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Jackson Lyngdoh to participate in 40th National Arm Wrestling C’ship

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 13:26

Shillong: Rising star arm wrestler, Jackson Lyngdoh of Dong Ktieh, Nongrah, Shilong, who bagged the second prize at 65 kg category in the state Arm Wrestling Championship in January this year, is all set to participate in the 40th National Arm Wrestling Championship, 2016 to be held at Nagpur in Maharashtra from May 20 to 24.
Lyngdoh will be part of the 29-member arm wrestling contingent belonging to Meghalaya Arm Wrestling Association, who is eyeing to roam home with the glittering championship trophy.
The arm wrestlers will compete in the men, women and physically challenged categories organized by Indian Arm Wrestling Federation.
Lyngdoh who was disheartened for running from pillar to post to get financial assistance to participate in the championship was relieved on Monday, when Dong Ktieh Seng Samla, Nongrah handed over to him the cash financial assistance at an informal meeting to meet his various expenditures, with hope to bring laurels to the state.
While wishing Jackson Lyndoh all success, Nongkynrih said his organization will leave no stone unturned to help the youths of the area to expose the hidden sports talents of the youths.

Categories: News

Kohli, De Villiers show keeps Royals alive

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 13:25

Kolkata: Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers once again delivered the goods with their bats as their Royal Challengers Bangalore romped home with 9 wickets to spare against Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the Eden Gardens here on Monday.
Kohli and de Villiers remained not out on 75 and 59 respectively while Chris Gayle contributed with a 31-ball 49. The Kohli-de Villiers partnership yielded 115 runs for the men in red and black.
With the win, Bangalore stay alive in the competition with 6 wins from 12 games.
Chasing Kolkata’s 183/5, they got off to a flyer as Gayle – who had been in slumber for much of this season – smashed the ball to all parts of the ground.
The burly Jamaican first took on Andre Russell hitting him for 17 in the third over and then clubbed Sunil Narine for two consecutive fours in the fifth.
After six overs, Bangalore were cruising at 63 for no loss but then Gayle was adjudged leg-before-wicket off a Narine delivery.
It was difficult to understand who the home team were as chants of ‘Kohli, Kohli’ went up time and again around the packed stadium as the Bangalore captain came in – and did not disappoint either as he picked the boundaries at regular intervals. However, Kohli was dropped at 32 by his opposite number Gautam Gambhir.
The miss proved costly as Kohli got to yet another half-century, while his partner at the other end – de Villiers – started clobbering them too.
Before long, the visitors were in touching distance of the total and the duo did the needful with 8 balls to spare.
Earlier twin fifties from Gambhir (51) and Manish Pandey (50) aided by Russell’s late blitz of 19-ball 39 helped Kolkata get to a fighting total.
Even though the hosts lost Robin Uthappa (2) early, Gambhir manage to pick the gaps along with Pandey. By the end of the powerplay, the team was 51/1.
The onslaught continued in the next over as legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal was carved for 16.
Bangalore then pulled things back a little thereafter and also grabbed the vital wicket of Gambhir who got run-out shortly after getting to his fifty.
Thereafter, new man Yusuf Pathan and the already set Pandey failed to pierce the gaps. Runs dried down and Pandey was holed out in the deep trying to up the run-rate. Yusuf (6) too was out stumped. (IANS)

Categories: News

‘BCCI serious about developing cricket in NE’

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 13:25
Current infrastructure not enough, says Vengsarkar

