Mumbai: Launching the ‘Shiv Sampark Abhiyan’ from Aurangabad, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced a campaign called ‘mee karjamukt honar (I will be debt-free)’ for farmers across Maharashtra. Mr. Thackeray’s visit to inspect the party’s organisational condition in the Marathwada region of the State has raised eyebrows in political circles, as it is seen as Sena’s preparations for mid-term Assembly polls.“We demand a farm loan waiver for farmers of Maharashtra. We have always said this, and continue on our position. We are launching our campaign to make farmers debt-free. The concept and execution will be disclosed in a party meeting in Mumbai within a few days,” said Mr Thackeray.When asked whether his visit and the organisational reshuffle were signs of possible mid-term polls in Maharashtra, Mr. Thackeray said he always prefer to keep his “army of Shiv Sainiks” ready. “Organisation building is a continuous exercise,” he said. During his visit, Mr. Thackeray held meetings with leaders from Marathwada, a region where the party is dominant. The Sena chief reportedly sought names of new faces from the region who are leading from the front, giving rise to the speculations.Commenting on the ongoing Tur procurement crisis in the State, Mr. Thackeray asked the government to change the rules, if necessary, to ensure all Tur is purchased. “The CM had said that the last grain of Tur would be purchased. It is now time to live up to that promise,” he said.
At a time when technology decides the way we communicate with others, a remote village in Odisha is using a makeshift gong to communicate important information to the villagers.Paasa, a small village in Tajungia panchayat, is located on a hilltop at distance of around 35 km from Daringbadi in Kandhamal district. One has to walk up 3 km to reach this village as it is not connected by a proper road. It is out of reach of mobile phone networks as well. For more than five months now this village has been functioning without electricity supply as the defunct transformer has not been replaced.In such a situation, the sound of the gong continues to be a means of communication for around 35 tribal families living in the village. They have made the gong with a piece of metal left behind during the electrification work in the village. It is fixed to a pole.Sound ideaAccording to the village community leader, Kumar Sunamajhi, in case of an emergency like need to carry a patient or a pregnant woman to a hospital, the gong is beaten eight to 10 times. It is beaten once when someone dies at the village. To call the villagers to attend the funeral, the gong is beaten twice. For a call for village meeting, the gong is beaten five times. If the gong is beaten thrice, it is a call to the villagers to attend a mass prayer at their small church.Nagara Majhi, a resident of Paasa village, said the gong has united the residents of the village as they immediately come to know about important events and emergencies due its sound.
The BCCI is under scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over alleged violation of FEMA during the IPL auctions. The contentious issue is the base fee agreed upon between the BCCI and 72 foreign players. The forex payment guarantees are in clear violation of FEMA or the Foreign Exchange Management Act. Documents obtained by Headlines Today show that the total base fee guarantee extended by the BCCI was worth 13.4 million dollars or Rs 62 crore. The foreign exchange guarantee was given by the board without permission from the RBI. Foreign exchange transactions made during IPL 2 in South Africa too are under the scanner. These transactions were made with entities like Cricket South Africa and the sponsors. The BCCI had advanced 2.5 million dollars to enable budgeted costs of Cricket South Africa. Several transactions made to persons residing outside India and the sources of these funds too are being investigated. Juhi Chawla under scannerMeanwhile, Juhi Chawla, a co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, has come under the scanner for alleged FEMA violation. An ED note accessed by Headlines Today reveals that 40 lakh shares of Chawla were transferred to a Mauritius-based company. The shares were transferred at par in violation of FEMA. The norms stipulate that since the shares were that of an unlisted company, they should have been valued by a chartered accountant. The ED report also cites similar irregularities in Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals.