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Why was HP Transport Minister’s Wife Using Govt Vehicle for Shopping, Parlour Visits: Public and Opposition Ask

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HP Transport Minister's Wife Misuse HP Govt Vehicle 2

Shimla- The alleged misuse of a government vehicle by the wife of the Transport Minister of Himachal Pradesh Govind Thakur has become a topic of debate in the state.

Political leaders, as well as, the public is raising the issue and asking as to why the wife of Govind Thakur was using government vehicle to go to a beauty parlour and for shopping in Chandigarh.

Targeting Centre government’s promotion of cashless India, questions are also being raised as to why she was carrying cash worth Rs 2.5 lakh. It was also alleged case has belied the promises of the ruling BJP to end the VIP culture.

The matter came into limelight after Rajani Thakur, wife of the HP Transport Minister, filed an FIR complaining that a thieve stole a bag containing Rs 2.5 lakh cash and valuable jewellery from her car in Chandigarh on October 7, 2019. In her complaint, she said that she was inside a saloon in Sector 8 while the car (HP 66 0001) was parked outside for about five hours. The driver was waiting for her return.

Meanwhile, a man approached the driver and told him that some money is lying outside the vehicle and that he had probably dropped it. When the driver got out of the car to collect the money, the man opened the other door of the car and made off with a bag and jewellery.

An FIR was filed at the police station in Sector 3 under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The police had obtained CCTV footage and was investigating the case.

Meanwhile, it came into light that the car number given in the complaint was registered in the name of Managing Director, HRTC. The Minister’s wife was in Chandigarh for two days, media reports said.

Questions are being raised as to why the wife of the Minister was allowed to use a government vehicle – a newly bought Innova CRYSTA – for the purpose of touring Chandigarh for her private business.

HRTC is running in loss and the state government is under huge debt but still, the Minister of the ruling government is allegedly misusing public money.

RTI activist Devashish Bhattacharya posted the Registration Certificate of the vehicle and asked under what provision the MD, Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), let the Minister’s wife use the vehicle for personal use.

इस कार का इस्तेमाल हिमाचल प्रदेश के परिवहन मंत्री की पत्नी द्वारा किया गया था, जहाँ से चंडीगढ़ में कथित तौर पर 2.5 लाख…

Dev Ashish Bhattacharya द्वारा इस दिन पोस्ट की गई मंगलवार, 8 अक्तूबर 2019

The Minister of opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri, on October 9 took a jibe at PM Modi’s cashless India campaign. He said while Modi is asking the people to go cashless and use credit/debit cards for payment, the families of his party leaders were carrying cash.

Congress MLA from Dalhousie, Asha Kumari, also opened a front against the state government and questioned as to why a government vehicle was standing outside a beauty parlour in Chandigarh. She also questioned whether entries were made in the log-book regarding the use of this vehicle or not. She demanded an inquiry into the case.  

Congress MLA from Una, Satpal Raijada, targeted the current BJP government over misuse of the government machinery. He demanded a clarification from the government regarding the purpose of allowing a government vehicle for personal use by the wife of a minister in the ruling government. He also demanded an inquiry into the matter.

So far, no clarification was given by either the Transport Minister or the HRTC.  

Misc News/Press Release

Congress Holds ‘Save Democracy March’ in Pachhad Alleging EC of Inaction on BJP’s MCC Violations

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Congress march in pachhad

Sirmaur-Congress today organized “Save Democracy March” in Pachhad constituency ahead of the by-election. The rally was led by HPCC President Kuldeep Singh Rathore, who later submitted a memorandum to the Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, through SDM, Rajgarh, alleging a foul play and violations of Model Code of Conduct by BJP leaders and ministers Mahinder Singh Thakur, Birender Kanwar and Speaker Rajeev Bindal in Pachhad assembly constituency.

He also said that government machinery was misused on a large scale and government servants were being pressurised to work for BJP candidate and that Election Commission has failed altogether to check violation of Model Code of Conduct.

Rathore claimed that despite all foul play and violation of MCC by BJP, Congress is all set to register a landslide victory in Pachhad assembly constituency and Dharamshala Constituency because party workers have poured in great efforts in door-to-door campaigning in both the assembly constituencies.

