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Post-poll meet: People's Union for Civil Liberties "ignores" human rights activists under saffron attack

By Our Representative
At a top meeting, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) ignored any mention of top human rights activists Teesta Setalvad and Father Cedric Prakash, currently target of attack by BJP rulers and their saffron supporters. Setalvad, seeking court intervention to institute a case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “involvement” in Gujarat riots, for quite some time has been target. Gujarat government has initiated an inquiry into “embezzlement” of funds of the NGO she runs. Prakash is the latest target of Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar for his meetings with Goa Christians questioning freedom of religion in Gujarat in March 2014.

Act against Gujarat-based rights activist in the same way as cops pounced on anti-Modi Facebooker: Goa CM

By Our Representative
A major controversy is all set to break out over verbal threats issued by Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar against Gujarat-based Jesuit human rights activist Father Cedric Prakash. Accusing Prakash of of “spreading religious discontent” during the elections, Parrikar justified police action against Facebooker Devu Chodankar following his anti-Narendra Modi posts, saying "similar action should have been taken against Prakash too." Prakash has called the Goa CM’s statement “extremely mischievous and very unfortunate”, saying, he enjoyed freedom of speech “both in Gujarat and in other parts of India”, as Parrikar, in airing his views on Modi's policies.

Vibrant Gujarat: It took five years for Dalits to be finally allowed to enter village temple on public land

By Our Representative
Under the “Gujarat model” of development, there is reason why Dalits being allowed entry into a public temple in a village dominated by high caste persons makes news. This is what happened in Kherpur village, barely 30 kiometres from the Gujarat capital, Gandhinagar. A few days ago, in May second week, Dalits, with 20 households in Kherpur in Kadi taluka of Mehsana district of North Gujarat, were finally allowed to enter into the local temple and pray, without any hindrance. It is the same village which saw high caste persons fatally attacking Dalit men, women and children as a “punishment” for forcing their way into the temple in 2008.

Parliament has "no powers" to abrogate Article 370, which provides special status to Jammu & Kashmir

By Our Representative
Justice (retired) Rajindar Sachar, who headed high-powered committee, which came up with a much-debated report on the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India in 2006, has declared that the BJP is living in great delusion that Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which provides autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) , can be abrogated. In a commentary circulated on the social media by well-known social activist Teesta Setelvad, fighting a legal battle against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots, Sachar said, J&K became part of India on October 27, 1947 only because of the Instrument of Accession, dated October 27, 1947, signed by the Maharaja, allowing the J&K to acceded to the Dominion of India.

Gujarat High Court asked to "proactively disclose" monitoring system set up on pending cases

By Our Representative
In a major order, chief information commissioner (CIC), Gujarat, D Rajagopalan, has asked the Gujarat High Court to furnish all the necessary details sought by Kalpeshkumar L Gupta, under the right to information (RTI) Act, regarding “monitoring system” set up by the High Court on cases that are being fought in courts in Gujarat. The High Court’s public information officer (PIO), who is supposed to hear RTI cases, had rejected Gupta’s plea on July 2, 2012, saying, the information sought does not come “within the definition of information under the RTI Act.”

A former village head, who happens to be Dalit, fatally attacked in a village 59 kilometres from Rajkot

By Our Representative Former village head Mulabhai Hamirbhai Parmar, a Dalit from Mota Hadmatiya village, Jasdan taluka, Rajkot district in Gujarat, was furiously attacked with sticks and other lethal weapons by a group of high-caste persons near the local Ramdev Temple on May 24, 2014, while he was returning from the local milk dairy. Parmar is seen here taking treatment in the Rajkot Civil Hospital. According to Manjula Pradeep of the Navsarjan Trust, a Dalit rights group, “The reason for attack is, two years ago, Parmar’s niece lodged FIR against Jayraj, one of those who attacked Parmar, in the local police station. The Rajkot sessions court convicted Jayraj. Enraged by the judgment, the accused, accompanied by other relatives, attacked Parmar on the day of the judgment." The case was under investigation by deputy superintendent of police, SC/ST cell, Rajkot district.

