L A T E S T      N E W S

Efforts to bring back black money on right track: Modi

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday promised to get back every penny of the black money stashed abroad, days after his government was accused of making a U-turn on the issue.

He said the efforts to bring back black money stashed abroad are on the “right track” even as he acknowledged that there was no correct estimate about how much money is kept illegally in foreign countries.

In an address to the nation over radio, he said that bringing back black money from outside the country is an “article of faith” for him and nothing will be lacking in his efforts to do so.

The Prime Minister’s commitment to bring back black money stashed abroad comes against the backdrop of the stand it first took in the Supreme Court last week about the inability to disclose the names of the account holders in foreign banks because of the confidentially clause in treaties with other countries.

It had maintained that disclosure of details of account holders would hamper efforts to bring back black money.

The government beat a hasty retreat after the Supreme Court ordered it to disclose the names of account holders in HSBC Geneva which amounted to 627 in number. The government also came under attack from opposition parties that it was going back on its election promise to unearth and bring back black money stashed abroad.

Modi said there may be differences in approach on getting this money back but he was committed to doing it and the nation should have faith in him.

“As far as black money is concerned, you should have faith on this ‘Pradhan sevak’. For me, it is an article of faith. Every penny of the money of poor people in this country, which has gone out, should return. This is my commitment,” Modi said in ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme on All-India Radio.

“There may be differences over the approach and procedures, which is natural in a democracy. But as far as my understanding goes and on the basis of information I have, I can say we are on the right track,” he said.

On the actual estimate about amount in illegal bank accounts in foreign countries, the Prime Minister said, “Nobody knows, nor do I know, nor does the government know, nor do you know, how much money is stashed abroad. Even the previous government had no estimate.

“Everybody is making own assessment of figures. I do not want to get involved in those figures. It is my commitment that whatever amount, Rs 2, Rs 5, crore of rupees or whatever, this money belongs to the poor people of this country and should come back.

“And I can assure you that nothing will be lacking in my efforts. I only want your blessings to continue.”

He asserted that whatever has to be done, will be done at the earliest.

In his second radio address, which lasted about 20 minutes, the Prime Minister also talked about his government’s initiatives like those related to the specially-abled children and cleaning the country besides social problems like drug addiction.

He also paid tributes to the armed forces while referring to his visit to Siachen in Jammu and Kashmir on Diwali day on October 23, where soldiers live in difficult conditions.

With regard to the specially-abled people, he announced that a special scholarship will be given to 1,000 such children by the HRD Ministry.

One lakh rupees each will also be given to Kendriya Vidhyalayas and Central universities for creating infrastructure for the specially-abled children, he said.

“A good beginning has been made and things will change,” he said, adding that the country is headed towards a “big change“

Talking about the ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive launched on October 2, he appreciated the personalities from various walks of life as well as common people for participating in the campaign.

“Had anybody thought that it will become a nationwide campaign? ... Things are changing and people are becoming aware that they should not throw filth around,” Modi said, adding that the maximum impact of the drive has been on children.

Linking the cleanliness drive to healthcare, he said the poor people are the worst affected by dirt as they fall ill which affects their livelihood.

While talking about the changing mindset of people on the issue, he said that many personalities, including business leaders, sports persons and film actors who meet him now discuss social issues. — PTIBack













Vadra land deals
Law will take its own course: Haryana CM

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said the law will take its own course on the land deals in the state involving businessman Robert Vadra's company. 

"Law will take its own course," he said when asked by reporters to comment on the land deals involving the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Asked about other alleged land scams during the previous Congress government in the state, Khattar maintained that the law will take its own course.

Khattar was speaking to reporters after his Minister, Bikram Singh Yadav, assumed charge at the Haryana Civil Secretariat here.

When asked to comment on Vadra reportedly losing his cool and pushing the microphone of a reporter in Delhi when questioned about land deals involving his company, Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij told reporters in Ambala that "one only reacts in such a manner and shows anger when one has something to hide".

Vij said the media was just doing its job as it is its responsibility to ask questions and dig out facts.

He said the way Vadra reportedly behaved showed that he has "little respect for the media".

The BJP had alleged irregularities in the land deals involving Vadra and had raked up the issue during campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha and before last month's Assembly polls to attack the Congress.

Replying to questions, Khattar said the BJP government will strive to give a clean and transparent administration to the people, besides curbing corruption with "an iron hand".

