta HC has asked state Election Commission to give fresh date for conducting Panchayat polls in the state. It has directed State Election Commission to issue fresh extension for filing of nomination and polls in consultation with the state.Earlier voting was supposed to be on 1st, 3rd and 5th May. Now, that is postponed after Calcutta HC’s order. A single-member bench of Subrata Talukdar on Friday gave the order. Refuting the Oppositions’ allegations that it was working at the behest of the ruling TMC, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday told the Calcutta High Court that it has taken all steps to ensure a level playing field for the upcoming panchayat elections. The poll panel made the submission to Justice Subrata Talukdar, who has stayed the election process while adjudicating a bunch of pleas challenging the Commission’s recent order withdrawing the extension of the deadline for filing nomination papers by candidates.The state government and the TMC had objected to the extension on April 9, to which the SEC had cited a Supreme Court direction to “allay the apprehensions of intending candidates” in its notification extending the nomination process by a day. Defending its decision to withdraw the extension on April 10, the SEC secretary said “an authority which has the power to issue an order also has the power to rescind it.” He said during an election process, the election commission is the sole authority and filing of the nomination is part of the process.Justice Talukdar asked the state government as to what authority it has to advise the SEC that it cannot extend the date for nomination.Panchayat department secretary Sourav Das told the court that the state appoints the dates for elections considering a lot of factors including the weather. He said following the SEC’s decision, it had to point out to it that such a sudden extension would jeopardise the election schedule and as such, it could not be held.Petitioner Pratap Banerjee of the BJP submitted that panchayat polls in the state was postponed thrice in 2013 and was held in five phases on a Supreme Court order. It was also pointed out that the tenure of the present panchayat in the state would end in August. Appearing for the Congress, its West Bengal unit president Adhir Chowdhury claimed it was due to the intervention by the TMC that the commission has been forced to withdraw its own decision and have thus deprived the common people from a level playing field in the local body elections.With PTI inputs

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Calcutta HC extends stay on West Bengal panchayat poll process

The Calcutta High Court today extended the stay on the panchayat poll process in West Bengal and said the State Election Commission’s withdrawal of a notification giving an additional day for filing of nominations was in question before it.Justice Subrata Talukdar extended the stay on the panchayat poll process till tomorrow morning when the matter would be heard again. He said that the Supreme Court had asked the SEC to allay apprehensions of the petitioner or any intending candidate, and in line of that the Commission had extended the nomination process by a day. It, however, withdrew the notification the very next day, which is in question before the court, the judge said, while hearing the SEC and the ruling Trinamool Congress’s challenge of his order to stay the elections.Representing the ruling TMC, its vice-president Kalyan Banerjee said the petitions challenging the decisions of the Commission was not maintainable, and that the court cannot interfere in an ongoing election process. He claimed that under Article 243(O) of the Constitution, no panchayat election shall be called in question, except by an election petition as per law made by the legislature of that state. Banerjee, also a TMC Lok Sabha MP, stated that the West Bengal Panchayat Act of 2003 provides that in case of any dispute in relation to panchayat polls, petitions can be moved before the civil court within 30 days after completion of election process.He asserted that how elections would be conducted is the prerogative of the SEC, and cannot be interfered into by the high court. The Supreme Court had in its April 9 order said, “We hope and trust that in order to ensure fair and free election to the panchayats, the State Election Commission shall take appropriate steps to remove the apprehensions of the petitioner (BJP) and/or intending candidates, and they may not be deprived of their chance to contest the panchayat elections.”Panchayat polls in West Bengal are scheduled to be held in three phases from May 1 to May 5, and the counting of votes is slated for May 8. The nomination process for the polls ended on April 9, but the SEC extended it by a day the same evening, following the apex court order. The notification was withdrawn by the SEC on the morning of April 10. The BJP moved the high court challenging the withdrawal, and Justice Talukdar stayed the election process on April 12. Apart from the BJP, the CPI(M) and the Congress, too, have moved the high court separately, challenging the SEC’s decision.

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West Bengal Panchayat polls: Calcutta HC division bench sends case back to single bench

A division bench of Calcutta HC on Monday sent back the plea over conducting Panchayat polls in West Bengal to single bench of the High Court, reports Zee 24 Ghanta. A division bench of justices Biswanath Sommader and Arindam Mukhopadhyay heard the matter on a plea by the TMC and Election Commission. Earlier a single bench of the HC extended stay on conducting Panchayat elections in the state. The division bench said that the litigation should be swiftly resolved and if necessary the HC will go for daily hearing. The opposition had went to HC asking for a stay in Panchayat election procedure alleging widespread violence by the ruling party. A single bench gave an interim stay and TMC and EC went to the division bench challenging the decision. During plea, justices asked lawyer from TMC, MP Kalyan Banerjee that why they have appealed to the division bench when the single bench is hearing the matter. They also said it is wrong to presume the decision of the single bench and asked TMC to go back to Justice Subrata Talukdar’s court. Kalyan Banerjee later said that they will raise the matter tomorrow / Also readWest Bengal panchayat polls: Calcutta HC extends stay on election processA single bench of the Calcutta High Court today extended a stay on the panchayat election process in West Bengal till the next date of hearing as an appeal on the maintainability of a petition by the BJP is pending before a division bench.The State Election Commission and the Trinamool Congress had moved the division bench comprising justices D Somadder and A Mukherjee challenging the single bench order which had accepted the maintainability of the petition at this stage.Justice Talukdar had stayed the election process for the three-tier panchayat elections on April 12 and had directed the SEC to submit a comprehensive report including filing of nomination and rejection of nomination.SEC secretary Nilanjan Shandilya, who appeared in person before the court in view of an ongoing ceasework by lawyers, submitted the report today. With PTI inputs

