ADVERTISEMENT

Goa

Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon to be chief guest at opening of 44th IFFI

Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari addressing a press conference on 44th International Film Festival of India and 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India, in New Delhi on November 7, 2013.
Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari addressing a press conference on 44th International Film Festival of India and 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India, in New Delhi on November 7, 2013.
Well-known Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon will be the chief guest at the 44th edition of the International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa from November 20-30.
 
Another acclaimed Hollywood actress, Michelle Yeoh, will be the chief guest for the closing ceremony.
 
Briefing newspersons here about the festival here today, Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari announced that the Government had decided to institute a special award as part of the initiatives taken by it to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema.
 
The Centenary Award would be given every year to an outstanding Indian film personality, "a film icon", for his or her ocntribution to Indian cinema at IFFI.
 
Mr Tewari said that the award reiterated the rich legacy of Indian cinema where eminent personalities had contributed to its growth through different stages of its evolution. The award is the second in the series instituted by the Government to commemorate the centenary celebrations. 
 
He said that, apart from Ms Sarandon, acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi would also be present at the opening ceremony of the festival.
 
He said the festival screen, for the first time, films on Nobel Prize winners Nelson Mandela (A Long Walk to Freedom) and Lech Walesa .
 
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred on legendary Czech film director Jiri Menzel.
 
For the first time, a film on India’s freedom struggle leader Basha Khan would be screened at the Festival. For the first time, a film produced and directed by an Afghan director will also be screened at the festival.
 
Mr Tewari said the festival would highlight for the first time cinema from the North-eastern states of India. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
There will also be a retrospective of the Best Children's Films in commemoration of 100 years of Indian cinema.
 
Mr Tewari said the package would showcase 15 National Award winning and classic Indian children’s films. 
 
Special attention had been given to the animation section where 285 films had been received. For the first time, a separate category of Competitive Section for animation films had been introduced. 
 
For the festival, a record number of entries, 123 in all, had been received for the “Little Director” section, films made by children from India and around the world.
 
For the first time, films had been sourced from prestigious International Children’s Film Festivals. The children’s film festival would have a country focus retrospective of Czech films, he added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

ACC debars B Vijayan from Central deputation till retirement

ADVERTISEMENT
 
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has cancelled the orders of appointment of Mr B Vijayan as Director General of National Productivity Council (NPC).
 
An official press release said here today that the ACC had also approved the debarment of Mr Vujayan, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1982 batch (UT cadre) from Central deputation till his date of retirement, that is till September 2014. Mr Vijayan is currently the Chief Secretary of Goa.
 
In other decisions, the ACC cancelled the appointment of Mr Ajit M. Sharan, IAS (HY:79), presently in the cadre, as Member Secretary, National Commission for Women and apppointed him as the Secretary, Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the vacancy of Mr P.K. Deb, IAS(RJ;77) (Retired). 
 
Mr Harbhajan Singh, IAS (UP:83), Joint Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, as Director General, National Productivity Council under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in the pay of Additional Secretary. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Goa Tourism to modernize South Goa beaches

 
Goa Tourism has taken up a Rs 17.23 crore project to develop the Colva coastal circuit as part of its efforts to modernize beaches in south Goa with central finance assistance from the Ministry of Tourism.
 
A press release from Goa Tourism said the timeline allotted for the completion of the project is 180 working days.
 
The release said tenders for the development work had already been floated. 
 
The Colva, Gonsua, Betalbatim and Benaulim beaches in South Goa are located in the Salcete taluka. These beaches are very popular with the domestic and International tourists all through the year.
 
“All South Goa beaches are internationally famous and attract a lot of tourists. Considering the present scenario, these areas demand development, upgradation and a facelift, which can help accommodate more tourists and provide better facilities to them that will help boost tourism in South Goa," 
Mr Dilip Parulekar, Tourism Minister of Goa said.
 
The infrastructure development project that would be implemented along the beaches in South Goa will include creating and improving various facilities like parking of vehicles, children's park with play area, changing rooms, toilets, seating, pathways and beautification of strategic parts and places of interest in along this coastline, which would help in attracting more tourists to the state. 
 
NNN
 

75 killed, 600 injured in north-west China earthquake

 
China earthquake kills at least 54, injures 300
 
At least 75 people were killed and more than 600 others injured in a devastating 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck China's north-west Gansu province this morning, Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said.
 
The quake shook the Minxian and Zhangxian counties in the city of Dingxi at 0745 hours local time, about 180 km from Lanzhou, the capital of the province, the report said, quoting the Gansu Provincial Seismological Bureau.
 
Official sources said that 73 people had died in Dingxi and two in the neighbouring city of Longnan in the quake that jolted the border region between Minxian and Zhangxian counties.
 
At least 14 people were reported missing in Minxian and 584 were injured, the report said.
 
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for all-out rescue and relief efforts and made it clear that "saving lives" should be the top priority.
 
The report  quoted Mr Chang Zhengguo, spokesman for the provincial government, as saying that as many as 411 aftershocks had been recorded in the region, with the strongest measuring 5.6.
 
He said initial reports indicated that more than 1200 homes had collapsed and other 21,000 severely damaged in the quake.
 
At least 31 people were confirmed dead in the Meichuan township of Minxian county, rescuers said.
 
Communication in many villages in Meichuan township and in 13 towns of Zhangxian county was cut off. Power supply was also cut off in five towns in the eastern part of Minxian county, they said.
 
The earthquake had its epicentre at latitude 34.5 degrees North and longitude 104.2 degrees East and a focal depth of 20 km, the report said quoting the China Earthquake Networks Centre.
 
The India Meteorological Department said the earthquake occurred at 0515 hours IST and measured 6.2 on the Richter scale and had a focal depth of 10 km.
 
Sources in the Minxian government said most of the townships in the county have been affected by the quake. Locals there said the quake lasted for about one minute.
 
Many homes in the quake-hit region collapsed, according to the civil affairs bureau of the Dingxi City, the report said.
 
It quoted locals in the county as saying that they saw trees and homes shake during the tremor that lasted for about a minute.
 
Soldiers, police, medical teams and other local officials have rushed to the affected areas for search and rescue efforts.
 
The earthquake was also felt in the neighbouring cities of Longnan and Tianshui, as well as the provincial capital city of Lanzhou. The cities of Xi'an, Baoji and Xianyang in neighboring Shaanxi Province were also reported to have felt the quake, the report said.
 
Light to heavy rain has been forecast in Dingxi city and this could affect the rescue efforts, it added.
 
Relief teams were headed for the quake-hit areas with tents, medicines, food, clothes and other material. 
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

 

Modi named BJP poll campaign chief, says Congress must be rooted out of country

Hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party appointed him as chairman of its campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today urged the people to root out the Congress from the nation.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh and other BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Joshi at its national executive in Goa, on June 9, 2013.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh and other BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Joshi at its national executive in Goa, on June 9, 2013.
 
Hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appointed him as chairman of its campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today urged the people to root out the Congress from the nation.
 
"We must wok for a Congress Mukt Bharat Ka Nirman," he said, taking a jibe at the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's Bharat Nirman advertisement campaign, in an address to party workers here.
 
BJP President Rajnath Singh and other senior party leaders such as Arun Jaitley and Manohar Parrikar were present at the meeting.
 
Mr Modi said the Congress' misdeeds were so many that it would not be difficult to remove it from power at the Centre and referred to the recent bye-elections in six seats held previously by the Congress, all of which were won by the BJP.
 