The BJP stormed to power in Haryana for the first time in the history of the state after the October 15 polls.

After taking oath on October 26, Haryana Ministers Anil Vij and Capt Abhimanyu had said that the new regime will order a thorough probe into the alleged land scams and not spare anyone, even if it was Robert Vadra or former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. — PTIBack





















Fadnavis retains key portfolios; Khadse gets Revenue

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday allocated portfolios to his 10-member Council of Ministers while keeping the Home, Urban Development, Housing and Health departments with himself.

As per the information provided by the CMO, the portfolios not specifically allocated to any Minister will be with the Chief Minister.

Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse has been given Revenue, Minorities Development and Wakf, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries, and State Excise.

Former state BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar has been given Finance and Planning, and Forest Departments.

Vinod Tawde will hold the charge of School Education and Sports, Higher and Technical Education, Medical Education, Marathi Language and Cultural Affairs.

Prakash Mehta, MLA from Ghatkopar East seat in Mumbai, has been given Industries and Mining, and Parliamentary Affairs.

Chandrakant Patil, an MLC, has been given Cooperation, Marketing and Textiles. He will also handle the Public Works (including public undertakings) Department.

Pankaja Munde, who was made the State BJP core committee member after the death of her father Gopinath Munde, will be in charge of Rural Development and Water Conservation, and Women and Child Development.

Vishnu Savara, MLA from Vikramgadh seat in Palghar district, will be in charge of Tribal Development, Social Justice and Special Assistance.

Minister of State Dilip Kamble has been allotted Tribal Development, Social Justice and Special Assistance departments.

Besides, Vidya Thakur will be MoS for Rural Development and Water Conservation, and Women and Child Development departments. — PTIBack















Devastated as captain, Tendulkar wanted to quit: Autobiography

NEW DELHI: He might be revered as the 'God of Cricket' but there was a phase in Sachin Tendulkar's awe-inspiring career, when the batting maestro felt so "scarred" and "devastated" by the Indian team's ineptitude under his captaincy that he wanted to completely move away from the sport.

The 41-year-old former batsman, who claimed almost every record that is there to be taken in international cricket before calling it quits last year, has finally opened up about the dark days he survived in a career which spanned over two decades.

In his autobiography 'Playing it My Way', to be released worldwide on November 6, the much-admired but reticent batting legend has dwelled on the frustrations he faced during his reign as captain — a phase which is considered the biggest debacle of his otherwise enduring love affair with cricket.

"I hated losing and as captain of the team I felt responsible for the string of miserable performances. More worryingly, I did not know how I could turn it around, as I was already trying my absolute best," recalls Tendulkar in the book, the first exclusive excerpts of which are with PTI.

"I confided in (wife) Anjali that I feared there was nothing more that I could do to stem the tide of defeats. Losing a string of very close matches had left me badly scarred. I had given it everything and was not sure that I could give even 0.1 per cent more.

"...It was hurting me badly and it took me a long time to come to terms with these failures. I even contemplated moving away from the sport completely, as it seemed nothing was going my way," reveals the diminutive right-hander in the much-awaited book co-authored by noted sports journalist and historian Boria Majumdar.

This period of disillusionment dates back to 1997 when the Indian team was touring the West Indies. After drawing the opening two Tests, the Indians seemed to be heading for a victory in the third, chasing a mere 120. But in an inexplicable disaster, the tourists were bowled out for 81 with only VVS Laxman managing a double-digit score.

"Monday 31 March 1997 was a dark day in the history of Indian cricket and definitely the worst of my captaincy career. And yet it had promised so much. In fact, over dinner at a restaurant in St Lawrence Gap in Barbados the night before, I remember having a joke with the waiter, who was predicting a West Indian win. He was confident that Ambrose would bounce India out the next morning," Tendulkar writes.

"Now, in the first innings of this match, Franklyn Rose had bowled me a bouncer and I had pulled him into the stands for six. So I reminded the waiter of the shot and jokingly said to him that if Ambrose tried to bowl me a bouncer, I would hit him all the way to Antigua.

"I was so confident of our chances that I pointed to the fridge and said he should immediately chill a bottle of champagne and I would come and open it the next day and pour him a glass to celebrate winning the match," Tendulkar says in the book.

