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A happy New Year for 100 bureaucrats

The New Year brought good news for 100 bureaucrats as government approved of their promotion. In official orders released on late evening of December 31, 40 IAS, 44 IPS and 16 IFS were promoted.Following the promotion, two 86 batch IAS Deepak Utpreti and SK Agarwal were elevated to post of additional chief secretary from principal secretary at their respective departments. They along with Yaduvendra Mathur and Sanjay Dixit of the same batch have been promoted to chief secretary pay scale.IAS JagdIsh Chandra Desai had his designation changed from director to commissioner of Child Empowerment Department while IAS Suchi Sharma became commissioner ICDS from director earlier. They along with eight others have been promoted to super time pay scale. Of these, Jagdeesh Chandra Desai has received a double promotion.Promotions also shined on the police cadre and IPS Govind Gupta, Sunil Dutt and Amrit Kalash were promoted to additional director general pay scale from IG scale earlier.The promotions are expected to be followed with change in postings, even as except for six IAS the remaining officials have been asked to continue with their current designations till further orders.CS NC Goel conveyed good newsOn his first day at office, CS NC Goel was accompanied with the news of promotion orders. Before he left the office, he called up a senior IAS and told him of the promotions been approved by the chief minister. It was minutes after that the list was officially declared by department of personnel.

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Likely faces in Vijay Rupani’s cabinet

With the BJP all set to form the government in Gujarat for a sixth consecutive term, top party leaders are busy carryingout the cherry-picking exercise to select the faces for Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s cabinet.Including Rupani as the CM and Nitin Patel as his deputy, sources said, seven other members are likely to be picked as cabinet rank ministers, while 11 to 12 may be selected for state-level minister rank.The final list will be release on December 26, moments before the swearing-in ceremony of the cabinet members in Gandhinagar.In the meanwhile, sources said, senior party leaders, including BJP state chief Jitu Vaghani, CM Rupani and Dy CM Patel, are going to meet for a couple of times to work out a list keeping factors like castes, regions and gender in mind. Here are the names that are likely to find a place in the BJP’s final list of cabinet ministers and ministers of states:GANPAT VASAVAThe tribal face of the BJP and former minister of tribal and forests in Rupani’s government, Vasava is a promising figure. No other tribal leader from BJP of his cadre has been elected in recent polls. He can get the same portfolio again.BABU BOKHIRIADefeated Congress stalwart Arjun Modhwadia for the second time. He was a cabinet minister in last term and is a strong OBC leader in Saurashtra. He can get water supplies and water resources portfolio once more.RC FALDUA former Saurashtra BJP president and a senior leader from the Patel community, Faldu can become the agriculture minister. His clean image and docile nature can earn him a position in Rupani’s cabinet.SAURABH PATELThe industrialist had been dropped last time. But in the absence of other strong leaders, Rupani won’t be able to ignore him this time. Patel is credited with making the Vibrant Gujarat Summit successful. Finance and energy are his forte.JAYESH RADADIAHe and his father Vitthal Radadiya have good hold over the Patel community in Saurashtra region and that is needed more now to placate Patels who are up in arms against the BJP With 2019 polls nearing, can retain civil supplies.DILIP THAKOROBC leader from North Gujarat. May get a berth ahead of 2019 polls. May get social justice and empowermentKAUSHIK PATELFormer revenue minister in Keshubhai Patel’s government, Kaushik Patel is a Kadva Patel leader from North Gujarat. Likely to enter the cabinet and get the revenue portfolio.PRADIPSINH JADEJAA Kshatriya Rajput leader from Ahmedabad, can be elevated to cabinet minister from MoS. Jadeja is believed to be close to BJP president Amit Shah. May get legal and justice parliamentary affairs and urban development portfolios.BHUPENDRASINH CHUDASAMAIf not chosen for the cabinet, he can be made the speaker in Gujarat assembly, thanks to his experience and knowledge of proceedings of the House. His soft-spoken nature can also bag him the new job.

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Post Doklam stand-off, SSB increases presence on India-Bhutan border

In view of the Doklam stand-off between the Indian and Chinese armies, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on Wednesday said it has increased its strength along the India-Bhutan border. SSB Director General Rajni Kant Mishra said, “Following Doklam stand-off, SSB is slightly increasing its presence in the eastern part of Sikkim along the India-Bhutan border.”According to the newly-appointed SSB chief — a 1984 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer — several border outposts have been set up along the border.The force continues to be in an expansion mode and has grown almost three times since it became a combatised border guarding force in 2001, especially so after Doklam stand-off. With an addition of a Sector headquarter headed by a DIG at Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh in 2016, all 18 sector headquarters sanctioned to SSB are in operation. After Doklam two more battalions have been raised, and thus the total number of available battalions is currently 69 — Only 4 short of the authorised number of 73 battalions. Mishra said that four more battalions are also in the process for raising and they will be functional by December 31, 2017.SSB has raised eight more Border Out-Posts (BOPs) increasing the total number of BOPs from 627 in January, 2017 to 635 in November 2017.The SSB guards the 1,751-km India-Nepal and 699-km India-Bhutan borders since its inception.Also various modernisation works were carried out by the force since the stand-off. This year, the force has acquired two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) of Netra II version and is in the process of acquiring two Laser Based Explosive cum Narcotic Detectors.The force has got fresh authorisation from MHA for 9,917 Assault Rifles, 22 Automatic Grenade Launcher, 324 Underbarrel Grenade Launchers, and 14 Multiple Grenade Launcher, and they will be procured by March, 2018.A multi-purpose boardroom has also been established at Force Headquarters improving our connectivity with our field units through advanced video conferencing facilities. Safe movement of our troops will be ensured by adding seven numbers of mine protected vehicles, 15 Light Armed Troop Carriers and 12 Bullet Proof Vehicles to fleet.Besides, 114 numbers of “smart plus” equipments, 92 numbers of Radio set and two Ku-Band VSAT from BSNL will soon be procured, go a long way in strengthening existing robust communication network.Two week ago, sources in intelligence agencies stated that there has been a sudden surge in Chinese incursion along the Indo-Chinese border, after Doklam. In the months of October and November, when heavy snowfall starts making the Indo-Chinese border almost inaccessible, and the presence of troops starts thinning, a sudden surge in Chinese activity has made Indian security establishment wary about the future.In the past two months, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) transgressed into India as many as 29 times through vehicles and at least thrice via aerial route. The transgressions happened across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladkah and Uttarakhand, especially in Trig Height, Despang Area, Pangong Tso in Ladakh and Rimkim in Uttarakhand.Claiming the incursions as serious in nature, sources privy to the development said, on October 11, two Chinese choppers entered Tunjan La height in Rimkhim Uttrakhand 4.5 km inside Indian territory. In November, 15 such incidents were reported in Ladkah and Uttarakhand region. Sources said that generally, the number of transgression decrease during winters. However, this time, there is no stopping.Since the stand-off, the PLA have pitched 386 tents just 200 metres away from the Doka La stand-off point, intelligence agencies said. Each tent has a capacity of four men. Besides, there are 30 tents that can accommodate two men each.”They have also built 59 shelters, 110 bunkers, 10 hangers and stationed two mobile communication vehicles,” said the source.The Doklam dispute had began on June 16, when a construction party of the PLA started building a road near the disputed tri-junction of Indo-Sino and Bhutan border jutting near the Chumbi valley. It continued for 70 days during during which the soldiers of both the armies held their respective positions in what India described as “no war, no peace” mode. New Delhi and Beijing eventually agreed to pull back their troops towards the end of August.

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Congress narrows BJP vote lead in Gujarat polls

Resurgent Congress narrowed the vote lead BJP had been enjoying over it for successive elections by adding 1,59,413 more voters than its rival between 2012 and 2017 elections. In the previous elections, BJP had been widening the vote lead over Congress.In urban areas, which is a stronghold of BJP, it added lesser votes than BJP but added seats to its tally. According to political analysts, if the trend continues in upcoming polls, the contest would be more even.In 2002, BJP added 28,93,527 votes as compared to Congress’ 23,55,718. Similarly, it added 5,45,619 votes in 2007 and 23,79,607 votes 2012. Congress added 2,69,274 votes in 2007 and 23,65,227 votes in 2012. Throughout this period, BJP widened the lead by 5,37,809 votes, 2,69,274 votes and 14,380 votes over Congress. However, things turned around in 2017. BJP added 16,04,848 votes compared to Congress 17,64,261 and the lead shrunk by 1,59,413 votes for BJP. It was this key reason why Congress raised its tally from 61 in 2012 to 77 in 2017. Votes added by Congress’ allies Bharatiya Tribal Party and Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani, the lead would further shrink. BTP bagged 2,22,694 votes, while Mevani got 95,497 votes all of which are in rural areas.Congress was definitely a winner in rural areas and it was here that it witnessed the majority of voter addition. Congress added 13,06,795 votes in villages compared to 10,53,781 votes by BJP. Of the 77 seats, it won in recent elections, 71 were in villages and small cities and towns.”Results are a clear indication that agenda is very different for rural and urban voters. Rural voters voted on the issues that affect their day-to-day lives and Congress was a clear winner here. Villages are suffering from agrarian distress and people here voted for Congress. It also indicates that Congress has a better organisation in rural areas compared to urban areas,” said Amit Dholakiya, a Professor of Political Science at M S University in Vadodara.On the other hand, Congress added fewer votes compared to BJP in cities. Congress added 4,57,467 since 2012, while BJP added 5,51,067 votes in the corresponding period. In spite of this, Congress added two seats in these areas.Congress wrested seats of Bapunagar and Jamalpur-Khadia seats in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar – North and Junagadh from BJP, but lost Rajkot-East and Jamnagar-North to the rival.This indicates that Congress suffers from a severe bottleneck of dysfunctional organisation and party cadre compared to its rival in cities, a fact that even party acknowledge. “The party structure is not so strong in cities. That is the reason why we were not able to convince the voters in spite the fact that our manifesto was far more people friendly. We had announced unemployment allowances, housing for women, free education for girl child, affordable healthcare and education services. But we could not connect to the voters,” said Gadhvi.Dholakiya also said that unlike rural votes, who voted on rational consideration, urban voters were driven by poll propaganda and rhetoric.

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Staff crunch ups pollution woes

Delhiites may be suffering from pollution but what’s surprising to note is that there are only 19 pollution inspectors doubling up as RTI, vigilance and Motor Vehicle (MV) inspectors to check the over 971 Pollution Under Control (PUC) test centres across the city which cater to over one crore registered vehicles. Officials say the Delhi government has not made any new recruitments for these posts in almost a decade.Despite the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government, strongly coming out against the recent pollution problems in the Capital, calling the city a “gas chamber” they also have not done much to fill these posts so far.Pollution inspectors are the need of the hour especially in Delhi where vehicular pollution counts for 20 per cent of the city’s toxic air. But so far in Delhi government’s transport department, out of the 38 sanctioned posts of Pollution Level Test Inspectors (PLTIs), only 19 have been filled. The number of filled posts has remained the same for years while the levels of pollution have risen alarmingly in the city.”These inspectors tasked with monitoring PUC fitness centres that are certified to check emission content of vehicles have been doubling up as officers in the RTI cell, vigilance and other administrative wings due to the overall staff crunch in the department. This has affected the monitoring of quality levels badly,” said a senior officer.Meanwhile, sources reveal that the transport department overall has 1,465 sanctioned posts of which only 494 are filled. This means that 940 posts are vacant. Besides, pollution inspectors, officials said, public services such as the issuance of driving licenses (DL) among others are getting affected as there are only 12 MV inspectors against the sanctioned 44 posts. MV inspectors get the driving tests done.However, only last month after the National Green Tribunal has asked the department to upload PUC reports annually on the website, the government has moved a file for fresh recruitments to the Lieutenant Governor.”The department has sent a proposal to fill these posts besides some others last year to the government. It has now been sent to the LG,” he said.The cadre of PLTIs was created in 1987. Till some years ago the number of sanctioned posts for them was 50, however, it was reduced later when a new post of pollution control officer (PCO) was created for these officers to be promoted to the next level.Besides, the officer said there is a scope for creation of posts for the new wings that have come up in the recent years such as IT, Road Safety and Victim Impact Report cells. The existing staff only doubles up for these wings as well affecting the overall working of the department.An audit report of the PUC centres and monitoring levels done by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) submitted in the Supreme Court earlier this year found that most of the pollution checking centres did not have upgraded technology or trained staff to get the correct readings.Besides, it also found that the rejection rate for vehicles is less, as PUC norms in the region are weak.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Unable to get party mandate, many AAP workers contest as independents

