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Indian-origin wannabe MP sets up own political party in UK

An Indian-origin former MP candidate who stood for the far-right UK Independence Party in May general elections has started his own single-issue political party, calling for the UK to throw open its borders to all.Harjinder Singh, who attracted public and media interest during the last general election campaign after spending 13 hours a day waving at cars on a busy traffic junction, has now set up Open Borders Party.
At the time, he was standing as Euro-sceptic UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) parliamentary candidate for the safe Labour Party seat of Birmingham Perry Barr.The ‘Asian Image’ reported that the 38-year-old bank worker and former Conservative party activist said he had joined UKIP because it was the only group offering withdrawal from the European Union and admitted he had been “a little bit naive” about its anti-immigrant policies.He has now set up Open Borders Party, campaigning to open the UK’s doors to anyone without a criminal record or a contagious disease – so long as they pay an entry fee, and higher taxes.Singh, who joined UKIP in 2014, told the newspaper: “There’s no perfect political party. I was a little bit naive with regard to some of their (UKIP’s) other policies, as they’ve bolted some on, and those don’t represent me.”That for me is where I draw the line, but with regard to the main core party view, which is to leave the EU, UKIP were the only party saying that which is why I joined.” He claims UKIP officials tried to talk him out of his maverick move to campaign standing in the middle of one of Europe’s busiest traffic thoroughfares – the Scott Arms junction in north Birmingham.”A lot of people were saying ‘don’t stand at the Scott Arms, start knocking doors and meet people’,” he said. “I felt, here I was, a Sikh male, campaigning for UKIP with no budget meeting hundreds and hundreds of people every day.” Singh, who lost to Labour in the May polls, has signalled his intention to stand for his party in the Perry Barr seat in the next election as well. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Modi in Russia: Congress slams PM Modi over national anthem faux pas

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The party also attacked the Prime Minister on the issue from the official AICC podium.

In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for walking past the guard of honour while Indian national Anthem was being played in Moscow, the Congress on Thursday said he has “forgotten” what it sounds like due to his frequent foreign visits and the nation was “deeply hurt” over the “unprecedented” incident. “Modi signs on National Flag and violates Flag Code. Now walks away when Indian National Anthem is being played in Russia. Unprecedented! “Nationalism BJP/Modi “Ishtyle”. Any comments from Modi Acolytes?,” AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said on Twitter,”Spending so much time abroad seems to have made PM forget what the Indian National Anthem sounds like. He walked in Moscow as Anthem played!” Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said it was “sad that Russians had to remind Modi that he has to respect his anthem. Bhakts got much to say?”Also read: PM Narendra Modi walks during national anthem upon his arrival in MoscowThe party also attacked the Prime Minister on the issue from the official AICC podium. “Finally, the nation is shocked and deeply hurt at what we see on television the PM walking away while the national anthem was being played in Moscow. “These are matters of grave national sensitivities and we believe particularly that when the Prime Minister abroad represents the whole nation, these sensitivities must always be respected,” party spokesperson and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said at the Congress briefing.In an unusual incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday begun to walk past the guard of honour presented on his arrival in Moscow for a summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin even while the national anthem was still being played and had to be pulled back by a Russian official. After the Prime Minister stepped onto the tarmac, a Russian official made a gesture with his hand which appeared Modi misinterpreted and started walking. However, another official stopped Modi from walking following which he stepped back and stood in attention.

DDCA row: BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar, Yashwant Sinha meet

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Sources said Advani drove down to Joshi’s residence and Shanta Kumar and Sinha joined them at noon for a meeting that lasted about an hour.

BJP patriarch LK Advani

BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha, who have been vocal against party leadership, on Thursday went into a huddle over developments in the party in the wake of MP Kirti Azad’s suspension after he attacked Arun Jaitley over DDCA issue.Azad has sought intervention of the ‘margdarshak mandal’, comprising Advani, Joshi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which was formed by BJP president Amit Shah after he took over the party reins.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: DDCA row: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to help suspended MP Kirti AzadSources said Advani drove down to Joshi’s residence and Shanta Kumar and Sinha joined them at noon for a meeting that lasted about an hour. The four leaders, who had virtually revolted against the Modi-Shah team after BJP’s drubbing in Bihar Assembly election last month, are learnt to have discussed the situation arising out of Azad’s suspension.Related Read: DDCA row: Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi over Kirti Azad’s suspension, wants probeThey had made a strong public statement after the Bihar poll debacle, saying the party has been “emasculated” in the last one year and was being “forced to kow-tow to a handful”.Cracking the whip on Wednesday, BJP suspended Azad, who has been leading a campaign against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on alleged corruption in DDCA, charging him with anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and AAP to bring it into “disrepute”.The action of the BJP Parliamentary Board to suspend him from the party’s primary membership with immediate effect came three days after his press conference attacking Jaitley and subsequent acts of defiance both inside and outside Parliament.

National Herald case: BJP blasts Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for ‘sermonising on corruption’

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“It’s amusing to learn that Rahul Gandhi is sermonising on corruption. He should be reminded of the fact that he along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi are out on bail, because of the very important fact that the court of this country has said that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi i.e., accused number one and accused number two, in fact had criminal intent in the National Herald case,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Reminding Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi that he and party president Sonia Gandhi are accused in the National Herald case, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said they should not sermonise on the issue of corruption.”It’s amusing to learn that Rahul Gandhi is sermonising on corruption. He should be reminded of the fact that he along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi are out on bail, because of the very important fact that the court of this country has said that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi i.e., accused number one and accused number two, in fact had criminal intent in the National Herald case,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Those who amass the wealth of this country with criminal intent, and those who are out on bail should not sermonise on corruption. Rather than sermonising, they should be introspecting as to how they can self correct,” he added.Earlier, Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should answer on BJP MP Kirti Azad’s suspension who has been making public statements that there was corruption in the DDCA when Arun Jaitley was heading it. “Modi ji said “na khaunga na khaane dunga”, now his MP pointed out corruption and he has been suspended. Ab Modi ji jawaab de,” Gandhi told the media.The BJP on Wednesday suspended its Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad. The party issued a terse letter in the evening stating, “For anti-party activities, Shri Kirti Azad, MP, Darbhanga, is with immediate effect suspended from the party.”

Bihar-like alliance for UP poll on the anvil

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Nitish and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh are reported to have already joined hands after preliminary discussions in this regard in Delhi on Monday. Sources say that the Congress would also readily be part of this alliance, though the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in UP could be kept out of this anti-BJP alignment.

Buoyed by the landslide victory of the anti-BJP ‘maha gathbandhan’ (grand alliance) in the Bihar Assembly election, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar has already started sewing up a similar coalition in Uttar Pradesh in preparation for the 2017 UP Assembly election.Nitish and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh are reported to have already joined hands after preliminary discussions in this regard in Delhi on Monday. Sources say that the Congress would also readily be part of this alliance, though the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in UP could be kept out of this anti-BJP alignment.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Yes Nitish ji and Chaudhry sahib (Ajit Singh) have met. We have been together in the (erstwhile) Janata Dal and have no reservations about forging an alliance for UP,” JD (U) general secretary KC Tyagi told India 24×7 TV channel of Zee Media in Delhi on Wednesday while fielding questions about the prospective alliance.Sources said Tyagi had already been entrusted the task of organizing a joint rally of the RLD and JD (U) in west UP after the Parliament session ends. Nitish is expected to announce the formation of the ‘maha gathbandhan’ at this rally. “The assent of the Congress would be obtained in the meantime,” a senior RLD leader told dna.UP RLD chief Suresh Niranjan told reporters in Allahabad that his party was indeed exploring a tie-up with the JD (U) and the Congress. “We want to repeat the success of the Bihar experiment in UP, too,” he said.The RLD and Congress had contested the 2012 UP Assembly election in alliance. But, the alignment did not continue in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. However, political watchers feel that after the BJP sweeping the parliamentary poll, it would be a matter of political expediency for parties like the JD (U) and RLD to align with the Congress to put up a joint front against the saffron brigade.One queer development in this entire scheme of things is the underlying resistance to including the SP in the proposed grand alliance. The reason for this is obviously the manner in which the SP deserted the ‘maha gathbandhan’ in Bihar, allegedly to help the BJP.For its part, the SP says it doesn’t need any alliance for a repeat victory in UP. “Our party is preparing to contest the election alone and we are confident that we will return with an even bigger victory this time,” SP MP and Mulayam’s nephew Dharmendra Yadav told reporters.The Congress is also being cautious for the time being. “As of now, we are preparing to contest the UP election alone. But let Nitish ji come up with his proposal. The Congress leadership will consider it and take a decision,” said Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari.

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.

Ayodhya row: Opposition accuses BJP, RSS of trying to divide people; raises concerns of preparation of work on Ram temple

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Opposition members voiced concern over reports of two truck loads of stones for construction of the temple having arrived in Ayodhya earlier this week.

The Ayodhya temple row on Wednesday rocked the Rajya Sabha with Congress, BSP and JD (U) accusing the BJP and RSS of trying to divide Uttar Pradesh on communal lines ahead of the 2017 assembly elections in the state, a charge rejected by the ruling party at the Centre. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, K C Tyagi (JD-U) said the circumstances for a communally-charged atmosphere are being created ahead of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.Opposition members voiced concern over reports of two truck loads of stones for construction of the temple having arrived in Ayodhya earlier this week. Such activities are being planned “only to charge up the atmosphere,” he said, quoting a reported statement by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das that there was a “signal” from the Modi government that the temple will be built “now”. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said stone carving for construction of the temple has been going at a site 1.5 km away from the disputed site since 1990. The government and the BJP are of the view that the court decision on the dispute should be accepted, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was no ban on carving of stones and the religious leaders quoted have been living in Ayodhya, he said, adding that stone carving does not mean that the temple was being built. “Please wait for court decision. All of us should respect it,” he said. Outside Parliament, BSP supremo Mayawati told reporters that “this has been the agenda of BJP and RSS for a long time. But the Government of India should apply brakes on such people.”But more than BJP, she used the opportunity to slam her arch rival, the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, saying if the Supreme Court order to maintain status quo on the site is violated, then the “SP will be responsible as the ruling party.” The former Uttar Pradesh CM said it is the responsibility of the ruling party in the state to ensure that the SC directions are not violated. “In such a scenario, nothing wrong should be allowed to take place,” she said. Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh Pramod Tiwari claimed that BJP and its affiliates rake up such issues before every assembly election, especially in UP. “Be it shila pujan or rath yatra, BJP tries to draw a communal divide before every assembly election, especially in Uttar Pradesh. JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said though BJP tries to divide people on communal lines every time, “this time the people have understood their design”. “They divide people on communal lines before elections. But this time the people have understood their design. Like we did in Bihar, we would counter them in Uttar Pradesh,” he said. BJP MP from Gorakhpur in UP Adityanath rejected the charge that the party was raking up the temple issue again

Juvenile Justice Bill: Ramdas Athawale claims those with sexual urges should be forcibly married

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“Those who have sexual urges… they should be taught a lesson. They should get married. And if they have sex, then it should be consensual.”

File Photo

On Tuesday, veteran lawmaker Ramdas Athawale, the president of the Republic Party of India made some bizarre remarks before passing the Juvenile Justice Act in parliament. He was quoted saying by NDTV, “Those who have sexual urges… they should be taught a lesson. They should get married. And if they have sex, then it should be consensual.”He also used an expletive that was expunged from the remarks. He also claimed that during the times of Shivaji, no one would commit such crimes as their hands and legs were broken and the law should allow a modern democracy like India to do the same. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi thanked the opposition for passing the much-expected Juvenile Justice Bill under which juveniles aged 16 years and above will now be tried under laws for adults for heinous crimes.”This is a Bill that everyone feels strongly about and I am happy that everyone supported it,” Gandhi said as she stepped out of Parliament. Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary said her party was the architect of the Bill in many ways and just wanted an intense debate on various aspects of the Bill. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the walkout by the Left parties was not in protest of the Bill, but because they wanted the Bill to go to a Select Committee so that all aspects are looked into. “If tomorrow you catch hold of a young ISIS terrorist, you will say bring down the age by another two years. The question is not about the age but the kind of crime that has been committed,” he said. 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 passed by Lok Sabha earlier.

AAP allegation, malicious and tarnishing Jaitley’s reputation, says his advocate

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s advocate Manik Dogra on Tuesday said that all allegations made by the Aam Aadmi Party are baseless and malicious and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of his client.

PTI
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s advocate Manik Dogra on Tuesday said that all allegations made by the Aam Aadmi Party are baseless and malicious and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of his client. “Our argument was that all the allegations made by the AAP are wrong, baseless and malicious. This is only to tarnish the reputation. Mr. Jaitlety has filed a suit for damages seeking the damage of 10 crore against the defendant. We are very confident and hopeful for the success,” Dogra told the media here.He also added that all defendants individually and collectively have made themselves liable to compensate the plaintiff for a sum of Rs 10 crores.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) controversy before a Delhi court which took cognizance on his plea.Jaitley’s action comes in the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bunglings in Delhi’s cricket body, DDCA, of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.

