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Which way the political wind flow in Uttarakhand ?

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The political situation in the himalayan state of Uttarakhand as on date is quite confusing though the ruling saffron party still seems to have a slight edge due to the sentiments n passion of nationalism infused in them after the Pulwama tragedy n subsequent air strikes on the terror camps of JEM in Balakot compounded with the safe return of wing commander Abhinandan in just two days of captivity in Pakistan. Uttarakhand is primarily a state from where in an average every one member of the fourth family serves in Indian army.

This fact of the feeling of ultra nationalism n pro hindu stance can be substantiated from the fact that prior to 1992 when Babri Masjid was not demolished, the Bhartiya Janata Party or earlier Jansangh had no roots in Uttarakhand known as the land of abode of Gods, where the political party of freedom movement, Congress literally ruled the hearts and minds of Garhwal n Kumaon hills then under the jurisdiction of Congress.

Every person of the Uttrakhand hills then, though under undivided Uttar Pradesh used to feel proud to be addressed as a Congressman. Congress was in the blood of the old generation. There was only Congress in the hills of Garhwal n Kumaon with Bahuguna factor coming up lateron after the election of 1983/ 84 when the then stalwart H. N. Bahuguna fought the mighty Indira Gandhi’s candidate Chandra Mohan Singh Negi of Congress from Pauri Garhwal parliamentary constituency.

After the demolition of Babri Masjid n enhancement of Ram Lahar post 1992 the hindu wave erupted in the Uttarakhand hills of Garhwal n Kumaon and majority of the people got influenced by the saffron party in the name of lord Rama n thus the BJP made its decisive stronghold in the valleys of Uttarakhand hills followed by granting of separate statehood during the BJP led government at the centre under the prime minister Ship of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Since then about 19 years have elapsed and Uttarakhand has witnessed 9 chief ministers n governments of BJP n Congress on alternative basis. No third party regional or national can make its ground in Uttarakhand as a formidable political force.

But the political trend after every assembly or parliamentary elections have been of change, irrespective of the fact as to which party’s government has done good or bad.

People of this Himalayan state have always voted for change unambiguously giving an impression that they were never satisfied with performance of either Congress or BJP.

But the last general election n the assembly elections in the state of Uttarakhand in 2014 n 2017 respectively have witnessed the saffron party gaining historic majority in the state by winning 57 seats out of 70 and also giving all the five seats to BJP in parliament.

It was indeed the charisma of the Narendra Modi wave and polarisation of the Hindu vote bank.

Even the Congress chief minister Harish Rawat lost from both the assembly seats from Haridwar n Kumaon giving an impression of Congress having been completely routed out of Uttarakhand.

Congress has never ever suffered such a crude setback or debacle in the 18 year old history of Uttarakhand after its coming into a separate existence.

Now the tickets of all the candidates from BJP as well as the Congress have been finalised.

Leaders of both the political parties have tightened their belts to ensure their victories.

Since the Bhartiya Janata Party is in power at the centre as well as in the state, there is no dearth of resources n money power for them n their candidates whereas the Congress party did have crunch of funds n resources but they have a little bit edge in the sense that the electorates of Uttarakhand usually go for change after every election which do accords the Congress party an added advantage.

The Congress n the BJP are both ridden with factionalism and intercine squabbles and the sidelining of two veteran leaders of BJP who were the sitting MPs viz Major General BC Khanduri and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari from Pauri n Nainital seats will definitely put adverse impact on the winning chances of Tirath Singh Rawat n Ajay Bhatt, the current BJP nominees from both the above seats. Now, a popular exservicemen n hero of the post Kedarnath tragedy Colonel Kothiyal has also joined the fray.

Moreover, while Major general Khanduri has himself expressed his inability to contest due to his over age and fatigued health, his unceremonious ouster from the chairmanship of the Defence Committee of Parliament n not giving him the due respect in the all weather road project etc has annoyed n disenchanted his son n supporters who’d recently joined Congress n has been given the ticket from Pauri against the BJP nominee Tirath Singh Rawat.

Similarly badly annoying n angering the veteran party leader, ex CM n Nainital MP Bhagat Singh Koshiyari n his good number of supporters by cutting his ticket n giving it to Ajay Bhatt is bound to have an adverse impact on the Nainital seat as well, compounded with the anti incumbency factor.

