The Indian Express – Punjab sees wettest January of decade, gets 132% surplus rain

Experts said that due to climate change across the world, the increasing number of active Western Disturbances (WDs) is bringing more rain to the state during this winter. The rainfall in January and February is generally considered as winter rain.

Anju Agnihotri Chaba

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 31 January 2020. Punjab has witnessed the wettest January of the last decade. The state has received 45.9 mm rainfall from January 1 to 30, while it normally receives around 19.8 mm rainfall in the same period, an increase of 132 %, according to Indian Metrological Department, Chandigarh Office.

Experts said that due to climate change across the world, the increasing number of active Western Disturbances (WDs) is bringing more rain to the state during this winter. The rainfall in January and February is generally considered as winter rain.

Director, MET Department, Chandigarh, Surinder Pal, said: “This year, the January rain is an all-time high in the past one decade. The rain will continue after an interval of few days in the coming weeks too because of the frequent and active arrival of the Western Disturbances in Punjab”.

Director Punjab Agriculture Dr. Sutantar Kumar Airy said that this rain is good for the wheat crop. The normally required rainfall in January in the state is 25.2 mm while Punjab has already exceeded this figure.

According to data obtained from MET Chandigarh, Punjab had recorded 30.2 mm, 9.4 mm (65% less), 42.4 mm (69.6% surplus), 6.5mm (74.5% less), 17.5 mm (30% less), 21.3 mm (15% less) rain in January in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively. From 2010 to 2013, the average rainfall in January was 19.2 mm.

During this winter, eight districts have received surplus rainfall against the normal, which are more than the state average of 132 %.

Tarn Taran, Firozpur, Bathinda, Barnala, Moga, Gurdaspur, Faridkot, and Sangrur districts had witnessed 53.4 mm against 13.3 mm normal (303 % surplus), 39.8 mm against 10.3 mm normal (286% surplus), 35.6 mm against 9.6 mm (271% surplus), 34 mm against 10.7 mm (218% surplus), 47.9 mm 16.6 mm (194% surplus), 125.8mm against 47.5 mm (165% surplus), 38.6 mm 14.6 mm (164%more), and 36.9 mm against 14.8 mm (149 %surplus) rain, respectively.

The remaining 14 districts too have witnessed surplus rain ranging between 42% surplus to 130% surplus. Punjab’s average annual rainfall is about 650mm out of which 480 mm rain is normally required in rainy season from July to September months. While remaining 170 mm is required in the rest of the year, including around 48 mm to 50 mm during the two main winter months, January and February.

But this year, the amount of rainfall received this month is same as the combined normal rainfall in January and February.

Haryana and Chandigarh too have received surplus rain in the same period. While Haryana state received 23 mm against 13.4 mm which is 72% surplus, Chandigarh received 47.7 mm against 41 mm which is 16% surplus rain. In Haryana, out of 21 districts, 16 districts got surplus rain while five received deficit rain this January. – SAD (Taksali) leaders to meet Amit Shah seeking immediate SGPC polls

Sikh24 Editors

Jalandhar – Panjab India, 29 January 2020. Interacting with media after core committee’s meeting in Jalandhar on January 29, the SAD (Taksali) leaders informed that they have decided to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking SGPC elections at the earliest.

Party president Ranjit Singh Brahmpura informed that they have adopted seven resolutions out of which one is about raising voice for SGPC elections.

Accusing the SAD (Badal) of misusing SGPC’s funds, Brahmpura said that his party would pressurize the Indian government to setup a separate Gurdwara Election Commission to oversee the timely conduct of the SGPC polls as the serving general house is already over.

Dubbing the CAA as anti-constitutional, Brahmpura said that the BJP has committed sledgehammered the democratic spirit of Indian constitution by not keeping any provision for Muslim refugees of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh in CAA.