Congress, AAP making false allegations on Arun Jaitley to divert attention, says BJP

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Claiming that Arun Jaitley will come clean off the allegations made against him, BJP said, the mudslinging was just a tactic by Congress and AAP, to divert attention

Finance Minister Arun Jailtey

File Photo
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is a symbol of honesty and the Congress Party and the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) is trying to divert attention from their corruption cases by making false allegations against him in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) row.”Arun Jaitley is a honest minister. He is a symbol of transparency and honesty. The Congress party and the AAP are making false allegations on the BJP. Congress itself is involved in the National Herald case and is not able to digest the fact that the Government has got a mandate,”, said Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Finance Minister Arun Jailtey will come out with flying colours in the DDCA row in a similar way as BJP veteran LK Advani was acquitted in the Jain Hawala case.Jaitley on Wednesday, filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognizance on his plea.Jaitley also filed a civil defamation suit of Rs 10 crore against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders.

Former BJP member Ram Jethmalani to defend Kejriwal in defamation case

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Jethmalani was expelled from BJP in 2013 after making anti-party comments. His battle with the BJP, from which he was expelled in May 2013 for “breach of discipline” goes back several years.

Former BJP member and senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani will be defending Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the defamation case filed against him by Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday.Jethmalani was expelled from BJP in 2013 after making anti-party comments. His battle with the BJP, from which he was expelled in May 2013 for “breach of discipline” goes back several years.Earlier this year, he also published an article in the form of an advertisement criticising the Modi government for its stance on the black money issue, in which he posed 12 stinging questions to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asking his view on bringing back the money from foreign bank accounts into India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party have repeatedly blamed Jaitley on the alleged financial irregularities in DDCA, after the CBI raided the Delhi secretariat last week.Jaitley, who was the president of DDCA till 2013, has rubbished the allegations against his family members.However, on Monday, the finance minister filed a civil defamation case against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders including Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee over their comments on the alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), seeking Rs10 crore as damages.Jaitley accused AAP leaders of issuing false and defamatory cases against him and his family members.

Arun Jaitley files Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal

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Finance minister files civil as well as criminal case against Delhi CM * HC hearing on matter today

Finance minister Arun Jaitley arrives at Patiala House court in New Delhi on Monday to file a defamation case against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders
dna photo

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed a criminal defamation case against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five others at the Patiala House Court here. The matter was heard in front of a packed courtroom, where Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sanjay Khandelwal took cognizance of the offence and set the next date of hearing on January 5, 2016. A recording of the pre-summoning evidence will be done that day, following which the court will summon Kejriwal and others on merit. Earlier in the day, senior advocate Manik Dogra, representing Jaitley, also filed a civil suit in the High Court (HC) seeking Rs 10 crore in damages. The hearing on this matter has been listed for Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, who presented the case for Jaitley in court brought charges against six leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that included Kejriwal, Deepak Bajpai, Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh. The lawyer argued that “the defendant did not take a single penny” from the Delhi and District Cricket Association – a body Jaitley headed for 13 years. In the complaint, Luthra asserted: “The accused persons individually and collectively undertook a false and defamatory campaign against Jaitley and his family members.” He also said that “Jaitley came from a distinguished family of lawyers and he has no family member who has even one paisa interest in business.” The complaint, filed by Jaitely, was, thus, as a private individual. Almost the entire cabinet and several top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership flanked Jaitley, who personally came to the court to file the suit. Present in the court were Smriti Irani, Union human resource development minister; Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister of urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation and parliamentary affairs; J P Nadda, Union minister of health and family welfare; Piyush Goel, minster of state for power, among other senior party leaders. The Patiala House District Court saw heavy security, with companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) maintaining law and order as several hundred party members shouted slogans in favour of the BJP and against the AAP. During the 35-minute-long hearing, Luthra presented articles published in the print and electronic media that were defamatory in nature. He even submitted tweets and posts on Facebook by the six accused as evidence. The complaint has been filed under the provisions of Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for offence under Sections 400, 500, 501 and 502, read with Sections 34 and 35 of the IPC. If the charges are proved, the maximum sentence is two years. The AAP had alleged massive financial irregularities in the DDCA during Jaitley’s tenure from 1999 to 2013. Kejriwal: “Mr Jaitley should not try to intimidate us with a court case. Our fight against corruption will continue.” Kirti Azad: hello dear @arunjaitley hampar defemation file kar rahe ho na? Please karo na Don’t take injunction, don’t gag freedom of speech.Mera naam kyon hata diya @arunjaitley #Aap ne toh mere letters dikhae theey, mujhpar karo na case, registered post se maine bheje theey

AAP vs Jaitley: Union Finance Minister to file defamation case against Kejriwal, other leaders

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Besides Kejriwal, Jaitley would file defamation cases against Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Deepak Bajpayee

Arun Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is under the hammer for the allegations of corruptions in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), will be filing civil and criminal defamation cases against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders.Besides Kejriwal, Jaitley would file defamation cases against Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Deepak Bajpayee. The Delhi Government had earlier decided to constitute a commission of enquiry to probe the alleged corruption in the DDCA.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam to head the commission. Finance Minister 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. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Happy to make Congress leaders ‘walk to the law’: Subramanian Swamy

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While taking satisfaction that he ultimately made top Congress leaders ‘walk to the law’, he also claimed that court declined exemption from appearance. “My goal is not only to eliminate corruption but instill courage in ordinary citizen and fear in the high and mighty,” he further stated.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, petitioner in the National Herald case, said he did not oppose bail for Congress president Sonia and her son Rahul Gandhi. He also dismissed Congress allegations that it was a case of personal vendetta against the Gandhis or other Congress leaders, saying he had never met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take any directions from him. “No one has told me anything to either slow down or pursue the National Herald case. I do not want any support from BJP or from anyone. I didn’t get support from my party during 2G scam also. I don’t need it,” he said. “I did not oppose bail today, only opposed exemption. Thus, the accused all produced bail for Rs 50 000. No exemption. No bail boast?” Swamy said in a tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While taking satisfaction that he ultimately made top Congress leaders ‘walk to the law’, he also claimed that court declined exemption from appearance. “My goal is not only to eliminate corruption but instill courage in ordinary citizen and fear in the high and mighty,” he further stated.”When Sonia and Rahul Gandhi came they were made to stand in a corner where the accused are supposed to be, they were not allowed to sit,” he further said. Later, in an interview to a TV channel, Swamy also hit out at suggestions that he has been accorded Z category security and government bungalow as a reward for pursuing the case. “Congress persons may be purchasable. I am a sanyasi. I don’t need houses,” he shot back.Responding to Congress’s criticism over the extension of ‘Z’ category security to him, Swamy said it was during former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao’s tenure that he was provided this protection, which was later curtailed by the UPA government.Speaking to reporters here, Swamy said that the Congress government led by Rao had provided ‘Z’ category security to him.That was later curtailed by the previous UPA government and made applicable only in a few states, he added.”When our (BJP) government came, they said this is injustice and again provided me the security that had been given to me during Rao’s tenure,” he said.”Now I don’t know if they (Congress) think Narasimha Rao was a BJP man,” he said.Swamy criticised the Congress for holding “processions and gatherings” ahead of Sonia and Rahul’s appearance in the court. “This taking out of processions, gathering of crowds… so many arrangements have to be made.With all this, a message would go out to the world that not all is equal in our country and democracy is not well-established.”I tell Congress, that is why your name is spoiled… you are losing this case, that is why you are doing all this. If you are winning, then go smiling to court,” Swamy said.—With agency inputs

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.

BJP appoints VHP-supported Hindutva hardliner K Rajasekharan as Kerala unit chief

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Rajasekharan’s elevation may trigger a minority wave in the favour of LDF or UDF, feel some BJP leaders.

K Rajasekharan

The BJP on Friday appointed Hindutva hardliner Kummanam Rajasekharan, as the chief of the party’s Kerala unit, reports Indian Express.However, a section of BJP leaders feel that the appointment of Rajasekharan, who is known for his inflammatory speeches, would impede the party’s attempts to emerge as an alternative to the CPM-led LDF and the Congress-led UDF in Kerala.Rajasekharan’s elevation may trigger a minority wave in the favour of LDF or UDF, feel these leaders.The BJP has so far looked to consolidate Nairs, Ezhavas and section of Christians with an eye on the upcoming polls. But with Rajasekharan at the helm, the party may find it tough to get support from Christians.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP is also trying to forge an alliance with Kerala Congress (Mani) which could now be in jeopardy, says the report. The party has a strong Christian base.Rajasekharan was backed by VHP, while R Balashankar, former editor of Organiser, was supported by the RSS.

Congress MPs demand aggressive stand against Arun Jaitley

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At the Congress briefing, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad merely said that the party was studying the report in the case and would come to some conclusion in two-three days.

Demands of adopting aggressive stand against Arun Jaitley were on Friday made at a meeting of the strategy committee of the Congress here, in the wake of AAP’s allegation of financial irregularities against the Union Finance Minister.The meeting was presided by party chief Sonia Gandhi. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was also present in the meeting which saw some MPs take up the matter vigorously. Noting that AAP has been taking up the issue spiritedly, they pitched for raising it prominently by the party in Parliament next week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At the Congress briefing, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad merely said that the party was studying the report in the case and would come to some conclusion in two-three days. Two days ago, Congress had targeted Jaitley demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into the issue and resignation of the Finance Minister pending the inquiry. Following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat in connection with charges against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, AAP has been claiming that the Central agency carried out the searches to target the AAP chief and was looking for a file relating to graft in DDCA, a charge refuted by the Modi government as also the CBI.Since then, the party has been demanding resignation of Jaitley from the Union Cabinet. The Aam Aadmi Party today posed five queries to Jaitley relating to alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA.Addressing a press conference, top AAP leaders dismissed Jaitley’s assertions of no wrongdoing as “vague” and “misleading” and instead sought to put the ball in his court by making a set of fresh charges.

India’s Gandhis due to appear in court

Indian Congress party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are due to appear in court on Saturday in connection with a corruption case.

BJP got donation of Rs 200 crore from beef exporter, alleges Azam Khan

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On the issue of cleaning Ganga river, Azam Khan said that Centre should tell in what time will it be cleaned.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan has alleged that the BJP has taken a “donation of Rs 200 crore” from a “beef exporter”, a charge denied by the party.”BJP plays politics on beef. Ironically, it has taken a donation of Rs 200 crore from a big beef exporter. The party should tell how much money was taken in black,” he said, while talking to reporters here last night.Hitting back at Khan, BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak on Friday claimed he was making “baseless accusations” on his party.”He should first give account of money spent in (Mulayam Singh) Yadav’s birthday celebration in Rampur. Khan has himself said that the money came from Dawood,” he further claimed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pathak was referring to Khan’s remarks in Rampur last month when he was asked about the funding of the birthday celebrations there.”Why does it matter where the money for celebrations is coming from? Some have come from Taliban, some from Abu Salem, some from Dawood(Ibrahim), some from terrorist…,” he had said in an apparent sarcastic response.”BJP is the only party, which runs on principles and ideals and such allegations are signs of frustration of the SP leader,” he claimed.On the issue of cow slaughter, Khan said that “whether it’s cow or some other animal, there should be no slaughter”. Referring to the controversial Ram Temple issue, Khan said that BJP was only “doing politics” on the issue and asked the party to tell as to how much “donations” it had taken in its name.”The Ram Temple issue is being raked for political gains. There is a temple. The people have however understood this propaganda now,” he said.On the issue of cleaning Ganga river, Khan said that Centre should tell in what time will it be cleaned.”One year have passed and now four years are left. They should tell the time-frame for cleaning Ganga,”, he added.

Go fight in polls, not here, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tells BJP MP, Mulayam Singh Yadav

Speaker rebukes BJP MP and Samajwadi Party supremo over horse-trading in local body polls.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan

dna Research & Archives
A BJP MP and Samajwadi party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Friday, clashed in the Lok Sabha over alleged horse-trading in local body polls in Uttar Pradesh, prompting Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to tell them ‘to go and fight’ in elections in the state.Daddan Mishra, a BJP MP from Shrawasti, raised the issue of alleged horse-trading in the elections of block president and district president.”There is a lot of horse-trading taking place and polls should be conducted directly by the people. I also urge the Government of India to look into the matter,” Mishra said as he raised the issue in Zero Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To this, the Speaker said the issue was not under the purview of the Centre and was a state subject, but Mishra continued speaking on it.It was the SP chief who sprang up to defend the state government.”Let the polls happen under the eyes of people. We have no objection to it. The election results speak for itself,” Yadav said.The Samajwadi Party has fared better than the BJP in the state polls.As his party chief took charge, Dharmendra Yadav rushed to join him. He was also joined by SP member Tej Pratap Yadav, even as the two sides sparred with each other.”Wahaan jaake lado (Go and fight there). The talks on local body polls don’t happen here. Go and work there,” Mahajan said.

Venkaiah Naidu says no use giving importance to useless DDCA-linked accusations

“Arun Jaitley is one of the most honest sincere, intelligent minister. There is no issue of any discussion here in parliament because the issue is not connected with the parliament. There is no use of giving any importance to useless accusation. Arun Jaitley doesn?t want any certificate from them,” Naidu told media here.

Reiterating the absurdity of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) accusation against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with regard to an alleged scam in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said giving importance to useless accusations would be a sheer waste of time.”Arun Jaitley is one of the most honest sincere, intelligent minister. There is no issue of any discussion here in parliament because the issue is not connected with the parliament. There is no use of giving any importance to useless accusation. Arun Jaitley doesn?t want any certificate from them,” Naidu told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu further said, “if you try to spit on the sun, it will fall back on your face, criticising Jaitleyji is like this.”On the continuous disruption of Parliament, the minister said that if they (Congress) have divergent views, which is natural in a democracy, they must insist on having a discussion, but they’re disrupting.People expect Parliament to legislate for their better future .Don’t know what are reasons for the Congress to stall these legislations”AAP is totally wrong and we don’t want to get involved in that. We are more concerned about the non-functioning of the Rajya Sabha because all important bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has passed around 12 bills or more and people are waiting that it will be passed in the Rajya Sabha also, that is the burning issue. I humbly request that they should allow the functioning of the parliament. Congress Party should answer on why the house is not functioning. We don?t have any problems if they take credit, but they should let the house function,”he added.