On the Tehri Garhwal seat the local electorates are not at all happy n impressed with the performance of the Tehri Maharani Raj Lakshmi who the electorates say, was conspicuous by her absence during the last five year, having no or negligible connect with the local populace.

Moreover, completely sidelining of the former Uttarakhand CM n ex MP from Tehri Vijay Bahuguna n his son Saket, the BJP has also earned the wrath of this family and their hundreds of workers who are bound to work against Maharani Lakshmi Shah by strengthening the hands of the Congress candidate, resulting in her possible defeat.

In Haridwar seat the former CM Harish Rawat seems to be on a better pedestal having been extremely active during the last two years after losing the state elections.

His elevation at the central level as the all India general secretary of Congress party has also elevated his image as a politician on the rise. On the contrary Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank carries behind him certain charges of alleged corruption, though not proved, but may be used by his Congress rival in the election.

Dr. Nishank had however been associated with the development works of his constituency but a sitting MP always has the disadvantage of anti incumbency which a seasoned leader like Harish Rawat is quite capable of exploiting. Moreover, being the ex MP from here n national general secretary of the Congress there is no dearth of local and outside workers who would be working for him dedicatedly ensuring his sure sort win.

The situation in the Almora reserve seat is also quite difficult for the sitting MP n union state minister for textiles Ajay Tamta from the anti incumbency point of view say political analysts.

But he had been quite active in his constituency during his last five year tenure contributing in introducing air n train services for the convenience of the people of Almora apart fro being with them in their thick n thin.

He brought number of developmental projects to his area and had been connecting himself with the local populace since long.

Ajay Tamta had also been very active in the social media sites viz facebook, twitter, instagram n whatapp accquainting his fans, followers n educated electorates about the various developmental works of his constituency but in the context of spending his MP lad fund he lacks behind say sources.

On the contrary his arch Congress rival Pradeep Tamta is a Rajya Sabha member who has hardly been active in Almora these days but being a leader of various socio political movements his popularity still exists amongst the masses.

The role of the present chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra singh Rawat however also comes into consideration in these elections. His contribution, negativity and positivity will also play an important role in deciding the future of the BJP candidates.

He is being dubbed as a not very functional CM of the state who had been extremely complacent n non responsive to the demands of Gairsain as the capital of Uttarakhand and was immensely instrumental in encouraging the sale of liquor to the interiors of Uttarakhand against which lots of movements took place n people of the state highly antagonised.

The Uttarakhand’s economy too is in doldrums with the state’s deficit crossing the collosal 48000 crore mark. Hundreds of thousands of youths are still jobless n the health n education sectors are in total jeopardy.

While the Congress party has tried to expose the BJP government of its ill doings n enhanced corruption in bureaucracy through its widespread Parivartan rally, Aakrosh Yatras n Mera Mait programmes led by state president Pritam Singh, Indira Hridyesh n Harish Rawat, the internal bickerings in the Congress’s state unit may prove to be a disaster for the party in the coming months.

However, the fight between the Congress n BJP will be of neck to neck nature in all the seats of Uttarakhand but the state having the dominance of exservicemen n the present army troopers it looks as if the post Pulwama narrative, if goes well may benefit the saffron party diluting every other issue of employment, agrarian crisis, women issues n of the issue of mass exodus to cities n towns.

But the Congress is not behind and has the advantage of exposing the BJP on Modi’s failures on employment guarantee, black money issue, enhanced migration to cities from hills, closure of schools, non availability of health facilities, increasing corruption, liquor policy of the state government spoiling families so on n so forth.

But being the best orator n banking on post Pulwama situation Prime minister Narendra Modi’s few public meetings may turn the tables in favour of the saffron party in Uttarakhand say political analysts.

The Congress party has only one concrete solution to this impasse n that is, Priyanka Gandhi’s minimum eight public meetings.

If it happens, no power on earth can stop Congress stage victory on all the five parliamentary seats of Uttarakhand. What’s your take friends?

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Sunil Negi hails from Uttarakhand and is a veteran journalist and author. He is a prolific writer and has carved a name for himself in the media world. He received the 'Golden Achiever Award' in the '90th AIAC Excellence Awards 2019' for his book ''Havoc in Heaven'' based on the tragedy that struck Uttarakhand in which thousands of people lost their lives. He is also the President of Uttarakhand Journalists Forum and majorly writes on Politics, Current Affairs, and Social Issues.