"People were so unhappy that the Congress lost all seats and that, too, with big margins," he said.
 
Mr Modi said all the problems of the country could be solved by rooting out the Congress. "Youth will get jobs, and women and girls will be safe," he said.
 
Accusing the UPA government of "policy paralysis", he said that, "We may not shine in newspapers or on television, but we must shine in hearts of the people."
 
"We will start from where Atalji left things," he said, referring to the various achievements of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
 
"Our agenda is Rashtra Nirman. Getting the chair is not agenda but to give dignity and trust again to the people," he said.
 
Mr Modi said the country was making progress on various fronts under Mr Vajpayee. "See the news at that time, a new faith was being created. There was positivity," he said.
 
He said that the "ship" began to sink after 2004, when the UPA was voted in for its first term in office. "We need to save the nation from this," he said.
 
Mr Modi accused the Congress and UPA of being "non-serious" and taking the people for granted. In particular, he said, they had not bothered about the youth, who are becoming increasingly restless.
 

 
Modi named BJPs Poll Panel Chief for 2014
"They promised jobs to one crore youth and took the votes, but have one crore youngsters got jobs?" he asked.
 
He said there was unrest and anger among the youth, and if they were not used positively, it could become a matter of major concern. He pointed out that youth were turning out in large numbers to join protests at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and elsewhere.
 
"We need to focus on our youth. Sixty-five per cent of our population is under 35. This is our demographic dividend. If one sees youth as a burden, how can be bring change. There is no front where they have worked properly.
 
Mr Modi accused the UPA of failing on both the foreign policy and internal security fronts. He also ridiculed the National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He accused the Centre of using agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against opposition leaders.
 
Earlier this afternoon, Mr Singh announced that he had appointed Mr Modi, considered by many as the most popular of the party's top leaders, as the chairman of its campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
At a brief press conference at the end of the two-day meeting of the National Executive here, Mr Singh said the decision was taken on the basis of a consensus among leaders of the party.
 
Mr Singh said the BJP took elections very seriously and the 2014 elections were very important. He said the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had lost the confidence of the people and said he was confident that a government led by the BJP would be voted to power in the next elections.
 
Mr Singh did not take any questions after the announcement. He was flanked by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, former BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu, BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
 
Mr Singh had earlier made the announcement, which the BJP cadres were waiting to hear for long, at the valedictory session of the meeting.
 
Mr Parrikar told newsmen later that the announcement by Mr Singh was greeted with loud applause for more than five minutes by members of the National Executive.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Asked if the announcement meant that Mr Modi would also be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party, Mr Parrikar said it was the prerogative of the party's elected members of Parliament to decide on who their leader would be.
 
An indication that Mr Modi, 62, who has led his party to three successive election victories in Gujarat, would be given a larger role at the Centre was available when Mr Singh had, on March 31, indicted him in the party's Central Parliamentary Board (CPB), its highest decision-making body.
 
The CPB will lead the party in the crucial elections and Mr Modi's inclusion in the body indicated that he would play a key role in all major decisions of the party for the next elections. He is the only chief minister to be included in the CPB and returned to it after six years.
 
Mr Modi, 62,  is widely regarded as the most likely Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP in the next elections and he himself has scarcely concealed his ambitions. But his elevation also appeared to have caused considerable unease within his own party.
 
Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani stayed away from a meeting of the BJP's national executive for the first time in his long political career and, while the party attributed this to illness, there was the inescapable impression created that the veteran leader was opposed to any move to elevate Mr Modi.
 
Among other leaders, Ms Uma Bharati also skipped the meeting, but wrote to Mr Singh later to say that she would support any decision the party took. Others who did not attend the meeting included former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh as well as film star-turned-politician Shatrughna Sinha.
 
“Senior leaders have reposed faith in me. We will leave no stone unturned for Congress Mukt Bharat Nirman. Thanks for support & blessings," Mr Modi said in a message on micro-blogging site Twitter shortly after his appointment was announced.
 
BJP sources said Mr Modi called up Mr Advani over the telephone and sought his blessings. “Spoke to Advani ji on the phone. He gave me his blessings. Honoured and extremely grateful to receive his blessings," he said.
 
Accepting the assignment, Mr Modi told the national executive, "I am indebted to Rajnath ji for giving me an added responsibility. He has given me respect in the eyes of not only party workers but also the people of this country."
 
“We are all workers of the party. And as workers, we are obliged to do our best to fulfill any responsibility that has been given to us. Well begun is half won," he said.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

 

See News Videos

 

BJP appoints Narendra Modi as head of its campaign committee for 2014 elections

Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh announced on Sunday that he had appointed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, considered by many as the most popular of the party's top leaders, as the chairman of its campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
 
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Rajnath Singh today announced that he had appointed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, considered by many as the most popular of the party's top leaders, as the chairman of its campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
At a brief press conference at the end of the two-day meeting of the National Executive of the party here this afternoon, Mr Singh said the decision was taken on the basis of a consensus among leaders of the party.
 
Mr Singh said the BJP took elections very seriously and the 2014 elections were very important. He said the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had lost the confidence of the people and said he was confident that a government led by the BJP would be voted to power in the next elections.
 
Mr Singh did not take any questions after the announcement. He was flanked by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, former BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu, BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
 
Mr Singh had earlier made the announcement, which the BJP cadres were waiting to hear for long, at the valedictory session of the meeting.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Mr Parrikar told newsmen later that the announcement by Mr Singh was greeted with loud applause for more than five minutes by members of the National Executive.
 
Asked if the announcement meant that Mr Modi would also be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party, Mr Parrikar said it was the prerogative of the party's elected members of Parliament to decide on who their leader would be.
 
An indication that Mr Modi, 62, who has led his party to three successive election victories in Gujarat, would be given a larger role at the Centre was available when Mr Singh had, on March 31, indicted him in the party's Central Parliamentary Board (CPB), its highest decision-making body.
 
The CPB will lead the party in the crucial elections and Mr Modi's inclusion in the body indicated that he would play a key role in all major decisions of the party for the next elections. He is the only chief minister to be included in the CPB and returned to it after six years.
 
Mr Modi, 62,  is widely regarded as the most likely Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP in the next elections and he himself has scarcely concealed his ambitions. But his elevation also appeared to have caused considerable unease within his own party.
 
Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani stayed away from a meeting of the BJP's national executive for the first time in his long political career and, while the party attributed this to illness, there was the inescapable impression created that the veteran leader was opposed to any move to elevate Mr Modi.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Among other leaders, Ms Uma Bharati also skipped the meeting, but wrote to Mr Singh later to say that she would support any decision the party took. Others who did not attend the meeting included former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh as well as film star-turned-politician Shatrughna Sinha.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

 

Antony pilots MiG-29K simulator in Goa

Defence Minister A. K. Antony pilots a 25-minute flight of an MiG-29K on the state-of-the-art simulator at INS Hansa, in Goa on May 11, 2013.
Defence Minister A. K. Antony pilots a 25-minute flight of an MiG-29K on the state-of-the-art simulator at INS Hansa, in Goa on May 11, 2013.
Defence Minister A. K. Antony pilots a 25-minute flight of an MiG-29K on the state-of-the-art simulator at INS Hansa, in Goa on May 11, 2013.

