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Amit Shah visits Adichunchanagiri Mutt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the second day of his three- day visit to Karnataka ahead of the 2018 assembly polls, BJP President Amit Shah today visited Adichunchanagiri Mutt, which is highly regarded by the dominant Vokkaliga community in the state. His visit to the mutt at Nagamangala taluk in neighbouring Mandya district, with a significant influence over Vokkaligas, is seen as an attempt to woo the community. Vokkaligas are the second largest community in Karnataka after Lingayats; they are significantly present in the old Mysuru or southern Karnataka region. Shah met the present pontiff of the mutt Nirmalanandanatha Swami and offered prayers at the temple. He later released a biography on Balaganagadharanatha Swamiji, the previous pontiff, titled ‘Story of a Guru’. Lauding the works by the mutt and its pontiffs for the welfare of society, Shah made a special reference about Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bengaluru, who is highly regarded by Vokkaligas as he belonged to the community. “Having come here, I will fail in my duty if I don’t remember Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda, who was the follower of Adichunchanagiri Mutt,” he said. Shah also appreciated the efforts put in by mutts and religious institutions in India towards ensuring a welfare society. “In many countries in the world it is entirely the government’s duty to ensure the welfare of society. There are welfare states in many countries, but it is only in India where attempts are being made to create a welfare society because of the efforts being put in by mutts and religious institutions along with the government… sometimes they are even ahead of the government,” he added. Sounding the poll bugle in Karnataka, Shah had yesterday kicked off his visit to the state, declaring that the party stands united and said, ‘Ab Ki Baar, BJP Sarkar’ (This time, a BJP government). Earlier today, he chaired a meeting of the political affairs committee of the Karnataka BJP at the party headquarters here, which was attended by state BJP President B S Yeddyurappa, Union ministers Ananth Kumar, Sadananda Gowda and other state leaders. Sources said that during the meeting, Shah asked party leaders to work together unitedly towards ensuring victory in the coming assembly polls. Shah’s comment to the faction-riven state unit comes after Yeddyurappa came under criticism from a section of party workers over his alleged “arbitrary style” of functioning with another senior leader K S Eshwarappa openly flagging the issue until both were told to shun open display of differences. Later in the day, Shah will visit the Art of Living Ashram to call on spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar. He is also scheduled to address conveners of various projects and departments of the party, and Vistaraks involved in the party’s ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyay Vistar Yojna.'(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

State flag grey area, want no controversy: Karnataka govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Karnataka government, which is under fire for considering a flag for the state, today said the issue of whether a state could have its own flag was a “grey area” as there was no mention of it in any of the Acts in the country. Law Minister T B Jayachandra said the existing Acts referred only to the national flag. “But whether the state should have a flag or not is a grey area,” he told reporters after a cabinet meeting here. The Karnataka government has formed a nine-member committee to submit a report on designing a flag for the state and “providing a legal standing for it”, an official said yesterday. The issue has kicked up a storm, with the state government coming under fire from various political parties and organisations. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had called it “anti-constitutional” and demanded the imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka. Jayachandra said the committee would weigh the pros and cons of having such a flag, but stressed the state wanted to be in the “mainstream” and did not want any “controversy”. Referring to the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971; Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and Flag Code of India, the law minister said these Acts were for the national flag. “A committee has already been constituted, it will also deliberate on this issue,” he said. The minister clarified that the issue did not come up for discussion at today’s cabinet meeting. Defending the move, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had yesterday asked if there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibited states from having their own flags. A Union home ministry official said in New Delhi yesterday there was no legal bar on a state having a separate flag but it would represent the people and not the government and said India as a nation had only one flag. Stating that the committee would look into all aspects, Jayachandra said, “We want to be in the mainstream; we don’t want to get involved in controversy.” Asked if there was anything in the constitution that barred a state from having a flag, Jayachandra said there was no mention about states in the three Acts. “Whether it (flag) is needed or not is a policy matter, the pros and cons will be looked into by the committee before giving its report to the government,” he said. To a question on whether the pros and cons had not considered before the committee was set up, Jayachandra said discussions had happened at the departmental level and he would go through them in detail. If Karnataka eventually decides to have a separate flag, it would be the only state to do so after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys a special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. The committee, headed by the principal secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, was set up last month following a representation from noted Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada. Puttappa and Gadada in their representation had requested the government to design a separate flag for ‘Kannada Naadu’ and accord it legal standing. The Siddaramaiah government’s move to form a committee is being considered as a departure from the stand taken by the earlier BJP government. The Sadananda Gowda-led BJP government had in 2012 informed the Karnataka High Court that it had not accepted suggestions to declare the bi-colour ‘Kannada flag’ as the state’s official flag, as having a separate flag would be “against the unity and integrity of the country”. The unofficial but widely seen red and yellow ‘Kannada flag’, hoisted across the state on November 1 every year to commemorate the state’s formation day and used as a scarf by Kannada activists, was designed in the 1960s by Veera Senani (brave soldier) Ma Ramamurthy, who championed the cause of Kannada.