I’ve submitted my films to dozens of festivals over the years and have screened at quite a few – although in the early days if I knew what I do now I could have saved a lot of time and money. Follow these tips for finding the right festivals (and having a higher acceptance rate).Getting your film into the right festival is an art of it’s own. Not only do you need to be careful about the content that you submit and how it’s submitted, but just as importantly you need to make sure that the festivals you submit to are worth your time and effort.In order to develop a festival strategy for yourself, it’s important to first identify the different types of festivals to see where your film fits in. After all, the average festival submission can be anywhere from $20 – $100, so even just applying to 10 – 15 festivals can start costing you thousands of dollars. Let’s take a look at the different types of festivals….Top Tier FestivalsImage from FlickrIf you’re just starting out, you may have your sights set on some of the larger festivals – Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, etc. These festivals are of course amongst the largest and most prestigious in the industry, but they should be approached with caution as their acceptance rates are extremely low. For instance this year Sundance alone received nearly 13,000 short film submissions, and they will only be screening 150 or so. It’s important to keep that kind of statistic in mind when applying to these festivals as the chances of getting in are pretty slim.That said, if you feel your film is strong enough to compete then by all means submit it – just don’t get too discouraged if it gets rejected as that is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your work. If you do get into one of these festivals however, it can truly launch your career – especially if your film is a feature. So to re-iterate – don’t rule out these large scale festivals, but also don’t put all your eggs in one basket.Mid-Range FestivalsI consider festivals like Slamdance, Palm Springs, and South By Southwest to be mid-range festivals. They are large enough that they get lots of media exposure and celebrity appearances, but smaller than the top tier festivals (meaning your film may have a better shot of actually getting in).Personally, I feel that these festivals are the sweet spot for up and coming filmmakers. Not just because your chances of getting in are higher, but also because when you do get in your film may get more attention than it would have at a larger festival where it is competing with huge films that can overshadow yours. Many filmmakers that have had films in large festivals and mid-range festivals have actually seen more success with their film as far as exposure and sales from the mid-sized festivals, so keep that in mind.Niche FestivalsRight now there are an abundance of niche festivals and they are growing rapidly every year. Niche can mean anything from a genre festival (like Fantasia International Film Festival) to themed festivals (women’s rights, African American, etc.) to small regional festivals that now exist in just about every town in North America.Some of these festivals can be particularly good options as they have a higher acceptance rate of films (giving you a better shot at getting in), but they also can connect you with an audience that is more likely to respond well to your film given they are attending a niche festival in the first place.Another benefit of these festivals is that they are usually relatively inexpensive to submit to, so it can’t hurt to submit to quite a few of them. The only real downside to these festivals is that it can be difficult to assess the quality level of them before you’ve actually seen them in person. Be sure to check out their website and do some homework before submitting so you don’t end up wasting your time.So Where Do You Submit Your Film?I truly believe in a multi-faceted approach to this. You don’t want to only submit to a handful of top-tier festivals and risk not getting in anywhere, but similarly you don’t want to only submit to the really small festivals either as you may not get the exposure you’re looking for. Your strategy is going to differ based on the genre of your film and the length as well. For instance if you have a Grindhouse slasher flick, you’re probably going to do better at the niche level, which is great as you may end up screening at a couple dozen niche festivals and cleaning up with awards and prize money.Even so – it’s worth submitting to a number of mid-sized festivals and top-tier festivals because genre films can of course screen anywhere. Conversely, if you have a slightly larger scale film that might have some recognizable names or faces in it, than go for the gold and submit to mainly top tier and mid-range festivals. Having a name actor in your film doesn’t guarantee acceptance by any stretch, but it certainly helps.If you think your film has a realistic shot at a big festival than go for it. Just pace yourself so that you don’t blow your festival submission budget just on a few festivals.If you have a feature film (as opposed to a short) you also need to be cognizant of the ‘premiere status’. Many large festivals want to have a world premiere for all of their features, so you want to make sure to time out your submissions carefully. You might apply to Cannes at the same time as a small regional festival, and if you were to screen at the regional festival first, there is a good chance that Cannes would disqualify your film even if they wanted to accept it otherwise.This doesn’t apply as much to smaller or even middle of the road festivals, but if you are going after the big guys, be aware of this and make sure you wait to hear from them first before premiering anywhere else. As for short films – there is a lot more leniency. Festivals still generally do prefer a premiere, but it’s very unlikely that your film will get cut out of the running for screening somewhere else. Actually in many cases the opposite can be true. Once your film gets some momentum on the festival circuit, other festivals will start to approach you and request that your film is included in their festival – effectively bypassing the submission process. This is most common with large/top-tier festivals but can happen with any festival that gets a decent amount of exposure.How To Plan It OutOne of the biggest keys to your festival run success is simple preparation. Know before you even write your script which festivals you want to target. Write your script with that in mind and be realistic about your goals. Once you have crafted a product that is really strong but also focused and