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Only unaccounted mufflers will be found if CBI raids my house: Delhi CM Kejriwal

Kejriwal had launched a scathing attack after the CBI raided the Delhi Secretariat and accused the Centre of orchestrating it. While Kejriwal alleged that his office was raided under the pretext of raiding his Principal Secretary’s office, the investigating agency refuted the charges.

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AAP v/s Jaitley: Arvind Kejriwal demands PM Modi’s resignation for ‘fraudulent raid’

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Delhi CM Kejriwal said: “I demand PM Modi’s resignation for the fraudulent raid that he got carried out just to save Arun Jaitley.

File Photo

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded PM Narendra Modi’s resignation for the ‘fraudulent raid’ he carried out to save Jaitley. He said: “When I meet PM, I only tell him one thing-that we dont need money or land, just stop hampering our work. I’ll take PM’s projects like Swacch Bharat forward in Delhi, will give PM all the credit. But they should just stop troubling us. If the raid happened on my Principal Secretary, what was the need to come to my office? Today is the 8th day, for 6 days Rajendra Kumar was interrogated for hours. I want to ask PM, what did he discover? Nothing. If my job is to punish corrupt officers, then my job is also to protect honest officers.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers staged a protest outside the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday just before the House met for a special session. The party accused the AAP government of trying to rake up the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) issue to suppress the charges faced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary. The Delhi Government had called the special session of assembly to discuss alleged irregularities in DDCA and the last week’s CBI raid at the Delhi Secretariat. Raising slogans against the AAP Government and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BJP workers marched to the entrance of the Assembly where they were stopped by security personnel. Later they were detained by the police and taken to the office of the Operation Cell of Delhi Police. With inputs from agencies

Delhi cabinet calls special assembly session to discuss DDCA; opposition cries political gimmick

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Delhi cabinet resolves to set up Commission of Enquiry on DDCA scam. Special session of assembly tomorrow to discuss DDCA scam and CBI raids on Delhi Secretariat, Kejriwal tweeted.

Taking ahead its fight against finance minister Arun Jaitley, the Delhi cabinet headed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday decided to call a special session of Delhi Assembly on Tuesday to discuss alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and the CBI raid at the Delhi secretariat last week.The cabinet also approved setting up of a one member commission of inquiry under former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to probe alleged irregularities in the DDCA during Jaitley’s 13-year tenure as its head. Jaitley has strongly rubbished the allegations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Delhi cabinet resolves to set up Commission of Enquiry on DDCA scam. Special session of assembly tomorrow to discuss DDCA scam and CBI raids on Delhi Secretariat,” Kejriwal tweeted.Meanwhile, the leader of opposition at the Delhi assembly alleged that the special session has been called by the government to malign the central government and Jaitley and has been ignoring other problems of Delhi.”We will present a resolution in the House to approve setting up of the Commission of Inquiry,” said deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.Following a CBI raid in Delhi secretariat, AAP has alleged that the CBI carried out the searches to target the AAP chief and was looking for DDCA’s file. The party has also demanded resignation of Jaitley from the Union cabinet.A month ago, an AAP government-appointed probe committee recommended immediate suspension of DDCA by the BCCI for alleged financial irregularities.The Delhi government panel had suggested that an interim committee of professional cricketers should manage affairs of the game in the capital.The committee had also recommended to the government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry under the Commission of Enquiries Act.BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been campaigning against alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body on Monday demanded an ED and DRI probe into the affairs of DDCA.

Won’t tolerate attempts to suppress inquiry against DDCA: Manish Sisodia

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Saying that AAP government did not object to questioning of Rajendra, he warned that the government will not tolerate any attempt to “suppress” the DDCA enquiry

Manish Sisodia

The AAP government on Sunday said attempts to “suppress” the inquiry into the affairs of the Delhi Cricket body will not be tolerated and said the Centre should not cause any impediments in the probe.Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters that Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has been “threatened” and “pressurised mentally” by the CBI that his career and life will be harmed if he did not disclose the name of DDCA official who handed over certain files to AAP government. He claimed one of the files contained a note in which a Union Minister had purportedly told DDCA official that he would get compounded the SFIO crimes against them and stall a probe against them through Lt Governor’s office.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The questioning so far has shows that Rajendra was merely an “excuse” behind the CBI raid at Secretariat while the “real target” was Kejriwal, Sisodia claimed. Saying that AAP government did not object to questioning of Rajendra, he warned that the government will not tolerate any attempt to “suppress” the DDCA enquiry. “We don’t object to questioning and it should go on and action may be taken if there is any scam. Delhi government will also take action,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.

AAPv/s Jaitley: CBI replies to Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations

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The Delhi CM had alleged that the CBI has been asked to target all Opposition parties.
File Photo
PTI
After Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that ‘CBI has been asked to target all opposition parties and finish those who don’t fall in line’, CBI has responded that it strongly denies the allegations.In a statement, CBI has said that, “CBI strongly denies a statement appearing in certain sections of the media attributed to CM Delhi that ‘A CBI officer told me yesterday that CBI has been asked to target all opposition parties and finish those who do not fall in line’. This is a completely false, baseless and mischievous statement and emphatically denied.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The AAP chief once again chose the social media route to level the charges. He had virtually live-tweeted the CBI raid at his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar’s office in the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday.Kejriwal had said Jaitley’s assertion that AAP’s allegations against him are “unsubstantiated and non-specific” could not be treated as “gospel truth” as the charges against him were “very, very serious”.

DDCA row: AAP poses five questions to Arun Jaitley, calls him ‘master of half truth and beautiful lies’

Addressing a press conferencehere, Ashutosh accused DDCA of allowing private firm 21st Century to sub-lease 10 corporate boxes at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium and claimed the firm owned by a friend of Jaitley was extended financial benefit to the tune of over Rs 5 crore for the deal.

The AAP on Friday put ‘five specific’ questions to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley relating to its allegations of corruption in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA under his watch and accused him of giving “vague” response to the charges.Calling Jaitley a “master of half truth and beautiful lies”, AAP leader Ashutosh made certain fresh allegations against the Finance Minister and said his comments that there was no specific charges against him was “misleading”.Jaitley has strongly rejected the allegations calling them a propaganda technique of Kejriwal to deflect attention when he himself was in the “dock” following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a press conferencehere, Ashutosh accused DDCA of allowing private firm 21st Century to sub-lease 10 corporate boxes at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium and claimed the firm owned by a friend of Jaitley was extended financial benefit to the tune of over Rs 5 crore for the deal.The AAP leader asked Jaitley to clarify who were members of the 21st Century and whether it had any of his kin.The AAP leader also accused Jaitley of putting pressure on ONGC to give an amount of Rs 5 crore to Hockey India and sought to know what was the reason behind it.Alleging huge financial bungling in reconstruction of the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, the AAP leader said although public sector entity EPIL was paid Rs 57 crore for the project the remaining Rs 57 crore out of the total expenditure of Rs 114 crore was distributed among nine companies.”The registered address, e-mail and directors of these companies were same. Did Jaitley know about these companies and is it not corruption,” asked the AAP leader.On Jaitley’s comments that the SFIO report had absolved him, Ashutosh said the Finance Minister hid the fact that punishment for offences mentioned by the central agency included imprisonment.”We had raised specific questions and Jaitley gave vague answers. That is why we are coming out with five specific questions for him,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.The AAP leaders also asked Jaitley to tell about his relationship with Hockey India chief Narendra Batra.They said Delhi Government last month had set up committee to probe irregularities in DDCA after getting a communication in this regard from Union Sports Ministry. They said Home Ministry had communicated to Sports Ministry about irregularities in DDCA following which it wrote to Delhi Government.Following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat in connection with charges against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, AAP has been claiming that the Central agency carried out the searches to target the AAP chief and was looking for a file relating to graft in DDCA.Since then, the party has been demanding resignation of Jaitley from the Union Cabinet.

Rajendra Kumar at CBI headquarters for questioning

Facing ire of the Delhi Government for the raid conducted on the Delhi Secretariat, the CBI has said that it would be producing search cum seizure memo containing details of all seized items from Rajendra Kumar before the competent court.

Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister, Rajendra Kumar who has been accused for criminal conspiracy and has a case registered against him by the CBI reached the investigating agency’s headquarters here today morning for questioning.He has been accused of setting up various companies to give work contracts without tenders which has been a huge loss to the Delhi government.Facing ire of the Delhi Government for the raid conducted on the Delhi Secretariat, the CBI has said that it would be producing search cum seizure memo containing details of all seized items from Rajendra Kumar before the competent court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has said that seizures during the searches at all 14 places were in the presence of independent witnesses as per procedure laid down by the law.Kumar was questioned by the CBI for about seven hours late last night after the probe agency sleuths raided his Delhi Secretariat office.Kumar has been booked under Sections of IPC on charges of criminal conspiracy and under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly favouring a private company in five contracts worth 9.5 crore rupees during 2007 to 2014.The CBI carried out searches at 14 places connected with Kumar in the national capital, including his residence, and various locations in Uttar Pradesh.

CBI raids: AAP workers protest in Mumbai against ‘blatant misuse of CBI’

The raid by CBI on the office of Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar in connection with a corruption case had set off a bitter war of words between Kejriwal and the BJP.

Dismissing Arun Jaitley’s claim, Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday uploaded image of a document listing the files allegedly taken away by CBI from Delhi Secretariat.
File Photo
PTI
Aam Aadmi Party workers from Mumbai and neighbouring Thane district on Wednesday protested against the CBI raid at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office building in Delhi, calling it a “blatant misuse” of the agency by Centre. AAP workers gathered at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai and held a demonstration denouncing Tuesday’s raid, saying the action is akin to “unannounced emergency”.”It is clear now that (Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley misled Parliament saying that the CM’s (Kejriwal’s) office was not raided. However, it is seen today that the CM’s office was indeed raided, all files examined and many files taken away by CBI,” AAP national spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dismissing Jaitley’s claim, Kejriwal on Wednesday uploaded image of a document listing the files allegedly taken away by CBI from Delhi Secretariat. Menon said similar demonstrations were organised at various places in the city “to raise awareness on the conduct of the Central government”.The raid by CBI on the office of Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar in connection with a corruption case had set off a bitter war of words between Kejriwal and the BJP. The CBI has denied that Kejriwal’s office, located in secretariat, was searched.”This is a complete murder of democracy and the Aam Aadmi Party feels it is imperative for all persons who value their freedom to protest against this unannounced emergency,” Menon said. The protest was jointly led by Menon and Ashutosh Sengar, joint in-charge of the party’s Maharashtra unit.

