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SONIA BACK TO THE FOREFRONT

MP MEDICAL COLLEGES STILL DEN OF CON From L.S. Herdenia BHOPAL: Full facts about VYAPAM scam are still shrouded in mystery; fresh charges of irregularities in the process of giving admission in private medical and dental colleges have been made by parents of candidates who were seeking admission into these institutions. Tests for admission in private dental and medical colleges are held by the Association of Private Dental and Medical colleges of Madhya Pradesh. After the test successful candidates have to undergo the process of counseling. But large-scale complaints have been made about the manipulation during the counseling held last week. The nature of complaints is so serious that the affected candidates and their parents created ruckus and resorted to ‘chakka jam’ outside the People’s College of Medical Sciences and Research on the second day of counseling after they were told that 485 out of the total 491 MBBS seats have been allotted on the first day of the counseling. Angry students and their guardians tore banners at the counseling centre and raised slogans accusing the Association of Private Dental and Medical Colleges of Madhya Pradesh of resorting to irregularities in the allotment of MBBS seats in private medical colleges. They also stopped vehicular movement in the area for over 30 minutes before they were forcibly removed from road by the police. “The APDMCMP neither disclosed names of those candidates who got seats in the counseling nor did they make ranks and scores of top rank holders’ public. Suddenly on Monday (October 12) morning they declared that only six MBBS seats are left. There is no one to answer our queries at the counseling centre. This system is completely unfair,” said Subhash Mandwara, father of one of the candidates from Indore. Family members of a DMAT candidate alleged that his brother’s marks had increased after extra marks were given to him for the questions which were wrong in the question paper. “My brother got 130.65 marks earlier, but after extra marks were provided his score went up to 138.65, but still his rank is 1024. I raised an objection regarding it, but nobody at the counseling centre is ready to listen,” said Dr Alam of Patna. According to the APDMCMP, all the 491 MBBS seats were allotted on Monday. Allotment of seats for dental course, which began on Sunday, would conclude on Tuesday, they said. Meanwhile, whistle-blower and former MLA Paras Saklecha on Monday submitted an application to the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC) raising objections over the secrecy in the DMAT counselling. In his application, Saklecha has also asked why the cut off marks were not declared before the counselling. Saklecha will also submit an application in the high court on Tuesday against the APDMCMP for failing to meet the conditions laid by the court for conducting the DMAT exam. On the final day of the counselling candidates and their parents alleged a host of irregularities and demanded enquiry in the counselling procedure. After bidding their time for the waiting list for a batch of 600 students who took part in the second round of counselling candidates were informed on Tuesday that all MBBS seats have been allotted. Many applicants also lodged written complaints to Admission and Fees Regulatory Committee (AFRC). "I reached the counselling centre at 7 am and found a notice that all the MBBS seats have been allotted. But there was no information regarding the waiting list in case some candidates don’t complete the admission process,” said Rahul Pandey, father of a candidate Ashita Pandey from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. SK Chouhan, father of candidate Gaurav Pratap from Delhi said, “On Friday afternoon around 3.30 pm, the DMAT put on its website that candidates have to submit a demand draft or a cheque of Rs 3.75 lakh. But they had mentioned only Rs 2.75 lakh in the prospectus. The banks were closed at 4 pm on Friday and remain closed on Saturday and Sunday. Where could parents get demand drafts? When we told them, they agreed for cash. But managing cash or cheque was very difficult,” said Chouhan. Lakshaman Das Aswani, father of candidate Mayank Aswani from Bairagarh said his son ranked 339th and was allotted a MBBS seat in Chirayu Medical College. “When we reached Chirayu to complete the admission process, we were told that our file has been put on hold as we had not presented our original documents during the counselling. Though we have even deposited the fee. So I went to Lokayukta and submitted my written compliant there,” he said. “We don’t know who had been allotted MBBS seats. If there are vacancies, then who are the frontrunners in the waiting list?” said Dr SP Mehta, father of candidate Rohil Mehta, who had come from Delhi. Meanwhile Many Dental and Medical Test (DMAT-2015) candidates and their parents claimed they were contacted before and after the examination by “agents” on their mobile numbers through calls and SMSs, raising questions on security of information. SK Chouhan, father of a candidate from Delhi said that he received a call on October 6 from a lady in Delhi, who promised that they could help him in securing admission of my son in a medical college. Sakshi Kala from Rewa said that she received an SMS message which hinted that if her son fails to secure admission in a medical college through DMAT this time, they can help us in 2016. The SMS reads, “Admission 2015 date is over except MP DMAT, if u failed to secure seat dis year, MBBS-2016 mgmt quota in old and recognized booking started Prashant 902888…” Whistleblower Dr Anand Rai said agents get contact details of the candidates and their parents through the database of CBSE, which conducts the AIPMT. “This database is sold to the agents, who then contact the parents. These agents have offices in major cities and start calling the parents before and after the tests to lure them,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court will hear their plea on DMAT on Friday. Dr Rai said the government can always interfere with DMAT, especially when MBBS seats are being sold. “Besides, Admission and Fees Regulatory Committee (AFRC), which hears the complaints against DMAT, is a state government body, most of the toppers in the DMAT don’t feature in AIPMT selection list. Also, 150 seats of left out NRI quota  have been filled through donation of Rs 70 to 80 lakhs without including them in counselling,” he said. Whistleblower and former MLA Paras Saklecha told this correspondent that he had submitted an application before the high court demanding a thorough probe in the DMAT test and counselling. “Court will hear our application on October 15,” he said. (IPA Service)

