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AAP leader’s badly mutilated body found in Delhi

Officials told dna that they were trying to ascertain possible motives of the killer or killers. However the family of the deceased claimed that Ishwar was possessing evidence, in the form of a video clip, against some “corrupt” persons.

dna Correspondent

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Nine Congress leaders expelled in Chhattisgarh for ‘anti-party’ activities

The main opposition Congress in the state has fielded its young face Devendra Yadav for the mayoral post in the Bhilai Municipal Corporation which saw polling on Monday.

PTI
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Maharashtra farmers junk ‘subsidised’ solar pumps policy

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The scheme was rolled out mainly in the perennially dry Vidarbha districts from where highest farmers’ suicide is being reported for last few years.

Representational Image
File Photo

Drought-hit farmers of Maharashtra have virtually rejected the “subsidised” solar pump policy brought by state and centre jointly in June this year. As per the information obtained from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), only 3,000 farmers have expressed their interest in taking the solar water pump as against 10,000 pumps allocated for the pilot phase. The scheme was rolled out mainly in the perennially dry Vidarbha districts from where highest farmers’ suicide is being reported for last few years. Investment of Rs25,000, which each farmer has to shell-out in order to get the subsidized pump — which otherwise costs Rs3.5-4Lakh — is believed to be the major reason behind the lukewarm response.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Around 85% cultivators in the state are marginal and dry-land farmers who are unable to pay for the pumps”, said sources. And government doesn’t intend to give the pumps for free. As per the provision, 60% of the pump’s cost is borne by MSEDCL (Mahavitaran), 30% by the government of India and 5% each by the state and end-user. Lack of confidence in the solar technology, apprehensions over its maintenance and repair have emerged as other major deterrents, said MSEDCL official adding that “farmers, who have electric pumps and are not paying power bills, are naturally against investing money for new technology”. Over 8,000 pumps have been allocated for Wardha, Washim, Yavatmal, Amravati, Buldhana and Akola districts, while 2,000 pumps are for Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, Beed and Gad Chiroli districts. Maharashtra-based Jain Irrigations and Gurgaon-based Claro Energy have been selected for the supply of pumps in June that too after changing the tender specifications thrice. Applications from farmers are being invited since September. Under pressure, energy department is now mulling over a different strategy to lure the farmers. District collectors and agriculture department have been directed to run awareness programs to make farmers aware about the benefits and efficiency of the pumps. An MSEDCL official said: “Considering the sensitivity of the drought-hit farmers, we have taken utmost care about this scheme so that it doesn’t flop because of inefficiency pumps. Field trials were held, stringent provisions have been incorporated in the contract with the suppliers including five year maintenance, attending complaints within 48 hours or else Rs500 fine per day for three days which would be Rs1,000 after three days. However, we now feel that a lot needs to be done on awareness side.” The poor response also raises doubt over the Devendra Fadnavis government’s ambitious programme to replace 5 lakh electric power pumps in the state with the solar pumps within a year and intends to replace all in due course of time. At present, the state has nearly 36 lakh agriculture electric pumps in use. The decisions to replace electric power pumps with solar power pumps is part of the endeavour to reduce the cross-subsidy burden of nearly Rs8,000 crore and thus lowering the power tariff for domestic, industrial and commercial sector users. Users from the agriculture sector, those below the poverty line are charged lower tariffs and this is compensated by higher tariffs imposed on other sectors which is called cross-subsidisation. “If electric pumps are replaced with solar-powered pumps, they will reduce this subsidy burden both on industry as well as state government. Since agricultural pumps are located in remote locations, they add to its distribution losses also, and if replaced by solar pumps, they will reduce our distribution losses, too,” said the official.

BJP’s Smart City is Shiv Sena’s playground

Uddhav-led party prefers recreation policy; Modi’s pet project to be tabled in BMC today

An aerial view of Mumbai from Lower Parel
Abhinav P Kocharekar
dna
The Smart City proposal is set to be to tabled at the general body meeting of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday.All political parties – be it the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) or the Samajwadi Party – are gearing up to oppose it.”We will not allow the proposal to get approved, come what may,” declared Trushna Vishwasrao, leader of the Sena in the BMC.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday evening, an hour-long brainstorming session between the BJP and Shiv Sena took place at the Mayor’s residence. Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta also participated.Instead of Smart Cities, sources say that the Sena prefers a Recreation Ground and Playground policy for Mumbai. The BJP is opposed to this.At least four senior Sena leaders control prime plots in western suburbs and have developed health clubs and gymnasiums and charge heavy membership fees. Sena wants corporate houses, big NGOs and charitable trusts to adopt open spaces. However, once these open spaces are doled out to private parties, BMC will have no control over the plots.On the Smart City proposal, the Sena’s argument is that when the BMC already has a surplus budget of Rs 33,000 crore annually, the Rs 500 crore the Centre is promising for the project for five years doesn’t mean anything.Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project that envisages 100 Smart Cities, Maharashtra has been allotted 10, including Nashik, Pune, Nagpur, Navi Mumbai, apart from Mumbai.The Sena says the state government wants to appoint a CEO for the city and he will control the day-to-day functioning of the BMC.An editorial on Monday in Sena mouthpiece Saamna alleged that the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be created for the scheme would be like a corporate entity. This would lead to power shifting from the hands of the BMC to the SPV, which will be controlled by the Centre. The paper said that the SPV is akin to a modern East India Company.Interestingly, both the Sena and the MNS back a Smart City for Pune. MNS made the U-turn after its leader Raj Thackeray had a meeting with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.But the MNS opposes it in Mumbai. The logic? “All aspects of a Smart City are already undertaken by the BMC anyways, and there’ is nothing new in it. The BJP is trying to push the scheme to score points,” said Sandeep Deshpande, party leader in the BMC.Deshpande says his party would support the project, if there’s something new.Congress corporator Devendra Amberkar, who is leader of the opposition, asked why Lower Parel is being given so much importance. How can one area be given so much preference and others left unattended, he asked. Fadnavis wins over OppnIn Nagpur, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday virtually won over the entire opposition to the scheme. He reminded the Opposition that it was they who had advocated SPVs for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and other schemes when they were in power. He was speaking in the Assembly.

PM wishes Manohar Parrikar on his birthday

Parrikar celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends in the morning ahead of a public reception scheduled this evening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday wished his Cabinet colleague and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on his 60th birthday.”Wishing Manohar Parrikar & @drharshvardhan on their birthday. They are admired for their simplicity & hardwork. I pray for their long life,” the Prime Minister tweeted. Other leaders, including Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis, also tweeted to wish Parrikar on his birthday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends in the morning ahead of a public reception scheduled this evening. His close family members and friends were seen present at his private residence in Taleigao near here since morning.

Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar’s birthday stalls proceedings at the House

It was after NCP delegation of senior leaders, including former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, leader of opposition in legislative council Dhananjay Munde and leader in assembly Jayant Patil met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday afternoon after both the Houses were adjourned for the entire day.

Congress and Nationalist Congress Party MLAs protest against the Maharashtra government on the third day of the winter session of state assembly in Nagpur on Wednesday

Rahul More
For enabling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders to attend NCP president Sharad Pawar’s birthday function at New Delhi on Thursday, the state government has decided to alter its scheduled business and to take up non-government business on Thursday. It was after NCP delegation of senior leaders, including former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, leader of opposition in legislative council Dhananjay Munde and leader in assembly Jayant Patil met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday afternoon after both the Houses were adjourned for the entire day. The non-government business or private member’s bills are generally taken up on Friday so that only those members who have proposed bills can remain present and others can leave for their constituencies on Friday afternoon.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ajit Pawar, after the meeting with CM, informed dna that he has requested the CM to take up non-government business on Thursday instead of Friday since most of the NCP leaders would be leaving for New Delhi to attend function at New Delhi. NCP president Sharad Pawar would be celebrating his 75th birthday on December 12 and there would be three functions to mark his birthday, including the first in New Delhi on December 10, the second in Mumbai on December 12 and the third one in Pune on December 20. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis when asked about his meeting with NCP leaders said that they had met him for a few development works in Late RR Patil’s constituency. Even Ajit Pawar had maintained the same that he accompanied MLA Suman Patil (wife of Late RR Patil) for sanctioning of few development works in her constituency. Parliamentary affairs minister Girish Bapat confirmed that the legislative business for Thursday has been altered and non-governmental bills would be taken up on Thursday.

Two held in kidney sale racket in Akola

The accused, identified as Anand Jadhav and Devendra Sirsat, were on Saturday produced before a magisterial court, which placed them in police custody till December 7

Kidney racket busted
File Photo

An alleged kidney selling racket has been busted in Akola with the arrest of two persons, police said on Sunday.The accused, identified as Anand Jadhav and Devendra Sirsat, were on Saturday produced before a magisterial court, which placed them in police custody till December 7. The suspected racket came to light after a person complained that his kidney was removed and Sirsat gave him a lower amount than what he had been promised, police said. The complainant had reportedly agreed to sell his kidney to repay a debt of Rs 20,000 that he had taken from Jadhav.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While police were tight-lipped about the investigation, sources said that some businessmen from Akola and Aurangabad had purchased kidneys from the needy. Police have so far quizzed several doctors at various hospitals in Akola, Nagpur and Aurangabad even as reports emerged that the kidney sellers were ragpickers.Sources said that the accused prepared bogus documents to mislead the medical committee set up under the Human Organ Transplant Act, 1994, which is mandated to verify organ transplant.

Cabinet expansion after Winter Session

Maha chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that Cabinet expansion would be done after December 23

Maha CM Devendra Fadnavis

PTI
Stating that he had some difficulties for which he could not effect Cabinet reshuffle before the Winter Session, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that Cabinet expansion would be done after December 23, when the winter session of state assembly as well as that of Parliament gets over. The chief minister was asked as to whether there were differences between him and the BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve. Danve announced that Cabinet expansion would be done before the Winter Session. Even PWD minister Chandrakant Patil announced expansion before the Winter Session.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The chief minister said that there were some problems for which he could not effect the expansion. In the same breath he said that since the Parliament session already has begun, he would go for expansion only after December 23 when the Parliament session comes to an end

Maharashtra: Dance bars are back, but with spy cams on

PARTY POOPER | Only a limited number of dancers should take the floor * Showering of currency notes will be a strict no-no

Under fire from the Supreme Court for failing to comply with its order to issue licences for re-opening of dance bars, the Fadnavis government has come up with a new set of regulations, including making CCTV cameras mandatory in bars that are expected to open soon.Highly-placed sources in the department said as per the draft proposal, the number of dancers will be restricted to four to make surveillance easier. The dancers must be aged 18 and above and should neither wear provocative/obscene/vulgar clothes nor booze around that time.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A five-feet gap between the dance floor and the visitors will be made compulsory. Besides there will be a ban on showering of currency notes on the dancers, and smoking would not be permitted inside the bars.”Implementing the regulations would be the job of local police. Also the licence holders will be bound to follow changes that we may make in the regulations from time to time, else their licence will be cancelled,” said a senior officer.Sources said the new regulations will be put up before chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who’s handling Home portfolio, for the final consent.On October 17, while directing the government to issue licences, the court had added a caveat that “no dance performance shall remotely be expressive of any kind of obscenity in any manner” and that “licensing authority can take steps so that the individual dignity of a woman is not affected and there remains no room for any kind of obscenity”.Sources in the department said that in 2006, soon after Bombay high court had first turned down the ban, a committee was set up under the home department to look into measures that can restrict exploitation of women and youth. “Some of the above mentioned measures were then recommended by that committee,” the officer added. KILLJOY CURBS Only 4 dancers allowedCCTvs in bars a mustMinors can’t performDancers not to drinkNo-smoking restrictionNo showering of notesNo getting near dancersDress code for dancers

Maharashtra approves infrastructure projects worth Rs 52,000 crore

Fadnavis directed officials to prepare the detailed project reports, seek environment and other clearances in the next six months and complete works by 2019.

