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Orissa And Chhattisgarh ALL-OUT WAR AGAINST NAXALITES
New Delhi, 21 February 2008 ((Insaf) : Orissa and Chhattisgarh, two heavily Naxalite-infested States have sounded the bugle against the Maoists. Orissa’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, and his counterpart in Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, have decided to take the war against terrorism into the enemy’s camp and purge their respective States of terrorism. This follows two of the biggest Maoist attacks in both the States. In Orissa, hundreds of armed guerrillas stormed Nayagarh town, barely 90 km from the State capital, Bhubaneswar, over-ran three police stations and two outposts killing 13 police personnel and two civilians on Friday last. Exposing as never before, the complete lack of preparedness of the local police, which left the top brass red-faced. Clearly to redeem its honour and teach the Naxals a stern lesson, the State pulled out all the stops and killed 20 Maoists. Signalling, enough is enough!
In Chhattisgarh too, the State Government gave the Naxalites a taste of their own medicine when 13 Naxalites were killed in two different encounters in the intensely Naxal-infested Bijapur district of Bastar region. That the Chief Minister Raman Singh’s Government meant business and had decided not to give any quarter to the Naxals was clear when 13 CRPF battalions were deployed in as many as 11 Naxal-affected areas out of the State’s 18 districts with an additional five more battalions to be added soon. This action was indeed timely, against the backdrop of the villagers of a tribal hamlet in the Rajnandgaon district fleeing their homes in panic after Naxalites called upon them to send a child from each family to join the movement or face death. All fingers are crossed that the two NDA-ruled States continue the counter-insurgency operations sternly in the future as well. The NDA’s High Command is keeping a close watch.
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Providing Prime Ministers
Uttar Pradesh, the State once synonymous with providing India with its Prime Ministers, is all set to regain its primacy with two of its leaders throwing their hats into the Prime Ministerial ring. Namely, BSP supremo and Chief Minister Mayawati and her bete noire and predecessor Samajwadi’s Mulayam Singh Yadav. The Dalit Queen has minced no words to announce that her next target is India’s Raj Gaddi. Towards that end, she has started criss-crossing the Hindu heartland to garner support for herself and the Party. No matter, that she has already burnt her fingers in the recently-held Gujarat poll where none of her candidates was successful. Now, she is busy making inroads into Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and New Delhi where the State Assembly elections are due later this year. In Rajasthan, Mayawati brazenly donned the robes of the new Quota Queen by promising the Gujjars that she would fulfil their demands for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes if they got her anointed as the Prime Minister.
Importantly, the shrewd BSP supremo has, meanwhile, decided to smoke the peace pipe, (for the time being), with the Congress through a courtesy call on Sonia Gandhi. At the ‘power’ pow-wow between India’s ruling Divas, Mayawati explained there was nothing personal in her anti-Congress campaign. For Sonia too, this has come as a face saver and given her breathing space before the Budget session of Parliament. However, even as the two women serenade each other, Mulayam Singh is all set to play the spoil sport now that the United National Progressive Alliance has formally endorsed the Samajwadi supremo as its Prime Ministerial candidate. The UNPA is “confident” of winning over 100 seats in the next Lok Sabha. Towards that end, all the Front leaders are accompanying Mulayam to address maha rallies across the country to champion the cause of the farmers and cock a snook at those who dismissed them as ‘used-up cartridges.’
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Congress-Left Gloves Off In Tripura
Tripura may earn the ignominious distinction of sounding the bugle of the beginning of the end of the Congress-Left bonhomie. That the gloves were off was made plain by the Congress President Sonia Gandhi when she called for the ouster of the Left Government while campaigning for her Party in the State. Not only that. She vowed to carry the battle to the strongest Left bastion, West Bengal next, when the Lok Sabha polls are held next year. Mincing no words, Sonia denounced as false all talk of the Congress having a soft spot for the Left. “It is a misnomer,” she thundered. It is a moot point if the electorate buys her sob story. As matters stand, regaining Tripura would indeed, be prestigious for the Congress as it has been bereft of power in the State for 15 years. But the challenge is not easy to surmount. All in all, Tripura has received little attention from top Congress leaders!
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Jharkhand Synonymous With Corruption
After politicians, it is the turn of the bureaucrats to take a “corruption” bow in Jharkhand. In a first of sorts, the Crime Investigation Department of the Jharkhand Police has sought the Additional Director’s General’s permission to prosecute the Chief Secretary, PP Sharma, who has been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act for fraud, misuse of official authority and criminal conspiracy. Shockingly, cases have been pending against him since 1988 and till recently lay buried under the debries of amnesia. But what is sauce for the goose in Jharkhand is not so for the gander in UP. Shockingly, in Ulta Pulta UP, the State’s ‘most corrupt officer’ Neera Yadav has been given a clean chit. Recall, Yadav had the dubious distinction of being the first IAS officer to be removed as the Chief Secretary of the State by the Supreme Court on grave corruption charges. Clearly each State with varied political hues has its own yardstick for what constitutes corruption!
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Congress Steals BJP’s Poll Plank
BSP is synonymous with Mayawati. Come election time, BSP is now all set to become the acronym for Bijli Sadak, Paani in Madhya Pradesh all over again. The Congress has stolen arch enemy BJP’s election plank, made it its USP and plans to use it against the Saffron Sangh during the forthcoming State Assembly elections. Hoping to ride back to power on the anti-incumbency wave, the Congress has gone into aggressive mode. Its MP from Guna, Jyotiraditya Scindia, has lambasted the State Government for arresting farmers on charges of power theft. Recall, the BJP won the polls five years ago by riding the crest of popular dissent against the lack of bijli, poor sadaks and no paani. Now it is the Congress’ turn to play tit-for-tat!
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Unbelievable In Darjeeling
Darjeeling confirms the good old saying that anything can happen in politics. Time was when the word of Subhas Ghisingh, the Gorkha Supremo and presently caretaker administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), was law. But, incredibly enough, he was not allowed to enter Darjeeling on his return from New Delhi. Activists of the manifestly popular Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) banned his entry into the Hills by setting up barricades and road blocks on all routes leading to Darjeeling from north Bengal. The Morcha wants separate statehood for Darjeeling, whereas Ghisingh is happy with the grant of a Sixth Schedule status to the hills. Recall, that it was none other than Ghisingh who had set the hills ablaze in the mid-eighties with his demand for a separate state comprising hills of Darjeeling. Eventually, the Gorkha National Liberation Front settled for an autonomous Council. The GJM now insists on a separate State of Gorkhaland and has launched an indefinite bandh in Darjeeling. Will Ghisingh yield and join hands with his erstwhile followers of the GJM to revive his original demand for Gorkhaland? ---INFA
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