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In Punjab, AAP, SAD future depends on Patiala peg of Congress

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Punjab: Nine killed, 15 injured in road accident in Amritsar

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Union environment ministry issues fresh directions to control air pollution

The MoEF&CC and environment ministers of the five NCR states had met three times this year to take steps on the issue of air pollution. Preventing stubble burning of crops in Punjab and Haryana and burning of biomass was also one of the issues taken up during these meetings and for which the ministry issued directions on Wednesday.

dna Correspondent

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Also ReadIndiaAAP govt to take a call on Badarpur power plant closure dateIndiaAfter 100 smart cities in 2015, 132 smart villages in 2016IndiaBMC has a New Year gift for Bhendi BazaarIndiaCentre takes the high road, clears coastal road projectIndiaGujarat: Patanjali products sent for testingIndiaAI plane hit by catering van at Newark airport in US <!– /.block –>

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Arrested ex-IAF airman seduced by woman on Facebook: Key details about ISI espionage rackets

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Awash in drugs: Punjab voters may reject Badals in 2017 to save the young from ruin

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AAP to contest all assembly seats in Punjab polls

Chotepur also said that some big guns will soon join AAP at the Muktsar rally in the presence of Kejriwal. However, he refused to disclose their names.

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Also ReadIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhites beware! You may be fined Rs 2000 for violationIndiaWest Bengal Elections: CPI(M) to take a call on alliance with Congress after gauging public mood IndiaIAF officer sacked for spying for ISI sent to 4-day police custodyIndiaMumbai: Massive fire in Mauli Sadan in Parel, 15 fire tenders at spotIndiaBJP a party of killers, want to capture power by goondagiri: Tarun GogoiIndiaAAP to contest all assembly seats in Punjab polls <!– /.block –>

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Delhi govt’s odd-even formula to be a failure: Sheila Dikshit

Dikshit who saw a crushing defeat to Kejriwal in 2013 Assembly elections said, “Congress is the one that takes along ‘aam’ (commoners) and ‘khas’ (elite). The party also believes in the power of women. We believe that given the right and equal opportunities, women can build a better world.” Also present on the occasion, Shivraj Patil, former Punjab Governor said, “Our efforts to build a better society should go beyond our homes, country. Environment protection is not an individual pursuit, it should be a united effort.”

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<!– /.block –>Naga Shourya-Pallak Lalwani starrer ‘Abbayitho Ammayi’ to release on January 1 <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaReality Check: Don’t expect much from Indo-Pak talks in January, says Sartaj AzizIndiaTamil Nadu elections: PMK says it will give Dy Chief Minister post to BJPIndiaDelhi govt’s odd-even formula to be a failure: Sheila DikshitIndiaNDA wants to honour all who fought for the country: Ravi Shankar PrasadIndiaVypam scam: Dummy candidate among two get 3-yr jail for forgeryIndiaShiv Sena Punjab asks PM Narendra Modi to apologise for going to Pakistan <!– /.block –>

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Maharashtra IPS officer booked for rape in Madhya Pradesh

“We will take appropriate action against Matani after probing the charges against him. We are also contacting senior officials of Maharashtra Police,” he added.

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<!– /.block –>Pro Wrestling League: Haryana Hammers beat Punjab Royals in a thriller <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Mumbai double murder: Hema Upadhyay’s estranged husband Chintan remains calm during questioning<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Tamil Nadu Elections: DMK Chief Karunanidhi terms Rs 22 crore as ‘insufficient’ poll fund

On March 12 this year, Karunanidhi had appealed to the party workers to make contributions to the party’s election fund for the 2016 assembly polls. DMK is hoping for a turnaround in its poll fortunes after being badly mauled by the ruling AIADMK in the 2011 assembly and last year’s Lok Sabha elections.

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Pro Wrestling League: Haryana Hammers beat Punjab Royals in a thriller<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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21 AAP leaders join Punjab Congress

“I was upset with Rahul Gandhi who always promised to bring honest and young people and qualitative change in the polity of India. Unfortunately, he compromised on his own principles and ideology by forming new Punjab Congress team including Amarinder Singh, Ambika Soni and Lal Singh just to win polls in Punjab,” Khaira said.

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<!– /.block –>Robert Vadra slams AAP government over VIP exemption from odd-even car policy <!– /.block –>
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BJP MLA Sangeet Som receives threatening call from ISIS

She was assured by ISIS sympathisers that she will get admission in medical college in Syria.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

ANI

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Dozens feared dead after another landslide in Myanmar jade mine<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Amarinder Singh obvious choice for Punjab CM: Manish Tewari

Tewari also rejected the assumption that the Aam Aadmi Party was any challenge to the Congress in Punjab. “Ask people of Delhi as how they are feeling after having made the AAP to rule them,” he said, adding that AAP has not been a failure but a complete disaster in Delhi. The choice, he said, in Punjab was very obvious between good and effective governance which Captain Amarinder is capable of providing, and the anarchy and lawlessness offered by AAP and SAD.

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<!– /.block –>Personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcome, tweets PM Modi <!– /.block –>
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Personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcome, tweets PM Modi

“He (Sharif) recalled their interactions & asked me to convey his regards to Atal ji,” Modi said in another tweet. Modi, who sprang a surprise by making a sudden stopover in Lahore on his return to New Delhi from Kabul, said he had a spent a warm evening with the Sharif family at their family home. “Nawaz Sahab’s birthday & granddaughter’s marriage made it a double celebration,” he added. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Amarinder Singh obvious choice for Punjab CM: Manish Tewari<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Samjhauta blasts: NIA not to challenge bail to Assemanand

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Two bomb blasts occurred in the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express train near Panipat on February 18, 2007 in which 68 persons were killed.

The NIA has decided not to challenge the bail granted to Swami Aseemanand, the main accused in Samjhauta Express blasts case, in which 68 persons were killed. “The Punjab and Haryana High Court passed an order on August 28, 2014 granting bail to one of the accused Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand subject to certain conditions. “The written order dated May 1, 2015 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was received by the NIA on May 5, 2015, which was examined by the NIA in consultation with their legal division,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in Rajya Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In written reply to a question, Chaudhary said it was decided by the NIA not to file SLP in the Supreme Court against the order dated August 28, 2014 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, since in their opinion, there were no legal grounds to challenge the order. “However, the accused, Naba Kumar Sarkar continues to be in jail since he is also an accused in the Ajmer blast case, in which he has not been granted bail. Further, he has not complied with the bail conditions prescribed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and continues to be in judicial custody in the Samjhauta Express blasts case also,” he said.Two bomb blasts occurred in the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express train near Panipat on February 18, 2007 in which 68 persons were killed and 12 others were injured. “The case was initially investigated by the Haryana Police and subsequently transferred to the NIA on July 26, 2010 for further investigation. The NIA, after thorough investigation, filed a charge sheet against a total number of eight accused persons,” he said.

Alcohol, an intoxicant? Not according to Punjab Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani

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Bottoms up! Alcohol not ‘intoxicant’, says Punjab health minister

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Jyani told journalists during an interaction after inaugurating a de-addiction centre in his constituency Badal.

Surjit Kumar Jyani

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Bizzare it may sound but Punjab Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani does not consider ‘sharab’ (booze) an intoxicant.”I don’t think ‘sharab’ (booze) is an intoxicant. You cannot call alcohol an intoxicant. It is (consumed) there in the army, parties. The government gives licences for manufacturing liquor, we auction liquor vends. As long as it is done, sharab cannot be called ‘nasha’ (intoxicant),” Jyani told journalists during an interaction after inaugurating a de-addiction centre in his constituency Badal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Incidentally, Punjab has been facing a problem of drug addiction, which once prompted Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to claim 7 out of every 10 youth in the state were addicts.

Abohar murder: Accused Amit Doda surrenders, liquor baron remains elusive

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“Amit Doda surrendered before SP Headquarters Abohar last night,” DIG Ferozepur Range, Amar Singh Chahal said.

Amit Doda, one of the accused in Abohar Dalit murder case, has surrendered before police even as the liquor baron and Akali leader Shiv Lal Doda continued to remain elusive.”Amit Doda surrendered before SP Headquarters Abohar last night,” DIG Ferozepur Range, Amar Singh Chahal said.However, he said that Shiv Lal Doda, main accused in the case, has not been arrested so far.”Shiv Lal Doda continues to remain elusive,” Chahal said adding that efforts are being made to nab him.Punjab Police had issued a look out circular against Shiv Lal Doda and his nephew Amit Doda in the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The duo has been booked for conspiracy in connection with the murder of a 27-year-old Dalit man Bhim Sain whose limbs were chopped off by suspected henchmen of a liquor baron in Abohar on December 11.Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress had accused the Punjab Police of “going soft” on the Akali leader and his nephew due to pressure from the ruling SAD-BJP government.The police have so far arrested 13 persons in the case.

Government defends house allotment to Subramanian? Swamy

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According to the UD Ministry list, those provided government houses on security grounds include Priyanka Gandhi who was allotted 35, Lodi Estate in February 1997

Subramanian Swamy

Defending the Modi government’s decision to allot a bungalow to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, the Urban Development Ministry on Sunday said houses had been to non-MPs for security reasons even in the past.”Government bungalows have been allotted to even non-MPs in the past on grounds of security,” a senior UD Ministry official said. According to the UD Ministry list, those provided government houses on security grounds include Priyanka Gandhi who was allotted 35, Lodi Estate in February 1997. Former Punjab police chief KPS Gill was allotted 11, Talkatora Road in April 1996, while ex-Youth Congress chief MS Bitta was allotted 14, Talkatora Road in June 1996.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was given house at 3, GRG Road, in December 2006 which he vacated in 2015. According to the list, Ashwini Kumar, Editor, Punjab Keshri was allotted a government accomodation in June 1998. Buta Singh was allotted 11-A, Teen Murti Marg in February 2006 on security ground.Ashwini Kumar vacated government accommodation in 2012 and Tytler in 2015, while all others are still occupying the bungalows allotted to them. Congress had alleged that Swamy was given Z category security and allotted a government bungalow on grounds of security despite not being an MP or hailing from a troubled border state as “reward” for suing top Congress leadership including party chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul in the National Herald case.”He is not facing any threat from any terrorist organisation….The bungalow was given as an award for dragging the Congress leadership to court,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had said.