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Delhi

Fire broke out at AIIMS today, fire tenders on the job

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A massive fire broke out on the first floor of the teaching block of All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

This happened today near and on the upper floor of the Casualty department. The smoke of the spreading fire had engulfed the adjoining buildings as well.

This included the Cardiovascular Thoracic department building. This is where the former Finance minister Arun Jaitley is admitted in the ICU of the CARDIAC department. There is nothing much to worry as this building is quite at a distance from the Teaching block which caught fire.

This building is just adjacent to the Casualty Ward where hundreds of patients arrive on a daily basis 24 x 7. About twenty-two to twenty-five fire tenders were desperately engaged in controlling the fire and preventing it to spread further. The hospital authorities have closed the laboratory on the first floor of the building. The patients too have been safely evacuated.

There is no report of any serious casualty so far. The reason for the fire is being speculated as a short circuit. However, the actual reason for the eruption of fire would be ascertained after the fire is fully controlled. The was panic all around inside and outside AIIMS as well, as hundreds of thousands of patients from Delhi and other states visit here regularly. The building houses nephrology, gynecology, endocrinology, cardiology, skin, cancer and neurology departments where people from different parts of the country arrive for treatment and critical surgeries.

The adjacent building of PRIVATE wards and the cardiology department has several VIP patients including the former finance minister Arun Jaitley who is in critical condition and on a ventilator at the cardiac clinic.

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Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s condition critical

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The condition of the former union finance minister in NDA’s 1st government Arun Jaitley is reported to be critical.

He is at the Intensive care unit of Cardiac department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences. He was admitted on 9th of August after he complained of breathlessness and increasing heart palpitation.

The president of India Ram Nath Kovind visited AIIMS yesterday on hearing about the former minister’s critical health condition. The union home minister Amit Shah also visited AIIMS yesterday for the second time to know about his health condition. The union health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and state health minister Mr. Choubey were also present during the president’s visit at AIIMS.
Former finance minister Arun Jaitley also known as prime minister Modi’s troubleshooter, has not been keeping good health for a year or so especially after his kidney transplant and bariatric surgery to lose excessive weight. He is also a diabetic patient. No medical bulletin has been issued so far, except the one issued on the 10th of August claimed Jaitleys condition as stable due to his normal heart functioning. He is being examined and under regular monitoring of the multidisciplinary doctors related to heart, kidney and diabetics diseases.
It may be recalled that Arun Jaitley who was union minister for finance for a full five-year term in NDA 1 government has not contested the election this time due to his deteriorating health condition. He had also requested prime minister Modi not to include him in the new cabinet in NDA part 2 government. This was while thanking him for giving him the opportunity to serve the nation as finance minister. Prime minister Narendra Modi has tremendous faith in Jaitley’s ability and leadership. It was because of this that he was brought in from Rajya Sabha after losing from Amritsar seat against Capt Amrinder Singh.
He was still inducted as finance minister in NDA 1 government for full five years. Despite his bad health, he had worked in elections by addressing the media repeatedly and countering various allegations of Congress party strongly and with gumption. It was because of Jaitley’s bad health that the interim budget of the country was presented by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal prior to the general elections of 2019. He was considered as a troubleshooter of the BJP party and the government. He became inactive after April and since then is bedridden now on a ventilator at Cardiac ward of AIIIMS Cardiothoracic department.
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Uttarakhand

Modi announces additional 2 lakh each for the deceased of Tehri van accident

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It may be recalled that just a few days ago a Max carrying 20 to 22 school going children driven by an untrained driver had fallen in a gorge killing 10 children and critically injuring 10 others.

There had been quite a sensation over this news throughout the state with transport minister Yashpal Arya suspending the RTO and few other subordinate officers for lapses in not checking the overloading of vehicles leading to fatal accidents. The state chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had arrived after six days at Pratap Nagar where he had faced protests from the children’s traumatic parents.

