Gujarat Kutch News

Houses Demolished, This Coastal Gujarat Fishing Community Questions Timing
Ndtv | 17 hours ago | |
Ndtv
17 hours ago | |

"Are we anti-nationals that our houses have to be demolished?" asks Vaishali.Jakhau (Gujarat): Standing outside her makeshift home, Vaishali Mangale is at a loss to understand why around 300 houses, huts, and godowns at the Jakhau harbour were demolished by authorities just ahead of polls in Gujarat for being "unauthorised" constructions.The Jakhau harbour, 120 km from Bhuj town in Kutch district, is part of the Abdasa Assembly constituency where polling will be held on December 1 in the first of the two-phase elections for the 182-member House.The issue of restoration of Jakhau Harbour, a major source of economic activity in the area, is an issue that the opposition has been harping on to target the BJP.The water crisis in the region, especially getting water from Narmada, is also a major poll plank of various political parties in the arid Kutch region.The Abdasa constituency, a stronghold of Congress, is now with the BJP after sitting Congress MLA Pradhyuman Sinh Jadeja switched to the saffron camp in 2020.A fish trader, who did not wish to be named, feels razing homes with bulldozers is more of a symbolic action than an administrative decision."The bulldozer politics is symbolic of sending a message to a particular community. The demolition of structures along the coastline has a general pattern," he said."Why was the time - just ahead of the polls - chosen for demolition?" Political analyst Hemant Shah said the demolitions were carried out to consolidate Hindu votes. "Demolishing some Hindu property during this exercise was aimed at projecting the government as being impartial," he added."Are we anti-nationals that our houses have to be demolished, and we have to be thrown out?" asks Vaishali.The district administration and the ruling BJP refuted the bulldozer politics claims, and said the demolition of illegal structures was necessary for national security."The demolitions were not undertaken suddenly. Eviction notices were sent to them last year, but they kept on building structures due to which there was no clear visibility of the coastline, which is very important for national security. The structures were demolished keeping in mind the national security," Superintendent of Police, Kutch (West), Saurabh Singh told PTI.The district administration, as part of state-wide operations in coastal areas of the state, including Porbandar and Dwarka, had demolished illegal structures considered a threat to national security.Mr Jadeja, the BJP candidate, said once the elections are over, the problems of the fishermen community will be looked into. "We are considering giving them land two kilometers from Jakhau harbour. The allegations that it (demolition) has been done to bully the minorities are baseless and politically motivated," he told PTI.A total of 10 candidates including BJP's Mr Jadeja, Mamad Jung Jat of the Congress and Vasantbhai Khetani of the AAP are in the fray.The constituency has a total of 2,49,484 voters, of whom around 11.7 per cent are from the minority community. The Scheduled Castes(SC) community accounts for about 14 per cent.Mr Jadeja is from the Kshatriya community and was the two-time Congress MLA from the constituency before switching over to the BJP in 2020. For him, the independents from the Kshatriya community and internal fighting within the BJP could pose some trouble.For the Congress, the AAP's entry is a threat, as it is wary that it might eat into the opposition space.In areas such as Abdasa, the work for the pipeline for the canal connecting it with the Narmada Main Canal (NMC) through Kutch Branch Canal is yet to start, thus leaving the entire region yearning for water.The fishermen of Jakhau recently submitted a memorandum to Kutch district collector, drawing his attention to people living in the open after their homes and huts were demolished during the demolition drive last month, citing coastal security."Our hometown is in Valsad, but we stay in Jakhau for nearly 10 months of the year as the catch is excellent in this area," a fisherman and Vaishali's husband Rajesh Mangale said."Industrial pollution has destroyed marine ecology in coastal areas, but these demolitions have put our lives and livelihood at stake. The bulldozers demolished our homes and our future." said Osman Gani of the National Fishworkers Forum.Fishermen and traders from coastal districts like Valsad, Jamnagar, Dwarka, and Amreli operate from Jakhau as industrialisation and chemical pollution along the coastline in their areas destroyed marine ecology, leading to depletion in fish stock.The Jakhau harbour provides livelihood to 10,000 fishermen and 12,000 fish traders, Mr Gani said. Around 1,500 fishing boats and trawlers also operate in the area every year, he added."The entire trade was stopped for nearly a month, leading to a loss of Rs 200 crore. In winter, the fishing business is generally on a decline. We are yet to come out of our losses, and the government is asking us to vacate the area. If we leave this area, we will be completely out of business, and families will starve," Jakhau Bandar Fishermen and Boat Association president Abdullah Shah said.Since the demolitions, fishermen and traders have set up makeshift homes and makeshift cold storages with tarpaulins and bamboo roofs and are determined not to leave the area until the government offers a suitable alternative arrangement.Mr Gani did not favour the move to set up a fishermen's colony two kilometres from the coastline, saying it was impractical. "Taking fishermen and traders two km from the coastline is like taking fish out of water and killing them. This proposition is impractical and will lead to huge losses for the fishing industry," he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comKutch district Congress president Yajuvendra Sinh Jadeja alleged that the government failed to protect the interests of fishermen due to petty politics. "The government should have made alternative arrangements for the fishermen and traders,"he said. (This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayHow To Track FIFA World Cup

Houses Demolished, This Coastal Gujarat Fishing Community Questions Timing
Congress belongs to NGOs, can never do any development: Amit Shah in Khambhaliya
The Indian Express | 5 days ago | |
The Indian Express
5 days ago | |

Asking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to book tickets for the inauguration of Ram Mandir on January 1, 2024, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Monday said the Congress belongs to NGOs and it can never do any development.“Friends, today Rahul Baba has come (to Gujarat). He should answer why infiltrators used to sneak from Pakistan and used to take the heads of our jawans. Nobody used to give answers. Mouni Baba, Manmohan Singh used to sit silently… Narendra Modi became the prime minister in 2014 and attacks happened in Pulwama and within 10 days, we entered Pakistan’s territory, conducted surgical strikes and eliminated the terrorists,” Shah said while addressing an election meeting in Devbhumi Dwarka’s Khambhaliya where Congress’s Vikram Maadam is the sitting MLA.Isudan Gadhvi, the chief ministerial face of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is also fighting from the same seat.In reference to the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Shah said, “Nobody had the guts to (rebuild) since Babar destroyed it. It is Gujarat’s son Narendra Modi who laid the foundation stone of Ram Janmabhoomi.”With respect to the construction of the Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi, the Union Minister said, “Since Aurangzeb destroyed the temple, Baba Vishwanath was abandoned. If anyone had to do an “abhishek” of Kashi Vishwanath, then they had to travel 14 kilometres to reach Ganga. Narendrabhai made a grand Kashi Vishwanath corridor and one can now easily walk to the river Ganga,” he said.Shah also highlighted the development works carried out during PM Modi’s term at Badrinath, Kedarnath, Mahakal Mandir, Somnath, Ambaji and Pavagadh. Pointing out Congress’s objections to the removal of illegal constructions from Beyt Dwarka, Shah said, “I want to congratulate Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Harsh Sanghavi (home minister) for operating bulldozers and removing the illegal constructions that have been made over the past several years at Beyt Dwarka.”Apart from Khambhaliya, Shah also addressed rallies in Kodinar and Mangrol seats of Saurashtra that are also currently held by the Congress and have a sizeable Muslim population. He later went to Diu and flew to Kutch district where he addressed a fourth rally at Bhuj. BJP candidate from Jamnagar North, Rivaba Jadeja, was also among the leaders who met him.Narrating how Saurashtra had faced droughts, Shah said, “Water trains from Gandhinagar used to be brought to Rajkot.” There was no water even for cooking purposes. “When Narendrabhai became the chief minister, he sat on a fast and forced the Congress (running the government in Delhi) to increase the height of the dam and install gates. BJP has done the work of providing Narmada waters to a thirsty Saurashtra,” he said.He stressed that while the foundation stone of the Narmada dam was laid in 1963, it was not built until 2003.“Because they were worried that if water reaches the land of Sardar Patel and Morarji Desai—who used to always challenge the Gandhi-Nehru family—then development will happen in four corners. They stopped the waters and people made Narendrabhai the chief minister in 2002. He started a fast in 2005,” he said.Accusing the Congress of fighting the polls based on caste, Shah said the BJP was contesting keeping the industrial growth and development of Gujarat in the forefront. The BJP government not only gave “free coffee and vaccine doses” during the Covid-19 pandemic but also distributed “free-of-cost food grains” for over two years. “During Congress rule in Gujarat, businesses and investments used to flee the state due to corruption. Today, the highest number of MSMEs are in Gujarat and the state attracts the maximum investments,” he claimed.His speech was littered with references to Article 370 in Kashmir, surgical strikes on Pakistan and improvement of India’s image globally. Targeting AAP, Shah said, “I want to ask AAP, that your candidate for the Lok Sabha polls was Medha Patkar. It is because of her, there was a 20-year delay for waters of Narmada to reach Saurashtra and Kutch. She is an AAP leader. I want to tell the workers and candidates who are campaigning with the AAP election symbol to seek forgiveness from the people of Gujarat. Do you want to accept such a party,” Shah asked the audience who responded with a “no”.Addressing a similar rally at Kodinar in Gir Somnath district, Shah admitted that he had last visited the constituency in 2017. The seat is with the Congress. “The first bullet train has come to Gujarat. The state also got the first nano urea plant,” Shah said while listing out the development works that the BJP government has done in the state.At Mangrol seat in Junagadh district, the Union home minister remembered Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for ensuring Junagadh did not become a territory of Pakistan. “Till the time the Congress was in power, Sardar Patel was not given a Bharat Ratna,” he added.

Congress belongs to NGOs, can never do any development: Amit Shah in Khambhaliya
Modi hai to mumkin hai: arid Kutch swears by Narmada
The Indian Express | 5 days ago | |
The Indian Express
5 days ago | |

The nearly 150 families in Mod Kuba, a remote village on the edge of Arabian Sea in Kutch district, prefer to retire early on most days, which usually begin at dawn for them.But July 7 this year was no ordinary day for the residents of Mod Kuba, which marks the tail-end of the 357-km-long Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) on the Narmada river, which has been among the centrepieces of the BJP’s campaign narrative in poll-bound Gujarat.Shimmering under a half moon, as water started flowing through the Narmada canal around midnight, the villagers rejoiced, breaking into loud cheers and setting off firecrackers.“We wanted to celebrate the moment we waited for months and years,” says 68-year-old Kiritbhai Bhanushali, who places his support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi above his loyalty for the BJP since its Jan Sangh days.But their joy was short-lived, with a section of the canal near the village developing a breach within 24 hours. “In July, water was released as part of a test to assess the structural safety of the canal, which got delayed due to land acquisition issues. Later, the breaches were identified and repaired,” says a top official of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL).On August 28, PM Modi officially inaugurated the KBC, which is a branch of the Narmada Main Canal (NMC), which originates at Kevadia. However, the water supply has once again come to a halt in the canal due to another “breach”, say villagers.“There was an accident in which a few youths drowned in the canal recently, forcing us to stop flow of water. Also, the Rabi sowing season has just started. Water will be released in phases based on assessment of aggregate demand from a number of areas at a time,” says the SSNNL official.For the ruling BJP, however, in the belts of Mod Kuba and the adjoining areas, which come under the Mandvi Assembly constituency that will vote on December 1, such setbacks seem to have been overshadowed by the popular appeal enjoyed by the PM.“If Narendrabhai has delivered the (Sardar Sarovar) dam and the canal, he will ensure that we get water regularly as well. It is but a matter of time,” says a local electrician Arvind Bhai Khatri, blaming the Congress for the delay in completion of the project.The narrative is taking root at a time the BJP has started targeting the Congress over the presence of social activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar – who led a movement against the SSP on the grounds of mass displacement and ecological destruction – at the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra recently.Bagged by the BJP during the last three state polls, Mandvi is among the six Assembly constituencies of Kutch district, which has a population density of only 46 as per the 2011 population census. Like in other parts of the state, Mandvi is also witnessing a triangular contest this time due to the entry of the AAP.And much like in Mandvi, the commissioning of the canal dominates the poll chatter across Kutch. At the Bhachau taluka, through which the canal enters Kutch, many residents claim they are determined, “more than ever before”, to vote for the BJP due to the KBC.“Bhachau was among the first areas in Kutch to get benefited by KBC. We started getting drinking water from the Narmada during the chief ministership of Keshubhai (Patel) itself. Irrigation water through the canal started streaming in five years back. It has come as a boon for a predominantly arid region like Kutch,” says Indrajit Singh Jadeja, a farmer.The 20 bighas of land tilled by Jadeja, however, is yet to be covered by the command area of the canal. “Wo bhi ho jayega (that will also happen),” he adds, predicting a BJP sweep in Gandhidham constituency, under which Bhachau comes. The Congress had won the neighbouring Rapar and Abdasa seats in 2017.Back in Mod Kuba, Bhanushali laments that the area offers no opportunities for young people like his own two sons, forcing them to migrate to metropolises like Mumbai. “And in the face of rising input costs, farming cotton and groundnut is hardly sustainable,” he says.Many parts of Kutch still depend on borewells, whose digging cost up to Rs 400 per foot. And the depth of borewells varies from 350 feet to 700 feet depending on availability of ground water.“Unseasonal rains recently damaged crops for which we were promised relief, which remains on paper,” Bhanushali says, adding one more item in his list of grievances against the ruling BJP.But those issues, he stresses, will not influence his voting choices. After all, India’s stature is “only rising” at the world stage under the leadership of Modi. “G20 dekha nahi aapne? Indonesia main? India is the leader now.”