Call money racket: Andhra assembly suspends 58 Opposition MLAs over uproar

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly saw the suspension of 58 Opposition MLAs including YSR Congress Party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday.

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly saw the suspension of 58 Opposition MLAs including YSR Congress Party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday.The Members of Legislative Assembly were suspended after an uproar over the Call Money scam.A massive blackmail, extortion and sex racket linked to Call Money was exposed in Andhra Pradesh, in which 80 people from different political parties have been arrested.Call money is a loan that is just a phone call away, with money delivered at one’s doorstep.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: ‘Call money’ racket: 19 held in East Godavari, Rs 23 Lakh seizedThe flipside is that the lender can demand it back at any time and if the borrower cannot repay, the lender can take away property.According to the police, women were coerced into sexual exploitation on not being able to return the amount.The lenders demanded rates of interest that were as high as 120 percent to 200 percent. Promissory notes and blank cheques were taken against the loans. Meanwhile, nineteen people have been arrested in connection with the ‘call money’ racket and over Rs 23 lakh cash seized from them, police said.

Arunachal Pradesh political crisis: BJP declares rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul as next CM candidate

Today, a ‘no confidence’ motion by 11 BJP MLAs and two Independent members was ‘adopted’ with deputy speaker T Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the chair.

Rebel Congress MLA Kalikho Pul celebrates with supporters after he was elected as” Chief Minister” by 33 legislators in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.

PTI
In an interesting turn of events in the Arunachal Pradesh political upheaval, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday declared Kalikho Pul as their Chief Minister candidate.”The sitting chief minister has to prove his majority against the person we are proposing. We are projecting the name of Kaliko Pul for the post of Chief Minister,” leader of the Opposition Tamiyo Taga said.”The next step is to vacate the chief minister post. I have submitted one no confidence motion to be taken up tomorrow in the assembly. There would be a composite floor test for the government. Everything is same but the name is different composite floor test, it is not exactly a no confidence motion,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Today, a ‘no confidence’ motion by 11 BJP MLAs and two Independent members was ‘adopted’ with deputy speaker T Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the chair. 33 MLAs said yes to no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and no MLA from the Chief Minister faction was present.Meanwhile, the Congress earlier on Thursday said there could be no business in the Rajya Sabha, because of the recent political developments in Arunachal Pradesh.Briefing media in New Delhi, leader of opposition in the Upper House Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Central government is using the Governor, who is upholder of the Constitution, for political gains. He alleged that the Centre is trying to destabilise Arunchal Pradesh government.In reply to a query, another spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala clarified that the Congress Party has not called any of its state leaders to Delhi on December 19.

AAP v/s Jaitley: When Smriti Irani clashed with Sagarika Ghose over ‘blasphemy comments’

When Smriti Irani claimed that the accusations against Arun Jaitley were blasphemous, Sagarika Ghose felt that the word was too strong.

Staunchly defending Arun Jaitley, whose resignation has been sought by AAP and Congress for alleged financial bunglings in DDCA, BJP today asserted that it “resolutely stands behind” the finance minister who has an “impeccable” political record. After AAP launched a sharp attack on Jaitley, BJP fielded Smriti Irani to mount a counter attack in which she described the charges as a “blasphemous and preposterous campaign bordering on political hysteria” being created to deflect the public attention from a “corrupt officer” working with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also quoted from Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe into DDCA affairs done during the UPA tenure to claim that it had given Jaitley a clean chit. “It is observed during the period under inspection that Arun Jaitley is the DDCA president presiding over (its) meetings like a non-executive chairman without involvement in the day to day affair of the company. “No incidents of fraud has been noticed during the course of investigation,” she said quoting from the report. ( AAP v/s Jaitley: Smriti Irani calls AAP’s comments blasphemous)”Today, BJP resolutely stands behind Arun Jaitley and publicly condemns the malicious intent of the Aam Aadmi Party to deflect public attention from a corrupt officer working with Arvind Kejriwal,” the Union Minister told a press conference. A probe done during the Congress tenure gave him a “clean chit” even though the party had used instruments of power to “corner” its leaders, she stressed. The demand of Congress now that Jaitley should resign exposes its political hypocrisy, she said, wondering if it was doing so to deflect attention from the Gandhi family. An unseemly slugfest has erupted between AAP and BJP after CBI raided Kejriwal’s principal secretary’s office on Tuesday with Kejriwal calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “coward and psychopath” and BJP hitting back. Showering praise on Jaitley, she said he had written his name in “golden letters in history” with his dedication and work and Kejriwal’s attempts to protect a corrupt officer amounted to abdicating the anti-corruption movement from which he had shot to limelight.Here’s the exchange that followed: With inputs from agencies

Cricket is Arun Jaitley’s ‘private duty’, says Subramanian Swamy

Following a demand from the Congress for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to resign for his alleged role in a scam involving the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said cricket is Jaitley’s private not public duty.

Following a demand from the Congress for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to resign for his alleged role in a scam involving the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said cricket is Jaitley’s private not public duty.”It is a contempt of LS/RS for opposition to raise AJ’s DDCA alleged corruption in the two Houses since cricket is his private not public duty,” Swamy said in a tweet.Swamy further stressed on the fact that the issue is Jaitley’s personal matter and the party or the government has got nothing to do with it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Cricket is a not a part of our party. Only Jaitley can give answer on that. We do not need to intervene in this. Even Jaitley did not ask for support from us. I think it will be wrong to bring this issue up in Parliament. There’s a decorum and it should not be crossed,” he said.”How can they ask for resignation in the Parliament? They can demand for probe on it. Many a time, Kirti Azad has given statement on this. Jaitley should answer on this, we should not intervene in this. If they want his resignation, they can take to the roads and demand it. But there is no point asking for his resignation in the Parliament,” he added.The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has rejected the allegations of irregularities against Arun Jaitley, and said that such charges were absolutely rubbish.”Some allegations have been raised against the DDCA and it needs clarification as everyone is stating their point. First thing is allegation of irregularities on stadium construction. Stadium is made of Rs. 141 crores,” DDCA working president Chetan Chauhan told the press conference.Reacting to demands by the Congress Party and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for his resignation, Jaitley said he could answer specific issue, but he could not answer “vague allegation” without any basis.”If they tell me what is the specific issue, I can answer it, but I can’t answer vague allegation without any basis,” he said.Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Maken, said “The DDCA irregularity is a very serious matter, and thus, serious examination should be done and serious action should be taken. The DDCA issue should not be diluted, and should not be marred into political controversy as grave irregularities have been committed.”Demanding Jaitley’s resignation, he said, “As long as Mr. Jaitley is the Finance Minister, and is the minister in-charge of corporate law affairs, how can you expect a fair trial to take place under his finance ministership?”Demanding his “resignation for a fair and impartial probe”, AAP Core Committee member Sanjay Singh told repoters: “Tomorrow (on Thursday), the AAP will divulge details of the DDCA irregularities, which will enable you to draw a complete picture of irregularities.”

AAP v/s Jaitley: Is FM putting pressure on media to not run DDCA story against him, asks Ashutosh

In another tweet, Ashutosh said, “Last night a very senior journalist told me JAITLEY is calling all the media owners, putting pressure not to run the story against him?”

Intensifying their tirade against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over his alleged involvement in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) ‘irregularities’, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday questioned if minister is putting pressure on media.Taking to micro-blogging site, AAP leader Ashutosh said, “Today is test for ‘M’ for Media and ‘J’ for journalism. Will media call names to Jaitley, the way it called names to Rajendra Kumar?. Media has called Rajendra Kumar Corrupt. Will media also call Jaitley corrupt after expose.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another tweet, Ashutosh said, “Last night a very senior journalist told me JAITLEY is calling all the media owners, putting pressure not to run the story against him?”The AAP has also demanded Jaitley’s resignation and said the party will divulge details of the DDCA irregularities, which will enable you to draw a complete picture of irregularities.Meanwhile, the DDCA has strongly refuted allegations of “gross financial irregularities” against Finance Minister and its former president Arun Jaitley, saying that such charges were “absolutely rubbish”.”Some allegations have been raised against DDCA and it needs clarification as everyone is stating their point. First thing is allegation of irregularities on stadium construction. Stadium is made of Rs 141 crore,” DDCA working president Chetan Chauhan said.On his part, Jaitley dismissed the allegations as “vague” and said he cannot answer them unless they are specific. He also attacked the AAP and its government of trying to “deflect” attention from the issue of corruption and “interference” in the probe.(With agency inputs)

Onus of running Parliament smoothly on govt as well: Shashi Tharoor

Speaking to media, Tharoor said there will be constructive response from Opposition parties only if the government reached out to them in a “constructive way”.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Stating that Congress cannot be blamed for the logjam in Parliament, party leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said the onus of ensuring its smooth functioning was “as much” on the government as he asked the Narendra Modi dispensation to take the party’s concerns “very seriously”.Speaking to media, Tharoor said there will be constructive response from Opposition parties only if the government reached out to them in a “constructive way”. At a time when Congress is up in arms against the government, Tharoor will on Friday introduce three private members bills seeking to amend Section RPT Section 377 of IPC to de-criminalise homosexuality, offering rights to foreign nationals seeking asylum in India and amending Section 124A of IPC to ensure that the sedition term is not misused.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The political responsibility of disruption should not be placed only on the opposition party or parties that are disrupting. The political responsibility goes as much to the government, its Parliamentary management and the overall attitude of the government to the opposition parties and the nation,” he said.”My own view very much is that many of the concerns that the Congress party has been articulating inside and outside the Parliament, including those made today in the meeting with the President, should be taken very seriously by the ruling party,” the Congress leader added.Defending Congress, the Parliamentarian said the party believed in debates and has “more talented” debaters than the government has on the treasury benches. He also reminded that the first session after the NDA government came into being had seen 105 per cent business.”So, what the Congress party has been saying, and I speak privately, I am not a spokesperson of the party… The Congress party has been saying understandably is that in our country there is an onus in the Parliamentary system on the government to make the Parliament run. And that means reaching out to the opposition in a constructive way. And when they do so, there will be constructive response,” he said.On him presenting the bills at a time when the Congress is being accused of disruptions, Tharoor said him introducing the bills in private capacity was very much in sync with his party’s stand.”Even though my party’s concerns which we have been articulating inside and outside the House are well known… Last Friday afternoon, the party did not object to the discussion on private member bills going ahead. “And in fact, some Congress members had introduced private members bills last time. Therefore, I do not believe that I have been out of sync,” he added.

Maneka Gandhi puts onus on Rajya Sabha, asks it to clear Bill on Nirbhaya

Putting the onus on the Rajya Sabha to clear the bill on mandatory registration of offenders, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said it is important to bring a juvenile within the ambit of law.

Putting the onus on the Rajya Sabha to clear the bill on mandatory registration of offenders, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said it is important to bring a juvenile within the ambit of law.”I wish the Rajya Sabha would allow me to pass this Act, at least it would give relief. They should be kept under watch. At the moment, you are not even allowing me to pass a bill. We are all stuck,” Gandhi told the media here.”We have seen for the last two years and the act is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, saying that nowadays it is important to bring 16- year old also within the ambit of law, and to give them the belief that if they commit heinous crimes, they will be taken to task,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She further pointed out that she would be meeting the Home Minister this evening to say that some safeguards should be put into place.Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy said that he was hopeful about the courts handing down an order to prevent the release of the juvenile involved in the December 2012 gang rape case in outer Delhi.The victim’s father also said that the juvenile convict must not be freed as he might be a ‘threat to society’.”It is not about being a juvenile or an adult, but about crime. The crime he has committed and after he is released it will definitely affect the youth in the country. He is a threat to the society. I believe that he should not be released anyhow. The person who can sit inside jail and learn to be a jihadi, what will he do outside,” asked the victim’s father.Earlier in the day, the Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments with the Congress Party insisting on the dismissal of the SAD-led government in Punjab for its inability in maintaining law and order.

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.

Nirbhaya Case: Subramanian Swamy hopes that juvenile order is in public interest

“My guess is that the high court will set a new standard so that juveniles who commit heinous crimes do not have an easy out just by claiming to be juveniles,” Swamy added.

Subramanian Swamy
File Photo

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that he was hopeful about the courts handing down an order to prevent the release of the juvenile involved in the December 2012 gang rape case in outer Delhi.”The main important thing that the management committee has to consider is the mental health which has been provided under the rules as a precondition for setting him out into society. So, what has been finally decided is that the court has reserved its orders, but it has said that it has understood the gravity of the situation and we will definitely give an order which in the public interest. And the most important part which the court have observed is that the rules do provide that the juvenile must be a law abiding citizen before he is released into mainstream society,” Swamy told media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “My guess is that the high court will set a new standard so that juveniles who commit heinous crimes do not have an easy out just by claiming to be juveniles,” he added. Holding the Congress responsible for the continuing lawlessness against women in society, Swamy further stated that the law has to be amended which is lying in the Rajya Sabha. He accused the Congress of blocking the passage of the legislation into law. “Such an important law has been blocked for almost six months. It is a shame on the Congress Party. It could have been passed in the Rajya Sabha on a priority basis, as it has already been passed in the Lok Sabha. The Congress are to be blamed for continuing lawlessness against women in our society,” he added. Meanwhile, the victim’s father said that the juvenile convict must not be freed as he might be a “threat to society”. “It is not about being a juvenile or an adult, but about crime. The crime he has committed and after he is released it will definitely affect the youth in the country. He is a threat to the society. I believe that he should not be released anyhow. The person who can sit inside jail and learn to be a jihadi, what will he do outside,” asked the victim’s father.