The first meeting of the state cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure, which was chaired by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, saw projects worth over Rs 52,000 crore being approved in-principle. Fadnavis directed officials to prepare the detailed project reports, seek environment and other clearances in the next six months and complete works by 2019. Public works (public undertakings) minister Eknath Shinde said that the Mumbai-Pune Expressway capacity augmentation would reduce accidents and traffic congestion. The Rs 3,400-crore project will see two new tunnels of 8 kms and two viaducts with a total length of 3 kms being constructed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Shinde added that the state was also looking at a “land pooling model” to speed up work on the 800-km Mumbai- Nagpur Communication Super Expressway. This model will see a portion of developed lands being returned to farmers, and help overcome resistance for land acquisition as “it will also benefit farmers”. This Expressway will pass through areas, which have a developmental backlog and touch cities in North Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha. It is envisaged to take development beyond the traditional ‘Golden Corridor’ of Mumbai, Pune and Nashik and link regional headquarters like Nagpur, Amravati and Aurangabad with Mumbai. Some other projects which were approved include the 4-km elevated road (Rs800 crore) on the Ghodbunder Road from Gaimukh to beyond the forest area. The construction of a third bridge on the Thane creek at Vashi (Rs 800 crore), an underground tunnel between Thane and Borivali, an elevated road at Bhiwandi-Kalyan-Shil Phata (Rs 2,600 crore), 27 rail over bridges in Vidarbha (Rs 800 crore) and the four-laning of the Vakan-Pali-Khopoli road (Rs 500 crore). Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) officials said that the east coast water transport project was approved on Monday. It will operate at three nodes – Ferry Wharf, Mandwa and Nerul. The project costs Rs 300 crore. The construction of the terminals will take around 12-14 months, which means the operations will begin in early 2017. CIDCO is expected to float tenders next week while MbPT has split the work into packages. This was the first meeting of the sub-committee since the Devendra Fadnavis led BJP-Shiv Sena state government took charge on October 31, 2014. Some projects like the Mumbai-Pune Expressway capacity augmentation and water transport were struck in coalition politics and red tape during the days of the Congress-NCP government. The MSRDC was controlled by the NCP, which the Congress tried to upstage.

Grant licences to dance bars in 2 weeks: Supreme Court tells Maharashtra

The Bench, meanwhile, allowed Vinod Patil, president of the R R Patil Foundation, to intervene in the matter. Patil, in his plea, had claimed that reopening dance bars would increase crim

Observing that dance is a respectable concept in India and women can’t be barred from earning livelihood by dancing, the Supreme Court (SC) asked the Maharashtra government to implement its order granting licences to restaurant owners in two weeks. The court questioned the state government’s arguments on morality to ban dance bars and asked the Devendra Fadnavis government to regulate obscenity, too. Expressing displeasure over the state government’s delay in implementing its direction, a Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said: “Dance is a respectable concept in India and how can women be barred from earning livelihood by performing dance?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Maharashtra, said that any direction of the court will be respected and adhered to. The Bench, meanwhile, allowed Vinod Patil, president of the R R Patil Foundation, to intervene in the matter. Patil, in his plea, had claimed that reopening dance bars would increase crime. On October 15, the Bench stayed an amended law, Maharashtra Police (second amendment) Act, passed by the Maharashtra Assembly, banning dance bars. Restaurant owners had challenged the amendment, arguing that the state was thwarting the intention of the court. The top court concurred, observing that although it had set aside a similar provision, the law had been brought back in a new manner. Nearly 1,500 bars across Maharashtra had employed more than 75,000 women dancers before the state government first imposed the ban in 2005. The Maharashtra Assembly first passed the law that year enabling the ban, which the Bombay High Court (HC) struck down as “unconstitutional” in 2006. The state government approached the SC against the HC’s judgment and the matter was decided in July 2013, with the top court, too, rejecting the ban. The state assembly had, on June 13 last year, passed the Maharashtra Police (second amendment) Bill, which prevented licences for dance performances in three-star and five-star hotels. The ban also covered drama theaters, cinema halls, auditoriums, sports clubs and gymkhanas, where entry is restricted only to members.

Devendra Fadnavis lauds ABVP, says it is making mark in Bengal, Kerala

Fadnavis, who was once associated with ABVP, was speaking after inaugurating a new building of the student organisation in the city.

Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said youngsters constitute a major chunk of the country’s population and hence, they have the responsibility of inculcating a sense of nationalism and patriotism among the masses.Lauding the role of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in national reconstruction and student-related activities, he said the BJP-wing was committed to all-round development in the country. Fadnavis, who was once associated with ABVP, was speaking after inaugurating a new building of the student organisation in the city.Those below 25 years of age constitute a major chunk of the country’s population. A big responsibility lies on their shoulders to carry forward the duty of inculcating a sense of nationalism and patriotism among people, he said.ABVP activists, over the years, have shown tremendous will power and fighting spirit. After facing setbacks, ups and downs in their history, they are are now tasting success in student elections in universities like Delhi-based JNU and even in West Bengal and Kerala, the Chief Minister said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Spiritual guru Jitendra Maharaj, Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Sancheti and District Guardian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, among others, were present on the occasion.

Shiv Sena dismisses Raj Thackeray’s allegations on Bal Thackeray’s memorial

Lashing out at Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, a former Sena MP, Desai said the Congress leader has no right to speak on Bal Thackeray

Raj Thackeray

Senior Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Minister Subhash Desai on Thursday dismissed allegations levelled by MNS chief Raj Thackeray on his party contending that nobody pays attention to “such people.” Desai, Minister for Industries, told reporters on sidelines of a function here, that if the Mayor’s bungalow is being used for construction of a memorial for late Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray, then it should be welcomed.”Unfortunately some people are trying to cross our path, but attention will not be paid to such people,” he said. In a sarcastic jibe at Raj, Desai further said those who have a penchant to stoke a controversy are not able to do anything for people and thus use such tactics to gain people’s attention. “The Sena believes in ignoring such people and carry out our work,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lashing out at Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, a former Sena MP, Desai said the Congress leader has no right to speak on Bal Thackeray. “What right does he (Nirupam) have to speak on Balasaheb Thackeray? We do not pay attention to such people,” he said.After Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the decision to build Bal Thackeray’s memorial at the iconic heritage Mayor’s bungalow at Shivaji Park in Dadar area, Raj had raised a objection to the governments decision. He had accused the Sena of trying to pocket the bungalow. Congress had also opposed the state government’s decision.

Last rites of braveheart Colonel Santosh Mahadik performed with full military honours

​The last rites of Colonel Santosh Mahadik, who was martyred on Tuesday in a fierce gun battle with terrorists who had infiltrated from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir, was performed in Maharashtra’s Satara district on Thursday.

​The last rites of Colonel Santosh Mahadik, who was martyred on Tuesday in a fierce gun battle with terrorists who had infiltrated from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir, was performed in Maharashtra’s Satara district on Thursday.Mahadik was cremated with full military honours including a 21-gun salute in his home town Satara in Maharashtra.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, along with many politicians and retired armymen attended the last rites of Mahadik.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis paid homage to the Colonel, when the the army officer’s mortal remains were brought on Wednesday night, en route to his native Satara district.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A recipient of the Sena medal for gallantry, 39-year-old Mahadik was leading a team of 41 Rashtriya Rifles in a combing operation in Kupwara in north Kashmir when he fell prey to terrorists’ bullets.The officer had made the supreme sacrifice while leading his troops in the operation from the front. Even as their Colonel breathed his last, the troops, as an ode to his bravery and commitment, continued with the operation while reinforcements were rushed in.The Colonel was an officer of the elite 21 Para Special Forces and had volunteered to command a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in operations.

Draft on education policy, not policy, scrapped: CM Devendra Fadnavis

The chief minister’s as well as the education minister’s offices swung into fire-fighting mode after MLC Kapil Patil claimed that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had scrapped the proposed draft of the report on new National Educational Policy.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis

The chief minister’s as well as the education minister’s offices swung into fire-fighting mode after MLC Kapil Patil claimed that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had scrapped the proposed draft of the report on new National Educational Policy. The government made it clear that it was at the insistence of two MLCs and an ex-MLC that the chief minister decided to scrap the proposed draft from the government website. Patil, in a press release on Wednesday, said that after he had tweeted, ‘Chief Minister, please intervene and control the education minister’, Fadnavis called him up and spoke to him over phone.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Patil says he has also written a letter to Fadnavis and objected to proposals like 8-hour school instead of six hours and scrapping facilities to Dalit, tribal and special children. Patil, in his press release, said that the chief minister told him over phone that he will give instructions to withdraw the entire proposal. After news channels flashed the news about Patil’s claim that Fadnavis has scrapped education minister Vinod Tawde’s draft, the government indulged in some fire-fighting. Tawde’s office was asked to put out a detailed clarification. Meanwhile, ex-MLC Bhagwanrao Salunkhe, along with MLCs N G Ganar and Ramnath Mote, called on Fadnavis and pointed out that whatever draft is uploaded on the website for suggestions and objections was creating confusion and requested the chief minister to withdraw the same. Officials from the chief minister’s office kept on maintaining that it was neither a policy nor a draft policy but a draft for the proposed report, kept open for suggestions and objections. The CMO also maintained that it was not the report of the education department as claimed by Kapil Patil but it was a proposed report of the state government. Tawde’s office has issued a clarification, which made it clear that it was not a draft by Tawde but a compilation of suggestions by experts, NGOs and other stakeholders. He said that, it was for the first time in 30 years, public consultation was held. Tawde said that it was uploaded on the website for transparency as there was an effort to politicise the issue by elected representatives. Tawde said that the final draft of the report would be prepared after consulting experts.

Shiv Sena pushes for Mayor bungalow as site for Bal Thackeray memorial

Ministers in Maharashtra are likely to raise the memorial site issue with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

The scenic bungalow offers an uninterrupted view of Dadar Chowpatty and has been the official residence of Mayor for more than four decades now.

As the Shiv Sena gets ready to observe the death anniversary of its founder Bal Thackeray tomorrow, the party is reportedly pushing for the city Mayor’s bungalow as the site for the late leader’s grand memorial. The sea-side bungalow is located across Shivaji Park in Dadar, where Thackeray established the Shiv Sena in 1966 and also addressed the annual Dussehra rallies. A senior Sena leader, requesting anonymity, today said party Ministers in Maharashtra are likely to raise the memorial site issue with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow. The Government has set up a committee, headed by Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya, to suggest sites for the grand memorial.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A government official said the panel has submitted its report. “The final decision is to be taken by the Chief Minister who also holds Urban Development portfolio,” he said. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Sena leader said the party is sticking to the choice of Mayor’s residence and is averse to raising the memorial at Wadala (one of the suggested sites) as it is too far away from Shivaji Park and nearby Sena Bhavan, the party headquarters. “The Sena has made elaborate arrangements to announce the selection of the memorial site once the Chief Minister approves the proposal” he added.Thackeray, who died on November 17, 2012, was cremated at the Shivaji Park, the sprawling ground which currently houses a small memorial for him in a corner. The Sena-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has constructed a landscaped garden at the cremation site, where Shiv Sainiks visit regularly to pay their respect to the late leader. “During his lifetime, Balasaheb had hosted several top political leaders and held important meetings at the Mayor’s bungalow,” he said.The scenic bungalow offers an uninterrupted view of Dadar Chowpatty and has been the official residence of Mayor for more than four decades now. A piece of land adjacent to the residence may have to be acquired for the memorial, the Sena leader said. “Both the adjacent land and Mayor’s bungalow belong to the BMC and hence there will not be much of a problem.” Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackeray, accompanied by historian Babasaheb Purandare, today visited Nashik to conceptualise and finalise a site for another memorial for his late uncle in the city, about 200 km from Mumbai.

Chhota Rajan’s CBI custody extended by three days

New Delhi: Underworld don Chhota Rajan’s CBI custody, which was to end on Monday, has been extended by three days in a case of alleged procurement of a passport on the basis of fake documents from Indian mission in Zimbabwe.

The CBI announced during a daily briefing that the custody of Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, has been extended till 19 November, without revealing the details about the court proceedings and whether he was produced before a CBI magistrate.

Image courtesy: PTIImage courtesy: PTI

Image courtesy: PTI

After being brought to India from Bali earlier this month, 55-year-old Rajan, who has provided tip-offs to Indian intelligence agencies on India’s most wanted terrorists Dawood Ibrahim, has been secretly guarded by central security agencies.

Before his deportation process was to complete, the CBI was directed to register a case against him. The agency booked him for alleged cheating, forgery, and violations of the Passport Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

This is the second case of fake passport against him with the first one having been registered in 2002 for another passport, issued in 1996, with fake identity of Vijay Kadam, in Bangkok.

“It has been alleged that said fugitive Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan got prepared an Indian Passport No G9273860 in the fake name of Mohan Kumar, allegedly residing at 107/B, Old M C Road, Azad Nagar, Mandya (Karnataka),” a CBI spokesperson had said after his deportation process was completed.

Rajan allegedly used the passport to escape to Australia in 2003. He had been residing in Australia since then till October 25 when reached Bali, where he was placed under arrest on the basis of Interpol Red Corner notice.

Ahead of his arrival here, the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra had to eat a humble pie by transferring all the 70 cases registered against Rajan to the CBI, ostensibly under pressure from the Centre as the underworld don had expressed desire that he should not be handed over to Mumbai Police.