Modi hai to mumkin hai: arid Kutch swears by Narmada
Himanta pitch for Modi ’24: Aaftab in every city if no powerful leader
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

REFERRING TO the murder of Shraddha Walkar, allegedly by her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala, in South Delhi as a case of “love jihad”, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that “an Aaftab will be born in every city” if the country doesn’t have a powerful leader, and called for the re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2024.Addressing a BJP poll rally in Adipur, in Kutch district, on Friday, Sarma said: “Aap ne abhi suna hai, abhi desh ka mahaul. Koi Aaftab ne Shraddha behen ko Mumbai se leke aaya aur love jihad ke naam pe, paintees tukda kar diya. Aur uske baad, unka dead body fridge mein rakha. Jab dead body fridge mein tha, usi samay aur ek ladki ko leke aaya, aur wahan woh dating karna shuru kar diya. Toh desh ko agar aaj ek taqaatvar neta nahin hota hai, desh ko maa maanne wala ek sarkar nahin hoga, toh har shahar mein aisa Aaftab paida hoga… Hum hamara samaj ka raksha nahin kar payenge.”(“You must have heard about the situation in the country. Some Aaftab brought Shraddha from Mumbai, and, in the name of love jihad, cut her into 35 pieces. Then he kept her body in the fridge. While the body was in the fridge, he brought another girl and started dating her. If the country does not have a strong leader, if it doesn’t have a government that considers the country its mother, then such an Aaftab will be born in every city… We will not be able to protect our society”).“Aaj isiliye, hamare liye bahut hi important hai ki… desh ko zaroori hai ki Narendra Modiji ko 2024 mein teesra baar desh mein Pradhan Mantri banana chahiye. Aur desh mein jitna samasya hai, saara samasya Modiji ka haath mein samadhan hona chahiye (That is why, it is very important for us to bring back Narendra Modiji as Prime Minister for a third term in 2024. And all the problems of the country should be resolved by him),” said Sarma.Earlier in the day, addressing another rally in Anjar, also in Kutch, Sarma first brought up the murder case. “The country should also have a law on love jihad. How can we tolerate this? For all this, the country wants a government at the Centre that has the capability to take decisions,” he said.This was the first time that the murder, which has hit national headlines and triggered outrage, was raked up in the campaign for the Gujarat Assembly polls, scheduled for December 1 and 5. Kutch district has a sizable Muslim population.Nearly 20 central and state leaders of the BJP campaigned across the state on Friday. Besides Kutch, Sarma addressed rallies in Kamrej constituency of Surat.In Adipur, Sarma also made a pitch for a Uniform Civil Code. “People ask till when will a man keep marrying three times? I tell them, you don’t have to wait long because the Uniform Civil Code will come and the Mussalman beti will get respect. Women will no longer be treated as toys,” he said.“I shut down madrasas and was asked about my intention. So I said, my intention is clear: our Muslim brothers and sisters should be doctors and engineers, so we shut down the madrasas,” he said, adding that all madrasas operated on government funds.Referring to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, Sarma said that when someone asked him his opinion about it, he replied, “Rahulji, your face should be such that people should see Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and not Saddam Hussein”.“This is an entire duplicate parivar… How did they get the Gandhi title? There is a ghotala (scam),” he said. He also criticised Rahul for not being in Gujarat during the elections.“However, today our fight is not against these parties, but against the weakening of the Prime Minister. There is an international conspiracy to weaken the country. Everyone knows why India left Britain behind, we will leave America and China behind by 2029… 2022 is the beginning for making Narendra Modi Prime Minister for the third time, and his leadership will herald development in the country,” he said.

Himanta pitch for Modi ’24: Aaftab in every city if no powerful leader
Congress can only disintegrate the country and not unite: J P Nadda
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

RAJKOT: A bellicose BJP, which is eyeing its sixth consecutive reign in Gujarat, unleashed a simultaneous campaign blitzkrieg on 89 seats on Friday with three chief ministers addressing rallies in three seats of Morbi whose residents are still seething over the suspension bridge catastrophe that killed 135 people. Addressing rallies in Saurashtra and south Gujarat, national BJP leaders including union ministers, strongly harped on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda and launched a tirade against the Congress over issues ranging from religion to terrorism. BJP top brass were caustic in their attack on Rahul Gandhi, accusing him for ‘insulting’ martyrs and freedom fighters, for his comments on Veer Savarkar. “Congress has penchant for insulting martyrs and freedom fighters,” said Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Mandvi town of Kutch. While Uttar Pradesh chief minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath campaigned for Wankaner seat, Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel addressed a rally in Tankara along with Chouhan who visited Morbi town. “Mahatma Gandhi had suggested dissolving the Congress after the country got independence. Time has come to fulfill his wish,” Yogi Adityanath said in Wankaner while paying homage to the Morbi bridge collapse victims. The firebrand leader said construction of the grand Ram Temple, the magnificent renovation of Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, and the abrogation of Article 370 granting special status of Jammu and Kashmir were impossible under the Congress regime. He said the electoral ‘fight’ in Gujarat is between nationalism and those who are against the nation, between nationalism and terrorism and between development and destruction. MP CM Chouhan launched a stinging attack on the Congress saying, “ During Congress rule, India had no respect in the world. The then PM was always silent and the country was only run by a mother-son duo. Rahul Baba used to tear papers in front of the PM,” he said in Mandvi town of Kutch. Hailing the Sardar Sarovar project, Chouhan said, "Congress used to abuse me over the Narmada project saying why should we give the waters to Gujarat. I want to ask them if they think Kutch is a part of Pakistan. I promise there will be no shortage of Narmada waters for Kutch. CM Bhupendra Patel also said that the opposition had been reduced to a regional party and its leaders are joining the BJP knowing that Congress has no vision for the state or nation. “Their leaders have always compromised the interests of Gujarat,” Patel said, exuding confidence of a handsome victory of all BJP candidates. In Navsari, national BJP president JP Nadda took a swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his Bharat Jodo Yatra, and alleged that the grand old party can only disintegrate the country and not unite it. "I wonder if Congress has embarked on Bharat Jodo Yatra or Bharat Todo Yatra. Their leaders are saying unite India. But what do they do in real life? Their leader Rahul Gandhi went to JNU in Delhi and supported those who shout slogans in favour of Afzal Guru, the mastermind behind the Parliament attack," Nadda alleged. He even condemned Gandhi’s statement against freedom fighter Veer Savarkar and said, "When Rahul Gandhi was in JNU in support of those who raised such slogans, some people also raised the slogan 'Bharat Tere Tukde Honge, Insha Allah Insha Allah'. His statement yesterday on Veer Savarkar was also condemnable. It shows they can only break the country, not unite it," he said. Nadda also exuded confidence that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will lose its deposit on majority of the seats in Gujarat as well as Himachal Pradesh just like its UP assembly election debacle Nadda claimed the BJP worked in "mission" mode (for development), while other parties worked for "commission" (kickbacks).

Congress can only disintegrate the country and not unite: J P Nadda
CBI arrests Gujarat CGST officer for accepting bribe
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday arrested Superintendent of Central Goods and Services Tax (Audit) N S Maheshwari, posted in Gandhidham, in Kutch, for accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh to clear containers at the Kandla port in Gujarat where he was earlier posted as Superintendent of Customs.During the searches conducted at the office and residential premises of the accused, the investigators recovered cash to the tune of Rs 6.5 lakh cash and incriminating documents, said a statement issued by the CBI.The CGST officer was later produced before the court.“A case was registered against Maheshwari based on the allegations of demanding Rs 2.40 lakh, i.e. Rs 100 for one container, from the complainant for the containers he cleared during his earlier posting as Superintendent of Customs in Kandla Port,” said the statement.Maheshwari had promised the complainant to spare him from the audit of accounts if he was duly bribed, an officer said.The officer was caught red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from the complainant in a trap laid by the CBI.

CBI arrests Gujarat CGST officer for accepting bribe
  • CBI arrests two CGST officials in Gujarat for demanding Rs 75,000 bribe
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested two officials of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) at Ankleshwar in Gujarat's Bharuch district for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 75,000, an official said on Sunday. The central agency arrested a superintendent and assistant commissioner of the CGST, who were produced before a court and remanded to police custody till Monday, the official said. As per a CBI release, the accused allegedly demanded Rs 75,000 from the complainant for transportation of goods from Modasa to Vapi (both in Gujarat) through his jurisdiction. The complainant also claimed that the accused had demanded a monthly undue advantage of Rs 1.5 lakh for regular movement of goods in his jurisdiction, the probe agency stated. "The CBI laid a trap and caught the superintendent red handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 75,000 from the complainant. During the proceedings, the role of the assistant commissioner, CGST, Ankleshwar was allegedly found in the demand and acceptance of undue advantage. He was also caught," the release said. Searches were conducted at the premises of both the accused and approximately Rs 1.97 lakh was recovered from the premises of the superintendent, it stated.

  • Tax Officials Arrested By CBI In Gujarat For Demanding Rs 75,000 Bribe
  • Ndtv

    The accused were arrested from Ankleshwar in Gujarat's Bharuch district. (Representational image)Ahmedabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested two officials of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) at Ankleshwar in Gujarat's Bharuch district for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 75,000, an official said on Sunday.The central agency arrested a superintendent and assistant commissioner of the CGST, who were produced before a court and remanded to police custody till Monday, the official said.As per a CBI release, the accused allegedly demanded Rs 75,000 from the complainant for transportation of goods from Modasa to Vapi (both in Gujarat) through his jurisdiction.The complainant also claimed that the accused had demanded a monthly undue advantage of Rs 1.5 lakh for regular movement of goods in his jurisdiction, the probe agency stated.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"The CBI laid a trap and caught the superintendent red handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 75,000 from the complainant. During the proceedings, the role of the assistant commissioner, CGST, Ankleshwar was allegedly found in the demand and acceptance of undue advantage. He was also caught," the release said.Searches were conducted at the premises of both the accused and approximately Rs 1.97 lakh was recovered from the premises of the superintendent, it stated.Featured Video Of The DayOver 66% Voters In Himachal Pradesh Brave Cold, Trudge Through Snow

5 Members Of Same Family Drown In Gujarat Canal In Bid To Save Woman
Ndtv | 1 week ago | |
Ndtv
1 week ago | |

5 family members drowned in the Narmada canal at Gundala village in Mundra in Gujarat.Kutch:  In a bid to save a woman from drowning, five people of the same family drowned in the Narmada Canal in Kutch, informed Kutch West Superintendent of Police Saurabh Singh.Police have recovered all dead bodies, added the SP. The woman slipped into the canal while fetching water.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"Five family members drowned in the Narmada canal at Gundala village in Mundra. Police have recovered all dead bodies. The incident happened after family members jumped into the canal to save a woman who slipped into the canal while fetching water," Kutch West SP Saurabh Singh told ANI.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayDelhi Police Arrest Man Who Murdered Live-In Partner, Chopped Body Into 35 Pieces

5 Members Of Same Family Drown In Gujarat Canal In Bid To Save Woman
  • Gujarat: Five persons, including teen girl, drown in Narmada canal in Kutch
  • Times of India

    BHUJ: Five persons comprising two married couples and a teen girl drowned on Monday in the Narmada canal in Gujarat's Kutch district, a police official said. The incident took place near Gundala village under Pragpur police station limits at 7pm, he said. "The bodies of the two women, the 15-year-old girl and two men have been fished out. Further details are awaited," the Pragpar police station official said.