Shakur Basti demolition: Rahul visits site, blames Centre, Delhi govt; says ‘I won’t let them break your homes again’

“Call me if they try to break your homes again and I promise I won’t let it happen. I will help you in every way possible. You know we are not in power, it is Modi ji and Kejriwal ji who are at power. Your fight is our fight,” Rahul told a slum dweller.

Image Courtesy: Twitter

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday visited the razed Shakur Basti where the Indian Railways had conducted a demolition drive, uprooting around 500 jhuggis and promised the homeless slum dwellers that they would be provided aid at the earliest.Flanked by security and chanting Congress supporters, Rahul inspected the slum area and also interacted with affected families who told him of their woes, while a massive crowd followed him.While speaking to the slum dwellers, Rahul promised them that he would extend every help possible to alleviate them of their problems.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Call me if they try to break your homes again and I promise I won’t let it happen. I will help you in every way possible. You know we are not in power, it is Modi ji and Kejriwal ji who are at power. Your fight is our fight,” Rahul told a slum dweller.Speaking to the media later, he accused the Delhi government and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre for the razing of the slum and asserted that the law had been clearly broken during the demolition.”There is a way of doing these things and the law has clearly been broken here. The Modi Government and the Delhi Government are involved here and now they are engaged in a blame game. What they should be doing is help the hungry and the people in pain. They need to ensure rehabilitation and provide them shelter,” Rahul said.Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at Rahul for questioning the Aam Aadmi Party’s protest against the demolition, saying that he was still a ‘child’ in politics.”Rahul Gandhi is still a child. I don’t think his party has told him that that Indian Railways comes the Centre and not the Delhi Government,” Kejriwal tweeted. Rahul had demanded to know the reason behind AAP’s ‘dharna’ since they were the ruling power in Delhi.Earlier today, the AAP joined by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) protested outside the Parliament against the slum demolition.

National Herald Case: Rahul and Sonia haven’t got a single paisa from Young Indian, claims Congress FAQ

Countering the government offensive, the party lists 14 questions and answers under “Frequently Asked Questions on the National Herald case” and gives details of profit and losses of The Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) from 2008-09 to 20014-15.

File Photo

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul have not got a single paisa from Young Indian or assets of AJL,Congress has asserted as perhaps for the first time it came out with a FAQ format clarification on its website to rebut allegations by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on National Herald issue. Countering the government offensive, the party lists 14 questions and answers under “Frequently Asked Questions on the National Herald case” and gives details of profit and losses of The Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) from 2008-09 to 20014-15.The move comes at a time when the government has decried the main Opposition party for stalling Parliament on the issue, alleging that it was trying to get a parliamentary remedy for something that happened during a judicial process.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In response to a question whether Jaitley calling Young Indian a real estate company is true, the party responded: “Absolutely false. YI does not own a single real estate asset or immovable property. AJL (The Associated Journals Ltd) continues to own all its assets. The allegation is, therefore, completely baseless.”In an article, Jaitley had said that Rs 90 crore from the funds collected by the Congress Party were given to the newspaper company AJL and eventually that tax exempted money effectively got transferred to a real estate company, which acquired 99 per cent of the share-holding of the former newspaper company.(Read: Arun Jaitley hits out at Sonia Gandhi)The first question is about whether Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi benefited financially from Young Indians to which the party replies in negative saying as directors or shareholders of Young Indian, a non-profit, Section 25 company, they are prohibited by law from drawing (and have not drawn) any financial benefits.The party also declares the AJL has every intention of “reviving” the National Herald newspaper and “restoring the media voice” that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had founded.It also justifies Congress association with National Herald saying “every political party needs to effectively communicate its ideology and its policies to the public at large. A newspaper provides a channel through which to do this.” On whether any assets have been transferred from The Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) to Young Indian (YI), the party said, “No. All the assets and the income of AJL remain with the company. Not a single paisa has gone to YI, YI Directors or YI Shareholders”. (Read: Swamy v/s The Gandhis – All you need to know about National Herald)It also details AJL’s financial position and said that after AJL’s debt of Rs 90 crore was extinguished in February 2011, AJL was able to declare its first profit in several years in 2011-12 and came into the black from the red.”This was only as a result of the financial revival plan of AJL as conceived by the Congress Party,” it says.

Here’s why 1 lakh Muslims are demanding death penalty for Kamlesh Tiwari

Kamlesh Tiwari made an inflammatory statement reportedly after Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said that RSS leaders are homosexuals and that is why they don’t get married.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) supporters taking out a protest rally against Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari over his remarks against Prophet Muhammad in New Delhi

PTI
Self-proclaimed Hindu Mahasabha activist Kamlesh Tiwari is in trouble for making derogatory remarks against Muslims and Prophet Mohammed. Angry about his remarks, one lakh Muslims gathered in Muzaffarnagar to demand death penalty for Tiwari.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On December 3, Kamlesh Tiwari, in a press note issued by him, claimed that Prophet Mohammed was the first homosexual. His statement reportedly came after Samajwadi Party minister Azam Khan had said that RSS leaders are homosexuals and this is why they don’t get married.Azam Khan’s remarks had come after Arun Jaitley had spoken up against Section 377 and said that the Supreme Court judgement on gay sex should be reconsidered. Arun Jaitley had said: “Supreme Court’s 2014 verdict banning gay sex is not in accordance with evolving legal jurisprudence and court needs to reconsider it.”Tiwari had been arrested in Lucknow the same day, and he was disowned by the Hindu Mahasabha who claimed that he wasn’t part of the outfit. The group said that the BJP and RSS had made up the fact to tarnish their image.According to a report, Samajwadi Party’s media convener Javed Ansari said that the protestors had two demands:Death penalty for Kamlesh Tiwari which should exist for anyone who insults the Prophet
Stricter laws against religious leaders who make hate speeches
On the other hand, Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad has demanded capital punishment against Azam Khan for his statements. The Indian Express quoted him as saying: “All this happened due to conspiracy of Hindu Mahasabha and the minister (Azam) so that Muslims and Hindus continue fighting and votes are divided… This Muslim minister is tarnishing the image of the government. After his controversial statement, Tiwari gathered courage to issue derogatory statement against Prophet Muhammad.”

Pawar play: Maharashtra’s politician for all seasons opens up on his 75th birthday

dna editor-in-chief Uday Nirgudkar with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar

Zee 24Taas
In your life, a fighting spirit can be seen. Did you get this from your mother?My mother and father both. My mother was from a common family. She rebelled against the social norms of those times and educated herself. My father was in service but he was associated with the Satyashodhak movement and with Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil, a senior figure in educational sector. It is but natural that these things nourished our minds.Your family has a Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) background. Your mother was a PWP local board member and your brother-in-law is ND Patil. Still, you were attracted to the Congress.My mother was not a PWP local board member. She was elected to the Pune local board in 1936-37 for the first time as a Congress nominee. Around 1948, when the Congress went into the hands of Kakasaheb Gadgil and others in Maharashtra, a section of the party who thought intensely about rural areas felt uneasy. Yeshwantrao (Chavan) was part of that but never quit the Congress. Shankarrao More, Keshavrao Jedhe and others started PWP. Those who were uneasy in the Congress, such as my mother and elder brother, joined the PWP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In reality, the BJP leaders do not want to remain with the Sena. But after Bihar elections, BJP may start adjusting with the Sena… digest its arrogance and accept its demandsLater Yeshwantrao Chavan inspired you. When did you first meet him?In my childhood, my house had photographs of Stalin, Lenin and Karl Marx but my attraction to the Left did not last long. Yeshwantrao and myself had the same attraction for Nehru and his focus on modern science, technology and democracy as a means of life. This attracted me to Yeshwantrao.You took decisions which would hurt politically but were progressive with long-term social ramifications. Of these, one was the renaming of the Marathwada university. Did it hurt you politically?100 per cent. Marathwada was educationally backward. The first educational complex in Aurangabad was Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Milind College. In Aurangabad university, the academic council unanimously decided to rename it after Babasaheb instead of Marathwada. A recommendation was made to the state but no implementation was done during the tenure of the three chief ministers. Then in Marathwada and Vidarbha, the Dalit Panther and such organisations raised the demand and were upset that Mahatma Phule, Punjabrao Deshmukh and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s names were given (to institutions) but despite the academic council’s unanimous decision, Ambedkar’s name was not given. This made me uneasy. I discussed the issue with my cabinet colleagues and SM Joshi gave me the moral strength. We took a decision but that very evening, houses of Dalits were set on fire. They were killed in Aurangabad, Nanded and other places. I had to suspend the decision in the next few days. It was a painful moment.Looking back, what would you call your most revolutionary decision?This can be one such decision. After the suspension, I lost my chief minister’s post and I had to pay the price in my base – Marathwada. When I became the CM in the 1980s, I realised that I had not taken the youth and people from villages into confidence before the decision. I rectified the mistake and took the decision again. The new generation welcomed it.What happened in 1978? The prevailing phrase then was you stabbed (Vasantdada Patil) in the back.The Congress was divided then. There was one Congress led by Indiraji (Gandhi) and one under Swarn Singh and Bramhanand Reddy. In Maharashtra, Yeshwantrao Chavan was our leader and he, Vasantrao Naik, Vasantraodada Patil were a part of the Swarn Singh Congress or Congress (S). We fought polls against each other but the two formed a government to keep the then Janata Party out. Vasantdada was the chief minister from our side and Nashikrao Tirpude was the deputy chief minister. From Day One, the government was not unified. In Delhi, Abasaheb Kulkarni, Annasaheb Shinde and others met at Yeshwantraoji’s place and concluded that we had to exit the government. The responsibility was handed over to me. Accordingly, I, Sushilkumar Shinde, Sundarrao Solankhe and Datta Meghe resigned as ministers. Chandrashekhar, our friend, declared support for us.Yeshwantrao telephoned me and asked me not to form the government. I agreed but Kisan Veer took the phone from me and since they were very close, told Yeshwantrao that if we back down, the political lives of these youth would be devastated and asked me to go ahead and form the government.This back-stabbing allegation has stuck to you. Do you think it would have been better if this has not happened?If this had not happened, the Congress would not have survived here.You went on to the Shiv Sena’s platform in 1984. What had happened then?In those days, textile mills defined Mumbai’s economy and were staffed by people from rural Maharashtra and Konkan. Firebrand leader Dr Datta Samant called for a textile strike. If Samant’s leadership was accepted by the textile sector, the mills would have gradually shut down on the pretext of strikes, and thousands would have been jobless. George Fernandes, myself asnd Balasaheb Thackeray decided to join hands to take the strike out of Samant’s hands. We succeeded then but unfortunately what we feared eventually happened.Modi made irresponsible, below the belt statements during elections. He should not have lowered the dignity of the PM’s post. In my 50 years of politics, I never saw Jawaharlal Nehru, VP Singh and Manmohan Singh use Modi like languageYou rejoined the Congress in Aurangabad in 1986. Is it true that Rajiv Gandhi kept you waiting for one-and-a-half years? He did not mention your name even once in his speech. Why?After Indira Gandhi’s death, Rajiv Gandhi expressed a wish that I should work with him. When I went for final darshan at her home in Delh and offered my condolences to Rajiv, he held my hand and said, “Sharad, I think enough is enough. Now the time has come, we have to work together.” I said we are with you in your crisis. Then polls were declared and we fought separately. I had no desire to contest the Lok Sabha polls and was the leader of the Opposition. There was a sympathy wave in Rajiv’s favour and there were doubts if the Opposition could survive. In those circumstances, to increase my colleagues’ confidence, I decided to contest. We met regularly. This cemented the decision to join hands and he assigned the responsibility to Arun Nehru. Arun told me in the first meeting that he was not amenable to me returning to the Congress as it would hurt both. But since the leader had said this, we had to finalise the modalities. We decided on the Aurangabad meeting. It is true that Rajiv Gandhi did not take my name but I was told that the family never took names on party platforms. So I never felt anything about it.Why did you clash with people close to you, such as Sonia Gandhi, Vasantdada Patil, and your contemporaries in the Congress, such as Antulay?All of them supported me later. Coming to Rajiv Gandhi, when we came together, I was not holding any post. I was in Goa when he called me at 3.30am and in his typical style asked me what I was doing. I said one sleeps at 3.30 in the morning. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was working. I said you are the prime minister, you have no choice, you have to work. He called me to Delhi. When I reached there, I was called to his home from the airport and was asked to take charge as the chief minister the next day. Shankarrao Chavan was the CM but had been moved to the centre.Do you think if this serpentine journey had been avoided, this Marathi manoos would have become the prime minsiter in 1991?I do not think so. In each of these times, there were reasons for the crisis. You spoke about Sonia Gandhi, now our relations are good. When the issue of making her the (Congress) president came up, we all felt that Sitaram Kesari had to be replaced. This included me, Anthony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and some more Congressmen. But one thing rankled me. When I was in Maharashtra, a meeting of the Congress parliamentary party was called and Pranab da (Mukherjee) put forth a proposal to change the Constitution so that an individual who was not a member of Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha could be the leader of the parliamentary party. After this was done, Soniaji was given the leadership of the Congress parliamentary party. I felt this was inappropriate.When I was in Maharashtra, Pranab da put forth a proposal to change the Constitution so that an individual who was not a member of the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha could be the leader of the parliamentary party. After that, Soniaji was given the leadership of the Congress parliamentary party. It was meant to stop meThis was akin to stabbing Sharad Pawar in the back…This was meant to stop me. Then Sonia Gandhi gave a letter asking me to lead the Congress in the Lok Sabha. I was uneasy. Differences started when there was a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and Sonia Gandhi read a prepared speech that said the BJP was raising the issue of her foreign origins and if this was affecting the Congress party, she will have to think about it seriously. It was decided that the opinions of all in the working committee members would be sought. (PA) Sangma, who was close to Sonia Gandhi, said if leadership is given to you, there will be opposition and the Congress will have to pay the price. Tariq Anwar supported it. I felt these questions would surely come up but we can answer them. The meeting was later adjourned. I took a flight to Pune. At the airport, journalists surrounded me and said that Sonia Gandhi had resigned before the Congress office after we spoke about this. There were demonstrations outside the Congress office and demands were made to expel three of us. We three then met in Delhi and prepared a detailed letter for Sonia Gandhi, in which we said we are not opposed to her foreign origins, but these questions will come up. After getting the letter, the working committee expelled us for six years. We then formed the NCP.Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalitha and Biju Patnaik came to power in their states on their own. The NCP, however, never managed to cross 70-75 seats in the 288 member Vidhan Sabha. Why?We are in the 50-69 range. Our weakness includes Mumbai, which has 36 Vidhan Sabha seats. NCP’s base is rural and consists of the Marathi manoos. But the Marathi manoos in Mumbai and Thane is connected to the Shiv Sena.This base that you are talking of has a caste colour, despite the leader being progressive. Why?Our support base essentially consists of farming communities in Marathwada and western Maharashtra, which are largely Marathas. But we have many people (from other communities). Jaidutta Ksirsagar is a Teli and opposition leader Dhananjay Munde is a Vanjari.If someone opens his mind, such as Aamir Khan, people attack him. He is Muslim, therefore, a soft target for these fringe elementsYou had warned about the impact of drought in the coming summer. You were the agriculture minister for years, your party was in power and when the Congress was in government, your loyalists held portfolios of irrigation and power. Despite this, why weren’t the problems around agriculture in Maharashtra solved?In Maharashtra, agriculture faces limitations regarding water. Expert committees said 65 per cent of the state will stay rain-fed. Maharashtra has the largest number of dams in India but due to the scarcity of water, the problems have not been solved.Are you promoting dynastic politics in NCP?I do not believe in dynastic politics. We are very much clear that people have to choose their leaders. Anyone in our party who is ready to work hard, is capable of expanding the party base and has a knack to solve people’s issues can be a leader. There are several in our party who are capable of leading. Late home minister RR Patil was one of them. Unfortunately he is no more. Besides, Jayant Patil, Dlip Valse Patil, Ajit Pawar, Jaydutta Kshirsagar and so on are there.But you have to choose only one as party leader?The above-mentioned leaders have the potential to lead the party. When the party workers feel that this leader can add more votes, he will be elected and accepted as a natural leader. Why people had to chose Indira Gandhi? Because she helped them get elected. She was a crowd puller. Same is the case with BJP’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In the recent general elections, BJP leaders and workers chose Narendra Modi as their leader, despite having a senior leader like LK Advani.After Bihar elections result, do you think that the third front is again getting stronger? Will such a jumbo alliance succeed?I was 100 per cent sure the combination of Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad and Congress will win the elections. The reason is that each one has its stronghold and solid base. If the Congress and NCP come together against the BJP, we will surely defeat the BJP and can come to power. If the regional parties come together in respective states, they can give a strong fight to the BJP. That can change the political picture of the entire country.Do you think that in Uttar Pradesh also, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati will come together?Not all, they will never come together. There is a possibility of the Congress and SP coming together or BSP and Congress and left forces may join hands.You had said that the mid-term poll was likely to happen?The mid-term elections will not take place at the centre because Narendra Modi has enough numbers to run a stable government. I predicted mid-term poll in Maharashtra because BJP had no majority and was surviving on the props of Shiv Sena. I think the BMC elections scheduled in 2017 will be a turning point for the state politics. BMC is crucial for the Sena. In BMC, Sena is in a strong position. At the same time, the BJP is also spreading its base so there is likely to be a stiff competition between Sena and BJP. That will widen the rift and finally cause the separation. In reality, the BJP leaders do not want to remain with the Sena. But after the Bihar elections, BJP may start adjusting with the Sena and digest its arrogance and accept its demands.Many people have returned their government awards in protest against the intolerance in the country. What is your take on it?People’s opinion and government’s stand are two different things. A recent controversial statement by former Army chief VK Singh, now a central minister, was unfortunate. Some one from BJP also said if you are eating beef, then you should go to Pakistan. These statements were made by the ruling party leaders as well as by people who are in the government. The sad part is no one is there to contain them. If someone opens his mind, such as Aamir Khan, people attack him. He is Muslim, therefore, a soft target for these fringe elements. I read that BJP president Amit Shah warned these fringe elements. If it is true then it is the right step. The PM must have also have given suggestions to contain these elements. I did not find anything wrong with artists returning their awards.Modi had come to Baramati during Lok Sabha elections and lambasted NCP. He even called it the Naturalist Corrupt Party. Now the same Modi is praising you.Modi made irresponsible, below the belt statements during elections. He was the prime ministerial candidate. He should not have lowered the dignity of the post. In my 50 years of politics, I never saw Jawaharlal Nehru, VP Singh and Manmohan Singh use Modi like language. During his tours, it is Modi’s responsibility to maintain the dignity of the country and its people.

