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Monday, April 25, 2011

CM Buddhadeb counters Home minister Chidambaram's 'attack'

Udaynarayanpur (Howrah), 25 April : Responding to Home minister P Chidambaram's attack on the Left Front government in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today held him 'fully responsible' for unrest in Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh and asked him 'to take care of his own business'.
"Chidambaram described us as the worst-governed state, but he should give an account of how the central government is functioning," Bhatacharjee retorted at a Left front election rally here in Howrah district.
"I advise that the doctor should treat himself first and not try to teach us as we are confident of taking care of ourselves," he remarked.
Lashing out at Chidambaram's assessment of the law and order situation in the state, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said, "It is amazing that he is indifferent to the crime and murder being committed by the Trinamool Congress. Photo : Courtesy

Grameen Bank's gets clean chit
Dhaka, 25 April : A government committee that reviewed Grameen Bank's operations cleared it of any corruption in the handling of a Norwegian fund and said the microlender's interest rate is the lowest compared to the country's other microfinanciers.
The committee thinks the fund has not been used for any dishonest purpose, said finance ministry officials, quoting the review report submitted to Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith today.
It gives Grameen Bank a clean chit for the second time after the Norwegian government cleared clouds over the issue by saying the fund had not been used for unintended purposes. In an instant reaction, Grameen Bank expressed satisfaction over the report's findings on two pressing issues: the handling of the fund and microcredit interest rates.
The committee, headed by Prof AK Monaw-war Uddin Ahmad, gave details of the formations and present status of Grameen Bank and 48 other associated organisations, in the report.
The committee said the microlender crossed its authority in forming and financing its associated organisations, going beyond its mandate under the 1983 Grameen Bank Ordinance.

Candlelight vigil in support of Sharmila's decade long "fast"
Guwahati, 25 April : People from all walks of life today took part in a candlelight vigil here to extend support to Irom Sharmila of Manipur who is on a fast for over a decade demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
The march was organised at the Dighalipukhuri area here by the influential North East Students Union (NESO) which alleged the Centre's apathy towards Sharmila.
People, who took part, alleged that the Centre along with a large section of intellectuals and media had not given due attention to Sharmila's demand to repeal the controversial AFSPA.
NESO chairman Samujjal Bhattacharya said the people of the northeast were united in their demand to repeal the Act.
"The country has failed to understand her. Is there any record of 10-year-long fast anywhere in the world, even during the Independence movement," he asked. Photo : AP

World Bank's MD Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala arrives tomorrow
Dhaka, 25 April : Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of World Bank Group, arrives here tomorrow on a three- day visit to Bangladesh.
This will be Dr. Okonjo-Iweala's second visit to Bangladesh since assuming her responsibilities. Her earlier visit was in March 2008. In addition to her corporate responsibilities and oversight of the Africa and South Asia Regions, Dr. Okonjo- Iweala is also the Chair of the World Bank Global Food Crisis Response Program, said a WB release here today.
West Bengal worst governed state : HM P Chidambaram
Kolkata, Canning, Garbeta, 25 April : Ahead of the third phase of polls, Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the Centre has been keeping tab on law and order in West Bengal, which he held was "the worst governed state", with its financial health in a mess.
"If the CPI(M) thinks that we don't record what is happening in West Bengal, it is wrong. We know what has happened and what has been happening in the last 34 years in the state," he told a press conference in Kolkata and while campaigning at Canning in South 24 Parganas district and Garbeta in West Midnapore district.
Chidambaram said that ever since his take-over of the Home ministry,
"I have been carefully watching the situation in West Bengal. For two and a half years ago, I have been keeping record of law and order in the state."
"For too long we had a government that neglected governance.

Pranab to Maoists: Abjure violence and negotiate with govt
Purulia, 25 April : Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today urged the Maoists to shun violence and sit for talks to settle their demands.
"I appeal to the Maoists to leave arms and come for negotiations with the government. All their demands can be met through dialogues," the senior Congress leader told two election rallies at Barabazar and Santhaldihi, about 50 km from here.
Holding the ruling CPI(M) responsible for the rise of Maoists in West Bengal, Pranab Mukherjee said nothing was done for the development of tribal areas by the Left Front Government despite having central funds for the purpose.
"Maoists are successful in spreading their network in the tribal areas taking advantage of the poverty and deprivation of the Adivasis in West Bengal. The Left Front Government did not respond to the cry for justice by the poor tribals," he said.
CPI(M) complains to Election Commission against Mamata
Kolkata, 25 April : CPI(M) today complained to the Election Commission that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had threatened the electorate during an election meeting here yesterday.
In a letter to the Election signed by CPI(M) on behalf of party state secretary Biman Bose, party state secretariat member Binoy Konar quoted Mamata as saying: "I know what power they possess! In 1972-77, they were defeated and all of them fled. Thereafter, they came back again hanging on to the hands of Jayprakash Narayan; it is known how brave they are."
The letter also quotes Mamata Banerjee as saying: "don't show goondas to me. I will thrust such goondas inside. They don't know me. I have many goondas under my control. They must not show me goonda power."
Claiming that these statements amounted to intimidation of electors, Binoy Konar requested the EC to take immediate action against Mamata.