The AAP may have officially declared candidates for just two seats in Ahmedabad and overall 30 in Gujarat but that hasn’t prevented many of its cadre from plunging into the electoral battle.In fact, many of them after failing to get mandate from the party are contesting as independents. If the party workers are to be believed they also have the backing of the party for their independent candidature.Take the case of Himanshu Shah who is fighting as an independent from Naranpura, a seat traditionally believed to be a BJP bastion.Shah whose symbol is a gas cylinder said they had hoped to get a mandate from the AAP. “But for some reason, the party did not give us the mandate. But it has not prevented us from fighting as an independent too,” said Shah, who runs a fabrication business.He has been associated with the party for the last three years.”Around 250 workers many of whom are also associated with the AAP will be helping me in my campaign,” said Shah who contested as an independent in 2012 and got 1,500 votes.”This time I am confident of getting the votes of my community. Moreover I have the support of AAP too,” said Shah.The others who are associated with the AAP but are contesting as independents include Rina Barot from Vejalpur, Aftab Saiyad from Jamalpur-Khadia, Alpesh Solanki from Asarwa and Yogesh Patel from Ghatlodia. Barot is the wife of AAP’s former Ahmedabad unit president Nitin Barot.Saiyad who is contesting from Jamalpur said the party had promised to give him a ticket. “I waited till the last moment but in the end the party decided not to contest the elections. I had been working for long and had also built the organisational support in the area and so it was not feasible for me to back down and leave my supporters in the lurch,” said Saiyad.He said he talked to AAP’s Gujarat co-ordinator and in-charge Gopal Rai before contesting as an independent. “The party was fine with it,” said Saiyad.AAP spokesperson Harshil Nayak said party workers are free to contest as an independent as long as they are not contesting in seats where the party has announced its candidates.”In all the cases were workers have stood as independents, AAP has not announced a candidate. The party can’t stop anyone from contesting as independent,” said Nayak.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Raj(e)niti: A reward for merit may award votes for BJP

In normal course, it’s difficult to supersede three senior officers in a row to pick a choice. But in case of Om Prakash Galhotra, chief minister Vasundhara Raje didn’t hesitate in naming him the top cop. She rewarded merit over seniority. And placing the best man on job is likely to boost not only the morale of state police but also the poll prospects of BJP.Raje, known for using her political acumen to the best while deciding the top postings, has once again played a master stroke. Galhotra, a competent officer from backward community will brighten chances of BJP penetrating deep into the vote bank of backward castes. In this tenure she performed this trick twice. First in 2016, she reached out to the strong Meena community – a traditional Congress- by appointing Om Prakash Meena as chief secretary. And now again she picked another Om Prakash to attract loyalty of backward classes. However, Galhotra doesn’t want to be labelled as a backward class officer. He prefers to contest on merit. Also unlike OP Meena, he doesn’t nurse any political ambition. When members of Rajak community approached to honour him, he plainly refused. He wants to be play it on merit only.Galhotra’s outstanding service record just helped her in firming up the decision. Raje knows that the year ahead would be challenging for her, both in terms of maintaining general law and order situation and carrying out elections peacefully.Incidentally, police force is also undergoing through tough situations. It needs a strong leader to boost the sagging morale of policemen, who are agitated over wage cut. There had been ugly incidences of indiscipline which had brought bad name for the force, specially when a section of jawans went on a mass leave skipping their duty of giving guard of honour to union home minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Jodhpur. Besides that, he will have to maintain harmony among various castes. While there have been agitations against Padmavati movie, Gurjars too are readying for a fresh protest to press their decade old quota demand after the High Court puts a stay on government’s decision of providing them 5% reservation.In over 30 years of service, Galhotra has spent half the time on central deputation in CBI. This indicates his strong mental makeup and extra ordinary intelligence gathering skills.“CM needs a tough cop to overcome challenges which are lined up. With his exposure in CBI, Galhotra is equipped to deal with such situations, said a police official, who had worked under Galhotra. Seniority overlookedNavdeep Singh, a 1981 batch officer was probably overlooked as his wife Param Navdeep has been Congress MLAKapil Garg: a 1982 batch officer was neglected as RSS is believed to be against his candidature. During Dargah bomb blast in 2007, he linked it with Hindu terrorismSunil Kumar Mehrotra: a 1985 batch officer turned down as Galhotra outshines him in overall performance.On Central dutyCandidature of two other senior officers from Rajasthan cadre were not considered.K. K Sharma: a 1982 batch officer, he is already heading BSFSudhir Pratap Singh: a 1983 batch officer, he is DG National Security Guard, retiring in January 2018 1
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Yogi Adityanath

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Tamil Nadu: Panneerselvam stressed on unity in AIADMK, praises CM Palaniswami

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid signs of discord in the ruling AIADMK, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Sunday stressed on unity in the party and exhorted workers to ensure that ‘Amma’s’ (Jayalalithaa’s) rule continues its stride.In a series of tweets, Panneerselvam praised Chief Minister K Palaniswami saying he was providing good governance based on the path shown by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.He, however, did not comment on the simmering discontent that came to the fore last week after his loyalist and Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan hinted at differences among the leaders of the two factions which merged earlier this year.Besides this, Panneerselvam’s supporters have said they were not invited to a key party function in Madurai yesterday attended by Palaniswami.Panneerselvam, who was conspicuous by his absence in the event that was held in Madurai, had later batted for unity in the party while taking part in another function along with Palaniswami.The second function was held at Ramanathapuram, about 115 km from Madurai.In his tweets, Panneerselvam today reiterated that it was due to unity among the party workers that the Election Commission alloted the ‘two leaves’ symbol to them.”With the same unity and support of Tamil people, we will face the next month’s bypoll in R K Nagar and succeed in it.We will achieve great victories in all polls we are going to dedicate the victories to our beloved Amma,” he said.The deputy chief minister also lauded Palaniswami, saying he was providing good governance treading the path shown by Amma.”This government, headed by Palaniswami, is implementing various special schemes and is also announcing new projects based on the vision of Jayalalithaa,” he said.Meanwhile, state Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar clarified that the Madurai event was organised by a cadre to hail the retrieval of the party symbol.Responding to reporters’ question whether Panneerselvam was invited to the programme, he said it was not an event that was planned.”The names of the leaders (Palaniswami and Panneerselvam) has been mentioned in the plaque,” Udhayakumar said.Maitreyan yesterday had said proper intimation for the event should have been sent to all party workers, functionaries and leaders.He had said the Madurai event was important since it was the first function to celebrate the party getting back its symbol.The Palaniswami and Panneerselvam factions merged in August after ousting jailed leader V K Sasikala and her nephew T T V Dhinakaran.The Election Commission on November 23 allotted the ‘two leaves’ symbol to the unified AIADMK led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, dealing a blow to the Sasikala faction.

Shiv Sena pursues growth plan, gears up for solo fight in next elections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena is slowly and steadily pursuing its plan to spread its presence in all 288 assembly and 45 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra before taking a final call to go solo in the elections slated for 2019. Even though the saffron party is sharing power with the ‘’big brother’’ BJP in the state since December 2014, the Shiv Sena is stepping up its attack against the government on a number of issues taking the space of opposition too. The party president Uddhav Thacleray at the recent meeting with the senior leaders has told the cadre to warm up for further strengthening the organisation at the grassroots to take on mighty BJP.Party MPs, legislators and senior leaders have been assigned district and region wise responsibilities to counter BJP’s strategy to penetrate upto the booth and block level. Thackeray is personally keeping an eye on organisational work and he has been in constant touch with the district chiefs. Thackeray has already completed Marathwada tour and will visit Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara between November 24 and 26. These districts, where BJP has made sufficient inroads while weakening the hold of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.Notwithstanding the setback in the recent civic and local body elections in which BJP has gained a top slot, Shiv Sena has made it amply clear that it will raise issues faced by common man and encash unrest due to demonetization, Goods and Services Tax, technical glitches in the implementation of much ambitious farm loan waiver scheme, rising farmers suicides and their plight due to low prices for agriculture produce and more importantly curb on development expenditure following paucity of funds.Shiv Sena leader, who is engaged in pursuing party’s roadmap for consolidation, told DNA,’’ Party president Uddhav Thackeray has been quite clear that despite efforts to corner Shiv Sena especially by BJP it will continue to raise issues faced by people. This has been time and again proved be it the issue of amendment to the Land Acquisition, changes in Labour Laws, rehabilitation of farmers affected by Mumbai Nagpur expressway or by Metro rail and other infrastructure projects in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra. Shiv Sena voiced their concerns and made government to make necessary changes.’’ He informed that Thackeray will conduct similar tours in rest of Maharashtra ahead of next assembly and parliamentary elections.Meanwhile, Thackeray has told BJP that the Shiv Sena will not compromise on nomination of former Shiv Sena leader and chief minister Narayan Rane during the election to the state legislative council slated for December 7. Besides, the party will continue to oppose Rane’s induction in the state cabinet as he has rebelled against Shiv Sena and also attacked the party supremo Bal Thackeray.Rane recently quit the Congress party to float his own outfit and extended support to BJP. He is now NDA partners.

Anandiben Patel spends 76th b’day with the poor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former CM Anandiben Patel on her 76th birthday on Tuesday visited Sabarmati Ashram with BJP leader from Mumbai Shaina NC where her daughter Anar runs an NGO. An eye check-up camp was organised here for slum-dwellers and Patel distributed spectacles.She then visited slum in Vadaj where the NGO provides free education to kids and skill development training to poor women.Speaking to mediapersons in Gandhinagar, she said, “My message to BJP cadre is to work for society and poor while working for the party.”

No authoritative info on presence of Islamic state in J&K: Home Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government today sought to downplay Islamic State’s presence in Jammu and Kashmir, but acknowledged the resurgence of a radical group in the Valley.There is no authoritative information about the presence of ISIS in Jammu and Kashmir, a senior home ministry official said.The comment came in the wake of claims that the global terror organization was involved in an encounter with security forces in Srinagar wherein a terrorist, identified as Mugees, was killed and a sub-inspector, Imran Tak, lost his life.’Amaq’, which is the official news agency of ISIS, had claimed the responsibility for the attack.Pictures of Mugees with the ISIS flag in the background surfaced on social media. Even his body was wrapped in the flag of the banned terror group during funeral.However, the official said it has come to light that Mugees belonged to an extremist group called Tehrik-ul- Mujahideen and was its Pulwama district commander.The Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen was among the first few militant groups that emerged at the onset of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s, the official said.It follows the ideology of Salafism which is ultra radical like ISIS. However, the police have found no logistical connection between the two, another official said.The cadre strength of the group is very small and it has been facing an extreme shortage of weapons.Officials said the Tehrik-Ul-Mujahideen was founded much before the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen came into existence.After the killing of Mujees, Adil Ahmed has been appointed the group’s commander in Pulwama district.

Gujarat Election 2017: No celebration if short of target

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leaving no stone unturned to achieve its ambitious target of winning 150-plus of the 182 seats up for grabs in the Gujarat Assembly elections due later next month. So much so that national president Amit Shah has told party workers there will no victory processions if the party fails to reach the magic number by even one seat.“Shah was clear that the party has to slog to meet the 150 plus target. He went a step further and told the party members across the state that there won’t be victory processions even if BJP is unable to win 150 plus seats,’’ Sanat Modi, president of the Bhavnagar city unit of BJP, told DNA.Shah has also sought tighter coordination between office bearers and grassroots workers instead of relying merely on data.To meet the stiff target he has set, the party has launched a massive exercise to cover almost all 35,000 booths by holding at least three rounds of visits by the assigned leaders. Ministers from the state cabinet as well as from BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh have been deployed to supervise the party’s machinery down to the booth level.“Our party chief has asked party leaders and cadre at the grassroots not be complacent but be pro-active to retain BJP’s supremacy in the Assembly,” Modi, said.Saying Shah’s message of ‘Pull up your socks or perish’ was clear, Modi said the party president’s ‘Get Out the Vote’ formula of reaching out to every name on every page of the voters’ list has been strictly followed in all 182 constituencies.“The BJP has appointed a chief for each page who bears responsibility for getting every voter on that page out to vote on polling day,’’ he said.BJP leader Yogeshbhai Pandya from Surendranagar district said all district unit leaders have completed meeting voters at the booth, block, and circle levels. ‘’Their job was to list a slew of pro-development decisions implemented by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and the party-led government in Gujarat to counter opposition’s criticism,’’ he said.