targeted toward a specific type of festival then you’ll be in a really good starting place.Make sure you time out your production/post schedule carefully as well to ensure you’re meeting the right deadlines and getting your packages out in time. This is especially relevant for features that are going after major film festivals. Most importantly, diversify your submissions – send out a few to the major players regardless of your genre/length, but also send out a number to the mid-sized festivals and niche festivals. Every film will need it’s own unique strategy, but speaking for myself – my strategy going forward on my next feature will be:Submit 30% to major festivalsSubmit 50% to mid-range festivalsSubmit 20% to niche festivalsThis is generally a good ratio for many indie films, but could be off the mark if you’re doing something very specific or heavily genre based.Another point to make is that you don’t need to go at this alone. There are some really great festival consultants out there that can help guide you through this process. If you’re unsure about which path to take, meet with a consultant and see what they have to say. Even if you end up spending $500 on the consultation fee, you may actually save money in the long run as they can tell you pretty realistically which festivals you have a better shot at getting into. So rather than submitting to 30 festivals blindly, and getting into 2 or 3, you might end up submitting to 10 and getting into 7 or 8.And finally, make sure not to get discouraged when you don’t get accepted to a festival – big or small. It doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t like your film, it just means it didn’t fit with their program. Many amazing films have been rejected from major festivals and have gone on to get theatrical distribution, and many films that were accepted to festivals like Cannes or Sundance never saw the light of day. Festivals aren’t the be all end all, but they are a great launching pad for your film when approached strategically.
How To Develop A Festival Strategy For Your Film That Doesn’t Waste Time Or Money
How To Create Realistic Old VHS Footage
Here’s how to use After Effects to capture the distorted retro vibes of authentic VHS footage.Top image via Bob JarocThere’s always been an affinity for the old, for the retro, for the look of yesterday. While technology pushes forward and picture quality is increasingly improved, we often see companies offering services and tools to make that incredibly sharp image look, well, less sharp. You can acquire film grain, light leaks, film burns, color washes, interference layers, static noise, and so forth. The list goes on.As we move forward toward the end of the 2010s, the VHS/camcorder look of the 80s and 90s is starting to become a lost relic of time. I bet that made some of you feel old, right? You can download all kinds of templates and plugins to make your footage look like the VHS tape has distorted it, but nothing beats using the real source material.A lot of people tend just to throw an overlay onto their footage and call it a day, but there are a few fundamental elements that also need to be included.Video via BELGIANHIPHOPCHANNELAfter looking at the amateur VHS footage above, it’s important to note that while there is some visible VHS interference in the shape of white lines running across the screen, the prime characteristic is the skewed distortion of the footage itself.To some extent, it wobbles like jelly. The displacement of the picture itself is often missed and is key in making footage look like it’s come from an old VHS tape.How to Give Your Footage an Authentic VHS Look in After EffectsMany kind people on the internet have uploaded real captured VHS noise. I like to use these two, which are both free to download: Heavy VHS interference, and Light VHS Bad Tracking. (Our friends at RocketStock offer a free template as well.)Step 1: Get Your DistortionWhen you’ve downloaded them, rename the first file Heavy VHS and the second file Light VHS, as their interference difference is very apparent. When you’ve acquired your noise, open up After Effects and create a new composition based on your footage size. If the VHS footage is smaller, just increase the scale.Import your footage and the two VHS layers into After Effects and place them within the composition in the following order.Light VHSFootageHeavy VHSThen change the blend mode of Layer 1 to Add. Your sequence should now look something like this:You have the classic VHS stripes running across the footage, but it still doesn’t look very convincing. Don’t worry… It will soon.Step 2: Displacement MapIn the Effects panel, type in Displacement Map and drag that onto your actual footage layer. You may need to realign your footage and increase the scale to 105%, so it fills the entire composition.In the Effects control panel, set the following settings.Displacement Map Layer: 3. Heavy NoiseUse for Horizontal Displacement: LuminanceMax Horizontal Displacement: 20Use for Vertical Displacement: LuminanceMax Vertical Displacement: 20You can increase the displacement values by increasing the numerical values. Or decrease the VHS glitching by lowering those values. This is the result of using the Displacement Map.You can see in the image above that the shot now looks a lot more like it’s part of the VHS footage. However, it’s still too sharp. Therefore, insert an Adjustment Layer and add a Gaussian Blur of 7.5.Step 3: Color FringeThere’s one final step to take. The VHS format ages poorly, and if the footage has been passed from camcorder to VHS, you can expect some color fringing — not much, but some.To do this:Duplicate your video footage three timesAdd the Set Channels effect to each layerOn the first footage layer, Set Red to Source 1’s: RedOn the second footage layer, Set Green to Source 2’s: GreenOn the third footage layer, Set Blue to Source 3’s: BlueYour Set Channels should look something like this:Your footage will likely look like it’s just come from a Tarantino scene in Kill Bill. To fix this, set the blend mode for the first two footage layers to Screen. To get the color fringing, you need to slightly offset the two layers.Do this by rotating the first layer by 0.7 (R on the Keyboard), and move the second layer over to the right with one nudge of the right arrow on the keyboard. This will give you a very subtle color fringe.Finally, download this 4:3 letterbox for a 1080p timeline and insert this beneath the adjustment layer.This is the before and after of using the above guide.Do you have any tricks and tips for making contemporary media look like it was shot on equipment from the past? Let us know in the comments.