Rajan, once a close aide of Dawood, has been brought to the country to face trial in over 70 cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling in Delhi and Mumbai.

PTI

Chhota Rajan’s CBI custody extended till November 19

Before his deportation process was to complete, the CBI was directed to register a case against him.

Underworld don Chhota Rajan’s CBI custody, which was to end on Monday, has been extended by three days in a case of alleged procurement of a passport on the basis of fake documents from Indian mission in Zimbabwe.The CBI announced during a daily briefing that the custody of Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, has been extended till November 19, without revealing the details about the court proceedings and whether he was produced before a CBI magistrate. After being brought to India from Bali earlier this month, 55-year-old Rajan, who has provided tip-offs to Indian intelligence agencies on India’s most wanted terrorists Dawood Ibrahim, has been secretly guarded by central security agencies.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Before his deportation process was to complete, the CBI was directed to register a case against him. The agency booked him for alleged cheating, forgery, and violations of the Passport Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act. This is the second case of fake passport against him with the first one having been registered in 2002 for another passport, issued in 1996, with fake identity of Vijay Kadam, in Bangkok. “It has been alleged that said fugitive Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan got prepared an Indian Passport No G9273860 in the fake name of Mohan Kumar, allegedly residing at 107/B, Old M C Road, Azad Nagar, Mandya (Karnataka),” a CBI spokesperson had said after his deportation process was completed.Rajan allegedly used the passport to escape to Australia in 2003. He had been residing in Australia since then till October 25 when reached Bali, where he was placed under arrest on the basis of Interpol Red Corner notice. Ahead of his arrival here, the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra had to eat a humble pie by transferring all the 70 cases registered against Rajan to the CBI, ostensibly under pressure from the Centre as the underworld don had expressed desire that he should not be handed over to Mumbai Police.Rajan, once a close aide of Dawood, has been brought to the country to face trial in over 70 cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling in Delhi and Mumbai.

Arvind Kejriwal supports OROP, says govt should implement it in its ‘true spirit’

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday joined the agitating ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar and asked the Centre to implement One Rank One Pension (OROP) for the veterans in its “true spirit” rejecting its recent notification in this regard.

Kejriwal spoke to the media near the makeshift stage of the protesting veterans, however, he did not officially address the gathering and was asked not to make any “political statement” by Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, who is spearheading the movement.

File picture of Arvind Kejriwal. PTIFile picture of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

Arvind Kejriwal. File image: PTI

“The government notification is a farce because it is not in its true spirit. Please don’t fool the veterans. Implement OROP as per its definition. They are not begging but asking for their rights. It is unfortunate that the country’s soldiers are fighting for their rights on the streets,” Kejriwal said.

The Chief Minister also tweeted his support for the ex-servicemen saying all their demands are “logical” and that the BJP-led Centre has been “unjust” to them. “Centre shud immediately accept their demands.”

Few people, mostly in saffron robes, walked past the gathering of the veterans waving black flags and shouting slogans against Kejriwal just after the Chief Minister reached the spot. However, they were pushed to a corner by the police.

AAP MLAs Alka Lamba, Surender Singh and Devendra Sehrawat, and party spokesperson Raghav Chadha were also present.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently faced flak for saying that the behaviour of ex-servicemen protesting the notification on OROP scheme is “unlike that of a soldier” and they have been misguided.

The government had on 7 November formally notified the OROP scheme for the over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country, which was rejected by the protesting ex-servicemen.

The notification does not include the demands for an annual equalisation of revised pension, for pegging the pension to the maximum of the current pensioners, and for appointing an expert commission with serving military personnel and ex-servicemen representatives.

The protesting ex-servicemen had earlier met Kejriwal and briefed him about the OROP notification.

Thousands of ex-servicemen have already returned their medals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, after terming the recent notification on OROP as “diluted”.

PTI

PM Modi and Maharashtra CM Fadnavis to visit Ambedkar’s London house, opposition irked at not being invited

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis is set to embark on a three-day visit to London with the prime minister to formally open a memorial to Dr BR Ambedkar there even as opposition parties targeted the government over not being invited for the event.

Ambedkar London House

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is set to embark on a three-day visit to London with the prime minister to formally open a memorial to Dr BR Ambedkar there even as opposition parties targeted the government over not being invited for the event.Fadnavis said the event is being organised by the British Consulate and will be a “small” one and, thus, the number of invitees are limited.”The programme has been organised by the British Consulate with limited invitees. There will be no loudspeakers or firecrackers since it is a residential area. This will be a small event,” the chief minister, whose tour begins Thursday, told reporters in Mumbai.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The house will be developed into an international memorial to the architect of the Indian Constitution, he said.”(Ambedkar) was a scholar and a multi-faceted personality; he wrote some research papers during the period he stayed there (at the London house). Along with these research papers, artifacts will also be kept on the first and second floors of the Ambedkar house,” Fadnavis said.He added that two students, selected through a scholarship every year, will also get a chance to reside on the third floor.Meanwhile, the proposed event prompted an attack from the opposition Congress and NCP who said that the government should refrain from politicising such issues.”What do you expect from these RSS-minded politicians when they did not invite us for ‘Bhoomipujan’ for the Dr Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills, where there were no restrictions,” charged Congress leader Sachin Sawant.”They should at least stop politicising issues related to national leaders. They should first understand Ambedkar before they hold programmes,” he added.

Maharashtra government to open 7 CBSE schools for MAHAGENCO workers’ kids

The Maharashtra government has planned to open seven CBSE schools near power plants for the children of Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) employees, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

The Maharashtra government has planned to open seven CBSE schools near power plants for the children of Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) employees, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.Fadnavis made the announcement yesterday at the foundation stone-laying function of a school at Koradi temple township, about 10 km from Nagpur.The Chief Minister said 60 per cent seats of the proposed schools would be reserved for wards of Mahagenco employees and students from nearby villages.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, who was also present, announced that a tourist attraction-cum-watersports centre is to come up on the Nagpur-Bhopal-Chhindwara road at a cost of Rs 600 crore.

Maharashtra government takes history lessons on Maratha reservation

The Devendra Fadnavis government is leaving no stone unturned on the Maratha reservation policy, ahead of a Supreme Court (SC) hearing next month. The 16% Maratha quota was stayed by the Bombay High Court last year. The government has asked the archives directorate to find out some “evidences” in history books, which can prove the state’s stand in the SC that Marathas need reservation. Archives officials have been specifically directed to look into the literature of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and also the gazettes of early 20th century when Shahuji Maharaj was the ruler of Kolhapur.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The move is aimed at getting some “historical proof” for the economic backwardness of the community to justify the government’s stand for the Maratha quota in public service and educational institutions so that SC can be convinced. The direction has been given by education minister Vinod Tawde, who also heads the culture department, under which the archives bureau falls. Tawde also chairs the government committee on Maratha reservation. The committee has to carry out a detailed study covering various aspects, which were clearly missing from the Narayan Rane committee report that didn’t stand in the High Court. The Congress-NCP government had brought the policy, which entails 16% reservation to Marathas as an “economically and backward community”, a category introduced for the first time, which was over and above the 51% quota for SC/ST and OBC. History has always equated Marathas with the warrior caste Kshatriya. “However, literature suggests Marathas are Kunbis. Ambedkar had also reportedly written about that. Since Kunbis are covered under quota, Marathas should also be given the same benefit, feels the government,” a highly placed official told dna. On the other hand, gazettes of Shahuji Maharaj’s time is being dug up to get “evidence” that the Marathas were among those needy students from the backward castes, who were given scholarship by the Kolhapur princely state. “Shahuji offered scholarships to backward caste students and Marathas were among them. Maharaj was also a Maratha adopted by the widow of Raja Shivaji 4th. He himself faced humiliation by Brahmins those days,” historians are said to have told the committee. The committee is getting feedback from historians, academicians and other experts besides Maratha leaders. Marathas account for 30% of the state’s population and is the single-largest vote bank in Maharashtra. A senior officer in ministry of law and judiciary said: “Such evidences will not withstand in the court. The government will have to substantiate the demand with data, which is scientifically conducted through surveys.” And the surveys are yet to be done. A professor of Mumbai University said: “Logically, Marathas should be given the benefit of quota under OBCs but the government can’t do that for political reasons.”Tawde did not respond to calls and message. Community updatesOf Maharashtra’s 17 chief ministers since it became a state in 1960, 10 have been Marathas. In this entire period, more than half of all MLAs have also been from the community.Almost 50% educational institutions are controlled by Maratha leaders. Of the 200-odd sugar factories, the mainstay of the state’s economy, 168 are controlled by Marathas. Of the district cooperative banks, 70% are controlled by Marathas.The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission had argued in 2008: “Marathas are both economically and politically a forward caste… They had never faced social stigma to invite a backward class status.”

Sena slams ‘double-faced’ Maharashtra government over Ghulam Ali, Shah Rukh Khan row

While the editorial criticised Khan for his ‘outrageous advocacy’, saying he often dips in ‘whirlpool of controversies’, they also strongly condemned the verbal attack on him.

Training their guns yet again on the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra Government, the Shiv Sena on Friday attacked the Chief Minister for having a ‘double-faced’ policy saying Pakistan maestro Ghulam Ali was being warmly welcomed but on the other hand Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan was being told to go to the hostile neighbour.”On one side the Chief Minister invites Ghulam Ali from Pakistan, saying they would be providing full security to him and on the other hand they order Shah Rukh Khan to go to Pakistan. This is double faced politics that is going on”, The Shiv Sena said in their mouthpiece Saamna.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the editorial criticised Khan for his ‘outrageous advocacy’, saying he often dips in ‘whirlpool of controversies’, they also strongly condemned the verbal attack on him.”Targeting him because he is a Muslim and telling him to go to Pakistan is unfair,” it added.”Hafiz Saeed and many like him are trying to create a divide between the Muslim community in India and strong steps should be taken to stop it. The politicians should not criticise Khan over the debate of intolerance,” the editorial said.Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kailash Vijayvargiya had earlier slammed the actor saying he ‘lives in India but his soul is in Pakistan’.However, after facing national flak for his controversial statement, Vijayvargiya retracted his statement saying he had been misquoted and that he had not intended to ‘hurt any sentiments’ with his remark.BJP MP Yogi Adityanath also raised a furore after comparing Khan to 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, and said he is ‘welcome’ to go to Pakistan.

BJP may climb down on KDMC mayor post

Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which locked horns with the Shiv Sena for the mayor’s chair in the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), is likely to make a climbdown, say sources. Sources say the BJP is likely to play it cool on this front at least till the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections in February 2017. After the counting of votes on Monday for the KDMC elections, BJP state president Raosaheb Danve had said that his party would make every effort to get the mayor’s post in the civic body.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After Danve’s statement, the Shiv Sena, the single-largest party, also staked its claim to the post, with party chief Uddhav Thackeray saying that the Sena would go its own way. If party insiders are to be believed, the BJP would not stretch it too far and would allow the Sena to have its candidate as the mayor. Though both parties had engaged in a war of words during the campaign, both Uddhav and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis are in touch over telephone. Sources from the chief minister’s office said that soon after electioneering ended in Kalyan-Dombivli, Uddhav called up Fadnavis and said that the bickerings were restricted to the Kalyan-Dombivli battlefield only. After Uddhav’s election rally address, in which he threatened to pull down the government and Fadnavis’ retaliation that he will not be cowed down by any threat, the Sena chief called an urgent meeting of the party MLAs and ministers on Tuesday. At the meeting, no MLA or minister pressed the case for pulling out of the government. Minister for environment Ramdas Kadam, who used derogatory language about Fadnavis during the campaign, also said on Tuesday that his fight with Fadnavis was restricted to the Kalyan-Dombivli campaign. Since the election is over, the war is also over, he said. Minister for transport Diwakar Raote said that Sena ministers had handed over a memorandum to the chief minister, demanding dal prices be brought down. Raote said that Fadnavis assured that the prices would be brought down to Rs 130 per kg. Sena’s demand is that it should be brought down to Rs 120 per kg. Apart from the strong organisational network, another factor that helped the Sena was that the Congress and the NCP hardly existed in the battlefield to the extent that they left the battle even before it started. The Sena and the BJP fought the elections as partners in 2010 and were fighting separately for the first time. It had helped MNS in 2010, which won 27 constituencies. This time, it had to satisfy itself with just nine corporators.

Civic polls in Maharashtra: Shiv Sena surges ahead in Kalyan-Dombivli municipal elections

After a poll campaign, which saw much mud-slinging between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, the former appears to be stealing a march over the BJP in the elections to the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC). The Sena is leading in 60 seats out of a total of 122 seats, a report by DNA has said.

