Here & There


Sukhbir Badal condoles demise of Khaira’s mother

December 19, 2017 07:54 PM

CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president S. Sukhbir Singh Badal today expressed deep sorrow over the passing of Mrs. Mohinder Kaur , the mother of
AAP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative assembly S. Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

Conveying his heartfelt condolences to the AAP leader over his irreparable loss, the SAD president said that the departing of a mother always leaves a deep vacuum in the bereaved person’s life. “I pray to the almighty to grant peace to the departed soul and strength to youand other members of your family to bear this loss" he added.


Actor Rajpal Yadav calls on CM, Arvind Kejriwal at Delhi Secretariat

Rajpal Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal
December 07, 2017 08:46 PM

NEW DELJHI: Bollywood actor Shri Rajpal Yadav called on the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, at the Delhi Secretariat. He congratulated the Chief Minister for the turnaround of the government school and education in Delhi. He also praised the health care system of the Delhi Government.

“I am amazed to see the government schools of Delhi; I have never seen such government schools in my life. They are fit to give private schools a run for their money. This is real development; you are making the foundation of development strong. It was so nice to see such state of the art classrooms as well as swimming pools in government schools,” said Shri Rajpal.

The Chief Minister further shared with the actor the steps were taken by the government in the education sector and the results achieved. Mr. Rajpal visited some Delhi Government schools on Tuesday with the Deputy Chief Minister and had interacted with the students of the school.

The Chief Minister also shared with him the newly introduced three-tier system for healthcare (Mohalla Clinics, Polyclinics and Big Hospitals). Apart from this the free medicine, tests and surgery scheme of the Delhi Government was also told to him.

Later, the Bollywood actor also visited the Peeragarhi camp Mohalla Clinic and the Polyclinic in Paschim Vihar. He saw the facilities at the Mohalla Clinic and Polyclinic and understood the concept of the three-tier healthcare system of Delhi Government.

Reacting after visiting the clinics, Shri Rajpal said, “Next to god is health and with such wonderful health facilities residents of Delhi very lucky. Education & Health are two basic things for the development of any society. Delhi is so lucky to have a government which has made world-class facilities in both sectors available for everyone – be it rich or poor. The Mohalla Clinic & Polyclinic must be emulated all over India. This is required even more in the villages where 85% of India resides. I congratulate the Chief Minister and Health Minister of Delhi to have set up such government schools and health facilities in Delhi”.

Human Rights

Suu Kyi common room 'unnamed' by Oxford students

Punjab Newsline Network
Suu Kyi
October 20, 2017 08:43 PM
LONDON: Undergraduates at the Oxford college where Myanmars de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi studied have voted to remove her name from the title of their junior common room because of her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.
In a vote on Thursday evening, the JCR Committee at St. Hugh's College resolved to eliminate the name of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate from the Aung San Suu Kyi Junior Common Room with immediate effect.
The college earlier removed a portrait of Suu Kyi. Councils in Oxford and London were also seeking to strip her of the honorary freedoms of both cities, the BBC reported.
The motion criticised the "silence and complicity" in her apparent defence of the country's treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority, who have suffered ethnic cleansing and violent attacks by Myanmar's military forces.
The crisis has led to more than half a million Rohingya being driven out from northern Rakhine state into neighbouring Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The St. Hugh's resolution read: "Aung San Suu Kyi's inability to condemn the mass murder, gang rape and severe human rights abuses in Rakhine is inexcusable and unacceptable. She has gone against the very principles and ideals she had once righteously promoted."
In 2012, Suu Kyi was celebrated with an honorary doctorate from Oxford and held her 67th birthday party at the college where she studied politics, philosophy and economics between 1964 and 1967.
But in recent months she has attracted increasing criticism for her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. In September, the governing body of St. Hugh's decided to remove a painting of her from its main entrance, days before the start of the university term and the arrival of new students.
At the start of October, Oxford city council voted unanimously to strip the Myanmar leader of the Freedom of the City of Oxford, the Guardian reported.
So far Oxford has decided not to reconsider Suu Kyi's honorary degree. But the university has expressed its "profound concern" over the treatment of the Rohingya minority.
The university said it "hopes the Myanmar administration, led by Oxford alumna Aung San Suu Kyi, can eliminate discrimination and oppression, and demonstrate to the world that Myanmar values the lives of all its citizens".
Asian Age