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TMC throttled democracy in West Bengal: Mukul Roy

BJP leader Mukul Roy today alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has throttled democracy in West Bengal.Those who do not respect the democratic rights and values should not talk big about democracy, Roy said.”There is an unprecedented attack on the basic democratic rights of the opposition parties. The Trinamool Congress has resorted to a full-fledged assault on democracy.Even mediapersons have not been spared,” Roy alleged.The BJP state leadership led by Roy today took out a rally to observe the 127th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar.Referring to the violence during nomination filing for next month’s panchayat polls, Roy alleged that the TMC didn’t allow the opposition parties to file nominations as they are afraid of free and fair polls.He asked, “If they were so sure of their developmental work, why did they not allow the opposition parties to file nominations?”The Calcutta High Court on April 12 had stayed till further orders the ongoing panchayat election process in the state.

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West Bengal Panchayat polls: State EC retracts order of extending nomination deadline, BJP likely to move HC

The drama around filing of nomination for panchayat elections in West Bengal continued on Tuesday, as the State Election Commission (SEC), within hours, retracted its Monday’s notification for extension of last date of filing nomination.While the SEC, in its latest notification had cited legal problems owing to which the decision has been rolled back, Opposition parties are claiming that the SEC has once again given in to the pressure of the ruling party. “We had anticipated this. We have seen pressure tactics by the ruling regime on the SEC. The last state election commissioner had put in his papers, unable to take the pressure. This time too, same pressure tactics are being used. I don’t know if he would be able to continue with his post for the entire election,” said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh. BJP will be moving High Court for its intervention into the matter.CPI(M) MLA Sujan Chakraborty called it the destruction of democracy. “Law, democracy have been destroyed. TMC leaders have met him last night and four ministers have been to his house this morning as well, intimidated him, pressurised him, foulmouthed him and that is why the rollback was ordered,” he said.Also readWest Bengal panchayat polls: TMC wins uncontested in many districtsTMC MP and senior lawyer Kalyan Banerjee negated Opposition’s allegations saying, “I can also allege that Opposition leaders had created pressure on the SEC and got this illegal order issued. I had raised an objection against the SEC notification last night through an email pointing out the faults in the order and it is good that the SEC had rectified its mistake.”Late on Monday evening, SEC in a notification informed the district administration that those who had not been able to submit their nomination forms would be able to do so from 11 am till 3 pm on Tuesday at respective BDO and SDO offices.The SEC, exercising the power conferred upon it by provision in sub section (2) of Section 46 of the West Bengal Panchayat Elections Act, 2003, had extended the last date for nomination looking at the complaints received from several districts by intending candidates who had allegedly been prevented from submitting their nominations on Monday.

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55 schools illegal in Thane, reveals RTI; Thane Municipal Corporation mulls action

Inaction by the TMC’s education department has made illegal schools flourish in Thane in the past two years. While there were 39 illegal schools in Thane in 2017, their number has gone up to 55 in 2018.As per the RTI (Right to Information) obtained by the Samaan Shikshan Mulbhoot Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti (a committee for equal fundamental right to education), there are 55 unrecognised/ illegal schools in Thane city and more in Mumbra, Kalwa in 2017-18. “The figure for 2016-17 was 39 schools and due to inaction of the TMC’s education department, the number has gone up,” says Ghanshyam Sonar from the Samiti.Of these 55 schools, 38 are English medium schools, eight are Hindi, seven are Marathi and two are Urdu medium schools. “According to the Right to Education Act, which came into effect since June 2010, these schools should be fined Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh and should be shut down,” he says. “The statistics, however, shows that TMC was unable to take such legal steps and these schools have flourished,” he says.”What is startling is that maximum of these schools are in Mumbra and Kalwa and continue to operate. Is it due to political intervention that these schools are permitted to function,” he questions.Moreover, TMC has not taken any effort to notify the school students and their parents about these illegal schools, he alleges. “TMC is supposed to put up notice outside such schools that these are illegal and that students can avail admission in civic schools. But even that has not been done,” he says.There are over 271 civic, government, aided, unaided and private recognised schools in Thane. And 184 are unaided, but recognised private schools in Thane.When contacted, Manish Joshi, deputy commissioner, education, TMC, said that they are in the process of taking action against such illegal schools and refused to elaborate further. The civic body recently sent closure notices to 11 illegal schools in Diva and Mumbra.If TMC shuts these schools, it will affect over 46,000 students from class I to VIII, of which 20,894 students are from English medium schools.TIME TO ACTOf these 55 schools, 38 are English medium schools, eight are Hindi, seven are Marathi and two are Urdu medium schools

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West Bengal Panchayat polls: Senior CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia attacked, currently in ICU

