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There is chance of Sasikala becoming CM: Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sasikala Natarajan becoming the AIADMK general secretary was the party’s internal matter and she could also become the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said on Saturday. “It is purely an internal matter of the party. There is also a chance of her becoming the chief minister,” he told reporters here when asked about Sasikala’s appointment to the top post in AIADMK. On the criticism that Sasikala lacked the political ability for such a big post, Swamy shot back saying what capability did Sonia or Rahul Gandhi have when they took charge of the Congress. Swamy, who spent a week at an ayurveda centre here, said the verdict in the disproportionate assets case against late chief minister J Jayalalithaa and Sasikala was expected to be delivered by the Supreme Court next month.The case against Jayalalithaa and three others for allegedly amassing disproportionate wealth to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore during 1991-96 was filed on Swamy’s complaint. The BJP leader said with the changing political scenario in the state, the Tamil Nadu unit of the party required a new leadership as also new executive and general council members, adding that the party’s January 6-7 national executive meet could take a decision in this regard. Later, talking to reporters at the Chennai airport, Swamy said mediapersons did not ask questions when Sonia Gandhi took over as the Congress president.On demonetisation, he said the intention behind it was good and welcomed initiatives such as the BHIM app which he said will be accepted by the people. Swamy expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will give its nod to ‘jallikattu’ (a bull-taming sport) with some riders and the order would be delivered ahead of the coming Pongal festival.He blamed some “foreign-funded NGOs” for creating an alleged prejudice against the traditional sport and added that he too had argued in the apex court for allowing ‘jallikattu’ by putting forth “strong grounds”.To supervise the safe conduct of the event, a committee may be asked to monitor the sport, he said.

Hope stalled work expedited under new LG: Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said he is hopeful the works that have come to a standstill in the national capital will be expedited under new Lt Governor Anil Baijal.Baijal (70), a former Union Home Secretary, took over as the Lt Governor of Delhi today. “I am very hopeful that in the future, we all – MLAs, Delhi government, people of Delhi – will work with the Lt Governor for development of Delhi. “In the last few months, some works of Delhi government have come to standstill. I hope that these works will be expedited,” Kejriwal said.Baijal’s predecessor Najeeb Jung and the Delhi government have been at loggerheads on a range of issues including transfer and posting of officers since AAP came to power. On being asked about his relationship with the AAP government after taking oath, Baijal said, “This is a speculative thing and I don’t know how the relationship will improve. We will sit together and talk.” Baijal was administered the oath of office and secrecy of Lt Governor by Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini.Apart from the Chief Minister, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, judges, Delhi Chief Secretary M M Kutty, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Water Minister Kapil Mishra, New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi, Opposition leader Vijender Gupta and other two BJP MLAs O P Sharma and Jadgish Pradhan, senior bureaucrats attended the oath-taking ceremony. Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer, had served as Union Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, besides holding key positions in other ministries.He had retired in 2006 as secretary of the Urban Development Ministry. He was also the vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority. Baijal was actively associated with the designing and roll-out of Rs 60,000 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched by the Manmohan Singh government. The former bureaucrat was also on the executive council of the think-tank Vivekananda International Foundation, several of whose former members have been appointed to senior positions by the Modi government including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Last minute patch-up in feud-ridden SP; Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal back

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a massive show of strength by Akhilesh Yadav, who was expelled from SP by father Mulayam Singh Yadav, the party supremo on Saturday backed down revoking with immediate effect the expulsion orders of his son and brother Ram Gopal.After hectic confabulations involving Akhilesh Yadav’s warring uncle Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam and the Chief Minister, Shivpal tweeted that on the SP supremo’s directive, expulsion of Akhilesh and Ram Gopal Yadav from SP was being revoked with immediate effect. “I am coming after having met party chief Mulayam Singh along with CM Akhilesh Yadav. Netaji has given the order that the suspension orders of Akhilesh and Ram Gopal are terminated with immediate effect,” Shivpal said. “All of us together will fight communal forces and we will once again form a SP government in UP with full majority. These are my orders. We will hold discussions within ourselves and decide, and prepare for the upcoming elections,” he said. “All matters have been solved and we will fight the upcoming polls together. We will all sit togther with Netaji and I am sure all problems will be resolved,” he said. On a day of fast-paced developments, Akhilesh earlier in the day convened a meeting of SP legislators where over 200 of the 229 party MLAs turned up expressing their loyalty with the chief minister, a day after he was expelled from the party for indulging in “indiscipline”, pushing the ruling party to the precipice of a vertical split.Some SP MLCs and senior party functionaries loyal to Akhilesh also attended the meeting at the chief minister’s official residence at 5-Kalidas Marg.Senior SP leader and UP cabinet minister Azam Khan then arrived at the CM’s residence and after a brief stay, they drove to Mulayam’s bungalow at a stone’s throw distance.

Day after expulsion, Akhilesh Yadav holds meeting, majority of MLAs present

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Setting the stage for a show of strength, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who was expelled from Samajwadi Party by his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Saturday held a meeting at his residence where a majority of the 229 party MLAs were presentThough the exact number of those present at the meeting was not immediately known, insiders maintained that a majority of the 229 SP MLAs were present. Besides, some SP MLCs and senior party functionaries loyal to Akhilesh attended the meeting. Akhilesh is expected to meet his supporters and party workers later in the day to prove his strength.The chief minister’s 5-Kalidas Marg residence appeared to be the hub of high drama with youth supporters of Akhilesh assembling in large numbers to vent their fury over his expulsion and that of his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav.Political activities heated up right from the morning with a series of meetings planned during the day, when Mulayam will meet party candidates announced by him and state SP chief Shivpal Yadav, the warring uncle of Akhilesh.Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh today termed the crisis in the party as “unfortunate” and asked party members to support Mulayam in the family feud. “I appeal to the party members to stand with Netaji (Mulayam). Whatever is happening is very unfortunate,” Amar, who had recently made a comeback to the party after a long exile, said. Mulayam had yesterday expelled his son Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from SP for six years after they put up candidates against the official nominees and summoned a party meet tomorrow, pushing the ruling party to the precipice of a split just ahead of the UP Assembly elections likely to be announced any day now. Mulayam had said he took the action against Akhilesh and Ram Gopal to save the party which he had built through hard efforts. “We have to save the party. The party comes first. That is why we are expelling both Akhilesh and Ram Gopal ,” he said.He explained that the decision was taken after Ram Gopal , in his capacity as general secretary, called an emergency meeting of the party on January 1 and Akhilesh “supported” it.

Mamata Banerjee extends support to Akhilesh Yadav, asks him to stay strong

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Extending her support to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee has wished him well and asked him to stay strong. Sources said, Mamata spoke to Akhilesh last evening for about three minutes.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo’s support comes in the wake of Akhilesh’s suspension from the Samajwadi Party for six years. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav yesterday expelled Akhilesh and national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years over indiscipline.This move comes after Akhilesh had released a list of 235 candidates out of the total 403 seats for upcoming state assembly elections on Thursday, rejecting the list announced by Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday. Akhilesh’s name did not figure in the first list. Mulayam said his son being the Chief Minister, can contest from any assembly seat he wishes to.

Game UP: Samajwadi Party faces split as Mulayam expels Akhilesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav dropped a bombshell, expelling his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday evening, all eyes are now on the party’s one-day national convention on Sunday.Mulayam also expelled his cousin and party general secretary Ramgopal Yadav for calling the emergency session of delegates, and accused him of “spoiling the career of the chief minister.” The SP chief said both Akhilesh and Ramgopal have been sacked for weakening the party and stated that his son didn’t even consulted him on state matters.In a fight to the finish, Mulayam and his brother Shivpal Yadav have summoned a meeting of party MLAs on Saturday and those named as candidates. Both factions of the Yadav family are vying to entice as many MLAs as they can to strengthen the party. “This expulsion is unconstitutional,” said Ramgopal, alleging that of late, the SP has made a practice of ignoring its playbook. “Half an hour after we were given notice, we were expelled. Even a criminal is given a chance to explain,” said a disgruntled Ramgopal.Party sources from Lucknow told DNA that the convention will appeal to Mulayam to continue to lead the party, but relook the list of candidates he had announced unilaterally on Wednesday and also revoke the decision to expel the Chief Minister. The list, announced by Mulayam, has several candidates backed by Shivpal whose candidacy had been fiercely opposed by Akhilesh. This included gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, who faces 44 serious criminal charges — including murder.Defying the party and his father, Akhilesh released his own rebel list on Thursday of 235 candidates. One of them included Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Formerly with the Congress before she switched to the BJP, Joshi is the MLA from Lucknow Cantt constituency.The party’s senior leader Madhukar Jaitley described the situation as “unfortunate”. He said a situation was unprecedented where a father, also the founder of the party, was compelled to expel his son. SP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said there was still room for reconciliation, but expressed concern at the move coming at a time when the state was on the verge of elections.Saturday will be a crucial day for the Mulayam and Shivpal camps, party sources said. The majority of MLAs have so far reposed their faith in the Chief Minister.On October 28, Akhilesh had mustered the support of 190 MLAs out of SP’s 229 against his uncle Shivpal. Besides legislators, the majority of party leaders as well owe allegiance to the Chief Minister, as they see him as the future of the party. Immediately after the decision, reports from Lucknow said workers thronged Akhilesh’s official residence, shouting slogans against Shivpal. Over 100 MLAs reached Akhilesh’s house to express support. There were also shouts of self-immolation as the crowds turned emotional.With elections now so close, there is hardly any possibility of the party replacing the Chief Minister now. In case of a majority of MLAs expressing a no-confidence motion, Akhilesh may be allowed to continue as caretaker. Otherwise, the state will move towards the imposition of President’s rule. Sources in Raj Bhawan said Governor Ram Naik is keeping a close eye on the developments, but, so far, no communication has been made to him from either the Mulayam or Akhilesh camp.Denying speculations that Akhilesh will resign, his loyalist Gomti Yadav said the CM will stay on till his last day in power.Already other parties are moving in to align forces. West Bengal CM and Trinamul Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee called up Akhilesh and offered support, saying “you are like my brother.” Congress leader Jayanta Prasad is already mediating between Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh for a possible electoral tie-up.While UP’s ruling party has been headed for a split for some time now, the break point came after Ramgopal called an emergency convention of the party in defiance of the party chief. This came after Mulayam issued a show-cause notice to his son, asking him why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for releasing a parallel list of candidates, which include several party leaders close to him and who did not make it to the official list released by his father a day before. Akhilesh’s list include 187 candidates who have also featured in his father’s list.The Chief Minister’s defiant move was seen as a last-ditch effort to pressure his father into reconsidering the candidacy of his key aides after they failed to reach common ground at a meeting in Lucknow. In recent months, Akhilesh has engaged in a bitter power tussle with Shivpal, who is the party’s UP chief. Notably, Shivpal was present next to Mulayam, when he announced the expulsion of Akhilesh.The SP’s internal battle gives an added advantage to the BJP and Mayawati’s BSP in the mega battle being touted as the semi-final before the general elections in 2019. Elections to UP’s 403 assembly seats are expected to be announced by the Election Commission any day now.The battle, which had been festering for over a year, had been triggered by Shivpal to control the party. This was resisted by Akhilesh, mentored by Ramgopal, his father’s cousin. Akhilesh has contended with a constant undermining of his decisions by Mulayam, under the alleged influence of Shivpal. Among the initiatives which his father thwarted include the lobbying for an alliance with the Congress for state elections, and a request to shun politicians with criminal backgrounds as candidates.Battle between the bahusIt is not just the father and son who are locked in a political battle. It is also a battle between the daughters-in-law. Aparna, wife of Mulayam’s second son Prateek, has stood by uncle Shivpal against Akhilesh’s wife Dimple, who is also an MP. Aparna had recently been handed a ticket from Lucknow Cantt. With the situation getting uglier between the father and the son, theories about the rift continue to emerge. Akhilesh’s supporters allege that Sadhna Gupta, the party chief’s second wife, and the Chief Minister’s stepmother, has instigated him against his eldest son. Now, with his expulsion, Akhilesh, Aparna and Sadhna are vying to become the youth face of the SP. Who will win the political games now remains to be seen.UP Caste Composition in 2016OBC 44%Dalits (Scs) 21.1%Tribals (Sts) 0.8%Forward Caste 16%Muslims 19.3%Christians 0.18%Out of OBCsYadavs -9%Lodhi -7%Jats -1.7%KUSHWAHA (MAURYA, SHAKYA, KOERI, KACHHI, SAINI) 4%Kurmi – 3%Other OBCs (including Sunars, few Muslim OBCs) -20%Jatavs Dalits -9%Non-Jatav Dalits (includes Pasis, Mallah and Valmikis) -11%

Chhattisgarh: BJP registers victory in municipal council polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP on Friday registered victory in the Bhilai-Charoda municipal corporation and Sarangarh municipal council polls putting to rest speculation that demonetisation would impact party’s prospects in the recently held civic elections in Chhattisgarh.”BJP’s nominee Chandrakanta Mandle won the mayor’s seat in Bhilai-Charoda, defeating Congress candidate Jyoti Banjare by a margin of 4922 votes,” a state election official said. Mandle received 27,184 votes followed by Banjare in the second position of the tally with 22,262 votes, he added.Likewise, BJP’s Amit Agrawal defeated Congress’ Suraj Tiwari for the post of president of Sarangarh Municipal Council by 1096 votes. Agrawal secured 6221 votes, while Tiwari got 5125 votes.BJP put up a good show in Bhilai-Charoda winning 16 out of 40 wards (for corporators) while the main Opposition Congress managed to get 13 and remaining 11 went to Independent candidates.Besides, BJP also won byelection held in four wards for corporators and Independent candidates emerged victorious in 2 wards (by-poll).”The victory clearly indicates that it is peoples’ stamp of approval for demonetisation decision of Prime Minister. It is also a signal that people of the state will bring BJP to power for the fourth consecutive time in the next 2018 assembly election,” state BJP chief Dharamlal Kaushik told reporters.The victory that came on the 50th day of demonetisation brought cheer to Chief Minister Raman Singh led BJP who had suffered a setback in the urban body election for 10 municipal corporations held in 2014-15.Congress had won four out of 10 corporations then while the ruling BJP was reduced to four, two less from previous time in that election.Besides, rest of the two seats were won by Independent candidates.

