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LG Kiran Bedi functioning like a leader of opposition,says Puducherry CM Narayanasamy

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today alleged that Lt Governor Kiran Bedi’s “style of functioning is more like a leader of opposition than an administrator” of the Union Territory.Addressing reporters here, Narayanasamy said although he had written to the Lt Governor asking her not to “overstep her constitutional and statutory limits” and not to “interfere in the routine working of the elected government,” she had been doing so.”I have written letters to her on more than 15 occasions registering protest against her style of functioning. But, she keeps functioning more like a leader of opposition than an administrator,” he said.Also readPuducherry governor Kiran Bedi bans business class air travel by officialsThe Congress leader also minced no words stating that, “Bedi has not contributed for the economic development of Puducherry and in implementation of progressive schemes.” Condemning the “autocratic style of working” of the Lt Governor, the chief minister said, “It is really a sad development that she (Bedi) held meetings with the police officers yesterday to draw up a plan of police deployment in view of the flow of tourists into Puducherry on the eve of New Year Day.”Also readKiren Bedi slams Puducherry Govt for poor quality of education in government schoolsNarayanasamy claimed that Bedi has held meetings with police officers though he had arranged one with police officers to finalise the security plan for maintenance of law and order with the Chief Secretary in charge, A Anbarasu being a coordinating officer.The chief minister maintained that “time is not far for the current situation to come to an end.” Since Bedi assumed office last year, the Congress government in Puducherry and she have been at loggerheads over several issues including medical admissions, civic problems and induction of three nominated MLAs.

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Cyclone Ockhi: Depression alert over south Andaman Sea, Navy strives to resue stranded fishermen

A low pressure system over the South Andaman Sea is expected to turn into a depression in the next 48 hours, which may bring more rainfall to Tamil Nadu, as the death toll due to Cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari district rose to five today.The deaths occurred in cyclone-related incidents in the district. Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the victims, said an official release. “A well marked low pressure is lying over South Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood. It is expected to concentrate into a depression in the next 48 hours,” Regional Meteorological Centre Director S Balachandran said.Balachandran said the system is likely to move towards north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra coast in the next four days. “This is the current situation and we are monitoring the system.” In the next 24 hours, more rainfall is expected in most places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Heavy rainfall can be expected in Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Theni and Dindigul, he said.Also readCyclone Ockhi updates: More than 80 fishermen go missing; 8 dead in Tamil Nadu, KeralaFishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along the Kanyakumari coast and Arabian sea, he added. Cyclone Ockhi, which in Bengali means ‘eye’, today intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved to the Arabian Sea. An IMD bulletin said Ockhi over Southeast Arabian Sea continued to move west-northwestwards with a speed of 13 kmph. It lies over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea about 90km northeast of Minicoy and 270km south-southeast of Amini Divi.”The system is very likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours,” the bulletin said. Widespread rainfall has been reported in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry with Papanasam (Tirunelveli district) recording 45 cm rain, Balachandran said. The Indian Navy is putting in “maximum effort” to rescue fishermen from the sea which is very rough under the influence of Cyclone Ockhi, a top Navy official said today. Rescue operations are on. Some fishermen have already been rescued by the Navy which immediately dispatched aircraft and ships besides helicopters to carry out rescue operations in the sea which is very rough, said Vice Admiral A R Karve, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command.”Maximum efforts have been put in,” he said at a press meet held on board the INS Tir on the occasion of Navy Day at the Naval Base here. “We have responded immediately. We will continue to meet the requirement of safety and security of our fishermen. As soon as we got the request from the government of Kerala for search operations, we have started that,” Vice Admiral Karve said. According to a defence spokesperson, the navy is continuing search and rescue operations in coordination with the Indian Coast Guard and the state administration in the coastal areas of Kerala.At present, 69 people stranded in the sea have been located and the exact numbers are being corroborated, he said.Twenty people have been rescued and efforts are on to bring others to safety. Continuous sorties of aircraft and helicopters are being undertaken in coordination with the units at sea, the spokesperson said. Top navy officials said they have deployed two ships to the Lakshadweep Islands for carrying out rescue and rehabilitation operations in the island which is under threat of the cyclone.Ockhi, which has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, moved to the Arabian Sea today.
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ISRO satellite imageries to monitor suspicious vessels and boats venturing into seas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> ISRO satellite imageries will soon monitor suspicious vessels and boats venturing into seas as part of the fortification of the country’s coastal security, the home ministry said on Friday. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will provide 1,000 transponders by March next year as part of the coastal security ring, being set up to thwart terrorist attacks on the lines of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage. For boats under 20 metres, satellite monitoring has been proposed, a senior home ministry official said. India has strengthened the coastal security after the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai which claimed 166 lives. Ten terrorists reached the metropolis from Pakistan sailing through the Arabian sea.So far, 19.74 lakh fishermen have enrolled for biometric identity cards and of whom, 18.60 lakhs have been issued identity cards. For monitoring of boats, automatic identification system would be installed in all boats above 20 metres, while colour coding of boats was being undertaken by coastal states and Union Territories for easier monitoring in the high seas and on the International Maritime Boundary Line, the official said. India has a coastline of 7,516 km running through Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Standard operating procedures (SOPs) were developed for dealing with the breach of the International Maritime Boundary Line and SOPs were issued for upgrading security in non-major ports and single point mooring facilities, another official said. The SOPs were issued to coastal states and Union Territories for better coordination among stakeholders, coastal mapping started in states for entering terrain details, coastal and local police stations, bomb disposal facilities, ports railway stations, bus stands, fishing villages and fish landing points, the official said.Security of the coastline is vital for the country as there are nuclear stations, missile launching centres, defence and oil installations along the coast. India’s long coastline presents a variety of security concerns that include landing of arms and explosives at isolated spots on the coast, infiltration/ex-filtration of anti-national elements, use of the sea and off-shore islands for criminal activities, smuggling of consumer and intermediate goods through sea, the official said.Absence of physical barriers and the presence of vital industrial and defence installations also enhance the vulnerability of the coasts to illegal cross-border activities, the official said.

Tamil Nadu Governor in political storm over admin meet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has stirred a new political controversy in the state by holding a discussion with Coimbatore district officials, as the Opposition parties — led by the DMK — have termed it a gross interference in the state’s rights. The ruling AIADMK, however, did not see any threat to the state’s autonomy.In spite of the opposition parties flaying him for holding the meeting on Tuesday, Purohit swept a bus bay as part of a cleanliness drive under the Swachh Bharat initiative on Wednesday and also held a discussion with NGOs and resident welfare associations working on solid waste management.In a strong message to the opposition, the governor declared that he would visit the district as well as the other districts every year. He also expressed hope that Coimbatore would soon become the cleanest city in the country.The governor’s meeting evoked comparison with neighbouring Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi who has earned the wrath of the ruling Congress government for interfering in its administration.Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said that the disease of governor interfering in the elected government’s administration has spread to Tamil Nadu too. He alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using the governors and lieutenant governors to undermine the opposition party run governments in the state and the union territories.

AAP govt vs Centre: Constitution provides restriction on Delhi’s legislative power, says Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today said the Constitution provided restrictions on legislative powers of the Union Territory of Delhi amid claims of the AAP government that Parliament’s power to override legislative authority of the states was an “emergency” power.A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which is hearing pleas on who enjoys supremacy in governing the national capital, referred to Article 239AA and said though the Delhi Assembly has the power to legislate on certain subjects under state and concurrent lists while Parliament also has the power to legislate with respect to “any matter” of the Union Territory of Delhi. “There are restrictions on the power of the Delhi Assembly to legislate,” the bench, also comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, said.Senior advocates Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Arvind Kejriwal government, said Parliament has the power to override Delhi Assembly, but this is the “emergency legislative power”.Unlike UTs like Puducherry, Delhi has been given powers by the Constitution and its powers are not a “gift from Parliament”, he said, adding that the constitutional provisions provided that the Delhi assembly “shall have the power to make laws on some subjects under state list and on all subjects under the concurrent list”. The senior lawyer referred to other constitutional schemes and said that if there was no exclusivity attached to a subject, Parliament would have the power to make laws and if a subject fell under the exclusive domain of the states, the Union government could not the have the legislative powersThe bench said that with regard to Delhi’s legislative powers, the state and concurrent lists have been merged into one where the state and Union both have legislative powers. “Does it not mean that more powers have been conferred on Parliament,” the bench asked. Parliament has been given overriding powers under Article 239AA so that it was not “helpless if the state Assembly passes a ridiculous law”, Dhavan said.He said that Delhi has a “responsible government” and not a “representative government” like Puducherry as it derived power from the Constitution.On the issue of limitations on Delhi’s legislative and executive powers, the senior lawyer said that there were restrictions on powers of the Centre and states as well and “the question is are these limitations are so wide? The answer is no”. He then referred to powers conferred on Panchayats and said, “If a government has to act purely on the basis of law then a government cannot govern…executive power rides with the legislative power.”Every executive function and power cannot be provided in law, he said, adding that the elected chief minister has executive powers.The bench said the issue was on a narrow compass as to what could happen in case of difference of opinion between the lieutenant governor and the chief minister and the council of ministers.It also said that as far as the legislative arena was concerned there was no dispute on the powers of the Centre and Delhi government. Dhavan said, “The court will have to decide who (Delhi or the Centre) has the primary executive powers.” The arguments remained inconclusive and would resume on November 21.Earlier, the apex court had raised a question whether the constitutional scheme on division of executive powers between the Centre and the states can be made applicable to the Union Territory of Delhi. The Delhi government had accused the LG of making a “mockery of democracy” and said that he was either taking decisions of an elected government or substituting them without having any power. The court is hearing a batch of appeals filed by the AAP government challenging the Delhi High Court verdict holding that the LG was the administrative head of the national capital.

