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State News And Discussion - II
From Pioneer, 22 March, 2005
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Orissa gears up for cash crop farming

Ashutosh Mishra/ Bhubaneswar

<b>Having achieved self-sufficiency in rice production, Orissa is now likely to take up cash crop farming in a big way.

Sources in the state agriculture department indicated that about 10 lakh hectares of paddy land might be diverted for raising cash crops including fruits and oil seeds. </b>This will be the new thrust area for the state's agriculture policy likely to be modified accordingly.

Currently, out of 66 lakh hectares of available cultivable land, paddy is grown in over nearly 40 lakh hectares apart from another 10 lakh hectares devoted to the crop in the upland areas. Now the upland paddy area would be used for fruit cultivation, sources said.

The Centre, too, is willing to help the state in this regard. Sources said that the UPA government was all set to launch a horticulture programme from April providing assistance to the farmers for taking up cultivation of fruits and flowers.

Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar is likely to visit Orissa next month to launch the programme.


Very good news that Orissa has reached self sufficiency in paddy cultivation and can now think of cash crops. Orissa suffered for a major part of 20th century from famine. The agony of Kalahandi comes to mind. Now to make sure distribution works.

Telangana issue brings Andhra to a boiling point

Omer Farooq/ Hyderabad

The differences between the coalition government partners - Congress and TRS - over the issue of carving Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh have once again come to the fore with the Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy making it clear that Congress stand on the issue was different from TRS.

The issue came up in the State legislative Assembly during the debate over the implementation of GO 610 on ensuring the government jobs in Telangana region to the people of Telangana.

Intervening in the debate when the House was witnessing a heated exchange between the TRS minister T Harish Rao and senior TDP leader T Devender Goud, the Chief Minister urged all the leaders to exercise restrain while talking on sensitive issues like Telangana.

Underlining that TRS had separate state as its plank and the Congress had its own stand on the agenda, Rajasekhara Reddy said, "Only history will decide whether we will remain together or a separate state will be created".
More significantly the Chief Minister also took potshots on those who were raising hue and cry over the issue of region. "While some leaders use caste for their political interests, some others use regions to come up politically," said YSR in what was clearly seen as a stinging remark against the TRS. YSR also insisted that despite sharing power the Congress and the TRS had their own ideological differences. YSR said that his government was working hard for the development of all the regions of the state. The Chief Minister, in another meaningful remark reminded that he had come to Hyderabad because it was the capital of Andhra Pradesh state. "If this was the capital of the separate Telangana state, we would not have come here," he said.

As the debate was on the alleged injustices with the people of Telangana in matter of government jobs, YSR bitterly said that there were people who were trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.
The trouble began when T Harish Rao (TRS) asked the TDP member Devender Goud to convince his party leader N Chandrababu Naidu to support the demand for separate Telangana as he (Goud) had admitted that injustice was done to Telangana in the government of all the parties.

Angered over this, Goud asked how a minister while being in the government can talk of carving out a smaller state.
Anti-Modi rebels had planned a meeting with LKA on the 27th. Advani was to inaugrate a new lake in Ahmedabad and unveil a statue of Late Sri Haren Pandya. LKA has cancelled the trip. This has angered the rebels and they are thinking about going to Dilli by 31st. Couple of reports mentioned that the situation is like it was in 96 when Shankersinh Vaghela split the state BJP and later joined congress. Lets see what happens.
Sonia's chamchaa Shekhar Gupta cannot stand anybody else appeasing muslims. Muslims are congress' baap-ki-jaagir according to him.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Crossing the language barrier
After two attempts and much opposition, the Mulayam Singh government gets the go ahead for a Urdu University. But little public support, writes Atiq Khan

IN the wooing of minority votes, Urdu has become the language of love for the Mulayam Singh government. In his budget speech last year he announced 3,000 posts for Urdu teachers. This year he followed it up with the intention of reviving the Oriental College at Rampur, once a premier centre of Arabic teaching. And now the grand finale. A private bill on the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University was tabled in the UP Assembly on Thursday and passed the following day by a voice vote.

The university at Rampur will be named after Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, one of the architects of the Khilafat movement of the 1920s.

The government has already tabled the bill on the university twice in the Vidhan Sabha which was later sent to Governor T.V. Rajeshwar. He in turn sent it for Presidential reference last year. This time the government decided to table a private university bill instead.

THE person who stands to gain most from this move is Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan. In fact, more than the concept of the university, it was Khan’s insistence that he will be its pro-vice chancellor for life that had provoked the Opposition. Says Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tewari: ‘‘My party has no objection to the Urdu university but the idea of Khan becoming pro-vice chancellor for life is unacceptable.’’

The new bill has dropped Azam Khan’s name. Instead it says the chancellor of this university will be the head of the Maualan Ali Jauhar Trust or will be decided by the Trust from time to time. Incidentally, the Trust is headed by Khan.

