QKolkata: BJP Chief Heckled in Hills; City Braces for Weekend Rain
Read The Quint’s compilation of top stories from Kolkata.
1. Dilip Ghosh Heckled, Cancels Meeting of BJP Workers
BJP's West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh was allegedly heckled on Thursday by the supporters of expelled Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Binay Tamang, who had warned the leaders of the saffron party to leave Darjeeling without disturbing peace and stability.
The incident took place during Ghosh's three-day visit to the hills following unrest over the demand of a separate state.
2. Prod for GTA Audit
The Bengal government has decided to expedite the special audit ordered into the financial activities of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration between 2014-15 and 2016-17, when the hill body was managed by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung.
Sources said the government's move – days after forming a board of administrators to run the GTA – could be attributed to two reasons.
First, if the audit team can prove the allegations of irregularities against Gurung and his associates, it will prevent them from attending the tripartite talks proposed by Union home minister Rajnath Singh. Second, a charge of corruption will wane the influence of Gurung on the hill people and alienate him further.
3. Weekend Rain on Radar
The city leg of the U-17 Fifa World Cup may begin amidst rain. A cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal near the Myanmar coast is set to move west and intensify into a low-pressure area by Saturday, the Met department said.
If that happens, the city is likely to get moderate rainfall on Saturday and Sunday. The Salt Lake stadium will host its first match of the tournament on Sunday.
4. Partha Challenge for 'Boy' Mukul
Trinamul secretary-general Partha Chatterjee on Thursday challenged suspended MP Mukul Roy to win any Assembly seat in Bengal without the party's backing, calling him a "boy" of his native place, Kanchrapara.
"He is no more than a Kanchrapara (in North 24-Parganas) boy for the party and the party will treat him in that manner. I should actually say that not many in even Kanchrapara know him. I challenge him to choose any Assembly seat from Bengal and win," Chatterjee said today
5. Teachers Cold to Mamata's Health Insurance Offer
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee's announcement about bringing teachers of state-aided schools within the ambit of the group health insurance scheme, Swasthya Sathi, has few takers among the intended beneficiaries.
Less than 20 percent of the teachers of state-aided primary and secondary schools have applied to get covered under the scheme, a school education department official said.
Teachers said they were reluctant to apply because they preferred a scheme which would be on a par with the West Bengal Health for All Employees and Pensioners Cashless Medical Treatment Scheme, 2014 (popularly known as the West Bengal Health Scheme), which covers state government employees.
Teachers of government schools such as Hindu School and Hare School are covered by the West Bengal Health Scheme.
6. College Square Swimming Pool to Start Draining out Water in Kolkata
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation parks and square department will start draining out water from College Square swimming pool next week. Though the civic administration had initiated the task of draining out pool water a month ago as part of a probe after death of an ace swimmer and trainer, the civic body was compelled to put a brake when the task was nearing completion.
A formal request from the College Square Puja committee and Kolkata police top brass had made the civic fathers change their mind and release more water into the pool for illumination around it during the festive days.
7. Lakshmi Puja Celebrated Across West Bengal
Lakshmi Puja was celebrated in households across West Bengal on Thursday with usual fervour.
Idols of goddess Lakshmi and her 'vahana' owl were put up in houses and beautiful 'alpana' (rangoli) resembling the footsteps of the deity, drawn on floor.
Sounds of conch shells were heard from houses in the evening hours of the full moon night as families offered grain, flattened rice, fruits and sweets to pay obeisance to the goddess.
Lakshmi puja was also held in many community puja pandals but in a more solemn, low key manner unlike the grand Durga Puja celebrations some days back
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