The BJP was leading in 28 seats, while the MNS and the Congress-NCP combine was leading in 12 and 6 places respectively, according to a report by Zee News. However, in a significant loss for the Shiv Sena, Mayor Kalyani Patil was defeated by BJP candidate Suman Nikam, DNA reported.

Image courtesy: AFPImage courtesy: AFP

Image courtesy: AFP

The results of the KDMC elections could be an indicator of things to come in the elections to the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2017. Apart from Kalyan-Dombivli, the Kolhapur municipal corporation as well as elections to 67 municipal councils were held on Sunday. The elections are being seen as a test for the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra and can have a bearing on how long the alliance with the Shiv Sena at the state level will last, as pointed out in this Firstpost article.

While the KDMC is presently being ruled by the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance, all political parties are now fighting the civic polls on their own.

DNA reported that Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena MLA, reacting to the leads which emerged said that people have voted for development, not for ‘fake packages and blueprints.’

Recently, Shinde had offered to resign from his post, alleging that the BJP has been humiliating Shiv Sena workers, NDTV reported. Later, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was reported to have said that if the government were to become arrogant, all the Shiv Sena members would resign.

Maharashtra polls: Sena regains stronghold, BJP’s hopes dashed

With Sena Minister Eknath Shinde offering resignation in a public rally and Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis taking potshots at each other, the poll tamasha had become very interesting.

Counting in the municipal elections in two cities of Maharashtra is over with the Shiv Sena emerging as the largest party in Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) while the Congress emerged as the single largest party in Kolhapur.The BJP, which was in alliance with Sena in the last KDMC elections, suffered a setback in Kalyan-Dombivli as well as the Nagar Parishad and the Gram Panchayats polls that were held in various parts of the state. The party significantly increased its tally fighting alone, but didn’t manage to wrest power. This may further increase unrest between Sena and BJP which are in alliance in the state government in the coming days. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Interestingly, the party run by Hyderabad’s Owaisi brothers—All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen or MIM— opened an account with one seat.The Sena has won 52 seats in the 122-member KDMC, while BJP won 42 seats, followed by MNS with 9, Congress with 4, NCP with two and others with 11 seats.Though the Sena has emerged as largest party, it suffered a jolt in KDMC as Mayor Kalyani Patil was defeated by Suman Nikam of BJP.Also read: KDMC Polls Live Updates | Sena emerges largest party, BJP suffers setbacks; MNS likely to emerge kingmakerThe Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which had won 28 seats in the last election has won only nine seats this year. However, the MNS is likely to emerge has the kingmaker.The Congress has won four seats, NCP two and other parties including independent candidates have won 11 seats.Out of 122 wards under KDMC, voting was conducted in 117, as two villages had boycotted the election and three villages elected candidates unopposed.With Sena Minister Eknath Shinde offering resignation in a public rally and Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis taking potshots at each other, the poll tamasha had become very interesting.In Kolhapur, the Congress party has emerged as the largest single party with 27 seats. The BJP-Tararani combine has won 32 seats, NCP 15 seats, followed by Sena with four seats and others with 3 seats.Compared to the last election, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) stronghold has been taken over by Congress with 27 seats. The Congress and NCP are likely to form the government in Kolhapur civic body.

dna Must Reads for morning: From latest in Bihar polls to transgender issues in India

1. Live Updates | Bihar polls: Voting begins for 55 seats in fourth phase; stakes high for BJPVoting for 55 seats of the penultimate phase of Bihar election began on Sunday morning, with stakes high for BJP as it had along with its then ally JD(U) bagged majority of seats in last Assembly polls. Read more here.2. Russian plane crash: All passengers killed ; Egypt says finds both black boxes<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers crashed into a mountainous area of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Saturday shortly after losing radar contact near cruising altitude, killing all aboard. Read more here.3. We’ll celebrate next anniversary too in Shiv Sena company: Devendra FadnavisStating that there was no mud-slinging between the BJP and Shiv Sena during electioneering for the Kalyan-Dombivli municipal corporation (KDMC) elections, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the alliance partners would be fighting the elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) together. Read more here.4. I’m the mother I want to be, says Aishwarya Rai BachchanAishwarya Rai Bachchan turns 42 today. And she recently made her return to the big screen post-motherhood and a five-year break. In this excerpt of a conversation with her, she lays bare matters close to her heart — personally and professionally. Read more here.5. The scope of discussions on transgender issues must expand. Here’s whyOn October 5, Justice Siddharth Mridul of the Delhi High Court passed an exemplary judgments in the case of Shivani Bhat v State of NCT of Delhi and ors. Read more here.

We’ll celebrate next anniversary too in Shiv Sena company: Devendra Fadnavis

Stating that there was no mud-slinging between the BJP and Shiv Sena during electioneering for the Kalyan-Dombivli municipal corporation (KDMC) elections, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the alliance partners would be fighting the elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) together.

Stating that there was no mud-slinging between the BJP and Shiv Sena during electioneering for the Kalyan-Dombivli municipal corporation (KDMC) elections, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the alliance partners would be fighting the elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) together. The chief minister was addressing news persons after releasing ‘Maharashtra Ahead’, a special issue brought out by the directorate general of information and public relations (DGIPR), highlighting achievements of his government during the first year in office.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Skirting questions on the war of words with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in the run-up to the KDMC polls, the chief minister said: “I was not provoked or angry, it was a very composed public address.” He further said, “neither was any mud thrown at me nor did I throw any mud on others.” Uddhav had said it’s time Sena displays its claws and stop supporting an ‘arrogant’ partner, to which Fadnavis retorted saying BJP won’t succumb to such threats. When reporters recalled the same, Fadnavis said Sena and BJP were in alliance for the last 25 years and would continue to work together. He said the government would complete its term and the next anniversary also will be celebrated with Sena as partner. When reporters pointed out to Thackeray’s threat of withdrawing support, Fadnavis said, “I have not heard anything of that sort.” Stating that one year was not enough to evaluate a government, Fadnavis said he has brought in transparency and speed in the functioning of the government. He singled out Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan as the most important achievement of his government, which resulted in creation of additional 24 TMC water storage capacity in the state. He claimed that his government has achieved what the Congress-NCP coalition could not bring in during its 15-year tenure. Vidarbha statehood issue before CentreOn the question on creating separate Vidarbha state, the chief minister said the BJP was always in favour of creating smaller states for better growth. Pointing out that the issue is before the Union government, he said Shiv Sena and BJP have different opinions on the issue with Sena favouring ‘united Maharashtra’ and BJP smaller states. 2.30 lakh houses for tribals, scheme for SCsFadnavis said the government would launch a scheme for providing housing to 2.30 lakh homeless tribals in the state. He said 25,000 houses will be constructed every year for the benefit of tribals, while land as well as finance of Rs 2 lakh will be granted for those belonging to scheduled castes for constructing houses.

Shiv Sena is a drama company, says Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Devendra Fadnavis

Undeterred over resignation of his cabinet colleague and Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis dared Sena at an election rally in Kalyan, near Mumbai, calling the party a drama company.Earlier in the day, Shinde had offered his resignation to Uddhav Thackeray at a rally which was rejected by him but Thackeray had flayed BJP for its arrogance. Fadanvis called the act as theatrics and claimed Sena was getting frustrated as it was seeing defeat looming large. Sena and BJP are facing each other in Kalyan-Dombivali civic polls.“Don’t tell us about tiger paws. We put our hands in tiger’s mouth and count its teeth,” Fadanvis told his alliance partner in the government. Shinde’s resignation is fake, don’t be scared by them, he told his supporters at the rally on Friday. “Where was Shiv Sena during emergency?” asked Fadanvis, referring to Sena’s moot support of emergency declared by the then Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Will seek handover of Chhota Rajan, says Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Chhota Rajan, one of India’s most wanted gangsters, was arrested in the tourist town of Bali, Indonesia on a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades.

Picture Courtesy: NCB Interpol Indonesia

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the state government will seek handover of Chhota Rajan once he is deported to India.Chhota Rajan, one of India’s most wanted gangsters, was arrested in the tourist town of Bali, Indonesia on a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades.”We will request the authorities to handover Chhota Rajan to Maharashtra,” said the Chief Minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Chhota Rajan committed many crimes in Maharashtra. We will provide evidence against him,” he said.Fadnavis made it clear that Chhota Rajan will face trial in the state. “We will find some important information on Chhota Rajan,” he added. Also read- Chhota Rajan: A petty criminal who went on to rule underworld”Chhota Rajan is wanted in several cases in the state. Once he is deported and central investigation agencies are done investigating him, we will request the Centre to first send him here so that we can extract information from him in the cases for which he is wanted here,” Maharashtra minister of state for home (rural) Ram Shinde said. A senior IPS official, meanwhile, said that among other things, Rajan’s interrogation can “reveal new facts” about the 1993 Mumbai blasts. It was due to the blasts that Rajan fell out with Dawood Ibrahim and established himself as a “Hindu don” by eliminating several accused in the blasts case, he said.

Mumbai: 2,500 years later, Jains to fete a monk for fasting 400 days

It’ll be a mega event of sorts for the Jain community at the Bandra Kurla Complex here on November 1. The day will mark one among them completing Gunratna samvatsar tap, observing of fast for over 16 months. Community members say the feat has precedence in Jain history, but not in the last 2,500 years. Hansratna Vijayji Maharajsaheb, the Jain sadhu to accomplish this task, will be breaking the fast on the day at a grand function to be graced by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and some of his cabinet colleagues. Around 50,000 Jains of all sects are expected to attend the event. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ‘fasting’ has a methodology. In the first month, the person is supposed to fast one day and eat (two serves) the following day. In the second month, fasting will be for two days followed by a day of modest eating. The number of fasting days will go up with every passing month, while the break for taking some light meals will be always one. On days of fasting only boiled water can be had, that too between sunrise and sunset. “People have tried earlier, but after 12 or 14 months they drop it. After five months, the body does not accept food as such. Five sadhus have done this, but all 2,500 years ago,” said Dharmadhyan Vijayji Maharajsaheb, nephew of Hansratna.The monk had last year completed 180 days of fasting. Then a family bid Rs 21 crore for the rights to serve him the fast-breaking liquid food. This year, there will be no bidding but the community is raising money for charity activities including drought assistance, which will be announced on the occasion. “No money will be raised on the day as such,” said Karan Sanghvi, whose Nashik-based family is organising the event. “It was Hansratna’s desire that our 93-year-old grandmother break his fast. Since this is something we may not see again in our lifetime, we readily agreed,” said Karan adding that the family doesn’t want to go public with expenditure details.Hansratna, 49, who took to this ‘devotion’ at the age of 35, has spent 1,300 days fasting in the last 12 years. “He observed fast even while travelling 1,071 kms in 16 months across Mumbai, including one to Nashik,” said Naypremvijayji Maharajsaheb, who is busy making arrangements for the event. “I did this with the blessings of my gurus, Bhuvanbhanusuri Maharajsaheb and Rupatit Maharajsaheb. My fast is for cleansing of karma, my soul. For me that is enough. I have asked those who want to do charity to donate towards the cause of education, making of sanatoriums, civic amenities and to save lives from slaughter houses,” said Hansratna.With the parna (breaking of the fast) nearing, numerous programmes are being held with community members coming forward, offering charity or joining the fast. A devotee family on Sunday donated Rs 58 crore for renovation of Matunga Jain Sangh next to Arora Talkies, and adding another six floors to the single-storeyed building. “The family does not want to be named,” said Naypremvijayji.Over 200 people are fasting for the last 16 days to join the monk while he breaks his fast. “I am observing fast and today is my 10th day. This is in appreciation of what he has done,” said Payal Saurabh Dalal, resident of Juhu Galli.

BJP high-level meeting to discuss strained ties with Sena

A senior minister confirmed the development and said, “All is not well within the government as far as relations with Sena ministers are concerned, but I do not think that their Sena counterparts would go to the extent of resigning from the government.”