Veteran CPI(M) leader and ex-MP Basudeb Acharia was allegedly attacked by TMC goons on Friday when he accompanied his party members to fill-up nomination forms for upcoming Panchayat polls. The incident happened in Kashipur block of Purulia district of the state. Acharia was brutally roughed up and is currently admitted in ICU in Purulia Sadar hospital. Acharia is member of CPI(M)’s Central Committee. According to CPI(M) mouthpiece Ganasakti, the attack on party cadres was orchestrated by local TMC MLA Swapan Beltharia. He along with his men were allegedly waiting outside the Kashipur block to prevent opposition party leaders from filing nominations. According to CPI(M), police remained mute spectator even as TMC cadres roughed up Left workers. Even women weren’t allegedly spared. CPI(M) alleges that their rally was attacked and at that time BDO and local police station was made unaccessible. Some of the workers are critically injured and veteran leader Archaria too has suffered multiple injuries. They are currently undergoing treatment in the hospital. Not only Left, other opposition parties have also alleged TMC of committing atrocities and of police inaction in the run upto elections.Also readWest Bengal Panchayat Polls: BJP, TMC workers clash during nomination in Jalpaiguri, around 25 injuredThe poll-related violence has claimed two lives in Malda and Bankura districts so far since the beginning of filing of nominations on April 2, the police said. In the Nalhati area in Birbhum district, clashes broke out between the police and BJP supporters when they defied orders against holding rallies or processions while filing nominations. The directives were issued after an attack on former CPI(M) MP Ramchandra Dome allegedly by TMC hoodlums on Thursday.The BJP workers took out a rally and were stopped by the police. A heated argument erupted between the two sides and snowballed into a clash. The men in uniform used batons and fired rubber bullets to disperse the rallyists, a police official said. A number of police personnel were injured in brick batting by the BJP cadres. Twenty-five BJP workers were arrested in connection with the violence, the police said.In Bankura, BJP state secretary Shyamapada Mondal was attacked allegedly by TMC supporters when he and his party cadres were on their way to meet the district magistrate in the afternoon to submit a memorandum on the violence during filing of nominations for the panchayat polls. He alleged that about 300 “TMC goons”, who were present there in violation of Section 144 of the CrPC clamped in the area, attacked the BJP delegation. The TMC leadership in the district termed the allegations baseless.Video footage aired on TV news channels showed crude bombs being hurled at Nabagram in Murshidabad district and activists of the TMC and the BJP clashing with each other over filing of nominations.The BJP staged a demonstration in Nalhati to protest against the violence and demanded that paramilitary personnel be deployed in adequate numbers to ensure “free and fair” polls. However, West Bengal Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee told reporters at the Secretariat that there was no need for such a move. He said central forces are not deployed for rural or civic polls.TMC secretary general and state minister Partha Chatterjee accused the BJP of trying to foment trouble in the state by bringing in outsiders. “The BJP will never be allowed to disturb peace in the state. First it was communal violence on Ram Navami and now they are using muscle power to stop our candidates from filing nominations,” Chatterjee alleged. He said that allegations of opposition candidates being attacked are an excuse as the rival parties do not have candidates to file nominations. The BJP, on the other hand, accused the TMC of not allowing its workers to file nominations for the panchayat elections, and said it was trying to turn the rural polls into a farce by use of money and muscle power.”Democracy has ceased to exist in Bengal. But the BJP will not give up so easily. Our workers are being brutally beaten up in Murshidabad, Bankura and Birbhum and police are acting like cadres of the TMC,” BJP leader Mukul Roy alleged.Panchayat election is scheduled to be held in three phases on May 1,3 and 5. With PTI inputs

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West Bengal Panchayat Polls: BJP candidate dies after being thrashed, saffron party blames ‘TMC goons’