The people were demanding Rs. ten lakh for each dead child and 5 lakh each for those critically injured. The Chief Minister had to return after the protests. The chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat had confronted massive protests at Pratap Nagar Helipad where he had arrived to hand over the cheques of one lakh rupees to each of the deceased child’s family.
Thereafter, in about a day’s time, it was generous of the prime minister’s office (PMO) in New Delhi to further announce rupees two lakh financial assistance and Rs 50 thousand for each of the injured. It seems that the PM must have sensed the compulsions and financial constraints of Rawat and therefore must have made this announcement. Now the total financial compensation comes to Rs. thirty lakh for the ten deceased school-going children of St Angel’s School in Tehri Garhwal. The financial compensation amounts to Rs. five lakhs in all, for the ten injured.
The prime minister’s office had announced this financial compensation through a tweet. The Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Rawat responded by expressing his gratefulness to PM Modi through a tweet on his twitter handle. However, what makes the residents of Pratap Nagar and Madan Negi angry is the fact that the chief minister had announced Rs. 2 lakh each for the dead and Rs 50000 for the injured as compensation for the victims of Dhumakot bus accident only a few months back which falls under the jurisdiction of Pauri Garhwal district.  However, in this case of Tehri Garhwal children’s death, he announced just Rs. 1 lakh – half of the amount per death than what he paid for the Dhumakot bus accidental deaths.
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Uttarakhand

Murder in Kotdwar speaks of the deteriorating law and order situation

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The law and order situation is deteriorating day by day in Uttarakhand with incidents of brutal murders, rapes, and a crime against women on the rise. The state police as known as Mitr police undoubtedly try its best to control the rising crime but the situation seems to be going out of hand.

When Uttarakhand was part of undivided Uttar Pradesh it was really difficult to control crime in this hilly region as the liquor mafia allegedly had its say. Then the entire police and administrative set up was controlled from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and things were difficult to control but after the formation of the state in the year 2000 it was felt that the crime rate would now come down drastically and the people will heave a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately today Uttarakhand has allegedly become a safe haven for dreaded criminals of other states who seek peaceful clandestine hiding shelter. The state completely assures safety and security. This is undoubtedly a disturbing trend. Just a few days ago a five-year-old girl was obnoxiously raped and brutally murdered by a rapist mutilating her body badly into pieces.

Last year a 19-year-old girl was stalked and thereafter immolated in broad daylight in Pauri Garhwal followed by a number of incidents of rapes, women assaults, murders, and gangsterism. Just today a young man named Shekhar Dhaundiyal who had come to Kotdwara, under Pauri Garhwal district at the office of Shiva Cable from Dehradun was shot dead by three miscreants in broad daylight while he was busy telephoning someone from a private telephone booth.

While Shekhar Dhaundiyal was busy conversing on the telephone outside the Shiva Cable office three men came walking and killed him with a number of gunshots from point-blank range. On hearing the sound of repeated gunshots the staff and employees and the people from nearby came to his rescue but by then the killers had walked away.

Grievously injured and profusely bleeding Dhaundiyal was immediately ferried to the government hospital in Kotdwara but was declared brought dead after succumbing to the bullet injuries. Kotdwar is quite a busy area and absence of the police patrolling and policemen on duty in this busy market area allows the miscreants to conveniently commit this gruesome broad daylight murder. There was commotion all around.

This raises certain questions and also questions the credibility of the Uttarakhand police. People especially the women are worried about their own security.

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Uttarakhand

Cloud bursts and landslides in Chamoli district of Garhwal Uttarakhand

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About six persons have been reportedly killed in a cloud burst incident that occurred in Lankhi village in Chamoli district.

This has resulted in an excessive overflow and flood in Chufalgaadh river further leading to colossal loss to properties. In view of the excessive over flooding of Chufalgarh river the roads in the market area caved in. This has resulted in the destruction of houses and shops.

If the same nature of heavy rain continues in Karnprayag, the situation may go out of hand leading to several fatalities and loss of properties. Similarly in the Baaj Bagagad and Aalitok areas of Garhwal hills in Chamoli district heavy rains resulted in a landslide. Heavy rubbles fell on a house killing three persons which included a mother and a daughter.

According to the information flowing in from Disaster Management Control Room senior journalist, Harish Maikhuri informed that in Baaj Bagad the house of one Abbal Singh was completely submerged in a landslide. This has led to the death of his 35-year-old wife and the 9-month-old infant. The ill-fated mother and daughter died due to asphyxiation inside the heavy rubble of the landslide. The tragic incident of cloud burst in Faldi village of Tharali is still fresh in peoples’ mind.

