After days of suspense over reaching out to the Shiv Sena for formation of the next government in Maharashtra, the BJP on Tuesday said it was ready to negotiate as soon as its pre-poll ally sent its proposal. The Opposition has made similar overtures to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) assured the Shiv Sena that it could provide an alternative for government formation if its support was sought. Mr. Pawar met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday.On Tuesday, leaders of the NCP and the Congress met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. The Opposition leaders sought a hike in the relief announced for the rain-affected farmers.Core panel meeting Thirteen days after the results of the Maharashtra Assembly election left the BJP short of a majority, the party’s core committee met to discuss the stalemate. The Shiv Sena has been demanding the implementation of a 50:50 power-sharing formula, which it claims includes sharing of Cabinet portfolios and the post of Chief Minister. “The committee reviewed the current political situation. The people of Maharashtra have voted for a BJP-Sena coalition, and we will give due respect to this mandate,” State party president Chandrakant Patil said after the meeting at the residence of caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.The committee, which includes Girish Mahajan and Sudhir Mungantiwar, is on standby to negotiate with the Sena, but if no proposal comes within two days, the BJP is gearing up for imposition of President’s rule. Senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde met Governor Koshyari after the meeting and apprised him of the party’s position. “We are willing to play a wait and watch game with the Sena,” a senior minister of the BJP said. Mr. Mungantiwar said the party is open to begin talks even in the next 24 hours, and the core committee will meet again on Wednesday to discuss future parleys. “You will soon get the good news on government formation,” he said. The BJP has already forwarded its proposal to the Sena to begin talks on all fronts, except the “non-negotiable” post of the Chief Minister, a source told The Hindu. Late on Tuesday, Mr. Fadnavis flew to Nagpur and met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. RSS functionaries in Nagpur were tight-lipped about what transpired at the meeting, though it is being speculated that the meeting was about the political deadlock in the State.The Sena, whose might in the 288-seat Assembly went up to 64 on Tuesday, after an independent MLA Rajendra Patil Yedavkar declared his support for the party, remained hard to please. “This statement (from the BJP) is a sign of maturity. Had they done this earlier, we would have formed government by now,” said Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut.. “All the Sena is saying is do as was decided, nothing more,” Mr. Raut said.
With almost two-thirds of the events over in the Commonwealth Games and India adding to the medals tally, one thing which has not been spoken about is dope.Less than a month before the Games began, Indian athletes were in the news for the wrong reasons as almost a dozen of them from various disciplines has tested positive for MHA (Methylhexanamine).Few knew what this stuff was all about since it was added on the list of banned substances by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) only in January this year.At home, when wrestlers like Rajiv Tomar, swimmer Richa Mishra and even shot putter Saurabh Vij tested positive for MHA, the feeling was disgusting. The world of sports is made ugly by any form of doping and for the host nation to be caught before the Games was distressing.On Sunday, Commonwealth Games Federation boss Mike Fennell answered questions on dope tests being conducted during the Games.He said approximately 850 random tests have been conducted at the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), a WADA-accredited lab in the Capital, and 600 results have come out. The surprising part is, not one test has been reported positive.At a time when people are still critical of the Games, and rightly so, because of the ticketing, transportation and food problems for volunteers, people are not aware how the people in the lab are also working overtime.India has a dubious history of sorts in the Commonwealth Games and as far back as 1990 in Auckland, a weightlifter called Subrata Kumar Paul had flunked a dope test.advertisementIndia athletes also shamed the nation during the 2004 Athens Olympics when women weightlifters were caught in tests just before the Games. I was scared that in a sport like weightlifting, the Indians would be under the scanner because of their dubious past.To have been penalised $500,000 by the International Weightlifting Federation was shocking. The Indian body had to virtually beg, borrow and steal before paying a sizeable portion so that India could compete in the Games.Obviously, nobody in India wanted to take a chance with dope and athletes were subjected to stringent testing.However, there was a school of thought which said that a WADA-accredited lab being used for checking athletes was wrong. As the hosts celebrate the rich medal haul, what needs to be highlighted is how the Indians have been fair while competing. At least till now.
India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has offered monetary help of Rs 1 lakh to national level football and volleyball player Arunima Sinha who lost her leg after being thrown out of a running train by robbers near Bareilly.Harbhajan, who played a crucial role in India’s triumph in the World Cup which India won after 28 years, had some encouraging words for Arunima.”I got to know this news through a friend and I really feel for the young girl. Her life is ahead of her and as a sportsman, it’s our responsibility to help her.”I would like to tell Arunima that she should not lose heart and champions like her will overcome all the obstacles.I offer this small token of help and wish her all the very best in life,” Harbhajan said.Earlier, Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh too came in support of Arunima, offering her Rs 1 lakh.”It is really unfortunate and tragic with what has happened to Arunima. She must be brave sportsperson who came forward to fight against robbery. I know the loss is irreparable, but I would like to offer her this little contribution on of one lakh rupees,” he had in a statement issued by ‘Yuvraj Singh Foundation’.Arunima alias Sonu lost her leg after she was pushed out of the Padmavat Express near Bareilly on Monday night by three men trying to snatch her gold chain when she was travelling to Delhi to appear for a CISF examination.As she lay on the tracks, another train ran over her left leg. She had fractures on her right leg and also suffered head injuries.advertisementRailways has offered her a job while sports minister Ajay Maken announced Rs 2 lakh medical compensation and an immediate ex-gratia of Rs 25,000.- With PTI inputs
A man was killed while 25 others injured in a clash between two groups of ruling Awami League over establishing supremacy in Sajan village of Lakhai upazila on Tuesday.The victim was identified as Iqbal Hossain, 40, of Sharifpur village in Kishoreganj district.Local people said a dispute took place between two groups of supporters of AL general secretary of Lakhai unit Anayet Ullah and another local AL leader Maharaj Mia over establishing supremacy in the area.At one stage, the two groups swooped on each other with local arms that continued for around one and half an hours injuring dozens.Later, the police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control, said officer-in-charge of Lakhai police station Md Emran Hossain.Among the injured, Iqbal succumbed to his injuring after being taken to the Sadar Hospital, he said.The police detained 15 people from the spot and additional police forces have been deployed in the village to fend off any unwanted situation, the OC added.
Six people drowned in Ulipur and Roumari upazilas of Kurigram on Tuesday as the Brahmaputra and Dharla rivers continue to flow above the danger level, leaving thousands of people stranded, reports UNB.Manzil Haque, deputy-assistant director of Kurigram Fire Service and Civil Defence, said five people died after a boat sank at Natun Anantapur in Ulipur.The deceased are Runa Begum, 28, wife of Rezaul Islam, Rupa Moni, 8, daughter of Mohsin Ali; Sumon, 8, Ruku Moni, 8, and Hasibul Islam, 7, son of Aynal Haque.Besides, Saiful Islam, 25, from Roumari’s Kartimari area drowned after coming in contact with a live wire in the morning. His body was later recovered.According to the district control room, worsening floods and river erosion affected about 400,000 people until Tuesday.The Brahmmaputra and Dharla rivers were flowing 125cm and 117cm above the danger level respectively at Chilmari and Bridge points.Meanwhile, in Roumari upazila, 10 villages were flooded after the Wapda Dam in Kartimari Chaktabari area collapsed on Monday night.