CM Yogi Adityanath vs IAS officers? UP panel to screen ‘corrupt, inefficient’ babus, bureaucrats say not your jurisdiction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Uttar Pradesh government gave ‘forced retirement’ to over two dozen government officers, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has constituted a committee to screen ‘corrupt’ and ‘inefficient’ IAS officers who are above 50 years of age.The committee will be headed by the Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar. Senior IAS officers Anu Badhawan, Suresh Chandra, Deepak Trivedi and Praveer Kumar will be its members. The Committee will screen corrupt and inefficient IAS officers on the basis of their ACRs (Annual Charatcter Rolls).It may be recalled that after assuming power, the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced to forcibly retire government officers and employees who are corrupt, inefficient and not keeping pace with the work assigned.The Chief Minister had stated that such employees and officers will be given the option to take VRS or salary of three months or face legal action.The Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar said that the committee will screen ACRs of above 50 IAS officers and submit a report within a month. The confidential report will be submitted to the state government for action.Uttar Pradesh is the largest and one of the most prestigious cadre of civil servants in the country. Currently, about 621 IAS officers are posted in the state. In 1997, the UP IAS Association had created flutter in the cadre when it had selected three most corrupt IAS officers through a secret ballot during their annual general meeting (AGM).The Association had submitted the names of the three most corrupt IAS officers to then Kalyan Singh government which had, however, refused recommend any action against them to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) questioning its selection process.IAS officers are up in arms against the Yogi government’s move to force retirement of their colleagues above 50 on the basis of screening of their ACRs. “ACRs can be prejudiced if your senior is not happy with you. How can that be formed the basis for initiating any action against any officers of the UP cadre,” pointed a former Secretary of the UP IAS Association.“We are governed by services rules framed by the DoPT. How can state government decide on our service matters. We are not against action against corrupt ones but then charges against them have to be proved legally,” said another senior IAS officer, not wishing to be quoted.IAS officers are likely to raise the issue during their four-day AGM, beginning December 14. “We will certainly take up the issue during the AGM to lodge our protest against any such move,” claimed the senior officer.

Don’t have a magic wand, but my efforts should be judged with sincerity: J&K special interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Centre’s special representative for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma says he does not have a magic wand, but wants to be judged by his actions when he starts the process of talks in the Valley on Monday.”I do not have a magic wand but my efforts have to be judged with sincerity and not through the prism of the past,” Sharma, 61, said.The former Intelligence Bureau director added that no one should jump to conclusions before the process of talks with various stakeholders in Kashmir began.”I would like to be judged by my actions,” he told PTI from Delhi.Describing his work as a “serious effort”, he added that “one should refrain from fishing in the desert”.”I am going there tomorrow to be with my people and understand their pain and suffering and find a suitable remedy to their problems,” Sharma said.Responding to criticisms which have appeared in sections of the media, he said in due course he would also meet intellectuals for their advice in achieving “this difficult national task”.Sharma, who is originally from Bihar and was a Kerala- cadre IPS officer of the 1979 batch, held the country’s top- most post for a police officer from 2014 to 2016.He said Kashmir was his “second home” as his professional journey in the premier intelligence unit began here in 1992.”Nothing has changed since I was there for the first time. Kashmiriyat, which means compassion and brotherhood, has not changed even an iota. Therefore, I am hopeful that I will be at least able to contribute towards a new Kashmir, a peaceful Valley where prosperity will be the order of the day,” he said.Last month, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while announcing that Sharma would be the interlocutor for Kashmir, had referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the Red Fort this year.Modi had said on August 15, “Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se (Only by embracing the people, and not with abuses or bullets, can there be a change in Kashmir).”Asked about the course of action he would follow, Sharma said, “I do not have a magic wand to change the situation overnight. But having said that, I will like to emphasise during my proposed meetings beginning tomorrow, my every effort will be to work towards ensuring permanent peace in the state.”The special representative will meet political leaders, traders and other delegations tomorrow, according to a list drawn up by the state government.However, he made it clear he had his own list of people whom he would meet as well.To a question about a statement made by the Joint Resistance Front comprising separatist groups including moderate and hardline factions of the Hurriyat and JKLF that they would not meet him, Sharma said the government’s effort should not be seen through the “prism of the past”.”It is purely their choice whether they want to be a partner in peace or on the opposite side of the fence where destruction has been topping the agenda. My suggestion to everyone is that they should not see this effort of the government through the prism of the past.” he said.Efforts had previously been made by successive central governments too, he said.”I have no idea what happened to them and, therefore, I would not like to comment. I can only talk about this initiative which has been done with a serious thought process and months of hard work by many,” he said.

DGP appointment hearing adjourned

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat HC on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking regular appointment of the DGP. The matter will be heard next Wednesday. Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma had filed a PIL alleging that the state was avoiding appointment of a full-time officer and running the police department with in-charge DGPs. Rules state that a DGP can be appointed from among the top IPS officers of the state cadre with minimum two years of service in the office. Sharma alleged that the state government was intentionally not appointing a regular DGP, which can have an impact on the policing.The first division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi, in the last hearing, had directed the government pleader to get instructions from the state regarding its stand on the appointment of a regular DGP. The government pleader had then submitted that the government was seriously thinking over it. On Wednesday, more time was sought by the state, and the Chief Justice orally observed that the government must make its stand crystal clear over the issue by the next hearing. Petitioner’s plea is that once a DGP is appointed, the state should allow him/her to complete his full term in office under the Bombay Police (Gujarat Amendment) Act 2007. Gujarat HC to govt: Reply on GP website in two weeksGujarat HC has asked the state government to file reply within two weeks by when it plans to launch the official website of the Government Pleader’s office (GP) as mandated under the RTI Act. It has kept the matter for further hearing on November 18.The first division bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and justice Vipul Pancholi is hearing the PIL filed by citizen Chandravadan Dhruv stating that though 12 years have passed, there is no official website of the GP office. For 2016-17, the GP office had received grant of Rs 11. 23crore from the state.

Supreme Court bars govt from taking action against ED officer probing 2G scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today restrained the Centre from taking any immediate action against Enforcement Directorate official Rajeshwar Singh, probing the multi-crore rupees Aircel-Maxis case and the 2G spectrum scam, following some complaints lodged against him.The court’s direction came after Singh alleged conspiracy over filing of “frivolous anonymous complaints” against him with the Revenue Secretary saying these were being entertained by the ED. He said such complaints were filed after the recent attachment of property worth Rs 1.16 crore of the accused in the Aircel-Maxis case. Though the name of the accused in Aircel-Maxis deal case was not taken by Singh’s counsel, but on September 23, ED had reportedly attached assets worth Rs 1.16 crore of Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, and a firm allegedly linked to him in connection with its money laundering probe in connection with the deal.A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer issued notices to CBI, ED and the Department of Telecom and sought their responses in three weeks. “No action should be taken against the petitioner (Rajeshwar Singh) till the pendency of his plea,” it ruled. The bench observed that in this country, several complaints are filed against people holding public office and it will be difficult to work if such complaints are entertained. “Suppose in a case, someone comes after 20 years and makes a complaint against a person holding public office, will it be entertained? It will become difficult to work if such complaints are entertained,” it said. At the outset, advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for Singh, said the court should direct a CBI probe into the alleged conspiracy of filing of complaints or for relieving him from the investigation of the 2G scam case.He said earlier too, several attempts were made to interfere with the 2G scam investigation but the court had always protected him. “Two attempts were made since the last apex court order in 2014 which protected him from any such complaints filed by the accused in the 2G case in complicit with the government”, he said. Sankaranarayanan said Singh was an Uttar Pradesh cadre police official on deputation in Enforcement Directorate and his promotion in the service was due, which could be hampered due to such complaints.”After properties worth Rs 1.16 crore of an accused in Aircel-Maxis deal case were attached on September 23, some anonymous frivolous complaints were filed against me with Revenue Secretary of Ministry of Finance and these have been entertained,” he said. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who was present in the court to support Singh’s plea, said he was an intervenor in the Aircel-Maxis case and knows Singh as an honest officer. “As far as I know, Singh is an honest officer and my experience is that politicians in high offices are targetting him,” he said.Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO CPIL which has filed the main petition in the apex court on which investigations were ordered in the 2G scam case, said he does not oppose the petition of Singh.The apex court had in 2013 entertained a plea of Singh seeking contempt action against Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two scribes, who were working with his news channel, alleging they had threatened and blackmailed him and interfered with the investigation of the 2G spectrum case. On May 6, 2011, the apex court had said prima facie it was of the view that an attempt was made to interfere with the investigation conducted by Singh in 2G spectrum scam case and related matters.

YC Modi takes charge as NIA Director-General

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior IPS officer YC Modi took charge as the chief of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday. He was named as the outgoing Director General Sharad Kumar’s successor last month, and was appointed Officer on Special Duty so that he gets a month to settle in before taking full-charge.Modi, an IPS officer of the 1984 batch from the Assam-Meghalaya cadre was serving in CBI since 2015 where he was Additional Director. This was his second stint with the agency where he had also served between 2002 and 2010.Modi succeeds Sharad Kumar under whose tenure the NIA investigated cases like the Bodhgaya Temple blast, explosions during the Patna rally of the then BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the Pathankot airbase attack, ISIS links and the Jammu and Kashmir terror- funding case.”Many important cases such as the United National Liberation Front case, Dilsukhnagar (Hyderabad) blast case, ISIS conspiracy cases and Fake Indian Currency Notes cases resulted in conviction,” the agency said in a statement.In another development senior police officer AP Maheshwari was appointed Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development, on Monday.Maheshwari, a 1984 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is currently a Special Director in Border Security Force.

BMC resumes demolition drive at Garib Nagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) resumed its demolition drive in the slums of Garib Nagar at Behrampada (Bandra East) on Monday, two days after a major fire broke out in the region while the civic body was carrying out the operation. The work began under heavy police security in the weekday afternoon.In what is being seen as an indication of the BMC’s hardening stance on demolishing illegal structures — including those of hawkers — across Mumbai, in a first, the civic body chief, Ajoy Mehta, has given the charge of the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Removal of Encroachments) to an IAS officer. The post is traditionally held by state-cadre officers. Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Nidhi Chaudhari, posted with the civic legal department, has been given additional charge of the demolition of illegal structures across the city.Speaking to DNA, Chaudhari said, “The drive shall continue across Mumbai with coordination of all Assistant Municipal Commissioners, Deputy and Assistant Police Commissioners of Mumbai.”Meanwhile, the H-East ward on Monday resumed its demolition drive in the Garib Nagar slums which was suspended after the major fire. The ward officer resumed the demolition drive late on Monday afternoon, and in the presence of heavy police security, and demolished 20 shanties.However, the ward office has an extended plan of action, which includes demolishing 2096 illegal structures in the region starting from Garib Nagar slum to the ones in front of Bandra Terminus ending at Mumbai airport compound, a senior civic officer told DNA. “We shall continue with our demolition drive with the help of police security. It’s a week-long demolition. We surveyed 326 structures in the shanties in Garib Nagar near the Tansa pipeline. Of them, 240 structures need to be demolished. Unfortunately, just 35 are eligible for alternate accommodation,” the officer said.

Govt for new cadre for court management

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has sent a communication to chief justices of all High Courts seeking their suggestion on the need for a separate cadre of administrators for court administration, court management, finance etc.The need for a separate administrative cadre was felt “in order to keep judges/judicial officers free from such administrative, managerial and financial work so that they can devote their time to more judicial work,” the letter read.In his letter, Prasad said that the 13th Finance Commission had earmarked Rs 300 crore for the appointment of Court Managers for the period 2010-2015 to assist judges in streamlining administrative duties. In the one-page letter, he also listed reasons for the lack of success on this front. Only one-third of the money was released and one-seventh utilised, the letter read.”Recruitment on contract basis, low remuneration package, reluctance on the part of the judiciary to accept Court Managers to participate in judicial process have been identified as some of the reasons for failure to attract suitable candidates,” the letter read.The issue of court administration was also broached during the 2013 Conference of Chief Justices wherein it was decided that National and State Judicial Academies would take steps for imparting training to judicial officers on managerial skills. It was also decided that judicial officers would be sent to the Indian Institution of Management to receive training, the law minister said.Prasad said that during a week-long discussion at Maharashtra Judicial Academy in February 2016, participating court managers identified lack of clear direction from judges and their ambiguous status in the court system as one of the reasons why this issue was a non-starter.Earlier this year, the Niti Aayog has made a few suggestions that need to be immediately implemented in the next three years to bring about much needed critical reforms in the Indian judicial system. Niti Aayog’s draft report in April had suggested the introduction of an administrative cadre – reporting directly to the Chief Justice of the High Courts, which was ease the burden of administrative duties currently borne by the judges.The Niti Aayog suggested the introduction of a ‘judicial performance index’ to check delay in trials and address the issue of pendency of cases. “The index can also include certain progress on process steps that have already been approved by high courts, like burden of day-to-day activity being removed from judges and given to administrative officials.Since 2000, 81.8% of the cases have taken more than five years to be disposed of, while, 57% took more than 10 years in the district and lower courts. In four higher courts where sufficient data were available, 87% cases took 10-15 years to be disposed of, and only 5% of the cases were cleared in less than five years. Comparatively, in the United States of America (USA), the median time from filing to disposal took 7-8 months for criminal and civil cases respectively (in 2015).The Indian judiciary has been largely crippled on account of shortage of judges, which in turn has led to a high pendency of cases in courts. However, data released by the law ministry suggests that the number of pending cases in the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts has gone down in the past three years, though, the cases of pendency in the lower judiciary has risen.The lack of judges is perhaps the biggest issue facing the judiciary and the Law Ministry today. According to data available on the Department of Justice website, 24 high courts across the country are now working, with 692 judges, as opposed to the required strength of 1,079. With a shortfall of 387 judges, this means that on average a judge is hearing and dealing with almost double the number of cases that he should be.The lower courts are functioning with an approved strength of nearly 20,000 judicial officers, falling short by 4,937 judicial officers.This shortage of judges has taken its toll, as seen in the number of pending cases above. Sources within the Law Ministry reveal that the Centre will focus on simply filling up the vacancies as and when a judge retires as opposed to increasing the strength of judges.”The budgetary allocation for judicial services has been a constant 0.04 percent,” Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said while delivering an address on the concluding day of the two-day 15th All India State Legal Services meet up in the national capital earlier this year. Accordingly, the judiciary’s impact was akin to the same, he observed.