‘Absentee CM’, charges Oppn, but Bhagwant Mann fits the bill for AAP’s Gujarat campaign
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

He is the Aam Aadmi Party’s lead star campaigner in Gujarat after Arvind Kejriwal, holding rallies from Ahmedabad to Kutch. For over a month now, every weekend finds Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in Gujarat.The Opposition in Punjab has dubbed him an “absentee” CM. But AAP, which has few faces with national recognition, is counting on Mann, a comedian-turned-politician who was an indefatigable campaigner for the party in the Punjab elections, regaling audiences as he held up to 10 rallies a day.With its campaign slogan “Ek Moko Kejriwalne (one chance to Kejriwal)”, AAP is also projecting Mann as an extension of the kind of administration a Kejriwal-led party government can provide.Malwinder Singh Kang, AAP’s chief spokesperson in Punjab, said, “For now, Mann is only taking out road shows and addressing meetings on weekends. But after November 20, the party will intensify its campaign in Gujarat.”However, on the ground, it is contentious how successful AAP’s strategy is, as far as Mann goes. Gujarat has a minuscule Sikh population of roughly 50,000, concentrated in Gandhidham, Lakhpat in Kutch, Vadodara and Surat areas, some of which Mann has covered in his campaign. Apart from this, they are scattered across Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Valsad, Navsari and Vapi.As per Jasbir Makhija, the former president of the Gurdwara Gobinddham in Ahmedabad: “The Sikh population in Gujarat is not supporting AAP but the BJP.”At least at some public meetings, audiences struggle to follow his Hindi, with a heavy Punjabi accent.An AAP leader says Mann’s importance for the party is at a deeper level. “After Kejriwal, Mann is akin to a brand ambassador for the party, having delivered in Punjab within six months of coming to power. When Mann goes and tells the electorate that his government has given jobs, announced a return to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), given 300 units of free power, it resonates. He is also targeting corruption. He is needed in Gujarat.”The leader adds that they believe that irrespective of the “language barrier”, Mann has a gift of connecting with his audience. “He strikes a chord as soon as he speaks… gets a huge applause. Recently, he took on leaders of traditional parties saying he was content being a TV personality and did not want to be a politician, but had to do so to change the system. His video went viral.”Portions of Mann’s speeches are also translated into Gujarati and run on AAP social media handles, especially the ones that counter the BJP directly.AAP has also been highlighting that it picked Mann by a public poll, just like they had done in Gujarat. Isudan Gadhvi was declared AAP’s CM face in Gujarat after the party asked people to send in their preference, and 76% reportedly picked Gadhvi.In his speeches, Mann invokes revolutionary leader and his idol Bhagat Singh, and urges youth to emulate the freedom fighter who died at 23 years, “the age when youngsters are demanding a motorbike from their parents”. During the Navratri festival, he along with Kejriwal attended a garba at Rajkot, where he shook a leg, much like the Punjab campaign.In Nikol and Shahibaug areas of Ahmedabad, where sanitation workers, outsourced employees, ASHA workers and contractual workers were in attendance, Mann spoke about “20,000 government jobs” given in Punjab under him, and the fall in electricity bills to zero for some 69 lakh people.Mann has campaigned in Kutch, Junagadh, Surendranagar, Sabarkantha, Dahod, Vadodara, Valsad, Surat, Panchmahal, Banaskantha, Navsari and Bharuch districts of Gujarat, and after the declaration of the election dates, held his first roadshows in the Muslim-dominated constiuencies of Ahmedabad city, which suffered in the 2002 riots.Incidentally, while Mann would have been more at home in the Himachal Pradesh, which borders Punjab and just finished voting, AAP has used his services more sparingly there, with its campaign focused on Gujarat.The Congress has attacked AAP over using Mann as a star campaigner, and leaving Punjab to bureaucrats and to “the mercy of God”. Calling Mann the “most ineffective CM” of the state, Leader of Opposition Partap Bajwa said law and order in Punjab had “collapsed”, citing murders of kabbadi players Sandeep Singh Nangal Ambian and Dharminder Singh, as well as singer Sidhu Moosewala.“The people of Punjab are reeling under a constant sense of insecurity because of rising crimes and gangsterism… This isn’t the kind of badlav (change) the people wanted when they chose the AAP government,” Bajwa added.With inputs from Ritu Sharma

‘Absentee CM’, charges Oppn, but Bhagwant Mann fits the bill for AAP’s Gujarat campaign
5 days, 11 roadshows: Kejriwal leads AAP push in Saurashtra, Kutch
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago | |

As the BJP officially launches its Gujarat campaign, Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal spent his longest stint of five days in the state, pitching the party in Saurashtra and Kutch.AAP is seen as having its best shot in Saurashtra districts, apart from Surat, and Kejriwal held over 11 roadshows in the five days he spent in the area. His theme was the same that his party has been talking about — “No party comes and talks to you about schools, no party talks to you about hospitals, no party talks to you about electricity, employment… Ours is the only party which talks about employment, electricity and your families,” he said.The five-day campaign push began with Kejriwal announcing national joint general secretary Isudan Gadhvi as AAP’s chief ministerial candidate, on Friday. Gadhvi also belongs to Saurashtra, specifically to Jamkhambhaliya taluka in Devbhumi Dwarka district.The AAP push coincided with Indranil Rajyaguru, its national joint secretary, also belonging to Saurashtra and a former MLA from Rajkot, quitting soon after the announcement of Gadhvi as CM candidate. Rajyaguru, who returned to the Congress, told The Indian Express he had suggested candidates for 22 seats to the AAP leadership, mostly in Saurashtra, “who were in the party even before I joined”. “But in those seats, these people tried giving tickets to weak candidates… just to help the BJP”.In 2017, the Congress had finished ahead of the BJP in the 54 Assembly constituencies in the 12 districts of Saurashtra and Kutch, getting 30 seats to the BJP’s 23 (the NCP got 1). The swing in favour of the Congress was attributed largely to farm distress and Patidar anger.This year the farmers are largely happy about prices for their produce in the market and the high MSPs, though input costs have risen. In 2017, the unsettled insurance claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) had also caused distress to those who suffered crop losses due to inclement weather. In 2020, Gujarat opted out of the scheme on the ground that companies were quoting a high premium.However, AAP has been able to draw some amount of Patidar support, reflected in its impressive performance in the Surat Municipal Corporation elections last time.Kejriwal’s five-day tour included two-three rallies in almost every constituency. Punjab CM and AAP star campaigner Bhagwant Mann, meanwhile, covered areas in central Gujarat and Ahmedabad.In the constituencies in coastal areas where fishermen will call the shots, Kejriwal listed his party’s “guarantees”, and said: “There is no need to give any money to any middleman… We will give a 25% subsidy on diesel, irrespective of the rate. We will also give loans to fishermen without any interest.” He also promised MSP on fish, houses for fishermen, and help for families of those who die in accidents, hoping to top up the BJP government’s promises just ahead of Diwali to the community.At his rally in Wankaner, near Morbi where 135 people died in the collapse of a suspension bridge, Kejriwal accused the BJP government of “defending” the company that carried out the renovation work – though without naming the Oreva Group.In rally after rally, Kejriwal claimed that unlike the BJP, he had no money power. In Kalavad of Jamnagar, he said, “For seven years I have been the chief minister of Delhi… (but) my bank account is empty, so is my party’s bank account.”He had something else with him, he said in Jetpur of Rajkot district. “After March 1, even in Gujarat, electricity will be supplied 24 hours and the bill will be zero! This is magic, isn’t it? I only know this magic. I have been given this gift by the Almighty.”

5 days, 11 roadshows: Kejriwal leads AAP push in Saurashtra, Kutch
  • Manifesto vs manifesto: Distance travelled by BJP, Congress since 2017 in Himachal
  • The Indian Express

    The manifestos of the BJP and Congress for the Himachal Pradesh polls have introduced newer promises and schemes to cater to various voter groups as compared to 2017. While the Congress has strengthened its focus on jobs, the youth, and the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), it has introduced promises such as free electricity up to 300 units. The BJP has vowed to bring in a Uniform Civil Code and a survey of Waqf property, in addition to reiterating its welfare schemes. However, it is silent on the issue of OPS. Both have promised relief to apple farmers, who have been protesting in the state.A comparison:BJP, 2017The BJP manifesto’s main focus was setting up a 24X7 helpline to act against forest mafia, a joint task force to check illegal mining, a ‘Gudia Yojana’ to check crimes against women, women police stations in all districts and a helpline for women’s safety. (The state had been rocked by a rape-and-murder case in Shimla that year, under a Congress government).Although the party did not promise jobs, it said it would ensure selection of Grade III and IV employees on the basis of merit. It also promised a pension planning committee for consultation with the Central government, a wage disputes redressal committee for problems related to payment of employees, and 80 per cent jobs in industries to locals.BJP, 2022In a first for the party in Himachal, but in line with the steps it has taken in other states, the BJP manifesto this time promises to implement a Uniform Civil Code. In Uttarakhand, the newly elected party has already set up a committee to study the feasibility of implementing the code, and in poll-bound Gujarat, it has made the same promise. The party also said that Waqf properties will be studied “to look into the legality of the misuse of such properties”.The party is silent on the OPS, maintaining that a community would look into the issue.Reaching out to apple farmers, the BJP has said it would impose a ceiling on GST on materials used in the packaging of apples at 12 per cent and added that additional GST would be paid by the state government. However, no announcement has been made on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) demand of farmers.Underlining its focus on youths, the party has promised eight lakh jobs to them, plus a tablet and monthly 1GB data to students receiving first class distinction. The manifesto also speaks of pucca road construction in all villages in the state, promises the development of five new medical colleges and the doubling of mobile clinics in every constituency.This time, the party has released a separate manifesto for women, with promises such as three free LPG cylinders, Rs 500 crore corpus to women entrepreneurs, and bicycles and scooters for girl students. It promised financial aid of Rs 25,000 to all pregnant women. Similarly, it said a Rs 25,000 monthly scholarship would be given to 5,000 women who do exceptionally well in education in the state.Congress, 2017Last time, the party promised that the OPS scheme would be restored only for a section of employees depending on their tenure. The party also had women-related promises, like the BJP – providing working women hostels in districts and a marriage grant of Rs 1 lakh for daughters of widows. It said that merit scholarships would be provided to ST students for higher education.At the time, the Congress also promised to decentralise power to the panchayat level and setting up of a grievance committee for complaints related to corruption. It had farmer-specific proposals for crop protection and interest-free loans up to Rs 1 lakh.Congress, 2022The main change this time is the manifesto’s focus on the restoration of the OPS, a key demand of the significant vote bank of about 2.5 lakh government employees in the state.Catering to the protesting apple farmers in the state who have been raising their pitch against a wide-range of issues, an addition in the manifesto is the promise of a committee to consult apple farmers and decide upon an MSP price for procurement.Taking a leaf out of AAP’s playbook, the Congress has also announced free electricity of up to 300 units and Rs 1,500 to women between 18 and 60 years of age. On the lines of the pilgrimage policies of the BJP, and in a bid to target the age group over 60, the Congress has promised a free pilgrimage policy to a senior citizen and a family member once in five years.The Congress has also promised five lakh jobs this time as opposed to the earlier promise of employment to 75,000 youth and 1.50 lakh jobs over a period of five years.Highlighting its focus on the younger vote bank, it talks of a start-up fund of Rs 680 crore in its manifesto and says it would introduce policies to employ 80% of youngsters in the private sector, along with 1 lakh jobs to youths in the first cabinet meeting if voted to power.Separately, it has released a charge sheet highlighting the police recruitment scam in March, when question papers were leaked, as well as the alleged corruption in PPE procurement during Covid-19.The party has also targeted the dairy industry and has promised to buy 10 kg of milk from farmers and to provide subsidies to support the purchase of four cows per family, among others.

