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AIADMK may scout for allies; Jayalalithaa launches attack on Opposition

“Nobody can deny that this achievement became possible only due to me. Only due to my untiring efforts did power cuts became a thing of the past, a bad dream,” she said. In a gesture of acknowledging the work of cadres, she said, “I grew up (in party and stature) because of you.” Seeking to enthuse them, she said, “it will always be victory for the AIADMK, each and every AIADMK member should take pride in being soldiers of the party.”

PTI
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Also ReadIndiaEminent writer Mahasweta Devi hospitalisedIndiaAnimal Welfare Board advises Centre not to allow jallikattu, claims PETAIndiaUP CM Akhilesh Yadav attends ‘Saifai Mahotsav’IndiaOdd-Even Rule: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal asks his ministers to lead by example IndiaAfter Modi’s barbs, Congress accuses him of ‘confrontational mindset’IndiaUttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim <!– /.block –>

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Bengal committee to take call on alliance with Congress: Sitaram Yechury

There is intense speculation in political circles over the likelihood of an alliance coming up between the CPI-M and the Congress, both are in a state of disarray, in the state ahead of the election to oust the TMC in power. The CPI-M today ended its five-day plenum which it held after a gap of 37 years to revamp the party organisation. More than 400 leaders, including politburo and central committee members, attended the plenum.

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Also ReadIndiaEminent writer Mahasweta Devi hospitalisedIndiaAnimal Welfare Board advises Centre not to allow jallikattu, claims PETAIndiaUP CM Akhilesh Yadav attends ‘Saifai Mahotsav’IndiaOdd-Even Rule: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal asks his ministers to lead by example IndiaAfter Modi’s barbs, Congress accuses him of ‘confrontational mindset’IndiaUttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim <!– /.block –>

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Nepal’s KP Oli calls up PM Modi; discusses political situation in Nepal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday emphasised the importance of finding a durable solution based on consensus to Nepal’s political problems during a telephonic conversation with his Nepalese counterpart K P Oli.Oli called up Modi and briefed him on the political developments in his country, days after the Nepalese Cabinet decided to amend the Constitution to address keys demands of Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin, from the country’s Terai region over proportional representation and constituency delimitation.”Prime Minister emphasised the importance of finding a durable solution to the political problems facing Nepal based on consensus or ‘sahmati’,” an External Affairs Ministry release in New Delhi said, adding that Oli “briefed him on the political developments in Nepal”.According to the Nepalese premier’s press advisor Pramod Dahal, during the 20-minute conversation, Modi invited Oli to visit India. Oli accepted the invitation and said he will pay an official visit to India soon after the situation is normalised, Dahal said.Modi also extended his good wishes to the friendly people of Nepal for the New Year 2016. Oli would visit India before undertaking his trip to China, which was earlier supposed to be his maiden visit overseas, sources in the Nepal government said. The Nepalese Prime Minister extended thanks to Modi for welcoming Nepal government’s move to forward a Bill in the Parliament for amending the Constitution to address the demands raised by the agitating Madhesi Front.During the talk, the two leaders also discussed matters relating to improving relations between Nepal and India, Dahal said. Oli said he wanted to see Nepal-India relations move towards a positive direction while also drawing Modi’s attention towards the obstructions prevailing in the Nepal- India border check-points, according to Dahal.He requested Modi to make arrangements for smoothening the Raxaul-Birgunj check-point, the major trading point between the two countries. In response, Modi said he was always in favour of easing Indo-Nepal border trading points and asserted that India was not creating any obstructions in the movement in the border checkpoint, Oli’s Press Advisor added.Modi told Oli that all the border points except the Raxaul-Birgunj check-point are operating in a normal way and the obstructions were created in the Raxaul-Birgunj point due to continued protests by the agitating Madhesi parties, according to Dahal.Modi also recalled that he had instructed the External Affairs Minister to ensure that medicines reach Nepal through airlifting to avoid their scarcity due to agitations there. The two Prime Ministers also discussed issues relating to bilateral interest on the occasion. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Take a New Year resolution not to disrupt Parliament, Modi urges Congress

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Meet Harpal Singh Kumar, the Indian-origin cancer researcher knighted by Queen Elizabeth

The largest Indian-origin representation is among the list of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) which include Rekha Mehr, founder of Indian sweets inspired bakery Pistachio Rose, for services to entrepreneurship and enterprise; Ayesha Hazarika, chief of staff to the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, for political service.

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Foodgrain output dips in 2015; Revival unlikely in 2016 <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaOnce accosted for her hijab, 22-year-old woman now teaches Muslim empowermentIndiaInterlinking roads key to India’s growth: PM ModiIndiaPM Modi attacks Congress, asks them to vow to allow Parliament to function in 2016IndiaNCP accuses Manohar Parrikar of ‘interference’ in Goa affairsIndia’Anarchist’ Kejriwal still running party, not government: BJPIndiaMercury settles at sub-zero temp in Kashmir; Leh coldest <!– /.block –>

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PM Modi attacks Congress, asks them to vow to allow Parliament to function in 2016

In Lok Sabha, the 20-day session was considerably much productive as compared to the last Monsoon session.

dna Web Team

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Rishi Kapoor’s birthday tweet was really sweet: Twinkle Khanna <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaOnce accosted for her hijab, 22-year-old woman now teaches Muslim empowermentIndiaInterlinking roads key to India’s growth: PM ModiIndiaPM Modi attacks Congress, asks them to vow to allow Parliament to function in 2016IndiaNCP accuses Manohar Parrikar of ‘interference’ in Goa affairsIndia’Anarchist’ Kejriwal still running party, not government: BJPIndiaMercury settles at sub-zero temp in Kashmir; Leh coldest <!– /.block –>

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Heroin trade strained India-UK relations in 1980s: UK files

India’s reluctance to allow Britain to position British officers in New Delhi and Mumbai to monitor illegal heroin trade in the 1980s strained India-UK relations, according to newly-released UK cabinet files.Then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government believed that “illicit heroin movement from India” was at an “all-time peak” and wanted her Indian counterpart Rajiv Gandhi to agree to two British Drug Liaison Officers (DLOs) to be appointed in India.However, Gandhi resisted until India had received information of its own on offenders seeking refuge in the UK, according to newly declassified documents in the National Archives. In contrast, Pakistan under President Zia-ul-Haq seemed more receptive to Britain’s requests with DLOs placed in Karachi and Islamabad happy with “effective steps to tackle the problem of heroin production”.”The evidence was that Pakistan was getting on top of the drug production problem,” a letter to Downing Street dated December 4, 1985, noted following a visit by then UK health minister David Mellor to Pakistan.It went on to warn of the problem shifting to India, saying “Mr Mellor believed that, as drug controls were increased in Pakistan, and particularly at Karachi Airport, much of the traffic was now taking the land route to India”.”This would inevitably have an impact on the extent of heroin used and production in India itself. India might replace Afghanistan and Pakistan as the major world supplier,” it said. Mellor was concerned about delays in securing India’s agreement to the secondment of two Customs officers. Following a telegram from Thatcher questioning the reason for the delay, Gandhi responded “I feel that there is a communication gap somewhere. We are determined to combat the drug menace with every resource at our command. We had readily agreed, in principle, to British drug liaison presence in India.”We have an equally pressing problem in relation to economic and commercial offenders, who operate from or seek foreign sanctuaries. Our Parliament and people continue to be exercised on what is perceived to be lack of adequate action against such offenders,” Gandhi wrote.Britain finally got its way and Hartley Booth, an adviser to Thatcher, confirmed the success in a memo dated November 28, 1986, “After 31 approaches from officials and FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) ministers during the last 15 months, India relented on November 20 and accepted the appointment of two drugs liaison officers from the United Kingdom to India”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

What happened to funds collected for Ram Mandir, Congress asks BJP

Union Minister Mahesh Sharma had yesterday clarified BJP’s stance on the issue of construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, saying his party and government had already given their opinion on the issue, that people of the country want the temple to be constructed as soon as possible.

