Without naming the Congress, Banerjee questioned why a political change had not come about in the state. "It is because many sold out to the CPI(M). But Trinamool Congress cannot be bought by money or allurements or through coercion or character assassination," she told a party rally here. "Change then also did not come because the NDA government supported the CPI(M)," Banerjee, who had resigned as Railway minister in 2001 during the NDA regime, said.
Hinting at Congress, she said that attempts were being made to jeopardise the grand alliance. "We will free the state from CPI(M) terror in 2011 through the people's mahajot (grand alliance)," she said.
IANS, Guwahati, 23 December : The elusive commander-in-chief of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Paresh Baruah, Thursday claimed his teenaged son was kidnapped and held hostage to exert mental pressure on his family and to force him to surrender.
"My son has been kidnapped and then held hostage with the sole idea of putting mental pressure on us and then force us to surrender, or make us to dilute our stand and ideology for which we have been fighting," Paresh Baruah said in an e-mail statement received by IANS. According to Indian intelligence sources, Paresh Baruah's son Akash (19) is a college student in Bangladesh capital Dhaka. READ Subir Bhaumik's REPORT ON BBC
Dhaka, 23 December : Bangladesh Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed on Thursday said those who killed intellectuals, committed war crimes and various crimes against humanity during the 1971 liberation war would be brought to justice in phases.
He said the trial of the war criminals who have already been arrested on specific evidence and documents will commence in January-February. Shafique made the remarks at a reunion of the freedom fighters organized by Betiara Shaheed Sahajoddah Sangsad at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
“Hawa bhaban had links with militants and international terrorist outfits. Even now, they have the connections too,” Tuku told UNB in his ministry when his attention was drawn to BNP secretary general Khondoker Delwar’s recent remarks. BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain on Wednesday expressed concern over the Prime Minister’s reported remarks about possible subversive acts in the country as the trial of war criminals begins, alerting her ministers to remain vigil against it.
Delwar said such remarks by the Prime Minister at this time have created anxiety among the people. Tuku also said people know well who patronized militancy and terrorism in the country.
PTI, New Delhi, 23 December : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today demanded an apology from the Opposition, accusing them of "destroying" Parliament after they rejected his offer of a special session to discuss the JPC issue on 2G scam.
"In the entire winter session, they (Opposition) did not allow any opportunity for any discussion on any issue....They have created deadlock in Parliament. They have destroyed the institution. They should apologise to the nation," Mukherjee told reporters here.
UNB, Dhaka, 23 December : Terming Bangladesh’s GDP growth of 5.8 percent for fiscal 2009-10 as respectable, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) expects a higher growth in the current fiscal if the trend of export growth is sustained and the domestic economy performs strongly.
The ADB, however, cautioned that the sharp slowdown in remittance growth is a concern and could affect GDP growth by depressing domestic demand.
"The price of onion is skyrocketing. Onion is being sold at Rs 70 a kg. We are very concerned over spiralling prices of onion and other essential commodities," Banerjee told a public meeting here. Mamata said that her part had suggested that there should be a coordination or a monitoring committee among UPA allies to discuss various issues, "but without consulting us petrol price was increased."
She said just as the Centre could not avoid its responsibility on spiralling prices, the state government was equally responsible as it had done nothing to curb it. န Photo : AFP
Dhaka, 23 December : Submitting a progress report on the investigation into the allegations of war crimes against Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the prosecution in addition filed a petition on Thursday seeking extension of his detention until the formal charge is made.
The prosecution in compliance with the order of the International Crimes Tribunal submitted the report to its registrar on the last day of the deadline today.
UNB, Bandarban, 23 December : Four people, including three minors, were killed in separate attacks by wild elephants in Sadar and Naikhongchhari upazilas on Wednesday midnight.
Naikhongchhari UNO Shamim Sohel said a herd of 3/4 elephants entered a house at Bot Toli village in the upazila and trampled three inmates to death while they were asleep.
Cakes depicting pictures of man-animal conflict and an elephant being hit by a train on railway tracks has been the main attraction. The theme-based cakes depicted innumerable mishaps of elephant herds being hit by trains passing through the Dooars region near Siliguri. Confectioner Ranjit Paul said through this cake he has endeavoured to spread awareness amongst people on the need to protect the elephants.
“Since few months, we are seeing many accidents in the Dooars area due to the railways. So, we thought of making this thing in the form of a cake and make people conscious about the elephants, which is one of our heritage animals in India. And it is one of our endangered species in the country and it should be protected,” said Ranjit Paul.
A five feet long cake has been prepared with butter, eggs, almonds, cream, cashew nuts etc. Visitors from far off places reached the bakery shop to view the theme based cakes. Michael Sherpa, a buyer from Darjeeling, said the cake comes as a special Christmas gift with a message for everyone. “That (cake) was great designing. In this Christmas season, that was a gift for all of us to save elephants,” said Sherpa.
Weighing around 10 pounds, it took over four days to prepare the cake that carries a price tag of rupees 1500. Other theme cakes include cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s recent 50 Test centuries and the country’s long standing demand for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.