TN governor discusses development work in Coimbatore; opposition calls it interference by Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday held a meeting with Coimbatore district administration officials to discuss the developmental works undertaken in the district even as the opposition parties dub it as a yet another attempt of the Centre’s interference.On Wednesday, Purohit inspected the Gandhipuram bus stand in the textile city and took part in a cleaning drive as part of the Swachch Bharat Initiative. He also inspected e-toilets in the bus stand and also visited a residential society – Sunnyside Residency in the city. He also held a discussion with NGOs and resident welfare associations working on solid waste management. “I have carried out visits in Maharashtra and I felt they (people in that state) were the best in maintaining toilets and waste management. Now when I visit cities in Tamil Nadu I have changed my opinion,” Purohit said addressing the discussion.Breaking the convention of maintaining a distance in the state administration followed by the past Governors in Tamil Nadu, Purohit has chosen to hold a meeting with the Coimbatore district administration, civic body officials and police officers on the ongoing developmental works. What raised many eyebrows was the fact that even Municipal Administration Minister and senior AIADMK leader SP Velumani who hails from Coimbatore was not invited to the Tuesday’s meeting.The Governor’s meeting was held amid the accusations from the opposition that Narendra Modi government at the centre is interfering in the administration of the state government led by the faction-ridden AIADMK.Governor’s meeting evoked comparison with Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi who is known for making spot visits and holding review meetings with the officials. But the Congress government in Puducherry is strongly opposed to Bedi’s style of functioning calling it as gross interference in the day-to-day functioning of the elected government. Strangely, AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu seems to have no problem with the Governor’s meeting the state officials as several State Ministers supported Purohit.State Higher Education Minister K.P. Anbalagan and Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani on Tuesday said that the autonomy of the State would not be affected by such a meeting. “Such review meeting by the Governor will help improve the relationship with the Centre which would help in the progress of the state,” said Velumani.Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said that the disease of Governor interfering in the elected government’s administration has spread to Tamil Nadu too. “There is nothing wrong with Governor visiting various places but taking unilateral decisions is wrong. The centre is trying to control the state government through the Governors and Lt Governors,” he said.Asking the Governor from conducting any further such review meetings, Leader of Opposition and DMK working president MK Stalin said if the Governor was really interested in good administration, he should ask the Edappadi K Palanisami government to prove his majority in the floor of the House.DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP and organizing secretary RS Bharathi accused the Modi government of trying to play a dirty game using Governor as a tool. He said the BJP wanted to undermine the elected government in Tamil Nadu like how they were doing in Puducherry and Arunachal Pradesh. “When there is an elected government, as per the constitution, the Governor cannot act independently and he should act according to the state cabinet’s advice,” he noted.Senior DMK leader said when the Governor planned such a meeting, Chief Minister should have condemned it right away and instructed the officials to stay away from it. “Chief Minister should have either condemned the Governor’s meeting or he should have resigned. But they don’t have the gut to oppose it as they are afraid of income tax raids,” he said, wondering whether Governor would have held such a meeting if former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was alive.Meanwhile, a section of Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam (TPDK) opposed the ‘unprecedented’ meeting chaired by the Governor with the officials and attempted to stage a black flag demonstration on Tuesday in front of Circuit House, where the meeting was in progress. However, police removed the activists, led by its General Secretary, K Ramakrishnan.The choice of Coimbatore district for the first meeting itself shows that it was a political ploy by the BJP, said Ramakrishnan. In the BJP’s political scheme of thing, Coimbatore and Tirupur districts are their prime targets for their electoral growth in the state, he said, pointing to several visits of senior BJP leaders to Coimbatore in the recent times. “Governor is trying to politically help the BJP in the two districts by trying to create an impression that the developmental works are happening at the behest of him who is a representative of the union government,” he said.

VK Sasikala kin’s hostel yields gold

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the third consecutive day, the Income Tax (I-T) officials continued their search for unaccounted wealth at over 40 premises of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s kin, their associates and aides across the state.On Saturday, I-T sleuths seized volumes of incriminating documents relating to investments to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore and seven kilograms of unaccounted gold, luxury watches and cash from Sengamala Thayaar Educational Trust Women’s College hostel in Tiruvarur, which belongs to Sasikala’s brother, V Dhivaharan. Dhivaharan was taken for questioning and I-T officials also knocked at his daughter Mathangi’s residence at Defence Colony in Chennai.The department froze 51 bank accounts belonging to shell companies and individuals.”Several documents of money transactions seized during the raid are yet to be scrutinised. We will have total value of investments only after the completion of the search operation in all the premises,” the official said.On Thursday, a team of around 1,800 officials launched the massive search exercise at 187 premises connected to Sasikala’s kin in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi. The residences of Sasikala’s sister-in-law, Illavarassi’s son Vivek at Mahalingapuram and daughter Krishnapriya at T Nagar continued to be searched. The duo were also questioned about their source of income. Searches also continued at the offices of Jaya TV and Jazz cinemas in Chennai. The two residences of Sasikala’s astrologer and a jewellery shop in Cuddalore are also under the scanner.Operation Clean Money was launched by IT officials following specific information on shell companies, dubious investments and large deposits of cash post demonetisation.Also FoundRs1,500 cr in investments, revealed by documents51 bank accounts of shell companies, individuals frozen7 kg of gold, luxury watches and bundles of cash found

Chennai floods: Sun comes out, but water stagnation continues in various pockets of the city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sun shone bright in Chennai and neighbouring districts on Sunday morning, bringing respite to citizens facing the monsoon fury for the past few days.However, problems of water stagnation continued in some parts of the city and its suburbs such as Pallikaranai.Sun came out in Chennai and neighbouring districts, raising hopes of stagnant water receding.Special rescue and relief teams have been formed even as dams and reservoirs were being monitored to prevent anti-social elements from creating problems, the government had said in a statement yesterday. Earlier, rains continued to lash the city and neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur besides other regions of Tamil Nadu, even as the MeT department forecast more rainfall due to a low pressure area persisting in the Bay of Bengal.Commuters had a harrowing time due to delayed services of buses and trains and severe traffic snarls. Mild rainfall was recorded in some areas in the state, moderate in others and heavy in some pockets.Schools and colleges, closed since October 31, were shut today as well and several university exams were postponed. The state-level National Talent Search Exam scheduled for Sunday was deferred to November 18.Civic authorities, including corporation officials, district collectors (Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur) coordinated relief work.Power supply was suspended in inundated areas such as parts of MKB Nagar in North Chennai, pockets of Madipakkam in South Chennai and Karapakkam off Porur in Western Chennai to ensure safety.Netizens posted updates about traffic diversions and inundated areas on social media and volunteers distributed food packets and water in affected areas of Nanmangalam and Pallikaranai.Chief Minister K Palaniswami had yesterday visited many waterlogged parts of the city and its suburbs, insisting that his government was working on a “war-footing”. He was accompanied by his deputy O Panneerslevam and senior officials.Meanwhile, a Met bulletin said the low pressure area over southwest Bay of Bengal, adjoining Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu coast and the associated cyclonic circulation extending upto 3.1 km above mean sea level continued to persist.With the northeast monsoon active in the state and neighbouring Puducherry, Chennai city (Nungambakkam) recorded 65.8 mm of rainfall while suburban Meenambakkam registered 62 mm rains in 24 hours ending 8.30 am on Sunday.The coastal district of Nagapattinam in the Cauvery delta zone recorded 2 cm rain and Karaikal in Puducherry one cm rain from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm yesterday. Comprehensive updates on rainfall for other regions till this morning are awaited.The Met department said rain or thundershowers were likely to occur at many places over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and at a few places over interior Tamil Nadu.Heavy rain at isolated places was very likely over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, it said.A release from the railways said showers caused track “circuit based signalling to fail” due to water logging in Chennai Division, “affecting punctuality” between Kodambakkam- St Thomas Mount stations in the southern sector from 9 pm yesterday and it was restored at 9.50 pm.This was also the case at the northern Tondiarpet and Korukkupet route at 9.35 pm and services were restored at 5.45 am today, the release said.”Wherever automatic signalling got affected, trains got slightly delayed since they had to be dealt with manual signals instead of automatic signals,” it said.There were also some power tripping issues in railway routes, including the northern suburban Chennai Beach-Central- Tiruvallur. Power was immediately restored by extending supply from adjacent sub stations within a few minutes, they said.This morning, a rail fracture was detected between St Thomas Mount and Pallavaram stations and it was attended and set right soon after, they said.”Except for some minor delays, train services including Chennai Suburban Services are being maintained normally and monitored continuously by railway officials,” they said.

Tamil Nadu chokes again: Rainfall throws life out of gear, weatherman predicts thundershower

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after heavy showers, there was some respite from rains in Tamil Nadu today, though waterlogging affected normal life in parts of the state.The met department has forecast rain or thundershowers in coastal areas.A weather bulletin said rain or thundershowers was likely to occur tomorrow at most places over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and at many places over the State’s interior.In Chennai, normal life in parts of Vyasarpadi, Otteri, Tiruvotriyur in North Chennai and Velachery and Madipakkam in South Chennai was disrupted.Two-wheeler riders and pedestrians were affected the most due to water logging. Civic authorities said action was being taken to clear inundation by using water-pumps.Desilting work was on in the Adyar rivermouth and in several other locations of the river in the city, including Egmore, authorities said.As part of measures to prevent flooding during monsoon, Local Administration Minister SP Velumani said encroachements were removed near water-courses.He said over over 5,000 dwellings in and around Adyar and Cooum rivers which existed there for over four decades were evacuated.Several parts of the state were lashed by heavy rains yesterday. One person was killed yesterday in Thanjavur district when the mud wall of his hut collapsed under the rain impact.Meanwhile, skies became clear in various districts, including Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram though schools and colleges were closed today in view of the heavy rain forecast.Intermittent spells of rain, however, continued in various districts, including Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.The upper air cyclonic circulation over Southwest Bay of Bengal near Sri Lanka moved westward and was now positioned over Gulf of Munnar, Director of the Area Cyclone Warning Centre, S Balachandran told reporters.He said that in the last 24 hours ending 8.30 am today, both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry witnessed widespread rains with Seerkazhi in the Cauvery delta region witnessing the highest of 31 cm.In Chennai, Nungambakkam received 12 cm and Airport 17 cm and both Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts recorded over 10 cm of rain for the period.Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar said end points of drinking water (Metro Water) distribution were being checked and chlorinated.

Puducherry given status on par with States by Finance Commission, says CM Narayanasamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Sunday said the Union Territory has been accorded status on par with states by the Finance Commission enabling it to receive funds like any other state.Speaking to reporters here, he said, “As a result of our sustained efforts the Centre has now treated Puducherry on par with states by including it in the Central Finance Commission enabling the Union territory to get devolution of funds on par with States.”All along Puducherry was kept out of the ambit of the Central Finance Commission, he said.The allocation of funds by the 15th Finance Commission for Puducherry would be 42 percent of the total budgetary allocations of Puducherry as is the case for States, he noted.Narayanasamy said the territorial administration has been incurring a revenue loss of Rs 40 crores per month ever since the Goods and Services Tax was enforced in July this year.”Although the Centre had earmarked Rs 40 crores for the loss suffered in July after GST was enforced I hope the compensation for subsequent months would be available without break,” he said.Charging the Centre with adopting a different yardstick towards Puducherry, the Chief Minister said, “the Centre should implement its promises given in the past to meet shortfall in plan and on plan allocation of funds without any discrimination.”He said, President Ram Nath Kovind had given “very good” suggestions at the recent conference of Governors and Lt Governors in New Delhi asking the incumbents of gubernatorial posts to function as bridge with the governments.The bridge as envisaged by the President should be “a sound structure and should not be rickety and a damaged one,” Narayanasamy, whose government had been at loggerheads with the Lt Governor Kiran Bedi said in a veiled reference to ongoing tussle with the latter.On October 12, the President had said that Governors can provide a new dimension to the development of their states by communicating with legislators and deliberating on subjects related to public well-being. ​

Governors need to coordinate with legislators for creation of New India: President Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Governors can provide a new dimension to the development of their states by communicating with legislators and deliberating on subjects related to public well-being, President Ram Nath Kovind said here today.Addressing a two-day conference of governors and lt governors of states and union territories, the president said their obligation to commit themselves to the welfare of the people was more pronounced in the “current paradigm of cooperative federalism”. In his opening address at the conference, attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kovind said governors should inspire and connect all relevant stakeholders in their respective states for the creation of a ‘New India’ that is free of corruption, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and unhygienic conditions.The assertion comes in the backdrop of Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Puducherry’s Kiran Bedi having differences of opinion in administrative matters with their chief ministers. “The president said that being an intrinsic part of the legislative system in their states, Governors can provide a new dimension to the development of their states by communicating with legislators, and inviting them to Raj Bhavan to deliberate on subjects related to public well- being,” a statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan quoted Kovind as saying. By participating in this meeting, governors and lt governors had got a good opportunity to discuss important issues and share experiences from their respective states, he said.He added that they play the role of a bridge between the Union government and states. “The obligation of governors to preserve and uphold the Constitution and commit themselves to the service and welfare of the people is even more pronounced in the current paradigm of cooperative federalism,” Kovind said. The conference is being attended by 27 governors and three lt governors of states and union territories. The administrators of the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu as well as of Lakshadweep are also participating as special invitees.The president said critical milestones and national goals have been set in the context of the completion of 75 years of independence in 2022. “In order to ensure ‘Team India’ advances in a single direction to achieve these national goals, governors should inspire and connect all relevant stakeholders in their respective states.” he said. The president said it was essential to link youth with the process of nation building.”The future of the country depends on the capacities, moral values and compassion of the younger generation. Special attention needs to be paid to higher education and skill development at the level of states,” Kovind said.He also stressed the need for trusting citizens more and gave the examples of self-attestation of documents by individuals and the easier mechanism for obtaining a passport. Kovind urged the replication of these ideas at the level of states, since much of a citizen’s interaction with government agencies is at the level of states.By establishing communication channels with university chancellors and vice-chancellors, academicians, social workers and other thoughtful and enlightened citizens in the states, governors could help raise the quality of discussion and debate and provide an impetus to society and the state government, he said. Kovind also expressed the hope that the conference could help the Union government and states work together in the interests of all citizens, especially young people. The dream of a developed India will be realised, he said, only when every state develops.