Pesticide scam: AAP to hold state-wide protest on Dec 15 seeking Punjab minister Tota Singh’s removal

Significantly, AAP’s state-wide protest will coincide with SAD and Congress parties’ proposed rallies in Patiala and Bathinda respectively on December 15.

Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday announced to intensify its campaign against SAD-BJP led Punjab government by holding state-wide agitation on December 15, to demand resignation of state agriculture minister Tota Singh for an alleged “pesticide scam”. “We will hold state-wide protest in Punjab on December 15 and will demand the removal of Tota Singh for pesticide scam because of which cotton growers faced heavy losses as pest attack damaged crop extensively in the state,” AAP senior leader and in charge of Punjab Affairs Sanjay Singh said here today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Significantly, AAP’s state-wide protest will coincide with SAD and Congress parties’ proposed rallies in Patiala and Bathinda respectively on December 15. While Amarinder Singh will take over as Punjab Congress President in a rally in Bathinda, which is Badal family’s bastion, SAD will hold rally in Patiala. Congress and SAD are vying each other in holding parallel rallies which are being seen as show of strength of both the parties. “Our protest has nothing to do with their (SAD, Congress) ‘nautanki’ rallies,” Singh said.He said all AAP leaders including MP Bhagwant Mann, Sucha Singh Chhotepur would hold agitation in their respective zones in the state. He said that AAP was intensifying its campaign against the state government after several activists of party’s youth wing were “injured in lathi charge, tear gas shell and water cannon by police on Sunday at Chandigarh-Mohali border.” The party even paraded several “injured” activists before the media today.On Sunday, Police lobbed tear gas shells and used water cannon at AAP youth wing activists trying to enter the city as they had planned to gherao Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s residence demanding removal of the agriculture minister for his alleged “involvement in the pesticide scam”. “We challenge Badal led government in Punjab that AAP will not stop with hooliganism (gundagardi), use of police force. We will continue with our agitation,” he said. He alleged that because of pesticide scam, farmers had suffered a lot as their cotton crop got damaged while a large number of hapless farmers committed suicides in the state. “Punjab’s Agriculture minister Tota Singh was responsible for this,” he alleged.Singh further alleged that Punjab CM failed to “boot out” Tota Singh from the cabinet as “he and his son Sukhbir Badal got share out of the scam.” AAP accused Badal led government of running trade and business in the state and making “huge profit” out of it. AAP also sought high level inquiry into the alleged killings of innocent youths in fake encounters during militancy days by Punjab police.

Gandhis ordered to appear in court

Indian Congress party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are ordered to appear in court for allegedly acquiring the assets of a newspaper illegally.

National Herald Case: BJP’s ‘sponsored lies’ will be defeated in courts, says Congress

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that these were attempts by “incredulous agents of BJP” and re-assured the party’s resolve to continue to champion peoples’ voice.
File Photo
PTI
Congress on Monday dubbed as “vendetta politics” the National Herald case against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and said that “sponsored lies” will be defeated in courts.”No attempts to malign the leadership of the Congress through such doctored cases will deter our resolve to continue to oppose the anti-people policies of Modi government,” party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters, dismissing the Delhi High Court decision as a “setback” to the party. He said that these were attempts by “incredulous agents of BJP” and re-assured the party’s resolve to continue to champion peoples’ voice.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are quite sure that truth will even finally prevail in this case,” he said, alleging that Subramanian Swamy had filed a “completely mischievous and false” private complaint as part of “BJP’s vendetta politics”.”We will not be deterred, we will not be cowed down, we will not back down in front of any provocation by false cases, by political vendetta and by low-level insinuation that BJP and its incredulous agents continue to do,” he said.Contrary to what many believe, Congress does not view it as a “set-back” but rather as an ongoing judicial process, he said, adding in the long course of its political journey, the party and its leadership have faced many challenges and dealt them with conviction of truth as also with a firm resolve.Declaring that Congress has full faith in the judicial process, he said “based on the legal advice, we shall move an appropriate forum” against the judgment of the Delhi High Court.”We also want to say that truth shall finally win and sponsored lies will be defeated both in peoples’ court as also through the majesty of the process of Law and Constitution,” he added.AICC has already declared that the High Court order dismissing pleas against summons issued to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi will be challenged in the Supreme Court tomorrow. It claimed “several legal deficiencies” in the verdict.Speaking separately, party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi, who is the senior advocate representing the Congress Vice President, said the decision had come as a surprise as there was no prior intimation that the verdict would come today and they were intimated on telephone that it was being delivered today.

Veteran CPI leader AB Bardhan suffers paralytic stroke, rushed to hospital

Bardhan moved to Delhi politics in the 1990s and became the deputy general secretary of the CPI.

CPI leader AB Bardhan

Veteran communist leader AB Bardhan was hospitalised in New Delhi on Monday morning after he suffered a paralytic stroke.92-year old Bardhan, who lives in the CPI Headquarters in Delhi, felt uneasy around 0800 hours and then lost consciousness. He was immediately rushed to the G B Pant Hospital in central Delhi, CPI leader Atul Kumar Anjaan said.He described Bardhan’s condition as “critical” and said the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of India was admitted in the emergency wing and being taken care of by senior doctors. Bardhan’s wife, a professor in Nagpur University, died in 1986. The couple has a son and a daughter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan was a leading figure of the trade union movement and Left politics in Maharashtra and had won as an independent candidate in the Maharashtra Assembly in 1957. He later rose to become the General Secretary and then the President of the All India Trade Union Congress, the oldest trade union in India.Bardhan moved to Delhi politics in the 1990s and became the deputy general secretary of the CPI. He succeeded Indrajit Gupta as the General Secretary of the party in 1996.

NSA-level talks ‘pointless’ as Pak hell-bent on destroying India: Shiv Sena

“Shiv Sena has always been against any ties with Pakistan. Time and again we have had dialogues w and India has always bent its knees to them. Pakistan-sponsored terrorism never ends here and terrorism can’t exist in India without Pakistan’s support,” Raut said.

Condemning the India-Pakistan National Security Advisor (NSA) level talks that took place in Bangkok on Sunday, the Shiv Sena on Monday said that having talks with the hostile neighbour was pointless as their main goal was to destroy India by sponsoring terrorism here and added that no amount of talks would solve the strained ties between the two nations.”Going to a third nation and discussing the problems between India and Pakistan shows the relationship between the nations. While their talks keep happening, Kashmir continues to get infiltrated and ceasefire violations are on the rise,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, he admitted his respect for Indian NSA Ajit Doval and said that he did not doubt his capabilities, but questioned the benefit of the dialogue with his Pakistan counterpart Nasir Janjua.”Shiv Sena has always been against any ties with Pakistan. Time and again we have had dialogues w and India has always bent its knees to them. Pakistan-sponsored terrorism never ends here and terrorism can’t exist in India without Pakistan’s support,” Raut said.He demanded to know why the talks were happening saying that the nation was waiting for an answer as well and added that the outcome of the NSA-level talks would vindicate the Shiv Sena’s stand.”Pakistan has always been hell-bent on destroying India and they have been against us from the start. While we share sweet words with them, here our soldiers and people are dying,” Raut added.Yesterday, in a surprising move, India-Pakistan has NSA-level talks in Bangkok on a wide range of issues including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir, and border issues.Post the meeting, both nations released a joint statement saying that the discussions were held in a ‘candid, cordial and constructive atmosphere’.However, the Congress strongly opposed the meeting accusing the Centre of going back on its stand on Pakistan and said that they will raise the issue in the Parliament today.Congress Party spokesman Randeep Surjewala told ANI that, the Congress Party has always stood for peaceful resolution through mutual cooperation and mutual talks, but this (NDA) government did not take us into confidence about the talks in Bangkok.”The talks with Pakistan have gone through a series of flip-flops and the current talks do not inspire much expectation. Further, it raises the question of whether these talks are being used as a diversion by the Modi government from pivotal issues such as the economic, political or agrarian crisis,” he added.