Four Important Ideas about Success
Aspire to be more: Your vision of yourself isn’t big enough. Your capacity far exceeds any limits that you perceive. You are capable of being and doing more. You only begin to stretch yourself when your vision grows big enough. Once you believe that you can be more, you will become more.You can create a lot more value than you are presently. Go ahead and be more.Fear isn’t real: There are plenty of bad and unpleasant things that will happen to you over the course of your life. Those bad things can cause you great pain. But fear isn’t real. It’s an emotional state. It’s suffering an imaginary pain. It takes courage to face the things that may harm you. But it’s the thing itself that harms you; the fear is something you conjure up in your mind.Go ahead and act.There is only abundance: There are a lot people who go without what they need to survive. But that isn’t because there isn’t enough food, clothing, shelter, or water. There are people who need help because they have no money. But that isn’t because there isn’t enough money in the world. And there are people that go without love, but that isn’t because love is a finite resource. Because we humans are endowed with curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness, we have nothing but abundance. Scarcity is a mindset.Believe that you can give more, and be open to receiving more.Love is what matters most: You are only going to judge your life by your relationships. You are going to consider your successes in life to be the times when you made a difference for other people. You are going to remember the people that lifted you up, that cared for you when you needed help. More than “success,” more than money, more than any possessions, love is what matters most of all.Go ahead and love more. That’s all there really is.
On Latent Dissatisfaction and Dissatisfaction
The primary reason insight-based selling is so hot right now is because there is so much latent dissatisfaction. It’s difficult to create opportunities without a reason to change.Your prospective clients have plenty to be dissatisfied about, but they may not yet be aware of how much better their results could–or should–be. When they’re stuck, it makes sense to create that awareness. It is an effective choice for creating an opportunity, and it can set you apart. Especially when you have something compelling to offer in the way of improvement.But this does not mean that you always need to provide insights. Some of your prospects are already dissatisfied. They know what they need to improve, they know how they need to improve it, and they know what they need from a partner. You can create an opportunity by collaborating with these prospects and by helping them with a solution. There isn’t any reason to pretend that they have latent dissatisfaction so you can teach them something, unless it directly helps them get what they already want or establishes new priorities.But there is more to be gained from helping prospects who are dissatisfied and know it. You can gain powerful insights and knowledge from them—if you are open to learning instead of teaching. You can share what you’ve learned from these clients with other prospects, some of whom will benefit greatly from what you learned.You take your prospective clients where find them. If they aren’t dissatisfied, you help them see new possibilities. If they are already dissatisfied, you collaborate with them and help the find a path forward. All the while learning as much as you can so you gain the business acumen and situational knowledge to help others more effectively in the future.QuestionsWhat are the problems your prospective clients have but have not yet recognized?How do you help them recognize the better performance that is available to them?What have you learned from prospects who were dissatisfied and knew exactly what they needed?What have you learned from serving some clients that would benefit your prospects?
