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Nitin Patel gets Finance, crisis blows over

The 48-hour-long drama that kept BJP’s Gujarat political circle on tenterhooks ended on Sunday, with party chief Amit Shah granting deputy chief minister Nitin Patel the Finance portfolio, following which the veteran leader took charge.Patel, who was given Road and Building, Health, Medical Education, Narmada, Kalpsar and Capital Project during the portfolio allocation on Thursday night, stayed home and refused to take charge, making his displeasure over taking away important portfolios that he had held in the previous government evident.Addressing the media at his residence in Thaltej, Ahmedabad, around 10:45 am, Patel said, “BJP president Amit Shah called me up in the morning and assured me that I will be given a portfolio which befits my stature as the number two in the cabinet and as the deputy chief minister.””I have no more complaints. I was not happy as I didn’t get a befitting portfolio, but I never crossed the party’s line of discipline,” he added.The deputy CM thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, the Patel community and other leaders who stood by him. He also acknowledged the Sardar Patel Group, an outfit of the Patel community seeking reservation.Though it was a Sunday, Patel rushed to Gandhinagar and assumed charge at 11:39am.With the new allocation, Saurabh Patel, who was orginally given Finance, is now left with just one ministry — Energy.Soon after taking charge, Patel left for his Assembly constituency, Mehsana, to meet his supporters.Shortly after his arrival at Mehsana in the afternoon, Rupani announced in Gandhinagar that the Finance portfolio had been given to Patel and that the issue was over now.”We have made certain changes in the portfolios. We have given Finance to Nitinbhai. With this, the issue is over now. Such small things happen in a big family like the BJP. I have already sent a letter to the Governor, informing him of this change in the portfolios,” the chief minister told reporters.Patel maintained that the issue was not about some departments, but about “self-respect”.”I had conveyed to the party high-command to either give me respectable departments or relieve me from the cabinet,” he said.The veteran leader added that he had been serving the BJP as a “loyal and disciplined” soldier for the last 40 years.The deputy chief minister performed puja at his office and assumed charge. “I will perform all my duties with integrity and honesty. I thank my party for the responsibility they have given me. I had assumed office soon after the swearing-in ceremony and had reviewed the process of purchase of groundnuts by government from farmers at minimum support price. From Monday, the first day of the New Year, the Gujarat government will work on fast track.”In the previous government headed by Rupani, Patel used to handle key portfolios of Finance and Urban Development, among other departments.However, this time, Finance was given to Saurabh Patel, while Rupani kept Urban Development with himself. Unhappy over the allotment, Patel had refrained from taking charge of the departments, prompting the top BJP leadership to swing into action to placate the senior Patidar leader.Sending feelers to the deputy chief minister, Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Saturday said he would extend support to him and talk to the Congress leadership to ensure that Patel got the respect he deserved from the party, if he left the BJP, along with 10 other MLAs, and joined hands with the Congress to form a new government.DISPLEASURENitin Patel, who was given Road and Building, Health, Medical Education, Narmada, Kalpsar and Capital Project refused to take charge, making his displeasure over taking away important portfolios evident.

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Saurabh Patel takes charge as Finance Minister

Saurabh Patel has got one of the important portfolios, finance, which was with Nitin Patel in the last government. Both these leaders are considered as friends. However, Saurabh avoided to comment on Nitin Patel's sulkiness. Sources from the government informed that CM Vijay Rupani asked Saurabh Patel to assume the charge of his office immediately, and he rushed to Gandhinagar.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 31 December 2017 4:49 ISTMust readGujarat: Dy CM Nitin Patel wants portfolios back, threatens to quitGujarat elections 2017: 30 seats saw other parties making it to third spot<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Finance and Energy Minister Saurabh Patel assumed the charge of his office on Saturday. Patel was at Botad, in his constituency, on Friday when the portfolios were allocated late on Thursday. Patel also held meetings with officials of his department during the day.Saurabh Patel has got one of the important portfolios, finance, which was with Nitin Patel in the last government. Both these leaders are considered as friends. However, Saurabh avoided to comment on Nitin Patel’s sulkiness. Sources from the government informed that CM Vijay Rupani asked Saurabh Patel to assume the charge of his office immediately, and he rushed to Gandhinagar.

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Rajkot readies to welcome Vijay Rupani, roadshow to be held

The BJP unit in Rajkot has made all preparations to welcome Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday. Rupani, in his second consecutive term as CM, will reach his hometown Rajkot for the first time after being appointed on the post recently. He will participate in a roadshow from airport and later attend a felicitation ceremony by the BJP.Rajkot city BJP president Kamlesh Mirani said, “This is an auspicious moment for Rajkot as our leader is coming to his hometown for first time after being elected as CM. BJP came to power under his leadership. Entire Rajkot should take an opportunity to welcome him.”On preparations, he said, “We have arranged a grand roadshow from airport to main city to welcome Rupani. Flower petals will be showered on him during the entire route and dances by different troupes have been organised. Decorations and Rangoli will be made by artists and our workers.”The CM has been in Gandhinagar since the first phase of polls on December 9. He could not visit Rajkot as he was busy with campaigning for the second phase, counting of votes, election of CM and deputy CM, swearing in of ministers and portfolio allocation. He also attended several meetings with party leaders.Spokesperson of BJP and leader from Rajkot, Raju Dhruv, said, “This is really and emotional moment for us. We had run a campaign ‘Rajkot ka beta, Gujarat ka neta’ (Rajkot’s son will be Gujarat’s leader). Our mission was successful and under the leadership of Vijaybhai, Entire Rajkot is excited to welcome him and the party has arranged an extravaganza.”He added, “Not only party leaders but industrialists, educationists, social workers, religious and different community leaders are also going to welcome and felicitate Vijaybhai for his victory in this ceremony. We have made all preparations.”

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Palace on Wheels finally on maiden trip

The heritage Palace on Wheels will finally arrive in Jaipur with 24 tourists on board on its maiden tour .Pradeep Bohra, general manager of the train who is accompanying the tourists, informed that the train left from Delhi’s Safdarganj station and will arrive at Jaipur’s Gandhinagar station on the last leg of its Golden Triangle circuit tour — which includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.Train officials were exhilarated over the maiden voyage of this train as it took quite some effort to get the tourists on board the luxury train.The passengers were given a warm departure in Delhi with band playing music and with all the gala celebration. The preparations are now being made at Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) for the train’s arrival.The success of the train is essential for RTDC as it also plans a tour on Shekhwati circuit starting this January .This is the third royal super luxury train in Rajasthan which is being run by RTDC.While palace on wheels is a known name, RTDC had for years also run RROW (Royal Rajasthan on wheels) which was discontinued only few months back .Before starting off on the voyage it was kept at Bais godown railway station and was sent to Delhi few days back .The train will depart from Jaipur on Saturday itself at 8:30 pm from Durgapura station.

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Assembly session on Jan 4, 5

This is going to be first ever session after the recent assembly polls. The session will be held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar as the main assembly building is under renovation. The budget session of assembly will be called in the last week of February and this will be over a month long session.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Saturday 30 December 2017 2:35 ISTMust readCM Vijay Rupani retains Home, Dy CM cut to sizeFTA, GST hurting Apparel exports: AEPC<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The first assembly sesson of 14th term is likely to be held on January 4 and 5. The two days’ special session will be called for oath taking of 182 elected MLAs. Governor OP Kohli would administer the oath to all these MLAs.The election for speaker and deputy speaker also will be held in the same session. There is no confirmation from the assembly secretary yet, the sources informed that the government has sought an appointment with the Governor for these two days.This is going to be first ever session after the recent assembly polls. The session will be held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar as the main assembly building is under renovation. The budget session of assembly will be called in the last week of February and this will be over a month long session.

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Newer IITs beat older ones in terms of campus placements

New and lesser known Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) situated in smaller towns have left behind the old, established ones in the race of campus placements this year.IIT Gandhinagar — a second generation IIT (established in 2008) — has topped the placement list with 88.31 per cent placements recorded in the academic year 2016-17, the final placement data across IITs has revealed.As per the data available with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, 3 new IITS —Ropar, Indore and Gandhinagar — feature in the top five IITs that recorded maximum placements this year. Of the older ones, IIT Delhi ranked at two and IIT (previously ISM) Dhanbad stood at four.In fact, IIT Mandi and IIT Patna also performed better than a number of established IITs like Bombay and Madras. According to the official data, IIT Mandi recorded 73.96 per cent placement this year and Patna recorded over 74 per cent placement, whereas Bombay and Madras recorded 73.39 and 70.39 per cent respectively.Increasing placements in newer IITs has become a trend over the last three years, in 2015-16, IIT Indore had recorded 100 per cent placement. Officials attribute this to the older, established IITs focusing more on filing patents and focusing on research rather than placements.”One of the main reasons that placement at new IITs is on a rise is because they are adding more seats at undergraduate levels and focusing only on placements, since they do not have enough infrastructure to focus on research and start-ups,” a placement official from IIT Delhi said.With the government pushing education institutes to get a place in international rankings, older institutes are busy filing patents, which is one of the important criteria for scoring in international ranks.”In the last three years, number of patents filed by IITs have increased from 494 in the year 2014, to 563 in the year 2016. Maximum contributors to this have been the older IITs. Madras filed the maximum number of patents at 325, followed by Bombay, Kharagpur and Kanpur,” said a senior official in HRD Ministry.”This is as per government’s plans of making the older IITs focus more on research and catapulting them in world rankings,” he added.There are 23 IITs in the country, including the older, established ones — Madras, Delhi, Kharagpur, Bombay, Kanpur, Roorkee and Varanasi, the second generation IITs including — IIT Ropar, Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Patna, Indore and Mandi., that came up in the year 2008 and 2009.

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Vijay Rupani-Nitin Patel 2.0

Bharatiya Janata Party’s celebrations in Gujarat were muted despite retaining the power, but the party made up for it at the Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony of Vijay Rupani and his Cabinet. The saffron show, where Rupani, his deputy Nitin Patel and 18 other ministers, became sweeter with the presence of the architects of victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.Vijay Rupani now becomes the second CM from BJP in Gujarat after Narendra Modi, who was given an opportunity to helm the affairs of the state back-to-back. The CM, deputy CM and other ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor OP Kohli in a grand ceremony held at Helipad ground in secretariat complex in Gandhinagar.Apart from Modi and Shah, other BJP leaders who attended the ceremony were veteran leader LK Advani, union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and others. The CMs of BJP-ruled states also appeared on the VVIP dais, including UP CM Yogi Aditya Nath, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis among others. The swearing-in ceremony started at 11:30 am when PM and other invited guests arrived. Three separate stages were raised at the venue — one for swearing in, and two others for VVIPs and religious leaders.Both Rupani and Modi sought blessings of religious leaders before the swearing in started. Rupani also met and greeted his seniors and other leaders including Advani, union ministers, former CM Keshubhai Patel, Anandiben Patel and CMs of other states. Former union minister Shankersinh Vaghela , who quit Congress on the eve of the elections, was a surprise guest. Vaghela has adorned the Gujarat throne from BJP before he moved to the Congress.Also present at the ceremony was a virtual who’s who in Gujarat- businessmen, industrialists, social workers, educationists, judges of high court, other officials and representatives from all walks of life who were invited by the Gujarat government for this ceremony.There was no political speech by any leader addressing a crowd of nearly 10,000 people and entire ceremony winded up in one and half hour.

