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Bribery case: Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat not to appear before CBI today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat who was summoned by the CBI on Monday in the alleged sting CD case will not appear before the investigation agency.The Uttarakhand High Court had set aside the Chief Minister’s plea seeking a stay on his appearance before the CBI.Rawat had made an oral plea before the bench to allow him for the time being, not to make an appearance before the CBI as a petition challenging the justification of the CBI probe into the alleged sting CD is already pending before the court.Setting aside the plea, the court decided that the next date of hearing would be January 7 as fixed earlier.The CBI had summoned Rawat earlier on December 23.It had registered the preliminary inquiry on April 29 to probe the video purportedly showing Rawat offering bribes to rebel Congress MLAs in exchange for their support in the assembly floor test.Rawat had dismissed the video as being faked after it was released by rebel Congress MLAs but later admitted that he was in the clip.The CBI had earlier summoned the chief minister on May 9, 2016 but he had sought more time.After Rawat’s victory in the floor test, the state cabinet on May 15 withdrew the notification recommending a CBI probe and decided to set up a special investigation team to go into the case.

CBI summons Uttarakhand CM Rawat in sting CD case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat in connection to its probe into a sting operation that purportedly showed the senior leader offering bribes to rebel Congress MLAs. The sting allegedly showed Rawat asking the rebel Congress MLAs to support him during the floor test that took place in May this year.The CBI on Friday said that its investigators had summoned Rawat to appear at the agency headquarters at the national capital on December 26. Confirming the development, a senior CBI official told DNA, “Investigators wanted to examine Mr Rawat in connection to the allegations of bribery made against him in April, 2016.” Rawat had been questioned by the CBI on one previous occasion on on May 9, 2016. Sources told DNA that during the previous session of questioning, Rawat had asked for more time to respond to queries made by the CBI.The case relates to an alleged sting operation carried out in April 2016 wherein Rawat is purportedly heard offering bribes to rebel Congress MLAs in exchange for their support in the assembly floor test.Rawat had dismissed the video as being fake after it was released by rebel Congress MLAs but later admitted that he was in the clip. The probe agency however filed a preliminary enquiry during which the CBI verifies the facts in the complaint received by it.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 state cabinet, after Rawat’s victory in the floor test, withheld the notification recommending the CBI probe. Responding to the recommendation the probe agency had said that there was no ground for its withdrawal and it was ‘not legally tenable’ and rejected the state cabinets decision.

Centre using CBI to cow-down political opponents: Harish Rawat’s media advisor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Uttarakhand Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Surendra Kumar on Friday accused the Centre of “using CBI to cow-down political opponents”, after the probe agency again asked Harish Rawat to appear before it on Monday regarding an investigation into a purported sting operation involving him.The CBI has asked Rawat to appear before it in connection with a video allegedly showing him negotiating to “buy disgruntled” party MLAs to save his government during the political crisis in March.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.Questioning the timing of the summons that comes with the Uttarakhand Assembly polls round the corner, he alleged, “The CBI summons are as conspiratorial as toppling the Rawat government earlier this year.” Terming it a “premeditated conspiracy against the state government”, Kumar claimed, “We knew that the probe agency will be used by BJP against its opponents at the time of elections for petty political gains.””Going by the timing of the summons, it seems the BJP intends to contest the coming state Assembly elections by using the probe agency that has been reduced to an instrument by the Centre to settle political scores,” he alleged.It reflects the sense of frustration in the BJP over its impending electoral defeat, Kumar claimed.

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.

Attacked over namaz break, Uttarakhand CM announces ‘short breaks’ for all

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Under flak over the decision on namaz break, the Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand has said state employees, irrespective of their religion, caste and creed, will be allowed “special short breaks” to offer prayers during their festivals if they make a request for it.”A decision has been taken to allow special short breaks to state employees of all communities, creeds and castes for prayers, religious occasions and festivals. It will be given only if they make a request,” media advisor to the chief minister Surendra Kumar said in a statement. “The Chief Minister took the decision in view of the spurt in demands for holidays by state employees belonging to different religions and communities on festivals and religious occasions,” he said.The announcement came two days after the state cabinet allowed a two-hour break for government staff to offer namaz on Fridays. The cabinet’s decision to allow a special two-hour Friday break for Muslim employees had drawn flak from the opposition parties, including BJP, which had accused the government of indulging in “minority appeasement” ahead of Assembly polls.

BJP slams Uttarakhand govt for declaring special 90-minute Friday break for Muslim employees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP on Monday slammed the Uttarakhand government for declaring a special 90-minute Friday break for Muslim employees, saying it will set a wrong precedent and accused the Congress of “communalising” the state’s politics ahead of the assembly polls.Accusing the Congress of pursuing a divisive agenda in its greed for power, the party said few people will be left working in the government offices if Hindus, who observe different forms of pujas across the month, are also given a similar concession. BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma told reporters here that Congress has a history of “dividing” people on communal lines in its greed for power and what it has done in Uttarakhand is an attempt to hide the Harish Rawat government’s failures.”There is no issue with people of different faiths offering prayers of their choice. But this decision will set a wrong precedent on the matter of principle. From Monday to Saturday, faithfuls in our culture worship different Gods and offer prayers. “If everybody is to be given a favour like this, then who will work in government offices. It is an attempt to communalise the state’s politics ahead of the polls as the government has failed on all fronts. It has nothing to show to people for its work and is attempting to hide its failures under its communal agenda,” he said.Congress has given communal colour to terrorism in its greed for power, Sharma alleged, claiming that the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had gone on to say that minorities have the first right to the nation’s resources. For BJP, the poor have the first right, he claimed. The Uttarakhand government has announced a special 90- minute break will be given to the government employees from the Muslim community in the state for Friday prayers.

Notice the discomfort on Rahul baba’s face: Amit Shah hits out at critics of demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP President Amit Shah hit out at the opposition parties protesting demonetization on Tuesday, saying the discomfort is evident on the face of the leaders opposing the move, which should worry only those who possess blackmoney. “Those who don’t have any black money in their homes, do they have any reason to worry? Do you see any worries on the faces of our leaders? Now have a look at the face of Rahul baba (Gandhi) and see if can notice discomfort or not,” Shah said addressing a public meeting here.He also targeted other parties asking the crowd if they could see worry on the faces of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati or AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, as the audience answered back saying “yes”. “All of them are worried,” he said.Underlining the effects of the government’s move to demonetise high currency notes, Shah said that through black money terrorism, naxalite movement, drug mafia and counterfeiters operate and “(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji, with one stroke of the pen, has turned this black money into scrap”.
ALSO READ Demonetization: Paan shop owner gets ‘fake’ Rs 2,000 note in Ahmedabad”On November 7, they said, Modi ji what did you do on the issue of black money. Now they say, Modi ji why did you do it. The what has turned into why. They are concerned who have millions and billions stashed in their bungalows,” Shah said, taking another jibe at opposition party leaders.The BJP President said that if the human body has an ailment, doctors have to conduct an operation and similarly, demonetization will have a positive effect. “The way demonetization is being opposed, I believe, these people are siding with black money and corruption,” he added.
ALSO READ BJP by-poll victory indicates people support PM Modi’s war on black money: Assam CM Sonowal Shah claimed that BJP was sensitive to the problems being faced by people queuing up outside the banks and ATMs but said they must realise that the step had hurt “those sleeping over hoardes of blackmoney three thousand times more than the people on the streets”.Addressing a huge gathering on the occasion of Parivartan Yatra in the Kumaun University SSJ Campus, Shah said that people have to make a decision in the upcoming assembly elections in Uttarakhand – whether they want a state which is developed or not – as he sought votes to bring change in the state, presently ruled by a Congress government. “We will work to combat Chinese insurgency at the border, control generation of electricity, and work for industrial progress for the benefit of Uttarakhand people,” he said as he appealed to the people to vote for BJP, which “will give you a strong, fear-free and corruption-free government” and then Uttarakhand will be the strongest state in the country.
ALSO READ Demonetization just the ‘beginning’ of fight against black money, says PM Modi in emotional appeal to BJP lawmakersAccusing the Harish Rawat government of doing nothing without taking commission, Shah said having a BJP government both in the state and at the Centre will serve the interests of Uttarakhand better as it would help the benefits of the central schemes and funds percolate to the ground level.He claimed that Uttarakhand could not progress under the Congress as he accused the party of carrying out corruption to the tune of Rs 12 crore. He appealed to the people to ‘save the state’ by putting an end to the current regime. Targeting Rahul Gandhi, he said the Congress vice president had no right to shed “crocodile tears” over One Rank One Pension (OROP) as three generations of party leadership had failed to address the issue which Modi did within two years of coming to power.”Modi fulfilled the vexed demand when Rahul Gandhi had disappeared for six months with no one having any clue of his whereabouts. Perhaps he is not aware of what happened during his disappearance,” he alleged. “Modi has fulfilled an age-old demand. There may be some small outstanding issues which are being looked into by a commission,” Shah told the gathering that included former chief ministers and other top most leaders of Uttarakhand BJP who also made speeches before the party president.

Chinkara case: SC issues notice to Salman Khan; agrees to hear Rajasthan govt’s plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court issued a notice to Salman Khan on Friday on Rajasthan government’s plea in the chinkara poaching case. The apex court agreed to hear the plea filed by the state government challenging Khan’s acquittal in the case.The Rajasthan government had filed appeal in the Supreme Court on October 19 against the acquittal of by the High Court in the two poaching cases.On July 25, Salman was acquitted by the High Court while setting aside the trial court’s conviction and sentence to five-year jail term for hunting and killing two endangered chinkara deer and one black buck in Rajasthan in 1998. Khan has spent time in a Jodhpur jail twice. Both animals are protected and killing them is a punishable offence.In the appeal, the state government said, “the high court has erroneously exercised its revisional powers to set aside concurrent findings of both the lower courts which convicted Salman.””That minor discrepancies in trial shall never dilute the entire prosecution case and the high court has failed to see the entire circumstances which have proved beyond doubt against the actor,”as per the appeal.It contended that Salman khan had ample opportunity to cross examine the eye witness Harish Dulani, the driver of Zypsy and he intentionally did not examine him.The court should have accepted the statement given by the witness against Salman. Salman Khan’s conviction was based on material evidence which the high court has turned down on hyper technical issues which is unsustainable, the state said seeking reversal of high court order. In the first case, Salman had faced trial for killing the animal at Bhawad on the outskirts of Jodhpur on September 26, 1998, and the other at Ghoda Farms on September 28, 1998 during shooting for the film Hum Saath Saath Hain.Salman Khan moved the Jodhpur bench of the High Court to challenge his conviction by a lower court and award of one and five-year terms in the two poaching cases. His appeal was allowed and he was let off in the case.

WebMajor organisational changes at Tata Sons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tata Sons on Friday announced some major organisational changes amidst the ongoing spat between the group and ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry.Less than two weeks after the boardroom war broke out on October 24, the Group has brought in a new management structure, as promised by Interim Chairman Ratan Tata in his letter to group employees. It had disbanded the Group Executive Council (GEC) instituted by Mistry.On Thursday, DNA Money had reported that the Tata Group is all set to put in place a new management structure for the $100 billion (in combined annual revenue) salt-to-software conglomerate. The report had also said that brand custodian Mukund Rajan, and former Titan COO, Harish Bhat, who were earlier part of the now-disbanded GEC, would be offered fresh roles in the new structure.According to a media communiqué from the Tata Group, Rajan will continue to be responsible for ethics and sustainability, and will take additional responsibility of overseeing the operations of the overseas representative offices of Tata Sons in the US, Singapore, Dubai and China. Harish Bhat, in addition to his responsibilities for Marketing and Customer Centricity, will, henceforth, be responsible for managing the Tata Brand as well. In the interim, he will oversee the functions of Strategy and Business Development.S Padmanabhan, who currently heads the Tata Business Excellence Group, will also oversee the group’s human resources (HR) responsibilities. Gopichand Katragadda will continue to be the Group Chief Technology Officer, said the communiqué. Sanjay Singh will oversee Public Affairs out of the Delhi office.The statement also said Nirmalya Kumar, NS Rajan and Madhu Kannan have decided to explore options outside Tata Sons and have left the company.On October 24, Ratan Tata had written to employees that “a new management structure is being put in place”, with a selection committee formed to find a new Chairman. Meanwhile, on Friday, journalists and photographers, who were outside the Bombay House, the headquarters of the Tata Group, were assaulted during an altercation with the company’s security guards. Several journalists had assembled outside Bombay House to report on the scheduled board meeting of Indian Hotels Company, a Tata Group company. A Tata Sons spokesperson later apologised for the incident.

