TREMORS IN OTHER STATES
New Delhi, Aug 18 : The violence in Assam has shockingly raised its ugly face in other States, leaving the Centre dumbfounded. While Mumbai faced the first major brunt last week, with two dead and 54 injured when a protest by Muslim organisations turned violent, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh Governments are in a quandary on how to contain the aftershocks. With rumours adrift through text messages that Muslims organisations were preparing to retaliate against the people from the North East for attacking the illegal migrants, Bangalore witnessed nearly 7,000 of its 2.5 lakh people leaving the city in special trains on Wednesday night. With another 1,000 threatening to leave, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar made an impassioned appeal not to do so. While stating that not a single incident of attack had taken place, he assured the community full protection to one and all and asked the police to ensure strict vigil in areas where the NE people reside in large numbers. Likewise, the police in Hyderabad have been put on the alert following groups of Assamese fleeing the city after receiving similar text messages, though on a lesser scale. More than the States, the Centre can ill-afford the situation from turning into a communal whirlpool. Other than merely sending messages to the two State Chief Ministers to ensure safety, New Delhi needs to go to the bottom of problem and tackle Assam’s burning issue of illegal migrants.
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Independence Day celebrations in Jammu & Kashmir were keenly watched by New Delhi like always. Delivering his I-Day address on Wednesday last at Bakhshi Stadium, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah gave a pleasant surprise. He finally admitted that removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) would take time. The young CM apparently, didn’t seem to be in any hurry, and instead gave an impression that he had reconciled to the Centre’s approach that it could be “revoked in some areas only.” He, however, assured the people that the Act would be done away with entirely during his tenure. While Abdullah has given the Defence Ministry some breathing space, he has also reached out to the Separatists. The atmosphere in the State is fit for resumption of dialogue, come break the deadlock was his message to the hardliners. Will he be able to do where his predecessors failed – find the elusive political solution?
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Mamata Vs Judiciary
West Bengal never seizes to hit the headlines. All thanks to its mercurial Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Ever since she took over the Writer’s Building, Didi has invoked one controversy after another. The latest, of course takes the cake. None other than the judiciary has come under fire. Addressing a seminar in the Assembly on its platinum jubilee on Tuesday last, Mamata reportedly spoke on corruption in the judiciary. She was quoted saying: “What I see. Why should many judgments today be delivered for money? Why? I am sorry to say. I am saying this in the Assembly.” Worse, she insists that she has done nothing wrong and will say it a 1000 times! Obviously, the firebrand leader is not deterred and is her defiant self. However, while she boasts that she will plead her own case (she is a lawyer), Mamata forgets that as a Chief Minister she should show some maturity and have some restrain. Will a rap from the courts make a difference is a question doing the rounds.
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National Health Mission Cover For States
States have reason to rejoice following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Independence Day promise of taking health to every district in the country. Happy with the resounding success of the National Rural Health Mission, Manmohan Singh has now expanded the scope of health services in towns also by widening the NRHM’s umbrella into a unified national health mission. Not only would each district develop a multi year health action plan but would also distribute free medicines through government hospitals and health centres. Notwithstanding that urban and rural health needs a varied yet under the scheme thanks to better communication, transport, facilities and easier access to secondary and tertiary health care centres in both public and private sector are on the anvil. But before the grandeurs scheme is put in to place, the Government, which is facing an acute shortage of doctors, has to recruit many more. Will it succeed?
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Bihar to Electrify To All Villages
Caught in the midst of an unseemly controversy over breaking his alliance with the BJP if it projects Narendra Modi as Prime Minister in 2014, an unfazed and nonchalant Nitish Kumar continues in his promise making spree. In his latest diatribe, the Bihar Chief Minister has assured electricity to every village by 2015. Not only this. He plans to open a secondary school in every panchayat and also make the State corruption free. With a rider, he will not solicit votes for the Assembly poll three years away. Undoubtedly, it remains to be seen whether the Chief Minister praised for his good governance, will be able to fulfil this tall order!
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Six States Power Officers Fined
Six northern States electricity boards woke up with an electrifying shock. Whereby the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission took the unprecedented step of imposing a personal fine on officers in-charge of the State Load Despatch Centers of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, J&K and Uttarakhand for their failure to ensure proper load management and curb over drawls. It refused to bite the explanations by them that the local politicians entered the control rooms and threatened them at gun point if they resorted to power cuts. Needless to say post the collapse of the Northern grid last fortnight, the Commission was left with no option but to impose this harsh measure. But will our politicians heed?
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Chhattisgarh Tops In Men Guzzlers
The love for Bacchus, albeit alcohol is universal. But in India’s annual health survey conducted in nine States a startling fact has come to the fore. While Chhattisgarh tops the list where men love their daily drink, in Assam it is women. Joined by their brethren in Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha who too relish getting tipsy. Shockingly, in UP, where guns and alcohol are common place, it has been overtaken in liquor consumption by Jharkhand, Assam, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Pertinently, over 62.5 million people in the country guzzle alcohol, for every six men, one woman drinks. Hic!—INFA
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