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Govt school students to get coaching in sports academies

The Delhi government said on Tuesday that students of government schools will now be able to get free coaching in their favourite sport by academies and clubs which, in turn, will use the institute’s playgrounds for private coaching after school hours and during holidays.The initiative is aimed at providing opportunities to government school students in sports coaching and ensure optimum usage of playgrounds.”They will be free to charge fees as per their own rates from the outsiders taking private coaching. However, 50% of them have to be government school students from the national capital,” Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.The AAP government had last year decided to rent out playgrounds of 77 schools run by it to be used by sports associations and clubs to organise events after school hours.”The scheme was launched on a pilot basis and now we have decided to take it forward. The academies which will be using the playgrounds will have to give free coaching to the students of the particular school,” said Sisodia.For the pilot scheme, proposals had come for 50-60 schools. From these 18 academies did a good job in 27 schools giving a new lease of life to sports activities, he said.Sisodia added that the scheme will benefit those living in upscale areas, as the number of playgrounds in these posh neighbourhoods is less. “If there is an academy that is only for girls, they can meet the government officials to appoint a woman coach for them,”he saidEarlier 15 games were included under the scheme, in the new initiative training will be imparted for 31 sports, including badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, football, hockey, judo, kabaddi, volleyboll, wrestling and baseball among others.”We will start the process of inviting applications from sports academies and clubs for the purpose,” Sisodia added.

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SDMC seals Chhattarpur farmhouse, traders protest

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation continued with its sealing drive on Tuesday even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the move was rather to”fill its coffers”. The corporation also extended its drive to agricultural properties being used for commercial purposes while sealing a farmhouse in Chhattarpur.The farmhouse used to host social functions and events, and had an additional built-up area, said the civic officials. The civic body had on Saturday sealed 51 restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market for “illegal” construction and not paying conversion charges.The sealing drive is being taken on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee which, in a meeting with commissioners of the three municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday, directed the agencies to carry out the drives in all the areas under their jurisdiction.The AAP, however, alleged that the Monitoring Committee was acting as a”tax collector” for the BJP-led corporations in the city.”We have asked all the civic agencies to carry out the drive in areas under their jurisdiction,” said Bhure Lal, former bureaucrat and member of the committee.Meanwhile, the trader’s body of the Defence Colony market, along with AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and local councillors, met the south corporation commissioner demanding the withdrawal of the sealing drive. They also asked for some time to pay off the conversion charges.”We were assured that the drive will be halted immediately while we have got three months time to pay the pending conversion charges. We have also urged them to reduce or waive off the conversion charges from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000 for which a proposal is pending with the Central government’s urban development ministry,” said RK Bhatia, member of the traders association.Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mayor, South MCD, agreeing to the traders’demands said she will meet the Monitoring Committee in this regard on Wednesday.”We will be meeting the Committee to take the drive in a phased manner and give enough time to traders to deposit charges. Also, we plan to reduce the conversion charges from 89,000 to 22,000 as per the proposal,” said Sehrawat.

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After Defence Colony traders protest, SDMC plans to reduce conversion changes

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) plans to reduce the conversion charges of commercial-cum-residential properties from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000. The move has come days after the civic body conducted a sealing drive and shut down 51 popular restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market for”illegal” construction and not paying the conversion charges.Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mayor, SDMC, on Tuesday agreeing to the traders’demands said she will meet the Monitoring Committee in this regard on Wednesday.”We will be meeting the Committee to take the drive in a phased manner and give enough time to traders to deposit the charges. Also, we plan to reduce the conversion charges from 89,000 to 22,000 as per the proposal,” said Sehrawat.However, the civic body continued with its sealing drive on Tuesday even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the move was rather to”fill its coffers”. The corporation also extended its drive to agricultural properties being used for commercial purposes while sealing a farmhouse in Chhattarpur.The farmhouse used to host social functions and events, and had an additional built-up area, said the civic officials. The sealing drive is being taken on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee which, in a meeting with commissioners of the three municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday, directed the agencies to carry out the drives in all the areas under their jurisdiction.The AAP, however, alleged that the Monitoring Committee was acting as a”tax collector” for the BJP-led corporations in the city.”We have asked all the civic agencies to carry out the drive in areas under their jurisdiction,” said Bhure Lal, former bureaucrat and member of the committee.Meanwhile, the trader’s body of the Defence Colony market, along with AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and local councillors, met the south corporation commissioner demanding the withdrawal of the sealing drive. They also asked for some time to pay off the conversion charges.”We were assured that the drive will be halted immediately while we have got three months time to pay the pending conversion charges. We have also urged them to reduce or waive off the conversion charges from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000 for which a proposal is pending with the Central government’s urban development ministry,” said RK Bhatia, member of the traders association.

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Some Delhites to pay more for water bills

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) today approved a combined 20 per cent hike in water and sewer charges in the national capital for consumption above 20,000 litres a month.However, the DJB will not charge households consuming up to 20,000 litres a month, in line with the subsidy scheme of the Arvind Kejriwal government, which was a key poll promise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), an official said.The new rates will come into force in February, 2018. In 2015, days after coming to power, the AAP government had hiked water tariff by 10 per cent for consumers falling in the same category, keeping with an annual automatic 10 per cent rate hike mechanism put in place by the Sheila Dikshit government in 2009.However, in 2016, the government decided against following the auto mechanism and put another hike on hold. The current hike comes three months after Kejriwal took over the ministerial portfolio of water after the removal of Kapil Mishra. It will effectively lead to a rise of Rs 28 per month for consumers crossing the 20,000 litres limit, DJB vice chairman Dinesh Mohaniya, who is the AAP MLA from Sangam Vihar, said. “No change in water tariff in Delhi for households using up to 20,000 litres per month for third consecutive year. Above 20,000 litres, a 20 per cent combined hike on water and sewer charges approved in the Delhi Jal Board meeting,” Delhi government spokesperson Nagendar Sharma tweeted.Also readTaps run dry as DJB cuts supplyThe DJB has been providing up to 20,000 litres of water free of charge to domestic consumers. For domestic users who consume between 20,000 litres and 30,000 litres of water per month, the service charge is Rs 219.62 and the volumetric charge is Rs 21.97 per 1,000 litres. Customers who use over 30,000 litres a month pay Rs 292.82 in service charge and Rs 36.61 per 1,000 litres in volumetric charge.

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Don’t want to say anything political on X-Mas, says Kejriwal; retweets Sisodia’s tweet on Delhi Metro inauguration

Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s tweet on Arvind Kejriwal not being invited for the inauguration of Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line was retweeted by the Delhi Chief Minister, although he had earlier said he would not make any political comments on Christmas.Kejriwal was not invited to the launch of Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line out of the fear that he might publicly demand a rollback of the fare hike, his deputy Manish Sisodia said today.He also said that not inviting the chief minister to the inauguration programme at Noida was an “insult” to the people of Delhi.Sisodia’s observations came minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 12.38-km stretch of the Magenta Line, between the Kalkaji Mandir and Botanical Garden metro stations, in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.”Not calling the Delhi chief minister in an inauguration of a Delhi Metro project is an insult of the people of Delhi.There’s only one reason behind not inviting Kejriwal, the fear that he may urge the prime minister to roll back the fare hike (sic),” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader tweeted.Of the nine stations on the Magenta Line, seven are within the boundaries of Delhi, while the remaining two are in Noida.Those who had hiked the metro fares were “scared” of the AAP supremo, Sisodia said.Almost on cue, AAP leaders and volunteers started tweeting with #TakeCreditButReduceFare.When reporters asked Kejriwal for comments on the issue at a Christmas event in the city, the chief minister evaded a reply, saying the occasion was not right to talk about it.However, he retweeted Sisodia’s tweets.The Kejriwal government has been at loggerheads with the Centre and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) over the recent hike in the metro fares, despite the AAP’s objections. PTI SBR RC

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Scurry within AAP leaders for Rajya Sabha seats

The race has started within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to get Rajya Sabha seats a day after the Election Commission (EC) announced polls on January 16 to fill up vacancies. Three top leaders — Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas — who are waiting for four years for a Rajya Sabha seat have started lobbying.But CM Kejriwal wants to give the seats to a Muslim, a woman and a representative of the trading community. Sources in the party has hinted that two of them are Imran Pratapgadi, who campaigned for the party in Punjab and hails from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi-based businessman Sushil Gupta. Sources, however, rejected speculations on Swati Maliwal being rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat.Even though chances are less, all the three leaders are doing their best to garner support fore themselves.In case of Vishwas, his relationship with Kejriwal deteriorated after he called him an autocrat. “I am a human being. I also have ambitions. My supporters also feel that I should go the the Rajya Sabha where I will be an articulate voice against the BJP and the Congress. I founded the Aam Aadmi Party with Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia. Yet I have never even had the tea of Delhi Secretariat,” he had said.For Sanjay Singh, Kejriwal has stood by him through eups and downs. He maintains a healthy relationship with both Congress and BJP leaders. During the President’s Rule in Delhi in 2014, Sanjay Singh played a crucial role in bringing back the party from the verge of collapse. In Punjab Assembly polls this year, Sanjay Singh was made the state-in-charge but with the loss of Punjab, chances of him getting the seat is almost impossible.When it comes to journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh, who was behind making Kejriwal a national leader from an RTI activist , chances are low too. Ashutosh joined when AAP went to fight the Parliamentary polls in 2014 against two veterans — Congress Kapil Sibal and BJP Harsh Vardhan.Earlier, the party approached former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to be its candidate, but he is believed to have declined the offer.The AAP has 66 members in the 70-member Delhi Assembly and its victory on all three seats looks certain.

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Guj’s famed dislike for 3rd front may have hurt Shankersinh Vaghela, Kanubhai Kalsariya

A farmer leader and three time MLA leads an agitation against his own party to prevent a corporate from setting up a cement plant. He quits his party to help the people battle the corporate and win the agitation for them. He also runs a trust hospital in his constituency to help the poor access medical facilities at a nominal cost of Rs10. He also enjoys tremendous goodwill. In short, he seems like a perfect candidate.But since 2012, Kanubhai Kalsariya has lost every election he has fought. The recent one was the 2017 Assembly election where he contested as an independent but lost to the BJP with a slim margin of over 5,000 votes.In 2017, though with the AAP, he contested as an independent from the Sadhbhavna panel. This was done after ground reports suggested that people were more likely to vote for him if he stood as an independent than as an AAP candidate.This too perhaps was an indication that the Gujarat electorate is not very comfortable with the third front, who often are viewed as opportunist players.It should be noted that Kalsariya did not set up a third front but contested as an independent. After leaving the BJP, Kalsariya had first contested as an independent and then joined the Aam Aadmi Party from where he contested the LS elections in 2014.Kalsariya, however, does not believe that the dislike for the third front was at play in the recent defeat. “We lost by a small margin of 5,000 votes. And this difference was because the city voters did not vote for us the way we expected them to,” said Kalsariya.”An analysis of booth wise voting pattern showed that the villagers voted for me but people in the city did not in the way we expected. Moreover, the Congress cut into our votes, although they knew very well that their candidate was not going to win,” said Kalsariya.It should be noted that Kalsariya had urged the Congress not to field a candidate in Mahuva, which was not accepted by the party. “Had the Congress not fielded a candidate we would have won with a comfortable majority. But they wanted me to join the party which I was not willing to do,” said Kalsariya.He still believes that the voters will vote for a third front provided it is a viable option. He is not the only one, who has had to face the brunt of Gujarat voters dislike for the third front. Shankersinh Vaghela, tall leader of Gujarat politics, too learned it the hard way. Vaghela had good mass appeal and had parted ways with the Congress in this election after the party refused to name him as the CM candidate.All the 95 candidates fielded by the All India Hindustan Congress Party , which Vaghela formed after breaking away from the Congress, lost their deposit. How much they mattered to the voters can be known from the fact that the 95 candidates together polled just 83,000 votes and all of them losing their deposit. This means each of Vaghela’s candidates polled on an average just 873 votes. The party got just 0.3% of the total votes polled.In the 2012 elections, Keshubhai Patel formed the Gujarat Parivartan Party which performed miserably. Of the 167 candidates, 159 lost its deposit. Two candidates won and the party won 3.63% of the votes polled.It should be noted that Keshubhai was a former CM and a much loved leader but yet his candidates lost in Patel bastions too. He was expected to split the pro-BJP votes but the results proved that he had not succeeded.In fact, the dislike for a third front is also attributed as the reason for AAP not taking off in Gujarat the way it has happened in other states. However, Sukhdev Patel, former member of AAP does not agree.”AAP is now like the NCP in Gujarat. It may eventually win a seat or two but it will never be a third alternative and this is because the party squandered the initial fillip it received. Moreover, it lacked the national cadre support that a nascent party needs,” said Patel.He said while the AAP has individuals who are genuinely committed to the cause and concerns of the common man, its lack of a strong organisational structure will hurt it.As for the dislike for third front, Patel said it is because the third fronts that have emerged so far were splinter groups of the main parties. “These third fronts so formed never had the leaders who would put in the hard work required to build an organisation. This is because the leaders who formed the third fronts never had helped build the organisation of thier own parties from a scratch. So essentially all the third fronts were seen as opportunists and not a viable option,” said Patel.He said the third front will work if it is not a splinter group. “This was the case with the AAP. It was a genuine third option but the opportunity was squandered,” he said.IN NUTSHELL”The history of Gujarat politics is rife with examples of third front not making it. But when we talk of it, we need to analyse whether these fronts were genuine representation of people’s anger or just opportunistic. I believe that if you give the people a viable option, they will vote for a party/candidate other than the Congress and BJP,” said Kanubhai Kalsariya. In Kalsariya’s defeat lies a fact about Gujarat politics that is difficult to ignore. It is Gujarat voters never cozy up to anyone who promises a third front. In fact, not just Vaghela, Gujarat electorate have even rejected leaders whom it had elected to power when part of either Congress or BJP but who later tried to form a third alternative.

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You are unable to clear garbage, what education will you impart: HC raps Delhi govt, MCD

What kind of education will you impart, if you are unable to remove garbage from your schools — the Delhi High Court today asked the AAP government and the municipal corporations in the national capital.”It cannot be denied that the liability for collection, removal and disposal of garbage rests on the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which exercises its functions under the MCD Act,” a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal said.The bench, also comprising Justice C Hari Shankar, further chided the civic bodies, saying they were “hopelessly unable to do their duty”.”Cleanliness, maintenance of hygiene in the city are your prime duties. If you are not able to do it, what kind of education will you impart? It is sad that you are not able to remove garbage from your schools,” the bench observed.”The point is inability,” the bench said and asked the counsel of the Delhi government and the three MCDs if it was not their duty.The bench directed the authorities to file their replies as regards removal of garbage generated in the schools run by the Delhi government as well as the MCDs and fixed the matter for April 23 next year.The directions of the court came during the hearing of a plea filed by an NGO, Justice for All, through its counsel Khagesh Jha, who urged the court to direct the authorities to make appropriate arrangements for daily collection and disposal of garbage from the premises of these schools.The petition claimed that multiple agencies in Delhi were busy shifting the blame on each other and that there was no coordination between these agencies as regards improving the infrastructure for the students.The petition also dealt with the “poor” condition of toilets in these schools.

