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Six- phase Bihar polls from Oct 21

TIA correspondent

 NEW DELHI: The Election commission of India on Monday announced the date for the six phased Assembly elections in Bihar. The lections will be held in six phases from October 21to November 20. the first phase of the election will be held on October 21, second on 24 and  third on 28 of same month while the remaining phases will be held on November 1, 9 and 20. The counting would take place on the 24th of November.

Announcing the polls schedule for the 243 Assembly seats in Bihar, the Chief Election Commissioner Dr S.Y Quraishi said that the dates have been decided after taking into consideration several aspects including the festivals, the availability of central forces and law and order situation. He said that the bye election for Banka Lok Sabha constituency, which fell vacant after the death of Digvijay Singh will be held on the November 1. Quraishi said that there are more than 5 crore 50 lakh voters in the State. He also made it clear that model code of conduct has come into force from Monday itself.


Besides General Observers, the EC has also decided to appoint adequate number of Expenditure Observers in the state who will exclusively monitor the poll expenditure of the contesting candidates.


CEC dispelled fears about the EVMs, saying the machines were working "satisfactorily" and the EC would involve political parties during their first level checking which was not done earlier.


EC would also convene an all party meeting to discuss various issues regarding the elections.


47 seats would go to polls in the first phase for which notification will be issued on September 27, last date for nominations is October 4. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October seven.


In the second phase 45 constituencies would go to polls and the notification would issued on September 29, last date for nominations October 6.October nine is the last date for withdrawal.


The third phase will have 48 constituencies with October 4 being the date of notification, last date for nominations is October 11 and the last date for withdrawal on October 14.


Forty two seats will go to polls in fourth phase with the date of notification on October seven.


The notification for fifth phase will be issued on 15th October, last date for nominations is October 22. Last date for withdrawal is October 25. The last phase polls for the 26 constituencies ,the notifications will be issued on October 27, last date for nominations is November three and the last date for withdrawal is November six.

The coolness of kakolat








The coolness of kakolat  

 By: Amir Raza

In the scorching summer of Bihar, there is a cool place called kakolat hill. The panoramic waterfall here not only chills out the visitors but also convey them the great historical and mythological significance of the place.

Situated near Govindpur some 33 km from Nawada, on the Ranchi road in Bihar, Kakolat Waterfalls has a Natural reservoir near the falls. Here water cascades down from a height of 150 to 160 feet.  Surrounded by mountain hills and green forests it has a calm and serene atmosphere. This makes the visitors to enjoy it fully. This also makes it a favorite tourists’ spot. The cold water falling into the natural reservoir makes the spot ideal for water sports including swimming and playing water ball. One can enjoy mountain climbing and trekking in the forest also. Patna is Nearest Airport to reach kakolat hills.

During Bishua or chait Sankranti, a big fair is held here. Many devotees take their bath in the waterfall during this three day fair.

The mythology about it is that during the Treta Yuga epoch a king was cursed by a rishi and had to take the shape of a python and lived in Kakolat. The place was visited by the great Pandavas during their exile and the accursed king got salvation from damnation. The king after getting rid of the curse proclaimed that one who would bath in the waterfall will not take the yoni of snake and that is why a large number of people from far and near bathe in the falls.

This popular tourist spot has earned Bihar recognition with ministry of postal government of India even brought out a stamp of kakolat water fall in 2003.

Unfortunately the panoramic Kakolat waterfall which has great historical and mythological significance is no more attracting the tourists as it used to do in past. The government apathy towards the tourist places in state and lack of information among the new generation about the importance of the area are the main reason for declining number of the visitors.

“ Pahle yahan bahut tourista aate the lekin yeh silsila bahut ikam ho gaya. Naye logon ko iske bare men pata hi nahi hai” (Earlier a lot of tourists used to come here every year but now the number is declining fast) says Shmasher Alam a resident of nearby Govindpur. Similar sentiment were echoed by a number of the people of the area.