Valley can’t turn into Syria: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government’s interlocutor for talks in Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, has said that the biggest challenge and the top priority are to deradicalise the youth and militants and prevent the Valley from turning into India’s Syria.The mission is to talk to anyone — ordinary youth, even a rickshawala or a thelawala — who can contribute in ensuring that violence ends and peace returns as soon as possible, Sharma told a news agency.”I am worried about the people of Kashmir. If all this picked up, the situation will be like Yemen, Syria and Libya. People will start fighting in so many groups. So, it is very important that everybody, all of us, contribute so that suffering of Kashmiris end”.On October 23, the government decided to initiate talks with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, hoping to restore peace by appointing the former Intelligence Bureau chief as a “special representative for a sustained dialogue”, following a prolonged period of violence in the state.He told the news agency that he will have to convince the youth of Kashmir that they are only ruining their future and the future of all Kashmiris in the name of whether they call it azadi, Islamic caliphate or Islam.”It is a big challenge and I will go about my job with an open mind,” Sharma had earlier told DNA. On being asked whether he will also talk to the separatist leadership of Hurriyat Conference, he had said, “We will speak to whoever is required to speak to… after consultations and a sense of the ground situation”. Sharma is a Bihar-born, Kerala-cadre IPS officer of the 1979 batch. He tracked terror networks in Kashmir and in the Northeast for decades. He is known to have compassionate view on the sufferings of the conflict-hit state. Sharma always kept a low profile and spent 25 years in the IB and headed the agency between 2014 and 2016.Over the last one year since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, there has been an escalation in violence. Stone-pelting mobs including women and children clashing with security forces had become a routine affair last year. With terror outfits luring local youth, and terrorists burning down schools, the dialogue process will focus on bringing them back to mainstream. Security forces have gunned down 175 terrorists this year compared to 150 in 2016.

Military-civil rift over rank parity continues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A high-level panel looking into parity between military and civilian employees working under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has not reached a consensus on the subject, a year after being set up, triggering friction between the armed forces and the government.With no breakthrough, the rift over a range of issues on equivalence on military and civilians working in Ministry of Defence could widen, sources said.The panel was expected to table its report by now but with no agreement between the three members of the committee, a final decision cannot be taken.”None of them have signed on the report as there is no consensus,” a defence source said.There has been a strong buzz that that the panel was in favour of implementing the MoD order of October 18, 2016, of downgrading ranks of military officers working in service headquartres of the Army, Navy and Air Force in comparison to their civilian colleagues belonging to the Armed Force Headquartres Civil Services (AFHQCS).”Several presentations have been made at the highest level opposing the government move to downgrade military ranks. It has been communicated that this will affect the morale of the forces,” said a military official.The AFHQCS cadre was introduced in 1968 for running the service headquartes of the forces.The three-member committee looking into te matter includes Additional Secretary (Defence Production) Surina Rajan, Principal Director (Military Secretariat) Archana Rai and Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen AK Bhatt.The MoD order last year put a Major General and equivalent ranks in Air Force and Navy (Air Vice Marshal and Rear Admiral) to the level of Principal Director, Brigadier (Air Commodore and Commodore) Director level, and a Colonel (Group Captain and Captain) to a joint-director level.This, in effect, meant that military ranks were demoted in comparison to their civilian colleagues as a Lt Colonel rank officer enjoyed the status of a Director before this.The matter has also fuelled resentment among the armed forces as it was being viewed as an attempt by the government to lower the status of military officers.Following the hue-and-cry after the decision, then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar set up the ‘Equivalence Committee’ to look into the subject.The matter has remained pending since then.This is not the only issue that has triggered friction between the armed forces and the MoD in the last one year.A tussle over pay inequality between armed forces and civilians working under the MoD has led to serious “command and control problems” affecting the working in some critical areas, including field operations, which top military brass had earlier alerted the government about.The armed forces have been demanding that they should be eligible for the Non Functional Upgradation (NFU) like the civilian Grade ‘A’ officials working under MoD will put the armed forces officials at par with their non-military colleagues. The government has challenged the judgment of the Armed Forces Tribunal in favour of granting NFU to armed forces. The matter is scheduled to come up for hearing next week in the Supreme Court.The Centre’s decision to cancel free ration for officers of the armed forces serving in peace stations and replacing it with an allowance was also opposed by the services. The most contentious issue was the amount of allowance to be paid. It was communicated to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that either the practice of ration in kind should continue for officers on peace posting or an allowance of Rs 205.11 per officer per day be paid with tax exemptions.

Macron to visit India in December to participate in International Solar Alliance Summit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>French President Emmanuel Macron will make his first visit to India in December during which he will take part in the International Solar Alliance Summit. France’s Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler confirmed the visit. Macron will also hold official talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his stay between December 8 and 10.During the summit, the International Solar Alliance, an India-led initiate which has the backing of around 121 solar- rich countries to tackle energy issues, will come into effect with the adoption of a legal instrument.The International Solar Alliance was launched in 2015 by Modi and the then French president Francois Hollande in the presence of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.The prime minister had met Macron, who at 39 is the youngest president in France’s history, during his visit to Paris in June.France is India’s 9th largest investment partner. It is also a key partner in India s development initiatives in areas like defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways. PTI SBR PYK

Puducherry CM appeals to Emmanuel Macron to visit Union Terriroty

Updated: Oct 9, 2017, 10:26 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Monday appealed to the French government to ensure that President Emmanuel Macron included Puducherry in his itinerary during his forthcoming visit to India in December.Narayanasamy was addressing a team of French officials and delegates at the inauguration of a one-day conference on ‘Smart City Project for Puducherry’ organised by Smart City Development Limited.He urged French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler to ensure that Puducherry was part of the itinerary of Macron visiting India in December this year.”We will also request the Centre in this regard and I also request the Ambassador to ensure that the President visited Puducherry, a former French colony,” he said.Among those present at the inauguration of the conference was Consul General of France in Puducherry Catherine Suard.

JD-U to focus on all 40 LS seats in Bihar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Close on the heels of BJP president Amit Shah asking party cadre to focus on all 40 Lok Sabha seats of Bihar, its alliance partner in the state, JD(U), too has made clear its intentions with an eye on the 2019 general elections.JD(U) national general secretary RCP Singh on Sunday said the party will be taking several measures to strengthen its organisational structure including appointment of booth-level agents in all the 40 Lok Sabha seats of Bihar.”We will be holding meetings in blocks, districts and state levels besides holding conferences in all the districts…Elections (Lok Sabha) will be held after the next year (2019) and naturally, any political party will work hard to strengthen its organisational structure right up to the booth-level,” leader in Rajya Sabha and JD(U) told reporters here.”We will strengthen our organisation on all the 40 Lok Sabha seats (in Bihar),” Singh said adding, the party intends to appoint booth-level agents within two months in all the Lok Sabha seats.Singh was briefing mediapersons after the meeting of state executive committee which was attended by the party’s national president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Ministers of JD(U) quota in Bihar government, MPs, MLAs and other prominent leaders of the state.

Rajiv Mehrishi to take over as CAG today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajiv Mehrishi, who retired as the Union home secretary last month, will take over as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Monday. He will take over from Shashi Kant Sharma, who will retire on September 25.Mehrishi, 62, would be administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday. His appointment has been cleared by the government. He will have a tenure of about three years. As per laid out norms, the CAG is appointed for a term of six years or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.The 1978 batch (retired) Indian Administrative Service officer of the Rajasthan cadre Mehrishi completed his two-year fixed term as the home secretary last month. He was chosen as the home secretary by the NDA government the day he was due to retire as the finance secretary. Mehrishi, who hails from Rajasthan, holds Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (UK) and Master of Arts (MA) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees from Delhi University.Sharma who to demit office on Monday, was appointed as CAG on May 23, 2013. The 61-year-old 1976 Bihar cadre IAS officer had replaced Vinod Rai, who superannuated after a five-and-a-half year eventful tenure as the head of the CAG.Sharma’s appointment came at a time when the CAG has come under sharp attack from the government and ruling party for its reports on assessment of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in allocation of 2G spectrum. Under Vinod Rai’s tenure, the CAG was accused of going beyond its auditing ambit and indulging in analysing policy decisions.AUDITING GOVTSThe CAG is primarily entrusted with the responsibility to audit the accounts of the Union govt and of the states
Its reports are laid before Parliament and legislatures

Former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi to be new CAG

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi will take over as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Monday succeeding Shashi Kant Sharma, officials said today.Mehrishi, 62, would be administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday, they said.His appointment has been cleared by the government, the officials said.Mehrishi, a 1978 batch (retired) Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Rajasthan cadre, completed his two-year fixed term as the home secretary last month.Sharma, who had taken over as the CAG on May 23, 2013, demitted office on Friday, they said. Sharma was defence secretary prior to his appointment as the CAG.Mehrishi will have a tenure of about three years.The CAG is appointed for a term of six years or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.As a constitutional functionary, the CAG is primarily entrusted with the responsibility to audit the accounts of the Union government and of the state governments.CAG reports are laid before Parliament and legislatures of the states.Mehrishi, who hails from Rajasthan, holds Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (UK).He also possess Master of Arts (MA) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees from Delhi University.Mehrishi has held several posts in both his state cadre Rajasthan and in the Centre.Before appointed as the home secretary, he worked as economic affairs secretary and chief secretary of Rajasthan.Mehrishi has also worked as secretary in departments of chemicals and fertilisers, and Overseas Indian Affairs. ​

Mayawati brings brother, nephew to the fore at party rally

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati introduced her brother and nephew to party workers at a rally in Meerut, triggering speculation that the two may play a significant role in the party in future.The BSP supremo’s brother Anand and nephew Akash yesterday shared the dais with her for the first time at any party rally. They waved at the public but did not give any speech.Akash had accompanied Mayawati during a visit to Saharanpur in May after the clashes there.Addressing her first rally after her resignation from Rajya Sabha in July, the former chief minister alleged that the dalits, tribals and OBC communities were being oppressed under the BJP.Lakhs of posts were lying vacant, but no effort is being made to fill them, she alleged.In the speech that lasted well over an hour, Mayawati compared her decision to quit the upper house to the resignation of Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar as law minister in 1951.She said that she resigned from the house as dalits were not allowed to raise their voice on the issue of Saharanpur clashes.The rally is being as an attempt to galvanise party cadre ahead of municipal elections in Uttar Pradesh.

In mid-level bureaucratic reshuffle, 17 new joint secretaries appointed by Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 17 new joint secretaries have been appointed in various central government departments as part of a major mid-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected today.Of these, 11 officers are from Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and six from other civil services.IAS officers Anil Malik and Vivek Bharadwaj will be joint secretaries in Home Ministry.Anurag Agarwal, also from the same service, has been appointed joint secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.IAS officer N Saravana Kumar will be joint secretary, Department of Higher Education.Ruchika Chaudhry Govil, an officer of Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax cadre), has been named JS, Ministry of Steel.Manohar Agnani and Vijoy Kumar Singh will be joint secretaries in Department of Health and Family Welfare, and DoPT respectively.Amit Sahai, an Indian Forest Service officer, will be joint secretary, Department of Defence Production.Ravinesh Kumar, an officer of Indian Defence Accounts Service, has been named Financial Advisor, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).Sanjay Goel and Gopalakrishnan S have been appointed joint secretaries in Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.IAS officer Anuradha Thakur will be joint secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management.Kalpana Rajsinghot and Manju Pandey have been appointed joint secretaries in Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry.Niranjan Kumar Sudhansu will be joint secretary, Ministry of Coal. S Suresh Kumar has been appointed Additional Chief Executive Officer, Government e-marketplace Special Purpose Vehicle– a portal to procure goods and services by all government departments and public sector undertakings.IAS officer Rajiv Arora, joint secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment has been sent back to his cadre state Haryana before completion of his central deputation tenure.

