India en Mon Sep 13 15:44:40 IST 2021 bjp-leader-accuses-maharashtra-minister-hasan-mushrif-of-corrupt <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Maharashtra BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Monday accused NCP functionary and rural development minister Hasan Mushrif of indulging in corrupt practices and holding 'benami' entities through his family members and companies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The NCP, a key constituent of the Shiv Sena-led MVA government, hit out at Somaiya and accused him of making baseless allegations against leaders of the ruling coalition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Addressing a press conference here, Somaiya alleged Mushrif and his family members created a web of companies and had transactions with Kolkata-based shell companies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The former Member of Parliament from Mumbai claimed that financial transactions showed their bank accounts receiving income from companies which actually did not exist.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Somaiya said he had submitted dubious financial transactions and "non- transparent" income details of the Mushrif family to the I-T department.</p> <p>He demanded a multi-agency investigation, involving the income tax department, the ED and the ACB, into financial transactions worth Rs 100 crore carried out by the Mushrifs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>NCP spokesman and state minister Nawab Malik hit out at Somaiya and accused him of making baseless allegations against MVA leaders.</p> <p>''The court has discharged NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal in the Maharashtra Sadan case in which Somaiya had levelled allegations against him. No one takes Somaiya seriously now,'' Malik said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Last week, a special court in Mumbai discharged Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal and seven others in the 2015 case related to alleged irregularities in the construction of Maharashtra Sadan (state government guest house) in Delhi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Malik said there was nothing wrong in political leaders and their family members doing business that was legal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"In 2019, Hasan Mushrif was raided. If there is any wrongdoing (in that case), action will be taken,'' Malik said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In July 2019, the I-T department had carried out searches at the residence of Mushrif, then an MLA, and the sugar mill run by him in Kolhapur district over alleged discrepancies in the mill's account books.</p> Mon Sep 13 17:31:19 IST 2021 bhupendra-patel-will-lead-bjp-to-victory-in-gujarat-assembly-polls-former-cm-rupani <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Former Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, on Monday, expressed confidence that Bhupendra Patel, who replaced him as the chief minister a year ahead of the assembly polls, will lead the BJP to victory in the upcoming state elections.</p> <p>Patel was elected BJP legislature party leader on Sunday and was sworn in as the state’s 17th chief minister by Governor Acharya Devvrat on Monday.</p> <p>Rupani said he conveyed his congratulations to Patel on his appointment. "I have full faith that under his leadership, the party will move forward, as will the development of the state. Gujarat will become a role model for all states," news agency <i>ANI</i> quoted the former chief minister as saying.</p> <p>Noting that the saffron party will return to power in the upcoming assembly polls, Rupani said he will keep on working as a party worker and will follow Patel's instructions.</p> <p>In a surprising move, Rupani, on Saturday, went to Governor Acharya Devvrat’s residence along with his cabinet colleagues and submitted the resignation. Rupani, who took over as the chief minister in August 2016 from Anandiben Patel, is the first BJP chief minister after Modi to have completed a five-year term in Gujarat, taking into consideration that he took over the charge in August 2016 and this year marked five years.</p> <p>The elevation of Patel as chief minister is being perceived as the attempt by the saffron party to woo Patidar community, which according to some political observers, has drifted away from the party.</p> Mon Sep 13 17:25:17 IST 2021 petition-filed-in-bihar-court-against-yogi-adityanath-over-abba-jaan-remark <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A petition has been filed in a Bihar court against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his controversial “Abba Jaan” comment. The petition was filed by Tamanna Hashmi, a local activist, before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Muzaffarpur on Monday.</p> <p>Yogi, while launching several development projects in Kushinagar on Sunday, had said that it was only after his government came to power in 2017, the public distribution system became effective in Uttar Pradesh.</p> <p>“Earlier, the ration meant for the poor used to be eaten up by those who say ‘Abba Jaan’,” Adityanath said. ‘Abba Jaan’ is a term used by Muslims to address their fathers.</p> <p>Hashmi in his petition said the Muslim community, which he belongs to, was insulted by the chief minister’s remarks. He requested that Adityanath be tried under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for “hurting religious sentiments”.</p> <p>Adityanath made the remarks as he launched a scathing attack on the opposition parties especially the Congress which he termed as the mother of terrorism in the country.</p> <p>"Congress gives disease, insults faith in Lord Ram and gives shelter to the mafia. But the BJP heals the citizens, paves the way for the construction of a grand temple of Lord Shri Ram and sends the mafia to the place they deserve. If there is BJP, there is respect for everyone, there is respect for faith," the chief minister had said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon Sep 13 16:50:59 IST 2021 priyanka-tibrewal-files-nomination-for-bhabanipur-bypoll <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal on Monday filed her nomination for the Assembly bypoll in Bhabanipur where she is up against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress candidate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bhabanipur will go to the polls on September 30, and the results will be declared on October 3.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The CPI(M) has fielded lawyer Srijib Biswas from the seat, while the Congress has refrained from taking part in the byelection.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tibrewal, <a title="Lawyer Priyanka Tibrewal to be BJP candidate against Mamata in Bhabanipur" href="">also a lawyer,</a> filed her nomination at the Survey Building in Alipore.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She was accompanied by leader of opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari and BJP MP Arjun Singh, among other senior party leaders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>TMC's Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who won the election from Bhabanipur, resigned—prompting the Election Commission to declare a byelection—so that Banerjee could fight it, having lost the election to Adhikari from Nandigram.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Banerjee has to get elected by November 5 to retain the chief minister's post.</p> Mon Sep 13 16:03:29 IST 2021 ed-issues-notice-to-aap-in-money-laundering-case <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>In what will open another chapter of confrontation between the Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP-ruled Centre, the ruling party in Delhi today claimed that it had received a notice from the Enforcement Directorate and accused the Narendra Modi government of using the investigating agency to indulge in political witch-hunt.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>AAP leader Raghav Chadha, addressing a press conference in Delhi, said AAP's National Secretary Pankaj Gupta has been summoned by the ED on September 22 in connection with a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He said that since the BJP has not been able to “electorally assassinate” the AAP, it was now trying to “character assassinate” the party. He further said, in words similar to those used by Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut recently, Prime Minister Modi's “favourite agency”, the ED, has written a “love letter” to the AAP.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The ED is acting like a frontal organisation of the BJP. It has become a politically revenge seeking department,” Chadha said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The money laundering case in question involves Congress leader and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who is being probed by the ED. The agency had raised the premises of Khaira and his family members in Delhi in connection with the case that has linkages to the Fazilka drug trafficking case of 2015 and a fake passport racket.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The AAP has been quick with its political response to the ED notice, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeting: “In Delhi they tried to defeat us with IT Dept, CBI, Delhi Police—but we won 62 seats. As we grow in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, we get an ED notice! The people of India want honest politics—these tactics of BJP will never succeed, they make us stronger.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The idea behind the AAP reaction is to connect the ED move with the Assembly elections due in the coming year and to convey a picture of a rattled BJP misusing central agencies to target the AAP. In the past, the party has accused the BJP-ruled Centre of using investigating agencies as also the Delhi Police against its ministers and legislators in the national capital. A clean chit by courts in some of the cases has given the AAP an opportunity to state that it stood vindicated in its claims that its leaders were being targeted by the BJP.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chadha's press conference and reactions by other senior leaders, including the chief minister, was also accompanied by the party's social media initiative to focus on the BJP's alleged misuse of central agencies to carry out a witch-hunt against the AAP. Kejriwal's party sought to get the hashtag '#ModiFearsKejriwal' to use the occasion to convey the idea that Modi and his party are rattled by Kejriwal.</p> Mon Sep 13 16:25:21 IST 2021 oscar-fernandes-former-union-minister-and-sonia-aide-dies-at-80 <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Oscar Fernandes, a prominent face of the UPA era and a minister in the Manmohan Singh governments, died on Monday at the age of 80. He passed away at a hospital in Mangaluru.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fernandes, who began his political career as a municipal councillor in Udupi in 1975-76, was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 from Udupi. He would represent Udupi a total of five consecutive times (winning elections in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fernandes served as parliamentary secretary to prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984-85 and was considered a trusted aide of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After losing the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, Fernandes was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He served as minister of state overseeing a number of portfolios such as statistics and programme implementation, overseas Indian affairs, youth and sports affairs and labour and employment in the first first Manmohan Singh government from 2004 and then as minister of road transport and highways from 2013.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Oscar Fernandes was hospitalised and operated on for a blood clot in the brain in late July and had been ailing since then. He suffered the clot after falling accidentally.</p> Mon Sep 13 15:05:33 IST 2021 up-deputy-cm-questions-temple-visits-opposition-nothing-imapct-bjp <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Uttar Pradesh’s deputy chief minister has called into question the temple visits of the opposition as assembly elections in the state approach.</p> <p>Keshav Prasad Maurya has asked Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav when he visited a temple before 2014. That was the year of the Lok Sabha elections before the ones in 2019. In 2014, the BJP had won an absolute majority with 282 out of 543 seats.</p> <p>There is recognition in the BJP’s opposition that temple visits are a must to wean away the voter base which perceives BJP as a protector of Hindus.