Bihar: Kanhaiya Kumar’s Convoy Attacked for 7th Time in 2 Weeks

Source: thewire.in

Gaya: CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s convoy was attacked again in Bihar on Tuesday and a Congress MLA’s car, which was also in the cavalcade, was vandalised by suspected BJP workers.

This is the seventh attack on the convoy in two weeks, claimed organisers of the Kumar’s state-wide “Jan Gan Man Yatra” which began last month and is scheduled to conclude a fortnight later with a rally in the state capital.

Later sharing the stage with a host of leaders from the opposition Grand Alliance at a public meeting, Kumar flayed the Narendra Modi government for the “divisive” Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi who heads the Hindustani Awam Morcha, Congress MLAs Shakil Ahmed Khan and and Awadhesh Kumar Singh addressed a gathering at Sherghati in Gaya district.

Prior to reaching the venue, the convoy was attacked by a group of motorcyclists who hurled stones at the vehicles leaving the window panes of Singh’s car shattered.

He, however, was not injured in the incident, party sources said adding that a police complaint was filed in connection with it.

A statement was put out by the Joint Forum Against NPR-NRC-CAA, under the banner of which the drive is being undertaken, deploring “the seventh such attack in less than two weeks since the beginning of the tour”.

The statement said, “The slogans raised by the motorcyclists clearly indicated their adherence to a particular ideology” a reference to the BJP which shares power in the state and has been critical of Kanhaiya Kumar over his alleged involvement in a sedition case.

It is clear that the BJP and the state government of which the saffron party is a part has been rattled by the response the “Jan Gan Man Yatra” has been receiving, it claimed.

“Our delegation had recently met the chief secretary and apprised him of the frequent attacks. We now urge the chief minister (Nitish Kumar) to intervene and ensure safety and security of those taking part in the Yatra or lending support to it,” the statement added.

More and more people from all walks of life are joining the Yatra, claimed Congress MLA Khan who has been accompanying Kumar since the commencement of the tour on January 30.

“We hope to defeat the BJP government’s agenda of hate with love,” Khan told PTI over phone.


Ayushman Bharat: Modi govt hasn’t released a single paisa to Bihar under the scheme

Source: nationalheraldindia.com

After slashing the budget for as many as 18 welfare schemes funded by the Central government, it has come to the fore that the Modi government has not released fund to the Bihar government under the Ayushman Bharat-PM Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) in this financial year.

A source privy to the development told National Herald that the Centre has not released a single paisa to the BJP backed Nitish Kumar government in this financial year.

Although the obvious reason for not allocating a single paisa under the scheme is being cited as the “worst performance” of the state, health experts and leaders of Opposition parties believe responsibility for the implementation of the scheme lies with the ruling party.

“They cannot blame others for the poor performance of the state as BJP-JDU government has been at the helm for several years. They cannot escape the responsibility,” said a whistleblower and an expert who was involved in the formulation of the policies for Ayushman Bharat.

We tried to contact JD(U) spokespersons for their response but they either refused to comment or evaded the question saying, “It is an issue related with the governance”.

We were referred to talk to the Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey. But when we tried to reach out to the minister, we were told that “he is busy and he will get back to us as and when he gets time.”

“Health minister himself has admitted that his ministry has no expertise in carrying out such schemes. ‬‪It shows the apathy and lack of seriousness on part of the NDA government. The dysfunctional and broken healthcare system in Bihar is a glaring example of how Nitish Kumar led NDA government failed people of Bihar,” said Sanjay Yadav,” an RJD leader and political advisor to Tejashwi Yadav.

It is important to mention here that out of ₹1,699 crore released by the Centre under AB-PMJAY this year to various states, Bihar got no grant despite having over one crore intended beneficiary families.

According to the data released by the health ministry, Bihar registered just around 156,000 hospital admissions under the scheme since its launch about 17 months ago, and only about 40 lakh individual e-cards have been issued in Bihar so far.

“Three large states (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar) which account for 30% of the beneficiary population are implementing the scheme for the first time and hence their demand is still picking up,” the Union Health Ministry told Parliament last week.

Experts believe that the poor performance of UP and Bihar has had a sharp impact on the scheme, whose allocation in the revised budget of 2019-20 has been halved to ₹ 3,200 crore from an initial allocation of ₹ 6,400 crore.

