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Fmr union minister n Sr Congress leader Anand Sharma castigates PM for demonetisation terming his decision as arbitrary and reckless

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Fmr union minister n Sr Congress leader Anand Sharma castigates PM for demonetisation terming his decision as arbitrary and reckless

The former union minister and the senior Congress leader today castigated aspersions on the BJP led NDA government and the prime minister Narendra Modi for demonetising the India’s running economy on 8th November 2016 and termed his decision as arbitrary and reckless leading the people of the country to the state of immense financial quandary and jeopardy. He termed the decision as a historic blunder never ever taken by any prime minister in Indi’s political history.

Anand Sharma was today addressing a press conference at the All India Congress Commitee head quarter at 24 Akbar Road saying that this anti people decision has lead to the closure of unaccounted number of small and petty industries, people of the lower middle class and the lowest ebb of the society losing their jobs in the private sector, lakhs of families suffering from breaking of marriages due to non availability of funds and patients suffering from various critical illnesses allegedly dyeing for want of treatment etc.

He added that in the political history of India had never before any prime minister taken such a drastic anti people decision leading to crores of people suffering from financial instability n quandary and no prime minister has ever said that the country’s economy is running on black money thus shaming the nation in the international political sphere.

Highly critical of the government’s policy on demonetisation the former union minister said that the prime minister Modiji has assured the countrymen that through this effort of demonetisation about rupees four lakh crore of black money would be recovered that will resurrect the country’s deficit economy and peoples’ overall soci9 economic prospects would be improved.
The nation will see the new dawn of economic and social prosperity.

But unfortunately no black money has been retrieved through demonetisation. Whatever 99.9 percent of the financial recovery was made through demonetisation to the tune of 15 lakh crores was the peoples’ money recovered from the already existing running money of the common public in circulation.

Where has the retrieved black money gone, if it at all has been recoved as per the prime minister’s statement, he questioned? Our banks are still empty. The banks’ interests have been instead lowered and employment opportunities lost.

Castigating the ruling party and PM for this anti people initiative he said that the government has now eyed on the contingency reserves of RBI of about 3.5 lakh crores and is trying to transfer that amount in the government’s treasury which is actually meant for bailing out the country’s economy from mess, if it ever happens in future. He added that therr isalleged loot of the public money.

Saying that he would not like to bring the hapless finance minister Arun Jaitley into the debate as he was never nor the entire cabinet n even RBI brought into confidence on the demonetisation issue, Anand Sharma added that the mobile phones of all the ministers were allegedly kept outside the meeting venue till the announcement on demonetisation was made public.

Responding to the questions of the reporters in the press conference Anand Sharma termed prime minister Narendra Modi as arrogant and the one, backing out of his pre poll promises of giving 2 crore employment to the youth of the country, eradicating corruption and inflation and giving the farmers more than their due.

He added : instead the party and its leader are again raising the Ram Temple issue to play with the sentiments of the countrymen and instead of fulfilling the pre election promises of employment, redressal of farmers grievances, bringing down inflation and ensuring women’s safety are busy in polarising votes in the name of Ram Lalaa.

Anand Sharma said let them do all this again in the name of Lord Rama but the people of the country are not going to come under their bluff this time and woild get zero out of ten in the general election of 2019.

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Uttarakhand Congress to start statewide Parivartan Yatra from 21st January. Would expose the BJP govt’s misdeeds

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Uttarakhand Congress vice president Surya Kant Dhasmana addressing press conference in Dehradun

As the parliamentary elections are nearing the Congress party in Uttarakhand has also geared up its activities and mass contact programmes in various parts of Uttarakhand in order to accquaint the party workers at the grass roots as well as the general masses about the state government’s failures on various fronts since it came to power in the state about two years ago securing a historic majority of 57 MLAs out of total seventy n to also strengthen its party organisation at the lowest ebb.

The current Congress party organisation is lead by the five time MLA from Chakrata, Garhwal, Uttarakhand and former minister Pritam Singh carrying behind him a transparent image.

In the assembly elections held in 2017 the Congress government led by Harish Rawat suffered badly at the hustings with the then chief minister Rawat himself losing from the two legislative constituencies and his party winning in merely 13 seats, a record low performance in the last eighteen years since the state came into separate existence.

The Congress organisation since then had become almost defunct in the state as majority of its previous MLAs n ministers had joined BJP.

After the replacement of Harish Rawat who’d been elevated as the AICC general secretary, Incharge Assam Congress at the centre, the former minister Pritam Singh was appointed as state president who has after his untiring efforts brought back the Congress party organisation on rails by his enhancing activities and reconstitution of the state organisation till the grass root level.

Today, the Congress party has regained its lost ground n is in a credible position to give a strong fight to the ruling BJP.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarter in Dehradun today the senior vice president of Uttarakhand Congress Suryakant Dhasmana announced that the state Congress office bearers n activists led by Pritam Singh would commence the Parivartan Yatra from Chakrata legislative assembly’s Hanol village, Jaunsaar Baaver after the rituals in the temple of Mahashu Devta from 21st January onwards.

This political journey named as Parivartan Yatra would be carried in all the districts of Uttarakhand in five stages involving the district n block office bearers and the grass root workers as well. The Yatra would cover all the five Lok Sabha parliamentary constituencies and the assembly constituencies falling under the jurisdictions of these MP seats of Garhwal and Kumaon divisions.