"Instead, we collapsed for a miserable 81 all out, handing the West Indies a 38-run victory. Frankly, there can be no excuses for such a poor batting effort, even though it was a difficult track. I certainly don't want to point fingers at anyone for the defeat, as that's not my way. In any case, I was part of that team and as captain it was my responsibility to steer us to victory. I did not get the feeling that we were over-confident, yet none of the batsmen apart from Laxman even reached double figures in the second innings and it was one of the worst batting displays I have been part of," he adds.

In fact, for Tendulkar, who retired with a mammoth 15,921 from 200 Tests and 18,426 runs from 463 ODIs, the defeat was so painful that it still rankles whenever he travels down memory lane.

"I myself got out for just four. In my anxiety to get a feel for the ball I got a tentative edge. I should either have left the ball alone or tried to counter-attack. The defeat left me totally devastated and I shut myself in my room for two whole days trying to come to terms with the loss. I still feel the pangs of that defeat when I look back at the series," he says.

Dwelling further on the Caribbean catastrophe, Tendulkar said the ODI series which followed the five-day games added to his misery as the team lost 1-4, leaving him in a state of fury, which he just could not control in a dressing room meeting.

"After eventually losing the five-Test series 0-1, we went on to lose the ODI series as well. The good start to the tour had given way to a complete lack of application and that proved catastrophic in the end. The best example of this ineptitude was the third one-day game, at St Vincent, where we needed 47 runs to win off the last ten overs with six wickets in hand. Rahul and Sourav had set up the platform and we should have strolled to victory," Tendulkar recalls.

"Again and again I instructed the batsmen not to go for big shots and to play along the ground, saying there was no need for any risk-taking with the asking rate under five runs an over. However, all our middle- and lower-order batsmen kept playing the ball in the air. The loss of a few wickets resulted in panic, which in turn led to a number of suicidal run-outs. It was infuriating to see the team lose from a winning situation," he said.

"At the end of the match I called a team meeting and lost my cool with the boys in the dressing room. I spoke from my heart and said the performance was unacceptable. I said that losing matches in which the opposition play better cricket is one thing - I had no problem with such defeats - but losing a match that we had completely under control suggested there was something seriously wrong with the team."

It took some combined words of encouragement from the legendary bowling duo of leg-spinner Anil Kumble and medium-pacer Javagal Srinath to calm a devastated and disillusioned Tendulkar.

"I was extremely upset with the way we were playing and both Anil and Srinath came to my room in the evening to try and calm me down. Anil said that I should not blame myself for the defeats and that we would learn from the mistakes we had made in South Africa and the West Indies. However, things were really starting to get on top of me," he writes.

Ultimately it was Anjali, who helped Tendulkar deal with the debacles during his reign as captain and carry on.

"Anjali, as usual, managed to put things in perspective and assured me that things would surely get better in the months to come. Looking back, it was just frustration getting the better of me," he said. — PTIBack





















Politicians demand unconditional apology from Vadra for attacking journalist 

NEW DELHI: Condemning Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's attack on a journalist on Saturday, the General Secretary of the Broadcast Editors' Association, NK Singh, demanded an unconditional apology from him.

“Robert Vadra should tender an unconditional apology. Every media person holds a logo. So, even if it was a private journalist, Robert Vadra should have behaved decently. A day earlier, the CAG had given a report on Vadra, and therefore, it was well within rights of media to ask questions,” said Singh in his response to an angry Vadra roughly pushing the camera mic of the ANI reporter away when a question was posed to him about his alleged controversial land deals in Haryana.

“Be it a media person or a common man, questions should have been answered. The Congress should take this seriously, because although he's not a member, it reflects badly on the party. This shows he doesn't believe in a democratic process. It is the responsibility of the media to ask questions,” he added.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya said this kind of a behavior is not tolerable in a democracy.

“BJP doesn't believe in vindictive politics, and doesn't tolerate corruption. Today (Saturday), a journalist, has asked him questions with the power of democracy, obviously his ego was hurt, but not Robert Vadra, nor the Congress have any answers to this misuse of power,” said Somaiya.

Denouncing Vadra's action, another BJP leader, V B Pathak, said that pushing a journalist's mic away, when asked a question about the land deal scam doesn't reflect well of the party." He further added that the Congress Party is answerable for Vadra's behavior.

Senior journalist Shahid Siddiqui demanded an apology from Vadra to the media and to the nation for his unruly behavior. 