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Not enough done for safety of women: CM Arvind Kejriwal

Five years after the December 16 gang rape incident, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday that not enough has been done for the security of women. The national AAP convener, however, said that his government is all set to install CCTV surveillance cameras across the city to ensure that the city has enough eyes.The AAP government, before coming to power in 2015, had promised better security for women in the Capital and was the on top of the agenda in the party’s manifesto.”A few years ago, on this day, the Nirbhaya incident took place. I don’t think we have taken any bold steps towards bolstering the security of women. It is a matter of concern for all of us and we should not indulge in blaming each other.However, I am happy that the Public Works Department (PWD) has taken a solid step in this direction. The tenders for installing CCTV cameras have been opened. Soon, we will have CCTV cameras across the city,” said Kejriwal on the sidelines of the inauguration of a flyover loop in Mukundpur.

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Defamation case: Delhi High Court rejects Kejriwal’s plea to trash Jaitley’s reply

The Delhi High Court today dismissed Arvind Kejriwal’s plea seeking striking down of Arun Jaitley’s reply in the second Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed against the Chief Minister, saying the additional issues raised by the Union Minister were “relevant”.The Delhi Chief Minister had sought that the replication (reply) filed by Jaitley in response to his written submission in the second defamation lawsuit be trashed on several grounds including that the usage of ‘scandalous’ words by his former counsel was based on hearsay.Justice Manmohan said the additional points raised by Jaitley in his replication to Kejriwal’s written submission were “relevant” as they “crystalise” the Union Minister’s stand and thus, “can neither be termed scandalous, nor frivolous or vexatious or unnecessary or abuse of process of law”.The court, however, gave Kejriwal four weeks to rebut the additional contentions of the BJP leader.The second suit had claimed that the then counsel of the Chief Minister, Ram Jethmalani, had made derogatory remarks against Jaitley in the proceedings of another defamation suit between the two and five other AAP leaders allegedly at the instance of Kejriwal.Kejriwal has denied that he had instructed Jethmalani to use the derogatory words, a claim which Jaitley has termed as false and for which he has also sought perjury action against the Delhi chief minister.In another reply, filed in response to Jaitley’s application seeking perjury action against him, Kejriwal has denied the allegation that he filed a false affidavit claiming he had not instructed his lawyer to use the derogatory words.The court has listed the perjury application for hearing on April 26.In his response filed through advocate Anupam Shrivastav, Kejriwal has denied that he has committed any perjury or made any false statement supported by an affidavit under oath.He has also said there were no instructions from him to Jethmalani to use objectionable remarks against Jaitley.The senior lawyer, however, had categorically stated before the joint registrar that he had received specific instruction from Kejriwal to use derogatory words against Jaitley.Jethmalani, who in September announced his retirement from over a seven-decade long career as an advocate, had used certain words while cross-examining the Union Minister in a separate Rs 10 crore defamation case filed by the BJP leader against the AAP convenor and five others of the party in 2015.The AAP leaders, including Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai, had in December 2015 levelled charges of corruption against Jaitley in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).Jaitley has denied all the allegations and also claimed that these had harmed his reputation.

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No exceptions for Odd-Even, govt tells NGT

After being pulled up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government finally submitted in court on Wednesday, an action plan to curb pollution in the city. Changing its earlier stance, the AAP government said the Odd-Even road rationing scheme will be implemented with no exemptions, as an ’emergency measure’.The plan also includes a ban on entry of trucks in city limits, shutting down of industries, prohibition on burning of waste, and a complete stop to construction activities, once the pollution levels touch the ‘Severe’ category.Earlier, the AAP government had told the court that due to the lack of adequate number of buses and keeping women’s security in mind, it must allow exemption to women drivers and two-wheelers.The green court, however, was not in agreement and told the government to add to its bus fleet. The transport department is still in the process of procuring 1,000 more Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses.The NGT also directed the city government to file a a detailed report, including details of exemptions given in the Odd-Even scheme, besides directing the Haryana and Punjab governments to submits their detailed action plan by Thursday. The panel will now hear the matter on Thursday.A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar stated that the air quality in the national Capital was never normal. “You all (states) tell us what steps you will take at what level of pollution. What are your normal steps to check pollution?” the bench asked.The court also rapped the AAP government for not filing a comprehensive action plan on ways to tackle severe air pollution in the city, besides slamming the authorities for organising the India-Sri Lanka cricket test match, despite the bad air quality.The report also stated that after the NGT orders, sprinkling of water and mechanised cleaning of major roads is being done.”The Public Works Department (PWD) has deployed 51 water tankers every day, covering an average of 130 km of roads. The department also took help of the DJB. As many as 6 water tankers have been deployed at an average distance of 15-16 km from September 9 onwards,” the report stated.It added: “The PWD is making efforts to increase the number of machines by re-tendering procurement of sweeping machines.”Besides, monitoring and action against persons for burning waste material in the open has been going on as a special drive. Public notices have been issued on prohibition on open burning of leaves and waste.According to the plan, Sub Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) and Tehsildars (Executive Magistrate), Department of Revenue, have been authorised to take action against violators. Penalty will be imposed in accordance with the NGT directions. The report further stated that promotion of Battery Operated Vehicles or e-rickshaws has been taken up.Air quality in the national Capital had dipped close to ‘severe’ category again over the week. However, with the sun showing up and wind speed picking up on Wednesday, it improved to ‘poor’ from the ‘very poor’ category.
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Supreme Court reserves judgement on pleas on Delhi-Centre power dispute

The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict on a clutch of pleas on the issue whether the Lieutenant Governor or the Delhi government enjoyed supremacy in administration, after the AAP dispensation concluded its arguments asserting that it possessed both legislative and executive powers. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which had commenced hearing on November 2, reserved the judgement after hearing a galaxy of senior lawyers for 15 days in over four weeks. While the battery of senior lawyers — P Chidambaram, Gopal Subramanium, Rajeev Dhavan, Indira Jaising — argued for the Arvind Kejriwal government, the NDA government at the Centre was represented by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh in the marathon proceedings. Wrapping up the rejoinder submissions, Subramanium told the bench, which also comprised Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, that the chief minister and the council of ministers had the legislative power to make laws as well as the executive authority to enforce the enacted statutes. “The Chief Minister heads the council of ministers to aid and advice the Lieutenant Governor,” he said, adding that Parliament wanted to accord special status to Delhi under the Constitution and, hence, Article 239AA came into being. Had that not been the intention, there was no need to frame Article 239AA (which deals with power and status of Delhi under the Constitution), Subramanium said, adding that the national capital could have also been governed by Article 239A, meant to deal with the Union Territory of Puducherry. “The executive authority lies with the Government of Delhi when one says that the Chief Minister and the council of ministers shall be responsible to the Delhi assembly,” he said. Subramanium, however, said that certain powers are “co- extensive” and the rule of Delhi has to be conducted in the name of the President through the elected government. He said the LG has been taking many executive decisions and a “harmonious interpretation” of Article 239AA was needed to fulfil the constitutional mandate for a democratically- elected Delhi government. Another senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan said that Article 239AA and the GNCTD Act of 1991, made it clear that the LG was just a delegatee of the President and can only act on his own in case of an urgency. He said the Constitution has to be read as a whole to interpret the powers of the Lieutenant Governor and the fact cannot be ignored that Delhi has a democratic government chosen by the people. The top court was hearing a batch of appeals filed by the AAP government challenging Delhi High Court’s verdict holding the Lieutenant Governor as the administrative head of the national capital. Earlier, the apex court had considered the submissions of the ASG that several “illegal” notifications were issued by the Delhi government and they were challenged in High Court. The constitution bench had said it would only lay down the principles on the status of the national capital under the Constitution and not deal with the issues arising out of individual notifications issued by the Delhi government on matters like the ‘mohalla clinics’ and regularisation of guest teachers. The ASG had referred to several decisions taken by the AAP government on issues like mohalla clinics, regularisation of guest teachers and posting of Bihar officials in its Anti- Corruption Branch (ACB). He had also referred to a decision of the Kejriwal government to declare a bungalow allocated to its minister, as the office of the ruling Aam Admi Party. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Reliance Industries Ltd, had dealt with the decision of Delhi government to register an FIR against then Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and others over alleged irregularities in raising of gas prices. Can a state government register an FIR against sitting Union Cabinet ministers and private company in matters pertaining to policy decision of fixing the gas price, Singhvi had asked and said in a federal set-up, such actions would “lead to chaos”. The Centre had also said the Delhi government cannot have “exclusive” executive powers as it would be against national interests. It had referred to the 1989 Balakrishnan committee report that had dealt with reasons for not granting the status of a state to Delhi.It had referred to the Constitution, the 1991 Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act and the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules to drive home the point that the President, the union government and the LG had supremacy over the city dispensation in administering the national capital. On the other hand, the Delhi government had accused the LG of making a “mockery of democracy”, saying he was either taking decisions of an elected government or substituting them without having any power.
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NGT slams Delhi government, asks why Kotla match held

India’s top environment court pulled up the AAP government on Monday for inadequate action on pollution and criticised authorities for holding the India-Sri Lanka Test in the city despite bad air quality.The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had sought a comprehensive action plan on ways to deal with severe air pollution. On Monday, the Delhi government sought more time, but the tribunal said the report must be filed within the next 48 hours.On Sunday, the match being played at the Feroz Shah Kotla had to be halted for 17 minutes after Sri Lankan players complained of poor air quality. Their coach Nic Pothas said players vomited, and oxygen cylinders had been kept in the dressing room.”Every newspaper has been carrying headline that air pollution was going to be higher this week. Still you took no action. Even the players were playing match wearing masks. You should have not held the match if the air quality was so bad. Are people of Delhi supposed to bear this?” the NGT said.It said that the pollution in the city has already reached alarming levels yet the government was adopting a lackadaisical approach in dealing with the situation.”Where is your action plan? Why have you not submitted it? What can we do if you keep on changing everybody? It’s not our problem if people don’t want to stick to you. You keep on doing meetings but tell us a single action or step you have taken in the last four days to combat air pollution,” the NGT said.(With PTI inputs)
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AAP served IT notice of Rs 30 crores, Kejriwal calls it ‘political vendetta’

Updated: Nov 28, 2017, 12:19 AM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Aam Aadmi Party was today served a notice of Rs 30 crore by the Income Tax department over the donations received by it, a move Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal dubbed as the “height of political vendetta”.”In the history of India, all donations to a political party have been declared illegal. All these were accounted for and shown in books of accounts. This is a height of political vendetta,” Kejriwal tweeted. Income Tax Department sources said the notice was issued by the assessing officer under section 156 (notice of demand).They said it was issued in the “normal course”, where ITRs are picked up for scrutiny by the assessing officer. “As the case was getting time barred, the notice was issued to the concerned assessee. “Similar notices have been issued to other entities too. The notice of demand (to AAP) is for income arising from various sources including donations,” a senior official said.
ALSO READ IT dept sends Rs 30.67 crore notice to Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party

IT dept sends Rs 30.67 crore notice to Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax department on Monday slapped Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party (AAP) with a Rs 30.67 crore tax notice.The IT department has reportedly pulled up the party for not recording full details of 462 donors who donated Rs 6 crore.The party on Sunday marked the five-year anniversary and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched a broadside against the BJP, accusing it of ‘polarising’ the country, saying the saffron party has realised the goal of Pakistan of dividing the nation in just three years of its rule.Without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, Kejriwal said the AAP is ‘not like a Napolean’ whose intention is to win every state election, but its real purpose is to change the system.Earlier this year, the IT department had issued a notice to AAP asking why it should not be prosecuted for alleged falsification of account books and ‘wilful attempt’ to evade tax on donations received by it.The tax department had charged the party with not filing a ‘true and correct’ contribution report for donations received for the assessment year 2014-15 which have been found to be over Rs 30.08 crore after year-long investigations.

October 10 fare hike costs Delhi Metro 3 lakh commuters a day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Metro’s ridership saw a slump in October after a steep fare hike came into effect, according to the records of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).The Delhi Metro lost three lakh commuters a day after the fare hike that came into effect on October 10, the DMRC said in response to a Right To Information (RTI) query filed by news agency PTI. The daily average ridership on 218-km network came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, translating to a fall of around 11 per cent, PTI reported. The Blue Line, considered the metro’s busiest, lost over 30 lakh riders in a month, according to data shared by the DMRC. The 50-km corridor connects Dwarka in South West Delhi to Noida.DMRC said that Yellow Line, another busy corridor which connects Gurgaon to north Delhi’s Samaypur Badli, lost over over 19 lakh commuuters in terms of absolute numbers.Ridership on the Violet Line, which connects ITO in Central Delhi to Faridabad, plunged by 11.9 lakh in October. The Red Line connecting Dilshad Garden to Rithala also lost 7.5 lakh riders.Ridership has come down several notches below the numbers observed in recent years, bucking a trend of rise on the back of the launch of newer sections.In October 2016, the metro’s daily average ridership was also 27.2 lakh, despite a comparatively shorter operational route.Earlier, the fare hike in May had also also caused a loss of nearly 1.5 lakh passengers per day in June. However, the DMRC had attributed the reduction in ridership, by up to 5 per cent, as “natural”.The hike on October 10, which came barely five months after the last one, affects every commuter of the Metro who travels beyond 5 km, while journeys falling in the 2-5 km distance slab cost Rs 5 more.The revised fare structure after the fare hike is: up to 2 km — Rs 10, 2 to 5 km — Rs 20, 5 to 12 km — Rs 30, 12 to 21 km — Rs 40, 21 to 32 km — Rs 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km — Rs 60.The implementation of the fare hike had caused a tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government which opposed the move. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has mounted a stiff opposition to the hike, leading to a confrontation with the Centre.DMRC and Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri had supported the move, rejecting strong opposition by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government. Commenting on the RTI revelation, Kejriwal tweeted, “That many passengers have taken to other means of tpt, thus increasing pollution n congestion on roads. Metro fare hike has not benefitted anyone.”

