Tag Archives: Kamal Nath

If you have “special interest in wildlife” you could be a member of State Wildlife Board in Madhya Pradesh

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Kanha Tiger Reserve, year 2000. Photo  © Lalit Shastri

Bhopal: Successive governments in Madhya Pradesh have done it with impunity and in the latest instance it is the present Government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan that has flouted the statutory provision of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (WPA) regarding the nomination of “eminent conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists” and appointed even persons taking into consideration only their “special interest in wildlife” as members of the State Wildlife Board through a gazette notification issued on 20 November 2020.

Check this gazette notification, especially the subheading after s.no 22 and see how some of the nominated members (s no 23, 24, 28, 29 and 30) have been shown as members having “special interest in wildlife”.

The State government on 20 November 2020 reconstituted the State Wildlife Board. This action had been necessitated since veteran journalist Lalit Shastri, who is also a leading environmentalist, conservationist and wildlife documentary maker, has challenged in Jabalpur High Court (WP 17484/2019) the formation of the (now disbanded) Wildlife Board constituted in 2019 by the previous Kamalnath government on the ground that the notification was illegal as the statutory requirement was not followed while nominating 10 members under the relevant provision of The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. Section 6 (1) (e) of this Act, introduced with the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2002 that came into force in 2003 and substituted Section 6 (1) (h) of the Principal Act clearly states “ten persons to be nominated by the State from among eminent conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists including at least two representatives of Scheduled Tribes”.

Section 6 (1) (h) of the Principal act earlier provided for the nomination of “such other person, not exceeding ten, who, in the opinion of the State Government, are interested in the protection of Wildlife, including the representatives of tribals not exceeding three”. The point to be noted is that this provision has been amended and replaced.

Neither bothering to follow the Central Act nor keeping the Chief Minister informed about the statutory requirement is a telling commentary vis-a-vis the bureaucrats who are supposed to work not only as the executive arm but also act as advisors to the Government in all important matters.

The High Court is seized of the matter and the Government was required to submit a reply during the next hearing. After reconstituting the Board, the government would obviously tell the court that since the earlier gazette notification that has been challenged has been replaced by a new notification and the Wildlife Board has already been reconstituted, there is no ground to continue the present case. In this context, it is important to mention that the latest notification to reconstitute the Wildlife Board glaringly reveals that Section 6 (1) (e) of WPA again has not been followed.

Take a closer look at the 20 November 2020 notification. The law clearly spells out that only “eminent conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists” can be inducted as members in the State Wildlife Board. The category under which the members have been inducted in the newly constituted board says “पर्यावरणविद/सरंक्षण के क्षेत्र में विशेषज्ञ” (law wants them to be eminent conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists) but against the names of several members inducted under this category, the notification mentions: “वन्यप्राणी में विशेष रुचि” (special interest in wildlife). One doesn’t need space science to pinpoint the difference between “eminent conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists” on the one side and those having only “special interest in wildlife” on the other. It is simple, one will have to know the difference to appreciate why at all there was a need to go for an amendment and substitute Section 6 (1) (h) of the Principal Act with Section (1) (e). The idea was to elevate the level of the State Wildlife Boards by ensuring only experts are inducted

The notification of 20 November reveals more than what the Government would apparently like to hide. Question arises: What was stopping the Government from mentioning that the ten persons nominated to the Wildlife Board are from the “eminent conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists” category”. But that would have been a blatant lie as a couple of those who have been inducted have nothing much to write home about as conservationists or experts. It is therefore axiomatic that by sticking to the term “वन्यप्राणी में विशेष रुचि” (special interest in wildlife) successive State governments are bent upon trampling on the letter and spirit of a Central Act only to keep the backdoor open to bring the backroom boys and those with political clout in an important body like the State Wildlife Board.

MP Assembly bye-elections: Kamal Nath guilty of violating the Model Code of Conduct; Loses status as leader of political party

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New Delhi: The Election Commission of India has held Kamal Nath, ex-Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, guilty of repeated violation of Model Code of Conduct, complete disregard of the advisory issued to him and revoked his status as leader of political party (Star Campaigner) with immediate effect for the current Bye-elections of Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh.

The Commission received complaints from the Madhya Pradesh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party and also from the Chairperson National Commission for Women that Kamal Nath, who is Leader of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, had used the word “Item” for a woman candidate.

The Commission had issued a Notice giving opportunity to Kemal Nath, to explain his stand in making the “Item” statement. He submitted a reply in the matter but it was not found to be satisfactory and hence the Commission issued an Advisory to him for violation of the provisions contained in Pam (2) of Part 1 of ‘General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates’ and disregard of the advisory issued by the Commission during the ongoing Bye-elections to the Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh. The Commission has taken the considered view that Kamal Nath used the work “Item” for a lady and that this constitutes violation of advisory issued by the Commission. Therefore the Commission had advised the ex-Chief Minister Madhya Pradesh that while making public utterances he should not use any such word or statement during the period of Model Code of Conduct”.