"It is unfortunate. I totally condemn it," said Siddiqui.
"He (Vadra) cannot fly anymore, his wings have been cut. He should realize his in-laws are no more in power. Vadra should pay for this," he added.

Yesterday, Vadra lost his temper and pushed the ANI reporter's mic away, when asked a question about the land deal scam. "Are you serious? Are you serious? Are you nuts? What is wrong with you," Vadra kept asking repeatedly. 

Vadra and his security guards also threatened the reporter and asked him to turn off his camera at a private event held at the Ashoka Hotel. -Agencies Back

















Not getting remunerative prices: Pb, Haryana basmati growers 

CHANDIGARH: Basmati growers in Punjab and Haryana say they feel let down due to the government and trade "cartels" not ensuring remunerative prices for their crop.

Rice exporters on the other hand attribute low prices to hike in import duty by Iran and crop over-supply due to rise in basmati acreage.

With state government's including Punjab pitching for bringing more area under basmati crop as part of crop diversification plan, farmers, who had to spend extra buck this kharif season in the wake of drought-like conditions, complained of fetching over 30 per cent lesser prices for basmati including PUSA 1121 this season.

"We are not getting adequate prices of our basmati crop.
The current prices are much below what we got last year," said a basmati grower of Gurdaspur, Punjab.

"... we are being exploited by not being paid good prices of our crop," said the grower who grows both Basmati and common variety rice.

Farmers said it was commission agents better known as Arthiyas who deprive farmers of getting remunerative prices of their crop by forming cartels in order to earn more profit.

"It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that farmers are getting their dues. But no one from the government side bothered to check exploitation of farmers at the hands of traders," said another basmati grower.

Basmati prices like PUSA 1121 which is arriving in grain markets are currently ruling at Rs 2,800-3,100 per quintal as against 4,000-4,500 per quintal last season.
PUSA 1121 accounts for over 70 per cent of area under basmati crop in Punjab and Haryana.

Earlier, prices of another basmati variety 1509 went down to Rs 2,100-2,200 per quintal from Rs 2,800-3,000 per quintal.

Punjab and Haryana are major basmati rice producing states and contribute 70 per cent of country's premium rice variety production.

Notably, basmati rice remained an election issue in recent Haryana assembly polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his first election rally at Karnal in Haryana on October 4 had even hit out at Congress for "spreading lies" that Centre had imposed a ban on basmati rice export.

Modi had accused previous Congress government in Haryana of imposing 4 per cent tax, rendering basmati uncompetitive in the market.

Rejecting any exploitation of farmers, rice exporters said there was no exploitation of basmati growers taking place by not giving them right prices of crop. "Last year, basmati prices were exceptionally high which forced rice exporters to suffer heavy losses. The current prices of basmati are correct and right rates. These rates are fetching profit to basmati growers," Kohinoor Foods Joint MD Gurnam Arora told PTI.

Exporters also ascribed the low rates as compared to last year's rates to lesser demand from Iran -- biggest importer of rice from India.
They said that Iran had raised import duty on rice import from India which was also one of the factors of "low" rates this year from last year.
Fearing import duty raised by Iran on rice import could hit state's basmati growers, 

Haryana Agriculture Minister O P Dhankar had even written to Union minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman to take up the issue with that country.
The minister had even asked rice exporters to be "transparent" in giving prices to basmati growers.

Oversupply of crop on account of huge increase in basmati area especially in Punjab was also one of the factors of "low" prices, rice traders said.
Area sown under basmati crop this year surged by 55 per cent to 8.62 lakh hectares in Punjab.

With around 30 per cent of total paddy area being under basmati , its output is expected to reach 34 lakh tonne as against 22.65 lakh tonne recorded last season, creating a "glut like" situation.

In neighbouring Haryana, 40 per cent of total area under paddy which is 11.38 lakh hectares is under basmati crop.

In an effort to drive up prices, the Punjab government had even slashed market fee and rural development fund by one per cent each on basmati crop in order to motivate buyers from outside Punjab for the purchase of basmati.
But it appeared to have not caused desired affect, traders said. –PTI Back














'Gold may decline to Rs 24,500 by Dec if rupee stays constant' 

MUMBAI: Gold prices are likely to decline further to around Rs 24,500 per 10 grams by December if the rupee continues to rule at the current level, according to analysts.

