1. Alpesh, Dhavalsinh to Join BJP: Thakor Sena
Putting an end to the past six months’ speculation, the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena announced on Monday, 15 July, that former Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala will soon join the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Not disclosing when they would join, Dhavalsinh Zala, addressing a press conference after the core committee meeting, said, “We will very soon declare our decision on when we are joining the party.” The date will be decided after a meeting with BJP leaders and a discussion with Alpesh Thakor, he added.
Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena leader Amit Thakor said they had placed no conditions on the BJP. “We have faith in the centre’s and state’s leadership of BJP and that is the reason we have taken this decision without any conditions attached to it,” he said. (Source: The Indian Express)
2. Locust: Gujarat Govt Asks Border Security Force to Keep an Eye on Intruders
The state government had asked the Border Security Force (BSF) to keep an eye on locust invaders and issue a warning if potential locust swarm is heading for the state.
The state revealed this following a special discussion on the locust attack on farms in North Gujarat, particularly in Banaskantha. MLAs Punja Vansh and Geniben Thakore, among others, had sought to know from the government why had the menace spread despite the state being warned about it beforehand.
Thakore said that the attack was first reported in Godhra; 18 days later it had spread to other villages. "We would like to know if the government plans to compensate farmers for their loss due to the locust attack," said Thakore.
3. Budget Allocation Percentage for Women, Kids Drops
The percentage of the state's budget allocated towards women and child development in Gujarat has seen a decline over the years. The department was allocated just 1.15% of the total budget this year against 1.64% in 2013-14, although the amount allocated has risen. It rose from Rs 1,865 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 2,354 crore from this year's state budget.
An analysis by Pathey, an organisation that analyses the Budget, found that while the overall budget devoted to women and child development saw a 26.17% increase over the last six years, the overall budget itself saw a hike of 80.48%. "Given that the department focuses on health and nutrition of women and children and their safety, there is a need for better allocation. Whatever allocation is made is not completely utilized either," the organisation said.
Congress Trying to Malign Image of Hindu Saints: BJP
The mention of the name of a popular kathakar (storyteller) in connection with the issue of fake BPL cards led to a war of words between the BJP and the Congress, with the former accusing the latter of trying to defame Hindu saints.
During question hour Anand Chaudhary, Congress MLA from Mandvi informed the house that ration meant for the poor was being lifted through fake BPL cards including those in the name of Kathakar Morari Bapu.
Both Deputy Chief minister Nitin Patel and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani objected to the statement.
An infuriated Patel said that the Congress should give proof of the same or withdraw its statement since such statements hurt Hindu sentiments. He said that Morari Bapu was a renowned 'saint' and stating that fake BPL cards were being issued in his name amounted to his insult.
5. Last Few Days of Bimal Patel’s Term as Director of GNLU Mired in Controversy
Two days before his term ends, director of Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) Bimal Patel got into a controversy over the resignations of three members of the Gujarat Maritime University that he appointed. Patel was also in-charge director of GMU.
Registrar of GMU Sharad Daran on July 14 issued a strongly-worded “unusual advisory” to Patel. It states that Patel as outgoing director of GNLU must “refrain from taking any decision pertaining to Gujarat Maritime University” without consulting its President/Provost.
The directive starts with, “The emails dated 13th July, 2019 sent by you has been brought to the notice of Shri Mukesh Kumar, IAS, Provost, Gujarat Maritime University.”
The directive pertains to the resignation on July 13 of three faculty and administrative employees of GNLU, appointed on deputation to GMU by Bimal Patel himself, three months ago.
(Source: The Indian Express)
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