Arnab Goswami after Times Now: ‘Star’ anchor needs reinvention to beat audience fatigue

Do you recall the last time a news anchor leaving his job raising sound bytes, digital space reporting it and newspaper columns being devoted it? Times Now anchor’s leaving his job, a normal step that most employees take, has become a talking point for the nation. Arnab Goswami, the editor-in-chief of Times Now, is a brand of his own and his absence will be reflected in the ‘low’ Television Rating Points (TRPs).

According to a report by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Goswami, commands nearly 76 percent of the English news viewership in the time band between  9 pm to 11 pm, when he hosts his show ‘Newshour’.

Goswami, an enfant terrible of Indian news media, elicits extreme reactions from viewers. They either love his style of journalism or dislike his in-your-face insults and jibes. However, his triumph is: No one can ignore the news anchor and his style of opinionated news.

Arnab Goswami. CNN-News18Arnab Goswami. CNN-News18

Arnab Goswami. CNN-News18

How will Goswami’s change of employer or entrepreneurship affect him? Will Times Now, the channel suffer on account of his departure? Will he be able to recreate the magic with another channel?

The extreme reactions that Goswami provokes with his channel leaves a bank of mixed viewership, not surprising given his forceful arguments, his lack of a patience on the show and his defensiveness counted in sheer decibels. Brand specialists see him as a brand that evokes extreme reactions but these qualities have worked for him and the channel. Experts rule out chances of his persona being impacted because he leaves a familiar territory such as Times Now where he has worked for a decade.

The ‘Brand Arnab’

‘Brand Arnab’ is a bigger part of Newshour, says Harish Bijoor, Chief Executive Officer of brand and business strategy firm Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. He says many brands are ensconced in ‘Brand Arnab’ like the channel – Times Now, Newshour Live and Newshour. “However, the anchor is the biggest portfolio among them all. The program is associated with the anchor,” says Bijoor.

What has worked for Brand Arnab are a mix of factors. The change in society from Doordarshan days of yore is one of them. Some of DD anchors were brands too. For instance, Tejeshwar Singh was known for his baritone or Minu Talwar was known for his impeccable news-reading. Bijoor says that Arnab’s face with the boy-next-door image and an earnestness to get to the nitty gritties is what has endeared him to his audience. “At the end of the day, you want an anchor you can identify with and Arnab fits that bill. When a news anchor talks to his audience, he looks into the eyes of the audience and then the voice and tenor takes over. Arnab succeeded on all counts,” believes Bijoor.

Goswami is credited for making news hour less about news and more about opinions which is often explained in his now-famous catch phrase, “The Nation Wants To Know”. He verbally pummelled his way through discussions, swatted off the ones who had contradictory views and tried hard to be heard in the din that the Newshour program is. “That was the gap in news programs in India that Arnab filled and got the audience with him,” says Bijoor, adding that his absence on Newshour was reflected in low TRPs.

The loyalty that ‘Brand Arnab’ commands is reflective of his popularity, say experts. He fulfills the expectations from a brand such as loyalty, brand recall. “However what stands out is his commitment,” says Bijoor.

Would ‘Brand Arnab’ work in another setting with this same format? Both agree it would not, unless he reinvents himself. “Times Now and ‘Brand Arnab’ are the yin and yang that worked with each other and both will have to reinvent themselves as they leave this partnership.

The future

When stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma decided to leave channel Colours and move his show to Sony TV, the audience took time to accept the change,  says Bijoor. He says that this is a possibility as audience association with the anchor and the channel is as one entity.

The fact that he is being talked about is a victory in itself, says Alpana Parida, Managing Director, DY Works, a Mumbai-based brand strategy and brand design. Parida gives an example of RK Laxman and his pocket cartoons that were eagerly awaited by the his fans. “I know the reference is a bit stretched but Arnab focusses on the issues that affect people and is bold enough to ask questions till he gets the answers.”

She says Goswami is a bigger brand than the channel. “Arnab’s loyal audience will follow him. His news program is more about opinions and analysis of facts. But he scored over the other channels because he asked the uncomfortable questions to his guests that people wanted to know and were afraid to ask. He has been teased, many have taken potshots at him but the fact is he managed to catch the ‘pulse of the nation’, as he would term it. And he is right,” says Parida.

The channel and the anchor will be closely watched in the future to monitor how they fare without each other. “As long as there are people who want to know what is happening in the country and want people in power to be questioned relentlessly, there will be an audience for Arnab,” says Parida.

Will it still be ‘The Nation Wants To Know’ or a new coinage. The verdict will be soon out as Goswami makes his views felt from a different channel.

Uttarakhand: Rawat admits govt found 31 skeletons near Kedarnath

Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government on Monday admitted that many skeletons had been recovered from near the Kedarnath temple that was badly hit by flash floods and heavy rains in 2013.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat confirmed that 31 skeletons had been recovered and that 23 had been cremated.

The shocking discovery was made at Triyuginarayan, a spot on the Kedarnath trek which was hit by flash floods and heavy rains in June 2013.

The DNA of the skeletons has been preserved for forensic tests and identification at a later stage, he added.

The disclosure comes after sketchy and unconfirmed reports of recovery of several human skeletons in the Kedarnath region.

Harish Rawat. PTIHarish Rawat. PTI

Harish Rawat. PTI

Officials fear the skeletons were possibly of devotees who fled the raging river waters after the cloud burst over Kedarnath and trekked to higher altitudes but died due to lack of food and water.

The cremation of the remaining eight skeletons would be conducted on Tuesday, an official told IANS.

Chief Minister Rawat has directed officials to do a threadbare combing of the region for the next days to look for more skeletons.

Officials pointed out that the discovery of the 31 skeletons in the Triyuginarayan area indicated that there could be more skeletons buried in the area.

Massive rains struck the Kedarnath-Badrinath and Gangotri routes in 2013, even as the annual ‘Chaar Dhaam’ pilgrimage was underway.

Several thousands had died in the calamity and hundreds had gone missing.

A brief search operation was conducted then but was aborted. Some families conducted their own search and combing expeditions but with very little success.

Jharkhand: Youth dies in custody after being held for objectionable post on beef over Whatsapp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 22-year-old man from Jharkhand less than a week after being arrested for allegedly sharing an objectionable remark about beef on Whatsapp, reports The Indian Express..As per the family, Ansari was beaten up and tortured while in custody. The police say he died due as he suffered from encephalitis. They said that there were prima facie lapses by officer-in-charge of Narayanpura police station, Sub-Inspector Harish Pathak as he did not check about his medical condition. He has now been suspended. An FIR has been filed against him.Two days after being arrested Ansari’s father came to know he had been shifted to Dhanbad for treatment after he suffered from injuries. He was suspended immediately.”There was a scuffle at the police station between Ansari’s parents and the officer-in-charge, Harish Pathak. Ansari’s family filed a written complaint against Pathak, following which an FIR of attempt to murder and outraging the modesty of a woman was registered against him,” Jamtara Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Kumar Dubey said.Ansari died two days after being shifted to RIMS.An joint inquiry will be carried out over by the Sub Divisional Officer and Sub Divisional Police Officer.The family will be paid Rs 2 lakh.

Uttarakhand elections 2017: BJP to prepare ‘chargesheet’ against CM Harish Rawat to remove ‘the most corrupt government’

Ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, BJP asked its party cadre on Thursday to “publicise” Centre’s “achievements” and prepare a “chargesheet” against Harish Rawat government terming it as “the most corrupt government” in the state’s history.The appeal to publicise the Centre’s “achievements”, especially what it has done for the empowerment of the poor and women and expose the current dispensation was made by BJP national secretary and media incharge Shrikant Sharma at a day-long party workshop in Dehradun.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Taking Centre’s achievements especially in the field of empowering poor and women through schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana and Ujjwala Yojana to people and exposing the state’s most corrupt government alone can power the BJP to victory in the next Assembly polls,” Sharma said.Describing Rawat’s continuance in office as a “plain political manipulation”, he said the state Cabinet s decision to pass the Appropriation Bill once again proves that the legislation had been defeated in the House and the government had fallen on March 18. “Rawat s continuance in office despite being reduced to a minority is pure political manoeuvre,” he said.Calling the Rawat government as “the most corrupt government” Uttarakhand had seen since its creation, he said the sting operation against the CM bore testimony to the fact.He asked party workers to go to people and convince them that 2017 Assembly elections was an opportunity for them to get rid of a government “steeped in corruption” and install a “development-oriented” government.

Rs 12 lakh crore-worth scams took place during UPA rule: Amit Shah

BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday alleged that scams to the tune of Rs 12 lakh crore took place during the 10 year rule of the UPA government.Addressing the BJP state council meeting at Haldwani, Shah alleged Congress had shamed the country with scams in 2G spectrum auction, coal block allocation, and the AgustaWestland chopper deal, among others.He also targeted the Harish Rawat-led Congress government in the state, alleging that it had used money power to win the trust vote. He said that the state government had been unsuccessful on every front in the last 2 years.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shah exhorted party workers to work unitedly to achieve success in the Uttarakhand assembly polls in 2017.Meanwhile, BJP leader Ajay Bhatt was officially announced as the state BJP chief during the meeting. He has been holding post since January this year. In the meeting, a resolution praising assistance provided by the Centre to Uttarakhand was passed. Another resolution was passed which highlighted the alleged failures of the state government, senior BJP leader Prakash Pant said.

Amit Shah sounds poll bugle in Uttarakhand, slams Harish Rawat

Describing the Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand as “one steeped in corruption”, BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday asked the people to dislodge it from power and help the lotus “bloom” in the state.”With a BJP government at the Centre, it would be ideal if there is a BJP government in the state as well. That would ensure smooth implementation of development schemes conceived for the state by the Centre,” he said sounding the poll bugle from the party’s Shankhnad rally at Rishikul Maidan here. Asking the people to get rid of a “corrupt government embroiled in scams”, Shah said if they were looking for development, they should overthrow it in the 2017 Assembly polls in the state and let the lotus bloom.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mocking at Congress for accusing BJP of “murdering democracy” in the hill state, Shah urged the people never to forget June 25, the date on which former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had declared Emergency and “muzzled the whole nation”. “You should never forgive those who imposed Emergency and murdered democracy silencing a whole nation and reducing the media to a helpless mouthpiece of those in power,” he said.Assuring that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “grandiose” plans for Uttarakhand, Shah said it was necessary to have a BJP government in the state to help those plans materialise.Taking a dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for “repeatedly asking” what has the BJP government done in the last two years, he said the party has given the country an “audible” Prime Minister in place of “one who was audible only to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi”. “You ask us what did we do? My answer is, we have given the country a Prime Minister who speaks. You had given the country a PM who could be heard either by you or Soniaji,” he said, adding that the Congress’ also left a legacy of scams worth Rs 12 lakh crore.Rolling out a long list of schemes launched by the Modi government, especially for the poor, farmers and women, the BJP president said Rahul should pose the question to Rawat instead. “While you (Rahul) relax and beat the heat in a foreign land, you ask us what did we do in two years. You better ask that question to your Harish Rawat whom the whole country saw negotiating a deal to buy back the support of disgruntled MLAs for Rs 5 crore each,” said Shah referring to the sting CD controversy involving the Uttarakhand Chief Minister.With his “track record of corruption”, Rawat has no right to remain as the Chief Minister even for a minute, he said, exhorting the people to give BJP a mandate so that Centre’s schemes, including distribution of free LPG connections to five crore poor by 2018, could be achieved in totality.

Amit Shah on three-day Uttarakhand visit, to attend state meet

BJP chief Amit Shah will be on a three-day visit to Uttarakhand during which he will attend the state unit’s executive meeting on June 26 and address a rally in Haridwar a day before, in what is being seen as the launch of the party’s campaign for the assembly polls next year. He will also pay obeisance at Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines.After the party’s attempt to dislodge the Harish Rawat-led Congress government came a cropper, Shah is set to spearhead a determined electoral campaign in the state which will go to the polls along with Uttar Pradesh and Punjab early next year, party sources said. The electoral significance of the small state has increased after the saffron party’s embarrassment in its bid to oust Rawat.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shah’s visit to the state and the decision to attend the executive meeting to fine tune the party’s strategy comes amid speculation that Rawat, who believes his political prospects have improved after he outsmarted BJP in the power game, could opt for an early election. He will visit the holy places on June 25 and hold a rally in Haridwar in the evening.Shah had recently told reporters that there is a “strong anti-incumbency” mood in the state and his party will storm back to power whenever polls are held.The party will also have to take a call on whether it will project a chief ministerial candidate. It has four former chief ministers, including B C Khanduri, B S Koshyari, Ramesh Pokhriyal and Vijay Bahuguna, who recently quit the Congress to join it, in its ranks.