Delhi CMO raid: Incorrect information being spread to discredit us, claims CBI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar was on Wednesday again questioned by the CBI in connection with a corruption case.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
File Photo
PTI
Rejecting the allegations made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi Government; the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday said that they did not conduct the raid at the Chief Minister’s Office, adding that efforts were being made to discredit the investigation agency.”Blatant incorrect information is being spread by certain quarters since yesterday to discredit agency with intent to obstruct investigation. CBI categorically denies having seized any material during searches which are not relevant to investigation. Seizures during searches at all places were in presence of independent witnesses, as per procedure,” CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh told media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The search cum seizure memo containing details of all seized items will be produced before the competent Court. The CBI has already clarified that office of Chief Minister was neither searched nor sealed. The CBI neither prevented nor disallowed any person in their movement to various offices in Delhi Secretariat including CM Office, except the office chamber of his Secretary, Rajinder Kumar and that of his Personal Assistant,” she added. “It is relevant in this context that earlier in case of Sanjay Pratap Singh, Principal Secretary, Government of NCT, and no functionary of Delhi Government ever contacted or was ever in touch with CBI. Entire operation of laying trap and arrest of SP Singh was conducted by CBI on its own after receipt of complaint followed by independent verification,” Singh said.Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar was on Wednesday again questioned by the CBI in connection with a corruption case. Earlier, he was questioned by the CBI for about seven hours late on Tuesday night after the probe agency sleuths raided his office at the Delhi Secretariat.Kumar has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on charges of criminal conspiracy, and also under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly favouring a private company in five contracts worth Rs. 9.5 crores during 2007-14.

Delhi CM’s office was neither searched, nor sealed: CBI

Rajender Kumar was on Wednesday again questioned by the CBI in connection with a corruption case.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

dna Research & Archives
The CBI on Wednesday spoke to the media to address all the allegations made by AAP on Tuesday after the agency raided the CM’s Office in corruption case. CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said that the raids were conducted as per procedure and that the office of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was neither searched nor sealed. “Blatant incorrect information is being spread by certain quarters since yesterday to discredit agency with intent to obstruct investigation. CBI categorically denies having seized any material during searches which are not relevant to investigation. Seizures during searches at all places were in presence of independent witnesses,as per procedure.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh further added, “The search cum seizure memo containing details of all seized items will be produced before the competent Court. CBI has already clarified that Office of Chief Minister of Delhi was neither searched nor sealed. CBI neither prevented nor disallowed any person in their movement to various offices in Delhi Secretariat including CM Office, except the office chamber of his Secretary, Rajinder Kumar and that of his Personal Assistant.”It is relevant in this context that earlier in case of Sanjay Pratap Singh, Principal Secy, Govt of NCT, no functionary of Delhi Govt ever contacted or was ever in touch with CBI. Entire operation of laying trap and arrest of SP Singh was conducted by CBI on its own after receipt of complaint followed by independent verification,” Singh said. Meanwhile, Rajender Kumar was on Wednesday again questioned by the CBI in connection with a corruption case. Earlier, he was questioned by the CBI for about seven hours late on Tuesday night after the probe agency sleuths raided his office at the Delhi Secretariat. Kumar has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on charges of criminal conspiracy, and also under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly favouring a private company in five contracts worth Rs. 9.5 crores during 2007-14.Kejriwal had tweeted on Tuesday, “When Modi cudn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice. Modi is a coward and psychopath,” sparking angry condemnation from BJP which demanded an apology from the chief minister for his “disgraceful” remarks.The chief minister has claimed he was in fact the target and that Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar was just an excuse. A battery of BJP leaders and ministers have also condemned Kejriwal for his choice of words against the Prime Minister calling it condemnable and unwarranted and demanded apology.

Arvind Kejriwal claims CBI read DDCA files in CM’s office, seized files unrelated to Rajender Kumar

Taking to micro-blogging site, Kejriwal tweeted, “CBI kept reading DDCA file in my office. They would have seized it. But after my media briefing, they left it. Not clear if they took a copy.”

PTI
A day after the office of Delhi Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary was raided by the CBI in a corruption case, Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that the CBI kept reading the DDCA files at his office, and that they were not related to the allegations being probed.”Triggering a political storm, Kejriwal on Tuesday spewed venom on Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him a “psychopath” and “coward”. He also questioned if the CBI had actually come looking for the DDCA files in which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is in the dock, and that the raid had nothing to do with Rajendra Kumar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Wednesday morning, taking to micro-blogging site, Kejriwal tweeted, “CBI kept reading DDCA file in my office. They would have seized it. But after my media briefing, they left it. Not clear if they took a copy.”Reiterating that the finance minister lied in the Parliament, he questioned, “Why is Jaitley ji so scared of DDCA probe? What is his role in DDCA scam?”The Delhi chief minister also posted images of the documents seized from his office and said, “No relation to allegations being probed. Item 7 – file movement register of last one month.” The CBI raids at the office of Rajendra Kumar at the Secretariat was based on a complaint filed by a former member secretary of Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) Ashish Joshi.Joshi had in July registered complaints with CBI and Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Government, accusing Kumar of indulging in corruption.Joshi had been at loggerheads with the AAP dispensation after he was sent back to the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, his parent cadre, in May.On Tuesday, Kejriwal also dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he is not scared of the raid conducted and will continue to fight for the country till his last breath.”I want to tell Modi ji, you scared other people through CBI, but you have no idea what Kejriwal is made up of. I will keep fighting till my last breath for the country,” Kejriwal said.

CBI raids were based on former DDC official Ashish Joshi’s complaint

Ashish Joshi had in July registered complaints with CBI and Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Government, accusing Kumar of indulging in corruption.

Delhi Secretariat building

Reuters
The CBI raids at the office of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal Secretary Rajender Kumar at the Secretariat in New Delhi was based on a complaint filed by a former member secretary of Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) Ashish Joshi.Joshi had in July registered complaints with CBI and Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Government, accusing Kumar of indulging in corruption. Joshi had been at loggerheads with the AAP dispensation after he was sent back to the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, his parent cadre, in May.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his July 13 complaint to CBI, Joshi alleged that Kumar along with his friends had formed a company which he later had got empanelled with a public sector unit for doing work for departments without tenders.Meanwhile, DDC vice-chairman Ashish Khetan, and DDC chairman and Chief Minister Kejriwal sent a communication to the Communications and Information Technology Ministry stating that “on several occasions, he (Joshi) has been found smoking cigars and chewing tobacco within office premises”.

CBI raids: Modi’s use of CBI won’t scare me, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

The CBI had earlier clarified it carried out searches at the office of Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar’s office at the Delhi Secretariat and not that of the Chief Minister.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

PTI
A combative Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, furious over the CBI raid at the Delhi Secretariat, on Tuesday alleged that the day-long action by the probe agency was to look for an inquiry committee file relating to Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) that “traps” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.”It has become necessary to reveal that why did the CBI come to my office today and which was the file they were looking for. This is the DDCA file under which Arun Jaitley is getting trapped. (Ye file hai DDCA ka file jiske andar Arun Jaitley phas rahe hain),” the Delhi Chief Minister claimed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kejriwal said his government had set up an inquiry committee to probe alleged irregularities in DDCA which had submitted its report.”Jaitley was the DDCA President for many years and I had set up a committee to probe all the corruption that has taken place during his tenure. The committee has submitted its report and a commission of inquiry was to be set up over it, and a file pertaining to it was in my office,” alleged Kejriwal.The CBI had earlier clarified it carried out searches at the office of Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar’s office at the Delhi Secretariat and not that of the Chief Minister. The action was in connection with allegations against Kumar of favouring private companies in awarding government contracts from 2007-2014.The Chief Minister said the sole motive of the raid was to “target me” and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apologise to the nation for his “misdeeds”, saying only then he will tender apololgy for calling him “coward and a psychopath”.After a meeting with his Cabinet colleagues and senior AAP leaders that lasted around two hours, Kejriwal said the Centre will not be able to scare him and that he will continue to fight till his last breath.”They have no interest in the contracts awarded by Rajender. If he had awarded contracts in 2007, what were you doing till 2015 Modiji? It’s been long that your government has come. I want to tell you Modiji, you have scared others through the CBI but Kejriwal won’t get scared. You know what am I made of. I will fight for the country till my last breath but will never get intimidated. Modiji’s use of the CBI and other means won’t scare me, I want to tell him clearly. They say that my choice of words were incorrect, but your actions are bad. My words may be bad, I was born in Siwan village of Haryana. Maybe my words were bad. But your actions are bad. You apologise to the nation for your misdeeds and I will apologise for my words,” he said.The CBI today conducted searches on the third floor of Delhi Secretariat, housing the offices of both Kejriwal and Kumar, in connection with a case which was forwarded to it by Anti-Corruption Branch headed by senior Delhi Police Joint Commissioner M K Meena.Senior official Asish Joshi had filed a complaint to ACB in July that Kumar was favouring a particular company in procurement of IT equipment. Joshi had filed the complaint after he was sacked by the government as member-secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission.”What interest did the CBI have in the Chief Minister’s files? Files signed by him as recently as yesterday and important affidavits? Why did the CBI raid that room? Their intention was to find out things against Kejriwal. Want to categorically say that Kumar is just an excuse,” said Sisodia.The Deputy Chief Minister said the CBI sleuths did not even let CM’s media advisor to enter Delhi seccretariat.”The government must clarify whether they have imposed an undeclared emergency,” a visibly agitated Sisodia said.Sisodia claimed the purpose of the raid was also to send a message to officials that “if they worked with Kejriwal honestly, they will be troubled”. A CBI spokesperson said reports from certain quarters regarding searches at the office of Delhi Chief Minister “are baseless”.

