Your updated source of information about Dehradun & Uttarakhand.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Voters missed third front in Kumaon region

Nainital, March 7
The results that have emerged from Kumaon region after the counting of votes point to the disillusionment of voters in the face of absence of a powerful third alternative available to them.
This time around it has been the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress candidates that have won on the 28 seats in the region. While the former has bagged 15 seats, the latter has followed closely with 13 seats. The remaining one seat of Lal Kuan in the region has been won by the rebel Congress candidate.
But the most interesting aspect has been the number of sitting legislators that have been voted out. Only seven sitting legislators have managed to retain their seats while in 17 cases, the electorate changed the party whose legislator had been representing them.
Observers say that this goes on to show that the people are looking for an alternative which is not available to them. They are just trying to show their resentment by voting a candidate of a party other than the one that had been representing their constituency. Had this not been the case, there would have been a clear-cut mandate in favour of one of the two parties.
The legislators who have managed to save their seats and get re-elected include Ajay Tamta from Someshwar, Bishan Singh Chufal from Didihat, Harbhajan Singh Cheema from Kashipur, Chandan Ram Dass from Bageshwar, Dr Shailendra Mohan Singhal from Jaspur, Manoj Tewari from Almora and Govind Singh Kunjwal from Jageshwar. While the first four are from the BJP, the remaining are from the Congress.
The seats or areas where the BJP had won the last time saw the Congress doing well there. For example, the BJP’s performance has been very good in the Terai areas of Udham Singh Nagar district, where it’s candidates won from Rudrapur, Kashipur, Gadarpur, Khatima, Nanakmatta, Sitarganj and Kitcha.
Although the Congress has managed to increase it’s tally to 13 from 10, the last time it, too, has failed to win on the five seats that had been won by it in the previous polls.
On some seats the electorate chose to poll in favour of new faces that were contesting. In some seats like Dwarahat, Kapkot, Nainital, Bhimtal and Nanakmatta, the newcomers managed to win while in some others like Kaladhungi they lost by a narrow margin. This also goes on to show that the people were looking for alternatives within the two main parties also.

SP, BSP failed to come up with satisfactory performance in the state

Nainital, March 9
Despite having made an early start to the poll preparations in the state, the two arch rivals, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), have failed to come up with a satisfactory performance in the state.
While the SP has once again failed to open its account in the state Assembly second time in a row, the seats of the BSP have come down to a poor three from eight in the outgoing Assembly.
The SP’s best bet was on the Haldwani seat where it had fielded senior leader Abdul Mateen Siddiqui, who had come up with a good performance in the 2007 elections. However, he failed miserably this time and came in a poor third on the seat.
In case of the BSP, the party has been wiped out from its stronghold in Udham Singh Nagar and all three seats that its candidates have won are in the Haridwar parliamentary constituency.
A senior leader of the party said: “Developments in the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh have always had a bearing on Uttarakhand politics, particularly in the bordering districts. The BSP was routed there. We never had a chance of doing well here too.”
Ironically, while the Congress and the BJP were still witnessing a turmoil with regard to the allocation of party ticket to potential contestants for the poll, the BSP and the SP had taken a lead of sorts by having already announced candidates for several seats and proceeding ahead with their campaign.
Showing better organisational skills as compared to their political counterparts, the BSP and the SP had devised a strategy for contesting the poll. While the SP was aiming to get a firm foothold in the state by changing the mindset of the voters, particularly those residing in the hill areas who view the party as a force opposed to the very creation of Uttarakhand, the BSP after having done considerably well in the previous two elections in the plain areas of the state was aiming to climb up the hills.
In fact, the BSP had demonstrated the best political foresight. It had been the first party to have started announcing candidates for the elections. These announcements had come almost a year ago, thus giving the maximum time to the ticket holders to devise their campaign strategies and start executing it.
It was way back in August 2010 that the party took serious note of the fact that although its rallies and public functions were very well attended, the number did not convert into votes.
Senior party leaders and Ram Achal Rajbhar, a member of the Mayawati Cabinet in the UP, had sat down together to come over this hurdle.
Interestingly, the BSP leadership had shown inclination to have a centralised structure in place in the party. Its leaders were of the opinion that greater the number of wings of a political party, greater are the chances of infighting.
Upbeat over the party’s performance in the political arena over the past 25 years since its inception, the leaders were using this as an instrument to boost the morale of its workers.
The party leadership had already started analysing the demographic profile of various Assembly segments several months ago in view of the scenario emerging after delimitation. In the outgoing Assembly, the BSP had eight legislators from Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar districts.
The SP, too, had been quick to decide upon its candidates for the poll. A senior party leader had told The Tribune on the eve of the poll announcement that, “Instead of focusing on contesting more seats, we want to concentrate on seats where we have a strong winning chance.” Party leaders had claimed that the new delimitation had provided the party with a chance to make its presence felt in the next Assembly.