Pricing to Win or Execute
It’s easy to focus on pricing your offering to win your dream client’s business. You consider what your dream client believes they need in the way of pricing, and you consider what your competitors are likely to quote.When you consider what your dream client wants in the way of pricing, you end up dealing with their desire to have better, faster, and cheaper, an appealing idea that your competitors have been selling them for a long time. The lie that this is possible is why so many people still distrust salespeople, but they still hold onto the dream that merely switching partners will allow them to realize this dream (which might be more accurately described as a hallucination).When you consider your competitor’s pricing, you end up in all kinds of trouble.First, you have no control over what they offer. The problem with competing with someone who is willing to destroy themselves to win the business is that they are willing to go someplace you are unwilling to go. Trying to match them only means you destroy yourself instead of allowing them to destroy themselves. It’s a poor strategy.Second, your competitor’s price has nothing to do with the value that you create. You have to price your offering based on the value you create, and if you create more value, you have to capture more value. Which brings us to the truth of this issue.You have to price your offering to execute for your dream client. Your price needs to ensure that you can—and will—deliver the outcomes that you sell. It doesn’t help you or your dream client to price your offering to meet their expectations if it doesn’t allow you to deliver the goods. It’s also a mistake to match or beat your competitor’s price to win the business, only to fail your dream client because you couldn’t afford to serve them.When we sell, we help our clients understand the investment necessary to produce the results they need. This isn’t easy to do. And it is made more difficult when your prospective customer has unrealistic expectations and when your competitors are willing to sell a dream that won’t come true. But selling the value you create and the right investment is what professional salespeople, trusted advisors, or what I call Level 4 Value Creators do. It’s what differentiates and defines us. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
The Leadership Playbook: The Leader You Need to Be Now
Different circumstances require different leadership approaches.Turnaround: When an organization is in trouble, it requires leaders who will take charge. Difficult circumstances or an existential threat require that people take action now, without having the time to debate the choices of action, without a chance to build consensus around the approach, and without concern for tradition. The turnaround leader can break things on their way to making things better, and they can create ill will along the way. But when survival is at stake, this approach is necessary.Change Agent: A turnaround is a shift of 180 degrees; the organization is moving in the wrong direction. A change agent needs to adjust the organization’s direction by degrees, more than 1 degree and less than 180. The strategy isn’t quite right and needs to be significantly adjusted. The business model isn’t producing the expected results, and the go-to-market strategy need to be significantly modified. There isn’t all the time in the world to debate the choices and build consensus, but there is some time to enlist the support of other leaders to help make change. When things aren’t working, a leader has to make change.Execution: There are some circumstances that require a leader who can execute and deliver results. The organization is in no danger, no real change is needed, other than greater execution of what is already in place. This choice is often overlooked by new leaders, who believe they must be a turnaround leader or a change agent. But sometimes all that is necessary for the leader to help the organization reach its full potential is to create accountability for executing on what is already in place. The execution leader has time to build consensus, build traditions, and inspire greater action.One of the ways to be a great leader is to know what role you need to play to best serve your organization.When your organization needs better execution, being a turnaround leader or a change agent will prevent you from producing the results you need. Likewise, when something is broken, execution isn’t enough to realize the organization’s potential.
Leaders Make Decisions – Episode 116
Activity Cures Activity Problems – Episode 227
Results in sales, or any other endeavor for that matter, are made up of activity and effectiveness. For many people, there effectiveness is just fine, it’s the activity that needs to improve. This is a little tough love for those of you that need it.
Be Your Own Tyrant
Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Tyranny: the word means a cruel and oppressive ruler.Liberty: defined as freedom from oppressive rule.If you want liberty, you need to rule yourself like a tyrant. If you can’t govern your desires like a tyrant, then you will undoubtedly find a real form (or forms) of tyranny.Freedom Now is Tyranny LaterMaybe you can’t discipline yourself to get out of the bed in the morning. Instead, you hit the snooze button when the alarm clock rings at 6:30 AM, capturing nine more minutes of comfort and sleep. It feels good, so you hit snooze again, and one more time for good measure. Your decision to seek comfort results in you having no time for an effective morning ritual, and no time to do anything before running out the door. You have the liberty to sleep in should you want to, but it will likely result in the tyranny of low energy, poor clarity, mediocre work, complacency, and unfilled hopes, dreams, and wishes. How you do one thing is how you do everything.You can exercise your freedom to avoid anything that looks like exercise, taking poor care of your health and well-being. You can make poor dietary choices, and practice poor hydration habits and sleep rituals. It is possible to exercise your freedom in ways that make the poor decisions above seem acceptable by comparison. Your freedom to do what you want when it comes to your health is yours alone. The tyranny of sickness, illness, and poor health are the natural outcomes of the exercise of those freedoms.You can spend more money than you have to spend. Some companies count on you borrowing money from them to buy things you believe that you need to be happy. These companies want you to have the freedom to have what you want when you want it, avoiding having to go without or waiting. The Joneses have a new neighbor. You have the freedom to enter into contracts to borrow money from companies that provide you with credit, and you are free to borrow as much as they will lend you. Tyranny is paying interest on loans to buy things that no longer mean anything, if they ever did.The decision to have a pessimistic, skeptical, cynical attitude is available to