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker died on Wednesday after allegedly being thrashed by Trinamool Congress (TMC) cadres in West Bengal’s Bankura district. The deceased, identified as Ajit Murmu was killed outside the office of the block development officer in Ranibandh area. The BJP alleged that the deceased was their nominee for upcoming panchayat elections from the area and blamed TMC for the attack.However, the police have not confirmed the identity of the attackers as yet. BJP MP and Union Minister Babul Supriyo wrote on Twitter: “TMC goons’ open spilling of wrath and violence all over Bengal on candidature filing day for #BengalPanchayatPoll2018, has resulted in brutal murder of Ajit Murmu, BJP’s Panchayat candidate from Bankura. My heart goes out to his family. May they find strength to endure this loss.”Also readBJP slams Congress leaders for supporting ‘anti-Gujarat’ Medha Patkar42-year-old Ajit Murmu was the editor of Ranibandh Mandal and BJP’s candidate for the upcoming panchayat polls. BJP allege that their candidate was attacked outside the BDO office. He was taken to a local hospital before being shifted to Bankura Sammilani Hospital.Also readBJP moves Supreme Court for free polls in West BengalTMC and BJP engage in bitter political slugfestThe Trinamool Congress and the BJP on Wednesday engaged in a bitter political slugfest over opposition parties alleging that the TMC prevented their candidates from filing nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal due in May.The BJP, Left Front and Congress alleged that the ruling TMC unleashed a reign of terror in various parts of the state and prevented opposition candidates from filing nominations.The Trinamool Congress termed the allegations “baseless”.BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu told newsmen at Suri in Birbhum district there was information that the TMC had “engaged people having links with the banned Students Islamist Movement of India and terror outfit IslamicState to prevent its members from filing nominations”.BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said the party will move the Supreme Court to ensure free, fair and peaceful rural polls.Workers of the BJP and the Congress demonstrated outside the State Election Commission office here.BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha alleged, “The TMC is afraid of holding free and fair polls. They are trying to stop our candidates from filing nominations.” A BJP worker was attacked with rods and sharp-edged weapons at Ranibandh in Bankura district allegedly by TMC activists when he was accompanying a contestant to file nomination today, the party’s district unit chief said.The police said the worker had died.Sources in the BJP alleged that their candidates were fired upon by TMC activists at Raiganj in Uttar Dinajpur. BJP leader Mukul Roy met SEC A K Singh and submitted a memorandum over the alleged violence.”The SEC has assured us that he will look into the complaints sympathetically,” Roy said.TMC secretary general and minister Partha Chatterjee, on the other hand, accused the BJP of roping in outsiders to foment trouble in the north Bengal town.He said, “The BJP is resorting to falsehood… that their candidates are being prevented from filing nominations. It is using a threatening language.” Chatterjee said the TMC had filed 1,614 nominations and the BJP 1,143 nominations so far.The CPI(M) has filed 351 nominations, and the Congress 127. About 200 Independents have also filed their papers, he said.”The numbers belie the allegations that the TMC prevented opposition candidates from filing nominations,” Chatterjee said.The SEC said it was taking necessary steps to ensure free and fair polls.”We have received complaints. We are looking into them. We will ensure that the polls are held in a free and fair manner and candidates can file their nominations,” an SEC official said.State Election Commissioner A K Singh today met Governor K N Tripathi and briefed him about the poll preparedness.According to sources, the governor asked Singh to ensure peaceful elections. Accusing the governor of being “over active” with regard to the opposition’s allegations, Chatterjee alleged the Raj Bhavan was “working like a political party’s wing” and demanded the SEC be allowed to work independently.”The way the Raj Bhavan is functioning based on one-sided information, it seems it is working as a wing of a political party,” the education minister alleged.He said, “We will also meet the governor, possibly tomorrow and tell him that those indulging in violence and rioting are claiming innocence and blaming others.” Tripathi told PTI, “The governor is the guardian of the people of the state and he can take note of the events happening in the state.” ADGP (law and order) Anuj Sharma said outsiders were hired to create violence at Raiganj.”We will take action against them,” he said without divulging who had hired them. The panchayat polls will be held in 20 districts on May 1, 3 and 5. The filing of the nominations began on April 2 and will continue till April 9. With inputs from PTI

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West Bengal Panchayat Polls: BJP to move Supreme Court to ensure fair polling

Following his meeting with the State Election Commission over nomination issues for the impending Panchayat polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukul Roy, on Wednesday suggested that his party will move to the Supreme Court to ensure a fair polling in the state.Addressing the media, Roy said, “We are not scared of the (Panchayat) elections. We will knock at the doors of the Court only for getting some sort of direction to file our nomination. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is scared so they don’t want to go into elections.”Blaming the current Mamata Banerjee led-TMC government for ravaging the state of democracy in the state he said, “Today Bengal is bleeding. Those interested to file their nomination are beaten, stabbed, their family members threatened. Bengal democracy has been raped by the government. Bengal’s people have been raped in name of democracy.”Also readWest Bengal Panchayat Elections: 3-phase polling begins on May 1, counting on May 8; Oppn fumes over early announcementEarlier on Wednesday, a contingent of BJP leaders, including Roy, staged protests outside the State Election Commission’s office over the incidents of violence during the filing of nominations for the forthcoming elections.The Panchayat general elections in 20 districts of West Bengal are scheduled to take place in three phases in May.Also read’Stay together peacefully’: West Bengal Governor gives message of harmony to riot-hit AsansolThe elections in 20 districts across the state will be held on May 1, May 2 and May 5 respectively.The counting of votes will take place on May 8, 2018.

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Bengal Panchayat polls: Guv summons officers after opposition allege harassment while filing nominations

West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has summoned senior government officials on Wednesday amid allegations by the opposition parties that the ruling Trinamool Congress was preventing their candidates from filing nominations for the panchayat polls, official sources said.Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De and Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya have been asked to attend a meeting at Raj Bhawan, a state government official said. Sources in the Raj Bhavan also said that the governor has given an appointment to State Election Commissioner A K Singh on Wednesday. The governor’s decision to call for a meeting came hours after state BJP president Dilip Ghosh met him to complain about the “prevailing situation” in the state. Several BJP candidates have been beaten up in various parts of the state when they tried to file nominations for the next month’s rural polls, Ghosh alleged, adding the TMC are scared of the BJP and that why they are trying to stop the saffron party candidates from filing nominations. “We met the governor and told him about the prevailing situation. He assured us that he will look into the matter,” the state BJP president said. State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had made similar allegations against the ruling party on Mondsay. Chowdhury said that Congress nominees were not allowed to submit nomination papers in Murshidabad district.Left Front chairman in the state Biman Bose claimed that the State Election Commission (SEC) was not prepared to hold the panchayat polls. “The incidents of rampant violence prove that the SEC is not prepared to hold the polls. It has announced the polls just to satisfy the ruling TMC,” Bose said. Refuting the allegations, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the opposition parties were trying to “disturb peace and stability” in the state.”We have full faith that the SEC will take the right decision. The opposition parties don’t enjoy popularity among the masses,” he said. Reacting to the opposition’s allegations, the SEC said they will “look into the matter”. Sources in the SEC said the police administration in the state has been asked to tighten security and clamp prohibitory orders, if necessary, in and around the nomination centres. The panchayat election is scheduled to be held in 20 districts of West Bengal on May 1, 3 and 5. The filing of nominations began on Monday and will continue till April 9.