Delhi: Fresh fight between AAP govt and Centre ahead of new LG Anil Baijal’s oath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI raids in Delhi government secretariat on Friday stoked a fresh confrontation between the AAP and the Centre with a combative Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal once again asking the Prime Minister to agree to a probe into the controversial ‘Sahara-Birla’ papers.Hours after the agency raided the office of former OSD of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain over alleged illegal appointments, Kejriwal sought to turn the tables on Prime Minister Narendra Modi by raking up the Sahara Birla papers, an issue over which he has been targeting the PM.Referring to the raids on his former Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar’s office last December, that had also triggered a political firestorm, Kejriwal said Modi not agreeing to an investigation by a Delhi government-appointed panel will prove that the PM “does not have the guts”.Kejriwal taunted Modi saying the 2015 CBI raid in the Delhi secretariat had thrown up “four mufflers” and that even the cost of the raid could not be recovered. Modiji had found a corrupt only in me at that point, Kejriwal said.”Today he (Modi) got a raid conducted on Satyendar Jain. But we are not going to be scared by your CBI,” Kejriwal said.Earlier, Kejriwal also got into a social media duel with Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta who accused the Chief Minister of peddling false charges, which he said won’t “mitigate your own crime”.”You levelled false charges against my wife as well, used foul language against a woman. We are not scared of any probe but there has to be a crime,” Gupta tweeted.Kejriwal alleged that the CBI has filed “seven FIRs” against Jain and “two” against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, but did not elaborate.CBI carried out searches at the office of the former OSD of Jain in connection with alleged irregularities in his appointment at Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalya and subsequently as an aide to the Minister.A senior government official said that it is a prerogative of the minister to appoint his OSD and that there was no irregularity involved in appointing Nikunj Aggarwal to the post.”Since October, he has not been holding any official post in the Delhi government as Health Minister Satyendar Jain had discontinued his service. Aggarwal had been appointed on contractual basis,” the official said.Reacting strongly, Jain tweeted, “CBI raided my office today. We will not bow down by these acts. Why not investigate Sahara Birla Diaries.”

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee denies rioting in Dhulagarh, blames social media

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday denied any incident of rioting at Dhulagarh in Howrah district and alleged that “wrong information” was being given on social media.

“In the last 15 days, social media is running wrong information on an incident which did not take place at all,” Banerjee said at a programme in Kolkata, in an apparent refernce to the reports of violence in Dhulagarh, which is barely 20 km from the state secretariat.

“In order to break a news one must not act irresponsibly. If something has really happened then you (media) have every right to report but I think a field survey must be conducted,” she stated.

File photo of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File photo of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Her remarks came even as a senior government official had said on Thursday that strict actions were taken against those involved in the Dhulagarh violence and the process of giving compensation to the affected had started. The state government, Banerjee said on Friday, is the first to help a family when their home is damaged or they are affected.

“If there is an accident, we immediately take steps to help the family…. We do it on humanitarian grounds but we do not do any publicity.”

It was learnt from sources that the state government was paying compensation of around Rs 35,000 to families whose houses were damaged in the incident.

District police said inhabitants are wary of returning to their homes at Dhulagarh.

Delegations of BJP, CPI(M) and Congress were stopped from visiting the troubled areas of the district and police superintendent of Howrah (Rural) Sabyasachi Raman Mishra was transferred in the wake of violence in less than a fortnight of his appointment.

BJP has hit out at Banerjee over the Dhulagarh incident claiming that Hindus have been targeted in the violence. “This is height of the politics of appeasement. I want to ask those intellectuals, who cried over 2002 riots in Gujarat and then intolerant India, that when are they going to Kolkata,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 16:52 IST

Demonetization broke the myth that powerful can’t be harmed: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the demonetization decision as “historic,” Madhya Pradesh CM, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with his “courageous” call broke the myth that powerful people can’t be harmed in the country.”India witnessed a historic decision on November 8, 2016. This day has given a meaningful reply to the queries raised by the people at large on the style of functioning of governments. “Often allegations are levelled against the governments that they can not take tough decisions under pressure. They fear to take decisions that could harm powerful people,” Chouhan said in his blog on the issue on Thursday evening.”Our PM has broken the myth with his courageous decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes,” he said. “The decision of demonetization is historic in a way that it surprised everyone and this is the distinct feature of it. India has seen decision of demonetization twice in the history of 100 years but those decisions gave ample time to the people having black money in the form of currency to change it.”Thus the main objective of the decision was partially met. This time, however the decision did not give any time to people with black money,” the Chief Minister said. Those criticising the decision say that it could have been taken with better planning and people should have been given ample time. It is beyond my comprehension as to whom these critics are referring to when they talk of giving time to people, he wrote in the blog.”Who are those about whom critics say time should have been given to them. It is obvious that they are favouring those who had black money in the form of currency,” Chouhan said. The decision of the Prime Minister to encourage cashless transaction is to transform the country from a developing nation to a developed one. All the aspects should be examined before criticising such a move, said Chouhan.

Demonetisation broke the myth that the powerful cannot be harmed: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Bhopal: Terming the demonetisation decision as “historic”, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his “courageous” call broke the myth that powerful people can’t be harmed in the country.

“India witnessed a historic decision on November 8, 2016. This day has given a meaningful reply to the queries raised by the people at large on the style of functioning of governments.”

File image of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

File image of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

“Often allegations are levelled against the governments that they can not take tough decisions under pressure. They fear to take decisions that could harm powerful people,” Chouhan said in his blog on the issue on Thursday evening.

“Our PM has broken the myth with his courageous decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes,” he said.

“The decision of demonetisation is historic in a way that it surprised everyone and this is the distinct feature of it. India has seen decision of demonetisation twice in the history of 100 years but those decisions gave ample time to the people having black money in the form of currency to change it.

“Thus the main objective of the decision was partially met. This time, however the decision did not give any time to people with black money,” the Chief Minister said.

Those criticising the decision say that it could have been taken with better planning and people should have been given ample time. It is beyond my comprehension as to whom these critics are referring to when they talk of giving time to people, he wrote in the blog.

“Who are those about whom critics say time should have been given to them. It is obvious that they are favouring those who had black money in the form of currency,” Chouhan said.

The decision of the Prime Minister to encourage cashless transaction is to transform the country from a developing nation to a developed one. All the aspects should be examined before criticising such a move, said Chouhan.

The Congress and other political parties say that demonetisation has wrought havoc on farmers and they could not sow on time.

In Madhya Pradesh, this year already sowing has been done on 105 lakh hectare so far as compared to a total of 108 lakh hectare last year. The sowing will further go up to 115 lakh hectare. It is clear that sowing has not been affected, he said.

“Those who opine that cashless transaction is not possible in this country, are challenging the wisdom and capacities of the 120 crore people of the nation without testing it. This is injustice to the people. The last two months have witnessed an impressive 77 percent increase through internet banking in the Central Bank of India in Madhya Pradesh alone,” said the chief minister.

Referring to VAT, he said “Another benefit of cashless transaction is also very clearly perceptible. In December the VAT revenue has increased 14 per cent whereas there was a fall in revenue from other taxes.

“This makes it amply clear that the tax evasion that took place in cash transaction has reduced in cashless transaction. This will improve tax collection and the state governments will be able to spend more on welfare schemes.”

“I have always believed that the people are wise enough to know what is in their interest. They are fully aware that the Prime Minister’s step of demonetisation is a masterstroke against those indulging in amassing black money, anti-national activities and circulating counterfeit currency in the market.

“The people very well understand that this is a step in the interest of the country and are extending wholehearted support to promoting cashless economy. This will definitely help India catch up with the most developed nations,” he added.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 15:17 IST

UP IAS officer Sanjeev Dubey allegedly commits suicide in Lucknow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior IAS officer Sanjeev Dubey on Thursday committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence in Lucknow, police said.His body was found by his family members at his 14, Gautampalli residence in Lucknow.The 1987-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre officer was posted as Principal Secretary in the Home Guard department and had held several important posts.Dubey has left behind a suicide note highlighting health problems as a reason behind his extreme step, police sources said, adding he was suffering from several painful health conditions like osteoporosis Sources close to him said he was under depression for past several months due to illness.Police said the matter came to light when he did not open the door of his residence till late in the day. Meanwhile, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav condoled Dubey’s demise even as senior officials, including DGP Javeed Ahmed and Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar visited his house.

UP Elections 2017: SP headed for virtual split, Akhilesh Yadav releases own list of candidates for 235 seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The feud in Uttar Pradesh’s first family appeared to be worsening, with an unhappy Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday meeting legislators who have not found place in the list of 325 declared candidates and then conveying his objections to his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav who had announced the nominees yesterday. After the meeting, SP MLA Indal Singh said that UP CM is likely to come up with his own list of candidates for the upcoming UP elections.According to ANI, Akhilesh Yadav has released his own list of candidates for 235 constituencies. Of them, 171 are seating MLAs and there are 64 new faces. Hectic political activities began in the morning with party leaders gathering outside the residences of Akhilesh and Mulayam. A big crowd assembled outside Shivpal’s residence also. Akhilesh, clearly upset over being apparently kept out of the process to select candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls, met at his 5-Kalidas Marg residence here his supporters, including legislators and office bearers who do not figure in the list, party sources said. Later, he spoke to Mulayam to convey his displeasure over the list of candidates from which names of his close confidants are missing, the sources said.Mulayam, along with his brother and state party chief Shivpal Yadav, yesterday declared candidates for 325 of the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh and ruled out projecting Akhilesh as the Chief Ministerial candidate.Akhilesh was away on Bundelkhand tour when the list was released at a hurriedly-convened press conference. The Chief Minister and Shivpal have been involved in a power struggle for several months now. The list, which includes 176 sitting MLAs, announced by Mulayam and Shivpal in the absence of Akhilesh, has left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers, including Ram Govind Chaudhary, Pawan Pandey and Arvind Singh Gope, and does not carry names of over 50 sitting MLAs.Besides, 10 ministers, including Shivpal, sacked by the chief minister over the past few months have got tickets. These former ministers were in open defiance of Akhilesh and it paid off. Within hours after release of the list, which clearly bore the stamp of Mulayam and Shivpal, Akhilesh had said he would take up the choice of candidates with the party chief.”The list does not include names of certain candidates who are sure to win. I will take it up with the SP chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and they should be given tickets,” an upset Akhilesh had said last night. In a late night tit-for-tat action, the Chief Minister struck back sacking two Shivpal loyalists — Surabhi Shukla, vice-chairperson of UP Awas Vikas Parishad and her husband Sandeep Shukla from the post of advisor of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam. Sandeep has been fielded from Sultanpur Sadar seat.With agency inputs

Jammu & Kashmir cabinet approves draft of Governor’s address

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir cabinet on Wednesday approved the draft of the address, to be delivered by Governor N N Vohra, to the joint sitting of the State legislature on January 2 next year.The cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, approved the draft of the address, to be delivered by the Governor to the joint sitting of the State legislature on January 2, 2017, an official spokesman said.Legislative Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta issued the provisional calendar for the fourth Session of the 12th Legislative Assembly.As per the provisional calendar, starting from January 2, with the Governor’s address to Legislature, the House sittings would continue till February 4, 2017.According to the calendar discussion on motion of thanks on the Governor’s address and reply thereto will be held on January 3 and 4.The annual financial statement of expenditure for 2017-2018 and presentation of supplementary statement of expenditure for 2016-2017 will be held on January 9, 2017.The general discussion on budget will be held on January 10 and 11 ending with reply thereto.As per the calendar, the demand for grants for various departments would be taken up from January 12 to January 27 and the Appropriation Bills will be taken up on January 28.There shall be government business on January 30.Private members resolutions will be taken up on January 31 and February 2 and private members bills on February 1 and February 3.There will be government business on February 4, if any, the calendar issued read.