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Kargil war: New book narrates how Indian Army surprised the enemy and won <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaCounting of votes for six MLC seats in Telangana underwayIndiaInfosys vows to take stringent action against rape accusedIndiaIconic Marathi poet Mangesh Padgaonkar passes awayIndiaIntelligence alert on terror attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba targetting PM Modi, ParliamentIndia11 women, one man convicted for stripping, parading woman nakedIndiaWatch: ‘I am Chennai’, a heartwarming tribute to those who helped the flood-ravaged city get back on its feet <!– /.block –>

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Madras High Court rejects plea to book those projecting women in bad taste

In her petition, the 60-year old lawyer submitted that the police have registered the case without knowing the true meaning of the words mixed with beep sound in the song. They also did not know the person who was instrumental in uploading it in Youtube or the source/country of uploading, she claimed.

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Also ReadIndiaMadras High Court rejects plea to book those projecting women in bad tasteIndiaCounting of votes for six MLC seats in Telangana underwayIndiaInfosys vows to take stringent action against rape accusedIndiaIconic Marathi poet Mangesh Padgaonkar passes awayIndiaIntelligence alert on terror attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba targetting PM Modi, ParliamentIndia11 women, one man convicted for stripping, parading woman naked <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Revealed: New plot details of ‘Game of Thrones’ are quite ‘Inception-y'<!– /.block –>At last! Guns N’ Roses to reunite for Coachella festival, stadium tour<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Narendra Modi asks ministers to connect with people in two LS constituencies a month

An aggressive opposition, in the aftermath of the Bihar debacle, has been accusing the government of witch-hunting in the wake of the National Herald case. The standoff overshadowed the Winter Session of Parliament. The ministers will now take the government’s side of the story to clear the perception about the government, sources said.Tell their story
An aggressive opposition, in the aftermath of the Bihar debacle, has been accusing the government of witch-hunting in the wake of the National Herald case. The standoff overshadowed the Winter Session of Parliament. The ministers will now take the government’s side of the story to clear the perception about the government, sources said.

dna Correspondent

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Also ReadIndiaNCR developers default on Rs 10,000 crore land paymentsIndiaCPCB, a look at the science behind the air quality indexIndiaGovernment to revamp Censor Board on global linesIndiaMaharashtra: Government launches artificial coral reef project in MalvanIndiaNarendra Modi asks ministers to connect with people in two LS constituencies a monthIndiaDoes separatist Syedah Asiya Andrabi have Islamic State links? <!– /.block –>

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We don’t need to denigrate our heroes: Shashi Tharoor on criticism of Nehru by Congress mouthiece

‘Congress is focused on tomorrow, why these people are focused on yesterday’ History is about the great national heroes. Our freedom is their legacy,’ he added. In the December issue of ‘Congress Darshan’, questions have been raised on Jawaharlal Nehru’s decision for the state of affairs in Kashmir, China and Tibet. The article clearly states that Nehru should have listened to freedom fighter and former home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s views on international affairs. It also criticised Sonia Gandhi and said her father was a fascist soldier.

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<!– /.block –>Maha CM Devendra Fadnavis launches Mumbai police’s official Twitter handle <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaWorse than Trump supporters? When Mehdi Hasan discovered online ‘Hindutva’ trollsIndiaDDCA row: Arvind Kejriwal dares BJP, says let Jaitley be cross-examined in defamation casesIndiaCongress mouthpiece questions Nehru’s policies; says Sonia Gandhi’s father had fascist linksIndiaDarbhanga double murder case: Six detained, SHO suspendedIndiaKejriwal’s ‘stupid’ Odd-Even formula will only create chaos in Delhi: CongressIndiaSpeaker Sumitra Mahajan moots proposal for building new Parliament <!– /.block –>

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Trouble mounts for Bhai Jagtap after MNS abstains from voting

In all, there are 15 candidates in the fray for the six local authorities constituencies for which voting was held yesterday. Out of the total 2,622 croporators, 2585 corporators cast their ballot, with the overall voting percentage of 98.59 percent being recorded.

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<!– /.block –>Nobody who gets close to Pakistan remains in politics for long: Shiv Sena <!– /.block –>
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Nobody who gets close to Pakistan remains in politics for long: Shiv Sena

“The whole country is asking if BJP would have similarly welcomed a Congress PM’s unannounced stopover in Lahore like they did for Modi. Pakistan’s soil is cursed and kissing it would prove to be costly because it is soaked in the blood of lakhs of innocent Indians,” the edit said.

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Also ReadIndiaWorse than Trump supporters? When Mehdi Hasan discovered online ‘Hindutva’ trollsIndiaDDCA row: Arvind Kejriwal dares BJP, says let Jaitley be cross-examined in defamation casesIndiaCongress mouthpiece questions Nehru’s policies; says Sonia Gandhi’s father had fascist linksIndiaDarbhanga double murder case: Six detained, SHO suspendedIndiaKejriwal’s ‘stupid’ Odd-Even formula will only create chaos in Delhi: CongressIndiaSpeaker Sumitra Mahajan moots proposal for building new Parliament <!– /.block –>

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DDCA row: Arvind Kejriwal dares BJP, says let Jaitley be cross-examined in defamation cases

Without any mention of Jaitley anywhere in the report, the committee made a host of observations about alleged irregularities by DDCA which include construction of the corporate boxes without prior approval of the authorities and complaints of forgery in age-verification certificates.

dna Web Team

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<!– /.block –>SpiceJet launches New Year sale; domestic tickets available at Rs 716 <!– /.block –>
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Bihar engineers’ murder: 6 detained, SHO suspended

The injured engineers were rushed to Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) but the attending doctors declared them as brought dead.

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<!– /.block –>Looking back at 2015: Content driven films flourished in Bengali film industry <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian-origin wannabe MP sets up own political party in UKIndiaAfter bonhomie in Lahore, PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif to meet in Washington?IndiaWest Bengal Elections 2016: Alliance with Congress on cards, hint Left leadersIndiaRam Madhav’s ‘Akhand Bharat’ remark personal, govt’s position needs no clarification: BJPIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament building <!– /.block –>

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Bihar engineers’ murder reminder of ‘jungle raj’ days: Giriraj Singh

The Chief Minister should concentrate on law and order front and curb “rising” cases of dacoity, murder, kidnapping and extortion, the Lok Sabha MP from Nawada said. Asked about stones being brought near the disputed site in Ayodhya, Singh said the Supreme Court has never banned such an activity. “We respect Supreme Court’s ruling in the case, but people must know that a Ram Temple would never be built in Pakistan,” he said. The Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises was in the city to review the progress of ongoing projects of his department.

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<!– /.block –>Arun Jaitley running away from probe, misinterpreting report: AAP <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian-origin wannabe MP sets up own political party in UKIndiaAfter bonhomie in Lahore, PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif to meet in Washington?IndiaWest Bengal Elections 2016: Alliance with Congress on cards, hint Left leadersIndiaRam Madhav’s ‘Akhand Bharat’ remark personal, govt’s position needs no clarification: BJPIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament building <!– /.block –>

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West Bengal Elections 2016: Alliance with Congress on cards, hint Left leaders

The Kolkata Plenum began on Sunday with the a public meeting at the Brigade Parade Grounds and will end on December 31.

Pooja Mehta

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<!– /.block –>ISIS claims Bangladesh mosque attack <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament buildingIndiaCongress says ‘odd-even’ scheme a Muhammad Tuglaq-like act from KejriwalIndiaIndia, Pakistan and Bangladesh can become a ‘federation’: Ram Vilas PaswanIndiaFormulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj SinghIndiaRemove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>

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Ram Madhav’s ‘Akhand Bharat’ remark personal, govt’s position needs no clarification: BJP

Though the interview was recorded earlier, its broadcast coincided with the surprise visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lahore to meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

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Indian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath Singh

“As Home Minister, I want to tell you that Indian Muslims are the ones who don’t let their children get influenced or radicalised by ISIS,” he added.

