NITI Aayog has a plan for Bastar
The NITI Aayog wants a separate plan for the development for Bastar, which has earned the epithet of a “rich land with poor people”. A NITI Aayog team led by Vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar was in Chhattisgarh recently to discuss development plans for the state with senior government authorities. During his review meeting in Raipur, Kumar suggested that the Bastar development plan sent by the state government a few years ago should be discussed afresh. After the government blamed Maoist violence for its inability to implement projects in remote areas, the Aayog said there was a need to carry out special initiatives in the strife-torn tribal region of Bastar.
CBI to take over sex CD probe
With the CBI set to take over in a day or two the investigation into the recent sex CD case purportedly featuring a minister, there is a conspicuous silence in the state political circles. A war of words had ensued in the state, with claims and counter-claims flying thick and fast, when senior journalist Vinod Verma had been arrested in October on charges of extortion.
He is currently in jail for allegedly trying to blackmail state public works department minister Rajesh Munat with a ‘sex CD. The CBI has now sought the case diary and relevant documents from the state police. Alleging a conspiracy by the Opposition to defame him, the Raman Singh government decided for CBI inquiry into the case. The Congress, on the other hand, claims that Verma has been framed.
Soman fitness tips to women
Model-turned-runner Milind Soman faced a volley of interesting queries from woman fitness enthusiasts at the recent Pinkathon, a women-only marathon, in Naya Raipur. They wanted to know whether they could run in saris or salwar kurtas. Soman, a veteran marathon runner and fitness promoter, did his bit to inspire them. He told them that running was a state of mind and that they must run for the cause of a healthy family and a healthy nation. “Run in a burqa (veil), if you must, but do run”, he advised them. Soman has been associated with the Pinkathon initiative that is aimed at urging women to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Craze for world records
In recent months, Chhattisgarh has been attempting to turn every mega event into a record-setter. On November 14, the state health department created a world record when it screened around 6.25 lakh people for diabetes and blood pressure on a single day. Earlier this month, 10,000 women had danced their way into record books when they had performed together folk dance ‘Sua Nacha’ in Durg.
On the International Yoga Day in June, over 5 million people had performed yogasanas at the same tim, scripting another world record. These events were recognised by authorities who record such achievements. One may dismiss such events as publicity gimmicks, but they do help in highlighting issues and spreading awareness.
Padyatra politics begins
Taking cue from AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who embarked on his Narmada Padyatra a few weeks ago, Chhattisgarh Congress leaders have followed suit. However, unlike Singh who announced that his yatra was a spiritual pursuit, Chhattisgarh PCC chief Bhupesh Baghel’s Indira Jan Adhikar Padyatra is professedly aimed against the ruling BJP.
Former Union minister Charandas Mahant is set to launch his own padyatra. With the state slated to go to polls in 2018, the leaders appear to have hit the ground running. And padyatras are in favour with the Congress this time to reconnect with the grassroots to regain its lost ground.
The author is the correspondent of The New Indian Express in Chhattisgarh.