Football: Churchill Brothers are I-League champions

in
Goa's Churchill Brothers and their fans celebrate after the team won the I-League Trophy  in Vasco on May 7, 2013.
Goa's Churchill Brothers and their fans celebrate after the team won the I-League Trophy in Vasco on May 7, 2013.

Goa's Churchill Brothers clinched their second I-League title after they managed a 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan at the Tilak Maidan here today.

The draw took Churchill’s points tally to an insurmountable 52 points with a match in hand. 
 
Pune FC is the only team which can have the same number of points but Churchill enjoy a better head-to-head record against Pune FC which made them the champions.
 
C.S. Sabeeth had provided Mohun Bagan with a super lead inside 17 minutes but India Captain Sunil Chhetri scored the goal that mattered the most.
 
Churchill Brothers seemed extremely nervous at the start and could not enforce their free-flowing game. With the prospect of winning the title possibly weighing heavily on their minds, Churchill were hesitant to move forward.
 
Mohun Bagan, in sharp contrast, were relaxed and dominated the early parts of the match.
 
Bagan surged ahead in the 27th minute when Quinton Jacobs snatched the ball from Brazilian midfielder Roberto Mendes da Silva and sent a long ball which Sabeeth did well to control, then beat two markers and finish from an acute angle.
 
It was this goal that silenced the crowd but was in tune with the proceedings on the field. Bagan was the far superior side and it showed till the end of the first half as Churchill Brothers rarely troubled the rival defence.
 
In the second session, Bagan continued from where they had left. The visitors had a great chance to make it 2-0 and possibly kill Churchill’s resolve but Syed Rahim Nabi, shockingly, shot wide from very close range after Sandip Nandy had barely managed to parry the ball away.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
With time running out, Churchill’s Technical Director Subhash Bhowmick introduced Afghanistan striker for Brazilian midfielder Robert. Formations were changed and soon enough, Churchill found the spark they were looking for. Balal, along with Gabon striker Henri Arnaud, created ripples in the rival defence with their speed.
 
Bagan had survived some nervous moments when defender Celestin Echezona had effected a goalline save to keep out Bineesh Balan’s header. A few minutes later, Balan again went close, this time stopped in his tracks by goalkeeper Shilton Paul.
 
Bagan, however, could not hang on for long. In the 72nd minute, a cross from the right by Denzil Franco saw Chhetri rise high above the defence to head the goal that sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was a goal that Churchill needed and a goal that got them the point that they had been looking out for.
 
When the final whistle was blown, the crowd erupted in joy. The team celebrated a famous triumph.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Goa Tourism to host Heritage Festival from April 18–21

The 125-year-old Mae De Deus Church at Saligao in Goa, the venue of the Heritage Festival organized by Goa Tourism from April 18-21.
The 125-year-old Mae De Deus Church at Saligao in Goa, the venue of the Heritage Festival organized by Goa Tourism from April 18-21.

The Department of Tourism, Government of Goa has organized a Goa Heritage Festival at Saligao from April 18-21 to showcase and promote the state's rich and unique heritage.

The festival, being held for the first time, will coincide with the World Heritage Day, which falls on April 18, a press release from the department said.
 
The release said the festival, which will be held near Mae de Deus Church at Saligao, a 125-year-old heritage structure, is being organized in collaboration with the Goa Tourism Development Corporation.
 
It will be inaugurated by Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
 
“Through this festival, domestic as well as international tourists will get an opportunity to witness our heritage and even interact with local artisans. We invite everyone to come and experience this authentic Goan festival,” Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said.
 
During the festival, tourists will be able to witness artisans displaying their crafts with live demonstrations. There will also be stalls exhibiting Goan crafts like pottery, woodcraft, crochet, marco, handicrafts, and coconut craft. A Goan food court will offer visitors traditional cuisine along with Goan desserts.
 
A gallery will be set up to exhibit ancient Goan photographs titled ‘Great Goans in History’ that will showcase the traditional way of life for Goans. There will be a section for heritage items used by the Goans along with Konkani books. Visitors will also be able to participate in workshops for traditional Goan theatre, dances and other forms of art. Konkani films will also be screened during the festival.
ADVERTISEMENT
The entertainment programme will include performances of Goan dances like Dhalo, Mando, Fugdi, Ghode Modni, Goff, Divli dance, Kunbi dance, Kalshi dance, and fisherfolk dance along with a special exhibition on extinct Goan traditional items like Jagor, Morulo, Khel Tiatr, brass band, etc.
 
There will be a fashion show on traditional Goan wear by well-known Goan designer Verma D’Mello, Konkani songs by Sonia Shirsat, and classical performance by Praveen Gaonkar among others. 
 
Goa’s artistic history will be highlighted by Kanta Gawde & Troupe, Amelia Dias and Troupe, John Fernandes & Troupe, Ajit Kundaikar & Troupe, Pundalik Sawant & Troupe, Marianela Gina & Troupe, Mil Mel Nel, and others. Eminent personalities from Goa will be felicitated in appreciation of their contribution in various fields, the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

36 killed, 18 injured as Goa-Mumbai bus veers off bridge in Maharashtra

At least 36 people were killed and another 18 injured when a private bus they were travelling in veered off a bridge over the Jagdbudi river near Khed in Ratnagari district of Maharashtra in the early hours of Tuesday.
 
Over 30 feared dead in bus accident in Ratnagiri

At least 36 people were killed and another 18 injured when a private bus they were travelling in veered off a bridge over the Jagdbudi river near Khed in Ratnagari district of Maharashtra in the early hours of today.

Five of those killed and one of the injured passengers were foreigners, police sources said.
 
Ratnagiri district collector Rajeev Jadhav told NetIndian over the telephone that the mishap occurred around 0315 hours today when the bus was on its way from Goa to Mumbai.
 
Mr Jadhav said rescue operations had been completed, and all the victims had been extricated from the wreckage of the bus. All the injured had been taken to the civil hospital at Khed, about 120 km from Ratnagiri district headquarters.
 
He said some of the injured were in a critical condition. According to him, the bus fell upside down, which led to the higher toll.
 
The police are investigating the cause of the accident. The bus driver was among those injured, sources added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

 

5-day Goa Carnival to be held from February 8-12

Live performances by Anushka Manchanda, Parikrama, Remo and Indian Ocean, more than 70 stalls serving food, beverages and lifestyle products and a fashion show by ace designer Wendell Rodricks will be the highlights of this year's Goa Carnival that will be held from February 8-13.

Goa Minister for Tourism Dilip Parulekar told journalists that the the festival would be held this year on a much bigger scale and be a more colourful event.
 
“The Goa Carnaval is one of our biggest events of the year. I hope that this event becomes the second-most popular event of the world after the Brazilian Carnival. We have added more attractions this year including the food festival where we have involved 15 other states as well. We urge everyone to join us in the festivities," he said.
 
Mr Parulekar said the other highlights of the event would include a vintage car rally, Serenade parade, Harley Davidson Bike rally and King Momo’s lead float. The event will also see the participation of Bollywood personalities such as Neha Dhupia, Isha Koppikar and Tanushree Dutta.
 
Mr Nikhil Desai, MD of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) and state Director of Tourism said, “We have taken measures to ensure 100 per cent safety for everyone and have increased the deployment of police force at tourist spots. We are also in the process of increasing room inventory for tourists.”
 
He said the tourism board was keen on promoting Goa not only as an important cultural destination but also for its festivals, heritage and adventure. 
 
