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Jailbirds lust story ends with no love lost

The city police arrested a history-sheeter on Sunday for raping a woman on the pretext of marrying her and fraudulently transferred the woman’s property in his name. Interestingly, the woman was lodged in Central jail in Jaipur for murder of her husband when she came in contact with the history-sheeter and the duo married after getting out on parole. Notably, the man had recently fled from court when he was sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case by District and Sessions Court at Chirawa in Jhunjhunu. The man had been hiding in Jaipur when he was arrested.In November, a case was registered at Kanota police station of the city by the victim woman, Radha (name changed), against the accused Sher Singh alias Sheriya alias Suraj alias Rajesh. Singh is a history-sheeter of Pilani police station of Jhunjhunu and has been involved in cases of murder, attempt to murder, illegal weapons and other crimes.“The woman said in her report that the man maried her and established physical relationship but also got her property transferred in his name fraudulently which he sold off and conducted fraud,” said Kunwar Rashtradeep, DCP East.The police conducted investigation and arrested the accused.“The woman was behind bars for murder of her husband, a native of Agrasen Nagar in Kishangarh. She was in Jaipur Central jail when she came in contact of Sher Singh. They grew close and in 2012 they got out on parole and married and the duo lived in a house in Vrindavan Vihar in Kanota. Physical relatationship developed between them however in meantime Sher Singh took the woman in confidence and got her properties registered in his name,” officials said.However once he got the woman’s properties, he sold off all of them and left the woman and married another one.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Over 5.5 lakh voters chose NOTA option

While Gujarat Assembly elections 2017 witnessed some of the most interesting trends not just in terms of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming back to power, though being nowhere close to its performance, and Congress improving its vote share, there is NOTA (None of the Above) too which has garnered voters attention. Over 5.5 lakh voters constituting 1.8% votes preferred NOTA, that allows voters not to choose for any of the candidates contesting in their constituency.According to numbers released by the Election Commission, NOTA ranked in 1.8 per cent or 5,51,294 of all votes polled in the Gujarat Assembly election. Interestingly, NOTA ranked higher than parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) that contested the Gujarat elections as well.Of the 29 seats of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), only three seats garnered votes more than NOTA whereas in the 26 seats, NOTA received more votes than AAP.In Mandvi, nearly 5,000 votes were given to NOTA whereas Gujarat Chief Minister’s constituency Rajkot West had 3,309 votes to NOTA. Rapar in Kutch had 4,614 votes to NOTA whereas in Ghatlodia, 4,173 votes were given to NOTA.

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Gujarat Election Results: Did NOTA cost Congress the state?

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) will end up forming the government for the sixth term, but in some constituencies the elections saw NOTA as a key player.NOTA or None of The Above is exercised by a voter when s/he does not wish to choose any of the candidates on the ballot.The vote share of NOTA stands at 1.8%, higher than that of parties such as the BSP and the NCP. In essence, if NOTA was a party, it would have been the third most polled beside Congress and BJP. In all, 5,40,566 NOTA votes were recorded in Gujarat, the Election Commission shared on its website. According to the constitutional body, 1.8% of the voters didn’t vote for any party. BJP so far has won 49% of the vote, while the Congress has won 41% of the vote.But the question arises: given how close this election has turned out to be, has the NOTA votes cost the Congress? Data suggests that the margin of victory for the BJP was less than 10% in 33 constituencies. Porbunder was one of the seats that witnessed this. The winning margin of the BJP’s Babubhai Bokhriya is 1,855, while NOTA received 3,433 votes. There are 15 seats where the difference between winner and loser is less than 1000 votes. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: No longer a cakewalk for BJP in 2019 LS poll, says TRS leaderThus it can well be said NOTA and the fact that Gujarat witnessed a sharp drop in voting, finally helped BJP bunk the anti-incumbency trend. Interestingly, the Supreme Court said that a re-election was out of the question if NOTA was ever a majority in a general, assembly or civic election. The landmark judgment that was passed last month debunked a petition and said that conducting polls was an expensive exercise.Also read5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th timeA bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra further observed that to entertain the plea, the court would have to declare that a candidate should compulsorily get 51 per cent of the votes to be declared winner.The top court termed the suggestion “unworkable” and said, “we cannot destroy our democracy just like that… holding an election in our country is a very serious and expensive business. Today we cannot say that unless a person gets 51 per cent of votes, he cannot be declared elected.”

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Cops use baton to curb agitators in Udaipur

Day after prohibitory orders were clamped in Udaipur and Rajsamand districts with threat of massive protests – particularly in Udaipur city – the orders did little to maintain law and order in the city. Massive protests occurred in the city resulting in clashes between cops and agitators. Stone pelting also occurred between the agitators and cops as the latter resorted to baton charging at the protestors several times. Interestingly, sources revealed that majority of the protesters were not from Udaipur but had landed in the city in the wake of the agitation.Since morning, people started gathering in the town hall ground and by afternoon the numbers had swelled substantially. People raising slogans for Shambhu Lal – the man who murdered Afrazul – reached the bus stand and then to Chetak circle.Since the administration had already imposed prohibitory orders, the police started dispersing the crowd. However, as the people tried to put a resistance, the cops retaliated and resorted to baton charge. The protestors even pelted stones at the cops. When the cops retaliated, the agitators ran away and tried to find a sanctuary in the houses but the alert cops found them and arrested them.However, the issue flared up after protesters entered the court premises. This resulted in a clash between cops and lawyers. The police took out a route march from Chetak circle to Court circle and the Inspector general and Superintendent of Police (SP) themselves took control.Meanwhile, the cops arrested at least 50 persons and additional forces were deployed to avoid any eventuality. Meanwhile, the ban on internet services was further extended for the next 24 hours. Four police officers were injured in the scuffle.Held in CityAfter the video of Updesh Rana, a native of UP, went viral wherein the man was seen giving support to murder accused Shambhu Lal while calling for a protest in Udaipur, the state police was on its toes in order to halt Rana’s advance towards Udaipur. Since his entry into Udaipur had been banned, the cops were on the lookout for the man and the Bagru police of Commissionerate detained and arrested the man. After his arrest, he was taken to police station wherein a magistrate ordered him to judicial custody. “The man has been put under judicial custody,” sources said.

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Fake arms licence: 1 held with BSF ID

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) nabbed another person in the fake gun license and weapons case on Wednesday and arrested a man from Mavli area of Udaipur. The arrested accused is a real estate dealer in Udaipur. Notably, the man has even appeared for civil services examinations also but failing which he entered the real estate sector. Identified as Jeevan Singh, the thirty-nine-year-old man is a native of Boyna village under Mavli tehsil of Udaipur district.“Singh had purchased the license with the help of Jugal and Usman. Interestingly, the fake license claims that the man is a Subedar in the Border Security Force (BSF)” said Vikas Kumar, SP – ATS.Furthermore, the man even purchased a .32 bore pistol from Usman’s shop in 2016. “However, at that time, the man did not have a license but still he purchased the same and after that, he bought the fake license from the gang for four lakh rupees,” the SP said.This is the third instance unearthed by the ATS sleuths wherein the license has been made impersonating as a BSF of army official. “In his interrogation, the man has said that since he is associated with the real estate sector, he felt there was a need since everyone else he knew was getting one arm for themselves. He is well known in the real estate community of Udaipur and runs a good business. Further action in the matter is being taken,” officials said.

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Is Kapil Sibal Congress party’s counsel? BJP questions lawyer’s plea to hear Ayodha case after July 2019

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Sunni Waqf board in Supreme Court on Tuesday urged that Ayodhya dispute matter should be heard only after July 2019. He said, that whenever this matter is heard, there are serious repercussions outside the court and to preserve the decorum of law and order, and that he personally requests court to take this matter up on July 15, 2019, once all the pleadings are complete. However the Supreme Court overruled his plea and fixed February 8, 2018 as next hearing date. However Sibal’s attempt to somehow delay the hearing post 2019 general elections attracted strong rebuke from BJP leaders on Twitter. Sambit Swaraj said, ” What has the Sunni Waqf Board to do with 2019 Elections? Kapil Sibal totally exposed ..represents the Congress’ views more than the Waqf Board’s view?Other Twitter users too slammed Kapil Sibal and he soon started trending on Twitter. Interestingly Congress leader Kapil Sibal was attacked by PM Modi for trying to ‘mislead’ people about Patidar quota. Modi said that whenever Congress had to mislead people, Kapil Sibal is roped in. Earlier, Sibal read out in the apex court the details of exhibits filed by the contesting defendants before the Allahabad High Court. He told the three-judge bench of the court that all the exhibits were not filed before this cour Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, representing the state of Uttar Pradesh rebutted the averments of Kapil Sibal. The ASG also told the Supreme Court that all the related documents and requisite translation copies were on record.Sibal raised the doubts over the assertions of ASG Mehta and told the Supreme Court that ‘he and other petitioners have not been served relevant documents of pleadings.’According to reports, the top court was hearing a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in four civil suits. The stakeholders in the case had moved the apex court after the Allahabad HC directed the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Lord Ram Lalla to settle for a three-way division of the disputed site.With ANI inputs
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Yogi Adityanath

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Gujarat elections 2017: Rotate leaders the way you rotate crops, says Hardik Patel

Calling the BJP and its party president Amit Shah a goon, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel urged people to change the leadership of Gujarat.”If they can give you suggestions to rotate your crop periodically why can’t you change leaders with your votes,” Patel questioned the youth and farmers who had gathered to hear him. The young Patel leader addressed a serie sof ‘chock pe charcha’ in several villages of Morbi district. Interestingly, Hardik was addressing people not 50 km away from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a crowd on his second visit to the state for election campaigning since elections were declared.”We were with the BJP of Keshubapa (a reference to Keshubhai Patel) and and Vallabh Kathiria but not with the BJP of goon like Amit Shah,” he said at Ghunda village of Tankara taluka in Morbi district At Bela village, he clarified that the people were fools to vote for the same leader for 25 years when he is unable to build good roads. He lauded Keshubapa for standing up against the BJP, a party that nomore cares for the Patels. “BJP don’t care for us as they think we have nowhere else to go,” said Hardik. He said a BJP loss was equal to a big victory for ‘us’. “If BJP wins it won’t be a defeat of Congress but humiliation of Patels,” said Hardik.In a veiled reference to Modi’s rallies he said it was time to elect leader whose hackles are raised when farmer don’t get good price for groundnut. “We should not elect leaders whose only job is to ferry labourers to public meetings of PM Narendra Modi,” said Hardik. In Rangapar village, Hardik said he would not tell them whom to vote for and then in the same breath said, “But don’t vote for the BJP.”At Nana Mava circle in Rajkot, he addressed another rally in the evening. People from Brahmin, Kshatriya and schedule caste also attended this rally and Hardik greeted them all. Addressing them all, Hardik said, “When Narendra Modi shows V sign for victory we did not realise that he was indicating that communities needed to be divided. That is why we could not get what we deserved.”
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Yogi Adityanath

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Note warning ISIS attack found inside toilet of Chhatrpati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, security tightened

A note was found inside a toilet at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport warning an ISIS attack on the cargo area on Republic Day next year.Soon after the discovery, as a precautionary measure, the security personnel evacuated those working inside the cargo division of the airport.The message that was scribbled inside the toilet room said that the dreaded terror group ISIS would blow up the area on Republic Day next year.The security agencies which have taken charge of the premises and are probing the matter. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) has also been summoned to scan for any explosive amongst the tons of cargo parcels lying there.The security agencies are not ruling out any possibility on the scribbled messages though they are also looking into the messages possibly being the handiwork of pranksters.The situation is reminiscent of a similar threat message found scribbled on airport toilet wall in January 2015 on two occasions, warning of an ISIS attack on Republic Day.The sources in the security agencies claim that since the arrival terminals are used by a host of people including fliers, airport staff and airline crew, it was difficult to spot the culprit.The Mumbai airport has a high level of security following multiple terror alerts. Interestingly, the multiple intelligence input reported that the attack could take place by a smaller air strip.Juhu airport which is at stone’s throw away from CSIA has smaller strip and therefore could possibly be used to launch an attack on CSIA.
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Yogi Adityanath

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DNA Edit: An end to triple Talaq?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite the Supreme Court coming down hard on the odious practice of triple talaq in the country, it seems that there hasn’t been much of a dent to the trend of men divorcing their wives by uttering ‘talaq’ three times. This social custom has some currency in certain pockets of the Muslim population in India, and is strongly present in sections that are strict adherents to the Hanafi Islamic school. It is no use blaming those who are following this oppressive norm. The real culprit, in this case, is a handful of fanatical maulvis who have been obstinately holding on to their myopic views and preaching it fervently to their flock. Sadly, the message they have been enunciating is of the Supreme Court (SC) interfering in their personal laws and robbing them of their way of life. Nothing can be farther from the truth. By banning triple talaq, the apex court has taken a momentous step forward in ensuring basic human dignity for Muslim women. Interestingly, this is not the first time the SC has stood up to secure the dignity of Muslim women in India. Way back in 1985, the court, via the Shah Bano judgement, set a new precedent not just on the duties of a Muslim husband to his wife, but also on the primacy of the uniform civil code over personal laws. In the Shah Bano case, an elderly Muslim man had appealed against an order of a lower court directing him to pay a paltry monthly maintenance of Rs 179.20 per month to his wife, Shah Bano. Taking the aegis of Muslim personal laws, the husband argued before the SC that he had fulfilled his duty as mandated under Islamic tenets by paying the wife maintenance for a period of three months.Naturally, the apex court saw red and held that Shah Bano was entitled to maintenance as long as she remained unmarried and was unable to maintain herself. What followed after the judgement can be counted as a major milestone in the long-winded journey of Congress’s hypocritical secularism. The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi did a flip-flop and passed a law with the rock-bottom ambition of pacifying the toxic strain of Islamic conservatism at the cost of basic human rights of divorced women. The Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986 overturned the Shah Bano judgment and Congress scored a political brownie point. Meanwhile, the condition of life of the Muslim women continued to worsen further. Unlike the earlier government, the present regime values all-round development on the twin promises of progress and prosperity over appeasing vote banks for electoral gains. After the triple talaq judgement, the Central government has stepped up to the task and a bill outlawing the custom is likely to be tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament. Once the bill is adopted, the next challenge for the government will be to ensure effective implementation of the law. At this stage, sociological trends must be scanned thoroughly to zero in on areas where this practice is most prevalent. Slowly and steadily, the law will work as a deterrent, effectively liberating Muslim women from the yoke of societal harassment.