Dhami offers seat to Harish Rawat

Pithoragarh, March 9
With uncertainty on the new Congress Chief Minister, party legislators have started showing their loyalty towards their godfathers in state politics. Recently elected Congress legislator from the Dharchula Assembly segment Harish Dhami has offered his seat to Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Food Processing and Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat if he is nominated as Chief Minister of the state.
“Harish is my ideal in politics and I have been able to become a Congress legislator from Dharchula with his blessings. If he would be nominated as the next Chief Minister of the state by the party high command, I will offer my seat to him to become an MLA the in state assembly,” said Harish Dhami.
According to the newly elected Congress legislator from Dharchula, he has contested the election only to come forward for the development of the Dharchula area, which has been hit due to the Askot wildlife sanctuary.
“My only concern is development of Dharchula for which Rawatji is fully committed,” said Dhami.
The Congress legislator said he had been given ticket under the youth quota of Rahul Gandhi for which he had been named by Harish Rawat. “It would be fortunate for the people of Dharchula if the leader of the stature of Harish Rawat accepts contesting from the Dharchula Assembly seat,” said Dhami.

Sethi blames internal sabotage to his defeat

Dehradun, March 10
State Congress candidate Devendra Sethi, who lost from Dehradun Cantt Assembly seat, has stated that he lost the Assembly elections due to internal sabotage.
In a statement issued here today, Devendra Sethi said some party office-bearers worked against him in the Assembly elections. This fact was also in the knowledge of the party high command, he added.
Sethi, however, expressed gratitude towards those who voted for him. “Despite losing the Assembly elections, I secured 27,000 votes, which showed that a large number of people voted for me,” Sethi said.
Sethi also appealed to the party workers to be ready for the upcoming Dehradun Municipal Corporation elections.

Rebel Bisht cost Cong Dhanaulti seat

Mussoorie, March 10
The inability of senior Congress leaders to find a solution to the problem of the rebel candidate contesting the Assembly elections from Dhanaulti in Tehri Garhwal district has cost the party dearly.
The Dhanaulti seat, considered a stronghold of the BJP, which the party won even in the last elections, was de-reserved in the delimitation exercise and the Congress had pinned its hope on wresting the seat from the BJP this time.
However, with rebel Congress candidate Jot Singh Bisht fighting the elections from this seat made the chances of win of the Congress candidate bleak. BJP candidate Mahavir Singh Rangad, who contested the Assembly elections from Dhanaulti for the first time, the going much to his liking despite resentment against former BJP MLA Khajan Das.
Rangad won the elections garnering 12,081 votes, while Congress candidate Manmohan Singh Mall secured 10,933 votes and rebel Congress candidate Jot Singh Bisht finished third with 10,261 votes.
Political observers believe that the shifting of Congress workers’ votes in the Thauldhar region of the Dhanaulti constituency in favour of Jot Singh Bisht in a such large number was the major reason for Mall’s defeat.
The Congress supporters also believe that if the the poll managers in the party had tried seriously to salvage the situation and won over Bisht, the division of votes could have been avoided easily. They also believe that if either Mall or Bisht had contested the elections on Congress ticket, he would have polled more than 20,000 votes and won.
On the other hand, Bisht, who garnered around 6,000 votes, made a dent in the vote share of both Congress and BJP.

Rajbar’s defeat from Dharchula a blow to Ban Rawat community

Pithoragarh, March 10
The Ban Rawat community that lives in the forests of Askot and Didihat has ended its 10-year tryst with power as Gagan Singh Rajbar, the lone MLA from the community, has failed to win from the Dharchula seat in this Assembly elections.
Two-time MLA Rajbar’s political fate changed after delimitation when Dharchula was declared a general seat.
The members of the Ban Rawat community numbering around 560 are considered to be descendants of the Kirats, who ruled the Himalayan region 2,500 years ago and went to live in forests after the Khasas arrived there. Rajbar was being sort after by people of the upper castes after the Dharchula seat was reserved for the tribal community as the latter wanted to block the entry of a Bhotia tribal into the Assembly. “When we were looking for a tribal youth other than from the Bhotia community, we had the lone option of a candidate belonging to the Ban Rawat community that lived in forests of the subdivision,” said BD Joshi, former block pramukh of Dharchula, who brought Rajbar to the political mainstream.
“When we brought Rajbar to the political mainstream, he was a daily wage labourer. He was just Class VIII pass but still was the most qualified among the Ban Rawat youth,” said Joshi.
Rajbar, who won the Assembly elections for the first time in 2002 and then in 2007, polled only 2,990 votes in this elections. He had polled 46 per cent votes in 2002 and 38 per cent in 2007, but this time he got only 6.3 per cent votes. “He finished fifth from the Dharchula seat this time as the candidates belonging to the general category stole the show. The population of voters belonging to the general category is nearly five times more than the tribals,” said Joshi. Though Rajbar had been an MLA from Dharchula having a population of 1.5 lakh for two terms, his elevation to the Legislative Assembly had failed to get rid the Ban Rawat community of perennial deprivation, as its members still lived in forests without farming. “The community members still work as agricultural labourers in neighbouring villages, sell fodder, firewood or make agricultural equipment to earn their livelihood,” said Hira Singh Bora, a former MLA who has been working for the tribals for the last 30 years.
Asked what he did for his community which was still living a life of deprivation, Rajbar cited his achievements claiming that he got BPL cards made for the members of the community to enable them to get cheap ration from the fair price shop. “As I was surrounded by non-tribal MLAs and there was no other MLA from the community in the Assembly, I could not get any special scheme approved for the uplift of my own people. I regret my failure in this regard,” said Rajbar.
The Ban Rawats are still to get dwelling rights under the Forest Rights Act passed by the Union government in 2006. They also have no fertile land for cultivation and their traditional occupation of wood crafts is facing a tough time due to the shortage of raw material. “The community had the opportunity of seeing development as one of its members was elected to the state Assembly for two terms. It could have been saved from perennial deprivation and lack of education. Rajbar could have secured jobs for the Ban Rawat youth, provided health facilities in forests where they lived and generated better living conditions for their children as the death rate among them was the highest in the district,” said Joshi.