you. And why wouldn’t it be when media designs every story to frighten you about something that isn’t likely to ever harm you, separate you from people who are different from you or sensationalize stories to make them ever more salacious? The exercise of the freedom to choose what you believe about the world and its inhabitants belongs to you. It’s your birthright. But the tyranny of cynicism will make your life far less than it would be had you decided differently.If you really don’t like to exert yourself at work, preferring instead to try to do as little as possible, staying under the radar and out of harm’s way, you have that freedom (while it lasts, anyway). You can allow your cynicism to creep over into your work, never giving yourself over to the work. You can look for new work, but when you show up to your new job, the same cynic in you will not have changed one iota, and you will be back to believing your unhappiness is caused by external forces. The lack of effort and the unwillingness to do good work will bring the tyranny of an inadequate income, a lack of advancement, a lack of purpose and meaning, and anxiety about a future where things are even worse than they are now.To Be Free, Be the TyrantThe personal freedom you want is found in being your own personal tyrant. The tyrant sets the alarm earlier than you find acceptable and doesn’t allow you to hit the snooze button. In doing so, you have the freedom to do all the things that lead to a successful day (successful days lead to successful weeks which lead to successful months and successful years).When you are a tyrant about your health and well-being, you have the freedom of abundant energy, stamina, clarity, flexibility, and mobility. You are less often ill, and you push the unavoidable health problems far into the future.The financial tyrant takes your money from you before you see it and transfers it to some vehicle that allows it to grow. This decision, even though it requires you to go without now, ensures you have better freedoms in the future.You need to be a tyrant when it comes to the things you allow to infect your mind, things like scarcity, envy, and judging others. This tyranny provides the freedom to choose a better, more empowering set of beliefs.Quality work is the product of the tyrant. The tyrant eliminates distractions. It provides a laser-focus on the outcome you are pursuing. The tyranny of good work offers the freedom to be more, do more, and have more, while also contributing more—and making a difference for more people.If you want freedom, you need to be your own personal tyrant. If not, a different—and much more harmful—form of tyranny will be yours.
Executives Invest. Purchasing Controls Pricing.
There are a lot of questions about the trends analysis and implications framework in my third book, Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “What trends and implications do I share with people in a purchasing role to engage them in a more strategic conversation.”Win customers away from your competition. Check out Eat Their LunchThere are no rules in sales, and you have to know them all, which is to say context matters. Generally, executive leaders invest in strategic outcomes, and people in purchasing roles tend to control the prices the company accepts, outcomes that are often at odds and the main reason, so many companies incur higher costs as the result of underinvesting.ExceptionsThere are exceptions to every rule (including this one). There are people in purchasing roles who see their role as “reducing costs” and ensuring the effectiveness of their companies “supply chain.” These enlightened purchasing types often reject the lowest priced offerings because their experience suggests that the “vendor” will cause them to incur higher prices.The idea of a strategic partner is a concept that intimates a different relationship and greater accountability than a vendor or supplier, titles that suggest a low price and the equally low value one should expect. There are purchasing agents and supply chain managers who will accept a higher price when you can justify it for them.These are, however, exceptions. Most of the time, the greater investment conversation needs to be held at a different level, with the stakeholders who are accountable for the overall success of the organization.Executives InvestExecutive leaders invest in the products, services, and solutions that help them achieve their strategic goals, including their financial goals. Sometimes those goals include reducing the money they spend in certain categories. But more often than not, the decision-makers are willing and able to invest in the capabilities and outcomes they are responsible for delivering, even when it means investing more than they are now.Most executives know that their purchasing team is going to ask for a discount or concession around pricing, and many will defend the investment if the salesperson they’re working with can help them justify the delta between what they are investing now or competitive alternatives.If you want to have a productive conversation about trends, implications, and investment, you are more likely to find a receptive and engaged audience made up of decision-makers and management than purchasing agents, even though you will occasionally bump into a supply chain manager who is trying to spend more to ensure the outcomes their company needs to succeed.If you are going to err one way or the other, assume leadership wants to invest and purchasing wants you to lower your price, and act accordingly. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Modi offers prayers at Kedarnath temple
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid obeisance at Kedarnath as the portals of the Himalayan shrine were reopened for devotees after remaining closed for six months for the winters.Accompanied by Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Mr. Modi arrived in an army chopper at the helipad built close to the temple and headed straight for the shrine located at a height of over 11000 ft.The temple doors were opened at 8.50 am and the Prime Minister arrived just about half an hour later to offer prayers and perform a ‘rudrabhishek’ in the sanctum sanctorum of the centuries old shrine.After 20 minutes, Mr. Modi, who was wearing a brown overcoat, emerged out of the temple and waved to the crowds waiting outside for a glimpse of the Prime Minister.He was gifted a shawl, a rudraksha, a wooden replica of the temple and books on the Himalayas by the priests of the temple as he came out of the shrine.He did a ‘parikrama’ of the Nandi statue outside the temple before making way through the crowds to convoy that was to take him back to the helipad.The Prime Minister also went to the spot where a huge rock named Bhimshila had rolled down from the mountains in the wake of the June 2013 deluge and got stuck at the back of the temple.Christened Bhimshila after the tragedy, also known as the Himalayan Tsunami, the truck sized rock is credited with protecting the shrine from major damage.
