Patna Waterlogging: Dengue Death Causes Panic, Ink Thrown at Union Minister


Patna: With the death of a 7-year-old child due to dengue and a BJP MLA testing dengue positive, panic regarding a dengue outbreak among residents of Patna has increased. This is the first reported dengue death following the worst waterlogging incident in Bihar’s capital city after heavy rains.

Abhinav Kumar, son of a Bihar police constable, died in a hospital on Monday (October 14) night. He was suffering from dengue fever for the last few days.

Sanjeev Chourasia, BJP MLA from Digha Assembly seat in Patna, has also been tested dengue positive. Besides, over one dozen police officials are undergoing treatment after being affected by dengue fever.

According to health department officials, dengue has spread to new residential localities in Patna in the last two days as fresh dengue cases are being reported from there. Till Tuesday morning, the number of dengue positive cases in Patna alone stood at 1,195, while the total number of dengue cases reported in the state was over 1,500.

In Patna, more than 80 dengue patients are undergoing treatment in the government-run Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) and different private hospitals.

The rising number of dengue cases has left the residents of Patna—who were already angry with waterlogging for days—infuriated with the administration and political leaders. On Tuesday, a youth threw ink at Union Minister Aswani Kumar Choubey during his visit to the dengue ward in PMCH. The youth fled from the scene afterwards.

The accused youth has reportedly identified himself as Nishant Kumar Jha, a youth activist of Jan Adhikar Party (JAP). He said that this was his way of protesting against the NDA government in state and at the centre for neglecting waterlogged victims in Patna for days.

Several people have expressed unhappiness by blaming government agencies for negligence and have demanded that urgent steps be taken to ensure regular fogging and spraying of bleaching and lime powder as well as speeding up of the cleanliness drive.

District officials said dengue is spreading fast among the waterlogged victims in the worst waterlogged residential localities here after water receded. Waterlogging is main cause of spread of dengue in the city.

What has become a bigger worry for health officials is that waterlogging still remains a problem in certain residential areas. Health officials said that water logging help these vector-borne diseases to spread faster due to increased mosquito breeding. Another disturbing fact is that not only is dengue spreading, there are also reported cases of chikunguniya, diarrhoea and stomach upset from waterlogged areas.

Patna civil surgeon Dr R K Choudhary said arrangements have been made for dengue test in all primary health centres in view of increasing dengue cases after waterlogging.

According to a top health department officer, measures have been started to prevent an outbreak of diseases and teams of doctors will soon visit affected areas to provide medical treatment if needed.

Patna diary: Union Minister Nityanand Rai adopts 42 differently-abled children


Minister adopts 42 differently-abled children 

Union Minister Nityanand Rai adopted 42 differently-abled children from his parliamentary constituency Ujiyarpur and home district Vaishali at Hajipur recently. Rai said all the costs of healthcare and education of adopted children would be met by him. “I have adopted these children observing the ‘Seva-Saptah’ in a way to celebrate the birthday of our PM. All these ‘divyang’ children would be taken to Kolkata-based rehab centres after Durga Puja for medical treatment,” he said.

Mongolia Prez visits Bodh Gaya, Nalanda  

Mongolia President Khaltmaagiin Battulga offered prayer in the shrine of Mahabodhi Buddhist temple at Bodh Gaya on Saturday. Feeling spiritually surcharged upon visiting the shrine, he was heard saying ‘What a great abode of divinity!’ Battulga received a memento and a sacred scarf at the shrine. He also visited a Mongolian Buddhist shrine. Battulga is on a five-day visit to India, which will end on  September 23. On Sunday, he along with a delegation and his foreign minister Damdin Tsogtbaatar and road and transport minister Byambasuren Enkh-Amgalan visited Nalanda. From Nalanda, the visiting president and his team left for Bengaluru where he has a series of meetings in the southern metropolis.

