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Didi blames Centre for North Bengal flood

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday blamed the Centre for the flood situation in the northern districts of the state. She also flagged her concerns over the Centre's plan for sharing water of Teesta river with Bangladesh. Ms Banerjee said at the state secretariat Nabanna, North Bengal has been flooded. Sikkim has been witnessing rainfall for the last few days. Many roads have been hit by landslides. This has left several tourists trapped. Every year parts of Kalimpong get hit by landslides due to flooding in the Teesta river during the rainy season. She elaborated, There is a fear of blood in the North Bengal districts. We run a monitoring system every year to keep a tab on the situation. A contact number should be made available to the public for assistance. In Malda, riverbank erosion in Ganga has been reported in some places. The CM alleged, It is the lookout of the central government. However it is not looking into the situation for the last 10-12 years. No dredging has been done at Farakka. The Centre is now talking about renewing the Farakka water treaty (with Bangladesh) without informing us. She claimed, It is very unfortunate that we, being the main party, were not informed when the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh discussed it. Talks of sharing water of Teesta also are on. But is there water in Teesta for sharing? If it happens, people of North Bengal won't get drinking water. The Trinamul Congress supremo even argued Teesta river has become dry due to 14 hydel power projects that have come up in Sikkim. The central government should have taken care when these projects came up.

Deccan Chronicle 8 Jul 2024 8:29 pm

West Bengal: Malda Mango Exports Hit As Sellers Fetch Better Prices Locally

Wholesale prices of mangoes have surged by 50-80% due to a combination of low crop and high-quality produce. Around 17 tonnes of Malda mangoes were sold at Rs 100-150/kg in an expo in Delhi.

Bloomberg Quint 6 Jul 2024 1:56 pm

Bengal's Malda mango exports hit, sellers getting better prices in domestic market

Mango exports from Malda, West Bengal faced challenges this year as overseas buyers couldn't agree on prices, leading to a surge in domestic sales. Production dropped by 60% due to adverse weather conditions. Himsagar mango variety highly valued. Government support needed for growers.

The Economic Times 6 Jul 2024 12:38 pm

Siliguri Strikers women's team signs off maiden Bengal Pro T20 League with thrilling win

Siliguri Strikers women's team signs off maiden Bengal Pro T20 League with thrilling win The Siliguri Strikers women's team wrapped up their inaugural Bengal Pro T20 League campaign with a nail-biting win over Smashers Malda at the Jadavpur University campus ground in Salt Lake. In a match filled with excitement, the Siliguri Strikers women's team, led by Priyanka Bala, triumphed over Smashers Malda by a narrow margin of 2 runs. This victory marked their final game in the Bengal Pro T20 League, ensuring they ended the season on a high note. The Siliguri Strikers had several close encounters throughout the league, often falling just short of victory. However, they displayed remarkable determination in their last match, securing a thrilling win. Reflecting on the team's performance, Rishabh Bhatia, owner of the Siliguri Strikers said, I'm incredibly proud of our team's performance, especially in our maiden campaign. The girls showed great spirit and determination. While we faced some tough matches, ending the season with a win is a testament to their hard work and dedication. In the final game, the Siliguri Strikers set a target of 128/4 in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to crucial contributions from Priti Mondal, Samayita Adhikari, and Priyanka Bala. Chasing 129, Smashers Malda came close but ultimately fell short, despite a valiant 48-run effort from Piyali Ghosh, losing by just 2 runs. Meanwhile, the Siliguri Strikers men's team won two matches before ending their campaign. The Strikers' season saw them clinch two victories, with significant contributions from key players like skipper Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, pacer Akash Deep, and batter Tarun Godara. In their maiden campaign, Siliguri Strikers represented Siliguri and other catchment areas such as Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, and Kalimpong. Fans were excited to see their favourite players take the field in the tournament. The Bengal Pro T20 League which was conceptualized on the lines of the IPL involving eight franchise teams in both the men's and women's categories, enthralled fans with some impressive performances from the Siliguri Strikers players. (ANI)

devdiscourse 25 Jun 2024 8:31 pm

BSF Foils Cattle Smuggling Attempts at India-Bangladesh Border

BSF Foils Cattle Smuggling Attempts at India-Bangladesh Border In a significant operation on Sunday, Border Security Force (BSF) personnel thwarted a cattle smuggling attempt by Bangladeshis at the international border in West Bengal. According to an official statement, jawans of the 146th battalion at Madhubana border outpost in Berhampore sector noticed suspicious activity involving five to six individuals attempting to cross the unfenced stretch of the border with two bovine animals. Upon being challenged, the intruders threatened the jawans with sharp weapons. As a defensive measure, one jawan fired a stun grenade; however, the assailants surrounded and attacked him. In self-defense, the jawan fired two rounds, causing the miscreants to flee toward Bangladesh, utilizing the darkness and tall crops for cover. The jawans later seized two medium-sized bulls and two sharp weapons from the location. A similar incident occurred a day earlier at Lodhia border outpost in Malda, where jawans of the 70th battalion observed 14-15 Bangladeshis carrying spears and swords. After crossing into India, the smugglers attacked BSF personnel, prompting them to fire stun grenades and eventually two rounds for self-defense. Following the incidents, the BSF held a meeting with Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), lodging a protest against the unprovoked attacks. The recent confrontations have heightened the urgency for cross-border security cooperation.

devdiscourse 23 Jun 2024 3:10 pm

Cash-for-job trap: Bengal youth finds name in recruitment list without applying

Kolkata: In a strange turn of events, a youth in West Bengal found his name in the list of appointed food sub-inspectors in the state Food & Supplies Department without even applying for the job. Golam Sarwar Alam Siddique from Malda district was caught by surprise on Saturday morning after he saw his name in Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 22 Jun 2024 8:00 pm

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury resigns as Bengal Congress chief

KOLKATA:Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury resigned as the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chiefon Thursday after a meeting withthe state unit. After a meeting with the stateunit of Congress Chowdhury said, I am a temporarystate Congress president. The full time president will be elected soon. However, there is no official confirmation from the Congress leadership on whether his resignation has been accepted. Speculations have already surfaced over who would succeed him. Confirming his resignation, Chowdhury said, Since Mallikarjun Kharge became the Congress's national president, there was no state president. Now when the full-time President is appointed you will all come to know that. Incidentally, he made this announcement just a day after the Congress's Rajya Sabha member and former Union Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, dropped in at the state secretariat Nabanna and had a 35-minute meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Adhir Chowdhury, a five-time party Lok Sabha MP from Murshidabad's Berhampur constituency, was defeated by the Trinamool Congress's celebrity candidate and former Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan. News about Chowdhury's differences with the party's high command has been doing the rounds for quite some time over the issue of the party's relationship with the Trinamool. Adhir Chowdhury has always been vocal about his views on having an electoral understanding with the CPI(M)-led Left Front. His differences with Mallikarjun Kharge also surfaced during the Lok Sabha polls. Bengal Congress insiders said that the current party Lok Sabha member from Malda-Dakshin, Isha Khan Chowdhury, Congress's lone Lok Sabha MP from Bengal now, is one of the frontrunners for the top job in the party's Bengal unit.

The New Indian Express 21 Jun 2024 7:27 pm

BSF forced to open fire on Bdeshi cattle smugglers along India-Bdesh border

Kolkata, June 21 (IANS) Border Security Force (BSF) personnel of the South Bengal Frontier were forced to open fire on Bangladeshi cattle smugglers for the second day running along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal in the wee hours of Friday. The latest incident occurred in Malda district under the jurisdiction of JJ Pur Border []

bhaskarlive 21 Jun 2024 7:25 pm

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Resigns as West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee Chief

Kolkata: A dhir Ranjan Chowdhury has resigned from his position as the chief of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee. This announcement came following a meeting of the state unit convened to analyze the party's poor performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections. While Chowdhury confirmed his resignation, there has been no official confirmation from the Congress leadership regarding its acceptance. Speculation is rife about who will succeed him in the role.Chowdhury remarked, Since Mallikarjun Kharge became the Congress's national president, there was no state president. Now when the full-time President is appointed you will all come to know that. This announcement followed a visit by Congress's Rajya Sabha member and former Union Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, to the state secretariat Nabanna, where he had a 35-minute meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.Chowdhury, a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Murshidabad's Baharampur constituency, lost his seat to the Trinamool Congress's celebrity candidate and former Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan. Reports of Chowdhury's differences with the party's high command have circulated for some time, particularly concerning the party's relationship with the Trinamool Congress. He has consistently voiced his preference for an electoral understanding with the CPI(M)-led Left Front, and his disagreements with Mallikarjun Kharge surfaced during the Lok Sabha polls. Insiders within the Bengal Congress suggest that Isha Khan Chowdhury, the current Lok Sabha member from Maldaha-Dakshin and the Congress's lone Lok Sabha MP from Bengal, is a leading contender to replace Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the party's state unit chief. Trump's Shift on Immigration Policy: Automatic Green Cards for Graduates Motorola users are in for a treat! This 5G phone has Android 14, will you get it? Flipkart Prepares for Major Launch of 'Flipkart Minutes' Service

News Track 21 Jun 2024 7:11 pm

Southwest monsoon covers entire Andhra Pradesh

The Northeast Monsoon rains have ceased over Rayalaseema and the adjoining areas of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Kerala's Mahe, south interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu-Puducherry-Karaikal and Yanam since Sunday. (Representation image: DC) The Northeast Monsoon rains have ceased over Rayalaseema and the adjoining areas of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Kerala's Mahe, south interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu-Puducherry-Karaikal and Yanam since Sunday. (Representation image: DC) Visakhapatnam: The southwest monsoon has covered the entire Andhra Pradesh by Thursday. The monsoons set in over the state on June 2 but remained sluggish due to lack of monsoon troughs in the Bay of Bengal. Director of IMD Amaravati, Stella S., said the rainfall so far this month was above the normal level. The highest departure was witnessed in Annamaya district with 172.7 mm against the normal fall of 46.7 mm. Nandyal district received 210.3 mm against a normal fall of 57.5 mm and Sri Sathya Sai district received 149.4 mm against a normal fall of 43.8 mm. Some districts recorded deficit rainfall this month. East Godavari received 30.9 mm against normal fall of 75.7 mm and Alluri Sitarama Raju district received 64.2 mm rainfall against the normal fall of 111.1 mm. The monsoon has advanced into some more parts of Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, northwest Bay of Bengal, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and some parts of Bihar. The northern limit of the monsoon now passes through Amaravati, Gondia, Durg, Rampur (Kalahandi), Malda, Bhagalpur and Raxaul. Conditions are favourable for further advancement of southwest monsoon into some more parts of North Arabian Sea, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, northwest Bay of Bengal, some parts of the Gangetic West Bengal, remaining parts of sub-Himalayan West Bengal, some parts of Jharkhand, some more parts of Bihar and some parts of East Uttar Pradesh during the next three to four days. The cyclonic circulation over coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining Telangana at 5.8 km above mean sea level has become less marked. Thunderstorms accompanied by lightning were likely at isolated places over north and south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Yanam and Rayalaseema till June 24. Gusty winds with speed reaching 40 kmph to 50 kmph likely over the same place North Coastal AP, Yanam, South Coastal AP and Rayalaseema, IMD said in its daily report.

Deccan Chronicle 20 Jun 2024 10:21 pm

Kanchanjunga Train Accident: FIR on dead train driver for mishap; Toll reaches 11

Kolkata: A day after the railway accident in Darjeeling of West Bengal, an FIR was lodged against the deceased driver of the goods train that had overshot the signal and rammed into the Kanchenjunga Express near Siliguri. The case on several charges including 304(II) (act is done with knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death) of the Indian Penal Code was initiated at New Jalpaiguri government railway police station. It came following a complaint by an injured passenger of the ill-fated Sealdah-bound train on Monday. While the deceased driver was identified as Anil Kumar, his assistant has been admitted to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Eastern Railway spokesperson Kaushik Mitra informed that a paper memo (T/A912) was issued to the drivers of both the trains to run at a speed of 10 km per hour since automatic signals were not functioning between Ranipatra and Chatterhat stations. He also pointed out that the goods train driver was advised to maintain a distance of around 150 metres from the previous train. But the goods train was moving at a speed of 75-78 km per hour. North Bengal development minister Udayan Guha however blamed the railways of passing the buck to the goods train driver, as he is no more, to cover up it's faults. Meanwhile, the death toll increased to 11 on Tuesday as a passenger succumbed to her injuries at hospital. The victim, Sneha Mondal, was a six-year-old girl from Malda in North Bengal. She was returning home with her parents on the Kanchenjunga Express from Agartala. Her injured parents are undergoing treatment. In Kolkata, family members of another deceased railway staff, Shankar Mohan Das, vented their anger against the ministry officials for lack of coordination in bringing his body home. Das, who was on extension in railway mailing department after his retirement from service, was a resident of Shib Krishna Daw Lane Maniktala. He was in one of the two parcel vans of the passenger train which were derailed after the collision on Monday. State minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim, who visited the Das family, alleged, The body was stuck in traffic. None from the railway ministry accompanied it for transportation. We arranged everything. The railway operations to North Bengal and Assam from Kolkata however remained affected as 22 trains were diverted and delayed during the day.

Deccan Chronicle 19 Jun 2024 10:33 am

Unaffected coaches of Kanchanjunga Express reach Sealdah with survivors

The unaffected coaches of the Kanchanjunga Express, which was hit by a goods train near New Jalpaiguri, leaving 10 dead and several injured, arrived at Sealdah station here on Tuesday morning with nearly 850 passengers, according to an Eastern Railway official. At least four rear coaches of the train were severely damaged in the collision at Rangapani, about 10 km from New Jalpaiguri station, on Monday morning. Around 800 to 850 passengers arrived at Sealdah at 3.16 am, ER spokesperson Kausik Mitra said. The unaffected coaches began their onward journey from the accident site on Monday afternoon. The passengers were provided with medical facilities, food, and water at various stations, including Malda Town and Sealdah, he added. Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim, West Bengal Transport Minister Snehasis Chakraborty, and Divisional Railway Manager of Sealdah Division Deepak Nigam were present at Sealdah station to help passengers reach home safely, Mitra said. Train 13174 Kanchanjunga .

Business Standard 18 Jun 2024 3:53 pm

Kanchanjunga Exp passengers ordeal ends after 8 hrs

The hapless passengers, who went through the ordeal and horror of the accident, were provided with medical facilities, food and water at various stations, including Malda town and also at Sealdah during the journey, he said.

Rediff 18 Jun 2024 11:18 am

Trains Route Changed: Routes of these 24 trains including Vande Bharat, Rajdhani changed, see the full list before traveling

Trains Route Changed: After the Kanchenjunga rail accident in Katihar division, the routes of 24 trains including Vande Bharat and Rajdhani have been changed. These include trains running between Malda and Katihar. Their routes have been changed. Trains Route Changed: After the fierce collision between Kanchenjunga and a goods train between Rangia and Nijbari railway [] The post Trains Route Changed: Routes of these 24 trains including Vande Bharat, Rajdhani changed, see the full list before traveling first appeared on informalnewz .

informalnewz 18 Jun 2024 10:26 am

Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra among top Indian stars to be retained by franchises for UTT 2024

Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra among top Indian stars to be retained by franchises for UTT 2024 The experienced duo of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra were among the five Indian paddlers who were retained by their respective franchises ahead of the upcoming Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) 2024, which will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai from August 22 to September 7. Last season's runners-up Chennai Lions retained the services of legend Sharath Kamal, while Bengaluru Smashers opted to continue with the highest-ranked Indian, Batra, as the franchises preferred to stick with their top paddlers for the upcoming season, a statement from the tournament read. The franchise-based league has been a game-changer for Indian table tennis since its inception in 2017. It will be an eight-team league for the first time, providing a platform for young Indian paddlers to exhibit their talent alongside the world's elite players. This significant expansion aims to elevate the standard of competition and foster the growth of emerging talent within the sport. Defending champions Goa Challengers have retained Harmeet Desai, who played a pivotal role in their success last season, while Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will continue with Dabang Delhi TTC. U Mumba TT have also extended their association with talented youngster Manav Thakkar for yet another season. According to the rules of the league, the six existing franchises were allowed to retain one Indian player. Puneri Paltan Table Tennis, who have decided not to retain any player, and new entrants Jaipur Patriots and Ahmedabad SG Pipers will select a player of their choice in the first round of the player draft. The first round will have only three picks. The countdown for the new season began with all eight franchises picking up one foreigner and one Indian coach from the Coach Draft and will now look to build a six-player squad that will include four Indians and two foreigners (one male and one female). The new season will also see a change in the tournament format due to the inclusion of two more teams. The eight teams will now be divided into two groups of four teams each. Each franchise will play five ties during the league stage, facing the other three teams within their respective group and two randomly selected teams from the other group once. The top two teams from each group will then qualify for the semi-finals. Retained Players: Chennai Lions: Sharath KamalDabang Delhi TTC: Sathiyan GnanasekaranGoa Challengers: Harmeet DesaiPBG Bengaluru Smashers: Manika BatraU Mumbai TT: Manav Thakkar. (ANI)

devdiscourse 16 Jun 2024 4:10 pm

Global business summit in November stands cancelled after rise in bird flu cases

KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that this year the state government will not hold the Bengal Global Business Summit which was scheduled in November owing to a spurt of bird flu cases. According to Banerjee, although no cases have been reported yet in Bengal, a team of health department officials have been formed to assess the ground situation. She feels that the situation is not conducive to hold a global business summit as hundreds of delegates from outside Bengal come every year. The state has already conducted a screening of around 29,000 birds from Kaliachak in Malda district and the district officials are in the process of screening more birds. It may be mentioned that a four-year-old girl from the district was diagnosed with the disease in January and recovered after treatment. After that incident bird flu scare again erupted in Bengal and thus health department officials are looking after the situation. Last year Banerjee proposed an investment proposal of Rs 3.76 lakhs crore at the 7 th Bengal Business Summit. Last year the countrys top industrialists, from Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani to Harshvardhan Neotia and Sajjan Jindal attended the seventh edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS). Apart from them a host of foreign delegates joined the Summit. Last year the focus areas are two sectors manufacturing and industries and infrastructure, including energy and transport.