Nitesh Rane chargesheeted in assualt case
Panaji: The Goa Police on Friday chargesheeted Maharashtra MLA Nitesh Rane, son of senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, in connection with an assault and criminal intimidation case from 2013.Mr. Rane, along with several others, wasbooked for assaulting a toll booth operator in North Goa’s Pernem taluk, ransacking the toll booth and criminally intimidating the employees on December 3, 2013. Mr. Rane and his entourage were entering Goa from Maharashtra and were stopped to pay the entry toll.“The charge sheet has been filed before the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Pernem,” a police public relations official said.
Manohar Parrikar to contest from Panaji
PANAJI: Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar will contest from the Panaji Assembly seat for the upcoming bypoll, the Goa Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) president Vinay Tendulkar announced here on Wednesday. Mr. Parrikar, former Defence Minister and currently a member of the Rajya Sabha from Lucknow, came back to State politics in March this year to head a (BJP)-led coalition government in Goa. He has to get elected to the 40-member State Assembly within six months of his taking over as Chief Minister. “The party has decided that Mr. Parrikar should contest from Panaji. Accordingly sitting Panaji MLA Sidharth Kuncalienkar has voluntarily decided to step down,” Mr. Tendulkar told presspersons at the city BJP headquarters. This puts an end to the speculation that the four-time Chief Minister could contest from the Curchorem Assembly seat in South Goa, which has elected BJP legislator Nilesh Cabral in the February 4 elections. Mr. Parrikar has been elected from Panaji Assembly seat without a break from 1994 till 2014 when he was inducted in the Central Cabinet and subsequently resigned as an MLA. Goa will also witness another bypoll in Valpoi constituency in north Goa after the newly-elected Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane quit from the party, resigned as an MLA and then joined the BJP before being inducted in the State cabinet as Health Minister. Currently, while the Congress has 16 legislators, the BJP has 12 (after Mr. Siddarth Kuncalienkar resignation) in the 38-member House. The BJP which was second largest party after February 4 Assembly elections came to power in March this year by aligning with regional parties, namely, Goa Forward and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three other Independent MLAs. Congress, the single largest party is in the Opposition.
Delhi smog: Amarinder Singh refuses to meet Kejriwal
Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ruled out a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to discuss the issue of air pollution, resulting from stubble burning..@capt_amarinder Sir, I am coming to Chandigarh on Wed to meet Haryana CM. Would be grateful if u cud spare sometime to meet me. It is in collective interest— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 14, 2017 Responding to Mr. Kejriwal’s tweet, regarding seeking time for a meeting with him, Capt. Amarinder said, “I fail to understand why the Delhi Chief Minister was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be meaningless and futile.“Mr. Kejriwal’s tendency to indulge in petty street politics was well-known,” said Capt. Amarinder, adding that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was trying to divert public attention from his own government’s failure in Delhi to check the problem of pollution, as exposed by the response of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to the odd-even scheme.Capt. Amarinder said the problems faced by Delhi and Punjab on this count were completely divergent, with no meeting ground.“Unlike Punjab, the Delhi problem was the result mainly of urban pollution caused by mismanaged transportation and unplanned industrial development. Instead of focusing all his attention on resolving these issues, Mr. Kejriwal wanted to waste time holding useless discussions,” said Capt. Amarinder.Capt. Amarinder said as far as stubble burning was concerned, it was not a political issue that Mr. Kejriwal was trying to project it as, but an economic problem crying for economic solutions, which the Central Government alone is in a position to provide.“I would continue to pursue with the Centre the matter of compensatory allowance for farmers to enable them to opt for alternatives to the dangerous practice of stubble burning,” he added.
53% voting in U.P. by-poll
An average turnout of 53% was recorded in the Sikandra by-poll on Thursday, a seven percentage drop from the 2017 election. Except for seven EVMs which had to be replaced after “minor technical complaints,” Ramesh Chandra Rai, joint election officer, said polling went off smoothly. The seat in Kanpur Dehat fell vacant following the death of the BJP MLA Mathura Prasad Pal in July. The BJP won the seat comfortably by over 38,000 votes.The party deployed all its strength to retain the seat with both Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and State president Mahendra Nath Pandey campaigning. The result will be well-watched in the backdrop of the recent civic body polls in which though the BJP had won the Kanpur Mayor election, it lost the Sikandra nagar panchayat chairman post. It was locked in a three-way contest with the Samajwadi Party and the Congress. Counting takes place on Sunday.The SP again fielded Seema Sachan while Prabhakar Pandey was the Congress nominee. The BJP fielded the deceased MLA’s son, Ajit Pal.The SP received a boost after the Nishad Party and the Peace Party, two regional outfits with influence among specific communities, extended their support to it to end the “atrocities faced by oppressed sections especially the OBCs, the Dalits and the Muslims under the BJP government in the State and the Centre”.The BSP does not contest by-polls.
