Bengal SEC Quits: NO LIMIT TO TMC BULLYING …

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel October 10, 2015 09:56

Bengal SEC Quits: NO LIMIT TO TMC BULLYING …

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Bengal SEC Quits

NO LIMIT TO TMC BULLYING

By Insaf

 Muscle flexing by the Trinamool Government in West Bengal never seizes to end. The latest casualty is State Election Commissioner S R Upadhyay. With the civic polls in Bidhannagar and Asansol Municipal Corporations and Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation marred by violence, the SEC decided to postpone the counting. While the Opposition rightly demanded fresh polls, the ruling party insisted that voting take place and both sides sought to push their demand by staging respective dharnas outside his office. In the thick of political pressure from the ruling party, Upadhyay put in his papers citing that “in the history of Election Commission, I have never heard of such protests like this….” While counting will eventually take place, with an interim SEC, the critical issue is that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s growing intolerance doesn’t even spare an institution like the Election Commission. Recall that his predecessor Mira Pande too had a rough time, where TMC leaders were openly making uncouth remarks against her. Officially, she had to take the TMC to court demanding Central forces for panchayat polls to ensure free and fair election. Add to this the muscle-flexing during these recent civic polls and media persons in a booth being assaulted by TMC goons. Both media and the civil society have condemned such bullying. When will enough be enough?

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Bihar Poll FIRs

Bihar is keeping the Election Commission and the State police on its toes. In this big Assembly battle, while the parties are going all-out to woo the voters with promises, their leaders have giving the election code of conduct a royal go-by. In what is emerging as a no-holds barred ‘personalised’ war, FIRs have been filed against BJP’s Amit Shah, RJD’s Lalu Prasad and AIMIM’s Akbaruddin Owaisi, so far. The police has in fact ordered Owaisi arrest for his “Modi is a zalim (cruel)and shaitan (monster) and responsible for 2002 Gujarat riots,” remark at an election rally in Kishanganj district. Lalu faces music after he tweeted: “A Narbhakshi (cannibal) and exiled should not teach good conduct to Bihar. First he should tell people about his own misdeeds and stringent sections levelled against him.” This after, Shah took a dig at Lalu saying “Bihar which was once known by the name of Rajendra Prasad, Jayprakash Narayan and Karpoori Thakur was unfortunately today known by the name of “chara chor” (fodder thief).  While the official procedure will take its own time, the remarks should at least help the voters realise what are the options before them. Little, as one is worse than the other?

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Swine Flu Fear

With the onset of winter, alarm bells over swine flu (H1N1) have started ringing in the Union Health Ministry. More so, as five States– Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana and Karnataka have reported some cases already. Take all precautionary steps to tackle the disease and submit a status report on preparedness, is its advisory to all State governments. A wish list too has been issued which includes: ensure required/adequate quantities of stock of drug Oseltamivir, viral diagnostic kits, viral transport media, personal protective equipment and N-95 masks, at different levels in healthcare system. Additionally, there should be sufficient isolation facilities, functional and well-equipped to manage respiratory emergencies. The Ministry would do well to specifically look out for the Delhi government’s status report given its laxity in tackling Dengue, which claimed over 20 lives in the national capital!  Reminding it of the adage “a stitch in time saves nine”, would help.

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Farmers’ Stir In Punjab

Punjab is in the throes of farmers’ agitation. Eight farmers organisations/unions have launched a two-day “Rail Roko” (stop trains) stir on Wednesday last leading to cancellation and diversion of trains. They are demanding compensation for crops damaged by white fly attack on cotton crops, higher compensation for farm labour, higher remunerative prices for basmati crops, relief for family of farmers who have committed suicide among others. In addition, the ongoing cow slaughter controversy too has hit this State. A section of dairy farmers are perturbed and threatening protest over the Punjab Gau Sewa Commission’s recent rule making it mandatory take permission from district authorities for transporting cows to other States. Punjab has the repute of supplying three lakh-odd high yielding breeding cows to various parts of the country including Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. While the agitating farmers are accusing the SAD-BJP government of adopting ‘anti-farmer’ policies, the latter claims the unions are politicising the issues for petty gains. Sadly, in all this controversies, it’s the common man who suffers.

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Varanasi Idol Battle

The Clean Ganga mission takes a beating, this time in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The Prime Minister’s constituency is in the thick of a political wrangle, rather than the issue of curbing pollution in the holy river. Even though there is a ban on idol immersion in the Ganga, the seers are unwilling to abide by it. The city witnessed arson and violence as they decided to  protest against the police lathicharge on a religious procession during the immersion of Ganesha idols, on September 22. The police had advised them to immerse the idol in a large water tank, but they refused. None was interested in the ban order to curb polluting of the river and instead sat on a dharna. This week has seen the issue being blown out of proportion. It has now turned into a Congress versus BJP war. The former is said to be supporting “Anyaya Pratikar Yatra” led by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati of Sri Vidya math. A Congress MLA has been arrested for the violence. The party is up in arms. It has decided to go into an aggressive mode and demanded a ‘judicial inquiry’. At the same time it decided to go for court arrest whenever any party worker or seer is arrested. If only such action was mooted for those violating the Court order, the Ganga had some hope.

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Of Interviews & Corruption

Will doing away with interviews for recruitment to junior level posts in government departments curb corruption? Well, according to the Centre the answer is in the affirmative and States should try it. Thus, the DoPT has urged all Chief Ministers to take such steps wherever possible. Its reasoning: interviews should be discontinued for recruitment to junior level posts where personality or skill assessment is not absolutely required. The objective being that it will curb corruption, ensure more objective selection in a transparent manner and substantially ease the problems of the poor and resourceless aspirants. On its part, the Centre says it has already identified several Group ‘B’ (Non-Gazetted) and Group ‘C’ (Non-Technical) posts in various Ministries/Depts and other organisations under it where selection can be done through a competitive exam only. Will States follow suit? Guess, a survey showing reining in corruption would help.—INFA

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel October 10, 2015 09:56