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Karnataka flag row: Siddaramaiah defends move, BJP says ‘know of only one flag’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said he knew of only the national flag and cannot comprehend the Karnataka government’s plan to have a separate flag for the state. “I do not know what it means. We all agree with one Constitution and one national flag. I do not know of any other flag. The country cannot think of any other flag,” he told reporters here.BJP leader was replying to a question on Karnataka government’s move of setting up a nine-member committee to examine the legality and desirability of having and designing a separate flag for the stateThe minister said there were flags for Army, Navy and Air Force, but that he was not aware of a state flag. The Karnataka government has initiated a move for having a separate flag for the state, sparking a row today but Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stoutly defended the step.As the move by the Congress government to set up a panel for this purpose ahead of the state Assembly polls due next year came under attack, the Centre made it clear there is no provision in the Constitution for a separate flag for any state and that the tricolour is the only flag for India.A nine-member committee has been formed by the state government and tasked with submitting a report on designing a separate flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it, an official said in Bengaluru today.If the flag comes into being, Karnataka will be the second state to have its official flag after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys a special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.The committee, headed by the principal secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, was set up last month following a representation from noted Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa, and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada.Puttappa and Gadada in their representation had requested the government to design a separate flag for ‘Kannada Naadu’ and accord it legal standing.The panel comprises secretaries to the departments of Personnel and Administrative Services, Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, as also president of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, chairman of Kannada Development Authority, and vice-chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi, as its members.The Director of Department of Kannada and Culture will be the member-secretary of the committee.”We are one nation, one flag. Legally there is no provision either for providing or prohibiting a separate flag for any state,” a union home ministry spokesperson said in Delhi.Home ministry officials said Karnataka already has a flag which represents only the “people and not the government”.That flag is not used in national ceremonies like Republic Day or Independence Day but on occasions like state foundation day, the officials said.Asked about the panel by reporters today, Siddaramaiah sought to know if there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibits the state from having its own flag.”Is there any provision in the Constitution? Have you come across any provision in the Constitution? Did BJP people come across the provision? Then why they are raising?” he said defending the move.On taking the step ahead of 2018 state assembly polls, he said, “Election will be in the month of April-May not now, not tomorrow, not next month.”Hitting out at the BJP, Siddaramaiah said, “Did BJP people say they do not want flag for Karnataka state? Let them make a statement that ‘we do not want flag for Karnataka state’. The BJP people always level such a false allegation.”Union Minister and BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said he only knew of the national flag and could not comprehend the Karnataka government’s plan for a separate state flag.”I do not know what it means. We all agree with one Constitution and one national flag. I do not know of any other flag. The country cannot think of any other flag,” he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.Condemning the move, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut demanded imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka.Raut contended that the state government’s demand is “anti-constitutional and against the nation’s integrity.” “I think it is anti-constitutional for a state to make such a demand in a federal structure and is against the national integrity. Such a government should be immediately dismissed and President’s rule be imposed there,” he told reporters in Delhi.The un-official but widely seen red and yellow ‘Kannada flag’ that is hoisted across the state on November one every year to commemorate the state formation day and used in the form of a scarf by Kannada activists was designed by Veera Senani Ma.Ramamurthy in the 1960s.The Siddaramaiah government’s move to form a committee is being considered as a departure from the stand taken by the earlier BJP government.The Sadananda Gowda-led BJP government in 2012 had informed the Karnataka High Court that it has not accepted the suggestions to declare the bi-colour Kannada flag as the state’s official flag, as having a separate flag would be “against the unity and integrity of the country.