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Gujarat: Low-profile Vijay Rupani back at the helm, earns praise from other BJP CMs

Vijay Rupani, a low-profile RSS man who has the trust of BJP President Amit Shah, is back in the chief minister’s chair after having survived the incumbency factor and a violent quota stir by the Patidars. Born in Rangoon (now Yangon, Myanmar) Rupani, 61, joined an RSS shakha as a schoolboy, before graduating to the BJP via the Sangh’s students wing–the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the BJP’s face in the high-octane election campaign in his home state, Rupani, belonging to the relatively small Jain community, steered the party machinery in Gujarat, neutralising the incumbency factor against his government and surviving quota stir by the Patidar community, the bedrock of the party’s support base. That he also successfully contained disenchantment with the government over farm distress in some parts of the state, and economic slowdown due to demonetization and roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), also stood him in good stead.Despite the BJP’s tally falling below 100 in a long time, Rupani’s selection also suggested that the top party leadership wanted continuity before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Though only a second-time MLA, he made a mark as an able administrator. Rupani, who worked mostly in the party organisation in Gujarat, fought his first Assembly election in 2014, winning a bypoll from Rajkot West. This time he won from the same seat with an impressive margin of over 53,000 votes. A bachelor of law, Rupani was a Rajya Sabha member between 2006 and 2012.Also readBJP shows off strength as Vijay Rupani takes oath as 16th CM of Gujarat: 10 points It was under him as chairman of the Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation in 2006 that the hugely successful advertisement campaign ‘Khushboo Gujarat Ki’, featuring megastar Amitabh Bachchan, was launched to promote the state as a tourism hotspot. He was also the chairman of the Gujarat Municipal Finance Board in 2013. When the Rajkot West seat fell vacant in October 2014 after Speaker of the Assembly Vajubhai Vala was appointed the Karnataka Governor, Rupani won the bypoll.On February 19, 2016 he was appointed the chief of the Gujarat BJP. It was seen as a victory for the Amit Shah camp in the state unit. When the state’s first and only woman chief minister Anandiben Patel resigned in August 2016 following allegations of inept handling of the Patidar and Dalit agitations, Rupani was catapulted to the hot seat. Rupani honed his political skills in the crucible of the Gujarat Navnirman agitation, a socio-political movement in 1974 by students and the middle-class against economic crisis and corruption in public life.It soon spread elsewhere, particularly in Bihar, where socialist legend Jayaprakash Narayan gave a call for ‘Total Revolution’. The movement finally led to the fall of Indira Gandhi government and installation of the first non-Congress dispensation at the centre under Morarji Desai. Rupani, who was then with the ABVP, was jailed for nearly a year during Emergency. As the mayor of Rajkot in 1996-97, he endeared himself to people of the city with his initiatives for improvement of the civic infrastructure.Rupani’s mettle as a politician will be tested again in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls when Modi bids for a second shot at power. Delivering Gujarat to the BJP is the least he would expect from Amit Shah’s man in Gandhinagar. Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled states today said the saffron party’s victory in Gujarat for the sixth consecutive time in recently-held polls was a remarkable achievement.Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Assam, and Bihar praised Vijay Rupani, who took oath for the second consecutive time as Gujarat CM at a function held in Gandhinagar.”It is a matter of great pleasure for all of us.Gujarat developed a lot during the tenure of Narendra Modi as chief minister. Some people were assuming that BJP will not come back after Modi left the state as prime minister. But it is a matter of immense pleasure that the BJP managed around 50 per cent vote,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also congratulated Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who came to Gandhinagar but could not attend the swearing-in ceremony, said the recent electoral outcome shows that people have reposed their “faith and trust” in Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. “I express gratitude to voters and give best wishes to (Vijay) Rupani and Nitin Patel for bringing the BJP back to power for the sixth time. Congratulations to the BJP for Gujarat victory. Gujarat has given a different model of development, and it is a faith and trust towards Modi that BJP keeps winning and coming back to power (in Gujarat),” Chouhan told reporters after the event.His Chhatisgarh counterpart Raman Singh said the poll result was the result of hard work put in by Modi and Shah. “Gujarat has again voted for BJP government. We thank Modi and Amit Shah who worked hard to achieve this. It will be a history that the BJP will rule a state for 27 years,” Singh said. Manohar Lal Khattar, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Nitish Kumar–chief ministers of Haryana, Assam, and Bihar, respectively—also extended their best wishes to the new government.

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Vijay Rupani, others to be sworn in today

Gujarat Chief Minister-elect Vijay Rupani, deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, and about 18 to 20 ministers are expected to take the oath of office and secrecy in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah, Union Ministers, and Chief Ministers of all 18 BJP-ruled states, in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.Rupani and Patel will take oath as CM and deputy CM respectively at the swearing-in ceremony to be held at 11:00 am in Sachivalaya Campus in Gandhinagar. Officials said that a huge 2,500 square metres dome — which can accommodate 10,000 people — has been booked and prepared for the ceremony.”Three stages have been erected in the dome. The centre-stage is for CM, deputy CM, and others who will be taking oath. One stage is for VVIP guests such as the PM, Amit Shah, visiting Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, and the other stage is for other politicians, sadhus, religious leaders, and other invitees,” the official said.Highly placed sources in the government said that about 18 to 20 ministers, including 7 or 8 holding Cabinet rank, and remaining state rank ministers, will take oath along with CM Rupani and deputy CM Patel.Security has been tightened at Ahmedabad Airport, which will see a lot of VVIP movement, as well as in Gandhinagar. Entry of private vehicles has been restricted in the Sachivalaya due to the swearing-in ceremony.Officials said that PM Modi is slated to have lunch with the new council of ministers and visiting dignitaries at Mahatma Mandir in the afternoon before leaving for Delhi.A Cabinet meeting is also slated in the afternoon, where newly-inducted ministers will be allocated portfolios.This is the sixth consecutive time that BJP is forming government in Gujarat, but this time with the lowest seat tally. The party won 99 seats in the just concluded assembly elections, just seven more than the half-way mark of 92. On the other hand, Congress increased its tally to 77 seats, its best performance since 1990.

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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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Rajkot eagerly awaits Vijay Rupani’s return as CM

Chief minister Vijay Rupani resigned on Thursday and has been serving as caretaker of state, until the new CM is elected by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Rupani met the Governor with his ministers, and around 240km way from here in Rajkot, the BJP workers and supporters of Rupani are eagerly waiting for the announcement of the name of CM.The observers Arun Jaitley and Saroj Pandey will conduct the procedure on Friday. The Rajkot BJP workers are keeping their fingers crossed, with a hope that their leader Rupani becomes the CM again.A party worker from Rajkot said on condition of anonymity, “We believe that Rupani only will be the CM but we are also hearing that other leaders are also under consideration. Let us see what happens but I am keeping my finger crossed for Rupani.”On the other side, the Rajkot BJP is preparing for the grand celebration of victory of Rupani in city once he returns to hometown after the formality of oath taking. The leaders are also confident that Rupani only will become the CM of Gujarat.A BJP leader from Rajkot and very close friend of Rupani, Nitin Bhardwaj said, “I have no doubt that Vijay Rupani will be the CM of Gujarat again. Amit Shah had given clear indication during campaigning that Rupani will continue as CM. We are waiting for the announcement of his name as it is a formality only.””We had prepared a slogan during poll campaign here, Rajkot ka beta, Gujarat ka neta- meaning Rajkot’s son is to be leader of Gujarat. We will hold a grand celebration once his name is officially announced. We had celebrated for Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel and Vijay Rupani when they came here after becoming the CM. We also offered grand welcome to Amit Shah when he came here after his appointment as BJP chief,” added Bhardwaj.BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said, “Rupani was in Gandhinagar as he is the CM and could not come to Rajkot due to regular courses, but we all celebrated his victory here in his absence. Once he comes again to Rajkot, we will celebrate it with more enthusiasm.”

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Who will be new Gujarat CM? BJP MLAs to meet tomorrow to decide

Newly elected BJP MLAs of Gujarat will meet in Gandhinagar on Friday to choose the next chief minister, a top party official said on Thursday.The BJP legislature party will meet to elect its leader in the presence of central observers for the exercise– Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and party general secretary Saroj Pandey, the party’s state chief Jitu Vaghani told reporters here.State BJP incharge Bhupender Yadav and co-incharge V Satish would also attend the meeting at party headquarters ‘Kamalam’ tomorrow afternoon.Also readGujarat CM Rupani files nomination, says Congress has outsourced election to three activists”All the MLAs along with party observers and in-charge leaders would meet tomorrow to select the leader of the ruling party (chief minister). All the MLAs have been intimated to remain present in tomorrow’s meeting,” Vaghani said.Earlier today, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and members of his council of ministers gave resigned. Rupani, a front-runner for the chief minister’s post, has been asked to continue as caretaker chief minister till a new government is sworn in.Governor O P Kohli had dissolved the Assembly yesterday following the declaration of election results.In the recently concluded polls, BJP retained power by winning 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, while the Congress bagged 77. Six seats were won by others.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Five of the seven Congress turncoats lose

Five former Congress MLAs, who had quit the party and joined BJP a few months ago, ended up on the losing side in the assembly elections.Senior MLA Raghavji Patel, who had contested on a BJP ticket from Jamnagar Rural seat, lost to Congress candidate Vallabh Dharaviya with a margin of 6,397 votes.Tejshree Patel, who contested from Viramgam seat in Ahmedabad district, lost to Congress’s Lakha Bharwad. While Patel got 69,630 votes, Bharwad got 76,178 votes, and sealed the win by 6,548 votes.Amul chairman Ramsinh Parmar lost to Kanti Parmar of Congress from Thasra seat in central Gujarat by over 7,000 votes. Ramsinh Parmar secured 80,539 votes, while his rival got 87,567 votes.Mansinh Chauhan, who had also quit Congress and joined BJP after the Rajya Sabha elections, too lost by a margin of 10,602 votes. Ajitsinh Chauhan of Congress defeated the senior leader from Balasinor seat.Amit Chaudhary, who had contested on a BJP ticket from Mansa seat in Gandhinagar, lost to Congress’s Suresh Patel with a margin of 524 votes.However, two of former Congress MLAs ended up on the winning side.They include Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, who won from Jamnagar North seat with a margin of nearly 40,000 votes, and CK Raulji, who edged out Congress candidate Rajendrasinh Parmar by 258 votes.Incidentally, Congress turncoat Karamshi Patel’s son Kanu Patel, who contested as BJP candidate from Sanand seat in Ahmedabad district, also won.He defeated near rival and Congress candidate Pushpa Dabhi by a little over 7,700 votes.WHO LOST WHEREAmul chairman Ramsinh Parmar lost to Kanti Parmar of Congress from Thasra seat by over 7,000 votes. Tejshree Patel lost to Congress’s Lakha Bharwad in Viramgam seat in Ahmedabad district.