</p> <p>In March this year, Yadav made a long visit to Mathura’s Banke Bihari temple. This capped off other temple runs in Chitrakoot and Mirzapur. In July, he was to visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi but the choice of the date ran into some controversy, and hence the visit was dropped. His last visit to the temple in Varanasi was with wife Dimple in 2014.</p> <p>“As the elections near, he is remembering yatras (rides) and sammelans (conventions) but none of this will impact the BJP,” said Maurya.</p> <p>While Yadav’s temple run is to offset the impression that his party is overtly inclined towards Muslims, other parties, too, are giving the mandatory nods to Hindus. A delegation of the Aam Aadmi Party, for instance, was in Ayodhya, on Monday to pay respects at the Hanumangarhi temple among other tasks.</p> <p>Maurya also attacked Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi. “He may visit temples and declare himself a janeu dhaari (bearer of the sacred thread), Akhilesh (Yadav) might take a dip in the Ganga but both must prove to the people of the country when they visited a temple before 2014,” Maurya said.</p> <p>He added that the visible temple visits were symbolic of a loss of the opposition and the victory of the BJP.</p> <p>Maurya has also dismissed any impact on the BJP if Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is made the CM face by the Congress. “Priyanka might fight from anywhere. It does not make a difference to the BJP,” he said<i>.</i></p> Mon Sep 13 14:56:40 IST 2021 neet-student-suicide-echoes-in-tamil-nadu-assembly-house-adopts-bill-to-exempt-state-from-test <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The Tamil Nadu assembly, on Monday, adopted a bill to dispense with the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) and provide for admission to medical courses based on Class XII marks to ensure social justice, as the death by suicide of a medical aspirant fearing outcome of the test he was to take echoed in the house with the main opposition AIADMK targeting the government over the incident.</p> <p>Chief Minister M.K. Stalin introduced the bill and all parties, including the main opposition AIADMK and its ally PMK, besides others like the Congress, supported the bill, which seeks to provide for admission to UG courses in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and homeopathy on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, (Class XII). The opposition BJP staged a walkout, protesting the government move.</p> <p>Earlier, as soon as the house convened, leader of the opposition K. Palaniswami referred to the death by suicide of 19-year old Dhanush in his native Salem district on Sunday and targeted the government on the matter.</p> <p>He said though the DMK had promised "cancelling" NEET, it was not done and several students had not prepared well. Some of his remarks were expunged by Speaker M Appavu. Palaniswami sought a job for a person from the family, besides cash assistance.</p> <p>The opposition party MLAs, who came to the House wearing black badges, staged a walkout, led by Palaniswami.</p> <p>On Sunday, hours before he was to appear for NEET for a third time, 19-year old Dhanush, belonging to a village near Salem, died by suicide, fearing the outcome of the test he was to take. The incident triggered a blame game with the AIADMK holding the DMK regime responsible for the death and the state government targeting the Centre.</p> <p>Stalin, replying, said NEET was conducted for the first time in Tamil Nadu when Palaniswami was the chief minister and it was not held even when the late J Jayalalithaa was the CM. Recalling the death by suicides of students, including S. Anita in recent years, he said all these happened when Palaniswami was the CM.</p> <p>The student, Dhanush, who took the extreme step, could not clear the exam twice in the previous years.</p> <p>Stalin also targeted the AIADMK over rejection of bills enacted during its regime in 2017 to get the state exempted from the ambit of NEET and also for hiding it from the House.</p> <p>Stalin introduced the bill and appealed to all to support it for social justice, indicating that the present initiative would be fully different from what was done before during the AIADMK regime.</p> <p>The bill, referring to recommendations of a high-level committee, said the government has decided to enact a law to dispense with the requirement of NEET for admission to UG Medical degree courses and to provide admission to such courses on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, through "Normalisation methods", to ensure "social justice, uphold equality and equal opportunity, protect all vulnerable student communities from being discriminated and bring them to the mainstream of medical and dental education and in turn to ensure a robust public health care across the state, particularly the rural areas."</p> <p>Stalin, who welcomed the support of the main opposition party to his government's move on NEET, recalled that in the past, when the DMK was in the opposition, it supported the then AIADMK government on the issue of jallikattu, the bull-taming sport.</p> <p>BJP's Nainar Nagenthiran insisted NEET had its benefits like increased pass percentage and led his party's walkout protesting against the bill.</p> Mon Sep 13 16:37:09 IST 2021 nsui-passes-resolution-to-make-rahul-gandhi-congress-president <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The National Students' Union of India, the student wing of the Congress, on Sunday passed a resolution to make Rahul Gandhi the national president of the party.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>The resolution was passed on the concluding day of the two-day long national executive of the NSUI, which was organised to discuss the future pursuits.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>"The NSUI in its two-day national executive 'Sankalp' resolves and proposes in one voice that Shri Rahul Gandhi be appointed as president of the Indian National Congress," the resolution said.</p> <p>It added that students feel "safe and secure" under Rahul Gandhi's guardianship and visionary leadership for socio-political governance.</p> <p>"We recognise Rahul Gandhi's dedication to India's student and re-affirm our faith in his keen leadership abilities and statesmanship under which India can reach the pinnacle of success developing into a more sustainable and peaceful society. We hereby undertake this resolution and look forward to its fruition," the resolution said.<br> </p> <p>The NSUI also passed a proposal to celebrate 75th anniversary of Independence across the country under which the NSUI will organise student-related programmes.<br> </p> <p>On the second day of the National Executive, senior leaders of the Congress attended the event and guided all workers.<br> </p> <p>Congress national spokesperson Pawan Kheda said the party has everything be it leadership, ideology, experience, legacy or passion.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>The NSUI statement quoted Kheda as saying, "Rahul Gandhi called us 'Babbar Sher' so now we have to fight the BJP by roaring out the truth and drive them out of the country, for India's growth and everlasting development."</p> <p>Maharashtra's Union Minister and National President of Congress SC Department Nitin Raut claimed that the BJP is working to break the country.</p> <p>"These people ask what the Congress has done in 70 years. Nevertheless, we have done everything to bounce back the country into a successful state ever since Independence," Raut said.<br> </p> <p>Congress minority department chairman Imran Pratapgarhi, while addressing the national executive, said that when the country became independent, whatever it was, "Pandit Nehru ji made the country bloom by working hard day and night, but the BJP is pledging it".<br> </p> <p>The NSUI statement quoted Pratapgarhi as saying, "Narendra Modi is playing with the sentiments of the people of this country by faking tears."<br> </p> <p>Youth Congress national president Srinivas BV said that no government can last long if students are determined.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>"In present times it is the responsibility of the students to fight together against this dictatorial government to save the country,' Srinivas BV said in the statement.<br> </p> Sun Sep 12 22:40:16 IST 2021 what-can-bhupendra-patel-do-in-one-year-that-bjp-couldnt-do-in-25-years-asks-hardik-patel <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Patidar leader Hardik Patel, on Sunday, said Bhupendra Patel, who also belongs to his community, would be the BJP's last chief minister in Gujarat as the people of the state have decided to throw the saffron party out of power at least for the next 25 years.</p> <p>Bhupendra Patel (59) was unanimously elected as BJP legislative party leader here on Sunday, a day after Vijay Rupani resigned from the post. Patel will be sworn in as the chief minister on Monday.</p> <p>In an open letter addressed to the CM-designate, Hardik Patel, who is Gujarat Congress's working president, asked what he can achieve in one year (as assembly polls are scheduled next year) that the BJP could not in the last 25 years.</p> <p>"BJP has given you this responsibility a few months before the elections to hide its failure, but what can you do in one year (assembly election is due in Gujarat in December 2022) what your party could not do in 25 years for education, health, women, youth and farmers, for the most vulnerable sections of Gujarat?" he asked and said this is a question that the people of Gujarat have posed before him.</p> <p>"The BJP has appointed in you its last chief minister, because the people of Gujarat have made up their mind to throw the anti-poor, anti-youth BJP out of power, at least for the next 25 years. Now time has come to change the entire government and not just the chief minister," Hardik added.</p> <p>Hardik Patel rose to prominence in 2015 on the back of the Patidar quota agitation. The protest spearheaded by him for reservation to the youths from his community in government jobs and educational institutions had rocked the state and followed with the resignation of the then chief minister Anandiben Patel, who was later replaced by Vijay Rupani over a year ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls.</p> <p>In the same way, Rupani tendered his resignation from the top post on Saturday more than a year ahead of the 2022 state elections.</p> Sun Sep 12 22:30:59 IST 2021 congress-is-mother-terrorism-says-yogi-adityanath <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the Congress, terming the opposition party as the mother of terrorism in the country. Adityanath also accused the Congress of insulting people’s faith in Lord Ram and giving shelter to mafia, reported <i>ANI</i>.</p> <p>"Congress is the mother of terrorism in the country. There is no need to tolerate people who hurt the country. Congress gives disease, insults faith in Lord Ram and gives shelter to the mafia,” the chief minister said, adding that it was the BJP which paved way for the construction of a Ram temple and sent the mafia to jail.&nbsp;</p> <p>“If there is BJP, there is respect for everyone, there is respect for faith," he said.&nbsp;</p> <p>Adityanath slammed the opposition for appeasement politics and corruption. He alleged that some Samjwadi Party leaders were supporting the acts of Taliban. The chief minister also alleged that in 2012, the then SP government started withdrawing the cases against terrorists.</p> <p>"The people of the state should not tolerate the pro-Taliban, casteist, dynastic mentality that shot at the devotees of Lord Ram,” he said.</p> <p>Adityanath said the country was first looted by the British and later by the Congress.</p> <p>“Nehru did not believe in Ram. Indira ji opened fire on the saints. Sonia ji denied the existence of Ram," he said.</p> Sun Sep 12 22:31:47 IST 2021 cbi-questions-bengal-minister-partha-chatterjee-about-ponzi-scam <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A CBI investigating team from Delhi on Monday reached Kolkata and questioned West Bengal Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee in connection with a multi-crore Ponzi scam. Chatterjee is a senior Trinamool Congress leader and currently the secretary general of the party.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chatterjee was called last month by the CBI to appear before its office in Kolkata’s CGO Complex. But Chatterjee wrote back that due to the upcoming byelection in Bhabanipur, he would not be available for questioning on Monday. He also said that if the CBI needed to talk to him, the agency should better come to his residence considering the COVID situation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But the five-member CBI team, which came from Delhi, went straight to Chatterjee’s office in Camac Street in Kolkata on Monday. He was being questioned at the time of writing this report.