However a young lady from Patna  Rima kumari says " We would like to come here again. We enjoyed the cool shower here and forget the world for some time”.

It has to be seen how Bihar government popularize and make the way easy for those who want to take a cool shower at this waterfall. 

 

Lady of the decade


ANDALIB AKHTER

Opposition parties might not be pleased with the re-election of Sonia Gandhi as congress president, but for the rank and file of the Congress, it is a moment of jubliation.

While hundreds of cheering, slogan-shouting party men gathered inside and outside the AICC headquarters at 24 Akbar Road, party top brass from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ailing Arjun Singh pushing his own wheelchair braved the truant weather to celebrate the event on September 3.

Really it was matter of celebration for every congress men as it is a feat no other Congress leader has accomplished – not even her husband, the late Rajiv Gandhi, or her mother-in-law, or her grand father-in-law, the late Jawahar Lal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister.

Like a true commander of an army Sonia Gandhi, just after receiving the election certificate from central election authority chairman Oscar Fernandes, re-dedicated herself to the task of re-energising her party.

“Since the beginning, the Congress has been working for every section of the society. Whether we are in government or not, we should not forget this big responsibility,” Sonia told workers and at the same time like a veteran politician she exhorted party men: “Together we can strengthen this great organisation.”

In the last ten year Sonia has become so mature politician that even seasoned leader have become envious of her. The opposition is so threatened with her popularity that it do not want to see her as congress chief for a long time.
 
Shortly before the Lok Sabha elections in 1998, in response to widespread demands from Congress Party rank and file, she entered public life and became the President of the Indian National Congress Party same year. She campaigned vigorously on behalf of the party but at that time she could not take party to the power.

In 2004 her struggle worked. Congress met with success after defeating BJP-led NDA government in the general elections. The Congress Party unanimously elected her as its leader in Parliament, and she was therefore expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister. However, she declined to accept the position and nominated Dr. Manmohan Singh to lead the coalition government.

Sonia Gandhi nee Maino, was born in Italy on December 9, 1946. After her early education, she attended a foreign language school where she studied English, French and Russian. She met Rajiv Gandhi in Cambridge where she was doing an English language course. They were married in New Delhi in 1968.

Sonia spent most of her married life largely as a private citizen looking after her family. She was a companion to her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, during many of her official duties and frequently acted as her hostess. During the years 1984 to 1991 when her husband was Prime Minister and then briefly leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, she assumed a limited public role, mostly accompanying him on his tours in the country and abroad. At the same time, she looked after his parliamentary constituency, Amethi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, concentrating on health-care camps and other welfare activities.

After the assassination of her husband in May 1991, she set up the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, a non-governmental organization, and its associated think-tank, the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for ontemporary Studies. As Chairperson of these, she kept herself occupied in their activities which commemorate her husband’s legacy.

Shortly before the Lok Sabha elections in 1998, in response to widespread demands from Congress Party rank and file, she entered public life. She campaigned vigorously on behalf of the party and became the President of the Indian National Congress Party in April 1998.

Sonia was first elected a Member of Parliament from the Amethi in 1999, following which she became Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. In the 2004 General Elections, she led the electoral campaign of her Party which secured the largest number of seats. This enabled the Congress Party to form a coalition government UPA. In this election, she was elected as a Member of Parliament from Rae Bareily in Uttar Pradesh.

As a Chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC)  she makes periodic recommendations to the government in areas of socio-economic importance. She is particularly interested in National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Right to Information Act, the National Rural Health Mission, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission and the Communal harmony.

She also takes deep interest in issues related to the environment, empowerment of the disadvantaged, especially women, and the welfare of children.

She has authored two books on her husband, Rajiv and Rajiv’s World, and has edited two volumes of letters exchanged between Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi between 1922 and 1964, entitled Freedom’s Daughter and Two Alone, Two Together.