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Gujarat elections 2017: How Amit Shah’s team brought it home for the BJP

Team Amit Shah has delivered once again, wresting Gujarat in a tightly-contested election. This time, it came good on its promise to retain the high-stakes’ bastion of Gujarat. In that group, two men, who besides being the party’s strategists and implementers of stratagems devised by Shah, are also his most trusted lieutenants: national general secretaries Bhupendra Yadav and Anil JainBattle-hardened partymen, both have seen action in previous elections, including Bihar and UP, and enjoy the unquestioned trust of the party’s top bosses. Silently and diligently, they have powered the war efforts of the party under the overall leadership of their party chief while marshaling local resources—men and materials —in Gujarat.Yadav and Jain came together once again in Gujarat to script a crucial win for the party. While Yadav was the party in-charge of the state, Jain was called in two months before the polls to the state.The two came together for the first time in Bihar, and then again in Uttar Pradesh.Jain assiduously oversaw several departments such as media, social media, the feedback system and war room, among others. Booth-level arrangements and constituency-wise meetings were handled by Yadav. The war room was operated of ‘Kamalam’, the official address in Gandhinagar.An extensive feedback system had been put in place by the party. To bolster outreach, national media in-charge Anil Baluni and Sanjay Mayukh had been stationed at Ahmedabad’s media centre. Sambit Patra, a national party spokesman, also camped in the state to handle media and public debates.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Counting to be held at 37 centres in Gujarat

The Election Commission has set up 37 counting centres across the state for counting of votes for the 2017 Assembly elections, senior officials said. The fate of 1,828 candidates, who contested from the 182 seats in the two-phase elections, would be known within hours of beginning of the counting at 8 am on Monday.Voting for 89 seats that went to polls in the first phase of the Assembly elections took place on December 9, while 93 seats went to polls in the second phase on December 14.The over 50,000 Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units used for polling have been kept in strongrooms across several places.Officials said that three counting centres have been set up in Ahmedabad, and two each in Surat and Anand, while the remaining 31 districts have one each.In Ahmedabad, counting of votes for Ghatlodia, Vejalpur, Vatva, Ellisbridge, Naranpura, Amraiwadi, Maninagar and Sabarmati seats will take place at LD Engineering College. Counting of votes for Naroda, Thakkarbapa Nagar, Bapunagar, Dariapur, Jamalpur-Khadia, Danilimda (SC) and Asarwa (SC) seats will take place at Gujarat College Campus, while those of Viramgam, Sanand, Nikol, Daskroi, Dholka and Dhandhuka will be at Government Polytechnic.Counting of votes for Dehgam, Gandhinagar South, Gandhinagar North, Mansa and Kalol seats will take place at Government Commerce and Arts College in Sector 15, Gandhinagar.

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Gujarat elections 2017: BJP confident of victory, but won’t celebrate till results out

The array of Gujarat BJP leaders, ranging from current CM Vijay Rupani, party chief Jitu Vaghani to national leaders like PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah are confident that the saffron party will win the state assembly polls that concluded on Thursday. However, in a bid not to be seen as counting the chicken before they are hatched, it has been quite restrained and anxious.Party spokesperson Jagdish Bhavsar said, “There is nothing like celebration in the party, as it is not the right time yet. We are confident the party will win with more than 150 seats, but there is no need to show exuberance at this moment. We will celebrate on the day of results and that would be statewide. We will not need too much time to prepare for the celebration.”The election has been a closely fought one, as there were many weighing factors.There were issues like community agitations, Rahul Gandhi’s extensive campaigning and temple visits, anti-incumbency in rural parts of state and focus of Modi and Shah on local issues that could turn the tide.A senior party leader, on condition of anonymity, said, “I agree that the party can win in Gujarat, but it will be hard to predict how many seats it will ultimately get. Congress has also worked hard and to an extent, convince many voters of Gujarat. This could lead to upsets and that is why the party is not celebrating till the results. We are keeping fingers crossed. “Meanwhile, the state party leaders are going to meet on Saturday at the party headquarters in Gandhinagar. The meeting will focus on analysing the poll results and discuss other poll-related issues. The party leader also will prepare an account of the poll expenses of party and candidates individually. State Party chief Jitu Vaghani will head the meeting, and will be attended by Rupani, Nitin Patel and other senior leaders.

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Gujarat elections 2017: 12 of 14 marginal seats see drop in voter turnout

Most seats that were won by a margin of up to 5,000 votes in the 2012 elections registered a fall in voter turnout in phase 2 of polling in Gujarat. While the rise in two seats is marginal, the drop in a dozen seats is up to 16 per cent according to the final voter turn out.Sharp deviation in voter turnout in such constituencies means that the vulnerability of the past winner has increased in the 2017 election. Of the 14 Assembly seats in the second phase, Congress had won eight seats in the previous elections, BJP won five and NCP one. All the seats where BJP won witnessed a fall in turnout in the 2017 elections. While two constituencies where Congress had won witnessed a nominal rise in turnout, the rest of the seats saw a drop between one and 16 per cent.The turnout in Jetpur-ST constituency dropped from 72.54 per cent in 2012 to 56.21 per cent in 2017. Congress had won it by a margin of 4,273 seats in 2012. The party attributes the fall in voter turnout to giving the constituency to ally Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP). “As the Congress candidate was not contesting for the seat, workers were not motivated enough and so their participation was low, resulting in lower voter mobilisation,” said Kailash Gadhvi, spokesman of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee.He attributed the fall in voter turnout to the disenchantment of voters with the 22-year BJP rule in Gujarat. “These voters have been disillusioned. They had hopes, which BJP failed to deliver. So these BJP voters either did not vote or voted for the Congress,” said Gadhvi. The longer duration of voting because of the use of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) also caused a lag of about second seconds per voter. This had an effect in booths that had traditionally high turnout, he said claiming that Congress has emerged stronger in both rural and urban seats in 2017.The Patidar factor could also have affected in Patel dominated seats of Kalol, Bapunagar, Gandhinagar-North and Anand.

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Gujarat elections 2017: 1,517 EVMs, VVPATs replaced during elections

As the second and final phase in Gujarat assembly polls ended on Thursday, as many as 1517 Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail units were replaced, following complaints and technical glitches. Votes were cast in Banaskantha, Patan, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara and Chhota Udepur districts from 8 am to 5 pm.Out of total 27561 ballot units (EVMs) deployed, 369 were reported with glitches. As many as 322 out of 25,575 control units and 826 VVPATs out of 25,575 units were found having glitches and were replaced by the Election Commission. The Commission kept in reserve 5,204 BUs, 4,252 CUs and 6,928 VVPATs,to be used in case complaints were received. Although there were several complaints alleging EVMs being manipulated through BlueTooth in Mehsana, Ghatlodia, Vadgam and Dhokla, technical teams found there was no truth in the allegations.

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You loved it when same EC declared Ahmed Patel a winner: BJP slams Congress over ‘puppet’ comment

The BJP today lashed out at the Congress after it accused the Election Commission of acting like a “puppet” of the government, and said the opposition party was looking for excuses before its impending defeat in the Gujarat polls.A party delegation, which included Cabinet ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi among others, also met the Election Commission to refute the charges levelled by the Congress against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders.Though the delegation members did not speak to media on record, sources said they submitted a memorandum to the EC where they accused the opposition party of misleading the poll watchdog and called the attack on it “unfortunate”. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Congress files anticipatory complaint with EC against PM Modi’s ‘roadshow’BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimhra Rao launched a sharp attack on the Congress, saying its “dynastic arrogance” was on display in its attack on the EC.The party should find better excuses for its “impending defeat”, he said and deprecated “verbal abuse” by the Congress.The Congress was upset because the EC dared to serve notice to “King Rahul”, Rao claimed.Also readGujarat elections 2017: ‘Modi, Modi’ chants and 500-metre walk – When PM Narendra Modi stood in queue to cast his vote “Sheer pettiness of the Congress to call the EC names is glaring. You loved it when the same EC declared Ahmed Patel a winner in the Rajya Sabha poll. Why are you taking out your anger now on it for the (people) spontaneous support to the PM?”Isn’t it too much to expect the EC to act as Parivar’s Darbaris (courtiers of the family)?” he tweeted.Also readGujarat elections 2017: PM Modi’s mother Heeraben casts her vote in GandhinagarThe Congress today said the Election Commission was a BJP “puppet” as the party criticsed it for not acting against Modi after he hed a “roadshow” in Gujarat. After casting his vote at Sabarmati in Ahmedabad district, the prime minister was seen walking some distance and greeting people standing on both sides of the road outside the polling booth. Later, he stood on the foot-board of his car and waved to the crowd.

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Watch | Gujarat Election 2017: Rahul Gandhi greeted with chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ during his temple visit

Ahead of the second phase of Gujarat assembly elections, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday continued his campaign trail and his visits to temples.However, during one of his temple visits, Rahul Gandhi rather had an awkward moment when the crowd started chanting ‘Modi Modi’. The soon-to-be Congress president was leaving Shree Rancchoji temple at Dakor in Kheda district when some individuals gathered outside the temple and started raising slogans in support of PM Modi. He is scheduled to visit another temple at Shamlaji Temple in Aravali district today.The recent temple visits by Rahul Gandhi at the time of Gujarat elections has been in the midst of various public debates in political circles and social media. He has been criticised by BJP for his obvious and ‘sham’ temple visits. Earlier during the day, BJP president Amit Shah slammed Rahul Gandhi for ‘hopping from temple to temple’ and spreading casteism in the country.”Congress had laid the foundation of Gujarat election on casteism. The would-be President of Congress started hopping from temple to temple. Congress has been the creator of polarisation in India,” Amit ShahAlso readGujarat Elections 2017 | PM Modi resorting to bhashan ka shasan, says Rahul GandhiWhile Rahul Gandhi is campaigning in Aravali, Kheda, Banaskantha and will end his campaigning at Gandhinagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing huge crowds in Palanpur, Sanand, Kalol and Vadodara.Earlier on Sunday, PM Modi blamed Congress party for using age-old tactics and relying on their decade-long ‘divide and rule politics’.”BJP is fighting these elections on the issue of development. Congress is back to their old tricks. A generational shift has not brought in a new political culture for the party. They rely on their same divide and rule politics,” PM Modi said in Kaalol.Both BJP and Congress have come out all guns blazing at each other in their campaign trails with both blaming each other for their unfulfilled promises and calling names too. The first phase of polling for 89 seats was held on December 9 with 68% turnout and the second phase for remaining 93 seats is to be held on December 14. The counting of the Gujarat assembly election will be held on December 18.

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Tamil Nadu: BJP leader arrested after attack on Christian prayer hall in Coimbatore

Tamil Nadu police have arrested four people including a local BJP leader after a Christian prayer hall was vandalized.A group of people allegedly damaged glass panes and chairs at a prayer hall on the city outskirts, police said.People in the area had complained about meetings being held during night at the hall, creating a disturbance.Also readSpecial teams across Goa to track vandalism culpritsAccording to reports, Nandkumar, a local BJP leader and three others – all residents of area – have been arrested.”BJP workers threw chairs asking the group to stop the programme when they were distributing help to local people,” a police officer told NDTV.Police told the news agency said that those organising such meetings were asked to refrain from doing so.Referring to the incident police said no permission was taken to organise such a meeting, and police personnel have been deployed at the hall to prevent any untoward incidents.Also readSave country from nationalist forces: Gandhinagar Archbishop Thomas Macwan writes to Christians

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Tale of 2 politicos: Marginalised, veterans watching from sidelines