ANI

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India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can become a ‘federation’: Ram Vilas Paswan

Paswan rejected suggestions from opposition parties that ‘Ache Din’ is yet to come for ‘aam aadmi’ even after one-and-half year tenure of the Modi Government, as he listed various initiatives of the Centre, including Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bhima Yojana and Mudra Bank.

PTI
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Formulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj Singh

The party (Congress) held Parliament “hostage” and tried to block the Narendra Modi’s efforts to put the country on the fast track of development, he said.

PTI
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Madhesi leader, 15 others injured in Nepal clashes<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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DDCA row: BJP asks Kejriwal to apologise after inquiry report makes no mention of Jaitley

The BJP spokesperson said after the November 15 report became public, AAP is trying to wriggle out of the situation, saying the investigation was not meant to name any person. “But there are names in the report…you don’t run government with tamasha (drama),” he said.

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Mann Ki Baat: Mason gets PM Modi’s praise for building toilets for free<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Women outnumber men for PG, M Phil courses

The survey data, which was released recently, also says the highest number of students enrolled for undergraduate courses. Out of the total students, 79.9% students are enrolled at the undergraduate level, the survey report said, while only 11.45% of the students were enrolled at Post Graduate level.

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Air India may seek 65-70 crore compensation from Jet Airways for Kolkata mishap

Based on reports, the legal notice for recovery of losses will be sent, they said adding “preliminary assessment suggests it should be to the tune of Rs 65-70 crore.” Alliance Air operates 32 flights per day to 29 regional routes including Agatti, Bhuj, Car Nicobar, Dehradun, Diu, Dharamshala, Durgapur, Kullu, Pantnagar, Port Blair, Rajkot, Shillong, Silchar, Surat, Vijayawada, Vizag and Tezpur from its bases across Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

PTI
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I am all for peace: Amarinder Singh on PM Modi’s Lahore visit

“Captain (Amarinder) has rightly said that you need to make a distinction between the desire to normalize relations with Pakistan and the manner in which you want to do. It the manner in which Prime Minister is attempting to do it is undermining India’s national security, it is undermining our strategic interest,” Tewari said. “PM needs to tell people what really has changed between India and Pakistan. Have they (Pakistan) decided to handover Dawood Ibrahim to you… have they decided to expedite 26/11 trial…,” he said.

PTI
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China hails PM Modi’s meeting with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore

Modi stayed for over two hours in Lahore on his way back home from Afghanistan yesterday during which he held talks with Sharif at his Raiwind house.

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Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba ‘linked with Naxals’ surrenders

Pournima Upadhyay, an activist, had written a letter to the Chief Justice of Bombay HC which was treated as PIL and thereafter temporary bail was granted to Saibaba for three months on health grounds by the Principal Bench based in Mumbai.

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US deported student reveals airline’s ‘invalid visa’ excuse

“We have seen reports regarding deportation of Indian students from San Francisco,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a statement.

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba ‘linked with Naxals’ surrenders<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Rahul Gandhi needs to speak up more in Parliament: Prithviraj Chavan

He added people now tend to watch serious live debates of the Parliament and that Gandhi needs to ensure they understand the reasons behind the Congress party’s stand on various issues.

PTI
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>From New Year’s eve, Air India to only serve veg food in 60-90 mins domestic flights<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Security in Lahore on high alert ahead of PM Modi’s surpise visit

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Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, “Yes, we have been informed by the Indian High Commission that PM Narendra Modi would stop over in Lahore to meet our PM today. Details are being worked out.”

Pakistani authorities on Friday put security on high alert in Lahore especially around the airport area following the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day-long visit to the city.A PM House spokesman confirmed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will receive his Indian counterpart at the Lahore airport who is expected to reach here around 2.45 PM (local time) from Afghanistan.”PM Modi’s plane is scheduled to arrive at the Lahore airport shortly,” the spokesman said, adding that the Indian premier would stay in Lahore for about two hours. Meanwhile, heavy contingent of police and Pakistan Rangers have reached the Allama Iqbal International Airport and taken charge of the security.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: PM Modi to make sudden visit to Pakistan today after speech at Afghan Parliament”Security in Lahore has been put on high alert,” a senior police official told PTI. He said police have also been deployed on the adjoining areas of the airport. A PML-N source told PTI that Sharif had invited Modi to attend the marriage of his granddaughter Mehrun Nisa which is taking place today at the Sharif’s Raiwind palatial residence of Raiwind.”I cannot confirm but there are chances that Modi goes to Raiwind and holds meeting with PM Sharif at his residence,” he said. Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, “Yes, we have been informed by the Indian High Commission that PM Narendra Modi would stop over in Lahore to meet our PM today. Details are being worked out.”Also Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for children; promises everlasting friendship

Modi in Russia: PM Modi takes a jibe at Opposition, says ‘some people always count problems’

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Asserting that India is making attempts to resolve these problems, he said ,”results in this direction are now showing up”.

In an apparent swipe at his detractors back home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said some people only cry about problems while his government was trying to resolve them. “Yes we also face problems but we are not those who will only cry about the problems. We are finding solutions to the problems we face. “There are some people who all the time are engaged in counting problems,” he said while addressing a ‘Friends of India’ event here. Asserting that India is making attempts to resolve these problems, he said ,”results in this direction are now showing up”. While Modi did not elaborate, he was apparently referring to problems being repeatedly highlighted by Opposition parties. His remarks to a gathering of about 3,000 against the backdrop of the NDA government’s attack on the opposition for stalling the crucial reforms legislations like the GST during the just concluded Parliament session. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Mallikarjun Kharge hits back at Jaitley for blaming Congress for Parliament washout

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Jaitley in his Facebook post today titled ‘Stray Thoughts After the Winter Session’ has castigated Congress strategy of disrupting Parliament session after session

Mallikarjun Kharge

Hitting back at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who blamed Congress for the washout of Parliament session, leader of the opposition party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun ​Kharge on Thursday said people who don’t believe in Nehru’s philosophy have no right to talk about his legacy.”People who don’t believe in Nehru’s philosophy have no right to take Nehru’s name and legacy,” Kharge told reporters here in response to a question on Jaitley’s Facebook post chiding Congress for disruptions and invoking Nehru’s legacy. He said that despite pleading several times, “they did not celebrate Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary properly and such people have no right to talk.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley in his Facebook post today titled ‘Stray Thoughts After the Winter Session’ has castigated Congress strategy of disrupting Parliament session after session. Crediting Nehru for laying down healthy precedents in the initial years of Indian democracy, he said, “The current generation in control of Congress will find a place in history of having weakened what their ancestors established.” On Jaitley criticising the language used by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Kharge said, “BJP is indirectly responsible for the creation of Kejriwal… I can’t say much about it because he (Kejriwal) is their own product.”Responding to BJP’s allegation about competition between Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kharge said the ruling party these days wants to drag Congress vice president’s name in every issue. “…probably these days Rahulji is even appearing in their dreams, this is the problem,” he said sarcastically. Not willing to react on reports that BJP’s Margdarshak Mandal is seeking inquiry against Jaitley on DDCA row following the suspension of party MP Kirti Azad, Kharge said it was an internal matter of their party. “But we also demand an inquiry into the issues that have been brought out by Kirti Azad,” he said.In response to a question about parliamentarians seeking close to 100 per cent pay hike when Parliament did not function, he said, “I don’t know. I have not received any bill regarding it. As soon as it comes I will send my comments.” Responding to a question on Ram Mandir issue, he said such issues were raised whenever elections are approaching. Stating that Congress had always believed and followed adult franchise model, Kharge said some BJP ruled states like Haryana and Rajasthan were trying to restrict it by baring the illiterate from contesting panchayat polls and thereby trying to “snatch away” rights enjoyed by the poor.He said there was no level playing ground for such restriction as India was not a hundred per cent literate country. The Supreme Court had recently upheld the validity of amendments in a Haryana law which fixes various criteria including minimum educational qualification for candidates contesting panchayat polls. Asked whether Congress will challenge this verdict, Kharge said, “…I will discuss this in the party. Definitely, I will take it up.”