Amid calls for floor test, only 111 AIADMK MLAs attend CM Palaniswami’s meeting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid calls for a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by the opposition parties, 111 MLAs of the ruling AIADMK in the state today attended a legislators’ meet convened by Chief Minister K Palaniswami here.State Fisheries Minister and senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar told reporters here that as many as 111 MLAs reposed their faith in the chief minister at the meeting.The development is being considered as a boost to Palaniswami, whose earlier meeting on August 28 reportedly witnessed a much less attendance with some claiming that only 75 MLAs were present at it.Jayakumar said the MLAs had “wholeheartedly extended their full cooperation” to the chief minister and an unanimous resolution was adopted reposing faith in his leadership.He also claimed that nine MLAs of the Dhinakaran camp had contacted Palaniswami over phone and extended their support to him.Also, three MLAs who are allies of the ruling party had promised their support to Palaniswami, he added.The Peravurani MLA had intimated that he would not be able to attend the meet as he was indisposed, Jayakumar said.He alleged that some legislators had been “illegally confined against their wishes” (at Puducherry) and asserted that the meet signalled the dashing of hopes of those who wanted to “thrust” an election on the people.The AIADMK has 134 MLAs in the 234-member state Assembly with one vacancy.

TTV Dhinakaran demands President ‘intervene’ in Tamil Nadu to deal with ‘extraordinary situation’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran demanded that the President intervene in Tamil Nadu as an “extraordinary situation” is prevailing in the state.Dhinakaran, who is involved in a power tussle with Chief Minister K Palaniswami, met the MLAs loyal to him who have been staying here for nearly two weeks.After the meeting, he said the legislators had not been herded and asserted that they were staying here on their own volition.Dhinakaran told reporters that an “extraordinary situation” was prevailing in Tamil Nadu.”The President (Ram Nath Kovind) and Governor should intervene in this extraordinary situation. We will wait for two more days and then decide next course of action,” the party’s deputy general secretary said.He had come here to hold discussions with his camp legislators, he added.The DMK, Congress and Left parties had met Kovind on August 31, demanding a floor test for the incumbent Palaniswami government in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.They had earlier knocked on Rao’s doors with a similar plea.To a question, Dhinakaran said his side has not sought an appointment with the president.The former MP said he wished to meet the MLAs but could not do so due to his busy work schedule.The MLAs had been staying here ever since they left Chennai following their meeting with Rao on August 22 where they had told him that they had lost confidence in Palaniswami and had sought his removal as chief minister.He said both Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam had “betrayed” AIADMK and people of the state.”A chief minister appointed by us has betrayed people and the party by joining hands with Panneerselvam who had earlier betrayed the party,” he alleged”How can a man who has betrayed a party that made him chief minister serve the people,” he said while referring to his camp’s demand for the removal of Palaniswami.On the governor informing a team of opposition leaders recently that he cannot intervene in AIADMK’s “internal affairs”, Dhinakaran said “we know why he said so,” but did not elaborate.”Our MLAs are revolutionaries. They will not back down,” he added.Indicating that his flock was united, Dhinakaran refuted reports that some of them had left the Union Territory or had wanted to leave.He said none of them had been herded at the Puducherry accommodation and said they had even left their homes and families for the cause they had taken up.”They are independent here,” he said.They rued not being able to serve their respective constituencies, Dhinakaran said, adding “but people in Tamil Nadu know they are here to protect their party and their government.”Responding to a question on the suicide of 17 year-old medical aspirant Anitha at Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu, he said the state “does not need NEET at all”.The girl had scored 1176 marks out 1200 in Class XII exams and if there was no NEET exam, she could have got admitted to a medical course, he said.Asked if the issue called for the resignation of Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, he said Palaniswami and Panneerselvam should quit.”Let them resign and we will set things right,” he said.He said people of Tamil Nadu will not accept anything “imposed” on them and referred to the anti-Hindi agitation of 1960s, a DMK-led initiative.

AIADMK drama 2.0: Step down or will activate ‘sleeper cells’ in party, Dhinakaran warns Chief Minister Palaniswami

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>TTV Dhinakaran, the man behind revolt in the AIADMK, has issued a fresh ‘warning’ to Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.Dhinakaran’s words may translate into more trouble for Chief Minister EPS, who is set for a trust vote in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.VK Sasikala’s nephew in no uncertain terms, warned EPS and said that many AIADMK MLAs will support him, and it’s better that the Chief Minister steps down.This must be noted that the sleeper cell warning comes close after 21 party lawmakers skipped the EPS meet on Monday.Dhinakaran has claimed the support of 21 MLAs and is demanding removal of Palaniswami as the CM since the merger of two factions led by Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam on August 21.The absence of MLAs from the meet was a setback to the united AIADMK besides the other 21 rebel MLAs, who continued to stay at a Puducherry resort.Meanwhile, at a meeting, the Chief Minister slammed Dhinakaran and said he was sacked from the post of deputy general secretary on August 10 itself and changes made by him in the party posts were invalid.The Dhinakaran faction of the AIADMK on Tuesday filed a caveat before the Election Commission that it should be heard before the poll body takes any decision on any pleas to be submitted by the faction consisting of Panneerselvam and Palaniswami after their recent merger.

Petrol price up by Rs 6/litre since July, now highest rate in three years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Petrol price has been hiked by Rs 6 per litre since the beginning of July and is now priced at its highest rate in three years with rates being revised in small dosages daily.Diesel price has increased by Rs 3.67 a litre and now costs Rs 57.03 a litre in Delhi, the highest in four months, according to data from state-owned oil companies. A litre of petrol costs Rs 69.04 a litre in Delhi, the highest since second-half of August 2014 when it was priced at Rs 70.33. State-owned oil companies in June dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month and instead adopted a dynamic daily price revision to instantaneously reflect changes in cost.Prices of petrol and diesel have been revised at 0600 hrs everyday since June 16. Rates during the first fortnight dropped but have since July 3 been on the rise. Petrol price was at Rs 65.48 a litre on June 16 in Delhi and it dropped to Rs 63.06 by July 2. However, rates have since gone up every day except on four occasions when prices were cut by 2-9 paise per litre.Similarly, a litre of diesel was priced at Rs 54.49 on June 16 and it dropped to Rs 53.36 on July 2, thanks to the softening international oil prices. Since then, it has been on an upswing though the reduction in diesel rates have been on a larger number of occasions than petrol.”Previously, everybody felt the pinch when rates would go up by Rs 2 or 3 per litre in one go. Now they are being increased by 1 paisa to 15 paise a litre everyday, hikes that have largely gone unnoticed,” a senior oil company executive said. The daily price revision means an instantaneous transfer of a rise or decline in international oil price to the consumer instead of the previous practice of passing it on only after a fortnight. The previous practice of revision in the rate on 1st and 16th of every month, which began with deregulation of auto fuel on April 1, 2002, was based on average international oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding fortnight.”Many a time, international rates would fall for one week and then rise in the following. So, the net effect of this in the previous price revision policy was status quo or a marginal change in rate,” he said. Petrol and diesel prices were deregulated or freed from government control from April 1, 2002, and the fortnightly revision in rates kicked in. The deregulation derailed a bit when international oil prices started to climb after 2004. Fortnightly revision continued but the revision was not completely in sync with the required price increase.Petrol price was finally freed in June 2010 and diesel in October 2014 after small fortnightly increases over the past several months brought rates at par with the cost. The daily price revision was implemented after a successful pilot in five cities. The official said daily price change will remove the big leaps in rates that need to be effected at the end of the fortnight, making the consumer more aligned to market dynamics. The three state-owned fuel retailers had implemented a daily revision of retail selling price (RSP) of petrol and diesel on a pilot basis in Udaipur in Rajasthan, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, Puducherry, Chandigarh, and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh from May 1.

