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Padmavati: Controversial film ‘cleared by Indian censor board’

The controversial period epic has sparked protests across India by Hindu and caste groups.

Why are VVPATS used in first place? Hardik Patel questions SC rejecting plea for cross-check

On Saturday, PAS leader Hardik Patel took umbrage to VVPATs being used stating he didn’t understand the Supreme Court’s stand on the issue.He was quoted saying by ANI: “Why are VVPATs used in the first place? It is used for smooth counting of votes wherever there is a fault. I did not understand Supreme Court’s stand on the issue.”He went on to say: “I think Exit Polls results will turn out to be false. If EVMs do not malfunction then BJP will lose the election. I have 100% doubts on EVMs.”Earlier, Congress said it would file a “fresh comprehensive petition” on the Gujarat election after the Supreme Court refused to entertain its plea seeking counting of at least 20 per cent of the paper trail slips manually along with votes cast in EVMs in each constituency.”We are very shortly going to represent and then file a fresh comprehensive petition,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.Also readGujarat elections 2017: BJP confident of victory, but won’t celebrate till results out”…The Congress will remain at the forefront of creating awareness about what is the basic structure of our Constitution, namely free and fair elections… Free and fair elections have been held to be part of our democracy,” he said.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud permitted petitioner Mohammad Arif Rajput, a Gujarat Congress leader, to withdraw his plea but granted liberty to file a comprehensive petition later seeking election reforms.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel held a roadshow at Vadodara”There was a very sympathetic and very elaborate hearing by the Supreme Court. Ultimately, the apex court gave us full liberty to withdraw the petition and equally in the order, reflected full liberty to file a fresh petition,” he said.Singhvi said the party would first represent to the Election Commission, seeking a comparison of the electronic result and the paper trail result.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Ravan’s arrogance had ruined Lanka: Hardik Patel”A comprehensive fresh petition, raising all issues relating to EVMs and VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) will be filed soon,” he said.Earlier in the day, senior advocate Singhvi, appearing for Rajput, said the counting of the slips of the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines along with the votes cast in the electronic voting machines (EVM) count in at least 20 per cent of the booths of each constituency would reassure the people about the fairness of the polls.”This court can’t interfere unless the Election Commission’s decision for a random check of the EVM-VVPAT paper trail in one booth per constituency is proved arbitrary, illegal or malafide. We cannot discredit the Election Commission’s decision without cogent material,” it saidWith inputs from PTI and ANI

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Gujarat elections 2017: All eyes on these seats, will exit polls create any upsets?

The exit polls give a clear majority of more than 50 per cent seats to BJP in the Gujarat Assembly polls, but the candidates of both parties kept their finger crossed for D-Day, to be held on Monday. There are possibilities that upsets can happen in some seats.Rajkot West: This is a high-profile seat in Gujarat as Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will face one of the richest candidates in Gujarat, Indranil Rajguru. The BJP organisation under the guidance of Rupani worked hard but this won’t be a cake walk. Though the BJP tried to establish a bond with Rajkot, Rajguru also ran an effective social media campaign here. Dalits, Muslims and the Patels would have preferred the Congress candidate in these polls. This could spoil the mathemetical game for Rupani.Bhavnagar West: Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani is contesting from this seat and the rival candidate from Congress Dilipsinh Gohil who comes from Rajput community. Alike Rupani, Vaghani also is facing Patel fury. Moreover, Rajput community was up in arms. Other communities like upper castes and OBC could be with the BJP but there will be neck and neck rivalry.Mehsana: Poll battle in this Patel dominated seat is between BJP candidate Nitin Patel and Jivabhai Patel, a millionaire who contested on a Congress’ ticket. Tje youth and women from Patel community would have voted for Congress under the influence of Patidar reservation agitation impact. Moreover, Nitin Patel is an outsider for the voters of this constituency as he belongs to Kadi town. He, however, can bank on the local BJP workers’ hard work.Porbandar: BJP candidate Babu Bokhiria been challenged by senior Congress leader and former Opposition leader Arjun Modhwadia. Modhwadia had lost the earlier polls by more than 17,000 votes but focused more over the local issues and corrected errors. This will weigh on Bokhiria. On the other side, Bokhiria has focused more on Kharva(fisherman) community here besides Mehr voters that could add up to the total tally of votes for him.Radhanpur: Alpesh Thakor is contesting polls here on Congress’ ticket while BJP candidate is sober and low profile Lavingji Thakor. This is Thakor community dominated area and the might of both the party candidates is to be tested here. Alpesh Thakor has gained sympathy of women voters after he ran the drive for stict implementation of prohibition in state and youth also supported him.Vadgam: Dalit agitation leader Jignesh Mevani contested the polls as an independent candidate supported by Congress. BJP candidate Vijay Chakravarti is facing the challenge. The Dalits consider Mevani as an outsider here. Chaudhary community domi9nates the region and could vote for BJP.Vatva: Home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja is contesting polls here as BJP candidate and the Congress candidate is Bipin Patel. The Patel community could vote against Jadeja, who may get breather as polarisation in Muslim votes are likely.Sayajigunj: This Vadodara seat was almost BJP’s fort but the triangular contest among BJP candidate Jitu Sukhadia, Congress candidate Narendra Ravat and local front of Rashtriya Samajvadi Party’s candidate Rajesh Ayre are contesting polls.Surat city: Surat city again was under the influence of BJP and majority of urban voters here voted for BJP always here. The Patel agitation and impact of Hardik Patel over the voters in city from Saurashtra and North Gujarat region could create upsets for BJP here.Mangrol (Surat): Congress candidate is Narsinh Vasava while the BTP candidate is Uttam Vasava. The polarisation of votes could go in favour or in opposite to any of the candidates on this seat.Bhuj: This seat in Kutch region seems slipping from the hands of BJP, after the anti-incumbency factor prevailing against candidate Dr. Nima Acharya. On the other side, Congress gave the ticket to social worker Adam Chaki who could get the support from Muslim community. Only BJP organisation’s hardwork could save Acharya here.CLOSE CALLSIn Bhavnagar West, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani is contesting from this seat and the rival candidate from Congress Dilipsinh Gohilc, which will be a close fight. In Radhanpur, Alpesh Thakor is contesting polls here on Cgress’ ticket while BJP candidate is sober and low profile Lavingji Thakor.

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Padmavati row | Parliamentary panel grills Sanjay Leela Bhansali over ‘selective media screening’ of film

‘Padmavati’ director Sanjay Leela Bhansali today faced a barrage of questions from a parliamentary panel which asked him if the “selective” media screening of his film was aimed at influencing the CBFC, sources said.Bhansali appeared before the parliamentary standing committee on information technology to share his views on the controversy surrounding the film.Sources said the members of the panel asked him, “How could you assume that the movie could be released on December 1 when you applied to the CBFC on November 11. As per the cinematography act, the CBFC may take 68 days before certifying a movie?””Is selective media screening of the movie fair and ethical? Was it an act to influence the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC),” they asked.They asked if the creating a controversy was a new trend to sell the movie, sources said.Also readPadmavati row: Nana Patekar says death threats to Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali are unacceptableThe panel said media was giving free space due to the ongoing controversy and even social media had given the movie immense space.They said it seemed that his movies tend to target communities which produced tension between them.Also readSamajwadi twist to Padmavati row: When Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ‘chhoti bahu’ Aparna Yadav did beautiful ghoomar Censor board chief Prasoon Joshi was also scheduled to appear before the panel today, sources said.The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief had told another parliamentary panel earlier in the day that a decision on the film would be taken after showing it to experts, the sources said.Also readPadmavati: BJP’s Suraj Pal Amu, who offered Rs 10 crore for Deepika, Bhansali’s heads quits party postThe panel on information technology, which also looks into the issues of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, had called the meeting to discuss the problems and issues faced by the film.It is headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur and its members are senior BJP leader LK Advani and film actor Raj Babbar, a Congress leader.Various Rajput groups and political leaders have accused Bhansali of distorting history in the movie by using a romantic dream sequence between the Rajput queen Padmini and Sultan Alauddin Khilji, a claim repeatedly denied by the filmmaker.Historians are divided over whether Padmini actually existed. The Deepika Padukone-Shahid Kapoor-Ranveer Singh film was was earlier scheduled to release on December 1. The makers have deferred the release till they receive a certificate from the CBFC. They recently applied for 3D certification.
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Samajwadi twist to Padmavati row: When Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ‘chhoti bahu’ Aparna Yadav did beautiful ghoomar

Even as the protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus ‘Padmavati’ refuse to die down, a new controversy has erupted over a dance performance on the movie’s hit song ‘Ghoomar’.On Wednesday, a video of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav went viral. According to media reports, the wife of Samajwadi patriarch’s younger son Prateek Yadav danced to the tunes of the Shreya Ghoshal number at the engagement ceremony of her brother Aman Bisht. The celebrations took place at a 5-star hotel in Lucknow.While the well-choreographed performance shows Aparna Yadav’s efforts, but the fringe groups are not impressed.Reacting to the video, Karni Sena’s Lokendra Singh Kalvi said, ‘We are fighting for our cause. Being a Rajput she is dancing on such songs without caring for the sentiments of Rajput. We will send them the original Ghoomar song and other Rajasthani folk songs if they like it so much.’The viral video come days after one of the members of the Samajwadi Party announced a Rs 5 crore bounty on ‘Padmavati’ actor Deepika Padukone.Thakur Som, who is also an office-bearer of the Chatriya Samaj, warned the Bollywood star to leave the country or face beheading. “The role played by Deepika has hurt the sentiments of Rajput women. No Rajput woman dances in public. Director Sanjay has no knowledge of the history of Rajputs in the country. He has distorted historical facts and should be punished,” Som was quoted as saying by Zee News.Though Akhilesh Yadav or his father have not made any statement on the film, senior leader such as Azam Khan tried to put the issue in new light.Talking about the fact vs fiction issue, Khan on November 21 had said, “There is an objection to the story of a film. Famous film Mughal-e-Azam showed Anarkali as Saleem’s mehbooba (lover), when in reality there is no such thing.”
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Paresh Rawal compares PM Modi to Gautam Buddha, urges Gujaratis not to vote along caste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal launched another attack on Congress claiming that it would be a ‘sin and moral turpitude’, to vote on the basis of ‘caste and creed’ in the land of ‘Gautam Buddha-like Narendra Modi.”Addressing a gathering while attending PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat event in Rajkot, he was quoted saying by Indian Express: “Such a man (like Narendra Modi) is difficult to find. Such a man can only come after much worship. Such dynamic persons are incarnations and can’t be produced by politics. If we decide to vote on the basis of caste and creed in the state of a man who has left his family and everything else behind and, like Gautam Buddha, is out to serve the country, we could be ungrateful people. It would be a sin, a moral turpitude. We can’t do it. We are people of the land of Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi.”Rawal went on to ask whether parents wanted their son to be Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi. He urged people to vote for whoever they picked. He also suggested that Congress was using Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani, to save Rahul Gandhi’s political career. Rawal was in the eye of the storm after allegedly comparing royals to monkeys. Rawal however apologised, claiming his ‘monkey’ comment was aimed at the Nizam of Hyderabad and not Rajputs. The Karni Sena, in the news over the protests against Padmavati, had warned Paresh Rawal over his statement.
ALSO READ Comparison with monkeys was meant for Nizam of Hyderabad: Paresh Rawal in apology to RajputsHe said: “I apologise unconditionally to all the members of Rajput community. I don’t know why I spoke those words. I never intended to hurt sentiments of any community: Paresh Rawal on his earlier statement allegedly comparing royals and music with monkeys.”He had apologised earlier as well, claiming that the message wasn’t for the Rajput community but aimed at ‘Nizam of Hyderabad’.‘My statement was not on the Rajput community. They are a splendour community in India and they make us proud. Nothing wrong will come out of my mouth against such a brave community,’ Rawal told the media. awal was in the eye of the storm a few days ago, when he wrote and deleted a tweet regarding the ‘Yuva Desh’s derogatory meme. However, he later issued an apology for ‘hurting feelings’.
ALSO READ Congress should have condemed chaiwala meme on PM Modi says Vijay GoelIn the tweet that is now deleted, he had written, ‘Our Chai-Wala is any day better than tour Bar-Wala !’ The 67-year-old actor-turned-politician was responding to the ‘Indian Youth Congress’ online magazine ‘Yuva Desh,’ where they tweeted a picture of Prime Minister Modi in conversation with U.S President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. However, later he issued an apology and wrote, ‘Deleted the tweet as it’s in bad taste n I apologise for hurting feelings.’

Gujarat Elections 2017: BJP MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan ‘misbehaves’ with media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan, who is reportedly unhappy because his daughter-in-law, and not his wife, has been fielded by the party from the Kaalol Assembly seat in the upcoming Gujarat polls, allegedly pushed a cameraman and warned a reporter in Panchmahal district on Sunday, when the scribes asked for his reaction to the development.Video clips being telecast on local television news channels purportedly showed the MP pushing the reporter at the venue of a BJP event at Mora village in Morva Hadaf taluka of Panchmahal.Chauhan had come to the village to take part in the ‘Mann ki Baat, Chai ke Saath’ programme of the BJP.On Friday, the ruling party, in its fifth list of 13 candidates for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls, dropped the name of sitting MLA Arvindsinh Chauhan and instead, fielded Prabhatsinh Chauhan’s daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan from the Kaalol seat in Panchmahal district.Reportedly upset over the announcement, the Panchmahal MP wrote a letter to BJP chief Amit Shah, urging him to replace his daughter-in-law with a “local” candidate.Although, in the letter, Chauhan did not specifically demand that his wife Rangeshwari be given the party ticket, the MP had recently told reporters that she was the best candidate for the Kaalol seat.In the letter, Chauhan also alleged that his son Pravinsinh was a “bootlegger” and that he and his wife had even gone to jail.At the venue for the BJP event on Sunday, Chauhan allegedly grasped a television reporter’s hand when the latter asked him a question over the ticket allocation issue. The MP also allegedly talked to the reporter in a warning tone and pushed him back.The entire episode was captured on cameras. Chauhan was subsequently pacified by his supporters, who took him away from the mediapersons.Later, as he was leaving the venue, the MP reportedly got angry again at being asked questions by the media and allegedly hit one of the television cameras and pushed the cameraman. This incident was also captured by the television crew.The journalist, Hanif Bhagat, claimed that Chauhan not only grasped his hand, but also threatened him.”When I asked Chauhan to explain his side as regards the controversy, he got angry and grasped my hand. He then warned me saying, ‘do you want to get beaten up?’ Later, he attacked our cameraman outside the venue when another reporter tried to ask him a question,” said Bhagat, who works with “ABP Asmita”, a Gujarati news channel.Despite several requests to clear his stand over the issue of ticket allocation, Chauhan did not say anything and left the venue.In his letter to Shah, the MP had reportedly warned that he would not guarantee a victory for the saffron party from Kaalol or any of the seven Assembly seats under his LokSabha segment, if daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan was not replaced with someone of his choice.Chauhan, a prominent Rajput face in the region, who had joined the BJP in 1992, claimed that though he had single- handedly established the BJP’s dominance in Panchmahal district over the years, he was ignored by the party and not given any post in the organisation.The MP claimed that the BJP would not get even a single vote from the tribals in the upcoming Assembly polls. While Chauhan’s wife Rangeshwari is a tribal, his daughter-in-law is a Rajput.On Friday, after Rangeshwari came to know that she had been ignored in the ticket allocation, she targeted her husband in a fiery Facebook post, in which she dared him to enter Kaalol for poll campaigning. However, the post was deleted on Saturday. Despite repeated attempts, Chauhan could not be reached for comments on Sunday’s incident.The 182-member Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls in two phases — on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.