Undoubtedly the re-election of Sonia for the record fourth term as party president is matter of delight, but the nation expects more from her. The country is still passing through many problems. Hunger, poverty, illiteracy and communal enmity are prevalent in many part of India. In the coming days, if she succeeded in addressing these issues, Sonia could become a national leader and would not remain only a congress leader.

Parliamentarians Pay Tributes to Dadabhai

 

NEW DELHI:  (AMN) Lok Sabha Speaker  Meira Kumar and Chairman of the BJP Parliamentary Party  L.K. Advani  were among other parliamentarian who paid floral tributes at the portrait of Dababhai Naoroji in the Central Hall of Parliament House on his Birth Anniversary, today.

Members of Parliament, former Members of Parliament, and the Secretaries-General of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, P.D.T. Achary and Dr. V.K. Agnihotri, respectively, also paid floral tributes to Dababhai Naoroji.

A booklet containing the profile of Dadabhai Naoroji, brought out in Hindi and English by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, was also presented to the dignitaries who attended the function.  The portrait of Dadabhai Naoroji was unveiled by the then Speaker of Lok Sabha, Shri G.V. Mavalankar, in the Central Hall of Parliament House on 13 March 1954.
 

Maoists reject Nitish offer, ready to free cops

Our correspondent

PATNA: Though the Maoists have agreed to release the three captive policemen on the ‘humanitarian ground’, they have refused to hold talks with the sate government.

According to a report from Jamui a Maoist leader on Saturday night told local media persons that the three policemen taken hostage by them in Lakhisarai would be freed by Sunday morning and the outfit’s top decision-making body rejected the talks offered by Bihar government.

Avinash, the spokesman, said central the committee of CPI (Maoist) has decided to release the hostages "unconditionally on humanitarian considerations".

The Maoists Central Committee met in the forest near Jamui late this evening after the all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar offered talks with them. “We are not influenced by Nitish offer” Avinash reportedly told local media persons.

Earlier in the day all political parties in Bihar have appealed to Maoists to free three captive policemen with Chief Minster Nitish Kumar again offering safe passage to Naxals coming forward for talks. The decision to make the appeal was made at an all party meeting held in Patna Saturday.

The Congress, LJP, RJD, BJP, JD(U), BSP and the Left parties participated in the meeting. After the all party meeting, the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar again asked Maoists to come forward for talks assuring them safe passage.

The Maoists had abducted Sub Inspectors Abhay Yadav and Rupesh Kumar and Bihar Military Police havildar Ehtesham Khan hostage and Assistant Sub-Inspector Lucas Tete after the encounter in Lakhisarai on Sunday. Body of Lucas Tete was found in nearby forest on Friday.

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Pak to release 100 more Indian fishermen

 

LAHORE: (AMN) The Pakistani authorities would release hundred more Indian fishermen on Sunday. They had been detained in the Malir Jail, Karachi along with 342 other Indian fishermen over alleged charges of ‘illegal entry in Pakistani waters’. According to a report in Daily Times the released Indian would leave for their home through the Joint CheckPost (JCP) Wahga after completion of their prison terms in Pakistan.
Two hundred and one Indian fishermen had already been released on August 31 and September 3 and the remaining 141 will be released on September 7. The South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK) pressed upon the Indian government to release the Pakistani fishermen arrested after illegally crossing over into the Indian Territory.
 

US denies Visa to Indian Muslim Journalist

Our correspondent

 NEW DELHI: No matter how many times President Obama reiterates that ‘America is not and will never be at war with Islam’, but people in his administration has nothing to do with his words. The US authorities are continued to mistreat and hurt Muslims. Recently it denied visa to a liberal Muslim who is also happened to be a senior journalist of India’s reputed newspaper, the Hindustan Times.

Zia Haq, an Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times, was part of a seven-member journalist delegation invited to participate in a week-long technology and farm show that began on August 28 at Iowa in the United States.

However, with the U.S. embassy strangely suspending the processing of his visa, Haq had to drop his tour plan at the last minute.