According to Surya Kant Dhasmana the party president Pritam Singh n other office bearers will address hundreds of small n big meetings on the way exposing the present BJP governments misdeeds and failures on various fronts n also enthising the party workers to prepare themselves for the general elections of 2019.

While the main agenda of this Parivartan Yatra is to expose the ill concieved notions n the misdeeds of the ruling BJP government of the state who has failed on all fronts despite having been in power since the last two years it will also help in revitalising and reviving the Congress party organisation at the grass root level in the entire state.

Prominent amongst those present at the press conference with the state Congress vice president Mr. Dhasmana were the party’s desciplinery commitee’s chairman Pramod Kumar Singh, state chairman of the minority department Tahir Ali, State Congress spokesperson Garima Dasoni, Mahesh Joshi, Rajesh Chamoli and Lakhi Ram Bijlwan.

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Devanshi Rana wins one more individual Gold in Khelo India

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There are some sport persons who are born to shine and bring laurels for the state n the country they are born in. If one achieves the outstanding triumphs n that too gold medals in the national n international sports’ competitions of repute, one after another, enhancing the country’s reputation then applauding n encouraging such extraordinary talents becomes our moral n professional duty as well as such budding sportspersons not only enhance the nation’s prestige but also become a credible source of inspiration to the budding sportspersons of the country.

I am talking here about none other then the daughter of globally famous shooter n presently the shooting coach Jaspal Rana’s gold medal winning daughter in pistol shooting who’d recently lived up to her famous shooting surname by way of winning the prestigious individual Gold Medal in under 21women’s pistol at the KHELO INDIA YOUTH GAMES in 2019 in PUNE.

According to Devanshi’s grandfather Narayan Singh Rana, who’s the founder of Jaspal Rana Shooting Academy in Dehradun his 19 year old grand daughter Devanshi living in Delhi led 23 – 20 before the last serious of five shots.

As per www.indiashooting.com report, the last series turned out to be dramatic as Anjali, who looked in the terrific form did not load all five bullets for the last series.

After shooting three hits out of four Anjali’s pistol has no ammunition to fire the fifth, for the possible gold. In contrast Devanshi who’d finished 8th in the same event at the ISSF Junior World Cup in SUHL last year registered only one hit out of five which was enough to secure the Gold.

Abhidnya Patil of Maharashtra who had topped the qualification with 579, took the bronze after loosing a long-drawn shoot-off to Anjali.
Earlier in the qualification, both Devanshi and Anjali had registered 567 to qualify for the final.
The Results:
Under-21 Women’s 25m Pistol: 1. Devanshi Rana (Delhi) 24 (567); 2. Anjali Choudhary (Haryana) 23 (567); 3. Abhidnya Patil (Maharashtra) 20 (579).

It may be recalled that Devanshi had won Gold, Silver n Bronze in earlier world championships held last year in various Pistol shooting events.

Her father Jaspal Rana is himself an International shooting Champion having won several Gold in Asian Games n many other prestigious global shooting events. Jaspal had won Gold in 1994 in Hiroshima Asian games follwed by three Golds in Doha in 2006.

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Delhi

Uttarayini celebrated with gaiety and fervour in 62 locations in Delhi. Delhi govt financed majority events

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The annual Uttarayini festival held on Makarsankranti was celebrated in various parts of Delhi with gaiety and fevour this year as well on 14th and 15th January with Uttatakhandies living in Delhi dancing, singing, exchanging pleasentaries, felicitating outstanding people n preparing traditional Kichri to serve people in at least more than seventy locations of Delhi n NCR donning their traditional colourful attires and interacting in local dialects.

The Delhi government this year as well financed 62 Uttarayini events in various locations of Delhi majorly organised by the AAP office beares and socio cultural organisations of UK in Delhi and enjoyed by the people of the Himalayan state living in the capital n NCR.

The entire capital city, particularly in areas dominated by the Uttarakhand folks one can conveniently find cultural events with Uttarakhandi cultural heritage in colourful traditional attires happening in every legislative constituency of Delhi n NCR with mesmerising songs and dances enthralling one and all.

Prominent amongst those where Uttarayini was celebrated with gaiety n fervour were Burari, Shyam Vihar Nazafgarh, Trilokpuri, West Vinod Nagar, Aya Nagar, Gole Market, Kirti Nagar, Qutub Vihar, Palam, Kailashpuri, Sagarpur, Karampura, Punjabi Bagh, Awantika Rohini, Karampura, entire Trans Yamuna, East Delhi, North Delhi , New Delhi and South Delhi.

It may be recalled that the Uttarakhandies comprise of more than 30 lakhs in Delhi n NCR n being a sizeable vote bank n a deciding factor in several municipal n legislative constituencies of Delhi, every political party eye on this credible vote bank.

Majority of the Uttarakhandi vote shifted to BJP after 1992 on the Ram Mandir pretext but in the name of establishing the Garhwali Kumaoni Academy in Delhi, n financing the events of Uttarayini in all the 70 legislative constituency for the second time, a majority portion of the Uttarakhandi vote bank seems to have shifted to AAP reveal sources.