Abohar Dalit murder: Akali leader Shiv Lal Doda’s nephew Amit Doda arrested

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CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi had claimed that in case the government fails to act within in the given time limit, all the safai karamchaaris of Punjab will stop their work in the state.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
Amit Doda, the nephew of Shiromani Akali Dal leader Shiv Lal Doda, has been arrested by the police in the Dalit murder case, says ANI. 13 others have also been taken into custody.CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday had demanded lodging of a criminal case and arrest of liquor baron and Akali leader Shiv Lal Doda for his alleged connection with the murder of a Dalit man, and threatened a stir if Punjab government failed to take any action.The Congress Legislature Party leader served a four-day ultimatum to the Parkash Singh Badal government to arrest and register a criminal case against Shiv Lal Doda and his nephew Amit Doda.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>27-year-old Bhim Sain was brutally murdered by suspected henchmen of the liquor baron by chopping his limbs off, hile his associate was grievously injured. Channi today visited the home of the victim here. The Centre had yesterday announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the Sain’s family.The CLP leader claimed that in case the government failed to act within in the given time limit, all the safai karamchaaris of Punjab would stop their work in the state. This will be a state-wide strike and no safai karamchaari in the state will perform his duty, he said. Channi also appealed to all the like-minded political parties of the state to come on a common platform to address this issue of the Dalit family.During the visit, he was accompanied by Sunil Jakhar, Senior Congress leader and MLA Abohar, and assured all legal help. Such help would be provided to every Dalit family who are victims of such atrocities, he said.”I myself was born in a poor family and fully understand your pain. I will fight till the last to get you justice”, Channi told the family.He had also said that a 3-member committee of MLAs would be constituted in consultation with state party chief Capt Amarinder Singh to probe and help the cases of atrocities against Dalits in the state. He termed the SIT constituted by the state government to probe the heinous crime of chopping of limbs of Bhim and his associate as an “eyewash”, saying going by the earlier experience, such probes had “only been ordered to save the culprits”.Channi attacked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for allegedly “protecting” the accused who are part of the Akali Dal. He warned that the Akali Dal-BJP rulers would have to “pay dearly” for allegedly working such atrocities against the weaker sections.He had assured them that the Congress would fight at every level against the Akali Dal-BJP combine to protect the interests of the Dalits in particular and the weaker sections in general. Channi further alleged that the brutal murder of Bhim Sain was an example of the “brutal face” of the Badal government that is “anti-poor” and “anti-Dalit”.

Sikhs will never forgive Congress for 1984 riots: Parkash Singh Badal

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CPI leader Bardhan’s condition ‘critical but stable’

Ex-Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, CPI state council secretaries of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka were amongst those who called on the former general secretary of the Left outfit on Friday.

AB Bardhan

The condition of veteran CPI leader AB Bardhan, who was admitted to a hospital in New Delhi on Monday after he suffered a paralytic stroke, is “critical but stable”, CPI said on Friday.”Senior CPI leader Bardhan, a veteran of Left movement who was admitted to GB Pant Hospital after he complained of breathlessness, continues to be critical but stable. He had brain haemorrhage,” CPI said in a statement. Doctors attending to him are making “all-out” efforts to save Bardhan, who still is in ICU, the party added.Ex-Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, CPI state council secretaries of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka were amongst those who called on the former general secretary of the Left outfit today. Ninety-two-year-old Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan has been a leading figure of the trade union movement and Left politics in Maharashtra. He had won as an Independent candidate in the Maharashtra Assembly in 1957.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>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.

PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi shake hands at Sharad Pawar’s birthday celebrations

Rahul greeted the Prime Minister with a ‘Namaste’ before he was about to leave the function after it got over. However, the two immediately followed it up with a handshake.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanges greetings with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi during a function to celebrate NCP chief Sharad Pawars 75th birthday at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday.

PTI
Setting aside their bitterness, both within and outside Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi shook hands today at a function to felicitate NCP supremo Sharad Pawar upcoming 75th birthday.Rahul greeted the Prime Minister with a ‘Namaste’ before he was about to leave the function after it got over. However, the two immediately followed it up with a handshake.As the function was about to be over, NCP leader Praful Patel called Rahul and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan Devendra Phadnavis and Vasundhara Raje on stage for a group photo with a galaxy of leaders including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides Pawar and his wife Pratibha, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal, BJP veteran L K Advani and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah were on the dais.There have been hardly any exchange of pleasantries between Modi and Rahul since the latter became the Prime Minister in May last year. The Congress vice president is the one of the most vocal critics of the Prime Minister.

Neither Navjot Singh Sidhu approached us, nor we talked to him: AAP

Neither Sidhu has approached us nor we have talked to him. The news pertaining to him is coming out on its own. I do not know about the veracity of such news,” Singh said here while talking to reporters today.

Days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stated that party will welcome cricketer- turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu if he wants to join, AAP leader and in charge of Punjab affairs Sanjay Singh on Tuesday said that neither Sidhu had approached AAP nor the party had spoken to him for the crucial assembly polls, which are due in 2017. “The talks about Sidhu (joining Aam Aadmi Party) are only in news. Neither Sidhu has approached us nor we have talked to him. The news pertaining to him is coming out on its own. I do not know about the veracity of such news,” Singh said here while talking to reporters today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Kejriwal’s recent statement about Sidhu, the AAP leader said, “We have always said from day one that our party will take a decision on those leaders in other political parties who have clean image.” When asked if AAP would bring a “parachute candidate” for Punjab polls, he said the party would decide about the “face” of the party for the state at an appropriate time.Stating that the strength of local AAP leaders should not be underestimated, Singh said, “AAP has leadership which is capable of contesting elections and forming government.” Speculations are rife that ex-MP Sidhu might join AAP as the party wants to put up a face who has mass appeal among voters for the assembly polls. Kejriwal in Delhi on December 5 had said, “We will welcome Navjot Singh Sidhu if he wants to join AAP.” The AAP convener had also exuded confidence that the party would sweep Punjab elections. “There is no challenge from both parties (SAD and Congress). We will repeat the history of Delhi’s victory in Punjab,” Singh, who was accompanied by AAP’s Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur and its Punjab co-convener Durgesh Pathak, said.Singh said Congress and BJP used to say that AAP was an inexperienced party during Delhi polls. “The result of polls is before everyone. Kejriwal created history in the polls as party swept Delhi elections. Therefore, it is wrong to underestimate AAP leaders,” he added.

Surveys show AAP winning 2017 Punjab election with huge margin: Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that he won’t be surprised if his party wins the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections.”Whatever surveys we (AAP) have conducted till now (in Punjab), we are winning with a huge margin. I won’t be surprised if Delhi results are repeated,” Kejriwal said while speaking at the 13th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Saturday. “If Navjot Sidhu joins our party, he will be welcomed, but we haven’t had talks yet,” he added. Kejriwal had earlier categorically said that his party would not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections even as he indicated that the AAP could get a Delhi-like opportunity in Punjab.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are not here for power politics. People ask if AAP is in race for 2019. We are not in any race. Delhi’s win was miraculous. We just have to keep working hard and honestly. Don’t run after elections. All indications are that you are going to get the same opportunity in Punjab,” he said in his address at AAP’s National Council meeting last month. AAP’s Lok Sabha MPs from Punjab include Bhagwant Mann, Dharamvira Gandhi, Harinder Singh Khalsa and Sadhu Singh.

Kejriwal can rival Parkash Singh Badal’s greed for money, says Amarinder Singh

Punjab Congress President targetted Kejriwal over hiking salary of MLAs.

Amarinder Singh

Taking a dig at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Friday termed it as “loot by legislation” and said he has turned the “self-proclaimed common man’s government into a plutocracy”.He also said Kejriwal’s greed for money can only be rivalled by his Punjab counterpart, Parkash Singh Badal. “Kejriwal and his party’s greed for money stands exposed with such a shameless hike in the MLAs’ salaries, which is absolutely unfair, unjustified and outright loot of the public exchequer,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Today if anybody can rival the greed of Parkash Singh Badal for money, Kejriwal best fits the frame,” he said, adding, “The only difference is that Badal does it illegally and Kejriwal has tried to legalise it.” “400 per cent hike in the salaries of the MLAs is shameless and unprecedented in the history of the country and maybe even the world, and it only betrays the plutocratic mindset of Kejriwal,” Amarinder said in a statement here.The Punjab Congress president pointed out, Kejriwal had raised the MLAs’ salary by over 400 per cent which has never been heard in the history, not even in rich and affluent countries. “No matter how hoarse he may cry himself about integrity and probity in public life, he (Kejriwal) has actually legalised the loot of public exchequer”, he remarked, while adding, on one hand Kejriwal claims to curb corruption and on the other hand “he has legalised the loot by legislators through legislation”.Giving details, Amarinder said, now an MLA in Delhi will get Rs 2.10 lakh salary a month, besides other perks like free housing and travel facility outside the constituency, while a minster will get about Rs 3 lakhs a month and Kejriwal himself will get about Rs 3.5 lakh a month. “When common man, Kejriwal claims to represent, cannot make both ends meet, Delhi legislators will be living and indulging in the luxury at their (common man’s) cost,” he observed.

Lawyer files for return of Koh-i-Noor

A petition demanding the return of the Koh-i-Noor diamond, one of the British Royal Family’s Crown Jewels, has been filed in a Pakistan court, reports say.

My statement blown out of proportion, claims suspended BJP MLA OP Sharma

Sharma has already stands suspended for the entire winter session of the Delhi assembly for his remarks against Lamba, while the matter was referred to the house ethics committee on Thursday.