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chatterjee is being questioned by the CBI in connection with the I-Core chit fund group, which collapsed in 2014. The group allegedly funded Chatterjee’s Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata many times. The amount that was paid, reportedly, runs into several crores of rupees, said a CBI source.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Known to have a clean image, so far, Chatterjee’s inclusion in the Ponzi scam probe has raised several eyebrows. Earlier, he publicly denied his involvement in the Ponzi scam several times in the past.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, a prominent citizen, who was arrested in the scam, took his name and spoke about Chatterjee’s alleged proximity to the I-Core group, which used to run shopping malls and funded several Bengali newspapers and even television channels. The CBI is investigating the larger conspiracy in the Ponzi scam in West Bengal, which is estimated to be around Rs 1 lakh crore. The major companies that siphoned off public funds are Saradha group and Rose Valley group, for which investigations are still in progress.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, Chatterjee’s interrogation at a time when he was made a key campaigner in the Bhabanipur constituency will create controversy. TMC leaders are opposing the CBI’s “high handedness” and speaker of the West Bengal Assembly Biman Bandyopadhyay has already written to the CBI, asking why he was not kept in the loop before the agency questioned public representatives and ministers of the state.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier, Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, Justice R.S. Bindal has summoned the acting director general of West Bengal Police, Manoj Malviya, on why the former DGP could not present all the directors of the chit funds to the court as asked by him. Malviya wanted relief from the court, but Justice Bindal refused that.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon Sep 13 15:42:53 IST 2021 priyanka-would-do-to-congress-in-up-what-she-did-in-amethi-in-20-19 <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A former senior Congress leader in Uttar Pradesh has commented that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will bring the same fate to the party in the state as she did to Amethi in the Lok Sabha elections of May 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Priyanka had been the 'face' of her brother Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, which he won three times consecutively from 2004. But he lost to Smriti Irani of the BJP in 2019. This had been one of the biggest electoral upsets of 2019 as Amethi had always been considered a Congress 'safe seat' since 1967, except for four years. Rahul had campaigned elsewhere in the country, making just a solitary appearance at what, in political circles, was referred to as the ‘family bastion’.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rahul lost the seat by over 55,000 votes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Satyadev Tripathi, a senior Congress man expelled from the party in 2019 for indiscipline, warned that Priyanka will ensure the same fate for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. Tripathi was a former state-level minister.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Congress has just seven members in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier on Monday, former Union minister Salman Khurshid had commented Priyanka will be the face of the party in the state elections and that the party will not form any alliances for the polls.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is nothing new in the claims and it in no way means that Priyanka is the party’s projection for the chief ministerial post. The Congress has not projected a CM candidate in the last few elections. The standard line is that a decision on the issue would be taken by the party’s legislative group after the election.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As for an alliance, none of the big players are looking to join hands with the Congress. It can only become a rallying point for the smaller parties.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The Congress has an attitude of superiority. It believes it deserves a greater number of seats in any alliance even though it might not be in a winnable position,” said a Congress spokesperson.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are other fundamental problems that the party must contend with. Its grass-roots organisation is weak and no match for the BJP, which has in-charges for every single page of the electoral list.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are other concerns that will not allow the party to go all out to project Priyanka as the face for the election. Such a no-holds announcement would mean that the responsibility for the loss will lie solely at her feet. And the Congress is known to always shield the Gandhi family from such reality checks.</p> Mon Sep 13 13:01:10 IST 2021 bhupendra-patel-takes-oath-as-gujarat-chief-minister <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Bhupendra Patel was sworn in as the 17th chief minister of Gujarat on Monday in Gandhinagar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The announcement of Bhupendra Patel as the new chief minister on Sunday had triggered surprise as he was not among the list of popular 'frontrunners' to replace Vijay Rupani, who resigned on Saturday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bhupendra was sworn in by Governor Acharya Devvrat with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, an influential figure in Gujarat politics, in attendance at the ceremony.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Also present were chief ministers of BJP-ruled states—Basavaraj Bommai (Karnataka), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana) and Pramod Sawant (Goa)—and Union Ministers Mansukh Mandaviya, Pralhad Joshi and Narendra Singh Tomar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Only Bhupendra Patel took oath on Monday. It is yet unclear when ministers of the new government will take oath.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier in the day, Bhupendra Patel received Amit Shah on his arrival in the state. Bhupendra also called on Vijay Rupani at the latter's residence in Gandhinagar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Before meeting Rupani, Bhupendra Patel met Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel at the latter's residence in Ahmedabad. Nitin Patel had been considered one of the front-runners for the post of chief minister.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the wake of incessant rains causing a flood-like situation in some parts of Jamnagar, Bhupendra Patel had instructed the district authorities to make necessary arrangements to airlift about 35 people stranded in three villages, which have been inundated and cut off from other parts of the district, a government release said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon Sep 13 14:33:06 IST 2021 sidhu-writes-to-punjab-cm-seeks-action-on-farmers-demands <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, on Sunday, wrote to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, seeking action on farmers' demands, including cancellation of "unfair" FIRs registered against growers during their agitation.</p> <p>Asserting that the Congress stood by farmers' agitation against the farm laws at every stage, Sidhu, however, asked the state government, "we must do more" and "not let the three black laws be implemented in Punjab at any cost."</p> <p>Sidhu wrote to the chief minister two days after meeting representatives of 32 farm bodies which had raised their demands with him.</p> <p>In a meeting with representatives of all political parties except the BJP, the farmer leaders had told them not to carry out electioneering till the Punjab polls are announced.</p> <p>In a letter to the CM, Sidhu wrote, "This is to bring to your attention and request for necessary action, upon the demands raised by 32 farmer unions at the meeting called by them."</p> <p>Sidhu said farmer leaders demanded "the cancellation of unjust and unfair" FIRs registered against the farmer unions due to cases of violence during the agitation in the state."</p> <p>Noting that the Congress and the state government provided support to farmers protesting against the Centre's farm laws, Sidhu said, "Yet, some FIRs have been registered due to untoward incidences," adding that the government could set up a mechanism to consider each case on compassionate grounds and cancel all "unfair" cases.</p> <p>Referring to farmers' fear of demand for land records by the Centre before the crop procurement, Sidhu asked the state government to fight against the Centre's "injustice".</p> <p>"I personally believe it is unfair," said Sidhu, adding that partition of land had not happened in many parts of the state for decades.</p> <p>"This is also an attack on the resilient system of procurement by MSP through Arthiyas and to push the farmers away from APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committees) mandis towards private markets where no such records are being demanded. Thus, I strongly feel that the Central Govt is actually creating ''One Nation, Two Markets'' with different rules for APMC and private markets. This injustice we must fight against !," wrote Sidhu.</p> <p>Sidhu also pointed out a hike in budget allocation for agriculture, Rs 7,181 crore of power subsidy, Rs 5,810 crore of farm debt waiver and Rs 520 crore of loan waiver for farm labour and landless farmers.</p> <p>"Noting the efficiency of govt procurement done by the Congress government, Congress workers and leaders have stood by the farmer agitation at every stage of the protest.</p> <p>"Yet, we must do more, standing firmer on our resolution passed in Vidhan Sabha in October 2020, We should not let the three blacks be implemented in our state at any cost !," he stated.</p> <p>Sidhu stressed on procurement of pulses and oilseeds through state corporations to increase farmers'' income.</p> <p>"We must take steps ahead from the farmer agitation's fight against the three black laws to do more and present the vision for Punjab agriculture, to increase Punjab's farmers' income using every resource and power we have as a state to stand with the farmers," he wrote.</p> <p>He said, "We must begin procurement of ''dals'' and oilseeds through state corporations."</p> <p>"Further, invest in diversification with giving MSP on more crops, giving storage capacity in hands of farmers and strengthening farmer's financial capabilities through cooperatives and forward linkages to trade without dependence on corporates," he wrote.</p> Sun Sep 12 21:47:41 IST 2021 dont-wish-to-file-detailed-affidavit-on-pleas-seeking-probe-into-pegasus-snooping-row-centre-tells-sc <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it does not wish to file a detailed affidavit on a batch of petitions seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping row.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Centre told a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana that it has nothing to hide and that's why the government has on its own said it will constitute a committee of domain experts to look into these allegations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, that whether a particular software is used or not by the government is not a matter for public discussion and making this information a part of an affidavit will not be in national interest.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mehta said the report of the committee of domain experts will be placed before the apex court.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The top court told Mehta that it had already made clear that it did not want the government to disclose anything which compromises national security.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The hearing in the matter is going on.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On September 7, the apex court had granted more time to the Centre to decide on filing a further response on the petitions after Mehta had said that due to some difficulties he could not meet the officials concerned to take a decision on the filing of the second affidavit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Centre had earlier filed a limited affidavit in the top court saying the pleas seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations are based on "conjectures and surmises or on other unsubstantiated media reports or incomplete or uncorroborated material".</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It had stated that the position on the issue has already been clarified in Parliament by Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With a view to dispelling any wrong narrative spread by certain vested interests and examining the issues raised, the government will constitute a committee of experts, it had said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pleas are related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO's spyware Pegasus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware.&nbsp;</p> Mon Sep 13 14:09:20 IST 2021 congress-leaders-set-off-on-bullock-carts-to-attend-legislature-session <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The 10-day monsoon session of the Karnataka legislature that begins on Monday is all set for a stormy start as the opposition parties hope to corner the ruling BJP over the fuel price hike, alleged corruption in COVID management, temple demolitions, crumbling infrastructure and the collapse of law and order (following incidents of murder, dacoity and Mysuru gangrape).<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Congress party is planning to target the government, demanding tabling of the caste census conducted by the Kantharaj Commission.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief D.K. Shivakumar are leading a 'Vidhana Soudha Chalo' protest rally by riding on bullock carts from their respective residences to the assembly, despite the prohibitory orders (section 144) being imposed around the secretariat complex till September 24.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who will be facing the first legislature session as the head of state, has convened a legislature party meeting at 6:30pm to discuss the strategies to counter the opposition charges. He will leave for Ahmedabad at noon to attend the&nbsp;swearing-in ceremony of Bhupendra Patel, the chief minister designate of Gujarat.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shivakumar, who hopped on a bullock cart from his Sadashivanagar residence to take part in the rally, along with party leaders and partyworkers, dubbed the BJP government as 'pickpocket sarkar'.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The BJP government is pickpocketing the common man. The fuel and cooking gas prices have skyrocketed. But, has there been any increase in the salaries or income? On the contrary, people are losing their jobs, suffering loss of livelihood and income. The petrol price should be brought down to Rs 75 per litre immediately."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The leader of opposition Siddaramaiah had led a huge rally from Kumara Krupa road (residence), accompanied by senior Congress leaders.&nbsp;</p> Mon Sep 13 11:10:44 IST 2021 bhupendra-is-an-old-family-friend-nitin-patel-denies-disgruntlement-over-guj-cm-decision <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Responding to media queries, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel denied any disgruntlement from his part after being overlooked in favour of Bhupendra Patel as the chief minister. The Deputy CM, who has long eyed the post, was considered one of the frontrunners after Vijay Rupani's abrupt resignation. "[Bhupendra] Patel is my old family friend. I congratulated him. We will be happy to see him take oath as chief minister. He has also asked for my guidance whenever needed.&nbsp;I am not upset [on the party naming Bhupendra Patel as CM]. I have been working in BJP since I was 18, and will keep on working. Whether I get a position in the party or not, I will continue serving in the party," he said, reported news agency ANI&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hours after the ruling BJP selected a new chief minister for Gujarat, Nitin Patel had stated that he has seen many ups and downs, and asserted that nobody can "throw him out" as he lives in people's heart. Patel, while addressing people during a function in Mehsana town on Sunday evening, also said in a lighter vein that he was not the only one who had missed the bus as there were "many others" like him.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is still suspense over whether Patel would continue to remain as the deputy CM in the next government led by Bhupendra Patel or not. Both these leaders belong to the powerful and politically influential Patidar community in Gujarat.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>-Inputs from PTI</p> Mon Sep 13 10:54:15 IST 2021 priyanka-gandhi-to-lead-the-congress-in-the-upcoming-up-polls <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi will lead the party in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, said senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid. &quot;We will be fighting the upcoming assembly elections under the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. She is working hard to ensure that we win. Later on, she may announce the chief minister's face,&quot; said Khurshid, reported ANI.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">The Congress needs a renewed push to take back the state from the BJP</a>.&nbsp;The Congress was totally decimated in the 2017 state polls winning only seven assembly seats in the 403-member UP assembly polls. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it could manage to hold Rae Bareli Parliamentary seat of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi but lost the Gandhi family's bastion Amethi where Rahul Gandhi was humbled by Union Minister Smriti Irani.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From Thursday, Priyanka was on a&nbsp;three-day visit in UP to review the party's preparedness for the polls. She reviewed the district-wise progress of the party's mass contact programme <i style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">Har Gaon Congress</i> (Congress in every village). The Uttar Pradesh Congress had launched a mass contact programme on August 19 to cover the state's 30,000 villages and wards where party leaders were directed to stay for over three days during the drive.&nbsp;The Congress general secretary will also finalise the blueprint of party programmes for the next one month.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Congress has already made it clear that it will not have any alliance with the Samajwadi Party or Bahujan Samaj Party this time and would prefer tie-ups with some smaller UP-centric parties.&nbsp;Congress' state unit chief Ajay Kumar Lallu on Sunday said his party will forge alliances only with small parties and will &quot;not even think about&quot; joining hands with the big ones for the elections. He also said the governments of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) that have ruled Uttar Pradesh in the last 32 years, when Congress was not in power, failed to live up to the expectations of the people and the Congress was set for a comeback in the state.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>-Inputs from PTI</p> Mon Sep 13 08:27:57 IST 2021 kashmir-leaders-condemn-killing-of-jandk-police-officer-in-terror-attack <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A police officer was shot dead from point-blank range by a militant in Khanyar locality of the city here on Sunday, evoking strong reactions from various quarters, even as Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh said the perpetrators have been identified and will be brought to justice soon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Probationary Sub-Inspector Arshid Ahmad, a resident of Kupwara district, was shot at after he was coming back from a hospital where he had taken an accused for a check up.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The CCTV footage of the incident shows a militant shooting the officer with a pistol at least twice from behind from a point-blank range in Khanyar, leaving him injured.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The sub-inspector was rushed to SKIMS in Soura, but he succumbed to injuries, officials said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The incident took place at 1.35 pm, they said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A wreath-laying ceremony was held at district police lines here in which officials from civil administration, police and other security forces led by the J&amp;K DGP paid floral tributes to the slain officer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking to reporters, Singh said the perpetrators behind the killing have been identified and will be brought to justice soon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The DGP said the killing of the young office a very tragic incident.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We have lost a brave young officer who was just at the threshold of service. He was learning the nuances of policing. He was deputed to a hospital for a check up of an accused and while coming back from the hospital, he was shot.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"He was immediately evacuated to a hospital, but, unfortunately, he succumbed to injuries. It is a very tragic loss for us and the family and we express our condolences," the DGP said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Singh said the perpetrators of the crime have been identified and they will be brought to justice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Every life lost is a concern for us, whether it is a police or a civilian or a SF (security force) personnel. Those involved in crimes of killing of civilians or SF people (in the past), they have been brought to justice. And in this particular case also, our investigative agencies, our operational teams are working, and soon we will be able to take care of this case," he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condemned the killing and said, "This is a handiwork of enemies of humanity and peace. His supreme sacrifice won't go in vain, terrorists will be punished for the act. Heartfelt condolences to the martyr's family."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>National Conference (NC) president and member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah condemned the "despicable act of violence".</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The incident is a grim reminder of the jinxed fate of our region. Such incidents will not further the cause of peace; such dastardly acts of violence will only impede the return of much looked-for peace to the region," Abdullah said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He expressed deepest sympathies with the bereaved family and prayed for eternal peace to the departed in the highest echelons of heaven.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>NC vice president Omar Abdullah termed the attack dastardly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Sorry to hear about the death in the line of duty of Sub Inspector Arshid Mir of @JmuKmrPolice in a dastardly attack in the heart of Srinagar city. A young life with so much promise, another grieving family. May Allah grant Arshid place in Jannat," he tweeted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>PDP president Mehbooba Mufti expressed condolences to police official's family.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Saddened to hear about the death of&nbsp; J&amp;amp;K Police Sub Inspector Arshid Ahmed killed by militants at Khanyar today. May his soul rest in peace &amp;amp; condolences to his family, she said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>People's Conference (PC) also condemned the "dastardly and cowardly" attack on Ahmad. "We extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this hour of grief," the PC wrote on Twitter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>PC chairman Sajad Lone said the killing has made an addition to the army of orphans.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"SI Arshid Ahmed martyred. May Allah grant him Jannat. The terrorists have yet again made an addition to the army of orphans, Lone said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) strongly condemned the "ghastly act", terming it unfortunate, mindless and inhuman. In a statement, the JKPCC said the killing was barbaric and demanded stern action against the killers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>BJP general secretary organisation Ashok Koul conveyed deepest condolences to the bereaved family and said such inhumane acts will never be tolerated, demanding that those behind such attacks be identified for stern punishment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Netizens also expressed grief over the killing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The slain police officer's former batchmate and now a Jammu and Kashmir administrative services officer, Saddam, said he could not believe his friend was no more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Lost a former batchmate, a friend, a platoon member PSI Arshid Mir. I still can't believe that person who used to stand on my left side wearing PAU 257 and mine 256 is gone. Killers will be punished," Saddam said on Twitter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Khurshid Ahmad Malik said the dastardly attack left another family orphaned and it deserved the highest possible condemnation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Day in and day out we are losing our gems, this must stop, Kashmir must wake up to this unending death terror cycle," he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another user, Shabir Dar, said a young life was cut too short by "traders of blood".