According to the government’s own submission, just ₹100 crores have been allocated to the BJP-ruled UP so far owing to its poor performance. Even out of the revised allocation of ₹3,200 crores, the Centre has been able to spend only ₹1,699 crore which is just over half of the total allocation.


Delhi poll results to decide BJP”s Bihar leaders” future

Source:outlookindia.com

Delhi poll results to decide BJP”s Bihar leaders” futureNew Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) Once the results of the Delhi Assembly elections are out on February 11, the focus will shift in the coming weeks and months to Bihar where Assembly elections are slated to be held later this year.The Delhi elections are expected to throw up a new BJP leadership in Bihar, where Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi is at present the undisputed party leader.Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who has spearheaded the BJP campaign in the Delhi Assembly elections along with party leader Bhupendra Yadav, has projected Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai as the face of the Bihar unit of the BJP.Bihar BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal and Union Minister Giriraj Singh have also emerged as front runners in the party”s Delhi poll campaign.As an office-bearer of the BJP Delhi unit, Rai is learning the ropes of election management. He has been putting into effect the poll plan chalked out by Shah. Though he addressed only nine public meetings in Delhi, Rai represented Shah in many meetings of party leaders.Jaiswal, on the other hand, had taken over the responsibility for the Sangam Vihar seat. Jaiswal not only addressed five public meetings of the BJP in Delhi, apart from the ones in Sangam Vihar, he also helped organise three rallies of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to woo Purvanchalis. Sources said that Jaiswal was supervising the deployment of party leaders trooping in from Bihar for the Delhi elections.Giriraj Singh was given the charge of Rithala seat, where he undertook a door-to-door campaign for 10 consecutive days.BJP MLA from Bihar, Nitin Navin, however, pointed out that Rai, Jaiswal and Giriraj were senior party leaders deployed for poll duty by the party leadership. He said it would not be proper to draw any conclusions from the arrangement.Since Purvanchali voters will influence the results in many Delhi constituencies, the outcome will decide the political future of these three leaders.Bihar politics in the past 30 years has revolved around political leaders associated with the Jaiprakash Narayan movement. While the Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad has already handed over the leadership to his son Tejashwi Yadav, it is now the turn of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Kanhaiya’s convoy attacked again in Bihar

Source: thehindu.com

Pelted with stones by pro-CAA supporters in Supaul, CPI leader escapes unhurt

The Communist Party of India leader and former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s convoy was pelted with stones on Wednesday by a group of youth chanting slogans in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Mr. Kumar is currently undertaking a month-long march across Bihar.

The CPI leader had launched his march on January 30 from Bhitiharwa Gandhi Ashram in West Champaran and it is scheduled to culminate on February 29 at Patna’s historic Gandhi Maidan.

A group of youths shouting pro-CAA slogans pelted stones at Mr. Kumar’s convoy at Mallik Chowk in Supaul district where he had gone to address a public meeting. Mr. Kumar was on his way to the neighbouring district of Saharsa. One person was reportedly injured in the attack and windows of three vehicles were damaged.

Mr. Kumar, though, was not hurt in the attack. Ink was also thrown at him but he escaped. The CPI leader’s supporters got down from their vehicles and protested against the attack for some time at the spot.

Later, senior district police officers reached the spot and made elaborate security arrangements for the convoy to pass through the area. “No one has been seriously injured in the incident… one person suffered minor injuries and window panes of some vehicles have been broken,” said Supaul Superintendent of Police S.K. Porika. However, no one has been taken into custody yet in the incident.

Earlier attacks

Earlier, Mr. Kumar’s convoy was attacked in Saran and Sitamarhi districts too — stones were thrown at vehicles. On the day he had begun his protest march, he was also stopped for some time in West Champaran district by the local administration. However, he was later allowed to address people at Bhitiharwa Gandhi Ashram and his convoy was allowed to proceed for the adjoining district of East Champaran.