  • AAP's Ex Ally In Gujarat Now With Nitish Kumar's Party Ahead Of Polls
  • Ndtv

    Chhotu Vasava, a tribal leader, had been with Nitish Kumar's party from 1990 to 2017.(FILE)Chanderia (Guj): The Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) led by Chhotu Vasava on Monday announced a pre-poll tie-up with "old friend" Janata Dal (United) for the next month's Gujarat Assembly elections.Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar will campaign in Gujarat, said Mr Vasava.There is no clarity about the number of seats the JD(U) would contest in the elections to the 182-member Assembly scheduled to be held on December 1 and 5."The BTP and the JD(U) are old friends and that is why we have decided to enter into a pre-poll alliance. We will help them and they will help us. The Bihar CM (Nitish Kumar) will visit Gujarat for poll campaigning. We aim to uproot the present (BJP) regime," BTP founder Vasava told reporters.Notably, the development came days after the BTP announced its first list of candidates for 12 Assembly segments, including nine seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST).Last September, the BTP had broken its four-month-old pre-poll tie-up with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sent Arvind Kejriwal to defeat the BTP.In the current Assembly, the BTP has two MLAs. While Chhotu Vasava represents the Jhagadia seat in Bharuch, his son and BTP's national president Mahesh Vasava is the MLA from Dediapadain the Narmada district."Chhotubhai was JD(U)'s state president in the past. We are brothers who have once again come together. Apart from Nitish Kumar, JD(U) president Lalan Singh and senior leader KC Tyagi will also address poll rallies in Gujarat. The ticket distribution will be finalised in days to come," said Gujarat JD(U) president Vishwajeet Singh.Chhotu Vasava, a veteran tribal leader, had been with JD(U) from 1990 to 2017. He left the party and formed BTP ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections after Nitish Kumar allied with the BJP.He had earlier formed a poll alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM ahead of the Gujarat panchayat polls in 2020 and with AAP this year.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHowever, Vasava snapped ties with AAP claiming Kejriwal is working at the behest of the BJP.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayWatch Chief Justice's Farewell Speech: "Have Disposed 10,000 Matters"

  • Storm of change is coming to Gujarat: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal
  • Times of India

    WANKANER: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said a storm of change is coming in Gujarat and said he will never seek votes again if his party did not deliver on the promises made to people. "All promises AAP made to the people of Gujarat regarding education, healthcare, employment etc are based on what my government did in Delhi," Kejriwal said, addressing people during his road shows in Chotila and Wankaner towns of Surendranagar district on Sunday. "You have given 27 years to BJP. I am here to seek only five years. Give us five years, I will not come to ask for your votes if we do not deliver," he said, adding that the free electricity guarantee will be implemented from March 1 after AAP forms a government in Gujarat. Kejriwal further said he has put in place a plan for Gujarat which includes the construction of a large number of hospitals, mohalla clinics and providing jobs to youths. "I am an educated person. I know how to work, and construct schools, and hospitals...I do not make false promises. I am only talking about the work I have done in Delhi. I am an honest person, I do not indulge in corruption," he said. After Wankaner, Kejriwal also participated in the "tiranga yatra" at Chotila where he told people that he was like their brothers and will rid them of inflation.

  • Gujarat elections: BJP’s anchor in Surat, the minister who lost a key portfolio
  • The Indian Express

    Having won the Surat West seat twice, Purnesh Modi, 57, a qualified lawyer, was given a Cabinet berth for the first time in the Bhupendra Patel government in September 2021 but was stripped of the all-important roads and buildings portfolio 11 months later. Surat West is considered one of the most secure Assembly seats for the BJP and Modi will look to retain the seat for the party.Modi started his ministerial innings on a sprightly note, launching a mobile application in his name in October 2021 at Ambaji in Banaskantha district so that people could lodge complaints related to damaged roads. This July, as major highways in the state got pockmarked with potholes during the monsoon season, it dented the government’s image and social media was flooded with memes poking fun at the Gujarat development model. Around that time, Modi urged the public to lodge complaints using his app.On August 15, the minister sent some 4,000 senior citizens from his constituency on a pilgrimage to Somnath as part of the Gujarat government’s Shravan Tirth Darshan Yojana, hiring 75 buses. Five days later, the roads and buildings portfolio was taken away from him.A member of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) belonging to the BJP said at the time that Modi was trying to establish himself as “bigger than the party”. “He (Modi) was given Road and Buildings (department) which is very important as you directly come in contact with the public. If a minister does not entertain public issues, complaints go to the party organisation leaders and even to the chief minister,” the SMC member said.Modi belongs to the Modhvanik community, the same as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He joined the BJP in 1984 as a party worker from Wadi Falia in Surat’s walled city and was a municipal councillor between 2000 to 2005. He was the Surat city BJP president for two straight terms between 2010 to 2016. After the death of incumbent BJP MLA Kishor Vankawala in 2013, Modi was fielded from Surat West and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.In 2019, Modi filed a defamation suit against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a Surat district court for allegedly making defamatory comments about the prime minister’s surname at a rally in Karnataka.

  • BJP Reacts To Arvind Kejriwal's "They Offered Deal" Claim To NDTV
  • Ndtv

    Arvind Kejriwal had accused the BJP of offering a deal if they pulled out of Gujarat polls.New Delhi: The BJP today rubbished allegations that it offered Aam Aadmi Party Convenor Arvind Kejriwal a deal to spare his ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, who are embroiled in investigations by central agencies, if the Aam Aadmi Party pulled out of next month's Gujarat elections.Calling it a "blatant lie", BJP spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam said it is merely a statement to mislead people and malign the image of the BJP. "He has misled the people of Delhi and the nation. He used Anna Hazare to come to power and later left him. He can mislead anyone to grab power," he said.Arvind Kejriwal had at an NDTV Townhall yesterday claimed that after Manish Sisodia rejected their offer to be Delhi Chief Minister by leaving AAP, the BJP had approached him. "They have said if you leave Gujarat and don't contest there, we will spare both Satyendar Jain and Sisodia and drop all charges against them," he had said.Asked who made the offer, Mr Kejriwal said, "How can I name one of my own... the offer has come through them... see they (BJP) never approach directly. They go from one to another, to another, to another, to a friend, and then the message reaches you."The AAP chief said the BJP was scared of losing both Gujarat elections and the closely watched municipal polls in Delhi and had pulled out all stops to defeat his party.He said the cases filed against Mr Sisodia over Delhi's now-revoked liquor sales policy and Mr Jain about proxy or 'hawala' transactions were fabricated.Satyendar Jain has been in jail since his arrest in May over money laundering allegations.The ED had arrested Mr Jain and two others in the money laundering case based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR lodged against the AAP leader in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.Mr Jain is accused of having laundered money through four companies linked to him. He has denied the allegations.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comManish Sisodia is a prime accused in a case which involves alleged kickbacks to political leaders by private players in exchange for liquor shop licenses.Elections to the 182-member Gujarat assembly are to be held in two phases - December 1 and 5 - with results on December 8.Featured Video Of The DayTruth Vs Hype: Ram Rahim: Rape, Murder And Brazenness

Amit Shah highlights PM Modi’s effort in taking water to Gujarat houses
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

NEW DELHI: With the campaign for Gujarat polls intensifying , BJP has trained its spotlight on the tenure of Narendra Modi as Gujarat CM, recalling the achievements the current PM notched up helping BJP pull off wins. As part of the effort, Union home minister Amit Shah recalled Modi's popular feat in solving the perennial water problem in the state which now boasts of piped water supply to each house, including far flung villages in the parched deserts. “Every countryman, especially the young generation in Gujarat, must watch the video that highlights Modi's foresight and hard work in dealing with the state’s water crisis,” Shah said on Twitter. He shared a short video to highlight Modi’s efforts to augment the water supply in Gujarat, saying the state suffered from a water crisis 21 years ago, but every household is now receiving it through taps. The video pointed out that the water table in the state had dropped to 200 metre in 2001, the year Modi took over as its chief minister, from 30 metre in 1975, with its dry and arid area increasing. Through various schemes, the then state government under Modi built a network of canals spanning across 1,126 km and supplied piped water to households, while the height of the Narmada dam was raised to 138.68 metre, the short video emphasized, referring to Modi’s defiant effort for completing the construction of dam in the face of hostility from activists who enlisted the support of World Bank, and sections of opposition and despite the indifference of the Centre. Prime Minister Modi, while opening “Smriti Van”, a memorial for the victims of the 2001 earthquake in Kutch, to public recalled the efforts to improve conditions in Gujarat since he took over as CM in the aftermath of the devastating Kuch earthquake of 2001. “Kutch has changed in the last 20 years and this change has been massive,” Modi had said. On Sunday, he again spoke about the changes brought about by him. Modi was Gujarat’s chief minister from 2001-14 before becoming the Prime Minister. Assembly polls in the state are scheduled to be held on December 1 and 5, and the BJP is pulling out all the stops to maintain its winning streak since 1995.

Amit Shah highlights PM Modi’s effort in taking water to Gujarat houses
Gujarat sees shortest MCC for assembly polls in 20 years
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

The elections to the Gujarat Assembly in December will see the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) being enforced for the shortest period—38 days—in at least the past 20 years in the state.MCC is enforced from the date the Election Commission announces the poll schedule and remains operational till the process of elections is completed, on December 10. EC keeps a tab on meetings, expenditure, public rallies, use or misuse of mass media, etc, during this period. When quizzed on the shortened period of MCC for Gujarat, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said in Delhi, “In the general elections in Delhi, a similar period was given. The schedule was declared on January 14, 2020, and the date of completion was February 13—exactly 38 days. So it is not the first.”Election Commission records show that MCC declared for Gujarat polls is the shortest in at least the past 20 years in the state. In December 2002, when polls were held in a single phase and EVMs were being used for the first time in the state, the period of MCC stretched for close to 50 days. It was the year when the assembly was dissolved prematurely in July 2002 and the BJP called for early polls.In 2007, when state assembly elections were held in two phases with Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat voting on a single day, and North and Central Gujarat on a different day, the period of MCC stretched to 78 days. In the past two decades, the 2012 assembly elections had the longest duration—83 days—of MCC. In 2017, MCC was only for 57 days.When asked if a reduced MCC affects the election campaigning, Congress spokesperson in Gujarat, Manish Doshi, said, “The elections for both Himachal and Gujarat should have been announced together as counting for both states will be held on December 8. The time that we usually get for campaigning after the announcement of polls now stands reduced. But it will not hamper us as we started work for the polls in February with the Dwarka declaration.” The ‘Dwarka Declaration’—released in February after a three-day brain-storming (Chintan Shivir) session in the Gujarat town—showcased Congress’s vision for the state.On the other hand, AAP has gone public with its list of 108 candidates even before the declaration of polls in the state.Meanwhile, Dr Dhaval Patel, District Election Officer of Ahmedabad, Thursday said the EC has begun implementing MCC by removing symbols of political parties defacing public places. “A meeting of government officials associated with district administration was also held in which they briefed about the MCC guidelines applicable to them,” Patel said, while talking to media persons at the district collectorate.In the first phase of polling in Gujarat on December 1, 89 constituencies in Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions will go to vote. These include the districts of Kutch, Surendranagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Dangs, Navsari and Valsad.In the second phase, the remaining 93 seats of North Gujarat and Central Gujarat, including the districts of Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Anand, Kheda, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Vadodara and Chotta Udepur, will go to polls.

Gujarat sees shortest MCC for assembly polls in 20 years
Gujarat shuts down two bridges in Kutch
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat government has asked its roads and buildings department and collectors of all districts to identify risky structures such as bridges and recreational centres following the Morbi tragedy. A bridge on the Hamirsar lake in Kutch and another in Mandvi, Kutch, have been closed with immediate effect. Boating at Bet Dwarka has also been suspended. Days after the bridge collapse in Morbi which claimed the lives of 135 persons, the Gujarat government swung into action by closing down bridges and recreational activities that could endanger the lives of people. The roads and buildings (R&B) department and collectors of all districts have been asked to identify structures such as bridges and other recreational centres that have become weak. Officials said on Wednesday a bridge on Hamirsar lake in Kutch and another in Mandvi, Kutch, have been closed with immediate effect. In addition, boating at Bet Dwarka has also been suspended. Top officials further said that authorities at famous pilgrimage and religious centres such as Ambaji, Pavagadh, Dwarka, Somnath, Palitana and others have been asked to put into place systems to regulate the number of visitors. "These places experience very high numbers of visitors and have been asked to set up systems where the flow of pilgrims can be regulated," officials said. Chief secretary Pankaj Kumar is said to have held a meeting with officials of the R&B and other departments. The R&B department in particular has been asked to identify all bridges which have become old, weak or damaged. "The department has been asked to immediately shut all such structures," sources said. Meanwhile, in the past two days, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) suspended 25 boat licenses for seven days for ferrying more passengers than allowed during festival days. The distance by sea between Okha jetty and Bet Dwarka jetty is two nautical miles. Around 180 boats have licences to ferry passengers to and from the island. On normal days the rush is less, but during festival days there is a heavy rush. Government sources said there are several bridges under the panchayats department, especially in rural areas, which have not been repaired for a long time. "In addition, there are religious shrines on top of hills where large numbers of people visit on special occasions. All such places have been directed to have all required safety and rescue facilities," sources said.