The opening ceremony of the carnival will kick off at D.B. Marg, Panaji on February 9.
 
The festival, as usual, will feature float parades in four cities -- Panaji, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa. 
 
The carnival will also comprise live musical performances featuring local bands at Colva and Mapusa from February 9-12. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

IFFI-2012: Spectacular role play on Dadasaheb Phalke moves audiences

Theatre personalities Lillette Dubey and Muzaffar Ali Baig along with thespian M.S. Sathyu at a press conference, during the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012), in Panaji, Goa on November 21, 2012.
Theatre personalities Lillette Dubey and Muzaffar Ali Baig along with thespian M.S. Sathyu at a press conference, during the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012), in Panaji, Goa on November 21, 2012.

A spectacular role play depicting a dialogue of Indian film industry pioneer Dadasaheb Phalke with his wife Saraswati unraveled the passion that pioneered silent cinema in India at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here yesterday.

The 20-minute production featured Phalke's 43-year journey with all its ups and downs. The initial dream, his struggles, failures, triumphs were beautifully brought out by Muzaffar Ali Baig, who played Phalke, and actress Lillete Dubey, who played the role of Phalke's second wife Saraswati.
 
The various incidents of his life, including pawning of his wife's jewellery to make Raja Harischandra, his first feature film, his qualities of perseverance and perfectionism were brought out in the enactment along with the fact that he died in penury in Nasik. 
 
The script of the play was written by Sharayu Phalke Sammanwar, the great grand niece of Phalke, and was designed by thespian M.S.Sathyu. 
 
The film maker Anurag Basu who was the chief guest at the function said, the Indian film industry has grown tremendously and stands tall and all should celebrate it in a befitting manner. 
 
Mr Uday Kumar Verma, Secretary, Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said as a part of the Centenary Cinema, the Ministry has taken three initiatives - formation of a Film Promotion Board to give single-window clearances to filmmakers wanting to shoot in India, setting up of a museum of Indian cinema at Gulshan Mahal in Mumbai and formation of the Naftional Film Heritage Mission to safeguard the country's film treasure for posterity. He also called for analyzing to know how the film industry grew in the last 100 years in India. 
 
The theatre presentation was followed by the screening of Raja Harsihchandra and Uday Shankar’s film dance classic Kalapana. 
 
The festival has a centenary package of 14 films from the National Film Archive of India, Pune which includes Achyut Kanya, Sant Tukaram, Pather Panchali, Meghe Dhaka Tara, Pyaasa, Awaara and Pakeejah. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Colourful performances mark IFFI opening ceremony

Artistes performing at the inaugural ceremony of the 43rd International Film Festival of India, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012.
Artistes performing at the inaugural ceremony of the 43rd International Film Festival of India, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012.
Artistes performing at the inaugural ceremony of the 43rd International Film Festival of India, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012.

43rd International Film Festival of India off to colourful start in Goa

Actor Akshay Kumar lighting the lamp to inaugurate the 43rd International Film Festival, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012. Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari, are also seen.
Actor Akshay Kumar lighting the lamp to inaugurate the 43rd International Film Festival, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012. Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari, are also seen.

The 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012) got off to a colourful start here today amidst festivities, glitz and with a promise to make India an international destination of good cinema.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari assured the gathering that the Government, on its part, was taking a number of steps to nurture the Indian film industry and to promote India as a destination for film shooting. 
 
He said that Government was embarking on an ambitious National Film Heritage Mission during the 12th Five Year Plan to preserve India’s film heritage. Moreover, with a view towards encouraging co-production between India and other countries, India has entered into co-production agreements with various countries, he said.
 
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Union Information & Broadcasting Secretary Uday Kumar Varma were amongst the others present on the occasion.
 
Well-known actor Akshay Kumar, who was the chief guest, underlined the need for good and wholesome cinema and said he was proud the event was happening in the centenary year of Indian cinema.
 
Renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi was conferred the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion by Mr Tiwari.
 
Known for producing acclaimed films like Camouflage, Family life, and The Silent Touch, Zanussi said amidst a standing ovation that this was the most moving moment of his life and promised to make more films in future. He said the 21st century will be Asia’s century and it is his deep belief that it will be India’s century. 
 
Gautam Ghosh, Chairman of the International Jury and all the jury members were felicitated by IFFI on the occasion.
 
Singer Kailash Kher performing at the inaugural ceremony of the 43rd International Film Festival of India, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012.
Singer Kailash Kher performing at the inaugural ceremony of the 43rd International Film Festival of India, in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2012.
Hosted by Kabir Bedi and Perizaad Zorabian, the opening ceremony showcased the evolution of 100 years of Indian cinema through music, dance and videos conceived and directed by Jahnu Barua, Saroj Khan and Sajjad Ali. 
 
The nearly two-hour cultural extravaganza came to a close with the spell-binding renditions of singer Kailash Kher. 
 
Bollywood actors Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Om Puri, Jackie Shroff and Vinay Pathak were amongst those present on the occasion along with renowned film personalities from abroad such as Kim Ki-duk, Michael Winterbottom and Susanne Bier.
 
Academy Award winning director Ang Lee’s much acclaimed 3D film “Life of Pi” was screened later as the opening film of the 10-day festival. The cast and crew of the film including Irrfan Khan and Tabu are present on the occasion. 
 
Over a hundred movies will be screened during the festival as part of the Indian Cinema and World Cinema segments.
 
The Indian Section will bring to the audience movies from across the country in the Indian Panorama (Feature and Non-Feature Section) which is selected by a core jury headed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta for the Feature and M R Rajan for the Non-Feature section. 
 
The Indian Panorama will screen twenty feature films with ‘Baandhon’ directed by Jahnu Barua as the opening film, and nineteen films in the non-feature section with ‘Celluloid Man’ directed by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur as the opening film.
 
Movie lovers will also be treated to a varied line-up of world cinema which will be showcased in sections like ‘Cinema of the World’ which will have a showcase of fifty-one films from forty-two countries with Ang Lee’s 3D film ‘Life of Pi’ as its opening film and Mira Nair’s ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ as its closing film.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

43rd International Film Festival of India to begin in Goa on Tuesday

International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Director Shankar Mohan at a press conference in Goa on November 19, 2012.
International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Director Shankar Mohan at a press conference in Goa on November 19, 2012.

More than a hundred movies will be screened in the Indian and World Cinema segments of the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) beginning in Goa tomorrow.

The opening ceremony will be a celebration of 100 years of India cinema, with actors such as Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Om Puri, Jackie Shroff and Vinay Pathak likely to be present.
 
While Akshay Kumar will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony, Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan, singer Kailash Kher and others will be the main attractions at the cultural celebratons.
 
International film personalities such as Plish director Krzysztof Zanussi, who will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award, Kim Ki-duk, Michael Winterbottom and Susanne Bier will also be amongst those present.
 
Briefing journalists about the festival here, IFFI director Shankar Mohan said the 10-day event would see the international premiere of Ang Lee’s much anticipated 3D Film ‘Life of Pi’, and also Kim Ki-duk’s‘Pieta’. 
 
Apart from showcasing cinema of varied cultures of the world, the festival will also bring together stalwarts like Nitin Desai, Resul Pookutty, Debabrata Pain, Shyam Benegal, Avy Kaufman, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and David Womark taking Master Classes which will provide the audience with an opportunity of interacting with the masters themselves.
 