AAP MLA Alka Lamba

A high drama ensued at the Delhi assembly on Friday with AAP legislator Alka Lamba and five other party legislators walking out demanding fast-tracking of the house ethics committee’s decision on BJP lawmaker OP Sharma. Speaking to dna, Lamba said Sharma’s membership of the assembly should be revoked. “He has called me goondi (thug) on several occasions during the session, but the tipping point for was when he questioned my character,”Lamba said, adding that justice should be delivered in this session itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Sharma has already stands suspended for the entire winter session of the Delhi assembly for his remarks against Lamba, while the matter was referred to the house ethics committee on Thursday. “He is calling me his sister and on the back foot now, but have not apologised to me. I’m not willing to forgive him,”Lamba said. She further alleged that instead of taking action against Sharma, leader of opposition Vijendra has brought a stop work proposal. “Surprisingly, the BJP MLAs had blamed us for hindering work in the assembly,”Lamba said.However, Sharma said the entire episode in the assembly has been scripted by AAP as part of their preparations for the Punjab assembly elections.The issue of drug abuse is prevalent in Punjab. He says a discussion on the deaths of homeless people’s death was underway at the assembly. “It was on police record that the deaths were due to cold, while Lamba claimed they were a result of drug addiction. She claims to be working for homeless drug addicts late nights, to which I merely reiterated. That particular statement was taken out of context and blown out of proportion,”said Sharma.Asked to explain his ‘goondi’comments, Sharma said they were based on clear CCTV footages on how she bullied the shopkeepers during an anti-drug drive in August this year.The winter session was to end on Saturday, but has now been extended till December 4. 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi assembly are under AAP, while there are just three BJP legislators. Meanwhile, amidst the chaos, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015, was tabled in the house, of which a no detention policy for students up to class VIII is a highlight.

My statement was taken out of context, blown out of proportion, claims suspended BJP MLA

Sharma has already stands suspended for the entire winter session of the Delhi assembly for his remarks against Lamba, while the matter was referred to the house ethics committee on Thursday.

A high drama ensued at the Delhi assembly on Friday with AAP legislator Alka Lamba and five other party legislators walking out demanding fast-tracking of the house ethics committee’s decision on BJP lawmaker O.P. Sharma. Speaking to dna, Lamba said Sharma’s membership of the assembly should be revoked. “He has called me goondi (thug) on several occasions during the session, but the tipping point for was when he questioned my character,”Lamba said, adding that justice should be delivered in this session itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Sharma has already stands suspended for the entire winter session of the Delhi assembly for his remarks against Lamba, while the matter was referred to the house ethics committee on Thursday. “He is calling me his sister and on the back foot now, but have not apologised to me. I’m not willing to forgive him,”Lamba said. She further alleged that instead of taking action against Sharma, leader of opposition Vijendra has brought a stop work proposal. “Surprisingly, the BJP MLAs had blamed us for hindering work in the assembly,”Lamba said.However, Sharma said the entire episode in the assembly has been scripted by AAP as part of their preparations for the Punjab assembly elections.The issue of drug abuse is prevalent in Punjab. He says a discussion on the deaths of homeless people’s death was underway at the assembly. “It was on police record that the deaths were due to cold, while Lamba claimed they were a result of drug addiction. She claims to be working for homeless drug addicts late nights, to which I merely reiterated. That particular statement was taken out of context and blown out of proportion,”said Sharma.Asked to explain his ‘goondi’comments, Sharma said they were based on clear CCTV footages on how she bullied the shopkeepers during an anti-drug drive in August this year.The winter session was to end on Saturday, but has now been extended till December 4. 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi assembly are under AAP, while there are just three BJP legislators. Meanwhile, amidst the chaos, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015, was tabled in the house, of which a no detention policy for students up to class VIII is a highlight.

Massive reshuffle in Punjab Congress; Amarinder new chief, Ambika Soni to lead election campaign panel

A release issued by AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said that “the Congress president has appointed Capt Amarinder Singh, MP, as president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect”.

Amarinder Singh

Former chief minister Amarinder Singh has been appointed as the new Punjab Congress president, replacing Pratap Singh Bajwa, whose resignation was accepted by party president Sonia Gandhi on Friday. A release issued by AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said that “the Congress president has appointed Capt Amarinder Singh, MP, as president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect”. The move is “consequent to the resignation of Sardar Pratap Singh Bajwa from the presidentship” of the Punjab unit of the party, the release added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Further, as part of Punjab Congress’s restructuring, senior party leader and former Union minister Ambika Soni has been appointed the chairperson of its Campaign Committee for the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections. Also, former minister Lal Singh, a prominent OBC face in the state, will be the new senior vice-president of its state unit while Dalit leader Sadhu Singh Dharamsot will be the vice -chairman of the Campaign Committee. Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, the grandson of former state chief minister Beant Singh, has been appointed as the convener of the Campaign Committee. Further appointments will be made shortly, Dwivedi’s statement added.

Move over Bhajji, this is the new Slapgate: Slap Aamir Khan and get Rs 1 lakh reward, offers Shiv Sena

As if the hullaballoo over Aamir Khan’s remarks hadn’t spiralled enough out of control, the Shiv Sena’s Punjab unit (be honest, how many of you actually knew the Sena even had a Punjab unit?) has gone one step further and announced a reward of Rs one lakh for each slap landed on the actor.

That’s right, the party’s Punjab chairman Rajeev Tandon made the announcement during a protest outside Ludhiana’s MDB Radisson Blu, where Aamir is staying for the ongoing shoot of his upcoming film Dangal, reports The Indian Express.

Before this turned into a nationwide slap-a-thon, Tandon was quick to clarify the terms and conditions of his ‘Slap Aamir’ contest.

The report quoted him as saying, “We give an opportunity to the manager and employees of the hotel and also the team of his film to slap Aamir and get Rs 1 lakh from us. The courageous and patriotic persons who will slap Aamir Khan in Ludhiana will get Rs 1 lakh reward per slap from us.”

To recap: You have to be a manager or employee of the hotel, or from his film team to qualify for the reward. Also, slapping undertaken in Ludhiana will be honoured.

That’s Madhuri Dixit out of contention, then:

It’s possible that being ‘courageous and patriotic’ is also a prerequisite, but that’s likely also the catch.

Never mind patriotism, would a courageous person slap someone for expressing an opinion?

Keeping it classy as always, the Sena mouthpiece Saamana carried an article accusing the actor of having become a ‘self-appointed mullah’. The piece goes on to add that “such persons already enjoy too much freedom”. And of course, there were the usual refrains of “Go to Pakistan”, which actually merit a bit of investigation.

Could it be that the Shiv Sena is the covert PR wing for the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation?

If that’s not something you want to wrap your minds around, here are some tweets in response to ‘Slap Aamir’ contest:

AAP’s Bhagwant Mann dares Punjab Dy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to undergo dope test

In a video message posted at a social media website, the AAP MP from Sangrur accused Sukhbir Badal and other Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders of spreading false allegations against him.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal
File Photo
PTI
AAP MP from Punjab Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday dared the Deputy Chief Minister and other ruling SAD leaders to undergo dope test while rejecting the allegations of him being a drug addict.In a video message posted at a social media website, the AAP MP from Sangrur accused Sukhbir Badal and other Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders of spreading false allegations against him.”Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and your party leaders have been raising false allegations against me for which you don’t even have any proof or medical report,” Mann said in his message.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He challenged the minister and other party leaders to face dope test.”I challenge you (Sukhbir) to bring your leaders, Congress bring their leaders and then all leaders undergo dope test. I will be the first person to give his blood test,” he said.Mann added that the test reports thus be made public so that everyone knows who is a drug addict.In a ‘Sadbhavna rally’ on November 23 in Bathinda, the SAD President had urged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to ask his leaders to shun drugs, apparently referring to the AAP MP.

Will not sit back and allow AAP to capture Punjab, says Congress’ Capt Amarinder Singh

By Shalini Singh

The Congress Party is grappling with an ugly and extremely public infighting in Punjab. Party chief Partap Singh Bajwa has alleged an imminent defection by Captain Amarinder Singh to the BJP and advised the Congress High Command to “show him the door” for being a “traitor”.

Not known for reticence, the titular Maharaja of Punjab and former chief minister has retaliated by calling Bajwa an “incompetent failure”. This fracas is strategically timed on the eve on an announcement about who will lead the party in the upcoming state elections. Maintaining his long-standing allegations against the state party leadership for “mismanagement”, Amarinder Singh, in an interview for Firstpost, speaks about his determination to flex political muscle to rescue Punjab, and the challenges ahead.

There are rumors that you could be named Congress president in Punjab before November 26. What is the truth?
I cannot comment on rumours and feelers. We must wait for an official announcement.

File photo. Image courtesy: AFPFile photo. Image courtesy: AFP

File photo. Image courtesy: AFP

You have criticized Rahul Gandhi as a politician, especially his handling of Punjab, praised Sonia Gandhi and Narendra Modi and threatened to exercise your “options” if mismanagement of Punjab continues. What can one interpret from this?
If the Congress does not need me, I am not going to sit back and allow the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to capture Punjab. I am going to fight them tooth and nail, because the AAP is not working in the interest of the common man as it claims to be doing.

Mr Bajwa has alleged you are cozying up to the BJP to save yourself from an Income-Tax probe into the link between your wife Preneet Kaur’s HSBC Geneva account and certain trusts and companies. What’s the truth? Is a shift to the BJP imminent?
Trying to link me with the BJP is naïve, because my supporters in villages would never accept the BJP. Besides, there is a captive BJP-SAD vote base in some villages, SAD base in cities and BJP supporters in the northern belts like Pathankot which makes it impossible for me to be in any alliance with them.
Let me be clear: I will never, ever join the BJP. There has been only one break in my career since I entered politics in 1969 — when I resigned in 1984 in protest against Operation Blue Star and joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). I left the SAD after 14 years to rejoin the Congress in 1998 because I found Badal to be completely unreliable and with no national vision.

