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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big 'money' at play to dislodge Left : Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

Ranaghat, 16 April : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said big money was at play to dislodge the ruling Left Front in the assembly polls and "some foreign powers and a few industrialists are play against us".
"Who is funding the huge cost for helicopter and TV advertisements at different channels for Trinamool? We think some foreign powers and a few industrialists are at play against us," Bhattacharjee said at a public meeting here in Nadia district in support of Left Front candidates.
"But I am sure, the people of Bengal will not bow down to the money power and bring the Left Front back to power," he said.
Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee had taken a whirlwind copter tour in North Bengal to campaign for her candidates last week. Photos : Pranab Debnath
Gautam accuses Trinamool Congress of using black money
Kolkata, 16 April : State Housing Minister Gautam Deb Saturday accused the Trinamool Congress of using black money for the coming West Bengal assembly elections, alleging fake coupons were later issued to show the money was collected from the public. The Trinamool denied the allegations.
"All but one of the 226 Trinamool candidates have been given Rs.15 lakh each in cash. From where did they get this huge amount of Rs.33.9 crore?" Housing Minister Gautam Deb asked at a media conference in Kolkata Press Club.
"Later, coupons of Rs.100, 200 and 500 each were issued purportedly to show that the money was collected from the public. In case of many of the coupons, the part to be given to the public were put in sacks and set on fire. Sacks full of coupons can still be found in the Trinamool office," he alleged.
Deb also claimed to have pictures of the sacks of coupons. "Except for one, all of the rest 225 candidates took the money. I will not reveal the name of the person who refused to take the money, but I can give you the phone number of Upen Biswas, (Trinamool candidate from Bagda in North 24-Parganas). You can call him and ask for the details," he added. Deb also said that a conspiracy was being hatched by the Trinamool to defeat Biswas, who is their own candidate. READ FULL STORY
BNP asks govt to quit for mid-term polls; says PM’s remarks on Tarique-Koko naked interference in judiciary
UNB, Dhaka, 16 April : Bangladesh's main opposition BNP on Saturday urged the government to quit power by offering mid-term election and withdraw “false” cases against Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko.
Criticizing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent comments in the cabinet meeting regarding quick disposal of cases against Tarique and Koko, the BNP leaders said such directive was a “clear and naked interference” in the judiciary.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina can’t give such directive in the cabinet meeting. It’s a naked interference in the judiciary. It proves that the judiciary is not independent at all,” BNP Standing Committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said at a rally in Dhaka today. the city. Chaired by BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the rally was organized at Muktangon to protest the PM’s remarks about the cases against Tarique and Koko.
Army help sought to tackle Garo militants in Meghalaya
PTI, Shillong, 16 April : The Army's help has been sought to combat militants of a nascent Garo rebel group whose activities have been on a spurt in the recent few months in Meghalaya.
The Army already operates within 20 km on both sides of the Assam-Meghalaya boundary which has been declared as "disturbed" by the Union Home Ministry. However, the Army has been concentrating on the Assam side till now, an official source said.
"Coordinated operations will be launched with the Army in the border areas to flush out the militants. The Army has assured us of all possible help," he said.
The Home Department had also written to the Centre for additional paramilitary forces as lack of manpower has hit the government's effort to contain the activities of the outfit.
Ambush toll rises to eight in NE's Manipur's Ukhrul district
PTI, Imphal, 16 April : The number of people killed when rebels ambushed an Independent MLA and the security personnel escorting him in Ukhrul district rose to eight today with another person succumbing to his injuries, officials said.
Vaorei Keishin (65), who had accompanied Independent MLA W Keishing to the function after which he was attacked, died this morning at the hospital here.
IBFB recommends special zone for "Shipbuilding Industry"
UNB, Dhaka, 16 April : International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) has recommended a special zone with appropriate technical facilities in a geographically suitable area for the cent percent export oriented shipbuilding industry.
The trade body has prepared a set of recommendations for the desired growth of the shipbuilding industry, which they will share with the media at a function tomorrow (Sunday) at Hotel La Vinci in the city’s Karwan Bazar. They will also welcome suggestions from media and other stakeholders on removing regulatory barriers and improving transparency in the shipbuilding industry.
Former adviser of the caretaker government and editor of The Independent Mahbubul Alam will attend the function as chief guest. Former commerce and shipping secretary Suhel A Chowdhury will present the IBFB recommendations at the function to be chaired by IBFB president and former mayor of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury. IBFB executive director Dr AFM Matiur Rahman will moderate the function.
The recommendations that the IBFB will share with the media are a deep channel, 200+ meters height of bridges on the rivers, and uninterrupted electricity and gas supply for the shipbuilding industries.
Other recommendations include introduction of re-financing at a lower rate by the Bangladesh Bank for setting up shipbuilding industry, allocation of khas land at competitive price in favor of the shipbuilding industries under prefixed rules and regulations to be jointly arranged by the Ministry of Land and Ministry of Environment.
As in vogue in other shipbuilding countries, shipbuilders in Bangladesh should be allowed the raw material transfer facility from the buyers without opening L/C (letter of credit).