Babri Mosque demolition: Why the incident was an institutional failure

In the book “Destruction of the Babri Masjid: A National Dishonour”, author and legal luminary AG Noorani traces the conspiracy and discusses how the civil and criminal cases concerning the title to the Babri Masjid and accountability for its destruction on December 6, 1992, have all but run their course. In an exclusive interview with dna, he said that then PV Narasimha Rao was culpable because he knew what was happening and yet did not do anything about it.

The Babri Mosque being demolished in December 1992

In the book “Destruction of the Babri Masjid: A National Dishonour”, author and legal luminary AG Noorani traces the conspiracy and discusses how the civil and criminal cases concerning the title to the Babri Masjid and accountability for its destruction on December 6, 1992, have all but run their course. He also blames the secular Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) governments in Uttar Pradesh for showing little stamina and proving to be impediments in the way of pursuing cases against the accused. In an exclusive interview with dna, he said that then PV Narasimha Rao was culpable because he knew what was happening and yet did not do anything about it. He also observed that the Babri Majid issue should not have been a Muslim issue and that the Babri Masjid Action Committee had committed mistakes. Excerpts from the interview:<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>You said the role of Congress has been treacherous. Can you explain?Muslims have earned a bad name in the Shah Bano case. The truth is Indira Gandhi had arrived at a pact with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). To please the Muslims, Rajiv Gandhi passed the Muslim Women Bill, which led to the opening of locks. But they were opened through a prior agreement. The VHP stopped the agitation because of the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The pact was renewed by Rajiv Gandhi. Muslims got a bad name needlessly. I had conveyed a message to the Rajiv Gandhi government through an emissary. I had said open the definition of divorce according to sharia laws, which would have meant three periods and conciliation, not Anglo-Mohammadan law. Had that been done, all sting would have been taken out. But then Rajiv Gandhi had a deal behind him.The demolition of Babri Masjid was a watershed in Indian history. How has it impacted Indian polity?Yes, it was a watershed moment. It propelled LK Advani into a position of leadership and it seemed he would become the Prime Minister. The BJP fouled the atmosphere. But such was the backlash that the Congress could not return to power in 1996. If it had not been for the mistakes on the part of Congress leadership, the BJP would not have come to power in 1998. The entire country was shocked and disgusted by the demolition. President Shankar Dayal Sharma had issued a strong statement. So the BJP didn’t gain from it. But it did help spread the message of Hindutva and that caught on. The BJP reaped the harvest. It did not last long as could be seen in the election results of 2004 and 2009.Do you mean to say that the message of Hindutva has lost its relevance and it did not capture the Hindu imagination?The point is they needed a person like Narendra Modi to carry things further. If it had not been for the UPA’s mistakes, the BJP would not have come to power. I want to emphasise there were considerable mistakes on the part of the Muslim leadership. The Babri Masjid Action Committee’s stupid call of boycott of all official functions of Republic Day was bound to have a negative impact.This is your third volume on Babri Masjid encompassing recent history. Can you give us a glimpse of what you have recorded in this volume?The evidence in this book nails Narasimha Rao, shows his culpability. He was the man who knew what was happening and he kept his eyes shut. Rao was the prime culprit and he acted in such a way that he would not be blamed. But he was responsible. From the record which I had laid hands on, it is very clear that he was communal-minded. He had a record of communal-mindedness when he was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. He had a bad record during the struggle against the Nizam in Hyderabad. At one time, Advani also praised him, called him fantastic. I must mention also that it required a chief justice like Justice Venkatachaliah to make the demolition possible. I have documented that Venkatachaliah facilitated demolition by giving those court adjournments and after the demolition, Attorney General Milon Banerjee reminded him, “I had warned your lordship.” Venkatachaliah went so far as to say, “I hope you are looking after the health of the kar sevaks.” And sure enough, because of this he was appointed chairman of the Constitution Review Committee by the BJP government.From the contents of the book, it appears you are arguing that the Judiciary and the Executive virtually colluded. And even the secular SP and BSP governments riding on Muslim votes also didn’t show the stamina to pursue cases against the accused?Yes, they had virtually colluded. I wouldn’t go into technicalities. The court was set up by the UP government without the requisite notification, and without the consent of the high court. They had only to issue a notification and the trial would have proceeded. And the CBI had also played a deceitful role. When Advani was in power, they had one role, and when he was not in power, they played a different game.You have been a strong defender of secular ideals and values. The demolition of Babri Masjid harmed secularism the most. What is the future of this ideology in the country?The fabric of secularism has been impaired. The fact of the matter is Narendra Modi has won votes and popularity because of his record. We have to face realities. Every day reports show RSS is infiltrating institutions with the encouragement of the current government. It is a fearful situation. The worst thing today is the communal polarisation.You have also said Babri Masjid should not have been allowed to be made a Muslim issue alone.That is right. It was an issue of statute and law. On this basis, we should have demanded that possession should be restored.The Allahabad high court judgment had almost sanctified that it was a place of birth of Lord Ram. How do you view this judgment?The ball is now in the Supreme Court. And on past performance, really, we can’t say, when the case will be heard. By the way, the Allahabad high court judgment has been referred to a larger bench. Elections have come and gone, but the Supreme Court has not found time to decide the issue of Hindutva before it. The judgment was delivered by Justice JS Verma interpreting Hindutva (as often quoted by BJP) without taking recourse to Veer Savarkar’s book. He referred to Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s book and some stray observations to validate his case.Back to the high court judgment, according to it, Hindu faith triumphs over the law of the land. The law of the land involves law of limitation. They said limitation cannot run against a Hindu temple. But a Hindu temple can acquire right to property by adverse possession. Now it need not be an established deity, it can be a leaf, a stone and if it is a matter of faith, that faith must be respected. The implications are so far reaching, I need not to spell them out.In Mumbai, there is a traffic island. In that there is a mosque, a temple and a church. And they exist peacefully. Before the idols were planted, there was a proposal to build a temple within the complex, but outside the mosque. It was actually at the chabutra that the worship was conducted. If that solution had been pursued by Rajiv Gandhi, the problem would have been over. The gates were opened by KM Pandey, the judge, who said he saw monkeys on the roof of his house and he was inspired.Historians have recorded Muslim rulers having demolished temples in the past and many Hindus feel that the demolition of Babri Masjid is justified.The majority judgment of the two Hindu judges of the high court recalled the cases of those demolitions by Muslim rulers as if that sanctifies demolitions now. Romila Thapar has documented extremely well how Buddhist places of worship were demolished by Hindus and vice versa. A Hindu Kashmiri King Harshdev looted temples to fill his coffers. But the question is: Are you going to open history to take revenge. Then there would be no end to it.You have mentioned the accountability of demolition has not been fixed and political parties in UP have colluded.Neither Samajwadi Party nor Bahujan Samaj Party has taken a stand on Babri Masjid. Muslims should realise who their friends are.How do you rate writing of history in this country?I must say there is a band of historians Sushil Srivastava and Romila Thapar and many others who are good. At the same time there is a group of historians which is propagandist. I have mentioned it without showing why. But it is remarkable these judgments of the high court running into hundreds of pages were produced at short notice. A propagandist produced material to these judges and they relied on that.

15 things you need to know about the Father of Constitution BR Ambedkar

Some highlights from Ambedkar’s life .

December 6 is the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar, best known for being the architect of the Indian constitution and for his struggle against untouchability in the Indian society. Ambedkar passed away in 1956, when he was 65 years old.Here are 9 facts you need to know about this great man, who made the Indian constitution possible. 1. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 in Mhow ( currently in Madhya Pradesh). He belonged to the Mahar caste, considered as untouchable and dalit. A young Ambdekar faced blatant discrimination in school. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Ambedkar’s father served in the Indian army and his ancestors had worked with the East India Company.3. Ambedkar was a student par excellence. He had degrees in law and economics from iconic places like the Columbia University and the London School of Economics. 4. He was the first Union Minister of Law and Justice in the Nehru government. 5. Ambedkar wrote a short autobiography called Waiting For a Visa in 1935-36. It chronicled his experience with untouchability, including his struggles after he returned to India and started working in Baroda. 6. While working in Bombay at Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, he faced hostility from colleagues for being from a lower caste. 7. Ambedkar strongly spoke out against Manusmriti for justifying caste discrimination and untouchability and even burnt its copies. 8. In 1936, Ambedkar formed Independent Labour Party, to give a voice to the downtrodden. 9. In 1942, he formed the Scheduled Castes Federation. However, his party had very limited electoral success.10. Ambedkar was the Chairman of the constitution drafting committee. 11. He resigned as the Union Law Minister when his Hindu Code Bill failed to pass in the Parliament. 12. Ambedkar was the man behind the setting up of the Finance Commission of India. His ideas were also used when the Reserve Bank of India was founded. 13. He was fervently against Article 370, which grants special status for Jammu and Kashmir. 14. He converted to Buddhism in 1956 along with his wife.15. He suffered from severe diabetes towards the end of his life.

Kargil war veteran held on charges of providing confidential documents to Pakistan’s ISI

Mir had denied being part of the espionage racket when first questioned by police.

India and Pakistan flags

Retired army havildar Munawwar Ahmad Mir, who was arrested on Friday in a cross-border espionage racket for supplying confidential documents to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), is a 1999 Kargil War veteran and a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), an Indian Express report says.Mir, who had joined the army in 1995 and retired in 2011, was arrested from Manjakote in Jammu’s Rajouri district by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch and local police. He was produced before the local court and will be brought to Delhi on transit remand by Saturday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He has been booked under 3/9 Official Secrets Act,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav to Indian Express.Mir had denied being part of the espionage racket when first questioned by police. Questioned on bank transaction details that show suspected ISI operative Kafaitullah Khan deposited money in his account, Mir said Khan borrowed Rs 25,000 from him and later returned it by depositing it in his account. Khan had been arrested earlier in the case.But the Delhi Police claim they have crucial evidence in the form of tapped phone conversations between Mir and Khan, where the two discuss ‘secret documents’.PDP MLA Choudhary Qamar Hussain said to the paper that Mir hails from his native village, and asserted his innocence. “I am sure he is innocent. He fought in the Kargil war. Many of his relatives were in the Army and it is unexpected that someone from this background will do such a thing. I know him for many years and he has been working for our party for the last one year,” he said.Police are also looking for two serving army men and a civilian in connection with the case. These are Farid, posted at Darjeeling; Joginder, posted in Jammu, and Shabir alias Safar, teacher at a state-run school.Khan claimed that he had first met one Faisal, who was an ‘ISI handler’ when he visited Pakistan in 2013. Khan says he has been working for Farid since.Khan reportedly told investigators that Farid had given a CD to Shabir which contained the “Order of Battle and details of troop movement along the frontiers in case of war between the two countries”. Shabir then sent the CD to ‘ISI handler’ Faisal.Khan reportedly sent documents to ISI handler Faisal’s email id, [email protected] from his email id [email protected] He was asked to arrange for details of the total number of fighter planes in Srinagar and areas from where these planes arrived, location of several army units and deployment of BSF in Mendhan, Rajouri and Poonch, according to the report.Then in 2015, BSF personnel Rasheed, who has been arrested too, joined the suspected racket and allegedly started sending information through Viber and WhatsApp.Critically, Shabir is now working in an election office in Rajouri and is in constant touch with Faisal. He also plans to visit Pakistan soon, says the report.

Delhi assembly clears Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015

The house cleared the bill with two amendments passed by the Delhi Cabinet on Thursday evening after some changes were suggested by activist Anna Hazare.

The Delhi Assembly on Friday passed the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government strongest poll plank that stormed the party to power in Delhi this year.The house cleared the bill with two amendments passed by the Delhi Cabinet on Thursday evening after some changes were suggested by activist Anna Hazare.”A strong law is being brought. We will go to the Centre and the prime minster and urge him that the Jan Lokpal be passed,” Delhi Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal said in the assembly.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first amendment said a seven-member panel would select two members and chairperson in the institution of Jan Lokpal.The original bill said the panel consisting chief minister, leader of opposition, assembly speaker and Delhi High Court chief justice will select the members and chair of Jan Lokpal.Now, the proposed new members will include another judge from the high court, any eminent personality selected the rest of the committee members and the Lokpal chairman from the next term.The second amendment said the Jan Lokpal would be removed only after a high court probe against it.The legislation will become a law only after the LG and the Centre approves it.

2014 rally case: Bombay HC denies Arvind Kejriwal exemption from appearance

The bench asked Desai to withdraw the petition and seek discharge from the case before the magistrate.

The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to exempt Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from appearing before a magistrate court here tomorrow on a complaint lodged against him in connection with a rally last year. In March last year, the complaint was lodged against Kejriwal for holding a rally in suburban Mankhurd here without prior and requisite permissions from traffic police. Kejriwal had approached the high court seeking quashing of the FIR and exemption from appearing before the Kurla metropolitan magistrate court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>His lawyer Mihir Desai argued that Kejriwal had nothing to do with taking permissions and FIR can be registered against the local party member concerned. A division bench of justices R V More and V L Achiliya, however, observed that as the Aam Aadmi Party’s chairperson, Kejriwal also held responsibility. The bench asked Desai to withdraw the petition and seek discharge from the case before the magistrate. Desai, however, said he would have to take instructions from the applicant (Kejriwal) on this and sought the court to at least exempt Kejriwal from appearing before the magistrate court tomorrow. “Let him (Kejriwal) appear tomorrow before the magistrate and take permanent exemption from appearance,” the court said while adjourning the petition for hearing till December 11.

