Friday, October 29, 2010

Karnataka HC upholds rebel BJP legislators' disqualification

Posted on: 29 Oct 2010

Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court Friday upheld the disqualification of the 11 rebel legislators of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the state assembly by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah.

Delivering the judgment in a packed courtroom, Justice V.G. Sabhahit said the rebel legislators stood disqualified under the 10(a) schedule of the anti-defection law.

CM welcomes court verdict

Hailing the Karnataka High Court verdict upholding the disqualification of 11 BJP rebel MLAs, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today described it as 'epoch making' and a major step towards eradicating the menance of defection in the country.

'This order has come as a warning bell to those who indulge in defection. I hope this will herald a new era in bringing an end to defections in the country,' Yeddyurappa told PTI.

Yeddyurappa, overwhelmed by Justice V G Sabhahit's ruling upholding disqualification of the rebel MLAs for withdrawing support to his government, said 'this has enhanced my responsibilities now. Now I have to give a further fillip
to development activities'. PTI

Left routed in Kerala civic polls

October 29, 2010

Reaffirming once again that the end of the Left’s supremacy in Kerala politics is imminent, the people of the State voted the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF out of power in majority of the local administration bodies.

As the results of the civic elections held in two phases on October 23 and 25 came out on Wednesday, the LDF suffered jolts at all the three levels of the local administration system. The Left’s setback was a near replication of the setback the CPI(M) suffered in the last municipal elections in West Bengal.

As the present setback has come after its terrible defeats in the last Lok Sabha election, by-polls to three Assembly seats and several local council byelections, observers expect the LDF to be thrown out of power in the State elections in April-May next.

The Left was defeated in two of the four city corporations where counting of votes was held on Wednesday. The poll results in the municipal councils were shocking to the Left as the results of the 2005 elections were more than reversed. Of the 57 municipalities for which votes were counted, the Congress-led UDF bagged 30.

The Left, which had won 34 municipalities in the 2005 civic elections, was reduced to just 12 seats. Though it managed to win more seats than the Congress-led front in some other municipal councils, this became meaningless as they could not muster enough seats to rule. In 15 municipalities, no party was in majority.

In results in the prestigious Kochi Corporation, which it ruled for 32 years continuously, was shocking for the Left. Of the total 74 seats in this corporation, the LDF was reduced to 21 seats while the UDF bagged 44 divisions. The BJP won two seats. The LDF also lost power in the Thrissur Corporation.

The Left win in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation was absolutely unconvincing as it was by just one seat in the 100-division council. The UDF, which had won only ten seats in the last election, bagged 41 seats this time.

The BJP won in six divisions. The only corporation where the Left had a convincing win was Kollam.

However, the severest shock for the Left came from the Grama Panchayats, where the votes came from the grassroots, said to be the support base of the proletarian CPI(M). As the results for the 902 Grama Panchayats in which counting was held trickled in late on Wednesday evening, the LDF had won or was leading only in 361 while the UDF led in 534.

This was almost a total reversal of the results of the 2005 civic polls in which the Left had won 668 of the total 978 Grama Panchayats. The CPI(M) might explain away the defeats in the urban areas as an elitist reaction but the setback in the village bodies is clearly an indication of how the party’s basic support system has crumbled.

The situation in the Block and District panchayats was also not very different. In the 140 Block Panchayats for which vote-counting was on, the LDF was leading only in 60 while the UDF was in the lead in 80. The LDF had won 13 of the 14 district Panchayats in 2005 but this time, the UDF was leading in eight.

Despite its startling defeat, the CPI(M) tried to put up a bold face. State CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the LDF’s position had improved when compared to the Lok Sabha election while several other leaders termed the Left defeat as a result of the “unholy alliances” of the UDF.


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has registered an impressive victory in the local body elections in Kerala, securing majority in two of the five City Corporations and 38 of the 59 municipalities.