Show transparency, make public presentations on lapses, triumphs of last government: PMO advised

By Our Representative
Soon after the swearing in of the new Narendra Modi government at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday, the website of the Prime Minister's Office was re-launched. The message it sent out, interestingly, has already become controversial, both in Delhi and Gujarat. Launched on the very old address, under a new heading “Quest for Transparency” it says, the PM “firmly believes that transparency and accountability are the two cornerstones of any pro-people government. Transparency and accountability not only connect the people closer to the government but also make then equal and integral part of the decision making process.”

Green pressure: Two top European banks withdraw support to Adanis' $12 billion Australian coal project

By Our Representative
In a major setback to Gujarat's powerful Adani group known to close to Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi, Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank AG, has declared it will not finance the “controversial” coal port expansion in Australia near the Great Barrier Reef. The bank said, it was responding to calls from environmental groups and tourism operators. The move comes nearly a fortnight after Australia’s provincial Queensland government approved a proposal to build Australia’s biggest coal mine – Adani’s Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin.

Barred from accessing water from the common bore, Dalits say they are being forced to migrate from village

By Our Representative
Following a glaring instance of discrimination against the Dalits in a North Gujarat village, a representation by the Dalits rural folk to the district collector, Mehsana, has said they are being forced to migrate from their village because the “non-Dalits” are prohibiting them to access water from the public bore. This is happening despite the fact that the village, which is dominated by the other backward caste (OBC) Thakore caste, has a Dalit sarpanch and a Dalit member in the village panchayat, the representation regretted.

Calling him "unapologetic", NYT editorially asks Modi to be just to Gujarat's 4,000 displaced Muslim families

By Our Representative
Criticizing the BJP’s Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi for his “unapologetic allegiance to the Hindu political right”, in an unusual move, The New York Times (May 20) has editorially advised him “to offer a powerful balancing message by acting promptly to end the neglect of nearly 4,000 Muslim families displaced by the 2002 riots and now living in 86 settlements in Gujarat.” The influential newspaper has said this, quoting a U.S. State Department report, which states that “30 percent of these victims have yet to receive any aid at all.” The editorial is symbolically titled "Modi's Obligation to Justice".

Gujarat authorities "encouraged" communal segregation while resettling Sabarmati riverfront oustees

By Rajiv Shah
Gujarat's powerful officialdom is learnt to have encouraged Hindu-Muslim divide as a deliberate policy while resettling Ahmedabad’s around 10,000 slum-dwellers, affected by the Sabarmati riverfront project, begun being implemented in 2005 to “beautify” the city. Bringing this to light in her latest research paper, “Municipal Politics, Court Sympathy and Housing Rights: A Post-Mortem of Displacement and Resettlement under the Sabarmati Riverfront Project, Ahmedabad” (May 2014), Renu Desai of the CEPT University has said, the “policy” was instrumental in resettling Hindu and Muslim slum-dwellers in segregated localities, far from the city.

Activist Shabnam Hashmi claims EVMs were subjected to "right-wing manipulation", courtesy "mole" in UPA

By Our Representative
Following top multinational media chain, Huffington Post, questioning the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs) for casting votes (click HERE) in India, well-known social activist Shabnam Hashmi has said she resigned from all UPA committees on December 27, 2012, demanding “the removal of EVM machines as they can be used for manipulations in the elections and undermining our democracy.” She added, she had also “blamed that someone within UPA has connived with right-wing forces to make it happen.” She claimed, with the victory of the BJP in Lok Sabha polls, her suspicion has only intensified.

Ahmedabad's youngsters poorer property buyers as against other comparable cities, says survey

By Our Representative
An Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore survey, in coordination with magicbricks.com, India’s top property portal, has found that Kolkata’s and Ahmedabad’s younger generation is a relatively poor buyer of residential properties as compared to other comparable cities. Seeking to identify Housing Sentiment Index (HSI), the survey has found that Kolkata’s and Ahmedabad’s 25-40 age group form 61 per cent of the housing property purchasters, as against 64 per cent in Mumbai, 67 per cent in Gurgaon, 74 per cent in Hyderabad, 75 per cent in Bangalore and Noida, and 77 per cent in Pune.