CMs’ committee on digital payments in favour of continuing incentives on cashless transactions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said there are plans to import one million PoS machines to enable cashless payments across India. Naidu, who is the convenor of the 13 member committee of chief ministers on digital payments, said that the committee would recommend continuation of the incentives beyond December 31.Naidu said the committee will present its interim report on digital payments movement to Prime Minister Narendra Modi within a week, while also planning a sustainable, long-term, policy to attract the majority in India to move to digital payments through providing incentives. “Our focus is on providing more incentives for making digital payments a mass movement,” Naidu told the media after the fourth meeting of the committee. The government has given certain incentives post demonetization like waiver of Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on card usage till the year-end.“Two major breakthroughs using existing infrastructure have been Aadhaar Pay and modified versions of USSD and UPI, and the two would be launched soon,”Naidu said, adding that the technology has also been significantly upgraded for a larger number of Indians to pay digitally. “An app for UPI and interoperability of USSD and UPI has now been made possible which will be a major push for 600 million Indians to use digital payments,”Naidu said, adding that the committee is working with NITI Aayog to address existing constraints in connectivity, hardware and technical infrastructure to push cashless transactions.During the meeting, a presentation was made regarding the best practices and learnings from other countries for a digital economy in India.Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was also part of the meeting, tweeted, “We stressed on inclusion of all cooperative, regional banks and DCCBs in this integrated app to make it more beneficial in rural areas.”NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya said IT industry body Nasscom, telephone operators and Niti Aayog have created a dedicated helpline – 14444 – for addressing all queries on digitial payments, which will soon be made operational.

No more ‘Jung’ as Anil Baijal becomes Delhi’s L-G

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former IAS official, Anil Baijal on Wednesday replaced Najeeb Jung as Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor. Jung resigned from the post last week.Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the decision was taken by President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday after he accepted Jung’s resignation.External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter to congratulate Baijal. “I welcome Shri #AnilBaijal as the Lt.Governor of Delhi, (SIC)” Swaraj tweeted.Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer, had previously served as Union Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and has held the several key positions in other ministries.Officials said that while Baijal’s name was recommended by the MHA, the papers reached the President’s office on Tuesday evening.Baijal had retired from service in 2006 as Secretary, Urban Development Ministry and has served as the former Vice-Chairman of Delhi Development Authority.He is also credited with the designing and roll-out of the Rs 60,000 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) which was launched by the UPA government.Jung’s sudden resignation had come as a surprise to many including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “I spoke to Najeeb Jung over the phone and he said that he has resigned for personal reasons. We wish him all the best for future and look forward to working with the new L-G,” media reports quoted Kejriwal as saying.Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain, who was at loggerheads with Jung over a host of issues — including the foreign visits by AAP ministers, also met the outgoing LG on Wednesday.Jung became Delhi LG in July 2013, replacing Tajender Khanna, another IAS officer. A former IAS official of 1973 batch, he was initially posted in Madhya Pradesh and was last associated with Jamia Millia Islamia, where he was the vice-chancellor from 2009-2013.The former L-G had constantly been in the news for the past two years for his confrontation with the AAP’s Delhi Government and Chief Minister Kejriwal. He had also formed the committee chaired by VK Shunglu on August 30, to examine 400 files on decisions taken by the Kejriwal regime.

Goa Elections 2017: Church to issue guidelines for members to help them decide ‘right candidates’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Church will issue guidelines to Christians to help them decide “the right candidate” to vote for in the next year’s Assembly elections.The Church, however, clarified that it will not canvass for any candidate or the party. “Elections to the legislative Assembly are approaching and Church leadership in Goa will take up this duty bound task once again.”We do issue guidelines to our faithful on how to exercise their franchise and thus fulfill one of their sacred civic duties,” Archbishop of Goa and Daman Rev Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao said today here while addressing a customary reception on Christmas.He said though the guidelines are read out in churches, they never mention name of any candidate or any political party. The function was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha and Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar among others. However, the archbishop said the faithfuls are requested to vote as per their conscience. He lamented that “certain elements today accuse the church in India of being involved in conversions.” “Our institutions have been attacked, robbed, burnt down and the perpetrators of this crime often goes scot free.It is almost as if the tiny three percent is posing a serious threat for the disintegration of the whole nation,” Ferrao said. Referring to the illegal mining issue, the archbishop said the church is the trustee of this land.”It is our solemn duty to ensure that the value of the land is passed on to our future generation. All generation and all within a generation would benefit equally.”But what we see is extensive environmental and social damage to Goa which has generated rampant corruption and even weakened governance. It has been an assault on our community and our natural wealth, more distressingly it has been a loss to our children and our future generation,” he said.

Making up for lost time? J&K Govt to update database of those affected by violence in last 30 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir government will be updating data base of those affected by violence over last three decades to ensure their rehabilitation, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said today, asserting her dispensation’s “moral responsibility” to reach out to every victim of violence, irrespective of its source.Mehbooba stated this here, days after her government cleared ex-gratia for kin of 17 people, including brother of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, killed in militancy- related incidents.”We heve asked for updating the data base of people affected by the violence of past almost three decades in the state so that some concrete steps for their complete integration into the social set-up are facilitated,” she said.She pitched for proper rehabilitation, social integration of violence victims in J&K and said special programmes should be thought of for the rehabilitation and integration of these poor victims into the social mainstream of the state.Chairing the 7th Governing Council meeting of J&K Rehabilitation Council here, the Chief Minister said concrete interventions are needed for the proper and complete rehabilitation of women and children, particularly in education, health and psychological spheres. Mehbooba said the government has the moral responsibility of reaching out to every single victim of violence in the state, no matter the source of it.She asked the officers to factor in the needs and requirements of these victims while framing policies and schemes for the general public. The meeting decided to further finetune the number of widows, orphans and parents of killed persons in the state so that an actual and updated number of such victims is available for their rehabilitation.It also decided that the Action plan for the Council would henceforth be finalised in March every year so that the assistance could be disbursed from April onwards.The meeting also decided to enhance the one-time marriage assistance to young widows and grown-up daughters to Rs 40,000 per case. The meeting also asked the Council to pursue the various funding patterns available in the central government for the benefit of victims of violence in the State.

Day after Modi jibe, Rawat orders probe into misappropriation of Uttarakhand disaster fund

Dehradun: Uttarakhand government on Wednesday instituted a judicial probe into the alleged misappropriation of disaster relief funds in the state after the 2013 natural calamity which claimed thousands of lives, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue to lash out at the Harish Rawat dispensation for corruption.

Announcing the probe, Rawat also took a jibe at his predecessor Vijay Bahuguna, who is now with the BJP and was at the helm when disaster relief operations were carried out in the state. He said the saffron party should have conducted an in-house inquiry into the irregularities as the “entire family of executors of the alleged scam are now with them”.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat. PTIUttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat. PTI

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat. PTI

The Prime Minister had on Tuesday said at a rally in Dehradun that he was going to drag Uttarakhand out of the “bottomless pit of corruption in which it was languishing under the present regime”.

Rawat also took strong exception to Modi’s remarks that even a scooter with a capacity of five liters of oil could drink 35 liters of it, a reference to the alleged scam in relief funds.

The chief minister said though the alleged irregularities in the distribution of relief after 2013 tragedy had already been probed by a panel constituted by the state government, a judicial probe has been ordered into it after the Prime Minister’s remarks.

“Though a probe committee headed by the then chief secretary had found no veracity in the allegations and given a
clean chit to everyone involved in the massive relief operations, now that the PM has reiterated the charge we have asked retired justice MS Chauhan of Chandigarh High Court to conduct a probe into the alleged irregularities and find out if there was any negligence on part of officials or any misappropriation of disaster relief funds,” Rawat told reporters at a press conference.

Asked why he was not recommending a CBI probe into the allegations, Rawat said he had more faith in the judiciary and it was in his hands to order a judicial probe.

“It is now a general impression all over the country that the CBI is a tool in the hands of the Centre to settle scores with political adversaries. I have therefore more faith in our judicial institutions. Moreover ordering a judicial probe was in my hands whereas I would have had to look to central authorities for a CBI probe,” he said.

Rawat said calamities strike all of a sudden and quick decisions have to be taken to deal with the situation,
sometimes even at the cost of relaxing the rules and norms.

“However, we are ready for a judicial probe into any negligence on part of officials or misuse of funds,”  he said.

The chief minister also accused the BJP of trying to grab credit for the all-weather Chardham roads project inaugurated by the Prime Minister in Dehradun on Tuesday, saying the state government was very much part of the process of its launch.

“It is not BJP’s brainchild as the party is trying to make it appear. We had conceived the project and consistently worked towards its early launch,” he said.

However, he said he welcomed the launch of the project as the state stood to benefit from it in a big way “provided it is implemented in the manner promised”.

First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 16:15 IST

Watch: Suspended AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa’s lawyer attacked outside party office

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suspended AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa’s lawyer was attacked outside the party office in Chennai on Wednesday afternoon.According to initial reports, the attack took place when four lawyers from Pushpa’s team had gone to AIADMK headquarters to submit a letterOn December 18, Pushpa had moved Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe or a judicial investigation by an apex court judge into the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.In her petition, Pushpa alleged that Jayalalithaa’s death was “suspicious” as her actual medical condition was not disclosed, no one was allowed to visit her, her funeral photographs showed embalming marks and everything, from her hospitalisation to her death, “was kept under wraps”. Meanwhile, though the Madras High Court rejected Pushpa’s bail plea, the Supreme Court gave her protection from arrest and on September 26, directed her to join the police investigation.A case was recently registered against Pushpa and some of her family members for alleged sexual harassment of their maids in 2001. The domestic servants, who reportedly worked at Pushpa’s house in Tamil Nadu, had filed a police complaint alleging that they were tortured.

Mamata vs Centre: WB Police asked not to send report directly to Home Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal government has instructed the police not to send any report directly to the Union Home Ministry on the law-and-order situation in the state without getting it vetted by the state secretariat.”This is a practise where the Home Ministry sends a letter to the state police headquarters seeking a report on the law-and-order situation every year and replies are sent directly to it without seeking the opinion of the secretariat,” a highly-placed source at the state secretariat told PTI. But this year, the report from the police headquarters requires a nod from the secretariat, before being sent to the Centre, he added. The source said the letter from the Centre, which was sent recently to the state police headquarters (Bhawani Bhawan), sought information on law-and-order in the backdrop of the arrest of several persons having links with terror outfits such as the JMB and IS, unearthing of an international child-trafficking racket and seizure of fake currency notes.He said an “internal circular” was issued from the top echelons of the state police that “no statistics would be sent to the Home Ministry without the consent of the state secretariat”. The circular stated that henceforth such queries from the Home Ministry, seeking any report on law-and-order, should be forwarded to the state Director General of Police. From now on, no official at the police directorate will be allowed to send any report to the Home Ministry directly. The DGP will go through the Centre’s queries following which top officials of the administration will meet to decide whether to answer them or not. In certain cases, the chief minister’s opinion could also be sought, the source said.In 2013, the state had not sent any statistics to the National Crime Bureau (NCB). The decision of the state government came in the wake of deterioration in the Centre-state ties over a number of issues such as the deployment of army at toll plazas “without taking the state’s permission” and CRPF personnel accompanying income tax officers during a search operation in the state. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had described the two developments as a move against the spirit of the federal structure.

J-K | Give peace a chance, imperative for dialogue & development: CM Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asking people of Jammu and Kashmir to “give peace a chance”, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said it was imperative for dialogue and development and would have a “soothing impact” on India-Pakistan relations.”For achieving the objective of development and dialogue, a congenial atmosphere of peace and tranquility needs to be created. I seek people’s cooperation in creating an environment conducive for development and dialogue,” Mehbooba said while interacting with people after kick-starting various developmental projects in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district yesterday.”The chief minister said her government would work on the twin objectives of development and dialogue and asked the people of the state “to give peace a chance”. The people of J-K have a huge responsibility to ensure a congenial and peaceful atmosphere in the state so that it has a soothing impact on the relations between the two neighbouring countries (India and Pakistan) which ultimately can pave the way for getting the state out of its difficulties,” Mehbooba said.She regretted that every section of society suffered losses during the turmoil of past few months which also delayed the completion of many developmental projects in the state.The Chief Minister said the government has planned a major developmental programme for the state and asked the people to extend their cooperation for its successful implementation.Addressing the students after inaugurating the new building of the Government Women’s College, Pulwama, the Chief Minister said empowerment of women is key to development of the state.She asked the girls to focus on education as it has the potential to bring about the desired social change. Mehbooba said women hold an important place in society and their empowerment would signal a positive turnaround. She asked the students to attain different skills “so that they are not only educated but empowered as well”.