As a first of its kind initiative, Canon will do a technical workshop to increase knowledge about the nuances of filmmaking. 
 
The Indian Section will bring to the audience movies from across the country in the Indian Panorama (Feature and Non-Feature Section) which is selected by a core jury headed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta for the Feature and M R Rajan for the Non-Feature section. 
 
The Indian Panorama will screen twenty feature films with ‘Baandhon’ directed by Jahnu Barua as the opening film, and nineteen films in the non-feature section with ‘Celluloid Man’ directed by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur as the opening film. 
 
Apart from the Indian Panorama, the Indian section will bring to the audience varied films in different sections like ‘100 Years of Indian Cinema-A Celebration (Feature & Non-Feature)’ showcasing a selection of movies, ‘FTII: Young at 50’ which will showcase films from Film and Television Institute of India’s fifty years, Retrospective of Soumitra Chatterjee, Special Tribute to Girish Kasaravalli and Muzaffar Ali, Vintage: A Tribute to Masters showcasing works of Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shyam Benegal, D Ramanaidu and K Balachander; Homages to Yash Chopra, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Navodaya Appachan, T Damodaran, Ashok Mehta, Rajen Kothari, A K Hangal, Dara Singh, Joy Mukherjee, Dinesh Thakur and Ravi Shankar Sharma; along with a showcase of Students’ Package and a package of movies celebrating Incredible India. 
 
Apart from the International Competition, the cine lovers at the 43rd IFFI will be treated to a varied line-up of world cinema which will be showcased in sections like ‘Cinema of the World’ which will have a showcase of fifty-one films from forty-two countries with Ang Lee’s 3D film ‘Life of Pi’ as its Opening Film and Mira Nair’s ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ as its Closing Film. 
 
Other sections in the International section include ‘A Cut Above’, ‘Masterstrokes’, ‘Festival Kaleidoscope’, ‘Turkish Currents’, ‘Sketches on Screen’, ‘Retrospective: Susanne Bier’, ‘Special Tribute: Ashok Amritraj’, ‘In Focus: Kim Ki-duk’, ‘Soul of Asia’, ‘Documentaries’ and ‘Homages’. 
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

Naval helicopter crashes in Goa, three killed

Three Naval personnel, including two officers, were killed when their Chetak helicopter crashed while landing at the Naval Air Station in Goa this morning.

An official press release said the mishap occurred at about 1000 hours today. The helicopter, which was in transit from Mumbai to Bangaore, was to make a scheduled refuelling halt at INS Hansa in Goa.
 
"All three personnel onboard have died in the crash," the release said, adding that a Board of Inquiry to ascertain the cause had been ordered.
 
NNN
 

Goa's annual plan for 2102-13 finalized at Rs 4700 crore

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in New Delhi on July 11, 2012
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in New Delhi on July 11, 2012

Goa's annual plan for 2012-13 was finalized at Rs 4,700 crore at a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and state Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar here today.

In his comments on the plan performance of the state, Mr Ahluwalia said Goa had been doing exceedingly well and its achievements in all sectors of the economy were satisfactory. He said Goa is an economically developed progressive state and has great local advantage.  He said the state needed to further encourage private participation in the development of both social and physical infrastructure.
 
Mr Ahluwalia said that the Commission was nearing completion of the 12th Plan (2012-17)document and would shortly place it for formal approvals. He said sectors like health and education will have renewed thrust in the plan. The states should engage themselves in continuous evaluation of the major social sector programmes so as to help the Commission in having a realistic assessment and opportunity for timely intervention wherever needed, he said.
 
The state was also appreciated for its achievement in the education sector. It was noticed that the literacy rate in the state has moved up from 82.01% in 2001 to 87.40% as per 2011 census. Male literacy increased from 88.4% in 2001 to 92.8% in 2011, while female literacy increased from 75.4% in 2001 to 81.8% in 2011.
 
It is pertinent to note that the increase in the rate of growth of female literacy as compared to the previous census is higher than their male counterparts, showing that females are fast catching up with their male counterparts in the field of literacy.
 
The gross state domestic product of Goa at constant prices has registered a compound annual growth rate of 10.65% during 2011-12, which is higher than the national growth rate of 6.88%. During the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) the average growth rate is 9.02%, which is marginally higher than the national average growth rate of 9% fixed by the Planning Commission for the Eleventh Five Year Plan period. However, the state could not achieve its target growth rate of 12.1% determined for the Eleventh Plan period.
ADVERTISEMENT
Mr. Parrikar said that the objective of the Twelfth Five Year Plan 2012-17 and Annual Plan 2012-13 is to achieve all round development of the state, which would mean not only physical development like infrastructure but also human resource development.
 
He said the major thrust areas will be development of agriculture and allied sectors, along with  increased emphasis on the development of infrastructure. He said the government would take new initiatives aimed at making the state the most investor-friendly destination in the country.
 
Upliftment of the financially weaker sections would be on the priority list. It would also take necessary policy initiatives to ensure realization of full potential from the tourism industry. Focus would be on shifting from low-end tourism to high-end tourism during the 12th plan and for this purpose a new tourism policy is in the anvil, he said.
 
Mr Parrikar said the state government had approved an amount of Rs 26296.28 crore as projected outlay for the Twelfth Five Year Plan (at 2011-12 prices) which is 209.91% higher than the projected outlay of Rs. 8585 crore (at 2006-07 price) for the Eleventh Five Year Plan. The 15 per cent growth target set for the plan would be the highest attempted by any state, he added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

Alva shifted as Rajasthan Governor; Narasimhan, Sankaranarayanan get fresh terms in AP, Maharashtra

ADVERTISEMENT

Uttarakhand Governor Margaret Alva was today transferred and appointed as the Governor of Rajasthan for the remainder of her term.

Dr Aziz Qureshi will succeed her as Governor of Uttarakhand, a statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan said. Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil had been holding additional charge of the Rajasthan Governor after the death of Ms Prabha Rau on April 26, 2010.
 
The President also appointed Mr E.S.L. Narasimhan, as Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Mr K. Sankaranarayanan, as Governor of Maharashtra for fresh terms.
 
Mr B V Wanchoo, former head of the Special Protection Group (SPG), which protects the Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers and members of their families, has been appointed as the Governor of Goa, the statement added.
 
Dr Qureshi, 72, is a former member of the Lok Sabha from Satna in Madhya Pradesh and a former state minister.
 
He has also practised as a lawyer and been an academician. He has had a long association with the Congress party. 
 
Mr Wanchoo is a retired officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS),1976 batch, from the West Bengal cadre. He was a joint director in the Intelligence Bureau when he was picked up to head the SPG in 2004. He served in that position for more than seven years before retiring in October last year.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

Bye-elections to Kerala, Goa assemblies to be held on June 2

ADVERTISEMENT

The Election Commission today said bye-elections would be held on June 2 to fill one casual vacancy each in the Kerala and the Goa legislative assemblies.

The seats which are vacant are Neyyattinkara in Kerala and Cortalim in Goa.
 
An official press release said the notification for the bye-elections would be issued on May 9 and the last date for making nominations would be May 16. 
 
Counting of votes in both constituencies will be taken up on June 15, the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Goa Tourism Minister Matanhy Saldanha dies after cardiac arrest

in
Matanhy Saldanha
Matanhy Saldanha
Goa Tourism Minister Matanhy Saldanha, who also held the portfolios of Science and Environment, died at a private hospital in Panaji in the early hours of today after suffering a massive cardiac arrest, official sources said.
 
