New Delhi: With its image dented by scams, the Congress-led UPA government on Sunday night pledged to take corruption head on and promised to punish the guilty, demonstrating through actions and not words what it meant.
Presenting the UPA’s report card on completion of two years in the second term, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi gave an assurance that the government would prevent scams in future and reduce discretionary and arbitrary use of powers by public officials.
In her brief remarks in “Government of the UPA: Report to the People 2010-11″, Gandhi said, “We will take the issue of corruption head on and demonstrate, through actions, and not words, that we mean what we say.”
Singh and Gandhi presented the report at a function at the Prime Minister’s residence and attended by leaders of coalition partners and outside supporters like Samajwadi Party and RJD.
DMK, sulking in the wake of poll debacle and the arrest of its MP Kanimozhi, made a token presence with the attendance of its Parliamentary Party chief T R Baalu. None of its six ministers was present.
With his government reeling under attack over several scams in the last many months, Singh said, “there is the challenge of good governance and the need for political stability.
“In the past several months, a conjunction of several developments relating to 2G spectrum allocation, procurement and contracting issues related to the Commonwealth Games, and similar issues in state governments have brought public focus on the issue of corruption in public life.”
The 74-page report presented the achievements in various fields like economy, agriculture, rural development, education and healthcare. (PTI)
‘Violence on the decline in NE’
From CK Nayak
NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister on Sunday said level of violence in some of the north-eastern states has come down and the Centre has taken up several massive developmental projects in the region.
Both Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi was presenting its annual report card for the year 2010-11 here on Sunday night. All the Congress chief ministers from the region including Dr Mukul Sangma and Tarun Gogoi were present along with a host of dignitaries in the function at Prime Minister’s residence.
While the internal security situation in some states has improved the Centre is continuing the ongoing peace process with some of the militant factions, the report card said. “In 2010-11 in total 1615 km of roads have been sanctioned for an amount of Rs 9160 crore, under the SARDP-NE,” it said.
Similarly air connectivity in the region has improved as 370 flights were scheduled for summer 2011, the report said. During the year, 151 infrastructure projects at an estimated cost of Rs 1526.29 crore was sanctioned under the NLCPR for the region, it said.
This includes Upper Shillong Water Supply Scheme of Meghalaya.
Among others Union Minister Vincent Pala, AICC general secretary in-charge of the State Dr Dhaniram Shandil and his predecessor Luizinho Faleiro were present in the function. “I am leaving for Shillong tomorrow,” Dr Sangma told The Shillong Times after the function.
Uranium deposit: Meghalaya’s uranium deposit found mention in the Prime Minister’s report card for 2010-11.
“India is committed to harness nuclear power and ensure highest levels of safety even as some countries have put their atomic energy plans under review after the Fukushima nuclear accident,” the report said.
In his annual ‘Report to the People’, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underlined the commitment to ensure highest levels of safety at nuclear installations and rolled out plans to strengthen the nuclear regulator by imparting it greater autonomy.
An additional 22,500 tonnes of additional uranium resources have been established in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Meghalaya taking the country’s uranium resources to about 1,62,000 tonnes, the report said.
With the commissioning of the fourth unit of the Kaiga generating station in Karnataka in January, India now has 20 nuclear power reactors with a total installed nuclear power generating capacity of 4,780 MW.
No Prez rule in Karnataka
New Delhi: In a snub to Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj, the Centre on Sunday night rejected his recommendation for imposition of President’s rule in the State, exactly a week after he escalated tensions with the ruling BJP there. The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs(CCPA) presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here, shortly after the conclusion of the second anniversary celebrations of the UPA-II Government. (PTI)
Vijender in trouble
Bhiwani: Beijing Olympics bronze medalist boxer Vijender Singh, who married a Delhi girl on May 17, has landed in trouble with a police complaint being lodged about the illegal use of the national emblem on the invitation cards of his wedding reception. The invitation cards had an image of national emblem with the words “Satyamev Jayate” written under it. (IANS)
Congress revives UP land issue, Pilot held
Greater Noida: Reviving the Bhatta-Parsaul farmers’ issue, Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Sunday visited protestors lodged in Dasna Jail and was arrested on way to the violence-hit areas to meet families of those injured during the agitation over land acquisition.
Pilot, Union Minister of State for Information Technology, along with around 100 supporters, was arrested on National Highway 24 when his cavalcade left for Bhatta and Parsaul villages after he met those jailed during the farmers’ agitation demanding more compensation for their land.The 34-year-old minister and his supporters were first taken to the police lines and later escorted to the UP-Delhi border at Noida before being released around 4:30 PM. They were taken into custody at around 2:30 PM under section 151 CrPC (arrest to prevent commission of cognisable offences).He alleged that the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh is abusing its power and ‘killing people.’
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi was arrested on the night of May 11 by the UP Police after he had slipped unnoticed in pre-dawn hours to the affected area in support of the farmers agitating against the state’s land acquisition process for an expressway project.Rahul Backing Gandhi’s claims of police atrocities on farmers in Greater Noida villages, the National Commission for Women has said complaints of molestation, stripping and rape of women as well as of people being burnt alive have come before it and has sought a CBI probe to ‘bring out the truth.’
The UP government has, however, dismissed as baseless the allegations of burning of people and rape of women in Bhatta- Parsaul and said preliminary forensic reports of ashes collected from the area have ruled out presence of any human remains. (PTI)
PM assures aid to land row-hit village
New Delhi: In support of the agitating farmers in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday announced a financial aid for the victims of violence triggered by land acquisition in Greater Noida.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said the financial assistance would be given to the families of farmers who were wounded in the agitation in and around Bhatta-Parsaul and other areas in Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.
