Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Incrediblo, thy name is Indian politicso!

1) Rahul oxygen for Kosi’s terror twins Linky

The Congress has unwittingly given a fresh lease of life to Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav and Anand Mohan — the incarcerated underworld operators who were gasping for survival. Last year, the two dons, whose names once struck terror in the Kosi belt, were sentenced to life terms in prison. While Pappu was convicted in the murder of CPM legislator Ajit Sarkar, Mohan was found guilty for lynching IAS officer G. Krishnaiyyah in 1994. Both are serving term in jail. Their appeal against the order is pending in the Supreme Court. Their efforts to hold their sway through their wives suffered a body blow in last year’s Lok Sabha polls. While Ranjita Ranjan, wife of Pappu Yadav, lost her Lok Sabha seat, Lovely Anand, the wife of Mohan, was crushed in Sheohar, where the BJP’s Rama Devi won.

The Congress’ attempt to find a foothold in Bihar has apparently given a new lease of life to the two “dons”, whose political obituary pundits were busy writing, till the oldest party of India roped in the duo ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit on Saturday. Pappu Yadav has already established his control over the Youth Congress by getting his staunch supporter Lallan Yadav elected as its state unit president and his wife nominated as the party’s spokesman. Anand Mohan, too, has succeeded in getting Lovely serve the Congress in the run up to the assembly polls. Both Ranjita and Lovely canvassed in the Kosi belt’s hinterlands to ensure the success of Rahul’s visit. The walls in Saharsa were plastered with his pictures standing in the middle of Ranjita and Lovely. The posters described Rahul as the “future leader” of India while urging the people to respond to his call for a change of rule in the state.

2) Assam elections and freebies Linky

With the 2011 Assembly election nearing and about one-and-a-half months having already elapsed for his treatment in Mumbai, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is now racing against time to implement all the 87 populist schemes before the election. From New Delhi, Gogoi today instructed all the ministers to submit detailed progress reports on the implementation of his special schemes as well as the new development schemes/projects that had been announced in this year’s annual Budget latest by September 15. He also asked Employment Generation Mission Chairman CK Das to submit the progress report on employment-related matters by September 15. According to sources, Gogoi will start discharging his duties from September 13 at Dispur and oversee the implementation of all the populist schemes set to be implemented on a war footing.

The Chief Secretary has already set targets for the departments concerned for the implementation of the schemes. The departments have been asked to send all proposals of the schemes to the Planning and Development (P&D) and Finance departments well ahead of time. The agility on the part of the Chief Minister should have got applause from all quarters, but conscious circles in the State are taking it differently. “Had Gogoi been agile over the last nine years, the picture of the State would have been different today, the flood-ravaged Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts would have got a lot of relief, the ageing embankments in the State would have got a fresh lease of life, and the State would not have lost crores of Central funds meant for various Centrally sponsored schemes and projects for which the Centre has refused to release the subsequent instalments due to the failure on the part of the State Government to submit the utilization certificates of the first instalments of the funds released,” they said. They are surprised at the unusual haste on the part of the Chief Minister to implement the short-term schemes at the cost of the long-term ones.

3) Gorkhaland Linky

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today claimed “victory”, with the Centre and the state “tentatively” agreeing to hand over excise, the regional transport authority and the management of forests and the cinchona plantation to the proposed interim authority for the Darjeeling hills. All three subjects had so far been outside the purview of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, which the new set-up will replace. However, contentious issues like the territorial jurisdiction of the new arrangement, its composition and the mode of appointing its members were not part of today’s official-level tripartite talks and have been left to be sorted out at the political round. Another point that remains to be thrashed out is the tenure of the interim set-up. While the Morcha wants it to end by December 31, 2011, the state government has been insisting that it should be stretched to five years.
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At the same time, funds meant for the Border Area Development Project (BADP) is unlikely to be given over to the new authority as it is directly under the Union home ministry. The Morcha has demanded that the DGHC workers must be regularised before the new set-up is put in place. “The state government, which was represented by the home secretary has agreed to look into the matter,” said Giri. The council currently has 6,321 casual workers. The hill party today told the state and the Centre that if peace was to be restored in the region “at least the Gorkha-dominated areas of the Terai and Dooars” must be included in the interim set-up. “Detailed discussion on this would be taken up only at the political level,” said Giri. Sources in Delhi said it had been agreed that the new body would be called Gorkhaland Regional Authority.

Meanwhile, Linky

Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh today refused to be dragged into the controversy over the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s demand to include the Terai and the Dooars in the interim set-up even as an anti-Gorkhaland outfit here demanded the BJP MP’s resignation for being “biased”. The Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Banchao Committee, which had called a 24-hour bandh here to protest the official-level tripartite talks with the Morcha and which coincided with the Citu-sponsored countrywide strike, burnt the effigy of the BJP leader a few hours ahead of his first visit to town.

“Since his election, Singh has never visited Siliguri or allocated any money from his local area development funds for the plains. So far, he has only visited the hills and has only worked for the interests of the Morcha. He has allotted money for the hills only, although his constituency includes the Siliguri subdivision also,” said Mukunda Majumdar, the president of the Bhasha Committee. “We demonstrated this morning against his political stand which encourages the partition of Bengal and we want him to resign from his post. A by-election should be held to elect a new MP from the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency who does not have any such biased political stance,” Majumdar said. His outfit is against the Morcha demand for a new state and the inclusion of the Dooars and the Terai in the set-up proposed for the hills.

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