Chennai floods: Relief materials allegedly being allowed only after carrying Jayalalithaa stickers

Several people have taken to Twitter and have alleged that relief materials are being allowed only when they carry a mandatory sticker of Jayalalithaa.

Relief packages carrying stickers with J. Jayalalaithaa’s picture on it

Image Credit: Twitter (Anitha Sridhar)
Even as Chennai battles historic floods, power cuts and shortage of essential commodities, relief materials are being allowed into certain parts of the city only if they carry a sticker of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, according to a report in an English daily. Several people have taken to Twitter and have alleged that relief materials are being allowed only when they carry a mandatory sticker of the CM.The images shared also allegedly show AIADMK volunteers sticking posters and fliers on relief packets. These incidents were reported mostly in Chennai and Cuddalore. What went viral was Jayalalithaa’s poster depicting her as Baahubali, apparently implying that she was the one suffering during the floods in Tamil Nadu.One user lamented the alleged behaviour of AIADMK workers in the time of crisis.An angry mob spilled on to the streets when senior ministers Natham Viswanathan, Sellur Raju and Gokul Indira visited RK Nagar, Jayalalithaa’s constituency, and gheraoed and heckled them over the issue.At a press conference held on Friday in the Secretariat, the power minister Natham Viswanathan and Chief Secretary Gnanadesikan claimed that rescue works carried on by the government were were “extraordinary” and also blamed the opposition for criticism on relief work. The government ministers claimed that the opposition’s reaction was a politically-motivated move in order to influence assembly elections that would take place in early 2016.

Sheena Bora case: CBI quizzes Rahul, grills Peter Mukerjea

Rahul is considered an “important link” in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case by the agency which also continued the grilling of his father Peter Mukerjea

Rahul Mukerjea

CBI on Sunday questioned Rahul Mukerjea, who has handed over several documents allegedly used by Sheena Bora to “blackmail” her mother Indrani Mukerjea.Rahul is considered an “important link” in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case by the agency which also continued the grilling of his father Peter Mukerjea, an accused in the case who was arrested on November 19. Rahul has handed over the documents belonging to Sheena, which, according to a source, she used for “blackmailing” Indrani, who is accused of murdering her.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to investigators, Sheena, who was engaged to Rahul, was blackmailing Indrani that if she did not give her a 3 BHK flat in the city, she would expose her by telling people that she was Indrani’s daughter and not sister, as the latter had claimed. Rahul visited the CBI office, situated opposite to Secretariat in South Mumbai, this morning and handed over breakfast to Peter, a former media baron, who has been arrested on charges of murder and criminal conspiracy.Rahul stayed at the office for about an hour and returned again in afternoon, according to CBI officials. “Yes, I am being questioned and there isn’t any confrontation between me and my father. I don’t want to compromise on the investigation and I will make a statement at right time,” Rahul told media persons before entering the CBI office at around 1:50 PM. He left the office at around 5:30 PM without talking to waiting media.Rahul is Peter’s son from first wife and stepson of the prime accused in the case Indrani Mukerjea. An official said that CBI questioned Rahul on various claims made by Peter in his defence. As per CBI, Peter was in know of Sheena’s murder and had been in continuous touch with Indrani over phone from UK before, during and after the crime.CBI had yesterday grilled Peter for around 11 hours and his interrogation started again in morning, the sources said without elaborating. According to them, the CBI, which will seek further remand of Peter as his custody is expiring tomorrow, has also summoned those persons who used to handle his accounts with relevant documents comprising his income tax details. Rahul, who was trying to trace Sheena after her sudden disappearance on April 24, 2012, started recording telephonic conversation he had with Peter and Indrani over Sheena’s whereabouts as he found their replies evasive and inconsistent.He had given these audio clips to the police before the probe was transferred to CBI. As per the chargesheet filed by CBI in court, Indrani was against Rahul’s relationship with Sheena as she feared that Sheena will become inheritor of entire property of her and Peter, which is suspected to be the prime motive behind the murder. Apart from Peter and Indrani, other accused in the case are the latter’s former husband Sanjeev Khanna and former driver Shyamvar Rai who have been remanded to judicial custody till December 3.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar holds marathon meeting on law and order

Kumar talked to IGs, DIGs, SPs and DMs via video conferencing and directed them to maintain rule of law, saying there should be “no compromise in that regard”.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar taking salute during a guard of honour at the Secretariat in Patna on Saturday.

PTI
A day after taking the oath of office, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday held a marathon meeting on the law and order situation and stressed to senior civil and police officials that “there shall be no compromise on the rule of law”. Kumar talked to IGs, DIGs, SPs and DMs via video conferencing and directed them to maintain rule of law, saying there should be “no compromise in that regard”.The Bihar chief minister told reporters after the three- hour meeting that he has given clear instructions to officials that “crime has to be curbed in all circumstances”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Whoever is breaking the law is a criminal and should be dealt with according to the law irrespective of his standing and position,” said Kumar, who has kept the home portfolio with himself.It is significant that Kumar’s first official engagement after his swearing-in on Friday was a meeting on the law and order situation in the state given that he had faced rival parties’ barbs of a “return of jungle raj” over JD(U)’s poll tie-up with RJD, whose 15-year rule drew claims that the law and order situation had worsened in Bihar.Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav was not present at the meeting, which was attended by Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and state police chief PK Thakur. The chief minister stressed on the need for a scientific approach for faster investigation of crimes. He also emphasised the continuation of the practice of the holding of camp by Circle Officers and Station House Officers every week to solve land dispute cases.Kumar told officials that the DM and SP would be held responsible for any communal incidents and warned that the response should be quick for quelling communal tension. He also stressed on expeditious trial and conviction, saying that it had yielded good results in the past.Meanwhile, on the day when Kumar held a state-level review of the crime situation, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan and senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi paid a visit to Lalganj in Vaishali district where an SHO was killed earlier this week by a mob following the death of two persons in a road accident. One person was also allegedly killed in police firing on protesters.Paswan later talked to reporters in Patna and demanded a judicial probe into the alleged communal clash in Lalganj. The LJP chief alleged that the district administration was acting “under political pressure in the wake of the incident and booking party supporters at the behest of a JD(U) leader who lost the poll”.

New Delhi: Striking sanitation workers to light diyas on garbage dumps

The Morcha, a combine of 27 sanitation workers union is on strike from October 23 over their demands including payment of previous years arrears, regularisation of contractual workers and cashless health cards.

MCD sanitation workers protesting against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Delhi Secretariat in New Delhi on November 5, 2015.
File Photo
PTI
The striking sanitation workers will light earthen diyas using water instead of oil on Diwali on Tuesday, as a mark of their protest and and “angst” over non payment of arrears and their other unfulfilled demands.”We are empty handed due to non payment of our dues including arrears and so we have decided to light diyas with water on the garbage dumps,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of Swatantra Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha.The Morcha, a combine of 27 sanitation workers union is on strike from October 23 over their demands including payment of previous years arrears, regularisation of contractual workers and cashless health cards. The strike which hit many parts of the city, specially those under East Delhi Municipal (EDMC) area, has slowed down following court orders ordering the civic authorities to lift unattended garbage, although many unions claim to be on strike.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After the High Court order, the sanitation workers were threatened with action after which some joined duty but majority of them are still on strike,” Gehlot said.”We have slowed down the strike although in view of the problems caused by huge piles of garbage and the resulting unhygienic conditions in the festival season,” he accepted.”The strike will be intensified after Diwali and we will ensure that its base is expanded in all the three municipal corporations,” he added.East Delhi Mayor Harshdeep Malhotra said that all the sanitation workers were “on duty” and it “seemed only their leaders were on strike.””I have checked with wards and all the sanitation workers are doing their job. Around 2200-2300 metric tonne of garbage is generated per day in the municipal area which is being collected by sanitation workers without any problem,” he added.

Did not transfer VAT commissioner for ‘fighting graft’, says LG Najeeb Jung’s office

LG Secretariat said he acted on the basis of orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

LG’s Secretariat is asked to issue relieving orders when the transfer order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, said Jung’s office.

Delhi Lt Governor’s office on Friday refuted the charges of AAP government that Najeeb Jung had relieved the VAT commissioner for “fighting graft” and pointed out at instances of “poor treatment” meted out to top officials including the Chief Secretary by it.Responding to Cabinet resolutions asking the LG to explain the “compelling circumstances” which forced him to transfer Vijay Kumar, LG Secretariat said he acted on the basis of orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs.It said Home Ministry on October 9 had issued directions that five officers who were earlier transferred from Delhi to other Union Territories since should be relieved with immediate effect. It said Kumar’s name figured among these five officers. “Transfers of officers to be posted out of Delhi is the exclusive domain of the Ministry of Home Affairs and at times the LG’s Secretariat is asked to issue relieving orders when the transfer order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs are not implemented by the Government of Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is clarified there has never been any recommendation from the LG’s Secretariat to the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting for transfer of any of these officers, either now or before,” an official statement said.In a resolution, the Cabinet also decided to appoint a GoM to protect officers from “political victimisation” and authorised it to take all steps required to deal with such issues including providing legal support at government’s cost.To this, the LG office responded sharply saying it will reserve its comments in view of the background of “several episodes of poor treatment meted out by the elected Government to the Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretaries Home, Power, GAD, Services, Commissioner (Transport), Principal Secretary (Law) and others”.

Delhi Cabinet passes resolution against L-G Najeeb Jung in fresh row

New Delhi: In an unprecedented move, the Delhi Cabinet on Friday passed resolutions, challenging Lt Governor Najeeb Jung’s authority to relieve the VAT Commissioner who it alleged was targeted for “fighting graft”, and appointed a GoM to protect bureaucrats from “political victimisation”.

Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung. Reuters

Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung. Reuters

In the first resolution, the Cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, asked Jung to explain the “compelling circumstances” which forced him to transfer Vijay Kumar and wanted to know whether it was linked to the raids the bureaucrat carried out against 200 fraudulent companies as well as on an international food chain.