Lights. Camera. Censor: A 360 degree low-down on ‘Padmavati’ controversy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the first trailer of Padmavati hit the screens a month and a half ago, it captured little imagination and looked like just another fancy Sanjay Leela Bhansali magnum opus.With top actors and grandiose sets, the trailer was easily a time-tested Bhansali match, bought quickly by Bollywood fans.It went viral instantly. In 24 hours, it garnered 20 million views on YouTube, considered the most received by a Hindi film trailer in a day. It was talked about by social and mainstream media alike, the curiosity catalysed by top influencers.The magic, however, was short-lived, as protests against Padmavati makers spiralled, accusing them of distorting history and hurting sentiments of the Rajput community. The opposition to the film kept mounting, making Padmavati one of the most controversial movies.The December 1 release now stands deferred indefinitely, while the highly anticipated movie has been banned in multiple states, mostly ruled by the BJP. Threats of beheading and nose-chopping were issued against the director and actors unabashedly, without fear of the law, by fringe elements, and have also been endorsed by a section of politicians.
ALSO READ Padmavati row: Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu warns against violence, bountiesThis, even before the masses or even India’s film certification body, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), could manage to see the film. The ongoing, sensational saga begs the question: Who are the censors and custodians of the freedom of expression? It has also proved that the CBFC, called the censor board in common parlance, has little role in such a situation and is no more than a mere rubber stamp.Fringe, the new mainstreamTrouble had started brewing in January this year when a Rajasthan-based fringe group, the Rajput Karni Sena, assaulted Bhansali on the sets in Jaipur. In March, unidentified people vandalised the movie sets in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district. Days after the trailer released, the Karni Sena and other fringe Rajput groups came out on the streets to protest in the hundreds and blocked entry to the Chittorgarh Fort and the Kumbhalgarh Fort. They also issued threats and bounties for beheading Bhansali and cutting off actor Deepika Padukone’s nose.
ALSO READ Padmavati | Don’t forget Shurpnakaha’s fate, BJP leader threatens Mamata Banerjee for backing Deepika Padukone’s filmSena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi had earlier refused to settle for any compromise over the film, saying that it should be scrapped outright. The group has now mellowed down to say the movie should be shown to the erstwhile royal family of Mewar, and the protests would be withdrawn if the family does not find anything objectionable.A trader’s body was found hanging in Jaipur’s famous Nahargarh Fort with “we don’t just hang effigies… Padmavati” scribbled on a nearby rock on Friday, potentially marking a grotesque turn in the protests by groups claiming to represent the Rajput community. They say the depiction of the romance between Padmini and Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji insults the Rajput community. The film’s makers have been denying allegations of any distortion of history, promising there will be “no romantic scene or song or dream sequence between the two.
ALSO READ ‘Padmavati’ row: Karni Sena demands full ban on Bhansali’s film in HaryanaBut this has failed to assuage increasingly violent threats against cast and crew.Historians are divided over whether the queen ever existed. The movie is based on an epic 16th-century poem, ‘Padmavat’ by Sufi Muslim author Malik Muhammad Jayasi.Political backingFringe groups have, time and again, tried disrupting law and order in the country over a host of issues, including films. What emboldens them are endorsements from a section of politicians for their demands. Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu openly supported a call to behead Padukone and Bhansali and threatened to burn every cinema screen in the country if the movie was released.Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have banned the movie. Uttar Pradesh has held Bhansali responsible for hurting the sentiments of the Rajput community, while Rajasthan has sought edits. Even the Congress government in Punjab has backed protesters. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said nobody will accept the distortion of history and those who are protesting are rightly doing so.However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called the protests a “super emergency” and a calculated plan of “a political party” to destroy the freedom of expression. She said on Friday that her state was ready to welcome the film and its crew. “They are welcome here if they can’t release it in other states. We can make special arrangements.”Interestingly, Gujarat is staring at high-octane state elections next month, while UP is going through civic polls. Assembly elections are due in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan next year. In this situation, banning a film is the easiest move the states could have made, given that they are home to a large number of Rajputs, whose community leaders have been at the forefront of the protests.Strangely, none of the states decided to wait for the decision of the CBFC to arrive at a conclusion over its public screening. Talking to DNA, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar justified the opposition to the film and put the blame squarely on its makers. “For any film which has the potential to hurt sentiments, it is important for its makers to show it to community leaders first. No film should hurt the sentiments of any caste or community. Their opinion should be taken, and if they feel that there are certain objectionable scenes the should be deleted, filmmakers should delete them,” Kumar said.He said Bhansali was overlooking the easy solution and attracting further trouble by being adamant and not showing the film to caste leaders who feel it is an attack on their honour. But if caste leaders are to decide the fate of a film, what does the CBFC do, which is yet to even see this particular film? “Yes, let the CBFC see the film and arrive at a decision, but when so many states are banning it, the filmmakers should ponder over the reason. The film should be screened for members of the community protesting its release, to give them an assurance that it has nothing which can hurt their sensibilities,” he said.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also said that the director is as guilty as those who threatened to harm Padukone and Bhansali, “who has hurt public sentiments.” Ajmer Dargah Deewan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the film, stating that it hurts religious sentiments and could have an adverse effect on the law-and-order situation of the country.Rajasthan RoyalsThe royal family of Mewar has expressed strong displeasure with Padmavati makers and has urged the government to withhold the release of the film in its current form. Talking to DNA, MK Vishvaraj Singh of Udaipur, Mewar, said that in the interests of the film as well as keeping in mind plain courtesy, the makers should have let the family know that they are making a movie on their ancestor, Maharani Padmini, who is revered by many.”Take the case of films made on cricketers like MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar. The films were made in consultation with them to avoid any errors and all seem to be happy with the result. In case of Padmavati, we were not consulted even once, though we belong to the same lineage,” he said.Singh also pointed out that the recent selective screening of the film and the fact of those who viewed it making their review public has been criticised by the censor board. Talking about Karni Sena’s demand that the film be shown to the royal family to weed out any objections, Singh said it remains to be seen if this is possible in light of the recent criticism of the selective screening by the CBFC.”We have certain objections and they continue to be there. Even though the film is yet to be released, the trailer makes the mistakes reasonably clear, as the clips are parts of the film,” he said, adding that if there is the intention, any issue can be sorted out by a direct dialogue between all concerned. “Even if we see the film and put forth our objections, it is yet to be seen if and how the makers will address them,” he said.In a letter to the Prime Minister, Singh has urged him not to allow the movie’s release, stating that it is the responsibility of the government to safeguard the history of the country and the dignity of its citizens. “It will be ironic if films like Padmavati that are in our history and heritage are permitted to misrepresent and exploit this same heritage that is flaunted at home and abroad before all.”The family has also objected to the song Ghoomar and said in the letter, “If the film professes to be history and its maker goes on record to claim that he has kept in mind cultural sensitivities, it is an artistic and historic fraud to portray an incorrectly attired courtesan-like painted doll in the song as the very ‘queen’ the film purports to pay obeisance to.” He, however, disapproved of the threats of physical violence issued to Padukone and Bhansali.BJP MLA and member of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family, Diya Kumari, is also opposed to Padmavati. She has warned that the movie will not be released if it does not depict history authentically. She has also said that Bhansali should get the facts in the film verified by a forum of historians and then release it.Bhansali’s blunderWhile a consortium of fringe groups across several states took the law into their own hands, Bhansali also subverted the due process. In an arbitrary move, he held a special screening for personnel of select media establishments, eroding the authority of the censor board. What the filmmaker thought would be a smart move, backfired angering CBFC members. Board chief Prasoon Joshi publicly criticised the action.A filmmaker could choose to show his/her product to a private audience. It does not violate any rule. But Bhansali’s audience went on to submit its views on the film, influencing people’s opinions, while the film awaited certification. He invited trouble for himself as his move further angered and alienated political leaders and fringe groups who felt sidelined in the whole process. He also chose against consulting Mewar’s royal family, though his earlier film Bajirao Mastani had faced stiff opposition from the descendants of Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao.CBFC, a rubber stamp?India’s top film certification authority has looked completely sidelined in the entire controversy. Former CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani told DNA that the CBFC cannot take any action against Bhansali, for there are no rules against the private screening of a movie.RSS leader Kumar also told DNA that even if the CBFC sees the film, it also has to be screened for those opposing it for their clarification.While the Shyam Benegal committee report on the CBFC’s revamp remains to be implemented by the government, the veteran filmmaker has questioned the nationwide protests when hardly anyone has seen the film. Viacom 18 — a joint venture between Viacom Inc and Reliance Industries’ Network 18 — is the studio behind the film that is said to have cost some $23 million.Ranjani Mazumdar, professor of Cinema Studies, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has been following the controversy. “Cinema is increasingly emerging as a high-profile soft target to create a vitiated atmosphere. Apart from being an assault on the right to express, this kind of attack on the film by self-appointed vigilantes, who see themselves as the custodians of Indian culture, is being allowed because the government refuses to take a strong position on it,” Mazumdar told DNA.”They are, on the contrary, allowing this poison to spread. To ask for beheading, in the public domain, in this case, is shocking. I hope the film industry will take a strong position on this and demand the government’s intervention,” she said. Actors such as Shabana Azmi have urged the film industry to boycott the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in protest against the threats and disruption.Who said whatThe movie should be shown to the erstwhile royal family of Mewar; the protests will stop if the family does not find anything objectionable.—Lokendra Singh Kalvi, Rajput Karni Sena chiefCBFC cannot take any action against Bhansali, for there are no rules against the private screening of a movie.—Pahlaj Nihalani, ex-CBFC chiefLet the CBFC (also) see the film and arrive at a decision, but when so many states are banning it, the filmmakers should ponder over the reason.—Indresh Kumar, senior RSS leaderProtesters should see the film first and then demand cuts if anything is found objectionable. My opinion is very clear. Some of the historical facts may not be in consonance with our thinking… these movies are of course based on history. And I know some directors … study all angles of history. But popular sentiments should also be respected.—Birender Singh, Union MinisterKeeping in mind plain courtesy, the makers should have let the family know that they are making a movie on their ancestor, who is revered by many. We have some objections. The trailer makes the mistakes clear. It is the responsibility of the government to safeguard the history of the country and the dignity of its citizens.—Vishvaraj Singh, of Mewar’s royal familyCinema is increasingly emerging as a soft target to create a vitiated atmosphere. Apart from being an assault on the right to express, this kind of attack on the film by self-appointed vigilantes, who see themselves as the custodians of Indian culture, is being allowed because the government refuses to take a strong position.—Ranjani Mazumdar, cinema professor, JNUFilms caught in protests and politicsFireWhen: December 1998Why: The movie showed its female leads sharing a romantic relationship, which was cited as “alien to our culture”.What: Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and BJP workers vandalised theatres, some stripped down in protest. Initially passed uncut by the censor board, it was referred back to the board for re-examination.WaterWhen: January 2000Why: About the lives of widows in pre-Independence India, termed “anti-Hindu”.What: Director Deepa Mehta was forced to shut down the film’s production after protesters destroyed sets. Shiv Sena in UP organised a suicide protest to stop the film’s making. It finally released in India in 2007.Jodhaa AkbarWhen: February 2008Why: Based on the love story of Mughal emperor Akbar and Rajput princess Jodha, the Rajput community protested it for distorting historical facts.What: The film was banned in UP, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand. The Supreme Court lifted the ban on its screening in UP and some towns of Uttarakhand and Haryana.Madras CafeWhen: August 2013Why: Set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war, the movie ran into trouble for its alleged portrayal of LTTE in bad light.What: Amidst protests, Tamil political parties called for a ban on the film. It did not see a release in Tamil Nadu and UK.Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ram-LeelaWhen: November 2013Why: Initially named Ram-Leela, the film was accused of hurting religious sentiments.What: The Allahabad HC banned its release in UP. Bhansali agreed to the Kshatriya community’s demands by changing “provocative” words.Bajirao MastaniWhen: December 2015Why: Groups of Bajirao’s descendants, and BJP workers claimed the film distorted historical facts and depicted the Maratha leader in poor light.What: On the opening day, theatres across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat were forced to cancelscreenings.Udta PunjabWhen: June 2016Why: CBFC presented a list of 94 cuts and 13 pointers prior to the film’s release, one of which included removing all references to Punjab.What: Amidst protests in Punjab, the Bombay High Court later reduced the number of cuts to just one scene and directed the Board to issue an ‘Adult’ certificate to the film.Ae Dil Hai MushkilWhen: October 2016Why: Following the terrorist attack in Uri, Hindu groups protested the casting of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.What: MNS called for a ban and threatened cinemas with vandalism. It withdrew its agitation after Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis intervened.RaeesWhen: December 2016Why: MNS and Shiv Sena party workers protested the film’s screening for starring Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, while a BJP leader termed it a “dishonest” and “anti-national” film.What: Shah Rukh Khan met MNS chief Raj Thackeray to assure him that Mahira Khan won’t visit India for its promotion.Lipstick Under My BurkhaWhen: February 2017Why: On four Muslim women yearning to break free.What: The CBFC denied the film’s release in India stating that its plot was “lady-oriented” and had “contagious sexual scenes.” It was later released with an Adult certificate.