Congress, NCP hope to jointly encash unrest against BJP in Maharashtra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finally, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have realised together they can stay afloat and take on mighty BJP in Maharashtra in the run-up to the next assembly election slated for 2019.Both the parties have also hinted that together they can pose a formidable challenge to BJP led government in the state especially when the rift between the BJP and Shiv Sena is widening. They do feel that with a combined fight they will be in a position to regain lost grounds. Both initiated exercise to remove trust deficit and revive friendship.After successive defeats in the local and civic body elections by BJP, the Congress and NCP have decided to together go to the voters, hit the roads and mobilize support against the disenchantment of the saffron party-led government in the state. Interestingly, Congress and NCP have hinted that they are not averse to help Shiv Sena or seek latter’s support against BJP.As a part of a joint exercise, Congress and NCP will organise morcha on December 12, the second day of the two-week monsoon session at Nagpur. Incidentally, December 12 is birthday of NCP chief and former Union Minister Sharad Pawar who has agreed to address the joint rally.Besides, Congress and NCP propose to jointly field a strong candidate in the election to the state legislative council slated for December 7. There are indications that they may rope in Shiv Sena to give a tough fight against BJP. The sole objective of the trio is to defeat former chief minister Narayan Rane if he is fielded by BJP in the council election. Rane has recently left Congress, floated his own outfit to support the NDA.State Congress president Ashok Chavan told DNA,”There is a growing resentment against the BJP led government in the state. As a responsible Opposition, Congress, NCP and other liked minded parties will flag off prevailing issues such as plight of farmers including rising farmers suicides, goof up in the implementation of ambitious farm loan waiver scheme, burgeoning malnutrition deaths, slow pace of investment flow, lack of job creation and deteriorating law and order.’’ He hoped that opposition will also bring to the notice of voters that the government was busy in making mere announcements but its performance at the ground level is quite miserable.Jayant Patil, group leader of NCP in the state assembly admitted that Congress and NCP are well placed to encash resentment against the government at the Centre and in Maharashtra.”The people on the ground have realised that the government has failed to fulfil its poll promises and they feel that they have been deceived by the present establishment. Both Congress and NCP have proposed to jointly take on the BJP led government in and outside the state legislature,’’ he noted.State Congress party spokesman Ratnakar Mahajan, however, cautioned that the electoral understanding between Congress and NCP will be considered in due course of time but at this juncture both will have to encash unrest among the public. “This unity of action will lead to more cohesion among the two,’’ he opined.

Time to pave national highways with pragmatism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last week, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) – beaming with confidence of India moving up in the global index of doing business – flexed its muscles by making it clear that there shall be proper rating of highways, toll plazas, construction companies and consultants. Interestingly, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had recently debarred companies like Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) from bidding for new projects for a year due to their “lackadaisical attitude” in meeting deadlines. These developments in the infrastructure sector with the regulatory framework being tightened are a bit too much and a bit too fast. India with its continental size needs effective highways – broad, without potholes and cattle besides smooth flow of traffic without bottlenecks. It also needs driver-friendly, safe, secure, durable and easy to maintain roads. It is not always possible to connect cities, towns and villages by rail or air and road connectivity is the answer. Expressways are the conduit between two habitations, and with motorised vehicles providing speed, safety and comfort, it is natural that the demand for good roads will grow with prosperity, business and trade.Movement of goods and people require speedy transport and proper roads. The government has not done enough on this front. Lack of resources, both financial and technical, has been a major reason to bring in private participation in infrastructure development.Private companies like L&T, HCC and others have contributed immensely to the growth story. In the process, the companies have generally done well by rewarding shareholders in the long run. Knowing the entire landscape – political, bureaucratic, legal and social – of doing business like the back of their hand, these companies have often been running the show. It is an open secret that most of the premium construction business has been shared between a few top-notch companies.Other players have not been able to compete due to their inability to handle big-ticket projects as well as lack of understanding of finer aspects of handling political and legal issues. This often results in matters reaching courts as stakes are usually high and parties do not hesitate toplay the legal gamble – it doesn’t cost much to fight the legal battle but if one wins, it is like hitting the jackpot.Though the recent actions by the MoRTH and the NHAI are salutary and aim at cleansing the system, there are serious doubts about the ability and willingness of these organisations in putting their own houses in order.Unfortunately, recently there have been several media reports about issues of conflict of interest, favouritism, dummy players bidding for lucrative contracts with knowledge and sometimes collusion of insiders, tailoring specifications to suit certain bidders and biased decision-making. Such disclosures and discussions in public do not infuse confidence.With 24X7 media, and the people armed with the RTI Act, there is hardly anything which can be kept away from public knowledge. There is rightfully no need to keep anything under wraps, however, any government or any statutory authority is not supposed to transact all the business it does at the crossroads. Most of the negotiation exercises, before anything is put down in black and white, are not open to public scrutiny. Re-negotiation of awarded contracts is also a ticklish matter and most of the issues can be dealt with satisfactorily if both parties remain realistic.The current stand taken by the MoRTH and NHAI, prima facie, is too idealistic and text-book style. Earlier too, there have been serious issues with all major construction companies walking away when the bar was raised too much. There has to be a proper blend of realism to make things work. Only then, the people will be able to have a better experience at better highways.

When media fell for a fake Mysore Pak story on National Press Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On November 16, the day the Press Council of India (PCI) started functioning as a moral watchdog whose object was preserving ‘freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of press’.And yet on National Press Day, several media organisations fell for a fake story about Mysore Pak, a tale so obviously bogus it wouldn’t pass muster in the average Indian uncle’s Whatsapp group.It all started in 2015 when Twitter thread aficionado Anand Ranganathan tweeted a document allegedly quoting Lord Macaulay in British Parliament telling his fellow legislators how the Mysore Pak was indeed Tamilian. The story goes, he claimed was that the famed sweetmeat’s recipe was stolen by a courtier of Mysore Palace who ran all the way to Mysore from Madras with it, dying upon reaching the destination, like a south Indian Pheidippides . Inspired by the Bengali-Odia showdown over the rasgulla, Ranganathan started a poll asking who invented the Mysore Pak – Kannadigas or Tamilians? While the tweets led the usual good-natured online jousting which has kept Twitter alive, a host of mainstream media organisations including The Times of India, India Today, Marathi newspaper LokSatta, Kannada News Channel Public TV news, Vijay Karnataka, Swatantra Varta and others, started reporting the story as fact! Interestingly, the template Ranganathan used to spread the fake story of Mysore Pak is based on another older anecdote about something Macaulay allegedly said in the British parliament in 1835, about breaking India’s ancient education system, which would be replaced by an English system which would help destroy the ‘self-esteem’ of the natives.The quote is historically inaccurate, more so since Macaulay was in India in 1835 and even his Minute on Education (which would be followed by an act to replace Sanskrit and Persian education with English) delivered in Calcutta has none of the quotes mentioned.Despite the outlandish claims made by Ranganathan’s Macaulay, several mainstream media fell for it hook, line and sinker.While from a consequence perspective, the news doesn’t have far-reaching ramifications and lies in the UNESCO declared ‘Indian national anthem best in the world’, it does raise the question – why are we so gullible?How can we ask our audience to trust us when we don’t exhibit even the minimal amount of fact-checking or logical thinking before putting up a story and calling it news? The age-old practice of checking something from two unconnected sources was lost a long time ago, and we all have month-end traffic targets, but that doesn’t mean we believe that the British parliamentarians were so jobless that they would discuss the origin of a sweetmeat in a faraway land! Former Press Council of India chairman, ex-Supreme Court judge and blogging enthusiast Markandey Katju had famously said that ‘90% of Indians’ are idiots and based on the way mainstream organisations fell for a bogus quote, it’s hard to argue that our fraternity doesn’t fall in that 90%.As Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, perhaps the most vilified man on social media and victim of a thousand fake news stories, put it all those years ago: “If there is no responsibility and no obligation attached to it, freedom gradually whithers away. This is true of a nation’s freedom and it applies as much to the Press as to any other group, organisation or individual.”

Rajasthan: NIA busts fake note exchange gang in Dholpur, three detained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) busted a gang and detained three men in Dholpur involved in cheating people on pretext of exchange of Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN). The NIA had been investigating a case and after developing a lead, the men were detained and later handed over to Dholpur police. Moreover the NIA officials even recovered two kilogram gold from the possession of the men.While investigating a case last year, the NIA had learnt that an inter-state gang was active for past several years in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal which used to lure people in exchanging high quality fake Indian currency notes or provide unbilled golf biscuits at throwaway rates. Interestingly the gold recovered by NIA is in shape of biscuits numbering twenty and weighing hundred grams each. The NIA has sent the biscuits for testing to verify the genuineness. While investigating the FICN related case, the NIA had recovered fake currency of face value Rs. 9.80 lakhs on 31st March last year from the possession of Nasir Sheikh near Indo-Bangladesh border. He was arrested on the spot, however his associate from Bangladesh namely Darul Sheikh escaped. A reliable input was received on Saturday that the same Bangladeshi absconder Darul Sheikh along with other associates were trying to strike a deal in fake currency at Dholpur. The NIA teams swung into action and detained three suspects. The accused have been identified as Rashid Khan alias Biza,Gagan Kumar Vyas alias Tiwari and Iqbal Ahmad Ansari. The accused have been handed over to Dholpur police.

In one year since DeMo, Rs 445-crore gold seized at airports

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Industrial Security Force, in charge of airport safety, has seized gold worth more than Rs 445 crore and silver worth over Rs 2.4 crore being transported illegally by passengers at various airports since demonetization. Apart from this, cash Rs 87.1765 crore was also recovered, CISF said on Thursday.A senior officer said that following demonetization and acting on an advisory from the Ministry of Finance, the CISF had issued directions to all its units at 59 airports to keep a close watch on movements of high volume of cash and gold in hand baggage. It was also directed to inform the Air Intelligence Unit of Income Tax Department of the respective airports for further action.Hemendra Singh, Assistant Inspector General and the Public Relations Officer, CISF, said that between November 8, 2016 and November 7, 2017, the CISF has recovered 1491.504 kg of gold, 577.637 kg of silver, and cash worth Rs 87.1765 crore.”During this period, the airports that witnessed highest gold recovery were Jaipur with 203.544 kg and Mumbai with 342.989 kg, while Delhi topped with 498.356 kg. Jaipur, however, saw the highest recovery of silver at 266.362 kg, followed by Ahmadabad with 103.704 kg and Delhi at 74.55 kg,” Singh said.Mumbai saw the most cash, Rs 33.29 crore, being recovered. Interestingly, Imphal witnessed recovery of the second highest amount of cash at Rs 16.60 crore, while Delhi saw only Rs 6.25 crore.The data showed that a major chunk of Rs 71.48 crore of cash was recovered within less than two months after demonetization was announced on November 8 last year. Only Rs 15.6871 crore was recovered in 2017 up to November 7.Also, no airport witnessed ‘no recovery’, even though Trivandrum, Madurai, Nagpur, Patna, Jodhpur and Bhavnagar saw minimal recoveries in that period.A senior officer said that the airports which lie in states sharing international boundaries or those with sea route connectivity witnessed a large number of recoveries.”Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Imphal, Jaipur saw major recoveries. These states either touch with international boundaries or have sea routes. There is a possibility of easy cross border movement from these location, which might have been one of the reasons of airports here seeing major portion of total recovery,” the officer said.RECOVERYCISF has recovered 1491.504 kg of gold, 577.637 kg of silver, cash worth Rs 87.1765 crore.
None of India’s 59 airports witnessed ‘no recovery’.

