'Don't rely on me': Khattar snubs job seeker; video goes viral; Are Khattar avoiding giving jobs?
A video of Manohar Lal Khattar snubbing a Karnal resident who asked the Haryana CM to keep his promise of a job to him has become talk of the town. The CM reportedly asked the job seeker to work on his own instead of relying on him for a job.
The video has gone viral and even the opposition leaders taking a dig at the CM. Randeep Singh Surjewala, media cell incharge of Congress, shared this video on Twitter and slammed the CM for "his way of public dealing".
On July 22 when Khattar was listening to the grievances of people at PWD Rest House, one Tej Partap Arora, a resident of Gandhinagar in the city, reminded the CM of his promise of a job during the latter's visit at his residence two years back.
He requested Khattar for a job, but the CM reportedly asked him to do some work as he "looks healthy and fit", instead of relying on him.
Arora alleged that the CM did not keep his promise. The CM had assured Arora's family a job when he had come to their residence to mourn the death of his wife and son in an accident in Panipat. His father had also received injuries in the accident.
In the video, Arora also lost his cool and said if the CM cannot fulfil promises, he should give false hope. After this, the security staff whisked him away.
Colleges, varsities set for student polls; Is there a passion for students union elections?
Likely in September-October | Elections were scrapped by HVP-BJP govt 22 years ago
Colleges and universities in the state are gearing up for student body elections in the current academic session nearly 22 years after these were discontinued by the HVP-BJP government led by Bansi Lal.
Sources in Manohar Lal Khattar government said that the BJP government was committed to holding student body elections in colleges and universities across the state in September-October this year.
Khattar categorically assured a delegation of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, student wing of the BJP, that student elections would definitely be held during the current academic session.
He directed DCs and SPs through video-conferencing to make all arrangements to ensure that the elections were held in a peaceful manner.
Khattar’s media adviser Rajiv Jain asserted that the modalities for conducting the elections would be worked out soon.
“Conducting student body elections was one of the poll promises of the BJP in the 2014 Assembly elections. The party is committed to fulfilling its promise to take the democratic process to educational institutions,” he said.
Following deliberations with stakeholders, the government had formed a committee under Prof Tankeshwar Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Jambeshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar, to explore the possibilities of student elections.
The committee had reportedly favoured ‘indirect elections’ in one report.
The then HVP-BJP government led by Bansi Lal had discontinued student body elections in 1996. Current Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma held the same portfolio when the elections were discontinued.
All major political parties have student wings, which will contest student body elections. The Congress has the National Student Union of India as its student wing and the INLD has the Indian National Student Organisation as its student wing.
Woman held for blackmail; Now is it common for women to be blackmailed?
A joint team of the CIA-II and the women police station has arrested a woman for allegedly blackmailing a man by threatening to implicate him in a rape case.
A local court sent the accused, Simran, alias Seema, a resident of Gumthala Rao village, to judicial custody.
Shri Bhagwan Yadav, in charge, CIA-II, said that they received a complaint from a resident of Jagadhri Workshop, a few days ago.
The complainant stated that he was working as a medical representative in a company in 2014 and Simran was working as a receptionist in a private hospital here. He came in contact with her and they became friends.
He alleged that after sometime, she started blackmailing him and extorted more than Rs 4 lakh from him in the past more than three years.
He said that she was now demanding Rs 50,000 from him. Simran was arrested red-handed while accepting Rs 50,000 from the victim on Monday evening.
Shri Bhagwan said that as per preliminary investigation, the woman had married three persons in the past and had left them after extorting money from them.
“We are trying to know whether more persons are involved in the case,” said Shri Bhagwan.
Shri Bhagwan Yadav, incharge, CIA-II, said that as per preliminary investigation, the woman had married three persons in the past and had left them after extorting money from them.
‘Cong doesn’t need an ally in Haryana’; Is it true?
Surjewala: People of the state want to get rid of the BJP government; the INLD-BSP coalition is unholy
Is the state Congress ready for the Assembly elections in Haryana?
Yes, the Congress is ready and the people of Haryana are more ready to throw out the BJP government for all its incompetence. The BJP government has disturbed our social fabric, hampered economic progress and put the state into a swirling debt trap. The election results will show that the BJP will not have seats in double digits.
The block and district units of the Congress are not in place and the party is afflicted with factionalism. Don’t you think senior leaders need to come together?
I don’t agree that the party is divided. You will have different leaders who seem to be working in different directions but as elections approach, they will become one; like our five fingers that come together to make the hand. We will work together. There can be a difference of opinion on the approach to various issues but there are no personal differences. We will work as a team and the sole purpose will be to ensure that the Congress returns to power for the transformation of the state and fulfil the aspirations of people.
It is said that the Congress has more chief ministerial aspirants than workers. You yourself are one of them. Is it a good sign or a bad one to have so many?
