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After a hectic campaigning, polling and finally counting on 25th of November the results of the prestigious press club of India elections have been declared. The panel of Gautam Lahiri, Manoranjan Bharti, Vinay Kumar, Sanjay Singh and Mahua defeated their nearest rival and stood victorious with a resounding majority.

The president of the panel re elected for the second time with his entire team got record number of 1108 votes , literally defeating the rival panel of Sen, Gandhi and Faridi on all seats except one of the managing committee. This is definitely the historic victory of the sitting panel of PCI which has been continuously winning since 2010 having made revolutionary changes in the inner decor of the club in terms of its complete facelift to give it a magnificient ambience to the satisfaction of the club members and their families who often visit here for family get togethers as well.

Though there are more than 8 thousand members of the club but the polling was number was 1721 with two votes going invalid. This time about 250 more members voted compared to the previous years’ election. Though there were charges and counter charges against each other with the rival panel working hard on anti establishment theme, it seems that despite their best efforts the rival team could’nt make it this time as well, the reason being the PCI members have voted for the development and  constructive work having been done by the Gautam Lahiri Panel the previous year including holding protest demonstrations to demand justice for the scribes late Gauri Lankesh and Shantanu Bhowmik killed despicably while performing their journalistic duties.

The elections were held for the posts of President, Vice President, Secretary General, joint secretary, treasurer and 16 members of the managing committee of the Press Club if India. The current panel won on all seats massively with a single seat of managing committee going to the rival faction. Senior journalist Umakant Lakhera, Vijay Shanker Chaturvedi both members of the MC got good number of votes viz. 806 and 737 etc while the treasurer Mahua, a women candidate for treasurer’s post made a record of sort of receiving highest number of votes i.e. 1016 more or less at par with the president Gautam Lahri who secured more than 1100 votes.

The counting for votes started at 12 in the afternoon on 25th Nov and the results were declared at 3.00 AM 26th November. Thank God its finally over in a cordial manner. Congrats to the new team and to the defeated team as well with a message to them that it’s never the end. It’s always the next time. The elections were ably conducted by senior PCI member MMC Sharma and his team of efficient colleagues.

It may be recalled that the idea of Press Club of India was first mted in the year 1930 by the then veteran journalist Durga Dass who was with the Associated Press but the club actually came into existence in 1957. He once visited England and was impressed by the press club of England. After coming back he worked on the idea to set a press club of India and finally it came into existence. Since then the club is functioning from the same building situated at Raisina Road. But since the building once the mess/ club of British officers, prior to its handing over to the PCI management more than 60 years ago is now too short in a space for PCI having the membership of more than 8 thousand scribes. The building has been included in archives and therefore no additions can be made in the building’s original structure. However, PCI has been allotted a new bigger space in front of Shastri Bhawan, Dr Rajendra Prasad Road and technical formalities are being completed to take over the charge of the plot before starting the construction work , though it’ll still take years, I believe. Various prime ministers, iconic personalities, film stars and politicians of eminence have visited the club and held their press conferences from time to time and the trend is still continuing. Majority of the press club members are of the opinion that it should come out of the label of being just a club for drink and dine purposes but should rather make it a forum for healthy debates, discussions and interactions on issues of national significance maintaining the highest standards of journalistic ethics and values. They say that the club should in essence represent its full indpendence, ethics, principles and morals and should continue fighting for the right of free, fair and fearless journalism and a forum to express fearless views irrespective of any pressure or subjugation either from the authorities concerned or any other channel.

SUNIL NEGI

 

 

 

 

 

Delhi

DELHI REELING UNDER DRINKING WATER CRISIS ! CONGRESS PROTESTS IN VARIOUS DELHI LOCALITIES

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As the increasing temperature having reached 44 degree celcius in Delhi yesterday and sun over the earth’s equater this summer, the capital of India, Delhi is confronted with acute water shortage in various parts of Delhi, compelling Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee volunteers under the leadership of Ajay Maken protest in different areas denouncing the AAP government for its inefficiency and ignorance in countering the water shortage problem and accused the Delhi Jal Board authorities of allegedly selling water tankers meant to be supplied to Delhi localities ,govt and private colonies and resettlement colonies of Delhi in league with the tanker mafia to five star hotels and the rich living in farm houses, thus minting huge profits.

The inhabitants of the resettlement and unauthorised colonies, the peoole of JJ clusters and even residents of government colonies are the worst sufferer during the peak Summer season in May and June.