&nbsp;</p> Sun Sep 12 21:38:57 IST 2021 all-adults-in-6-states-uts-received-one-dose-of-vaccine-74-crore-jabs-administered-across-country <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>All adult people in Sikkim, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Ladakh and Lakshadweep have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as the cumulative jabs administered in the country crossed 74 crore on Sunday, the Union health ministry said.</p> <p>Around 50,25,159 vaccine doses have been administered till 8 pm on Sunday, according to data from the CoWIN portal.</p> <p>"Congratulations to these states and Union territories for administering the first COVID-19 vaccine dose to 100 per cent of the adult population. Special appreciation for the health workers in these regions for their diligence and commitment," the office of Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.</p> <p>Along with the tweet, the office of the Union health minister also put up a chart which stated that Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (6.26 lakh doses), Goa (11.83 lakh doses), Himachal Pradesh (55.74 lakh doses), Ladakh (1.97 lakh doses), Lakshadweep (53,499 doses), and Sikkim (5.10 lakh doses) are the states and UTs with 100 per cent eligible population vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine.</p> <p>The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started on February 2.</p> <p>The next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.</p> <p>The country launched vaccination for all people aged over 45 years from April 1. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.</p> <p>The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the ministry said.</p> Sun Sep 12 21:09:34 IST 2021 give-reply-to-bjps-hindutva-card-priyanka-tells-congress-workers <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who began her two-day tour of Rae Bareli on Sunday, urged party workers to give reply to BJP’s Hindutva card, reports said. Accusing the saffron party of spreading propaganda, Vadra urged party men to spread the message that the Congress respects all religions.</p> <p>“Talk about Hindutva and give answer to people’s questions,” Vadra told party workers from Bareli and Amethi.</p> <p>Vadra’s visit to Rae Bareli comes ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, which will be held early next year.</p> <p>UP Congress media panelist Priyanka Gupta said the party general secretary would be holding organisational meetings throughout the day and the meetings would continue till late night.</p> <p>She may also meet people from different sections of the society, Gupta said.</p> <p>Gandhi visited Bachhravan, Harchandpur, Jagdishpur village and Civil Lines area of the city, where she was welcomed by party leaders and workers. Then her cavalcade proceeded towards the Bhuyemau guest house, a party leader told PTI.</p> <p>Congress will conduct a Pratigya Yatra in the state covering 12,000 km ahead of the assembly polls.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sun Sep 12 20:59:06 IST 2021 narcotics-jihad-row-bjp-comes-to-defence-of-controversial-kerala-bishop-joseph-kallarangatt <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Backing Kerala bishop Joseph Kallarangatt's claim of "narcotics jihad", the BJP on Sunday said he has alleged the voice of the community and appealed to the central government to bring a law to deal with “narco terrorism and love jihad”.</p> <p>BJP spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said cases of “love jihad” and drug abuse victims have been rising and that the Kerala Bishop Council, too, is of the opinion that terrorism and rampant flow of drugs into the state, both interconnected, is a menace.</p> <p>The Kerala government has not taken cognisance of the fact despite inputs from investigative agencies, he alleged.</p> <p>"The intervention by bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Pala, Kerala, during worship is not just a wakeup call for his dioceses but it is the voice of the community who are victims of love jihad and narco terrorism," Vadakkan said in a statement.</p> <p>The bishop council has raised the issue following inputs from devotees of different churches, he said, alleging that young girls are lured who fall prey to “love jihad” and "later end up in foreign jails".</p> <p>''Love Jihad'' is a term used by right-wing activists to refer to an alleged campaign of Muslims forcing Hindu girls to convert in the guise of love.</p> <p>"The rising drug abuse in different communities has affected peace within families and has created socio-economic disorder of disastrous levels," Vadakkan claimed.</p> <p>The intellectual and academic strengths of the young generation is destroyed through narco terrorism or “narco jihad”, he alleged.</p> <p>"These are not mere allegations against any community in particular but these anti-social elements pose a threat to national security and would destroy the young generation," the BJP leader said.</p> <p>"My appeal to the central government is to bring central legislation to book such elements, and bring in fast track courts to deal with narco terrorism and love jihad," he added.</p> <p>Joseph Kallarangatt had on Thursday triggered a controversy, saying Christian girls were largely falling prey to "love and narcotic jihad" in Kerala and wherever arms cannot be used, extremists were using such methods to destroy the youth belonging to other religions.</p> <p>Addressing devotees during a church celebration at Kuravilangad in Thiruvananthapuram, the bishop said as part of the "love jihad", non-Muslim girls, especially those belonging to the Christian community, were largely being converted after trapping them in love and being exploited and misused for destructive activities like terrorism.</p> <p>Muslim outfits had protested the statement of the bishop, alleging it was meant to create a communal divide in the state.&nbsp;</p> Sun Sep 12 20:32:43 IST 2021 mp-cm-rolls-out-jan-darshan-programme-in-bypolls-bound-constituencies <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Though the bypolls to three Assembly and one parliamentary seats in Madhya Pradesh have remained deferred due to COVID-19 situation, the ruling BJP continues to be in an election mode as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan rolled out a three-day 'jan darshan' programme on Sunday.</p> <p>Ex-chief minister Kamal Nath has attacked the chief minister for his selective outreach to people and said that Chouhan is up again to mislead people in bypolls bound areas by making false promises and announcements.</p> <p>The three-day mass outreach programme of Chouhan started at Raigaon constituency in Satna district on Sunday with the chief minister taking a 23-km road route from Shivrajpur to Sinhpur in the constituency, covering 10 villages. He met people and resolved their issues on the way and also held a public meeting at Shivrajpur and small meetings in different villages.&nbsp;</p> <p>Chouhan, in his typical style, interacted one-to-one with people even during public meetings and directed officials to complete development works in time. He made several announcements on construction of local roads, water supply schemes, electricity sub-stations, market places and others.</p> <p>The CM said that eight lakh PM Aawas Yojana houses will be built in the state this year and free ration will be distributed to all poor and eligible people on 7th of every month. He said that though there is an economic crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic, he did not believe in crying for lack of funds like (ex-chief minister) Kamal Nath and his government even took loans to complete development and welfare works.</p> <p>He is expected to perform foundation stone laying ceremonies for Rs 250 crores worth projects in Sinhpur at the conclusion of his daylong programme.</p> <p>On Monday, Chouhan will conduct similar outreach programmes in Prithvipur of Niwari district and on Tuesday in Jobat of Alirajpur district.</p> <p>Visit areas where people are facing real issues: Kamal Nath</p> <p>Kamal Nath targeted the 'jan darshan' programme of Chouhan in a series of tweets. Nath said that the Congress has no issues with the CM conducting the ‘jan darshan’ programme and giving darshan (viewing) to people, but the programme is being conducted only in areas up by bypolls.</p> <p>“It will be better if the CM also visits the areas where people are awaiting his presence impatiently. There is a need for him to visit places where people have died by consuming spurious liquor, but he is not doing so. Families of tribal victims of excesses in Nemawar, Neemuch and Khargone are awaiting his visit with a lot of hope. Many districts of the state have become hotspots for dengue and viral fever, hospitals are full and everyday the bad health services conditions are coming to the fore. The CM should visit such hospitals too. There have been mob lynching incidents in many places in the state, he should also conduct jan darshan there, but his programme remains limited to the bypolls bound areas,” Nath said in the tweets.</p> <p>Meanwhile, a number of Youth Congress and NSUI activists who wanted to protest on the Satna helipad during CM's arrival were detained by the police on the way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sun Sep 12 19:50:26 IST 2021 who-is-bhupendra-patel-the-new-gujarat-cm <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>When it became official that 59-year-old Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel will be the new chief minister of Gujarat, it might have surprised people outside Gujarat, but as far as Ahmedabad is concerned, he is a known name.</p> <p>Having won the Ghatlodiya assembly seat by a margin of over 1.17 lakh votes, Patel held the position of standing committee chairman in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for two terms. He was also the chairman of the much important Ahmedabad Urban Development Corporation. He is a first time MLA.</p> <p>Considered to be having a clean image, he is a close confidante of Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel. He belongs to Kadva Patidar, a sub caste of the Patidar community.</p> <p>Addressing the MLAs after his name was proposed by outgoing chief minister Vijay Rupani and seconded by many others, he thanked the party for giving him the opportunity.</p> <p>Sources said Patel and other senior leaders of the party would meet Governor Acharya Devvrat at 6 pm</p> <p>A builder by profession, he is a trustee of Sardardham and is also associated with Vishwa Umiya Foundation.</p> <p>Celebrations broke out in his Ghatlodiya constituency which falls under Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat represented by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.&nbsp;</p> Sun Sep 12 17:29:55 IST 2021 rihai-manch-report-alleges-police-excess-in-azamgarh-incident <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A fact finding report into an incident of police beating in Azamgarh has revealed that the police waded into an intra village fight and beat up people while no report has been filed against the miscreants till date.</p> <p>On September 5, an argument broke out between two parties belonging to the Nat community in the village of Gandhuwai under Azamgarh’s Nizamabad thana. One of the parties phoned the police.</p> <p>The Nats are traditionally rope dancers.</p> <p>When the police reached the village, the two parties were pelting stones at each other. This was filmed by the police. Upon seeing the police the two parties stopped their argument.</p> <p>After this, as per the report released by the Rihai Manch, the police started hitting members of the warring parties and others, who had nothing to do with the argument, with batons. Women and children, too, were not sparred. According to the report, 35 people were injured and this included 18 women and 10 children.</p> <p>Among the villagers, the men managed to flee and so women bore the greater brunt of the police’s anger.</p> <p>Gorki, one of the victims quoted in the report, said that the police entered her home and hit her head. “They also grabbed my chest,” she told the six-member fact finding committee headed by Rihai Manch general secretary Rajeev Yadav. Gorki’s age is listed around 30.</p> <p>Asma, an underage victim, said that the police caught her by the hair as she tried to run towards her house.</p> <p>Another elderly man Kitabu was in the village with his five months pregnant daughter-in-law Farida. “We were unconcerned as the quarrel in the village did not involve us. However the police beat me with rods and also kicked my daughter-in-law in the stomach”.