The destinies of two Gujarat politics veterans —Shankersinh Vaghela and Keshubhai Patel — have striking similarities, intertwined with ironies and accidents, and crisscrossing each other’s paths. And now, when Gujarat is in the midst of its most keenly contested election of the last two decades, both have been relegated to the background.Vaghela, who chose to go alone and “experiment”, has not found takers for his newly formed party Jan Vikalp. And Keshubhai, once the tallest Patel leader, remained conspicuous by his absence as the Patidar agitation raged in the state and threatened to disrupt the political course and discourse.While Vaghela is known as an organisation man, having influence on the OBC votes on seats in and around Gandhinagar, Keshubhai, a Leuva Patel, has his influence in the Saurasthra region and outside.Keshubhai, a member of BJP since 1980, formed a new party, Gujarat Parivartan Party, in 2012 after breaking a 32-year association with BJP. Vaghela, who had joined the BJP in 1970, after an association of 26 years with the party, formed the Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP) in 1996.After two years, Vaghela joined the Congress in 1998, only to chart out an independent path again after a 17-year association. As his Jan Vikalp Morcha formed in 1977 seems to be going nowhere, his next move will be a closely watched one in Gujarat.So, when Vaghela organised a meeting in the Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad a couple of months ago, announcing that he will lead a new political front, many recalled its striking similarity with a rally organised by Keshubhai in the same locality in 2012, to mark the culmination of his Parivartan Yatra against the Narendra Modi-led government.Keshubhai and Vaghela were elected from the Visavadar and Kapadwanj Assembly seats in 2012. Vaghela had earlier lost Lok Sabha polls in 2009 as a Congress candidate from Panchmahal. Keshubhai later resigned from his Assembly seat in 2014, due to medical reasons.Neither Keshubhai nor Vaghela are contesting any Assembly seat this year. Both veterans with long association with RSS are now in the political wilderness. Keshubhai kept a low profile after his Gujarat Parivartan Party bombed in 2012 elections, and did his “ghar wapsi”, merging his Gujarat Parivartan Party with the BJP.After breaking away from the Congress in July, Vaghela voted for loyalist Bawant Singh Rajput, who was fighting on a BJP ticket against Congress veteran Ahmed Patel in the keenly contested Rajya Sabha polls in August this year.When asked about his experience in both parties, Vaghela says he was “comfortable” working in both BJP and Congress and unabashedly accepts that his “son was about to join BJP”. He, however, insists he has no plan to join any party.Born in a Rajput family, Vaghela, 77, also, flags the differences between him and Keshubhai.”Keshubhai is sitting at home due to sickness and some family tragedy. I am politically active, though not in any political contest this time.” Asked whether he would contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Vaghela says: “That I will decide then. But one thing is clear. I have not retired from politics.”A Master of Arts from the Gujarat University, while Vaghela mastered the art of politics, many around him say he was too assertive a leader to get along with others.Keshubhai served as the chief minister of Gujarat in 1995 and then again in 1998 and 2001. A six-time MLA, he has the image of a reticent politician, unlike the flamboyant Vaghela.Vaghela had joined the RSS in 1970, a decade after Keshubhai. While Vaghela, once considered a master strategist, is called ‘Baapu’, Patel is called ‘Dhartiputra”.Both live in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar, once contributed to the strengthening of the BJP, and then tried to help Congress dislodge the BJP government in the state unsuccessfully.While Keshubhai did not join Congress, Vaghela served as the Leader of Opposition in Gujarat from December 2012 to July 2017, before quitting Congress altogether on July 21 this year. Before that in BJP, Vaghela had served as its general secretary and its Gujarat unit president for 11 long years.The unstated aim of Vaghela’s outfit was to defeat the Congress after he quit when the party did not declare him its CM face and did give him a “free hand” in running the state affairs. A bitter Vaghela left no stone unturned to ensure the defeat of Ahmad Patel in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha polls. Ahmed Patel, however, won.Likewise, Keshubhai also “blessed” the Congress after parting from BJP but BJP came to power with greater Patel support in 2007 and 2012.Both Vaghela and Keshubhai, at different times, stood in Opposition to Modi. It was believed that Modi had put his weight behind Keshubhai way back in 1995, when the BJP got a majority with 121 MLAs in the 182-member Assembly of Gujarat. While most legislators then preferred Vaghela as a leader, the BJP leadership chose to anoint Keshubhai as the chief minister.Months later in September that year, Vaghela rebelled with the support of 47 MLAs. Later, a compromise was worked out in which Keshubhai had to quit and Vaghela loyalist Suresh Mehta became the CM. Modi was shifted out of Gujarat for some time.But the truce was shortlived as Vaghela soon afterwards walked out of BJP with his supporters and the Suresh Mehta government fell. Then Vaghela served as CM for a year, from October 1996 to October 1997, with Congress support.He was succeeded by Dilip Parikh for a brief spell.Vaghela, who then vowed to defeat Modi-led BJP in the state was once very close to him and people in Gandhinagar still remember how both used to ride together on Vaghela’s Royal Enfield bike in the city. So was the proximity of Modi to Keshubhai that the former was said to have tilted the balance in favour of Keshubhai in 1995.Later, the BJP again came to power with Keshubhai as the CM in 1998 as BJP got a decisive mandate (117 of 182), with Congress getting 53, and Vaghela’s RJP merely 4 seats. Following the defeat of BJP in the by-elections for the Sabarkantha Lok Sabha and Sabarmati Assembly seats and a amid a view that governance was suffering and the party was getting weak, pressure was mounted on Keshubhai to quit. He resigned in 2001 and Modi became the CM. That was time for Keshubhai to rebel

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Gujarat elections 2017 | Gujarat is war between Ram Rajya & Rome Rajya: Virendra Singh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday raised the issue of the letter issued by Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, Archbishop Thomas Macwan. It claimed that the appeal in the letter was akin to alleged support given by Pope to fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in Italy.”The electoral fight in Gujarat is a war between Ram Rajya and Rome Rajya,” said Virendra Singh, chief of BJP’s Kisan Morcha, as he was in Capital before returning to Gujarat on campaign.”In 1929 the Pope in Rome had made an appeal for the victory of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. In the same way Macwan urged the Christians to vote against nationalist forces. So in a way this is also a war between the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and what dictator Mussolini stood for,” Singh said.”Our ideal is Ram Rajya which was expounded by Mahatma Gandhi in the concepts of swadeshi and village self-reliance which he tried to flesh out after independence. This very model has been taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Singh said.Singh accused the ‘Rome Rajya’ to be violent and disruptive. “On the other hand, Rome Rajya is inspired by money, pistol and dynasty,” Singh said in an oblique reference to the Italian origins of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.Singh alleged that the Nehru-Gandhi family was trying to implement and perpetuate Rome Rajya.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Shocked to see fatwa against nationalist forces, it’s nationalism that guides us to help every Indian: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said “rashtrabhakti” motivated him and his government to help people of various faiths, including Christians, and dubbed as “fatwa” a letter issued by Gandhinagar archbishop.The prime minister was referring to the letter issued last month by Thomas Macwan, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, in which he had appealed to Christians to pray to save the country from “nationalist forces”.”I was shocked to see a religious person releasing a ‘fatwa’ (diktat) saying uproot the nationalist forces. It is ‘Rashtrabhakti’ (nationalism) that guides us to help every Indian in any part of the world,” Modi said.The prime minister was speaking at a gathering after inaugurating a hospital on the campus of Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratisthanam (SGVP).He said it was a “matter of concern” if some people are opposing such values.The priest had also said that “democratic fabric” of the country was at stake amidst growing “sense of insecurity” among minorities, which was viewed as a jibe at the ruling BJP.Modi said his government had saved and rescued people of different faiths irrespective of their religion.He also listed several examples wherein the central government had brought back Christian missionaries as well as nurses stranded in conflict zones across the world.Also readThose who issue fatwas against nationalists should see effort we undertook to get Father Tom back: PM Modi “Along with Indians, we have rescued citizens of almost 40 countries from Yemen, as they were stranded there due to war. We did not see their religion or language they speak. It was our nationalism and humanitarian values which guided us,” the prime minister said.Modi said he was raising the issue of nationalism because some people have challenged it. “Our nurses from Kerala, mostly Christians, were stranded in Iraq. They were in the custody of terrorists. Can the prime minister or any citizen of India sleep in such situation, when our daughters are in custody of terrorists?” he asked.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | PM Modi hits out at Congress; says they oppose for sake of opposingIn 2014, a total of 46 Indian nurses, who were held captive by the Islamic State militants in Iraq for about a month, were evacuated after the successful intervention by the Union government.The prime minister also recalled how his government used “all resources” to bring back Keralite priest Tom Uzhunnalil who was freed after being kept in captivity suspectedly by the ISIS for 18 months in strife-torn Yemen.”Father Tom (Uzhunnalil), also a Keralite, was abducted by terrorists in Yemen last year. He went their to spread the message of Jesus Christ. Again, we have employed all our resources to bring him back, as he is the son of this country.Also readManmohan Singh jibes at PM Modi, praises GDP uptickWe successfully brought him back a few months back,” the prime minister said.He also gave the example of Father Alexis Prem Kumar who was rescued from the Taliban captivity in Afghanistan.”Another Christian, Judith D’Souza of West Bengal, was kidnapped in Afghanistan. We applied every trick in the book and brought her back alive, that too from the clutches of terrorists. We were able to do all these humanitarian work because of our rashtrabhakti,” he said.
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NIDian uses jute to make a hall soundproof

In yet another attempt to promote jute, a student of National Institute of Design (NID) has used jute as a sound-proof material.Aimed at the hotel industry, her product is being used at the new auditorium which is being constructed at NID’s Gandhinagar campus.Bhavika Vajani, Masters Programme in Lifestyle and Accessories Design, took this idea as part of her graduation project. At NID, students in final year are supposed to take up a live project working for industry demands.Speaking about her journey, Bhavika said, “The project started with the aim to change the perception of jute as a cheap and rugged material. On studying the material in depth, it was observed that jute has really good acoustic insulation properties and that became the focus of the study.” “On conducting trend research I realized that there is an immense scope for application of this property to maintain the indoor sound quality of residential as well as public spaces like auditoriums, hotels, restaurants,” she saidSpeaking of challenges, she said, “Taming the material was the biggest challenge. Another challenge was exploring and enhancing the acoustic properties through surface developments while also focusing on the aesthetic value of the products to align them with contemporary interiors.””And the last one was to make it up to the market standards the material had to be treated for fire retardancy, water resistivity and also prevent it from antimicrobial attack, jute is a natural fibre.Speaking about the USP of the design, she said, “The highlight of my product is that it is treated for fire retardancy, water resistivity and anti-microbial attack which makes it at par with the fibreglass and woollen felt insulation panels available in the market.””The other advantage is its weight. Since it is lightweight and modular, it makes it easy to handle. The panel surfaces developed have been tested for their sound absorption and fire retardancy based on IS standards,” she said.
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Another in-charge DGP, Pramod Kumar, takes over

Pramod Kumar, the senior-most serving IPS officer in the state, has been given additional charge as the state’s Director General of Police (DGP). He replaces Geetha Johari, the first woman to occupy the post in the state, who superannuated a day earlier.In a notification issued on Friday, the state Home Department said Pramod Kumar, Director General of Civil Defence, has been given the additional charge of Director General and Inspector General of Police, Gandhinagar. Incidentally, the notification spelled the new DGP’s name as Promod.The notification said that the order has been issued as per the instruction of the Election Commission. The state government had proposed the names of three senior-most serving IPS officers for the top post — the other two were Shivanand Jha and Tirth Raj. However, EC approved Pramod Kumar’s name.Speaking with reporters after taking over, Pramod Kumar said his priority would be to ensure the peaceful conduct of Gujarat elections.Pramod Kumar, who belongs to the 1983 batch of IPS, will superannuate in February, which means he will serve as DGP only for three months.This will, however, be his second stint as the state’s top cop, having held the charge for a few months in 2013, after then DGP Amitabh Pathak’s death following a heart attack.Pramod Kumar joins a long list of officers to have served as DGP in the past few years without being given regular appointment to the post. His predecessor Geetha Johari, and before her PP Pandey, also held additional charge of the top post. Prior to that, Chitranjan Singh was the in-charge DGP for close to two years between 2010 and 2012.Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma has filed a Public Interest Litigation in Gujarat High Court seeking a full-time DGP in Gujarat. A number of hearings have been held so far in connection to the PIL.THE NEW CHIEFPramod Kumar will serve for three months and will superannuate in February. This is his second stint as state’s top cop, as he had held the post for a few months in 2013
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Gujarat elections 2017 | Jolt to Alpesh Thakor as key aide joins BJP