Similarly, in Aali village, Nanu Ram’s house was compressed under the rubble of heavy landslide resulting in the brutal death of his 21-year-old daughter Naurti. The total toll due to this natural disaster has reached six by now. The rescue team of the disaster management force and the local police which reached the spots of this brutal incident have retrieved the dead bodies. According to senior journalist Harish Maikhuri so far about six persons, fifty goats, two cows have died due to this cloud burst incident in Chamoli district. The meteorological department had already given clear indications about heavy rains in Chamoli, Pauri, Tehri, Nainital, Rudraprayag and Pithoragarh districts.

Heavy rains during monsoons create havoc in Garhwal and Kumaon divisions of Uttarakhand and cause heavy losses to life and property. The chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat has expressed concern over these cloud burst incidents and has also condoled the deaths in this natural calamity. He has tweeted: I am deeply pained to learn about the loss of lives in cloud burst incidents in Chamoli’s ghat area. My condolences towards the bereaved families of the deceased’s. I have issued urgent directives to the district administration to provide maximum possible help of all kind including the financial support to the bereaved families including expeditious action to safeguard the lives of the people.

It’s a curse of nature that Uttarakhand faces these cloud burst incidents and natural disasters.

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Uttarakhand

Great woman warrior Tilu Rauteli’s 329th anniversary celebrated at Gharwal Bhawan

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Releasing Sarvabhaumiks annual sovenier at Garhwal Bhawan on 10th August
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Sarvbhaumik is a registered non-governmental organization. It comprises of committed and dedicated volunteers. These volunteers are from Uttarakhand living in Delhi and Uttarakhand. They are engaged in the promotion of educational and social activities. They especially focus on women empowerment. They had organized a commemorative function in New Delhi’s Garhwal Bhawan on the 10th of August.

This was in honor of the historic woman warrior Tilu Rauteli on her 329th anniversary. The event was inaugurated by chief guests KC Pandey, his wife, and several others. The event was kickstarted with the office bearer of Sarvbhawmik, Himani Bisht. She started off the event through her inaugural address. She highlighted the activities of the organization.

It’s General Secretary Sharmila Amola provided detailed information on the consequences of Hepatitis B. Thus awakening one and all to get themselves injected with the relevant medicine to safeguard themselves from this dreaded disease. She also made everyone aware of Sarvbhaumik’s education-related activities. She appraised the audience of the workshops in Pauri Khal area villages of Garhwal Uttarakhand apart from the various other constructive programs organized by the NGO during the preceding year.

The commemorative function of great warrior Tilu Rauteli also included two interesting short plays titled AB KYA HOLU ( Now what will happen) and Bujurg Mata Pita – Pita Ka Dard (Old parents – the pain of father) in Garhwali, Kumaoni, and Hindi dialects. According to drama analyst, Pooran Chand Kandpal both the plays were extremely nostalgic and highly emotional. The plays carried a great social message and a lesson to those who discard their parents in old age.

According to Ajay Bisht one of the main organizers of the show, the Sarvabhawmik event also included detailed debate on women empowerment and how they seek inspiration from historic icon Tilu Rauteli to live life with courage, vigor, and vitality.

The main attraction of the show was principal and woman academician Rachna Joshi who was felicitated by the Sarbhawmic Award of Excellence for her outstanding contribution in the field of education to the children of the lowest ebb of the society.

Six outstanding students of Pairi Khal schools were also felicitated on this occasion. The names of two musician students are Manish and Tanuj who also presented their song and music to the audience enthralling one and all.

Renowned literateur Dr. Satish Kaleshwari also held a debate on Uttarakhand’s folk songs and the infinite journey of Uttarakhandi Sangeet in the function. There were folk songs and dances on this occasion mesmerizing the audience to the hilt. Some of the outstanding folk performances took the audience to the sixties.

The main actors who enthralled the audience with their mesmerizing acting and melodious voice were Gita Gusain, Lakshmi Rawat Patel, Pushpa Joshi, Thangriyal, Rakesh Gaur, Mr. Pandriyal, Pushpa Joshi and Narendra Ajnabi.  A souvenir of Sarvbhawmik was also released on this occasion. The program was ably anchored by Ajay Bisht and Himani Bisht.

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Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand CM Rawat faces anger of deceased’s parents at Tehri Garhwal

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CM in Yehri Garhwal to present the cheques of financial compesation to the families of the 10 deceased children
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The present political dispensation in Uttarakhand and it’s chief minister value the life of a school going child, who dies in an accident a meager 1 lakh rupee.