City to mark Heritage Week with special cultural events, exhibition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is all geared up to celebrate the World Heritage Week from November 19, the first after it was declared as the first World Heritage City of India by the UNESCO on July 8, while ensuring that it does not violates the model code of conduct.It has planned a series of lectures, music and dance events, play and panel discussions from November 19 to November 25.For most of the events, educational institutes and experts have been roped in. A heritage exhibition would be held at Sabarmati Riverfront on the concluding day. The list of events also include the Gujarati Film Festival and lectures on medieval architecture, Jain and Parsi Communities. Surprisingly, heritage week gave a miss to seminar or lecture on the Muslim community, which is a significant part of the city which was founded by Ahmed Shah.A mobile application on Heritage City Ahmedabad would be launched this week. Interestingly, the application is already available on the Playstore!

Malls and hotels mark growth post note ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hotels and restaurants across the city that wore a deserted look on this day, a year ago, as demonetisation had impacted the food and leisure industry, have bounced back to normalcy. Back then, the immediate impact of demonetisation had resulted in a dip of footfall across malls, multiplexes, and restaurants.Jayen Naik, Vice-President, Ahmedabad One mall, said, “Demonetisation had hit us during its initial days, till November 15 last year where we witnessed dip in footfall as well as sales. The main reason then was that people were busy depositing money. However, then onwards, we have been growing at a decent pace. During Diwali, we witnessed a growth of 14%. On a daily basis, nearly 25,000 customers visit the mall which goes up till 50,000 on weekends.”Speaking in length about the hotel industry, hotelier Narendra Somani, Chairman, TGB Banquets and Hotels and President of Hotels and Restaurants Association, said, “I am happy with demonetisation as it has made systems easy. The industry was impacted till December last year but it has bounced back to normalcy and hotels are doing good now. In Diwali this year, where usually, business hotels witness just 5-10 % of occupancy, TGB had 60% room occupancy.For banquets, we get bookings 6-8 months in advance but due to demonetisation, we had hardly got any bookings in December last year for April this year. But the scene is different now. Caterers across the city are packed with their bookings and it says a lot.”For Iscon mall, it was not a major change. Nirav Vastik, manager, said, “Since we are into retail business, we have not had major impact. It was a temporary one. Our mall is undergoing redevelopment due to which only 50% of the mall is operational. Hence, we cannot blame just demonetisation for impact in footfall.”Interestingly, owner of Atithi restaurant Chirag Patel feels that demonetisation has impacted business a lot. He says, “Demonetisation, according to me, was a sudden decision. We did not have POS machine, which took 2-3 months to arrive. We suffered a lot in the initial three months as not many had debit or credit cards. Then GST came. Traditionally, we have been increasing our prices only once a year but since we had already lost our customers, we did not increase prices till Diwali.”

Nitish Kumar wants reservation in pvt jobs, calls for debate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday pitched for reservation in private sector and called for a debate on it at the national level for Parliament to take a decision on it.Nitish was defending Bihar government’s recent move of introducing quota in outsourced services while addressing mediapersons after his weekly Lok Samvad here. Interestingly, Nitish’s call for private sector reservation found support from ally-turned-foe Lalu Prasad Yadav, President of Rashtriya Janata Dal, which sits in Opposition with its 80 MLAs, after being dumped by Nitish in July.Citing provisions of Bihar Reservation Act 2003, Nitish said the state government was working in accordance to it. “When the government is hiring workforce through outsourcing, the payment is made through state treasury. Hence, it is but natural that they should adhere to Reservation Act,” the CM said.He added, “Those who understand the basic sentiment of reservation will never have any doubts regarding it. It is our personal opinion that quota should also be applicable on the jobs in private sector and there should be a debate on it.”Lalu too supported the statement saying he wanted to bring the marginalised sections in the mainstream, though he added, “Private sector means big companies. However, how many such companies are there in Bihar that reservation will be provided to the deprived sections?”It may be recalled that reservation had turned out to be a major issue ahead of 2015 Bihar assembly polls.Nitish also defended his decision to quit the Mahagathbandhan and join forces with the BJP in July, saying he had difficulties in running the previous regime. “It was difficult to contain liquor or sand mafias or maintain law and order in the state. Our decision to quit was taken for people of Bihar,” he said.

BJP very close to power in Bengal, join if you want real change: Mukul Roy urges TMC workers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a grand welcome by West Bengal state BJP on his first visit to Kolkata after being formally inducted into BJP, former TMC second-in-command Mukul Roy held a bunch of printouts as a forewarning to the ruling dispensation said he would have a lot to say at the public meeting on November 10.“There are so many political things which I need to say. BJP workers have called for a public meeting on November 10 in Kolkata. I will say those at the meeting because there will be many BJP workers there for whom there should be something new to say,” he said on Monday while interacting with mediapersons, without giving a hint about what the papers were about.The 63-year-old former TMC Rajya Sabha member who had been used to slogans of ‘Ma Maati Manush’ around him was greeted with ‘Jay Shree Ram’ at the airport and was brought to the state BJP office at Muralidhar Sen Lane in a hoodless car, flanked by state BJP leaders and workers on bikes and cars.On his arrival, among the first things that he said was that he would be working under state BJP president Dilip Ghosh. “Nationally my captain is Amit Shah and in Bengal my captain is Dilip Ghosh. I will work under him towards winning power in West Bengal. They have done a lot of positive work in Bengal and are very close to coming to power. I am sure the next step for BJP would be to come to power here,” he said. He also urged all from TMC to join BJP. “BJP is very close to reaching its target. We had struggled while working with TMC to bring about a change but the intended change had not been brought. If you want a real change, come to BJP,” he said.Asked by DNA if he had joined BJP under pressure from central investigating agencies, he said, “Does that mean whoever is summoned by CBI will join BJP?” Interestingly, Ghosh had, on Sunday, compared Roy with pickle and said, “Pickle adds taste rice and lentils. We have the rice and lentils ready. So pickle will make the meal better.”Trinamool national secretary general Partha Chatterjee said they were too busy to notice what Roy was up to. “We are busy with our developmental work and protest programmes against the Centre on issues like demonetization and GST. There is no time to waste on who is saying or doing what,” he said.

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.”

NOT PINK ENOUGH: Where are women judges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shortage of judges in courts has been a much debated issue. Former chief justice J S Khehar got emotional once during a programme over this matter. However, everyone seems to be silent over the lack of women judges. Even in the Supreme Court, there is only one woman judge R Bhanumati among 25 judges. In last few years, fewer women judges have been appointed in High Courts and the Supreme Court.There are only 10% women judges in 24 High Courts. Total sanctioned posts of High Court judges are 1092 against which 692 judges have been working out of which 70 judges are women. Interestingly, judges have different opinion on this matter. Eight High Courts don’t have a single woman judge. Rajasthan High Court has two women judges but in nine High Courts no woman judge has been appointed in the last one decade. Kerala, which is the most educated state in the country, got its first woman judge Anna Chandy in 1959 but here too the process of appointing women judges has slowed down and it has fallen behind Mumbai, Chennai, Punjab & Haryana High Courts. Bombay High Court is number one in the country with 12 women judges.Majority of women judges have come through judicial quota. In last three decades, Bombay, Delhi and Punjab and Haryana High Courts have been liberal in appointing women judges from the lawyers’ quota but Rajasthan is still waiting. In 70 years, only 4 women judges that too from judicial quota have been appointed judges in the high court. The first judge was Kanta Bhatnagar who was appointed in 1978. Jaipur and Jodhpur high court bar association have been demanding appointment of women judges from the lawyers’ quota.HC name judge’s posts working judges no of female judgesFull Bench MeetAfter a long time, Rajasthan high court’s full bench would sit in Jaipur on Saturday morning. The meeting would be presided over by chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog in which all judges from Jaipur and Jodhpur bench would be present. Judicial officers have been eagerly waiting for this meeting whose most important agenda is decision on promotion of CJM and ADJ cadre. In addition, transfer of judicial officers posted at one place for a long time, appointment of DJ and senior lawyers and reconstitution of committees would be decided. The full bench would also discuss reducing pendency of cases and fixing responsibility of judicial officers. In past, full bench meeting was fixed twice but cancelled at the last moment.

Congress alleges kisan bima scam in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Congress state unit President Arjun Modhvadia has alleged that the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) was implemented in Gujarat in such a way that only insurance companies collected whopping benefits from it. He also alleged that the ruling party was working hand in glove with these insurance firms.Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Modhvadia alleged that through this scheme the insurance firms have made profits up to Rs 16,000 crore, whereas farmers were paid only Rs 6,000 crore in crop insurance. In total, the companies collected premium of Rs 22,000 crore from farmers.Calling it a scam by the ruling party, he added that no rules and guidelines are followed by the state government while implementing the said crop scheme in 2016. According information given by him, the old crop scheme was continued last year instead of the PMFBY, and no notification or circular was issued by the state.“No survey was conducted when the crop was standing — it should be between August 15 and October 15 of 77, 844 account holder farmers; only in October, survey of 55, 844 was conducted on paper,” he said, adding: “Interestingly, in Dev Bhumai Dwarka district where they should deploy 106 surveyors, they deployed only 16, because of which instead of covering 1,416 farmers’ crop they could survey only 268. This itself tells how agriculture and farmer-friendly this government is.”The former state Congress President further said, “For harvest survey, KDM Enterprise was selected for Mehsana district and was paid Rs 14.56 crore against the estimated cost of Rs 8 crore. The whole exercise was concluded in eight days. The work contract was awarded on November 18, 2016, when the harvesting was over. Though survey was conducted only on paper, the full amount was paid.”He demanded an independent inquiry into the alleged scam and also asked for action against all those involved in it.

DD scores self-goal with Free Dish

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The commercialisation of Doordarshan (DD) Direct service, run by Prasar Bharati, which entails lending transponders of its high power satellite to private players, has come a cropper. Touted as a profitable venture that would attract revenues, the scheme has in fact cost the central and state exchequer a hefty amount of Rs 4,785.6 crore in just two years. It has also indirectly helped private channels to avoid taxes.The DD Direct (now also called DD Free Dish) was primarily started as a free platform in the year 2002 to deliver Doordarshan channels to viewers spread across vast hinterlands of India where the reach of terrestrial transmitters was limited.What began as a noble initiative was soon lost in sight as DD Direct began commercialisation of its services by auctioning the slots to private channels. The capacity of the platform was increased to 80 channels by adding more transponders. The commercialisation was projected by Doordarshan as a profitable venture, as the auction prices increased to about Rs 4.3 crore per channel by the beginning of year 2017 and later were fixed at Rs 8 crore after there was a hue and cry about cartelisation.However, an analysis of the real facts reveals that in reality Doordarshan had caused itself a great harm by promoting private channels which moved the entire viewership base to these channels, in effect causing loss of hundreds of crores to Doordarshan by virtue of fall in its ratings and consequently advertising revenues. These facts came to light only after the BARC started rural ratings in 2016-17.Documents available with the DNA suggest that while private channels after paying a paltry amount of Rs 4 to Rs 6 crore per annum to get hooked to the transponder garnered advertisement revenue to the tune of Rs 2,500 crores per annum, the advertisement revenue of DD nose-dived from Rs 1,301 crore in 2014-15 to a paltry Rs 475.7 crore in 2016-17. The model dictates that private channels do not have to share advertising revenue with the operating platform. But what is more intriguing is that after offering them the platform, viewership of DD has also shifted to these private channels, leaving the public broadcaster in out the lurch.To decipher the DD revenue model further, out of Rs 475.7 crore, government ads contributed Rs 318.06. Thus the actual revenue garnered comes to just Rs 157.59 crore, taking the loss in advertising revenue to a whopping Rs 826 crore. In 2015-16, Prasar Bharati also received grants worth Rs 2,734 crore from the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry, which was raised to Rs 3,108 crore in 2016-17. TV Audience Measurement BARC data also reveals that the top rated 15 channels on DD Free Dish platform had gross rating point (GRP) of 50 to 80 while DD Channels rated between 0 and 3.Audited figures also show equally quantifiable losses arising due to license fees for DTH and taxes. The free channels available on DD Free Dish platform have led to migration of customers from Licensed DTH platforms to DD Direct. As per data available and also quantified by TRAI, a total minimum of 30 million customers had become inactive on Pay DTH platforms as on December 2016 and moved to free DTH. While the Pay DTH platforms are subject to license fees at 10% (now reduced to 8%) and other taxes ranging between 20-40%, the private players hooked to DD Direct are spared from paying despite netting huge revenues. As per estimates, losses amounted to Rs 1,941.5 crores in 2015-16 and Rs 2,844.1 crores in 2016-17. Therefore, DD Direct has also indirectly helped private channels avoid taxes which they would have paid, if they were hooked to normal DTH platforms.Industry watchers say, while those deciding to commercialise DD Direct might had good motives, but they soon lost sight by auctioning the slots to private channels and keeping the platform Free-To-Air (FTA). “The commercialisation by auctions has garnered DD Direct meagre revenues (as compared to loss in advertising), but it has had the effect of pushing private TV channels upfront to tens of millions of viewers relegating the interest of Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan to the background and losses which are now running at Rs 3,000 crores per annum and viewership of DD reduced to near zero,” a DD official told DNA on the condition of anonymity.All DTH platforms in India operate under a DTH License as per the DTH Licensing Policy which was enacted in 2001 after the prohibition on the reception and distribution of television signal in Ku Band was withdrawn by the government. Being a government-owned platform, the DD Direct operates without any license, which was appropriate so far as it was carrying Doordarshan channels (a public service platform). Industry players say that after full commercialisation of DD-Direct, there is no justification for the platform to operate without any license. “When it no longer behaved as public service provider, the policy amounted to disturbing the level playing field hitting the revenues of those paying taxes and operating fairly,” said a private TV operator. Interestingly, DD Direct carries just 24 DD channels as against 56 private channels, who are essentially being funded by pubic money – enabling them to avoid license fees and the GST.Doordarshan holds an e-auction once every couple of months to award vacant channel slots on DD Free Dish to private broadcasters. At present, the platform carries 80 channels, including private entertainment channels like Star Utsav, Sony Pal, Zee Anmol, Rishtey and news channels like Aaj Tak, ABP News and News 24. Recently the I&B Ministry decided to review the channel slot auction process of state broadcaster Doordarshan’s free-to-air direct-to-home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish. The last e-auction took place in July, in which Doordarshan had earned Rs 85.10 crore and awarded 11 channel slots to private broadcasters.”Doordarshan had caused itself a great harm by promoting private channels which moved the entire viewership base to these channels, in effect causing loss of hundreds of crores to Doordarshan by virtue of fall in its ratings and consequently advertising revenues,” a source in DD said.