Chief EC to visit Kolkata for West Bengal poll preparations
Kolkata, 25 April : The Election Commission in full strength will visit the city next week to oversee the election preparedness for the last three phases of Assembly polls in West Bengal, an EC official said here today.
Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi along with two election commissioners, V S Sampath and H S Brahma, will come to the city on 28 April, a day after the third phase of elections to be conducted in North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Kolkata, Additional Chief Electoral Officer N K Sahana told reporters here.
Police action, development to tackle Maoist problem : HM
Kolkata, 25 April : India government believes that police action and development must go together to deal with Maoists who are out of sync with the people, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said today.
"We place equal emphasis on development ... Our position is police action and development must go hand in hand," Chidambaram told a press conference here. "But we must take action also to tackle the Maoists, I don't think any party, including the Trinamool Congress, disagrees with that," he said.
"In some affected areas, police action is necessary to build roads, schools or other facilities," Chidambaram said.
The Home Minister said that the Centre had given Rs 25 crore each to the 60 Maoist-affected districts under the integrated action plan last year and Rs 30 crore each to the select districts again this year.

Tripura is set to increase Value Added Tax to manage crisis
UNI, Agartala, 25 April : To manage the financial crisis Tripura government has enhanced the Value Added Tax (VAT) schedules that would lead to price hike of all essential commodities, including fuel. However, the Opposition has demanded to roll back the decision.
Tripura had been suffering from the loss of more than Rs 1000 crore at the beginning of financial year 2011-12 due to awarding of less funds by 13th Finance Commission (FC) as compared to the state’s demand, a government report said..... READ FULL STORY
Gunfight, mob-beating leave 11 dead killed in Cox's Bazar
UNB, Cox's Bazar, 25 April : Ten robbers were killed in gunfights with police and mob beating in Cox's Bazar today.
A villager was also killed in the exchange of fire between the gang and the police that left at least 21 others including four policemen bullet-hit. The robbers carrying guns and sharp weapons also attacked villagers who chased them. The series of incidents started at Ratnapalong village in Ukhia upazila around 2:30am (BDST) as a gang of 23 dacoits looted valuables from four houses, police said.

Keep politics out of business: WB Inc
PTI, Kolkata, 25 April : West Bengal Inc wants politics to be kept out of business by the new government that will be decided in the ongoing Assembly polls in West Bengal as they believe the prosperity of the state has taken a beating on account of political differences and issues.
"The administration should exercise control so that business can function without any influence by political parties. Development should be on merit and free from political considerations," Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Director General P Roy told PTI.
A similar view was expressed by Indian Chamber of Commerce President Jayanta Roy. "It is advisable for ruling and Opposition parties to continue to have dialogue and resolve differences through discussions. If the conflict between the ruling and Opposition party continues, the state is going to suffer in future also," he said.
Eight injured after leopards roam free in Jalpaiguri District
Jalpaiguri, 25 April : Two persons were injured today after leopards attacked them in a betel vine here, while six others were hurt while trying to catch the felines in Jalpaiguri district, a senior forest official said.
Ashu Bhadra and Sandhya Das were injured when the leopards attacked them at Paschim Jhar Beltali village this morning, Divisional Forest Officer Omprakash said. Later, four forest guards were injured after they fell into a ditch while chasing the leopards, while two others suffered tranquiliser shots that mistakenly hit them, he said.
All the injured were admitted to hospital. Efforts were on to net the animals, he said.
ULFA faction holds meeting to discuss peace process issue
PTI, Nagaon (Assam), 25 April : The pro-talk ULFA faction today held a meeting to discuss the direction that the peace process should take and their stand against the anti-talk faction.
The meeting was held at Khalai Gaon near Jajari in central Assam's Nagaon district under the leadership of its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, said sources close to the underground faction without divulging further details of the meeting.
Besides Rajkhowa, ULFA vice president Pradip Gogoi, deputy C-in-C Raju Baruah, 'finance secretary' Chitraban Hazarika, 'cultural secretary' Pranati Deka and other leaders were present in the meeting, the sources said.
ULFA ideologue Bhimkanta Buraguhain, 'foreign secretary' Sasa Choudhury and publicity secretary Mithinga Daimari did not attend the meeting due to their preoccupation, the sources added. File Photos