Vice-President warns against violence, bounties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Violent threats and rewards for physical harm are not acceptable in a democracy, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday as he warned forces against undermining the rule of law, in comments that come amid widespread protests against movie ‘Padmavati’.The Vice-President also said that the one should not hurt people’s sentiments and warned against selective condemnation, though he did not directly refer to the yet-to-be-released Bollywood period drama.Speaking at an event in Delhi, Naidu said there is a new problem of people feeling that some films have hurt their sentiments, and this has led to protests. Some people go overboard and announce rewards, he said.Groups claiming to represent the Rajput community have protested and issued bounties for murder and mutilation of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and lead actress Deepika Padukone, and have also been endorsed by a section of politicians, for “distortion of history.””Whether these fellows have that much money or not, I doubt. Everyone is announcing Rs one crore reward. Is it so easy to have Rs one crore? This is not acceptable in a democracy,” the Vice-President said.Protesters say the alleged depiction of romance between legendry Hindu queen Padmini and Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji insults the Rajput community. The film’s makers have been denying the allegation.”You have the right to protest in a democratic manner, go to appropriate authorities… Protesters should protest lawfully, peacefully,” he said.He added, “You cannot physically obstruct and cannot issue violent threats. You have no right to take laws into your own hands. Let’s not undermine the rule of law.”The December 1 release has been deferred indefinitely by the makers and the highly anticipated magnum opus has been banned in multiple states, mostly ruled by the BJP.Naidu stressed that he was not talking about a particular film. He, however, mentioned some movies such as Garam Hawa, Kissa Kursi Ka and Aandhi, which previously faced protests.”At the same time, you don’t have the right to hurt the sentiments of others”, he, however, said, also warning against selective condemnation and said it was wrong to link controversies to religion.Historians are divided over whether Padmavati ever existed. The movie is based on an epic 16th-century poem, ‘Padmavat’, by Sufi Muslim author Malik Muhammad Jayasi.”India always believed in pluralistic traditions and ethos and never allowed narrow and bigoted views or practices to rear their ugly heads. While dissent is agreeable, disintegration is not acceptable,” Naidu said.”That is the bottom line and any attempt to undermine integrity and unity of India by forces inimical to growth of India must be nipped in the bud.”A trader’s body was found hanging in Jaipur’s famous Nahargarh Fort with “we don’t just hang effigies… Padmavati” scribbled on a nearby rock on Friday, potentially marking a grotesque turn in the protests.Trouble started in January this year when Rajasthan-based fringe group Rajput Karni Sena assaulted Bhansali on the sets in Jaipur. In March, unidentified people vandalised the movie sets in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district. Days after the movie’s trailer released, Karni Sena and other fringe Rajput groups came out on the streets to protest in hundreds.

Karni Sena threatens to burn theatres in UK after Britain Censor Board clears ‘Padmavati’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) on Thursday cleared Sanjay Leela Bhansali flick Padmavati, Karni Sena has threatened to burn theatres in the UK.BBFC cleared the movie ‘Padmavati’ without any cuts for release in the UK. “Padmavati’ (12A) moderate violence, injury detail,” stated the official website of the British censor board. “All known versions of this work passed uncut,” it said.However, Sukhdev Singh, a leader of Karni Sena has threatened to burn every UK theatre screening Padmavati.“I myself wanted to go there to protest but the Indian government has confiscated my passport, so I will ask the Rajput community there to protest,” he told a news channel.Singh said that that will go to the international court to get the movie banned.Meanwhile, a functionary at Viacom 18, however, said there was no plan to release the film globally without it being cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).As the film was supposed to release on December 1, there are over 50 countries where this process (of certification) is on, he said.The lavishly mounted film, starring Deepika Padukone in the title role, and Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, is a joint production by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions.Many groups have been protesting amid rumours that there was a romantic dream sequence between Rajput queen Padmini and Allauddin Khilji. However, Bhansali said in an appeal that there was no dream sequence and it was all a rumour.Several politicians have already demanded a ban on the movie, while Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, and Rajasthan have already refused to allow a release of the movie in the state.Bhansali has been under attack from the group since he started shooting for the movie. The set of the movie was vandalised twice – in Jaipur and Kolhapur – and the director was roughed up by Karni Sena members in Jaipur in January.

Padmavati | Please stop release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie outside India, says plea in Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on November 28 a fresh plea seeking to stop the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ outside India on December 1.This comes as the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) on Wednesday cleared the movie for release in the UK on December 1. The plea filed by advocate ML Sharma alleges that the makers of “Padmavati” misrepresented facts before the court with regard to Censor Board’s approval on releasing songs and the promo and sought directions stop the release of the controversial film outside India. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would hear the plea on Tuesday. “We will take it up on Tuesday. You (advocate) file a writ petition,” the bench told Sharma who mentioned his fresh plea for an urgent hearing.Sharma alleged that grave damage will be done to social harmony if the movie is allowed to be released outside India.He also sought criminal prosecution of the makers of “Padmavati” for allegedly misrepresenting facts that the songs and promos were cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).Earlier, the top court had dismissed Sharma’s plea seeking to delete certain alleged objectionable scenes from the movie.The bench had observed that the CBFC had not yet given certificate to the movie and the apex court could not “injunct” a statutory body from doing its duty.“Padmavati” has been facing protests by various Rajput groups and political leaders, who have accused director Bhansali of distorting history.They allege that there is a romantic dream sequence between Rajput queen Padmini and Allauddin Khilji in the film.The film was scheduled to arrive in cinema halls on December 1, but Viacom 18, the company that has produced the film, postponed the release till further notice.(With PTI inputs)

Vasundhara Raje burns ‘disputes’ with Rajputs in Padmavati jauhar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The protest against Bollywood epic Padmavati has more than what meets the eye. It carries political connotation rather than just being a social dissent. It’s a point on which Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje has got an opportunity to show her solidarity with the royalties of Rajasthan and the Rajput community of the state. Raje didn’t miss it. She announced banning the release of this flick till the objectionable scenes are removed.This created a sort of bridge between royalties and Raje, which had developed fissures after the episode of Raj Mahal Palace last year when Jaipur Development Authority had take on the Jaipur Royal family by locking the Palace gates. It was then suspected that JDA had acted on the instructions of chief minister, that had created a ‘gulf’ between the royal family and Raje. That time all the royal families of Rajasthan rallied behind Jaipur Royals showing their solidarity against the ‘Maharani of Dholpur’. Even Karni Sena, a social outfit of Rajputs, carried protests against the government forcing it on the back foot. Diya Kumari of royal family despite being in her team of MLAs looked standing against her own government. The locks were later opened but that could not unlock the strenuous relationship, both of them sneaked into. The widespread protest against Padmavati just came up as a convergence point for royalties and Raje. All royalties including Jaipur Royal family put up a strong protest against screening of the film in Rajasthan. Raje echoed their voice of dissent. On this point, Raje, royalties and Karni Sena – all appeared to be on the same platform sending out message that Raje still has the favour for Rajputs.The harmony which Raje has shown for the royalty issue may win her back the confidence of Rajput community, which had cast a doubt on Raje’s role in the encounter of Anandpal Singh, a dreaded gangster from Rajput community. The ‘encounter’ of Anandpal , who was on the run, had united the Rajput community against Raje’s government. The community, which comprising around 8% of total population has a decisive role in the fate of few constituencies, especially in districts like Sikar, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Nagaur. The anger of Rajputs forced Raje to refer the encounter case to CBI for investigation, which was later turned down by the central investigating agency.Now that Raje has openly sided the community’s protest, BJP can win some political points, a year before elections. The door which seemed closed, now looks ajar giving the party the opportunity to woo back Rajputs to its fold.

Script goes awry? Complaint against Javed; flick protest on

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police complaint has been logdged against lyricist and author Javed Akhtar at Sindhi Camp police station as protest against movie Padmavati continued across Rajasthan and other parts of the country on Tuesday. Akhtar has been accused of hurting sentiments of Rajput community in a coloum written by him ridiculing the controversy surrounding the movie.”The lyricist went beyond limits and used objectionable language for Rajput community, that is unacceptable and action must be taken against him,” said the complainant Pratap Singh, an advocate by profession and self-claimed social activist.Even as he insisted for a FIR to be registered, the local police registered a complaint.Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have also asked for necessary changes in the film before the same is released.On Wednesday protests and demonstrations were held in several cities of the state demanding ban on the movie across the country. A public debate on the topic was also held at Jaipur during the day where many speaker objected to the alleged distortion of facts.RANVEER STANDBollywood star Ranveer Singh, who essays the role of Alauddin Khilji in ‘Padmavati’, has finally broken silence over the controversy surrounding the film.The ‘Bajirao Mastani’ actor has come out in support of the movie and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. “Like I have said before, I am 200% with the film and with my director. Given that it’s a very sensitive time right now, I have been specifically asked not to say anything,” Ranveer said on Tuesday. The ‘Befikre’ star also said that all further communication with regards to the film will be given by the producers.TRANSGENDERS PROTEST AT JODHPURAs various social organisation join chorus against the movie at Rajasthan, an associate of transgender also demonstrated at Jodhpur on the issue. The demonstrators alleged that distortion of historical facts at the movie is disrespect of all communities.

No pre-judging: SC junks petition against Sanjay Leela Bhansali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday junked a petition that sought criminal charges against Padmavati’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for allegedly defaming the legendary Hindu queen’s character. The court said it did not want to pre-judge the movie as it was still pending before the censor board.This comes amid widespread protests by groups — claiming to represent the Rajput community — against the movie that has deeply divided chief ministers in several states. A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the matter was still pending before the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) and it was too premature to be decided by it (the court). The bench — also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud — said that it did not want to pre-judge the film.The petition had been filed by advocate ML Sharma who said Bhansali defamed the queen by portraying her as a dancer.The apex court, however, disagreed with him and said that no case was made.Protesters who have issued threats against the director and actors say the depiction of romance between Padmini and Delhi Sultnate ruler Alauddin Khilji insults the Rajput community. The film’s makers have been denying allegations of any distortion of history. Historians have also been divided over whether the queen ever existed.During the brief hearing, Sharma objected to songs already released by the production house as part of its promotional strategy. “Half the movie has already been released and without any proper certification,” Sharma argued.To this, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the film, responded that the process for certification is on and all appropriate paperwork was in order for the material that is already on air. The production house has deferred the December 1 release of the movie.But trouble for the movie continues. A Varanasi court directed the local police to register an FIR against Bhansali for “insulting the religion, selling or printing defamatory matter and public mischief.” Petitioner Kamlesh Chandra has sought a ban on the film and action against its makers for depicting the character of Rani Padmavati in poor light which has “hurt the sentiments of Indians.” The court issued summons to Bhansali who was also attacked on sets in January by a Rajput organisation.

Padmavati: Why a Bollywood epic is facing fierce protests

Hindu caste groups say the film depicts romantic scenes between a Hindu queen and a Muslim king.

Padmavati: BJP hopes Centre and CBFC will find ‘amicable solution’

Updated: Nov 20, 2017, 08:31 AM IST, ANI

The period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various communal groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering historical facts. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said it is hopeful that the Centre and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) will find an amicable solution to end the ‘Padmavati’ row.BJP leader S Prakash said, “There has to be some way out of this. I’m sure the government authorities and the Censor board officials will take note of the sentiments of the people and make sure that an amicable solution is found.”The film has been embroiled in a spate of controversies ever since its inception.The period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various communal groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering historical facts.

Haryana BJP leader echoes fringe group’s call to behead Deepika and Bhansali, raises offer to Rs 10 crore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suraj Pal Amu, Haryana’s BJP Chief media coordinator launched an astonishing attack on the cast and crew Padmavati. He congratulated the Meerut youngsters for announcing a Rs 5 crore bounty for beheading Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali and added that he would reward them RS 10 crore and take care of their family’s needs.Attacking Ranveer Singh, he said that if he didn’t take back his words, he’s break the actor’s legs. He also said he would ask BJP if needed and asked PM Modi to ‘exercise his powers to strike down the film’.The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday booked a Meerut resident from the Kshatriya community who announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the heads of film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Deepika PadukoneDemanding a ban on Padmavati, Thakur Abhishek Som, an office-bearer of the Kshatriya Samaj has announced a reward of Rs 5 crore to anyone beheading film Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone who played the character of Padmavati in the movie.“A case has been filed against Som under section 115 (abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) and section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC at the Nauchandi police station,” Meerut superintendent of police (city) Maan Singh Chauhan told Times of India. The proposed release date of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” has been deferred, the makers of the film said today. In a statement to PTI, a spokesperson of Viacom18 Motion Pictures said it had taken the decision “voluntarily”.”Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the studio behind ‘Padmavati’, has voluntarily deferred the release date of the film from December 1st 2017,” it said.The spokesman said it had the highest regard for the law of the land and statutory bodies such as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).As a “responsible and law-abiding corporate citizen”, it was committed to following the established procedure and convention, it said.”We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film,” the statement read.Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi had yesterday slammed the makers for allowing the film to be screened for various media channels before obtaining a certificate from the board.The CBFC had sent the film back to the producer as the application for the certification was “incomplete”.”…We are a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen and have the highest respect and regard for the law of the land and all our institutions and statutory bodies including the Central Board of Film Certification,” the statement said.The studio said it would soon announce the new release date for the film.”We will announce the revised release date of the film in due course. We stand firm in our commitment to tell endearing tales that resonate with our audiences the world over as we have in the past with our other projects such as ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Queen’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and many more,” it said.The makers reiterated that the film was a cinematic masterpiece capturing “Rajput valour, dignity and tradition in all its glory”.”The film is an eloquent portrayal of a tale that will fill every Indian with pride and showcase our country’s story-telling prowess across the globe,” it said.”Padmavati” has been facing controversy since Bhansali started shooting the film earlier this year.The director was roughed up by members of the fringe group Rajput Karni Sena in Jaipur. Its elaborate sets were also vandalised during shooting schedules in Jaipur and Kolhapur.The first poster of the movie was released in October this year and triggered a storm with various Rajput groups and others claiming that the director had “distorted” historical facts.Bhansali and lead actor Deepika Padukone have received threats. Their security has been beefed up by the Mumbai police.Meanwhile, the film fraternity has come out in support of Bhansali and the team, with many leading artistes calling it an attack on creative freedom.With inputs from PTI

Subramanian Swamy irked by Deepika remark

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Subramanian Swamy slammed actor Deepika Padukone on Tuesday for her comments regarding the hullabaloo around ‘Padmavati’.“It`s appalling, it`s absolutely appalling. What have we gotten ourselves into? And where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed,” she had said, commenting on the spiralling controversy around the epic drama.Reacting to Deepika’s comments, Swamy tweeted – “Cine actress Deepika Padukone giving us lecture on regression. Nation can progress only when it is regression from her perspective.”Cine actress Deepika Padukone giving us lecture on regression!! Nation can progress only when it is regression from her perspective.— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) November 14, 2017Doubts on the extent to which the National Award-winning filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has fictionalised the story has led to a row with politicians, organisations and individuals raising a finger at him for ‘distorting history’ and demanding that the release of ‘Padmavati’ be stalled. However, Deepika is convinced the movie will release, as scheduled, on December 1.As a woman, I feel proud to be a part of this film and to tell this story, which needs to be told. And it needs to be told now,” Deepika, who plays the title role in Bhansali`s professed tribute to the sacrifice, valour and honour of Rajput queen told IANS.“The only people we are answerable to is the censor board, and I know and I believe that nothing can stop the release of this film,” she said, adding that the film industry`s support symbolises how “this is not about `Padmavati`. We`re fighting a much bigger battle.”“They are very independent individuals and very strong characters,” Deepika added, pointing out that in ‘Padmavati’, while there are two men – Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh – she essays the title role, which “does not happen often in a woman`s career”.“I celebrate that,” she said.‘Padmavati’ marks the third film that Deepika has worked in under Bhansali`s direction after ‘Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’