BJP sorts Kirti Azad out on DDCA’s ‘unplayable’ pitch

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Two days after the cricketer-turned-politician took on Jaitley on the floor of Lok Sabha, the BJP issued a one-line statement saying Azad was being suspended with immediate effect for “änti-party” activities.

Finally, the BJP has wielded the disciplinary rod suspending its MP Kirti Azad from the party’s primary membership after he publicly targeted finance minister Arun Jaitley while making corruption allegations in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Two days after the cricketer-turned-politician took on Jaitley on the floor of Lok Sabha, the BJP issued a one-line statement saying Azad was being suspended with immediate effect for “änti-party” activities. Party President Amit Shah issued a suspension order, at the end of a tumultuous winter session which witnessed a government-opposition standoff on various issues. The action was taken after consultations among the party’s parliamentary board.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “You have made several statements in the media which constitute anti-party activities and such unfounded statements and allegations were clearly intended to bring disrepute to the party and its office bearers. Your actions have also resulted in lowering the pressure of the party and its office bearers. You have deliberately embarrassed the party and its office bearers by raising these in public domain. You have acted and carried on propaganda against the decisions of the party,” Shah said in the suspension order. While Azad was not issued a show cause notice, the suspension order said he colluded with opposition parties, the Congress and AAP,. The order said he had defied party discipline inside and outside Parliament. The party dubbed his allegations as false propaganda and said the parliamentary board has suspended him from the party membership.Pressure was mounting on the BJP, which had refrained from taking any action or even reprimanding the MP, who on Sunday had gone ahead with his press conference defying the party on corruption in DDCA, which Jaitley had headed for 13 years. Azad took his battle with the high profile minister to another level when he took him on in Lok Sabha when the Opposition was demanding Jaitley’s resignation. Azad sought a SIT-monitored CBI probe into his allegations of corruption in DDCA between 2008 and 2013 and said “everyone knows who was the DDCA chief at that time.” Soon after his suspension, Azad made threatening noises saying “wait and watch my next move.” Azad has not yet been expelled from the party. “The issue I raised is old, havent teamed up with Congress or AAP. I worked honestly for the BJP but have been branded anti-party…. The one who worked honestly for the party is thrown out,” he said. When Azad met Shah and BJP general secretary (Organisation) Ram Lal, he was asked not to hold the press conference on the DDCA row as it would give ammunition to the Opposition. However, Azad went ahead. The BJP’s silence on Azad’s behaviour was threatening to spark off speculation on inner turmoil in the party. Party sources said taking action during the session would have given fuel to the Opposition. According to them, there was also pressure, particularly from the Bihar unit, to take some action against party MP Shatrughan Sinha who has been consistently tweeting against the party.

DDCA row: Kirti Azad suspended by BJP, defiant MP threatens to make ‘more revealations’

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erming the charges levelled against him as “laughable”, he rejected that he “colluded” with Opposition in attacking senior party leaders like Arun Jaitley and said it is the Opposition which has picked up the issues raised by him for the last nine years.

Kirti Azad

PTI
Suspended by BJP, Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad on Wednesday threatened to make “more revelations” in the coming days and said he didn’t expect the party “to stoop so low” by acting against him for “speaking against corruption”.”Wait and watch what I do next. Now I will tell everyone,” he said, adding he will move the party’s ‘margdarshak mandal’ which has party veterans like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi to ask if the party suspends someone for speaking against corruption in Delhi’s cricket body. “I am really very saddened. I never though that BJP would stoop to that level that a person who had joined them from an illustrious Congress family is suspended for fighting corruption,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I will go to the ‘margdarshak mandal’ and ask them that if a person speaks against corruption does the party crucify such a person and suspend him,” Azad told PTI when asked about his next move. Questioning his suspension, he said the party did not follow the due process and also did not serve a show cause notice before taking such an action against a Member of Parliament.”The due process has not been followed. They did not serve a show cause notice. If you have to suspend an MP, you have to move the Parliamentary Board. Did you do that? How can they violate the very own laws that have been made by us,” he questioned. Terming the charges levelled against him as “laughable”, he rejected that he “colluded” with Opposition in attacking senior party leaders like Arun Jaitley and said it is the Opposition which has picked up the issues raised by him for the last nine years.”Who said I have teamed up? This issue I have been raising is very old, I haven’t teamed up with the Opposition. It is a matter of regret that Opposition has picked up the issue which I was raising,” he said.”Now you see and look at the Opposition, how they will have them. They will use my name and attack. My party gave it to them on the platter, not me,” he said, adding that those who have suspended him for raising a voice against corruption have “defamed” the Prime Minister.He added that he is yet to get any letter and asked, “Which letter? I have not received any letter yet. I have just reached Ahmedabad. I will see.” Azad said he felt “let down” by the party as the man against whom he raised charges did not put up a defamation case against him, but the party for which he has fought for all these years has served him a show cause. Asked about the charges that he was colluding with the Opposition, he said, “These people are telling me that I have colluded with AAP which is born only yesterday. What rubbish and ridiculous…”On whether Jaitley was behind his suspension, he claimed, “He was putting pressure, I knew it from everyone.” Claiming himself to be a man who honestly worked for the party and had an opportunity to become a Union minister when his father was the chief minister, who did not allow so, he said, “If party suspends me, it is unfortunate for the party.” He said he has been raising the issue of corruption in DDCA for nine years but “they did not listen to me. If anyone is responsible for this, it is the party itself”.”This is the reason why such a situation has risen. I have not said anything against the party. I have said that I support the Prime Minister on his statement that ‘na khaunga na khane dunga’ (Neither will I do corruption, not allow it to happen),” he said.

Parliament passes bill to amend Atomic Energy Act

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The Atomic Energy Amendment Bill 2015, that was passed by Lok Sabha on December 14, got approval from the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the session without any discussion, evoking protests from some Opposition parties including Left.

Parliament

State-run NPCIL can now collaborate with other PSUs in the nuclear field, with Parliament on Wednesday passing a bill in this regard after government allayed fears that the step will allow FDI into the sector or enable participation of a private firm in atomic power production.The Atomic Energy Amendment Bill 2015, that was passed by Lok Sabha on December 14, got approval from the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the session without any discussion, evoking protests from some Opposition parties including Left. The law seeks to amend the 1962 Atomic Energy Act to change the definition of “government company” in the Act with a view to expand its scope by including such joint venture companies as may be formed between NPCIL and other PSUs, according to the statement of object and reasons.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At present, only two Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) — Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), which are under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy, operate nuclear power plants in the country. Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh, who holds the portfolio of atomic energy, clarified that the Joint Venture is for public sector companies and not private sector ones.Jairam Ramesh (Congress) wanted to know whether private companies can also be permitted under the joint venture. The Bill was was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 7 and proposes to to amend the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 that empowers the central government to produce, develop, control, and use atomic energy. While under the Act, a government company that is allowed to produce atomic energy is one in which at least 51 percent of the paid-up share capital is held by the central government. Paid-up share capital is the capital received by a company from the issue of shares.The amendments expand this definition to include companies where the whole of the paid up share capital is held by one or more government company and whose articles of association empower the central government to constitute its Board of Directors. This provision will allow for the formation of joint ventures between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and other government companies.Under the Act, a license is required for acquisition, production, use, export and import of any plant designed for the production and development of atomic energy or research. The Bill makes consequential amendments to state that such license will only be granted to entities such as a government company or a department of central government.