The national election of 2019 n the state assembly polls of 2020 are nearing. Therefore every political party in Delhi is eying on the Poorvanchali n Uttarakhandi vote bank who jointly constitute an 55 % vote chunk of the capital thus a decisive factor to form government of their choice in Delhi.

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Delhi

Veteran journalist of HT Dr. Kailash Chandra Papnai is no more

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I am really shocked to learn about the sad demise of Dr. Kailash Chandra Papnai a senior journalist and former chief of the bureau of Dainik Hindustan , HT. He breathed his last on 14th January, night at the age of 70 after a prolonged illness suffering from cancer which he developed after the surgery of some other minor part of his body.

Kailashji was a very senior journalist and an affable human being. He was quite helpful n cooperative too. I came in Dr. Papnai’s contact n proximity when I was managing Rajesh Khanna’s New Delhi election as his media and political advisor cum cordinator during 1991 onwards.

I fondly remember Dr Papnai covering the entire election for the newspaper he represented. The HT’s senior press photographer then, Padmashree Virendra Prabhakar used to be with him to cover Kaka’s election campaign, public meetings and padyaatras etc.

I used to cordinate n assist both of them to get Kaka’s n Dimple’s interview and provide him news tips n scoops, as was doing for other journalists too, covering the super star Rajesh Khanna’s New Delhi election against BJP’s Shatrughan Sinha. Dr. Kailash Papnai was a learned journalist, a literateur n a benevolent human being.

After retirement from HT he used to contribute to various newspapers as a free lancer but his passion for writing on hill people, their problems n politics was always n regularly reflected in his articles published in Utaranchal Patrika. In his sad demise while the entire journalistic fraternity of Delhi, Uttarakhand n the country has lost a senior journalist with great professional acumen we’v lost a benevolent human being and a gentleman to the hilt.

A soft, affable, caring human being, a gentleman to the hilt  n a  journalist of repute Dr. Kailash Papnai would be always remembered by his near and dear friends n all those who knew him personally n from professional point of view.

The Uttarakhand Journalists Forum expresses its heartfelt tributes to the departed soul praying God to rest his soul in peace and condolences to the bereaved family to give them enough strength to bear this most irreperable loss. Amen

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Congress to contest on all the seats in UP after being sidelined by SP BSP combine

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The complete political sidelining of the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh by the SP BSP pre electoral alliance for the 2019 general elections and the subsequent declaration of Congress party, contesting on all 80 seats on its own, is definitely a matter of less worry n satisfaction for the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party as all the above three parties, though very much the important ingredients of the national grand alliance against BJP led NDA, have sent a message across that if these so called anti BJP friendly parties can not cooperate with its main partner in seat sharing arrangements in one state of the country today , how would they really reach to an amicable consensus for the prime minister’s post , post general election.

This new development has definitely given BJP a handle to propagate about the disunity aspect of this grand alliance before its formally coming into existence, nationally.

The way BSP chief Mayawati had in her press conference openly accused the Congress party as highly corrupt, opportunist and anti people equating itself with her traditional political foe BJP n saying that it’s the party not to be relied upon ever, unambiguously speaks of the fact that the sole agenda of BSP chief Mayawati n SP’s Akhilesh Yadav is primarily to sideline the Congress party’s chief Rahul Gandhi thus nurturing ambition to be the prime minister of the country than to actually uproot the communal BJP as both these leaders usually claim.

If one asseses the statement and actions of these leaders one can easily observe how in 1993 the then BSP supremo Kanshi Ram betrayed the then SP CM Mulayam Singh n shook hands with the BJP to install Mayawati as the UP CM.

Even in the recently held assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh n Chattisgarh BSP chief Mayawati betrayed Congress n alligned with former CM Ajit Jogi’s Party and contested on all seats in Rajasthan n Madhya Pradesh fairing badly.

While Mayawati openly accuses Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party as corrupt, opportunist and anti people equating it with BJP just see Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi’s sober reaction after the formation of the alliance.

Rahul Gandhi not only appreciated the move saying that he welcomes the move adding that they ( BSP SP leaders) have every right to do so but also took the move in high spirits saying that Congress will contest in all seats n try to prove its mettle credibly.

Rahul’s affable and sober statement unambiguously speaks of the fact that he not only believes in morality n decency in political life but also respects his elders.

Not only this but Rahul Gandhi do not want to annoy the grand alliance partners by issuing irresponsible statements as Maya n Akhilesh did in their press conference, knowing very well that its the anti BJP grand alliance finally that would matter post elections, not the politics of squeezed thinking n bad mouthing against each other.

The general secretary of All India Congress Committee Ghulam Nabi Azad today held a press conference in Lucknow alongwith the state president Raj Babbar declaring that Congress would contest on all the eighty seats.

The three cornered contest in the state between the major political parties viz BSP SP alliance, BJP n Congress would be more beneficial for the former as majority of the dalit, backward n OBC votes this time seem to go in the acount of the SP BSP particularly in view of the byelection results of Phulpur, Sitapur n Kairana where the Congress party’s separate contest could’nt put any dent on the prospects of the BSP SP n Lok Dal candidates’ victory defeating the ruling BJP in the home turf of the present saffron clad CM Yogi Aditya Nath as well as the BJP govt’s deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya.

The Congress candidates’ separate contest have rather helped the BSP SP candidates in cornering the forward caste votes which would have otherwise gone to the BJP.