Bihar’s first all-women post office

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated Bihar’s first all-women employee post office at the premises of Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) with its all services being managed by women employees. On Saturday, Prasad said: “Besides this post office in Patna, such all-women post offices will be opened in 53 other cities of India to encourage women empowerment,” he  said. The sub-post office of BPSC has been upgraded to the status of Bihar’s first all-women employee post office in a symbolic move to encourage the empowerment of women, he asserted.

Mobile pollution testing vans in Patna soon

The transport department is all set to launch a mobile pollution testing van service in Patna on an experimental basis. “In the beginning, this service will be available via calls on a toll-free number.  The vans will issue the Pollution Under Control certificates on the spot at the residences or apartments of motorists at a nominal fee,” transport department secretary Sanjay K Aggarwal said. Also, 10 mobile pollution testing vans, will be deployed in service soon. 

Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurates the exhibition ‘Shashwat Maharathi : The Eternal Seeker’ on Chitracharya Upendra Maharath


New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Culture& Tourism (Independent Charge), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the exhibition ‘Shashwat Maharathi : The Eternal Seeker’ on Chitracharya Upendra Maharath at newly renovated Jaipur House in National Gallery of Modern art New Delhi today. The Exhibition showcases more than 1000 works of art, design, and woven objects of art by Chitracharya Upendra Maharathi. Exhibition will be remained open for general public from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday to Friday. On weekends people can visit exhibition till 8:00 pm.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister congratulated NGMA for beautiful restoration of Jaipur House. He also appreciated the Exhibition ‘Eternal Seeker’ which is showcasing magnificent work of Shri Chitracharya Upendra Maharath.

The show of paintings, drawings, murals sculptures, woven cloths and chairs all point to the zenith of his creativity. His interest in Buddhism brought forth many designs that were inspired by Buddhist ideology. The installations in the retrospective have been designed by DG, NGMA Adwaita Gadanayak. The Exhibition has been curated by Adwaita Gadanayak and his team.

Maharathi was author of many books too, The Book on bamboo art, “Venushilpa” was among the best. Vaishali ke Lichhvi (The Lichhvi dynasty of Vaishali), Bouddha Dharma ka Abbhuthan (The Rise of Buddhism), Indragupta were some of the other memorable works.

Following the tradition of ancient art of sculpture, he designed many noted buildings : Venuban Viharin Rajagriha, Sandarbh Vihar, Ananda Stupa, Prakrit and Jainology Institute at Vaishali, Nava Nalanda Maha Vihar at Nalanda, etc. of great interest is the outer facade of the Nalanda Railway Station, are among those specially designed at the exhibition at Jaipur House .

Born in the village Narendrapur, Puri district in Orissa, in May 1908, Maharathi finished from the Govt College of Art, Kolkata, as an artist cum architect. In later years he came to Patna in Bihar. From 1933 to 1942 he advocated a literary-cultural revival as he worked in the publishing house, “Pustak Bhandar”, in Laharyasari, Darbhanga. In 1942, he was appointed a special designer in the Department of Industry, Govt of Bihar. In 1954, he visited Japan to attend the UNESCO International conference as representative of India.

Bihar: 5th Dharma-Dhamma conference to be held on July 27-28 in Rajgir


Rajgir (Bihar) , July 27 : The fifth international Dharma-Dhamma conference was inaugurated here on Saturday by Union Minister of State Kiren Rijiju in the presence of Sri Lanka’s Home Minister Gamini Jaiwickrama Perera, Bhutan’s Home and Culture Minister Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav and Juna Akhada’s Awadheshananda Giri Ji Maharaj.

This conference will be held on two days between July 27-28. 200 delegates from 15 countries have registered themselves as participants in the conference.

The main purpose of this conference is to address people about the terror, violence and global warming prevalent in the world. This two-day conference will address the subjects of Sat-Chit-Ananda and Nirvana which are the pivotal topics of Buddhism. This conference is being hosted by Rajgir for the second time.

