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"But other students are talking about it. supplies handymen to homes to carry out a broad range of tasks. Another attempt to elect a new prime minister is due in a week.", In a more recent example from February 2017 when the AIADMK was threatened by a split after J Jayalalithaa’s death the Sasikala camp loaded all MLAs into buses and packed them off to the Golden Bay resort near Kalpakkam effectively sequestering them so that they would not go over to O Panneerselvam’s faction "Resort politics was revived by HD Kumaraswamy son of HD Deve Gowda then the arch-rival of Ramakrishna Hegde of the Janata Party in 2006" a previously publishedFirstpostarticle states As the report recapitulates Kumaraswamy at the time brought down the Congress-JDS coalition government in 2006 by taking his MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru "Kumarswamyhas repeated this performance with remarkable consistency since then" the article states referring to the subsequent political crisis of an year later when Kumarswamy refused to hand over power to BS Yeddyurappa the deputy chief minister in the JDS-BJP coalition government ayear later he overthrew the Congress-JDS government States as far up north as Maharashtra too have trooped their MLAs to the southern Indian state of Karnataka in the face of a political crisis The two-year-old Democratic Front Government was in the middle of a political crisis in 2002 as the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh shepherded as many as 71 Maharashtra MLAs to Mysore according to The Hindu Although the MLAs were allowed to visit tourist places the report said that each of the three buses that brought the MLAs to Mysore also carried 12 party activists to keep a watch on them In June 2016 the Congress party in Karnataka whisked away 9 independent MLAs to Mumbai who were expected to back a Congress nominee in the Rajya Sabha polls according toThe Hindu The popularity of Karnataka especially Bengaluru comes off as rather surprising in the political context The politics of Northern and southern stretches of the country don’t share many things in common and yet Karnataka remains the destination of choice for ‘safeguarding’ the MLAs against prowling political opponents Probing the reasons aFirstpostarticle speculates that a number of remotely located luxury resorts which guarantee privacy and controlled exit and entry conditions "The most most reported name in Karnataka’s resort politics is the super luxury Golden Palms Hotel and Spa owned by actor Sanjai Khan about 40 km from Bangalore Because of its strict entry and exit barriers political leaders in the state find it safer It also has seven star luxury amenities to keep the politicians engaged and happy" the article states The current abode of the 44 Congress MLAs in Bengaluru the Eagleton Golf Resort too has been a popular haunt for MLAs needing protection in the face of political crisis According to a report in The Indian Express the resort — touted to be one of the earliest world-class golf resorts in the country — played host to Kumaraswamy’s supporters in 2006-07 following a move by a group to align with the BJP after breaking away from a Congress-JD(S) coalition Another article in The New Indian Express quoted senior Congress leaderVS Ugrappawho attributes the choice of destination to the pleasant weather which apparently helps tokeep the MLAs’ morale high in face of political crisis “The climate in Bengaluru and Karnataka is good which everyone love to experience When NTR and team came to Karnataka Hegde who represented Janata Dal supported NTR because both the parties were part of the Third Front During Deshmukh and team’s visit Congress was in power here with S M Krishna as CM Now too Congress MLAs came to a Congress-ruled state’’ he said referring to the Gujarat MLAs staying in Bengaluru The advantages of resort politics have yielded enough political benefits for various political parties in the past It has saved governments dethroned opponents helped chief ministers facing graft charges install their loyalists on throne and helped parties secure Rajya Sabha seats The benefits of the practice conceptualised in the pre-anti-defection law era far outreach the expenses of an all-expense-paid luxury trips that the parties have to endure A resolute poll panel has arguably been able to clean up the country’s polls to some extent bringing in tough anti-defection laws However horse-trading which remains at the root of the ‘resort politics’ popularity is still an area that remains out of reach of the central agency Decades of government apathy fuelled by vote-bank politics have converted vast swathes of pristine forests in Assam into human colonies data given by the government in response to an RTI query has revealed Close to 4 lakh hectares of forest land has been encroached upon in Assam including national parks such as the World Heritage Site of Manas reserve forests and numerous