The Hindustan Times – Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland polls: Leaders hold parleys for possible alliances

Senior leaders are meeting party functionaries and representatives of other parties to see possibilities of post-poll tie-ups in order to cobble up the numbers and form the next government ahead of the counting day on March 3.

Utpal Parashar/Priyanka Deb Barman/David Laitphlang

Guwahati/Agartala/Shillong, 02 March 2018. Political parties in the three northeastern states that went to polls last month: Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, are scrambling to strike possible alliances ahead of counting day on Saturday.

Senior leaders are meeting party functionaries and representatives of other parties to see possibilities of post-poll tie-ups in an effort to cobble up the numbers and form the next government. All the three states have 60-member assemblies each but elections were held in 59.

Parties and coalitions will need more than 30 MLAs to form the government.

“We reached out to voters as best as we could. Now let’s see what they have decided,” said Bijan Dhar, CPM’s state secretary for Tripura.

After 25 years in power, the CPM-ruled state is facing a tough fight from the BJP, which tied up with Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT).

Tripura BJP president Biplab Kumar Deb and his wife Niti Deb visited the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati after polling on Tuesday and sought blessings for a victory. “We are confident of forming the government this time. People want a change and we will bring it,” Deb said.

The Congress, a major force till a few years ago, is not expected to do well, but the party is hoping it will end with respectable numbers. “We collected feedback from candidates in the respective constituencies. We gave our best effort and now it’s left up to the voters,” said Tripura Congress spokesperson Harekrishna Bhowmik.

The exits polls predict a close fight in Meghalaya but the BJP is confident that it will be able to come to power with help from National People’s Party, which is expected to win around 20 seats, and other regional players and Independent legislators.

Senior BJP leader A L Hek predicted around eight seats for the saffron outfit, but was hopeful that since the party is in power in the Centre, it would act as a “strong magnetic force”.

NPP national president Conrad Sangma was also bullish about his party’s prospects.

“We as a party will emerge as the single largest. We’ve said that from Day One and we stick to that. We will do equally well in Khasi-Jaintia and Garo Hills,” Sangma said.

Chief minister Mukul Sangma, who looked more relaxed on Thursday, expressed confidence about forming the next government.

In Nagaland, the newly formed alliance of BJP and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party is also confident of upsetting the plans of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) to come to power for the fourth time.

The saffron party is contesting in 20 seats, while its alliance partner will contest in the remaining.

“We expect to get more than 10 seats and form the next government with NDPP,” V Lhoungu, BJP’s Nagaland unit chief, said.

The NPF showed cautious optimism over becoming the single largest party but has kept its options open to tie-ups with NPP, JD (U) and Independents to cross the figure of 30. – Finally Police arrests nine including Harjit Chadha and Principal Ravinder Bumrah

By Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 28 February 2018. The Punjab police’s Special Investigation Team headed by Inspector General (Crime) L K Yadav on February 27 arrested nine accused including Harjit Chadha and woman Principal Ravinder Bumrah in connection with Inderpreet Chadha’s suicide case.

All of them were arrested in Chandigarh when they had come to appear before the SIT for interrogation.

All the nine arrested accused were brought to the Rajasansi police station from Chandigarh in a bus by the Punjab police in the evening hours of February 27.

On being asked about the delayed arrests of the accused, SIT head IG (Crime) L K Yadav said that they were thoroughly investigating the case. He added that the investigations were still going but they have found enough ground to make arrest of these 9 accused.

It may be recalled here that Inderpreet Singh Chadha, son of former Chief Khalsa Diwan’s President Charanjit Chadha, had committed suicide with his licensed pistol on January 3. He had left behind a 14 page suicide note in which he had named the persons responsible for bringing him in condition to commit suicide.

He had also named his real brother Harjit Chadha in his suicide note but had asked to forgive him as the two of them were born to same mother. Beside it, he had also written letters to his mother, a foreigner friend and the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

The Police had registered an FIR under sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code on the complaint of Inderpreet’s son Prabhpreet Singh.

Background: Inderpreet Chadha was accused of criminal intimidation by the woman Principal of a CKD run school name Ravinder Bumrah when her intimate video with Inderpreet’s father Charanjit Chadha had gone viral over social media.

Although, Inderpreet Chadha was given bail by the Court but he succumbed to the pressure built up by the Police and harassment over social media.