Palaniswami calls for unity amid rebellion by 18 AIADMK MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today said unity was the need of the hour to take the party and the AIADMK government forward, amid a threat to his government’s stability posed by 18 MLAs loyal to sidelined party deputy chief T T V Dhinakaran. Senior AIADMK leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, however, dismissed any threat to the government in the wake of revolt by the 18 MLAs, who have expressed lack of confidence in Palaniswami’s leadership. He said the state government was strong and there was no division in the party. On yet another day of hectic political developments in the state, Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed AIADMK chief V K Sasikala, sought to assert his authority by stripping four ministers of party posts while MLAs loyal to him continued to stay put in a resort in Puducherry. DMK’s ally Congress pitched for a floor test in the assembly, a day after the Dravidian party made a similar demand claiming 22 AIADMK MLAs had submitted letters to Governor Ch Vidayasagar Rao expressing lack of confidence in the chief minister. In the 234-member assembly, the AIADMK has 134 MLAs. Sasikala’s brother V Divakaran, meanwhile, claimed the Palaniswami ministry had “lost majority” and sought his resignation. “Such a government cannot continue. Palaniswami has to resign,” he told reporters at Kumbakonam. Thambidurai told reporters in Chennai that the “Tamil Nadu government under the leadership of Palaniswami is strong. There are no divisions,” he added. Palaniswami later made the comments on unity at a government function in Ariyalur where he shared the dais with his deputy O Panneerselvam for the first time after the merger of two AIADMK factions led by them. Addressing the centenary celebrations of AIADMK founder and late chief minister M G Ramachandran, the two leaders heaped praises on him and late chief minister J Jayalalithaa. Palaniswami said the recent merger of the two factions was done with the aim of fulfiling the dreams of Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa and expressed joy over today’s meeting. The chief minister, facing an attack from the Dhinakaran camp over the merger, stressed on unity to take the party and government forward. “We should strengthen the party and the government like siblings. That unity is the offering (apparently meaning gratitude) we make to Amma (Jayalalithaa),” he said. He also invoked the legacy of MGR and Jayalalithaa and said they had surmounted various challenges during their tenures and provided good governance, earning a place in the hearts of the people of the state. “None can ever separate the present government and AIADMK from the people’s hearts as long as it is guided by the spirit of the two great leaders and as long as spirit of Amma stood as a source of strength,” he said. Like Jayalalitha, he also narrated a short story of a godman making the residents of a village realise the value of unity. “People will not accept those as leaders who had not done any public service. MGR (Ramachandran) won hearts by public service. Amma later gave shape to his ideas,” he said. In his address at the function, Panneerselvam said Jayalalithaa had turned the AIADMK into “an iron fortress which cannot be shaken by anyone”. The “sacrifices” of Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa should be kept in mind to ensure the well-being of the people of the state and its growth, he added. A day after meeting the governor, the MLAs supporting the combative Dhinakaran, stayed put at a private resort in neighbouring Puducherry. They largely remained indoors. A few of them, including Andipatti MLA Thangatamilselvan, went out for morning walk at the beach there. Police personnel have been deployed outside the resort and media was not allowed to enter the premises. The local wing of the unified AIADMK burned effigies of Dhinakaran, nephew of Sasikala, near the resort and raised slogans against them. In a bid to assert his authority, Dhinakaran “relieved” four ministers — RB Uthayakumar, KC Veeramani, MR Vijayabaskar and R Kamaraj — of party posts. In separate statements, Dhinakaran announced the appointments of his aides to these posts and also relieved the district secretaries of Chennai (South), Kancheepuram, Thiruvallore (West) and Pudukottai of their duties. In the Dravidian parties’ hierarchy, district secretaries play a key role in the organisational growth. Dhinakaran also appointed a number of his supporters to various others posts including that of the organisation secretary, besides expanding the office-bearers list. The appointments were made with the “approval” of Sasikala, he said. The latest shake-up by Dhinakaran comes two days after the merger of the two factions, which has irked his followers. Under the arrangement, Panneerselvam was made deputy chief minister and the coordinator of the party. Palaniswami was named co-coordinator. It was also agreed that steps would be taken to expel Sasikala, which was a pre-condition for the merger. In the wake of differences in the ruling party, the DMK has demanded a floor test in the assembly to prove that the government was in a majority. In Puducherry, former MLA Om Sakthi Segar led the protest against Sasikala and Dhinakaran and submitted a petition to the district collector and SP asking them to instruct the MLAs to vacate the resort in the “larger interest of law and order”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dhinakaran’s effigy burnt in Puducherry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of workers from the unified AIADMK today burnt an effigy of sidelined party deputy general secretary Dhinakaran near the resort where MLAs loyal to him are staying. Led by former MLA Om Sakthi Segar, they also hurled slippers at Dhinakaran’s photo and shouted slogans against him and his aunt V K Sasikala. Addressing the workers, Segar said he was going to hand a petition to the district collector and SP asking them to instruct the MLAs to vacate the resort in the “larger interest of law and order”. He alleged that the Congress-led Puducherry government was trying to cause a split in the AIADMK by letting the MLAs stay in the resort here. MLAs of the Dhinakaran camp yesterday met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao in Chennai to state that they had lost confidence in Chief Minister K Palaniswami. Though the governor’s office confirmed the meeting, it did not mention the number of MLAs who met Rao. Some reports put the number at 19. “We are going to initiate efforts to bring in a new chief minister with the help of our supporting MLAs,” Dhinakaran supporter and Andipatti MLA Thanga Tamil Selvan said after the meeting. “We have informed the governor that we don’t have confidence in the chief minister,” Selvan said, a day after the merger of the two rival factions led by Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam, a former chief minister. After meeting the governor, the MLAs backing Dhinakaran went to the resort in the coastal village of Chinna Veerampattinam, about 20 km from here. “We have come here to take rest,” Selvan had said yesterday. He declined to disclose how long the legislators would stay here. There was no clarity on the number of MLAs staying at the resort.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AIADMK cadres protest outside Puducherry resort where MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran are staying

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) cadres supporting Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and Deputy Chief Minister Panneerselvam (OPS) on Wednesday staged a protest outside the resort in Puducherry where 18 dissident MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran are staying.MLAs supporting Dhinakaran checked into a seaside Windflower resort in Puducherry on Tuesday evening, after demanding a removal of EPS as Chief Minister.AIADMK cadres burned the effigy of Dhinakaran for opposing the merger and creating trouble for the AIADMK government.On Tuesday, MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined party Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, and demanded a change of Chief Minister.They submitted a letter to Governor saying that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) has lost their confidence by inducting OPS as deputy CM without consulting them.The MLAs also gave a separate letter to Governor withdrawing support to Chief Minister K Palaniswami government.The leader of the Opposition and DMK working president MK Stalin has also written to Governor urging him to direct Palanisami to prove his majority on the floor of the House.Rival AIADMK factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam on Monday merged, ending a nearly seven-month feud in a power-sharing formula in the ruling party and the government in which the latter was made the deputy chief minister.As the merger brought to an end weeks of suspense during which there was tough negotiations, the two factions said steps would be taken to expel party chief V K Sasikala.The merger facilitated the return of Panneerselvam to the government as Finance minister, isolating Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, and his camp.Calling each other ‘Annan'(elder brother), both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam described the merger as “historic”.

Vailankanni gears up for annual church festival

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: All arrangements are in place for the 11-day annual festival of famous shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health at Vailankanni near here beginning on August 29, a top official said today. With more than 20 lakh pilgrims expected to throng the town during the festival, measures had been put in place to provide drinking water, sanitation, lighting and transport for their convenience, Nagapattinam Collector Dr C Suresh Kumar said. “We have taken additional precautions to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases. As pilgrims from various states would be visiting in large numbers, we have taken all steps to prevent the outbreak or spread of any type of disease,” he said. The collector also said inspections were carried out at lodges in the town for hygiene and they had been instructed to fully adhere to the guidelines prescribed by the health department. The church administration had spruced up the buildings, which have been illuminated with multi-colour lamps. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) has announced operation of special buses from various places including Chennai, Madurai, Chidambaram and Puducherry in view of the festival, which attracts pilgrims across the country, especially from Goa. Southern Railway is operating trains from Chennai, Vasco-da-gama(Goa), Ernakulam, Nagercoil, Bandra and Tirunelveli.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bedi goes incognito to assess women safety in Pondy at night

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Riding pillion on a two-wheeler with her ‘dupatta’ (shawl) covering her face, Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi travelled incognito to assess safety of women in the Union Territory after dusk. In a WhatsApp message to media persons after a “night round” of the city yesterday, Bedi said, “Felt that Puducherry is safe for women even at night”. She, however, said that she would suggest a few measures “which need to be taken by the police to enhance security”. The former IPS officer usually cycles to neighbouring areas of the Union Territory during her weekend visits to meet people of the town and address the issues concerning them.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Coast Guard reviews operational preparedness of eastern region

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coast Guard Commander, Eastern Region, Rajan Bargotra today reviewed the operational preparedness of the the region at the District and Station Commanders Works conference here today. Bargotra reviewed the operational preparedness with emphasis on coastal security, pollution response and infrastructure development, an official release said. He sensitised the District Commanders on the present security scenario in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and stressed the importance of working in tandom with all the stake holders. The role of fishermen fraternity towards coastal security was also highlighted on the occasion. Coast Guard District and Station Commanders from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and senior officers from various Coast Guard units participated, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pondy govt lacks ‘clear approach’ on NEET issue: AIADMK MLA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: Opposition AIADMK (Amma) today charged the Congress government in Puducherry with “lacking a clear and firm approach” on the yardstick for admission to medical courses in the Union Territory for this academic year. Talking to reporters here, leader of AIADMK (Amma) Legislature party A Anbalagan said the government had not taken a firm decision as to whether “the admission would be on the basis of NEET examination” or by considering marks obtained in plus two exams, without taking into account the score in NEET. The government of Tamil Nadu had come out with a very clear and firm approach and had also moved the centre for an ordinance to exempt the state from NEET, he added. “Puducherry government has not taken any such step. On the other hand counselling has already been conducted on the basis of performance in NEET examination and students have also been admitted after collecting fees,” Anbalagan(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Flight services from Pondy to resume Aug 16, says CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today said said flight services from Puducherry airport, which remained dormant for the last three years, would be resumed from August 16, with operations to Hyderabad in the first phase. Talking to reporters here, he said Spice Jet would operate services to Hyderabad in the first phase adding revival of air connectivity would bring more tourists to Puducherry and also help boost trade. Spice Jet would fly to Hyderabad and Vijayawada initially, he said and added that services to Bengaluru, Kochi and Tirupati were in the offing. Also, Odisha Air had come forward to operate flights from Puducherry to Salem and Bengaluru, he said. Narayanasamy said the plea for revival of air services from here was made to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and through an agreement and through sustained steps taken by the administration, Puducherry is being linked to Hyderabad now. Puducherry port would also go on stream shortly as a satellite port of Chennai Port Trust to boost cargo transactions, the Chief Minister said. He also urged the Centre to include the Union Territory as a member of Central Finance Commission (CFC) so that Puducherry would be earmarked funds to meet its fiscal commitments. Narayanasamy said he had requested the Union Finance Minister to include Puducherry as a member of the CFS. “Once we are part of the CFC, we will get enhanced allocation as is available for the states,” he said. He said that Puducherry was getting a central allocation of Rs 567 crore every year under non-plan though Puducherry’s commitments to meet liabilities arising out of implementation of Central Pay Commission and payment of pension for government staff had been heavy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CM urges Centre to include Puducherry in CFC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today urged the Centre to include the Union Territory as a member of Central Finance Commission (CFC) so that Puducherry would be earmarked funds to meet its fiscal commitments. Talking to reporters here, the Chief Miniser said that he had requested the Union Finance Minister and also Secretary to the Ministry to include Puducherry as a member of the CFS. “Once we are part of the CFC, we will get enhanced allocations as are available for the states”, he said. He said that Puducherry was getting a central allocation of Rs 567 crore every year under non-plan though Puducherry’s commitments to meet liabilities arising out of implementation of Central Pay commission and payment of pension for government staff had been heavy. Narayanasamy said that the flight services from Puducherry airport which remained defunct for last three years would be resumed from August 16 and Spice Jet would operate the services to Hyderabad. Puducherry port would also go on stream shortly as a satellite port of Chennai Port Trust to boost cargo transactions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ahmed Patel’s RS poll win vindicates victory of justice: Pondy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today said the victory of Congress veteran Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha poll in Gujarat has vindicated “the victory of justice and truth.” Honouring freedom fighters of the Union Territory on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of ‘Quit India movement’ at the Congress party office here, the Chief Minister said, “The Bharatiya Janata party had moved heaven and earth abusing authority and resorting to money power to scuttle the victory of the Congress candidate in Rajya Sabha poll in Gujarat. “All these efforts of the BJP had met with failure and the Congress nominee had emerged victorious to retain the Rajya Sabha seat.. This win showed that justice and truth would always meet with success,” he asserted. Hitting out at the NDA rule at the Centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader said, “Implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has seriously hit the revenue resources of the states.. Puducherry is bearing the brunt of the GST as the new tax regime is affecting the common man. The territorial government has found that GST is of no use for the Union Territory. “Whatever schemes the previous UPA government had evolved and implemented are being implemented under different nomenclatures now,” he said. “Personal liberty of the people is also at stake in the NDA rule,” he added. In a veiled reference to Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, Narayanasamy said, “Presently the elected government in Union Territory is not able to implement most of the welfare schemes as there are serious blockades and obstacles hitting implementation of the schemes. We will overcome all obstacles and challenges in the larger interest of development of Puducherry` he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Narayanasamy residence bomb case: HC grants bail to accused

