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Yes, mafias active & crime on rise in Himachal, are BJP ruled states doing any better?

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Hp assembly elections 2017

Shimla: On Thursday, the star campaigner of the Bhartiya Janata Party for the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Elections 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed a rally in Kangra district.

He said Himachal has become a land of mafias. There are five types of mafia in the state – forest mafia, mining mafia, drug mafia, tender mafia and transfer mafia.

He said the BJP would end all these mafias and eradicate corruption. Other campaigners like BJP chief Amit Shah and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath are consistently targeting the State Congress over the corruption charges against the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his family.

Here, it is necessary to question the basis on which the BJP wants the people to trust on their promises. The simplest way is to compare BJP-ruled states with Himachal.

The safety of women is another major issue that the BJP is pitching repeatedly.The crimes against women are rising in Himachal, says BJP campaigner.

There are valid points in these allegations. The mafias are active and corruption is also evident from the condition of the public infrastructure like roads.

The Chief Minister had himself rebuked the Public Works Department for its nexus with the private contractors.

Over two dozen people had died and thousands of others were inflicted by the deadly jaundice outbreak in 2016. The reason was that the contractor was releasing untreated sewerage from the treatment plant. The plant was barely working despite receiving about 1.30 crores per year.

Shimla city suffered critical water-shortage just because the government did not maintain the supply pipes and a huge amount was lost in leakage only.

The solid waste management is in tatters. All major towns are grappling with mounting heaps of garbage. Shimla city witnessed no improvement in the working of the sanitation workers despite change in the power after MC elections held this year.

The horrific case of gangrape and murder of a 16-years-old girl in Kotkhai in July this year and the mysterious death of the forest guard Hoshiyar Singh in Karsog division in June raised the alarm over increasing corruption.

The shoddy probe conducted by the HP Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) and arrest of eight police officials including the Inspector General Zaidi put the faith of people in the government at stake.

It is true that these evils have taken larger forms in Himachal.

For instance, the sitting Congress MLA of Bilaspur Bambar Singh Thakur allegedly thrashed the DFO over encroachment on forest land. A few months later, he was heard allegedly insulting and threatening a senior doctor posted at the district hospital.

The MLA allegedly wanted the doctor to make manipulations in a disability certificate to please one of his supporters. A transfer to remote and tribal area was the ultimate threat that the MLA was allegedly using.

The General Secretary of HP Congress Committee, Ram Lal Thakur, had alleged him of carrying out illegal businesses including mining. Ram Lal had also demanded a CBI inquiry against Bambar Thakur. 

The transfer of the young IPS Officer Gaurav Singh, also called Baddi’s Singham, verified increasing influence of the mining mafia and involvement of politicians and MLAs in patorinizing them.

The BJP has promised to eradicate this corruption and make the State a better place. However, on what basis the BJP is making these claims? Did the crime rate drop down in BJP-ruled states? Did crime against women witness any decline in these states?

A report published by the Fact Catcher in February 2017 said that the BJP-ruled states have higher rates. The report had also alleged that the BJP was trying to manipulate crime related data of Uttar Pradesh.

Crime rate in BJP ruled states

Courtesy: Fact Check

It does not make the Congress or Samajvadi Party any better.

The communalism already existed in the Indian society and the politicians had been making full of it.

However, during the three-year reign of the BJP communalism and religion have again come into lime-light upto such an extent that people were lynched by mobs. Now, the cows holds more value than human lives. 

On the other hand, the big promises made by the Congress in its manifesto prove that the government employees are indeed the deciding vote-bank in Himachal. Transfer near home or to their desired region is one of the biggest temptations for the employees.

Transfer has always been the best way to deal with honest employees or those belonging to opposition.

The details of income and assets given in their affidavits filed by the contesting candidates of both major parties, the infighting for the tickets and shifting loyalty by swapping parties tell us that they are after power and wealth.

Why should we believe the BJP, Congress or any other parties when they are more or less the same behind the curtains?

As a matter of fact, HP BJP leaders in February had submitted a chargesheet with the office of the Governor. The party had level serious allegations against as much as 41 persons including the Congress MLAs, Ministers, Bureaucrats etc. 

Anil Sharma, ex-minister, was also in this list. However, now BJP has inducted him and has forgotten the chargesheet.  

Rest, the public had given PK Dhumal two chances to prove it is better than Congress. The point is to make these facts count on the polling day.

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Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Election Watch

Himachal BJP Chief Satti Barred from Campaigning by EC for MCC Violation

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Satpal Singh Satti Barred from Campaigning 1

Shimla-The Election Commission of India has barred Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti from campaigning for 48 hours. This prohibition would begin from 10 am tomorrow onwards for two days for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

This makes him the first such leader from Himachal Pradesh who was barred from campaigning for violating MCC.

Satti had used an obscene slur for Congress chief Rahul Gandhi while addressing a public meeting in Shimla constituency’s Ramshahar in Nalagarh sub-division on April 14, 2019.  The EC had taken strict note of it and had issued a notice. Satti had filed a reply justifying himself that he was merely narrating a Facebook comment made by some other person. He also alleged media of presenting edited video clip with manipulations. However, this justification failed to appeal to the EC as the word used by Satti was highly derogatory.  

