While maintaining that that there is no scope for “confrontation in a healthy democracy”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that the Centre is expecting cooperation from the West Bengal government.During his visit to Kolkata, Mr. Singh, who interacted with party workers and journalists, was careful to avoid any direct criticism of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her government.Asked to comment on the law and order situation in the State as highlighted by several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, Mr. Singh said that law and order is a State subject.“The Centre will extend all help to control any kind of violence but it is for the State government to ensure that law and order is maintained,” Mr. Singh said.
Former hockey captain and Olympian Dhanraj Pillay on Wednesday joined the increasing chorus of voices demanding that batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar be given the ‘Bharat Ratna’ by the Indian government. “Sachin certainly deserves to be conferred the Bharat Ratna for the way he has been playing for the last 22 years. He was the mastermind of our World Cup victory,” said Pillay, who has represented India in four Olympics and hockey World Cups. Pillay, who spoke on the sidelines of the function to release veteran photographer Mohan Bane’s pictorial book on the Beijing Olympics with English captions, The Gold Wall of India, also believed that Tendulkar should play in the next World Cup in 2015. “He’s as fit as a 19 or 20 year old and he should play in the next World Cup too,” said Pillay about Tendulkar who would be turning 38 on April 24. Union Energy Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde also said Tendulkar deserved to be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. “Just like Donald Bradman, Tendulkar has brought happiness to the cricket fans of the world with his batsmanship. He deserves to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna,” said Shinde who was among the dignitaries present at the book release event. With inputs from PTI