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Bombay High Court dismisses Thane activist’s petition in harassment case

In December 2017, a video went viral where the girl alleged that Jaiswal had harassed her and was forced to offer massage to him and his friends. The matter came up for hearing on Monday and the bench dismissed the petition as the girl refuted the allegations that she had made against Jaiswal. A TMC official, who does not wish to be named said, 'Justice finally prevails, truth never stays hidden."”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByNaveeta Singh <!–end of artlbotbor–>Updated: Apr 3, 2018, 06:45 AM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed a writ petition filed by Thane activist Vikrant Karnik, which was filed pertaining to a case where a 15-year-old girl alleged harassment by Thane Municipal commissioner’s (TMC). Karnik had demanded in the petition that the cops record the statement of the minor, who worked as domestic help at the TMC commissioner’s residence.In January, Karnik had filed a petition in Bombay High Court asking the court to direct the Thane police to file a case under the POCSO Act against TMC commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal. A bench of Justice RM Savant and Sarang Kotwal directed ACP Padmaja Chavan of special branch, to record the girl’s statement in accordance with the POCSO (protection of children from sexual offences) Act.In December 2017, a video went viral where the girl alleged that Jaiswal had harassed her and was forced to offer massage to him and his friends. The matter came up for hearing on Monday and the bench dismissed the petition as the girl refuted the allegations that she had made against Jaiswal. A TMC official, who does not wish to be named said, ‘Justice finally prevails, truth never stays hidden.”

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My only fault was that I entered a Hindu-dominated area: Blind Muslim beggar who was forced to chant Jai Shri Ram in WB

In a shocking incident that ought to torment anyone with an ounce of humanity, two blind beggars were forced to chant Jai Shri Ram and Jai Maa Tara by a group of men in West Bengal.According to a report in The Indian Express, the incident occurred in Chitadanga area of Andal in West Bengal’s West Burdwan district. A video of the incident had gone viral and it’s not immediately clear which group is responsible for this sickening incident.Abul Bashar 67 told The Indian Express: “My only fault was that I am a Muslim and I entered a Hindu-dominated area.” Abul Bashar, and his wife Bedana Bibi 61 said they were assaulted on Tuesday. This is the day after communal clashes broke out in Raniganj and Asansol in the same district.Also readFour-member BJP team visits Asansol defying prohibitory orders, blames TMC for riotsAndal is 32 km from Asansol and 18 km from Raniganj. Bashar told IE that he didn’t know about the clashes when he had gone out to beg.Speaking about the incident, he said: “We go to various places in Birbhum and Burdwan. In Andal, some people came and snatched my cap. They said they will kill us because we are Muslims and had entered a Hindu-dominated area. Then they started beating me and my wife. My wife begged for my life and pleaded that we will never come to this area if they let us go. But they did not listen.”Also readFour-member BJP team visits Asansol defying prohibitory orders, blames TMC for riotsHe added: “I told them that we are blind and we had gone there to beg and not to cause any trouble. Rather than let us go, they asked us to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Maa Tara’. I told them that Bhagwan and Allah are the same and people have the right to freedom of religion. I asked them why they were forcing us to chant Jai Shri Ram. As we feared for our lives, I agreed to do what they wanted.”In the video, voices are heard asking Bashar to chant and is seen holding a saffron flag with Om written on it. Police officials told Indian Express they were unaware about the incident. Office-in-charge of Andal police haven’t received a complaint. Bedana Bibi said she was too scared to go to the police and returned home.Defying the state government’s prohibitory orders, a BJP delegation on Monday visited violence-hit Asansol to take stock of the situation there after last week’s Ram Navami violence. The four-member BJP delegation, led by its national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, visited Asansol amid tight security and were joined by the local BJP leaders at relief camps.After returning to Kolkata, Hussain blamed the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government for “having failed” to control the situation in the Asansol-Raniganj belt of West Burdwan district and said, “It (the government) has played the role of a mute observer.” “We visited relief camps in Asansol and found that whatever had happened was wrong. It was a failure on the part of the state government,” he told reporters.Hussain said the delegation will submit to BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday a report on whatever they observed in Asansol. The delegation had been formed by the BJP chief.Besides Hussain, the delegation included BJP national vice-president and Rajya Sabha member Om Prakash Mathur, Palamu MP and former director general of Jharkhand police Vishnu Dayal Ram and Rajya Sabha member Roopa Ganguly.With inputs from PTI

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Tension in Rajasthan’s Jaitaran after Hanuman Jayanti violence, vehicles, shops set ablaze; Sec 144 imposed