“The Dharma-Dhamma conference will act as a platform for the Hindu and Buddhist thinkers to express their views. I am very happy that the conference is being hosted by India which will benefit the international community as well,” Kiren Rijiju said.

“The Nalanda University is a symbol of India’s pride and it is indeed a matter of honour for the university to be part of this international conference,” he added. 

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Bihar


Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar.

Ram Vilas Paswan was declared elected and the certificate was handed over to him, Bateshwar Nath Pandey, the Returning Officer and secretary to Bihar Legislative Assembly, told PTI.

The certificate of election was given to Ram Vilas Paswan in presence of a host of senior NDA leaders including Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

The Lok Janshakti Party chief has been elected to the Upper House in a by-poll necessitated after the resignation of his cabinet colleague Ravi Shankar Prasad, who got elected to the Lok Sabha from the Patna Sahib seat in the recently concluded 2019 general elections.

This is the second time that Ram Vilas Paswan, who began his political career as a Sanyukt Socialist Party MLA in the 1960s, has been elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Ram Vilas Paswan’s previous election to the Upper House was in 2010 when he entered the Parliament with support of his then ally the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) a year after having lost his Hajipur Lok Sabha seat.

Ram Vilas Paswan resigned from the Rajya Sabha in 2014, two years ahead of the expiry of his term, when he wrested back the Hajipur contesting as an NDA candidate.

Ram Vilas Paswan had announced his decision not to contest the Lok Sabha polls this time and to choose the Rajya Sabha route instead when the NDA in Bihar, comprising BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar JD(U) and LJP came out with its seat-sharing plan last year.

The Hajipur seat, which he won a number of times, on a couple of occasions with a record margin, has been retained for his party by Ram Vilas Paswan’s younger brother and state LJP president Pashupati Kumar Paras.

Free UPSC Coaching for Muslim Girls, 100 Per Cent Funding in Waqf Properties: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi


New Delhi: Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has announced that Muslim girls will be given free coaching for UPSC, state services and banking services.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi chaired the 80th meeting of the Central Waqf Council on Wednesday, where he mentioned said that the ministry has spoken to some of the institutes that train in for the Services and the final process for the free coaching will begin this year.

The minister also said that girls from minority communities who drop out of school will be linked to education and employment through “bridge courses” from reputed educational institutions of the country.

Madrassa teachers across the country will be trained by various institutions in mainstream subjects such as Hindi, English, Maths, Science and Computer so as to impart mainstream education to the madrassa students, Naqvi said.

All Waqf properties across India will be geo-tagged and digitised and the government will provide 100 per cent funding to develop educational institutions and hospitals on such properties.

Apart from Muslim girls’ education, Naqvi also brought forth a plan for the welfare of society. He announced that all Waqf properties across India will be geo-tagged and digitised.

Moreover, the government will provide 100 per cent funding to develop properties under Waqf such as schools, colleges, hospitals, community centres, common centres, hostels. The 100 per cent funding will be provided under Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram.

Naqvi’s announcement of geo-tagging of waqf properties comes a day after he spelt out the government’s plan to empower the minorities.

The Centre has decided to start a programme on a war footing to utilise waqf properties across the country for educational empowerment and employment-oriented skill development of the needy, especially economically backward girls in those areas which were deprived of these facilities since Independence, the minority affairs minister said.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s outreach to Nitish: A sign of churn in Bihar?


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decimated the opposition in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but intriguing developments of the past few days suggest space opening up for a possible churn in Bihar politics in the run up to the state Assembly polls by October 2020.

On Tuesday, union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh ridiculed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and others over their attending ‘iftaar’ parties. In turn, Kumar was dismissive of Giriraj Singh’s comments and said his government would deliver on all its promises much before the Assembly polls.

By evening, BJP sources said party chief Amit Shah had phoned Giriraj Singh and advised him to be careful about his comments, particularly on BJP’s allies.