Is it true that the BJP has made overtures?
No, I have not met them. The story of Amit Shah meeting me is rubbish. You mark my words, the BJP and SAD will stay together. They have to survive. Extremists always unite. Arun Jaitley recently commented that if the extremist view were to be removed then there would be no one left in the party. This statement was published in every newspaper.

Is Mr Bajwa’s allegation of you setting up your own political outfit called Punjab Vikas Party true?
The Punjab Vikas Party was one of 49 names that were suggested to me for a political party. The name was rejected outright as a party of the same name exists in Haryana. These are all preliminaries going on.

What are these “preliminaries” for? What are the “options” you are threatening to exercise?
I have been with the Congress for decades now, so I cannot change my loyalty at the drop of a hat. By saying I will exercise my options, I mean I might set up my own party. I have to live in Punjab and so do my children, so I feel it is up to me to mount a suitable opposition to AAP and the SAD before they destroy Punjab beyond repair. We need strong governance.

Doesn’t this vicious, public infighting undermine the Congress Party and its chances of winning a high-stakes state election?
Yes it does. Congress president Sonia Gandhi should look into this matter. We can only bring up such mistakes and I did bring Bajwa’s failures and indiscretions to her notice long before he started his allegations. Bajwa should have been asked to shut his mouth.

Is it in BJP’s interest to continue its alliance with the SAD considering it is a sinking ship?
The only way the BJP can survive or try to form a government is to tie up with the SAD. Narendra Modi’s charisma will not work without an ally. Our political adversary in the upcoming election is not the BJP but AAP.

Are you completely writing off the SAD in Punjab?
There is total polarization against the Akali Dal. Whether it is the Congress, BSP, AAP or the extremist elements, everyone has ganged up against them. They are on the hatchet block. They are not going to recover. Incidents of members of the public beating ministers up is evidence of that.

You call AAP members a bunch of Leftists and extremists. Please explain.
Extremism took birth under Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The Khalistan movement drew Naxalites and people from the extreme Right and the extreme Left. My hunch is that the AAP will develop in the same manner. The Maoists, Khalistanis and frustrated teenagers will join AAP. This is the threat. And five years of arms and terror will completely destroy Punjab. Akalis are not Khalistanis. They are just stupid. But the Akalis destroyed Punjab consistently for 10 years and if we give AAP another 5 years to sink Punjab, we will never be able to recover from that mistake. People understand this, which is evident from feedback from social media and chat groups. In the parliamentary elections, we estimated the AAP would get 25,000 votes, but they took more than 80,000 in every constituency, with 3.05 lakh votes in Anantpur Sahib, winning 4 of 13 seats in Punjab, including Patiala. That was the position then. But now the people of Punjab have become aware that Arvind Kejriwal is not delivering in Delhi and so AAP’s political threat is diminishing. AAP’s weakness is its lack of administrative experience and the fact that Kejriwal blames every failure on the Centre. People have seen through this tactic.

Drugs, debt, the resurgence of extremism, the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and volatile anti-incumbency are among the top issues haunting a state which you say is “in irreversible decline”. Don’t you have a difficult job ahead of you in terms of drawing up a positive, yet effective election strategy?
People are more interested in positive action, development and hope rather than in cribbing about the past. We need a strong economic policy. We need to bring back industries to Punjab to give jobs and pay salaries. We need infrastructure development and a strong agriculture policy. We need land, power, education and private healthcare. The BJP-SAD government has eaten away all the state revenues. It’s going to be a challenging, uphill task. The people of Punjab are united in their conviction that if anyone can bring them out of this mess, it is the Congress party. Our perceived as well as demonstrated strengths are our policy-making skills, experience and emphasis on governance. If I am made the party president, my first move will be policy-making and program implementation. I completed implementation of all the 100 points in our program during my tenure six months before the elections. This was unlike these SAD chaps who have a couple of 100 programs but have hardly implemented 20.

Shalini Singh is a senior journalist working out of Delhi.

Not in race for 2019 Lok Sabha polls: Arvind Kejriwal

Kejriwal issued challenges to other political players, saying his government’s work in Delhi rivalled and outdid the work done by Congresswoman and former CM Sheila Dikshit in the city, and by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India.

Aam Aadmi Party convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Monday, said that his party was not looking at the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but that there would be an ‘opportunity’ in Punjab. Speaking at the first National Council meeting of the party since the dramatic one in March that saw expulsion of senior leadership, Kejriwal made comparisons between the situations in Delhi and in Punjab for the party.The council, a body of all the founding members of the party, had met to reconstitute the National Executive of the party, as the latter’s tenure is about to expire. The party also unanimously extended the tenure of it founding members. The executive had been running a few members short, as former leader Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha were expelled at the council meet in March after a serious row with Kejriwal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kejriwal issued challenges to other political players, saying his government’s work in Delhi rivalled and outdid the work done by Congresswoman and former CM Sheila Dikshit in the city, and by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India.”We had two aims in the beginning – tackling corruption and bringing Jan Lokpal and Swaraj. In the last 10 months, we have worked so hard, I can challenge, Sheila (Dikshit) government did not do in 15 years. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had the entire nation at his disposal, even he did not do,” said Kejriwal.He added that his government had fought corruption by being the only one sack its own Minister, instead of “brushing corruption cases under the carpet”, referring to the public sacking of former minister Asim Ahmed Khan. He also pointed out how the government was saving crores on projects, instead of overspending.”We completed a flyover before deadline. Metro also completed its project ahead of deadline. But what is different is, we saved Rs100 crores on it.”Kejriwal further said that since the Modi-led central government would never allow the “idea of Swaraj” to be implemented via legislation, the AAP government was doing so through executive order.Kejriwal also talked about the Jan Lokpal Bill, the idea that had first won him popularity in during the Anna Andolan, won him his first election and had been the cause for him to quit his first government. The AAP government claimed to have cleared the Bill in a recent Cabinet meeting, and will table it in the upcoming Assembly session. Kejriwal said, “Lokpal is also going to be passed in this session. It’s the same old bill minus citizen charter and vigilance. We have implemented the vigilance aspect. Citizen charter is being tabled today. So BJP and Congress have no issue to protest against.If the council meeting was filled with all those happy with and loyal to Kejriwal, then outside the drama from March was spilling over, as a crowd of suspended party members protested the meeting. They had been recently suspended apparently for anti party activities such as supporting Bhushan and Yadav’s movement Swaraj Abhiyan. A day earlier, Shanti Bhushan, a founder member of AAP, had spoken out against the party’s “lack of transparency”. Though AAP had invited the senior Bhushan to attend, he refused to go as the list of invitees was not disclosed, and Prashant said that about 100 to 300 party members had not been invited.

‘Anti-national Congress’: Was it religious to raise pro-Khalistan slogans? Sukhbir Badal asks Amarinder Singh

Sukhbir Badal reacted to a statement issued by Amarinder yesterday that the November 10 congregation was a “religious one and not political or anti-national”.

The Akali leader said that the Congress leader was considered the epitome of failure in the Punjab Congress due to the manner in which he had led the party to two successive Assembly election routs.

File Photo
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday ridiculed Congress leader Amarinder Singh for his remarks that ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ congregation was “not political” and asked him whether it was a religious activity to raise slogans of Khalistan at the gathering.Reacting to a statement issued by Amarinder yesterday that the November 10 congregation was a “religious one and not political or anti-national”, Sukhbir said the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ gathering was definitely not anti-national but all the leaders occupying the stage were. “It is these radical leaders, who controlled the stage in league, with the Congress party responsible for defaming the congregation by announcing a separatist agenda. This was not liked by a large number of people who even left the venue in disgust,” the SAD president said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that Amarinder should correct his definition of anti-national, Sukhbir Badal asked “is the reading out of messages of leaders of banned terrorist organisations religious as you are claiming? Is the demand for an independent Sikh State a religious demand? Is it religious activity to raise slogans of Khalistan and espouse violence to realise this goal?” Badal said that contrary to what the Amritsar MP was claiming, the series of events had made the Congress’ role in organising, supporting and drafting of the resolutions “clear”.”You cannot run away from this in the same manner in which you tried to confuse Punjabis after visiting the Dixie Gurdwara in Toronto. “Then you claimed you had failed to read the ‘Khalistan Zindabad slogans’ in the Gurdwara. It is best you apologise for the conduct of your partymen and throw them out of the party or else people will have no option but to believe that you also supported the secessionists,” Sukhbir added.The Akali leader said that the Congress leader was considered the epitome of failure in the Punjab Congress due to the manner in which he had led the party to two successive Assembly election routs. “I also understand your present day frustration at failing to grab the post of Punjab Congress president despite grovelling at Rahul Gandhi’s feet. You could not have debased yourself more after publicly asserting Rahul was unfit to lead the party,” he added.