Calling the Congress opposition to the university a ‘‘big mistake as the biggest demand of the Muslims was a Urdu university’’, Khan says: ‘‘ The Congress has no right to oppose the decision simply because apart from lip service to the Muslim cause it has not done anything for improving their educational status.’’

THE state government’s lip service to Urdu has not found many enthusiasts either. ‘‘‘Unless Urdu is linked with employment, an Urdu university and madarsa teaching have no meaning. These are political gimmicks,’’ says Iqtidar Husain Farooqui, a retired scientist from the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI).

He’s not wrong. Take the government’s plan to appoint Urdu teachers. A year after it was announced, it is still to be issued by the state’s basic education department.

Says Naseem Iqtidar Khan, the lone woman member on the executive committee of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB): ‘‘First make the teaching of Urdu compulsory in schools, at least till class VIII before venturing on a university project. All steps to promote the language have existed only in government files.’’

POLITICS and Urdu is a mix that predates Mulayam’s government. It started in 1989 with the Congress making Urdu the second official language of UP through the UP State Language (Amendment) Act. But this elevated status brought no benefits to the Urdu speaking people. Then Mulayam in 1994 came up with a proposal for appointing 1,500 Urdu translators in government departments. About 1,000 posts of translators are still vacant as there were no applicants.

Says Dr M. Muzammil of the department of economics at Lucknow University, ‘‘Setting up a Urdu university is a sound move but too late in the day.’’<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

RSS skeleton in Cong closet, even BJP is red-faced
SANGH: Cong leader came for personal deal; we voted for them in 2001 unilaterally: local unit

KOCHI, MARCH 27: RSS chief K S Sudarshan’s statement that the Congress in Kerala had sought and got his organisation’s support in the Assembly election in 2001 has embarrassed both the Congress and the BJP which has been struggling to find a place on the state’s electoral map.

While the Congress has denied such a deal, the RSS state leadership has confirmed that senior Congress leader Vayalar Ravi had approached it for help in a bypoll and not the 2001 election as its chief stated in an interview.

‘‘Ravi’s overtures, however, were turned down since he insisted on keeping the arrangement discreet,’’ A R Mohanan, state secretary of the RSS told The Indian Express today.

Sudarshan told India Today that his outfit and the BJP had helped the Congress win the 2001 Assembly polls after Ravi approached them, and that the Congress was clobbered in the 2004 Lok Sabha poll because the RSS did not help.

Ravi and the KPCC have hotly denied the charge. While Ravi says he had never, ever, met the RSS leader, and had no business to broker votes since he held no office in the party’s state unit then, KPCC chief Thennala Balakrishna Pillai rejected the idea saying it was ‘‘preposterous.’’

But the RSS leadership is refusing to buy that, and has given a new twist to the controversy. It told The Indian Express that what Sudarshan mentioned were really two different points that got mixed up. One was that Ravi had approached the RSS for votes, for himself — this was while he was contesting the Assembly bypoll from Cherthala in the 1990s. Then later, during the 2001 Assembly poll, the RSS had taken a conscious decision to defeat the CPM, which naturally meant rooting for the Congress. It was a unilateral move.

‘‘Ravi drove down to the State Headquarters of our organisation at Elamakkara in Kochi one night, just before the Cherthala bypoll. He called on our Prantha Pracharak R Hari and requested him to divert our significant strength in Cherthala constituency for him. This was unexpected, and Hari told him that we don’t make political deals under cover of darkness, and told him to come for negotiations if and when his situation allowed him to do that openly,’’ Mohanan said.

Mohan says things were different during the 2001 polls. The bloody battles between the CPM and the Congress were at its peak, and cadres of both were being bombed or hacked to death almost daily. The RSS-BJP combine bore the brunt: some of their key men in north Kerala were killed, and they vowed to keep the CPM out of power.

‘‘Our state leaders debated this at Tripunithura, under the guidance of Mohan Bhagwat and others from the national leadership. We decided to mobilise our entire strength for the Congress candidates to defeat the CPM,’’ he says.

Interestingly, the BJP, which has a 13-per cent vote share in the state now, does not want to appear that it had played along with this RSS design—not even in constituencies where it could greatly help make the Congress win. ‘‘We had nothing to do with it. We were not consulted, and we did not ask our people to do it,’’ claims state BJP president P S Sreedharan Pillai.
Not that the BJP in Kerala had never done that. It is yet to live down the infamy of its Lok Sabha alliance against the CPM in the early ’90s with the Congress and the Muslim League, in Vadakara and Beypore. Though the party later owned it up as a ‘‘strategic aberration,’’ what was more damaging was the confidential report of the BJP’s own official committee which looked into it for the party’s national leadership.

The probe report clearly highlighted how the party’s votes were being diverted by its own local satraps, how even its senior state leaders have been palming off party votes en bloc in return for both money and other considerations, and how the party was getting into clandestine deals.