Major fire breaks out in Gorakhpur govt. hospital
Fire broke out in the administrative wing of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur on Monday morning.As per initial accounts, the principal’s office and the record room of the hospital were engulfed in flames.The patients are said to be safe.Senior officials and police officers have reached the spot and seven fire tenders are being used to douse the fire.The damage done by the fire, especially to files stored in the hospital, is not yet known. The hospital was at the heart of a major controversy last year after 30 infants died allegedly due to the short supply of oxygen as the oxygen firm refused to supply oxygen as their dues were not paid by the government.
‘Quack not sole reason for Unnao HIV spike’
Rajesh Yadav alias Rajendra, the quack accused of infecting at least three dozen persons with HIV in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh through multiple use of syringes was on Thursday sent to judicial custody, police said. Yadav was arrested on Wednesday.However, while he is being charged with attempt to culpable homicide, a preliminary fact-finding joint team of the Centre and State has found his role in the transmission of HIV to be “inconclusive”.‘Other reasons’“That story [linking the quack’s use of a single syringe to the high incidence of HIV in Bangermau] is not very much conclusive or true. There are some other reasons,” A. K. Singhal, the leader of the U.P. fact-finding team, told The Hindu.Also Read Mr. Singhal said while they had not reached a final conclusion as the matter needed further investigation, the probe team has pinpointed high-migration and transit as reasons for the incidence of HIV in the Bangermau area. Mr. Singhal said further investigation would be conducted.Besides housing a large mandi, Bangermau also witnesses a high “in and out migration” and has a considerable number of persons working in places like Surat and Ludhiana, Mr. Singhal said.The eight-member team, comprising three senior consultants of the National AIDS Control Organization and five from the U.P. State AIDS Control Society, conducted a field study in Bangermau. It has submitted a five-page report to the State Health Ministry. ‘₹10 doctor’ blamed for spurt in HIV cases in U.P.’s Unnao district had a long queue of patients
Civilian among three killed in Sukma Maoist attack
Two security personnel and a civilian were killed in a Maoist attack on a road construction site in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh on Sunday.Six policemen were injured during the attack in Bhejji-Elarmadagu area. A group of Maoists attacked the construction site and torched several vehicles. An exchange of fire ensued between the policemen patrolling near the site and the Maoists.“Assistant constables Madkam Handa and Mukesh Kadthi [of the Chhattisgarh police] were martyred in this encounter. Anil Kumar, an employee of the contractor, was also killed by the Maoists. Six jawans were injured and airlifted for treatment,” an officer of the Chhattisgarh police’s Anti-Naxal Operations (ANO) unit said. The injured policemen were identified as constable Salwan Raja, Chapa Rakesh, Shivram Soni, Padam Soyam, Rupsingh Poyam and Sodi Bachha.Five teams of the CRPF CoBRA’s (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) 202 battalion were sent as reinforcement. The ANO said no weapons were lost in the incident, and that some Maoists may have been killed in the exchange of fire.“As per reports and as told by our commanders, heavy casualties were inflicted on the Maoists in today’s exchange of fire which lasted for around four hours. Around 20- 25 Maoist have been reportedly killed and many injured as per inputs received from the field,” said Devnath, the additional Inspector General of Police, Chhattisgarh ANO.However, security forces did not recover any Maoist’s body from near the encounter spot.Meanwhile, one Maoist was killed in another encounter in Errabore area of Sukma on Sunday.
PDP prepares its cadre for ‘virtual’ battlefield
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party in J&K is preparing its cadre for a ‘virtual’ war of narratives, emanating in and outside the State. It has approached Delhi and Mumbai-based consultancies to groom its young cadre on the social media tools “to generate a positive narrative on Kashmir”.A Delhi-based information technology firm trained 16 PDP workers this month in the national capital on the use of social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.“The social media is a reality and has largely influenced the real world. We are a young State with youth population up to 69%, which is social media-driven generation. We, as government as well as a party, are encouraging youth to get training and attend workshops for social media sensitisation,” PDP youth wing president and J&K Sports Council secretary Waheed Parra told The Hindu.The party says the efforts are neither aimed “to create any trolls nor out to do perceptions management” in Kashmir but “create positivity”. It is planning to groom youth under the age of 30 in all districts of the State.“The government has its arms to manage perceptions. We do not intend to enter that space. The idea is that in today’s information society, the youth should use the social media rather than end up getting used by it,” said Mr. Parra.The party and the government, Mr. Parra said, was also worried by “a huge campaign across the country to project Kashmir as violent”.“We want the world to know about good stories happening here. We want them to know our views too,” said Mr. Parra. Our leaders will tweet and retweet every positive story emanating from here, he added.The party is also aiming at reaching out at the grassroots level in the constituencies. These trained youth leaders will highlight government projects at the constituency level and seek people’s feedback on issues facing them. It is identifying youth in different fields such as sports, education, arts.“These people need to learn positive use of the social media,” said the PDP leader.