Subsequently, one more complaint was brought to the notice of the Commission from Bharatiya Janata Party that Kamal Nath had on 13 October2020 that “शिवराज नौटंकी के कलाकार, मुंबई जाकर एक्टिंग करें “. In this connection, the Commission sought a report from Chief Electoral Officer, Madhya Pradesh, who sent a report along with transcript of the speech of Kamal Nath in which he stated: “आपके भगवन तो वो माफिया हैं जिससे आपने मध्यप्रदेश की पहचान बनाई आपके भगवन तो मिलावट खोर हैं .

The report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Madhya Pradesh also confirms the violation of Model Code of Conduct.

A list of leaders of political party (Star Campaigners) was received from Indian National Congress. The name of Kamal Nath was placed at serial No. 3, under section 77(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 for the Bye-election of Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh.

The Commission has “carefully considered” the matter and has observed with displeasure that Kamal Nath despite being a leader of a political party was repeatedly violating the provisions of Model Code of Conduct and breaching the ethical and dignified behaviour.

Hence, for repeated violation of Model Code of Conduct and for completely disregarding the advisory issued to him, the Commission has revoked his status of leader of political party (Star Campaigner).

The EC order of Friday 30 October says: “if any campaign is done by Kamal Nath from now onwards, the entire expenditure related to travel, stay, visit, etc.. shall be completely borne by the candidate in whose constituency the campaign is done by Kamal Nath.

“Bengali man” jibe against Kamal Nath lands Imarti Devi in trouble

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Bhopal: The election Commission of India has issued notice for the violation of the Model code of Conduct to Imarti Devi, the BJP candidate in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly by-election from Dabra (SC) constituency and a diehard follower of senior party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia as she paid former MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath in his own coin.

Nath had called Imarti Devi an “item” at an election rally. The Commission had served a notice to Kamal Nath also asking him to explain his “item” remark and responded to his reply with the instruction that he should not use any such word or statement while making public remarks.

The Commission had sought a report from the Chief Electoral Officer, Madhya Pradesh on the complaint aired on social media. The report has been attached with authorized transcript of Imarti Devi’s alleged address. She has been quoted as saying:

यह बंगाली आदमी है यह मध्यप्रदेश आया केवल मुख्यमंत्री के लिए। उसको बोलने की सभ्यता नहीं है। इसे क्या कहा जाये। वह मुख्यमंत्री के पद से हटा तो पागल हो गया है। पागल बनके पूरे मध्यप्रदेश में धून रहा है तो उसे क्या कह सकते है, उसकी माँ बहन आयटम होगी बंगाल की। हमें पता थोडी है।

“He is a Bengali man. He came to Madhya Pradesh only for becoming Chief Minister. He does not have the decency to speak. What to say about him. He has gone mad after being removed from the post of Chief Minister. Like a lunatic, he is roaming all over Madhya Pradesh, what can we say about him. His mother sister may be item from Bengal. How do we know.”

After the announcement of bye elections to the Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh on 29 September, 2020, the provisions of Model Code of Conduct have been imposed in the State.

Sub Para (1) of Para I of the Model Code of Conduct provides that ‘no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate the existing differences or create tutul hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic and Sub Para (2) of Porn 1 of the Model Code of Conduct provides that parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of the parties. Sub Para (5) Para I of the Model Code of Conduct also provides that “The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home-life shall be respected, however much the political parties or candidates may resent his political opinions or activities. Organizing demonstrations or picketing before the houses of individuals by way of protesting against their opinions or activities shall not be resorted to under any circumstances.

The Election Commission has also issued advisory to all the recognised political parties and candidates to refrain from any deeds, action and utterances that may be construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women.

Kamal Nath comes under scathing attack for his lewd remark against Madhya Pradesh Minister Imarti Devi

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Kamal Nath

Bhopal: Days before polling (3 November) for 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh former Chief Minister Kamal Nath has come under sharp attack for a lewd remark he made at an election rally against Madhya Pradesh Women and Child Development Minister Imarti Devi, who held the same portfolio in the Kamal Nath Cabinet.

There is outrage as Kamal Nath called Imarti Devi an “Item”. Nath later told media if anyone thinks he has shown disrespect then he is sorry. He went on to underscore why would he show any disrespect.

Talking to media persons, Imarti Devi broke into tears as she appealed to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to expel Nath from the Congress party.

The State BJP leaders, including chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and party workers even sat on a silent protest across the State. Protestors also burnt Nath’s effigy in the State capital and condemned him for his derogatory remark against Imarti Devi, who comes from the deprived sections and has made a mark in politics through years of dedicated service.

Imarti Devi

Imarti Devi, a staunch Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist, had resigned from Cabinet and crossed over from Congress to the BJP along with many Cabinet Ministers and MLAs when Scindia also left the Congress and joined the BJP earlier this year. This led to the collapse of the 15 month old Kamal Nath Government and BJP’s return to power in the State.

Out of the 28 seats, to be filled through by election, 24 seats fell vacant with the resignation of Congress Minister and MLAs. 27 of these 28 seats were won by the Congress in the 2018 election.

10 November is the date of counting and declaration of results.