The BJP has considerable negotiating room in Kerala, considering that the win-lose margin between the two fronts led by the Congress and CPM in Kerala is often less that two per cent of the votes polled. A few thousand BJP votes shifted strategically could alter a poll’s outcome.

Sreedharan Pillai, however, claims that vote diversions don’t happen anymore. ‘‘We have since resolved that there would be no more hijacking of our votes for any party—by anyone. We did not let at least BJP votes go to the Congress in 2001. I can’t talk for our fellow organisations,’’ he maintained.

The CPM, which has repeatedly said that there were clandestine RSS-Cong deal, is delighted as Sudershan’s statement gives them another chance to claim the Muslim vote it has been desperate to get. ‘‘If a senior leader like Ravi has done it, it must have been with the permission of the party leadership. It’s sad that the Congress had to stoop to such levels and it (the deal) shows how secular that party is,’’ said CPM secretary Pinarayi Vijayan


Did BJP get 13% vote share in Kerala in 2001? Can they go upto 20%?

I think BJP has the greatest chance to come alive in Kerala and WB. The unholy alliance at the centre has confused the cadre and people. If BJP can get 20% vote share in these states, CONmen party will decline further in Kerala as Karunakaran is openly revolting against SONIA. If BJP can capture 20-30 seats in Kerala , that would be great.
http://www.chennaionline.com/colnews/newsi...ORYNAME=Chennai <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->  Jaya painting at Hall of Fame in Chicago

Chennai, March 27: A pastel painting, depicting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa clad in a green saree and against a yellow background, will be on display at the International American Friendship Society's Hall of Fame in Chicago.

The painting was drawn by Ruckmani Thiyagarajan, general secretary, youth wing of the World Tamil Youth Federation and also a student of the College of Arts and Crafts here, a federation press release said here today.

The painting was presented to the society's chairperson Sharley Hammond and is "in recognition of Jayalalithaa's efforts to empower women," the release added. (Our Correspondent)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->--- excerpts --
"The church has about 1,800 to 2,000 families under it, needs to register births, deaths, marriages, baptisms, etc, and it runs hospitals, schools and many other services. To manage all these, we decided about a year ago to go for software on an experimental basis,"

For instance, every year, elections are conducted to appoint trustees and other officials, and members have to fulfil certain criteria to run for the elections, as well as to cast their votes.

<b>"Those who haven't made at least one confession in a year are not eligible to be candidates. Or those who have arrears due to the parish cannot also contest,"</b>  <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->


Coalition partners bay for each other's blood

PT Bopanna/ Bangalore

Leaders of the coalition partners in Karnataka - the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) - have launched a vicious campaign against each other of indulging in large-scale land-grabbing in and around Bangalore, involving thousands of crores of rupees.

While JD(S) president HD Deve Gowda has demanded booking of cases against the land-grabbers under the Anti-Goonda Act, State unit Congress president Janardhana Poojary has sought a probe to disclose the extent of benami land owned by Mr Gowda and his sons around Bangalore.

Refuting the charge, Mr Gowda said, "If we (Mr Gowda and his sons) have any such benami land in and around Bangalore, let the Chief Minister confiscate it under the Anti-Goonda Act."

The charges of land-grabbing were unleashed after the State Government made a statement during the ongoing legislature session that an extent of 32,558 acres of land had been encroached in and around Bangalore.

It is no secret that Mr Gowda is trying to target his political bete-noire DK Shivakumar, former Minister and a close associate of former Chief Minister SM Krishna, and former State chief secretary-turned-Congress politician BS Patil for land-grabbing, while the Congress camp has hit back by hinting that Gowda's family too had interests in land deals around Bangalore.

Mr Deve Gowda had recently shot off two letters to Chief Minister N Dharam Singh demanding action against the land-grabbers. The former Prime Minister released the two letters to the media which raised the hackles of state Congress chief Poojary, who misses no opportunity to take potshots at Mr Gowda.

Taking exception to Mr Gowda's action in releasing the letters, Mr Poojary opined there was nothing wrong in writing to the Chief Minister, but "releasing the letters to the press with a note of warning to the Chief Minister and attacking the Congress was wrong."

Mr Gowda, who had made the acquisition of land for the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project a major election issue when he had unsuccessfully contested to the Lok Sabha from the Kanakapura constituency bordering Bangalore, has once again revived the issue to target his political rival Shivakumar.

Mr Gowda has alleged that 5,000 acres of extra land had been sought for the BMIC project with a view to turn the expressway project into a real estate venture. With land costs skyrocketing in and around Bangalore, the land-mafia backed by politicians has grabbed thousands of acres of land.
<b>Chopper crash kills two Haryana Ministers</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->OP Jindal, Surender Singh and pilot Chauhan die, two survive ------ Two ministers of the Haryana Government, Mr OP Jindal and Chaudhary Surender Singh, both prominent personalities in their own right, died in a chopper crash on Thursday afternoon.