Over 1,200 nominations for first phase

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1,215 nominations have been filed for the 89 seats going to polls in the first phase on December 9, official sources said. Tuesday was the last day for filing of nominations.According to officials, as many as 377 nominations were filed on Monday to go with the 111 filed earlier, taking the total number to 488. As is always the case, most of the nominations were filed on the last day.Majority of the candidates of the BJP, Congress and other parties such as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Shiv Sena, filed their nominations on Tuesday, and so did many independent candidates.However, the number will come down as nomination forms of dummy candidates will be rejected during scrutiny on Wednesday. A clear picture about the candidates left in fray will emerge only on Friday, which is the last day for withdrawing nominations.The filing of nominations for the second phase of polling on December 14 also commenced on Monday. 93 seats in north and central Gujarat will go to polls in phase two.

Delh HC pulls up AAP govt for not appointing regular teachers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday rapped the AAP Government for not following its directions on appointing regular teachers in its schools.”Enough is enough, nothing has been done since 2011… As appointment of guest teachers is in fashion, so you (government) are also following it,” Justice A K Chawla said. The court said its direction for appointment of regular teachers has been “frustrated” and the rush was only to recruit guest teachers. The judge said the court’s directions are not to be taken “lightly” and asked the Delhi government to begin the process of appointing regular teachers soon.The court said its earlier orders were not being implemented and the government’s “only concern was that contract teachers are to be appointed in the form of guest teachers”. Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh said it was a policy decision which has to be taken by the Lieutenant Governor before whom the issue whether to give extra weightage to guest teachers was pending. It was up to the LG whether he can consider the request of the government or take a different view, he said, adding that the experience of guest teachers should not wasted that is why weightage was being given.The court said it was due to the weightage criteria that everything has been put on hold. “The entire process has been held up due to the weightage criteria. Something needs to be done on this,” it said.The court then asked the government’s counsel how much time will the LG take for a decision and asked him to inform about it on November 22. It also asked Singh to bring an office file relating to the appointment of teachers.The Delhi government had recently informed the court that there was a shortage of over 27,000 regular teachers in government schools here while the present sanctioned regular posts of teachers was 66,736. The court was hearing DoE’s plea to vacate the September 27 stay on the process of appointing guest teachers and promoting those appointed since 2010 in government schools so that it could fill nearly 9,000 vacancies. It had said its interim order of stay will continue.The government had said the stay was causing problem to students who were suffering due to shortage of teachers. The AAP government has filed the application in a pending contempt plea filed by NGO Social Jurist, represented through advocate Ashok Agarwal, seeking a stay on the order of the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) withdrawing a notice on appointment of 8,914 school teachers.The court had stayed the appointment process after it was informed that the authorities have not complied with the high court’s 2001 order. The court was also informed that a bill was recently passed in the Delhi Legislative Assembly to regularise all guest teachers appointed since 2010.The NGO’s plea said after a high court order of April 11, the DSSSB issued vacancy notice on August 7 inviting applications from candidates for 8,914 teaching posts in the DoE of the Delhi government and for 5,906 teaching posts in the three municipal corporation schools here. It alleged that the DSSSB, without informing or seeking permission from the court, had on August 24 “abruptly withdrawn the advertisement” regarding these vacancies.

Gujarat Election 2017: AAP’s Kanu Kalsaria to contest as an Independent; seeks Congress’ support

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP leader from Gujarat, Kanu Kalsaria, on Saturday announced that he will fight the next month’s state assembly polls as an independent candidate from Mahuva constituency in Bhavnagar district against the “anti-farmer and anti-poor” BJP.Kalsaria, who had joined the Arvind Kejriwal-led party in 2014, said that although he has not formally resigned from AAP, he will not work for it during the polls.”I have not officially resigned from AAP. I have told the party leadership that I am contesting independently from Mahuva. They told me to do whatever I feel right. For now, I am not a member of AAP and I will not be working for it during this election,” Kalsaria, a three-time BJP MLA, said.AAP has so far declared candidates for 20 seats. Kalsaria’s name did not figure in the list.Kalsaria said he filed his nomination as an independent candidate on Friday and will fight the elections under the banner of Sadbhavna Manch, an outfit of Sadbhavna Charitable Trust.Kalsaria had parted ways with the ruling BJP after successfully spearheading farmers’ agitation against Nirma Group’s proposed cement plant in Bhavnagar district in 2011.In 2012, he contested the state elections as an independent candidate, but could not win. In 2014, Kalsaria joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).”People from this (Mahuva) constituency remember my work as an MLA. We built two charitable hospitals under our Sadbhavna Charitable Trust, and we also constructed water bodies. They were not happy that I had left this constituency, so on their insistence I have decided to again contest from here,” Kalsaria said.He said his fight was against the ruling BJP and not against AAP or Congress.”I could have contested from AAP. I am not angry with BJP, Congress or AAP.There are good people in all the parties. But there are certain policies of the BJP that I oppose. I am against the BJP’s policies for farmers and poor.My fight is against the anti-farmer and anti-poor policies of BJP,” he said.Kalsaria had recently met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi during one of his campaign tours in the state, raising speculations that he was likely to join the Congress.Kalsaria said he had expressed his desire to contest as an independent candidate and had sought Congress’ backing.”I had requested Rahulji not to field any Congress candidate from Mahuva constituency. Congress is a big national party and is free to field its candidate from Mahuva,” he said.Congress is yet to announce its list of candidates for the elections for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly to be held on December 9 and 14. The results will be out on December 18.

LG in Delhi has more power than governor of a state, says Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today said that Delhi’s lieutenant governor has more power than the governor of a state as he does not have to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers all the time.It said that the governor of a state has to more or less act on the aid and advice of the government expect in the case of discretion that could be exercised by the office.The Delhi government claimed that the LG cannot govern Delhi, has no role in the affairs of the national capital. It is only the council of ministers, headed by the chief minister, which can govern, it said. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that under Article 163, the governor has to act on the aid and advice of the council of minister except in the case where he has to exercise his discretion. The court is hearing a batch of pleas on who enjoys supremacy in governing the national capital, referred to in Article 239AA of the Constitution.”The language of Article 163 is similar to Article 239AA sub clause 4 but the only difference is that the Legislative Assembly cannot make laws with respect to entries 1, 2 and 18 in which the LG can exercise his discreation. Thus, the LG has more power than a governor of state,” a bench also comprising justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan said. It said land, police and public orders fall in the domain of the Centre and the Delhi Assembly cannot make laws with regard to these subject.Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for the Delhi government, said that Article 239AA and the GNCTD Act of 1991, made it clear that the LG is just a delegatee of the President and can only act on his own in case of an urgency. “The LG cannot run Delhi. He has no role to run the affairs of Delhi. That role is assigned to the council of ministers headed by the chief minister. Nowhere in the Constitution such power has been given to the LG,” he said.Dhawan questioned as how can the LG say that this officer will stay in a particular department or the officer needs to be transferred to another department. “Delhi does not have its own public service commission though it has power to establish one but still it has not done so. The officers posted in Delhi are from all-India cadres of the IAS, IPS and IRS and they listen to the directions of the LG,” Dhawan said. He said that the LG can interfere in the affairs of Delhi only in two cases — if the state government crosses its powers or if Delhi is under some kind of a threat.Dhawan cited the Jat agitation when lakhs of people from Rajasthan and other adjoining states poured in the national capital. “The LG can’t pick and choose from the wide canvas of Delhi’s various allocations of business. If there is some disagreement between the council of ministers and the LG over some issue, then it has to be resolved through negotiations and if that too fails, then the President has to take a call,” he said. The senior lawyer further said that there were instances when same parties ruled at the Centre and in Delhi and at that time simple request was enough to get the work done, but now different parties are at the helm and they are at loggerheads.The AAP government said that the aid and advice of the council of ministers has some meaning and it is not limited since it is from the elected representatives of the people. Dhawan said that land, public order and police are with the central government but it cannot be stated that the Delhi government has no say. He cited the violence at Ramlila Maidan that took place during a protest led by yoga guru Ramdev against black money in 2011 and said in those cases when there is threat, chaos and law and order problem, the LG can step in.To this, the bench said that there cannot be any disagreement over the subjects like land, police or public orders which fall within the domain of the Centre and not the Assembly. It said that allocation of the business rules does not confer absolute power to the government and they have to work through the provisos. The apex court had yesterday said the Constitution provided restrictions on the legislative powers of the Union Territory of Delhi.The AAP government had told the court that Parliament’s power to override legislative authority of the states was an “emergency” power.The apex court had said that with regard to Delhi’s legislative powers, the state and concurrent lists have been merged into one where both the state and Union have legislative powers.Earlier, the apex court had raised a question whether the constitutional scheme on division of executive powers between the Centre and the states can be made applicable to Delhi. The court is hearing a batch of appeals filed by the AAP government challenging the Delhi High Court verdict holding that the LG was the administrative head of the national capital.

Defamation case: Jaitley opposes Kejriwal’s plea against summoning order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Arun Jaitley opposed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition in the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of a trial court’s order summoning him as an accused in a criminal defamation complaint filed by the BJP leader.Jaitley sought dismissal of Kejriwal’s plea on the ground that he and five other AAP leaders, who were also summoned as accused in the case, since the beginning of the case had tried to “stall” the proceedings and had filed various petitions and applications to “impede” the trial.The finance minister made the submissions in his written arguments filed before Justice A K Pathak, who was hearing the chief minister’s plea against a trial court’s March 9, 2016 order summoning him and others in the matter.Taking note of the submissions filed before it, the court fixed the matter for arguments on January 11 next year.It also asked Kejriwal’s counsel to file their written arguments in the matter.Senior counsel Sidharth Luthra and advocate Manik Dogra, representing Jaitley, said that the present petition ought to be dismissed on the ground of delay and latches.”The petition has been filed on May 3, 2017, almost 14 months after the summoning order was passed on March 9, 2016,” the counsel said.They said that the petition, which raises fallacious and baseless contentions, has only been filed with an ulterior motive to delay the trial.Kejriwal’s lawyers Nitya Ramakrishnan and Shadan Farasat said that none of the statements attributed to their client was defamatory in nature, as they do not satisfy any of the ingredients provided in Section 499 (defamation) of IPC and its explanations.Kejriwal has said that the trial court, prior to summoning him, did not test the allegations made in the complaint and pre-summoning evidence.Besides Kejriwal, the trial court had also summoned Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai, observing that the allegations levelled by them against Jaitley were “not only insulting but jeeringly taunting and provocative”.After they appeared in the matter, they were granted bail by the trial court.Jaitley had filed the criminal defamation complaint alleging that the accused had defamed him in a controversy regarding the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when he headed it for over a decade.The AAP leaders had accused the BJP leader of corruption while he was the president of the DDCA from 2000 to 2013. The charges have been denied by the Union minister during his cross-examination by Kejriwal’s counsel before the Delhi High Court.A civil defamation suit has also been filed by Jaitley against them in the Delhi High Court in the matter seeking Rs 10 crore as damages.The Union minister also contended that a perusal of the summoning order reveals that the trail court has clearly applied his judicial mind before issuing summons to all the accused.

Form strict laws against snatching: Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has sought a status report from the AAP government to find out how they intend to deal with the issue of snatching after a Public Interest Litigation was filed stating that these incidents have increased by six-folds in the national capital. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also asked the Delhi government to consider amending the penal provisions to deal with “serious problems” of chain snatching. The bench listed the matter for further hearing on December 14.MODUS OPERANDIUsually in a team of two to be able to flee on a two-wheeler
They modify their bikes by removing its fuel supply regulator to flee at high speed
Use stolen bikes to remain untraced
While one waits at the bike with ignition on, the pillion rider commits snatching
Target elderly women and women unable to chase or raise alarm instantly
Melt ornaments and sell off valuables instantly to avoid any recovery from them
Cover face or commit snatching at dark stretches to keep identity hidden ARMING NUMBERSMore than 28 snatchings a day (Avg)Total incidents 2016 – 3813 (till May 15)On the rise – (last five years)2015 989620147350201336382012144020111476

EC’s response to Kejri’s plea, challenging its order, sought

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A notice was sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday, seeking its response on a plea filed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who challenged the ECI order to lodge an FIR against him on charges of bribery during the Goa Assembly polls.Justice Indermeet Kaur sought the reply on the petition, which alleged that the CM’s right to free speech was being curtailed due to the ECI order, passed on January 29. While listing the matter for February 2 next year, the court said Kejriwal had approached the court very late.During the proceedings, the counsel appearing for the poll panel said the FIR was registered on January 30, as per the EC directions.The incident allegedly took place during campaigning for the Goa Assembly elections. In a series of rallies between January 7-8, Kejriwal appealed to the voters to “accept money from Congress and BJP candidates, but vote for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)”.Following this, Satish Upadhayay, former president of Delhi BJP, registered a complaint to the EC, accusing the CM of violation of Model Code of Conduct. Thereafter, the poll panel directed that a complaint be lodged against the AAP leader, under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, dealing with bribing voters, and relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).In the plea, Kejriwal said the statements made by him were largely misinterpreted. He also said the EC’s direction was like a gag order against him.Earlier, the Commission had censured Kejriwal for violating the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, he said.”The order infringes upon the Petitioner’s Fundamental Right of speech and expression, as promised under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. The petitioner, being a political activist, censuring him made him incur a huge setback because of his inability to take part in political rallies and thereby hindering his bonafide activism towards a bribe-free and corruption-free society,” the petition said.

BJP demands 24-hour chest clinics for pollution-hit Delhiites

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticised the Arvind Kejriwal government, calling it visionless for its inability to arrest rising pollution levels in the national Capital that has been gripped in a thick blanket of poisonous smog.Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari on Monday said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) remains indecisive with a string of failed decisions to its credit in handling the hazardous smog.Citing Monday’s pollution levels that were recorded as 4 to 7 times higher than the tolerable 60 mg level, Tiwari said,”With schools set to open and a heavy public activity, the Kejriwal government seems to be lost as it never formulated a strategy to fight such a climatic emergency. People are worried and state administration, especially in hospitals have failed the citizens.”Tiwari also requested Lt. Governor Anil Baijal to call an all-party meeting to discuss the preparation to fight pollution and remedial measures in the Capital. The Delhi BJP also requested the Lt Governor to direct all government and private hospitals to set up 24-hour free chest clinics to help the affected people.The BJP has trained its guns on CM Arvind Kejriwal since Delhi caught itself warped in heavy smog. The party last week distributed masks in the northeast part of the city, as Tiwari attacked the AAP government for being indifferent towards the health of people.The party said the government failed to formulate any decisive policies to tackle the pollution scenario which was turning grim by the day. The Delhi chief minister was also lambasted for passing the buck to neighbouring states for burning stubble while he himself did not have any roadmap for pollution.