BJP’s secret poll dealings need to be exposed

A G Noorani
O.P.Rawat Election Commissioner India
October 20, 2017 12:54 PM
Election commissioner O.P. Rawat is the latest victim of flattery. Recently, he said that the Election Commission of India would be capable of holding Lok Sabha and states Assemblies elections simultaneously by September 2018, and that the government had sought the EC’s views. The government was told that funds would be needed for electronic voting machines and other equipment, but the EC had already placed orders; machines were already being delivered. “But it is up to the government to take a decision and make necessary legal amendments for it.”
No government has the right to take such a decision without consulting all major political parties. Rawat knows they have done nothing of the kind. He also knows that many are opposed to the decision. Why, then, did he — or perhaps his two other EC colleagues, assuming they were consulted — do so without the requisite consensus and announce it?
Unsurprisingly, the day after his announcement, most Opposition parties responded by rejecting the proposal. They pointed out that there was no political consensus on the matter. Rawat belatedly acknowledged that all parties had to be brought on board. The EC itself favoured simultaneous polls, he said, to give the government more time to formulate policies.
This absurdity was capped by a damning disclosure. The government had sought the EC’s views in 2015, which it provided “in March that year”. The exchange was kept secret for two years. The government had floated the proposal in several trial balloons in recent months. Rawat was well aware of these moves — he reads the newspapers. Why he chose to walk into a political minefield so confidently, with his eyes wide open, can only be guessed. On its merits, the proposal violates the country’s federal Constitution, parliamentary system and democracy itself.
It is well known that Narendra Modi and his energetic stooge Amit Shah are out to capture total power over the country by targeting non-BJP-ruled states. Two of them, Karnataka and Tripura, will go to the polls next year, along with Gujarat where the ruling BJP faces serious challenge. The next targets are West Bengal and Odisha, where the BJP’s ally Naveen Patnaik has discovered that the alliance provides no protection against threats to his rule.
In a parliamentary system, the head of government (Prime Minister or chief minister) wields a necessary and powerful weapon: dissolution of the legislature. It keeps his unruly followers in check. (After an aborted revolt, Prime Minister Harold Wilson warned Labour MPs that “every dog is allowed one bite”.)
He could advise the queen to dissolve the House of Commons and send the MPs packing to their constituencies to fight a mid-term election at great expense and risk to their seats. He also has the right to a dissolution if a major issue crops up on which he is entitled to seek a fresh mandate. To deny him this right by imposing a fixed term is to deny the electorate its democratic right to pronounce its verdict on that issue. This is not all.
Heads of state also enjoys the power of what jurist Eugene Forsey called a “forced dissolution”: if the head of government chooses to brazen it out, the head of state may step in and ask him to secure a mandate through fresh election. In the last century, Britain had two general elections within a year when the king exercised this power. There is also the anachronism of imposing direct Central rule over a state, which denies the people the right to pronounce on the Centre’s violation of state autonomy.
In a federal polity, states need not be ruled by the political party that holds sway at the Centre. Political diversity infuses life into federalism. In 1984, Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress swept the polls in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. The Karnataka chief minister, Ramakrishna Hegde — who belonged to the Janata Party opposed to the Congress — advised the governor to dissolve the Assembly even though he was not obliged to do so. An impressive majority returned him to power. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and West Bengal all had powerful chief ministers in the 1980s, who opposed the Congress and provided an invaluable political check on the Centre’s power by forming a group. Simultaneous polls at the Centre and in the states are not a matter of administrative convenience; they touch the entire constitutional and political system.
We now have one EC member pronouncing his opinion and revealing the government’s interaction with the commission. This is not a private affair between them. The people have a right to know. The entire correspondence must be published so that the public knows the terms of the governments’ reference and of the EC’s response.
By arrangement with Dawn
A G Noorani-The writer is an author and lawyer based in Mumbai
Published : Oct 15, 2017, 12:19 am IST Updated : Oct 15, 2017, 3:11 am IST
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