Gujarat High Court to pronounce verdict in 2002 Godhra train carnage case on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court will pronounce its judgment on the 2002 Godhra train carnage on Monday.In the horrific incident, 59 passengers were charred to death at the Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002.The trial of the sensitive case was conducted in-camera at the Sabarmati Jail by the special designated court.In 2011, the special court in its verdict had concluded that it is rarest of rare case had convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 others including main accused Maulana Umarji. Out of 31 convicts, 11 were awarded death penalty and rest 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment.The special court’s verdict was challenged by the state government and the convicts before the Gujarat High Court on April 06 2011.The state had appealed for the confirmation of the special court order, whereas convicts had pleaded for quashing of the convictions.The matter was listed before the division bench of justice AS Dave and justice GR Udhwani.Submission on the appeal began on March 5 2014 and was argued for over a year. On May 5, 2015, after submission of the all parties concerned concluded, the division bench reserved the order. It is this order that will be pronounced on October 9.Notably, on that fateful day, ‘karsevaks’ were returning in Sabarmati Express to Ahmedabad.The train was late and according to the prosecution’s case, as per pre-planned conspiracy, the chain was pulled just outside the railway station and mob armed with lethal weapon and carrying petrol attacked the train.They pelted stone and locked the doors of the S6 coach from outside. They poured petrol inside the coach and set it on fire.59 passengers in the coach died after suffering severe burn injuries and suffocation. According to police investigation, Aman Guest house owner Abdul Razak Kurkur had procured 60 litre patrol from a fuel pump on February 26. He had hatched the conspiracy of attacking the Sabarmati Express train at his guest house along with Bilal Hussain Kalota.The other accused according to the police investigation was Maulan Umarji. The probe said that on the morning of February 27, he had appealed people from minority community using the mosque loud speaker to gather and rush to railway station. Interestingly, the trial court has acquitted him. After acquittal he died due to old age.However, Kurkur and Kalota with 29 others were convicted for hatching conspiracy and for murder.The special court’s additional sessions judge PR Patel while accepting prosecution theory of pre-planned, had passed verdict running in 850 pages in 2011.The first part of judgment of conviction was announced on February 22 and quantum of punishment on February 25.

AMC removes evidence of bad roads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the Gujarat High Court is hearing the matter of bad roads in city, most of which was washed out following little rain, the BJP-run civic body has speedily resurfaced the bad and shoddily constructed roads in AhmedabadMukesh Gadhvi, deputy municipal commissioner of roads, said, “Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has resurfaced 94 per cent of the damaged roads out of total damaged roads.”The civic body was asked to give a detailed report of the poorly made and damaged roads before the high court. It had randomly selected 90 roads and out of that 32 roads samples were sent for laboratory testing. Interestingly, only 13 samples of the road test were produced before the court.Meanwhile, as the civic body conducted road resurfacing work, there is no chance of knowing the root cause of the badly-made roads, reports said.

Half of the Raje cabinet shies away from social media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi is quite active on social media. So is, chief minister Vasundhara Raje. They both understand the power of social media thus put great emphasis on its use. However, her cabinet colleagues seem to have a different view. Nothing else explains their reluctance in using social media platforms.While both, PM and the CM regularly tweet about government’s decisions, policies, schemes and other events, nearly half the state cabinet has not even bothered to open an account. There are 13 ministers who do not have a twitter account. Prominent among absentees on twitter are cabinet minister, Nand Lal Meena, Prabhu Lal Saini, Yunus Khan, Surendra Goyal, Dr Ram Pratap, Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Babulal Verma and Dr Jaswant Yadav. Ministers of state, Krishnendra Kaur ‘Deepa’, Pushpendra Singh, Sushil Katara, Surendra Pal Singh TT and Kamsa Meghwal too have not opened account on Twitter.There are others like Panchayati Raj minister, Rajendra Singh Rathore who has an account but till date he has tweeted only seven times. In fact, his last tweet was three years ago. UDH minister Sri Chand Kriplani too has an account but he mostly retweets. The only Gopalan minister in the country Ottaram Devasi and women and child development minister Anita Bhadel have accounts but remain idle. The ‘gopalan’ minister Devasi has not tweeted after March 4, 2015, while Bhadel’s last tweet was in April last year.Gulab Chand Kataria is the second most senior minister in the government after the CM. He has two accounts but after condolence message on former union minister Sanwar Lal Jat’s death, there is no tweet from his account. Sports minister, Gajendra Singh Khimsar replied to congratulatory messages on his birthday March 25, last year then went quiet; even though he carries a smart phone and i-pad. Social justice minister, Arun Chaturvedi has become active recently.The top tweeter in the state government is obviously chief minister Vasundhara Raje herself. She leads with 8,000 tweets. She also has the highest 1.88 million followers. She is followed by education minister, Vasudev Devnani with 14,200 tweets and Kiran Maheshwari 3,010 tweets. Devnani has 22,700 followers while Maheshwari has 15,700.With social media being considered a powerful medium and outcome of the future elections hinges on effective campaign on it, indifference and lackluster attitude of BJP ministers is quite worrisome from party’s point of view. Six ministers do not have even 1,000 followers. Interestingly, Minister Bansidhar Bajia has more tweets than followers.

Will Gadiya Lohars take govt benefits?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the government plans to have homes for all by 2022 with special focus on the homeless and marginalised, Gadiya Lohar — a nomadic tribe in Rajasthan — still revels in being homeless. Besides Rajasthan, they can easily be spotted in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana with their characteristic carts which they use as shelters.The members of this tribe claim that their ancestors made weapons for the army of Rajput king Maharana Pratap. Legend says that when Maharana Pratap lost to Akbar, Gadiya Lohars vowed that they would neither live in pucca houses nor go back to their homeland.Times have changed, but the Gadiya Lohars continue to honour the vow taken by their ancestors around 300 years ago. But this has made them lag behind. They cannot manage to get identity or voter cards made, which keeps them out of the purview of all government and development schemes.”We travel and so our children cannot go to school. We have no homes, so cannot get any identification,” said Bhanwar Lohar, who is currently halting in Bhilwara.There have been several attempts to convince them to let go of the vow. Interestingly, the RSS has made nomadic tribes, commonly called Ghumantu Jatiyan, a priority. Efforts to convince them to move with times are also being initiated. BJP governments have been told to look into their interests.RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat last month had asked chief minister Vasundhara Raje to look into the well-being of the nomadic tribes. This finally gives hope that the Gadiya Lohars will get an opportunity to share the benefits of the government schemes.

No Marathi signboards for MNS’ pals?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists have gone on the rampage vandalising establishments that do not have nameplates and signboards in Marathi, the signboard of a salon situated just four buildings away from MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s residence, Krishna Kunj, in Shivaji Park may be a glaring example of the party’s double standards.The salon spa, named ‘Tangerine by Medha Manjrekar’, carries an English nameplate and does not have one in Marathi.While one may be tempted to ask how the MNS missed this one, the answer could lie in the fact that the salon is owned by Medha Manjrekar, wife of filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar who contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as an MNS candidate from the North-West constituency in Mumbai.When DNA brought it to her attention, Medha said, “I will immediately put up a Marathi nameplate as well. I did not realise it earlier. Now that it’s been brought to our notice, we will change it as soon as possible, probably by Sunday.”Reacting to DNA’s queries, MNS said the norm that shops and stores should have Marathi nameplates applies to all, and without discrimination.Sandeep Deshpande, senior MNS leader, said, “There is no exception.” “Everyone should follow this rule. We will be asking Medha to put up a nameplate in Marathi as well,” Deshpande said.As per data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s G-North ward office, every month, at least 60 cases are reported about signboards and display boards of establishments. Of this, over 20 pertain to absence of Marathi nameplates.Ramakant Biradar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, said, “Stores that do not have Marathi nameplates are fined Rs 5,000. Every three months, we conduct a drive in which around 100-150 defaulters are fined.”Interestingly, it’s not always the absence of Marathi that provokes MNS. In the last week of July, MNS workers vandalised a jewellery store in Prabhadevi and a hotel in Mahim, apparently annoyed by the sight of Gujarati, alongside Marathi and English, on their nameplates.When DNA reached out to the store and hotel owners, either of them refused to comment on the vandalism. In a guarded response, the Dadar-based jewellery store manger said, “They (MNS activists) had requested us to remove the Gujarati nameplate and we agreed.”Evidently upset with “police inaction”, the hotel owner said, “It’s a closed matter now; we don’t want further discussion on it. The police had watched the whole incident. They asked us to lodge a complaint, but did not take any action.”

Bofors scandal returns to haunt Hinduja brothers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ghost of the Bofors scam has returned to haunt London-based Hinduja brothers, as the Supreme Court posted the matter for final hearing in the week commencing from October 30. In 2005, BJP leader and advocate Ajay K Agarwal had challenged a Delhi High Court order that cleared Srichand, Gopichand, and Prakashchand Hinduja along with the company Bofors of all charges of corruption. Interestingly, the Sunday Times Rich List 2017 named Srichand and Gopichand as Britain’s wealthiest men with an estimated wealth of 16.2 billion pounds.On Friday, Agarwal filed a petition seeking an early hearing claiming that the matter has been delayed long enough. The decision taken by the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra takes on added significance with recent media reports suggesting a Rs 64-crore kickback for the 1986 howitzer deal to the tune of Rs 1,473 crore.During the recently concluded monsoon session, ruling BJP MPs had demanded a re-opening of the investigation into the multi-crore Bofors scam. The demand came after media reports had quoted Swedish chief investigator Sten Lindstrom who suggested that then top Indian politicians were allegedly bribed.In a July 28 letter, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had claimed that the kickbacks were continuously paid till as late as 2006 when Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi’s bank account in London was de-freezed.In clearing Bofors, the HC had also come down on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for its poor handling of the case, which cost the government Rs 250 crore.

Shankersinh Vagela keeps suspense about future political course

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Former Congress heavyweight Shankersinh Vagela is keeping political parties in poll-bound Gujarat guessing about his future political course, days after he resigned as the Congress MLA in presence of senior BJP leaders.Maintaining suspense over his future political move, the veteran politician on Sunday ruled out floating any outfit or forming third front. Vaghela had already clarified that he was not going back to the BJP which he had quit in 1990s. Interestingly, none of the 13 former Congress MLAs, believed to be the loyalists of Vaghela, was present at the meeting of his supporters held at his residence in Gandhinagar today. At the meeting, Vaghela’s supporters passed a resolution urging him to “become active in order to ease the pains of people of Gujarat who are facing many problems at present”.The resolution, which was shared with the media, was passed by around 250 supporters of the Kshatriya strongman at the meeting. As per the resolution, the issues like price-rise, high electricity charges, unemployment, and costly education have affected the common man in Gujarat the most. Vaghela’s supporters claimed that various sections of the society, including businessmen, farmers, students and women, are having a feeling that they were left to fend for themselves and there is no one to hold their hand.Through the resolution, supporters urged Vaghela (77) to “become active” in order to put an end to such problems. After the meeting, Vaghela insisted that the gathering was not political. He said the meeting was not aimed at exploring the possibility of floating a party or a third front ahead of the Assembly polls, expected to be held later this year. “This was a gathering to discuss various issues concerning people and how we can help them. There was no talk about floating a party or forming a third front. As people’s sufferings are mounting, my supporters wanted me to go between them and ease their pain,” Vaghela told reporters. When asked how he is planning to take up these issues, Vaghela said, “I will keep you informed about what and how I will do that”.While addressing his supporters, Vaghela asked them to take care of each of the 182 constituencies in Gujarat. “I just gave an example that you (supporters) are more than 182. Thus, I urge you to take care of each of the 182 seats, so that people start putting trust in you. Instead of working for any party, my message was that we all must remain by the side of truth,” he said. Vaghela had voted against Congress stalwart Ahmed Patel in the recently-held Rajya Sabha elections in the state.However, Patel went on to win the keenly-fought battle after the Election Commission invalidated the votes of two rebel Congress MLAs for the violation of poll procedure. Vaghela fell out with the Congress after the party reportedly refused to pay heed to his demands that he be declared the chief ministerial nominee and given a free hand in selecting the party candidates. The Congress has been out of power in Gujarat for over the last two decades.