Now, CNN calls Modi a "deeply polarizing figure" and "unproven commodity" on world stage

By Our Representative
One of world's leaders in online news and information delivery, Cable News Network (CNN), has described India’s Prime Minister in waiting Narendra Modi as “a deeply polarizing figure and an unproven commodity on the international stage.” In an analytical article for its CNN’s international edition, titled “Who is Narendra Modi? Meet India's pro-business, Hindu nationalist PM-in-waiting”, Tim Hume and Sumnima Udas quote analysts, experts, bloggers and journalists to predict that Modi’s “arrival in the country's top office will bring a marked change in direction for the world's most populous democracy.”

"Barred" in several countries, top international media group questions reliability of EVM machines in India

By Our Representative
World’s powerful online media chain “Huffington Post”, two days ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results, had said that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in Indian polls could be easily manipulated. In an authoritative blog by Cleo Paskal, adjunct faculty, Manipal University, India, the HuffPost, as it is popularly called, said EVMs were unsuccessful in several countries of the world, including the Netherlands, Germany, and Ireland, after they were found to manipulate poll results. Interestingly, Paskal said, the exit polls had predicted Narendra Modi would win the polls, and “the only thing that might stand in his way is an electronic voting machine (EVM).”

Be ruthless, end "archaic" labour laws, allow firms to buy land, cut subsidies to poor: "Economist" to Modi

By Our Representative Influential right-wing British journal, “The Economist”, which opposed Narendra Modi as India’s Prime Minister calling him divisive (click HERE), in its new commentary has "offered" certain neo-liberal recipes to the new government in India to take over under Modi for "repairing" the world’s third largest economy. Titled “Kick-starting India: India’s new government must get the economy working again. Here’s how”, the journal (May 17) has said that “investors are excited” with Modi in power, wanting him to take some tough measures. The steps me must take include abolition of “archaic labour laws”, and take steps to ensure that “contracts to let firms buy land” are strictly obeyed.

Little evidence to suggest that RTI being misused against nationalized banks, contends senior activist

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the high-level report by the committee formed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan to review governance of nationalized banks in India (click HERE), which recommends that public sector banks should be out of the purview of the Right to Information Act, 2005, a senior activist Venkatesh Nayak has said the committee's attitude towards RTI is “very disturbing” and “problematic”, as there is no evidence to suggest that RTI is in any way being misused against the nationalized banks.

Ahead of Modi win, Reserve Bank recommends policy change: Don't apply RTI on nationalized banks

By Our Representative
Alarm bells have started to ring even before Narendra Modi has taken over as India’s Prime Minister. A high-level report of the committee formed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan to review governance of boards of banks in India has strongly recommended that public sector banks should be out of the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, considered a powerful tool in the hands of people and activists to seek justice. Already, top Modi supporters have begun saying the right to information is a waste of public money (click HERE).

Narendra Modi "sounds" PK Misra, his principal secretary during 2002 riots, for a plum Delhi posting

By Our Representative
Dr PK Misra, controversial principal secretary of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi during the 2002 riots, is learnt to have been told that he should join the new team under Modi’s stewardship immediately after the new BJP-led government takes over in Delhi following the Lok Sabha poll results on May 16. A top Gujarat government bureaucrat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Counterview that Dr Misra has been telling his IAS colleagues in Gandhinagar Sachivalaya that he has been “sounded about this by Modi personally".

Environmental clearance major hurdle in Gujarat: UK consultants' report to Planning Commission

By Rajiv Shah
Top UK-based consultants Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s Indian professionals’ report, “Survey on Business Regulatory Environment for Manufacturing – State Level Assessment”, prepared for the Planning Commission, may have rated Gujarat as No 2 state – next to Haryana – on important industry-related yardsticks which attract investment (read HERE). However, a study of detailed inter-state comparison of the report suggests that Gujarat ranks 16th among 20 major states in obtaining environmental compliance for establishing enterprises, and 15th in getting environmental compliance to them to kick-start operation.