A government that earns annual revenue of 2300 crores through the massive sale of liquor acts stingily in financially compensating children after their fatal accidental deaths. A meager Rs. one lakh each not to mention about the meager compensation paid to the grievously injured children.

This is about the recent painful deaths of 10 school going children and injuries to several others when a Max driven by an untrained driver fell into a gorge on Pratap Nagar Madan Negi road. All the children were students of primary classes of a local private school St. Angels at Madan Negi in Tehri Garhwal. This accident occurred with about 10 death tolls and grievous injury to an equal number of children.

They were later airlifted to Rishikesh hospital for treatment.  The fatal accident occurred on the 6th of August. This matter has been immensely hyped in the media. According to sources, there has been an increasing outrage in the people of Tehri Garhwal and the entire state. There have been deplorable statements of the opposition leaders and social organizations regarding the handling of this matter. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had visited the village of the dead children in Madan Negi Tehri Garhwal to express his grief and condolence to the bereaved families.

He also handed them over a cheque of Rs. One lakh each to the bereaved families. The highly angered parents of the deceased children raised anti chief minister and anti-govt slogans and asked him to go back. They were furious over the delay of six days in responding to their call for help and that too giving them a meager amount of a Lakh each for the deceased children. The parents have decided to return the cheques and have asked for not less than Rs. ten lakh financial compensation each of the deceased child and Rs. 5 lakh for the grievously injured. The chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had to leave the village in a huff to meet the families of the victims of cloud bursts in Dhaarti village.

It may be recalled that about 10 school going children had died on 6th August when a Max carrying them fall in a gorge due to an untrained driver losing control of the vehicle. There were in all 22 children in a single max against the traffic rules. These fatal accidents are on the rise in Uttarakhand but the transport department still has no concrete plan of preventing these accidents. Suspensions of transport officials is not a concrete solution as they return to their duties after a few days when the hullaballoo around the tragedy subsides. Some credible policy on traffic rules in the mountainous region should be introduced with immediate effect to decrease the spate of fatal accidents which are on the rise.

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Arun Jaitley in AIIMS ICU but haemodynamically stable

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Former Finance minister Arun Jaitley was yesterday admitted in All India Institute after he complained of uneasiness and increased heart palpitations and is currently in the Intensive care unit of Cardiology department of AIIMS. According to the medical bulletin issued by AIIMS cardiac unit, his condition is haemodynamically stable though he is being very closely monitored by the multi disciplinary team of doctors.

According to the news 18 report, former finance minister Arun Jaitley who complained of restlessness and increased palpitations was admitted in AIIMs’s cardiology department in the morning. Jaitley had been abroad sometimes back in the USA for a thorough medical check-up and was also under the care of senior doctors in AIIMS from May 9th.

It may be recalled that since Arun Jaitley had a kidney transplant in the recent past he had not been keeping good health since then. However, despite his deteriorating health condition he continued to serve the party even during the national elections defending the party on important issues and countering Congress party and opposition’s onslaught on BJP and prime minister Narendra Modi very strongly and with vigour and vitality.

However, after the saffron parties historic victory at the husting, he wrote a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi requesting him not to include in the UPA 2 cabinet citing health reasons just as his another cabinet colleague late Sushma Swaraj did requesting the PM not to give her party ticket due to deteriorating health reasons.

Unfortunately she is no more with us. News reports say that Jaitley is currently being monitored by a team of endocrinologists, nephrologists, and cardiologists while in ICU. Just two days before he had tweeted expressing his extreme grief over the sad demise of late Sushma Swaraj and hailing her as one of the outstanding politicians’ in the present era.

He added that she leaves behind a void which is difficult to fill. However, he could not physically present himself at Sushma Swaraj’s funeral at Lodhi Road crematorium due to bad health.

Three days before he termed the Congress party as a headless chicken which is further consolidating alienation from the people of India.

He tweeted: New India has changed but only the Congress does not realise this. The Congress leadership is determined to succeed in its race to the bottom he added.

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Uttarakhand

Tilu Rauteli honour for Suman Adhikari of Haldwani

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On 9th of August an enterprising woman with her outstanding contribution in the field of social activism who gave employment to a good number of grass-root women in Haldwani was felicitated by the Uttarakhand Film vom Natya Institute at Bal Bhawan Auditorium by the member of parliament from Pauri Garhwal and Supreme Court advocate Tirath Singh Rawat and Sanjay Darmora. She hails from a rural background

The award is given to outstanding women every year for their novel and valuable contributions in the field of social activism, art, theatre, sports, writing, journalism and in other peculiar fields across spectrum known as Veerangna Tilu Rauteli Samman. ( Warrior Tilu Rauteli Honor).

