New Delhi : Stiff political opposition and violent protests against Special Economic Zones in several parts of India could not deter the Indian Central Government from going the whole hog to clear such enclaves as almost all the well-known industrial houses joined the bandwagon in 2007.
Nandigram remained in headlines throughout the year despite the West Bengal government cancelling the SEZ project of Indonesia's Salem Group in January following violence and political pressure on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
By Baldev S. Chauhan, IANS
Shimla : They are men of contrasting styles. Yet Virbhadra Singh, the incumbent chief minister and an erstwhile royal, and Prem Kumar Dhumal, an English lecturer, are leading one of the most bitterly fought election battles in Himachal Pradesh.
Singh will be chief minister again in case his Congress party wins. Dhumal is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) man for the top job in the assembly polls that will see its second and final phase of polling Wednesday.
New Delhi : The Congress Monday threatened "civil and criminal defamatory action" against private Swedish investigator Sven Lindstorm, who was probing the Bofors payoff scandal, for his " baseless innuendos" against the party and its president Sonia Gandhi.
By Asghar Ali Engineer
Western pattern of democracy was evolved in mono-religious societies. Almost all European countries had mainly Christianity as the sole religion with sprinkling of Jews living in ghettoes having no franchise. Thus there were no challenges of living in multi-religious society. In India too, multi-religious society was not a problem for centuries and Indian society never saw any inter-religious tensions, let alone violence.
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
No person seems to have dominated Gujarat politics as much as Chief Minister Narendra Modi over the last one decade. In case he wins this 2007 election, where fifty-fifty chances appear after the voting on 11 and 16 December, what will be the ‘Modis’ effect on national politics viz-a-viz BJP and if he fails, how the Congress and BJP will turnaround their politicking in India; a debate every political analyst and media portal is genuinely trying to explore.
Shimla : The campaigning for the second round of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections ended Monday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of other leaders trying to woo the voters till the last minute.
The second and last phase of polling, covering 65 constituencies, takes place Wednesday.
The first phase was held in three tribal seats of Bharmaur, Lahaul & Spiti and Kinnaur Nov 14 - as the high mountains of the tribal belt receive snowfall early.
Counting is on Dec 28.
Shimla : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday appealed to Himachal Pradesh voters to re-elect the Congress, which will have the second round of voting Wednesday, promising further boost to development of the hill state.
On the last day of campaigning, the prime minister addressed two well-attended rallies in Bilaspur and Palampur towns in Bilaspur and Kangra districts.
Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Monday promised to resolve within a week the issue of shortage of 'prasadam' or holy offering at the famed Sabarimala temple that has caused unhappiness among devotees.
Achuthanandan, who held an emergency meeting of state bureaucrats Monday to end the row over supply of prasadam, said: "The daily requirement of prasadam is 150,000 cans but only 125,000 cans are being supplied. This will be sorted out in a week's time and we have started taking steps to increase production."
Shimla : The Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) received a setback Monday when its Himachal Pradesh unit president Balwant Singh resigned barely two days before the final phase of the state assembly elections.
The fledgling BSP was hoping to make a dent into the vote banks of the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by contesting all 68 seats.
Guwahati : Ethnic groups in Assam seeking more rights for themselves have called off Tuesday's scheduled meeting with the central government and have announced a 36-hour general strike beginning Dec 30, community leaders said Monday.
Leaders of six groups seeking Scheduled Tribes (ST) status have taken a joint decision not to go for Tuesday's meeting with Union Tribal Affairs Minister P.R. Kyndiah in New Delhi, and said they are ready only for tripartite talks involving the community leaders, and the state and the central governments.
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