Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil on Monday landed in controversy after a video captured him yelling at a group of flood victims voicing their grievances. The Opposition was quick to point out his ‘insensitivity’ and asked whether the State was being run by General Dyer, infamous for ordering the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in the British-ruled India in 1919. Addressing a gathering in Kolhapur, Mr. Patil, who is also guardian minister of Kolhapur and Pune, is seen in the video asking people to be patient and have faith in the administration’s work. Soon after, he can be seen losing his cool and raising his voice at a complainant. This latest incident adds to the list of BJP ministers who have landed in trouble while carrying out flood relief work. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself has been criticised for continuing his political campaign. Last week, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan was seen taking a selfie-video on a boat in a flooded area. Relief and Rehabilitation minister Subhash Deshmukh has been accused of being busy in party programmes in Pune while Minister of State Sadabhau Khot is alleged to have doctored a video showing him rescuing a victim.In the video which went viral on Monday, Mr. Patil is heard yelling at the crowd, “You need to be patient and systematic. The officials have been working for 24 hours with no sleep, and still, you want to complain?” He also gestures in anger at the crowd saying, “shut up”. State unit Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat slammed the minister. “People will naturally get angry if the guardian minister, government machinery does not do its duty on time.” The NCP wanted to know whether Maharashtra is witnessing the rule of General Dyer. “On the one hand the minister is yelling at flood victims and on the other district administration is imposing prohibitory orders. This is nothing but dictatorial behaviour,” said party national spokesperson Nawab Malik.
The India-Pakistan connection made them a global talking point at the US Open but Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi do not even consider themselves from two different nations.They were the first India-Pakistan combination to reach a Grand Slam final and their coming together and doing well at a tennis major, generated a huge interest.Even the Ambassadors from the two countries to the United Nations came together to cheer them and it was enough for media to add some political colour to the coverage, considering the two countries have fought three wars since becoming independent.Media coined terms like ‘Indo-Pak Express, Indo-Pak peace pair’ to describe their pairing but Bopanna today said he and Qureshi have never thought about the countries they belong to and their compatibility as individuals was the sole reason behind their partnership.”Qureshi and I got together because we felt that we would make a good doubles team. We know each other for so long and have a great understanding so it only made sense to play together.”We never intended on making any political statement. It is the media who gives us these tags, we never look at each other as being from different countries,” Bopanna told PTI in an interview.Asked that playing with a strong slogan such as “Stop War, Start Tennis” itself was a political statement, Bopanna said them being ambassadors for peace was the sole reason for having that message on their on-court attire.”We are just here to play tennis. We are great friends off the court and are looking to take our careers forward together. Since we are ambassadors for peace we try to spread that message through sports. We are not here to make any political statements,” he insisted. .advertisementThey brought together the two hostile nations to clap, scream and enjoy together and Bopanna said he and Qureshi would love to do more with their partnership.”Well, we want people to trust and respect each other.Sports should never be subject to religion or politics,” he said.Talking about the biggest match of their career, the Indian Davis Cupper said he and Qureshi now have the belief that they are Grand Slam material and could soon even win one.”Earlier we used to win the first set but fall of on the second set and then take the third. But now we want to win big. We focus even harder on the second set, and the entire US Open, the only sets we dropped were in the finals.”Also that we can compete at this level and we know we belong here. We just need to stay focused, work hard and we can win a Grand Slam final.”The runners-up trophy has already earned them a huge bonanza as they are now ranked world number six.”Hopefully, it will lead to many great performances and eventually take us to the No.1 spot in doubles. I am noted as a confidence player, and I am sure that this final, will help me be a more confident player and doing better.”Bopanna could have been only the fourth Indian and Qureshi first Pakistani to win a Grand Slam had they beaten the Bryan brothers — Mike and Bob — in the US Open final.They are little disappointed to miss out on history but still very much satisfied.”We are still working our way towards winning a Grand Slam. Despite the result it was a great achievement to make it to the finals. We were a bit disappointed, but looking back I think that is definitely something to be proud of,” he said.
MIRAMICHI, N.B. – New Brunswick has a rare visitor from Europe and it’s attracting bird lovers from across Canada and the United States.A European mistle thrush arrived in Miramichi on Saturday, and decided to stay.“This is the first record of this bird in North America,” said Peter Gadd, the man who spotted the bird in a tree on his property.“It is somewhat common in Europe and certainly people who have birded in Europe are familiar with it,” he said.Gadd and his wife, Deana, are active birders and are part of a program where they record sightings of birds who use their feeders, two days a week, during the winter months.Gadd said as soon as he saw it, he knew it was something rare.“It is somewhat similar to a robin. Being uncertain, I sent a picture to some birders in the province with more experience than I have,” he said Tuesday.Gadd said the small bird has taken up residence in a mountain ash tree on his lawn and the news quickly spread among the birding community, drawing more than 100 people in the first three days.“Some of the people here this morning are doing a big year where they will travel all over North America and see how many birds they can see. They are now up to about 760 birds. Four of those people were here this morning from Tennessee, Michigan, Florida and Iowa,” he said.He said anyone wanting to view the bird needs to be respectful and keep their distance.Gadd said the bird must have gotten separated from its flock and then been driven to Canada by strong winds and bad weather.He said that species of bird is very protective of its food supply and has already chased off a number of robins. He said it’s a hardy bird that should be able to survive the winter.“It’s a tough bird. It made its way across the North Atlantic so it must be a fairly resilient bird,” he said.“There isn’t much we can do. We can just hope for the best and make sure it has food.”— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.