Initial trends point to the UDF leading in 7,584 grama panchayat wards, 1,103 block panchayat wards and 180 district panchayat divisions. The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) retained Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam Corporations and secured 16 municipalities. It has secured a lead in 5,887 grama panchayats, 757 block and 122 district panchayat divisions. The results of the Corporations and the municipalities were the first to be announced as electronic voting machines were used there. The first round of manual counting of ballots for the district, block and grama panchayats is progressing. A final picture is expected to emerge by Thursday evening. Counting at the Kozhikode Corporation will be taken up on October 31.

BJP fares well

The BJP has improved upon its tally compared to the previous local body polls. The party has got significant representation in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation — six seats, two in Kochi, one in Thrissur and 76 seats in various municipalities, the highest of 15 in Palakkad municipality. The party candidates finished runners-up in eight wards in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. The party will play a crucial role in deciding the rulers in four municipalities. The SDPI has also opened its account by securing one seat each in Kannur and Thodupuzha municipalities.

A distinct feature of the local body elections this time is that 50 per cent of the over 21,000 seats are reserved for women in the multi-tier local self-government bodies.

The UDF wrested the Kochi Corporation from the LDF after three decades, winning 46 out of the 74 seats. The LDF won 23 wards and the BJP, 2 and Independent, 3. The UDF also emerged victorious in the Thrissur Corporation, winning 44 out of the 55 seats. Here, the LDF got six seats, the BJP, one and Independents, four seats.

The LDF has retained the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation winning 51 out of the 100 seats, leaving 41 to the UDF, six to the BJP and two to Independents. The LDF won the Kollam Corporation for a third successive term bagging 34 out of the 55 seats. The UDF got 18 seats and others, three seats.

No majority

As per the figures of the State Election Commission, none of the fronts secured majority in Neyyattinkara and Nedumangad municipalities in Thiruvananthapuram, and Changanassery in Kottayam district.

In Thiruvananthapuram district, the LDF retained Attingal municipality and the UDF wrested Varkala from the LDF. In Kollam district, the LDF won Paravur and Punalur municipalities, while the UDF registered an impressive victory in Karunagapally municipality. In Pathanamthitta district, the UDF secured majority in Adoor and Pathanamthitta municipalities and emerged as the largest group in Thiruvalla with 17 seats. While the LDF got 13, the BJP bagged five seats. The LDF won Alappuzha municipality and the UDF Cherthala in the district. The UDF emerged victorious in Kottayam, Vaikom and Pala municipalities. In Ernakulam district, the UDF won 12 and the LDF, one municipality. The LDF won four and the UDF two municipalities in Thrissur district. In Palakkad, the fronts shared two municipalities each. The rival fronts maintained status quo in Kannur district. Of the total six municipalities, elections were held to five. While the LDF retained Thalassery, Koothuparamba, Taliparamba and Payyannur , the UDF fortified its position in Kannur municipality. Elections to Mattannur will be held later.

In Kasaragod district, the UDF registered a thumping victory in Kasaragod and Kanhangad municipalities, while the CPI(M) defeated the UDF in Neeleswaram.

The UDF won the lone municipality in Wayanad district, Kalpetta, capturing 20 of the 28 wards. The Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League won eight seats each and the Socialist Janata (Democratic) four seats. In Malappuram, the UDF retained power in Malappuram, Manjeri and Tirur municipalities and toppled the LDF in Ponnani and Perinthalmanna municipalities. The UDF will rule the newly-formed Kottakkal and Nilambur municipalities. The UDF also won 17 seats in Perinthalmanna and the LDF 16. One seat went to an Independent candidate.

In the campaign, both the LDF and UDF had described the civic body elections, held on October 23 and 25, as a referendum on the government's performance.

Monday, October 25, 2010

B.J.P Sweeps in Gujarat Panchayat Elections

BJP sweeps Panchayat Elections in Gujarat. The party has won 22 of 24 district panchayats, 178 of 208 block panchayats and 47 out of 52 municipalities that went to the polls on Thursday last. The BJP has also wrested tribal district of Dang and Anand in central Gujarat from the Congress. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has describes the poll outcome as victory of BJP's development agenda.
BJP sweeps Panchayat Elections in Gujarat. The party has won 22 of 24 district panchayats, 178 of 208 block panchayats and 47 out of 52 municipalities that went to the polls on Thursday last. The BJP has also wrested tribal district of Dang and Anand in central Gujarat from the Congress. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has describes the poll outcome as victory of BJP's development agenda.
Meanwhile, State Congress President Sidharth Patel and Congress Legislature Party Leader Shaktisinh Gohil have resigned from their posts citing poor performance of the party in Panchayat polls.