How Nitin Gadkari put Modi visit to Rajasthan on fast track

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Udaipur on August 29 has the state BJP leadership on its toes. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, state BJP chief Ashok Parnami and home minister Gulabchand Kataria are personally overseeing the preparation for the high level programme where Modi would inaugurate projects worth Rs30000 crores. Modi is visiting the state after almost two and a half years for a programme associated with the government and the party. His last public rally was in February 2015 at Sriganganagar at the launch of the soil health card where he also addressed a public rally. His absence was being seen as a deadlock in his relations with Raje and now, with Modi visiting this month and a tentative schedule of another trip to the state in October planned, it is a matter of interest as to how the trip materialised. Interestingly it was Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari who is close to Raje who worked it out. As per a minister in the Raje cabinet, “ Gadkari was invited to launch various prestigious projects spread across the state in Udaipur, Kota and Jaipur on different days. This included the five package road network connecting Udaipur, Gulabpura, Chittorgarhm and Ratanpur in Udaipur, Kota hanging bridge, Jaipur ring road and the proposed Jodhpur ring road.”Gadkari suggested that the prestigious projects could be clubbed and inaugurated and their foundation stone laid at one go. Since it amounted to several prestigious projects worth Rs30000 crore, the PM should be invited and he would help to facilitate it, the minister added. Gadkari then managed to work out the prime minister’s trip to the Lake City, Udaipur. From here he would jointly address all projects. We are very excited with the visit especially as he is expected to come again in October for the ground breaking ceremony of the Barmer refinery and Parwan dam project, said a senior BJP functionary. Barmer refinery and Parwan are not included in the list of projects to be inaugurated on August 29. On one hand the statate BJP is excited with the PM’s visit but on the other it is also being seen as the beginning of taming the state for the state for the 2018 assembly election and so consequently the 2019 Parliamentary polls.Rajasthan currently has BJP MPs on all 25 LS seats in the state. The sources said that a team of SPG (special protection group) may visit Udaipur on August 20 to sanitize the venue of the meeting and ensure security protocols required.Prime projectsThe PM will lay foundation stone for second phase of Jaipur ring road with a length of 97.75 km. Inaugurate Kota hanging bridge Lay foundation for Jodhpur Ring Road, Inaugurate 5-package road network in Udaipur.

No Gandhi Jayanti holiday in Rajasthan University this year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> All state-run universities in Rajasthan will not observe a holiday on October 2 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti this year. Only 24 holidays have been listed for the academic year 2017-18, in the calendar issued by the office of Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh and by the Chancellor of all state universities. In the month of October, the universities will be closed on October 1 for Muharram and from October 13 to 21 for Diwali. Interestingly, the state has declared holidays on the birth anniversaries of Ramdev (folk deity of Rajasthan), Guru Nanak Dev, B.R. Ambedkar, Mahavira Jayanti and Maharana Pratap Jayanti. ?It has been decided that a uniform Holiday Calendar is to be adopted by all State Universities. After due consultation with all Universities and the State Government, a model Holiday Calendar for 2017-18 has been drafted, which has since been approved by the Hon’ble Governor and Chancellor. Strict compliance of the enclosed model Holiday Calendar may be,? read the circular issued by the Raj Bhavan. The list has been circulated to all the 12 state-run universities two months ago, while some have already adopted it, the rest will follow the same after their respective governing bodies next meeting.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Four of five city Congress MLAs bag top spots in Praja report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress legislators have edged out their counterparts from the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena to emerge as top performers in an assessment of the performance of MLAs from Mumbai.While Amin Patel of the Congress, who represents Mumbadevi in the Assembly had the top score of 78.25 per cent in the Mumbai MLA report card released by NGO Praja Foundation on Tuesday, Ram Kadam (BJP- Ghatkopar West) was at the bottom of the heap.Patel was also the top scorer in the 2016 evaluation. Interestingly, four of the five top performers are from the Congress, with Patel being followed by Kalidas Kolambkar (Naigaon), Aslam Shaikh (Malad West), Muhammed Arif (Nasim) Khan (Chandivali), Varsha Gaikwad (Dharavi) and Sunil Prabhu (Shiv Sena-Dindoshi).According to the report, which relied on data-based information and assessment of the peoples’ perceptions about elected representatives, Kadam is ranked lowest at number 32, with a 41.96 per cent score, followed by Tukaram Kate (Shiv Sena- Anushaktinagar), Tamil Selvan (BJP- Sion Koliwada), Ashok Patil (Shiv Sena- Bhandup West) and Ramesh Latke (Shiv Sena- Andheri East).The four legislators from Mumbai, namely Prakash Mehta, Vidya Thakur, Vinod Tawade and Ravindra Waikar, who are ministers, were not considered in the exercise. However, the average score secured by these MLAs fell to 60.5 per cent in 2017 from 65.1 per cent in 2016 while the quality of questions was just 38 per cent. The average score for attendance in the legislature by MLAs also fell marginally to 9.19 from 9.68.”The performance of MLAs has actually come down… from 79.07 per cent to 74.52 per cent for the top 20 percentile, 54.31 per cent to 46.45 per cent for the bottom 20 percentile,” noted Nitai Mehta, founder and managing trustee, PRAJA.The assessment sourced information on attendance, criminal records, questions asked and quality of questions through RTI applications. A survey by a market research group covered over 20,000 citizens for parameters based on perceptions like perceived performance, accessibility and corruption.In 2017, the perceived corruption stands at 38%, which is higher than 36% in 2016, which led to quality of life slipping from 70% in 2016 to 66% in 2017. The legislators were not ranked in 2015 as it was the first year of their new term.”As perception of corruption goes up, the quality of life goes down. Perception is a very important factor of what is happening at the grassroot level,” explained Mehta, adding that in 2014, perception about corruption by MLAs was highest at 57%, during which the perception about the quality of life was the lowest at 60%.Out of 36 MLAs from Mumbai, 12 (33%) MLAs had chargesheets filed against them in 2017 while 50% (18 legislators) have criminal cases.In the previous term, MLAs in their second year (2012) asked a total of 11,049 questions, while in the ongoing term, MLAs in their second year (2017) have asked only 6,199 questions. However, the questions asked rose from 4,343 in 2016 to 6,199 in 2017.

Quota issue: PAAS, SPG for talks with Gujarat govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Sunday said the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Sardar Patel Group (SPG) have agreed to sit with the government for truce talks again.Both the groups have been demanding reservation for the Patidar community, which is a major votebank of the BJP. An imprint of the agitation by the Patel community in December 2015 was clearly visible in the results of the local government body polls where the BJP lost.Nitin Patel, who is also the chairman of the committee formed by the Gujarat government for truce talks with agitating groups, made the announcement in Mehsana on Sunday.Patel said, “Both PAAS and SPG have agreed to reach a compromise with the government, who are serious on their demands including jobs to the dependents of those who lost their lives in the quota agitation. We will also look into the demand of the withdrawal of all cases against protesters.”None of the leaders of the PAAS or SPG could be reached for a comment. Interestingly, the development comes when the BJP National President Amit Shah has arrived in Gujarat. Ten days ago, PAAS convenor Hardik Patel had written to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani that they are ready for talks if their demands are met.

Paswan heaps praise on Nitish for joining hands with NDA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan met Nitish Kumar in Delhi and congratulated him for forming an alliance with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to form the government in Bihar. President of the Lok Janshakti Party, Paswan said that Bihar as well as have NDA government in power and that they?ll work for the welfare of Bihar. Speaking to ANI about the differences they had in the past, Paswan said, ?I?ve never had personal problems with him (Nitish). We only differed in our ideologies?. Paswan pointed to the fact that Nitish’s alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav was the only difference they had. Interestingly, these remarks have come after Nitish Kumar decided to quit the Grand Alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress. Earlier, Paswan was highly critical of Nitish Kumar and his decision to form the Grand Alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress in Bihar. Ends SC/HB NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nagaland crisis deepens; CM expels mins, MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon after former chief minister TR Zeliang staked claim to form the government, writing to governor PB Acharya on Saturday that he had the support of 41 of 59 legislators in the state, Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu reacted by dropping four cabinet ministers and ten parliamentary secretaries.The cabinet ministers include Home Minister Y Patton, National Highways and Political Affairs Minister G Kaito Aye, Environment Minister Imkong Imchen and Power Minister C Kapili Sangtam.CM Liezietsu had taken over as CM in February after violence erupted in the state in protest against the state’s decision to hold elections of state bodies with 33 per cent reservation for women. Liezietsu, who is not an elected member of the assembly, was slated to contest from the North Angami seat in the by-elections to be held on July 19. His son, Khriehu, had in June resigned from the North Angami seat to help his father win the election.Zeliang said that the development has made the MLAs nervous. “We want fair elections and the MLAs have expressed their desire. That is why we are here,” he told DNA before leaving for Delhi. Interestingly, Zeliang has also joined hands with former political rival Neiphiu Rio.While over 30 legislators are camping at Borgos resort at Kaziranga at neighbouring Assam, TR Zeliang has left for Delhi to meet the Governor to stake claim to the government. Shurhozelie has, on the other hand, written to the people of Nagaland, appealing to them “to remain calm” saying that he was “deeply pained by the disturbing developments”.”The current issue is within the NPF party and will be resolved at the earliest to bring about normalcy in the state. The mandate of the people will be respected, and the present crisis will be resolved in the larger interest of the people of the state,” Liezietsu wrote.Amid the high-wire political drama, what is also cropping up is the case of disproportionate assets of Rs 400 crore of retired ASP of Nagaland Police MKR Pillai, who had allegedly amassed a lot of money as a consultant with the Nagaland police when Zeliang was at the helm of the state. Soon after Pillai’s ouster, Liezietsu said that he would not defend Pillai’s case and will demand for a CBI inquiry in the case.

Sawai Madhopur cop commits suicide, shoots self in head

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident that occurred at Sawai Madhopur early on Tuesday morning, an assistant sub inspector posted at the reserve police lines committed suicide by shooting himself with his service revolver.The man was set to retire in eleven years and the cops have found a suicide note wherein he has claimed of having family related problems. Interestingly, the man had even thought of taking voluntary retirement.The deceased cop has been identified as one Kishore Singh (59)- a native of Nagaur. “The incident occurred early in the morning when the cop was at the lines.The man used to live alone as his family was based in Kishangarh near Ajmer. The man pulled out his service revolver and shot himself in the head” said Maman Singh, Superintendent of Police, Sawai Madhopur.People from the area heard the gun shot and went inside the house to find the reason for the sound.“They were shocked to find that the man had shot himself. The local police station was informed which rushed to the spot and took the deceased to hospital for post mortem.Meanwhile, a search of his belongings revealed that the man has left a note saying that he was troubled due to a family dispute. There is some dispute between Singh and his wife and she has filed for a maintenance claim in court also.A letter has been found in his diary which he wrote in 2015 seeking a VRS, however he never sent the request across. His son and other family members were given the body” officials said.USED SERVICE REVOLVERThe man used to live alone as his family used to live in Kishangarh near Ajmer. The man pulled out his service revolver and shot himself in the head” Superintendent of Police told.People from the area heard the gun shot and went inside the house to find the reason for the sound. “They were shocked to find that the man had shot himself. The local police station was informed which rushed to the spot.

86% seats of B Planning course in Guj go vacant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bachelor of Planning (B Planning) course, offered by five institutes across the state, has failed to evoke much response from students. As per fresh details emerging from the latest development at Admissions Committee for Professional Courses (ACPC), of the 260 B Planning seats offered by various institutes across Gujarat, 220 are to be filled through ACPC and of those 220, only 34 have been filled so far. While the response from the entire state looks gloomy, Nirma University has emerged to be the most preferred institute.The University Grants Commission (UGC) had last year asked universities and colleges across the country to start a course on urban planning after PM Narendra Modi unveiled the roadmap to develop 500 cities under the Smart Cities Mission project.Confirming the same, member secretary of ACPC GP Vadodaria said, “Like last year, very few have opted for the course this year and in fact, the numbers have dipped even further.”When DNA asked him for the reason behind the lack of interest in students, Vadodaria said, “This is a specialised area and not a renowned one. Of the 34 seats, 32 have been filled at Nirma because of the brand and location. One seat each has been filled at Anant Institute of Architecture and Bhagwan Mahavir College of Architecture.”This year, 50% of admissions are being done by ACPC, whereas the remaining 50% (open for all India) are being conducted by the institutes. Interestingly, in 2013, CEPT had received about 800 applications for 40 seats.