Dalits of a village in Ahmedabad district face social boycott for demanding physical possession of plot they own

By Our Representative
In yet another glaring instance of social boycott in Gujarat, around 30 Dalits – men, women and children – currently living in makeshift shanties in Gitapur village in Detroj taluka of Ahmedabad district, are being denied all basic facilities, including water, electricity or needs of daily use in the village by members of the dominant caste, Patels. Situated just about 80 km from Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s business capital, Gitapur Dalits are facing the predicament because they allegedly dared demand physical possession of the plots of land they were entitled to for the last over two years now.

Ahead of Lok Sabha poll results, top US report asks world diplomats to effectively respond to 2002 riots

By Our Representative
A high-level American report, “When Justice Becomes the Victim: The Quest for Justice After the 2002 Violence in Gujarat”, released on May 1, has taken strong exception to the “decisions” by a large section of the international community to normalize relationships with BJP’s prime minister candidate Narendra Modi,  even as viewing efforts to promote increased trade between Gujarat and the rest of the world “as signs that the rest of the world has forgotten about Gujarat’s riot victims.”

At Rs 30,680, Gujarat's per capita debts are higher than of Andhra, Maharashtra, UP, West Bengal, others

Counterview Desk
Latest calculations have suggested that those who have been citing total debt figures to suggest Gujarat is not the highest indebted state are actually hiding an important fact. While Gujarat’s total debts – or “liabilities” in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) lexicon – were Rs 1.85 lakh crore as of March 2014, and the states with a higher debts than Gujarat were Andhra Pradesh (Rs 1.94 lakh crore), Maharashtra (Rs 2.94 lakh crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 2.85 lakh crore), and West Bengal (Rs 2.45 lakh crore), this hides the crucial factor: Gujarat’s per capita debt is higher than all these “more indebted” states.

Me Modi, not Hindutva: British biographer says Gujarat CM was always at odds with RSS-Sangh Parivar ideology

By Abhishek Kapoor* Would it not make breaking news if Narendra Modi gave a sound bite saying he felt like an outsider in the RSS? That he failed to connect with them intellectually? That he had nothing to do with the Ram temple movement? Well, he did that in this campaign, and we missed it!
As journalists and editors, many times our self-absorbed opinion making is self-serving too. So the only point that made news out of British author Andy Marino’s political biography of Modi was his sadness on 2002 riots. Political observers did not bother to look beyond that in the book.

Research paper disproves Narendra Modi claim that more than 30% Muslims vote for the BJP in Gujarat

Counterview Desk
A new study has contradicted the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s claim that Muslims have voted for him in a very big way in Gujarat. Carried out by Raheel Dhattiwala, who was recently awarded PhD from the University of Oxford on her research on Hindu-Muslim violence in Gujarat, her fresh “policy paper” for the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy says, much against Modi’s claims of “over 30 per cent Muslims” having voted for the BJP Gujarat in 2012, an analysis of polling booth data suggest that “the maximum voting for the BJP by Muslims was 10 per cent”.

Modi's "core governance": Influential Gujarat scribes close to power structure ignore human rights, social sector

By Our Representative
A book eulogizing Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s “core governance” was launched in Ahmedabad amidst key speakers, while praising the Modi model, refusing to recall once how the man who ruled the state for the last 13 years has handled Gujarat riots or “fake” encounters. The speakers consisted of right-wing columnist Gunwant Shah, Times of India group’s Navgujarat Samay editor Ajay Umath, and author Uday Mahurkar, editor, India Today, Ahmedabad. They seemed not keen to recall why the riots continued for three long months in 2002, what all Modi did (or did not do) to “stop” them, and how he has confronted – effectively or ineffectively – the post-riots impact on Gujarat society.

