Add on to the ‘Ban Padmavati’ bandwagon: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar bans screening Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Film

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joins the ‘Ban Padmavati’ chorus. This stand came in after the Supreme Court commented on how people holding public positions should refrain from commenting on films which have not been cleared by CBFC as it is likely to prejudice minds of board members while deciding on the matter.

Nitish Kumar’s stand against Padmavati comes after his counterparts Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh and Vijay Rupani from Gujarat announced a ban on this film. He also added that the filmmaker shouldn’t have made the actor playing Padmavati dance in the film.

His statement came right after several Rajput organizations and prominent NDA leader called for a ban on the film. Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, senior JD (U) leader and minister Jay Kumar Singh and BJP MLA Gyanendra Singh “Gyanu” have also criticized screening the film in the state as it could “offend” Rajputs, who account for 4 per cent of Bihar’s population.

Like Gujarat CM’s stand, Nitish Kumar will not allow screening of the film unless producers and directors issue adequate clarification. Agitations took place outside the Bihar legislative assembly, with numerous BJP politicians protesting against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film.

The Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh starrer film was supposed to be released on December 1 but following the protest, the release is likely to be postponed.

Sources- India Today, Indian Express


First Wifi City in India- MUMBAI

Mumbai has topped the list of Indian cities to have WiFi availability in public places. 500 hotspots were activated on Monday just before the BMC polls. By the end of the current month, the service will be free and later users will get 100MB of free data, after which a charge will be levied which is yet to be fixed.

The venture will cost approximately Rs194 crore for the initial five years. Concerns over hacking are being expressed by the government though they have used the best innovation to make it safe.

The 500 locations include educational institutes, railway stations, tourist spots and the list is available on government portal ‘Aaple Sarkar’. The hotspot will be reflected on the devices by the name ‘Aaple_Sarkar_Mum-Wifi’. The users will have to log in through their device with the help of their mobile number to access the wifi which is verified through a One-Time password.

The government-owned telecommunications service provider Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is providing bandwidth with a speed of 20Mbps. Also, a Twitter handle @AS_Mum_WiFi is created for people to give feedback and raise issues. Technology conglomerate Larsen and Toubro are handling the project. They also installed the CCTV surveillance project in Mumbai.


Source: Hindustan Times, Indian Express

Image Source: Huffington post/Getty image

Goa CM sacks two ministers following rifts with MGP

The conflict between Goa BJP and its ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party got murkier ahead of the assembly polls when Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar sacked two ministers of MGP on Monday night. This decision was taken as the latter was initially threatening the Goa BJP to sack the CM if it wanted the alliance to continue. The allegations made against him drove Parsekar to take this extreme decision.

The sacked ministers, Ramkrishna Dhavalikar and Pandurang Dhavalikar held the Public Works Department and factories portfolios. Defending his move and claiming to have his party’s support, Parsekar claimed his decision to be ‘prerogative’. He will be now in charge of the portfolios.

According to the Indian Express, Dhavalikar said, “We had assured the voters and people that we will be with this government for five years and that is why we have tolerated injustice from the BJP.”  Further protesting the move, he said that the CM should dissolve the assembly rather than fire his own party members.

While Goa is set for the polls earlier than usual, Congress is demanding the state to be put under President’s rule.

SOURCE : Scroll

Image Source : Reuters

Anandiben Patel Quits as Gujarat Chief Minister amidst controversies

Surrounded by political chaos in Gujarat, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel took everyone by surprise when she declared her resignation via a Facebook post on Monday. The internet was taken aback by her sudden decision to quit. However, the 74 year old Gujarat CM cited her age as the primary reason for this step. According to News 18, she has handed over her resignation to Vijay Rupani who is the state Bhartiya Janta Party President.

Soon after BJP came to power at the centre in May 2014, Anandiben Patel became the first woman Chief Minister of Gujarat. Patel expressed her gratitude to the party especially Narendra Modi for giving her this great opportunity to govern a state. However, her resignation comes one day after the Dalits of the state took to streets to protest for bashing up of a family by the cow vigilantes in Una for skinning the animal. Also, the Assembly Elections are just a year away. BJP President Amit Shah has confirmed the news and added that the resignation request will be forwarded to the party’s parliamentary board. The party is going to announce her replacement tomorrow. The current Health Minister of the state, Nitinbhai Patel is the probable choice.

Andhra CM resigns over Telangana

New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has decided to quit from his post after the Lok Sabha passed the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganization Bill on Tuesday. The decision comes after he repeatedly threatened to resign from politics if the UPA government continued with its move to bifurcate the State.

Addressing the media, Mr.Reddy said, “I am resigning from the post of CM, MLA and membership of the Congress party.” He insisted that that the government had betrayed the people of the state and that he weighed the sentiment of the people more than his future. He submitted his resignation to Governor ESL Narasimhan.