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today granted bail to an accused in a case relating to planting of a pipe bomb under the car parked in front of former Union minister V Narayanasamy’s residence in Puducherry in 2014. A division bench of justices A Selvam and Pon Kalaiyarasan granted bail to Thangaraj, a suspected member of the banned Tamil Nadu Liberation Army (TNLA) and one of the six accused in the case, on the appeal filed by him. The bench in its order said, “In this case also the appellant moved an application for statutory bail after completion of 90 days and the same was returned. Thus immediately after completion of 90 days and before filing the charge sheet, the appellant exercised his right to grant of statutory bail.” “The custody without an order of the special judge beyond 90 days cannot be validated retrospectively. This ground alone is sufficed to enlarge the appellant on bail,” he observed. The appeal was filed challenging the orders passed on March 29 by the special court for National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases in Puducherry. Thangaraj was arrested for offences under various sections of the Explosive Substances Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and under Sec. 120-B of the IPC (criminal conspiracy) in January 2014. The bench allowed the appeal and set aside the March 29 order of the special judge for NIA cases, Puducherry. “The appellant may be released on bail on his executing a bond for Rs 10,000 with two sureties each for a like sum to the satisfaction of the special court judge,” the bench said. “He should appear before the trial court for every hearing as directed by it and surrender his passport,” it added. The incident took place when the security personnel on duty at the residence of the former minister had found a suspicious object suspected to be an explosive material below the car. On his complaint, a case was registered and the bomb was defused by the bomb disposal team. TNLA is a small group which came into existence after India had sent its forces to Sri Lanka.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No welfare scheme benefits for families not cons’ting toilets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Puducherry government today announced that families extended subsidies to build toilets in their houses under Swachch Bharath Abhiyan (Urban) scheme would be kept out of benefits of all welfare schemes if they did not undertake the exercise before September 30. A press release from Secretary to Local Administration Department H Jawahar said that the government was providing Rs 20,000 as subsidy under the scheme to each household lacking toilets to enable them to construct toilets. This subsidy amount is the highest a State government is providing in the country as a whole to ensure ‘open defecation free’ zone. Jawahar said that though a number of families had obtained a part of the amount under the first instalment they had not initiated any step to construct the toilets. “Several awareness programmes were conducted in a bid to motivate the beneficiaries to have the facilities.But they had defaulted to construct the toilets by presenting several flimsy reasons for the default”, he said. A national survey on public health had projected that Puducherry municipality and Uzhavarkarai municipality were ranked 189th and 206th ranks respectively. “This is a matter of serious concern for the government”, Jawahar said. He said families who had obtained the subsidy should ensure construction of the toilets before September 30,failing which they would be kept out of all welfare schemes and not get benefits of any of the schemes, including subsidised essential commodities through ration shops`. Jawahar said that such families would not also get the benefits of the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY), educational assistance and benefits of several other welfare schemes till they got the toilets ready. Where the beneficiaries have utilised the subsidy and constructed the toilets their applications for housing benefits under PMAY would be accorded priority for allocation of houses, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Opposition AIADMK slams Bedi for criticising port project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition AIADMK today accused Lt Governor Kiran Bedi of “trying to scuttle implementation of the port development project by making comments maligning the government and officials through Twitter and WhatsApp.” Addressing reporters here, leader of the AIADMK (Amma) Legislature wing A Anbalagan said when the development of port here to serve as a satellite port of Chennai Port Trust (CPT) was in progress, the Lt Governor had been making “comments and criticisms” that it would be a threat to the environment. She had been levelling charges against politicians and officials in the context of implementation of the port project, he said. “If she has any concrete proof about the infirmities in port development project she can expose them through social media as she had doing on various other issues,” he said. “The Puducherry government inked an agreement with CPT some months ago to develop the port here into a satellite port of the former. When work for getting infrastructure ready was on the Lt Governor has been making comments against the port development,” he said and wanted Bedi to come out with facts to prove her doubts instead of indulging “in a witch-hunt.” He also wanted the Lt Governor to speak out on various aspects of restoration of air services from Puducherry to Hyderabad. “Is she not interested in reactivating air services from Puducherry?” he asked. The AIADMK MLA also questioned the “hike in rates of property taxes” announced now by municipal bodies. “There was no consultation with Legislators, who are members of the Advisory Council of the municipalities and new rate had been finalised arbitrarily by the bureaucrats causing hardships to the proper owners,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC directs UGC to constitute fee fixation committee in 2 weeks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to constitute a fee fixation committee within two weeks to decide on the fees for medical courses in the deemed universities in the union territory of Puducherry. The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, gave the directive on a batch of PILs seeking fee fixation for the medical courses. The court adjourned the hearing on the PILs till August 18, on a petition filed by one V B R Menon, seeking to constitute a fee fixation committee for the deemed universities in Puducherry. Earlier, Assistant Solicitor General Su Sreenivasan, who appeared on behalf of the Centre, submitted that the names of two persons, including a union health ministry official, had already been recommended as members of the committee. He also produced a copy of the health ministry’s order in this regard. The counsel for another petitioner, Jawaharlal Shanmugam, who sought a similar committee for Tamil Nadu, submitted that various deemed universities fixed the fees as per their wish, ranging from Rs 18 lakh to Rs 23 lakh. Senior counsel A L Somayaji, appearing for one of the institutes, submitted that as per a Supreme Court direction, each institute could fix its own fees on the basis of the infrastructure facilities made available to the students.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Follow UTs of Chandigarh, Puducherry model of DBT- PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked states to follow the Union Territories of Chandigarh and Puducherry, who have closed the PDS system and have successfully implemented 100 percent Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. Addressing BJP MPs of northern states in Delhi, Prime Minister Modi said that ?Everyone should get the benefits of the central government’s schemes and programs.? Prime Minister Modi held the 6th round of informal meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs of Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir at his residence on Monday. Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar also attended the meeting. He said, ?Due to the closure of the PDS system in Chandigarh and Puducherry, the money is being deposited in the beneficiary’s account directly.? He added, ?This system should also be implemented in other states.? During the meeting, the Members of Parliament (MPs) of northern states discussed various issues with the Prime Minister and apprised him about the growing faith of public towards policies of the government. They also informed the Prime Minister as to how the public and small traders are supporting the Goods and Services Tax in their state. The Prime Minister said that every businessman should register themselves in the GST. Talking about the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY), PM Modi appealed to the MPs representing various states to ensure that the adult citizens gets maximum benefit from such social security schemes introduced by the Union government, and said that only eight percent interest has been fixed in this scheme. Prime Minister Modi said that several new schemes for development have been implemented in the Himalayan states which have changed the lives of these hill states. He further said that huge potential for employment and tourism development has been emerged in these hill states. Prime Minister said that ban on kerosene in Haryana and Chandigarh has ended the corruption in its allocation in these states. BJP members of Parliament should take the work done by the NDA government to the public was the message given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the MPs of northern states. Modi has been regularly meeting with BJP MPs from various states in groups and such meeting are seen as an attempt by the Prime Minister to prepare for general elections in 2019.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Benefit chain’ of GST should continue, Modi tells MPs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met BJP MPs from several states, including from Haryana, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, and emphasised the need to ensure continuance of the “benefit chain” under GST. The prime minister also asked small businesses and traders to register under the recently rolled out goods and services tax, as the Members of Parliament maintained that there was a lot of enthusiasm among small commercial ventures regarding the new law. “GST has been accepted and overwhelmingly supported across the country. Small traders should also register themselves with this new tax law. It should be ensured that the benefit chain of GST be continued,” an official statement quoted Modi as saying. Besides J-K, Delhi and Haryana, MPs from Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh as well as the party MP from Chandigarh were present during the meeting with the prime minister. Modi asked them to ensure that senior citizens get maximum benefits under various welfare schemes, including a new pension scheme, ‘Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)’, under which they will get 8 per interest on their deposits. The prime minister also talked about the development of hill regions, noting that the government had implemented various new schemes which had resulted in qualitative changes in the life of people. As a result, tremendous opportunities for jobs and tourism had opened up in the hill states, he added. On closure of the public distribution system (PDS) in Chandigarh and Puducherry, Modi said money was directly transferred into the beneficiaries’ accounts. This model, he added, could be adopted in other states as well. This was Modi’s sixth meeting with BJP MPs at his residence during the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament. These meetings are coordinated by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pondy CM participates in Human chain protest against NEET

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today participated in a ‘human chain’ protest organised by the DMK and backed by ruling congress to protest against the National Eligibilty cum Entrance Test for selection of students to medical courses. PCC president and PWD Minister A Namassivayam, conveners of DMK, the congress ally, R Siva MLA and S P Sivakumar, former chief minister R V Janakiraman and leaders and volunteers of left parties, VCK and several other outfits also participated in the protest. Slogans were raised by participants who included a good number of women against the Centre for introducing NEET based selection. Students from rural areas and those who had done their studies under state board would be affected by the decision, they said. Holding flags of their respective parties, the protesters condemned the BJP-led NDA government’s “anti-student policy.” Puducherry and Karaikal regions adopt the Tamil Nadu pattern of education in plus two courses while Yanam and Mahe adopt the pattern of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Kerala states respectively. Tamil Nadu has been seeking exemption from NEET maintaining that it would affect the students from the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Medical admission:Bedi stresses on quota for Pondy students in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi today reiterated that the territorial government should bring in a legislation to ensure 50 percent quota for local students in medical courses in private colleges here. Talking to reporters here she said, “the last budget session of Puducherry in May should have been utilised by the government to bring in a legislation to ensure 50 percent quota of seats for government-sponsored students in the private self-financing medical colleges here.” Referring to the legislation brought by Tamil Nadu government, earmarking 65 percent quota of seats to protect the local students, she said that Puducherry government could have also brought in a legislation.” Bedi also said if a legislation was framed and sent to her “she will immediately forward it to the Centre for its nod.” The legislation would avert the necessity to go in for negotiation with the managements of the college to finalise the quota every year as was the case now, she added. The Medical council of India had already maintained that there would be no postponement of the dates of counselling of admission of students to three private medical colleges under management quota. “The secretary to the Council had responded to the Chief Minister V Narayanasamy’s letter seeking postponement of the counselling date for admission under management quota and clarified that the schedule of counselling should be strictly adhered to lest it should give rise to contempt,” she pointed out. The schedule of counselling was set by the Supreme Court and “we cannot escape from the schedule according to our convenience,” she said. The Lt Governor welcomed the suggestion of the opposition AIADMK (Amma) for a special session of the Puducherry Assembly to adopt a legislation or a resolution to fix 50 percent quota in private medical colleges under government quota. She also urged the government to revamp the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC), a government authorised panel to conduct counselling.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Four non-BJP ruled states move SC in favour of Right to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four non-BJP ruled states, including Karnataka and West Bengal, today moved the Supreme Court seeking to intervene in the ongoing hearing on the issue of whether the Right to Privacy can be declared as one of the Fundamental Rights under the Constitution. Besides Karnataka and West Bengal, two Congress-led states of Punjab and Puducherry took a stand opposite to the Central government which had said that Right to Privacy is a common law right and not a Fundamental Right. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the four states, initiated his arguments before a nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar and said that in the light of technological advancement, the court is needed to take a fresh look on the Right to Privacy and its contours in the modern day. “Privacy cannot be an absolute right. But it is a Fundamental Right. This court needs to strike a balance,” he submitted before the bench also comprising Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Abhay Manohar Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer. The hearing is in progress. The apex court had on July 18 set up the Constitution bench after the matter was referred to a larger bench by a five-judge bench. The petitioners had claimed that collection and sharing of biometric information, as required under the Aadhaar scheme, was a breach of the “fundamental” right to privacy. The Centre had on July 19 submitted in the apex court that Right to Privacy cannot fall in the bracket of fundamental rights as there are binding decisions of larger benches that it is only a common law right evolved through judicial pronouncements.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AIADMK urges Lt Governor to convene special Assembly session