Even as Bihar and West Bengal struggle to maintain peace after Ram Navami violence, communal clashes broke out in Rajasthan’s Jaitaran town during Hanuman Jayanti ‘shobha yatra’ on saturday.Tension prevailed in the town that comes under Rajasthan’s Pali district. Stone-pelting was reported in some parts while as many as six vehicles were set ablaze during the violence. A couple of shops were also gutted.A PTI report said that around dozen people including some policemen were also injured in the violence.Also readRam Navami clashes: Babul Supriyo hails Imam who appealed for peace despite losing son Prohibitory order under section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in the area to keep the situation under control, District Collector Sudhir Kumar Sharma said.According to the police, the incident happened when the Hanuman Jayanti procession was passing through the main market of Jaitaran town.Also readHanuman Jayanti: TMC takes out massive rallies; low-key affair for BJP, VHP Suddenly, some persons started pelting stones on the procession which disrupted it. This enraged the other side and they also started pelting stones,” they said.This escalated to violence and arson in the town and about half-a-dozen vehicles, including passenger buses, shops and a small mall, were set ablaze, they added.Police swung into action soon and dispersed the stone-pelting mob by arresting some people from the two sides. Senior officials including IGP Hawa Singh Ghumaria and the District Collector Sharma are camping in the town.”We have been talking to some senior persons from both the sides to douse the tension and ensure peace in the town,” Sharma said, adding all efforts are being put in to restore law and order.Bengal remains peacefulAmid tight security, Hanuman Jayanti was celebrated across West Bengal today.The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) took out colourful processions and organised Hanuman puja in various parts of the state. Senior party leaders and ministers were seen taking part in the celebrations.However, the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) kept their Hanuman Jayanti celebrations a low-key affair with small-scale programmes at temples and mutts.The saffron brigade had decided to keep the Hanuman Jayanti celebrations low-profile in view of widespread violence in various parts of the state over Ram Navami celebrations earlier this week.(With PTI inputs)

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Anti-BJP front can only succeed under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership: Congress

West Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury today said an anti-BJP front in the country “can succeed only under party president Rahul Gandhi’s leadership”.He took a dig at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal of putting up a “one-to-one” fight against the BJP and said the Congress did not need any advice from her.Chowdhury claimed that Banerjee was trying to project herself as a pan-India leader.Also readSetback to Congress in Odisha: Senior leaders quit party, some decide to join BJD “She is advising the Congress on what to do and what not to . Who has appointed her as an adviser to the Congress? If you are serious about fighting the communal forces, you have to fight under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi,” he said.Banerjee, during her recent visit to New Delhi, had talked about a “one-to-one fight” between the BJP and the opposition parties in every state.Chowdhury also blamed Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal for failing to control violence in the state during Ram Navami celebrations.”The state government was unable to tackle the clashes as the TMC and the BJP are two sides of the same coin,” he said.The Congress did not need any suggestion from the TMC on how to deal with communal forces, Chowdhury added.”We are not opposed to any particular individual, the party stands against the communal ideology of the BJP as a whole,” he said.Also readAshok Gehlot replaces Janardan Dwivedi as Congress gen secy incharge of training, organisationIn a bid to forge opposition unity, Banerjee had met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi earlier this week and stressed the need for a united front against the BJP.The TMC supremo had also met a host of opposition leaders from other parties, including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, during her two-day visit to the national capital to explore the possibilities of forming a “federal front” to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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MLA Pratap Sarnaik accuses activists in Thane of misusing RTI, cops to probe

RTI activists in Thane city are under the scanner after local MLA Pratap Sarnaik complained to the CM of their blackmailing ways. The CM’s office has asked the cops to conduct an inquiry in the said matter and Thane’s anti-extortion cell armed with a list of 10 such activists have begun the inquiry.On March 28, Thane’s anti-extortion cell began the inquiry starting with city activist Pradip Patil. “During the assembly session, Sarnaik wrote to the chief minister that a few activists were misusing the RTI (right to information) act in Thane,” says police inspector Rajkumar Kothmire, Thane’s anti-extortion cell. “In the complaint Sarnaik wrote how these activists would get information under RTI from the TMC (Thane municipal corporation) and other government bodies, find the loopholes and blackmail the concerned developer, builder/contractor and take money from them,” he adds.He also said that some activists would seek the information and use it to stall civic and other infrastructure projects in the city which hampered the pace of development. “We took a list of such activists from the TMC and have begun investigations and called Patil yesterday. More names in the list will be called soon,” he adds.The suicide of builder Suraj Parmar had highlighted the culture of blackmail through RTI that is rampant in Thane. In his suicide note Parmar had alleged how four corporators blackmailed him and stalled his projects. RTI which is meant to empower common man on the streets has now become a weapon of blackmail for some activists.For instance, in January this year a journalist from a local news channel was arrested by the anti-extortion cell for demanding Rs 50 lacs from a Kalyan based builder. The lady journalist had sought information against the builder’s project through RTI and blackmailed to get his construction demolished if he failed to pay up. The builder paid her Rs 2 lacs and then got her arrested when she came to accept Rs 5 lacs.When contacted, noted RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi said that all of this has a simple solution provided the government follows it.

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West Bengal minister accuses BJP of fomenting trouble in name of Lord Ram, party hits back