Land row: BJP minister Girish Mahajan fails to keep his promise

After dna’s exposé, BJP minister Girish Mahajan had promised that he would return the controversial 4.97 acre of land at Manpur (Bhusawal) to the Dalit farmer. However, the Dalit farmer is still waiting to get back the land.”I had got a call from Girish Mahajan’s personal assistant, saying that minister will meet me on Friday and would hand over our land to us. We also got similar calls from two local BJP corporators saying that Mahajan is an honest minister and he wants to return back the land. On Friday, I waited till evening for his call but in vain,” said Harish Govind Tayade (40), son of Govind Jangalu on whose name land registered in the 7/12 extract.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tayade said that he had planned to go out on Friday but he wanted his land back from the minister so he stayed at home the entire day. “I tried calling minister’s personal assistant and corporators but no one answered the call. I did not know what went wrong. We often experience in our daily life that politicians never remain true to their words, I hope Mahajan doesn’t go back on his promise. The Manpur land belongs to us and it is our right to get back the land. The land has been lying vacant for the last 14 years. We have lost so much,” he said.Tayade runs a small grocery shop at Manpur. “Once we were good farmers and used to get enough food from our land. Now, we are landless because of greedy politicians. I am finding it very difficult to make our ends meet. Once I get back our land, we will be happy again,” Tayade said.When dna contacted Mahajan, he was not available for comment. However, a local resident of Bhusawal, Ravi Patil said that Mahajan may delay his decision due to his personal reasons. “But I am sure that he will surely give back the land. Otherwise, the minister will lose his credibility and local standing,” Patil said.

India BJP’s ‘Hindu mass exodus’ list sparks anger

The BJP denies that its lists showing mass exodus of Hindus from two towns in northern Uttar Pradesh state was intended to create religious divisions.

Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker disqualifies BJP’s Bhimlal Arya, Congress’ Rekha Arya under anti-defecation law

Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on Thursday disqualified BJP’s Bhimlal Arya and Congress’ Rekha Arya from the House under the anti-defection law for voting against their parties during the floor test held on May 10.Both the legislators have been disqualified under the anti-defection law for going against the whip issued by their parties and cross voting during the Supreme Court-monitored floor test, Kunjwal told PTI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There was enough evidence against them to prove that they went against the whips of their parties and action was taken on that basis,” he said.This is the second such action by the Speaker who had on March 27 disqualified nine Congress MLAs who had revolted against Chief Minister Harish Rawat and joined hands with BJP. There are now 60 MLAs in the 71-seat legislature.Violating party whip, BJP Ghansali MLA Bhimlal had voted in favour of the Harish Rawat government while Congress legislator from Someshwar Rekha had voted in favour of BJP during the confidence vote. Both the parties had petitioned the Speaker through their Chief Whips in the assembly demanding action against the MLAs under the anti-defection law.Bhimlal inclination towards Congress was well known and had led to his suspension from the party. But Rekha had switched her loyalty at the eleventh hour arriving at the state assembly in the company of BJP MLAs and cross voting during the floor test.However, her support could not help BJP topple the Rawat government as the party’s tally remained static at 28 whereas Congress, helping the Congress dispensation sail through with the support of 33 MLAs including Bhimlal.

Sting CD row: CBI to question Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat today

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will on again question Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday in connection with the ongoing preliminary enquiry into an alleged sting operation against him.The CBI had earlier questioned Rawat on May 24 for over five hours in connection with the sting operation where he was shown offering bribe to rebel Congress MLAs to save his government.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttarakhand chief minister had said that this was a conspiracy against him.”I believe the entire nation is watching this. And very soon there will be a solution to this conspiracy,” he said.Continuing his tirade against the BJP-led Centre for handing over the matter to the CBI, Rawat said this was done when Uttarakhand was under President’s rule.Meanwhile, Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt said that Rawat should cooperate with the CBI rather than blaming anyone in this regard.”He should cooperate with the CBI. Why is he blaming us? The CBI is an independent agency. He should better cooperate in this matter rather than blaming anyone,” Bhatt said.Earlier, the Uttarakhand High Court had refused to quash the ongoing CBI probe into the sting operation, following which the agency had summoned the Chief Minister.The TV sting operation was done in March, when rebel Congress lawmakers voted against the state budget, triggering a political crisis.Later, Rawat government was sacked by the Centre and the state was placed under President’s Rule.However, Congress knocked the door of the Court and Rawat returned as Chief Minister after winning a trust vote ordered by the Supreme Court earlier this month.

Uttarakhand: BJP meets Guv, demands CBI probe into attack on MLA’s house

BJP has demanded a CBI probe into the attack on former Khanpur MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion’s House in Roorkee. Accusing ruling Congress leaders of instigating a mob to indulge in arson, BJP has submitted a memorandum to the Governor in this regard. Champion is one of the nine MLAs who had rebelled against the Harish Rawat government, plunging the state into a political crisis. He has since joined the BJP. A BJP delegation, led by the party’s state unit chief Ajay Bhatt, called on Governor Krishna Kant Paul here last evening. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the memorandum submitted to the Governor, the delegation accused certain Congress leaders of provoking an angry mob to attack Champion’s house and indulge in arson by torching vehicles parked there. The BJP delegation alleged that the Chief Minister was “acting out of political vendetta to damage those who had revolted against him”. Citing a threat to opposition leaders’ lives under the Rawat government, the delegation demanded strengthening the security of all the BJP leaders, including Champion, and dismissal of the government. Thirty-two people, including 12 police personnel, were injured on Wednesday as an alleged forcible evacuation of a scrap dealer’s shop and desecration of a religious book kept there by an uncle of Champion and his men sparked tension between two communities in Landhaura area of Roorkee. The groups clashed with each other and allegedly indulged in arson at the former MLA’s residence, prompting the police to intervene. Thirteen persons have been arrested in connection with the incident, including Champion’s uncle Rajkumar Krishna Singh and section 144 imposed in the area.

BJP accuses Harish Rawat of wasting public money on self-aggrandizing ads

Dehradun: Accusing Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat of “misusing” public money, BJP demanded that a case be registered against him and the DG of Information and Public Relations for putting out advertisement aimed at “personal image building” in violation of a Supreme Court directive.

Referring to a full-page advertisement put out by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations in several newspapers on 23 May, BJP spokesperson Munna Singh Chauhan said it was not at all related to matters of public interest and welfare.

“Putting out ads in newspapers and the media is the government’s prerogative and we have no objection to that. But a look at the content of the ad makes it clear it is not related to any matter of public interest.

A file photo of Harish Rawat. PTIA file photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

A file photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

“It has been brought out clearly to push the political agenda of the CM and is also highly critical of CBI which was to interrogate him just a day later in connection with the sting CD case,” Chauhan said.

Alleging that the advertisement was virtually Rawat’s “mercy petition” before the people of the state a day before his interrogation by the investigating agency, the BJP leader said it was like an “election poster” painting the CM as the “survivor of a conspiracy to finish him politically”.

Chauhan claimed the advertisement put out by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations at the behest of the chief minister was not just violation of the Supreme Court ruling against spending of public money over personal image building of a politician but was also against the CBI.

It was as a result of this ad that there was a protest against CBI in New Delhi, he said, demanding that a case be registered against the chief minister for alleged breach of peace.

The party will soon call on Governor K K Paul seeking a direction to the law enforcement agencies to register a case against the CM and the Director General of Information and Public Relations for publishing the ad.

The advertisement shows Rawat thanking the deities of Uttarakhand, its people, his MLAs and the Congress’ central and state leaderships for their support during the recent political crisis in Uttarakhand.

It also speaks of a “conspiracy” to finish Rawat politically by “dragging him into a CBI probe” and lowering his image in the eyes of the people of Uttarakhand.

Chauhan said the DG of Information and Public Relations must be booked as he issued orders for putting out the ad which was critical of the country’s apex investigating agency and thus became party to a political campaign.

“How can a government official become part of a political campaign to vilify the CBI,” he asked.

Harish Rawat examined by CBI for nearly five hours

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat was on Tuesday examined by CBI for nearly five hours in connection with a preliminary inquiry into a sting operation involving him with the agency claiming he did not fully answer some questions during the session.Accompanied by some supporters and an MLA, Rawat arrived at the CBI headquarters at 11 AM, probably becoming the first sitting chief minister to come to the agency headquarters for being examined in a preliminary enquiry.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was questioned by the probe team till 4 PM during which a number of queries related to his relations with the owner of a news channel, alleged bribe proposal made to one dissident MLA by him and a minister in his cabinet, besides his claims on the purported sting video were asked.”The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat was examined today in connection with inquiry in the alleged sting operation. Further examination will continue. He will be called again,” CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said.Sources in the agency later claimed that Rawat could not “furnish full and complete details” on many issues for which he has been called again which was countered by him saying he fully cooperated with the agency.The sources, however, failed to elaborate on what specific points Rawat did not furnish details.After coming out from the session, Rawat said he cannot reveal the questions asked by the probe team.”I need not produce any evidence. I have neither done any horse trading nor given any money to anyone. I never said I want MLAs. I will come again on June 7th. People of electronic media reach anywhere. I accorded that journalist respect and he blackmailed me. Media needs to ponder over this,” he said.

Sting CD case: Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat to appear before CBI today

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat will on Tuesday appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with a sting operation probe in which he was allegedly shown offering bribe to rebel Congress MLAs to save his government.The investigating agency had earlier rejected the notification of the Uttarakhand Government after taking legal opinion which said that there was no ground for its withdrawal.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier on May 20, the Congress government in Uttarakhand decided to constitute a judicial committee to look into various issues, including incidents unfolding after March 17-18 such as horse trading, misuse of agencies and sting operation among others.Justifying the Cabinet’s decision, Rawat then said that it was in the wider interest of the state that this matter is handed over to a judicial commission.The video shows Rawat indulging in horse trading a day before President’s rule was imposed in Uttarakhand on March 27.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had alleged that the sting was proof of unfair means used by the Rawat regime to stay in power.Rawat has maintained his innocence in the matter and termed the entire episode as a ‘conspiracy’ to tarnish his image.

Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat asked to appear before CBI on 24 May

New Delhi: On Sunday, the CBI asked Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat to appear before the agency on 24 May in connection with a probe into the sting operation involving him.

Rawat has been asked to appear on Tuesday, official sources said.

The CBI had last week rejected the Uttarakhand government’s notification withdrawing the case related to the sting operation.

The agency 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 CBI will continue its preliminary inquiry into the episode that allegedly involved horse trading attempts to save the Rawat government.

A file photo of Harish Rawat. PTIA file photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

A file photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

CBI had registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) on 29 April to probe the “sting operation” purportedly showing Rawat offering bribes to rebel Congress lawmakers to support him during a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly.

The agency had summoned Rawat for examination for 9 May but he had sought more time after which he won the floor test and returned to power.

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 met on 15 May and withdrew the notification recommending a CBI probe into a 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.

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.

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.

On 20 May, Justice Sarvesh Kumar Gupta of the Uttarakhand High Court had said quashing the CBI probe into the sting CD at this stage was not possible.

Hema Upadhyay case: Crime branch to probe double murder

Mumbai: The Mumbai Police has handed over the double murder case of well-known installation artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani to the Crime Branch, after the local police failed to make headway in the case.

On December 12 last year, Kandivali police had recovered the bodies of Hema (44) and her lawyer Harish (65) from a drain in the suburb.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Atul Kulkarni yesterday handed over the case to the Unit VII of Crime Branch, a senior police official said.

So far, Hema’s husband Chintan Upadhyay and four other accused — Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar, Vijay Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu– have been arrested in connection with the case.

However, the main accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar is still on the run. All the arrested accused have been booked for murder, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the IPC, police said.

File photo. PTIFile photo. PTI

File photo. PTI

In March this year, Kandivali Police had filed a 2,000 page chargesheet against Chintan and four other accused in the case. The chargesheet comprised Call Detail Records of Chintan and the rest of the accused including absconding accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar and the messages exchanged between them, along with statements of some witnesses.

Chintan’s domestic discord with Hema and their property dispute and the maintenance demand by Hema in a family court and high court over divorce was believed to be the motive for the murder conspiracy.

