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Uttarakhand is in the news again these days for four major reasons. One, the movement for the new capital of the state, Gairsain which gained tremendous momentum due to widespread protest demonstrations and hunger strike protests in various parts of Uttarakhand acknowledging extensive media coverage. Second, the visit of the nationally acclaimed crusader against corruption Anna Hazare. Third, the most sensitive issue of Pancheshwar Dam likely to be built over the Saryu and Mahakali rivers in Champavat district posing grave danger to more then 30 thousands families of the three districts of Uttatakhand including 130 villages. Fourth, the issue of collection of Funds of Rs 25 crores on the directives of the national BJP chief Amit Shah creating ripples and controversy in the political corridors of Dehradun and fifth, the rumours regarding the possible change of state chief minister.

To be very frank though this himalayan state does not hold much political significance in the central politics, particularly in the making or dethroning of the union government as it gives only five Lok Sabha MP’s to the parliament but it has always been at the centre of controversy in terms of corruption, change of 8 chief ministers in just 18 years and several other reasons whereas a small state like Himachal had been governed by merely 5/ 6 CMs since attaining statehood during the protracted tenure of 57 years.

What a difference of political character between both the Himalayan states. Well, the issue of Gairsain is still hot and the government of the day has relented to some extent by agreeing to hold the budget session in Gairsain in order to appease and asuage the feelings of the movement activists. Anna has also made his mark by holding few well attended rallies in Garhwal, Srinagar and mobilising people in favor of the new capital.

Pancheshwar issue being the central subject is being taken care by the union government with the state BJP government trying to work on the better compensation formula to appease the affected families and village population. The issue of 25 crore fund raising has also not gained much momentum despite little coverage in print and electronic media.

But it seems that the most controvertial and sensitive matter of the possible change in state leadership is spreading like a wild fire though there is no definite or authentic feedback on this pivotal issue except rumor mongering and speculations by the political analysts.

Even social networking site like facebook and several newspapers and electronic channels are carrying stories about the possible change in leadership with Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank as a prospective alternative. While as of now, I personally deny this speculation as merely a cooked up story but am also of the opinion that nothing is impossible in politics.

The present CM incumbent Triverndra Singh Rawat is considered to be the first hand most reliable and trusted man of national party chief Amit Shah and a trusted RSSite. Apart from this, he is trying his best to do whatever he can in a phased manner for the development of the state say his ardent followers. He’d satisfied the high command by collecting the requisite fund for the party to the tune of 25 crores in record time and had also been visiting Delhi very often to keep the central leadership happy and in good humour. Then what’s the problem.

The problem actually is that there are many over ambitious leaders in UK BJP who are still not able to tolerate the upgradation of their junior on the top slot of the state. These detractors are Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat, Vijay Bahuguna, Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and even Bhagat Singh Koshiyari including Major General Khanduri.

It is being said that since Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat and Vijay Bahuguna are old Congressmen and do not fit in the trusted catagory of being CM the choice is non other then former CM and Haridwar MP Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. As far as Koshiyari and Khanduri are concerned they have already crossed 75 years of age and are considered to be misfit for being the state’s CM.

Moreover, if the news making the rounds of the political corridors in Delhi and Dehradun are to be believed the recent meeting called by Dr Nishank at his Dehradun house had good number of BJP MLAs present who pledged to support him in the event of the prospective change in leadership in the state.

Meanwhile, one of the strong and powerful MLA earlier in Congress, a protege of former cm Vijay bahuguna from Mangalore and now in BJP has already met Amit Shah in Delhi and presented him a memorandum demanding immediate change in the state leadership possibly favoring Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank.

Though nothing concrete can be predicted as of now but one thing is for sure that a spark of change has started spreading giving a clear signal that some development of a new kind may perhaps take shape in the coming future in the himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

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By withdrawing support from PDP in Kashmir BJP wants to correct its past blunder and keep the annoying cadre happy

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The sudden withdrawal of support from the PDP government by the Bhartiya Janata Party has stunned the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti who did’nt had the inkling of doubt about such a disastrous fate of her and the party she represents till today.