Moreover the ruling party’s poor administrative track record in UP, alleged fake encounters of the innocents of a particular community, the deteriorating law and order situation, women insecurity, after ill effects of demonetisation, existing agrarian crisis, anti government propaganda on Rafale, failure on the Ram Mandir front by way of not bringing the ordinance thus annoying the majority hindu community n failure on the employment front etc are some of the important factors that may go against the BJP in the general elections though the prime minister Narendra Modi is leaving no stone unturned to propagate his government’s credible achievements through his campaign meetings n the 100 odd public meetings which he would be addressing in the near futute in all the states of the country.

UP being the largest state of the country having 80 odd seats holds special significance for BJP which had won 73 seats with two of Apna Dal in the 2014 general elections n also formed a majority govt in 2017 assembly elections.

But according to political observers lot of change has been witnessed since 2014 n now as Congress party which was no where then n lost in most of the states has revived itself in three heartland states recently grabbing power in Rajasthan, MP n Chattisgarh from the saffron party ruling there for 15 protracted years expect in Rajasthan where it lost only after a single term.

Similarly the BSP SP combine once the arch rivals have also exhibited positive outcome in the three byelections held in Phulpur, Sitapur n Kairana where BJP lost sequentially despite being its political strongholds.

Moreover in UP there are 19 percent muslims, 22 percent Dalits n 46 percent OBCs’ usually considered the traditional vote bank of BSP SP combined which got polarised last time minus the minority vote bank in BJP’s favour on majoritarianism n due to SP’s anti incumbency factor. However, it does not seem to happen that way now predict political observers. What’s your take friends?

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BSP, SP pre poll alliance sideline Congress completely. Accuse BJP n Congress as a common enemy.

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BSP supremo Mayawati n SP chief Akhilesh Yadav addressing a joint press conference declaring the BSP SP pre poll alliance

After completely sidelining the Congress party, leaving merely two seats of Uttar Pradesh viz Rai Bareilley and Amethi for mother son duo, always won by the Congress chief Rahul n Sonia Gandhi and negligible number of seats for other allies not certain still, the presidents of both the anti BJP parties BSP and SP Bahan Mayawati n Akhilesh Yadav have formally made the announcement of forging an electoral alliance for the forthcoming parliamentary elections contesting on 38 seats each out of total eighty, today, in a well attended press conference castigating the prime minister Narendra Modi n the BJP supremo Amit Shah on all fronts as castists, communal, reactionary, anti poor, anti people, anti working class, anti youth, anti women, anti farmer, anti small entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, as corrupt, oppurtunists n the betrayers.

It equally accused the Congress party n its leadership of ruining the country after ruling for six decades or more n giving birth to myriad scams, massive corruption but doing nothing for the welfare, well being and good of the youth women, farmers, backward classes, SC, STs n the people of the lowest ebb of the society.

In the eyes of both the leaders of BSP, SP, both BJP n Congress are responsible for the present mess in the country and therefore the BSP n Samajwadi party will have no electoral alliance with them for the 2019 elections nor thereafter declared the BSP chief Mayawati.

Being too harsh towards the Congress party as was she towards the ruling BJP, Mayawati said addressing the mediamen, while this announcement of SP, BSP electoral understanding will not let the Guru Chela PM Narendra Modi n Amit Shah sleep during the nights, it will equally prove disastrous for the Congress party who has no vote bank in UP and even if it has, its non tranferable n non beneficial to the BSP, SP combine.

This is indeed a great political setback to the Congress party in UP in particular where the BSP, SP not only did’nt forged any alliance with Rahul Gandhi but left merely two seats for them that too because Mayawati feels that she wants that the mother son duo win there defeating the BJP, as their basic fight is against the communal BJP.

While addressing the media BSP Supremo Mayawati termed this pre election BSP – SP alliance as a revolutionery and historical development which will not only open the new chapter of BJP’s ouster from the national politics by dethroning them from power at the centre but will also introduce a new, strong and viable political alignment for the future.

SP president Akhilesh Yadav thanked Mayawati for having accepted his proposal n making the alliance with his party fruitful saying that the saffron party’s days seemed numbered now.

It may be recalled that after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, BSP’s founder chief Kashi Ram and SP leader Mulayam Singh forged the electoral alliance with the later becoming the chief minister.

However after some time the alliance government fell as Kanshiram withdrew support.

Today’s development reminsences the the electoral pact of 1993 which gave a great political rebuff to BJP which lost in UP despite the massive Ram Mandir wave.

In the last parliamentary election of 2014 Uttar Pradesh where the BJP won handsdown winning 71 Lok Sabha seats defeating the BSP n Congress badly giving them merely 5 n 2 parliamentary seats respectively. However in 2017 assembly election after  so much of extensive campaigning by Akhilesh Rahul duo n BSP , the vote percentage of SP n BSP despite tremendous Modi wave n hindu polarisation was surprisingly 41.80% whereas the vote percentage of BJP which ruined the BSP, SP n Congress completely was still 42.30%. In this assembly election the SP Congress alliance got merely 56 seats with BSP a distant third getting 19 only out of total 405 assembly seats.

The state has 45 percent other backward classes, 22 percent dalits and 18 percent muslims which is considered to be the traditional vote bank of BSP n SP which got polarised in the name of Hinduism n the Modi wave last time.

The victory of the BSP SP combine candidates minus Congress’s support in the Phulpur, Sitapur n Kairana by elections defeating the BJP in the home turf of UP CM Yogi Adityanath and deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya enhaced the political morale of  both BSP n SP to patch up prior to 2019 elections keeping the Congress at bay which according to them is politically of no use for them in Uttar Pradesh. In Kairana Lok Sabha byelection from where Lok Dal candidate Tabassum won was jointly backed by SP, BSP.

Moreover the forward or upper caste votes which the Congress party acknowledges in UP largely dents the BJP vote bank and is non transferable to BSP n SP.

Sounds strange that on the one hand the Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi is taking on the BJP n Prime minister Narendra Modi with full zeal, enthusiasm, acrimony n energy on core issues like Rafale, unemployment, inflation, agrarian distress and demonetisation, GST and winning three states from the jaws of BJP including trying his best to form a grand anti BJP led NDA alliance, the leaders of the very conglometation like Akhilesh n Mayawati are publicly n pre strategically sidelining him thus opening a way for division of votes n ensuring BJP’s re come back at the centre. What’s your take friends

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Delhi

Will Octogenerian Shiela’s advent as new Delhi Congress chief be able to pose formidable challenge to AAP n BJP in Delhi ?

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The nomination of former CM Shiela Dikshit who ruled Delhi for 15 protracted years till 2014 as the new Delhi Congress chief by Rahul Gandhi with three young working presidents to assist her viz. Harun Yusuf, Devendra Yadav n Rajesh Lilothia, former MLAs n secretaries AICC has proved one thing beyond doubt that Congress has no new experienced face to run the affairs of Congress party in the capital city except the old ones.

Will Shiela Dikshit who is an octogenarian be able to counter the increasing influence of AAP n Delhi CM Arvind Kejrival who is quite young and vociferous in countering every move of Congress party n BJP in Delhi is a question that requires a suitable answer ?

There is not an inkling of doubt that in terms of experience, capability and liasion with the grass root worker n leaders of the Congress Party, the veteran leader n former CM is one of the best choice in the prevailing political situation of Delhi’s politics but would she really be able to pull out the defunct party in the state out of the present impasse remains to be seen.

It’s a known fact that the AAP formed after the movement of the crusader against corruption Anna Hazaare is today a strong political force in Delhi which has siphoned of the majority vote bank of the Congress party that ruled Delhi undisputedly for 15 long years.

It has made tremendous inroads into the traditional lower middle class, minority, SC, ST, backward, JJ cluster n the unauthorised colonies’ vote bank of the Congress party including govt employees by giving these sections massive concessions in water, electricity, schools, education n health sectors thus posing a straight n clearcut challenge to the Congress party.

The former state party chief Ajay Maken despite his dynamism n active leadership has not been able to take on AAP in Delhi and has finally resigned on the health grounds, this being his second resignation.

He tried his level best to confront the AAP n the BJP equally with his full might by way of organising protest demonstrations, dharnas n even courting arrests on various pivotal issues but all in vain.

Though under Ajay Maken’s active n dynamic leadership the state’s one time defunct set up was fully energised n activated at the grass root levels but finally he could’nt withstand the AAP’s increasing political influence n popularity in Delhi n finally surrendered by way of resigning on health grounds.

However, it is said that Maken’s resignation was also the result of his unilateral decision of not favouring any political alignment or patch up with AAP whereas the present incumbent Shiela Dikshit is in favor of it.

Keeping in view the formation of the grand alliance at the national level keeping non BJP opposition parties like AAP in good humour is extremely necessary.

Moreover in the previous assembly election of Delhi in 2014 the combined vote percentage of AAP n Congress was 48% ( AAP 33% n Congress 15%) whereas the entire vote bank of BJP remained intact to 46% despite losing to AAP.

Since the AAP is a ruling party in Delhi there is always scope for anti incumbency. The possibilities of number of seats won last time as well as the vote percentage may therefore come down.

As such the electoral understanding between the old political foes i.e. Congress n AAP is inevitable if they really want to defeat the BJP , the common enemy of both the parties not only in Delhi but also at the national level.

Meanwhile AAP has already started its election preparations in Delhi and Arvind Kejrival is still adamant thus opposing the Congress asking its workers to oppose Congress Party tooth n nail perhaps to maintain pressure tactic over Congress to bargain maximum sests in the Delhi parliamentary elections. Political analysts say that the political seat sharing alliance between AAP n Congress is acutely necessary if they really wanted to defest their common political foe BJP in Delhi. What’s your take friends?

It may be recalled that Shiela’s immense political acumen and organisational n administrative dexterity has resulted in keeping the BJP at bay in Delhi politics for 15 long years despite the BJP having a traditional stronghold in Delhi’s politics since 1998. As the chief minister of Delhi she gave a new face lift to Delhi in terms of tremendous infrastructural development like building flyovers, successfully organising the Common Wealth Games n giving relief to the people of the lower ebb of the society through various welfare measures but the corruption in Common Wealth games n the cummulative effect of the central corruption let loose by the then ruling Congress party pit an adverse impact on her winning chances for her for the fourth time with anti incumbency at its peak. She herself lost to Arvind Kejrival from Gole Market n the Congress could’nt bag a single MLA seat out of total 70 under her leadership in the 2014 state elections from Delhi.