Congress and BJP had won two seats each in last polls. Following to Alpesh Thakor joined Congress, the equation for BJP had become tough to win but the party has managed to defect a strong leader and great face from the community which dominates here. Sendhaji was a worker of Jan Sangh and BJP in his early life but had parted with BJP a few years back and had joined Congress. Sendhaji said, "This is like Ghar Vapasi for me as BJP is the party to which I was associated in the beginning of my political career. I will help BJP candidates to win in Gandhinagar districts. I do not have any desire for position in party or organisation."”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Friday 1 December 2017 7:00 ISTMust readDNA SPECIAL: Power tussle between Lok Nayak Hospital, MAMCIndia Story rebounds as GDP grows to 6.3%<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Thakor community leader and major supporter of Alpesh Thakor-led Thakor Sena, Sendhaji Thakor, joined BJP on Thursday in presence of BJP leader Anil Jain in Ahmedabad.Sendhaji reached along with his supporters and joined BJP in a formal ceremony held at BJP media centre in the city. This is considered to be a major hit to Thakor Sena leader Alpesh Thakor who joined Congress in October at a huge rally held in Gandhinagar. Thakor community has a great hold over all four seats in Gandhinagar district which are Gandhinagar north, Gandhinagar south, Dehgam and Kalol.Congress and BJP had won two seats each in last polls. Following to Alpesh Thakor joined Congress, the equation for BJP had become tough to win but the party has managed to defect a strong leader and great face from the community which dominates here. Sendhaji was a worker of Jan Sangh and BJP in his early life but had parted with BJP a few years back and had joined Congress. Sendhaji said, “This is like Ghar Vapasi for me as BJP is the party to which I was associated in the beginning of my political career. I will help BJP candidates to win in Gandhinagar districts. I do not have any desire for position in party or organisation.”
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Gujarat elections: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani to fight as independent candidate from Vadgam Constituency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The firebrand Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani who had said that he will neither join Congress nor contest the election will be fighting Gujarat assembly polls as an independent candidate.Mevani will contest as an Independent candidate from Vadgam constituency in Banaskantha District.The BJP has fielded Vijaybhai Harkabhai Chakravati, while the Congress has nominated Manibhai Vaghela to the reserved seat. ALSO READ Gujarat Elections: Congress workers vandalise party office in Gandhinagar over ticket distributionA fortnight ago, stopping short of asking people to vote for Congress, Mevani had said that his gut feeling was that people would not commit the mistake of voting for any third party in the bipolar election in Gujarat, where they have decided to replace the BJP that has been ruling the state for 22 years.The 34-year-old, a lawyer by training, came under the spotlight after four Dalit youth were stripped and flogged by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead bovine last year. Mevani had managed to galvanise the Dalit youth to lead huge protests across the state.In the past year, Mevani has emerged as someone whom political parties cannot afford to ignore, particularly ahead of the assembly elections.The State goes to polls next month in two phases —December 9 and 14. ALSO READ Gujarat elections 2017: Are women’s issues important enough?

Gujarat Elections: Congress workers vandalise party office in Gandhinagar over ticket distribution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress party workers on Sunday vandalised property of the party office in Gandhinagar over the issue of ticket distribution, reported ANI.Workers reportedly broke the chairs and television set installed in the office.The development came after the Congress released its third list of 76 candidates for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly election.The party, which has been seeking to dislodge the BJP from power in the western state, earlier announced the names of 86 candidates in two phases.The party, however, could not finalise the names of its candidates in 20 more seats.The list featured at least 11 candidates from Scheduled Tribes and three from Scheduled Caste communities.The Congress has been out of power in the crucial state for over two decades.The polling for the two-phase elections in Gujarat, having total 182 seats, will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18.

Gujarat elections 2017: Are women’s issues important enough?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Injustice to Sardar Patel, step-motherly treatment to Gujarat, tanking economy, GST and demonetisation- the discourse of political parties in Gujarat seem to be about everything else other than issues that affect women the most.Sociologists who have closely worked on gender issues and those in politics have a different take on why it is the case.Leena Badshah, former professor of sociology with Gujarat University said it was a universal trend. “It is not unique to India or Gujarat. How many issues that matter to women get discussed in elections in the UK or US? For a patriarchal society like ours, it will take a long time before issues like women’s safety or equality in pay or some such become an election debate,” said Badshah.Tannistha Samanta, professor of sociology at IIT Gandhinagar said sometimes it takes a horrific incident like the Nirbhaya case to bring women’s issues to centre stage. Though the fact that it touched the middle class consciousness was a more enduring narrative than the gender-based sexual violence question. Not everyone agrees. Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said Rahul Gandhi in his recent visit to Gujarat spoke about the issues of Anganwadi and Asha workers. “He talked about MNREGA which had helped many women get gainful employment. When we talk about inflation, it is because it impacts women the most,” said Doshi. He said it would be foolish for any party to ignore issues that impact women. “They account for 50 per cent of our voters. Who will dare ignore them?” he asks.

Gujarat Elections: BJP names 13 more candidates, drops 2 MLAs, repeats 4

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP on Friday named candidates for 13 more seats for the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections.The list has four sitting MLAs, while two MLAs have been dropped. The other seven are new faces.With the latest list, the ruling party has now announced candidates for 147 out of 182 seats.Ranchhod Rabari (Patan), Narayan Patel (Unjha), Vallabh Kakadiya (Thakkarbapa Nagar) and Pankaj Desai (Nadiad) are the four MLAs who have got tickets again.Popular Gujarati film actor Hitu Kanodiya, who had unsuccessfully contested from Kadi (SC) seat in the 2012 elections, has been fielded from Idar (SC) seat. In an earlier list, Kadi MLA and assembly speaker Ramanlal Vora was named the candidate from to (SC) seat.Former Congress MLA Amit Chaudhary, who had joined the BJP recently, has been fielded from Mansa seat in Gandhinagar. Chaudhary had contested from the seat in 2012 on a Congress ticket and won by over 8,000 votes.MLA from Dhandhuka seat Lalji Patel and Kaalol MLA Arvindsinh Rathod are the two legislators who have failed to secure a ticket from the party.The BJP has fielded Kalubhai Dabhi from Dhandhuka seat, while nominating Godhra MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan’s daughter in-law Suman Chauhan as its candidate from Kaalol. Chauhan was demanding the ticket either for his wife or son.The BJP list names Mavji Desai as its candidate from Dhanera seat, Vijay Chakravarti (Vadgam SC), Karshan Solanki (Kadi SC), Raman Patel (Vijapur) and Balrajsinh Chauhan (Dehgam).The list has four Patel candidates, three from Scheduled Castes, four OBCs and two Kshatriyas.

Gujarat elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi to begin two-day Gujarat visit today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who has visited Gujarat seven times since August, will begin yet another visit to the state on Friday.Gandhi, who is set to take over as Congress president before the elections, is slated to visit Kirti Mandir, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi in Porbandar, before addressing a public meeting of fishermen in the coastal city.His next stop will be at Dalit Shakti Kendra in Nani Devti village of Sanand, where he will accept a national flag measuring 125 feet by 83.3 feet, and weighing 240 kg. The flag has been prepared by 150 Dalits from ten states and is the largest of its kind.In the evening, the Congress leader is scheduled to have an interaction with representatives from the public health sector at Thakorbhai Desai Hall, which will be followed by an interaction with teaching community at Viratnagar. “Rahul ji will also address a public meeting at Nikol,” a party functionary said. Gandhi is slated to visit Gandhinagar, Aravalli, Mahisagar and Dahod districts on the second day of his visit. He would be welcomed at Dehgam in Gandhinagar, followed by a corner meeting in Bayad, Aravalli. He is slated to address a corner meeting at Lunavada in Mahisagar, and a corner meeting in Santrampur after that.The Congress leader will be welcomed at Fatepura in Dahod, followed by a corner meeting in Jhalod, and a public meeting in Dahod, his last public engagement of the day. Gandhi visited flood-hit north Gujarat in August, followed by a visit to Ahmedabad. He campaigned in Saurashtra for four days, and three days each in central, south and north Gujarat after that, and also visited Surat for a day on the first anniversary of demonetisation. The Congress feels that his visits have generated a lot of traction for the party, which would help it in the elections.

Dissatisfied with ticket distribution, Gujarat BJP leaders openly hostile against high command

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat BJP leaders who are dissatisfied with the ticket distribution are openly coming out and showing their displeasure or hostility against the party high command.BJP vice-president in the state unit and former cabinet minister, IK Jadeja, and his supporters reached the Gujarat BJP headquarters Shri Kamalam on Saturday afternoon after he failed to secure a berth for the poll from Wadhwan seat in Surendranagar district.Jadeja is one of the strong supporters of former CM and senior BJP leader, Anandiben Patel. Jadeja had demanded a ticket from Wadhwan from the high command, but that was not entertained.Around 300 supporters of Jadeja from Surendranagar district, particularly from Rajput community, gathered at his home in Gandhinagar and put another demand for Jadeja from Dhrangadhra seat, which is his hometown and conventional seat. He had contested from here in 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002 and 2007. Barring 1990, Jadeja won all the polls and was made the minister in Keshubhai Patel and Narendra Modi-led state governments.Jadeja, however, said, “We have come here because my supporters’ sentiments are with me. I am an active member of BJP for long and will be in BJP only. My supporters believe I must be given a ticket to contest polls this time.”A senior leader from the party said on condition of anonymity, “Jadeja wanted to pressurise the party and indirectly convey his message to national president Amit Shah. Jadeja has never been on good terms with CM Vijay Rupani.”

Denied ticket, Kodinar MLA Jethabhai Solanki quits

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP MLA from Kodinar in Saurashtra, Jethabhai Solanki, resigned from the party and as a legislator on Saturday. Solanki’s resignation came after he was reportedly told he was not getting a ticket.Solanki submitted his resignation as MLA and parliamentary secretary to Speaker Ramanlal Vora. While he resigned only in the evening, his resignation letter was widely circulated on social media since afternoon.Talking to media persons after resigning, Solanki accused the state government of failing to act on issues faced by the Dalit community.“Whenever I discussed Dalit issues with the government, I was assured of action; but nothing has been done. (Then chief minister) Anandiben Patel made many good decisions for the Dalit community. I feel that was why she had go to,” he said.Referring to former MP Dinu Bogha Solanki, who is an accused in RTI activist Amit Jethava’s murder, Solanki said there were many criminals in the party.“This is why I decided not to contest elections nor remain a member of the BJP,” he said, adding he had not yet decided on joining the Congress.Solanki later went to Gujarat BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar and resigned from the party.

7 from Ahmedabad killed in car-bus collision, 3 from same family

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven persons were killed when the car they were travelling in suffered a tyre burst and collided with a luxury bus on the Mehsana-Unjha highway around 2.30 am on Thursday.According to police sources, the accident occurred after the driver lost control of the vehicle due to the tyre burst and rammed into the bus which was coming from the opposite side.Three of the deceased belonged to the same family in Nikol, while four were students of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University of Gandhinagar, including the son of a police inspector with the Special Branch department. All seven died on the spot.The deceased have been identified as Nikol brothers Brijesh Kankadia, Gopal Kankadia and their cousin Monag Jadwani, and the students Aditya Patel of Modasa, Diviyapal Zala of Sanand, Uday Pandiya of Bhavnagar and Mukund Kuradia of Jodhpur, Rajasthan.A B Gohil, PI, Mehsana taluka police station, said, “the seven were returning home when the accident occurred. The impact of the collision was so strong that the car was totally crushed by the bus and all seven car passengers died on the spot.”This is the second tragedy to strike the Kankadia family this year. It was only eleven months ago that Brijesh and Gopal’s father committed suicide. Both brothers were cremated on Friday evening.One of the deceased students Diviyapal Zala was the son of Special Branch inspector J R Zala. All the four were classmates.