Haque is so hurt by the U.S. embassy decision, he has expressed his pain in the blog.  He feels singled out because of his religion. “All other journalists in the delegation were promptly granted visas…What prompted this? My religion? My faith? My views? [But] I have never been a consistent, rabid or vocal opponent of America…” The other journalists were able to reach the U.S. for the show.

Those whose visas were promptly granted include journalists M.J. Prabhu of the Hindu, S. Swain of the Financial Express, Vivek Giridhari of the Lokmat, U. Pandey of the Dainik Jagran, Sudhakara Reddy of the Sakshi and Uma Sudhir of the NDTV.

 The visa authorities gave this in writing to Haque : “We are unable to issue your visa at this time as we require additional information. Further action on your case has been suspended under section 221(G) of the Immigration and Nationally Act until we receive the information indicated below. Your application requires further administrative processing. We shall contact you as soon as the administrative processing is completed. We regret that we are unable to provide with an estimate as to how long this will take.”

Since, there was no word from the embassy thereafter, Haque requested to withdraw his visa application. “I do not wish to visit a country I am not welcome to. Moreover, if my visa request were to be turned down, it would be an unnecessary taint on my travel record” he says.

“The US embassy may well assert that they did not reject my visa outright but only subjected me to additional background checks. I would want to tell them, a visa delayed is visa denied” Haque writes.

Earlier  Professor G. N. Qazi, the vice chancellor of Jamia Hamdard University, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain were denied Visa. The story of actor Shah Rukh Khan is also well known.

Let begin Zero Hour first; suggests VP

ANDALIB AKHTER

NEW DELHI: Vice President of India and the chairman of upper house of Indian parliament Rajya Sabha, Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Tuesday proposed to bring changes in the timing of proceeding of the House. He said that the current practice tramples on the rights of individual Members and detracts from the dignity of Parliament.

In his valedictory remarks at end  the 220th Session of Rajya Sabha , the chairman suggested that  proceedings of the house should be started with the ‘Zero Hour’ at 11.00 AM and the Question Hour be taken up later in the day.

Ansari said that When the rules for the conduct of business were drawn up decades back, it was not visualized that perceived concerns or grievances would be articulated through disruption of proceedings. “This is now taking place with disturbing regularity. The practice tramples on the rights of individual Members, detracts from the dignity of Parliament, and has invited public criticism”, he underlined.

He said that the members need to think collectively about the matter and explore possible options for saving the Question Hour from such disruptions.  “While the other time lost is compensated by sitting beyond the normal hours, it is only the Question Hour which is irretrievably lost in disruptions” he said adding that the Chair would continue its consultations on the re-scheduling of daily items of business in order to strike a balance between expression of perceived concerns and the normal business for the day.

Chairman also said that 59 new members joined the House during the Session and 26 of them have already made their maiden speech.
 

More Kharif Crops Sown this year


 
 
TIA/CORRESPONDENT
 
NEW DELHI: Kharif crops have been sown in 966.40 lakh hectare area so far. It is 82.75 lakh ha more than the acreage on this date last year that was 884.09 lakh ha.  The sowing of all major crops this year is more than that in the last kharif.
 
As per data received from States, paddy has been sown in 318.75 lakh hectare as compared to 298.94 lakh ha on this date last year, showing an increase of  19.81 lakh ha over the same period. 
 
Pulses have been sown in 109.52 lakh ha so far which is 19.29 lakh ha more than this time last season. 
 
Coarse cereals have been sown in 207.36 lakh ha, 22.86 lakh ha more as compared to last year.  
 
The cropped areas for major crops as on 2nd September this year and last year are as follows:








                                                                                                                       lakh hectare                                                                                                    

Crop

area as on 2nd September, 2010

 

2020102010

area as on 2nd September, 2009

Rice

318.75

298.94

Coarse cereals

207.36

184.49

Oilseeds

169.41

163.61

Pulses

109.52

90.23

Sugarcane

47.68

41.79

Jute

7.58

6.92

Cotton

106.14

97.7