AAP govt seeks modification of NGT order on odd-even

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government filed an application in National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday seeking modifications of its order passed on Saturday that gave a nod for the odd-even car rationing scheme, without giving exemptions to women motorists and two-wheelers. The review application was filed later during the day. NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said Monday that the principal bench will hear the matter on Tuesday. The Delhi government had announced the plan to implement odd-even scheme between November 13 and November 17 to curb the severe levels of pollution. Earlier in the day, Justice Kumar sought to know from the Delhi government counsel if a review application was being filed on the issue of odd-even scheme. When nobody from the Delhi government came forward, Justice Kumar said, “Are you approaching us or was the minister’s statement only for the press.” Soon after NGT’s order on Saturday, the Delhi government said that it was revoking the decision of implementing odd-even car as without exemptions to women and two-wheelers public transport would be insufficient.

AAP yet to decide to nominate leaders or outsiders for Rajya Sabha seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is still exploring whether to nominate its leaders or eminent people from various walks of life in the Rajya Sabha election from Delhi early next year, senior leader Gopal Rai has said.Rai said the party was “yet to take a final call” on its nominees.The party approached former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to be its candidate, but he is believed to have declined the offer.An AAP leader, requesting anonymity, said last week that the party was looking for an economist, an eminent jurist and a known name in the field of social service to represent the party in the Rajya Sabha.This was also being done to put to end to the rancour within the party over the Rajya Sabha nominations.The AAP has 66 members in the 70-member Delhi Assembly and its victory on all three seats looks certain.The tenure of the three incumbent Rajya Sabha members from Delhi ends on January 28, 2018.Talking to reporters at an informal briefing on Friday, Rai said the party was exploring all possibilities.Many AAP leaders are reportedly vying for the Rajya Sabha nomination.Kumar Vishwas is considered to be a strong contender for a Rajya Sabha berth, but looking at his rocky relationship with the leadership at the moment, his nomination looks unlikely.Asked whether anyone has made their ambition clear for the Rajya Sabha seats, Rai, in a dig at Vishwas, said, “There aren’t many insecure people in the party.”

Government introduced scheme to hide inefficacy: BJP chief Manoj Tiwari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of deflecting attention away from his government’s inefficacy in arresting pollution by introducing the Odd-Even scheme. It also went on to clarify that the BJP does not want to indulge in politics over the matter but the recent incident of an AAP leader in Punjab burning stubble there reflects the party’s lack of interest in conserving the environment.Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari also expressed his surprise over the dates finalised by AAP to initiate the scheme. He said that while the AAP declared an emergency situation in view of the rising smog levels, implementing it on November 13 make little sense.”Kejriwal announced the scheme on November 9, touting it as an exigency. However, he is rolling it out a few days later. How would the city benefit then when its reeling under unprecedented pollution levels now?” he said, adding that the scheme did not bear the kind of results that Kejriwal had proclaimed when the government had brought in the scheme in 2016.”The National Green Tribunal had also expressed doubts over the timing and necessity of bringing it back this month,” he added.Tiwari also said that the AAP government failed to take any proactive measures to combat pollution which led to the current situation. Emphasising upon the role of public transport in reducing pollution levels, he said that the AAP government failed to make public transport system more robust.He clarified that the BJP was not opposed to the scheme but doubted whether the government was keen on implementing it with full spirit.

Odd-Even will be ineffective: Bhure Lal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party government announced to run during Monday-Friday its road rationing scheme Odd-Even as an emergency measure under a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) given by the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).But EPCA chairman Bhure Lal said there will not be much effect through the scheme in which odd and even numbered private vehicles ply on alternate days to encourage public transport use.”The government does not have enough number of buses to start the scheme, and with exemptions on two-wheelers, it will not have much effect,” he said.Lal said the announcement of the scheme was not suggested at present, as smog is expected to clear by November 13. “The government needs at least 2,000 (more) buses to start the third round of Odd-Even. The announcement was done without any consultation with EPCA. It will create unnecessary panic among the public at large.””The measure was suggested under GRAP during emergency levels while we are expecting the conditions to improve by Saturday,” said Lal.The former bureaucrat, who has been heading EPCA for the last 10 years, added, “Besides, exempting two-wheelers, which are even more polluting than cars, will not help the situation.”The government should have waited for EPCA to think over it before announcing the measure, he said. The city has over 60 lakh two-wheelers; these should have been included in the scheme with better planning if the government had to bring back the scheme at all, he said.The scheme like in the last year exempts women and two-wheelers. The first two editions were launched by the AAP government in 2016. Then restrictions were in place from 8am to 8pm. GRAP was notified last year and has an advisory for every category of pollution levels. Odd-Even is to be implemented during emergency pollution levels.The AAP government assured that there will be no surge pricing by Ola and Uber during the five days of Odd-Even.

Kejriwal denies asking Jethmalani to use scandalous words to describe Jaitley, calls it hearsay

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today told the Delhi High Court that Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s second defamation suit against him over the usage of ‘scandalous’ words by his former counsel was based on hearsay and thus was inadmissible as evidence for fresh action.Jaitley’s counsel, however, termed as “belated” the chief minister’s denial that he had not instructed his former lawyer Ram Jethmalani to use defamatory words against the BJP leader.Kejriwal made the submission before Justice Manmohan, who is also hearing his separate application urging the court to strike down Jaitley’s response to his defamation suit of Rs 10 crore after the latter’s counsel confirmed that the words against the union minister were used following instructions.
ALSO READ Jaitley defamation case: Delhi HC rejects Arvind Kejriwal’s plea for summoning witnesses, documents of DDCAThe court reserved its order on this application.
ALSO READ Foes turned friends? P Chidambaram to argue Arvind Kejriwal govt’s case against Centre Kejriwal’s lawyer, senior counsel Anoop George Chaudhari and advocate Anupam Srivastava, told the court that the “averments in the plaint (filed by Jaitley) in regards to the use of defamatory words…Said to be uttered, as stated by the senior counsel for the defendant (Kejriwal), are nothing but hearsay.”Under the Indian Evidence Act hearsay evidence is inadmissible, therefore the plaint is liable be rejected as entirely based upon inadmissible hearsay evidence, as disclosed in the plaint,” he added.Senior counsel Rajiv Nayar and advocate Manik Dogra, appearing for the union minister, contended that the Aam Aadmi Party leader has neither substantiated his claim that he did not instruct his former lawyer to use such words, nor did he initiate any action against Jethmalani for using scandalous words without his permission.Kejriwal also said the objectionable words were used by Jethmalani on his own.The chief minister in his application also said that he was not present in the court on the said date of hearing.”Thus in regard to the use of words… No cause of action arises and thus no cause of action has been disclosed,” the application said.The court has fixed the application for further hearing on December 14 after the counsel for Jaitley said he does not wish to file a reply to it.Jethmalani, who in September announced his retirement from over seven-decade long career as an advocate, had used the words while cross-examining the Union Minister in a separate Rs 10 crore defamation case filed by the BJP leader against the AAP convenor and five others of the party in 2015.The AAP leaders in December 2015 had levelled charges of corruption against Jaitley in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).Jaitley has denied all the allegations and also claimed that these had harmed his reputation.In response to Kejriwal’s denial, the BJP leader had termed as an “afterthought” and “a belated attempt” the July 20 letter written by Kejriwal to Jethmalani stating that he had not instructed him to use defamatory words against Jaitley.With regard to Kejriwal’s claim that the “statements made during judicial proceedings are even otherwise protected by absolute privilege”, Jaitley has said no such privilege can be claimed by a person who instructed his lawyer to insult or use defamatory language against a witness.Jaitley has claimed he is entitled to the relief sought by him and the suit be decreed in his favour.

Every one thought AAP’s CM candidate Elvis Gomes was planted by me: Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that in the run up to the February 2017 assembly elections, there were apprehensions that the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) chief ministerial candidate was “planted” by him in that party.The Aam Aadmi Party, which had failed to win even a single seat of the 39 it contested, had projected former bureaucrat Elvis Gomes as their chief ministerial candidate. Gomes had resigned as Inspector General of Prisons to join AAP and led its campaign in Goa. “In fact a lot of people thought that Elvis is my strong officer. When he went to a political set up, lot of people asked me whether I have planted my man there,” Parrikar said. “That was the reaction… He (Gomes) also must have heard people saying it, because people in Goa don’t think that political thinking can be different from other things,” the chief minister said.Parrikar was addressing the event to launch Vedanta’s Women’s Football League. Gomes who is also president of Goa Football Association was present on the dais along with the chief minister. Parrikar said he does not mix politics and development or football.”Whether it is development, game or state as a whole, for me every person is equal and I don’t treat them as an adversary,” he said. Referring to Gomes, he said “political differences will be there. Once election code of conduct is announced, we won’t see each other. But after that we can work together.” Talking about Indian football, Parrikar said the sport requires lot of more energy so that it crosses a threshold. He said Goa also requires the push in football. “In spite of all our efforts we can’t find many of them representing the country. Lot of facilities need to be opened up but the only problem is that there has to be some discipline,” he commented.

Vishwas vs Kejriwal-Sisodia: AAP now a completely divided house

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party was a dream that thousands of people breathed life into. Among them were three close friends — Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas.As AAP turns five this month, it seems unlikely that the trio will ever be a cohesive group again. Recent developments indicate that the rift between poet-turned-politician Vishwas on one side, and Chief Minister Kejriwal and his deputy Sisodia on the other, has widened to an abyss. Sources from the two camps believed the strain in the friendship has hit a nadir. Bitterness has reached a point where a patch-up seems unlikely, they said.The party’s National Council meeting held last week reflected this. Vishwas alleged that for the first time he was not among the speakers at the high-level meet. “I thought only the Congress and the BJP were scared of me,? he later said, taking a dig at the AAP leadership. The founder-members of the party, who participated in the anti-graft campaign that was the precursor to AAP, were known to be close friends. Vishwas often fondly reminisced how key decisions over the formation of the party took place at his residence in Ghaziabad.Vishwas, who fought and lost to — Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, has been upset with the leadership for some time now. A section of AAP close to Vishwas believed the rift had been caused by a ‘coterie’ around Kejriwal which, they claimed, was against Vishwas, in charge of the Rajasthan unit of the party. Vishwas believes he has been overlooked by the top brass. One bone of contention is the tussle over a Rajya Sabha seat.With its brute majority in the 67-member Delhi Legislative Assembly, AAP can send three people to the Upper House of Parliament. Vishwas sees himself as a strong contender for one of the seats. “But the leadership has apprehensions about that. What if Kumar starts attacking the party after becoming a Rajya Sabha member,” asked an AAP leader considered close to Kejriwal. Vishwas is also troubled over the top leaders? relationship with Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan. Recently, the party revoked the suspension of Khan, who, after AAP’s debacle in the MCD elections, had accused Vishwas of being an ‘agent of the RSS’ and trying to split the party.Vishwas took strong exception to that and threatened he would quit the party if action was not taken against Khan, who he described as just a “mask”.Khan was suspended, but the Vishwas camp said he was never out of favour. The Okhla legislator was included on crucial panels of the Delhi Legislative Assembly and Kejriwal attended an iftar party organised by Khan, which was seen as a clear snub to Vishwas. The Kejriwal camp had its share of grievances against Vishwas, whom they disparagingly referred to as a ‘part-time politician’ because of his professional commitments as a poet.It referred to a video in which Vishwas was seen making a veiled attack on the Delhi government over alleged corruption before the MCD polls.”This damaged AAP’s image ahead of the crucial polls,”said a party leader, who also claimed that Vishwas was not free to campaign for the MCD poll campaign. There was apprehension that he was being ?instigated? by somebody outside the party, the leader said. An AAP member close to Kejriwal also referred to fears that a ‘coup’ was being planned at the behest of sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra.”After the MCD poll defeat some leaders and MLAs said Vishwas should lead the party. But he did not trash the idea. This added to the mistrust that followed the video episode,” he said. What does the future hold for VIshwas? Will he be removed from the party, or will the rift be healed” The Kejriwal camp stressed that the possibility of a patch-up was bleak, but it was unlikely that the party would crack the whip as Vishwas is popular with the rank and file and has proven oratorical skills.But sources close to Vishwas said it was also unlikely that he would back down. “Politics is all about timing and patience. Every leader goes through a low phase and Vishwas should wait for his time,” said a leader close to Kejriwal. Vishwas and Sisodia are known to be close childhood buddies from Pilkhuwa, a small town in western Uttar Pradesh. The bond between Kejriwal, a civil servant, and Sisodia, a former journalist, grew stronger when the two started an NGO to work for the downtrodden in Delhi and later for the RTI campaign.

Any help to set up Mohalla clinics an act of virtue: CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday requested everybody to leave behind politics and help the government set up Mohalla clinics in the national Capital. Kejriwal said that any help provided to set up these clinics would be an “act of virtue”.“Poor people are treated at these Mohalla clinics. Any help towards setting up these clinics is an act of virtue,” he said. He was referring to the media reports about the Delhi government not being given land by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for expansion of the Mohalla clinics. “Everybody should come forward for the cause, leaving behind party politics,” the Chief Minister wrote on Twitter. At present, Delhi has nearly 158 operational Mohalla clinics. The government has set a target of setting up 1,000 more such clinics. The government, in its latest decision, has planned to construct these clinics at various Metro stations in Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s flagship project, Mohalla clinics, aims to provide affordable treatment to patients at their doorstep. Every doctor gets Rs 30 per patient per day in these clinics, which are operational from 9 am to 1 pm.One of the most ambitious projects of the Delhi government, Mohalla clinics came under the scanner after the vigilance department ordered a probe in the functioning of these clinics. The complaint was forwarded by the Lieutenant Governor (L-G). The construction of these clinics was put on hold, which led to major confrontation. For the first time in history, 40 AAP workers laid siege to the Raj Niwas, official residence of the L-G, for over nine hours, on the issue of pending files of Mohalla clinics. The L-G, then cleared the proposal, though with some ‘safeguards’.Recently, the Delhi High Court had asked the AAP government to ensure that Mohalla clinics were not set up in schools as it would cause inconvenience to students and make educational institutes unsafe. The court also wanted the government to ensure that the clinics, in no way, rendered any place unsafe.

