Anna to leave Tihar jail today afternoon

Anna Hazare is likely to visit the Raj Ghat before starting his hunger strike for Jan Lokpal at the Ramlila Ground after 3pm. While the Delhi Police have given permission for a 14-day fast, Team Anna can get the fast extended, his aide Kiran Bedi said

New Delhi: Social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare will leave the Tihar jail Thursday afternoon and is likely to visit the Raj Ghat before starting his hunger strike for Jan Lokpal at the Ramlila Ground after 3pm, his aide Kiran Bedi said last night, reports PTI.

Ms Bedi said the government should get a fresh Lokpal Bill introduced in Parliament and have it passed ‘in accordance with aspirations of the people’.

Replying to a question, Ms Bedi said there was no pressure by the Delhi Police on Hazare to accept any condition.

“None of the conditions which we had earlier opposed relating to the number of people to be allowed at the protest venue and parking of vehicles were included in the Delhi Police’s permission for the 14-day fast by Hazare, which is a very good and sensible sign,” she said.

Ms Bedi said there is also no bar on extending the duration of Hazare’s protest from 14 days, she claimed.

“If necessity arises, Team Anna can get the fast extended,” Bedi added.

Ms Bedi said Neeraj Kumar, the director general of Tihar Jail, got the best medical attention for Mr Hazare during the latter’s stay in the jail.

Eminent cardiologist Naresh Trehan of Vedanta Medicity and government doctors would look after Mr Hazare during his protest, she said.

Bedi said Delhi police showed great ‘great understanding’ and she has always maintained that the city police was capable.

She said the Delhi Police, the Anna team and MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) would work together to prepare the Ramlila Ground for Hazare’s protest.

Lawyer Shanti Bhushan said he felt very happy that ‘ultimately good sense has prevailed on the government and it has agreed to permit Hazare to fast for 14 days”.

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Police relent; no restriction on crowd, offers 7 days protest

The fresh proposals came during the marathon discussions between Mr Hazare, his team and the Delhi Police. Initially, the police insisted only five days’ protest which was turned down by the activists who asked for permission for one month

New Delhi: Bowing before public pressure after Anna Hazare’s arrest, Delhi Police on Wednesday withdrew virtually all pre-conditions for the hunger strike by the Gandhian and his team in the Indian capital, reports PTI.

After the Hazare team indicated that it was ready to accept Ramlila Maidan as the venue for the protest, police reworked the conditions lifting restriction on the number of protesters and allowed them seven days agitation initially which could be extended later.

The fresh proposals came during the marathon discussions between Mr Hazare, his team and the police. Initially, the police were insisting that they could allow only five days’ protest which was turned down by the activists who asked for permission for one month.

Police had earlier denied permission to Mr Hazare to hold his indefinite fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park near Ferozeshah Kotla Ground after the 73-year-old social activist refused to give an undertaking that he would restrict his protest to three days and the number of protesters to 5,000.

Sources said the new proposals include lifting of restriction of the number of vehicles that can be parked at the protest venue and allowing a medical examination of protesters by a government doctor as well as a private doctor chosen by the Hazare team.

Earlier, the police had said a team of government doctors would examine Mr Hazare and others.

Sources said police can extend the number of days of protest beyond seven days. They said there was no restriction on the number of protesters and will allow protesters ‘to the capacity’ at Ramlila Maidan.

Asked whether the offer was acceptable, Mr Hazare’s associate Kiran Bedi said, “No, Anna is asking for 30 days’ permission for the protest which includes fast period.”

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CMIE scales down GDP growth projection to 8.1% for FY11-12

The forecasts for all major sectors have been scaled down as none of the major sectors have seen an upward revision in their forecasts, CMIE said in its monthly review

Mumbai: The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has revised its real GDP forecast for 2011-12 downwards from 8.6% to 8.1%, reports PTI.

The forecasts for all major sectors have been scaled down. The reasons for the scaling down the forecasts differ from sector to sector. None of the major sectors have seen an upward revision in their forecasts, CMIE said in its monthly review here.

The agricultural sector is expected to grow by 2.2% in FY11-12. This forecast is lower than our earlier forecast of a 3.2% growth, it said.

The downward revision reflects, largely, on expectations of a lower output of groundnut and cotton because of poor rains in Gujarat and also Andhra Pradesh.

One of the reasons why the agricultural growth rates of the current fiscal have been scaled down is that the fourth final estimates of major crops indicate some exceptional high growth rates in 2010-11.

The forecast for the industrial sector has been scaled down from 8.9% to 8.6%. The production forecast for power generation, steel, edible oils, and cars have been scaled down because of a variety of reasons.

A lower growth in production of agriculture and industry is expected to adversely impact the growth in the services sector, CMIE said.

Several senior government officials have admitted that the 9% growth assumed in the Union Budget is unlikely to be achieved. The finance minister also stated that the economy is likely to grow by around 8%.

This was the lowest forecast from the government. And, it came after the forecast of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory (PMEAC) that sounded a bit more negative than expected as it reduced its forecast from 9% to 8.2%.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had scaled down its forecast to 8% in May 2011. The central bank's current stance seems to be to bring down inflation even if it comes at the cost of some growth.

Several private agencies-mostly from the financial broking arms of multinational investment companies have scaled down their forecast to less than 8%. Morgan Stanley is at the lower end of the spectrum at 7.2%, CMIE said.

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