SHILLONG: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is serious about developing cricket in the New Area Development Project (NADP) states and the same is apparent from the fact that the likes of Shiv Sunder Das, Ajay Ratra, both former international players, and former India A player Javed Zaman have come down to Shillong to train the U-19 players of the region.
Stating this during a felicitation programme held in his honour at the Shillong Club here on Monday evening, former India captain and Chairman of the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore, Dilip Vengsarkar added that there was a lot of potential in the North East and it should not take long for a player from the region to play Tests or ODIs for the country.
It may be mentioned that Vengsarkar is in the city to oversee the cricket camp being organised for 25 players from the NADP states, which include Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Former India internationals, Ajay Ratra and Shiv Sundar Das, are also in the city for the cricket camp.
A member of India’s World Cup winning side of 1983, Vengsarkar has been involved with youth development as a cricket administrator all along and is one of those cricketers who knows it all when it comes to nurturing young talents.
Known as one of the foremost exponents of the drive, Vengsarkar believes that youngsters should be allowed to develop their natural game.
“It is the coaches’ duty to guide and motivate them,” he said adding that man management was a very important aspect when it came to development of the game.
The straight forward ‘Colonel’, as he was fondly known as, minced no words when he said that having the required infrastructure in place was the single most important factor in taking the game forward.
A member of the Mumbai Cricket Association, Vengsarkar gave example of the facilities in place in Mumbai even as he said that it was not surprising that the city team had 41 Ranji Trophies to its name and had produced around 12 Indian captains.
Stating that the present infrastructure in Shillong is by no means enough the legendary cricketer said, “If you have good infrastructure, you can create world champions.”
“The boys need to play in better pitches,” Vengsarkar said while observing that there was only one cricket ground in Shillong which hosted up to 200 matches a year thus leaving the pitch without a single blade of grass.
He also advocated that NADP states’ players, specifically those at the U-19 and U-23 levels, needed to play matches with sides from the metros to their skills further.
He also offered to host players from NE in Mumbai for their overall development.
“The boys need to play a lot of matches…Mumbai Cricket Association will be happy to host a team from the North East,” he said.
The NCA chairman reiterated that the BCCI is willing to fund infrastructure development given land is made available for the same.
Former India batsmen Shiv Sunder Das and Ajay Ratra also shared their experiences with the youngsters here during the ongoing NCA camp.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya Cricket Association honorary secretary Naba Bhattacharjee spoke briefly about the kind of remuneration involved for the players, coaches and others associated with the game while implying that youngsters should take cricket as a career option.
Earlier, Vengsarkar expressed his happiness at the enthusiasm of the youngsters and appreciated the parents who were present in the ground, for encouraging their children to take up cricket.

Categories: News

BJP rules out alliance with AIUDF

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:13

New Delhi: BJP on Monday ruled out joining hands with Badaruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF to form a government in Assam and claimed it will get absolute majority alone and two-thirds seats with its alliance partners.
“There is no question of joining hands with AIUDF. We alone will get absolute majority and with our partners, we will get two-thirds seats,” BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Assam Sarbananda Sonowal told PTI.
BJP fought the elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly along with AGP and Bodoland People’s Front.
The counting of votes will take place on May 19. Sonowal was replying to a question on whether BJP will forge alliance with Ajmal-led AIUDF in case it falls short of majority mark of 64.
Asked about AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta’s statement that Sonowal is the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate and not that of the alliance and his candidature was not formally conveyed to the allies, the Union Sports Minister said all partners went to the people before the polls with an “understanding and commitment” and everyone should respect it.
“We went to the people with an understanding and alliance and people accepted it,” he said. Sonowal also said there was “no backdoor” understanding and everything was “very transparent” much before the election.
“People have voted for us without prejudice. There was no confusion during the entire election process and there will be no confusion in the coming days too,” he said. (PTI)

Categories: News

Reang refugees torch houses in Tripura district

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:12

Agartala: An inmate of a Reang refugee camp in North district of Tripura allegedly committed suicide after being caught fishing illegally from the pond of a villager, triggering protests which left seven police personnel injured and 22 houses burnt.
North district superintendent of police Manik Das said the trouble began four days ago when an inmate of Narsingpara camp in Kanchanpur sub-division was caught catching fish illegally from the pond of a person at a nearby village.
The 32-year-old man was beaten up by the pond’s owner and fellow villagers. He was admitted to the Kanchanpur hospital with injuries and was released from there last Friday.
On Sunday morning, he allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree. A note found on him said no one was responsible for his death. On hearing the news of his death, camp inmates attacked the pond owner’s house and neighbours on Sunday and torched 22 houses.
When the police reached there, the mob pelted stones injuring seven personnel. The situation has now been brought under control and a huge contingent of police have been deployed in the area, the SP said.
About 100 local residents have taken shelter in nearby safer places. Senior police officials were camping at the spot to avert any untoward situation, he added.
In all 37,000 Reang refugees are staying in seven evacuee camps in Kanchanpur sub-division following ethnic clashes with the Mizos over possession of land since 1997. They fled from neighbouring Mizoram and took shelter in the evacuee camps. (PTI)

Categories: News

Scribes protest Bihar, J’khand journo murders

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:12

Guwahati: Hundred city based scribes on Monday assembled in a protest demonstration in front of Guwahati Press Club to condemn the killing of two scribes in Bihar and Jharkhand last week.
Covering their mouths with black clothes, the demonstrators representing various journalist organisations also demanded stringent actions against the culprits.
The murders of Akhilesh Pratap Singh (also known as Indradev Yadav), 35, who worked for a Jharkhand television news channel and Rajdeo Rajan, 45, who was reporting for Hindustan from Siwan of Bihar, by miscreants have generated massive protests all over the country. Simultaneously, the demand for the special protection law for the media persons on duty is also been mounting.
The Guwahati demonstrators supported the move for a special protection law for the working journalists across India and called upon the Union government in New Delhi to formulate a national action plan to safeguard the mediapersons, who pursue critical journalism. (UNI)