Rathore has been campaigning in these constituencies ever since the date of announcement of elections. He had campaigned in all areas of Dharamshala assembly constituency from October 2 to October 9, 2019.

Thereafter, he moved to Pachhad assembly constituency and has been campaigning there from October 10. Rathore claimed that these by-elections will set a stage for departure of BJP government from Himachal Pradesh in 2022 as Congress is comfortably winning both these seats in the bye-election 2019.   

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Misc News/Press Release

Peaks of Kullu and Lahaul Receive Fresh Spell of Snow, Lower Reaches Hit by Hailstorm, Rain

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Snowfall in kullu manali

Kullu– Including Rohtang Pass, peaks of Kullu, Manali, and Lahaul are receiving a fresh spell of snow. At the time of writing Rohtang Pass had received about two to three inches of snow, five in Shikula Pass, and four in Baralacha Pass. Manali’s Chandrkhani Pass has also received a fresh spell of snow

The roads are still open and traffic is moving. However, it is expected that if this spell of light snowfall continued for the few next hours, the roads would be closed.  The Manali-Leh and Manali-Kaza Highway have already been closed for traffic officially. 

Manali and Lahaul also recorded spell of heavy rain on Thursday afternoon. Due to rainfall and snow in higher peaks, the temperature has dropped by several notches.

Kullu valley was hit by a spell of heavy hailstorm, which caused damaged to vegetable and other crops in Shiah, Gadsa and Hawi valley of the district. The SDM, Kullu, Akshay Sood, said the damaged caused to crops would be assessed soon.

Snowfall in Kullu-manali

Similarly, some parts of Mandi district also witnessed hailstorm, leading to crop damage.

kullu manali snowfall

During next couple of hours, the HP Met Department has predicted light to moderate rainfall and snowfall along with thunderstorm in Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Shimla district.

The hoteliers in Kullu and Manali are expecting that snow would attract tourists to the valley.

The Met Department has predicted rain and snow on October 18 too. After that, the weather is likely to be dry till October 23.

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Campus Watch

HP Technical University Hamirpur Turned into Political Arena, Deprived of Its Autonomy: ABVP

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HPTU Hamirpur ABVP Conference

Hamirpur- The Himachal Pradesh Technical University, Hamirpur, (HPTU) has been turned into a political arena by the Himachal Pradesh Government. The Minister for Technical Education, Bikram Singh, has forgotten that this college also comes under his jurisdiction and that he is responsible for its development, said Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad unit of HPTU in a press conference organized on October 16, 2019.

The conference was addressed by President of ABVP’s HPTU unit, Suraj Jariyal, Secretary Ankita Sharma, and Robin.

The situation has worsened to such an extent that ABVP has now opened a front against its own government. Suraj termed the neglection of the college by the Minister of Technical Education as most unfortunate. He alleged the University is awaiting development for the past 10 years, however, this issue was never raised in the Legislative Assembly. The classes are being conducted in the building of a boys school. An additional fee is being charged for facilities such as computer lab, internet, and library. However, in reality, the varsity doesn’t even have its own building and campus.

The government made no provision of a budget for the university, which shameful in itself. The state government keep forming new rules for the university very frequently. These rules are of pure political interest, he said. ABVP alleged that the government is trying to fulfil its political interests through the only technical university of the state, which is why it keeps forcing new rules on the varsity.

Recently, the state government and the Department of Technical Education issued a Tughlaqi order prohibiting the university from starting new courses and making any recruitment. ABVP criticised this decision terming it a mockery of the autonomy of the university. 

Unit secretary Ankita advised the Minister for Technical Education to read the constitution of the varsity, which empowers the university to make new recruitments and start new courses anytime it wants. The university does not need to seek permission from either the government or the Minister to do so, Ankita said.

ABVP has demanded that the government should stop depriving the varsity of its autonomy, provision of a budget is made, vacant posts of regular teaching and non-teaching staff are filled up, and new courses are started at the earliest at the new campus.

The university is lacking behind in education and development due to apathetic attitude of the state government, Suraj said. ABVP warned the government that if it did not roll back its decision, then more aggressive protests would be launched. If needed, a ‘Jail Bharo’ campaign would be initiated by ABVP, he said. 

 

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