BJP team demands central agency probe into West Singhbhum killings

Source: .indiatimes.com

RANCHI: BJP’s six-member fact-finding team of elected representatives from across the country on Thursday demanded a central agency probe into the killings of seven adivasi Christians at Burugulikera village in West Singhbhum. In a report submitted to the party’s national president J P Nadda in Delhi, the team said an agency like the CBI or NIA should conduct an investigation into the January 19 massacre. The team also met home minister Amit Shah in Delhi.
According to the team report, Pathalgarhi was the reason behind the massacre. “Pathalgarhi supporters were emboldened after the mahagathbandhan government came to power and the first decision taken by the state cabinet was to withdraw cases against the Pathalgarhi supporters who flouted the Constitution at will.” The fact-finding team has urged Shah to review the mahagathbandhan government’s move to withdraw the cases against the accused.

After submitting the report, Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand Sameer Oraon, who was part of the team, accused the state government of trying to cover up the incident and sheltering the accused. Apart from Oraon, the six-member team included Lok Sabha MPs Jasvantsinh Bhabhor (Gujarat), Bharti Pawar (Maharashtra), Gomti Sai (Chhattisgarh) and John Barla (West Bengal) and Khunti MLA Nilkanth Singh Munda.

Oraon claimed that during their visit, the team found that the Pathalgarhi activists had demanded that the villagers should stop using Aadhaar and PAN cards and send these documents back to the Governor as a mark of protest to proclaim tribal rights of self-governance under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. “When a section of villagers protested against the diktat, their leaders were killed. The villagers were beaten and hacked to death. Many of them were decapitated,” said Oraon.

IOC plans $1.94 bn investment to raise Bihar refinery capacity by 50%

Source: .business-standard.com

Indian Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner, will invest $1.94 billion to expand the capacity of its Barauni refinery in eastern Bihar state by 50 per cent to 180,000 barrels per day by April 2023, the company said on Friday.

The state-run company is raising its refining capacity to meet growing demand for petroleum products in the country.

India has emerged as a bright spot for refined fuel demand.

Refined fuel consumption – a proxy for oil demand – in the December quarter rose 2.6 per cent from a year earlier.

India’s oil demand growth is set to overtake China by mid-2020s, priming the country for more refinery investment but making it more vulnerable to supply disruption in the Middle East, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said earlier this month.

Indian Oil Corp reported a threefold rise in third-quarter profit on Thursday, mainly due to inventory gains.

Bihar election: Congress pushes for early alliance, shortlists seats with better winning chances.

Source – newindianexpress.com

NEW DELHI:  Realising that delay in alliance formation in Bihar dented the Mahagathbandhan’s chances during the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is pushing for alliance in the state to be in place by May for the assembly elections scheduled later this year. In fact, the party has already shortlisted seats with better winnability chances.

Of the 243 assembly seats, the party has prepared a list of those falling in three categories — A, B and C — with wining probabilities keeping in mind caste equation. The Congress is in a bad shape in Bihar with no district or block level committees in many regions of the state.     

“We want an early alliance to be in place for Bihar elections and we are doing our homework for the same. During Lok Sabha polls, the announcement of alliances was pushed till the last minute and it didn’t travel well to the party workers on the ground. As a result,  there was a lack of coordination between party workers,” AICC Bihar in-charge Shakti Sinh Gohil told this newspaper. 

The party feels that in 2015, seat-sharing formula between JD (U)-RJD-Congress alliance was in place much in advance as it was taken care of by Nitish Kumar and that helped the alliance’s coming to power before Kumar parted ways. 

The alliance talks between RJD, Congress, Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha and Mukesh Sahni’s Vikasheel Insaan Party lingered on during Lok Sabha polls. It was finally announced nearly a week before the first phase of polling in the state. 

Gohil says that instructions have been given to state president to constitute district and block committees on priority basis and first round of assessment is already over.    

With the RJD announcing that it will contest at least 150 of 243 seats and projecting Tejashwi Yadav as CM’s face, Congress leaders are in a fix as Bihar unit has told the party high command that they cannot win under him. 

“It would be difficult for the party to win even 5 seats if Tejashwi is declared CM candidate of the mahagathbandhan and party should not agree to contest under him,” said a senior Bihar Congress leader.

Citizenship Act: Kanhaiya Kumar detained with several others in Bihar ahead of protest rally.

Source – scroll.in

Communist Party of India leader Kanhaiya Kumar and several others were detained on Thursday in Bettiah city in West Champaran district of Bihar, reported Republic. The Bihar Police swung into action just before Kumar was scheduled to begin a “Jan-Gana-Man yatra” against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens.