Rebels proved party-pooper for Cong, BJP in Kumaon

Almora, March 10
Rebel candidates of both Congress and BJP have proved to be spoilsport for the candidates of the two parties in the Assembly elections in the Kumaon region.
Though in several constituencies the rebels did not win the elections, they ensured the defeat of the candidates of the Congress and the BJP.
Kaladhungi is one such seat where Congress rebel Mahesh Sharma proved to be party-pooper. Sharma garnered more than 10,000 votes as an Independent candidate and made a major dent in the vote bank of Congress candidate Prakash Joshi.
The party leadership had worked hard for Joshi as he was a protégé of national general secretary of the party Rahul Gandhi. However, Sharma lost to BJP candidate Bansidhar Bhagat mainly due to his past performance.
Manish Tiwari, nephew of former Chief Minister Narayan Dutt Tewari, was also defeated from the Gadarpur seat as Congress rebel Jarnail Singh Kalib managed to garner a majority of the Congress votes. While Kalib finished a close second, Tiwari was pushed to the fourth position.
The same story was repeated in the Almora constituency where BJP candidate Raghunath Singh Chauhan failed to win despite an aggressive campaign against Congress candidate Manoj Tiwari. BJP rebel Kailash Sharma spoilt his chances of victory.
Though Kailash Sharma himself fared poorly, he ensured that Chauhan lost the elections where caste played a major role.
In Someshwar also, Congress rebel Rekha Arya’s performance helped former minister and BJP candidate Ajay Tamta to emerge victorious.
Arya lost the elections to Tamta by more than 2,000 votes while Congress candidate RS Barakoti finished third polling a little more than 6,000 votes.
Even in the Ramnagar seat, more than 4,000 votes polled by the BJP rebel proved expensive for the party and helped Congress candidate Amrita Rawat to win the elections.

UP set to get youngest CM

Mulayam heir Akhilesh Yadav, 38, to take over reins on March 15
Lucknow, March 10
Decks were cleared today for the youngest Chief Minister of the most populous state to take oath of office on Thursday (March 15). Akhilesh Yadav (38), who scripted Samajwadi party’s spectacular electoral victory in Uttar Pradesh, was today unanimously elected the leader of the SP Legislature Party.
There were two explanations offered for fixing March 15 as the day for the swearing-in ceremony. While one was that it was an auspicious day according to the Hindu calendar, the other explanation was that the date was fixed to get saturation media coverage by positioning the event between the rail budget on March 14 and general budget on March 15.
A large and unruly crowd outside the venue of the meeting this morning, underscored the challenges facing the young leader. Although the CM designate vowed to crack down on unruly elements within the party, the large posse of policemen were passive onlookers even when indiscriminate use of celebratory crackers caused a stampede.
While the official stamp was a mere formality, Samajwadi party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav was keen to make it appear like the collective decision of the newly elected SP’s legislative party.
According to sources the senior Yadav used the two intervening days to settle misgivings in a section of the party, which was somewhat reluctant to work under a leader so young.
Mulayum Singh Yadav?s brother and Leader of the Opposition Shivpal Yadav and the so-called Muslim face of the Samajwadi party Mohammad Azam Khan were persuaded to accept Akhilesh?s leadership. In separate meetings with them late last night ‘Netaji’ reportedly convinced one to propose Akhilesh’s name and the other to second it.
Later, the two ‘senior’ leaders also accompanied Akhilesh Yadav to the Raj Bhawan, where Akhilesh as leader of the largest party in the 16th Vidhan Sabha, formally staked his claim to form the next government.
Addressing a crowded press conference minutes after being elected, a beaming Akhilesh said his top priority after assuming office would be maintenance of law and order in the state.
He reiterated his party’s commitment to fulfil each and every point of the party manifesto.
He also underlined that his government would not indulge in any politics of vengeance.” I want to repeat that nothing would happen to the statues.,” he said.

Cong's new CM in Uttarakhand in a day or two: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Mar 10, 2012, 18:43 IST
Dehradun - With many claimants stalling the choice of chief ministership in Uttarakhand, the ball was today back in the court of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to take a call as the party observers wrapped up their consultations with Congress and independent MLAs on the leadership issue.
Deputed by the party high command, Congress General Secretaries Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chaudhary Birendra Singh, incharge of Congress affairs in the state, held separate talks with each of the party's 32 newly-elected MLAs here.
The two leaders also met two of the three independent MLAs Mantri Prasad Naithani and Dinesh Dhanai--both Congress rebels--as well as the lone Uttarakhand Kranti Dal legislator Pritam Singh Panwar.