Tape for tape: Hardik Patel says will drop a bigger bomb on Nov 18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the leak of three alleged sex tapes featuring him, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday said he will make some shocking revelations about some BJP leaders at his rally to be held on November 18 at Mansa town of Gandhinagar district.Talking to DNA, the Patidar quota stir leader said, “I am firm on my stand and did not deviate from my path. I will be organising many rallies in the near future. I will make a shocking revelation at the rally in Mansa. I don’t want to say what it will be about, but it will sort of be a great explosion.”Hardik has chosen Mansa, the ancestral village of BJP national president Amit Shah, to hit back at the BJP. He claimed that the people from across Gandhinagar, Sabarkantha, Arvalli and nearby areas would gather at the rally.”I have been holding rallies with the same zeal and there will not be loss of temperament at any moment. I addressed a rally in Bharuch on Tuesday evening; that received great response from the people,” Hardik added.After the rally, Hardik posted a tweet in Hindi which, roughly translated, said, “Let us believe that I am wrong. Lynch me when you get the chance to, but the core issue is the right of the society. The issue is the future of farmers and the youth. Why is the BJP government not acting upon these issues?”Hardik has been receiving sympathy from various sections, including his own community. The urban youth have come out in support of the PAAS leader, with social media posts backing him.A senior BJP leader said, “People believe the BJP leaked the sex tapes, but the fact is that this is the outcome of the rivalry within the PAAS. The BJP has gained on the political ground, but the Patel community in rural areas is opposing Hardik after this incident.”Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said, “The Congress is making efforts to shield Hardik. This is not about someone’s personal life, this is about honesty and ethics. It was a shameful act, Hardik indulged in it, and some people have come to his defence.”

Shaktisinh Gohil’s comment on Hardik, Sardar sparks row

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil’s comment about Patel reservation agitation leader Hardik Patel having Sardar Patel’s DNA has triggered angry protests at many places in the state. With less than a month to go to the assembly elections, the issue may snowball into a controversy.BJP members, on Tuesday, staged protests across several places in the state, including Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, and Saurashtra, to protest Shaktisinh Gohil’s comment.In Ahmedabad, protests were organised at Khanpur, Maninagar, Nikol, among other areas, where protesters slammed Gohil for insulting Sardar Patel by comparing Hardik Patel with him. At many places, protesters burnt Congress and Gohil’s effigies. A large number of Patel community members also participated in the protests. “Hardik is clean, and has DNA of Sardar Patel,” the senior Congress MLA had said in Mehsana on Monday, hours after an alleged sex tape of Hardik Patel surfaced. However, he may not have imagined the kind of backlash his comment could lead to, especially after two more videos of Hardik Patel surfaced on Tuesday.Sardar’s kin, too, has criticised Gohil for the comment. In a video message circulated by BJP, Sardar Patel’s great-grandnephew Sameer Patel said that Gohil or any other Congress leader’s opinion about Sardar hardly matters as “such people should not be taken seriously”.”People like Hardik Patel are trying to encash Sardar’s name. Hardik is dividing the country, while Sardar worked to unite the country. There cannot be any comparison between the two,” he said while warning the Patidars against being misled by “Hardik and his ilk”.Speaking to DNA, Gohil, however, claimed that he had been quoted out of context. “I had said that Hardik comes from the same community as Sardar Patel. In the manner that Sardar fought against the British, Hardik is taking on the BJP government. There was no other comparison,” Gohil said.BJP leader Mansukh Mandaviya said comparing Hardik to Sardar Patel was an insult to the latter. “To say that a person caught in such a shameful act (sex video) has Sardar Patel’s DNA is an insult to Sardar. The Congress has had a tradition of insulting Sardar Patel,” he said.

PAAS agrees on Congress’s formula, will discuss with community members

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) is convinced by the Congress formula of reservation. The PAAS core committee members held a meeting on Monday under the leadership of Hardik Patel in Gandhinagar and agreed to accept it. The PAAS will take the issue up with the community members.Hardik Patel, addressed a press conference in the evening revealing the agendas and discussion in the meeting. He said, “Congress has presented four formulas for reservation to Patel community and we are convinced. They had agreed upon the survey of the community and inclusion of community members in reservation quota. The party also ensured the constitutional stature to the reservation quota for Patel community to perpetuate it so that legal challenges can be avoided.””We will take up the issue with the members of our community, leaders of religious institutions and other reservation agitation groups like SPG. We all will sit together and decide upon the formula of the Congress and will come up on some final conclusion,” added Hardik Patel.Hardik, however, did not clarify if this meant political support to Congress for Gujarat polls or not. He said, “We are not the member of any political party and do not wish to be part of any. Congress is seriously considering our demand that is why we are accepting their formula. While BJP exploited our community, they killed our youth and beat up our ladies. That is why we will always be in confrontation with the BJP when a political issue arises.”Meanwhile, the alleged sex video of Hardik Patel was revealed on social media and entire PAAS team also disucussed the issue during the meeting. The PAAS leader, however, said that they would not stop running their agitation against the BJP and will make their programmes more rigorous in the days to come.

BJP board clears Gujarat candidates’ names

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat BJP’s parliamentary board has completed the final scrutiny of names of aspirants in a two-day meeting that concluded on Saturday evening. The board has prepared the panels of three names for each of the 182 seats. The party will announce the list around November 19 for the first phase and November 25 for the second phase.A senior leader of the party said, “The final scrutiny is over and panels have been prepared. We are not in a hurry to announce the list of the candidates. BJP will maintain the tradition of announcing names two or three days before the last day of filing nominations. We have also conveyed to all contenders whose names are in the panel, to keep their records ready for nomination.”The BJP leadership is also of the opinion to not to chop the names of sitting candidates, except for places where the candidate was not in a position to win due to local circumstances, added the leader. The parliamentary board was to run till Sunday, but the task was completed in two days as national president Amit Shah had to hold meetings with the workers of four districts on that day.Shah is going to visit Deesa and Gandhinagar on Sunday. He will meet party workers and leaders from Banaskantha and Patan district as well as cadres from Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Mehsana district.

Centre may have made slab changes to GST, but structural change is needed: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday during his trip to Gujarat continued his tirade against the Central government’s implementation of ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’.While addressing locals during a public meeting at Chhala village near Gandhinagar, Gandhi said, “Gabbar Singh Tax reforms have been made after the Congress put pressure on the Central government. This was not our model. We want a simple tax and will continue to fight until we get one. Though they have changed the slabs there is still need for structural change.”He also said that if Congress comes to power, it will work for improving health and education services for the masses and for the welfare of farmers, women and workers.North Gujarat is an extremely important region for the Congress. Even as its electoral base has steadily declined in other parts of the state in recent years, it has managed to hold on to its support base in north Gujarat. In fact, Congress had won 17 seats in the region in 2012 polls, more than 15 won by BJP.Gandhi had visited Saurashtra for four days, and central and south Gujarat for three days each. He had visited flood-hit areas of Banaskantha in the first week of August, and attended various events in Ahmedabad in the same month. He had also visited Surat earlier this week on November 8, the anniversary of demonetisation, his seventh visit to the state in three months. He is also expected to campaign extensively in the run-up to the polls.

LK Advani turns 90, foes and friends wish BJP leader on Twitter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior politicians wished BJP leader and former deputy prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani on his 90th birthday.PM Narendra Modi also extended greetings to Indian Politician and veteran leader LK Advani. LK Advani was the deputy Prime Minister during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Advani was one of the founding members of the BJP, whose “Rath Yatra” in 1990 had brought the party into national prominence for the first time. The former deputy prime minister has also served as an MP from Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter and greeted BJP veteran LK Advani on his 90th birthday stating ‘his efforts have contributed richly to the building of the party.’ He said Advani is a political stalwart, a leader who has distinguished himself through hard work and dedication towards the nation.Wishing him good health and long political life, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also extended greeting to the veteran politician. “Wishing a very happy birthday to Lal Krishna Advani Ji. Health and happiness for a long life,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle this morning.Most of the leaders took to Twitter to pay respects to the veteran BJP leader on his 90th birth anniversary. However, ditching his former colleagues, veteran BJP Leader LK Advani celebrated his birthday with visually-impaired children.

Indian Americans raise $2.4 million for public health in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raised at the second annual gala of WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) in New York over the weekend, organisers of the event said USD 2 million of this was donated by Chirag Patel, co-CEO and chairman, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and his family.This donation will go towards the soon-to-be established WHEELS India Niswarth (WIN) Foundation, which will be based out of the IIT-Gandhinagar and Indian Institute of Public Health-Gandhinagar campuses.The foundation will work on core areas of water and sanitation and maternal and child health groups.At its inaugural gala last year WGF had raised USD 200,000.”The increase in donations this year demonstrates that donors see the urgency of the issues faced and that WGF is a dedicated partner in alleviating issues faced by rural areas.We are deeply gratified by the generous donations of attendees, sponsors and raffle and auction prize donors,” said Suresh Shenoy, president, WGF.With a vision to use “technology to enable philanthropy,” WGF provides funds to develop Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP) in remote villages to alleviate health issues related to poor-quality drinking water, a media release said.

Chopper service at Ceramic Expo for foreign buyers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The much-awaited ceramic exhibition will be held from November 16 -19 at Mahatma Mandir Exhibition Centre on the sprawling helipad ground in Gandhinagar. What’s luring this year for the odd 2,000 foreign buyers, who are expected to arrive from across 30 countries, is the chopper service they will be able to avail to fly to the event.The people will also be able to visit the factories of ceramics producers in Morbi and half the expense will be borne by the local industry association. However, the move will shorten the time to finalise the deal, say some of the key industry players.”This is the first time that we have hired a chopper service. If a local player feels that by facilitating a factory visit to a buyer, the deal is likely to be expedited, he can choose a buyer,” said Nilesh Jetpariya, president of Morbi Ceramics Association.The event will be spread across 50,000 square metres, with more than 250 exhibitors, over 400 brands and ceramics in several sizes and designs under one roof.Local players from Morbi had visited 65 countries in the run up to the expo to invite the buyers. Special attention is being paid to potential markets of the USA, Europe and Australia, where the penetration from the players of Morbi is very less.India has the second largest tiles market in the world. While the global tiles production grew at an annualised rate of 6.3% for the period 2006-2013, tiles production in India grew almost double at 12.0% during the same period. Ceramic tiles that accounts for close to 60% of the total tiles demand in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% for the period 2014-2019.”Ceramics industry, in line with the key agenda of the Government of India of Make in India, Skill India, and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan amongst others. It is our constant endeavour to keep innovating and contribute to the country’s economic growth and create further employment across states. The industry contributes close to $ 4 billion in revenues and employ more than 10 lakhs skilled and unskilled personnel,”said Jetparia, who is also the President of the expo.THE ATTRACTIONS2,000 buyers from over 30 countries will visit the exhibitionNov. 16 -19 are the dates when the expo will be held250 exhibitors will participate in the event