Categories: News

‘Make in Manipur’ campaign gains momentum

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:11

Imphal: The Manipur government has decided to take up the ‘Make in Manipur’ campaign on a grander level. Information official said the focus is on providing employment to youths, generation of revenue and self reliance.
Department of Commerce and Industries official said most of the unemployed youths do not have money hence attention will be given to micro and small enterprises through community mobilisation. Officials have been asked to involve community and work transparently to achieve universal coverage.
Clusters will be formed to involve themselves in Income generation Activity (IGA) . The government has decided to extend help in marketing and provide back up. As the state is rich in agriculture, horticulture, handloom, forest, fisheries and animal husbandry related activities, the youths will be advised to involve themselves in such activities.
‘Make in Manipur’ initiative undertaken as part of the ‘Make In India’ campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be monitored at the district levels by the Livelihood Business Incubators (LBIs) and Common Facility Centers (CFCs) which will be established at a cost of Rs 15 crore. The centres will be responsible for providing training and assist the youths in building up their infrastructure.
Each district has its own unique characters like Ukhrul is famous for lemon, Tamengong for oranges hence activities will be confined to availability of resources. On a larger scale to target the international market by exploiting the geographical proximity to the South East Asian countries, the government has set up M/S Manipur Food Industries Corporation, which will help farmers in producing aromatic and medicinal plants in their own land with financial assistance from banks and supplying planting materials. Gene Bank has been developed at Chothe in Bishnupur district.
In a vast land of about 500 acre various plants like stevia, lemon grass, ginger, turmeric have been planted by involving about 2000 people.
Food Park will be established at Nilakuthi in Imphal East and five acres of land has been allotted for it.
Fragrance and Flavour Development work will be taken up in a 30 acre land at Ningthoukhong Awang, Bishnupur District.
Training for it has already started by selecting 25 graduates.
Ten handloom clusters will be formed in each district at a total cost of Rs 16 crore to cover 18,500 weavers. Marketing and exposure are required hence the government has decided to organise Industrial Expo annually at Lamboi Khongnangkhong, Imphal West and the first expo was held in April last.  The area will be developed for the annual event. (UNI)

Categories: News


Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:10


The Supreme Court’s decision sometimes causes surprise and shows lack of knowledge about the past. There was a furore over defamation during the Prime Ministership of Rajiv Gandhi. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi wanted to push through an Anti-defamation Act to prevent people from allowing freedom of speech to degenerate into personal attack and go beyond what should be legal propriety. Under pressure, particularly from the private media, he dropped the idea. The Supreme Court’s decision recently not to decriminalise defamation and make it a penal offence appears to have followed up Rajiv Gandhi’s idea. The Court has said that the right to free speech cannot mean that a citizen can defame another person. After all defamation is a pejorative word. Underscoring criticism is not defamation. The Supreme Court has ruled that the trial court must be very careful in scrutinising a complaint before issuing summons in a criminal defamation case. It will, however be untrue to say that Defamation or the Anti-defamation Act was in existence in the past.

By criminalising defamation, the law inflicts the extreme punishment of loss of liberty. The question of reputation to a dispute between the defamer and the impugned party has been reinterpreted. Society agrees that a person has a reputation but it can be reappraised. However, the Law of criminal defamation is not clear as the crime is very broadly defined causing much vagueness. Some of the complaints may be on flimsy grounds. The Law Commission has spoken of the chilling effect of the threat of criminal defamation on the media. The NDA government is supposed to have supported the Anti-defamation Act. One wonders why Rajiv Gandhi’s move for it caused such media flak and finally had to be abandoned.

Categories: News

Sinful act of getting land by church elders

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:10


The recent confessions by the Catholic, Presbyterian and other church leaders and elders that they paid several lakhs illegally to the Syiem of Mylliem and his Myntri without any receipt from their office for land purchase but which is termed as gifted land is shocking. As a Christian I am ashamed and shocked that they indulged and encouraged blatant corruption. The top authorities of the Church must investigate how they knowingly condoned such acts of corruption. As per the PCN and other Khasi cable news channels money was paid to some Myntris who were in charge of Land Department under the Office of  Hima Mylliem. These Myntris were conduits for the Syiem and his Dorbar. If this is true it is a shameful act by the respective Myntri who has brought dishonour to his own clan. He ought to be prosecuted by the law of the land.  The KHADC must file an immediate FIR at the nearest police station if they are not hand in glove with this shameful act of corruption. We also request the Income Tax Department to investigate the matter. If the different churches are registered as NGOs how can they pay cash when the law demands that they pay by cheque?  These church elders must bow their heads in shame for flouting the laws of the land.