Harish Durgapal, an independent and another Congress rebel from Lal Kuan, was not present due to marriage of his son in Kumaon region.

"We held discussions with the newly-elected MLAs. Now, we will brief party President Sonia Gandhi on the views of these MLAs", said Azad adding the new leader would be choosen in a day or two.

Later, Azad and Chaudhary returned to New Delhi.

Leader of the opposition Harak Singh Rawat, Union Minister Harish Rawat, PCC chief Yashpal Arya and senior party leaders Vijaya Bahuguna and Indira Hirdesh are among the contenders for the CM's post.

What has complicated the Congress' task of choosing the CLP leader is the conflicting choices of the three independents whose support is crucial for the party's formation of the government.

While Dhanai has openly rooted for Bahuguna as CM, Naithani is on record as backing Satpal Maharaj while Durgapal is backing Hirdesh.

In the 70-member House, Congress has 32 MLAs - four short of majority--and the party needs the support of three Independents and one MLA from UKD(P) to reach the magic figure of 36.

Birendra Singh said "we will take the views of all the MLAs and elect new CLP leader very soon."

Congress stakes claim to form government in Uttarakhand

DEHRADUN: Governor Margaret Alva says Congress has the required number and she will invite it for government formation when it elects its leader.
The Congress on Friday said it would form the government in Uttarakhand with the support of three independents and a regional party member, ending days of uncertainty after a hung verdict in the hill state.
Congress chief Yashpal Arya told reporters that he has letters of support from all the three independent members and the lone lawmaker from the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal-Panwar (UKD-P), Pritam Singh Panwar.
Dinesh Dhanai, one of the independents, confirmed his support to the Congress.
Uncertainty had engulfed government formation in the state following the election results Tuesday, with no party crossing the halfway mark of 35 members in the state assembly.
The Congress emerged as the single largest party with 32 members followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 31. The BJP, which ruled the state in the last five years, had also maintained that it would try to retain power.
But with four more legislators backing it, the Congress has 36 members supporting it in the 70-member assembly.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) got three seats but has so far kept its cards close to its chest on whether or not to support the Congress.
However, the BSP said it was in talks with both the Congress and the BJP before taking a final decision on extending support to either of the two.
"We are in contact with both BJP as well as Congress," said BSP leader Surajmal, known only by his first name.
Surajmal said party chief Mayawati would decide the issue of being part of the new government or remaining in the opposition. "Whatever direction comes from Mayawatiji, we will follow."
Congress leader Arya said the decision regarding leader of the Congress Legislative Party would be taken by the party national leadership in New Delhi.
Suspense over the Chief Minister candidate continues in Uttarakhand. After a day-long deliberation, the BJP legislature party in Uttarakhand authorised the party high command to take final call on CM candidate, party leader Rajnath Singh told the media.
But he refused to disclose how the party plans to prove majority on the floor of the House in case they got an invitation to form the Government.
Similarly, the Congress too kept people on the tenterhooks before starting the legislature party meeting on Wednesday evening at the residence of State Congress president Yashpal Arya. The party authorised its high command Sonia Gandhi to take the final call on who should lead the party in the State.
However, with Congress having more MLAs in its kitty than the BJP, the Congress expected an invitation to form the Government. Sonia' statement came after AICC general secretary incharge for the State Chowdhary Birender Singh reportedly presented two independent MLAs — Dinesh Dhanai and Harish Kumar Durgapal before her. The third independent MLA Mantri Prasad Naithani was a Minister in the Narayan Dutt Tewari-led Congress Government and he is expected to support the party.
On the other hand, the BJP high command on Wednesday sent a four-member team of observers, comprising Uttarakhand BJP Assembly election incharge Rajnath Singh, party general
secretary Ananth Kumar, election assistant incharge Dharmendra Pradhan and Uttarakhand BJP incharge Thawar Chand Gehlot, to Dehradun for introspection over the poor show.
During the meeting, party observers discussed the name of former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Speaker Harbans Kapur.
However, majority of party legislatures expressed lack of confidence in both two leaders.
Later they convened a meeting of BJP MLAs at party State head office. Outgoing Chief Minister Maj Gen Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri also attended the meet. Later Gen Khanduri submitted his resignation to Governor Margaret Alva.
Sources further said BJP had made two Chief Ministers from Garhwal division in between 2007-12 so party may appoint leader of legislature party this time from Kumaon division. In this process Almora MLA Ajay Bhatt, who was Health Minister between 2000 and 2002, may be appointed as Leader of Opposition if party fails to get invitation from the Governor to form the Government.
Source said that another prominent leader from Kumaon was impressing upon party legislatures to raise his name in front of party observers. He even claimed proximity to Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (Progressive) MLA Preetam Singh Panwar and claimed that he would prove his majority on floor if the BJP gave him a chance. Party insiders also claimed that a senior leader even offered that if party would project him as Chief Minister candidate then he may procure support of independent and BSP MLAs 'with his own efforts'. However, Central party leaders outrightly rejected his proposal.