India tolerated ‘misrule, corruption’ under Congress, says BJP MP Kirron Kher

She also hit out the at Award Wapasi trend and slammed the protesting writers, asking where were they during the massacre of the Sikhs in 1980 in New Delhi and across the nation.
File Photo

Lashing out at the UPA regime over intolerance, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirron Kher on Tuesday said India had been tolerating misrule and corruption for 65 years under the regime of the grand old party.”You can’t tolerate any one here. 65 years this country has tolerated misrule and corruption. Intellectuals tolerated 65 years of intolerance in India. Rahul Gandhi said let’s work with love. My request is don’t hate us so much, don’t make us hate you,” Kher told the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also hit out the at Award Wapasi trend and slammed the protesting writers, asking where were they during the massacre of the Sikhs in 1980 in New Delhi and across the nation.”Indian film industry has faced a lot of intolerance from the Congress Party. They sell victimhood to Muslims so that they can use them as a vote bank,” Kher added.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had earlier said that his party was very tolerant in discussing the ‘fabricated propaganda of intolerance’. Hitting out at the opposition for creating an illusion of intolerance in the country, Naqvi said the BJP is satisfied that the wrongly portrayed issue of intolerance in the country is now being understood.

BJP leader Prem Kumar becomes leader of Opposition in Bihar assembly

The Winter Session of Bihar Assembly is beginning from tomorrow to facilitate the newly-elected MLAs who would take oath on November 30 and December 1 respectively.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prem Kumar has become the new Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prem Kumar has become the new Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly. Senior Congress MLA Sadanand Singh on Sunday took oath as the Pro-tem Speaker of the Bihar Assembly. Governor Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath to Singh at a function at the Raj Bhawan here. The Winter Session of Bihar Assembly is beginning from tomorrow to facilitate the newly-elected MLAs who would take oath on November 30 and December 1 respectively.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Speaker will be elected on December 2. The Governor will address the joint session of the two Houses of the state legislature the following day. The Winter Session will be up to December 8.WIth agency inputs

40 held for enforcing strike against ‘India’s blockade’ in Nepal

Kathmandu: At least 40 people were arrested in Nepal on Sunday for trying to enforce a strike called by a breakway CPN-Maoist party faction against “India’s blockade” of major border trading points with the landlocked country.

The strike called by the hardline CPN-Maoist (Biplav), a breakway faction of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, had little affect in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, though normal life was partially hit in other parts of the country.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Some shops in Kathmandu remained shut but most vehicles plied on roads in the capital.

At least 40 people have been arrested for trying to enforce the strike and vandalising vehicles, police said.

Five Maoist cadres were arreested in Kanchanpur district of far-west Nepal for vandalizing a jeep with an Indian number late.

A truck carrying bricks was set ablaze by Maoist cadres in Dhading district, some 60 kilometres west of Kathmandu.

“Our strike is against India’s blockade and its interventtion in Nepal’s internal affairs,” the party said a in a statement.

But Nepalis criticised the strike, expressing their frsutration over the ‘bandh’ at a time when people are already strained by fuel shortage, medicines and other essential goods because of the ongoing agitation by Madhesi people, who share strong cultural and family bonds with North Indians.

The Madhesi agitation, over demands to safeguard their interests and more representation in the new Constituion, near the border trade points has been on for more than two months now. Relations between India an Nepal have nosedived over the issue.

Madhesis, the main constituents of Nepal’s plains, seek an amendment to the Constitution, redrawing the seven-provinces model in the new charter.

PTI

Supreme Court must reconsider judgement on gay sex: FM Arun Jaitley

Jaitley also said that he supported the Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalised homosexuality. “I am for decriminalising gay sex,” he said to NDTV.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday was reported to have said that the Supreme Court judgement against gay sex was not in accordance with evolving legal jurisprudence. He also said that “judgement on gay sex should be reconsidered” by the Supreme Court, as per IANS report. Jaitley also said that while there was no discussion within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the issue, he supported the Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalised homosexuality. “I am for decriminalising gay sex,” he said to NDTV. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per IANS report, he also said that the judicial system in the country was weak and was overpowered the government. However, there were many landmark judgements which resisted government’s authority.With agency inputs

Maharashtra cabinet expansion likely before December 7

Accordingly, four berths will go to smaller allies– Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, RPI (A), Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana and Shiv Sangram Party. Shiv Sena will get two berths and BJP four.

Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to expand his council of ministers before the winter session of the state legislature starts in Nagpur on December 7, a BJP leader said on Thursday.”The expansion is likely next week,” the leader told PTI.Accordingly, four berths will go to smaller allies– Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, RPI (A), Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana and Shiv Sangram Party. Shiv Sena will get two berths and BJP four. “Two berths in BJP quota will not be filled now,” the leader, who did not wish to be named, said. Fadnavis is likely to visit Delhi soon to discuss the expansion with the party’s central leadership as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The council of ministers can have a maximum of 42 ministers, including the CM, in Maharashtra. There are at present 20 ministers from BJP, ten from Shiv Sena and none from the other four allies.Shiv Sena today said that BJP should take the decision on expansion quickly. “We are ready for expansion any time. Sena is not a hindrance to the expansion exercise. Chief Minister and BJP should decide quickly,” senior Sena minister Subhash Desai said.”With the expansion, new people will get the chance to work,” Desai told reporters in Navi Mumbai. BJP had recently held parleys with the smaller allies in this regard. State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve met the RPI leader Ramdas Athawale, RSP chief Mahadev Jankar, SSS leader Raju Shetti and Vinayak Mete of Shiv Sangram Party.Mete and Jankar are members of the Legislative Council. Fadnavis took oath as the Chief Minister on October 31 last year with seven cabinet ministers and two ministers of state. When Shiv Sena joined the government in December, the strength rose to 30.

AAP MLA Akhilesh Tripathi arrested in 2013 rioting case

In pursuance of non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against Tripathi by the court earlier for his non-appearance, he was brought by police to the court which sent him to jail till November 28.

Akhilesh Tripathi

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Akhilesh Tripathi was on Thursday held in a 2013 case of rioting and criminal intimidation and sent to judicial custody for two days by a Delhi court, the fifth lawmaker of the ruling party to be arrested.In pursuance of non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against Tripathi by the court earlier for his non-appearance, he was brought by police to the court which sent him to jail till November 28. Metropolitan Magistrate Kapil Kumar ordered that the MLA, an accused in the 2013 rioting case, be taken into custody while noting his conduct of not complying with court’s order directing him to appear. The court had earlier issued NBW against theModel Town MLA for his non-appearance before it in the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2013, an FIR was registered against Tripathi, Rahul Kumar, Vikas Mandal, Inder Vikram Singh and Kanhaiya Kumar Jha for alleged offences under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 323 (causing simple hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. Deputy Commissioner of Police (north west) Vijay Singh said the MLA “has been arrested and taken into custody in pursuance to court order.”Tripathi is the fifth MLA of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party to be arrested. Surinder Singh, AAP MLA from Delhi Cantonment, was arrested in August for allegedly assaulting an NDMC employee and was later granted bail. Former Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar was held in a fake educational degree case in June and Kondli legislator Manoj Kumar was apprehended in July in connection with a land fraud case.AAP MLA Somnath Bharti was arrested in September after he surrendered in connection with the attempt to murder and domestic violence case filed by his wife.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had early this month complained against Delhi Police to Union Home Ministry accusing it of trying to “hound” ruling AAP MLAs by reopening old cases and creating new ones against them.According to police, a case was lodged against Tripathi and four other accused on March 9, 2013 following allegations that on March 8, 2013, they along with other AAP supporters had gathered at G T Karnal Road near Lal Bagh Azadpur and entered into a quarrel with complainant Bittu Jha.The FIR registered at Adarsh Nagar Police Station in north west Delhi said that during the altercation, the accused allegedly assaulted the complainant in which he sustained injuries.

Sedition case against Aamir Khan in Kanpur

On Wednesday, an advocate filed a case alleging sedition against Aamir Khan in the sessions court in Kanpur. In contrast, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief came out strongly in support of the actor, saying he agreed with what Khan had said.

Hindu Sena activists carry effigy of actor Aamir Khan during their protest against his remark on intolerance in Noida on Wednesday

PTI
Even though actor Aamir Khan is at pains to clarify his statement regarding the alleged growing intolerance in the country, the storm of controversy triggered off by his comments seems far from abating.On Wednesday, an advocate filed a case alleging sedition against Aamir Khan in the sessions court in Kanpur. In contrast, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief came out strongly in support of the actor, saying he agreed with what Khan had said.Meanwhile, the protests against the actor continued with his effigies being burnt at several places across the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kanpur-based lawyer Manoj Dixit has charged the actor with creating a sense of “fear and insecurity” in a particular community with his “irresponsible” remarks. He told reporters that Khan’s “anti-national” statement amounts to sedition.The case has been filed under sections 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds) 153 B (Imputations) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC, and would come up for hearing on December 1.The lawyer had filed a case against Aamir Khan earlier, too, alleging that the poster of his film PK was vulgar and unfit for public display. He had also alleged that the film made fun of Hindu deities, hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus. The Supreme Court had dismissed the petition.Speaking out in support of the actor, SP chief Mulayam Singh said there was nothing wrong in what Khan had said. “He has millions of fans, and is an eminent personality. If such a person has said this, he must have surely been hurt. Instead of criticizing him, the government should ask him why he felt hurt, and try to remedy the situation,” he asserted.

Aamir Khan’s reaction has dented country’s image, says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

Joining his party colleagues who have been critical of Aamir’s comments, Prakash Javadekar said the reason why his party did not agree with the actor’s statement is because the country has a “legacy of tolerance”.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Hitting out at Bollywood star Aamir Khan for his remarks on intolerance, Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said the “extreme reaction” given by the prominent actor has not only “dented” the image of the country but also his own.Joining his party colleagues who have been critical of Aamir’s comments, he said the reason why his party did not agree with the actor’s statement is because the country has a “legacy of tolerance”.”The statement of Aamir may have been his personal opinion but the country has been hurt by it to a large extent. If such an extreme reaction is given by a prominent artiste, then naturally some people get hurt and sad. The reason why we do not agree with the statement is because our country has a legacy of tolerance which is there even today. Not only has Aamir’s statement dented the image of the country but his own image has been dented,” Javadekar said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An ambassador of ‘Incredible India’, a government’s campaign to promote tourism, Khan has been at the centre of a raging debate after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months.”Kiran (his wife) and I have lived all our life in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India… She fears for her child, she fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” the actor said on Monday in an interaction at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism ceremony organised by the Indian Express.BJP’s national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain had said yesterday, “Where will Aamir and his family go other than India? There is no other better country like India and no better neighbour than a Hindu for an Indian Muslim. What is the situation in Muslim countries and Europe. There is intolerance everywhere.”BJP MP and Hindutva leader Yogi Adityanath also has taken a swipe at Khan, and had said nobody has stopped him from leaving India if he wants to and it will help reduce the country’s population. Many other union ministers including M Venkaiah Naidu and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has also hit out at Khan’s remark.However, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has said that the government should instead of branding all those who question it and the Prime Minister as “unpatriotic, anti- national or motivated” reach out to the people to understand what’s disturbing them.

Aamir Khan has insulted India with intolerance statement, says Ramdas Athawale

Nashik: Republican Party of India (RPI) president and Rajya Sabha MP Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday said the statement of actor Aamir Khan was “unwarranted” and that it was “an insult to the country”.

He was responding to a statement Khan made on Monday when he said his wife Kiran Rao was afraid to live in India due to the rising intolerance.

Ramdas Athawale.Ramdas Athawale.

Ramdas Athawale.

The situation in the country wasn’t bad, and “expressing the view in this manner was an insult to the country”, Athawale said.

The RPI faction led by him is part of the Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra.

Athawale was not the only leader from the alliance to speak out against Khan.

Senior Shiv Sena leader and the state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam on Tuesday said Khan “can go to Pakistan” if he didn’t love India. “The police should also conduct an inquiry whether Aamir’s statement is anti-national,” he said.

PTI

Pakistani flag hoisted at Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s ancestral house in south Kashmir

The incident occurred during a funeral procession of the three local Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen militants killed in the encounter with security forces at Siligam on Monday.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suffered a major embarrassment when a group of youth hoisted a Pakistani flag on the ancestral house of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in Bijbhera town of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.The incident occurred during a funeral procession of the three local Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen militants killed in the encounter with security forces at Siligam on Monday.Shouting anti-government slogans, thousands of protestors marched through the lanes and bylanes of the area and offered the funeral prayers to the militants.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of youth later hoisted a Pakistani national flag on the outer wall of Mufti’s house. Clashes also broke out in the area with police using smoke shells and lathi-charge to disperse a stone pelting mob.Police, however, played down the row saying the flag was not raised on Mufti’s house but on an adjacent structure. PDP too tried to skid safe of the controversy saying it has become a fashion to hoist Pakistani flags in the valley.”It has become a fashion to raise flags in Kashmir. You can see flags of Pakistan, Argentina and Brazil. If it is a cricket season there is a Pakistani flag and if it is football season there are other flags… Even they can do it on my house if it is abandoned. You have abandoned mobile towers and they do it there too,” said Molvi Imran Reza Ansari, senior PDP leader and J&K minister for sports and technical education.Mufti was born and brought up in Baba Moholla in Bijbhera Township of south Kashmir. His daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti won her first assembly elections from Bijbhera constituency in 1996 on the Congress ticket. She later went on to become Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader before quitting to form her own party.In fact, Baba Moholla is synonymous to Muftis since entire clan is putting up in this historic township. Though Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has been putting up in Srinagar, most of his relatives are still living in this township.”Chief minister does not reside there. He does not own any property there. His relatives live in this Mohollah. Flag was not hoisted on chief minister’s house but next to it. Since whole Mufti family lives there and if they hoist flag on any of the house it is seen as chief minister’s house. Otherwise they do not own any property,” said Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, political analyst to chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

India’s ruling party confronts Gandhis as parliament gathers | Reuters

NEW DELHI Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has just suffered a bruising election setback, yet his party appears in no mood to compromise with the main political opposition to get stalled economic reforms back on track.

