States Diary (July 16-31, 2017)

Delhi Government To Put All Info Online To Ensure Transparency

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said last fortnight that Delhi government would put all relevant information online to ensure transparency in its functioning. Launching e-RTI portal at the Delhi Secretariat, Kejriwal said the government also plans to upload all RTI replies on the portal to ensure there was no repetition of applications. The portal, designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), enables the citizens to file the RTI applications pertaining to 172 departments of the Delhi government.

“Today is a historic day as people won’t need to visit government’s office to file RTI applications. There is a need to take the Right to Information to the next level. We will try to put all information pertaining to the government’s work in the public domain, which affects people’s life and helps in bettering transparency,” Kejriwal said. He said if the government puts all information online, people’s won’t need to then file RTI applications.

Jharkhand Likely To Move Anti-Conversion Bill In Monsoon Session

The Jharkhand government is likely to move an anti-conversion bill in the upcoming monsoon session of the state assembly, which starts in August. The state government has directed the officials to prepare the draft legislation. In Jharkhand, the BJP and VHP have for long time been demanding a law to ban religious conversion. Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das had raised the issue last year.

The BJP and right-wing leaders claim that Christian missionaries active in Jharkhand are indulging in conversion of innocent tribal people. The tribals constitute around 27 percent of Jharkhand’s population. Earlier, the figure stood at 32 percent. According to sources, once the draft legislation is prepared, it will be placed before the state cabinet for approval. In India, seven states have formulated anti-conversion law. Sources said the state government was studying the draft bills of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and other states before taking the final decision.

Bali, Mankotia Create Embarrassment for Himachal Congress

Himachal Pradesh Transport Minister G S Bali skipped Congress MLAs’ lunch with Opposition’s Presidential poll nominee, Meira Kumar, and instead spent time with sacked state Tourism Board vice-chairman Major (retd) Vijai Singh Mankotia. Right after a brief Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, which was also attended by Meira Kumar, AICC general secretary Ambika Soni, CM Virbhadra Singh and Congress’s Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, Bali quietly drove to his official residence, where Mankotia was waiting for him.

Bali drove Mankotia towards town’s Mall Road, where both went for a stroll. Later, as the two sipped tea at HPTDC’s restaurant, both were joined by other Congress leaders, including PCC Chief spokesperson Kuldeep Rathore. Mankotia was removed from the post of vice-chairman three days ago over an interview accusing Chief Minister of corruption. A day later, he had urged the Governor to dismiss Virbhadra from the CM’s post.

Walmart to Invest Rs 900 Crore in Maharashtra, Signs MoU With State Govt

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and top officials of Walmart signed an MoU for opening Walmart’s Cash & Carry stores in 15 locations in the state. The move is likely to generate around 30,000 direct and indirect jobs with an investment of around Rs 900 crore by the retailing corporation. The Additional Chief Secretary of Industries department, Sunil Porwal said that these Cash & Carry stores will cater to wholesalers, retailers and hotels. They already have two stores in Aurangabad and Amravati respectively, and want to expand to other cities.

A MoU has been signed to set up stations at Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Solapur, Nagpur and other places. Each stores would be spread across 50,000 sq feet and will provide employment to nearly 50,000 people. They will also source fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and grocery items. The stores would require a year or two to become operational.

Siddaramaiah Orders Inquiry Into Sasikala Jail Bribery Case          

A day after DIG Roopa made allegations that interim AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala paid bribes and got special VIP favours for herself in the Bengaluru jail, where she is currently lodged, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he has ordered an inquiry into the matter.

“We have taken serious cognizance of allegation of irregularities in Bengaluru Central Prison & ordered high level inquiry. Request all to await the outcome of this inquiry. Strict action will be taken against any person found guilty of wrongdoing,” Siddaramaiah tweeted. As it was speculated that AIADMK general secretary and convict in corruption case, VK Sasikala  is receiving special treatment in Parappana Agrahara central prison, a report prepared by DIG (Prisons ) D Roopa divulged that former Jayalalithaa’s aide has allegedly bribed Rs two crore to jail officials including DG (prisons ) Satyanarayan Rao to enjoy the facility.

Political Crisis In Nagaland As Former CM Stakes Claim To Form Govt

The internal crisis within the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) government in Nagaland has further deepened with Chief Minister Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu sacking 10 of his parliamentary secretaries following a demand for his removal, an official said last fortnight. The development comes as former Chief Minister TR Zeliang wrote to Governor PB Acharya and staked claim to form a new government. He claimed he has the support of 33 NPF legislators and seven independent legislators.

In the wake of the demand for his removal, Dr Liezietsu, who is also the NPF chief, terminated four NPF legislators and six independent legislators, as parliamentary secretaries. The Nagaland government issued notifications terminating the appointment of Zeliang as Adviser (Finance) and Nuklotoshi as Adviser to the Chief Minister. Apart from sacking the legislators, the NPF Disciplinary Action Committee which met on Saturday also suspended 10 legislators as primary and active members of the party.