‘Sangats’ begin arriving for Jhanda Mela in Dehradun

Dehradun, 8 Mar: The famous Jhanda Mela of Dehradun will commence from 9 March. On 12 March, the flag will be hoisted at the Darbar Sahab in the presence of Mahant Devendra Das and lakhs of devotees.
Already, there is a substantial influx of devotees from outside Dehradun and Uttarakhand to attend the Jhanda Mela and the flag-hoisting ceremony on 12 March. Organizers have pitched 250 tents in Matawala Bagh to accommodate the visitors.
It may be recalled that the Jhanda Mela is organised each year to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Ram Rai and this year, too, the Darbar Sahab will be decorated beautifully.
Each year, the Jhanda Mela is visited by people from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, besides Canada, USA, England, Dubai and other countries.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dehradun Travel

Luxury Dheradhun TravelDehradun is the capital of Uttaranchal and a wonderful tourist destination. Located in the Doon valley on the foothills of the Himalayas, Dehradun is spread over an area of 1880 square metres. Dehradun has several important institutions and is the headquarters of the Uttaranchal government.

During the British Raj, Dehradun was the summer retreat of many British officers particularly the Viceroy's bodyguard. Later, Dehradun became a cantonment and many defence offices and institutions are located here. Indian Military Academy is one of the most important institutions located in Dehradun. Dehradun is also famous as an important education centre. The town has many reputed schools.

For a tourist, Dehradun is an important place. It is on the way to Mussoorie, which is a popular hill station in Uttaranchal. There are a number of other tourist places in and around Dehradun that you can visit on your luxury Dehradun travel.

Some of the places that you can visit in Dehradun are Tapkeshwar Temple, Forest Research Institute, Survey of India, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Tapovan, Lakshman Siddh and Malsi Dear Park.

You can take short excursions to various nearby places from Dehradun. Some of the places that you can visit include Rishikesh, Haridwar, Rajaji National Park and Mussoorie.

Actor Joy Mukherjee dies at 73

Mumbai, Mar 9 (PTI) Veteran actor Joy Mukherjee, who starred in several Bollywood hits in the '60s, passed away this morning after prolonged illness at a hospital here. He was 73. "He passed away today morning at 9.30 am. He died due to prolonged illness and old age. His lungs were not functioning and he could not breathe, hence he was on ventilator. His condition was critical since last three days," Joy Mukherhee's spokesperson told PTI. The actor was admitted to the Leelavati hospital on Monday. "He was running with high fever and was unconscious and his overall condition was critical since three-four days," spokesperson said. Mukherjee comes from a film family. His father Sashadhar Mukherjee was married to legendary actor Ashok Kumar's sister Sati Devi and was the co-founder of Filmalaya Studios. His brothers are Deb Mukherjee and Shomu Mukherjee. Shomu is married to actress Tanuja & their daughters are actresses Kajol and Tanisha. Incidently, his father was skeptical about Mukherjee's movie career. He agreed only after Agha jani Kashmeri convinced him. Agha jani wrote the script of 1"Love in Simla", Mukherjee's debut film opposite Sadhana in 1960. He went on to delivered several hit films like hits like "Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon", "Love in Tokyo", "Ziddi", "Ek Musafir Ek Hasina" to name a few. After his career dried up with the emergence of stars like Dharmendra, Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna, Mukherjee ventured into direction with films like "Love in Bombay" (1974), "Chhaila Babu" (1977), "Saanjh Ki Bela" (1981) and "Umeed" (1989). The actor is survived by wife Neelam and they have three children - two sons and a daughter. Veteran actor Dilip Kumar with his wife Saira Banu and music composer-singer Bappi Lahiri had visited the ailing actor-filmmaker yesterday.

With love from Simla to Tokyo: Bollywood hero Joy Mukherjee left the mark

Joy Mukherjee
Joy Mukherjee
It is hard to define Joy Mukherjee. You could call him a chocolate-boy hero with an infectious smile. Or you could look at that strapping frame to realise why many in the sixties felt he was the closest Bollywood had to Rock Hudson machismo. 
Co-stars would define him as the ultimate prankster who never left space for a dull moment on the sets. 
Joy Mukherjee was an enigma in ways more than one. His meteoric rise thanks to sixties jubilee hits such as Love In Tokyo, Ziddi, Shagird and Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon was as abrupt as his bowing out of the limelight after around a decade of glory. 
For the record Joy breathed his last in Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on Friday after a prolonged illness at the age of 73. The man, who made broad-shouldered athleticism a fashionable image for the Bollywood hero long before the Khans and the Kumars discovered the gym, spent his last days on the ventilator. 
'His wife Neelam Mukherjee was by his side when he passed away at 9.30 am on Friday. We are yet to decide the time and venue of the cremation,' said the actor's spokesperson R.R. Pathak. 
Joy is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. 
Hailing from a film family, Joy made his debut at the age of 21 in the 1960 hit Love In Simla opposite Sadhana. His father Sashadhar Mukherjee, a noted filmmaker who co-founded Filmalaya Studios, produced the film. A series of hits followed. 

