"I will work for the people of Bengal," Mamata told hundreds of Trinamool Congress workers and admirers who thronged the NSC Bose International Airport waiting for her to arrive. As Mamata, accompanied by newly elected MPs, emerged from the domestic lounge, party workers raised slogans in praise of their leader, fondly called 'Didi'.
The three general managers of Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway and the Metro Railway were present at the airport to receive her. န Photo : Reuters
Kolkata, 23 May : Indian National champion and Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly clinched the Asian Continental Chess Championship with a draw against GM Zhou Jianchao of China at Subic, Olongapo City in the Philippines in the final round on Saturday.
Surya Sekhar, who scored eight points along with GM Zhou Weiqi of China, was declared champion on better tie-break. The top ten from the meet qualify for the World Cup scheduled to be held in Siberia in November.
CPI(M) LC member shot dead in Purulia
Purulia, 23 May : In the fourth such instance in the last two months, alleged Maoists shot dead a CPI(M) member in Purulia district on Saturday. Police said Dinesh Mahato (43), a member of the CPI(M)’s Ghatbera local committee, was shot dead by a group of armed persons, who opened fire at him from a close range when he left his house around 6.30 pm. In protest, the CPI(M) has called a 12-hour bandh in Balarampur on Sunday.
While the police have not blamed the Maoists for the murder, CPI(M) state committee member from Purulia Munindra Gope said a section of tribals and the Maoists have been trying to create unrest in the area. “The Maoists killed Mahato,” Gope said.
Gorkhaland ။ Jaswant vows to fight for statehood
Darjeeling, 23 May : Thanking people for voting for him in several ceremonies across Darjeeling, new BJP MP Jaswant Singh assured that the 100-year-old demand of the Gorkhas for a separate state would find a voice in Parliament.
Addressing a gathering at Chowrasta on Saturday, he said: "Before the election, I was only a candidate. But now, I am your representative. It will be my responsibility to achieve Gorkhaland for the deprived people of the Hills as the demand is justified." In his short speech, Singh denied the allegations raised by some parties that he would not be seen in the Hills once he won the election. "Rajasthan is my janmabhoomi' (birthplace), but Darjeeling is my karmabhoomi' (workplace). I will come to the Hills to fulfil my duties as an MP."
The new MP will go to Kurseong and then Mirik on Sunday to attend victory celebrations there. Though he was supposed to leave for Delhi on 25 May.
"She was a legend, a trendsetter. In my entire singing career till date, only once did I have the opportunity of releasing a CD consisting of Atul Prasad's songs. Before the recording, I made it a point to listen to the music of Krishna Chattopadhyay repeatedly to get the songs right," said singer Shraboni Sen. "It is indeed a great loss for the music fraternity," echoed Srikanta Acharya.
Born on October 1, 1935, Krishna was initiated into the world of music at an early age by her father Harendranath Chattopadhyay, a renowned singer himself. A disciple of Atul Prasad, he taught his daughter songs penned by his master. She was also trained by Dilip Kumar Roy, son of the legendary Dwijendralal Roy, in Dwijendrageeti. Later, Krishna learnt the songs of Rajanikanta, too. She was also known for her renditions of kabyageeti.
Mamata favours cheap passes for unorganised labour
New Delhi, 23 May : New Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said her priority in the ministry would be to provide "economic freedom" to marginalised sections of the society to travel by rail and take up modernisation with"a human face".
Mamata said her ministry would contemplate providing monthly travel passes for unorganised labour, vendors, domestic workers and landless labourers besides students at a nominal cost and the technicalities would be worked out later. "It is a social obligation we have to fulfill for the humanity. We will try to give economy freedom to these sections for train travel," Banerjee told reporters hours after she was given the railway portfolio. "One cannot sacrifice the human face for commercial interest," she added.
Indicating that five more MPs from Trinamool Congress would be inducted in the government, Mamata said she would take charge of the ministry only after "other ministers" were sworn-in. "I am not taking charge right now as other members are yet to take oath. We are like family and I cannot dissociate from them," Banerjee said. ။ Photos : AP
Indian elections and the Bangladesh perspective
M Serajul Islam, Dhaka, 23 May : There is a similarity in the just announced results of the Indian elections with Bangladesh's on December 29th. The winners in both cases were expected to win but the ultimate results were beyond their most optimistic expectations. In India's case, the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) overcame the anti-incumbency bug to return to power. READ MORE
Budget '09 in due time : New FM Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi, 23 May : Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday expressed the hope that government would be able to present the budget in due time to avoid uncertainties. However, he parried questions whether the government would go for a vote-on-account now. "Indian economy is resilient, strong and we shall have to build up and come back to the growth track as early as possible. We will be able to, I hope, present the budget in due time so that uncertainties can be avoided and time of spending can be renewed," he told reporters shortly after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh retained him in the finance ministry.
After being given the charge of finance ministry earlier this year, Mukherjee had presented the vote-on-account in view of the elections.
BSS, Savar, 23 May : A two-day international conference on Latin American Literature under the auspices of English Department of Jahangirnagar University will begin at the senate hall of the university tomorrow.
Campus sources said Norman Thomas, Di Giovanni and Susan Ashe of the United Kingdom and Debesh Roy and Arun Sen of India will attend the conference. The conference will feature paper presentation, panel discussion, cultural programme and screening of films. Interested participants have been requested to collect registration cards from the department concerned.
Darjeeling, 23 May : News of the birth of three snow leopard cubs at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling might bring some cheer to conservationists given the dwindling numbers of the animal in the wild.
The PNHZP is the only zoological park in the country that has successfully carried out the breeding programme of endangered snow leopards, in addition to red pandas and Tibetan wolves. Snow leopards are found in the upper ranges of the Himalayan range in Ladakh, Sikkim and Nepal. န Photos : Reuters
Agartala, 23 May : Tension prevailed along the India-Bangladesh border on the outskirts of Akhwara region, in Tripura, over the construction of a barbed wire fencing by the Border Security Force (BSF).
A meeting at company commander level on Akhaura border has been organized by BSF and BDR to prevent further deterioration of the situation. Tension prevails in the area and the villagers on both sides of the border are reported to be moving to safer places. န Photo : Reuters
Kolkata, 23 May : Two Indian nationals were taken to hospital straight from the NSC Bose International Hospital in Kolkata for a check up of suspected swine flu after they landed here from Bangkok on Saturday.
The passengers, Ramen Banerjee (47) and Krishna Shaw (23), were admitted to the Beleghata Infectious Disease (ID) Hospital after symptoms of swine flu was found on them at the medical screening unit of the airport, Additional General Manager (Medical) Dr Sujit Bakshi said.