Stop release of An Insignificant Man

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the BJP approached the Election Commission against release of the movie Padmavati, a lawyer has written to the EC demanding similar measures against ‘An Insignificant Man’, a movie which depicts the rise of anti-corruption protests in the country, and the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party.In a letter to the EC, advocate Bhavik Samani wrote that An Insignificant Man, which is slated to release on November 17, features many leaders of AAP, their views, as well as the party’s win in Delhi. The movie not only violates the Model Code of Conduct, but also various sections of the Representation of People Act, and rules for conduct of elections, he said.While noting that even the title of the film is suggestive, Samani stated that it is more than clear that the film is nothing but election propaganda material of the AAP. The release of the movie will give an undue advantage to the party in the state elections, he said.”I implore you to stop the release and exhibition of any such film, and to bring down its trailer from the internet till completion of polling for free and fair conduct of elections,” he demanded.On Wednesday, the BJP wrote to the CEC demanding that release of the Deepika Padukone-starrer Padmavati be put on hold ahead of the state elections. The party said that the movie distorted history, and presented Rani Padmavati in poor light.BJP vice-president IK Jadeja said they had received representations from Kshatriya community in 17-18 districts of the state expressing concern over distortion of history in the movie. “Our demand is that the film should not be allowed to release. The Censor Board should review it again, and allow it to be released only with appropriate certification. This is important so that no community is offended, and unnecessary controversies are avoided before elections,” IK Jadeja, had said.SHOOTING TROUBLEOn Wednesday, the BJP wrote to the CEC demanding that release of the Deepika Padukone-starrer Padmavati be put on hold ahead of the state elections.

Arvind Kejriwal’s plea for DDCA papers denied

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that the court ‘cannot be used as an instrument to create evidence or conduct the roving and fishing enquiry for Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court (HC) on Tuesday dismissed the Chief Minister’s application that sought summoning of the minutes of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) meetings, held when Union Minister Arun Jaitley was the president of the sporting body.Joint Registrar Pankaj Gupta refused to admit the application filed in connection with a civil defamation case, lodged by Jaitley against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders.Appearing for Kejriwal, his counsel had argued that subject record was needed during the cross-examination of the witness. The court, however, refused to accept this contention and said: “The onus to prove the issues is on the defendant no. 1 (Kejriwal). He has to stand on his own legs.”The court also stated that while filing the written statement, Kejriwal had mentioned a number of documents, such as complaints, reports of committees, and print and electronic media reports. There was, however, no mention of the subject record.”It implies that the subject record was not even in the public domain during the period when the defendant no. 1 (Kejriwal) made the statements. Otherwise, he must have filed the same along with the written statement,” the court said.”It is nowhere mentioned in the case of the defendant no 1 (Kejriwal) that he has gone through the subject record at any point of time. It implies that he himself is not aware of the contents of the documents forming part of the subject record. Thus, Kejriwal has failed to substantiate the basis to summon Jaitley for cross-examination,” the court stated in its 15-page order.In his application, Kejriwal, through his counsel Anupam Shrivastav, sought the minutes of the meetings held by the General Body and the Executive Committee or Board of Directors of DDCA between 1999 and 2014. Appearing for Jaitley, his counsel Amit Mahajan had said that the application was not moved properly.Jaitley had filed a Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other AAP members for accusing him of financial irregularities during his tenure as the DDCA president. The AAP leaders had allegedly attacked Jaitley and his family members, including on social media, over the alleged irregularities and financial bungling in the sporting body.Kejriwal is also facing another Rs 10 crore defamation suit, filed by Jaitley in May this year, over the use of an objectionable word by his lawyer, Ram Jethmalani, during the Union Minister’s cross-examination.

AAP revokes Okhla MLA’s suspension, Vishwas irked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five months after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) suspended its Okhla MLA, Amanatullah Khan, for calling senior party leader Kumar Vishwas a BJP agent, the party has revoked the decision, leaving Vishwas incensed.According to Khan, he was informed about the decision by party leader Ashutosh on Sunday. “I received a call from Ashutosh, who informed me that my suspension has been revoked. It’s a welcoming decision. Now, I’ll be able to give undivided attention to my duties,” Khan said.On being asked whether he still stood by his statement against Vishwas, who is now heading the party’s Rajasthan unit, Khan said: “We should forget what happened in the past and work together for the prosperity of the party. All of us are working for the same goal and Kumar Vishwas is working hard for the party in Rajasthan.” He added that he didn’t wish to get into any other political controversy.Meanwhile, in a statement to the media, Vishwas said he was not worried about the Rajya Sabha ticket or Amanatullah, adding that he has found himself alone within the party in connection to many national issues.AAP has been witnessing huge internal crises, following its humiliating defeat in the Delhi civic polls held in April.

Rift in AAP? Party revokes suspension of Amanatullah Khan, Kumar Vishvas ‘furious’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The AAP has revoked the suspension of Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan, three days before the party’s annual national council meeting, inviting a stinging backlash from its founder member Kumar Vishvas.The move is expected to further alienate Vishvas within the party.Khan’s suspension in May had capped a bitter spat within the party following a string of poll upsets. The MLA had called Vishvas an “agent of the BJP” while accusing him of plotting to split the AAP.The party had formed a three-member committee comprising Ashutosh, Atishi Marlena and Pankaj Gupta to look into Khan’s issue. However, it was largely seen as an exercise to mollify Vishvas and prevent a split.”Ashutosh called me yesterday and told me that the party has decided to revoke the suspension. I think my services are required in the upcoming polls in Gujarat,” Khan said.However, Vishvas lashed out at the decision, suggesting that the party was merely trying to provoke him into reacting so that he can be thrown out in the guise of disciplinary action.”But I will not let that happen. Amanatullah is merely a mask. Such masks are used to sideline people politically, which has been done before,” Vishvas said, refusing to name the face or faces behind the mask.He also claimed that unlike the previous years, his name does not figure in the list of speakers at the November 2 meeting according to the draft of the agenda circulated by the party.Calls to Ashutosh, Marlena did not elicit any response.Khan, a member of the all powerful Political Affairs Committee of the AAP, and a prominent Muslim face of the party was never out of the good books of the party leadership.Even after his suspension, Khan found himself in crucial house panels of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Kejriwal also visited Khan during iftar, sending Vishvas a message.

30,000 kg bags seized, 1,650 challaned for plastic use in Delhi this year: govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has seized nearly 30,000 kg of plastic bags, issued 1,650 challans, and levied fines worth Rs 3,180,000 as Environmental Compensation this year, so far.The campaign against the use of plastic bags has been in motion since the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in a notice dated August 10, 2017, directed that any person found in possession of or using plastic carry bags shall be liable to pay Environment Compensation of Rs 5,000 per default, and the bags shall be seized on the spot.The figures have been compiled by the Environment Department after obtaining them from the New Delhi Municipal Council, three MCDs, Delhi Cantonment Board, and Delhi government departments concerned. Teams of officials from the Revenue Department, NDMC, three MCDs, DPCC, and Delhi Cantonment Board have ensured implementation of the said directions.Environment Minister Imran Hussain has further directed the officials to intensify the drive against defaulters to make a visible difference. While providing the data, Hussain stressed on the effective implementation of the ban by carrying out widespread checks and running mass awareness programmes. On Thursday, the NGT had directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to strictly impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on violators and carry out raids on shops and vendors possessing plastic bags in the city.It also directed the AAP government to submit a status report on the steps taken to implement the ban on plastic in the Capital.

Narendra Patel, Varun Patel audio clip goes viral

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A sensational audio clip of the conversation between former PAAS leader and now BJP leader Varun Patel and Narendra Patel, in the case of Rs. 1 crore bribery, went viral on Thursday. In the conversation, Varun Patel reportedly offered the bribe to Narendra to switch loyalty with PAAS and to join BJP. Varun asked Narendra to accept 60% of the amount which is Rs 60 lakh as an advance and rest of the amount after he joined BJP. Narendra had made the revelation of the bribe on Sunday by addressing a press conference.Later on Tuesday, he filed a petition in Gandhinagar court seeking actions against Varun and Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vagani and other leaders.A two-minute-and-nine-second-long audio clip was made viral by Narendra himself. While speaking to DNA, Narendra said, “There should be no doubt on the authenticity of the clip as one can clearly identify voices of mine and Varun.I had recorded all the conversation between me and Varun. I have more such audio clips also.”“I did not release the audio during the press conference because I was under depression and fear that someone from BJP could harm me. Now, I’m out of that fear and have released the first audio clip, which was latest. I’m checking my phone and I will release more such revealing clips as I find them,” added Narendra. However, this raised the doubt that if Varun had promised him to get Rs. 40 lakh, why he showed only Rs 10 lakh before the media. “When I reached to meet Varun and BJP leaders, party chief Vaghani asked me to take Rs 10 lakh and said that the rest of amount would be given later by Varun. I was not allowed to carry my mobile phone to the venue of the meeting, so I could not record that conversation,” Narendra further added.Varun Patel went underground within few minutes after the audio clip went viral. On the other side, the PAAS and the AAP have decided to approach the election commission on the issue. PAAS leader Dinesh Bambhania said, “The audio clip has exposed BJP and we would approach the election commission to seek action against the BJP leaders involved in this.”Aam Admi Party(AAP) spokesperson Harshil Nayak said, “BJP is known to use money and muscle power to muzzle the voice of democracy during the polls. We are going to approach EC on Friday and would seek action.”The Congress also condemned the BJP and blamed BJP for horse trading. Party spokesperson Manish Doshi said, “This audio clip has exposed the face of BJP and this entire party has become Pandit Deendayal Trading Corporation. The BJP would decline more in the days to come to save their power. They are frightened and depressed. They should answer the people of Gujarat that the amount of Rs. 10 lakh was black or white money, or was that amount accounted or unaccounted.”unt would be given later by Varun. I was not allowed to carry my mobile phone to the venue of the meeting, so I could not record that conversation,” Narendra further added.Varun Patel went underground within few minutes after the audio clip went viral. On the other side, the PAAS and the AAP have decided to approach the election commission on the issue. PAAS leader Dinesh Bambhania said, “The audio clip has exposed BJP and we would approach the election commission to seek action against the BJP leaders involved in this.”Aam Admi Party(AAP) spokesperson Harshil Nayak said, “BJP is known to use money and muscle power to muzzle the voice of democracy during the polls. We are going to approach EC on Friday and would seek action.”The Congress also condemned the BJP and blamed BJP for horse trading. Party spokesperson Manish Doshi said, “This audio clip has exposed the face of BJP and this entire party has become Pandit Deendayal Trading Corporation. The BJP would decline more in the days to come to save their power. They are frightened and depressed. They should answer the people of Gujarat that the amount of Rs. 10 lakh was black or white money, or was that amount accounted or unaccounted.”THUS THEY SPOKEVarun: You come prepared to stay at night. You shall receive 60% today and the rest after the convention. You will address the press today evening and will have to attend BJP’s Diwali convention tomorrow.Narendra: Whatever amount I receive from you today, my boys will collect it and leave. Only I shall stay with you.Varun: Everything else rests upon me, it is my responsibility.Narendra: We’ll address the press only after I receive the amount.Varun: But you need some people with you when you address media.Narendra: I have arranged that. Four or five people will be with me.(Translated from Gujarati)

Chhath now battleground for political parties in city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Purvanchalis in Delhi are slowly emerging as a very significant vote bank, which all political parties are trying to woo. So, while the Aam Aadmi Party has declared a public holiday on Chhath Puja, falling on Thursday, not to be left behind is its arch rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has launched a campaign for hassle-free rituals at the river banks, as politics takes centrestage this festive season.Purvanchalis constitute nearly 25 per cent of the electorate in the Capital, enjoying a sizeable popularity among all three parties, Congress included.Over the last few years, the voters belonging to this community have played a crucial role in deciding the fate of candidates, the recent being the AAP’s big win in the Bawana by-polls.Candidate Ram Chander, a Purvanchali himself, helped the party romp home to victory by securing votes from JJ clusters dominated by members of the community. BJP suffered a debacle in Bawana and lost the seat by a margin of 24,000 votes. It had fielded defector MLA from AAP, Ved Prakash.From Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to other ministers in his Cabinet, all have been keeping a close watch on the puja arrangements this year. According to an official statement released by Development Minister Gopal Rai, the government has developed over 550 ghats this year for the devotees and cleanliness at these banks was the top priority for them. Apart from pumping in Rs 20 crore to develop Chhath ghats and maintaining them, civic body officers, engineers, and other bureaucrats have been directed to review all facilities.Meanwhile, after launching an attack on AAP for “playing with” the faith of devotees, BJP started its own ‘shramdaan’ programme at different ghats. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who has roots in Purvanchal, announced a helpline for Chhath samities on Monday, to facilitate smooth organisation of the festival.PARTY WARSBJP workers and volunteers cleaned ghats across the Capital, as mayors in the east and north MCDs inspected banks in their areas
Congress has accused AAP and BJP of politicising the festival, claiming that in their bid to outdo each other, they have diluted the pious spirit of the festival

Ordnance from social media makes Raje Ordinance top trending

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the state government is preparing to face the opposition onslaught over the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 during the assembly session beginning on Monday; the battle over the implications of the Ordinance is being fought in cyber space. The opposition has launched a vicious onslaught on chief minister Vasundhara Raje and the issue is the top trending topic on social media.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi launched a concerted attack against Raje and tweeted “Madam chief minister, with all humility we are in the 21st Century. Its 2017 not 1817. This was in reference to the 1817 Treaty between the British and erstwhile Gwalior royal family, to which Raje belongs.The RaGa tweet about 1817, say political observers is more targeted at Jyotiraditya Scindia who is the direct descendant, while Raje happens to be the daughter of the family. Observers feel that the tweet targets Rahul’s own close aide as much as it does Raje. AAP leader and incharge for Rajasthan Kumar Vishwas called Raje the female Kim Jong and party workers went on to tweet with the hashtag #TuglakiMaharani. Vishwas and other AAP leaders went to make a series of tweets with the hashtag and it was soon top trending.Home minister Gulab Chand Kataria was the only one who was allocated the arduous task of stepping in to defend the ordinance thatwas causing so much embarassment to the government and the chief minister. Kataria said the ordinance had been brought to check false cases.The home minister said most of the cases filed in court through 156 (3) were false and media coverage maligned the officers who were accused. This defense was but a repetition of what had already been said on Saturday. On the other hand, the attack had escalated to huge proportions.Floor management is vital while dealing with any issue in the assembly; and on the eve of the assembly session; the total inaction by the ministers and troubleshooters of the government was an indication of what could happen during the monsoon session beginning on Monday.But what was most surprising during this cyber battle was that despite the huge number of followers that chief minister Vasundhara Raje has on social media, there was no counter attack, no retaliation strategy or even propagation of the clarifications that were issued on Saturday by the government.This silence certainly puts a question mark on the chief minister’s social media team.AK JAIN TO FILE WRIT?Senior advocate AK Jain has said that he would be filing a writ against the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017. Jain would be counsel for litigant Bhagwat Gaur. The writ seeks that the Ordinance be declared ultra vires, void and unconstitutional. EDITORS GUILD DEMANDS WITHDRAWALThe Editors Guild of India, in a written statement, says that it is deeply concerned by the Rajasthan Government’s decision to make Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance 2017 into an Act in the current legislative session. “The ordinance promulgated by the State Government last month was ostensibly done to protect the judiciary and the bureaucracy against false FIRs. But in reality it is a pernicious instrument to harass the media, hide wrongful acts by government servants and drastically curb the freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution of India,” the statement read. The Editors Guild wants the Rajasthan Government to immediately withdraw the ordinance and desist from making it into law.