Bu Nora Chopra

Taking a cue from her late mother-in-law Indira Gandhi and walking in her footsteps, the Congress president Sonia Gandhi is all set to convert the NDA’s anti-Congress campaign in her favour. After a gap year of demoralization in the wake of its worst ever defeat, the Congress is back in a fighting mode and leading from the front is Sonia Gandhi. Stung by the Modi government’s move to put the UPA prime minister Manmohan Singh in the dock along with other accused in the Coalgate, she has decided to take to the streets. She is said to have got the motivation from Indira Gandhi who was harassed and humiliated by Morarji Desai (also a Gujarati) led the then Janata Party government in the aftermath of the Emergency (just to bounce back in 1980). Sonia is said to have been initially nervous more by Rahul’s absence, who has been under attack both from within the Congress and from the NDA for leaving the party at a crucial time. However, she was then advised to turn the tables on the Modi government, whose ulterior motive is now believed to be implicating her and her two children. It was then that decided to hold a march to Manmohan Singh’ s house, the success of which had given her the courage to lead the joint opposition march on land bill to the president. This too was a bumper success. Now, Sonia will lead the party in all the anti government campaigns. Meanwhile, Rahul will have to wait for some more time to wear the crown as Sonia will continue as president at least till this year ends.       

 

JAGADAMBIKA PAL’S SYCOPHANCY OUTLASTS PARTY CHANGE

 

Old habits die hard. And this saying is most applicable to the former Congress MP Jagdambika Pal, who now represents the BP in Parliament. Pal is doing exactly what he used to do when he was in the Congress. He is an expert in the Congress tradition of sycophancy.  When he was in the Congress, his one-point programme was to see his name in print and face on TV channels praising the Congress president. He was always ready to give bytes either against any Gandhi family critics or praising Sonia’ji and Rahul’ii. Now in BJP, he is doing the same. He is forever obliging the byte hungry scribes. TV journalists have learnt, ‘koi mile na mile Pal to hain hi.’ Whenever the camera starts rolling, he starts praising the prime minister. But is Modi impressed?

 

GAME IS UP FOR SAJJAN, TYTLER

 

It is quits for both Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, the two reeling under the charges of 1984 riots. The Congress leadership is under tremendous pressure to close its doors on both these accused of 1984 riots. Till now, Sajjan Kumar had been the Jat face of the Congress in Delhi, but now it seems the game is over for him. This was evident at the Congress dharna, where Sajjan Kumar was not allowed even to come up to the podium. On Monday, when the entire star brass of the Congress was present on the dais, both Sajjan and Tytler tried to go up the dais, but were stopped by the Youth Congress president Amarinder Raja. He is supposed to have told Ahmad Patel that the presence of these two on the podium would affect the Congress prospects in Punjab. Besides Punjab, the Congress wants to project an alternative leadership that can be effective in the entire Jat belts of Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Delhi. The Congress leadership wants to encash on the growing disenchantment among the Jats against the BJP-led NDA, which the Jats had supported during the Lok Sabha elections and even during the Haryana assembly election, but voted against in the Delhi assembly election. However, their disenchantment began soon after the BJP placed a non-Jat as its CM in Haryana now after the Jat reservations have been struck down by the courts, their disenchantment is complete. With elections in Punjab fast approaching, the party cannot afford to have Tytler or Sajjan as the Congress faces. The party will not back the ex CM of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Instead, it is looking for a fresh Jat face either from Haryana or Rajasthan. Randeep Surejewala is one of the names making rounds. Though his appointment as the media chief is said to be temporary, but soon with the AICC reshuffle he may be adjusted well in the organization.  