Hoping for a change

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It bore the brunt of the police violence against Patels in August 2015 and decided to root for the Opposition. Power play has no stand here as Bapunagar is looking for a change, and is even convinced if the Congress comes to power.Residents of the lower middle class suburb of Ahmedabad want relief from both BJP and Congress. They need solutions, and fast. Less than a month to elections, they want a change in power.In the municipal election of December 2015, all wards of Bapunagar, including Rakhial and Saraspur voted in favour of the Congress after they suffered from police violence due to a Patidar rally demanding caste-based reservations.While the claims of the Opposition and the residents are on the same lines with the primary problems being water and pollution, the sitting BJP MLA Rajput Jagrupsinh Girdansinh says that most issues have been solved. “To curb pollution, we have made an Oxygen park that has 3,500 trees,” he said. Jagrupsinh had defeated Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai of Congress in 2012 with a margin of 2,603 votes.On the other hand, the opposition and residents have a list of issues to be talked about. One of the residents of India Colony said, “Change is needed. BJP is ruling for 22 years and now should change. We have complained so many times about the water problems but no one responds. Check the list of societies that every water tanker pays a visit to. This shows the actual problem.”BAPUNAGAR NEWLY FORMED CONSTITUENCY IN 2012Population: Over 2.5 lakhVoters: 167009Male: 89535Female: 77473Other: 1CASTE-WISE BREAK-UP OF VOTERSMuslims: 50,000SC: 32,000Hindi speakers: 36,000Thakor: 10,000Devipujak: 12,000Patels: 10,000 (all figures are approx)VOTER TURNOUT IN PAST THREE ELECTIONS2012- 67.50%WHICH PARTY / MLA HAS WON IN THE PREVIOUS THREE ELECTIONS2012: BJP- Rajput Jagrupsinh Girdansinh (victory margin 2603 ) Congress: Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai2007: BJP – Barot Bharatkumar Chimanlal (margin 32%)Congress: Shaikh Mohammad Faruk Hussainmiya (margin: 18%)KEY ISSUES:Water
Pollution
Colleges
Gambling, liquor AUTHORITY SPEAKS1. Rajput Jagrupsinh Gidansinh, MLA, BJP:Bapunagar residents were facing a lot of issues due to pollution and to curb the same, we made an Oxygen park with 3500 trees.On an average, nearly 600-700 visitors come to the park. On health front, we have added important facilities like MRI, blood bank, CT scan, etc at Shardaben hospital. To prevent water logging during monsoon, in past five years, we have made stronger network of storm water network and built 4 bore wells and 3 water tanks.2. Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai, CongressI am out of town and I had fought elections in 2012. After that, I have no idea what kind of problems are there. My office gets all sorts of complaints.LIKELY CANDIDATES IN 2017:BJP: Prakash GurjarCongress: Dinesh SharmaWHAT VOTERS HAD TO SAY1. Meenaben Gohil, social workerBapunagar is a hub of all kinds of illegal activities like bootlegging, gambling, etc. School students of higher grades are into serious addiction. There is a pan parlour which is a nuisance in our area, that promotes these activities. The most dirty water is released in our area that attracts dangerous insects into our homes. I have been fighting for these issues and will continue for the same. BJP needs to go now.2. Amit Naik, doctorIn all elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took out roadshows in our area and said that he will make this part like West Ahmedabad. While he became PM from CM but Bapunagar still remains the same. The biggest issue is that sports complex opened by the state government does not have qualified coaches. Young children of our area are struggling to learn. We do not have a government college and the place which was reserved for a government college today has an Oxygen park.3. Popatbhai Gajera, retired (I have photo of a water tanker as well that visited the society)Election or no election, biggest problem in my area is water. Women in my area struggle every day due to non availability of water. Despite so many complaints, the issue is never resolved and there is no one to listen to us.4. Mukesh Patel, sells pani-puriI used to rub diamonds earlier but left the work many years ago. Since then, I have been selling pani puri. My business got affected during the Patidar andolan, when the roads were shut for few days. I do not have any issue with the government but just that the fee of schools is too much. I have two children and hence it gets difficult to run the house.”5. Nalin Brambhatt, jewellerTo get season passes for buses, there is no facility available at any depot here. Students especially girls have to travel till Lal-darwaja for the same. Another important aspect is that there is no Anganwadi in Bapunagar. Free medicines are not given to the poor in Shardaben hospital.

Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh threatens to set ablaze theatres that screen Padmavati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati which will hit the theatres next month, the BJP MLA from Hyderabad T Raja Singh has threatened to set ablaze theatres that will screen the film in the state.The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, is slated for release on December 1. The MLA made the comment at a congregation of Rajasthan Rajput Samaj in Secunderabad, which was later shared on his Facebook page.Singh who represents Goshamahal constituency has alleged that the film distorts history and disregards the Rajputs and Rajasthani culture.“The fact was that Khilji had attacked Chittorgarh, causing mass self-immolation (Jauhar) by more than 16,000 women who lived in the fort at the time,” reported Hindustan Times quoting Singh.The post went viral within hours, receiving over 38,000 views and nearly 4,000 likes. “I will be in the forefront in the struggle. If any of you are arrested or harassed, I will use all my influence to come to your rescue and get you out of cases,” he said.Last week, the BJP approached the Election Commission seeking its intervention to stop the release of ‘Padmavati’ without a pre-release screening by the Kshatriya community, saying ‘distortion of facts’ in the movie will hurt their sentiments.Earlier, Shankersinh Vaghela, an influential Kshatriya leader and former chief minister of the state, had made an identical demanded, and warned that if it was released without the community’s approval, there could be violence.Rajasthan-based Rajput community group Karni Sena had opposed the film, alleging distortion of history, and vandalized its sets.(With agency inputs)

Rajput groups want ban on Padmavati, warn of stir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Objecting to the depiction of history in the upcoming movie ‘Padmavati’, members of Rajput community groups have demanded that the Maharashtra government ban it. They have warned of protests across the state if their demand is not met.On Wednesday, community groups met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Tourism and EGS Minister Jaykumar Rawal to press their demands. The groups included office bearers of organisations like the Karni Sena, Maharana Pratap Battalion and Maharashtra Rajput Kshatriya Sangh.The community has a presence in pockets across Maharashtra, especially in the Khandesh (North Maharashtra) region, Marathwada and Vidarbha.Dilipsingh Hazari of the Maharashtra Rajput Kshatriya Sangh said they want filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali to “amend” the movie to prevent “distortion of history,” failing which the state government should ban it. The movie is based on the legend of Rani Padmavati, the wife of Maharawal Ratan Singh of Mewar, whose kingdom was invaded by Alauddin Khilji for capturing Padmini, who committed jauhar.

Karadiya Rajputs to protest against Jitu Vaghani at Bavla

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trouble seems to be mounting for the BJP in the upcoming elections with the Rajput community calling for a mahasammelan in Bavla in Ahmedabad district on November 5.The mahasammelan comes close on the heels of the sammelan called by the Karadiya Rajput Samaj in Bhavnagar to protest the alleged arm-twisting tactics of BJP state president and Bhavnagar (west) MLA Jitu Vaghani.The purpose of the sammelan in Bavla is to seek withdrawal of case against one Dansang Mori, a community leader and former sarpanch of Budhel village in Bhavnagar. Kuldeep Sagar, one of the organisers of the sammelan, said around one lakh members of the community are expected to congregate at the meet. “The meet is being held to demand that the police withdraw its case against Dansang Mori. The community feels it is made at the behest of BJP’S Vaghani as Mori had resisted the alleged land grab attempt made by the BJP leader on a gauchar land,” said Sagar.When asked if they would give a call to the community not to vote for the BJP, Sagar said the motive was not to make the sammelan a political one. “We want the false case registered against a distinguished member and social worker of the community like Mori be withdrawn,” said Sagar.BIG MEET ON CARDSMahasammelan comes close on the heels of the sammelan called by the Karadiya Rajput Samaj in Bhavnagar to protest the alleged arm-twisting tactics of BJP state president and Bhavnagar (west) MLA Jitu Vaghani.

City residents celebrate Chhath Puja in an eco-friendly way

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the sun set on Thursday, Nalin Pandey and his family offered the Aragh (an offering), an essential part of Chhath puja, at their building premises in Nerul. For the last two years, the family avoided venturing out to water bodies due to the dirt and overcrowding.”We have a water fountain on the premises which has been particularly made in a way that the sunrise can be witnessed from there. Every year, we clean up the place and offer Aragh. Earlier we would go to a lake in Nerul but for past two years, we have been doing it here. Lakes are usually not clean and it is too crowded. Also, there is a risk of accidents happening. In the fountain, the water is not deeper than three feet,” said Pandey, who is the chairman and managing director of a shipping company.Pandey, who is also joint secretary of Bihar Foundation, organises Chhath puja at various places. The puja is observed mainly by people from Bihar, Jharkhand, and some parts of UP.”Every morning people pray to the sun. On the third and fourth day of the puja, we offer Aragh to the Sun God. This prayer is also to Chhath Devi, the daughter of Lord Bramha, and the wife of Lord Surya (sun). She is an assigned boon for kids,” said Manoj Singh Rajput of Bihar Foundation.On the third day, people offer five different kind of fruits on a winnow to the Sun God. “In villages where there was clean water, people would take that water and offer it to the Sun God, which is the main offering to the Sun God. Out here, most people take water sprinkled with Gangajal in a copper pot,” said Rajput.”Over a period of time, in the city, many people have been coming to natural water bodies. We co-ordinate with the administration and clean up the place where the puja is done,” said Abhay Kumar, who offers Aragh from Banganga in Malabar HillThe four-day prayer sees people go on a 36-hour fast without water. They observe a fast and also offer aragh to the setting and rising Sun god as part of the ritual.Their prayer for the first two days is restricted to their homes where they observe abstinence and offer prayers.On the third and fourth day, people offer prayers to the Sun God standing in water. It is done during the sunset on the third day and during sunrise on the fourth.THE RITUALSThe four-day prayer sees people go on a 36-hour fast without water. They observe a fast and also offer aragh to the setting and rising Sun god as part of the ritual.
Their prayer for the first two days is restricted to their homes where they observe abstinence and offer prayers.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls: Filing of nominations begins on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The filing of nominations for the November 9 Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh is scheduled to begin tomorrow, but both the major political parties — the Congress and the BJP — are yet to announce their candidates.The last date for filing nominations is October 23, scrutiny of papers is scheduled to be taken up on October 24, the last day for withdrawal of nominations is October 26, while polling will be held on November 9.Of the 7,521 polling booths in the state, 136 (two each in the 68 constituencies) would only have women officials, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pushpender Rajput said.He added that the counting of votes would be taken up on December 18 and the Model Code of Conduct would remain in force till December 20.Of the 68 Assembly segments in the state, 17 were reserved for the scheduled castes and three for scheduled tribes, Rajput said.The total number of registered voters in the state was 49,13,888, he said, adding that the figure was likely to go up once the pending cases for registration of voters were disposed of.The CEO said electronic voting machines (EVMs), connected to voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, would be used in all the 7,521 polling booths.VVPAT machines would be used for the first time in the Himachal Assembly polls and they would enable a voter to see the name and election symbol of the candidate he has voted for for seven seconds, he added.

Stand by decision on Ahmed Patel’s RS election: EC to Gujarat HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission today told the Gujarat High Court that it stands by its decision to declare Congress leader Ahmed Patel elected in the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat.The EC also told Justice Bela Trivedi that under The Representation of The People Act, it cannot be made a respondent to the petition filed by BJP’s Balwantsinh Rajput, who demanded that Ahmed Patel’s election be set aside.Irani, Shah and Ahmed Patel had won the closely contested election. The EC, which has been made a party to the petition along with the three winning candidates, said in its reply it stands by its order.Union minister Smriti Irani and BJP president Amit Shah, who are the other respondents, also filed their replies today. Both Irani and Shah said they support Rajput’s petition against Ahmed Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha.The court adjourned the hearing to November 10.Ahmed Patel, in his reply filed last week, had sought dismissal of the petition, claiming that there was no substance in the allegations. Rajput had quit the Congress just ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha election for three seats from Gujarat, and was fielded as a BJP candidate along with Shah and Irani. Rajput, however, lost to Congress’s Ahmed Patel as the EC rejected the votes of rebel Congress MLAs Raghavjee Patel and Bholabhai Gohel for flouting rules.Congress’s polling agent Shaktisinh Gohil had complained to the EC that both the MLAs showed their ballots to BJP leaders present in the booth before putting them into the ballot box. As per the rules, voters cannot show ballots to anybody other than the authorised polling agent of the party. Both the rebel MLAs voted for BJP candidate Rajput, instead of Ahmed Patel. With these two votes getting invalidated, the Congress leader trumped Rajput.Rajput alleged in his petition that the EC order was “patently illegal”.He also claimed that two other Congress MLAs had flouted the same rule by showing their ballot papers to unauthorised persons, so their votes should be invalidated, and he (Rajput) be declared winner.

Will Gadiya Lohars take govt benefits?

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

Dailt youth murdered in Gujarat for attending garba

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 21-year-old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death by a group of men belonging to the upper caste Patel community for attending a garba event in Gujarat’s Anand district in the early hours today, police said.The incident took place around 4 am.Jayesh Solanki, cousin Prakash Solanki and two other Dalit men were sitting near a house adjacent to a temple in Bhadrania village when a person made “derogatory remarks about their caste”, police said quoting a complaint filed in connection with the incident.The accused said Dalits “do not have any right to watch garba. He made casteist remarks and asked some men to come to the spot”, an officer at the Bhadran police station said.The upper caste men allegedly thrashed the Dalits and banged Jayesh’s head against a wall, the officer said.Jayesh was rushed to a hospital in Karamsad, where doctors declared him brought dead in the morning.”We have registered an FIR under IPC sections related to murder and the Prevention of Atrocities Act against eight men,” the official said.Deputy SP (SC/ST cell) A M Patel said it did not appear to be a pre-planned attack.”Jayesh was killed in the heat of the moment, as there was no rivalry between him and the accused. We are probing the case from all angles. The accused will be arrested soon,” the officer said.Recently, two Dalit men of a village near Gandhinagar were allegedly thrashed by members of the Rajput community for “sporting a moustache” in separate incidents, on September 25 and 29.The state had witnessed massive protests in July last year over the brutal thrashing of four Dalit men at a village in Una town.