In politics, it is not bad to aspire to become Chief Minister, to vie for a particular post, to expect to reach some position, or to be able to translate your dreams into reality. Of course, it should not become a hindrance in the growth of the party. I am 100 per cent sure that whether it is Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Ashok Tanwar, Kumari Selja or any other colleague, everybody will finally yield to the mandate of the legislators and what the Congress President wants. This had happened in 2005 when Bhajan Lal was the Congress president in Haryana and I was the working president but the party decided to appoint Hooda and everybody accepted the decision.
Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar and former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda are constantly at loggerheads. Does this hamper the prospects of the party?
There has been a difference of opinion between the PCC president and a section of leaders, including Hooda. Politics is an art of ironing out all creases in the political set up. These are smaller creases that can always be ironed out for a higher goal; that is to save the state from the clutches of the BJP and its incompetent non-delivering state government.
How is the Congress top leadership intervening to iron out these differences among senior leaders?
The Congress believes in conversation and the party leadership permits it. We may disagree with each other but we will agree to disagree and finally reach a point where all of us will act in tandem to achieve the higher purpose, putting aside personal acrimony or difference of opinion. That is the beauty of the Congress and that is what sets us apart from the dictatorial and autocratic set-up that runs in the country or what the INLD did in the state.
Are you a contender for the Lok Sabha ticket from Haryana or would you rather contest the Assembly elections?
I would definitely like to contest the Kaithal Assembly seat. In adverse political circumstances when the Congress lost from Sirsa to Yamunanagar to Panipat, it was only the people of Kaithal who re-elected me and that too with a higher margin. I believe I owe them to go back and serve them all over again, speed up the pace of development that the BJP has hindered and correct discriminatory treatment that the government has meted out to Kaithal.
You have been practically absent from the Haryana Vidhan Sabha since this term began. Is it fair to the people of Kaithal?
I am the wrong person to be answering this question. This question should be put to the Chief Minister. The Assembly session is not even held for 30 days in a year. The Assembly, which was to be sacrosanct for discussions on people’s issues, for legislation and holding the government accountable, has been relegated to a space where it is just a constitutional formality. So, I raise the voice of the people of Haryana and also of the people of Kaithal through public meetings and demonstrations. If you check with the people of my constituency, I am sure they will tell you that I am one of the few MLAs who are there two days a week.
The UPA government at the Centre and the Hooda government in the state did not implement the Swaminathan commission report. Why do you term the BJP as ‘anti-farmer’ for failing to do so?
The UPA government had increased the minimum support price (MSP) from 12.5 per cent to 27 per cent every year, bringing prosperity to ordinary villagers. We also implemented MNREGA so that the landless have an alternative avenue. The UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh had brought nearly 14 crore people out of poverty. What has the incumbent Prime Minister done? The average growth rate, which was 4.2 per cent during the UPA rule, has come down to 1.2 per cent — a 3 per cent drop. The average increase in the MSP has been between 3.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent. If the Prime Minister wants to double farmers’ income in next few years, up to 2022, he will have to have an agriculture growth rate of 14.5 per cent, which is impossible.
Even the latest MSP announced, half of which will be given when he had demitted power, falls short of the cost plus 50 per cent price that he had promised. Agrarian stress, rural indebtedness, farmers’ suicide, Prime Minister insurance scheme (farmers got Rs 5,600 crore while seven insurance companies got Rs 14,800 crore) and the acute agrarian and rural difficulties are what the Prime Minister have unfolded. I’m sure that the Congress will undo all this and propel the agriculture sector on a growth trajectory.
Does Congress president Rahul Gandhi have it in him to steer the party to victory? Can you tell us about his working style and his plans for the party?
Absolutely! Rahul Gandhi has the mettle and it has been tested multiple times. Rahulji led the Congress party in the run up to the 2014 elections and we won in many states. But not once did he say that he was the chief campaigner. In 2014, when he was not part of the government, when we lost, he said that “I’m accountable for it as I was leading the campaign and not Dr Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi”. That is what his confidence is all about. Whenever we lose, like it happened in 2014, he takes the blame. Whenever we win, like we did in Punjab, he gives the credit to the state leadership and workers. On the other hand, the BJP had 282 seats but in the last two years it has lost every parliamentary byelection. No wonder that its seat tally is now down to 269. People are waiting to throw the BJP out of power at the Centre and in Haryana.
You were inducted into the Congress Working Committee recently. What in your opinion ails the party?
I will put this question little differently — what are the challenges that the Congress faces. In the 21st century, when the Central government is out to denigrate democracy, suppress dissenting voices and demolish institutions, trample traditional, constitutional as well as social values to retain power, I think the Congress is the only insurance policy or the only political party that can protect democracy.
The Congress believes in democracy and constitutional principles are part of our foundational ethos, which are intrinsic to sustaining our country as a homogeneous unit despite various castes and languages. I think that is an onerous responsibility that the Congress must fulfil and that is where the challenge lies. Wherever we are weak, we need to strengthen; wherever we are strong and can take the BJP head on, we need to work in national interest. We need to save democracy and the country from the clutches of the BJP.