wildlife sanctuaries The data given in response to an RTI application by Nityananda Kalita identified as many as 26 out of 33 districts in the northeastern state that have suffered encroachment The total encroachment adds up to 387885 hectares which is 22 percent out of the total of 1736301 hectares of the state’s forest cover The districts with a high number of households (Goalpara Nagaon and Kokrajhar) are known to have a high percentage of Bengali-speaking settlers Approximately 14000 hectares in three national parks and seven wildlife sanctuaries have also been encroached upon in a chain of developments that had its origin in the early 1990s Interestingly state capital Guwahati (Kamrup Metro) the gateway to the North East has 6738 hectares of reserved forests under illegal occupation which the government has been unable to evict Forests in Gotanagar and Garbhanga are the worst affected in the city where concrete structures have also been built over the years as a result of the government’s indifference Encroachment of forests is a phenomenon witnessed in several of India’s states A statement in Parliament by the government on 22 December 2015 said about 19 lakh hectares of forests are under encroachment with Madhya Pradesh topping the list at 27 percent and Assam in second position However the figure on Assam tabled in Parliament does not match the RTI reply with the latter showing about 70000 hectares more than what was stated as having been encroached An official with the Department of Environment and Forest who chose not to be named said "The situation in Assam is much more serious but it has remained camouflaged The numerous government reports like the Forest Survey of India (FSI) do not reveal the actual forest cover in the state In real terms there has been a tremendous shrinkage of dense forest cover which is bound to have an adverse ecological impact in the future" Paddy Cultivation in what was formerly Chariduar Reserve Forest Ankush Saikia Who are the encroachers There is diversity of views on the identity of the illegal settlers in the forests Activists belonging to the civil society groups campaigning for the identification and expulsion of illegal migrants are hardly in doubt that the encroachers are from Bangladesh "There is no need for the original inhabitants of the state to encroach forests except that they would migrate to the cities and try to occupy the forests around them If you have 80 lakh illegal migrants as admitted by the NDA regime then they will have to settle somewhere" said Upamanyu Hazarika convener of Prabrajan Virodhi Manch The encroachment of forests in Assam began many decades ago but what began as a trickle was transformed into a wave in the 1990s Some government officials say every district displays a unique scenario where the communities and the causes of encroachment are different "In fact the illegal settlers are people from all the communities But the damage has been done everywhere" explained MC Malakar former principal chief conservator of forests Malakar carried out several anti-encroachment drives in Barak Valley in the early 1980s until it was halted by the Congress government following protests The diverse patterns of encroachment were evident from some areas In Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary located 150 kilometres east of Guwahati the settlers are Bengali-speaking Muslims from Bangladesh who settled here in the 1980s similar to some regions in western Assam On the other hand reserve forests in Sonitpur on the north bank of the Brahmaputra have mostly been occupied by Bodos and Adivasis (tea tribes) some of whom were assisted by a former legislator for creating a vote bank What is the government plan In 1995 the government launched a series of eviction drives in the forests of Sonitpur with more than 600 illegal settlers arrested and hundreds of houses demolished For two years the forests in the district were devoid of encroachers but they surfaced in 1997 and were never expelled again The same story is evident in other reserved forests and wildlife sanctuaries in Assam where illegal settlers have also been given voting rights and other facilities Over the years their numbers grew and political parties vied with one another to capture their votes The question of rehabilitation at an alternative spot was forever put on the backburner School in what was formerly a part of Chariduar Reserve Forest Ankush Saikia Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary for instance was carved out of Chariduar Reserve Forest in Sonitpur with a total area of 220 square kilometres but only an area of about 90 square kilometres is in existence? Meanwhile,com. making it the largest area contributor to the rise in sea level. Protesters march during an immigration family separation protest on Monday. said Kasich.

he said Seven LeT suspects — Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi," he said.

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