The police had listed 30 witnesses in the case including absconding accused Vidyadhar’s mother who has allegedly named Chintan in her statement.

According to police, Vidyadhar’s mother has said that her son had earlier told her that Chintan had given him money to murder Hema.

Apart from Vidyadhar’s mother, police had also incorporated Hema’s servant Lalit Mandal in the list of witnesses.

In the charge sheet, the police had claimed that even the murder of Bhambhani was pre-meditated as he represented Hema in all her cases and Chintan wanted to finish them both.

Chintan, accused of conspiring to kill Hema and her lawyer was arrested on December 22. He is still behind bars. Sleuths from Unit VII have begun the probe in the case, police said, adding the team would today discuss the way forward with JCP Atul Kulkarni.

BJP MP Tarun Vijay attacked by mob for visiting temple with Dalits

Dehradun: Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay was today attacked by a mob and his car vandalized after he came out of a temple with Dalit leaders in Chakrata, 180 kilometres from Dehradun.

The mob attacked Vijay and the Dalit leader apparently for visiting the temple where entrance of persons belonging to backward castes is prohibited.

Tarun VijayTarun Vijay

A file photo of Tarun Vijay. AFP

“Vijay, along with a few Dalit leaders visited Silgur Devta temple. The mob pelted stones on them when they stepped out of the temple,” Sub Inspector, Chakrata police station, Lalit Kumar said.

The police team present there rescued the Uttarakhand MP and the Dalit leaders who sustained minor injuries, Kumar said, adding Vijay was taken to a hospital and his condition is stated to stable.

Condemning the attack, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat ordered Garhwal Commissioner to look into the incident.

“Such incidents will not be tolerated. Strict action will be taken against those found responsible for the attack,” Rawat said.

Following the Chief minister’s orders, a team of officers has left Dehradun for Chakrata.

Harish Rawat sting operation: Congress to respond legally to CBI notice

The Congress Party on Friday said that it would respond legally to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) notice to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat in connection with the alleged sting operation.”We don’t have any information in this regard, when we get any details then only we can comment on it. When we get the CBI’s letter, we will go through its legality and cross verify it with the letter that we have sent to the CBI. Only then, we will come to a conclusion,” Congress leader Indira Hridayesh told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The CBI will give a notice and we will answer it legally. Harish Rawat is the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and a decision will be taken after all considerations,” she added.The comments from the grand old party come after the CBI rejected the Uttarakhand Government’s notification withdrawing permission for it to probe a sting operation allegedly involving Rawat.The investigative agency had on Thursday maintained that it will soon call Rawat for certain clarifications in the case.The CBI, on its part, said they have received a communication from the Uttarakhand Government and are getting the matter legally examined.The video shows Rawat indulging in horse trading a day before President’s rule was imposed in Uttarakhand on March 27. The BJP had alleged that the sting was proof of unfair means used by the Rawat regime to stay in power.Rawat has maintained his innocence in the matter and termed the entire episode as a conspiracy to tarnish his image.The Centre revoked President’s rule from Uttarakhand on May 11 after Rawat proved his majority on the floor of the house.

BJP inducts 9 Congress rebels despite state unit’s unease

A week after Harish Rawat won the trust vote in Uttarakhand assembly, nine rebel Congress MLAs joined the BJP despite reservations of its state unit on Wednesday.The BJP leadership inducted the MLAs, including Vijay Bahuguna, after a long meeting with state leaders, including BC Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and state unit chief Ajay Bhatt. The state unit had expressed it’s concerns about the fallout of the Congress rebels coming into the party fold in the elections next year. according to sources.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state leaders also conveyed that the political developments, the imposition of president’s rule and the trust vote had sent a negative message hurt the party’s image, sources said.There was speculation that a tenth Congress MLA may join the BJP later.The state leaders along with incharge Shyama Jaju held a meeting with party president Amit Shah.The final decision, however, was left to Shah.The state leaders felt Congress rebels joining the party could affect equations in constituencies, which the nine Congress rebels had represented and lead to more factionalism. The BJP leaders would also want tickets from the same seats.

From Arvind Kejriwal to Rahul Gandhi: Opponents slam Modi govt after Rawat wins floor test

With Harish Rawat set to be reinstated as Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Opposition parties demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise to Parliament with the Congress hoping he “learns his lesson”.As the Congress, AAP and other opposition parties hailed the return of Rawat, asserting that democracy has won, the CPI(M) said the “anti-constitutional conspiracy” hatched by the BJP to topple the state government has received a “big setback”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP on its part sought to fend off the attack on the party after the Supreme Court gave its nod for Rawat’s return, claiming that the Congress has “bought” majority in the state but it has lost “Uttarakhand people’s majority”.”They (BJP) did their worst. We did our best. Democracy won in Uttarakhand!. Hope Modiji learns his lesson–people of this country and the institutions built by our founding fathers will not tolerate the murder of democracy!,” Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said in a series of tweets.”Prime Minister should apologize in Parliament and sack the Minister who advised him to impose President’s Rule in Uttarakhand,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters.Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to hit out at the Modi government.”Modi Govt shud apologise to the nation for acting in unconstitutional and undemocratic manner in Uttarakhand,” Kejriwal tweeted.The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) said the reinstatement of Rawat is a big setback for the BJP. “This is a big setback to the anti-Constitutional conspiracy hatched by the BJP of trying to topple the government in the state and impose its rule there.”The BJP should learn that its resort to such methods at subterfuge to remove democratically elected state governments headed by opposition parties will not succeed,” the party said in a statement.BJP said that Congress has imposed President’s rule in the country on more than 100 occasions and alleged they have “bought” the majority in Uttarakhand but the party has lost the majority of the people of the state.”Congress has put President’s rule in the country for more than 100 times. It (Uttarakhand episode) was Congress’s internal strife. There was revolt among the Congress MLAs due to the anti-people policy of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. “The MLAs revolted against Harish Rawat as he was involved in corruption,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma alleged, adding,” That is why their government fell and President’s rule was imposed in the state. Congress has bought majority, they did not get majority. But Congress has lost Uttarakhand people’s majority.”

Has Harish Rawat won the Uttarakhand floor test? Here’s what it all really means

The Uttarakhand Assembly took a floor test of former chief minister Harish Rawat’s government on Tuesday, and according to reports on various news channels, Rawat has won the trust vote. The Supreme Court of India will declare the official result on Wednesday.

It was an unprecedented vote in that it is being directly supervised by the Supreme Court.

In India’s constitutional history, the courts have never had to step in on the functioning of a legislature and it’s for that reason alone that, irrespective of whether Rawat actually wins or loses, the message is already loud and clear. The message is for the NDA government at the Centre. And it is simple: Hands off Article 356.

The BJP should introspect on its acts that brought about this unprecedented denouement in Indian democracy where the apex court not only challenged the Centre’s imposition of President’s Rule in a state, but also accorded to itself the responsibilities of a Speaker. Never before in the parliamentary history of India, not even during the Emergency, had the legislature been subjected to such judicial accountability.

File image of former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat. PTI

File image of former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat. PTI

The BJP should have realised that Article 356 is a no-go area since the SR Bommai case when its use became justiciable. The verdict in the Bommai case was a strict warning against the Centre’s adventurism and vile tactics to topple state governments led by its rivals. But, perhaps the BJP felt emboldened by its machinations in Arunachal Pradesh and made the mistake of implementing the same template in the hill state: Promote instability by luring rebels, impose President’s rule, revoke it and allow the rival faction to manipulate the trust vote.

In Uttarakhand, the high court checkmated the Centre by first, warning it against revoking the President’s Rule to pre-empt a trust vote and then, quashing it. That the Supreme Court almost upheld the spirit of the verdict by mandating voting on the floor of the House under its supervision is a rebuke the Centre should not forget. The other important lesson, and this is for every political party, is that the days of Aayaram and Gayaram are history.

By disqualifying rebel MLAs from voting in the Assembly, the judiciary has upheld the Anti-Defection Law in letter and spirit.

The fear of the law is now evident in Uttarakhand legislators. Before the Supreme Court-monitored voting, there were rumours that many horses were available for trading in the state’s political market. Now, afraid that they would be disqualified, they have gone back to their party stables.

Over the past two months, the Narendra Modi government has faced a series of embarrassments, taken several U-turns and been forced to rollback decisions it announced with a lot of fanfare.

The way it has gone around destabilising governments in smaller states — first Arunachal Pradesh and then Uttarakhand — it is apparent the BJP is using the Lok Sabha mandate to accumulate power through undemocratic means. Instead of using the mandate to fulfil the promises made to voters, it is more eager to destroy the rivals and pursue politics of vendetta. Perhaps the only jumla the party has taken seriously is that of making India Congress-mukt.

Even if it manages to topple the Congress government in Uttarakhand, the blot of being made to fall on its knees by the judiciary after toying with Article 356 will be difficult to erase.

When Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph, who was part of the two-member bench that quashed President’s Rule in the state, announced the verdict, he used some really harsh words for the Centre. He said the Court was “pained” by the Centre’s actions in the case on imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand where the Centre was acting like a “private party” instead of being impartial. “We are pained that the Central government can behave like this. How can you think of playing with the Court?” he asked.

Uttarakhand should be a timely reminder to the BJP against the perils of playing with the Court, Article 356, democracy and the 2014 mandate.

Uttarakhand floor test: Nine rebel Congress MLAs can’t vote, rules SC

New Delhi: While issuing notice on their plea challenging their disqualification, the Supreme Court on Monday gave no relief to nine Congress rebel MLAs seeking to vote during the confidence motion by ousted Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat.

The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday morning dismissed the plea by nine disqualified MLAs. PTI

The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday morning dismissed the plea by nine disqualified MLAs. PTI

Issuing notice to Uttarakhand assembly speaker, the apex court bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh directed the next hearing of the matter on July 12, saying that on that day it will consider the plea of the rebel MLAs for a stay of the judgment that Uttarakhand High Court pronounced earlier on Monday.

The high court on Monday morning dismissed the plea by nine disqualified MLAs, led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who had challenged their disqualification by the speaker under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution providing for disqualification on account of defection.

The confidence motion by Harish Rawat is set to be conducted on Tuesday.

Uttarakhand crisis: SC rejects 9 disqualified rebel MLAs’ plea to participate in floor test tomorrow

After the Uttarakhand High Court dismissed the plea of 9 rebel Congress MLAs to vote, the apex court upheld the HC’s verdict on Monday. The matter will now be heard on July 12.So according to the order made by High Court and the Supreme Court, the 9 rebel MLAs will not be able to take part in the floor test in the assembly to be held tomorrow, May 10.After being disqualified by the HC on Monday, the rebel MLAs approached SC as a last ditch effort. However, the SC has dismissed the plea by the rebel MLAs.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This move comes as a major boost to Congress ahead of the floor test.The nine Congress MLAs had stood against their party on March 18 and supported the BJP by asking for a division of votes on the Appropriation Bill.The President’s rule will temporarily be lifted on Tuesday and former chief minister Harish Rawat will seek the confidence vote in the house. SC allowed for floor test earlier without the participation of 9 rebel MLAs.(With Agency Inputs)

dna Morning Must Reads: From fresh sting video on Harish Rawat, Djokovic winning Madrid open; Game of Thrones and more

1. Uttarakhand crisis: New video stings Harish Rawat, gives BJP fresh ammoAs Congress and BJP prepared for a crucial test of strength in the Uttarakhand assembly on May 10, a new purported sting video targeting deposed chief minister Harish Rawat has sparked off a fierce political row.Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. We require more than 70,000 judges to clear pending cases: CJI TS ThakurThe country requires more than 70,000 judges now to clear the mounting backlog of cases, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur said on Sunday, making a fresh push for speedy appointments to the judiciary.Read more here3. Haji Ali Dargah has every right to ban women: Congress leaderThe grand old party Congress, which is already reeling into Augusta Westland chopper controversy, raked up another one on Sunday, when one of its senior leaders hailed the ban on women in the sanctum sanctorum of Mumbai’s famous Haji Ali Dargah. Nizamuddin Rayeen, chief of Mumbai Congress’ minority, also condemned efforts of the activists seeking “an equal right to pray”. Read more hereGame of Thrones: How the events of Tower of Joy led to the R+L=J theoryDepending on whose version you believe, it was either a love story or an abduction that sowed the seeds of the continuing political turbulence in Westeros. Read more here.5. Madrid Open: Djokovic defeats Murray to win 29th Masters titleWorld number one Novak Djokovic beat defending champion Andy Murray 6-2 3-6 6-3 in the Madrid Open final on Sunday to capture a record 29th Masters crown. Read more here