The sources said Saldanha, 63, was rushed to the hospital around 1.30 am where doctors tried hard to revive him but did not succeed.
 
Sources at the Goa Medical College and Hospital said the body had been shifted to the mortuary there while the funeral arrangements were being finalised.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was amongst those who rushed to the hospital on hearing about the news.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator was elected from the Cortalim constituency in the March 3 elections to the Goa Legislative Assembly and had been sworn in as a Minister on March 9 after his party was voted to power.
 
Saldanha had switched to the BJP just before the elections and was among the five Catholic candidates who were given tickets by the party. He had been earlier elected to the Assembly as a candidate of the United Goans Democratic Party (UGDP) and had been a member of the Parrikar government then, too.
 
Saldanha was a leader of the National Fishworkers' Forum, which fights for the rights of traditional fishermen.
 
Born on October 24, 1948 at Carmona in Goa, Saldanha did his B.Sc. and B.Ed. before taking an M.A. in Political Science. He had also done courses in public administration and journalism.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Elections 2012: Sonia accepts verdict, says Manmohan Singh will stay as PM

Congress President Sonia Gandhi said on Wednesday her party accepted the people's verdict in the assembly elections in five states with humility but asserted that Manmohan Singh would stay as Prime Minister and declined to comment on who its Prime Ministerial candidate would be in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
File photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
File photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said her party accepted the people's verdict in the assembly elections in five states with humility but asserted that Manmohan Singh would stay as Prime Minister and declined to comment on who its Prime Ministerial candidate would be in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
Talking to mediapersons after a meeting of senior leaders of the party, which reviewed the results of the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, Gandhi said the results were "less than what we had expected".
 
"We humbly accept the people's verdict," she said, adding that the party would conduct a detailed analysis of its performance in each of the five states and take corrective action, wherever necessary.
 
"Every election is a lesson for us, whether we win or lose," she said, adding that the party leadership would sit with their colleagues from the states to work out a plan to take corrective action where it was necessary.
 
Asked if there was a possibility that the party would consider replacing Singh as Prime Minister, Gandhi said, "The question simply does not arise".
 
But asked who the party's Prime Ministerial candidate would be in the 2014 elections, she quipped, "We are in 2012 now, right? There is still time."
 
She also asserted that the results of the elections in five states would have no impact on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre.
ADVERTISEMENT
The remarks came a day after the Samajwadi Party swept to power in Uttar Pradesh, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine retained power in Punjab and the BJP wrested power from the Congress in Goa. The Congress was voted to power for a third consecutive term in Manipur while there was a split verdict in Uttarakhand, where the Congress got 32 seats and the BJP 31 in the 70-member house, which left the others, including the BSP and independents, with a crucial role in government-formation.
 
Elections to the five states were held between January 28 and March 3 and counting of votes was taken up yesterday.
 
Gandhi said her party's performance may have been affected in some cases by wrong selection of candidates. About its poor show in the Gandhi family bastion of Amethi, Rai Bareli and Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, she said it was not the first time that the Congress had lost there. She said the sitting MLAs had lost, which could mean the people were unhappy with them, while the new candidates had won.
 
Pointing out that Congress General Secretary and her son Rahul Gandhi had already spoken about the party's performance in UP and taken responsibility for its defeat, she said the organization was weak in the state. "Also, people of UP were angry with the BSP, and saw the SP as the alternative," she said.
 
She said the party leaders in charge of various states had worked hard for the elections. She said the wrong choice of candidates had led to rebel candidates being set up in some places.
 
"We did have better hopes in Punjab," she said, adding that the PPP, set up by former SAD leader Manpreet Singh Badal, had damaged the Congress more than the SAD in about 23 seats.
 
About the Goa results, she said, "Many voters were obviously unhappy with us and voted against us."
 
Asked if the party would stake claim to forming a government in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi said, "The numbers are with us...and in a democracy, numbers are important, aren't they?"
 
Asked if the party had fared badly in the elections because of a lack of leadership at the state level, Gandhi quipped, "Rather than a lack of leaders, I think there are too many leaders and, perhaps, that is our problem". She acknowledged that issues like inflation could have been a factor.
 
Gandhi said the party needed to pull up its socks and prepare for the next round of elections in states such as Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

SP to decide on UP CM on Wednesday, BJP to stake claim in Goa, close call in Uttarakhand

The Samajwadi Party has ended up with 224 seats in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly as counting of votes in elections in five states, including Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, came to a close late Tuesday night and attention turned to the task of government-formation.
File photo of Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, who led the party to a spectacular win in the UP Assembly Elections, the results of which were announced on March 6, 2012.
File photo of Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, who led the party to a spectacular win in the UP Assembly Elections, the results of which were announced on March 6, 2012.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) led by former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has ended up with 224 seats in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly as counting of votes in elections in five states, including Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, came to a close late last night and attention turned to the task of government-formation.
 
The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) came in a distant second in Uttar Pradesh with 80 seats, far below the 206 seats it had won on its way to power in the 2007 elections.
 
The BJP bagged 47 seats and the Congress ended up in fourth position with 28 seats, with only a marginal improvement over the 22 seats it had won in the 2007 elections. Congress ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), headed by Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, won 9 seats and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 1, while others accounted for 14 seats.
 
In Uttarakhand, the ruling BJP and the Congress ended up in a photo-finish. The Congress had a slight edge, having won 32 seats while the BJP bagged 31 in the 70-member house. Much will depend now on which way the others, including three BSP winners, decide to go. The Uttarkhand Kranti Dal (P) got one seat and others three. The BJP suffered a major setback when Chief Minister B C Khanduri lost from his own constituency in Uttarakhand.
 
In Punjab, where the SAD and the Congress have been alternately voted to power for the last 45 years, the SAD-BJP combine returned to power for the second straight term, bucking that trend.
Of the 117 seats in the Punjab assembly, the SAD won 56, its ally BJP got 12 and the Congress had to rest content with 46. Three seats went to others.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
In Goa, the opposition BJP regained power, winning 21 of the 40 seats in the House. The ruling Congress ended up with 9 seats, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) 3 and others won 7 seats.
 
In Manipur, the Congress won a decisive victory for a third consecutive term in office. It won 42 seats in the 60-member assembly. The Trinamool Congress won seven seats, the Naga People's front 4, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Lok Jan Shakti Party 1 each. Others won five seats.
 
With the process of counting of votes over, the focus has now turned to the formation of new governments in the five states.
 
In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party parliamentary board is expected to meet today to formally choose its nominee for the Chief Minister's post, after which the party will meet the Governor to formally stake its claim to form the next government. Outgoing Chief Minister Mayawati of the BSP will submit her resignation to the Governor earlier during the day.
 
State Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has already said that the entire party wanted to see party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, his father, as the next Chief Minister. If the senior Yadav, a former Union Defence Minister, takes up the job, it will be his fourth innings as Chief Minister of India's most populous state. There also some in the party who think that the job should go to Akhilesh, who led the party's campaign in the elections.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
In Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, 84, is expected to return as Chief Minister for the fifth time, though there are some in the state who would like to see the mantle pass on to his son Sukhbir, 49, who led the party's campaign on the twin planks of development and governance.
 