Accused in Akshardham case held after 15 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At 3.45 am on Saturday, crime branch officers arrested Abdul Rashid Ajmeri, a key accused in the Akshardham temple terror attack case, from Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhai Patel International terminal.Abdul was flying in from Saudi Arabia, and is accused of being the prime conspirator in the terror attack in Gandhinagar that left 34 people dead and 84 injured in 2002. According to a crime branch officer, Abdul is supposed to have planned the attack and helped the two terrorists who stormed the temple. “The accused has links with the banned terrorist organizations such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba,” said ACP Rajdeep Zala of Crime branch.His brother, Adam Ajmeri, once an accused, was acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2014. He now lives with his family in Ahmedabad.According to a senior police official, they had received specific information about Abdul and three others involved in the case arriving at Ahmedabad, and had been on the lookout for six months. They had staked out at the airport four times in the past six months. This time, they believe that the three other accused found out that the team was waiting for them and canceled their plans to come to Ahmedabad at the last minute.A senior Crime branch officer says ill-health and sentimentality brought Abdul back, who had been living in Saudi Arabia for two decades. “He has grown old and suffers from several illnesses, and wanted to spend the rest of his life with his family in Ahmedabad, even at the risk of being caught” said the officer. He had informed his brother Adam, who was supposed to receive him at the airport.On September 24, 2002, two terrorists entered Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar with automatic weapons and hand grenades and fired indiscriminately, killing 34 people including devotees and police personals, while injuring 84 others. National Security Guard commandos ended the 14-hour seige by killing both terrorists.Of the 34 people named in the attack, Abdul is the ninth accused to be arrested. In 2003, an FIR was lodged against Ajmeri and others at the Sector 21 police station in Gandhinagar under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy, waging war against the government, sedition, murder, attempt to murder among others. They were also booked under relevant sections of the POTA Act, the Explosive Substance Act and the Gujarat Police Act. In May 2014, the Supreme Court acquitted all six convicts convicted earlier, including three facing death sentence. (With agency inputs)

Prime conspirator in Akshardham temple terror attack case held in Ahmedabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The alleged prime conspirator in the 2002 terror attack on Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, Abdul Rashid Ajmeri, was arrested at the city airport after he arrived from Riyadh, a senior official said.The arrest was made late last night.”Ajmeri is one of the prime conspirators behind the Akshardham temple terror attack. He was arrested from the airport after he landed here late last night. We had inputs that he is travelling to Ahmedabad from Riyadh to meet his brother,” the DCP of Ahmadabad Crime Branch, Deepan Bhadran, said.It was alleged that he had planned the terror attack and helped Lashkar-e-Taiba in carrying it out.Ajmeri, an Ahmedabad resident, “had absconded to Riyadh before the terror act was committed,” Bhadran said, adding that more names may come out during his interrogation.Two militants, allegedly with links to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, had attacked the temple in Gandhinagar on September 24, 2002, killing 32 and injuring over 80 people.The attackers were were killed by the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos.The Supreme Court had, in May 2014, acquitted all six convicts arrested earlier, including three facing death sentence, in the case.

Rahul Gandhi to visit north Gujarat from Nov 9-11

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is presently touring south Gujarat region, will visit north Gujarat between November 9 and 11, his party announced on Wednesday. State Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said that Rahul Gandhi will undertake a three-day visit to north Gujarat from November 9 to 11. He is expected to visit Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Patan and Aravalli districts. This will be Gandhi’s second visit to north Gujarat as he had also toured flood-hit Banaskantha in August.Even as the Congress’s electoral base has seen a steady decline in other parts of the state in the past decade-and-a-half, north Gujarat is one area where the party has managed to hold on to its support base. In fact, Congress had won 17 seats in north Gujarat in 2012 elections, more than BJP’s 15. However, it is equally true that the party faces an uphill challenge in these seats following a string of defections in August.

Narendra Modi’s Akshardham visit can work as pacifier for Patel fury

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Assembly polls and with the reservation agitation, the Patel fury is at its peak in Gujarat, and Hardik Patel’s anti-BJP inclination has been working against the ruling party. Amidst this, PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar on Thursday could work as a pacifier.To that end, the PM is going to participate in the silver jubilee celebration of the temple in Gandhinagar, which was, 25 years ago, inaugurated by Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sansthan(BAPS)’s former head priest Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Modi had been always close to the Maharaj and had also attended his cremation ceremony held in Sarangpur in 2016. When Modi had given a speech at the time, he had said, “I feel that I have lost my father.” Interestingly, out of the around 25 lakh followers of the sect, more than 80 per cent are from the Patel community and would thus help as soothing balm with the Patel community.The priest of BAPS, Akshar Vatsal Swami said, “Narendra Modi has been very close to Pramukh Swami Maharaj and BAPS. We do not see this occasion as a political event and when he is coming here, it is not because of his political position, but because he has been very close to BAPS and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. This is purely a religious event and should not be seen from a political perspective.”Even the BJP has clarified that it does not see this event as one with political motivation. Party spokesperson Bharat Pandya said, “This should not be seen as a political move as Modi and BAPS, especially Pramukh Swami Maharaj, shared an emotional and religious relation. When he took an oath as PM and assumed charge, he had signed with the pen that was gifted by Maharaj. The PM always considered Maharaj as a father figure and their relations are of different dimension. Even the PM would not make any political statement from the platform of this occasion.”

Civil hospital gets clean chit, but three more die

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three more newborn babies died at Asarwa Civil Hospital on Monday, even as a three-member committee set up by the state government to probe into the deaths of nine newborn babies in a day on Friday, gave a clean chit to the hospital. With Monday’s figure, the total number of deaths in the hospital’s neonatal care unit rose to 15 since Friday.The committee, in its preliminary report, has stated that the deaths were not a result of negligence or lack of facilities at the hospital, but was due to low birth weight, critical illnesses and complications arising out of premature birth.The report also stated that the neonatal mortality rate at the Civil Hospital was lower than the national standards. However, it does not mention the rate for either of them.Earlier, at a press conference held in Gandhinagar, health commissioner Jayanti Ravi added that the babies were born to anaemic mothers.When asked whether that wasn’t the failure of the state government’s programme that targets anemic mothers to help improve their condition, Ravi did not respond.The committee, in its report, has said that of the nine newborns that died, five had come from other centres. Of the five, three were from district-level civil hospitals.The authorities struggled to explain why district civil hospitals, that also had medical colleges attached to them, lacked adequate facilities for the care of premature babies.One of the newborns from Mansa was first taken to the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital and then referred to Asarwa.PROBE REPORTThe probe report said even the parents of the babies expressed satisfaction with the hospital’s facilities.
It said of the nine infants that died, five had come from other hospitals, including district civil hospitals.

3 more babies die in Guj hospital, toll 12

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after it reported nine deaths of newborns in 24 hours, the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital on Sunday saw three more deaths in its neonatal care unit.The state government, following the preliminary inquiry, gave a clean chit to the hospital. It stated that against the average deaths of four infants in a day, nine are “only slightly higher than the average.”The three-member committee headed by Dr RL Dixit, deputy director, medical education, which looked into the incident, said the babies were premature and suffered from a host of complications including poorly developed lungs.“This hospital gets the highest number of referral cases from other places and many of the babies who come to the neonatal unit are extremely underweight and ill. However, we will see if there has been any negligence on the part of the hospital,” Dr Dixit said while talking to reporters outside the neonatal unit.The other two members of the committee are Dr Himanshu Joshi, Pediatric HOD of Gandhinagar Medical College, and Dr Nilesh Shah, professor of gynaecology and dean of Vadnagar Medical College.Earlier, addressing a press conference, state health commissioner Jayanti Ravi clarified that none of the infants died because of medical negligence or system failure. “Of the nine babies, only three deaths happened on Saturday. On average, the Civil Hospital records three to five infant deaths a day,” said Ravi.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani visited the hospital on Sunday, but refused to comment, saying it was premature to do so. “We have formed a probe committee, so it will not be right to comment before it submits the report. However, we have directed that all the nine deaths be investigated, so that we know if any of them was a result of negligence by the hospital,” said Rupani.Meanwhile, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party members shouted slogans outside the hospital. Congress workers also created ruckus inside the medical superintendent’s office and broke some photo-frames.

PM Modi to visit poll-bound Gujarat on Sunday to launch a string of projects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit poll-bound Gujarat on October 22 for the third time this month, where he will inaugurate and lay foundation stones for a number of projects in Bhavnagar and Vadodara districts.Modi will inaugurate the first phase of the Rs 615 crore roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar district and Dahej in Bharuch in the Gulf of Cambay. The prime minister had called ferry service his “dream project” while addressing a gathering at Gandhinagar on Monday. He will address a gathering in Ghogha and undertake a journey to Dahej from Ghogha on the ferry. From Dahej, he will leave for Vadodara, where he is scheduled to inaugurate and lay the foundation stones for projects worth over Rs 1,140 crore.Ajay Bhadoo, Chief Executive Officer of Gujarat Maritime Board, which is executing the ro-ro project, said the first phase of the service to be inaugurated by Modi on Sunday is meant for passengers.In the second phase, which would be ready in two months, cars can also be carried between the two towns. “It is a complex project which involves complicated marine structure of the Gulf of Cambay, on which it is built.The service reduces the distance between the two towns from 310 kilometres by road to 30 kilometres which can be covered in 1 hour,” Bhadoo said. Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project in January 2012, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.In Vadodara, Modi will eight different projects worth Rs 1,140 crore. Vadodara Municipal Commissioner Vinod Rao said Modi will dedicate to people a Rs 100 crore city command and control centre in Badamadi Garden, Rs 125-crore Janmahal city transport hub and multi-level parking (under PPP), a Rs 160 crore multi-modal city transport hub, Rs 267 crore waste-to- energy processing plant. The other projects are a Rs 166 crore water treatment plant, two flyovers collectively worth Rs 265 crore, a Rs 55 crore deer safari park, and a Rs 6 crore veterinary hospital. He will also address people at Navlakhi compound in Vadodara.Modi had last visited Vadodara, a constituency from where he contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election and won by a record margin, on October 22 last year to inaugurate a new airport terminal building and distribute assistance devices to the divyangjan (specially-abled) people. The prime minister had visited Gujarat on Monday this week, when he addressed the BJP workers at a rally in Gandhinagar.Prior to that, Modi had visited his home town Vadnagar on October 8 and also inaugurated and laid foundation stones of various projects in Rajkot, Vadnagar, Gandhinagar, and Bharuch. He has been frequently visiting the state, which goes to polls in December this year.

Ahmedabad City to celebrate New Year, long weekend

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The joy of Diwali and New Year is here. Embracing the spirit of the two festivals, members of the business community of the city has set aside economic woes and GST troubles on Thursday. Sweet shops saw people making the last-minute purchase even as fire-cracker sellers did brisk business. Although, across the city retailers complained that overall the business has been down. Diwali and New Year, which falls in the middle of the week, also combined with the weekend has given Amdavadis a long spell of holidays.The fire department and doctors are also bracing for a surge in emergencies. The Ahmedabad Medical Association and the 108 Emergency Services have made special arrangements to deal with the rise in emergencies. A central helpline number has also been created to quickly reach out to the emergency team. It should be noted that Ahmedabad is expected to see a surge of 21% in emergencies during the holiday season.Meanwhile, the police department has put a ban on the sale of Chinese lanterns. The lanterns had been a major cause of fire during the past many years until their ban leads to a drop in a number of such incidents. This year, the fire-related emergencies on account of Chinese lantern will be low.Meanwhile, some in the city are heading to their villages to celebrate Diwali the traditional way. “I go to my village every year for Diwali. We have garba and community lunch and dinner over all four days. People donate to the cause and it is fun to celebrate it with the entire village,” said Vijay Patel a professional, who is heading to his village in Gandhinagar.

