Sharad Pawar slapped!Maoist leader Kishenji KILLED!Is it NOT Civil War? The Political Class may bear the Heat more and More as the Crisis Deepens! But this Mindless Anarchy would Rather Strengthen the Zionist Brahaminical Hegemony and the LPG Mafia Rule as it would further Justify the Militarisation of the State, Repression, Persecution and Economic Ethnic Cleansing!Reforms Drive may NOT be STOPPED without a Nation Wide Mass Movement of the Mulnivasi Bahujan. Kishenji Killing getting the focus the Sting of the Salp is disapeared!$450 billion retail sector foreign investment plan moving 'very fast'!Union Cabinet approves 51% FDI in multi-brand retail Despite Mamata BJP Fake Protest!
Sharad Pawar attacked: 'Was it only one slap?' Anna Hazare reacts!After committing a faux-pas in his reaction to the attack on Sharad Pawar, Anna Hazare said he was ready to apologise if his remark was perceived to be "wrong".
Nobody died of starvation in last two years: Plan panel
Meanwhile,the issues of price rise andTelangana created turmoil in Parliament for the third day on Thursday as agitated opposition members raised slogans, staged a sit-in in the well and walked out, leading to two adjournments of both Houses.
FDI in multi-brand retail need further discussion: Mamata Banerjee
Varvara Rao suspects story of Kishenji's encounter was fabricated
Team Anna member Kiran Bedi today warned politicians that they may be targeted like Sharad Pawar if Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and
Time - SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY SEVENPalash Biswas
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NDTV - 20 minutes ago
After years of dithering, the Indian government has decided to allow global retail giants like Wal Mart, TESCO and Carrefour to enter India.
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NDTV - 25 minutes ago
New Delhi\Pune: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was today slapped by a man at the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) centre in New Delhi.
Rediff - 22 hours ago
"I never joined the Maoist movement. This is gossip by the Communist Party of India-Marxist. The CPM members are with the Maoists. ...
Union Cabinet approves 51% FDI in multi-brand retail Despite Mamata BJP Fake Protest!India will open the country's retail industry to foreign supermarkets, a cabinet minister told reporters on Thursday, a much delayed reform expected to help unclog supply bottlenecks and ease inflation over time. Efforts to liberalise the sector, perceived as politically risky ahead of elections next year in India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, have been hampered by the government's political opponents and sections of the ruling coalition itself. After committing a faux-pas in his reaction to the attack on Sharad Pawar, Anna Hazare said he was ready to apologise if his remark was perceived to be "wrong".Sharad Pawar was today slapped by a man, who had attacked former telecommunications minister Sukh Ram four days ago.
Indian markets have closed with nearly 1 per cent gains, a day after benchmark indices hit two year lows. The Sensex rose nearly 160 points to 15858 while the broader Nifty index gained 50 points to end at 4756.The government has allowed 51% foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail sector, food minister KV Thomas said. It also decided to raise the cap on foreign investment in single-brand retailing to 100% from 51%, Thomas added.
The decision will be cheered by global retail giants such as Wal-Mart that have long been eyeing India's lucrative retail sector worth an estimated $450 billion a year.
Sharad Pawar slapped over price rise; political parties rally behind him!Attacker says 'they are all thieves, I will rip them apart'!The Sikh man also took out his kirpan when security guards tried to overpower him and whisk him away. It is being reported that he has been taken in police custody.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Pawar after he was attacked. "The prime minister spoke to Sharad Pawar and condemned the assault on him," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said here.
Meanwhile, leaders of all political parties have condemned the attack on Pawar.
Nobody died of starvation in last two years: Plan panel calimed today amidst the Slapping unprecedented!
Sharad Pawar slapped!Maoist leader Kishenji KILLED!Is it NOT Civil War? The Political Class may bear the Heat more and More as the Crisis Deepens! But this Mindless Anarchy would Rather Strengthen the Zionist Brahaminical Hegemony and the LPG Mafia Rule as it would further Justify the Militarisation of the State, Repression, Persecution and Economic Ethnic Cleansing!Reforms Drive may NOT be STOPPED without a Nation Wide Mass Movement of the Mulnivasi Bahujan. Kishenji Killing getting the focus the Sting of the Salp is disapeared!Investors, weary of the eurozone crisis and domestic economic growth concerns dragging down the stock markets in recent weeks, have something else to look forward to this week: the Parliament's winter session, which is expected to decide upon laws to allow FDI in retail, aviation and pension sectors. Investors are hoping the government will push through these decisions in this session starting Tuesday to dispel a perception that slow policy-making is hurting India's economic growth.
Telugu Poet and Maoist sympathiser Varvara Rao Thursday demanded that the Centre and West Bengal government make arrangements for Kishenji's niece Deepa to identify his body.
Stating that Kishenji's elder brother was very ill and his mother very old and a cancer patient, Rao said from Hyderabad that Maoist politburo member's body should be identified by Deepa who lived at Peddapalli town in in Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh.
"Deepa should be airlifted from Peddapalli to identify the body. For this, the Centre and West Bengal government should make arrangements," he said.
Criticising the Mamata Banerjee government for 'damaging' the peace talks with Maoists, Rao said "Mamata Banerjee on one hand spoke of peace while carrying on joint force operations. This is nothing but deception."
The Maoist sympathiser suspected that Kishenji was captured by the joint forces in West Midnapore district on Wednesday and killed. "A story of an encounter was then fabricated", he alleged.
Kishenji was killed in an encounter today with security forces in a forest in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.
Human rights activist and pro-Maoist Sujato Bhadra, who heads the government-appointed team of interlocutors for talks with Maoists, demanded that in compliance with the National Human Rights Commission's directives, a criminal case should be registered against the party which killed Kishenji.
"As a human rights activist, we demand that in compliance with the National Human Rights Commission's mandatory directives, 1995 and 2003, a criminal case under 302 of IPC be registered against the party which killed Kishenji, irrespective of whether it was a real or fake encounter," Bhadra told PTI here.
The police, he said, had to prove that they had killed Kishenji in self defence.
He said after identification, the body should be properly preserved and sent to his next of kin with 'due respect'.
To a question, Bhadra said the interlocutors would meet tomorrow to review the situation.
The Centre has alerted governments of nine maoist affected states in view of the death reports of top Maoist commander Kishenji and asked them to exercise maximum vigil.
The alert has been issued by the Union Home Ministry to the Directors General of Police (DGPs) in view of possible retaliatory strikes from Maoist cadres in Left Wing Extremism states of West Bengal, Orrisa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
"The states have been asked to exercise maximum vigil and caution. The central security forces have also been asked to be on alert in these states," official sources said.
In a huge setback to Maoists, their top leader Kishenji (58) was today killed in a gunbattle with security forces in a forest in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.
Opposition CPI(M) in West Bengal Thursday said that the loss of one individual with the killing of top Maoist leader Kishenji would not greatly affect the ultras as they have the support of "anti-national" forces.
"Kishenji as an individual does not matter, because (the Maoists) are supported by anti-national, reactionary forces. There is no reason to think that they will lose their punch with the death of an individual," Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Surjya Kanta Mishra said.
Mishra said, "I would have been happy if he had been caught alive. I offer my sympathies to his family."
58-year-old Molajula Koteswar Rao, better known as Kishenji, was today killed in an encounter with the joint forces at Burisole forest in West Midnapore district.
Appealing to the Maoists to shun violence and join the mainstream, Mishra, also a member of CPI(M) central committee, said, "I appeal to them to leave the wrong path. If they believe in Leftism and anti-imperialism, they must come to the mainstream."
He refused to comment on whether the killing of the Maoist leader was a success for the joint forces currently operating in the area.
It is true that Kishenji was behind the killing of many of our party leaders and activists, but this is not the time to discuss success or failure, Mishra said, adding, "Nothing has happened to cause a celebration."
Sujato Bhadra, leader of the interlocutors team set up by the West Bengal government to negotiate peace with the Maoists, refused comment on the incident, saying he would come out with a statement only after discussing the matter with others in the team.
One of his team members, Asokendu Sengupta, however, told a television channel that he was 'sad' at Kishneji's killing.
"Just as I am sad at the killing of Trinamool Congress activists in Balarmpur (in Purulia), I am sad at the killing of Kishenji," Sengupta said.
He, however, did not give a direct reply when asked whether Kishenji's killing had any special significance as it happened in the midst of peace negotiations.
"We are trying to bring peace in the Junglemahal. We will have to talk to those who are in favour of it and those against. We still hope that peace will return. But it cannot be done in one or two days," Sengupta said.
Describing Kishenji's death as a big success' for the joint forces and the state government, BJP state president Rahul Sinha said the government should further intensify the operations against the ultras.
"This is a big success for the joint forces and the state government. The government should now further intensify the operations. We will support it," he said.
He said that Maoists driven by the security forces in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar were able to regroup in the Ayodhya Hills in Purulia district owing to the initial lull in operations after the Mamata Banerjee government came to power in the state.
"BJP wants that those who take up arms against the state be replied with arms. We also want the government to help those who want to return to the mainstream," Sinha said.
Claiming that a section of Trinamool Congress leaders had sympathies for Maoists, he said, "We want Mamata Banerjee to utilise the intelligence agencies in finding out who they are so that steps can be taken against them."
How the Brahaminical Media plays with Public Mind!An Example,Days after calling the West Bengal government "fascist", Magsaysay Award winning writer-activist Mahasweta Devi Thursday said her remark was not targeted at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who "can never be a fascist".
"I did not call anybody fascist in particular...Mamata can never be a fascist. The 'chief minister' and the 'government' are not synonymous," Mahasweta Devi said.
"I not only adore Mamata for her fighting abilities but also respect her for the same. I will continue to do so in future. I also do not wish that this government loses power," the octogenarian writer said in a signed article in Bengali daily Bartaman.
Referring to her media meet Monday, Mahasweta Devi said: "Probably what I said was, 'Are we trying to bring back fascism?' The comments were made thoughtfully and were not driven by emotion."
The writer, who had strongly backed Mamata Banerjee during her fight as an opposition leader against the erstwhile Left Front regime, made the comment Monday (Nov 21) after human rights organisation Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) was denied permission to hold a rally at Metro Channel area in the city hub.