Joy Mukherjee was leading star of 60s: Amitabh Bachchan

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has paid homage to the veteran actor JoyMukherjee, saying he was a leading star of 1960s.
Bachchan tweeted his grief over the sudden demise of Mukherjee.
"Joy Mukherjee passes away. Leading man and a star during his time. Condolences to members of his family and prayers," he posted.
Mukherjee passed away this morning after prolonged illness atLilavati hospital. The 73-year-old actor was not keeping well for quite sometime.
Deb, younger brother of Joy, said his brother was a moral strength in his life.
"He was a great brother, a good friend and a brilliant actor. He has been my support system. He was my moral strength," said Deb.
Deb Mukherjee has acted in few films alongside his elder brother, Joy, including, Haiwan (1977), Ek Bar Mooskura Do (1972).
"We have grown up together there are lots of small moments and we are all going to definitely miss him a lot," he said.


Badal to be Chief Minister, swearing-in on March 14

Sukhbir hugs his father Parkash Singh Badal after the latter was elected leader of the SAD-BJP alliance.
Sukhbir hugs his father Parkash S.
 Badal after the latter was elected
leader of the SAD-BJP alliance.
This will be Badal Sr’s 5th term in office
Chandigarh, March 9
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) supremo Parkash Singh Badal is all set to be sworn in as Punjab CM for a historic fifth term on March 14 with the SAD-BJP alliance today unanimously electing him as its legislature party leader. The swearing-in would take place at the Banda Bahadur Memorial at Chhapar Chiri and several top BJP leaders are expected to attend.

After unanimously being elected leader of the SAD Legislature Party yesterday, Badal Senior was BJP-SAD legislators’ unanimous choice to be leader of the Vidhan Sabha today.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal told The Tribune, “Badal Sahib will remain Chief Minister for as long as he wishes. He is the party’s senior-most leader whose contribution to the state and the party is unparalleled.”
Badal’s name was suggested by BJP observer Shanta Kumar and proposed by party state chief Ashwani Sharma. After it was seconded by Sukhbir and endorsed by BJPLegislature Party leader Bhagat Chunni Lal, others like Jathedar Tota Singh and Madan Mohan Mittal welcomed the decision with thunderous claps.
The Akali stalwart is the alliance’s choice to head the government for several reasons. First, this was an electoral promise made by the SAD. Secondly, with the party securing 56 seats and the support of three Independents besides 12 members of the BJP, the government is firmly in place for the next five years. So, Sukhbir is in no hurry to receive the baton from his father.
After an emotional Sukhbir hugged his father, Badal Senior took a moment to respond as his thoughts went back to his wife Surinder Kaur, who passed away last year. Quick to return to the present, Badal said, “I have no words to express my gratitude to all the MLAs who have given me this enormous responsibility.” His characteristic smile also returned.
When PS Badal took over as Chief Minister for the first time in 1969, he was the country’s youngest CM. When he would be sworn-in for a record fifth time on March 14, he will be the country’s oldest CM.
Talking about the SAD-BJP alliance, Badal said the relationship was very close to his heart. Despite either party’s performance, we will stay together through thick and thin, he said. Coming from Badal, a seasoned politician, the words were perhaps meant to assure the BJP that it had nothing to fear, even though the SAD could form a government on its own.
After the meeting, the Badals, Bhagat Chuni Lal, Ashwani Sharma and Shanta Kumar drove to the Punjab Raj Bhawan and handed over a copy of resolution electing Parkash Singh Badal as leader of the SAD-BJP Legislature Party to Governor Shivraj V Patil. The Governor has invited Badal to form the government in Punjab.

Who will be the CM in Uttarakhand?

Birender Singh, Congress general secretary and in charge of state affairs, addresses a press conference in Dehradun on Friday.
Birender Singh, Congress general secretary and in charge of state affairs, addresses a press conference in Dehradun on Friday.

Dehradun, March 9
Birender Singh, Congress general secretary and in charge of the Uttarkhand party affairs, has said that any capable leader of the Congress whether a Member of Parliament or a legislator or from even outside could be chosen as the Chief Minister of the state.
Addressing mediapersons after parading party legislators before state Governor Margaret Alva, Birender Singh claimed that three Independents and the lone Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P) legislator had decided to support the Congress government without any pre-condition.
“All these legislators and the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (Panwar faction) have decided to join the Congress government to strengthen the secular forces in the state for the overall development of the state,” he said.
He further announced that Union Minister of Health and senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad would be coming to Dehradun on Saturday to ascertain the views of the party legislators on the issue of leadership of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).
“After ascertaining the views of the legislators, he will convey the same to the party president Sonia Gandhi so that a decision could be taken,” he said.
Birender Singh said the views of the Independent legislators and the UKD (P) would also be considered on the issue.