Rs 7 lakh burglary at deputy Mamlatdar’s house

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A complaint of burglary was lodged with the Gandhinagar police station by Deputy Mamlatdar of Gandhinagar Collector office on Thursday. Valuables worth Rs7 lakh were burgled from his house, while his family was at the hospital.The incident took place on Wednesday night in a house located in Sector-29 of Gandhinagar. The complaint was lodged by P.S Sihora, Deputy Mamlatdar of Gandhinagar Collector office.As per his complaint, his son was suffering from Dengue and his family members were in Ahmedabad hospital for his treatment.During which an unidentified person broke into his house and took away valuables worth Rs7lakh from his house comprise of cash, gold-silver ornaments. Regarding the incident, police have taken the complaint and further investigation is on

Bow to people of Gujarat for blessing BJP for decades: PM Modi tweets before visit to poll-bound state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi is is visiting his home state Gujarat on Monday where he would address a gathering of BJP workers at a village near Gandhinagar, state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani said today.The prime minister will address the ‘Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan’ being organised by the state BJP to celebrate the conclusion of the saffron party’s ‘Gujarat Gaurav Yatra’ (march for Gujarat’s honour) today.”I bow to the people of Gujarat for blessing BJP for decades. We will always fulfil the dreams of every Gujarati with full strength & vigour,” Modi tweeted.Modi, who has been frequently visiting the poll-bound state, said in another tweet the two ‘Gujarat Gaurav Yatras’ “showcased the spirit of Jan Shakti & reflected Gujarat’s strong faith in politics of development & good governance”. Senior leaders of the party joined the 15-day march, which was launched on October 1. The march covered a distance of around 4,471 kilometres, spread over 149 of the 182 Assembly constituencies in the state, Vaghani said.”Tomorrow, the prime minister will give his guidance to around seven lakh BJP workers at the Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan to be held in Bhat village,” he said. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, BJP national president Amit Shah and many other leaders of the party would be present, he added. Last week, Modi had visited Gujarat to inaugurate and lay foundation stones of various projects in Rajkot, Vadnagar, Gandhinagar and Bharuch. He had also held a roadshow in his hometown Vadnagar on October 8. Assembly elections are due in Gujarat later this year.

2009 FSL test showed Talwars were innocent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the evidence collected against the Talwar couple was inconclusive, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted the duo in the double murder case of their 14-year-old daughter, Aarushi Talwar and domestic help Hemraj which happened in May 2008.In 2013 Nupur and Rajesh Talwar were sentenced to life imprisonment in Ghaziabad’s Dasna Jail for the double murders. In the year 2009, the Gandhinagar FSL team was taken by the Delhi police regarding the case. During investigation, a team was formed by the FSL department of Gandhinagar, headed by SL Vaya, a leading FSL scientific officer, now retired. During investigation, the team had done Polygraph, Narco and Fingerprint tests of the couple. The reports were negative and the agency even claimed in the report that the parents were not lying.SL Vaya, the retired FSL officer, said, “The parents could have been saved if the reports were considered by the court. The report clearly showed that the parents were not lying during the polygraph, Narco and Fingerprint tests as reports were negative.”The report was submitted to the Delhi police, as per their request of the officers. However, nothing was considered in the court. Amita Shuka, Assistant Director of Psychology department, said, “At that time, one of the Scientific officers investigating the case and in 2009 they had sent reports claiming that the innocence of the parents in the case which was not considered by the court. If they would have considered it the parents would have been saved.”Apart from that we used to make reports and never used to go for the follow of it and never used to ask them what they have done.

IITGn alumnus helps map city’s Metro project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 26-year-old graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IIGn) is helping Ahmedabad Metro Rail project with underground infrastructure mapping through her expertise that does not damage pre-existing structures. Silky Agrawal who studied MTech in Civil Engineering from IITGn graduated in 2015 and launched her start-up GeoCarte Radar Technology Private Limited and incubated at IITGn.GeoCarte is a consulting organisation that provides non-destructive geophysical exploration with the objective of providing the innovative approach for subsurface investigation using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). GPR is one of the best modern tools capable of imaging subsurface invasively.Since 2015, Silky has worked on number of prestigious projects using IITGn’s network that includes working for Shree Somnath Trust, railway station in Gandhinagar and CST in Mumbai along with Ahmedabad Metro Rail project.Speaking about her work, she said, “We specialise in mapping manholes beneath the surface, locate excavation for archaeological sites, leak detection in underground pipelines and understand the drainage system of a city.”Silky added, “Ahmedabad is a Smart City now. It is undergoing massive development. It is extremely essential to prevent underground infrastructure and the pre-existing structures.”Talking about the work, she said, “We map the underground surface by not digging. We have completed first part for metro here and soon will be working on Pune metro.”She worked for proposed Shahpur metro station and located additional unknown utilities like sewage lines, electrical cables, underground storage tanks, and detected manholes.”Speaking about challenges, she said, “The most challenging issue on my entrepreneurial journey has been late night working on the site. It often gets difficult for girls to be on the site.”ACHIEVEMENTSSince 2015, Silky has worked on number of prestigious projects using IITGn’s network that includes working for Shree Somnath Trust, railway station in Gandhinagar and CST in Mumbai along with Ahmedabad Metro Rail project. She worked for proposed Shahpur metro station.

Modi in Gujarat: Here’s the PM’s schedule on his two-day visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in Dwarka, Gujarat, to offer prayers and attend a special prayer at the Dwarikadheesh Temple.Modi is on a two-day visit to the state.At Dwarka, he will lay the foundation stone for a four-lane cable-stayed signature bridge between Okha and Bet Dwarka to be built at a cost of Rs. 962 crore.Other projects for which foundation stone will be laid include four-laning of 116.24 kilometers of Porbandar-Dwarka section of NH-51 and four-laning of 93.56 km of Gadu-Porbandar section of NH-51.The Prime Minister will also address a public meeting in Dwarka.From Dwarka, the Prime Minister will go to Hirasar in Rajkot district where he will lay the foundation stone for a Greenfield airport.Prime Minster Modi will also lay the foundation stone in Chotila for six-laning of 201-kilometer Ahmedabad-Rajkot section of NH-47 at a cost of Rs. 2,893 crore.He will also dedicate a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant and a drinking water distribution pipeline for Joravarnagar and Ratanpur area of Surendranagar. The Prime Minister will address a public meeting there as well.The Prime Minister will then proceed to Gandhinagar, where, he will dedicate the newly-constructed building of IIT Gandhinagar to the nation and launch the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA). The Abhiyan is aimed at imparting digital literacy to citizens in rural areas, and provide access to information, knowledge, education and healthcare.On Sunday, Prime Minister Modi will visit his birthplace Vadnagar in Mehsana district. He will inaugurate a medical college and a hospital having a total bed capacity of 650.Prime Minister will also launch the Intensified Mission Indradhanush to accelerate progress towards the goal of full immunization coverage. The mission will provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunization coverage.The Prime Minister will also distribute e-tablets to health workers to mark the launch of ImTeCHO (Innovative mobile-phone Technology for Community Health Operations).ImTeCHO is aimed at improving the performance of community health workers ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) through better supervision, support and motivation for increasing coverage of proven maternal, newborn and child health interventions among resource-poor settings in India.The same afternoon, the prime minister will reach Bharuch and lay the foundation stone for Bhadbhut Barrage, to be built over the Narmada River.He will also flag off the Antyodaya Express between Udhna (Surat, Gujarat), and Jaynagar (Bihar). Mr Modi will also unveil plaques to mark the laying of foundation stone, and the inauguration of various plants of Gujarat Narmada Fertilizer Corporation. He will also address a public meeting there before returning to Delhi.

Gujarat: Third Dalit attacked over ‘moustache row’, activists to march to Gandhinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 17-year-old relative of one of the Dalit men thrashed last week for sporting a moustache was allegedly attacked by two unidentified men on Tuesday.This is the third incident of Dalits being attacked in the Limbodara village in a week. Digant Maheria, a witness in another case in which a Dalit youth Piyush Parmar was attacked by members of the dominant caste, was stabbed while returning from school on Tuesday.Two bike-borne men intercepted the teenager and slashed his back with a blade, alleged Digant​ Maheria’s kin.According to Digant’s uncle Kirit Maheria, his nephew was attacked because Piyush had earlier lodged an FIR against the upper caste men.”The men who attacked Digant wore masks and told him that they had been given Rs. 1.5 lakh to attack those who had lodged the FIR,” Kirit Maheria told NDTV.He also said Digant had deep wounds, but was out of danger.”Investigations are on and it is too early to comment on the case,” said VN Solanki, DySP, Kalol Taluka.Meanwhile, Dalit activists in the state plan to march to Gandhinagar to protest the rising incidents of attack on Dalits in the state.On September 25, some members of Rajput community allegedly thrashed Piyush Parmar (24). On September 29, Krunal Maheria (30) of the same village had alleged in his complaint that he was assaulted by some Rajput men for ‘sporting a moustache’.(With agency inputs)

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

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

Anandiben, Amit Shah hold closed door meeting, talk polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s national chief Amit Shah and Gujarat’s former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel had a closed door meeting on Sunday night at the latter’s residence in Gandhinagar. The two-hour meet left many indications on Gujarat politics.Sources from the party said that Shah had gone to placate Patel ahead of the Assembly polls while Patel handed over the list of 43 people whom she wished to see as candidates in the upcoming Gujarat polls.This meeting between these two is believed to have concluded with promises. When both of them were the ministers in Narendra Modi’s cabinet in Gujarat government, they maintained a distance in their relations. Patel resigned as CM citing age as the reason, last year. However, Shah’s statement on fielding candidates above 75 years of age has come as positive sign for Anandiben and it is possible that she can contest polls from her conventional seat Ghatlodia, said the source.A senior leader in BJP said, “It was the closed door meeting and no any other person was present there so it is not easy to make any prediction. But it seems that both leaders have decided to work together again. I know that Anandiben Patel demanded that tickets should be given to some of her confidantes and Shah has agreed. However, it is very difficult to assert on any particular thing about the meeting.”Shah-Jaitley pushes Gujarat BJP for aggressive social media campaignAmit Shah and poll incharge of Gujarat and Union minister Arun Jaitley held a couple of meetings with leaders of the state unit at party headquarter Shri Kamalam. Both leaders insisted that Gujarat BJP should make its social media campaign more aggrassive that appeals to youth with great efficiency.ELECTION PLANSThis meeting between these two is believed to have concluded with promises.

J&K: CBI books retired magistrate and BSF commandant in arms license case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A commandant of the BSF has been booked by the CBI for allegedly aiding the force personnel get private arms licences from sensitive Rajouri and Shopian districts in Jammu and Kashmir by using fake documents.The agency has registered an FIR against the then commandant of the 131 battalion Sukhwinder Singh, owner of Nav Durga Gun House in Jammu, P K Sharma, and a retired district magistrate of Rajouri, Faquir Chand Bhagat, for conspiracy, cheating, violation of the Arms Act and corruption.The FIR has been registered after a three-year-long preliminary enquiry initiated on the 2014 complaint of the then Additional Director General (operations) K K Sharma, now the chief of the BSF.It is alleged that Singh abused his official position and arranged the meeting of Sharma, an ex-BSF constable, with jawans of the BSF and persuaded them to get private licences in lieu of Rs.12,000 each from nine jawans in 2013.None of these license applicants posted at the Frontier Head Quarter, Gandhinagar, in Gujarat belonged to Rajouri and Shopian from where the licences were issued, the FIR alleged.These licences were allegedly issued on the basis of false and forged documents knowingly using them as genuine, the FIR alleged.”In furtherance of the conspiracy, Faquir Chand Bhagat, the then District Magistrate, Rajouri by misusing his official position issued all the questioned arms licences in violation of existing rules and procedure and without due verification prior to issuance of arms license on the basis of false and forged documents,” it alleged.

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