Tilu Rauteli was a great woman warrior who had sacrificed her life along with her brothers and father while relentlessly fighting the then landlords and kings trying to invade their territory in Garhwal Himalayas in 1661. She sacrificed her life during the incessant battle to safeguard her land and modesty. Since then every year her death anniversary is organized and commemorated on the 9th of August. A grand cultural event with melodious songs and drama on her life and sacrifice was organized on this occasion. This also included folk dances.

In Uttarakhand several iconic women towing the sacrifice and courage of late warrior Tilu Rauteli have made a special mark for their outstanding and exemplary feats and contributions to the society viz first woman Mount Everest Conquerer and Padma Vibhushan Bachendri Pal, Chipko founder and leader Gaura Devi, Bisni Devi Sah, Kabootri Devi, Hansa Dhanayi, Dr. Kusum Nautiyal, Vasanti Bisht, Belmati Chouhan, Tinchri Mai who fought against the prevalence of illegal liquor, Madhuri Barthwal, Hema Uniyal and Reena Kaushal Dharmashaktu etc.

The recipient of the prestigious Tilu Raiteli honors Suman Adhikari deserves to be congratulated for her grass-root level contribution amongst the women of Uttarakhand Himalayas giving them not only employment at the local level but also inculcating in them the spirit to counter challenging situations and arrange sustenance for their families even though they have limited means.

The jury members of the prestigious honor were Literateur Pooran Chandra Kandpal, theatre activist and writer Hem Pant and senior journalist Sushma Jugran.

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Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand High Court directs ex CMs to clear their balance financial liabilities

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Uttarakhand High Court in Nainital
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The former chief ministers of Uttarakhand viz late Narain Dutt Tiwari, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Major General B. C. Khanduri, Harish Rawat, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna were not vacating their official Bungalows allotted to them as a special privilege and as per the government rules, hence a petition was filed in the high court which has finally issued directives to vacate them.

All these former chief ministers are quite well off financially and had their private houses in Delhi and Uttarakhand apart from the government bungalows allotted to them in their capacity of being MPs. Major General Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishan who were MPs had been allotted bungalows in Delhi but they were also having Bungalows at Dehradun, being ex-chief ministers of Uttarakhand. However, Narain Dutt Tiwari has a government type 5 allotment at Tilak lane in New Delhi since ages which is still being continued by his family even after his sad demise, by his wife Ujjwala Tiwari.

When the Uttarakhand high court directed these former chief ministers to vacate their huge official bungalows occupied by them for several years despite their not being chief ministers of the state these ex CMs were compelled to vacate them but after too much of reluctance.

However two of them viz Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna ( both ex CMs ) had tremendous financial liabilities in several lakhs which they haven’t paid to the Uttarakhand government despite a number of notices. While former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari had the liabilities of whopping 45 lakhs pertaining to his bungalow and other expenses for enjoying various facilities, Vijay Bahuguna had the financial burden of 37 lakhs against his government bungalow and other expenses incurred during his tenure. These liabilities pertained to the expenses for various facilities enjoyed by them but had not been cleared despite several reminders.

Finally, once more time the Uttarakhand high court had to intervene and issue directives to the state government for recovery of the pending amount against both the ex-chief ministers. According to sources, both the chief ministers had appealed to the court through petitions for reconsideration of their earlier appeals to grant them special privilege for remittances of these financial liabilities/ repealing them but the high court has revoked their petitions for the second time asking them to pay the same at the market rate.

After the high court’s revocation of their requests/ appeals for writing off these financial liabilities, both the former chief ministers of Uttarakhand viz Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna have now been directed to clear the entire backlog of Rs. 45 lakhs and 37 lakhs respectively on the basis of the market rate penalty on the monthly installment basis of Rs 30500 and Rs. 39000 per month respectively till the above-said amount is cleared fully and finally.

It may be recalled that both Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna are currently holding no positions and are in BJP. These liabilities pertain to former CM Vijay Bahuguna while he was in Congress. He joined the BJP later on with 11 MLAs of Congress after his differences with the then CM Harish Rawat in 2017.

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