In Haryana, what are the chances of the INLD-BSP combine?
There is an apparently unholy alliance between the INLD and the BSP. The INLD is a supporter of the BJP. The proof of the pudding lies in its eating. The fashion in which INLD MP Dushyant Chautala and the Sirsa MP refused to vote against the NDA government on the no-confidence motion has let the cat out of the bag. They will have seat adjustments and then post-elections they will come together. They are one. The Congress doesn’t need any ally in the state. In any case, the BSP does not have a large base in Haryana. The INLD, a sagging and defeated party as it is, entered into the alliance with the BSP to give itself a boost.
Where do the INLD and its leadership stand in Haryana?
The INLD lost the battle of Haryana’s minds and hearts when Om Prakash Chautala was Chief Minister. He lost in Narwana and the INLD was decimated in Haryana. The reasons for it are many. Rampant irregularities in job appointments were one of the reasons that disillusioned the youth. The policies and the mindset of the INLD are contrary to modern, urbanised Haryana. The days are gone when they could garner votes in the name of Chaudhary Devi Lal. People seek accountability that the INLD lacks. Today, you can’t suppress Dalits, you can’t ignore urbanites and you can’t promote ‘goondas’. And this is why the INLD has now little political space left for it in Haryana.
You have been the party’s face when it comes to taking on the BJP. How do you rate the BJP government in the state?
The BJP government virtually scores a zero. I don’t think it deserves any marks. Perhaps, it is the most incompetent government ever in the history of Haryana. It is classic that BJP workers say MLAs don’t listen to them, ministers complain that the Chief Minister doesn’t listen to them and the Chief Minister laments that his ministers and the bureaucracy do not listen to him. Who has been governing the state for the last four years in absolute anarchy is a secret that needs to be unravelled. You will find that Haryana is a state with zero governance, zero delivery and zero competence as far as the political executive is concerned.
What is the biggest failure of the BJP that will go against it in the 2019 Assembly elections?
There have been three big failures of the BJP government. First, it has disturbed the societal fabric of Haryana by dividing people on caste and communal lines. What hasn’t happened in 50 years, took place in three years of the BJP rule. Haryana burnt thrice and they will pay a heavy price for it. Secondly, they have pushed the state into a debt trap. When we demitted power, there was a debt of Rs 60,000 crore, which has grown to Rs 1.60 lakh crore. Where has this money gone? It is the money that the government raisedfor the welfare of people. Thirdly, the Staff Selection Commission is guilty of ‘selling’ jobs and compromising the future of the youths.
The Congress does not approve of the GST in its present form while it had been advocating for it strongly. Why?
The Congress had proposed the GST but Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj opposed it for years together. The GST we had proposed was a single tax with ‘a plus’ for luxury items and ‘a minus’ for essential goods. Nobody could imagine that the NDA government would tax agriculture. There used to be zero tax on fertilisers but now it is 5 per cent. There is 12 per cent tax on pesticides, tractors and agricultural equipment and 18 per cent on tractor tyres. They urge farmers to grow vegetables and flowers but the cold storage equipment are now being taxed at 18 per cent as are various essential commodities. Out of one crore registered assessees on the GST portal, not even 50 per cent of them file returns. None gets refund and nobody gets input credit. How do you propose to reform the gigantic tax machinery of India by putting it in such a mess?
Secret kitchen for VIP convicts in Bhondsi jail, two suspended; Is it wrong to do so in jail?
End of party
A team of the National Human Rights Commission went to Bhondsi jail to review the living conditions of the inmates.
Rather than restricting its visit, the team went to every nook and corner of the jail.
It was around lunch time and food was being prepared in the kitchen when the officials stumbled upon a secret room.
A lavish spread was being prepared there by a man and two security officials stood guard there.
Two officials of the Bhondsi jail have been placed under suspension after a team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) discovered a secret kitchen in the jail where lavish meals were being cooked for “VIP” convicts.
Two officials on security duty were suspended as despite repeated questioning by the team, they did not divulge details for whom the food was being cooked and on whose orders.
While senior officials did not respond to repeated calls made to them, sources revealed that the jail authorities were caught off guard when the team comprising the NHRC officials, administration and senior police officials landed in the jail.
The team was there to review the living conditions of the inmates. Rather than restricting its visit, the team went to every nook and corner of the jail. It was around lunch time and food was being prepared in the kitchen when the officials stumbled on a secret room. A lavish spread was being prepared there by a man and two security officials stood guard there.
“We asked them why was this special meal being cooked near barracks where some of the jail’s special convicts were lodged, the man cooking the food and both security officials stood quiet. We suspended them and an investigation was launched to nab others,” said a senior official of the team.
It may be noted that the Bhondsi jail has been notorious for illegal activities and sources claim that everything, right from SIM cards to smart phones to special non-vegetarian meals have been available here with the alleged connivance of the jail officials.