Yours etc.,

Lydia Marbaniang,

Via email 

Where are the award wapsi dolts?


 Where is our award wapsi brigade? Where are they hiding now? These opportunists who returned various government awards and honours in protest against the gimmick called “intolerance debate” in the country in the recent past are found mysteriously and notoriously silent now when a youth in Bihar’s Gaya was shot dead in a cold blooded murder by the son of an MLC. This brigade of dolts, among whom is also one from Shillong, were vocal then against the national intolerance debate. However, it looks like they have lost their entire tooth suddenly to remonstrate when this Gaya youth was shot down because he overtook the vehicle of the son of an MLC in Bihar government. The move by the award wapsi brigade then looked as if they will not tolerate any unrighteousness and immorality whereas its members have themselves gone inhuman now when they should have been rightly raising their voices, in unison. Their muteness only proves that they are nothing less than “mere politicians” who politicize issues to their advantage. Some of the brigade members who were seen on television channels brazenly voicing their concerns against terrorists being sentenced by the highest court of the land are today mute and blind on the cold blooded murder of this youth and rising VVIP racism in the country. But luckily we have a few electronic and print media houses asking direct questions and revealing all of this criminality because of whom there has not been a cover-up so far.

Yours etc.

  1. K. Dwivedi

Shillong – 1

Beautification work on Howell Road


For the past few weeks the Howell Road in Laban is being dug up through its entire length starting from the Red Cross bridge. This is being done so as to have a better drainage system and also to accommodate the water pipes. This digging work has caused great inconvenience to pedestrians, adjoining shop owners and nearby residents. Roadside parking of vehicles is well night impossible. Several people have fallen into these pits and injured themselves. However, short term inconveniences are worth the trouble if the long term goals are fulfilled.

My bone of contention is, however, different. About a decade ago a similar exercise was undertaken on the right side of the same road and a similar drain constructed for the same purpose. In the past few years a lot of water, plastic bags, plastic bottles (to name a few) have been thrown into the drain. Now this drain is clogged. When it rains heavily the shopkeepers have to be on their toes to prevent spillage of muck from the drain into their shops. Moreover the stench emanating from the drain is unbearable. As far as my knowledge goes, the drains have not even once been cleaned in all these years. Health hazards cannot be ruled out as the water flowing through pipes which pass through the drain could get contaminated at any point in time.

I hope the concerned authorities have taken all these into consideration otherwise we may very soon be confronted by water borne diseases.

Yours etc.,

Dr G Kar Purkayastha,


Solar power as a viable alternative


I would like to highlight some of the major problems regarding power supply in the North East. Everyone is aware that most hydel projects in the North east are executed by NEEPCo. Examples are the Kopili and Kathalguri hydel projects (Assam), Ranganadi and Kemang hydel projects (Arunachal Pradesh), Doyang hydel project (Nagaland) and the gas and solar-based projects in Tripura. It is admirable that NEEPCo is contributing its sincere efforts for generation of power not only in North East India but also other parts of the country. It must be noted that most of the hydel projects under NEEPCo are generating approximately 30-40% of power out of the total capacity. This deficiency in hydel power generation can be overcome by solar power. NEEPCo has advertised for procurement of land for solar projects but this is yet to be finalized.

The Kopili project with a total capacity of 275 MW is non-functional since 2013 because of major renovation works. So is the case with other hydel projects. It has also come to light that China is constructing mega dams at the source of the Brahmaputra river and its major tributaries which feed most of the hydel projects of North East India. These projects have now become non-viable. At the same time, solar energy is not feasible in the North East because of moisture and humidity in the atmosphere. Nevertheless  about 35-40% energy can be generated through solar power and it can be an alternative and stable source of power. I therefore request the NEEPCo authorities to execute solar projects at the earliest.

Yours etc.,

Dominic Lyngkhoi,

West Khasi Hills

Categories: News

Political Profiteering

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:07
By Babet Sten

It is of some interest to follow the developments that have been taking place throughout the state in recent weeks. While I write this with regards to news items which have been widely circulated in the Shillong-based media, the other sources of information are word-of-mouth and hearsay. But that should not discredit them, I feel. Anyway the topic I would like to touch on is one of my least favourite of all: INC-BJP politics.