Israel to organise mega Yoga Day event at Tel Aviv

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Israel will hold the largest yoga event at Rabin Square in its capital Tel Aviv on the occasion of International Yoga Day tomorrow. Thousands will partake in multiple forms of yoga led by Rohit Sabharwal, a renowned yoga teacher. An official ceremony will be held with a message of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The event will culminate with Indian cultural performance, a statement by the Embassy of Israel here said. Interestingly, India and Israel have completed 25 years of diplomatic relationship. Modi will also visit the Jewish state, a first by any Indian premier, next month.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SSS MP Raju Shetti accuses BJP of deceiving Maha farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) leader Raju Shetti today alleged that the BJP, which is in power in Maharashtra, has “deceived” the state’s farmers who had voted for the party in the Assembly polls. Shetti, whose party is a constituent of the NDA as well as a part of the BJP-led Maharashtra government, said he has undertaken ‘Atmaklesh Padyatra’ to “repent for supporting the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The Lok Sabha MP from Hatkanangle, who started his repentance march from Pune last Monday, reached Panvel today. The march will end here on Tuesday. “The government has not taken any concrete steps to ease the woes of farmers. It has deceived farmers who voted for the party (in the Assembly polls),” Shetti told reporters in Panvel near here. Interestingly, his aide and Maharashtra minister of state for agriculture Sadabhau Khot did not take part in the march citing ill health.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kapil Mishra won’t be expelled, AAP likely to follow same

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Notwithstanding his persistent attacks on AAP leadership, sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra is unlikely to face expulsion from the party. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sources said expulsion of the rebel MLA would give him a chance to join another party or form a separate group in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, which the party wants to avoid though it has a brute majority in the House. Mishra, once a close confidant of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, had levelled corruption charges against him and other AAP leaders, which created ripples in the city politics and dented the image of the party. The AAP has denied the “wild” charges levelled by Mishra and has put him under suspension. The party has so far suspended five MLAs — Mishra, Devinder Sehrawat, Amanatulla Khan and former ministers Asim Ahmed Khan and Sandeep Kumar. None of these MLAs have been expelled from the party. Of these five, all except Okhla MLA Amanatullah have rebelled against the party leadership since its resounding victory in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls. Party’s Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar, known to be close to expelled AAP leader and Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav, has also spoken out against the leadership, but has, so far, escaped action, except for being excluded from party events. “We have suspended the MLAs for indiscipline and gave a clear message to people as well partymen that these legislators are not with us. “By their explusion, we don’t want to give them a chance to join any other party or form a separate group in the Delhi Legislative Assembly,: said a senior party leader. They have won on AAP ticket. They are free to resign and contest again, said another senior party leader, citing an example of AAP’s Bawana MLA Ved Prakash who quit to join the BJP, ahead of the MCD polls last month. Twenty party MLAs are also facing Office of Profit proceedings before the Election Commission and an adverse result would hit the party hard. Interestingly, although suspended, the MLAs have to abide by the party whip in the Delhi Legislative Assembly or face disqualification as an MLA. For instance, despite Pushkar’s severe criticism against the Delhi government’s education policy last year, he had voted in its favour in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. The party has also used the same strategy to deal with its rebel MPs. Of the four party MPs—all from Punjab, two lawmakers H S Khalsa and Dharamvira Gandhi were suspended from the party. Though they are known to be close to Yogendra Yadav, the party chose to suspend them only.’ This is likely to prove critical to the party during Presidential vote. The party currently has 65 MLAs in the 70- member House in Delhi, 20 MLAs in Punjab and four Lok Sabha MPs.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mishra’s allegations don’t merit a response: Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today rubbished “wild allegations” levelled by sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra, saying they do not merit a response as even his opponents were refusing to buy them. Hitting out at Mishra without naming him, Kejriwal said it pains to be “back stabbed” by his own people. Mishra has been firing salvos against Kejriwal, accusing him of taking Rs two crore from Health Minister Satyendar Jain and charging the AAP with “massive irregularities” in its funding with full knowledge of the chief minister. Addressing a convention of party workers in Delhi, the chief minister also announced measures to gain lost ground following the party’s humiliating defeat in the Rajouri Garden by-poll and the MCD polls. He also asked party MLAs and ministers to meet people without appointment every morning. “Our movement faced a big attack in last few days. This is good news because this suggests that we are a bigger threat to them. People are asking why am I not responding to the charges. “Why should I respond to such wild charges. People are not believing in these allegations and neither are my opponents. Had even one of the allegations levelled against me were true, I would have been in jail by now,” party’s official Twitter handle posted quoting Kejriwal. The meeting saw attendance of all senior AAP leaders, party MLAs and ministers. Interestingly, senior party leader Kumar Vishwas, who had threatened to quit after hitting out at “coterie” surrounding Kejriwal, did not attend the convention. This also gave rise to murmurs that all was still not well in the party. In the backdrop of complaints of inaccessibility, the AAP chief also announced that he would interact with volunteers through Google Hangout on the first Sunday of every month.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India smartphone mkt recovers from note ban, grows 4.7% in Q1

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s smartphone market seems to have recovered from the impact of demonetisation with sales growing by 4.7 per cent to 27 million units in January-March 2017 compared to the previous quarter, says a report. The first quarter of the year saw smartphone shipments growing at “healthy” 14.8 per cent over the year-ago period, the report by research firm IDC said. The government’s move to scrap high denomination notes in November last year had resulted in over 20 per cent fall in shipments in that quarter over the preceding quarter. However, with digital payment options becoming more mainstay and cash transactions picking up again, smartphone sales in the country have recovered, say industry watchers. As per IDC, China-based vendors continued to strengthen their grip in the Indian smartphone market, capturing 51.4 per cent share of the smartphone shipments. “The China-based vendors were already bringing majority of devices in 4G segment, which benefited them in leveraging the 4G wave demand in India,” IDC said. However, Samsung continued to dominate the market with 28.1 per cent market share. Xiaomi followed in the tally with 14.2 per cent share, while Vivo, Lenovo and Oppo had 10.5 per cent, 9.5 per cent and 9.3 per cent share, respectively. “Homegrown vendors are making attempts to recapture the lost ground with new launches in sub-USD 100 as well as in the mid-range segment. But intense competition from China-based vendors continues to be a major challenge and is expected to increase in coming quarters,” IDC India Market Analyst (Client Devices) Jaipal Singh said. Interestingly, the average selling price (ASP) of smartphones has increased to USD 155 in the quarter under review from USD 131 in the first quarter of 2016.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Curt ‘namaskar’ by Indian diplomat sums up chill in Indo-Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reflecting the chill in Indo-Pak ties, a curt ‘namaskar’ was all that a senior Indian diplomat had to offer to an extended hand of a member of the Pakistani delegation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), hearing the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Ahead of the hearing today, Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the external affairs ministry and is representing India in the retired Navy officer’s case at the ICJ, ignored the handshake gesture by Syed Faraz Hussain Zaidi, Councellor of the Pakistan Embassy in the Netherlands as Adviser, and offered a ‘namaskar’ instead. Interestingly, Mittal shook hands with some of the Pakistan delegation members, including the Pakistani attorney general, the main lawyer in the case from the Pakistan government. Last week also, frosty Indo-Pak relations were on full display when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was on the dais with his Pakistani counterpart at an event in Japan. There is increasing strain in Indo-Pak ties in the aftermath of the Jadhav episode and the beheading of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army. On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty handed down to Jadhav by a Pakistan military court, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 9, the highest court in the UN gave Jadhav a lease of life. India, in its appeal to the ICJ, had asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. India has denied that he has any connection with the government.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India conducts joint hydrographic survey of Sri Lanka’s coast

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Navy has carried out a joint hydrographic survey of Sri Lanka’s Weligama Bay and southern coast, in a reflection of the growing cooperation between navies of the two countries. Hydrographic survey data for more than 7,000 nautical miles was collected during a two-month-long exercise and details of the survey were handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy at a ceremony in Colombo yesterday. Interestingly, Sri Lanka had on Wednesday rejected China’s request for its submarine to dock at Colombo next week, after a similar visit in 2014 triggered strong protest from India. China has been making consistent efforts to make inroads into the island nation. “The successful completion of the maiden joint hydrographic survey with Sri Lanka Navy marks a new beginning in the bilateral relations,” Indian Navy spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said. He said Indian naval ship Darshak was on a two-month-long deployment in Sri Lanka to carry out the survey. The survey operations were undertaken in three phases and the ship also visited Colombo and Galle harbour. A Chetak helicopter was also deployed as part of the data collection exercise. “The ship and its survey motor boats fitted with multi- beam systems were extensively deployed and the hydrographic survey data for more than 7,000 nautical miles was collected,” said Sharma. Officers onboard the INS Darshak also imparted training on various aspects of hydrographic survey to some Sri Lankan naval officers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP asks backward Muslims to embrace Modi’s policies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s Muslim leaders today urged backward sections of the community to embrace Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “pro-poor” policies at a meeting organised here following his call to the party to reach out to them. Making a distinction between backwards and others among Muslims, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the poor Muslims have been unable to take advantage of the welfare schemes for minorities and claimed that Modi’s “pro- poor” policies will uplift them. Modi had asked leaders at the party’s national executive meeting in Bhubaneswar to reach out to the backward Muslims, saying they will also benefit from his government’s bill that seeks constitutional status for the OBC Commission but was stalled by opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha. Addressing Muslims drawn from various states, Naqvi said parties like the Congress, TMC and JD(U) came to power on the strength of Muslims’ support but blocked the bill which would have “benefited” the backward members of the community. He said there are 84 such groups, like qureshi, momin and weavers, among Muslims which would get help from his government’s development push for the poor and backward. It is not often that the BJP or its leaders organise events especially targeting Muslims, who have historically been wary of the saffron party due to a host of issues, including its Hindutva agenda. Former MP and Bihar BJP leader Sabir Ali, who organised the meting, urged Muslims to ally with the party, saying “patrons of secularism” like the Congress, RJD and others did nothing for them while getting their votes all these years. “Modi says nobody should be poor or remain deprived. He is working for them. His government is working for development and it will help backward Muslims,” Ali said sharing the stage with Naqvi. Interestingly, it was Naqvi who had strongly opposed Ali’s induction into the party before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, calling him “a friend of a terrorist” and wondering if Dawood Ibrahim too will join the organisation now. His outburst forced the party to cancel Ali’s membership and the rebuffed leader then filed a defamation case against Naqvi. He was inducted again before the Bihar assembly polls in 2015 and both the leaders patched up. Naqvi today heaped praise on Ali, who as a JD(U) MP had tried to rally backward Muslims in Nitish Kumar’s support, and said he was working diligently for the poor members of the community on the ground.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kerala’s curative plea seeking death penalty in Soumya murder case rejected by SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court rejected Kerala’s curative petition that sought the death penalty for a convict Govindachamy, in the Soumya murder case. “Having gone through the Curative Petitions and the relevant documents, in our considered opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra Vs. Ashok Hurra & Anr., reported in 2002 (4) SCC 388. The Curative Petitions are, accordingly, dismissed,” a six-judge bench looking into this matter ruled. The Kerala state government had filed the petition after the Supreme Court in its 2016 order had set aside the Kerala High Court judgment awarding the assailant Govindachamy the death penalty. An apex court Bench comprising of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, PC Pant and UU Lalit had, in September last year, found Govindachamy guilty of rape. However, the bench had overturned the high court order sentencing him to death and instead awarded him a life sentence. Interestingly, in November, the Supreme Court had initiated contempt proceedings against Justice Markandey Katju after the former SC judge had made personal remarks in two posts— on September 17 and 18 — on a social networking site against judges who had pronounced a ruling on the Soumya rape-murder case. A bench led by the same justices who had presided over the matter had claimed that the posts were, “a serious assault on judges, not on judgments.” Justice Katju had been invited by the Justice Gogoi-led bench to debate on the several “fundamental flaws” that it had allegedly committed in its September 15 judgement on the well publicised Soumya murder and rape case in 2011. The bench commuted the death sentence of the man, Govindachamy, who had been convicted of these crimes.Katju had commented in his posts that the SC had seriously “erred in law” in its judgment. His post had said, “This was a grave error in the judgment, not expected of judges who had been in the legal world for decades. Even a student of law in a law college knows this elementary principle that hearsay evidence is inadmissible.”However, In January 2017, the contempt proceedings were withdrawn, after Justice Katju tendered an unconditional apology to the judges in this matter.