The Cabinet posed four specific questions to the LG which included whether it was true that he had summoned Kumar after passing his relieving order and threatened him to leave Delhi immediately and that whether he received written or oral instructions from PMO or MHA to relieve the tax official.

Rebutting the charges, the LG’s Secretariat said Jung acted on the basis of orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs. It said Home Ministry on 9 October had issued directions that five officers who were earlier transferred from Delhi to other Union Territories since should be relieved with immediate effect. It said Kumar’s name figured among these five officers.

Talking about reports of alleged intimidation of officers by the LG, Jung’s office said it did not wish to comment on the issue in view of “several episodes of poor treatment” meted out by the elected government to the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, Power Secretary and Law Secretary and others.

In the second resolution, the Cabinet decided to appoint a GoM which will protect officers from political victimisation and authorised it to take all steps required to deal with such issues including providing legal support at government’s cost.

The Cabinet slammed Jung for relieving Kumar without consulting the elected government and said, “Unilateralism is one thing. Acting outside the remit of one’s own powers is another.

“It requires special mention here that LG does not have the powers to relieve officers. It is the elected executive, which alone has the power to do so. Therefore, such action on the part of LG was also an illegal and invalid exercise of power,” a resolution passed by the Cabinet said.

In a statement, the government said Kumar had raided a well-connected trader in Old Delhi, an international food chain and a politically powerful dealer of automobiles. The last VAT raid under his leadership was on the night of September 30.

“In this raid, as many as 200 fraudulent companies that existed only on paper, were discovered. These companies have been found to be involved in massive and organised tax evasions,” it said.

The AAP government alleged an international hawala dealer, wanted by the Interpol, is suspected to be behind the network of 200 companies and that details of the case have been shared with the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate.

It said that in the last 23 years, never before had any LG directly relieved an officer.

The Cabinet felt the VAT Commissioner had taken several important and “crucial steps to prevent large scale tax theft and began a crack-down against organised tax evasion syndicates”.

“Clearly, there ought to be extremely compelling reasons which made LG to take such an extraordinary and unprecedented step,” said the government.

The LG’s office, however, clarified that there has never been any recommendation from the LG’s Secretariat to the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting for transfer of any of the five officers.

Holding that public perception about the transfer was that there was manipulation by extraneous forces, the AAP government said an honest and transparent dispensation cannot remain oblivious to popular perceptions and disregard the public mood.

“This government cannot allow the vested interests, however powerful that they be, to call shots,” it said.

In the second resolution, the Cabinet “took a serious view” of the fact that several senior officers have informed the government that “they had been summoned by LG and were threatened of dire consequences including police action by instituting bogus inquiries against them if they refuse to partake in the exercise of obstructing the functioning of Delhi government.”

“These officers were told to paralyse the elected Aam Aadmi Party government by making adverse and obstructionist file notings against the government’s decisions.

“The government has been further informed that the above mentioned intimidating and coercive tactics adopted by the LG have intensified over the last one month,” the resolution said.

It said “it has also been brought to the notice of the government that the Hon’ble LG has been misusing the names of top officials of the central government to pressurise the officers to act in an illegal manner.

“It has been brought to the notice of the government that in case the officers did not acquiesce, they would invite the wrath of the central government and their civil service careers would be destroyed.”

The Cabinet felt it was a “clear attempt to subvert the functioning of a democratically elected government which had come to power with a thumping majority.”

The GoM will be chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and will consist of Home Minister Satyendar Jain and Transport Minister Gopal Rai as members. Principal Secretary (Services) will be Secretary to the GOM.

PTI

Promptly notify disqualification of lawmakers upon conviction: Election Commission to legislatures

In a set of instructions issued to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats as well as secretariats of state legislatures, the Commission has pointed out that “in some cases, there has been delay in the issuance of such notification by the secretariat of the House”.

Pointing at delays, the Election Commission has asked Parliament and state legislatures to put in place a mechanism to ensure that in cases where conviction by a court leads to disqualification of a lawmaker, the notice in this regard is issued immediately and “without discrimination”In its July 10, 2013, judgement, Supreme Court had struck down sub-section 4 of Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, under which incumbent MPs, MLAs and MLCs can avoid disqualification till pendency of the appeal against conviction in a higher court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the SC verdict is the law of the land now, conviction of lawmakers in certain cases, including those relating to corruption, leads to their immediate disqualification as a member of any House of legislature.In a set of instructions issued to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats as well as secretariats of state legislatures, the Commission has pointed out that “in some cases, there has been delay in the issuance of such notification by the secretariat of the House”.It said that the delay leads to situations where “the member who had incurred disqualification continues to be a member of the House in violation of provisions of Article 103 (of the Constitution) and law laid down by the Supreme Court”.The Commission told Parliament and state legislatures to enforce the law regarding immediate disqualification upon conviction “without any discrimination”.It said the Chief Secretary of a state should ensure that secretariats of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state Assembly and state Council — as be the case — should be immediately informed of conviction of a member by any court.It said the information about conviction and the subsequent notification of disqualification should not take more than seven days each.The first disqualification from Parliament had come on October 21, 2013, after 66-year-old Rashid Masood, a Congress member of Rajya Sabha, was held guilty in a case of corruption and other offences in the month before.RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader Jagdish Sharma were disqualified as Lok Sabha members on October 22, 2013, following their conviction in the fodder scam.Theirs was the first disqualification from Lok Sabha after Supreme Court struck down the provision that protected a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the grounds of pendency of appeal in higher courts.Seeking to negate the SC verdict, the then UPA government had brought a Bill in Parliament. However, following differences with the opposition, that Bill could not be passed.An ordinance on the lines of the Bill was later cleared by the Union Cabinet on September 24, 2013, to protect convicted lawmakers.But reversing its earlier step, the Cabinet on October 2 had decided to withdraw the Ordinance as well as the Bill in the wake of a public outburst against it by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.The overturning of the decision had come in the wake of Gandhi’s trashing of the Ordinance as “nonsense”. He had said it should be “torn” and “thrown out”.President Pranab Mukherjee, too, had questioned the government over the ordinance.Clearing the air about the procedure to be followed following the conviction of an MP, the then Attorney General, late GE Vahanvati, had told the Lok Sabha Secretariat that the notification declaring the seat vacant should be issued “immediately”.

AAP to refer case of minister Asim Ahmed Khan to its Lokpal

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will refer to its Lokpal the case of Environment and Food and Supplies Minister Asim Ahmed Khan, who was on Friday sacked over charges of corruption.

AAP sources said the complainant, who requested anonymity, first approached a senior party leader with the grievance and then a “written complaint” was filed on Thursday.

Asim Ahmed Khan. Getty ImagesAsim Ahmed Khan. Getty Images

Asim Ahmed Khan. Getty Images

As Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the party’s top brass asked for more evidence to probe the matter, an audio clip of a purported conversation in which Khan was heard asking for a bribe from a builder was produced.

“When we heard the audio, we found that prima facie Khan was guilty and we decided to take action against him,” said a party leader.

Before Kejriwal addressed a press conference to announce the decision, seniors AAP leaders including Ashutosh, Kumar Vishwas and Delhi unit secretary Dilip Pandey met at the Delhi Secretariat where the decision to sack the minister was taken.

“We will refer his case to party Lokpal who will probe the matter,” AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai said.

Incidentally, Khan has become third AAP MLA and second minister to have his case probed by the party’s internal ombudsman. The party Lokpal is already probing the fake degree case of former Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar and Kondli MLA Manoj Kumar.

A decision on Khan’s fate will only be taken after the Lokpal’s report, the spokesperson said.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal announced the decision to sack the minister and refer the case to CBI.

PTI

Saradha scam: UPA appointee ex-Home Secy Anil Goswami under enquiry for alleged irregularities?

The CVC had received a complaint accusing Goswami of influencing decisions linked to Sinh and an enquiry in the case is going on, official sources said.

An enquiry is underway against former Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami, who took voluntary retirement after being accused of influencing the CBI not to arrest Saradha scam accused Matang Sinh, by a high-level group and the Central Vigilance Commission to look into his role. Goswami had in February this year resigned from the post of Home Secretary after government asked him to put in his papers in the wake of controversy over his alleged attempt to stall the arrest of Matang Sinh, a former Union minister. The CVC had received a complaint accusing Goswami of influencing decisions linked to Sinh and an enquiry in the case is going on, official sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goswami could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. A sms sent to Goswami also did not elicit any response. As per rules, no disciplinary action can be taken against retired bureaucrats. Also, all complaints against a Secretary-level officers are decided by a group headed by Cabinet Secretary and comprising Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Secretary (Coordination ) in the Cabinet Secretariat, Secretary (Personnel) and CVC Secretary.Complaints against secretaries to the Government of India, whether pseudonymous or otherwise, received by the Cabinet Secretariat, CVC, Department of Personnel and Training or the Prime Minister’s Office, are first scrutinised by the group. The role of few serving senior IPS officers in Delhi Police and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will also be looked into during the enquiry for allegedly influencing Sinh’s arrest, they said. A report has been sought from the Home and Personnel ministries, and the CBI in the matter, the sources said.The exit of Goswami, a UPA government appointee, had come following media reports that he had tried to prevent CBI officers from carrying out Sinh’s arrest early this year. Goswami, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre, was appointed as Home Secretary in 2013 for a fixed two year term. He is said to have been close to Matang Sinh, a controversial politician from Assam who was a Minister of State in P V Narasimha Rao’s government.