There are speculations among the cabinet ministers that Kanna Lakshmi Narayana, Ramanarayana Reddy and Raghuveera Reddy could be his possible successor. Ministers Erasu Prathap Reddy, Ghanta Srinivasa Rao and TG Venkatesh also resigned to express their solidarity with his decision and protest the Centre’s move.

He decided to quit even after the Congress had warned to take a stringent action against him if he did not co-operate in the formation of the 29th State Telangana. Rumours suggest that he could either form his own political party or join Samaikyandhra.

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Drought-hit Vidarbha now flooded, Chavan delays relief package

Vidarbha is witnessing a natural calamity, the second one in this very year. PTI

Barely six months after recording one of the worst droughts that has struck the country since independence, Vidarbha was receiving above average rainfall over the month of June and July. Nagpur division has by now received 1,168 mm rainfall. Its season’s average is 1,172 mm. Water from rivers such as Painganga and Adan has entered several villages. Nagpur-Bori-Tuljapur state highway has been blocked, severing the connection between Vidarbha and Marathawada. Initial estimates suggest 500 hectares of farm land being damaged. Vidarbha is witnessing a natural calamity, the second one in this very year.

Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, on Thursday, announced a special relief package of Rs. 1,934 crores for flood-hit Vidarbha, the eastern region of Maharashtra. Quoting heavy rains as the culprit behind the disaster, Chavan said, “After two years of drought in one part of the state, another is seeing a downpour this year. At the same time, most drought-prone areas have received above-average rain, while the remaining continue to depend on tankers.”

Out of the total relief money, Rs. 840 crores have been alloted for schemes to fight natural calamities like excess rain and floods and Rs. 375 crores for helping affected people. Rs. 720 crores have been directed to reconstruct government properties including roads and bridges. Rs. 50 lakh will also be given as emergency relief fund to District collectors.

Chavan said of the 237 rain-related deaths in Maharashtra, 107 were reported alone in Vidarbha. The heavy downpour has not only destroyed 3,800 houses, but has also brought devastation to around 2,000 animals.

However, all is not hunky dory in the Chavan-led government as on Wednesday the Opposition slammed him at the State Assembly for not announcing relief for Vidarbha sooner. Also, while the Opposition demanded an assistance of Rs 25,000 per hectare, Chavan announced only Rs 7,500 per hectare for grains and Rs 5,000 for the other crops damaged in Vidarbha.

State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said, “It all appears good on paper but in reality it does not translate to much. We wanted the government to announce Rs 25,000 per hectare to all. However, only Rs 2,000 per acre has been offered. The government had given Rs 25,000 per hectare for standing sugarcane crop in western Maharashtra as it could not be crushed. There is inherent bias in the package.”

With Chavan’s government receiving flak for being biased towards the western region of the state, is it time for a separate Vidarbha state to take birth? Soon after Telangana came into being, all people can talk about is the bifurcation of Maharashtra. People belonging to Vidarbha feel that the state government constantly ignores them in terms of development and investment. They also feel that their dialect and culture are different from other Maharashtrians.

Political parties – Congress, BJP and NCP are pro-Vidarbha statehood as they derive significant strength from this region. NCP Vice President Praful Patel said, “NCP fully supports Vidarbha if people are keen to have it. If people want, we will support it.”

With Vidarbha getting strong political support, will Chavan and his government surrender to the bifurcation of the state or will he make efforts to be seen as a unbiased chief minister? That only time will tell.

Death toll to cross 10,000, says Govind Singh Kunjwal

Army team removing a fallen tree from a river
Image source:

It has been two weeks and still there is no clarity regarding the number of casualties caused by the flash floods. There seems to be a difference in opinion with many stating a variety of numbers. Govind Singh Kunjwal, Uttarakhand speaker created a huge furor in an embarrassing move today by claiming that the death toll  in the flood stricken area could be over  10,000. The figure stated by the speaker is more than 10 times the current official toll. However  Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde quickly came to the rescue by scaling the figure down to 900.

A week ago Kunjwal had claimed the number of deaths to be approximately 5000. “No one can give the exact death count but after travelling to different disaster affected areas and information gathered from victims and the local residents, I could say the death toll is around 10,000,” said Kunjwal. In an attempt to tone down the alarming statement, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said that that the casualty toll may cross 1000. “Don’t know where the Speaker got this figure from, however the details on casualties will be declared truthfully” said Bahuguna.

 Among others who came to the rescue also include Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar. According to him a clearer picture will only emerge once the figure of missing persons can be ascertained.  The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), which is assisting in the rescue and relief operations, has come out with the figure as 580.

So far over one lakh people have been rescued by the Army and the Air Force while a whopping number of  3000 are still missing,with more than 1,000 stranded. Efforts were being made for supply of essential relief material to over 600 villages in Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts that have been cut off after the floods.