Tanwar offers olive branch to Hooda; Will Hooda come with Tanwar?
Admitting for the first time that political differences had turned into personal ones, Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar extended an olive branch to former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, saying he was willing to “forget and forgive” in the interests of the party.
In a candid admission, Tanwar said initially the differences arose when Hooda refused to acknowledge him as the party president, but these got murky after the Ram Lila ground and Bhairon Mandir incidents in which Tanwar was beaten up by Hooda’s supporters.
Tanwar said, “Time is a great healer. I expect all party leaders to remain harmonious and since we are headed towards state and parliamentary elections, I am willing to move on in the interests of the party.” He said the party leadership did try to broker peace between the two leaders, but it failed mainly because Hooda thought he was larger than the party and ignored the party president, but I am willing to let go the bygones.
At the same time when contacted Hooda about the truce offer, the former Chief Minister said, “I have no political or personal differences with any of my party colleagues. These may be at Tanwars end only. In fact, I don’t know what he is talking about. Everyone should work to strengthen the Congress party.”
Tanwar said his party was ready to face the elections and was ready for it. The sudden spurt in activity of the Chief Minister in the past few days indicated that the BJP was looking at holding the state Assembly and parliamentary elections sometime later this year. “But we are ready and you will see the Congress winning all 10 parliamentary and at least 80 Assembly segment,” he claimed.
Commenting on the non-synchronised activity of various Congress stalwarts, the party president said he always supported any action that would strengthen the party for the next election. After initial hesitation, he admitted that Hooda did not inform him about his “Rath Yatra” plans, quickly adding that if he had been kept in the loop, he would have only assisted in making the event an even bigger success since it was a move to strengthen the party rather than projecting himself as the next Chief Minister.
Lashing out at the BJP as the “most corrupt government”, making money, on one pretext or the other, Tanwar said the BJP made offices in 17 districts of Haryana after announcing demonetisation. Once the Congress comes to power, an inquiry will be held into the source of funding and all properties found to be brought from unexplainable wealth would be reverted to the government. He supported Hooda on the issue of retaining all 17 sitting Congress legislators in the House of 90 by adding that “we will go by the winning ability of the candidates”.
Referring to the tiff between his supporters and that of Hooda, Tanwar said the party high command had formed a committee that had given a report. But the FIR lodged for the clash between his supporters and that of Hooda had not been withdrawn as it was state versus the accused and he did not have much role in doing so.
Honeypreet wants to talk to her family members; Will the court give its permission?
Files application in Panchula court; Prosecution opposes plea due to security
Dera Sacha Sauda chief’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan, whose real name is Priyanka Taneja, has moved an application before a local court, seeking permission to talk to her family members on phone.
Honeypreet Insan, who is lodged in Ambala Jail in connection with Panchkula violence, submitted through her counsel that like other prisoners, she also wanted to talk to her family members from the jail. She said when other prisoners could avail the facility, why was she not allowed to use the same facility.
Honeypreet’s counsel submitted that as per the jail manual, an undertrial could talk to his or her family members on phone once in a day, but Honeypreet was not allowed to use the facility. Therefore, finally they moved an application before the Panchkula court, he submitted.
The prosecution has opposed Honeypreet’s plea due to security reasons.
Meanwhile, in the main case of the Panchkula violence, the court deferred the framing of the charges for August 7. While other accused were present in the court today, Honeypreet was produced through video conferencing.
Last month, the Panchkula court had rejected Honeypreet’s bail plea.
The special investigation team (SIT) of the Haryana Police had slapped the sedition charge against 22 accused, including Honeypreet, in connection with the Panchkula violence on August 25 last year.
According to the police chargesheet, the conspiracy to spread violence in Panchkula was hatched at the dera headquarters by Honeypreet and the 45-member dera management committee.
Honeypreet, adopted daughter of rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, was charged with criminal conspiracy and sedition, and is the prime accused in the Panchkula violence that broke out after the conviction of the dera chief.
Notably, Honeypreet had travelled with the dera chief in a helicopter when he was airlifted from Panchkula to Rohtak’s Sunaria jail after his conviction in the rape case.
Later, Honeypreet went into hiding for 38 days before her arrest on October 4 last year from the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. As many as 36 people were killed and more than 200 injured during the Panchkula violence on August 25 last year.
2 illegal arms units busted; Is this a big success of the police?
Weapons supplied to gangsters Sampat Nehra, Anand Pal and Sanjit Binder
The Special Task Force (STF) has busted two illegal arms manufacturing units in the state.
Talking to mediapersons here on Monday, STF DIG B Satish Balan said that after receiving information about illegal arms manufacturing units in Jind and Jhajjar districts, DSP Rahul Dev formed two teams to raid the suspected places.
One of the teams led by Sub-Inspector Bijender Kumar raided a house at Vikas Nagar in Jind town and arrested two persons identified as Vinod, alias Khema, originally a resident of Behrana village in Jhajjar district, and Deepak of Hamidpur in Delhi. The other team led by Inspector Satish Deswal raided a house at Behrana village in Jhajjar district and arrested Dilbag and Sunil of the same village. However, one Sonu managed to escape during the raid.