Gujarat Narendra Modi plans Rs 50,000 cr over the sea dam

NEW DELHI: In a first, Gurajat is planning to build an over the sea dam in the northern portion of the Gulf of Khambat (Cambay) with an investment of over Rs 50,000 crore.

The 35-kilometre dam project named Kalpasar Dam Alignment would lead to a sweet water reservoir. Besides, it will also have a road and rail overbridge, which will reduce the distance between Bhavnagar and Surat by 200 kilometre.

While, the main dam help generate tidal power, the reservoir is expected to supply water for drinking and agricultural purposes.

"The project envisages dam and road and rail overbridge from just north of Bhavnagar in the west coast of Gulf of Cambay to Alandar in Dahej in the east coast. Though final cost is to be worked out in detail, it will be over Rs 50,000 crore," a senior state government official said.

The timeframe will be decided once the environmental and other clearances come.

The Gujarat government has already set up a dedicated department for the project -- the Kalpasar department.

"Besides creating a fresh water reservoir in the northern portion of the Gulf of Khambat, the road and rail overbridge will reduce the distance from Bhavnagar and Surat to 150 kilometre from the existing 350 kilometre," the official said.

Travelling between Bhavnagar in Saurashtra and Surat in South Gujarat currently require a long detour through Ahmedabad.

The dam is also expected to take thousands of square kilometre in the northern coast of the Gulf of Khambat out of Coastal Zone Regulation (CZR) rules.

"This will allow development activity in a zone, which has high salinity and also create fishing opportunity in the envisage area," he said.

With the construction of the dam, which is 160 kilometre from the Pipavav port, the nearby port of Bhavnagar is also likely to be upgraded as a prime port. The Dholera Special Investment Region lies close to the proposed dam area.

"The State Maritime Board is studying the proposal for upgradation and expansion of the Bhavnagar port," the official said.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LeT commander,held in Kerala by Karnataka Police

Umar Farooq, 35, of Parappanangadi in Malappuram, Kerala, and Ibrahim Moulavi, 50, of Vellimunda in Wyanad, Kerala, werearrested by the anti-terrorist squad of the central crime branch police.

City police commissioner Shankar M Bidari said Farooq was arrested from Ajmer in Rajasthan, while Moulavi was held at Kasargod in Kerala. Both of them were brought to the city on Saturday, and a city magistrate remanded them for 13 days in police custody.

Both of them were suspected terrorists and were being interrogated at an undisclosed location.

“The investigation into the serial blasts revealed the involvement of Umar and Ibrahim. Further probe will reveal their exact roles in the incident,” Joint commissioner of police (crime) Alok Kumar said.

Police claimed that the men were actively involved in the July 25, 2008 blasts which killed a woman and injured several others. They had visited Bangalore before the blast and were involved in the criminal conspiracy to plant explosives in the city, police said.

As many as 32 persons were named in the chargesheet. The 31st accused, People’s Democratic Party leader, Abdul Nasser Madani was arrested from Kerala’s Kollam district in August.
Police sources said they had been monitoring Farooq and Moulavi for the past six months, and succeeded in nabbing them on the same day from two different states.

Farooq was picked up from the Ajmer railway station, where he had gone to drop off a friend travelling to Ernakulam.

Police refused to reveal the identity of Farooq’s friend.
Farooq had been absconding ever since the Bangalore blasts.

He had stayed in Ajmer for some time before going to Tamil Nadu and other parts of India to escape arrest.

A police team comprising assistant commissioners HM Omkaraiah, SY Hadimuni and NH Siddappa rushed to Ajmer on learning that Farooq had returned to that place.

Moulavi was arrested from Badiyadukka in Kasargod district by a CCB team headed by inspector Nagaraju. Police said the accused had also absconded after the blasts, and returned to Kerala recently.