Taking into account the latest war of words after the launch of a book by former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, the BJP has called an urgent meeting on Thursday to discuss its strained relationship with the Shiv Sena. Senior ministers and BJP state unit office-bearers will attend the meeting.BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve came to the BJP headquarters on Tuesday afternoon and spoke over the phone with senior leaders, including chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Taking into account the statements and counter-statements from both sides, which have impacted the image of the state government and the party, it was decided to discuss the issue at length during a meeting of senior leaders and ministers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior minister confirmed the development and said, “All is not well within the government as far as relations with Sena ministers are concerned, but I do not think that their Sena counterparts would go to the extent of resigning from the government.”He added that party president Raosaheb Danve and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis both would attend the meeting to be held on Thursday. “Let’s hope that good sense prevails,” he said.A senior BJP leader, on the other hand, said the BJP was fed up with Sena’s double standards of enjoying the benefits as part of the government and criticising the same government on a daily basis. He added that it was after pressure from senior leaders that the meeting was scheduled, and a strong message could be sent to the Sena to force it to fall in line.While media persons tried to meet Fadnavis on Tuesday against the backdrop of political developments and speculations that Sena ministers could quit the government, the Chief Minister’s Office issued a press release showing Sena minister Dr Deepak Savant and Fadnavis in a meeting. This meeting was to review health department issues, with the CMO making it a point to convey that it was “like any other day”.

Chemists observe total bandh to protest online sales

Chemists took out marches at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and Azad Maidan in Mumbai and submitted memorandums to the PMO, the union health minister JP Nadda and Mumbai chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Despite last minute efforts by the health ministry, and condemnation by the Indian Pharmacist Association, 8.5 lakh chemists across India went on a one-day strike, protesting e-pharmacies and the sale of online medicines.Reports from different states said that some 12,000 chemists in Delhi, 35,000 in Punjab and Haryana, 55000 across Maharashtra, among other states pulled down their shutters on Wednesday, responding to a call for strike by the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists.Chemists took out marches at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and Azad Maidan in Mumbai and submitted memorandums to the PMO, the union health minister JP Nadda and Mumbai chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Representatives from the AIOCD had met officials from the Ministry of health and family welfare on Monday to submit a list of complaints against online pharmacies. Simultaneously, 11 e-pharmacies came together to form the Indian Internet Pharmacy Association, to clarify their stand, their practice and their business model.Speaking to dna, JS Shinde, president of the AIOCD said that his concern was mainly the poor drug regulation in the country. If, he argued, the government had no machinery to implement the law of the land in existing,traditional pharmacies, then how could they regulate another business model? How would they ensure that prescriptions weren’t fake, dangerous drugs and narcotics weren’t being bought, drugs sold were of proper quality?”Online pharmacies are illegal currently under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act,” said Shinde.Though, online pharmacists point out that conventional chemist stores often flout regulations, sell drugs without prescription, Shinde replied that, “Just because we have flaws in our system, does that mean they get permission to make the same mistakes.”Prashant Tandon, newly appointed president of the IIPA and CEO of 1mg.com, an online pharmacy, countered all concerns of the AIOCD, saying that their system was far more secure and superior to the existing one. “We can track all our orders, all batches of medicines, we have records of all prescriptions. Everything can be tracked and all our records can be audited by regulators.” He said he welcomed the regulators, as the online industry wanted to engage them and work with them.”We don’t touch schedule X drugs, such as narcotics and psychotropics, even if we get a prescription. We want more clarity on the subject ourselves,” he added. Despite Shinde’s claims of much murky business happening online, Tandon said that they had already caught few people placing fake orders to abuse medicines on sites under the IIPA.The crux of the problem, it seems, is money after all talk of looking out for public safety, AIOCD also admits that online pharmacies will hit their business so badly that many chemists and their workers could hit the streets.Tandon tried to allay these fears. The industry in India is worth around an estimated Rs. 80,000 crore, of which he said, the online industry would only make up 0.1 percent. “We’re just starting out. We are complementary in nature, we’re not going to replace traditional chemists. We work with the existing eco-system, with established retailers and vendors who are looking to leverage technology to expand their reach,” he said. He did add that a certain section of the industry was completely opposed to change, as is the case whenever any “new innovation” comes about.For now, the matter lies with Dr Harshdeep Kamble, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra, who heads a subcommittee formed to look into the presentations made for and against online pharmacies, by all stakeholders, over the past month.

Maharashtra: BJP leaders to meet tomorrow to discuss ‘probability of snapping ties’ with Shiv Sena

According to the party functionary, BJP wants the Shiv Sena to “quit” from power. On the contrary another senior BJP leader has said that Sena would not “dare” to take the extreme decision.

Amidst signs of growing fissures between the two allies in Maharashtra, the BJP-led state government will discuss the “probability of snapping ties” with the Shiv Sena after it asked BJP to opt out of coalition government if they have any problems with their ally.The “probability of snapping ties” with the Shiv Sena would be discussed in a joint meeting of BJP ministers and party functionaries on Thursday, a top BJP leader has said.According to the party functionary, BJP wants the Shiv Sena to “quit” from power. On the contrary another senior BJP leader has said that Sena would not “dare” to take the extreme decision.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, a Shiv Sena leader here termed the idea of quitting as “rumours” and said it will continue to be in power.The official agenda of the October 15 meet is the Devendra Fadnavis government’s one year in power, its achievements and ways of celebrating it.”Five major achievements from each portfolio will also be finalised in the meeting. There are other issues to be discussed as well,” BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, even as he denied any discussion on the Uddhav Thackeray-led party in Thursday’s meeting.Another party leader who will be part of the October 15 meeting, claimed that the BJP feels “suffocated” with the Sena’s behaviour towards it.”Though Sena is a part of the BJP government, both at Centre and in the state, it has not wasted even a single opportunity to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and the BJP,” the leader said, requesting anonymity.He further claimed that in the last few days, Sena has tried to “blackmail” the state government over Pakistan singer Ghulam Ali and former Foreign Minister of Pakistan Khurshid Kasuri (over their engagements in the city).

Shiv Sena calls Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis pro-Pakistan

“If fighting against Pakistan is a crime, then Shivsena has committed that crime”, said Sanjay Raut.

Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has hit back at Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis calling him pro-Pakistan after he blamed the latter for bringing the state a bad name due to the protests against former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai.Reacting to his comments, Raut said,”The CM says that Shiv Sena’s protest brought disrepute to Maharashtra. It looks like the CM does not know Maharashtra. In fact, CM’s pro-Pakistan stand has brought disrepute for the state.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Shiv Sena set to pull out of saffron alliance in Maharashtra?He also said that Shivsena is intensely nationalist and opposed the programme due to this attitude. Raut said, “Cops like Tukaram Ombale who laid down their lives fighting against Pakistan in Mumbai. Such police force was used by chief minister to protect Pakistan, insulting the martyrs.””If fighting against Pakistan is a crime, then Shivsena has committed that crime.”Accusing Sudheendra Kulkarni of being a “Pakistani agent”, Sena leader Raut had said that blackening of Kulkarni s face was a mild protest.”Fadnavis had disapproved Shiv Sena’s protests saying the issue has brought disrepute to the state. He said, “We may not agree with views of somebody, but when a foreign dignitary or a diplomat arrives on a valid visa and holds a programme, which is not illegal, it’s the duty of a state to provide protection.”Shiv Sena has also decided to go it alone in the forthcoming Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation election and not have any tie-up with the BJP. The decision was taken last night at a meeting of senior Sena leaders here, a Sena leader said.

Sudheendra Kulkarni attacked: 6 Shiv Sena activists detained

Shiv Sena activists on Monday smeared black ink on the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni.

Sudheendra Kulkarni was attacked by Shiv Sena workers

Six Shiv Sena workers have been detained for paint attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni, who organised ex-Pak minister KM Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai.Shiv Sena activists on Monday smeared black ink on the face of ORF chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni for organising former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch here. “Shiv Sena activists threw ink at me and smeared my face. They abused me,” Kulkarni said.Also read: Sudheendra Kulkarni attacked: Shiv Sena’s protest brought disrepute to state, says Devendra Fadnavis<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He along with author Kasuri held the book launch as planned here later today.

Sudheendra Kulkarni attacked: Rajdeep Sardesai writes open letter to Aaditya Thackeray, asks Sainiks to help distressed farmers than committing ‘act…

Stating that this seems to be the season of open letters, Rajdeep said, “I thought I’d write one to you too (Aaditya). Especially since we went to the same college: as a fellow Xavierite, I feel we share a bond, and as a senior alumni, might even dare to offer some advise.”

After writing to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, senior Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai has now written an open letter to Shiv Sena leader and Yuva Sena Chief Aaditya Thackeray offering him some advise being a fellow Xavierite.Soon after attack on ex BJP ideologue ​Sudheendra Kulkarni for organising former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai, Rajdeep in a blog said that if Maharashtra’s asmita has to be defended, maybe Sainiks should go to Marathwada and help farm widows in distress.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajdeep wrote, “I thought I’d write one to you too (Aaditya). Especially since we went to the same college: as a fellow Xavierite, I feel we share a bond, and as a senior alumni, might even dare to offer some advise.”Referring to attack on Kulkarni, Rajdeep added, “His crime? He had organised a discussion in Mumbai on former Pakistan foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri’s book. The Shiv Sena we were told was angry with the presence of a Pakistani on Indian soil and wanted to register their protest. So, ink had to be spilled on the streets of Mumbai yet again. Last week Ghulam Ali, this week Kasuri: the Sena is back in the news.”Citing the protests by Sena when he was working in Times of India, he added that then Balasaheb Thackeray was the supremo, and now the next generation have taken up mantle, yet some things have not changed. He wrote, “I am angry with the Sena, although I am not surprised. After all, Kulkarni is not the first public figure you have attacked, he probably won’t be the last. Many years ago, when you were probably just a year old, the Sena had dug up a cricket pitch at the Wankhede stadium to protest an Indo-Pak cricket series. When I wrote an article against the Sena, there was a protest outside the Times of India building against me. I was lucky: I escaped unhurt. My senior colleague Nikhil Wagle who edited a Marathi eveninger was less fortunate: his office was broken into and he was physically attacked. Then, your grandfather Balasaheb was the supremo, now you and your father seek the mantle.”He also said that some things won’t change, adding, “The difference is that then you were in opposition, now you are in government.”Meanwhile, questioning Maharashtra government, he said “Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised full protection for the book release function. Good for him. But I ask him, and the Maharashtra police: if you were so committed to securing the function, how did you allow Mr Kulkarni to be a soft target? Or does this suit everyone involved: you get mileage, the Maharashtra government pretends to act tough and Mr Kasuri’s book too will now sell more because of your foolish act. As for my letter : I guess it will probably be thrown into the dustbin of a bloody and violent history.”Sardesai also addressed the ‘patriotic’ tweeter users, saying that attacking Pakistani nationals is not the answer to what is happening at the border.

Shiv Sena justifies attack, calls ex- BJP idealogue Sudheendra Kulkrani Pakistan’s ‘chamcha’

Branding Kasuri a ‘chamchaa’ (sycophant), Raut said that the Shiv Sena has nothing against him personally, but banning Pakistani artists and diplomats who came to India was the only way of sending a strong message to the hostile neighbour.

The Bharatiya Janata Party ally Shiv Sena has justified the attack on BJP idealogue ​Sudheendra Kulkrani for organising former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai.The Sena has termed the attack as a ‘mild’ one and warned that until the ‘message is received’ such attacks will keep on happening.”This is not ink, but the blood of our martyrs on his face. He should feel ashamed for siding with Pakistan’s ‘chamchas’. You cannot stop people as they have paint up hatred against Pakistan in their minds,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Branding Kasuri a ‘chamchaa’ (sycophant), Raut said that the Shiv Sena has nothing against him personally, but banning Pakistani artists and diplomats who came to India was the only way of sending a strong message to the hostile neighbour.Even though Raut did not take credit for the attack on Kulkarni, he said that if the Shiv Sena is being accused for the attack then ‘so be it’.”We won’t be cowed down by such events and the book launch will happen as planned,” the organiser said.Meanwhile, Maharashtra chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday assured protection to the book launch event of Kasuri. However, stating that this doesn’t mean that they endorse all views expressed in the program, Fadnavis added, “No anti India propaganda will be tolerated through any such program and if found so the organisers would be held responsible.”Kasuri is scheduled to attend the launch of his book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’ in Mumbai. Sena had demanded that the event be scrapped and had threatened to disrupt it.

PM lays foundation stone for Ambedkar memorial in central Mumbai

Photos: 1 of 5

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Maharashta CM Fadnavis wants Deepika Padukone to help farmers deal with stress

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said he would like to give Deepika Padukone a unique mission.