The New Indian Express 14 Jun 2024 7:46 am

West Bengal Declared Bird Flu-Free Amid Tense Surveillance

West Bengal Declared Bird Flu-Free Amid Tense Surveillance None of the samples of poultry birds from various parts of West Bengal tested positive for bird flu, a senior official confirmed on Thursday, ensuring the public that there is no cause for alarm. Health Secretary N S Nigam stated that the state government is not considering any restrictions on the consumption of poultry items at this time. The situation in West Bengal is normal, and there is nothing to worry about. We have carried out active influenza surveillance, and not a single person was affected by the virus, Nigam told reporters. There was no human-to-human transmission of the disease. The health department is not issuing any advisories on restricting chicken, eggs, and other poultry items, he said. Nigam also mentioned that a total of 30,000 samples collected throughout the year from different parts of West Bengal were tested at the state-run Belgachia Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals. Thirty percent of the samples are sent for retesting at the Bhopal-based ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, he added. The health department highlighted a four-year-old child from Kaliachak in Malda district was diagnosed with the disease in January but recovered after treatment. Another child who traveled from the city to Australia in February tested positive for avian influenza after arriving there. After that incident, we conducted active surveillance of the family members and other persons, and none tested positive for the virus. What we can say is that the source of the virus was not Bengal, Animal Resources Development Additional Chief Secretary Vivek Kumar said. Meanwhile, a team comprising senior health department officials and World Health Organization (WHO) representatives conducted another round of evaluation in Maldas Kaliachak on Thursday, finding no evidence of infection. The H9N2 bird flu virus is a subtype of the avian influenza virus, which spreads through direct contact with infected animals or indirectly through contaminated environments.

devdiscourse 13 Jun 2024 9:29 pm

No Bird Flu Case In Bengal Now, Team Formed To Evaluate Situation: Official

The state has already conducted a screening of around 29,000 birds from Kaliachak in Malda district

News18 12 Jun 2024 11:15 pm

Widespread rainfall expected in 5 districts of North Bengal up to June 18: IMD

Widespread rainfall expected in 5 districts of North Bengal up to June 18: IMD Widespread rainfall is expected in 5 districts of North Bengal up to June 18, said Head Eastern Region, IMD Kolkata Dr Somnath Dutta. He added that Kolkata is expected to get rain on June 16, 17 and 18. Dr Dutta said, Today widespread rainfall has been predicted in 5 districts of North Bengal including Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar. In North Dinajpur, there is a forecast of scattered rainfall while in Maldah and South Dinajpur, there is a prediction of isolated rainfall. In South West Bengal except Howrah, Kolkata and coastal districts, there is prediction of isolated rainfall elsewhere. He further said that for June 13 also forecast is also similar for North Bengal and widespread rainfall is predicted in the 5 districts, scattered in North Dinajpur and isolated in the other two districts. In South Bengal isolated rainfall is predicted except Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata and 24 Parganas. On June 14 in South Bengal, all districts will have scattered or isolated rainfall except Howrah, Hoogly, Kolkata and in North Bengal widespread rainfall is expected 5 districts, fairly widespread rainfall in North Dinajpur and scattered rainfall in remaining districts. On June 15 widespread rainfall is expected in 5 districts in North West Bengal. Fairly widespread rainfall in other districts. In South Bengal rainfall is predicted in all districts and among them Birbhum, West Burdwan, Bankura, West Medinipur and Jhargram districts will receive fairly widespread rainfall and other districts will receive scattered rainfall, he added. He further said that on the 16th, 17th and 18th widespread rain is forecasted in North Bengal in 5 districts and moderate rain in all south districts. He further said, Today there is a warning of heavy rainfall in North Bengal. There is a red alert in Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar. In Darjeeling and Cooch Behar there is forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall. In other districts rainfall with thunderstorms is expected with wind speeds 30 kmph to 40 kmph. In South Bengal severe heatwave warnings in 3 districts, West Burdwan, West Medinipur and Purulia districts. Mild heatwave warning in Jhargram and Bankura districts. Extremely humid and sweaty weather in Birbhum, Hoogly, East Bardhaman, Murshidabad. He further said that Kolkata is expected to get rain on 16, 17 and 18. (ANI)

devdiscourse 12 Jun 2024 10:10 pm

WHO: Bird Flu Found in WB; second Case in India After 5 Years

Kolkata : A four-year-old girl from West Bengal was diagnosed with Bird Flu last month, becoming the second patient of human infection of avian influenza A(H9N2) in India, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The first case was reported in 2019 in the country. On Wednesday the WHO said, On 22 May 2024, the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point (NFP) for India reported to WHO a case of human infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) virus detected in a child resident of West Bengal state in India. It added that the girl had exposure to poultry at home and in the surroundings but no one else had reported her symptoms. On January 26, the child, who is from Manikchak in Malda of North Bengal, was diagnosed with hyperreactive airway disease and was taken to a paediatrician with fever and abdominal pain. Three days later, she developed seizures and was taken to the same paediatrician again for treatment. On February 1, the girl was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (ICU) of a local hospital with severe respiratory distress, recurrent high-grade fever and abdominal cramps and was diagnosed with post-infectious bronchiolitis caused by viral pneumonia. On February 2, the patient tested positive for influenza B and adenovirus at the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at the local government hospital. She was discharged from the hospital on February 28. However, on March 3, she was referred to another government hospital with a recurrence of severe respiratory distress and was admitted to the paediatric ICU and intubated. On March 5, a nasopharyngeal swab was sent to the Kolkata Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory and tested positive for influenza A (not sub-typed) and rhinovirus. The same sample was sent to the National Influenza Centre at the National Institute of Virology in Pune for subtyping. On April 26, the sample was sub-typed as influenza A(H9N2) through a real-time polymerase chain reaction. On May 1, the girl was discharged from the hospital with oxygen support. She has been stable at home, a state health department official said.

Deccan Chronicle 12 Jun 2024 7:48 pm

West Bengal Maintains Bird Flu-Free Status Despite Recent Case

West Bengal Maintains Bird Flu-Free Status Despite Recent Case West Bengal currently reports no bird flu cases as the state government intensifies efforts to monitor the health situation, a senior official confirmed on Tuesday. After a four-year-old girl from Malda district was diagnosed with the H9N2 virus in January, extensive screening has been conducted. A survey of approximately 29,000 birds from the region showed no further infections, authorities stated. The young girl has recovered, and her health is being closely monitored. A team comprising health department officials and WHO representatives has been formed to reassess the state's status. The girl's family, who owns a poultry farm, underwent thorough health checks, but no additional infections were detected. The H9N2 virus spreads through contact with infected animals or contaminated environments.

devdiscourse 12 Jun 2024 6:34 pm

Congress leadership in a depression in Bengal after Lok Sabha results

Party cadres are clueless as Trinamool tries to expand its base By Tirthankar Mitra KOLKATA: The debacle of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal was not at all unexpected. With only Malda (South) Lok Sabha constituency in Congress kitty out of 42 seats in the state, the Grand Old Party is [] The post Congress leadership in a depression in Bengal after Lok Sabha results appeared first on Northlines .

The Northlines 7 Jun 2024 11:32 pm

Doing it the Didi way: How Mamata confounded predictions and proved Bengal is hers again

When the sun rose on Tuesday, June 4, not many gave an outside chance to West Bengal's ruling All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) to stem the saffron tide in the state. In fact, many were wondering if she might wobble out when assembly polls are held two years later. But by the time the sun was at its zenith the same day, the tables had turned. TMC went on to clinch 29 seats in the Lok Sabha election 2024. Didi had reduced the BJP to just 12 seats from the 18 they won in 2019. This despite the BJP, PM Modi and Amit Shah giving the state elections their all. What lay behind the comeback? Still Bengal's didi Mamata herself is still the didi she was. While many TMC leaders are facing corruption charges, the party chairperson remains unscathed. She is known to maintain a humble lifestyle since her time as an activist. She is an enigma to many. A strong, yet vulnerable person. An astute politician, but one who calls a spade a spade. She remains a leader in whom the followers can repose their faith. She is also looked up to as a person who cares. For the older generation, she is the leader who stood up against the Left's alleged oppression and inertia. For the youth, she is an icon of rebellion and change. Her role as a generous patron of sports and festivities adds to the charisma. In addition, special schemes like Swasthyasathi for health and government initiatives for women and minorities helped her earn support. Women power Then there was Lakshmir Bhandar, where eligible women from the SC and ST category are given Rs 1,000 per month and those from other categories Rs 500. A revised amount of Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,000 respectively has been announced for 2024-25. There is also a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 and an annual scholarship of Rs 500 for eligible girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in classes VIII-XII in recognised schools or training courses. This is for girls from families with annual family income not more than Rs 1, 20,000, or orphans, or with 40% disability, etc. Perhaps that's why women voters seem to have backed Mamata. In Phase 1 of the Lok Sabha election 2024, 82.59% women cast their vote against 81.25% men in the state, when the national percentages were 66.07 and 66.22 respectively. In Phase 2, they surpassed men with a 77.99% turnout against 75.22%, when across the country, 66.42% female turned up at polling booths to 66.99% male. In the third phase, the number of women went up to 83.01% against 72.21% men, as the nation witnessed a turnout of 64.41% female voters to 66.89% male. In the fourth phase, women (81.49%) again bettered men (79%), while the figures at the national level were 68.73% and 69.58% respectively. In the next two phases, women voters in the state recorded a 78.43% and 83.83% turnout, with males at 78.48% and 81.62%. At the time of writing, the male-female breakup is awaited from the Election Commission. Women MPs in the18th Lok Sabha TMC: 38% BJP: 12% Am on Instagram> https://t.co/kLo5Wi9EAV pic.twitter.com/zFoMCxoNIT Derek O'Brien | ' (@derekobrienmp) June 5, 2024 Minorities While women were seen backing didi, minority voters were also turning to her. The border districts like Malda, Murshidabad, among others are among the few areas in the country where the minority population is in majority. The last Census of India conducted in 2011 records Muslims constituting over 51% of the undivided Malda district's population of about 40 lakhs. Unofficial estimates now put that number at around 69%. The polarisation is such that despite the demography, in one of the two Lok Sabha constituencies in this district ( Maldaha Uttar ), the BJP candidate has won the seat twice in a row, including in 2024. The split of the minority votes between the TMC and Congress, who fielded a Muslim candidate, also came to Khagen Murmu's aid this time. The other seat here ( Maldaha Dakshin ) saw Isha Khan Choudhury of the Congress register his party's lone win in the state. But TMC had better luck elsewhere. To Malda's south lies the district of Murshidabad where the last Census recorded Muslims comprising 66.27% of its population of over 71 lakh people in 2011. Estimates put Muslim population in the former at a formidable 72%. Here the TMC candidate Abu Taher Khan bested CPM stalwart Mohammed Salim. Didi's government has several schemes for minorities which include honorarium to the imam and muezzin, funds meant for the establishment of hostels and for stipend to poor and meritorious students of the minority community. The outreach paid dividends in 2024. Though Muslim electors, most of whom are from adjoining Bangladesh, do not repose their faith in a non-Bengali minority candidate, Yusuf Pathan proved to be a rare example in 2024. In fact, he turned into a giant slayer. The cricketer-turned-politician, who challenged Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on his home turf of Baharampur (in Murshidabad district), won convincingly with a margin of over 85,000 votes despite being a greenhorn. Pathan, from Gujarat, got the support of minorities, purportedly since he represented the TMC. His sporting background added to the final score. The TMC outsiders who won Pathan wasn't the only outsider from the party to win. Film star Shatrughan Sinha and cricketer Kirti Azad, who are from the adjacent state of Bihar, were leaders of the BJP and then Congress. While the former lost from Patna Sahib (Bihar) in 2019 on a Congress ticket in 2019 and subsequently joined TMC, Azad lost from Dhanbad (Jharkhand), again as a Congress candidate. Sinha was reinstated in the TMC and won the Asansol seat in a bye-election and he retained it in 2024, while Azad found victory this time in Bardhaman-Durgapur Parliamentary seat. These three candidates were propped up by the TMC despite party leaders having coined the term bhariagata which means an outsider. For BJP, a party just evolving in West Bengal, there was no other option than finding leaders from other states to camp in the state or poach others as candidates. Thus, the TMC, which itself is a breakaway from the Congress, raised this slogan to fight their rivals. The big changes in Bengal's Lok Sabha elections in 2024 and the impact they could have Ekla Chalo Added to other factors was Mamata's decision to go to the hustings alone in 2024. She had formed the TMC in 1998 after leaving the Congress. But it was the same Congress that allied with her when she formed a government the first time in 2011. Now a wiped out Congress in the state could not help her in elections. She would only lose the seats that could land in her partys kitty. BJP was also a no-no though she had chosen to align with the NDA to strengthen herself against the then-ruling Left Front government in the initial years after forming her party. But, she knews that re-aligning with the saffron party could cost her the minority vote bank now. Another point was that arch-rivals with regional compulsions may shake hands elsewhere, but not on ground. In successive elections, Left parties' alliance with the Congress did not necessarily result in the conversion of the other's votes. Mamata does not need an ally anymore to rule West Bengal. Her charisma and tactics helped the TMC collect over 48% of the votes in the assembly election of 2021, an increase of about 3% over her victory in 2011. In the Lok Sabha polls, the share gradually increased from about 40% in 2014 to around 43% in 2019, and almost 46% in 2024. Therein lay the decision for ' ekla cholo re ', because she calculated that finally it would still be ' khela hobe ' for her

The New Indian Express 5 Jun 2024 9:49 pm

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury faces Uncertain Political Future After Defeat in Baharampur

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury faces Uncertain Political Future After Defeat in Baharampur A day after his defeat from the Baharampur parliamentary constituency, veteran Congress leader and five-time MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury voiced uncertainty about his political future on Wednesday. Chowdhury, a key figure for Congress in West Bengal, was comprehensively defeated by Trinamool Congresss star candidate, cricketer-turned-politician Yusuf Pathan, by a margin of over 85,000 votes. This defeat marks a significant loss for Congress, stripping them of one of their last strongholds in West Bengal and leaving the party with just the Malda Dakshin seat in the state. Chowdhury expressed apprehensions about his future and admitted neglecting his sources of income in his political journey, branding himself a 'BPL MP' and expressing concerns over how to move forward. In an interview with a Bengali TV channel, Chowdhury revealed plans to vacate his MP residence in the Capital, highlighting the personal impact of his political loss. He also delved into the dynamics with Mamata Banerjee's TMC, explaining his resistance to an alliance and seeking security assurances for his party workers amid fears of post-poll violence. Despite his electoral defeat, Chowdhury acknowledged the internal decisions of the Congress party and mentioned his attempts to resign from his state PCC chief position, staying on due to requests from senior leaders like Sonia Gandhi. He critiqued the partys campaign decisions in Baharampur, noting the absence of central leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge in the area during the elections. Chowdhury, who has been a consistent advocate for a Left-Congress alliance in Bengal to counter both the BJP and TMC, reflected on the diminishing impact of this coalition in recent elections. His efforts, often seen as defiant of the Congress high commands wishes, now face a harsh political reality amid the changing electoral landscape.

devdiscourse 5 Jun 2024 8:29 pm

Minority Votes Shape Political Landscape in West Bengal Elections

Minority Votes Shape Political Landscape in West Bengal Elections Political analysts highlight that votes from minority communities played a crucial role in shaping outcomes during the West Bengal elections. The ruling TMC leveraged these votes to dominate Muslim-majority pockets in the southern region. However, in the northern part of the state, the division of minority votes between the Left-Congress alliance and TMC facilitated victories for the BJP. Analysts note that in areas like Raiganj, Balurghat, and Malda North, the alliance candidates secured more votes than the BJP's winning margins. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, leader of the TMC, attributed BJP's northern successes to the Left-Congress collaboration. Despite challenges, TMC managed to gain the Cooch Behar seat and won Baharampur, overturning Congress's long-standing stronghold. With Muslims pivotal in this election, their votes were crucial in halting BJP's influence in south Bengal.

devdiscourse 5 Jun 2024 1:28 pm

In Bengal story, Didi is matchless

KOLKATA: All factors were apparently against Mamata Banerjee -- the voting stretched across all seven phases from April 19 to June 1, her rivals, both Right and Left, exerting enormous weight on her Trinamool Congress. And then amid an unbearable heat, around 78% of the electors, a turnout that left many northern states behind, came out to vote. The result shocked her adversaries: the Trinamool bagged 29 seats out of 42; the BJP stood distant second with 12 seats followed by Congress with a solitary number. Her principal opponent BJP sent in their best the dadas of the Bengal variety the judge- judge-turned-politician Abhijit Gangopadhyay (Tamluk), Dr Jayanta Roy (Jalpaiguri) Dilip Ghosh (Bardhman-Durgapur) Sukanta Majumder (Balurghat). Didi came out tops at the end of the day. So much so that the CMs nephew and party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee created a record of getting the biggest poll margin of 7 lakh votes from Diamond Harbour. Mamata has asked Abhishek to join the INDIA alliance meeting tomorrow. As the news of TMC victory poured in, hundreds of TMC supporters came out shouting joi Mamata joi, smearing each other with green abir. The biggest upset today was Congress Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury a five-term MP who lost to a non-political person and a cricketer Yusuf Pathan of TMC from Behrampore seat in Murshidabad district. The BJPs tally came down to 12 from its earlier tally of 18. While the partys candidate from Malda South, Shahnawaz Ali Raihan, polled third, the Congress Isha Khan Chowdhury managed to secure Ghani Khan Chowdhurys legacy from the seat. Isha will take over the seat from his father, Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury. In Malda North, like the last time around, a split of votes between the Congress and the TMC handed a win to incumbent BJP MP Khagen Murmu.In her presser, Mamata complained that BJP observers were not giving the mandatory certificates of victory to the party. The BJP and Modi ji have so much arrogance. He threatened everyone, all leaders, MPs, MLAs and councillors in our state. He even sent money to influence the voters. Taking a swipe at PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, she said: You can control ECI, CBI, but INDIA bloc will take you down. Although BJP won 18 seats five years ago, its victory march was confined to regions having either a high number of tribal voters or a sizable population of Hindu Dalits, many of whom came from Bangladesh as refugees.