Delhi has a population of about 1.50 crores and 60 percent of the population lives in resettlement and unauthorised colonies.

This vast chunk of this population either banks on submersibles by retrieving the under ground water or depend on water supplied through private or Delhi Jal Board tankers as regular pipelines of Delhi Jal Board have not been laid in majority ofthe colonies.

There is a huge tanker mafia active in Delhi Jal Board says Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken who siphons off the major share of the Delhi people by arbitrarily and cladestinely supplying it to Five and three star Hotels, high profile restaurants and farm houses against gigantic profits.

Water shortage in Delhi is increasing year after year as the the population of the capital has increased manifold. The shortage of rains, non existent of water conservation techniques to conserve rain water and fastly depleting underground water reserves in Delhi has further added to the wows of the over populated Delhi.

Currently Haryana and to some extent Uttarakhand is quenching the thirst of Delhites and the purification of water through affluent treatment plants of several Delhi drains and badly polluted Yamuna contributing further to cope with the situation additionally.

It may be recalled that Delhi being the capital requires lot of water in contruction activities and other related works like gardening, washing cars, and for general consumption.

The rich and elites have illegally and arbitrarily dug tubewells inside their vicinity in farm houses and private localities giving rebuff to the laws and restriction norms of the Central Ground Water Commission compounded with hundreds of thousands of new borings coming up every year in Delhi, thus resulting in massive depletion of ground water level.

If this would be the spate of retrieving water from the underground sources the time is not far when the Delhites will acutely suffer for want of drinking water.

Heavy and credible checks on the right usage of water and its conservation during rainy seasons by the government agencies is the mandatory need of the hour. What’s your take friends?

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Chennai

Steep hike in petrol prices after Karnataka elections!

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The increasing rise in the international price of crude reaching 80 USD per dollar is bound to affect the Indian economy and simultaneously rise in inflation. It is said that one of the significant reasons for this enhancement is due to the American stand towards the Iranian Nucleur policy threatening sanctions and reversing the stand taken by his predeccesor Barak Obama. However China and India, the largest oil importers from Iran and Saudi Arab have not supported the US stand with regard to Iran and would continue to import crude oil from the Islamic nation keeping in view India’s dire need for oil.

But if we look at the domestic front, it’s an unambiguous fact that when the government of BJP led NDA came to power at the centre, the international crude price that was over 115 USD per barrel has steadily come down to 30 n 35 USD per barrel but there had been consistent rise in the prices of the petro products like LPG, Petrol and Diesal and if we believe in the statement of the former finance minister of India, Yashwant Sinha, the prices of Petroleum products were raised nine times during the last four years under the current regime.

It may be recalled that when Dr. Manmohan Singh was the Prime minister prior to the BJP led NDA assuming power at the centre, the per litre petrol price was Rs 71 and then the international crude oil was 110 or 115 USD per barrel but today the international crude price is 80 dollars per barrel and the prce of petrol per barrel is more than that i.e. over 80 rupees, despite the fact that the international crude price is 35 US dollar less per barrel that what it was during the Congress regime.

This means that when the crude price was 30 to 35 USD per barrel till the current rate of 80 USD the price rise of Diesal, Petrol and LPG had been consistently being enhanced as according to Yashwant Sinha, the strongest critic of the the BJP led NDA and former BJPite, the saffron party n its government have been incessantly burdening the people by way of imposing heavy taxes on petro products to cover its national fiscal deficit but not thinking of providing relief to the countrymen.

In an exclusive interview given to the senior anchor and journalist Karan Thaper of The Wire, Prime minister Narendra Modi’s bete noire who was till a few months back in BJP and minister for Finance and external affairs in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, Yashwant Sinha blamed the PM of incurring 4 thousand crores in his publicity from the public exchequer, in the name of various achievements but the ground reality reflects that more of the publicity had been done for personal image building than actually acknowledging concrete achievements on various fronts.

He catagorically said that burdening people of the country by applying maximum tax on petro products nine times during the BJP NDA rule is like betraying the peoples’ trust who’d voted the government of the saffron party with a resounding majority at the centre as well as 21 states of the country.

Had the government been caring for the people of the country it could have conveniently withdrawn heavy taxes on petro products thus easing the inflationery pressures on the essential commodities whose prices are skyrocketting these days.