Gujarat shuts down two bridges in Kutch
  • Gujarat government swings into action, shuts down 2 ‘weak’ bridges
  • Times of India

    GANDHINAGAR: Days after the bridge collapse in Morbi which claimed the lives of 135 persons, the Gujarat government swung into action by closing down bridges and recreational activities that could endanger the lives of people. The roads and buildings (R&B) department and collectors of all districts have been asked to identify structures such as bridges and other recreational centres that have become weak. Officials said on Wednesday a bridge on Hamirsar lake in Kutch and another in Mandvi, Kutch, have been closed with immediate effect. In addition, boating at Bet Dwarka has also been suspended. Top officials further said that authorities at famous pilgrimage and religious centres such as Ambaji, Pavagadh, Dwarka, Somnath, Palitana and others have been asked to put into place systems to regulate the number of visitors. “These places experience very high numbers of visitors and have been asked to set up systems where the flow of pilgrims can be regulated,” officials said. Chief secretary Pankaj Kumar is said to have held a meeting with officials of the R&B and other departments. The R&B department in particular has been asked to identify all bridges which have become old, weak or damaged. “The department has been asked to immediately shut all such structures,” sources said. Meanwhile, in the past two days, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) suspended 25 boat licenses for seven days for ferrying more passengersthan allowed during festival days. The distance by sea between Okha jetty and Bet Dwarka jetty is two nautical miles. Around 180 boats have licences to ferry passengers to and from the island. On normal days the rush is less, but during festival days there is a heavy rush. Government sources said there are several bridges under the panchayats department, especially in rural areas, which have not been repaired for a long time. “In addition, there are religious shrines on top of hills where large numbers of people visit on special occasions. All such places have been directed to have all required safety and rescue facilities,” sources said.

Oreva Group traces its origin to India’s leading clock brand
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Ajanta, among the leading clock brands of India, had humble beginnings in 1971 after Odhavji Bhalodia alias Odhavji Ravji Patel, his two brothers—Valamji and Jetha—and their cousins decided to diversify their oil engine manufacturing business. They set up a clock manufacturing unit in the Lati Plot area of Morbi town by importing spare parts from China. The intention was to give a tough competition to Babu Mistry’s Scientific Clocks that pioneered Morbi’s clock industry.Family sources said that OR Patel, as Bhalodia is popularly known, never took business administration seriously. He, instead, remained focused on his job as a teacher at VC Technical High School in Morbi. “However, his eldest son Pravin took over the administration of clock business and took brand Ajanta to newer heights in the 1980s, beating Scientific Clocks,” said a source close to the family.The Bhalodias also were generous with their funding for water conservation projects, including constructing village ponds, in Morbi. However, the family had their first split when OR Patel’s cousin Ukabhai’s son Manubhai launched the Samay brand of clocks. Later, a dispute arose among OR Patel’s sons—Pravin, Jaysukh and Ashok. The matter reached the court. Eventually, Pravin formed Orpat Group (Orpat stands for Odhavji Ravji Patel) and started manufacturing electronic items such as digital calculators, digital clocks and so on. While Ashok—the third among the entrepreneurial brothers—still manufactures products under the brand name Ajanta, the most famous among the three brothers is Jaysukh. A commerce graduate, he formed Oreva Group (O after his father Odhavji and Reva from his mother’s name). Following the split, Jaysukh set up a plant at Samakhiyali in Kutch for manufacturing CFL bulbs and gradually started making e-bikes powered by lead-acid batteries. Under the Oreva Group, Jaysukh also set up Ajanta Manufacturing Private Limited, the flagship firm of the group.Jaysukh has been aggressively advocating for converting the Little Rann of Kutch into a fresh water reservoir (Rann Sarovar Project) by constructing a road bridge across the Surajbari creek into a dam. Last year, he had claimed that he had even met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in this connection. “Jaysukh Patel has this knack of remaining in the news. He loves publicity,” said a source close to the family. Vasant, the eldest of the four brothers, was an employee of the Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation, an undertaking of the state government.

Oreva Group traces its origin to India’s leading clock brand
Gujarat govt announces Rs 630 cr grant to farmers suffering Kharif crop loss from heavy rainfall
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

As assembly polls inch closer, the Gujarat government on Friday announced a Rs 630 crore assistance package for more than 8 lakh farmers who reported crop losses due to heavy rains during the 2022 Kharif season.According to a statement released by the government, farmers in 14 districts suffered crop losses due to flooding in their farms. This included farmers of 2,554 villages of Chotta Udepur, Narmada, Panchamahal, Navsari, Valsad, Dangs, Tapi, Surat, Kutch, Junagadh, Morbi, Porbandar, Anand and Kheda districts.This assistance package from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the state budget will cover an estimated 9.12 hectares of affected agricultural land. The package will cover farmers who have suffered more than 33 per cent losses on their farms.The farmers will be paid Rs 6,800 per hectare. The assistance, however, will be restricted to a maximum of two hectares. For banana-growing farmers, this assistance is about Rs 30,000 per hectare, for a maximum of two hectares.To avail of the package, farmers have to apply online, the release added.

Gujarat govt announces Rs 630 cr grant to farmers suffering Kharif crop loss from heavy rainfall
  • Gujarat govt announces Rs 630 crore relief package for rain-affected farmers in 14 districts
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on Friday announced a relief package of Rs 630.34 crore for farmers who suffered losses due to heavy rains this monsoon, the move coming ahead of assembly polls likely to be held by the end of the year. The relief package was cleared in the state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Bhupendra Patel earlier in the day and is expected to benefit eight lakh farmers in 2,554 villages in 14 districts, officials said. The package was announced after a loss-assessment survey was carried out in these districts, namely Chhotaudepur, Narmada, Panchmahal, Navsari, Valsad, Dang, Tapi, Surat, Kutch, Junagadh, Morbi, Porbandar, Anand and Kheda, they added. An official release said farmers, as part of the package, will get compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare with a limit of two hectares if the crop loss (except banana plantation) was equal or above 33 per cent due to excessive rain during the previous Kharif season in the state. "The compensation will be given from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and from the state budget. The compensation for the loss of banana plantation has been kept at 30,000 per hectare with a limit of two hectares," the release added. The minimum compensation has been fixed at Rs 4,000, even if the crop loss is less than this amount, officials informed. Affected farmers will have to submit online applications with all required details and documents through e-Gram centres in their villages, said the release. Farmers are not required to pay any application fee or charges, it asserted.

  • Rs 630 Crore Relief Package Announced For Gujarat Farmers Ahead Of Polls
  • Ndtv

    The compensation will be given from the State Disaster Response Fund. (Representational)Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government on Friday announced a relief package of Rs 630.34 crore for farmers who suffered losses due to heavy rains this monsoon, the move coming ahead of Assembly polls likely to be held by the end of the year.The relief package was cleared in the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel earlier in the day and is expected to benefit eight lakh farmers in 2,554 villages in 14 districts, officials said.The package was announced after a loss-assessment survey was carried out in 14 districts: Chhotaudepur, Narmada, Panchmahal, Navsari, Valsad, Dang, Tapi, Surat, Kutch, Junagadh, Morbi, Porbandar, Anand and Kheda.An official release said farmers, as part of the package, will get compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare with a limit of two hectares if the crop loss (except banana plantation) was equal or above 33 per cent due to excessive rain during the previous Kharif season in the state."The compensation will be given from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and from the state budget. The compensation for the loss of banana plantation has been kept at 30,000 per hectare with a limit of two hectares," the release added.The minimum compensation has been fixed at Rs 4,000, even if the crop loss is less than this amount, officials informed.Affected farmers will have to submit online applications with all required details and documents through e-Gram centres in their villages, said the release.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comFarmers are not required to pay any application fee or charges, it asserted.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

India’s maritime history runs deep and long here
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Written by Vasant ShindeA LITTLE OVER 70 km from Ahmedabad lies Lothal, one of the prominent cities of the ancient Harappan Civilization, dating to 2600 BCE to 2000 BCE, located close to the Gulf of Khambhat.Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while reviewing the National Maritime Heritage Complex coming up at Lothal, spoke about how Lothal and Dholavira were part of India’s rich maritime history.Lothal and Bet Dwarka, also in Gujarat, were excavated by the late Archaeological Survey of India director Dr Shikaripura Ranganatha Rao. Dating back over 4600 years, the dockyard in Lothal is the oldest man-made dockyard, built of burnt bricks, roughly 240 m long, 37 m wide and 4 m deep, with a warehouse located next to it.The Lothal site lay on a trade route between the Harappan cities in Sindh and the Saurashtra peninsula, when Kutch was part of the Arabian Sea. Lothal flourished with advanced technological marvels that initiated India’s rich maritime history, but declined mysteriously. The evidence from Lothal suggests that the Harappans were highly disciplined people who believed in orderliness, visible in the planning of towns and cities, uniform system of weights and measures, enforcement of trade regulations, efficient administration and standardization of goods and services to facilitate production.The noteworthy artefacts found in Lothal include models of boats, Persian Gulf seals, bangles, a model of a terracotta mummy, a terracotta pyramid, Sumerian head, precious and semi-precious stones like carnelian, lapis lazuli.Being a port town, Lothal hosted traders from different parts of the world and civilizations. Along with trade products, their cultural beliefs and values, ideas and innovative techniques also transferred to Lothal, making it the hub of the culture and economy of the world.Dholavira in Kutch district lies on the Khadir Bet island, surrounded by the salt waste of the Great Rann of Kutch. It is also known locally as Kotada timba, and is one of the largest sites where the remains of the Harappan civilization have been found. Two monsoon channels — the Menhar and the Mansar — embrace the settlement. The ruins, including the cemetery, cover over 70 hectares, half of which is appropriated by the fortified Harappan settlement alone.The moundsare located less than a kilometre northwest of Dholavira village. The groundwater reserve here in its soft sedimentary limestone deposits did not fail it even during the severest droughts in Gujarat in the ’80s.This Harappan city was discovered in 1968 by former ASI director general Jagat Pati Joshi and excavated for 13 field seasons between 1989 and 2005 led by Ravindra Singh Bisht.Dholavira is unique because remains of a complete water system have been found here. The people who lived there for an estimated 1,200 years are noted for their water conservation system using rainwater harvesting techniques in an otherwise parched landscape.Evidence of inter-regional trade with other Harappan cities, as well as with cities in the Mesopotamia region and the Oman peninsula, have also been discovered. Ten large inscriptions, carved in the Harappan Valley script, were found which was billed as the world’s earliest signboard.The site comprises two parts: a walled city and a cemetery to the west of the city. In 2021 it was on the list of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.There is evidence that the Rann of Kutch was navigable in Harappan times, which would have given Dholavira direct or indirect access to the sea. It flourished during the Mature Harappan phase, between 2600 and 1900 BCE.Dholavira followed a strict plan, but one of its kind with multiple enclosures. The overall plan has an acropolis or upper town, consisting of a massive “castle” located on the city’s high point and an adjacent “bailey”; a middle town, separated from the acropolis by a huge ceremonial ground; and a lower town, part of which was occupied by a series of reservoirs.The principal building material was stone, although sun-dried bricks were also used. Houses, wells and drains were normally made of local sandstone.Dholavira had an efficient water management system. Both the monsoon channels were spanned with weirs at certain points, not only for ponding water but also diverting it to the cascading series of reservoirs on the east, south and west.The reservoir to the east of the castle was the largest among all, ascertained to be 10.6 metres deep with flights of 30 steps.The writer is Founding Director General, National Maritime Heritage Complex, Gandhinagar, and CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

India’s maritime history runs deep and long here
Gujarat: MSU researcher to help rejuvenate dying mashru
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

VADODARA: Mashru as an indigenous craft of Gujarat has found a mention in the list of 50 exclusive and iconic Indian heritage textile crafts published by Unesco recently. Going by the UN agency, one major challenge to safeguard this intangible cultural heritage is lack of proper inventory and documentation. But now a PhD student of M S University has bridged this gap. The researcher has not only documented the journey of this languishing craft, but has also helped the craft get rejuvenated with design and product diversification. The craft has its roots in Patan and Kutch region of Gujarat. Mashru is mainly made in combination of rayon and cotton in Patan and cotton by cotton in few villages of Kutch. But Priyanka Kumari has developed multiple varieties of mashru, including mulberry silk by cotton, tasar silk by cotton, korea silk by cotton, mulberry silk, tasar silk and cotton, along with existing varieties for mashru weaving. “We all know about celebrated handloom fabrics like brocade and ikat. Mashru is a beautiful bliss of these two fabric techniques. This functional fabric is very suitable as per the climatic condition of hot regions,” said Kumari, who took up the project as part of her PhD work under the guidance of professor Anjali Karolia from the Department of Clothing and Textiles. The researcher took up the project to rejuvenate the craft with design and product diversification. Kumari, currently an assistant professor at the Department of Textile Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Gandhinagar, has tried to reintroduce the techniques of mashru through her project. “Long back, ikat and brocade ‘buttis’ were the characterizing features of this craft. Unfortunately, the use of these is not seen now. It is commonly identified by its stripe pattern,” said Kumari, who with the help of Patan-based mashru weaver has even prepared men’s wear, kids wear, office wear, furnishings to provide a wider market to mashru fabric. Weaving is usually considered as men’s task. “We talk of women empowerment now. But women mashru weavers in Patan were actively involved not only in pre-loom and post-loom processes but in the entire process of weaving. They had headed towards economic empowerment in their traditional setting long back,” said Kumari, adding that with just 40-odd mashru weavers left in Patan and Kutch, the craft has huge potential for rejuvenation. “If these initiatives are introduced in craft cluster on regular basis, it can create diverse product quality, providing wider options to consumers as well,” she added. Her research work has also broken the myth surrounding the craft. “It is a myth that mashru came to India from Ottoman Empire (Turkish Empire). But if we investigate the technique and characters of the fabric, it is a fabric of Indian origin,” she said.