It is now out of the bag that NPP and quite possibly all regional parties within the state are unable to defeat the Congress except with outsider firepower i.e. Hindu Majoritarian Right Corporate Development Engine called BJP. Their inability is not only because of inept and incompetent leaderships but because they are unwilling to be game changers. By this I mean that these regional parties are as moribund in their love of hierarchy, money power and political capture as the INC. They are still trying to beat the Congress at its own game, a game which is already rigged from the start. They have no ideology worth mentioning(and no accountability to the people) so they continue this farce which has two big seasoned players within it as team captains – the national giants, BJP and INC.

Common people have been losing out for a very long time now. Congress is not the answer but neither is BJP. However, depressingly, I must admit that very few people who read this will want to effect change. It is primarily because there is a caste system already in place in Meghalaya. The privileged set who will read this (upper and middle class) already have political allegiances. The rich actively pursue them for more wealth and power while the middle class are happy to suck up if it means they get government jobs. It is that easy to bait them. Real change which should come from below is going to be ignored and disregarded as usual. I hope I am wrong though.

Democracy is not for Mukul or Purno’s family to use as a magic whip. It is not for Hopingstone’s kur nor for retired or retiring IAS/ MCS officers and their progeny. It should start from the ground not the clouds. I saw the assets that the candidates have on myneta.com and I think about the poverty, strife and lack of “development” that Garo Hills is reeling under. It seems such a contrast for people to come from such poor areas and live such glamourous lives. Or maybe it is just me who thinks it too unfair!

I cannot imagine why Conrad Sangma would need BJP support if he is such a stalwart and all-round ‘good guy’, someone people already look up to, someone who is as seasoned a politician (if not more) than Sonowal or Nalin Kohli. Today many of the opinions I read on Shillong related forums are dangerously Right wing. For the sake of strengthening their bases, our politicians don’t mind making all sorts of alliances. It is very obvious that the INC has become lazy and it is also obvious that much of this is political positioning for 2018 which is fast approaching. Today I hear many rumours from people who whisper about election tickets and secret canvassing. Most are just talking idly but some are serious. All are people who come from privileged backgrounds, none come from humbler backgrounds. Today the BJP is trying to reach out to the state’s many disheartened (politically shallow) people – professionals, semi-religious, self-righteous development mongers – who are tired of the way things are within the Congress regime. This is tragic because they are quick to choose BJP to swat INC only because they hate the Congress not necessarily because they believe in the tenets upheld by the BJP.

This path is dangerously narrow. People might be happy to imagine a future of bipartisanship but I am not. If you look at how ‘outsiders’ Sanders and Trump struggled for party legitimacy despite popular backing you can gauge the vast gap between the official diktat of the party and grassroots aspirations. This sort of thing would be very common in India should regional parties disappear. The ‘national’ interests would be deemed more important, the ‘party leadership’ would decide everything for everyone just like Nalin Kohli did recently for the Garo Hills unit. The NPP, UDP, HSPDP (matrilineal parties) need to learn from patrilineal Amma, Didi from Tamil Nadu and West Bengal respectively. Please forgive the crude joke but I could not resist. Wonder what Michael Syiem would say to that?

The BJP aka RSS political wing has been very quick to slap anyone who criticises them with lawsuits, defamation cases and recently an FIR for hate speech was lodged against Dikkanchi Shira. Pravin Bakshi, please watch Ram Ke Naam by Anand Patwardhan. I understand you have to follow protocol and all these wonderful things but that aside History shows us otherwise if you really look at it well enough. Anyway, that digression aside, it seems that I have been unfairly bashing the BJP. Please don’t take me to be “anti-national” and a traitor to bharat mata. I also equally despise the Congress which has made our society politically enslaved and widened inequality. The Congress is as corrupt as the BJP is power-crazy, both are two sides of the same coin. We need a new coin. We need many new coins.

The rest of the world is desperately trying to find the “third way”, an approach to government which is fairer, more accountable and driven towards welfare. In Meghalaya we should be ahead of that curve. Instead we are content to be led by the greater currents and patterns that define Indian politics today. There are some reasons for this which are greater than us of course but politically we are capable of many things but we refuse to acknowledge our own powers. Our older forms of polity and society are in many ways vastly superior to anything “modern” that India can teach us, let us re-look at them. We must not worship them though. Perhaps the most important thing to be in this day and age is sacrilegious, we must refuse governance through “experts” trained in some Mussourie cabin, we must refuse hierarchies of family and office; we must refuse to let anyone frighten us with legal jargon. Let us start taking a little more responsibility.