Gujarat: Two dalit men assaulted for ‘sporting moustache’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Dalit men of a village near Gandhinagar in Gujarat were allegedly thrashed by members of Rajput community for “sporting a moustache” in two separate incidents, the police said on Sunday.The incidents occurred on September 25 and September 29 at Limbodara village in Kalol taluka of Gandhinagar district.In the September 29 incident, Krunal Maheria (30), a law student, was allegedly beaten up by one Bharatsinh Vaghela.In his complaint to the Kalol taluka police, Maheria claimed that Vaghela assaulted him for sporting a moustache.”When I was visiting my friend on Friday night, Vaghela and some others intercepted me and verbally abused me.Vaghela told me that I cannot become a Rajput by just sporting a moustache. When I ignored him, Vaghela beat me up with a stick,” Maheria said today.He returned his home today after undergoing treatment at the Gandhinagar civil hospital.Based on his complaint, police had lodged an FIR against Vaghela under section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC and under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, a Kalol taluka police official said.He said Vaghela was arrested today.”A cross complaint was also registered against Maheria under the IPC section 323. Today, we have arrested Vaghela,” the official said.A similar case was reported in Limbodara village on September 25, when some members of Rajput community allegedly thrashed Piyush Parmar (24).”Parmar had alleged that some Rajput men from the village beat him up when he was returning home after a garba programme. He had alleged that upper caste men thrashed him over his moustache. No arrests have been made yet in that case,” said the official.​

Cops bust bitcoin racket, seven held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has arrested six people including a woman for allegedly duping buyers on the pretext of selling bitcoin.According to the police, the accused have been identified as Aditya Rajput, Priya Thakur, Sandeep Chauhan, Devender Chauhan, Karamvir Singh and Kunal Sharma. The gang leader Aditya Rajput is a law graduate from Dehradun.“The complainant uploaded his information on a website localbitcoins.com, from which he received a call from a bitcoin dealer Karishma Rajput, her real name is Priya Thakur. He (the complainant) revealed his interest in buying bitcoins which was then available at the rate of Rs 72,000 per bitcoin. He wanted to make the payments through Zebpay.com but Karishma Rajput persuaded him to conduct the transaction in cash,” DCP (Crime Branch) Rajesh Deo said.Delhi police said that Karishma alias Priya, along with her associates called the complainant to a mall situated in East Delhi. After confirming the identity of the complainant they abducted him and took them to a flat in Ghaziabad, where he was robbed of Rs 36 lakhs.“This modus operandi was used to contact interested parties through phone calls and Facebook messages and convince them to deal in cash to buy Bitcoins. Once, they convinced the buyers and called them to the designated place, the other gang members would come into action. These were namely Karamvir, Kunal, Kuldeep Amandeep, Sandeep and Devender who armed with weapons would rob the victim,” Deo added.On further interrogation, the victim revealed that gang took the commission of two more dacoities of 28 lakhs and 8.5 lakh rupees by transferring the bitcoins from his wallet into their own accounts. This, he said, was done by threatening him at gunpoint after the abduction. The gangs he said were using fake identities to escape detection.Apart from these gang members, police are claiming that six other victims have been identified and soon the Delhi police will call them for their statements. Police have also recovered eight mobile phones, numerous SIM cards and jewellery items, along with lakhs of rupees in cash.

BJP to picks Swarn Singh Salariya over Vinod Khanna’s widow Kavita Khanna for Gurdaspur bypoll

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP today announced that businessman Swarn Singh Salariya will be its candidate for the by-poll to the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant following actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna’s demise.Polling for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat in Punjab will take place on October 11. The seat fell vacant after Khanna, a four-time BJP MP, passed away in April this year.Salaria’s name was decided by the party’s central election committee, according to an official statement.After deliberating over the candidate’s name for many days, the party chose Salariya over Kavita Khanna, the wife of the late movie actor, according to party sources.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has already named Major General (Retd) Suresh Khajuria as its candidate while the Congress yesterday announced that its state president Sunil Jakhar would contest the by-poll.”Swarn Singh Salariya will be the BJP candidate for the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency bypoll,” said Punjab BJP secretary Vineet Joshi.Salaria has business interests in hospitality, aviation and other sectors, Joshi said.Salariya is a native of the Chauhana village in Gurdaspur. He was an aspirant for the same seat in 2014 elections but the party opted for Khanna, who had represented the constituency earlier as well.Salaria hails from the Rajput community which has substantial presence in the constituency.Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat has been a stronghold of the BJP. Salaria will be in a direct fight with Jakhar.Meanwhile, the party also announced K Janachandran Master as its candidate for the Vengara legislative assembly in Kerala.

Rajasthan govt promises to implement quota for EBCs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After successfully solving the Gurjars reservation issue by assuring them quota in OBC category, the Rajasthan government now faces a new challenge of EBC (economic backward class) who wants 14 per cent reservation.A meeting was held on Monday afternoon between the social justice minister Arun Chaturvedi and representatives of Rajput outfits. The minister assured them to finalise a survey of the backward upper castes till December to initiate the procedure of giving them the reservation.”The minister told us that the government is currently conducting a survey across the state to support the quota demand of the EBC. However, the flood has affected many areas including Barmer, Jalore, Jodhpur, Sikar halting the survey. The minister assured us to finish the survey report by December,” said Karan Rathore, spokesperson of Rashtriya Karani Sena, an outfit which carried out a rally to press their demand of EBC in March this year.Apart from this, the outfit raised the demand of fresh recommendation to the CBI into the killing of Chatur Singh by police, to which the minister said that it was related to home department and not his ministry.

Politics over dead: A new disturbing trend gains ground

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Politics over dead bodies is not a new phenomenon in India. There are numerous occasions when elections have been won on corpses. But of late a very disturbing trend is seen in Rajasthan where dead bodies have been used not only to extract concessions from the government but the civic administration is also stopped from performing its duties. In the past two months, four incidents happened in a short span of time where different outfits have used the dead as a bargaining chip to raise their demands – justified or unjustified. The emotions are whipped in such way that the government is forced to bend backwards.The killing of Anandpal Singh in a police encounter was the first instance where his family and Rajput outfits did not cremate his body for 25 days. His cremation took place only after the state government accepted their demands, including a probe by CBI into the encounter.The government amid deteriorating law and order situation in Sanwrad, Nagaur (home town of Anandpal), was forced to accept the demands in view of impending BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to the state at that time.Government faced the same situation when a man belonging to minority community was allegedly killed in police firing in Ramganj. The members of deceased’s community did not allow his post mortem and subsequent burial until the government met their demands of compensation and an inquiry into his death. After hectic parleys, the government agreed to the demands and the deceased was buried.Two days later, body of a man belonging to another community was discovered from Ramganj and following the earlier precedent, demands of his community were also accepted.On Tuesday, the same situation was witnessed in Bharatpur where Congress leader Dan Singh was shot dead by unidentified assailants. It was only after Congress MLA Vishvendra Singh intervened that the matter was resolved.

New Union minister woos Rajputs in first visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Newly inducted Union minister from Rajasthan, Gajendra Singh, on his maiden visit here on Friday met Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the Governor and BJP state office. But two destinations he visited were significant and sent out a political message loud and clear.Singh, the Union minister of state for agriculture landed at the Jaipur airport in the morning and went straight to Bharti Bhawan, the RSS state headquarters. There he met the top state functionaries and held discussions. He met Durga Das, kshetra pracharak Rajasthan (top functionary in state), Hanuman Singh senior state level functionary and Nimbaram, the Jaipur in-charge. As per sources the visit lasted around 40 minutes.His visit to the prominent Rajput body Kshtriya Yuvak Sangh office also had political message for the Rajput community that had launched offensive against BJP and given a call for boycott in the elections after the encounter of gangster Anandpal Singh by Rajasthan police. There he met the head of the KYS Bhagwan Singh Rolsabsar. Also present were senior leaders who were leading the agitation at Anandpal’s village. It was believed that Singh had been made minister to appease them. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Gajendra Singh said, “It is true that a section of the society was upset but we are a family and tiffs happen within a family.” “Rajputs have always been with the BJP and will continue to do so,” he added.The itinerary of Gajendra Singh’s visit to Jaipur can be seen as an indicator that the BJP high command is is no mood to let local issues and deviation from core ideology affect poll prospects in the coming year.

Taj Mahal is not a Shiva Temple but a tomb: Archaelogical Survey of India to Agra court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) told an Agra court that the Taj Mahal is a tomb and not a temple as claimed by several petitioners, reported Hindustan Times.In a written statement, the ASI refused to accept the contention that the Taj Mahal was dedicated to Lord Shiva.The court in April 2015 had admitted a lawsuit by six lawyers who claimed that the Taj was actually Tejo Mahalaya and Hindu followers should be allowed access inside to the premises of the monument to perform ‘darshan’ and ‘aarti’.As of now, only Muslims are allowed to worship at the site, offering Friday prayers at the attached mosque. The next hearing is fixed on September 11.The counsel representing the Union of India and ASI said that the petitioners had no locus in the matter and neither did they have right to worship there as the monument was Islamic.The ASI also denied the existence of any temple within the Taj Mahal.On August 10, the Central Information Commission had directed the Union culture ministry to clarify its stand on whether the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built by Shahjahan or a Shiva temple gifted to the Mughal emperor by a Rajput king.The question, forwarded as an alternative narrative of history by some claiming to be historians and the subject of various court cases, reached the CIC through an RTI plea and is now at the culture ministry’s door.

Balvantsinh Rajput challenges Ahmed Patel’s RS win

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress rebel, Balvantsinh Rajput, who lost the Rajya Sabha elections on a BJP ticket, has challenged the victory of Congress candidate, Ahmed Patel, in the Gujarat High Court. The matter is likely to be heard on Monday.Rajput has moved an election petition challenging the election results of Patel. His contention is that the Election Commission cannot issue a direction to the returning officer to invalidate two votes when the officer has decided to allow it.The petitioner’s advocate Devang Vyas and senior counsel Satya Pal Jain pled for urgent circulation and hearing of the case before the second division bench of Justice MR Shah and BN Karia. The court has directed the registry for listing the matter before the designated court, and it is most likely to be heard on Monday.In the petition, it has been alleged that Patel acted in violation of the Representation of the People Act, that strictly prohibits candidates from luring voters to seek a vote.The petition alleges that Patel took 44 MLAs to Bengaluru against their wishes and confined them — just to seek their votes for the election.The petitioner has also pled that the court should set aside the result declaring Patel the winner, and declare him the winning candidate instead.To justify his victory, Rajput has claimed that two Congress MLAs had shown their ballot paper to someone other than the party’s polling agent.This was opposed by BJP leader Shankar Chaudhary. If these two votes are declared invalid too, Patel will not have enough votes in the first round, but he will have enough votes in the preferential round to be declared the winner.The EC’s decision paved the way for the victory of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel — who got 44 votes, the minimum he needed to win. Rajput polled 38 votes.WIN OR LOSS?As Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy was on leave on Friday, the petition came up before the senior-most judge, Justice MR Shah, who ordered that it be listed for hearing on August 21 before the appropriate bench
The EC’s decision to invalidate the votes of two rebel Congress MLAs paved the way for the victory of Congress candidtae Ahmed Patel

Gujarat: BJP candidate Balvantsinh Rajput challenges Ahmed Patel’s Rajya Sabha victory in HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP candidate Balvantsinh Rajput who lost Gujarat Rajya Sabha election, on Friday challenged Ahmed Patel’s victory in the High Court.Rajput has challenged the result saying, the Election Commission has no right to decide the invalidity of the vote.He has also dragged the issue of Congress taking its MLAs to Bengaluru resort ahead of voting.Patel beat the BJP nominee Rajput in a bitterly fought Rajya Sabha election after dramatic developments which saw the Election Commission rejecting the votes of two dissident MLAs of the main opposition party for violating electoral rules.Patel received 44 votes, in the first RS polls in Gujarat in two decades, which saw a contest instead of official candidates of major parties getting elected unopposed. Rajput secured 38 votes.

Shankersinh Vaghela might enter RS as President’s nominee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat’s veteran politician and former CM Shankersinh Vaghela can be seen in Rajya Sabha as President’s nominee. Out of the 250 members of the Rajya Sabha, the President nominates 12 having special knowledge or practical experience.A senior BJP leader who has worked with Vaghela when he was with the BJP in his earlier years, said on condition of anonymity, “It is almost decided that Vaghela would make an entry to Rajya Sabha as the President’s nominee in near future. It is also likely that Vaghela can get the lucrative appointment in profit making board or corporation owned by Government of India. After quitting Congress, Vaghela could be very helpful to BJP ahead of the Assembly polls.”Vaghela parted ways with Congress and resigned as leader of Opposition and member in Gujarat Assembly showing his displeasure with Congress high command and leaders in Gujarat. Now this leader with the rebellious nature has softened his approach for BJP which could earn him a benefit through entry in Rajya Sabha, the leader said.BJP had nominated Balwantsinh Rajput as the third candidate in Rajya Sabha polls held on August 8 but he lost against Congress’ candidate Ahmed Patel. Rajput is the father-in-law of granddaughter of Vaghela and thus they are relatives. In fact, BJP leaders were of the opinion that Vaghela should file nomination as third candidate of BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls but he refused and put forward the name of Rajput in place of him, said the BJP leader.Neither Vaghela nor Rajput could be reached for their comments. When Vaghela resigned as MLA of Kapadvanj on Thursday, he had said he would continue serving people as a politician.GAME OF THRONESVaghela might have some suspicion in mind and that is why he would have refused to contest RS polls. Moreover, he did not want to leave a message that he left Congress to become the BJP RS member. He chose to not contest the election so that his image is not affected and put forward the proposal for Rajput.” -Senior BJP leader on anonymity

SC stays couple’s execution in human sacrifice case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of a couple, sentenced to death in a case of sacrificing a two-year-old boy. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra admitted the appeal filed by the condemned prisoners, Ishwari Lal Yadav, and his wife Kiran Bai, whose death penalty was confirmed by the Chattisgarh High Court in the human sacrifice case. “Let the lower court records be called for. There shall be stay of the execution of the death sentence. Let the matter be listed before the appropriate bench in the week commencing November 28,” the bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, said. The case dates back to November 23, 2010 when Chirag, the two-year-old son of Poshan Singh Rajput, went missing while playing outside his house in Ruabandha area of Chattisgarh’s Bhilai Nagar. It was alleged that the two main accused, Yadav and his wife, used to indulge in Tantric (ancient yogic spiritual) practices. Kiran Bai had allegedly asked him to get a small child for sacrifice and the boy was kidnapped and allegedly killed in a gruesome manner. The family members of the boy and other neighbours had heard loud music coming from Yadav’s house. On suspicion, they entered the house and found blood stains, bowls of blood and chopped body parts in a room, the prosecution had alleged. The child’s body was recovered buried in the room following Yadav’s interrogation. A case was lodged for the offences of murder, kidnapping in order to murder, causing disappearance of evidence and other provisions of IPC against 12 people, including four minors. 11 persons, including Yadav’s children were nabbed. The trial court had sentenced the husband-wife duo and five others to death for the crime. The Chhattisgarh High Court had confirmed the death penalty of the husband and the wife but reduced the sentence of the co-convicts.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP puts the onus on EC for losing RS elections in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Losing the hotly contested Rajya Sabha elections for the third seat to Ahmed Patel of Congress by a wafer-thin margin, the BJP is not ready to call it a day in Gujarat.Willing to raise the stakes further, the losing MLA, Balwantsinh Rajput, a rebel Congress heavyweight who fought against Patel, is soon expected to file an election petition in the high court.”Rajput is talking to his lawyer and would soon file his petition either in Ahmedabad, or Delhi high court,”said a senior BJP leader.Describing the recently concluded elections as a complete victory, BJP sources insisted that the result would have been different had the Election Commission (EC) stuck to pure constitutional aspect by taking the decision of the Returning Officer as final.”The Commission saw on the video footage and did not go into the constitutional aspect,”said BJP sources. “The fact is that the recent elections extended our base and reduced the Congress to the margins just before the Gujarat assembly elections,” said a BJP leader adding that this would help include more seats to its existing tally of 122 MLAs and reach the target of 150 that Amit Shah has set for the party.”The talks of Congress making a come back are just glib talk as before these elections Congress had 57 MLAs besides enjoying the support of four allies. Yet they failed miserably in amassing votes of 44 MLAs, and won the election by fluke,”said the leader.Rebutting Congress allegations, the BJP leader insisted that all the legislators came to party’s fold not because of any inducement but on their own. “All of them are well off and do not need money,”said the leader.