"We expect the gold prices to remain bearish and if the rupee continue to rule at current level the yellow metal may touch Rs 24,500 level by December. We expect gold to consolidate in a week or two, then continue to decline further from mid or end of December," Motilal Oswal Associate Vice President - Commodities - Kishore Narne told PTI here.

MCX gold was at Rs 26,143 per 10 grams on Saturday while in the international market it was at USD 1,173.30 an ounce.

The major fundamental behind the bearishness of gold is the improving US economy, Narne said.

"The better than expected economic condition in the US is likely to lead to rise in interest rates, which will further strengthen the US dollar that will put more pressure on gold," he said.

In the international market gold is expected to rule at USD 1,080-1,120 level by the end of this year, he added.

Echoing the view, Commtrendz Research Director Gnanasekar Thiagarajan said the prices are expected to be around Rs 25,000-25,500 by December if the rupee continues at the current 61 level.

The further decline in prices may lead to production cuts, which is likely to be positive for gold and help in firming up of prices of the yellow metal, he said.
In the international market, gold is likely to be at USD 1,100-1,075 level by December.

"The bearishness is mostly due to strengthening of US dollar, which is leading to bullishness in the equity markets putting pressure on commodities across the board, including gold," he added.

Naveen Mathur, Associate Director, Commodities and Currencies, Angel Broking said expectation of interest rate hike by mid next year, improving US economy, bearish trend in crude price, stable geo-political issues and strengthening US dollar will put pressure on gold prices in the mid term.

"Gold is expected to be around Rs 25,500 level by December, after which it may begin to firm up on higher demand triggered by lower prices," he said.
In the global markets gold is expected to rule at USD 1,150-1,175 an ounce by December. -PTI Back












Drug peddler killed, 22kg heroin seized along Indo-Pak border 

GURDASPUR: An alleged drug peddler was killed and another injured by BSF personnel who seized 22 kg of heroin from them along the Indo-Pak border this morning.

The BSF personnel noticed some movement along the Indo-Pak border near a Border Out Post, DIG BSF Gurdaspur Sector, N K Mishra said, adding, the firing started when the peddlers declined to surrender before the BSF inspite of repeated warnings.

Three persons opened-fire on the personnel when they were challenged by the border guarding force. The BSF personnel also returned fire in which a peddler was killed and his accomplice was injured, Mishra said.

The deceased was identified as notorious drug peddler Tasvir Singh, a resident of border village Sahoor Kalan near Kalanuar town in Gurdaspur district.

The injured peddler was admitted to Civil Hospital here and the third person was arrested and a case has been registered against him, he said.

Besides heroin, one pistol having 30 rounds of fire, three magazines, three mobiles, three Pakistani SIM cards and 20 gm opium was also seized from their possession, the DIG said.

The peddlers were Indian nationals and had gone to the Indo-Pak border in the early hours today to retrieve the consignment sent by their Pakistani counterparts, a BSF official said. -PTI Back
















Petrol pump employee shot at, over Rs 50,000 looted 

BATALA: One person was injured when three unidentified robbers opened fire at the employees of a petrol pump, police said on Sunday.

The incident took place last night when three motorcycle-borne youths came to the petrol pump at Athwal Meeke village, they said.

They opened fire on the employees and one of the bullets pierced the leg of Daler Singh, following which they allegedly looted over Rs 50,531 from another employee 
Rakesh Kumar and fled the spot, police said.

Singh was rushed to Civil Hospital here.

Police has registered a case on the statement of petrol pump owner Navtej Singh. -PTI Back


















CBI likely to quiz Jayanthi on land diversion for Jindal plant 

NEW DELHI: CBI is likely to convert into FIRs the preliminary enquiries against Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and JSW Steel for alleged diversion of forest land for their plant in violation of norms and may also examine former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan.

CBI sources said the agency may also include in the FIRs several senior environment ministry officials who were part of the clearance process.

They said the agency may also call Natarajan for questioning after registering the FIRs in these cases.

The sources said there were alleged irregularities in the allocation process as the environment ministry changed its position a number of times before the land was cleared in 2013.

The inquiry has been initiated against unknown officials of JSPL and environment ministry for alleged irregularities in the diversion of Saranda forest land in Jharkhand between 2007-13, they said.

Records with the state government and the Centre are being examined by CBI, the sources said.

They said that 512.43 hectares of ecologically-sensitive Saranda forest land in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand were diverted for the Ghatkuri Iron Ore mining lease project in favour of JSPL.