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PAHARI SOULS accord mesmerising musical tributes to singing legend of Uttarakhand late Chandra Singh Rahi on his 3rd Death Anniversary

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It was indeed an evening with nostalgic memoirs of songs sung and written by none other than legendary maestro late Chander Singh Rahi. As songs penned by him resonated the amphitheatre, at India Habitat Centre, the musical ambience so created by PAHARI SOULS percolated mesmerising droplets on the audience ; the audience remained glued to their seats despite the chilly air breezing past through the glittering theatre.

As songs blended with classical and folksy touch and scripted in Garhwali and Kumaoni language rented the air, the audience, it seemed, were not satiated and wanted rendition of more of his songs.

The evening descended into lull silence of midnight. But the audience were not to give up. It seemed as if they had already braced themselves for the occasion.

The ocassion was to pay tribute to the legendary singer, lyricist n the preserver of the local language n folk culture late Chandra Singh Rahi on his third death anniversary.

Prominent amongst those who enthralled the audience by their meodious singing were the budding promenent female singer Neha Khankhriyal, Rahiji’s talented son n the creater of Pahari souls Rakesh Bharadwaj, young maestro Rohit Chouhan, Naresh Bisht, music legend Pancham Da’s desciple n renowned singer Ramesh Nautiyal, Mohit Dabral, singing legends of Uttarakhand Heera Singh Rana n Rekha Dhasmana, late Chandra Singh Rahi’s brother Rangeela n several other.

Several eminent singing n literary personalities of Uttarakhand were also felicitated on this ocassion particularly Hira Singh Rana, Rekha Dhasmana Uniyal, Mohit Dabral, Mr. Panwar and Netra Singh Aswal etc with iconic maestro Chandra Singh Rahi Sammaan. The event was organised by Pahari Soul led by late Rahi’s son Rakesh Bharadwaj.

The mesmerising musical evening was anchored by TV actor OP Dimri.

 

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Uttarakhand minister Subodh operated in AIIMS, Delhi. Recuperating post surgery.

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Chief Minister Uttarakhand Trivendra Rawat at AIIMS private ward talking to ailing Subodh Uniyal, minister Agriculture Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand’s agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal has been addmitted in All India Institute of Mdical Sciences, New Delhi since the last three days.

Uniyal was was addmitted in AIIMS with an ailment of Hernia. He was operated on 9th January. Though the surgery was successful but post operation his blood pressure came down to 40 and was revived thereafter after the best efforts of the doctor.

Now he is under the regular monitoring of the specialists in the ICU in the private ward of All India Institute of Medical Sciences and his health condition is stated to be stable.

The Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat visited AIIMS and stayed with ailing minister for fifteen minutes enquiring about his well being.

Several other politicians n his friends visited him at AIIMS to know about his health condition.

The old friends of Subodh Uniyal, Surya Kant Dhasmana, Vice President of Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee and the president of Uttarakhand Journalists Forum Sunil Negi, senior advocate Balbir Luthiyagi, Rakesh Dhasmana and others also visited him n wished him speedy recovery.

Keeping in view the risk of infection observing increasing visits by the ailing minister’s well wishers, the doctors have shifted him in the ICU under regular medical monitoring restraining visits of his accquaintainces.

Uniyal will be in the hospital for couple of days more till he is fully recovered.

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Doyen of environmental protection globally famous, Padma Vibhushan Bahuguna turns 92 today

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world famous Chipko leader Sunder Lal Bahuguna

Today is the 92nd Birthday of eminent environmentalist of world fame Sunderlal Bahuguna. While wishing the living legend all the very best n good luck for his long life , I m re publishing here the interview taken by me at his Dehradun residence about three years ago. It was indeed a great privilege to have got an opportunity to interview him. Hope you will go through n assess the interaction for yourself:

Interview of Sunder lal Bahuguna,
by SUNIL NEGI

Having completed 88 years of his struggleful life, a living legend and an institution in himself, Sunderlal Bahuguna is widely known as a Chipko leader of international fame. Recipient of many coveted honours for environment, ecological conservation n for preserving the forests of Uttarakhand Himalayas viz. Padmavibhushan, Padmashree, Jamunalal bajaj and prestigious international Right Livelyhood Awards, Sunderlal Bahuguna undertook 74 days of incessant hunger strike against Tehri dam during the eighties. Sunil Negi, a freelance journalist visited him at Dehradun and interviewed him in detail. Here are some excerpts of the interview.

Question: Sir, you‘ve just completed the protracted 88 challenging years of your life last month. You’ve almost given more than 7 decades of your pivotal life to environment conservation, against rampant deforestation and social service as a Gandhi an. How does u feel now?