The New Indian Express 5 Jun 2024 7:24 am

Left draws a blank in West Bengal, Isha Khan wins for Congress

The only silver lining from the electoral understanding forged by the Left Front and Congress was the latters win from Malda Dakshin by a margin of 1.28 lakh votes

The Hindu 5 Jun 2024 4:08 am

Mixed Bag Results for Next Generation of Political Families

New Delhi: Next generation of political families mostly had a good outing in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with the likes of Bansuri Swaraj and Anil Antony on course to winning their respective seats while Karan Bhushan Singh has won.However, some are also trailing in their constituencies and are unlikely to emerge victorious. According to the latest data from Election Commission of India, BJP's Karan Bhushan Singh, son of former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, won having secured over 5,71,263 votes from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh. Swaraj, daughter of late BJP stalwart Sushma Swaraj is leading with 4,19,071 votes from the New Delhi constituency. Brij Bhushan Singh, a BJP veteran, was dropped following alleged sexual harassment cases filed by women wrestlers after which his youngest son Karan was nominated for the seat. Shrikant Shinde, son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde from the Shiv Sena, is maintaining a lead from the Kalyan seat by a margin of over 2.5 lakh votes. Suspended JD(S) leader Prajwal Revanna, grandson of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, who is accused of raping multiple women, was trailing by a margin of over 42,000 votes from the Hassan Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka. Meanwhile, Congress president M Mallikarjun Kharge's son-in-law Radhakrishna Doddamani won the Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka with a margin of 27,205 votes. BJP's Anil Antony, son of senior Congress leader A K Antony, is maintaining a lead having secured over 3.67 lakh votes from Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, according to the trends from EC website at 6 pm. Besides, Soumendu Adhikari, younger brother of BJP's Suvendu Adhikari, representing the BJP from Kanthi in West Bengal, was leading by a margin of 11,000 votes. Two of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's daughters had contrasting fortunes, with Misa Bharti leading from Patliputra constituency, while Rohini Acharya was trailing in Saran against Rajiv Pratap Rudy of the BJP. Son of Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, Isha Khan Choudhury from the Congress, is currently in the lead with 5,61,330 votes from Maldaha Dakshin in West Bengal. CPI(M) candidate Saira Shah Halim is trailing from Kolkata Dakshin. Saira's physician husband Fuad Halim was fielded by the CPI(M) from the Ballygunge seat in the 2021 assembly elections. Fuad's father and Saira's father-in-law, late Hashim Abdul Halim, was the longest-serving speaker in any of the state assemblies. Congress' Isha Khan Choudhury, son of Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, former Union minister of state for health and family welfare, is leading by a margin of 1,19,058 votes. His cousin Mausam Noor (daughter of Ghani Khan Choudhury's sister) is a member of Parliament.

Deccan Chronicle 4 Jun 2024 7:45 pm

TMC Leading in 24, BJP in 7, Cong in 3 Seats in Bengal

Kolkata: The TMC surged ahead of its rivals as it was leading in 24 seats, whereas the BJP was leading in seven and the Congress in three seats after the initial round of counting, the Election Commission website said. TMC candidate and sitting MP Abhishek Banerjee is leading in the Diamond Harbour constituency over his nearest rival BJP's Abhijit Das by a margin of 96,507 votes. TMC's Hooghly candidate Rachana Banerjee was over her nearest BJP rival and sitting MP Locket Chatterjee by a margin of over five thousand votes. TMC candidate and two-time MP Asit Mal was leading from Bolpur over her nearest rival BJP's Piya Saha by 6,010 votes. In Malda Dakshin, Congress candidate Isha Khan Choudhury was leading by 11,733 votes over his nearest BJP rival Sreerupa Mitra Chowdhury. In Jadavpur, TMC's Sayani Ghosh was leading by 8,048 votes over her nearest BJP rival Anirban Ganguly. In Malda Uttar, sitting MP and BJP candidate Khagen Murmu was leading by a margin of 11,119 votes over his nearest rival TMC's Prasun Banerjee. In Cooch Behar, BJP candidate and sitting MP Nisiht Pramanik was trailing by a margin of 5,529 votes against his TMC candidate Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia. In Krishnanagar's seat, BJP candidate Amrita Roy was leading by over 12,000 votes against her nearest rival of the TMC's Mahua Moitra. BJP candidate Rekha Patra of Basirhat, where Sandeshkhali is situated, was trailing against her nearest rival of TMC's Sheikh Nurul Islam by a margin of over his nearest rival TMC's Biswajit Das by over 8,480 votes. Heavyweight BJP candidate and BJP candidate Shantanu Thakur was leading in West Bengal's Bongaon seat- a Matua bastion - over his nearest rival TMC's Biswajit Das by over 5,389 votes. In Murshidabad constituency, CPI(M) state secretary Mohammed Salim was leading by a margin of 826 votes over his nearest rival of the TMC, Abu Taher Khan. Heavyweight BJP candidate and state president Sukanta Majumdar was trailing in West Bengal's Balurghat seat over his nearest rival TMC's Biplab Mitra by 9554 votes, as per the EC website. BJP candidate S S Ahluwalia was leading in West Bengal's Asansol seat over his nearest rival TMC's Shatrughan Sinha by 6,956 votes. TMC candidate Arup Chakraborty was ahead of BJP candidate and sitting MP Subhas Sarkar in Bankura Lok Sabha constituency by 3,765 votes. TMC candidate and party's Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandopadhyay, was leading by 98 votes from the Kolkata North seat over his nearest BJP rival BJP rival Tapas Roy. In the Bardhaman-Durgapur seat, TMC candidate Kirti Azad was leading by 6,526 votes over his nearest BJP rival Dilip Ghosh. In Kolkata's south seat, TMC candidate Mala Roy was leading over her nearest rival of the CPI (M) Saira Shah Halim by a margin of 12,491 votes. Counting of votes for 42 Lok Sabha constituencies began at 8 am.

Deccan Chronicle 4 Jun 2024 11:23 am

TMC Leading in 9, BJP in 2 Seats in Bengal

Kolkata: The TMC surged ahead of its rivals as it was leading in nine seats, whereas the BJP was leading in two and the Congress in one seat after the initial round of counting, the Election Commission website said. TMC candidate and sitting MP Abhishek Banerjee is leading in the Diamond Harbour constituency over his nearest rival BJP's Abhijit Das by a margin of 8707 votes. TMC's Hooghly candidate Rachana Banerjee was leading after counting postal ballots over her nearest BJP rival and sitting MP Locket Chatterjee. TMC candidate and two-time MP Asit Mal was leading from Bolpur over her nearest rival BJP's Piya Saha by 6010 votes. In Malda Dakshin, Congress candidate Isha Khan Choudhury was leading by 11,733 votes over his nearest BJP rival Srirupa Mitra Choudhury. In Jadavpur, TMC's Sayani Ghosh was leading by 8048 votes over her nearest BJP rival Anirban Ganguly. In Malda Uttar, sitting MP and BJP candidate Khagen Murmu was leading by a margin of 11,119 votes over his nearest rival TMC's Prasun Banerjee. In Cooch Behar, BJP candidate and sitting MP Nisiht Pramanik was trailing by a margin of 5529 votes against his TMC candidate Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia. In Kolkata's south seat, TMC candidate Mala Roy was leading over her nearest rival of the CPI(M) Saira Shah Halim by a margin of 12,491 votes. The counting of votes for 42 Lok Sabha constituencies began at 8 am.

Deccan Chronicle 4 Jun 2024 10:14 am

TMC and BJP in a Tight Race in West Bengal Lok Sabha Polls

TMC and BJP in a Tight Race in West Bengal Lok Sabha Polls The TMC and the BJP were locked in a neck-and-neck contest in the West Bengal Lok Sabha polls on Tuesday. The TMC was leading in 19 seats, while the BJP was ahead in 17 after the initial round of postal ballot counting, according to Election Commission officials. TMC candidate and sitting MP Abhishek Banerjee led in the Diamond Harbour constituency against his nearest BJP rival, Abhijit Das. From the Hooghly constituency, TMC's Rachana Banerjee led over BJP's sitting MP, Locket Chatterjee, after the counting of postal ballots. TMC candidate and three-time MP Satabdi Roy was ahead in Birbhum from BJP's Piya Saha. Meanwhile, heavyweight TMC candidate Saugata Roy trailed in Dum Dum, with BJP's Shilbhadra Dutta taking the lead, as per initial TV reports. In Malda Dakshin, Congress candidate Isha Khan Choudhury led by 5,812 votes over BJP's Srirupa Mitra Choudhury. In Jadavpur, TMC's Sayani Ghosh led by 4,409 votes over BJP's Anirban Ganguly. Bengali news channel ABP Ananda reported TMC leading in 20 seats, while BJP was ahead in 21 seats. Another local channel, TV 9 Bangla, reported TMC leading in 19 seats, BJP in 22, and Congress in one seat. Counting of votes for all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies began at 8 am.

devdiscourse 4 Jun 2024 9:29 am

Maldaha Dakshin Election Result 2024 Live Updates: Counting of Votes Starts Today

Maldaha Dakshin Election Result Live Updates: Get all the latest news and updates on Lok Sabha elections 2024 results on The Quint.

The Quint 4 Jun 2024 6:46 am

Maldaha Uttar Election Result 2024 Live Updates: Counting of Votes Starts Today

Maldaha Uttar Election Result Live Updates: Get all the latest news and updates on Lok Sabha elections 2024 results on The Quint.

The Quint 4 Jun 2024 6:46 am

BJP and CPI(M) Raise Alarm Over Possible Rigging in West Bengal Vote Counting

BJP and CPI(M) Raise Alarm Over Possible Rigging in West Bengal Vote Counting In a crucial move ahead of the Lok Sabha election results, BJP and CPI(M) representatives met West Bengal's Chief Electoral Officer on Monday, voicing serious concerns over potential vote count manipulation by the state government. They urged the CEO to enforce strict measures to ensure a fair and transparent counting process. BJP leader Shishir Bajoria raised alarms about post-election violence and claimed that the Trinamool Congress administration violated rules by engaging non-permanent staff in the counting process. Bajoria presented evidence from Malda station, indicating large-scale hiring of casual employees, against election guidelines. CPI(M) state secretary Md Salim, accompanied by party candidates, demanded a fair counting process on June 4, recalling rigging incidents from past panchayat elections. He called for stringent checks on the identification of counting staff to block any unauthorized personnel from entering the counting halls.

devdiscourse 3 Jun 2024 5:31 pm

Bengal Farmer Cultivates New Variety Of Mango That Is Available All Year Round

The cultivation of this breed of mango has started in the Malda district of West Bengal.

News18 29 May 2024 4:15 pm

Why predicting the Bengal outcome in Lok Sabha Polls 2024 is difficult

Amit Shah doesn't have an iota of a doubt. He believes the BJP will win 30 seats in the West Bengal Lok Sabha elections, an assertion he has made repeatedly including in his interview to The New Indian Express . Oh to have the certitude of India's home minister! Of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal, the state with the third-highest number of parliamentary seats after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, only a handful have remained out of public discussions in the 2024 Lok Sabha election with the contests there being perceived as oo one-sided. They include Darjeeling and Alipurduar in the northern part of the state, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is considered to have a clear edge over its rivals, and Jangipur in Murshidabad of central Bengal and Diamond Harbour and Kolkata South of southern Bengal, which are considered the strongholds of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC). All other seats have drawn public interest in varying degrees, as a lot has changed in the Bengal political landscape since the last Lok Sabha election. Northern equations On paper, Cooch Behar appears to be a safe seat for the BJP. In 2019, when many Cooch Behar residents were livid with frequent political clashes between warring factions of the TMC, expelled TMC youth wing leader Nishith Pramanik contested on a BJP ticket and defeated the TMC's incumbent by 54,231 votes. The BJP strengthened its position in the 2021 assembly election when its lead over the TMC in the seven assembly segments forming the Lok Sabha seat stood at 76,880 votes. In July 2021, Pramanik was rewarded with a ministerial berth, that of a junior minister in the Amit Shah-led home ministry. However, despite Pramanik's elevation, the BJP lost the November 2021 assembly by-election in Dinhata, Pramanik's home constituency, by a margin of 1.64 lakh votes. Since then, a cold tension has prevailed over the district, bursting out in political violence at intervals. The TMC, meanwhile, has checked its factional conflict. The BJP won the Jalpaiguri seat with a big margin of 1.84 lakh votes in 2019 but the 2021 assembly election results put the BJP only 12,000 votes ahead of the TMC. Besides, the TMC wrested one of the assembly seats from the BJP in the 2023 by-election and hopes to draw more votes as they have kept their promise of elevating Dhupguri town into a sub-divisional headquarters. In both these seats, the BJP in 2019 gained from a consolidation of the influential Rajbanshi community's votes in its favour. This time, the TMC believes a section of the community is disenchanted with the BJP. In 2019, the BJP's political greenhorn Sukanta Majumdar wrested the Balurghat Lok Sabha from the TMC by 33,293 votes. However, in the 2021 assembly election, the TMC had a lead of 88,920 votes over the BJP. If the TMC appeared to have regained ground, what seemed to be working in the BJP's favour is that Majumdar has since September 2021 become the president of the BJP's Bengal unit. It's a rare achievement for a leader from northern Bengal to head a major party's state unit. The Muslim Belt There are six Lok Sabha seats in the three Muslim-majority districts of northern-central Bengal Uttar Dinajpur, Malda and Murshidabad. In 2019, the BJP won Raiganj and Malda Uttar in four-cornered contests, while the Congress won Malda Dakshin and Baharampur and the TMC won Jangipur and Murshidabad. This time, except for Jangipur where the TMC is being seen as the favourite, five others are expected to see close three-cornered contests between the TMC, BJP and the Left-Congress alliance. 3 parties combine to make Bengal a bipolar contest In Nadia district of south Bengal, expelled Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra's Krishnanagar has become a prestige seat with the TMC renominating her and the BJP going all guns blazing to defeat the outspoken TMC leader. Moitra won the seat by a margin of 63,218 votes but the TMC's lead over the BJP in the 2021 assembly election stood at nearly 1.4 lakh. However, the 2023 panchayat election indicated the CPI(M) regained some votes it had lost to the BJP and the TMC. A three-cornered fight with a prominent CPI(M) leader in the fray has turned the contest interesting. Pulse of Polarisation The BJP won the other seat of the district, Ranaghat Lok Sabha, with a massive margin of 2.33 lakh votes, riding an overwhelming consolidation of the Matuas, a Scheduled Caste refugee community from Bangladesh who hold the key in Ranaghat and its neighbouring Bangaon Lok Sabha. The BJP's winning margin in Bangaon, which is in North 24-Parganas district, was 1.11 lakh votes. A majority of the Matuas support two of the BJP's major political planks a citizenship screening exercise to weed out illegal infiltrators (read Muslims) and full-proof citizenship to Hindu refugees . The BJP held both these bastions in the 2021 assembly election, winning 12 of the 14 assembly seats within these two Lok Sabha seats, though their lead over the TMC reduced to 1 lakh votes in Ranaghat and 14,468 votes in Bangaon. This time, while the BJP is hopeful of a 2019-like consolidation of Matua votes in their favour, the TMC expects to eat into their Matua support base. In both seats, the TMC candidates are turncoat BJP MLAs from the Matua community. TMC believes the complicated procedure of the recently notified Rules of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has upset many Matuas. The question is, is such disappointment cause enough for them to vote against the BJP? Past electoral equations keep the TMC ahead of the others in Bangaon's neighbouring Basirhat Lok Sabha, where Muslims form 46% of the population. TMC won the seat by a margin of 3.5 lakh votes in 2019 and its lead in 2021 was 3.71 lakh votes. The constituency shot to prominence recently as Sandeshkhali , which hogged the headlines due to anti-TMC mass agitation, is a part of it. While the BJP tried to polarise voters by citing alleged TMC atrocities in Sandeshkhali, especially on women, a string of sting operation video and audio recordings released by the TMC have created confusion among a section of voters about the veracity of the BJP's claims. Meanwhile, the Left-Congress alliance candidate, CPI(M)'s former Sandeshkhali MLA, is trying hard to cash in on anti-TMC sentiments over local corruption and high-handedness. Heartland Vibes Barasat in North 24-Parganas is a Lok Sabha seat less talked about, as it is considered a safe seat for the TMC. In 2019, the TMC won it by a margin of 1.1 lakh votes and its 2021 assembly election lead was 1.96 lakh votes. While the opposition appears organisationally weak, the BJP believes the incumbent's three consecutive terms spanning 15 years have developed a certain level of anti-incumbency. Barrackpore in the same district is one of the most keenly watched seats. In 2019, TMC MLA Arjun Singh contested on a BJP ticket and wrested the Lok Sabha from the TMC by 14,857 votes. However, TMC in 2021 had a lead of 97,800 votes, having won six of seven assembly seats. Singh switched back to the TMC in 2021 but rejoined the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election after the TMC refused him the ticket. He got the BJP ticket again to fight TMC minister Partha Bhowmik and political observers are curious to see if Singh holds the same clout as he held five years ago. In Kolkata and its neighbourhood, the Kolkata Uttar seat has drawn everybody's attention, as disgruntled TMC veteran and former minister Tapas Roy is contesting on a BJP ticket against the TMC incumbent Sudip Bandyopadhyay, another TMC veteran who served as the party's leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha. Even TMC leaders privately agree that Roy is a formidable candidate who can give Bandyopadhyay a run for his money. In Howrah district, where the BJP does not have a single MLA, the TMC appears to have an edge in both the seats they currently hold Howrah and Uluberia though the BJP is confident that the Howrah contest would be close. Of the four seats in the South 24-Parganas district all held by the TMC the ruling party is seen as a clear favourite in party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee's Diamond Harbour. Of the two seats covering the Sundarbans region, the TMC appears to have an edge in Jaynagar. In Mathurapur, the equations on paper place the TMC as the favourite but the BJP hopes to gain from communal polarisation that they say has quietly developed over the past couple of years. Jadavpur in South 24-Parganas, Sreerampur in Hooghly and Dumdum in North 24 Parganas districts all in Kolkata's outskirts - are expected to see three-cornered contests between the TMC, BJP and the Left-Congress alliance, though the TMC is perceived to have a slight edge. Jadavpur joust is on a razors edge The Rice Belt However, in BJP-held Hooghly and TMC-held Arambag, the equations on the ground have significantly changed in the last five years, which is why many are considering the TMC to be a favourite in Hooghly this time and the BJP in Arambag. Locals are expecting close contests in both seats. Contests in both seats in Purba Bardhaman district the BJP-held Bardhaman-Durgapur and the TMC-held Bardhaman Purba are expected to be close, in which the vote share of the Left-Congress alliance candidate can play a crucial role. The Left-Congress combined vote in the 2023 panchayat election was higher than the BJP's in both these seats. The BJP, though, hopes that their Lok Sabha candidates are stronger than the Left's in these seats and most of those who voted for the Left in the panchayat election will switch back to the BJP. Western Winds Asansol Lok Sabha in Paschim Bardhaman district is also a hot topic of discussions. The BJP won it in 2014 and 2019 but the TMC gained a lead over the BJP in seats here in the 2021 assembly election. After the BJP's incumbent, Babul Supriyo, resigned and joined the TMC, Mamata Banerjee's party wrested the Lok Sabha in a by-election. Now, it's a battle of two heavyweights, the TMC's incumbent, Shatrughan Sinha and the BJP's Surinder Singh Ahluwalia. Of the two seats in the Birbhum district the TMC-held Birbhum and Bolpur the TMC appears to be in an advantageous position in both due to the organisational weakness of the opposition. The Birbhum contest, however, can get closer due to communal polarisation on the one hand and the presence of the Left-Congress alliance candidate on the other. In the state's southwestern region called Jangalmahal, the TMC appears to have gained some ground in Jhargram and Bankura Lok Sabha, which it lost to the BJP in 2019. On paper, the BJP remains favourite in Bishnupur and Purulia Lok Sabhas, which they won by margins of 78,000 votes and 2 lakh votes, respectively. In the assembly election, the TMC narrowed the gap. Now, in Bishnupur, the TMC has fielded the BJP incumbent's estranged wife, Sujata Mandal, who had in fact led her husband's campaign in 2019. At that time, Khan's entry into most of his Lok Sabha constituency was restrained by a high court order related to a criminal case and Mandal took charge of the campaign. In Purulia, a four-cornered contest has turned the election into a likely close one. The TMC's candidate is a former minister, the Left-Congress alliance candidate is a veteran Congress leader, and in the fray is an independent candidate who enjoys some popularity for his fight for Scheduled Tribe status for the Kudmi-Mahato community, which dominates Purulia's demography. Prestige Fights The contest in the BJP-held Kanthi, Tamluk and Medinipur and the TMC-held Ghatal seats in East and West Midnapore districts are expected to be sharp bipolar ones between the TMC and the BJP, in which the Left-Congress alliance candidates may not have much of a role to play. Kanthi and Tamluk are prestige seats for both parties, as they have been held by the Adhikari family since 2009 but the family changed allegiance from the TMC to the BJP in 2020. The family's Suvendu Adhikari is the current Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly. Going by the assembly election trends, the TMC was ahead of the BJP by 21 votes in Tamluk and the BJP had a lead of 29,154 votes in Kanthi. What makes guessing Bengal electoral outcomes more difficult is that the perceptions of electoral possibilities are based on the opinions of voters who spoke their minds. But this time, there are a huge number of silent voters. So, we can only wait for June 4 to get the exact picture. The big changes in Bengal's Lok Sabha elections in 2024 and the impact they could have