Baichung Bhutia goes against TMC party line, expresses support for separate Gorkhaland

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eminent ex-footballer and TMC leader Baichung Bhutiya has expressed his support for a separate Gorkhaland. As per reports in Anandabazar Patrika, Baichung Bhutiya has said that he is personally in support for a separate Gorkhaland. According to Baichung, during his visit to the hills, said he has spoken to several TMC leaders and bureaucrats. According to him, there is an undercurrent of support for Gorkhaland among them, but no one is willing to say it out loudly.The legendary footballer claimed that even sections of Bengalis supported the Gorkhaland movement. Baichung has unsuccessfully contested for TMC in both Assembly and Parliamentary elections. He is currently the head of North Bengal Sports development Council. Baichung, originally hailing from Sikkim has spent the better half of his footballing career playing for Kolkata Maidan giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. Reacting to Baichung’s comments, Minister Gautam Dev said that he has no clue why such comment was made and would ask the former player for clarification.The comments unlikely to go down well with TMC supremo and Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. She had said after the GJM protest had ended: “It’s good news. We want restoration of peace and wellbeing of the people there (in Darjeeling).” The bandh for a separate Gorkhaland state lasted for 78 days. GJM supporters clash with policePro-Gorkhaland supporters today clashed with the police after attacking a school bus and ransacking several shops in Kalimpong district in the Darjeeling hills, police said.Police baton-charged the protesters and arrested 12 GJM supporters.The incident took place when Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters, who were picketing on the streets of Kalimpong to enforce the indefinite shutdown which entered its 93rd day today, tried to stop a school bus.GJM supporters pelted stones at the bus and ransacked several shops which tried to reopen today, the police said.The police initially tried to pacify GJM supporters, but they pelted stones at the police injuring few police personnel.Police and security forces were patrolling the streets to avoid any untoward incident.Several shops and markets which had reopened in Kalimpong yesterday downed its shutters.GJM chief Bimal Gurung had yesterday asked partymen to intensify the bandh and said the shutdown will continue till a tripartite meeting was convened by the central government.He had also asked the GJM cadre to intensify the bandh in the hills and ensure that no one made an attempt to break it.Though the state-run North Bengal State Transport Corporation plied a few buses, they were escorted by security personnel.The buses were operating from Siliguri to Darjeeling via Kurseong. Buses were also plying between Siliguri and Mirik in Darjeeling district, police said.For the seventh day in a row, the police, along with the administration, appealed to the locals via public address systems to open shops and restore normalcy in the hills.Peace rallies were taken out by residents in Kurseong, Darjeeling and Mirik.GJM supporters took out rallies in some parts of Darjeeling, Sonada and Kalimpong supporting creation of Gorkhaland and the ongoing shutdown, police said. With inputs from PTI

Bawana bypoll: BJP MP Udit Raj to probe party’s defeat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Post the AAP’s massive victory in the Bawana by-polls, the BJP is now conducting an introspection to find out just what went wrong in their campaign. Sources say that the party has appointed Dr Udit Raj, MP from Delhi’s North-West constituency to “probe” the loss and fix responsibility for the same.The BJP had done well in the civic polls in April this year and the paprty’s confidence was further boosted when it won the bypoll for the Rajouri Garden seat. However, in Bawana, it not only finished third, its vote share also decreased by four percentage points compared to the 2015 assembly elections.For instance BJP candidate Ved Prakash polled 35834 votes, which is just 27.16 per cent of the total ballots cast. The party’s vote share in 2015 was 31.40 per cent while the same was 46.72 per cent in 2014.Shocked at the results, leaders are blaming “wrong candidature” as one of the major reasons. Prakash who had joined the BJP after falling foul with the Aam Aadmi Party before MCD polls, was seen as a “turncoat” by a lot of partymen, claims a local leader who worked closely with the district cadre during the Bawana polls.”People felt deceived when he (Prakash) abandoned AAP and joined the BJP which triggered the elections. The vote count was bound to be affected because they felt he was a traitor,” he says. The leader adds that Prakash’s lack of popularity among villagers further lessened the chances of winning.Reportedly, a lot of leaders had objected to Prakash’s candidature and had even raised the matter with the party high command but the BJP went ahead with him.Sources say, the party also failed to put up a united front during the campaign because of in-party rivalry and factionalism. It had roped in Union Minister Birender Singh and West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma to announce the beginning of the campaign. However, both of them did not turn up, which left many tongues wagging. “The canvassing was also “not well organised”, which affected the final result.”There was hardly any coordination. The acts were not in sync with what we were planning. We did as much as we could but one could do only so much to bring workers together,” rued a senior district party leader.

Massive rejig in bureaucracy: Mehrishi made CAG

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a massive bureaucracy rejig that may raise several eyebrows, Modi government on Thursday evening gave the plum post of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to Rajiv Mehrishi as soon as he retired from the post of the Union Home Secretary.Mehrishi, a 1978-batch Rajasthan cadre IAS officer, was made the union home secretary on the final day of his superannuation as Finance Secretary (in-charge of Department of Economic Affairs) on August 31, 2015. He handed over the baton of Ministry of Home Affairs to 1982-batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre Rajiv Gauba.Even before the announcement, it was speculated that Mehrishi might be handed over the post of a Governor or the Election Commissioner. Mehrishi will replace Shashi Kant Sharma, who was appointed by the Congress led UPA government in May 2013.Besides Mehrishi, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointments of Ashwini Attri, Anita Pattanayak and Ranjan Kumar Ghose as Deputy CAG.In another key appointment, the government appointed former IAS officer Sunil Arora as the Election Commissioner. The Commission was working with only two Election Commissioners after the retirement of Nasim Zaidi as CEC.

Rajiv Mehrishi appointed CAG, Sunil Arora to be Election Commissioner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), after stepping down as Home Secretary on Thursday.There were other appointments as well with Anita Karwal being appointed Chairman of CBSE, former IAS officer Sunil Arora being elected as the Election Commissioner and Ranjan Kumar Ghose appointed as the Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General.Senior bureaucrat Rajiv Kumar was appointed Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS) while Anita Karwal was named CBSE chairperson as part of a major reshuffle effected today.As many as 17 civil servants were appointed as secretaries and additional secretaries in various central government departments.Kumar, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, is at present Special Secretary and Establishment Officer in the Ministry of Personnel.He was appointed in place of Anjuly Chib Duggal, who superannuated today, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.The DFS looks after the functioning of banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and the national pension system.Kumar has spearheaded several reforms in Indian bureaucracy including an online system for recording of the bureaucrats annual performance appraisal reports and 360 degree system to assess suitability of officers for senior- level jobs.Pradip Kumar Tripathi will be new Establishment Officer and Additional Secretary in the Personnel Ministry.Karwal, a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, who is Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Human Resources Development, was named chairperson of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in place of Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi.Chaturvedi has been appointed as Director General of the National Skill Development Agency.Asha Ram Sihag has been appointed Secretary, Department of Heavy Industries. He is at present Secretary (Coordination) in Cabinet Secretariat.Inder Jit Singh has been named Secretary (Coordination) in Cabinet Secretariat in place of Sihag. He is at present Additional Secretary in Commerce Ministry.N Baijendra Kumar, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, has been appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of National Mineral Development Corporation.He is at present working in his cadre state.Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Rameswhar Prasad Gupta will be Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog. He is at present Managing Director of National Waqf Development Corporation Ltd (NAWADCO).”The officer will continue to hold additional charge of the post of MD, NAWADCO until further orders,” it said.Satyajeet Rajan, presently serving in his cadre state Kerala, has been named Director General, Tourism.Ali Raza Rizvi, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce has been appointed Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.”The earlier order appointing Rizvi as CMD, NMDC stands cancelled,” the DoPT order said.Rajesh Bhushan, Joint Secretary, Department of Rural Development has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat.Rajni Sekhri Sibal, a 1986 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, has been named Director General, Employment and Training under Ministry of Labour and Employment.Surina Rajan, Additional Secretary in Department of Defence Production, will be Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards. Apurva Chandra will be new additional secretary in Department of Defence Production in place of Rajan.Surendra Nath Tripathi has been named Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. He is at present Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.Veena Ish, Member (Administration), National Highways Authority of India, will be Additional Secretary, Department of Land Resources.Vinod Kumar Yadav, a 1980 batch officer of Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers, has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

AAP wins Bawana bypoll: A shot in the arm for beleaguered Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Ram Chander won the Bawana seat on Monday after he bagged 59,886 votes while BJP finished a distant second with 35,834 votes. Congress party came third, it’s candidate Surender Kumar bagged 31,919 votes. A victory in Bawana bypolls means many things for Arvind Kejriwal and his party.For a very long time, things have not been going right for AAP–party got trounced in recent Goa assembly elections, dismal performance in Punjab assembly elections shocked the AAP supporters, and BJP sweeping Delhi civil polls really disappointed party sympathisers. If that was not enough AAP lost Rajouri Garden seat in April and many started saying AAP had lost the popularity.But Bawana has inspired the AAP leadership and cadre as this reveals that things can be turned around if the party care to take the right steps and work for the betterment of Delhi.After recent defeats Kejriwal brought about a change in his strategy. He tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation, stopped blaming Prime Minister for Narendra Modi for everything, and focused on soliving Delhi’s problems. Bawana victory shows, Kejriwal’s new strategy is working and he is getting back the lost support. As they say in cricket: You are as good as your last game, AAP can now go among the people, confident and excited after Bawana victory. This victory means, at least AAP can claim this, people have faith in Kejriwal and the party still can regain the lost ground. With Bawan victory, AAP will now have 66 MLAs in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.Congress had drawn a blank in the 2015 Assembly elections. The party was hoping to open its account in the Delhi Assembly, but could not succeed this time also. Bawana is one of the largest constituencies in Delhi with close to three lakh voters.

AIADMK rebels join BJP, crisis deepens for Chief Minister Palaniswami ahead of trust vote

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu government’s fragile stability is on a shaky grounds again.In what could be termed as a setback for the Chief Minister E Palaniswami, the rebel faction loyal to Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran joined the BJP in presence of party chief Amit Shah in Delhi on Saturday.The latest development means that the Chief Minister now more to worry about the impending floor test.The reason of Chief Minister EPS’ worry is simple arithmetic of Tamil Nadu Assembly. The Palaniswami government would need 117 votes to win the trust vote. If the these 19 lawmakers were disqualified under the anti-defection law, that would have meant some respite for EPS.However, with the rebel faction joining the BJP, equations may change during the trust vote.The 19 leaders who have joined the BJP include former Industries Minister Nainar Nagendran, former MLA of Arcot and AIADMK cadre Srinivasan and ex-Vellore Mayor P Karthiyayini.The rebels had withdrawn their support from the EPS government after the warring factions of AIADMK announced the merger.

AIADMK merger: Dhinakaran trying to confuse partymen, says D Jayakumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Tamil Nadu Finance Minister and senior AIADMK (Amma) leader D Jayakumar today said rebel leader O Panneerselvam had given “positive signs” on a proposed merger of the rival party factions and hit out at “sidelined” party deputy chief TTV Dhinakaran for “trying to confuse” the cadre.Referring to Panneerselvam’s comments in Delhi earlier in the day after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jayakumar said it had given positive signals about the merger. “This has given positive signals (on the merger),” he said, replying to a question by a reporter on Panneerselvam’s comments. Jayakumar described Dhinakaran’s rally at Madurai today as an attempt to “confuse the partymen, borne out of vendetta” and added, “They (the partymen) understand it and will not accept it.”The AIADMK is split into factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Panneerselvam and Dhinakaran, who is “not acceptable” to the first two camps. Earlier in the day, after calling on Modi, Panneerselvam said, “The prevailing atmosphere in the state under the current regime, the feeling of the AIADMK cadre and the opinion of the public have been conveyed to the PM.” To a question on whether ministerial berths for the Panneerselvam camp would brighten the chances of the merger, Jayakumar said talks had been held at various stages and a “workable model” had now been attained.”This will take a final shape..good things will happen and the party will unite and when that happens, the whole world will get to know,” the finance minister, who has been interacting with the media on behalf of the Palaniswami camp since they revolted against Dhinakaran in April, said. Asked if Panneerselvam’s demand for a probe into the circumstances surrounding late chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death, made after he broke ranks with the AIADMK (Amma) faction in February, would be fulfilled, he said the matter was sub-judice and “we will obey the court’s order”.On some recent remarks of Dhinakaran against the Palaniswami camp, Jayakumar said the people and the partymen, who were the “best judges”, were watching everything. Dhinakaran had questioned the Palaniswami camp for giving affidavits in the Election Commission (EC), endorsing V K Sasikala as the party general secretary and him as the deputy general secretary, and alleged that opposing it now amounted to “forgery”. Jayakumar condemned Dhinakaran’s allegation that those in the government had a mindset of “making off with whatever was available”.”There is no truth in it, it is anguishing, it is not a mature comment,” he said. Asked about the reported support of AIADMK allies like Thamimun Ansari lending support to Dhinakaran’s Madurai rally, Jayakumar said it was not immediately known why had they done so and asserted that they continued to support the government. “The Melur AIADMK MLA has not attended Dhinakaran’s meeting,” he added. Asked about AIADMK functionary Durai Govindarajan, who was a party to the August 10 resolution against Dhinakaran, now retracting and supporting the beleaguered leader, the finance minister said it was not known “under what circumstances” he had chosen to do so and wondered whether he was “intimidated”.”The resolution was read out to everyone before it was passed,” he added. Jayakumar reiterated that the recent appointments made by Dhinakaran in the party was “to confuse the cadre” and that they were “unacceptable”. The Palaniswami camp continued to oppose V K Sasikala and Dhinakaran, he said, adding that the disputes over their appointments were pending before the court and EC.