Ahmed Patel retains Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat @ 8/9/2017 10:04:50 AM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel has retained his Rajya Sabha seat. Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats was conducted on Tuesday. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani are other two candidates and are likely to win with ease. Ahmed Patel?s win is being considered a major victory of Congress and a blow for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Patel took to Twitter to express happiness. ?This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power,muscle power and abuse of state machinery,? Patel tweeted. Congress had made candidature of Ahmed Patel as a matter of prestige. The BJP also left no stone unturned to win all the three seats. The saffron pitted Balwantsinh Rajput, a recent acquisition from the Congress, against Ahmed Patel knowing that Patel?s defeat will bring huge embarrassment for Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary. After the intense political developments, the Election Commission (EC) declared results for the three seats of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. Total 176 MLAs voted in the crucial elections, but two votes were declared invalid. The EC on late Tuesday night declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress. Earlier in the evening, Congress had complained to the EC and said that two of its MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- showed their votes to unauthorized persons and demanded their votes should not be counted and should be rejected. Congress said these MLAs showed their votes to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and independent candidate Balwantsinh Rajput instead of representative of Ahmed Patel. Earlier, the constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap on Tuesday branded that the Congress’ demand to invalidate votes of two of its rebels over cross-voting as ‘political drama’. Subhash Kashyap asserted that if there was any objection, the Congress should have raised it during polling. Speaking to ANI here, he said, “It is not legal issue but a political drama. If there was objection, should have been raised during polling.” Ahmed Patel, the influential political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and BJP Chief Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani and ex-grand old party cadre Balwantsinh Rajput were in the fray. Congress suffered major blow ahead of the RS polls when six of its Gujarat MLAs joined BJP. Panicked Congress sent its 44 MLAs to Bengaluru and termed the move as a bid to save its legislatures from the horse-trading by the BJP. The Congress also accused BJP of offering Rs 15 crore to its MLAs to join BJP. The political environment was also heated when the Income Tax Department on July 29 raided Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar?s Bengaluru residence and resort, where Congress? 44 MLAs were staying. After the Congress branded the raids as a ‘political witch-hunt’ by the BJP, the IT department asserted that the raids at Karnataka Energy Minister’s residence and resort had nothing to do with the Gujarat’s Congress MLAs staying at the resort. The Congress also created ruckus in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha over the IT raids at the resort. Ahmed Patel?s victory has acted as booster for the Congress ahead of the crucial assembly elections in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP’s Amit Shah, Smriti Irani win Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani emerged victorious in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha election. Shah will enter the Parliament as a member for the first time, while Irani will return for a second term. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also retained his Rajya Sabha seat by winning 44 votes. Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats was conducted on Tuesday, wherein the influential political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the BJP Chief, Smriti Irani and ex-grand old party cadre Balwantsinh Rajput were in the fray. Patel’s win is being considered a major victory for the Congress and a blow for the BJP. “This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power,muscle power and abuse of state machinery,” Patel tweeted. Congress had made candidature of Patel as a matter of prestige. The BJP also left no stone unturned to win all the three seats. The saffron pitted Balwantsinh, a recent acquisition from the Congress, against Patel knowing that Patel’s defeat will bring huge embarrassment for Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary. After the intense political developments, the Election Commission (EC) declared results for the three seats of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. Total 176 MLAs voted in the crucial elections, but two votes were declared invalid. The EC, on late Tuesday night, declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress. Earlier in the evening, Congress had complained to the EC and said that the two MLAs showed their votes to unauthorized persons and demanded their votes should not be counted and should be rejected. Congress said these MLAs showed their votes to Shah and Irani and independent candidate Balwantsinh Rajput instead of representative of Ahmed Patel. Earlier, the constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap branded the Congress’ demand to invalidate votes of two of its rebels over cross-voting as a “political drama.” Kashyap asserted that if there was any objection, the Congress should have raised it during polling. Speaking to ANI here, he said, “It is not legal issue but a political drama. If there was objection, should have been raised during polling.” Congress suffered major blow ahead of the RS polls when six of its Gujarat MLAs joined BJP. Panicked Congress sent its 44 MLAs to Bengaluru and termed the move as a bid to save its legislatures from the horse-trading by the BJP. The Congress also accused BJP of offering Rs 15 crore to its MLAs to join BJP. The political environment was also heated when the Income Tax Department on July 29 raided Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar’s Bengaluru residence and resort, where Congress’ 44 MLAs were staying. After the Congress branded the raids as a “political witch-hunt” by the BJP, the IT department asserted that the raids at Karnataka Energy Minister’s residence and resort had nothing to do with the Gujarat’s Congress MLAs staying at the resort. The Congress also created ruckus in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha over the IT raids at the resort. Ahmed Patel’s victory has acted as booster for the Congress ahead of the crucial assembly elections in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Election Commission taught BJP lesson of life- Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress on late Tuesday night hailed the Election Commission (EC) decision to declare votes of two Congress MLAs in Gujarat Rajya Sabha election as invalid and said it has taught the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lesson of life. The EC on late Tuesday night declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that the Election Commission by segregating the unwarranted votes has taught the BJP lesson of its life. ?The BJP used all power it had; it deployed all its union ministers but the truth won. It is a victory of truth. We thank the EC, for upholding the law and holding the two unwarranted votes. There cannot be a better lesson for the BJP,? said Surjewala. Gujarat Congress President Bharatsinh Solanki on Tuesday said that the acts of defection, disorder and malpractices of the BJP have been exposed and assured that grand old party Rajya Sabha candidate Ahmed Patel will win with big margin in election. ?The democracy has been reinstated, installed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the acts of defection, disorder and malpractices of the BJP have been exposed. I am sure that Patel will win with big margin in Rajya Sabha elections. This is going to boost up the morale of the Congress workers and the cadres,? Solanki told the media. Meanwhile, he also targeted BJP Party national president Amit Shah and said, ?Everyone thought Amit Shah is always successful in unlawful, negative things but Gujarat proved this kind of authority won’t work.? The Congress had complained to the EC that the MLAs had shown their votes to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and independent candidate Balwantsinh Rajput instead of representative of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel. Congress has fielded its senior leader Ahmed Patel, while the BJP has fielded Amit Shah, Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput for the three RS seats from Gujarat.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Voting underway in Guj for high-stakes Rajya Sabha elections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Voting is underway in Gujarat today for the Rajya Sabha elections in which Ahmed Patel, the influential political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and BJP’s Amit Shah, Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput are in fray. As voting began for three RS seats, Patel expressed confidence that he will win. However, former Congress stalwart Shankersinh Vaghela, after casting his vote, told reporters, “As Ahmed Patel is going to lose, I have not given my vote to him.” The elections have turned into a high-stake battle for the Congress in the backdrop of turbulence in the party following the surprise exit of Vaghela and the resignation of six of its MLAs recently. BJP president Amit Shah, who is also an MLA from Gujarat, also came to cast his vote. Vaghela’s son Mahendrasinh Vaghela was seen touching the feet of Shah when he went inside. Earlier, a bus carrying 44 Congress MLAs reached the Swarnim Sankul in the state secretariat here from a resort in Anand this morning. The MLAs flashed victory signs while going inside the voting centre. The Congress is also banking on the support of two NCP MLAs, and one each of the JD(U) and the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). The NCP MLAs – Kandhal Jadeja and Jayant Patel – came to vote in the early hours, but did not reveal their preference. “You will come to know whom I voted for after voting is completed,” Jadeja said. Jadeja told reporters yesterday that he and Jayant Patel have been asked to cast their first preference votes in favour of Rajput. JD(U) leader Chotubhai Vasava also did not reveal whom he voted for. “I have cast my vote in national interest,” Vasava told reporters. Patel requires 45 votes to sail through his fifth RS election. The Congress has a clear support of 44 MLAs. Some MLAs of his group like Raghavji Patel and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja also came out and said that they have voted for the BJP. A candidate will require 45 votes for a straight win in the poll, and the BJP with 121 MLAs can secure easy victories for BJP chief Shah and Union minister Irani. The party will be left with 31 surplus votes for Rajput, who will require the backing of rebel MLAs of the Congress and smaller parties to win. Rajput till recently was Congress’ chief whip in the House. It is after a gap of about two decades that a contest is happening in Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, where official nominees of major parties used to get elected unopposed, after the BJP fielded a Congress rebel against Patel, who is seeking a fifth term. According to Election Commission officials, a candidate would require one-fourth of the total number of votes plus one to get elected. This would mean a contestant has to muster 45 votes. The MLAs have to give their preferential votes indicating first choice, second, third, fourth (as per number of candidates) or they can choose NOTA, they said. The Congress, which has been out of power in the state for over a decade-and-a-half now, was rattled by the surprise exit of party stalwart Vaghela recently. It was jolted further when its six MLAs resigned from the Assembly. Three of them later joined BJP, setting off alarm bells in the party in Gujarat where Assembly elections are due later this year. The beleaguered Congress then flew its 44 MLAs to Bengaluru to ward off any threat of “poaching” by the BJP.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RS polls: Litmus test for Cong today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>* Amit Shah, Smriti Irani to get 45 first preference votes each, Balvantsinh Rajput 31Gujarat BJP MLAs have been instructed on the nuances of the Rajya Sabha elections, which will be held in the state on Tuesday, for the first time in the last 22 years.BJP national president Amit Shah and other leaders gave them a presentation on Monday about the voting system for the polls. Shah, Smriti Irani and Balvantsinh Rajput are the three candidates of BJP, while Ahmed Patel is the Congress contender in the race.A senior leader from the party said, “Shah and Irani both will get 45 votes each as 90 MLAs will give them their first preferential vote and they would be elected without any struggle. The third candidate Rajput will get 31 votes as first preference, while all the MLAs will give him second preference vote. If Congress’s Ahmed Patel fail to get 45 first preference votes, the total tally of second preference vote for Rajput with 121 second preference will go up against Patel and Rajput will be elected.”“We believe Rajput will get more than 31 first preferential votes, as many of the Congress MLAs and other members also would vote in his favour instead of voting for Patel,” added the BJP leader. BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said, “We firmly believe that Patel would not be elected this time and all our three candidates will go toRS. We cannot reveal the strategy that party leaders have prepared, and there is no need it either.”“Shah and other leaders have directed the MLAs on the polls and about the important procedures to be followed during the Assembly’s monsoon session to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday,” added Pandya.BE HERE: BJP TO MLAsBJP leaders instructed all the MLAs of the party to stay in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad and not to return home before the voting on Tuesday. The legislators have been asked to reach the polling station early so they can attend the proceedings in the Assembly to be held at Mahatma Mandir instead of the assembly building.
Leaders on the dais told the MLAs that the party would not confine them in any resort, like Congress.

Guj chessboard: Will Amit checkmate Ahmed?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tuesday’s Rajya Sabha election for three seats from Gujarat is set to be a thriller, with the outcome unlikely to be known till the very last vote is counted.With the state Assembly elections just three months away, the RS poll result is likely to have far wider implications on political equations in the state.It is after almost two decades that a contest is taking place in Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat.Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political adviser Ahmed Patel is the party’s nominee, while the BJP has fielded its national president Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani, and former Congress MLA Balvantsinh Rajput as its candidates. The counting will begin at 5pm and the results will be declared in the evening itself.The poll fray has turned into a high-stakes battle with the presence of the BJP president, who was personally involved in chalking out the party’s election strategy to snatch one seat from the Congress.Shah arrived in Ahmedabad on Saturday. On Sunday, he held elaborate discussions with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other BJP leaders.Given the fact that the BJP has 121 MLAs in the 182-member House, Shah and Irani are expected to easily sail through, which means the battle will be between Patel and Rajput, his one-time protégé.The Congress was expected to easily hold on to its RS seat until three weeks ago. But the situation has turned upside down with the exit of Shankersinh Vaghela, followed by six more MLAs resigning, and six others in rebellion mode.Ten days ago, stunned by the mass resignations, the Congress whisked away its remaining 44 MLAs to Bengaluru, in a desperate move to avoid further desertions. They were put up at a resort since and returned to Ahmedabad in the wee hours of Monday, only to be taken straight to a resort in Anand from Ahmedabad airport.For now, the Congress is counting on the votes of these 44 MLAs. However, insiders say the possibility of some of these MLAs cross-voting cannot be ruled out.With the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) announcing its support for the BJP candidates, the only non-Congress vote Patel may get is of JD(U) MLA Chhotu Vasava.Vaghela, while announcing his decision to quit the Congress, had said he would vote for Patel. However, Vaghela refused to comment when asked about the same on Monday, but described Patel as a friend.Understandably, the morale in the Congress camp is quite low, with insiders admitting that chances of a win are quite slim.