<b>Surender Singh, son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal, and OP Jindal, the man behind the Rs 10,000 crores Jindal group of industries,</b> were flying to the Capital from Chandigarh, when the chopper they were travelling in developed a technical snag in the engine and probably lost its way. Minutes after the pilot spoke for the last time at around 12.17 pm to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) of Sarsava Airbase, the chopper crashed in the fields of Menghi village in Saharanpur <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->?????????
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> <b>Krishna's comeback politics</b>
P T Bopanna/ Bangalore
The political temperature in the Garden City is heating up, with the supporters of <b>former Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna making moves to dislodge Chief Minister Dharam Singh</b>.

Highly placed Congress sources said Mr Krishna, currently the Governor of Maharashtra, <b>has been in touch with Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel to "return to active politics</b>".

The sources noted that the Krishna camp had complained to the high command that with Mr Dharam Singh in the saddle, there was no future for the Congress in the State as the Chief Minister was a puppet in the hands of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.

They said <b>Mr Gowda was calling the shots in Karnataka's coalition politics</b>.

Mr Krishna's Man Friday D K Shivakumar, a former minister who is in charge of the operation to remove Dharam Singh and replace him with his boss, had kicked up a row at a recent meeting of the Congress Legislature Party. He alleged that the ministers belonging to <b>Janata Dal (Secular</b>), <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->  especially Mr Deve Gowda's son and Public Works and Energy Minister Revanna was holding up the files of Congress leaders.

<b>The former Prime Minister and Mr Shivakumar, both Vokkaligas, are having a running feud</b>, with Mr Gowda using his clout to torpedo the financial deals of Mr Shivakumar.

With Mr Krishna having the backing of a majority of Congress MLAs, Mr <b>Shivakumar is reportedly using arm-twisting tactics to get his files cleared by the Chief Minister, who is said to be in mortal fear of Mr Shivakumar</b>. <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->

A senior Congress leader, close to the Chief Minister, said: <b>"The Krishna camp has enormous money power and interests in vast tracts of prime property in and around Bangalore. They feel that with Mr Dharam Singh at the helm, they will not be in a position to safeguard their interests and, hence, they want to dislodge the Chief Minister."</b>  <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>Congress sources said the Krishna camp was using Ahmed Patel to persuade Sonia Gandhi to replace the Chief Minister with Mr Krishna.</b>

However, the sources felt there was opposition to the move from two other senior Congress leaders close to the Congress president.

Both Union Minister Oscar Fernandes and general secretary in-charge of Karnataka A K Antony are said to be against any move to bring back Mr Krishna. They argue Mr Krishna was responsible for the party's rout in the last election.

It is said both these senior leaders were in favour of installing <b>Union Minister of State for Planning M V Rajashekaran in the event of Mr Dharam Singh being asked to step down</b>.

Sources said <b>the party was keen to woo back the Lingayats who had deserted the party and joined the BJP in the recent years.</b> By installing Mr Rajashekaran, a Lingayat known for his clean image, the party hopes to shore up its support base.

The induction of former Chief Minister S Bangarappa as president of the Samajawadi Party in Karnataka has come as a blow to the Congress.

<b>The re-launched Samajawadi Party in the State is likely to make inroads into the traditional vote banks of the Congress like the Muslims, OBCs and the Dalits</b>.

<b>"Unless we can regain the support of the Lingayats, Congress in the State will be hit hard in the mid-term elections which is certain by next year because of the irreconcilable differences between the coalition partners in the Government," </b>a senior Congress leader remarked.

With Mr Krishna feeling increasingly suffocating in Mumbai Raj Bhavan, it is going to be a steamy summer for Mr Dharam Singh in his Vidhana Soudha chambers in Bangalore.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Rested, AP Naxals walk out on peace

HYDERABAD, NEW DELHI, APRIL 4: Rested and re-equipped, Andhra Naxalites today made it clear they were no longer interested in talks with the YSR Reddy government which had shackled its own police squads chasing the Left wing extremists.

With the Naxal leadership back in safe havens, the emissaries hit out at the Congress government in the state and announced that they too were pulling out of talks.

‘‘It is very clear that the Congress government has slammed the doors on talks process and started implementing fascist policies. Its talk of continuing negotiations is a farce,’’ Maoist emissaries Varavara Rao, Gadar and Kalyan Rao said in a statement in Hyderabad.

The statement comes after the CPI (Maoist) and other extremist organisations announced on January 17 that they were withdrawing from the peace talks in protest against ‘‘fake police encounters and combing operations’’.

‘‘We also understand that moves are on to impose a ban on Maoist organisations in eight states where the Naxalite movement is strong,’’ the emissaries said today.

What the emissaries didn’t say and what the Centre doesn’t like to admit is that there has been an ominous rise of Left wing extremism in 76 districts in nine states. Police in every state have been warning their governments that the situation is fast spinning out of control.