Uttarakhand crisis: 12 Congress MLAs were paid Rs 25 lakh each by Rawat, claims fresh ‘sting video’

With the Uttarakhand Assembly set to witness a crucial floor test on May 10, a new crisis has risen for former chief minister Harish Rawat in the form of a fresh sting video, which allegedly shows Congress MLA Madan Singh admitting to horse-trading.”Your brother has this much guts to get money out of him (Harish Rawat). I have got them (Congress MLAs) the money and this conversation is between us. I have got the MLAs 25 lakh each. This was given just for the sake of kharcha paani (personal expenditure),” Bisht is seen saying in the video.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The MLAs haven’t demanded the money. I haven’t taken a penny, you can ask Harish Rawat. I told him I won’t take money, give it to poor MLAs. 12 MLAs were paid. I told Harish Rawat to give the money to the MLAs,” he added.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Suspense on fate of 9 disqualified MLAs heightens; HC order one day ahead of floor testUmesh Kumar, the editor-in-chief of Samachar Plus, who released the sting said the new video is in continuation with the old sting that shows which legislator has received how much amount of money.”They themselves are Harish Rawat supporters and they had Cabinet ranks. This sting proves that Horse trading is continuing in Uttarakhand and will counter Former Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s claims that there is no horse trading going on in Uttarakhand,” he added.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: SC directs floor test to be held on May 10, nine disqualified MLAs can’t voteMeanwhile, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiyaand who is camping in the Uttarakhand, said former chief minister Rawat can go to any extent to save his chair.”Harish Rawat can go to any extent to save his chair, he is buying his own MLAs,” he said.

dna Morning Must Reads: Updates on VVIP Chopper Scam; Maharashtra drought; London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan; and more

1. VVIP chopper scam: Tyagi brothers admit to ties with Agusta middlemenAs defence minister Manohar Parrikar mounted an offensive on the Congress in the parliament over the AgustaWestland deal, in a startling revelation, the CBI sources on Friday claimed that former air chief SP Tyagi’s cousins have admitted to having property links with him. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Maharashtra drought: Water transported to Latur is less than a day’s needWhile the entire effort by the railways and state is laudable, the depressing part is that all this water is a full 5 lakh litres less than the daily water requirement of Latur city. Read more here3. Tuesday floor test for Harish Rawat; all eyes on HC decision on rebel MLAsAfter getting Centre’s nod, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly on May 10 for deposed Congress chief minister Harish Rawat to prove his majority. Read more here4. #YesWeKhan: Sadiq Khan declared as the new London mayorThe 45-year-old Opposition candidate takes charge as the first Muslim head of City Hall in London and marks the return of Labour rule to the British capital after eight years of Conservatives in power. Read more here5. Indian Railways attracts Rs 42,000 crore FDI: GovtGovernment on Friday said Indian railways has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) to the tune of Rs 42,000 crore and will soon float tenders for manufacturing rail coaches in the country. Read more here6. Olympics debutant PV Sindhu seeks inspiration from Saina NehwalExcited to make her maiden appearance in the sporting extravaganza, 20-year-old shuttler says quadrennial event is bigger than World Championships. Read more here7. Salman Khan and Sonia Gandhi should have their apps, too, says Sonam Kapoor Here’s Sonam talking about her new app, her connect with social networking and more over a dozen bouts of laughter. Read more here

Uttarakhand Assembly floor test on 10 May: A no-win situation for BJP

With Supreme Court ordering a floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on 10 May to decide the majority of the Harish Rawat-led government, the BJP-led central government might soon have to face embarrassment as it had promulgated President’s rule in the state. However, it would not have come entirely unanticipated for the party as considering the nine rebel Congress legislators not being allowed to vote and the numbers stacked, in all likelihood Rawat should sail through the test.

If Harish Rawat (pictured) pulls off a victory, it would leave the BJP with egg on the face. PTI

If Harish Rawat (pictured) pulls off a victory, it would leave the BJP with egg on the face. PTI

Only over week ago, the apex court had put serious questions to the Centre over the imposition of President’s rule in the state. The most important ones being whether members switching loyalties – strictly a development within the assembly – merited imposition of central rule in Uttarakhand and whether it did not violate the basic principles of the centre-state relations as enunciated by the Bommai judgement of 1994. Friday’s decision can seen be as a logical extension of that.

The state lapsed into a constitutional crisis when the rebel Congress legislators on 18 March not only demanded a division of votes on the money bill but also met the Governor along with BJP leaders demanding the dismissal of the government. But before a floor test – initially scheduled for 28 March – could be conducted, the Centre promulgated President’s rule in the state citing a sting video where Rawat was purportedly shown bribing the party dissidents. This triggered several ethical and constitutional questions.

The bigger question, however, is political. The decision to dismiss the state government was seen as a deliberate move to destabilise Congress governments in the country. Coming after the development in Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress saw strong hints of vendetta politics in the move. It cried itself hoarse that the BJP had claimed to ensure a Congress-mukt Bharat and is going about it by dismantling Congress governments. The BJP, on its part, did not seem to have a strong justification for the imposition of President’s rule. The High Court also found its move not in sync with the constitutional arrangement guiding the centre-state equations.

If Harish Rawat pulls off a victory, it would leave the BJP with egg on the face. Even if he does not, it appears that he won’t be losing much politically. According to political observers in Uttarakhand, the action is generally seen as mindless and it has made the BJP unpopular. With assembly elections due early next year, Rawat would love to play the victim card to the hilt. The nine Congress rebels now stand nowhere. They don’t bring much electoral value to the BJP and thus are not likely to be welcomed to its fold. The chances of them going back to the Congress are almost impossible. This only strengthens Rawat’s hand.

The BJP will now need to re-think its strategy. It was a lose-lose bargain from the beginning. It made matters worse by sticking to its position on the government. Uttarakhand had to face the devastating forest fire without a government in place. Popular opinion is likely to hold it responsible for the sorry state of affairs. With not many months to go for the elections it has the enormous task of rebuilding its image.

Beef ban to continue in Maharashtra, rules Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court on Friday passed order to continue beef ban in Maharashtra while decriminalising possession of beef imported to the state.

The High Court struck down penal provision for possession of beef outside Maharashtra, reported CNN News18.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which criminalises possession of beef brought from outside Maharashtra was hence amended.

However, the High Court upheld Maharashtra government’s decision to ban slaughter of cows bulls, and bullocks in the state.

In February 2015, the President granted assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. While the original 1976 Act banned slaughter of cows, the amendment prohibited, in addition, slaughter of bulls and bullocks and possession and consumption of their meat.

As per the Act, slaughter attracts a five-year jail-term and Rs 10,000 fine while possession of meat of bull or bullock attracts one-year in jail and Rs 2,000 fine.

During the hearing in January, a division bench of Justices AS Oka and SC Gupte had reserved the ruling in January after hearing the arguments.had refused to grant interim stay to the provisions penalising the possession of beef.

Arif Kapadia, a city resident, and noted lawyer Harish Jagtiani had challenged the provision which says mere possession of beef anywhere in the state is a crime.

This is arbitrary and undermines the cosmopolitan nature of the city which houses people from all religions and communities, they contended.

Other petitions had also been filed by Vishal Sheth, a lawyer, and Shaina Sen, a student, contending that the ban on beef violates fundamental rights of citizens.

With inputs from agencies

Uttarakhand sting operation: CBI summons former CM Harish Rawat for inquiry

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday summoned former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat in connection with the sting operation. The sting CD made by the editor-in-chief of a private news channel and circulated by the nine Congress rebels, who created a political crisis in the state by siding with opposition BJP in the state Assembly, purportedly shows Rawat negotiating a money deal with the journalist to buy the support of MLAs who had revolted against him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rawat will join investigation on Monday.Rawat had on Sunday virtually accepted his presence in the video. He, however, said meeting a journalist was not a crime.Claiming innocence, Rawat said if the CD contained evidence of him having made an offer in cash or kind in exchange for the support of disgruntled MLAs he was ready to be hanged in public.”If any evidence is found against me like me offering money or post to anybody, hang me at Clock tower,” he said.Alleging that the sting operation and the CBI probe into it were part of a “criminal conspiracy” by BJP to topple an elected government, he dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah to put him in jail if he is found in the wrong.

Supreme Court asks AG about feasibility of holding floor test in Uttarakhand

Giving a hint that it would pass an order allowing Harish Rawat government to prove his strength in the Assembly, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to make its stand clear by Wednesday on the issue of floor test in Uttarakhand.The court asked Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi to seek instruction from the government in view of the apex court ruling in the Rameshwar Prasad case judgment.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In view of ….judgment, why not have a floor test under our supervision,” a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said and fixed a detailed hearing on Wednesday.President’s Rule was imposed in Uttarakhand after Harish Rawat government was reduced to a minority on March 18.The apex court had on April 22 stayed till April 27 the judgment of the Uttarakhand High Court, which quashed the Presidential promulgation. The Centre has challenged the high court order before the top court.On April 27, it had extended the stay till further orders and had also framed seven questions while giving the liberty to the AG to include other questions the government would like to be addressed.Earlier, the court had also questioned the grounds on the basis of which the President’s Rule was imposed and asked the senior most law officer of the government to address seven queries raised by it.”Whether the Governor could have sent the message in the present manner under Article 175 (2) for conducting floor test,” the bench had said in its first question.It had further asked whether the disqualification of MLAs by the Speaker is a “relevant issue” for the purposes of invoking President’s rule under Article 356 of the Constitution.

Uttarakhand crisis: Centre’s plea challenging High Court order to be heard in Supreme Court today

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear Centre’s petition challenging the Uttarakhand High Court order quashing imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand. An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, had on April 27, directed to continue the President’s rule for the while.Posting the matter for further hearing on Tuesday, it had extended the stay on the high court’s order quashing the central rule in Uttarakhand. The two-judge division bench, comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, had also asked several questions to the Centre asking it to justify imposition of President’s rule in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hearing the Centre’s plea against the Uttarakhand High Court order, the apex court sought to know whether the Governor could have sent a message in the present manner under Article175 (2) to conduct a floor test and if delay in the floor test can be a ground for the proclamation of President’s rule in the state.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Harish Rawat govt is still in minority, claims BJPThe apex court also sought to know whether disqualification of MLAs by the Uttarakhand Speaker is a relevant issue for the purpose of imposing President’s rule under Article 356 and proceedings in the Uttarakhand assembly can be taken note of by the President for imposing his rule.The apex court further asked the Centre as to what the stage is of the Appropriation Bill and when President’s rule comes into the picture with regards to the Appropriation Bill. The Centre had introduced President’s rule on March 27.

Congress targets Centre over forest fires in Uttarakhand

Congress on Sunday attacked the Centre over the raging forest fires in Uttarakhand, which is under President’s rule, saying the Narendra Modi government has “miserably failed” to tackle one of the biggest environmental tragedies of recent times.”On one side Modi government is fuelling the fire of political defection in the peaceful state of Uttarakhand and on the other side the government has miserably failed to tackle one of the biggest environmental tragedies of recent times,” Congress’ communication department chief Randeep Surjewala said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Surjewala claimed that over 5,500 hectares of valuable flora and fauna have been lost in the forest fires.Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, who backed nine Congress MLAs who rebelled against the Harish Rawat government last month, blamed the previous government for failing to make a plan in the past to meet such an eventuality. “What was lacking from the very beginning was that we did not have a plan by the state government and the forest department to meet such an eventuality,” he said.He said if the state government lacked resources to make a plan, it should have asked for assistance from the Centre. The raging fire in the forest areas of Uttarakhand have destroyed about 2,269 hectares of jungles in several districts and claimed at least seven lives till now. Pauri, Nainital, Rudraprayag and Tehri are among the worst-hit districts.