Categories: News

Nitish Kumar should focus on law and order

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:07


By Amulya Ganguli


Another icon is failing. Up until Nitish Kumar’s success as leader of the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Bihar last year, his stars were on the ascendant. However, there was nothing surprising about his rise. His electoral victories in 2005 and 2010 were against an opponent like Laloo Prasad Yadav who was mired in malfeasance and misgovernance. It was a cakewalk, therefore, for the Janata Dal – United (JD-U) leader. Moreover, Nitish Kumar’s successes in those years were achieved in the company of the BJP, which contributed its share of the upper caste votes to the BJP-JD-U combine.

But once Nitish Kumar broke with the BJP, he stumbled badly in 2014 and thought that it would be best for him if he resigned as chief minister to regain his bearings. To his  credit, it didn’t take long for him to recover. But he could only do so by taking the help of his former adversary, Laloo Prasad, who brought the support of the Yadavs, who comprise 14 per cent of Bihar’s population, to Nitish Kumar’s side.

But the marriage of convenience is now revealing its unsavoury aspects. Realizing that a support base of his caste brethren, the Kurmis, who make up a mere 3.8 per cent of the population, is not enough to challenge Laloo Prasad, Nitish Kumar has decided to court another vote bank – that of women.

The bouquet which he is offering the women is prohibition. The chief minister apparently believes that by sacrificing Rs 4,000 crore of annual excise revenue at the altar of moral rectitude, he will considerably strengthen his political position. So much so that he is now promising to bring about a Sangh-mukt and sharab-mukt Bharat – a nation free of the Sangh parivar and liquor.

But he is making a mistake. The pitfalls of prohibition have been known since the 1920s when it gave rise to Al Capone and the Mafia in America as they illegally catered to the demand for drinks.The same thing happened in Morarji Desai’s Bombay – as the city was known in his time – with the appearance of various “dons” who built their empires on smuggling.

It is not only the revenue loss about which Bihar will have to worry, but also the criminalization of the liquor trade via bootlegging, the corruption of the police and excise departments and the conversion of law-abiding social drinkers into liars in front of inspectors.

Moreover, as the industrialist, Adi Godrej, has pointed out, bans can hurt the economy. If prohibition projects India as a country of killjoys, thereby keeping out foreign tourists, the restriction on the eating of beef can saddle the peasants with the woes of maintaining worthless cattle and starve the leather industry of raw material.

Nitish Kumar’s policy has another disadvantage. A vote bank inevitably pits the favoured group against a rival – Dalits against the upper castes or the Muslims against Hindus. In this particular case, men as a group will regard themselves as being unfairly stigmatized for the drunkenness and loutish behaviour of a few.

Since women, too, drink nowadays more widely than before, they, too, will believe that they are unnecessarily having to pay a price for the indignities suffered by the women of abusive husbands who are not large in number.

In their eagerness to acquire a new vote bank, proponents of prohibition like Nitish Kumar, Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi and Oommen Chandy do not realize that drinking has become a much bigger social phenomenon than, say, half a century ago when Devdas characterized the typical drinker in the eyes of the middle class. Now, it is not only the men and women of the upper strata who belong to the so-called cocktail circuit who are fond of their sundowners, almost every middle class home maintains a stock of liquor and wine.

If Nitish Kumar believes that he will become the new hero of the “secular” parties by wearing a halo of moral rectitude by championing the cause of prohibition, he is barking up the wrong tree.

His USP from 2005 was not prohibition, but a strict enforcement of law and order. However, his present focus on banning alcohol is apparently leading to the return of the “jungle raj” which was associated with Laloo Prasad’s reign by himself and his wife, Rabri Devi, from 1990 to 2005.

It will be a pity if Nitish Kumar throws it all away by chasing a policy which several states have tried – Haryana being the last one – and found wanting. A leader cannot gain in popularity only by trying to secure the support of selected groups, but by looking at the population as a whole and considering how his policies will help the economy to prosper, thereby providing the necessary funds for roads, electricity, health centres, schools and so on.