As per the announcement, Rs.50,000 would be given to those seriously injured in the stir and Rs.10,000 to those who suffered minor injuries.
The village in Greater Noida has grabbed the nation’s attention for clashes between farmers and police over land acquisition after four people, including two policemen, were killed May 7 when villagers clashed with policemen while agitating for higher compensation for their lands acquired by the Uttar Pradesh government for developmental projects.(IANS)
‘BJP will intensify stir if Centre fails to act’
Mangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Sunday warned saying that BJP will intensify the ongoing ‘Governor Hatao, Karnataka Bachao’ agitation if the Centre fails to recall Governor H R Bhardwaj within next 24 hours.
Addressing a rally at Nehru Ground here, he alleged that being a former Union Minister of Law, the Governor had gone to such a low level of politics of praising the Chief Minister on one side and recommending the President’s rule on the other side to rule the state through backdoor.‘The Raj Bhavan has virtually become the Congress and JD(S) office. Before any step is taken to call back you (Bhardwaj), it is better that you resign from the post,’ Mr Yeddyurappa said. Reacting to the challenge posed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda at Delhi to him to face the election if he had any guts, Mr Yeddyurappa said the JD(S) had lost its ground in the state while the Congress had become a ‘sinking ship’ in the state.(UNI)
Cong stages black flag to counter BJP agitation
Bangalore: The second day of BJP’s ‘Rajyapal Hatao, Karnataka Bachao’ agitation wasmarred with Congress black flag demonstration in Karnataka on Sunday.
More than 200 Congress workers were taken into custody at Chitradurga, Hubli, Bellary and Mangalore.At Hubli, more than 100 Congress activists, including former Kanataka Minister A M Hindsgeri, were arrested when they showed black flag at the venue of a public meeting where Senior BJP leader and Minister for Rural Development Jagadish Shettar was to address a meeting.At Chitradurga, more than 20 Congress activists were taken into custody when they tried to show black flag when Minister for Energy Shobha Kharndlje was addressing a gathering.
BJP launched the agitation yesterday demanding recall of Governor H R Bhardwaj for his alleged unconstitutional way of functioning and trying to pull down the duly elected government.
The speakers strongly condemned the Governor recommending for imposition of President in the State under Article 356 (1) and alleged that the Governor had converted Raj Bhavan into Congress and JD(S) office and was trying to get these parties backdoor entry. (UNI)
Binayak Sen demands repeal of sedition law and AFSPA
Kalyani(WB), May 23 (PTI) Noted civil rights activist Binayak Sen today demanded the repeal of the sedition law and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
“A large number of human rights organisation have joined hands to oppose the sedition law and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA),” Sen said at a felicitation function here.
He said the human rights organisation would collect the signature of 10 million people against sedition law and it would be sent to Parliament.
Sen, a pediatrician and public health specialist, is also the national vice-president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.
He has been accused of sedition by the Chhattisgarh Government, and a Raipur Court had sentenced him to life imprisonment. But he was granted bail on April 15, 2011 by the Supreme Court.
Threat to blow up temples by Lashkar-e-Toiba
Phagwara, May 23 (PTI) Two letters threatening that terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT) will blow up key temples in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh on June 5 to avenge the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden were received by police here today.
One letter warns Hindus against undertaking pilgrimage to Amarnath cave and Mata Vaishno Devi shrines in Jammu and Kashmir.
One of the letters, which were purported to have been written by LeT Area Commander Karim Ansari, warns Hindus against undertaking pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave and Mata Vaishno Devi shrines in Jammu and Kashmir.
SP Kamaljeet Singh Dhillon said he had been given the letters which were first received by the Mahant of local Sheetla Mata Mandir Kamal Kishor.
LTTE leader apologizes to India for Rajiv’s killing
New Delhi, May 23 (PTI) A top LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan has apologised to India for V Prabhakaran’s “mistake” of killing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
He said Rajiv’s assassination was “well planned and done actually with Prabhakaran and (LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman). Everyone knows the truth”.
In an interview to CNN-IBN Firstpost, Pathmanathan, who was Treasurer of LTTE and its chief arms procurer, said “I want to say to the Indian people and especially to the Gandhi family…I want to apologise for Prabhakaran’s mistake. Please forgive us. We beg you….Sorry for all this. We know the feelings of the son (Rahul) of Rajiv Gandhi….How father and daughter are attached (reference to Rajiv’s daughter Priyanka)”.
He said Tamils in Sri Lanka should be helped to live as humans as “we have already paid a high price. We don’t have anything to lose”.
CWG scam: Court’s go-ahead to prosecute Kalmadi, others
New Delhi, May 23 (PTI) A Delhi court today gave the go ahead to prosecute sacked CWG OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi and ten others for corruption, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy for alleged irregularities in awarding of TSR system contract to a Swiss firm, which has also been summoned.
Taking note of the CBI charge sheet filed against the seven-time MP Kalmadi, 67, and ten others, including two companies, Special CBI judge Talwant Singh said that there is sufficient material against the accused to take cognisance of the charge sheet.
“I have taken cognisance of the charge sheet, the statement of the witnesses and other documents filed along with it. I am of the view that there is sufficient material to take cognisance against all the accused persons,” the court said.