Uttarakhand sting operation: CD testifies criminal conspiracy to topple govt, says Harish Rawat

Deposed Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Saturday asked Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul to take cognisance of a sting operation video against him, claiming it carries enough evidence to prove there was a “criminal conspiracy” by BJP and Congress “backstabbers” to topple an elected government.Rawat said he has been ready for any probe from day one as he knows he is innocent but the “so-called sting CD should be investigated in entirety and not in bits and pieces.” The CBI has initiated its preliminary investigations into the sting operation in which Rawat was purportedly seen talking to middlemen in a bid to strike a deal with rebel Congress MLAs.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agency questioned the journalist allegedly involved in the sting operation at its headquarters in New Delhi yesterday as part of its preliminary enquiry. Alleging that the reputation of the journalist who made the CD has always been under suspicion, Rawat said a close analysis of the content of the CD in totality puts it beyond doubt that there was a “criminal conspiracy jointly hatched by BJP and Congress backstabbers” to topple an elected government in Uttarakhand.Reading out transcripts of the CD as it appeared on social media at a press conference here, Rawat said names of Vijay Bahuguna, Saket Bahuguna and Kailash Vijayvargiya had been mentioned in the CD as people involved in the plot to throw him out of power.Questioning the antecedents of the journalist who had made the CD, Rawat alleged dozens of cases had been lodged against him during the tenure of a former BJP chief minister on the basis of which a red corner notice had also been issued against him.”Why doesn’t the BJP show the courage of instituting a probe against the man who made the CD. His reputation has always been under a cloud of suspicion,” he said.Claiming that he was innocent, he said the CD was made to “malign him – a fact corroborated by its timing exactly six months before the state was to go to polls.” However, he said he was ready for any probe and will cooperate with any impartial inquiry into the sting CD.

Uttarakhand: BJP dares Congress to say sting video was false

Daring Congress to term the “sting operation” on Harish Rawat as false, BJP on Thursday said it was ready to swear by the Ganga and claim the party did not approach any Congress MLA to garner support.”We are ready to swear by the Ganga in front of the media on the appointed day and time to assert that we did not approach any Congress legislator nor did we make him any offer to buy his support.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Our only condition is that Harish Rawat and PCC president Kishore Upadhyaya should also swear by the holy river and say that the sting operation on the former CM was false,” Uttarakhand BJP presidentAjay Bhatt told reporters while replying to Rawat’s remark that BJP should swear by Ganga if it did not made any offer to Congress MLAs. Terming Congress as a “lie-generating machine”, he said the party’s motto is that a lie turns into truth when spoken over again a hundred times.Rawat had earlier asked the BJP to go to Har ki Pairi in Haridwar and swear by the holy waters of the Ganga to say that the party had not approached Congress MLAs for their support.With Congress and BJP hurling allegations at each other in the wake of the political storm in the state, two Congress MLAs on April 26 accused the BJP of offering them a bribe of Rs 50 crore to break ranks with Rawat.Congress MLA from Badrinath Rajendra Bhandari and its MLA from Tharali Jeet Ram alleged they had been offered a bribe of Rs 50 crore, an assembly ticket to a family member and a Rajya Sabha seat by the BJP in exchange for their support.Reacting to the allegation, BJP had asked the Congress to either produce evidence in support of the charge or offer an unqualified apology for making such wild accusation against the party.

Kota: 17-year-old girl kills herself after recieving low scores in IIT-JEE Mains exams

A 17-year-old IIT aspirant, who was studying at a coaching institute in Kota, allegedly jumped to her death on Thursday as she was disappointed with her scores in IIT-JEE Mains, police said. This is the fifth case of student suicide in Kota this year. The JEE Mains results were announced on Wednesday.Kirti allegedly jumped from the fifth floor of the building she was staying in this morning. She was disappointed with her low marks, Harish Bharti, SHO, Jawharnagar police station said. The girl was immediately taken to MBS hospital where the doctors declared her brought dead, the SHO said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She used to live with her father, a resident of Delhi, in a rented flat in Indira Vihar area in Kota. The student had been taking coaching for the IIT-JEE entrance exam for the last two years in Kota, police said.A suicide note was also recovered from her room but nothing can be stated about its content at present, the SHO said.Kirti’s father is still in the state of shock and unable to speak, Bharti said, adding the body has been handed over to the family members after postmortem and further investigation in the matter is underway.Police have lodged a case in this connection, the officer added. This is the fifth case of suicide by students of coaching centres in Kota this year.Kota, the coaching hub for various engineering and medical entrance examinations, has been witnessing an increasing trend in student suicides with the figure touching 18 last year.

Uttarakhand crisis: Supreme Court to hear Centre’s plea today

Harish Rawat-led Congress government was restored in the state by an order of Uttarakhand High Court, however Supreme Court issued a stay on the order on it on Saturday and reinstated President’s rule again. The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear the Centre’s plea against Uttarakhand High Court’s order which set aside the President’s rule in the state.A division bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh had stayed the order till Wednesday. The Uttarakhand High Court order had restored Harish Rawat-led Congress government in the state, but the state came under President’s rule again after Supreme Court stayed the High Court order.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court had earlier clarified that it is keeping in abeyance the judgement of the High Court till the next date of hearing, as a measure of balance for both the parties as the copy of the verdict was not made available to the parties. Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had told the Supreme Court that while the Centre waits for a signed copy, Harish Rawat has already begun taking the decisions.
ALSO READ Supreme Court stays Uttarakhand HC order of lifting President’s RuleRohatgi had requested the apex court for a stay on the Uttarakhand High Court verdict that struck down President’s rule in Uttarakhand, and to direct the High court to deliver a signed copy of the judgement.

Teach BJP a lesson for dislodging my govt: Deposed Uttarakhand CM Rawat

Dehradun: Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has asked the people of the state to teach a befitting lesson to the BJP, accusing it of hatching a conspiracy to topple an elected government.

Rawat held rallies at Tharali, Narayanbagad, Karnaprayag and Gopeshwar in Chamoli district on Sunday and asked people to teach a befitting lesson to the BJP, accusing it of hatching a conspiracy to topple an elected government, creating political instability in the state and derailing its development.

He addressed the rallies as part of the second phase of his save democracy yatra to mobilise public opinion against the imposition of President’s rule in the state.

A file photo of Harish Rawat. PTIA file photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

A file photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

He said though he had no idea when the clouds of political uncertainty will lift from Uttarakhand, assembly elections were not far away and people had a chance to teach a lesson to those guilty of derailing the state’s development.

Assembly elections in Uttarakhand are due early next year.

Rawat also highlighted the decisions taken by him in “public interest” at the two Cabinet meetings he chaired during the brief revival of his government recently in the wake of the High Court’s verdict revoking President rule in the state on which a stay was put by the Supreme Court just a day later.

Though their implementation will depend largely on what the Supreme Court rules on 27 April, Rawat took nearly a dozen populist decisions at the two cabinet meetings with an eye on assembly polls including reappointment of guest teachers and hiking their salary to 15000 per month, setting up a committee to look into reduction of land circle rates, a pension of Rs
3100 for identified statehood agitationists, an increase of Rs 200 in the pensions of widows, old women and the handicapped.

Pradesh Congress President Kishore Upadhyay, who accompanied the former chief minister, claimed large crowds attended the rallies.

This is the second phase of Rawat’s save democracy yatra which covered constituencies of rebel MLAs in its first phase.

Uttarkhand crisis: All you need to know about SC staying High Court’s verdict

The Supreme Court stayed till April 27 the judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing the imposition of President’s rule, giving a new turn to the continuing political drama in the state by restoring the Central rule there. Before passing a brief order, a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh recorded an undertaking given by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the “Union of India shall not revoke the Presidential proclamation till the next date of hearing”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court clarified that it was keeping in abeyance the judgement of the High Court till the next date of hearing on April 27 as a measure of balance for both the parties as the copy of the verdict was not made available to the parties. The High Court judgement had also directed Rawat to prove his majority in the Assembly on April 29.While listing the matter for hearing on April 27, the bench said that the High Court shall provide the judgement passed yesterday to the parties by April 26 and on the same date the copy of the verdict shall also be placed before the apex court.
ALSO READ We will follow SC’s judgement with due respect: Harish RawatThe Supreme Court’s stay has the effect of undoing the revival of the Congress government led by Harish Rawat by the High Court judgement yesterday.During the hearing, the bench also observed that as a matter of propriety the High Court should have signed the verdict so that it would be appropriate for it to go into the appeal.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Centre should allow state governments to function, says CM Harish RawatThe apex court issued notice to Harish Rawat and Chief Secretary of the state on the petition by Centre challenging the quashing of Presidential proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution in the state.Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, along with senior advocate Harish Salve, pressed for the stay of the HC judgement.
ALSO READ Supreme Court stays Uttarakhand HC order of lifting President’s RuleHow can one party have the advantage? He said how one party can be put at advantage and assume the office of Chief Minister when the other party is pushed to disadvantage in the absence of the judgement.Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal, appearing for Rawat and the Assembly Speaker, argued hard against the passing of any interim order saying “you are allowing the appeal by giving the stay”.Sibal was of the view that allowing stay of operation of the High Court verdict would be like enforcing the proclamation of the President rule.During the jam-packed hearing, the bench sought to pacify both the parties saying that it has to take a balanced view as this is a Constitutional court.”We will take on record the copy of the judgement and go through it. This matter may go to Constitution bench,” the bench said.How can Rawat assume office? – AG The high-voltage hearing at 3.30 pm started with the Attorney General attacking Rawat assuming the office as Chief Minister and chairing a cabinet meeting when the copy of the judgement passed yesterday was not made available to parties.”How can the judgement be implemented unless you have the copy of it. It can’t deny a party to file an appeal. I see on TV that the respondent (Rawat) says he has been resurrected as the Chief Minister and late in the night calls for cabinet meeting. How can you say that the government has been resurrected?”In the absence of the copy of the judgement the other party cannot go to appeal. The idea is not that you steal a march,” Rohatgi said while seeking a stay of the high court judgement quashing the imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand and restoring the dismissed Congress government.When the bench asked the Attorney General as to when the hearing on the appeal can take place, he said the judgement has to be signed as a signed judgement cannot be altered. “Today we find that in the absence of the signed judgement, somebody is acting in his office which is not appropriate.””If the judgement is subject to appeal, it cannot be allowed to be implemented. It cannot be subjected to the advantage of some and disadvantage of others,” he submitted assailing the quashing of the March 27 notification on proclamation of President’s rule and the granting of status quo ante by the High Court. He said the Presidential proclamation was based on the Union Cabinet’s note which has considered the apex court’s S R Bommai judgement which has dealt in great length with the issue of Article 356 and the floor test.Rohatgi referred to the March 18 incident when during the presentation and passing of the Appropriation Bill, the Rawat government was reduced to minority with nine Congress MLAs turning rebel and joining hands with 27 BJP MLAs in demanding vote by division which was not allowed by the Speaker and those 35 MLAs complained to the Governor.”Something was brewing,” he said, adding that “if the voting by division was allowed to have taken place, the Rawat government would have fallen on March 18 itself. So, if the money bill falls, the government would have fallen and the majority government would have become minority.””The Speaker was acting in one way,” the AG said, adding that the Speaker had declared the Appropriation Bill passed with a single sentence in Hindi – ‘Bill paarit’. When the bench asked about the communication of Governor to the President, he said, the Governor wrote a series of letters but he did not recommend President’s rule as it was not necessary under the Constitution.He referred to the sting operation aired on March 25 on TV allegedly showing the then Chief Minister clearly talking to some person named Sharma.The discussions were going on for five to seven minutes which was the money talk going on and the then CM was speaking about Rs five crore, Rs 10 crore, Rs 20 crore etc, he contended.Rohatgi said CM was allegedly seen saying he was unable to provide so much of funds. “It is nothing but horse trading,” he said adding that even the Governor says that prima facie it is going on but calls for verification which was actually verified after the file went to the President. “You have to examine the relevant materials and not the adequacy or the sufficiency of the material. Today, all these things are being taken into account,” he said and further elaborated how the Appropriation Bill was in the middle which should have reached the Governor on March 19 but the Speaker kept it with himself and was aware of the fact that it was not passed.He also criticised the High Court verdict which said that the nine rebel Congress MLAs have committed a constitutional sin without being party to the hearing.He said remarkes against them were made when their plea against the disqualification was pending before the single judge bench.”The judgement is coloured by these remarks,” he said and tried to drive the point that “a fallen government has been resurrected by the act of the Speaker.”Rohatgi said March 18 was actually the day of floor test when the money bill was introduced in the house and the 35 MLAs were against it.The AG was joined by senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Centre, and another senior counsel C A Sundaram, representing the nine rebel MLAs, who submitted that there was material showing that there was some troublesome event on March 18While Sundaram said the High Court ignored the plea of the rebel MLAs challenging their disqualification, Salve said dismissing a government without floor test is an issue to be looked into by the Governor and not the President.”If President takes a view that there is trouble on ground how do you say that this is abuse of power? Should not an institution come into action in such a situation?” said Salve.The AG asked the apex court to stay the effect and implementation of the operation of the High Court judgement and also sought a direction to the HC to supply the copy of the verdict.During the hearing, the bench said, “We make it clear what happens inside the Assembly, we would not go into it. We have to examine the grounds on which the Presidential proclamation was made. Whether it was right or not and based on the Bommai judgement.””The whole issue is the interference by this court in exercise of judicial review pertaining to the justiciability of proclamation by the President is a serious matter. It has to be debated. Till it is debated, what arrangement can be made,” the bench said.Further, the bench told Sibal that since he was representing the Speaker, he has to speak by maintaining neutrality.Singhvi, appearing for Rawat, said the challenge to the imposition of President’s rule succeeded on the grounds that included it was against the tenets of the Bommai and Rameshwar Prasad Chaurasiya judgement.While he was making the submission, the bench said, “Nobody has seen the judgement which was pronounced yesterday.Do you have a copy of the judgement?”Singhvi said the judgement was pronounced in the open court and the pronouncement was by giving reasons and once the judgement is pronounced, it becomes a law.However, the bench said it wanted to know the contents of the judgement.”The issue is what possible interim arrangement can be made till we get the copy of the judgement,” the bench said even as Singhvi continued to counter the submission made by the Centre making the Speaker responsible for the March 18 incident.Singhvi said Speaker is the master of the house and even if the 27 BJP MLAs wanted vote by division he had the right to say no. The fact that the nine rebel MLAs joined them clearly shows that “horse trading” was going on before the floor test.At this point, the AG interrupted him and said “Does he (Rawat) deny he was not on TV speaking of money?” Singhvi, who was opposing Centre’s plea for stay of the High Court verdict, said “Between now and April 29 (the day of floor test) nothing is going to happen.”He said how can in the interim the CM, who has been restored by the High Court, not function. The AG said it is for the Governor to function.Singhvi said that the BJP government at the Centre wants its man to be the Chief Minister. However, the bench said, “there has to be a balance between both the sides.”It said it was slightly concerned about Article 356 which is a serious matter. “We are not going to comment on the merits of the verdict. What is happening is a serious and grievous matter for any state,” the bench said, adding “You don’t revoke President’s rule just like that. You should have called for files.”Singhvi said files were examined by the High Court. However, the bench interrupted him by saying “try to understand. Suppose horse trading is going on, does it not create a dent in democracy?”Sibal said does nine members of the Congress becoming rebels not amount to horse trading. The bench said that is horse trading.Sibal said since the High Court refused to stay the disqualification of the nine rebel MLAs, the President’s rule was imposed. “They (Centre) wanted to have a BJP government.