The BJP-MGP combine is expected to meet the Governor K Sankaranarayanan in Panaji today to stake claim to form the next government in Goa. Before that, the newly-elected legislators of the BJP are slated to hold a meeting in the presence of central observers M Venkaiah Naidu and Ravi Shankar Prasad and choose the leader of the group, widely expected to be former chief minister Manohar Parrikar. The combine is expected to claim the support of two independents whom it had backed during the elections.
 
The situation in Uttarakhand is still fluid, though the Congress would appear to have a slight edge. Three of the independents are Congress rebels, whom the party can be expected to woo. The Congress legislature party is slated to meet this evening to take stock of the situation. If the Congress is able to form the next government in the hill state, Union Minister Harish Rawat and state Congress chief Yashpal Arya would be the front-runners for the job.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

SP sweeps to power in UP, SAD-BJP combine retains Punjab, BJP regains Goa

The Samajwadi Party swept to a spectacular and decisive win in Uttar Pradesh while the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party combine won a second straight term in office in Punjab as counting of votes progressed in elections to legislative assemblies in five states today.
File photo of Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, who led the party to a spectacular win in the UP Assembly Elections, the results of which were announced on March 6, 2012.
File photo of Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, who led the party to a spectacular win in the UP Assembly Elections, the results of which were announced on March 6, 2012.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) of Mulayam Singh Yadav swept to a spectacular and decisive win in Uttar Pradesh while the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine won a second straight term in office in Punjab as counting of votes progressed in elections to legislative assemblies in five states today.

In Uttarakhand, the ruling BJP and the Congress were locked in a close contest. The Congress had a slight edge, having won 32 seats while the BJP bagged 31 in the 70-member house. Much will depend now on which way the others, including three BSP winners, decide to go. 
 
Overall, the results did not bring very good news for the Congress and the BJP, the two prominent national parties in the fray. The Congress won a third consecutive term in office in Manipur and the BJP wrested power back from the Congress in Goa, but the big prize - UP - eluded both of them.
 
In Uttar Pradesh, with results for all but one of the 403 seats out, the Samajwadi Party had won 224 seats and was leading in one, making for a possible final tally of 225 against the 202 required for a simple majority. The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was a distant second with 79 seats, far below the 206 seats it had won on its way to power in the 2007 elections.
 
The BJP bagged 47 seats and the Congress ended up in fourth position with 28 seats, with only a marginal improvement over the 22 seats it had won in the 2007 elections. Congress ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), headed by Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, won 9 seats while others accounted for 14 seats.
 
In Punjab, where the SAD and the Congress have been alternately voted to power for the last 45 years, the SAD-BJP combine returned to power for the second straight term, bucking that trend.
 
Of the 117 seats in the Punjab assembly, the SAD won 56, its ally BJP got 12 and the Congress had to rest content with 46. Three seats went to others.
 
In Uttarakhand, the ruling BJP and the Congress were engaged in a very closely fought contest. The Congress ended up with 32 and the BJP with 31. The BSP won three seats, the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P) one and others three. 
ADVERTISEMENT
The BJP suffered a major setback when Chief Minister B C Khanduri lost from his own constituency in Uttarakhand.
 
In Goa, the opposition BJP regained power, winning 21 of the 40 seats in the House. The ruling Congress ended up with 9 seats, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party 3 and others won 7 seats.
 
In Manipur, the Congress won a decisive victory for a third consecutive term in office. It won 42 seats in the 60-member assembly. The Trinamool Congress won seven seats, the Naga People's front 4, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Lok Jan Shakti Party 1 each. Others won five seats.
 
The results came as a major disappointment for the Congress, which heads the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, especially because the elections were held roughly half-way through its second term in Delhi and the results are likely to be seen as an indication of the public mood.
 
In Uttar Pradesh, particularly, the party had put up a spirited campaign led by its General Secretary and heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi, who addressed more than 200 election meetings across the state in a valiant effort to revive its fortunes in India's most important state in political terms.
 
The party's performance will, in the circumstances, be seen as a major setback to it, reminding many of its poor show in the last Bihar assembly elections. To add salt to its wounds, the Samajwadi Party does not need its support to form the next government in UP. The results in Punjab and Uttarakhand have also suprised the Congress, given that it was hoping to achieve clear victories in the two states.
 
Much will be made in the coming days of Gandhi's failure to convert the huge numbers at his election rallies into votes and there are bound to be questions asked about his vote-catching abilities.
 
Gandhi appeared before journalists to accept responsibility for the party's poor showing and said that he would continue to work to revive the Congress in UP so that it could win elections in the state.
 
While the SP celebrated in Lucknow and elsewhere in UP, things were absolutely quiet at the BSP office, which was, in fact, closed. State SP president Akhilesh Yadav, son of Mulayam Singh Yadav, said his party would implement all the promises made in its election manifesto. He also made it clear that the entire party wanted Mulayam Singh Yadav to take up the Chief Minister's job.
ADVERTISEMENT
For the BJP, the results can hardly be described as good news, though it has won in Goa and is on the winning side in Punjab. But its number has fallen from 19 in 2007 to 12 this time. Similarly, it has not been able to improve on its performance in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and is nowhere in the picture in Manipur.
 
Prominent winners in Uttar Pradesh today included BJP leaders Uma Bharti and Kalraj Mishra, state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and RLD leader Ajit Singh's son Jayant Chaudhary.
 
In Punjab, the winners included chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal of the SAD, former chief minister Amarinder Singh of the Congress, and Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma. BJP MP Navjyot Singh Sidhu's wife Navjyot Kaur and former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh (SAD) were also among the winners.
 
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, state Congress chief Gaikhangam were among the prominent winners in Manipur.
 
In Uttarakhand, former chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat were among the prominent winners.
 
In Goa, chief minister Digambar Kamat, BJP's Manohar Parrikar, who is likely to succeed him and Speaker Pratapsingh Rane were among the winners.
 
Counting of votes in the five states began at 0800 hours this morning. Polling was held in a single phase on Janaury 28 in Manipur, on January 30 in Uttarakhand and Punjab and on March 3 in Goa, while it was conducted in seven phases between February 8 and March 3 in Uttar Pradesh.
 
The Congress had won just 22 seats in the 2007 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh but was encouraged by the 22 Lok Sabha seats it managed in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
 
The BSP had won 206 seats in the last assembly elections for a majority on its own, while the SP had got 97, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 50 and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) of Ajit Singh, which was then an ally of the BJP, 10. Independents and others accounted for 17 seats. RLD is an ally of the Congress in these elections.
 
In the last elections, the SAD had won 50 seats, the Congress 42, the BJP 19 and independents 6 in Punjab.
 
In Uttarakhand, the BJP had won 36 of the 70 seats to gain a wafer-thin majority in the last elections. The party has not been on a srong wicket for some time in the state and had to, in fact, replace its Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal before the polls with B C Khanduri.
 
In Manipur, the Congress managed a simple majority in the last elections by winning 31 of the 60 seats. The Manipur People's Party won five, NCP and CPI four each, the National People's Party and RJD three each, while as many as 10 seats had gone to independents. The Congress' hopes of another term in office is based, in part, on the absence of a unified opposition.
 
In Goa, the Congress had won 16 seats in the 40-member house in the last elections, the BJP 14 and the NCP 3, while the MGP, SGF, UGDP and independents got two seats each.
 
The elections in the five states covered 122 districts and a total electorate of 15.42 crore, about 20 per cent of the total electorate in the country.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful, with no untoward incidents reported from anywhere except for one incident in Manipur.
 