Edge of the seat RS contest likely in Gujarat tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After weeks of dramatic political developments, Gujarat looks set for an on the edge of seat contest in the Rajya Sabha elections which will decide among others the fate of Ahmed Patel, the influential political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. It is after a gap of about two decades that a contest is happening in Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, where official nominees of major parties used to get elected unopposed, after the BJP fielded a Congress rebel against Patel, who is seeking a fifth term. The ruling BJP has fielded party chief Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani, and Balwantsinh Rajput, who till recently was Congress’ chief whip in the House, for the three RS seats. While its first two candidate will sail through, the BJP will have to manage extra votes to enable Rajput beat Patel. Ahmed Patel, who met Congress MLAs after they returned from their Bengaluru sojourn, said he was confident of his victory. “This poll is not at all about anyone’s prestige. I have full faith in my MLAs. Apart from these 44 (Congress) legislators, two of NCP, one of JD-U would vote for me,” Patel told reporters. These MLAs have now been hosted at a resort in Anand district. The Congress, which has been out of power in the state for over a decade-and-a-half now, was rattled by the surprise exit of party stalwart Shankarsinha Vaghela recently. It was jolted further when its six MLAs, including Rajput, a relative of Vaghela resigned from the Asssembly. Three of them later joined BJP, setting off alarm bells in the party in Gujarat where Assembly elections are due later this year. The beleaguered Congress flew its 44 MLAs to Bengaluru to ward off any threat of “poaching” by the BJP. However, six of the 51 MLAs still in the Congress, apart from Vaghela, have not put their cards on the table. They were not among the MLAs packed off to Bengaluru. Vaghela, who resigned from the party and as the leader of the opposition, has not quit the House yet, giving the Congress a major cause for worry. The Congress had faced a major embarrassment in the presidential election when joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar could manage 49 votes when the party’s strength then was 57. A candidate will require 45 votes for a straight win in the poll, and the BJP with 121 MLAs can secure easy victories for Shah and Irani. The party will be left with 31 surplus votes for Rajput, who will require the backing of rebel MLAs of the Congress and smaller parties to win. For now, Ahmed Patel looks like having the clear backing of 44 Congress MLAs, but even if none of them cross-votes or uses NOTA (None of the Above) option, the Congress candidate will require one additional vote for his victory. The Congress is also banking on the support of two NCP MLAs, and one each of JD(U) and Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). However, NCP leader Praful Patel yesterday said his party had not yet made up its mind on whom to support. The NCP and JD(U) MLAs had accompanied Patel when he filed his nomination. JD(U) MLA Chotubhai Vasava has been saying he will only support those who will give something to his constituency. Keeping his cards close to chest, Vaghela today chose to maintain silence on his choice of candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls, but said Congress nominee Ahmed Patel remained a “friend.” “Each and every voter is the owner of his vote. The vote is the personal property of an MLA (for the RS polls). Therefore, I do not want to reveal whom I will vote for,” Vaghela told reporters. The 77-year-old veteran said he was no longer in touch with the Congress and dismissed the talk that he was in contact with the BJP. According to Election Commission officials, a candidate would require one-fourth of the total number of votes plus one to get elected. This would mean a contestant has to muster 45 votes. The MLAs have to give their preferential votes indicating first choice, second, third, fourth (as per number of candidates) or they can choose NOTA, they said. Meanwhile, Amit Shah, who has helmed the party to spectacular victories in several elections since 2014, is camping in Gujarat strategising on how to get all three BJP nominees win.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ahmed Patel’s fate: How numbers are stacked up

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The election of Ahmed Patel to the Rajya Sabha on August 8 would have been a routine affair had the BJP not fielded its third candidate from Gujarat. The BJP has a total 121 MLAs, and according to the party leaders, they will divide the preference among them. 45 BJP MLAs will give first preference votes to Shah and another 45 to Irani, while the remaining 31 will give their preference to Rajput, who would still require 14 more votes to win.The Congress claims support of 44 party MLAs, two of NCP, one JD(U) and one GPP MLA. The party is not counting on the seven Congress MLAs, including Shankersinh Vaghela, who did not join the camp at Bengaluru. If none of the Congress voters cross-vote, Congress candidate Ahmed Patel will get 48 votes and will be elected.However, the Congress circles are fingers crossed over Patel’s chances of entering the Rajya Sabha — for the fifth consecutive term since 1993. They fear that Balwantsinh Rajput may give Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, a run for his money.As per the formula, each candidate needs 45 votes to win as the total strength of MLAs has been reduced to 176 following the resignation of six Congress MLAs. If any candidate does not get enough votes as first preference, the votes he/she receives as second preference will be considered in the second round of counting. In such case, the candidate who received maximum second references will be declared the winner.PATEL RUBBISHES CLAIM ON FALSE INFOThe office of Ahmed Patel said the complaint against Patel for allegedly filing false information in an affidavit of his nomination papers for the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, is bogus and baseless.
No such FIR even exists. It is a mere publicity stunt, the office of Ahmed Patel said in a statement to media houses.

Income-Tax dept raids Karnataka minister’s home, Bengaluru resort housing Gujarat Congress MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax (IT) department on Wednesday morning raided Eagleton Golf Resort in Bengaluru where the Congress Gujarat MLAs are staying.The IT department has also raided Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar’s residence in Kanakapura.The minister was in-charge of hospitality for Gujarat Congress MLAs in Bengaluru.The development comes a day after the Congress accused the BJP of ‘stealing’ its MLAs under a ‘premeditated plan’ but claimed that its Gujarat Rajya Sabha candidate Ahmed Patel will still win as he has the support of more MLAs than required for victory.Rattled by the desertion of its six MLAs, the party has shifted over 40 of them to the resort to keep its flock together ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha poll.The Congress had 57 MLAs in the 182-member Assembly. Of these, six have quit since Thursday, brining down its strength to 51. Patel will require 44 first preference votes for a straight win.The BJP has fielded party chief Amit Shah and renominated Union minister Smriti Irani for two seats and put up Balwantsinh Rajput for the third which is held by Patel.The resignation by the six MLAs, including Balwantsinh Rajput, Congress chief whip in the Assembly, followed the exit of party stalwart and former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela.Earlier, the Congress accused the BJP of trying to poach its MLAs by offering a bribe of Rs 15 crore each to cross-vote in the Rajya Sabha polls.

I went to Sanwrad as policeman, not a Rajput community member: Ajit Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The new DGP has come out strongly against eulogising a criminal like Anandpal. He says he failed to understand why the so-called community leaders did not realise this. He also said that he went to Sanwrad as a policeman, not as a member of Rajput community as his first loyalty is to his profession.What will be your priorities as DGP?The priorities of police don’t change. They priorities are to provide security to property, life and liberty of a person. What you do is strengthen your core policing your intel network pertaining to crime, your investigation and your follow up in court. Next four months I don’t have to do anything new. I have to ensure that circulars and orders are followed properly and these things become part of their regular work.Do you think there is laxity in some police affairs?There could be laxity but basically, there is a burden of work. When there is a burden of work, you sometimes try to cut corners. So these things need to be addressed with proper supervision and proper guidance also because sometimes because of lack of guidance, you may be wasting time at something where it is not required. The middle-level supervisory officers have to do their job more efficiently and understand what they have to look for.How would you convince the home department over lack of adequate personnel in force?Frankly, the government is quite sensitized to it also and right now our capacity to train people is limited. So even if we get a permission to fill up vacancies, we probably not be able to do that. If we fill that up here do we train them? We can’t be dependent on other agencies to train our people. In dire needs, we can go to them but they may not have vacancies to train them. So we can induct as many people as we can train and that we are doing.How can incidents like Sanwrad be stopped and how does that affect the peace process?The issue is not what affects or can not affect the peace process. The verge issue with this incident is there was a criminal who was being eulogised. And I don’t understand why the so called leader of the community does not realise this. They may have had any grievance against the government or any agency but what they were actually doing was sort of legitimising crime within the community or society. Like if you become a big criminal like Anandpal and we will be there for you, a horde of people will gather for you. And you see all the charter of demands, there is not a demand which does not pertain to help the criminal. Whether it is the case reviewed or the case against the family withdrawn, they want cases against agitators withdrawn, they want bail for the family, they want properties, which they claim was their, to be given back to them, which have been attached to government’s name. There is no demand in which the community gains, only the criminal gains. And when you have a criminal being eulogise, there are all sorts of fringe elements which infringe the law time and again.How do you think these incidents can be stopped in future?Look, I went there as a policeman and not as a member of the community. I belong to the Rajput community, that’s by birth over which I have no control, I have no choice. But, I have chosen a profession which is a matter of choice so my loyalty stays first to my profession. And if an incident like this arises, we will have to deal with it professionally.What do you think should be done to keep youth out of such issues. What can be done to sensitise the youth so that they do not follow on such a path?We need responsible leadership for that. A leadership which understands the cause for which they are mobilising the youth or community. A leadership which also realises its limitation that if things go beyond a certain point, they will not be in the interest of community. And a leadership which the people can look upto. In this can what I feel is there were lot of people claiming to be leaders but not having any following. So, in such a situation when you pose as a leader, but don’t have a handful of people following you, it’s a free take for all situation.What about the ranking system initiated by former DGP? Can we see it sometime in the future?It is a good beginning but it may not give you a comprehensive picture of what’s going on in a police station. Like for the Sanwrad incident, if such an incident has happened in a police station’s area and it has been tackled properly, then I think they would have done a marvellous job. But if you go by the ranking parameters, they would probably be miserable because it has various parameters that have to be looked into. It is a good beginning, it needs to be modified but it can’t be a straight jacket sort of situation that things have to be a certain way and nothing more. It has to be a flexible system and with flexibility subjectivity also comes in. But, then you are not dealing with machines, you are dealing with a situation which arises in unexpected situations and manners. So you can’t have a put and drive system.

BJP offered Rs 15 crore bribe to cross-vote in RS polls: Cong on why Guj MLAs are in Bengaluru resort

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Sunday paraded its 44 MLAs lodged in a resort on Bengaluru outskirts before media to scotch reports of disunity in their ranks, and accused the BJP of trying to poach them by offering a bribe of Rs 15 crore each to cross-vote in the Rajya Sabha polls.Apparently rattled by the desertion of its six MLAs since Thursday, the party has shifted over 40 of them to the resort to keep its flock together ahead of the August 8 RS poll for which it has fielded Ahmed Patel, the high-profile political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.The resignation by the six MLAs, including Balwantsinh Rajput, Congress chief whip in the Assembly, followed the exit of party stalwart and former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela. The resignations brought down the Congress’s strength in the Assembly from 57 to 51. Three of the six later joined the BJP.Rajput, a relative of Vaghela, has now been fielded by BJP to take on Patel, who is seeking a fifth Rajya Sabha term.”Our legislators have not come here to enjoy. We brought them here to save democracy as they were being poached by BJP, using money and muscle power,” AICC Spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters at the resort as the MLAs sat behind him.”BJP tried to buy 22 of our MLAs before the Rajya Sabha polls for cross-voting by offering them Rs 15 crore each,” he alleged.The BJP, however, rejected the allegation that it was behind Congress MLAs walking out of the party. Union minister Prakash Javadekar also wondered if Congress lawmakers quitting the organisation were “purchasable”.The BJP also took a swipe at Congress over the lavish stay of its MLAs at a resort when people were reeling under floods back home in Gujart.There were reports that several MLAs supporting Vaghela, who has still not resigned from the Assembly, were among those staying at Egleton Golf Resort.With 51 MLAs on his side, the Congress candidate would easily sail through the vote, but more desertions could put his chances into jeopardy.The presidential election had seen cross-voting by Congress legislators with the joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar garnering votes of only 49 MLAs against the Congress’s then strength of 57 in the state Assembly.Gohil claimed Congress has the assured support of 60 MLAs and BJP should not even dream to get Patel defeated.”We have 44 legislators here and we are also in touch with seven legislators, who are not here with us. A few others from other parties including NCP are also voting for us. In all, we have 60 legislators voting for our candidate,” he asserted.Union minister Prakash Javadekar rejected the charge of the BJP poaching and bribing Congress MLAs.”Gujarat Congress leaders are levelling allegations at the BJP in Bengaluru. It is like a thief criticising a cop. If their leaders are leaving them, it has nothing to do with us,” Javadekar told PTI in New Delhi.He said those who quit the Congress included leaders like Vaghela, a former chief minister and the leader of opposition, its chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput and its spokesperson Tejashreeben Patel.”They are all strong leaders. Nobody can purchase them.The Congress should look inwards and think why such senior leaders are leaving it. The truth is that its only goal is to save Rahul Gandhi in the country and Ahmed Patel in Gujarat,” he said.Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who reached flood- hit Banaskantha today, said the decision to fly Congress MLAs out of the state was taken by Ahmed Patel out of his “greed” to win the poll.”Sonia Gandhi’s love for her son Rahul has drowned the Congress across the country. Similarly, Patel’s greed to save his Rajya Sabha seat will sink Congress in Gujarat,” he said.Rupani claimed Patel “forced” Congress MLAs from areas hit by floods to fly to Bengaluru.Patel, who also visited flood-affected Banaskantha district today, mounted a counteroffensive against Rupani, alleging, “Our MLAs were forced to leave Gujarat as they and their family members were being tortured by the state government.”The Congress heavyweight said before the MLAs from flood ravaged areas flew out of the state they had started relief camps and were still keeping a close watch on the situation from Bengaluru.Of the total 11 RS members from the state, the term of three–Smriti Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel–is ending on August 18. BJP has fielded party chief Amit Shah and renominated Union minister Smriti Irani for two seats and put up Balwantsinh Rajput for the third which is held by Patel.

‘We are fighting to protect democracy’: Guj Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil in Bengaluru

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress paraded its legislators from Gujarat before the media this evening in an effort to put to rest all speculation, including internal bickering in the party, as charged by BJP.The party has sent 44 of its legislators to a resort outside this city. Of the 57 Congress MLAs in Gujarat, six resigned from the party in the last two days. Three of them joined the BJP yesterday.”Democracy is passing through trying times. I would request media owners, channels and newspapers to save democracy. This responsibility lies with them too. We will bring all the legislators before you (media) and you can ask anything you want,” AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters at Eagleton Gold Resort at the city’s outskirts.”I am here since last night with my colleagues. We are living like a family. You (BJP) are talking about internal problem? Just see how we respect each other. There is no internal problem or bickerings between us,” he said.Gohil was reacting to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s charges of internal problems in Congress triggered by the quitting of its leaders, including Shankarsinh Vaghela and Balwantsinh Rajput.”They have taken their MLAs to Bangaluru as they do not have faith in their MLAs,” Rupani had said.The Congress had sent the 44 legislators to the resort to fend off “poaching” attempts by BJP ahead of August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.Gohil claimed that Congress has 60 legislators with it and ruled out BJP winning the third Rajya Sabha seat, polls for which are scheduled on August 8 in Gujarat.”The question is BJP does not have any number. Congress has 57 legislators therefore BJP cannot even dream of winning the third seat. There are three other colleagues also – we are now 60,” he said.Congress has re-nominated Patel, political secretary to party chief Sonia Gandhi, to the Upper House of Parliament from Gujarat.In the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, the strength of the Congress has gone down to 51 from 57.The desertions have cast a shadow on the fate of Patel in the coming Rajya Sabha polls.Countering criticism of bringing the legislators to the resot to Bengaluru when North Gujarat is reeling under heavy rain and floods, Gohil said the MLAs were brought here after party leaders came to know about BJP’s attempt to poach their MLAs using “money and muscle” power.However, on July 25, all Congress legislators had visited their constituencies in North Gujarat to be among the affected people, he said.BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and former Congress MLA Balwantsinh Rajput who joined the BJP on Thursday.Of the total of 11 RS members from the state, the term of three–Smriti Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel– will end on August 18.