Gurdaspur bypolls: Amarinder Singh calls victory ‘rejection of anti-people’ policies of Centre; BJP alleges foul play

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Congress on Sunday wrested the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat from the BJP with its Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar trouncing saffron party candidate Swaran Salaria by a whopping margin of 1,93,219 votes in the high stakes bypoll.Jakhar polled 4,99,752 votes, way ahead of the BJP candidate’s 3,06,533, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria finished a distant third, garnering a mere 23,579 votes.Khajuria lost his security deposit.Jakhar maintained the lead in all nine Assembly segments, right from start of the counting of votes at 8 am, in a contest that virtually turned out to be a direct fight between the Congress and the BJP.Polling for the Gurdaspur seat, which had fallen vacant after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna in April this year, was held on October 11.After the Congress’s landslide win, it was early Diwali for party workers who distributed sweets. Celebratory scenes were witnessed at the party’s offices at Chandigarh, Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar apart from several places in Gurdaspur.The bypoll was important as it was being seen as a barometer of the popularity of the six-month old Captain Amarinder Singh government in Punjab.The chief minister hailed the victory as a “total rejection of the anti-people policies” of the BJP and its ally SAD and claimed it underlined the “political annihilation” of the AAP.He said the Gurdaspur result had once again showed that the Congress was on the revival path across the country. The Congress had last won this seat in 2009 when Partap Singh Bajwa defeated BJP’s actor-turned politician Vinod Khanna.The actor’s wife Kavita Khanna was among the front- runners for the BJP ticket, but the party chose businessman Salaria over her.Vinod Khanna had won this seat in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014.After defeating the BJP in its stronghold, the Congress was quick to claim that the win will set the tone for the 2019 general elections.”With this victory, people have reaffirmed faith in the leadership of Amarinder Singh,” said Jakhar who battled the “outsider” tag in the bypoll. Jakhar, who hails from Abohar in Fazilka, had lost in the 2017 Assembly polls.”The BJP must read the writing on the wall now,” Jakhar said after his emphatic win and added that the “people have rejected the BJP and shown mirror to the Akalis”.Congress communications incharge Randeep Singh Surjewla said the victory margin reflected the huge disappointment among the people towards the Modi government at the Centre.The UPA has won all the four Lok Sabha byelections in 2017: Amritsar, Srinagar, Malappuram and now Gurdaspur, Surjewala said.”This proves the disenchantment of the masses with the ‘jumlas’ of the prime minister and his all-talk-no-action approach. People of this country are ready for a change and these byelections are magnifying the rejection of the Modi brand of politics,” Surjewala claimed.Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Singh Bajwa claimed that losing Gurdaspur by a huge margin was a great setback for the BJP ahead of state polls in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.The BJP-SAD combine and AAP alleged misuse of government machinery by the ruling party in Punjab.”Congress misused government machinery, there is no doubt. Everyone knows that even sarpanches owing allegiance to BJP and SAD were warned that they will be dealt with strictly if the two allies got a lead in their respective areas in the bypoll. Civic body officials too were warned in the same manner,” alleged BJP’s Punjab unit secretary, Vineet Joshi.BJP candidate Salaria also accused the state government of misusing official machinery to influence polls.Senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader and party MP Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra also termed the Congress victory in the bypoll as a “victory earned by the misuse of government machinery”.AAP’s state unit president and party MP Bhagwant Mann said his party accepted the people’s mandate and will introspect into the reasons for the defeat.Mann also charged the Congress of misusing government machinery. AAP candidate Khajuria also accused the Congress of using “undemocratic means” in the bypoll.Contrary to Congress’s claim, Mann said that the outcome of Lok Sabha bypolls will not set the tone for 2019 general elections, while pointing out that in politics, equations keep changing from time to time.Jakhar secured a lead of 6,801 votes in Sujanpur, 7,796 votes in Bhoa, 8,710 votes in Pathankot, 29,656 votes in Gurdaspur, 11,387 votes in Dina Nagar, 26,348 votes in Qadian, 26,255 votes in Batala, 32,296 votes in Fatehgarh Churian and 44,074 votes in Dera Baba Nanak.A total 8,59,462 votes were polled in the bypoll and 7,587 voters opted for the None of the Above (NOTA) option.The high-stakes Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll had recorded a 56 per cent voter turnout, lower than the 70.03 per cent recorded in the 2014 general elections.The bypoll campaign had witnessed sharp attacks and counter-attacks by political parties.For the Congress in Punjab, the bypoll victory comes after a stellar performance in the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections, when it had stormed to power in the state in March this year winning 77 out of total 117 seats – over poll promises like farm debt waiver and free smartphones.

Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll: Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar leading by over 50,000 votes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The counting process for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll seat, which is witnessing a three-cornered race among the BJP, the Congress and the AAP, is underway.The Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat had fallen vacant following the demise of actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna of the BJP in April.It has nine Assembly segments — Bhoa, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Dinanagar, Qadian, Fathegarh Churian, Dera Baba Nanak, Sujanpur and Batala.Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll witnessed a three-cornered race contest among major political parties — the Congress, the BJP and the AAP.The bypoll is seen as a barometer for the popularity of the six-month-old Congress government in Punjab.Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat has been a stronghold of the BJP. Actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna had remained four- time MP from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat. Khanna had died of cancer at a hospital in Mumbai on 27 April this year.11:00 IST Sunday, 15 October 2017Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar was leading by 68,172 votes over his nearest rival BJP contestant Swaran Salaria in the counting of votes, as per trends available.10:28 IST Sunday, 15 October 2017Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar leading by over 50,000 votes 9:32 IST Sunday, 15 October 2017After completion of first round, Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar leads by 14,316 votes9:32 IST Sunday, 15 October 2017Congress leading in #Gurdaspur LS bypoll, BJP second and AAP third. 9:32 IST Sunday, 15 October 2017Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar had earlier claimed the bypoll would be a ‘referendum’ on the Modi government. The BJP had also tried pulling out all the stops to retain the seat, which Khanna had won four times on its ticket.9:32 IST Sunday, 15 October 2017The result will decide the fate of total 11 candidates including Congress nominee Sunil Jakhar, BJP’s Swaran Salaria and AAP’s Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria.

Behaviour of Delhi Chief Secretary makes it clear that he is taking orders from the BJP: AAP over hike in Metro rates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The AAP government on Friday accused Delhi Chief Secretary M M Kutty of refusing to comply with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s order to examine issues related to the recent metro fare hike and alleged that he was doing so at the BJP’s behest.In a statement, the Kejriwal government said that Kutty’s “denial” was the first of its kind in the democratic history of the country and warned that it could exercise “options” to deal with “dereliction and sabotage”.”This makes it clear that the Chief Secretary has the backing of the BJP-led Centre and is sabotaging the Delhi government’s efforts to send relief to the people of Delhi by getting the fare hike inquired,” the government statement alleged.Earlier in the day, Kutty was summoned by Kejriwal after he allegedly refused to comply with his order to examine issues related to the metro fare hike.The government statement claimed that the behaviour of Kutty makes it obvious that he was taking “orders from the BJP” and is acting against the elected government of Delhi which is “unconstitutional and undemocratic”.The statement said that the elected government will look into the “options” to deal with such “dereliction and sabotage” of the bureaucrats towards the “pro-people move of the government”.According to the AAP government, it is now of the view that such bureaucrats must have “sabotaged” the elected government’s stand on the metro fare hike in the board meeting which decided on the hike.The metro fare hike was a financial blow to the people of Delhi and has also brought down the ridership of Delhi Metro, it said.In the past, the AAP government and bureaucrats have been at loggerheads on a range of issues.In May 2015, Kejriwal had accused the then acting Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin of “favouring” power companies and claimed that she wanted to “trick the government into signing documents which would give Rs 11,000 crore to these firms”.In this month too, the government had issued an order to lock the office of a senior IAS officer after he had issued directives notifying the appointment of the then power secretary Gamlin as the acting chief secretary.In December 2015, Delhi government bureaucrats had gone on mass leave to protest against the suspension of two Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) cadre officers.

56% polling in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll, 80 VVPAT replaced due to snag

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The high-stakes Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll recorded a 56 per cent voter turnout today, lower than 70.03 per cent recorded in the 2014 general elections.Voting at 1,781 polling stations passed off peacefully, officials said. The bypoll is being seen as a barometer for the popularity of the six-month-old Congress government in Punjab. The seat, which had fallen vacant following the demise of actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna of the BJP in April, is witnessing a three-horse race between the Congress, the BJP and the AAP. While the Congress has fielded its Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar, the BJP has put up businessman Swaran Salaria.The AAP has placed a bet on Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria. “The total voting percentage was 56 per cent. Polling was peaceful,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab V K Singh said. As many as 15.22 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election fought by 11 candidates. Of the total electorate of 15,22,922 in the constituency, 7,12,077 are women and 14 belong to a third gender, the official said. Out of the nine assembly segments falling under it, the Dera Baba Nanak Vidhan Sabha constituency registered maximum 65 per cent voting. The Batala Vidhan Sabha constituency recorded the lowest at 50 per cent, he said.Sujanpur recorded 54 per cent, Bhoa 60 per cent, Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Dinanagar 54 per cent each, Qadian 57 per cent and Fatehgarh Churian 63 per cent, Singh said. The polling percentage in the assembly segments was lower than that recorded in the 2017 assembly elections. Voting was scheduled to start at 8 am, but glitches in voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines led to delay at 19 polling stations, the CEO said.He said around 80 VVPAT were replaced before the start of polling as they had developed snag.Voting started on a slow note and just 23.44 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 12 noon. A minor clash was reported between Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress workers in Pahra village. Five Akali workers, including a former village head, was injured in the incident. “Congressmen thrashed our workers in Pahra village,” SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema alleged. AAP candidate Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria filed a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) alleging that a polling agent of the Congress tried to influence voters at a booth in Pangoli village in Sujanpur.Singh said EVMs were kept in Gurdaspur and Pathankot where counting of votes would take place on October 15. “Tight security arrangements have been made where the EVMs have been kept,” he said. Around 30 companies of paramilitary forces and more than 7,000 Punjab police personnel were deployed in the constituency. A total of 1,781 polling stations were set up at 1,257 locations, of which 457 were declared as vulnerable and 83 as critical.Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) was used at all the polling stations.The bypoll will gauge the popularity of the Amarinder Singh government which is battling allegations of reneging on its pre-assembly polls promise of farm debt waiver and free smartphones. The Congress, which had bagged 77 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly in February, is keen to keep the winning momentum going. The BJP has also tried pulling out all the stops to retain the seat, which Khanna had won four times.A victory would give much-needed boost to the BJP, which had bagged just one segment of Sujanpur out of the four seats it had contested in the assembly polls. The AAP, the main opposition party in Punjab with 20 seats in the House, is also looking to strengthen its presence in the state.

A look at Delhi in the year gone by

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>GovernanceAs the Delhi government entered its second year in 2016, the tug-of-war between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (APP) government and the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre continued, became even more acrimonious, with previous Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung at the centre of the bitter ballet. Jung and Kejriwal-led government entered into a legal battle over ruling the national Capital and the first round was won by Jung. The Delhi High Court in its decision said L-G wasn’t bound by the ministers’ advice while that the issue should be left to the Centre in the event of a dispute between the two.Towards the end of 2016, Jung submitted his resignation. The pending files of the government then moved to the new L-G Anil Baijal who initially gave approval on the issues which were rejected by his predecessor. As the approvals came in, new projects were launched in the capital. The AAP government did some pioneering work majorly in two sectors — health and education. New classrooms were constructed; patients got free test schemes in the hospitals and much more.EducationOn October 15 last year, a major controversy broke out at the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). A first-year MPhil student Najeeb Ahmed had gone missing following a spat with some members of the RSS-backed Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP).The incident snowballed into a national controversy with political leaders cutting across parties participating in the “Where is Najeeb?” movement.The matter reached the Court and CBI is investigating it.Even as the JNU students were still at loggerheads with the administration over Ahmed’s disappearance, another issue jolted the campus. JNU announced 83 per cent seat cut in MPhil and PhD courses following a UGC notification that put a cap on number of students a faculty member can supervise. In February, violent clashes broke out at DU’s Ramjas College between two student groups following the cancellation of invitation to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to a seminar, after ABVP objected to their invite. In this year’s DUSU elections, Congress-backed NSUI managed to win important posts.MCDThe three municipal corporations of Delhi — North, South and East — had new administrations with elections being held this year with the BJP, despite anti-incumbency, riding on a Narendra Modi wave registered a thumping victory in all the three civic bodies. The Congress and the AAP had a poor show in the elections. However, except for the South, the cash-strapped North and East civic bodies are still stuck in a blame-game with the Kejriwal government over release of funds.Within a year with new administration having several first-time councillors, the corporations’ focus shifted to waste management, better facilities in its schools, crackdown on illegal constructions and creating alternatives for parking.Also, with the new LG Anil Baijal taking over the city’s administration, the civic bodies had to swing into action for showing results such as in curbing the menace of vector-borne diseases after last year’s massive spread of chikungunya. After a portion of Ghazipur landfill in East Delhi gave way, killing two persons and injuring a dozen others, the corporations woke up, to finally start thinking of ways to manage waste.Delhi MetroThe Delhi Metro, the city’s major public transport system, expanded further with the opening of the Heritage Line connecting the Walled City to the Capital’s outskirts. Also, the Metro started trial runs of the Pink Line connecting South and East Delhi.The Pink Line will have 38 metro stations, which is under construction as part of the phase-3 of Metro network. One of the 6.5 km corridors between Majlis Park and Shakurpur on the Pink Line is expected to open by end of December.The Heritage Line, being the most challenging to build, had been in the works for a long time. It connects the Mughal-era monuments to the rest of the city. The project has also helped decongest the majorly clogged main road of Old Delhi.In a major change from the past, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) proposed to increase the fares for the second time in a year. While it raised the fares this March with the maximum up to Rs 50, it has again hiked fares with effect from October 10. The second proposed hike had the DMRC ran into a confrontation with the Delhi government opposing the hike calling it ‘anti-people’.CrimeIn the beginning of 2017, as Amulya Patnaik took over as the Commissioner of Delhi Police, his focus areas were curbing street crime and bringing down heinous crimes in the Capital. To count on the major incidents that left the the city shaken, in the past nine months, a woman is stabbed brutally in public, multiple times by her jilted lover, for turning down marriage proposal; a man is lynched for objecting to public urination; the mobile phone of a Ukrainain ambassador gets snatched; and four women of a family are killed in one night.Even as police repeatedly claims that the crime rate has declined, data shows that Delhi sees a theft every three minutes, six rapes a day and a murder daily, on average. The workout percentage for street crime also remains low.The Delhi police might have adopted the ‘digital India’ in true sense; however its practical implementation still remains a dream. The ‘Himmat’ application which was a “one touch solution for the safety of women” was revamped and re-launched, however not many people compared to the woman population of Delhi are even making full use of it.