The remark prompted Banerjee to say that the writer was "misinformed and misled" and had been "tutored" by others to make the comment.
Denying Banerjee's allegations, Mahasweta Devi said she had not been tutored by anybody. Rather, the observations were based on her experiences of the state's political situation over the past three years.
Stating that there were rifts within the ruling Trinamool Congress, Mahasweta Devi wrote that many cadres call her from different parts of the state to complain against their party.
"If I wanted to write against the party and the state government, I could have done so earlier. But I have always tried not to do anything which may jeopardise either the party or the state government."
"I never intended that such things should come out in the public and had to manage my public demonstrations and meetings accordingly. Enough is enough, I can't do this anymore," she wrote.
Mahasweta Devi, who has also received the civilian honour Padma Bhushan and the highest literary award Jnanpith, said she will no more write to the government seeking jobs for underprivileged people like she used to do even during the former Left regime.
Elusive Maoist leader Kishenji was on Thursday killed in an encounter with the joint forces at Burisole forest in West Midnapore district, a day after he narrowly escaped from there.
The body of 58-year-old Molajula Koteswar Rao, better known as Kishenji, was found and identified after the "Jungalmahal encounter", a top counter-insurgency force official said.
India Inc today hailed the government's decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail while completely opening single-brand retail to overseas investors, saying the move would help bring in the much needed capital for the sector.
"It is a win-win situation for everyone. With the amount of money to be invested in back-end, supply chain and farm sector will benefit," Future GroupChief Executive Officer Kishore Biyani told media.
Even the small and medium enterprises will benefit. Eventually consumers will get a lot of choices and they will get products at better prices, he added.
Shoppers Stop Vice Chairman B S Nagesh said: "I welcome FDI in retail. Capital is required for the market whether it comes from domestic or foreign investors, it will help grow the sector in the next 3-5 years."
Commenting on the impact of opening the sector to foreign players he said: "There will be no impact on the domestic industry as there is enough market. At the end of the day the consumer will benefit."
Sharing similar view, industry body CII said it strongly supports the introduction of FDI in multi-brand retail as it would benefit consumers, producers (farmers), small and medium enterprises and generate significant employment.
"This would open up enormous opportunities in India for expansion of organised retail and allow substantial investment in the back-end infrastructure like cold chains, warehousing, logistics and expansion of contract farming," CII President B Muthuraman said in a statement.
Previously, no FDI was allowed in multi-brand retail while in the single-brand retail only 51 per cent was allowed. In the wholesale cash and carry, 100 per cent FDI is allowed.
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Zee News - 10 minutes ago
New Delhi: Parliament didn't function for the third consecutive day of its winter session Thursday despite peace being in sight after the government and opposition agreed to a debate on rising prices - but without a vote.
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NDTV - 1 hour ago
New Delhi: The parliamentary panel looking into the Lokpal Bill today arrived at a "broad consensus" on making the body a constitutional authority.
The Hindu - 1 hour ago
Civil society groups and some individuals have demanded an apology from the former Home Secretary GK Pillai for his "insensitive, sexist slandering'' remarks on Ishrat Jahan who was reportedly killed in a fake encounter in Gujarat.
'We have kept our promise'Last updated on: November 23, 2011 21:36 IST
In an interview with CNN-IBN, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee spoke on a range of issues including her party's tiffs with the United Progressive Alliance, her six-month rule in the state and her plans to tackle Maoism. Here are some excerpts:
On her six-month rule
"We have done everything as per our commitment, positively. We have delivered on Darjeeling -- the Gorkha Hill Council is there. Tourists are going there and the Kanchenjunga is smiling.
I can assure you that we have done for Jungle Mahal whatever we had promised. All tribal families in Jungle Mahal have been declared as living below the poverty line and all poor people are getting food for the first time.
On Singur, it was the foundation of the farmer's movement. We have passed the bill and acquired the land. One court case is pending but whatever we had committed has been delivered. The earlier government had a debt of Rs two lakh three thousand crore. Only six paisa is left for development out of every rupee spent. In spite of economic problems, we have kept our promise."
Image: A file photo of Mamata Banerjee at a protest rally in Singur
Meanwhile,the issues of price rise andTelangana created turmoil in Parliament for the third day on Thursday as agitated opposition members raised slogans, staged a sit-in in the well and walked out, leading to two adjournments of both Houses.
The government today said nobody in the country has died of starvation or hunger in the past two years, as per the data available with it.
"As per the information received from the Department of Food and Public Administration, no state or Union Territory has reported any incidence of death due to starvation and hunger during the last two years," Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
He further said, "Besides, for tackling the problem of hunger in the country, the government has been providing foodgrains at subsidised prices to the targeted population through the states and Union Territories administrations under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) on (under) the Non-Plan (expenditure head)".
In his reply, the minister cited major programmes, including the rural employment guarantee scheme and food security mission, run by the government to eradicate poverty.
The slapping of Union minister Sharad Pawar was a manifestation of growing anger of people against the UPA government as it had failed in curbing corruption and price rise, the CPI (ML-Liberation) alleged.
$450 billion retail sector foreign investment plan moving 'very fast'!
India is moving quickly on a plan to open its $450 billion retail sector to global players such as Wal-Mart despite concerns about job losses among millions of small neighbourhood stores, India's industry secretary said on Wednesday.
The emerging Asian power has dallied for years about bringing foreign investment to supermarkets. The move is seen by many as crucial to tame food prices but is resisted by small shopkeepers who are now the backbone in India's retail economy.
"Please don't ask me for a timeline, but we are proceeding very fast," Industry Secretary R.P. Singh told Reuters in an interview. "It's certainly not on the back burner."
Despite his optimism, the plan has not yet been approved by the cabinet, with job-loss concerns ahead of state elections next year and a general election in 2014, slowing policy.
Currently, up to 40 percent of India's harvests rot because of inadequate cold storage and supply bottlenecks, a situation some economists say foreign money in supermarkets will help resolve.
"The idea is that the multi-brand retail should be able to help us in addressing the infrastructure gap, so the back end infrastructure is very important for us," Singh said.
However, he said concerns that such conditions would be too restrictive on companies were unfounded.
"Conditions are not such that they will reduce the viability of the global players here," he said.
A committee of top civil servants, of which Singh was a member, in July agreed to recommend to the cabinet allowing foreign firms to take a 51 percent stake in such multi-brand retail operations.
Turning to wider economic issues, Singh also said that industrial growth was weak in August, as businesses held back investments because of high inflation and interest rates.
India's industrial growth slumped to its weakest rate in nearly two years in July.
"The slapping is a manifestation of people's growing anger against corruption and price rise...it is actually a slap on the face of UPA government for failing to rein in corruption and price rise," its general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya told reporters.
He, however, said, "We do not believe in violent act."
Union Agriculture MinisterSharad Pawar was Friday slapped in the face by a Delhi youth who had only four days ago kicked former minister Sukh Ram after he was sentenced in a corruption case.
As his horrified aides watched and cameras whirred, Harvinder Singh attacked the minister who was walking with officials at the NDMC centre here. Pawar appeared to lose his balance momentarily but recovered fast.
Dressed in a blue striped T-shirt, the turbaned Sikh took out his kirpan before he was overpowered by guards.
"Sab chor hain... cheer doonga... cheer doonga (They're all thieves. I will rip them apart), the man shouted as he was being whisked away.
The man who said he was a transporter from Rohini said the common person was fed up with rising prices of food items and corruption.
"I am a man, I did this. Yes I'm right!" he shouted in rage.
"Dikha diya maine... (I have shown it.) Today is Guru Tegh Bahadur martyrdom day," Harvinder Singh said defiantly as he was hustled away and added that he was responsible for the assault on Sukh Ram too.
Harvinder Singh, who was detained at the Parliament Street police station, had Nov 19 attacked Sukh Ram at the Rohini courts complex after his sentencing in a 1996 telecom scam case. The octogenarian former minister was unhurt.
Harvinder Singh was detained and subsequently released.
Thursday's attack, amongst the few times that a minister has been attacked in public, seemed in a similar vein. Though Pawar underplayed the incident, condemnation came in from all quarters, including from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who phoned him soon after.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief played it cool.
"Why should I react? I won't call it breach of security because I don't take security with me. I'll see if this needs to be reviewed," Pawar told a news channel.
"I was going to my car and there was a group of journalists and they were asking some questions. At the same time, I saw him (the attacker) trying to come forward... It looked like he was with the group of journalists," Pawar added.
His daughter and NCP MP Supriya Sule added in a similar conciliatory tone that everybody had the right to protest in a democracy but violence must be condemned.
"Let's forget about it and move ahead," she said, adding that her father was lucky to have escaped unhurt. Her party colleague Chhagan Bhujbal asked the central government to provide Pawar "full security".
Breaking into a group of officials and journalists, a youth on Thursday attacked Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar after a public event in New Delhi shouting slogans against corruption and price rise, an action that was roundly condemned by political parties.
The 71-year-old Mr. Pawar, who went to a literary function at a public auditorium on Parliament Street, was caught unawares when he was slapped by Harvinder Singh, a local transporter in his thirties who had assaulted former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram outside a court on Saturday after he was sentenced in a corruption case.
The NCP veteran, who has very little security, lost his balance for a moment but regained composure after the assault, moved towards the exit of the auditorium and got into his waiting car.
Private security guards immediately overpowered the youth who was shouting "he is corrupt" and an official landed some blows on Mr. Singh.
"I came planned to the event to slap the Minister," Mr. Singh told reporters who had gone to cover the literary function.
"All of them are corrupt," he shouted when he was removed from security and policemen.
Wielding a small kirpan, the youth said things could have been worse but for the observance of martyrdom day of Guru Tegh Bahadur on Thursday.
Mr. Pawar played down the incident saying he was not sure of what the intentions of the attacker could be and left it to police to handle the issue.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Mr. Pawar after the incident and condemned the attack. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee also said that the attack on Mr. Pawar was "totally condemnable".
Mr. Pawar termed the incident stupid and that he did not make much out of it.