Shiv Sena forces Mood Indigo organisers to remove Hanuman mural, write apology

After protests from Shiv Sena, the organisers of the annual cultural festival Mood Indigo, have erased a mural bearing “close” resemblance to Hindu deity Hanuman, reports said.

The mural, painted on a wall of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay campus, was removed after members of the political party Shiv Saina entered the campus on Monday demanding an immediate removal of the mural. The Shiv Sainiks also forced the administration to apologise for the murals and forced the students’ council, which organised the cultural fest to give a written apology.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The mural, touted as a geeky “modern Lord Hanuman”, depicts him carrying a mountain in one hand and a pen instead of mace on the other, and shows him dressed in shorts with smart watches, earphones, etc, something the Shiv Sena found in “bad taste”. The cultural festival presented several murals as part of one of the events.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Sena leader Datta Dalvi, who along with MLA Sunil Raut had reportedly directed the Sena workers to visit the campus and demand its removal, said, “The painting was in bad taste. It hurt the religious sentiments of many people. This is not the way to the portray a Hindu deity like Hanuman. Students should not have portrayed the deity like that.”

The Times of India quoted local Sena leader Nilesh Salunkhe as saying, “The painter took the liberty to distort Hanuman’s image with the Sanjeevani Parvat and it was insulting. The painting had Hanuman holding a pen, wearing shorts, knee pads, headphones, watches, a tie and spectacles. It also showed him wearing a slipper and a shoe. And the tail was replaced with the saffron flag. We found it derogatory,” said Salunkhe.

The wall depicting the controversial mural was reportedly whitewashed after the Shiv Sena leaders threatened to stall the festival until the painting was removed. The festival wrapped up on Monday.

Incidentally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavais was one of the keynote speakers at the cultural festival on Monday.

Initially, the organisers agreed to cover it. “When we insisted on getting it removed, they whitewashed the wall and gave us an apology letter,” Salunkhe told The Times of India.

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 10:39 IST

Delhi: Reach office by 9.45 or face strict action, says state government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cracking the whip on lax officers, Delhi Chief Secretary MM Kutty has warned babus of strict action for not observing punctuality in attending their offices and directed them to come to office by 9.45 AM. This is the first strong message to officers from the Delhi’s top bureaucrat after he found that a large number of babus are not coming to office on time.Kutty has directed Secretary (GAD) to keep a watch on the attendance of officers and officials working in Delhi Secretariat and and also ensure that they mark their attendance in biometric attendance system by 9.45 AM.Kutty, a 1985-batch IAS officer, had taken charge as Delhi Chief Secretary on December 1, replacing Keval Kumar Sharma who has been transferred as OSD in the Union HRD Ministry. “Principal secretaries and secretaries ensure punctuality in their departments and if an officer/official is habitual late corner, then action may be taken against him or her as per rules,” he told officers, as per the official minutes of the recently-held meeting.He had been the Principal Secretary to former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. He has also worked with the AAP government as the Finance Secretary. Delhi Secretariat houses offices of several important departments – Transport, Urban Development, Power, PWD, Finance – besides offices of all ministers, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.In the meeting, the issue of decline in collection of trade and taxes, excise and revenue departments was also raised and that, the Delhi Chief Secretaries has directed principal secretaries and secretaries to improve the same as they are the major source of generating revenue.

Demonetisation: Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu says problems caused by note ban easing out

New Delhi: Problems caused by demonetisation are “easing out” and the move will eventually benefit the nation, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said on Monday, days after he said the decision was not as per “our wish” and that he had to “break his head” to find solutions.

Naidu, who heads the 13-member committee formed by the Centre to look into note ban-related issues, also sought to allay apprehensions over cyber security, saying the country is “very strong” in the sphere and information technology.

“Nowadays, it is easing out. More and more cash is coming, Rs 500 currency note is in circulation. Naturally, it will ease out. The problems are there temporarily. Ultimately, it (demonetisation) is going to benefit the nation,” he told reporters here.

To a question whether the inconvenience caused by note ban will end by 30 December, Naidu said one has to consider “plus or minuses” and that the sacrifices are being made for long-term gains.

File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. AP

File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. AP

“It is going to provide future for people. Sometimes for long term gains, you have to sacrifice something, that is what is happening today. Yesterday, situation was different, today it is different, tomorrow it is going to be much more different,” he said.

On apprehensions about cyber security as the Centre pitches for turning the country into a less-cash economy, stressing more on digital transactions, Naidu said “all over the world” countries are following digital economy.

“We are very strong in cyber security and also in information technology. Our people are heading Google, Microsoft. That is the caliber India has,” he said.

The 13-member committee is expected to meet on 28 December again.

Speaking at a party workshop in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada on 20 December, Naidu, who had initially supported demonetisation, said the 8 November move was not as per “our wish” and that a “lot of problems” still remain without any solution in sight.

“I am breaking my head daily but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” he had said. A day later, Naidu had said his comments were “distorted” but acknowledged that currency problems continued.

First Published On : Dec 26, 2016 20:24 IST

Uttar Pradesh: BJP takes jibe at Yadav family, says Samajwadi Party should focus on law and order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday taunted the ongoing feud between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his b’te noire uncle Shivpal Yadav, saying the first family of the Samajwadi Party should resolve the ‘mahabharat’ and focus on law and order, corruption and lack of administration in the politically crucial state.BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli also used the occasion to take a jibe at reports suggesting about the possibility of a ‘mahagathbandhan’ in the run up to next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.”However, in the first family of the Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh a ‘mahabharat’ is already on for quite some time. Now, it appears that there are multiple lists – one by the uncle, one by the nephew who is the Chief Minister and there are all sorts of disputes. They should resolve that,” Kohli told ANI.”As far as the people of Uttar Pradesh are concerned, they are obviously going to vote on the track record of the Samajwadi Party. The substantial issues are law and order, corruption and the lack of administration,” he added.The tussle in Uttar Pradesh’s ruling family reignited yesterday after Akhilesh drew up his own list of poll candidates and submitted it to Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, bypassing his uncle and state president Shivpal Yadav.The Chief Minister’s surprise move angered Shivpal, who is officially in-charge of ticket distribution in consultation with the party president.Shivpal tweeted that ticket distribution would be decided by ‘victory potential'”The party will not tolerate any indiscipline that might hurt the party’s image,” he tweeted.According to sources, Akhilesh while reviewing the list of candidates for 403 assembly seats expressed concern over the party giving 181 tickets to ‘tainted’ persons.This is not the first time that Akhilesh and his uncle have clashed over tickets distribution. The Chief Minister, who is of the view that his image and record is party’s strength, had earlier this month expressed displeasure over the decision to field don-turned politicians Atiq Ahmed and Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sibaqtullah Ansari for next year’s elections.The Ansari brothers belong to Quami Ekta Dal, which recently merged with the party despite opposition from Akhilesh.Mulayam has so far made all attempts to engineer a truce between his son and brother, but seat allotment has remained a thorny issue in the Samajwadi Party.

Watch: Man caught on camera tying CM Siddaramiah’s shoelaces, BJP dubs him ‘arrogant pseudo-secularist’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an embarrassment to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, a video of a person tying his shoelaces at an event here has gone viral, prompting opposition BJP to dub him as ‘arrogant’ and ‘pseudo-secularist.’ The video shows a person bending down to tie the shoelaces of the Chief Minister and him looking elsewhere. Some reports said the man was Siddaramaiah’s Personal Assistant staying at his house in Mysuru, but the Chief Minister’s media advisor clarified in a tweet that he was a relative. “It is hereby clarified that the person tying CM Siddaramaiah’s shoelaces is not his staff, but his relative: Media Adviser to Karnataka CM,” the tweet said.The BJP was quick to react, with state party General Secretary C T Ravi dubbing Siddaramaiah as ‘arrogant’ and ‘pseudo socialist.’ “Arrogance of Pseudo Socialist @CMofKarnataka has no limits. Absolutely disgusting that Siddaramaiah gets his shoes fitted by an assistant,” Ravi tweeted. In March this year, Siddaramaiah had been mired in a controversy over an expensive watch gifted to him and he had handed it over to the Speaker in the state assembly, declaring it a state asset. He had written to the Speaker,saying he had paid ‘advance tax’ for the HUBLOT BIG BANG.301-M watch, claimed to be worth Rs 70 lakh and as Chief Minister, was following precedents set by his predecessors and declaring it as government asset Siddaramaiah had said the watch was presented to him by his Dubai-based NRI friend Dr Girish Chandra Varma in July 2015 at Bengaluru as a personal gift.

Goans celebrate Christmas with traditional fervour

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goans celebrate Christmas with traditional fervourWith the peel of the midnight bells, churches across Goa celebrated the birth of Lord Jesus heralding the Christmas season which will culminate with New Year festivities.Lakhs of faithfuls attended the midnight masses which were held across the state celebrating birth of Jesus Christ, followed by traditional dances at various places.Goa has 27% of its population following Roman Catholic faith. Cribs were unveiled at many places after midnight masses, depicting the birth of Jesus Christ in the stable.Archbishop of Goa and Daman Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao’s Christmas eve message was broadcast across the state through cable network on television in which he emphasised for the nations to take unified action against environmental degradation and irresponsible development.”This Christmas let us make room for God to change us and through us change the world around us. Cutting across man-made barriers, let us commit ourselves to build a new society wherein everyone would be welcomed, accepted and loved,” the Archbishop said in the traditional message.The Archbishop’s Palace, located at Altinho in Panaji city, would be hosting a civic reception on December 28 which is expected to be attended by several prominent personalities, including Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Governor Mridula Sinha and Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, a spokesman for the church said today.While locals are busy celebrating Christmas, more tourists are expected to arrive in the state to usher in the New Year. “We expect good response for the New Year season this year. The visitors have already started arriving. This is the time when everyone wants to be in Goa and they are right in deciding Goa as their New Year celebration destination,” state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar.He ruled out any impact of demonetization on the tourist inflow.”There was slight impact initially, but now things are normal,” he said.

Adarsh scam: Congress MP Ashok Chavan challenges nod granted to CBI to prosecute him

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress MP Ashok Chavan has approached the Bombay High Court challenging a decision of Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao granting sanction to CBI to prosecute him in the Adarsh housing society scam.In February this year, Governor Rao had granted sanction to the CBI to prosecute Chavan for offences under IPC sections 120 (b)(criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating and under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society case.The CBI had accused the former state Chief Minister of approving additional floor space index for Adarsh society in return for two flats for his relatives. He was also charged with illegally approving, as the then Revenue Minister, allotment of 40 per cent of the flats to civilians.Chavan, in his petition filed recently, challenged the sanction order and said it was “arbitrary, illegal and unjust” and passed without “proper application of mind” and with “malafide intentions”.The petition, which came up for hearing on December 22, was then adjourned. It will now come up for hearing before a division bench of the high court on January 23, 2017.Earlier, Chavan was forced to step down from the post of the Chief Minister in November 2010 after the allegations emerged against him.While the CBI named him as an accused in its FIR, in December 2013 the then Governor K Sankaranarayanan had refused permission to it to prosecute Chavan in the scam, leaving the central probe agency with no choice but to close the case against him.However, in March last year, the high court dismissed a plea made by Chavan, who is the sitting Lok Sabha MP from Nanded, seeking deletion of his name from the case, as the Governor had refused to grant sanction.Following this, the CBI re-approached the Governor seeking sanction, which was granted in February this year.