We will follow SC’s judgement with due respect: Harish Rawat

Following the SC’s stay on the judgement related to Uttarakhand crisis, CM Harish Rawat said that the state is facing a huge issue and until the Supreme Court makes a final judgement, President’s rule can not be revoked.The Supreme Court on Friday stayed till April 27 the judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing the imposition of President’s rule, giving a new turn to the continuing political drama in the state by restoring the Central rule in Uttarakhand.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Before passing a brief order, a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh recorded an undertaking given by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the “Union of India shall not revoke the Presidential proclamation till the next date of hearing”.The apex court clarified that it was keeping in abeyance the judgement of the High Court till the next date of hearing on April 27 as a measure of balance for both the parties as the copy of the verdict was not made available to the parties.While listing the matter for hearing on April 27, the bench said that the High Court shall provide the judgement passed on Thursday to the parties by April 26 and on the same date the copy of the verdict shall also be placed before the apex court.The Supreme Court’s stay has the effect of undoing the revival of the Congress government led by Harish Rawat by the High Court judgement on Thursday. During the hearing, the bench also observed that as a matter of propriety the High Court should have signed the verdict so that it would be appropriate for it to go into the appeal.The apex court issued notice to Harish Rawat and Chief Secretary of the state on the petition by Centre challenging the quashing of Presidential proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution in the state.

Uttarakhand HC’s order full of loopholes: Vijay Bahuguna

Asserting that there were loopholes in the Uttarakhand High Court verdict quashing President’s rule in the state, former chief minister and rebel Congress leader Vijay Bahuguna on Friday expressed hope that the Supreme Court would review the previous order and clear all confusions.Bahuguna told ANI that the apex court’s verdict is paramount, adding it will be out in the open soon that the High Court’s decision against the President’s rule was unfair.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Union of India has approached the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order. The Supreme Court will review the High Court’s order as the High Court’s verdict is not the final verdict. There are a lot of loopholes in the High Court’s decision. And I am sure the Supreme Court’s verdict will clear all the confusions. The decision to impose President’s rule in the state was correct,” he said.Bahuguna also used the occasion to criticise Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat. “Harish Rawat has resumed his services as Uttarakhand Chief Minister at a time when he has not even received a signed copy of the High Court’s verdict. The Governor has also objected this initiative,” he said.The High Court on Thursday set aside the Centre’s rule imposed last month, saying Article 356 was imposed in the state contrary to the law laid down by Supreme Court. The High Court accused the Centre of acting in blatant falsehood and behaving like a private party. The High Court asked Rawat to prove his government’s majority on the floor of the assembly on the April 29.

Uttarakhand crisis: Don’t disturb ‘federal structure’: Rawat warns Centre

Hailing the High Court’s verdict ordering restoration of his government in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre has ‘every right’ to approach the Supreme Court in this regard but added that the ruling dispensation must not disturb the federal structure for ulterior motives.Rawat also slammed the Centre for interfering with the functioning of the states and said that dismissing the governments on the basis of ‘local politics’ was incorrect.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”They won’t get any respite from the Supreme Court because this decision was taken keeping the welfare of the state in mind. They have every right to approach the apex court. We would like to request the Centre to allow the state governments to work the way they want as that is what the federal structure is all about,” Rawat told ANI.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Centre moves SC against HC verdict; BJP pins blame on Congress’ ‘internal strife'”Regarding the court’s decision, let the local people decide if it is good or bad. Removing the governments on the basis of local politics is not right,” he added.Earlier, the BJP blamed the ‘internal strife’ within the Congress Party for the political crisis in Uttarakhand.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Rahul Gandhi flays PM Modi, says ‘democracy wins'”This is the same Congress, which has hit a century in toppling the governments, whether it is Indira ji or Rajiv ji or Nehru ji. Sonia ji had done similar things during Arunachal crisis, look what happened, they failed,” BJP leader Shrikant Sharma told ANI.Meanwhile, the Centre will move the Supreme Court today challenging the Uttarakhand High Court’s order quashing the imposition of President’s rule in the state.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Harish Rawat govt is still in minority, claims BJPAttorney General Mukul Rohatgi said yesterday that he would mention the matter before the apex court seeking a stay on the verdict.The High Court yesterday ordered restoration of the Rawat-led Congress Government in the state, saying that the Centre did not have any concrete proof to impose the President’s rule.The High Court asked Rawat to prove his government’s majority on the floor of the assembly on the April 29.

Uttarakhand: Land rates to be revised, pension hiked

The Harish Rawat government on Thursday decided to revise the circle rates of land in Uttarakhand and increase pension of retirees across the board.With regard to the revision of land rates, a committee, chaired by Finance Minister, would be constituted, official sources said.The Finance Secretary and District Magistrates of all districts will be members of the commitee, the sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Holding its first cabinet meeting after the Uttarakhand High Court quashed the imposition of President’s rule in the state, the Harish Rawat government decided to increase the pension of retirees by Rs 200 per month.There are about 6.5 lakh pensioners in the state and the increase will put a burden of Rs 13 crore on the state exchequer.In the wake of drought situation, the Uttarkhand government would give Rs 5 crore to each district to deal with the crisis, the sources said.It was decided that Malin Basti dwellers would be given ownership rights and Rath Mahavidyalaya in Pauri would be brought under the state government, they said.Earlier, the Uttarakhand High Court quashed the imposition of President’s rule in the state and revived the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat, asking him to prove majority on April 29.

Uttarakhand crisis: Effective strength of House is now 62, says Assembly Speaker

Uttrakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on Thursday said the “effective strength” of the House has now come down to 62 as the state High Court has upheld the disqualification of the nine rebel Congress MLAs.”The effective strength of the Uttarakhand Assembly is now 62 with the disqualification of the nine rebel Congress MLAs,” Kunjwal said.Out of the 62 MLAs, 27 belong to Congress, PDF has six and BJP 28. It also includes a nominated Anglo-Indian member. The nominated member is also eligible to vote in the vote of confidence in the Assembly on April 29, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked about rebel BJP MLA Bhim Lal Arya, against whom his party had submitted a petition to the Speaker seeking his disqualification, Kunjwal said the petition has not been disposed off yet and Arya can take part in the trust vote.The imposition of President’s rule in the state was today quashed by a High Court division bench, which restored the dismissed Congress government.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Centre to move Supreme Court challenging HC order, says Mukul RohatgiDirecting revival of the Harish Rawat government, which was dismissed by the Centre on March 27, the court ordered that he should seek a vote of confidence in the Assembly on April 29. Crucially, it also upheld the disqualification of nine rebel Congress MLAs, saying they have to pay the price of committing the “Constitutional sin” of defection by being disqualified by the Speaker.

Uttarakhand crisis: After HC’s ruling, Subramanian Swamy demands appointment of new AG, SG

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday alleged that the Centre lost the case in the Uttarakhand High Court because of poor argumentation of the Attorney General and the Solicitor General, demanding that new appointments should be made for the two posts.”We must appeal against this in the Supreme Court because this is a judgement that has far reaching implications,” Swamy told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But more importantly I felt, after reading the arguments, that the Attorney General and the Solicitor General did not present the arguments forcefully. I think we lost because of poor argumentation and not because we had a poor case. I think a new Attorney General and a Solicitor General should be appointed,” he added.The Uttarakhand High Court earlier on Thursday quashed the President’s Rule in the state and ordered floor test in the assembly on April 29. Harish Rawat’s lawyer K.C Kaushik said the High Court has restored the former chief minister’s position as on March 27 when the President’s Rule was imposed.The High Court had observed that it would be a travesty of justice if the Centre revokes its order imposing President’s Rule in the state, and allows someone else to form a government before it gives the verdict. The court’s comments came after the Centre’s counsel said it was not in a position to give an assurance that the government would consider putting on hold the recall of its order imposing President’s Rule for a week.

Uttarakhand crisis: Arvind Kejriwal asks PM Modi to ‘respect democracy’

Terming the Uttrakhand High Court order setting aside President’s rule in the state as a “huge embarrassment” to the Narendra Modi Government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Prime Minister should stop “interfering with elected governments and respect democracy”. “This is a huge embarrassment to Modi Govt. He shud stop interfering wid elected govts and respect democracy (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttarakhand High Court quashed the imposition of President’s rule in the state and revived the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat, who has been asked to prove his majority on April 29.Coming down heavily on the Centre for the March 27 proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution, a division bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice K M Joseph said the imposition of the President’s rule was contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court. Congress slams BJPThe Uttarakhand High Court’s verdict setting aside imposition of President’s rule in the state spurred an elated Congress to attack the BJP, demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for “trampling” democracy and “murdering” constitution.The verdict is a slap on face of BJP for trying to dislodge an elected government, it said.Terming the court’s verdict as a victory of people of Uttarakhand, democracy and constitutional norms, AICC Incharge Communications Randeep Singh Surjewala said Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah should learn a lesson from this “decisive and resounding verdict.”This is a victory for the people of Uttarakhand, democracy and constitutional norms. This is also a slap on the face of those in BJP who sought to dislodge an elected government, elected with the mandate of people in Uttarakhand.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will be well advised to now tender an unconditional apology to the nation and also to people of Uttarakhand for trampling upon democracy, murdering constitution norms and subjugating the will of people to their blind quest to dislodge Congress governments. We welcome the verdict,” Surjewala said.He said that it proves the full majority which Congress enjoys and the “sinister conspiracies” which are being hatched from Arunanchal Pradesh to Uttarakhand and many other states to dislodge elected governments by “foul means, use of money and muscle power” should now at least come to an end.”Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah should learn a lesson from this decisive and resounding verdict,” he said.Putting up a brave front, BJP claimed the Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand is in minority and that this will be proved on April 29.The kind of observations the state High Court has been making for last three days, we are not surprised by its order, BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said.Union Minister and BJP leader Kiren Rijiju said that blaming the central government for something which was a creation of the Congress is “unfortunate”.”We all respect the court verdict. I have nothing to comment on it but just to blame the central government for a particular situation which has been created by Congress party, that is unfortunate. It is congress party’s creation, not ours (BJP),” he said.Dealing a major blow to Modi government, the Uttarakhand High Court quashed the imposition of President’ rule in the state and revived the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat, who has been asked to prove his majority on April 29.