When asked whether he would press charges against the attacker, he said it was for police to deal with the matter.
Mr. Pawar said he saw the youth standing in the midst of a group of journalists and could have taken advantage of the fact that he has very little security.
His daughter and NCP MP Supriya Sule said she does not want to blame anybody and asked her party workers to "forget and move ahead".
She said police will handle the matter and party activists should not react in any manner.
Leaders cutting across political lines condemned the attack saying it cannot be tolerated in a democracy.
While Congress blamed the Tuesday statement of BJP leader Yashwant Sinha that continued price rise in the "absence" of any concrete steps may become a reason for the people to vent their anger in the form of violence, opposition leaders said the government should take the issue of price rise seriously and address it.
Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi blamed BJP statement on Tuesday that continued price rise in the "absence" of any concrete steps may become a reason for the people to vent their anger in the form of violence.
"BJP has given a statement. This statement is responsible for today's incident," he told reporters.
BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad condemned the attack and said the attacker should be punished. He also said the government has not been doing nothing on the price situation and the price of gas, petroleum, food and vegetables has been going up.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav also spoke out against violence and said the attacker should be punished. The government also should take the price situation seriously, he said.
Team Anna member Kiran Bedi today warned politicians that they may be targeted like Sharad Pawar if Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.
"Pray proper Lokpal Bill gets passed in winter session or else pent up anger may come on streets. Politicians may get targeted," Bedi, who was in the eye of a storm for mocking politicians during Anna Hazare's Ramlila Maidan agitation, tweeted.
Condemning the attack, she said, one needs to analyse why is this happening and what must be done to contain this.
"Assault on public functionaries calls for serious reflection at all levels of society including media forums," Bedi said.
At a public function here, Pawar was slapped by a youth who claimed he was angry with corruption and price rise.
Pawar was slapped by Harvinder Singh, a transporter in his thirties who had assaulted former Telecom Minister Sukhram outside Rohini Court on Saturday after he was sentenced in a corruption case.
After receiving specific information that he and some of his associates and Suchitra Mahato, the wife of a slain leader he was living with, were hiding in the Kushboni jungle, the area was cordoned off and an encounter ensued after breaking the four tiers of security that Kishenji had, the official said.
It was from Kushboni forest that the Maoist Polit Bureau member, the second in-command of the outfit and in-charge of military operations in Jungalmahal since 2009, and Suchitra had eluded the joint forces on Wednesday.
The encounter which began this morning at Burisole jungle in Jamboni police station area was close to Kushboni near the Jharkhand border.
The official said Kishenji's body was identified by the AK-47 rifle he was carrying. Suchitra and others fled.
A laptop bag, some letters written by Kishenji and Suchitra and a few important documents were earlier seized by the joint forces from Gosaibandh village nearby.
The Centre on Thursday said the person killed in an encounter in West Midnapore was most probably top Maoist leader Kishenji and it was awaiting a final confirmation from the West Bengal police.
"Most likely it is Kishenji. The officers on the spot said that it is Kishenji and most likely, 99 per cent it is Kishenji," Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh told reporters reacting to reports about the killing of the Maoist leader.
Mr. Singh said the Home Ministry has sent the latest photographs of the Maoist leader for comparison and final confirmation.
"We have said that we have to be certain before we declare. We have sent the latest photographs of Kishenji for comparison," he said.
The Home Secretary said killing of Kishenji was a "huge setback for the Naxals as he was number three in the hierarchy of the CPI(Maoists)".
Mr. Singh said the West Bengal and Central forces were following Kishenji for quite some time after getting information about him and Thursday's encounter was the result of that effort.
The Home Secretary said joint operations against the Maoists will continue in West Bengal and other Maoist-affected States.
The issues of price rise andTelangana created turmoil in Parliament for the third day on Thursday as agitated opposition members raised slogans, staged a sit-in in the well and walked out, leading to two adjournments of both Houses.
As soon as the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabhaassembled for the day, members of BSP, RJD and BJD and those from Congress belonging to Telangana region, along with TRS, started raising slogans to press for their varied demands, forcing their adjournment till noon.
Similar scenes were witnessed when the Houses reassembled, forcing the second adjournment till 2 PM.
On behalf of the government, minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Narayanasamy said in the Rajya Sabha, "We are ready for a short-duration discussion (on price rise). We can start the discussion even now."
When the Lok Sabha reassembled at noon, TRS members - K Chandrashekhar Rao and Vijayashanti - came into the well and staged a sit-in to demand a separate Telangana.
They were vociferously supported by Congress members from the region who carried placards and raised slogans from the aisles. They sought introduction of the bill for creation of the separate state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh.
BSP and RJD members also shouted slogans demanding debate on price rise under rules which entail voting, while members of the BJD wanted 'special category status' to flood-ravaged Odisha. BSP members staged a walkout later.
In the melee, Speaker Meira Kumar announced that as per the rules, the adjournment motions on "unprecedented rise in prices of essential commodities" moved by SP and other parties could not be accepted. However, a special discussion on the same issue under Rule 193, which does not entail voting, would be taken up at 2pm, she said.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was lacking in floor coordination in parliament and was unable to control its members, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday said Thursday and denied that it was disrupting proceedings.
Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said: "It seems the Congress is unable to manage floor coordination and its members. We tried our best to run the house by agreeing to the Left demand on a debate on price rise despite our adjournment motion on a debate on the black money issue."
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitleytoo said the government lacked floor coordination.
The BJP said it was trying to save opposition unity by supporting the Left on the price rise debate, which could not be held Thursday as the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after Congress members protested over the Telangana issue.
Sushma Swaraj said the BJP would now give a fresh notice for an adjournment motion on black money Monday in the Lok Sabha, but is open to the house taking up the Left demand for a discussion on price rise.
The BJP said its leader L.K. Advani had given a notice for an adjournment motion on black money issue in consultation with the Left parties.
She said the Left, including the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), agreed to change the words "government's failure" to "situation arising out of" in their notice on the debate on black money.
India opens doors to global retail chainsNew Delhi: In a major push to reforms, India Thursday allowed global chains like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and 7-Eleven to bring up to 51 percent foreign equity to open multi-brand retail stores despite opposition by some allies in the ruling coalition. Also allowed is 100-percent equity in single brand retailing.
The much-awaited decision on allowing foreign capital into multi-brand retailing and enhancing the cap on single-brand stores was approved during a two-hour meeting of the federal cabinet Thursday evening, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "We will make a statement in parliament," is all that Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said after the meeting given the sensitivities involved. But some ministers and officials confirmed the clearance on condition of anonymity.
Sources said there are also some caveats proposed in the policy, notably to protect the interests of mom-and-pop shops, farmers and small and medium enterprises. There are some 40 million people involved directly in running these neighbourhood stores. The decision came despite protests by some allies, notably the Trinamool Congress. Even some cabinet ministers belonging to Congress party, which heads United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition, had expressed their reservations over its impact on small retailers.
"This would open up enormous opportunities in India for expansion of organised retail and allow substantial investment in backend infrastructure like cold chains, warehousing, logistics and expansion of contract farming," said CII president B. Muthuraman. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in its cabinet note had pushed for the move saying global retailers will bring new technology, help establish supply chains to cut wastage of farm produce and induce competition in the sector.
India had allowed 100-percent foreign equity for wholesale cash-and-carry chains under government approval route in January 1997 when H.D. Deve Gowda was prime minister. For nearly 10 years thereafter there was little movement forward. Then in February 2006, the doors were opened for up to 51 percent foreign equity in the single-brand retailing segment, even as nod for processing applications to open wholesale cash-and-carry chains was put under the automatic route.
Since then, there was a strong debate on taking a similar decision on multi-brand retailing. Two months ago, a committee of secretaries had given a green signal on its part after going thorough the comments -- for and against -- from all stakeholders. The caveat proposed by the committee included a minimum investment of $100 million, stores restricted to metros and Tier-I cities, and some minimum sourcing requirement from small and medium enterprises.
Globally, foreign equity in retail is permitted in Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, Indonesia, China and Thailand without any limits, while Malaysia imposes equity caps on overseas investment. Thursday noon had seen the Trinamool Congress, led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, express reservations against the move. The party had asked its sole nominee in the federal cabinet, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, to oppose the move. "I have some reservations, we can express our views, we will express our views when the details come to us," Banerjee said, even as Commerce Minister Anand Sharma was dispatched to convince her regarding government's intension.
While Left parties have all along opposed foreign equity in retail trade, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also joined the chorus of opposition, saying the move will dent the domestic retail sector and also deal a blow to smaller manufacturing units.
"Fragmented markets always result in competition which is good for the consumer," said Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, referring to the current play in the domestic segment. "We oppose foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. We are not against foreign equity, but it has to be addressed sector wise." The Left parties opposed the move. "It will lead to the displacement of crores of small retailers in the market. Foreign direct investment will increase the price rise in retail goods," said Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta.
The government feels the move will have the following benefits: It will cut intermediaries between farmers and the retailers, thereby helping them get more money for their produce, It will help in bringing down prices at retail level and calm inflation, Big retail chains will invest in supply chains which will reduce wastage, estimated at 40 percent in the case of fruits and vegetables, It will bring much-needed foreign investment into the country, along with technology and global best-practices, It will induce better competition in the market, thus benefiting both producers and consumers.
For full coverage on FDI in retail
New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was today slapped by a youth at a public function claiming he was angry with corruption and price rise.
71-year-old Pawar, who went to a literary function at a public auditorium on Parliament Street, was slapped by Harvinder Singh, a transporter in his thirties who had assaulted former Telecom Minister Sukhram outside Rohini Court on Saturday after he was sentenced in a corruption case.
Pawar lost his balance but remained unperturbed after the assault and moved towards the exit of the auditorium and got into his waiting car.
Private security guards immediately overpowered the youth who was shouting "he is corrupt" and an official landed some blows on Singh.
"I came planned to the event to slap the minister," Singh told reporters who had gone to cover the literary function.
"All of them are corrupt," he shouted when he was removed from security and policemen.
Wielding a small kirpan, the youth said things could have been worse but for the observance of martyrdom day of Guru Tegh Bahadur today.