Shiv Sena slams Arvind Kejriwal over his allegations against Arun Jaitley

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Shiv Sena also said that the previous Parliament session was rocked by allegations against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and alleged that people who were trying to defame her were from her party as well.
File Photo
Reuters
Shiv Sena on Wednesday mounted a scathing attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his allegations against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of financial irregularities in Delhi cricket body when he headed it.”Now, Kejriwal has levelled allegations against Jaitley, who has termed them baseless and has filed a defamation suit against him, while Kejriwal says that attempts are being made to scare his party in which Jaitley will not succeed,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Filing a defamation suit is Jaitley’s right. Kejriwal can say what he wants to, sling mud on people, but the person who is being defamed by all this cannot even answer back. What kind of goondaism is this,” the ruling alliance partner said.Further hitting out at AAP leader, it said “Arvind Kejriwal first levelled allegations against Nitin Gadkari while he was the BJP’s national president. All the allegations were proved to be incorrect when Gadkari filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal. At that time, there was a possibility of Gadkari getting another term as party president.””Due to the Income Tax raids against Gadkari then, he was defamed and he lost the chance to get a second term. Had he got a second term as the BJP president, he would have been a strong contender for the Prime Minister’s post,” the ruling alliance partner said.”At that time, the instigators of the episode were from the party itself,” it alleged.The Sena also said that the previous Parliament session was rocked by allegations against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and alleged that people who were trying to defame her were from her party as well.

Juvenile Justice Bill: After heated debate, public agitation, new law passed in Rajya Sabha

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Juvenile Justice Bill: Here are 7 things you should know about the Bill

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The bill was taken up against the backdrop of uproar over release of juvenile convict in the heinous gangrape-cum-murder of a 23-year-old girl on December 16, 2012.

The juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya rape case has been released.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Juveniles aged 16 years and above will now be tried under laws for adults for heinous crimes as Parliament today passed a much-expected bill in this regard against the backdrop of a juvenile convict being released in the gangrape-cum-murder case of December 2012.The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, which provides for lowering the age for trial from 18 years, was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote after a walkout by Left parties which wanted it to be sent to a Select Committee. The bill was taken up against the backdrop of uproar over release of juvenile convict in the heinous gangrape-cum-murder of a 23-year-old girl on December 16, 2012.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here are 7 salient features of the Bill: 1) The Juvenile Justice Bill was introduced in the Parliament for the first time in 2014. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha earlier.2) The Bill replaces the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 which addresses children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.3) The Bill will permit juveniles between the ages of 16-18 years to be tried as adults for heinous offences. 4) Any 16-18 year old, who commits a ‘serious offence’ (not heinous), maybe tried as an adult only if he is apprehended after the age of 21.5) Juvenile Justice Bill and Child Welfare Committees (CWC) will be constituted in each district. The JJB will determine whether to send offender for rehabilitation or will be tried as an adult. CWC will determine institutional care for children in need of care and protection.6) Rules for eligibility of adoptive parents and procedure for adoption have been included in the Bill; Penalties for cruelty against a child, offering a narcotic substance to a child, and abduction or selling a child have been prescribed. 7) This bill is not in accordance with United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), as ratified by India. The UNCRC states that signatory countries should treatevery child under the age of 18 years in the same manner and not try them as adults. It recommends that thosecountries that treat or propose to treat 16-18 year olds as adult criminals, change their laws to align with theprinciple of non-discrimination towards children. 8) The bill faces criticism for the possible violation of Articles 14, 21 and 20(1) of the Constitution.

After heated debate, public outcry, new juvenile justice law passed in Rajya Sabha

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RS passes Juvenile Justice Bill: All you need to know about the new law

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TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay claims he received death threat

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As the Lok Sabha resumed after lunch, Bandopadhyay raised the issue saying he had received SMSes of death threats on Monday

Sudip Bandopadhyay

AFP
Sudip Bandopadhyay, leader of Trinamool Congress in Parliament, on Tuesday claimed that he had received death threats, with the government assuring him that “every possible step” will be taken to ensure the safety of members of the House.As the Lok Sabha resumed after lunch, Bandopadhyay raised the issue saying he had received SMSes of death threats on Monday. “I received a message at 1:25 PM from an unknown number yesterday. It said that I will be killed and my body will taken to Kalighat in Kolkata. The nature of the language was also derogatory.”I responded to the message and I again received two messages at 2:15 PM and 2:24 PM today. I raised this issue with our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee following which she addressed a press conference. She has also advised me to put this on the record of the House,” Bandopadhyay said. He said while he was seriously ill some eight months back, there were cases of robbery at his house, following which he had shifted residence.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While he was speaking, his party colleagues demanded the presence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the House. “He is the leader of the party (TMC) and this is a serious matter,” they said. In response, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the Home Minister was away at the site in South West Delhi where a BSF plane crashed this morning. The TMC leader “has faced with a similar problem in the past. I assure that the government will take every possible step for the safety of members and views this matter seriously,” Rudy said.

Jyoti’s parents witness proceedings as Rajya Sabha debates Juvenile Justice Bill

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Juvenile Justice Bill shouldn’t be passed, says Ram Jethmalani

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“I don’t know if it will be passed, but according to me it shouldn’t be passed,” Jaithmalani told reporters.

Former law minister Ram Jethmalani

File Photo
Former law minister Ram Jethmalani, on Tuesday, said that there is no need to amend the Juvenile Justice Bill, adding that it was totally ‘unnecessary’ to change it just because of one incident.”I don’t know if it will be passed, but according to me it shouldn’t be passed,” Jaithmalani told reporters.”The Juvenile Justice Bill is completely fine and there is no need to amend it just because of one incident. It is totally unnecessary,” he added.The BJP had earlier assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be passed in the Parliament, on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said the Bill should be passed in the Parliament without any further delay after having a healthy discussion.The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on also stuck to their guns in opposing the Juvenile Justice Bill, saying ‘lowering the age of juveniles is not in the interest of justice’.With the Supreme Court is showing its inability to prohibit the release of the juvenile in the Nirbhaya gangrape case in the absence of laws, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said, on Monday, the ruling dispensation at the Centre is keen to pass the Juvenile Justice Bill and was also ready to bring supplementary agenda on it in the Parliament.The apex court had dismissed the petition of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.

Here’s a quick guide to the crucial Juvenile Justice Bill to be discussed in RS today

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Juvenile Justice Bill to be tabled in Parliament amid protests by child right activists

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Juvenile Justice Bill will be passed today, Naqvi assures Jyoti Singh’s parents

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No indication from government on Ram temple: VHP

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“We have not received any indication from the government on Ram Temple. Saints of Ayodhya and VHP have always maintained that the Parliament, through passage of a law, will pave the way for Ram Temple construction,” VHP international general secretary Champat Rai said in a statement.

The VHP on Monday said it had not received any indication from the government on Ram Temple construction, and was of the firm belief that the temple in Ayodhya will come up on the basis of a related legislation in Parliament.Describing the transport of construction materials including stones into Ayodhya as per certain media report as a “routine exercise” that has gone on for years, VHP said it respected the judicial verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue.”We have not received any indication from the government on Ram Temple. Saints of Ayodhya and VHP have always maintained that the Parliament, through passage of a law, will pave the way for Ram Temple construction,” VHP international general secretary Champat Rai said in a statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The VHP leader added that reports in a section of the media attributing statements to Swamy Nritya Gopal Das of Ayodhya are misleading and concocted.”Swamy Nritya Gopal Das is a venerated Saint of Ayodhya who respects the law. Stones have been brought into Ayodhya since 1990 and preserved at Ramsevak Dham. A large number of devotees visit Ayodhya and never has there been any law and order situation arisen on this count till today.”We believe that the Parliament will pave the way for temple construction by passing a law. Saints, VHP and Hindu community have always respected the judiciary and have full faith in it,” Rai said.

Proposed Bill to lower culpability age violates international treaties: Experts

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Currently, under the Indian law, juveniles cannot be tried as per adult laws, and the minimum age under which a juvenile can be charged for an offence under the Indian Penal Code is seven years.