AIADMK must follow path of MGR, Jayalalithaa and Sasikala’s ideology- Dinakaran

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran on Monday said that if party general secretary V. K. Sasikala wanted she could have been the general secretary of party the day Jayalalithaa died, and appealed to party cadres to take the party in the path of MGR, Jayalalithaa and Sasikala?s ideology. ?If Sasikala wanted she could have been general secretary of party, the day Jayalalithaa died. But she did not wish to do that. Let us take an oath to take the AIADMK in path of MGR, Jayalalithaa and Sasikala. I appeal the Tamil Nadu Government to have good rapport with the Central Government to ensure our needs of state are met,? Dinakaran said. He further said that passing a resolution against him is not legal and said the development clearly indicates that someone was under pressure to act against him. ?When you have filed an affidavit at the Election Commission (EC) stating that Sasikala is general secretary and I am deputy general secretary. Then why has there been a resolution against me? It’s not legal. It is done to confuse party cadres. Under whose pressure they passed that resolution?? he said. Dinakaran also strongly urged that the two leaves symbol must be retrieved by the party. ?We have to retrieve our two leaves symbol. We have duty to win in a huge manner in Lok Sabha polls. We have responsibility of strengthening the party. Some people think they can rule the state sitting in Secretariat. It is our duty to carry forward legacy of Jayalalithaa,? he added. The faction of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisamy has also passed a resolution as per which all the appointments made by Dinakaran stand null and void. “Whatever appointments were made by T.T.V. Dinakaran are not according to the party law. We request the party cadre to ignore them,” a leader of EPS faction said. On August 7, Palaniswamy said he expects the much-anticipated-but-delayed merger of the two factions of the AIADMK. “I expect to see it soon,” he told reporters. His remark came after the leader of the Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction led by O. Panneerselvam said it had had not heard from the former on the merger talks. Earlier in the month, Dinakaran assured that the party is working towards the merger of the faction, adding it could even take place before October 17.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ahmed Patel says Congress will win Gujarat assembly polls; targets PM Modi, Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upbeat after his victory in the Rajya Sabha poll, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Thursday said it was the BJP which made the contest a prestige issue and exuded confidence that his party would win Gujarat assembly election due later this year.Patel, who won the Upper House seat from Gujarat in an election that went down to the wire, said the victory had enthused the Congress and filled the cadre with new energy.”I am sure we will also win Gujarat. The BJP made it a prestige issue, it is their loss,” Patel, who is usually reticent, told reporters at a protest rally at the Jantar Mantar organised by the Youth Congress.
ALSO READ Gujarat RS polls: Ahmed Patel thanks Sharad Yadav for ‘support’The Congress has been out of power in Gujarat since 1995.Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, Patel accused the two of “misusing” central probe agencies.
ALSO READ BJP to challenge Ahmed Patel’s Rajya Sabha win in court”Even the BJP is afraid of these two people. One is a constitutional authority and another is an extra- constitutional authority. You know who these two people are.All agencies are being misused,” Patel alleged, without naming the BJP leaders.
ALSO READ Horse trading in Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls? Shankarsinh Vaghela says MLAs were lured with ‘booze and women’In the run-up to the Rajya Sabha election, the Congress accused the BJP governments in Gujarat and at the centre of pressuring its MLAs by using the state machinery. It also herded its MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru.The income tax department had raided a Karnataka Congress minister, prompting the party to accuse the Centre of “terrorising” its MLAs.Patel, a Congress heavyweight and political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, claimed the BJP offered its MLAs Rs 15 crore to change sides, but everyone rejected it.He said the youth should now give a call against the BJP to “quit the seat of power” (gaddi chodo).”They promised two crore jobs every year and 50 per cent more profit to farmers than what they spend on their yield.They promised to bring down inflation and corruption. But they failed on every front,” Patel said.Congress leaders C P Joshi and Raj Babbar also addressed the gathering.Congress workers led by Youth Congress President Amrinder Singh Raja marched towards Parliament, but were detained by the police.

Five IPS officers promoted to DGP grade in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir government has promoted five Indian Police Service (IPS) officers to the Director General of Police (DGP) grade, an official spokesman said. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here last evening. The cabinet sanctioned the promotion of D R Doley, Navin Agarwal, V K Singh, S M Sahai and Dilbag Singh with effect from January 1, 2017. The spokesman said while Doley, Agarwal and Sahai were promoted on a pro forma basis, Singh and Dilbag were promoted within the cadre. The cabinet also approved the re-designation of the ex- cadre post of Special DG (Coordination) as Special DG, Headquarters, and the continuation of the earlier identified post of Commandant General, Home Guards/Civil Defence/State Disaster Response Force, J-K, which has been declared equivalent to the rank and status of a DGP, with effect from January 1, 2017, for a period of two years, the spokesman said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt staff ‘miffed’ over various pay cuts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government employees have been displaying dissatisfaction with more than half a dozen issues related to allowance and service issues. They are discontent with the salary deduction in grade pay of Rs2,800. Expressing their disappointment, these employees have informed that the previous Congress government had given them a stationery allowance of Rs250 per month.However, as the new government took over, this allowance was discontinued. This decision was given to subordinate and ministerial staff of all the departments. “The union government gave bonus along with arrears too, but in the state, the employees got only one year bonus,” said Tej Singh Rathore, general secretary of all Rajasthan State Government Employees Federation in conversation with DNA.The employees have also informed that the previous order of having a promotion quota of 8 per cent for the gazetted officers in higher super time cadre has been reduced to 3 per cent which is a disadvantage to the employees of this cadre. However, since this order will be effective from 2018, there is not much resistance against this. Another issue with the employees of nursing and ministerial services is that they had gotten into an agreement with the previous government to fill the posts vacant by promotion. The number of posts which were to be filled by promotion were said to be around 24,000 that time and after a review of the decision of the government, this number was reduced to 6,000 posts.Implementation of recommendations of seventh pay commission is the other factor bothering the employees. On Wednesday, a section of employees in Tonk were on ‘dharna’ demanding revised pay as per seventh pay commission. The government had extended the time limit for the second time of DC Samant committee formed to study the recommendation till August 18. Other issuesThe employees have also informed The issue with the employees of nursing and ministerial services is that they had gotten into an agreement with the previous government to fill the posts vacant by promotion. The number of posts which were to be filled by promotion were said to be around 24,000 that time and after a review of the decision, this number was reduced to 6,000 posts.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case: Gujarat ex-top cop DG Vanzara discharged by CBI court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The special CBI court on Tuesday discharged former IPS officer from Gujarat D G Vanzara and Rajasthan cadre IPS officer Dinesh MN in the case of alleged fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.Special CBI Judge Sunilkumar J Sharma discharged Vanzara and Dinesh MN.Vanzara, a DIG-rank officer, was arrested on April 24, 2007 in connection with the alleged fake encounter of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, whom the Gujarat Police claimed had links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba.The Bombay High Court had granted bail to Vanzara in September 2014.Reacting to the court’s order, Vanzara said, “Justice has finally been done.”Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad from Hyderabad on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra.Sheikh was killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005, after which his wife disappeared and was believed to have been done to death.Prajapati, an aide of the gangster and an eyewitness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by police at Chapri village in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district in December 2006.The Sohrabuddin killing case was transferred to Mumbai in September 2012 on the request of CBI for a fair trial.In 2013, the Supreme Court had clubbed the alleged fake encounter case of Prajapati with that of Sheikh.

Amid border stand-off, Shourie lauds Chinese leadership

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Indian and Chinese armies stand eyeball to eyeball in the Sikkim sector, former Union minister Arun Shourie today said the leadership in China at all levels was “much more qualified”. He also said today the “main challenge” before the nation was to elect leaders who have “integrity, dedication and competence”. “If we compare the levels of our Tehsildar to the official of the similar cadre in China, state governments, both in India and China, or their politburo with our cabinet, they (the Chinese) are much more qualified,” he said addressing a seminar ‘Talk Journalism’ here. Shourie, a former minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA government and a bitter critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said there was deterioration in the “value system” in politics today with “ego, insecurity, remorselessness and opportunism” being manifest. “Leaders like Sardar Patel and Jawahar Lal Nehru also did politics but there were no such elements. They transformed our country without resorting to opportunism that we see today,” he said. Although he did not pin-point any event, his appeared targeting Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who after walking out of the NDA four years ago, has formed a government with BJP’s help in Bihar. Shourie said many newspapers were now promoting business interests, while several corporate houses had entered media. He exhorted journalists to ensure that readers were convinced they were telling the truth.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

IFS playing key role in connecting NRIs with their roots:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today underlined the contribution of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) cadre in “keeping the (Non Residential Indians) NRIs connected with their roots.” The chief minister made these remarks while personally congratulating Amritsar’s Anmol Sher Singh Bedi, who called on him at his official residence here this evening, for securing the all India second rank in the prestigious UPSC civil services examination in his first attempt. Anmol was accompanied by his parents at the meeting, facilitated by Raveen Thukral, Media Advisor to CM. The chief minister offered sweets to the youngster and his family to celebrate Anmol’s remarkable achievement, which he said had done the state proud. Amarinder was optimistic that Anmol, with his enthusiasm and commitment, would bring more glory to Punjab. The 23-year-old youngster, who wants to join IFS with the aim to play an important role in the country’s global growth, shared his aspirations with the chief minister. A humble Anmol said he applied for IFS as he was not sure of getting the IAS home cadre. His father Dr Sarabjit Bedi revealed family’s apprehensions about Anmol’s prospects, recalling that Anmol did not prepare as hard as people normally do for the country’s toughest exam. Anmol told the chief minister that he wants to study Mandarin, which has emerged as an important language of South-East Asia. Amarinder said his government is planning to start foreign language classes soon in state’s schools. The chief minister added that his government is commited to improve the poor education standards in state-run schools through series of initiatives.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bureaucratic reshuffle: 35 secys, addl secys in govt depts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thirty-five senior bureaucrats have been appointed as secretaries and additional secretaries in various central government departments as part of a major reshuffle. All of these officers, were either working as joint or additional secretaries, have been promoted either in the same departments or moved to new ministries. Usha Sharma, a 1985-batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, has been appointed as director general of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), an order issued today by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. She is at present additional secretary in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). Telangana-cadre IAS officer Vasudha Mishra will be the new additional secretary in DARPG in place of Sharma. Manoj Kumar, chief vigilance officer of the Delhi Development Authority, will be additional secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi, additional secretary in the Department of Commerce, has been appointed director general foreign trade. Sunil Kumar, who was joint secretary in the ministry, has been promoted and appointed in place of Chaturvedi. Ali Raza Rizvi has been named as CMD of the National Mineral Development Corporation. He is at present joint secretary in the Commerce Ministry. Narendra Nath Sinha, who is working in his cadre state Jharkhand, has been appointed as managing director of the National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited. Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Raj Kumar will be new director general, Employees State Insurance Corporation. Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, a 1987 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, has been appointed managing director, National Waqf Development Corporation Ltd (NAWADCO). He is joint secretary in the Coal Ministry. Ravneet Kaur, joint secretary in Industrial Police and Promotion, has been appointed as CMD, India Tourism Development Corporation. Vijay Kumar Dev, Deputy Election Commissioner here, will be director general, National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development. Ashok M R Dalawai, additional secretary in Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has been appointed as CEO of National Rainfed Area Authority. Anup Wadhawan will be additional secretary, Logistics, in the Commerce Ministry. J Rama Krishna Rao has been moved to National Commission for Minorities as its secretary from Defence Ministry. Barun Mitra, joint secretary in Shipping Ministry, will be additional secretary in Defence Ministry in place of Rao. Praveen Kumar will be additional secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. He is joint secretary in Ministry of Human Resource Development. Lalit Kumar Gupta, joint secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, has been appointed additional secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Sanjiv Gupta will be CEO, National E-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. He is at present additional secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. Anil Kumar Jain has been moved out of Niti Aayog as additional secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Leena Nandan, joint secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will be additional secretary and financial adviser in the same ministry. Pravir Krishna, joint secretary, Ministry of Shipping has been named as Managing Director, TRIFED in the rank and pay of additional secretary. Pradip Kumar Tripathi will be additional secretary, DoPT. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Manoj Jhalani and Jiwesh Nandan will be additional secretaries in Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Defence Ministry respectively. Tripathi, Mishra, Jhalani and Nandan were working as joint secretaries in the same ministries. The posts held by Nilam Sawhney, Secretary in Central Vigilance Commission, and Udai Pratap Singh, Vice Chairman, Delhi Development Authority have been upgraded in the rank and pay of secretary.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sanjay Kothari appointed Secretary to new President