SAD (Taksali) leaders to meet Amit Shah seeking immediate SGPC polls

Almere: Reserved bus route – Den Haag: Gurdwara & Mandir – Monsterstraat

Almere Flevoland
Reserved bus route
29 December 2019

De Gouwen – bus stop near the Almere Gurdwara

Van der Kunststraat – Waldorpstraat
Singh Sabha Gurdwara
Arya Samaj Mandir
30 December 2019

Arya Samaj Mandir & Singh Sabha Gurdwara

Arya Samaj Mandir

Singh Sabha Gurdwara

Singh Sabha Gurdwara

31 December 2019

Tracks for Tram 11 to/from Scheveningen Harbour

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Hindustan Times – Understanding the discord between the BJP and SAD

Lack of trust between the allies is mutual, and SAD’s push for a monopoly on Sikh interests is the root cause

Vinod Sharma

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 31 January 2020. Its diminishing clout in Punjab prompts the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to move out to mop up the Sikh community’s support in other states. That apparently is the root cause of its frayed ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its ally at the Centre which in recent months has refused to cede ground to the Dal in Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan.

A quick survey of Sikh lawmakers in Parliament and assemblies shows that they don’t need the SAD’s apron strings to serve their constituents.

In Haryana, the BJP rejected the Dal’s demand for seats in a breach of understanding under which the SAD withdrew candidates in the Lok Sabha polls on the promise of being accommodated in the assembly elections.

The result: The only Sikh to make it to the state legislature won on the BJP’s symbol. Similarly, the sole Sikh legislator in Uttarakhand heads the SAD unit in the hill state, but sits in the House as a BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA).

The story is the same across states with Sikh populations.

Of the two Sikh MLAs in Odisha, one is from the Congress and the other from the ruling Biju Janata Dal. Likewise, the community’s two parliamentarians from West Bengal are from the Trinamool Congress and the BJP.

In the Delhi polls, the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have put up three Sikh candidates each. The Congress has six. The saffron party was willing to accommodate the Akalis if they agreed to have their men fight on its symbol.

That, according to sources close to the Badals, was a departure from the previous polls when the Akalis contested two seats on their own symbol and two on the BJP’s.

For their part, the Akalis have claimed that the BJP denied them seats as it was upset with their demand for making the citizenship law inclusive.

But there’s an independent version against the SAD narrative. It says the talks broke on the choice of symbols, not as much the SAD’s stance on the law amended to afford citizenship to persecuted minorities.

To that, the Badal faction maintains that they were getting short shrift from the BJP leadership.

But it seems the Dal has been overly ambitious and divorced from the ground reality in claiming, so to speak, the right to eminent domain on the Sikhs’ electoral representation. This oddity is glaring, especially when its supremacy, as the foremost party of the Sikhs, faces a serious challenge in its home base of Punjab.

Incidents of sacrilege during Parkash Singh Badal’s last stint as chief minister continue to hurt the party.

The internal ferment over the Badals’ stranglehold on the organisation also came to a head with the exit of S S Dhindsa, the Dal’s secretary general and senior-most Akali after P S Badal. His son Parminder Dhindsa, who led the SAD in the Punjab assembly, has also severed ties with the party.

Another notable leader, R S Brahmpura, formed his own faction, the Akali Dal (Taksali), in late 2018. Not surprising that in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidates trailed in assembly segments held or contested by the SAD.

So much so that the Dal failed to retain its president and Lok Sabha Member of Parliament, Sukhbir Badal’s Jalalabad assembly seat in a bypoll last year.

It is common knowledge in Punjab that the BJP, aware as it is of the Dal’s declining fortunes, has been in touch with SAD renegades and dissidents such as Dhindsa, on whom the NDA government conferred a Padma Bhushan last year without formally sounding out the Badals.

If push comes to shove, the BJP, regardless of its last minute entente in Delhi, might not be averse to a life without the Badals in Punjab. Towards that end, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-navigated focus is on the Malwa region that accounts for 69 seats in the 117 member legislature.