Gujarat: MSU researcher to help rejuvenate dying mashru
Jakhau demolition: Fishermen say not given prior notice, living on roads now
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Fishermen from Jakhau and Porbandar claimed that they were not given enough notice before the local authorities demolished their homes, in a drive that began earlier this month to raze “illegal” structures.A group of such displaced fishermen came to Ahmedabad Tuesday to decide on their future course of action.As reported by The Indian Express, in a mega demolition drive, the district administration of Kutch razed more than 100 “illegal” structures that were a “threat to coastal and national security” in Jakhau — one of the busiest fishing harbours of Gujarat—in Kutch’s Abdasa taluka within 24 hours on October 13.Addressing a meeting of the displaced fishermen, Gujarat High Court lawyer Anand Yagnik said, “The Supreme Court has already passed a judgement in 2018 that if a structure is illegal it does not mean that you will demolish it. Grant them the permission to legalise it. Collect fine from them, legalise them, ask them to purchase the property at a market value, and if they do so, legalise it.”According to Yagnik, the demolition of the affected fishermen and others, “was done without following any due process of law”.“Nobody tells why they are doing it. They say that it is illegal. It is not that they (the fishermen) do not have the permission from the gram panchayat, or do not pay taxes to the panchayat… Moreover, they are not a floating population,” added Yagnik.Saiyyed Abdul Rehman, 61, a fisherman from Jakhau whose house was demolished, said, “I have been living in Jakhau for the last 40 years or so. I have been paying the taxes and rent for my residence and business to the gram panchayat on time. We were given the notice dated October 7, to evacuate on October 10 stating that they are illegal. However, that notice was delivered to us on October 10 only. The demolition happened on October 13. All of us, whose residences have been demolished, we have been living on roads now.”“Six months back we were also given a notice asking for residential proof which we,” he added.Of the various reasons for these demolitions, Coastal Regulation Zone notifications and security reasons are also cited.To this, Yagnik said, “CRZ notification is meant to provide customary rights for fishermen who are staying by the virtue of their occupation on the seashore. The notification itself is meant to protect their existence and customary right to fish not to destroy that. The CRZ 1992 notification is very clear that if they have an election card and they live near the seashore, they should be allowed to live.”Convener of Minority Coordination Committee Mujahid Nafees also said that due process of law was not followed before the demolition“Sufficient time should be given before demolition. In a normal course of action, three notices are given. First notice is given which is followed by second notice given after 15 days. The third notice is the final one, and even after that a month’s time is given for them to keep all their documents. If they fail, then activities like demolition take place,” said Nafees.“We will serve a notice to the authorities concerned,” added Nafees.According to Nafees, about 500 residential structures and 180 commercial structures have been demolished in Jakhau.

Jakhau demolition: Fishermen say not given prior notice, living on roads now
Gujarat, 2 other states likely to get GIB breeding centres
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

AHMEDABAD: The Union minister for forest and environment, Bhupendra Yadav, has asked Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka governments to send a proposal to set up breeding centres for conservation of GIBs in their respective states, reports Himanshu Kaushik. During the meeting of the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), the minister proposed to establish breeding centres, and has directed the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to prepare a framework for the same. These centres would be different from the one in Rajasthan. There is now a ray of hope for the conservation of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB). Union minister for forest and environment, Bhupendra Yadav, has asked the Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka governments to send a proposal to set up breeding centres for Conservation of GIBs in their respective states. During the meeting of the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), the minister proposed to establish breeding centres, and has directed the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to prepare a framework for the same. These centres would be different from the one in Rajasthan. Officials said that during the meeting it was also instructed that wherever there is need for a male GIB, it must be translocated and if a state requires females, it must be given the same. The breeding centre in Rajasthan has about 28-odd birds, and one male can easily be moved to Gujarat. The state does not want to lose the opportunity and will soon propose the centre in Gujarat. A project was readied by the government in 2017. Nityanand Srivastava, in charge principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), said, “We will soon send the proposal to set up a breeding centre in the GIB sanctuary in Kutch. Once approved, the state will begin the work as the state already has a notified sanctuary.” The Gujarat and Rajasthan governments had in the past locked horns over a male GIB, but the latter had refused to send the male species to Gujarat. The last male from the GIB sanctuary in Kutch has been missing since December 2018. Senior officials from the ministry of environment forest and climate change said, “Gujarat had already made up its mind to have its own breeding centre but unfortunately the only surviving male went missing and has not returned till date. The ministry will give a male GIB to Gujarat, but the state will have to promise to lay the hightension cables underground. Only then would they be permitted to release the birds into the wild.” According to a 2018 count, India has fewer than 150 GIBs, of which 122 are in Rajasthan. Gujarat has just four females left. “Gujarat should preserve the GIB landscape of Kutch and start mitigating the problem of overhead power lines as directed by the Supreme Court,” said an expert on bustards. Gujarat must launch efforts to manage the habitat in such a way that captive-bred birds can be released here the in future, he said. An expert on GIBs said that Gujarat has not done enough for conservation though the bird was the mascot of the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, held in Gandhinagar in 2020. However, in April 2022, an affidavit filed by Dipesh Raj, an undersecretary of the Gujarat government’s energy department, said: “…there are four female GIBs left in the Kutch area, and therefore the option of relocating the GIBs may be explored.” In 2017, the state, in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and expertise offered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had planned to set up a breeding centre for Great Indian Bustard (GIB) at Naliya in Kutch. However, the project never got through as the last male went missing

Gujarat, 2 other states likely to get GIB breeding centres
GN Saibaba release: Cong slams Govt over ‘Urban Naxal’ tag, but it has got a fresh life
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

The Congress has said the acquittal of former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case proves that the ‘Urban Naxal’ tag is “completely bogus”.On Friday, a Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court acquitted Saibaba and five others, setting aside the life imprisonment sentence awarded to them in 2017 by a Sessions Court in Gadchiroli.Soon after, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “Wheelchair-bound Prof G N Saibaba’s acquittal after five years in jail proves that ‘urban naxal’ tag invented by the prime minister’s brigade is completely bogus… Many others are still in wholly unjustifiable custody. Such smear tactics must be resisted. I wouldn’t be surprised if the prime minister calls me one (an Urban Naxal) too!”Wheelchair-bound Prof GN Saibaba’s acquittal after 5 years in jail proves that ‘urban naxal’ tag invented by PM’s brigade is completely bogus. Many others are still in wholly unjustifiable custody. Such smear tactics must be resisted.I wouldnt be surprised if PM calls me one too!— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) October 14, 2022The BJP has been using the term regularly since it first became popular after high-profile arrests of activists in July and August of 2018 in the Elgar Parishad case. Probing alleged links of the arrested activists to the violence at Bhima Koregaon in Pune that followed the Elgar Parishad event, police called them Urban Naxals.On Monday, speaking after laying the foundation stone of the country’s first bulk drug park in Gujarat’s Bharuch district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought up the issue of “Urban Naxals”.In what seemed like a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party, that is putting up an aggressive fight for the Gujarat elections, Modi said: “Urban Naxals are trying to enter the state with new appearances. They have changed their costumes. They are misleading our innocent and energetic youth into following them… They are agents of foreign powers.”More than a month ago, addressing a gathering in Kutch, the PM had spoken in a similar vein: “There was a time when Gujarat was facing one crisis after another. While Gujarat was battling natural calamities… one after another conspiracies were hatched to give a bad name to Gujarat, in the country as well as in the world, and to block investment here.”Speaking right after the PM, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel spelled out who Modi meant. “… we should remember who were those people who had deprived Kutch from getting the Narmada water for nearly five decades. We all know who those Urban Naxals who had opposed the Narmada dam project were… One of those Urban Naxals was Medha Patkar. We all know which political party these people were associated with.”The reference seemed to be to AAP, which had fielded Patkar from Mumbai North East in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In 2015, she quit the party.Then, days later, addressing a video conference hosted by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, the PM said: “I have seen that in the name of environmental clearance, how the establishment of modern infrastructure is hindered… How Urban Naxals, those who are anti-development, had stopped such a big project, the Sardar Sarovar dam.”In November 2018, the term had got the stamp of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, when it said in a statement: “The Home Minister directed the CRPF to carry out an effective and decisive campaign against Left Wing Extremism in the next six months. Action needs to be taken against Urban Naxals and their facilitators.”The same month, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari called Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “an Urban naxal”. “Some Urban Naxals are plotting to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Arvind Kejriwal is a big example of an Urban Naxal,” he said at a press conference.When well-known Kannada writer and Jnanpith Award winner, Girish Karnad sported a placard with ‘Me too Urban Naxal’ written on it at a protest to mark the death anniversary of journalist Gauri Lankesh, he was booked.The term also figured in the annual Dussehra speech delivered by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in October 2018. “Urban Maoism” was propagating falsehood and spreading hatred in society, he said. “These people (Maoists) take strength from the country’s enemies and always malign the nation wherever they go… To establish an anti-national leadership with blind followers solely committed to them is the Neo-Left doctrine of these Urban Naxals.”Speaking in Parliament in February 2022, Modi accused the Congress of being “trapped by the Urban Naxals”, and said its “thought process has been captured by Urban Naxals” making it “destructive”. The Congress walked out of the House in protest.In a reply to a written question by Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Chhetri, though, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy told Parliament in March 2020: “The phrase ‘Urban naxals’ is not used by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.” However, Reddy said, the government’s National Policy and Action Plan addresses Left Wing Extremism in all its manifestations, including urban activities.Chhetri had asked “whether it is a fact that the Ministry has stated that it will take effective action against ‘Urban naxals’ and their facilitators”, “whether the ministry has defined what constitutes ‘Urban Naxals’ and its definition, who falls under this category of ‘Urban Naxals’.”

GN Saibaba release: Cong slams Govt over ‘Urban Naxal’ tag, but it has got a fresh life
Over 100 ‘illegal’ structures razed in demolition drive at Jakhau harbour
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

IN A mega demolition drive, the district administration of Kutch razed more than 100 “illegal” structures that were a “threat to coastal and national security” in Jakhau — one of the busiest fishing harbours of Gujarat—in Kutch district’s Abadasa taluka within 24 hours Thursday.The demolition drive began Thursday morning amid heavy police deployment in Jakhau harbour. Fishermen, boat owners and labourers from many states who work in the harbour stood mere spectators as JCBs flattened godowns, dungas (facilities where fish is sorted) and cottages along the coast. The demolition drive came days after the Abdasa mamlatdar served final notices to some of the occupants of 304 structures on October 3 and October 7 asking them to vacate the premises and demolish the structures.“Around 40 per cent of the 304 structures that were served notices were demolished on Thursday. They include dungas, godowns and cottages which were constructed on the government land illegally,” HM Solanki, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Abdasa, told The Indian Express, adding, “We have not evicted anyone forcibly. People had already vacated these premises voluntarily yesterday or day before yesterday after being served the notices. We have not demolished 35 premises in which as many families are living and have granted them more time to vacate the premises.”The SDM said those who had “encroached” on the government land were served notice last year also. “These structures posed a challenge to the coastal and national security. Many a time we have heard that drugs were transported from this area. The harbour has the presence of the Indian Coast Guard and marine police also. Many people had constructed godowns and cottages on the government land and were earning money by giving them on rent,” Solanki claimed.While some fishermen leaders and traders claimed that they were not encroachers but tenants of Jakhau village panchayat and that they had been paying rent to the village panchayat, the SDM rejected the claim. “The structures had come up on government land and therefore, the village panchayat had no jurisdiction,” he said, adding, “While the drive will continue till all the 304 structures are demolished, we are not disturbing fishing activity in any manner. People are free to carry out their activities from authorised places.”