Speaking to reporters as the police took him away, Kumar said although the administration wants all Indians to show documentary proof of being citizens, the police would not show him the papers for his detention orders, reported News18. The protestors had gathered outside the Bhitiharwa Gandhi Ashram.

Kumar said the police had earlier granted permission for the protest march, but revoked it on Wednesday night. The month-long march was to start from Champaran on Thursday to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary.

The former JNU student has held several protest rallies against the amended citizenship law. The former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president had lashed out at the Centre over the arrests of prominent activists who organised protests. He had called the government a “coward and liar”.

Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act are continuing across the country, more than a month after it was passed in Parliament. The amendments, notified on January 10, provide citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. Twenty-six people died in last month’s protests against the law – all in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam.

The government’s critics and some protestors fear that the amended law and the National Register of Citizens will be misused to target Muslims since the Citizenship Act now has religion as a criterion. There are now fears that a nation-wide National Register of Citizens will be imposed. The Assam NRC had left out around 6% of the state’s population. Work has also begun on the National Population Register, which is the first step to creating an all-Indian NRC identifying undocumented migrants residing in India.

Coronavirus outbreak: Medical camps in .

Source – newindianexpress.com

PATNA:  Seven Bihar districts, which share a border with Nepal, were directed to set up medical camps in coordination with the border authority to keep any suspected coronavirus cases in check.

Sitamarhi, Kishanganj, Araria, Supaul, Madhubani, East Champaran and West Champaran share their borders with Nepal. According to principal health secretary Sanjay Kumar, district administration has been asked to set up medical camps at Jogvani, Farbisganj and Raxaul.

Polio teams have also been directed to remain on alert with ANMs health workers and Panchayat representatives.

The department reviewed the preparedness with civil surgeons of all districts through video conferencing with officials. Kumar said sufficient masks and medicines have been made available to all districts. 

After sacking of Kishor, is there a third force in the making in Bihar?

Source – business-standard.com

‘Third force’ in Bihar?

The Janata Dal (United) on Wed-nesday sacked party vice-president and election strategist Prashant Kishor (pictured) and former diplomat Pavan Varma from the primary membership of the party. It said the two had been making anti-party statements.

According to sources, Kishor is preparing in earnest for the Bihar Assembly polls, scheduled for September-October. Several senior leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are upset with Tejashwi Yadav. Allies, including Rashtriya Loktantrik Samata Party’s Upendra Kushwaha and others, could also be amenable to join a “third force” in Bihar politics that Kishor hopes to shape.

It could comprise RJD rebels, these smaller parties and the Left parties. Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Kanhaiya Kumar is set to start his whirlwind tour of Bihar in the coming days. With RJD chief Lalu Prasad unwell and in jail, the question now is whether the Congress will sever its alliance with Tejashwi-led RJD and lead such an alliance against Nitish Kumar-led JD (U) and Bharatiya Janata Party alliance.

Better interpretation

The Rajya Sabha currently has an interesting mix of interpreters within its ranks. It has expanded its pool of interpreters after Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu instructed officials to ensure that the House’s “simultaneous interpretation service” in all the 22 scheduled languages of the country operates smoothly.

A total of 32 consultant-interpreters have been hired for seven languages including Dogri, Konkani and Sindhi. Instead of recruiting full-time interpreters, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has experimented with hiring consultants to be engaged on a need to basis. Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Dipak Verma said this was a cost-effective way of meeting the simultaneous interpretation need.

Congress’ Shatru!

The bonhomie between maverick Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav continues to cause much consternation among Congressmen in Uttar Pradesh. Recently, Shatrughan Sinha and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha had shared the dais with Yadav at the SP headquarters in Lucknow.

The actor-turned-politician had quit Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and joined Congress in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He contested from the Patna Sahib seat but lost, while his wife Poonam Sinha tasted defeat as the SP nominee from the Lucknow parliamentary seat.

Congress’ Lucknow Lok Sabha candidate Acharya Pramod Krishnam took to Twitter to hit out at Sinha over his alleged disloyalty towards the Congress. Other state Congress leaders also expressed dismay over the “conduct” of Sinha and demanded that such people should be shown the door.