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition AIADMK (Amma) today urged Lt Governor Kiran Bedi to intervene and convene a special Assembly session to discuss the issue of students facing difficulty in getting seats under state government quota in private medical colleges in Union Territory. Speaking to reporters here, the party’s legislature wing leader A Anbalagan alleged that the ruling Congress had not taken any steps to procure 50 per cent quota of seats for government sponsored students in self financing private medical colleges in the MBBS first year course. He alleged that the government had also failed to ensure allocation of seats by managements of deemed universities for the Puducherry government sponsored seats. Anbalagan said it was also ‘amusing’ that the Congress, instead of taking care of the students, had announced support and its participation in the DMK sponsored human chain protest on July 27 for exempting Puducherry from NEET. “No step has been taken by the Congress government to persuade the Centre to exempt Puducherry from NEET based admission to medical colleges”, he said. Anbalagan said the Congress government was also silent in persuading private managements to allocate 50 per cent quota for the Puducherry government. He said a detailed letter would be presented later today to the Lt Governor, urging her to convene the special session of the Assembly, he said. The session should come out with a government policy to ensure legislation for 50 per cent quota in colleges, he said. AIADMK would also lay siege to the Assembly on July 26 after a demonstration to push for its demand for a legislation to ensure 50 per cent quota for government sponsored candidate candidates in private medical colleges, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Students effective ambassadors of `swachh bharat abhiyan`:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi today said students and youth are effective ambassadors and torch bearers of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. She was visiting Nonakuppam village in neighbouring Ariyankuppam commune panchayat limits on her bicycle accompanied by a number of students of a private higher secondary school. She said government would lose no time in responding to the grievances of people, adding, students and youths could be mobilised as “effective ambassadors and torch bearers of the cleanliness movement.” After seeing the plight of the backwaters in the village polluted by discharge of sewage and dumping of solid waste, Bedi asked officials of PWD and the commune Panchayat to evolve an action plan to protect the backwaters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ruling Congress protests against nomination of BJP MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of the ruling Congress today protested against the induction of three nominated members of the BJP to the Puducherry Assembly by the Centre without consulting the territorial government. Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy accompanied by PCC chief and PWD Minister A Namassivayam, party MLAs and functionaries participated in the demonstration held at neighbouring Thavalakuppam village. R K R Anandaraman, The government whip elected from Manavely constituency, told reporters that the demonstration was also to urge the Centre to recall Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for “functioning undemocratically and taking a negative stand in implementing various welfare schemes evolved by the territorial government”. The Union home ministry had appointed BJP’s Puducherry chief V Saminathan, the party’s treasurer K G Shankar and another functionary S Selvaganapathy as nominated legislators of the Puducherry Assembly. The three leaders were inducted by Bedi as members of the House on the night of July 4 at the Raj Nivas triggering strong protest from the Congress, its alliance partner the DMK, the left parties and the VCK. A bandh was also observed on July 8 in Puducherry at the instance of these parties to protest against the “undemocratic style of functioning of the Lt Governor and the nomination of three BJP activists by the Centre without adhering to democratic procedures.” The parties also sought ouster of Bedi through the bandh and also through a fast on July 7.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Duty of Lt Governor to work as per advice of CM, Ministers’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war of words between Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Lt Governor Kiran Bedi showed no signs of abating with him insisting today that it is the duty of the Lt Governor to work as per the advice of the Chief Minister and ministers. “There will not be any scope or room for any controversy or difference of opinion or view if everybody works within their powers and jurisdiction”, he told reporters here. He said the state government should insist to the Centre for exemption from the NEET examination. Bedi has been at loggerheads with the Congress government on many issues ever since she assumed office in May last year, including one relating to admission of students in government quota to post graduate medical courses in deemed universities and private medical colleges here. She had also drawn flakfor swearing-in three BJP members nominated to the assembly on July 4, but had defended her action, saying she had only exercised the law and there was “no conflict” in it. Congress however did not see things that way and party leaders, including ministers, went on a day long fast there on July 7 to protest her “undemocratic” style of functioning. The next day a dawn to dusk bandh, called by various political parties, was observed in the UT. They condemned the “arbitrary’ manner in which the Centre had finalised the names of three nominated legislators and the undemocratic style of functioning of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, and her induction of the three members secretly in Raj Nivas on July 4.” Narayanasamy had termed her action as ‘murder of democracy” and accused her of working like a “BJP agent” and demanded that the Home Ministry withdraw its order nominating the three BJP members. Puducherry has 30 elected members in the Assembly.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP workers try to lay seige to assembly; taken into custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 150 BJP workers were taken into custody today when they tried to lay siege to the Assembly to condemn Speaker V Vaithilingam’s July 10 act of rejecting the nomination of three party nominated legislators. An effigy of Chief Minister V Narayanasamy was also burnt by some protesters wile they took out a procession to the Assembly. Raising slogans against the Speaker’s action rejecting the nomination of BJP Puducherry unit president V Saminathan, its treasurer K G Shankar and party activist S Selvaganapathy, the workers tried to jump over the barricades erected near the government hospital. Police intervened and prevented them from proceeding further and took them to custody. A senior police officer said that a case was registered under Puducherry Police Act against the workers for burning the effigy. The Union Home Ministry had issued an order recently appointing the three partymen as nominated legislators. Lt Governor Kiran Bedi had administered the oath of office to the three members at Raj Nivas on July 4, drawing flak from the ruling Congress, its alliance partner DMK and the Left parties, among others. The Speaker returned all files Bedi sent to him recently on the ground that the nomination of the three members was not valid and was not done in proper form. The Speaker had taken the stand that there was no communication to his office from the competent authority appointing the three members as nominated legislators. The Lt Governor had since left here for Delhi and the Speaker is also camping in Delhi now. Ever since she assumed office, the LG and Narayansamy have had a running battle over various issues. Leaders of the ruling Congress along with DMK and other party leaders had observed a fast on July 7 taking exception to induction of the nominated members by the Lt Governor. A bandh was also observed on July 8 at the instance of the Congress and other parties, seeking Bedi’s ouster. The Lt Governor has maintained that the nomination was done in keeping with provisions of the Union Territories Act, 1963.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bedi asks Pondy officials to "get out of comfort zones"

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has called upon the officials of territorial administration to “get out of comfort zones as public service demands sacrifice of personal time.” In her open message to officials today, she said, “Such deficient services do not do good to respect in governance and all senior officials should pay attention to rectify deficiencies in the governance.” “If the officials can find time to travel officially for several hours inside and outside Puducherry and the country surely they can do so for issues pending which concern ordinary people,” she added. Releasing the copy of the message, to media persons, the former IPS officer said, records of deficiencies had been kept in the files of officials and they might get reflected in the annual appraisal (of their performance) which is due shortly. Bedi cautioned in no uncertain terms that the officials should not take her lightly. Calling upon officials to ensure no deficiencies crept in the governance, she said, “no amount of defence by the officials will work because it shall be based on my direct inspections or visits.” She sought the cooperation of the official machinery and asked the officials to get out of their comfort zones as “public service demands sacrifice of personal time as well.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Puducherry Speaker returns to LG file nominating 3 members

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam today returned the file to Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi who nominated three BJP functionaries as members of the House, terming it as ‘improper’ and ‘not acceptable’. Bedi had sworn in on July 4 BJP’s Puducherry unit president V Saminathan, its treasurer K G Shankar and another BJP functionary and educationist S Selvaganapathy as nominated members of the assembly. Puducherry has a 33-member House out of which three members are nominated legislators. “The induction of the three members was improper and not acceptable as the swearing in was not done in accordance with the procedure,” a source close to the Speaker quoted him as having said. This was stated by Vaithilingam in a note while returning the file Bedi had forwarded to him on July 5 informing him of their induction. The source quoting the Speaker said there was also no communication from the Union home ministry, the competent authority, to the office of the Speaker on appointment of the three members as nominated legislators. He said the file was returned to Bedi on these grounds. The Speaker’s observation came in the backdrop of opposition AIADMK (Amma) A Anbalagan’s plea to him earlier today to convene a special Assembly session and adopt a resolution against the “arbitrary nomination” of the three members and their induction into the House. He had told reporters that “unnecessary confusion” has been created by the Lt. Governor by their nomination. This was after the Union home ministry’s order appointing them as nominated members under provisions of the Union Territories Act. The LG had taken the stand that she had acted only in keeping with the statutory provisions. Her action had, however, drawn flak from Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, PWD Minister and PCC president A Namassivayam, Welfare Minister M Kandasamy and ruling Congress legislators, among others, that she had acted arbitrarily, “violating democratic norms and conventions”. The LG and Narayansamy have running battle over various issues. Ruling Congress leaders along with leaders and legislators of its alliance partner DMK and also functionaries of CPI, CPI(M) and VCK had observed a fast on July 7 condemning the “appointment of the three activists without consulting the elected government”. A day-long bandh was also observed on July 8 at the instance of the Congress and the other parties seeking ouster of Bedi from the post of Lt. Governor. The three legislators, meanwhile, had submitted a joint letter to the Assembly secretary on July 7 seeking allocation of a room for them on its premises and issuance of identity cards and other statutory facilities. Saminathan, one of the nominated members, has been appointed as leader of the BJP’s legislature wing leader, according to the letter the nominated members had given to the Assembly secretary.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nomination of members: AIADMK seeks convening of spl session

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The opposition AIADMK (Amma) today urged the Speaker to convene a special session and adopt a resolution against the “arbitrary nomination” of three members by the Centre and their induction into the House. Party leader A Anbalagan told reporters “unnecessary confusion” has been created by the Centre through the “arbitrary nomination” of the three members and their induction by UT Lt Governor Kiran Bedi into the House. The Speaker, V Vaithilingam, should convene a special assembly session to adopt a resolution against the actions of the Centre and the Lt Governor, he said. V Saminathan, president of Puducherry unit of BJP, K G Shankar, its treasurer, and S Selvaganapathy, an educationist, were nominated to the Puducherry assembly by the Centre last week. They were later inducted as members of the House by Bedi, drawing criticism by the ruling Congress, its alliance partner the DMK, the Left parties and the VCK. Chief Minister Narayanasamy had earlier termed the swearing in of the members by Bedi a “murder of democracy” and alleged that she was functioning as an “agent of the BJP”. He had also urged the Centre to withdraw the nomination of the three, saying it was against the constitutional provisions and democratic norms. “Frequent turf war” between Narayanasamy and the Lt Governor has been affecting the smooth functioning of the government, the legislature wing leader alleged. Narayanasamy was “not taking a firm stand” against the actions of the Centre and the lt governor, he alleged. Ruling Congress and its ally DMK members had also observed a day-long fast on July 7 and a bandh the next day protesting against actions of the Centre and Bedi. Bedi has been at loggerheads with the government over a host of issues ever since she assumed office last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bedi directs municipal officials to revive crematorium