Centre gave projects worth Rs 1.75 lakh crore to AP: Gowda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today said the Centre has allocated major projects to the tune of Rs 1.75 lakh crore to Andhra Pradesh. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes that the nation would be transformed into a new India by following co-operative federation and maintaining cordial relations with the states,” the Minister for Statics and Programme Implementation told reporters here. Meanwhile, addressing a programme here, Gowda said free LPG connections were provided to two crore “poor families”. Earlier, he participated in a cleanliness programme at Sultanagar village.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Karna govt delayed move against Kasturirangan report: Gowda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka government had delayed its move to request the Centre to withdraw the notification declaring the Western Ghats as eco-sensitive zone as per the Kasturirangan report, Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said today. The state moved slowly against the Kasturirangan report, while neighbouring Kerala and Goa opposed the report without any delay, he told reporters here. The BJP in Karnataka was the first to oppose the Kasturirangan report, the Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation said. He said it was impossible to understand the ground reality through a study based on satellite images, adding when this report was tabled, the Centre had sent circulars to all the states to study the ground reality, its merits and demerits. Gowda said several people would lose their houses and no developmental activities could take place if the report was implemented. “What is stopping the state government from preparing a scientific report and submitting it to the Centre,” he asked. The state cabinet yesterday decided to reject the recommendations of the Kasturirangan report and convey the same to the Centre. On the Supreme Court’s order pressing criminal conspiracy charges in Babri Masjid demolition case against L K Advani, Uma Bharti and M M Joshi, he said he did not want to discuss an issue pending before the Court. On bypoll results in Gundlupet and Nanjangud Assembly constituencies in Karnataka which was won by ruling Congress, Gowda said such results would differ from state to state. The percentage of votes for BJP had increased in the bypolls, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India should aspire to become global power of happiness: Prez

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Pranab Mukherjee today underscored the need for India to be a global powerhouse not just in terms of economic parameters but also ‘Gross National Happiness’. “If we aspire to be one of the leading economic powers of the world, yes, we can be, but merely in statistical terms, in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), in terms of skill are not adequate,” Mukherjee said after laying the foundation stone for the Bengaluru Dr B R Ambedkar School of Economics here. The President said the concept of development has changed now and international organisations like the World Bank and IMF are talking about development in terms of GDP as well as Gross National Happiness (GNH). “Along with GDP, GNH is considered as one of the important factors of development,” Mukherjee emphasised. He expressed concern over unemployability of the youth in India, saying “600 million youth are entering the job market, but their employability is not adequate”. “They are educated, but not employable. Their employability is not up to the world standard,” he said. Mukherjee observed that skill development may not appear glamorous but most important in the Indian context. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Union ministers Ananth Kumar and D V Sadananda Gowda, state Governor Vajubhai Vala were present at the event, along with state higher education minister Basavaraj Rayareddi and academicians.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

94 infrastructure projects facing delay, cost overrun: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Big infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above are running behind schedule and have cost overrun, Parliament was informed today. As many as 1,186 such projects were under the monitoring of the ministry at the end of December 2016, Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation D V Sadananda Gowda said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. “Of these 1,186 projects, 94 projects are delayed and showing cost overruns. The reasons for delay are project specific,” Gowda said. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors ongoing central sector infrastructure projects costing Rs 150 and above on time and cost overruns. Law and order, delay in land acquisition, geological conditions, delay in environment and forest clearances, rehabilitation and resettlement, local body permissions, utility shifting, contractual issues are among major reasons behind the delay and cost override, he said. At times these factors also result in non-utilisation of funds fully, the minister said this in a response to a query on number of such projects, cost and time overruns and measures taken to avoid them. Steps like rigorous project appraisal, setting up of standing committees, computerised monitoring system, fixation of duties, project coordination between states and centre to remove bottlenecks are being taken to make projects speedy, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bill to strengthen data collection mech in J&K placed in LS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A bill seeking to remove a legislative vacuum on collection of statistical data in Jammu and Kashmir was introduced in the Lok Sabha