As the debate to pass the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Bill, 2000, hots up in Parliament, with the Bill most likely to come up for discussion on Tuesday, several voices have come up against the Bill’s passing. Many experts argue that it needs an afterthought as it violates several international treaties.Currently, under the Indian law, juveniles cannot be tried as per adult laws, and the minimum age under which a juvenile can be charged for an offence under the Indian Penal Code is seven years. The juvenile offender, as per present law, can’t be sent to jail. If the Bill is passed, juveniles involved in cheating, theft, etc, will serve anywhere between three and seven years in prison. And for heinous crimes (murder, rape and robbery), punishments will be the same as for adults — life imprisonment with a possibility of release. There will be, however, no death penalty for juvenile offenders.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the United States, those aged under 13 committing assault, murder, robbery, aggravated sexual abuse and drug abuse are punishable like adults, with the exception of life imprisonment and death penalty. In England, the juvenile culpability starts at 17, with those involved in murder, rape and causing explosions endangering life or property facing the same punishment as adults, without life imprisonment or death penalty.In Germany, however, children above 14 who commit sexual abuse, child abuse leading to death, and abuse of the disabled are punishable for up to 10 years. In France, children above 16 who commit murder, armed robbery, serious drug offences and rape are punishable on case by case basis with the maximum punishment being life imprisonment. In Australia, Pakistan, Syria and Thailand among others, the minimum age of criminal culpability is seven. While in Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, the age is 18.The Justice Verma Committee, formed in the aftermath of the December 16 gang rape, recommended that the age of juvenile culpability should not be lowered to 16.Article 37 (A) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that no child aged under 18 should be subjected to capital punishment or life imprisonment without the possibility of release. India became a signatory to it and ratified it in 1992. The Bill also violates Article 14 (right to equality) and Article 21 (requiring that laws and procedures are fair and reasonable) of the Indian Constitution.The Bill has also been criticised because of the number of rapes committed by juveniles formed 3.1% of all rapes, and the number of murders constituted 1.2% of all murders.

Parliament passes bill to protect SC, STs from crimes

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Govt using Juvenile Bill to deflect attention from DDCA row, says Kirti Azad

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Kirti Azad accused the government of making a “clever” attempt to defame the opposition.

BJP MP Kirti Azad outside Parliament, New Delhi, on December 18, 20, 2015.

PTI
Congress has accused government of playing “brazen mischief” by proposing to bring the unlisted Juvenile Justice Bill in Rajya Sabha on Monday, alleging it was to “defame the opposition” and divert attention from DDCA issue.”Let them not do this mischief. This is a total brazen mischief on the part of the government…. This is only to divert the attention of the opposition from raising other issues, about DDCA,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said after Congress disrupted proceeding in both the Houses demanding resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for alleged graft in Delhi and District Cricket Association.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked if Congress will support the bill, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said, “Yes, we have said bring it tomorrow. Let them bring it tomorrow.” He added that supporting is not the question. “The question is it should come before the House. There are 27 opposition parties and we will discuss it tomorrow,” he said.Azad accused the government of making a “clever” attempt to defame the opposition.”You see the cleverness. This is called cleverness. Bring it tomorrow because it is not listed. It is an after-thought. This is only to divert the attention of the opposition from raising other issues, about DDCA, so that we do not raise the DDCA issue. Bring the Juvenile Justice Bill, so that they will be abused left and right by mediapersons. Please don’t get into that trap,” he said outside Parliament.The Leader of Opposition said he told the government at the all party meeting to bring this Bill before the House, but it was not listed in today’s business.”Now it is an after-thought, so that the opposition does not rake up the issue of the Finance Minister. So they said it is OK we will bring up this bill and pass this also. Just to defame the opposition,” he said.Asking government to bring the Juvenile Justice bill tomorrow, Azad said the SC/ST Bill should be brought today as it is listed. He said whatever is listed today in the original list will be passed and asked for bringing the Juvenile Justice bill on Tuesday. The Juvenile Justice Bill was included in supplementary list of business today.

COP21 effect? PM Modi calls for harnessing solar energy, flags off electric bus for MPs

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DDCA row: Sonia Gandhi rubbishes allegations by Arun Jaitley; asks if she is responsible for everything

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“Is Sonia Gandhi responsible for everything”? asked Congress chief.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday rubbished allegations by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of her involvement in ‘targeting’ the latter in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) row.”Is Sonia Gandhi responsible for everything”? asked Congress chief.In an interview to a National daily, Jaitley alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad had met the Congress president during the UPA tenure which instigated an investigation by the Serious Frauds Office.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley also said that the meeting of minds between the Congress leadership and Azad resulted in a plan to target him.”One member of Parliament wrote to the Congress government, he met Sonia Gandhi. He met Sonia Gandhi and they said we will fix Jaitley,” he said.Jaitley has been accused of corruption by the Delhi Government and former players including Kirti Azad and Bishan Singh Bedi during his tenure as president of DDCA till 2013.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress Party has demanded for the resignation of the Finance Minister from the union cabinet to enable an independent probe against him.Kirti Azad had even written letter to the SHO, IP Estate, alleging that rules were flouted during Arun Jaitley’s tenure as DDCA president. Azad had even requested Delhi Police to thoroughly investigate the matter against Jaitley.Taking cognisance of the demand of probe in the DDCA scam, Kejriwal formed a two-member committee to investigate the allegations. The Delhi government was preparing to set up a Commission of Inquiry over it when the CBI raided the Delhi Secretariat.Kejriwal had alleged that the CBI raid was conducted to take possession of the DDCA files which were kept in his office.Jaitley denied Kejriwal’s allegations as ‘utterly baseless’. He had earlier opposed former sports minister in the UPA government Ajay Maken’s proposal to make sports bodies like the DDCA more transparent and accountable.

Government hopes Congress would help in passing pending bills

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“There are around 16 bills which are pending. 12 of them have been passed in the Lok Sabha and they are all important bills concerning the welfare of the people,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.

The government on Monday hoped that the Congress and other opposition parties would stand by their “promise” and help in passing of the pending bills as there is no possibility of extension of Parliament “as of now”.”There are around 16 bills which are pending. 12 of them have been passed in the Lok Sabha and they are all important bills concerning the welfare of the people,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.He hoped that all the parties will go by the spirit of the House. Naidu noted that Congress and others have given positive signal that they will pass some of the important bills.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I hope they will stand by their word and see to it that the bills are passed,” he said speaking to reporters.On the possibility of extension of the Winter session of Parliament, Naidu said, “As of now there is no possibility of immediate extension of Session because 25th is Christmas and people from far off places like Kerala, North East have to travel a lot. That is why we thought of closing the session by the 23rd,” he said.

Puraskar wapasi suddenly stopped after Bihar poll results: Devendra Fadnavis

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He questioned why no awards were returned when a tribal family was burnt alive in Bhandara district a few years ago?

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

PTI
Making his stand on intolerance debate and puraskar wapasi public for the first time, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday hit back at Congress by saying people of the country were always tolerant and even assimilated invaders. He added that the returning of awards stopped after the Bihar election results. He also questioned why no awards were returned when a tribal family was burnt alive in Bhandara district a few years ago? The CM was talking during a discussion in the state assembly on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Constitution, held to commemorate the father of Indian Constitution’s 125th birth anniversary. The event witnessed political one-upmanship and trading of allegations. Expressing his displeasure, Fadnavis said the discussion could not attain the height it deserved because his predecessor Prithviraj Chavan used the platform for political purpose.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Citing the example of emergency, Fadnavis said when lakhs of people were put behind the bars, it was courts that provided relief to the Indian democracy. He cited the famous Keshavanand Bharati case and said the allegations that the present central government has changed the Preamble were baseless, since Constitution formed the Parliament, and the Parliament did not have any right to change the very foundation of the Constitution. He said it was strange to see that those who used emergency to silence the Opposition are now citing the misuse of the central bureau of investigation (CBI). A pin-drop silence prevailed during the CM’s 45-minute speech, in which he the underlined importance of Samrasata– the ethos of the Indian society. He said former RSS chief Balasaheb Devras had explained Samrasata during his spring lecture series in Pune, and it meant surrendering one’s identity for the larger national interest. He said there was no need for the Indian society to take any lessons about tolerance, since the real country and its people assimilated even invaders such as Shaks and Hoons. He also pointed out that no one returned any award when a Tribal famil was burnt alive in Bhandara a few years ago, and the award returning spree suddenly stopped after the Bihar election results. Earlier, starting the discussion, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan criticised the Narendra Modi-led central government and said it was misusing CBI against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. He added that the government has a vindictive approach towards the Congress leaders. Chavan said it was Atal Behari Vajpayee who tried to bring in the word Samrasata in the Constitution. He, however, failed because the word is used by RSS, said Chavan. He questioned as to whether surrender by all leaders for a single leader was the meaning of Samrasata. He cautioned that this kind of unilateralism would usher in an autocratic rule, posing danger to the Constitution, plurality, diversity and rich heritage of the country. Chavan also cited Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s statement, saying howsoever good was the Constitution, it depended upon the quality of people for whom it was made. If people are bad, the Constitution would prove to be futile in ushering in the welfare state, he said. To that Fadnavis replied why were the fundamental issues of poverty and illiteracy not solved when the Constitution was in the hands of good people of Congress for almost six decades?