As you know, having been on the 89th year of my life I am not keeping a good health. I am bed ridden most of the time. I am really grateful and rather thankful to my better half Vimlaji for looking after me entirely and taking care of my health very minutely. This is how I am able to push my immortality further ahead. However my son in law is also a senior doctor under whose able and experienced medical supervision and monitoring I am alive. I have been given to understand by the cardiologists that two of my heart’s arteries are blocked but due to being too old, surgery can’t be conducted. I am therefore moving ahead quite cautiously. Never mind, one has to leave this materialistic world one day. But till one is alive one should always try hard to live for the society, environment, ecology and peoples’ welfare. Even today I am deeply bothered and concerned about the environmental health of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand and its people. I regret to say that even after Uttarakhand gaining its separate existence 15 years’ ago , has not lived up truly, to the peoples’ expectations. The very concept for which Uttrakhand has been formed has been badly defeated despite 46 movement activists sacrificing their precious lives. The successive governments, I think eight in numbers, during the last 15 years , have proved to be completely futile as during this period more than 30 lakh people have migrated to cities, towns and metropolis of the country for want of better job and health avenues. What a tragedy? Had the governments of the state been genuinely concerned about people’s problems related to the social, economical, industrial, cultural, health and educational aspects, the exodus of the youth and the local populace would not have been so tremendous. Isn’t is shocking that in merely one and a half decade just more than a double digit figure( of people ) have migrated outside Uttarakhand as compared to the total influx during the last 5 decades prior to granting of separate Uttrakhand status.

Question: But the government of Uttarakhand had always been boasting of extraordinary growth rate and sufficient per capita income as compared to other states. What’s your take on this?

This is absurd and ridiculous. I have always been saying for years together and it has finally been substantiated by this mass scale exodus of youths to plains from UK and i.e. the youth and the water of Uttarakhand Himalayas has never been of any use for Uttarakhand.(Pahadon ki jawani aur paani kabhi bhi pahadon ke kaam nahi aaya).The way the water of the Ganges and its tributaries emanating(starting) from Uttarkhand Himalayas has been exploited by the outsiders either for power and irrigation through large scale dams or for other purposes, similarly the youths of Uttarakhand after migrating to cities and metropolis are of no use to the hills. This is something very unfortunate. You will be astonished and shocked to learn that during the 1960s when Dr. Longanathan had conducted the interstate and inter district economic survey in India, Tehri Garhwal was accounted for as the one of the most poorest districts’ with its per capita income the lowest in whole of India whereas the district of Kumaon division, Almora was the second most poorest in the country. And unfortunately even today, despite of the government’s tall claims of revolutionary change in terms of development and per capita income and growth, in my personal opinion the hills of Uttarakhand are still backward and poor as far as the question of unemployment, poor health services and industrialisation is concerned. It’s only because of the lack of total absence of decentralised socio-economic and industrial development and the anti people policies of the current and the successive state governments that Uttarakhand is still a number one state in India in terms of massive exodus of youths to the cities with villages becoming empty day by day and the agricultural fields not prone to KHETI or crop cultivation. During the ancient days the main source of income of the hill people was through spiritual tourism. Now, since roads have been constructed this very source of income of the local hill populace has also been finished. It sounds extremely surprising that in Uttarakhand the land use per human is comparatively much more but poverty is still prevalent in the interior villages, as usual. Our economic sources have been killed. The state’s economic status is in doldrums despite the government’s tall claims of economic prosperity. The hill of Uttarakhand had been merely dependent on the money order economy since ages and the same trend is still continuing as majority of the youths of the state have migrated to cities for jobs. This a very disturbing trend. If the government of the day would not reform itself and work on decentralised economic development right up to the village level I am afraid in the near future the villages will be totally bereft of people and the very purpose for which the Uttrakhand state came into very existence would be actually defeated.

Question: Being a seasoned environmentalist and a Gandhian what is the actual remedy to this very problem?

I personally think that the spate of huge exodus (migration) to the plains is extremely dangerous form the social, economic, cultural and security points of view of Uttarakhand. And I keep the security aspect on the top. It’s a universal fact that expansionist China considers India as its enemy number one, though number of mutual visits by the respective heads of the states of both the countries is being undertaken for normalisation of the relations. Everybody know how China backstabbed us in 1962 after giving the slogan of Hindi Cheeni Bhai Bhai. Today China is actively constructing its Army bases in neighbouring Nepal. It has even laid down its hi tech railway lines and roads in close proximity to our borders with Nepal playing a major role in helping them. Even the Nepalese population is widespread in various blocks, districts and cities of Uttarakhand. China is absolutely readying itself to capture, militarily our border areas and villages by bringing the local Nepalese people into confidence. Moreover, in view of our border villages being emptied day by day by the local populace in view of dearth of employment and other opportunities our already fragile borders are in grave danger. It’s only because of this major lacunae I had always been appealing to the central government to formulate a concrete Hiamalayan policy for all the Himalayan states of the country so as to enable not only the solid conservation of the environment of the Himalayas but also to safeguard the borders of the Himalayan states from the possible Chinese armed intrusion inside our already porous borders. Apart from this, we will also have to change the land use of the hills including the phased wise clearance of the pine trees from the higher altitudes of the hilly terrains which are direct threat to our agricultural and mountainous lands(slopes) making them totally barren and not prone to cultivation any further. The pine trees make the soil fully acetic and therefore impotent in terms of crops cultivation. All these measures would have to be inculcated in the Himalayan Policy structure of the government if we actually y want our hills, Himalayan states and Himalayas to be protected from future onslaughts of the nature and our neighbouring China. In addition to this the government is hell bent upon constructing bigger dams in the Himalayan states which are completely anti environment, anti rivers, anti people and anti development. In nutshell I would say that formulation of a concrete Himalayan policy with the above cited points and change of land use of Uttarakhand hills compounded with small and run of the river hydropower projects n repatriation of people from cities to hills is the only effective alternative that can save Uttarakhand from further destruction and deaths.