Congress leader Gohil "misinformed" about the OBC caste status of Modi, contend senior Gujarat academics

By Our Representative
Did senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil display his poor understanding of the caste system in Gujarat when he declared that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi does not belong to the other backward class (OBC) but to an upper caste? At least two top senior experts, known for their proficiency in sociology and history of Gujarat, have wondered “how could Gohil go so wrong” on Modi’s caste status. Gohil, who all-India Congress spokesperson, has created a ripple by “disclosing” that Modi included his caste, modh ghanchi, into the OBC list three months after he came to power through a government resolution dated January 1, 2002.

GIFT: Finance city director suggests market realities "ignored" while initiating Modi's dream project

By Our Representative Is the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s top dream project – Gujarat International Finance Tec-city (GIFT) -- all set to be scaled down?  Proposed as India’s premier financial hub for more than Rs 78,000 crore, questions began asked about its viability ever since it was first announced in 2007. If earlier only bureaucrats in the state capital Gandhinagar doubted it would be anything more than a real estate hub, now it transpires that the man who promised to make GIFT a big success has questioned its viability.

Despite NHRC plea, Gujarat govt says there is no need to pay compensation to victims of deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has said it has “decided” not to pay Rs 5 lakh each as compensation against five confirmed cases of silicosis death, despite a National Human Right Commission (NHRC) direction to the state officialdom to do so. The workers died five years ago. This has been revealed in reply to a query under the right to information (RTI) to the Peoples Training and Research Center (PTRC), made to chief secretary, Government of Gujarat, Varesh Sinha, on April 7, 2014. The PTRC wished to know whether the state government had made up its mind to pay the amount due to the poor tribal families.

New data reveal Gujarat has worst enrolment rate of girls in secondary and higher secondary schools

By Rajiv Shah
There is fresh evidence of neglect of the girl child in Gujarat. Latest data released by the Government of India have suggested that Gujarat has one of the worst sex ratios in secondary and higher secondary schools as compared almost all states. Just about 70 girls study in Gujarat’s secondary schools for every 100 boys, while at the higher secondary level, there are 76 girls as against 100 boys. This is worst than nearly all 20 major states of India. The data were released by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), which operates under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, and have been published in “Secondary Education in India, Thematic Maps: 2012-13” (February 2014).

Sikh farmers being evicted from Kutch farmlands to "turn" district into mining haven for cement tycoons

By Our Representative
Top environmental journal “Down to Earth” has accused the Gujarat government of seeking to take away precious land, allotted to Sikh soldiers in Kutch following the Indo-Pak war in 1965, in order to help industry mine limestone for promoting cement industry. An article which has gone viral on the social media by Soma Basu in the journal says, this is the only reason why, on October 22, 2010, district collector M Thennarasan issued a notice to 784 farmers, mainly Sikhs, with the subject line, “Freezing agriculture accounts of outsiders of Gujarat state”. The notice stated that as per the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands (Vidarbha and Kutch Area) Act, 1948, mutation of land on the basis of the existing farmers’ certificates “cannot be done till further orders.”

Good governance? Gujarat's conviction rate in anti-Dalit cases is poorer than Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh

By Our Representative
Well-known Dalit rights activist Manjula Pradeep, releasing fresh data suggesting Gujarat’s failure to take care of the scheduled castes (SCs), has alleged that the “progressive” state is far behind the two “backward” neighbouring states, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, in implementing the anti-atrocities Act. The Act envisages stringent punishment to those involved in acts of oppression against Dalits and tribals. “The conviction rate of those found involved in violating the law is just about 7.8 per cent in Gujarat, as against 29 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and 41 per cent in Rajasthan”, she declared.

Gujarat model is negation of right to information, work, food, education, health: Pro-Modi economist

By Our Representative
The eulogy of “Gujarat model” in the midst of Lok Sabha polls has begun to find pro-Narendra Modi economists to come with new ideas. One of them, Prof R Vaidyanathan of the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B), has gone to the extent of saying that the steps taken by the UPA government by seeking to confer “new rights on the people” through “right to information, right to work (MNREGA), right to food, right to education, and now right to health” are only extensions of “the massively corrupt system refused to die and the Frankenstein state, created over 60 years.”