Police sources said both of them were active in recruiting youth for terror training camps. An additional charge-sheet against them had been filed earlier before the court. A warrant was also pending against Farooq.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Modi's big day: BJP sweeps municipal elections

Press Trust of India, : October 12, 2010

Ahmedabad: Ruling BJP has swept the polls to six municipal corporations in Gujarat retaining power with two-thirds majority in all but one of them, in a big victory for Chief Minister Narendra Modi who put all his might behind the civic election campaign.

Besides Ahmedabad, the BJP won the civic polls in Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot and Bhavnagar with a two-thirds majority. The party, which decimated the Congress, got a simple majority in Jamnagar.

Savouring the win, Modi profusely thanked the people of Gujarat for reposing faith in the party.

He said BJP bagged 80 per cent of the votes in almost all the places with the remaining being accounted for all the other parties and Independents put together.

The poll victories came just a few weeks after the BJP won Kachlal in Anand district in a bye-election, bagging the assembly constituency - a Congress bastion - for the first time in the history of the state.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani congratulated Modi for the spectacular showing for the party and noted that the Congress has been wiped out.

On-line voting was introduced for the first time in the civic polls.

Over 2,100 candidates were in fray for more than 558 seats for elections in six municipal corporations in Gujarat.

Ruling BJP as well as Opposition Congress had campaigned extensively and had also roped in national leaders for the polls.

The BJP had won all the six municipal corporations in the last elections held in 2005

It had made the arrest of Amit Shah, close aide of Modi, by CBI in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, as one of the main issues, as all its national leaders alleged that the arrest amounted to misuse of CBI by the Congress and asked people to give its mandate through the ballot papers.

During the campaign, Modi also took a swipe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the tardy pace of preparations for the ongoing Commonwealth games in Delhi.

Congress on the other hand had focussed more on local issues saying that the corporation polls were about civic amenities and highlighted assistance given to the state under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission for development of infrastructure in cities.

In Ahmedabad, the BJP has so far won 129 of the 156 seats declared with results for remaining 33 seats yet to be announced.

The saffron party notched 95 of the 114 seats in Surat while it bagged 61 of the 75 in Vadodara.

The Rajkot Municipal Corporation where BJP won 58 seats in the 69-member house was the only civic body where it could not get a two-third majority.

The Congress bagged the remaining 11 seats and improved its tally by one from 10 it had won in the 2005 elections. Among the winners were Mayor Sandhyaben Vyas of BJP.

Modi had campaigned extensively in Rajkot addressing three public rallies in the last week of campaigning.

Accepting defeat, local Congress leaders said they had expected a good show in the RMC polls by the party as it had wrested the Rajkot Lok Sabha seat from the BJP after many years during the 2008 parliamentary polls.

BJP retained its two-third majority in the Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (BMC), bagging 41 out of the 51 seats with Congress winning the rest.

BJP, which had won 39 seats in the 2005 BMC elections, improved its tally by two, while the Congress saw its seat strength reduce from 12 to 10.

The ruling party had emerged as a clear favourite in Bhavnagar due to infighting and absence of strong local leaders in the Congress.

Elections to the BMC were held two months earlier than scheduled, as the BJP decided to go for the polls along with the other five other municipal corporations in the state on October 10.

BJP retained a clear majority in the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) pocketing 35 seats out of 57.

Opposition Congress won 16 seats, while Independents (3), NCP(1), BSP (1), and SP (1) bagged the remaining seats.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Muralidharan appears on Congress platforms

06 Oct 2010

Thiruvananthapuram: With local bodies' elections around the corner K Muralidharan has started appearing the platforms of Congress campaigns. Murali's official re-entry into Congress appears to be a mere formality now.

Murali knew that Congress needed his support for a UDF victory in the Malabar region. In Kozhikode many candidates came to him for blessings before filing nomination papers.

Getting the message top brass from the district Congress committee, including the president K C Abu and people like N P Moideen, A Sujanapal, P Sankaran and Muslim League leader Mayin Haji came to Murali's house to invite him for campaigning. Murali obliged.

