Replace EVMs with ballot papers, suggests Hooda; Is this the right demand?
Rohtak : Former Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda has stated that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) should be replaced with ballot papers, which were being used for casting votes in most of the advanced countries across the world.
Addressing a news conference here on Tuesday, he termed the BJP Government as inefficient and directionless. Hooda also alleged a scam in the contract-based recruitments being carried out in the state.
Coming down heavily on the state leadership regarding heaps of garbage lying along the roads, in markets and residential localities, the Congress leader said the Chief Minister was on a foreign tour, while the residents were grappling with such situation reminds one of the old legend ‘Nero was fiddling, while Rome was burning.’
In response to a query, the former Chief Minister maintained that the BJP Government in Haryana was making false claims regarding investments being made in the state.
“The Chief Minister has been claiming that MoUs, involving crores of rupees, has been signed with different groups and companies. Such MoUs are meaningless unless the money is actually invested in the state,” he said.
Hooda pointed out that no new IMTs had been established in the state during the BJP regime and the tall claims being made by the government in the name of investment were hollow. He also accused the BJP Government of making false promises of doubling the income of farmers by 2022.
On being questioned about the ‘Namaaz’ row in Gurugram, he said the BJP wanted to create division and friction between residents of different religions, castes and communities.
He also announced that the next phase of his ‘jan-kranti yatra’ would begin from Samalakha on June 3 and cover all Assembly segments in the state.
“The underlying idea behind the exercise is to make the BJP Government realise its responsibilities towards the people of the state,” he added.
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State sets new record in wheat procurement; Have the government rewarded the farmers on the bumper crop?
Chandigarh : Thanks to a bumper crop this year, Haryana has set a new record in wheat procurement since the state’s inception in 1966. Tuesday was the last of procurement by government agencies.
Sources say 87.21 lakh MT of wheat was procured till Monday. The previous highest procurement was 87.16 lakh MT in 2012-13.
Ram Niwas, Additional Chief Secretary (Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs), said of the 87,21,398 MT of wheat procured till Monday, 87,20,184 MT was purchased at an MSP of Rs 1,735 per quintal, with private traders bought only 1,214 MT.
Haryana witnessed a record production of wheat this year. The Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department has put the figure at 132.16 lakh MT.
“Though crop-cutting experiments (CCEs) of the department are yet to be completed, we are expecting a yield of more than 52 quintals per hectare. With wheat grown on 25.23 lakh hectares this time, the production will surpass the previous highest figure of 131.19 lakh MT achieved in 2012-13,” said Suresh Kumar Gahlawat, Additional Director, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department.
Last year, 113.12 lakh MT of wheat was produced in the state. Sources say climatic conditions conducive for the growth of wheat were the reason for a bumper crop.
Agriculture experts say there were a few complaints of pest attacks and yellow rust as temperature as well as humidity remained conducive this year.
Sources say grain-ripening process in wheat is good if temperature remains optimum and doesn’t show a sudden rise in March and April, a condition that persisted this year.
2 young victims of ‘honour killing’; Will Honor Killing never stop?
Tarn Taran :
In a suspected case of honour killing, a young couple, both in their 20s and in a relationship for the past one month, were allegedly killed by the girl’s family members in Khemkaran area of Tarn Taran early morning.
The victims have been identified as Husanpreet Singh and Ramandeep Kaur. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem. Tarn Taran police chief Darshan Singh Mann said eight members of Ramandeep’s family have been booked under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 364 (kidnapping in order to murder), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the IPC. He said Ramandeep’s father Jassa Singh, mother Manjit Kaur, paternal uncle Harpal Singh and his wife Manpreet Kaur had been arrested and those on the run were Sher Singh, Akash, Ghulla and Rana.
Husanpreet had allegedly gone to Ramandeep’s house around midnight. However, around 3.30 am, Ramandeep’s family woke up and allegedly attacked the duo with sharp-edged weapons, killing them on the spot. Later, they disposed of Husanpreet’s body in a sewerage chamber. When Husanpreet did not return home, his family approached Ramandeep’s family, who did not allow them to enter their house. They got suspicious and informed the police.
Mann said the duty magistrate was called on the spot and the bodies were recovered in his presence. Ramandeep’s body was wrapped in a quilt and hidden in a box, whereas Husanpreet’s body was recovered from a sewerage chamber outside the house.