International Women's Day Special

S Satyavathi is first woman loco pilot of Andhra Pradesh
S Satyavathi
Making waves: S Satyavathi
Hyderabad, March 9
For S Satyavathi, Women’s Day turned out to be a truly special day in her career. She stormed yet a male bastion to become the first woman loco pilot in Andhra Pradesh.
Joining the Railways in 1999 as an assistant loco pilot, Satyavathi’s tryst with the destiny came, quite fittingly, on Women’s Day when she drove a suburban train in the city. Without any assistant pilot, she independently handled the Mathrubhoomi Ladies Special MMTS train from Falaknuma to Lingampally.
The feat has earned her the distinction of being the first independent woman loco pilot in the state. The Platform Number 7 at Secunderabad Railway Station, the headquarters of South Central Railway, wore a festive look as officials and members of the railway unions felicitated Satyavathi before she took control of the engine, thus breaking yet another traditional barrier.
Satyavathi, who has now earned a place in the hall of fame of woman Loco pilots in Indian Railways, joined the Railways as assistant loco pilot in 1999 at Bengaluru. She was later transferred to the Secunderabad division. She was promoted as loco pilot (goods) in September 2005 and had been shuttling goods trains in and around Hyderabad before her present promotion.
After successfully clearing her MMTS (Multi-Modal Transport Service) training in January this year, she was exposed to live handling and requisite track learning and was subsequently found fit to run MMTS trains in suburban sections of the twin cities. Her biggest achievement is that she will be single-handedly managing and working on MMTS trains, without the help of any assistant loco pilot.
“I am honoured as the MMTS has now become the life line of the poor and middle-class people living in the suburban areas of twin cities,” Satyavathi said.
Driving loco trains, especially the long-distance passenger trains, is a tough job. The work timings are not fixed and it involves continuous travel. The Railways has a meticulous system of training its loco pilots and only suitable candidates, after rigorous training, are inducted into the service.
The Secunderabad division of the SCR has four more women assistant loco pilots being groomed to be loco pilots in future. 

Congress set to form govt in Uttarakhand

Governor Margaret Alva speaks after Congress leaders along with four Independent MLAs met her.
Governor Margaret Alva speaks after Congress
 leaders along with four Independent MLAs met her.

Dehradun, March 9
The Congress today presented 36 newly elected legislators at the Raj Bhavan here in support of its claim that the party has majority support in the 70-member Assembly.

While 32 legislators produced before Governor Margaret Alva were Congress candidates, three Independent candidates and the solitary winner from the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P) also pledged their support to the Congress. Besides turning up physically at the Raj Bhavan, the four legislators also submitted letters in support of a Congress government. The Governor later told the media that she was convinced that Congress had the numbers to stake claim to form the government. She would formally invite the leader of the Congress Legislature Party to form the government once the new leader is elected.
Harish Chander Durgapal, elected from Lal Kuan, Dinesh Dhanai, elected from Tehri and Manrti Parsad Naithani, elected from Devprayag and Pritam Singh Panwar of UKD (P), elected from Yamunotri were presented before the Governor along with their formal letters of support.
Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is expected to visit Dehradun on Saturday to ascertain the views of the party legislators on the leadership issue. The final decision, however, will be taken by Party President Sonia Gandhi.
Three of the party MPs are in the race for the top post. Union Minister of state for Agriculture, Food Processing and Parliamentary Affairs, Harish Rawat, is said to be the front runner with Vijay Bahuguna, MP from Tehri Garhwal and Satpal Maharaj, MP from Pauri Garhwal also in the race.
The support
n 3 Independent candidates, UKD (P) pledge support to the Congress.
n The four non-Congress legislators submit letters of support.
n Alva says she is convinced that the Congress has the numbers to stake claim to form the government.
n She would formally invite the CLP leader to form the government once the new leader is elected.

Long periods of sitting is unhealthy

Taking a break to walk every 20 minutes instead of staying seated for hours helps reduce the body’s levels of glucose and insulin after eating, according to a study — the latest to highlight the hazards of long periods of inactivity.
Though the results, published in the journal Diabetes Care, don’t show whether these reductions have any lasting health benefits, experiencing large glucose and insulin spikes after a meal is tied to a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes.
“When we sit our muscles are in a state of disuse and they’re not contracting and helping our body to regulate many of the body’s metabolic processes,” said David Dunstan, a professor at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia.
Dunstan and his colleagues have reported previously that people who watch more than four hours of TV a day are likely to have an earlier death. With this study, they experimented with how prolonged sitting could affect responses to food.
After a meal, glucose levels in the blood go up, followed by a rise in insulin, which helps cells use blood sugar for energy or store it. Then, levels in the bloodstream start to go down. In people with type 2 diabetes, this process falls out of whack usually because the body no longer responds to insulin properly. After a meal, blood sugar and insulin levels spike and remain high.
Dunstan’s group looked at 19 overweight adults who didn’t exercise much, asking them to come into a laboratory and sit for seven hours while having their blood sugar and insulin levels sampled hourly.
After the first two hours, they drank a 763-calorie drink high in sugar and fat, then sat for another five hours.
Each person went through three days of experiments, with each day separated by a week or two.
On one day, they sat the entire time, only taking breaks to use the bathroom. On another, they broke up the sitting session and took a two-minute break to walk around every 20 minutes following the drink — and on another day, they took similar breaks, but with more vigorous activity.
The days when people sat without interruption resulted in a spike in blood sugar within an hour of the drink from about 90 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) to about 144 mg/dl.
On days when they got up every 20 minutes, blood sugar rose from 90 mg/dl to only about 125 mg/dl.
Overall, getting up and engaging in light activity reduced the total rise in glucose by an average of 24 per cent, compared to the group that kept sitting. That difference was almost 30 per cent with moderate-intensity activity.
The results were similar for insulin. Levels peaked about two hours after the drink, but they rose higher when the people continued sitting compared with moving about.
“What’s shocking to me in these studies is not how good breaks are but how bad sitting is,” said Barry Braun, a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, who was not involved in the study.
He said a good rule of thumb is to try and get up about every 15 minutes, even if it’s just to walk around the room.
What’s not clear is whether the 30 per cent reduction in glucose and insulin levels will translate into health benefits.
“This was only studied over one day. The next question is, can that reduction be (achieved regularly) and translate to reductions in atherosclerosis?” said Dunstan, whose group is now working on a longer experiment.