Rahul Gandhi encouraging radical elements in Punjab, says CM Parkash Badal

Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal with President Mukherjee

With assembly elections in Punjab still more than a year away, political parties in the state are racing to cozy up with Sikh hardline factions, to shape their political fortunes. While Akali Dal-BJP combine is accusing Congress of fomenting trouble and encouraging return of militancy, the ruling dispensation under chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is redoubling efforts to build a memorial for those killed fighting against Indian Army during 1984 Operation Blue Star and also seeking pardon for a number of jailed Sikh militants and commutation of sentence to the killers of former chief minister Beant Singh.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rattled at the huge congregation at “Sarbat Khalsa” on November 10 near Amritsar, where Badal government was criticised, Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Badal on Saturday knocked doors of President Pranabh Mukherjee, accusing the Congress of playing a “big role” behind the gathering and encouraging the revival of militancy in the state.He directly accused Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi of repeating the mistakes of his grandmother late Indira Gandhi, who encouraged hardline Sikh factions to clip Akali Dal, but at the end, the fire returned to haunt her. Rahul Gandhi, Badal further alleged, went to Punjab and encouraged radical elements at a time when Pakistan’s ISI is already on the lookout to foment trouble in the state. He demanded action against the Congress.Congress leaders Ramanjit Singh Sikki and Inderjit Singh Zira also addressed the gathering. Sikki, MLA from Khadoor Sahib, had resigned from the assembly, following an incident of sacrilege at a village in his constituency.Punjab BSP chief Avtar Singh Karimpuri addressed the congregation and assured his support to the Panthic leaders as they were fighting for a “just cause”.Before leaving for Rashtrapati Bhavan, junior Badal played transcripts of conversation purportedly of certain Congress leaders allegedly in conversation with a senior leader of Sikh hardline group United Akali Dal, and assuring him to mobilise crowd for the congregation. “Congress party’s senior leaders participated and masterminded holding of the Sarbat Khalsa on November 10. They gave directions in the congregation for passing the resolutions and bringing people,” he said. Badal even demanded that Congress be declared an anti-national party and its recognition be revoked for supporting an anti-national gathering, where speakers openly talked of creation of separate Sikh state of Khalistan.Meanwhile, Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh accused Badals of hiding the real issues and their government’s own failure. At the same time, he asked: “By claiming to be in possession of the telephone recordings of our leaders, hasn’t the government admitted that it has been tapping the telephones of political opponents which is a serious criminal offence?”Singh said the presence of huge number of people at ‘Sarbat Khalsa” was an expression of anger against the Badal government and not a sign ofsupport to Khalistan as being projected by Badal and Khalistan protagonist Simranjit Singh Mann. He said not only the Congress leaders, but the leaders of other political parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party also attended the congregation.

Punjab govt extends support to family of armyman killed in avalanche

Badal said all countrymen were with the family of this national hero, who had laid down his life at the altar of his motherland to protect its sovereignty and honour.

The Chief Minister assured the grieved family members that the state government was duty bound to help them in this hour of crisis and every step would be taken to extend a helping hand to the family (File Photo)

dna Research & Archives
Punjab government on Saturday announced financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh for the family of Army Captain Ashwani Kumar who lost his life in an avalanche in Siachen glacier of Ladakh sector on November 13. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced this help when he visited the bereaved family of Capt Ashwani here to condole his death.Mourning the demise of the 26-year-old officer, the Chief Minister said the state government would ever be at family’s beck and call and leave no stone unturned to help them in this hour of grief. He said that the countrymen would ever remain indebted to unparalleled sacrifice made by Capt Ashwani, who attained martyrdom while safeguarding the security and sovereignty of the country. Badal said all countrymen were with the family of this national hero, who had laid down his life at the altar of his motherland to protect its sovereignty and honour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister assured the grieved family members that the state government was duty bound to help them in this hour of crisis and every step would be taken to extend a helping hand to the family. Badal announced a financial help of Rs 10 lakh for the family and gave a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the deceased soldier’s father. He also announced that state government would bear the entire expenditure of study of younger brother of the martyr.The avalanche had struck a patrol party at Siachen glacier in Jammu and Kashmir on November 13. While, 15 soldiers were rescued, Regimental Medical Officer Capt Ashwani could not be saved.Born on August 27, 1989, Captain Ashwani, a bachelor, completed his MBBS from Government Medical College, Patiala, and was commissioned into the Army on January 6, 2015.

Amarinder Singh’s remark an insult to anti-Sikh riot victims: HS Phoolka

On November 19, Phoolka had demanded that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi be stripped of Bharat Ratna award as he had “justified” the killings in the over three-decade old riots. Rejecting the charge, Amarinder had said he did not take his demands seriously.

Image Credit: Facebook

Noted lawyer and crusader for justice to anti-Sikh riots’ victims H S Phoolka ON Saturday said Congress leader Amarinder Singh’s remark against him was an insult to the victims of the 1984 carnage. Phoolka also charged the former Punjab Chief Minister with speaking in favour of anti-Sikh riots accused Jagdish Tytler and Kamal Nath in order to grab the post of Punjab Congress President.”Amarinder has leveled an allegation against me that I have been making false statements pertaining to 1984 riots to grab the headlines in newspapers. By saying so, Amarinder has insulted the victims of anti-Sikh riots,” Phoolka said on Saturday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Before making such allegations, you must have thought about the victims who have been fighting their cases for so long,” said Phoolka, who had resigned from all posts held in Aam Aadmi Party in September but remains a member.On November 19, Phoolka had demanded that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi be stripped of Bharat Ratna award as he had “justified” the killings in the over three-decade old riots. Rejecting the charge, Amarinder had said he did not take his demands seriously. “He (Phoolka) has been raising such things to get in the news for the last 31 years,” Amarinder had said.Phoolka alleged that Amarinder in an interview to a newspaper in May 2010 had said that Jagdish Tytler and Kamal Nath were wrongly implicated in anti-Sikh riot case.”A leader like you, who became Chief Minister, MLA… does not have the time to meet the victims of anti-sikh riots and is giving clean chit to Jagdish Tytler and Kamal Nath (in anti-Sikh riot cases) just to get the post of PPCC Chief,” he said.He also asked Amarinder to prove that a video of Rajiv Gandhi’s speech delivered on November 19, 1984 at Boat Club on Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary was not authentic.In the video grab which was shown to media on Saturday, Gandhi was purportedly seen saying: “when the big tree falls, the earth shakes”, an apparent reference to the anti-Sikh riots. Phoolka, who unsuccessfully contested 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Ludhiana, asked Amarinder to prove that he (Phoolka) had given wrong statements and that Jagdish Tytler was wrongly implicated, within 15 days.”Otherwise, I will intensify my campaign against him,” he said.

Amarinder Singh rejects Sukhbir Badal’s ‘anti-national Congress’ charge

Amarinder claimed Sukhbir is only betraying his frustration and “congenital obsession” of blaming Congress for their own wrongs. ”

Rejecting charges that Congress was supporting radical and anti-national forces, party’s Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh on Saturday claimed that Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal was trying to shift the blame for his own failures on Congress. “We in Congress do not need any lessons on patriotism and nationalism from someone like Sukhbir Badal, whose father and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal still takes pride in having burnt the copies of the Constitution of India during Khalistan movement,” he alleged.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’, the religious congregation of the Sikhs held at Amritsar recently, Amarinder said, the presence of huge number of people there was an expression of “anger” against the Badal government and not to support Khalistan as being projected by Sukhbir Badal and Khalistan protagonist Simranjit Singh Mann together. On Sukhbir’s claims that he had proof as to how anti-national resolutions at the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ were prepared and passed, what was he doing as the Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of the state. “Does his responsibility finish at blaming the Congress,” he asked, adding, he should better own the moral responsibility and resign. Amarinder claimed Sukhbir is only betraying his frustration and “congenital obsession” of blaming Congress for their own wrongs. “It is natural for Sukhbir and his father to feel frustrated that when Rahul Gandhi is hailed and welcomed with open arms across Punjab while going on padyatra, the Badals cannot even dare to venture out lest people thrash them like their ministers,” he alleged in a statement here.The former Punjab Chief Minister said, the Akalis including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Badal were “unnerved” over Congress’ popularity in the state and had now launched a “malicious and slanderous” campaign against the party and its leaders. He claimed that there are reports of Akali leaders, ministers and legislators being thrashed by people out of anger, saying, “their (Badals’) frustration is natural”.Only yesterday, he claimed, minister Sikander Singh Malukha was “slapped” by an elderly angry farmer in his home town. The senior Congress leader pointed out, only a week agoRelated read: Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal accuses ‘anti-national’ Congress of having links with ISISukhbir said that the “ISI was behind all the trouble” in Punjab. “Now all of a sudden he has woken up to revelations that Congress was behind all this,” he said, taunting the deputy chief minister, while making it categorically clear that Congress is a secular and nationalist party which has laid down several sacrifices to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country and will never hesitate in doing it again if the need be. “Despite the fact that both Badal and Mann are trying to project the huge turnout of people at ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ as pro-Khalistan, it was actually an expression of anger and outrage against Badal government and that is the reason Sukhbir is peeved and frustrated the most and is trying to blame the Congress,” he claimed.Referring to presence of Congress leaders at the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’, Amarinder said, it was a religious and not a political or anti-national congregation, as Sukhbir and Simranjit Singh Mann will try to make it out. So there was nothing wrong in anyone attending it as a Sikh, he said, as not only Congress leaders, leaders of other political parties were there as well. Amarinder said, the very fact that Mann was not allowed to speak at the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’, which Sukhbir claims to be an “anti-national show”, makes it clear beyond any doubt as what people wanted there. “Had it really been a pro-Khalistan congregation and not an anti-Badal show, why should a Khalistan proponent like Mann not be allowed to speak there,” he asked.Amarinder said, it was not only the Congress leaders, but the leaders of other political parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party also attended the congregation. The Congress leader alleged, the matter of the fact is that it was during the Badal’s government between 1977 and 1979 “that Punjab was pushed into turmoil and terrorism and now it is again under Badal’s government that Punjab is being threatened by the same forces.” “Even then they used to blame Congress as they are trying to blame it on us again,” he said

India man crashes car into Wagah border

Security is stepped up at India and Pakistan’s Attari-Wagah international border after a man crashes his car into the gates.

Security breach: Man arrested after crashing SUV at Wagah-Attari border gate

Some media reports said that the NRI was apparently “drunk” at the time when he rammed his vehicle into the security barriers.