Gent-Sint-Pieters – Leuven Vaartkom – Leuven NMBS

13 January 2018

Track 9: IC train to Brussel and Eupen via Leuven

Track 9: IC train to Brussel and Eupen via Leuven

Leuven Vaartkom
13 January 2018

Hungaria Building

I do not really understand why this part of Leuven has been assigned the colour blue !
The Man in Blue

Leuven NMBS
13 January 2018

Track 1 out of service

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Outlook – Pakistani Hindu lawmaker moves court after being prevented from taking oath

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 01 March 2018. A Hindu lawmaker in Pakistan has moved the court after he was prevented from taking oath in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for his alleged role in the murder of a Sikh legislator in 2016.

Member of the Provincial Assembly-elect Baldev Kumar, who is in jail in the murder case of Sikh lawmaker Sardar Soran Singh, moved the Peshawar High Court against the Speaker, treasury and opposition members of the provincial assembly for contempt of court.

In his petition, Kumar prayed that Senate elections which are due on March 3 should be stopped until his swearing in ceremony.

The petitioner further claimed that he was deliberately maltreated in the Assembly Hall on February 27.

Arbab Jehandad Khan, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Member of the Provincial Assembly, threw his shoe at Kumar which landed close to him while some other members of Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf threw copies of the assembly agenda towards Kumar.

Singh, a lawmaker from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, was shot dead in April 2016 in Buner district of the province.

Singh was elected to the provincial assembly on a minority seat.

His son Ajay on Sunday appealed the provincial government not to bring the “killer” of his father in the provincial assembly for obtaining his vote for Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf Senate candidate in the upcoming Senate elections due for March 3.

Kumar is the second in the list of Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s candidates for a reserved seat for minorities.

Dawn – First phase of Railways upgrade under CPEC to begin next month

Aamir Yasin

Rawalpindi – Panjab – Pakistan, 02 March 2018. The first phase of the $3.2 billion project to upgrade Pakistan Railways under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will begin next month, and will cut the duration of the Rawalpindi-Lahore journey by two hours.

A senior Railways official told Dawn that the total share for Pakistan Railways under CPEC is $8.2bn. The government has decided to begin the first phase, worth $3.2bn, to upgrade four sections of the rail track.

“These sections are Rawalpindi to Lahore, Kaluwal to Pindora, Lahore to Multan and Rohari to Nawab Shah. The sharp curves [on the 52 kilometre] Kaluwal to Pindora [track] will be improved to make it straight,” the official said.

Upgrade to cut duration of Rawalpindi-to-Lahore train journey by two hours

He added that the duration of the journey from Rawalpindi to Lahore will be reduced from four hours and 30 minutes to two hours and 30 minutes, after the removal of sharp curves.

He said the up-grading of the tracks will increase the train’s speed from 90km per hour to 120km per hour.

The official said a dual track will be laid on these sections, and the signalling system will be improved as well.

He said the replacement of the outdated signalling system is already in progress from Lahore to Lalamusa, and the system from Lalamusa to Peshawar will be improved in the first phase of CPEC.

“The work will be completed within a year, and it will not disturb the existing track. Passenger and freight services on these sections will continue as per routine. The programme has been finalised under the project in this regard,” the official said.

He said Ministry of Railways and Pakistan Railways have completed feasibility studies and readied plans to launch the project. “Financial issues will be resolved in a few days and work will be started next month,” he said.

Another Railways official said that upgrading the rail track will also improve freight services in the region.

He said Railways had begun negotiations with the Rawalpindi and Islamabad chambers of commerce and industry to move goods between Rawalpindi and Islamabad through Railways.

The freight service between the twin cities will be launched in a week or two, he said, and would allow traders to send their goods on freight trains from Margalla Railway Station to the Rawalpindi and Chaklala railway stations.

When contacted, Divisional Commercial Officer Raza Ali Habib confirmed that the upgrading of the tracks from Rawalpindi to Lahore would increase train speeds and reduce the duration of the journey by two hours.

He added that Railways had begun work to improve freight services and would soon launch new services from traders and industrialists from the twin cities in this regard.

“We already replaced the kerosene oil lamps for the signalling system in the section and the overall work to improve the signalling system will be done under CPEC,” he said, adding that a new signalling system has been installed along the Kohat-Rawalpindi section, which launched a month ago.