Talks between govt, employees’ union fail | 30,000 on protest path; Is the strike of municipal staff true?
Chandigarh : Talks between the Haryana Government and representatives of striking sanitation workers failed on Monday, with employees extending their strike by three days till Thursday.
The parleys hit a wall over regular jobs to the employees. The other demands include a minimum salary at Rs15,000 per month, ex gratia for employees, pension, risk allowance, cashless facility for contractual employees and absorption of about 1,400 employees of the Fire Department in the government grade.
The talks in New Delhi were held between the Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh under the banner of the Sarv Karamchari Sangh and a state government delegation led by Principal Secretary (Urban Local Bodies) Anand Mohan Sharan.
Sources said the delegation expressed inability to give a categorical assurance on regular jobs as it said the government was bound by a judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It was decided that other demands would be forwarded to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain since a “policy decision” had to be taken on them.
Subhash Lamba, general secretary, Sarv Karamchari Sangh, told The Tribune: “With talks reaching a dead end, employees’ unions will hold a demonstration in support of sanitation workers at district headquarters on Tuesday.”
More than 30,000 employees and workers, including safai karamcharis, of about 90 Municipal Corporations, Municipal Committees and Councils, began a three-day strike on May 9. Three days later, they decided to extend the strike till May 14. And on Monday, they extended it till Thursday.
Meanwhile, Khattar’s media adviser Rajiv Jain said the state government was open to talks with employees so that residents were not inconvenienced due to accumulation of garbage and disruption of other essential services.
Officials, however, said regular jobs to the staff were not feasible as the HC had, on September 2, 2016, already put a stay on regularisation policies issued on and after June 16, 2014. “Later, the Chief Secretary had directed all heads of departments to comply with the HC order. So, it will be impossible to regularise contractual employees,” the officials added.
Will invoke ESMA, threatens Karnal MC
Karnal: Sanitation workers staged a dharna in the Municipal Corporation’s office here on Monday and took out a procession. They burnt copies of a written warning of invoking the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA). Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh vice-president Ashok Parocha and district president Virbhan Bidlan said it was unfortunate that the state government was trying to suppress their voice by threatening to invoke the ESMA. The Act restricts employees providing “essential services” from going on strikes. TNS
No alternatives but to protest: Sangh
Faridabad: With talks reaching a dead end, Haryana Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh president Naresh Shastri on Monday said striking MC employees wanted to give more time to the state government to consider their long-pending demands. “Employees have been left with no alternative, but to go on strike. All demands are justified,” he said. “During the talks, Principal Secretary (Urban Local Bodies) Anand Mohan Sharan told members of the sangh the matter would have to be discussed with the Chief Minister’s office before he could commit anything,” Shastri said, adding Sharan's appeal to end strike was turned down as no assurance was given on fulfilling the demands.
Farmers await payment for wheat produce; Is the government creating problems for farmers?
Many farmers in the district have been struggling to get payment of their wheat crop for the past several days. The procurement agencies claim that the payment for most of the procured wheat has been released to the commission agents in time.
“I sold my wheat produce on April 11, but the payment is yet to be received. I have made several rounds of mandi during the past one month to get the payment. The commission agent sends me back every time stating that the procurement agency has not released the payment,” said Rajesh Kumar, a farmer from Kot village.
Ravinder, another farmer, said, he was facing a lot of difficulty in making ends meet due to non-payment of his wheat crop.
“My total payment is Rs 65,000, which is due for the past one-and-a-half months, while the commission agent blames the procurement agency for the delay,” he said.
Raju, another farmer, said, he had sold his crop last month and Rs 2 lakh was due.
“The commission agent says the agency is not releasing the payment due to non-lifting of the produce. We have no other option except to wait for the payment,” he said, adding that the state government should have made the payments directly to farmers.
Narender Kumar, president of the Commission Agents’ Association, said high moisture content in the wheat due to rain and tardy lifting of procured produce were the two main reasons behind delay in the payment.
“An estimated payment of around Rs 25 crore is still due. We have called on the authorities concerned several times, but to no avail,” he said.
Kapil, Manager, HAFED, said they had released most of the payments and farmers should contact their commission agents.
“Payment is released only after receiving the procured produce at godown. A total payment of Rs 51.18 crore has so far been made,” he said.
Suresh Kumar, Mandi supervisor, said a total 5 lakh quintals of wheat had so far been procured, while over one lakh quintals were yet to be transported to godown.