BSP backing SP: It is complicated in Gorakhpur
“They threatened to convert our basti into Saharanpur [where Dalits were targeted by upper caste Thakurs last year]. We have to walk around with our heads hanging low,” said Ajaora. Seated outside her small brick house, the Jatav woman referred to an incident a few months ago when some youths from the Yadav and Sainthwar communities, both OBC but locally dominant, beat up a Jatav youth after a dispute during a marriage procession. “It is the Ahirs and Sainthwars who bully us the most. All these low caste people (OBC) have shifted to the BJP. How can we align with them,” asked Ajaora, a resident of Basuda village in Gorakhpur’s Sahjanwa Assembly segment. She is a Mayawati-loyalist and is highly critical of the BJP, which she alleged misused EVMs to win the State elections. But as local Yadavs and Sainthwars are associated with the “cycle” symbol, she is not motivated to vote for the SP despite the BSP supremo’s appeal. The Samajwadi Party’s performance in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls hinges upon the support of Dalits like Ajaora. However, political rivalry between the SP and BSP during their respective governments and consequent social tensions between Yadavs and Jatavs, who form their caste bases, is posing an obstacle in the consolidation of support for the SP candidate, Ms. Mayawati’s support notwithstanding. Travelling across pockets of rural Gorakhpur, this reporter found that not only was social incompatibility deterring Dalits from coming out in favour of the SP nominee, there was also a general lack of enthusiasm among them. “What difference does it make to elect an MP for a few months? BSP has not fielded a candidate. I would have thought about what Behenji said had she herself come here for campaigning,” said Dilip Kumar, an unemployed Dalit youth in rural Gorakhpur.Then there is the reverence for the Gorakhnath Mandir, of which Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the head priest, which blunts anger among among Dalits for lack of amenities in their villagesbusties. In Baspar, most Dalits still use the fields or roadsides to relieve themselves, their pathways have not been widened for the last three decades and no solar lights have been put up.“The drains turn into rivers during monsoons. And pregnant women suffer the most as homes don’t have toilets,” said Vijay, a student. However, his anger is restricted to the local representatives and officials but not the former MP, Mr. Adityanath. “Why will we raise our voice against the Mahantji when he has done nothing bad to us?” Dalit social activist Amar Paswan said the SP would find it hard to get BSP’s core votes transferred to it. “The workers and supporters of the two parties have been rivals and have no experience of working together. When Dalits see the cycle, they recall all the atrocities faced by them under the SP, while the Yadavs cannot forget the cases lodged against them by Mayawati during her rule,” said Mr. Paswan.However, among politically aware Ambedkarite Dalits like Baliram, who is unemployed despite having an M.A degree, there is a sense of anger towards the BJP. “They are targeting only Muslims and Dalits. Even if Behenji had not supported SP, I would have still voted Akhilesh Yadav just to keep the BJP out,” said Baliram, who accuses the BJP of helping defaulters escape the country. Shyam Bihari, another BSP supporter, is also critical of the Modi and Yogi governments and plans to vote for the SP. Though he felt safer under the Mayawati rule, he praises the previous Akhilesh Yadav government for providing emergency ambulance and police services, and creating local livelihood. “Under the Modi government, all we got was one latrine,” he said. Besides being a symbolic move of unity ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP’s support to the SP candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, also brings arithmetic value as the BSP has a solid base in both constituencies. If translated on the ground, their combined force has the potential to stretch the BJP.Numbers gameIn 2014, under the Modi wave, the BJP won both the seats comfortably securing over 50 % votes and defeating the combined vote of the SP and BSP by over 13% votes. However, in the 2017 Assembly elections, while the BJP and its allies won all 10 Assembly segments in Phulpur and Gorakhpur, the SP and BSP combined defeated the BJP candidate in six of them. In addition, in Gorakhpur Rural, the combined vote of the SP and the Nishad Party, which is this time directly alligned with the SP, was more than the BJP’s tally. In another Assembly seat in Gorakhpur, Campierganj, the combined vote of the Nishad Party, BSP and Congress (the SP did not field a candidate as per an alliance understanding) was more than the BJP’s vote.