The elections also witnessed the highest voter turnouts ever in UP (60%), Uttarakhand (67.22%), Goa (81%) and Punjab (78.57%). In Manipur (79.35%), the percentage of voting was higher than the figures for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
 
NNN
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT

SP cruises to spectacular win in UP, SAD-BJP retains Punjab, BJP regains Goa

The Samajwadi Party cruised to a spectacular and decisive win in Uttar Pradesh while the Shiromani Akali Dal -Bharatiya Janata Party combine won a second straight term in office in Punjab as counting of votes progressed in elections to legislative assemblies in five states on Tuesday.
File photo of Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, who led the party to a spectacular win in the UP Assembly Elections, the results of which were announced on March 6, 2012.
File photo of Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, who led the party to a spectacular win in the UP Assembly Elections, the results of which were announced on March 6, 2012.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) of Mulayam Singh Yadav cruised to a spectacular and decisive win in Uttar Pradesh while the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine won a second straight term in office in Punjab as counting of votes progressed in elections to legislative assemblies in five states today.
 
In Uttarakhand, the ruling BJP and the Congress were locked in a close contest. The Congress had a slight edge, having won or established leads in 32 seats, while the BJP had won or was ahead in 31.
 
Overall, the results did not bring very good news for the Congress and the BJP, the two prominent national parties in the fray. The Congress won a third consecutive term in office in Manipur and the BJP wrested power back from the Congress in Goa, but the big prize - UP - eluded both of them.
 
In Uttar Pradesh, the SP won 217 seats and was leading in seven other constituencies, making for a possible final tally of 224 against the 202 required for a simple majority in the 403-member House.
 
The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was a distant second, having won 74 seats and leading in 6 more, far below the 206 seats it had won in the 2007 elections.
 
The BJP won 44 seats and was leading in 3 more. The Congress won 26 seats and was leading in 2 more, which means its final tally was going to be only a slight improvement over the 22 seats it had won in the 2007 elections.
 
Congress ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), headed by Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, won 9 seats. Others accounted for 14 seats.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
In Punjab, where the SAD and the Congress have been alternately voted to power for the last 45 years, the SAD-BJP combine returned to power for the second straight term, bucking that trend.
 
Of the 117 seats in the Punjab assembly, the SAD won 56, its ally BJP got 12 and the Congress had to rest content with 46. Three seats went to others.
 
In Uttarakhand, the ruling BJP and the Congress were engaged in a very closely fought contest. The Congress had won 28 seats and was ahead in four, while the BJP was breathing down its neck, having won 29 seats and leading in two others. The BSP won three seats, the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P) one and others three.
 
The BJP suffered a major setback when Chief Minister B C Khanduri lost from his own constituency in Uttarakhand.
 
In Goa, the opposition BJP regained power, winning 21 of the 40 seats in the House. The ruling Congress ended up with 9 seats, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party 3 and others won 7 seats.
 
In Manipur, the Congress won a decisive victory for a third consecutive term in office. It won 42 seats in the 60-member assembly. The Trinamool Congress won seven seats, the Naga People's front 4, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Lok Jan Shakti Party 1 each. Others won five seats.
 
The results came as a major disappointment for the Congress, which heads the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, especially because the elections were held roughly half-way through its second term in Delhi and the results are likely to be seen as an indication of the public mood.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
In Uttar Pradesh, particularly, the party had put up a spirited campaign led by its General Secretary and heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi, who addressed more than 200 election meetings across the state in a valiant effort to revive its fortunes in India's most important state in political terms.
 
The party's performance will, in the circumstances, be seen as a major setback to it, reminding many of its poor show in the last Bihar assembly elections. To add salt to its wounds, the Samajwadi Party does not need its support to form the next government in UP. The results in Punjab and Uttarakhand have also surprised the Congress, given that it was hoping to achieve clear victories in the two states.
 
Much will be made in the coming days of Gandhi's failure to convert the huge numbers at his election rallies into votes and there are bound to be questions asked about his vote-catching abilities.
 
Gandhi appeared before journalists to accept responsibility for the party's poor showing and said that he would continue to work to revive the Congress in UP so that it could win elections in the state.
 
While the SP celebrated in Lucknow and elsewhere in UP, things were absolutely quiet at the BSP office, which was, in fact, closed. State SP president Akhilesh Yadav, son of Mulayam Singh Yadav, said his party would implement all the promises made in its election manifesto. He also made it clear that the entire party wanted Mulayam Singh Yadav to take up the Chief Minister's job.
 
For the BJP, the results can hardly be described as good news, though it has won in Goa and is on the winning side in Punjab. But its number has fallen from 19 in 2007 to 12 this time. Similarly, it has not been able to improve on its performance in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and is nowhere in the picture in Manipur.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Counting of votes in the five states began at 0800 hours this morning and most of the results, which are expected to impact national politics in a major way, are likely to be announced by tonight.
 
Polling was held in a single phase on January 28 in Manipur, on January 30 in Uttarakhand and Punjab and on March 3 in Goa, while it was conducted in seven phases between February 8 and March 3 in Uttar Pradesh.
 
The results will decide the electoral fortunes of candidates for 690 assembly seats - 403 in UP, 117 in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand, 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa.
 
The Congress had won just 22 seats in the 2007 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh but was encouraged by the 22 Lok Sabha seats it managed in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
 
The BSP had won 206 seats in the last assembly elections for a majority on its own, while the SP had got 97, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 50 and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) of Ajit Singh, which was then an ally of the BJP, 10. Independents and others accounted for 17 seats. RLD is an ally of the Congress in these elections.
 
In the last elections, the SAD had won 50 seats, the Congress 42, the BJP 19 and independents 6 in Punjab.
 
In Uttarakhand, the BJP had won 36 of the 70 seats to gain a wafer-thin majority in the last elections. The party has not been on a strong wicket for some time in the state and had to, in fact, replace its Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal before the polls with B C Khanduri.
 
In Manipur, the Congress managed a simple majority in the last elections by winning 31 of the 60 seats. The Manipur People's Party won five, NCP and CPI four each, the National People's Party and RJD three each, while as many as 10 seats had gone to independents. The Congress' hopes of another term in office is based, in part, on the absence of a unified opposition.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
In Goa, the Congress had won 16 seats in the 40-member house in the last elections, the BJP 14 and the NCP 3, while the MGP, SGF, UGDP and independents got two seats each.
 
The elections in the five states covered 122 districts and a total electorate of 15.42 crore, about 20 per cent of the total electorate in the country.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful, with no untoward incidents reported from anywhere except for one incident in Manipur.
 
The elections also witnessed the highest voter turnouts ever in UP (60%), Uttarakhand (67.22%), Goa (81%) and Punjab (78.57%). In Manipur (79.35%), the percentage of voting was higher than the figures for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

PM congratulates Badal, Parrikar and Yadavs on election victories

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called up Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Goa BJP leader Manohar Parrikar and Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav and congratulated them on the victories in the legislative assembly elections in their states.
 
An official press release from the Prime Minister's Office said Singh congratulated the leaders after the results of the Assembly elections were announced.
 
While Badal led the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party combine to a second consecutive term in office in Punjab, Parrikar led his party to an emphatic win in Goa. The Yadavs scored a spectacular victory as the Samajwadi Party regained power in Lucknow.
 
NNN
 
Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.