A senior West Bengal minister on Wednesday accused the BJP of fomenting trouble in the state “using the name of Lord Ram”, a charge that drew the ire of the party, which lashed out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, accusing her of “doing politics” in the national capital while her state was “burning”.Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said attempts were made to create unrest in Raniganj and Asansol and the administration had handled the situation there.He warned that steps would be taken by the administration against those violating the law.”The BJP is fomenting unrest in the state using the name of Lord Ram,” Chatterjee, who is also the TMC secretary general, told reporters in Kolkata.On the Centre seeking a report on the violence from the state government, Chatterjee said he was not aware of any such move.Asked about the central government’s offer to send paramilitary forces to the state, he said, “Media reports have mentioned the Centre’s offer but a decision in this regard has to be taken by the chief minister … We are competent and had tackled many difficult situations in the past”.The Centre has sought a report from the West Bengal government on incidents of arson and violence during Ram Navami processions earlier this week and offered assistance to deal with the situation, an official spokesperson said.Accusing the BJP of fanning trouble in the state, Chatterjee said the party workers could take out processions but should not carry arms.Referring to state BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s allegation that its workers were provoked by the police, he said, “They had carried arms. Is it then a provocation if the police took action? Action will be taken if there is any violation of law.”On the BJP’s charge that the chief minister was away in Delhi when there was trouble in the state, Chatterjee said, “She is there in the interest of the people. She is there to share the people’s agony created by the BJP.”Slamming the TMC, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar told reporters in New Delhi that Trinamool Congress “thugs” had attacked peaceful Ram Navami processions in West Bengal.”Bengal is burning and Mamata is doing politics in Delhi. It is like Nero fiddling while Rome was burning,” he said.The union HRD minister alleged that “innocent devotees of Lord Ram” were attacked by TMC workers in the state and the West Bengal government was doing nothing about it.He accused Banerjee of being “insensitive” towards the state, and said, “This attitude of the TMC supremo is an insult to the people’s mandate. It is also an insult to the chief minister post.”A statement issued by the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata said the West Bengal government has advised Governor K N Tripathi not to visit Durgapur to call on a police officer who was injured in Raniganj when violence broke out over Ram Navami processions. The governor had planned to visit the hospital in Durgapur where Asansol-Durgapur deputy commissioner of police Arindam Dutta Chowdhury is being treated after he was injured on duty on March 26 and also to acquaint himself with the situation, the statement issued by the governor’s press secretary said.Dutta Chowdhury lost a hand when agitators hurled a bomb at him. The state government had said because of the deployment of police in the area, it would be difficult for it to provide adequate security to the governor during the visit, the statement said.The state government also said the situation was still tense there, including in the nearby areas of Raniganj and Asansol, and it was not advisable for the governor to visit Durgapur, it said.Clashes broke out between two groups on Monday over a Ram Navami procession at Ranigunj in Bardhman West district. One person was killed and two police officers were injured in the incident.Internet services were suspended and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC clamped in Asansol-Ranigunj area today following violence over a Ram Navami procession.”Internet services were suspended to check the spread of rumours and the prohibitory orders were clamped to maintain peace,” Asansol sub-divisional officer Proloy Roychowdhury said.Police patrolling has been stepped up and RAF deployed in the area, he said, adding that three top police officers from Kolkata have been rushed to the spot.The governor has appealed to all sections of society to maintain peace. Asked if the state government had advised the governor not to visit Durgapur, Chatterjee said, “I do not know (about that).”In reply to a question on whether he thought the governor should visit the troubled area, the minister said, “Let peace be restored there. One can always go.”A heavy police force was deployed in the Raniganj area of West Bengal yesterday after clashes broke out between two groups on Monday over a Ram Navami procession in which one person was killed and two police officers were injured, a district official said. In a group clash in Purulia on Sunday, one person was killed and five police personnel were injured.

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Mamata Banerjee to meet NCP chief Sharad Pawar, opposition leaders in Delhi

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will on Tuesday meet the leaders of several opposition parties during her four-day visit to the national capital.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo is scheduled to attend a meeting of the opposition parties, convened by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, in the national capital.At the airport, she told reporters that it was a “routine visit”.”The Central Hall is a famous hall, where I will meet the leaders of my party and if the leaders of other parties want to meet me, I welcome them. We are all friends,” she said.A strident critic of the BJP-led central government and its policies, Banerjee had recently called for unity among all the anti-BJP forces to defeat the saffron party in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.On whether she would be meeting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi during her visit to New Delhi, the chief minister said, “She is hospitalised. Let her recover. I do not want to disturb her.”Asked whether she would be meeting Pawar, Banerjee said, “We (TMC) have 46 MPs (including 12 Rajya Sabha members) there. Sometimes I get the opportunity to go there and meet them. I have worked as an MP for seven terms and I know many leaders and MPs of several political parties.” Pawar has called a meeting of all the opposition leaders, including those from the Congress, to discuss the strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.NCP leader Praful Patel had met Banerjee earlier this month here and invited her to attend the meet.The TMC chief had also met TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who called on her to discuss the process of setting up a federal front against the BJP-led government at the Centre.

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Infrastructre relief: Thane to get green energy

To meet the demands of the infrastructural growth in Thane, the city is exploring various ways of tapping into the environment-friendly energy sources like solar energy, micro hydro power, desalination of creek water, etc.Earlier, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) had done solar net metering at the ward offices. Now, it plans to generate power using solar energy and sell it. “We would like to be a licensee and generate power as well as be a distributor,” said the TMC commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal. The TMC has kept a budget of Rs 2 crores in the next fiscal year for the purpose.Similarly, the civic body is going to fit a 500 square meter solar dish at its Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa. The power generated using this dish will be used for air conditioning (AC) at the hospital. Work on this project is underway and will be completed by June, 2018.Moreover, eco-friendly power will also be generated through micro hydro power projects which will tap the energy in water pipelines. This will help generated 60 kilowatt power. Similarly, three buildings near the lakes in Thane – TMC headquarters at Pachpakhadi, Wagle estate ward office and Ram Ganesh Gadkari Rangayatan – will have an unusual source of cooling. The water in their surrounding lakes will be used to generate geo-thermal energy which will provide air conditioning to these three buildings. A budget of Rs 2 crores have been earmarked for the same.PATH TO SMART CITYThane has become the first in the country to have a district cooling system. It was selected by the UNEP to implement the system which provides centralised AC to commercial structures.

