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AAP gearing up for HP Assembly Polls 2017, hopes people to vote for long awaited change



arvind kejriwal

SHIMLA- After Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party is optimistic about its electoral prospects in the states of Himachal Pradesh.

Considering the recent CAG reports, jaundice outbreak, laborers exploitation in Kinnuar, unplanned and vision-less urbanization, and corruption charges against CM Virbhadra Singh, party is expecting people to vote for long awaited change. Both BJP and Congress have taken their turns to run the government, but could not give anything to Himachal except a debt of about 38,000 crore.

Other than Himachal, local units have already begun to prepare themselves for state elections in Goa, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh,say party leaders.

According to a senior National Executive member,

As compared to other states, our party organizations in the states of Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are much stronger. These are very much being consideration, though a final decision will be taken at the right time.

He added that, of these names, only Goa does not have a full time Convener but that appointment will be done soon and, like the other state conveners, the person will also be a part of the NC.

Polls are due in Goa and Himachal Pradesh in 2017, while Karnataka and MP will likely see polls in 2018. Local units’ ability to build strong party organisations will decide if AAP contests polls.

Expansion beyond Delhi and Punjab and contesting elections in other states was on the mind of several AAP leaders when the National Council (NC) of the party met to re-elect its national level bodies and office bearers. Convener and Supremo Arvind Kejriwal made his position on the issue clear in a 24 minute address. Conceding that many party members had approached him to discuss contesting elections in other states, including those in which they knew victory was not possible, Kejriwal underlined probability of victory as a key factor to contest polls.

This key or decision (sic.) about contesting is not in my hands. It is in your hands. Wherever conditions are created for 50: 50 probability of winning (we will contest). If the conditions are created, then what opposition can there be in contesting elections? Surely, we will contest elections. But not for winning 3 out of 100 seats, 90 out of 100. Victory or defeat is in god’s hands, not ours. But at least there should be chances of winning,

said Kejriwal. Emphasising that contesting elections was a means to “changing the system”, he implored party colleagues to do the “hard work” of door to door campaigning and preparing booth volunteers.

That AAP is taking other states seriously can be seen example of Karnataka State Convener, Prithvi Reddy. Previously tasked with multiple responsibilities, this time around his sole responsibility as member of the NC is Karnataka. When asked if he has begun preparing for 2018 state elections, Reddy said,

Yes. Party has set certain parameters to take those decisions, so I have taken the challenge and announced that we will meet those criteria. I have invited volunteers from across the country to come to Karnataka in 2018 and campaign.

Speaking at the meeting for reelection of AAP’s top national body, Supremo Arvind Kejriwal said,

There is a Delhi Model of governance and then Gujarat Model. We invite everyone to compare the two models. See our Mohalla Clinics, the works we are doing. A story was done during Lok Sabha elections: Gujarat Model. We also went to schools and hospitals in Gujarat, schools are in and shape, healthcare is in bad shape. Now everyone knows now what Gujarat Model is. People have been cheated in the name of Gujarat Model.

Photo: Indian Express

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal’s senior journalist Sunil Sharma passes away at 49



Himachal's senior journlist sunil sharma dies

Shimla: A senior journalist and the State Bureau Chief of the Hindi daily Divya Himachal, Sunil Sharma, today passed away suddenly. He was 49-year-old and was at his house in Jakhu, Shimla while he died.

The media community and political leaders including the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Governor Acharya Devvrat, and Director, Information and Public Relations Anupam Kashyap have extended their condolences.

Media persons begin to pay visits to the bereaved family as soon as they received the news. The cause of sudden death has not disclosed yet officially.

The CM Jai Ram Thakur said Sunil Sharma was a committed journalist, and always maintained ethics of journalism. He said that his demise has created a void in the field of journalism.

The Chief Minister along with Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj visited the residence of Sunil Sharma at Jakhu and expressed their sympathies with the bereaved family members.  

Governor Acharya Devvrat expressed his sympathies with the grief-stricken family members.

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Misc News/Press Release

Rohit Kumar Saval joins as CM Jairam’s media adviser



Rohit Kumar Saval

Shimla: Rohit Kumar Saval, who has an extensive experience in media, today joined as Media Advisor to Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, at Shimla. Later he called on the Chief Minister and discussed issues related to media in the State.

Chief Minister said that Rohit Kumar Saval has been working for a long time with media and has a rich experience of working at State and National level. He said the role of media is very important in the dissemination of programs and policies of the state government.

His appointment as an advisor will strengthen media liaison as well as promote professionalism in the government system, he said.

Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Trilok Jamwal, OSD to Chief Minister, Mahender Kumar Dharmani, Additional Chief Secretary-cum- Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Manisha Nanda, Director, Information and Public Relations, Anupam Kashyap, were also present on the occasion.

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Misc News/Press Release

HP E-Vidhan wing gifts Galaxy Note 8, laptop, printer to all MLAs, ministers



HP E-vidhan wing gifts mlas

The government said that these gifts were given to the MLAs and ministers by the E-Vidhan wing of the HP Vidhan Sabha and will be used for official work.

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government on March 16, 2018, gifted electronic devices including a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which currently costs between 68,000 to 70,000 INR, a laptop, and a printer to all the elected members of the 13th Assembly including the council of ministers.

The average cost per MLA is estimated to be above one lakh INR. The total cost touches almost 1 crore INR. The Information and Technology Minister, Ram Lal Markanda, personally visited the Speaker Rajiv Bindal to deliver the gifts.

The news has attracted criticism from several groups, especially on social media and regional online news portals. The Bhartiya Janata Party has been opening scathing attacks on the previous Congress government over a debt of 46,000 crores INR.

Also, the state government did not take timely cognizance of the media reports about a 16-year-old poverty-stricken girl of Solan district who required lakhs of rupees to undergo a kidney transplant after she lost both of her own kidneys.

In the list of priorities, the gifts did come above the announcement of relief money to the girl.

Therefore, the reason for the criticism was quite apparent.  

It is being speculated that some of the MLAs have even sold or handed their copies of devices to subordinate staff or family members as they already had high-end smartphones.

However, the government said that these gifts were given to the MLAs and ministers by the E-Vidhan wing of the HP Vidhan Sabha and will be used for official work  during the current government tenure.

The Speaker said, the MLAs and Ministers will be given training regarding the operation of these electronic devices.

The effect of this step will be visible directly or indirectly in coming days. The government’s explanation that these electronics were gifted as part of the E-Vidhan program will be visible if all the recipient make themselves available to the public online.

Currently, the State government’s official websites are either not user-friendly or are in tatters and hardly contains latest data or information.  As we had mentioned earlier, the official website of the State government has still not updated the name of the Chief Minister.

The average response rate to e-mails is critically low for the government departments and the offices of the ministers.

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