Question: Recently, the government of Uttarakhand had in principle agreed to your proposal that the pine trees situated at high altitudes of the mountains will be abruptly cut in a phased manner, under a special policy to rid the hills of this dangerous species, which is entirely harmful . Does it not amount to fulfilling of one of your major long pending demands? Are u satisfied now?

Had it been so easy and convenient, I think the previous governments would have conveniently made the Uttarakhand hills bereft of these pine trees. Making hills bereft of pine trees is one thing but planning multiple species of productive and environmentally friendly tree in large numbers alternatively to substantiate for the losses of pine is another important aspect of the problem. You see, you can’t make the forests bald at a single go without arranging for planting of huge number of good species on the high altitude terrains. If the mountainous terrains are made completely bereft of pine trees in a single go or even in phased manner the hills will become completely bald and there will be imminent danger of earthquakes, floods, landslides, natural catastrophes and other sort of calamities. The roots of the trees not only keep the soil together but also stop the floods and avoids huge landslides are the order of the day in the Uttarakhand Hills. Not only this but the ­ incessant and massive cutting of pine trees will apart from creating environmental and ecological havoc also create a new breed of timber mafia who under the guise of making huge profits will also cut other useful species of productive and environment friendly trees. Uttarakhand is unfortunately already in the grip of such mafias who are amassing huge wealth in collaboration with politicians by way of illegal mining in various parts of the state as a result of which the already fragile environment of Uttarakhand is at stake and giving birth to natural calamities of gigantic proportions.

Question: You had always been concerned for the environmental conservation and deforestation of the Hills and had been on 74 days hunger strike against Tehri dam. How do u look at the catastrophic disaster of Kedar Valley that happened in June 2013. Can we avert such calamities in the near future?

Nobody can ever control the catastrophic disasters nor can we predict it on definite basis as to when exactly the calamity arrives. Yes we do can counter it to a great extent. Today unfortunately, under the guise of revolutionary scientific developments and the blind uncontrolled race of technological advancements, the whole world is under the grip of global warming created by huge green house emissions. A vast population of India and other countries of the world are suffering from various respiratory disorders and diseases like asthma, of heart and lungs including contagious abnormalities. This dangerous trend of global warming has not only increased the mortality rate world over but has also resulting in speedy melting of the Himalayan glaciers which are highly dangerous to the global civilization’s existence. The gigantic Himalayan catastrophe of 2013 which I consider purely a manmade one is merely an indication of future disasters in the offing measuring as just a tip of an iceberg. Whenever the humanity has played with the nature under the guise of anti environmental scientific developments or advancements, the nature has slapped humanity and governments with massive ecological disasters like that of Kedar valley one that happened in June 2013.Uttarakhand Himalaya is considered to be an abode of Gods where spiritual and cultural tourism would have been majorly encouraged but unfortunately the unholy nexus of the capitalists, builders, contractor, politicians and corrupt bureaucracy has by way of building huge dams, buildings, luxury hotels, buildings for commercial gains and huge structures alongside the rivers have literally played havoc with our already fragile environment, hills, rivers and the local populace thus inviting such huge calamities taking the toll of thousands and leading to colossal loss to public exchequer. We shouldn’t forget that huge dams not only control the smooth flow of rivers, but also lead to massive landslides and therefore in return to flash floods. The explosions at dam sites lead to landslides and make our hills hollow and vibratory from inside. Lots of deforestation takes place. Mountains become bereft of plants, trees and green vegetation. And when earthquake occur the hollow and weak hills in the form of huge landslides including building come down like the pack of cards. The tons of silt coming out of the tunnels of dams fall straightaway in the rivers making them narrow and hugely prone to flash floods. There are umpteen other reasons that make our hills and its environment prone to such disasters and fatal consequences.

Question: lst query. How do u rate the internationally famous CHIPKO MOVEMENT of which you were a very significant part. Do u think that it was a successful movement or a failure, not able to come to peoples’ expectation?

In my personal opinion and also in the opinion of environmentalists’ world over Chipko Movement was a trendsetter which mobilised a vast population of the globe towards environment conservation and against deforestation. It make people mobilised and worked as a major and most effective tool that not only made people environmentally friendly, conscious but also led to many struggles felling of trees and construction of big dams world over. I can say it did have a very strong international presence but not that much effective in India. I salute Gaura Devi who was the chief architect of this movement for her perseverance, grit , determination and dedication to this noble cause. Any movement which has with it the continuity is considered as success but in the context of this movement it definitely lacked the sequel. Had the governments strictly followed the tips of Chipko movement on toto I am sure the hills of Uttarakhand Himalayas , its environment, ecology and the conditions of its people would have improved manifold by now. My two main slogans to preserve the ecology of the hills and improve the lot of the people were” Dhaar Einch Paani meaning bring the water through the hydraulic system or other means on the hill tops” ar Dhaal par taal meaning plant productive trees and fruit plants on the slopes of these hills in huge numbers leading to all round prosperity, progress and economic viability of the hills, its environment and the people. That’s it.

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