Later, reacting to the incident, Pawar called it stupid and that he did not make much out of it.
When asked whether he would press charges against the attacker, he said it was for police to deal with the matter.
Pawar said he saw the youth standing in the midst of a group of journalists and could have taken advantage of the fact that he has very little security.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Pawar after the incident and condemned the attack.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee also said that the attack on Pawar was "totally condemnable".
Political parties condemned the attack on Pawar saying it was not acceptable in a democracy. Opposition parties, however, felt that government should be serious about tackling corruption and price rise which are of concern to people.
But Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi blamed BJP statement on Tuesday that continued price rise in the "absence" of any concrete steps may become a reason for the people to vent their anger in the form of violence.
"BJP has given a statement. This statement is responsible for today's incident," he told reporters.
BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad condemned the attack and said the attacker should be punished. He also said the government has not been doing nothing on the price situation and the price of gas, petroleum, food and vegetables has been going up.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav also spoke out against violence and said the attacker should be punished. The government also should take the price situation seriously, he said.
FDI in multi-brand retail need further discussion: Mamata Banerjee
Opening multi-brand retail to foreign investment may require further discussion as the government needs to protect farmers' interest, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chiefMamata Banerjee said, ahead of the Cabinet meeting on the issue today.
"We are always pro-farmers. We can keep the country smile only because of farmers and industry. Let industry smile, let agriculture also smile.
"...there are some matters (foreign direct investment in retail) which may need further discussion. Let the matter come in our party, we will discuss it in our Parliamentary Committee," Banerjee told reporters at the ongoing India International Trade Fair (IITF) here.
At the IITF, she was accompanied by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.
Earlier in the day, Sharma had discussion with the West Bengal Chief Minister whose party is an important UPA ally at the Centre. Sharma was trying to take her on board on the politically sensitive issue of FDI in retail.
Banerjee said her party colleague and Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi would speak on the issue in the Cabinet meeting.
Allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, upto 51 per cent as proposed by the Industry Ministry,will pave the way for opening of global retail stores like Wal-Mart,Carrefour and Tesco in major Indian cities.
The FDI cap in the single brand is also likely to be raised to 100 per cent.
The government's plan to open its supermarket sector to global retailers hung in the balance on Thursday as political opposition to the long-delayed reform mounted just hours before a cabinet meeting called to approve it.
Multinationals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc have eyed India for years as the last frontier in mass retailing - a market estimated at $450 billion a year, but still dominated by traditional family-run and corner stores.
Allowing foreign retailers to take stakes of up to 51 per cent in supermarkets would attract much-needed capital from abroad and ultimately help unclog supply bottlenecks that have kept inflation stubbornly close to a double-digit clip.
However, Trinamool Congress said it will oppose the proposal at the cabinet meeting, raising the chances that yet another of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's reform plans would be put on ice.
"We are completely opposed to it," said Dinesh Trivedi, the cabinet representative of the Trinamool Congress party, on which Singh's Congress party depends for a majority in parliament.
"My suggestion in the cabinet (meeting) will be that an all-party meeting should be called to discuss this sensitive matter before taking it up in the cabinet," Trivedi told reporters.
Trade minister Anand Sharma said there was "a broad-based consensus" in favour of the reform within the cabinet, and he would meet the leader of Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee, to persuade her to throw her weight behind it.
However, another of her senior party officials said he had the impression Singh was trying to "bulldoze" the reform through.
"The foreign companies will start by selling cheap to attract people and then, within a year and half, increase prices. This will hurt the poor and all the small traders. This has to be properly discussed more openly," another said.
Political opponents of the proposal, with an eye to the ballot box, argue an influx of foreign players -- which could include Carrefour and Tesco Plc -- will throw millions of small traders out of work in a sector that is the largest source of employment in India after agriculture.
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मुंबई। राष्ट्रवादी कांग्रेस पार्टी के अध्यक्ष और केंद्रीय कृषिमंत्री शरद पवार पर हुए हमले के विरोध में महाराष्ट्र के कई नगरों सहित मुंबई में जगह-जगह चक्का जाम और विरोध प्रदर्शन शुरू हो गए हैं। शरद पवार के संसदीय क्षेत्र बारामती में तो बंद का ऐलान भी कर दिया गया है। पुणे के पिंपरी चिंचवड़ में भी एनसीपी के सैकड़ों कार्यकर्ता सड़क पर उतरे। एनएच-4 पुणे-बैंगलोर हाईवे बंद किया गया और कोल्हापुर में भी हंगामा हुआ। ...
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नई दिल्ली: कृषि मंत्री शरद पवार को एक युवक के जरिए सरेआम चांटा मारे जाने पर समाजसेवी अन्ना हजारे ने आपत्तिजनक बयान दिया. अन्ना गुरुवार को रालेगण सिद्दि में लोगों की भीड़ के बीच बैठे थे तो इस दौरान किसी ने उन्हें बताया कि शरद पवार को दिल्ली में एक थप्पड़ मारा गया है. पवार को चांटा मारे जाने की बात सुनते ही अन्ना ने तुरंत कहा, "थप्पड़ मारा! सिर्फ एक ही मारा!" उनका यह बयान कैमरे में कैद हो चुका है. अन्ना के इस बयान से बवाल मच गया ...
डी-डब्लू वर्ल्ड - 2 घंटे पहले
भारत के कृषि मंत्री शरद पवार को एक युवक ने चांटा मार दिया है. पवार के गाल पर थप्पड़ उस वक्त पड़ा जब वो इफको के एक साहित्यिक कार्यक्रम में हिस्सा लेने के बाद बाहर निकलते हुए पत्रकारों से बात कर रहे थे. महंगाई की मार. इस हमले से 71 साल के शरद पवार लड़खड़ा गए और गिरते गिरते बचे. हमला होते ही मीडियार्मियों ने युवक को पवार से दूर धकेला और उसके बाद कृषि मंत्री वहां से निकल गए. संसद मार्ग पर मौजूद ऑडिटोरियम के निजी सुरक्षाकर्मियों ...
मनी कॉंट्रोल - 3 घंटे पहले
केंद्रीय कृषिमंत्री शरद पवार पर हुए हमले को लेकर भ्रष्टाचार के खिलाफ लड़ाई लड़ रहे समाजसेवी अन्ना हजारे ने कुछ अजीबोगरीब प्रतिक्रिया दी। अन्ना ने कहा कि "पवार को सिर्फ एक ही थप्पड़ पड़ा है।" फिर थोड़ी देर बाद अन्ना को मामले की गम्भीरता का एहसास हुआ और उन्होंने इस हमले की निंदा की। और कहा कि "किसी के साथ मार पिटाई नहीं करनी चाहिए। ये लोकतंत्र के खिलाफ है।"
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दैनिक भास्कर - 5 घंटे पहले
नई दिल्ली.केंद्रीय कृषि मंत्री शरद पवार पर हुए हमले की राजनीतिक दलों ने निंदा की है। बीजेपी नेता सुषमा स्वराज ने इस घटना की निंदा करते हुए कहा कि भाजपा कभी भी हिंसा की समर्थक नहीं रही है। वित्त मंत्री प्रणब मुखर्जी ने कहा, 'पता नहीं देश किस दिशा में जा रहा है।' स्मृति ईरानी ने कहा, 'लोकतंत्र में हिंसा का कोई स्थान नहीं है। मैं इस घटना की निंदा करती हूं लेकिन महंगाई को लेकर हम संसद में आवाज उठा रहे हैं और सड़क पर भी उठाएंगे। ...
Webdunia Hindi - 2 घंटे पहले
राजनेताओं और मशहूर शख्सियतों पर मैगों पीपल या आम आदमी ने खुलेआम अपना गुस्सा निकालना शुरू कर दिया है। हाल ही की घटनाओं पर गौर करें तो पता चलेगा कि ग्रेग चैपल से लेकर शरद पवार पर आम आदमी का गुस्सा सीधे-सीधे लोकतंत्र में एक ऐसे खतरनाक मोड़ की ओर इशारा कर रहा है, जहां कभी भी स्थिति विस्फोटक हो सकती है। कुछ समय पहले फारुख अब्दुल्ला पर एक पुलिसकर्मी ने जूता फेंका था। कोर्ट परिसर में पूर्व संचार मंत्री सुखराम की पिटाई हो या ...Economic Times (Hindi) - 4 घंटे पहले
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कृषि मंत्री शरद पवार को गुरुवार को एक युवक ने थप्पड़ मार दिया। इस युवक का कहना था कि वह भ्रष्टाचार और महंगाई से नाराज है। पवार दिल्ली में एनडीएमसी सभागार में आयोजित 'श्रीलाल शुक्ल स्मृति इफको साहित्य समारोह' में शिरकत करने पहुंचे थे। समारोह के समापन के बाद बाहर निकलते वक्त हरविंदर सिंह नाम के युवक ने उन्हें थप्पड़ मारा। राष्ट्रवादी कांग्रेस पार्टी के प्रमुख को थप्पड़ मारने वाला यह युवक पेशे से ट्रांसपोर्टर है।...
Webdunia Hindi - 2 घंटे पहले
दिल्ली के एनडीएमसी में गुरुवार को एक युवक ने केंद्रीय मंत्री शरद पवार को थप्पड़ मार दिया। पुलिस ने युवक को गिरफ्तार कर लिया है और उससे पूछताछ जारी है। सभी राजनीतिक पार्टियों ने घटना की कड़ी निंदा की है। सूत्रों से प्राप्त जानकारी के अनुसार थप्पड़ मारने वाले युवक का नाम हरविंदरसिंह हैं और गत शनिवार को जब भ्रष्टाचार के एक मामले में पूर्व दूरसंचार मंत्री सुखराम को सजा सुनाई गई थी तब रोहिणी अदालत के बाहर हरविंदर ने उन पर भी ...
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Tamil Nadu bans screening of 'Dam 999'Chennai: Tamil Nadu Thursday banned the screening of "Dam 999" due to widespread protests against the film that is seen as taking a pro-Kerala stand in the Mullaperiyar Dam case pending in the Supreme Court.