</p> <p>Haris, a 12-year-old boy, has been quoted in the report as saying that he was forced to the ground and repeatedly kicked. He has been unable to pass urine without difficulty since.</p> <p>After beating up the villagers, the police also took many among them to the thana. However, no report was written against the people involved in the original argument which had caused the police to come to the village.</p> <p>The report also says that no medical investigation of the beaten people was conducted and no treatment provided.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sun Sep 12 16:52:49 IST 2021 jammu-and-kashmir-police-sub-inspector-shot-point-blank-by-militant-dies <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A sub-inspector of Jammu &amp; Kashmir Police, Arshid Ahmed, who was critically injured in a militant attack in Srinagar, succumbed to injuries in a Srinagar hospital on Sunday afternoon.</p> <p>According to the CCTV footage of the incident, Ahmed was shot point blank in the head from behind by a&nbsp; militant at Khanyar locality in downtown Srinagar. The militant appeared from a lane and fired at the officer who was walking on the road.&nbsp;</p> <p>After the incident, the militant fled while the passerby carried the injured sub-inspector into the lane. Ahmed was taken to SHMS hospital in Srinagar, but the doctors referred him to SKIMS at Soura for specialised treatment.&nbsp;</p> <p>The sub-inspector, however, succumbed to the injuries at SKIMS, according to sources.</p> <p>After the&nbsp; attack, a large contingent of police and CRPF reached the spot to nab the attackers.</p> Sun Sep 12 16:25:50 IST 2021 bhupendra-patel-likely-to-take-oath-as-gujarat-cm-on-monday <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel, who was elected BJP Gujarat Legislative Party leader, is likely to take oath as the chief minister of the state on Monday, the party said. According to Gujarat BJP president C.R. Patil, only the chief minister will be sworn in on Monday while the cabinet ministers will take oath in next two days.</p> <p>Patel, 59, was chosen to the CM post at a meeting of BJP MLAs in Gandhinagar on Sunday afternoon, a day after Vijay Rupani stepped down from the top post in a surprise announcement that came over a year before the state goes to assembly polls.</p> <p>According to reports, Patel's name was proposed by Rupani at the meeting. "Bhupendra Patel is capable. He has a very gentle personality which surely help in this development work ahead. We believe BJP will win the upcoming elections in the state under his leadership," Rupani later told mediapersons.</p> <p>Patel is a first-time MLA from Ghatlodia constituency. He was considered to be a protégé of former chief minister Anandiben Patel, who resigned as chief minister in 2016. Patel belongs to Kadva Patidar, a sub caste of the Patidar community.</p> <p>Having won the Ghatlodiya assembly seat by a margin of over 1.17 lakh votes, Patel held the position of standing committee chairman in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for two terms. He was also the chairman of the much important Ahmedabad Urban Development Corporation.</p> <p>Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President J.P. Nadda took to Twitter to congratulate Patel.</p> <p>Patel’s elevation to the CM post came as a surprise announcement even as several names including that of Deputy CM Nitin Patel, state agriculture minister R.C. Faldu and Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya were doing the rounds.</p> Sun Sep 12 19:06:00 IST 2021 black-money-abroad-india-to-get-third-batch-of-swiss-bank-details-this-month <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>India will get this month the third set of Swiss bank account details of its nationals under an automatic exchange of information pact with Switzerland and this will include for the first time the data about real estate properties owned by Indians there, officials said on Sunday.<br> </p> <p>Marking a key milestone in the Indian government's fight against black money allegedly stashed abroad, India will get this month the complete information on flats, apartments and condominiums owned by Indians in Switzerland as also on earnings made from such properties to help it look into tax liabilities associated with those assets.</p> <p>The move assumes significance on the part of Switzerland as well as the European Alpine nation is trying hard to reposition itself as a key global financial centre while warding off the long-persisting perception about the Swiss banking system being an alleged safe haven for black money.</p> <p>While it would be the third time that India will get details about bank accounts and other financial assets held by Indians in Switzerland, it will be the first time that the information being shared with India would include information about the real estate assets.<br> </p> <p>While the Swiss government has agreed to share details of real estate assets, the information about contributions to non-profit organisations and other such foundations, as also details on investments in digital currencies still remain out of bounds from the automatic exchange of information framework, officials said.</p> <p>Experts and those engaged in the business of attracting investments to Switzerland said the move would help clear misconceptions about all fund inflows into Swiss assets being illicit and would go a long way in establishing Switzerland as a preferred investment destination, including for real estate properties.</p> <p>Himanshu, Founder and CEO of Switzerland For You SA, the parent firm of IDDI Investments, which is engaged in the business of attracting investments from India and other countries to Switzerland including in startups and real estate, said transparency has its own virtues and the proposal of the Switzerland government to share information about property ownership of foreign clients with other countries including India is welcome.<br> </p> <p>"We find no valid reason for Swiss authorities to hide such information. After all, the ownership of property is not something which can be kept under wraps," said the India-origin entrepreneur who goes by his first name only and is settled in Geneva for many years.<br> </p> <p>"Sharing of such information with other countries under AEOI will bring in more transparency and act as deterrence for those intending to buy Swiss properties from ill-gotten wealth. The move will go a long way in making Switzerland an attractive investment destination," he added.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>India had received the first set of details from Switzerland under AEOI (Automatic Exchange of Information) in September 2019. It was among 75 countries to get such information that year.<br> </p> <p>In September 2020, India received the second set of Swiss bank account details of its nationals and entities, along with 85 other recipient countries with whom Switzerland's Federal Tax Administration (FTA) exchanged information on financial accounts within the framework of global standards on AEOI last year.<br> </p> <p>From this year, Switzerland's Federal Council, the country's top governing body, has decided to implement a key recommendation of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, under which Swiss authorities will also share details about investments made by foreigners in the Swiss real estate sector.<br> </p> <p>However, some other recommendations of the Global Forum, including about sharing of information on digital currency accounts and contributions made to foundations and non-profit organisations are yet to be accepted and therefore those details would not be shared by Switzerland with India or any other countries for now.<br> </p> <p>Hectic lobbying is underway globally to convince Switzerland to start sharing information about digital currency accounts and contributions made to non-profit entities as well.<br> </p> <p>In each of the last two years, Switzerland has shared details about nearly three million financial accounts with various jurisdictions, while the count is expected to be higher this year.<br> </p> <p>For the last two years, India has been among prominent countries with which Switzerland has shared details about financial accounts of clients of Swiss banks and various other financial institutions, while it is also expected to figure high this year with regard to details about real estate properties.<br> </p> <p>Resident and non-resident Indians, as well as Indian companies, would account for a sizeable number in the overall list of those figuring in this year's exchange of information by Switzerland, officials privy to the development said.<br> </p> <p>Besides, Swiss authorities have already shared information about more than 100 Indian citizens and entities so far this year on receipt of requests for administrative assistance in cases involving probes into financial wrongdoings including tax evasion, the officials added. This count has been similar in the past few years.</p> <p>These cases mostly relate to older accounts that might have been closed before 2018, for which Switzerland has shared details with India under an earlier framework of mutual administrative assistance as Indian authorities had provided prima facie evidence of tax-related wrongdoing by those account holders. AEOI is applicable only to accounts that are active or were closed during 2018.</p> <p>Some of these cases relate to entities set up by Indians in various overseas jurisdictions like Panama, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, while the individuals include mostly businessmen and a few politicians and erstwhile royals as well as their family members.<br> </p> <p>The officials, however, refused to share details about the exact number of accounts or the quantum of assets held in the accounts held by Indians, for which the information has been shared with India, citing strict confidentiality clauses governing the exchange framework.<br> </p> <p>The information shared by Swiss authorities includes identification, account and financial information, such as name, address, country of residence and tax identification number, as well as information concerning the reporting financial institution, account balance and capital income.<br> </p> <p>The exchanged information allows tax authorities to verify whether taxpayers have correctly declared their financial accounts in their tax returns.<br> </p> <p>The 86 countries covered under the AEOI in 2020 included 11 new jurisdictions -- Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Grenada, Israel, Kuwait, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Panama and the United Arab Emirates -- in addition to a list of 75 countries, with whom information was shared in 2019.<br> </p> <p>Switzerland's first such exchange took place at the end of September 2018 and involved 36 countries, but India did not figure in the list at that time.<br> </p> <p>Nearly 10,000 entities, including financial institutions such as banks, trusts and insurers, as also condominium and apartment owners' associations are expected to have shared details about their overseas clients with the Federal Tax Authority of Switzerland for further sharing with foreign jurisdictions.<br> </p> <p>Switzerland has committed itself to adopt the global standard for the international automatic exchange of information in tax matters. The legal basis for the implementation of AEOI in Switzerland came into force on January 1, 2017.<br> </p> <p>However, AEOI only applies to accounts that are officially in the name of Indians and they might include those used for business and other genuine purposes.</p> <p>The Global Forum of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reviews AEOI implementation.</p> <p>According to experts, the AEOI data received by India has been quite useful for establishing a strong prosecution case against those who have any unaccounted wealth, as it provides entire details of deposits and transfers as well as of all earnings, including through investments in securities and other assets.<br> </p> <p>On condition of anonymity, several officials said the details relate mostly to businessmen, including non-resident Indians now settled in several South-East Asian countries as well as in the US, the UK and even some African and South American countries.<br> </p> <p>A Swiss delegation was in India in August 2019 before the first set of details could get shared and the two sides also discussed possible steps to expedite the execution of tax information-sharing requests made by India in specific cases.<br> </p> <p>It is feared many Indians might have closed their accounts after a global crackdown on black money led to Switzerland buckling under international pressure to open its banking sector for scrutiny to clear the long-held perception of Swiss banks being safe haven for undisclosed funds.<br> </p> <p>Switzerland agreed to AEOI with India after a long process, including a review of the necessary legal framework in India on data protection and confidentiality.