QKolkata: Mamata Softens on Arms Ban for Ram Navami & More

1. Mamata 'Disarms' BJP on Ram Navami

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said organisations with at least a decade's history of holding religious processions with traditional weapons would be allowed to hold such events on Ram Navami this Sunday, softening her earlier stand of a blanket ban.

"The plan is to deny the saffron camp an opportunity to turn it into a divisive issue," said a Trinamul insider, explaining Mamata's mellow approach.

Mamata made the announcement at a meeting in Bolpur on Wednesday when state police chief Surajit Kar Purkayastha started saying his force would not allow anyone to carry arms in Ram Navami processions.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: Working Towards a Federal Front: Says KCR After Meeting Mamata

2. Mamata Likely to Meet Shami's Wife

File photo of Hasin Jahan.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to meet Team India pacer Mohammed Shami's estranged wife Hasin Jahan in connection with her complaint of domestic violence and infidelity against the cricketer.

According to a senior official at the chief minister's office, Jahan has been asked in a telephonic communication to meet the chief minister at the state assembly on 23 March.

"She has been asked to meet the chief minister at the state assembly on Friday. She has been directed to come alone without her lawyer or anybody from her family," the officer said.

(Source: PTI)

Also Read: Mohammed Shami Should be Beaten Up on the Road: Hasin Jahan

3. Bengal Rural Poll Delay Hint

File image of polling in West Bengal. 

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday indicated that Bengal panchayat polls could be held "in June, July or August" this year, surprising many in the administration and the state election commission who had expected a May ballot.

"The polls are due in August. We will hold the election in June, July or August. Before that, all development projects have to be completed," Mamata said during an administrative review meeting in Birbhum's Bolpur.

Sources in the poll panel said they were preparing to hold the elections in May.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: West Bengal Priestess Does Away With ‘Patriarchal’ Kanyadaan

4. Gurung Video Quashes Arrest 'Rumour'

File photo of Bimal Gurung.

Fugitive GJM leader Bimal Gurung issued an audio-visual message on Wednesday to quash rumours about his arrest that have gone viral on various social media sites.

In his message from an undisclosed location, Gurung said he was safe. “Since Tuesday, a message that says I have been arrested has gone viral. But I want to tell my dear people that I am okay, safe and secure and within my area and territory,” the GJM leader said.

(Source: Times of India)

Also Read: SC rejects GJM leader Gurung's plea against arrest, Mamata welcomes verdict

5. Treated as Outsider in Trinamul: Bhaichung Bhutia

In a tweet, Bhaichung Bhutia said that he has resigned from all positions of the Trinamool Congress and is now not associated with any party.

Former Indian soccer star Bhaichung Bhutia has broken his silence on his resignation from Trinamul last month, accusing a section of party leaders of treating him like an "outsider" while signalling a political career in home-state Sikkim.

"Since I was an outsider (in Bengal), I was opposed not just by the public but even by people in my own party," Bhaichung told The Telegraph on Wednesday, weeks after he had announced his resignation through a tweet.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: Bhaichung Bhutia Quits TMC, Sets Sights on Sikkim Politics

6. Centre to Review Smart City Tag for New Town Kolkata

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. 

The housing and urban affairs ministry will review the smart city tag for New Town Kolkata, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said, amid reports that the city authorities have not implemented any project under the Centre's flagship programme yet.

New Town Kolkata was selected under the mission in May 2016. Nearly three months later, a senior state minister, however, had said that West Bengal would not be a part of the Centre's smart city project.

"The request for inclusion in the 100 smart cities came from the towns themselves... We will have to review if there has been no action for the last two years... Time has come for us to take stock of this formally and take a view," Puri told PTI, in an apparent indication that the city may be formally removed from the mission.

(Source: PTI)

Also Read: Why Is This Kolkata School Losing It Over ‘Lesbianism’?

7. Flipkart to Build 600cr Logistics Hub in Bengal

Flipkart Group raised $1.4 billion from Tencent Holdings, eBay Inc and Microsoft Corp. 

Bengaluru-based ecommerce giant Flipkart is planning to invest over Rs 600 crore for setting up an integrated mega logistics hub in West Bengal. This hub, only second of its kind announced by the etail major after the Bengaluru centre, will cater to the all eastern and northeastern states and provide employment to around 5,000 people here, a top company official said.

When contacted, Flipkart vice president Amitesh Jha confirmed that it is in an advance stage of setting up a 40-lakh-sq-ft high-tech logistics hub near Kolkata. However, he refused to disclose the exact amount of investment earmarked for this project.

(Source: Times of India)

Also Read: Flipkart’s Losses Wiped Out Half Of 6.1 Bn Injected by Investors

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