"'Dam 999', the movie that creates a fear among the public about the Mullaperiyar Dam, is banned from being screened in Tamil Nadu," said a terse statement by Chief Secretary Deberanath Sarangi. Political parties in Tamil Nadu -- the DMK, MDMK, PMK and others -- had voiced their opposition to the screening in the state of the controversial movie which was set for release Friday.
The government's decision comes a day after Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to advise the Kerala government "not to venture upon a new dam" and also not to whip up a sense of fear among the public about the safety of the Mullaperiyar Dam. The Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association Wednesday declared that the movie will not be screened by its members.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the Mullaperiyar Dam, built under an agreement signed in 1886 between the then maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British administration.
The dam, located in Kerala's Idukki district, serves Tamil Nadu, which is demanding that its height be raised from 136 feet (41.5 m) to 142 feet (43 m) to meet the increasing demand of water for irrigation. Kerala, however, is seeking construction of a new dam, saying the existing structure has outlived its life.
On Wednesday, DMK president and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi said the controversial movie should not be released at a time when the two states were fighting over the Mullaperiyar Dam. He claimed that at a time when a case was pending in the Supreme Court about Mullaperiyar Dam, the film has been produced with a hidden agenda.
While the Supreme Court in February 2006 gave its order in favour of Tamil Nadu to raise the storage levels to 142 ft, the Kerala government in March that year passed a law effectively nullifying the judgment.
Opposing the Kerala law, Tamil Nadu had filed a case in the Supreme Court in 2006. "Dam 999" with the central theme of the bursting of a dam has raised a controversy in Tamil Nadu, resulting in demand for banning the movie.
MDMK chief Vaiko alleged that the movie refers to the 999-year lease of the Mullaperiyar Dam. The film's director Sohan Roy, who had earlier made a documentary on the Mullaperiyar Dam with the theme that disaster was waiting to happen, denied his movie had anything to do with Mullaperiyar Dam.
Shot in Kerala, Ooty in Tamil Nadu and Dubai, the movie is made in English and is dubbed in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Malayalam.
Sharad Pawar 'slap gate' becomes rage on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
November 24, 2011 03:29 PM |
Moneylife Digital Team
While Sharad Pawar was trending at third spot on Twitter trend across the world within few minutes after the incident, the attacker or serial slapper was also in the top ten
The shocking incident in New Delhi, where one youth assaulted (slapped) Union minister Sharad Pawar at NDMC centre has not only become breaking news for next 24 hours for TV channels, but is also spreading over the social media like wildfire.
While, many TV channels have uploaded their 'exclusive' footage of the incident on YouTube, numbers of people are posting comments, twitting their views. We are wondering, with so many camerapersons present at the scene, how any TV channel can claim this to be 'exclusive' footage. Anyway, that's a different issue. Incidentally, there were over 10 such footages on YouTube while writing this story.
On Twitter trend across the world, Sharad Pawar was at third spot followed by Harvinder Singh (the youth who slapped Mr Pawar). At around 5pm, Harvinder was shown at top with Sharad Pawar at second spot on Twitter trend across India.
Kiran Bedi said on Twitter that assaults on public functionaries calls for serious reflection at all levels of society including media forms. "Pray proper lokpal bill gets passed in winter session or else pent up anger may come on streets. Politicians may get targeted," Ms Bedi tweeted.
Tushar A Gandhi said, "Slapping Pawar is the result of all the Maro Latka do slogans from Ramleela Maidan."
Let's see some of the selected comments, tweets from Facebook and Twitter...
- "Best and worst leaders assassinated and bad leaders just gets slaps?"
- "Sardar who slapped sharad pawar in delhi: Tum apan ko itna mara, hum tumko sirf ek mara, magar sollid mara ki nahi???"
- "What a Shot. It must have rocked whole BCCI ;)"
- "Helmet please,'' just heard a politician @ mantralaya"
- "Dont recommend slapping netas :| but do hope its a wake up call and tells them how fed up we are about corruption, inflation and inaction!!"
- "harvinder singh slaps sharad pawar and knocks murderous rage #kolaveri di off the top of trends list."
- "And now we'll see Harvinder Singh is Big Boss soon ;)"
- "Sharad Pawar to NDTV after getting slapped, "Thappad se dar nahin lagta sahab, 'Sardar' se lagta hai"
- "People just Misunderstood the Slapper. He just wished 'Happy Thanksgiving' to Sharad Pawar in appropriate manner"
- "Harvinder Singh, serial slapper who assaulted Sukh Ram earlier & Sharad Pawar today brandished kirpan at site,says will do it again."
- "Congress is worried now that aam aadmi ka haath, Pawar ke saath"
- "Now, this #SlapGate incident is going to be the Most Sharad video on Facebook and Twitter."
- "Breaking news, Headlines, Top stories are gonna hurt Sharad Pawar badly today!!!!man repeats of that jhaapad:)"
- "Is it true that the thappad -giver, Harvinder Singh, is being wooed by Bollywood for a 'Singh is King' sequel?More slaps,please,we r desis!"
|In a huge setback to Maoists, its top leader Kishenji was today killed in a gunbattle with security forces in a forest in West Midnapore district of West Bengal, a day after he narrowly escaped from there.|
| The body of 58-year-old Molajula Koteswar Rao, better known as Kishenji, was found and identified after the encounter, a top counter-insurgency force official said. |
Kishenji, a Telugu, was a Maoist politburo member, the third in-command of the outfit and in-charge of its armed operations in junglemahal since 2009.
After receiving specific information that he and some of his associates and Suchitra Mahato, the wife of a slain leader he was living with, were holed up in Kushboni jungle, the area was surrounded by security forces, triggering an encounter.
The four tiers of Kishenji's security was breached, the official said. It was from Kushboni forest that Kishenji had been operating since 2009.
The encounter which began this morning at Burisole jungle in Jamboni police station area was close to Kushboni near the the Jharkhand border. The official said Kishenji's body was identified by the AK-47 rifle he was carrying. Suchitra and others fled.
A laptop bag, some letters written by Kishenji and Suchitra and a few important documents were earlier seized by the joint forces from Gosaibandh village nearby.
Union Home Secretary R K Singh said in New Delhi that the killing of Kishenji was a "huge set back for the Naxals as he was number three in the hierarchy of CPI(Maoists).
Singh said West Bengal and central forces were following Kishenji for quite some time after getting information about him and today's encounter was the result of that effort.
The Home Secretary said joint operations against Maoists will continue in West Bengal and other Naxal-affected states.
NAPM Condemns STATE TERRORISM ON THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT IN NARAYANPATNADear All,
NAPM strongly condemns this high handedness of the Odisha state and continued repression in Narayanpatna. We demand justice and reiterate the support to the democratic struggles of the people of Narayanpatna.
NAPM Conveners team
STOP STATE TERRORISM ON THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT IN NARAYANPATNA
23 November 2011
On 20 November 2011, we, the undersigned, were heading towards Podapadar village in Narayanpatna block of Koraput district where the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) was to organize a public meeting to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by two of their frontline leaders, Wadeka Singana and Nachika Andrew, who had fallen prey to state terror two years back on the same day. On 20 November 2009, hundreds of 'unarmed' adivasis had assembled at the Narayanpatna police station to register their protest democratically against untold excesses committed by police and paramilitary forces on them in the pretext of combing operations. But, the police – in the most undemocratic and barbaric manner – indiscriminately fired at the people in which Wadeka Singana and Nachika Andrew fell dead inside premises of the police station and several were wounded.
The CMAS has been fighting to restore the rights of native communities over their own land and resources, to shut down illegal liquor shops, and to reclaim their cultural ethos on face of the hegemony established by non-adivasi landlords, moneylenders, and bootleggers. The democratic movement has questioned the unconstitutional manner in which the state had played facilitator to the cultural and economic appropriation in a 'scheduled' area. The CMAS has also strongly come in the way of the state's nefarious plans to hand over the Deo Mali range to mining hawks for profits at the cost of the economy and culture of the local adivasis. To ensure protection to the land-grabbers, liquor traders, and corporate interests, a state of terror has been let loose in the area, with police and paramilitary forces given impunity for their excesses.
As we were travelling in a vehicle passing through Bandhugan and then Narayanpatna, the expected buzz in the atmosphere on this important day was somehow conspicuously absent. However, no one could miss to notice the heavy, intimidating presence of armed BSF men along the road in the adivasis heartland: some of them roaming about with fierce, suspicious eyes and some standing on guard waiting to fire at some dreaded 'enemies of the state' about to appear somewhere. We drove past a BSF camp in Bandhugan and another in Narayanpatna, and no sooner we sighted yet another at Basnaput village, we bumped into a roadblock. At least a dozen gun-trotting BSF men were standing on our way, besides the road being clogged-up with logs and stones by them. Podapadar was still two kilometres away.
The BSF men stopped our vehicle and asked us to turn back, despite them being introduced to the team that comprised media persons, social activists, and writers. We tried to convince them for hours that the forces had no constitutional right to curb free movement of any citizen and that the public meeting called by the CMAS at Podapadar was well within democratic sanctions and, therefore, they had no right to stop or intimidate people coming to attend the meeting. We were, in turn, kept engaged by the BSF men and the thana in-charge of Narayanpatna in meaningless discussions without them giving any appropriate reason for not allowing us to proceed. They kept repeating some hollow explanations: "We are instructed from higher authorities not to let anyone go beyond this point" or "Maoists have laid landmines on the way" and so on. The district collector on phone expressed ignorance about any such order 'from above' to stop people while the Koraput SP did not pick his phone. Interestingly, right at that point, a tractor was allowed to go ahead on the way where 'Maoists had laid landmines', and about an hour later, the same tractor came back unscathed. After more than three hours of debate, we had no option other than returning from Basnaput village.