The New Indian Express 28 May 2024 8:45 pm

The big changes in Bengal's Lok Sabha elections in 2024 and the impact they could have

The first five phases of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election in West Bengal have been marked by a lack of political violence - by the state's standards, that is. Only one death in an alleged political clash has been reported and reported incidents of violence have been few. The sole victim, Mintu Sheikh, was a worker of the state's ruling party, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC). A peaceful election is an exception in West Bengal rather than the norm. Over two dozen were killed in political clashes during the 'watershed' 2011 assembly election that marked the end of the 34-year-old Left Front rule and brought the TMC to power. The 2014 Lok Sabha election recorded seven deaths during the electoral process. The 2016 assembly election recorded six deaths, including two in a blast while making bombs. In the 2018 panchayat election, 23 were killed on the polling day and the preceding day. During the 2019 Lok Sabha election, political clashes claimed 11 lives in West Bengal and left over a hundred injured. The 2021 assembly election was comparatively peaceful, except for the death of five people during the fourth phase of the election, four of them in firing by security forces. But the 2023 panchayat elections claimed 19 lives only on the polling day. The victims and alleged perpetrators belonged to all major parties in the state - the TMC and the opposition parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or the CPI(M) and the Congress. The death toll is much higher if pre-poll and post-poll violence is considered. But this year, there have been no deaths in pre-poll political violence since January. Stars and turncoats in Bengal So, have Bengal's political parties learnt a lesson from the past? If political observers and politicians belonging to various parties are to be believed, they have. TMC leaders claim they have asked the party's local leaders to restrain their workers, as violence in one phase can dent the party's prospects in the following phases. The main opposition, the BJP, remains restrained for a different reason. Ahead of the 2021 assembly election, some senior BJP leaders delivered a series of inflammatory speeches, espousing violence. The BJP state unit president Dilip Ghosh gave the slogan ' bodol hobey, bodlao hobey ' (there will be a change and revenge). However, after the TMC got a massive mandate, BJP workers bore the brunt of widespread post-poll violence. The possibility of adverse impact and reprisal has kept political workers unusually restrained and violence or threats of violence have gone missing from the speeches of senior politicians. However, whether the parties have, indeed, learned a lesson on violence can only be ascertained after the elections are over. Key changes in TMC's strategy One of the strategic changes in the TMC's campaign is that in 2019, their campaign was more focussed on national issues and multiple TMC leaders had pegged Banerjee as a potential prime ministerial candidate of a coalition between regional parties. This time, the TMC's campaign is focussed more on Bengal how the TMC government's welfare schemes are supporting people's lives, while the Modi government is depriving Bengal. The party barely brought up Banerjee's potential premiership. Rather, Banerjee herself hinted she merely intends to help the INDIA bloc replace the Modi government so that Bengal gets a friendly government at the Centre. The TMC realised that the majority of the Bengali voters were more comfortable with having Banerjee as the CM. In this connection, another significant change from the 2019 campaign is the TMC's pitch branding the BJP as anti-Bengali. The party added the Bengali ethnonationalism/regionalism plank to their campaign ahead of the 2021 assembly election, made gains, and is continuing with it. Recently, responding to PM Modi's remark castigating meat and fish consumption during the Hindu festival of Navratri, Banerjee gave an open invitation to Modi to have any fish preparation of his choice at her home. She said she will cook. Portraying the BJP as anti-fish is a way of portraying the party as anti-Bengali. Mahua makes massive waves @ Krishnanagar Changes BJP made The BJP, too, modified its campaign strategy. Suvendu Adhikari, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly and currently the leading BJP face in the state, made news regularly ahead of the 2021 assembly election by referring to Muslims as Pakistanis and the Chief Minister as Begum , Khala and Fufu . Muslims use the last two words to refer to aunt. This year, Adhikari has toned it down, and so has Ghosh. Adhikari even hugged a few people on the occasion of Eid and tried to explain to Muslims from public rallies that Ramrajya meant good governance and that he would not ask Muslims to chant Jai Shri Ram. This change came from the lesson that the party's 2021 strategy backfired. In a state where Muslims make up over 27% of the state's population and a significant number of Hindus prefer liberal religious practices over conservative, the BJP's aggressive anti-Muslim pitch helped extreme Muslim polarisation in favour of the TMC, which led to the BJP losing several of their prospective seats. This time, the plan was to focus on the TMC's misgovernance and corruption to allow Muslim votes to split between the TMC and the Left-Congress alliance. The state unit leaders maintained the strategy even after Modi himself decided to campaign on communal lines, nationally, since his Banswara speech in Rajasthan on April 21. Amit Shah invokes Satyajit Ray, takes Hirak Rani jibe at Mamata in Bengal poll rally Lessons Left and the Congress learnt The biggest learners appear to be the Left parties and the Congress. After fighting the 2016 assembly election in alliance, the Left and the Congress looked almost set to arrive at a seat-sharing deal in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. However, the whole process fell flat over fissures over a handful of seats. Resultantly, the election turned into a TMC versus BJP bipolar contest, with the overwhelming majority of the voters considering the Left and the Congress too weak on their own. Conflicts emerged during the seat-sharing dialogue this year, too, especially between the Forward Bloc, a component of the Left Front, and the Congress, over Cooch Behar and Purulia Lok Sabha seats. But the top leadership of the Bengal unit of the Congress and the CPI(M) were determined not to let disagreements over a few seats spoil the whole alliance. The CPI(M), striking a balance, decided to support the Congress candidate in Purulia and the Forward Bloc candidate in Cooch Behar. Due to the alliance, the contest in about a dozen seats is expected to turn into sharp triangular ones or contests in which the third force plays a significant role in determining the winner. These seats include Raiganj, Malda Uttar, Malda Dakshin, Murshidabad, Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Jadavpur, Serampore, Hooghly, Barrackpore, Purulia, Bardhaman Durgapur and Bardhaman Purba. This has created additional uncertainty over the electoral fortunes of both the TMC and the BJP, as it offers a platform to people upset with both major parties. 3 parties combine to make Bengal a bipolar contest Polarising factors missing Two major polarising factors are missing in this election neither are there incidents like the Pulwama terror attack and Balakot air strike (2019) that could help the BJP with an ultra-nationalist wave, nor is there an incident like the deaths of Muslim voters in firing by security forces (2021) that would help the TMC polarise Muslims. Nevertheless, learning from the past, the TMC has stopped commenting on issues related to national security considering it a sensitive issue, while the BJP has checked inflammatory speeches by its leaders. The TMC has also tried to strike a balance between appeasing Hindu sentiments and Muslim sentiments. On the one hand, to earn the trust of the Muslims and liberal Hindus, Mamata criticised and boycotted the Ram Temple consecration event. On the other hand, her party celebrated Ram Navami in a big way to blunt the BJP's anti-Hindu charges. Snigdhendu Bhattacharya is an independent reporter based in Kolkata and author of Mission Bengal: A Saffron Experiment and Lalgarh and the Legend of Kishanji. (Views are personal.)

The New Indian Express 23 May 2024 9:46 pm

INTERVIEW | Left-Congress chemistry working

CPM West Bengal secretary Md Salim is confident of a Left resurgence in the state and says chemistry with the Congress is working well on the ground because the tie-up has been forged at the grassroots. In an interview with this newspaper, the former Lok Sabha MP and Murshidabad candidate says the Congress high command needs to assess the changing reality of Bengal. Excerpts: How confident are you of your and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhurys win from Berhampore, a constituency next to yours? The victory is already decided. Malda and Murshidabad will throw a surprise. In fact, the Left-Congress combine will sweep south Bengal. The BJP doesnt have any connect with the masses and the Trinamool is facing huge anti-incumbency. Thats why Mamata Banerjee is getting jittery and changing her stance every dayone day with INDIA bloc, and the next day with the BJP. If the Left-Congress vote increases, who will benefit BJP or TMC? I think the vote share will certainly increase for both parties and the people of Bengal will be the beneficiary. The BJP and TMC both will suffer heavy losses. The TMC would lose if the Left or Congress votes that had gone to it return to two INDIA bloc allies. Similar is the case with BJP. The INDIA bloc is going to gain in Bengal. Do you think the vote transfer between the Left and Congress is seamless at the ground level? In the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 assembly elections, it didnt happen if one goes by the results. What did you do differently this time? It is absolutely seamless because the tie-up was not made top-down. It was rather bottom-up. And the chemistry is perceptible. The alliance wasnt made by spokespersons, but by the talapatras (those who work at the ground level). Thats why the media didnt get a whiff of it. The alliance is spontaneous the resistance is strong against the money power of BJP and the muscle power of TMC. If you hear closely in Murshidabad, the Left-Congress alliance is not referred to as an alliance but as Jot party. The nomenclature was given by the mango people. Whats the CPM was vocal on Sandeshkhali. Now with the sting operations, do you think it was a BJP plot? And then, where does the CPM stand now? Sandeshkhali is no stand-alone incident. You can find such examples in Birbhum, Bankura and elsewhere in the state. The TMCs shady operations needed liberated zones ruled by local satraps. What the TMC did was to destroy institutions, democratic rights and values. Women were attacked, molested and in some cases, raped. When our former MLA Nirapada Sardar raised the issue in the Assembly, the then deputy speaker Sonali Guha, who is now with BJP, switched off the mic. Thats how the TMC function. What the BJP has tried is giving it a religious and communal colour by linking Bangladeshis and Rohingyas to the incident. They tried to gain political mileage by catering to their vote banks and derailing the peoples protest. Mamata Banerjee has said she is with INDIA bloc, but she counts out the Left and Bengal Congress. If INDIA bloc is positioned to form the government, what will be your stand? She is making herself a laughing stock. When the decision to form the INDIA bloc was taken, I told a press conference that everyone can board a train from Howrah to Delhi. However, Mamata got down from the train to save her nephew from CBI-ED prove. At that time, Modi came out with a slogan ab ki baar 400 paar. Mamata miscalculated the situation and thought that it is better to jeopardise the INDIA bloc. Nitish Kumar was once called bin pendi ka lota (undependable). Similar is the case with Mamata whichever way the wind blows, she will take that course. Now with the BJP doesnt seem to get a majority comfortably, she is making a U-turn. She has been an opportunist. She now wants to create a division within Congress. The TMC was born out of that. It is up to AICC leaders to decide whether they would like to hand over the Congress in Bengal to Mamata and allow her to swallow it. The mood in Bengal is that anti-incumbency against the ruling party will help BJP. Naturally, AICC leaders, especially Mr Kharge, will need to assess the changing reality, unfolding stories and emerging scenarios in Bengal politics afresh. There is a learning curve on Bengals latest political developments that the Congress high command needs to go through, and with Mr Kharges comment on the Left-Cong alliance and how TMC is trying to sabotage it, is a welcome change.

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 7:13 am

11 killed, several injured as lightening strikes West Bengal's Malda

killed several injured as lightening strikes West Bengals Malda

India Today 17 May 2024 9:13 am

Lightning kills 12 in WB, many of them were picking mangoes

Twelve persons, including Monojit Mondal, Samar Mridha, Chandan Sahani, Asit Saha, Atul Mandal, Sabidul Sk, Priyanka Singha, Nyan Roy, Sumitra Mandal, Suitara Biwi, Pankaj Mandal, and a Budhia woman, were killed and five wounded by lightning during a thunderstorm in Malda and Murshidabad, West Bengal. Disaster management personnel were deployed to rescue the wounded victims.

The Times of India 17 May 2024 12:40 am

West Bengal: 12 people killed in Malda, probe underway to ascertain cause of death

West Bengal: 12 people killed in Malda, probe underway to ascertain cause of death As many as 12 people were killed due to rain-related mishaps in West Bengal's Malda district on Thursday. Malda's Superintendent of Police, Pradip Kumar Yadav, told ANI that the cause of death for the 12 people will be confirmed after the post-mortem. 12 people lost their lives in the incident but the cause of the death will be confirmed after the post-mortem, Malda SP said. Meanwhile, Malda District Magistrate Nitin Singhania informed that the administration will provide Rs 2 lakh each as compensation and Rs 2000 for last rites. Following the guidelines of MCC and after discussing with the concerned authorities, the administration will provide Rs 2 lakh each as compensation and Rs 2000 for last rites, DM Malda said. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed sadness over the loss of life due to lightning and rain-related mishaps in Malda district and extended her deepest condolences to the affected families. My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones in Malda due to the tragic lightning strikes. I extend my deepest condolences to them during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with the injured, and I pray for their swift recovery, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said in a post on X. Our district administration is working tirelessly to provide all necessary support to the affected. We will do everything in our capacity to assist those in need, she added in the post. (ANI)

devdiscourse 16 May 2024 11:44 pm

3 kids among 11 killed in lightning strikes in Bengals Malda

Malda: At least 11 people, including three children, were killed on Thursday afternoon after being struck by lightning in different places across Malda district of West Bengal, a government official said. The district administration has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of the deceased, he said. So far, 11 people Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 16 May 2024 9:53 pm

11 killed in lightning in West Bengal's Malda

The Times of India 16 May 2024 8:00 pm

11 Killed In Lightning Strikes In Bengal's Malda: Police

At least 11 people were killed and two others injured in lightning strikes at various places across West Bengal's Malda district on Thursday, police said.

NDTV 16 May 2024 7:49 pm

Lightning strikes claim 11 lives in Bengal's Malda

MALDA: At least 11 people were killed and two others injured in lightning strikes at various places across West Bengal's Malda district on Thursday, police said. Two among the deceased were minors, both residents of Manikchak police station area, while three hailed from Sahapur under the jurisdiction of Malda police station, police added. Two others were from Adina under Gajol police station and Balupur under Ratua police station. A couple died in Harishchandrapur when they were working in the fields. The rest were residents of Englishbazar and Manikchak police station areas.