North Block’s own documents show that the number of incidents this year (until March 15) total 405 as opposed to 346 that took place during the same period last year. The number of policemen killed has climbed to 43 as against 16 for the same period in 2004.

In Andhra Pradesh, civilian casualties— in other states combating Naxalism, it has reduced somewhat from 109 to 87— have risen: from 39 in 2004 to 51 this year.

The surge in violence has left the Andhra police with no other option except go after the Maoists. According to senior AP police officials, the withdrawal of Naxalite emissaries from the talks has more to do with their fear of being targeted by their own cadres who are under pressure from the police.

‘‘We will engage the Naxalites so that the law and order situation in the state does not deteriorate. To us, upholding the rule of law is bigger priority than a peace dialogue,’’ a senior state police official said.
Congress strategy for Bihar, isolate BJP <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>UPA gives clean chit to Fernandes</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Premzi shows no prem for Bengal bandhs </b>
Pioneer News Service / Kolkata
The Left Government has reacted sportingly to Indian IT czar Azim Premzi's criticism of the Left's most outstanding gift to Bengal: bandhs.

In an apparent bid to play down the vehement views of the Wipro chief on the recurrent politically sponsored closures in the State, IT Minister Manab Mukherjee said, <b>"The Government has already been working towards minimising the effects of bandh in the State, particularly in the IT sector."</b>

Earlier at a FICCI meeting, the Wipro chairman lambasted bandh organisers, saying this would not help the abiding wish to bring the State to the economic forefront.
<b>If Bengal really wants to register its name as an IT superpower it will have to do away with its culture of bandhs</b>, Mr Premji said, adding, however, for the time being he was concentrating more on investment than on bandhs "as the State Government has showed a progressive attitude in the last few years."

Mr Premji also asked the State Government to focus more on infrastructure which he thought should go along side the introduction of some more international flights to the city.

In agreement with Mr Premji's statement that <b>"bandhs hardly build a good brand for Bengal",</b> Mr Mukherjee said bandhs definitely affect the image of Bengal:<b> "We are trying to tell all political parties not to call bandhs to prove a point." </b>

Coming down heavily on the promoters of bandh, Mr Premji said: "There have been six bandhs in Bengal since Wipro came here. Though bandhs did not affect us, our customers really got concerned each time a bandh was called. Curtailment of bandhs will really help the IT scenario look better than it does now
Dharam Singh prays at temple, dargah

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister fulfils long-felt wish to visit Quadri tomb; presents kalashas at mandir

BEYOND RELIGION: The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, prays at the tomb of Hasrath Shaha Quadri at Ranesh Peer Dargah on the outskirts of Gulbarga on Thursday.

GULBARGA: The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, spent the entire day at the Hanuman Temple in his native village of Nelogi in Jewargi taluk where Hanuma Jayanti celebrations have begun and at the famous Ranesh Peer Dargah on the outskirts of Gulbarga.

Mr. Singh arrived here on Wednesday night along with his family. At the dargah, where the tomb and of a Hindu devotee Ranesh and his guru Hasrath Shah Quadri lie side by side, the Chief Minister placed a special shawl and garland on the tombs. The dargah, situated on a hillock, is considered a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. Ranesh, a Brahmin, was an ardent devotee of Hasrath Shaha Quadri and used to bring non-vegetarian food every day to his guru.

Moved by the devotion of his disciple, the Hasrath became a vegetarian and banned devotees from offering non-vegetarian food to him. Even now, the devotees are prohibited from bringing non-vegetarian food to the dargah. The tomb of Ranesh, who changed his name to Syed Shaha Rukumuddin Tola, is placed at a higher level.

Mr. Singh told presspersons that he wanted to visit the dargah for a long time. At Nelogi, Mr. Singh and his family offered puja at the Hanuman Temple.
5% reservation for muslims in Andhra pradesh <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Being a student myself, it's so disheartening to see the pontiffied cleric Y.Samuel R. Reddy reosrting to such a disastrous step. WTF is going on !!, Is there no cinematic & charismatic leader who can take upto all these mullah's and missionary mafia's ? Not one ?

I still remember this event, i had to give away my seat to a SC student who has gotten a rank of 50,000 plus in the engineering entrance, inspite of me being in the top 1000 :F*** Them. India has never seen education through intellectual competence. Either possess the paisey or reservation !! F*** no, i had none.

Is this being secular and plural ? The govt of India is indirectly responsible for my hatred against the so called lower caste's and the political hindu's. It certianly sucks to be a poor fellow from the upper caste especially from the family of brahmins. But, my brahminhood gave me a reason to live, I would be blessed if I'm re-born in the same famiily no matter what.

F*ck off - you Samuel's and Stalin-Sonia's


One more knot in the quota tangle

Reservation for religious minorities is a Pandora’s Box. Andhra Pradesh introduced 5 pc reservation for Muslims, but the high court has stayed it. Karnataka and Kerala are the only states which have a quota for Muslims.