The diversion of the land was questioned by several environment activists as well as the MB Shah Commission. –PTI Back













Govt notifies 33 pc gas price hike; CNG prices raised 

NEW DELHI: The government has notified a 33 per cent hike in natural gas prices, which have led to steep increase in CNG rates in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on Friday issued a notification for implementation of a new pricing guidelines for all domestically produced natural gas effective from November 1.

"The gas price, determined, under these guidelines would be applicable to all gas produced from nomination fields given to ONGC and Oil India, New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP) blocks, such pre-NELP blocks where, the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) provides for government approval of gas prices and coal-bed methane (CBM) block," the notification said.

In a separate order, the ministry's pricing arm said: "The price of domestic natural gas for the period November 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015 is given hereunder: USD 5.05 per million British thermal unit on Gross Calorific Value (GCV) basis."

This price translates into a price of USD 5.61 per mmBtu on Net Calorific Value (NCV) basis, the same basis on which the previous rate of USD 4.2 per mmBtu was decided.
The heat generated by burning of fuel is measured in calorific value basis.

The price hike led to steep increase in compressed natural gas (CNG) rates in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Mahanagar Gas Ltd, which retails CNG and piped cooking gas in Mumbai, hiked CNG prices by Rs 4.50 per kg to Rs 43.45.

Similarly, it also raised tariff for piped natural gas (PNG) supplied to households for cooking purposes by Rs 2.49 to Rs 26.58 per cubic meters.

In Ahmedabad, state government-owned GSPC Gas, Adani Gas and Sabarmati Gas hiked CNG prices by up to Rs 4 per kg to Rs 48.50 per kg, Rs 48.20 a kg and Rs 48.09 per kg respectively.

Gujarat Gas hiked prices by Rs 1.80 per kg to Rs 48.50.
Adani Gas is also planning to raise rates by Rs 3 per kg for CNG it retails in Faridabad, a city that borders national capital.
However, Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the sole retailer of CNG and PNG in the national capital, decided not to raise rates despite input cost going up.

"In spite of revision in domestic gas prices announced by the government with effect from November 1, 2014, IGL has decided not to revise the retail price of CNG and domestic PNG in the interest of its consumers in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad," said IGL Managing Director Narendra Kumar.

Industry sources said, IGL, which is a private firm controlled by state-owned GAIL and BPCL and Delhi government, is likely to hold rates till BJP is able to cobble a government in the national capital or till fresh assembly elections are held.
IGL is likely to incur about Rs 100 crore loss for holding prices, they said. -PTI

















Haryana Assembly session to begin tomorrow 

CHANDIGARH: The three-day session of the BJP-led Haryana Assembly will commence here tomorrow, with all the newly-elected 90 MLAs taking oath on the first day.

For the first time BJP formed the government on its own after elections to the 90-member assembly held last month, in which the party registered win on 47 seats.

It will also be for the first time that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will enter a legislative assembly as an elected member. The 60-year-old former RSS leader is a first-time MLA from Karnal.

Like Khattar, there are a number of MLAs in his party who are first-time legislators.
Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who retained his Garhi Sampla-Kiloi seat in Rohtak district and remained a two-time CM, will be seated on the opposition benches, alongside Congress and Indian National Lok Dal.

The short session of the assembly will witness the 90 MLAs taking the oath, the Governor's address and other business that the House may take up during its meet.

All eyes will be on the treasury benches, in particular Khattar, whose performance will be watched by one and all.

Meanwhile, Kaithal MLA and former Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala is among the frontrunners to be picked up as leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), party sources said.

The main opposition INLD has already picked up its Ellenabad MLA, Abhay Singh Chautala as its leader in the Assembly.

Haryana was formed as a separate State on November 1, 1966.

In the October 15 assembly polls, many stalwarts of the INLD lost at the hustings including its state unit chief Ashok Arora.

The BJP bagged 47 seats while the remaining seats went to INLD (19) Congress (15), HJC-BL two, SAD and BSP one each and Independents five.

INLD President and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son and senior leader Ajay Singh Chautala are in jail in the JBT teachers recruitment scam.

Earlier, BJP had won maximum 16 seats in 1987 out of 20 it contested. The party in the last hustings in 2009 was able to win just four seats. Meanwhile, the election of 

Speaker of the new assembly will take place tomorrow.

Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki will address the members on Tuesday morning. –PTI




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |