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Nitish Kumar flays BJP leaders for ‘defaming’ Bihar

“At a time when all are praising Bihar for holding such a mega ‘Prakash Utsav’, some people have been making an issue of why Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad was not given a place on the dais,” Nitish Kumar told the media in a reference to senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and union minister Giriraj Singh.



Nitish Kumar

Patna, Jan 9 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday targeted opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for creating a bad image of the state for their own vested interests.

“At a time when all are praising Bihar for holding such a mega ‘Prakash Utsav’, some people have been making an issue of why Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad was not given a place on the dais,” Nitish Kumar told the media in a reference to senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and union minister Giriraj Singh.

At the mega event here, marking the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, Lalu Prasad was not given a place on the dais from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar addressed the gathering.

Lalu himself said there are people who would always point out shortcomings and pick holes in any mega function.

“People always perform puja by sitting on the floor. Is puja performed by sitting on the chair. Why should I have any grievance? It was ‘Guru ka Darbar’. It was a spectacular arrangement for the 350th Prakash Parv celebration that brought good name to Bihar from across the world,” Lalu said.

Sushil Modi, who is also a former Deputy Chief Minister, and Giriraj Singh have been raising the issue of Lalu Prasad not being given a place on the dais beside the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister at the Prakash Utsav last week.

Nitish Kumar said the sitting arrangements were made according to the age-old Sikh tradition by the gurdwara management committee.

“The state government had not decided, who will sit on the dais with the PM. Unnecessarily some people have been trying to make it an issue and doing wrong propaganda,” he said.

“I am appealing to such people with my folded hands to change their behaviour,” he said.

Lalu — along with his sons Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, the Deputy Chief Minister and the Bihar Health Minister, respectively — was present at the ‘langar’ in the makeshift gurdwara in the ‘Tent City’ at the historical Gandhi Maidan where the main function was held.

“My father Lalu Prasad is a ‘zaminee leader’ and he prefers to sit on the floor (zameen). There is nothing much to it,” Tejashwi had said in reply to the BJP leaders raising the issue.

“At the Guru’s darbar, it is an age-old tradition to sit on the floor, and my father has no problem in sitting on the floor,” Tejashwi added.

The Chief Minister said the Grand Alliance government of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), RJD and the Congress has been working since all are together.

Nitish Kumar said he will meet and talk to the leaders and workers of the Grand Alliance on January 23 and the same day the core committee of the JD-U will hold its meeting to discuss demonetisation.

He also urged all political parties to join the proposed human chain on January 21 in support of prohibition imposed in Bihar.


Hindu group attacks Christmas carol singers in MP




Satna (Madhya Pradesh), Dec 15 : Alleging religious conversion, a mob linked to a right-wing Hindu group attacked Catholic carol singers in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district and also set a priest’s car ablaze.

The incident occurred on Thursday evening. Instead of taking action against the attackers, the police detained the Christian singers, a priest said.

Father Rene Verghese told IANS on Friday: “A group of students training to become priests was moving around Satna town, visiting Christian institutions and singing carols.

“Some 15 km from here in Dara Kalan village church they were getting ready for the Christmas celebrations, when a group of people attacked them, accusing them of carrying out religious conversion.”

Verghese said the Hindu group raised slogans and called the Civil Lines police station.

All 32 carollers, accompanied by two priests, who were singing carols were picked up and taken to the police station. Eight priests who later went to the police station to enquire into the matter were also taken into custody, he said.

The agitating mob attacked the Christian students inside the police station, and set fire to the priest’s car parked outside.

Verghese denied any attempt at religious conversion. He said singing carols is a common practice around the time of Christmas. “We were just doing that and preparing for the Christmas celebrations.”

However, City Superintendent of Police D.D. Pande told IANS: “One Dharmendra Dohad has registered a complaint with us that he was paid Rs 5,000 and converted to a Christian.

“He was given a holy dip in a pond and his name was changed to Dharmendra Thomas, the complainant said. They also asked him to pray to Lord Christ,” he said.

A case has been registered against one identified person and five unknown persons in the conversion case, Pande said.

They are also investigating the vandalism carried out by the mob.


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One-way traffic restored on Jammu-Srinagar highway




Jammu, Dec 15: Authorities allowed only one way-traffic movements on the strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Friday due of bad road conditions, officials said.

“One-way traffic will be allowed on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. Vehicles will be allowed to move from Srinagar to Jammu and no vehicle will be allowed to move from the opposite direction,” news agency IANS quoted an official of the traffic department was saying.

“This precaution has been taken keeping the safety of the commuters in mind,” he added.

Since all essentials of life are connected to the landlocked Kashmir Valley through this highway, temporary closures because of snowfall and landslides often result in profiteers and black marketeers hoarding goods to hike prices.


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Delhi Govt reserves 50% beds for Delhiites at GB Pant Hospital



New Delhi, Dec 15: Half of beds at the Delhi government’s flagship super-specialty G B Pant Hospital will be reserved for the city’s residents in a bid to provide timely and best available treatment to the patients. 

The order was issued by the Delhi government ‘s Health and Family Welfare Department on December 12.

“To provide timely and best available treatment for patients who are resident of Delhi, in GB Pant Hopsital (GIPMER), which is the flagship Super-speciality hospital of GNCTD, it has been decided that 50% of the total beds shall be reserved for the patients, particularly residents of Delhi”, the order said.

To avail this facility, patient should have been referred by another Delhi government hospital and admission should be required for only special treatment or for planned surgeries.


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