Entire Delhi cabinet is dead honest, not a single penny misused: Arvind Kejriwal

This is the most honest cabinet in the country, said Delhi CM Kejriwal.
File Photo
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Claiming his cabinet to be “most honest” in the country, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that honest ministers have chosen honest secretaries and head of departments and not even a single penny is being misused.”Delhi has a small cabinet of seven ministers including Chief Minister. Entire cabinet is dead honest, not even a single penny is misused. This is the most honest cabinet in the country,” Kejriwal said while addressing a delegation of young parliamentarians and policy leaders from 12 Asia-Pacific nations and the United States.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If the top (ministers) is honest then we also look for honest officers so our second level which includes secretaries, principal secretaries and head of department are also honest. We choose such people who are known for their efficiency and integrity. The message right up to the bottom is that now corruption will not be tolerated,” he said.The visit of the delegation was organised by the U.S. based East West Center at Delhi Secretariat. During the meeting he also emphasised that due to honest government many things have started improving.”Recently we set up a dispensary for common people at one place. Earlier to set-up a similar health clinic government used to spend about Rs 5 crore and now we were able to set-up similar clinic in Rs 20 lakh. It is working so well that we have decided to set up 1000 more such clinics all over Delhi,” the chief minister said.Kejriwal listed education, health and eradication of corruption as the main priorities of his government. Members of visiting delegate asked him about AAP s historic victory in the assembly election, replying to which Kejriwal said, “people were really fed up by present politics in the country as there is so much criminality and corruption, so people wanted a change and there was no option till now.AAP provided that option and people also saw that hope in us and gave largest mandate ever.” He also stressed that for the first time people voted for AAP breaking all the barrier of cast and religion.

Feel worried till daughter returns from IIT campus: Arvind Kejriwal

Kejriwal said during the Consultation on the draft bill organised by the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) at the Delhi Secretariat.

Arvind Kejriwal

Asserting that women safety is a priority for his government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the women’s rights bill being brought in the next Assembly session will give more teeth to DCW.The proposed Charter of Women’s Rights Bill, 2015, aims at strengthening Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) by giving it more administrative and judicial powers, and will incorporate recommendation made by Justice J S Verma Committee in the wake of the Nirbhaya rape case. “If a girl is going out then she should feel secure. If she will feel secure then her parents will feel secure. We need to provide a system where women can roam freely around the city, feeling safe and secure,” Kejriwal said during the Consultation on the draft bill organised by the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) at the Delhi Secretariat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The chief minister also shared his own experience while talking about women safety in the national capital. He said his family gets restless till the time his daughter returns from the IIT campus, since the metro station is at a little distance away from his residence. “If I being Chief Minister is so concerned for the safety of my daughter then I can understand the feeling of common man. We have taken several measures like installing CCTV cameras, which acts as a deterrence.”Three weeks back, as a pilot project, we installed CCTV cameras in all the classes of three schools. (Deputy Chief Minister) Manish Sisodia went to take feedback and interacted with the students. “They told him that they are very happy as teachers have stopped beating them. Students also shared that cases of theft from school bags have gone down,” Kejriwal said. The Chief Minister highlighted that CCTV camera has a deterrent impact in public places too.”Similarly, in buses we are installing CCTV cameras, which will bring an end to ‘road side Romeos’ but organised gangs equipped with knife may not fear CCTV cameras but there will be decline in cases by 50-60 per cent,” he said. Hitting out at Delhi Police, Chief Minister alleged that there is “no democratic control” over the force.”If someone is committing crime then the person should be scared that he or she will be caught. There should be certainty and swiftness of punishment and that only police can ensure but the problem in Delhi is that there is no democratic control over police.”It comes under the central government which has practically no control over it. Police does not listen to anyone,” Kejriwal said. Recently, the Chief Minister held a meeting with DCW chief Swati Maliwal where he identified 21 grave cases in which FIR ought to be registered immediately but police had not done so. DDC has also proposed to give more teeth to DCW by giving additional administrative and judicial power. It also proposed that DCW will work as a single window to work and enforce women related matter.”We are seeking more suggestions on imparting more power to DCW and ways to enforce it. We will table this bill in next assembly session,” Kejriwal said. The draft of the bill for women rights prepared by the DDC is already in public domain and it is based on the recommendations of the Justice JS Verma committee. Eminent lawyers, NGOs and other social activists attended the consultation.According to DDC officials, the bill proposes to provide a comprehensive framework for women residing in Delhi to effectively enforce their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and various existing statutes – including the right against all forms of violence, the right to appropriate health care, education, privacy and right to equality.

Maneka Gandhi wants working women to get 8 months maternity leave

The ministry has also asked the Labour ministry that the maternity benefit provisions to working women both in organised and unorganised sectors .

The ministry’s maternity leave proposal suggests one month leave before delivery and seven months post delivery.

File Photo
Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi wants to raise maternity leave to eight months from three months, reports a leading daily. The Ministry has sent the proposal to the Cabinet Secretariat for a discussion in the Committee of Secretaries.”This matter was taken up by our minister with the Prime Minister and he is also very interested, so we are sending a copy to him,” Nutan Guha Biswas, WCD additional secretary said to the daily. The ministry has also asked the Labour ministry that the maternity benefit provisions to working women both in organised and unorganised sectors .<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ministry’s maternity leave proposal suggests one month leave before delivery and seven months post delivery.

SAARC Secretariat suggests satellite project under its ambit, India rejects

“If the issue is the referred to the SAARC’s Technical Committee on Science and Technology then it will get stuck for 2-3 years as everyone will chip in. We wrote back to the SAARC secretariat that it was not possible to bring the project under the aegis of the regional grouping,” said a senior government official.

After Pakistan, the SAARC Secretariat has suggested bringing India’s satellite project for countries of the grouping under its ambit, but India has rejected the idea again saying it is not acceptable.In a letter from the SAARC Secretariat, based in Nepal, it has been suggested whether the “issue could be referred” to SAARC’s Technical Committee on Science and Technology.India has, however, rejected the suggestion saying the project is India’s gift to its South Asian neighbours.”If the issue is the referred to the SAARC’s Technical Committee on Science and Technology then it will get stuck for 2-3 years as everyone will chip in. We wrote back to the SAARC secretariat that it was not possible to bring the project under the aegis of the regional grouping,” said a senior government official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are very clear from the beginning that this is not a SAARC project, but a project for the SAARC countries. It is India’s gift to its neighbours. By bringing it under the ambit of SAARC or even discussing it in the regional group’s S&T committee is not acceptable to us. And we have informed SAARC secretariat about this,” the official said.Sources said the fresh demand was made at the behest of Pakistan. In its meeting in June, Pakistan had made a similar demand to bring the project under the SAARC umbrella and had even offered to chip in with funds and technical expertise.However, India had rejected its offer saying the project was India’s “gift” to SAARC nations.Moreover, referring it to the SAARC’s technical committee on S&T, would only delay the project further, sources said, and India wants to launch the project by December 2016, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Sources also pointed out that India is waiting for the other SAARC countries approval so that it can book a slot in the orbit, where the satellite could be placed.”Once we get approval from all the countries, we can apply for ITU registration, an important step before launching a satellite,” a source said.

Not faking news: High-level committee formed to probe how Amit Shah got stuck in a lift

Patna: Bihar government on Tuesday set up a high-level committee to probe how BJP national president Amit Shah got trapped inside a lift of the state guest house in Patna four days ago.

BJP national president Amit Shah. PTI

BJP national president Amit Shah. PTI

A notification issued by the state Home Department (Special) said a high-level committee has been set up under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, to find out reasons behind Shah, a VIP guest, and others getting trapped inside the lift on the day and suggest measures for prevention of such incidents in future.

The committee, headed by Principal Secretary (Cabinet Secretariat) Shishir Sinha and Principal Secretary (Building) Deepak Prasad, Secretary (Energy) Pratyaya Amrit and ADG (Headquarters) Sunil Kumar as members, has been directed to submit its report to the state government within a month, the notification said.

Shah and some other BJP leaders got trapped inside the lift of the state guest house for about 40 minutes at around 11.15 pm on 21 August.

They were rescued by CRPF personnel accompanying the BJP national president as part of ‘Z plus’ security cover given to him by the Centre.

The incident had created furore in political circles with opposition BJP blaming the state government for laxity even as it claimed that the lift had developed snag due to overloading.

Principal Secretary (Cabinet Secretariat) Shishir Sinha, who had visited the state guest house with the Secretary (I&PRD) Pratyaya Amrit to inquire into the incident, had said the lift got stuck due to overloading beyond its permissible capacity of 340 kg.

PTI

Pakistan refuses to host CPU meet, says will not invite Jammu-Kashmir speaker

“Kashmir issue will be raised on every forum of the Commonwealth,” Sadiq said

Pakistan on Thursday announced that it will not host next month’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Union meeting amid a row with India over its refusal to invite the Speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for the conference.India had threatened to boycott the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held here from September 30 to October 8 after Islamabad refused to invite Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta for the event. The conference was to bring together speakers of Commonwealth nations in Islamabad.”We have clarified to the London Secretariat of the Commonwealth that Kashmir is a disputed territory and now it is impossible for the Commonwealth Conference to be held in Pakistan,” National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq told reporters. He said the event will now be held in New York.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A detailed letter will be written to the CPA countries over the Kashmir dispute and the Kashmir issue will be raised on every forum of the Commonwealth,” Sadiq said. He said the Kashmir issue could not be overlooked at any cost and the assembly speaker would not be invited. “The decision to hold the event in Pakistan was made on the basis that the Kashmir assembly speaker would not be invited to the Conference,” he said.India had threatened to boycott the meeting with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan saying, “A meeting of Speakers of all states unanimously decided that India will boycott the meeting of the CPU if the Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly is not invited.”

‘Game-changer’ rural development scheme ‘Grama Jyothi’ launched in Telangana

Hyderabad: Touted as a “game-changer” in rural development, a mega programme which aims at comprehensive development of villages was on Monday launched in Telangana.

The programme – ‘Grama Jyothi’ was launched by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at Warangal district’s Gangadevipalli village, which has won awards and appreciation from various quarters for its innovative development activities.

Speaking on the occasion, Rao stressed on making collective efforts for the development of villages and announced an amount of Rs 10 crore for the hamlet and urged its representatives to take up drip irrigation for better cultivation of crops.

K Chandrasekhar Rao. Screen grab from CNN-IBN.

K Chandrasekhar Rao. Screen grab from CNN-IBN.

Several state ministers participated in the functions related to ‘Grama Jyothi’ at different places. Panchayat Raj and IT Minister K T Rama Rao, son of the Chief Minister, took part in ‘Grama Jyothi’ at Aziz Nagar in Ranga Reddy district.

Interacting with villagers, the minister sought their views to resolve the local problems.