&nbsp;<br> </p> Sun Sep 12 20:17:22 IST 2021 increase-cane-prices-double-pm-kisan-funds-bjp-mp-varun-gandhi-writes-to-up-cm <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Seeking various relief measures for farmers in Uttar Pradesh, BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Sunday wrote to state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath demanding substantial rise in sugarcane prices, bonus on wheat and paddy, doubling the amount of PM KISAN scheme and subsidy on diesel.<br> </p> <p>Gandhi, a three-term MP from UP, has been advocating for re-engaging with protesting farmers to reach a common ground.</p> <p>In the two page letter to Adityanath, the Pilibhit MP listed out all the problems and demands of the farmers and at the same time also suggested solutions for the same.</p> <p>In the letter, Gandhi suggested to increase the sugarcane selling price to Rs 400 per quintal that is currently fixed at Rs 315 per quintal in UP.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cane is mainly grown in western UP, which is the epicentre of the farmers' protest in the state against the Centre's farm laws.</p> <p>Farmers should be given additional bonus of Rs 200 per quintal above the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat and paddy, Gandhi said in the letter.<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He also demanded that the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme should be doubled to Rs 12,000 per annum for farmers with the state government contributing Rs 6,000 from its own funds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The PM KISAN scheme is an initiative by the Centre through which all farmers will get up to Rs 6,000 per year as minimum income support.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sharing the farmers' concern of high prices of electricity and diesel, Gandhi in the letter requested the UP Chief Minister to give subsidy of Rs 20 per litre on diesel to farmers and reduce the power prices with immediate effect.</p> <p>Earlier on September 5, when large number of farmers gathered in Muzaffarnagar for a mahapanchayt organised by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha against the three farm laws, Gandhi had said the government should re-engage with them to reach common ground as they are "our own flesh and blood."</p> <p>"Lakhs of farmers have gathered in protest today in Muzaffarnagar. They are our own flesh and blood. We need to start re-engaging with them in a respectful manner: understand their pain, their point of view and work with them in reaching common ground," Gandhi had tweeted by posting a video of the large crowd in attendance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The mahapanchyat was held ahead of the crucial UP assembly polls early next year.</p> <p>The farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws at the borders of the national capital.</p> <p>Several rounds of discussions were also held between the representatives of protesting farmers' unions and Union ministers but talks have remained inconclusive.</p> <p>The Centre has been insisting that the reforms have given farmers new opportunity to sell their produce and rejected the criticism that the laws are aimed at doing away with the MSP regime and agricultural markets.<br> </p> Sun Sep 12 16:17:19 IST 2021 tn-student-dies-by-suicide-hours-before-neet-cm-promises-exemption-form-test-soon <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A 20-year old medical aspirant near Mettur in Salem district died by suicide on Sunday. He was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his room, hours before the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to medical colleges across India.&nbsp;</p> <p>The police said the student, S. Dhanush from Koolaiyur village near Mettur in Salem district, killed himself due to the fear of failure in his third attempt to clear NEET. He had appeared for NEET exams in 2019 and 2020, but was unable to clear.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dhanush's father Sivakumar said his son was studying in his room till 1am. “We thought he was sleeping in the room. We found him hanging from the fan when we entered the room in the morning to wake him up for the exam,” Sivakumar said.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dhanush has been telling his parents that this time too, he would nor clear NEET. "We consoled him whenever he appeared low,” Sivakumar said. Dhanush’s elder brother is an engineering graduate.&nbsp;</p> <p>The police registered a case under Section 174 of the IPC, recording the suicide as unnatural death.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“We are continuously fighting against NEET. Our Chief Minister M.K. Stalin is taking various measures with the support of other chief ministers to get exemption from NEET,” School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi said.&nbsp;</p> <p>Expressing shock over the suicide, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said a resolution against NEET will be brought in the assembly on Monday. The health minister appealed to the students not to take such extreme step. He further said the government could not obtain exemption from NEET this year due to short time frame.</p> <p>Meanwhile, opposition leader and former chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who hails from Salem, slammed the DMK government for making false promises in their poll manifesto. He accused the ruling DMK of creating confusion among the students who did not know whether the NEET exams would be conducted or not.</p> <p>In a statement, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin appealed to the students not to take such extreme step and added&nbsp; that he committed towards getting exemption from NEET. He said the DMK will pass a resolution in the assembly on Monday seeking permanent exemption from NEET.&nbsp;</p> <p>Stalin further said he will&nbsp; write to chief ministers of other states and seek their support to fight the central government which introduced the NEET.&nbsp;</p> Sun Sep 12 19:06:08 IST 2021 trinamool-trolls-thuggy-yogi-for-stealing-images-from-bengal <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>An error in a newspaper advertisement provided fodder for the Trinamool Congress to target Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On Sunday, <i>The Sunday Express,</i> the weekend edition of <i>The Indian Express</i>, carried a three-page advertisement of the Uttar Pradesh government. The front page featured a cut-out of Yogi Adityanath, along with a collage of a factory and a flyover. Social media users soon noted the flyover appeared to be the Maa Flyover in eastern Kolkata. The flyover even featured Kolkata's ubiquitous yellow-colour taxi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Not surprisingly, Trinamool Congress leaders and supporters soon joined in the debate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Outspoken TMC MP Mahua Moitra was among the first to take a pot-shot at the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. Moitra referred to Yogi Adityanath as “thuggy Yogi” and asked him to change his soul. She tweeted, "Thuggy Yogi in his UP ads with Kolkata’s MAA flyover, our JW Marriott &amp; our iconic yellow taxis! Change your soul or at least your ad agency Gudduji! P.S. Looking forward to FIRs against me in Noida now :-)"</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>TMC national general secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee accused Yogi Adityanath of stealing images of development in West Bengal. He tweeted, "Transforming UP for @myogiadityanath means stealing images from infrastructure seen in Bengal under @MamataOfficial's leadership and using them as his own! Looks like the 'DOUBLE ENGINE MODEL' has MISERABLY FAILED in BJP’s strongest state and now stands EXPOSED for all!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>TMC MLA Mukul Roy, who returned to the party from the BJP after the recent Assembly polls, used the newspaper advertisement to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Roy tweeted, "Mr.</p> <p>@narendramodi is so helpless to save his party that other than changing CMs, he has also had to resort to using pictures of growth &amp; infrastructure seen under @MamataOfficial's leadership, as his own..."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Interestingly, <i>The Indian Express</i> responded to the controversy over the image and "deeply regretted" the error. The official handle of <i>The Indian Express</i> tweeted, "A wrong image was inadvertently included in the cover collage of the advertorial on Uttar Pradesh produced by the marketing department of the newspaper. The error is deeply regretted and the image has been removed in all digital editions of the paper."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Saket Gokhale, an RTI activist who joined the TMC recently, questioned <i>The Indian Express</i> over the tweet and asked whether the publication was being bullied. Gokhale asked, "Are you really telling us that the team of @myogiadityanat doesn’t proof-check an advertorial they paid for before is it published? Pls blink twice if @ShishirGoUP&amp; @shalabhmani are bullying you, Indian Express.</p> <p>Don’t let them make a Vijay Rupani of you.”</p> Sun Sep 12 14:41:37 IST 2021 noted-kashmiri-writer-aziz-hajini-passes-away <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Noted writer and former secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages Aziz Hajini passed away here after a brief illness, family sources said on Sunday. He was 64.</p> <p>Hajini passed away late on Saturday night, the family sources said. He was laid to rest on Sunday morning here.</p> <p>Hajini, who hailed from Hajin Sonawari area of north Kashmir's Bandipora district, held several positions in academic and literary circles, including as secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, and authored several books.</p> <p>Several organisations, political parties and leaders have expressed condolences over Hajini's demise.</p> <p>“Dr Aziz Hajini's demise has a left a big void in the literary circles of J&amp;K. Hajini Sb, a noted writer &amp; former Secretary Cultural Academy was also the author of numerous acclaimed books.His absence in Art &amp; culture circuit will be deeply felt. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wrote on Twitter.</p> <p>“May Allah (SWT) bestow the departed soul place in Jannah and perseverance to the bereaved family for this irreparable loss,” the People''s Conference said.</p> Sun Sep 12 12:45:40 IST 2021 kozhikode-crash-report-no-lessons-learned-from-previous-incident-say-experts <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>While the main reason for the plane crash in Kozhikode airport was non-adherence to standard operating procedure (SOP) by the pilot, other contributory factors are also responsible for the crash. Moreover, lessons were not learnt from previous plane crashes.<br> </p> <p>The crash of Air India Express Flight 1344 on August 7, 2020, left 21 people dead including both of its pilots. After flying from Dubai, the pilot was trying to land the Boeing 737-800 at the Calicut International Airport amid rain. The plane overshot the runway and broke into pieces after falling off the cliff the runway was perched on. There were 190 people on board.<br> </p> <p>Aviation experts noted that after the Mangalore airport crash of 2010, a similar tragedy was waiting to happen at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport, which also had a tabletop runway with no overshoot area, making the airfield highly critical.<br> </p> <p>Though the DGCA has claimed to have implemented the recommendations from the report of the Mangalore crash, the investigation team said that in "various instances the recommendations have not been addressed effectively".<br> </p> <p>Quoting some of the observations, the investigation team said the DGCA did not take any action to remove the safety series in the civil aviation regulations (CAR) which related to the exceedance parameters for monitoring of Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR), the gadget used to record particular flying machine execution parameters.<br> </p> <p>"Various airlines including the Air India Express are not complying with the said CAR and have obtained DGCA approval of their flight safety manuals for utilizing exceedance parameters which are not in compliance with the CAR," the investigation pointed out.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>Secondly, the DGCA flight inspectors are required to carry out frequent flying checks for flights to critical airfields (including table-top runways) and also during "red-eye" flights (scheduled to depart at night and arrive the next morning) and journeys during the Window of Circadian Low (a period during which the human body is programmed to sleep). The term "red-eye" derives from the symptom of having red eyes, which can be caused by fatigue.