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Lucknow, Oct 26 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Friday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order a fresh Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat following the Tehelka expose that showed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged role in the carnage.
In a letter to the prime minister, Mayawati stressed the need to bring the guilty to book.
‘The manner in which the direct involvement of the Gujarat government and some close allies of the ruling BJP has been brought to light in the sting operation … clearly shows how the massacre of members of a particular minority was undertaken with evident state patronage,’ the chief minister noted.
An undercover operation conducted by Tehelka weekly has caught Hindu activists alleging that Modi sanctioned the 2002 riots, in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.
Mayawati reminded the prime minister of the killing of the Congress’ former member of parliament, who was burnt alive during the Gujarat riots.
‘The Gujarat massacre has already put the entire nation to shame; and since the sting operation has thrown light on certain vital facts, it would be pertinent to get the entire issue probed afresh by the CBI,’ she said.
While urging the Centre to publicly condemn the facts brought forth in the sting operation, Mayawati said: ‘Deterrent action is required in the matter, not only to bring the guilty to book, but to also ensure due justice to the riot victims as also to restore the shaken confidence of the minority community in the Indian secular democratic system.’
Bolstered by an emphatic win, her Bahujan Samaj Party has scored in the just-concluded Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, BSP supremo Mayawati is most likely to enter with a bang in the political arena of Gujarat, and may send jitters among the rank and file of both - the BJP and opposition Congress -during the Assembly polls due this year-end.
“As soon as Mayawatiji completes an exercise to form her government in UP, the Gujarat unit of BSP will invite her to visit the State to take stock of the situation here and also guide party workers to further strengthen our orgnisation,” State BSP vice-president Surendrasinh Kaloriya told this paper on Friday.
Accompanied by State BSP chief co-ordinator Rampalsinh Engineer, Kaloriya said: “We will have a separate meeting with Mayawatiji in Lucknow, where we will apprise her of political situation here and also urge her to pay visit to Gujarat.” A busload of BSP workers from Gujarat are also expected to reach Lucknow in a day or two to compliment Mayawati for scoring the poll victory. As evident from poll outcome in UP, besides people belonging to Scheduled Caste and other backward classes (OBCs), high caste Hindus and Muslims had thrown their weight behind the BSP and ensured the party’s win in there. “The BSP expects people hailing from all these castes and classes in Gujarat to lend their support to our party, for they all are getting disillusioned with present BJP dispensation in the State,” claims the State BSP leader.
In fact, Mayawati has tested the waters in Gujarat politics by fielding as many as 34 BSP candidates in 2002 Assembly elections, and 20 in 2004 Lok Sabha polls in the State.
Though none of the BSP candidates won a single seat in both elections, the party polled 66,429 votes (0.32 %) in the Assembly elections, with its vote share rising to over 2.25 lakh votes (1.48 %) in the Lok Sabha polls. “It was a mere electoral experiment our party supremo had conducted in Gujarat. Now that the BSP has fought the electoral battle successfully in UP, peeping not only Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party but also trouncing BJP and Congress, our party expects to make further inroads in Gujarat,” asserts a BSP office-bearer.
“If Mulayam attempted to fool Muslims in UP, Modi has been misleading Hindus in Gujarat for political gains. There is hardly any difference between the two as far as their style of playing politics is concerned,” argues the BSP leader.
Modi’s Hindutva card fails to click
Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindutva card and his bashing of UPA Government failed to click in Uttar Pradesh elections. The BJP leadership had invited him to participate in the poll campaign. Modi had visited UP three times and addressed public meetings, covering 21 seats. Out of these, the BJP lost as many as 17 seats. The State BJP had even sent specially designed hoardings to places where Modi had addressed poll meetings, depicting his and Advani’s photographs and calling electorate to adopt “Gujarat Model” in UP. “The electorate in UP did not respond to his Hindutva rhetoric,” said a senior BJP rebel leader. Interestingly, BJP candidate Lallu Singh Chauhan, who opposed his party’s move to send Modi to Ayodhya for canvassing, has won from the temple town. Following protests by Chauhan and Faziabad district unit of BJP, Modi gave Ayodhya a miss and went to Varanasi to address a series of public meetings there.
|Mayawati to acquire aircraft for personal use|
|Sunday, 09 December , 2007, 01:18|
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has decided to buy a brand new aircraft for her personal travel and sent off senior officials in her government to the United States to negotiate the deal.