“With ‘Grama Jyothi’, the rural people will decide priorities of their developmental needs and government will act accordingly. We understand that every village has its own set of problems and priorities and needs, which demands separate planning.”

“We want the Aziznagar village development plans to be written in the Aziznagar Grama Sabha and not in Assembly or Secretariat,” Rama Rao maintained.

“This is the sole theme of ‘Grama Jyothi’,” an official release in Hyderabad quoted the minister as saying.

According to the minister, the flagship scheme will be a “game-changer” towards inclusive and holistic development of hitherto backward villages.

The government will incentivise villages that achieve 100 per cent targets in the areas of sanitation, immunisation, nutrition, literacy and green cover, Rama Rao said.

The IT Minister appreciated the gram panchayat for achieving 100 per cent tax collection and assured all possible help from government to the villages.

He claimed that all villages in Telangana will have proper road connectivity in the next four years.

PTI

Nagaland CM hails signing of Centre-NSCN(IM) peace accord

“At present, it appears that only the broad framework of the agreement has been worked out. It is expected that once the details of the agreements and modalities are worked out by the parties concerned, we will all be consulted before finalising them,” said Zeliang.

File picture

Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang on Saturday welcomed the signing of the peace agreement between the Centre and NSCN(IM) and hoped that the Naga people will be consulted before finalisation of the ‘framework agreement.’ The Naga political issue has dominated the social and political discourse of the Nagas for the last six decades, and it has been at the top of the agenda of every political party and government in Nagaland since statehood (1963), Zeliang said while unfurling the National tricolour at Secretariat Plaza here.Expressing happiness that the collective effort (of every section of Naga people) was beginning to bear fruits, the CM on behalf of the state government welcomed the signing of Peace Accord between the GoI and NSCN(IM) on August 3. “This is the result of the collective effort and hard work by all concerned during the last 17 years of the Naga political dialogue,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maintaining that though they were not aware of detailed contents of the pact, the chief minister appealed to everyone not to entertain any negative thinking at this stage, either on the Prime Minister and Centre or on the leadership of the NSCN(IM). He said the Prime Minister has a “healthy attitude and respect towards the Nagas, and let us hope he will do what is best for the Nagas.””At present, it appears that only the broad framework of the agreement has been worked out. It is expected that once the details of the agreements and modalities are worked out by the parties concerned, we will all be consulted before finalising them,” said Zeliang.”Let us hope that beginning with the Naga Peace Accord, we will be able to see the dawn of peace and development in Nagaland very soon,” he said. The CM said that the overall law and order situation in the state has been by and large peaceful. However, the abrogation of ceasefire by NSCN(K) has given rise to killings of several personnel of the security forces, followed by death and injury of civilians in Phek district which is very unfortunate, he said.

After J&K snub, India threatens to boycott Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference held in Pakistan

New Delhi: To drive home the point that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an “integral” part of India, the Speaker of Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan and Speakers of state Assemblies are likely to announce a boycott of the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held at Islamabad in September-October this year. Pakistan has not issued an invitation to the Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Kavinder Gupta.

“The invitation accorded from the host country (Pakistan) has surprisingly and in utter disregard of parliamentary decorum, left out Jammu and Kashmir. This is unprecedented and unacceptable”, a high-ranking source in the Parliament told Firstpost on Friday.

File photo of Indian Parliament. Reuters

File photo of Indian Parliament. Reuters

According to sources, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Pakistan and the CPA Headquarters Secretariat will host the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Islamabad between 30 September and 8 October. This year’s theme is ‘Renewing the commitment to pluralism and inclusive democracy in the Commonwealth’, and discussions will also cover  general discussions on issues such as religious freedom, parliamentary action on terrorism, the economic impact of gender-based violence, and a debate on the role of the media in political and public life.

Mahajan is holding a meeting of state Assembly Speakers in the capital later on Friday to pass a formal resolution against the host country’s approach. According to sources, a resolution will be passed to request the CPA Pakistan and CPA Secretariat in London to “ensure issuing of invitation to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association branch of Jammu and Kashmir”.

The Indian CPA’s position is that the non-issuance of such an invite will warrant a “boycott” of the Islamabad meet. Not extending an invitation to the Jammu and Kashmir CPA is “unacceptable” as the CPA unit of Jammu and Kashmir state is “very much a bonafide member of the CPA”. The CPA was originally founded in 1911 and at present has 53 members. India, along with several other countries joined only at a later stage.

Pakistan and its provinces were active members of CPA till the military coup in 1999 when Gen Pervez Musharraf took over powers. “They (Pakistan and its provincial assemblies) were allowed to rejoin the CPA again in 2004,” sources said. The CPA Secretariat is located in London and it maintains “close relations” with branches across the globe, and promotes cooperation among them.

After J&K snub, India threatens to boycott Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Pakistan

New Delhi: To drive home the point that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an “integral” part of India, the Speaker of Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan and Speakers of state Assemblies are likely to announce a boycott of the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held at Islamabad in September-October this year. Pakistan has not issued an invitation to the Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Kavinder Gupta.

“The invitation accorded from the host country (Pakistan) has surprisingly and in utter disregard of parliamentary decorum, left out Jammu and Kashmir. This is unprecedented and unacceptable”, a high-ranking source in the Parliament told Firstpost on Friday.

File photo of Indian Parliament. Reuters

File photo of Indian Parliament. Reuters

According to sources, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Pakistan and the CPA Headquarters Secretariat will host the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Islamabad between 30 September and 8 October. This year’s theme is ‘Renewing the commitment to pluralism and inclusive democracy in the Commonwealth’, and discussions will also cover  general discussions on issues such as religious freedom, parliamentary action on terrorism, the economic impact of gender-based violence, and a debate on the role of the media in political and public life.

Mahajan is holding a meeting of state Assembly Speakers in the capital later on Friday to pass a formal resolution against the host country’s approach. According to sources, a resolution will be passed to request the CPA Pakistan and CPA Secretariat in London to “ensure issuing of invitation to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association branch of Jammu and Kashmir”.

The Indian CPA’s position is that the non-issuance of such an invite will warrant a “boycott” of the Islamabad meet. Not extending an invitation to the Jammu and Kashmir CPA is “unacceptable” as the CPA unit of Jammu and Kashmir state is “very much a bonafide member of the CPA”. The CPA was originally founded in 1911 and at present has 53 members. India, along with several other countries joined only at a later stage.

Pakistan and its provinces were active members of CPA till the military coup in 1999 when Gen Pervez Musharraf took over powers. “They (Pakistan and its provincial assemblies) were allowed to rejoin the CPA again in 2004,” sources said. The CPA Secretariat is located in London and it maintains “close relations” with branches across the globe, and promotes cooperation among them.

‘Idiots lined up at every step’: IAS officer who filed sexual harassment case slams lawyers, judge

“I can only pray that no woman is born in this country,” IAS officer Riju Bafna said on Facebook, on a post shared on 1 August. What may have driven her to make such a statement? The disturbing misogyny of various people in power and positions of responsibility.

Riju Bafna. Image courtesy: Facebook.Riju Bafna. Image courtesy: Facebook.

Riju Bafna. Image courtesy: Facebook.

Bafna says in the post that she had lodged an FIR against Santosh Chaubey, the Ayogmitra of Human Rights Commission. Chaubey had been sending her ‘indecent’ messages for a while.

With the help of the district collector Bharat Yadav, prompt action was taken against Chaubey, who was removed from his post immediately.

However, when she turned up to record her statement before the judicial magistrate in the state, a group of advocates decided to crowd around her as she gave her statement. When she asked them to leave, one of them started shouting at her, and allegedly told her, she may be a government “officer” in her office, she is nothing in the court. When she told the judge taking her statement that the court should make sure such incidents are not repeated, the judge brushed it off saying, “you are young and that’s why demanding such things”.

The comments on Bafna’s post expressed shock at the lawyer and the judge’s insensitivity and audacity.

One woman commented, “And imagine, you are an IAS officer… already a woman with some power. Most women are not.”

A man wrote, “You should lodge a formal complaint with the State Chief Justice and the Bar Council of MP. Cc both these letters to the Hon’ble CM’s Secretariat and the office of the State Chief Secretary. The fact of the matter is that people like these are galore primarily because no one takes such people to task. Prima facie what you requested the Court was absolutely essential, specially given the nature of the proceedings. Good that you are bringing such incidents to the fore here. More power to you!!”

An IPS officer Tejaswini Gautam posted, “As a woman whatever you said i agree. But i also say that since you have this opportunity to be an example for many who cant even think of doing what u already did…is proof of your power and the ability you hold. Being a woman should make you strong. And yes…like i always say…such incidents should only reinstore self confidence in you. Fantastic show of courage. And good u put this up on fb. Such people need to be shown their real worth.”

Read Bafna’s entire post here:

Hi everyone. I am posting this message to share my experience with judiciary on a sexual harassment case filed by…

Posted by Riju Bafna on Saturday, 1 August 2015

Privilege motion: Robert Vadra invokes right to freedom of speech over his Facebook post

Vadra, in his reply, has stressed that he respects Parliament and that there was no attempt on his part to hurt anybody, sources close to him said.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Thursday invoked the constitutional right of freedom of speech in his reply to a notice served by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on a privilege motion moved against him for a Facebook post.Vadra, in his reply, has stressed that he respects Parliament and that there was no attempt on his part to hurt anybody, sources close to him said.However, he added that people in the country have freedom of expression.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vadra, in his Facebook post on July 21, the day Monsoon session of Parliament commenced, had taken a swipe at the BJP-led NDA government, without naming it.”Parliament begins and so do their petty diversionary political tactics… People of India are not fooled. Regret to see India led by such so-called leaders !!,” Vadra had said in his post.Protesting against it, BJP MP Prahlad Joshi said in Lok Sabha that Vadra had “demeaned” Parliamentarians and wanted the issue to be referred to the Privileges Committee and he be summoned before the House. The MP had later moved a privilege motion against Vadra.The Lok Sabha Secretariat had given Vadra a week to respond on the BJP MP’s privilege motion.Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is expected to take a decision on whether to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee after perusing Vadra’s response.