BJP submits ‘charge sheet’ against Himachal govt, Virbhadra terms it ‘bundle of lies’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Himachal Pradesh BJP on Saturday submitted a “charge sheet” to the Governor against the alleged “omission and commission” by the Congress government, which completed four years in office, even as Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh termed it as a “bundle of lies”.The Congress government in the state celebrated four years in office today by organising a rally at Dharamsala which was addressed by party vice president Rahul Gandhi.The 75-page “charge sheet” submitted to Governor Acharya Devvrat includes allegations against the Chief Minister, his Cabinet colleagues, Congress leaders and 41 individuals and institutions and demands a probe into these charges by a central investigating agency.It also highlights the “failures” of the state government in developmental front, accuses it of financial mismanagement and its lukewarm attitude in implementing the projects sanctioned by the Modi government at the Centre.The charges levelled by BJP against Virbhadra Singh are a compendium of cases registered against him by various agencies and alleged misuse of office.Terming the “charge sheet” by BJP against his government a “bundle of lies”, the Chief Minister said, “It is an old habit of BJP to make false allegations. It had submitted similar “charge sheet” twice in the past and implicated me in false cases but I was acquitted by courts.” Singh claimed the Congress government has ensured overall development of the state during the last four years and the charge sheet was prepared out of “frustration” of BJP leaders.State irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes, health and family welfare minister Kaul Singh Thakur and agriculture minister Sujan Singh Pathania termed it a “futile exercise” as the charges were “contrary” to facts.Reacting to accusations of corruption, they claimed the state government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards corruption and if BJP leaders have any proof, they should go to the Lokayukta. Else the party should seek apology from the people.

Cong, AAP will withdraw subsidies and concessions if voted to power: Parkash Singh Badal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sharpening attack on Congress and AAP, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday said the two parties have shown “stiff resistance” to “pro-people” policies of the Akali government and asserted that if re-elected to power he would review “people-friendly” decisions like regularisation of employees.”By announcing that they (opposition) will review the pro-people decisions taken by the state government like regularisation of employees and others, Amarinder Singh (of Congress) and AAP leaders have proved that if voted to power they will withdraw the subsidies and concessions like free power, Atta-Dal, Shagun and others being given to the people,” he said. The Chief Minister was addressing public gatherings in village Dhaler Kalan, Sandhaur, Sherwani Kot, Ferozepur Kothala and others during Sangat Darshan programme in Malerkotla assembly segment.Congress state unit chief Amarinder Singh had earlier said that he would review all decisions taken by the SAD-BJP state government in the last three months, if his party comes to power. Singh, however, yesterday clarified that his statement was twisted and affirmed that no government appointments would be subjected to any scrutiny. Badal said that in last ten years, the SAD-BJP alliance had given free power to farmers at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore annually. He said now in a historic initiative the state government has decided to regularise the services of 30,000 employees by passing the bill in the state assembly.Badal said the SAD-BJP alliance has ensured the welfare of every strata of society by taking several “path-breaking initiatives” for providing jobs, quality health and education facilities and by starting several pro-poor schemes. The veteran Akali leader said Punjabis can never forgive the Congress party for its “sins” against Punjab. “Congress has irrelevantly meddled in the social, political, economic and even religious affairs of the state,” he said, adding that the Congress governments at the Centre had deliberately denied the state of Punjabi speaking areas, its capital Chandigarh and even its legitimate share in river waters. He said “no true Punjabi” can ever forgive Congress for sins like Operation Blue Star and the killing of innocents in 1984 anti-Sikh carnage. On the sidelines of Sangat Darshan, the Chief Minister said he would contest the election from the seat which would be allocated to him by the party. He said in a democratic set up party was the supreme and he had always obeyed by the decision of his party.Flaying the shameful act of vandalisation of Gurdwara in Calgary (Canada), Badal said this incident has bruised the psyche of every human being in general and Sikhs in particular. He said this incident needs to be condemned in strongest words as it was a crime against the humanity as the Sikh Gurus have shown the way of peace, communal harmony and welfare of all to the entire humanity. He said the government of India must ensure the safety and security of the law abiding members of the Punjabi diaspora abroad, which have been living in across the globe for decades as most civilised and productive members of the local society.

Those who did bhoomipoojan yesterday will not get chance to do it officially: Fadnavis mocks Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking potshots at the opposition Congress for performing “bhumipoojan” of Pune Metro on Friday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday people will never give them an opportunity to perform official foundation stone laying ceremonies. “Those who performed the ‘bhumipoojan’ yesterday were not authorised to do so. Many years ago, when I was small, during a visit to Delhi’s Red fort, I gave a speech like Prime Minister. This does not make me a Prime Minister,” the Chief Minister said at the event here where foundation stone for Pune Metro was laid down by Prime Minister Naredra Modi. “Similarly, those who did the ‘bhumipoojan’ yesterday will never get a chance to perform ‘bhumipoojan’ officially,” Fadnavis said.He said the file containing 256 queries regarding the project were pending at the desk of the previous (Maharashtra) Chief Minister. “There were issues of alignment which was resolved in our time, a new DPR was made. All issues related to the proposed second phase of Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar will be completed by March and in April next year. We will invite Modiji for the launch of the second phase,” Fadnavis said.He said the proposed International Airport in Pune and Metro will help the city to emerge as a start up capital in the country. NCP president Sharad Pawar, union minister Nitin Gadkari, Prakash Javdekar, Venkaiah Naidu were present on the occasion. Naidu said the Centre and the state government will share the funding for Pune Metro.With civic elections round the corner, the Pune unit of Congress had performed the ‘bhoomipujan’ of the Pune Metro Rail project on Friday.

As Modi-Uddhav shares stage, BJP-Sena strains comes to fore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Strains in relations between BJP and Shiv Sena came to the fore during a public meeting addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray’s speech was interrupted for a while,apparently by BJP supporters present among the audience.The reaction of BJP workers was in response to Shiv Sena activists causing disturbance during the speech of state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil. Uddhav shared the dais with PM Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the MMRDA ground in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) here, after laying foundation of various big ticket infrastructure projects.Thackeray’s speech was interrupted for a while after some of the BJP supporters started chanting “Modi, Modi,” which made the Shiv Sena chief to stop for a while. Earlier, when Patil’s speech was disturbed, Devendra Fadnavis personally intervened and controlled the crowd.Earlier this week, during the inauguration of Ram Mandir station here, Shiv Sena and BJP workers had sparred over by indulging in sloganeering and interrupting the speeches of senior leaders. Shiv Sena has been criticising various decisions of Prime Minister Modi as well as those taken by the Fadnavis government from time-to-time.

PM Modi has done firebombing on poor, farmers and labourers: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Escalating the attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, Rahul Gandhi today accused him of dividing the country between the rich and the poor and dubbed the move as “firebombing” on cash economy and farmers and labourers.Addressing a public rally here, the Congress Vice President said the Prime Minister with his note ban decision has removed the “hat” of Himachal Pradesh as it has hit hard the state’s horticulture, agriculture and tourism sectors. “Himachal’s brave soldiers carried out the surgical strikes, but Modiji thought of launching a new drama. He launched the surgical strike on corruption.”On one side the brave give away their blood and life, but here he did surgical strike on black money and corruption.Modiji this is not a surgical strike on black money and corruption. This is a firebombing and economic-bombing on the poor, farmers and labourers,” he said. Accusing Modi of dividing the country between the rich and the poor, Gandhi said, “Modiji you have tried to divide India into two parts.” “On one side are the one per cent rich comprising 50 families who have private aircraft and big buildings and on other side, there are 99 per cent honest people of India — the farmers, labourers and the middle class who built this country with their sweat and blood. You tried to divide the people of the country,” he said.He said that in the Second World War, a new way was evolved to do firebombing in 25 minutes and more people died in Tokyo firebombing than in Hiroshima bombing. “The same way Modiji has done firebombing on the poor, farmers and labourers. You have done firebombing on India’s cash economy. Not on 94 per cent of black money where it was to be done. Not on one per cent people possessing black money, but on 99 per cent poor people of the country,” he said.Showing the traditional Himachali cap, Gandhi accused Modi of putting it down and destroying it. “Modiji you have removed the Himachal’s ‘hat’ through the note ban — horticulture, agriculture and tourism. Note ban has caused a major dent on horticulture, agriculture and tourism. You have burnt the fields of honest Himachal farmers, and you did so with a smile on your face. “This note ban step was against all of you, against the honest people of India. In two-and-a-half years, the Modi government has attacked the poor of the country,” he told the crowd. Besides Gandhi, the Congress rally was addressed by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and other state leaders. Himachal Pradesh goes to Assembly polls in the latter part of 2017.

Kiren Rijiju asks Arunachal govt to hold independent inquiry into death of engineering student

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju has asked the Arunachal Pradesh government to constitute an independent inquiry into the death of 22-year-old engineering student Haa Tama who died last week after falling from his hostel building in Rajasthan.Rijiju gave this direction to state Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Food and Civil Supplies Parliamentary Secretary Markio Tado and sought a report in the matter during a meeting at New Delhi yesterday.The Union minister urged the state government to constitute an independent inquiry by a superintendent of police, an official communique said here today.Tado also appealed to the Union minister to direct the Rajasthan government to disclose the post-mortem and FSL report.Khandu assured to take up the matter immediately with Union and Rajasthan governments.Tama, who was pursuing engineering degree at Dr K N Modi University in Tonk district of Rajasthan, died after he fall mysteriously from his hostel room on December 16 last.

CM Fadnavis to address youth workers on Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 92nd birthday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to attract the youth and connect them to the ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP), city youth wing has organised a musical program here on the occasion of 92nd birthday of former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on Sunday.The organisers are anticipating a gathering of over 25,000 crowd from all over the state for the program, christened as “Yuva Urza”, to be held in Lower Parel. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis will also address the gathering.President of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Mumbai, Mohit Kamboj said, “Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth date has always been special to us. This is why we are celebrating his birthday with fanfare in which large numbers of youth have already given their consent to turn up and assimilate the Atal’s mantra in their social life.”Beside Fadnavis, national president of youth wing of the party, Poonam Mahajan among other senior BJP leaders would be present at the event, he said. “Our party at the state as well as at the Centre has earned so many achievements and done exemplary work for the sustainable development of the country and for people, no occasion other than Vajpayeeji’s birthday could be better for us to celebrate these achievements,” he added.

Arvind Kejriwal gets bail in false affidavit case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a case of allegedly giving false information in an affidavit filed in the run up to 2013 Assembly polls.Metropolitan Magistrate Ashish Gupta granted the relief to Kejriwal, who appeared in court in pursuance to its direction, on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and posted the matter for next hearing on April 7, 2017.The court had on August 31 exempted the CM from appearance for one day while directing him to personally appear before it today, considering that bail proceedings were pending.Kejriwal was allowed exemption by the court on the ground that he could not appear due to “exigencies of work and some important meetings and discharge of his duties”.The court had summoned Kejriwal in February this year on a criminal complaint filed by Neeraj Saxena and Anuj Agarwal on behalf of the NGO, noting that the politician had prima facie “willfully concealed” and “suppressed” his details in 2013 elections.It had noted that there was “sufficient ground” to proceed against him on allegations that he had concealed his correct address and suppressed the market value of his property in his affidavit to the Election Commission.Earlier, the NGO had approached Delhi High Court with a plea seeking quashing of Kejriwal’s nomination papers on the ground of “illegalities” in his affidavit.High Court had refused to entertain the plea and directed the petitioners to approach a magisterial court for remedy.The NGO in its petition before the high court had alleged that Kejriwal had violated provisions of the Representation of the People Act by submitting an affidavit which had incorrect details of his assets and income at the time of filing of the nomination.The offence under section 125-A of the Act entails a punishment of six months jail term and/or fine or both.The complaint was filed under several sections of RP Act and IPC for the alleged offences committed by him before holding the office of the Chief Minister of Delhi.The complaint alleged that Kejriwal falsely gave his Delhi address so as to qualify for contesting polls in the capital though he was living at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.This prima facie amounted to willful concealment, suppression and furnishing of false information, it was claimed.

Harish Rawat bribery case: Unfortunate the way Centre treats CBI, says Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress party on Saturday accused the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his government of misusing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to corner Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Harish Rawat on alleged and unproven bribery charges.’There is some role of the institutions in a democracy, but it is wrong to misuse it. They (Centre) are just perturbed by the allegation put forth by Rahul ji,’ said Congress leader, Husain Dalwai. ‘It is unfortunate the way CBI has been treated’, he added.CBI has asked Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Harish Rawat to appear before it on December 26 in connection with a probe into the purported sting operation involving him.
ALSO READ CBI summons Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat again in sting CD caseThe CBI had registered the preliminary enquiry on April 29 to probe a sting operation that purportedly showed Rawat offering bribes to rebel Congress Member of the Legislative Assembly​ (MLAs) to support him during the floor test. The agency had summoned Rawat for examination on May 9, but he had sought more time.The case was handed over to the CBI​ when President’s Rule was imposed in the state. The notification was withdrawn immediately after Rawat proved his majority in the assembly and his government was restored.