The New Indian Express 16 May 2024 7:42 pm

Bengali women turn out to vote in large numbers, but what do they get in return, ask activists

West Bengals female to male voter ratio of 968:1,000 is higher than the national figure of 948:1,000; in the Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Malda, and Jangipur Lok Sabha seats, women voters outnumbered men

The Hindu 16 May 2024 2:57 am

High Voter Turnout in Third Phase; Clashes and Allegations Mar West Bengal and UP Voting

High Voter Turnout in Third Phase; Clashes and Allegations Mar West Bengal and UP Voting Nearly 65 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Tuesday in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections in 93 constituencies spread over 11 states and Union Territories with stray incidents of violence in West Bengal. Assam recorded the highest turnout at 81.71 per cent followed by West Bengal at 76.52 per cent and Goa at 75.20 per cent, while Uttar Pradesh witnessed the lowest at 57.34 per cent, with Bihar at 58.18 per cent, Gujarat at 59.51 per cent and Maharashtra at 61.44 per cent doing slightly better, according to the figures from the Election Commission at 12.15 am. The overall voting percentage was 64.58 per cent. According to the EC, the figures are an ''approximate trend'' and are likely to rise as data is being collected. While the official time for the voting to conclude is 6 pm, it can go beyond to enable voters who have come in the queue before the end of fixed polling hours to exercise their franchise. Among other states and UTs, Chhattisgarh recorded 71.06 per cent polling, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu 69.87 per cent, Karnataka 70.41 per cent, and Madhya Pradesh 66.05 per cent, according to the EC. As many as 17.24 crore people, including 8.39 crore females, were eligible to vote in the third phase and 1.85 lakh polling stations manned by 18.5 lakh officials had been set up. With this, voting has been completed in 20 states/UTs and 282 Lok Sabha seats out of 543. The overall voting percentage in the first and second phases was 66.14 per cent and 66.71 per cent respectively. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were among those who exercised their franchise in Gujarat, where elections were held in 25 seats. While PM Modi cast his vote at a polling booth in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, Shah voted at a polling booth in Ahmedabad. Shah (Gandhinagar) is among the bigwigs in the fray along with Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna), Mansukh Mandaviya (Porbandar), Parshottam Rupala (Rajkot), Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad) and SP Singh Baghel (Agra). The stakes are high for the BJP in this round as it had won an overwhelming majority of these seats, including all in Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, in the last election. Both the BJP and the INDIA bloc claimed that they had the upper hand after the third phase. ''Across all the states and UTs, voters from all walks of life have placed their faith in the NDA and our development agenda. INDI Alliance is losing even more steam, thanks to their regressive economics and outdated votebank politics,'' Modi said on X. The Congress claimed that the BJP has been wiped out in the south and reduced to half of its strength after the three phases ''Its very clear that for the BJP, it is South mein Saaf, North mein Half,'' Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on X. In Uttar Pradesh, where several members of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav's family are contesting, party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the BJP workers were trying to ''loot booths'' in Mainpuri and people from opposition parties were being detained in police stations. Yadav cast his vote in Saifai (Etawah) in Mainpuri constituency where his wife and sitting MP Dimple Yadav is contesting. Sporadic incidents of violence marred the polling in the four constituencies in West Bengal as TMC, BJP and Congress-CPI(M) workers clashed with each other in various parts of Murshidabad and Jangipur seats. According to state election officials, Murshidabad registered the highest voter turnout of 80.13 per cent followed by Maldaha Dakshin (76.15 pc), Maldaha Uttar (75.92 pc), and Jangipur (73.71 pc). The TMC, BJP, and the Congress-CPI(M) alliance lodged separate complaints related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on poll agents. The EC received 182 complaints by 9 am, most of which were from Murshidabad and Jangipur constituencies. ''The TMC has unleashed a reign of terror in the entire constituency. Strict action must be taken by the Election Commission,'' Left-Congress combine candidate Mohammed Salim said in Murshidabad seat. In the Karimpur area of the seat, clashes were reported between the TMC and the CPI(M) supporters outside a few booths. Clashes were reported between the TMC and the Congress activists from the Domkol area. In some areas, TMC workers held protests alleging that central forces were assisting BJP workers in ''intimidating'' voters at booths in the Maldaha North constituency. In Uttar Pradesh, Agra witnessed 53.99 per cent polling, Aonla 57.08 per cent, Budaun 54.05 per cent, Bareilly 57.88 per cent, Etah 59.17 per cent, Fatehpur Sikri 57.09 per cent, Firozabad 58.22 per cent, Hathras 55.36 per cent, Mainpuri 58.59 per cent and Sambhal 62.81 per cent. ''In Mainpuri, BJP people are trying to loot booths. They are detaining opposition people in police stations,'' SP chief Yadav alleged without elaborating. ''There is information from some places that the government is using force. It is heard that officers have been deployed outside polling booths,'' he said. In Budaun, the villagers of Dhoranpur boycotted the polling to protest against the alleged non-fulfilment of their demand for a road. District Magistrate Manoj Kumar said the issue has come to his notice and a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) has been sent to the village. Not a single vote was also cast in three villages of Firozabad -- Nagla Jawahar, Neem Kheria and Nagla Umar -- as the villagers tried to draw the administration's attention to their problems. SP candidate Aditya Yadav in Budaun alleged that his party supporters were not being allowed to vote in some places. ''I have made a complaint in this regard with the EC observer and have given proof of police atrocities. We are only getting assurances,'' he said. Queues were seen at polling booths in most Lok Sabha segments in northern districts of Karnataka. Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Bhagwanth Khuba, and Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge were among those who came in early to cast their votes. Former chief minister B S Yediyurappa along with sons B Y Raghavendra, BJP candidate from Shimoga Lok Sabha segment, and B Y Vijayendra, party's state president, along with other family members cast their vote at Shikaripura in Shivamogga district. Two government officials on poll duty died in Karnataka after suffering a heart attack, sources in the Election Commission said. A 45-year-old woman polling officer - Kaushika Babariya- deployed at a polling booth in Amreli district of Gujarat, also died of a heart attack. In Gujarat, the Banaskantha district collector ordered an inquiry after Congress Lok Sabha candidate Geniben Thakor alleged that electors were threatened and asked to vote for the BJP by some youngsters posing as Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at a polling station. In Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, his wife Sunetra Pawar, who is the NCP candidate from the Baramati Lok Sabha seat, and NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar were among those who cast their votes. Sharad Pawar was welcomed with a traditional 'aarti' as he arrived at a polling booth in the Malegaon area of Baramati constituency in Pune district. Ajit Pawar and Sunetra Pawar cast their votes at a polling booth in Katewadi area of Baramati. Sunetra is pitted against her sister-in-law Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar's daughter and the sitting MP from there. In Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma accompanied by his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma and daughter Sukanya Sarma exercised his franchise at Amingaon in Barpeta Lok Sabha seat. Amid rains, people used different modes of transport, including boats, to reach the polling stations across Guwahati, Barpeta, Dhubri and Kokrajhar constituencies. With the BJP bagging Surat unopposed, 25 seats in Prime Minister Modi's home state of Gujarat went to polls on Tuesday, besides 11 seats in Maharashtra, 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the remaining 14 of the 28 in Karnataka, seven in Chhattisgarh, five in Bihar, four each in Assam and West Bengal, and all two in Goa. Voting was held in two seats in Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and nine seats in Madhya Pradesh, including Betul where elections were earlier deferred. Over 1,331 candidates, including around 120 women, were in the fray in the third phase. The next four phases will be on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes is on June 4.

devdiscourse 8 May 2024 12:20 am

West Bengal's Lok Sabha Phase 3: 73.93% Voter Turnout Amid Trinamul-BJP-CPI(M) Tussle

Kolkata: The third phase of Lok Sabha Election covering four parliamentary constituencies two each in Malda and Murshidabad districts in West Bengal, recorded 73.93% voter's turnout amid some stray incidents of tussle among Trinamul Congress, BJP and CPI(M) on Tuesday. In Malda, Malda Uttar and Malda Dakshin seats saw 73.30% and 73.68% polling respectively. In Murshidabad, Jangipur and Murshidabad seats witnessed 72.13% and 76.49% polling. The day also witnessed the assembly bypoll at Bhagwangola in Murshidabad where voter's turnout clocked 73.68% dropping from 85.63% registered in the assembly election in 2021. According to the Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, a total of 433 complaints were received from various political parties during the polling at the four parliamentary constituencies. CPI(M) state secretary Mohammad Salim, who contested at Murshidabad this time, was seen going after fake polling agents at many booths. He was however gheraoed by TMC workers in protest of his act. This led to a tussle. Meanwhile bombs were hurled at Hariharpara and Domkal on Monday night to terrorise the voters. TMC-backed miscreants threatened the CPI(M) workers not to vote. Two CPI(M) polling agents were assaulted while their motorbikes were damaged. At Jangipur, BJP candidate Dhananjoy Ghosh and TMC leader Goutam Ghosh got engaged in a scuffle in front of Ajagarpara polling station. The central paramilitary forces separated them. At Shamsherganj which is under the Malda Dakshin seat, two Congress polling agents and workers were admitted to hospital with injuries after they were severely beaten up. At Mirzapur, two groups of TMC workers clashed over supporting ISF candidate. Police dispersed them by lathicharge. On the third phase of Lok Sabha polls, TMC supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee claimed at party rallies in Bankura and Purulia, Modi Magic is overI have never seen such a lying Prime Minister ever. When children lie, they are disciplined by their mothers. But when a PM lies, people should ensure justice by voting him out and ensuring that he never assumes power again.

Deccan Chronicle 7 May 2024 11:07 pm

Patna emerges as India's most flood-prone city, reveals recent study

Patna emerges as India's most flood-prone city, reveals recent study Patna experiences the worst floods in India, followed by West Bengal's Murshidabad and Maharashtra's Thane, according to a district-level flood severity index (DFSI) developed by researchers at IIT-Delhi and IIT-Roorkee. The index takes into account the historical severity of floods based on the number of affected people, the spread and duration of floods. The researchers said the top 10 districts where flood severity is the highest are: Patna, Murshidabad, Thane, North 24 Parganas (West Bengal), Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Ballia (Uttar Pradesh), East Champaran (Bihar), and East Medinipur (West Bengal). These are followed by Muzaffarnagar (Bihar), Lakhimpur (Assam), Kota (Rajasthan), Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Malda (West Bengal), Rajkot (Gujarat), Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), Aurangabad (Bihar), Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Jalpaiguri (West Bengal), Darjeeling (West Bengal), Dibrugarh (Assam), Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh), Chamoli (Uttarakhand), West Champaran (Bihar), Amravati (Maharashtra), Medinipur West (West Bengal), and Samastipur (Bihar). Though Chamoli in Uttarakhand does not face recurrent floods, it appears on this list because of a few isolated highly damaging flood events. Among the 30 districts facing the highest risk of floods, 17 are in the Ganga basin and three are in the Brahmaputra basin. Among all the Indian river basins, the Ganga basin has the highest population, and its high flood proneness is worrisome, said the researchers, including Manabendra Saharia, an assistant professor at IIT-Delhi. Assam experiences the highest number of floods in India, having faced more than 800 flood events over 56 years. The other flood-prone states, in descending order of flood events, include Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Data from 1967 to 2023 shows that Thiruvananthapuram has experienced more than 231 floods or more than four events per year on average. Five districts -- Thiruvananthapuram, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Kamrup, and Nagaon -- have been categorised as ''severely flood-prone,'' having recorded more than 178 floods, or more than three events per year on average. The researchers said localised intense rainfall events are likely to rise in the future due to climate change, and therefore, more flash floods are expected. Under the warming climate, the frequency of cyclones will increase, and coastal and nearby inland areas will face more instances of intense rainfall and floods. It is also likely that areas that are not currently flood-prone may begin to see flooding. The researchers said human fatality due to floods is nearly stable or has come down in recent times due to better management despite an increase in the population in India. The number of deaths is around 1,000 per year since 2015, the data showed.

devdiscourse 7 May 2024 7:30 pm

LS elections third phase: Around 50 per cent polling recorded till 3 pm

New Delhi: A voter turnout of 50.71 per cent was recorded till 3 pm in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections in 93 constituencies spread over 11 states and Union Territories on Tuesday with sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal. West Bengal recorded the highest turnout at 63.11 per cent followed by Assam at 63.08 per cent, while Maharashtra witnessed the lowest at 42.63 per cent. According to the Election Commission, a voting percentage of 50.71 was recorded till 3 PM. The voting which started at 7 am will continue till 6 pm. A voter turnout of 47.03 per cent was recorded in 25 Lok Sabha seats of Gujarat, an Election Commission (EC) official said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were among those who exercised their franchise the state. While PM Modi cast his vote at a polling booth in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, Shah voted at a polling booth in Ahmedabad. Shah (Gandhinagar) is among the bigwigs in the fray in this phase along with Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna), Mansukh Mandaviya (Porbandar), Parshottam Rupala (Rajkot), Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad) and SP Singh Baghel (Agra). In Uttar Pradesh, where several members of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav's family are contesting, close to 46.78 per cent polling was recorded in 10 seats. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the BJP workers were trying to loot booths in Mainpuri and people from opposition parties were being detained in police stations. Yadav cast his vote in Saifai (Etawah) in Mainpuri constituency where his wife and sitting MP Dimple Yadav is contesting. Among other states, Assam recorded 63.08 per cent polling, Bihar 46.69 per cent, Chhattisgarh 58.19 per cent, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu 52.43 per cent, Goa 61.39 per cent, Karnataka 54.20 per cent, and Madhya Pradesh 54.09 per cent, according to the EC. Sporadic incidents of violence marred the third phase of Lok Sabha polls in four constituencies in West Bengal as TMC, BJP and Congress-CPI(M) workers clashed with each other in various parts of Murshidabad and Jangipur seats. According to officials, Murshidabad registered the highest voter turnout with 65.40 per cent followed by Maldaha Dakshin (62.90), Jangipur (62.57), and Maldaha Uttar (61.50). The TMC, the BJP, and the Congress-CPI(M) alliance lodged separate complaints related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on poll agents. The EC received 182 complaints by 9 am, most of which were from Murshidabad and Jangipur constituencies. In Murshidabad seat, Left-Congress combine candidate Mohammed Salim claimed that he caught hold of a fake booth agent in the Rabinagar area of the constituency. Salim faced go back slogans as he tried to enter a booth there following allegations of CPI(M) booth agents being heckled by alleged TMC goons. The TMC has unleashed a reign of terror in the entire constituency. Strict action must be taken by the Election Commission, Salim said. In the Karimpur area of the seat, clashes were reported between the TMC and the CPI(M) supporters outside a few booths. Clashes were reported between the TMC and the Congress activists from the Domkol area. BJP candidate Dhanajoy Ghosh faced protests by TMC cadres in the Jangipur area as he tried to enter some of the booths in the constituency. In Uttar Pradesh, Agra witnessed 43.67 per cent polling, Aonla 46.75 per cent, Budaun 45.44 per cent, Bareilly 45.96 per cent, Etah 48.93 per cent, Fatehpur Sikri 46.18 per cent, Firozabad 47.80 per cent, Hathras 44.63 per cent, Mainpuri 46.80 per cent and Sambhal 52.24 per cent In Mainpuri, BJP people are trying to loot booths. They are detaining opposition people in police stations, SP chief Yadav alleged without elaborating. He also alleged rigging of votes at some places and said, Information is coming from some places that the government is using force. It is heard that officers have been deployed outside polling booths. In Budaun, the villagers of Dhoranpur boycotted the polling to protest against the alleged non-fulfilment of their demand for a road. District Magistrate Manoj Kumar said the issue has come to his notice and a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) has been sent to the village. Not a single vote was also cast in three villages of Firozabad -- Nagla Jawahar, Neem Kheria and Nagla Umar -- as the villagers tried to draw the administration's attention to their problems. SP candidate Aditya Yadav in Budaun alleged that SP supporters were not being allowed to vote in some places. I have made a complaint in this regard with the EC observer and have given proof of police atrocities. We are only getting assurances, he said. SP candidate Zia-ur-Rehman Barq also alleged that a circle officer snatched voter slips from SP workers and detained them. He requested the EC to remove the officer immediately. Queues were seen at polling booths in most Lok Sabha segments in northern districts of Karnataka. Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Bhagwanth Khuba, and Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge were among those who came in early to cast their votes in Karnataka. Former chief minister B S Yediyurappa along with sons B Y Raghavendra, BJP candidate from Shimoga Lok Sabha segment and B Y Vijayendra, party's state President -- and daughters-in-law cast their vote at Shikaripura in Shivamogga district. Two government officials on poll duty died in Karnataka after suffering a heart attack, sources in the Election Commission said. In Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, his wife Sunetra Pawar, who is the NCP candidate from the Baramati Lok Sabha seat, and NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar were among those who cast their votes. Sharad Pawar was welcomed with a traditional 'aarti' as he arrived at a polling booth in the Malegaon area of Baramati constituency in Pune district. Ajit Pawar and Sunetra Pawar cast their votes at a polling booth in Katewadi area of Baramati. Sunetra is pitted against her sister-in-law Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar's daughter and the sitting MP from there. In Assam, people lined up in large numbers across four Lok Sabha constituencies to cast their vote. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma accompanied by his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma and daughter Sukanya Sarma exercised his franchise at Amingaon in Barpeta Lok Sabha seat. People used all modes of transport, including boats, to reach the polling stations across Guwahati, Barpeta, Dhubri and Kokrajhar constituencies to exercise their democratic franchise amid rain. Over 1,300 candidates, including around 120 women, are in the fray in the third phase. Voting was completed in 189 seats out of 543 seats in the first two phases. The next four phases will be on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes is on June 4.

Deccan Chronicle 7 May 2024 5:15 pm

High Voter Turnout in West Bengal: 63.11% Recorded in Four Lok Sabha Seats by 3 PM

High Voter Turnout in West Bengal: 63.11% Recorded in Four Lok Sabha Seats by 3 PM A voter turnout of 63.11 per cent was recorded till 3 pm in four Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal in the third phase of the general elections on Tuesday, a poll official said. According to the official, Murshidabad registered the highest voter turnout with 65.40 per cent followed by Maldaha Dakshin (62.90), Jangipur (62.57), and Maldaha Uttar (61.50). Bhagawangola assembly seat in Murshidabad district, where a bypoll is underway, recorded a turnout of 61.18 per cent till 3pm, the official said. Altogether 73,37,651 voters, including 36,12,395 women and 154 belonging to the third gender, are eligible to exercise their franchise. A total of 57 candidates are in the fray in the four constituencies where voting started at 7am and will continue till 6pm. To ensure free and fair polling, the Election Commission has deployed 334 companies of central forces along with 13,600 state police personnel.

devdiscourse 7 May 2024 4:08 pm

Around 49.27 pc turnout till 1 PM in Bengal

Kolkata, May 7 (UNI) Bengal witnessed an estimated 49.27 per cent turnout in the first till 1 PM on Tuesday in the third phase election to four Lok Sabha seats. While Murshidabad recorded 50.58 per cent polling, Jangipur recorded 49.91 per cent, Malda (North) 47.89 per cent and Malda (South) 48.65 per cent.Bypoll is also... The post Around 49.27 pc turnout till 1 PM in Bengal first appeared on Central India's Premier English Daily .