today. According to the bill introduced by Statistics and Programme and Implementation Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, the amendment will strengthen data collection mechanism in the state. It will also provide for extending the jurisdiction of the Act to Jammu and Kashmir in respect of matters not reserved for the state as per the Constitution Order, 1954. The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, demographics, social, scientific and environmental aspects. The Act extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir legislature had enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which extends to the whole state and is almost a replica of the central legislation. The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, and the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, are not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, as applicable to the Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution Order, 1954. This had created a legislative vacuum. Moreover, the concurrent jurisdiction to be exercised by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir has also not been provided for. The amendment is intended to address this vacuum. The measure also envisages the appointment of a nodal officer at the Centre and in each state and Union Territories to effectively coordinate data collection activities and provide consultation to government departments for avoiding unnecessary duplication.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jaitley hopeful of landslide win for BJP in KTK assembly polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said he hopes to see a BJP government installed in Karnataka with a landslide victory in the next year’s assembly elections. He also said that the state now needs to grow in a focused manner. Speaking at an event ‘Budget 2017-An Analysis’ organised by the Bengaluru City unit of BJP, he said Karnataka needs to grow two to three per cent more than the national growth. “I am sure that the environment has now been built in Karnataka for a change, and hopefully next year when the elections are held in the state we will again see with a good landslide a BJP government installed in the state,” he said. Assembly elections are scheduled in Karnataka some time during the first half of 2018 and BJP which ruled the state from 2008 to 2013 is hoping to stage a comeback. Stating that Karnataka needs to grow now in a “focused” manner once again, the Finance Minister said “it needs to move at least economically in terms of growth at a much higher pace than even the national growth.” He said Karnataka is one state which extremely has a progressive set of people, the state is innovative, and the state always needs to grow 2 to 3 per cent more than India’s growth. “Unless the growth is more than India’s growth rate, we won’t see the full realisation of potential by the state of Karnataka itself,” Jaitley added. The meeting was attended by Union ministers Ananth Kumar, Sadananda Gowda and State party President B S Yeddyurappa among others.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt junks plan for new law on grant of bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Just over a year after it was conceived, the government has junked a plan to come out with a new law that clearly sets out conditions for grant of bail as it now feels that amendments in CrPC can help do away with cumbersome procedures involved in getting the relief.In September last year, the then Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had asked the then Law Secretary P K Malhotra to ask the Law Commission to recommend a stand alone Bail Act to quell the perception that the existing system is “inextricably linked to the financial well-being of the accused”. Gowda had suggested the need for examining the desirability of having a separate Bail Act under a “major revamp” of the bail system.The minister had said bail should be granted as a matter of right and be denied only when there is a fear that the accused can tamper with the evidence, influence witnesses or commit more crimes while out of jail. “However, in practice it does not happen for various reasons, like delay in hearing bail applications due to heavy workload in the courts, the cumbersome procedure adopted for hearing and deciding bail applications…,” he had said.While the Law Commission is already working on a report to recommend a new legislation, the Law Ministry has now asked it to only recommend changes in the the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).”… the matter has been re-examined by the central government and it has been decided that there may be no need for a stand alone Bail Act,” the Ministry has told the Commission. The Law Ministry communication noted that the desired objective can be achieved “by bringing necessary changes in the existing provisions of the CrPC”. It said the law panel should keep the latest decision of the government in mind while giving its report on the subject.In his note, Gowda had remarked that though the judiciary adopts a very elaborate procedure to deal with matters related to grant of bail “still the system has the general perception among people that grant or denial is highly unpredictable… the bail system is linked inextricably to property and financial well-being of the accused, meaning thereby that accused persons with means.” Noting that there is “growing dissatisfaction” about the system of grant of bail, he said that though it is a uniform and reasonable provision in theory “in practice it does not prove to be so”.Noting that the occupancy in Indian prisons has been reported to be consisting of one-third of convicts and two-third of undertrials, he said, “It is a sad state of affairs”.

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