In the last assembly polls, there were instances of traditional BJP supporters voting for the Congress to defeat the AAP candidates backed by the aggressive anti-Badal panthic Akalis and elements from the radical Left.

By most accounts, the lack of trust between the allies who first came together in 1996 is mutual. Their ties have been hit in the past by the RSS view that Sikhs were part of the Hindu faith.

In fact, late last year, Giani Harpreet Singh, the head priest* of the Sikhs’ highest temporal seat, the Akal Takht, sought a ban on the Sangh for its domineering Hindutva agenda that he considered divisive.

The Badals’ control of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) is well known. They cannot, therefore, insulate themselves from the Giani’s offensive against the RSS.

In that backdrop, it is a lot easier to understand why the SAD is weary of making its candidates fight on the BJP symbol outside Punjab.

*There are no priests nor head-priests in Sikhi
Man in Blue

The Hindu – Include Muslims in Citizenship Amendment Act: Shiromani Akali Dal

Sobhana K Nair

New Delhi – India, 31 January 2020. At all-party meeting, BJP ally slams government.

Key National Democratic Alliance member Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday slammed the Modi government at an all-party meeting called ahead of the budget session, saying legislation drafted on religious lines was not acceptable and reasserted its line that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) should not exclude Muslims.

Akali Dal Rajya Sabha member Balwinder Singh Bhunder raised the issue during the meeting. His comments come at a time when BJP national president J P Nadda met SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to resolve the differences between the two parties over seat-sharing in the Delhi Assembly elections.

‘Demand from day one’

“We have been saying this from day one. The government should have replaced the names of religions with just the phrase “religious minorities” in the Citizenship [Amendment] Act,” Mr Bhunder told The Hindu.

The Akali Dal had supported the CAA and during the debate in Parliament it said that Muslims should also have been included in the Act. Mr Bhunder criticised the anti-Muslim narrative in the Delhi election campaign. “The slogans being raised against minorities with phrases like “goli maar do” is very unfortunate.

At one point such slogans were raised against Sikhs too and those in Opposition today were the once who used to raise slogans,” he noted.

The other allies, the AIADMK and the JD(U), spoke in support of the government at the meeting.

Broadly, the Opposition parties collectively raised four issues, the ‘arrogance’ of the government in failing to reach out to those protesting against the CAA and related confusion on the National Register of Citizens (NRC); the growing rate of unemployment, release of Kashmir leaders Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti from detention; and lastly, the assertion of many parties, including the Biju Janata Dal, that federal values were being undermined.

The meeting was attended by 26 political parties. The Shiv Sena skipped the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a “greater focus” on economic issues in the session and how India could gain in the prevailing global situation, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters after the meeting.

Only a ritual: Azad

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who opened the discussion, said the meeting was merely a photo-opportunity and a ritual. The number of days that Parliament sat had been deliberately reduced.

“The government is focused only on getting bills passed but we also drew their attention towards sinking economy, rising unemployment and Kashmir. We told them Farooq Abdullah be released so that he can attend Parliament, others be released too,” Mr. Azad told reporters after the meeting.

The government, he alleged, was least bothered about the people protesting on the streets over CAA-NRC. “This shows their arrogance. They are not bothered about farmers too. The Opposition wanted these issues to be discussed too,” he said.

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay said the government should have reached out to CAA protesters and the arrogance would be their undoing. “You must remember that the Congress was reduced from 412 to 44. If you remain arrogant, you will be reduced from 303 to 33,” he said, according to sources.

Biju Janata Dal spokesperson and Lok Sabha member Pinaki Misra, according to the sources, said the federal values were being undermined. He raised the issue of inordinate delay in paying the State’s share of the Goods and Services Tax.

During the meeting, the sources said, the Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress exchanged sharp words over the three-capital issue, nearly disrupting the meeting. The other parties had to intervene to cool their temper.

Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha, pointing at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, said that one could have a dialogue with the old BJP but the new BJP doesn’t know how to communicate with anyone.