 

IT’S SWAMY VS. MODI NOW

 

Prime Minister Modi, beware. The loose canon Subramanium Swamy, who usually takes his fight to its logical conclusion, has decided to take up the cudgels against Modi this time. The man who was responsible in bringing down the Vajpyee government in 1998, who ensured that Jayalalithaa wears handcuffs, and who dragged Sonia Gandhi to the courts, was heard attacking Modi in Parliament. Swamy is extremely miffed with the PM for not fulfilling his wish of becoming a Rajya Sabha MP. Swamy had been one of the main protagonists of Modi and had worked hard to see the Modi-led BJP come to power. But once in government, the BJP leadership has not paid him in cash or kind. He was recently lobbying hard for a Rajya Sabha seat from Maharashtra where the BJP has formed the government. But Modi knows how to deal with mavericks of the Swamy genre. He was denied the seat but since then Modi has come in his firing line. Modi, unless he patches up with Swamy, could be his next target.

 

AHMAD PATEL SPRINGS BACK IN ACTION

 

Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmad Patel is known for being a low profile leader but Congress members are amazed at his recent extrovert behaviour. Patel, who was alleged to be the most inaccessible of the Congress leaders after Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, has suddenly become very active scotching all rumours that he no more enjoys power and that Rahul does not want him, so he does not have any say in the appointments. Despite talk of Sonia taking a backseat, the Congress president has taken the lead and is even planning a padayatra on a larger scale, all on the advice of Patel. Journalists are surprised at the exuberance being shown by Patel. He is seems to be omnipresent. He was there at both the Congress dharnas: the first one being the kisaan rally organised by Jairam Ramesh; and then, also at the protest organised by the Youth Congress boys. He even courted arrest along with the Youth Congress boys.  Patel’s exuberance is being seen as a victory of the seniors who wanted Sonia Gandhi to not relinquish the post of the party president to Rahul as yet. That the coronation of the Gandhi scion and the AICC session have been deferred until September is supposed to be Patel’s idea.

 

ALL THE PAINS FOR HUMBLE PAAN

 

The former Pakistan foreign minister Shehryar Khan, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan cricket board, is a personal friend of the union minister of finance Arun Jaitley. Jaitley is one of the few people in India with whom he enjoys a personal rapport and he and his wife visit him whenever they are here.  And believe it or not, more than Jaitley, they are friends with his lackey Om Prakash, who was one of the three lucky BJP candidates who won in the Delhi assembly election where the saffron party was otherwise just wiped out.  The reason is he takes Khan’s wife to Old Delhi to buy masalas which she cannot get in Pakistan and more importantly, he gets her favourite paan. Mrs. Khan is a self-proclaimed paan addict, but it is not available in Pakistan. On Prakash even sends her paan to Pakistan.

 

CHACKO, AHMAD SWEAT IT OUT OVER DELHI

 

A battle of sorts is on between the two AICC general secretaries Shakeel Ahmad and PC Chacko over the charge of Delhi. While Ahmad had gone on leave to Canada at the time of Delhi elections, Chacko was made in-charge of Delhi in his absence. Now Ahmad, who is back from his family holiday, wants the charge returned. Ahmad is said to have even met Sonia Gandhi to put forward his case. He has been heard telling people around him that he had gone on leave and Chacko had been handed over the Delhi charge for the interim period.  Now that he is back, Chacko should hand over the charge back to him. On the other hand, Chacko is said to have refused to budge. He said that Congress President had given him the charge and only she could take it back. (IPA)

 

 

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