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi today paid a surprise visit to the electric crematorium that has been lying dysfunctional at neighbouring Karuvadikuppam for months now and ordered the officials concerned to take immediate steps to restore it. A release from the Raj Nivas said that following complaints that the equipment had been out of order for several months, she carried out an inspection at the crematorium and found that it had been dysfunctional. It was also found that there was no annual maintenance contract to ensure regular working of the power operated crematorium, it said. Bedi then directed the Local Administration Department Director and the commissioner of Uzharvarkarai Municipality to draw up an action plan to restore the equipment at the crematorium.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Normal life affected in Puducherry bandh called against Centre, Kiran Bedi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Normal life came to a standstill in Puducherry following a dawn-to-dusk bandh backed by the ruling Congress party against Governor Kiran Bedi’s decision to nominate three BJP members as MLAs and also her “undemocratic” style of functioning on Saturday. All shops and establishments remained closed, while most of the local and inter-state buses and autorickshaws stayed off the roads.The day-long strike was called by various political parties including DMK and the Left in protest against the disrespect shown by the Centre to the people of the union territory. Political parties condemned the arbitrary manner in which the Centre had finalised the names of three nominated legislators and the undemocratic style of functioning of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, and her induction of the three members secretly in Raj Nivas on July 4. All India NR Congress and AIADMK did not support the bandh.Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told reporters here that the induction of three members by Bedi “is a shame on the Constitution and the democratic norms and conventions.” He claimed that only the speaker was the constitutional authority to induct any member as legislator of the House.However, Bedi dismissed the charges of the political parties by saying that she has only done her job. She questioned the rationale behind the agitation and said if the government had any issue they should raise it with the Centre. She said that the bandh affects business and leads to losses.When asked whether his government has extended support to the bandh, Narayanasamy said that the Congress party has extended support to the protest, not the government.”Action will be taken against those protesting and causing damages to properties as per the law,” he said.

Union minister seeks probe into ‘gutkha scam’ in TN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan today sought a high-level probe into the alleged payment of bribes to a Tamil Nadu minister and top officials to facilitate the sale of banned ‘gutkha’ in the state. Action should be taken against all those who are involved in the scam, he told reporters here. A media report last month had claimed the Income Tax Department searched the premises of a gutkha manufacturer last year and had seized documents detailing alleged payment of bribes to senior government officials and a minister. The IT officials had also sought the response of the state government. The issue was sought to be raised by opposition DMK in the ongoing assembly session, but the speaker had disallowed it saying media reports cannot be discussed. On continuing arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, Minister of State (Road Transport, Highways and Shipping) Radhakrishnan said he was confident the problem would be resolved in coming years. Stating that no fishermen was deliberately crossing the international maritime boundary line, he asked the Sri Lankan government to treat them in a humane manner. “It is not acceptable to punish fishermen severely for crossing the border or levying fine on them. There are times when Sri Lankan fishermen also entered Indian waters,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had drawn up a plan which would permanently solve the dispute over fishing in the Palk Strait, he added. On the tussle between Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and the elected government on various issues, the Union minister said “she only wanted to work for a corruption-free administration in the Union Territory.” But for the intervention of the Lt Governor in the medical admissions issue, the (government quota) seats reserved for 71 students would have been ‘sold,’ he said. He also said the people in Tamil Nadu were ‘dissatisfied’ with 50 years of rule by Dravidian parties and believed the state would develop only under BJP, he said. Radhakrishnan earlier participated in a function organised to welcome a group of members of the Devendrakula Velalar community, a Scheduled Caste, into the BJP fold.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Parties spent Rs 573 cr in 2016 polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the five state elections held in 2016, political parties spent Rs 573.24 crore on travel, publicity and lump sum payments to candidates, an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said. The parties had, however, collected Rs 355 crore for poll expenses.Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry went to the polls in 2016.The BJP topped all national and regional parties in collecting (Rs 131.72 crore) and spending (Rs 112.14 crore) money. ADR, a non-profit election watchdog, analysed poll expense data provided by political parties to the Election Commission (EC).National parties collected Rs 287.89 crore and spent Rs 188.12 crore, while regional parties received Rs 67.22 crore and incurred an expenditure of Rs 213.97 crore, the ADR’s report said.The BJP spent the highest amount of Rs 90.41 crore — 39.18% of its total expenditure — on lump sum payments to candidates. This was followed by Rs 87.28 crore the party spent on publicity.The Congress spent Rs 52.7 crore on payments to candidates, which was 54.82% of its total expenditure. The BSP was the only national party which declared that it did not spend any amount on candidates.The Shiv Sena did not declare any expenditure at all even as it contested elections in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.Among regional parties, Samajwadi Party raised the highest amount of Rs 35.66 crore even though its fight in these state elections was limited.The DMK and the AIADMK raised only Rs 9.7 crore and Rs 4 crore, respectively, but their eventual expenditure was Rs 97.34 crore and Rs 64.72 crore, respectively.Parties received most funds through cheques (197.32 crore or 55.57% of the total amount collected), followed by cash, while only the CPM collected funds in kind.National parties spent the maximum on media advertisements (Rs 82.08 crore), while regional parties declared spending more than the national parties in the same category (Rs 95.49 crore).The report said that national parties declared spending Rs 30.68 crore and Rs 24.7 crore on publicity materials and public meetings, respectively, while regional parties spent Rs 13.64 crore and Rs 10.2 crore under the respective heads.ADR recommended in its report that “details of all donors who contribute to national and regional parties exclusively for their election campaigns must be declared in the public domain irrespective of the amount donated.”

Puducherry MLAs nomination: HC issues notice to Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today sought the Centre’s stand on a plea by ruling Congress MLA, seeking to quash a notification nominating three members to the Puducherry assembly. The bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar sought the Centre’s stand, issuing notices to joint secretary (Home) and also to the three nominated MLAs — V Saminathan and K G Shankar (of BJP) and S Selvaganabathy, an educationist. The bench issued the notices on a petition filed by Congress MLA K Lakshminarayanan, seeking to make the newly nominated MLAs and Union Home Ministry officials as parties to his petition filed earlier for annulment of the notification. The counsel for the petitioner contended that the nominations had been made without consulting the elected government of the Union Territory. After issuing notices, the court posted the matter for hearing after a week. The petitioner originally had moved the court for its directions to bar the Union home ministry and the Puducherry chief secretary from filling up the nominated seats of the assembly, without consultation and choice of the elected government of the Union Territory. The Centre, however, nominated the three persons to the assembly during pendency of the petition at the court. The three newly nominated MLAs were sworn in yesterday by Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi. Citing this, the petitioner filed the present application.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Protest over 3 BJP members nomination at MLAs in Puducherry Assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The ruling Congress party staged a strong protest in the Puducherry Legislative Assembly on Wednesday over three BJP members nominated as MLAs by Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi. The move upset the Congress Party. V Saminathan, K.G. Shankar and S Selvaganapathy were nominated and sworn in as MLAs in a quiet manner. Usually the Speaker administers oath of office but in this case, it was administered by the LG on the instructions of the Union Home Ministry. Several parties, including DMK, have called for a shutdown on July 8. Lt. Governor Bedi issued a statement that said, “According to the Union Territories Act the nomination of three MLAs to Puducherry Legislative Assembly is to be done by Central the Government and it only says this nothing more.” She further said it is the Ministry of Home Affairs that sends the name to the Puducherry Government, who then notify it, as was done in this case. “The oath is and can be administered by Administrator. Hence the nomination and the oath is/was laid down under the UT Act,” she added. She further said that those who want to be explained the legal position as per the law may read the act. This is not the first time an incident of this nature has happened. In 1990, Chandravathi, administered oath of office and secrecy to three nominated MLAs belonging to the DMK when the DMK-JantaDal coalition was in office. Ends NN/AD NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Review of progress of new urban missions in seven UTs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A two day review of progress of new urban missions in seven Union Territories (UTs) would be held in Delhi on Wednesday. On the first day, National Mission Directors of five urban missions will commence detailed review of progress and implementation issues with officials from Union Territories (UTs). The issues related to the urban transport will also be discussed in the review meeting. Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has convened a meeting of Lieutenant Governors and administrators of the UTs for a high level review for evolving a way forward for speeding up the implementation under various missions. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanaswamy were also invited for the review. Ministry of Urban Development has already agreed with the investments for the five year mission period for all the seven UTs under, AMRUT, and smart city plans of New Delhi Municipal Council, Chandigarh and Port Blair. The focal point will be on sanitation with only three of the 16 towns in these UTs having been declared as open defecation so far.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

New drinking water supply scheme to be launched: Pondy CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Puducherry government is formulating a massive drinking water augmentation scheme for Puducherry region. The French government-sponsored Agency (French Development Agency) in Paris has consented to provide a soft loan of Rs 1,400 crores for the project to augment the drinking water supply and also for laying underground drainage pipes in the Union Territory, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told reporter here. In the first phase, Rs 534 crores out of the total loan approved by the Agency would be spent for Puducherry region to augment water supply. PWD and Local Administration Minister A Namassivayam said, the territorial government had inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the French Agency in New Delhi recently for the allocation of Rs 534 crores. Chief Minister said the government would utilise the remaining amount for laying underground drainage pipeline and also for augmenting water supply in other three regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam in the next phase. The government would soon constitute a special purpose vehicle to implement the Smart City project sanctioned for Puducherry by the Union Urban Development Ministry involving an investment of Rs 3,250 crores which includes allocation by the Centre and French government, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prez Poll: All warring AIADMK camps pledge support to Ram Nath Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind today met Tamil Nadu Chief Minsiter K Palaniswami, rebel AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam and Puducherry legislators, who assured support for his candidacy.Kovind had separate meetings with Palaniswami and Panneerselvam in which leaders of the two factions of the ruling AIADMK, including School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan (AIADMK-Amma) and senior AIADMK-Puratchi Thalaivi Amma leader E Madhusudanan participated.Followers of party Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran were also there.Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam in their respective speeches recalled the good ties and friendship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.Praising Kovind, the chief minister said he overcame socio-economic barriers and made his way up through hard work, honesty and dedication.Panneerselvam said, “Though his victory is assured, we express our appreciation for his (Kovind’s) political decency in visiting us to seek our support.”Recalling the friendship between Modi and Jayalalithaa, he said his party’s support to Kovind was its reflection.The former chief minister hailed Kovind for his administrative abilities and said if Amma were alive, she would have supported Kovind’s candidature.Union ministers JP Nadda, Pon Radhakrishnan, Lok Sabha M Thambidurai, BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan, Saffron party leader Muralidhar Rao took part in the meeting.Kovind thanked the leaders for their support to his candidature.Earlier in the day, Kovind met Puducherry legislators and the lone Lok Sabha member from the Union Territory.Puducherry-based All India NR Congress chief N Rangasamy and his party legislators met Kovind at a hotel.Puducherry’s lone Lok Sabha MP R Radhakrishnan, who belongs to the main opposition party in the Assembly (AINRC), was also present there, according to Tamil Nadu BJP.Also, BJP’s lone legislator from Kerala and veteran party leader O Rajagopal took part in the meeting to drum up support for Kovind.U Thaniyarasu (of Tamil Nadu Kongu Ilaignar Peravai) and M Thamimun Ansari (Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi), who had won on AIADMK tickets in the 2016 Assembly polls, were not present in the meeting held at Kalaivanar Arangam to support Kovind.Thaniyarasu told PTI that he was away in his constituency in Kangeyam and hence could not attend the meeting.Ansari said he opposed Kovind’s candidature and will vote in favour of the opposition’s nominee Meira Kumar. S Karunas of Mukkulathor Pulipadai, another ally of the ruling party, said he participated in the meet to support Kovind.