Central Chronicle 7 May 2024 3:15 pm

Bengal Assembly election phase 3: Sporadic violence mars polls, BJP candidate injured

Bengal Assembly election phase 3: Sporadic violence mars polls, BJP candidate injured Sporadic incidents of violence marred the third phase of Lok Sabha polls in the four constituencies in West Bengal as TMC, BJP and Congress workers clashed with each other in various parts of Murshidabad and Jangipur seats. The TMC, the BJP, and the Congress-CPI(M) alliance lodged separate complaints related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on poll agents in the first few hours of polling, sources from the parties said. The EC received 182 complaints by 9 am, most of which were from Murshidabad and Jangipur constituencies. According to officials, around 32.82 per cent polling was reported till 11am, with Jangipur recording the highest turnout of 33.81 per cent, followed by Maldaha Dakshin (33.09), Murshidabad (32.72) and Maldaha Uttar (31.73). Additionally, 29.39 per cent voting was recorded in the assembly bypoll in Murshidabad's Bhagawangola. All the four seats are minority-dominated, with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) holding Murshidabad and Jangipur, while the BJP has Maldaha North, and Maldaha South is represented by the Congress. In Murshidabad seat, Left-Congress combine candidate Mohammed Salim claimed that he caught hold of a ''fake booth agent'' in Rabinagar area of the constituency. In Rabinagar area, Salim was greeted with ''go back'' slogans as he tried to enter a booth following allegations of CPI(M) booth agents being heckled by alleged TMC goons. ''The TMC has unleashed a reign of terror in the entire constituency. Strict action must be taken by the Election Commision,'' Salim said. Salim was seen shuttling from one booth to another as allegations of intimidation of voters surfaced in the area. ''The CPI (M) along with Congress goons are trying to intimidate the voters. There has been resistance from the masses,'' TMC spokesperson Riju Dutta said. In Karimpur area of the seat, clashes were reported between the TMC and the CPI(M) supporters outside a few booths. Clashes were reported between the TMC and the Congress activists from Domkol area. In Jangipur area, BJP candidate Dhanajoy Ghosh faced protests by TMC cadres as he tried to enter some of the booths in the constituency. ''If such hooliganism continues, there could be a rerun of Cooch Behar's Sitalkuchi incident,'' he said. Ghosh was referring to the Sitalkuchi firing incident in the 2021 assembly polls when four persons were killed after central forces opened fire to control a mob. The TMC has complained to the EC against Ghosh, accusing him of intimidating voters. ''@BJP4India's thirst for violence never ends! Their MP candidate from Jangipur, Dhananjay Ghosh, stormed in with CRPF thugs and harassed our Block President. @ECISVEEP, when will you grow a spine and stand against this hooliganism?'' the AITC posted on X. In Englishbazar area, the BJP accused the TMC of beating up their booth agents, similar complaints were lodged by the Congress against the state's ruling party from Ratua area in Malda. In some areas, TMC workers staged a protest following allegations that central forces were assisting BJP workers in intimidating voters at some booths in the Maldaha North constituency. Altogether 73,37,651 voters, including 36,12,395 women and 154 belonging to the third gender, are eligible to exercise their franchise. Voting began at 7 am and will continue until 6 pm.

devdiscourse 7 May 2024 12:12 pm

Peaceful Polling Begins in Four Bengal LS Seats, 15.85% Turnout Till 9 AM

Peaceful Polling Begins in Four Bengal LS Seats, 15.85% Turnout Till 9 AM Polling was underway peacefully in four Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal as 15.85 per cent turnout was recorded till 9 am on Tuesday, a poll official said. Altogether 73,37,651 voters, including 36,12,395 women and 154 belonging to the third gender, are eligible to exercise their franchise. Voters were seen lining up outside the 7,360 polling stations in the four parliamentary constituencies of Maldaha Uttar, Maldaha Dakshin, Murshidabad and Jangipur, he said. ''Polling has been more or less peaceful so far. A total of 15.85 per cent turnout has been recorded till 9 am,'' the official told PTI. Jangipur recorded the highest turnout of 16.95 per cent, followed by Maldaha Dakshin (16.33), Maldaha Uttar (15.33) and Murshidabad (14.87), he said. So far, 182 complaints have been lodged with the CEO of West Bengal, he added. ''We have disposed of 16 of those complaints. We are looking to address the remaining complaints. Our officials are keeping a close watch on the proceedings,'' he said. To ensure free and fair polling, ECI has deployed 334 companies of central forces along with 13,600 state police personnel.

devdiscourse 7 May 2024 10:07 am

Third phase polling begins for four Bengal LS seats

Kolkata, May 7 (UNI) The third phase election to four Lok Sabha seats of Malda (Uttar), Malda (Dakshin), Jangipur and Murshidabad in West Bengal began at 7 AM on Tuesday under a massive security blanket with over 7.3 million electorate expected to exercise their franchise. Exactly 73,37,651 voters, including 26,12,395 women and 154 transgenders, will... The post Third phase polling begins for four Bengal LS seats first appeared on Central India's Premier English Daily .

Central Chronicle 7 May 2024 7:59 am

BJPs Nirbhoy Didi vows empowerment of women in Bengals Malda

Sreerupa Mitra Chowdhury, who is contesting from Malda Dakshin, says women in the constituency are among the most marginalised in West Bengal.

The Hindu 6 May 2024 8:27 pm

Landmark Polling in 93 Lok Sabha Seats; Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Shah Set to Vote in Gandhinagar

Landmark Polling in 93 Lok Sabha Seats; Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Shah Set to Vote in Gandhinagar Voting will be held in 93 constituencies spread over 11 states and Union Territories on Tuesday in the third phase of Lok Sabha polls, with stakes being high for the BJP which had won an overwhelming majority of these seats, including all in Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, in the last election. Over 1,300 candidates, including around 120 women, are in the fray. Among the bigwigs are Union ministers Amit Shah (Gandhinagar), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna), Mansukh Mandaviya (Porbandar), Parshottam Rupala (Rajkot), Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad) and SP Singh Baghel (Agra). With the BJP bagging Surat unopposed, 25 seats in Prime Minister Modi's home state of Gujarat will go to polls on May 7, besides 11 seats in Maharashtra, 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the remaining 14 of the 28 in Karnataka, seven in Chhattisgarh, five in Bihar, four each in Assam and West Bengal, and all two in Goa. The Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (2 seats) and nine seats in Madhya Pradesh, including Betul where elections were deferred, will also go to polls on Tuesday. Over 11 crore people will be eligible to vote in this phase. PM Modi and Shah will cast their vote at booths in Ahmedabad city under the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat. Former Madhya Pradesh chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Vidisha) and Digvijaya Singh (Rajgarh) have also returned to the Lok Sabha electoral fray this time. A riveting contest is on in Maharashtra's Baramati between Sharad Pawars daughter Supriya Sule and Sunetra Pawar, wife of the veteran leaders estranged nephew and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. In Uttar Pradesh, the current phase is important for the Mulayam Singh Yadav family, with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav aiming to retain the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat. Dimple Yadav had won the seat in bypolls following the demise of her father-in-law Mulayam Singh Yadav. Akshaya Yadav, son of Ram Gopal Yadav, the national principal general secretary of SP, will try to reclaim the Firozabad seat, which he had won in 2014. Aditya Yadav, the son of SP national general secretary Shivpal Yadav, is making his electoral debut from the Budaun Lok Sabha seat, which was represented by his cousin Dharmendra Yadav in 2014. The fate of former Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai (Haveri) and AIUDF Badruddin Ajmal (Dhubri) will also be decided on May 7. After the third phase, voting will be completed in 283 out of 543 seats in Lok Sabha. The next four phases will be on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes is on June 4. In West Bengal, the four seats going to polls are Muslim-majority. The division of minority votes among the Left-Congress combine and the TMC and the narrative on the Citizenship Amendment Act could shape the outcome in the intense electoral battle in Maldaha Uttar, Maldaha Dakshin, Jangipur and Murshidabad. The Murshidabad and Jangipur Lok Sabha seats are held by the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which has renominated its sitting MPs Abu Taher and Bidi baron Khalilur Rehman respectively. The Bharatiya Janata Party has again fielded Khagen Murmu for the Malda Uttar seat against TMC candidate Prasun Banerjee and former Congress MLA Mostaque Alam. In the Malda Dakshin seat, the Congress has fielded Isha Khan Choudhury from the family of ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury. The third phase saw the BJP-led NDA and the INDIA bloc fiercely attacking each other on issues like reservations and sexual harassment charges against JD(S) leader Prajwal Revanna. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP charge, asking the Congress to give in writing that it will not hand over the quota for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes to Muslims. The Congress and its allies accused the BJP of trying to tamper with the Constitution and do away with reservations. The principal opposition party, which has promised to remove the 50 per cent cap on reservations, also asked the BJP to clear its stance on the issue. The BJP leaders targeted the Congress over wealth redistribution and inheritance tax issues and accused it of pursuing appeasement politics, while the Congress reiterated its commitment to conduct a caste census and economic survey if voted to power. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had swept all these 14 seats in Karnataka, defeating Congress and JD(S), which were in alliance and ruling the state then. Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have attacked the BJP over allegations of sexual abuse against Prajwal Revanna, Hassan MP and leader of the JD(S) - an ally of the BJP. Hitting back, BJP leader Amit Shah and others questioned why the Congress government in Karnataka delayed the action against Revanna. The JD(S) joined the BJP-led NDA in September last year. Prajwal Revanna is the grandson of former prime minister and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and was the JD(S)-BJP alliance candidate from the Hassan seat which went to polls on April 26. Prajwal's father H D Revanna was arrested by Special Investigation Team on Saturday in a kidnapping case linked to sexual abuse allegations against Prajwal, soon after a court here rejected his anticipatory bail plea. In Gujarat, BJP's Mukesh Dalal has already won from Surat unopposed after the nomination of Congress' Nilesh Kumbhani was rejected over irregularities in the signature of proposers and other candidates withdrew. The party had swept all 26 seats in 2019. In Chhattisgarh, the BJP had bagged nine seats and Congress two seats out of the total 11 in 2019. In Assam, the BJP has put up only one candidate in this phase for the Guwahati seat, while its alliance partners AGP are contesting in two - Dhubri and Barpeta - and the UPPL in Kokrajhar. The Congress is fighting in all four seats. The constituencies going to the polls in the third phase in Bihar are Araria, Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Madhepura and Khagaria, all currently held by the NDA.

devdiscourse 6 May 2024 8:08 pm

Bengal: Fate of 57 candidates to be sealed in 3rd phase on May 7

Kolkata: The fate of 57 candidates, including that of the CPI(M) Politburo member and Secretary in West Bengal Mohd Salim, will be sealed on Tuesday in the third phase of elections in four Lok Sabha constituencies. The four constituencies that will be going for polls on Tuesday include Maldaha-Uttar, Maldaha-Dakshin both in Malda District and Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 6 May 2024 2:50 pm

If Modi returns to power, Constitution will be in danger: Kharge

Malda: In a scathing attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday warned that a third term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi would spell disaster for the countrys constitutional integrity and democratic fabric. Speaking at a rally in West Bengals Sujapur in support of Congress candidates for Maldaha Uttar Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 5 May 2024 9:19 pm

Campaigning ends for third phase of polling in four Bengal LS seats

KOLKATA: Campaigning for four Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal - Maldaha Uttar, Maldaha Dakshin, Jangipur, and Murshidabad - going to polls in the third phase on May 7 came to an end at 6pm on Sunday, officials said. A total of 73,37,651 voters, including 36,12,395 women and 154 third-genders, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 7,360 polling stations. Out of the 57 candidates contesting in this phase, Jangipur has 14, Maldaha Uttar (15), Maldaha Dakshin (17) and Murshidabad (11), he said. Murshidabad will witness a key contest between senior CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim, TMC's Abu Taher Khan and BJP nominee Gouri Shankar Ghosh. In Maldaha Uttar, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has nominated former IPS officer Prasun Banerjee, while the Congress has awarded the ticket to veteran leader Mostaque Alam, and the BJP has selected Khagen Murmu as its candidate. In Maldaha Dakshin, the BJP has fielded Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, the Congress has nominated Isha Khan Choudhury, and the TMC has put forward Shahnawaz Ali Raihan. In Jangipur, Khalilur Rahaman from the TMC is competing against BJP's Dhananjay Ghosh and Congress' Khalilur Rahaman. Heavyweights such as Union Home Minister Amit Shah, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge campaigned for their respective party candidates.

The New Indian Express 5 May 2024 6:34 pm

Bengal under attack: TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee urges people to resist maligners

Bengal under attack: TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee urges people to resist maligners Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday said people should vote against those who want to malign the image of West Bengal. Speaking at a public rally at Kaliganj in Nadia district in support of Trinamool Congress Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency candidate Mahua Maitra, Banerjee while referring to a purported video which surfaced on Saturday, claimed ''that it has been amply proved that how BJP is making tireless efforts to tarnish the image of West Bengal.'' The TMC on Saturday released a video on social media, claiming that the footage vindicated its stand that the ''BJP was behind the Sandeshkhali episode.'' The purported video, the authenticity of which was not verified by PTI, showed a local BJP leader of Sandeshkhali saying that the saffron party had paid money to women of the area to make false rape allegations against Trinamool Congress leaders. ''Defeat those who want to demean and malign Bengal for the sake of few votes'', the Trinamool Congress national general secretary said. Allegations of sexual abuse and land grab against TMC leaders have surfaced in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district. The Trinamool Congress leader said the BJP government had expelled Maitra from the Lok Sabha only for raising questions against crony capitalists in Parliament. ''People of Krishnanagar had voted for Maitra as their representative in Lok Sabha. But she was expelled from the Lok Sabha by the BJP. Was there any proper investigation against her. The government failed to take action against those who had illegally entered Parliament'', Banerjee said. He said ''BJP is sowing the seeds of divisive politics. Now it is for the people to give a befitting reply by making her win by a greater margin than before and send her again to the Parliament.'' The Trinamool Congress leader claimed that it is a matter of time and BJP's exit is imminent. ''The life of the BJP government is ticking away. The exit of the saffron party is imminent'', he said. Banerjee said that it is time to install a progressive and democratic government at the Centre. This is also the time to strengthen the hands of the Trinamool Congress to help form a democratic government at the Centre. He said those who made false rape allegations, should be brought to task. Polling for the Krishnagar Lok Sabha constituency will be held on May 13. Later, speaking at a road show at Malda Dakshin, he alleged that the BJP has stooped so low that it has lowered the prestige of women by making false rape allegations by them using money power. ''The saffron party has demeaned the prestige of women by making false rape allegations at Sandeshkhali. How the local BJP leaders have maligned the honour and dignity of women before their masters in Delhi. So time has come to give them a befitting reply in the elections. Now our party's stand on Sandeshkhali that it is a conspiracy of the BJP has been vindicated by the purported sting video which surfaced yesterday'', Banerjee said. ''This BJP should be ousted from power immediately which only the Trinamool Congress can do. They want to change the country's Constitution'', he said.

devdiscourse 5 May 2024 5:31 pm

Bengal polls: Rift within NDA triggers three-way contests in some seats

Bengal polls: Rift within NDA triggers three-way contests in some seats As the final five phases of polls draw closer, rift among INDIA bloc partners, Congress-Left combine and the TMC, who are fighting separately has intensified, triggering a fierce contest across half of the remaining 36 constituencies in West Bengal driven by local issues such as Sandeshkhali and the SSC scam. TMC's decision to contest independently in the state, rather than as part of the bloc, has led to a three-way contest, with the other contenders being the BJP and the Congress-Left alliance. Nevertheless, both TMC and Congress have asserted that they are part of the INDIA bloc at the national level and are authentic representatives of the opposition front in Bengal. Political analysts suggest that without a dominant national narrative like national security after the 2019 Pulwama attacks, local concerns such as corruption allegations, the cancellation of School Service Commission (SSC) jobs, incidents in Sandeshkhali and implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are altering election dynamics. Maidul Islam, a political scientist at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, remarked, ''Till a few months ago, it seemed the elections in Bengal will be a bipolar contest between the TMC and BJP. But with issues like corruption and Sandeshkhali gaining prominence, the Left-Congress alliance is fast gaining traction in several seats and turning the polls into a three-cornered contest in at least 18-20 LS segments.'' He said besides the two and three seats in Malda and Murshidabad districts, where TMC and Congress secured two each and the BJP one in 2019, there are 13 seats spread across South Bengal, where the TMC and the Left-Congress alliance are engaging in intense competition. ''It's not that the Left-Congress will win many seats, but in segments where their vote share is above 10 per cent, there is a likelihood that they might influence the outcome, to the disadvantage of either the TMC or the BJP, if they manage to secure two per cent more votes,'' Islam added. According to sources in TMC and CPI(M), the electoral battleground extends beyond Malda and Murshidabad, encompassing Lok Sabha segments like Dum Dum, Srerampore, Arambagh, Hooghly, Howrah, Barrackpore, Bardhaman-Purba, Bardhaman-Durgapur, Bankura, Purulia, Tamluk, Kolkata North, and Jadavpur, all poised for a three-cornered fight. Notably, eight of these seats were won by TMC and the remaining by BJP in the 2019 parliamentary polls. ''The shift in dynamics presents the Congress-Left alliance as a significant player, and its emergence complicates the electoral narrative, transcending the conventional TMC versus BJP dichotomy,'' political analyst Subhomoy Moitra said. While the Left Front is contesting 30 seats, the Congress has fielded candidates in 12 out of 42 seats. ''We wanted an alliance with the Congress, but they were delaying the seat-sharing arrangements, so we decided to go alone. Now the Left-Congress alliance is helping the BJP by trying to eat into our votes,'' remarked TMC leader Santanu Sen. According to TMC leaders, the breakup of INDIA alliance in Bengal has both electoral advantages and disadvantages. ''After the Left and Congress alliance fell apart in West Bengal in 2019, it had led to a four-cornered contest with BJP bagging the entire chunk of the anti-TMC votes in the state,'' they said. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP bagged 18 seats and its vote share rose from 17 to 40 per cent. Meanwhile, despite a 3 per cent rise in vote share, the TMC lost 12 seats, dropping from 34 to 22. The Left drew a blank with a vote share decline from 24 per cent to 6 per cent, and the Congress lost two seats, shrinking its vote share from 9.5 per cent to 5 per cent and bagging just two seats. ''Local issues such as corruption and SSC scam are helping the Left-Congress in the state as there is anger among a section of people against the TMC and also against the BJP over the perception of a tacit understanding,'' a TMC leader said. Analysts observe that Mamata Banerjee's intensified criticism of Left and Congress, accusing them of aiding BJP, and the ensuing sharp responses from CPI(M) and Congress, alleging a secret pact between TMC and BJP, as indicative of the growing significance of Left-Congress alliance. Data from various local elections and by-polls conducted after 2021 assembly elections indicate a shift in anti-TMC votes as there has been a resurgence of Left-Congress combine. Incidentally, the BJP had witnessed a decline in its vote share as compared to the 2019 Lok Sabha and 38 per cent in 2021 assembly polls. In 2023, violence scarred panchayat polls which covered nearly 70 per cent of the states electorate, the TMC had bagged 51 per cent of votes whereas the BJP had bagged 22 per cent. The Left-Congress-ISF alliance had, however, bagged 23 per cent votes. The ISF this time, however, has decided to contest alone in 17 seats. Congress leader Suvankar Sarkar emphasized, ''People are disenchanted with the TMC and the BJP, as they are both sides of the same coin. People are coming out in large numbers to support the Left-Congress candidates.'' CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty expressed confidence in the Left-Congress alliance's potential to deliver surprising results in the elections, claiming initial success in breaking bipolar politics in Bengal. BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar downplayed the significance of the rift in opposition alliance and the three-cornered fight in various seats. ''People know that BJP is only fighting TMC's misrule in Bengal. Those who want to vote against TMC, will vote for us only just like in the 2019 and 2021 polls,'' he said. Political scientist Biswanath Chakraborty suggested that TMC stands to gain the most from the three-cornered contest. In minority pockets, the Left-Congress alliance could dent TMC's vote base, potentially aiding BJP's prospects, he noted.