Uttar Pradesh assembly elections: No discussion yet on SP-Cong-RLD alliance, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming rumours surrounding the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections as ‘completely baseless’, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that no discussion has taken place between them.”It is completely baseless. None of it has ever taken place. No discussions have taken place on the alliance and when the discussion has not taken place, then, there is no chance of seat distribution as well,” Azad told ANI.It was widely reported that the three parties are forming a pre-poll alliance with Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, on several occasions, mentioning about the possibility.Akhilesh has been saying that a tie-up between SP and Congress would fetch over 300 of the 403 assembly seats in the upcoming elections.”Though Samajwadis are going to form majority government in the state, if an alliance takes place, it will win over 300 seats. The final decision in this regard will be taken by SP national president (Mulayam),” Akhilesh had said in Lucknow.

CBI asks Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat to appear for preliminary enquiry to probe sting operations

New Delhi: CBI has asked Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat to appear before it on 26 December in connection with a probe into the purported sting operation involving him.

This is the second time that Rawat has been summoned by the CBI on a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) registered by it in last seven months. He had earlier appeared before the agency on 24 May during which he was questioned for nearly five hours.

The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry in connection with the alleged sting operation on April 29 purportedly showing Rawat offering bribes to rebel Congress lawmakers to support him during a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly.

This may be a unique case where a sitting Chief Minister has been summoned by the CBI during its probe of a PE.

The PE is the first step during which the agency verifies the facts in the complaint received by it. During a PE, the agency usually only “requests” a person “to join the probe” and does not summon him, carry out searches or make any arrests.

File photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

File photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

If verification of facts shows need of further probe, it may register an FIR or else close the PE.

The CBI probe focuses on Rawat’s relations with the owner of a news channel, alleged bribe proposal made to one dissident MLA by him and a minister in his previous cabinet, besides his claims on the purported sting video.

The reason for summoning him against, according to the sources, was because Rawat had not furnished full and complete details on many issues.

The case was registered on the reference received from the state government (during President’s rule) and subsequent notification from BJP-led central government.

Rawat has denied the allegation and called the video fake after it was released by the rebel Congress legislators but later admitted that he was on camera in the sting operation.

After Rawat’s victory in the floor test, the state cabinet had met on 15 May and withdrawn the notification recommending a CBI probe into the sting operation involving him.

Instead, the state cabinet decided to constitute a Special Investigating Team to probe the case as it was a state subject.

CBI had said the notification was rejected after taking legal opinion, which said there was no ground for its withdrawal and it was “not legally tenable”.

The chief minister had failed to get a reprieve from Uttarakhand High Court also which had refused to quash the ongoing CBI probe into the sting operation.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 21:29 IST

I wanted to quit earlier, PM Modi asked me to carry on, says Najeeb Jung

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Najeeb Jung on Friday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day after springing a surprise by tendering resignation as Delhi’s Lt Governor even as he said that he had wanted to quit earlier but was asked by the PM to continue.Jung reached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) at South Block here around 11.30 AM and spent a little over an hour inside.Sources said it was a courtesy meeting. on Thursday, in his brief resignation statement, Jung had thanked Modi for his help and cooperation.Rejecting speculation that he quit as pressure was mounting on him, Jung was quoted as saying by NDTV that there is no politics behind his decision and that he wanted to quit earlier as well.”I had offered to resign as I had been appointed by the previous UPA government, but the PM asked me to carry on. After three years, I requested the PM to relieve me but he asked me to carry on,” he said.
ALSO READ AAP, Cong should not do politics on Najeeb Jung’s resignation: Kiren Rijiju”After three and a half years, I requested the PM again on Tuesday that I would like to resign on personal grounds,” Jung was quoted as saying.Jung also said that he would like to write a book.
ALSO READ Najeeb calls it quits, speculation over new ‘Jung’ beginsOver the last two years, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has time and again taken on Jung over his perceived closeness to Modi.Earlier in the day, Kejriwal had an hour-long meeting with Jung over breakfast during which the latter reminisced their nearly two-year-long association in governing the city besides discussing other issues.
ALSO READ Arvind Kejriwal meets Najeeb Jung, says he resigned due to personal reasonsThe Delhi Chief Minister said he was invited by the Lt Governor for the breakfast meeting that came a day after Jung’s sudden resignation from the post.Sources said Jung and Kejriwal spoke about the bitter- sweet times and spent some light moments.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also called on Jung.Asked why Jung quit, Kejriwal said, “He resigned due to personal reasons.”Though publicly Kejriwal had made stinging attacks on Jung on many occasions, both of them are known to share a cordial relationship at personal level.Asked about his meeting with Jung, Sisodia said, “We had a very good chat. He shared memories of the last two years and also of his days as a bureaucrat. He said that he was mulling quitting over the last one year.”He wants to spend time with his family and focus on academics. He said that he could not quit due to things like chikungunya (outbreak in the city).”Sisodia said he shared a “good rapport” with Jung and thanked him for his cooperation especially in areas of education. “We will work for the people if Delhi irrespective of circumstances be that easy or tough.”On who could be next LG of Delhi, the Deputy Chief Minister said many names are doing the rounds but nothing official has come up.Sources close to Jung had said yesterday his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government over matters of jurisdiction and he was contemplating to quit for last few months.The Chief Minister was in Ranchi yesterday when the news of Jung’s resignation broke.

Centre vs Mamata: Now, Bengal CM calls CRPF deployment for IT raids unconstitutional & illegal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Weeks after West Bengal Chief Minister termed the army exercise in the state as an attack on federal structure, Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that the deployment of 15 CRPF personnel to provide security to income tax officers during raids is unconstitutional and illegal.Banerjee, in a letter addressed to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “It has come to our notice that the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to make available 15 personnel of the CRPF for apparently providing ‘security’ to Income Tax officials and staff deputed for operations in West Bengal. No communication in this regard has been received by the state government.””The State Government objects strongly to this decision, which is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal and against all principles of cooperative federalism,” the letter reads.Stating that the deployment of any Central Police Force of the Union to any State can only be done at the request of the state government, letter said, “The decision must be immediately revoked. The Chief Minister also said that the state government at its police forces will provide all necessary help and protection.”On the other hand, an advisory by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the CBDT, dated December 20, mentioned that 15 CRPF personnel would be deployed in the state.“The matter has been considered in this Ministry and it has been decided that CRPF shall make available 15 personnel to Income Tax Department, Kolkata for providing security to officers and staff deputed for search and seizure operations to be carried out by the Income Tax Directorate,” the advisory read.However, when contacted, CRPF officials remained tight lipped. They refused to give information whether the deployment plan was shared with the state government or not.

CBI summons Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat again in sting CD case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI has asked Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat to appear before it on December 26 in connection with a probe into the purported sting operation involving him.This is the second time that Rawat has been summoned by the CBI on a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) registered by it in last seven months.He had earlier appeared before the agency on May 24 during which he was questioned for nearly five hours. The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry in connection with the alleged sting operation on April 29 purportedly showing Rawat offering bribes to rebel Congress lawmakers to support him during a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly.This may be a unique case where a sitting Chief Minister has been summoned by the CBI during its probe of a PE.The PE is the first step during which the agency verifies the facts in the complaint received by it. During a PE, the agency usually only “requests” a person “to join the probe” and does not summon him, carry out searches or make any arrests. If verification of facts shows need of further probe, it may register an FIR or else close the PE.The CBI probe focuses on Rawat’s relations with the owner of a news channel, alleged bribe proposal made to one dissident MLA by him and a minister in his previous cabinet, besides his claims on the purported sting video.The reason for summoning him against, according to the sources, was because Rawat had not furnished full and complete details on many issues.The case was registered on the reference received from the state government (during President’s rule) and subsequent notification from BJP-led central government.Rawat has denied the allegation and called the video fake after it was released by the rebel Congress legislators but later admitted that he was on camera in the sting operation.After Rawat’s victory in the floor test, the state cabinet had met on May 15 and withdrawn the notification recommending a CBI probe into the sting operation involving him.Instead, the state cabinet decided to constitute a Special Investigating Team to probe the case as it was a state subject. CBI had said the notification was rejected after taking legal opinion, which said there was no ground for its withdrawal and it was “not legally tenable”.The Chief Minister had failed to get a reprieve from Uttarakhand High Court also which had refused to quash the ongoing CBI probe into the sting operation.

Solar scam: Oommen Chandy deposes before judicial commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy deposed on Friday before a judicial commission probing charges in the solar panel scam, allegedly linked to his staff.The panel headed by Justice Sivarajan had directed the senior Congress leader to be present for cross-examination today. Chandy was cross-examined in January last, in a sitting of the Kochi-based commission held in Thiruvananthapuram, when he was the Chief Minister.Outside the Commission office, Chandy had said that he had already told the Commission whatever he had to say with regard to the scam occurred during his tenure. During the deposition, he had maintained that the charges against him and his office were “politically motivated” and denied any wrongdoing.The state government had appointed a retired High Court judge Sivarajan to head the one-man commission on October 23, 2013, to probe the scam pertaining to alleged duping of investors by one Biju Radhakrishnan and his partner Saritha S Nair, who allegedly collected crores of rupees for a solar power project. The two had allegedly canvassed business by using top level names, including that of Chandy.While Saritha was granted bail after remaining behind bars for about nine months, Radhakrishnan is still in jail in connection with the alleged murder of his wife.

Manipur blockade | ‘This is humanitarian crisis’: Centre asks state govt to end ‘worrisome’ conditions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Friday reviewed the situation in Manipur in the wake of the crippling economic blockade of a highway, with Union Minister Kiren Rijiju asking the state government to end the “worrisome” conditions that have triggered a “humanitarian crisis”.At a high level meeting attended by the Union Minister of State for Home Rijiju, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and senior officials of the central and Manipur governments, the situation in the state was discussed threadbare.Rijiju, who is on a day-long trip to Manipur as a central emissary, stressed that the Manipur government must discharge is “constitutional duties” by ending the blockade and bring back normalcy in state.The blockade on National Highway 2 by United Naga Council (UNC) has been continuing since November 1 crippling normal life in the landlocked state.The UNC has been protesting against the creation of seven new districts in the state.”This is a humanitarian crisis. We want that the Manipur government end the blockade as early as possible. Whatever assistance from the central government is required, we will give,” Rijiju said.”There is a constitutional duty of the state government to bring back normalcy and they should ensure that there is no blockade along the highway,” he told PTI.The Minister of State for Home Affairs, said the ground situation in Manipur continues to be worrisome and the Central government wants that law and order prevail in the state.”I will talk to the state government and will try to find out a solution,” he said.Rijiju said the prices of essential commodities have gone up due to the economic blockade and people have been suffering a lot.So we want the problem to resolves as early as possible, he added.Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on Thursday told Manipur Chief Minister that there has been extremely distressing situation caused by the continuous blockade of National Highway-2, which has caused an acute shortage of essential and other goods in Manipur and breakdown of law and order.The landlocked state has been experiencing severe hardship in supply of essential items since November 1 after United Naga Council (UNC) imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways that serve as lifeline for the state.

Arvind Kejriwal meets Najeeb Jung, says he resigned due to personal reasons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Najeeb Jung resigned as Delhi’s Lt Governor, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met him at Raj Niwas here.Kejriwal reached the LG’s official residence around 8 AM and the breakfast meeting lasted for nearly an hour.Asked why Jung quit, Kejriwal said, “He resigned due to personal reasons.”Yesterday Jung’s office, without citing reasons for his sudden exit, said, “he would be returning to academics”.Jung’s decision had taken political circles by surprise.
ALSO READ LG v/s AAP: A timeline of the battle between Najeeb Jung and Arvind KejriwalSources close to him had said that his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government over matters of jurisdiction and he was contemplating to quit for last few months.The Chief Minister was in Ranchi on Thursday when the news of Jung’s resignation broke.
ALSO READ Home Secretary met Najeeb Jung two days ago, was unaware of his resignation”Sh Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” he had tweeted.Meanwhile, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju has criticised the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress for “doing politics” over the resignation of Jung.”I don’t know what problems do the AAP and Congress have. When Jung was working, they were demanding resignation.

Morari Bapu’s Ram katha makes space for transgenders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Renowned guru Morari Bapu’s popular week-long Manas Ram Katha was special this week. The katha that started last Saturday in Thane, is dedicated to the transgender community.Called Manas Kinnar Ram Katha, this is the first time this community has been included in a spiritual milieu.Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, the popular Thane-based transgender activist, present at the Katha says, “No spiritual or religious leader in the world has ever done this kind of a community event for us and for that, I’m grateful to him.” The community lauds the non-judgemental attitude that Morari Bapu has; relating everything strictly from the religious texts, pulling out references from the books and texts of the past.One such reference was Tulsi Das’ mention of ‘kinnar’ in the Ramayana. The dedication of this Rama Katha has been widely appreciated by the members of the transgender community. Bapu says, “We all need to make efforts to involve them (the transgender community) in every aspect of our society. There’s one member here who has come from Lucknow who aspires to contest the elections in UP. And why not? It’s time we all support them.”Considering that this has been the first time ever in the history of India, that such an initiative has been adopted, people from the transgender community from across the country have ensured their presence here. A delighted Shamabai from Akola says, “It is unbelievable that Bapu has done this for my community, and made provisions for food and stay. I’m overwhelmed. Listening to him is like listening to Lord Ram.”“We all are enjoying this, and I feel that this the golden moment for the transgender community. We are hoping that after this, more and more people, especially the Chief Minister of Maharashtra looks into grassroot problems of the community,” says Lachitai, a transgender activist from Pune.Bapu has suggested that Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, noted transgender activist, should get the community to conduct a Ram Katha. “The day a person from the transgender community conducts a Ram Katha, I will light the diya and offer my team of musicians to the katha.”