Since it is doubtful if Nitish Kumar’s prohibition will help to lift Bihar out of its BIMARU or sick status, he is likely to go down as another man who disappointed his admirers by pursuing a flawed policy. (IPA Service)

Categories: News

Tura records over 75pc turnout

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 11:05

Congress candidate Dikkanchi D Shira along with her husband Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and their daughter after casting their votes at Chengkompara LP school polling station in Ampati on Monday; NPP candidate Conrad K Sangma and his family after casting his vote at Gondongpara polling station of Selsella. (ST)

TURA: Over 75 per cent of the total 6,22,189 electorate cast their votes on Monday as polling ended peacefully for the by-election to the Tura Lok Sabha with no report of any untoward incident.
At the time of going to press the poll percentage was a staggering 77 percent and rising in the entire five districts of Garo Hills as voters came out in droves to elect a new successor for Late P A Sangma, a political leader who went undefeated in nine consecutive Parliamentary elections from Tura. The final percentage will be known by Tuesday only.
This was an election which witnessed aggressive campaigning that also resulted in extensive voting.
West Garo Hills district that holds the largest segment of eleven assembly segments for the Tura seat had a tally of 70.63 percent of votes polled on Monday.
The mood of the voter could be gauged from the fact that there were long queues at many places including Tura town where women voters turned up in large numbers.
People turned up as early as 5 am at some polling stations of Tura and Williamnagar to register their votes and ended up being rewarded with an award for being the first voters of the day.
No untoward incident was reported from any part of the region that went to polls although a complaint was made with the election officials against a polling official who allegedly closed his station at Aglanggre area of Tura before the Election Commission’s 4 pm timeframe.
The rains did play truant at the initial stage lashing the length and breadth ofe Garo Hills during the early morning hours, but nature failed to deter the enthusiastic voters, a large chunk of whom happened to be in the age of 18-35 years.
As many as eleven EVMs were reported to have malfunctioned at the start of the polling process but were quickly replaced to ensure smooth polling. Seven EVMs in West Garo Hills, 2 in North, and one each in East and South West Garo Hills had malfunctioned and were replaced.
Conrad positive, Dikkanchi confident:  The two contenders for the Tura Lok Sabha seat, Congress’s Dikkanchi D Shira and NPP’s Conrad K Sangma, believe the voter turnout has been in their favour.
“It was a hectic election campaign and I am positive of the outcome. I believe the people of Garo Hills have reposed their faith in our party,” said Conrad K Sangma who arrived at Gandopara polling station of Selsella, accompanied by his wife and family, to cast his vote.
Congress candidate Dikkanchi Shira arrived at Chengkompara polling station of Ampati dressed in a traditional Garo Dakmanda accompanied by husband and chief minister Mukul Sangma and their daughter.
“I am confident the people of Garo Hills are convinced with my campaign and will vote for me,” said Dikkanchi Shira.
“The turnout demonstrates peoples’ faith in the democratic system. I am happy to see the trend and confident of Congress Party’s victory,” added chief minister Mukul Sangma.
Conrad Sangma’s elder brother and sitting legislator from Dadenggre, James Pangsang K Sangma, was at his home constituency with his family to cast their ballot.
Their youngest sister and former union minister of state Agatha K Sangma accompanied their mother and P A Sangma’s widow Soradini K Sangma to Walbakgre school polling station, near their home in Tura, to cast their vote.

Categories: News

BJP to unseat Cong in Assam, Didi to retain Bengal

Shillong Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 10:54
Exit poll results released

New Delhi:  Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have voted for change giving BJP its first government in the northeastern state dislodging Congress which also lost Kerala while DMK was set to regain power trouncing AIADMK, according to various exit polls shown on TV channels.
Only West Bengal has bucked the trend by re-electing Trinamool Congress led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who managed to hold on to power by defeating the Left-Congress alliance convincingly for a second consecutive term, the polls showed.
The Congress could take solace from its projected victory in the tiny Union Territory of Puducherry where it is likely to get power in alliance with the DMK.
The Exit poll results were released at the end of the polling in Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Monday, marking the closure of voting in four states and Puducherry. Counting of votes will take place on May 19.
In Assam, where BJP has high stakes, it could get its maiden government with India Today-Axis-My India polls giving the saffron alliance 79-93 seats in a House of 126.
Congress has been projected to get 26-33 while AIUDF headed by Badruddin Ajmal is set to get 6-10 seats. ‘Others’ can get 1 to 4 seats.
The ABP Ananda poll gave the BJP alliance 81 seats, Congress 33, AIUDF 10 and others 5. Times Now C Voter projected BJP to get 57 seats and Congress 41 while AIUDF and others are set to get 18 and 10 respectively. Today’s Chanakya gave BJP and overwhelming 90 seats against Congress’ 27 and AIUDF 9.
In the outgoing Assembly in Assam, the Congress had 78 seats while the BJP had only 5.
AIUDF had 18 seats while current BJP allies Bodo People’s Front (BPF) and AGP had 12 and 10 seats respectively. Projecting a defeat of Jayalalithaa led AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, exit polls have given DMK-Congress alliance a comfortable majority in the 234 member Assembly.
The India Today-My Axis-India polls survey gave  DMK and allies 124 to 140 seats and AIADMK 89 to 101.
BJP is likely to get 0 to 3 seats while ‘others’ 4 to 8. News Nation poll handed over 114 to 118 seats to DMK front, 95-99 for AIADMK, BJI – 4 and ‘others’ 23. Today’s Chanakya gave 140 to DMK-Congress alliance, 90 to AIADMK and 4 to Progressive Welfare Front (PWF) headed by Vijaykanth and ‘others’.
However, CVoter predicted an AIADMK victory giving it 139 seats, 78 for DMK alliance, 0 for BJP and 17 for ‘others’. In the current assembly, the AIDMK had 150 members while DMK had 23. The DMDK had 29 and the Congress 5.
In Kerala, the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) will wrest power from Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) maintaining the trend of change in every election. The poll on India TV showed the LDF getting 74 to 82 against UDF’s 54 to 62.
The BJP and ‘others’ are projected to get 4 seats each. The India Today-Axis polls 88 to 101 seats for LDF and 38 to 48 for UDF. The BJP may get upto 3 seats.
C Voter has predicted 78 for LDF, 58 for UDF and 2 for BJP. In the last elections, the UDF had 72 seats and the LDF 68. (PTI)