Till yesterday, every thing was going normal as far as the guarantee of the safety of her political saddle was concerned.

A lady chief minister allegedly, always soft and sympathised towards the aggressive stone pelters on Indian Army Jawans and officers and even Pak sponsored terrorists having an imbalanced bent of mind, not honest as a secularist exhibited her doubtful credentials the day she chose the saffron party as her collaborator.

Similarly, always talking of abolishing article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir since ages, the saffron party which boasts itself as the party of the Hindus took no time to prove itself an opportunist when it pleasingly shook hands with Mehbooba showing no signs of any remorse till three years.

The PDP BJP government ruled the state for more than three years despite so much of criticism terming it as an opportunist and power hungry alliance by the entire opposition and the progressive media.

What did the alliance achieved during the last three years? The answer is unambiguously very ugly, traumatising, shocking and anguishing. More than five hundred casualties of Indian army troopers and officers including good number of civilians. Rape and murder of minors like Asifa and increase in consistent terror attacks. The incidents of stone pelting and killings by militants went unabated.

On the developmental front the alliance government had achieved literally nothing but only abductions and bloodsheds. If such was the deteriorating situation in the strife torn Kashmir what was the point for the BJP to have an alliance with PDF having been always soft towards stone pelters and the Pak sponsored terrorists including the separatists who are always at the mercy of the latter.

It was the BJP government of the centre who aceded to the Mehbooba’s request for ceasefire during Ramzan that lead to several deaths of our soldiers and paramilitary troopers including brutal killings of eminent journalist Shujaat Bukhari and young Armymen Aurangzeb.

Mehbooba still insisted on extending the ceasefire and was against the restoration of anti terrorist counter operation. The nation and its security comes first than anything else. The way, situation in Kashmir is going out of hand and Pak as well as the ISI sponsored terrorists killing civilians and army personels, the Indian government has no option but to retaliate and kill as much as militants they can.

But Mehbooba is still soft on them as are the separatist Hurriyats. The withdrawal of support seemed to be imminent and inevitable for the BJP.

The 2019 elections are round the corner and the union government led by prime minister Narendra Modi has come under questions after so much of casualties in J& K as well as on our borders at the behest of the Pak sponsorsed terrorists.

The saffron party which had committed a grave mistake three years ago by forging an alliance with PDP was confronting tremendous brick bats from the entire opposition as well from within the party for this most unholy alliance.

Had it not been withdrawn now it would have further suffered badly at the hands of the majority community on whose vote bank it primarily wins at the hustings, viz the Hindus.

Sources reveal that the pressure from RSS has been the main reason for the withdrawal of support from the PDP.

The maximum damage suffered by BJP due to this alliance has already been reflected in the recent losses the saffron party suffered at the hands of the majority community in various byelections where the vote of the majority community has deflected away from the BJP to a great extent compelling the party to come to the conclusion its shifting stand from Hindutva to appeasing the minorities on the lines of the progressive parties like Congress or so has cost the party quite adversely.

This withdrawal of support while on the one hand would keep the state under the governor’s rule till 2019’s national election to effectively counter terrorism and deal with Pakistan with a heavy hand, on the other hand it will also send across the message that the party has now resurrected itself from the past blunder of forging an alliance with Mufti Mehbooba n PDP which had degraded its image poitically on the national sceneraio, annoying its saffron cadre and rank and file.

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Delhi

Deputy CM Sisodia and Jain shifted to LNJP, their physical condition deteriorates.

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The health condition of the deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia and the health minister Satyendra Jain has deteriorated after their being on fast and incessant Dharna at the Lt governor’s office alongwith the Delhi CM Arvind Kejrival and state development minister Gopal Rai. Both of them have been admitted to LNJP hospital.