Over 100 ‘illegal’ structures razed in demolition drive at Jakhau harbour
23 IAS transfers in Gujarat; new civic chiefs for Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Ahead of the state assembly elections, the Gujarat government Wednesday transfered 23 IAS officers, appointing M Thennarsan, vice-chairman and managing director of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC),  as the new Ahmedabad municipal commissioner, while Ahmedabad district collector Sandip Sagale will become the new municipal commissioner of the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation.The transfers included that of RA Merja — the deputy municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and brother of Brijesh Merja, the  Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Rural Housing and Rural development.RA Merja, who has been appointed as the district collector of Bhavnagar, is among the nine district collectors who were newly appointed through a notification from the General Administration Department of the state government.Merja, was promoted to the IAS cadre from the State Civil Service in October 2020. The promotion happened after his brother Brijesh left the Congress before the Rajya Sabha polls and joined the BJP in June 2020.The district collectors of Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Anand, Dang, Tapi, Kutch, Mahisagar and Morbi are among those transferred. M Thennarsan, the vice-chairman and managing director of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), has been appointed as the new AMC municipal commissioner, while Ahmedabad district collector Sandip Sagale will become the new municipal commissioner of the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation.Dhavalkumar Patel, who headed the municipal corporation in Gandhinagar will replace Sagale as Ahmedabad district collector, while industries commissioner Rahul Gupta will hold the additional charge of GIDC.The collectors of tribal districts who got transferred include BK Pandya who has been transferred to Mahisagar from Dangs.  Similarly, BR Dave, managing director of the Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company Ltd has been appointed as the new district collector of Tapi.Kutch district collector DK Praveena has been appointed as new the collector of Gandhinagar. Dilip Rana, director of tribal development will be the new Kutch collector. Similarly, DS Gadhvi, District Development Officer of Surat has been appointed as the district collector of Anand, while GT Pandya, Director of Technical Education, has been appointed as the collector of Morbi.Bharuch District Development Officer Yogesh Chaudhary has been appointed as the managing director of the state electricity distribution company, Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (DGVCL). Jasmine Hasrat who held this post in DGVCL is the new MD of Gujarat State Energy Generation  Ltd, Surat.

23 IAS transfers in Gujarat; new civic chiefs for Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar
The rise of ‘Urban Naxals’, a term ‘not used by Govt’
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the country’s first bulk drug park in Gujarat’s Bharuch district Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought up the issue of “Urban Naxals”.In what seemed like a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party, that is putting up an aggressive fight for the Gujarat elections, Modi said: “Urban Naxals are trying to enter the state with new appearances. They have changed their costumes. They are misleading our innocent and energetic youth into following them… They are agents of foreign powers.”More than a month ago, addressing a gathering in Kutch, the PM had spoken in a similar vein: “There was a time when Gujarat was facing one crisis after another. While Gujarat was battling natural calamities… one after another conspiracies were hatched to give a bad name to Gujarat, in the country as well as in the world, and to block investment here.”Speaking right after the PM, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel spelled out who Modi meant. “… we should remember who were those people who had deprived Kutch from getting the Narmada water for nearly five decades. We all know who those Urban Naxals who had opposed the Narmada dam project were… One of those Urban Naxals was Medha Patkar. We all know which political party these people were associated with.”The reference seemed to be to AAP, which had fielded Patkar from Mumbai North East in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In 2015, she quit the party.Then, days later, addressing a video conference hosted by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, the PM said: “I have seen that in the name of environmental clearance, how the establishment of modern infrastructure is hindered… How Urban Naxals, those who are anti-development, had stopped such a big project, the Sardar Sarovar dam.”The BJP has been using the term regularly since it first became popular after high-profile arrests of activists in July and August of 2018 in the Elgar Parishad case. Probing alleged links of the arrested activists to the violence at Bhima Koregaon in Pune that followed the Elgar Parishad event, police called them Urban Naxals.Joining the debate, controversial filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri tweeted asking people to make a list of those defending “Urban Naxals”.In November 2018, the term got the stamp of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, when it said in a statement: “The Home Minister directed the CRPF to carry out an effective and decisive campaign against Left Wing Extremism in the next six months. Action needs to be taken against Urban Naxals and their facilitators.”The same month, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari called Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “an Urban naxal”. “Some Urban Naxals are plotting to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Arvind Kejriwal is a big example of an Urban Naxal,” he said at a press conference.When well-known Kannada writer and Jnanpith Award winner, Girish Karnad sported a placard with ‘Me too Urban Naxal’ written on it at a protest to mark the death anniversary of journalist Gauri Lankesh, he was booked.The term also figured in the annual Dussehra speech delivered by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in October 2018. “Urban Maoism” was propagating falsehood and spreading hatred in society, he said. “These people (Maoists) take strength from the country’s enemies and always malign the nation wherever they go… To establish an anti-national leadership with blind followers solely committed to them is the Neo-Left doctrine of these Urban Naxals.”Speaking in Parliament in February 2022, Modi accused the Congress of being “trapped by the urban Naxals”, and said its “thought process has been captured by urban Naxals” making it “destructive”. The Congress walked out of the House in protest.In a reply to a written question by Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Chhetri, though, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy told Parliament in March 2020: “The phrase ‘Urban naxals’ is not used by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.” However, Reddy said, the government’s National Policy and Action Plan addresses Left Wing Extremism in all its manifestations, including urban activities.Chhetri had asked “whether it is a fact that the Ministry has stated that it will take effective action against ‘Urban naxals’ and their facilitators”, “whether the ministry has defined what constitutes ‘Urban Naxals’ and its definition, who falls under this category of ‘Urban Naxals’.”

The rise of ‘Urban Naxals’, a term ‘not used by Govt’
  • In veiled dig at AAP, PM Narendra Modi says Gujarat will defeat ‘urban Naxals’
  • Times of India

    BHARUCH/ANAND: PM Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on AAP by appealing to people, particularly tribal villagers of his native state Gujarat, to stay alert and away from "urban Naxals" and foreign agents who he said were creating roadblocks in development and pursuing a malicious agenda to wreck the country. Modi's comments were seen as directed against AAP and its national convenor Arvind Kejriwal working overtime in Gujarat ahead of assembly polls due this December-end. The state has witnessed a bipolar contest between BJP and Congress over the past 24 years. Addressing public meetings in Amod near Bharuch and education town Vallabh Vidyanagar on Monday, Modi said the tribe-folks of Gujarat have chosen development and ensured that the evil of Naxalism that has gripped many states does not gain a foothold here. "Those with Naxalite mentality tried hard to stall the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river. The urban Naxals are now flying into the state by sporting a new get-up ," he said. Those with Naxalite mentality tried hard to stall the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river. The urban Naxals are now flying into the state by sporting a new get-up. They have changed their appearance and are now instigating our gullible and spirited youth. You must warn your children against these urban Naxals and foreign agents who are out to destroy our country," he said. The PM exuded confidence that Gujarat will queer their pitch. "Naxals wrecked the lives of tribal youth in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gadchiroli in Maharashtra and parts of Madhya Pradesh. By handing them guns, they instigated them to take up violence. I was determined not to let Naxalism gain a foothold in Gujarat and that is why I started development of the entire eastern belt stretching from Ambaji to Umargam," Modi said. The PM hailed the tribespeople for not allowing Naxalism to take root in Gujarat by reposing faith in his development mantra. "I bow to them (tribals)," he said. In Vallabh Vidyanagar, Modi rued how decades were wasted in construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam because of hurdles placed by "urban Naxals". He said: "Poor man's money had to be spent to fight legal battles in courts...40-50 years were wasted in the process." He had alleged this September that "urban Naxals and anti-development elements" had stalled the Sardar Sarovar dam for years, while Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel had called Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar an "urban Naxal". Patkar had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 parliamentary polls as an AAP candidate for Mumbai Northeast.

  • In veiled dig at AAP, PM Modi says Gujarat will defeat ‘urban Naxals’
  • Times of India

    BARUCH/ANAND: PM Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on AAP by appealing to people, particularly tribal villagers of his native state Gujarat, to stay alert and away from “urban Naxals” and foreign agents who he said were creating roadblocks in development and pursuing a malicious agenda to wreck the country. Modi’s comments were seen as directed against AAP and its national convenor Arvind Kejriwal working overtime in Gujarat ahead of assembly polls due this December-end. The state has witnessed a bipolar contest between BJP and Congress over the past 24 years. Addressing public meetings in Amod near Bharuch and education town Vallabh Vidyanagar on Monday, Modi said the tribe-folks of Gujarat have chosen development and ensured that the evil of Naxalism that has gripped many states does not gain a foothold here. “Those with Naxalite mentality tried hard to stall the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river. The urban Naxals are now flying into the state by sporting a new get-up. They have changed their appearance and are now instigating our gullible and spirited youth. You must warn your children against these urban Naxals and foreign agents who are out to destroy our country,” he said. Read AlsoPM Modi cautions against ‘silent’ Congress campaignBHARUCH/ANAND: PM Narendra Modi on Monday asked BJP workers to keep their guard up against Congress because the opposition party has adopted a new strategy of canvassing with stealth and silence for the assembly elections, as opposed to the noise it would make in the past. Reacting to his comments,The PM exuded confidence that Gujarat will queer their pitch. “Naxals wrecked the lives of tribal youth in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gadchiroli in Maharashtra and parts of Madhya Pradesh. By handing them guns, they instigated them to take up violence. I was determined not to let Naxalism gain a foothold in Gujarat and that is why I started development of the entire eastern belt stretching from Ambaji to Umargam,” Modi said. The PM hailed the tribespeople for not allowing Naxalism to take root in Gujarat by reposing faith in his development mantra. “I bow to them (tribals),” he said. In Vallabh Vidyanagar, Modi rued how decades were wasted in construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam because of hurdles placed by “urban Naxals”. He said: “Poor man’s money had to be spent to fight legal battles in courts…40-50 years were wasted in the process.” He had alleged this September that “urban Naxals and anti-development elements” had stalled the Sardar Sarovar dam for years, while Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel had called Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar an “urban Naxal”. Patkar had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 parliamentary polls as an AAP candidate for Mumbai Northeast.