Ashrams, maths, akhadas of Varanasi "never produced" leaders who gained notoriety for hate speeches

By Nachiketa Desai*
Anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal’s prospects of trouncing Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi in Varanasi brightened further today when leading litterateurs, theatre artistes and academics jointly appealed to the voters to defeat ‘communal fascist’ Modi to save this holy city’s legacy of Sufi saints Kabir, Tulsi and Raidas. The appeal was made at a one-day ‘Anti-communal fascist convention’ held in the premises of Kabir Math from where the fifteenth century weaver-turned-saint had spread the message of Hindu-Muslim unity through his couplets written in the local Bhojpuri dialect.

International media chain Huffpost expresses "distaste" for Modi, compares him with ultra-nationalist Milosevic

Counterview Desk
One more powerful western media chain has strongly thrown its weight against the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who it predicts will win the current Lok Sabha polls. Top online newspaper Huffington Post, with presence in a dozen countries, including the US, UK, France, Japan and Brazil, has compared Modi with Slobodan Milosevic, Yuglosav ultra-nationalist who was president of the country from 1997 to 2000 and was charged with genocide in connection with the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo by the International Criminal Tribunal. Milosevic died in 2006 in jail.

Study by top consultants KPMG finds Gujarat's investment climate dipping, talent pool below major states

Counterview Desk
A top report prepared by well-known consultants, KPMG, employed in the past by the Gujarat government for advising on how to improve the state’s investment climate, has revealed that the state’s investment potential has been dipping over the last five years. In its just-released report, titled “District wise skill gap study for the State of Gujarat (2012-17, 2017-22)”, KPMG, which prides itself for having a network of global professionals offering best of advise on improving investment climate to governments and private parties, has shown, through a chart, that in Gujarat a total of Rs 103,871 crore of investment was made in 2012, which was the lowest since 2008.

It’s rich versus poor in Varanasi: At stake is BJP’s dream of installing Narendra Modi as prime minister

By Nachiketa Desai* The ganging up of forces with money and muscle power has helped polarization of voters on class line that cuts across caste and communal alignments. The battle of the ballots in Varanasi is fast turning into a struggle for survival for the poor, deprived and the oppressed.
The battle of Varanasi has become crucial for Narendra Modi whose defeat would shatter Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) dream of seeing him as the prime minister. Hence, the BJP, backed by the organized cadre of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, has pulled out all stops – loosening strings of its bottomless money bag to buy support.

Ahead of Modi "takeover", top US body wants Obama govt to "engage" India on issues of religious freedom

By Our Representative
High profile annual report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), prepared by Dr Robert P. George with 10 others, wants While House to begin to “integrate concern for religious freedom into bilat­eral contacts with India, at both the federal and provincial level.” The report, prepared by the top US body, considered “independent federal advisor” which monitors religious freedom “abuses” abroad, has asked the Obama administration to “increase US embassy’s attention to issues of religious freedom and related human rights in India.”

National Commission for Women "soft" towards violence against women during 2002 Gujarat massacre

By Our Representative
A top United Nations (UN) official has come down heavily on India’s National Commission for Women (NCW), saying that its legal basis “is not in accordance with international standards”, and has suggested that it has been soft in dealing with cases of victims of communal violence in India, Pointing out that “the institution lacks foundational, functional, operational, political and financial independence”, the official, Rashida Manjoo, UN special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, has said, “The commission is generally unable to adapt to the evolving and transformative demands of the human rights of women.”

Top Vadodara-based activists ask Election Commission to begin contempt proceedings against Modi

By Our Representative
Senior Vadodara-based social activists Rohit Prajapati and Trupti Shah have asked VS Sampath, chief election commissioner of India, to initiate contempt proceedings and additional actions against Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who “mocked” the Election Commission's action of registering FIRs against him for violating the model code of conduct and the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 by making a public speech on April 30 in Ahmedabad, when Gujarat went on Lok Sabha polls. Prajapati heads environmental body Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, and Shah runs Sahiyar, a women’s group.