Hopefully Centre will not provoke us: Uttarakhand High Court

In further discomfiture to the Centre, the Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday made a veiled warning to it, hoping it will not “provoke” the Court by revoking the Central rule in the state now and making clear the decision is open to judicial review as even the President can go wrong.”There is no king or absolutism. Howsoever high you are, the law is above you. Legitimacy of relevant inference drawn from the material that is placed before President is open to judicial review,” a bench of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bist said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We hope they will not provoke us” till a verdict is delivered on the petition challenging its imposition, the bench said during the hearing on the petition challenging the imposition of President’s rule in the state The bench made the observations after senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi raised the apprehension that President’s Rule might be revoked before verdict is pronounced or even reserved.Singhvi, who appeared for former Chief Minister Harish Rawat in his plea challenging President’s Rule, expressed the fear after the Centre said that the Attorney General’s statement of April 7, that nothing with regard to 356 will be done till April 17, has “expired”.Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta did not confirm whether any decision with regard to revocation of President’s Rule has been taken by the Centre. Singhvi said President Rule should not be lifted before judgement is reserved or pronounced and the “opposition” should not be invited to form a government as this would render the plea infructuous. He also said that the Centre cannot resort to such tactics to force the court to deliver a verdict quickly.Referring to the NDA government’s argument that the President took the decision to impose Article 356 of the Constitution in his “political wisdom”, the bench observed, “People can go wrong, be it the President or the judges.” This observation was made after the Centre contended that the President’s understanding of the material before him would be different from that of the court.Uttarakhand High Court takes on CentreThe Government’s contention came after the bench said that from the reports sent by the Governor to the President, regarding the situation in the state, “what we have understood is that everything was processing towards a floor test on March 28.” The high court, during the hearing, also noted that the Governor in his reports to the President never mentioned that 35 MLAs sought division of votes.”Governor has to be personally satisfied. He has not recorded his personal satisfaction that 35 MLAs had sought division on the floor of the house,” the court said and added that his reports do not say that the nine rebel Congress MLAs had also sought a division. It also said that there was “absolute absence of material that would create an apprehension in the mind of the Governor” that President’s rule needs to be imposed.”So how did Government of India arrive at the satisfaction that 35 stood up? From Governor’s reports?” the court asked.”Governor’s letter of March 19 to the President does not mention that 35 MLAs had sought division of votes. That is conspicuous by its absence. It is absolutely crucial,” the bench said. To this the Centre said that on March 19 the Governor did not have all the details.You are making terrible allegations against Speaker: HCThe court also took a “serious view” of the fact that though the Centre had alleged that the Speaker of the house had kept the disqualification complaint against BJP MLA Bhim Lal Arya pending in reality the complaint against him was filed only after President’s Rule was imposed.”Why was the complaint filed on April 5 after President’s Rule was imposed? We were thinking about why the Speaker has double standards (that he disqualified the nine rebel Congress MLAs but kept the complaint against Arya pending). This is terrible. You are making such terrible allegations (against Speaker). Is this how Government of India functions? What do you (Centre) have to say about this? This is not to be taken lightly as that (Speaker’s conduct regarding disqualification) was also the basis of President’s satisfaction. We are taking a serious note of this,” the bench said.Mehta said he would need to take instructions on it and would tell the court tomorrow after which the bench listed the matter tomorrow for this clarification. The bench is also likely to reserve its verdict on Rawat’s plea against President’s Rule on Thursday.HC questions Harish Rawat’s involvement in horse-tradingDuring the second half of the day’s proceedings, the court also directed a query to the petitioner, Rawat, that looking at his conduct “why the discretion (of Article 356) should not be exercised”.”Looking at your (petitioner) conduct, why discretion (of imposing 356) should not be exercised?”The court was referring to the sting operation which allegedly pointed to Rawat’s involvement in horse-trading. To this Rawat’s counsel, Singhvi, said that the sting was an “alleged solitary example” which “bordered on entrapment”.During the hearing, the court asked Singhvi what would happen to the Centre’s March 30 ordinance regarding expenditure of the state if Rawat’s plea is allowed.Singhvi said the ordinance would remain in force till the petition challenging it is decided. He also said that even if the ordinance is struck down by the court the actions taken under it will remain.Article 356 questionedPresenting his final arguments, Singhvi said Article 356 cannot be the “panacea” for horse-trading as then what would be the use of the “long judgements” by the Supreme Court holding that “floor test is essential”. He also argued “there is nothing” like the Centre’s “concept of auto-falling of a government if money bill fails”.The senior counsel said failing of money Bill would only be a “trigger” and a motion of no-confidence would have to be moved to remove the government. He said that none of the Governor’s reports toPresident recommended imposing of Article 356 or said that the constitutional machinery had failed in the state “but Central government relies on these reports and imposes President’s rule”. Singh raised the question whether a solitary instance of a Speaker denying a division would be sufficient to impose President’s rule. He queried “what was the unearthly hurry” in imposing President’s Rule on March 26 and questioned why the Centre could not wait till the floor test was held on March 28.Singhvi wanted to know how imposing Article 356 would be controlled “in each case where a sting bordering on entrapment takes place” and “in each case where Speaker has not followed rules”. He contended that Article 356 was imposed in a “casual manner” in the instant case.

Political war follows death of Shaktiman, Uttarakhand police horse attacked in a BJP rally

Shaktiman, the Uttarakhand police horse which was attacked in a BJP rally in Dehradun, passed away at 5.30 pm on Wednesday, reports say. Allegedly attacked by BJP legislator Ganesh Joshi, Shaktiman’s leg had to be amputated to prevent the gangrene in his body from spreading.

Ganesh Joshi who was accused of attacking Shaktiman at the rally, was arrested after a nation-wide outrage over the incident. The BJP MLA is out on bail.

“Shaktiman was injured on March 14 after which we had to operate on him. He was later fitted with an artificial leg. But he was unable to fully recover from an infection,” SSP Dehradun Sadanand Date said.

“Though the artificial limb was put on Shaktiman, it was not working well and he was putting his entire weight on the other leg. That is why the infection spread. Today also a lot of care was taken and about eight doctors attended to the horse. It is sad that we could not save him,” R S Meena, IG Law and Order, Uttarakhand, said.

Shaktiman was a well trained horse and part of Uttarakhand Mounted Police for years.

“The horse passed away at 5.30 PM. He was suffering from medical-related complications. The exact cause will be known only after post mortem,” IG Garhwal Sanjay Gunjyal said.

Police horse Shaktiman whose leg had to be amputated after he was beaten up at a BJP rally, passed away on Wednesday. PTIPolice horse Shaktiman whose leg had to be amputated after he was beaten up at a BJP rally, passed away on Wednesday. PTI

Police horse Shaktiman whose leg had to be amputated after he was beaten up at a BJP rally, passed away on Wednesday. PTI

Speaking to reporters, BJP State President Ajay Bhatt said, “When Shaktiman was operated, he was made to stand continuously. He did not get adequate rest.”

“Ganesh Joshi was actually hitting the ground, you cannot pin him for Shakitman’s death,” Bhatt added.

Speaking to CNN News 18, Nikunj Sharma from Peta, said  “I would say its a black day in animal rights. He beat the horse, his leg was amputated and now he’s dead. The law has to be strengthened in a way that anyone who injures or kills an animal deserves stringent punishment. We call for a strong law today”

Many had argued that Shaktiman should be euthanised because of the pain and discomfort as he struggled to get used to his prosthetic leg.

Expressing shock over the demise of the horse, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said,”It was a brave soldier of Uttarakhand and died while performing its duty.”

Rawat said at one stage in recent weeks it appeared that the horse was getting well and trying to stand.

BJP’s Shaina NC said this was not an issue to be politicised. “It is the loss of life of an animal,” she said, adding animal lovers across the country feel that a wrong has been done. “I think we all need to own this up at our own end,” she said.

Animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi said, “Shaktiman died the same day when it was attacked and its leg broken. Horses with such weight have very little chance to live on three legs. We were mentally prepared for this but political parties are playing blame games.”

According to a report in NDTV13-year-old Shaktiman was not responding to the prosthetic leg that Jamie Vaughan, who runs an NGO for veterinary care in Bhutan, brought from the US. The report further added that Shaktiman spent the last few days under the care of a group of policemen in Dehradun.

The officials taking care of the horse said that Shaktiman had stopped eating after the operation. A team of ten doctors had carried out the surgery on Shaktiman, said a report in The Hindu.

When intercepted by police near Rispana bridge on way to the state assembly during a protest march yesterday, BJP workers tried to jump over the barricades prompting security personnel, including the mounted police, to swing into action to control the protesters.

This enraged Joshi who allegedly began hitting a 13-year-old police horse named Shaktiman with a stick, causing fracture in one of its hind legs.

Neha Joshi, the BJP MLA’s daughter, claimed many television channels have proved that her father did not harm the horse in any manner. “He has regretted the incident involving the mob,” she said.

After news about the horse being injured during protests by BJP spread, Chief Minister Harish Rawat visited the stable located at the police lines where it has been kept for treatment.

“Political workers must learn the value of restraint and tolerance. It seems the word tolerance does not exist in BJP’s dictionary,” Rawat had said.

With inputs from PTI

Uttarakhand crisis: Even President can go wrong, matter is subject to judicial review, HC Chief Justice tells Centre

Deciding on the President’s rule in Uttarakhand, the High Court on Wednesday told the Centre that even the President can go wrong and everything is subject to judicial review.The court was hearing a writ petition of ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s plea challenging the imposition of President’s rule on March 26.The court came down heavily on the Centre over its submission that courts cannot have jurisdiction over President’s assent <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There is no decision like that of a king, which can’t be subject to judicial review. That’s the essence of the Constitution,” reported ANI quoting the Chief Justice. Stating that even the President can go wrong, the court said, “everything is subject to judicial review, you should rejoice at evolution we have had.”
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: You are cutting at root of democracy, HC tells Centre”We are not doubting the wisdom of the President, but everything is subject to judicial review,” the court added.Rapping the Centre on Tuesday, the court said that by imposing President’s rule it was taking away the powers of an elected government and introducing ‘chaos’ and that a floor test ‘cannot be deprived of its sanctity’.Earlier this week, the court had told the Centre that it is cutting at the root of democracy. “Root of the matter is you are cutting at the root of democracy. Interference in the affairs of states is not to be seen lightly, emergency power should be used in extraordinary cases.”

Uttarakhand crisis: BJP flags off yatra against Congress

Stepping up attack on Congress, BJP on Sunday launched a yatra here to “expose” alleged corruption during Harish Rawat’s rule and horse-trading of legislators.”The ‘Remove corruption, save Uttarakhand’ yatra which will travel across the state will make the people aware of the deeds of Congress and the attempt to buy legislators by the ousted Chief Minister,” state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The yatra will reach Haldwani on April 18 and Dehradun the next day. In the next stage, the yatra will go to other parts of the state where the flag will be handed over to the district chiefs, he said. A CD of the purported ‘sting’ video which allegedly shows Rawat trying to bribe legislators will be shown to people during the journey.

Vijay Bahuguna blames Harish Rawat for imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand

Holding Harish Rawat responsible for the imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand, his predecessor Vijay Bahuguna on Friday said this scenario could have been prevented if the deposed chief minister had resigned immediately after his government was reduced to a minority in the assembly.”Rawat himself is to be blamed for imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand. If he had resigned after his government was reduced to a minority in the state assembly it would not have happened. Someone else from the Congress or some other party would have got a chance to form the government. But since he did not resign and the appropriation bill had not been passed by the House, the President was left with no choice but to impose President’s rule in the state,” Bahuguna told reporters in Haridwar.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon after President’s rule was imposed in Uttarakhand on March 27, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said it was a fit case for invocation of Article 356 as the appropriation bill had not been passed by the state assembly.Bahuguna, who was among the nine Congress MLAs who revolted against their own party’s government in the state assembly, said they want President’s rule to come to an early end in Uttarakhand but everything depends on the high court which is yet to deliver its verdict on a bunch of petitions related to recent political developments in the state.Justifying the role played by the nine rebel Congress legislators in the eviction of Rawat government, Bahuguna made an oblique reference to growing morale of mining mafia under Rawat saying, “He (Rawat) dug the state’s rivers, we dug his chair.”Congress rebels have been alleging that mining, land and liquor mafia had begun to call the shots in Uttarakhand during Rawat’s tenure.

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