LG v/s AAP: A timeline of the battle between Najeeb Jung and Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day when Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi were exchanging barbs, Delhi LG and Arvind Kejriwal’s bete noir, LG Jung, suddenly dropped a bombshell by claiming that he was resigning. The move came completely out of the blue and even the officials had the Home Ministry had no clue about his impending move. While the Congress asked if the plan was to bring ‘someone close to the RSS’, firebrand right-wing leader Subramanian Swamy called the move ‘long overdue’!DCW chief Swati Maliwal termed it the ‘end of dark days’ for women of Delhi but AAP leaders, particularly Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, seemed bittersweet about the move.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the resignation of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung a “surprise” move while his deputy Manish Sisodia said working with him was a “bitter-sweet” experience, but the AAP government and Jung did a “good job in Delhi together”. Kejriwal and Sisodia spoke to Jung over phone and wished him luck for his future. The Delhi Chief Minister said it was “good” working with him.But despite the late words of reconciliation, the AAP government and LG Jung were continuously at loggerheads. It came to appoint when Kejriwal even likened Jung to ‘Hitler’ and accused him of selling his soul to Modi so that he could become Vice President.Here’s a timeline of their Jung:2013July 9: Najeeb Jung appointed Lt Governor.Dec 28: Kejriwal becomes Chief Minister after taking outside support from Congress.2014Feb 3: Delhi Cabinet clears draft of Jan Lokpal Bill. Feb 10: Jung sends it to Law Ministry which says Centre’s nod mandatory to introduce Jan Lokpal Bill.Feb 14: Kejriwal resigns as Chief Minister.Feb 17: Delhi assembly kept in suspended animation, President’s Rule imposed.2015Feb 14: Kejriwal is Chief Minister again, as AAP wins a staggering 67 out of 70 seats.April 1: Jung says not obliged to route files through CMO after Kejriwal’s order send files related to police, public order and land through him. April 29: Kejriwal tells officials not to ‘bother’ LG with all the files.May 16: Kejriwal accuses IAS officer Shakuntala Gamlin of lobbying for power companies.May 20: Jung annuls all bureaucratic postings by Delhi government, says power to appoint and transfer rests with him.June 2: Five officers of Bihar Police join Delhi Government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB). Jung rejects it, says he is the ACB boss.June 8: Jung names Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police M.K. Meena new chief of ACB. Kejriwal cries foul.June 9: Delhi government replaces Home Secretary Dharam Pal. LG vetoes order. July 20/21: Delhi government appoints Swati Maliwal as Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson. Jung asks why his approval was not taken.August: Kejriwal hikes circle rates in Delhi for agricultural land. Jung objects.Aug 11: Delhi government forms Commission of Inquiry to probe CNG fitness scam. LG again objects.December: AAP government sets up Inquiry Commission to probe Delhi and District Cricket Association. Jung questions its validity. Dec 15: CBI raids Chief Minister’s Office. Kejriwal blames Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jung.Dec 31: IAS and DANICS officers go on mass leave a day before flagship odd-even scheme. 2016Jan 1: Kejriwal blames LG, Centre for strike. Odd-even scheme a success.March: AAP government appoints former Chief Income Tax Commissioner Krishna Saini as Chairperson of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.June 1: ACB probes Delhi government’s app based Premium Bus Service. June 20: ACB files FIR against Kejriwal and former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in water tanker scam after Jung’s okay. Aug 4: Delhi High Court gives primacy to Lt Governor in Delhi’s administration. AAP government moves Supreme Court. Aug 30: Jung axes Delhi Health Secretary and PWD Secretary. Kejriwal says Modi hell bent on destroying Delhi through Jung.Aug 30: Jung sets up panel to probe over 400 files related to decisions taken by Delhi government. Kejriwal calls it illegal.Sep 16: After chikungunya outbreak, Jung asks Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to return from Finland.Sep 17: Jung refuses to meet AAP ministers. Oct 7: Jung appoints IAS officer Alka Diwan as DCW Member Secretary. Diwan stops payment of salaries to contractual employees of DCW. Kejriwal seeks her removal.Dec 6: Jung replaces Diwan with IAS officer Dilraj Kaur. Kejriwal rejects the move, calls Jung “Hitler”.Dec 22: Jung resigns.

Despite bitter-sweet experiences, we did a good job in Delhi with Najeeb Jung: Manish Sisodia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the resignation of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday as a “surprise” move while his deputy Manish Sisodia said working with him was a “bitter-sweet” experience, but the AAP government and Jung did a “good job in Delhi together”. Kejriwal and Sisodia spoke to Jung over phone and wished him luck for his future. The Delhi Chief Minister said it was “good” working with him. “Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” Kejriwal tweeted.The Deputy CM said, “I spoke to him (Jung) who told me he was feeling tired and wanted to work for education. During the 49-day regime as well, we had bitter-sweet experience with him. In health, education, electricity, we and the L-G worked together.” “Despite all the bitter-sweet experiences, I can say that together with Najeeb Jung we have good job for Delhi,” he tweeted.
ALSO READ Jung’s tenure ‘disgraceful’, worked at the behest of Modi: Kumar Vishwas On being asked about names of Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and former Delhi police chief BS Bassi doing the rounds for the post of the Delhi L-G, Sisodia said it is prerogative of Centre to depute Lt Governor. “We want cooperation from the Centre. We will fight for the people’s interest if there is no cooperation from the Centre,” he said.
ALSO READ From Kejriwal to Maken: Politicians react to Najeeb Jung’s resignationHowever, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party slammed Jung, saying he worked under the “influence” of the Modi dispensation. “Good wishes to Najeeb Jung for his future endeavour. God should give some good sense to them who controlled him. Will the war continue even after Jung’s (exit)?” Delhi minister Kapil Mishra said.Senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas termed Jung’s tenure “disgraceful”. Vishwas alleged the L-G troubled the Delhi government at the behest of Modi dispensation and took a jibe saying Jung would get a “better posting”.
ALSO READ Black chapter for women in Delhi over: DCW chief Swati Maliwal hails ‘tyrant’ Jung’s resignation “The Modi government promotes its people. We hope, he gets a better posting after this. I am unhappy that his tenure was disgraceful. Now that he has gone, good luck to him.””Najeeb Jung’s behaviour was not his. He was under the influence of someone. We hope the next L-G gives priority to issues concerning people and does not work under anyone’s influence,” Vishwas said.In a sudden move, Jung resigned on Thursday amid a bitter confrontation with the AAP government. Without citing reasons, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Centre. 65-year-old Jung, a former IAS officer, had assumed charge of Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013.

Black chapter for women in Delhi over: DCW chief Swati Maliwal hails ‘tyrant’ Jung’s resignation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sudden move, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung resigned, ending a nearly three-and-half- year-long eventful tenure, mostly marked by bitter confrontation with AAP government on a range of issues that virtually brought governance to a halt on many occasions. Without citing reasons for the decision, 65-year-old Jung, who had taken charge in July 2013, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his help and cooperation and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his “association”.In a brief statement, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Government of India and that he would be returning back to academics, “his first love”.Sources close to him told PTI that his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government and he was contemplating to quit for last few months.”His decision to quit was not at all related to his relationship with the AAP government. It was purely a personal decision which he was mulling over for quite some time,” they said.One person who seemed thrilled with Jung’s reaction was Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal who claimed a ‘black chapter for women in Delhi was over’.She wrote on Twitter: “Double win for DCW. Delhi women freed from Jung tyranny. HC orderd release of 2 month DCW salary. Hope new LG will work toward women safety. Black chapter for women in Delhi over. Jung ji failed as LG. 6 rapes daily, didn’t hold single meet on women safety, brutally attacked DCW. Jung ji failed to even meet DCW. Last week 2 Notice issued on him by HC on DCW petition to explain why no meet in women safety in Delhi. LGs sudden resign proves all have to be accountable for women safety in Delhi. If you ignore and attack women, you will have to step down.”Earlier, reacting to Jung’s resignation, Kejriwal said the decision surprised him. “Sh Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” he tweeted.While BJP was guarded in its reaction, Congress said the Centre must explain why Jung was “unceremoniously removed and whether it was done to bring someone to the top administrative post who is ideologically close to the RSS.” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said despite several “bitter-sweet experiences, I can say that we have worked very well for Delhi with Jung. Good wishes for his future.” A 1973-batch IAS officer, Jung had assumed charge as 19th Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013, five months before the Delhi Assembly elections.The then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had played a role in appointing Jung, who was serving as Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia University, to the top post in the city administration.He had run the city for nearly one year after the AAP government had quit on February 14, 2014 after a short stint of 49 days.In the statement, his office also said “Jung also thanks the people of Delhi for all their support and affection, especially during the one year of President’s Rule in Delhi, when he got unstinted support from them and which in turn helped run the administration in Delhi smoothly and effortlessly.”

Govt neglected backward castes for 5 years, adding them to SC list is ‘mere drama’: Mayawati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the Akhilesh Yadav government’s assent to include 17 Other Backward Castes in the SC list as a “mere drama”, BSP supremo Mayawati said on Thursday the decision is both “unfortunate and condemnable” and aimed at deceiving these communities. “After having neglected all the backward castes barring one in the past five years of its rule, the SP government is out to mislead them in the same vein as was done by the then Mulayam Singh Yadav government,” she said in a statement.UP Cabinet’s assent for inclusion of 17 OBCs in SC list is a mere drama played just before the Assembly elections in the state, Mayawati said, adding this decision is both unfortunate and condemnable, aimed at deceiving these castes. This decision is against the law as it is only the Central government which can include any caste in the SC list, she said, adding after Mulayam government’s decision on this issue, these castes were left in the lurch for they then belonged neither in the OBC nor in the SC list.She claimed that it was the BSP government that succeeded the Mulayam Singh Yadav government which reverted the decision bringing the castes back in the backward list and sent a proposal to the Centre for inclusion only on condition of increasing the quota of the SC. This decision has been taken in perhaps the last Cabinet meeting of this government, Mayawati remarked.
ALSO READ Ahead of elections, UP govt gives assent to include 17 Other Backward Castes in SCA Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav this morning cleared the proposal to include Kahar, Kashyap, Kewat, Nishad, Bind, Bhar, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Batham, Gaur, Tura, Majhi, Mallah, Kumhar, Dheemar and Machua sub-castes in the Scheduled Caste category.

Kejriwal party do: Twitter reacts to Najeeb Jung’s resignation as Delhi LG

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sudden move, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung resigned today, ending a nearly three-and-half- year-long eventful tenure, mostly marked by bitter confrontation with AAP government on a range of issues that virtually brought governance to a halt on many occasions. Without citing reasons for the decision, 65-year-old Jung, who had taken charge in July 2013, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his help and cooperation and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his “association”.In a brief statement, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Government of India and that he would be returning back to academics, “his first love”. Sources close to him told PTI that his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government and he was contemplating to quit for last few months. “His decision to quit was not at all related to his relationship with the AAP government. It was purely a personal decision which he was mulling over for quite some time,” they said. Reacting to Jung’s resignation, Kejriwal said the decision surprised him. “Sh Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” he tweeted.

Chandrababu Naidu’s demonetisation flip-flop continues, says he still backs govt move

After coming out in support of demonetisation initially, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday did a volte-face saying that this is not what they wished for, only to issue a clarification later that media reports were “misleading the country.”

It was earlier reported that Naidu had said that the solution to problems arising out of the note ban still remained elusive even 40 days after the step and it was not what he wished for. The U-turn was deemed significant as Naidu was one of the first non-BJP leaders to support the Narendra Modi government’s move.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. AFP

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. AFP

“Demonetisation was not our wish but it happened. More than 40 days after demonetisation, there are still a lot of problems but yet there appears to be no solution,” Naidu said addressing a workshop of Telugu Desam MPs, MLCs, MLAs and other leaders in Vijayawada on Tuesday.

However, according a report in News 18, he has now refuted such reports and clarified that his comments were misrepresented and he continues to believe that the note ban is a “good decision, although implementation challenges exist.”