devdiscourse 5 May 2024 11:30 am

Updated: Revised News Schedule

Updated: Revised News Schedule National news schedule for Sunday, May 5 NATIONAL **** Lok Sabha elections related stories and other political developments NCR *** Tamil Nadu BJP president Annamalai to address 'Delhi Tamil Samagam' at Talkatora Stadium BJP press conference Stories related to Lok Sabha elections *** NORTH **** PM to address poll rallies in Etawah, Sitapur and hold roadshow in Ayodhya Rajnath Singh to campaign in Lucknow Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann to hold roadshow in Kharar Campaigning ends for third-phase seats in UP **** SOUTH ****Election related developments Andhra Pradesh Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh to address poll rallies Telangana: Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah to address election rallies EAST **** PM Modi to reach Odisha on a 2-day tour. BJP president JP Nadda to release party manifesto for twin polls External Affairs minister S Jaishankar to attend meetings in Cuttack and Sambalpur. Bengal: Mamata Banerjee to address rallies in Bardhaman Durgapur, Birbhum, Bolpur Abhishek Banerjee to address two rallies at Krishnanagar and Malda North Third phase campaign end stories from Bengal, Bihar and Assam Poll-related stories from states *** WEST ****BJP president J P Nadda to address poll rally at Surajpur in Surguja Lok Sabha constituency of Chhattisgarh Chhattisgarh CM Vishnu Deo Sai to address press conference in Raipur Chhattisgarh Congress president Deepak Baij's press conference Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate to address press conference in Ahmedabad Madhya Pradesh CM Mohan Yadav to campaign in Vidisha, Guna and Rajgarh Lok Sabha constituencies. Sharad Pawar to address last campaign rally in Baramati in support of his daughter Supriya Sule Congress leader Girish Chodankar to address press conference in Panaji ***

devdiscourse 5 May 2024 10:23 am

Two sanitation workers die while cleaning Noida sewage shaft

NEW DELHI: Two sanitation workers, both hailing from West Bengal, died after allegedly inhaling poisonous fumes inside a sewage shaft at a house in Noida, police said on Saturday. The incident took place on Friday evening when Nooni Mandal and Tapan Mandal were working at the residence of an individual named Sumit Chawla in Sector 26. According to police officials, both workers hailed from Malda district in West Bengal and were residing in a slum in Noida Sector 9. An individual in Noida Sector 26 had hired two persons for cleaning of the septic tank at his home. Last night, while cleaning the tank, the duo became unconscious. They were taken to a hospital but did not survive, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Noida) Vidya Sagar Mishra said. Sharing details, another police officer said the two deceased had arrived at the house at 7 pm on Friday and had entered the sewage shaft area to clean it. A source said that both men were taken to the hospital after 11.15 pm and were already dead by the time the doctors checked on them. Police said they have inspected the incident site and have informed the families of the two deceased. Here, we may recall the an October 2023 order by the Supreme Court, issuing a slew of directives to both the Union and state governments, focussing on the effective implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act of 2013. These directives encompassed active measures for rehabilitating victims and their families, providing scholarships, and skill development opportunities. While pronouncing the judgment, the top court bench comprising Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Aravind Kumar observed that large segment of Indias population continues to be involved in the practice of manual scavenging as unseen, unheard and mute in bondage, systematically trapped in inhuman conditions.

The New Indian Express 5 May 2024 8:20 am

TMC blaming BJP as reality of CM Banerjee coming to fore: Phalguni Patra on Sandeshkhali sting operation video

TMC blaming BJP as reality of CM Banerjee coming to fore: Phalguni Patra on Sandeshkhali sting operation video After a video of a sting operation surfaced, alleging that West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari hatched the Sandeshkhali conspiracy, BJP Mahila Morcha President Phalguni Patra said on Saturday that the TMC is blaming the BJP as the reality of CM Mamata Banerjee is coming to the fore. TMC is blaming the BJP as the reality of CM Mamata Banerjee is coming to the fore. This is not just Malda nor Sandeshkahli; complete Bengal is suffering from a situation similar to that of Sandeshkhali. In every corner, rapes occur and Mamata Banerjee is not taking any action against the accused involved in these types of incidents, Patra said. Meanwhile, TMC General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee warned that if the central leadership of the BJP does not issue an apology to the people of the state within 48 hours, it will be interpreted that the BJP devised a plan to belittle West Bengal. I will tell the leaders of the Centre that if you do not apologize to the people of Bengal within forty-eight hours, otherwise (it is right to think that) this conspiracy was hatched on your instructions to belittle Bengal, he said. On Saturday, a video of a sting operation surfaced that has stirred up controversy in Sandeshkhali and was broadcast by a local television channel. In the alleged video, purportedly a BJP Mandal (booth) president named Gangadhar Koyal is heard saying that Sandeshkhali women, who weren't sexually assaulted, were projected as 'rape' victims at the behest of the LoP. Claiming that Suvendu 'helped' him get this done, the person in the video said that the former told him that the TMC's strongmen in the area wouldn't be arrested unless he is falsely implicated in a ape case. However, the news channel that broke the alleged sting operation did not check the veracity of the clip. Earlier in the day, while sharing a clip from the alleged sting operation, Mamata Banerjee's nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, claimed on his official X handle that the people should see through the BJP's attempts to tarnish Bengal's image and reputation to advance and achieve its political ends. I am shocked beyond words to see the Sandeshkhali sting video. Every citizen must witness the Bangla Birodhi BJP's orchestrated attempt to defame and malign WB for their petty political ends. This abhorrent act epitomises the grossest abuse of power in history. Shame!, Abhishek posted from his official X handle on Saturday. A viral video today exposed how the BJP left no stone unturned to malign Bengal. From mass rape to arms seizure, every claim was BOUGHT and STAGED by none other than @SuvenduWB People won't forgive these Bangla-Birodhis. Bengal's mothers & sisters shall avenge this! read a post on the TMC's official X handle. Shahjahan, the key Sandeshkhali accused, is currently behind bars in connection with the attack on a team of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) while it was in the process of raiding his residence in connection with the alleged ration scam. The women of Sandeshkhali in the North 24 Parganas district came out on the streets earlier against the ruling TMC and Shahjahan, accusing the strongman and his aides of perpetrating gross excesses and atrocities on them while also gobbling up their land. Multiple women on the island accused Shajahan and his aides of land-grab and sexual assault under coercion. (ANI)

devdiscourse 4 May 2024 11:13 pm

Malda South: Can Congress Save Ghani Khan's Turf or Will BJP or TMC Breach it?

Malda is witnessing a three-way contest between and at stake is stalwart Ghani Khan Chowdhury's legacy.

The Quint 4 May 2024 2:15 pm

West Bengal to see TMC, BJP &Congress-Left fight on May 7

The four constituencies of Malda South, Malda North, Jangipur and Murshidabad are all geared up to go to polls on May 7 and considered the Congress bastion. The Malda North constituency of West Bengal will witness a three-cornered contest with the Congress-Left Front alliance, BJP and the TMC locking horns. The constituency, once a stronghold [] The post West Bengal to see TMC, BJP &Congress-Left fight on May 7 appeared first on Northlines .

The Northlines 3 May 2024 11:19 pm

Rinku's Rise Continues, Impresses Sourav Ganguly

Rinku's Rise Continues, Impresses Sourav Ganguly Rinku Singh shouldn't be disheartened by his exclusion from India's World T20 squad as it was pure tactical decision by team management to ask for an extra spinner taking pitches in the Caribbean into account, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly said on Friday. Ganguly feels the 26-year-old, who boasts of a 176-plus strike rate in 15 T20Is and plays the role of a finisher for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, may have missed out as India wanted to go with an ''extra spinner'' keeping in mind the spinning tracks in the West Indies. ''It's West Indies. The wickets may be slow and assist spin so they (selectors) wanted to go with another spinner. Maybe because of that Rinku didn't get an opportunity but it's just the beginning for Rinku,'' Ganguly said at the Trophy unveiling ceremony of the Bengal Pro T20 League. India play their group stage matches in the USA, opening their campaign against Ireland on June 5. Super Eight onwards the tournament will be held in the Caribbean countries. Ganguly expected India and Australia to dominate the tournament as they did in the 50-over World Cup last year. ''India and Australia the two best teams of the tournament. I'm sure they will do the same thing in the USA and the West Indies,'' Ganguly said. On the Indian squad, Ganguly said: ''It's a fabulous squad, they are all match winners. All 15 are good enough to be selected, I'm sure Rohit (Sharma) and Rahul (Dravid) will pick the best.'' Meanwhile all the eight franchises and their marquee players in the Bengal Pro T20 League were also announced. The inaugural edition of the league will take place at Eden Gardens and Jadavpur University Salt Lake Campus ground from June 11-28. The Teams Kolkata Royal Tigers (areas: Kolkata & Hooghly) (marquee players: Abhishek Porel and Mita Paul). Harbour Diamonds (North & South 24 Parganas) (Manoj Tiwary and Sukanya Panda). Rashmi Medinipur Wizards (Medinipur and Jhargram) (Abhimanyu Easwaran & Richa Ghosh). Servotec Siliguri Strikers (Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Kalimpong) (Akash Deep and Priyanka Bala). Adamas Howrah Warriors (Howrah, Purulia and Bankura) (Anustup Majumdar and Dhara Gujjar). Malda Sobisco Smashers (Dinajpur and Malda) (Mukesh Kumar & Rishita Basu). Murshidabad King (Murshidabad and Nadia) (Sudeep Gharami and Deepti Sharma).

devdiscourse 3 May 2024 8:11 pm

East, South continue to reel under heatwave; max temperature in Telangana to hit 45C, says IMD

East, South continue to reel under heatwave; max temperature in Telangana to hit 45C, says IMD As vast swathes of east and south India continued to bake under the scorching sun on Thursday, with the mercury in two Telangana districts hitting the 44C mark; a top scientist with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) held out no hope of an immediate respite for the state, adding that the maximum temperature can reach up to 45C over the next few days. Speaking to ANI on Thursday, IMD scientist Dr A. Sravani said, The maximum temperatures in Telangana have been on an upward curve over the last few days, It has now shot up to 44C. Over the next two to three days, the heatwave that has been building up steadily will intensify further. While across the state, the maximum temperatures have been upwards of 40C over the last few days, some parts even hit 44C. Some of the state observatories have even recorded maximum temperatures in the region of 45C or more in certain areas. The eastern part of the state has recorded temperatures in excess of 43C, while two districts have seen the mercury breach the 44C-mark. The Nizamabad district saw the mercury hit 44.1C while Ramagundam in the Peddapalli district recorded 44.4C, the climate scientist added. The prevailing condition will continue over the next four days. We will issue an orange alert (heatwave warning) tomorrow. After May 5, the maximum temperature in the state could show a marginal decrease with showers, too, predicted, Sravani added. According to a post on the official X handle of the IMD, Rentachintala in Andhra Pradesh recorded the highest maximum temperature on Thursday, at 46.2C, followed by Tirupathi and Rayalaseema at 45.6C; Khammam and Telangana at 45C; Talcher in Odisha at 45C; Purulia and Gangetic West Bengal at 44.1C; Karur Paramathi in Tamil Nadu at 44C); Malda and sub-Himalayan West Bengal at 41.8C; and Forbesganj in Bihar at 41.4C. The IMD also issued a red alert for severe heatwave in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha, saying the condition was likely to persist over the next two to three days. The Met also issued an 'Orange' alert for Telangana, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh over the next 4-5 days. Further, according to the IMD, the heatwave will persist in most areas of the eastern and southern states in May, including Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. While the political temperature south of the Vindhyas has peaked amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, in several cities of Telangana, not just the people but political leaders, as well, have had to bow to the unforgiving sun. Amid the intense heatwave, leaders across political parties have been wary not to take carry out campaign-related activities during the day and have been going door-to-door and taking out rallies and roadshows before 10 am or after 5 pm. The district administration has also been running awareness campaigns among voters in the morning or evening. From party offices, shops to religious places, all establishments stay closed in the afternoon hours, with priests, aides and devotees at temples, as well as party workers choosing to stay indoors. Dr Priyanka Ala, the district magistrate of Bhadradri Kothagudem, said, Already, the temperatures in districts are in excess of 45C and we are expecting it to inch further upward to 46 or 47C on May 13, the polling day. Considering the unforgiving weather, we have decided to make special arrangements at the polling stations. One of them is AMF, which stands for Assured Minimum Facilities. We also provide adequate drinking water facilities along with toilets. We have also made special seating arrangements under the shade. Each polling station will have a minimum of two to four tents. Medical kits, including ORS, will also be arranged. Ahead of polling on May 13, the political parties as well as the district administration are making elaborate arrangements to bring the maximum number of votes to the polling stations. The parties have not only arranged auto-rickshaws to ferry voters to their designated polling booths but also cold beverages, drinking water, and tents to enable them to get their fingers inked on May 13. Special arrangements have also been made at hospitals to attend to voters should they complain of discomfort or distress on account of the prevailing heatwave on polling day. (ANI)

devdiscourse 2 May 2024 12:32 pm

40 yrs on, BJP & TMC threaten to breach Ghani fort

Amidst shifting political landscapes in Malda, the legacy of Barkat da and ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury remains influential. The battle for Malda North intensifies with new candidates emerging, challenging established family legacies and political affiliations.