Wagah border

In a major security breach at the Wagah-Attari border crossing with Pakistan, an NRI crashed his SUV into the security gates at the Attari Joint Check Post (JCP) in the wee hours of on Monday and reached the Zero line at the International Border. The 42-year-old NRI from Canada, who originally hails from Jalandhar and was identified as Surinder Singh Kang, was later arrested by the BSF, Punjab Border Range IG Lok Nath Angra said.Kang smashed his SUV into two gates before being overpowered by BSF personnel, Angra said, adding that “few medicines consumed for mind relaxation were recovered from his possession.” <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF IG Anil Paliwal said that “the person broke into two gates before being arrested and was handed over to Punjab police.” Angra said that a case under attempt to murder, Passport Act and preventing government official from performing his duties had been registered against the person who was driving a grey-coloured Mahindra Scorpio vehicle. “Investigation is under process,” Angra said, adding that it was “pre-mature” to establish that he was a psychiatric patient.A senior BSF official said that the NRI has told investigators that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, but thought obtaining visa and going through other formalities would take time. The Attari-Wagah JCP is about 30 km from the holy city of Amritsar.Giving details, another senior BSF official said that between 3:30 AM to 4 AM, after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple here, the NRI crossed the first gate near the border after which he smashed a Customs barrier whose pillars broke and then proceeded towards the Swarn Jayanti Dwar, and was apprehended before he could further proceed towards the international gate.”He told us that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib, but did not want to wait for the visa and other formalities and adopted the illegal way,” the official said.The vehicle stopped near the Pakistani gate at the border, BSF sources said. Meanwhile, Pakistani Rangers are understood to have written to the BSF authorities seeking an inquiry into the incident. Some media reports said that the NRI was apparently “drunk” at the time when he rammed his vehicle into the security barriers.

NRI crashes SUV at Wagah-Attari Indo-Pak border, arrested

BSF IG Anil Paliwal said that “the person broke into two gates before being arrested and was handed over to Punjab police.”

A senior BSF official said that the NRI has told investigators that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, but thought obtaining visa and going through other formalities would take time.

File Photo
In a major security breach at the Wagah-Attari border crossing with Pakistan, an NRI crashed his SUV into the security gates at the Attari Joint Check Post (JCP) in the wee hours of on Monday and reached the Zero line at the International Border. The 42-year-old NRI from Canada, who originally hails from Jalandhar and was identified as Surinder Singh Kang, was later arrested by the BSF, Punjab Border Range IG Lok Nath Angra said.Kang smashed his SUV into two gates before being overpowered by BSF personnel, Angra said, adding that “few medicines consumed for mind relaxation were recovered from his possession.” <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF IG Anil Paliwal said that “the person broke into two gates before being arrested and was handed over to Punjab police.” Angra said that a case under attempt to murder, Passport Act and preventing government official from performing his duties had been registered against the person who was driving a grey-coloured Mahindra Scorpio vehicle. “Investigation is under process,” Angra said, adding that it was “pre-mature” to establish that he was a psychiatric patient.A senior BSF official said that the NRI has told investigators that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, but thought obtaining visa and going through other formalities would take time. The Attari-Wagah JCP is about 30 km from the holy city of Amritsar.Giving details, another senior BSF official said that between 3:30 AM to 4 AM, after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple here, the NRI crossed the first gate near the border after which he smashed a Customs barrier whose pillars broke and then proceeded towards the Swarn Jayanti Dwar, and was apprehended before he could further proceed towards the international gate.”He told us that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib, but did not want to wait for the visa and other formalities and adopted the illegal way,” the official said.The vehicle stopped near the Pakistani gate at the border, BSF sources said. Meanwhile, Pakistani Rangers are understood to have written to the BSF authorities seeking an inquiry into the incident. Some media reports said that the NRI was apparently “drunk” at the time when he rammed his vehicle into the security barriers.

Over 20,000 sign plea seeking US intervention for release of former Punjab CM’s assassin

Washington: Over 20,000 people have signed an online petition on the White House website seeking help of US President Barack Obama for the release of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassin Jagtar Singh Hawara, who has been elected as head priest of the Akal Takht.

Launched by US-based separatist group “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ), the online petition “urges the President to seek release of Jathedar Hawara from India”.

File photo. Image courtesy: APFile photo. Image courtesy: AP

File photo. Image courtesy: AP

Hawara is undergoing “imprisonment till death” for the assassination in 1995 of Beant Singh, the then Chief Minister of Punjab.

The petition needs at least 100,000 signatures – the minimum threshold to get a response from the White House.

“US administration is obligated to intervene in such matters under International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, we are seeking President Obama’s support to secure Jathedar Hawara’s release who is now supreme religious leader of the Sikh community,” said attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ.

Hawara was chosen on November 10 as the jathedar of the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhism in the Golden Temple complex. He is the third person to be declared jathedar when lodged in jail.

Jasbir Singh Rode was the first priest to be declared Akal Takht jathedar when he was lodged in jail. Bhai Ranjit Singh, who was convicted for assassination of Nikrankari sect chief Gurbachan Singh, was the second to be appointed jathedar by Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhadhak Committee (SGPC) when he was still in jail in the 1990s.

PTI

Akal Takht protests: Radical Sikh agitators raise black flags, swords at Golden Temple

Amritsar: Tension prevailed as black flags were shown and swords were brandished inside the Golden Temple complex on Wednesday by radical Sikh elements who were opposing the Akal Takht jathedar (chief) Gurbachan Singh issuing his Diwali message for the Sikh community.

In a related incident at the same venue, radical Sikh leader Dhian Singh Mand, who was appointed interim jathedar of the Akal Takht by an unofficial ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ (grand assembly of Sikhs) on Tuesday, managed to reach the area in front of the Akal Takht and delivered his address to the Sikh community.

Mand, in his address, called upon the community to socially boycott Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

File photo. Image courtesy: ibnliveFile photo. Image courtesy: ibnlive

File photo. Image courtesy: ibnlive

Scores of policemen in plain clothes remained present inside the shrine complex, which is home to the holiest of Sikh shrines Harmandar Sahib, but were unable to prevent Mand and his hardline supporters from reaching near the Akal Takht.

Hundreds of Sikhs, mostly hardliners, were present near the Akal Takht, located just about 100 feet from the sanctum sanctorum, when the black flags were waived.

However, no clash was reported from inside the complex.

In an late night swoop on Tuesday, Punjab Police arrested radical Sikh leaders from in and around Amritsar to prevent a religious showdown at the Golden Temple complex.

Those arrested included radical leader Mokham Singh, separatist leader and former IPS officer Simranjit Singh Mann and Amrik Singh Ajnala.

While Mokham Singh and Mann were taken to a police station here, Ajnala was put under house arrest.

The arrests came within hours of a ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ congregation at Chaba near Amritsar on Tuesday in which controversial decisions, including the sacking of jathedars (chiefs) of three takhts (temporal seats) of Sikh religion, were taken and convicted Khalistani terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara was named as the Akal Takht chief.

IANS

PM Modi spends Diwali with troops, claims OROP issue ‘resolved’

“The Prime Minister said that the long-pending issue of One-Rank, One Pension has been resolved and it has been granted,” an official release later said.

Narendra Modi

PTI
For the second successive year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday celebrated Diwali with troops and said the long-pending issue of One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) “has been resolved” even as ex-servicemen kept up their protests against the “diluted” scheme.”Today was a very satisfying day. Visited some important places along our western border that saw action in 1965,” Prime Minister Modi said in a series of tweets after concluding his visit, “It was great spending time with our troops & interacting with them. Their courage & patriotism inspires,” he said in another tweet. “My visit to these places comes when we are marking the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war. We salute everyone who fought in that war,” he further tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The places I visited were the places where our troops laid down their lives while defending our Motherland. We are proud of our armed forces,” said another tweet by Modi. Modi visited three military installations associated with the 1965 Indo-Pak war — the Dograi War Memorial in Khasa, Asal Uttar Memorial near Valtoha and Barki War Memorial in Ferozepur district in Punjab, and interacted with the troops. Against the backdrop of the continuing protests by several ex-servicemen against “diluted” OROP, Modi sought to assuage them saying any issue relating to it can be taken up with the judicial committee set up by government to make it “fool-proof.””I would like (to see) that the inputs, if any, are given to the committee,” Modi said.”The Prime Minister said that the long-pending issue of One-Rank, One Pension has been resolved and it has been granted,” an official release later said. Modi said everyone wishes to spend Diwali with his or her family and therefore, just as he had visited Siachen last year, he has chosen to spend Diwali with the officers and jawans of the Armed Forces this year as well, according to the release.”He said that as this year marked the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, he has chosen to visit locations where the brave soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces had shed blood and made the supreme sacrifice during that war,” it said. At the Dograi War Memorial in Khasa in Amritsar, he placed wreath at the venue of one of the toughest battles fought and won by Indian forces on September 22, 1965. He also laid a wreath at the Asal Uttar Memorial near Valtoha on the Amritsar-Khem Karan road in Punjab and at the tomb of Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid, a Param Vir Chakra recipient.

Sikh hardliners taken into custody after appointment of Beant Singh killer as Akal Takht chief priest

Sikh outfits and hardline groups on Tuesday convened what they called ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ in Amritsar and appointed Jagtar Singh Hawara, the convict in Beant Singh assassination case, as Jathedar of Akal Takht

Beant Singh

The leaders of some Sikh outfits and hardline groups were taken into preventive custody early on Wednesday in anticipation of breach of peace after a call that the newly-appointed jathedars would address the community from the Akal Takht.Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann and United Akali Dal leader Bhai Mokham Singh, the key organisers of yesterday’s ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ a grand assembly of Sikhs, were taken into preventive custody by the police. Police said that the security in Amritsar, especially in and around the Golden Temple complex, had been strengthened.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Mann and Bhai Mokham Singh have been taken into preventive custody,” Amritsar Police Commissioner, JS Aulakh said. He said that “the situation in Amritsar was “peaceful and under control.”Related Read: Radical Sikh groups appoint Beant Singh killer Jagtar Singh Hawara as chief priest of Akal TakhtThere were reports that some more Sikh leaders including Amrik Singh Ajnala of Damdami Taksal, who was appointed as Head Priest of Takht Keshgarh Sahib in the over seven-hour long congregation, had been rounded up by the police.Notably, several Sikh outfits and hardline groups on Tuesday convened what they called ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ in Amritsar and appointed Jagtar Singh Hawara, the convict in Beant Singh assassination case, as Jathedar of Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs. Apart from Akal Takht, the congregation also “removed” jathedars of two other Takhts– Takht Kesgarh Sahib and Takht Damdama Sahib.Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, mini-parliament of Sikh religion, appoints all jathedars (Sikh head priests). The hardliners and some other Sikh groups have been alleging that the ruling Badal family of Punjab controls the SGPC.The congregation accused the incumbent Sikh head priests, appointed by SGPC, of not keeping up the dignity and traditions of Sikh institutions. The ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ was organised at Chabba village, about 10 kms from the holy city, to “free” Sikh institutions from political influence.The gathering was organised to discuss the ouster of Akal Takht head Gurbachan Singh and other Sikh priests involved in “pardoning” of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for his alleged blasphemy in 2007, which triggered violence in Punjab and Haryana. However, SGPC and Akal Takht, Sikhism’s highest religious seat, had refused to term it as ‘Sarbat Khalsa’.