Nirbhaya case: Everyone has failed us, says victim’s dad as juvenile walks free

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Even as the 20-year-old convict in the 2012 gangrape and murder of a physiotherapy student was released from a juvenile home on Sunday, protestors, led by parents of the deceased victim, took to the streets of Delhi demanding a stay on his release. The parents, who headed a demonstration at India Gate late evening were detained by the police and taken to the Parliament Street police station along with dozens of supports. The detention took place after almost an hour of sloganeering by more than 150-200 protestors, some of whom demanded a renewed death sentence for the juvenile.

Nirbhaya’s parents Badrinath Singh and Asha Devi

PTI
Even as the 20-year-old convict in the 2012 gangrape and murder of a physiotherapy student was released from a juvenile home on Sunday, protestors, led by parents of the deceased victim, took to the streets of Delhi demanding a stay on his release. The parents, who headed a demonstration at India Gate late evening were detained by the police and taken to the Parliament Street police station along with dozens of supports. The detention took place after almost an hour of sloganeering by more than 150-200 protestors, some of whom demanded a renewed death sentence for the juvenile.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The day was marred with utter confusion as both Delhi police as well as Aam Aadmi Party government remained tight-lipped over the status of the juvenile who was supposed to be released on Sunday at 10 am. On Saturday night in a last-ditch attempt to stall his release, Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal filed a special leave petition (SLP) with the Supreme Court, challenging the High Court order that refused to restrain the convict’s release. The SLP was referred by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur to the vacation bench. The grounds which has been taken in the appeal against the High Court order says that no mental assessment of the state of mind of the juvenile offender has been taken into account for his release. The apex court in a late night hearing refused to stop the convict’s release, but agreed to hear the plea on Monday. Sources told dna that the Juvenile Justice Board processed the convicted 20-year-old as per the mandate under the law and the state’s women and child department as well as the CMO had been kept in the loop. While no government or police official was willing to be quoted on whether or not the juvenile was released, sources told dna that the juvenile had been released to an NGO based in Delhi and was no longer under the protection of the Delhi police. “JJ board officials and members of the NGO have taken him in. We cannot disclose where he is as of now,” said a senior police officer. The officer however added that there were chances that the juvenile would be taken to a village near to his native of Budaun in Uttar Pradesh. As per the norms his criminal record has to be expunged and his new identity will not be revealed. The development clearly did not go down well with the parents of Jyoti Singh, who told dna that all they wanted from the authorities to either delay the release of convicted juvenile or to reveal his identify as he poses a threat to the society. Badri Nath, father of Jyoti, told dna, “I have met everyone, from the Prime Minister to senior police officers to even the clerks working in that remand home. No one helped. The DCW also waited for the last moment to act.” Both Badri Nath and his wife Asha Devi were in the evening detained by police and released late in the night. Scores of ABVP activists and Congress workers were also detained when their sloganeering turned into a near confrontation with the local police. “Everyone has disappointed us,” said Badri Nath moments before his detention.

National Herald Case: Congress ‘politicising’ court matter, says BJP

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Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Taking strong exception to the burning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effigy by Congress workers, BJP on Sunday said the opposition party was “politicising” a court matter and should rather apologise to people for stalling Parliament over the National Herald case.”They are attacking a Prime Minister who is taking all measures to fight corruption. Congress has politicised something that basically Modi has nothing to do. It should apologise to people for its conduct, including stalling of Parliament,” BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said. Congress should “cooperate” with the government in its fight against corruption, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting the opposition’s charge of “vendetta politics”, he said all the corruption cases for which it was blaming the government were registered during the UPA regime whether it was Aircel-Maxis case or that of National Herald.Congress’s “celebration” yesterday after its chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul got bail in the case made it look like that they had got a “trophy” and not bail. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi had hit out at Modi accusing him of levelling “false allegations” against them and making “full use” of government agencies to “deliberately target” the Opposition.

National Herald Case: Here’s why Congress won day one

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It is very evident that the party will look to approach this matter with a two pronged approach

PTI
The hype was being built from the morning. Journalists waiting with their mikes and cameras, expectantly looking for a piece of trivia or breaking news in front of the Patiala Court, dishing out minute details of #SoniaRahulHazirHo. The Congress too had its fair share of preparation. Congress workers went through the motions as they displayed their solidarity across the length and breadth of the country. In the capital, the party had its battery of legal luminaries ready to bail out Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. With them in tow, was former PM Manmohan Singh to provide moral support. The process of granting of bail was done in just a matter of ten minutes, reminiscent of the time in May when Salman Khan got bail. But it is just the beginning of a possibly long legal tangle and judging by the reaction of the Congress party after suffering the initial shock of its party leaders under scanner, it is now prepared to slog this case out under the spotlight. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is very evident that the party will look to approach this matter with a two-pronged approach. On one hand, it will exhaust every legal option possible to save its two top leaders. On the other hand, Congress party will aggressively pursue the line where it accuses the Modi government of being vindictive. With the case unlikely to get over any time soon, it gives Congress enough fodder to keep the pot boiling against the Modi government for a significant period of time. The effects are manifold. Firstly, now it has a legitimate excuse to put a spanner in the government’s day-to-day functioning in Parliament by crying hoarse about political vendetta. It is a play Congress has learnt from the BJP’s book. Politics of obstructionism works in this country and the party will like to practice it fully to halt Modi’s developmental agenda. Secondly, at a time when the Congress is still trying to get out of the abysmal low of 2014 elections, the entire party is suddenly speaking in one voice to save the first family. The Gandhis are the glue which essentially keeps an ideologically directionless party like Congress together. Hence the leaders are more than eager to save the Gandhis and suddenly all the warts in the party setup is glossed over. It is not a full-proof strategy but certainly a workable one for a party looking to regroup after an electoral backlash. As for BJP, its challenge is to build a counter-narrative to call Congress’ bluff in front of the electorate. Today, the Patiala Court gave unconditional bail to the Gandhis. It also rejected Swami’s demand of putting restrictions on their foreign travels. According to PTI, “The accused are reputed persons having deep political grassroots and there is no apprehension that they will flee,” the Magistrate said.BJP so far has been eager to push the National Herald case as a matter between the Congress and Swamy. But with Congress repeatedly trying to invoke a Modi connection, can BJP shrug of the perception that there is some greater power pulling the string from behind. BJP will hope that the muck will stick to the Gandhis and it will like to believe that the fact that first family of Congress had to make a court appearance is sort of a political victory. But if nothing tangible comes out, Congress will play the victim card to the hilt. This is more of a political slugfest than the complicated legal and financial analysis of whether there was cheating and misappropriation of funds by Gandhis in acquiring ownership of National Herald. Congress by playing with a straight bat on a sticky wicket has been the smarter side so far. Can BJP take the cue and change the game? All bets are open till February 20.