AAP calls Metro fare hike conspiracy to help Ola, Uber; passes resolution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Assembly on Monday stepped up its protest against the Metro fare hike by passing a resolution against the plan, set to be implemented from Tuesday. Continuing its attack on the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) since it announced the revised fare, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia called the hike a ploy to help radio cab services.Speaking in the Assembly, Sisodia said a “conspiracy” was being hatched, so that people give up using the Metro and hail cabs. “This is being done so that Ola and Uber benefit from this. Efforts are being made to turn Metro into a premium transport, which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will not allow to happen,” he said, without naming anybody.Noisy scenes were also witnessed in the Assembly when two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs — Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Om Prakash Sharma — demanded an apology from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for making derogatory remarks against women during the guest teachers’ debate on October 4. Both Sirsa and Sharma were then marshalled out of the House on orders of Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, after they refused to stick to the fare hike debate. Two other BJP MLAs, Vijender Gupta and Jagdish Pradhan, also staged a walkout to express solidarity with their party legislators.The AAP government has been in direct confrontation with the DMRC for more than a week now, since the fare was hiked for the second time in less than six months. On Wednesday, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot urged the Urban Development minister to intervene in the matter and direct the DMRC to hold the revised fares.Incidentally, the AAP and the Union government have also locked horns with Urban Development Minister Hardip Singh Puri. Puri had said that the rail corporation needed money to survive and run efficiently, suggesting in a letter sent to CM Kejriwal that the increase in fare can be withheld, if the Delhi government decides to pay Rs 3,000 crore per annum to Metro for the next five years.On Monday, Puri wrote another letter to Kejriwal, urging him to not politicise the issue. He also rejected Kejriwal’s offer to take over the DMRC, suggesting that the city government may explore taking up the operations of its proposed Phase IV as a “test case”.”While I appreciate your confidence, enthusiasm, and keenness to take on more responsibility, I am constrained to point out that this again is not in line with the existing policy. The policy, in respect of 50:50 joint venture Metro projects as is the case of DMRC, does not envisage operations either by the state or Central governments. It is precisely for this reason that Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) have been created,” he wrote to Kejriwal.NSUI stops train in tracksProtesting against the impending Metro fare hike, a group of NSUI students stopped a Metro train in its tracks on the Yellow Line on Monday, briefly disrupting the services on Line 2. The incident took place around noon at the Vishwavidyalaya station, one of the busiest corridors that connects north Delhi to Gurugram.

AAP ready to pay Rs 1,500 crore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to the suggestion of Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to give Rs 3,000 crore per annum to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to prevent the proposed fare hike, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has agreed to give Rs 1,500 crore. The decision was announced in a series of tweets by AAP spokesperson Nagendar Sharma.Sharma said on Sunday that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had responded to “every point” in the letter written by Puri, in which he had given the Rs 3,000 crore suggestion. Emphasising that the Delhi government was willing to take over the Metro and provide an efficient transport system, if the Centre agreed, Sharma also offered a matching grant of Rs 1,500 crore.The AAP government had last week sought the Centre’s intervention in preventing the new fares from seeing the light of the day. It had written a letter to Puri, urging him to exercise the power vested in him as urban development minister and direct the DMRC to hold back the new tariffs.Refusing to back the AAP government, Puri had written a letter to Kejriwal, asking if his government was willing to provide a grant of Rs 3,000 crore, following which it could constitute a new fare fixation committee and the fare hike could be rolled back. He even gave a detailed break up of the total amount required by DMRC to keep the Metro chugging as efficiently.Puri stated that the total grants-in-aid required in the next five years starting from 2017-18 till 2021-22 would be Rs 3,040 crore, 3,616 crore, 3,318 crore, 3,150 crore and 2,980 crore, respectively, that would go towards clearing off its loan, depreciation for replacements, and operational expenses, etc.LETTER STATESPuri stated that the total grants-in-aid required in the next five years starting from 2017-18 till 2021-22 would be Rs 3,040 crore, 3,616 crore, 3,318 crore, 3,150 crore and 2,980 crore, respectively

AAP govt’s efforts to prevent Metro fare hike go in vain; DMRC all set to roll out revised fare

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>No amount of muscle flexing by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government against the Metro fare hike has borne any fruit as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to roll out the revised fare from October 10. With the Centre, too, putting its weight behind the DMRC, it is unlikely that commuters will get any respite from a more expensive Metro ride.Hoping that the corporation will cave in, the Delhi government had even threatened to remove DMRC Chief Dr Mangu Singh from the post, if the new fares were implemented.In a letter, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had warned of “action”, if Singh, being the government representative, failed to represent its strong opposition to the fare.The minister said that since Singh was selected by AAP, in consultation with the Centre, he was expected to convey the sentiments of the city government in the board meeting. This, too, got entangled in rules as AAP can only suggest the removal of the Metro chief. The final go-ahead has to come from the office of the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G).As a last resort, the AAP government had directed Chief Secretary MM Kutty to hold an emergency meeting of all government-nominated directors on the rail corporation’s panel, which also hit a technical snag as it is mandatory to give a seven-day notice period before convening the board. According to the DMRC sources, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had a lucky break when the board chairman agreed to convene the meet, but he did not have any locus standi to put new fares on hold.Replying to Kejriwal’s demand that the revised fares should be prevented from becoming a reality, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said it could be done, if the Delhi government was willing to give Rs 3,000 crore per annum to the DMRC over the next five years. Puri maintained that the money was required for a facility like Metro to survive and run efficiently.

Govt wants Centre to stop Metro fare hike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Assembly on Wednesday sought Centre’s intervention to prevent hike in metro fare, and moved a resolution in this regard. The DMRC will roll out the revised fare from October 10. The state cabinet will hold a discussion on the resolution on October 9 during which the legislators are likely to corner the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on the issue.While reading out the resolution in the House, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said the proposed hike was against the wishes of the Delhi government and in “gross violation” of recommendations of the Fare Fixation Committee. The transport minister also termed the fare increase as “anti-people.””The common man is already reeling under a severe financial burden due to the poor implementation of GST, demonetisation, unprecedented price rise, hike in fuel prices and general economic mismanagement by the Centre,” the resolution read. It appealed to the Centre to take into consideration the pro-people concerns of the Delhi government.The AAP government urged the Urban Development Ministry to “quickly and actively” intervene so that the proposed fare hike is not implemented.In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government said the hike which is second in less than six months, violates Section 37 of the Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002.Govt StatementIn a statement issued on Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government said the hike which is second in less than six months, violates Section 37 of the Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002.

Reconsider regularising guest teachers: L-G to govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a fresh tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal, the latter on Tuesday wrote to the state government to “re-consider” the Cabinet’s decision of introducing a Bill to regularise 15,000 guest teachers, citing constitutional limitations.The move comes a day before the Delhi government was all set to table the Regularisation of Services of Guest Teachers and Teachers engaged under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Bill, 2017, in the legislative Assembly on Wednesday.As per the Bill, all guest teachers and teachers hired under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, who have been engaged for at least 120 days after April 1, 2016, and fulfill the required educational qualifications, would be eligible for permanent jobs.Citing the fact that the introduction of the Bill is not in accordance with the constitutional scheme of governance of NCT of Delhi, Rules, 1993, Baijal said the “procedure requires mandatory consultation with the Law Department as to the competence of the Legislature of the Capital to enact the measures proposed.”According to a statement issued by the L-G’s office, as per a Delhi High Court (HC) judgment dated August 4, 2016: “Matter related to ‘Services’ falls beyond the legislative competence of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi. It should be approved by the L-G before being tabled in the Assembly.”Officials in the Delhi government, however, begged to differ, saying that the regularisation of teachers falls under the ambit of state’s Education Department. “As per the law, the Bill will be tabled in the Vidhan Sabha and then be sent for the L-G’s approval. In any case, the decision cannot be taken without the L-G’s approval,” a senior official said.Reacting to L-G’s statement, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said: “Last month, the Delhi Cabinet took a decision to regularise Kashmiri Migrant teachers and the L-G approved that decision. Why can’t it take a decision to regularise guest teachers?”According to sources, the Cabinet will now meet on Wednesday before the special one-day session to discuss the points raised by Baijal.THE BILLGuest teachers engaged for at least 120 days after April 1, 2016, are eligible.
Nearly 15,000 guest teachers and teachers under SSA to become permanent.
Regularisation will be done against sanctioned posts.

Over 750 new dengue cases reported in a week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 756 fresh cases of dengue were reported in the national Capital in the last one week, taking the number of people affected by the vector-borne disease this season to 3,865. The figures were reported by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which is responsible for collecting the data. Of the total 3,865 dengue cases, 1,807 affected people were residents of Delhi, while the rest were from other states. Of the 1,807 Delhi residents, 1,103 cases were reported in September itself, the report said. The number of dengue cases reported till September 23 was 3,109.Dengue and chikungunya are caused by the aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water. The anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water. The number of malaria and chikungunya cases recorded in the city till September 30 stood at 95 and 589, respectively. Dengue has claimed one life in the city during this season, so far. According to the report, breeding of mosquitoes has been reported from 174,593 households in Delhi.All the three municipal corporations have stepped up the awareness drive. The corporations are distributing pamphlets and plying vehicles with loudspeakers issuing do’s and don’ts for the prevention of these diseases.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has banned the over-the-counter sale of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin and Brufen as their use may “pose a threat” to the dengue and chikungunya patients.

With ‘BJP Hatao Parivartan Lao’, AAP to start ‘Parivartan Rally’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Riding high on the anti-incumbancy factor in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to appeal voters for a change.The party will campaign with the slogan of ‘BJP Hatao Parivartan Lao’ meaning ‘Remove BJP, bring the change’ from October 5 to November 5 and also hold five Parivartan rallies in the state. Speaking to mediapersons in Gandhinagar, Gujarat in-charge of AAP and minister in Delhi government, Gopal Rai, said, “BJP leaders are worried after the success of our roadshow in Ahmedabad.”He added, “They have sensed that AAP could create some miracle. Morale of our thousands of workers have got a boost after the roadshow. We will also hold Parivartan conventions over 50 constituencies of Gujarat in next 30 days.””We will release the list of star campaigners next week. It is possible that Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal might visit Gujarat. He is likely to hold a public rally in November,” said the spokesperson of party Harshil Nayak.The party has decided that those who wish to contest as its candidate would have to manage the finances for doing so on their own. AAP would field those who don’t have any criminal background.Party leaders said on October 8, AAP would organise a rally in Surat followed by Chhota Udepur on October 14, Rajkot on October 29, Gondal on October 30 and Unjha on November 5.

Punjab AAP leader Joginder Chinna joins BJP, accuses Bhagwant Mann of treating party like ‘private company’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jolting the AAP days ahead of the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bye-election, Chinna, along with his supporters, took the BJP’s membership in the presence of the party’s national vice-president Prabhat Jha and state secretary Punjab Vineet Joshi.He accused the Aam Aadmi Party of straying from its ideals. Mann, he alleged, “is transforming the party into a private company”.”In order to defeat the Congress in Gurdaspur bypoll, I and my colleagues have decided to join the BJP and ensure Swaran Salaria’s (BJP candidate) victory from the seat,” Chinna said.The other AAP members who joined the BJP today include Dinanagar market committee’s former chairman Tarsem Singh Malkachak, AAP’s block president Pratap Singh Jethuwal, the party’s district general secretary BalwinderSingh Dalia, district organizing secretary Shivjinder Singh Dala, district secretary Kala Singh Sahewal, said a BJP party release.Welcoming Chinna and other AAP leaders, Jha said they will be given due respect in the party.”The move indicates Swaran Salaria’s victory is inevitable in Gurdaspur,” he said.Yesterday, AAP leader Kulbhushan Singh, who had contested the last assembly elections from Sujanpur seat, and the party’s general secretary, Lakhvir Singh, had joined the Congress, along with their supporters, in the presence of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in Pathankot.Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll, which was necessitated after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna in April this year, will be held on October 11.