Medal Wapsi: Ex-servicemen protesting for OROP to set their medals on fire at Jantar Mantar

Over 2,000 ex-servicemen protesting against the government’s “diluted” one-pension-one rank scheme on Tuesday had returned their medals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

Ex-servicemen protest for OROP implementation at Jantar Mantar in September

PTI
Ex-servicemen agitating for OROP have decided to set their medals on fire at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday in protest over OROP notification issued by the government, reports ANI.Over 2,000 ex-servicemen protesting against the government’s “diluted” one-pension-one rank scheme on Tuesday had returned their medals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, the organisations spearheading the movement claimed on Tuesday as they hit back at Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for his “unlike soldiers behaviour” remark aimed at them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Colonel (retd) Anil Kaul, spokesman of the protesters in Delhi, said 2,000 ex-servicemen’s medals were deposited at the district collector’s office.Related Read: Govt clears OROP scheme implementation for veterans”The veterans had threatened to leave the medals on the road if we didn’t accept it. Hence, we accepted those,” District Collector Sanjay Kumar told reporters.In Chandigarh, Brigadier Kiran Krishan (retd), Convener for North Haryana of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), a constituent of United Front of Ex-Servicemen that had led the nation-wide protest for OROP at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, said that more than 150 war veterans returned over 150 medals which were handed over to the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula. Kaul said ex-servicemen from Ambala, Chandigarh, Moga, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur returned their medals today while those from Mumbai, Pune, Vadodara and Bangalore will follow the suit.”Our people from Mumbai, Pune, Vadodara and Bangalore will return their medals next. By the way, this is just the trailer,” he added.The veterans claimed over 20,000 of them have returned medals since their protest began in 2008 to press for OROP. Kaul reacted sharply to Parrikar’s statement that the war veterans’ protest against OROP notification is “unlike that of a soldier” and said the Parrikar’s behaviour “too doesn’t behove that of a Defence Minister.Dismissing Parrikar’s remarks that the protesters were being “misguided” and that the OROP notification issued on Saturday has been his “achievement”, the agitators shot back at the BJP leader asking him to learn English to know meanings of the two words and asked him not to “lie” to his soldiers seeking their due rights.”He says our behaviour is unlike that of a soldier. But we feel Parrikar’s behaviour is unlike that of a Defence Minister. We have been seeking our due to rights for past 149 days. But government has found no time to listen to us. Hence, we have been impelled to agitate Mr Parrikar. Your notification is not what we have been talking about. Therefore, we are returning medals,” Kaul said.

Tremors of Bihar loss reach UK on eve of PM’s visit

Modi will be also the first Indian prime minister to address the British Parliament. He will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue which was unveiled last year and also visit the Tata-JLR factory, a private entity which provides largest number of jobs in the UK.

The tremors of NDA’s electoral rout in Bihar are being felt as far as the United Kingdom, leaving both the ruling BJP as well as the ministry of external affairs (MEA) worried at the implications on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip — the first one by any Indian PM in nine years. Sources in the BJP said the party which had been making preparations for this visit along with the MEA for over several months – to repeat Modi’s New York’s Madison Square Garden magic — is now deeply concerned at the bad press the NDA has been getting in the UK after the Bihar fiasco. Not only this, many groups are preparing to protest at the Wembley Stadium in London, where Modi is scheduled to address Indian diaspora. The prime minister will be on a bilateral visit to the UK from November 12. From there, Modi will head head to Turkey to attend a two-day G-20 summit begnning November 15.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Briefing the media on PM’s upcoming UK visit, foreign secretary S Jaishankar said Modi will hold talks with his British counterpart David Cameron and have luncheon meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, the first by any PM. The Queen normally invites only kings and presidents to share lunch or dinner with her.Jaishankar said political and security related discussions on global and regional issues are high on the agenda. He said economic and commerce ties are an important aspect of the visit, besides science, technology and education. Modi will be also the first Indian prime minister to address the British Parliament. He will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue which was unveiled last year and also visit the Tata-JLR factory, a private entity which provides largest number of jobs in the UK. The PM will also pay a visit to the house where Dr B R Ambedakar lived during his stay in London. The house was recently acquired by the government of Maharashtra to be converted into a museum. British PM David Cameron is leaving no stone unturned to give a red-carpet welcome to Modi. Cameron and his wife Samantha will accompany Modi to Wembley stadium. The organisers are expecting a gathering of 60,000 inside the stadium to hear Modi. London city authorities have earmarked a place outside for the protesters too. But the rout in Patna has energised Modi’s detractors who are planning protests on the eve of his visit. Further, sources both in the party and the government say that some people are trying to create an impression that Modi has lost political ground at home. This, coupled with the emerging religious tensions and debate on intolerance, risks affecting the important constituency — the Indian diaspora. More worrisome is that several world capitals have also started making fresh calculations about Modi’s political vulnerabilities, credibility and his ability to deliver, sources say. A party source said they were in touch with a group of Sikh protesters to address their grievances. Most of them, who in the past were sympathisers of Punjab separatism, are keen to forget the past and want the Indian government to remove them from exit control list, that bars them from visiting India. “We too want, they should be treated as normal Indian citizens. But their grouses are more against the government of Punjab than against the Centre,” he said.

Time is ripe for Rahul to take over as Congress president: Pratap Singh Bajwa

Bajwa said the phenomenal performance of the Congress in terms of the relative increase in seat tally from the previous Bihar assembly elections is indicative of the growing popularity of Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi

Raising the pitch for Rahul Gandhi’s elevation in the party, Punjab Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa on Monday said the opportune time has arrived for him to take over as Congress President under the over-all guidance of Sonia Gandhi.”This is the right time for Rahul Gandhi to assume the mantle and lead the Congress from the forefront. Rahul Gandhi has shown excellent political acumen and foresight in stitching an alliance of like-minded and secular parties in Bihar and further brought Nitish Ji, Lalu Ji and Congress on one common platform which trumped the NDA led by Narendra Modi,” he said. Bajwa said the phenomenal performance of the Congress in terms of the relative increase in seat tally from the previous Bihar assembly elections is indicative of the growing popularity of Rahul Gandhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The decimation of the BJP in Bihar is a bellwether that the youth in the country are looking towards a progressive, sincere, young and dynamic leader who can take the nation forward and can deliver on the aspirations of crores of Indians,” he said. The PPCC chief also said the present dispensation instead of performing is turning the clock back and has created an atmosphere of fear and hatred in society.He said the public has seen through BJP’s propaganda and a strong sense of disillusionment has set in and the Bihar result is “symptomatic” of this trend. Many Congress leaders have in the past raised the demand for Rahul taking over the overall control of the party and lead it in future.

Indian army: Check www.joinindianarmy.nic.in for online registration

Spokesperson of Defence Service Welfare Punjab on Monday said online registration process on www.joinindianarmy.nic.in is mandatory for all candidates

Making online registration mandatory, Army has asked aspiring candidates to apply online at least 60 days before the commencement of the recruitment rally.Spokesperson of Defence Service Welfare Punjab on Monday said online registration process on www.joinindianarmy.nic.in is mandatory for all candidates. The registration process will start 60 days prior to commencement of recruitment rally.It can be filled until 15 days before the commencement day of the rally, the spokesperson said. Rally schedule will be notified on the website, he added.

Pakistan ISI to carry out vandalism at religious places in India during Diwali

According to advisory sent to the director generals of police of all states, instead of carrying out terror strikes the ISI this time plans to carry out vandalism at religious places to stoke communal passion and divide the society.

dna Research & Archives
Pakistan’s Inter-State Intelligence (ISI) is again trying to foment trouble in India during the festive season.According to advisory sent to the director generals of police of all states, instead of carrying out terror strikes the ISI this time plans to carry out vandalism at religious places to stoke communal passion and divide the society.The states have been advised to be particularly more vigilant for sensitive religious places in old heritage cities and make extra deployment of police personnel in plain clothes near such spots to stop any trouble before it starts and becomes communal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sources in the intelligence agencies said they have got intercepts and human intelligence regarding the plans of the ISI for which it wants to use sleeper cells of various outfits including Indian Mujahideen and Khalistani outfits.”Perhaps the ISI is of the view that in the given situation the time is ripe to foment trouble by doing the acts of vandalism like desecration and sacrilege at religious places. It has done so with some success in Punjab by desecrating the holy book of the Sikhs,” said sources.The ISI, sources said, has chosen this novel way as acts of vandalism does not require money and can be done in a discreet manner without arousing the suspicion of security agencies.

Rahul Gandhi ‘unites’ Punjab Congress with Bajwa, Amarinder on his side

Rahul said he had come to assess the situation in the state and arrived at the conclusion that the Congress was in a position to replace the Akali Dal BJP combine for which united and concerted efforts would have to be made.