Getty Images
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said he wanted Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone to engage with farmers against the backdrop of agrarian crisis in the state. Maharashtra has witnessed hundreds of farmer suicides over the last few years.”We would like to give Deepika Padukone a mission….mission to engage with farmers,” Fadnavis said at an event in Mumbai where the actress launched her foundation `Live Love Laugh’, dedicated to the issue of mental health.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When you talk to anybody, the common word we hear is stress. Everybody experiences stress and people have their own ways of dealing with it. There are people who don’t know how to deal with it…there are people who don’t want to talk about it, share it,” Fadnavis said.Senior citizens sometimes call 100 (police control room no) because they don’t have anyone to talk to, he said.”We did a survey (with regard to farmer suicides) in two places and found out that 40 percent of farmers were under stress. More than the package, they need somebody to assure …reassure them that they exist…they are needed,” the Chief Minister said.Asked if he himself experiences stress, the CM said “we (politicians) lead a stressful life every day because of the challenges… when we look at newspapers…media…But we manage it.”

Shiv Sena has shown Fadnavis is incapable of leading a state: AAP after Ghulam Ali fiasco

New Delhi: The AAP on Thursday slammed Shiv Sena after noted Pakistani ghazal maestro cancelled his music concert in Mumbai due to its opposition and said the withdrawal of the singer is an “unforgivable blot” on the city’s Metropolitan nature.

Party leader Ashutosh said the AAP government is trying to get in touch with Ghulam Ali so he could perform in the national capital.

Ali’s concert in Mumbai was cancelled on Wednesday after Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt it, warning that no artiste
from that country will be allowed to perform in the city till terror emanating from across the border is stopped.

Ashutosh in a file photo. Ibnlive

Ashutosh in a file photo. Ibnlive

Taking a pot shot, the AAP said the Shiv Sena only has the courage only to dare soft targets like singers and artists and if it really had such serious issues with pro Pakistan elements, it should have raised its voice against the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu & Kashmir.

“What is even more ironic in that on 20 September, Aditya Thackeray (Shivsena’s youth wing leader) spoke at an event at Taj Lands End (hotel) in Mumbai where Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed. And today, less than 20 days later he gives statements that there can be no cultural ties with Pakistan.”

“Is it okay for Pakistani artists to perform at private/corporate functions attended by the Thackeray family but not at shows where the common man can attend? This blatant hypocrisy goes on to show that these bans & threats are only ploys used by Shiv Sena to divide people and appease their vote banks,” the party said in its statement.

The party claimed that the fringe elements are flourishing with the BJP government at the Centre and the states.

AAP also questioned on who is actually running the state – Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis or Uddhav Thackeray?

“The AAP believes that this act of Shiv Sena has shown that the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is incapable of leading a state. Why did the organisers of the show visit Uddhav Thackeray? Who is the Chief Minister of this state – Fadnavis or Thackeray?”

“If the Chief Minister of Maharashtra does not have the courage and the wherewithal to ensure a peaceful concert, how will he ensure safety for the citizens? How will he promise safety for international businesses which he is allegedly wooing?” AAP said.

PTI

None involved in irrigation scam will be spared: Maha CM Devendra Fadnavis

During his first television interview on completion of one year in office, Fadnavis said that there was no question of any political settlement in this regard since this dispensation was not the one which would go in for any kind of settlement. He was interviewed by Zee 24 Taas and dna Editor-in-Chief Dr Uday Nirgudkar along with the editorial team comprising Deepak Bhatuse, Amit Joshi and Shailendra Paranjpe during the special programme ‘Rokhthok Fadnavis’.

CM Devendra Fadnavis during the interview with Zee 24 Taas and dna team

Asserting that no one would be spared in the irrigation scam, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday stated that the probe into the scam would lead to the arrest of the last man who had signed the files. During his first television interview on completion of one year in office, Fadnavis said that there was no question of any political settlement in this regard since this dispensation was not the one which would go in for any kind of settlement. He was interviewed by Zee 24 Taas and dna Editor-in-Chief Dr Uday Nirgudkar along with the editorial team comprising Deepak Bhatuse, Amit Joshi and Shailendra Paranjpe during the special programme ‘Rokhthok Fadnavis’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Fadnavis was responding to Dr Nirgudkar’s question that when he was in the Opposition, he had promised time and again that if voted to power his government would put behind bars all the ministers involved in the scams, but when it comes to irrigation scam, the former ministers are not even turning up for the inquiry. Fadnavis said that none of those involved in the irrigation scam will be spared and added that he has already earmarked the place they deserve. Refuting allegations of violation of code of conduct during his speech at Dombivli, the chief minister categorically stated that he did not announce anything new there. He said that he just gave details of various allocations for Dombivli which were already in public domain, and made no fresh announcements. Fadnavis said that if the state election commission seeks any explanation, he would present his side. Describing the Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan as the biggest and most important achievement of his government in the last one year, Fadnavis said that under this campaign, which was started six months ago, the additional 24 TMC water storage capacity has been added in a decentralised manner. It would provide added irrigation capacity. Moreover, the capacity addition has been achieved by spending just Rs 1,400 crore and in a matter of six months. The chief minister said that there has been a public participation to the tune of Rs 300 crore in this campaign and the previous government would have taken more than three-and-a-half years to create 24 TMC storage capacity. He said that his government has achieved it in less than 50 per cent of the previous government’s spending without taking into consideration the delays in projects thus escalating prices of all the projects. Fadnavis said that the biggest failure of his government was that it could not effectively convey to the people of Maharashtra the work done in the last one year. Making it clear that the state government would not ban Sanatan Sanstha under the pressure of so-called and self-proclaimed secularists, Fadnavis said his government had taken oath of not treating anyone with enmity or favour. He said the Sanatan Sanstha would neither be spared if found guilty nor would it be punished because of pressure from so-called secularists. (Detailed interview will appear in Friday’s edition)

Shiv Sena slams Maharashtra government’s drought surcharge decision

To raise funds for tackling drought, the state government had last week announced a surcharge of Rs 2 on petrol and diesel while increasing the VAT on liquor, cigarettes and beverages by 5%.

Shiv Sena

Ruling partner Shiv Sena has slammed Maharashtra’s BJP-led government’s decision to levy an additional surcharge on a host of items to raise money to tackle the drought situation in the state, dubbing it as “pick pocketing”.Instead of resorting to this sort of a measure, the state should have sought a financial package from the Centre, similar to the one announced for Bihar, to help crisis-hit farmers, Sena’s mouthpiece “Saamana” said in an editorial today.”We can describe our state of finance in one word–pick pocketing. Remove a little from somebody’s pocket, again remove some from somebody else’s pocket and keep them in the treasury. Do we really need a finance minister at the Centre and in the state to do such things?” Sena said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”By casting a burden of Rs 1,600 crore on people to help farmers, state finance minister has indulged in pickpocketing … The only question is, will this really wipe the tears from farmers’ eyes? So far, the government has provided Rs 425 crore to help farmers who suffered failure of crops, Rs 690 crore as insurance for crops, Rs 1,000 crore for crop losses, Rs 950 crore to distribute foodgrains at cheap costs,” the Sena said.It wanted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who belongs to the BJP, make clear the Centre’s stand on providing financial aid to drought affected farmers.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aware of the problems of crisis-hit Bihar and announced a package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore. That is evident from the package he announced for Bihar. A similar concern for drought affected farmers will help mitigate the situation (in Maharashtra). We are only asking what is due to us,” the Sena said.To raise funds for tackling drought, the state government had last week announced a surcharge of Rs 2 on petrol and diesel while increasing the VAT on liquor, cigarettes and beverages by 5%.It also imposed a 1.20% surcharge on VAT on gold and diamond jewellery. The additional levy will be in force for five months.

Coal scam: Court ticks off CBI for not supplying all documents

A special court on Wednesday ticked off the CBI for not supplying all papers to the accused in a coal scam case, saying it was “creating problems” and directed the agency to provide a 200-page document to them within a time- frame.

A special court on Wednesday ticked off the CBI for not supplying all papers to the accused in a coal scam case, saying it was “creating problems” and directed the agency to provide a 200-page document to them within a time- frame.The court’s observation came after advocates representing some of the accused contended that they had not been supplied with an entire set of document filed by CBI in the case.”I am surprised how a complete set of one document running into around 200 pages have not been supplied to the accused,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said while asking the agency about it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to the court’s query, senior public prosecutor A P Singh said there were three lists of documents which have been filed by CBI in the case.The judge said, “This is creating problems. You file a consolidated list of documents of all the files”.The prosecutor said CBI would file a consolidated list of all the documents in the court and also supply it to accused.He further said it would also provide copies of deficient documents sought by defence counsel by next date of hearing.”You supply the documents as sought by the accused. The consolidated list of documents should be supplied to accused three-four days prior to the next date of hearing so that they may cross check it with documents supplied to them earlier,” the judge said and fixed the matter for October 12.The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Fatehpur (East) coal block in Chhattisgarh to accused firm M/s JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd.Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda and six others, including his son Devendra Darda and former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, are accused in the case.The court had earlier granted bail to Vijay Darda, Gupta Devendra, two senior government servants — K S Kropha and K C Samria — and businessman Manoj Kumar Jayaswal in the case.The court had summoned them for the alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.It had on last November refused to accept CBI’s closure report filed in the case and had directed the agency to conduct further probe into the matter while saying that the Rajya Sabha MP had allegedly “misrepresented” facts in letters written to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was holding the Coal Ministry portfolio.

Bihar polls: After Ramvilas Paswan, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s son-in-law turns rebel

The HAM chief’s son-in-law Devendra Manjhi filed nomination as an Independent from Bodh Gaya (reserved SC seat). BJP has fielded its sitting MLA Shyamdeo Paswan from the seat.

Close on the heels of LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan’s son-in-law rebelling against him, the son-in-law of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi also went against him and filed nomination as an Independent candidate on Monday.The HAM chief’s son-in-law Devendra Manjhi filed nomination as an Independent from Bodh Gaya (reserved SC seat). BJP has fielded its sitting MLA Shyamdeo Paswan from the seat. Devendra Manjhi said he had to enter the fray “under pressure from the Mahadalit samaj (community),” but bode no ill feeling against his father-in-law, former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Despite representing Dalit and Mahadalit samaj, he got only 20 seats. What more can he do?” Devendra said about his father-in-law, adding “I do not want to tarnish his image and will definitely seek his blessings.”Devendra Manjhi, who used to live in the CM’s residence when Jitan Ram Manjhi was on the chair and played an active role in his political activities, said “I have support of my mother-in-law and others in the family.”Jitan Ram Manjhi, who was contesting from two seats, Makhdumpur and Imamganj, both reserved seats, gave ticket to son Santosh Kumar Suman from Kutumba (reserved SC) seat in Aurangabad.Devendra Manjhi’s fate resembled that of Anil Kumar Sadhu, son-in-law of LJP president Ramvilas Paswan.Sadhu, who headed the Dalit Sena and has been removed by the LJP, said he was thinking of entering into the fray from Raja Pakar (reserved SC seat) against Pashupati Kumar Paras, younger brother of Ramvilas Paswan and state LJP chief.”I will field candidates from the Dalit samaj on all seats contested by the LJP and campaign to ensure defeat of Ramvilas Paswan’s party,” he added.

Nitin Gadkari unveils his vision for decongesting Mumbai

“Firstly the city needs to be decongested. Mumbai has the sea on three sides; so there are infrastructure limitations,” the minister for road transport, highways and shipping told dna.

Nitin Gadkari

Union minister Nitin Gadkari has an old fondness, past links and new dreams for Mumbai. And if he had his way, he would begin with decongesting the city. This, in his vision, would require moving out of the city three projects – Tata power plant, two petrol refineries (Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum) and Mumbai Port Trust, barring the clean cargo section. “Firstly the city needs to be decongested. Mumbai has the sea on three sides; so there are infrastructure limitations,” the minister for road transport, highways and shipping told dna.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Gadkari, who has over a 20-year-long association with Mumbai, has discussed his views on the city with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The Nagpur MP also feels that the sewage water should not go into the sea. “Unlike Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, there is no land in Mumbai. How many flyovers can you make?” asked Gadkari, who as construction minister of Maharashtra from 1995 to 1999 came to be known as “flyover minister” after his signature Mumbai-Pune expressway and 54 flyovers in Mumbai. Gadkari said that new growth centres required to be built, suggesting a port could be developed in the Konkan region. He wants Mumbai inland waterways to be encouraged. For Gadkari, the Modi government’s plans for “smart cities” and “smart villages” could provide answers to the problem of overcongested cities. Citing the increase in village to city migration figures, he said there has to be quality of life in villages in terms of education and infrastructure so that the movement to cities is contained. “We require sustainable development. There is need for smart cities and smart villages and growth centres. I want these issues to be debated,” he said. A man with a mission, Gadkari exudes confidence that he would deliver on every promise he has made and every plan he has envisaged on roads, inland waterways and ports. He has aimed at roads and ports contributing two per cent to the GDP. But the question is whether it would be entirely in his hands to get the projects moving at the speed he anticipated. Two bills are awaiting approval – the inland waterways bill is in Parliament and the Motor Vehicles Act being on the concurrent list requires the ratification of states. He also realises that one of the biggest challenges before the government was meeting the high expectations of the people. It was Gadkari who was entrusted with the task of defending the government’s stand on the contentious land acquisition bill. With the Opposition resisting the bill, he now says that states can acquire land as per their laws.