In his tweet, Giriraj Singh had commented at a photograph of Kumar and other leaders breaking fast at an ‘iftar’. “How beautiful would the picture have emerged, had phalaahaar (a fruit feast) been organised during Navaratra with the same fervour with splendid photographs taken. Why do we lag behind in observance of our own karm-dharm (religious customs) in public, while staying ahead in making a show for those of others,” Singh tweeted in Hindi.

The latest developments come in the wake of Kumar spurning the offer of a cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi-led council of ministers at the Centre, stating that his party does not “symbolic” but “proportional representation”. He, however, denied any “unease” between the allies.

Kumar then expanded his cabinet, including eight ministers, all from the Janata Dal (United) that he leads. He offered the BJP one ministerial berth, which it refused.

On Monday, senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said all non-BJP parties needed to get together to provide a national alternative to the BJP. “We are not allergic to any particular party or leader,” Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said when asked about Kumar’s acceptability.

“It would be even better if all small parties merge together and become a single entity to take on the humongous challenge posed by the BJP,” Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said. He said these were his personal views but RJD chief Lalu Prasad, currently incarcerated, and he have worked together for a long time and thought alike “on most occasions”.

In the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, the RJD could not win a single seat in Bihar. Its ally Congress could win one seat. However, Kumar’s JD(U) won 16, and allies BJP and Lok Janshakti Parthy won 17 and six seats respectively.

The RJD vote share in the Lok Sabha polls was 15.36 per cent, while JD (U)’s was 21.81 per cent, BJP’s 23.58 per cent and LJP’s 7.86 per cent. The Congress bagged a vote share of 7.7 per cent. In 2015 Assembly polls, the alliance of RJD, JD (U) and Congress had defeated the BJP-led NDA in Bihar.

Historically, the JD (U), and its previous avatar of Samata Party, has performed poorly whenever it has fought any election without a strong alliance partner.

The Samata Party, with George Fernandes and Kumar as its top leaders, could win only seven of undivided Bihar’s 324 assembly seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the JD (U) could win only two seats. The JD (U) has improved its vote share significantly.

Observers of Bihar politics say Kumar is aware that the BJP might now want the chief ministerial chair for itself after the next Assembly polls. In Maharashtra in 2014, the BJP had severed ties with the Shiv Sena to emerge the single largest party in the Assembly.

However, no other party currently has a leader of the stature of Kumar in Bihar, including the BJP. BJP’s Giriraj Singh is now a cabinet minister in the Modi government, while Bihar BJP state unit chief Nityanand Rai, being groomed as a possible chief minister, is minister of state for home at the Centre but still lacks Kumar’s popularity.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s comments suggest that the parties that came out of the womb of the socialist parties, or the ‘Janata parivar’, could be prepared to come together under Kumar’s leadership. “Now that the results have dented Tejaswi Yadav’s leadership, the challenge from within the family of Lalu Prasad to Kumar has weakened,” a Bihar leader said.

Giriraj Singh, who defeated CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai, has been a known detractor of Kumar’s. “We have never taken utterances of Giriraj seriously. We have always believed in giving respect to all religions and hence we sport a ’tilak’ and also wear skullcaps.” JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh said.

The ’tilak’ and skullcap metaphor is reminiscent of the developments of April, 2013, when at his party’s national executive meet in New Delhi Kumar had used the analogy to highlight ideological differences with the BJP, which eventually led to him severing 17-year-old ties between the two parties.

Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said the BJP-JD(U) and his party’s alliance is “intact”. Former chief ministers Rabri Devi and Jitan Ram Manjhi also appeared to have mellowed towards Kumar. Kumar attended the iftar that Manjhi hosted. Rabri Devi said any decision on inclusion of new allies can be taken only in consultation with all allies.

Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said the BJP-JD(U) and his party’s alliance is “intact”. Former chief ministers Rabri Devi and Jitan Ram Manjhi also appeared to have mellowed towards Kumar. Kumar attended the iftar that Manjhi hosted. Rabri Devi said any decision on inclusion of new allies can be taken only in consultation with all allies.