The Times of India 2 May 2024 6:08 am

West Bengal CM expresses concern over unusual surge in voter turnout, raises questions about EVM reliability

West Bengal CM expresses concern over unusual surge in voter turnout, raises questions about EVM reliability West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday criticised the Election Commission for the ''delay'' in releasing the final voter turnout figures for the initial two phases of the Lok Sabha polls. She also expressed concern over the sudden increase in polling percentages during those phases. Addressing two back-to-back rallies in minority-dominated Malda and Murshidabad districts, Banerjee accused the Centre of neglecting the state as it has a high percentage of minority and backward communities. The commission made public the voter turnout of the first two phases of polling, which were held on April 19 and April 26, on Tuesday evening. According to the EC, a voter turnout of 66.14 per cent was recorded in the first and 66.71 per cent in the second phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. ''The EC gave a figure of polling percentage immediately after the elections. But yesterday, I came to know about the sudden jump in final voter turnout by nearly 5.75 per cent, which is worrying. The percentage has increased in places where voting was not in favour of the BJP. There are lots of doubts and the commission must address it,'' she said. ''There are apprehensions of manipulation of results by the BJP as several EVMs were missing for a long period,'' she said while addressing a rally at Farakka in Murshidabad district. The TMC supremo said the sudden spike in poll percentage is not just ''disturbing'' but also raises ''serious apprehensions about the credibility of EVMs''. ''The details of EVM makers should be made public by the Election Commission as the BJP can stoop to any level to win elections,'' she said. Voting for the general elections is being held in seven phases, with the remaining phases scheduled for May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1. The counting of votes will take place on June 4. Both the TMC and the BJP have claimed that panic has set in the opposite camps sensing defeat in the first two phases. Referring to BJP as a ''Jumla'' party only interested in ''publicity'' by making false promises, she said, ''Did any citizen of this country get Rs 15 lakh in their bank account as promised during the 2014 election campaign? The BJP has been depriving West Bengal by withholding due funds. The Union government especially neglects the state since the percentage of minority and backward class populations in the state are comparatively higher.'' While speaking at the minority-dominated areas, Banerjee criticised the opposition bloc INDIA partners - CPI (M) and Congress - for ''joining hands with the BJP'' in West Bengal and asserted that the opposition front ceases to exist in the state. ''Don't vote for CPI (M) and Congress in West Bengal as they are agents of the BJP. Voting for the CPI(M) or Congress means voting for the BJP and voting for the BJP will lead to your democratic rights being taken away,'' she said. Banerjee said there is no INDIA alliance in West Bengal. ''The CPI (M) and Congress are contesting in minority-dominated seats so that they can help the BJP by cutting into TMC's votes,'' she said. Influence of the minorities in West Bengal, constituting nearly thirty per cent of the electorate, extends to 12-15 Lok Sabha seats, making them a coveted voting bloc for all parties. Banerjee accused the BJP of ''peddling lies'' about the state government's submission of utilisation certificates for central projects. ''We have given utilisation certificates for all the funds that we have received in the last 13 years. The BJP has withheld funds for political reasons. We condemn BJP's policy of depriving the poor,'' she said.

devdiscourse 1 May 2024 7:31 pm

Mango yield likely to be 75 pc less this season as mercury soars high in Malda

Mango yield likely to be 75 pc less this season as mercury soars high in Malda Owing to the dual attack of untimely rain previously and now of a heatwave, the mango yield in Malda this season is likely to be less by 75 per cent. The temperature has crossed 40C in Malda, adversely affecting the crops. Farmers are stressed as mango is their cash crop, and due to poor yield, they foresee significant losses this year. Ujjal Saha, the president of Malda Mango Merchants Association, expressed his concerns, stating, Malda is sure to have lost at least one half of average of total production this season owing to rains and heat. Ramesh, who works in a mango farm in Malda, highlighted the impact of weather on yield, saying, here have been no rains this year so the yield is less by at least 75 per cent. If the weather is favourable then the yield is good. In a season we can make business of Rs 5 to 10 lakhs but this year it will be hardly Rs 2 lakhs. It is a total loss. He urged the government to provide support to increase yield. Another mango farmer, Jiten Saha, also echoed similar concerns, stating, due to no rains the mangoes have already fallen off the trees. If rains happen the yield is good. It will be good if government can take some action to support us. Last year, the yield was 4 lakh metric tons, and it is very unlikely to cross even the 2 lakh mark this year. Untimely rains, prolonged winters, and now the heatwave have all contributed to the lesser yield of mangoes. It is quite possible that the king of fruits might not be easily available in the markets and could command a high price. (ANI)

devdiscourse 1 May 2024 6:30 pm

BJP spreading lies about Bengal development schemes: Mamata

KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of peddling lies on the state governments submission of utilisation certificates for Central projects and urged the BJP leadership to hold the mirror to itself. She was addressing a meeting at Harischandrapur in Malda Uttar Lok Sabha constituency. The Home Minister claimed that we have not sent utilisation certificates for Rs 2.32 lakh crore spending by our government. They blocked all funds to the state three years back, she said at Malda Shakti Sangha ground in Malda town. I challenge him to prove it, she said. This is nothing but falsehood. Since coming to power 13 years ago, we have given every single break-up of expenses in utilisation certificates. I cannot take responsibility for whatever happened during the reign of CPM before 2011, she said. Mamata said the BJP in a vindictive manner withheld the money for 100 days work for Bengal. We cannot let our people suffer. We have mobilised money so that 59 lakh people have already got money under 50 days work. The Centre has two weapons -- spreading lies and stopping Central funds due to us, she said. We will never bow before the Centre. They stopped Awas Yojana money, but we have managed to provide housing funds for 11 lakh houses, she said. The Chief Minister accused BJP leaders of only badmouthing and threatening Bengal. A BJP minister said they will never allow me to stop NRC in Bengal. I take up the challenge. We will not allow NRC in Bengal. We will not allow Uniform Civil Code, she said. Wont allow NRC, CAA West Bengal chief minister Mamata said her government and party will not allow NRC in Bengal. We will not allow Uniform Civil Code either in state, she said.

The New Indian Express 1 May 2024 7:00 am

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Malda ...Congress-BJP-TMC | Hot Seat

West Bengal Seat: - . . , . . . .

NDTV 30 Apr 2024 7:18 pm

Phase 3 polls: 13 of 57 Bengal candidates are crorepatis

Phase 3 polls: 13 of 57 Bengal candidates are crorepatis Out of the 57 candidates contesting in the four Lok Sabha constituencies going into phase 3 polling on May 7, around 23 per cent are crorepatis with an average asset of Rs 1.84 crore, an analysis of their affidavits pointed out on Monday. Of the 13 crorepati candidates, three are from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Independents while the Congress and the All India Secular Front have two each. Three Independent candidates are also crorepatis. The BJP, CPI(M) and the Bharathiya Jawan Kisan Party have one crorepati candidate each, the analysis conducted by the West Bengal Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a statement. ''The average of assets per candidate contesting in the West Bengal phase three Lok Sabha elections is Rs 1.84 crore,'' it added. Khalilur Rehman, TMC candidate from Jangipur constituency, has assets valued at over Rs 51 crore while Independent candidate Mohammed Jamal Saikh contesting from Maldaha Dakshin seat has a total asset of Rs 41,000, the study said. Analysing the education details of the 57 candidates, it was found that 26 have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th and 12th standard, while 31 candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. The phase three polling is scheduled in Jangipur, Maldaha Dakshin, Maldaha Uttar, and Murshidabad.

devdiscourse 29 Apr 2024 11:25 pm

Don't allow vote division: Mamata Banerjee urges Muslims

Speaking at Malda's Sujapur election rally, Banerjee said the Congress and Left Front have partnered and fielded CPI-M's Mohammed Salim in Murshidabad, in a bid to divide Muslim votes and help the BJP. This election is to oust PM Modi but BJP will benefit if there is a division of Muslim votes, Banerjee said in Malda.

The Economic Times 29 Apr 2024 12:11 am

Don't Vote for Congress-CPI(M) Alliance in LS, says Mamata

Kolkata : West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee revealed on Sunday that she had sought the Congress not to ally with the CPI(M) and share seats among themselves in the Lok Sabha Election. She however claimed that the grand old party ignored her suggestion. Addressing a Lok Sabha Election campaign rally at Sujapur in Malda, the Trinamul Congress supremo said, Congress does not have even a seat in the Assembly here. I have always wanted to help them. I told them not to ally with the CPI(M) and offered them two seats. She also alleged, But they didn't listen to me, went with the CPI(M) and shared the seats. Do you want me to surrender to CPI(M)? Ms Banerjee once again took the credit for creating and naming the opposition parties forum, I.N.D.I.A.. She however appealed to the voters not to cast their ballots for either Congress or Left, which are partners of I.N.D.I.A.. Don't get into the politics of splitting votes here if you want to tackle BJP in Delhi. We did not go somewhere else despite having wished to contest the polls from many other places. The TMC chief pointed out, This is not the election to determine the next Bengal government but to topple Modi Babus gaddi in Delhi. But for this, votes must be consolidated. Congress has fielded candidates here because the BJP has two eyes here Congress and CPI(M). The same is the case with Raiganj and Murshidabad. She added, If BJP wins due to a split in votes, it is the people who will suffer. No matter what they say, do not fall for their trap. CPI(M) leaders are becoming BJP MPs and friends. They have tortured our workers here in Malda too. I do not forgive the torturers.

Deccan Chronicle 28 Apr 2024 11:42 pm

Scorching Heatwave Persists in South Bengal and Northern Districts

Scorching Heatwave Persists in South Bengal and Northern Districts Heatwave prevailed in south Bengal and many parts of the northern districts of West Bengal on Sunday as the Met department forecast it will continue, particularly in southern districts, till May 2. The day's maximum temperature was recorded at 44.3 degrees Celsius, 7.5 deg C above normal, at Kalaikunda in Paschim Medinipur district, the department said in a bulletin. At Panagarh in Paschim Bardhaman district, the temperature was 44.2 deg C, followed by Bankura 43.5 deg C. In Kolkata, the maximum temperature was 41.3 deg C, which was 5.7 deg C above normal. In the relatively cooler northern parts of the state, Balurghat and Malda recorded maximum temperatures of 41 deg C each. In Darjeeling and Kalimpong, the mercury, however, read 22.4 deg C and 25.2 deg C, respectively, the MeT office said. ''Mainly dry westerly to northwesterly winds at lower levels continue to prevail over the region. Due to strong solar insolation, the heatwave condition is very likely to prevail over the districts during the period from April 28 to May 2,'' a MeT office spokesperson said. Due to the heatwave, roads wore a deserted look on Sunday and fewer vehicles were seen in the afternoon. The state government already announced the preponing of the summer vacation in state-run and state-aided schools.

devdiscourse 28 Apr 2024 11:06 pm

Speaking lies do not suit a Prime Minister: Mamata Banerjee at Maldah Uttar

Speaking lies do not suit a Prime Minister: Mamata Banerjee at Maldah Uttar West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday saying that it does not suit a Prime Minister to speak so many lies. Prime Minister is continuously speaking lies. This does not suit a Prime Minister, it does not look good. His thinking is narrow. I don't believe that just because he says lies I have to speak lies too, Banerjee said speaking at a public rally at West Bengal's Malda on Sunday. The Chief Minister said that no political party was born in India that has as many thieves as the BJP. BJP is a big jumlabaaz and conspirator. Such a party full of thieves has not come up in India ever. Whoever has lots of money has joined the BJP. If they don't join, they will be harassed by the CBI or Income Tax, or NIA or NSG, Banerjee said. Slamming the BJP for not paying money for MGNREGA scheme, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo pointed out that her state government has paid the money. On the other hand, those poor who have worked for 100 days have not received any money. Have you received any money from the Panchayat? Job card holders who worked for 100 days have not been paid for three years...We launched a movement in Delhi. Neither the Prime Minister nor his thieves, his panchayat, panchayat samiti, nor MLA paid the money. We have paid the money, the Chief Minister said. Banerjee even promised to implement a 50-day employment program for job card holders directly. In future, we will run a 50-day employment programme for job card holders, not through these people (BJP), but directly, she said. Lambasting the BJP for claiming that the TMC engaged in thefts in West Bengal, Banerjee challenged the Prime Minister to bring on the track records of other NDA-ruled states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and tally them with Bengal's. They (BJP) are saying that since TMC engaged in thefts they did not pay. If you have the courage and if you have 56 inch chest prove it. Bring the track records of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, Banerjee said. The TMC chief claimed that BJP stopped funds for MGNREGA since they won from the Malda Uttar constituency. You have sent 350 committees here. We have furnished whatever reports you wanted. We have cleared everything. Even then, you have stopped 100-days work in West Bengal. This is because they won. After winning, they did these, she said. BJP's Khagen Murmu defeated TMC's Mausam Noor with a margin of 84,288 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha seats. Slamming the BJP for its much-improved performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee said, They stopped paying money for work on road construction. This is because they got 18 seats in 2019. They thought themselves to be big shots. In an attack on the BJP for allegedly starting a ration programme in West Bengal in which the Prime Minister's photo and party symbol will be affixed to the ration distributed, the Chief Minister said that she denied implementing it in the state. They (BJP) have started a rice program before elections. They are saying that even if someone has to take a 2 kg ration. They said that there will be the photo of the Prime Minister and BJP logo on it. We did not allow it. If they want to give the logo of West Bengal government we have no problem as we give more money. But if you think that you will be taking everything by force, remember that the day people stop supporting you you will understand that people have true power, Banerjee said. Malda Uttar will be voting in the third phase of the election on May 7. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won 22 seats, while the BJP won 18 seats. Congress emerged victorious in two seats. (ANI)

devdiscourse 28 Apr 2024 11:03 pm

Mamata Banerjee Dances With Locals, Plays Folk Instruments

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was seen dancing with the local dancers in Malda on the beats of Bengali folk song. She also tried her hands at folk instruments.

NDTV 28 Apr 2024 8:28 pm

TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee Accuses Congress and CPI(M) of Aiding BJP in Bengal

TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee Accuses Congress and CPI(M) of Aiding BJP in Bengal Asserting that the Trinamool Congress is contesting the Lok Sabha elections alone in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday alleged that the Congress and CPI(M) are helping the BJP in the state. Addressing an election rally here at Malda Dakshin Lok Sabha seat, Banerjee claimed that the TMC will put up a spirited fight against the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre and will play a major role in installing an INDIA bloc government after the Lok Sabha polls. ''We don't have any alliance in Bengal with Congress. Here the CPI(M) is having an alliance with Congress. Both are hand-in gloves with BJP and if you (voters) cast vote for Congress or CPI(M) that tantamounts to cutting the anti-BJP vote share and helping Narendra Modi. Congress and CPI(M) are the two eyes of BJP in this state,'' she said. Banerjee claimed that the TMC had wanted to discuss seat sharing with Congress with the condition that they should not have any deal with CPI(M) in Bengal but they didn't listen. ''The Congress and CPI(M) leaders in West Bengal have been speaking in the same voice of BJP and plotting against pro-people policies of the TMC-run government in the state,'' she said. Asserting that the INDIA alliance is alive outside Bengal, Banerjee said ''I gave INDIA alliance its name, but the alliance does not exist in Bengal, it will be functioning outside this state because of the pro-BJP stance of its state leaders.'' She claimed that the TMC will play an important role in the INDIA alliance nationally after defeating BJP in Bengal on its own in the Lok Sabha polls. In a jibe at Modi over his comments about the Calcutta High Court order regarding SSC recruitment in 2016, she said ''26,000 youths have lost their jobs all of a sudden. Does that make you happy?'' She alleged that CPI(M) in collusion with BJP is plotting to stall teaching job recruitment initiatives of the state government. ''... We will do whatever is required to help these unfortunate youths who had given their labour, their intellect in all these years and now suddenly being told their job has been taken away. To ensure justice is done,'' she said. ''Even if there can be aberrations when we try to find alternative ways to fix it, in the interest of the deserving educated youth, the CPI(M) and BJP rushes in to jeopardise that,'' she said. At the second rally in Habibpur in Malda Uttar seat, the TMC chairperson alleged BJP hands over cash to voters ''to buy votes'' on the eve of polling date. ''Bring the misconduct to the notice of election officials and our party activists in the area. BJP does not believe in doing work for people, it believes in bribing people, Should one vote such a corrupt party with no principles,'' she asked. Accusing the PM of peddling falsehood, she said, ''he has attempted to scare women about their wealth, gold ornaments, mangalsutra being taken away. Can this ever happen?'' ''Modi ji only tries to divide people by peddling lies. By spreading hatred, by alienating minorities and dalits with his speech and agenda. We will never allow that to happen. For us every religion is important, every community is important, we believe in the inclusiveness of India,'' she said.

devdiscourse 28 Apr 2024 5:30 pm

Bengal CM Mamata alleges Congress, CPI(M) are secretly aiding BJP

Bengal CM Mamata alleges Congress, CPI(M) are secretly aiding BJP Asserting that the Trinamool Congress is contesting the Lok Sabha elections alone in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday alleged that the Congress and CPI(M) are helping the BJP in the state. Addressing an election rally here in Malda district, Banerjee claimed that the TMC will put up a spirited fight against the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre and will play a major role in installing an INDIA bloc government after the Lok Sabha polls. ''We don't have any alliance in Bengal with Congress. Here the CPI-M is having an alliance with Congress. Both are hand-in gloves with BJP and if you (voters) cast vote for Congress or CPI(M) that tantamounts to cutting the anti-BJP vote share and helping Narendra Modi. Congress and CPI(M) are the two eyes of BJP in this state,'' she said. Banerjee claimed that the TMC had wanted to discuss seat sharing with Congress with the condition that they should not have any track with CPI(M) in Bengal but they didn't listen. ''The Congress and CPI(M) leaders in West Bengal have been speaking in the same voice of BJP and plotting against pro-people policies of the TMC-run government in the state,'' she said. Asserting that the INDIA alliance is alive outside Bengal, Banerjee said ''I gave INDIA alliance its name, but the alliance does not exist in Bengal, it will be functioning outside this state because of the pro-BJP stance of its state leaders.'' She claimed that the TMC will play an important role in the INDIA alliance nationally after defeating BJP in Bengal on its own in the Lok Sabha polls. Taking a jibe at Modi over his comments about the Calcutta High Court order regarding SSC recruitment in 2016, she said ''26,000 youths have lost their jobs all of a sudden. Does that make you happy?'' She alleged that CPI(M) in collusion with BJP is plotting to stall teaching job recruitment initiatives of the state government. ''Even if there can be aberrations, when we try to find alternative ways to fix it, in the interest of the deserving educated youth, the CPI(M) and BJP rushes in to jeopardise that,'' she said.

devdiscourse 28 Apr 2024 3:18 pm

Indigenously-built Vande Metro trial run to begin from July, say officials

NEW DELHI : Indian Railways will launch indigenously designed and developed Vande Metro trains and run more Amrit Bharat trains, officials aware of the matter said on Saturday. The Vande Metro train will have a very swift run between one major city to another covering a shorter distance of nearly 100 to 150 kms. Designed on the concept of European regional train, the first new train set of Vande Metro is likely to roll out from the railway manufacturing unit by July this year for test run on a selected route, an official of the railway ministry said, wishing not to be named. Non-AC high-speed Amrit Bharat passenger trains will run from one state to another covering a longer distance of over 1,000 kms. Orders for the manufacture of 50 Amrit Bharat trains, out of a target of running at least 400 in next few years, have been placed with the manufacturing units concerned, a senior railway ministry official said. The Vande Metro train has been designed in such a way that it would bring a new kind of revolution in metro journey because of its technically advanced swift acceleration-driven movement and comfortable accommodating facilities form one city to another situated within a distance of 100 to 250 kms, the official said. The first train set of Vande Metro, akin to the European concept of regional rail connectivity, will cater to intercity passenger services covering a distance of 100 to 250 kms at the maximum speed of 120-130 kmph, the official said. The prototype of first Vande Metro train set will have initially 12 air-conditioned coaches. After successful test run of Vande Metro train, the ministry will run more such trains in its 100 days of action plan from July this year onwards, the official said. The ministry is also planning to roll out 1,000 Vande sleeper trains in next 5 years connecting all cities, he said. Presently two sets of Amrit Bharat trains, connecting Darbhanga-Ayodhya-Anand Vihar terminal and Malda -Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminus (Bengaluru), are operational.

The New Indian Express 28 Apr 2024 8:03 am

West Bengal: Battle of ideologies, clash of big names in these minority-dominated seats

The Maldaha Uttar and Maldaha Dakshin constituencies are in Maldaha district, historically known as the fortress of Congress' iconic leader ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury. But the glory of the past has started fading. In this minority dominated district, politics has changed its course.

The Economic Times 27 Apr 2024 11:19 pm