Bombay HC has not stayed circular on sedition, claims Maharashtra govt

Mumbai: Maharashtra home department on Wednesday claimed that the Bombay High Court had not stayed its controversial circular about the use of section 124-A of Indian Penal Code which deals with the offence of sedition.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

The court on Tuesday only asked it to file an affidavit on the issue at the next hearing on 20 October, an official statement said in Mumbai, adding “the department is working to bring more clarity on the subject.”

The circular, which contains guidelines for invoking the stringent section, has been lambasted for allegedly advising the police to press sedition charge ever for a mere criticism of the government.

The court had on Tuesday asked the government not to implement the guidelines until further hearing.

Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi and others have challenged its constitutional validity.

PTI

Maha CM downplays Marathi clause for autos, says 70% licenses issued to non-Marathi speakers

Mumbai: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday sought to downplay the issue of mandatory Marathi clause for obtaining new auto permits, saying last year nearly 70 per cent of such licences were issued to drivers who did not know the state language.

Transport minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote kicked up a controversy last week when he announced that new autorickshaw permits will be issued only to drivers who speak Marathi.

Fadnavis also sought to emphasise that what Raote said was nothing new and there was a law in place since 1988 which says a person applying for auto permit should know Marathi.

Representational image. Image courtesy: APRepresentational image. Image courtesy: AP

Representational image. Image courtesy: AP

A delegation of BJP workers on Monday met Fadnavis and sought a clarification on the issue of auto permits and the statement given by Raote. It demanded that the Transport Department issue permits to even those who cannot speak Marathi. In a letter to Fadnavis, party workers said insisting on knowing the local language may render thousands of people jobless in the city.

Fadnavis told reporters out of 7,843 permits issued last year, 5,303 (around 70 per cent) were given to non-Marathi speaking people. “In September 2014, a total of 27,087 applications were received online for 7,843 permits. Of the total, 7,747 were bagged by male applicants, 95 by women and one by a transgender,” an official from Transport Department said.

A senior Cabinet Minister, however, said Raote’s statement should not have been blown out of proportion by the media.

“When the condition of knowing the local language is already there in the Transport Act, the media should not have unnecessarily blown the issue out of proportion,” he said.

Opposition Congress and NCP had slammed the Marathi mandatory decision, accusing Sena and alliance partner BJP of whipping up the sons-of-the-soil sentiment for making gains in the Mumbai civic polls due in early 2017.

JD(U), the ruling party in Bihar, latched onto the auto permit issue to hit out at BJP, its main political rival in the poll-bound state. The regional party criticised the BJP-Sena goverment’s decision to give auto permits to only Marathi-speaking people.

PTI

Supreme Court asks states to release undertrials who have served a fourth of total sentence

A year after the Supreme Court announced the immediate release of all inmates, who have served half of their maximum term without the completion of trial, the top court has gone a step ahead asking state governments to consider releasing those who have served one fourth of the total sentence.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
A year after the Supreme Court announced the immediate release of all inmates, who have served half of their maximum term without the completion of trial, the top court has gone a step ahead asking state governments to consider releasing those who have served one fourth of the total sentence.If consensus is reached on the proposal, its implementation can reduce the number of undertrials languishing in jails drastically. Prisons all across the country are bustling with undertrials, who have been awaiting justice for donkey’s years. The relief, however, will not be extended to those undertrial prisoners whose offence attracts death penalty.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The government has just received the communication and a decision will be taken soon after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis returns from Japan,” said a senior officer.Acting on a PIL, the apex court in September 2014 had asked the law ministry to mobilise judicial officers across the country to visit every prison in their district for two months to identify and release undertrial prisoners who have undergone detention for half the maximum period of imprisonment their offence prescribes under law.Experts say that as per Section 436-A CrPC undertrial prisoners, who suffer detention “during the period of investigation, inquiry or trial” for one half of their maximum imprisonment, should be released by the court on personal bond with or without sureties. However, the law was rarely followed.As per National Crime Records Bureau, around 2.54 lakh prisoners across the country are undertrials. Around 5.6 lakh undertrials were released on bail under the previous UPA government. Meanwhile, Maharashtra has 50 jails with a total capacity of 25,000 prisoners. However, at present they house close to 27,000 inmates which takes the strength to 110% of the capacity.

Maharastra CM Devendra Fadnavis embarks on four-day Japan tour

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday embarked on a four-day visit to Japan where he will inaugurate a memorial and statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and also hold consultations with captains of Japanese trade and commerce for investment opportunities back home.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday embarked on a four-day visit to Japan where he will inaugurate a memorial and statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and also hold consultations with captains of Japanese trade and commerce for investment opportunities back home.Fadnavis is accompanied by top officials of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) as well as Industries Minister Subhash Desai, on the trip.State Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole and RPI(A) president Ramdas Athawale will participate in the function to inaugurate the Ambedkar statue at Koyasan University, in Mount Koya, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, on September 10.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They will also be present during the signing of an MoU between Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University and the Koyasan University.Fadnavis is also scheduled to meet leaders and businessmen in Tokyo and Osaka where he will pitch for Japanese investments in India.A Maharashtra state investment promotion seminar will also be organised by MIDC and Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro).

Bollywood actor Nana Patekar wants Pawar, Fadnavis, Rane to jointly fight drought

Patekar and Marathi actor Makrand Anaspure, who have undertaken to help the distressed farming families trying to come to terms with their tragedies, distributed cheques for Rs 15,000 to 113 such families.

Bollywood actor Nana Patekar wants top Maharashtra leaders to come together to face the challenge posed by drought as no single party can tackle it alone.”The challenge of drought is staring us in the face… I feel leaders like Sharad Pawar (NCP chief), Narayan Rane (Congress leader), and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should come together to fight the crisis,” Patekar said.Patekar, who distributed financial aid to 113 families of farmers from Latur and Osmanabad districts who committed suicide owing to drought and indebtedness, however, said he does not know if his wish to see these leaders unitedly fighting the scourge will come true.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This (drought) is a natural calamity. I don’t know whether my wish (of these leaders coming together) will be fulfilled or not. The drought cannot be tackled by one party alone,” he told reporters yesterday.Patekar and Marathi actor Makrand Anaspure, who have undertaken to help the distressed farming families trying to come to terms with their tragedies, distributed cheques for Rs 15,000 to 113 such families.The actors personally went to the seats of the kin and handed over the cheques to them.Patekar also gave them a pep talk and asked them to keep fighting, while pitching for guaranteed price for their produce. “Keep fighting. Farmers will not see good days unless their produce gets a guaranteed price. Even a notebook, a pen or even a soap has price printed on them, but milk that farmers sell do not have any price,” the “Krantiveer” actor said.On August 10, they had provided financial assistance of Rs 15,000 each to the families of 62 farmers from the parched Vidarbha region who had committed suicide.”Many people have helped (farmers) in their own ways, we are just postmen,” the 64-year-old actor said.He said the number of Muslim farmers ending their lives was negligible because Quran held suicide as a sin. “Holy Quran terms suicide as a sin and betrayal of God’s will. This teaching of Quran touches my heart,” he said.

Maharashtra government may ban sugarcane sowing in drought-hit Marathwada

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promises to provide water through railways. Some experts wonder why beer distilleries are not affected

Maharashtra government to ban sugarcane farming in drought-hit Marathwada as it requires maximum water.

The Marathwada region is facing the worst-ever drought, and the state government will have to reserve all water sources – only for drinking.Drying-up dams, poor rainfall for the fourth year in succession, depletion in groundwater levels due to more and more bore-wells and urbanisation scuttling equitable water distribution are the macro reasons being cited. While people of the Marathwada region bear the brunt, some experts say that this scarcity has come as a big blessing to some quarters. But more of that later.The government is likely to ban sugarcane-sowing, at least for the ensuing kharif and rabi seasons, before the onset of monsoon in 2016. Sugarcane farming requires maximum water. Experts say that the government has realised that it would be encountering a drought situation worse than that in 1972. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis would be completing a week-long tour, covering Marathwada as well as the scarcity-hit regions of Solapur and Ahmednagar in western Maharashtra.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Now, for those who gain from water scarcity. According to water expert Pradeep Purandare, if you visit Latur or Jalna, you would find water jars with 20- to 40-litre capacity inside houses. Purandare says people in Jalna are used to buying water for 20 years now, and he raises a question which is that “is this water scarcity in Marathwada region for helping bottling plants?” Most bottling plants, he says, are owned by politicians and water scarcity in Marathwada serves them well. Of course, there are steel plants, which also require large amount of water, he adds.The Marathwada region is facing the fourth consecutive year of a drought-like situation. In addition to sugarcane, farmers have gone for sweet lemon and soya bean. Activists blame lack of judicious water usage and the distilleries and breweries as other factors. But what is intriguing, they say, is that water scarcity has not hit beer production in Aurangabad.Purandare, who has served as an expert member on the Marathwada Statutory Development Board, said that there an immediate ban on cane cultivation is the need of the hour. “What’s the need for new sowing when we are converting standing cane crop into fodder, he asks. Is it necessary to use water for growing fodder when drinking water crisis is going to be unprecedented?” Purandare says. “For equitable distribution and usage of water from the Godavari basin, Nashik and Ahmednagar should provide water to Marathwada region and the state government has to take such a decision as early as possible,” he added.Lok Sabha MP and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana president Raju Shetti said that the government must ban distilleries in Marathwada. When there’s a drinking water crisis, how can we promote beer production and distilleries which require huge amount of water, he asks.NCP president Sharad Pawar termed it is as one of the most severe droughts he has witnessed in his five decade-long public life. Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has said that Marathwada is facing a drought situation worse than that in 1972. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that the government would provide water through railways and would avail of loans, if needed.

We are just postmen: Nana Patekar sends a message, gives aid to kin of farmers who committed suicide

Latur (Maharashtra): Actors Nana Patekar and Makrand Anaspure distributed cheques of financial aid to as many as 113 families of farmers from Latur and Osmanabad districts of Marathwada, who have committed suicides, owing to drought and indebtedness.

The kin of the deceased were given cheque of Rs 15,000 each at a function held in Latur on Saturday.

Actor Nana Patekar. Reuters

Actor Nana Patekar. Reuters

“The challenge of drought is staring us in the face… I feel leaders like Sharad Pawar (NCP chief), Narayan Rane (Congress leader), and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should come together to fight the crisis,” Patekar told reporters later.

“This (drought) is a natural calamity. I don’t know whether my wish (of these leaders coming together) will be fulfilled or not. The drought is transient and it cannot be tackled by one party alone. Many people have helped (farmers) in their own ways, we are just postmen,” the 64-year-old actor said.

Patekar and Anaspure, a famous Marathi actor, had launched a drive to help the distressed families of farmers in the wake of drought and suicides.

On 10 August, they had provided financial assistance of Rs 15,000 each to the families of 62 farmers from Vidarbha region, who had committed suicide.

At the function, both the actors personally went to the seats of the kin and handed them over the cheques.

In his appeal to farmers, Patekar asked them not to surrender to the situation.

“Keep fighting. Farmers will not see good days unless their produce gets a guaranteed price. Even a notebook, a pen or even a soap has price printed on them, but milk that farmers sell do not have any price,” the “Krantiveer” actor said.

On the percentage of suicide of Muslim farmers being negligible, Patekar said, “This is because Holy Quran terms suicide as a sin and the betrayal of God’s will. This teaching of Quran touches my heart,” the actor added.

PTI

Will bring fodder from outside Maharashtra if needed, says CM Devendra Fadnavis

There is also a proposal to provide water through railway rakes, he said.

Maharashtra government which is taking immediate steps to tackle acute drought in Marathwada, will bring fodder from outside the state, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday.The government will also study the phenomena of irregular and insufficient rains and prepare future policy accordingly, Fadnavis said in an informal chat with newsmen here this evening.There is also a proposal to provide water through railway rakes, he said.The Chief Minister, who undertook a 4-day visit to five drought-affected districts in Mararthwada and also Ahmednagar, said he is also undertaking a tour of Solapur to review the water scarcity situation there tomorrow.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”During the tour, I got to visit some irrigation projects and see the situation on ground,” he added.

Maharashtra government would not wait for Union government’s drought-prone areas

The state Cabinet on Tuesday reviewed the drought situation in the state after which the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis left for a 3-day tour to drought-affected areas in Marathwada region.