<br> </p> <p>"The data obtained from the DGCA indicated that no flying checks were carried out from January 2019 to June 2020 on any critical airfields or during Red-Eye flight," the investigation further pointed out.<br> </p> <p>Yashwant Shenoy, an expert who has been fighting for aviation safety in several high courts in India says that the Kozhikode crash was a textbook copy of the Mangalore crash.<br> </p> <p>"The primary reason for accident investigation is to prevent similar accidents in future. Calicut is a photocopy of what happened in Mangalore. It means either the inquiry of Mangalore crash was flawed or its recommendations were never implemented," Shenoy said while adding the DGCA filed affidavits in court that all recommendations of Mangalore crash have been complied with.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Moreover, the AAIB Report said that, though the airport was handling more than 79 flights per day, there was no approach radar available there. The investigation report claims that the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) facility available at the airport only provides surveillance and monitoring of the aircraft.<br> </p> <p>It was also pointed out that the AREF (airport rescue and fight fighting) crew at Kozhikode were not familiar with the type of aircraft, which resulted in poorly coordinated rescue operations and delayed evacuation of the pilots from the cockpit.<br> </p> <p>The AAIB released its probe report on Saturday. “Probable cause of the accident was the non-adherence to SOP (standard operating procedure) by the PF (pilot flying)," the report stated.<br> </p> <p>Captain Deepak Sathe, the pilot of the Air India Flight IX-1344 that crashed at Kozhikode, was an experienced hand with over 36 years of flying. Sathe was a former IAF pilot who flew MiG-21 fighter jets for over 21 years of service, before joining Air India as a commercial pilot in 2005. He was also given the Sword of Honour at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad. Both Sathe and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were killed in the crash.<br> </p> Sun Sep 12 17:01:54 IST 2021 9-11-stark-reminder-of-continuing-threat-of-terrorism-amb-sandhu <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>September 11 is a stark reminder of the continuing threat of terrorism and the world must unite against this menace, India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has said, as he paid homage to the victims of the terror attacks at the 9/11 memorial.<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Paid respects at the 9/11 Memorial in #NewYork today. Remembering all the innocent victims of the dastardly attacks," Sandhu said in a tweet on Saturday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"20 years on, 9/11 is a stark reminder of the continuing threat of #terrorism. The world must unite against this menace! Sandhu said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sandhu, accompanied by India's Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal and officials from the Indian Embassy and Consulate, visited the 9/11 Memorial and paid respects at the memorial pools that sit in the footprints of the former North and South Towers that had collapsed as American Airlines and United Airlines planes hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists crashed into them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The names of the 2,983 people who were killed in the 2001 and 1993 terrorist attacks are inscribed on the bronze parapets edging the memorial pools.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Flowers and national flags were placed on the bronze edges of the memorial pools in memory of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The Indian tricolour was also placed near the names of some of the people who were from India and had died in the attacks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nearly 3,000 people from over 90 countries, including India, were killed in the 9/11 terror attacks.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the 9/11 memorial site in September 2014 and paid a solemn homage to victims of the 2001 terror attack, placing five rose buds one by one on the memorial slabs where names of the victims are etched.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As America marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, President Joe Biden visited all three sites of the 9/11 attacks - New York City; Arlington, Virginia; and Somerset County, Pennsylvania - where the hijacked planes had crashed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Biden, along with First Lady Jill Biden and accompanied by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and former First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton observed moments of silence at the 9/11 Memorial where the Twin Towers were brought down as the hijacked planes crashed into them.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During the memorial, relatives and friends read out the names of all those who had died in the attacks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, Biden in a video message said that the 2,977 people from more than 90 nations killed on September 11, 2001 in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the thousands more who were injured, America and the world commemorate you and your loved ones. The pieces of your soul.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We honour all those who risked and gave their lives in the minutes, hours, months and years afterwards. The firefighters, police officers, EMTs and construction workers and doctors and nurses, faith leaders, service members and veterans. All of the everyday people who gave their all to rescue, recover and rebuild.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it is so hard. Whether it's the first year or the 20th. Children have grown up without parents, parents have suffered without children, husbands and wives had to find ways forward without their partners in their life with them, he said.&nbsp; PTI YAS&nbsp; &nbsp;NSA 09121137</p> Sun Sep 12 12:42:33 IST 2021 in-surprise-choice-bhupendra-patel-to-be-new-gujarat-cm <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The name of MLA Bhupendra Patel has been proposed for post of chief minister of Gujarat on Sunday, following a meeting of MLAs of the BJP in Gandhinagar. The party is yet to officially announce the decision or give details of his swearing-in.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Vijay Rupani, who had led the BJP to victory in the 2017 election, resigned from the post of chief minister on Saturday. His sudden resignation came with just over an year left for the Assembly polls.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bhupendra Patel's name was proposed by Vijay Rupani. Considered to be a surprise choice, Bhupendra Patel is the MLA for Ghatlodia. He was considered to be a protege of former chief minister Anandiben Patel, who resigned as chief minister in 2016.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Before the meeting, Nitin Patel, who had been deputy chief minister in Rupani's administration, had listed the expected "traits" of the new chief minister. Nitin Patel had been considered an aspirant for the chief minister's post after the 2017 polls and was a front-runner after Rupani's resignation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking to mediapersons hours before the meeting in Gandhinagar, Nitin Patel claimed the next chief minister will have to be “popular, strong, experienced, and the one who is known and acceptable to all". "I am not here to express my personal opinion on the possible name. The exercise to elect the next chief minister is not just a work to fill in a vacancy. Gujarat should get a successful leadership so that the state can develop, keeping all together," Nitin Patel told reporters outside his residence in Gandhinagar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The BJP central leadership had deputed Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Prahlad Joshi to meet with the MLAs and state leaders on the appointment of the next chief minister.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier on Sunday, the BJP central leaders met state BJP chief C.R. Paatil, who was also considered a prospective candidate.</p> Sun Sep 12 16:20:49 IST 2021 search-operation-underway-to-track-down-suspected-terrorists-in-jammu-kashmir-rajouri <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Security forces on Sunday launched a cordon and search operation in the upper reaches of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir following information about suspected movement of terrorists from across the Line of Control (LoC), officials said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The officials said the search operation is underway but there was no contact with suspected terrorists so far.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The search operation was jointly launched by the police and the Army in the forest area of Barote Gali in Manjakote and parts of Thanamandi in the early hours of Sunday, the officials said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region have witnessed a spurt in infiltration attempts since June this year, resulting in the killing of nine terrorists in separate encounters.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Three soldiers also laid down their lives in the earlier operations. PTI TAS&nbsp; &nbsp;HDA 09120951</p> Sun Sep 12 12:36:12 IST 2021 rahul-gandhi-attacks-govt-over-job-losses <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Sunday attacked the government over the issue of employment, saying the difference between a week off and a working day has ended under this dispensation as "there are no jobs".&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Taking to Twitter, Gandhi tagged a media report on US auto major Ford deciding to stop vehicle manufacturing in India which quoted an industry insider as saying that over 4,000 small firms could shut down.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The 'development' under the BJP government is such that the difference between Sunday and Monday has ended," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"When there are no jobs, how does it matter whether it is Sunday or Monday!" the former Congress chief said.&nbsp;</p> Sun Sep 12 11:41:32 IST 2021 tmc-ministers-roaming-in-bhabanipur-shows-mamata-is-on-backfoot-bjp <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The BJP has ramped up the rhetoric against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ahead of the Bhabanipur bypoll.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Priyanka Tibrewal, a lawyer, was announced as the BJP's candidate for the high-profile contest in Bhabanipur on September 10. She formally launched her campaign in Bhabanipur on Sunday by panting the BJP's symbol, a lotus, on a wall in the constituency, accompanied by state party chief Dilip Ghosh.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tibrewal was quoted by <i>ANI </i>as saying, "I will file my nomination tomorrow. The people of West Bengal have the right to live. This right is being taken away from them by the Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee. I am fighting for the people of Bengal."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On Saturday,Tibrewal alleged that polls would not be transparent as the Trinamool Congress supported violence. She declared. "My fight is against the members of the ruling party as they have done injustice to the people of West Bengal."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Interestingly, Ghosh was outspoken in his confidence. Speaking to mediapersons on Sunday, he claimed, "Mamata Banerjee knows that she may lose in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency just like Nandigram," <i>ANI</i> reported. For the recent Assembly polls, Mamata Banerjee had shifted her constituency from Bhabanipur, which she won in 2011 and 2016 Assembly polls, to fight in Nandigram against Suvendu Adhikari, a one-time aide who defected to the BJP. She narrowly lost the election in Nandigram.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ghosh was quoted by <i>ANI</i> as saying, "If she [Mamata] has the confidence for winning the seat in the constituency then sit at home, people will vote for you [Mamata Banerjee]. She knows that she may lose this constituency just like Nandigram. When Mamata Banerjee won her first elections against Somnath Chaterjee, no one knew her then. No one can predict what may happen in politics."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ghosh added, "All the ministers (of TMC) are roaming in the streets of the constituency in support of Mamata; this means even before the start of the poll campaign, the party has taken a backfoot."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Voting in Bhabanipur would be held on September 30, with results being declared on October 3.</p> Sun Sep 12 13:26:36 IST 2021