“All that the chief minister had said was that post demonetisation, it was taking time for normalcy to return and that he is having to spend time resolving issues,” Naidu’s son and TDP youth wing leader Nara Lokesh told News18.

ANI also tweeted Naidu’s clarification stating that he only “expressed concerns over suffering of people.”

Naidu’s comments had ruffled feathers in the ruling dispensation, especially because he’s an NDA ally and heads the 13-member  committee appointed by centre to review demonetisation related issues, even as the BJP tried to play it down.

Earlier Naidu had voiced his concerns about the implementation lapses that were adding to the woes of the common man.

“It still remains a sensitive and complicated problem,” Naidu had observed.

“The people who are supposed to manage the crisis are incapable of doing anything. The RBI has not been able to do anything about it. It still remains a sensitive and complicated problem,” he has been quoted as saying in media reports.

“I am spending two hours daily to review the situation and ease the problems caused by demonetisation. I am breaking my head daily, but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” said Naidu, who heads the 13-member central committee to look into demonetisation issues.

Naidu had been a strong proponent of ban on high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. In fact, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 October reiterating his demand.

On 9 November, hours after the Prime Minister came out with the demonetisation announcement, the Telugu Desam Party started claiming credit saying it was a “victory for Chandrababu” over his fight on corruption.

“This is a moral victory for the TDP,” it said on posts on Facebook and Twitter.

“Prime Minister Modi may have taken the decision now but Chandrababu had these thoughts even when he was in the opposition (2004-14). He had been fighting for scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes since then,” the TDP said in a Facebook post.

The party media cell dug out newspaper clippings dated back to 2013 June when Chandrababu raised the demand for the first time.

But as people started facing trouble in exchanging the scrapped notes as well as in withdrawing cash from their savings accounts, Chandrababu seemed to change his tone and started making critical remarks about the Centre’s move, particularly the introduction of Rs 2,000 notes.

“I am spending two hours daily to ease the problems caused by demonetisation. I am breaking my head daily but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” the CM said on Tuesday.

“We could resolve the ‘August crisis’ (an internal party coup dating back to 1984) in 30 days but this (demonetisation) still persists,” he said.

He said banks were “not prepared” for a transition to digital economy. “They are unable to even register banking correspondents,” he added. Unless there were remedial measures, people’s woes would continue in the long-term, Chandrababu warned.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 21:00 IST

Dance naked if you want more publicity: Parrikar slams Goan media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar lost his cool with the Goan media and said those who blabber unnecessarily should take off their clothes and dance in the nude. He said: “Some people do not understand their limits. They keep blabbering. I have some good advice for them. Remove your clothes and dance naked (kapde kadha ani nagde nacha). One will get even better publicity. I still remember in 1968 during the Watergate issue, he (an editor) had written a large editorial advising (Richard) Nixon. Now, how could an editorial written by him in Marathi reach Nixon? He is in America. Some people do not understand their limits. They keep blabbering.”He added: “One will get even better publicity. I give one advice to those who abuse to get publicity. There was a newspaper here. It is still there. I will not take its name. It had an editor. He was an international level editor, he was brought here in his old age. His newspaper had a sale of 1,000…”Earlier, he slammed the `negative coverage orchestrated by political opponents’ after the then Congress legislator Mauvin Godinho joined BJP, Parrikar said, “It was not a new fact that Godinho joined BJP. It was a known fact, for four and a half years Godinho is with us. Similarly, (Congress legislator Pandurang) Madkaikar has been expressing his wish to join BJP for last six months.”About party’s recent split with alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Parrikar said BJP knew how to respect the alliance `dharma’.”Despite having 21 legislators, we gave two ministerial berths (to MGP), one to an independent MLA….But that does not mean we should take alliance partner in confidence while deciding our Chief Minister. That is the decision of the party,” he said.”You cannot be in the government and criticise it. I always say if you tell me something politely I am ready to sweep your house, but if someone shows arrogance then I will kick his butt,” Parrikar said.The former Goa Chief Minister said the only promise given to voters here that he could not keep was to shift to Panaji (from neighbouring Mapusa).”I wanted to buy a flat in Panaji but it was not affordable for me….I had to buy it on the outskirts,” he said.

Comments on demonetization were distorted: Chandrababu Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A day after making critical remarks on demonetization, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday said his comments were “distorted” and that he has been supporting the exercise.He, however, said problems arising in the aftermath of demonetization “continue” as “we are going (about them) in a routine manner”. “We have to take an innovative approach,” he remarked. He heads the panel set up by the Centre to look into issues arising from demonetization. His party- TDP- is part of the NDA government. The 13-member committee would meet again on December 28 to work out solutions to the ongoing problem, he said.”I spoke to (NITI Aayog CEO) Amitabh Kant this morning and asked him to convene the meeting,” he said.He said he had sought a ban on high denomination notes “long ago” and written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking abolition of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes after the recent Income Disclosure Scheme.”I have supported this (demonetization) concept,” he said, inaugurating a two-day conference of district Collectors here. Addressing a workshop of Telugu Desam MPs, legislators and leaders here yesterday, he had said, “demonetization was not our wish but it happened. More than 40 days after demonetization, there are still a lot of problems but yet there appears to be no solution.””I am spending two hours daily to ease the problems caused by demonetization. I am breaking my head daily but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” he had said.He claimed that his remarks were “distorted by some”. “I am disgusted with the way money is distributed during elections. Why should we spend money in elections? That’s why I wanted a ban on big notes,” Chandrababu said.”In my life, I did not focus on anything as much as I focused on demonetization. I troubled the bankers, RBI and the district Collectors by reviewing the situation for hours every day. But still things did not happen as fast as we wanted,” he said. “There is attitude problem. We could not make use of the available infrastructure and we could not innovate,” he said, referring to the problems being faced by people in the aftermath of note ban.”I am totally pained that we could not distribute welfare pensions on time this month. I was so angry. I gave a warning to the banks and then the RBI acted. From now on, we will distribute pensions physically and not through banks,” the Chief Minister said.He also spoke on other topics like growing number of divorces in the US, the problem of aged population in Japan and of ageing population in China and the advantage India has in terms of “demographic dividend”.

UP polls | Problems faced by people due to demonetization will lead us to victory: Akhilesh Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav feels the days of caste-based politics in the state are over and now the two Ds — development and demonetization problems — will work in favour of the Samajwadi Party in the upcoming assembly polls.According to him, his family feud is no more a factor and all issues have been changed post demonetization. “That is a thing of past now. We are working together to win the elections. Issues have changed and post demonetization nobody remembers that (family feud) now. All the other issues have been left behind and demonetization has emerged as the key issue,” he said.He asserted that Uttar Pradesh will vote for his work, image and not on caste equations. “Our work in last five years and the problems people are facing due to demonetization will lead us to victory in upcoming elections. Jo kataarein ATM ke bahar lagi hai wo polling booth ke bahar lagegi (polling booths will see long queues like ones outside ATMs now),” Akhilesh.When asked who he considers the bigger rival — BJP or BSP, he said people of Uttar Pradesh have lost faith in both of them. “BJP has done nothing for Uttar Pradesh in last two and a half years. The Prime Minister was elected from UP, home minister and defence minister are also representing UP. They have maximum number of MPs from UP but they have given nothing to the state apart from Adarsh Gaon Yojna and nothing is happening on that front also,” he said.”As far as BSP is concerned, people are not interested in getting elephants installed everywhere,” he added.His father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has already ruled out any pre-poll alliance with Congress but Akhilesh said it will be premature to predict anything as of now. “Of course the party president will take a call on that but I believe that we will get 300 plus seats if we enter into a pre-poll alliance with Congress. I know that netaji (Mulayam) has said there will be merger, no alliances but there is still time for the elections and you must wait and watch. Politics is full of surprises and you never know what will happen tomorrow,” he said.”I do not have any doubt on getting an absolute majority but we can get 300 plus seats if we fight together. Samajwadis believe that Congress is their best friend when it is weak,” he said.

Shivaji memorial in Arabian Sea to be the tallest memorial in the world: Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said the planned statue of King Shivaji off Mumbai coast will be the tallest memorial in the world.”Shiv Smarak (memorial) in Arabian Sea will be the tallest memorial not only in the country but in the entire world. I thank (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi for making it possible,” Fadnavis said.He was addressing Kunbi Mahotsav at Shahapur in Thane district, organised by Kunbi Mahotsav Pratishthan.Fadnavis announced sanction of Rs 200 crore for water supply scheme for Shahapur and surrounding villages on this occasion.Shamrao Peje Kunbi Aarthik Vikas Mahamandal (development corporation) will be restructured, and Rs 50 crore will be earmarked for it in the coming budget, he said.The CM also instructed Thane Zilla Parishad to prepare a tourist circuit plan for Shahapur and Murbad, and promised adequate funds.

Chandrababu Naidu does a volte face, says solution to note ban woes elusive after 40 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After coming out in support of demonetization initially, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu appeared to do a volte face on Tuesday saying that this is not what they wished for and said the solution to problems arising out of the note ban still remained elusive even 40 days after the step. “Demonetization was not our wish but it happened. More than 40 days after demonetization, there are still a lot of problems but yet there appears to be no solution,” Chandrababu said addressing a workshop of Telugu Desam MPs, MLCs, MLAs and other leaders here on Tuesday.”It still remains a sensitive and complicated problem,” Chandrababu — who heads the 13-member central committee to look into demonetization issues — observed.It was Chandrababu who had been a strong proponent of ban on high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. In fact, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 12 reiterating his demand. On November 9, hours after the Prime Minister came out with the demonetization announcement, the Telugu Desam Party started claiming credit saying it was a “victory for Chandrababu” over his fight on corruption. “This is a moral victory for the TDP,” it said on posts on Facebook and Twitter.”Prime Minister Modi may have taken the decision now but Chandrababu had these thoughts even when he was in the opposition (2004-14). He had been fighting for scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes since then,” the TDP said in a Facebook post.The party media cell dug out newspaper clippings dated back to June 2013 when Chandrababu raised the demand for the first time. But as people started facing trouble in exchanging the scrapped notes as well as in withdrawing cash from their savings accounts, Chandrababu seemed to change his tone and started making critical remarks about the Centre’s move, particularly the introduction of Rs 2000 notes. “I am spending two hours daily to ease the problems caused by demonetization. I am breaking my head daily but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” the CM said on Tuesday. “We could resolve the ‘August crisis’ (an internal party coup dating back to 1984) in 30 days but this (demonetization) still persists,” he said. He said banks were “not prepared” for a transition to digital economy. “They are unable to even register banking correspondents,” he added. Unless there were remedial measures, people’s woes would continue in the long-term, Chandrababu warned.

AAP’s victory in Delhi was an accident: Madhya Pradesh BJP chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in Bhopal on Tuesday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh has said it doesn’t see any threat in increased activities of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state.”AAP’s victory in Delhi was an accident. Entire country has witnessed the poor show of Kejriwal government in Delhi. The people of Delhi have been suffering,” MP BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chouhan told reporters here last evening.Firing a salvo at Kejriwal’s ‘Parivartan Rally’ in Bhopal, Chouhan ruled out any possibility of the rise of ‘third force’ in the state, recalling that he had defeated Alok Agrawal, the convener of MP’s AAP unit, from Khandwa during last parliamentary elections.The MP BJP chief is a Lok Sabha member from Khandwa.”The next assembly election of the state would be contested under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister),” he said and ruled out any possibility of the MP CM shifting out of state politics.The MP BJP President also reiterated that the party would not field again the MLAs who performed poorly.”Only those with good performance would be given tickets in the next assembly polls,” he added.Polls in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled to be held in 2018.

Watch: TMC MLA Sudip Roy Burman tries to run away with Tripura assemby Speaker’s mace

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tripura Assembly on Monday witnessed uproarious scenes over personal allegations relating to Forest Minister Naresh Jamatiya, during which a Trinamool Congress MLA fled with the Speaker’s mace.During Zero Hour, TMC MLA Sudip Roy Burman, former leader of the opposition, raised the issue published in a local Bengali daily.Jamatiya then stood up and said that the charges published in the newspaper were baseless and it was a conspiracy to malign his image.The minister said that he has filed a defamation suit in a court against the newspaper.The entire opposition – Congress and TMC – started shouting and demanded a statement from Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who also holds the Home portfolio.Sarkar said the matter was subjudice and opposition members would have to wait for the court’s verdict.Opposition members trooped to the well and raised slogans demanding that Speaker Ramendra Debnath allow discussion on the matter.At one point of time, Roy Burman picked up the mace lying on the Speaker’s table and fled from the House.He, however, handed it over to the watch and ward staff in the lobby. The Speaker adjourned the house till 2 PM.When the House reassembled, the Speaker condemned taking away of the mace.

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