On our way back, between Basnaput and Bandhugan, we met several people who narrated to us how the paramilitary forces had attacked and brutally beaten them up when more than a thousand people were peacefully marching towards Podapadar to join the event. Even women and children were not spared; a 12-year-old boy looked terrified and baffled as he showed us his badly swollen face and narrated the assault on the people! Later in the day, we further learned that police and paramilitary forces had forcefully stopped and terrorized at different places thousands of people coming to join the meeting from various directions. Despite such air of terror unleashed all around by the forces, more than 5000 people had assembled at the Shahid Stambha (martyr's pillar) at Podapadar. The forces reached there too in the afternoon and started beating up the people mercilessly in attempts to disperse them. Several people were injured, some severely, and at least three of them have been arrested. In the evening, at around 9 pm, we got the news that police had demolished the Shahid Stambha for the second time within a year. This is an extremely obnoxious act of cultural violence in which people are denied their fundamental right to remember and pay homage to their dead ones.
Having witnessed firsthand a day of intimidation and terror in the Narayanpatna block, the stark images of a 'police state' and repression on people's democratic voices only came clearer to us at the end of the day. And, from that, arise many a question:
- The CMAS and the people of Narayanpatna are fighting to restore their due rights over land and resources, which the state should rather be facilitating to ensure. Why is the state treating them as dreaded criminals instead? Has the state already decided to abandon the Constitution?
- Under which law is the martyr's day observed by the people of Narayanpatna an unlawful act that the state let loose such large number of police and paramilitary forces to stop it by terrorizing and brutally beating up innocent people?
- Have we already formally become a 'police state' that freedom of expression and free movement of ordinary citizens are crushed in such barefaced manners?
- Why is the state so evidently reluctant to settle land disputes in the area? Why are hundreds of people who simply asked for their due rights over their own land still languishing in jail, and those who have been perpetrating untold violence on the local people are given state protection?
If the state claims to have any respect for the Constitution, we expect it to meet our following demands IMMEDIATELY:
- Withdraw the entire paramilitary forces from Narayanpatna.
- Release all the people of Narayanpatna who have been illegally put behind bars.
- Withdraw all the cases falsely registered against hundreds of adivasis in the Narayanpatna area, including those against CMAS leader Nachika Linga.
- Settle all land disputes in the area after duly consulting the local people.
- Scrap all the MoUs with corporate and government entities relating to mining on the Deo Mali range.
And we appeal to all democratic forces to join us in condemning and protesting against such atmosphere of terror being unleashed by the state in Narayanpatna.
RABI DAS, Senior Journalist and Editor, Ama Rajadhani
PRAFULLA SAMANTARA, Convenor, Lokshakti Abhiyan Odisha, and Convenor, NAPM
DANDAPANI MOHANTY, Convenor, Odisha Jan Adhikar Manch
LENIN KUMAR, Writer, and Editor, Nisan
SUBRAT KUMAR SAHU, Independent Filmmaker and Journalist
National Alliance of People's Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, 'A' Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai - 400 014;
6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
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Web : www.napm-india.org
Why Maharashtra's cotton farmers are dying, and sugar farmers are thrivingSudhir Suryawanshi | Thursday, November 24, 2011
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Everyone would agree that farmers should get good prices for their product in tune with growing inflation and expenses. The old-fashioned rates will result in more incidents of farmer suicides and even their children will be forced to leave farming and flock to metros in search of jobs.
A comparison between the state government's proposed rates and the union agriculture ministry's sanctioned MSP for cotton and sugar will reveal the step-motherly treatment meted out to cotton farmers. In 2009, the Centre had approved Rs3,000 against the demanded Rs3,400 for cotton, while it approved Rs129 against the demanded Rs100 for sugarcane! In 2010, the state had asked for Rs3,600 for cotton and the Centre approved Rs3,000; for sugarcane, the state demanded Rs112 and the Centre approved Rs139.12. Even this year, the state demanded Rs4,285 for cotton, but got only Rs3,300, while for sugarcane Rs137 was demanded and Rs145 was approved.
Paddy- and soya-growing farmers are also treated the same way because they too do not hail from Western Maharashtra.
The above figures clearly show that Pawar, though he is the central agricultural minister, sees himself as agriculture minister for Baramati and the Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara sugar belt.
In Mahrashtra, cotton is cultivated in 40.95 lakh hectare of land and its production is just 82 lakh bells (one bell is 170 kg) while in Gujarat, cultivation in 30.23 lakh hectare yields 103 lakh bells annually. Why Gujarat is ahead on per-hectare yield is because of continuous electricity and water supply and fair government control over the black seeds and fertilizer market. But in Maharashtra, government officials and politicians are hand in glove with the traders. Therefore, not a single trader has been either penalised or put behind bars for selling spurious seeds in the black market.
Thus, farmers demand Rs6,000 so they can at least recover their investment. In the last few years, the input cost for cotton has increased manifold. The government has also stripped all fertilizer subsidies, citing unconvincing reasons. The government has no control over the black market. Farmers are compelled to buy one bag of seed at Rs2,500 to Rs3,000 against the MRP of Rs700 to Rs900. The usual 12 to 16 hours power cuts in rural areas make it difficult to water the plant on time. That frequently ruins the crops and decreases the per-hectare yield. There is only 2% of land in Maharashtra under irrigation (and a majority is in Western Maharashtra) while it is 50% in Gujarat and 99.6% in Haryana.
This year, India's estimated cotton production is 356 lakh bells against a domestic demand of 350 lakh bells. The surplus needs to be exported immediately so farmers get good price. But the government never allows export of this surplus, so that domestic textiles mill owners, who help politicians during elections, can buy cotton at cheap rates.
If the Centre fails to increase the MSP for for cotton to R6,000 from the present Rs3,300, then it is the responsibility of state to bear the additional Rs 2,700. It will add only a Rs3,700 crore burden on the state and even this will be only 10% of the state's annual budget.
If the state cannot give this additional Rs3,700 crore to cotton growers, then the authorities should implement irrigation schemes successfully in this dry and drought-hit region. Then, farmers will not depend on rain-fed crops like cotton and soya.
They will turn to other cash and biodiversity crops that will give them good yield and return too. It will stop soil degradation. If there is continuous supply of electricity and water (irrigation), they will be financially sound, because they can cultivate a variety of crops during three different seasons. No farmer will demand waivers.
Retail FDI: The big bucks may not pour in, for nowOUR BUREAU
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Existing partnerships between Indian and foreign retailers won't be affected
BANGALORE, NOV. 24:
Retailers and analysts, who had given up on Indian doors opening to FDI in multi-brand retail as a distant dream, have welcomed the move. They are not, however, certain whether the Government nod will actually bring in the 'expected' billions of dollars into the country's retail sector.
"Given the turmoil in the global economy and on the domestic front too, things looking hazy, I doubt if any new retailers will enter the country. Global retailers who have already partnered with local partners may commit more capital in the country, but I don't see huge inflows into the country," says Mr Arvind Singhal, Chairman of consulting firm, Technopak Advisors.
According to Mr Bijou Kurien, President and CEO, Lifestyle, at Reliance Retail, the mandatory investment of $100 million should not be a limiting factor for international players. "This move is imperative for growing the industry in this country," he said. Mr Thomas Varghese, Chairman, CII National Committee on Retail, says India would provide a new area for expansion for retailers who are struggling in their own markets. "Retailing is at a nascent stage here and there will be growth in 30-40 years. 51 per cent FDI should not pose a problem for international players." For domestic retailers, this will open up FIIs and strategic investments, which in turn would enable domestic retailers to dilute equity.
Industry players unanimously quashed concerns of job losses that FDI could result in as expressed by some political parties. "It (job loss) never happened when a Reliance or a Lifestyle opened stores, why will it happen now," asks Mr Singhal. On the other hand, points out Mr Thomas, this will mean more jobs for Indians. For consumers, of course, the most benefitted category, modern retail has proven to bring down prices and beat inflation, which is much needed today.
Mr Singhal also says the issue of foreign retailers dumping their country's products does not hold good here. "Indian retailers or foreign retailers can import the same products and are all governed by import duties," he points out.
He also does not see existing partnerships between Indian and foreign retailers like the Bharti-Wal-Mart breaking up. "This has not happened for convenience. There must be genuine reasons for the partnership. No Indian retailer would want to be just 'door openers' for a foreign player. Maybe after 10 years, one partner will buy out the other."
IMMEDIATE IMPACTMs Saloni Nangia, Senior Vice-President, Retail, at Technopak Advisors, says, "Don't expect an immediate impact. The impact will come only in a 2-3 years time, in terms of what kind of investments come in, on inflation. Both from industry perspective as well as consumer perspective the changes will not be overnight, but will take time."
According to her, the foreign retailers will need to invest in the food processing chain, supply chain and so on, besides which there are so many riders. "All these need execution and implementation, so it will take time," she says.
Keywords: FDI, multi brand retail, money flow, not for now
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NREGA is like a cash distribution system: Kiran ShawOUR BUREAU
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Business LineMr Suresh Krishna, Chairman and Managing Director, Sundram Fasteners Ltd, and Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd, at TiECON 2011, in Chennai on Thursday. - Photo: Bijoy Ghosh
NEWSCAG to audit rural development expenditure: Ramesh'Rural job plan to be extended for skill development''Need to make job guarantee scheme industry-friendly'
TOPICScompany informationaward and honour
research and development (corporate)
social issuerural development
CHENNAI, NOV. 24:
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is "more like a cash-distribution system" than an employment guarantee scheme, says Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd.
Speaking at TiECON Chennai, the annual conference of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), a global network of entrepreneurs, Ms Shaw said she was "concerned" over policies such as NREGA and stressed that the country "needs to address larger issues with political vision and will."
Ms Shaw said that India has to be muted about its confidence and needs to focus on building the foundation for progress. "I worry about the country's over-confidence. We still need to build the foundation and building blocks for growth."
An entrepreneur, Ms Shaw, said must be able to handle both "oh wow" and "oh shucks" moments with equanimity. "One cannot panic when things are down. If you are risk-averse, it is difficult to stay with your idea."
Commenting on innovation, Ms Shaw said that innovation is not just about coming out with new products. "The business delivery mechanism is also important," she said.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Mr Suresh Krishna, Chairman and MD, Sundram Fasteners, who was given the lifetime achievement award by TiE, said the employers must communicate sincerely with employees across all levels without any "filters". "This helps build trust and a willing, cooperative, non-grudging work-force."