Also, it was alleged that Satti had made objectionable remarks over religious sect Radha Swami, for which he had also apologized.

Here is what Satti Had Said About Rahul Gandhi:

A couple of video clips were shared on social media after someone recorded his address on mobile cameras. 

However, Satti is yet to receive a response to the reply he has filed to a second notice served to him by EC for again making objectionable comments about Priyanka Vadra dressing and Rahul Gandhi’s bachelorhood in public meeting in Una.  The second notice was sent on the basis of video footage recorded by EC’s video surveillance team.

Himachal Pradesh Congress had launched a statewide protest against Satti along with submission of a complaint to the EC. An FIR was also lodged against Satti in relation to his derogatory comments.  Effigies were burnt at various places. Youth wing of the State Congress had smeared black paint on the face of Satti in BJP posters in Shimla. Former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had gone to the extent of saying that Satti had lost his mental balance.

State BJP leaders have so far avoided condemning Satti’s remarks, which also drew criticism from the opposition.

BJP leaders like Shanta Kumar, however, defended Satti. Shanta said Satti had apologized for his remarks. However, Satti had only apologized to Radha Swami organization. He had refused to apologize to Rahul Gandhi. He maintained that Rahul had also been addressing PM Modi as Chowkidar Chor or Chore while addressing rallies and public meetings.

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Election Watch

Black Paint Smeared on HP BJP Chief’s Face in Posters, Congress Also Files Police Complaint

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Black Paint Smeared on Satpal Satti's Posters in Shimla

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has filed a complaint to police for lodging an FIR against Satpal Singh Satti, President of BJP HP, for making derogatory remarks and statements against INC President Rahul Gandhi. Congress said this news was also published by various newspapers on Monday.

HPCC has already made a call for state-wide protest against Satti on April 16.

At the same time, the obscene remarks have angered the State Youth Congress. Workers of Youth Congress were smearing black paint on Satti’s face on BJP poster in Shimla as a protest. Workers can also be seen in the video writing ‘Besharm Satti’ (Shameless) on BJP posters.

The State President of Youth Congress, Manish Thakur, has made a call do the same with BJP chief’s face on posters across the State. All workers across Himachal should boycott and burn effigies of Satti in their respective constituencies, he said.

In its complaint, HPCC said that on April 14, 2019, Satpal Singh Satti was addressing a public meeting organised at Ramshaher of  Nalagarh Vidhan Sabha Assembly in District Solan. During his address, he allegedly passed derogatory remarks against Rahul Gandhiji and former UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. These remarks were highly defamatory and against women’s dignity, Congress said in its complaint. It also alleged that the objectionable remarks used by Satti are also in gross violation of the guidelines laid down by Election Commission of India.

The unparliamentary language used by Satti while delivering the speech in this meeting tarnishes the image of AICC President Rahul Gandhi, the complaint said.

 The abusive remarks used against Sonia Gandhi are damaging the public image of a woman, who is given the utmost importance in the Social Indian setup, it said.

These remarks would tarnish the image of Congress Party in India as well as in Himachal, the complaint said.  Congress also complained that Satti has committed a criminal offence by passing derogatory remarks and has also violated the guidelines issued by Election Commission of India for smooth conduction of elections.  Some cuttings from today’s Dallies were also attached with the complaint.

Satti, as per a PTI report, refused to apologize for the remarks, and said he was merely reading contents of a comment posted by someone on social media.  Instead, he said Rahul Gandhi and Congress leaders should apologise for using ‘chor’ word for PM.

I have narrated an incident while addressing a public meeting in Nalagarh tehsil of Solan district whereby a derogatory remark was made against Rahul in retaliation of using ‘chor’ word for PM in a viral social media message,

he told PTI.

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Himachal BJP Chief Caught on Camera Passing Obscene Remarks at Rahul Gandhi

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Satpal Singh Satti's abusive remark on rahul gandhi

Shimla-Satpal Singh Satti, the president of Bhartiya Janata Party’s Himachal Pradesh unit, was caught on camera passing obscene remarks at INC President Rahul Gandhi Gandhi.  He was addressing a public meeting of SC morcha in Shimla constituency’s Ramshahar in Nalagarh sub-division on April 14, 2019.

Satti has defended it arguing that he only read a comment made on Rahul Gandhi by some Facebook user. He said he only wanted to convey that if Rahul Gandhi can address the Prime Minister as “Chowkidar Chor Hai” from the public stage, he should be ready to face similar derogatory remarks.

However, Satti’s language registered a new low in the battle of political statements ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.   

A couple of video clips were shared on social media after someone recorded his address on mobile cameras. 

The State unit of Congress and its leaders have sought an public apology from the BJP Chief and warned him that this matter would be taken to the Election Commission of India. State Congress unit has made a call for statewide protest on April 16.

Afraid of losing elections, Congress said, BJP is deliberately trying to divert the attention of the people from real issues.

We are taking the opinion of our legal cell. Subsequently, we may file a formal complaint against him with the EC,

a Congress Spokesperson said.

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