Senior officials, including Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Shailesh Krishna, have flown to the US on Friday to shop for the latest aircraft to add to the fleet.
Official sources told IANS that the plane was being bought for the State government, but the aircraft will be for her personal use. Mayawati already has two planes of the State government at her disposal.
The high-flying Mayawati’s fondness for planes is well known. Just recently the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief flew in a chopper from her official residence in Lucknow to the Ramabai Rally Sthal, just a few km away, to address a mammoth rally on the occasion of BSP leader Kanshi Ram’s death anniversary, much to the delight of her supporters.
“Her travel by air even for short distances makes her Dalit supporters feel proud of her as they see it as another milestone in their social advancement,” said a party leader.
Plans to purchase an exclusive aircraft for her travel have been in the pipeline for almost a month.
“A Dalit ki beti (daughter of a Schedule Caste) using a chopper, becoming Chief Minister of the India’s largest State and wearing expensive jewellery gives the Schedule Castes a sense of achievement,” said another party leader.
Sugar millgate prices decline on fresh arrivals
8 Dec, 2007, 2051 hrs IST,
In the millgate, sattha dipped by Rs 10 at Rs 1,240 while, chandpur quoted lower at Rs 1,255 a quintal.
Marketmen said arrivals of new sugarcane crop forced sugar mills to clear their stocks, which mainly influenced trading sentiment.They said most of the millgate sugar varieties traded lower in Uttar Pradesh region as new crop started coming in this region.
The government is considering setting up a unified authority for regulating post-graduate medical courses in the country, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Friday.
“In India, we have two authorities to regulate post-graduate medical education; the Medical Council of India and the National Board of Examination,” the minister told Rajya Sabha in response to supplementaries during Question Hour.
The minister acknowledged that MCI-regulated post-graduate education has been recognised by many countries except in the neighbourhood. “But as far as National Board of Examination is concerned, there has been wider acceptance internationally because of the standards of education and its quality,” Ramadoss said.
The minister, however, emphasised the government would take a final decision on the recommendation for a unified authority only after consultations with the stakeholders concerned. He also declared the government was going in for a drastic change in the curriculum at both levels. “The curriculum we are following today is a little outdated. Hence, we are going in for a new curriculum change according to modern concepts, modern technology development,” he said.
The minister, who’d been pushing for a mandatory stint for young doctors in rural areas, also said the government was going to allow government hospitals at district headquarters to join hands with private players to start medical colleges. This is to bridge the divide between six states where two-thirds of India’s medical institutions are located and the rest of the country.
Of the 270 medical colleges in India, six states — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra — account for 180 of them. The remaining 23 states share the rest.
“There is a huge lacuna in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc. Bihar has only eight medical colleges for a population of 110 million. Uttar Pradesh has 16 and Madhya Pradesh has eight. In the Northeast also, there has been a huge lacuna,” he explained.
Uttar Pradesh team to scout for planes in US
Chief Minister Mayawati recently announced the state government decision to purchase one more helicopter with more seating capacity and two planes for the use of the state ministers and officials.
A reputed US company was contacted for the purchase but the government backed out when it learned that the planes and helicopter would only be delivered by 2011.
The team, whose other two members are Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Shailesh Krishna and Principal Secretary Finance Shekhar Agrawal, will look for company that will fulfil the desires of Mayawati at the earliest.
A decision to this effect was taken at the state cabinet meeting presided over by chief minister Mayawati on Friday, an official release said.
Earlier, the government had decided to implement VAT in from December 1, 2007, but following late President’s approval to Uttar Pradesh Value Added Tax Bill 2007 delayed it, the release said.
The cabinet has now approved VAT implementation from January 1, 2008, it added.It might be mentioned that several trade unions and some political parties have been opposing VAT.