Don’t grudge scrutiny by public or media, learn to adapt, Govt tells officials

Jitendra Singh, who is also the Minister of State for Personnel, said that with the passage of time, the pressure on officers has increased because of the increased expectations on one hand and increased scrutiny by the public and the media on the other.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh

Government officials should not grudge the increased scrutiny by the public as well as the media and learn instead to adapt to it as transparency and accountability are prime areas of emphasis for the present NDA dispensation, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said here today.Addressing a delegation of officers belonging to Central Secretariat Service (CSS), Singh, a Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said it was the resolve of the BJP-led government to make governance easy and, at the same time, ensure a work-friendly environment for the officers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CSS officers had called on the minister to thank him for the speedy disposal of their promotion cases leading to the empanelment of as many 37 officers in one go to the post of joint secretary.”The government is in favour of doing away with avoidable delays in promotions and empanelments so that the officers can work with enthusiasm and a positive frame of mind,” he said.Singh, who is also the Minister of State for Personnel, said that with the passage of time, the pressure on officers has increased because of the increased expectations on one hand and increased scrutiny by the public and the media on the other.”But instead of grudging this changing scenario, we would have to learn to adapt to it and do our best because transparency and accountability are prime areas of emphasis of the Narendra Modi government,” he said.Singh said the DoPT will also contemplate various steps to improve the facilities and privileges available to IAS officers coming on deputation to the national capital so that they do not find themselves at a disadvantage on account of issues related to transportation facility, admission of their children in schools, etc.”In order to deal with the stress of the officers, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has of late started a number of new measures, including regular daily ‘Yoga’ for officers across the country from April 1,” he said.

Vice President Hamid Ansari replies to RTI query on Yoga Day within two days

Responding to an RTI query dated June 22, filed by one Paras Nath Singh of Mallapuram, the Secretariat of the Vice President, in a letter dated June 24 said,”No invitation was received for the event ‘Yoga Day’ observed at Rajpath on June 21.”

In a record of sorts, the office of Vice President Hamid Ansari has responded within two days to an RTI application seeking to know the reason for his absence from Yoga Day celebrations held in Delhi last Sunday, saying he was not invited for the event.Public authorities are expected to respond to RTI appplications within 30 days but such alacrity in sending replies is rarely witnessed.Responding to an RTI query dated June 22, filed by one Paras Nath Singh of Mallapuram, the Secretariat of the Vice President, in a letter dated June 24 said,”No invitation was received for the event ‘Yoga Day’ observed at Rajpath on June 21.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh said he received the response within four days of him sending the RTI application.Former Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said other public authorities should learn from the VP’s office and respond to RTI pleas within time.”Its a rare thing to see public authorities answering a query within two days. I think it should be welcomed,” he said.Former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi also said top offices like those of the President, Prime Minister and Vice President should set examples for other public authorities.”It is good that they (VP’s office) had responded to the RTI application within two days but they should try to answer bulk of applications within a week,” he said.Ansari’s absence from Yoga Day celebrations was questioned by senior BJP leader Ram Madhav which created a controversy.Minister of State for AYUSH Sripad Naik had said Ansari was not invited as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief guest at the Rajpath event and inviting Vice President to it would have breached protocol. The row got a burial after Naik tendered apology over the controversy.

Sujatha Singh’s removal documents withheld by Cabinet Secretariat

New Delhi: Cabinet Secretariat has refused to disclose files related to removal of the then Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh saying Cabinet records are prohibited from disclosure under the RTI Act.

In response to an application by activist Venkatesh Nayak of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, the Cabinet Secretariat has cited section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act for withholding the documents.

Ex-Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh. PIBEx-Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh. PIB

Ex-Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh. PIB

The section is used for withholding the Cabinet documents but it has a proviso which allows the disclosure of documents once the decision has been finalised.

Under Secretary Rajesh Nagpal, CPIO in the Cabinet Secretariat, said, “As per the records available, Ms Sujatha Singh, former Foreign Secretary, GoI, had sought voluntary retirement from the service with immediate effect.”

“Further, External Affairs Minister had, while approving the voluntary retirement, sought approval of the Prime Minister for curtailment of tenure of Ms Sujatha Singh and suggested appointment of Dr S Jaishankar (IFS: 1977) as Foreign Secretary vice Ms Sujatha Singh,” he said.

Nagpal said in the light of this, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had approved curtailment of Singh’s tenure as Foreign Secretary with immediate effect and appointment of Jaishankar as her successor.

“The copies of available file notings/papers on this matter related to ACC approval being ‘Cabinet Papers’ are exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act, 2005.

“In this regard, it is also informed that office of Establishment Officer under the Department of Personnel and Training being the Secretariat of the ACC had filed LPA (s) in the High Court of Delhi and the matter of disclosure of ACC file notings is still sub judice,” he said.

PTI

Mumbai crawls thanks to one-day auto, taxi strike; but there’s going to be a repeat on Wednesday

Mumbai: Incessant rainfall in the financial capital combined with a day-long strike organised by auto-rickshaw and taxis drivers threw normal life out gear in the city leaving many commuters stranded on Monday.

Water-logging was reported across the city and suburbs, and disrupted traffic across the city. Worst hit were school students who were inconvenienced as the school term for many began from Monday.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The strike of taxis and autorickshaws was a result of a protest organised by Congress MLA Nitesh Rane-led Swabhiman Union to voice its protest against cab aggregators like Uber and Ola.

“This is just a day long strike. So far, we have not received any response from the government. The BJP led state government is functioning like Hitler. They don’t have time to hear the grievances of the public. We are planning to further intensify the strike with rasta roko or other methods in coming days,” KK Tiwari, Mumbai President of Swabhiman Union, told Firstpost.

Tiwari added that he was detained by the Mumbai police late night on Sunday and was let off on Monday afternoon to ensure that there was no deterioration of law and order in the city.

On 9 June, the union had written to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and state transport minister Diwakar Raote demanding a ban on all mobile-based cab services such as Ola, Uber, Meru Plus and Genie cabs in the city.

“We have received the information from transport department that these private taxi aggregators do not have any permits. They are not even registered with the transport department. Despite this, the private taxi aggregators, who have tourist permits, are plying their cabs on local routes and is completely illegal,” the letter stated, adding that no action has been taken on them despite repeated complaints.

AL Quadros, who leads the biggest taxi union in the city said they were opposed to the strike and appealed all taxis and autos to come out ‘fearlessly’.

“The Swabhiman union has vandalized over 150 taxis since morning and have also threatened others taxi drivers not to ply their taxis,” Quadros said, adding that cases are being registered at different police stations.

Police officials said that the appropriate action will be taken if it was found that taxis and autos have been vandalized by any group forcing them to participate in today’s strike.

However, Mumbaikars will have to brace for another day-long strike of autos and taxis on Wednesday as another taxi union has called for a bandh for the same reasons. The Shashank Rao-led Mumbai Automen’s Union has also called for a strike on 17 June demanding a ban on private taxi aggregators and seeking action on vehicles that can be called through call centres and minibuses.

“It will be a token strike. The state government should look into our demands and take appropriate measures to resolve the issues. It’s affecting our businesses,” Rao said.

Ex-Intelligence Bureau chief to be PM Narendra Modi’s special envoy on counter-terror

Ibrahim will be reporting to NSA Ajit Doval and work from the National Security Council Secretariat.

Asif Ibrahim
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Former Intelligence Bureau Chief Asif Ibrahim has been appointed to an important post in the Prime Minister’s office. Ibrahim had retired from his post in 2014.He will be the PM’s ‘Special Envoy on Countering Terrorism and Extremism,’ with a charter to liaise with governments in West Asia, Af-Pak and South East Asia, as per ministry officials. Ibrahim will be reporting to NSA Ajit Doval and work from the National Security Council Secretariat.Misnistry officials said that Ibrahim has information about the Islamic world and its political structures to counter concerns national and international implications about growing terrorism across the world. He is said to have negotiated with the top leadership in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia on terror cooperation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While working as the IB Director, in 2014 Ibrahim had begun work on the government’s new ‘counter radicalisation strategy’. The rise of the Islamic State and its invasion and occupation of the parts if Iraq and Syria and the fact that 12 Indian men had flown to Syria to join the group in its war led tothe formation of the strategy.Former diplomat and PM’s special envoy Rakesh Sood has said that while Ibrahim’s experience will be helpful to him to establish ‘channels for the exchange of intelligence and information on terror groups. he cautioned that he may face issues while engaging with governments in situations as diverse as the Gulf, Af-Pak region and south-east Asian Islamic countries.’The appointment signals increasing influence of the IB over the MEA in the Prime Minister’s secretariat. While UPA government largely appointed diplomats with exceptions exceptions, like Dy NSA Nechal Sandhu who was IB chief, and IFS officers in the National security set-up included NSA Shiv Shankar Menon, Cyber envoy and Deputy NSA Latha Reddy, Special Envoys on Climate Change Shyam Saran and Disarmament Rakesh Sood.The BJP government has brought in NSA Ajit Doval from the IB, Cyber Security coordinator Gulshan Rai from the Department of Electronics and IT, and now Special Envoy Asif Ibrahim. Even Deputy NSA Arvind Gupta, who is a retired Foreign Service officer, worked prior to this as Director of the government think tank Institute of Defence and Strategic Analysis and was the Joint Secretary of the National Security Council Secretariat.

Innovative maths teaching highly rated by Commonwealth jury

The SSA project director said the outcome of the programme will be seen in a few years’ time when these students go to higher classes.

