Harmanpreet Singh : Olympian, World Cup Winner And A Goal Machine
- NEW DELHI : Drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh has been one of the brightest stars to have emerged for Indian hockey in the recent years. At 21 years of age, he counts being an Olympian and a World Cup winner among his career achievements. Harmanpreet's rapid rise as a disciplined and relentless performer has seen him shuttle between the senior and junior sides in major tournaments across the globe. Harmanpreet first gained attention on the junior circuit in 2014 at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia, when he scored nine goals and followed it with a rich haul of 15 at the 2015 Junior Asia Cup.
- For his impressive performances, he was included in India's squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics and by the time the year came to a close, had played a key role in bringing home the Junior Hockey World Cup after 15 years. TOI Sports caught up with Harmanpreet, who is gearing up for Hockey India League 2017 beginning January 21 where he will turn out for Dabang Mumbai.
AIADMK Readies CM Post For Sasikala
- CHENNAI : In a sign that the ground is being laid for VK Sasikala to become chief minister of Tamil Nadu, senior party leader and Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai urged her to take over the reins of the government. Her taking over as AIADMK general secretary had also been preceded by statements from party leaders over many days asking that she take charge of the party. Thambidurai, who was rumoured to be one of the possible choices for the party leadership after the death of J Jayalalithaa, was at his effusive best. In a statement issued on his Lok Sabha letterhead on Monday, he said Sasikala had "the intelligence, capacity and love for the people, love for the party workers and care for the party cadres, as Amma had".
- Party functionaries and workers wished that she should take over as chief minister at the earliest, Thambidurai said. Sasikala's decision to accept the party general secretary post had come at a time when all in the party were worried about what would happen to the Dravidian movement after the demise of J Jayalalithaa, he said. Sasikala had "come to rescue all of us as a lighthouse," Thambidurai said. She had the capacity to take decisions "without any likes or dislikes," and also thought exactly the same way as Jayalalithaa used to think, he said in the statement that made repeated references to Sasikala as 'Chinnamma'.
- Given the friction in his relationship with chief minister O Panneerselvam, Thambidurai sought to build up a case for change of guard at Fort St George, saying dual leadership for the party and government would not help both. "We have seen that people in India have not accepted the situation where the leadership of the party is in one hand and the leadership of the government is in another hand. Such governments have lost their credibility among the people," he said. Moreover, to take the agenda set by Jayalalithaa forward, the party leader had to take over the chief minister post also, he said. The speech of Sasikala, close on the heels of her taking over the reins of the party, was a major morale booster for the workers and leaders, Thambidurai said.
SC Ousts BCCI President And Secretary, Will Appoint Panel To Run Cricket Board
- NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Monday virtually purged India's cricket administration, declaring BCCI chief Anurag Thakur "unfit" to head the body for resisting reforms and deciding to appoint a committee to oversee the Board's functions. Though not sacked, Thakur was rendered powerless for his defiance of court orders to implement reforms suggested by the Lodha committee and inched towards acting on its "apologize or go to jail" threat by initiating contempt of court proceedings against the BJP leader. The court ordered an overhaul of BCCI by deciding to appoint a committee of administrators to carry out its functions and requested senior advocates Fali S Nariman, amicus curiae Gopal Subramaniam, BCCI and petitioners including Cricket Association of Bihar, "to suggest names of persons with integrity and experience in managing a similar enterprise" who would take over BCCI's management.
- During the interim period, that is ousting of Thakur and taking over of management by administrator, BCCI's affairs would be carried out by the senior-most vice-president of the board, the court ordered. All state boards and office bearers who are in violation of SC orders will be removed as the court asserted that "the turf of the cricket field is not a personal turf or fiefdom". Qualified office bearers must give an undertaking that they will implement reforms. A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud held that Anurag Thakur has "rendered himself unfit" to continue as BCCI chief by his conduct and actions. It passed a "cease and desist" order against Thakur and BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke, ousting them from the affairs of the management and functioning of the world's richest cricket body . The bench initiated criminal contempt proceedings as well as perjury (lying to court on oath) against Thakur for misleading the court and obstructing implementation of its order.