Stating that the state government would not wait for Union government’s help for helping drought-prone areas, minister for finance Sudhir Mungantiwar on Tuesday said that the state government would not hesitate availing loan while mitigating the drought situation in the state if need arises. The state Cabinet on Tuesday reviewed the drought situation in the state after which the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis left for a 3-day tour to drought-affected areas in Marathwada region. He would be visiting four districts in Marathwada in first phase of drought hit areas tour. He would be visiting Solapur and Ahmednagar on September 6 and 7, 2015.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Replying to a question Mungantiwar said that it was true that fodder camps were not started yet but the government was yet to decide as to whether the fodder camp should have started or the fodder should be provided at the door-step of the farmers. He said that it was a huge task and government would not wait Union government’s help while mitigating the drought situation in the state. He said that if required the government would not hesitate availing loan while helping the farmers of the state, who are hit by the worst ever drought-situation in the state in last many years. BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve on Tuesday said that both the governments including Union government and the state government were capable of mitigating the drought-like situation in the state. He said that the state unit of the party would be making an arrangement in next two days which would ensure that all the MLAs would reach out to villages and ministers would monitor the drought mitigation at taluka level. He said that the chief minister is reaching out to district places and reviewing the drought mitigation plans while government has already started providing food-grains including rice and wheat at Rs 2 and 3 per Kg in 17 districts in the drought-hit areas of the state.

Allahabad HC seeks replies from UP govt and Lokayukta on Amitabh Thakur’s plea

On August 24, the Lokayukta had sent the report to the state government after completing an inquiry on a complaint made against Thakur.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the state government and the Lokayukta, Uttar Pradesh, to file their replies within four weeks on a writ petition challenging the inquiry report of the anti-graft ombudsman against suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur.A division bench of justice Shabihul Hasnain and justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya passed the order on a petition filed by Thakur seeking quashing of the Lokayukta report and directions to the state government not to act on it.On August 24, the Lokayukta had sent the report to the state government after completing an inquiry on a complaint made against Thakur. Petitioner Amitabh Thakur alleged that the investigation completed against him by Lokayukta justice(retd.) N. K Mehrotra is not only “a complete farce but has also shaken the foundations of his august office.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petitioner also alleged that Mehrotra claimed that Thakur had disproportionate assets which needed CBI and ED inquiries but surprisingly neither he nor his father, mother, wife or brother was given any opportunity to be heard by the Lokayukta who “falsely” stated that their (father, mother, wife and brothers) property was that of Thakur.The petitioner alleged that the Lokayukta s conduct was “completely against the dignity of his office and proved his bias in work and conduct.” That is why the moment he filed a petition in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on August 24, the Lokayukta immediately sent a “half-baked” report in “great hurry,” the petitioner further said.On the other hand, the counsel for the state and the Lokayukta opposed the petition and sought time to file replies. The HC provided four weeks time to them for the same and directed to list the matter thereafter.

Maharashtra: NCP flays minister Girish Mahajan’s visit to Kumbh Mela

“Though the Kumbh happens once in 12 years, he should have remembered that he visited the place as a representative of the state government and should have shown that he is aware of the condition of farmers,” he said.

Terming Maharashtra Water Resource Minister Girish Mahajan’s visit to the Kumbh Mela as a “shameful incident,” NCP leader Sachin Ahir said here that while his cabinet colleagues were visiting drought-hit regions, he was busy “clicking photos with his friends.” “When Girish Mahajan was getting his photos clicked at the ‘shahi snan’ with his friends and having fun indulging in water sports, he forgot that there are farmers who are in distress due to drought conditions in the state,” Ahir told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahir, who is the president of NCP’s Mumbai Unit, said that photos of Mahajan enjoying ‘shahi snan’ at Kumbh Mela, which went viral on social media, portray that he is “insensitive” towards the plight of farmers.”Though the Kumbh happens once in 12 years, he should have remembered that he visited the place as a representative of the state government and should have shown that he is aware of the condition of farmers,” he said.”His party (BJP) state President Raosaheb Danve, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other ministers are on a tour of drought prone regions, while Mahajan was busy with his friends posing before cameras. This is shameful for the state,” Ahir said.He said that public servants need to show restraint and not “spoil the image of the state”.”I hope Mahajan behaves better next time,” Ahir said.Mahajan, who is the Guardian Minister of Nashik, welcomed thousands of devotees, including ‘mahants’ of various akhadas or sects, thronging the ghats of Godavari river to take the holy dip during the first ‘shahi snan’ which started yesterday.The minister had also felicitated the mahants by giving them yellow shawls.Meanwhile, despite several attempts, Mahajan remained unavailable for comment.

Mumbai: Man accused of masturbating in front of an American woman arrested

Man accused of masturbating in front of an American woman in Mumbai has been arrested by the Colaba police.

Photo courtesy: Twitter

Man accused of masturbating in front of an American woman in Mumbai has been arrested by the Colaba police.An FIR was registered against the man on Tuesday for outraging a woman’s modesty. The police had recorded the woman’s statement.Following the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had directed Joint CP Deven Bharti to look into the matter.An expat living in Mumbai had alleged that a man masturbated in front of her in broad daylight. Maryanna Abdo posted the man’s photo on Twitter and said that he ran away after being confronted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also added that the other two people, dressed in olive-green in the photo, were kind enough to respond to her calls for help.Later, Abdo thanked people on the micro-blogging site for the overwhelming support she received from across India.”I am now in touch with the police here and am handing this matter over to them. I have therefore decided to take down the picture,” she had tweeted.

Decoding the controversy over awarding Maharashtra Bhushan to Babasaheb Purandare

The award ceremony is slated to be held today at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai.

dna Research & Archives
The Maharashtra government decision to honour octogenarian historian Babasaheb Purandare with the prestigious ‘Maharashtra Bhushan award’ has created a political storm in the state. The decision led to sections of the Maratha community and former NCP minister Jitendra Awhad protesting against the move, asking the government to withdraw the award.However, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has slammed political parties for indulging in dirty politics and opposing the government’s decision. NCP Lok Sabha member from Satara, Udayanraje Bhosle, who is a direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, has said the Maharashtra government should put off the award function due to the controversy surrounding Purandare. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The award ceremony is slated to be held on Wednesday (today) at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai.Here is all you need to know about the controversy:Who is Babasaheb Purandare?Babasaheb Purandare is a well-known writer and theatre personality from Maharashtra, known for his ballads and writing on Maratha warrior Shivaji. He is well known for his popular play on Shivaji, Jaanta Raja. He is also known for his significant contribution to the Shiv Sena, along with Bal Thackeray, in the early 70s.What is the Maharashtra Bhushan award?Maharashtra Bhushan is the highest and prestigious award presented annually by the Maharashtra state government since 1996 for significant contribution in various fields.It was initially conferred in the fields of literature, science, arts and sports. Later, other fields such as social work, health services, journalism and public administration were included.The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh, a memento and citation.The winners are selected by a committee appointed by the state government. Why is there opposition to giving Purandare the award?Leaders of both the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress are opposing the government’s decision to award Babasaheb Purandare the Maharashtra Bhushan Award saying his portrayal of Shivaji is not based on facts and has presented a distorted picture, maligning the image of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Jijabai and Shahaji Raje.Some leaders also alleged that Purandare had distorted history and tarnished Chhatrapati Shivaji’s image by casting aspersions on his biological parentage in the context of the role played by his guru Dadaji Konddev. Some leaders are also accusing him of writing history through a Brahaminical prism.NCP leader Jitendra Awhad along with a delegation, met Governor Vidhyasagar Rao and demanded that the state government cancel the decision. Awhad has been at the forefront of criticism of Purandhare’s work. Also read: Devendra Fadnavis, not Babasaheb Purandare, the real issue: Raj ThackerayNCP Chief Sharad Pawar said that he has read Purandare’s work and respected his age, but did not agree with his derogatory writing. Pawar has also supported party leader saying Awhad has been doing nothing wrong by opposing the state decision.What did retired Supreme Court judge P B Sawant say?Former Press Council of India chairman and retired Supreme Court judge PB Sawant has opposed the decision to bestow its highest award on Purandare. Sawant says that the award is given on behalf of the people of Maharashtra and the person who insults Chhatrapati Shivaji and Jijau (mother of the Maratha warrior king) should not be given any award. Sawant believes that, therefore, if they are opposed to giving it to a person, the government should respect their opinion.Jnanpith award-winning author Bhalchandra Nemade​ slams decisionOpposing the decison, Jnanpith award-winning Marathi author Bhalchandra Nemade has accused Purandare of making derogatory references about Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji. Nemade feels that the portrayal of Shivaji in Purandare’s work is not in keeping with history. Nemade, who is known for his outspoken comments on various issues, also signed a letter sent to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis urging him to withdraw the award.Raj Thackeray supports Purandare, slams Pawar for indulging in dirty politicsSlamming NCP chief Sharad Pawar, MNS chief Raj Thackeray accused Pawar of indulging in ‘dirty politics’ over the issue. He is of the opinion that Babasaheb Purandare is being used as an excuse. He is doing so because a brahmin (Devendra Fadnavis) has now become chief minister of Maharashtra. Thackeray said that Pawar had felicitated Purandare on a few occasions. He also said that he did not think then that what Purandare had written was not right. Thackeray said that if anyone touches Purandare, he will create ‘tandav’ (havoc) in Maharashtra.Pune residents file PILA public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court by two Pune residents Padmakar Kamble and Rahul Pokale, through their advocate Shekhar Jagtap. The petitioners have claimed that the government has not given proper thought while deciding the granting of state’s highest honour. Petition also says that Purandare does not have any research, as per a clause, which is required to be felicitated and the book written by him is more of fiction than giving a true picture of Shivaji.Sambhaji Brigade vandalise minister’s office attackedSuspected members of hardline Maratha group Sambhaji Brigade vandalised Maharashtra minister Ram Shinde’s office in Ahmednagar district to protest the state government’s decision.The protesters, numbering over 12, pelted stones and damaged furniture and windows of Shinde’s newly built office in Ahmednagar, about 250 km from Mumbai. Sambhaji Brigade, in the past, has accused Purandare of “distorting” history and “defaming” the 17th century warrior king.

Devendra Fadnavis, not Babasaheb Purandare, the real issue: Raj Thackeray

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray blames education minister Vinod Tawde for the controversy over the Maharashtra Bhushan award. In an interview with Zee 24 Taas editor Dr Uday Nirgudkar, he says disgruntled elements within the BJP, who are nursing chief ministerial ambitions, are out to isolate chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Abhinav Kocharekar

Q: What was your first reaction when Babasaheb Purandare was chosen for the Maharashtra Bhushan award?A: I was very happy. Q: Earlier, the award function was held at big venues like Wankhede Stadium and Shanmukhnanda Hall. Why is it being held at Raj Bhavan with limited people now?A: The current BJP government is indecisive and they are cowards. There is politics behind the award. Chief ministerial aspirants in the BJP are helping the NCP to turn the Maharashtra Bhushan and Purandare issue into a larger one. They want to outwit chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Most people in the government and in the opposition cannot digest Fadnavis, a Brahmin, as chief minister. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is helping this disgruntled group.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Q: Can you throw more light on how BJP leaders are behind this controversy?A: A few days back, education and cultural minister Vinod Tawde (Maratha) met me and told me that this year they are going to give Maharashtra Bhushan to Mr Purandare. If the government has set up a committee to chose the candidate for this highest state civilian award, how come Mr Tawde knew the name? This is nothing but a larger conspiracy to create a controversy to show that Fadnavis, a Brahmin, chose Mr Purandare, another Brahmin. They want to project the that Brahmins are chosing only Brahmins for various awards. Q: Why is there a difference of opinion in the Pawar family regarding Purandare?A: This is just to confuse people and get votes. This is nothing but vote-bank politics, keeping an eye on the majority Maratha vote-bank. Pawar is the main person behind this entire controversy. Mr Purandare is not the issue, the main issue is Fadnavis. When Manohar Joshi was chief minister, a similar controversy was tried to be created, saying that Peshwahi (Brahmin regime) will come back in Maharashtra, where 99% are non-Brahmins. At that time, Balasaheb Thackeray was there and nobody dared to create a controversy. Fadnavis is a junior and nobody is here to protect him. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chose Fadnavis as chief minister, has taken maun vrat. So, Fadnavis has been isolated in state politics. Q: You have been advised to read history written by your grandfather…A: Nobody should advise me what to read and what not to read. I have been reading since my childhood. Some people have just started reading history.