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Several scamsters of NH 74 Uttarakhand, fled abroad says the news pouring in
In a shocking revelation in Navoday Times, a publication of Punjab Kesari, Uttarakhand edition about twelve scamsters involved in the dubious activities of embezzlement of crores of rupees in the much hyped and serious NH 74 Highway scam worth more than three hundred crores are missing from their respective houses having locks and not even traceable in Punjab from where they actually belong.

According to the special investigating team (SIT) probing this over publicised and hyped scandal in the print and electronics media, all the twelve absconding officials must have fled abroad fearing arrest. There are indications that some powerful political lobby is behind this entire episode who must have helped them elope out of India in a systematic manner fearing further exposure, particularly the powerful ones. It may be recalled that this massive scam (NH 74) started during the previous tenure when the current government wasn’t in power and the chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat recommended for the CBI inquiry but the union minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari send a written communication to Rawat asking him withdraw his demand as the inquiry would hamper the excecution of the high way work that’s in full swing and would also degrade and degenerate the morale and working spirit of the NHAI officials.

The enquiry was therefore accorded to SIT which has so far arrested several officials involved in the scam including several SDMs. The matter acknowledged tremendous media hype with stories about the central govt not allowing the CBI enquiry. The leaking of the letter of the union Minister Gadkari written to CM asking the latter to retract from the CBI enquiry in the NH 74 Scam, created furore in the media and political circles, particularly in the BJP’s political corridors.

It may be recalled that during the tenure of the former chief minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat and even prior to him, during Vijay Bahuguna’s time, in Rudrapur, before the construction of the NH 74 the character of the land for hefty financial compensation had been clandestinely and arbitrarily changed in government records causing a huge loss to the public exchequer to the tune of more than 300 crores. This huge scandal was exposed when the election commission announced the dates of state elections 9 months ago from now. However, on the directives of the then chief secretary of Uttarakhand, the then commissioner of Kumaon Division Mr. Sainthil Pandiyan on 10th March 2017 got the FIRs registered against some officials under several sections of fraud, deceit, embezzelment of the govt money, 420 etc. An officer with impeccable integrity, the then Kumaon Commissioner Senthil has since been transferred.

In the scandal several SDMs and lower level officials under the blessings of some higher ups and politicians changed the character pf the agricultural land into the commercial land and siphoned off a massive amount from the government’s treasury.


It’s not only through journalism but also through socio political service we have to contribute healthily to the society and ensure that the poor, underprivileged and the oppressed sections of the society get their due and are delivered adequately their due.

Journalism in India has undoubtedly become a challenging task and it is really distresng to note that more and more journalists are becoming the target of anti social elements, criminals and sometimes atthe hands of the prevailing political system at the helm.

These were the views of the former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat while addressing a gathering of distinguished guests as chief guest at the first Signature award function and seminar on the subject titled JOURNALISM AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBLITIES organised by Shail Savera Newspaper at India International Centre on 6th January 2018. Harish Rawat said that there isan urgent need to devise a law for the safety and security of the scribes confronting challenges and threats to their lives while performing their professional duties and subsequent provision for stringent punishment to the guilty including arrangement for adequate financial compensation for the family of the deceased scribes.

The eminent literateur and writer Pankaj Bisht who was the special guest of the function dwelt at length on the speedily killing of the small and medium newspapers of the country and said that the government of the day will have to ensure that newspapers at the grassroot levels are strongly supported financially instead of discouraging them as they are the real source of grass root information delivery and sustenance for them and their respective families. He also expressed his serious concern over the increasing attacks on the journalists of the country while performing their duties and the subsequent complacense of the authorities and police in nailing the culprits. He said: for a strong and viable democracy free media and free expression is inevitable and any attempt to scuttle the voice of the fourth estate will have serious repercussions and implications.

The senior journalist Umakant Lakhera said the way mediamen are being threatened in their line of duty and those working in print and electronics media being made unemployed, forced to resign speaks of the unambiguous fact that the big meda houses and the government in power through their unholy nexus are hell bent upon squeezing the voice of free expression and writing which isa dangerous trend and should be dealt with severely by the united repultion of the media community. Sr journalist Arvind Kumar Singh said unless or until the media does not become the face of the poor, under privileged and the marginalised class of the country including those living in the rural areas of the country we can’t do justice with our profession.

The president of Uttarakhand Journalist Forum Sunil Negi expressed his serious concern over the deteriorating conditions of the safety and security of the journalists and revealed how shockingly over 70 journalists have been killed during the last ten years and not a single case solved with 431 incidents of brutal attacks on the journalistic fraternity of the country. He urged upon the governmental agencies to devise a law for a minimum punishment of ten years for the attackers on journalists and rigrous life imprisonment and capital punishment for the culprits of rarest of the rare cases.

Girish Khadayat of Zee news spoke at length as to how while working in electronic mediathey are harassed to express their voice and talent and hoed that the channels become mote poor and people friendly than focussing on glamour and celibrities. He said the a journalist should be fearless, vocal and courageous. Priyanka Sharma of AAJ Tak said that the day a newsperson or journalist or a politician develop immense intimacy it would lead one to think that there is an unholy nexus between both of them.

She added to be a good journalist one should be critical of the government policies of healthy grounds with unbiased and honest perspective. Vipnesh Mathur of India newssaid that a journalist’s honesty and impeccable integrity in profession is must to gain and win the confidence of the viewers. There are several regulations in performance of duties as an anchor in private channels she added but if one is courageous and have the guts to counter the injustice one can prove to be a good journalist.

Sr Advocate Supreme Court and former President AMU ZK Faizan the mindset of the people have to be changed as in democracy the ultimate power lies with the people of any nation. The journalists do have their problems but chief responsibility of the fourth estate as the torch bearers of the society would be only vindicated when they contribute immensely in changing the peoples’ mind set as the society is rotten due to various socio political and criminal ills.

Harish Awasthi , national spokesperson of AAP said that politicians are the usual targets of journalists here as in journalism too there are several instances of yellow journalism and existence of power brokers under the guise of being scribes. Sr journalist Ved Vilas Uniyal said : having good and healthy relations with politicians is not bad but becoming a pro journalist of a particular ideology, party or a political leader in performance of one’s journalistic duty particularly while filing stories is highly derogatory and unacceptable.

Every journalist should ensure that he or she is free, fair, imartial and unbiased whole pursuing this noble ethical profession. Sr Journalist Abhishekh bachchan and Umakant Lakhera were presented bouquets and shawls on this occasion while 7 journalists of eminence Sunil Negi, Arvind Kumar Singh, Ved Uniyal, Vyomesh Jugran, Priyanka sharma, Vipnesh Mathur, Girish Khadayat were felicitated by first signature Award. The programme was ably anchored by Ajay Bisht.


As the dates of polling of Gujarat elections are nearing the political campaigning in the state is sharpening with Congress and BJP leaving no stone unturned to use all tactics to put each other down with their best abilities and maneuvrabilities.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah has made the Gujarat election a do and die issue leaving nothing unattended right from freebies of hundreds of crores to every tactics defaming the most talked about Patidar leader Hardik Patel and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi the latter are also going in every nook and corner of the state to target the BJP led NDA on issues of corruption like Rafale deal in which according to the Nehru Gandhi family scion lots of alleged corruption has been committed. Hardik too is not behind in trying to come out clean on the morphed CD issue charging the ruling BJP of stooping so low to damage the image of its rivals through such cheap plants of doctored CDs.

In the meanwhile the process of ticket distribution by both the parties have gained momentum. In BJP it is learnt that the prime minister Modi and BJP supremo Amit Shah are taking due personal interest in finalising every single ticket. If reliable sources are to be believed the Bhartiya Janata Party has almost finalised tickets of about 145 seats leaving the rest in abeyance intentionally waiting for leaders and prominent active workers of Patidar community close to Hardik Patel or Congress  join BJP.

The party is manipulating on dissertion from the Congress and Patidar camps and is ready to oblige them by giving tickets if their chances of winnability are strong and if they can challenge the Congress and Patidar leader Patel to make them weak in certain constituencies. The list of the BJP has been kept on hold on all the 182 constituencies though candidature on 145 already finalized.

Both the parties whether BJP or Congress are waiting for each other to declare their lists first, hoping for doing last minute favorable changes. Amit Shah, an expert politician and an organiser is very much aware that the BJP in Gujarat may confront the anti incumbency situation in majority of the seats as he is of the unambiguous opinion that it’s not the party in usual cases, primarily, but the candidates whose bad and non performing image accompany anti establishment trend, ultimately making the party to suffer.

It was this calculation of his that in Delhi elections and even in other municipal polls including that of Gujarat last time he issued directives for change of entire sitting candidates, not caring for the annoyance of the sitting corporators and his experiment really worked. Mind it this experiment have been tested in Gujarat municipalities when Modi was the state CM say sources.

In Delhi municipal corporation elections, despite the BJP having ruled for ten protracted years and having strong anti incumbency won hands down for the third time, giving the ruling party AAP and Congress a huge rebuff. Amit Shah therefore is applying the same yardstick in the Gujarat election and the BJP list may see many sitting MLAs losing their tickets with fresh faces having winnability prospects.

In addition to this strategy Shah is banking on more and more dissertions from Patidar Anamat Andolan Samittee to accomodate good number of Patidars as BJP candidate to counter the growing  socio political influence/ clout of Hardik Patel. Efforts are also on to woo Congress sitting or former MLA’s and a slot of 35 to 40 seats have been kept open to accomodate such persons with winnable chances. Just on Thursday the state BJP received a shot in the arm when one of the founding members’ of the Patidaar Anamat Andolan Samittee Chirag Patel joined the BJP giving Hardik a huge blow.

Chirag is the third important Patidar to have joined BJP after Varun Patel and Resham Patel. Chirag was very close to Hardik Patel and was extremely active and involved in the Patidar Andolan having been slaped with the cases of sedition along with Hardik and six others.

He was earlier the activist cum leader of AAP.  While the Bhartiya Janata Party is very serious on ticket distribution plank, Congress Party too is going very immaclately weighing chances of winnability on every seat. While being in the opposition and therefore not apprehensive of losing power it has assured the sitting MLAs repetition of tickets and is concentrating much on obliging the Patidars to a greater extent on patidar dominated seats with also taking care of Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Bhiwani by obliging them to a great extent as they were the one who stood with Rahul Gandhi when he needed them the most.

The polling in Gujarat is in two phases, 9th and 14th December. What would be the outcome of this election is definitely, still unknown and completely unpreductable as politics is the game of possibility, but one thing is for sure that whichever party wins, will open doors of future victory in the 2019 general elections. BJP’S stake seems more here as it’s the state from where PM Modi comes and where he ruled as its chief minister for three terms in succession shifting to Delhi as PM while still being the state’s chief minister. What’ s your take friends?