Representational Image
File Photo

Meghalaya’s innovative teaching of maths in foundation classes, aimed at making learning of the subject easy and attractive, has been highly rated by the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards jury though it missed the awards by a whisker, officials said on Saturday. The innovative teaching which was implemented in about 1,000 schools in the Khasi Jaintia Hills region of the state was shortlisted as one of the top ten finalists for the prestigious awards this year but missed it narrowly, Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan (SSA) state project director FR Kharkongor said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> He said the project was highly rated by the jury which had recommended it to be featured in a Commonwealth publication and for its publication at its website.Commonwealth Secretariat Head of the Health and Education Unit Dr Joana Nurse had officially intimated that the SSA Meghalaya’s project submission on its fledgling attempt at teaching Mathematics innovatively for foundational classes had been shortlisted as one of the Ten Top Finalists for the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards which is scheduled to be presented during the opening ceremony of the 19th Commonwealth Education Ministers’ Meet at Bahamas on June 23. As the name suggests, the innovative teaching of maths in foundational classes was introduced in 57 schools only as a pilot project without any government support two years ago, he said. Based on the positive feedbacks received from these schools, the Union Ministry for Human Resources Development gave its nod to expand the project to 1,000 schools last year, Kharkongor said.He said the whole approach to teaching mathematics in foundational classes was made easy and attractive by incorporating stories, colours, shapes and songs. The pilot project was proven successful and students were engaged in the classroom while teachers have also dropped their “chalk and talk” methods of teaching.The SSA project director said the outcome of the programme will be seen in a few years’ time when these students go to higher classes. He also said there is a proposal to spread the same project to 3,000 schools in the Garo Hills region, known for its bad performance in secondary and higher secondary examinations in the last few years. At present the MHRD provides Rs 3,000 support for each school to procure learning kits and also for training the teachers, Kharkongor said.Also Read: Decoding Vedic Maths

Second round of talks to resolve Gujjar stir in Rajasthan fails, parleys to resume on Wednesday

Jaipur: A breakthrough was awaited for resolving the Gujjar reservation issue as the second round of talks on Tuesday night between a delegation of the agitating leaders and a panel of three Rajasthan ministers failed to arrive at a conclusion.

The Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan began on Thursday. AFP

The Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan began on Thursday. AFP

The talks between the 13-member Gujjar delegation and the ministerial committee took place at the Secretariat in Jaipur and lasted for nearly four hours.

The parleys will resume tomorrow morning as no conclusion was reached tonight, Himmat Singh, spokesperson of the Gujjar Aakrakshan Sangarsh Samiti, told PTI after the meeting.

He said that the Gujjar community members maintained that nothing short of five percent reservation within the legal limit of 50 percent would be acceptable to them and it is for the government to offer a workable proposal to meet that demand.

The Rajasthan ministers’ panel comprised Health Minister Rajendra Rathore, Social Justice Minister Arun Chaturvedi and Food Minister Hem Singh Bhadana.

Rathore said that the meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere.

The first round of talks between a Gujjar delegation, which also included Kirori Singh Bainsla, and the committee of ministers was held on Saturday in Bharatpur district’s Bayana town. The discussions had ended in a deadlock.

After the government invited the Gujjar leaders for talks to Jaipur, the latter initially refused the offer before later agreeing to travel to the Rajasthan state capital.

Earlier in the day, despite a consensus among the Gujjar community, Bainsla was adamant that the committee of ministers be called to Bayana for the next round of talks. He had also handed over a letter to the district administration but later changed his stand and decided to send the delegation to Jaipur.

The Delhi-Mumbai railway line in Bharatpur, the Agra-Jaipur national highway in Dausa and a state highway in Sawaimadhopur continue to be blocked by agitators.

On the other hand, the situation was tense in Sikandara area in Dausa district where a large number of agitators gathered last night to once again block the Agra-Jaipur national highway.

“Some of the agitators created a nuisance at the market and got into altercations with locals and roadside vendors.

They also burnt tyres and other objects on the highway,” police said.

The Gujjars had begun their agitation on Thursday last week.

PTI

Jayalalithaa to take charge as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister today; may start ‘Amma Canteen’ chain

She is expected to launch a chain of low-cost eateries called Amma Canteens.

Jayalalithaa

File Photo
AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa who took oath as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for the fifth time on Saturday will take charge of the state. She will be at the Secretariat at around 3 pm. She is expected to launch a chain of low-cost eateries called Amma Canteens.Opposition has alleged that O Panneerselvam who took over as the Tamil Nadu state Chief Minister after the court verdict did not run the government well, says NDTV report. They accused the AIADMK government under him suffering from policy paralysis and said that governance had became a casualty.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Panneerselvam had delayed the much awaited glbal investors meet, apparently waiting for Ms Jayalalithaa. The Chennai Metro project cleared during DMK rule is yet to start its operations, the report adds.Jayalalithaa on Saturday sworn in for the fifth time as Tamil Nadu chief minister, nearly eight months after she was forced to quit over corruption charges.Governor K Rosaiah gave oath to Jayalalitha at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium. Actor Rajinikanth, ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan attended the ceremony. Along with Jaya, 28 others were sworn in as Ministers. Jayalalithaa will hold the portfolios of home, police, public, all India services, general administration and district revenue officers​.A day ago, 67-year-old Jayalalithaa was re-elected as legislature party leader at a meeting of party MLAs at its headquarter, 11 days after she was acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in a disproportionate assets case.As for portfolio allocations, Jayalalithaa’s trusted lieutenant O Panneerselvam has been given Finance and Public works, which he held previously too. Natham R Viswanathan will continue to hold electricity, prohibition and excise portfolio.R Vaithilingam will be the Housing and Urban Development Minister while S Gokula Indira will head Handlooms and Textiles ministry. B Valarmathi will be the Social Welfare Minister and Edappadi K Palaniswami the Minister for Highways and Minor Ports and Forests. The portfolio of forests was held by MSM Anandan previously in Panneerselvam Cabinet.

Modi government’s first anniversary: No extravagant or five star celebrations, ministers told

It is believed that the principal secretary to prime minister, Nripendra Misra has suggested to bureaucrats that it would be better for the government to avoid extravagant functions or events.

Suicide of a Rajasthan farmer in Delhi and reports of crop failures leading to distress and frustration in rural India has apparently forced the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government to scale down celebrations on its first anniversary next month. Sources in the government said strict guidelines have been issued to ministers, none else, but from by the Prime Minister himself that there will no extravagant functions, five-star parties or involvement of any private media or marketing agencies.A proposal by the I&B ministry secretary Bimal Julka has been approved by the Cabinet Secretariat that instead of ministers speaking their achievements, arrangements will be made to ask beneficiaries of government schemes to come out and speak how their lives improved over past one year, since Modi came to power.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is believed that the principal secretary to prime minister, Nripendra Misra has suggested to bureaucrats that it would be better for the government to avoid extravagant functions or events. A government source put it that achievements will be highlighted without fire crackers. The crop failure coupled with the Opposition taking the battle on land amendments to streets and high-voltage propaganda is building up a perception of an industrialist friendly and anti-poor. To plug this gap, sources said the government is working on an effective communication strategy at all levels. “From then on, it will be a continuous process,” said another source.Soon after the Parliament session is over, the ministers and MPs would head to their constituencies to address public in small gathering and attend to their local issues coinciding the anniversary on May 26. Prime Minister may have kept the media at an arm’s length, transparency is being listed as a top achievement, with reference to open auction of coal and spectrum .As per the plan, instead of ministers tom tom-toming their achievements, beneficiaries of schemes would be made to speak. “Rather than making it a celebratory exercise, it is felt that, it should be more of a people centric exercise, letting them know through people who were benefited, on how the government has worked,” said a source. Public gatheringSoon after the Parliament session is over, the ministers and MPs would head to their constituencies to address public in small gathering and attend to their local issues coinciding the anniversary on May 26. Prime Minister may have kept the media at an arm’s length, transparency is being listed as a top achievement, with reference to open auction of coal and spectrum.

Arvind Kejriwal to address ‘Sahyog Rally’ for farmers in Delhi

Delhi CM is likely to announce relief package for farmers.

PTI
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will address a ‘Sahyog Rally’ in the Mundka area of outer Delhi on Saturday. He is likely to announce a relief package for farmers whose crops have been affected by untimely rains in the past few week and speak about his government’s policy for farmers. Unseasonal rains this year have damaged over 24.7 million acres of crops. Debt-laden farmers have already been suffering because of low incomes and weak global food prices. A delegation of farmers had earlier on Friday called on Kejriwal at the Delhi Secretariat to submit a memorandum requesting compensation to Delhi farmers for loss of crops due to untimely rains. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Congress hits out at NDA over plan to put cabinet notes on Kindle

The Congress on Monday came down heavily on reported plans of the BJP-led government to put all Cabinet notes on Kindle devices to stop leakage of information, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not even trust his own ministers.

The Congress on Monday came down heavily on reported plans of the BJP-led government to put all Cabinet notes on Kindle devices to stop leakage of information, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not even trust his own ministers.”PMO, it appears, has passed a ‘no-confidence vote’ in the entire Cabinet. While ‘unilateralism’ and ‘autocarcy’ have become hallmarks of style of functioning of the PM, the latest decision is a clear affront to the constitutional scheme of applying collective wisdom of Union Cabinet on all important issues of policy and legislations,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.According to some media reports, the government is finalising a plan to put all Cabinet notes on Kindle devices, which ministers will use at meetings and return to the Cabinet Secretariat immediately after.
Talking to reporters here, Surjewala sought to know the reasons behind the move as he posed several questions to Modi.”Is it because some Cabinet colleagues are raising their voice against a spate of issues being bulldozed through ordinances or is it Modi’s fear that someone will point out the obvious absence of dialogue, discussion and democratic functioning in his apparatus?” he asked.Surjewala said if ministers are leaking confidential information to media, then the PM should remove such ministers instead of making the process autocratic.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das asks officials not to visit his residence unless called

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has asked bureaucrats not to visit his residence unless asked to and work on war footing for the states prosperity, instead.An official release quoting Das’s commitment and resolutions for 2015 on Jharkhand’s development, said that unless there is urgent work or called by the Chief Minister, no official or employee should visit his residence. He said government officials should work on a war footing, adding that cooperation from all is required.Appealing to the people to report to the Vigilance Bureau or the Chief Minister’s Secretariat if any person approached them to get things done like transfer/posting or bagging contracts flaunting influence in the corridors of power, Das said it was necessary to change the work culture.To curb corruption, active participation of people was also necessary and the government would take their complaints about corruption seriously, he said. Das said the government would work 24×7 in bringing speedy development, providing basic amenities and improving policing.”Change will be brought about at the level of police stations, so that people will consider the police as friend and without hesitation can go to them with their grievances,” the release said.

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