According to Dr V. Sumantran, Executive Vice-Chairman, Hinduja Automotive, India has come a long way after the "dismantling" of the licence raj.
"Today, there is a 180-degree shift in attitude and effort of Indians. There has been a phenomenal turnaround in our work ethics."http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/economy/article2656525.ece
Infrastructure players await policy reforms to spur growthThe construction equipment industry and the manufacturing sector, which build India's infrastructure, is looking up to the government for policy reforms to spur growth and boost confidence, industry officials said Wednesday.
"The industry needs policy reforms to boost confidence and spur growth in these tough hard times when it is facing challenges in the domestic and global markets," construction equipment industry trade body chairman Vipin Sondhi said here.
Though the fledgling earthmoving and construction equipment (ECE) industry recovered from the sluggish growth in 2009 following the global financial crisis in 2008 to post 30 percent growth in 2010, absence of enabling environment was holding up its potential to grow rapidly.
"As the lifeline of the country's economy, roads and highways play a crucial role in building the infrastructure for rapid growth. Speedy land acquisitions, early dispute resolutions, fast-track approvals for projects of national importance and simplification of tax regime will enable the industry to sustain its growth rate," Sondhi said at the industry's sixth international trade fair Excon 2011 here.
With investment in infrastructure development projected to double to $1 trillion during the 12th plan period (2012-17) from $500 billion in the 11th plan (2007-12), Sondhi said the ECE industry was waiting for the government and other stakeholders to make optimal utilisation of its resources and manpower.
"Rapid infrastructure development at national, urban and rural levels will expand the size of the ECE industry to 330,000 units by 2020 from 60,000 units in 2010 with potential to grow its revenues six-fold to $20 billion from $3.3 billion in 2010 and generate two million direct jobs," Sondhi asserted.
Noting that quality of people, processes and programmes were critical for high economic growth, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) chairman B.Muthuraman said the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the national GDP (gross domestic product) would have to be scaled to 25-30 percent from 16 percent currently.
"World class infrastructure spanning roads, bridges, highways, ports, airports, power and human capital is fundamental to increase the share of the manufacturing sector to the GDP and its contribution to employment generation to 25 percent from 12 percent in this decade," Muthuraman said.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways C.P. Joshi unveiled the mega event and released a special report on 'Indian Earthmoving & Construction Industry Vision 2020: Commanding New Heights', prepared by CII in association with global consulting management firm Accenture.
Organised by the CII with the ECE industry, the five-day event is showcasing a range of construction equipment and launching 400 new products. About 630 exhibitors, including 200 foreign firms are participating in the trade fair.
PM to discuss poverty line cap with plan panelPrime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue of poverty line cap fixed by the Planning Commission which sparked an outcry from various quarters.
Singh will discuss the issue with Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and other members of the panel tomorrow, sources said.
Planning Commission's affidavit in the Supreme Court that fixed poverty line at Rs 32 per capita per day in urban area and Rs 26 in rural area had sparked criticism from various quarters, with many urging the panel to give it a relook.
Planning Commission had later distanced itself from the Rs 32 poverty line yardstick presented to the Supreme Court saying that it was based on the report of Tendulkar Committee.
Sharad Pawar attacked: 'Was it only one slap?' Anna Hazare reacts
Anna Hazare's initial reaction to the attack on union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar angered Congress party leaders enough to question the activist's Gandhian tag.
Asked by reporters about his view on the attack on Pawar, who was slapped by a Sikh man. Hazare said: "Was it only one slap?"
As the gathering burst out laughing, Hazare left. But he must have realised the gaffe he had committed, and returned to clarify.
"He (the accused) could have been angry, but it is not right to hit someone. Our democracy does not allow such attacks," Anna said. The Congress, however, was not amused.
An angry Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said: "If they condone violence, then people will take a call on their claim of being Gandhians."
"The Congress condemns the attack in strongest terms," Tewari added.
The youth had only four days ago kicked Sukhram after the former minister was sentenced in a corruption case.
Tewari in August had said that Hazare is "involved in corruption from top to bottom". Hazare served him with a legal notice, following which Tewari wrote him a letter of apology.
After the controversy, Tewari opted out of the parliamentary standing committee which is examining the Lokpal bill.
Hazare has led two successful campaigns campaigns in New Delhi in Aopril and August to press his demand for a strong Lokpal that checks corruption in high places. He is pushing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government for early passage of the Lokpal bill in parliament.
Kishenji kill was easy as he was 'considerably weakened' in earlier attackPublished: Thursday, Nov 24, 2011, 19:46 IST
By Saikat Datta | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
A West Bengal police 'spotter' on Thursday evening confirmed that elusive Maoist leader Kishenji, aka Koteshwar Rao, was killed and his body recovered.
Sources told DNA that the West Bengal police had received specific inputs on Kishenji's whereabouts. Technical intelligence also helped in pinpointing his whereabouts. Central forces were called in after the intelligence report. Kishenji was considerably weakened in an attack earlier, which helped the police nail him this time, sources said.
Kishenji had reportedly moved to Jharkhand for some time and had recently returned to Bengal.
Security circles see Kishenji's death to be the 'beginning of the end' for the Maoists in West Bengal and an end of erstwhile 'Party Unity', one of the three factions of CPI (Maoists).
Our investment in India retail sector will grow if FDI rules relaxed: Walmart
Walmart said it will ramp up its investment here to strengthen supply chains and enhance direct linkages with farmers in order to provide "quality products at affordable" prices to Indian consumers.
"There would be manifold increase in investment by Walmart in India if FDI in multi-brand retail is opened up," Walmart India President Raj Jain told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event here.
Walmart currently has nine cash-and-carry stores in India through a joint-venture with Bharti Enterprises.
"Investment in India is not a problem, policy (FDI regulations) is a problem," Jain said.
At present, India does not allow FDI in multi-brand retail, which has restricted international players to the wholesale cash-and-carry business.
In the wholesale business, 100 per cent FDI is allowed, whereas in single brand retail, 51 per cent overseas investment is permitted.
While a committee of secretaries has given a green signal to FDI in multi-brand retail, the move requires political approval. The government is still in the process of finding a political consensus on the issue.
Walmart currently works with a large number for farmers for direct sourcing of products.
"We already work with farmers in the North and will soon start that in South too... We are doing as much as we can, but our investments cannot be monetised on the back of wholesale alone," he said.
Through wholesale, the company anyway can not control the prices that end-consumers pay for the final products, he added.
Jain, however, did not share absolute numbers on the quantum of investment being made by the company in the country and the expected increase in case FDI is allowed in multi-brand retail in India going ahead.
Food inflation falls to 9.01 percent; will moderate further: Pranab Mukherjee
With food inflation coming down to a single digit for the first time in five weeks at 9.01 percent for the week ended Nov 12, Finance MinisterPranab Mukherjee said Thursday the price rise was likely to ease further in the coming weeks on the back of a good monsoon and improved supplies.
"I hope there will be moderation in the inflation and it will have its impact on the year-end inflation," Mukherjee told reporters here while reacting on the weekly inflation data.
According to the official data released Thursday, food inflation slipped to 9.01 percent for the week ended Nov 12, the lowest in nine weeks, and substantially down from the previous week's 10.63 percent.
Food inflation had shot up to double digits during the week ended Oct 8 and persisted at these levels as the festive season approached, pushing demand higher. It was recorded at 10.63 percent in the previous week.
For the week under review, prices of vegetables, fruits and milk showed a decline but eggs and poultry continued to cost more, according to data made available by the commerce and industry ministry.
The primary articles index, which has a 20.12 percent weight in the wholesale price index, also rose at a slower 9.08 percent as compared to 10.39 percent in the previous week.
The index of fuel and power was steady at 15.49 percent, while the index for non-food articles declined to 4.05 percent from 5.33 percent earlier.
After it had hiked rates in October, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it would hold off another increase if inflation showed signs of declining. RBI Governor D. Subbarao said in a speech in Hyderabad this week that he would not hesitate to tighten rates further if inflation did not come down as expected.
Overall inflation too has remained stubbornly high, near double digits, since January 2010. Headline inflation based on the wholesale price index was recorded at 9.73 percent in October, according to the latest official data.
Politics | Updated Nov 24, 2011 at 02:23am IST
I'll not beg for money from the Centre: MamataSagarika Ghose, CNN-IBN
0New Delhi: Sending another tough message to the UPA Government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tells CNN-IBN that she needs Central help of Rs 15,000 crore for the state but will not beg for it.
"I'll not beg for money from the Centre," said Mamata Banerjee.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee also expressed her unhappiness over not getting enough representation at the Union Cabinet.
"We feel lonely in the UPA, as we have only one Cabinet minister," said the TMC chief.
Talking on the inflation issue, she said, "The UPA Government needs to check prices. It must take care of the people."
The Chief Minister added that the Centre must first protect farmers' interests and then go into FDI in retail.
Talking on Naxal problem, Mamata Banerjee clarified she had never joined the Maoist movement and even claimed it was the CPM that was always with Maoists.
However, she was not in favour of using armed forces to tackle the problem. "I am not sending any troops. It is the duty of the police to take care of law and order situation. They will do whatever is required," said Mamata Banerjee.
She also denied going to Bhawanipore Police Station to free Trinamool workers, saying her visit was to maintain communal harmony. "I never got anyone released from Bhawanipore Police Station. I went to the police station to maintain communal harmony," she said.
Talking on the state of health care in West Bengal, the Chief Minister said, "It's not possible to change the system within six months".
On the court battle with Tatas over Singur land, Mamata Banerjee said, "Let them fight the case. It's their democratic right."
Here is the excerpt of the interview:
Sagarika Ghosh: Hi there. A very warm welcome to CNN-IBN special - 'Question time Mamata'. Six month ago, Mamata Banerjee made history by defeating the over-two-decade-long rule of the Left front in West Bengal but today six month later, the euphoria of victory is wearing a little thin. It's time to review Mamata Banerjee's report card on governance and who better to do that than Chief Minister herself. Mamata Banerjee joins us live and exclusive in the CNN-IBN studios. We are delighted to have her here and on the show we are going to put questions to her about her record so far and take questions from you - the viewer. So log on to IBNLive.com, post to your questions. We will put them to the Chief Minister throughout this particular show. Infact, we have opened this question on IBNLive .com in the morning, so we have already received a flood of emails. We have also have questions from viewers sent to us from Kolkata. We will put them in our show to the Chief Minister and have her answer directly. Thank you very much indeed for joining us. It is privilege to have you here I was there when you won this stupendous victory. Now you are here. Just to kick of the show how do your feel you have done so far in these last six months of your government.