Cong to parade all Gujarat legislators before media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today said it would parade its all legislators from Gujarat before the media this evening in an effort to put to rest all speculation, including internal bickering in the party, as charged by BJP. The party has sent 44 of its legislators to a resort outside this city. Of the 57 Congress MLAs in Gujarat, six resigned from the party in the last two days. Three of them joined the BJP yesterday. “Democracy is passing through trying times. I would request media owners, channels and newspapers to save democracy. This responsibility lies with them too. We will bring all the legislators before you (media) and you can ask anything you want,” AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters at Eagleton Gold Resort at thye city’s outskirts. “I am here since last night with my colleagues. We are living like a family. You (BJP) are talking about internal problem? Just see how we respect each other. There is no internal problem or bickerings between us,” he said. Gohil was reacting to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s charges of internal problems in Congress triggered by the quitting of its leaders, including Shankarsinh Vaghela and Balwantsinh Rajput. “They have taken their MLAs to Bangaluru as they do not have faith in their MLAs,” Rupani had said. The Congress had sent the 44 legislators to the resort to fend off “poaching” attempts by BJP ahead of August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. Gohil claimed that Congress has 60 legislators with it and ruled out BJP winning the third Rajya Sabha seat, polls for which are scheduled on August 8 in Gujarat. “The question is BJP does not have any number. Congress has 57 legislators therefore BJP cannot even dream of winning the third seat. There are three other colleagues also – we are now 60,” he said. Congress has re-nominated Patel, political secretary to party chief Sonia Gandhi, to the Upper House of Parliament from Gujarat. In the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, the strength of the Congress has gone down to 51 from 57. The desertions have cast a shadow on the fate of Patel in the coming Rajya Sabha polls. Countering criticism of bringing the legislators to the resot to Bengaluru when North Gujarat is reeling under heavy rain and floods, Gohil said the MLAs were brought here after party leaders came to know about BJP’s attempt to poach their MLAs using “money and muscle” power. However, on July 25, all Congress legislators had visited their constituencies in North Gujarat to be among the affected people, he said. BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and former Congress MLA Balwantsinh Rajput who joined the BJP on Thursday. Of the total of 11 RS members from the state, the term of three–Smriti Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel– will end on August 18.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat Congress leader says Balwantsinh will win RS seat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Gujarat Congress leader, who is expected to tender his resignation from Congress anytime now, on Saturday said that the Congress MLA who recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. Gujarat Congress leader Raghavji Patel today said that state MLA Balwantsinh Rajput, who has joined BJP, will win the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. ?According to the information I got, a lot of people from Congress are in favour of Balwantsinh Rajput. I feel that he will win the elections. Balwantsinh is the third candidate from BJP and will win,? Patel told media here. He added that in the upcoming state elections, he will not fight from Congress. In the backdrop of Gujarat Congress MLAs quitting and joining the BJP, S. Prakash said it is happening as people do not see any future in the Congress Party. At least six Congress MLAs in Gujarat have resigned from the party to join the BJP. BJP leader S. Prakash said Gujarat Congress leaders are not sure of getting re-elected and see no future in the Congress and that is why many Congress MLAs are deserting the party. Similarly, another BJP leader Prabhat Jha mocked the Congress, and said it is not more a party, but is being run by a family. After its MLAs joined the BJP, Congress high command has taken its 44 MLAs to Bengaluru fearing horse trading. The Congress has accused the BJP of horse-trading ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat. However, the BJP laughed off the accusation and said the Congress has become a sinking ship and is not able to hold its own house together. Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and former Gujarat Congress chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput, who joined the saffron party on Thursday, filed their nominations for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections on Friday. Elections to the three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat are scheduled on August 8.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Three more Gujarat Cong MLAs resign, party tally down to 51

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a rude jolt to the Congres in Gujarat, three more of its MLAs resigned today taking the number of legislators who quit to six ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, for which the party has fielded its heavyweight Ahmed Patel. The erosion from its legislature party has cast a shadow on the fate of Patel as his party has to zealously guard against further desertion of MLAs to ensure his victory in the election due to be held on August 8. Patel, 67, is the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and has been re-nominated by the party. Besides the six legislators who already quit, two more MLAs have threatened to sever ties with the party. Mansinh Chauhan, the Congress MLA from Balasinor in Mahisagar district, handed his resignation to Assembly Speaker Ramanlal Vora this morning. Chhanabhai Chaudhary, the party legislator from Vansda in Navsari district, gave his resignation to the Speaker at the latter’s residence last night, while Ramsinh Parmar, MLA from Thasra in Anand district quit today from the Congress party and as MLA. With this, the Congress’s tally has come down to 51 in the 182-member assembly. After giving his resignation, Mansinh Chauhan said he was tired of “internal politics and groupism” in the Congress. “I am in the politics because of Shankersinh Vaghela. I was in the BJP earlier. Then, I joined the Congress after Vaghela’s party merged with it in 1998. Since then, many of us were waiting for the Congress to form the government. However, it never happened,” Chauhan said. “Instead of focusing on winning elections, Congress leaders always indulged in internal politics. Groupism was also rampant. Thus, I was left with no option other than to resign. I will take the decision to join the BJP later, after consulting Vaghela and other supporters,” he said. Ramsinh Parmar claimed that he did not quit the party keeping the Rajya Sabha polls in mind. “My resignation has nothing to do with the Rajya Sabha polls. Since I had been in the opposition for the last 22 years, people of my constituency were complaining that developmental works were not taking place. Therefore, I decided to resign as the MLA,” Parmar said. He, however, said that the question of joining BJP does not arise at this point. The Congress is already rattled in the state, where the Assembly elections are due later this year, with Vaghela breaking ranks with the party last week. Yesterday, three party MLAs, considered to be close to Vaghela, quit the Congress and joined the BJP, which quickly declared one of them its candidate for next month’s Rajya Sabha polls against Congress veteran Ahmed Patel. Balwantsinh Rajput, the party’s chief whip in the Assembly, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel yesterday resigned from the House and also all party posts. They later drove to the BJP office in Gandhinagar and joined the saffron party in the presence of its president Amit Shah. Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani have entered the fray as the BJP candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls. Of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from the state, the term of three — Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel — is coming to an end on August 18. Patel filed his nomination papers on Wednesday. Within hours of Rajput’s induction, the BJP, seeking to queer the pitch for Ahmed Patel, fielded Rajput as its third candidate from Gujarat, hoping to cut into the votes of the Congress nominee. Rajput’s son is the husband of Vaghela’s granddaughter. Patel can sail through if he musters the support of 47 MLAs and the party is able to arrest further desertions from its legislative arm. Congress, the main opposition party in the Gujarat Assembly, also has the support of two NCP legislators and the lone JD(U) MLA. The presidential election had seen cross-voting by Congress MLAs as the joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar could garner votes of only 49 legislators against the party’s then strength of 57 in the Assembly.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RS polls: Amit Shah, Smriti Irani & Rajput file nominations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP chief Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and newly inducted former Congress MLA Balwantsinh Rajput, who resigned yesterday and joined the saffron party, today filed their nomination papers for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. While Shah and Irani were nominated by the central leadership a few days back, Rajput, who was Congress’ chief whip in the Assembly, was declared the BJP’s third candidate shortly after he quit both from the House and the party yesterday. Rajput is pitted against senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who has been re-nominated for the August 8 Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat. Of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from the state, the term of three — Smriti Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel — is ending on August 18. The Congress nominee can sail through if he musters the support of 47 MLAs. In the 182-member Assembly, the strength of Congress has gone down to 51, as six of its MLAs have resigned since yesterday. While three MLAs, including Rajput quit yesterday and joined the ruling party, as many others resigned today. It is believed that the resignations have been orchestrated at the behest of former Congress strongman Shankersinh Vaghela, who had resigned from the party as also as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) last week. He, however, continues to be an MLA, and said he would resign from the Assembly after the RS poll. Talking to media after the trio filed their nominations today, BBJP in-charge for Gujarat, Bhupendra Yadav exuded confidence that all the party candidates will win the election easily. When asked about the possibility of Vaghela joining the BJP, Yadav said it is up to him to decide. “Vaghela will have to take that call. However, the points raised by him while leaving the party speak volumes about how the Congress is functioning. Our doors are open for all those who believe in PM Narendra Modi’s development agenda,” Yadav told reporters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amit Shah fields Rajput as BJP’s 3rd candidate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP national president Amit Shah arrived in Ahmedabad on Thursday afternoon and reached party’s state office Shri Kamalam near Koba. He conducted a meeting with party MLAs and announced Balwantsinh Rajput as the third candidate of party for Rajya Sabha polls. Rajput who joined BJP after resigning as member of Congress, MLA from Siddhpur and party’s chief whip in Assembly on Thursday, will contest against Congress nominee and Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel.Shah said in the meeting, “After the meeting of national Parliamentary board on Wednesday, the party high command handed over the power to Gujarat BJP unit to decide the third candidate for RS polls. Utilising this power, I propose the name of Balwantsinh Rajput for that.”All the party leaders supported Shah’s proposal to name Rajput as the third candidate. All three candidates of BJP for RS polls, Amit Shah, Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput will file their nomination on Friday morning at Gujarat Assembly. While Shah would debut in the Parliament as Rajya Sabha member, this would be Irani’s second term from Gujarat. BJP has nominated three candidates for three seats of Rajya Sabha while Congress has fielded only two candidates.Rajput sold teaLike PM Modi, Balwantsinh, 55, had to work on a tea stall as he could not complete his schooling due to poor economic condition of the family. Today, he is into the business of oil mill and solvents. He had declared assets of Rs250 crore while filing nomination in last Assembly elections. His son is married to granddaughter of Shankersinh Vaghela and daughter of Bayad MLA Mahendrasinh Vaghela. He had contested Assembly elections from Siddhpur constituency in 1998 as Congress candidate but lost to BJP’s Jay Narayan Vyas. Later in 2002 he won against Vyas but was defeated by him in 2007.

Kaun Banega DGP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kaun Banega DGP is the big question on the lips of one and all. The appointment of the Director General of Police (DGP) always generate interest not only among the police force but also in public at large. Who would be the next super cop when the current incumbent Manoj Bhatt retires on July 31 this year is a matter of speculation. He will complete a term of two and a half years but the buzz is that he may get an extension by a few months.Many aspirants for the top job are already doing hectic lobbying. But the latest indications are Sudhir Pratap Singh (1984 batch),the current Director General of NSG posted in New Delhi and the additional director general O P Galhotra have also joined the race for the post of DGP. The choice of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje certainly goes beyond the senior-most officer Navdeep Singh, but not beyond O P Galhotra,a 1985 batch officer. If elevated to the position of DGP,Galhotra will have to be first promoted as director general. She would take up the issue of choosing the next DGP after her return from Patiala on Friday.There are four persons who are currently director generals and all are in line for the DGP post. DGP (Home Guards)Navdeep Singh (1981 batch), the current Border Security Force (BSF) Director General K K Sharma (1982 batch), the Director General of Prison, Ajit Singh Shekhawat (1982 batch) and Sudhir Pratap Singh (1984 batch),who is currently the director general of National Security Guards (NSG), a force under the Union Home Ministry. Thus Navdeep Singh,who has served earlier as the DG of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) is the senior most officer gunning for the top job. If chosen as the DGP, he would hold the post till June 2018. His junior by a batch Shekhawat will be able to hold the post for four months only. KK Sharma as director general of BSF will retire in September 2018. Sharma is unlikely to return to head the state police force as he will not be relieved by the Union Home Ministry at this juncture.Navdeep Singh is the senior most officer and if the seniority remains the paramount consideration he should get his due like Ashok Jain got it when he was elevated as the Chief Secretary. The detractors of Navdeep Singh have been raising the issue of his “connection” with the Congress as his wife Dr Param Navdeep was an MLA of the party.Ajit Singh,who has a reputation of an honest and competent officer, has perhaps the best and clean record. He was specially deputed to look after the law and order situation in Sanwrad in Nagaur district in the wake of Anandpal encounter. The DG of Prison was specially deputed as a part of the strategy to appease the Rajput community. But the mob at Sanwrad took to violence and arm snatching resulting in the death of a person, who was later identified as Surendra Singh,a Rajput.But Shekhawat would retire in November 2017, a year before the next Assembly election. Thus the BJP government would not be getting adequate political mileage by making him DGP for just four months. Even Navdeep Singh will have less that a year as DGP and Sharma, if chosen will serve for more than a year.Sudhir Pratap Singh, is the brother of the Union minister Rudra Pratap Singh Rudy. He is a Rajput from Bihar and if the BJP government is keen on appeasing the Rajput community, his name could be considered apart from Shekhawat. In that case,he would be superseding Kapil Garg (1983)and Santosh Sharma (1983).

3 Gujarat Cong MLAs quit, join BJP; 1 of them to fight RS poll

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another jolt to the Congress in Gujarat, three party MLAs considered close to Shankarsinh Vaghela today quit and joined the BJP, which quickly declared one of them its candidate for next month’s Rajya Sabha polls against Congress veteran Ahmed Patel. The resignation of Balwantsinh Rajput, the party’s chief whip in the Assembly, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel reduced the Congress’s tally to 54 in the 182-seat assembly. Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel resigned from the House and also all party posts. They later drove to the BJP office in Gandhinagar and joined the saffron party in the presence of its president Amit Shah. Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani are the other two BJP candidates for the August 8 RS elections. Of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from the state, the term of three — Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel — is ending on August 18. The Congress has re-nominated Ahmed Patel, political secretary to party president Sonia Gandhi. The 67-year-old Congressman filed his nomination papers yesterday. Rajput represented Siddhapur seat in Patan district, while Tejashreeben Patel was elected from Viramgam in Ahmedabad district. Prahlad Patel was elected from Vijapur in Mehasana district. Earlier in the day, they submitted their resignation letters to Assembly Speaker Ramanlal Vora at Gandhinagar. “Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel have given their resignation as sitting MLAs of their respective seats. They now cease to be the members the Legislative Assembly,” Vora told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat: Three Congress MLAs close to Vaghela resign, join BJP

Thu, 27 Jul 2017-06:55pm , Gandhinagar (Gujarat) , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a setback to the Congress in Gujarat, three of its MLAs, who resigned from the party earlier in the day, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday evening.Earlier in the day, three Congress MLAs P. I. Patel, Balwantsinh Rajput and Tejashree Patel resigned from the grand old party. Rajput is a relative of Shankersinh Vaghela, who quit the Congress last week, while P.I. Patel was the Congress legislator from Vijapur. This comes when the Rajya Sabha election is around the corner in Gujarat.BJP chief Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani will contest for Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat. Currently, Shah is an MLA from Gujarat’s Naranpura constituency.

Three feared drown while taking selfie at Diu beach

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least three persons, were feared to have drowned in the Arabian sea today after getting swept by high tide, while taking a selfie sitting atop a rock near Nagao beach in Diu, police said. Another person, who was also swept away, managed to swim back to the beach, an official of Diu police station said. Five persons, all from Rajasthan, who worked at Kevadi on a construction project in the district, were visiting Diu on a holiday, he said. While one of them was taking their video on his cell phone, four others, sitting on a rock near the beach, were busy taking a selfie when a high tide measuring around 25 feet swept them away, said Diu police station official Dhanji Jadhav. One person managed to swim back, but three others were missing and feared drowned. Our efforts are on to search for them, Jadhav said, adding a missing case was registered. Prithvi Rajput (25), Chandu Singh (30), and Jeet Rajput (40) are feared to have drowned, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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