Delhi has witnessed worst during BJP’s tenure in MCD Sheila Dikshit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Asserting that Delhi has witnessed the worst during the BJP?s tenure in the MCD, former chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday expressed optimism that the people would vote for the Congress in the civic polls this time. Claiming that the BJP has done nothing for the national capital in the last ten years, Dikshit said she is hoping for better results for the Congress in the civic polls. ?We are very hopeful about these polls. And I am sure that we will perform much better this time. People are really angry with the BJP as there is no cleanliness, workers don?t get their pay,? Dikshit told ANI. ?The BJP has done no work in the national capital. Delhi has witnessed the worst under the BJP?s rule (in MCD). I am sure the people of Delhi will vote after putting a lot of thought. The BJP will not get as many votes it is expecting,? she added. Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken earlier in the day said that the BJP-led corporation has failed to live up to its expectation in the last ten years. ?I think that people should vote for sensible governance and I believe that people will vote for sensible governance. Looking at the track record of the Congress Party, the people will vote for the Congress in Delhi. BJP ruled corporations have caused enough damage. We need to rectify this now and give good governance in Delhi,? said Maken. The polling for the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi began at 8 a.m. today and will end at 5:30 p.m. Over 2,500 candidates are in the fray. Over 1.3 crore people are eligible to exercise their voting rights and of them more than 1.1 lakh are first-time voters. More than 2,500 candidates are in the fray. The civic polls will witness a triangular contest involving three major parties ? the AAP, BJP and the Congress. Interestingly, None of the Above (NOTA) option has been made available for the first time in MCD elections.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

#MCDElections: Vote in large numbers to make Delhi ‘Dengue & Chikungunya free’, says Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another veiled attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday appealed the people to come out in large numbers and vote for a ‘Dengue and Chikungunya free’ Delhi.After casting his vote at a polling booth in Road Transport Office in Civil Lines for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, Kejriwal said, “I would appeal to the people of Delhi to vote in large numbers in order to make Delhi free from dengue and chikungunya.”On Friday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Delhi convener Dilip Pandey said people of the national capital have an opportunity to vote for ‘garbage free and Malaria, Chikungunya and Dengue free’ Delhi.Pandey said that the BJP has converted the MCDs into ?Most Corrupt Departments? in the world. He also challenged the saffron party to point out a single achievement of the MCDs during last 10 years.Taking potshots at Kejriwal for his ‘dengue-chikunguniya’ remark, the BJP on Saturday said the former’s statement reflects his frustration, adding that the AAP chief had no right to opine on other political parties.”Kejriwal’s statement reflects his frustration and disappointment. It seems like he has accepted his failure. Public has been giving vote to the BJP for last ten years. Be it MCD by-elections, Goa, Punjab, Varanasi, Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal government has lost all the elections. They do politics of tussle and abuse and I don’t think this will bring development. He thinks people of Delhi are fool,” BJP leader Vijay Goel told ANI.Upping the ante on Kejriwal’s assertion, BJP leader Shaina NC said the former should first get rid of the dengue and chikunguniya that he has caused in Delhi and then opine on the BJP government.”If he has no ideology and conviction to live up to his political manifesto, then I think he has no right to comment on other political parties,” she told ANI.Kejriwal yesterday trained guns at the saffron party, while saying that the people should hold themselves responsible for dengue and chikungunya outbreaks if they vote for the BJP in the MCD elections.”If your children get dengue or chikungunya, then you yourself will be responsible for it, because you voted for a party (BJP) that spreads mosquitoes that breed dengue or chikungunya,” Kejriwal had said.Meanwhile, the polling for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has begun.The polling is being conducted for 272 wards of three MCD civic bodies and over 2,500 candidates are in the fray.Over 1.3 crore people are eligible to exercise their voting rights and of them more than 1.1 lakh are first-time voters.The civic polls will witness a triangular contest involving three major parties- the AAP, BJP and the Congress. Interestingly, None of the Above (NOTA) option has been made available for the first time in MCD elections.The Delhi Election Commission has set up over 13,000 polling booths, out of which over 3,000 have been identified as sensitive while around 1,500 as hypersensitive.Nearly 57, 000 police personnel have been deployed to ensure free and fair polls in the national capital.To avoid any untoward incident during the elections, the Delhi Government has ordered dry day to be observed in the national capital on the polling day.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UP CM’s decision to set up anti-Romeo squads popular: Survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly a month into his tenure, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s popularity has soared with his swoop on illegal abattoirs and “anti-Romeo” drives capturing the public imagination, a survey has claimed. The decisions, that critics said were components of a larger saffron project, enjoy a high degree of popularity among the people, suggested the survey that was conducted among 2,000 respondents spread across 20 districts of the state. Adityanath’s drive against illegal slaughterhouses, anti-Romeo squads, action against VIP culture and ban on paan masala and tobacco in government offices came up as the most popular decisions in the survey conducted by Gaon Connection, a rural media platform. While the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses got 38.1 per cent approval, the formation of the anti-Romeo squads was hailed by around 25.4 per cent of the respondents, it said in a statement. Interestingly, among women, the anti-Romeo drive emerged as the most popular decision with around 37 per cent approving it, despite instances of alleged police excesses and gender activists highlighting its adverse impact on autonomy and the right to make choices. On the other hand, the action against slaughterhouses have had a debilitating impact on the state’s meat industry. It has also reportedly emboldened cow vigilantes and fringe outfits active in this field. Overall, decisions taken by the Adityanath-led BJP government have 62 per cent approval ratings while 71 per cent citizens feel the firebrand Hindu leader, seen as a highly polarising figure in the past by his critics, is working in the “right direction”, the survey said. “The districts where the survey was carried out ranged from Lalitpur in the underdeveloped Bundelkhand region in UP’s southwest to Sonbhadra in the remote southeast, from Meerut in the west to Siddharthnagar in the east,” Gaon Connection said. Adityanath’s stunning elevation as chief minister, following BJP’s landslide victory where it won 325 seats in the 403-member state assembly, was seen as a move to stamp Hindu supremacy and, in this context, many saw the long shadow of his past in his first few decisions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AP to launch water conservation programme tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Andhra Pradesh government will launch ‘Neeti Samrakshana Udyamam’ (water conservation movement) tomorrow, which is aimed at providing water security in the state and has a target of building 20,000 check dams in 90 days. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will launch the project in Kurnool. According to preliminary estimates, a minimum of Rs 720 crore will be spent on the construction of check dams, but the expenditure may go up depending on the size of the structures, government sources said. Each check dam may cost anywhere between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 50 lakh (maximum), depending on the size. This water conservation ‘movement’ is being launched against the backdrop of a similar scheme- Panta Sanjeevani (farm ponds), launched two years ago, under which not even 60 per cent of the targets were achieved although over Rs 1,000 crore were already spent. The required funds for the programme will be sourced from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The AP Space Applications Centre (APSAC) conducted a study in the last six months and identified sites, where the check dams could be built, APSAC scientist K V Ramana said. He said small farmers would benefit in a big way with the construction of check dams and water harvesting measures, adding it would also help in soil conservation. The government has decided to rope in civil engineering students to oversee the check dam construction works in each constituency and mandal. The Neeti Samrakshana Udyamam, which will be carried out between April 15 and July 15 to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs, particularly in drought-prone areas, is part of the state government’s programme of making Andhra Pradesh “drought-free” by the year 2019. Meanwhile, according to data on the Chief Minister Office Real-time Executive (CORE) Dashboard, only 58.71 per cent of the target was achieved in 2015-16 under the Panta Sanjeevani programme. While a target of digging 5.30 lakh farm ponds was set in 2015-16, only 3,11,161 ponds were actually dug at a cost of Rs 966.32 crore, the CORE Dashboard showed. In 2016-17, 1,482 farm ponds were dug in 2016-17 as against the target of four lakh. Administrative sanction was accorded for digging 4,15,381 ponds at an estimated expenditure of Rs 4,111 crore, but only Rs 14.26 crore was spent. “Work on another 1,05,432 ponds is in progress and they will be completed soon,” a senior official said. Interestingly, despite its failure in completing the Panta Sanjeevani programme in the last two years, the government has set a fresh target of digging another four lakh farm ponds under Panta Sanjeevani in 2017-18 using NREGS funds. Asked about this, a key minister who did not wish to be quoted, said, “Not that what all we say will be accomplished, but this is a major effort we are making. Yes, all 20,000 check dams will not be built in 90 days. And, we also have financial crunch.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha govt takes stock of farmers with heavy loan burden ahead of Modi’s visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Maharashtra tour scheduled on April 14th, state government is gathering information about indebted farmers, especially farmers with small land holdings.BJP in its manifesto had assured loan waiver to farmers while going for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Soon after coming to power, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in his first cabinet announced loan waiver up to loan of Rs. 1 lakh.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who was under pressure from Opposition for repeating the loan waiver for Maharshtra farmers has announced in state assembly that he has asked Finance Secretary to gather information about Uttar Pradesh loan waiver. Interestingly, state Government has started gathering the information about indebtedness of farmers in the state. The district cooperative banks have been asked to give details of farmers’ loan especially which are long pending. Commissioner for Cooperation Chandrakant Dalvi informed that it was a routine circular which is send to all the cooperative banks so that Government can take stock of the unpaid loans. He informed that the information comes by April 30’th. A finance department official however informed that the information sought by finance department would be gathered in next two months. Chief Minister Fadnavis has made it clear in the state assembly that loan waiver would cost state government Rs. 30,500 crores and it is not possible to go for it at this juncture.

9 decisions during Navaratra, UP minister calls it coincidence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Call it a coincidence, the UP Cabinet held its first meeting today on Navami, the last day of Navaratra, and took nine decisions, some of them also mentioned in the BJP’s election manifesto. Interestingly, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also shifted to his official residence — 5 Kali Das Marg — during Navaratra itself. “The nine decisions, which the Cabinet took include loan waiver to small and marginalised farmers, streamlining purchase of wheat, action on illegal abattoirs, work done by anti-Romeo squad, committee to study the ways and means to protect interests of potato farmers. “Industry policy, action on illegal mining, adoption of resolution to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for granting constitutional status to National OBC Commission and establishment of sports complex in Ghazipur,” UP Minister Shrikant Sharma said. However, UP Minister Siddhartha Nath Singh said, “Today is Navami (ninth day of the Navaratra — a nine day period considered auspicious by Hindus). We have taken nine decisions. It is a coincidence.” After the meeting, Agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi exuded confidence that the state government would marshal its own resources, while waiving loans of small and marginalised farmers. Shekhar Dixit, president of Kisan Manch, also welcomed the move of the Yogi Adityanath government, and lauded the steps taken for the overall development of the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Akhilesh insulted me, which led to SP’s defeat: Mulayam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a public outburst against Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav today said his son had insulted him and the voters understood that “one who is not loyal to his father, cannot be loyal to anyone” which led to the party’s poll debacle. He also said that a final view on floating a new party is yet to be taken. Mulayam laid bare his anger for the first time after the SP’s defeat in the UP assembly election fought under the leadership of Akhilesh who had replaced his father as the party supremo following a battle of turf with his uncle Shivpal Yadav. “I was badly insulted, which I had never faced in my life. Nevertheless, I tolerated. No leader of any party in India had made his son a chief minister during his lifetime, but I made Akhilesh the Chief Minister of UP,” he said in his first address in his pocket burough after the UP assembly results in which the SP got only 47 seats out 403. Mulayam who was unseated as party president by Akhilesh just before the elections had stayed away from the election campaign, addressing a couple of meetings for Shivpal. He had also spoken out against Akhilesh’s decision to join hands with the Congress for the assembly polls. He also went to the extent of saying “Jo apne baap kaa nahi ho saka, woh aapka kya hogaa (how can a person who is not loyal to his father, be loyal to you).” Interestingly, the SP patron also mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi during one of his election rallies in Kannauj had also echoed the same sentiment. “The public understood this statement and took it seriously. This resulted in election debacle of SP and BJP won the elections,” Mulayam told party workers while inaugurating a hotel here. He also said that the family feud in SP also took toll on its electoral prospects. Expressing his resentment over the “sacking” of the then UP Cabinet Minister Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam said “He (Akhilesh) sacked his own uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav – a very hard working Minister, who was also insulted”. On the issue of floating another party, he said “The final decision on forming another party is yet to be taken up. The new party is yet to be formed. The final decision would be taken after consulting you and taking your views.” On the resolution of Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid dispute, he said that he had made efforts to resolve the issue through reconciliation on four different occasions. “But, things did not materialise.” Observing that all the parties would abide by the Supreme Court’s decision, he said “I would be the first person to put a brick, irrespective of the fact whether a temple is being constructed or a mosque (following the SC verdict)”. Meanwhile, reacting to Mulayam’s outburst, state BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla said “Had Mulayam Singhji made these observations public earlier, it would had been a rational move. Now its too late. Even during the tenure of Akhilesh government, he had repeatedly attacked the fuctioning of the ministers.” In the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, BJP secured an overwhelming majority bagging 312 out of 403 assembly seats, while its allies Apna Dal (Soney Lal) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party won on nine seats and four seats respectively. The Congress and SP fought on a pre-poll alliance. SP got 47 seats, while the Congress was confined to only seven seats. Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party registered its win on 19 assembly seats.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Regarding the allegations of favouring L&T, the report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>stated that the land was alloted to the company when Modi was not the chief minister, but the chief minister was from the party (Congress) which had made allegations. “The state government is honest and non-corrupt and it has nothing to hide from the people of Gujarat,” Gujarat Deputy Chief Ninister Nitin Patel said while tabling the report on the last day of the budget session. Other allegations included corruption in purchase of fodder for animals from a blacklisted firm, use of private helicopters and jets by the chief minister on the expense of industrialists who are considered close to the state government, and corruption pertaining to the “Sujlam Suflam” irrigation scheme. Interestingly, Congress leaders Gohil and Modhvadia had boycotted the proceedings of the panel and did not depose before it when they were told to furnish proof. However, the Congress said that the state government was forced to make the report public due to the constant pressure being exerted by the opposition party. “For the last five years, we have been time and again raising the issue of corruption and demanding tabling of the report of the M B Shah Commission in the House. It was due to our pressure that the report has been tabled now,” Congress chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