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sanjay Kothari, Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board, has been appointed as Secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been named as Press Secretary to Kovind, said an order issued today by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Senior Gujarat-cadre forest service officer Bharat Lal will be Joint Secretary to Kovind, it said. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cleared these appointments for an initial period of two years, it said. Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June last year as DoPT secretary. He was in November 2016 appointed as the chief of the government’s head-hunter the PESB. Malik is at present Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation–a policy think tank. Lal, a 1988-batch officer of Indian Forest Service, is at present Resident Commissioner of Gujarat government in Delhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ticket booking no basis for foreign travel leave nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Civil servants belonging to IAS, IPS and IFS cadre will not be granted leave for foreign visit or tour on the pretext of booking tickets in advance, the Department of Personnel (DoP) has clarified, saying that such applications will not be entertained.The department has issued guidelines on the issue of foreign travel of senior civil servants, comprising IAS, IPS and IFS officers posted with Rajasthan cadre.It was highlighted by the department that the officers used to book air tickets prior to applying for the leave.According to the department, this ploy was used by many officers as a tool to exert pressure on the administration to sanction their leave.To stop and discourage such practice in future, the department has come up with fresh guidelines, restricting the booking of air tickets in advance as the basis for sanctioning the leave to personnel for foreign travel.The department has clearly stated that any official who wishes to go on a foreign tour must seek the permission before booking air tickets and hotel accommodation.“Henceforth, IAS, IPS and IFS officers planning to travel abroad must make necessary arrangement only after getting the leave sanctioned by the department.In future, booking of the ticket and other arrangements for the stay will not be taken as the basis for sanctioning the leave,” read the guidelines issued by department secretary Bhaskar A Sawant.A copy of the same was sent to the chief minister Vasundhara Raje who is also having the charge of DoP.PERMISSION MUSTAccording to the department, this ploy was used by many officers as a tool to exert pressure on the administration to sanction their leave.To stop and discourage such practice in future, the department has come up with fresh guidelines, restricting the booking of air tickets in advance as the basis for sanctioning the leave to personnel for foreign travel. The department has clearly stated that any official who wishes to go on a foreign tour must seek the permission.

Ex-IAS officer’s party to contest on all seats in Guj polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Oceanic Party (IOP), floated by former Rajasthan-cadre IAS officer, C P Vyas, has announced that the party would contest on all 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly polls, to be held later this year. Vyas claimed to have formed this party in 2011 after quitting his job as an IAS officer. “The present (BJP) government in Gujarat as well as at the Centre has come to power on the fake promises, while the Congress has failed to play its role of a strong opposition here as well as at the Centre,” Vyas, who is the national president of the party said here today. The IOP has decided to contest on all seats in the state and take Gujarat to new heights of development, Vyas said, adding that no development has taken place in Gujarat in the last several years. “Congress, in its 60 years of rule, had done nothing except promoting corruption. It even failed as a strong opposition party. Although BJP has been in power here since the last two decades, it has also failed to address basic issues concerning people, such as proper roads and drinking water” he said. Vyas claimed that his party would address these issues if voted to power. He also claimed that he had to quit his job as an IAS officer in Rajasthan due to his stand against corruption. “I had to quit my job as I was not allowed to fight against corruption in Rajasthan. Therefore, I decided to quit the government job and form a party. This is for the first time the party would contest the polls after its formation in 2011,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K: Army foils infiltration bid in Machil sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Army on Tuesday foiled yet another infiltration bid by Pakistan in Machil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.This comes after an infiltration bid was foiled by the Army at Gurez sector earlier today, in which two terrorists were killed.According to sources, the army foiled the infiltration bid by heavily firing on infiltrators, who then fled back towards other side of the fence.The army has recovered arms and ammunition from the spot.Meanwhile, an Army Jawan who was critically injured in the firing along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowgam sector today succumbed to his injuries.Pakistan Army today initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from in state’s Naushera sector along the Line of ControlPakistan also violated ceasefire in Bhimber Gali and Poonch Sector of the state today.Yesterday, Commandant-Wing Cadre level flag meeting was held between India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers on international boundary in the Samba area of Jammu and Kashmir.

Cong turns to Indira to regain lost ground

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Opposition Congress in Maharashtra, which is struggling for to revive itself especially after successive defeats since its rout in the Lok Sabha and assembly poll in 2014, has turned to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to regain lost grounds in Maharashtra.The trigger being the release of Madhur Bhandarkar’s directorial venture Indu Sarkar. Party workers from across the state have decided to step up protest against the release of the film slated for July 28 and rejuvenate the ailing party organisation. Congress workers have argued that the film is an attempt by Bhandarkar to malign the Congress party’s image.In the recently held election to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the Congress managed to win only 31 of the total 227 seats in Greater Mumbai. The party lost its traditional bastions Vidarbha, western and northern Maharashtra to the BJP and Shiv Sena.Veteran Congress leader Ratnakar Mahajan said Gandhi’s connect with the rank and file of the party was so alive that a man who distributed milk in the Lutyens’ Delhi became an MP that was Rajesh Pilot.”So the Congress party at present needs to take leaf out of Indira Gandhi’s life of standing up to challenge to the unity and integrity of India and secular and democratic fabric of the polity. For that the organisation at the grassroot level will be enlivened and the present leadership will have to go beyond the events and press conference,” he told DNA.Party spokesman Anant Gadgil said Indira Gandhi is still relevant as she was a fighter with charishma. “Despite defeat, she toured the entire nation and revived the party organisation. Congress cadre in Maharashtra is not willing to accept any kind of historical distortion that maligns Gandhi’s image especially when the party is celebrating her birth centenary,” he said, adding that, “I am confident the Congress will have several box office hits in forthcoming elections.”Further, the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee president Sanjay Nirupam worte to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) expressing his concern over the portrayal of Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and other Congress leaders in the movie. He demanded that the special screening be organised for Congress leaders but his demand was rejected by Bhandarkar.

Chargesheet filed against ULFA leaders Paresh Baruah and Mukul Hazarika

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed chargesheet against senior Ulfa leader Paresh Baruah and Chairman of the outfit Mukul Hazarika. It is alleged in the complaint that, anti-talk faction of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), headed by Paresh Baruah and other members of ULFA, are trying to revive terrorist activities by recruiting new cadres, organising terrorist camps within as well as beyond Indian territories and are resorting to extortion and kidnapping to raise funds for attacking Indian security forces, government establishment and infrastructure, thereby intending to wage war against the government of India. The chargesheet has been filed in connection with a case registered at NIA Guwahati, way back in 2013. Arrested ULFA cadre Gagan Hazarika has also been chargesheeted. The cases have been filed under relevant sections of UAPA and IPC. Currently Paresh Baruah is in Myanmar and Mukul Hazarika is in UK. NIA in its chargesheet says that they have been declared absconders and further action have been initiated. NIA claims that it has collected sufficient material,technical as well as circumstantial evidence against the accused persons during investigation regarding the case. With inputs from Abhishek Bhalla

218 IAS declare assets; Pawan and others mum

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 218 IAS officers of Rajasthan cadre have filed IPR (Immovable Property Returns) for the year 2017 to the Union government which was uploaded by the ministry of personnel on its official website.However, there are 10 IAS officers from the state who are yet to file IPR for the said year. Each officer of All India Services, annually, has to file IPR detailing assets he or she along with the family members possess as on January 1.Under this regulation, each IAS officer gets covered, be it on deputation, APO, suspended or working.For the current financial year so far, 218 officers have forwarded returns to the ministry. But, likewise previous years many officials are shying away from declaring assets through returns while nearly six months have passed since the cut-off date of filing returns.According to the data collected by the Union Ministry of Personnel, 10 IAS officers have failed to file returns so far.They include Ashok Shekhar, Rashmi Priyadarshini, Phoosa Ram Pandat, Jagdish Chandra Purohit, V Sarvana Kumar, Naka Shivprasad Madan and Vikram Zindal. IAS officer Niraj Kumar Pawan, who was arrested by ACB in NRHM scam and later given bail by the court, too has not submitted the returns, according to the website.Pawan is currently a suspended official and a review meeting of the state department of personnel is yet to decide his case of reinstation.The sources with the department said that some personal or official reasons may be behind officials’ nonsubmission of returns. If they fail to do so, they can be denied empanelment and promotion.When contacted on phone, DoP secretary Bhaskar A Sawant and his subordinate joint secretary Arvind Poswal were not available to comment on the delay of filing returns by the officials.Notably, the Central minister had introduced the facility of filing returns online and any officer can access portal of Property Related Information System Management (PRISM) to submit returns.As per norms, civil services officers are also supposed to give details of their assets and liabilities to the government. The same norms apply to the state services officials including RAS, RPS and others.

Mumbai prepares for the Amit Shah of Strategy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the run up to the crucial Presidential election, and to publicise the work of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led governments at both the Centre and the state, BJP National President Amit Shah will meet with senior party ministers, MPs, legislators and office bearers up to village panchayat, all of whom will be present to give ground level reports during his three-day visit to Mumbai starting today.Shah will not only review the performance of the BJP led government in the state but also the party’s preparation up to all 90,000 booths to face coming election.The city is in an advanced state of preparedness to welcome the BJP national president. Large billboards have been put up across the city while major roads have been festooned with the BJP flag.About 500 volunteers on bikes with the party’s flag will ride ahead of his cavalcade from the airport to the meeting venue in South Mumbai. All local units are also expected to gather their cadre in large numbers for a massive show of strength in the state capital, even as relations with alliance partner Shiv Sena have been souring of late.Shah will be in the city starting today as a part of his 95-day nation wide tour to focus on the BJP’s consolidation while smoothening relations with present 32 allies including the Sena.A dossier has also been compiled over the past six months by central ministers and central BJP office-bearers that will act as a handy guide to Shah during his meetings with various persons or groups.He is also expected to meet with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday. This is also in line with Shah’s plan to widen alliances and work together to complete the term of the Devendra Fadnavis-led state government that is currently facing a farmers’ protest crisis.Shah’s chai pe charcha with Thackeray is also aimed at further strengthening the partnership to win big in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Veteran BJP leader Arun Sathe told DNA”It is quite natural for BJP president to meet the leader from (an) ally (party). Apart from upcoming Presidential elections, Shah and Thackeray are expected to discuss wide ranging issues and how to take the alliance forward. It is also an attempt to reduce differences, if any, on the ideological grounds or otherwise.”On its part, Shiv Sena spokesman and MP Sanjay Raut said both the leaders will at length discuss the present situation at the national and state level. ”Obviously, the Presidential election will be top on the agenda. Shiv Sena will reiterate that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat should be the NDA’s candidate for the President,” he noted.