NII researchers develop once-in-3-month insulin to treat diabetes

Indian scientists at the Delhi-based National Institute of Immunology have developed a new technology that could produce once in 3-month insulin injection for diabetic patients.

Currently, insulin is injected multiple times a day to control blood sugar in diabetes patients.

The new insulin formulation follows a simple technique in the hormone is clumped together into complexes called oligomers.

These oligomers are then injected into rats, mice, and rabbits with chemically induced diabetes. A single injection maintained basal glucose levels for up to 3 months, whereas other diabetic mice needed daily injections.The diseased mice mice not given insulin died within 40 days.

The NII researchers tested the oligomer insulin on mice and rabbits using bovine and recombinant human insulin. A single dose using bovine insulin was able to give coverage for over 120 days while that with recombinant human insulin sustained over 140 days.

The oligomers act like “an insulin depot” at the injection site, releasing a steady, low insulin dose, according to Dr Avadhesha Surolia, director of the National Institute of Immunology here, who led the research team.

“The just above basal level of human insulin released in a sustained manner has been found to be effective in not only controlling the upsurge in the level of blood glucose after meals, but also in preventing the dreaded early morning hypoglycaemia, which is caused by low glucose levels,” stated Dr Surolia.

The oligomer technique primarily involves getting individual molecules of insulin to come together and form multi-molecular or supra-molecular assemblies.

Oligomer insulin utilizes the basic principles of protein folding to harness the inherent aggregative property of insulin molecules to generate a form that exhibited a controlled and sustained release of the molecules over prolonged periods, explained Dr. Surolia, who is also a professor at the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science’s Molecular Biophysics Unit.

Since oligomers do not lead to the activation of enzymes that destroy insulin, it does not cause cancer which many currently available insulin analogues are associated with.

The researchers observed no side effects in the animal studies.

NII has transferred the technology to Life Science Pharmaceuticals in Darien, Connecticut for further development including clinical trials. The US firm plans to launch clinical trials to test the oligomr insulin later this year.

If it comes out successfully through all clinical testing, the oligomer based insulin could be available in the market in about six years after, Dr Surolia hoped.

A major issue with diabetes management with the current practice of multiple injections in a day was the fear of pricking oneself. This often lead to the patient not adhering to the treatment in toto, resulting in complications such as diabetic cardiopathy, cataract and nephropathy.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Petition of Madani's relative dismissed

01 Oct 2010

Kollam: A local court here has dismissed a petition filed by a relative of PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madani alleging that
the Karnataka police had not adhered to procedures during the arrest of Madani in connection with the Bangalore blasts case.

Kollam Chief Judicial Magistrate Soundaresh dismissed the petition by Abdul Salam, a relative of Madani, against Bangalore city assistant police commissioner Omkaraiah and Kollam SP police Harshitha Attaluri.

The petitioner argued that Madani should have been produced in a local court before being taken to Bangalore after his arrest on August 17.

Dismissing the petition, the Court said the charges in the petition was ill-intentioned. The Court also approved the arguments of the counsels for Omkaraiah and Attaluri that Madani could be produced before a judge in Bangalore within 24 hours of his arrest.

Madani, who was arrested from Anwarssery near here at 1.20 pm was produced before was produced before the Bangalore judge the same night at 11.20 pm, the cousels for the police said. PTI

Palakkad municipal chairperson P Devyani joins BJP

01 Oct 2010

Palakkad: Municipal chairperson P Devayani from Palakkad has resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP. Devyani will contest as a BJP candidate in the coming LSG polls. Devyani held discussions with the BJP leaders on Friday morning and the latest move is an outcome of this.

It is learnt that Devyani was unhappy with the leadership for not giving the reserved seat of her choice. She had asked for Ward 7 but offered Ward 14 by the Congress under the general category instead of a reserved seat.

The BJP party has decided to offer the seat of her choice. She told mediapersons that as she was offered a seat under the general category by the Congress she has decided to join the BJP. She also alleged that she had been offered Ward 15 without her knowledge. She also added that she would contest Ward 15 under the BJP ticket.

Palakkad DCC president P V Balachandran said that Devyani had not officiallly announced the resignation to the DCC.