Instead, the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched an all-out offensive against the Congress party, in a potentially dangerous game of brinkmanship that risks turning the next parliamentary session into a prolonged slanging match.

“It’s a political vendetta,” said veteran newspaper editor and commentator Shekhar Gupta of the BJP’s attacks on Congress, and specifically Rahul Gandhi, heir apparent to his mother and party leader Sonia Gandhi.

Yet behind the sound and fury on TV news networks may lie a more considered tactic, party strategists and political analysts said: isolate Congress while quietly persuading regional parties to back a tax reform bill that is the BJP’s top priority.

“We are trying to convey to everyone that the government is willing to tweak the bill and present it in a form that benefits all the states,” said one senior BJP source, who did not want to be named.

Sanjay Kumar, director of the CSDS think-tank and a leading opinion researcher, said: “They keep hitting the line that Congress is a dynastic party. The idea is to split the opposition.”

In May, 2014, Modi won India’s strongest election mandate in three decades, but his dominance in the lower house is neutralised by an upper house where the BJP is in the minority.

And, while he has pushed through some reforms by executive order, that solution is temporary and likely to put off foreign companies who want stable legal frameworks in place before investing in Asia’s third-largest economy.

One of the biggest changes Modi envisages to make the economy run more smoothly, a unified tax system, requires altering the constitution.

Securing that amendment in the winter session of parliament that starts on Thursday would be vital to implementing tax reform in 2016, as Modi has repeatedly assured global investors he would.

APPEARANCE OF STRENGTH

The BJP’s aggression may serve as cover for backroom deals that recognise the realities created by its defeat this month in the eastern state of Bihar, Modi’s biggest setback as prime minister.

That election result has given a sense of empowerment to regional leaders like Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar, who teamed up with a local ally to rebuff Modi’s challenge in the state of more than 100 million people.

So, while the BJP strategist spoke of exposing rampant corruption during the decade of Congress rule that ended in May 2014, he saw no contradiction with the idea that “Modi may consider having a cup of tea with Sonia Gandhi“.

The two party leaders have not held face-to-face talks in this parliament since it was elected.

Congress, part of the victorious Bihar alliance, sees no sign that the government wants to engage in sincere dialogue.

Instead it has chided Modi for going on a series of foreign trips since the Bihar landslide and neglecting his work at home.

“Where is a conciliatory attitude?” asked Anand Sharma, a senior Congress leader and interlocutor on the key tax reforms.

“You have a prime minister who has a confrontational mindset, who is arrogant. He humiliates the opposition, day in and day out,” Sharma told ET Now, a financial news channel.

That is despite some senior aides recommending to Modi that he engages the opposition more actively, while a handful of top BJP figures have openly questioned his leadership.

GST OR NOT GST

Perhaps more worrying for businesses waiting with increasing frustration for the new national goods and services tax (GST), there appears to be a lack of consensus on how it would work in practice.

The GST would create a single market in India for the first time since independence in 1947 and, the government estimates, boost the economy by up to two percentage points.

But there is as yet no agreement on what rate the tax should be levied at; three separate committees have yet to make their final proposals.

And, at a meeting of federal and state officials last week, there was no agreement on the threshold at which the tax should apply to small businesses. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley skipped that discussion to attend a film festival.

Some officials express doubts over the Modi government’s strategy for securing the passage of the GST amendment, saying it could miss its self-imposed deadline.

“You have to go more than half the way to convince the Congress,” said a senior government official involved in the policy process. “You have to be more than generous. But the BJP is still behaving as if it was in the opposition.”

(Additional reporting by Manoj Kumar; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

BJP makes debut in Manipur assembly, wins by-polls with overwhelming majority

With this win, the BJP now has two legislators in the 60-member Manipur Assembly.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won the by-polls in two constituencies in Manipur with an overwhelming majority, thereby making its electoral debut in the state assembly. BJP candidate Khumukcham Joykishan defeated Congress party’s Jyotin Waikhom in Thangmeiband constituency by 1,907 votes. While Joykishan got a total of 12,104 votes, Jyotin scored 10,197 votes.In Thongju Assembly constituency, the BJP’s Thongam Biswajit Singh bagged a total of 14,605 votes and defeated the Congress party’s Bijoy Koijam, who got a total of 11,393 votes. MDPF candidate Dr. Gurumayum Tonsana, who had contested in both the assembly constituencies, got only 55 votes in Thangmeiband and 54 votes in Thongju Assembly constituencies.A total of 72 votes in Thangmeiband and 78 voters in Thongju went for NOTA. There were no reject voters in both the assembly constituencies. With this win, the BJP now has two legislators in the 60-member Manipur Assembly.By-poll to Aizawl North-III Assembly seat was also declared today. Former Mizoram health minister Lal Thanzara of Congress defeated Mizo National Front candidate K Vanlalvena by a thumping majority. While Thanzara scored 6,175 votes, Vanlalvena bagged 2,790 votes, followed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee Lalduhawma with 1,887 votes.The Nongstoin Vidhan Sabha Constituency of the state of Meghalaya also got its new MLA today. Diosstarness Jyndiang of the Hill State People’s Democratic Party has won the seat. The by-election was required due to the unfortunate demise of Party chief Hoping Stone Lyngdoh who died on September 26.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti promises ‘new era of inclusiveness’ in Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar: Resolution, reconciliation and development constitute the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s core agenda and it would continue to pursue the same with unflinching consistency to ensure political stability and economic prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday.

“It is with this objective that, despite all odds, PDP entered into an alliance with BJP to revive the process of political reconciliation and economic rejuvenation in Jammu and Kashmir which was initiated by the PDP-led coalition government in 2002,” Mehbooba who is a member of parliament from South Kashmir’s Anantnag said.

Maintaining that gun is no solution to any problem, she expressed hope that the country’s leadership would take a cue from the events in the Middle East and work with a fresh resolve towards fostering a new era of inclusiveness and reconciliation in the South Asian region.

Mehbooba Mufti. AFPMehbooba Mufti. AFP

Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

“The lesson to be learnt from the death and destruction in Afghanistan and now in Middle East is that gun is no solution to any problem, whether used by the state or the non-state actors, and only way to ensure stability is through dialogue and reconciliation.

“I am sure that India’s political leadership will take a cue from the tragic events in the Middle East and work, with fresh resolve, towards fostering a new era of inclusiveness and reconciliation in the country and the region,” Mehbooba said while addressing a party workers convention.

She said in the emerging global scenario where some “dubious fringe elements” are resorting to atrocious violence in the name of Islam, reconciliation in the sub-continent has become an inevitability to keep such elements away from destabilizing the region.

“J&K can become the torch-bearer of such a reconciliatory process in the region as the State and its people have exhibited the mellowness and highest levels of religious tolerance even during the worst times of the sub-continent’s history,” she said.

She said at the time of partition, the State’s then political leadership did not accept the “two nation theory” and preferred India over Pakistan.

“In lieu of this, J&K was granted special status in the Indian Constitution which distinguishes it from the other states of the country in many ways,” Mehbooba said, adding, “While, it has been made clear in the PDP-BJP ‘Agenda of Alliance’ that the State’s present position will be maintained on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K including the special status in the Constitution of India, the state government is continuing its efforts to catalyze reconciliation and confidence building process within and across the Line of Control (LoC) to create an enabling environment for sustainable peace, all round economic development and prosperity of J&K.”

Mehbooba said the reconciliatory and developmental process facilitated by the then PDP-led government between 2002 and 2005 had sparked political, economic and social activity on a phenomenal scale in the state facilitating complete transformation of the ground situation on almost
every front.

“We are looking forward and working towards facilitating a similar scenario in the State and the region so that Jammu and Kashmir could become a bridge of friendship between India and Pakistan instead of a bone of contention,” she said.

“The process of political and economic transformation in J-K has already been set into motion and the results will be visible on the ground soon with people reaping the benefits of a new era of peace and development,” the PDP leader said.

Mehbooba said the biggest challenge for the PDP is to be with the people, show solidarity with them and give them the much needed sense of security and relief on development front and the party is committed to its resolve of bringing prosperity to J-K and its people.

“We are firm in our resolve to mark a new beginning and with the support of the people end the gloomy scenario of despair, alienation and development deficit, in the state,” she said.

She said with the announcement of the Rs 80,000 crore economic package by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the State Government is going to revive the process of rehabilitation, reconstruction and economic rejuvenation on a massive scale.

“The package would not only ensure fresh relief for the flood-affected people, but also bring a turnaround in key sectors like road communication, health, education, tourism, power, urban development and employment generation with huge resources being made available for new initiatives in these sectors,” she said.

PTI

People and party will decide on whether to contest: CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan

Earlier, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran had stated that Achuthanandan should lead the Left Front during the assembly polls and it will do good for the Front, which has not been taken kindly by the Marxist party.

VS Achuthanandan

Veteran CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan on Sunday said it was for the people and party to decide whether he should contest in the assembly polls to be held next year.”Whether I should contest or not, it will be as per the wish of the people and parties (of the Left Front), a beaming Achuthanandan told reporters here. Asked who will lead the Left Front in the polls, 92-year-old Achuthanandan, leader of the opposition in the assembly, said “who will lead the Front? People and prasthanam (party) will decide”, he said giving enough hints that he would be very much in the fray.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Achuthanandan, who led the LDF campaign in the recently held local body polls in which the CPI(M) headed front had emerged victorious giving a drubbing to the ruling Congress led UDF, had once again proved that he was the leader of the masses. The veteran leader’s remarks comes close on the heels of CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury hailing Achuthanandan’s contribution to the party saying “it is something our generation should learn from him”. The party had not yet fixed a retirement age, he had said in Delhi recently.Earlier, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran had stated that Achuthanandan should lead the Left Front during the assembly polls and it will do good for the Front, which has not been taken kindly by the Marxist party. CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said in Kozikode today that coalition partners should give the party freedom to choose their candidates.CPI(M) state committee will decide who will contest the polls, he said. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and former state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, an Achuthanandan beta noire, who stepped down after completing three consecutive terms in the party, is widely speculated to lead the Front in the assembly elections.

LK Advani lavishes praise on PM Modi after casting his vote in Gujarat local body polls

Six municipal corporations in Gujarat – Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar – currently under BJP rule, are seeking a fresh mandate from over 95.9 lakh urban voters.

LK Advani
Manit Balmiki
dna
Putting aside the Bihar debacle, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani on Sunday lavished praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and expressed confidence that the party will win the state Municipal Co-operation elections just like the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.”I am happy that Narendra Modi is working as the Prime Minister of the country. I am confident that the BJP will win the local body elections in the same way as we won in the 2014 General Assembly Elections,” said Advani after casting his vote in the local body elections here in Ahmedabad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Using Bihar crutch, LK Advani & Co fire at Narendra Modi, Amit ShahSix municipal corporations in Gujarat – Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar – currently under BJP rule, are seeking a fresh mandate from over 95.9 lakh urban voters.This election will be a litmus test for Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and would also determine the impact of the ongoing agitation by the Patidar community. Barely days after its resounding defeat in Bihar, the BJP leadership faced its first open challenge from within since forming the government at the Centre in May last year.Four veteran leaders, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, had issued a stinging statement that the party was being “forced to kow-tow to a handful, its “consensual character has been destroyed, and it has been “emasculated” in the last year.

81% votes recorded in Meghalaya by-poll

Elaborate security arrangement was put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the polling which went on from 7 am to 4 pm.
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Over 81 % of the 29,488 electorate on SAturday cast votes in the Nongstain constituency in the West Khasi Hills in Meghalaya Assembly by-elections.”The poll turn-out was 81.16 % till evening when polling was over in most polling stations,” Deputy Commissioner of West Khasi Hills District, S Kharlyngdoh said on Saturday evening. He said the election passed off peacefully with no untoward incident from all the 39 polling stations under the Nongstoin constituency.Elaborate security arrangement was put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the polling which went on from 7 am to 4 pm. Of the 29,173 voters who came to cast their votes, a total of 14,670 are females and 14,503 males, Kharlyngdoh, also the Returning Officer, said. Four candidates from different political parties are pitted in the contest.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ruling Congress has fielded former KHADC deputy Chairman, Gabriel Wahlang, also a nominated MDC as its official candidate, while the HSPDP has put up a close confidant of former sitting MLA, Diosstarness Jyndiang. The other two candidates included Mosklandar Marngar, who is contesting from a United Democratic Party (UDP) ticket while former HSPDP leader Fenella Lyngdoh Nonglait decided to join the fray as an independent candidate.The bye-election to the Nongstoin seat was necessitated following the death of longest serving sitting legislator, Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, who was also the founder of the Hill State People Democratic Party (HSPDP), on September 26. The counting will take place on November 24.

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