Mamata Banerjee: First let me tell you, thank you very much for remembering me and calling this interview. I love CNN-IBN and I give my best wishes to all of my colleagues also here. Within these six months, whatever was our commitment, I think we have done everything in a positive manner. And you see there are three main issues. One was that of Darjeeling to maintain peace. You will be happy to know the agreement is already over and also the elections after 15-20 years - the elected bodies the municipality election is over. And already the Mayor of Darjeeling Gorkha Council is already been announced. So I am very happy to see that tourists are going to Darjeeling. Darjeeling - the Kanchanjangha is smiling, so I am very happy for that. This is number one.
Number two there are some issues regarding Jungalmahal also that area also I can assure you that whatever we have done more than that. And all the tribal families, I declare it is a BPL families and we are giving rice to everybody there. The poor people there the first time they are getting the food and I am very happy with them and they want peace and number three is the Singur. You know there are some moments for the farmer's moments. It was the key, it is the foundation of the farmers moments at that place. So that also government, we have passed the bill we have acquired the land and one court case is pending that's why I cannot say into in details but whatever we committed to the people we kept all word. And instead of that within this six month though we have the problem of economy situation specially my predecessors the earlier government, they have debated about two lakh three thousands crore. So now if I spent a one rupee the ninety four paisa have to pay to give the, to pay the debt and the salary and pensions. So only six paisa is there for the development purpose, so it is very difficult but instead of all this odds we have done a lot.
Sagarika Ghosh: So, you are saying you have kept your commitment but the viewers responses are coming thick and fast. Let me play you a response. We have got question for you from Soumyajyoti Banerjee of South Point High School. He has sent this question to us on IBNLive.com. Soumyajyoti Banerjee has written to us "How come a government that is so cash strapped announces so many inaugurations and proposals without giving any clue on the source of the money? Is this government really serious? Are we going to see another era of day-dreaming and ultimately wake up to see us at the same fag end of the tunnel? Is this the "poribartan" that we had asked for?" That is Soumyajyoti Banerjee and a young lady from Kolkata also has a question about "How Mamata Banerjee is going to create opportunities for the young?" Let listen to the young lady from Kolkata.
Viewer from Kolkata: In the present perspective of your land policy, where you said that you will not acquire the land for the industry. How do you propose to woo investors? For young educated people likes us, what job opportunities are you creating?
Sagarika Ghosh: Do you sometimes see that the expectations were too high?
Mamata Banerjee: Yes that expectation is high that I appreciate because I love. If there is no expectations than though how should run the, even for your channel the higher expectation is there. Everybody wants that, expectation is needed in our country. Number one they asked about the, how about the, why we are inaugurating the project. Let me tell you something, without the financial clearance and what about the money is with us for the development only that project is there. We are not doing anything wrong which may not suit to our economy situation, number one.
Number two, to give the people to food I don't think this is the luxurious thing. What we have done we have done according to our financial normalcy and the situation. Number two regarding the land acquisition it is our policy. It is not that we are saying today, in our manifest also we announced that same thing. Now I fought also and went to twenty six days hunger strike especially for this farmers' moment and all these. And we have already finalised our land policy. There we have mentioned categorically that no forcefully acquisition of land but we have the land map with us, land map is with us already. You will be happy to know more than fifty six thousands crore investment already it is been given to West Bengal. Number two within this six months I created from government itself more than 2.5 lakh jobs and also this 50,000-60,000 crore the announcement for the investment. I think within this two three years we can create more than ten lakh jobs from the IT industry from the food industry, from the agriculture industry..
Sagarika Ghosh: But don't you feel that the case you are fighting with the Tatas has sent a wrong signal to the industry?
Mamata Banerjee: No, I don't think so that's different question that is absolutely wrong. Nobody supporting him for this case. It is the case that is pending so I don't want to say anything. They have said so many things against of me but I don't think it is proper. Let them fight it is there democratic rights, it is there legal right they can fight, let the court decide. I am not arguing for that and I am not going to create another controversy for that.
I have received proposals. Within this one thousand acre of land Singur, even I have received the proposal from Real also to set up a factory there and four hundreds acres we will return back to the farmers whatever we have fought for. And it is the farmers and farmers they are not taking money they will get it. So it is doesn't meant that only one piece of land will destroy the situation. I don't believe it. I believe in that why the industrialist are very happy. Within this time let me tell you Jindals project clear. Within this time the TVS is already they are investing the money. The SAIL have their expansion programme of more than Rs 20,000 crore..
Sagarika Ghosh: But aren't these investment came during the left front rule and the fresh investment are coming during your rule?
Mamata Banerjee: No, No nothing was there it was totally closed. It was stopped.
Sagarika Ghosh: The criticism against you, is that you know, you are pursuing the politics of "Tara Huro". You know you are setting to many deadlines as they say in Bengali. You know in one week you solve the Maoist problem, by one week you solve the Jungalmahal problem. One week you solve the Gorkha Land problem, you solve the Singur problem. Are you setting too many deadlines? Are you in too much of hurry? Because lot of these issues, lot of these problems require time and require you to put in a system?
Mamata Banerjee: First let me tell you if there is no deadline every development process will be dead. They will die; there must be some deadline and some targets also because even in your channel if you prepare the plan you have to give some deadline also.
9:30 is your prime time, afternoon you have the sports time, you have the deadline also for that. Like this I am telling you, the deadline why there won't be any deadline but that is not the fact for that anybody is suffering. We have deadlines that why we are working. Thirty five years, totally the work culture destroyed. Now lets us..
Sagarika Ghosh: You need to have the deadline?
Mamata Banerjee: Yes.
Sagarika Ghosh: But, but you know your former friends and allies are now becoming critical of you. Your friend Mahashweta Devi has become a critic. She has called you a fascist for not permitting her rally, which you said that rally was the Maoist but she has called you a fascist.
Mamata Banerjee: She can, it is her democratic right. I have respect for her. I am not saying anything she is an aged lady and I respect her age. But I cannot support the Maoists. There are some people from Kolkata, it is everybody knows from Kolkata. They are behind the moment and all they are supporting. I am telling you one thing that even yesterday she has written a letter to Mukul Roy and said under the leadership of Mamata this Bengal will develop. So it is I don't know somebody...
Sagarika Ghosh: Why don't you give the permission for the rally?
Mamata Banerjee: No, no they have got the permission for rally that is wrong I am telling you. That is I am telling you absolutely wrong.
Sagarika Ghosh: But that place that particular place they wanted to have it, you didn't allow, you didn't give permission.
Mamata Banerjee: That is I am telling you is absolutely wrong, misleading distorting..
Sagarika Ghosh: Ok.
Mamata Banerjee: Ok that why I said that day only. You see some time if your go to purchase a ticket from cinema hall. Some cinema hall may be overbooked. Maybe one day you will not get a ticket, then you search another cinema hall. That is a system. If we want to go to book a club for some marriage ceremony or some ceremony, all houses are not available.
You do the thing according to your choice. Where a small organisation, that is a small organisation where only 10-12 people are in the organisation, There is nothing in the organisation. They have four groups. They asked the police, they said yes. First-com-first-serve, you have already done three programmes there...
Sagarika Ghosh: So it was purely logistical. But it raises questions about your Maoist policy at the moment.
Mamata Banerjee: No, no. Let me finish. Just one minute. The police then offered them three places. We have four-five places for public meetings. They said this place is booked, you go to another place. This is wrong, distorted and misinformed. We don't do it.
Sagarika Ghosh: Okay let's come to your policy on the Maoists and your relationship with the Maoists, which is agitating a number of our viewers. Sreenivasan Sundaram is telling us on IBNLive.com that "She should know that her street fighter image won't work, when it is her responsibility to govern the state democratically with efficiency and transparency. She should go for developmental programmes in Jungalmahal which will pave the way for reconciliation with Maoists. And Sayon Roy, he has also asked on IBNLive.com and this is an interesting question. Before the election we have seen you with the people who are Maoist sympathiser and you have fought against the Left Front government for the rights of the Maoists, but what are you doing now? First you said Left was behind Gyaneshwari train sabotage and now you are saying the Maoists are responsible for it. Did you say all these because of political gains?
Secondly, you are not allowing any peaceful movement in your state.. Is this not fascism? You have done a 180 degree turn on your stand on Maoists.
The question is: are you willing to admit you have flipped-flopped on the Maoists? First you supported them. You said should have dialogue with them. Now you are pushing-in forces..
Mamata Banerjee: I have never supported them. No. This is wrong. In a democratic country. Bengal has 10 crore people, only 1-2 people can prepare some questions. I don't mind for that. I am ready to give all the replies because their information is wrong. I never joined the Maoist movement. This was the gossip of CPM, number one.
Number two, the CPM people are totally with the Maoists. What I said earlier also. In the daytime, they are Marxists and night-time they are Maoists. And that is true. And Gyaneshwari Express, what I said on that day. "Yes my apprehension is now also. If I say so, prime facie evidence… The investigation is going on. The CBI will file a chargesheet.
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"He got slapped! Only one slap?" Hazare had said to a group of journalists at Ralegan Siddhi when he learnt about the attack today. But later he condemned the attack.
Explaining what he meant by his remark, Hazare, talking to a Marathi news-channel, was at pains to explain the faux pas saying "I was addressing a daily gathering of people when someone sent me a note informing about the attack. I wanted to know whether it was just a slap or there was some other kind of violence."
The social activist said he did not say or mean anything inappropriate when he said "ek hi mara?". He always believed in non-violent method of agitation, Hazare said.
"However, if it is perceived that I have said something wrong, I am ready to apologise," he said.
Pawar was slapped by Harvinder Singh, a transporter in his thirties, at a public auditorium in Delhi today.