After complaint of hurting ‘Hindu sentiments’ for poem mocking Adityanath, poet Srijato says he won’t stop

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police complaint has been filed against poet Srijato Bandopadhyay for a poetry which has posted on his Facebook wall. The poetry, headlined ‘Abhishap’ or curse has, according to the complaint by Arnab Sarkar, a member of Hindu Samhati, hurt Hindu sentiments.“It appears that the poetry has been aimed against the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath but my objection is on the use or rather misuse of the word ‘trishul’ in the poetry. ‘Trishul’ essentially signifies Hinduism. Poets and intellectuals like these can only insult Hinduism but they keep quiet when there is an offence created by members of some other religion,” Sarkar said.The complaint, filed at Siliguri’s Cyber Crime Police Station, said that the post was an attempt to deprive Hindus from their fundamental right to preach, practice and propagate their religion and that the poet should be immediately arrested. He also said that if police didn’t take any action against the poet they would move court.
ALSO READ Poem against Yogi Adityanath: Police complaint against noted Bengali poet Srijato for ‘hurting Hindu sentiments’Bandopadhyay, however, said he had only exercised his fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. “I think everyone should protest against anything that goes amiss in society and I, as a poet have only my medium of poetry to put up a protest. I had written a series of poems protesting against the killing of Bangladeshi bloggers and even at that time I had received several threats,” he said.Asked if such complaints would deter him from posting in future, he said, “I would not have written any poetry if I was afraid of these. Even in future my pen would speak for me against anything which I find I should protest against.”The 12-line poetry was posted on March 19 at 8.25 pm. Interestingly, that very day Adityanath had been sworn in as the CM of Uttar Pradesh after the landslide victory of BJP in the last Assembly polls there. By 6 pm on March 21, the post had received over 8000 likes and 1853 shares, followed by a barrage of comments, of which many had been highly acerbic, criticising the poet in unparliamentary terms. Many others have congratulated the poet and said that the nail has been hit on the head and that is why religious fanatics were reacting that way.Theatre artist and state IT minister Bratya Basu said that it was the handiwork of the Sangh parivar to spread communal violence. “Just like they have done in other parts of the country, they want to spread communal violence here through acts like these but they will not be successful in their attempts in Bengal,” he said.

Work and worship mark UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s day 1; bungalow purified with 11 litres of milk

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth entered his official residence at 5, Kalidas Marg in Lucknow on Monday, after a purification ceremony — in true Hindu style. The rudrabhishek and a series of other havans lasted for about three hours.Seven priests from the Gorakhnath temple, of which the Chief Minister himself is the head priest, purified the residence with 11 litres of cow milk brought from his own gaushala in his hometown Gorakhpur. Amidst chanting of matras, the priests inscribed swastik signs on the main gate, which bears the nameplate of Aditya Nath Yogi. Mahant was dropped from the plaque. An urdu plaque of the CM’s residence was removed.Each and every room of the official residence was purified with cow milk mixed with water from river Ganga. The priests also checked the official residence from a vaastu point of view and directed the caretakers to effect minor changes. It is for the first time that the CM’s official residence is being purified with chanting of vedic mantras.To be fair, it was not all priests and mantras. The firebrand saffron monk held a series of meetings with the bureaucracy and directed them to study the 30-page BJP manifesto in 24 hours and start its implementation to speed up development.The first meeting was with Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar. He was asked to form a committee to study the waiver of farmers’ debt, payment of dues to sugarcane farmers, and take action against illegal slaughter houses.It was the turn of the Principal Secretary and the Secretaries next. They were directed to declare details of their incomes, and movable and immovable assets within 15 days. Interestingly, all these officers are already bound to submit their income details every year to the government under the service rules. Adithyanath then gave them the next job brief: prepare a 100-day road map for the overall development of the state.The Director General of Police (DGP) was summoned twice to ensure a tight grip on the law-and-order situation. Adityanath was annoyed over the murder of Mohammed Shami, a Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) leader in Allahabad, and the murder of three persons in Auraiyya district in the last 24 hours. The DGP was asked to keep crime under check and issued a stern instruction that police recruitment should be based on merit and not on casteist and religious considerations.He later held a meeting at the Secretriat with the District Magistrates and SSPs and directed them to start implementing the party’s manifesto. His deputies – Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dr Dinesh Sharma – were also present.The Chief Minister’s emphasis was on improving law-and-order situation, security to women, employment opportunities for youth and problems faced by farmers.He assured the state bureaucracy of minimum political intervention and allayed fears of frequent transfers. The new CM also directed all department heads to start the budgetary exercise of giving the final shape to his maiden budget, which is likely to presented after June 15.Though the purification went on for three hours, it would be a while before Adityanath starts staying in his official residence. The priests have advised him to shift during an auspicious day during Navaratri as March is an inauspicious month. For the past two days, he has been staying in a suite at a VVIP guest house. Adityanath wants to construct a temple inside the CM’s residence but caretakers are tightlipped on it.

Yogi Adityanath sworn in as UP CM; heads 47-member team

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s hardline Hindutva poster boy and five-time MP, Yogi Adityanath was today sworn in as the 21st chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, heading a 47-member council of ministers that includes two deputy CMs. A surprise inclusion was cricketer-turned-politician Mohsin Raza, who was sworn in as a minister of state, becoming the lone Muslim face in the state government. BJP had not fielded any Muslim candidate in the Assembly polls. Interestingly, the chief minister, his two deputies — BJP state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and party’s national vice president Dinesh Sharma — and Raza are not members of either House of the UP legislature. Besides the two deputy CMs, his council of ministers has 22 other cabinet ministers, nine ministers of state with independent charge and 13 ministers of state. The 44-year-old Adityanath is the fourth chief minister from the saffron party, ending its 15-year hiatus in the Hindi heartland state. The oath of office and secrecy was administered by Governor Ram Naik at Kashiram Smriti Upvan at a grand 90-minute ceremony attended by a galaxy of BJP luminaries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and L K Advani. Expressing “immense confidence” that this new team will leave no stone unturned in making UP ‘Uttam Pradesh’, Modi tweeted, “There will be record development. Our sole mission & motive is development. When UP develops, India develops. We want to serve UP’s youth & create opportunities for them…” Outgoing chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav also attended the function. The swearing-in ceremony was the culmination of a seven-phased Assembly election spread over two months in the most populous state, which gave BJP a landslide victory in the 403-member Assembly. BJP and its allies have won 325 seats. Adityanath, who lacks administrative experience, was unanimously elected yesterday as the BJP legislature party leader at a meeting of the newly elected MLAs, a move that took many by surprise. Soon after he was sworn in, Adityanath assumed charge in the newly constructed Lok Bhawan. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP springs surprise, Yogi Adityanath to be the new UP CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yogi Adityanath, the controversial mascot of hardline Hindutva, will be the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In a move that surprised many, the 44-year-old five-term MP from Gorakhpur was elected the BJP legislature party leader at a meeting of the newly elected MLAs, a week after BJP won a resounding three-fourth majority in the key Hindi heartland state, making a combeback to power after 15 years. State BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was himself in contention for the top job, first announced Adityanath’s election. Maurya, the MP from Phulpur in Allahabad, will be the Deputy Chief Minister apart from senior BJP leader and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma. Later, addressing the media, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who along with BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav was present at the meeting as central observer for the election, told a press conference that Adityanath’s name was proposed by Suresh Khanna, an 8-term MLA, and seconded by 10 others. Naidu said even after the proposal was made, he asked the 312 newly elected MLAs if they wanted to propose anybody else for the post, but they all backed Adityanath unanimously. Naidu said that the Yogi then said he needed two deputy CMs to assist him in the gigantic task, following which it was decided that Maurya and Sharma would hold the posts. As the meeting was about to begin, an element of surprise gripped the venue when Adityanath reached Lok Bhawan opposite the imposing Assembly complex. Midway through the meeting, Sharma was asked to attend the deliberations. Interestingly, none of the three is a legislator in Uttar Pradesh. As soon as it was decided that the saffron-robed Gorakhpur MP will hold the reins of the state, party leaders and MLAs rushed to the dais with sweets and garlands. Adityanath will be the 21st chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and the fourth from the saffron party. He will be sworn in tomorrow at a ceremony at Kanshiram Smriti Upvan at 2.15 PM where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will be present. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amit Shah visits RSS headquarters in Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst hectic parleys and after busy schedule of electioneering, BJP President Amit Shah visited Mumbai and made it a point to visit the RSS headquarters here on Friday. Shah spent 20 minutes at the office.Sources within RSS said that Shah was in Mumbai for some party work and just dropped in at RSS office. Interestingly, even though RSS officials maintain that it was a courtesy visit by Shah, he is believed to have discussed possible outcome of elections in five states with RSS Sarkaaryawah or RSS general secretary Bhayyaji Joshi. An RSS official described it sayinf, “He did not have any schedule as such on Friday and was in Mumbai for some party related work. That is the reason while going back from Mumbai he just made it a point to drop in at RSS office.’

China warns India again over Dalai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Just a week after holding their strategic dialogue to shore up bilateral ties, India and China once again faced off on Friday on the issue of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang monastery after eight years between April 4 and 13.Though Beijing warned that the Tibetan leader’s visit will seriously damage bilateral ties, India has gone ahead to facilitate the visit and has deputed a senior government representative to assist the Dalai Lama.”China is gravely concerned over information that India has granted permission to the Dalai to visit Arunachal Pradesh,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told media persons in Beijing. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet and objects to any visit by top leaders, officials and diplomats to the area. “China is strongly opposed to the Dalai visiting disputed areas,” Geng said.Geng even accused groups holding the Dalai Lama in high esteem of engaging in anti-China activities. “China’s position on the eastern section of China-India border dispute is consistent and clear. The Dalai clique has long been engaging in anti-China activities and its record on the border question is not that good,” he said.Official sources here rejected Chinese statements, saying that the Tibetan spiritual leader was on his way to Arunachal for a religious trip. They said that New Delhi was surprised at Beijing’s new-found “sensitivities” as the Dalai Lama has undertaken numerous such visits earlier.Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju described it as a “behavioural change” on the part of Beijing because India is more assertive now. In December, China had expressed its anger at President Pranab Mukherjee hosting the Dalai Lama at Rashtrapati Bhavan with other Nobel prize winners. Last month, China had also opposed the visit of a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation to India.The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, who last year switched loyalties to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), called on the Dalai Lama in New Delhi last October and officially invited him to visit the state.China had earlier said that the border dispute between the two countries can be resolved if New Delhi accepts Beijing’s claim over the Tawang region. Interestingly, Beijing doesn’t consider the Aksai Chin region of Jammu and Kashmir a disputed site.Experts here believe that despite Prime Minister Modi’s cautious approach and attempts to avoid ratcheting up tensions, an assertive India aligning with the US and Japan is perceived as a threat in Beijing. Last week, Modi had deputed Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to stabilise relations between the countries.Referring to the Chinese white paper released earlier this year on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation, Abhay Kumar Singh, Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), concludes that Beijing has affirmed its regional ambitions and aims to shape the regional security agenda in the Asia- Pacific Region on its terms. It has also made it quite clear now that border dispute can be resolved if New Delhi accepts Beijing’s claim over the Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh.Dai Bingguo, who served as the China’s boundary negotiator with India from 2003 to 2013, told the Chinese media, “If the Indian side takes care of China’s concerns in the eastern sector of their border, the Chinese side will respond accordingly and address India’s concerns elsewhere.” India has, however, rejected the proposal to concede the Tawang region. Interestingly, China refuses to consider that there is a dispute on the Aksai Chin area of Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir that it occupied during the 1962 war.On shaky groundStandoffs in India’s Ladakh region in April 2013 and then in September 2014;China vetoes blocking India’s resolutions in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to get Pakistan-based terrorists Masood Azhar sanctionedThe China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, disregarding Indian sentimentsChina objects to India’s entry into the Nuclear Supplier GroupNew Delhi also appears to be sending a message to Beijing that its support for the One China policy might no longer be unconditional