Categories: News

Over 70% polling for Tura by-poll

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 04:00

Staff Reporter
TURA, May 16: Voting for the Tura by-elections that got underway since 7 AM on Monday passed off without incident with a voter turnout that is expected to exceed more than 75 percent after the compilation of complete polling information.
Voting started slowly in the morning but picked up through the day with even areas affected by militancy showing robust voting trends.
However in the village of Agalangre in West Garo Hills (WGH), the presiding officer of the polling station was reported to have closed down the booth before the 4 PM cut off time leading to complaints. The matter is currently under investigation after the RO was informed of the act.

Categories: News

MHA yet to receive KHADC’s VAB bill

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, May 16: In another twist to the tale of Village Administration Bill (VAB) 2015 passed by Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), the bill has never been received by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for any consultation or correction(s). This was revealed through an RTI reply filed by Supreme Court lawyer, Daniel Stone Lyngdoh Nonglait.
The VAB, which seeks to empower traditional institutions and headmen in the region, was passed by KHADC and sent by the Governor to Ministry for examination earlier last year.

Categories: News

Hate Pamphlets: Place of origin unknown, hard copy unavailable

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 04:00

Staff Reporter
TURA, May 16: Investigation into the ‘hate pamphlet’ controversy, which was uncovered three days ago, is still to get off the ground as the police are yet to determine the place of origin of the pamphlet due to lack of a hard copy of the distributed pamphlet.
The discovery of the pamphlet has led to mud-slinging match between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with accusations flowing thick and fast.

Categories: News

Supreme Court stays High Court order

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, May 16: Supreme Court has stayed the October 15, 2015 order of Meghalaya High Court relating to Pyllun village and Nongsder village where 15 houses were recently demolished. A legal notice was on Monday served to Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi District in view of the Apex Court’s order.
The stay order issued by the Supreme Court on May 13 came following a petition filed by Billinda Lapang, R Sangma, headman of Pyllun village M Warbah and headman of Nongsder village, Welcome Shangpliang with regards to land acquisition, forcible eviction of residents and destruction of property.

Categories: News

Arise, awake and achieve: Meghalaya Guv to youth

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 04:00

Staff Reporter     
Shillong, May 16: “Arise, awake and achieve!” asserted Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan, while speaking as the Chief Guest at a programme titled “A Journey Towards Skill India”, a skill development programme organised by the Directorate of Employment & Craftsmen Training, Labour Department, Government of Meghalaya at U Soso Tham Auditorium in the city on Monday.
The Governor in his speech said that in order to achieve something, one needs to have a strong mind, also stating that one must be willing to take risks since risks bring success.

Categories: News

One arrested for duping youth

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2016-05-17 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, May 16: One person identified as Airbeit Kharbani (29) from Ri Bhoi District was arrested on Monday for his alleged involvement in duping unemployed youth in the name of getting government jobs.
Kharbani used the name of Shiningstar Suchiang and claimed that he was resident of Musniang, Lad Rymbai in East Jaintia Hills District.

Categories: News

Mizoram: Suspended AR Commandant remanded to police custody

TNT - Tue, 2016-05-17 01:31
AIZAWL: Suspended Commandant of the 39th Assam Rifles Col Jasjit Singh, one of the prime accused in the smuggled gold robbery case, was today remanded to two days police custody by a local court. Singh was arrested on May 5 after it came to light that eight Assam Rifles personnel had allegedly waylaid a SUV …
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