Delhi Metro fare hike ‘unacceptable’, withdraw decision: Arvind Kejriwal tells Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The proposed fare hike of the Delhi Metro is “unacceptable”, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to the Centre, demanding that the decision be withheld and reviewed.In a letter to Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Kejriwal on Saturday said the proposed hike, to be effected from October 10, would be in violation of the recommendations of the fare-fixation panel.”The fare-fixation committee had recommended a gap of one year between two fare hikes. This recommendation is being completely violated because the proposed second hike in October, 2017 will take place even before six months since the previous fare hike,” he said.The committee, comprising representatives of both the state and the Centre, which have equal stakes in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), is entrusted with recommending fare hikes.The Delhi Metro fares were last revised in May. If the hike is effected, the fares will go up by a maximum of Rs 10 from October 10.The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms — Rs 10, 2-5 kms — Rs 15, 5-12 kms — Rs 20, 12-21 kms — Rs 30, 21-32 kms — Rs 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms — Rs 50.From October 10, for a distance of up to two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs 10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs 15 to Rs 20.For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs 10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs 60.”The chief minister has pointed out that the residents of Delhi are still reeling under the impact of the previous steep fare hike by the DMRC in the month of May and the proposed second fare hike from 10th October will be simply unacceptable in this time of economic distress,” an official statement quoted Kejriwal as saying.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief urged Puri to use his official capacity under section 86 of the Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act 2002 and issue directions to the metro officials, asking them to put the fare hike on hold.He also demanded that a board meeting of the DMRC be convened to review the decision.The AAP has threatened to launch protests against the proposed fare hike. A delegation of AAP MLAs is scheduled to meet DMRC chief Mangu Singh on Monday with a demand to put the decision on hold.The Delhi Metro, on its part, has been maintaining that it has a “huge loan liability” and a rapidly rising operating ratio, which means its expenditure as against every rupee earned is going up.According to the DMRC, the operating ratio, which was Rs 55 in 2008-09, went up to Rs 74 in 2016-17 due to a rise in the energy, staff and repair or maintenance costs.While the cost for energy has increased from Rs 3.21 per unit to Rs 6.58 per unit, staff cost from Rs 1.17 crore per km to Rs 2.80 crore per km and repair and maintenance cost from Rs 1 crore per km to Rs 3.13 crore per km, as per a DMRC report.”As on March 31, 2017, DMRC has taken a loan of Rs 26,760.28 crore from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and re-paid only Rs 3770.79 crore (interest of Rs 2263.67 crore and repayment of a principal amount of Rs 1507.12 crore) till March 31,” according to the report.In his letter, Kejriwal referred to the financial model of the Hong Kong Metro and suggested that following it would significantly improve DMRC’s finances and lead to a much lower fare hike.He also mentioned that his assertion was based on the “advise” of the fare-fixation panel.​

125 seek AAP tickets from 21 seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 125 people from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have sought tickets to contest from 21 seats in the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections which are likely to take place in December.The Arvind Kejriwal-led party had earlier decided against contesting the elections however the party later decided to contest from some seats and has begun the process of selecting candidates.AAP said on Friday that its observers for 21 seats elected in the first phase had meetings with party workers to discuss the political situation in the state and to take feedback on the ticket aspirants.”The party’s state election committee held detailed discussions about the ticket seekers and has sent its recommendations to the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the apex body within the party. The PAC will take its decision and announce the first list of candidates in the first week of October,” said Harshik Nayak, media coordinator of AAP in Gujarat.To kick off its election campaign, AAP will hold a roadshow in Ahmedabad on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Nayak said that the party’s Gujarat election in-charge, Gopal Rai, will take part in the 22-km roadshow that will start from Naroda and end at Income Tax crossroads.

NGOs won’t run mohalla clinics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) flagship project, Mohalla Clinics, will not be in the hands of NGOs anymore. The project will now be run directly by the Delhi State Health Mission (DSHM) with immediate effect, Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal has said, while announcing the Cabinet decision for the Health and Family Welfare Department taken earlier this month.The move comes days after DNA reported irregularities in the functioning of clinics and following it with a vigilance probe to establish the fact.”It has been decided that the work to establish, run, and manage the Aam Aadmi Moholla Clinics (AAMC) will be looked after by the DSHM with immediate effect,” stated the order, dated September 19.It also said “the Pattern of Assistance for releasing the Grant in Aid will be submitted by the DSHM to the Health department at the earliest, so that funds may be released as per the demand book 2017-18”.The order entails a series of “safeguards” to be taken while implementing the decision, including that the doctors or staffers engaged in these clinics are “adequately qualified” and are recruited through a “transparent” system.”The administrative department must develop a sound mechanism to verify the footfall, as claimed by the clinics. Also, the department must develop, within six months, an online system based on Aadhar,” it stated.The functioning of these clinics should be regularly monitored by the Health Department to “prevent any unfortunate happening”, Baijal directed.Besides, the order stated that selection of premises to set up clinics should be through a transparent and objective mechanism, so that the existing healthcare facilities can be utilised in an optimum manner.In case of private premises, however, “the selection and fixation of rent should be through a transparent and open process, as per the prevalent PWD/CPWD norms,” it said.The Delhi government’s vigilance report on AAP Mohalla Clinic project, submitted to Baijal, had found major irregularities in the functioning of all 160 neighbourhood health centres. The revelation came days after 45 AAP MLAs protested at the L-G office against “pending” files related to the scheme.The report highlighted violation of guidelines related to hiring of doctors and fixing of rent at the centres, which were started by Delhi’s ruling party to take diagnostics and treatment of simple ailments to people’s doorstep. The report was also submitted to the Delhi Health Minister’s Secretary on August 29, requesting Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s attention.

HC dismisses Raghav Chadha’s plea on ‘retweet’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a blow to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha, the Delhi High court on Monday dismissed his plea which contended that he cannot be made to face a criminal case for merely retweeting the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet. The case here refers to a criminal defamation case filed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley against the CM and five other AAP leaders.Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal dismissed the petition stating that it is “devoid of merit”.”The perusal of the complaint, statements of the witnesses examined by the complainant depict that the petitioner (Chadha) along with other accused persons participated in the press conference, issued derogatory statements orally, used Twitter handles, retweeted, disseminated, defamatory imputations targeting the complainant (Jaitley) through the platform of press and media from December 15, 2015 onwards and continued till December 20, 2015 after the CBI sleuths conducted a search,” court said.On whether retweeting would constitute an offence of defamation under Section 499 of IPC, the High Court said it was a question that has to be determined in the totality of the circumstances and has to be decided during the trial.”It is not for this court, while exercising inherent powers under Section 482 of CrPC to go into the merits of the case. Undoubtedly, the Trial Court, in its order dated March 9, adduced the complaint, documents, evidence and all other relevant material and after careful scrutiny, summoned the petitioner on a well reasoned order holding that a prima facie case was made out against the petitioner and there were sufficient grounds for summoning him and to face trial under sections 499/500 of IPC,” the court said.”Whether retweeting would attract the liability under Section 499 IPC, is the question which requires to be determined in the totality of the circumstances and the same will have to be determined during trial and any interference at this stage by this court is likely to prejudice the findings of the trial court.”The court held that the said acts, aimed/targeted at Jaitley and his family members and attracted adverse attention of public.”The individual and collective role of the petitioner and the other accused persons is spelled out in the assailed order. The aspect of applicability of Section 34 of the IPC can be gathered from the totality of circumstances to analyse the underlying common intention in commission of alleged offence,” the court said.Senior counsel Anand Grover, appearing for Raghav Chadha, argued that all communications allegedly made by Jaitley with defamatory imputations are in electronic form which are solely covered by the Information and Technology Act, 2000, and not by Section 499 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).He also said that retweet does not amount to publication for the purpose of Section 499 and there can be no defamatory case.The case had come to the High Court at the direction of the apex court, which on September 15 had asked it to decide by September 25.In his plea, Chadha had sought the setting aside of the trial court order summoning him as an accused in the criminal defamation case filed by Jaitley against him and five other AAP leaders, including Kejriwal.Chadha had moved the apex court against the high court’s July 11 order refusing to stay the lower court proceedings against him in the defamation matter.In his plea, Chadha had raised the question before the high court as to whether the trial court could have summoned him without determining if the alleged defamatory statements, which were purportedly made through Twitter, were covered under the penal provision of defamation under the IPC.

Congress, AAP won’t put up a fight; we will win: BJP’s Swarn Singh Salaria on Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypolls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP candidate for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll Swarn Singh Salaria today said he did not expect a contest from the Congress and AAP nominees in the by-election and exuded confidence that the saffron party would retain the seat with a “massive” margin.The Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat, a stronghold of the BJP, fell vacant after the sitting MP, actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, died of cancer in a Mumbai hospital on April 27.Khanna was a four-time MP from Gurdaspur.The BJP had, on September 21, named Salaria as its candidate for the October 11 bypoll. Khanna’s wife Kavita was also a frontrunner for the BJP ticket in the bypoll.Salaria (63), a business tycoon, lashed out at Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for the latter’s remarks against him.Singh had yesterday taken a jibe at Salaria saying, “What can he (Salaria) do for the (Gurdaspur) constituency when he failed to run his own medical college in Chintpurni (in Pathankot), jeopardising the careers of 1,800 students.” He had also said the high court had ordered the closure of the college and the state government had sought permission from the Medical Council of India (MCI) to accommodate the students in other medical colleges of the state.Asked to respond to Singh’s remarks, Salaria said, “The Chintpurni medical college was shut when I took over. I tried to revive it. You (Singh) should support and admire me for this. The college is in Punjab and it is your (Singh’s) responsibility as well to run it.”He also rejected Singh’s claims that he had approached him for a Congress ticket in the bypoll.”He (Singh) is a senior leader and I respect him a lot.He should not level such false allegations,” Salaria said.”I am a successful businessman. I own an airline, hotels, restaurants and a security company. I have a workforce of more than 70,000 people,” he added.Salaria said he did not expect any contest in the bypoll.”This seat belongs to the BJP and we will again win it with a huge margin,” he told PTI.The Congress has fielded senior leader Sunil Jakhar in the bypoll, while Major General (retd) Suresh Kumar Khajuria of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also in the fray.Salaria took potshots at both at Jakhar and Khajuria.”Jakhar has been brought from a distance of 400 km (from Gurdaspur) by the Congress to fight the bypoll. How can he win it,” he wondered.On the AAP candidate, Salaria said, “Khajuria has never been seen working for the welfare of the people of this constituency.”He claimed that he had been serving the people of the area for the last 15 years.”My family members, including my mother, sister, live in Gurdaspur and Pathankot,” said Salaria, who is a native of the Chauhana village in Gurdaspur.He said he would take the achievements of the Narendra Modi government to the voters while seeking their votes.”I will highlight the achievements and policies of the three-year-old Modi government at the Centre when I go to the people to seek their votes. There are several initiatives, such as demonetisation and GST, taken by the government.Moreover, there is no allegation of corruption of even a single paisa against this government,” Salaria said.The BJP candidate in the bypoll also said he would “expose” the Congress government in Punjab for “failing to honour even a single promise it had made to the voters” before the state Assembly polls earlier this year.”What has the Congress done in the last six months? They had made tall claims before the voters and now they are funding themselves unable to live up to their expectations.The people are angry with them,” he claimed.

RT not an endorsement: AAP leader Raghav Chadha tells Delhi HC in Arun Jaitley defamation case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP leader Raghav Chadha on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that he cannot be made to face a criminal case only for retweeting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet against Union Minister Arun Jaitley, claiming that a retweet does not make out the offence of defamation.Chadha’s counsel sought setting aside of a trial court order summoning him as an accused in the criminal defamation case filed by Jaitley against him and five others.Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for Chadha, said the whole complaint was based on electronic downloaded record, barring one news article, and the offence of defamation under the IPC was not made out.If it is electronic record, it would be covered under the Information and Technology Act, he contended.Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Jaitley, opposed the contention saying that defamatory remarks are not covered under the IT Act and have to be booked under the IPC.”They (AAP leaders) left no stone unturned to embarass and defame my client (Jaitley). They acted in concert,” he said.The arguments, which were advanced for nearly four hours, remained inconclusive and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal would continue hearing the matter tomorrow.Chadha’s counsel also argued that a retweet taken from an original tweet does not cause publication under section 499 (defamation) of the IPC.On the other hand, Luthra said when a person retweets or re-publishes a comment, it is there for the world at large to see.Publication is a proof of oral statement as well as its circulation and retweeting means reiteration of a comment, which is liable, he said. He said Chadha made alleged “defamatory” statements at a press conference, besides retweeting Kejriwal’s comment.Grover said the AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — have been roped in the case under for the offence of common intention, which is not attracted in a case like this.”Trial court did not deal with the issue whether tweeting or retweeting amounts to publication at all,” he said.The case came to the high court at the direction of the Supreme Court which had on September 15 directed it to decide by September 25, the AAP leader’s plea against the trial court’s summoning order.The apex court had said the parties shall appear before the high court on September 18 with a copy of its order and the matter shall be argued on September 19.Chadha’s counsel had said the high court had listed the matter for hearing in October and not stayed the proceedings going on before the trial court.Jaitley’s counsel had questioned Chadha’s move to approach the apex court against the high court’s order.Chadha had alleged in his plea that he was made to face criminal defamation case only for retweeting Kejriwal’s tweet against Jaitley.He had moved the apex court against the high court’s July 11 order refusing to stay the lower court proceedings against him in the defamation matter and had posted his plea for hearing in October.He had said in the plea that he had raised an important question of law before the high court as to whether the trial court could have summoned him without determining if the alleged defamatory statements, which were purportedly made through Twitter, were covered under the penal provision of defamation under the IPC.Kejriwal and other AAP leaders are facing a criminal defamation suit after they claimed that Jaitley was allegedly involved in corrupt practices when he was the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), a post he had held from 2000 to 2013.Jaitley, who had denied all the allegations levelled by the AAP leaders in December 2015, had also filed a civil defamation suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and others, claiming they had made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.

Defamation case by Jaitley: SC asks Delhi HC to decide AAP leader Raghav Chadha’s plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Delhi High Court to decide by September 25 the plea of AAP leader Raghav Chadha against a trial court order summoning him as an accused in the criminal defamation case filed by union minister Arun Jaitley.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the parties shall appear before the high court on September 18 with a copy of the apex court’s order and the matter shall be argued on September 19.”We are only inclined to request the single judge of the high court to prepone the date of hearing and finalise the petition filed under section 482 CrPC on or before September 25,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for Chadha, told the apex court that the high court had listed the matter for hearing in October and not stayed the proceedings going on before the trial court.He alleged that he had not sought any adjournment before the high court but it was “put into my mouth that I have sought adjournment for four weeks”.”Videography should be ordered. Arguments cannot be recorded like this. This should not happen. It is very unfair,” Grover said.Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the respondent, questioned Chadha’s move to approach the apex court against the high court’s order.”If a judge finds that there is no ground and says I will hear it and fixes it for hearing, then where is the ground of appeal against this,” Rohatgi said.Grover, however, raised objection on the arguments by Rohatgi and Luthra saying notice has not been issued on his plea and hence they should not argue.The apex court on September 7 had agreed to hear Chadha’s plea in which he had alleged that he was made to face criminal defamation case only for retweeting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet against Jaitley.He had moved the apex court against the high court’s July 11 order which had refused to stay the proceedings in the lower court against him in the defamation matter and had posted his plea for hearing in October.He had said in the plea that he had raised an important question of law before the high court as to whether the trial court could have summoned him without determining if the alleged defamatory statements, which were purpotedly made through Twitter, were covered under the penal provision of defamation under the IPC.He had sought the apex court’s direction to high court to urgently hear the matter and consider the application for stay of proceedings before the trial court.Kejriwal and other AAP leaders – Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai – are facing a criminal defamation suit after they claimed that Jaitley was allegedly involved in corrupt practices when he was the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), a post he had held from 2000 to 2013.Jaitley, who had denied all the allegations levelled by the AAP leaders in December 2015, had also filed a civil defamation suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and others, claiming they had made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.

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