PM did not direct CBI raid against Kejriwal’s officer: Nitin Gadkari

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He also rejected Kejriwal’s charge that CBI had gone to the chief minister’s office in search of the DDCA inquiry file, saying it is a “childish charge”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not direct CBI to raid Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday, asserting that they would have no qualms about accepting it if it was otherwise.”We are ‘dabang’ (bold) leaders. Modiji is also just like me. Had we done this, we would have definitely said so. I myself spoke to Modiji. He told me, for the last one year, I have not issued any direction to CBI in any case. I have only told CBI to do its own legal work,” Gadkari told Rajat Sharma on his ‘Aap ki Adalat’ show on India TV, according to a press release issued by the channel. He also rejected Kejriwal’s charge that CBI had gone to the chief minister’s office in search of the DDCA inquiry file, saying it is a “childish charge”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”CBI raided 14 places. It is ridiculous for Kejriwal to say that CBI had gone there in search of DDCA file. There is no DDCA case with CBI and it has nothing to do with DDCA. Like Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal also makes childish allegations. It seems ours has become a democracy of children,” he said. Gadkari also lashed out at Congress saying it is “subverting” democracy by stalling Parliament and resorting to “drama” to gain public sympathy and win elections so that Rahul Gandhi’s ambition of becoming a Prime Minister can be fulfilled.He also rejected charges against the government that CBI was acting against Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, P Chidambaram’s son and in the National Herald case at its behest out of vindictiveness, saying the agency was probing charges against BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan too. “I know Shivraj ji (MP chief minister) is innocent, but did we not order CBI inquiry into Vyapam scam? Has not Supreme Court expressed satisfaction over the progress of CBI probe? So how can you say that we are vindictive? “Actually Congress wants to garner people’s sympathy by raising such issues, so that it can win elections and Rahul Gandhi can become PM, but these are ‘mungerilal ke haseen sapne’ (a pipedream). This is not going to happen,” he said.Describing the Dadri lynching incident as “unfortunate”, the Union Minister said it was wrong to blame the Prime Minister for anything happening under non-BJP governments. On why the PM did not comment on it, he said it is not necessary for PM to speak on every such incident as the Prime Minister has never did so even in the past and said, “you check history”.”The Prime Minister has his dignity. The PM occasionally reacts or does not react. But to infer that by not tweeting, he was supporting the incident, is it justified? When I spoke to the PM, he expressed his pain and sadness, and later he commented too.” Gadkari said if Congress continued to stall Parliament, he would request that its members are “throw out” of the House so that Parliament work could continue.”But if we do that, they will brand us as intolerant, conspiratorial, authoritarian and Hitlerite. If we act soft towards them, they take undue advantage…. They are having both ways. This is Congress drama,” he said.

Section 377: Shashi Tharoor sees ‘intolerance’ in BJP over rejection of Bill

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The introduction of the private members’ Bill, which sought amendment to the IPC by seeking to “substitute a new section for Section 377”, was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey, who said he was opposing it not because of any religion, vedas or ‘puranas’ but because of the Supreme Court judgement.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday saw “intolerance” among a section of the ruling BJP after his move to introduce a Bill for decriminalising homosexuality was rejected in Lok Sabha.The introduction of the private members’ Bill, which sought amendment to the IPC by seeking to “substitute a new section for Section 377”, was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey, who said he was opposing it not because of any religion, vedas or ‘puranas’ but because of the Supreme Court judgement. Reacting to the development, Tharoor said, “It strikes me as extremely intolerant because at this stage, it’s a very routine procedure.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I begged to introduce the Bill. It is extremely unfortunate for a Bill to be rejected, even for introduction and it shows, I am sorry to say, the degree of intolerance that exists in sections of our ruling party.” The Congress leader and former Union Minister said he “will move the Bill again when the session is convened next to ensure individual privacy is possible”. The bulk of the votes opposing “even the introduction of the Bill” came from BJP, claimed Tharoor, although he also noted that there were “some members” of the ruling party who “seemed to have” voted to allow him to introduce it.The opposition MP said he proposed to amend Section 377 of IPC in order to de-criminalise homosexuality in the wake of the Supreme Court judgement in this connection. The apex court had in 2013 overruled a 2009 decision by Delhi High Court striking down the section and said that it was for the Parliament to decide whether to amend or delete it and not the judiciary. Saying that “it is not the government’s responsibility to decide how people behave in their private life”, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said, “I have not proposed the deletion; I have just proposed amendment and the purpose of the same is to ensure consensual sex between consenting adults will be legally possible. That is, we will keep the government out of our bedroom.”There is a need now to look “very, very critically” at how the public sees this issue, he further averred while seeking a public debate on the issue. “That there are so many people in the ruling party present on the government benches who are expressing their intolerance and homophobia in this manner is very revelatory,” he charged. “After all, what we are talking about is human freedom, human privacy, human dignity,” he added.Tharoor expressed confidence that if the public starts “waking up” to the reality of what is being discussed and what is at stake, he will have at least succeeded in “raising” consciousness about the issue.”In that spirit, today’s defeat will still be a victory for the cause of justice and freedom in our country,” he said.Two other Bills moved by Tharoor, for amending Section 124A of IPC, that covers sedition, and the National Asylum and Refugee Bill, which favours the extension of rights to foreign nationals, were allowed to be introduced in the House.

LS, RS adjourned abrubtly because of lack of quorum

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There were 19 members in the House at that time, compared to a minimum of 25 needed for quorum.

Parliament

Lack quorum on Friday forced abrupt adjournment of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.Rajya Sabha, which re-convened at 2.30 pm after repeated adjournments caused by Congress protests, was to take up private members’ bills as is the practice on Fridays. Soon after, most BJP and Congress members moved out of the House as the Bill to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, moved by Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of Samajwadi Party on April 24, came up for voting. At this, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said “if the members do not want to attend and there is no quorum, what can I do?” He then adjourned the House for the day.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There were 19 members in the House at that time, compared to a minimum of 25 needed for quorum. For quorum, there is a need for presence of 10 per cent of members of the total strength of 250 members of a House. The Lok Sabha was also adjourned for the day, a little past 5.30 PM because of lack of quorum when the discussion on a private member bill on Compulsory Voting was in progress. Hukum Narayan Yadav, who was in the Chair, wanted to extend the sitting by one hour as on Fridays the House timings are only till 5.30 pm.He sought the sense of the House to extend the time of the sitting so that the discussion on the bill could continue. Even as most of the members agreed, N K Premachandran of RSP objected, saying that it is being done so that a bill on the rights of transgenders is not taken up. “This is a black day in Indian Parliament… It is totally unfair,” he said, demanding that the bill on rights of transgenders be taken up.Noisy exchanges ensued between the Treasury benches and him. Premachandran then raised the issue of quorum as only around 20 members were present in the House. As per the rules, the Lower House should have at least 55 members, 10 per cent of the total strength of 545 members, present for quorum. Yadav then rang the ‘quorum bell’ and in the next few minutes, nearly ten members walked into the House.However, the number still was well below the quorum, forcing Yadav to adjourn the House for the day.Amid the protests, BJD’s Tatagatha Satpathy, who was supporting Premachandran, said the matter was not a question of Congress or BJP but of a group of citizens. Countering Premachandran, BJP’s Nishikant Dubey said since it is a private member bill, there is no need for a quorum. The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 has been prepared by N K Premachandran (RSP), Udit Raj (BJP) and Baijayant Panda (BJD). During the discussion on bill for Compulsory Voting, members of BJP differed on the practicality of implementing such a measure. Daddan Mishra (BJP) said participation of people was needed for a vibrant democracy and it was possible to introduce compulsory voting in the country. His party colleague Udit Raj said there was a need to educate people and encourage them to participate in the electoral process, though it may not possible to make in compulsory in the Indian context.Ravindra Kumar Ray (BJP) said it was everyone’s duty to strengthen democracy as “there is no alternative to democracy.” Banshilal Mahto (BJP) demanded that there should be compulsory voting and also there should be restriction on independent candidates. Kamakhya Prasad Tasa (BJP) regretted that those who do not vote often throng the elected representatives to take various kinds of advantages by getting close to them.Restrictions should be imposed on those who do not exercise their voting right, he added.Jugal Kishore Sharma (BJP) suggested that there should be a mechanism whereby people who cannot step out, can vote from their homes while citing that many people do not come out to vote fearing terrorists.Another BJP member Raman Deka said making voting compulsory is not impractical and that everyone should exercise their voting rights. Kaushalendr Kumar (JD-U) opposed the bill.

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