Rahul Gandhi

Flanked by Partap Singh Bajwa and Amarinder Singh, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday painted a “united” picture of the state’s party unit with the focus now falling on the High Command’s decision on the contentious issue of next PPCC chief.”I came here to look into your problems, to learn about the Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege cases, to meet the people who were shot at, to unite the Congress party together (in reference to rivalry between PPCC chief Bajwa and former Chief Minister Amarinder),” Rahul said at a gathering in Bathinda. Rahul said he had come to assess the situation in the state and arrived at the conclusion that the Congress was in a position to replace the Akali Dal BJP combine for which united and concerted efforts would have to be made.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Notably, ever since the start of the Congress vice president’s visit here, the only complaint that he heard from the people was the factionalism in the state unit. Rahul made it clear that he was in Punjab to gear up and unite the party so that it was in a position to make effective intervention in the state’s political discourse. “Immediate steps would be taken to remove all irritants in the path of party unity,” he said.Meanwhile, every state leader went out of his way to assure Rahul that all was well with Bajwa saying that he was prepared to make every sacrifice towards that end. Bajwa, however, added that the priority should be to unite the workers, strengthen and mobilise people and then take up the leadership issue. Amarinder, on his part, said Rahul had come to throw out the Badals out of Punjab.The Congress vice president exuded confidence that the party will form the next government in Punjab after the assembly polls which are due in early 2017. Hitting out at Badals, Rahul said, “Everything is controlled by a family in the Shiromani Akali Dal-ruled state. Whether it is education, electricity, water, or seeds, everything is controlled by a family. And these days, the family members are not coming to meet you.”

Justice quest for ‘murdered’ hotelier

The family of a wealthy hotelier believed to have been murdered in India say they are still hopeful his killers will be brought to justice.

Nitish Kumar hits back at Pakistan jibe, says firecrackers will be burst in Amritsar, Mumbai if BJP loses Bihar Elections

Nitish Kumar

After BJP chief Amit Shah’s ‘firecracker in Pakistan’ comment, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday returned the fire, saying Mumbai and Amritsar will witness “maximum fireworks” if BJP loses Bihar Assembly polls, alluding to its strains with allies in Maharashtra and Punjab.”On victory of grand secular alliance crackers will not be burst not in Pakistan, but in India and maximum of it in Amritsar and Mumbai,” Kumar said addressing an election rally at Bahera in Darbhanga district. BJP’s relations with NDA partners Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra have been dogged by differences from time to time. Kumar’s rejoinder followed BJP President Amit Shah’s assertion last week that if BJP loses by any chance in Bihar firecrackers would be burst in Pakistan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He alleged that Shah’s assertion was aimed at “polarisation of votes on religious grounds”. “The sinister plan (to polarise voters on religious line) will not succeed).” Kumar, who is the chief ministerial candidate of the grand alliance, also hit back at his bete noire Prime Minister Narendra Modi for scoffing at his meeting a ‘tantrik’ and referred to the prime minister’s allegedly meeting an astrologer Bejan Daruwala.”I met an aughad (occultist) without hiding from anybody in daylight … But news reports showed Narendra Modi allegedly meeting astrologer Bejan Daruwala. “You are talking a lot about jantar-mantar against me but what about meeting astrologer Bejan Daruwala … Isn’t it an example of double standards?” Kumar, who is the star campaigner for the grand alliance, said.He also tore into the prime minister’s jibe at him over one of his ministers being caught on camera accepting money. Apparently referring to Union minister of state Giriraj Singh, Kumar asked, “Why was a person from whose home Rs two crore unaccounted money was found rewarded and made a minister?”

Desecration of holy book: Two ‘accused’ brothers released

Earlier, the brothers alongwith their family members and activists of Sikh organisations, including hardliners had claimed that the two were falsely implicated by police in the sacrilege case.

Hardliners had claimed that the two were falsely implicated by police in the sacrilege case (File Photo of Punjab protest)

PTI
Two brothers arrested in connection with a recent incident of sacrilege here were released on Monday, with police now saying there was not enough evidence against them, a day after the case was handed over to CBI by the Punjab government. Their release came after Punjab police moved an application under Section 169 of CrPC (deficient evidence) in the court of Judicial Magistrate Satish Kumar here. “We don’t require their judicial custody, but they will remain part of the probe,” ADGP IPS Sahota said.Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh, brothers of Panjgrain Khurd village, were arrested by police in connection with the first incident of sacrilege of holy book at Bargari village in Faridkot that had triggered protests by Sikhs and hardliners across Punjab. Shivkartar Singh, advocate of both the brothers, said police had moved an application before the court here stating that they don’t have sufficient evidence against the duo. “Both the brothers have been released from the Fardikot jail this evening,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the brothers alongwith their family members and activists of Sikh organisations, including hardliners had claimed that the two were falsely implicated by police in the sacrilege case. After their arrest, police had claimed foreign hand behind the incident of sacrilege with connections linked to Australia and Dubai.Meanwhile, Sahota said “the investigation was under process.”

PM Modi, teammates, Bollywood stars attend Harbhajan’s reception

Also present at the reception were Indian cricketers Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and his wife, Ravichandran Ashwin and his father, Team India director Ravi Shastri, Indian Premier League commissioner and Congress MP Rajeev Shukla and his wife, pacer Munaf Patel and former India captain Kapil Dev among others.

Image credit: Facebook

Prime minister Narendra Modi and a host of dignitaries from Bollywood, cricket fraternity and politics on Sunday graced the high-profile wedding reception of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh at a posh city hotel in Delhi.Among the firsts to arrive at the venue were former India captain and Harbhajan’s one-time teammate Anil Kumble and his wife, and former Punjab Director General of Police KPS Gill, who also served as president of the banned Indian Hockey Federation.Also present at the reception were Indian cricketers Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and his wife, Ravichandran Ashwin and his father, Team India director Ravi Shastri, Indian Premier League commissioner and Congress MP Rajeev Shukla and his wife, pacer Munaf Patel and former India captain Kapil Dev among others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides out-of-favour Yuvraj Singh and India Test captain Virat Kohli, Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra are on the guest list.In fact, Yuvraj has taken a break from his Ranji Trophy duties with his state side, Punjab to attend Harbhajan’s reception at the capital.Just-retired Virender Sehwag was also expected to grace the occasion.According to sources, it was a star-studded ceremony in the national capital which was attended by more than 1,000 guests.Harbhajan tied the nuptial knot with long-time girlfriend Geeta Basra in a gurudwara in Jalandhar on last Thursday.The wedding was attended by some close relatives and friends, including cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and wife Anjali. –PTI

Worry about female foeticide, not population ‘imbalance’: Muslim cleric on RSS resolution

The RSS passed a resolution on this contentious issue at its three-day national executive in Ranchi.

Muslim cleric Imam Umer Iliyasi on Sunday drew attention towards the rising cases of female foeticide and downplayed the RSS resolution

File Photo
Muslim cleric Imam Umer Iliyasi on Sunday drew attention towards the rising cases of female foeticide and downplayed the RSS resolution asking the government to reformulate the population policy to check demographic imbalance. “Instead of worrying about the increase or decrease of population of the country, we must worry about female foeticide. The balance of the country’s population is being disturbed because of this. If you look at Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, you will notice that our balance has been disturbed in a way that the women population has gone down and male population has increased,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As far as the demographic balance is concerned, it is the work of God to maintain the balance. It cannot be handled by man. An example of the interference by man in maintaining balance can be seen in China where they started a 100 years policy and now the result is in front of all. They are now requesting people to give birth to more and more number of children,” he added. The RSS on Saturday sought a review of the population policy to counter ‘severe demographic changes’ in India, flagging what it considers a high rate of growth among Muslims in the country.The RSS passed a resolution on this contentious issue at its three-day national executive in Ranchi. The RSS and its affiliated organisations have been citing the last census figures to claim that Hindus are facing the threat of being swamped by Muslims, though the minority community accounts for only 14.2% of the country’s population while their population is growing at a slower rate.

Why is Punjab in turmoil?

A faltering government, declining economy and controversial religious institutions are at the heart of the conflict in India’s Punjab state, reports BBC Hindi’s Zubair Ahmed.

Harbhajan Singh, Geeta Basra to get hitched: Celebrities attend sangeet ceremony

See original article here:  Harbhajan Singh, Geeta Basra to get hitched: Celebrities attend sangeet ceremony

Geeta: Indian village awaits return of ‘mystery girl’

As an Indian woman, stranded in Pakistan for more than a decade, heads home, BBC Hindi visits a village in Bihar to meet the family she recently identified in photos.

Desecration of holy book: Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini shunted out by Badal government

Punjab government on Sunday shunted out its police chief Sumedh Singh Saini, replacing him with Suresh Arora, who had played a key role in fighting terrorism in the state in late 80s.

Saini was believed to be close to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Facing flak over law and order situation in the wake of protests over sacrilege incidents, Punjab government on Sunday shunted out its police chief Sumedh Singh Saini, replacing him with Suresh Arora, who had played a key role in fighting terrorism in the state in late 80s. “Saini has been transferred,” Punjab home secretary Jagpal Sandhu said, adding that he was given the new charge as Chairman of Police Housing Corporation. Arora, a 1982-batch IPS officer, was serving as the Director General of Police-cum-Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau. He had played a crucial role in fighting terrorism and was posted as the SP (Headquarters), Amritsar, during Operation Black Thunder I, and as SSP Amritsar at the time of Operation Black Thunder II.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He has served as the SSP in almost all districts, besides serving as the DIG, CM Security, after the assassination of then CM Beant Singh. A postgraduate in law from the University of London, Arora has won various gallantry medals and awards, including the President’s Meritorious Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Prakram Medal. The Election Commission of India had appointed Suresh Arora as the Director General of Police of Punjab ahead of last Lok Sabha polls. He was selected from among three officers, whose names were forwarded to the ECI by the state government for the post, after DGP Saini had proceeded on a long leave ahead of polls, following which Congress sought his removal from the post.Saini was believed to be close to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Congress and most of the Sikh organisations were against Saini for holding the post of the DGP. Punjab was rocked by protests over alleged desecration of holy book. The state police had come under attack after two persons were killed in firing at Behbal Kalan village in Faridkot while they were protesting.The Congress and AAP had demanded imposition of President’s rule in Punjab contending that the state government had failed to tackle the law and order situation, which was deteriorating fast and spiralling out of control, in the wake of recent incident of desecration of the holy book of the Sikhs.

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