  • Modi warns Gujarat tribals about ‘urban Naxals’, BJP against complacency over Congress
  • The Indian Express

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday warned tribals and BJP leaders in Gujarat against Opposition parties, telling them not to “fall for urban Naxals who have arrived in disguise” ahead of the Assembly polls, without naming the AAP.Addressing a predominantly tribal gathering in Amod, Bharuch, where he inaugurated and laid stones for Rs 8,200-crore development projects, the prime minister warned about “urban Naxals who have arrived in disguise” several years after Gujarat “successfully prevented the spread of armed naxalism”. And at a party rally in Vidyanagar in Anand later, Modi warned the BJP workers against becoming complacent on the assumption that “the Congress is silent and doing nothing”.When I was CM, the threat of Maoism was looming large over Gujarat. But, the people of Gujarat did not get swayed and they preferred the path of development. The results are for everyone to see. pic.twitter.com/xDMDEPhHFX— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 10, 2022https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsAt Amod, Modi said that tribals in the state had seen progress thanks to development projects undertaken during his tenure as chief minister while tribal youths in other states were “handed out arms and had their lives ruined”.Taking forward the BJP’s attack on the AAP over having fielded Narmada Bachao activist Medha Patkar in the past, Modi said, “I remember days when some (Opposition parties) placed big obstructions in the way of industrialisation in Bharuch… These people, who have a Naxal mindset, obstructed the construction of the Narmada dam, which was meant to provide clean drinking water and irrigation water to Bharuch…Now urban Naxals have arrived in disguise…I want to tell my tribal people… Naxalism began in Bengal, spread to Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Orissa, parts of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra, Telangana and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra… It has ruined the lives of youngsters as Naxals handed over guns in their hands. There was a problem all around (the country)… but I (as Gujarat CM), had resolved that my tribal stretch from Umargaon to Ambaji should not come under the grip of Naxalism… I took it in my hands to ensure development here.And my tribal brothers have held up my word and stayed away from naxalism. They have not allowed Naxalism to enter here. I am grateful to the tribals of Gujarat for this… But now urban naxals have arrived … Don’t allow your youngsters to fall for them. They are bringing foreign powers to ruin your life. Gujarat will annihilate them…”Modi, who also laid the foundation stone for an airport in Ankleshwa–the district’s industrial belt–said that Bharuch and Ankleshwar would soon have the “same identity as the twin cities of New York and New Jersey”.“Bharuch can no longer remain dependent on Vadodara or Surat for an airport. So we have laid the foundation stone for an airport in Ankleshwar. Bharuch has bigger industrialisation than some states put together. It needs an airport. It will increase exports; Bharuch accounts for 25 per cent of India’s pharma exports at this moment. The airport will ensure that big industries will arrive in Bharuch directly…Officials will travel here often, it will take Bharuch to the skies…There was a time when Bharuch was only known for its khaari seeng (salted peanuts). Today it is known for industrialisation and the world is singing praises of Bharuch… On my visit today, the number of developments that have been inaugurated is bigger than the budget reserved for Bharuch so far by all the governments. Dahej has become a model for the petroleum and chemical industry with GACL and GIDC leading the way,” Modi said.Modi said Gujarat had more cosmopolitan cities and towns than other states. “Bharuch has become a cosmopolitan city… some from Kerala, some from Bengal or Bihar… There was a time when Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi were called cosmopolitan. Today, many districts have become cosmopolitan in Gujarat and that is an indication of Gujarat’s progress–all-inclusive progress…Today, I see a different picture of Gujarat, soaring the skies, ready to jump high… Do you remember what Gujarat was two decades ago? Traders used to pick up goods from one place and sell it in another and be happy with the commission. We were lagging behind in industries and agriculture. We did not have raw materials. But today we have become industrialised,” the prime minister said.Modi said that unlike previous governments that gave loans for tribals to buy “five chickens”, the BJP had made professional colleges, increased the number of seats in professional educational institutes, and ensured that tribal children can “pursue medicine and law and fly planes”.“Around 25 years ago, you would dream of having these five chickens on loan… You would imagine that they would make eggs and increase your flock and you would have prosperity in the house… But your dreams would fall to the ground because the moment you got your five chickens, a guest (official) would be sent to your home for an overnight stay…Tribals, being large-hearted as they are, would not let the guests go without serving one of the five chickens for a meal. This would go on for four-five months,” he said.Modi said it was a moment of pride that India had “replaced a country that enslaved us for 200 years on the world’s list of fastest growing economies”. “In 2014, when you sent me to Delhi, India was at the 10th position on the list of economic growth. Today India has reached the fifth position in the world. And when we jumped from sixth to fifth, it was a matter of pride because the country that was fifth was the one that has enslaved us for hundreds of years. We have left them behind,” he said.At Anand, where Modi addressed a Jan Vishwas Sammelan of party workers, he warned the party workers against becoming complacent about the Congress as the party’s “silence should not be construed as their absence”. “This time the Congress has started a new tactic… The Congress is too silent, but don’t assume it is finished… They are quietly going around villages to strengthen the ground. Don’t be under the illusion that they are not doing anything (for the polls). They are not holding press conferences or making challenging statements, but I have found out what they are up to… they are going into villages, doing khatla baithaks and finding their feet again… We have to be alert and not complacent. Don’t calculate their strength based on what you cannot see… The Congress, even today, does not let go of any opportunity to insult the country. So keep an eye on them so that we are aware… Go to every house and sabotage their efforts to poison people,” he said.At both events, Modi said that youths were “unaware of the hardships” the state was facing when he took over as chief minister. “Today, those who are 25 years old would not even know how one had to survive in those days. I resolved to solve each problem one by one–from drinking water to electricity, to building roads in villages, to setting up schools to enforcing law and order. For development, a conducive environment is a must…Along with an encouraging atmosphere, law and order is as important as infrastructure… While neeti (policy) is important, neeyat (intention) is even more important. Policy without intention is of no use…Today, with law and order in place, there is peace in the state… We have sent the rioters and the heavyweight (criminals) behind bars. Now there are no more abductions and criminal intimidations for usurping properties in Bharuch,” he said.Taking the point further in Anand, Modi said the BJP in the state symbolised progress and peace. “The BJP in Gujarat means development, industrialisation, trader, business, prosperity… It means law and order and an end to rioting and curfews…The BJP in Gujarat means that there is no longer any threat while visiting a temple… It means that my Gujarat can celebrate garba and taziya with equal peace. The youngsters of Gujarat do not know what curfew means today…Girls going out fearlessly to play garba at nights have no idea how fathers would be anxious 20 years ago when women went out to play garba… For the youngsters in Gujarat, it is the beginning of the golden era. Don’t miss this opportunity,” the prime minister said.At Vidyanagar in Anand, Modi said the praise he received “for doing good work in Delhi” was nothing but “a man following in the footsteps of Sardar saheb”, referring to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.Accusing the Congress of ignoring the legacy of Patel and Mahatma Gandhi, Modi said, “Many times people say, ‘Modi saheb is doing good work in Delhi’… you hear this right…But Modi saheb is not doing this work.Modi is only following in the footsteps of Sardar Patel, who unified the country by bringing together all the princely states…All except one state of Kashmir, which another person had taken upon himself to interrupt Sardar saheb’s work…But then, there was one guy who, walking in the footsteps of Sardar saheb, completed the task of Kashmir and paid a tribute to Sardar Patel.”Even as Modi’s reference to his own decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted autonomy to the erstwhile state, earned big applause, the prime minister said, “When I took over as chief minister of Gujarat, there were dams in the state but no canals to take waters to people–like someone would construct a five-storey structure and built no staircase… Did you (Congress) make dams for mere sightseeing? We took up the task of making canals 20 years ago…The agro-industry of Gujarat, which was making losses, has witnessed 9-10 per cent growth per year…The urban Naxals opposed the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, Sardar saheb’s dream project. These urban Naxals wasted a whole 50 years and had us spend poor people’s money (tax) on court trials. But today Sardar Patel’s dam vision is a reality.”Modi urged people to ask Congress leaders if they had ever paid tributes at the Statue of Unity, the tallest Patel statue. “At least now have some humility and pay obeisance to him…But no, they won’t do it …The Congress never thought of making a Dandi Marg– we have had to do it..a 400km stretch, so that youth can understand Gandhiji’s satyagraha…This is the respect they have for their own leaders,” the prime minister said.Modi also advocated the use of Indian-made firecrackers for Diwali, in order to boost his “vocal for local” campaign and “brighten the year for many poor families” in the country.The other projects that Modi inaugurated or laid stones for in Amod are bulk drug parks in Valia (Bharuch), Vanar (Chhota Udepur), Dahod, and Banaskantha; a 106ks deep-sea pipeline project in Dahej; industrial sheds in Ankleshwar and Panoli; an Agrofood park in Banaskantha; a seafood park to boost exports at Kakvadi Dati in Valsad; and projects of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation and the Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited.

  • ‘Urban Naxals’ trying to enter Gujarat, state will destroy them: PM Modi
  • Times of India

    BHARUCH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said 'Urban Naxals' were trying to gain entry into Gujarat by changing their appearance, but the state will destroy them The PM was speaking after laying the foundation stone of the country's first bulk drug park in Gujarat's Bharuch district. The project will play a key role in ensuring import substitution and make India self-reliant for bulk drugs, which accounted for more than 60 per cent of the total pharmaceutical imports in 2021-22, as per a government release. Modi said, “Urban Naxals are trying to enter the state with new appearances. They have changed their costumes. They are misleading our innocent and energetic youth into following them." “The Urban Naxals are setting foot from above. We won't let them destroy our young generation. We should warn our children against the Urban Naxals who have taken up the task of destroying the country. They are agents of foreign powers. Gujarat will not bow down its head against them, Gujarat will destroy them,” he said in a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is trying to make inroads into BJP-ruled Gujarat where the assembly polls are due later this year. ‘Urban Naxal' term is often used by some segments of the political spectrum to describe sympathisers of the Naxalism cause as well as certain social activists. PM Modi said "people with Naxal mentality" tried their best to stop the Sardar Sarovar dam project. He had last month alleged that "Urban Naxals and anti-development elements" with political backing had stalled the construction of Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river in Gujarat for many years by running a campaign that it would harm the environment. Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel had also earlier alleged that "Urban Naxals" opposed the Sardar Sarovar dam project. He had labelled activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar as an "urban Naxal". Notably, Patkar had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Mumbai North East as an AAP candidate. On Monday, Modi said, "I had to specially tell our adivasi brothers that Naxalism started in (West) Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, some parts of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra, Telangana and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra...Naxalism is destroying the lives of our adivasi youth." "They made them hold guns and instigated them...there was crisis all around," he said. Modi said at that time (when he was the chief minister of Gujarat), he had the challenge to not let Naxalism set in. "I had to save the life of our adivasi brothers and sisters who live in the entire eastern belt (of Gujarat) - from Ambaji to Umargam. I had to work hard to ensure they were not inflicted with a disease like this. And for that, we took up the task of tribal area development," Modi said. The PM said he could say with satisfaction that the state's tribal people paid heed to his words and trusted him. "As a result, Naxalism could not enter this way. For this, I thank our adivasi brothers and sisters and express gratitude to them," Modi said. The PM said earlier Gujarat even had a chief minister from the tribal community. "But from Umargam to Ambaji, the schools did not have even the science stream. If there is no science (education) in Class 10 and 12, however you talk about reservation, can these children become doctors or engineers?" he asked. Modi said his government's efforts have ensured that tribal youth become doctors and engineers and fly planes. "Lakhs of them get scholarships. We have universities named after adivasis -- the Birsa Munda Tribal University and the Govind Guru University. Today, new confidence and opportunities have risen up for our adivasi youth," he said. Modi said it was because of the collective efforts of the people of India, especially the young generation, farmers, labourers, small businessmen and industrialists that the Indian economy now ranks fifth, as against the 10th position when he took over as the PM in 2014. "And not just that, when it went from sixth to fifth position, the country felt a special pride because those at the fifth position were the ones who ruled us for 250 years. We were their slaves, and now our youth have taken my country ahead," he said. For this, the young generation, farmers, laborers, small businessmen, small industrialists--they all deserve fame, he said. "When the country has reached fifth (position) from 10th, then the rights belong to you and your effort," he added. PM Modi also lauded the contribution of Bharuch district in the development of Gujarat and India. "Today, my Bharuch is known for industry, trade, ports...the country's first bulk drug park is going to be set up in Gujarat, and that too in Bharuch," he said. He also said the foundation stone for the Ankleshwar airport (in Bharuch district) was being laid now, something which he tried to get from the Centre when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, but "leaders from Bharuch who were sitting in Delhi did not listen" to him. Bharuch has more industries compared to many small states in the country. The number of jobs provided by Bharuch is a record in itself, he said. With the new airport, development will gain pace. The work on the airport will be completed fast with the "double engine governments of Narendra-Bhupendra," the PM said.

  • "Urban Naxals Trying To Enter Gujarat In New Appearances": PM Modi
  • Ndtv

    PM Modi was speaking after laying the foundation stone of the country's first bulk drug park.Bharuch: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said 'Urban Naxals' were trying to gain entry into Gujarat by changing their appearance, but the state will not allow them to destroy the lives of youth.PM Modi was speaking after laying the foundation stone of the country's first bulk drug park in Gujarat's Bharuch district."Urban Naxals are trying to enter the state with new appearances. They have changed their costumes. They are misleading our innocent and energetic youth into following them," Modi said in a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is trying to make inroads into Gujarat ahead of the state Assembly polls due later this year.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"The Urban Naxals are setting foot from above. We won't let them destroy our young generation. We should warn our children against the Urban Naxals who have taken up the task of destroying the country. They are agents of foreign powers. Gujarat will not bow down its head against them, Gujarat will destroy them," PM Modi said.PM Modi also said when he took over as the Prime Minister in 2014, the Indian economy was ranked 10th in the world, and it has now come to the fifth position.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)