Liqour shops:’Take note of representations by CM, former CM’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madras High Court has directed authorities in Puducherry to note representations by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy while he was MP in 1996, former CM V Vaithilingam as opposition leader in 1996 and MOH Farook, Lok Sabha MP that year, to the Lt Governor, on not locating liquor shops in Kalapet revenue village and pass appropriate orders. The division bench, comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and M Sundar stated this while disposing of a petition from Kanagachettikulam Makkal Pondunala Eyakkam,seeking a direction to the Puducherry government not to issue new licenses or transfer/shift IMFL to open liquor shops anywhere at Kalapet Revenue Village and Ganapathichettikulam village in the interest of students, parents and the general public. The petitioner submitted that the village is situated along the busy East Coast Road leading to Puducherry. The Pondicherry Institute of Medical Science was in this village, apart from many educational institutions and a lot of temples in the hamlet, he said. Pointing out that there are already two liquor shops in the hamlet,the petitioner said the authorities,under the guise of relocating the liquor shops after the Supreme Court ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways came into force on April 1, intended to open more shops. He brought to the court’s notice the representations by the three dignitaries. The bench noted that Narayanaswamy as Lok Sabha MP had sent a representation on December 1 1996 to the Lt Governor, referring to the presence of the educational institutions and requesting for appropriate action not to locate any additional liquor shops in the village. V Vaithilingam, a former Chief Minister, as leader of the Opposition, had also sent a similar representation on December 20, 1996 to the Lt Governor, as did M O H Farook, Lok Sabha MP on December 24 1996, with the same request, the bench added. It said the Government Pleader had submitted that since the Excise department was the second largest revenue earner to the exchequer and on account of the Apex Court order, the government was under compulsion to re-locate the shops and had no other option except to carry out the exercise, which would done as per Rule 113 (2) of the Puducherry Excise Rules. The authorities while doing so should take note of the representations and location of the educational institutes in the village and pass appropriate orders and appropriate steps. The authorities shall also take note of the public sentiments before taking any decision, the bench added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ram Nath Kovind meets former Puducherry chief minister in Chennai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday met former chief minister of Puducherry N. Rangaswamy in Chennai. Earlier on Thursday, Kovind met Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Prakash Singh Badal and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was also present on the occasion. Kovind has been doing extensive campaigning for the Presidential elections. Earlier on Wednesday, Kovind visited Jammu and Kashmir and met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly, Members of Legislative Council of the state. Kovind started his campaign for the election of the top post from his home state, Uttar Pradesh, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in absolute power. Opposition Presidential candidate Meira Kumar has also started her campaign and has claimed to have support of 17 non- NDA political parties. The Presidential election will be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is ending on July 24.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gen, OBC govt employees to protest against SC/ST quota in job

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>General and OBC category government employees under an organisation spearheading a movement against SC/ST quota in job promotion will assemble in the national capital on July 1 to register their protest. The umbrella body of General and OBC government employees- Samta Andolan Samiti- has also filed a complaint at Parliament Street police station against former Union minister in UPA government and present Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasamy for alleged “contempt” of Supreme Court order regarding reservation in promotion. The organisation has also named a dozen senior IAS officers in its complaint. “The police complaint has been filed against the former minister V Narayanasamy and the IAS officers for destroying career of lakhs of general and OBC category employees by not implementing Supreme Court’s order against reservation in promotion,” said PN Sharma, president of Samta Andolan Samiti. He alleged that the reservation in promotion was being given at the Centre and state level by “flouting” court directions. The affected general and OBC employees will gather at Civic Centre here to chalk out their future course of action over the issue on July 1, Sharma said in a press conference. On June 21, Union minister Ramdas Athawale had said that a bill for reserving promotions for SCs, STs and OBCs in government jobs will be tabled in the next session of Parliament in July.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PG admission: HC seeks 4 Pondy medical colleges’ replies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today asked four medical colleges affiliated to deemed universities in Puducherry to file an affidavit citing reasons for refusing admissions to students under the state quota, despite its June 16 order. A bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan directed the medical colleges in the Union Territory and CENTAC (Centralised Admission Committee) to file their replies by July 3, on the contempt plea by one V B R Menon in connection with admissions to Post Graduate medical courses in the union territory The issue pertains to the PIL alleging that the deemed universities were refusing to admit students through common counselling in the state quota and were demanding fees of Rs 40 to 50 lakh as against Rs 5.5 lakh fixed by the statutory fee committee for self-financing colleges. Admitting the plea, the bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee had passed an interim order on June 16 directing the universities to admit candidates provisionally selected for admission to PG medical courses through common counselling by taking Rs 10 lakh as fee. When the matter came up today, the petitioner alleged that the universities have failed to obey the interim order and sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the managements of the colleges concerned. The petitioner also alleged that the actual list of students admitted by the respective colleges would show that the colleges had actually admitted students with lower NEET scores as well as those who have not undergone the common counselling in places of those issued provisional admissions by CENTAC. Hence, seats allotted to students as per the CENTAC list, based on merit and common counselling on various dates had illegally been diverted by the colleges to less meritorious students in gross violation to the statutory provisions, he said. The petitioner sought punishment for the universities for wilful disobedience of the court order and for causing mental agony to the affected students.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Madras HC extends stay on ban on sale of cattle for slaughter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today extended by four more weeks the stay on the Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter from animal markets. A division bench of justices A Selvam and N Authinatha extended the stay by another four weeks to enable the central government reply to a PIL petition by Selvagomathi, which was one among the several filed on May 30. The notification was challenged on the ground that it violated the basic right of an individual in relation to his or her choice of food. The judges had on May 30 stayed the operation of the new rules banning the sale or purchase of bulls, cows and camels for slaughter houses or for sacrifice for religious purposes. The petitioner had submitted that the right to choice of food, vegetarian or non-vegetarian was part of the right to personal liberty and conscience as well as privacy. By imposing a ban on the slaughter of animals for food, the citizens are deprived of their right to choice of food and this violated the constitution, Selvagomathy said. The order came amid a raging row on the ban with non-BJP parties and state governments of Kerala, West Bengal and Puducherry stridently opposing the Centre’s decision. Several places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have witnessed demonstrations during the past few days against the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter, with the protesters saying it infringed upon the food habits of sections of people.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kiren Bedi urges Center to set up probe agency in Puducherry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on Wednesday asked the Center to constitute independent investigation and vigilance agency following a surge in investment. Taking to Twitter, Bedi drew the attention of both President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the issue. ?Puducherry is seeing a surge in investmt.To ensure Fin/ADM integrity it urgently needs a brch of HC,CBI,Indp CVO @RashtrapatiBhvn @PMOIndia,? she tweeted. Posting few reports published in the leading daily, Bedi stated that a union territory is the responsibility of the Center and it must get social audits of its administration and financial management. ?A UT is a responsibility of the Central Govt even if it has an elected assembly. GOI must get social audits of ts ADM & FinancialManagement,? she added. Recently, the former IPS officer had stated that her office had written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) demanding a probe into the alleged scam in the admission of post-graduate students under the government quota in the union territory. Bedi also urged to constitute a bench of Madras High Court in the region to deal with public interest litigations (PILs) and other issues.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bedi for independent probe and vigilance agency for Puducherry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, who has been at loggerheads with the V Narayanasamy-led Congress government in Puducherry over a host of issues, today pitched for an “independent investigation and vigilance agency” for the union territory. Bedi, who is currently on a trip to Ladakh, wrote on Twitter that Puducherry needed an independent investigation and vigilance agency “to check corruption”. The former IPS officer had recently stated that her office had written to the CBI for a probe into the “scam” in the admission of post-graduate students under the government quota in the private medical colleges and self-financing deemed universities of the union territory. Today she urged the central probe agency to set up an office in Puducherry, which would be linked with its regional head office in Chennai. Bedi also batted for a bench of the Madras High Court in the union territory to deal with public interest litigations (PILs) and other “compelling issues”. She also pitched for the revival of the Panchayati Raj system in Puducherry by holding early elections to the civic bodies. This would ensure democracy at the grassroot-level, rural development and youth leadership, she contended.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amit Shah arrives in Puducherry as part of 110-day nation-wide tour

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President, Amit Shah, arrived in Puducherry for a two-day visit on Monday, June 26. Shah was welcomed with a traditional song and a motorcycle rally from the airport.During his visit, Shah will attend a party meeting to take stock of the political situation in the union territory after which he will garland a statue of poet and journalist, Subramaniya Bharathi.Besides presiding over the party’s core committee meeting, he will also hold talks with office bearers, district presidents and general secretaries, among others.Shah will hold meetings with industrialists, representatives of trade associations, and Chambre De Commerce.
ALSO READ CM Vasundhara Raje meets Amit Shah ahead of his visit to stateThis will be Shah’s second visit to Puducherry. He will be visiting Auroville on Tuesday, June 27.Amit Shah is visiting Puducherry as part of his 110-day nation-wide tour to strengthen the party.

8 Indian fishermen arrested by SL Navy, TN govt fumes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested today by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in the territorial waters of the island country, drawing angry reaction from the state government which termed it as an “abduction”. The fishermen from Nagapattinam were fishing near Paruthithurai when they were held by Lankan naval personnel who took them to Kangesanthurai port there. The incident comes two days after four fishermen from Pudukottai district and 17 from Karaikal region in Puducherry were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing near Neduntheevu in the island nation. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami took up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and called it “yet another outrageous” incident of “illegal abduction and detention” of Tamil Nadu fishermen. In a letter to Modi today, he noted that late AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa had also repeatedly brought to the Prime Minister’s attention the “travails of innocent Tamil Nadu fishermen “who face harassment, abduction and detention at the hands of the Sri Lankan Navy, which continues in the traditional waters”. “Things have come to such a pass that fishermen from Tamil Nadu are unable to access their traditional fishing waters for fear of being abducted or attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy.” “The entire fishermen community in Tamil Nadu is agitated by the repeated provocative actions of the Sri Lankan Navy through continued apprehensions,” Palaniswami told Modi. Despite the issue having been taken up “repeatedly” by the state government, “we are yet to see an end to the problem of harassment and arrests of innocent fishermen from Tamil Nadu,” he said. “These continuing ‘illegal abductions’ in the high seas had the potential to harm the joint initiatives of the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India to bring about a permanent solution to this sensitive vexatious livelihood issue of our fishermen,” the chief minister said. Palaniswami requested Modi to instruct the External Affairs Ministry to register a strong protest with the Sri Lankan authorities about the “continuing abductions” in the Palk Bay and the prolonged detention of the Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. He urged Modi to also direct the MEA to take up with Sri Lanka the issue of immediate release of a total of 28 Indian fishermen and 138 fishing boats from its custody, including those apprehended today.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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