When a good idea is politicised, the people get victimised and pay the price. A community gets alienated, society gets divided and the country, wounded. It happened with Mandal and history threatens to repeat itself with the five per cent reservation for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh.

There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that a large number of Muslims are socially and economically backward and need a helping hand. “Other than the Dalits there is no group as backward as the Muslims in Andhra Pradesh,” says Prof Javed Alam who teaches European Philosophy in the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, a deemed university in Hyderabad. Reservation is fully justified and will go a long way in shoring up the community educationally and consequently economically, he says. “But I believe anything that weakens democracy, the secular foundations of the country and the Muslim community itself should be avoided,” he says. The issue of reservation may give a handle to the forces of the Hindu Right so a better way needs to be found on how the community can be helped.

On July 12, the Congress government, headed by Dr Y S Rajashekhar Reddy, ordered five per cent reservation for Muslims in educational institutions and employment by including them in the Backward Classes and categorising them as BC ‘E’. Fulfilling its election promise to Muslims, the Congress government issued a government order (GO) on quota which came into effect immediately. The GO quoted a study of Muslims by the Minorities’ Welfare Commissioner that revealed that 65 per cent of the Muslims in the state out of a total of 64 lakhs (8.5 per cent of the population) were below the poverty line, that is, an annual income of Rs 11,000. Another 16 per cent were under the double poverty limit of an annual income of Rs 44,500 taking the economically depressed Muslims to 81 per cent.
A few supporters of the Sangh Parivar moved court. The AP High Court stayed the operation of the GO pending its disposal by a full bench. The main objections were that reservation based on religion was unconstitutional, that the total reservation would be 51 per cent (25% for BCs, 15% for SCs, 6% for STs and 5% to Muslims), exceeding the 50 per cent bar placed by the Supreme Court, and that there should be reservation for the socially and economically backward people rather than the entire religious group.

Besides, the Backward Classes Commission was not consulted before categorising Muslims as backward, as directed by the SC. What is of importance is that several backward Muslim communities such as Ansari, Jhulai, Khatiq, Mehtar or Bin, Noorbash are already included in BC ‘A’ and 1‘B’, that is, the most backward group. The Puttaswamy Commission on Backward Classes, to which the issue of declaring Muslims and Kapus as backward was referred to 12 years ago, did not submit its report although it reportedly favoured both communities. The Chandrababu Naidu government allowed the commission to lapse as it was not keen to court controversy or offend its ally the BJP.

Hasty decision

Those in the know admit that the Congress decision was hasty and taken without the government doing any homework. Apparently, even the Muslim ministers have been taken by surprise. “The decision was taken overnight and the GO announced even as the Assembly was in session...they were waiting for the green signal from Delhi and the moment it came action was initiated. Quite clearly, it was done for political benefit,” says a Muslim expert who has close connections with people in the corridors of power.

A highly respected bureaucrat who waged a war to implement the various provisions and reservations for the underprivileged during his tenure in the highest positions in government, points out that reservation has been limited to employment in public services while its impact has been in education especially higher education and professional courses. He also points out that the Muslims have been grossly under-represented in both public services and educational institutions. Reservation will give them more opportunities. According to an estimate, Muslim students will get 150 seats in medical courses, 3800 in engineering, 1300 in MBA and MCA, and 300 each in pharmacy and law. Education is the accepted road to economic prosperity, supporters of reservation point out.
However, Muslim experts and leaders admit that the ‘creamy layer’ of the community should be excluded from reservation although this layer is extremely thin, as thin as 2 per cent, according to some estimates. The elite or the creamy layer in any case is against identifying itself as “backward”, says Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, editor of Siasat, one of the largest circulated Urdu dailies from Hyderabad. As many as 80 per cent of the community’s middle class are against the tag of BC while 98 per cent of the poor support it, a study done by Siasat reveals.

Siasat does its bit to identify and nurture talent in the community. A training programme on which Siasat spent Rs 50,000 led to eight young men being recruited into the state police. A similar amount spent on training youth for call centres for two months resulted in 60 persons getting jobs. This academic year saw 12 students getting admission to BITS, Pilani, one to IIM, Ahmedabad, seven to IITs, three to IIIT, Hyderabad, apart from several others in other professional courses. All the students are from the poorest of the poor and half of them are girls. The five per cent reservation will multiply this effect several times more, says Zaheeruddin, provided the need for equality is recognised. As Prof Alam says, “This will not divide society on religious lines. On the other hand it will integrate the community with the rest of the society by developing a stake among Muslims for the country and society.” It will also deepen political allegiance to the party that gives them access to opportunities. Provided that there is no scope for misuse of the move, and some political sagacity.


in Hyderabad

Kerala shows the way

Kerala’s experience with job reservation for backward classes has been virtually pioneering since it dates back to the era of the Maharajas who ruled the princely States of Travancore and Kochi in the 1930s and the system introduced by the erstwhile Madras State in Malabar district which later formed north Kerala. Since Muslims constitute a major chunk of the socially and educationally backward sections in the state, they have been enjoying the benefit of reservation in jobs and later, professional education.

However, with reservation becoming a milch cow in modern-day vote-bank politics, Kerala has, of late, been witnessing deep divisions between forward and backward communities on the issue. It began with the Indian Union Muslim League, a dominant partner of the ruling UDF, dusting the Justice Narendran Commission report of 2001 which had found that several communities, including Muslims, had not got their due representation despite reservation.

According to the present norms being followed by the Kerala Public Service Commission which has been conducting recruitment to government and allied services since 1957, Muslims have a quota of 12 per cent in gazetted and non-gazetted posts and 10 per cent in last-grade recruitment. This is only second to the 14 per cent reservation for the Ezhava community in the state.

“There is no doubt that Muslims have come a long way in government service and professional education. But there are serious anomalies in the way the quota system is being implemented,’’ says former Education Minister and IUML State secretary E T Mohammed Basheer. “The Narendran Commission has reported a shortfall of over 7,300 posts for Muslims. We demand special recruitment to cover this gap,’’ he says.

The Ezhava community is not favourably disposed to implementing the report which had exposed the fact that Ezhavas had already exceeded their job quota by more than 8 per cent.

The Nair Service Society (NSS), which represents forward caste Nairs, has strongly warned the UDF Government against implementing the recommendations of the Narendran Commission and going in for a special recruitment.

“If the UDF implements the Commission report, we will ensure that no MLA who supports it sees the legislative Assembly again,’’ says NSS general secretary P K Narayana Panikker. NSS assistant secretary Sukumaran Nair claims that Muslims and other beneficiaries of reservation have progressed by leaps and bounds over the years. He points to a recent news report which revealed that Malappuram district which has a huge Muslim population had come second after Thiruvananthapuram in this year’s Medical Entrance examination by bagging 116 out of the first 1,000 ranks.

NSS warning

The NSS leaders met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC president Sonia Gandhi last Wednesday and urged them to advise the Antony Government against special recruitment. The NSS is demanding, among other things, the setting up of a permanent commission to segregate the creamy layer among the backward classes. Echoing the NSS viewpoint, the BJP feels that though the oppressed classes have a right to claim reservation, it should not go on endlessly. “It is unjust of the Muslim community to demand more and more. There is also a need to reserve seats for the economically backward among the forward castes,’’ says party State general secretary, P P Mukundan.

As part of the “struggle to get our due’’, an umbrella of Muslim organisations, including political parties like IUML and INL, has taken the lead to convene a congregation of backward communities enjoying reservation at Kochi on August 3. Though the timing of the IUML’s demand to implement the report (the Narendran panel report was published in 2001) is ascribed to the ongoing cold war between the Antony-led Congress and the IUML in the ruling UDF, the report has put the focus back on the issue of reservation in jobs and higher education.


in Thiruvananthapuram

No need, says Jaya

Tamil Nadu has 69 per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes and Tribes and Other Backward Classes, the highest in the country. But it has no reservation for religious minorities. Successive Dravidian governments have found it difficult to sustain this 69 per cent reservation in the face of the Supreme Court ruling in the Mandal case that the overall percentage should not exceed 50. What is happening since the Mandal judgement is a farce of sorts. Each year, the government fills seats in colleges on the basis of 69 per cent reservation and then increases the offtake of meritorious students from forward communites under the apex court directive, thereby bringing the effective percentage back to 50.

Since the quota is already above the limit fixed by the apex court, there is no question of any government increasing the percentage to accommodate more groups, religious or otherwise. Chief Minister J Jayalalitha has categorically ruled out reservation for religious minorities. She has said: “Muslims are not the only minority in this country” and if their plea is conceded, it will lead to similar demands frome Christians, who are equal in number. In any case, “minorities already have privileges under the Constitution which are not available even to the majority community”.

Provoked by Ms Jayalalitha’s stand, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam has announced it will picket her residence and hold state-wide demonstrations soon. The TMMK president, Prof M H Jawahirullah, describes as equally “horrendous” the statement by former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee that reservation for Muslims would inspire religious conversions. There has been no such conversion rush in Karnataka and Kerala which have have had reservation for Muslims for many years, he argues.

Prof Jawahirullah points out that the New Educational Policy (NEP) released by the Union Government in 1986 has declared that Muslims and Neo-Buddhists, are, educationally the “most backward" across the country. “In fact, with respect to some variables, Indian Muslims fare much worse than the Scheduled Castes and Tribes,” he says.

Also, the Gopal Singh Panel, appointed by the Centre to ascertain if the benefits of government fiscal policies reached the minorities, Scheduled Castes and Tribes and other weaker sections of society, has candidly admitted that “there is a common belief that Muslims in general have remained largely unaffected by the economic development in the country despite successive five year plans” and their economic condition “is becoming worse”.