It may be recalled that the rise in prices of petrol, diesal and consumer gas leads to the enhancement in the rates and tarrif of transport further adding in the increase in the inflation of food products, steel, building material, vegetables, food grains and literally everything.

There have been constant demand from the trading community and the people of the country to bring Petroleum products under the jurisdiction of GST so that its prices could be lowered and people of the country relieved of the burden of high petro products’ prices but all in vain.

After the demonetisation, the way the government and those at the helm had assured the electorates of the country that not only would the financial coffers of the state exchequer would be over filled with unearthed black money but the countrymen would also be getting tremendous employment, and cheaper goods whether they are eatables, vegetables, food grains or education but on the contrary unfortunately lakhs of small medium businesses were shut down but hundreds of thousands of peoole of the lower strata of the society and those hailing from.the middle and lower middle class were contrained to loose their jobs, skilled as well as unskilled.

The government has received over 14 lakh 70 thousand crores rupees as recovery in banks but the prices of essential commodities, petro products are still touching skies and employment opportunities are negligible with people of the lowest strata of the society groaning in pain for want of concessions in every sector, may it be on employment front, price rise front, cheaper education front, standard of living front, business front, housing front, agricultural, the health front or women safety front. The agrarian crisis and farmers suicides are still on the rise with little or no ray of hope for credible relief in the offing. Whats your take friend?

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Delhi

Talks with polit bureau members of Naxalites possible, says Chattisgarh CM Raman Singh

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The gruesome shocking incident of the despicable assasination of 7 para military jawans by the Naxalites through clandestinely planting the Improvished Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the Cholnar, Dantewada area of Chattisgarh has sent shock waves across the country and put a huge question mark on the credibility of the agencies concerned on not being able to control the increasing fatal attacks of the Naxalites on the innocent tribals as well as the paramilitary jawans involved in the widespread combing operations and counter terror operations in various parts of the naxal infested areas and states of the country.

This is not the first incident of the brutal killings of the innocent para military jawans and troopers who are far far away from their families and doing their duties under extremely compelling and unpredictable circumstances thus always risking their lives.

The shocking incident of gunning down of 79 para military jawans years’ ago in Dantewada, followed by the wiping out of some politicians including scores of other incidents happening in several other naxal infested states have finally made people of the country think that the political leadership of the state of Chattisgarh under the chief ministership of Dr. Raman Singh has broadly failed to ably tackle and counter this menace.

Our home minister of India Raj Nath Singh has just a few days ago said in AAP KI ADALAT programme, anchored by sr. journalist Rajat Sharma that the union government has tackled the naxal problem very efficiently but just after four days of his statement this shocking incident of 7 despicable death of our troopers have taken place literally negating his assurance on peoples’ safety in the naxal infested areas of the country.

Its not that that our government and various agencies involved in anti naxal operations are not serious on this count. They are doing their job most efficiently but the naxalites being very well versed with the geography and inner details of the naxal infested areas are still too ahead than the anti naxal agencies and the paramilitary forces involved in the job.

The union government has on a vast scale formed the anti naxal cobra force with a heavy budget crossing thousands of crores limit and just today the home minister Rajnath Singh has attended a programme commissioning the BASTARIA BATTALION OF CRPF formed with more than 534 tribal youths from Chattisgarh.

According to a news in Hindu the squad has 33% representation of women with 189 women constables.

The new battallion has been numbered 241. This battalion will soon be deployed in the worst naxal affected areas of Bijapur, Dantewada and Sukma.

These naxal infested areas have witnessed good nunber of naxal attacks and subsequent casualties. These local recruits have been meticulously trained in jungle warfare, combating naxals under adverse circumstances, unarmed combat, reading maps and all types of warfare.

The chief minister of Chattisgarh Raman Singh has strongly condemned this cowardice incident and so has the home minister and have expressed their desire for talks with the senior leaders of naxalites, preferably their polit bureau members than the representatives of the local fringe groups.

The increasing naxal attacks and subsequent fatalities of our jawans and the innocent tribal population should at least now enthuse the union and state governments to take this issue on a war footing.

While the over all development and enhancement in the socio economic status of the local tribal populace by giving them better avenues of jobs, education and advanced agricultural and health inputs will tremendously contribute in regaining their confidence in the prevailing democratic system, it will also help in bringing a good number of misguided youths under the influence and trappings of Naxalites join the democratic mainstream.

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