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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Over 97 lakh voters to cast ballots in first phase elections in WB

Kolkata, 17 April : Amidst tight security, 54 assembly constituencies spread across six districts in West Bengal will go to polls in the first phase tomorrow with 97.42 lakh voters expected to exercise their franchise.
The main contest is between CPI(M)-led Left Front and Trinamool Congress- Congress alliance. BJP has also fielded candidates in 49 seats.
Multi-cornered contests are on the cards in all 54 constituencies in the first phase which would decide the fate of ten ministers. In all, 364 candidates are in the fray in the 54 seats. Tight security arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful, free and fair polling in all the constituencies spread across north Bengal districts of Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North Dinjapur, South Dinajpur and Malda.
A total of 12,133 polling centres have been set up in the six districts. Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kumar Gupta said central and other security forces have reached the areas going to the polls and started flag march and area domination. Inter-state and international borders have been sealed. He said 16 polling booths are located in remote hilly terrain in Darjeeling and in Kalimpong and polling personnel had been despatched there on Saturday.
The election is being held in the backdrop of slogans for bringing in political change and witnessed high-voltage campaign.
EC asks West Bengal voters to cast their ballot without fear
PTI, New Delhi, 17 April : As West Bengal goes to polls tomorrow, the Election Commission today appealed to the voters to cast their ballot "without fear" and "inducement".
The state, with some political violence, will go for a six-phased assembly elections from tomorrow. The first phase will cover 54 of the 294 constituencies with 97.42 lakh voters expected to exercise their franchise.
Goutam's allegation under scrutiny by Election Commission
Kolkata, 17 April :
CPI(M) leader and state Housing minister Goutam Deb's allegation that Trinamool Congress has distributed black money to its candidates to fund election expenses has now come under scrutiny of the Election Commission.
State's Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kumar Gupta today said that he has collected a number of paper cuttings from leading newspapers here and sent them to EC office in New Delhi for scrutiny by the DG of Expenditure Monitoring.
Union Minister Mukul' son, a Trinamool candidate, arrested
Kolkata, 17 April :
Union minister Mukul Roy's son Subhranshu Roy, a Trinamool candidate, was today arrested by police in North 24 Parganas district after absconding since Tuesday after an FIR was filed by Election Commission against him and others for allegedly assaulting its team members. "A police team, led by an SDPO, arrested Roy," North 24 Parganas SP Rahul Srivastav said. Mukul Roy, a Trinamool leadder, is Minister of State for Shipping.
50 megawatt gas engine Power Station opens at Ashuganj
Brahmanbaria, Dhaka, 17 April : Ashuganj Power Station Company Limited (APSCL) on Sunday lunched a new 50 megawatt gas engine plant, taking the power generation capacity of the station to 774 MW.
It is an environment friendly plant which will not release any garbage, said Md Nurul Alam, the managing director of APSCL. The plant is passing a commissioning period and supplying power to the national grid on a trial basis, he said, adding that it will run in full swing by the end of this month. The APSCL took the project last year to establish the plant with its own fund in a bid to mitigate the power crisis in the country, Alam said. The company completed the Tk 306 crore project through an international tender.
TSK Group, a Spanish farm, signed the EPC (engineering procurement and construction) basis contact with APSCL on July 25 last year and started working on 9 September.
AICC to take decision on Adhir and Deepa: Manas Bhuniya
Burdwan, 17 April :
AICC will take decision on the fate of two rebel Congress MPs who have been campaigning against the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance candidates in West Bengal Assembly elections, WBPCC chief Manas Bhuniya said today.
"We have been watching the anti-alliance activities of Adhir Chowdhury in Murshidabad district and Deepa Dasmunshi in North Dinajpur district. AICC will take the decision on their fate," Bhuniya told reporters at Daihata after attending a poll rally.
Somnath free to campaign for Left Front candidates: Biman
Kolkata, 17 April :
Left Front chairman Biman Bose today said that former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee , who was expelled from CPI(M), was free to campaign for LF candidates, while defending the charges made by CPI(M) leader Gautam Deb against opposition Trinamool Congress and its supremo Mamata Banerjee.
"If anybody takes a suo motu decision to campaign for Left Front, the Front will not create a barrier," Bose told newspersons after the last Front meeting before the six-phase West Bengal Assembly elections, gets under way tomorrow.
Tripura Governor Patil asks state govt to shift his residence
Agartala, 17 April :
Tripura Governor D Y Patil has asked the state government to shift his residence from the 95-year old Raj Bhavan to a safer place as the present building might crumble during an earth quake, officials said today.
Earlier the governor had sent a letter to the government for shifting his residence and this time he sent his reminder to chief Secretary S K Panda on Thursday last and urged him to make arrangements to shift the residence as early as possible.
The present Rajbhavan was built in early 1917 by the then king Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya (1909-1923) and named it as Pushpavant Palace, which served as a guest house in the princely state of Tripura.
The Nation Bangladesh observing historic "Mujibnagar Day"
Dhaka, 17 April : The nation Bangladesh is observing the historic Mujibnagar Day on Sunday commemorating the formation of the provisional government of independent Bangladesh during the 1971' War of Liberation.
After the barbaric crackdown of the Pakistan army on the unarmed Bangalees on the night following March 25 in 1971, senior leaders of Awami League congregated at Baidyanathtala in Meherpur on this day in 1971 to constitute the provisional government of independent Bangladesh.
Baiddyanathtala, mainly a mango grove, was later named as Mujibnagar after ceremonial formation of the provisional government of Bangladesh.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was declared the first president of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, while Syed Nazrul Islam was appointed the acting president in the absence of Bangabandhu.
Tajuddin Ahmed was appointed as the first prime minister, while Khondoker Moshtaq Ahmed, Captain Muhammad Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzaman were the cabinet members. General Muhammad Ataul Gani Osmani was made the Commander-in-Chief of Mukti Bahini while Major General Abdur Rob was appointed as the chief of staff by the interim government.
The provisional government gave successful leadership to the War of Liberation for achieving victory on16 December.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhanmondi in the morning. Hasina arrived in Mujibnagar in Meherpur at about 11:30am (BDST) and placed a wreath at the Mujibnagar Monument. File Photo : www.muktadhara.net