The Chief minister and the three Delhi ministers had been on Dharna which later on converted on hunger strike at the LG’ House’s reception for more than a week in protest against the IAS officers of NCT Delhi being on strike and not cooperating with the state government in the various developmental works by not attending the meetings convened by the ministers pertaining to the National Capital territory’s development and other significant issues.

They are also demanding that the LG should issue directives to the bureaucrats to withdraw the strike and also talk to them including clearence of the file of Delhi government’s recent proposal to deliever rations to the consumers’ doorsteps.

They are also accusing the LG of creating bottlenecks on their way in terms of delievering goods to the Delhi electorates and creating inordinate delays in implementing various projects by allegedly not signing the files sent to him.

The Lt governor who is not meeting the media , is adamant as well has however denied all the charges of AAP as frivolous and fabricated.

In the meanwhile while thousands of AAP workers and leaders including several MLAs had yesterday protested outside the prime minister’s residence demanding fulfilment of the above demands, the high court of Delhi has today reprimanded the Delhi CM and three ministers’ questioning their right to stage a Dharna without seeking any prior permission and asking them whether it was the unanimous decision of the state cabinet.

The court has asked how can they stage a Dharna in LG’s house without seeking the official permission and the LG’s consent.

This is a unique example of the confrontationist central state relations in the context of Delhi, where the chief minister and half of his cabinet goes on Dharna at the Lt governors’ office tesulting in the state machinery going paralysed for several days.

On 17th June the IAS officers of AGMUT cadre addressed a press conference at the Press Club of India and denied that they are on strike claiming publicly that they are working on all days clearing files as usual and doing their job sincerely.

Therefore, the statement of Delhi CM is wrong and unbelievable. They even claimed that the officers have been working on off days as well.

Meanwhile while appealing to the civil servants of Delhi Kejrival tried to be diplomatic saying that they are just like our family and assured them of all possible safety and security if they resume their duties and coperate with the ministers in carrying out various developmental works.

Political analysts say that the state elections are to be held in the beginning of 2020 and AAP government in Delhi has again adopted the posture of confrontation with the union BJP led NDA government as it did few years ago after assuming power in Delhi.

In the absense of various developmental works the AAP government wants to give an impression that the BJP government and its nominee LG Anil Baijal is pre strategically creating hurdles on their way and not allowing their government to carry out various developmental works.

It strategically wants to put the onus of the lack of development on the centre ruled by the BJP so as to send a message across that while AAP government wants to carry out the various progressive initiatives for the welfare and well being of the Delhi electorates, its primarily the BJP led union govt that’s not allowing them to do so.

However, in the health, education, electricity, water and food and civil supplies sector the Arvind Kejrival government has done appreciably well and is being lauded by the people living in the lower echelons of the society that includes people of JJ clusters, unauthorised colonies, minority sections, youths and the traditional Congress vote bank.

Though in usual cases there is always an anti incumbency factor against the ruling governments in states as well as the centre but in AAP’S CASE it may not work fully as the Congress Party could not make much dent into the AAP’S vote bank which was primarily its own vote earlier.
The BJP’s vote bank however seems to be intact in Delhi say the political analysts.

While Arvind Kejrival and AAP has been able to successfully generate great momentum in their movement against the BJP led NDA government at the centre through the current move, incidents of demonstrations against its government and Jal Board in various localities of Delhi including situations of power cuts due to the hot summer have also contributed in bringing its reputation down in the middle and lower middle classes to some extent.

The support of four CM’s of the opposition ruled states viz. Mamta Banerjee of Bengal, Pinarayi Vijayan of Kerala, Rao of Andhra Pradesh and Kumaraswamy of Karnataka including Shiv sena of Maharashtra has added a new dimension to the political image of AAP and its Supremo Arvind Kejrival in the context of his elevation in the national political scenerio.

However, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi took pot shots against both BJP and AAP and crticized PM Modi as well as Delhi CM Kejriwal forgetting that AAP is an important partner in the 2019 anti BJP coalition alongwith other parties. He tweeted:
Delhi CM, sitting in Dharna at LG office.
BJP sitting in Dharna at CM residence.
Delhi bureaucrats addressing press conferences.
PM turns a blind eye to the anarchy; rather nudges chaos & disorder.
People of Delhi are the victims, as this drama plays out. Sounds interesting.

There are also reports that highly annoyed Delhi LG who is the nominee of the BJP led centre and is strictly anti AAP may go for some very harsh decision against AAP and its government in the near future. But its still a guess till it really comes through ? What’s your take friends?

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Education

Several organisations unite to discuss on clean environment. Ecological dialogue of GFI was a grand success.

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Several organisations of Uttarakhand and enlightened individuals gathered together enthusiastically and discussed about the increasing pollution and subsequent danger to the human lives at Chandigarh on 17th afternoon for three hours incessantly and came to a conclusion that such significant interactive sessions should be continued in future as well to consistently awaken the people at large about out deteriorating ecology and ways and means to get out of the increasing environmental pollution that has made our lives literally hell in almost every, city, town and the metropolices of our country now extending its ugly influence in villages and rural areas of the contry too, which once used to be our lungs giving us fresh Oxygen in abundance and making our lives healthy, strong and sturdy.

But today, we have been surrounded by polluted environment having several hundred percent increase in SPM in the air and rivers slowly and steadily converting into drains full of pollutants, plastics, chemicals and poision of factories and tanneries. Polluted Ganges and its entire tributaries like Yamuna and several other rivers are the best examples exhibiting these disturbing trends, where, despite the government and World bank’s wasting hundreds of thousands of crores since several years the situation is still to square one.

The mountains are burning. Our flora and fauna are on the extinction and huge hydropower projects still displacing people and taking their tolls compounded with destroying and disturbing the ecology of the Himalayan regions and the rural villages compelling the wild life to attack the human beings and making them, their regular preys.

The increasing use of plastics, globally, has vitiated the environment badly and if the use of plastic is continued unabatedly the time is not far when our oceans wull assume the shape of plastic mountains. A single plastic bottle and its lid takes 300 and 500 years respectively, to perish. Such is the ugly ill affect of the use of plastics which should be given up using other alternatives that are soluble in water and easily perishable like paper bags etc.

The climate change have also changed the pattern and cycle of monsoon, summer, springs and winter seasons thus throwing hazardous influence on the peoples’ health and the flora and fauna of the country.

Under the guise of revolutionery development our metropolises, cities and towns are converting into the jungles of concretes with millions n millions of cemented hi tech flats coming up but completely devoid of trees and greeneries.

The emissions of gases from the billions of air conditioners, fuels, cars, trucks and dust pollution from the construction activites have added to the already deepening environmental crisis in the offing.

The himalayan glaciers are melting with a rapid speed and have already shifted 48 klms backwards due to increasing global warming as a result of rampant green house emisions worldwide with the developed countries imposing their muscular and money oriented dominance on the developing countries, not to speak against them.

The discussion titled ” ECOLOGICAL DIALOGUE ” was quite successful as journalists, social activists, Retired Army Officers, academicians and theatre activists expressed their views and opinions in details and urged for more such healthy interactive debates on environment. Prominent amongst those who spoke on the ocassion were sr Journalists Suresh Nautiyal, Sunil Negi, Ishwar Chand Dhyani and Mr. Gulati of The Tribune, Chr, Dr. Vinod Nautiyal, Intl green activist, Colonel Parmar, Major Onkar Uttarakhandi, Bhagwan Chand, Mr. Aswal, Sundliji and others.

Prior to the event 5 Neem saplings were planted at the Tribune park in Chandigarh. The host was Green Forum India.
Sunil Negi, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum

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