Survey ranks Google almost everyone’s favorite search engine

SAN FRANCISCO — Google is almost everyone’s favorite search engine, despite misgivings about data-collection and advertising practices that are widely seen as intrusive.
A survey of released Friday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found 83 percent of U.S. search engine users rated Google as their preferred search engine. That was up from 47 percent in 2004, the last time that Pew gauged people’s attitudes about Internet search engines.
Yahoo’s search engine ranked a distant second at 6 percent, according to the latest numbers, down from 26 percent in 2004.
Google Inc. has turned its dominant position in Internet search into a gold mine. The company’s Internet search engine is the hub of an advertising system that generated $36.5 billion in revenue last year — up from $3 billion in 2004.
But the Pew findings also indicate Google may be risking its popularity by trying to learn more about users in a quest to sell more advertising.
Nearly three-fourths of search engine users said they don’t want search engines to sift through their personal information to deliver results tailored to their individual interests. Google has been doing this more frequently since January when its search engine began to include personal information pulled from Google’s social networking service, Plus.
More than two-thirds said they don’t want to be targeted by customized ads because they don’t want their Web surfing activities to be tracked and analyzed.
Google might be vulnerable to a backlash if its major rivals, including Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc., didn’t also collect personal information to help them aim their ads at the right audiences.
Like its rivals, Google believes a well-placed ad is appreciated by most Web surfers. To gain a better grasp on people’s preferences, Google this month overhauled its privacy policy to enable the company to compile individual dossiers on its logged-in users’ activities on more than 60 different services, including Internet search.
Pew took its survey of 2,253 adults, including 1,729 Internet users, before the March 1 revision to Google’s privacy policy, but mostly after the company had announced its changes. The poll spanned Jan. 20 through Feb. 19. The changes were announced Jan. 24. The results based on Internet users have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points
Google and its rivals say they offer a variety of tools to protect their privacy, including ways to erase their search histories. But only 38 percent of Internet users are aware of these privacy-protection options, Pew found.
Whatever privacy fears might be nagging them, most people remain comfortable using search engines. Pew found 59 percent of online Americans use a search engine at least once day, up from 29 percent in 2004.

Want to save Gas……….Take Good Care of your Car

Fill up with a lower-octane gasoline. Buy the lowest grade or octane of gasoline that is appropriate for your car. Unless your car requires premium gasoline, filling up your car with high-octane fuel is a waste of money. That pricey premium fuel won’t boost your car’s fuel economy or performance in the least, so skip it.
Don’t top off. Don’t bother topping off when filling your car’s gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out. Why waste your money paying for gas your car won’t use? Stop pumping at the first indication that your tank is full when the automatic nozzle clicks off.
Tighten up that gas cap. Gas will evaporate from your car’s gas tank if it has an escape.  So be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time you fuel up your car.
Go for the shade. The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also zaps fuel from your gas tank.So park your car in the shade of a building or tree whenever possible. And buy a good windshield shade. A windshield shade blocks sunlight and helps to keep heat out of the inside of your car.
Use your garage for your car. Got a garage? Clear it out and make room for your car. Parking in your garage will help your car stay warm in winter and cool in summer, and you won’t have to depend as much on your gas-guzzling air-conditioning or defroster when you drive.
Pump up your tires. Don’t get caught driving on under inflated tires. Under inflated tires wear down more quickly and they also lower your car’s gas mileage.Your car’s gas mileage may plummet by as much as 15 percent. Driving on under inflated tires may also reduce the life of your tires by 15 percent or more.
Check your tire pressure once a month. Buy a digital gauge and keep it in your glove box. Compare the pressure in your tires with the recommended pressure listed in your owner’s manual and on the placard in your car door. Then inflate your tires as needed. Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car’s been idle overnight.
Keep your engine in tune. Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can boost gas mileage by about 4 percent. So be sure to give your car regular tune-ups. You’ll also want to watch out for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car’s fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
Replace air filters. Keep a close eye on your engine’s air filter. When the engine air filter clogs with dirt, dust and bugs, it causes your engine to work harder and your car becomes less fuel-efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter could improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent and save you 15 cents a gallon. It’s a good idea to have your engine air filter checked at each oil change.
Use the right oil. You can improve your car’s gas mileage by 1 percent to 2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. Opt for motor oil with the words “energy conserving” on the API performance label. This oil contains friction-reducing additives.
Don’t skimp on maintenance. Be serious about auto care. Your car’s performance depends on it.