Dalit Christians in Tamil Nadu have been agitating for reservation for years. Bishop Ezra Sargunam, a prominent Christian leader in Tamil Nadu and president of the ‘Social Justice Movement of India’, says the “cunning Brahmin lobby” had “craftily” inserted a clause in the Constitution through a Presidential order in 1950, stating that “no person who professes a religion different from Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste” for the purpose of reservation. “With this, the Dalit Christians, who once enjoyed preferential treatment alongside the other Dalits, were quite unethically deprived of it. This right must be restored to them.”


in Chennai

Sharma, Yusuf may replace Sheila Dixit

23 April 2005: Despite leading the Congress party to victory in the Delhi assembly elections, chief minister Sheila Dikshit is being eased out by the party high command, and her likely successors could be either state president Ram Babu Sharma, transport and power minister Harun Yusuf, or education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely.

The anti-Dikshit camp which attacked her in a meeting for the city’s growing power and water crisis leading to her walkout wants a successor who is ranged against her, someone like Sharma, who could meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi while the CM could not, but the Dikshit side wants her choice of person, who is Lovely, on the plea that Delhi has a large, growing Punjabi population.

The spanner in the works has been thrown by the Union urban development minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is plugging for Yusuf, winning over Sonia’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, in the game, on the argument that the Congress should have its first Muslim chief minister.

But there is a deeper ploy here, according to Congress stalwarts, who say that once Yusuf becomes CM, Ghulam Nabi cannot be moved to Jammu and Kashmir as chief minister, under the half-term deal with the PDP, because two Muslim CMs cannot be made successively, after a short gap.

With a massive construction boom expected for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, accompanied by staggering kickbacks, Ghulam Nabi wants to remain the man in charge, as the urban development minister, while as J and K chief minister, there would be a continuous high threat to his life, and scope for administration would be severely limited, it both being a small state and with a heavy presence of security forces.

“In effect, because he does not want to go to J and K, Ghulam Nabi has joined the dissidents against Sheila Dixit, and wants Yusuf as CM, so his way is cleared to continue in Delhi,” said a Congress stalwart.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The spanner in the works has been thrown by the Union urban development minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is plugging for Yusuf, winning over Sonia’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, in the game, on the argument that the Congress should have its first Muslim chief minister.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

First Muslim CM?

Who was Abdul Gafoor then??
Bihar CMs

Also several congress party chief ministers have been there in Kashmir, including the present one who used to be a congressi.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India ; Soft on Modi? It's strategy, says Congress:
11 Hours,34 minutes Ago

[India News] New Delhi, Stung by leftists accusations that it was going soft on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress Monday said it was handling a smart enemy the best way it possibly could.

The main Left party backing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), said in its weekly organ People's Democracy that the Congress was shying away from taking action against Modi.

"We are not at all soft on Modi ... but we cannot be blind to constitutional realities. Modi is the chief minister of an elected government," said Congress leader Salman Khurshid.

"When there are deliberate perversions we would pursue the course of law. But in pursuit of a good cause we cannot be dictatorial."

He asserted that the Congress did not want to make an obsession out of Modi, as part of a "well-crafted and balanced strategy".

"We do not have to play into his hands. Modi is not an easy opponent ... He has a constituency and we cannot permit him to exploit our actions to his advantage."

Khurshid said it was to avoid episodes like the 2002 Gujarat communal violence - which Modi's government is widely accused of abetting - that the government was trying to remove the infirmities and enact a law against communal violence.

In an editorial titled "Yet Another Proof of Blood on Modi's Hands", a commentary on Modi, People's Democracy also commented that the Congress had not taken up with the right urgency the allegations of senior police officer R.B. Sreekumar, who was heading Gujarat's intelligence wing at the time of communal violence in the state.

Sreekumar recently said in a petition to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) that he was denied due promotion because he spoke out against the state government. He accused Modi and senior bureaucrats of verbally ordering him to "target" and "eliminate" minorities.

The "People Democracy" editorial said it was "worrying" that the Congress appeared to be "soft-pedalling" the Gujarat issue.

Khurshid said: "What Sreekumar said was to CAT, not the commission inquiring the Gujarat violence. You cannot act on what is said in one forum by transferring it to another. Eventually, it will come up before the commission and then we will act on it."

Rajya Sabha MP Devendra Dwivedi, a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee, rubbished the CPI-M's allegations as "unnecessary politicisation" by the Left.

"We made Modi's role in the Gujarat violence a national issue. There is no question of going soft on him," Dwivedi said.

He was critical of the Left's view that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh need not have intervened when the US denied visa to Modi.

"It is a state-to-state issue. We cannot allow domestic politics or partisan politics to influence the state. Unlike some parties, we don't believe in the autonomy of a state." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Vilasrao 'Thackeray'
Why is chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh mouthing Sena chief Thackeray's lines?

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