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NE Poll Result: NO CHANGE, VOTERS CONTENT, By Insaf, 28 Feb, 2013 Print E-mail

Round The States

New Delhi, 28 February 2013


NE Poll Result


By Insaf


The voter verdict in the Assembly elections to the three North Eastern States of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland has a common upshot--- the people are satisfied with the incumbent Governments. The Left Front in Tripura has got a resounding thumbs up for a record fifth term since 1993 (50 of 60 seats), the Congress managed to retain Meghalaya (29 of 60 seats) and the Naga Peoples Front in Nagaland has romped home with an absolute majority on its own (37 of 59 seats), by adding 11 more seats to its 26 tally in 2008. This has led to a question whether Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, will continue the alliance with the NDA partner (JD(U) and BJP one seat each), and keep the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government intact or  prefer to go alone. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has reason to be jubilant as not only has the voter rejected the Congress’ call for a change (barely retained its 10 seats) but made its ally, Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura, a non-entity. However, Meghalaya provides the Congress a breather as the party led by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, improved its tally by four seats, but fell short of a simple majority. Therefore, it has no option but to continue with Meghalaya United Alliance government, with partners United Democratic Party (eight seats) and Hills State People’s Democratic Party (4 seats). While each party will do its own poll analysis and get busy in Government formation, these results only confirm the obvious—good governance pays off and there can be no room for  complacency.

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Gujarat New Irrigation Bill

Gujarat farmers are in a quandary. The Narendra Modi Government and the Opposition are fighting tooth and nail over the new Irrigation and Drainage Bill, 2013, passed in the Assembly on Tuesday last. While the former justifies the Bill on grounds that it will increase the performance efficiency of irrigation schemes and shall “protect” the farmers, the Opposition has rubbished the claim. Terming it as the “blackest law” the Congress has claimed that it is “anti-farmer” as it would give “artificial control” over irrigation water to the canal officer, (to be appointed) thus leaving the famer at his mercy. A quick perusal of the Bill, which repeals the existing Gujarat Irrigation Act 1879, primarily makes it mandatory for farmers to seek licence to construct tubewell, borewell or wells, with depth exceeding that prescribed for extracting ground water, among other provisions.  Default, if any would lead to penal action, including imprisonment or fine up to Rs 10,000. The big question doing the rounds is whose word should the farmers believe? It is too early for any advice.   

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J&K Baffled

Jammu and Kashmir is completely flummoxed by its own Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s wisdom on bringing about reforms in the State police. Not without reason.  The proposed Police Reforms bill envisages empowering the police with special powers similar to the ones enjoyed by the Army through the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which ironically the young CM has been demanding the Centre do away with. His draft Bill includes: the police being vested with magisterial powers instead of a civilian magistrate; police officers be treated always on duty, making it difficult to prosecute erring policemen and that an adult member of the public can be arrested for not giving assistance to a police officer. With the public, civil society and the Opposition completely outraged, the young National Conference scion tweeted that neither he nor his Cabinet has seen it, adding to the dilemma. Whether it is an afterthought or a genuine submission time alone will tell.

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No Dissent Voice In WB 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Baneerjee has much on her plate but unfortunately what seems to be the State’s prime agenda is to brutally squash any voice of dissent. The treatment meted out to the cartoonist – professor has not mellowed her one bit, now it is the turn of filmmaker Suman Mukhopadhyay’s films, Kangal Malshat (war cry of the poor). The release of the film has been stalled as the Central Board of Film Certification believes that the film could lead to violence in the State. Is this Mamata or her over-zealous defenders? While the film’s fate is slated to be divided on March 4, the Chief Minister’s image has taken a further beating. Once again the issue of creative expression is in the forefront. For Bengal which was once the cradle of intellectual activity, there are tough times ahead as fear stalks the State.

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Kerala’s Intolerance

Intolerance amongst the political class is clearly crossing boundaries. Kerala is the latest State after Maharashtra and West Bengal to haunt the social media. On Monday last, the Kerala cyber police shockingly filed a case against 111 persons for alleged defamatory remarks against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien on Facebook regarding the infamous Suryanelli gang rape case. The absurd action was taken after a Mahila Congress leader, Bindu Krishna, filed a complaint with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy alleging that most of the comments, including a “dirty” one were actually against her as she had supported Kurien. While the police has shown undue haste in looking into this complaint, it has a tall order. Apparently, only one person had posted a status against Kurien, and 110 others had merely shared it. This apart, it was a fake FB account. However, the failure of the police in this case would be more than welcome. Social media activists have reason to keep their fingers crossed.   

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Befitting Reply To MNS

Political rivalry in Maharashtra has taken an ugly and menacing turn. On Wednesday last, Mumbai and other parts of the State including Pune, Nashik and Nagpur witnessed sporadic violence between the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Nationalist Congress Party workers. The two sides indulged in attacking each others’ offices and stoning buses and cars. However, this time around the belligerent MNS seems to have got a taste of its own medicine. Its chief Raj Thackeray couldn’t get away with his repeated taunts or threats against NCP leaders, including Sharad and Ajit Pawar. The NCP stoned his convoy in Ahmednagar district on Tuesday evening, which triggered the violence. While the State administration has deployed additional police force to restore law and order, the MNS must read the message clear and loud: It can no longer get away with its bullying tactics as others will give it a befitting reply in its own style!---INFA


(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

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