- The court said Thakur was prima facie guilty of misleading the court by making false statements and obstructing implementation of its July 18 judgment. In the July judgment, the court had ordered implementation of all recommendations of Justice RM Lodha committee, including ban on ministers and bureaucrats from becoming members of the governing body of the board and setting an age limit of 70 years for office-bearers. It had also disqualified a member of BCCI or state association if he held posts in any other sports administration body . The court had also enforced `one-state-one-vote' rule. Riled by the continuous dilly-dallying by BCCI and its office bearers on implementation of the reforms directed by the SC, the bench said: "Thakur's own version is that he has been rendered totally incapable and without any authority to compel the members to comply with the orders of this court.
- This is indicative of his having washed his hands of a duty and obligation to ensure compliance." "Anurag Thakur, president of BCCI and Ajay Shirke, secretary , BCCI shall forthwith cease and desist from being associated with the working of BCCI. A notice to show cause shall issue to Anurag Thakur to explain why he should not be proceeded against under the provisions of Section 195 read with Section 340 of criminal procedure code (perjury). A notice to show cause shall issue to Thakur to explain why he should not be proceeded with under the contempt of courts," it said. The court posted further hearing in the matter for January 19. The writing was on the wall for the BCCI chief on Dec 15 when the apex court minced no words in castigating him. The bench had asked Thakur's counsel Kapil Sibal to ask his client to "either apologise or be ready to face criminal proceedings".
- Standing in defiance, Thakur chose not to apologize, leaving the SC with no option but to initiate contempt proceedings. The court said BCCI and Thakur had tried to evade compliance with its order on cricket reform by seeking a letter from ICC chief Shashanak Manohar to oppose its order to appoint a CAG nominee on the Board to keep an eye on BCCI's financial transactions. "The conduct of the President of BCCI in seeking a letter from the President of ICC in August 2016, after the final judgement and order of this court, is nothing but an attempt on the part of the head of BCCI to evade complying, with the order of this court," the bench said. "We are constrained to note that there was absolutely no occasion for the President of BCCI to solicit any such clarification from the Chairperson of ICC in the teeth of the judgement that was delivered by this court."
Only Those Abroad From Nov 10-Dec 30 Can Now Exchange Scrapped Notes
- Those who missed depositing scrapped notes+ with banks before December 30 are finding out that the Reserve Bank of India too has firmly shut its doors to everybody except those who were abroad from November 10 to December 30, 2016. Several citizens who were turned away at RBI offices+ in different cities on Monday recalled that in his November 8 speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that there may be some who were unable to deposit their old 500 or 1,000 rupee notes by December 30, 2016. "They can go to specified offices of the Reserve Bank of India up to March 31, 2017 and deposit the notes after submitting a declaration form," the Prime Minister had said on television.
- However, when depositors turned up at the RBI's offices in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and other parts of the country to exchange some notes that were left behind, they were told there was no grace period+ . "This policy is in the government's ordinance and notification. The grace period is only for those who were abroad during November and December and did not have an opportunity to deposit," said an RBI official. The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance did have a provision for allowing deposits but it specified that the grace period was only for those who were overseas at the time of demonetisation. A senior finance ministry official said enough time had been given to residents to deposit old notes.
- The ordinance issued by the government clearly mentioned that only those who were outside the country during the 50-day period could deposit their old notes, but after stating the reason for their absence, a finance ministry official told TOI. Residents of the country who have forgotten to deposit the old notes even after expiry of the December 30 deadline will not be eligible to deposit the scrapped notes in RBI offices, said the official, adding that indefinite time could not be given to people who were present in the country during the 50-day period.
- This is in sharp contrast to the RBI press release issued on November 8, which stated that "any person who is unable to exchange or deposit the specified banknotes in their bank accounts on or before December 30, 2016 shall be given an opportunity to do so at specified offices of RBI or such other facility until a later date as may be specified by the RBI". An RBI spokesperson said the RBI has no advice for citizens who were in the country during the period and, for some reason, were unable to deposit the money in their bank. "The government has issued an ordinance. Holding over Rs 5,000 in old currencies is illegal and a punishable offense. If someone has less than that amount, it is not an offence as of now," she said.