Oil family seniors lead charge for ONGC’s top job

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The quest for top hunch for India’s highest profit-making public enterprise, ONGC, has been expedited with centre shortlisting nine applicants for the post. According to sources, the choice for appointment of chairman-cum-managing director (CMD), is down to nine candidates including five from the oil family itself. Top of the list of candidates is Shashi Shanker, ONGC director for technical and field services. Also, Medithi Ravikant, CMD Housing and development corporation (HUDCO), has emerged as potential contender shortlisted for the race for the top job at India’s most valued public enterprise in India.Nearly 30 candidates applied for replacing incumbent chairman and managing director Dinesh K Sarraf when he retires on September 30 this year. The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed for the top job on June 19 in two sessions, and a final decision is likely to be taken shortly after that. Shashi Shanker has technical experience in oil and gas exploration area, and since he is the only serving director in ONGC who has two more years of service remaining, he is being considered as the most prospective candidate for the job.M Ravi Kanth, Chairman & Managing Director, HUDCO, IAS from Kerela cadre and 1986 batch officer is another serious contenders for the job. Prior to this, Ravi Kanth was Principal Secretary to Government of Kerala and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of IndiaONGC Videsh Limited director (finance) Vivekanand is also in the race and so are three of ONGC’s executive directors — Sanjay Kumar Moitra, Rajesh Kakkar and Arvind Jayasing Morbale. SCIL Director (finance) Harjeet Kaur Joshi, OIL director for human resources Biswajit Roy too are probable candidates being considered for the job. Besides, Balmer Lawrie chairman and managing director Prabal Basu is also on the selected candidates list.The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) will conduct interview session on June 19 with the candidates which will select the successor to Sarraf.Once PESB shortlists the names, it sends its recommendations to the Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas, which then processes it further (including clearance from Central Vigilance Commission), and then forwards it to the Appointment Committee Cabinet for formal approval.State-run ONGC registered net profit of Rs 17,900 crore for fiscal 2016-17, up by 10.9 per cent year-on-year. The gross revenue of the company stood at Rs 77,907 crore in fiscal 2016-17, against Rs 77,740 crore in fiscal 2015-16. The company made 23 discoveries in fiscal 2016-17 compared to 17 in fiscal 2015-16.The new head will have to pursue Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of cutting country’s oil import dependency by 10 per cent till 2022. With Stagnant domestic oil output directed against a rising local demand, it seems to be a tough target to achieve.

Brother of IPS officer held for killing their father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A younger brother of an IPS officer has been arrested for killing their father, who was found dead at their house in city’s Raj Nagar, police said today. Ishwer Chand Tyagi (65), father of Uttar Pradesh cadre officer Sanjeev Tyagi, who is posted as Superintendent of Police in Auraiya district, was found dead in the morning of May 11. Tyagi, a native of Morta village of Muradnagar police station area, used to live in Raj Nagar, with his four sons. His 27-year-old son Anuj Tyagi, reportedly suffering from schizophrenia, had gone missing since the incident and was under police radar. Anuj was arrested by Kavi Nagar police and crime branch team from his friend’s house in Mehrauli village here around 9 AM today, Superintendent of Police (City) Aakash Tomar said. Police recovered a pistol, live cartridges and a Fortuner SUV, which Anuj had used to flee after killing his father, he said. Police claimed that Anuj has confessed he shot his father while he was asleep and said he was upset over his other brothers doing well in life. Anuj said while his brother Sanjiv is an IPS officer, three others are running their coaching institutes and all of them are well off. “I am less educated than my other brothers. Also my father was emotionally more inclined towards my brothers. My financial condition was also not good because my father never supported me. All these conditions developed inferiority complex in me,” Tomar said quoting Anuj’s statement. “Once I narrated my pathetic condition to my friend Johny, he advised me to eliminate my father so that I could inherit a major portion of his property,” he added. He told police that it was Johny who had provided him the pistol and cartridges. Anuj said his father did not like Johny and was against him visiting their house. After killing his father, Anuj hid the pistol and parked the vehicle at railway station and went to Agra to avoid arrest, the SP said. Today Anuj was held when came to borrow some money from Johny alias Rajat Chowdhary, the official said, adding a hunt has been launched for the latter who has been booked for hatching the conspiracy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi govt helping corporates at the cost of farmers: CPI(M)

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CPI(M) today accused the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre of “helping the corporates at the cost of the farmers”. “The government has helped the corporates in a big way by waiving their loans to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh crore,” CPI(M) central committee member Nilotpal Basu said at the two-day organisational plenum of the party’s Punjab unit here. Alleging that while the Centre was “busy in helping” the corporates, hundreds of farmers were committing suicide everyday, he said the maximum number of such incidents was being reported from BJP-ruled Maharashtra. “The killing of the innocent farmers in Madhya Pradesh, who were only demanding remunerative prices for their produce, speaks volume of the BJP’s attitude towards them,” said Basu. The Left leader also came down heavily on the BJP-led government at the Centre for “polarising the people in the name of religion, caste and region”. “The issues of beef and cattle sale are nothing but to create a division among the people and target the poor farmers, especially the landless villagers. “But, the big corporates will continue to run their big slaughterhouses and earn huge profits,” he said. Basu claimed that the Modi government had “bitterly failed” to create jobs since it came to power three years ago. “The BJP had promised in its election manifesto that it would create two crore jobs every year, but only 1.33 lakh jobs were created,” he said. Speaking on the issue of electoral reforms, the CPI(M) leader claimed that the amendment to the Representation of the People Act, brought by the government, had “opened the gates for the corporates to pay any amount of money to the political parties”, and added that the “bond system has abolished the transparency”. Asserting that the CPI(M) was against accepting donations from corporates, he demanded that a ceiling be imposed on the expenditure of political parties and said it should be included under the expenditure of the poll candidates. On the Kashmir issue, Basu said all the political parties were in agreement that the state was an “integral part of India”. “The solution to the issue cannot be a military one. Political, social and economic steps are needed to be taken,” he added. The CPI(M) leader urged the party cadre to strengthen its organisation in order to launch a sustainable struggle against the “challenges posed by communalism and the neo-liberal policies of the Centre”. “The RSS-controlled BJP government will never succeed in its nefarious agenda of polarising the people and make India a Hindu Rashtra,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Attacks on party cadre, offices increased after Shah visit:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CPI(M), which is leading the LDF government in Kerala, today alleged that attacks against party cadre and offices by the RSS and the BJP has increased after Amit Shah’s recent visit to the state. CPI(M) state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan claimed that the BJP national president, during his visit to Kerala, had stated that he has got a “trick” and if his party members use it they can capture power in the state. “This (violence) is that trick”, he told reporters after the party’s secretariat meeting here. Balakrishnan alleged that the Sangh Parivar’s motive was to create a law-and-order problem by triggering violence and added that the attack on the CPI(M)’s district office in Kozhikode today was part of its agenda. He claimed the attackers had actually targeted the party’s Kozhikode district secretary P Mohanan, but he escaped unhurt. Some unidentified persons had hurled two bombs at the CPI(M)’s district office, but no one were injured. Balakrishnan urged the party cadre not to be provoked by the “violence of the BJP and the RSS, and maintain self- restraint. Asked about the recent attack on the BJP’s district office here and the charge that the CPI(M) was behind it, he expressed his suspicion about the incident and demanded a probe into it. Balakrishnan alleged that the attack on CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, allegedly by Hindu Sena workers at AKG Bhavan in New Delhi, was also a “planned one”. “The attack on the CPI(M) General Secretary took place with the tacit understanding of Delhi police under the control of the Centre. The Hindu Sena is part of the Sangh Parivar. It is the modus operandi of the RSS and they carry out violence in different names,” he alleged. He referred to reports about the statement of an accused Sudheesh, reportedly an RSS activist, to police, that the RSS had killed Mohammed Fazal, a former CPI(M) activist who later joined NDF, in 2006. Sudheesh was arrested by Kerala police in connection with another case, while the CBI is investigating the Fazal murder case. Balakrishnan said the CBI had arrested two CPI(M) leaders Karayil Chandrashekharan and Kannur district secretariat member Karayil Rajan in connection with the case. “Now is it clear that the CBI had arrested the wrong persons,” he said, adding, “Despite the revelation by Sudheesh, the CBI is acting in a politically motivated manner and continuing to target CPI(M) leaders.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Operation Blue Star: Sikh rights group seeks UN probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Sikh rights group has asked the UN to set up a tribunal to investigate alleged crimes committed against the community members during the 1984 Operation Blue Star. Marking the 33rd year of Operation Blue Star, hundreds of Sikhs rallied outside the UN Headquarters yesterday holding placards and raising pro-Khalistan slogans. The Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) said it has submitted a memorandum to UN Assistant Secretary for Human Rights calling for the setting up of the tribunal. The memorandum to Andre Gilmour said Operation Blue Star “clearly violated the basic humanitarian law provisions for the protection of the civilian populations and for the protection of cultural objects and places of worship as set out” under the Geneva Conventions. The operation also constituted an act of aggression, the memo added. The ‘Punjab Independence Rally’ outside the UN headquarters was organised by Gurdwara Sikh Cultural Society, New York, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Sikh Youth of America and Sikhs For Justice.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CM Arvind Kejriwal may hire officers from outside Capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office might soon have officials from outside the national Capital as dozen of officers are set to leave the Delhi Secretariat. According to sources, almost five officers have refused to work for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office fearing that they would be targeted like previous IAS officers in those positions.The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) is currently running short of officers and, if sources in the government are to be believed, it may soon become “officer-less”.According to sources, since Kerjiwal could not get a fresh set of officers, he was looking to bring in officials from outside Delhi or appoint private persons on a co-terminus basis. The Delhi government is already working with a minimum number of officers than its assigned strength.“The CM had approached around 10-12 officers to work in his office, but they politely refused to take up the new assignment, fearing they would be targeted by the CBI like principal secretary Rajendra Kumar and deputy secretary Tarun Kumar, who are facing multiple allegations after that they were suspended in 2016.“In this situation, the Chief Minister will have no option but to hire officers from outside Delhi. Indian Revenue Services officer Sukesh Jain, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in CM office, has already applied for repatriation to his parent cadre which is likely to be accepted,” a senior government official said.In a fixThere is an urgent requirement of officers in the CMO as it supervises all government workDozens of officials are set to leave and others refuse to work with the CMO for fear of being targetted like previous IAS officers

‘CBI fear’ driving officers away, Kejriwal may hire outsiders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With at least a dozen senior officers declining to work in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), Arvind Kejriwal may bring in officials from outside Delhi or appoint private persons on co-terminus basis. The CMO is currently running short of officers and, if sources in the government are to be believed, it may soon become “officer-less”. The sources in the CMO said the chief minister had approached around 10-12 officers to work in his office, but they politely refused to take up the new assignment, fearing they may also come on the “CBI radar” since the CM’s principal secretary Rajendra Kumar and deputy secretary Tarun Kumar faced action in an alleged graft case. Both officers were suspended following the CBI case in 2016. “In view of dearth of officers in the CM’s office, around a dozen bureaucrats were approached, but they declined expressing fear of repression. “In this situation, the Chief Minister will have no option but to hire officers from outside Delhi or co-terminus staff to run his office,” a source in the CM office said. The sources also said Indian Revenue Services officer Sukesh Jain, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in CM office, has already applied for repatriation to his parent cadre which is likely to be accepted. Additional Secretary Geetika Sharma has been transferred while another additional secretary, Deepak Virmani, has applied for study leave. There is urgent requirement of officers in the Chief Minister’s Office as it supervises all government works, the sources said. AAP government functionaries alleged that all conventions to take the chief minister into confidence in matters of transfer and posting of officers in the CMO are being bypassed. The service matter is entirely with the Lt Governor office and Union Home Ministry takes a call on the transfer of IAS and DANICS officers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ex-chief of IB appointed as interlocutor for talks in Assam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former director of the Intelligence Bureau, Dineshwar Sharma, has taken charge as the interlocutor for peace talks with Assam’s insurgent groups, including the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). Sharma, a 1976 batch Kerala cadre IPS officer, retired as director of the IB on December 31, 2016. He was appointed as the interlocutor for talks with Assam-based insurgent groups last week. Sharma took charge yesterday, official sources said. Sharma, who has been appointed for a tenure of one year, will hold peace negotiations with pro-talks factions of the ULFA, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and a few other small groups based in Assam. The last interlocutor P C Haldar had served till December 31, 2015.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Finance Ministry allowed WiFi facility, but not us: DoPT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has alleged that the Home Ministry is not allowing use of Wi-Fi in its offices due to security reasons but the facility is being allowed for Finance Ministry offices in the same building.The issue was raised during a recent meeting chaired by newly-appointed Joint Secretary in the DoPT, Srinivas Ramaswamy Katikithala, to discuss modalities for the implementation of e-office or computerisation of office works.During the meet, Katikithala, a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, enquired about availability of the Wi-Fi network facility in the offices of DoPT. It was submitted by an officer of National Informatics Centre (NIC) “that due to security reasons, Wi-Fi is not being allowed by MHA in this office”, as per the minutes of the meeting.However, it was also brought into notice that Ministry of Finance is allowed to use it in the same building, it said. The North Block has Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Personnel Ministry (that includes the DoPT) and Finance Ministry.The Joint Secretary has asked the authorities concerned in the Finance Ministry and in the NIC to duly examine the issue and discuss the modalities for facilitating the use of Wi-Fi or wireless network to use internet in the DoPT.

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