The DIG claimed that the teams had seized a large stock of arms and ammunition, including five pistols of .315 bore, two pistols of .32 bore, two revolvers of .32 bore, six half manufactured pistols of .315 bore, one double-barrel gun, six cartridges of .315 bore, five cartridges of .32 bore, four cartridges of .12 bore and six empty shells of .315 bore, and grinding machines, hammer, hacksaw etc and other material generally used in arms manufacturing.
Balan said that during preliminary interrogation, the accused had confessed that their families had been manufacturing illegal arms for the past six decades.
They also confessed to have supplied these arms to noted gangsters like Sampat Nehra, Anand Pal, Sanjit Binder, Rajesh Bharti, Balraj Bhati Ashok Doga and other gangs.
The DIG said that cases had been registered against them in Jind and Jhajjar.
DSP Rahul Dev said that the pistols and revolvers were supplied between Rs 5,000 and Rs 30,000 depending on the quality, size and bore of the weapons. “They generally use iron sheets in manufacturing these illegal arms,” he said.
5 pistols of .315 bore
2 pistols of .32 bore
2 revolvers of .32 bore
1 double-barrel gun
6 cartridges of .315 bore
5 cartridges of .32 bore
4 cartridges of .12 bore
In 3 months, 134 incidents of illegal mining in M’garh; Whether the government has failed to stop illegal mining?
Illegal mining of gravel at the Krishnawati riverbed in Nangal Choudhry region has been going on unabated in spite of a crackdown by the district authorities. In the past three months, 134 cases of illegal mining and transportation of minerals were reported in the district.
Sources say the mining mafia is active in Sehbajpur, Dostpur, Nolayja, Dattal, Nangal Kalia, Biharipur, Jainpur, Maandi and Bhedanti villages. The mafia, with the help of locals, operates during the night and transports gravel to Rajasthan’s Behrod, Nimrana and surrounding areas in tractor-trailers via kuchha roads
“The mafia deploys its henchmen at several key points leading to mining sites. In case officials are on patrolling, the henchmen inform their accomplices at the sites through mobile phones,” the sources claim.
Sources say the mining authorities intensified night patrolling in the past few months. It has blocked several kuccha roads to check illegal transportation of minerals, but it has not yet succeeded to put a curb the activities of the mafia, the sources claim.
“Of the 134 incidents of illegal mining or transportation of minerals, 44 were reported in April, and 45 each in May and June. About Rs34.5 lakh as penalty has been recovered. A District Task Force (DTF) formed to check illegal mining not only conducts raids regularly, but also coordinates with gram panchayat where illegal mining is rampant,” said Vasudev, District Mining Officer, Narnaul.
He said several impounded tractor-trailers were registered in Rajasthan, indicating that gravel was brought to Haryana from Rajasthan.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Garima Mittal said Mahendragarh SDM Uttam Singh, along with officials of the police, mining and pollution control departments, had been asked to conduct a surprise inspection of the mining zone every week. “Efforts are being made to curb illegal mining on a hill which is part of Aravallis,” she added.
Youth Congress leader Abhimanyu Rao alleged the mining mafia had been political patronage.
In poll race, Cong slow to take off; Will Congress gain power in Haryana?
Party’s district, block-level committees not in place so far
As politicking gathers steam in Haryana -- which will see two elections within a span of five months next year -- the state unit of the Congress seems to be at a disadvantage. Neither its district-level nor block-level committees are in place and the lack of an organisational structure at the grassroots is hampering the party’s poll preparedness.
While the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has its hands full with the holding of various rounds of workers’ and leaders’ meetings as they strategise for the elections, the Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) leaders are out in the field wooing the public.
The failure of various factions within the Congress to come together on one platform and the lack of grassroots committees to mobilise the public are costing the party dear.
Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar has already -- on numerous occasions -- maintained that the approval of the organisational structure has to come from the Congress’ general secretary in charge of Haryana.
“In the absence of any appointee, that is on hold. As soon as a general secretary for Haryana is announced, these committees will be in place,” he said.
The post of the general secretary for Haryana has been lying vacant since senior party leader Kamal Nath was named the Congress chief of Madhya Pradesh in April.
The delay in the formation of the district Congress committees and block Congress committees is weighing heavy on the minds of the Congress leaders who are out in the field organising their programmes without any infrastructural support.
Though the Haryana Chief Minister has denied reports of an early Assembly election in Haryana, various political parties are already in election mode on the premise that elections could be held with the parliamentary poll next year.
Not wanting to be caught napping, parties and leaders are in a state of readiness to deal with such an announcement.
The Congress, however, seems to be in no such rush, much to the disappointment of senior party functionaries.
Former Speaker Kuldeep Sharma rued the delay in the appointments. “We are approaching the election year and the countdown has started. The non-formation of the committees is worrisome because when we go into elections, a strong party structure is important,” he said.
Other senior leaders of the party also opined that having the infrastructure in place well before elections would help the leaders reach out to the public to expose the present BJP government in the state.
At present, the Congress -- divided into various factions -- is holding programmes across the state but these are being held in the individual capacity of the leader more as a show of strength to the party high command to claim one-upmanship over one another.