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Ram Navami: Fresh violence reported in West Bengal’s Murshidabad, Bardhaman; cop loses hand in blast

Trouble over Ram Navami processions continued in West Bengal for the second day today as members of saffron outfits clashed with the police in Murshidabad and Bardhaman West districts, resulting in a senior police officer losing his hand when a bomb was hurled at him.One person was killed and five police personnel were injured yesterday in a clash between two groups in Purulia as sword-wielding BJP supporters defied the state government’s ban on armed rallies on Ram Navami.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed the director general of police (DGP) to instruct all the superintendents of police (SPs) to take strong action against those who carried arms in the rallies.Also readRam Navami rallies: CPM slams Trinamool, BJP for engaging ‘competitive communalism’ in Bengal”The law will take its own course. I will not tolerate this,” she said at a meeting at Pailan, near here, adding that action would be taken against the police if they failed to take measures in this regard.In the Kandi area of Murshidabad district today, clashes broke out when the participants in a Ram Navami rally, allegedly armed with swords and tridents, tried to enter a police station, the police said.Also readPolice complaint against West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh for carrying arms in Ram Navami processionAt least 10 persons were injured when the members of the Ram Navami Utsav Committee came to blows with the police personnel during a procession in the area, a senior police officer said.The committee, also comprising BJP and VHP activists, had organised the rally from the Kandi bus stand to the Radhaballav temple around 11.30 am, Additional SP (Sadar) Anish Sarkar said.Also readRam Navami Procession: Mamata Banerjee asks police to take action against those who took out armed rallies”A clash ensued between the two sides as a few participants of the rally hurled stones at the police station and the vehicles parked outside. The police had to baton-charge the agitators,” he said, adding that no one was arrested in connection with the incident so far.BJP leader Subhash Mondal, however, blamed the local members of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the ruckus.”Unidentified miscreants of the TMC joined the rally to create a ruckus. It was an attempt to spoil our image before the people here,” he alleged.Refuting Mondal’s allegations, TMC MLA Apurbo Sarkar accused the BJP and the VHP of trying to disturb peace in the area and claimed that the ruling party had nothing to do with the incident.In the Raniganj area of Bardhaman West district, two police officers were seriously injured when two groups attacked each other during a rally.One of the Ram Navami processions allegedly tried to enter a area, where members of the minority community lived in large numbers, a senior police officer said on the condition of anonymity.The members of the two communities got into a fight even as the police tried to intervene, he said, adding that a temple in the vicinity was also attacked during the clashes.”Asansol-Durgapur Deputy Commissioner of Police Arindam Dutta Chowdhury was injured in the incident. He lost a hand when the agitators hurled a bomb at him. He has been admitted to a private hospital,” the officer said.Officer in-charge (OC) Pramit Ganguly also received head injuries in the violence, he added.Union minister and Asansol MP (BJP) Babul Supriyo, who was supposed to participate in one the rallies in Raniganj but backed out at the last moment, alleged that it was a “premeditated attack, meant to hurt me”.Asansol Mayor Jitendra Tiwari urged the people to maintain peace in the area.The TMC and the BJP had organised several processions to celebrate Ram Navami in the state, with the saffron party dubbing the rallies as a first step towards “uniting the Hindus” of Bengal.State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said it was an age-old Hindu tradition to conduct “astra puja” (worship of weapons) on the day of Ram Navami and that he was not aware of any ban on armed rallies.”Where is the government order banning arms in Ram Navami processions? Where is the circular?” he asked.A case was also registered against BJP West Bengal Mahila Morcha president Locket Chatterjee today for allegedly participating in an armed Ram Navami procession in Birbhum district yesterday, Superintendent of Police (SP) N Sudheer Kumar said.Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma said the police had not given permission to take out armed rallies.The police would take legal action against those who defied the rules, he added.

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Ram Navami: TMC-BJP face-off in Bengal, disturbances reported from Birbhum, Burdwan

West Bengal is gearing up for high-voltage face-off between ruling TMC and the Sangh Parivar with BJP in the front. And already, sporadic violence has been reported from two places in Bengal. VHP has planned over 500 rallies in Bengal and to counter that, for the first time, TMC will also take part in Ram Navami celebrations. In Burdwan, a Ram Navami temple set up by BJP was attacked least 4 people were injured, according to ANI . BJP has accused ruling TMC was behind the incident. Police is currently probing the incident. According to Zee 24 Ghanta, in run-up to Ram Navami, disturbances have been reported from Birbhum district’s Nalhati. Police has imposed a ban on armed procession, which lead to unrest in the region. Irate locals started vandalising and police had to resort to lathicharge to bring the situation under control. After this incident, authorities have increased security in Birbhum to avert any law and order problem. Top police officials are stationed to keep situation under check. BJP state President Dilip Ghosh has said that they will not cow down to administration’s pressure and will bring out Ram Navami rallies. Ghosh and other senior leaders will lead rallies in several part of the state. State Minister Partha Chatterjee has warned that strict action will be taken against anyone breaking law and order in the state during the festival. BJP wants to do armed procession and the state is unwilling to allow it, which is likely to be a major flashpoint today.

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